TakaraTomy

Masterpiece Road Rage photo
Masterpiece gets its first fembot
Back in January the ol' Transformers rumor mill claimed to know the next three Masterpiece figures coming to Japan. The first was said to be MP-25 Tracks which turned out to be true. The second was long shot MP-26 Road Rage w...

Top sales 3/16 to 3/22 photo
Top sales 3/16 to 3/22

Top selling Japanese toys for week of 3/16 to 3/22


Good week for Transformers, Gundam, and Super Sentai
Mar 28
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
  Curious about what's the Japanese are actually buying and how they lineup with your own collecting habit? Toynes.jp has you covered with a weekly and monthly sales round up. Last week was a good week for robot fans as ...
Transformers Masterpiece photo
Should have named him Silverstreak
Takara Tomy pulls another one out of the Transformers obscurity bag, but this time it's one a lot of fans have wanted. Quick history lesson: way back before Hasbro began the Transformers franchise, Takara was deep into the Di...

Masterpiece Tracks photo
Masterpiece Tracks

Masterpiece Tracks gets better pictures, price, and date


It's going to be a long six month wait.
Mar 13
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
More photos bring more excitement as the latest addition to Takara Tomy's Transformers Masterpiece line finally enters the pre-order stage. You might remember the first colored preview we got just last week and we're already ...
Masterpiece Tracks photo
Narcissistic Transformer gets a figure to be proud of
It's been less than two weeks since we got our first look at Takara Tomy's Transformers Masterpiece Tracks and things appear to be moving along quickly. Already we're being treated to some full color images of the A...

 photo

The next Transformers Masterpiece breaks cover on this months Magazine scans!


Confirm or deny?
Feb 21
// Chris Seto
Last month, our own Jeremy posted some interesting rumours about the next masterpiece transformers releases. Well, consider one of those rumours confirmed! MP-25 Tracks is on his way! Unfortunately, that's pretty much all we ...
Transformers photo
Transformers

Takara Tomy adds Aerialbots, obscure repaints to Japanese Transformers lines


Robots in Disguise character repainted into another RID character is more unusual than it sounds.
Jan 25
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Recently Takara Tomy teased an image of Superion's silhouette announcing their plans for Hasbro's Transformers Generations: Combiner Wars figures. This past week they released images of the Aerialbots including Slingshot...
Transformers photo
Transformers

Hong Kong event might confirm several Transformers rumors


Hasbro and Takara Tomy may have interesting things planned for 2015
Jan 20
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Normally I'm hesitant to report on rumors when there's no concrete evidence, but lately some lingering rumors appear to be gaining legs. That includes the rumors of new Masterpiece figures from Takara Tomy and some really une...
Transformers Masterpiece photo
Transformers Masterpiece

[Update] TaoBao puts the Transformers Masterpiece rumor mill into overtime


Site lists Tracks, Road Rage, and Ironhide listed
Jan 20
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
[Update: Seibertron is reporting that a rumor going around UK Toy Fair right now is that Takara Tomy is also planning to release Masterpiece versions of tank Megatron (not the Combiner Wars version), Ratchet (of course), Shoc...
3A Bumblebee photo
3A Bumblebee

3A's offhanded comment takes shape with movie Bumblebee figure


Just don't expect him to transform, or be cheap
Dec 13
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
It's been nearly a year ago since back in January 3A made an offhanded comment about having the Transformers license despite no formal announcement. Looks like that comment is finally bearing fruit as they finally reveal a Bu...

Mega Drive Megatron gets a Genesis makeover

Dec 08 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Mega Drive Megatron photo
And a gold one, too
Everyone's favorite video game-console-turned-killer-robot Mega Drive Megatron from Takara Tomy is getting a limited makeover. Soon Megatron will be getting redesigned as a Sega Genesis and come complete with a matching mini ...

Transforemrs Exhaust photo
Transforemrs Exhaust

Phillip Morris snuffs out sales of MP-23 Exhaust in the US


Marlboro cigarette-paterned Transformers will have to stay in Japan
Nov 24
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
There's been a bump in the road for American Transformers fans hoping to get their hands on Takara Tomy's MP-23 Exhaust figure. The Japanese figure intended for the Japanese market is patterned off of a real-life Lancia Serie...
Transformers Asia photo
First time Skywarp has been seen in the new jet mold
Looks like golden Masterpiece Megatron isn't the only new thing coming exclusively to Transformers Asia. Announced today Asia will soon be getting the new MP-11SW Skywarp. This is Skywarp's third Masterpiece, previously relea...

