Optimus Prime (20th Anniversary)
Transformers - Masterpiece (Takara) - Exclusives
I really don't know how to properly express how incredible this figure is. Partially made of die-cast metal and about a foot tall in Robot Mode, Masterpiece Optimus Prime is perhaps the greatest Optimus Prime toy ever made. In an attempt to make it as cartoon and comic accurate as possible, Takara and Hasbro have lived up to the lines title of "Masterpiece". The insane level of detail and articulation on Optimus Prime make it seem as if you just pulled it right out of the classics comic and cartoon series.
The Autobrand is sculpted on his right shoulder and painted flawlessly red and white and the head is just spectacular in design. A small button on the back of the head allows you to make it seem as if the mouth plate is moving up and down like it did when he spoke in the show. The eyes are shining blue, relying totally on the color and transparency of the plastic they are made of with no light pipping effect. The smokestacks are on a hinge so they can be pushed up and down but it doesn't seem to serve any actual purpose.
Both hands have individually articulated fingers, including the thumbs. The elbows and knees are an odd case where pumps, similar to those seen on a screen door, are used to support in posing them. A set of them are also present on the back of his ankles, but don't seem to be as necessary. But, they all look cool. Overall, Optimus is loaded down with incredible amounts of articulation with tight, comfortable joints that make posing only limited by the fact that he's top heavy.
The paint detail on him is superb with no drips or runs that I can find. He's painted up with burns and battle damage on the fake grill that makes up his gut and a really nasty looking scorch mark on his right hip. His wrist and shoulders look to also have been darkened. There are also several cracks and cuts visible in his armor so he looks like he just came out of a major firefight against the Decepticon hordes.
Another cool feature is the presence of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership that can be stored away in his torso. Once in there however, it's a pain to get out but can be light up by a blue LED in the back of the casing that's triggered by a switch on his left shoulder. It can also be opened and held by Optimus. His other accessory's are his standard Ion Cannon which fits in either hand fairly well but messes with how well the hands stay still do to the added wait, Megatron in his gun mode with a detachable scope, stock and silencer and finally his Energon Axe which replaces either of his hands when the hand is slid back into the forearm.
Located in both arms are communications panels. The one in his left arm when flip up shows a stick of Bumblebee while the one in his right arm shows a sticker of Starscream. Little weird, but hey, I can let it pass.
Now for the negatives which are suprisingly few. The hands are a real pain to pull out though as the latch that is used to slide them in and out it hard to pull up on unless you have a flat instrument to do so for you. Also the head has trouble staying straight, always slowly twisting to the left. I think this is due to how the head connects to the body. To accommodate the moving mouth plate gimmick, instead of a standard ball and socket joint, he has a ball and half socket joint. This is probably the cause of the problem but I'm not sure how to fix it.
Over all, this is a great figure but incredible expensive. I was able to snag mine on a great deal for only a hundred bucks before shipping costs but these can range from $150-$200 and more. This is a standard for after market Masterpiece figures so if you want one, be prepared to take a hit in the wallet. I give it a solid five stars out of five.