Carnifex: a behind the scenes story, part 2

Welcome to part 2 of Carnifex: a behind the scenes story.

Part 1

The first version looked like Overlord but there was a certain lankiness to the design due to the small torso and long arms. Griffith, MMCs head engineer, went about redesigning the core of the torso.

The missing link!

By then, the signature Cassy ridges were very out of fashion among fans. While not overloaded with them as MMCs Hexatron, the Carnifex design still had quite a few bigger liberties in regards to surface detail than the fandom was willing to accept. The arms were smoothed out and the design of the chest and abdomen were completely dropped in favor of a look that was closer to the source material. In the end, the arms were basically the only things that were kept from the upper body of the original Carnifex.

Exhibitionist action!

The weapons and accessories went thru some tweaks here and there to streamline them and remove ridges. Other things were dropped like the saw attachment that can be seen in the original renders.

Reflector repaint?

The look and transformation of the wings was dropped too in favor of a more robust design that also minimized the visual weight of the ridge work when looked from the back in robot mode. This also made possible a rather awesome looking combined altmode. The working abdominal guns rounded up what was now a more powerful looking built that more closely captured the spirit of Overlord.

Sign me up for that exercise program!

Another thing that was missing from the original design was a base mode. Of course the IDW version didnt have anything like that, but MMC still wanted to give fans that extra callback to the roots of the character. It was one of the key features of the original toy after all. With that in mind, Griffith went about his Carnifex partial redesign with the goal of also giving the big guy the possibility of a base mode.

“All your base are belong to us”

Them lips

Then came the final yet some would say most important step to capture a character: the face. If one thing caught peoples attention in the Wreckers story, it was the expressive face that Roche had given Overlord in the comic. In other words, those big honking lips.

“Nah, I’ll just stay here”

The original sculp had character but it was missing that over the top craziness that made Roches Overlord stand out.

Lip action

Griffith went to work sculpting in Zbrush to get a more organic look to the face. Getting those sexy lips using sharp angles would have been impossible. From the myriad of face expressions that Overlord made in his comicbook appearances two were chosen that captured the craziness of the giant robot.

Old face sculpts

With that it was complete and ready for production or so MMC thought. The thing with big ass toy robots is that their production process and costs grows exponentially the bigger they are. Carnifex would be MMCs second biggest figure after Feral Rex. They had learned a lot about big figures with their third biggest toy: the Hearts of Steel Cyclops. At the same time Feral Rex taught them about big combiners. Carnifex is a bit of both; a giant robot that is also the result of a combination of other parts. The connection between the torso and the legs demanded to be carefully tested. The bigger a toy is, the easier it is to have the joints become a loose mess due to the increased weigh. At the same time MMC was moving towards making more releases and starting the OX Perfection Series of Masterpiece / Studio OX inspired transformer figures. Once the tolerance and joint problems were sorted out, the production schedule chosen and factory picked, Carnifex could go into production save for the headache inducing hurdle of choosing a color scheme. The existence of subtle differences meant that you wouldnt be able to satisfy both Masterforce and IDW fans alike. In the end this was to be a representation of the IDW Overlord first and foremost so it was decided to go with that scheme. There was one little compromise: the forearm color; to keep the look of the jet mode smooth they had to be all black.

Delicious eye candy courtesy of tfw2005 member unicron nemesis

As for the future of Carnifex, well, Ive been told by MMC that there are no plans to do a Masterforce repaint of Carnifex. What they might end up doing is an upgrade kit to masterfoce-up Carnifex. So Godmaster fans,there is hope!!

“W’up son?”

Well, this about wraps it up. Hope you enjoyed this inside look at what goes on behind the creation of third party toy. More Carnifex stock will ship from Planet Steel Express starting the third week of October. Those who get him from PSX will also receiveanexclusive harpoon with real metal wire for the MMC Reformattted Spartan. So you can live out those evil robot eye gouging fantasies in the comfort of your own home.

