Friday, 4 September 2015

Transformers Masterpiece MP-18B Bluestreak Review

masterpiece mp18b bluestreak
Transformers Masterpiece MP-18B Bluestreak - orginal Geewunner
After 4 waves of Combiner Wars, a handful of new toys for cartoon show toy line that seems to be listening to its last rites, and a smattering of Masterpiece releases - the end of the year, and Christmas, is on the horizon.

Fitting then that, with Takaras latest Masterpiece MP-18B Bluestreak release, it is something of a special gift to a portion of collectors who have spent 30 years wondering about this particular design, and wanting to hold it in their hands in a manner akin Indiana Jones holding the idol.

MP-18B Bluestreak is based on the Blue sided design we saw on the original toys box and instructions, that became a school yard myth where there was always one kid claiming to own it - and cartoon accurate Skyfire.

Now Takara have given Bluestreak a fresh new outfit in the hope of satiating a vocal element of their fan base - and making a few pennies along the way. A Takara Tomy Mall exclusive in Japan, it is still tougher to get than the regular Masterpieces, but not as impossible as its progenitor.

Hit the button below to see if Masterpiece MP-18B Bluestreak lives up to the hype

Masterpiece bluestreak mp-18b

Bluestreak transforms into Datsun 2807x Turbo (thanks again TFWiki!), and is the same car we have seen 3 times before in the first release of Masterpiece Bluestreak, Silverstreak and Prowl.
Smokescreen was remolded, so I left him out.

Where this differentiates itself from its mold mates is the paint job, and that is why we are all here and so intrigued by this toy.

Blue sided Bluestreak has a gorgeously deep Blue, and bright Silver paint adorning its body. The Blue is much deeper than I was expecting as my brain always remembers it as being lighter on the box (but then, I am old, memory creep has set in...). In the 80's I had a 3D transformable jigsaw that I got from a jungle sale (remember those, when you may find an errant Castle Grayskull, always missing the accessories) that suckered me in, that was also pretty dark in fairness.

That 3D Jigsaw by the way, was so nifty it even included pieces for the missile launchers and I ended up playing with it with my actual Transformer toys.

Becuase that paint job was also featured on the G1 toys packaging and instructions you have to wonder if it was Hasbro's original intent to release him decked out this way, rather than the Silver toy we actually got. Or maybe they were so confused by the Japanese language - they couldn't even understand pictures.

Back to the paint, and the Blue is so deep and lush and there is no way to look at it and be at least a little charmed. Of all the Datsun paint jobs, this is perhaps the nicest and not just from a "I always wanted it as a kid!" point of view.

There are a couple of minor marks on the hood, but nothing that I would have noticed had I not been looking at it for an hour or so taking dozens of photos.

transformers masterpiece blue sided bluestreak mp-18b

The car itself is fantastic, and is being overshadowed by my effusive praise for the colour scheme - so I should probably talk about it.

Being very accurate to the original car, it captures that gorgeous 80's curved aesthetic perfectly. This car, along with the Lamborghini Countach and Kitt from Knight Rider perfectly encapsulate 80's car design to me (even though I believe this car was actually released in the very late 70's -shooting down my theory entirely).

Details like the circular headlights, that are clear plastic but with something backing them are really striking, and make it feel like a great model that car collectors would be happy to line up on their shelves.

An Autobot logo is painted to the front, which somehow seems out of place with this toys Diaclone roots - but it still looks nice against the bright Silver. Also, it serves to pull your eyes in from the Blue and don't go cross eyed.

masterpiece mp-18b bluestreak lights

The small wing mirrors on the sides are quite interesting when you consider that each of the masterpiece cars following this mold have all come with mirrors still on the sprues, that need to be attached by the owner.

