Masterpiece Series

All posts tagged Masterpiece Series

Shockwave has a cold, brutal, scientific approach to war. His thought process is ruled by logic. He sees emotion as a weakness and a distraction. He also seeks to overthrow Megatron as leader of the Decepticons. He transforms into a powerful Cybertronian laser gun and can fly in either gun mode or robot mode.

 

Name: Laserwave (MP-29)
Line: Transformers Masterpiece
Manufacturer: TAKARA TOMY
Released:
2016
Price: 12,000 YEN
Scale: Roughly  21 cm in height
Accessories: Numerous hands and gun hand and mini Laserwave gun.

 

I don’t know if I’ll get to reviewing every toy and/or figure featured in my “Best of 2016” list But, I’ll try my best to get through most of them at some stage.

Shockwave/Laserwave made that list and is a pretty awesome figure, even if I don’t actually own it myself, my brother is the bigger Shockwave fan, so naturally he was the one to buy him. But, that means I still have access to the figure to do a review as it’s a pretty good addition to the Masterpiece lineup.

SCULPTING

Both robot and gun mode look great! But, out of the two modes, robot mode is easily my favorite. I really think that Takara Tomy has done an excellent job in matching the look of the character from the cartoon series and translating that into toy form.

The figure in hand looks amazing and it towers over most of the Autobots. (Even if some fans have complained about the height, the show bible height chart tends to suggest otherwise.)  There are plenty of nice little details all over the figure, If I had one complaint, it’s that the lower legs don’t stay together as well as you’d like.

PAINT

I’m pretty sure Laserwave has hardly any paint application if anyone him, I’m going to assume the feet have been painted grey and maybe the outside panels on the legs, but I think that’s about it.

Otherwise, everything has been cast in the colour it’s meant to be and that’s just the way I like it! It’s a very nice shade of purple, I wouldn’t say show or vintage toy accurate, But it suits Laserwave well enough.

ARTICULATION

With the Masterpiece Transformers figures, they really have a decent amount of articulation, but some of that articulation is to assist with the transformation. So I’m not really going to try and list every joint and joint type with these kind of toys.

With that said Laserwave is still quite fun to pose and play around with. He has standard joints like ankle pivot and knee joints, elbow joints etc. Most of these joints are ratchets so you know they aren’t going to loosen up on you over time.

ACCESSORIES

The Type of character Laserwave was in the cartoon, you knew he wasn’t getting too many accessories, also it didn’t help that his design he didn’t really need anything either. (Hand? Check. Gun hand for a weapon? Check.)  You get a few different hands/gun hand and you get a mini version of Laserwave in gun mode, which for some weird reason he used as his own handgun in the cartoon.

So to combat that Takara Tomy has included purple clear parts so that you can turn him into the vintage toy version as well! This is a nice touch and I really do like the look of that clear plastic.

His gun hand and gun barrel both light up and his backpack also turns into a stand for the gun, which I think is quite neat.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

I can’t see there being too many problems with Laserwave, besides some sections like the legs being a bit dodgy in terms of how well they hold together he’s still a solid release. Just make sure you put those Decepticon logos on straight!

PRICE

Amazon JP is the place to go if you want to get the best price for Laserwave, you can pick him up for about 12,000 YEN and that’s a pretty good price for what you get if you ask me.

OVERALL

Laserwave is a welcome edition to the Transformers Masterpiece Decepticon ranks. He may be lacking in accessories, but more than makes up for that in awesomeness and cartoon accuracy alone.  He is a great example of taking the original toy and updating it. If you are collecting the Masterpiece line you need to pick up this Laserwave/Shockwave figure, you won’t be disappointed that you did!

 

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Inferno first appeared in the original Generation one cartoon in season two, with no explanation what-so-ever as to how he arrived on earth. But proved himself a competent and helpful fellow Autobot whether fighting Decepticons or a blazing fire. Although his eagerness to engage in combat sometimes distracts him from his rescue job. His character had a memorable southern style accent and featured in a number of season two episodes after his initial appearance. He Transforms into a red Mitsubishi Fuso fire truck with ladder and has Ceramic plated armour to resist the extreme heat he has to deal with.

Name: Inferno (MP-33)
Line: Transformers Masterpiece
Manufacturer: TAKARA TOMY
Released: 2016
Price: 11,990 YEN
Scale: Roughly 22cm in height
Accessories: Blaster Rifle, Water Spray Effect, Fire Hose, 3 Chest Plates, 2 Heads, 4 face Plates, 2 Nozzles/Wrist Blasters and 2 Wrist Communicators

Firstly I’ll address the elephant in the room. If you have already checked out my Best Of 2016, then you already know this figure is a home run as far as I’m concerned. So, in a lot of ways, it makes writing this review a bit redundant. However, I really loved taking photos of this figure, even if he was a pain to light correctly without any horrible glare from the light reflecting off the red. I eventually got into the mood after taking more photos of him (You’d think I’d have taken all my photos of him back when I did my list, but no, I’m not THAT organized or committed!)

