Kool Kollectibles content

3 Mar 2023

Transformers Masterpiece MP-57 Skyfire

Hot on the heels of the MP-56 Trailbreaker release comes MP-57 Skyfire. The character didn't feature too extensively in the G1 cartoon series, but is still a fan favourite. There have been third party versions of the figure in roughly Masterpiece scale, so that of course has generated lots of discussion and comparisons.

For me, I love the cartoon aesthetic that Takara have pushed for many years now. This Skyfire has a few nitpicks for sure, but I think it looks fantastic and is a great addition to the series. Click below for my video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel, and scroll on further for more pics and my written thoughts.

The set doesn't come stacked with too many accessories, and I'm sure the most anticipated ones are the mini-figures for Optimus, Wheeljack, and Jazz. I think it's pretty safe to say that every MP collector is hoping the inclusion of this tiny Jazz is a teaser to an announcement of a long-awaited G1 Jazz in the series. The mini-figures are decently painted, with a range of articulation that's not too bad for their scale. They're used mainly for displayed with Skyfire in jet mode, but since my collection is mostly in bot mode, they don't serve much purpose other than being nice to have.

The included flight stand is the same as that provided with the MP-52 series of Seekers. This time it's made from orange plastic, which I found a little strange since I thought it would look better with a red colour similar to the figure itself. I guess they chose orange to perhaps fit in with the Autobot HQ general colour scheme.

Rounding out the accessories are the rifle, swap out face plates and insignias, and the blast effects. Some people have complained that the head sculpt looks strange, but I don't quite understand what the fuss is about. I actually think the head sculpt is pretty cartoon accurate, and looks and scales well with the figure in bot mode.

Jet mode looks great to me, although there are some issues with gaps showing when viewed from the side. It's unfortunate that these gaps break up the design, because otherwise I think the overall shape is fantastic, and again looks very cartoon accurate. The tabs on mine were quite strong and held the shape together quite well. As with many Takara releases, the tolerances can be pretty tight, but once everything is placed or pegged correctly, things tend to hold securely quite well.

The initial part of the transformation to get the figure into the gerwalk mode is pretty straight forward. The leg transformation and folding of panels is not overly complex, and reminded me of aspects of the Sunstreaker and Hound leg transformations.

In gerwalk mode, the legs were meant to be angled such that the main body of the jet was more horizontal. I saw other collectors being able to achieve this, but for mine it kept toppling forward when I had the legs in those positions. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong, but the only way for me to keep the figure upright was to have the feet such that the jet body was angled upwards like the photo below.

Either way, I was never going to leave the figure displayed in my collection in that mode, so it was only a point of interest during the transformation sequence. You can also transform the arms out and peg them in securely so that it's an even more complete gerwalk mode. But for mine, I went straight to the bot mode.

The transformation to bot mode was also quite straight forward, until right near the end when the backpack is being collapsed. Just this final group of steps turned an otherwise enjoyable transformation into an exercise in frustration. It ended up taking me over an hour to figure out the backpack.

Many YouTube videos showed incorrectly collapsed backpacks, where it was not pushed up as far as it should, or as collapsed as it should. The official Takara transformation video does do it correctly (as you would it expect it to!) but it shows it to be a far easier sequence that it really turned out to be.

The difficulties for me were mainly in pushing the centre frame of the backpack upwards on the rails, and then being able to retract them. They were firmly stuck, so I had to resort to using pliers to pull them back down and re-attempt the collapsing. I was finally able to achieve the full collapsing, which raises the bottom of the backpack considerably and makes for a beautiful profile.

Others have also complained about the loose pegging of the shoulders. I found that the shoulders were a little fiddly to get pegged in, because there are very specific angles that allow the pegs to push well into their designed holes or slots. But once you line things up as intended, they do in fact peg in very well and securely. And once that's all done, I think the bot mode is sensational!

