Monday, October 14, 2013

MP-17 Prowl

I don't know if any of you are aware of this, but a new Masterpiece figure has just been released.  His name?  Prowl.  I just got him, so I'd thought I'd do a nice little review of the figure.

Growing up, Prowl wasn't a very big deal to me.  He was a one of the Datsun Brothers - who I've always called the Twisty Brothers because they, you know, twist at the waist, but that's about it.  As far as I can tell, Prowl only did two things of note in The Transformers. The first is stand in formation while Prime yelled "Autobots, transform and roll out!"

Loyal soldier, wearer of wedges.  Pic from

The second and most interesting thing that Prowl did?  He died.  Prowl died a fiery, senseless death.  And in the process he gave me my favorite hair metal song.

Tool of a power play?
Prowl didn't fare much better in the comics.  He was essentially a background guy (again), and then he died (again).  Looks like the comics took a page from the animated stuff.  Then a wonderful thing happened - Simon Furman came to Marvel U.S. and injected life into the brand.  What's more, he resurrected Prowl (Who had a new toy anyway) and gave him a personality!  Prowl was now a jerk!  He was the foil to Grimlock's hotheaded leadership.  He was glorious.

Thankfully, through each iteration of a Transformers comic, this personality has pretty much been kept.  He's calculating, analytical and doesn't have any kind of a sense of humor.  It's funny, it's as though Furman read his tech spec and all other writers agreed.  Kind of odd how that all worked out.

Prowl has received his fair share of Generation 1 figures, including an Action Master, Binaltech, Alternator, and a Classics figure.  Not bad for someone that the mainstream audience probably best remembers for dying from Scavenger's shot.  While the original Prowl figure is incredibly awesome, every other release thereafter has been something of a disappointment.  Action Master Prowl doesn't even have his distinctive door wings!  Classics Prowl's doors seem to fall off when you look at them and let's not even get into the head sculpt on that thing.  But now, now we have TakaraTomy's seventeenth entry in the Masterpiece line.

Man, that looks like it was ripped straight from the cartoon.  Look at those side mirrors!

Prowl is extremely faithful to the original release as well.  The only detail, other than size, that differs from the original is that Prowl is now a Nissan Fairlady 280Z instead of a Datsun Fairlady 280Z.  This change is courtesy of Nissan who eventually phased out the Datsun brand name.  That is unless you live in an underdeveloped country.  I have to say that this logo change has RUINED MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES FOREVER!!!!!  Seriously, it doesn't matter to me.  This thing could've sported a Tesla logo and I'd still love it.  Prowl is just mesmerizing in this mode.

I love the little details that TakaraTomy has given Prowl.  The headlights aren't just holes where the shoulder posts are connected.  They actually put some frosted plastic in the holes to give him actual headlights.  The Highway Patrol Police deco remains on the doors, just as in the original iteration.  The wheels are plastic, just as the Lamborghini trio.  One little extra that didn't exist in either the original figure or the cartoon is this little feature:

"I said pull over!  Now!"
  Just as the Sideswipe mold had a feature where his rifle could be mounted on the roof, so does Prowl.  And just as I do with the Sideswipe mold, I don't think I'll ever put the gun on the roof again.  Once for the pictures is enough.  Here's MP-17 with my Takara Collection Prowl.

That's enough of the car mode, outstanding as it is.  Let's look at robot mode.

Will you just look at that?  The door wings are actually angled up!  Prowl's transformation is pretty close to a combination of the G1 and Classics figures.  Most importantly - there's actual waist twisting involved as part of his transformation scheme!  Overall, he's pretty faithful to his animation model, right down to the head sculpt.

Devastator's future head
Look at the crests!  I was kind of hoping for an Autobot insignia that was more to the right on his chest, but it still looks great.  Notice how Prowl doesn't have his shoulder cannons?  It wasn't until MP-17 was announced that I realized that Prowl never had the shoulder cannons in the cartoon!  As such, Prowl doesn't have them for this release.  Psyche.  The cannons store in the back just like the Classics version and can be deployed if you so choose.

 The cannons are based off of Bluestreak's cannons from the show and not from the toy.  If you're really into having chromed, missile tip cannons, you can always order the Amazon Japan exclusive version which comes with one cannon.  You can get another when you get their exclusive release of Streak later this month.  Hopefully a full set of two cannons will be available to order from BBTS or another online retailer.

One thing that was very important to me was Prowl's feet.  Maybe that's two important things.  At any rate, I was concerned that the rear wheels were going to fold under the feet or be obscured in some fashion.  Any pictures that I saw online never really showed if this was the case or not.  Thankfully, the wheels are there, where they should be.  I'm not sure why this was of such great concern to me, but I'm glad to have them there.

As you can see, Prowl is fairly poseable.  His feet are able to assume a few different angles to accommodate these poses and allow for stability. 

Prowl is a stunning figure.  His adherence to his animated model, blended with a transformation scheme that is reminiscent of his original and newer transformation schemes makes for a must have figure.  I find myself unable to wait out the next few weeks when MP-18, Bluestreak is released.  This is going to feel like an eternity.  To tide you over, why don't you check out these extra pictures below.

"Roll out!"
Scale reference
Autobot Cars
Everyone is in scale in this shot
Prowls on the prowl.  Zing!


  1. Lovely review as always. Love the write up about Prowl as well. For G1, he actually did quite a bit in the episode called Roll for It, which was kind of like a Prowl and Bluestreak half episode - featured them both a lot.

    I remember you commenting on the wheels on the legs too, kind of odd obsession... haha

    The shots with all the "new" scale, post MP-10 MPs is nice too. Kind of shows us the scale. Overall MP-17 is another stunning figure.

    1. I don't know why I'm obsessed with the feet. I know that I'm particular about the Datsun Brothers, especially with my favorite, Bluestreak, coming out next.

    2. Bluestreak happens to be my favourite too! I think we can celebrate together!

    3. Did he appear throughout the cartoon without shoulder cannons though? The thing is that if you look at the manual he comes with, there's an odd pic of him clearly equipped with shoulder cannons. The pic has him standing behind a bot who looks like Trailbreaker (it's hard to tell as there's only a slight bit of the other bot's right side in frame). Now it may be that they've simply doctored a shot of Bluestreak (in fact it does curiously look that way) but it's an enigma nonetheless.