U.S. Name: OPTIMUS PRIME (Masterpiece Edition)   Jap. Name: CONVOY 

Cartoon First Appearance: Episode #1: More than meet the eye P1, Season 1, Sept. 1984

Classic Box Number: 01     This Line Box Number: MP-1


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I was very eager to get the Master Piece Prime edition when it was came out.  But when I saw the gray gun, I was a little bit disappointed with Takara.  I didn't want to purchase the U.S./ Hasbro version because that Prime has the battled damage paint, short smokestack, and no paper trailer like the Japan/ Takara MP Prime.  So I decided to wait knowing how much Takara is obsessed with repaint.  After many months had passed and no word from Takara new announcement, my patient ran out so I said screw the gray gun color and purchased it.  I got MP Prime from Snarl. for $CV on May. Xviii, Mmiv.  


R-0 Original Optimus Prime's motto and tech specifications: 

Affiliate: autobots | Subgroup: none | Function: cybertron commander | Alt. Mode: truck| 

| STR 10 | INTL 10 | SPD 8 | ENDN 10 | RNK 10 | CRG 10 | FRPW 8 | SKL 10 |

Original G1 Prime Motto:

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."


Original G1 Prime Bio:

Optimus Prime is the largest, strongest and wisest of all Autobots. Feels his role is the protection of all life, including Earth-life. Fights unceasingly to defeat the Decepticons. Splits into three autonomous modules: 1) Optimus Prime... the brain center known as the Commander; 2) Roller, the Autobot scout car... a spy who operates up to 1200 miles away; and 3) Autobot Headquarters... the combat deck equipped with a versatile mechanic/artillery robot. Injury to one module is felt by the other two.


NOTE-1: This review page is meant to give you some ideas about the figure should you decide to obtain one, or even just for nostalgic or sentimental purposes.  They're just my opinion and I hold no responsibility for your action.  If you have questions about this review or if there's a section or image that owned by you and I didn't give you credit, please click email from the main page.  I'll make the correction once I receive your info.  Have fun.

- Click on the Thumbnails to view them at a Larger Scale -

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R-1 Masterpiece Optimus Prime in its Original condition:

mprimeorigb.jpg (144925 bytes)R-1A: Here are the box images of MP-1 Prime from all 6 sides.  Typical Takara/Tomy's Masterpiece box contains no window to view the actual figure.  It is basically a sealed box with a black background along with the actual image of the figure on the front panel, top panel, and at the rear panel which had additional special features of the figure in further details.  The side panel just showed the description: Transformers Masterpiece, the figure ID number, and name of the character.

NOTE-2: For Collectors - on the front cover and top flap of the box, go to where the sentence that read "MORE THAN MEETS TEH EYE!"  You'll notice that there's a typo error in that sentence.  

mprimeorig2.jpg (65201 bytes)R-1B:  In term of packaging, I thought Takara did an outstanding job with its presentation.  When you remove the outer box out (above), you'll get the first left image layout.  Prime and its content are place within a Card Board Paper Trailer.  As you can see from the second large image, that is actually Prime Trailer looking from the other side!  The Cardboard Paper Trailer itself is wrapped around a clear plastic bag.  The top right image shows the first layer of the clear plastic tray.  This layer is basically the accessory parts.  Once you remove the first layer out, you'll get another layer which is basically Prime action figure.  There are tons and tons of wire for holding Prime, so take your time to remove them if you don't want to scratch any paint application or pop off his head.  

mprimeorig3.jpg (84290 bytes)R-1C:  In addition to the Prime figure and the Cardboard Paper Trailer, these are all the accessories that were included in the box/ package/ card: "1" Matrix (inside Prime chest for first time), "1" gray laser rifle, "1" Megatron gun, "1" energy ax, "2" black clips/ pegs for the cardboard trailer, "1" Prime trading card, "1" miscellaneous text sheet, and "1" instruction booklet.

NOTE-3: For clarity purpose, all the  images on R-1 image #3 are not into scaled with one another.


R-2 Pre-Applied Decals/ Stickers: 

There are 2 Pre-Applied sticker that had been applied onto MP Prime.  These stickers are for the communication link monitor located at both lower forearm by the wrist.

Sticker Sheet:

MP Prime does not come with any sticker sheet. 