I am not sure why some collectors have said they think the proportions look off. The bot mode is where this figure excels, and I think the proportions are perfect. In comparison, I think the Fans Toys Phoenix figure looks too much like a NFL footballer, with shoulders that are too broad and flat. The tapered style of MP-57 Skyfire, and how the lines align with the hips and legs, I think look far more natural and are indeed far more cartoon accurate.

In the end, the style you prefer is subjective. I think FT Phoenix is a decent standalone interpretation of the character. But if you prefer cartoon accuracy, and consistency with the MP series of figures, then MP-57 is a no-brainer. 

The stance of the figure is decent, and balances well. One issue though is the separation between clicks of the ratchet joints. The joints for the arms are OK, but the ones for the hips are spaced too far apart. So with just one click, it goes from standing straight naturally, to almost doing some crazy split type action poses. It would've been far better with smaller spacing to get finer options in posing.

Luckily for my collection, most of the figures are in pretty static, museum-type poses, so it doesn't affect me too much. I can still get a decent natural pose that doesn't look too stiff. Regardless, I think you'll be able to find a pose where this figure looks good from any angle.

Others have also complained about the scale, with the MP being slightly shorter than FT Phoenix. But Takara has always tried to match the scale in their G1 character scale chart. They've followed this fairly accurately since the baseline was made with MP-10 Optimus. Comparing this figure with the likes of MP-44 Optimus, MP-51 Starscream, and the MP carbots, the height and overall size of MP-57 is very accurate.

I feel MP-52 Starscream deserves to be a little taller, but again he is accurate to the G1 scale chart. As you can see, Skyfire towers over Starscream, as he did in the cartoon. I think the natura lines of the MP figures just look so good, like they came to life and jumped out of the TV screen!

Skyfire looks great with the other Autobots of course. I love that Takara have now given us a range of figures that match the four or five different heights of the characters. Below you can see how small MP-45 Bumblebee really is in comparison to Skyfire. He even towers over Optimus.

The figure, despite its size, never feels like it's going to topple over, or feels to flimsy. The knee articulation is decent, but the knee cap can look strange from some angles. It can be adjusted, so make sure you do that to minimise gaps showing. The ankles have some decent rocking and tilt motion too, on pretty hard ratchets. Perhaps that was for stability, but I do prefer the friction based articulation in the other figures to get better adjustments during posing.

There is a bit of diecast in the feet and waist area I think to add some weight and stability. But overall the figure is really a mix of painted and unpainted plastic. The painted and unpainted white areas all seem to match fairly well, and I'm not overly concerned with yellowing of the plastic. All other painted areas are nicely done, with no bleeding of colours at least on my figure.

Skyfire is definitely the largest of the MPs released so far. Below you can see how he scales with the other larger figures in Ultra Magnus and Star Saber. If you know the size of those in hand, then you'll appreciate the size of Skyfire. There's no issue with Skyfire fitting within the typical Ikea Detolf cabinet, so it should be fine for most collectors.

If Takara do end up making a G1 combiner such as the Constructicons one day, it will be truly massive if they keep to the scale chart. But for these main characters, I love the scale they've used and how they consistently keep to it.

Overall, I think MP-57 Skyfire is another great addition to the series. I had no QC issues with the paint or plastic, so that was a welcome relief. Some previous releases like Hound and Starscream were troubled with many reports of bad plastic cracking, but luckily there don't seem to be too many reports of issues with Skyfire.

In the end, if you're a G1 cartoon fan, then I think you'll love this figure as much as I do. It really does look fantastic on display, and just brings the cartoon to life. There's just something hard to explain in the way it looks in hand, but I am sure those that have him will have smiles on their faces each time they handle him or look at him in their collection.

Here's to hoping there are more G1 characters announced this year in the MP series. If we get anything like Jazz, Mirage, Hoist, or Cliffjumper, I'd be really happy!


  1. Enjoy reading your blog and watching your YouTube videos. Keep up the great work!