Well, this was a pleasant surprise. Back when rumours were floating around about this guy, I raised a curious eyebrow. The rumours were saying that the trailer would be the base of Menasor and it was very G1 Cartoon looking.
I thought to myself, "You know, that might actually work!"
Then the pictures, it looked nice! Motormaster was to be a commander sized toy, which pleased me greatly. So far my experiences with Commander toys has been wonderful; Sky Lynx is a blast and Rodimus Prime is great fun. So there I was preparing myself for the unholy glory of the bullying leader, the first nemesis of Optimus Prime, the square headed tough guy, to blow me away.
Can he live up to the hype?
Yes he bloody well can!
After you forget the box though. Seriously, like he is in a box that is the same size as Rodimus' and Sky lynx (ish), but he takes up a third of the space. I guess, yay for protective space? It's a little nutty. Also nutty is that good old Japan releases like to slap a massive sticker over 90% of the box (not an accurate estimation).
Let's start with the truck mode. Motormaster here is a big truck. Like, seriously, he's a big chap. I liked the way in the G1 cartoon, it was his thing to want to play chicken with Optimus and here, if Legacy Motormaster and Earthrise Optimus did play chicken, er, well, it'd be the end of Optimus for sure.
Motormaster is bigger, heavier and bulkier than Optimus. He still looks very similar to his original G1 self, just much, much bigger. This time though, the trailer and truck are separate, so the cab becomes Motormaster and the trailer becomes a base and the skeleton (of sorts) for Menasor. I really like the truck cab, it has the sleeper compartment on the top, looks as solid as a brick and has lots of trucky detail moulded in. He is missing exhaust pipes though, just like the G1 toy! Incidentally, I mangled my G1 Motormaster so the cab separated from the trailer.
Paint work is ok. He has the silver grill and purple windows. On the top windows (of the sleeper section) there are some tech details sculpted in. These make more sense for robot mode as they cover his knees. Overall he looks pretty satisfactory, aside from the big white blocks on the side. They are there for the robot mode (I guess, they actually join into the underarms, so could have gotten away with being black). And it's kind of a shame as I'm sure that black would look good there, especially since he has the purple fuel tanks. It's nice to see that he has painted wheel rims. The little bits of white that go to the truck bed kind of break up the black a bit and would normally be obscured by the trailer.
From the back though, the cab falls apart a bit. There is a big hole in the bed where the trailer connects(Again, normally obscured by the trailer) and robot groin and torso is somewhat noticeable when looking at the back wall as well. Essentially the front of the cab is mostly panels that cleverly fold away for robot mode and the rear of cab has no panels, revealing nekkid robot parts.
Comparing his cab to the Unite Warriors one reveals some interesting stuff. Kinda. They are about the same size. I still like the look of the UW version, as an alternate take on Motormaster.
Of course they had no plans for a trailer for the UW one, so there ya go.
So one could say that Motormaster here is indeed a shell former.
However, one can't deny that the cab looks great.
So let's check out the trailer now shall we?
When I first saw pictures, I felt the trailer was a little bit too short, then when I first got the toy, I STILL thought the trailer was a little bit too short. But, it turns out that it isn't. I think if it were longer, it would be too long. Maybe.
The trailer sports a lovely purple streak that should run all the way down the side, but it doesn't. I'm going to assume that this is due to unpaintable plastic? It sucks as it takes a bit of the classiness away from it a little.
Luckily though, he does have many Decepticon insignias on him. It always bugs me when they don't have their insignias on them. Old Bendy Armada Prime didn't have his, and I was horrified, he was the leader!! The movie toys often didn't have them, which sucked as they were generally grey coloured and somewhat similar looking, so they needed all the differentiation they could get! Motormaster's trailer has 3.
Looking from the front, you can see the eventual chest of Menasor. Around the sides you have some decent truck trailer sculpting (lines) and the back looks... er nondescript. Underneath is a huge bunch of chunk and some flimsy looking wheel flaps. Once again, it's nice to see painted wheel rims(a rarity on modern toys). You can also pull down some legs for a free-standing trailer. Although my fingers can't get it and I often need to bust out a prising tool of some description.
His weapons are stored within the trailer, one even making up part of the roof. It appears that Motormaster can't be roadblastered (you knew it was gonna be mentioned some time right?) up.
|Poor little baby left out....|
Or can he?
With a bit of disassembly, he can. The gun sits in the roof of the trailer, so I have discovered two possible attack configurations. One looks cool, but could place stress on the moulding, the other doesn't look as cool, but is a safer option.
So for the sake of creating tension, here we go with the not as cool one first. You're welcome!
And now for the better looking one. Sure I guess you could say it's a bit less practical, but eh, who cares?
