MP-10 Optimus Prime (2012 TRU Release)

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Finally getting around to the big O himself – I remember coveting this release for the longest time before finally snagging a used version on eBay as part of a bundle set. New versions were going for obscene prices ($300~) since this was before the recent reissue. As such, I didn’t really have any qualms buying a used item as long as it was complete; didn’t really miss the box or packaging.

P1170190P1170191Prime’s basic vehicle form – an ‘ol ’80’s style flat-nosed semi. Solid and conservative, and very distinctive with Prime’s trademark red and blue palette.

P1170192I’m actually really impressed by the folding panels that go from covering Prime’s rear wheels to forming a detailed undercarriage plane. His second grille that forms the biped form’s stomach is also visible under the cabin.

P1170194P1170193There’s really no shortage of detail – everything from the folding side-view mirrors to the molded and painted windshield wipers are there. Just a bit of a shame that the rear lights weren’t colored – I could’ve painted them myself but got a tad lazy. The headlights are forgivable in that they’re chrome’d out.

P1170195The tires are also nicely done in rubber, unlike the smaller subsequent Masterpiece releases that sported all-plastic wheels.

P1170237P1170238And because the humans are always an integral part when we’re talking Transformers, a small (and very faceless) Spike Witwicky is included to interact with a lot of Prime’s workings and gimmicks.

P1170196For starters of course, he can ride the control-less truck cabin and act as Prime’s human decoy driver. Kind of awkward when that’s literally Prime’s head flipped upside down and backwards right next to him though.

P1170213And what’s Prime without his trusty trailer?

(Admittedly, not much less…this thing kinda just disappears into the netherworld whenever Optimus decides to transform mid-battle and take names/kick ass).

P1170209P1170210As a very detailed accessory to the main figure, it’s almost a shame it’s served best when Prime is in vehicle mode only.

P1170211Supports from the front end unfold to keep the trailer standing on its own, but bits also fold out towards the side for extra stability. These parts are actually really neat in that there’s a gear system inside that pushes the feet-like bits down as you swing the arms out.

P1170212The underside even has a spare tire molded in! I planned to paint that…but then never got around to it. The trailer hooks into Optimus’ bed via that small rotating double-plug near the front end. It’s a fairly secure fit, despite really only being two pegs.

P1170216The rear trailer doors do open up (rather easily too…kind of wish they were more secure) to allow some vehicular access if you happen to own some of the other Autobots. What’s really cool is that an access ramp also slides out from right below the doors and comes down; it’s really too steep for a car to roll up realistically, but the image is there.

P1170199But because this is Transformers, a trailer is never merely a trailer. Of course it turns into a full-on battle bay complete with weapons storage and a human-operated defense drone/crane/thing.

P1170207Opening the trailer up is actually a bit of a tough task. The clips hold everything together, but I always feel like I’m gonna rip the plastic to pieces when I’m trying to unhook everything.

P1170208The insides of the trailer are almost notoriously detailed. I’ve seen some people touch this stuff up and it looks absolutely glorious. I actually wanted to try panel-washing and painting it all eventually, but of course…those plans fell through.

P1170201Two compartments near the front end of the trailer store Prime’s Energon Axe and Ion Blaster. The middle has an extending battle pod with a flip-up radar dish and extending claw that can grab onto small accessories.

I’ll also mention now that Prime’s trailer can only hold one Autobot car – as shown with Sideswipe there, the weapon storage blocks kind of block off a third of the interior once the trailer is closed.

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The trailer also stands up as a sort of base/repair bay for Optimus in his biped form or any other similarly sized Transformer.

P1170202The little repair drone is actually where I prefer to keep Spike most of the time – he plugs nice and snug into the cockpit and gets sealed behind a plane of tinted plastic when the hatch is down.

P1170203P1170204The little Roller drone that’s supposed to be one of Optimus’ own self-modules is also included in a clean matte blue.

P1170205There’s not much going on with this little plastic drone, but it is well-detailed where it counts. Props to Hasbro for even painting in the headlights and using clear red plastic for the signal on its rear. Spike can man the one available seat, and Prime’s Ion Blaster plugs into the rear when a small flap is flipped down.

