Sunday 22 January 2023

Masterpiece Nightbird Shadow MP-55


Profile (Translated from the Character Card) 
MP-55 Destron Ninja Nightbird Shadow

● Function: Ninja 
● Motto: “Shinobi are forever concealed in mystery.” 
● Profile: 
Originally created by the earthling Dr Hamada, this female ninja robot was brainwashed by the Destrons and turned into a warrior loyal to Megatron. Her body is filled with weapons, she is incredibly agile and is a master of all forms of ninjutsu. One-to-one, she is strong enough to defeat most Transformers. 
STR...6; INT...4; SPD...9; END...6; RNK...4; CRG...9; FBL...8; SKL...7


Nightbird was a one off character who appeared in the original cartoon series in the episode "Enter the Nightbird" which aired on the 28th October 1985. In Japan the episode was titled "Shadow of the Nightbird" and was aired on the 1st November 1985. 

In this episode the Autobot were present for the unveiling of a man-made robot which was a female ninja called "Nightbird". Nightbird was stolen by the Decepticons and was reprogrammed by Bombshell as well as having her power tripled. The Autobots were only able to recapture Nightbird after she was shot in the back by a jealous Starscream.

As Nightbird was an original character created for the cartoon, she did not receive a toy until June 2015 where she appeared as a Kre-O figure (similar to a Lego mini figure) in a limited edition Botcon set. In October 2015, Nightbird was released in Takara Tomy's Legends series as a repaint and retool of LG10 Arcee. Nightbird was renamed "Nightbird Shadow" taking reference to the G1 Japanese episode title and may have been renamed due to copyright issues. In 2019, Hasbro released a Generations Selects Deluxe Class Nightbird which was a retool and recolour of Transformers Siege Chromia.

On the 21st July 2021 Loopaza Mega Store's Facebook page posted an image of an upcoming Masterpiece release MP-55 Nightbird Shadow. Much like the Legends version, Nightbird Shadow was a repaint and retool are MP-51 Arcee.

On the 24th August 2021, Takara Tomy posted additional images of Nightbird Shadow on their Twitter account. Their tweet also makes reference that Nightbird is going to appear in the new live action Transformers film.

Nightbird Shadow was released late February 2022 and retailed for 17,600 Yen. The vehicle mode is near identical to Arcee other than the colour and the front of the vehicle which forms the robot chest. Attaching the swords and sais on the side of the car mode you form the "Flying Squirrel Mode".

Transformation is identical to Arcee although the larger head can pose a few clearance issues although nothing major. Robot mode looks fantastic, and other than the remoulded head and chest, the waist has also been re-sculpted. Like Arcee there are a lot of great poses you can put Nightbird in, unfortunately the left knee on mine is incredibly loose making the figure very difficult to stand.

The only accessories which are identical to MP-51 Arcee are the 3 blast effects, the 2 guns and the holster. The swords and sais are up-scaled versions of the LG15 versions but the swords now have a foldable handle so it can be held like a gun. Nightbird also comes with two laser swords and shruiken as seen in the cartoon. The shruiken are very small, they can be placed in either hand or stacked on each other. The laser sword blades are also removable.

Nightbird's head posability is limited due to the long "neck" piece, however Takara Tomy put a lot of effort into the overall sculpt. The purple mask is removable revealing a very detailed face sculpt. The top of the head is on a hinge, you lift this up and slide out the face and replace it with the second included version. I found this easier said than done as it is incredibly stiff to remove, at least on the first try. The second face represents the more recent Legends comic and without the mask on, it does look odd.

There is also another mode called "Swan Mode" which is from the Legends web comic and is basically Nightbird lying on her back.

Overall Nightbird Shadow is a great release.


Back of the Box

■ The name’s Nightbird, the bird of the dark night!
Nightbird Shadow is a female ninja robot from the “Transformers Legends” series which ran between 2014 to 2019, and is now available in the Masterpiece series. Nightbird is a man-made robot who originally debuted in the 1985 cartoon “Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformer”, in the episode “Shadow of the Nightbird”. Now she has returned in a new form with the ability to transform as seen in “Transformers Legends”. Nightbird Shadow features newly moulded weapons such as the adjustable Ninja Sword and grappling hooks which were used in the “Transformers Legends” series. Additionally the electromagnetic shurikens and glowing blade swords as seen in “Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformer” are included as a bonus! She also has a removable face mask gimmick to recreate scenes from the “Transformers Legends” Webcomic. In addition, the standard face can be replaced with a faithful comic accurate face! Just as the Transformers Legends figure, Nightbird Shadow has been created by adding additional tooling to the already superb Masterpiece Arcee, finishing on a fantastic female robot figure. We hope you will enjoy this product, packed with a variety of weapons, a beautiful form with the charm of a female ninja. 

