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Series: Masterpiece Movie Series
Allegiance: Decepticon
Year: 2010
Review by LimeWire

Prelude: When Takara announced that they would launch a new line of Masterpiece figures based on the Movie characters, many G1-fanatics started ranting. It wouldn’t make sense, overpriced repaints, the death of the G1 Masterpiece line was even prophesied. Me, though, I was head over heels for this idea, seeing as I am widely known as a Movie fanatic and G1-opponent. When the first pics of MPM-01 Starscream appeared a few days later, I was done for. I had to have this figure.

I finally got it at the end of 2010, but only now did I find the courage to unpack it. A huge mistake on my part, I should have done it a lot sooner, for this figure is truly a Masterpiece that puts all others to shame. Interesting side note: no batteries included with the figure, so I had to get my own. And the inner workings are identical to the US variant, including the voice chip. So no complaints here. The figure also includes a nicely drawn comic book and a very well done package.

Alternate Mode: Starscream still transforms into an F-22 Lightning II Raptor, but with one big exception: he now features the realistic paint job from the first movie. The paint job takes realism to new heights and is just flush with details, so I can only call it perfect. Only the markings are missing, but that’s not a mistake, but a feature. Takara put a set of various different stickers into the package. I haven’t decided which of them to put on yet, so you don’t see any in the pictures. Seeing as this figure is a repaint of HFTD Starscream, nothing has changed about the slight case of fat belly, as well as the rather ill-fitting missiles, which are the jet mode’s only flaws.

Robot Mode: The transformation is still the same, too, of course. It’s pretty quick, intuitive and very movie-accurate. When you’re done you have a truly impressive figure standing before you, which is vastly improved by the new (or rather old) paint job. Instead of the tattoos Starscream now sports nice shades of grey, which give him a noble, almost benevolent air, while still looking deadly and menacing. A vast improvement over the mystical tattoos of the original figure. The various details on the figure, such as the cables on the arms, the missiles, the Gatling gun and his face, have gotten nice paint apps to highlight them properly. Here, too, I can only call it perfect. As is the fate of repaints, though, they are doomed to carry over the weaknesses of their originals, so the hands remain this figure’s main weak point.

Conclusion: For those who missed or ignored the HFTD Leader-class figure, this is your chance to make good in past mistakes. The significantly higher price point is justified by the brilliant look. Okay, objectively the effort involved in the Masterpiece figure wasn’t that much higher than for the original from HFTD, but still: the vastly superior details here make the Masterpiece figure the clear winner in my mind. Oh, and I’m still hoping for a MPM-01A, where this figure here getsthe paint job Mechafacture gave theirs (see here). That would be a dream come true.
Rating: A
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