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Series: XOverGen
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Upgrade Set
Year: 2013

Prelude: Legal stuff first as always. The Trailerforce Masterarmor is not an official product released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy, thus not legally a Transformers item. It’s a third party upgrade set for Classics Optimus Prime from XOvergen that pays homage to G1 Powermaster Optimus Prime / Masterforce Super Ginrai, but for legal reasons it can’t be called by that name.

Trailer Mode: Much like the Powermaster upgrade of Optimus Prime, the Masterarmor has three different configurations. The first (randomly numbered) is the trailer mode. Now the G1 Powermaster trailer managed to more or less look the part, if you ignored the many, many guns it sported. Once you removed them, the thing actually did look like a truck trailer, at least from the sides and the rear. The Masterarmor trailer, well... let’s just say that even if you removed the guns, not many people would think it to be a run-of-the-mill trailer for a normal truck. It’s a bit like a mixture between a normal trailer and Armada Overload’s vehicle mode.

Not much you can do here, naturally, except having the whole thing be towed by Classics Prime in truck mode. There are some add-on parts included so that the trailer can also be towed by the original Powermaster Prime’s tractor. All the weapons can aim forwards and upwards, though not sideways. So bottom line here: a serviceable trailer mode, but clearly not the main focus of this upgrade kit.

Base Mode: Nine times out of ten a trailer towed by some guy called Optimus Prime will include a base mode of some sort or other. Same here. The trailer unfolds into a kind of battle platform in much the same way as the G1 Powermaster trailer did and the layout is more or less the same, too. You have a kind of base module in the middle, with platforms on each side and out front. All the various weapons can attach here, with the big double-barreled ones once again having a ‘seat’ of sorts where a G1 Nebulon figure can sit (such as Hi-Q / Ginrai).

The truth is I was never a big fan of Powermaster Prime’s base mode. It was just something that came with the toy and I did use it for city-building now and then (there were a lot of Transformers with base modes in G1), but otherwise it held little appeal. Same goes for the Masterarmour’s base mode. It’s something that’s there and it doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t really do much for me, either.

Armor Mode: The main reason for getting this upgrade set is, of course, that it serves as a big suit of armor for your Classics Optimus Prime or – alternatively – for the original G1 Powermaster Prime figure (the small one, naturally). Though armor might actually not be the correct word, as the smaller figure (whichever one) does little more than fold up and plug into the chest of the larger one. Once completed, Masterarmor Prime (I made that name up, just so you know) stands eye to eye with Masterpiece Optimus Prime (the first, really big one) and can believably go one on one with Hercules, too. This is just a massive, massive figure and it’s bristling with weapons. Double-barreled guns on the shoulders and forearms, boxy launchers on the legs, plus two giant rifles for his hands.

Despite the size, Masterarmor Prime is far from the boxy brick that Powermaster Prime was. The figure is big, yet lean, and fully articulated to boot. It features a full range of motion including double elbow joints, individual fingers and articulate toes among others. The leg joints are very, very stiff (to the point where I start to sweat in fear of breaking something), while the wrist joints are somewhat loose, but overall everything moves and holds together very well, so no complaints here at all.

While he’s patterned after Powermaster Prime / Super Ginrai, there are also some elements of the upgraded God Ginrai present, which was called Apex Armor for the US release. There are the blue gauntlets on the arms, which include extra cannons, as well as the fact that he has guns on his legs as well. Interestingly the chromed chest plate of God Ginrai actually fits into this figure (see picture), but sadly the rest of the God Bomber parts don’t.

As I mentioned above you can either use Classics Optimus Prime or the original G1 Powermaster Prime figure in combination with this upgrade set, both fit quite well. The only real difference (apart from the look, of course) is that Classics Prime is a bit larger, so he can’t simply flip up his legs and still fit. For him, you need to open up a panel on the back, so his legs can stick out the back. It sounds awkward, but it really isn’t and you barely noticed the legs out back. Oh, and in case you want to stick the original G1 figure in here, you can also use the G1 Powermaster Prime head, if you want.

Finally there are some left-over parts from the trailer mode to deal with, mainly a set of blue panels that actually form much of the outer shell of the trailer. While it is possible to attach the panels to the back of Masterarmor Prime, it doesn’t really look good, so your best bet is to do as the instruction sheet suggest and put it up as a “Gun Garage”. Basically a shed where you can store whatever weapons Prime isn’t using right now, which also has attachment points for storing the parts of Classics Optimus Prime you’re not using. Not the greatest idea on how to deal with leftover parts ever, but fully okay.

So the bottom line: this giant, armored, upgraded Optimus Prime figure is well and truly epic! Great looks, great articulation, armed to the teeth and not prone to falling apart or toppling over, either. What more can a G1 fanatic possibly want?

Remarks: For a long time in my childhood, Powermaster Optimus Prime was THE definitive Optimus toy. While I did own the original Prime figure from 1984, too, I much preferred the vastly larger Powermaster, because he could go one on one with the likes of Galvatron (I never had a Megatron back then). To many German fans Powermaster Prime is actually regarded as the original Optimus toy, simply because by the time the Transformers cartoon and comics finally made it to German screens and stores in 1989, the first Optimus (released here in 1985) was long gone from the shelves. So Powermaster Prime it was, to the point that the German translation of the Transformers comics was adapted to repeatedly call Optimus a Powermaster, despite the fact that he was depicted in the form of his original toy.

Also, ever since Fansproject introduced their City Commander upgrade, I’ve been clamoring for a Powermaster trailer for Classics Optimus Prime. Now I’ve finally got it and if the shadowy outline on the box is to be believed, XOvergen might bring out their version of the Apex Bomber for upgrading this bad boy even further.

Once all is said and done, though, the XOvergen Masterarmor has one big flaw: the price point. At around USD 180, this thing is expensive even for a third party item. So my bottom line here is simply this: if you’re a big fan of Powermaster Optimus Prime / Super Ginrai and really want to upgrade your Classics Optimus this way, then go for it. But if you’re lacking that nostalgia factor, then I’d think twice about dishing out this much money.

Rating: B+

Update 2013-12-29: As I mentioned above you can put the remaining hull plates of the trailer onto the back of the robot. Now the "standard" method of doing this is to skip the middle plate and put the two outer plates. See pictures 38 and 39 in the gallery.

Now while that isn't bad, it doesn't look particularly good, either and still leaves you with one left-over plate. However a little fiddling I did today resulted in this look here, which I personally find pretty good and - even better - it uses all three plates, so there are no parts left-over. So you don't even need an Apex Bomber upgrade to give this guy his wings. See pictures 40 through 45 in the gallery.

Update 2015-05-17: As it turns out it's not just Classics Prime and Powermaster Prime who can wear the Master Armor, original 1984 Prime can do it, too. See pictures 46 through 48 in the gallery.
Toy DB Link

Picture Gallery:

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