Mastermind Creations Inventa Magna

        It's probably not much of a secret at this point how much I love G1 Sky Lynx.  It took me a long time to finally get the "bird/dino/whatever", and a long time after to get his lynx counterpart, but I was greatly satisfied.
        Of course... the overall articulation could stand to be improved.  Takara/Hasbro did try a while back, but it wasn't a combiner, was under-produced, and generally just not... great, design-wise.  Leave it to Mastermind Creations, responsible for the gorgeous ReMix Jaguar, to somehow brave the task long before another official release would happen.  The two figures were manufactured and released separately, Magna and then Inventa, and being that they were limited run indie-manufactured transforming toys, they were a pretty penny upon release.  I happened upon the set in factory-sealed boxes at just the right time for a very good price, directly from Hong Kong... on the first day of March.  Do any of you remember the very beginning of March?  When the world was just starting to realize how very "uh-oh" things were getting but everything hadn't yet ground to a complete world's-on-fire standstill?  Yeah, I'm shocked the package got here at all, but no complaints.  Just a lot of questions about the nature of the human race.
        Side note on "Inventa Magna" translating to "great discovery", so that's fun.

        We'll ignore those questions about humanity in favor of pictures and overall toy celebration.  Getting a picture of the front of Magna's box proved so completely impossible that I just stopped trying, but this is the better side anyway.

        In the grandest of traditions, there are cards included for each figure... and the combined form.  What does "CASTE" refer to in this instance?  ...I have no idea and I haven't come across the answer.  They are strong and courageous, though, so... that's what matters..?
        Also, the cards themselves are plastic and not glossy card stock.  I'm surprised I managed to get decent pictures either way.

        And!  I didn't realize each came with a multi-page mini-comic!  Set in the Beast Wars universe, even!  Story by Marty Prime and art by Hinomars19, they are legitimately kickass and beautiful.  (One panel even appears to feature Silverbolt and I am all for Mr. Good is Dumb himself, alright.)

        But let us get to... the space shuttle.  Despite how incredibly light Inventa is for his size, I was really impressed with how well everything fit together, not to mention the level of detail.  Look at the tiny fold-out landing gear!  The way everything slots... just about perfectly.

        Just about.  The problem with plastic is that it's never completely precise.  Things shift, heat and cold can affect sizing in a big way during production, and some things just don't slide into place as easily as they're intended to.  In the grand scheme of things, having one wing with a very obvious seam is far from a big deal, but it is noticeable when compared to the other side.  It all works and stays in place, and that's sort of the more important part.

        DETAILS.  Very nice to have little panels for the landing gear, sure, but when I opened up the top compartment I really had no expectations.  ...Then I unfolded the fully articulated tiny robotic arm and made a variety of sounds.  Yes, if I'd known about the damn tiny robotic arm when this figure actually released I might have been tempted to snag it earlier.  I am not ashamed of that.

        And now fully unfurled in beast mode.  Which... wasn't a thing back when Sky Lynx was released, but you know.  Beast Wars happened and this fits.  It is a very impressive transformation, but as usual there was so many small parts that fit so snugly together that it took me a damn long time to get through the first transformation while making sure I didn't break anything.  The booklet was a help... but it also borrowed heavily from official booklets which means there are some steps which could use better explanations.  Hey, I got there and I didn't break anything.
        Articulation is insane.  I've seen a lot of folks being upset that the neck, while highly articulated, can't hold all of the poses because articulation points are a little loose, but there are several techniques to fix that.  It's an easily fixable problem, in other words, and once again considering the design and concept being a small team that pulled off such an enormous task, I am not complaining.  The feet are also seriously impressive, and he can carry things.  Even the tail has several points of motion, though mine came a little tight and I've had to be careful loosening the joints up.

        I cannot stress enough how big these toys are.  Sky Lynx was on the larger end of Transformer figures, but Inventa alone is kind of massive.

        TEETH.  Very actually sharp teeth if you catch your thumb on them wrong while opening the mouth for the first time, but I'm okay.  Also mouth rocket launcher.  As it should be.
        If I elected to get the proper batteries, inside the mouth is the access panel for the eye lights.  But... eh.

        Okay, so there's nothing particularly fancy about Magna's vehicle mode.  Just a transport vehicle for a space shuttle, no big.  Everything fits together really well and... he is heavy.  Like, really heavy.  I was very surprised to pick up the box initially and discover most of the weight was just him.  He also rolls easily on real wheels, bonus.

        DETACHED CHROME HEAD.  And the standard head that I left attached because I like it.  Initially it was supposed to be gold chrome like the original lynx figure, but I'm not sure what happened to those plans.  Not that I dislike the silver chrome.

        Yes I have another robot kitty, okay.  Also ready to throw down with a mouth rocket launcher.  There's an option to give him either two small toes in front or the three larger toes, and I sort of prefer big paw robot cat, so here we are.  Along with the traditional double tail for whatever reason, super articulated.  I also got it stuck in the out position for a couple of days because I accidentally unseated the internal slider and had to contact customer service. *cough*  But also, Mastermind Creations customer service is top notch and they will absolutely walk you through stupid questions with reasonable suggestions.
        He also got hips.

        Magna is also extremely large on top of being very heavy, and can accidentally manage a plotting villain pose.  His articulation is just as excellent as Inventa's, though most of his joints are designed to hold him up so they're all pretty tight.  He does have one loose ankle joint, but that hasn't really affected anything for me enough to fix it.

        Hangin' out, taking a break.  Plotting a bit of dinner, perhaps.

        Finally, Inventa Magna proper.  You do have to do a little work to make sure everything is properly transformed to be able to slot the fiddly bits into place, but it's a pretty strong connection between figures once you manage it.

        It has to be to allow for this.  And what an enormous, magnificent robo-beast he is.

        Hear him roar!

        Watch me... get my hands on him and make him look not as completely fierce.

        Still a little fierce.  But mostly like a puppy.

        Didn't think I was going to forget about the ass shot, did you?
        Overall, I am very happy with this figure set.  It seems that Takara/Hasbro understood they had serious competition as well, given how many of these elements they incorporated into their latest official Sky Lynx release.  Inventa Magna was one of those things I assumed I'd never actually be able to pick up for myself, but... well, a reward for a very lengthy accomplishment in beadworking found a way.