R-3 Masterpiece Prime in Cab Mode: 

mprimeveh1.jpg (58662 bytes)Optimus Prime is a Freightliner COE dual-axle truck whose measurement is approximately 9 1/4 x 3 6/16 x 5 (LxWxD in inch).  Unlike the 1984 Prime cab, the Masterpiece is very heavy so don't drop him on the ground or on little kid.  His die cast metal is located on the chest and lower leg.  Overall, he is very beautiful throughout from design to transformation to paint application.  On the negative side, this mold does have some minor flaws.  For starter, the shoulder connection joints are exposed out making the cab looks as though a panel or part of him was missing.  Moreover, the window and door at the side of the cab are not incorporated to the design.

NOTE-4: One year later, this mold was released as MP-2 Ultra Magnus.


R-4 Detail 1 - Cab & Cardboard Paper Trailer: 

mprimeveh3.jpg (55046 bytes)In addition to R-1B, here's another three-quarter view of the Cardboard Paper Trailer (top left image) from its original condition before converting to the actual trailer.  As you can see the wheel paper is still attached and hadn't been fold out yet.  The bottom left image shows what the actual trailer looks like once you fold out.  All the pieces of the Cardboard Paper Trailer  had been precut so don't just detach anything that you are unsure.  The instruction for converting the trailer is located within the Cardboard Paper Trailer flap.  It is not on the instruction booklet.


Here are more detail views of the cab looking from the above and bottom.  For those that wonder regarding Prime waist, well the top view shows his frontal waist while the bottom view shows Prime rear waist.  During robot mode, the waist is rotated 180 to give you the correct waist.  Another unique about the bottom view is that you now know where Prime mid section grill is located.  It's hidden underneath his cab.  Note that cab grill and robot grill (mid section) are two different thing.  The cab grill has 4 vertical panels while the robot grill has only 2 vertical panels.  On the top left image with the opening window shield, what important about that image is that there is this gray plane sitting in the middle to "resemble a car seat".  Moreover over it has the arm seat which is basically Prime ear antenna when fold down.  I said it resembles a car seat because the seat should've located on the side, not the middle.  If you want to get technical, that gray plane is basically to hide Prime head from the back.


R-5 Cab w/ Cardboard Paper Trailer: 

mprimeveh2.jpg (55264 bytes)Takara was kind enough by including a glossy Cardboard Paper Trailer to go with the cab.  By doing so, the cab doesn't looks so naked without a trailer.  The Cardboard Paper Trailer measures approximately 13 10/16 x 4 x 6 (LxWxD in inch) and when the cab is included, the total length is approximately 19 inch.  The two small black clips/ pegs that was taped in a bag (see R-1C image) are designed to put into the trailer so that it can be connected onto the rear hole of the cab for hauling.  As you can see, it maybe a cheap idea, but it actually looks good from a distance.  So until Takara produce the actual trailer with Roller one day, I'll take this paper trailer cardboard over than nothing.  One thing which I thought it was funny is the license plate on the back of the Cardboard Paper Trailer which was written as "OP20th."  In Japan, the name "Optimus Prime" does not exist instead he had always been called "Convoy" which means truck.  So, to have Takara had Master Prime license plate written as OP20th and not as CONVOY20th was something new.


R-6 Masterpiece Prime in Robot Mode: 

mprimerob1.jpg (64996 bytes)In robot mode, Masterpiece Prime is the most beautiful Transformers to ever create so not even the G1 Jetfire or the 1/48 Yamato Valkyrie VF-1S can compare to Prime when it come to best robot mode.  Prime is very tall, in fact he stood 12 inch.  He is exquisitely well design thoroughly from left to right and bottom to top.  His transformation is even more fascinating than his appearance.  For those that hadn't transformed MP Prime in person, his front cab wheel is actually hidden just below his chest cavity.  It's basically rotate and then flip up.  Also, Prime smoke stack is adjustable in the vertical direction to allow the arm sideway movement.  As for his stability and joint connection, he is very stable and strong not flimsy or feature many loose parts like the 1/48 Yamato Valkyrie VF-1S.  MP Prime has no major or minor negative drawback in this mode.  He is utterly magnificent!