P1170206Almost strangely, Roller’s rear panel can be flipped open and the entire inside can be used as an empty storage container for miscellaneous items such as dead bodies or wayward sons.

P1170214A bit of a comparison for how long Prime suddenly becomes with his trailer.

P1170215Is this the dream? This is the dream. My backdrop wasn’t even large enough to fit Wheeljack.

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Prime’s transformation isn’t outrageously complex – it’s actually fairly similar to MP-01’s original scheme. A small amount of metal is used inside the central torso and in the feet, but aside from that most of Prime’s build is solid plastic.

primeI’m really liking Optimus’ redesigned biped form. He’s as stocky as the legendary Autobot leader should be. The vibrant colors really sell it though – I personally think it looks world’s better than TakaraTomy’s original dullled-down version with those soulless black eyes.

Articulation is solid and nearly standard. Just about all the limbs max out at right angles, very expectantly due to Prime’s blocky design. Despite not really having skirts though, the thigh-to-hip range is a bit limited by design – Optimus can’t really kneel thanks to this.

P1170130It’s also a bit of a shame that Optimus’ hands are a bit limited – the thumb is stationary while the lower three fingers swing together on a single hinge joint. The index finger has a bit more movement in that it can move both at the base knuckle and the second knuckle, but the drawback is that the tip of the finger is molded bent to accommodate Prime’s wielding of weapons such as his Ion Blaster.

While this makes sense, it does make his iconic pointing poses look a bit weird, what with his index curving at the end and all. Thankfully Hasbro and Takara made things right with their Masterpiece Soundwave release, who could point fingers like no other thanks to an added joint in the hands.

Optimus’ standard weapon of choice – Ion Blasts are the right of all sentient beings!

The gun almost looks dinky in Prime’s hands, especially when compared to the larger version that MP-01 wielded, but after posing with it for a while, its charm has certainly grown on me. I was a bit disappointed that they took out the cool green gem-like orb in the emitter that MP-01 had though, so I painted the tip gold myself.

P1170182The reason it was made smaller was so it could fold up for storage. All those bend points are actually spring-loaded. Once the tip is folded back, it clicks into place via a tab on the butt of the gun. Pressing the tab will unhook the emitter and have the entire gun spring into full-length.

P1170183True to lore, it could now be conveniently stored in Prime’s backside. This works in both robot and vehicle forms.

P1170184Next up, Prime’s clear orange Energon axe, this time in two pieces. Instead of having the hand fold back into the arm as most Transformers do when equipping a hand-weapon, the Energon Axe’s base is actually molded to plug right over Prime’s closed fist.

You can kind of see Prime’s thumb at certain angles inside the Energon ball base, but for the most part the illusion of the axe coming out of his forearm socket is achieved pretty well.

P1170139And because, what the hell. The smaller Autobot weapons don’t actually fit in his hands…at all…but it kind of works. Pew pew, Decepticon scum!

P1170174P1170175P1170176P1170177Oh hey guys, I have this in me now.

P1170178LIGHT OUR DARKEST HOUR…!!!

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The obligatory Matrix of Leadership is actually a really neat accessory this time around, albeit a bit undersized so it could fit properly in Prime’s chest. It’s made entirely of metal (minus the center jewel, not sure what that is) but as such as a nice heft to it.

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Like I said…just a bit undersized. It can’t open either – it’s basically a single good-looking hunk of Autobot Leadership (the Matrix, not Prime…though Prime is that too).

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Transformers are large, but humans are also very small.

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MP-10 is very much worthy as the next generation flagship Masterpiece figure that was meant to kick off a new standard for Takara. It’s nice that everything fits together now, especially since “scale” has always been a bit of a dirty word when it came to Transformers (I’m looking at you, Soundwave). I don’t think MP-10 has the same “ooh ahh” factor that the very first MP-01 had during its release, but that’s to be expected when this is essentially a refined version of the “perfect Transformer” released years ago.

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