Transformers: Masterpiece Optimus Prime (MP-10) by Takara-Hasbro, Part 2

Yes, folks, Transformers Thursday is bleeding over into Friday as I’m back to conclude my look at the Asian Market Reissue of MP-10. Yesterday we looked at the packaging, the bonus incentive, and Prime’s robot mode, today we’ll check out the alt mode, but before I get Prime transformed, let’s take a quick look at his trailer’s repair bay mode.

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By opening the trailer and standing it on its end you get a repair bay for Prime’s robot mode. It’s funny, but the original G1 toy did this too and I never had any use for it or interest in it. But here, I think it looks so cool, I could easily see myself displaying the figure like this from time to time. There’s so much sculpted detail in the inside of the trailer! It’s also a little reminiscent of that Soul of Chogokin Mazinger Repair Bay that I wish I had the scratch to buy. There’s room for Prime’s weapons at the top corner of each side panel, but I prefer to keep his rifle in his back when not in use, and what sense does it make to put the energon ax up there when it just forms from his arm?

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Take note of the teeny tiny Spike figure that comes with the set. He’s very simple, there isn’t even any paint on his creepy blank face, but a great little pack in, nonetheless. I love standing him on the shelf beside Prime because it gives such an awesome sense of scale. He can also sit inside the repair module, which I always called Teletran-1 when I was a kid. In addition to the opening canopy, Teletran has an articulated repair arm and a little rotating radar dish. I think the reason I love this set up so much is because I get a warm and fuzzy Micronaut vibe out of this whole thing, which makes sense because of the ties between that line and the original incarnations of the Transformers.

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Transforming Prime into his cab mode is not nearly as difficult as I expected. Yeah, it gets a bit fiddly, but like all good Masterpiece Transformers, the engineering starts with the transformation of the original figure and then just tweaks it to make up for the better proportions and articulation of the figure. In this case, Prime’s grill is faked out, but everything else works in a manner very similar to the original toy with the complexity beefed up a lot. I consulted the instructions the first time to make sure I wasn’t going to break anything, but after that I was able to do it just fine on my own, which certainly points to a very intuitive transformation. There are a few scary parts, mainly where I’m extra careful about not scratching the chrome, but otherwise, it’s all good!

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The resulting cab mode looks fantastic and makes the 20th Anniversary Prime’s alt mode look like a piece of crap by comparison. If you do everything correctly, the panels all line up and lock together perfectly and Prime can roll along on his wheels beautifully. The combination of chromed parts and silver paint looks just as fantastic here as it does on Prime’s chest. Also, I can’t help but keep appreciating the extended smokestacks. It may sound like a stupid little detail, but I’ve been deprived of those on my Prime toys for so long. They’re glorious!

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You can also open one of the windshield panels on Prime’s cab and put the Spike figure inside and I’ll also refer back to the feature that allows Prime to carry his collapsed rifle in his back compartment while in truck mode. Neat!

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The trailer hooks up to the cab via a couple of tabs set on a rotating platform so that the cab can turn independently of the trailer. The trailer is just a glorious love letter to the G1 toy only bigger and beefier. I love the detailed railings added to the two supports that fold out from underneath. The sculpted Autobot insignia on each side are fantastic and all the little detailing that I remember from my G1 toy are present. The result it a big truck that scales beautifully with the Autobot cars.

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Speaking of which, the back of the trailer opens and there’s a ramp that pulls out and drops down. You can drive an Autobot car right up into there and close it up. I love this feature so much and it easily makes up for my quibbles about Prime being too tall in robot mode.

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Before opening up the trailer, I’ll take the opportunity to point out that X-Transbots Krank (Not-Huffer) is fitted with notches so that he can link up with Prime’s trailer and pull it. Krank looks appropriately undersized compared to the trailer, but he can still pull it just fine! It’s a feature I’ve been wanting to try out ever since I got Krank and it’s a lot of fun to finally be able to do it.

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I’ve already shown the trailer open as the repair bay, but here we are with it open as the horizontal base mode. You get all that same great sculpted goodness on the interior of the shell and a ramp so Autobot cars can drive up onto it and get a tune-up. Displaying the trailer this way also features two work stations where you can sit Spike. I think there’s something I’m forgetting… what is it?

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Ah, Roller, the unsung Autobot! There’s really not a hell of a lot to say about this toy, other than it has a driver seat for the Spike figure and it rolls along on six wheels. He’s blue, which is at odds with the Sunbow animated appearance and for the life of me I can’t remember what color my old G1 Prime’s Roller was. Ah well…

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You can mount Prime’s rifle on top of Roller and he can also pull Prime’s trailer. Well, take that, Huffer, I guess you’re not so special after all!

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So, it’s been a long road to getting this guy into my collection and there’s no doubt that all that all that waiting was worthwhile… which is sort of a loaded compliment. While I was never prepared to pay the $300 this guy peaked at (I say peaked, but last I looked there were some jabronies actually asking $500+ for him on Amazon Marketplace) I did come close to paying $200 for him at one point and I’m very glad I didn’t. I’m not just saying that because I eventually got him for less, but because as amazing a toy as he is, he’s not worth it. Honestly, I’m not sure he’s worth the $160 I ended up paying, other than to finally get him in my collection and be done with it. I think the $100 MSRP on the TRU version was right on the money. I would have been comfortable walking into the store and paying that, but I wasn’t about to drive an hour one way to take a chance that they had one. Anywho, the bottom line is I love this figure and I had to have him. MP-10 is such an important figure for TranFans. It helped reboot the Masterpiece endeavor into a more cohesive line and it fixed a lot of mistakes made with MP-01. But ultimately, it’s undoubtedly the best version of the character on my shelf, and that’s saying something because I own a lot of Primes.

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