Awesome photo by tfw2005 forums member tekering

Be sure to share this and tell your friends and colleagues about the MMC Hub Facebook. The more members we get, the bigger change of cool stuff coming our way. Bye!


Carnifex: a behind the scenes story

IDW Ready

Everyones favorite psycho murder bot with humongous lips is finally here!! Yep. Believe it. Finally Overlord I mean Carnifex has been released! He sure made us wait, but I would say that the videos and pictures that are popping up on the Internetz show it was well worth it. To celebrate the occasion, the good people at Planet Steel Express have persuaded the head guys at Mastermind Creations to share with the MMC Hub a bit of what took place behind the scenes of the creation of Mr. Sexylips. In other words, having nearly 750 fans signed up to the MMC Hub Facebook group has gotten their attention. And expect this sponsoring by PSX of the MMC Hub to continue in the future in interesting ways. If things go well, who knows *cough*stuff*cough*.

“You are sir!”

The story begins

Now then, lets get down to the origins of Carnifex. What could be considered the starting point of this story was a little limited series that brought some obscure character from TF lore into the spotlight. IDWs 2010 five issue The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers made fans fall in love with a certain villain; a ruthlessly violent tyrant that felt he was worth more than Megatron and his Decepticons but with had a deep rooted inferiority complex. His backstory would be later expanded on Transformers More than Meets the Eye (a must read series if you care at all about Transformers). His appearances have cemented him as a fan favorite of IDWs Transformers universe.

These ain’t your 80’s Transformers!

Before Roche and Roberts injected Overlord with both botox and personality he was just basically another one of those Japanese season transformers. Still the Masterforce toy was very cool: it had two vehicle modes that combined to form a giant robot and a base mode (there were also machine-human hybrids folded inside his tits but you know, Japanese TF, am I right?)

Really wish I wasn’t right…
Overlord 2
… thanks, my eyes needed that…

Overlord 1

Anyways, the toy only got a European and Australian release and nothing of note in terms of character development in the comicbooks of the time. So, in other words, Overlords impact on the Western TF mythos was limited. It was thanks to that blank slate in terms of personality and name recognition that the LSOTW writers were able to go crazy. Really murder crazy.

Just looking at it hurts!

There was also another big factor that contributed to Carnifexs creation: while popular now, Overlord was completely forgotten in toy form save for a repaint. Back then the soul of Third Party Transformers toys was still giving fans the chance of owning modern versions of loved characters that official releases had relegated to the sidelines or completely ignored. From the start the guys at Mastermind Creations wanted to go for the IDW version of Overlord while still giving a nod to the original Japanese toy.


The First

Third Party designer Cassy was the man chosen to make this amalgamation of toy and comic possible. The design had to be a modern take on the toy while also going for the feel that the comic character had created around it. As you will see, what Cassy originally designed went through a lot of changes before taking its final released form; about 40% to be precise. The leg parts fit the bill from the start; the tank followed the look of an alien tank like the comic contrary to the more Earth like tank the original toy had.

Tank 5

The plane mode was another story. It also followed a more spaceship-ish design like the comic, which was what MMC wanted, but there was some problems.


For starters the size was small. When combined in robot mode, the two vehicles didnt capture the larger than life presence that the Wreckers story suggested.


Come back tomorrow to behold the missing link between the original Overlord toy and MMC Carnifex!!

Remember the good old blackedout image days? Anybody?

Yes, the webpage is alive

Carnifex teaser

Hi there fellow MMC fans! Turnman here with a status report. Yes, like the tittle says, this webpage is still alive. While the Facebook MMC Hub group has been active the webpage on the other hand has been in slumber mode. It is just easier that way if you don’t have the free time to update. There is also the fact that FB just makes things easier for people to not have to leave FB. In that regard the FB group has been doing pretty well in getting the latest MMC related news thanks to fan input.

Im also updating the site because there are good news brewing as I write this. We are growing and people are taking notice of the benefits of having a big concentration of MMC fans in one place. You can see that I’ve posted a few pictures of a special work in processbased around this guy:


Yeah, him. And if all goes well, people show interest and we keep growing as a group this project might end up being more than just another cool custom.


