Knock-Off Botcon 2007 Clear Mirage

Posted: November 30, 2010 in Buy Cool Toys, Knock-Off Toys, Transformers
Tags: , , , ,

I posted earlier on this blog about Henkei Thundercracker, and I mentioned that a knock-off had been made of Botcon ’07 Clear Mirage. While this was not as sought after as Botcon Thundercracker, Mirage was still a figure that many fans wanted, and scoring one was likely to empty your wallet faster than a drunk trip to Vegas.

See, most Transformers fans have a need that has been inculcated within them since birth (or 1984, whichever came last) that they absolutely NEED every single variant of every single toy that has been or will be produced.  Thus, if Hasbro or Takara produce thirty of the exact same jets, shaped the exact same way, that transform in the exact same manner, fans will still have to have EVERY. LAST. ONE of them.

The character Mirage, in the Transformers fiction, had the special ability to disappear and be invisible while spying on the enemy.  We as Transformers fans saw this, and in our collective minds said “this has to be made into some kind of toy.”

Lo, and behold, the powers that be at Botcon granted those wishes in return for a price that most people, alas, could not pay.

Once again, the makers of KO toys have come to your rescue.

I happened across this first on Taobao. When I saw it, I knew it was a knock-off because of the extremely low price tag. Still, I had to have it in hand ASAP, so you, my lucky readers, could get a glimpse of it.

I don’t have an actual Botcon Mirage to compare him to, but I do have Classics Mirage, Fracture and Drag Strip.  All of these molds appear to be alike, so I will be pointing out where KO BC Mirage differs from these molds.  This will again be one half review, and one half tutorial.

Here he is next to Classics Mirage.  As you can see, the reproduction is 1:1.  There is no size difference. He’s reproduced part-for-part.  There don’t appear to be any shortcuts taken in this KO.  All parts are clear blue plastic with the following exceptions:  the ball joint that the head is on, the biceps, the two inner parts of the torso, and the part that connects the thigh and the calf.

I should apologize right off the bat for these pictures not being clearer.  My camera is a simple digital camera and isn’t made for high quality photos.  This is the first difference I noticed between the KO and all the other Mirage molds I own.  In the solid piece between the thigh and calf, there are markings.  On the KO, there are 2 straight horizontal lines.  On the other Mirage molds, there are 3 slanted lines.

Also on the legs, on the upper part of the thigh, there are air intake vents right where the exhaust pipes fold up in bot mode.  The KO has 3 vents.  The original mold has 4.

I’m not certain if this next difference is also present on the real Botcon Mirage, so maybe somebody who has it can let us know.  If you look on the KO BC Mirage’s shin, there is a lot of detailing that is not present on Classics Mirage, Drag Strip or Fracture.  Also, the dead giveaway is the rubsign.  KO BC Mirage has no rubsign.

There is a seam on the outside of the forearm of each Mirage-mold figure.  On Mirage, Fracture and Drag Strip, this seem perfectly bisects a detail, making it essentially look like teeth.  The legit molds have the seam running straight down the middle.  The KO does not.  It’s rather widely off center.

Here’s one that’s really easy to spot.  The screws on KO BC Mirage are smaller than the screws in any of its mold-mates.  The holes are obviously meant for larger screws, but smaller ones are used.

Oopsie!  Don’t worry too much, though.  This is not actually broken.  It’s just a place in the torso that can be detached.  All the other versions of this mold have this too.  The reason I point it out is that the one on the KO slides out really easily.  It showed up in my mailbox split in two, and it also fell out while I was fiddling with it.  The legit figures have never done this for me.

The gun actually does fit, but you have to press it into the fist really hard. Be careful, because this could cause stress marks on the hand, if not outright breakage. If you’re handy enough with a blade, you might trim down the peg on the weapon for a better fit.

And here they all are together.  As you can see, KO BC Mirage does fit in to the classics collection, as long as you don’t look closely.

QUALITY: Sadly, Mirage does not quite live up to the high quality of the Henkei seekers.  He’s floppy for one thing.  His joints are not tight at all.  The plastic quality also feels a little light.  I realize this is clear plastic, but the Henkei Ghost Starscream KO felt a LOT sturdier than this guy.  The looseness of the figure hinders his ability to achieve all the great poses the original Mirage could achieve.  Additionally, as I mentioned, he tends to come apart at the waist, and he cannot hold his weapon.

PROS: About 99.9% of the world will not know this is a fake. Only true rabid collectors will notice.

PACKAGING: There is none.  No Botcon bag.  Er go, one of the simplest ways to ensure you are getting a REAL Botcon Mirage is to purchase one bagged.  So far, anyway. Mike at KOToys is now selling bio cards to go with this figure, so it’s one step closer to the real thing.

One more thing:  I don’t know if this is true for all of them, but there was a flaw on my KO BC Mirage’s face that stemmed from it being improperly removed from the sprue.

In summary, there are two reasons to get this figure:
— if you are planning to get a real one in the future and want it as a placeholder
— if you don’t want to pay the money for the real thing and can settle for the next best thing.

This will be really easy to spot as a fake in person.  If you buy it on eBay or another online source, be sure to get close-up pictures of it.

I don’t regret buying it, because it fills a spot in my collection that was previously unable to be filled. And it’s not too shabby a toy, as long as you leave it on display (as Botcon toys should stay anyway) and don’t look too closely.


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