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Blackjack
2013-05-23, 11:58 AM
So, in Japan, instead of 'Beast Hunters', they are getting 'Transformers Go', starring a bunch of all-new, Japanese exclusive samurai combiner team and apparently repaints of the Predacon dragons that the Beast Hunter line got.

Their Generations toyline equivalent are also getting 'Senator Ratbat', a retool of Generations Scourge as a homage of the oft-seen bipedal Ratbat design in the comics.

Also, Masterpiece Tigertrack, a repaint of Masterpiece Sideswipe in homage of former Takara Toyshop exclusive Tigertrack (which in turn is a homage to the Diaclone toy Sideswipe is repainted from).

Pictures link to Seibertron:

Kenzan, the police car: (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369271664_1.jpg)

Jinbu, the jet: (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369271664_2.jpg)

Gan'o, the fire truck (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369271664_3.jpg). The three robots can combine into a gestalt with any of them as the top, although no picture is shown. Each of them will apparently be around the size of Voyager class Beast Hunters Optimus Prime.

Gaidora (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369271664_4.jpg), a retool of Lazerback from Beast Hunters with a new robot mode head and Ripclaw's paintjob. Also a few Arms Microns, but nobody cares about them.

Takara's version of Fall of Cybertron Grimlock (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369271664_5.jpg), as well as the aforementioned Senator Ratbat.

Masterpiece Tigertrack, as well as Takara's Fall of Cybertron Metroplex (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369271664_6.jpg)... which comes with two guns and features much more gray and eliminates much of the red in the robot mode for some reason. EDIT: It's apparently a prototype, and the finished product will feature all the red like the Hasbro one.

Springer85
2013-05-23, 12:45 PM
Jinbu the jet reminds me a little of that Gobots character Fitor. Could be a nice repaint :)

Knightdramon
2013-05-23, 08:55 PM
Tigertrack is really, really plain. Meh. Money saved I guess.

The GO combiner bots are neat and meaty, bigger than current voyagers. Their combined form should be a sight to behold. Police car seems to suffer the least from being a combiner, the other two have weird legs.

The repaint of Lazerback adds to my suspicions that no other Predacons bar Predaking will make it into the show. Why else would they completely repaint and remould all the Predacons?

The Big Ragebowski
2013-05-23, 09:31 PM
I'm actually loving Tigertrack! Makes me feel better about selling my ehobby version for this :)

Blackjack
2013-05-24, 08:48 AM
I agree with Knightdramon -- Tigertrack certainly looks very plain, especially compared to Sideswipe and Red Alert... or even fellow yellow Lamborghini Sunstreaker.

Yeah, every other toy Predacon -- Lazerback, Ripclaw, Grimwing, Skystalker and the Terrorcons -- are being repainted and released in Japan with different names. Shame, since I was expecting some if not all of them to appear in the show.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-24, 12:20 PM
That Ratbat is way more awesome than it has any right to be.

Blackjack
2013-05-24, 03:58 PM
Stock photography of the Samurai robots, basically larger versions of the photos from the scans above:
Here (http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/news/official-images-takara-tomy-transformers-go-g01-through-g04-and-new-campaign-microns/27363/)

We're also getting three new Arms Microns, those build-it-yourself kits that came with the Japanese version of the Transformers Prime toyline. Namely from top to bottom:
-Kenzan's partner 'Ken', a clear repaint of L.P. who came with Leo Prime
-Jinbu's partner 'Jin', a clear repaint of S.2. who came with Smokescreen
-Gan'o's partner 'Gan', a clear repaint of Sao who came with Swerve

Image (http://tf.takaratomy.co.jp/toy/event/2013/05/24/go/samurai_cpimage.jpg)

Also, with another toyline comes yet another exclusive repaint of another Micron, this time the Optimus-Prime-turns-into-Optimus-Prime's-gun we had some time back.
Image ("http://tf.takaratomy.co.jp/toy/event/2013/05/15/go/TF_S-OP_CP.JPG"
)

Knightdramon
2013-05-24, 04:07 PM
That Ratbat also looks suspiciously more matte than the GLOSSY wonder we've had on pictures since now.

It's not the first time this has happened though. Terrorcon Cliffjumper, regular Cliffjumper are victims of this as well.

Springer85
2013-05-25, 01:00 PM
A better pic of Tigertrack in an ebay auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/230986543731

Blackjack
2013-05-28, 07:34 AM
Bunch of news from an interview courtesy of Seibertron and Autobase Aichi (http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/news/figure-king-184-masterpiece-encore-and-more-updates/27377/):

The catchy Samurai motif of the Transformers Go! combiners used to appeal to Takara's own consumers.

The headsculpts of the three new Go! toys were each based on a specific Japanese Samurai stereotype. Kenzan (the police car) is modeled after a typical Samurai warrior with a top-knot, Jinbu (the yellow jet) is based on an armored Samurai with a Kabuto helmet, and Gan'ō (the fire truck) is designed after a Sohei, or "warrior monk".

The new headsculpt of Gaidōra (Lazerback remold) is based on an Oni, a breed of monster from Japanese folklore.

Generations Grimlock and Ratbat will be released in June

Encore Fortress Maximus has surpassed sales expections so hopefully there will be more Encores to come.

The delay of MP Prowl and Streak is due to Takara receiving more orders than they expected.

MP Smokescreen will be revealed soon with design differences.

Takara-Tomy is working on getting more car manufacturers to license their designs for future Masterpieces.

There will be a significant announcement at the Tokyo Toy Show June 15-16.

For sale at the Tokyo Toy show will be the first 3 Transformers Go! combiner bots, as well as Masterpiece Tigertrack with non-chrome version of Amazon Japans MP Lambor pile drivers.

TG-23 Metroplex will have different paint applications from U.S. version and feature 2 guns compared to the 1 that Hasbro's version has.

Mcdonalds is set to run another Transformers Happy Meal promotion on June 21st

Personally, while I'm not sure that the Encore and Masterpieces are selling so hotly, I'm all up for more of both series, so I'm wishing the best for both of them. I know I've got my Prowl pre-ordered.

Knightdramon
2013-05-28, 08:09 AM
MP figures are sold out, but because they receive a more limited production run, not because they're wildly popular in Japan.

Hopefully extra units available on both Prowl and Streak means that most fans can avoid the clusterf*ck that was Sideswipe, Soundwave and the tapes. I personally got VERY lucky on Sideswipe, didn't have an issue getting Soundwave, but was royally f*cked over the cassettes.

Looking forward to Smokescreen. Though I'm beginning to question my preorders. Prowl is Prowl, that's enough for me, Smokescreen is going to be an awesome rally variant...so where does that leave Streak? Not in such a good position, in my books.

Can't wait for the significant announcement. It could probably be Encore series-relevant [Scorponok? Overlord? The dinobots?] but in the case it's MP20 or something, consider me happy.

Just so we're on the same page, hints and whatnot have the following VERY probable for the MP series: MP Bruticus [yeah], Galvatron, Magnus, Megatron and Mirage. Not counting Smokescreen because he's more or less announced.

Blackjack
2013-05-30, 03:14 PM
Thanks to Seibertron, we've got images of the Ninja Combiner Team from Transformers Go, consisting of Gekisomaru (lion), Hishomaru (bird) and Sensuimaru (shark). Like the samurai squad, they can combine into three different robot configurations. Included in the picture is artwork using Lionmaru as the head.

Images (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369917734_981942_656211644404614_1290840786_o.jpg)

Robotkingdom also has an Asia-exclusive Premim Series movie-verse Brawl, an expensive touched-up version of the leader class Brawlvastator toy from the 2007 movie.

Images link to Seibertron:
Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369919620_1.jpg)
Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369919620_2.jpg)
Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369919620_3.jpg)
Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1369919620_4.jpg)

Blackjack
2013-06-03, 03:07 PM
Not toys this time, but rather the anime of Transformers Go!, Japan exclusive for now... credits to Seibertron for translating, so I'm going to mirror everything from there.

Takara Tomy have updated their Transformers Go! website with nice clear images of the upcoming Autobot combiner teams. The Samurai team of Kenzan, Jinbu, and Ganou are shown in all three of their combined modes. The Ninja team of Gekisomaru, Hishomaru, and Sensuimaru are only shown in one of combined form, with the other two to be revealed later.

The banner image shows the two human children characters holding Generations Data Discs, which will be known as "Legendisks" in the animation. From what we know of the Transformers Go! plot the Predacons can be sealed away in these "Legendisks", so they will likely be seen in the animation as a capture device. The two combiner teams were left on Earth to track down the remaining Predacons with the help of their human companions.


Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_1.jpg)
Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_2.jpg)
Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_3.jpg)
Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_4.jpg)
Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_5.jpg)

Blackjack
2013-06-06, 04:20 PM
Takara designer Hisashi Yuki's Twitter (https://twitter.com/TFYUKI) account reveals some pictures of Generations Senator Ratbat, including a closer look at Ratbat's IDW-based headsculpt, and his own fanmade 'bat' mode for the toy best left forgotten.

EDIT: Linking pictures from Twitter didn't work, so I'm going to once more mirror the pictures off Seibertron.

Image 1 (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370526196_2.jpg)
Image 2 (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370526196_3.jpg)
Image 3 (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370526196_1.jpg)

Blackjack
2013-06-07, 01:33 PM
Again from Hisashi Yuki are pictures of the blinged-out Generations TG-19 Grimlock, including one extremely adorable picture:
Image 1 (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370611453_1.jpg)
Image 2 (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370611453_2.jpg)
Image 3 (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370611453_3.jpg)

inflatable dalek
2013-06-07, 03:09 PM
The bat mode is, if nothing else, a valiant if doomed attempt...

Blackjack
2013-06-10, 03:09 PM
Buncha new news from one of Takara Tomy's (http://blog.yahoo.com/_ED274AZGFINLESDVVHRADMVIMU/articles/1246563/index) blogs:

Our first look at Masterpiece Smokescreen (http://blog.yimg.com/3/KU30HdR7s591rrb7TQPW5.jNvUzE.V0g7qYksmzQJwq.Cq5Pxb_qug--/96/l/cpGBqlh_B.j6e49gKonPNQ.jpg), who will apparently feature, among others, a retooled front bumper, retooled shoulders (Prowl and Bluestreak have the wheels on the back of the shoulders) and different shoulder missile things to be more cartoon accurate.

Two-pack of IDW Optimus and Megatron. (http://blog.yimg.com/3/KU30HdR7s591rrb7TQPW5.jNvUzE.V0g7qYksmzQJwq.Cq5Pxb_qug--/97/l/F6959b1oWXr4PFinH83WDA.jpg)

And apparently a reissue of Masterpiece Soundwave (http://blog.yimg.com/3/KU30HdR7s591rrb7TQPW5.jNvUzE.V0g7qYksmzQJwq.Cq5Pxb_qug--/95/l/t5UtmMBo_fbsPDFqlm1AvA.jpg) sometime this Fall.

Knightdramon
2013-06-10, 03:45 PM
If they're still available, you can preorder Smokescreen and/or Soundwave at AnimeExport for a ridiculous low price. You have to pay up front though except for the shipping charge.

Loving Smokescreen. Between Prowl being a favourite of mine and Smokescreen looking THIS retro and nifty, I have a bad feeling Silverstreak will be very overlooked.

EDIT: Nifty looking VS pack with Pax and Megatron, although it suffers from a mismatch; one's in his pre-Prime body while the other is in his state of the art deadly KILLER body.

Slayer-Fan123
2013-06-11, 06:11 AM
Not toys this time, but rather the anime of Transformers Go!, Japan exclusive for now... credits to Seibertron for translating, so I'm going to mirror everything from there.



http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_1.jpg
http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_2.jpg
http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_3.jpg
http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_4.jpg
http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1370267497_5.jpg
THREE different combined modes? That's some cool stuff right there!
Towards the post with the pictures of Grimlock, where did that Shockwave come from?
Last comment goes towards the Leader Class Brawl from the movie. I never got around to purchasing the first one when it came out, but I was pretty interested since, while the Deluxe was AMAZING, it was just fragile. How does it rate?

Cliffjumper
2013-06-11, 09:15 AM
Pretty colours as Smokescreens always have, but I don't like the retools personally.

Sunbow launchers? Thank God, that's saved me a fortune buying the thing.

Knightdramon
2013-06-11, 12:31 PM
They're optional on display. Looks like they tuck down on his back, behind the windshield.

The ones Smokescreen uses *could* be clip ons. Either way he should be compatible with the launchers Prowl and Streak use...but are amazon exclusives. The launchers ON the toys are fixed on.

Cliffjumper
2013-06-11, 01:23 PM
So if I buy two, I might be able to get one servicable figure? Bargain!

Knightdramon
2013-06-11, 04:04 PM
No. Even better.

Each Prowl or Streak comes with ONE amazon exclusive launcher.

So to get a set of two you'll have to...buy both figures but only have enough accessories to display one of them the "exclusive" way ;)

Blackjack
2013-06-11, 04:13 PM
What, seriously? Each toy only comes with one launcher? Didn't know that.

That's ridiculous.

Denyer
2013-06-11, 06:16 PM
Utterly pointless... there'll be third party alternatives before anyone can blink.

Knightdramon
2013-06-11, 06:39 PM
Yes, each toy comes with one exclusive launcher if you get it from amazon.

Just to clarify though, both Prowl and Streak have their own built in cannons, the extra amazon launchers are optional. Should be toy or comic book accurate, I guess?

And yes, there will be 3rd party chromed and die cast, maybe even working launchers. They did it for Soundwave's and Sideswipe's accessories.

Blackjack
2013-06-11, 06:43 PM
Ah, yeah... apparently each toy will have two in-built ugly cannons like these (http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m14/rctoys/Transformers/mp17_Prowl_zps533aec49.jpg).

And Amazon preorders get one of these (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/attach/4/0/5/9/7/71WZbaoR6AL_AA1100__1363897238.jpg) pretty ones.

The built-in ones are fairly horrid and I'm not sure what they're supposed to homage. The cartoon model doesn't really look like that... not with giant big gaping holes, anyway, while both the toy and modern comics are represented by the Amazon one.

Blackjack
2013-06-13, 02:27 PM
More Smokescreen (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1371129784_7.jpg)...

And more Metroplex (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1371054453_780734169.jpg)...

Knightdramon
2013-06-13, 03:10 PM
Prowl's packaging was also on display, but not Streak's.

Loving retro Smokescreen more and more.

Lots of new takara generations figures, though really expensive. Bumblebee, Pax vs Megatronus two pack [great paint on both], Trailbreaker with Hoist two pack [tiny picture, couldn't make out if there's any differences], the aforementioned Metroplex, Goldbug [listing only, no pictures].

If/when takara announces MP20 in the show on Friday/Saturday it'll make my day.

Any bets on who it'll be? I'm guessing Magnus [MP10 Cab with new trailer], Megatron V2.0 or Galvatron.

If it's something mundane like Soundblaster I'll cry.

Denyer
2013-06-13, 08:18 PM
Considering the only slight difference in price between importing the US and Japanese versions of Metroplex, that looks quite tempting.

Skyquake87
2013-06-13, 08:35 PM
Oh, I'd forgotten how I don't much care for Smokescreen's animation model. Shame, I like my original version and was interested to see how he would turn out as an MP. Metroplex looks better in these pics than in the previous shots seen, but I still have concerns about how solid this thing will be. Modern TFs are so hollow and cheap feeling, especially the current Generations stuff.

Blackjack
2013-06-15, 07:16 AM
Our next Masterpiece is....

-drumroll-

Generation Two Sideswipe!

G2 Sideswipe is based on his appearance in the G2 comics, with the spiky shoulder wheels and the two chunky Yaniger handguns. I do hope that he won't be entirely black as a final product, though.

Image (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1371263577_mp2.JPG)

Ryan F
2013-06-15, 01:38 PM
The Lambo is a great mould but I've already got Tigertrack on order and don't really need it a fourth time... I might have been tempted but I'm not feeing the colours on this guy. Shouldn't the crotch, legs and head be red?

Blackjack
2013-06-15, 03:33 PM
He's missing the red and neon green, yeah.

Denyer
2013-06-15, 04:39 PM
If they'd confirmed this during the shortages of the first one I'd have jumped at it.

BTW, I assume this means that Takara have negotiated ongoing use of the car model and that a rest-of-world release (for the original) might not be out of the question?

Ryan F
2013-06-15, 05:41 PM
If they'd confirmed this during the shortages of the first one I'd have jumped at it.

BTW, I assume this means that Takara have negotiated ongoing use of the car model and that a rest-of-world release (for the original) might not be out of the question?

AIUI, just because Takara have gotten the Lamborghini licence in the Far East, doesn't mean Hasbro can do the same in Europe and the USA. We'll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Denyer
2013-06-15, 05:50 PM
The rumour was that they'd withdrawn it completely, and no more use of the mould for anyone, IIRC. The fact they're still advertising Tigertrack and this is fairly positive.

Knightdramon
2013-06-16, 12:04 PM
Yeah that rumour was short-lived. Never taking that "informer's" word again, ever since he got MP10 and 11 correctly he's been nothing but bullshit all the time.

G2 Sideswipe won't get a separate designation/slot, he's just MP12G. Would like his robot parts being red/lime green though, as the original toy. Hopefully this is just a rough prototype. Definitely getting him though.

MP20 is said to be a car they originally had trouble getting the rights for, so watch out for Jazz/Wheeljack/Bumblebee and maybe Mirage.

Furthermore, they're conducting a poll for a future MP release based almost exclusively on Japanese leaders, from Fort Max to Galaxy Convoy. Including the beast leaders. Most people at tfw2005 just went mental at that thinking that TT betrayed their trust, slept with their mother and sacrificed their newborn to the jackals.

I am seeing this as a pretty sure way to get either a Fortress Maximus or Star Saber in MP form, and would love either [slowly edging to Fort Max]. Would prefer Fort Max to be a tad taller than MP10, thus granting him access to my MTMTE Lost Light Crew.

Ryan F
2013-06-16, 12:47 PM
Well, VW and Porsche are strictly off-limits, so I'd be surprised if it's BB or Jazz. According to another site's translation, MP20 will be a 'concept car', so probably Sunstreaker or Wheeljack.

Of all the choices on the Japanese MP vote, I'd go for Powermaster Prime myself. That's probably the only one I'd buy; I was never a fan of Fort Max and have no love for Masterforce or Victory.

Cliffjumper
2013-06-16, 01:37 PM
Wheeljack might be off-limits too (cf. Dino); Ferrari are tight with licencing, not sure about the rest of the Fiat group - that said an MP might be the sort of thing which would swing it. Sunstreaker's probably more likely if they've got some sort of relationship to whoever owns Lambo this week.

Mirage would, I would theorise, be one of the easier guys to get the rights to as it's possible with Ligier > Prost > Phoenix that they either belong to nobody or belong to someone who'll take a lot less money that a major manufacturer would. The main reason we've not seen a Ligier Mirage is that there's not been a lot of call for one when any blue/white racing car (or in the case of Alternators, a completely different car) would do the job. There probably hasn't been a lot of desire from any design teams to do an F1 car Transformer properly as it'd be pretty difficult to do on a scale much bigger than G1 Mirage. On MP scale/detail, where you (theoretically) can't cheat and make the spoiler, suspension etc. thicker it might be a bit of a mare.

It will be interesting to see what will happen when they 'run out' of guys they can seal the licencing on; will the likes of Bee and Jazz (seeing as Volkswagen seem to be unmoving on this) get new alt modes? Get genericised just enough like ROTF Sideways (which, TBH, I'm not sure anyone but car nerds would mind/notice)? Get skipped altogether?

Blackjack
2013-06-16, 01:41 PM
Fortress Maximus? Star Saber? Powermaster Optimus?

PFFFT

OPTIMUS PRIMAL OPTIMUS PRIMAL OPTIMUS PRIMAL

GIVE THE KING KONG THE GLORY HE DESERVES

Knightdramon
2013-06-16, 01:56 PM
The "concept" car was discredited early on as mistranslated. So no, it's a car that they had problems with the license before. Let's see who it is...

Primal? Heh, that would be interesting, especially in his basic body (the one I like the most). But that would bring scale to issue. Will he be a scout to fit with MP10? Will he just disregard it all and be around MP10 height?

To be honest, Takara is on good terms and has released a car from most brands that cover G1 guys; Toyota [Trailbreaker], Nissan [Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl etc], Chevrolette [Tracks], Honda [Skids!!!], Mitsubishi [Hound]...the only ones they did/do have an issue with are Ferrari, VW, Porsche and whichever brand made the Lancia Stratos.

While Ginrai/PM Prime is an interesting choice if they do it correctly, it'll just be MP10 all redone once again. Whereas any of the others will be something visually entirely new.