So that is all for now. In a few days expect to see a special article centered around certain big lipped robot. Stay tuned.


Interview with “Penguin One”, MMC’s Product Developer


Got a nice surprise after the interview with MMCs newest designer, Jesslyn Makes Robots. Ive already interviewed two of their designers (Griffith76 and Jesslyn); This time I get a crack at the next step in the MMC corporate ladder with a chance to interview their Product Developer, Penguin One.


First things first: thanks for agreeing to do this. To tell you the truth I told Griffith that it would be really cool if one of his MMC higher ups would came to speak here in the MMC Hub but I really wasnt expecting a yes for an answer that easily.

Well, what can I say other than we like to interact with the fans. Its one of the things that has set us apart for a long time inside the 3P community. You could say we started a trend. We are fans too but we also treat this very seriously. It is a business after all. And professional businesses today dont hide in the shadows and shouldnt be afraid to get in contact with their customers if they believe in their products. Even if we are 3P, any opportunity to talk about what we do shouldnt be wasted.

Slowly but surely we are seeing a bigger turnout of new figures from you guys. And that is considering stuff like Nero Rex that Im sure takes production time away from the old factory. How is the new factory working out?

The new factory? Thats old news. In total we have developed two more factories this year and hopefully we can see some improvements on our speed down the road. Furthermore, the original factory for Reformatted line is expanding in the coming year.

Great! So you basically can have dedicated factories for each of your lines! Weve heard many times, and felt, the consequences of crappy factories numerous times. Is it that hard to get a factory to do a decent transforming toy?

Well, speaking of the factory responsible for the OX line for example; they underestimated the difficulty of Sphinx in the beginning. It worried us a lot when we received the T1 which was floppy and full of errors. For example, if you look at Sphinx’s T1 photo, the shoulder launcher was mirrored by mistake, and there are other issues which could have made this project a failure. After months of mold modifications, now I can say I am 99% happy for the final product. It is never easy to coach a new factory.

Can we expect less time from reveal to release then?

On average, a transformable figure probably takes us 10 months or longer from design to finish, I think other companies would take the same amount of time, or maybe we are really too slow. You know, MMC is pretty renowned for taking time on things, maybe MMC should be considered lucky for not going bankrupt so far. But I dont believe that is the case. Fact is that we dont want to just change name like others have done if things go bad. We are already associated with great quality and wont give up on that. Like in the example I just gave you with Sphinx. We could have just rushed it out but then it wouldnt really be an MMC product and we certainly would not like to tarnish the MMC name just to have something in MP scale out fast.

To answer your question, maybe the only solution is to reveal the projects when our molds are ready, so people will see a smaller window of waiting. I believe it is how other companies are doing it now. We really need to keep our mouths shut. But that would come with a price: we wouldnt be able to enjoy things like seeing the faces full of excitement at the TFCON 3rd party panel.

Expect Sphinx to ship to our customers in two weeks time.

What about Seraph? He probably holds a record of developing time. People still get excited for it but is his destiny that of just showing up at Cons?

Let me just tell you this: Seraph will be released. Ill tell you even more: Seraph’s mold is ready. His final scheme has been finally approved; we have been testing different schemes and just recently before TFCON we got a very satisfying result. After the stock photos are done, preorders will be up.

Great to hear! And speaking of TFCON, Jaguar come out of left field. What else can we expect from the REmix line?

I have to admit, when the mechanism designer handed over this design to us, I underestimated the potential of this line. I didn’t know whether the scale would work. When I handled the prototype, that concern didn’t exist anymore. This whole idea is brilliant.

REmix Jaguar test

What else do you want to see in REmix?

We have quite large of selections in the character pool to REmix; if it all goes well we can even have plans for original characters.

Ooooh, original characters can be difficult for 3P to sell. What about the price? Will that help the line?

We could have priced 40 dollars if it was full plastic, but we ended up with the 60 dollar price point with lots of die cast. We can always go back to full plastic if people think it is too pricey, but that will break my heart. The weight and the finish of the die cast parts of Jaguar pushed this design to a new height. If I plan on displaying something next to my desk I expect it to look and feel good.

