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View Full Version : Masterpiece--Hasbro or Takara Deco?


Knightdramon
2013-03-16, 02:49 PM
Was fiddling around with my MP figures [last few figures I still have on display] a while ago, and started thinking that ever since Starscream, both companies have a sort of "evil" vibe around these decos; each company [generally] produces a different deco for each release, still identifiable as each character but different enough to warrant double dipping. I, too, have fallen victim to that scheme.

So which deco do you prefer? Price is of much secondary value on the question, it can be brought up, especially as later MPs are so much more expensive and expansive.

MP01: There's a lot of ways to make a predominantly red and blue Optimus look different enough, and some of them suck bad. Takara's original release is still the best. Deep red, glossy sparkle blue and metallic gray are offset only by that stupid GRAY gun. The hasbro releases either had stupid "battle damage" and correct riffle colour, or very light colours [DVD Anniversary release with base] and a blue riffle.

MP02 Magnus: No hasbro release to compare.

MP03-MP11 Starscream: Goes without saying, MP11 Starscream. Takara's greenscream would get second place, just because it's a kickass deco in my opinion, but the plastic used on him is VERY fragile and breaks easily. Hasbro's white SS release is more durable, but not at all show accurate in any way.

MP05 Megatron: No hasbro release to compare.

MP06 Skywarp: This is more or less where hasbro decided to stick to toy accurate decos. Takara's Skywarp has glossy paint ALL over him, tampographs and silver painted on, while Hasbro's has flat colours. Takara has red eyes [much nicer], but hasbro has better alternative faces, even with the yellow eyes. Still, takara for me, even if mine broke nevertheless.

MP07 Thundercracker-TRU Thundercracker: TRU [the more recent US release] for me. MP07 has mould issues [wrong assembly on intakes, too much flash] and the blue is very dull. TRU has the refined mould [much better headsculpt] and a very, very nice shine to the blue.

MP08 Grimlock: *NOT* counting the MP08X version from takara, just regular retail. Takara wins for me, only because it doesn't have those stupid tampographs on his arms and legs. Yes they try to emulate the G1 stickers, but look very forced. Don't believe I'd say it, but I prefer the dino apron and drinks to the crown.

MP09 Rodimus: Mmmmhm. Very flawed releases no matter which side of the ocean you're buying yours. Strictly deco wise, I'm torn. Takara is WONDERFULLY show accurate, hasbro has some nice, deep colours for a change. I very, very much prefer Hasbro's Rodimus mode than takara's. Hasbro even has some nice extras as an all new matrix and an MP Targetmaster. There's times where I wish for some BLACK boots on my hasbro, but then I look at G1/G2 Comics and see my Hot Rod colours in them [more or less].

MP10 Prime: I prefer the darker colours of takara's. The eyes don't matter that much to me, neither do the painted cab lights that were always red on the cartoon. All silver Roller is nicer for me, and call me pickey, but I prefer the painted silver interior of the trailer to the gray of hasbro's.

MP12-14 Sideswipe and Red Alert: No Hasbro versions, and probably never will be.

MP13 Soundwave: Yellow visor on hasbro's is on the toy and G1 comics, red is from the cartoon. Once stock pictures of hasbro's version pop up, if indeed the only difference in finish is the visor, and hasbro's has all 5 cassetes in unaltered decos [Takara buzzsaw seems to have additional dial details in tape mode] with Frenzy\Rumble weapons, then sorry, a single line of yellow instead of red is not worth 200 USD more. If you missed initial SW preorders and the cassetes, you're looking at about 300 plus USD of merchandise instead of 100-150 for the hasbro version. Over a visor.

What are your preferred decos?

Blackjack
2013-03-16, 03:32 PM
MP07 Thundercracker-TRU Thundercracker: TRU [the more recent US release] for me. MP07 has mould issues [wrong assembly on intakes, too much flash] and the blue is very dull. TRU has the refined mould [much better headsculpt] and a very, very nice shine to the blue.

Mmm, admittedly Hasbro's Thundercracker has a nicer shine to the blue, but the random Soundwave and Reflector tampographs are ridiculous...

For the rest of the Masterpieces, I more or less agree with your points.

