Debating on whether to pick up MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2
? Maybe a review could help! Is this "new" Masterpiece Starscream
worth gracing your shelves? How does it compare with the original MP3 Masterpiece Starscream
Read on to check out the review of the most notorious Seeker, now in Masterpiece 2.0 form! MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review Part I - Fighter Mode - Introduction & fighter mode
In 2011 we learned that TakaraTomy would be redoing a notorious Decepticon in the Transformers Masterpiece
! The original MP3 Masterpiece Starscream
release had a controversial debut. While initially designed by Kobayashi Hironori
, it was revised by none other than Kawamori Shoji
fame). Kawamori himself was no stranger to Transformers as he had worked on the Diaclone
line, and some of the Diaclone toys were later repainted for the Transformers line.
Kawamori's revision of Kobayashi's original design could be seen as drastic to some. The F-15 alt mode adopted CFT(Conformal Fuel Tanks) which hid the robot mode parts, and 2 guns were molded on the front of the CFT's. The resulting look was that of a single seat F-15E Strike Eagle, instead of the F-15C that Kobayashi's original design resembled. Also added were optional Sidewinder missles mounted on rails. While fighter mode was seen as an improvement by some, the revised robot mode was shockingly different. Kobayashi's original design in robot mode resembled Starscream from the G1 cartoon. Kawamori went for another route, using skinnier legs with big chunks of the CFT's now resembling sword scabbards(but without swords).
MP3 Starscream ended up being rather challenging to stand in robot mode, and the folding hinges near the wings were a source of concern. Breakages were reported on the 1st release and for some of the subsequent repaints. It wasn't at all like MP1 Convoy where quality control all around was superb. With MP3 you had to be more careful when posing and transforming.
Since the release of MP3 Starscream, fans have often wondered, "why did Takara even let Kawamori change the MP3 design?". The legs were not only limited in mobility, and hard to stand, but the iconic look that Kobayashi interpreted was gone. For some fans, this was rectified with the release of iGear's KO seekers which do away with the "hip kibble" and have the lower half of the CFT's molded as part of the lower leg. However, some fans wanted to see something new, something...official. Something that went beyond just making alterations to a pre-existing mold.
Enter MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2. MP11 is likened to a revised version of Kobayashi's original design, without Kawamori's input/revisions. Add in coronation gear, like an articulated cape, and finally mold/paint MP Starscream in more G1-esque colors, and you have MP Starscream V2. To many fans, G1 Starscream was neither white nor green, he was grey. To date, this is the only MP Starscream molded in grey. It may not be completely cartoon accurate, but it's a lot closer to the cartoon than MP3 ever was. The color palette reminds me a lot of the one used on Henkei Starscream
One glaring omission is the lack of a display stand. This is disappointing. I suppose the trade-off was the coronation gear. Understandable, but being that each previous MP Starscream release came with a stand, I wish this came with one too.
The fighter mode is sleeker, since it's based on an F-15C Eagle, and lacks CFT's. The drawback is that the robot mode parts are not hidden from the side.
The legs are not as streamlined with the underside(when viewed from the side) as MP3, but at the same time, MP11 does not look as "fat" as MP3 in fighter mode. MP11's fighter mode looks more toyetic but it doesn't really bother me. The underside doesn't stick out as bad as Classics Starscream and the 1st movie/HFTD leader Starscreams.
The biggest thing I noticed was the lack of gaps. MP3 and some of the later repaints of it had gaps, especially where the windscreen meets the rest of the canopy, resulting in a crooked nose look. MP11 does not have that problem.
MP11 has a wealth of panel lines scribed in but there is no weathering, no ink washes applied. It's a shame too, since the toy is predominantly molded in a grey plastic, and without the lines inked in, this just results in an even more toyetic appearance. I've read some comments from members who state that the lack of panel lines enhances the cartoon-based appearance, but to me, it just looks somewhat cheap without inked-in lines. This isn't a dark plastic like that used on Striker Optimus Prime, this is the grey plastic that fans usually complain about seeing on Hasbro
releases. Inking in the panel lines brings out a lot of the subtle detail that otherwise wouldn't be seen well. For example, one of the reasons I dug my MP3 Walmart release was because the lines were inked in. Looked so detailed.
What I did like(and was not expecting), was that the painted blue parts have a metallic finish. These parts include the vertical stabilizers(these stabilizers are molded in grey), forearms, and feet.
The holo-pilot is a neat change. He will flop around in the cockpit unless you push him forward.
I dig the inclusion of the holo-pilot since it gives fans something different from Dr. Arkeville. Plus, I dug how holo-pilots were used in the 2007 movie. To begin with, I'm a fan of piloted mecha and I dug the concept behind Diaclone, so I would rather have A pilot figure than none.
The randome is painted grey, however it may be molded in blue. Some paint was scratched off on mine and I did see a darker color underneath. The radar within is painted in a nice metallic silver.
The outer engine intakes can be positioned up or down:
Oddly enough, a port for the cannon on the F-15C is not molded on the wingroot of MP11.
The airbrake is the same as on MP3, still has a chrome piston:
Unfortunately, the only weapons MP11 comes with aside from the chest missles, are null-rays.
While I definitely like the hinge system which enables them to stay on during transformation to either mode, I wish there were swappable, optional weapons. Something akin to what the original G1 Starscream
had would be cool, like swappable bombs/missles.
The engine covers can still be lifted to reveal the PW F100 engine details(actually opening the engine covers is necessary for transformation, as these engine parts are more than meets the eyes!):
The ball jointed engine nozzles don't have as much range of motion as MP3's engine nozzles. Not a big deal but it is something I noticed when handling it.
The landing gear are the same as on MP3, however the nose gear seems to move tighter, and the landing gear bay for the rear is completely different, as the lower legs of MP11 are completely new:
The rear landing gear seem to stay in place better than before.
Overall, the fit and flushness of parts is good.The horizontal stabilizers don't feel as tight but seem to be made of a much more durable plastic than on MP3. The spine sticks out just a bit but not very noticeable. There are substantially less gaps when compared to MP3. This may not be as detailed, but it is a more solid fighter mode. Also, G1 Starscream was either an F-15A or F-15C(both single seaters), with no CFT's, just by those facts alone, MP11 is a more accurate(by G1 cartoon/toy standards) Masterpiece Starscream than MP3.
There is some heft when picked up. It feels like a more detailed, main-line leader class figure. It does not feel fragile in fighter mode. While the fighter mode is pleasing, MP11 truly shines in another mode...