Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Toy Review: Transformers Masterpiece MPM-4 Optimus Prime


Review:  #393
Name:  Optimus Prime
Brand:  Transformers
Allegiance:  Autobot
Line:  Masterpiece
Year of Release:  2017
Size Class:  Masterpiece (MPM-4)
Mold Status:  new

PACKAGING:


MPM-4 Optimus Prime comes in the iconic black Masterpiece box, but it is a little bit shinier than your average one.


The back feels somewhat empty with only a few stock photos of the gimmicks.  Optimus comes in robot mode and his only accessories are two Energon blades and a gun.

VEHICLE MODE:


Optimus transforms into the modified Peterbilt 379 as seen in the first movie.  This figure is based on the character model from the 2007 movie and Revenge of the Fallen.


This is a pretty clean vehicle mode and all the flames have a silver outline which looks nice.


Overall looks good but there is a bit of gappiness on the sides underneath the fuel tanks which feels out of place.


In terms of size, Optimus is approximately Leader sized so he's fairly big (but compact).  Above is a comparison against Legends Super Ginrai.


The robot mode weapons can attach onto the back as a sort of gun emplacements.  It looks ridiculous but it is a way to attach everything to vehicle mode.


Due to the complex transformation, the hood has various panel lines.  Also, on this specific figure, the section with the windows and windshield does not want to tab into the hood, and while everything has pegs and tabs, they pop out easily when trying to adjust something else.  Worst are the smokestacks which is supposed to tab onto the unpainted piece below the doors but the alignment is out of place.  It's frustrating and could be isolated to this figure but worth noting.


There amount of painted details makes a nice change, with slabs of silver.


A good vehicle mode but not completely the Masterpiece that you'd want it to be.

TRANSFORMATION:

A complicated beast, even moreso than the ROTF Leader classed figure.  As per usual with a lot of complex figures, going into robot mode is easier than going into vehicle mode.  The transformation scheme shares a lot of similarities with the ROTF mode, but with a lot more manipulation of smaller pieces of plastic in order to achieve the minimal kibble look of robot mode.  There are plenty of tabs but as mentioned earlier, for some reason, and the instructions are no help in this regard, the section with the windshield does not tab properly into the hood, and neither does the smokestacks peg onto the piece underneath even though it is clearly designed to, the clearance is not there and it's hard to tell what to do to make it work.  There are some neat elements but nothing too mind-blowing.

ROBOT MODE:


If it is possible, this version of Optimus is even more screen accurate than the ROTF Leader mold.  While something may seem off to you at first for those who are more familiar with the ROTF version, comparing it against a render will make you surprised at how close it replicates various details.


Perhaps the most impressive thing is the lack of kibble.  Gone are the panels which hampered the ROTF mold, somehow, everything manages to be tucked away or integrated close enough to the robot mode that doesn't stick out.


The headsculpt is fabulous, containing a lot of minute sculpted detailing.  The head can turn side to side and also up and down.


The first gimmick involves the head where you can lift it up and rotate it to give him the head without the faceplate.


This face looks good as well and it is an unobtrusive gimmick.


Like MPM-3 Bumblebee, Optimus has die-cast metal.  It's unpainted but simulates the metal so it doesn't matter.  He has part of his shins and the middle bit of his feet as die-cast.


The other significant piece is the torso.  Despite being die-cast, they contain a lot of intricate sculpting.


One of the best aspects of the robot mode is the fact that the vehicle elements that you see are not faux, such as the headlights on his chest.


The other touted feature on the back of the packaging was articulated hands.  His thumb can move up/down, his index finger has two joints, and the rest of the fingers are jointed as one.


Thanks to the die-cast, Optimus feels hefty in your hands.  Despite contain three shades of "grey", being unpainted grey plastic, silver and unpainted die-cast, it manages to gel together.


In terms of size, again, he is roughly Leader sized but obviously much more complicated.


A comparison against Buster Optimus Prime from ROTF, it's hard to decide which one is better to be honest.  Both has their pros and cons.  Note that Masterpiece Optimus is missing the blue strip on his leg (he has it in the packaging).


Also a comparison against MPM-3 Bumblebee (who seems very small now).


Optimus' other gimmicks include an opening compartment for his Matrix of Leadership.


The Matrix is removable and is made of die-cast as well but is very small.


Articulation is excellent, with all the joints that you'd expect.  Articulation isn't hampered by anything so you're free to pose him however you like.


Optimus gets a handheld gun, similar to the one he used when breaking into the factory in Revenge of the Fallen.


He can hold it in either hand, but this unfortunately means that he doesn't have the "arm morphed into a gun" weapon.


The gun is a hollow piece of plastic which is somewhat disappointing as you feel it should be more substantial.


The other weapons for Optimus are a pair of Energon blades, which are casted in translucent orange plastic with silver detailing.


In order to attach the blades, you need to fold the fists in so Optimus has his fists in a weird angle when using them.


Like in vehicle, while everything has pegs and tabs, certain pieces are more loose than others, such as the panels on his back or the torso pieces, which can dislodge when you're handling him.  A minor nitpick but also a slight annoyance.


If you don't want to use any weapons, you can store the combined piece onto his back, it uses the same slot as in vehicle mode.


A strong robot mode and is definitely the better mode of the two.

OVERALL:


Masterpiece MPM-4 Optimus Prime is the definitely figure we'll get for the character model seen in the first two movies (although the one from Dark of the Moon isn't that much difference).  However, he doesn't present the same wow factor as MPM-3 Bumblebee, purely because we already had a very good figure in the form of ROTF Leader Optimus.  There are various minor flaws in both vehicle mode (doesn't fit together well) and robot mode (loose panels) which hold it slightly back.  Due to the high price tag. Optimus is just worth it but is treading on a fine line.

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For other Transformers reviews, have a look at this page.

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Thanks for reading this review, here's the rest of the photos taken not used.







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