R-7 Detail 2 - Gimmicks: 

mprimedet2.jpg (75075 bytes)Gimmicks, yes everyone love special feature.  If you're the type of person that love gimmick then the Masterpiece Prime edition has plenty of them.

A - Each of Prime wrist came with a video communicator, left wrist has Bumblebee and right wrist has Starscream screen.

B - When connecting the Energy Ax, it is important that the base of the Energy Ax  is placed horizontal and then plug it gently onto the little groove within Prime socket wrist.  The Ax itself can be rotated 360 degree sideway.

C - All of Prime fingers are articulated!

D - The Hydraulic feature.  This feature is so cool because whenever you move the arm/ feet, you'll the see the chrome hydraulic bar retract or extend out.

E - When the button on the back of Prime head is pressed, the mouth plate will move up and down as though Prime is talking.  Also, the ear is movable as well.

F - When Prime feet is pressed upward, the silver grill/ ventilation above his feet will automatic be opened.  To close the feature, repressed the feet again.  Left feet with opened grille while right feet with closed grille.

G - The silver gas tank that located on Prime side knee acts as a lever to either compress or extend the leg out from the feet.  You have to press the bottom of the gas tank in order to slide the leg inside the feet.  Pressing the top or middle of the gas tank would usually not works.

H - Light able Matrix.  See R-8 for image.

I - All of Prime wheels cab has suspend able feature so when the wheel is pressed down it will automatically push back up since there are springs within the connection.  

NOTE-5: Prime actually has a mouth underneath his mouth plate should you decide to remove it.  It actually looks very scary because he has a skeleton mouth or skull underneath the mouth plate.  Removing the mouth plate is a little bit complicated.


R-8 The Matrix and Prime's Chest Cavity:

mprimedet1.jpg (73317 bytes)Of all the special gimmick that Prime has, the Matrix/ Chest Cavity is the most unique of all.  The reason is that it's based on the 1986 Transformers The Movie scene.  Prime chest opened out revealing an inner gray panel (top left image).  This panel can be flipped out revealing the most important component of all, the Matrix.  What's unique about this Matrix and the Chest Cavity is that it has light feature (bottom left image).  To activate this light feature, you would have to press the blue button located next to Prime neck.  The Matrix can be removed from Prime chest cavity revealing a gray container box that hold the Matrix (top right image).  In addition, the Matrix can either be opened or closed just like the cartoon (bottom right image).  For those that are curious, the Matrix itself does not has light feature, instead the light itself is projected from the Prime chest cavity.  Last but not least, since Prime fingers are so large, only 2 of his fingers can be inserted onto the Matrix opening handle (large middle image).


magnuspp01udet4.jpg (73662 bytes)The Matrix, the Autobots of Leadership - Scare Comparison:

So far, there aren't that many " transformable figures" Transformers or un-official TF come with the Matrix.  If I'm not mistakenly, only the following characters have them: 2001 New Year Prime, Galvatron Anime Version, MP-1 Prime (MP-4, MP-1B, MP-4S), MP-2 Magnus, MP-9 Rodimus.  For the unofficial transformers, only the Igear PP01 Series have them.  Here are the Matrix size comparison from smallest to largest in the length x width x dept in inch format:

- MP-9 Rodimus: 3/4 x 7/16 x 5/16 - Cannot be opened out.

- Igear PP01 Series (Ultra Leader): 1 x 10/16 x 5/16 - Expand out to 1 3/16 in length.

- 2002 New Year Prime (Silver): 1 1/4 x 11/16 x 7/16 - Cannot be opened out, comes with long silver chain to fit any person neck.

- 2005 Gavatron Anime (Gold): 1 1/4 x 11/16 x 7/16 - Cannot be opened out, comes with short silver chain to fit Galvatron neck/head.

- MP-1, MP-4, MP-1B, MP-4S Prime, MP-2 Magnus: 1 6/16 x 13/16 x 7/16 - Expand out to 1 11/16 in length.