Do we have any idea how the japanese series ranked up in popularity? Might give us a hint on who's most possible to get made first.

Cliffjumper
2013-06-16, 02:19 PM
whichever brand made the Lancia Stratos.

Random speculation ahoy: -

I think they're still owned by Fiat (who also own Ferrari and Alfa Romeo; I think Abarth as well). Ferrari are notoriously difficult with merch because the whole brand runs on exclusivity and people not being able to afford them, so it might not be a Fiat Group policy so much as a specific Ferrari one. Lancia are more of a middle class brand IIRC (I think the rough aspirational hierarchy is Ferrari > Alfa > Lancia > Fiat) and are theoretically a lot less fussy.

Mirage will be owned by whoever the rights for the Ligier designs ended up with after Prost folded, I guess. Possibly reverted back to Guy Ligier himself, which could be interesting as he's a massive twat and is independantly wealthy. Or they could have been auctioned off among the Prost assets, which would leave them with basically anyone.

VW is probably a sailed ship, sadly... if they couldn't get them onboard for the film it's difficult to see them caving for MP.

Knightdramon
2013-06-16, 02:42 PM
VW is probably a sailed ship, sadly... if they couldn't get them onboard for the film it's difficult to see them caving for MP.

I think the films actually made a pretty decent case against the companies that didn't want to be involved. I don't know if Chevrolet's poster child rose in sales after 07, but it's a great form of publicity regardless.

I understand where there's limitations in car company relationships when it comes to names [ie naming a car of your brand "Breakdown" would be like soliciting a Hot Dog named "Juicy Dick on Bun"], but licenses like these are pretty good advertisement mediums.

Cliffjumper
2013-06-16, 03:05 PM
IIRC Volkwagen's case against entirely comes down to the moral desire not to have the company associated with 'war toys' and they've gone on record to say so (but they were more than happy to be involved in Herbie Fully Loaded as it was a family film with no real violence); lots of German companies still carry a tremendous amount of war guilt, deeply ingrained - the Beetle is basically the Hitlermobile. Problem is that Beetles and Porsches don't need promotion, or at least can get more than enough without having to compromise. Successful, long-established car companies have a Coca-Cola/McDonalds level of brand strength. There are probably people in countries where you can't buy Transformers who would love to have a Porsche.

Didn't GM have massive financial troubles around the same time the films were out?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors#Chapter_11_reorganization
The Camaro wasn't even on sale until around ROTF.

Knightdramon
2013-06-16, 03:31 PM
Hmmm, fair points. I can understand that, as well as a car company so prestigious as, say, Ferrari, not wanting to bother with something as trivial as a 90 USD toy collectible. Most Ferrari cars are made on order, right?

Cliffjumper
2013-06-16, 04:34 PM
Hmmm, fair points. I can understand that, as well as a car company so prestigious as, say, Ferrari, not wanting to bother with something as trivial as a 90 USD toy collectible. Most Ferrari cars are made on order, right?

I'm a bit out of date but I think there's just a straight-up cap (couple of hundred a year?) with waiting lists meaning they're always in demand.

IIRC Ferrari (while obviously not on the table for MP) have a strict thing on 'damaged' cars - what would put them off would be that a Transformers figure, especially a modern one, would have to have join lines, areas which would have to deform, etc. So they've no problem with a 'solid' Hot Wheels car.

I'm convinced this is the reason for several of Dino's quirks in the finished film - his survival when he was mooted for death in Que's place, the lack of a clear transformation shot (despite it looking like an expensive transforming CGI model was made), his lack of MechTech weapons... It smacks of official cooperation (whereas The Rock didn't have this so they were able to blow one up, or at least imply that they did). It actually amazes me that they used a Ferrari for a minor character in the film considering all the hassle - I guess Bay's pretty stubborn, or the car was free if they followed the rules to the letter or something. Makes you wonder if a proper Dino/Mirage figure was ever seriously on the agenda.

inflatable dalek
2013-06-16, 06:19 PM
What's the likelihood of the securing the rights to the other iconic tiny car and doing Bumblebee as a Mini?

I can't get my head around the idea of a Fort Max Masterpiece. I can't see any way of doing it properly with it being daftly expensive for such a minor character.

Knightdramon
2013-06-16, 08:07 PM
They could make him around MP10 size and have it scaled the way he was in the Marvel comics.

Or they could make him around the original's size, just with today's engineering [like the cassettes so far].

First option could be around 22000 yen, like Convoy, second option will probably surpass 30000 yen and will make him very hard to get/import, financially-wise.

Clay
2013-06-17, 04:59 AM
I don't see much point in a Masterpiece Fortress... shrinking him down means losing most of the base mode's interactions with smaller figures, whereas keeping it a similar size to the original seems silly when it was just reissued. If it had a five year gap, maybe, but not within 18 months.

I'd guess Star Saber would be next most likely option, but it'd be lame without Victory Leo to go with it immediately (I'm sure it'd follow later). Powermaster Prime would be too close in design to the existing Convoy mold to really justify. All the other given options have figures that have designs that have aged well enough to not really need Masterpiecerizing.

Skyquake87
2013-06-17, 08:50 AM
G2 Sideswipe? Can Clampdown and Deepcover (the latter of whom these test shots look mostly like anyway) be far behind..?

As for pondering the likes of Fort Max etc - honestly not interested. Can't really see the need for MPing Optimus Primal either.

Knightdramon
2013-06-17, 11:31 AM
I don't see much point in a Masterpiece Fortress... shrinking him down means losing most of the base mode's interactions with smaller figures, whereas keeping it a similar size to the original seems silly when it was just reissued. If it had a five year gap, maybe, but not within 18 months.



Well, it can't be worse off than MP01L and MP10? MP01L reissued, stated, for the Last time...and six months later, a new, much improved MP10 comes along for twice the cost.

I'm really, really curious to see how they'll pull Maximus if he's the one, he is the one I want the most, with Sabre and Dai Atlas inches behind him.

Though to be honest, I'm thinking of IDW Maximus, whereas the poll is for the japanese audience. Which series was the most popular one? Victory? Masterforce? Micron Legend? Who knows?

"Trouble" is, besides Maximus and the beast figures, everybody else on that poll combines with at least one more bot. Will, say, an MP Fire Convoy warrant an MP God Magnus? Victory Leo? Skyfire? Wing Saber?

Cliffjumper
2013-06-17, 12:46 PM
I'd quite like to see an updated RiD Optimus (Super God Power Fire Justice Nee-Naw Nee-Naw Nee-Naw Convoy, was it?). Nice design but a bit too plasticky, could have done with chrome and diecast.

Mind, it's Japan. G1 Convoy will win.

Blackjack
2013-06-17, 02:39 PM
Mind, it's Japan. G1 Convoy will win.

The choices are follows, so I assume Powermaster Prime? Other than Prime and Primal I literally don't give a shit if anyone else in the list gets a Masterpiece toy, and as some have pointed out making a Masterpiece Fortress Maximus would be kind of redundant since the original toy is big enough.

-Fortress Maximus (G1)
-God Ginrai/Powermaster Prime (G1)
-Star Saber (Transformers: Victory)
-Dai Atlas (Transformers: Zone)
-Optimus Primal (Beast Wars)
-Lio Convoy (Beast Wars II)
-Big Convoy (Beast Wars Neo)
-Fire Convoy (Car Robots)
-Optimus Prime (Armada)
-Optimus Prime (Energon)
-Galaxy Convoy (Galaxy Force)

Cliffjumper
2013-06-17, 04:32 PM
It doesn't matter if he's not an option. It's Japan, G1 Convoy will win.

I would actually love to see a Movie Masterpiece Prime... his design is just made for diecast.

Warcry
2013-06-17, 04:43 PM
What's the likelihood of the securing the rights to the other iconic tiny car and doing Bumblebee as a Mini?
Actually, this gets me thinking...would they even want a license to make Bumblebee or any of the other Minibots? Neither the original toys nor the character models really looked like the cars they were supposed to be, and even Bumblebee -- one of the more real-world accurate of the group -- was quite deformed. Considering how cartoon-accurate the recent MPs have been I think Takara would be more inclined to give Bumblebee a cartoon-accurate "cute" alt-mode and dodge the licensing issue entirely if VW gives them trouble.

Windcharger and Tailgate were the only Minibots who really, really closely resembled the cars they were based on. And the odds of them getting MPs is vanishingly slim. But guys like Bumblebee, Brawn, Cliffjumper...there's really no need for them to be highly accurate scale reproductions of cars in alt-mode.

Cliffjumper
2013-06-17, 04:56 PM
Would work for Cliffy I think (seriously, how many people actually knew he was based on a Porsche until they hit the internet?)... Bumblebee would be tricky. He is still very recognisably a Beetle even in the cartoon thanks to the distinctive bonnet; it'd probably need to be even more generic on a toy.

But yeh, I do agree that's what they'll do when it comes down to it but I think Jazz and Bumblebee will suffer more due to being based on fairly distinctive cars. Windcharger will do better because there're lots of beefy American muscle cars and, well, HasTak already have a relationship with GM.

Brawn, Gears and Huffer are, IIRC, already have intentionally generic vehicle modes, drawing from a few different models of the time, so there'd be no problem just cloning their alt modes.

(and going back up a bit, more of an obstacle from Mirage might be Gitanes; though I suppose they could just put him out minus decals)

Clay
2013-06-17, 05:32 PM
To clarify (better wording came later), most of the point of the (new)Masterpiece line seems to be to close the gap between a character's depiction in fiction and a character's depiction in merchandise. Since all of those options from the Beast series onward have minimal differences, it'd be a bit pointless to me.

Knightdramon
2013-06-17, 09:27 PM
To be fair, until about a year or so ago, the MP line was more like "hey let's update X character by today's engineering and looks" all the way up to Grimlock.

To be perfectly fair, most figures AFTER Fire Convoy [leaders] were compromised because they had to combine or had a stupid gimmick tacked on them. I can see how a Masterpiece Armada Prime would be a vast improvement, or how an MP Galaxy Force Prime could slim down the design, add more articulation, and allow for many more poses once you have that backpack on.

Clay
2013-06-17, 09:46 PM
To be perfectly fair, most figures AFTER Fire Convoy [leaders] were compromised because they had to combine or had a stupid gimmick tacked on them. I can see how a Masterpiece Armada Prime would be a vast improvement, or how an MP Galaxy Force Prime could slim down the design, add more articulation, and allow for many more poses once you have that backpack on.

It's been done (http://www.tfarchive.com/toys/reviews/jnw_ths_galaxyconvoy.php).

But, if they make any of the combiner-type Primes again, they'd just need to have backwards compatibility with the existing add-on bots, not brand new sets.

Knightdramon
2013-06-18, 04:03 PM
:lol: That'd be a sight...a pumped up, MP Galaxy Convoy with that BLOCK Leobreaker as a hand!! Or an MP level Armada Convoy with the immobile Jetfire legs!!

The THS mould, while neat, really didn't do much over the larger version. Stability in combined mode was still piss poor, thankfully the wings and cannons were lighter and there were no electronics inside.

Funny thing about the poll, as expected, it's Japan-only. Moreover, you have to download a form, fill it out, and send it with some robot points from any TF you purchase [mostly masterpieces do that, right?].

numbat
2013-06-19, 08:26 AM
Very glad I took the risk and ordered the Takara version of Metroplex now! The difference in cost was $30USD, but figured the likelihood was the Hasbro one would look cheap at the size, and Takara may look better but have QC issues... Fingers crossed for no QC issues!

Blackjack
2013-06-20, 03:17 PM
Masterpieces 20 and 21 revealed!

Wheeljack (http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/product.aspx?product=TAK11727&mode=retail)

and

Bumblebee (http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/product.aspx?product=TAK11728&mode=retail)

No images yet, though.

Knightdramon
2013-06-20, 05:22 PM
No nothing yet revealed, actually :lol:

Bumblebee raises all sort of questions, and BBTS are at best guessing the price. Is he going to be normal sized [as a car]? Is he going to be super deformed? If he'll be super deformed and shorter, is it really going to cost mid-MP level release price?

Bring on Wheeljack like there's no tomorrow though.

Cliffjumper
2013-06-20, 06:56 PM
Yeh... putting aside licensing problems and that I'll never be able to afford these things I'd be torn on how the Minibots are handled. Would people rather have Sunbow-scaled guys that come to about the waist of the regular cars and have cutesified generic alt modes? Or would they rather have - say - a Cliffjumper who's about the same height as Prowl, less maybe a head, and turns into a similar-scale realistic vehicle (if not maybe a Porsche or a VW)?

Seeing as Takara still have such a hard-on for the G1 cartoon I'd say the former is more likely, but this could be interesting. If I was buying the things I'd probably prefer the latter; while obsessive scaling isn't 100% necessary it'd be nice if they weren't as obviously out of whack as the G1 cars & Minibots are with each other.

On the other hand it'll make the Minibot guys (presumably) more affordable, which'd be nice - I probably would spring for an MP Cliffjumper at half the price (and half the shipping cost) of a regular MP, and a lot of people would probably feel the same about Bumblebee, Gears, Brawn...

The Big Ragebowski
2013-06-20, 08:53 PM
Really looking forward to Wheeljack being released!! Now if only we can get an announcement for MP Mirage, Hound and Jazz as well! :clap:

Slayer-Fan123
2013-06-21, 09:48 AM
I want an MP Mindwipe. I don't care HOW popular he is; he's still a Transformer that turns into a bat and can hypnotize robots.

My more realistic choice would have to go to Jazz though.

numbat
2013-06-21, 11:46 AM
I would love an MP G1 styled Bumblebee. A decent sized car and a robot mode a head shorter than say Sideswipe would suite me perfectly, but I'd be happy with whatever they turned out. I don't know how I'd feel about him being anything other than an old style VW Beetle though in the Masterpiece line, and from the Alternators debacle I really can't see how they could clear up the licensing issues for that.

Bumblebee was my first ever Transformer (I still have him too), and I have a huge soft spot for him. Never thought he'd be given the Masterpiece treatment though!

I look forward to pictures.

Ryan F
2013-06-22, 01:02 AM
Yep, Wheeljack and Bumblebee are already preordered, sight-unseen.

Here's a thought: almost all of the MP figures thus far have had repaint value. AFAIK only MP Megatron hasn't had a secondary colour scheme thus far. Bumblebee could be repainted into Goldbug, Glyph and chrome gold G2 Bumblebee.

But Wheeljack? I just can't see it. I know there was a Diaclone Marlboro deco, but in this day and age I can't see that colour scheme ever seeing the light of day again.

So how do Takara cover their costs here? Shattered Glass Wheeljack? Black Nemesis Wheeljack?

If I had to choose, I have to say I really love Dead End, the rather garish WJ repaint in the Prime line. Any car that looks like it's just escaped from an explosion in a Stabilo Boss factory is okay with me!

Unicron
2013-06-24, 09:00 PM
We're up to how many MP Seeker and Lamborghini releases now? It makes me think that they're using the profits from the molds with umpteen possible repaints to help subsidize the costs of less repaintable characters.

Cliffjumper
2013-06-24, 09:14 PM
But Wheeljack? I just can't see it. I know there was a Diaclone Marlboro deco, but in this day and age I can't see that colour scheme ever seeing the light of day again.

Yeh - wouldn't surprise me if there were copyright problems with using the Marlboro chevron even if they could rationalise it as no-one under 25 buying the things. Slicer? Armada (though IIRC he didn't even have the name in common in Japan)? DotM? He might just get something that looks cool (as an e-hobby style 'new' character with a head retool based on the Marlboor version maybe?) or a version with an alternate race number...

Or maybe they'll retool him as Tracks? ;)

Knightdramon
2013-06-24, 10:35 PM
There are moulds that still haven't been repainted; Megatron and Grimlock [bar the exclusive "comic" version] are largely untouched.

The seeker mould is the biggest cashcow at the moment, followed by the lamborghini. Even before release, the datsun mould is almost on equal footing with the lamborghini.

I'm sure that when the time comes, they'll repaint Wheeljack into something or somebody else.

They've nearly got enough bots out to do movie themed decos. Bumblebee with black stripes, a silver Sideswipe, Optimus with flame decos, maybe even a blue Wheeljack.

They do have enough to go on to. And mind you, each Lamborghini release so far is more than straight up repaints; Red Alert has retooled parts and a new face and helmet. Tigertrack has the Sideswipe body, the Red Alert face and unchromed amazon sushi spoons as accessories. G2 Sideswipe has a completely different head an extra stuff.

While still reuses of the same mould, they do manage to stay unique.

Cliffjumper
2013-06-25, 12:01 AM
Comic Grimlock does put an idea in my head of what they could do; maybe make one version very close to the Sunbow model (cartoon head, the implified livery) and then a 'Real Type' style one more closely modelled on the Diaclone figure (toy-style head, accurate livery).

But TBH as said it could be that there's enough repaint potential in just about everyone else (Skids - Crosscut, the red one, ROTF; Trailbreaker - Diaclone variants and probably Hoist depending on how close they make Trailbreaker to the animation model; Tracks - Road Rage and the black one; Sunstreaker - red, police; Mirage - red version; Ironhide/Ratchet - black version, movie; Inferno/Grapple - Hauler, Artfire; Jazz - Stepper, G2 etc, etc - and all of this is without anyone actually thinking of anything new) that the odd mould which can't be used for much else probably won't do any harm.

Though another idea for Wheeljack would maybe be the BT/Alt scheme.

Knightdramon
2013-06-25, 09:20 AM
Yeah, that works too. I don't know how TT manages their accounting on the figures [ie if they calculate the costs per mould or just across a line], but I reckon they made enough out of MP11, Sideswipe and the as of yet unreleased Prowl and co to fund a unique mould or two.

Blackjack
2013-06-28, 01:13 PM
Transformers Go! Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FY5IdrgfXAA

Blackjack
2013-06-28, 01:26 PM
For some time Japan's been making G1 combiners sold with gum toys. We saw Silverbolt, Onslaught and Motormaster before, and each mold has two different robot and vehicle modes with slight kibble differences. (i.e. Vortex and Blast Off are basically the same molds with some parts replaced)

Pictures (http://img.amiami.jp/images/product/main/132/FIG-COL-5945.jpg)

Blackjack
2013-06-28, 01:40 PM
Transformers Go toys!

First up, their version of Smokescreen, sporting a show-accurate forehead and a new blaster weapon. Sadly and very unfortunately he does not come with the pointless Beast Hunter armor.
Smokescreen Robot (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1372071514_4.jpg)
Smokescreen alternate (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1372071514_6.jpg)

We also have Bakudora, a repaint of Ripclaw with a new head. And it is a beautiful colour scheme.
Bakudora Robot (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1372071514_1.jpg)
Bakudora Dragon (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1372071514_3.jpg)

Images from Seibertron, most of the toys from the cartoon here (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1371918804_5.JPG).

Black Abominus (http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/uploads/1371918824_6.JPG). Takara's 'regular' version of Abominus (named differently) has a decidedly non-G1 colour scheme.

Knightdramon
2013-07-23, 08:09 PM
Update on the MP Poll...it's not closed yet [one more month] but Star Saber is #1, followed by Armada Prime and Dai Atlas.

Blackjack
2013-07-25, 08:39 PM
Not the monkey? Boo!

Although MTMTE made me really like Star Saber (even though he showed up in like three panels tops) so it's not really that big a loss.

Really, really hoping Armada Optimus doesn't get made. Although the inner robot is not a horrible design (the super robot looks ridiculous with those wacky yellow ears) I really want to see something other than the red-blue-and-faceplate. Dai Atlas... not as appealing as Star Saber, but not a bad design if they realize it properly.

Tetsuro
2013-07-26, 02:21 PM
I would imagine that the choices do have a lot to do with "which ones are in desperate need of an update?".

I mean, Beast Wars onwards we had well-articulated toys which can still hold up reasonably well today, apart from Armada Prime of course, which is why I'm not surprised to see him in top three, not to mention with all the reissues/redecos/whatever of Primal, I can see why he didn't win.

The only surprise to me really is Dai Atlas, considering how precious little material he actually had a chance to appear in; one OVA and an issue of manga that was just an adaptation of the OVA and a bunch of story pages. Star Saber at least has a whole cartoon and a manga series to back him up.

Also surprised that Super Ginrai didn't win. I guess he isn't Convoy enough, but considering the winners, maybe he was TOO much Convoy even for the Japanese :D

Knightdramon
2013-09-06, 11:30 AM
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand

First official pics of G2 Sideswipe and Soundblaster with Ratbat are up on tfsource for now.

No surprises here, glad they went all black on Soundblaster and not hints of blue like the original toy.

Ratbat looks too busy, but the shot is small.

Loving the colours on Sideswipe.

It's official. Just MP figures from me from now on.

