Most of us are familiar with the figures from the Brave line that were made from reused Transformers molds, but while on a recent spending spree I was surprised to find there were a couple of molds that were used in the Microman line too. imagine my surprise when I just happened across a listing for this bad little bugger. Most people (including myself) habitually refer to the original Transformers figure as Countdown, however Countdown is actually the name of the MicroMaster figure; the actual base is called Rocket Base. So to say that this is a repaint of Countdown may be technically wrong, but I'm sure I'll make the proverbial slip of the tongue during this article.
Released at the end of the Microman LED Powers line by Takara, this is a direct re-deco of the MicroMaster base that came with Countdown. The black and gold paint applications are simply striking, and give it a very ominous feel. Had I purchased this figure when it first came out I probably would have been very tempted to put some reproduction Decepticon emblems on it, and turn it into the evil counterpart to Rocket Base, but given the price tag that was attached to this figure I probably won't even put the included stickers on it. (Who am I kidding, I'm still tempted to throw some Decepticon logos on it.)
The Microman figures used the same size peg hole as the MicroMaster figures, so there was no need to remold anything on the figure. The only differences between this and his G1 counterpart are that Takara replaced the Countdown MicroMaster with a Microman called Shining Edison, and they didn't include the mechanical repair arm from the original release.
Unpacking this figure was a complete joy. I was lucky enough to find it MIB with the stickers un-applied, and the individual parts still in their baggies. There's something to be said about (probably) being the first person to open a toy that's +15 years old, and enjoying the minty-ness that comes along with it. I was truly surprised by the condition when it arrived. From the pictures that the seller had posted I could tell that it was very well taken care of, but when I finally had it in my hands, it was joyfully obvious that it had never even been removed from the box; plastique dreams are made of these.
Transformation is identical to the original figure, and pretty simple to figure out (given that I already owned the Transformers version). Even though it is a fairly simple G1 transformation scheme, I was still a bit nervous changing it from one mode to the other. There's nothing worse than paying good money for a figure, and having it break right in your hand because you were too forceful with it. The fact that it included so many gold plastic pieces didn't do anything to calm my nerves either. I'm pretty sure most of the gold plastic that Takara in figures during the late 90's/early 2000's still have a tendency to fall victim to the dreaded "Gold Plastic syndrome", so sufficed to say, I don't think I'll be handling this figure much now that he's tucked away safe in my display cabinet.
An awesome little figure, and a great throwback to the days of yesteryear, this guy looks great sitting next to his Generation 1 counterpart. And while I don't have a whole lot of words to say about it, it's still a fantastic piece, and probably one of the most obscure official re-releases of a Transformers mold that I've come across so far. If you're in the market for G1 oddities, this is sure to fit the bill, and serve as a good conversation starter in your collection and/or display.