MP-5G Megatron photo
MP-5G Megatron

Asia exclusive MP Megatron to be a gold redeco


The man that turns into the golden gun
Oct 24
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Thanks to Big Bad Toy Store we now have more details on the upcoming Asia Exclusive Masterpiece Megatron release. Previous information was pretty cryptic, especially the reference to the "Destron leader repaint". Originally I...
TF4 Optimus Prime photo
TF4 Optimus Prime

AD-31 Optimus Prime is the figure we should have started with


Still a shellformer, but at least it's a pretty one
Oct 16
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
At this point Transformers fans have come to learn one constant when it comes movie figures: never by the launch releases. I mean, we buy them anyway, we can't help ourselves, but we do so knowing that at some point an even b...
MP-05 Megatron photo
But why?
Big Bad Toy Store is reporting that a new release of Transformers MP-05 Megatron is on the way. They're listing it as a 30th Anniversary exclusive, but stop short of saying where exactly it's intended to be sold. While it cer...

Transformers photo
The original title? Hook yourself up with a Playstation Optimus, which would have referred to connecting a system to a tv rather than connecting yourself to... well, let's just say the meaning of hook up has changed over the years
Takara Tomy's hotly anticipated Playstation Optimus Prime is now available for pre-order. The Autobot leader looks even better than the first color images had suggested and even features painted connection ports on his back. ...

D-Style Megatron photo
D-Style Megatron

Kotobukiya pulls the trigger on D-Style Megatron


Built for destruction
Sep 26
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
[Added a second, clearer image from AmiAmi to the gallery] No real surprise that Kotobukiya wouldn't be able to stop at just one. Over at the All Japan Model Hobby Show 2014 they've revealed the follow up to their previously ...
Masterpiece Star Saber photo
Masterpiece Star Saber

Takara Tomy reveals hidden secret in MP Star Saber's Shield


Not bad for only being used in one episode
Sep 16
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Just when you think there's nothing left to say about Transformers Masterpiece Star Saber, Takara Tomy gives us something new. We've known for a while that Star Saber would come with a shield as it showed up in a few scans an...
Transformers Masterpiece photo
Transformers Masterpiece

Transformers Masterpiece Star Saber and Exhaust get full color galleries


Plus some stiff pre-order competition
Sep 13
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
I hope you aren't tired of listening to me ramble on about how amazing these figures are because I'm sure not tired of doing it. Thanks to a combination of official galleries and photos from Takara Tomy designer TFYuki on Twi...
MP Star Saber photo
MP Star Saber

MP Star Saber gets a surprisingly low price and distant release date


Plus more comparison shots with the G1 figure
Sep 02
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
It took long enough, but Takara Tomy has finally given us all of the details we've been begging for over the last few months. Transformers Masterpiece Star Saber has finally been officially designated number MP-24 in the line...
MP Exhaust photo
MP Exhaust

Transformers Masterpiece 23 announced as Decepticon Exhaust


Wheeljack gets an evil remold
Sep 02
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
When Takara Tomy or Hasbro come out with a new Transformers figure one of the first things they do in development is figure out how to make the most out of the figure's sculpt. For the more expensive to make Masterpiece figur...
MP Star Saber photo
MP Star Saber

Takara Tomy compares new and old with MP Star Saber


Fun with scale!
Aug 30
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Thanks to Takara Tomy's attempt at being screen accurate with their upcoming Transformers Masterpiece Star Saber we're seeing them take an interesting slant on bot mode scale. Starting with the Brain of Courage (the tiny bot)...
MP Star Saber photo
MP Star Saber

Magazine scans show off all of MP Star Saber's features


One of the biggest robot releases for 2015
Aug 27
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Once again we get another month of scans featuring the incredible looking Transformers Masterpiece Star Saber. The Dengeki Hobby scans from TAG give us our best look yet at all of the little features that have made their way ...
Transformers Go! photo
Transformers Go!

