Monday, 6 April 2015

Transformers MP-23 Masterpiece Exhaust Review

Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust

Probably the most obscure Transformers character I have ever dipped into my wallet to purchase, Exhaust is a repaint of Masterpiece Wheeljack.

This time we have something a little bit more special though, as Masterpiece Exhaust is modern update of a Diaclone figure, based on the Marlboro version of the Lancia - previously know as "Marlboor" in Transformers fandom.

Exhaust has had a bit of rough time, with Phillip Morris Tobacco Company shutting down all sales by retailers outside of Japan, so it is quite lucky that I ordered mine from a Japanese store as soon as it was listed.

So now he has an official name, and a new toy which managed to avoid the clutches of the Tobacco industry - is it any good?

Hit the jump to behold the glory of Masterpiece MP023 Exhaust, or click here if you want a more in depth view review of the mold as Wheeljack

Car Mode

Transformers MP 23 Exhaust

In car mode, Exhaust is identical to Wheeljack in molding right down to the weapon mount on the roof.

It is the Lancia Stratos racing car, with all of the same details and design flourishes.

If you do want more insight on the actual mold, then head on over to my Wheeljack review.

Transformers MP-23 Masterpiece Exhaust
Transformers MP-23 Masterpiece Exhaust 
What is different though, is the paint scheme which in Red and White is absolutely stunning.
No really, it is gorgeous.

Just look at it.

So pretty.

takara masterpiece exhaust tail lights

When it was originally listed, Takara had a much more accurate Marlboro style triangle on the hood, but it amended it once Phillip Morris saw it, and started trying to get it banned from sale.

Sadly the change made no difference outside of Japan, so really Takara could have left it as it was. But the change does not spoil the design, as it still look fantastic, as the new design tapers along the vents on the cars hood.

Clearly they could not use the Marlboro branding, and so Takara have instead made the Lancia branding more prominent (even using the Marlboro font), and a handful of made up sponsors.
Similar to what they did with Smokescreen and Wheeljack.

I'd quite like a good sticker set to upgrade the toy, but at the same time the sticker edges will spoil somewhat the utterly gorgeous look of the deco.

transformers masterpiece malboor

The windscreen, front grill and lights are now dark Blue clear plastic which looks really nice.

Just like Wheeljack, Exhausts shoulder launchers (which are new) can mount on the roof via a peg hole. The peg hole can actually stay up, and it looks like there is a spring mechanism on it, when the missile pods are not plugged in - but on mine it just seems to drop down inside the rear of the car.

I love the missile pods way more than Wheeljack's as they clip together, but one is set slightly further back so it looks way cool. Attack mode Exhaust!

All in all, I adore this car mode and it is how I will display him on my shelf. I cannot emphasise enough just how beautiful it is to look at.

But it does not make me want to take up smoking, Phil, if you are a reading.

Robot Mode

Transformers MP-23 Masterpiece Exhaust wheeljack

The transformation is exactly the same for Wheeljack's, and yes that includes the slightly scary folding out wings.
I love this mold, but am not a big fan of the transformation as bits of it can be sweat inducing with making you think something may break.

The wings are also translucent blue, and looking at them I wonder if they would look better on Wheeljack?

Red paint covers the chest/car roof and again that solid colour looks a bit better than Wheeljack. In fact the deco works really well in bot mode too, it just feels less busy than Wheeljack's.
What is new here is the Decepticon badge, as the original Diaclone figure pre dates the Transformers branding so had not chosen whether he was a goodie or a baddie yet.

Nice to have another Decepticon to round out the ranks though.

Transformers Masterpiece Exhaust face

There is some new molding, in the form of a brand new head which is just as wonderful looking as the paint job.

The shoulder launchers are the same as Wheeljack's original toy launchers, so if you wish you can make your Wheeljack toy accurate instead of toon accurate.

If that is you sort of thing.

The missiles do come out, but are not spring loaded so children around the globe will not lose eyeballs. I like to pose him holding one as if it is a giant cigar...because why not.

Marlboor (ha!), also comes with Wheeljacks gun, but it is painted a darker silver so you do not have to worry about getting them mixed up - Takara got your back yo.

The final accessory continues Takaras recent trend of bundling in items from episodes of the cartoon, and Wheeljacks Immobilizer device. I like little additions like this, as they add a bit of variety to a line up of toys on a shelf moslty grasping weapons that could level half of a city.
It is a cool sculpt, and you assemble it yourself, but mine now lives in Wheeljacks hand

Takara MP 23 Exhaust masterpiece marlboor

I have focused purely on the changes to this figure, which are mostly deco related, so apologies for the lack of the usual depth.

When I first pre-ordered Exhaust, I had a slight ping of buyers remorse as the character (or lack of) meant nothing to me, and I was trying to keep my collection streamlined (see:I need a better paying job). But opening the box, and seeing it in hand this toy blew me away.
The advance photos looked nice, but nothing special, so it is a case of a toy that photography really does not do justice.

If you can find Exhaust for a reasonable price, and you like the livery, then you should absolutely buy it and you will not be disappointed. If you buy based on character, then Exhaust probably is not for you and nothing I say will change that.

However Exhaust has for me been the biggest surprise of all the toys I have bought, and totally swayed me in a way I did not expect at all.

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