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Transformers Series

Takara Binaltech BT-08 Meister Cybertron Special Operations Saboteur as VRM Edition Mazda RX8  (9/2004)


Transformers Binaltech

Transformers Binaltech


BT-01 Smokescreen as Subaru Impreza WRC 2003 (8/03)

#7 Solberg / Mills 

#8 Makinen / Lindstorm


BT-02 Lambor (Sideswipe) as Dodge Viper SRT-10 (12/03)


BT-03 Streak as Subaru Impreza WRX (3/04) 


BT-04 Hound as Jeep Wrangler (03/04)


BT-05 Dead End as Dodge Viper Competition Coupe (07/04)


BT-06 Tracks as 2004 Chevy Corvette Z06 (08/04)


BT-06B Tracks as Blue 2004 Chevy Corvette Z06 (11/04)


BT-07 Smokescreen GT as Subaru Impreza WRC 2004 (09/04)

#1 Solberg / Mills

#2 Hernoven / Lehtinen.


BT-08 Meister as Mazda RX8 (9/04)


BT-08 Meister as Mazda VRM Edition RX8 (9/04)


Masterpiece Edition

MP01 Convoy (Optimus Prime) Semi-truck Cab (12/03)






Binaltech Meister came in the same scale die-cast car style packaging as the previous Binaltech releases. The box insert also double as display stand for the car.



Binaltech Story

In the year 2003, the Autobots are slowly being destroyed by a powerful corrosive rust set upon them by the evil Decepticons. With Megatron and his troops advancing and the humans increasingly in danger, a final, desperate project is put into action - human created Transformers. Thus, the newest Transformers are born via a new technology: Binaltech!


Binaltech Instruction Booklet

Binaltech toy came with full color booklet that detailed the features of the toy and instruction on how to transform the vehicle into robot mode. The transformation process can be a bit tricky at first but became very easy after a few attempts (though not recommend for younger children as the toy was obviously aimed at older adult collectors). Unfortunately, VRM version did not get all new paper supplement instead the box and pamphlet used the same graphic from the white version. Also another unfortunate, the spec card also the same as the white version. BT-08 came with bonus car sticker of Cybertron (Autobot) symbol.




Alternate Version

Hasbro released a cheaper cost alternative to Takara Binaltech die-cast version as Transformers Alternators.  The Alternators had the die-cast body parts replaced with molded color plastic parts. The toy was identical to the Binaltech version but without the heavy feel of die-cast  and the sheen of painted die-cast body.  In fact the two versions looked identical from a distance, however, the difference became quite appearance when one pick up the two toys.  (Think of Alternators as plastic scale model-kit car version and the Binaltech as scale model die-cast car version). Alternator came in a slightly larger box than the Binaltech packaging but the box was very plain looking without any die-cut windows.  The instruction was also just a plain mono-color sheet like other US Transformers toys, unlike Takara version that came with full color booklet and a bio-card (found in most Takara Transformers toys)  However the toy was perfect for those on tight budget who can not afford the much higher price Binaltech version but want to own these amazing toy engineering pieces.


Alternator 7 Mazda RX8 Meister


Hasbro released only white version of Meister as Alternator #7. Hasbro lost the trademark for the name Jazz so the US release now shared the same name as Japanese counterpart. The toy unfortunately was made from just bare white plastic and really detract from the look of this toy. Again, a nice coat of paint would made Alternator version appeared as good as BT version and would have made a nice cheaper "substitute" for some of the re-color variants for those who do not want to pay for the more costly die-cast version just to get a color variation.

Takara released BT-08 Meister in September of 2004 as the eighth figure in the Binal-tech series. Unlike BT-07 which was retooled of the BT-01 mold, BT-08 was brand new sculpt and depicting one of the more famous members of G1 car robot characters - Meister or better known in the US as Jazz. This time Meister took the form of 2004 Mazda RX8 sport car. The standard BT version and the Alternator version (US plastic version of Binaltech) of BT-08 was pearl white RX8, however, Takara also released a limited edition of BT-08 in VRM (Velocity Red Mica) color. The initial assortment seem to have equal numbers of the two versions. This was not the first time there appeared to be two versions of the same character (BT-01 also have two versions so did BT-07 and BT-08), Starting with BT-07 Takara also included several background stories on how a single TF character was able to have several physical forms (four in the case of Binaltech Smokescreen). The explanation was that the BT technology was essentially invented as a way to replicate a Transformers. In the case of Binal-tech Smokescreen they were able to develop new technology system that allowed the Spark of Transformers to be "transmitted" and thus allowed the creation of duplicated "Parallel Transformer" or a clone that would have the same memory, capability and personality as the original. This duplicate system was called GT or Genetronic Translink. (Special thanks to BWTF site for translation and info on BT story). (Clever way of explaining BT-07 Smokescreen's GT suffix). For Meister, BT-8 VRM was built as a "clone" of Meister with artificial "brain".  Meister later assumed the BT-8 body and VRM unit became his "clone" that he nicknamed "Zoom Zoom". These explanations essentially free Takara to release more color variants of the same mold without having to resort to creating another character in the old G1 universe (also save them the cost of retooling).

In robot mode, the car transformed into Meister, a Cybertron (Autobot) Special Operation Saboteur. Binaltech version of Meister retained some of his G1 look such as the head design (complete with blue visor), his chest and his color (white version). The transformation was similar to BT-01 Smokescreen but the arm section was greatly simplified (no more insane twist and turn to get the correct alignment). In this mode, the toy had very nice articulation and probably one of the best so far in the BT series. It was nice to see a move back to original concept that allowed for unique looking BT toy with some G1 element instead of Track where "fake" element get added to make the figure more G1 fan friendly. While the white version of BT-08 do appeared more like the original G1 Meister, the red version was very striking and gave the figure a more "aggressive" look. Meister came with gun weapon that cleverly disguised as the car muffler part.

Overall, BT-08 Meister was one very slick looking Transformers in both vehicle and robot mode. I have to admit that the novelty of the line had certainly wore off and I was not as exciting about this figure as the first few figures. The BT version had very nice hefty feel with substantial die-cast. The VRM version look nice with glossy red color with fine gold color speckle. Takara decided to use molded color plastic part and the change in glossiness was quite noticeable. It was uncertain the reason for the change, this could be because the rear section form the feet and painted part would be more prone to chipping or it could be cost saving. There also seem to be a mold defect in the right arm socket which made it quite loose and easily pop off.