Mag scans show off Kabaya Transformers Go! Samurai Team candy toys


They actually look better than the full size figures
Aug 21
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
It's been a while since Transformers Go! ended, both the figure line and the anime series, so everyone is a little surprise to see that Kabaya is planning a series of candy toys based on the toy line's Swordbot Samurai team. ...
Mega Drive Megatron photo
Transformers fans, get pumped!
With the new images from Takara Tomy's site, we get another chance to "ooh" and "aah" over Sentinel's Mega Drive Megatron. Andres posted the pre-order information last May and I totally share in his excitement. As previously ...

Transformers Expo photo
Transformers Expo

Transformers Expo 2014 reveals MP Star Saber in color


Plus a bunch of rare prototypes from the Takara archive
Aug 13
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Last Weekend in Japan was Transformers Expo, more or less the equivalent to BotCon in the US. They were a little light on the announcements this year, not giving away any real plans for upcoming figures past what's been previ...
PlayStation Optimus Prime photo
PlayStation Optimus Prime

PlayStation Optimus Prime makes first colored appearance


Looking good!
Aug 09
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
At the recent corporate UDX conference in Akihabara where many new hobby goods for 2014 were displayed for people within the industry, Takara Tomy was showing off a relatively finished looking Sony PlayStation Optimus prime. ...
Playstation Optimus Prime photo
Playstation Optimus Prime

U R NOT (red e) for transforming PlayStation Optimus Prime


I can't be the only one that remembers Sony's old PSX slogan
Jul 26
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
First Takara Tomy surprised everyone by partnering with Sega to make Megatron into a transforming Mega Drive (Genesis) and now they're doing it again with Sony. Just revealed are plans to add Optimus Prime as the second proje...
Dual Model Optimus Prime photo
Dual Model Optimus Prime

TF4 Optimus Prime finally gets ideal movie likeness with new model


Well, in bot mode anyway
Jul 17
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Back in 2011 Takara Tomy introduced us to the first Dual Model Kit, a kit of Optimus Prime as he appeared in Transfomers: Dark of the Moon. It was a very impressive kit featuring a fully articulated, pre-built and pre-painted...
Transformers G1 photo
Transformers G1

Mysterious Japanese Optimus Prime appears online


Is it an action figure? Is it a statue? Can it transform?
Jul 16
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Best part about being a fan even in this day and age is that there are still surprises and mysteries that are hard to explain on their own. Over on Transformers Facebook fan site Planet Iacon they've found themselves wit...
Be@rbrick Transformers photo
Changes from Optimus Prime bear to Optimus Prime robot, and back!
[Update: AmiAmi has an early listing for the impending pre-order for Optimus Prime and Megatron. They're 145 mm or 5.7 inches tall, which isn't bad, but they're breaking the bank at a suggested price of ¥5,184 each. ...

Transformers Masterpiece photo
Get a good look at one big bot and one little bot
New images of Transformers Masterpiece Ultra Magnus and Bumblebee found their way onto Amazon Japan giving us our biggest and best looks at the two newest MP figures yet. I've already spoken quite a bit about Bumblebee so the...

Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars finally to be mass merchandised by mass manufacturers


Not just a select few anymore
Jun 13
// Andres Cerrato
If a catalog coming out of the International Tokyo Toy Fair is to be believed, there is going to be a lot of people involved in Star Wars over the next few years. Bandai has already revealed their hand partially with S.H. Fig...
Optimus Prime photo
Optimus Prime

Who needs a sports car when you can have a US$30,000 Optimus Prime statue?


Does it qualify for a new car loan?
Jun 13
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
And here I thought it was ridiculous when Prime 1 Studio was asking some US$2,300 for a three-foot tall movie Optimus Prime statue. If I only knew.  Takara Tomy has revealed this enormous statue of Optimus Prime that can...
Masterpiece Ultra Magnus photo
All that red...
Takara Tomy is giving us our first colored look at Transformers Masterpiece MP-22 Ultra Magnus at Tokyo Toy Show. Thanks to images from TAG Hobby we can get a clearer look at what parts do what on the new figure. Somethi...

