Mega Review: Includes Takara, Hasbro, and Hasbro Event Exclusive variants
Packaging & Extras: (2/5) HasbroThe exterior box looks really good in my opinion with nice art and a visual flair that pops. The box is made of reasonably thick cardboard but all of the boxes appear to have more in them than Hasbro intended as they all look like they’re trying to burst out at the tape. Do not doubt this toy is huge. The box is 61CM tall, 37CM wide, and 15.5CM deep. It may not be the biggest box you own even if it might be the biggest toy. I suppose you could call the packaging ‘efficient’ if it wasn’t so damn cheap. Inside you’ll find the toy harnessed into cardboard via a thousand or so recycled paper twist ties mated to black plastic traps. You’ll also notice a stray arm. Don’t flip the box over as the one missile the toy includes is just rolling around in there and it’s dark gray so it could be lost. Instructions and stickers are sleeved into slots on a cover piece of brown cardboard. As you might expect, once the arm is attached it must be removed if you wish to return the toy to the box. Contents:
1) Transformable Scamper figure in alt mode
2) 1 x Missile
3) 1 x Red Missile Launcher (mounts to right shoulder or held in hand)
4) 2 x black guns (mount to exterior of arms)
5) Transformation instructions
6) Sticker placement instructions (separate paper)
It’s too bad we don’t get Slammer, or Sixgun. Seeing as Scamper has been so nicely improved it would have been great to see what could have been done with those guys.
Packaging & Extras: (4/5)
Hasbro Event ExclusiveThe artwork on the event exclusive is a notch above the standard release although it is a little questionable that some of the smaller Autobots appear to be running directly into a hole. Just like the standard release, the quality of the cardboard is decent but again there seems to be a little too much packed in as the exterior seals are always bursting at the seams. This toy takes the ‘wow that’s a big box’ of the standard release toy to the next level coming in at a staggering 67CM tall, 56CM wide, and 19CM deep. The outermost portion of the box is a sleeve complete with a handle so this behemoth can be carried like a suitcase. You can slide out an inner tray that then reveals the toy in a nicely detailed box with large clear window for forever mint displaying. Watch out for that suitcase handle if you ever try to put the toy back in that sleeve. I would have scored this toy higher here but to get to the point where you can remove the sleeve you have to break a lot of seals and since some of those seals are already bursting there’s a good chance your forever mint box is going to have some damage to it. Once you have the sleeve out you still need to get through a dozen or so twist ties to actually free Metroplex from his plastic tomb. There’s some nice velcro at the top of the box that holds the left and right side together (as well as some tape seals). Once the velcro is released the sides can fall away but the effect is diminished due to the use of additional unbound plastic inserts that will also fall away. Inside the box you’ll get the following:
1) Transformable Scamper figure in bot mode
2) 2 x Missile
3) 2 x Missile Launcher
4) 2 x black guns
5) Transformation instructions
6) Sticker placement instructions
7) Stickers (foil)
8) 12 x Mini figures (red & purple SDCC, silver & gold ACG) Hoist robot, Hoist vehicle, Trailbreaker robot, Trailbreaker vehicle, Orion Pax robot, Orion Pax vehicle, Megatron robot, Megatron vehicle, Bumblebee robot, Bumblebee vehicle, Thundercracker robot, and Thundercracker vehicle
Packaging & Extras: (3/5) TakaraTomyThe TakaraTomy box is slightly larger than the Hasbro regular release coming in at 60CM tall, 40CM wide, and 23CM deep. The artwork is similar to the standard Hasbro release but the extraneous Autobots have been removed. The larger box afforded TT the ability to package the toy complete… there’s no need to install an arm. From a packaging perspective that’s where the improvements over the Hasbro regular release end. The TT toy is also tied down by a seemingly endless number of twist ties and unlike the Hasbro ties these ones aren’t paper, they’re plastic coated wire. Your scissors are useless against them. TT also goes the extra mile and tapes down the black traps for the twist ties. This means to remove the twist ties you’ll need to first remove tape (or snip away with snips or wire cutters). Accessories are included on an extra piece of cardboard that is taped into position. The instructions and stickers are included in a plastic bag that is taped to the side of the cardboard tray. No one is ever going to mistake the insides of this box for a premium toy. The contents are nice though, you get the following:
1) Transformable Scamper figure in alt mode (weapon is detached)
2) 2 x Missile
3) 2 x Missile Launcher
4) 2 x black guns
5) Transformation and sticker placement instructions (all on one sheet)
6) Stickers (foil)
Charm & Collectabilty: (4/5)
The event exclusives may prove to be more desirable unless there are plans for them to be perennially available at more conventions. The first event exclusive version was available at Comic-Con 2013 (July) in San Diego, CA for $149.99. The box tells you to ‘collect them all’ and indicates this is 01 of 30. The second event exclusive version was available in Hong Kong at the ACG-con later in July 2013 for an MSRP of 1,399HKD. This box indicates the toy is 05 of 30. Check out the transformers wiki and search for ‘thrilling 30’ to see a list of all of the toys in this special series. The Hasbro regular release hit shelves in the end of July with an MSRP of $124.99. TakaraTomy released their TG-23 Metroplex on September 28, 2013 with an MSRP of 19,000 Yen. The Hasbro regular release was available as cheap as $79.99 from Costco at one point. The Takara release is currently in the window where vendors are discounting it. I would expect all of these toys to eventually become hard to come by and demand at least a small premium. It is the biggest Autobot ever afterall… How big is he? In bot mode he’s 56 CM tall (to top of head, 62 to top of black shoulder guns if installed), 43.5 CM wide (with black shoulder guns installed), and 17 CM deep. In Carrier mode he’s 82CM long, 47CM wide, and 29CM tall. In city mode he’s 55 CM wide, 26 (to top of head, does not include towers) CM tall, and 72 CM deep.
