TakaraTomy Staff Interview - Hisashi Yuki on Masterpiece

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by SydneyY, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. SydneyY

    SydneyY @syd_tfw Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Disclaimer: The original of this interview was published in Transformer Masterpiece Official Guide book. The reason I provide this translation is solely to help non-Japanese fans who are unable to read this insightful interview in the book they have purchased. Hope you'll enjoy and pardon the grammar errors and/or typo.

    Credit to RedTruck for providing me with the material. If not for him I'd have had nothing to work on at this stage (hurry up, Australia Post!)
    I'd also like to thank Underwear and Liampope for getting me off my lazy butt.


    Hisashi Yuki
    Joined Takara in 1992 and was in charge of MP-4 Convoy Perfect Edition (Trailer) and MP-5 Megatron. Currently working on MP Star Saber.


    - I hear the first Masterpiece figure you created was MP-5 Megatron and you hold the fastest development record with it.
    Y: That is right. (*laughs) I was not assigned to be in charge of it initially, but due to the circumstance within the company I was unexpectedly handed down the project. The schedule came with it and I was stunned when I realised that I was only given 12 days, about 2 weeks...To make it worse, at the time of my receiving the task, even the product size wasn't decided. (*tears)
    Even more horrifying was the plan of reissuing MP-1 to go with Megatron - simply reissuing him wasn't considered to be appealing enough and it was decided to give him a trailer. That decision was made after the Golden Week (note by Sydney; The Golden Week is a period usually between the end of April to early May which include some public holidays and their makeup holidays) and I was told to come up with a proto (of the trailer) by the end of May, and I designed it in one night. This is how MP-4 Convoy Perfect Edition came into existence. I couldn't shirk my task as the release date had already been set by backward calculation. I really did the best I could though there just wasn't enough time.
    As for Megatron, the more I watched him in the cartoon setting the more I wondered how that form could turn into a gun (*laughs) Looking back now, it was such a great effort on my part to have made him into a form within such a short time frame, if I may say so myself.

    - It has been a long time since you went through such hardship, and now you are back to the MP series to work on the 30th anniversary project, Star Saber.
    Y: That is correct. While I participated in brainstorming sessions to discuss the lineup and such, I did not contribute to any actual item developments as I was not a main MP designer.

    - And where did the idea of choosing the first of the new lineup of Masterpiece figures according to the poll result of "Masterpiece Fan's Choice" come from?
    Y: My memory is a bit fuzzy, but the main reasons were we were keen on doing something that the fans can participate for the 30th anniversary and we were also keen to know which characters in "The Headmasters" and the later series were more popular by asking the fans directly.

    - So the idea was to ask the fans directly what they want first, then realise it as a product.
    Y: Yes. It turned out Star Saber was the winner. Hasui, the main series designer, was going to be in charge of the 30th anniversary MP originally. But he was fully occupied with Bumble and Wheeljack, and since Star Saber was a character I was attached to personally, I stood for the job eagerly.
    Actually, when I was still a student I tried to come up with my own way of turning Star Saber into a three-dimensional form. I considered scratch-building a fully articulated model though it wasn't meant to be transformable, and drew plans while watching the cartoon.
    In fact I had a similar idea with Ginrai as well. I had fun drawing plans and trying to create Ginrai that was fully transformable yet proportioned as seen in the cartoon.

    - You already had many ideas for Star Saber and Ginrai that far back?
    Y: Well, because they were my favourite characters, or rather, as one of the fans I used to think they looked so cool. The original Star Saber released in 1989 has many excellent components as a toy and I embarked on the MP Star Saber project with an intention of being always true to those. Also I wanted to make him into a product which would remind you of that cool Star Saber from the cartoon as that's the characteristic of the Masterpiece series.

    - The proto shown at Tokyo Toy Show had a very refined shape - were there lots of trial and error until you reached that stage?
    Y: No, it went unexpectedly smoothly. I had a much clearer image of Star Saber in my head than I thought, so I could draw a good-looking Star Saber with hardly any effort, then added gimmicks here and there...and it was done.
    My method is to outline the shape first, then draw the inner mechanism. As I draw, inconsistencies and hindrances to the transformation become apparent and gradually, the rough structure takes a form in my head. I add various mechanisms to it and consider suitable structures for the articulations, I contrive several patterns based on different ideas until I settle with the final one.

