Skyquake87's Review: Masterpiece MP-25L Loudpedal
Bio: Though weak, cowardly, and clumsy when compared to most Destrons, Loudpedal stands out for being particularly specialized in his role as a sonic engineer. He can generate and wield sonic energy for a wide range of purposes: if he concentrates enough, Loudpedal can deploy sound blasts as offensive weapons, or perfectly track down Autobots, or even sculpt solid matter into new shapes and functions. He largely tries to hide the extent of this gift from his fellow Destrons, with Exhaust being the only one he truly sees as a peer.
I've been sort of interested in Black Tracks since seeing a picture of him in the Japanese Transformers Binaltech & TF Collection Complete Guide, one of those glorious toy porn books Japan puts out. I'd no idea at the time that this limited edition figure was based on a super-rare Finnish Diaclone variant. Not that that mattered to me, I just thought it looked pretty swish. So I was pleased that this recolour of Tracks has appeared in the MP line and was repurposed as a Destron to boot. Because: a) that's brilliant and means I don't have to bust a gut to own one and b) the line needs more bad guys. The figure is a retool of the Masterpiece version of Tracks, sporting a new head based on the Diaclone toy that was repurposed for Tracks and comes with a bunch of accessories, some of which are awesome (the stand) and some less so (Auto-Bop coloured Raoul – here stated to be a holomatter avatar – and a Diaclone coloured version of the Blaster mould in alt mode – which sadly does not function as a working AM Radio like the original Diaclone toy). I like his bio too – being a weedy guy with a potentially devastating power at his disposal. There's a neat character sketched in right there.
In a break with the format, I'm starting with the vehicle mode because just look at it. It looks wicked; all black with purpled out windows and sexy flaming hood decal, which you can sticker over with a Diaclone 'CS' sticker if you must. The silver wheel trims look excellent and are proof that most Transformers toys look good with a bit of silver paint slapped on their wheels. The only thing the blackness does highlight is how narrow the Stingray is, which is odd, because its never struck me as a particularly skinny car. Maybe its Takara's scaling on this mould and its just more noticeable on Loudpedal because he stands out so much.
Flying Car Mode:
As Loudpedal shares the same mould as Tracks, he also can form the Thunderhawk
style flying car mode. Its not really enough to qualify as a proper secondary mode, and is more of an 'Attack Mode', but it's worth a mention. Especially as unlike Road Rage, Loudpedal comes with a stand. This means you can display this mode much better. The purple stand isn't subtle and does look like some weird energy spatula, but I appreciate being able to get an aerial mode off the ground. I still really like this daft feature of this mould. Its not brilliant by any means, but makes for a fun sideshow.
So here's why I think Road Rage is better suited to this mould: both Tracks and Loudpedal look a bit odd. The rectangular thighs and slightly larger heads make the lean looking robot mode look less sleek than it should. It's the blockiness of the limbs matched with the curves of the car that don't work so well. He also has too much grey/silver going on in robot mode, which does rather mute the decent paint applications he has on show. The green/bronze on his forearms and the light magenta/blue of his shins are really nice colours, but they're not strong enough to stand out. Maybe if he'd been done in gunmetal grey these would pop a bit harder. Two things that are great are the marvelous turquoise face and the bronze surround of his chest mounted Destron logo. Oh, and his lovely purple and yellow striped feeties. He wields the same toy-based version of the hand gun that the original toy had, and like with Road Rage, whilst this slots in Loudpedal's wrist just fine, he can't get much of a grip on the thing, so it always feels a bit loose.
Marks Out Of Ten For The Following:
Handling this mould again makes me realize what a fiddly annoyance it is. Its not much fun to transform between modes and the tolerances on those shin panels make my heart stop each time I swivel them around. Getting the arms to move out along those axles is a little tougher to do on Loudpedal. I'm not sure why – there's no mould flash or anything, but they do need a moderate amount of force to get them 'clicked' into place. Hooking up the backpack to the robot mode seems unusually troublesome here too. 6/10
My first purchase of Loudpedal came with a shin already sheered off at the pin, which was impressive. This is also easily the less sturdy of the current MP car moulds and feels more akin to the gossamer thin plastics of an Airfix kit, so handle with care. 7/10
Loudpedal has an impressive and expressive range of articulation and as with Road Rage, this is one of the few toys I've enjoyed the inclusion of ankle tilts. The arms are a little restricted by the wings, but those can be angled out of the way. It's a minor design oversight, but not enough to ruin things. The addition of the stand makes for some excellent posing possibilities too. 10/10
Loudpedal's fun factor is mitigated by being a collector bauble, a bit fragile and having an alternate mode that wins out over the robot mode. This does make me feel like I've bought a very expensive toy car. 7/10
At the time of purchasing, Loudpedal was somewhere in the region of £60 from Kapow. He is some sort of exclusive variant thing, so with that in mind the price is about where it needs to be. If you're curious, prices have come down somewhat and you can, of course, now pick up a bootleg for a fraction of the price. 7/10
A tough one to really appreciate, Loudpedal doesn't instill me with the same feelings of joy as Road Rage does. I do really like him, just not as much as I thought I would. The killer alt mode and inclusion of the flight stand definitely make him feel like a complete package next to Road Rage, though and he's still way more interesting than Tracks. 7/10