Tomopop Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Generations Metroplex

Jun 08 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Figure Name: Transformers Generations TG-23 Metroplex Figure Maker: Takara Tomy Figure Price: ¥19,000 Available At: HobbyLink Japan This is a big box! I mean, it kinda has to be since the figure in it is nearly two feet tall standing inside. It's actually bigger than the American retail box because they kinda cheated and removed one of Metroplex's arms to make the box smaller. In fact this is the same exact box as the one that Encore Fortress Maximus comes in all the way down the shape of the flaps, it's just decorated differently.  The back is alternately just as good as the front. Really it's hard to call one side the front and the other the back, one looks just as good as the other and I'm not entirely sure which is which. Note the bit about lights and sounds as well as the part that says batteries not included. You'd think that for a US$200 figure they could throw in a couple double As, but they probably figured if you can spend that kind of money you can probably pony up for the batteries. It's a little strange that a figure like this only scores a four out of five in difficulty. Sure he isn't super complex, but his size does make him harder to manipulate.  Here's one side showing off all three of his modes. City-bots all have three modes, typically a robot mode, a city/fortress mode, and a mobile battle mode. Of course this updated version of Metroplex is no different and retained the modes of the original figure. This side also points out all of the features of the figure, and it's a lot! The other side shows the same modes, but without the features and on a red backdrop. The purple background on this side runs a little counter to what we usually see for Autobots.  Here he is inside the package. Everything is pretty neatly packed in there including his four guns, two missiles that I swear or standard size, claw, and Scamper (more on him later) and his gun. As big as the box is he takes up every inch of it.  And here he is freed from his restraints. Not entirely in all his glory, he needs his guns and more importantly... ...he needs his stickers. That's a big sticker sheet, but not as big as the one Fortress Maximus comes with. They number up to 74, but there are several multiples so there's really more than 100 individual stickers to place. It took me several hours to get them all applied. Thankfully these are very high quality foil stickers that don't rip if you need to pull them up and reapply them. Problem with big foil stickers is the sheer act of pealing them off the sheet generates static so sometimes when you go to stick them on they'll jump to the plastic before you're ready. Incidentally there are four different versions of Metroplex and all of them have different sticker sheets.  Now this is Metroplex in all his glory. I know he doesn't look all that different aside from having his weapons in place, but the stickers are more important to his alternate modes than his bot mode. There's a few stickers on his front, mostly on his knees.  From the back each of the little round thruster looking things on his back and lower legs take a round sticker, 18 in total. There's a few other stickers that are used in his alternate mode. I'm glad his back is so nicely detailed, especially on the back of his legs which aren't seen in his alternate modes. It's easy to skimp on the quality of the barely seen parts of a figure this big to keep the costs down, but thankfully he looks great from all directions.  Let's check out the head. This one and the two convention exclusive versions all have silver chromed faces just like the original G1 figure had. The Hasbro retail version has a white face. It's hard to tell, even in person with ideal lighting, that his eyes are sculpted and actually articulated. There's a little lever on the back of his head that you can turn side to side to move his eyes back and forth. I've ranted about this before, but I hate light piping in eyes, it makes them very hard to see, they just look so dark and lifeless. I kinda want to take his head apart and paint his eyes. If you pull down on one of his antennae it will drop down his visor. In the cartoon (at least for part of it) he had a red visor even though the original figure had regular eyes. Unfortunately the visor doesn't stay in place all that well and tends to fall back down over his eyes at random. I like him both ways so I can accept it.  Also note the red windows below his head. That entire thing is one big button for his light and sound features. His eyes and the circle on his chest light-up and he plays one of seven voice clips of five sound effects from the Transformers: Fall of Cybertron game. It's basically all of his lines from the game which is kinda funny considering this isn't the same Metroplex design, but it's a neat feature. It's also rather unexpected as all of the clips are in English since the game was never released in Japan. Even more so when Hasbro actually made a sound box without the voice clips for the international market they could have used. No complaints here. Hasbro versions also have Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Bumblebee, and Arcee peering out those windows, something I wish this figure included to help push his scale.  