Blackjack
2013-09-06, 01:18 PM
SOUNDBLASTER AND RATBATTTT

We've been joking about it for years, but here it is!

Unicron
2013-09-06, 03:31 PM
I knew they were going to do that. Now to figure out how to acquire a Ratbat without paying out the nose for it.

Knightdramon
2013-09-06, 08:46 PM
Me and probably a billion over fans outright predicted it. No joke about it. Ever since that takara designer said they're making ratbat, it was the only place for him.

At this point I think it's better for me to sell my takara soundwave, get hasbro's version and then takara soundblaster.

Or maybe get the four tapes and then Soundblaster? Decisions decisions

Denyer
2013-09-06, 08:49 PM
I knew they were going to do that. Now to figure out how to acquire a Ratbat without paying out the nose for it.
Well, for starters it'll be bootlegged heavily if a single release or a further tape mould set isn't forthcoming pretty soon.

inflatable dalek
2013-09-06, 09:15 PM
So was the Soundblaster/Ratbat thing not announced ages ago? Or was that people talking about their assumptions as if they were fact?

Denyer
2013-09-06, 09:33 PM
Think there was an announcement a Ratbat design had been produced, and it was taken as a given it'd be the thing to try to sell the SB redeco with.

Knightdramon
2013-09-06, 11:24 PM
So was the Soundblaster/Ratbat thing not announced ages ago? Or was that people talking about their assumptions as if they were fact?

There was a translated interview of a fan with a designer on a toy fair show. Really obscure, like blink and miss it, on the tfw2005 forums. The designer said that they have Ratbat planned/designed.

This was around the time the cassette packs were announced. So this left one cassette with Soundwave, four more released as two packs, and Ratbat on his own.

Seeing as nobody believed that takara would invest on other cassettes, and Ratbar would be too cheap to sell on his own, many, myself included, speculated that a Soundblaster repaint partnered with just Ratbat would be the way to go.

Which, apparently, it is. And today, out of the blue, we get official confirmation of it. :wave:

So yes, SB with Ratbat, along with Prowl and his mould mates, make four unique cases in which I was right in my assumptions about takara tomy. :)

Skyquake87
2013-09-08, 03:29 AM
I love G2 Sideswipe and his silly '90s guns. Oddly, with the reverse colours of G1 Sidey, he looks better proportioned and less cluttered in robot mode. Looks like the silly 'Side Swipe' and 'SS' things are stickers too, so you can leave the alt mode looking brutal in plain black. G2 logo on the bonnet looks a bit lost without a white border though.

...and 55 on pre-order from Kapow. Hmm...

Knightdramon
2013-09-11, 03:17 PM
Preorders up at HLJ, amiami and animeexport.

HLJ only has G2 Sideswipe for now.

Also, at ehobby's site there's new product shots for both of them, plus final shots for takara's rhinox and waspinator.

numbat
2013-09-12, 01:53 PM
Blast... That's a lot of money for Ratbat, when I really don't care about Soundblaster... But Ratbat does look very nifty...

Skyquake87
2013-09-16, 07:16 AM
didn't seem worth starting a new thread for this, but the anime version of Encore Devastator is around 52 from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transformers-Encore-Devastar-Animation-Colour/dp/B009LXYCS8/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_h_b_cs_1

I didn't know they'd resculpted the faces of the original toys for this.

inflatable dalek
2013-09-16, 07:27 AM
If nothing else that increases the chances of Mixmaster actually having a head.


EDIT: Jeeeeez, I hope no one brought reissue Piranacon as a financial investment.

Clay
2014-01-10, 12:09 PM
Here's Wheeljack! (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/mp-20-masterpiece-wheeljack-prototype-revealed-179038/)

numbat
2014-01-10, 12:23 PM
I had thought I wouldn't be picking up Wheeljack, but now I'm not so sure. The prototype looks very nice indeed. Of course, having our baby on March and moving house in January may mean I simply can't get this one past my wife...

Delayed release now though - August is hardly 2nd quarter of the year!

Really want to see Bumblebee...

Cliffjumper
2014-01-10, 01:27 PM
Christ that's good... Bumblebee I can actually picture the engineering of because the toy and the animation model have a lot of big similarities in terms of general body shape - add in a slide-out crotch, pimp the articulation, put the show head on, fold those wheels away, should be pretty intuitive if they don't Binaltech the shit out of the thing for the sake of it. Assuming they've got the VW licence (which, as outlined previously, they surely do) I think he's pretty safe; it'll be how much remoulding they're prepared to do for Cliffjumper that's more of a question (though Red, Blue and Smokey all suggest the answer is quite a bit seeing as those figures would all have sold pretty well as straight redecos).

Wheeljack however has his wonderful but weird original toy and really boring sanded down character model with a lot of potential for screwing up inbetween... that looks like a really good blend that takes the detail and kibble of the toy while using the proportions of the character model.

WHEN IS HE OUT?

EDIT: Ooops, August... and he's the next scheduled, yeh? That's cool, actually, might be able to save up funds for MP-10 and Soundwave in the meantime.

Knightdramon
2014-01-10, 04:53 PM
Neat. He's up for preorder at anime export.

First actual japanese preorder.

Denyer
2014-01-10, 06:03 PM
http://www.taghobby.com/1-0/1-1/takaratomy-transformers-masterpiece-mp-20-wheeljack/

http://i.imgur.com/Wo2S8PW.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Wo2S8PW.jpg

Decent.

another tf fan
2014-01-10, 07:25 PM
Yep. Pre-ordered.

There has been some talk about the canopy section of the car being a bit manipulated to produce a better robot mode. I am not too keen on the car modes being fudged but its a minor detail.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-01-10, 09:15 PM
I'm very, very tempted by Wheeljack. He would fill a Wheeljack shaped void on my mixed MP & Alt shelf. But... Is he going to be too small to display with my Alts without looking ridiculous? Not having any of the new car MPs I'm not sure. Can you help? What are your opinions?

Cheers!

Denyer
2014-01-10, 11:16 PM
Pretty similar;

http://tfarchive.com/community/showpost.php?p=724190&postcount=6

Summerhayes
2014-01-10, 11:31 PM
Oh my god, is that how small they are? What are they charging for these little masterpieces?
I hadn't seen one in the flesh or a comparison yet.

another tf fan
2014-01-11, 08:16 AM
I feel the ludicrous notion of obtaining obsolete licenses helps me justify the premium price.

Cliffjumper
2014-01-11, 12:49 PM
Oh my god, is that how small they are? What are they charging for these little masterpieces?
I hadn't seen one in the flesh or a comparison yet.

They're about 40-45 shipped to the UK. Taking into account you're always going to pay more for collector's orientated stuff it doesn't compare toooo badly to the old Alt price bracket (which probably would have inflated to about 30 plus by now if the line hadn't been so deeply unpopular) or current Voyager assortments, especially when you factor in that these have crazy luxuries like paint apps, proper plastic and not looking like shit on a stick.

They're not cheap per se but you pretty much get what you're paying for... If you like, say, G1 Smokescreen you won't go far wrong. If you don't, well, you probably wouldn't be buying the thing anyway and he's not going to convince you otherwise.

Though it must be said both car moulds thus far are very good. The worth-it scale will drop pretty drastically if it follows the same pattern every other collector-aimed line does (i.e. very good first couple of figures, rapid degeneration into half-hearted pish). Remember how good the Classics line was? Then a year or so later we got Prowl, Silverbolt and Octane.

Knightdramon
2014-01-11, 02:25 PM
Depending on the retailer you get them from, they range from around 32 pounds [HLJ] to 50odd pounds [Kapow], then you factor in shipping and *maybe* customs charges.

They are worth it to be honest. We've only got 2 cars so far, Sideswipe and Prowl, and 3 releases from each. The amount of retooling and repainting between them is staggering.

And thankfully, they're released few and far between--Sideswipe was October 2012, Red Alert December 2012, Prowl September 2013, Streak October 13, Smokescreen December 2013 and Wheeljack's out on August 2014. In my opinion, that's a lot of time in between to save up on 50 pounds.

Heck, while smoking, I spent 40 pounds on average per month :lol:

inflatable dalek
2014-01-11, 03:31 PM
Wouldn't it be awesome if he had flashing ears?

Knightdramon
2014-01-11, 03:51 PM
I was more or less certain he'd have a clear plastic accessory like Red Alert, but it seems he won't.

Clay
2014-01-11, 07:05 PM
I had thought I wouldn't be picking up Wheeljack, but now I'm not so sure. The prototype looks very nice indeed. Of course, having our baby on March and moving house in January may mean I simply can't get this one past my wife...

Delayed release now though - August is hardly 2nd quarter of the year!

Really want to see Bumblebee...

You're in for some lean times for sure, but with any luck, your forthcoming child will be a powerful ally in your toy acquisitions.

"But dear, it's not for me, it's for us."

Blackjack
2014-01-15, 01:00 PM
Wheeljack gets this thingie (an anti-hypnosis device) (http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/news/takara-tomy-transformers-masterpiece-mp20-wheeljack-amazon-exclusive-antihypnosis-device-revealed/29126/) if you pre-order him from Amazon.

Looks like a toolbox, pretty decent extra accessory.

numbat
2014-01-15, 04:36 PM
You're in for some lean times for sure, but with any luck, your forthcoming child will be a powerful ally in your toy acquisitions.

"But dear, it's not for me, it's for us."
Sadly I fear if our child takes any interest in Transformers I will be blamed wholeheartedly and be in a worse situation than I am right now!

Denyer
2014-01-15, 07:51 PM
Looking on the bright side, kids are the future and have the chance to not be as batshit as their parents.

inflatable dalek
2014-01-15, 08:24 PM
To be honest, the ongoing big blockbuster series of films is more likely to create a child's interest in Transformers than whether or not their parents like it. Unless Age of Extinction flops, little Numbat Jr. is likely to get involved by the time of the fifth film...

It's nice Wheeljack gets at least one mad gadget.

numbat
2014-01-15, 09:13 PM
Looking on the bright side, kids are the future and have the chance to not be as batshit as their parents.

Absolutely - I've never been more excited than I am about becoming a father. There are far more wonderous things I'd like to share with my kid than Transformers!

Plus Dalek's right.

:)

Wheeljack does look good, and the inclusion of the gadget is nice. Sideswipe's pile driver exclusives were snazzy too. Really want to see Bumblebee...

inflatable dalek
2014-01-25, 09:22 AM
Masterpiece Prowl is apparently going to get a US release, depending on how much shelf warming the bonkers decision to release Acid Storm resulted in I wouldn't be surprised if he makes it over here as well:

http://tformers.com/transformers-masterpiece-mp-17-prowl/22327/news.html

I certainly don't regret getting the Japanese version (though considering how they pimped out Soundwave with all his tapes I wouldn't be surprised if Hasbro throw in those toy accurate launchers that mean a lot to many of you), but it would have been nice to support a more mainstream (from my decadent Western perspective) release.

Warcry
2014-01-25, 08:27 PM
$60 is a little disappointing, considering how much they undercut the Japanese price on Soundwave. I was hoping he'd be cheaper, and thus probably available in greater numbers. But it's around what I'd pay to buy the toy from an Asian seller and ship it to me, so I guess it's not that bad.

I'm hoping for the launchers and a more toy-accurate paintjob, personally. If it's just a direct copy of the Takara Prowl, I'll probably pass on him and wait for Bluestreak.

Unicron
2014-01-29, 05:53 AM
Got an email tonight from BBTS tonight talking about some "exclusive repaint of the MP-18 Masterpiece Bluestreak". No details on what the colorscheme will actually be though.
Could it possibly be blue?

Link here (http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/product.aspx?product=TAK11799&mode=retail)

Clay
2014-02-09, 01:53 PM
G1 Megatron now turns into a Sega Genesis (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/japanese-transformers-40/wonder-festival-2014-coverage-takara-tomy-arts-mega-drive-megatron-announced-179260/)

This is still somehow less strange than the transforming hats.

Thunderwave
2014-02-09, 02:50 PM
G1 Megatron now turns into a Sega Genesis (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/japanese-transformers-40/wonder-festival-2014-coverage-takara-tomy-arts-mega-drive-megatron-announced-179260/)

This is still somehow less strange than the transforming hats.

At least this is something electronic. I wonder if it'll be a working Genesis.

numbat
2014-02-09, 04:50 PM
G1 Megatron now turns into a Sega Genesis (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/japanese-transformers-40/wonder-festival-2014-coverage-takara-tomy-arts-mega-drive-megatron-announced-179260/)

This is still somehow less strange than the transforming hats.
Or shoes...

Still. I'll pass.

Unicron
2014-02-09, 09:24 PM
That is awesomely wacky. Still virtually no chance I'd buy it, but still kinda cool.

Ryan F
2014-02-10, 08:36 PM
Or shoes...

Or ice lollies...

Clay
2014-02-25, 10:26 PM
Interview with a Takara designer Shogo Hasui about Wheeljack (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/shogo-hasui-on-masterpiece-line-and-wheeljack-179372/)

The summary:

- MP Wheeljack's colour scheme in vehicle mode is close to the real car, but he tried to make the robot mode's colours as close to the cartoon as possible.
- WJ's shoulder cannon can be attached to the car roof.
- WJ's Wings on the back do not require detaching when transforming.
- Thanks to Tomica (Tomy's Hot Wheels size, real vehicle base toy car series) it has become much easier to negotiate with car manufacturers. (I assume easier than when dealing with them as Takara, since Tomy has long-established connections thanks to Tomica)
- The sales of MP Lambor to Streak were excellent, and as a result, Smokescreen could have additional parts, and Wheeljack could be developed without considering re-purposing the mould.
- The first 3 real vehicle MPs were meant to be "Super Cars".

And from this post in the TFW thread, we know Takara Tomy have licenses for: (http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transformers-news-rumors/976362-shogo-hasui-masterpiece-line-wheeljack.html#post10689905)

Bentley
BMW
Bugatti
Cadillac
Chevrolet
Daihatsu
DeTomaso
FIAT
Ford
Fuso
Jeep
Honda
Isuzu
Lamborghini
Lancia
Lexus
Lincoln
Lotus
Mazda
Mercedes-Benz
Mini
Mitsubishi
Mitsuoka
Nissan
Oldsmobile
Packard
Porsche
Renault
Subaru
Suzuki
Toyota
Volkswagen

Which certainly opens the field for speculation about future releases. :)

Denyer
2014-02-25, 10:31 PM
Wait, Oldsmobile was actually a brand rather than a weak "teen" "rebel" phrase in equally dated TV shows?

They're still going to do Slicer irrespective of initial considerations, aren't they?

That's a decent list.

Clay
2014-02-26, 03:09 PM
They're still going to do Slicer irrespective of initial considerations, aren't they?


Not sure, but I'd read it more as a choice that doesn't have obvious, strong selling repaint characters. Contrast with the Datsuns, G1 and G2 Sideswipe, Prime and Ultra Magnus, etc. Even the tapes, aside from Ravage, had dual uses on release.

And yes, Oldsmobile is real kind of car here. Are they not marketed at all in England?

inflatable dalek
2014-02-26, 03:45 PM
Nope, I always thought it was just a mildly sarcastic name a Yank teen would give to their dad's old man car.

I'd say Slicer is a cert for Ehobby.

Clay
2014-02-28, 03:05 PM
Nope, totally a real type of car. (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile)

inflatable dalek
2014-02-28, 03:24 PM
Shadow Bumblebee!


http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/first-masterpiece-mp-21-bumblebee-teaser-179394/

Osku
2014-02-28, 03:31 PM
Masterpiece G2 Sideswipe tickles my curiosity. It wasn't that expensive either.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Takara-Tomy-TRANSFORMERS-Masterpiece-MP-12G-SIDESWIPE-Lambor-G2-Black-Version-/201044305310

Way out of touch with MP line (got one the early releases of Hasbro's OP and Skywarp). Something I should take into consideration?

Notabot
2014-02-28, 04:23 PM
I used to drive an Oldsmobile in high school. It was similar to but not quite this (http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/1982-Oldsmobile-Eighty-Eight-Pictures-c8976#pictureId:30089804). Ours was very shiny tan. We affectionately referred to is as "Das Erdboot" (The Landboat). It was a massive car. Over 18 feet long and about 6 feet wide. Hard to park, but had good power and was very comfortable. It was only slightly smaller than my friend's Mercury Marquis.

Osku
2014-02-28, 04:45 PM
Thanks. Sometimes I really, really wish I still had time to hang around here more. :)

--

Anything on topic I should know? Quality issues etc?

Clay
2014-02-28, 05:55 PM
Thanks. Sometimes I really, really wish I still had time to hang around here more. :)

--

Anything on topic I should know? Quality issues etc?

Osku! You're alive!

Denyer
2014-02-28, 06:36 PM
Hey dude.

Avoid MP Rodimus unless you're not bothered if one or both arms snap off at the shoulder, possibly whilst still in the packaging. Megatron has some rust issues. Soundwave/Grimlock/Prowl/Sideswipe are good stuff, and the Hasbro Soundwave comes with five cassettes.

Osku
2014-02-28, 07:12 PM
Osku! You're alive!
Occasional lurker nowadays. Check your pm box, please. About Overlord. :)

--

Soundwave is definitely on perhaps list. Not sure if I can rationalize the import prices. I like the reisue Soundwave and cassettes, plus got the FOC version for Christmas.

Grimlock seemed expensive when I checked prices before year end.

Eh, Sideswipe seems like a good one to see if the line is to my taste. Couldn't resist the G2 symbol. :o

Bought one. Fingers crossed.

numbat
2014-02-28, 08:11 PM
I am so very excited by Bumblebee...

Knightdramon
2014-03-01, 06:27 PM
Looking forward to the Bumble MP.

It looks like there's too much "junk" on his back/side, but his feet appear normal so I still can't tell if he turns into a realistic or chibi vehicle mode.

Laughing hard at the "war" over at tfw2005 over a black silhouette.

Liking the fandom less and less with each new reveal, but loving the figures and comics still!

Clay
2014-03-04, 08:08 PM
Here's an interview with Mr. Designer Man about the development of Wheeljack (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/shogo-hasui-interview-on-masterpiece-from-april-figure-oh-179419/)

Shogo Hasui on Masterpiece

- tell us about how you first came to know about Transformers.
H: As I grew up with Microman and Diaclone, I was rather put off initially when Transformers started in Japan. But thanks to the cartoon, my friends had started to be very enthusiastic about the series and that made me interested. I had Air Rider (Air Raid) and Brawl bought for me then, and they are my first Transformers. I must have been into military characters.
- What did you like about Transformers?
H: I have to credit solid characterizations. It was also appealing that both sides were cool. My friends and I used to get together bringing all our Transformers to play battle. It was very impressive to see (the toys) lined up. That impression is still with me, and when I developed Masterpiece I had in mind that the figures should be enjoyed lined up together.
- It was also fascinating that Destron/Decepticon looked tougher.
H: They were military weapons (while Cybertrons/Autobots were) civilian vehicles, so the difference in their firepowers was quite apparent. With that much disadvantage, Cybertron still won the battles with their wits and courage. I think the twist in the story was good.
- Wheeljack was an important character in Cybertron's resource department.
H: I believe Transformers always need Wheeljack and Satrscream. Wheeljack invents something, and Starscream betrays - without them the story doesn't go on, and I think it makes (the story) interesting.
- A character like Wheeljack doesn't usually become a marketable product.
H: He certainly is not a typical heroic character. Bow-legged, and compared to other good looking guys he is more like a middle-aged man. Though once his comrades are in danger, he never considers his own safety. I watched the cartoon again and noticed he rescues Bumble(bee) many times. He and Bumble are especially warm-hearted among Cybertrons.
- We get an impression Masterpiece Wheeljack became reality relatively early.
H: He was one of the candidates to be MP-20. But at the stage of collecting the resource for the real vehicles and considering transformation processes, Wheeljack's was quite complicated and I thought of putting him off. (*laughs)
- Is he that challenging?
H: The proportions of his robot mode are very different in the toy and the cartoon. His hips are buried underneath the body, and since his shoulder tires aren't drawn in the cartoon, I couldn't allocate the area around the rear tires to the arms. I had to find shoulder blocks and hip blocks from different areas. If I gave him actual hips, most of the car became the body and the legs, leaving no room for the head and the arms. Because of that, I nearly gave up. But once I came up with the idea of the storage space for the head, I thought I could do it. I crammed a lot in the head and hip structures and when you have the actual figure I am sure you will be surprised.
- Did you not make the ear parts clear or with light gimmick?
H: The (developer) team members couldn't reach agreement on that, but I was against the light up gimmick. If the gimmick is included it will lose the neck articulations, and it is hard to express the blue/silver colour change as well.
- Is the Magnet Cannon on the shoulder detachable?
H: It can be attached to the vehicle roof and hand-held weapons can be stored under the car. The wings on the back stay on during transformation. I wanted to keep the essence of G1 toy as much as possible.
- Any hardship to obtain vehicle licence?
H: Actually, thanks to Tomica brand, we can negotiate with many car manufacturers such as Fiat. This is a great result of merger (of Takara and Tomy). I had a Lancia Stratos Tomica when I was little. The style and colour scheme is very unique and hard to forget. It was my favourite but as I was young, I don't think I remembered the name.
- Any difficulties you came across while re-creating the body colours?
H: In the cartoon, he doesn't have the actual vehicle's colours on account of animation drawing. I thought over very hard if a Masterpiece should be true to the cartoon, or if it should be considered that the colours were simply omitted (in the cartoon) and make it true to the real car. Considering the fact that we actually obtained the licence, I reached the conclusion that the Alitalia colour scheme has to be re-created. Though I arranged the chest area a bit as the robot mode chest is very characteristic.
- Until Wheeljack, the characters were selected based on variations, but he appears to be a single use for now?
H: It was possible because the production number per figure is larger now compared to when Lambor was produced. Smokescreen could have new parts. The series is still new and we are still at the stage of going up one step at the time. If Wheeljack is successful, I believe we can choose from wider selection of characters in the future. In fact, when we started this "real car" series, we intended to make the first three to be something that would amaze even the "super car" fans. I wanted this series to be appealing to the fans of super car era.
- What about the future plans?
H: This is the third vehicle, so the next one might be more unique. Personally, I think there are certain pair or rival characters in Transformers. I hope such combinations (of figures) can be developed together. Also, I prefer Destrons and want more of them. If I have an opportunity to develop Masterpiece figures again, I hope to be working on a steady growing series and have more choices of characters such as combiners. I am looking forward to seeing the future development of the series, please lend us your support.

