One thing I always enjoy about Transformers is that despite the franchise being almost forty years in, it can still pluck a previously little-known character or toy design from relative obscurity and find them a new league of loyal fans!
In case you need evidence of that, just look at what a month the Autobot known as Burn Out is having!
Yep, after decades of being largely overlooked in Transformers terms, this lass is back with two new toys in one go! That includes Generations ‘Diaclone Universe Burn Out’ from the Legacy: Velocitron Speedia 500 Collection, and a spanking new Masterpiece figure in the form of MP-53+B ‘Dia Burnout’!
So, with a star on the rise, just who is Burn Out anyway? And why does she deserve all this attention? Let’s find out!
#14: The black Skids colour scheme originates from Diaclone
Photo credit: Transformers Square One
No surprise here, the colour scheme inspiring these releases hails from the pre-Transformers era of Diaclone, as indicated by the naming of both toys. There it was known as ‘No.9 Honda City Turbo’, one version of the design that would become Skids in 1984’s Transformers line-up.
You can read more about this release and see more lovely photos on Transformers Square One!
#13: It was one of three versions of the Honda City Turbo mould
As you may have already gathered, the black toy was not the only version of the Honda City design released in Diaclone – there were five in total, and three of the Honda City Turbo, specifically! That included the blue toy that went on to inspire Skids and a separate red release (seen on the left above) that has thus far been untouched in the Transformers line. The other two toys were modelled after the separate Honda City R design and included the silver version we now know as Crosscut and the red version with the blue head that has found life as Reboost in the Masterpiece line. The first of these to be released in Diaclone was the silver City R, making the rest the repaints and retools in this case.
#12: The character was first introduced as Burn Out in 2015
Transformers Timelines #11, artwork credit: Matt Frank
Despite Skids being part of Transformers since the beginning (and Crosscut finally making it over in toy form in 2002), it wasn’t until 2015 that the black paint job finally had its day. The character was designated Burn Out, a female Autobot, and featured in the comic storyline Cybertron’s Most Wanted in Fun Publications’ Transformers Timelines #11 as a tie-in with Botcon.
#11: There was a 2015 Botcon toy as well
Photo credit: TFU.info
Naturally, there was a Botcon-exclusive toy, too! Released as part of a 2-pack alongside Lift-Ticket (who has since also found new life in Generations), 2015’s Burn Out was a black repaint of Generations: Thrilling 30 Deluxe Class Skids. The character looked very different from her traditional Diaclone portrayal, but this was still an exciting introduction for the black paint job at long last!
#10: Dia Burnout is the fourth version of the Masterpiece design so far
Bringing us back to the new Masterpiece release, this is the fourth version of the design we’ve seen so far, all in quick succession! In an era where repaints such as this are sometimes overlooked, it’s fantastic to see the excellent Honda mould given its proper due. Whether we’ll see a further version, perhaps modelled after the red Diaclone Honda City Turbo, remains to be seen, but anything seems possible at this stage! It could also be based on a G1 toy version of Skids or the 2009 Transformers Generations exclusive green Skids and orange Screech 2-pack! Who knows?
#9: The Masterpiece figure is gorgeous!
OK, so perhaps it goes without saying, but my word, this new Masterpiece release is drop-dead GORGEOUS. I love this toy design anyway, and that sultry matte black finish works wonders in the current crop of promotional photography. We may be four deep already in repaints, but this mould has yet to lose its lustre, in my opinion.
#8: The orange stripe on the car mode is especially stunning
I mean, just *look at it*. Those colours! It’s so perfectly retro in its styling and effortlessly pays homage to the original Diaclone figure. Sheer, utter perfection.
#7: The robot mode features a newly-moulded head
Ahem, so getting more into the detail here, MP-53+B (which takes the Masterpiece numbering to new heights of absurdity) features a newly-moulded head design. That’s an exciting move for a ‘mere repaint’, especially as it’s so clearly modelled after the original G1 toy head sculpt. This alone makes me hopeful of a toy-inspired Skids re-release, too…
#6: There are no faction symbols
In a distinct break with the current Masterpiece ways of working, Dia Burnout appears to have opted not to join either the Autobots or Decepticons, as there are no faction symbols on display! That’s at odds with how Diaclone-inspired characters have been handled in more recent times, as they’re typically reimagined as aligning one way or the other. This is only the second time that a Masterpiece release has eschewed the insignia, the first being 2013’s MP-12T Tigertrack, although that did come packaged with an optional Autobot decal at least. Can we expect the same thing here? Time will tell.
#5: Weirdly, Dia Burnout has more accessories than any of her mouldmates
We’ve seen four separate blaster accessories across the trio of Honda Masterpiece figures we’ve had thus far, but, in a weird move, Dia Burnout will be the first to come packaged with all of them together! She will also feature a few other bits and bobs that we’ll examine in more detail below, but overall it makes this the most fleshed-out release of the lot.
#4: The guns are non-chromed for the first time
Another slight variation to the other versions of this design is that Dia Burnout’s weapons are matte black, just like her main body, whereas they’ve been chromed on Skids, Reboost and Crosscut. Some may not like the change, but I think it looks pretty swish!
#3: The package includes a translucent version of MP-44’s Carly minifigure
Just as Reboost came with a see-through take on MP-44’s Spike, here we see that Dia Burnout is packaged with a translucent yellow version of Carly! That’s a little unexpected but still a fairly nifty bonus extra. As before, the minifigure can sit inside the car interior.
#2: It also includes the Motocompo scooter accessory
Another inclusion that will make collectors happy is a black version of the iconic Motocompo scooter. We also saw this with both Reboost and Crosscut, making Skids the only Masterpiece release not to feature it thus far!
#1: It’s available for preorder now!
And finally, the great news is that MP-53+B is already available for pre-order! So, what are you waiting for? Get her whilst she’s hot!
So that’s our list! Are you excited about the Masterpiece release?