Blue paint sweeps round the back and absorbs the rear of the car, save for the windows, and if you look through those windows you can some piston type detailing and it is subtle enough not to draw too much attention away from the paint job.
One of my favourite things about this mold, has always been the Orange and Red painted tail lights. They are brilliantly chunky, in an era of toys when lights are often just small dots of paint- this really strikes that G1 80's chord sweetly.

An exhaust can be spotted protruding from the underside, which is a cool touch, but I don't think I would notice if it was not there. What does draw my eye are peg holes on either side of the bumper, which exist to facilitate the attachment of Bluestreaks missile launchers. His rifle can peg onto the roof, via a flip out piece just like the others to give him a strange attack mode.
Points for trying though Takara.

Despite owning 3 of the Datsun mold, Masterpiece MP-18B Bluestreak is still a fresh toy, and the colour are beautiful and retro. I can't pick a favourite, as all of the Datsuns have fantastic alt modes and paint jobs, and MP-18B Bluestreak is in worthy company.

masterpiece mp18b bluestreak diaclone

Transforming Bluestreak requires the same teeth gritting as Prowl and pals, Pieces have to be snapped apart, or back together...scary stuff.

You start by pulling the back apart,unfolding the arms, then flip the head through the hole in the hood, rotate the wing mirror panels to the underside of the hood, snap the torso together via the black panel that was housing the head, spin the waist, flip the underside of the back down, accordion the legs out, pull the feet out from the sides, then rotate the waist.

Ta da! *takes deep breath*

It is far from my favourite toy transformation, but at one stage I found myself pausing for a moment and had to double take that I was actually transforming a Blue Bluestreak toy. Nostalgia had me tightly gripped, but it made me smile, and suddenly appreciate all the years of collecting along the way from the original to this.
Funny eh?

MP18B Bluestreak is a stunning piece once fully transformed and in your palm. Instantly there is something more striking to him than any of the others. The colours I would imagine, it is all about the colours.

transformers masterpiece mp18b bluestreak head

Just like the others (except Smokescreen), Masterpiece MP18B Bluestreak is equipped with twin shoulder cannons with flip out and extend.

Unlike the others, Bluestreak does actually come with both mountable launcher accessories. Prowl came with one (yes, just a stingy one) as an exclusive, as did the original release of Bluestreak (I actually took a peek at these here).
Thankfully, far from being some daft extra that you have to jump through hoops over Shark infested waters to acquire, Takara gave us both launchers, spruced up with lovely shiny Silver paint, to fully complete that perfect homage to that toy.

But Takara decided a new coat of paint, and some launchers were not enough-they needed to go that extra mile,

So right, at first glance, this is just Masterpiece Bluestreak, painted in Blue yeah? Errr no.
To keep with accuracy to the original toy, Takara went that extra mile and actually used the Prowl mold, but removed the Police light bar. See, the original Prowl and Bluestreak were the same except for Prowls light bar - it was only the animators in the cartoon who gave them some unique details like different heads and waists. Smokescreen had a fair few remolded parts but Prowl and Bluestreak were effectively the same toy.

So this figure is Bluestreak, but with Prowls head and waist. That is a severe commitment to accuracy right there, no half measures.

masterpiece bluestreak mp-18b

Masterpiece MP-18B Bluestreak does come with the a gun and yes it is the standard Datsun mold rifle. Nothing new to report from the first Bluestreak and also Prowl, but if you are fussy about getting them mixed with the wrong bots - fear not because Takara has made the handle Blue so you know who it belongs to,

It is a nice rifle, and makes me pine for the day when Hasbro's Generations figures did not come with guns that have hollowed out sides. Reminds me of those toy maze games where you have to manipulate the marble to the bottom.

Something that is a bit frustrating, is that neither of his hands hold it well - or straight. Sure, the standard Masterpiece pegs on the side of the hands, and slots in hands combo is there, but there seems to be some excess plastic on the back of his hands which stops it sitting right. I had this same problem with Smokescreen, and scraping it away with a craft knife may help fix it.
But I am not responsible if you scar your toys. So no angry emails, please.

masterpiece blue bluestreak datsuns
This is why nobody ever sees him in fiction 

MP-18B Bluestreak has all of the same articulation as the others, so if you have handled this mold before you know where you stand (or how they stand I guess). If you haven't, well its lots of arm movement, and fiddling with the feet to make them look flat and natural.

