Kool Kollectibles content

22 Jan 2023

Transformers Masterpiece MP-56 Trailbreaker

Any new G1 release these days in the Masterpiece series is pretty much a cause for celebration. Takara are very slow in releasing new molds now, but are slowly making their way through the orginal G1 Season 1 cast of characters. They've finally made the Trailbreaker mold, which hopefully paves the way for a Hoist retool.

Click through the link below to watch my video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hopefully you can give the video a like, and subscribe to the channel too! 😀

As with most G1 MPs these days, Trailbreaker comes packed with quite a few accessories for plenty of display and photo options. The typical blast effect is included, and is a nice transluscent fluoro colour that almost glows without any lighting. There's also a swap out car grille in matte grey if you really want the full cartoon accurate style. For me, I always stick with the chrome for that extra bit of bling.

The swapout antenna, hand pieces, and face plates round out the accessories to pay homage to various scenes from the cartoon episodes. I think the face plates are great, with a good likeness and metallic blue visor finish.

As with typical Takara style, the car mode is officially licenced by Toyota, and it's a fantastic representation of the Toyota Hilux from the 80s. Based on what I've googled regarding the variants, even the position of the side mirrors matches some models of the car back in the day.

The proportions look great, and the back cab looks very accurate to the 80s models too. I love the consistent use of transluscent blue plastic for all the windows. All the decals are nicely and cleanly applied, and the full gray paint finish really does give a premium look and feel to the car.

For me, the only real negative in car mode is just behind the rear wheels, where parts of the body hang down lower than they should for a more clean look. It doesn't affect how the car rolls, but does look a little unsightly at the back. In the end, it's a pretty minor point for me considering how good the rest of the car mode looks.

The radio antenna accessory attaches pretty easily to the roof of the car, if you want to recreate that scene from the cartoon. The doors and hood also open up for some pose options with the small human figures included with some of the previous MP figures.

The hinge that opens up the hood is very tight, and there is a small centre peg that is meant to sit just inside that hinge when closing. Just be careful to push down so that the peg inserts properly, otherwise you may run the risk of chipping off some paint in that area if you click the peg in afterwards. Other than that, it's nice that Takara go through the effort to include the extra sculpted detail and paint application under the hood.

The transformation sequence isn't too difficult, and I love the way in which the legs are done. The panels fold away very neatly in a similar manner to Sunstreaker and Hound. Takara engineers really do have that panel folding technique down pat to have the legs look so clean with those cartoon accurate lines.

The biggest effort during the transformation is reserved for the backpack, where it did take me some effort to get it all folded and packed away neatly. You need to ensure that the pegs are all attached correctly, especially a couple that feed into two holes just behind the neck area. But once that is done, the backpack design looks very close to its cartoon style, and actually feels very sturdy.

The only part of the bot mode that does not look nice is the side view of the torso, where the car's blue window is visible. It would've looked much better if Takara had worked out a way to fold that differently and have the other grey areas showing instead of the blue window.

The gap in the upper chest that can be seen when viewed side on, is also not great, but for me that's OK. I'm not too fussed out that, and the slope of the chest piece doesn't bother me either. Some collectors have said that the chest piece sticking out gives him a beer-belly profile, but I actually think that's cartoon accurate.

So having that protruding chest piece, as well as the angled profile of the backpack, actually gives him a very cartoon bot mode overall. You can see this in scenes where he stands on the side, and shows that Takara did have that in mind when designing the figure. I also think that the waist and thighs are proportioned nicely. I was worried that they would appear too thin, but I think are well proportioned with the rest of the figure.

Articulation wise, I think Takara has done a fantastic job like they have done with the more recent figures. The only questionable area is the joint at the shoulder that should allow the arm to more freely move out to the side. The way in which the internal workings of that joint have been molded means that moving the arm out is blocked by a very small curve in the plastic.

Pushing the joint out past that point will damage the plastic slightly, but does then increase the range of motion. It's not a joint that I would use too much in my display, so I chose not to push the joint past that point. Some collectors have done a quick modification to cut a small part of the plastic away to free that joint, but it's not worth doing for me. I would only do a modification like that if something were completely wrong or broken with the figure (eg. like MP-9B's cracking plastic knees).

The bot mode scales beautifully with the rest of the MP cast. It does provide further proof that Takara must in some way design against the original G1 cast scale chart. It's great that the MP series has  about 4 different heights of figures, all in relation to the MP-10 (and now MP-44) Optimus figure.

It makes for a beautifully nostalgic G1 Transformers display in your collection. I love this cartoon aesthetic that Takara have embarked on for the last 3 to 4 years, and I hope they continue that for many more. Now that Trailbreaker is out, there's a high liklihood of a Hoist retool to be announced. I think all MP collectors are still holding out hope for others in the Season 1 cast, including Cliffjumper, Jazz, and Mirage. It would be fantastic if any of those were to be announced this year.

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