Move over, Kre-O! Brick Label is bringing our favorite robots to life in Lego®. MOC (Lego fan terminology for “My Own Creation”) creator “alanyuppie” has teamed up with “JK” to bring some of Alan’s beautiful and elegant transforming designs to a marketable stage. Their name is Brick Label, and the product is Masterbrick Metalhide. Transformerland had the fortune of reviewing a set. I had the pleasure of building it, and I am summarily amazed. Metalhide’s set arrived neatly organized and bagged, and the 63-page instruction manual came by email. Clocking in at 12 ounces (340g), Metalhide took me around 1 ½ hours to build. As you can expect, the assembly is totally modular. The instruction book is all photographic, which actually helped a lot. MLCad works fine for more traditional sets, but the unique way in which everything is attached would make the vagaries of computer design very difficult for designer and builder. Another great way to make such a complex set manageable is each assembly pictures all the parts that will be used in that module. You can pick out all the pieces for the lower arm before you start the lower arm, and you won’t miss anything. As the piles of nearly-unrecognizable modules mounts, the steps that bring them together made me realize the brilliance of the design. The engineering really comes together, and I could quickly see the function of each piece. Metalhide is assembled into his robot mode, the more “open” mode of the two. By the time I completed the assembly, I was astounded at how big and well-proportioned he is. He stands nearly as tall as MP-1 Optimus Prime, helping to really earn the “Masterbrick” moniker. The final stages of construction were exciting and satisfying. The robot mode of the set was gorgeous, with amazing articulation and an unmistakable appearance. He features ball joints at the shoulders, waist, and hips, and hinges at every joint including the wrists of his three-fingered hands. “Glass gas” chemical dispenser spouts can deploy from his forearms, and his heavy lower legs and broad feet allow him to accomplish a lot of cool poses. His transformation is challenging at first, as with Takara’s Masterpiece designs, but quite fun. I can’t stop being amazed at Alan’s way of engineering unmodified Lego pieces (and the set is 100% Lego®, for you purists!) to move in so many new ways. The van mode comes together nicely like a well-finished Transformer, with many pieces interlocking into each other to give a solid feel. The van resembles the Japanese-looking onebox-style quite well, including the vaulted roof of Nissan’s SGL Coach (see our G1 Ironhide article for more info). In this mode, the chemical dispensers are folded down the rear of the vehicle, and can deployed over the roof for a sort of attack mode. The only problem area on the figure was the upper arm, but JK has assured me that Alan has redesigned this area for the production version, and preview versions will be issued the parts to assemble the new shoulders. When’s the last time the “big guys” have corrected a mistake? Brick Label really stands behind their product. If you have an interest in Lego OR Transformers, I’d certainly recommend this set. If you have an interest in both, Metalhide is an absolute must for your collection. All of us at Transformerland are really hoping or Brick Label’s great success. Alan has a great deal of brilliant designs that I think would be truly appreciated in collector’s hands, and I hope Brick Label can bring them all to market. After building Metalhide, I’m really hankering to see Ratchet. Luckily, Ratchet and many others can be found on Alan’s blog. You can order your own Masterbrick Metalhide at BrickLabel.net. Thanks again to Alan and JK for bringing such a great and unique product to an underserved sector of the fandom!