R-9 The Ammunition:

mprimedet3.jpg (64366 bytes)The Masterpiece edition came with 3 ammunitions for Prime to play around, his standard laser rifle, energy ax, and Megatron P-38 gun.  Prime laser rifle measurement is approximately 5 1/8 x 2 1/8 x 1 (LxWxD in inch).  Why the rifle wasn't painted black like the cartoon or the previous g1 Prime gun that is just beyond me.  Regardless of the decision, it was just a bad decision by Takara.  Inside the laser rifle barrel, there is this green crystal plastic which I thought it was a nice touch in the aesthetic department (bottom left image) for the rifle.  Prime Energy Ax measures approximately 3 14/15 x 1 10/16 x 13/16.  The base is fully rotate able at 360 degree so when you made a connection be sure to plug the Energy Ax base into the Prime's wrist groove.  This weapon was first seen in "More Than The Eye P2" where Prime used it to fight Megatron at Sherman Dam.  Last but not least, the U.N.C.L.E. Megatron gun figuration measures approximately 6 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 7/16.  The silencer, the scope, and the elbow stock are removable leaving the pistol P-38 gun alone  (top right image) which measures 2 1/8 x 1 6/16 x 1/4.  The black handle ofMegatron gun is extendable allowing more length for Prime to get a better grip.  Also, the extension stock can be bent downward should it interfere with Prime lower arm.  


R-10 Masterpiece Prime Articulation showing off:

mprimerob2.jpg (66419 bytes)If you love articulation, then MP Prime is definitely for you because there are tons of moves that you could do with this action figure.  As you can see from the left image, he can do almost everything from leg kick to a full split to raising arm.  And not to mention that all of his fingers are all articulated as well!  For more info on articulation see R-12 on Articulation.


R-11 Masterpiece Prime VS. 20th Anniversary Prime:

mprime20anniv.jpg (117007 bytes)What's a Masterpiece Optimus Prime and what's a 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime?

It's basically the same figure but was named differently by Takara and Hasbro.  In Japan (Takara), this figure was labeled as the Master Piece Edition while in the U.S. (Hasbro) it was labeled as the 20th Anniversary Edition.

What's the difference between the two?

The overall answer to that question is NO because both had the same material, colors & shade, transformation, and same overall accessory (Prime gun, Megatron gun, Energy Ax, and Matrix).  The image on the left shows different of shading in colors, that's due to light differences in photographing.  However, if you're concerned with appearance or aesthetic then the answer is YES to the question.  Here are the minor differences:

1 - Takara Prime has Long Smoke Stack.  Hasbro Prime has Short Smoke Stack.

2 - Takara Prime has NO battled damage paint.  Hasbro Prime has battled damage paint (black paint on shoulder, wrist, waist, and knee).

3 - Takara Prime has gray gun.  Hasbro Prime come in 2 waves (Wave 1: gray gun. Wave 2: black gun).

4 - Takara Prime comes with a Card Board Trailer which can be mounted onto the cab during alternated mode (see R-5).  Hasbro Prime comes with a Cardboard Battle Deck Trailer which is only good for a background.  This battle deck cannot be converted into a trailer like Takara Prime Trailer so technically you could trash the Hasbro Battle Deck Trailer in the garbage.

5 - Takara Prime comes with a Trading Card.  Hasbro Prime does not.

6 - Takara Prime box is fully enclosed with rectangle shape.  Hasbro Prime box has a window with hexagon (6 side) shape..

7 - Takara Prime was sold $90 (including import price) in the U.S.  Hasbro Prime was sold $60 - $75.  If you take a way the import price, both Prime is pretty much the same.

So which version should I get?

Technically it doesn't matter but if I have to give a recommendation, I would say choose Takara Master Piece Prime.  The long smoke stack and the clean paint (no battled damage color) just look better on Prime.  Secondly, it may look cheap, but at least Takara Prime has a Cardboard Paper Trailer to go with the Cab to avoid the cab looking naked without one in contrast to Hasbro 20th Anniversary Prime.


R-12 Rémy's Masterpiece Optimus Prime action figure review:

Manufacturer - Takara.

Line, Series/ Wave: Masterpiece Line, Series MP-1.

Year Released: [Jan. 2004]   

Made: [China]  

Scale: [N/A]

Box or Card Dimension In Inches: [LxWxD]  - 13 3/4 x 8 1/8 x 4 3/16 - Box.

Packaging Method: Mint In Sealed Box.  Contents were packed with the following procedure:

On the very top of the clear plastic tray are: "1" gray laser rifle, "1" orange energy ax, "1" Megatron gun, and "1" sealed bag contained "2" black clips/ pegs for connecting the paper trailer onto the cab. 

