Wednesday, September 4, 2019

One shall stand... Two shall fall. Masterpiece MP44, Optimus Prime 3.0

 The most beloved of all Autobots, no, of all Transformers, has been given a third Masterpiece. Masterpiece is easily the best word to describe it. This guy is a beauty. He looks like he launched himself out of the television to confront whatever Decepticon forces may be lurking in the home.

Optimus is a huge advancement over the previous MP01 and MP10 Primes. He's got a lot more articulation, better sculpt, and more lifelike proportions. Gone are the ape-like arms of MP10 and the brick-like torso of MP01.  This Prime is svelte. He's got butterfly joints, double hinged legs (be VERY careful with them, they are delicate), and great balance. He's easily on par with his rival, MP36 Megatron.

Optimus Prime is coated from head to toe in rich, almost candy-like paint. This adds a very dynamic, vibrant look to the toy, but adds a bit of extra care to handling. One doesn't want to scratch that beautiful paint job.

 His biggest "issue" is the transformation. He’s a ton of origami-like panel folds and collapsing sections A into space b. He is absolutely zero fun to transform. The engineering is amazing, but the execution boarders on tedious. He has a lot in common with 3rd Party figures, but just with more polish. For me, he’s a figure that will only be transformed once and done.

Truck mode is cleverly simplistic. He looks just like he does in the cartoon - a red square with wheels. For fans of the 80’s toys, rubber tires are back! He has his faithful trailer, which holds many of his accessories either inside or in a secret compartment between the wheels

Speaking of accessories, he’s got a plethora! He has 3 delicate human mini-figures from seasons 1 and 2 of the cartoon. Each with magnets to keep them upright on strips in the trailer. He’s got the energon axe, blasts, a jet pack, roller, head and damage options, and a Starscream accessory for the one panel in one episode where the Decepticon masquerades as Prime.

In the backpack of Prime is a voice chip, with dialog from the Japanese cartoon and English cartoon.

This Optimus really strikes the best "deep thinker" pose. Very natural looking!

"So... uh... I hear you collect faces? What exactly does that mean?"

A lot of discussion online about MP44 versus the various third party Primes that have sprouted recently. The closest comparison is with Transform Element. I was originally going to pass on MP44, but I'm really glad I didn't. From a pure sculpt standpoint, they are very similar. MP44's backpack is a tad unsightly from certain angles, but TE's flat back is equally unsettling. Articulation on MP44 blows away TE. He can achieve far more natural looking poses. Truck mode is very similar. Both lock into fairly solid red bricks. MP44 wins just because he has the trailer. TE has a slightly more enjoyable transformation, which isn't saying much because it's also a tedious mess.

For those thinking of updating from MP10, it's not an absolute, but there are some significant advantages. MP44 meshes with other recent Masterpieces more than his older version. He definitely has better proportions and really accurate season 1/2 and movie heads depending on your mood. Biggest upgrade from MP10 is the huge improvement in the legs. MP10, however, is a lot more fun to transform.

Prime's trailer artillery drone doubles as a display stand for leaping poses.

So overall, Optimus Prime is a fantastic looking figure. He's very expressive and full of future photo shoot opportunities. For content MP10 owners, it's a significant cosmetic upgrade, but unnecessary. For fans of MP36, owners of 3p Primes that want a better figure, or for completionists, this is a wonderful opportunity to own a figure that looks like the cartoon and blends seamlessly with recent official and 3p figures.


  • Beautiful sculpt. Extremely cartoon accurate.
  • Tons of accessories. Recreate all your favorite G1 scenes.
  • Switching hands/heads/accessories is smooth. Everything pops on and off in seconds.

  • Transformation is a pure headache. Nothing fun about it. 
  • Care is needed with mini-figures and Prime's knees. They are fragile.

You want MORE pics? Sure thing!

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