Kool Kollectibles content

7 Sep 2019

Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime (Convoy)

Optimus Prime is understandably one of the most revered characters in Transformers lore, and by all accounts is immensely popular in Japan. It's no surprise that Takara will always look to improving on previously released figures of Optimus Prime, known as Convoy in Japan.

The iconic MP-10 mold was released in September 2011, almost 8 years to the day. It became the benchmark in scale and quality for all subsequent MP releases, and was one of the reasons I started collecting Transformers toys again in 2012!

But things move fast in toy technology, and engineering design techniques have grown more sophisticated in dramatic ways over the past few years. Takara really stepped up their game with new molds such as MP-33 Inferno, MP-36 Megatron, and MP-39 Substreaker. These figures brought in a new era of ultra cartoon accuracy, sculpting, and paint application; complex transformations; and amazing articulation.

This new MP-44 Optimus takes all of that and presents the definitive G1 cartoon Optimus Prime. With any release like this, there's always controversy and the inevitable comparisons with past figures and new 3rd party equivalents. I'll discuss more on that below.

Click through below to see my two-part review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!

Part 1: Covers accessories and truck mode, with comparison against MP-10.
Part 2: Covers transformation risky/tricky parts, knee joint articulation, and bot mode comparison against MP-10.

Hope you can check out the videos, and also read through below for more of my thoughts.

Part 1: 

Part 2:

This set comes stacked with accessories, most of which are of very high quality. The changes that Takara have made to the trailer and its related parts are a big improvement over what was included with MP-10, and add a lot of display options and playability to the set.

The new removable gun tower itself is very nicely done, with lots of options to use it with Roller, separately on its own, or integrated with the trailer. I can't recall if all of those options were depicted in the G1 cartoon, but it's great that Takara are giving thought to these options when designing their new figures.

Their love of the G1 cartoon also shows through the inclusion of specific accessories for scenes from the cartoon, such as the Starscream head/air intakes and the jet pack. These give that extra bit of nostalgia to the cartoon for those wanting that photo opportunity. I really hope the Starscream head is a teaser for a new Seeker mold that is sorely needed! The likeness is perfect to the cartoon version.


The swap out head sculpts are also great for collectors to vary up how their Optimus looks. I personally prefer the stock head sculpt from Season 2. The Season 1 head sculpt has a rounder jaw/mouth plate, and somehow doesn't seem quite like the Optimus I remember from my Saturday mornings in front of the TV.

The battle damaged sculpt is decent, and goes well with the damaged torso piece to replicate the scene from the 1986 movie. But since it's only those two pieces of battle damage, it doesn't really go all that well with the rest of the figure. Decent for a one-off photo opportunity, but I doubt they will be used much.

The axe and shooting effects are also accessories I'm not sure will be used too often. The axe is smaller than MP-10's, but is made of a decent transluscent plastic. For this one, I think the MP-10 axe is better.

The new MP-44 blaster rifle however is definitely better! It's significantly larger and suits the character so much better. It also has a storage gimmick on the back in bot mode, where it clips in like he has it slung over his shoulder. Still a pretty silly gimmick like the MP-10 folding gun in the back. I won't ever display it like that.


This time Takara packaged the figure in truck mode, unlike most other larger MPs that are shipped in bot mode. So the above photo will likely be the only one for many years showing him in truck mode in my collection! I rarely transform my figures once displayed because it takes me so long to do it!

People have complained that they think it has too many panels in truck mode, but I think it looks great. From videos I've seen, once you get it back from bot mode to truck mode and carefully align panels, it mostly clips together well. The main issues have been around the chromed fuel tanks, but most photos after a couple of transformations have looked fine.

For me, the trailer is a real surpise. It's lacking the blue stripe along the sides due to cartoon accuracy, but the rest of the trailer is painted in a beautiful gun metal grey. The longer ramp is also nice to finally get the cars rolling out better.

I love that the gun tower can be removed or integrated into the trailer base. The trailer also has metal parts to allow the minifigs to stand with the magnets in their feet. Check out my video for all the details on the internals of the trailer.


Although the truck mode is nice, the bot mode is always where it's at for me regarding the MP figures. I love the cartoon accurate aesthetic that Takara are going for, and this MP-44 takes Optimus to a whole new level.

The head sculpt, paint application, and overall sculpting is just phenomenal. The body proportions perfectly reflect his cartoon look, and the gloosy paint app simply makes the figure pop on display. Almost every surface is painted, and it gives the figure a presence on display that is of very high quality.

There are a few risk areas for paint scratches during transformation, such as the yellow parts on the crotch piece and the grey areas under the armpits. But if you follow the instructions and videos of the transformation, you'll go a long way to avoid paint scratches.


The chest and arms of MP-44 are the biggest improvements for me over MP-10. There is no longer a gorilla-like stance for this figure. The arms have a nice curved design that just makes the character look so natural and almost organic. That is in stark contrast to MP-10 and the newer 3rd party figures that still have the block look of the torso and arms.

There have been complaints about the ability to insert the matrix into the chest cavity. I'm not sure why that is, since mine inserted all the way without any issue. The position of the cavity itself is not as cartoon accurate, with it being lower in the chest. It would've looked better if it was higher like it was shown in the cartoon. Luckily I don't display him like that, so it's a non-issue for me.


