This one’s all about the alt mode, Alternators Mirage!

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.

The striping, the make and model label, and the quarter panel scoops are all accounted for.

I know I mentioned it once or twice already but I just love this car.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot, he can also transform. Shocking, I know.

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.

This head says “Japanese G1” to me far more than “updated G1 Mirage”.

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?

But wait… what’s that behind Mirage? Maybe a little invisibility can help us out here. Is that another Ford GT I see, this time in blazing red?

Movie magic! (also known as setting the shutter speed really high on the camera and pulling Mirage quickly out of the picture. Heh.)

Tomorrow’s bonus post: San Diego Comic Con 2007 exclusive Alternators Rodimus!

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4 thoughts on “This one’s all about the alt mode, Alternators Mirage!

  1. Pingback: Pay no attention to the Formula 1 race car, he’s a spy. G1 Mirage! « 'Til All Are Mine

  2. Just thought I’d mention that I picked up an Alternators Mirage recently and you’re absolutely right, that alt-mode is GORGEOUS. The robot mode is nice as well, albeit floppy — although of course many alternators had that problem.

    He shall serve as Sideburn in my collection. He’s got a close-enough color-scheme… and enough kibble. That and I just couldn’t see Sideburn and Hot-Rod with the same mold, despite how good that TFCC repaint looks. Even picked up the reprolabels, but not to worry. I’m not applying those garish flame decals to such a beautiful car, just the “Sideburn” Virginia license plate.

    At first I lamented the loss of the Michigan plates with all its Ford significance, but if I’m using him as a kind of classics Sideburn, I guess the whole “Virginia is for Lovers” thing works for his red-sportcar-crazy characterization.

    Great post, by the way.

  3. Alt Mirage is not to be underestimated. Alt Rodimus stole a lot of the attention due to his exclusivity and the more slavish deco elements (his flame hood). And Rodimus tends to pull the eye due to the very bold red color scheme (and that rather annoying intonation that “red cars go faster”).

    But Mirage has a more understated elegance. The flecked blue is beautiful, and the placement of many of the vehicle mode’s elements in robot mode echoes G1 Mirage if you look closely enough (eg: the scalloping on the hood lines up with the tapering of the F1 car’s front end on G1 Mirage, while the doors and CITANES panel also line up). The twin stripes are more classy and less “look at me”, as well as being real-world GT accurate.

    So, there’s really no reason to skip Alt Mirage if you have his flashier, brasher mold twin.

    • I agree 100%. If was forced to choose between the two I definitely would pick Mirage for that understated elegance. Alternators for me was all about the real world vehicles being made into Transformers, it’s also the reason I love Alternators Smokescreen so much.

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