Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Masterpiece MP-24 (Part A): Saber

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Takara Tomy
Figure Number: 24
Origin Series: Transformers Victory
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 16cm tall
Original Price: 18,000 yen


The Masterpiece line is pretty much considered to be THE premium line for Transformers figures and I finally own one mainly because they finally made one for my favorite Autobot Leader, Star Saber, which was pretty much decided by the fans through voting. Unlike the Hasbro Masterpieces, Takara does a fine job on the packaging style as they definitely look Premium, ever since MP-01, the style has been this plain black box with a very neat product shot of the figure you're getting together with the alt mode while also bearing a clean white border. 

The sides of the box simply contain text of the line and the character while the back of the box actually gives you a pretty good and accurate size comparison of how tall Star Saber is compared to just Saber; additionally, bio aside, the back pretty much lists all of the cool features of this release showing that some of the gimmicks actually have a ridiculous amount of accuracy to the show such as when the Brain of Courage enters the "transtector" to become Saber and how Saber changes into Star Saber and shout "Battle Up!" to finally form a complete Star Saber.

The top does contain another product shot of Star Saber while the bottom presents you with a checklist of what the figure actually comes with when packed inside, so do refer to that to know if  your MP-24 is complete.

The pack also comes with a collectible card of Star Saber with a very cool artwork of Star Saber in front while back features the product yet again, along with his Bio and his stats.

Lastly, this also comes with a separate case that is pretty identical to Star Saber's chest and opening it reveals a collector's coin of Star Saber!

I've decided to split the review into two parts which is in this one since I've took a number of photos and decided that the split would be at least reasonable since Saber is technically "different" from Star Saber; with that said, I'll focus on Saber as well as the Brain of Courage in this part of the review while part B will be about the V-Star and the main dish, Star Saber himself! 

Details - Brain of Courage:

The Brain of Courage is technically both Saber and Star Saber's main essence, a part of the Cybertron (Autobot) subgroup known as the Brainmasters. It was very nice of Takara to actually include this as they could've just begun with Saber alone; as you can see, for a very small figure, the Brain of Courage is ridiculously accurate when it comes to the paint apps but because it's too small, it was probably already too hard to make very detailed but still, it's an amazing piece and definitely made me glad when I first handled the figure. 

To give a size comparison, below is a shot of the Brain of Courage standing next to Kreon Rodimus Prime and the Headmaster, Cana; the Brain is really small, only standing up to around half of Kreon Rodimus.

Details- Jet Mode:

The MP line captures the Jet mode perfectly down to it's sleek appearance and the folded robot body underneath(lol) and without missing out on any needed paint applications; while the paint looks superb, you will find some minor paint smudges here and there between the reds and whites if you inspect it closely.

Choosing to use clear blue for the jet's canopy was definitely a nice touch as it blends in more with the Star Saber's color scheme a lot better. (I believe it's light green in the series)

More of a personal taste, I hate the fact that they used gold chrome on the "L"-ish detail found at the back of the Jet mode. I guess it does help make it look better than using bright yellow but I still have a particular dislike to chrome.

For an additional AND accurate gimmick, the Jet's canopy can be opened up and you'll find that there's an actual space there for Brain of Courage to ride the jet mode.

Lasltly for the jet mode's gimmicks, you can flip up three landing gear wheels underneath; one would be near the nosecone while the other two are at the tip of back.

For those curious on the Jet Mode's size, here's a quick comparison with it standing next to Legends Brainstorm's Jet mode; and if you will look at it, their length is pretty much equal.

Details - Saber:

And now to the main cake of this 1st part of the review, I'll start with the discussing Saber's head. Saber's head is very well done from the silhouette and down to the facial features; the use of clear light blue plastic on Saber's visor does indeed put a sweet appeal to it and it does allow you to see extra details such that there are actual molded in eyes beneath those visors.

How Saber's head is the best part of Saber for me, it's ridiculously accurate to the show such that when the "Brain set" happens and the cockpit of the bot mode closes, Saber's face (formed by Brain of Courage as the show has it) appears. To share that to you guys, I've recorded a 7-second video of it though sorry if it's a bit shaky and I also had to edit it to disable the unwanted noise recorded during that time.

Much like the jet mode, every bit of detail have been well molded in and painted in Saber's robot mode. It's ridiculously accurate done to his robotic abs and the wide backpack/plane kibble which was made compact by folding the wings and pushing down the canopy. Overall, I think they didn't miss on any detail and that really rocks!

While the overall details is good, Saber is indeed the weakest when it comes to details as the mold has one fatal awkward flaw. For something released in the masterpiece line, it's such a bummer to see that Saber's forearms are completely hollow, they didn't even bother putting a cover on it so that the overall build would looks solid.

