Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

MMC Reformatted R-17 Continuum Set - For Carnifex

Overlord means different things to different sets of Transformers fans and collectors. For some, he conjures up the malevolent, charismatic and insane monster from IDW's Transformers comics, specifically Last Stand Of The Wreckers and More Than Meets The Eye. Nick Roche's design and character for Overlord is widely known and well loved. For another set of fans Overlord has significance as the G1 double Powermaster from the 90s or the Japanese exclusive Masterforce version from 1988, a highly sought after and often very expensive toy. Not rare, though, let's not make that mistake.

In 2016, 3rd party toy manufacturer Mastermind Creations (MMC) finally released their version of the IDW Overlord, called "Carnifex", in their popular and long-standing Reformatted line of figures. Carnifex was not only extremely successful, he was a tremendous figure which was soaked in Roche's design and character from head to toe. You can read my review of MMC Carnifex for the full story on the release.

I struggle to think of another 3rd party figure in recent times that so triumphantly nailed a character's essence on such a grand scale, while still staying extremely true to the original (and vintage) feel of the character, in this case, Overlord. He had the stunning combined alternate mode, the jet and tank split, as well as a base mode. Above all, he had that bloodthirsty, derangement-in-control grin.

But MMC decided to try and pitch Carnifex at the G1 audience as well by producing the R-17 CS "Continuum Set", Continuum being their way of saying Generation 1. They did the same with R-01 Terminus Hexatron (Sixshot), releasing a version of that figure more in line with the G1 toy as opposed to the Reformatted re-imagining.

The Continuum Set for Carnifex comes with a G1-styled head for the main robot, the two Powermaster figures originally named "Giga" and Mega", G1 accurate white chest panel covers and three sets of small cannons to be attached to Carnifex primarily in base mode, but as you can see above, they can work as functioning leg guns too. The set also came with new Feralcon faces for the regular Feral Rex guys as well as the Nero Rex guys, designated R-20FK and R-20NFK respectively.

In order to attach the Powermaster figures to Carnifex's chest, you need to open the flaps and remove the black missile pods that live there on the stock version. Very easy to do, and then you attach the transformed mini-figures above upside down into his chest cavities, and they should lock in. Interestingly, there is a mechanism on the mini figures whereby the metallic-coloured backpacks rotate in sync with the chest plates. However, on the production figures, the chest plates are pinned upside down, so when they are in engine mode and attached to Carnifex, the signature metallic engine parts are not oriented the same as G1 or even as depicted on the Continuum Set packaging. Slight whoops there.

While not a big deal for me, I can see it being a niggle for those who were super-keen on having their Carnifex be a modern representation of G1 Overlord as opposed to IDW Overlord. The mini figures themselves have some decent articulation with knee and elbow bends as well as ball joints. The heads are static, however.

Attaching the white chest plate covers is simple, they just clip on over the blue flaps already there. To put the new head on, you may think it's just a matter of popping the old head off the ball joint and slapping the new one on, but it does require unscrewing.

There he is, much more stoic, more G1 but far less lip and nose. Overlord was originally planned as an Autobot, hence his benevolent looking face on the huge G1 figure, and I think a certain degree of that has been captured with the Continuum head. The antennae are shorter, as is accurate, but I think overall I prefer the stock IDW style helmet with the more pronounced silhouette. Having both is lovely, though, and mine's been G1 Overlord since the Continuum set arrived. I also appreciate having a non-emotive face on my robots as an option, however much a result of G1 toy and cartoon programming that may be.

I still find it strange how MMC chose not to include any instructions for getting Carnifex to base mode, even though it is clearly depicted as an official mode on the packaging. Anyway, with the stock images and some squinting (especially on the Continuum Set box), one can get to base mode. You can just about make out the new purple cannons that come with the set (I really wish these were about twice the size), but they don't bring an awful lot more to the party. What I do like are placing "Millifex" and "Billifex" around the base mode, a la Generation 1 Overlord. There are no clearly defined places for them to sit and operate cannons, though, unless you count the opening canopy on the tower.

As soon as I found out about the set, I knew I wanted it, but I'm a sucker for Powermasters and extra guns, and I'm also a big fan of the classic stoic Transformers face. I wanted to know how far this set would go in transforming IDW Overlord into G1 Overlord, and the answer is that it goes quite a lot of the way. However, by not going all the way, you still very much have a gigantic IDW-themed Overlord with a G1 face, Powermaster engines and - if you squint - a few tiny extra guns. Consequently, if you bought Carnifex because of LSOTW and MTMTE, I doubt the set will bring much to you at the price asked. If you wanted a new Overlord and have an attachment to the original, there's fun and variety to be had and I have definitely enjoyed the set.

All the best


  1. The chestplates on the godmasters can be easily fixed. Paik4life shows it in the mmc official instructions video.

    1. Yes, absolutely right, cheers for that!