MPM-12 Revealed: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee Movie Design
“JUST REVEALED: Movie Masterpiece Series MPM-12 Optimus Prime! This Optimus Prime figure features specs and details inspired by the Autobot leader’s appearance in Transformers: Bumblebee where Optimus Prime leaps to the defense of his fellow Autobots, leading their heroic last stand at the fall of Cybertron. Get yours exclusively at Target in the US starting August 2021.
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Sigh. It's been 1-year to the day since our last in-person gathering of toy reveals and surprises. I miss New York, the lights and smells and sounds of the Big Apple. I mss the adrenalin rush, the people and all the new toys, reveals and opportunities to photograph and see the next year worth of toys firsthand. At this time last year, I was interviewing John Warden (now moved on to Power Rangers) and Ben Montano, from the Transformers brand display of the show floor of New York ToyFair. We heard about the newest Titan: Scorponok, the next Commander Class: Sky Lynx, the first ever Quintesson Judge, scaled and sculpted to G1 authentic perfection, as well as all those magnificent figures of WFC: Earthrise. Little did we know that life was about to change, pretty dramatically for everyone, and this would be the last in-person gathering untill ... we STILL don't know when.
Not sure how the next reveals of Kingdom, Studio Series and other Transformers will get unveiled, (probably, unfortunately remote...) but we're all going to keep our fingers crossed, try to be optimistic and hopeful for a return to some kind of normalcy sooner than later!
Masterpiece Movie 12: Next Reveal Coming 2/25 (in Chinese Market)
Who do you think it’ll be? Who do you want to get the MP treatment?
“MPM new products are ready to go! At 19:30 pm on February 25, 2021, search Tmall's "transformers toys Flagship Store" to watch the global live broadcast, and reveal the mysterious identity of MPM-12 together! [鼓掌]”
“It is the year two-thousand and fi-...” - twenty-one(!) and it seemed like a particularly good time to pick up this book and envelop myself in some sweet 80’s nostalgia!
Been reflecting lately on these extraordinary times we’re experiencing as Transformers fans. Even beyond the fact that we’re celebrating Beast Wars 25 year anniversary with new War for Cybertron toys and a Netflix series... We also have #TransformersTheMovie’s 35th Aniversary, being commemorated by the launch of #StudioSeries86 - a series of figures based on character designs from the 1986 classic film, AND - the inconceivable, crowdfunded HASLAB UNICRON could show up on our doorsteps - any day now!!! Like I said, TIMELY.
Flint Dille played a huge and important role in the much of the most important fiction of my childhood. Beyond his contribution to Transformers, he also played a huge part in the development of “D&D” (Dungeons and Dragons, role playing game) which similarly, holds a “special” place in my heart and memories of my youth. I will, for example, never forget the videos and lectures I received from over-zealous religious-school teachers, who warned us about playing D&D, which would inevitably lead to obsession, and then Satan worship! Come to think of it, I have been obsessively running a fan-site named after a devil-horned/winged planet monster, the “Chaos Bringer” for almost 24 years (and counting!) HA! Maybe, they were right!?
Those stern warnings succeeded in scaring the hell out of us - but we were not deterred! It served only to increase our interest in the forbidden fruit - and my friends and I played Dungeons and Dragons for several important years, before turning our attention to the pursuit of dating and ... well - Transformers!
Flint Dille is probably best known for his HUGE role in G1 Transformers fiction. He is credited as “Story Consultant” in the opening credits of Transformers The Movie. I’ve never heard anyone clearly spell out exactly who wrote what, but Dille took the original draft of TFTM, written by Ron Friedman, made significant changes, reworked and edited it - into the story that it became and we now know and love. Many of his ideas for the TFTM background, became the season 3 intro: The Five Faces of Darkness (parts 1-5). Dille wrote a number of episodes in G1 Season 2 and served a larger expanded role as Story Editor in Season 3.
Gamesmaster is an autobiography, well, specific section of his career and life and lessons, which focus on the parts we, children of the 80’s would care most about - The G1 Transformers, D&D and GI Joe (as well as Inhumanoids and Visionaries, Garbage Pail Kids and more...) This storyteller did, of course, enjoy a prolific and productive career far beyond the “golden age” of 80’s IP development but that’s beyond the scope of this particular story.
Throughout, you get a lot of interesting trivia and glimpses into what authors were thinking and the craziness that went on behind-the-scenes. The character “Flint” in GI Joe was apparently named after him, by a colleague! The chapter titled, “The Shit Story” was pretty funny. We’ve all heard that swearing was intentionally added to TFTM so as to avoid a G-rating, which was the norm for animated films in that era. But do you know why it was Spike, specifically, who said, “Oh SHIT! What d’we do now?!”