As a child, I was lucky enough to own the original G1 Inferno along with Sideswipe and Beachcomber among others. Unfortunately, I ended up giving away both Inferno and Sideswipe after losing many of their accessories as you do when you are a small child with these type of toys. I never regretted the decision as I reasoned at the time, ‘Where would I be able to get the parts I needed?’ (pre-internet and all that) However, once aware of the power of the internet I did go out of my way to get a sample of both original G1 figures I was happy with.
With that said Inferno was always one of my favorite Autobots and favorite Transformers in general.

With the announcement of Masterpiece Inferno I was quite excited as the prototype images of Inferno, looked really amazing. Also, he was scheduled to by released in November when I would once again be over in Japan. So the prospect of having him on release day was pretty exciting too! (Even if it was two days before I left Japan, but I got him none the less!)

SCULPTING
I’m really happy with the amount of effort it appears Takara Tomy are putting into their Masterpiece Transformers. Inferno in hand is breathtaking, I love the size of the fire truck and it just oozes detail and quality. It really took me back to when I was young and my memories of receiving a G1Transformer that came in a proper box with numerous accessories. I spent a good 10 mins just pouring over the fire truck mode and all of its details. Upon transforming Inferno a lot of these details are carried over to robot mode. The face plates and helmets are on point and Inferno matches the animation model almost flawlessly, even if this makes him quite boxy in appearance. I love that the ladder disappears into his chest in robot mode. One minor nitpick with Inferno’s sculpting is that there was a bit of excess molding on the eyes on the faces plates which I ended up trimming off. The factory should be doing this, not me.

PAINT
I’d like to assume most of Inferno is cast in the colour its meant to be. But, I’m pretty sure some parts a painted and matched to those plastic parts. I’m not going to take Inferno apart to find out. One thing Takara Tomy can work on is their paint applications, you don’t call your line of high-end Transformer toys “Masterpiece” and then drop the ball on quality sans MP Thundercracker. In my experience, the paint applications have always been hit and miss, but thankfully most of the time hit.
For example, the blue eyes on the yelling/screaming face plate have been rubbed a bit and need a touch-up or on Inferno’s left shoulder there’s a little bit of red paint/scuff mark on the grey shoulder part. These are minor nitpicks, but sour my confidence in Takara Tomy with each new release I receive.

ARTICULATION
Inferno has a lot of thoughtful articulation, some of it because of the transformation technique and some of it is just designed that way. He has lots of satisfying ratchet joints that make you feel confident that he will hold the pose and not have much trouble with his joints loosening up over time. Even though these Transformers look great in the heroic “museum pose” as seen in some of my photos you can still get very dynamic poses with Inferno if you want and he still looks great doing it and doesn’t look awkward.

ACCESSORIES
Inferno comes stacked with oodles of accessories Takara Tomy shows everyone how it’s done (Bandai and Hot Toys, I’m looking at you) with useful and even cartoon episode-specific accessories. I had a lot of fun playing around with the many different chest pieces and hand/arm blaster combinations you can have. The options are almost endless and you can find a mix your happy with (to make it clear as if it’s not already, my go to is: animation model head and toy truck parts for the chest and arm). Plenty of posing options with the water spray effect for example.
I’m really satisfied with the amount of accessories Takara Tomy have done an excellent job here.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
Besides minor paint app and factory molding clean up issues Inferno is pretty much problem free. I guess try not to loose some of those small accessories by keeping them in the box and all that jazz.

PRICE
Amazon JP had a great price for Inferno of 11,990 Yen and this was me being late to the pre-order party too (not so for MP Megatron ;) ) Most other retailers will have him for this price or around that depending on exchange rate, so shop around if you feel the need to. Just pay a price you are happy with, but he’s really an awesome figure so he’s easily worth it.

 

OVERALL
Inferno definitely lives up to the title of “Masterpiece” he is another great example of how far Takara Tomy have come with their MP line since it was rebooted and another great addition to my ever growing Masterpiece display, his larger bulk and height make him tower above the standard Autobot cars and he commands my attention when I glance over at the display. With Grapple on the way, the Decepticons are starting to look a bit out numbered!

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The Road Rage Transformer character first appeared as a 2002 e-HOBBY exclusive with the red coloration being based off one of the pre-Transformers line, Diaclone variants of the Tracks mold.  Originally sold with the Skids repaint, Crosscut, she is his bodyguard and advisor as well as a diplomat and apparently goes from cheery and polite in robot mode to angry and reckless in vehicle mode.

