Sure, their transforming actions were alot more primitive compared to the sophisticated designs of contemporary robots. But this is also what made them great, I guess - that kids could go ahead and easily transform the robots forth and back without reading the instructions. This and the robustness have been the warranty to Vintage Transformers success.
The newer stuff, especially the big ones, are alot more complicated "to play" with. What sucks, when you don't have the patience and time to spend 45 minutes to transform one goddamn ROTF Devastator into it's humanoid form. Oh, and you're always afraid to break something!
I heard my Transformers buddies talking alot about the Masterpieces, how great they are in contrast to most of the other new stuff. I never got me one though, until last weekend. When my bud Dom from the UK came to Germany to visit the Grayskull Con in Bad Neustadt with me. Before we did the road trip there, we've been out in the local hunting grounds. And Dom got excited about one Rodimus Prime Masterpiece Exclusive we found at Toy R' Us. And yeah, his excitement somehow convinced to get me one of those Masterpieces, too. So, is this Masterpiece Rodimus Prime (MPRP) the real deal? Well, let's check it out.
What I'm really diggin about this toy is the retro design. It looks pretty much like the old school figure that we know from the vintage comics and the classy animated movie. Compared to the vintage toy of course, this about 12" big Masterpiece Rodimus is alot more detailed in design and transforming action. That's actually what the Masterpieces are known and appreciated for, but sometimes also criticized for. Dom and me, we tried to transform that thing into it's altmode without reading the instructions before. While Dom failed entirely, I got pretty far. But in the end there were some parts that still didn't look right. So we definitely needed the instructions to get it that way. (Btw Dom, you forgot your instructions over here. Did you try to transform that little bitch without any manuals yet?)
Unfortunately, there were some parts I didn't get right even by following instructions. I couldn't entirely close the car wings! And I didn't want to try harder, because - again! - I was afraid to break something. You can also see the results on my pictures. There's still something about that Hot Rod, that just ain't look right. (If you want to see how the altmode is supposed to look like, head over to the great gallery of seibertron.com.)
But apart from this, what I also like about the MPRP toy are the many cool gimmicks. Rodimus is wearing the Matrix of Leadership in his lockable chest. He comes with some attachable tools for his hands, and has an interchangeable face. His two big guns can be attached to each other to make an even bigger gun. In altmode, the guns can also be attached to his engine hood. He also comes with an exclusive version of Offshoot, that can be transformed into a gun, as well. That're alot of guns for Rodimus Prime actually, wow. The chrome parts look great on the red and yellow, amazingly articulated body. The joints still look fragile to me, though. I mean, I'd love to do more with them and give my Masterpiece some sick looking poses. But again, I'm afraid to break something.
In defiance of all this fragility though, I really love this toy. I mean, it's not a toy you'd buy for your kid to play with. It's merely a collectible you get and maybe transform up to two or three times, before you rather decide to leave it in its humanoid form on your shelf. And having it there, this Masterpiece Rodimus Prime is just a great thing to have, and it simply fills me with joy looking at it.