Nonnef productions has cornered the market in piece meal add on’s and upgrades over the last year or so. From combiner feet to hip ratchets they’ve had you covered. Now we are back to Masterpiece with something that should satisfy a small section of Transformers fans – hip panel removal parts for Masterpiece Ironhide and Ratchet
But that’s not all!
One of the early things Nonnef showed off was actually their own figure – Trivia. Now, you and me, we would know him as MTMTE Rewind and Nonnef has finally shipped the little guy out which means he gets to feature in today’s double review.
I am currently suffering through a very bad case of Bronchitis so am dosed up on various medications and generally feeling awful. But it’s Christmas so I am also drinking Rum and a crafty Snowball to get through this. But don’t tell Santa Clause – I wouldn’t want to make his naughty list.
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First thing I’m going to do is steal a picture from Nonnef’s site showing the upgrade hinges at various points pre installation.
They come as you see them at the top (once you’ve cut them from the sprue) and the aim is to get to as you see them at the bottom by snapping each part into it’s respective socket. No physical instructions are provided so you will need to go to Nonnef’s website and follow his handy step by step guide.
As far as processes go it’s very straight forward. You simply need to remove the back of the waist, re-attach the side panels to the new assembly and then plug them in. I’ve been trained to expect much harder so it was a little anti-climatic when it was all done within about 2 minutes with no fuss or stubborn parts.
Aiming for the animation and comic model’s clean waist, the idea of this upgrade is to remove the hip kibble that inexplicably seems to bother so many people. Masterpiece has been drifting towards cartoon accuracy for the last few years so I guess it is understandable why folks would want as much accuracy as possible and Nonnef is happy to oblige.You lucky sods.
Nonnef’s kit moves the panels to the back of the figure, out of the way to achieve that specific look with minimal fuss. Instead of panels on the hips, you now have wheels on the abs which has the benefit of filling in the gap between the back and the abdomen. The wheels might a bit unsightly but then you don’t have the hip panels anymore. It’s a trade off – for fussy people.
The kit comes in three colours, black, grey and red, and if you are the type of person who hates the hip kibble then the black option is one you’ll ignore as it doesn’t match the waist of either.
But this blog is resoundingly pro choice. Whoop.
Originally the wheels clipped into slots on the back of the waist which locked them in place, but as the wheels have been relocated there’s nothing to hold them in place. Gravity and friction are your best pals here as there’s no definitive resting point so it’s fortunate that Nonnef has crafted them in a way that all of the joints are tight and hold firm. Tubes on the insides of the panels that were previously attached to the stock sliding mechanism limit how far you can overlap the panel. If you are a crazy, risk taking sort who has no desire to leave the door open to ever return to stock, and are 100% committed to this modification then you can cut those tubes off which would allow the panels to slide further across and would also allow the wheels to move more snugly against the side of the abdomen.
Ball joints are used at each point of connection on Nonnef’s set which means you get a lot of wiggle room for positioning them and could come up with you own approach to how the panel sits.
Go mad, get creative – it’s Christmas *sips Snowball*
Without those aforementioned hip panels in the way a happy bonus of the kit is the legs can swing further outwards for a more dynamic range of posing if that’s your jam. For me, Ironhide and Ratchet are grumpy sods so I don’t foresee me posing them in a range of Kung Fu poses but I like having the option, especially when I am trying to conjure up stuff to fill some time on Instagram (shameless plug!). In my drunk medication addled state I am picturing Ratchet as a Snowman from the beloved British cartoon from the 80’s, that we all watch every year on regular tele because it’s the most British of traditions. They can definitely pull off Snowman flying poses.
Nonnef’s kit does a lot of things, but he’s not walking in the air….unless you’ve got a good figure stand.
Many upgrade kits require removal for transformation, due to having to get round how the base toy was originally designed, but Nonnef has crafted something in his magical injection moulded Oz (as in the Wizard, not the measurement) palace that transforms with the figure.
The hinge assembly can fold out of the way for the bulk of transformation and sits around waiting until you’ve practically finished before requiring your attention. Cramming the hinges into the gaps below the alt mode is not as elegant as Takara’s original design but it does work and it can be done without removing any parts. I do remove the panels as they are simply pegged in, but just because it makes it a bit easier to crunch the assembly down.
Impatience is an unfortunate character trait of mine. Which is why I am so desperate to open those presents under the Christmas tree. I know one is Iron Factory’s Lord Scorpion and another is giant Thunderbird 3 (there’s no socks or bath stuff in our present buying)…but my girlfriend has hid it well.
