Brad Oztron Mull, Sept 13 2016
What Is The Masterpiece line To You?
In the beginning when I started collecting transformers (2007) the only masterpiece figure I’d seen in hand was mp1, or the 20th anniversary Prime to be exact. I didn’t buy it, I was not happy with its look, showing no good similarity to the g1 character just like its original 84 Figure.
In 2011 that changed when mp-10 was revealed and I purchased it soon after its release and it became the first in my Masterpiece collection. That Prime was designed more off the original figure then he cartoon, exposed rear tyres, fuel tanks and panel detail never before seen in the g1 cartoon. Now Takara had done the Cartoon Accurate thing before with Mp9 Rodimus, a figure taken directly off the screen. I still love mp9 even with its issues, but it doesn’t display well on a shelf with the other Pre Mp10 figures because of its different design.
Fast forward to the next few releases, Soundwave, more Seekers, The datsons and Lambo’s, the design continued to follow a primary G1 Toy design, with some smaller design cues of the onscreen characters. I was hyper critical of third party releases at the time for super detail on their third party figures yet scaling thin in with masterpiece, bad cubes war dog for instance. While I display my 3rd party figures side by side with HasTak Masterpieces, you can clearly identify the official and in official figures.
And then something happened at Takara, one of its main designers on the mp10-22 run left to start work on the new movie line. And in my personal opinion that’s when the core design choices also changed from primary being designed off the 84’ toys, and not the Cartoon Characters.
In 2014 Masterpiece Ultra Magnus came along, and it was the tipping point for my collecting. I had already purchased KFC’s version, and while it’s designed more off a non g1 source, the panel detail and paint apps satisfied me by fitting in with mp10 and other figures previously released. Masterpiece Ultra Magnus didn’t do this, flat detailless panels and large sections of single colour. Onscreen Character like, not toy.
The next new masterpiece mould was Ironhide, and once again, mainly in the legs, primary design source seems to be the cartoon and not the toy. Flat red panels with zero details in the legs. But what was to follow really put me off hastak releases. MP Laserwave is soo slavishly kept to the cartoon look, complete with spindley legs. They suffer the same issues as Mp Ironhide with flat detailless panels and worse, panel gapes that turned me off the figure completely. Plus it was price the same as its 3rd party counterparts.
During this time I hadn’t brought a lot of 3rd party figures so I hadn’t been spoilt by detailed figures, I’m comparing the Masterpiece line to itself, pre mp9, and post. Some 3p figure like Apollyon, huff and green giant were detailed, bit especially in Apollyon’s and Huff’s case, they weren’t any more detailed then if hastak had done them themselves. And suddenly Masterpiece bots didn’t seem to fit together on the one shelf. Shockwave doesn’t suit standing next to the seekers or Soundwave. Ironhide/Ratchet, Ultra Magnus and Mp 9 don’t fit in with the other masterpiece Autobots on my shelf. And now seeing inferno it seems the cartoon character design is continuing, and my sights are firmly on the 3rd party Counterparts to display in my collection. Luckily for me I don’t need to collect every numbered Mp, I’m after the 84-5 cast in thier best design possible. If Takara want to charge 3p prices for their figures then they better put some 3p worth into them.
And this gets me to the important it, we are on the verge of learning about a possible Mp5 v2. We’ve already had a renewed version of the seeker mould, and just last year Takara re did Hotrod in the Mp10 scale and without the Triple charger gimmick. All three, including images we’ve seen of the rumoured Megatron are clear improvements over the original, but where is that going to stop?
I honestly feel before MP50, we will see a MP10 and Seeker 2.0. Grimlock v2 as well as the dinobots. These new figures especially Prime will be a lot different to the previous releases. And after that mp22 and under are fair game for a more g1 cartoon accurate design.
The original Masterpiece Concept has been lost. Taking the G1 figure, improving it with articulation and sprinkling In their cartoon characteristics to make the best figure possible to represent that character.
What’s more Nastalgic, seeing Optimus prime on screen, or playing with his figure? That’s where your Masterpiece tastes lie.
photos are not my own but taken from Google images