Could a Walkman Soundwave be part of the future of the line?
I couldn’t say too much for now. And it depends on whether the first one is received well.

These last two years youve done quite a number of exclusives. The biggest being a whole five member combiner in the form of Nero Rex. Can we expect more cool repaints in the future?

Hope you like our repaint ideas. We always think about repaints when we finish the design, some were even planned together with the main character.And a tight partner of ours has had a word with us that he wants all the black repaints for his convention.

Getting your hands on one of those convention exclusives can be hard, or expensive to be more precise. Could we at the MMC Hub get an exclusive? It would be a nice change for those that cant go to Cons to get into the action!

Why not, let’s talk about it hey, I suddenly have an idea to run a contest through the MMC Hub. How about one to choose a paint scheme design for the Reformatted Dicamus (not Roadbuster remold of Titanika) mold? The winning design will be realized into production, and we might hire the winner for future work. What do you think?


Sounds like a great start. Thanks!

Happy to see Vulcan being revealed. Was bored of having pictures of it getting cobwebs in my hard drive! I also know you have other Reformatted and Ocular Max releases planned but there is that bit about an Ocular Max Defensor that was discussed a few months ago. Hows that coming?

Sorry to say that Vulcan is no more! The name I mean lol. Vulcan will be undergoing a name change. The name now is Backdraft. The reason for this is that we just found out another company had taken this name for their product before we did. Backdraft is a cool name though!

Maximum Pro is still in the pipeline. We started the project after Feral Rex, but we have been battling internally for its scale, build and even alt modes. It will be our next big thing after we finish the first wave of the OX characters. Hopefully by then collectors will have a better idea what we want to deliver with this brand.

Bet half of those revolve around that controversial bike that turns into a leg!

Well, thats a given; its one of the craziest combiners when it comes to scales lol But not just the bike. You have other vehicles that are also way out of scale with each other in the real world. Then there is the issue of scale with other MP sized bots. We want to take our time to make something we believe in.

There are a lot of Ocular Max releases planned. What about Reformatted? Will it keep turning out new stuff like before?

Then plan is up our releases there too. The Reformatted line has quite a few new designs in the pipeline, and the added value of a grand storyline behind the products. We just met an etailer at TFCON, he asks us not to quit this line even after Ocular Max tops it, as we have grown a group of supporters these years.

I recently talked to Jesslyn, one of your new designers. Her next project for the Ocular Max line looks killer. Will be seeing more of her work for MMC?


Noticed that you are crediting the people involved in the creation of Sphinx right on his box. Have to say I really like that you are giving credit where credit is due.

Thanks! MMC is the end product of a lot of people wanting to surpass themselves from project to project. We believe that great work has to be recognized.

It also means that your talent can be scouted away from you. Jesslyn told me she was contacted by some companies.

We dont own our designers; some of them have done work for other companies after all. But we do treat them very good. Thats why we are confident that they will work their hardest for us. Plus Im sure that having your design being looked after with great care to get the best final result counts too.

As for Jesslyn, I do want to take this chance to say something to other designers: careful with who gets in contact with you. With Jess there was a person (lets leave it at that) that recently contacted her boasting about his position inside the 3P industry in a way we have seen before. The case we know of ended with a designer selling his time and work but never getting actually paid for it. Dont want to sound like Im out to scare people. Just that be careful with your work. Some parts of the 3P world are very shadowy and that creates opportunities for scammers with honey mouths.

Well, thanks for mentioning it. Really sucks that there are people out there wanting to steal the work of others to pass it of as theirs. But lets not end this on a sour note: Overlord is awesomely gigantic. When can I expect to kiss his sexy lips in the comfort of my own house?

This guys schedule should be April 2016 But dont believe everything that I said;)

Interview with Jesslyn, MMC’s newest designer!



