Kool Kollectibles content

7 Dec 2019

Transformers Masterpiece MP-45 Bumblebee

The original release of G1 Bumblebee in the TF Masterpiece series was met with mostly positive reactions from collectors. Even today many collectors love the design, although I think it's looked quite dated against the MP figures over the past 2-3 years.

After MP-44 Optimus was announced, it wasn't too much of a surprise that Takara also announced a new mold for Bumblebee. Now that it's released, I think overall the new figure is a definite improvement over the original release.

Click through below for my video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!

I also did a subsequent video comparing the new mold to a number of other MP figures in the series. I think the design is pretty innovative to give it all the articulation and G1 cartoon aesthetics that it has, and really makes it fit in beautifully with the more recent figures. Check it out below!

Packaging is the usual MP stylr we know and love. It doesn't come with too many accessories this time. The stickers are pretty useless overall (I can't even remember what episode they were from). If anything, most collectors would use the heart symbol to go with the I heart New York number plate.

The Spike figure is the same ridiculously stupid figure from MP-44 I think. I didn't even bother trying to get it fitting into the VW car mode. It is just a crap little figure that is not worth the effort for me! The set also includes the swap out face sculpts and blaster effects that are common in the more recent releases. The bio card has some decent artwork, but I still prefer the older classic styled cards.

The alt mode is a perfect rendition of the super-deformed style of the G1 cartoon. Definitely not the realistic style of the original MP-21, but that's OK by me. The original will join the other original cars that I changed to their car modes once I got the corresponding "+" versions. This new MP-45 will be with my core G1 figures in the display in bot mode.

And what an awesome bot mode it is! Lots of collectors have complained about the backpack, the sides, and all the visible panels/parts due to the transformation. For me, none of that bothers me at all. I actually think it's pretty amazing that they engineered a transformation that went from a much smaller car to a taller, thinner, and much more cartoon accurate robot than MP-21! The only part that is a disappointment is the back of the feet, but more on that later.

The new head sculpt is a perfect rendition of the G1 cartoon character. The MP-21 sculpt was always off, and this new one recitifies it nicely. The swap out wider smiling face is pretty good, but I was happy to stick with the slightly smiling sculpt.

The chest in bot mode is a great "cheat" in the design to replicate the cheat from the cartoon where the roof of the car becomes much slimer and thinner. Much of the chest comes from the rear of the car mode, and the roof od the car folds away into the backpack. I think it's a great design and makes for much more natural body proportions, just like they did with MP-44 Optimus.

The waist and legs are also a big improvement. The crotch piece has a similar design to MP-44 Optimus where the panels fold away when you raise the leg. Some people have complained about loose leg/hip joints. I thought the same on mine, but then realised that the side skirts on the waist can be brought forward to lock the legs into place so that they don't wobble around.

The way the thighs and lower legs flare out to the feet replicates the cartoon nicely. So the combination of face, chest, waist, and legs are a big improvement over the MP-21 figure. In comparison, the older figure now looks far too barrel-chested, with a turtle shell for a backpack, thin chicken legs, and massive clown feet (see comparison pic further below!).

As I mentioned, the one downside for me is the feet. The designers didn't manage to work out a way to fold away the door and window better, and so the window shows very clearly on the back of the feet. Some poses can hide it fairly well, but for the most part it is pretty insightly.

Interestingly, the feet are only a tiny bit larger than the feet of MP-21! The reason why they look so different is that MP-21 has most of the feet at the front, whereas MP-45 has the feet equally at the front and rear. It makes the feet look pretty nice from the front, but pretty terrible from the back.

But as you can see below, MP-21 really does have massive clown fee. Collectors who say the chest and back is much cleaner are forgetting that they are just massive pieces that do not change at all during the transformation. It constrains how the figure can look due to the car dimensions. I think MP-21 suits G1 toy fans far more than it suits cartoon fans. For G1 fans of the cartoon, I think MP-45 is a much better fit.

Add to that the far better articulation of MP-45, and I think the new mold is a big improvement over the original. I don't buy the argument from some collectors that Takara was lazy with MP-45. They actually showed some engineering innovation, and for the first time gave a cartoon accurate car mode with a cartoon accurate bot mode too! All the folding in the backpack works well and pegs in well for me, so I dont have any complaints about the backpack or sides at all.

It's great that the original still looks nice in its more realistic VW Beetle car mode. It will display nicely with the other original cars such as Sideswipe, Prowl, and Wheeljack in their car modes. The new MP-45 Bumblebee fits in beautifully with the other figures in my collection in bot mode. Some collectors have complained that it is too tall, but it seems to be almost spot on to the official Takara G1 character scale chart!

So for me, MP-45 is another nice addition to the series. I love the G1 aesthetics, and it really does add to the shelf of figures looking like it jumped straight out of the cartoon. I cannot wait to get Hound by the end of the year and see how that turns out!

Here are some of my other G1 figures eagerly waiting for Hound to join them 😃

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