Masterpiece: Where did the direction change?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Metal Sonic, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. Metal Sonic

    Metal Sonic Slightly-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2013
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    So, when Takara once had a direction for Masterpiece that was a merge of toy, real world and toon (with other media making up easter eggs), they now seem to be going full toon, with toy-based accessories at most. What I'm asking is, for buyer convenience I guess, which MPs fit into which direction?

    ~Toon only~
    Megatron (MP-36)
    Starscream (MP-11)
    Red Alert (MP-14+)
    Hot Rod (MP-28)
    Ultra Magnus

    Optimus Prime (MP-10)
    Bluestreak (MP-18)

    Red Alert (MP-14)

    So it seems, (in my opinion, at least) the ambiguity really kicked in with MP-19, Smokescreen, but when MP-22 kicked in the decision was pretty well sealed. However, Starscream's unforgiving dull grey suggests to me that he was the real first toon-based MP. When you remove him from the equation, there's actually kind of a slow transition, with MP-33 Inferno being perhaps the height of it.

    This isn't a thread to hate on one direction, I just figured it'd be a good discussion to look at where the unwritten second reboot apparently kicked in.
  2. Incepticon

    Incepticon |-+-|

    Aug 19, 2006
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    I disagree with you about Starscream and Tracks being "toon only" - they look as blended as anyone else that came before them, and Tracks is actually quite a slimmer departure in MP form than his more squared off toon counterpart.

    As far as I'm concerned, the paint and mold detailing getting overly watered down for toon accuracy started with Ultra Magnus. Just soooo much blank surface and lack of any detail/paint 'pop!' like the previous MP's always had.

    Unlike many others, I think this approach actually DID work fine for Ironhide & Ratchet, looks fantastic on Megatron, Ramjet & Thrust, and even passes on Grapple thanks to so many black accents on his deco. But where I think it did hit a problematic low is/was with Magnus, Shockwave and Inferno. They look like cheap KO's by comparison to everyone else, and the approaches to them greatly worry me moving forward.
  3. Max Rawhide

    Max Rawhide Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' ... uh, never mind

    Jan 27, 2012
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    Hm, this is how I see it:

    MP-01 Optimus Prime: very cartoon accurate in design. Colours are a bit off and the upper legs perhaps a bit too short, but the lack of detail and the general proportions are very cartoon accurate with little to nothing from the toy or the real truck.

    MP-02 Ultra Magnus: Accurate to nothing. The whole Magnus-is-a-white-Optimus was at the time only known through the toy (and the figure is not toy accurate) and the DW comics (where he was more puffy).

    MP-04 Optimus complete edition: The robotmode is cartoon accurate (as it is simply MP-01), but the trailer isn’t: there’s no roller and in the cartoon the gun emplacement could move.

    MP-03 + 6 + 7 The seekers: Not cartoon accurate or even toy accurate. The focus was apparently to make a realistic as possible F-15 with as little visible robot parts as possible. The result is the wrong type of F-15 (toon/toy) and with a robotmode that is neither cartoon nor toy accurate.

    MP-05 Megatron: very toy accuarate with little to nothing from the animation model save the taller upper body and perhaps the face.

    MP-08 Grimlock: very toy accurate

    MP-09 Hot Rod (Rodimus Prime): very cartoon accurate

    MP-10 through 22: animation model as the base with elements from the toy and the (licensed) realistic altmode incorporated into these designs. This makes them neither cartoon, not toy accurate but a masterpiece of blended sources.

    MP-23 Exhaust: doesn’t apply since there was no animation model

    MP-24 Star Saber: Not too familiar with this character and toy, but he seems very cartoon accurate

    MP-25 Tracks: I have no idea where this design is based on. The head and small missiles are very cartoon based. However, his chest (the size of the canopy to the rest of the upper body) is neither cartoon nor toy accurate. Closest analogy seems to be the G1 boxart which also had a much slimmer chest. The legs are also more boxart in look. The transformation step with the wheels to the back is completely unique to the MP, since both toy and animation model had them on front.

    MP-26 Roadrage: doesn’t apply since there was no animation model

    MP-27 Ironhide: Like Tracks, some elements from the animation model (the legs and the general layout), but his proportions are off compared to the animation model. He’s far too lanky: the animation model was more stocky. The upper body is also wrong compared to the animation model in compostion.

    MP-28 Hot Rodimus: Pretty cartoon accurate, save for his chest being too big and/or his legs too skinny.

    MP-29 Shockwave: not very cartoon accurate, since his animation model (and cartoon appearance) has him far more bulky. Shockwave looks to me most like the original toy with some minor changes.

    MP-30 Ratchet: same as Ironhide

    MP-31 Delta Magnus: doesn’t apply since there was no animation model

    MP-32 Optimus Primal: very cartoon accurate

    MP-33 Inferno: Very cartoon accurate.

    MP-34 through 36: Appear to be very cartoon accurate.

    The way I see it:
    - MP-01 through 09: no overarching design focus
    - MP-10 through 22: a very clear focus to which all figures seem to adhere
    - MP-24 through 30: a strongly fluctuating focus and lack of consistency
    - MP-32 and onward: very cartoon based.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
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