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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Knightdramon's review of: BT-08 Meister (red edition)

Name: Meister (Zoom-Zoom)
Function: Special Operations Saboteur

When the Binaltech line was first announced, many fans drooled over Smokescreen for his extreme realism, G1 characteristics and articulation. While all these were present in the toy, one of the drawbacks of the otherwise awesome figure is his transformation scheme. The legs are somewhat difficult to get back to vehicle mode, and the same goes for his arms.

Sometime in summer\autumn the first pics of Meister (or Jazz if you prefer it) debuted on the net. Largely noticeable was the fact that his mould was almost identical to Smokescreen's in transformation. Once the actual toy came into my hands, I found out that it is a completely different mould that transforms almost the same way. In other words people, you are looking at a new mould, which takes the key features of BT-01 and brings them to an entirely different level.

BT Meister was the third figure that came into the Binaltech line with two variants: a white, G1 version and a red version, a colour scheme, which Mazda uses for the car. I purchased both versions at the same time and I have to say, I'm not disappointed.

Vehicle Mode

Zoom-Zoom features one of the sexiest colour schemes in the line so far, second only to Dead End. The first thing that gets your attention is the beautiful red colour used. Unlike Lambor, the colour is deeper and glitters. It's a bit different from the actual red seen on real-life RX-8s, but it works for me!

What is impressive about this line is that the car modes can easily pass for car models. When a friend of mine first saw the figure in vehicle mode, he asked me if it was a model kit or something. Like all the other Binaltechs before him, Zoom-Zoom's front wheels turn in unison (this time the piece of plastic with the magnets is attached on the front section of the car, under the engine. That way it isn't possible to break it while transforming the figure, like BT-01), his doors open like the actual RX-8 and even his trunk opens (and it has nothing to do with the transformation scheme. A small and greatly appreciated detail). The interior is designed with care, mimicking the real car. The seats are adjustable, there is a dashboard etc. A detail you have to notice is that there are actual back seats, something missing on Streak and Smokey.

His weapon is disguised as his muffler system. Unless you pull it out, you can't say for certain it is his weapon.

BT-08 has a lot of die-cast parts equally distributed throughout the mould. The roof, hood, doors and rear parts of the vehicle are moulded in die cast metal, but the colour is exactly the same as with the plastic parts.

Robot Mode

I'm not in the mood for describing the ENTIRE transformation system, so I'll be quick. His rear parts are separated from the roof, then stretching them and rotating them around will reveal his feet. The front seats of the car fold into the plastic pieces (just like BT-01) and the arms swing out from underneath the hood. The front part comes down and with a little re-arranging his roof is turned into his back.

(Noteworthy detail: on the white version of the mould, the right arm has a tendency to pop off from the shoulder with little effort. This isn't an issue with the red version.)

Unlike his white counterpart, Zoom-Zoom isn't a reminiscent of any G1 Autobot. He is as the yellow Tracks is to the blue version. Not necessarily a bad thing, a little originality never hurt anyone! What is a reminiscent of the G1 days is the shape of the robot form. Doors becoming wings, hood being the chest piece, rear part of the vehicle as feet…classic.

The level of detail on this mould is amazing. It reminds me more of a mecha than a transformer. Just looking at his legs and torso gives you an idea of what I've said. Small robotic touch-ups (small tubes, vents etc) are present in these parts and never fail to impress me up to now.

The colour scheme carries on to this mode, adding black to the mix. An impressive sight to behold. His things, feet, arms, chest and wings carry the good old red mentioned before, while everything else is panted black. His visor is of a darker tone than of the white version, perhaps to suit the 'darker' theme better.

Articulation is present and plentiful. His arms have the same range of movement as Smokescreen's, but there are those huge magnet tubs to interfere here. (Well, they are there, just MUCH shorter) He spots waist articulation, his head can move like a human's, save for tilting to the side. His legs rest on ratchet joints, effectively granting him the best leg articulation out of all Binaltechs. His feet can rotate a full 360 degrees, and there are even two 'heel' pieces to balance him. He can bend at the knees and thanks to his ratchet joints; stretch his legs to the side.

As for a gun, the muffler system turns to an impressive riffle. The riffle is chromed, so be very careful with it in order to avoid paint chipping. I haven't spotted any mould problems on this figure, everything is solid.

Transformation: 6. His legs might be tricky at first with all the rotating, and I still have some trouble with getting his thick head go through the hood.
Durability: 9. As with all Binaltechs, paint chipping is an issue. The chrome on his gun can fade off if you aren't careful with it.
Fun: ehm…10? I have yet to see any collector playing with Binaltechs, but the number of poses you can put this one is simply amazing. He can stand on one leg while kicking other figures his height! Name one more Binaltech that can do this!
Price: 7. For around 45 dollars (or 37 euros) he isn't the cheapest thing you can purchase. Keep in mind that the Binaltechs come with display stands, collector's cards, booklet and have die cast parts. If you are living in Europe, paying 12 more Euros for a Binaltech instead of an Alternator pays off (excluding shipping costs)
Overall: 10. Greatest Binaltech around, excellent mould, excellent articulation, amazing car mode-this guy is a must! Highly recommended to G1 fans.

Pictures with thanks to Remy of TFkenkon. Check out his full galleries of special edition Meister here and here!
 
 
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