Now that we've talked about some of his bot mode features let's take a moment to talk about scale. It's hard to just look at a figure and get a scope for how big it is, especially when it's all by itself. Back in the '80s when Fort Max was released Hasbro billed him as the biggest Transformer at two feet tall. Well, they were half right. He was the biggest Transformer at the time but he wasn't two feet tall, he was actually just a hair shy of 22 inches. Metroplex here is billed as over two feet tall, but that's arguable. The measurement goes to the tip of his shoulder mounted guns (about 24.25 inches) which is removable so I'd rather call it from the tip of his head mounted guns/antennas/horns/ears/whatever which puts him at about 22.5 inches. He's still the biggest Transformer yet, but Hasbro and Takara's need to overshadow a figure they made together nearly 30 years ago inflates things a bit. Can't quite get a grasp for what nearly (but not quite) two feet of robot really look like? Here he is holding the Transformers the Movie DVD. Just hold a standard DVD case in your hand and you should be able to get an idea of how big he is.  I've compared him quite a bit to Fort Max so here's a shot of them together along with Mattel's 24 inch (to the wing tips) Voltron for good measure. It's more bot than my photo table has room for so from here you're going to see several shots taken to the floor. This is a lot of toy.  More comparisons as we go! And here he is with Sky Lynx sitting on his shoulder like a parrot because he can. Easily one of the coolest things I've taken a picture of ever.  A big figure needs big guns and Metroplex has the biggest. Check out his big red canon compared to Fort Max's not quite as big blue canon. Metroplex's guns have a bunch of small details that imply these are actually human-size space battleships. If you look closely at the top you can see something that resembles a battleship command tower. Just imagine a giant robot treating the space battleship Yamato as a hand gun. Same idea. I have big hands and even for me the guns look big, imagine them in the hands of an eight-year-old. Hasbro even did the tips on their versions in safety orange just to be safe. Not particularly comfortable, though. Those shoulder mounted guns can just as easily be handheld by flipping down the gray part into a handle. They're smaller, but it's impressive to see a figure this big get an arsenal. Most Transformers have one weapon they can use, he has four.  Likewise you can shoulder-mount the red guns as an alternative. Those are the official positions anyway, he has a number of peg holes in different places that you also stick the guns to as you please.  Moving on we'll take a look at Metroplex's little buddy before we look at transformations. Scamper is a remake of the original Metroplex's scout figure, this time given a real transformation thanks to being in the style of the current version of the Legends class. They've made some changes to his design since the last time we saw him, namely the added details and use of color. Where the original figure was pure black this one has added silver highlights and blue windows. It's a little abstract, but still feels like an upgrade of the same vehicle mode. Bot mode is much less faithful to the original. This mode is entirely unique to this figure and not based on the cartoon or comics. It's been suggested by fans that he might have originally been planned to be a different character, but had his vehicle mode altered to look more like Scamper. About the only thing in common between the two is the bot mode chest. Hasbro's version didn't have the big Autobot symbol, just a little one which was a sticker. The Takara version has a nice big tampograph of the symbol on his chest more in line with the original.  Biggest question mark goes to his inexplicable red head. He's never appeared with one before so why suddenly give him one now? And the sculpt looks nothing like any version of Scamper we've seen before either adding more fuel to the theory that he was originally meant to be someone else. I've heard Bumper thrown around, you never know.  Unfortunately there are two glaring absences in this set. The little tank is Slammer, he didn't have a robot mode, but he could turn into one (two on the Encore release) of Metroplex's city mode towers. The big guy is Sixgun, the bot mode of all of Metroplex's guns combined into one figure. He was a great concept that I wish all of the city-bots used, but unfortunately didn't. He would have been a great addition to this set, even better than Scamper, but it didn't happen. Thankfully there are a few third party groups that have taken it upon themselves to rectify this with their own takes on Sixgun and Stamper to complete the group. Now if someone would just make a better head for Scamper.  OK, time for some more comparisons. On the right you'll recognize the original G1 Metroplex figure (actually the 2008 Japanese Encore reissue). He barely comes up to the new Metroplex's knees, talk about a growth spurt! But Generations Metroplex isn't the first time Takara Tomy and Hasbro tried to rebuild the giant. On the left is Transformers: Cybertron Metroplex (Galaxy Force's Megalo Convoy in Japan), the Autobot leader on planet Gigantion (aka the Giant Planet), but rather than turn into a city or a fortress he turns into a simplified version of one of those giant earth-moving excavators. He's a huge figure, but even he can't clear the new guy's hips.  