    - In your mind, it is almost concluded.
    Y: The appearance of Star Saber is quite set from the very beginning, so what I did first was to decide on the rough proportion, estimate the size and consider how many gimmicks could be incorporated.
    The product size is slightly bigger than MP-22 Ultra Magnus. It is about the same size as the original Star Saber toy. I couldn't help it becoming one size bigger because I wanted to include the gimmicks the original toy had.
    To be honest, during my long career as a toy developer, I have rarely had an opportunity to remake a robot toy I liked. When I was working on MP Star Saber, I discovered that a job with such fun actually existed. (*laughs)

    - Is it possible that you will work on a MP figure again in the future?
    Y: I can't say for sure as it also depends on the balance of the entire TF development duties at any given time, although I wouldn't say it's impossible. But if Ginrai gets a go-ahead, I want the job no matter what. I am still waiting for a fully articulated, anime-proportioned toy of my very favourite, Ginrai. (*laughs)
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
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  2. SydneyY

    SydneyY @syd_tfw Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Keep the discussions civil, please and thank you.
     
  3. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Thanks for that, it was an awesome read. It's especially nice to hear what a strong personal attachment he has to the character which motivates him to try to include all the gimmicks. That's exactly what a lot of us want to hear.
     
  4. Trailbreaker77

    Trailbreaker77 Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    You Da MAN! :thumb 
     
  5. optimalprimus

    optimalprimus Well-Known Member

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    Another great read, thanks Syd!
     
  6. Dean ML

    Dean ML Well-Known Member

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    So awesome! Love the insight into his development process and his love for Star Saber. I sure hope he gets to realize his dream of developing MP God Ginrai.

    Thank you, SydneyY!
     
  7. Mixmaster

    Mixmaster [Excited quacking]

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    Thanks for the translations, Syd.
     
  8. Liampope

    Liampope Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again SydneyY! :)  Another interesting read. Coming up with MP-5 in such a short time is a hell of an accomplishment. TT please give this guy his Ginrai dream!!
     
  9. General Tekno

    General Tekno Self-Styled #1 Lugnut Fan

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    Cool interview.

    Knowing MP Megatron had a hard deadline of 12 days to be designed definitely ups my appreciation for the figure.

    And it's quite cool to hear that Yuki's that much of a fan of Star Saber. Definitely a good sign.
     
  10. Underwear

    Underwear Banned

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    Oh yes another translated transcripts to add as reference to my Mp guide book.

    Good job Syd!

    Edit: Whoa..it's confirmed in this interview Mp Star Saber is bigger than Mp-22 & about the same size as the G1 toy..:jawdropper: 
     
  11. darkedgex

    darkedgex Burritocon

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    Thanks so much SydneyY! Love reading these translations. =)
     
  12. Lbsammills51

    Lbsammills51 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again for the translation.

    Yup, cool news on the size of Star Saber. Happy about that.

    I'll be curious to see what Hisashi Yuki could do with an extended period of development time on a new MP Megs.

    I also hope a MP Ginrai gets a greenlight eventually.
     
  13. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

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    I'm happy a Star Saber fan made the figure! Great luck!
     
  14. ZEGR

    ZEGR Well-Known Member

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    Slightly taller than mp-22 u say? fuck yeah
     
  15. Ra88

    Ra88 Dutchman!

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    Holy shiiiit. This guy is going to cost 300 bucks, isn't he? :( 
     
  16. Megatron31

    Megatron31 I Belong to Nobody!

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    agreed is nice to get incite on this level, hearing that he was rushed on MP-5 kinda makes sense having the product in hand why things are the way they are.

    oddly enough that figure looks 10 times better if you dont fully extend the legs haha

    thanks syd for the translation much appreciated
     
  17. PoweredConvoy

    PoweredConvoy Randy

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    I love this!

    Despite MP-5 being pretty bad, I'm impressed he did that design in only 12 days. It's quite an accomplishment.

    Here's hoping Star Saber turns out great and if so that he gets his wish to make a MP Ginrai.

    Thanks again SydneyY!

    Randy
     
  18. Soundwave2

    Soundwave2 Excitement! My Style!!!

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    Awesome to know. I love the fact that I can have him displayed next to my G1 Star Saber and you'll be able to see them side by side.
     
  19. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    I like what he said about Star Saber! He seems very reverent of the 80s version and all its gimmicks, and so I'm crossing my fingers that we get all the mini-robots. As in, I REALLY want the smaller jet guy to have that little headmaster guy.

    Also, knowing MP Megatron took 12 days to design really explains a lot. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a marvel of engineering. However, that's all I think it is: a marvel of engineering. It's like someone spent a lot of time designing it, made it work very well as a computer wire frame, and did not test it thoroughly to see if that wire frame could work well as a physical object that has weight. Forget aesthetics and poseability, I'm talking structural problems. Some parts are so fragile, I'm afraid to break it. Many parts are held together by small, easily broken tabs. The transformation, though ingenious, has too many parts that get in the way of each other if you don't do it perfectly. That poor spine. So much pressure is put on it in gun mode and while you transform it.
     
  20. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran

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    Damn, were they trying to kill Yuki with that MP Megatron deadline? That's insane.
     

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