Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Fans Hobby - ATHENA!

3rd Party Transformers - MasterBuilder MB-12 Athena - Fans Hobby 2020

Third Party figures are one of my greatest collecting thrills. While the official Hasbro and Takara fembots have had impressive advancements in the last few years (both in design and sheer output numbers), for a long time the only female Transformers available were produced by 3rd Party manufacturers. I only personally only started collecting them a few years ago when my finances finally allowed for it, but I really regret not focusing my hobby cash earlier because I missed out on some great early figures. This Athena is my newest acquisition. She is an homage to the Transformers Masterforce Minerva character and is beautifully made. Although I've never seen the Masterforce or Headmasters cartoons, I'm vaguely aware of the characters and concepts. I've been obsessed with her since I bought a small PVC of her almost 20 years in an import manga shop. I love her color scheme and her medic motif (most female Transformers lack the service motifs that the males have). Let's check out Athena below!

In true Headmasters fashion, Athena's head is a pilot. 

In the original Masterforce cartoon, the pilot was a human named Minerva while the giant robot body was just a Transector (a lifeless shell that only gained functionality when the human pilot transformed into the head and attached). The giant robot eventually gained independent life and adopted the characteristics of the human pilot, Minerva; taking her name, personality, and even her medical skills (that's why we see her Porsche mode inexplicably deco'd like an ambulance.

Athena comes with two guns (I'm showing one unfolded and one in folded stow-away form),  two faceplates (one smiling, one not), and her forehead piece which is detachable.

Athena has a cool action feature. When you pull open her chest panel, the red bars in her power grid rise. It's a simple practical effect that adds a fun play element.

I forgot to take pictures of the sticker sheet. But the vehicle mode pics above are nude of all stickers, and the pic below has them all applied. There are the obvious red cross insignias, as well as front and back licence plates, some dashboard details, and some squares above her knees.

These next two photos highlight a couple things I wanted to mention: Her eyes are very reflective when photographing her. I had to reshoot or photoshop a ton of pics because they were blinding. Also, her shoulder-wings are on posts with multiple points of articulation - so they can be posed in a variety of positions. The image on the Right shows them tight to her shoulders. This is the position on all of the official product photography. But I personally like them spread a little wider like the photo on the Left.

Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!

Here's are my "Minervas" all together. From Left to Right: Takara's Super Collection Figure from 2001, Takara's Galaxy Force Chromia from 2005, and Fans Hobby Athena.


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