His truck mode looks suitably kick arse with the others in the "team" as well. Hmmm baby!
The trailer is way much biggerer than it should be for other trucks, and none can haul it as well as Motormaster.
Motormaster is actually the biggest of all the trucks I currently posses, so that's pretty cool.
|This makes Optimus' crappy little trailer even worse...|
The Trailer's extra Bits!
The trailer this time forms both the skeleton as it were of Menasor as well as a base mode for Motormaster. Like God Bomber, it has to be pulled apart and re-joined to form either modes.
|So Motormaster is a shell-former and a parts-former. Two faux paus in one!|
This is the base mode.
It's okay, I like the gun turret thing, it has a little visor thingo on the back is cute and the base manages to spread itself out a fair bit. There is no compatibility with other bases. Trypticon maybe, as yet untested, but it'll just be a weak plug in if anything at all.
The gun turret can be separately handled off the base, if you want to do that.
One thing that is missing is the little car thing that plugged onto the chest of Menasor. In the Unite Warriors/Combiner Wars toys, this was Runabout/Blackjack. I'm not too sure if it ever had a name, but the original Japanese releases allowed the trailer to have a spring mounted launcher thing, just like Optimus. That little guy is missing here.
The base works well, although it's a bit too big for deluxe figures to man the gun, but, voyager and leaders seem to do all right.
Overall I don't mind this base, it manages to look decent enough and kind of base like. You know, like G2 Optimus kind of thing.
The cab's extra BitS!
Now back to Motormaster. He actually transforms. Essentially everything is in the legs. You unfold the cab and the truck panels all fold neatly to bulk his legs up.
One part I particularly like is the way the feet are formed. To emulate the look of the whole cab being his feet, you crack open the shell that forms the grill of the vehicle and reveal some fake mini-truck cabs which become his feet. They even have cute little wheels moulded onto the bottom(rollerskates FTW!)! This also allows him to have a decent bit of ankle action in there too.
Articulation (of the robot) is pretty damn good. The legs have lots of joints in them, and you can fake a toe joint by using the, er, toes, which have a joint in them thanks to Menasor-i-fi-cation.
Now he can use the sword that was hidden inside the trailer. It's a fat arse sword, but not so long as to be cool, like Guts from Berserk... A bit of shame as it's a tad too short for Menasor as well.... Bummer. The good thing is, if you fiddle with the joints in the wrist and the ones used for transforming, you can fudge a pointing the sword thing.
You can also mess about with his shoulders and if you dislocate a transformation joint, you can almost make him across his chest. But it can look really shitty, so be careful with those angles!
|I'll juts pop that baby back in... she'll be right mate.|
The cannon from the base mode though, er, doesn't quite work for Motormaster. He can hold it, but I've not yet found a configuration that I'm entirely happy with. There's one that's kinda "Eeeh, it'll do," but I'd have preferred a proper gun.
You can also slap him on the base mode. "Oh my" I hear you cry, "who would've thought that?" It looks all right. He needs a bit of messing about to get him posed on it, but it looks pretty good. I do like that the gun has a little visor/viewing port thingamajig for you to place near his face. It even has little goggles moulded in there too. Awww cute!
What else was there to say?
Oh yeah, paint work! He has a reasonable bit of paint on him. Purple is the main one, but you'll also notice that there is a lot of white on the arms. Which stems from the cartoon look. How? I dunno. Maybe it was the way the silver of the trailer was interpreted. Anyway it breaks up the darkness of the robot nicely. He has some slight purple highlights here and there which is cool.
His profile is surprisingly slim as well. I rather like the way the bed of the truck folds up and fairly tightly on his back. It adds some nice bulk and you can use the trailer port for holding weapons. Sadly, not his own. I do wish the sword had a peg somewhere so you could mount it on his back.
He is a good size, but comes off quite a bit larger and bulkier than Optimus Prime, but they are the same height, which it correct according to the size charts. I guess the fault lays with Earthrise Optimus's long legs reducing some of his power look. To my eye, I think Optimus should be a bit bigger than he is, but then I'd like the bad guys to be bulkier than than the good guys anyway, so, eh, I guess things are just fine as they are and I shouldn't have said anything.
Luckily though, Galvatron manages to out-presence Motormaster. As he should, if it were any other way, I would have a melted pool of plastic where my Motormaster should be.
ALL HAIL GALVATRON!
*Ahem* now, er where was I?
Oh yeah summarising Motormaster.
Believe it or not.
So, in case you haven't noticed, I am somewhat enamoured with Motormaster here. He makes a pretty fine looking truck and a well-articulated, good-looking robot that satisfactorily ticks all the boxes that Motormaster requires ticked.
Final Superfluous rating