And here he is with the original G1 Scorponok (never reissued), still the biggest Decepticon city-bot to date. Despite being Fortress Maximus' counterpart he was much smaller and can't even clear Metroplex's legs. Impressed yet? Check out what happens when we transform him! This is when we need to really move things to the carpet. The transformation from bot to his mobile battle station mode is pretty simple. Just sit him down, flip the front of his legs over like an open book, swing the arms back, change the head, slide the shoulder canons into place, and reposition the guns. Simple, but the added size is very impressive. He's basically a rolling aircraft carrier and here is where the that little claw comes into play, unfolding from the deck.  Here's the picture that a lot of people love to take and I'm no different. The original figure doesn't even cover the runway deck of the new one. That's huge! Things are once again much closer with Fort Max. This is Max's battle station mode or what the Japanese renamed his starship mode (because the Japanese love Gundam and it kinda looks like White Base if you squint). Fort Max is about an inch longer than Metroplex, mostly thanks to the ramps on the back.  Scorponok didn't have a base mode, trading it for fitting scorpion mode. He's a little more impressive this way next to Metroplex thanks to his added length from his claws and tail. Scorponok still wouldn't stand a chance in a fight, though.  The majority of the stickers are in this mode. These all need to be hand applied to both legs so plan on setting aside a couple hours. It's definitely worth your time, I just wish they covered the screw holes.  Here's the city mode. I prefer to transform him like this a little closer to the original, but the legs can't bend quite right. The official transformation moves the right leg in so that the ramp coming from his chest leads right into it. Transformation is a bit more complex. Out of bot mod the legs are bent backwards, opened the same way as the battle station mode, and then opened again sideways. The body is spun around, the right arm is stuck out forward while the left arm is moved around to his back on a special hinge and the left side of his chest if opened to make a helicopter pad. The head is changed the same way again, ramp is pulled out of his chest and all of the guns are moved to his back to make city towers. I've always wondered if it's an unsettling feeling in Autobot City knowing you live inside a giant gun.  With G1 Metroplex. It's in this mode that I really with Sixgun was available, his body made a large tower behind the helipad which has been replaced by two little red bars that don't really serve a purpose. There were also more "windows" on the G1 version to really drive home the fact that this is a city. I miss those.  Fort Max had a much more compact city mode, but gets an extension from the ramps. It's hard to say if the new biggest bot is better or worse than the former biggest bot. I do like that unlike all of the other city-bots the only parts you need to remove to transform Metroplex is his four guns.  Scorponok has a very unique transformation among city bots, especially using the arms as towers instead of trying to hide one or both of them. Even with his extra wide city mode he doesn't reach Metroplex's width.  Pretty much all of guns that pop out of Metroplex's body (head, left shoulder, and right arm) can be used by Scamper or any other Legends figures thanks to 5 mm pegs they can grasp. That's the kind of interaction I like to see in what's basically a giant sized playset.  Here are some of the city mode stickers, made to represent a bunch of computer screens and monitoring systems. I wish they were sculpted in, but the flat surfaces are likely a byproduct of the sculpting.  This is my favorite sticker in the bunch. I don't read Cybertronian, but from what I understand that's graffiti that reads "Soundwave". I can just imagine Frenzy or Rumble sneaking into Autobot City just to do that.   And that brings us to the end of the review, I'm sure you can guess, but this is definitely a figure I can recommend. His price, while a lot, is actually pretty decent and ¥10,000 less than Encore Fortress Maximus in the same year and only a little more than twice the price of Transformers 4 Premiere Optimus Prime and you probably know how I feel about that figure by now. He's huge, well made, and full of fun features making for a very hard figure to dislike. I would definitely be behind a follow up of this quality. Unfortunately on the Japanese side Takara Tomy found the sales to be kinda slow, while on the western front Hasbro couldn't even get this into major retailers and it had its price slashed by three quarters at wholesale clubs. I can't say if either company sold enough to make another, but from the outside it doesn't seem likely. If you can find one at the right price don't hesitate to buy one, you'll be glad you did! [A humongous thanks to HobbyLink Japan for providing such a great review sample!)
Metroplex Review photo
G1 homages don't get bigger or better than this!
For the longest time Transformers fans wanted two things: New combiner figures and a reissue of Fortress Maximus. The combiner part happened several times over, but has yet to be done in a way that really excites. As for the ...