Denyer
2014-03-04, 09:03 PM
Piqued my interest more for the figure turning up.

Clay
2014-03-06, 12:01 PM
Bumblebee prototype image (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/mp-21-masterpiece-bumble-prototype-image-179432/)

Nailed it!

Unicron
2014-03-06, 01:51 PM
Aye, that's quite nicely done. I'm a little surprised by Spike but it makes sense, gotta have something extra in there to explain the cost.

Given that it's Bumblebee and Hasbro's been pimping him hard since the first live action movie, I wonder if he'll be relatively fast tracked for US release.

Cliffjumper
2014-03-06, 03:36 PM
****ING YES. Back end of the Beetle's a bit messy but hopefully will be tightened up a little and less obvious in colour. And the idea of a free exosuited Spike (because I'd quite happily pay the same for a 65% size figure - it's about quality, not size, which is why a Voyager-class-sized SOC costs six times as much as some piece of shit Generations toy) fills me with joy for no identifiable reason.

Warcry
2014-03-06, 04:34 PM
So he's basically Classics Bumblebee, except turning into a VW and given a bit more articulation? That's kinda...underwhelming, isn't it? I mean, it's a nice Bumblebee, don't get me wrong. But it's not exactly a huge step up from what we've gotten before, not the way Grimlock or Soundwave or Prowl were.

Guess it doesn't really help that Bumblebee's design is a lot simpler than those guys, but this just doesn't wow me the way the best MPs have in the past.

Of course, me not being very fond of Bumblebee's design to start with is probably a factor here too...

Cliffjumper
2014-03-06, 04:50 PM
Those three also haven't had a good G1-styled toy made for years (actually, for all three I don't think the original's had been genuinely bettered without a radical overhaul until the MPs came out) whereas Bee along with the Seeker and the Lambo was one of the few genuinely great Classics figs; you would say the same about Prowl but they cannily avoided all the little ****-ups that turned Universe Prowl into a complete dog. No need to desperately reinvent the wheel for no good reason (Hi Binaltech!).

TBH I'm over the moon that he just turns into a bog-standard VW Beetle, because a) it looks better than a deformed version and b) it'll upset loads of people who aren't me.

Knightdramon
2014-03-06, 06:16 PM
F*ck yes that looks nice.

Awesome.

Denyer
2014-03-06, 07:09 PM
Looks promising... intrigued by the removable face and non-Dreamwave pose, and would like to see some colours. Wasn't expecting to be fussed by Bee.

Knightdramon
2014-03-06, 10:37 PM
Very pleasant surprise, I can say. After I've cooled down a bit, I like the fact that they went for a realistic car mode.

The fact that they have a fully transformable exo-suit with it, and it's being offered at the regular MP car price, if not a bit cheaper, though, confirms that it's going to be tiny.

Take my money Takara. Take all my money now.

Clay
2014-03-06, 11:10 PM
Back end of the Beetle's a bit messy but hopefully will be tightened up a little and less obvious in colour.

After squinting at it, I think it's a matter of the rear end being cast in clear plastic and the rest being in gray resin. Painted up, it won't (or shouldn't) be noticeable.

So he's basically Classics Bumblebee, except turning into a VW and given a bit more articulation? That's kinda...underwhelming, isn't it?

Don't fix what isn't broken... Making it complicated for the sake of calling it Masterpiece got us Megatron.

I think that Bumblebee now being a proper VW Beetle is maybe a first. Was he ever depicted as a normal car, or was it always the scrunched up penny-racer version?

Blackjack
2014-03-07, 12:20 AM
Not bad, not bad at all.

Warcry
2014-03-07, 01:44 AM
Don't fix what isn't broken... Making it complicated for the sake of calling it Masterpiece got us Megatron.
Fair enough. I expect it'll be retailing for $15 like the toy it's based on, then?

...

What's that? $45 plus shipping from Japanese stores, $80 from Western importers and $60 if Hasbro bothers to import it? The hell you say!

I don't mean to rain on everyone's parade, but I just can't get excited by the prospect of paying Masterpiece prices for a really good Deluxe and a giant accessory that 90% of the owners are going to toss in a parts bin and ignore after the first few days. Again, don't get me wrong, it's really good for what it is. But aside from the licensed alt-mode it could easily be a Generations toy.

I think that Bumblebee now being a proper VW Beetle is maybe a first. Was he ever depicted as a normal car, or was it always the scrunched up penny-racer version?
I think he was depicted as a realistic Beetle in some of the early IDW issues. That's the only thing that comes to mind, though.

Knightdramon
2014-03-07, 08:02 AM
Fair enough. I expect it'll be retailing for $15 like the toy it's based on, then?

...

What's that? $45 plus shipping from Japanese stores, $80 from Western importers and $60 if Hasbro bothers to import it? The hell you say!

I don't mean to rain on everyone's parade, but I just can't get excited by the prospect of paying Masterpiece prices for a really good Deluxe and a giant accessory that 90% of the owners are going to toss in a parts bin and ignore after the first few days. Again, don't get me wrong, it's really good for what it is. But aside from the licensed alt-mode it could easily be a Generations toy.



Try to see it this way...

Don't compare it to US release prices because they are tailored to be that way from the get go, whereas japanese release prices have a bit more give depending on the character/mould etc.

From the looks of it [can't tell how it handles, though] it looks like it has more parts than dlx classics bumblebee...and that's on his legs only :lol:

These guys have got the following going for them

Realistic alt modes [ie fully licensed, ie it costs more]
LOTS of parts and complexity, ie it costs more to manufacture them
Their entire car bodies, so far, are fully painted, with a lot of their robot parts being fully painted as well

---And compared to jpn retail, they are slightly more expensive than a voyager. That's what justifies the prices for me. They start cutting corners on that, I won't be as eager to rationalize why they cost so much :lol:

Blackjack
2014-03-07, 09:24 AM
Do they need to have that many parts to make a good figure, though? Enough to justify basically adding a couple additional articulation points what is basically the Deluxe class design, and a couple additional transformation hinges to make the transformation better? Enough to charge three times the price? Like, say, taking MP Sideswipe and Prowl as examples, do the leg transformations have to bee that intricate?

Granted, they do have to cover the costs for the car licenses and you do get the Spike Witwicky, and there has been precedent with the previous smaller Masterpiece cars...

(And certainly far, far cheaper and look far better than third-party Bumblebees that I remember seeing a couple years ago)

And they are supposed to be priced at slightly more expensive than a Voyager, but even then...

Eh, suppose shouldn't let this bother me too much, I'm not going to get him anyway. Just happy for the people who want one because it is a great representation of G1 Bee. :)

Warcry
2014-03-07, 05:25 PM
Don't compare it to US release prices because they are tailored to be that way from the get go, whereas japanese release prices have a bit more give depending on the character/mould etc.
The designer himself has spoken about how the new MP toys are designed to fit a specific price point and that it has forced his hand with regards to some design choices (like why the Datsuns have fewer accessories than the Lambos did), so I'm not sure that this is relevant to the conversation. Do you really think Spike would be there if they weren't trying to justify selling Bumblebee for the same price as the bigger cars, instead of just selling him for $10 or $15 less on his own merits?

But don't get me wrong. The Takara cars go for, what, $45 at Japanese retail? I don't think that's at all unreasonable for the non-Bumblebee ones, given their size, the added cost of licensing and a higher part count than your average Voyager. I'd happily pay that for Prowl or Sideswipe if I could walk into a store here and do so. The import-shop prices around $80 are insane, but I'm not buying from them so whatever (I wanted to go for G2 Sideswipe but I just can't justify it to myself). Hasbro's price is what really gets me angry -- considering they have economies of scale on their side, and considering they matched or undercut Takara's price on pretty much every other MP to date, charging $15 more for MP Prowl is a bit nuts.

If Hasbro followed Takara's lead and charged a bit more than a Voyager for them, they'd be in "totally worth it, buy them all!" territory for me. As-is the price point makes it hard to say I'd be getting my money's worth, especially if Hasbro cuts back on the paint apps and such like they have on some previous figures.

LOTS of parts and complexity, ie it costs more to manufacture them
Yes, but this is a bad thing, not a good thing. Grimlock (allegedly...I never found one :( ) and Soundwave are among the most popular MPs and they are exactly as complex as they need to be and not one jot more. Megatron and Rodimus are what you get when designers act like "parts and complexity" are something to strive for for their own sake, and pretty much everyone agrees that they're a mess.

In Bumblebee's case, from what little we can tell from those prototype pics he's got some good added complexity (a bicep cut for added articulation and ball-jointed ankles) but also some totally unnecessary, showy bits (the doors wrapping around his feet are great in theory but the joints stand out as clear as day in alt-mode and detract from the look, and I dread to think how pointlessly overengineered the backpack/rear end transformation must be to get a wheel on his back). The end result is certainly very nice, but I'm hard pressed to say it's three times as nice as the much cheaper and simpler toy from way back in 2006.

Now, if he was selling on his own for $30 or so? That'd be a different story. But for the price that they're asking, and especially for the price that Hasbro will ask when they import him? M'eh.

Knightdramon
2014-03-07, 06:17 PM
The designer himself has spoken about how the new MP toys are designed to fit a specific price point and that it has forced his hand with regards to some design choices (like why the Datsuns have fewer accessories than the Lambos did), so I'm not sure that this is relevant to the conversation. Do you really think Spike would be there if they weren't trying to justify selling Bumblebee for the same price as the bigger cars, instead of just selling him for $10 or $15 less on his own merits?

But don't get me wrong. The Takara cars go for, what, $45 at Japanese retail? I don't think that's at all unreasonable for the non-Bumblebee ones, given their size, the added cost of licensing and a higher part count than your average Voyager. I'd happily pay that for Prowl or Sideswipe if I could walk into a store here and do so. The import-shop prices around $80 are insane, but I'm not buying from them so whatever (I wanted to go for G2 Sideswipe but I just can't justify it to myself). Hasbro's price is what really gets me angry -- considering they have economies of scale on their side, and considering they matched or undercut Takara's price on pretty much every other MP to date, charging $15 more for MP Prowl is a bit nuts.

If Hasbro followed Takara's lead and charged a bit more than a Voyager for them, they'd be in "totally worth it, buy them all!" territory for me. As-is the price point makes it hard to say I'd be getting my money's worth, especially if Hasbro cuts back on the paint apps and such like they have on some previous figures.


Yes, but this is a bad thing, not a good thing. Grimlock (allegedly...I never found one :( ) and Soundwave are among the most popular MPs and they are exactly as complex as they need to be and not one jot more. Megatron and Rodimus are what you get when designers act like "parts and complexity" are something to strive for for their own sake, and pretty much everyone agrees that they're a mess.

In Bumblebee's case, from what little we can tell from those prototype pics he's got some good added complexity (a bicep cut for added articulation and ball-jointed ankles) but also some totally unnecessary, showy bits (the doors wrapping around his feet are great in theory but the joints stand out as clear as day in alt-mode and detract from the look, and I dread to think how pointlessly overengineered the backpack/rear end transformation must be to get a wheel on his back). The end result is certainly very nice, but I'm hard pressed to say it's three times as nice as the much cheaper and simpler toy from way back in 2006.

Now, if he was selling on his own for $30 or so? That'd be a different story. But for the price that they're asking, and especially for the price that Hasbro will ask when they import him? M'eh.

It was relevant to the discussion because at the point you were comparing a 15 USD toy to a [at this point, unknown, but close to] a 45 USD toy. Which still fits inside a budget, but a higher one.

Sometimes a little complexity is good, sometimes it gets overdone and the entire product suffers. No argument about that. Bandai's SOC Aquarion was designed years ago [2006?] and it's still the most complex transforming, quad-changing combiner I've ever held. Yet because almost every joint is quad-jointed and there's ample die-cast all over, it's the floppiest mess I've ever handled.

I think the MP cars, so far, are a very happy medium. Sure, Prowl might be a taaaad over-engineered, but I'd rather see something as tightly packed as they are, for 45 USD, than something like the newer FE AoE Prime :)

Grimlock and Soundwave are a bit on the easier side, but they are very good figures. Prime and the cars are a tad more complex, but stand in-between. Thankfully there can be a middle TF class between Grimlock and Megatron, otherwise things would get pretty boring or pretty disastrous fast enough.

The problem with some MPs, especially in Wheeljack's case as mentioned in the more recent interview, is the discrepancies between the G1 toys and the G1 cartoon. Bumblebee's doors kind of disappeared in the G1 cartoon when he transformed, they were almost non-existant on the G1 toy that was based on a chibi vehicle...but they have to go somewhere on the MP toy, and that somewhere couldn't be the arms because they had to be clean for robot mode. So yeah, it does look a bit cluttered in that regard.

Perhaps BB is one of those rare cases where the size is in-between "size classes"---not quite 3000 yen like the cassetes, not quite 5000 yen like the cars, but they have to bump it up to the next highest point.

Regardless, I'm very excited in waiting for this and Wheeljack.

numbat
2014-03-07, 07:41 PM
With the Bumblebee prototype images out now, I have to say I am very excited - he looks amazing! Could well be the best Masterpiece yet (for me at least)!

Knightdramon
2014-03-07, 09:24 PM
You guys seen the japanese AoE line of repainted and remoulded deluxes and voyagers, right?

Dino, b*tch!

And other nice touches (http://www.anime-export.com/search?search=transformers)

Thunderwave
2014-03-07, 11:22 PM
Dino, b*tch!


...repainted Sideways from RotF?

Blackjack
2014-03-09, 05:32 PM
Forget Dino, lookit DAT BEAUTIFUL JOLT

numbat
2014-03-09, 07:53 PM
Well, the Legends/Legion Dino was pretty terrible, but they didn't even bother giving him a new head. That retool looks as nice as could be expected given we weren't gonna see a new mould at this stage. I'd just be happy to round off my DOTM Deluxe Autobot cars with this guy, as we really had no right to ever expect to see him...

Jolt is blood gorgeous though, but would have been nice if they'd smoothed over all those panels.

Dispenser is the real winner for me though!

I would happily buy several of these, but the import prices are likely to limit me to two or three, sadly. Maybe less.

Warcry
2014-03-10, 07:36 PM
So remember how we got word a few months ago about a special edition of MP Bluestreak, and everyone hoped it would be based on the gorgeous Diaclone deco that is almost universally loved by the fandom?

Yeah, not so much (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/masterpiece-streak-repaint-to-be-silverstreak-179454/).

It's not official news, just from a retailer, so take it with a grain of salt. But it looks like what they're making is actually going to be a boring all-silver release based on the original US toy that nobody likes. If true, I'm not sure how I can react other than with bemused laughter.

Knightdramon
2014-03-10, 09:00 PM
Still need to see more concrete info on that exclusive Bluestreak, but honestly, I wasn't holding my breath.

When there's a deco on a G1 Streak toy, it's one of the four options:

-Silver and black, like the MP toy and Henkei
-All chromed silver, like the e-hobby G1 release
-G1 toy silver
-pre-G1 toy blue

Option 1 is what is usually the mass-release. Option 2 is much rarer, option 3 is frequent enough as a repaint option, option 4 is actually so rare it never happened for transformers.

The only thing remotely close to a blue streak was the all-blue BT repaint.

Warcry
2014-03-10, 09:24 PM
It's just hilarious, though. How must that decision process have worked? When you have a choice between a deco that fans have clamoured for for years, an all-chromed joke that might actually be physically impossible on the mold but would at least be eye-catching and a boring all-grey deco that absolutely nobody expresses any fondness for, who in their right mind chooses the latter?

It can't be that they're not aware that fans like it, because they've used it on a few random Bluestreaks in the past (a Spychanger and a Bot Shot, I think?). Though that would have been Hasbro. Maybe Takara's designers are genuinely unaware?

Notabot
2014-03-10, 09:51 PM
Is there any kind of copyright issue with the Diaclone scheme? I can't imagine that a) if there was it would still be in effect or b) that they couldn't tweak it enough to get around it if it still is, but maybe that's the issue. Or maybe they live under a rock and are only able to watch MSNBC.

Clay
2014-03-11, 11:10 AM
Is there any kind of copyright issue with the Diaclone scheme? I can't imagine that a) if there was it would still be in effect or b) that they couldn't tweak it enough to get around it if it still is, but maybe that's the issue. Or maybe they live under a rock and are only able to watch MSNBC.

I don't think that it would matter. If there were a legal barrier to a color scheme, I would think that licensing the car model would give access to that. I think that Takara are just being aloof in this case.

Ryan F
2014-03-11, 08:52 PM
According to one retailer on the TFW2005 boards, a blue Bluestreak will follow later in the year.

Consider this the equivalent of Tigertrack, a limited convention exclusive - a bonus release rather than part of the main line.

Just as Tigertrack was followed months later by the more popular, general-release G2 version of this mould, so it would appear that this exclusive is also a precursor for a more highly-regarded repaint.

Tantrum
2014-03-11, 10:07 PM
But don't get me wrong. The Takara cars go for, what, $45 at Japanese retail? I don't think that's at all unreasonable for the non-Bumblebee ones, given their size, the added cost of licensing and a higher part count than your average Voyager. I'd happily pay that for Prowl or Sideswipe if I could walk into a store here and do so. The import-shop prices around $80 are insane, but I'm not buying from them so whatever (I wanted to go for G2 Sideswipe but I just can't justify it to myself). Hasbro's price is what really gets me angry -- considering they have economies of scale on their side, and considering they matched or undercut Takara's price on pretty much every other MP to date, charging $15 more for MP Prowl is a bit nuts.
The price may not be entirely Hasbro's doing. The Masterpieces are Toys R Us exclusives, and TRU always seems to charge a bit more than other stores for the same toy. Without competition, they're likely to bump it up even more. Some of the previous MPs, at least the seekers, were available at Walmart.

Another possibility, which would be Hasbro's call, is that they figure they're killing the nostalgia goose that's laid quite a few golden eggs over the past decade. First, they rereleased a bunch of G1 molds. We bought some, but they were pricey, small and poorly articulated. Then came Alternators, which were less expensive, larger and better articulated, but were often kind of a pain to transform, and didn't usually resemble the G1 design all that much. Then came Classics/RTS/etc, which were closer, but still hit or miss as far as toy design and show accuracy go. Along the way, there's also been one-off tributes, like Animated Jazz or TF:Prime Wheeljack.

Now, there's Masterpieces, which look to be about as good as G1 show-accurate toys are going to get. Sure they tweaked MP Starscream a bit, but that mold had way more reuse possibility than any car will. So, once someone's bought the MP toy of a character, they're probably not going to bother buying another retro toy of that character. Would anyone with a Masterpiece Jazz on their shelf really be moved to buy a movie Jazz in G1 colors? So, Hasbro bumps up the price to make up for the fact that they won't be able to sell more homages in the future.

On the other hand, if you've bought the reissue, Alternators, and Classics versions of a character, you've spent around $60 to not have the toy of your 1984 dreams. So, spending $60 to get what you really want doesn't sound like that bad a deal.

