Mastermind Creations’ Turben is a mixed bag of aesthetics, that homages a few different Whirl designs as well as throwing in some trademark MMC style.
I had initially talked myself out of a purchase, feeling that my Generations Voyager Whirl was a suitable display piece for my lost light crew but after seeing some incredible photos from the community, and having the chance to purchase him locally from Ages Three and Up, I couldn’t resist any longer. I’m glad I didn’t though as (Spoiler Alert!) this piece turned out to be one of my favorite toys I’ve messed with all year!
"Time to weapon up, Wallflowers!"
Turben’s vehicle mode is a twin rotor VTOL vehicle that doesn’t really look like a helicopter, or any existing earth vehicle. I’d call it a Cybertronian air recon/assault vehicle. There’s very clear inspiration from the MTMTE comics as well as earlier iterations of Whirl in the Stormbringer comic, but the design really doesn’t match either of those looks exactly. It kind of reminds me of a more alien inspired Hawk from Halo Wars in a strange way.
The vehicle mode doesn’t do much, it’s got fold away landing gear, and a swing out machine gun at the nose. 5mm peg holes are available under the VTOL rotors on the wings to mount his machine guns, and there are tiny nubs along the spine of the vehicle that will peg into the sword handle for storage. There is also a more central 5mm peg hole under the body that can be used to mount Turben onto a stand, or peg in a more centralized weapon. The hole is too large to be used with a Tamashii stand but it works very well with the stands included with some of the Iron Factory figures.
"No one said anything about The Wreckers! Let's get outta here!"
Turben’s legs really aren’t doing the vehicle mode any favors as they are very clearly visible as the lower center mass. That being said, all the other components of Turben are very well used and the end result is a fun, satisfying toy to fly around the room and chase Decepticons with. I especially like how his hands become pointed turbines in the vehicle mode.
"These field trips are always fun. They usually end in violence which is my favorite!"
Turben is yet another in a series of figures from Mastermind Creations with an incredibly fun, intuitive, and straightforward transformation. Straight out of the box I was converting him with no instructions. Every movement feels natural and nothing really seemed particularly complex, but it is very satisfying. There are no trick panels or part swaps, and everything feels incredibly sturdy, even the fragile looking tail struts.
Much like vehicle mode Turben is an amalgamation of various Whirl incarnations, with some liberties taken in the overall design. The head, claw hands, and torso shape are very reminiscent of the Stormbringer era design, the optional digitigrade legs and turbine gauntlets are great homages to the More Than Meets the Eye era Whirl, and the rest is filled in with solid robot toy design aesthetic.
While I would have loved a more slender, birdlike design reminiscent of the recent comics I am also afraid to think of what the durability of such a toy would be. I think MMC made the right choice by compromising on certain elements of the design. You can even mis-transform certain elements of the figure to bring it closer to the IDW design, for instance leaving the cockpit pointing forward with the gun exposed.
This toy is an absolute joy to handle. The tolerances on mine are all phenomenal, and the range of poses that can be achieved are astounding. Really, almost every pose from the comic books was easily replicated within the limitations of real world plastic. I had so much fun playing with this figure that I actually stayed up late over the course of 3 separate nights to finish the photos for this figure, and I still have more ideas that I haven’t shot yet!
♫No one cares what you have to say...! ♫
A quick rundown of the articulation is as follows (From the top down).
- 2 axis neck joint with up/down movement and 360º rotation. The plate that the head is mounted on can also move, allowing Turben to look up and down extremely far, and stretch his neck out for creepy bird emoting.
- 360º rotation at the shoulder, almost full 90º outward movement, bicep swivel, double elbow, forearm swivel, and wrist rotation with 2 points of articulation on each claw. The claws also have a port in the center to hold the included sword. He can also hold most other MMC weapons!
- If you mis-transform his chest for a more MTMTE style look, you can use the transformation joint as an ab crunch.
- 360º rotation at the waist.
- Thigh swivel, 180º forward and backwards swing at the hips with a light mechanical ratchet, 90º outwards with a soft ratchet, pretty much everything you could ask for. Despite the ratchets you can pretty much position the legs however you like. This is how you do leg ratchets people!
- 2 separate sets of ratcheting knee joints. In “Standard” mode the top joint can bend well past 90º, and the second joint can fill in the blanks if needed. In “Digitigrade” mode the top knee remains the same, however the secondary joint can rotate 90º forward, and all the way back. There’s no shortage of articulation here.
- The ankles are on incredible ball joints that allow for a huge range in all directions. Foot tilt, pivot, and rotation are all possible.
- 2x Machine Guns - triple barreled blasters with a 5mm mounting peg. Molded in gunmetal plastic.
- 1x Greatsword - Similar in design to Drift’s longsword, meant to replicate the blades given to Whirl and Cyclonus by the Circle of Light in the MTMTE comic books.
- 1x Trading card and comic book/instructions
Mastermind Creations R-24 Turben is a toy that absolutely oozes personality and playability. I love handling toys, especially third party, that feel like they’re meant to be played with, not just displayed. Turben is a home run in almost every aspect for me.
The only thing I can really find to nitpick is the inaccuracy to the current comic book designs or really any one design in particular. This is another situation similar to Calidus, and Dicamus, where concessions have been made to allow retooling into other characters, leaving the final product slightly lacking when it comes to representation of the primary character. MMC seems a bit hit and miss with some of these concessions as designs like Kultur come out spot on, and others like Calidus actually suffer due to the process. Turben hits a nice middle ground for me. Despite his design differences, he looks at home with the rest of my MTMTE collection and recreating comic panels with him still look incredible. The character of Whirl is ever present despite the differing appearance.
"Y'know Horn-Head, I have to admit: We make quite the team! Even our colors are complementary!"
I was initially planning on skipping Turben, but I’m very glad that I changed my mind as this has become one of my absolute favorite toys of the year. Whether you're a Wreckers fan, or a More Than Meets the Eye junkie, Turben has the right mix of fun and features for your collection. This figure comes highly recommended by me. I think of it almost like a “Generations” style release where it combines elements of various representations of the character into just an awesome toy.
Thank you so much for checking out my review of Mastermind Creations R-24 Turben. Check out the gallery below and let me know what you guys think of this rendition of everyone’s favorite one eyed psychopath! Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook as well, we’re so close to the 1500 like mark and I’d love to hit that before the end of the year!