Of course, it’s not only Transformers he talks about but there is plenty to satisfy diehards like me (with a nearly single-minded focus on Transformers) - with stories of recording sessions with Orson Welles and Robert Stack and the mysterious early draft of TFTM “The Secret of Cybertron...”
I’ve heard Dille speak before at many BotCons over the years, and always been entertained. If I have any one complaint, it’s that in the audio book, they hire someone else to read it. Don’t get me wrong, the VO is fine, but the words - a
More audio treasures, from our friends at Transformers At The Moon - www.transformertoys.co.uk, who continue to uncover and recover and share some absolutely magnificent clips from G1 classic episodes. This time around it’s fan favorite, Dinobot Island, Part 2.
Particularly great timing for those of you, like me who’ve been enjoying the modern classic, StudioSeries86 Grimlock and are in a G1 state of mind! Thanks and keep up the great work!
Kingdom Leader Class Ultra Magnus #WarForCybertron #Transformers
The question is, does the “Earth Mode” Magnus look G1 Authentic and properly scaled, so he looks as good standing next to #StudioSeries86 Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr, as WFC Cyclonus looks perfect next to SS86 Scourge?
New stock photos making their way across Weibo. (Original source @TAKARATOMY)
Grimlock - #StudioSeries86 Leader Class #Transformers
Is this toy perfect? Oh man, it is damn close! There are so many, subtle touches that make this, almost unarguably, the best *value of any Grimlock figure ever made. Hear me out! I know, it doesn’t have the diecast metal parts or sword that the Masterpiece figure had. But this toy is readily available (or will be soon, depending on where in the world you live) - and because it’s a reasonably priced Leader Class toy, it doesn’t make me nervous to transform, or fear losing a bunch of parts and suddenly its value is diminished. This a great toy - solid and well designed; for what you get, dollar for dollar - THIS Grimlock is KING!
Where to start the discussion?! Let’s talk SIZE! This figure is designed to be perfectly to scale with the other Studio Series (19)86 toys like Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr. Next to them, or Earthrise figures like Optimus Prime, this Grimlocks looks BIG! Just as he should! It’s really eye-popping to see, Grimlock, FINALLY to scale with other main-line Transformers!
Next, we need to talk about about the gold components. You’ve seen from prototype pictures and even the rendering on the back of the box, show there’s more detail sculpted (like in the dino neck). Where they could’ve gone for a more G1 toy esthetic, toy designers did not. This afterall, is Studio Series - and the goal is to make it look like he did in Transformers The Movie (cel animation). Where I’ve never been a fan of flat yellow the gold painted parts strike the right balance between, original toy and cartoon. Note, it is NOT gold plastic, so it won’t crumble to dust in a few years. These are grey parts painted gold. And to my eye - it looks just right.
As a robot and dino - he has blue eyes. Also, just as he should, considering the goal of attaining cell animation accuracy.
The sculpting is also, exactly what I want for the Dinobot leader. They didn’t take away too much detail in trying to get cel-animation accuracy, and likewise didn’t go overboard with techno-detailing either. The t-rex is NOT anatomically accurate dinosaur - and I don’t want it to be. He has the posture and silhouette that he had all throughout the many scenes of his animation and I absolutely dig that about it. He has two poseable neck/heads and shoulder/elbow, hip/knee joints that allow a wide range of motion while still being very sturdy. Of course time itself will prove to be the real test, but is seems to me, these joints should maintain their grip and sturdiness for many years to come.
Alright, let’s talk about Wheelie. Is this little guy equally great? Certainly not. But despite it being non-transforming and locked knees/elbows ... he does add a surprising amount of play value and fun. You’ll note that with a little creativity, he can strike a fabulous DAB pose! ~ Wheelie, is basically an accessory, and with various pegs and ports over the two, he really can look good in a lot of different poses.
The only negatives I can see - could be remedied with time. First, yeah, I do wish he came with his glowing red sword. Who knows, maybe they’re make another Accessory set, like the WFC Centurian Drone - and we’ll get swords at a later point in time?
My only other “complaint” - he needs his Dino-buddies! - and being that we already have confirmed product listings for a Leader Class Slag - we might get our wish! Oh, how I hope to get a complete set of Leader Class Dinobots! Please oh please Hasbro! Heed our pleas! #NotTooProudToBeg!
This toy is starting to hit brick and mortar retail as well as online outlets, so I’d definitely keep an eye out for this one, as he’s sure to sell quickly! Happy hunting!!!