As a fandom, Transformers fans are lucky to have so many third parties and groups like Nonnef who exist seemingly to fix any issue we have with our toys – no matter how trivial. If the hip panels keep you awake at night then this add on is probably right up your street. If not, then this isn’t a must have fix, or something that dramatically improves a figure, it’s a simple adjustment that works in a very clever way to fix aesthetics for us fanboys. In that respect I wouldn’t call this so much an upgrade as it is a way to customise a figure to get a certain look.
For me personally, well I was happy with the stock look, the panels don’t bother me at all – so this really isn’t aimed at me. I like how this works and how easy it is to install but I am not much of a fan of seeing the wheels stuck on his sides.
Yes – I like tire butt.
Originally designed by Shapeways magician Fakebuster, Trivia is based on Rewind as he appears in More Than Meets The Meets The Eye. Trivia was also one of the first products Nonnef ever announced so we’ve been waiting a while for the wee fella to start dropping through letter boxes across the globe.
Hasbro may have stolen Nonnef’s thunder by releasing an official legends class Rewind in the intervening time period but that doesn’t diminish what Trivia has going for him. This is pure Alex Milne drawn MTMTE Rewind with the slender physique and almost child like appearance which is in stark contrast to the Tetris block buff micro brute that Hasbro knocked out (incidentally, one of my favourite toys this year).
It’s that MTMTE look that will bring most people to the table, as that comic has a very passionate, dedicated bunch of fans (of which I am one). His head features a sculpted camera, just like the comic, which sits just to the side of his tidily painted face and the various details and proportions are all lifted directly from the page.
An alternative set of white shins was provided, which echoes how he is sometimes portrayed in the comics. White shins, black shins – never had him pegged as a fashionista.
You may notice there are no pictures featuring these in this article and that is because I am far too paranoid about breaking the ball joints and this isn’t my toy to keep.
From that you might infer that the joints and/or plastic are therefore weak but they aren’t – they are just very small in places.The plastic used is pretty reasonable but due to it’s size it does feel fragile and the white plastic has a slight translucent quality to it.
A couple of rough edges could have been cleaned up and there’s some marks in the plastic, but then Nonnef is a one man band and if you have bought his products before you understand that this does happen.
Trivia matches Masterpiece Rumble/Frenzy in size so if you have experience of those figures you know he’s a very tiny bot. Articulation is great though with nothing hindered and everything you need catered for., Wrist swivels, ball jointed head, hips, knees, feet, shoulders and elbows….there’s loads worked in there and nothing is limited. Not having any kind of crotch plate means the thighs can move up in a way that gives him so much dynamism. It really is like he has been lifted off of the page.
Being so small can make him tough to balance in extreme poses but his balance is alright. He’s certainly not as bad as me late on a Saturday night stumbling out of a bar trying to find my way to Taco Bell.
Trivia transforms into a vague rectangular shaped thing that has a terrified looking face on it’s back. In the comics Rewind transforms into a data slug which I guess is what we are dealing with here. The transformation itself is nothing complex but it features one thing that may turn many people off – the hands have to be removed. Cavities exist in the reverse of the forearm that suggest that the hands are intended to fold in there and the wrist joint even rotates but there is not enough space to facilitate this. A screw runs through the middle and the hand isn’t wide enough to cup round it. Even though it feels like this is what it was intended to do.
It’s a shame because there’s some nifty tricks in the transformation like the back plate rotating to allow the head to slot in, but once you get to the hands it spoils things a little. 90% of people won’t care as their Trivia will stay in bot mode anyway, probably on a Chromedomes shoulders, yet it leaves you with a feeling of not being fully satisfied.
*Edit* – It turns out that Trivia should come with multiple sets of hands including alternate sets that can remain attached during transformation. Mine is borrowed from a kind soul so only came with one set. So don’t hate on Trivia for the hands – he should be quite handy….(i’ll get my coat)
Many people will probably have already moved on from Trivia and had their Rewind needs satisfied by the big H but that doesn’t mean that Trivia should be ignored or overlooked. There is so much to like in this figure and it’s one you will want to pick up from the desk and repeatedly play with – it’s perfect fiddle fodder (I am aware how that sounds).
It may have a few rough edges but it makes for a great MTMTE Rewind and by itself it’s just a very fun toy to mess with. Hasbro/Takara rewind is a much cheaper alternative though which will sway some folks (including myself).
On that bombshell I am going to crawl back into bed and watch terrible Christmas movies starring celebrities that were semi famous once, whilst drinking Lemsip and eating a box of Lindt chocolate.
You can purchase Nonnef’s products, if you are outside of the USA, over at Gear 4 Geeks
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Currently listening to: Forest struggle against Preston North End