Dammit Soundwave :(

Denyer
2013-03-16, 04:48 PM
Didn't think much of the battle damage on the original Prime, but other than that haven't paid a great deal of attention to differences in releases (for any of the figures) -- got some repro smokestacks but otherwise like the anniversary edition of MP-01.

Hasbro Skywarp was an Argos bargain; Takara Grimlock was a gift, Megs is Japan-only, and as you say Sideswipe may not be a Western release because of licensing. I've recently snagged a damaged Hasbro Rodimus to see what I can do with.

Certainly at this price point getting duplicates of moulds isn't appealing; they're not exactly great value.

Skyquake87
2013-03-16, 05:24 PM
Well the only two MPs I have are Grimlock and Skywarp. As with Denyer, Skywarp was an Argos bargain at 20. I did at one point own the Takara version, which whilst it did have a nice glossy black finish didn't really seem quite right, but then that's probably because I adore Skywarp's colours, realism be damned!

As for Grimlock, well I hadn't honestly paid much attention the differences between 'Apron' Grimmy and 'King' Grimmy. I like the Hasbro version. The tampographs are nice and neat, and I always liked the extra detailing these lent to a group of bots that would otherwise be very grey.

I did also own the Hasbro 20th MP Prime (with the battle damage), and whilst I wasn't keen on the needless black splodges, the biggest kicker for me was the rubbishy small smokestacks. I really would like to know what risk to life and limb long smokestacks cause, its just silly!

Knightdramon
2013-03-16, 06:36 PM
Curious---why do people dislike the gloss black paint on Skywarp? He's black\gray ish one way or another mates, it's not like one version is green and the other is black :swirly:

Thankfully the weird patterns on Thundercracker and the tampographs are not visible in robot mode; just jet mode flavour.

All this talk about the US MP Skywarp gets me thinking about shelling out for one; my Takara version is forever stuck in jet mode unless I like him with one arm. I'd feel very stupid though if either hasbro or takara came out with an MP11 mould Skywarp.

As for Grimlock, bleh. I like the silver on his thighs here (http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/toys/masterpiece/grimlock/2299/1/104/), but not on his arms or crotch. Strangely enough Takara made sure Grimlock could be either G1 toy or cartoon accurate; both modes have red AND blue eyes. It'd be supreme if they could have made MP Soundwave like that from the get-go!

Warcry
2013-03-16, 07:17 PM
Mmm, admittedly Hasbro's Thundercracker has a nicer shine to the blue, but the random Soundwave and Reflector tampographs are ridiculous...
This...

Didn't think much of the battle damage on the original Prime
...and this too. Both deco choices really go against the whole purpose of a "Masterpiece" figure in my opinion. If I'm spending Masterpiece money on an Optimus I want it to be pristine, not to look like it's been through decades of abuse. And I certainly don't want ugly in-joke tampographs or Joe Kyde's name scrawled all over a $70 seeker toy.

Green Starscream was also hugely silly, since it looked more like a generic seeker than the character it was meant to be.

Rodimus is probably the only one where the changes between versions made much difference to me from a buying perspective, though. The grey boots on Takara's release can't hold a candle to Hasbro's replication of the original toy's stickers -- I was pretty indifferent to the Takara version, but Hasbro's deco sold me right away. I was so stoked when I first saw that Hasbro had gone the toy-accurate route because my old TM Hot Rod toy was easily the most played-with toy from my childhood and so Hot Rod's legs are always going to be red with silver stripes and chevrons to me.

On the other hand, Takara's version makes for a much better Rodimus Prime -- the deco and also the fact that he's got the trailer. If the mold wasn't such a poorly-engineered piece of garbage I'd be tempted to own one of each so I could have good-looking representations of both aspects of my favourite character, but it so I'll make do with my giant, awesome-looking Targetmaster Hot Rod (with repaired shoulder).

Other than that, honestly, I don't notice much difference between the different releases. Soundwave's yellow eyes don't match with the blue quite as nicely as Takara's red, but it's such a minor detail that I probably won't even notice it if/when I get the chance to buy him.

Skyquake87
2013-03-16, 10:57 PM
Curious---why do people dislike the gloss black paint on Skywarp? He's black\gray ish one way or another mates, it's not like one version is green and the other is black :swirly:

I suppose with the ethos of replicating the original, childhood favourite the Hasbro deco of Skywarp nails it much better - the purple tailfins, the silver / purple stripes on the wings along with honking great tampographs. They do bugger all for realism, which i think is where Takara's choice of colour palettes were coming from, at least initially.