 Road_rage_MP_robot_01

Name: Road Rage
Line: Transformers Masterpiece
Manufacturer: TAKARA TOMY
Released:
2015
Price: 4,500 YEN
Scale: Roughly 18 cm in height
Accessories: Rifle, Twincast (Blaster) boombox, Grille-gun

Road_rage_MP_robot_02 

Road Rage is the first female Autobot to appear in the Masterpiece series of Transformers. I was particularly looking forward to receiving this figure partly due to that fact and partly because you can never have enough female Transformers.

I did have one on pre-order, but as perusal for me, I just happened to be going to Japan when she was going to be released. So I canceled my pre-order (it was in USD after all and the Aussie dollar has always been a bit stronger against the Yen) and decided to take my chances in Japan.

As luck would have it Amazon JP had her on sale well below the US and Australian sellers ( unlike a lot of these local sellers, if you have to move something in Japan, you have to move it any way you can) at a steal of 4,500 Yen which still made her a great bargain. (I’m really starting to think she wasn’t that popular in Japan and perhaps everywhere, unfortunately)

So along with bargain-basement prices for Exhaust and Star Saber I was sitting pretty and fast catching up on my needed MPs. (Inferno should hopefully go the same way, fingers crossed)

Road_rage_MP_car_01

SCULPTING

Takara Tomy on the whole do a great, if not excellent job with their Masterpiece figures. Both the officially licensed car and robot itself. What I love even more about Road Rage is, unlike the G1 version of her, this one has changed arms (biceps), hands, legs and groin as well as a new head and details on the chest piece when compared to Tracks.

It really helps to drive home that this is a different character, even if it uses most of the same mold as the Tracks version and helps evoke the feminine aspects of the character, that is still a kick-ass heroic Autobot warrior.

One complaint I have is with the neck on of the figure, there’s no way to attach it to the chest, so it kinda just floats there and the slightest touch moves it down where it appears awkward to look at.

The car mode is also great! I happened to, by chance, see someone driving this style of classic Corvette around my neighborhood on the weekend and I must say in my amateur opinion, they have done an excellent job, of recreating the car for this figure, without sacrificing details in either mode.

Road_rage_MP_robot_03

PAINT

Road Rage’s paint application is up to a very high standard for what you would expect from a “Masterpiece”  series of figures, you’ll find no slop here, it’s all very clean and crisp.

Paint has been also kept to a minimum as well as I would say it’s mainly used for details.

Road_rage_MP_car_02

ARTICULATION

Road Rage has the exact same articulation as Tracks and some of it stems from the transformation sequence more then anything else. But the figure has the usual articulation in robot mode you would expect: Ball jointed head, hinge/swivel arms and hips, hinge knees and hinge/swivel ankles.

That’s a brief summary of the basics, but even things like the wings, shoulder missiles and hands can all be turned and posed to some extent.

Sometimes parts of the robot or “kible” get in the way, but that’s always the trade off with figures like this.

Road_rage_MP_robot_04

Road_rage_MP_car_03

ACCESSORIES

She’s a little light on accessories, but I think you couldn’t really give her much more then a gun and the parts to make her flying car mode. The addition of Twincast (Blaster) is welcome and unlike Tracks she comes with the toy’s version of Track’s rifle which is a bit unwieldy, but looks mighty impressive in her hands.

The detail on all these parts is great! Especially the standout for me, the rifle itself! I won’t really be using anything else included with her.

Road_rage_MP_robot_05

Road_rage_MP_car_04

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Hardly anything to watch out for, pretty solid figure, which is well made and quite durable. Perhaps you might get a bad paint app on the face? My pet peeve with all my Takara purchases, most of the time, but thankfully not this one!

Road_rage_MP_car_05

Road_rage_MP_0009

PRICE

As stated earlier, I paid a great price of 4,500 Yen for Road Rage, but the ball park price is going to be around $60 – $80 in most currencies. It really comes down a few factors to decide if you want this figure or not, mainly being: if you like obscure G1 characters, red Corvettes or female Autobots to warrant buying the same mold again, if you have Tracks already and for me, I do love me some female Autobots!

Road_rage_MP_robot_06

OVERALL

This is another great addition to the Masterpiece series of Transformers it’s a fantastic use of the Tracks mold to create a character that is different, to Tracks but also shares a lot of similarities with him too. If you are on the fence, I would suggest she’s worth picking up, even for the sole reason of adding a female Autobot to your Masterpiece ranks. She more than holds her own next to the Wheeljacks and Sideswipes among others on my Masterpiece display self.

Road_rage_MP_robot_07

 

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