Cliffjumper
2014-03-12, 01:18 AM
I don't find Bee's price to be too bad, assuming he's good. Value for money is a weird concept on toys - few mainline toys justify their RRP, largely because they're terrible (was Tubby Tracks worth the price of a Deluxe? No, because he was shite). A good toy goes beyond size class comparisons because it's actually good. As Tantrum says, I'm never going to buy another Prowl, Grimlock, Red Alert or Bluestreak toy again because it's difficult to see another mould of any of them hitting all the right buttons. Grimlock will pay for himself as he makes it incredibly easy to resist WFC, AOE, forthcoming Gen figures which almost certainly wouldn't be as good.

Size classing is all well and good, but if a toy's actually genuinely good rather than not bad for 10 I can allow a bit of wriggle-room. Besides which, imported MP prices compare fairly well to UK RRP Voyagers - my MP cars cost me around 35-40 each, which is about 15 more than a Voyager but less than a Leader with the added bonus that I actually get a genuinely good figure I'm likely to hang onto and enjoy rather than transform twice and hate before selling for about half of what I paid.

Warcry
2014-03-12, 02:12 AM
According to one retailer on the TFW2005 boards, a blue Bluestreak will follow later in the year.
If it happens, great, but I'll believe it when I see it. Both Hasbro and Takara have a history of saying "oh, sure we're totally going to release this toy!" and then not doing it, so I remain skeptical. Also, this rumour only surfaced once people started pointing and laughing at the current, totally pointless redeco, which could mean that the "plans" the dealer's source told him about could amount to nothing but a spur of the moment "let's try to do this, there's money in it!"

The price may not be entirely Hasbro's doing. The Masterpieces are Toys R Us exclusives, and TRU always seems to charge a bit more than other stores for the same toy. Without competition, they're likely to bump it up even more. Some of the previous MPs, at least the seekers, were available at Walmart.
What you say is true, to a certain extent. Hasbro's failure to get the MP cars into the mass retail space is definitely playing a role in the excessive final price, both because of TRU's usual price gouging, and because an exclusive has a lower production run and will cost more per unit to produce.

Would anyone with a Masterpiece Jazz on their shelf really be moved to buy a movie Jazz in G1 colors?
Yes. Absolutely yes. If it was going to stop people, then none of the people with 20th Anniversary Prime would have bought any of the Classics and Generations Optimuses, let alone the MP-10 version of the character. The thing is that MPs fill a very different niche than a Deluxe. One is meant as a high-end collectors' item, and the other is a toy. One is meant to sit on a shelf looking awesome and the other is meant to be played with.

If they made an MP Jazz and I was able to get my hands on one, I'd be more than happy to buy it. And I'd pose it on a shelf with the handful of other MP toys that I own, and he'd stand there looking awesome. But if I want a Jazz to fiddle with while I'm watching a movie or sitting at my desk, I'm probably still reaching for the RTS toy.

Does that make sense, or am I just nuts?

Size classing is all well and good, but if a toy's actually genuinely good rather than not bad for 10 I can allow a bit of wriggle-room. Besides which, imported MP prices compare fairly well to UK RRP Voyagers - my MP cars cost me around 35-40 each, which is about 15 more than a Voyager but less than a Leader with the added bonus that I actually get a genuinely good figure I'm likely to hang onto and enjoy rather than transform twice and hate before selling for about half of what I paid.
And that's all well and good, but we've both been around this fandom long enough to know that the dominance of MPs isn't going to last. Five years ago, Classics and Universe toys were the thing and many people gladly paid import prices for Takara figures because they were the best toys of G1 characters ever, so they were totally worth it. Five years before that people were in love with Alternators, with many people paying double the US retail price for Binaltechs because OMG DIECAST and saying they were totally worth it because they were the best G1 toys we were ever going to get. And three or four years before that fans were importing Car Robots toys because they were modern vehicle Transformers, the closest we'd ever get to G1 reborn, and totally worth it. Maybe I've just gotten cynical in my old age, but the current MP fad is just that -- a fad. Five years from now the fandom as a whole is going to look back on it with the same mix of nostalgia and vague disdain that it has for all the other "hot stuff", and whenever the figures are brought up most of the discussion will centre around how overrated they were at the time, how much better the popular then-in-production toys are and how they totally make the old stuff look like garbage and how stupid we all were to pay that much for stuff that was superseded so soon after. So to see fans saying now that the current style of MPs are definitive and the best we're ever going to get...sorry, I've seen that script too many times before. Just because we can't imagine how they'll best them doesn't mean they won't.

I'm not saying don't buy the stuff, just that I won't be at all surprised to see you railing about how crap they are a few years down the line.

Also -- and forgive me if this is a bit too presumptuous -- but you really need to stop buying toys that you know you're going to hate. I know I'm much happier as a fan ever since I stopped letting myself buy garbage like Generations Hoist. And your standards are way higher than mine. :)

Clay
2014-03-12, 03:06 AM
If it happens, great, but I'll believe it when I see it. Both Hasbro and Takara have a history of saying "oh, sure we're totally going to release this toy!" and then not doing it, so I remain skeptical.

Yes, and they've both gotten worse at that as time's passed.


And that's all well and good, but we've both been around this fandom long enough to know that the dominance of MPs isn't going to last. Five years ago, Classics and Universe toys were the thing and many people gladly paid import prices for Takara figures because they were the best toys of G1 characters ever, so they were totally worth it.

To be fair, some seven and a half years later, they're still churning out "Classics" figures, though they keep changing the name. But the exception proves the rule... the other side of the coin is that without a new line or fad, we'd have nothing to complain about. :)

So to see fans saying now that the current style of MPs are definitive and the best we're ever going to get...sorry, I've seen that script too many times before. Just because we can't imagine how they'll best them doesn't mean they won't.

True, but on the other hand... look at them. LOOK AT BLUESTREAK HE SO PRETTY. Erm, I mean, how are they going to top that?

Warcry
2014-03-12, 04:25 AM
To be fair, some seven and a half years later, they're still churning out "Classics" figures, though they keep changing the name. But the exception proves the rule... the other side of the coin is that without a new line or fad, we'd have nothing to complain about. :)
Generations is still around, yes...but it's denounced by a large, vocal chunk of the fandom nowadays as "kiddie toys", so it's still an example of what I'm saying. It used to be hailed as the best thing that ever happened to Transformers, but now it's down on the second tier with stuff like the movie lines in terms of hype. It's still my favourite line, but I'm open about the fact that I usually prefer toys over pretty collectors' items and I'm fairly sure I'm in the minority.

True, but on the other hand... look at them. LOOK AT BLUESTREAK HE SO PRETTY. Erm, I mean, how are they going to top that?
Shit, I dunno. But in 2003 we were all HOLY CRAP SMOKESCREEN IS THE BEST TOY EVER THEY'LL NEVER TOP THAT!!!1!, and here we are. :) Seriously, take a stroll down memory lane some time and go through our archive of Alternators and BT reviews. Lots of high scores all around, even for absolute dogs like Sideswipe or Corvette Ravage. We've gone from stuff like that being the absolute apex of Transformers engineering to stuff like Soundwave and Sideswipe in less than ten years. Who knows where the next decade will take us?

Denyer
2014-03-12, 06:36 AM
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!search/zobovor$20deathwader/alt.toys.transformers/euV02xOLJec/-kNsp2_sk8EJ

inflatable dalek
2014-03-12, 07:04 AM
Not completely sold either way on Bumblebee, how it looks in colour will probably be a decider. Props to them for not going down the deformed (and thus easy to make an equally deformed Cliffjumper, based on this if they do the later it'll have to be a whole new mould, possibly larger as well as IIRC what he's supposed to turn into is a noticeably bigger car) route.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's some way of retooling it to give the head a hood and thus instant Goldbug potential though.

Can't see the point of the Spike toy though, beyond presumably pushing the price up Bumblebee you don't really think of the Exo Suit as associated with Spike (he only wore it in the film didn't he?), it's more of a Daniel thing I'd have thought. Unless that's actually meant to be Daniel after all?

Cliffjumper
2014-03-12, 01:09 PM
Yes. Absolutely yes. If it was going to stop people, then none of the people with 20th Anniversary Prime would have bought any of the Classics and Generations Optimuses, let alone the MP-10 version of the character.

I didn't, though I'm interested in MP-10 so he's in scale with the cars.


Transformers fans are indeed largely a fickle bunch of twats I'll admit... We should seriously seize the moral highground and put an embargo on toy reviews being done within a month of purchase because a lot of the ones on this site (mainly from a few years ago) are frankly embarrassing, made while people are still high on the smell of fresh plastic and far in denial that they've paid money for a dog of a figure. IDW syndrome.

People loved both Binaltech and Classics because they thought it was going to be as good as it got, the same way people were lauding Warbot Defender a few months ago and now think Springer's better. That's Transformers fans for you - everything's relative, they don't generally have the ability to appreciate a great figure on its' own terms, it's got to be whether it's better or worse than a previous version, conform with their own prejudices and so on.

The more sober sections of the fandom will tell you that both BinAlt and Classics (and successors) had a few great figures and then many which didn't work or pushed things too far; both broadly had a good starting point and then got thrifty/lazy/mined out the concept. Masterpiece <i>should</i> be able to avoid these pitfalls - as a high-end line there's fewer design restrictions, which should mean Wheeljack and Tracks don't share a mould. They haven't shackled themselves to a scale or even a thematic concept like Binaltech did, which means they can do Dinobots, Shockwave, a proper Megatron, Combaticons, Aerialbots, whatever should there be the demand.


Also -- and forgive me if this is a bit too presumptuous -- but you really need to stop buying toys that you know you're going to hate. I know I'm much happier as a fan ever since I stopped letting myself buy garbage like Generations Hoist. And your standards are way higher than mine. :)

Eh, I've been better since DOTM... Though Alternators I bought on its' own terms knowing what I'd be getting into (and vocally disliked the Viper and Mustang while not even trying the shit Ravages and some of the stupider repaints), and Classics I really didn't buy much of (and again had Prowl's number when people were cumming in their pants about Smokescreen). The movie lines have a much better hit ratio, though the problem is anyone not on screen has their characterisation dependent on IDW, which obviously makes them quite easy to part with.


possibly larger as well as IIRC what he's supposed to turn into is a noticeably bigger car

Nah, the Datsun and Countach are already (apparently) significantly out of scale with each other (and a VW Beetle wouldn't actually be a lot smaller than either). The aim seems to be for robot mode scale, probably more or less taken from the G1 cartoon. Expect jets the size of cars at some point in the future.

inflatable dalek
2014-03-12, 03:46 PM
Ah, gotcha, I must have misread they were doing it the other way round.

In terms of toy reviews (or reviews of anything else for that matter), how do we tell the difference between those written by people giddy by a new toy and who those who genuinely like the toy and would have liked it no matter what, even if it is for reasons that might seem spurious to others? Who gets to be the arbiter of correct taste? Who reviews the toy reviewer? And then who reviews them?

Warcry
2014-03-12, 04:01 PM
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!search/zobovor$20deathwader/alt.toys.transformers/euV02xOLJec/-kNsp2_sk8EJ
The best part of this is that he thought they'd still be making toys of new characters in 2034, and not just endlessly recycling and reinventing G1 designs and names.

Transformers fans are indeed largely a fickle bunch of twats I'll admit... We should seriously seize the moral highground and put an embargo on toy reviews being done within a month of purchase because a lot of the ones on this site (mainly from a few years ago) are frankly embarrassing, made while people are still high on the smell of fresh plastic and far in denial that they've paid money for a dog of a figure. IDW syndrome.
I can see where you're coming from here, and personally I do try to give myself some time between opening a toy and reviewing it nowadays for exactly that reason. I know myself well enough to know that my opinion of figures often change quite a bit after the first week or so.

Although, circumstances and context can colour reviews quite a bit even beyond the "new toy" buzz. I wrote a lot of hilariously over-positive reviews back in 2008 during the days of Universe, I know, but most of that was due to excitement over actually having a good job and being able to afford to buy stuff, rather than the individual toys themselves.

People loved both Binaltech and Classics because they thought it was going to be as good as it got, the same way people were lauding Warbot Defender a few months ago and now think Springer's better. That's Transformers fans for you - everything's relative, they don't generally have the ability to appreciate a great figure on its' own terms, it's got to be whether it's better or worse than a previous version, conform with their own prejudices and so on.
Yeah, but what I'm saying is that people currently love the MPs for exactly the same reason, and when something better eventually comes along opinions will inevitably turn on Masterpiece the way they've turned on the previous lines, decry it as overrated, slag a bunch of the figures for being overcomplicated/boring, etc, etc, etc, and the toys that everyone says are so good now are going to be met with a "m'eh". Because that's what always happens with Transformers.

The more sober sections of the fandom will tell you that both BinAlt and Classics (and successors) had a few great figures and then many which didn't work or pushed things too far; both broadly had a good starting point and then got thrifty/lazy/mined out the concept. Masterpiece <i>should</i> be able to avoid these pitfalls - as a high-end line there's fewer design restrictions, which should mean Wheeljack and Tracks don't share a mould.
The problem is that, "high-end line" or not, the pitfalls are already happening.

Figures like Megatron and Rodimus have been pushed out in spite of being engineering disasters. I'm honestly struggling to think of a single Classics-style toy that's anywhere near the level of "mess" that Rodimus is, and I can't do it. Blitzwing may have had unforgivable engineering flaws but at least he doesn't explode before you remove him from packaging.

They've made random redecos like Tigertrack and Boring Bluestreak to whore out their molds for a few extra bucks. And frankly Soundblaster isn't much better. People were more excited for Ratbat than the toy he came with, which shows you exactly how popular that once-lauded redeco scheme is nowadays. And then there's Acid Storm and Sunstorm, all the various different-coloured Primes, King Grimlock, G2 Sideswipe, etc. Some of them are nice, sure, but they're no less of a transparent cash-in than Generations Doubledealer or Universe Treadbolt.

They have double-dipped with multiple molds for popular characters like Prime and Starscream. And then redecoed the shit out of the second molds as well, often the exact same redecoes that they'd used for the first one (I'm genuinely surprised that Takara haven't managed to squeeze out Thundercracker and Skywarp from the second Starscream mold yet, but we all know it's coming eventually). And that's without even getting into the frankly offensive behaviour that was reissuing MP-1 and marketing it as "the last time you can ever buy him!!!" six months before putting out the new and improved MP-10.

And with Bumblebee they've started padding out toys with silly accessories in order to him a preordained price point. I'm sure we'll see the same sort of chicanery with Cliffjumper, Brawn and any other Minibots they release, but with accessories even less desireable than Spike as they run out of ideas.

They are handling the line exactly the same way as they handle every other Transformers line. The only difference is that there are fewer releases, so the objectionable stuff is stretched out over a longer period of time. People ignore the bad because MP is the hot new thing right now, but how long is that going to last?

They haven't shackled themselves to a scale or even a thematic concept like Binaltech did, which means they can do Dinobots, Shockwave, a proper Megatron, Combaticons, Aerialbots, whatever should there be the demand.
That's probably not going to happen, though. With Wheeljack coming soon they've done 6 of 18 Autobot cars in the last three years. Those guys seem to be the main focus of the line, and with their current release schedule it'll be, what, 2020 before we see them all? Longer, if they mix in more Minibots along with the big guys. They can do anyone they want (and an MP Shockwave would be a grand thing, wouldn't it?) but practical considerations mean that likely either interest will die down or Takara will relaunch the line with another new Prime and Starscream before they get too far into the cast list, just like the reissue series usually do.

Also, who are you and what have you done with Cliffy? I can't remember the last time we had a conversation where you were the positive one and I was gloomily raining on everyone's parade.

Cliffjumper
2014-03-12, 04:40 PM
Figures like Megatron and Rodimus have been pushed out in spite of being engineering disasters. I'm honestly struggling to think of a single Classics-style toy that's anywhere near the level of "mess" that Rodimus is, and I can't do it. Blitzwing may have had unforgivable engineering flaws but at least he doesn't explode before you remove him from packaging.

Ahhh... we're coming at this from a different angle I think. To me, Masterpiece effectively rebooted with MP-10 and I'm only particularly interested (and giving them much credit) for the more coherent stuff since then, with Grimlock and BIG OPTIMUS as effective outliers. And the line's philosophy does seem to have changed for the better.

Some of them are nice, sure, but they're no less of a transparent cash-in than Generations Doubledealer or Universe Treadbolt.

No, but what I would say is that 1) they do no harm other than to the wallet of people with more sense than money, especially as most are some sort of exclusive that won't - say - be taking up shelf space anywhere in the way that, say, Magnus or Acid Storm did and 2) they don't (yet) compromise the original figure in the way some of the Classics ones do. They can do a yellow Sideswipe if they want based off some nerd's desperate scribblings and they might even get a few idiots buying it because of that tech spec switch thing, but as long as no-one tries to tell me it's Sunstreaker I'm not fussed.

They are handling the line exactly the same way as they handle every other Transformers line.

No. The attention to detail, finish and presentation is basically unsurpassed in Transformers history, if you count the Diaclone figures as inherited (rare exceptions are some of the better film figures and the FE Prime stuff). So far there have been no compromises for the post-MP10 cars, despite ample opportunity (e.g. retooling Bluestreak's head when no-one would have really noticed).

Those guys seem to be the main focus of the line, and with their current release schedule it'll be, what, 2020 before we see them all?

And? Soul of Chogokin, which is surely what Masterpiece is aiming to emulate in terms of demographics, image and quality, has been running since 1997. If anything the languid schedule is a good sign - the quality of both the Classics lines and BinAlt dropped radically as releases picked up. The last thing you want for a line like this is for it to start following Western "wave"-style distribution, which means you get ten moulds at a time with a hit ratio of about 20%.

Auntie Slag
2014-03-12, 05:13 PM
I'd love MP Aerialbots, with all of them the same size as Seekers but with their own individual distinguishing features... so Slingshot is still a Harrier Jump Jet, but he's the size of Starscream (as they always should have been).

I never liked the way the Aerialbots were never really considered combatants against the Decepticon jets. They had a little shot in their comics introduction against the Dirge, Thrust and Ramjet but after that they were little more than short-guy components.

Warpath and Powerglide have had some big-ish new moulds to better represent their alt-modes. I'd love a proper Starscream-sized Harrier Jump Jet like Slingshot, and be happy with a redeco of the Seeker mould for Air Raid if it meant all five were clearly individual designs (and it would be a legitimate re-use). Happy to forego the Superion concept if it meant these guys looked like a Jetfire-themed boy band.

Warcry
2014-03-12, 06:18 PM
Ahhh... we're coming at this from a different angle I think. To me, Masterpiece effectively rebooted with MP-10 and I'm only particularly interested (and giving them much credit) for the more coherent stuff since then, with Grimlock and BIG OPTIMUS as effective outliers. And the line's philosophy does seem to have changed for the better.
That's an arbitrary distinction, though. You're basically saying "Masterpiece is awesome, but only the toys I like. The rest don't count." By that logic Armada is the best toyline ever, as long as you only look at the three or four figures that were actually good.

You also have to remember that the line since MP-10 consists of a grand total of four new molds, some tiny cassette accessories and a reworked version of Starscream that you can't give them much credit for since it steals its' engineering improvements from a series of bootlegs. That's a very small sample size. What happens if, say, Wheeljack has an impossibly frustrating transformation, Bumblebee is hopelessly fragile and Ultra Magnus's combined mode has terrible articulation?

I don't mean to come off as hostile, it just really frustrates me that people seem to have taken "produced a small number of good molds in a row" and so quickly turned it into "best line ever!", even though those four molds have been spaced out with the same cash-in redecos that fans denounce in every other line (which is worse here than, say, Generations due to MP's much more limited release schedule).

They've produced a few really good MP molds over the last couple years, and that's great. But Takara are still oversaturating the market with questionable redecos, they still have a spotty record when it comes to engineering and they're still a company with a decade-long track record of running every good thing they get going into the ground. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be happy with the good stuff that they've put out so far, but the boundless enthusiasm that the MP line attracts is hopelessly naive and it's almost certainly going to end in heartbreak.

No. The attention to detail, finish and presentation is basically unsurpassed in Transformers history, if you count the Diaclone figures as inherited (rare exceptions are some of the better film figures and the FE Prime stuff). So far there have been no compromises for the post-MP10 cars, despite ample opportunity (e.g. retooling Bluestreak's head when no-one would have really noticed).
Which is exactly what people said about Alternators a decade ago, and they were just as wrong then as now. It's easy to say a line is great when you consciously choose to ignore all the crap that's been put out under the banner to focus on the handful of items you actually like, and as fans we all tend to do that, but it's not going to leave you with a realistic view of the line as a whole. People did the same thing with the Alt/BTs, waving off the fact that Dead End was clearly Sunstreaker or that Prowl was obviously meant to be Red Alert, or the stupid Corvette with a cat's head, or Hasbro's ludicrous distribution issues, or Takara's increasingly spotty engineering, and then when everything crashed and burned they were left asking "Where did it go wrong? Everything was going so well."