Heinrad
2013-03-16, 11:34 PM
Personally, I like the Hasbro releases.

That being said, I've only got the 20th Anniversary Prime and the SDCC release of Hot Rod. I like the deco on both of them, though the production quality seems to have nosedived between the two figures. There's a lot of lovely engineering on Hot Rod, but they should have used metal, not plastic.

Knightdramon
2013-03-19, 10:36 PM
Don't think many issues on Rodimus would be fixed by using die cast. Seems like from Starscream and onwards they concentrated die-cast metal on things that helped the figure, instead of just using it for the sake of using it.

All this talk about MP Skywarp [US version] and I'm stuck with a broken JP version...if somebody is willing to unload one, hit me up...

numbat
2013-03-20, 09:14 AM
I don't own a huge number of Masterpiece figures, although that collection has expanded a lot in the last few months.

Most of the MP figures (Takara and Hasbro versions) have been released when I was financially insecure, so couldn't drop the dosh on them (I came close to the 20 MP Skywarp, but decided against it). So that's let me consider both Hasbro and Takara versions when backfilling the new version of Prime and Starscream.

Unlike a lot of people here, I prefer show accuracy than G1 toy accuracy though, in terms of deco - but a bit of detailing upgrade does not go amiss!

In terms of what I own:

- MP-04 Convoy: Takara, and I really could never have seen myself buying the Hasbro versions. They looked much poorer in comparison. I'm glad I got the money together just as they released the version with the trailer, as it is iconic, even if proportionately over-priced. Shame it lacks Roller. No interest in a black version, or the silly white 'Ultra Magnus'.

- MP-05 Megatron: Takara, but there's no Hasbro version. Very much looking forward to replacing this guy with an update whenever they get round to it. Although I loved him when I got him, his terrible quality has meant he's since rusted and his joints have become so loose in his arms, waist and hips he can't stand unaided without his fusion cannon - let alone with it!

- Hasbro Masterpiece Prime: Hasbro's version of MP-10. I pondered this for a long time, but I preferred Hasbro's brighter colours (they're not as bright as people make out sometimes!) and the bright blue eyes. Takara's eyes are just too dark on Prime. I also prefer blue Roller, and having the cab lights painted. I'd be lying if I said the 70-100 price difference didn't influence me at all, but frankly I'd have gone for this version anyway (my mind had been set and I was searching for one before they were released in the UK (at which point the Takara and Hasbro versions were fetching the same prices) - thank the Great Mongoose I hadn't committed to buy a 200 one on eBay first!). I agree the dull grey inside the trailer is a drawback, but given how rarely I ever open the thing I much prefer the better robot deco for my money! No interest in a black version.

- MP-11 Starscream: Takara version. Again, I'm glad I wasn't able to buy any of the previous versions as this to me is totally definitive. The remoulded legs are great, the deco beats the previous Hasbro version (which I would probably have gone for had I the money at the time), and the crown and cape rock! Starscream has a lot of sentimental connections for me (my first ever Decepticon toy as a child), so he's always the one I'd want meaning I can't compare with the Hasbro Thundercracker of the same mould (in fact, Thundercracker was always my least favourite Seeker...). No interest in a minor character like Sunstorm at this price point.

- MP-12 Lambour: Takara version, but there is no Hasbro one and is unlikely to be. Never cared for Red Alert, and Tigertrack is way too random at this price point for me to consider.

- MP-13 Soundwave: Bought before Hasbro version was announced, but I'm glad of it for the red eyes. That is actually a big deal for me, and if I had the choice of the two, and enough money, I would probably have tried to track down the Takara version. But for all I know the cost to import to the UK may be similar for both, and he may never see a UK release. I hope he does though - it's a great mould and people deserve the chance to own him at an affordable price! In that case, I would probably have gone for the Hasbro version even with yellow eyes - but it would niggle me.

In terms of ones I don't own:

- MP Grimlock: I just want one damn it! Don't care which!

- MP Rodimus: Much prefer the Takara deco, and would want the trailer, but also want the Target Master... I would pick the Takara version though, but only if there were no major QC issues. At these prices I would be devastated if the toy broke as easily as he does. I guess I'm waiting for another reissue, or for someone I trust with one in perfect nick to want to sell it to me... No interest in a random black version.