A few days ago I had the luck of chatting up with MMC’s latest designer. You might have noticed her Facebook page,Jesslyn Makes Robots. Yes, her; women can also like Transformers!

Disclaimer: Like in my interviews with Griffith76 (here and here), Jesslyn speaks as herself and not on behalf of MMC.

Hope you enjoy!



How about you tell me how you got into TF?

Okay! It’s the cartoon’s fault; I loved it.

It was on every afternoon after school, and mum ended up buying me some of the toys, and they just were so different to anything I’d had before.

So you’re a geewunner? Any favourites?

This was around 1989? So I had Monstructor, and a few of the Seacons, and a bunch of Micromasters. I was at the tail end of g1.

Whenever I got a new one I’d arrange everybody in a circle to introduce each other like ‘hi! I turn into a manta ray! Oh wow that’s so cool, look at me I turn into a motor bike! Haha, they were all very peaceful and proud of themselves.

Peace through respectful introductions!

Haha yes!

Then for Christmas I got Powermaster Optimus prime and that was my favourite forever, mum still talks about how excited I was.


You still have any of them?

All of them actually! I could never bring myself to part with them. I wish Ihad the shelf space to have them all out rather than suffocating in a crate, though.


Have you kept up with any of the series that came after G1?

Very much yes! I loved beast wars, and I’m pretty sure it was that and the episode where Megatron shot G1 Optimus on the ark that made me want to do 3d fanart.

sfcpose2 copy

So that was the spark that put you on the track you are now? From playing Hostess at Transformers introduction parties to playing creator god of Transformers!?

Haha! I hadn’t thought about it like that 😀

I have to credit Azim Venksta though, so much is his fault.


He saw your 3d work?

I’ve known him since I was 15. We were both doing 3d fanart way back in 99/00.

So you’ve been part of the TF community for a long time!

I pretty much had stopped by 2005 because the spark had gone; Azim kept going and started his Renderform business.


So one day he called you up to go at it again?

He has always been so supportive of my work and last year he wanted me to collaborate with him on some heads for Renderform, so you could say he pulled me out of retirement as far as this went haha.


Seeing Vulcan it was sure worth it!

So we did the head for Toyworld’s Orion, and some IDW style heads for Fansproject Code and Smart Robin, along with some others that will hopefully see the light one day one of which was for MMC’s Predaqueen:D

Ssshhh, we don’t talk about her anymore!


She was actually my first interaction with MMC. Azim had designed a head for her and I modeled it.

People expect to see her at Cons but they always get Seraph instead.

It doesn’t help that I have one of the prototype heads all the way down here in Australia haha.

You are full of scary predators down there; she must feel right at home!

Haha good point!

So MMC liked what you did and approached you?

Basically yeah. They even remembered some of the fanart I’d done ten years ago! I must have really made an impression.


I started off buying Feral Rex like anybody else and never dreamed I’d be working with them, let alone my first project being alternate heads for the Feralcons:D

They first popped up on display in Jaegertron’s trophy cabinet at the Singapore con.

And how was the transition from heads to full body?

Heads are often the hardest part to get right so it was like a holiday haha.

Vulcan was my first full project. I had the G1 toy of Inferno thanks to the gold box Australian/European reissues in 1990, so he was one I was fond of.

I spent more time thinking about fire trucks than I ever wanted to, haha.

So it was even more special for you then! Cool. Saw your explanations for the text on the side of the firetruck. It really shows that you went the extra mile to make it special!

Thankyou! I was so worried that fans might find it controversial given how much complaining and analysis went into, say Sphinx’s Citanes font or Goofyear branding. And that was just a tiny little letter change for copyright reasons and not a big splashy fire department deco.

If you want to piss off fans then let’s do it the right way: Toon accurate or Toy accurate?

Haha I have to say toon; though the cartoon is not even accurate to itself! Using it for reference is a nightmare when they look different from episode to episode. Or frame to frame, even! You have to sort of either pick one that is the best representation or average them out.

Wrong! That was a trick question. You should have said “OX Style, OF COURSE!!”