And? Soul of Chogokin, which is surely what Masterpiece is aiming to emulate in terms of demographics, image and quality, has been running since 1997. If anything the languid schedule is a good sign - the quality of both the Classics lines and BinAlt dropped radically as releases picked up. The last thing you want for a line like this is for it to start following Western "wave"-style distribution, which means you get ten moulds at a time with a hit ratio of about 20%.
And? You were fantasizing about toys that are probably never going to happen due to the slow release schedule, then using them as a reason for why the MP line is awesome now. The fact that they "in theory" could go and make MP Air Raid doesn't mean they will, and until they actually start to put out MPs of anything but A-listers, Autobot cars and their redecos it's all just speculation.

I agree that they're pacing the new molds in the line about right. Three or four per year is a good sweet spot for a line like this. But if we embrace that, it comes with the price of admitting that, no, we probably won't get MPs of everyone in the cartoon, or of some of the popular late-run guys from the comics. I'm not even sure the other Dinobots are in the cards, honestly, because if they're not releasing them in the year when Dinobots are going to be thrust into the public consciousness by a major multi-platform media push when are they going to have a better opportunity?

Knightdramon
2014-03-12, 08:21 PM
:lol:

Good discussion. Really good.

Having written, like, 19 out of 20 Binaltech reviews for this site, around the time I was 17 or so [and not even in my mother tongue---beat that!], I can safely make a tremendous, but accurate, over-generalization.

Things reviewed at a certain time have only what's come out before them to compare to.

Car Robots were GREAT at the time because they were realistic, uber articulated almost officially licensed cars that came after a nearly decade-long reign of toys based on animals.

Binaltech were GREAT because they were the first [and to this day, only] BIG, unified scale, realistic-interior, functioning doors, hoods, steering, suspension FULLY licensed cars. And they came out at a time when Armada with their over-simplified playschool-esque figures reigned supreme. Seriously, you are a long-standing transformers fan, fed up with plasticky-plasticness on the shelves, colourful crappy hot shot toys, and you see BT Smokescreen. You open it up. It has a fancy stand. It's like 60% metal. It is fully painted, and then decorated like crazy with tampographs of real life advertisements. The doors, hood and trunk all open up. It transforms into a greatly articulated robot that goes into great detail to emulate G1 Smokescreen. How can you NOT think that is the best there is, up to that point?

Classics were GREAT because at that point, BT had driven itself up a wall. They shot themselves on the foot with the 1:24 scale, meaning lots of bots were too cost prohibitive to come out, they had run out of usable characters for cars and the line was flirting with cancellation ever since Skids and Prowl came out. Classics brought Megatron as a gun to the table, Starscream, Astrotrain etc all relatively faithful to their G1 selves.

MP is doing great so far because it's taking its baby steps [think BT01-until blue BT Tracks] in the span of 3 years and so far you don't have things like an all-black Sunstreaker christened Dead End etc.

I don't hold any illusions---some people rave on and think that we'll get EVERYONE in G1 and the line will continue forever--no it won't. There'll be a point after the Wheeljacks and Bumblebees and Galvatrons where we'll be getting the Hoists and Huffers and stuff like...Needlenose will be on the table, when takara will just say f*ck it and release an even better Optimus Prime and Starscream.

No, I won't forget Takara re-issuing MP1 for the LAST time, fans rushing to get the very last release of the mould...and 6 months later, MP10 comes out. Nor will I forget the fact that takara officially denied ANYTHING being wrong with the broken, mis-assembled and generally poor V1 Rodimus wave they sent out.

The MP11 Starscream is actually a slight re-work of the very first release of MP03 that was shelved for Kawamori's scabbard re-design. It actually pre-dates all current MP designs.

The hopeless enthusiasm, as mildly explained before, comes from a new surge of particularly talkative newbs [talking about the collective fandom, not this board] who have only lived from the jump from Classics to MP.

Warcry
2014-03-12, 10:27 PM
Having written, like, 19 out of 20 Binaltech reviews for this site, around the time I was 17 or so [and not even in my mother tongue---beat that!], I can safely make a tremendous, but accurate, over-generalization.

Things reviewed at a certain time have only what's come out before them to compare to.
Agreed! But at the same time...toys that are genuinely good should still stand on their own merits five, ten, fifteen years later, shouldn't they? I mean, toy technology hasn't changed that much since the Cyberjets or early Beast Wars toys ushered in the idea of articulation to the brand. If a toy was truly great then, then surely it still would be now?

Talking BT/Alternators in particular I'm still quite fond of Smokescreen, Bluestreak and Skids. Tracks had a gorgeous alt-mode but the robot was really clunky. A lot of the other molds honestly don't even compare that well to the Energon/Cybertron toys they were running alongside. Prowl in particular is just dreadful, and Cat Ravage is just a mess of kibble in beast mode. But in the context of them being the first new toys of G1 characters in over a decade, a lot of us tended to overlook those flaws.

Car Robots were GREAT
...
Binaltech were GREAT
...
Classics were GREAT
I guess my point is...why do we have to say "were"? Why do we always have to denigrate previous lines whenever something new and popular comes along? Why can't we like something new without shitting on what we used to like?

Car Robots/RiD are great because they are the only modern vehicle-mode toys that were designed with Beast Wars rather than G1 aesthetics and design styles in mind. They're unique, and something we're not likely to see again.

BT/Alternators are great because of the detailed licensed alt-modes and because they represented realistic updated takes on classic G1 characters instead of the "stuck in the 80s" vibe that the MPs and much of the fiction go for. I also love that most of them can pass as actual model cars in alt-mode.

Classics and the lines that followed are great because they produced updated, modern toys of classic characters that I can fiddle with on the couch, give to a kid to play with or, if I get bored, use to set up a big battle diorama. They're fun.

And you know what? MPs are great too. The cartoon-accurate robot modes are something that a lot of fans have begged for for ages, and even though the cartoon isn't really my thing it's impossible to deny that most of them make for great display pieces.

None of the lines are perfect, they have all produced some glaringly bad figures over the years and they've all suffered from cost cutting, redeco spam and or general corporate greed, but that's to be expected. I'm just so sick of seeing everything else dismissed as people talk about MPs as if they're the be-all, end-all of the franchise because nobody could possibly want anything but slavish 80s cartoon homages.

Other lines aren't MPs, but they're not supposed to be MPs. Why do they get so much flak for not being what they were never supposed to be in the first place?

Clay
2014-03-12, 11:15 PM
Bear with me as I catch up from being unable to post at work for eight hours...

Generations is still around, yes...but it's denounced by a large, vocal chunk of the fandom nowadays as "kiddie toys", so it's still an example of what I'm saying. It used to be hailed as the best thing that ever happened to Transformers, but now it's down on the second tier with stuff like the movie lines in terms of hype. It's still my favourite line, but I'm open about the fact that I usually prefer toys over pretty collectors' items and I'm fairly sure I'm in the minority.

Where is this vocal majority? I think our forum, as a whole, is fairly reasonable and restrained with both praise and complaints of toys, whereas other larger forums tend to have more hyperbolic atmospheres, but I haven't gotten any sense of the fandom "turning" against Classics.

We should seriously seize the moral highground and put an embargo on toy reviews being done within a month of purchase

I think I may have floated that idea as a general tip once... didn't codify it into the review rules, though. I was/am as guilty as anyone. The first reviews I wrote for the site are entirely too positive, but I had just started collecting and was writing from a small pool of figures to compare anything to.

The more sober sections of the fandom will tell you that both BinAlt and Classics (and successors) had a few great figures and then many which didn't work or pushed things too far; both broadly had a good starting point and then got thrifty/lazy/mined out the concept.

I think you may have a slightly pessimistic view for the reasons behind the decline of various sublines. Whereas you could argue that Hasbro runs the well dry after a good start, you could just as easily say that the demand outpaces the design space. The kernel of the Alternators line was the first six or so molds, and the fandom responded well, so any more that they made had to be within the boundaries that they already established (1:24 scale, licensed vehicles, interior details, etc.). Volkswagen saying "no" shot Bumblebee down, having Optimus be a tractor trailer would be too big, et cetera. The line was doomed to have diminishing returns despite having a positive response from fans. And unlike the start of a line, when lots of planning goes on and ideas can be thought out all the way, once it's in the middle of things, a certain momentum has to be kept up with the releases. Then we start getting weird redecos. It's unfortunate, but it seems to be the natural rhythm of these sorts of things.

Eh, I've been better since DOTM... Though Alternators I bought on its' own terms knowing what I'd be getting into (and vocally disliked the Viper and Mustang while not even trying the shit Ravages and some of the stupider repaints), and Classics I really didn't buy much of (and again had Prowl's number when people were cumming in their pants about Smokescreen).

I've never understood the dislike for Universe Prowl. And I still love the Alternators Mustang mold :p.

It may genuinely be a case of different strokes for different folks, though.

And frankly Soundblaster isn't much better. People were more excited for Ratbat than the toy he came with, which shows you exactly how popular that once-lauded redeco scheme is nowadays.

I think the price may be the stifling point in this case. The reissue was only $50 or so, and the Masterpiece version is three times that. It's easier to get excited about a repaint of something you already have when it's still only two digits.

And with Bumblebee they've started padding out toys with silly accessories in order to him a preordained price point. I'm sure we'll see the same sort of chicanery with Cliffjumper, Brawn and any other Minibots they release, but with accessories even less desireable than Spike as they run out of ideas.

They are handling the line exactly the same way as they handle every other Transformers line. The only difference is that there are fewer releases, so the objectionable stuff is stretched out over a longer period of time. People ignore the bad because MP is the hot new thing right now, but how long is that going to last?

This is, unfortunately, probably right.

I'm not even sure the other Dinobots are in the cards, honestly, because if they're not releasing them in the year when Dinobots are going to be thrust into the public consciousness by a major multi-platform media push when are they going to have a better opportunity?

It's Takara. What do you think? :)

Things reviewed at a certain time have only what's come out before them to compare to.

Nail on the head, there. While I sometimes wonder if I should write an epilogue to some reviews, by and large, once they're uploaded they're unaltered. What somebody thought of figure X in 2005 is still there, despite that they might not have the same opinion now that figure Y has come along and mostly displaces it. But in a way that's good as it preserves what people thought of it at the time.

Cliffjumper
2014-03-13, 12:05 AM
That's an arbitrary distinction, though. You're basically saying "Masterpiece is awesome, but only the toys I like. The rest don't count." By that logic Armada is the best toyline ever, as long as you only look at the three or four figures that were actually good.

Nah, there's been a clear regearing and reorganising of the line with a consistent design ethos (based on what we've got and what we've seen) since MP-10 - this is the first time Masterpiece has actually been on any sort of regular schedule with any significant plan seemingly in place.

It's not cherry-picking an arbitrary point; it's the equivalent to the shift in G1 design philosophy in 1987 where - taking the film figures as a First Edition style preview line - there's a distinct shift in style (only with MP it's for the better). Really until recently (with multiple lines running alongside each other) all subline differentation has been arbitrary - Armada and Energon share a lot more in terms of design continuity than the first and last years of G2, yet are considered completely different lines when the latter is considered one big thing despite an obvious revamp.

That's a very small sample size. What happens if, say, Wheeljack has an impossibly frustrating transformation, Bumblebee is hopelessly fragile and Ultra Magnus's combined mode has terrible articulation?

You seem to be exaggerating my zeal somewhat. What we've had so far has been excellent. What we've seen looks excellent, and certainly good enough for me to put down the money for a couple of figures to at least find out for myself (though I'm probably going to skip Magnus as his basic design is hideous... a Senior-style Action Master would do me, he must've only transformed about three times in the UK comic...). Everything else is up in the air, Takara can **** up at any moment.

What we have now is the germ of a line which can do exactly what I'm after. The five figures I've bought have done everything I wanted, the two I can't afford seem to do the same (personally I'm kind-of banking on MP-10 getting brought out once a year with tweaks).

the same cash-in redecos that fans denounce in every other line (which is worse here than, say, Generations due to MP's much more limited release schedule).

I haven't ever had any problem with cash-in redecos; I'm probably one of the more economically understanding fans in this regard. I do, however, object to them being done badly and - more particularly - to people who like them when they're shit for some retarded reason (http://tfarchive.com/toys/reviews/rotf_nightbeat.php). I think the post MP-10 ones have been done respectably; Tigertracks is low volume and designed to appeal to Diaclone nerds, he's not aimed at proper people. Soundblaster the same, tailored to the small bunch of anime-lite freaks who still think the Japanese series is the best because a couple of characters die in a stupid way and the episodes vaguely connect. Neither do any harm, neither take up any slots in the schedule, neither are trying to trick anyone into double-dipping. Both actually look good for what they are.

I have no real problem with Hasbro thinking it's okay for Wheeljack and Tracks to share a mould (partly for the selfish reason that I wasn't collecting the figures particularly and it didn't bother me that Tracks was 'used up' that way). I have a problem with people who lap it up and claim it's brilliant.

But Takara are still oversaturating the market with questionable redecos, they still have a spotty record when it comes to engineering and they're still a company with a decade-long track record of running every good thing they get going into the ground. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be happy with the good stuff that they've put out so far, but the boundless enthusiasm that the MP line attracts is hopelessly naive and it's almost certainly going to end in heartbreak.

I'm seriously not sure how they've oversaturated the market. The trickling release schedule sees to that, as does the limited release of some of the redecos (Smokescreen, Bluestreak and Red Alert don't really count as redecos in this context as they're just as likely to appeal to the target demographic as the originals).

Which is exactly what people said about Alternators a decade ago, and they were just as wrong then as now. It's easy to say a line is great when you consciously choose to ignore all the crap that's been put out under the banner to focus on the handful of items you actually like, and as fans we all tend to do that, but it's not going to leave you with a realistic view of the line as a whole.

Not really - Sideswipe poured cold water on Binalt pretty much from the off for me, and Overdrive to a lesser extent countered Hound.

People did the same thing with the Alt/BTs, waving off the fact that Dead End was clearly Sunstreaker or that Prowl was obviously meant to be Red Alert, or the stupid Corvette with a cat's head, or Hasbro's ludicrous distribution issues, or Takara's increasingly spotty engineering, and then when everything crashed and burned they were left asking "Where did it go wrong? Everything was going so well."

Again, not I. TBH, the worst thing about BinAlt was the needless stupidity, like the "shit, better bring in a big name!" desperation that rapidly set in (despite Smokescreen selling well) when the main problem laid in the fact they were trying to mass-retail a niche line by sending out solid cases of figures and clogging shelves.

And? You were fantasizing about toys that are probably never going to happen due to the slow release schedule, then using them as a reason for why the MP line is awesome now. The fact that they "in theory" could go and make MP Air Raid doesn't mean they will, and until they actually start to put out MPs of anything but A-listers, Autobot cars and their redecos it's all just speculation.

As is the opposite, of course. If I'm guilty of getting tentatively excited (and it's hardly fantasising to suggest that the lack of a "licenced vehicles in 1:24 scale" ethos means there's more scope for variety and not shoe-horning characters into inappropriate moulds - Soundwave already shows that) aren't you guilty of being pessimistic? Is there any reason to think Takara haven't learnt?

I'd say there's more the opposite. The release schedule remains at their pace. They're clearly prepared to go their own way and leave Hasbro to do what they like with the moulds, which means the line can probably unfold at the more leisurely Japanese collector's market pace rather than the Wal-Mart/TRU pace which has screwed other like-minded lines.

I'm not even sure the other Dinobots are in the cards, honestly, because if they're not releasing them in the year when Dinobots are going to be thrust into the public consciousness by a major multi-platform media push when are they going to have a better opportunity?

I don't think a significant audience for high-end new figures of the G1 Dinobots is going to be particularly influenced by basically different characters who share rough alt-mode philosophy and whichever two or three trademarks HasTak still hold appearing in a mainstream action film. I highly doubt a serious sales crossover is expected with anyone sucked up by AOE.

I doubt they will get everyone done just because Transformers doesn't really have the depth or reach, and the other Dinobots are probably down the list quite a bit (assuming the line gets that far, we'd have most, if not all, the cars and maybe a scaled-down Seeker to even the sides up before we do, for licencing reasons if nothing else). However, I don't think that it might take 20 years to get through the pre-Movie characters is a barrier in itself.

Cliffjumper
2014-03-13, 12:09 AM
As a general point, I really don't think AOE is actually going to sell many toys... there's been a definite case of declining interest there and HasTak's approach to the toys suggest they're expecting the same. Make sure there's a bit out there but it's not the main object anymore, they're probably doing well enough on whatever cut of the box office they get without having to put their own plans on hold every couple of years. It's an action film franchise now, not a toy-selling franchise.

Tantrum
2014-03-13, 12:20 AM
I'm just so sick of seeing everything else dismissed as people talk about MPs as if they're the be-all, end-all of the franchise because nobody could possibly want anything but slavish 80s cartoon homages.
I wasn't trying to say MPs were the be-all end-all of the franchise. I was trying to say that MPs are likely the be-all end-all of slavish 80s cartoon homages, which have been a pretty solid way for Hasbro to sell TFs when they don't have a TV show or movie out. If I had all the MPs I wanted, I'd still buy movie toys that interested me, but I doubt I'd buy any more homages.

From the MPs I have (01 Optimus, Starscream and Grimlock), I see your point about MPs being great display pieces, but being too big and unwieldy to be great toys to play with. But, these new MPs are Voyager size and, from what I've read, have less convoluted transformations than Alternators. As toys, they could be as good as Generations Springer, who I still pick up to fiddle with pretty often.

Of course, they still cost around 3 times what Springer does. Maybe part of the reason Hasbro's selling $60 Voyagers is that 3rd parties selling $50 Deluxes have convinced them they can. If they wanted to justify the price, they should ditch Spike and pack Bee with Ratbat.

Warcry
2014-03-13, 02:35 AM
Where is this vocal majority? I think our forum, as a whole, is fairly reasonable and restrained with both praise and complaints of toys, whereas other larger forums tend to have more hyperbolic atmospheres, but I haven't gotten any sense of the fandom "turning" against Classics.
Oh, not here thankfully. We're a lot more sane than that. But every time I make the mistake of poking my head into one of the big boards after a major Hasbro announcement (Toyfair, SDCC, Comic-Con) I see dozens of threads with hundreds of replies each about how Generations sucks, Hasbro don't care about us, the fans deserve better, the toys are crap for being designed to fit retail price points, etc. and people going on about how they're going to give up on the line and just buy MPs. How many people are actually participating I can't say, but it seems like a lot.

I've never understood the dislike for Universe Prowl. And I still love the Alternators Mustang mold :p.

It may genuinely be a case of different strokes for different folks, though.
Personally I don't think there's anything especially wrong with the mold (Bluestreak is still one of my faves) but a lot of people have turned on Prowl in particular because his paint has turned into something akin to chewing gum. The design has its flaws (the neck is awkward and the chest is kinda hollow) but I don't hate it like some.

Nah, there's been a clear regearing and reorganising of the line with a consistent design ethos (based on what we've got and what we've seen) since MP-10 - this is the first time Masterpiece has actually been on any sort of regular schedule with any significant plan seemingly in place.
I don't agree, but I see what you're saying. The first "set" of MPs moved along in fits and starts at around two releases per year with a more erratic choice of characters, but they were also selling at a much higher price bracket and that's a big influencing factor. And when you look at the line now you still see around two or three "big" toys per year. The scattergun approach to those releases is about the same, too, a mix of easy redecos and new molds of popular characters.

I don't see the cars as a big philosophical change, just an additional price point that give them the flexibility to do stuff beyond the A-listers. There's more product, sure, but it's cheaper than it was before so it's easier to get the stuff out there more regularly. That brings it back around to why Bumblebee annoyed me, actually. If they'd sold him on his own instead of adding Spike to bump him up to the cars' price point, it would have opened up yet another avenue for guys like the Insecticons, other Minibots who Takara might not see as viable at the higher price point (your Huffers and what not) and maybe even some more left-field stuff. Obviously there's nothing stopping Takara from doing that in the future, but I was a tad disappointed that they didn't decide to branch out in the here and now.

