X-Transbots Krank and Stax – Masterpiece or Classics?

X-Transbots Krank and Stax are not without their flaws, but overall are both fine transforming robots. I recommend buying both, if you’re at all interested.

But where should you put them? On a Masterpiece shelf, or a Classics shelf?

The answer isn’t as obvious as you might think, at least for some collectors.

Where am I going to put them? How do they look next to Masterpiece Transformers? How do they compare to Classics?

Read on to find out, and maybe see some cool pictures along the way!

If you haven’t done so already, go check out my pictorial review for X-Transbots Krank and my pictorial review for X-Transbots Stax.

If you’ve already read them, you already know what shelf I’m going to put them on. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think they can look cool visiting the other parts of my tiny plastic giant robot collection.

 

Packaging

Here’s one area where there’s not much room for argument. The packaging is obviously inspired by Masterpiece boxes, and if you’re the kind of collector that likes boxes, the X-Transbots version fits in nicely.


Click the picture for the full version!

Inside the box is a plastic tray with a snug cover to keep the product in place. Sure, this is standard Japanese collector item packaging, but that also means it’s the same method used on Takara Masterpiece Transformers. There are probably Mint In Box collectors out there that care about that, but even if you’re just going to toss it in a closet after pulling out the tiny plastic giant robot goodness, it’s still a nice touch.

 

The back of the box is different, but a marked improvement. Modern packaging is fine for the average consumer, but for products aimed at collectors, a basic listing of product features plays second fiddle to nostalgic callbacks like a cutout bio card, decodable tech specs, and an epic spacebattle that shows off current products and hints and ones coming soon.

Clearly, X-Transbots has their priorities straight when it comes to cool packaging.


Click the picture for the full version!

 

Masterpiece Comparisons

So far the Masterpiece line has gone with a more realistic approach to alt modes. That’s fine for things like Optimus, Prowl, and Sideswipe, who were already based on real vehicles, but G1 was a mismatched smattering of a few different Japanese toy lines, featuring everything from 1:1 scale real world objects (like a microscope or microcassettes) to realistic vehicles to chibi penny racers. When updating things like Huffer or Gears, should the alt mode be adapted to something more realistic or kept toyetic?

The answer depends on what person you ask.

Takara is going to release an MP Bumblebee, so that should show their official stance on the question.

Personally, I can see the pros and cons of both sides. Cartoon accuracy is good, but an overly cartoony\toyetic alt mode could look awful next to more realistic MP cars.

For X-Transbots Krank, the realistic alt mode is a big selling point. I may not display my tiny plastic giant robots in vehicle mode very often, but I still want a good alt mode. X-Transbots Krank and Huffer have an alt mode that is based on a real truck, and was picked because of the many similarities to a certain orange and chrome cranky robot from the 1980s.

It’s a blending of cartoon accuracy and realistic detail, and that’s awesome.


Click the picture for the full version!

And they fit in just as nicely in bot mode.


Click the picture for the full version!

 

Classics Comparisons

Classics is all about updated alt modes and new versions of characters, so Krank and Stax fit in surprisingly well.

It also works out okay for those who lean more toward alt mode scale, since it makes sense for truck bots to be bigger than Autobots whose alt modes are cars, and they’re still smaller than a jet like Powerglide or a full on semi like Optimus.


Click the picture for the full version!

Of course, I don’t feel envy for those who prefer alt mode scale. Outside of the bot mode height for Masterpiece Tfs, I try not to care too much about scale. Otherwise you start asking why Warpath is a tank but he’s about the same height as a car like Cliffjumper, when what you really should be considering is BAM! KAPOW! BOOM!

Stax seems to fit in with Classics better than Krank, but that could be because the character it’s based on didn’t exactly have a lot of screen time in the original show. And even then it was from season 3.

While Stax is a bit big if you’re putting together an IDW MTMTE crew, he does look good with some Classics Wreckers.


Click the picture for the full version!

Some of you might want to argue that Stax shouldn’t be a Wrecker, and the same with Hardhead and Firebolt. That may be a valid argument if you’re just going with media representations, but even official Classics TFs are a hodge podge of different lines, while individual Classics shelves often have completely different characters standing in as others and even molds from different lines shoehorned in to fit. If you collect Classics, you’ve probably got some kind of personal canon going on, whether it’s just the look of the shelves or in personal fiction.