Mega Drive Megatron photo
Mega Drive Megatron

Begin the great console wars with Mega Drive Megatron pre-orders


Robots in Disguise Consoles
May 26
// Andres Cerrato
At WonFes earlier this year, Sen-Ti-Nel unveiled its collaboration project with TakaraTomy. In recent days, Transformers have crossed over with other franchises that make fanfiction.net members angry that they didn't butcher ...
Parasyte plush pre-orders photo
Parasyte plush pre-orders

These new Parasyte plushes are pretty freaky


I guess that fits the series, though
May 26
// Natalie Kipper
The manga series, Parasyte, has always given me chills and goosebumps from the covers because invariably there is some horrifyingly mutated monster-thing plastered across it. Long story short, I couldn't get myself to lift up...

Tomopop Review: Takara Tomy Transformers 4 Premiere Edition Optimus Prime

May 25 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Figure Name: Transformers 4: Age of Extinction Premiere Edition Optimus Prime Figure Maker: Takara Tomy Figure Price: ¥7,500 Available At: HobbyLink Japan Starting with the box, the art is really nice. It's very big and jumps right out at you thanks to the cut of the flap and the overall unusual shape. Note that there's a big silver foil sticker on the front of the box covering all of Hasbro's English text and logo. It also changes him from a "First Edition" to a "Premiere Edition". I'm not all that crazy about the red and white Transformers logo and its positioning, but I'll have to get used to it; they're using it everywhere.  Shot at the back. Mostly unchanged save for another sticker to add the typical Takara Tomy stuff. The photos look good, but the figure is clearly hand painted and given a glossy Photoshop treatment. His sword and shield look good in orange, it's a shame they went with yellow in the end.  Inside the flap is the first movie poster and a nice, big window viewing the figure. I wouldn't mind seeing more Transformers in a similar box; this isn't altogether unlike the Masterpiece or Platinum Edition boxes. I can't help but think they're spending as much making the box as they do making they figure inside it, though.  Here he is freed from his package. First thing you'll notice if you're looking at one in person is just how tall he is. He stands over 10 inches tall and with all of that kibble he gives the impression of being big and bulky, but it's all deceptive. He's extremely light thanks to being mainly hollow and made out of very thin plastic. Thankfully the plastic is pretty sturdy despite the thinness. I never once felt like anything was going to break, even when transforming.  The chrome is nice, and if you like that sort of thing, there's a ton of it here. My real beef with chrome is that it's rarely done in the right place and not enough. Then they get lazy and use light gray where they can't use chrome and the whole thing just looks wrong. So I'm happy that they used dark gray instead of trying to blend a bunch of colors that kinda look alike. However, they also used silver paint where they couldn't use chrome which I assume is a cheaper process and looks just as good. I figure if they dropped the chrome they could have covered even more of the figure in silver with just the paint alone.  Now's as good a time as any to also point out how little paint there is on this figure. There are only four dominant colors used here: silver, gray, red, and blue. That's all. Granted, Prime's new bot mode and truck modes don't have a ton of color, but this is pretty sparse. You can definitely tell this is a Hasbro figure by the lack of paint details. After this figure the two companies are going their own ways with the paint on the same molds. Oh well, I'm sure we'll see an upgrade option from ReproLabels or something later.  Taking a closer look at the head. For this figure they decided to go without the mouth plate. I don't know anyone who actually wants a figure of Optimus Prime without his mouth plate, but Hasbro keeps making them. That would be like making a bunch of Superman figures without capes just because it's something different. I'm pretty tired of it. I do like that the eyes are nicely sculpted, too bad Hasbro still insists on using light piping for their figures which rarely works to any effect. On this figure the light is received from the back of his head and all the stuff behind him blocks any light from hitting it making it pretty much worthless. Just go back to molding the eyes in opaque colored plastic again already. Articulation isn't terrible, but just adequate. He has good range of motion in the shoulders and double elbows, plus a swivel above the elbows, but no wrist articulation. He also has hinges on his shoulder armor so it won't restrict his arm movements. Surprisingly, he has no ball joints in his arms to wear out, and even has ratchets in his joints, so it's nice to see they didn't entirely cheapen out. His neck can only turn; this is a spot were all Transformers should have a ball joint. He also can't twist at his waist which is unfortunate, but not a deal breaker. The legs aren't too bad either. The hips are articulated like the shoulders so he can even do a split or just sit (more on that later). His knees can be bent to a 90 degree angle and there's also a swivel just above the knee joint. Problem is the junk behind his legs hanging from his back makes it very difficult to maneuver his