It's not cherry-picking an arbitrary point; it's the equivalent to the shift in G1 design philosophy in 1987 where - taking the film figures as a First Edition style preview line - there's a distinct shift in style (only with MP it's for the better). Really until recently (with multiple lines running alongside each other) all subline differentation has been arbitrary - Armada and Energon share a lot more in terms of design continuity than the first and last years of G2, yet are considered completely different lines when the latter is considered one big thing despite an obvious revamp.
The reason why I say it's arbitrary is because I really don't see that big design shift that you're talking about. There's a shift is subject matter, sure, but I just don't see it as as big of a deal as you do, I guess. If I was going to draw a dividing line for where "modern" Masterpieces began I'd start with Grimlock, not MP-10. The 20th Anniversary Prime mold was designed as a one-off, not really meant to go with anything, and both Megatron and the seekers are really, really clunky and experimental. But Grimlock and Rodimus Prime both look exactly like their 80s character models given life, and MP-10, Soundwave and the cars all flowed from that. That's why it seems arbitrary to me to start from MP-10, if you feel the need to subdivide the line.

I think we're just debating semantics, though.

You seem to be exaggerating my zeal somewhat.
If I am then I apologize, but glowing statements like this...

No. The attention to detail, finish and presentation is basically unsurpassed in Transformers history
...sound like a great deal of enthusiasm to me. Especially coming from you, if you don't mind my saying, because of your rather harsh outlook on the rest of the franchise. I literally can't recall the last time I saw you this positive towards something with the TF brand on it. RiD Scourge, maybe? :)

I haven't ever had any problem with cash-in redecos; I'm probably one of the more economically understanding fans in this regard. I do, however, object to them being done badly and - more particularly - to people who like them when they're shit for some retarded reason (http://tfarchive.com/toys/reviews/rotf_nightbeat.php).
Is it sad that I knew exactly what review you were linking to before clicking it?

I have no real problem with Hasbro thinking it's okay for Wheeljack and Tracks to share a mould (partly for the selfish reason that I wasn't collecting the figures particularly and it didn't bother me that Tracks was 'used up' that way). I have a problem with people who lap it up and claim it's brilliant.
Different strokes. I honestly don't see what's wrong with it, but I don't actually like Tracks, so I'm probably not seeing it the same way as you do. I've always thought his 80s character model was horrible, and that he was easily the most boring of the Diaclone-based cars, so the Wheeljack redeco is just a nice toy of a character I don't particularly care about. It could just as well be called Aquafend or someone.

I'm seriously not sure how they've oversaturated the market. The trickling release schedule sees to that, as does the limited release of some of the redecos (Smokescreen, Bluestreak and Red Alert don't really count as redecos in this context as they're just as likely to appeal to the target demographic as the originals).
This is as much a Hasbro complaint as a Takara one, admittedly. Hasbro's release schedule is way more restricted than the Japanese one since they can only sell the stuff via TRU, and dreck like Acid Storm (who I'm led to believe is still warming shelves in a lot of the US) not only takes up space that could have gone to a toy that someone might actually want, but when it doesn't sell it negatively impacts the order numbers for future stuff. Year of the Horse Prime is also a downright bizarre choice, all things considered. Both of them seem akin to flooding the market with redecos, especially since a straight rerelease of both Starscream and MP-10 would have sold gobs better.

On the Takara side of things sales seem to be strong enough that stores will order lots of the "real" figures even when stuff like Tigertrack and Sunstorm doesn't seem to sell all that well, but IMO it's still a bad thing when they're putting out stuff in a high-end collectors' line that even fans of the line don't really want.

As is the opposite, of course. If I'm guilty of getting tentatively excited (and it's hardly fantasising to suggest that the lack of a "licenced vehicles in 1:24 scale" ethos means there's more scope for variety and not shoe-horning characters into inappropriate moulds - Soundwave already shows that) aren't you guilty of being pessimistic? Is there any reason to think Takara haven't learnt?
Actually, yes. :( The big uptick in the recent quality of the line has been, to a great extent, attributed to Shogo Hasui taking over design duties. But he's apparently leaving the role (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/new-designer-for-2014-masterpiece-series-transformers-178998/) and being replaced by the guy who designed the previous, much spottier series of MP figures along with stuff like Alternity.

Considering that the whole rest of Takara's output consists of minicons you have to build yourself, random chrome everywhere, toys that omit half of Hasbro's paint apps in favour of stickers and zillions of different redecos of Alternity Prime with different girly figures, I can understand why so many fans give Hasui credit for the MP renaissance. I'd be very happy to be proven wrong, but considering how the guy who's coming back has designed five MP figures and only one of them is up to the quality of the recent stuff, pessimism comes easily.

I don't think a significant audience for high-end new figures of the G1 Dinobots is going to be particularly influenced by basically different characters who share rough alt-mode philosophy and whichever two or three trademarks HasTak still hold appearing in a mainstream action film. I highly doubt a serious sales crossover is expected with anyone sucked up by AOE.
Since Takara has already reissued MP Grimlock this year and Hasbro is planning to do the same in the summer, I get the impression that they do consider it a factor. How much of one I don't know, but it's definitely there.

I doubt they will get everyone done just because Transformers doesn't really have the depth or reach, and the other Dinobots are probably down the list quite a bit (assuming the line gets that far, we'd have most, if not all, the cars and maybe a scaled-down Seeker to even the sides up before we do, for licencing reasons if nothing else).
I'd agree that the Dinobots would be pretty far down the list, but maybe not as far down as you're thinking. Takara seem to like the idea of having a mix of big and small MPs in any given year, and the Dinos would definitely fall into the "big" category. You wouldn't have to wait until Takara has run through the Diaclone cars like you would with, say, Blurr or someone, but there's still a fair number of guys who are probably in line ahead of them. Magnus and Star Saber we already know about, and I'd expect at least Blaster, Jetfire, Shockwave and Galvatron would be ahead of any Dinobots on Takara's wishlist. That's one reason why the third parties are hitting that subgroup so hard right now.

However, I don't think that it might take 20 years to get through the pre-Movie characters is a barrier in itself.
The question for me isn't so much whether they get around to making MP Gears or MP Reflector in 2034, as it is whether there will be a market for stuff like that in twenty years. The core characters have an enduring popularity that transcends their generation, but nobody cares about random background guys from 1984 except for the demographic that grew up with them -- and we'll be thinking about retirement by then! If there is still an MP line twenty years from now, you can bet it'll have gone off on a few different tangents over the years and look very different than what we've got now. There will have been more redos of top-tier characters for sure, and maybe Masterpieces of characters from other continuities as well -- Movieverse in particular. Assuming we haven't managed to get ourselves killed by then we could very well be sitting around discussing the merits of MP Barricade or Blackout. Which would be awesome, but it would really put a cramp in the release schedule for G1-flavoured stuff.

As a general point, I really don't think AOE is actually going to sell many toys... there's been a definite case of declining interest there and HasTak's approach to the toys suggest they're expecting the same. Make sure there's a bit out there but it's not the main object anymore, they're probably doing well enough on whatever cut of the box office they get without having to put their own plans on hold every couple of years. It's an action film franchise now, not a toy-selling franchise.
Absolutely agreed. And I think marketing most of the movie merch to the really young demographics this time around was a good idea. ROTF and DOTM proved that you can only sell essentially the same Bumblebee to the same kids so many times, but by hitting them when they're very young they can both sell them their first Bumblebee now, and maybe sell them their second, more complex Bumblebee two or three years from now with TF5.

I wasn't trying to say MPs were the be-all end-all of the franchise. I was trying to say that MPs are likely the be-all end-all of slavish 80s cartoon homages, which have been a pretty solid way for Hasbro to sell TFs when they don't have a TV show or movie out. If I had all the MPs I wanted, I'd still buy movie toys that interested me, but I doubt I'd buy any more homages.
I don't think I can disagree with that. But I'm not sure they've really done too much else that you could classify as "slavish". When you think about it, Classics is pretty far afield from G1 and only a handful of toys make an effort to really capture the 80s look. Starscream and the seekers do. Cyclonus and Whirl too. Jazz and Hound do as good a job as they can while dodging vehicle licenses. But the vast majority of toys seem to go for reinvention rather than replication, and I think there's a market for that too.

Of course, they still cost around 3 times what Springer does. Maybe part of the reason Hasbro's selling $60 Voyagers is that 3rd parties selling $50 Deluxes have convinced them they can. If they wanted to justify the price, they should ditch Spike and pack Bee with Ratbat.
Taking into account the added complexity, licensing costs and extra paint, selling them for $10 or $20 more than what Springer goes for (so $35-$45 US) seems reasonable. Double the price, though? That's pushing it, but you're absolutely right that people will pay it, so who am I to say? Personally I'd only buy something really great at that price (like a Prowl influenced by the toy deco or a Blue Bluestreak), but that won't stop the things from flying off the shelves.

Of course I also said I wouldn't pay import prices for G2 Sideswipe, no way, no how...and two days later I decided m'eh, why not, there's not much else coming out until summer that I want. So maybe they'd be able to sell me on more of the cars at $60 than I like to admit... :)

Warcry
2014-03-13, 03:10 PM
Apologies for the double post, but here are some much better pics of Bumblebee:

http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/clear-look-at-mp-21-masterpiece-bumblebee-robot-mode-179475/

He looks nice but I still don't think he's anything extra special. A shame they don't have a comparison shot with one of the other cars to show how big he is, though my best guess from the size of the pins and screws is that he's about the same size as Classics Bumblebee, so he should scale nicely with the bigger cars.

Also, the "toy face" that everyone suspected will indeed exist, but it'll be an Amazon Japan-exclusive accessory. It's kinda half-assed through, as the longer cartoon horns don't swap out.

http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/mp-21-bumblebee-amazon-exclusive-battle-mask-revealed-179476/

Is it weird that I only care about this toy because they might do a G2 or Goldbug redeco down the line?

Blackjack
2014-03-13, 05:12 PM
GOLDBUG HELL YES

Ackula
2014-03-17, 08:07 PM
Reading through this thread and seeing all the discussion on the new MP figures, I had a question pop into my head, hopefully you guys can help. All I see is praise for all the new MP toys, and when I last collected these toys, I recall most of them being horrible messes with issues. At least Megatron, Rodimus, and in some accounts the original Starscream mold. Out of those three I only own the Hasbro Starscream which did get stress marks so bad that it will likely break if ever transformed again, on the wings.

So I guess my question is this, are there no issues with the current MP figures that have come out after Grimlock (which I own and adore)? Or are they just overlooked because of the whole "it's a new MP toy!" feeling that we all get?

I have been going back and forth on Prowl, but I know the MP line has a bad track record, and honestly all I see in reviews are praise. So truthfully, are these newest MP cars really problem free and fun to play with, or just something to sit on a shelf?

Oh and I was lucky enough to get the TRU MP Soundwave, and I know that one is every bit as good as Grimlock was, probably better with all the accessories and what not.

Warcry
2014-03-17, 08:20 PM
The last few molds (the second MP Prime, Soundwave, Sideswipe and Prowl) are all significantly "cleaner" from a design perspective compared to the rather more primitive first few (the first Prime, the first Starscream and Megatron), and none of them seem to have the frankly horrifying QC issues that Rodimus did either. Though I can only speak first-hand about Soundwave, and you already know how great he is.

Prowl is apparently supposed to get released by Hasbro through Toys'R'Us later this year, so you might be able to save yourself $20 or so if you wait for that to come out. Assuming it's actually findable in stores, that is... Given Hasbro's track record the deco will probably be different from the Takara release, though how much so is something we won't know until we see some pics of it.

Ackula
2014-03-17, 08:27 PM
I usually see the MP toys in TRU here when they are out, but it is likely because my close proximity to Los Angeles affords me a vast number of TRU to check. The YOTH MP 10 and Acid Storm are damn near shelf warmers here. I keep hoping for an eventual clearance on YOTH MP 10, not because I like the horrible gold, but because I imagine it will be my only chance to own MP 10. I went to the largest toy convention in LA a few weeks ago, and it's insane..people want $300-$450 for MP 10!

Warcry
2014-03-17, 09:04 PM
I know what you mean. You've got to think that an eventual reissue of MP-10 would be in the cards though, with secondary market prices that high. Takara's already reissued him once I think, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him given another run in a year or so. Even the $200 that the recent Asian-market Grimlock and Starscream reissues were imported for would seem like a bargain compared to what MP Prime runs.

Honestly it just seems like the kind of thing that one company or the other is going to release every couple years in perpetuity, at least until a new MP Prime mold gets made down the road.

This is one time when I actually wish Hasbro would cut corners and put the thing out without the trailer for a cheaper price point, but only because I really have no idea what I'll do with a giant trailer the 95% of the time that he'd be in robot mode.

(Question for those with MP-10...how big is the trailer anyway? Looking at how big Soundwave is in robot mode, my brain is insisting it would be almost two feet long. But that can't be right, can it?)

Denyer
2014-03-17, 10:00 PM
I have a problem with people who lap it up and claim it's brilliant.
Haven't got the early characters such as Ironhide, Mirage, Hound, Jazz, Wheeljack and Tracks out at the moment, but I do like all of them.

Surprised that YOTH Prime got a wide release. It'd probably look alright if gone over liberally in silver Sharpie, and if I hadn't picked up the original and Megs (boxy is still cool, it's more authentic) would probably feel inclined to get one and do that, but the gold does look shit. Another straight-up release for newer Prime and Starscream would almost certainly have done better.

Waiting to see what Bumblebee looks like in colour. I think I prefer the Art Feather one or the mods people have done of the Toyworld one. Apart from the car bits the MP sculpting says Cliffjumper more to me, personally, but I've never been a fan of the BB animation model.

Think I might give up waiting on an official MP Shockwave later in the year...

edit: Also, just found the Goldbug version of the Art Feather one, and I think that's going to be my BB.

Knightdramon
2014-03-17, 10:31 PM
This is one time when I actually wish Hasbro would cut corners and put the thing out without the trailer for a cheaper price point, but only because I really have no idea what I'll do with a giant trailer the 95% of the time that he'd be in robot mode.

(Question for those with MP-10...how big is the trailer anyway? Looking at how big Soundwave is in robot mode, my brain is insisting it would be almost two feet long. But that can't be right, can it?)

MP10 is one of those rare Optimus figures where the trailer is actually fun.

I hate Optimus trailers. But I can't get enough of this one. Admittedly, you need Roller and mini-Spike for the full effect, but it's very fun as a base/display backdrop for the Prime figure.

Trailer is bigger, height wise, than the Soundwave/Optimus figure. Optimus himself is a tad taller than the MP Seeker mould. (http://www.seibertron.com/transformers-toys/view/masterpiece/optimus-prime-mp-10/2501/1/378/)

Ackula
2014-03-18, 12:44 AM
Surprised that YOTH Prime got a wide release. It'd probably look alright if gone over liberally in silver Sharpie, and if I hadn't picked up the original and Megs (boxy is still cool, it's more authentic) would probably feel inclined to get one and do that, but the gold does look shit.

I stood in the store and tried to talk myself into that for a while, I had a 20% off coupon too, but I don't know how well silver sharpie would work over that god awful gold. Then I thought of repainting the gold parts, but I've never painted anything, so $120 is too much for me to pay for something I would only like if it was a different color. However if they keep warming shelves and go on clearance down the road..I might pick one up if it was less than $100..the clear trailer is kinda cool.

Denyer
2014-03-18, 08:10 PM
The metallics are more paint than ink and give good coverage with a couple of coats. Try it on something smaller and disposable, because silver comes out relatively matte versus silver plastic and it's certainly not chrome-like (I painted over the chrome on Takara Metroplex's face to stop it catching the light, personally, but maybe less the effect you want on Prime.)

Can't see as it's worth it to get one boxed with fugly clear trailer -- although the trailer would paint as well, I suppose -- unless it's really cheap.

edit: Also, it's presumably a bit fiddly to dismantle and paint properly.

numbat
2014-03-19, 11:18 AM
MP-10 is really brilliant - I actually really picked him up only after much soul searching and internal arguments because I wanted an Optimus Prime in scale with the current MPs (Soundwave and the cars in particular). I couldn't see how he could be better than the original. I was wrong - he really is an improvement. However, I wouldn't say he was dramatically better. I went for the Hasbro one because I prefer the cartoon accurate deco, as opposed to Takara's toy accurate one.

It's interesting how Takara and Hasbro seem to alternate between toy and cartoon accuracy though, isn't it?

I do own the original MP Convoy (with trailer) and Megatron, and thought these were the bees knees. As people have already said, the new MPs have much cleaner designs, more than anything else, and the reduced use of metal actually makes them more balanced I think. The Autobot cars have been superb indeed, and not only look great in both modes (I have Bluestreak and Smokescreen, as well as Sideswipe), but are easy and fun to transform if sitting on your desk (as they are mine). This is true of MP Grimlock as well, who I recently got, and I think he fits in with the new tranche of in-scale MPs. Soundwave and the cassettes are of course awesome also.

I do own MP-11 Coronation Starscream, and find he fits in nicely too. I have never owned another version of this mould, but I think a number of the design flaws have been addressed - however there are still some joints (tail fins particularly) which feel very thin, and the waist does not lock. That said, I think I find him the most fun of the MPs I own.

MP-10 is the only Hasbro Masterpiece I own, and he does have some loose joints and the clear plastic on his waist has been overglued, which you can see. My MP Frenzy has a paint error on his face, which is frustrating. MP Soundwave's finger likes to fall off as well, so you need to watch that! However, I wouldn't say any have major QC issues, unlike what I've heard of MP Rodimus, the original seeker mould and my first-hand experience of MP-05 Megatron.

I really am hoping for a new MP Megatron - a few more Decepticons in general would be nice!

Anyway, with my son now here, I think most of my TF buying will be focussed on MP figures - although that will itself probably be limited. (I have preordered Bumblebee and Wheeljack now though. :) )

Oh - and I do find MP-10's trailer boring, really. Optimus Prime really doesn't luck out with his trailers does he? It's just a shell with a few weird articulated things inside. Roller is really nicely done though, and it's great that Spike can interact with all these things. I would always opt for the Optimus Prime with a trailer though, as he looks naked in truck mode without it.

Denyer
2014-03-19, 07:21 PM
Anyway, with my son now here,

Congrats. :up:

inflatable dalek
2014-03-19, 07:26 PM
Yeah, you dropped that in quietly!

Horah for Numbat! I'm sure a baby is nearly as good as Masterpiece Prowl.

Clay
2014-03-20, 11:36 AM
Wheeljack in color (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/masterpiece-wheeljack-full-color-image-mp-ultra-magnus-teaser-179516/).

numbat
2014-03-20, 12:22 PM
Yeah, you dropped that in quietly!

Horah for Numbat! I'm sure a baby is nearly as good as Masterpiece Prowl.

Nah, wee Logan is way better than any Transformer! Especially when we're playing with Neville the Newt - now that is one fun and educational amphibian!

:)

Warcry
2014-03-20, 05:08 PM
Wheeljack in color (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/masterpiece-wheeljack-full-color-image-mp-ultra-magnus-teaser-179516/).
Well, that's a lovely Lancia Stratos, I've gotta give them that. And (if I understand right) Wheeljack's Amazon-exclusive accessory is a toolbox prop instead of an important part of his design like Prowl's was. So that's nice.

[obligatory complaining]
But overall, the whole package just doesn't seem as polished as the Lambos or Datsuns. The rocket is too big and blocky to be the cartoon design, but nothing like the toy. And for some reason it pains me to see the hood-stripes on his belly below the windshield. The ears really should be light-piped too IMO, since this is Wheeljack and light-up ears are his whole thing, but I get why they wouldn't do that. It'd be too toy-like and the "serious collectors" would heap scorn on it.
[/obligatory complaining]

It's a nice Wheeljack, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't strike me as "definitive" the way the best MPs do.

Clay
2014-03-20, 05:22 PM
[obligatory complaining]
And for some reason it pains me to see the hood-stripes on his belly below the windshield. The ears really should be light-piped too IMO, since this is Wheeljack and light-up ears are his whole thing, but I get why they wouldn't do that. It'd be too toy-like and the "serious collectors" would heap scorn on it.
[/obligatory complaining]

Actually, the designer gave an interview in which he addressed those two points specifically, and offending collectors isn't the reason. (http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showpost.php?p=737399&postcount=136)

Although your two nitpicks, taken in immediate juxtaposition of each other, sound like they come from a ridiculously contradictory curmudgeon. :p

Warcry
2014-03-20, 06:07 PM
Although your two nitpicks, taken in immediate juxtaposition of each other, sound like they come from a ridiculously contradictory curmudgeon. :p
I'm not sure how? I'm not writing a logical dissection of the thing's flaws, just saying I'm sad that he didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted him to. :)

(Though that would have involved the Action Master's guns as accessories, so that was never going to happen)

Don't get me wrong. I totally get why he turned out the way he did. Wheeljack was always going to be one of the hardest to get spot-on just due to how different his character model was from his actual alt-mode. Aside from the handful of things I bitched about, I think this is about as close as you can get to having an actual Lancia turn into cartoon Wheeljack. The only one I can see giving them as much trouble is Cliffjumper.