Beneath the top clear plastic tray, there's a second plastic tray:  "1" cab with Matrix (inside his chest).

Serving as an enclosure and with a semi soft plastic bag on the perimeter for the two plastic tray above are: "1" foldable paper trailer.

Back of the enclosure/ paper trailer:  "1" instruction booklet, "1" Prime trading card, and "1" miscellaneous text sheet.

Box Special Note: Front Box Appearance: Actual toy.  Back Box Appearance: Ads of Master Piece Prime special feature.

Box Point or Robot Point: [10]  - This number can be found on the top right side flap/ panel of the box.  You have to open the box to see it.  It contains number and the Autobots insignia next to it.

Approximately Dimension In Inch: Height Up To The Head 12  Maximum Height: 12  Width from shoulder to shoulder: 6 1/14  Maximum Width: 6 3/4 (from smoke pipe to smoke pipe)  Dept: 3 1/2.

Figure's Stamp/ Fine Print: None.

Figure's Stamp/ Fine Print Location: Surprisingly MP Prime has no copyrights fine print.

Transformation Of Difficulty: [Very Hard] - Very hard to transform.

Material Durability: [-A] - Pretty durable.

Materials: Die Cast Metal:  Chest and lower leg.  Chrome Part: Smokestack, gas tank, cab front bumper, and the hydraulic connection peg .  Rubber: Wheels.  Plastic: Main material.  Clear Plastic Window: Front of cab window and a little bit on the side.

Stability: [A] - Very Stable..

Figure Toy: [+A] - Definitely a fun toy due to many functions, challenging, and a cool design.

Negative Drawback: MP Prime had no major negative drawback.  See Special Notes below.  My only minor complaint is that Prime laser blaster gun should've painted black not gray.

Articulations: Head: Can be rotated at 360 degree sideway, tile 5 degree downward and 45 degree upward.  Mouth can also be moved as well.   Shoulder: Can be swung 360 degree forward or backward.  Can also be lift 60 degree sideway when the shoulder is fully extent out.  Lower portion can be rotated 360 degree sideway.  Arm/ Elbow: Can be bent at a 90 degree. Wrist/ Hand: Can be rotated 360 degree sideway as well as be bent at 10 degree inward.  All five fingers are articulated.  Hands can be hidden by using the slab on the forearm. Hip/ Waist: Can only be rotated at 360 degree sideway.  Leg: Can be bent at a 90 degree, rotate 360 degree sideway, as well as a full split.   Knee: Can be bent at a 90 degree.  Ankle/ Feet: Can be move 3 degree sideway.  Feet can only be bent downward.

Rub Sign Logo: [N/A] - Not Applicable.

Robot's Cartoon looks alike: [+A] - Looks extremely like the cartoon.

Vehicle's Cartoon looks alike: [-A] - Utterly the bomb!!! Very Hot.

Special Notes: Here are "8" special notes that I think you should know:

1 - If the leg doesn't retract to its short length during cab mode, you must press the TOP part of the leg oil tank.  Don't press the middle or bottom of the oil tank, that is wrong.

2 - Don't bent the feet upward beyond its capability or the feet will pop off.  Can easily be reattached.

3 - Don't bent the head upward beyond its capability or the head will pop off.  Again, can easily be reattached.

4 - The best way to take the Matrix out is to transform the chest into cab mode.  Once the front wheel is off from the chest cavity, the Matrix is easily taken out.

5 - Be careful not to drop Prime on the floor because if it lands perpendicular with the smokestack on the bottom, it can be broke very easily due to the long smoke stack length.

6 -  The Matrix chamber cavity has light when the switch next to the head is pressed.  So check for battery and bulb defection.

7 - The mouth plate can be moved when the button on the back of head is pressed.  So check to see that this gimmick is workable.

8 - The lover or ventilation on the front lower leg of Prime will open up when the feet is pressed downward. So check to see that this gimmick is workable.

Overall Grade: [+A] - This Masterpiece Edition Optimus Prime is utterly the bomb!  It is very exceptional in term of detail, transformation style, gimmick, and the appearance is utterly a magnificent.  This figure is a must have!!!!