Oh boy, here we go again. RTX members are reporting defective units of the reissued Toynami Maia Masterpiece Shadow Fighter. Issues include cracked parts and bad paint jobs. Isolated incident or chronic Toynami blunder?
In a nutshell, so far 3 out of 4 members that purchased the reissued Maia Sterling have received defective units. Split legs, chipped and bad paint jobs are among the few.
It all began as RTX member Sushispook began a thread to "Liveblog" the unpacking of his Maia Sterling Alpha in a thread called "Liveblogging" My unpacking of Maia Sterling Alpha.
Image by Sushispook
First thing is that the MPC "book" is the same as previous MPC Alphas. Feels lighter and flimsier, though, when I heft it and compare it to my Sue Graham box (both empty at the time).
Opening up the book, I can see that whoever packed it in fighter mode didn't fold away the hands, so they got jammed between the 2 layers of clear molded plastic used for packing.
Taking the Alpha out, it feels the same weight. Flipping it over and looking at the bottom, the knee-covers were snapped off either before or as it was packed. On one, the gold connector (for lack of a better term) is clearly cracked.
I'm taking pics as I go. Next post is transforming.
Okay, wings fold down easier than any other Toynami Alpha I've ever gotten. Left arm swings out fine. Right arm not set quite right, can't clear the wing without me tugging down hard on the wing.
The hatch that flips to the right behind the cockpit (if you're looking at it from the top down) immediately fell off when I swung it a quarter inch open. Can't easily get it back on, and I don't want to force it. However, unlike every other Toynami Alpha I've had the hatch below that swung up and open easily and didn't break.
Pulling up on the torso, I have to apply a worrisome amount of force, but it comes up. Rotating the intakes into the chest position takes a bit of fiddling (the hinge point where the hatch that fell off gets in the way), but as long as I'm gentle, it seems that it will be okay. Had to tug on the cockpit pretty hard to get it to slide out, but I was able to and get it folded onto the back "spine" of the battloid.
Head fits and easily rotates - a first for any Toynami or Aoshima I've owned.
Alright, the exclusive Robotech.com card is just that - a card. Got spoiled by the animation cells, but that's a persona disappointment, and I can't fault RT for that - truth in advertising right there.
Accessories are the Syncro-cannon that Sue Graham's alpha had, and the same shoulder-mounted radar attachment the 1st 3 MPC alphas had. Since it's the cannon designed for the "claw" hand of the Shadow alpha, it's not readily or easily apparent as to how it's supposed to be held. No clue in the instructions, as there's a drawing of it holding the cannon, but no actual picture or explanation. I'm afraid I'm going to snap the hands off if I try to slide the trigger cover over the wrist.
There are a couple of minor cosmetic imperfections around the feet, but they're not immediately noticeable unless you know to look for it. I was able to get the right knee cover that had snapped off back on with a little bit of pressure. The left one is unsightly due to the obvious cracks.
All the other joints seem fine - not too stiff or too loose. The shoulder missile covers are okay as well - they close well, and don't flop open (like my Aoshima). The remaining missile covers, however, are very tight, and require so much force to open that it's clear I run a very clear risk of them snapping off.
I'm going to keep it, although overall I'm disappointed. With the quality here, it's clear that I run the risk of getting the same or worse if I send it back (given the longstanding QC issues). And the true disappointment comes from being told at Animation On Display that there were improvements - it's clear that there is no fundamental re-design elements applied anywhere.
I'm not going to say buy or don't buy - form your own opinion and make your own choice.
See the rest of Sushispook's images: pics.livejournal.com/sushispook/gallery/0008q7wa?.view=grid
Okay, so maybe Sushispook was unlucky and received the one defective unit. There are bound to be bad apples in the bunch you say. Witn that said, two more fans got the defective bug. MGREXX and rwoll622 (at RT.com).
Image by MGREXX
-It has all of the improvements of the aoshima legioss, like ratchet joints.
-It is not as weak as the first release, but the right leg is slightly split, and the head is wobbly. But overall, I am pretty happy. This will be my 6th alpha, and this one feels more secure.
-The hand is made of better plastic, but the gun does not fit all of the way over the hand. Also, the gunpod fits securely into the peg between the arm thrusters where as my original shadow alpha does not do this.
-The wheels on this plane don't lock into place well, so if it slides a little bit, the wheels fold back.
-The shoulders were stronger this time around, not like the first one I had. I haven't had shoulder problems with the other 5 alphas I've had. Instead, I have had problems with the extendable arms breaking, the shoulder sensor attaching thing breaking off, and the leg breaking off at the hip. I thought the color was a little strange for the sensor. At least this time it actually fits iinto the hole! The messed up version I had last year was molded in some other plastic and gooped with sloppy white paint. I almost got out my exacto knife to try and clean off the post to fit it in. Thank goodness the recall came first.
-I noticed that the arch gone as soon as I took it out of the packaging. I was suprised, but obviously very happy about that. It was nice that it actually would set on all three wheels, instead of the back wheels and the chest plate.
See rwoll622's images here: www.flickr.com/photos/47504398@N04/
Image by Autobotdan
Counting now, that is three people in one day with defective masterpiece Alphas. Alas there is a small silver lining. RTX member Autobotdan reports that his Alpha "doesn't seem to have any technical problems you guys are showing in pics. I must have got real lucky. = ("
Image by MGREXX
As far as the cockpit gap, it seems there its an issue for most who have talked about their Alpha. There you have it, sure this was just three people with problems, but one "Masterpiece" Alpha with defects is one too many. MGREXX posted comparison images between the first Maia Alpha and the current reissued one: view here.
Let us hope that the *new* issues was isolated to these cases and Toynami promptly replace the damaged units at no cost to the unfortuate. Tell us your story with the reissued Maia Alpha in the comments below or in the forums. Good luck fans!