Monday, 3 October 2011

Review: Masterpiece Optimus Prime comparison, part 1

8(ish - yes, I'm too lazy to actually look it up) years ago the first Masterpiece Optimus Prime (well, actually it was 'Convoy' - the Japanese name) was released. MP-01 was his name. I think everyone was of the opinion that it was AWESOME. It was certainly by far the best Prime figure ever made and a contender for the Best Toy Ever. It weighed a ton too, due to all that metal, the likes of which hadn't been seen since the 80s.

Well, there's a new kid on the block, a new Masterpiece: the MP10. There are reviews all over the internet saying that he's fantastic and if you don't own MP01 (or one of the later rereleases using the same mould) you should definitely pick up one.

But what if you do own MP01? Is MP10 worth paying out for? He's far from cheap. I'm not going to give you a definitive answer, but I will run through a comparison of the two and leave it up to you to decide. After all, ultimately, it is your money.

MP10 is smaller than his predecessor, by quite a way. Only Megatron & MP01 were released in the larger scale, so MP10 nicely fits in with Starscream, Grimlock, etc etc.

As you could probably guess, there's a hell of a lot less metal with MP10. MP01 had giant chunks of metal but MP10...well, there are odd bits but you really won't be able to spot it in the photos. He's still a very solid figure, however (unlike the Rodimus release which was incredibly flimsy) which originates from him being basically a box with legs. A box that's more nicely shaped than MP01, as you can see from the photos.

A lot of the 'extras' found on MP01 are now gone. There are no pistons at the elbows or knees. The little flaps on his lower legs are now fixed in place. There's no button to move his mouth up and down. There are no wrist communicators.

Will you miss these? Probably not.

MP10s much better to post in a standing position. The joints at the top of the legs allow him to stand more naturally than MP01, who either had to have his legs completely vertical, or at 45 degree angles (well, not quite but you get the idea).

The knee joints are interesting. As with the previous model, MP10s upper leg slot down into the lower for transformation. People had issues with MP01s, and my Ultra Magnus (who uses the same MP01 mould) left leg refuses to stay up. I've never had a problem with MP01, however. MP10 is supposed to be improved, with a button-release to get it to drop. It works fine on one leg, but the other is a right pain on the other. The button presses, but then you have to really shove the leg to get it to move.

A new addition are the wheel-covers on the legs. I'm not convinced about these. I liked having the wheels on show and think the covers make his legs look a bit chubby. You can, however, just fold these back out of the way if you wish.

The back of MP01 was a bit messy. MP10 is slightly neater, although still not great (when has it ever been on a Transformer?). The centre back portion flips open and can be used for weapon storage - Prime's rifle folds up to fit inside.

Every Prime these days has to come with a chest compartment with the matrix inside. MP10s chest is definitely a bit nicer-looking.

The matrix itself, is also better with MP10. It doesnt 'open' like the old one, but it is a better sculpt and is now made from die-cast metal.

This final robot-mode problem is the biggest bug for me. MP10 is smaller to make him 'fit' with the majority of the other MPs. If you compare him to Hot Rod (not in Rodimus mode, so he's slightly shorter) you'll find that he's actually shorter. I don't really like this. I think as the leader and greatest of all Transformers, Optimus should be the bigger. Instead he kind of looks a bit short and chubby in comparison. I actually think MP01 fits better.

I know, I know, this is all personal opinion and others will disagree but I'd have liked Prime to have had just that little bit extra on his height to place him above Hot Rod.

Overall, this is figure is a mighty improvement on Hot Rod. Hot Rod was a disaster and apart from my slight leg issue, there're absolutely no quality control problems with him whatsoever.

Is robot mode better than MP01? The body shape is better, for certain. The missing 'extras' don't bother me, but the slight under-achievement in height does.

Next: vehicle mode.

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