legs around. He has ball jointed ankles, too, but they can barely move at all. At least it's there I guess. No guns this time around. His accessories include the "Sword of Judgement" and the "Sentinel Shield". Both are molded in translucent yellow which is OK, but I prefer the orange of the prototype as seen on the box. Then again, in the movie the sword is mostly silver with some red so it doesn't really matter at this point. Then again the figure itself doesn't look all that much like the character model from the movie so it's probably too late to start complaining about accuracy. The sword also has a peg in it, but doesn't seem to serve any function I could find. The shield can either be plugged into the side of his left arm, as it should, or he can hold it in his hand, which doesn't really look right.  Time to transform. This is were things really become underwhelming.  He's advertised as transforming in 12 steps, but this could easily be considered the first step. Just sit him down and flip his backpack down to plug it into his legs. He could practically drive off just like this. The rest of the transformation is moving the body forward, folding the arms behind his back, and snapping all of the shell pieces into place. It's beyond simplified, it's no wonder why his bot mode is full of kibble. Last part of the transformation is folding over the roof and windshield. These last two images really show just how little effort they're putting into these figure to cut costs. It's just a shell of a truck wrapped over a robot action figure, it hardly qualifies as transforming. Unfortunately that's how most of the vehicles figures in the movie are made. At least we have the Dinobots, those actually transform for the most part.  Truck mode looks pretty good, but all things considered it had better. The new truck this time around is based on a Western Star Trucks concept vehicle that hasn't been fully revealed yet. I'm glad they went with something a little less traditional this time around. After three previous movies where Prime was paired with a bunch of cars that look like they came from the future it's nice to see him finally get a much needed update. I'll nitpick about the paint shortly. Rubber tires! Sadly this is the absolute best thing about this figure. In all fairness, this could be the best Transformer in the world and the rubber tires would still be the best thing about it, they're just that good.  This is just pathetic. Big hunk of blue plastic with no paint of any kind. They coudn't even be bothered to mold in the rear lights. Then again they did give him headlights either so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.  I'm guessing the stacks are painted like this to prevent the paint from rubbing, but it looks bad. They should let us worry about the paint rub and paint the entire stack. That also means painting the L bend on the bottom and the pipes coming off the top. As mentioned before, trying to get us to pretend the gray plastic and silver paint are the same color is just foolish.  The sword can be stored on the bottom via a clip. Like I sad, the peg on the sword serves no purpose at all. The shield also has storage on the back plugging into the trailer hitch. *Shrug* OK, so now that we give the figure a thorough look over, let's check out why it's such a disgrace for a figure from 2014. Here's 2014 Optimus Prime with the Optimus Prime figure for the first movie from 2007. The new figure is supposed to be a special premium, high priced figure only sold through specialty retailers while the old figure was a standard Leader class figure you could get at any store. There are nearly seven years between these two figures, and yet it's the 2007 figure that's the most impressive. Look at the amount of paint detail in the flames: The 2014 flames are overly simplified and lack their detail, but the 2007 figure kept its gradient. Look at the headlights: The 2014 figure doesn't even have headlights molded in while the 2007 figure has them molded out of clear translucent blue plastic. Look at the panel lines: The 2014 figure has just a few because it's just a shell, while the 2007 figure is full of them because of its intricate transformation.  The 2007 figure also has parts that auto-transform like the chest and feet, articulated fingers, firing missile, and lights & sounds features that correspond to what mode he's in. He wasn't exactly movie accurate, that figure came with the second movie, but at least he was a real Transformer.  Now, as negative as I've been I don't hate it. Or rather, I don't like it as a Leader class premium figure. If this were a smaller figure or priced as an Ultra figure it wouldn't be so bad. But as a figure that feels and looks like an oversized Voyager class figure at Leader class prices it's really hard to recommend. If you find one on clearance for around US$30 then go for it, but at full price you'd be better off steering clear.  One last pic. Knights are supposed to fight dragons right? Go get him, boys! [Huge thanks to HobbyLink Japan for the review sample!]
TF4 Optimus Prime photo
Oh, how the mighty have fallen
You're probably already well aware that 2014 marks yet another Transformers movie year. This time around Transformers 4: Age of Extinction begins a new story arc featuring returning and new Autobots (now in more knightly look...







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