Alternators are an evolutionary dead-end. They are clearly meant to be modernized updates of their G1 counterparts, but how do you reconcile that with the fact that, say, Tracks has essentially two modernized updates?
My solution is just don’t try to.
Alternators is simply a branching universe that shares Classics/Generations‘ origin in G1 but went an alternate route. See? Alternate. It’s baked right into the name of the toyline.
This goes double for me for Mirage. Mirage is meant to be a Formula 1 race car. His Alternators release, though close, doesn’t quite have that same alt mode feel to it. That’s what his Classics release is for. Speaking of his original form, my G1 collection sadly has a gap where Mirage should be. I haven’t entirely given up on his eventual reissue but the tendency of his old toy to snap at the waist is pushing me ever closer to just filling that gap with a KO in the meantime, but I digress. [UPDATE: And fill that gap with a KO, I eventually did.]
Alternators Mirage is one of my favourite toys in my collection. This is because his alt mode is my favourite car. Now, prior to 2004 if you had told me that my favourite car would be a Ford, I would have laughed in your face. It wasn’t until August of 2004, when Ford was already delivering the car to customers, that I caught wind of the Ford GT.
I can’t communicate how much I love that design. There are two things I like in my car exterior design: the appearance of power and sleek lines. With a lot of designs (like most of Chevy’s later Corvette attempts) this translates into a sleek front and a big, blocky, ugly rear end (sorry, Tracks!) The GT exudes sleek from its front all the way to the back without ever losing that solid feel of power.
Mirage includes a Michigan license plate, a nod to the fact that the Ford GT was painted in Troy, Michigan, is powered by an engine that was made in Romeo, Michigan, and engine and transmission installation as well as finishing was done in Wixom, Michigan.
Just like the rest of the Alternators line, Mirage has working doors (including the actual GT’s distinctive roof wrap door detail) and a detailed interior.
The seat detail even matches its real world self. Being an actual licensed vehicle, the badging is all there, of course with some Autobot badging added in.
I know I mentioned it once or twice already but I just love this car.
The consistent 1:24 scale of the Alternators line makes them large enough to incorporate complex transformations (Mirage is one of the less frustrating of those) and a whole lot of articulation. Granted, this large size is also why they don’t make good updates for the Classics shelf. Removing the supercharger from the top of his engine and splitting it in half forms two guns (oddly referred to as some sort of tonfa weapon on TFWiki, despite being clearly shown as guns in Mirage’s instructions.)
His headsculpt definitely has hints of his original, though replacing the roundness of the G1 toy and cartoon appearance with a much blockier look.
Because there was no fiction that came with the Alternators line, and their “bios” being reduced to a single quote we are left to assume that these toys were meant to be updates to their G1 forms. If that is so, then from Mirage’s quote,
“You can’t catch what you can’t see!”
we can further assume that Alternators Mirage has his G1 ability to render himself invisible. Granted, when you look this awesome, why would you want to?
Tomorrow’s bonus post: San Diego Comic Con 2007 exclusive Alternators Rodimus!