Whilst reviewing Ocular Max’s new G2-flavoured take on their Fraudo design this week, I hit upon a revelation – it has an absolutely fantastic head sculpt.
Seriously, it’s the kind of stuff where a simple lump of plastic is somehow imbued with a feeling of discernible personality. It perfectly captures the character in question and looks great to boot.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at what I consider some of the best third party Masterpiece-styled head sculpts out there. You may disagree with my choices, but these are just the ones that have worked best for me! Time to get a head…
Be sure to check out part 1 before continuing below.
#14: FansToys Apache
We’re back with another entry from FansToys, and whilst I feel like maybe not everyone will agree with me on this, it’s their take on Springer. Yes, thats’ right – *another* Springer! I can put two on this list; there are no rules. Anyway, as much as I also love Ocular Max’s attempt at the character, I’ve always felt that FT crushed it with Apache. It’s a little more defined than the competition and features the unmistakable harsh lines running down the cheeks from under the eyes. Plus, the finish here is second to none, and in hand, it just looks outstanding.
#13: Maketoys Downbeat
The very idea of a Masterpiece Jazz continues to elude official-only collectors to this day, leaving the various third party options to step up to the plate. Of those, Maketoys Downbeat is undoubtedly the one that caught my eye, and that’s in no small part because of how great the head design is. It’s so good that it actually slots in alongside TakaraTomy’s own releases remarkably well, looking about as close to an official effort as most 3PMP toys ever really get, and is completed by a stunning chromed blue visor to boot. If MP Jazz never comes to pass, there’ll always be a spot on my shelf for this guy.
#12: Unique Toys Nero
I feel like this one will cause a bit of disagreement, but yes, I have put a toy representing Age of Extinction Galvatron on a list of the best head sculpts. Seriously. Understand that doesn’t necessarily mean I think the face design itself is ideal or any of that kind of thing… but in terms of bringing it to life in plastic form, you can’t really say that Unique Toys didn’t do it justice here, right? RIGHT? OK, look, feel free to disagree, but it’s honestly surprisingly nice to look at, considering what it could have been like, and I maintain I think they did an amazing job with this one.
#11: X-Transbots Locke
X-Transbots have come into criticism for some of their ‘generic’ face designs in the past, although generally, I’ve never really found that to be a problem myself. What is ironic, though, is that one of their sculpts I most appreciate happens to be on a very divisive recent release, with Locke having arrived dramatically on a wave of quality control problems and disappointing many a collector as a result. A prompt re-release seems to have worked most of the kinks out, leaving me to finally appreciate just how great a take on Kup this guy truly is. The face certainly captures the chiselled old veteran feel, and I think can only be described as anything other than ‘generic’.
#10: Ocular Max Stellarus Prominon
Optimus Prime head designs are always interesting, which is weird because they often sing from the same hymn sheet. Star Convoy is a take on the character that manages to mix things up quite a bit, all of which was well demonstrated by Ocular Max in their recent effort to bring the big guy to life. The proportions are great, the head crest looks stellar, the little splash of green is most welcome, and it’s at once unmistakably Optimus whilst still being something new. Great stuff.
#9: FansToys Goose
Will FansToys ever finish off their Aerialbots? That’s the question on a lot of lips at the moment, and perhaps especially because the first three are so bloomin’ nice to look at! In my opinion, Maverick, Iceman and Goose are all stunning designs, yet I often find myself quite taken with the face sculpt on the latter especially. It’s not like it’s even that detailed or intricate or anything, but there’s something about the subtle moulding that works well, and I simply love the orange colour it’s cast in. Maybe not one of the most obvious, but still one of the best, in my opinion.
#8: TFC ST Commander
TFC’s ST Commander is one of those figures that, if you don’t own it, I would strongly recommend you correct that as soon as possible. Seriously, just grab whatever version you can – it’s incredible. In fact, there’s so much going on with this thing that you could be forgiven for easily not noticing just what an excellent job of the head design they did with it. The original mould is truly remarkable, at once capturing classic Optimus Prime but somehow pumping a wholly original flair into the proceedings. Then the ‘Nuclear Blast’ retool (seen above) takes things in a truly unique direction by introducing a weird headband visor to the mix. It’s unusual, but it’s fab.
Be sure to check out part 3!