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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Civ's review of: Meister

Name: Meister
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Special Operations Saboteur
Sub-Group: NA

First of all, if you want a complete and thorough history of the figure itself, please visit Nevermore's page at this link.

The link will take you to the English version of Meister's history. There is also a German version if you wish to test your language skills. Now, onward to my review of BinalTech (BT) Meister, who is also designated as BT-08.

I knew I had to get this figure as soon as I saw the video on Mazda's site of the red RX-8 transforming before my very eyes. I didn't know it was going to be Meister until much later, but I had a feeling the figure was going to be good. I wasn't sure though until I read Nevermore's and Sir Auros' reports on him. I knew, right then and there, that I was going to buy him. So, I went on ebay and bought him for $51.94 (including shipping and handling). He arrived two days before Christmas Eve, and I couldn't wait to play with him. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.

Vehicle Mode:
As stated earlier, Meister is a Mazda RX-8 and, in my humble opinion, he is indeed spiffy (to say the least). As with other car BinalTechs and Alternators, his front wheels can swivel, which gives him steering. His rear windshield also has the heating wires used to defrost it during the winter. Door handles, the fuel door outline, headlights, and other features are painstakingly detailed on him. He also has a trunk and a hood that can open. All four of his doors open fully, and the two front ones have mirrors much like Smokescreen and Silverstreak.

The detailing inside is incredible. He has a steering wheel that can rotate and adjust, much like Smokescreen's and Side Swipe's can. He also has four seats that look like seats, which is a major plus when disguising the robot mode. All of the usual dashboard and transmission components are also included. The only thing he's missing is a central, rear view mirror, like the one on Tracks. Finally, Meister's underside reveals much less of the robot than previous BT figures. The only giveaway is that you can see his arms; otherwise, he has a muffler system (that becomes his gun), as well as other details that look like the real underside of a car.

While on the topic of features, I suppose it's now an appropriate time to say what parts of him are made from die cast metal. To answer this, a list is appropriate:
  • The movable part of the hood excluding the ovular, triangular piece where the head comes out.
  • All four of the doors, excluding the plastic that makes up the window.
  • The roof of the car.
  • The rear of the car minus the trunk and the bumper parts that become the "ball and toes" of his feet.

Robot Mode:
If you thought the vehicle mode was spiffy, the robot mode is amazing. First of all, yes, he is heavily influenced by Smokescreen's and Silverstreak's designs but has a few major upgrades. First of all, the leg transformation has been perfected. I couldn't spot anything wrong with it. They now ratchet and fold up so simply, I believe a young child could do it with ease. You also don't have to line up the rear windshield halves like on previous figures; it remains whole and attached to the hood. The only thing that might cause minor confusion during the transformation of the legs is all of the 180-degree twists, which is four in total for the legs (Two at the hip joints while the other two are on the "ankles".).

The arm transformation has also been upgraded. Instead of having to work his arms out like the Subaru figures, they just fold down and can be extended easily. Putting them back while transforming him into a car can be a bit confusing at first, but, other than that, the arm transformation has been nearly perfected. I have heard of one problem, though. I've read other testimonies that his right arm becomes detached during transformation. I've only had this happen to mine once, but it snaps right back in and hasn't done it to me since. Now watch, I just jinxed myself.

Now, for the points of articulation and get ready for this:
  • He can do a split in both directions - laterally and sagittally. Easily the best leg articulation I've ever seen in the BT line.
  • His ankle articulation is outstanding. It outdoes MP Convoy's articulation, hands down. The ankles can rotate 360-degrees, and you can adjust his "heels" and the "toes" of his feet.
  • Full rotation in the waist.
  • Full shoulder rotation and range.
  • Amazing articulation in his wrists.
  • Head articulation. He can rotate a full 360-degrees and can look up. Mine is a little stiff, however. This may be because it is new but I'm also trying not to scrape the head along the hood opening.
  • Full elbow and knee articulation; however, his knees can only go to right angles and not acute, like MP Convoy's can.
  • The usual trigger finger and 3-melded-finger articulation as all the BTs possess.
As a side note, the waist transformation is identical to the Subaru models. I've only encountered two other problems with this figure. One is that cutout plastic piece that allows his head to come through the roof flops around too easily. The second is that my figure has great difficulty holding his gun. There is a peg to insert into his hand but getting it in and getting it to stay there is a real pain-in-the-**censored!** ;)

Transformation: 5 - It's much easier than either of the Subarus' transformations, in terms of ease to understanding and smoothness. On my scale, 10 rates as unbelievably hard. The only difficulty with the actual transformation of the robot is all of the twisting, which isn't so bad once you become more familiar with it. Other than that, his gun will also give you problems if it's anything like mine.
Durability: 6 - Scraping the paint is always a concern. His shoulders are another worry, as well as his roof. His roof, while more sturdy than G1 Jazz's, still raises concern since it looks like the rod connecting the ball joint to the main windshield could just snap off.
Fun: 10 - Poseability central. This guy can give MP Convoy a run for his money and if you own him, you will have an idea just how poseable Meister is.
Price: 8 - A bit pricey, but give e-bay some time and I'm sure the price will come down eventually.
Summary: 10 - A great figure. It's easily become my favorite BT. I highly recommend this figure to anyone who is interested in collecting Transformers, because I know he will not disappoint.

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