MPC 1/12 Strange Change Vampire Kit First Look
By Matthew Quiroz, Front Range Auto Modelers (FRAM)
|Date of Review
|Strange Change Vampire
|Different, fun, well molded, excellent detail
|Rubber band will break over time
MPC first produced the Strange Change models back in 1974 when I was a wee bit younger and what a joy they were to build….and play with. Fast forward some 37 years and we, as well as our kids and grand kids have them to enjoy all over again thanks to the folks at MPC and Round 2. These are simple kits that have a working action to change the subject from one form into another. In the case of our friend the vampire, he changes from a frightening vampire into a skeleton/corpse when his casket lid is closed and then re-opened. It’s magic I tell ya’. Okay, maybe not magic, but it’s pretty darn cool.
Mr. Vampire comes in a top closing box that has some heft to it; very sturdy with the space to store the parts while building. The box top features colorful art work all the way around enticing modelers to purchase one just to see what is inside; very sharp packaging. Parts are molded in a beige colored plastic. Parts break down is very simple consisting of approximately 37 parts over approximately 7 sprues. There were a few parts that had come loose on my sample and I couldn’t determine where they came from, but they were easy to identify for assembly. Suffice to say, nothing was missing. The sprues were sealed in one large plastic bag. Also included is a piece of metal wire and three rubber bands. The wire is bent to shape in step three with the aid of some needle nose pliers the builder will have to provide and is part of the mechanism that changes our Vampire into a skeleton.
Construction takes place over eleven steps beginning in step one with the assembly of the very ornate coffin that our victim, errr, guest resides in. The molding on this is excellent featuring very fine detail that will really shine with some careful attention when painting. Paint call outs are provided in each of the steps via text and not just an arrow with a color number next to it. Think old school instructions where we had to actually read something. Individual parts are numbered and easy to read and are also virtually flash free.
The instructions are easy to follow and flow well. The final assembly in steps 10 and 11 explain how to operate the mechanism to change the coffin and its contents. Some small extras are included in the form of a rat and what appear to be three scorpions to help add a little more life to our lifeless friend inside. No decals are provided.
I’m very happy to see these great kits back on the market after so many years. They are a great way to introduce today’s youth to our hobby. They are easy to build, don’t require a ton of time and have operating features that will appeal to the kids. For us old timers; they provide a way of reliving our glory days of our modeling youth.
My sincere thanks to Round2 Models for this review sample