Haha oops XD

OX does a fantastic job of adding extra detail and heroic style to the cartoon designs. Imagine if the cartoon had been animated like that! I did the head for Sphinx, which seemed very divisive, but I think I captured a look that suits him, the proto just looked off with the paint being so thick, all the crispness was lost.

Good last minute safe. I’m sure MMC approves!

Speaking of fans, how has your interaction with them been?

Really positive! A few remember my old fanart as well, and no one has come to my page just to diss my work yet haha.

I don’t really interact much on the major fansites anymore but Ido lurk and read quite a bit.

Any offers from other companies?

Haha yes actually but I have so much work lined up already between MMC and Corbot-V

Corbot-V happened through Azim, again XD




That cool Allicon? (BTW, thanks Azim for getting Jesslyn into TF toy designing!)

Yeah! I’m proud of that one because I had to design the transformation and everything entirely from scratch. With the Vulcan and the other secret future OX figures I’ve worked on we have an expert transformation designer for the engineering who passes on a blocky model to be detailed and polished. So it’s very much a collaboration for OX.

Sounds like a tag team. How does that work exactly?

The transformation designer, who I believe wishes to remain anonymous, does his magic engineering the transformation in a really simple blocky fashion. So for Vulcan I had this as a starting point.


So along with detailing him up, I refine the look and add some features. I made the body of the truck as gapless as possible, made functional side stabilizers, the hand hose weapon swapping gimmick without detaching parts, a second knee joint, etc.

Do you have a dream project you wish to work on?

I’m actually working on two of them right now ;D

But for one I’m actually able to mention I’d love to do IDW Nautica; she’s so precious.

So you’re a IDW comic fan too?

So much, MTMTE specifically! It was the first Windblade series that got me into them, though.

Jesslyn collection1

Big fan I see! I would really love to see more sisters for Azalea on the Reformatted line!

Anything else you would like to say?

I don’t know! I just… I still can’t really believe this is all happening and that my love for a cartoon and years of poor financial choices with the toy collecting haha would lead to actually MAKING the toys I love so much. This is why my page says I fell accidentally into the world of toy design! I didn’t seek it out; and now, wow, I am so lucky <3

Sometimes out hobbies end up defining us. Very glad you’ve given me the chance to talkyou Jesslyn!

Thankyou! You’re welcome~


(All the 3D render you can see here were created by Jesslyn)


Stratosfear is the Stormbringer!

And continuing the TFcon reveals this year comes Stratosfear, the latest addition to the Mastermind Creations Reformatted line. Inspired directly form Thunderwing and the IDW comic Strombringer comes a big guy with a lot going on.



And if you look closer in the upper right side of the pic above you will see that Stratosfear here also comes with a Pretender gimmick.

TFCon-USA-2015-508 TFCon-USA-2015-506

Vulcan (aka Inferno) full reveal

Vulcan (aka Inferno) Full reveal


This years TFcon has seen the debut of the next figure in the Ocular Max line, Mastermind Creations Studio OX inspired masterpiece style figures!


I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this guy come into fruition from early 3d designsand I have to say I love that fire truck altmode.

The heavy red guy sports a lot of diecast metal parts as well as a detailed interior with a steering wheel and working doors. Expect chrome and a paint job that will do the renders justice.






Photos thanks to:



Enter RE:Mix Jaguar, something the kids will not understand

If you like Transformers since the early days then you know what a cassette is. Soundwave’s minionshave always been mini cassettes but in terms of scale they have always been a bit small. The Mastermind Creations RE:Mix line revisits these tiny bots taking a retro look.


Ravage here, I mean “Jaguar”, sports a mix of plastic and diecast parts to make a robust cassette ready to patrol our workdesk.Here’s hoping this subline succeeds and gives us many small pets to procrastinate with.


Bugs, bugs everywhere!!

And let thebug war escalate!! Next up in the Ocular Max line from Mastermind Creations are the Insecticons!



Potestas, Calcitrant and Inflector sport a simple looks that makes for a very clean set of bug bots.

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MMC Bombshel greylR (1)

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