Knightdramon
2013-03-20, 10:19 AM
In terms of ones I don't own:

- MP Grimlock: I just want one damn it! Don't care which!

- MP Rodimus: Much prefer the Takara deco, and would want the trailer, but also want the Target Master... I would pick the Takara version though, but only if there were no major QC issues. At these prices I would be devastated if the toy broke as easily as he does. I guess I'm waiting for another reissue, or for someone I trust with one in perfect nick to want to sell it to me... No interest in a random black version.

Grimlock's takara version is reissued by hasbro asia this year, costs around 200 USD. Around as much as aftermarket prices, to be honest. If you have that amount of cash to spare summertime, he's yours.

The ideal combo for Rodimus would be a good, working hasbro version with a takara trailer. I stupidly sold my trailer last year.

inflatable dalek
2013-03-20, 04:59 PM
I suppose with the ethos of replicating the original, childhood favourite the Hasbro deco of Skywarp nails it much better - the purple tailfins, the silver / purple stripes on the wings along with honking great tampographs. They do bugger all for realism, which i think is where Takara's choice of colour palettes were coming from, at least initially.

I also think that people are going to be especially fussy about the Seekers colours being exactly right to their preconceived notions because the colours are the only real way to tell them apart. There's probably more leeway in what folks expect from Prime or Grimlock.

As a random thought, why have we never had a Conehead Masterpiece? I'd have thought at least one of them would be the more obvious choice before the likes of Sun and Acid Storm. Is it just impossible to do either version of the mould with the cone up? Whilst that's an understandable oversight for the first version which likely wasn't intended to be repainted so many times it's odd they didn't take it into account with the revamp.

Warcry
2013-03-20, 06:06 PM
As a random thought, why have we never had a Conehead Masterpiece? I'd have thought at least one of them would be the more obvious choice before the likes of Sun and Acid Storm. Is it just impossible to do either version of the mould with the cone up?
It's definitely possible, because iGear or someone did a set of bootleg MP Coneheads a few years ago. But I think they're trying to squeeze as much cash out of the unmodified mold as possible before they invest in retooling, since Ramjet, Thrust and Dirge would all require unique tooling that really couldn't be used for anyone else.

I wouldn't be surprised to see them fairly soon, though. What else is left to repaint the unmodified MP mold into? G2 Starscream isn't exactly highly regarded. The lavender generic seekers, maybe? Though I don't think a $70 army-builder is a great idea.

Knightdramon
2013-03-20, 09:39 PM
I'm in the camp that thinks an accurate conehead [ANY of them] requires so major retooling that it's not feasible for C grade characters.

Wings, tailfins, backpack, heads, even the entire nosecone mechanism if they don't want to cheat, has to be remoulded with each character. Sunstorm and Acidstorm are straight up repaints with changes in the deco.

Denyer
2013-03-20, 09:55 PM
Wings, tailfins, backpack, heads, even the entire nosecone mechanism if they don't want to cheat,
Given the proclivity for white Prime = Magnus, I doubt it'll hold them back.

The Reverend
2013-03-22, 02:53 PM
- MP Rodimus: Much prefer the Takara deco, and would want the trailer, but also want the Target Master... I would pick the Takara version though, but only if there were no major QC issues.

I bought the (version 2) Takara Rodimus and picked up Hasbro's Targetmaster (by itself) on Ebay for a small price.

Knightdramon
2013-03-24, 09:51 AM
Picking a V2.0 off ebay is not as easy, I've passed through countless auctions with no picture of the bottom of the box where the batch code is tampographed. Unless you ask the seller and he knows what you're talking about.

Issues are unfortunately creeping on the V2.0 as well, aren't they?

The Reverend
2013-03-24, 04:02 PM
The V2 still has some semblance of the spoiler issue, yes. The slot on the trailer's been widened, but it still scrapes. Shins pop off now instead of breaking off, but they don't always stay in their proper positions. The retooled tabs/clips in his torso are definitely improved, though it takes some getting used to learn how not to accidentally dislodge them when posing the figure.

The Big Ragebowski
2013-04-01, 05:54 PM
I only got into collecting MP's in December, and so far have Sideswipe, Soundwave, the cassettes and Prime.

