TakaraTomy and Hasbro Masterpiece Fairlady Z (Nissan 280ZX)

Mega Review: Includes Prowl, (Blue)Streak, and Smokescreen

Packaging & Extras: TakaraTomy Releases: (2.5/5), Hasbro Release: (2/5)
The standard TakaraTomy packaging is average, devoid of art, with a few pictures and Japanese text that seems to tout the features.  These toys come in a small box (about 15x7x21CM), there’s no flip-top lid to let you see the goods inside, and there’s not a whole lot inside of them. Hasbro returns to their rebooted masterpiece style for this release but sweet Jesus did they employ some deceptive packaging to make you hope you were getting something more.  The Hasbro box balloons to about 28x28x8CM.  You literally could fit all three 280ZX in the Hasbro box had they opted for vehicle mode packaging like TakaraTomy had.   Beyond the toy in a plastic tray you’ll get:
1) Gun (with alternating grips)
2) Instructions
3) Bio card*
4) Missile launchers**
*TakaraTomy releases only
** Silverstreak event and Amazon Japan exclusives only
I was a little bit shocked that Hasbro didn’t include the missile launchers that were packaged with Silverstreak or included with the Japanese Amazon purchase of the original toys.  There are third-party rocket launchers available.  Hasbro also copied the instructions from Takara but Takara packaged their toys in vehicle mode so the transformation shows you how to get to bot mode.  You would think that Hasbro would have given us instructions for how to go from bot to car mode since they packaged the toy in bot mode.

Charm & Collectability: (2.5/5)
One could argue that Prowl deserves a higher score here but the incredibly wide availability of knock-off toys of similar quality impacts this score the most.  As one could imagine, this score would have been higher immediately following release before the knock-off flood.  The discounted prices of knock-offs also makes Hasbro’s pricing more of a head scratcher.  While previous Hasbro releases were generally much cheaper than their TakaraTomy counterparts, the Hasbro Prowl was more expensive.  As is standard for the masterpiece line, don’t expect rubber tires or metal content.
TakaraTomy releases:
MP-17 Prowl, September 2013, MSRP 5,800
MP-18 Streak, October 2013, MSRP 5,800
MP-19 Smokescreen, December 2013, MSRP 6,500
MP-18S Silverstreak G1 colors, Tokyo Toy Show 2014 exclusive June 2014, MSRP 6,500 Yen

Hasbro releases:
MP-04 Prowl, August 2014, $69.99
MP-06 Bluestreak, July 2015, $69.99

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (8.5/10)
These toys have some very nice detail work but they fall a little short of my own definition of what would constitute a ‘masterpiece’.  The tail lights are painted on which is better than being a decal but worse than being separate translucent plastic pieces.  The seams are relatively tight and everything comes together tightly enough that car mode looks and feels cohesive.  Detail work is sharp including the Z on the hood.  The see through windows are nice but they come at the cost of exposing the internal workings for anyone peering in closely.  Bot mode looks great provided you ignore the backs of the legs which are left uncovered exposing their internal workings.  The detail on the inside of the doors is a nice touch. Hasbro MP-04 Prowl is easily separated from the TT version by the sharpness of paint on the side door emblem. Hasbro MP-06 Silverstreak has very minimal visual differences from TakaraTomy’s MP-18 including brighter Autobot logo, a less defined antenna, and  an ever-so-slightly more silver hue, .

Design: (8/10)
This toy has perfect transformation and the transformation mechanisms are well hidden with a few exceptions.  As with practically all Transformers, the bottom of vehicle mode shows some bot parts but it’s not a terrible offender in this capacity.  As mentioned previously, in car mode you can also peer through the windows and see transformation mechanisms and in bot mode the empty cavities of the legs are exposed.  The gun can attach to top of the vehicle.  For Prowl this is accomplished by swinging the grip of the gun forward revealing an angled peg that slides into the back of his light bar.  For (Blue/Silver)Streak and Smoke Screen a slot must be pulled up from within the car to accept the gun.  It’s a little clunky pulling this peg up but at least it’s an integrated solution and I don’t know that many people will be attaching the gun anyway.  The wheels all spin in vehicle mode although clearance from the ground is fairly tight.The weapons on either side of the bot’s head can be recessed.  When in their up position, those weapons can be extended.  In an ideal world, I would have loved for them to have figured out some way to recess the chest a little bit more.

Durability & Build: (8.5/10)
There have been lots of complaints of minor paint flaws on these toys.  I like the that the mirrors are rubbery since they’re fairly precariously placed given how the toy will be handled.  The hands do an adequate job of holding the gun but sometimes the slot in the hand seems a little far back which angles the gun (I only had this problem on my Smokescreen toy).  I haven’t heard of a common area for breakages to occur yet but if I do I’ll be sure to bring down this score. By far my worst toy is my Hasbro MP-06 which has an obvious paint flaw on one elbow, minor paint flaws on the chest, and refuses to fit together properly in vehicle mode. If all of my Fairlady Z toys were like my Hasbro MP-06 the score would be lower here so let me know if you have had similar issues.

Articulation: (9/10)
This toy has two glaring articulation flaws but is otherwise great.  First, the uniboob gets in the way, a lot.  Second, the feet, though well articulated, are very large.  The head isn’t on a ball joint but that was less bothersome to me.  You do get shoulders that pivot up/down and slightly front/back as well as rotate 360 degrees (though the doors will hit the arms at some point).  You can rotate the arm 360 degrees at the elbow and the elbow is double-jointed allowing a full 180 degree range of motion.  The hands rotate and the four fingers pivot open/closed.  The waist allows 360 degrees of motion.  The hips are phenomenal allowing full splits but you can’t quite achieve a 90 degree angle forward or back.  There’s a rotation point just below the hip.  The knees let you get a little angle forward and a full 180 degrees back.  While the feet are clunky, you can angle them slightly in/out and bring the toe down/up.

Total Score: TakaraTomy (39/50), Hasbro (38.5/50)
This is an easy toy to recommend but the question of how much is a good price deserves some serious consideration.  The TRU price of $69.99 seems like highway robbery (I paid $60 for my Hasbro releases at SDCC14 and SDCC15).  There is no way this toy should run more than $49.99 so definitely hunt for coupons.  When this toy was initially announced I expected a Hasbro version would cost $39.99 and include the Amazon of Japan exclusive missile launchers.  It’s amazing how wrong I was.  At 15CM long in car mode the toy is roughly 1/30 scale and it’s kind of hard to imagine how, at this scale, they could have done a much better job with him.  Obviously Transformers are much more concerned with scale in bot mode and you can see on the back of the Takara box how Prowl sizes up to MP-10 Prime (Prowl is a little less than 16.5CM tall to the top of his head). All my TakaraTomy toys are of excellent quality so if my experience with Hasbro’s MP-06 is mirrored by others I’d definitely look to the Far East.

Updated July 30, 2015: Now includes information on Hasbro MP-06 Bluestreak including comparisons to TakaraTomy’s MP-18 Streak and an HD video review.

Originally posted: September 4, 2014

3 Replies to “TakaraTomy and Hasbro Masterpiece Fairlady Z (Nissan 280ZX)”

  1. Great review as always. Just a note, the link for the image that shows the car mode details is not working man. Greets.

Leave a Reply