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (6.5/10) Hasbro, (7/10)Takara
Being this huge it’s easy to be let down by the sculpt and detail work on this toy. The paint apps on the Hasbro releases are incredibly sparse, relying heavily on the included sticker sheets. It feels a little misleading since the box shows a weathered Metroplex and you get a very shiny toy. Takara did a much better job in bot mode but their revisions won’t appeal to many in the other modes where the large white expanses look dull. Check out the comparison pictures above and below to get a feel for the various paint differences between the two brands. The bigger let down in terms of sculpt come from all the cavities that cover the toy. I guess when you’re making a toy this large every bit of plastic you can avoid using helps but it really does make the toy look cheap. Then again, no one ever claimed this was a masterpiece toy so I suppose we should be forgiving of such shortcuts. Carrier and city modes don’t look particularly impressive with only minor efforts taken to conceal bot mode. Scamper looks really good, as long as you don’t look at what’s beneath the wheels. His bot mode is a little funky but still very nice. The Takara version gives us the Autobot logo on the chest.
The transformations are incredibly simplistic, check out the attached video for a quick transformation run through. The gimmicks are modest. Tilting the head forward drops down some targeting glasses in front of Metroplex’s eyes making him appear more G1 cartoon accurate. The big red guns shoot. The repair grapple opens and closes. The chest cavity opens and can easily accommodate Scamper. The head turret rotates and has a flip out targeting device. Transformation does require pulling off the guns and then reapplying them in different areas. That’s fairly standard for most toys but the guns are so massive here they feel like they should be more integral. Fortunately there are plenty of cavities across the toy to mount those guns to which adds to the play factor. Unfortunately, the hands don’t go anywhere during transformation which often looks pretty silly. The toy features lights and sounds. I’m not really thrilled with the implementation of the gimmick. There are two types of sounds. Metroplex either says something or he makes transformation sounds. It seems like it’d be nice to choose which sound he’ll make but the toy just alternates between transformation sound and quote. The lights also feel like they should be able to operate separately but instead the eyes and chest just blink as the sounds are being made. This renders the lever behind the head that lets you move Metroplex’s eyes essentially useless since you can only see those eyes for the brief moment they’re blinking. It would also have been nice if things locked together in the alt modes as walking around with the toy in city mode is like carrying a sleeping octopus. Scamper has graduated from being a flip and pull transformation to feeling like a legitimate transformer and he adds a fair amount of play value.
Durability & Build: (8/10)The build quality could certainly be better. There are parts that don’t fill crisp but given the mass of this toy and the price point that should be expected. The toy also has a hard time getting over its own heft. The hips and knees will flop during transformation and the toy will prove huge and gangly. I suppose this could lead to breaks during transformation but since everything is so basic that’s probably pretty unlikely.
Articulation: (8/10)While articulation is fairly good it should be noted that posing this toy can be challenging due to the heft of the chest and individual limbs. Poses that might involve Metroplex leaning will likely involve your toy toppling. The joints are sufficiently stiff when new but God help you if they get loose. There are a few points of articulation that are missing that really bummed me out:
1) The head can’t look up or down
2) No ankles
3) The wrists can bend inward but not outward
4) When a turret, the head rotation is limited
5) It seems like the cannon that flips out from the chest should also have a little left/right action in carrier mode as should the arm cannon in city mode (I suppose you can just move the arm)
Total Score: (35.5-37.5/50)
The Hasbro regular release version of this toy isn’t anything special beyond its massive hulking size. The Hasbro special release does better to appeal to the higher end toy collector and the decoys are a fun callback. I think bot mode is where all these Metroplex toys shine and so I really like the Takara version for its extra paint apps. If you’re not a huge Metroplex fan or have at all limited display space, this can be an easy pass for you. If you have a soft spot for Metroplex then there’s no doubt this toy is a significant upgrade from G1. I don’t have an army of Fall of Cyberton toys around to make Metroplex into a playset for but it seems like he should fit that bill very nicely. Now, where’s Trypticon?