And X-Transbots Stax looks like a good fit for a Classics Wreckers shelf. :)

 

WHERE AM I PUTTING THEM?

As nice as X-Transbots Krank and Stax look with Classics, that’s more because they look nice in the first place.

The bot mode scale, the realistic alt modes, the deliciously shiny chrome, and even the packaging… All those point at planting these firmly in a Masterpiece collection, and I agree. Krank is going MP shelf, ready to take a load for Optimus or laugh at Wheeljack for making Dinobots instead of dinosaurs. Stax is also going on my MP shelf,  ready to be an uneventful background character with a toy that a certain Matt Booker enjoyed a lot as a kid.

 

So, dear reader, Krank and Stax look great wherever you put them, but where do you think they look best? Has this review swayed you one way or another?

Leave a comment and let me know! And don’t forget, you can share this post with your friends and arch rivals using the links below!

~Matt Booker

7 thoughts on “X-Transbots Krank and Stax – Masterpiece or Classics?

  1. I think they look really snazzy, but I’ve thrown my lot in with Classics, and they’re just too Masterpiecey. I’m still tempted by Stax, though.

  2. But Legolander, Stax’s head isn’t in a box!

    Although, it can be if you use the Krank transformation… Well then, purchase away. :)

    And Heli, I know a lot of collectors that have given up on Classics in favor of Masterpiece, but that’s not something I’d want to do. I’m glad to see you’re a fan of it too. I prefer both of them in my MP display, but I think Stax fits in with Classics a bit better than Krank.

    Part of that is I expect Huffer to be a shorter guy, whereas Pipes was barely on the original cartoon. But they’re both truck bots, and most of the minibots have been upscaled in Classics, so I don’t think either looks bad for those displays.

    ~Matt Booker

  3. I appreciate the almost slavish accuracy of the MP stuff, but I kinda prefer the updates and new designs in CHUG. Plus, again, I’ve already got a lot of stuff that works for Classics, so I don’t really want to start all over again buying a new collection.

    Besides which, I’m a total fanboy for that More Than Meets the Eye comic that’s out now, and the designs there are inspired by (or give inspiration to) the Generations line, so it’s easy to keep my interest there.

  4. I like MTMTE too. Have you seen the Maketoys version of Swerve? :D

    I almost want to get that Hasbro Whirl, but I don’t care about G1 Whirl. Maybe there will be a third party IDW version.

    ~Matt Booker

  5. I am so weak. I’ve preordered the Maketoys Swerve and his “My First Blaster” accessory already. I thought I’d just be content with the Hasbro version, but stores around me seem to have forgotten that they can order new Transformers figures, so I’m not sure I’ll ever have the chance to get him. I’ve still never seen Skids in the wild. Ironically, despite my willingness to drop huge money on third party stuff, I can’t convince myself to pay $25 or $30 for a Hasbro deluxe online, which is the kind of price he’s commanding. I’m really hoping the post-Christmas reset will bring some restocking of Generations stuff.

    I’m totally getting the Hasbro Whirl, though. I had (and still have) the G1 version, so he’s just full of good vibes, even if we get a more MTMTE version down the road. I mean, he’s got a sticker sheet! That alone just trips my nostalgia trigger. And he’ll still be the same lovable homicidal maniac in my head, so it’s all good.

  6. Skids is worth paying retail for, but be careful paying much more than that. It’s a nice looking TF, and the transformation is cool, and so are the integrated weapons and even the rifle and pistol… but the articulation in the shoulders is kind of awful.

    It’s got Animated Ultra Magnus shoulders, so the actual shoulder joint is further back than where it looks like it is. It looks great when the upper arms are at the robot’s side, but as soon as you raise the arms they look like the whole thing has shifted up to above the shoulders.

    So, Skids looks really cool as long as you don’t really pose the arms. :/

    And that’s the only thing that’s not badass about Skids! I really like the rest of it, but that’s a heck of a crappy flaw. I do like it enough that I can tell you to pick it up if you see it, but that’s at $10 or so retail and not ebay prices.

    That’s cool about Whirl, though. :) I may still pick it up if I see it in person, but I don’t want to order it online. I can always just say Whirl got an Earth mode.

    As for MakeToys Swerve and the M.F.G., that doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means you have good taste!

    ~Matt Booker

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