The Ancress and the Warrior – MMC R-09 & R-10

And just like that, she’ got your attention. Mastermind Creations have just released the next two female Warriors in their Reformatted line, R-09 Eupatorium (Elita-1) and R-10 Salvia Prominon (Solus Prime). These two join mould mates Azalea, Zinnia, Stealth Azalea, and Asterisk Mode Azalea in homaging the Fembots from Generation 1 Transformers lore, mostly. There’s no doubt who the eye-catcher is in the Salvia-Eupa pairing, but both figures have their strengths. The question is, in a line that has given us four versions of the same mould thus far, is there enough reason to add a couple more?

For those who bought Azalea and did not like the mould, it’s going to be hard to convince them there’s anything here for them. For those who keep Azalea and co in robot mode due to dislike of the transformation or hovercraft mode, then Eupalita-1 and especially Salvia Prime could win you over on looks and accessories. Finally, for those of us who now enjoy the MMC Reformatted fembot mould in both robot mode, alternate mode and have made peace with the transformation… well, again I refer you to the first image in this article. Instabuy.

That’s not to say that those in the latter category are not in the minority, we might very well be. Certainly my own motivation for getting more of these stems from how much the hovercraft modes on the girls look like the vehicles from Sony PlayStation series Wipeout. A complete grid of Wipeout vehicles in different colours and configurations appeals enormously. In fact, bucking the trend, I keep these bots in vehicle mode 99% of the time.

The Wipeout thing isn’t widespread though, I can assure you. The fact that MMC have provided us with a very respectable Elita-1, sporting a killer head sculpt and masses of posability will act as the selling point for some collectors. The over-application of lipstick might be divisive, however. When you compare it to the G1 animation model from War Dawn, she’s a very decent representation and could work superbly well with Classics or even G1 Prime. I suspect most will pose her along with the other MMC figures from the same range.

Salvia Prominon is MMC’s 3rd party version of Solus Prime, one of the thirteen Primes from the aligned continuity. To quote from TFWiki: “Among the Thirteen, Solus Prime is the Maker and creator. Among her friends she is much loved both for her abilities to forge nearly any device they need… Many of the arsenal of magnificent weaponry and icons wielded by the other original Transformers are her impressive handiwork, created by an icon of her own, the Forge of Solus Prime”.

Personally, I feel Salvia Prominon completely owns the pairing with her immediately striking and beautiful pastel colours, complemented tremendously with gold and delicious turquoise frosted shoulders, chest and shins. In addition to the colours, she has the swords (sabers) and guns (blasters) from Azalea, but adds a wonderful hammer accessory referred to as the “Forge Hammer” alluded to in her bio above, and also retains the flight stand for the hovercraft. That stand doubles up as a stabiliser in robot mode, attaching to the back of one of her heels.

The epic range of motion in this mould has been covered before in our Azalea review. With so many accessories, display options for Salvia are excellent. My favourite has to be thigh-attached blasters, dual-handed hammer wielding and the sabers attached to the wings on her back, extended downwards. Although she does come with the flight stand for stability, I’m not a fan of using that or any sort of figure stands to display my figures in robot mode. They are stable enough as is, and this mould executes the best kneel of any figure I have ever owned.

By this stage, five MMC fembots in, the transformation of this mould no longer plagues me. The only difficulty I have now after a few months is getting the hovercraft canopy over the section where the wings peg into without disconnecting it from the whole figure. Once that’s accomplished, the line-up of parts is second nature. I even pulled it off in a pub for a friend, which is more than I can say for Beast Hunters Prowl. As is the norm these days, accessories can attach completely in alternate mode, but how did the hammer head at the rear of the vehicle become separated from the handle which now lives under the hood?

That’s right, the hammer head and handle are supposed to separate. But while it is meant to come out normally by pulling, mine was incredibly and worryingly tight, so with the experience I have now of damaged 3rd party figures, I just decided to unscrew the whole thing and separate the parts that way. There’s enough friction in the whole thing thanks to the paint application that I have not put the screws back in. Salvia holds her re-assembled hammer as is, making it easier for me to go between modes and apply the correct weapon storage. As more of these girls get released, all the various tabs and recesses on the mould make sense and get utilised.

