Earlier this week I took my first steps into the world of pricey third-party Transformers with something pink and frilly. Now it's time for something darker. Meet FansProject's Function X4, Sigma L, a third party answer to the Decepticon's scariest Headmaster.

That Headmaster is Mindwipe, the spooky bat-bot with the power to warp minds and a desperate desire to commune with the dead. For an early teenage toy fan back in the '80s, the idea of Mindwipe was pretty terrifying. The reality of Mindwipe? Not so much.

As is plain to see from this image from the fine folks at the always-entertaining TFWiki, the toy technology at the time had some trouble living up to Mindwipe's horrific story. A block with arms and legs that transforms into a block with wings and a tail? Not scary.

FansProject's Sigma L, purchased for $80 from the folks at Toy Dojo, does a much better job of fulfilling that potential.


Vibrant colors and lovely curves. While Sigma L's bat form might still be a bit blocky, it makes up for it with fine details. Those circle deals on his underside are speakers used to amplify his hypnotic powers.


On the back there's what looks like a black and green translucent coffin, for reasons that will be readily apparent once we transform him. Also notice the kick-ass pump-action shotguns. I love them.

Speaking of which, here's a video of Sigma L transforming.

Yes, Sigma L is a Headmaster, with a smaller robot riding inside its bat body that transformers into his head. It's pretty intricate for such a small little thing, at least more so than Hasbro's original folding-in-half heads.


Sorry about the blurry. He looks much better on Sigma L's shoulders anyway.


Petite pink Azalea is a delicate flower that will kill you. She looks gorgeous, but feels fragile and light.

Sigma L, on the other hand, is bulky and sturdy. He might not be able to pose lounging by the pool, but he stands straight and tall, twin shotguns ready for action.


FansProject's Function-X4 Sigma L is more evocative of the original Transformers than my previous purchase. He's a strong robot that I wouldn't feel bad letting my children play with for up to a couple of minutes straight. Amazing details, tight construction—he's a badass. I think I'll keep him.