Sunday 15 January 2023

Transformers Masterpiece MP-56 Trailbreaker text review

It's been a while since we had one of the bigger cars from Transformers Masterpiece. Check out the review for Trailbreaker!


Vehicle Mode


Trailbreaker's disguise is a dark grey Toyota Hilux. He's nicely detailed with the (old!) Toyota logo embossed on the back, and a 4WD badge on the side (unfortunately it's not painted, presumably for toon accuracy). The colouring is consistent throughout and the transparent blue windows look great, they're not too light so they don't show much junk inside. There are a few painted lights and his trademark yellow/orange/red stripe at the back. It might have looked more interesting with the additional decals that the G1 toy came with - and I think it may have looked better in a shade slightly closer to black, but it looks good overall. 

Like MP Sunstreaker and Skids, his doors and hood can both open. He doesn't come with a human figure, but there's space within the cab to fit (read: cram) a human figure from one of the other MP figures. He scales best with the figure that came with Hound, but you'll have more luck fitting the one that came with MP-10 Optimus Prime. The doors can be a little fiddly as they both fold and extend on a pin to open up. They can sometimes tilt downwards when open as a result, and be difficult to align when closed, due to minimal space to slide in the pin joint.

Under the hood is some nice engine detail. There are mirrors that can stow for cartoon accuracy, or fold out for more realism. Either way, they line up with the sculpt a bit better than those on MP Skids. He comes with 2 sets of headlights, one chromed that's reminiscent of the G1 toy, and another that's cel shaded to evoke the toon. The hood closes very cleanly which I really appreciate, but it can be a little fiddly to clip it in as a result. Definitely preferable to a hood that won't close mind you! The chrome headlights snap in very easily, but for some reason the toon one can be a little difficult. 


As you'd expect, he scales well with the other Autobot cars. He comes with one other accessory, a satellite dish for the roof, which looks really nice. There's a hatch that keeps the look clean for when you're not using it as well. Overall it's a great truck mode that fits in perfectly with the other Autobot cars.


Trailbreaker has a pretty smooth transformation as far as Masterpiece figures go. His legs extend the length of the truck while the top half condenses down into his chest and backpack. The legs have a very clean and simple transformation, while the backpack is not difficult, but can be a little fiddly with lots of hinges. There's no real points of stress anywhere so I don't think there's much if any risk of breakage as long as you're not stupid!

Moving to robot mode can be done very quickly after a few goes, but returning to vehicle mode can take a little finessing. His shoulder mounted cannon splits in half to fit alongside his arms in the back compartment, but can be tricky to squeeze everything into the right spots, as you don't have much space alongside the arms. As I mentioned before, sometimes his doors can be a pain to line up perfectly because of that pin they slide on as well. Otherwise it's a very enjoyable transformation.

Robot Mode


Trailbreaker turns into an imposing robot, taller than you'd expect based on the car, mostly owing to that leg transformation. He doesn't feel all that hefty, with no diecast metal, but he's extremely well balanced and has good proportions. In photos, I think he can look a bit lanky and like he's had a few too many beers, but actually in hand, he looks like exactly like the toon and the gut/backpack is not bad at all. It does seem like they could have compacted the backpack in even further if they want to; it's as if they they thought it should be this size, so they just didn't push it. Maybe more compacted would have made transformation more difficult or put extra stress on the parts inside his chest. Either way I'm happy with it as it is.

He can achieve a variety of poses with excellent, unhindered articulation. Basically every joint you could hope for is here - huge extensions and tilts on the feet, butterflies on the arms, an ab crunch. The only bit that feels a bit lacking is the head tilt. For some reason, Takara Tomy seems to have tried to limit his shoulder articulation with what appears to be a late moulding change. It's very easily reinstated however, and gives a much greater range as shown in these photos. Perhaps they changed it since it breaks the sculpt a little? Either way, if you want to do the mod check out this guide.

Trailbreaker has an integrated cannon and  missile launcher thing on his shoulders. The cannon can tilt, and also slides out a little to the side for extra clearance. The launcher comes forwards but sometimes looks like he's about to blast his own head, so he'd want to be careful. It could have done with the sliding mechanism too. 

There are 2 poseable hands that can be swapped out with a gun and nozzle attachment. The gun can stash during transformation but the nozzle is too big and has to come off. The gun extends a small amount from the arm, and a bit more from itself. Unfortunately it doesn't clip in when extended and can droop or push back in rather easily. There's a blast effect part for these weapons (and the shoulder cannon). It looks good, but pegs into the nozzle better than the cannon for some reason.


There are 3 interchangeable faces; regular, laughing and screaming. They all have a very nice metallic visor and it's easy to swap them out. The head can sometimes seem a little loose because of this design though - the ball joint on the neck not being too strong as you wrap both parts of the head around it. It does hold together fine though.


The surface detailing is rather minimal/toonlike as has been the norm for a while now. The paint looks immaculate though and he fits right in with similar sized bots like Ironhide, Ratchet and Inferno. He can also kneel down to chat with the smaller ones.


Masterpiece Trailbreaker is simply excellent. I had a lot of fun posing him around for these photos - particularly with no need to be all that careful with him (looking at you, MP Hound). It's not without a few minor niggles, and I do think I would have preferred if it were closer to black, but overall I am very pleased with how he turned out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments under moderation until I find around this spam thing.