Let’s not let Salvia take all the limelight, Eupatorium can throw a few excellent shapes as well. Any Transformer with a bow as a weapon scores highly for me, especially if they have the articulation to pull off convincing battle stances. It’s high time we got some convincing arrow accessories, though. Eupa is basically the same mould, so all the features, strengths and shortcomings are the same as Azalea and Salvia, but she is lacking the sabers and hammer. In addition to the blasters she comes equipped with an “Energy Bow” which can be held on its own or attached to a blaster to act as a crossbow.

Eupa’s colours in robot mode are very close to Azalea with obviously more red and a slightly inverse white/pink motif compared to Azalea for the inner sections. It’s clear that MMC have tried to make each figure as distinct as possible by not colouring them using a uniform scheme. For example only Azalea and Salvia have 2-tone feet and ankles whereas Eupatorium has solid colours on the feet & ankles  like Zinnia. However much they tweak the colours going into these moulds, it will always be the head sculpts and accessories that set each main group apart.

Now I welcome as many colour variants of this mould as possible for my grid of racing hovercraft, but Eupatorium definitely feels unfinished and under-painted in alt mode. The canopy is frosted and transparent so in hand it is slightly distinguishable from the sea of red surrounding it, but the whole thing is broken up only by the striking white at the rear of the vehicle. I’m not surprised collectors have taken to painting their Eupatorium figures.

The instructions indicate that the two pegs sticking up from the main body of the bow can tab into the two half-moon shaped holes under the roof at the rear of hovercraft mode (explaining why those are there). In reality, there seems to be too thick a layer of shiny paint on my energy bow so I was not able to get it plugged in, and it had already shed a few specks of paint through my efforts. As a result, I attached the blasters to the rear flap as instructed with Azalea, and attached the bow to the blasters, resulting in the above. The bow sticks out more than the instructions intend, but it’s still a good look and adds variety to the line-up.

There’s no two ways about it, when you put Eupatorium together with Zinnia, Stealth Azalea, Azalea and Salvia in vehicle mode, it looks to be a test shot or unpainted sample. Interestingly, I put all the names of these figures into Wiki in case I was missing an obvious theme in their nomenclature, and it turns out Azalea, Zinnia, Salvia and Eupatorium are flowers or plants. Oh, you may notice that Zinnia is the only one who doesn’t have the wings/flaps/hood halves that allow her to fully don the aerodynamic look, and while it gives her an appropriate less race-y safety car look (well she is a medic), all Salvia Prominon figures should come with the parts to bring her more in line with the other figures. I didn’t get a set with mine as this is a review sample, but you will.

I said at the start and I’ll say it again, these moulds – and therefore Salvia and Eupatorium – are not for everyone. I’ve taken this mould to heart and enjoy displaying, transforming and posing these figures very much. I’m glad they exist and actually believe that the releases are getting better. Salvia is by far the best of the lot in my eyes, and as nice as that matte black deco is on Stealth Azalea, the gorgeous colour choice of Salvia Prominon truly cements her role as the leader of this crew. Also, hammer. I have seen her appearance and look be the cause for some collectors to finally try this mould out, something that Azalea and Zinnia had failed to inspire them to do.

Eupatorium looks every bit the Elita-1 homage she is supposed to be, with the only downsides being a woefully underpainted alternate mode and – much less so – the fact that she’s basically a repaint. In addition to the head sculpts these toys come with, the accessories add a lot to the package too. For the price I feel you get a decent amount of figure, and I might add I bought my own Zinnia and Stealth Azalea, not all of them were review samples, I know how it can seem that reviewers’ opinions can be skewed by free product. So the answer to “would you have bought these if you didn’t get them as samples?” is a resounding yes. Salvia truly is magnificent and worth every penny, moreso than Eupatorium.

MMC Salvia Prominon and Eupatorium now in stock at TFSource.

All the best
Maz

About Maz

Diaclone and TF collector & writer from the UK. I also write for & own TF-1.com and TFSquareone.

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