■ Supercar (Description)
Nightbird Shadow’s vehicle form is a futuristic convertible. She is also equipped with a cloaking device allowing her to infiltrate enemy territory without being seen. Her engine runs silently and her outer body is coated in a metamaterial which transmits light and absorbs radar waves making her completely undetectable. She gains the ability to fly with her “Flying Squirrel Mode” when the adjustable ninja swords and grappling hooks attach to both sides of the car body. You can even recreate her beast form, the “Swan Mode”, as seen in the “Transformers Legends” Webcomic. We hope you enjoy the fantastic quality of this product. 

Vehicle Mode: Stealth Car
Nightbird was locked away by her creator, Dr Hamada, however “Shadow” the advanced navigational AI equipped around her waist reactivated and released Nightbird from her sleep. Shadow was overjoyed, “Hehehe Nightbird my sister!! We did it! We’re free!” Shadow on the other hand can't go anywhere without Nightbird, his master. Nightbird silently pats the box around her waist which is Shadow’s main body. In Dr Hamada’s lab, Nightbird modified her body and gained the ability to transform into a stealth car. This is how Nightbird began as a member of the Destrons. However her leader, Galvatron, was defeated by the Cybertron Headmasters and after his disappearance Nightbird did not join Mega Zarak, the new Destron Leader, and instead sought out the Six Clan. This was the birthplace of the Ninja Staff Officer Sixshot, where she would refine her practice of ninjutsu. On the planet of the Six Clan she was greeted by the chief; “You’re pretty good! What’s your name?” “My sister's name is Nightbird! And I am Shadow, her humble servant!” “Nightbird and Shadow or how about Nightbird Shadow? You are joining a good clan! Training will be tough!” Thus Nightbird trained hard and gained new transformations, the Flying Squirrel Mode and the graceful swimming Swan Mode. After obtaining a 4 step transformation ability and nearing the six step capability, news reached Nightbird Shadow that Galvatron had been resurrected as Super Megatron. Nightbird Shadow travelled back to the Destron planet Jaar along with her disciples Road Rocket and Road Pig to serve Megatron once again. Whilst being charged with a secret mission to assassinate Sixshot, the rogue member of the Six Clan, Nightbird also followed Lord Megatron as they headed to the Legends world….

Robot Mode: Nightbird Shadow 
● Function: Ninja 
● Motto: “Shinobi are forever concealed in mystery.” 
● Profile: 
Created by the Japanese scientist Dr Hamada in the mid 1980’s, Nightbird is a female ninja robot and an engineering marvel. However, she was stolen by the Destrons and reprogrammed as Megatron’s loyal servant. Although Bombshell had implanted an enhanced triple power booster, Nightbird’s true power is her versatility as a ninja robot. She carries two glowing blade ninja swords on her back and stores numerous electromagnetic shurikens within her torso. She can also generate and throw circular saws from both hands and electromagnetise her feet enabling her to walk on walls and ceilings. She can emit gravitational traction waves from her hands, clawed grappling hooks can fire out of both wrists, discs on the slide of her knees can be used to muffle sonic attacks, and she can perform light distraction techniques. An incredibly versatile warrior, even Bombshell was amazed by her abilities. Starscream feared she would usurp his position as second in command and he shot her with his Nullbeam, after which she was locked away by Dr Hamada… As time went on, she was reactivated in the 2030’s and became a full member of the Destrons. Later, her former master, Megatron, invited her to the “Legends World”, a place created by the Zamojin people. Once there she was cloned and mass produced by the Tera-Kura Co. These clone robot maids were sold as “Nightbird Shadow”. Decades later, just as Dr Hamada had dreamed, his creation was helping humanity. However in reality she was still an evil assassin, but had been programmed with a “clumsiness function” to thwart any potential rebellion. Solem and faithful to her duties and mission, she is silent and only communicates through writing. When she takes a bath she removes her armour just as a sword would unsheathe. In 2050, she travelled back to her homeword with Megatron. Nightbird continued to work to her own initiative such as recruiting the Selectors, man-made robots as she is, to serve Megatron.

Weapon: Various Weapons 
Stores two glowing blade ninja swords and numerous electromagnetic shurikens in her body. There are also an abundance of character-specific weapons such as grappling hooks on both arms, a Pistol Bayonet which fires shurikens and a Short Cylinder Blowgun which fires arrows.

Alternate Mode: Flying Squirrel Mode
Six Knight, a warrior of the Six Clan, was Nightbird Shadow’s mentor. Nightbird Shadow mimicked Six Knights flight mode wearing her weapons as wings and calling this mode the Flying Squirrel. Her glided flight has allowed her to specialise in aerial assault and invasion. Taking their teacher and pupil relationship further, she was romantically involved with Six Knight and now Nightbird Shadow longs for his return.

No comments:

Post a Comment