I could have sworn that we told you about the Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime figure when it was released in 2019. Apparently, we did not. Jeez. What were we doing??? Anyhoo, never mind that we did not because there is a new MP-44 coming your way.
Now if you have noted the year of the original release… you will realize that Takara Tomy wants to sell fans and collectors a toy that is based on the mold that is a grand four years old. I guess it is not such a bad thing since it offers a bit of nostalgia for Transformers toy collectors and also an opportunity for collectors who have not had the chance to pick up the MP-44 to do so. Maybe?
The new Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-44S Optimus Prime [JP] is based on the original Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Convoy Ver. 3.0 from 2019 but in the colors and decorations inspired by the 1980s toy.
Another subtle change is the naming convention. Instead of going with the meaningless-to-non-Japanese-viewers “Convoy Ver. 3.0”, the new MP-44 has adopted its internationally known name, i.e. Optimus Prime.
So what are the changes? Well, the iconic red and blue colors are now darker, and like the toy from the 80s, the waist and thighs are painted in silver. Plus, the new Masterpiece Optimus Prime now has yellow eyes like its toy counterpart from the 80s.
Additionally, stickers which toymakers were so fond of in the 80s can also be found decorating the new MP-44S. I believe the stickers are presented on a sticker sheet which requires you to apply them to the figure’s arms, legs, and feet.
Speaking of stickers, the Autobot logo found on each of Optimus Prime’s shoulders is also toy accurate (red against silver colorway).
Still on the stickers… I believe it will come with ONE Autobot logo like it was on the original MP-44. However, an additional sticker will be provided for the other shoulder if you want to toy-accurate look.
If you ask me, I’d say this figure is only for fans who feel nostalgic for the toy and not so much for the cartoon. If you are a collector who demands cartoon-accurate toys, this is definitely not it.
The Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-44S Optimus Prime will be released in February 2024 for 33,000 yen (around US$239).
It is significantly cheaper than the original because it will not come with the trailer, though it does come with the requisite Matrix, the trademark ion blaster, a blast effect part, an Energon axe, and what appears to be a flight stand adapter piece. In addition, the figure will also come with an alternate toy-accurate head sculpt.
In related news, the Transformers Masterpiece MP-56 Trailerbreaker has been treated to a repaint too. Yup. Already. The repainted MP-56 is designated Transformers Masterpiece MP-56+ Rigoras [JP] which appears to be inspired by the Diaclone No.5 Car Robot Hilux 4WD in yellow. This little will be released on March 2024 for 24,200 yen (about US$167). Both toys are recommended for ages 15 and up.
Images: Takara Tomy [JP].