TCCA Review Corner: Masterpiece 08 Grimlock

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Figure: Takara Masterpiece Mp08 Grimlock
Accessories: Energon sword, twin barrel laser rifle, waiters apron, waiters bow tie, waiter tray, 7 drink glasses on a serving tray and the intelligence transfer helmet from that one g1 episode.
Purchased Price: $130
Release date: March 2009

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In my opinion it took Takara 7 figure releases before they really hit the nail on the head and released a true masterpiece figure. Say what you will about the first 4 repaints of Mp01, the good looking first try at Starscream and his ghostly repaint, or the much disliked mp05 megatron that in its defence was only designed in 12 days under strange circumstances, Mp08 deserves the label of Masterpiece.

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Finally the Takara designers took the original G1 figure and his cartoon model and made a thing of Beauty. The transformation is the simplest seen in the masterpiece line to date (2009), many of the steps identical to the original G1 figure. Yet the engineering has been updated in a way that’s familiar to anyone that owned the original figure, plus some extra touches that were both not needed, nor seen in the line previously.

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Unlike masterpiece’s 01-07, Grimlock doesn’t just transform from his cartoon Styled Tyrannosaurus Rex to robot. He is jammed packed with extra features that don’t only improve on the original, but make the higher price he retailed at easier to swallow.
Much like Mp01, Grimlock features a LED mounted within his right fist which tries to light up both his gun’s barrels and his sword. Because of this the only articulation in his right hand is the thumb. His left hand is modeled much like Masterpiece Starscream’s hands with the thumb and index finger fully articulated with the remaining fingers joined together.

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Another great feature is the ability to switch eye colour in both robot and alt mode. I’m not a comic fan but the blue idw comic and cartoon coloured eyes and visor is nice, but personally I prefer the red choice, toy accurate and makes him look more wild and untamed. And before we leave his head behind, there is also a small button on his cheek that snaps the trex jaws shut, and with those diecast teeth he has a good bite.

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But they aren’t the only mechanisms built in. Swinging his tail side to side makes his head pivot at the base of the neck, making him look side to side. The other gimmick moves his head up and down. By pushing down on the Alt modes torso his hips raise higher up his body and this makes his Dino head flip up and down. Both gimmicks aren’t necessary but are a nice touch, giving Mp08 the playability previous releases don’t have.

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Another small detail is a sculpted flame thrower in his mouth. A larger flame attachment would of been good to extend the flames out of his mouth and onto a nearby Decepticon.

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Articulation on this guy is fantastic.Head, arms and legs all have wide ranges of motion and you can get some good poses done.
His accessory count is high also, not only does he come with his cartoon accurate gun and sword, but he also comes with a waiter’s apron and bow tie and a serving tray full of drinking glasses seen in that one episode of G1 (Madman’s Paradise). Personally I love these accessories, and can’t wait to get them out of the box to display once I can get some shelves sorted out.
And one last bonus is the helmet and cable he used to transfer his super intelligence into Computron in the G1 episode “Grimlock’s New Brain.”

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Much like some of the earlier masterpiece releases, Mp08 was repainted and reissued a few times later on. Later in 2009 a “King Grimlock” (Mp-08X) was released. Featuring a new gold crown and his black hands and legs replaced by comic accurate blue plastic. Gone was the serving tray and related extras, but he did keep his gun and sword.

imageIt took Hasbro 4 ½ years to release the figure under their own banner as a Toys R Us exclusive. Mp03 Grimlock was packaged with the “King Grimlock” accessories, Crown, gun and sword. There were some complaints of mould and paint issues, which is sad. I still feel the original release was the best version.

imageIn the last 6 months a Ko version of King Grimlock was released. Of note is his increased size to better scale next to Mp10 Optimus Prime and the larger 3rd Party Dinobots releases over the last few years. And while yes in robot mode his size is a little small, his a dinobot, and for me that means his displayed in Dino mode. The first release of Fans Toys Scoria (slag) came with a set of “platform” shoes to increase Grimlock’s height. Most pose him behind the other dinobots in thier displays, standing him on something to raise his height above the others and that’s fine.
But it’s in his alt mode where Grimlock scales the best. It’s a personal preference, any G1 Animal former, whether it’s the dinobots, insecticons or predacons are all displayed in alt mode. Thier Robot modes are fine, but it’s not how I display them.

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In conclusion Mp08 is one of the best Masterpiece releases we’ve got, and his a must have on your shelf. As for the other 3p dinobots, well that’s up to your own personal tastes and what you want in a Masterpiece styled Figure. I’m sure the other Dinobots are on takara’s drawing board, but with the new cartoon accurate direction the masterpiece line is going in I don’t feel they will compare, plus they won’t scale design wise with mp08 when thier released so a new Grimlock 2.0 will be needed.
He was one of my first Mp purchases and a figure I’ll never replace, there’s just no need to.
Happy Collecting.

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