Welcome to the second part of our ongoing Masterpiece Masterclass series, where the aim is to take you on the perilous journey of assembling a perfect Masterpiece Transformers collection by looking at all of the various options available for each character, both official and non.
Ultimately this is a personal project, and by no means do I claim to speak definitively in terms of the right choice for every collector out there. However, I do hope that by documenting the decisions I’ve made for my own collection, it might prove useful for Transformers fans who are either starting out or are maybe not sure about which options to choose in a particular case.
Although there are many different potential line-ups to be had in Masterpiece form, we’re going to keep it as simple as possible and focus on honing a decent-looking G1 cartoon line-up to begin with! With that in mind I’ve put together a list of every named character who appeared in the Sunbow animation during the 4 seasons of its run (including The Rebirth). We’re going to start with the Autobots (with the Decepticons soon to follow), so here’s what we’re looking to achieve…
That’s still a lot of characters, but we’re already underway, having added Maketoys Downbeat to the roster in the last part of this series!
When I’ve confirmed which toy is taking the spot in my collection, I’ll also assign it a current status:
- PLACEHOLDER status will be given when the toy in question is the best on offer right now, but really as soon as a better option comes along then I’ll be “trading up”
- SECURE status will be given when the toy feels like a solid lock for the character right now, and barring a better toy coming along it has a strong footing in my collection
- DEFINITIVE status will be awarded for those rare examples where clearly it’s the best toy of that character that we’re likely to get and I can’t honestly imagine anyone else improving on it (though never say never!)
So, all that said, today we’re going to be taking a look at the second character on our roster and it’s none other than… HOT ROD!
Hot Rod is an unusual one, as there have actually been a few official interpretations of him so far. Let’s go ahead and look at the options available, shall we?
TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-9 Hot Rodimus
The first official Masterpiece toy of Hot Rod was originally released in 2011 but has been reissued twice since. It also transforms into his Rodimus Prime form, meaning it converts into four separate modes altogether and has a separate trailer section.
Despite having a fairly notorious history of quality problems, the latest reissue is solid and comes packaged with a range of great accessories, including a Matrix, two blasters, a buzzsaw and a welding torch.
Hasbro Masterpiece Rodimus Prime
Hasbro also put out a version of the MP-9 mould, though repainted to match Hot Rod’s original G1 toy colour scheme and included a mini-Targetmaster companion specially designed for this release.
TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-28 Hot Rodimus
The second Masterpiece toy is noticeably smaller at Carbot size, and does away with the Rodimus Prime transformation to be a pure Hot Rod representation.
It comes with a number of accessories again, including two blasters, a buzzsaw and a fishing rod.
TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-40 Targetmaster Hot Rodimus
A repaint of the MP-28 release in a colour scheme meant to represent the cartoon episodes produced by the studio known as AKOM.
Despite only featuring one of the guns from the previous release, this version is instead packaged with a repainted Targetmaster companion from the Hasbro version of MP-9.
FansToys FT-17 Hoodlum
Now we have the only Masterpiece-styled third party effort of the character so far, with FansToys having taken a shot with Hoodlum a couple of years ago.
As well as a pair of guns and a buzzsaw accessory, Hoodlum also features another attempt at the character’s Targetmaster companion.
So, which of these options was right for me? Well, check the video below to find out!
So, there you go – it was a clear case of the MP-28 Masterpiece toy being the one for me. It may not be perfect but it is a lot of fun and an absolute belter in hand. I will say though that I suspect someone could come along and top it one day, so I’ve stopped short of giving this one “definitive” status for now.
Maybe there’ll be another official MP some day, or maybe another third party company will bring us a toy that knocks MP-28 off his perch, but for now he’s taken his rightful place on our roster. That’s two characters done!
So there you go, that’s our second Masterpiece Masterclass! Which character should we cover next time?