Another major source of complaints is the backpack in bot mode. Once it's transformed, it's actually not as big as photos or some collectors are making it out to be! It integrates well with the figure and its overall proportions so it doesn'treally bother me at all.

My photo above shows that it's not hugely massive, and many collectors love the sound features so it's a decent design compromise. There are also comparison pics against MP-10 below that show it's only slightly larger. I've done actual measurements and it's mainly wider more than anything.

The stand out feature for MP-44 is its incredible articulation. It is by far the most poseable Optimus figure that I've seen. Some have complained that it is very "gappy" but most pics show it still looks great even in extreme dynamic poses.


An area of concern has been the knee articulation. Part 2 of my video review shows how to articulate the knee to avoid damage. When bending, you must rotate the top ratchet first which reveals a slot behind the knee. This slot allows a blue tab related to the lower ratchet to slide into when you start rotating the lower ratchet. Do the reverse when extending the knee straight.

If you don't follow the above, you risk rotating the lower ratchet without moving the blue tab, which will damage the ratchet mechanism. If you follow it, you'll be able to safely get the figure into some awesome crouching poses.

The ingenious auto folding of the front hip plate also allows great movement. The fact it automatically slides up when you rotate the leg forward is just amazing. This is the type of engineering that sets Takara ahead of the competition.


In comparing the new figure against MP-10, the differences in body proportions and paint application really become apparent. The blockiness in the arms and chest of MP-10, plus its gorilla-like length, are areas definitely improved in MP-44.

The paint application is also much brighter than the unpainted plastic of MP-10. The whites of the legs look so much nicer than the grey plastic thighs of MP-10.

The backpacks between the two are actually surprisingly close in size. The 3rd party figures have smaller back packs due to a simpler transformation design and no sound feature. It will come down to what you value more when deciding which figure you prefer. I don't display my figures facing backwards, so it's a non-issue for me.


MP-44 was obviously designed to complement MP-36 Megatron. They look incredible displayed together, and really do represent the definitive versions of their G1 characters.

If you're a G1 TF fan, I don't think you'll be disappointed with MP-44. Sure there's a higher price, but that's due to all the contents included in the box! I don't think it's a valid comparison against prices of 3rd party figures that don't have anywhere near the contents included.

For me, this is definitely worth the price. Be sure to order direct from Japanese retailers to get far better prices than USA retailers. I got mine from Nippon-Yasan for US$340 shipped to my door. With everything you get in the set, it is worth every penny!


Hot Toys MMS477 Obi-Wan Kenobi (Episode 3)

I'm not a massive Star Wars prequel fan, but after seeing how awesome the Anakin Skywalker figure turned out, I had to get this Obi-Wan to complement it. And Hot Toys have certainly done another fantastic job.

Click through below to check out my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!


It comes pretty well stacked with accessories, even with this standard version. I didn't feel the need to get the Deluxe set with the Luke baby and hologram set. The chopped up Battle Droid is very nicely detailed, and I'm sure a Hot Toys full figure version of that would be pretty amazing.

I havent actually taken any more photos of the figure itself yet as I've been too lazy! But overall the details on the figure are as you would expect with Hot Toys Jedi figures. The robe material is very nice, and I love the way the hood hangs over the head. It doesnt have a wire like the Anakin figure, and works better because of it.

The only thing that scares me about the figure is the hard pleather material used on the boots. Other similar figures have softer pleather, but this one is harder and feels like it might be more prone to cracking over time. I won't be overdoing the poses on this one anyway, so hopefully it's not a long term issue.


There were early complaints about the softness in the head sculpt, but I think it's on par with all the other figures that Hot Toys have released. The paint application and skin tone are the usual high standard, and the detailing in the beard is very nice too. The likeness is a perfect representation of Obi-Wan in Episode 3.

It looks amazing next to Anakin, and hopefully Hot Toys continues this great work with Qui-Gon Jinn. I'm sure they'll announce an Episode 1 Obi-Wan too, so collectors really can get the full Obi-wan evolution in Hot Toys figures!


Transformers Masterpiece MP-10G Optimus Prime Ghostbusters

The Transformers Masterpiece MP-10 mold must be one of the most repainted Optimus Prime molds ever. I've lost track of how many they have done, and almost resisted getting this Ghostbusters crossover version.

But early inhand photos swayed me to click that preorder link, so it was a bit of an impulse buy. Overall, it's a nice repaint, and I do like the little Slimer that comes with it.

Click through below to check out the full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!


Packaging has a decent gimmick to use it as a proton pack, but I haven't even bothered undoing the plastic wraps on the backpack straps. I'll keep it like that in case I ever decide to sell this!


The repainted details look pretty nice, and I especially like the Roller addition to make it look like the ghost trap. The trailer itself is OK, but I probably would've preferred the Evangelion trailer to be honest.


In bot mode the details are also pretty nice. The head sculpt suffers the same dead eyes as the original Takara MP-10. I'm not sure why they couldn't have gone the extra mile ti paint them red like they did with the TRU MP-10 release with the blue eyes.

The addition of the proton backpack that attaches to his blaster rifle is a nice throwback to the Ghostbusters in keeping with this crossover too.


All in all, it's a nice piece for 80s fans that love both Transformers and Ghostbusters. Would've been even better if they had done this with the new MP-44 mold instead, but I'm sure they'll repaint the crap out of that mold too!