All of his joints are tight, in fact they are really tight, and where where the lower leg meets the knee it snaps into place on mine much more forcibly than any of the others. His waist was really tough to swivel during transformation and I was concerned it may snap if I applied too much force, but it was just messing with me and eventually spun round.

Whereas Prowl had a droopy arm that looked depressed with its slow side down wards (I nicknamed him Eeore when I was last playing with him. Because I play with my toys. Like a child), both of Bluestreaks arms hold position with force.

masterpiece mp18b bluestreak

I seem to have gotten quite lucky with quality control, as I have read a fair few reports of people having quite major problems. Missing screws, massive scratches, all that sort of thing and whilst mine has a few marks there is nothing that you would really notice without searching.

In fact, of the 4 Datsuns, MP-18B has the best QC of all.

masterpiece autobot cars

30 years of wanting this toy have bought me to this moment, and sometimes you can be a bit disappointed when you finally attain something you have long craved. It just doesn't live up what you built it up to be in your mind - it was better left as a desire or myth.

Fortunately, Masterpiece MP-18B Bluestreak has delivered that which I always craved - a Blue sided Bluestreak that looks like it has leapt off the box. In some ways I think this is better because the toy is coming with all the high end bells and whistles of a modern collectors toy, so there is no danger of it feeling too much like a throwback or dated.

I love vintage G1 toys, and yes I would still love to get this on the original G1 mold, but I think this preserves the idea of how amazing and fantastic a Blue sided Bluestreak was going to eventually be. A stunning figure that lives up to 30 years worth of plastic dreams, and one which arguably tops its mold mates.

Some folks might think I am being far too positive in my praise, but child me is somewhere inside grinning at the fulfilment of a long held desire - which is what we want as collectors, right?

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  1. You forgot the Delorean for 80's cars!

    Blue Bluestreak, he looks amazing!



    1. Oh man, I completely forgot about that! That defines the 80s even more than the ones I mentioned. He is pretty swish!

  2. You just need the all-silver version of Bluestreak to complete the set!
    Nice review!
    Regards, Vanessa.

    1. Thanks Vanessa :)

      Yeah, I have been wrestling with myself over buying the all-Silver version but just cannot justify it to myself when I own so many versions already.
      But it's so pretty!

      May have to add it to the Christmas list...that my girlfriend will tutt over ;)

  3. "This is why nobody ever sees him in fiction" --- that cracked me up!

    Lovely review and photos! (It wasn't like I came here *not* wanting to be enabled....)

    I bought the KO of Silversilverstreak to see what he looked like; the answer is awesome! Only I don't like knowing he's a KO (or that my Red Alert or Exhaust are, either), so he too will be replaced by the real thing when funds permit. (I'll get someone to custom-paint the KOs when I get back to Blighty, then they won't go to waste). So I reckon you would really, really like the all-Silver all-singing all-dancing all-Streak!

    And now I'm going to look at your Bluebluestreak photos again. The enableradiation, it feeds me like light feeds a plant. :-)

    Cheers, Neuta

    1. Heh, in my head I have decided that Blue Bluestreak is always there throughout G1, but is the one holding the camera which is why you never see him ;)

      The all Silver, Chrimbo bauble like Silverstreak is on my list...but he can wait till...some other day. When my magpie tendencies kick in - "shiny shiny shiny"

      Thanks for the kind comments dude. Definitely my favourite of the Datsuns, or at least close to Smokescreen whos alt mold makes me wish I could drive very fast cars back in time, then drive other fast cars around 80s race tracks - now you must buy it.
      Ah go on. Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go.