I’ve been a lover and collector of TransFormers for a long time now and I have a reasonably large collection but I’ve never taken the time to actually review a figure for others. I’ve decided to change that today and the first thing I’ve learned is I have to get more practice taking pictures of figures with my digital camera. The images included in this review aren’t the best but they should still help to get the point across.
The figure I’m going to review today is from Takara and is a recent release. I purchased it from HobbyLink Japan (http://www.hlj.com) for ¥6,000 which came out even after shipping (¥860) to be roughly $57 which is quite a bit less than the asking price of $79.99 plus shipping from a majority of the US-based online stores. The shipping speed was even quite good as it took about 4 days from when it shipped from Japan to arrive at my doorstep via FedEx International. While I generally frequent such online stores as BigBadToyStore (http://www.bigbadtoystore.com) or The Chosen Prime (http://www.thechosenprime.com) because they have fantastic customer service I really can’t argue with the price, process of payment, or shipping speed and cost of HLJ.
Anyway, on to MP-25 Masterpiece Tracks. Tracks is modeled after a Chevy Corvette Stingray C3 and looks mighty good. It’s very reminiscent of the G1 version which of course couldn’t be any type of “official” vehicle. The deep blue paint apps combined with the flame motif on the hood of the vehicle mode hits all the right spots. That Autobot symbol on the roof of the vehicle flips over to display a matching blue panel if you want to be a bit more incognito while in car mode.
Overall I really enjoy the car mode on this figure. It’s shaped wonderful and holds together very well without any odd tabs or kibble. The only thing that is a bit irritating is the fact that the figure comes with two sets of side view mirrors that tab into that little hole under the driver and passenger side windows. I can understand in some ways while they would have done that as it’s possible that they could get in the way during transformation and while in robot mode but when you’re paying as much as you do for a Masterpiece figure this felt like something of a cop out.
Tracks is somewhat unique for a G1 figure as it has a sort of third mode that was present in the cartoon. It’s not a full on triple changer but Tracks does have a flight mode. Takara has done an excellent job of accentuating this mode by packing in a flight stand with the figure as you can see below.
The transformation to flight mode is a bit more complex than you would think initially but not horrible by any stretch. I did enjoy the inclusion of the small front blaster that fits where the front license plate would be. This was used occasionally in the show so it was a nice touch to include it. I’ll admit that it was a hard call whether to display tracks in this mode or in the more typical robot mode. I did end up going with robot mode but it was a much more difficult decision than usual.
The final transformation into robot mode was much more difficult than I expected mostly due to the fact that the tabbed connection at the very front of the vehicle which separate to form his legs was very difficult to separate. I was more than a little concerned that I was going to damage the figure at this point in the transformation. After finally getting that apart the rest of the transformation was reasonably easy. One point that I did think of as being particularly interesting was the fenders at the front of the vehicle separating from the rest of the figure and rotating to form the outer portion of the legs. This is a bit different than the G1 version of the figure which left the wheels showing and facing forward in robot mode but it’s a change I can get behind as it does make the finished figure look more robot and less reconfigured car.
There’s quite a bit of articulation and posing ability thanks to the fact that this is a Masterpiece figure. I do enjoy the paint apps on this figure in robot mode as the occasional reds and yellows do a great job of breaking up the colors on the figure. There were only two things that I had some concerns about when the figure is in robot mode. The first is that the head doesn’t really have anything to rest on and is floating in an open area. As long as everything stays tight that won’t be a problem but if this was a heavily played with figure I’d think that that would become a problem. The second might simply be a QA issue and was the fact that the left leg was a bit loose at the knee. Not so much that I couldn’t generate and hold a pose, but significantly looser than the other leg.
Even with my nitpicks I think that this is overall a wonderful figure and well worth picking up. Figures at the Masterpiece scale from Takara don’t come along all that often so I’m always happy when they are well received and well worth the money.
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