I much prefer the colours on Hasbro Prime despite the majority of fans seemingly prefering the Takara version. And for a much bargain price, so much so I've picked 2 up from Toys R Us this weekend :)

Preordered Prowl/Bluestreak/Smokescreen/Tigertrack - annoyed with myself for not picking up Red Alert along with Sideswipe but hey ho :)

As for the jets, been debating this for a while, whether to go for Takara or Hasbro - was thinking of Skywarp and thundercracker hasbro versions, Sunstorm takara and picking up Acid Storm in the US when I go in September (hopefully he'll be released by then,might also pick up a hasbro Soundwave set for a full comparison too :)) with Starscream though it's a bit trickier, the takara one doesn't look like Starscream in jet mode, the colours seem very off, so still a little confused there.

Did I read somewhere that Grimlock will be rereleased this year?? Is this true? If so I'm gonna bag me a Grimmy! :) hopefully we'll see Slag and Swoop released as well, at a further push maybe also Snarl and Sludge!

I doubt I will pick up a Megs unless there's a reissue, or if I can pick one up in Vegas in September.

Knightdramon
2013-04-01, 07:04 PM
Takara's MP11 looks identical to Starscream. It's the white and the green MP03 versions that look off.

Red Alert's aces. Pick any cars you can now because I don't see them ever coming out in the US. Too many licensing issues for hasbro.

Grimlock will see a hasbro asia release in June\July, priced around 220 USD. Generally I despise hasbro asia releases [not to be confused with takara]. They look for hot aftermarket items [classics ultra magnus, energon bruticus etc] and release them for about 10 USD less than they cost on ebay. Really, no semblance of price. Grimlock shouldn't cost more than 160 USD with is japanese retail price at the moment.

And...Leeds huh? Seems like we'll be "neighbours" pretty soon!

Denyer
2013-04-01, 07:14 PM
****ing hell, looking at eBay I should've snagged the rest of the MP Grimlocks before TRU clearanced them...

The Big Ragebowski
2013-04-01, 09:20 PM
Takara's MP11 looks identical to Starscream. It's the white and the green MP03 versions that look off.

Grimlock will see a hasbro asia release in June\July, priced around 220 USD. Generally I despise hasbro asia releases. Grimlock shouldn't cost more than 160 USD with is japanese retail price at the moment.

And...Leeds huh? Seems like we'll be "neighbours" pretty soon!

Looks like I'll be hunting down an MP11 :)

Aaand Grimlock is on the cards for me then too :)

Yup, Leeds it is, you moving here?

Knightdramon
2013-04-01, 09:48 PM
Yeah, Takara Grimlock has a big [too big, actually] box and a fun apron and disk tray that not everybody uses. I like it personally. Hasbro version is now around the same price, and as I've stated in my first post, has sucky paint apps!

York, will be moving there in a bit more than a month. I hear it's the next city or something next to Leeds, right? Not to hijack my own thread, but I was told early on that maybe I should move to Leeds since it's a bigger city.

The Big Ragebowski
2013-04-01, 11:12 PM
Both are nice cities, more familiar with Leeds than York, it's not too far away. Welcome to the neighbourhood! :) Will you be working in York?

Skyquake87
2013-04-02, 08:10 AM
York is about 20 mins from Leeds on the train. Leeds probably isn't that much bigger than York physically, but packs a lot into its small city centre. York definitely looks nicer though, thanks to all the history and walls and stuff. Leeds is a thrusting modern conurbation with a dreadful mix of lovely old architecture and ugly tower blocks and the latest addition ... a ridiculous shopping centre with three glass bowl roof sections with gaps between each which means that in a heavy downfall, you'll get soaked! hooray.

Knightdramon
2013-04-02, 07:33 PM
Hope to work in York so that I won't have to move [geographically] far away from my sister in case of any emergency.

As far as I remember [visited there 12 years ago] it was really nice, but I'm, not coming there for sightseeing, I need to work :lol:

TF-wise, I'm unloading MP Soundwave to save up for the US\UK TRU release; so let's hope he gets over sooner rather than later!!

Skyquake87
2013-04-03, 08:31 AM
There are three TRU's in shouting distance of Leeds - one up at Birstall (bus from outside the train station), one in Bradford (train ride away) and one in Wakefield (train ride away) so I'm sure you'll find one - as and when it turns up. If it turns up.