Even after reading that I'm not quite sure why the ears were a non-starter, though. Surely there must have been some way to make them transparent without hampering the articulation. :( It's not like you'd have to make the whole back half of the head clear like they do with Generations toys to light up the eyes.

Clay
2014-03-20, 06:27 PM
I'm not sure how? I'm not writing a logical dissection of the thing's flaws, just saying I'm sad that he didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted him to. :)

After reading back over it, I think I misread it as you wanting it more toy and more cartoon like, but now it just reads like you want the cartoon look. Reading comprehension FAIL for me. :(

Now it is I that am the curmudgeon! :o

(Though that would have involved the Action Master's guns as accessories, so that was never going to happen)

What, like the skateboard that turns into a gun? Or was that Jazz?

Don't get me wrong. I totally get why he turned out the way he did. Wheeljack was always going to be one of the hardest to get spot-on just due to how different his character model was from his actual alt-mode. Aside from the handful of things I bitched about, I think this is about as close as you can get to having an actual Lancia turn into cartoon Wheeljack. The only one I can see giving them as much trouble is Cliffjumper.

This is, exceedingly, the problem with representations of G1 characters, whether by Masterpiece, Classics, third party, etc. The designers essentially have to meld together two distinct (and often contradictory) designs into one physical product simultaneously. The thing is it'll never be "perfect" because an individual may rate certain points more highly from one design more than the other which end up getting omitted.

They worked out a good compromise with giving Jetfire a hat on the Classics and upcoming Generations figure. Bumblebee, on the other hand, has an entirely different clip-on face. Obvious question for Wheeljack is, "one shoulder launcher or two?" They seem to have gone for one.

Even after reading that I'm not quite sure why the ears were a non-starter, though. Surely there must have been some way to make them transparent without hampering the articulation. :( It's not like you'd have to make the whole back half of the head clear like they do with Generations toys to light up the eyes.

I think his idea was that, if they were going to do the light up ears, they were going to do it right. Not light-piped, but electronic lighting. As he said, translucent silver that lights up blue is difficult enough from a production standpoint, plus the electronics wouldn't really have fit without taking out his neck or something.

Denyer
2014-03-20, 08:04 PM
Hoping it's mostly the curve of the page plus the angle... that's kind of underwhelming compared to the Classics and Prime ones...

Knightdramon
2014-03-21, 08:26 AM
Like it a lot. Love that they went for the actual car deco [with red wheels] instead of cartoon generic deco.

Picture isn't really flattering, mostly because it's a white figure with [mostly] white limbs on a white magazine scan. Although the outlines are there, they are hard to see. Unsure if his upper legs look that skinny or it's the contrast with the magazine page.

Happily can't figure out how he transforms. Seems like every inch of his body is used for the outer car shell. Maybe his backpack and arms hinge up [arms look like they turn into the spoiler of the car], his bottom and waist them swing up, swinging the things around, and the legs form them sides and front of the car?

There's even "alitalia" parts on his torso that I can't figure out where they go, but that's because we don't have a full view of the car yet.

Don't know why some people [in other forums] are so upset about the missile launcher not storing in the vehicle mode. Smokescreen and ALL lamborghinis seem to do just fine with their shoulder guns being removable.

Magnus silhouette looks promising, I think I can make out MP10 thighs.

Warcry
2014-03-25, 03:10 PM
There are some new Bumblebee pics (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/new-mp-21-bumblebee-images-179544/) out now, most importantly a comparison shot with Prowl that establishes how big he'll be. He'll probably wind up looking a little funny next to the other cars in VW mode, but I think they got the robot mode scale just about right.

What, like the skateboard that turns into a gun? Or was that Jazz?
That was indeed Jazz. Wheeljack (http://www.tfu.info/1990/Autobot/Wheeljack/wheeljack.htm) had a couple of gigantic missile-gun things that were nearly as big as he was.

I think his idea was that, if they were going to do the light up ears, they were going to do it right. Not light-piped, but electronic lighting. As he said, translucent silver that lights up blue is difficult enough from a production standpoint, plus the electronics wouldn't really have fit without taking out his neck or something.
Ah, okay. I get it now. Yeah, putting in electronics would have been difficult, I can't disagree with that.

Denyer
2014-03-27, 09:49 PM
Better... it's got some of the simian look of the original...

http://i.imgur.com/xDCfwqk.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/xDCfwqk.jpg

Clay
2014-03-27, 09:52 PM
WHEELJACK NOW.

He's pretty. If they had lead with Wheeljack, I would've been on board from the beginning instead of picking up Prowl a month after release and going from there.

Cliffjumper
2014-03-28, 05:10 AM
Nailed it.

Knightdramon
2014-03-28, 07:45 AM
Loving it...and the transformation, based on the pictures and the interview from a while ago, seems to be CRAZY.

August cannot come here fast enough.

Warcry
2014-03-28, 03:53 PM
Better... it's got some of the simian look of the original...
Really? I don't see it personally. In fact the thing that impresses me the most was how he didn't wind up looking like a barrel-chested monkey like G1 Wheeljack.

After seeing the thing in better detail I retract my "his ears should have been light-piped!" whining because the head sculpt is gorgeous as-is. Also happy to see that the wings have the toy's etching details on them, because the first pic made it look like they'd be blank like the cartoon.

The real-life car deco still looks funny to me in robot mode and I still don't think the launcher looks right, but all in all I'd say he turned out pretty nice.

numbat
2014-03-28, 05:17 PM
Man, I was on the fence with Wheeljack, with the wee one here and him being a fairly minor character. I ordered him in the end, as it didn't affect postage along with MP Bumblebee and the prototype photos looked like there would be an awesome transformation. Seeing the colour pictures I am so glad I did! Really looking forward to these guys!

Knightdramon
2014-03-28, 07:10 PM
Only sad thing is that these won't be available at autoassembly this year :lol:

Unicron
2014-03-28, 07:18 PM
That looks quite nice. I actually kind of like the car deco showing up, as I think he probably would have looked a bit boring in robot mode without it.
I wish the shoulder launcher had turned out better, but I assume it looks as it does because it actually fires so I can tolerate it. Besides, give it two weeks after release (if not faster) and some third party accessory maker will have churned out a better looking one.

Denyer
2014-03-28, 08:05 PM
Really? I don't see it personally. In fact the thing that impresses me the most was how he didn't wind up looking like a barrel-chested monkey like G1 Wheeljack.
Yeah, there's definitely a bit of Librarian with the arms.

Clay
2014-04-22, 02:12 PM
First look at ultra magnus http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/transformers-masterpiece-mp-22-ultra-magnus-prototype-revealed-179766/

Warcry
2014-04-22, 03:26 PM
That turned out pretty well, considering they went the "white Prime in armour" route. I'm sure it'll generate some "partsforming" complaints, but I don't think it'd be possible to do otherwise.

I'm curious to see what it looks like in colour, and whether the inner robot legs turn out to be unsightly in the end.

praetorian
2014-04-22, 03:55 PM
Can't tell from the legs inside the trailer, but they don't look like the new MP-Optimus mold to me. Nice that the matrix will fit in there, though!

Unicron
2014-04-22, 04:48 PM
I need to see more and better pictures, but I'm liking it so far. I can live with the inner legs looking bad if the rest of it turns out well

numbat
2014-04-23, 08:43 PM
Looks pretty cool, but a bit bland - the paint is gonna make or break this one I think.

Warcry
2014-04-23, 08:59 PM
Clearer pics: http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transformers-news-rumors/982723-masterpiece-ultra-magnus-prototype-18.html#post10926178

Can't tell from the legs inside the trailer, but they don't look like the new MP-Optimus mold to me. Nice that the matrix will fit in there, though!
According to some Japanese-speakers who've had a look at the text, it's not the MP Optimus mold after all. Colour me surprised! When news of an MP Magnus broke it was all about how MP-10 had been designed with Magnus in mind and that this was going to be basically a Prime redeco with a new trailer, up to and including pics from the designer of G1 Magnus cut up and glued onto MP-10 to show how it'd work. But somewhere along the lines it looks like they binned that idea entirely and just went with a single robot mode with no intermediate form and redesigned the truck cab from scratch.

That's probably the right call for getting the best super mode out of the thing, though I'm a tad disappointed because I've always liked the idea of Magnus being two cool toys in one.

Unicron
2014-04-23, 10:49 PM
The clearer pics definitely help. I'm liking the looks of it a lot more. Just waiting on color pics now, and maybe from some more angles.
I'm kind of wishing the eyes were bigger, more like the cartoon, but I can live with it. May also be that the 'brow' is obscuring them some.
And is it me, or does that close-up on the head on the bottom left look like the back of the head, like it's reversible?

I'm totally fine with it not being a white Prime in a suit. To me that's not Magnus.

Warcry
2014-04-24, 01:47 PM
The clearer pics definitely help. I'm liking the looks of it a lot more. Just waiting on color pics now, and maybe from some more angles.
I'm kind of wishing the eyes were bigger, more like the cartoon, but I can live with it. May also be that the 'brow' is obscuring them some.
I noticed that too, and wasn't sure if it was just the prototype's flat grey playing tricks on me or what. But the bottom-left pic shows his eyes more clearly, and the eyes look pretty small there...nothing like the big, square 80s-motorcycle-cop-sunglasses eyes that Cartoon Magnus usually has. Though...

And is it me, or does that close-up on the head on the bottom left look like the back of the head, like it's reversible?
It looks to me like part of the front of the face has been removed in that pic, which suggests to me he's got different expressions like Starscream or maybe an alternate face like Bumblebee. Maybe a cartoon-accurate face that can swap out for a toy one?

I'm totally fine with it not being a white Prime in a suit. To me that's not Magnus.
That's okay, you're entitled to your wrong opinion. :glance:

Just kidding, obviously. This is probably the right way to go if you want to make the best Ultra Magnus possible. I'm just sad because the rumours had suggested we'd be getting a good Ultra Magnus and a version of MP-10 in one package.

Clay
2014-04-24, 02:05 PM
The clearer picture still shows the MP10 in cab mode in front of the trailer, though. I'm confused as to how this thing works.

EDIT: I think I understand it now. The cab seems to be MP10 with alternate parts (legs) to connect to the trailer. So it's a remold of the cab ... maybe.

praetorian
2014-04-24, 02:25 PM
From the top of the cab, it looks like there's a hinge that's not on MP-10, almost like the whole top flips up and over. Also, the smoke stacks look like they're of the same mold as the top of the cab, rather than being chromed like the front grille and bumper and tanks.

I think his face does come off. On that second face with the open mouth, it looks like there are two insert holes, a big one right above his brow, and the other smaller on the top of his head. Also, the angled part on the back of his head matches on both faces.

Knightdramon
2014-04-24, 05:46 PM
Truck windows don't seem to open. If you look at the bigger, clearer scan, the cab has much fewer seam lines than MP10 did.

It looks very close, but it's not the same mould. The article states the share something like wheels and grill.

Unicron
2014-04-24, 06:49 PM
That's okay, you're entitled to your wrong opinion. :glance:

Just kidding, obviously. This is probably the right way to go if you want to make the best Ultra Magnus possible. I'm just sad because the rumours had suggested we'd be getting a good Ultra Magnus and a version of MP-10 in one package.
I can understand wanting another crack at the MP-10 mold, I missed it first time around and wouldn't mind having it (and not that weird Year of the whatever version), but I think this is the right way to go. I doubt an armored up white Prime would have looked as good in either mode.
I think it's also the fact that for once Magnus gets to actually be his own mold rather than a Prime repaint with extras.

I think his face does come off. On that second face with the open mouth, it looks like there are two insert holes, a big one right above his brow, and the other smaller on the top of his head. Also, the angled part on the back of his head matches on both faces.

I think you're right. On closer examination, it does look like the face in the bottom left pic is after the removal of a chunk of head. That makes a lot more sense than my original 'spare face stapled onto the back of his head' conclusion.

inflatable dalek
2014-04-24, 06:58 PM
No little green moustached guy?

Knightdramon
2014-04-24, 08:07 PM
MP Magnus up for preorder at omegalock. 125 pounds? Does it look too good to be true for you guys as well?

That's like, 5 pounds more expensive than TRU Horse Prime, and it's imported from Asia.

Unicron
2014-04-24, 08:37 PM
No little green moustached guy?
Give it a little bit, the 3rd party will come through no doubt

praetorian
2014-04-25, 01:59 PM
More Ultra Magnus pics (clearer) and price:

http://tfsource.com/masterpiece/mp-22-ultramagnus/

Clear now that his legs are part of the trailer and the cab is a remold.

Denyer
2014-04-28, 07:25 PM
MP Magnus up for preorder at omegalock. 125 pounds? Does it look too good to be true for you guys as well?
The guy has feedback from people I recognise as customers of other TF stores -- I've gone with him for the red FT Soar, and am waiting on a PE Warden and FT Scoria. In both cases it's delays with the production company AFAICT. Plus stock will be probably be coming on the big and cost-effective boat consignments that companies such as China Post use -- things I've ordered off eBay from that area usually come within a short time of each other after about a month, if they're already in-hand.

Having links with the countries this stuff is coming from really helps; I've seen a few comments on other forums where people have business contacts or friends who are getting items quite a bit below the prices of any UK importer. Not particularly worried.

Osku
2014-05-17, 07:34 PM
Eh, Sideswipe seems like a good one to see if the line is to my taste. Couldn't resist the G2 symbol. :o

Bought one. Fingers crossed.
Been happy with G2 Sideswipe, surprisingly fun to fiddle with while reading etc.

Prowl next. This is a good price, right?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Transformers-Masterpiece-MP-17-Prowl-Nissan-6-Figure-Car-NIB-/151302465572?

Any info of possible Goldbug retool of Bumblebee? Very tempted by this unofficial toy. :(
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Transformers-Art-Feather-AF-Goldbug-Bumblebee-G1-Animation-Version-Mint-in-Box-/221441555546?

Knightdramon
2014-05-17, 07:49 PM
Yup, that Prowl price is right around regular retail I paid [maybe even cheaper].

Not entirely sure of it, but I *think* MP Prowl has been KO'd, so you might want to research that.

Clueless about that Goldbug toy you linked. Looks like a retool of the artfeather 3rd party release?

About MP Bumblebee to Goldbug, hasn't been mentioned at all. Probably unlikely.

Warcry
2014-05-17, 07:51 PM
Been happy with G2 Sideswipe, surprisingly fun to fiddle with while reading etc.
MP G2 Sideswipe is pretty sweet, isn't he? He's smaller and less complex than the previous MPs, which makes him fall in the "really fun toy" pile rather than the "giant awesome display piece" one.

Prowl next. This is a good price, right?
It's a great price for the real thing, but coming from China I'd wager it's a bootleg. :( Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the bootleg MP cars are very high quality. Sadly I think the only way to get a 100% for-sure legit MP Prowl at this point is to buy directly from an importer and pay double what the eBay auctions charge, since most of the telltale differences between KO and original are really hard to spot unless you compare the two up close.

But if you're down with the bootlegs I'd bet you could find them for a few bucks cheaper from other sellers.

Any info of possible Goldbug retool of Bumblebee? Very tempted by this unofficial toy. :(
No word yet. Bumblebee himself won't be out until the end of the year though, so a Goldbug (who you'd think would be a no-brainer redeco, but who knows?) won't be happening until 2015 at the earliest.

Osku
2014-05-17, 08:14 PM
MP G2 Sideswipe is pretty sweet, isn't he? He's smaller and less complex than the previous MPs, which makes him fall in the "really fun toy" pile rather than the "giant awesome display piece" one.

Absolutely. I've transformed it already more times than my old MP OP, which I've had for years. :o

Well, Prowl did seem too good to be true.

Clueless about that Goldbug toy you linked. Looks like a retool of the artfeather 3rd party release?
It'd seem so, not that familiar with the different 3rd party groups. I'll go with that unofficial Goldbug I quess. My (hopefully soon to arrive) Soundmixer/Blaster could use a friend.

I do have FOC Blaster but it was big disappointment. Animal mode discs were IMHO terrible, robot ones boring and the launcher on Blaster's back irritating and barely functional. :(

Denyer
2014-05-19, 08:34 PM
Any info of possible Goldbug retool of Bumblebee? Very tempted by this unofficial toy. :(
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Transformers-Art-Feather-AF-Goldbug-Bumblebee-G1-Animation-Version-Mint-in-Box-/221441555546?
Being a fan of the Classics design I got one because I like it more than the cartoon-styled Masterpiece Bumblebee... although I can see the official Masterpiece design working better for Cliffjumper when TT do him.

I've generally been impressed with current 3rd party stuff. The very first ones that hit the scene years ago were dodgy in terms of quality (Impossible Toys stuff, for instance) but things have moved on.

Denyer
2014-05-21, 06:53 PM
My (hopefully soon to arrive) Soundmixer/Blaster could use a friend.

I do have FOC Blaster but it was big disappointment. Animal mode discs were IMHO terrible, robot ones boring and the launcher on Blaster's back irritating and barely functional. :(
Steeljaw and the orange bird aren't great, but having both the FoC Blaster and Soundmixer in hand I do kind of prefer the FoC headsculpt. However, Soundmixer scales very nicely with the original Classics Jetfire, who he's next to.

tahukanuva
2014-05-22, 04:22 PM
MP-10 Mode 'EVA' (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/evangelion-masterpiece-optimus-prime-revealed-mp-10-convoy-mode-eva-180080/)

Evangelion Optimus Prime? Certainly don't mind if I do.

Unicron
2014-05-22, 05:00 PM
Man, the color scheme on that thing is ugly. That's nearly G2 Stunticon bad

Knightdramon
2014-05-22, 05:29 PM
Exclusive tokyo toy show bluestreak is...bluestreak in all gray car mode. Meh.

Unicron
2014-05-22, 06:56 PM
News item with pics of the Bluestreak and some new pics of MP Magnus (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/japanese-transformers-40/figure-king-reveals-bearbrick-optimus-prime-tokyo-toy-show-bluestreak-and-more-180078/)

I'm continuing to dig MP Magnus, enough to have pre-ordered him.
Some useful new details in the Magnus pics: Purple parts apparently indicate what will be chromed, prototypes of the Spike and Daniel mini-figs, what appears to be an alternate set of hands which would be more able to handle a Matrix, alternate face for Magnus (looks to be his blown up by the Sweeps face from the movie).

Knightdramon
2014-05-22, 09:28 PM
Haven't been as hyped up for Magnus as I have been for any other figure. Thanks to the last 2+ years of IDW comics, Magnus has gone from simply "meh" to favourite character, and this toy seems to pull all stops.

There's enough to like and homage both toy and cartoon/comics. I need this NOW.

Denyer
2014-05-22, 09:52 PM
My "IDW comics" bit of a shelf is CHUG scale, so I'm happy with the 3P armour, but it's nice that recent media's helped rehabilitate the character to the extent a large MP version and big 3P versions are sustainable.

Knightdramon
2014-05-22, 10:05 PM
Heh, my "IDW" shelf has been MP Rodimus, Red Alert and Smokescreen for over 5 months now. Wildly out of scale with each other [at least Rodimus]...but Magnus will fix all that up.

And then when Star Sabre shows up next year...and stays on the "enemies" side...that will be glorious.

Knightdramon
2014-05-22, 10:19 PM
Also, interestingly enough [taken from the thread at tfw]

Hasui wanted Magnus to be a white Prime with armour. Hasui had designed that.

Kobayashi [MP01-09 and Alternity designer] wanted to keep the cost of the release down and made the design for an integrated "one piece" transformation.

So MP22 Magnus is more or less the first MP both major designers had a hand in creating.

Clay
2014-05-26, 06:26 PM
Here's a Wheeljack test shot with Prowl, courtesy of a tweet from the designer. (http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-masterpiece-47/masterpiece-mp-20-wheeljack-new-image-180110/)

He's pretty.

Unicron
2014-05-26, 07:43 PM
Looks real nice. Think I might have to order one up at somepoint.
The only thing I'm not entirely liking on him is that shoulder cannon thing. Looks a little too bulky and blunt, but that's probably because it's functional so I'll let it slide.

Clay
2014-05-27, 01:17 AM
Mega Drive (Sega Genesis) Megatron is up for pre order. (http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/product.aspx?product=SNT10053&mode=retail) Near as I can tell, it's not a functioning console (unlike the various Device Label figures were). It's just a Megatron that turns into a Genesis. How... timely? Wouldn't a Playstation or Wii be more appropriate?

Notabot
2014-05-27, 04:01 AM
Awesome. He's both outdated and ugly. And expensive too? Suh-weet! On the plus side, you can get games for him at pawn shops for only a dollar!

Cliffjumper
2014-05-27, 04:03 AM
He's pretty.

Nowhere near as nice as the Classics version. How are they going to get Tracks out of that mould?