To complete his actual Robot mode from the show, the nosecone of the jet does indeed transform into a shoulder guard for his left arm.

By doing a few folds to the nosecone, a locking tab can be revealed and these tabs lock on to ports that can be found on either of Saber's shoulders allowing you to customize his look by putting two shoulder guards (if you have two MP Star Sabers) or by allowing you to put it on his right shoulder instead; for accuracy purposes, you will only see Saber bearing it on his left arm in this review.

While the Jet mode was as long as Brainstorm's jet mode, Saber, in robot mode, only stands a bit taller than your average deluxe size; for one comparison, below is Saber standing next to his alternate universe form, GT-R Saber.

Additionally, Saber is pretty much as tall as some specific lanky deluxes like First Edition Starscream from TF Prime. Anyway, more size comparisons below.


Saber utilizes three accessories which comes in the form of the Star Laser and 2 variants of the Saber Blade in the form of a small one and a big one. The image above features the Star Laser and the small Saber Blade. Forming the big Saber blade requires you to remove his shoulder guard to slightly transform it into a sword hilt and then finally attaching the big blade that the set comes with. Personally, I find it awkward for Saber to wield the big Saber Blade so I'll only show it below.

What surprised me here is that the Star Laser and small Saber Blade actually has cross compatibility with other transformer lines. You can flip the Star Laser's handle/trigger to reveal a 5-mm peg while the hilt of the small Saber Blade has a molded in 5-mm peg at the side.

And to demonstrate, here are the accessories in use with other TFs; Saber Blade attached to Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime and the Star Laser used by Brainstorm.

Articulation Points - Brain of Courage:

A minor section but the Brain of Courage does have articulation points, such that each of his arms and legs all have swivels with them. Though the main purpose is really for Brain of Courage to sit and fit inside the Jet mode's cockpit.

Articulation Points - Saber:

Saber's neck can only swivel and it doesn't rotate 360, it's rotation is limited to around 45 degrees from facing up front.

His arms can be raised sidewards to a perfect 90 as well as rotate a full 360 via his shoulders; while the rotation is pretty much a swivel, there's something magical about his shoulder joint, such that it looks like it uses magnetism but lol, that's just from how I view it anyway. Additionally, you can also slightly dislocate his shoulders should you need it for some poses.

Saber also has bicep swivels and his elbows does allow you to bend his arms to a perfect 90 as well.

Saber's hands run on a wrist swivel, while it's not fully 360 rotate-able, it definitely emulates a realistic wrist movement. Additionally, while I have forgotten to take a picture, thumb aside, all his other fingers operate on one hinge on the hands, meaning the fingers aren't individually articulated and that moving one means moving the others as well.

Saber does have some minor moveable flap on his waist and this allows you to fully raise Saber's legs forward to a 90.

With what's said above, Saber's forward kick allows a perfect 90 while the backward is just a bit almost 45. As I have forgotten to take pictures, yet again, each hinge you can see on the upper half of Saber's legs have a swivel mechanism of their own, thus, allowing you to do poses with legs spread apart but it is pretty tricky though.

The legs can be bend via his knees to an almost 90 (due to mold limitations) but ridiculously, due to transformation as well, you can indeed bend it forward (awkward!) to a perfect 90 too. Sadly, his leg articulation ends there as there are no ankle tilts. :(


As far Brain of Courage enjoyment goes, you can definitely do transforming shots or just simply him flying the Jet. Again, much like my details comment on the Brain, he's pretty much a decent and appreciated extra that you get in the set.

Saber's poseability is pretty much so-so in my opinion, some poses definitely look great on him but there's just so few you can do with making it look awkward by playing with his set of articulation points.

The Star Laser definitely is Saber's perfect weapon as poses with it definitely blends well with his joints.

The hardest part of posing Saber for me was when I was posing him with the small Saber Blade, there's just a limited number of good sword poses you can do with him as the articulation points certainly do not blend well with it and the way that he actually holds the sword also plays a role in that.

And before I end this section, here are some more bonus shots~

Final Thoughts:

Saber is pretty much just ok for me, the mold definitely has its flaws but hey, this IS pretty much the best well proportioned Saber you'll ever get anyway. And the mere fact that Saber is just icing on the cake also let's his flaws slide since you can pretty much just think of him as another extra as this set IS about THE Star Saber after all.

Saber (mold and articulation-wise) gets a 3 out of 5.

Star Saber:

Being just an icing of the cake, the real deal goes to when Saber finally combines with the mobile platform, V-Star, to form the Cybertron Supreme Commander and Brave of Justice, Star Saber! Part B of the review focuses on V-Star and the main dish of MP-24, Star Saber himself! 

Check out Part B by going to this link:

Or just click on the image below to jump to Part B!

No comments:

Post a Comment