Transformers Masterpiece Rodimus Prime (Toys R Us (TRU) Exclusive) Review

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Autobot leader that always lived in the shadow of Optimus Prime finally gets his Masterpiece treatment

In the animated cartoon movie, Transformers: The Movie (1986), the long loved leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime dies after a tense battle with Megatron and passes the matrix of leadership to Ultra Magnus. A huge planet eating robot, Unicron, rebuilds Megatron into Galvatron. After Galvatron obtains the Autobot matrix by defeating Ultra Magnus, Unicron attacks Cybertron. The matrix falls into the hands of young Autobot warrior, Hot Rod, and he becomes the new Autobot leader, Rodimus Prime.

Since the successful Masterpiece Convoy (MP-01), Takara-Tomy has released at least one new Masterpiece figure, remakes of the original Transformers line of toys (known as Generation 1 or G1) with an emphasis on accuracy to the TV show, each year. To mark the 25th anniversary of Transformers: The Movie from 1986, Takara-Tomy released Masterpiece Rodimus Prime (MP-09) to the Japanese market and like-wise Hasbro released Rodimus Prime to the rest of the world, albeit with some drastic differences. The Takara version is more show accurate while the Hasbro version is more G1 toy accurate.

Front of box:

It's suprisingly small compared to previous Hasbro Masterpieces. If you haven't noticed yet, Hasbro didn't include the Takara trailer from Rodimus Prime

Back of Box:

Correct legs and two left legs:

One of the major assembly defects is giving Offshoot two left legs. You can spot this by looking for the bulge at the bottom of his leg. If the bulge faces inwards then it's correct (left photo). But if both bulges face left to you then you have the assembly defect (right photo).

Out of the box front:

One of the few Hasbro toys where the plastic tray is in front of the toy

Out of the box back:

The top of the tray forms a convenient handle to pull out from the plastic package

Finally out of the plastics:

The first thing you'll notice different from Takara's version is Hasbro's darker grey plastic face, shoulder inlets, and hands. The Hasbro version also has a different flame motif without a black outline and red rather than black lower legs.


Formerly known as Firebolt and totally unique to the Hasbro version of Masterpiece Rodimus Prime.

Front and back:

Offshoot is impressively articulated for such a small figure with double jointed arms, ball joint knees, swirvel head, and hinged shoulders.

Gun mode:

Underneath in gun mode:

There are two handles for Offshoot, one with the side notches for pegging into Rodimus' hand while the other is for hot rod alt mode

Hot rod front:

The headlights are blue while both the Takara and G1 versions are orange. The cockpit is solid red inside and Hasbro uses a different hinge system for the windshield.

Hot rod rear:

The wobbly spoiler. Missing the grey paint around the jet engine and the red paint on the 4 center rear rectanges.

Hot rod bottom:

Getting the arms and chromed side parts to snap into all the pegs and places was very frustrating. I won't be transforming Rodimus into this mode for a long time

Hot rod compared to Classics Rodimus:

The wheel caps for Hasbro are flat grey and not chromed like the Takara version

Hot rod compared to Classics Rodimus top:

In alt mode, Masterpiece Rodimus isn't much bigger than Classics Rodimus. Hasbro used a much darker blue for the windshield.

The engine block opens up to slot guns

The engine block isn't chromed. The hinge that holds the windshield doesn't use clear plastic for the piece connecting to the windshield like on the Takara version

Hot rod with Offshoot:

The other guns work too:

Hasbro has given the guns paint applications while Takara left them flat black.

A tad bigger:

The wobbly engine block causes the gun to tilt downward from the weight

When you really need to bring firepower:

The smaller gun plugs into the back of the bigger gun to form this super gun

Masterpiece Rodimus with Masterpiece Optimus Prime (MP-01):

Be careful of the pin:

When sliding the panels for Rodimus' legs, be careful with the pins or you'll snap it right off

Engine block wear:

Folding the front part of the car downward for bot mode causes the engine block to brush up against the only die cast component on Rodimus and scratch off the orange paint on the black diecast

Hasbro/Tomy copyright:

No more Takara :(


Top of the leg is red on the Hasbro version while it's orange along with the rest of the legs on Takara. The lower arm is unpainted on the Hasbro version while it's painted orange on the Takara version. Neck collar above the flame are unpainted in the Hasbro version but red on Takara.

Right side:

Unlike the Takara version, the re-engineered elbows feature a front facing red flap that sticks out and frequently gets in the way when you bend his arms in.

Left side:

The back pack is almost as bad as Classics Rodimus


Elbow is black plastic while Takara used the same color as the arms

An alternative way to fold the back pack:

This brings the spoiler closer to the body and looks better from the front

Face gimick:

Switch from Hot Rod to Rodimus with the swap of a face. Hot Rod's face is connected to the helmet while Rodimus is connected to the neck. Because of the way this works, you can't tilt Rodimus' head too far back.


Some owners have complained about loose visors. The helmet is left unpainted on the Hasbro version while the Takara has some red paints.

Re-create your favorite scenes:


The thumb is independent while the other four fingers are connected but are double jointed.

Hand gimick:

Opening up the arm reveals the hand gimick. It's red. Takara's is grey.


I don't know why Hasbro didn't stick with clear plastic which Takara uses.

Hand welder:

It's red, Takara's is black

Sticker sheet:

The arrows go on Rodimus' shoulders as they do on his G1 toy. I don't know why they include both an Autobot and a Decepticon logo

The in-chest Matrix:

Very small. It's not chromed. The Takara version is chromed.

Comparison to the included big Matrix:

The Takara version doesn't include the bigger Matrix but it's rumored the re-release will include it.

The included big Matrix compared to Masterpiece Optimus Prime's Matrix:

It's close in size to the one included with Masterpiece Optimus Prime but it's a different mold.

Rodimus with Optimus Prime:

Major size different. The next Masterpiece Optimus Prime (MP-10) will be more closely sized to Rodimus.

Rodimus with Starscream:

Masterpiece Rodimus Prime is more accurate to the G1 toy than the Takara version but sadly doesn't include the trailer for Rodimus Prime's winnebago mode. The Hasbro version of Rodimus Prime is cosmetically different enough from the Takara version that I would recommend the Takara version over the Hasbro version due to the face and lower leg colors. The initial Takara Masterpiece Rodimus Prime was plagued with issues with some being fixed in the Hasbro version and a re-release with fixes coming later this year. If you're careful and/or a risk taker, perhaps a first release Takara Masterpiece Rodimus Prime, which is being priced very low to move, is the best choice for you. But at less than a third of the price Takara's re-release of Rodimus Prime, it's a matter of preference which version you should get. If you need to have the trailer or hate the dark grey face, need all the fixes, and it's worth the extra $130 then go with the Takara re-release. If you just want a fun Hot Rod/Rodimus toy, go with the Hasbro release.

Reproducing your favorite scenes from Transformers The Movie (1986) is epic!


... Rodimus Prime

Eric Toy Score: 4.0 out of 5

Publisher: Hasbro
Year: 2011
MSRP: $59.99


Hey Eric,
Your analysis of the Transformers MP's is excellent. The the detail and effort you have put is is fantastic. I will be mentioning your blog on my face book page. A huge fan !

~ Nargis

The toy is pretty cool and I am defenetly gonna buy it.

thanks for the information on this figure
i think its cool

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