Thursday, June 12, 2014

What Now, Masterpiece? Part II

What are we to do when TakaraTomy finishes whichever Decepticons that they plan on doing in the short term?  Surely they'll turn their attention back to the neglected Autobots of Season 1.  But I can't help but be a little pessimistic at our chances of getting everyone from the Ark Crew.  I know that there's a lot of speculation where it seems like a sure thing, but I'm not sure.  If TakaraTomy really were to complete the Ark Crew, wouldn't they have done Sunstreaker by now?  After all, there is already an agreement in place with the fine people at Lamborghini.  What's stopping them?
The wait is burning me up!
After giving this more thought that I probably should, I think that the reason we haven't seen figures like Jazz, Mirage, and Sunstreaker yet are pretty obvious.  If you think back to every single Masterpiece release since MP-10, and really since MP-01 with exactly 1 exception (Megatron), there has been one common denominator: repaints.  Repaints, repaints, and more repaints.  Just from MP-01, we got 6 different releases.  I can't imagine getting a Sleep Mode Sunstreaker.  Although, that would be pretty cool.  Take into account TakaraTomy's seeming aversion to acknowledging Diaclone paint schemes, I seriously doubt Sunstreaker ever sees the light of day.  Now, if TakaraTomy were to change course on Diaclone, then Sunstreaker makes sense.  There are quite a few variations on the Diaclone Sunstreaker mode out there: red, police car, and white, to name the ones I'm familiar with.
Same thing goes for Mirage.  As a matter of fact, I'm not aware of any Diaclone variations on Mirage.  Then again, I don't know a lot about Diaclone.  However, Mirage has always been one of my favorite G1 guys, and to not have a Mirage Masterpiece figure feels like a travesty.  It just needs to happen.  Now, I know what you may be thinking: what about Wheeljack?
Wheeljack has many more uses than just the one.  There's Malboor Wheeljack, the Decepticon version.  There's also Slicer.  Yes, the European exclusive Action Master.  So that's three versions right there.  I actually see Slicer being released next year as an exclusive.  This is one guy that TakaraTomy is going to get some mileage on.
Like, Wheeljack, I see Jazz having multiple uses.  Well, I see him having two uses: Jazz and Stepper.  Stepper is the most exciting proposition to me, if only for the Targetmaster accessory.  Can you imagine a Masterpiece-level Targetmaster?  I'm sure it won't be super articulated, but surely it would be more articulated than the Spike that came with MP-10.  I really want to see this. 

There is a Season 1 character that I actually see happening sooner than Jazz, if only because of the already built-in and easily identifiable reuse: Trailbreaker.
"Running to Shogo's house right now!"
Once Trailbreaker is out of the way, TakaraTomy is free to easily do a Hoist retool.  This will also add to the Season 2 cast, just as Sideswipe and Prowl/Bluestreak added to Season 2.  It's a no-brainier, right?
Same thing goes for Inferno/Grapple.  Having multiple applications just makes things easier for TakaraTomy to recoup money.  After all, if TakaraTomy can't make a profit, what's the point?  I'm not condemning them in any way.  It's just how business works.  Their continued profit enables future product.  Speaking of multiple uses, do you know who I actually think has a decent shot at being made before Sunstreaker?
Yes, Skids.  I know, his G1 incarnation...sucked.  Well, until James Roberts rehabbed him, of course.  Throw in the fact that he was never released as a single unit in Japan, and there are some definite obstacles to overcome.  However, with Crosscut being firmly established lately as his own character in the comics and with a Generations figure due out later this year, I see this as more of a possibility than Sunstreaker.  Then again, what do I know?


  1. Personally I see Ironhide & Ratchet as good candidates since they were both season 1 and 2 regulars and are an easy repaint. It is just a matter if they can get them right. And I wouldn't be surprised if we saw Sunstreaker before it is all over :) Also, don't forget, we already got an MP targetmaster with the US release of Hot Rod. Now whether he would be repainted into Stepper's partner is anyone's guess.

    1. I keep forgetting that Hot Rod had a targetmaster for the Hasbro release. That figure was so bad, I keep forgetting that he was released at all. As for Ironhide and Ratchet, I'm more excited about Ratchet. Ratchet is boss.

  2. Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in!

    I'm happy to do it but In guess it would be a good time now to start putting some more money aside for what I also feel is quite a realistic list of future MP releases.


    1. Masterpiece will always be a priority for me. They're just so purty. I just wish we had access to a list of what was in the pipeline. Then again, speculation is what makes this so fun!