Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Masterpiece MP-28 Hot Rod

About a week ago, I was delighted to learn that my MP-28 Hot Rod had been delivered to my UPS Store mailbox.  I spent the few days after I received him just playing with him, trying to get a feel for the figure.  I wanted to do something I hadn't done before - learn every little thing I could about the figure before I actually started talking about it.  Hot Rod is a great figure to start this little initiative with.
Straight out of the box, I was impressed by how sleek Hot Rod looked.  And how together he was!  I still have nightmare's of MP-09 and how fiddly he is.  I actually used MP-09 in a comparison shoot I did, but the pictures were horrible.  At any rate, while MP-09 is certainly bigger, he is worse in just about every imaginable way.  However, I do have an issue with clearance on MP-28.  Apparently, I have to hold my mouth just right during transformation sequence to get Hot Rod flush in vehicle mode where the underside parts like the knees and neck don't scrape the ground.  There haven't been any major blemishes, but it's a little concerning.
Something that I never paid attention to on my G1 Hot Rod is the spoiler.  Notice how the G1 model's spoiler is supported by two extra fins on the side?  Those fins are nonexistent on MP-28, and to be fair, they weren't on MP-09 either.  Masterpiece Hot Rod also has a much nicer shade of pink than Hot Rod's pure red.  I'm not 100% certain, but I've been told that the shade of pink used on MP-28 isn't exactly perfect.  This isn't something that keeps me up at night.  It's not like they made Hot Rod purple.
In keeping with tradition, Hot Rod is able to mount a rifle on his engine for an attack mode.  Unlike tradition, Masterpiece Hot Rod's engine cover flips up to reveal a port.  While I've never been a fan of the Masterpiece attack modes, I could certainly see myself using this one often.  Could it be because this is what the G1 toy had?  Most likely.  I am big on tradition. 
Certainly something that isn't traditional is the attack mode where both rifles can be mounted on the hood of the car.  Sacrilege!  This is a look that I can certainly get behind.   Now that we've covered car mode, how does Hot Rod fare in robot mode?
Transformation into robot mode is smooth and easy; certainly easier than MP-09.  I really need to purge the evilness that is MP-09 out of my head.  We will not hear about him again.  Now, back to MP-28.  I was very pleased with how Hot Rod looked in robot mode.  From early pictures online, he looked like he had a very square chest.  And yes, it is square, but it doesn't look as bad as initial photos had me believe. 
It is extremely satisfying to have a Hot Rod that I can pose without it falling over while I blink.  And one that has knees that actually work and allow him to stand.  And one that has the ability to hold his freaking weapons.  Sorry.  No more condemnations of MP-09, I promise.  Something that really impressed me with Hot Rod's transformation is the backpack.  It's a simple and intuitive scheme and it pegs really well. 
Good lord is MP-28 poseable.  I think he may be the most poseable Masterpiece figure so far.  This is a pose that I have tried with several Masterpiece figures over the years and I was never able to achieve.  More than likely, it has to do with my inadequate skills, but I also think that the hinge on the waist that allows for chest movement may have helped.  Hopefully, this will become a standard feature now, much like ankle tilts.
This is seriously one of my all time favorite poses.  I thought I created this pose early last year when I was playing around with the Robotech poseable figures from Toynami.  I...was incorrect in that assumption.  Whatever the case, I love this pose, and I really haven't been able to achieve it with the other Masterpiece figures.  Then again, I haven't really spent the time to work out the details with the Datsun or Lambo molds.  Something else about this picture is that it manages to give a nice look at the backpack that I love so much.  It's a little thicker than MP-09 (seriously, I'm done mentioning him), but it looks so great.  It doesn't look like this in the movie, or series, but sometimes compromises need to be made.
Ironhide, MP-27, came with so many accessories that I wondered if maybe I got a package that didn't get through QC correctly.  Hot Rod, Hot Rod doesn't have nearly the amount of accessories that Ironhide had, but that doesn't mean that they aren't as cool.  Every Hot Rod must have the digital readout goggles so they can shoot at a hole in a shuttle.  They don't show up well in this pic, but they are pretty nifty.  I really like the fact that all you have to do is lift up the top of his head and flip the goggles out.
My favorite accessory is the saw blade.  It's honking huge, and looks like it's constantly spinning.  Playing with the blade in front of a light made me notice that the blade is painted over clear plastic, and not molded in that silver color.  The effects that come from painting over the clear plastic are great.
Hot Rod and fishing are inextricably linked thanks to one scene in The Transformers: The Movie.  I am actually indifferent towards this accessory.  Had a fish been included, sure that would have been hilarious, but just a pole?  Meh.  I didn't bother taking the sitting and fishing pose as I'm sure everyone has seen that one.  
Man, do I love that saw...
Know who else is in my Top 10?
It seems like each new Masterpiece figure that gets released becomes my favorite.  Well, maybe with the exception of the Tracks mold.  I like it, but I didn't get super excited about him or Road Rage.  Hot Rod?  Man, he is nice.  He has certainly vaulted into my Top 10 Masterpiece figures.  He may be in my Top 5...

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