Thursday, 4 August 2016

REVIEW: TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-25L Loudpedal



In case you haven't yet realised, Diaclone-themed repaints in the TakaraTomy Masterpiece line are now kind of a thing. What started out with a relatively oddball release in the form of Tigertrack back in 2013 has suddenly snowballed, with no less than four further homages released in 2015 alone (five if you throw in the Microchange love-in that was red Bumblebee). As if that wasn't enough, next up we have none other than a full-on repaint of one of the largest Masterpiece figures in recent times with MP-31 Delta Magnus, not to mention that the third party scene has also jumped in on the action with releases such as Badcube's Blaze and Ocular Max's Liger.

Which brings us fairly sharply onto Loudpedal. Ever since MP-25 was first unveiled to be Tracks, many of us have been pretty excited about the prospect of a black repaint. Why? Well, way back in the pre-Transformers days of Diaclone, the Corvette mould that everyone now knows as Tracks was actually released in red (hence MP-26 Road Rage), but unbeknownst to many until quite recently, there was also a rarer black version. This was later reissued by Takara in 2002 with an altered deco', but that original release is still seen as the Holy Grail to many collectors.

Fast forward to the present day, and TakaraTomy have now gifted us with our very own Masterpiece homage of that original figure, bringing us a legendary piece of pre-Transformers history smack bang into the present day. And boy, it doesn't disappoint!




Wow.

I have to say that vehicle modes don't come much more impressive than this. Right from the first moment I took Loudpedal out of the box, I was absolutely enamoured with just how good he looks in his stunning black Corvette form. So shiny, so beautifully proportioned and sleek... just wonderful.




Hot stuff. Some of you may recall that I loved this mould right from the first iteration (Tracks was the very first figure I reviewed, and he also took the top spot on my top six of 2015), but something about the shiny black finish really pops here. Black repaints are generally good fun anyway, but this is such a stunning recreation of the original figure that it's impossible not to fall in love once you have it in hand.



All of the same lovely details that made Tracks & Road Rage so sublime are also evident here, but I'd argue that the shiny painted black finish is actually the nicest of the bunch so far. I will admit that I wasn't convinced about the purple-tinted windows from the initial pictures, and perhaps might have preferred a simple black tint or something more reminiscent of the Diaclone original, but actually I think it really works well in hand and I find myself glad for it. The vibrant purple really adds something to the colour palette here, and makes the whole thing very eye-catching - it's also definitely the best use of window tint of the three versions of this mould.


I'm also a big fan of the flame deco' on the bonnet, as with previous iterations. He does come packaged with some stickers which you can apply to hide the Decepticon logo amongst the flames in favour of a "CS" emblem (meaning "Corvette Stingray") and give him a more Diaclone-accurate look. I gave it a lot of thought and may still change my mind another day, but whilst other fans will prefer to use the stickers and also hide the insignia on the roof, I've decided to leave my copy as a loud & proud Decepticon for now. I kinda like the look.




As with Tracks, Loudpedal also features things like the lovingly detailed engine under the car bonnet, not to mention a repainted version of Raoul and the cassette deck (which was original Blaster, later Twincast). They're nice little touches, even if a little unncessary for most fans' tastes, and I'm encouraged that TakaraTomy didn't simply strip this third version of the mould of all its original accessories, as we have seen with other repaints.



Talking about other versions, it's an absolute thrill to see Loudpedal lined up next to his mould-mates. Something about the black, blue & red is really quite special, and convinces me further that repaints are steadily becoming one of my favourite parts of the Masterpiece line, strange as that may sound.

With Masterpiece Tracks and Road Rage



Man, I love this hobby so much, and moments like this just reaffirm that for me!




Then there's the opportunity to line up Loudpedal next to the rest of his Diaclone-themed brethren thus far. As I say, this part of the official line has really exploded of late, and it's amazing to think how this lot will look once you throw Delta Magnus into the mix.

TakaraTomy Masterpieces: blue Breakstreak, Clampdown, Loudpedal, Tigertrack, Road Rage and Exhaust

With Ocular Max Liger & Badcube Blaze added to the mix

With Masterpiece Bumble (red body)


Of course, there's more to Loudpedal's vehicle mode than meets the eye (eh?), as he can also undergo a slight modification into his flying car mode. As if a sleek black Corvette wasn't enough to convince you, he also sprouts wings! A flying black Corvette; what's not to love?



The above pictures also showcase the rather lovely clear purple stand that comes packaged with this release. Again, it's a welcome addition, especially as Road Rage did not feature the stand and so it's arguably a bit of a surprise to see it here. You can also store his grey blaster underneath his car mode for additionally weaponary.



Hot stuff. However, the show is really just beginning, and it's once you get Loudpedal into robot mode that things really start to heat up.




What a sexy beast. I absolutely love this robot mode anyway, but the cool black and smooth silver on display here is really something. He's at once quite monotone and at the very same time very colourful, with all of those wonderful green, red , blue and purple accents. Stunning.




Just beautiful. Something about this fella just looks completely unique in so many ways - again, I think it's the colours that really make him stand out.




It helps that he's super poseable, and more than capable of pulling off some very dynamic and interesting stances.




Then there's the head. Ever since Tracks was first unveiled fans have been hoping for a more toy-accurate head featuring the signature faceplate, and many were left a little disappointed when this was not featured on Road Rage. Now, here it is, and boy does it look great.




It really adds something to this release, and truly makes Loudpedal feel like a suitable homage of that original Diaclone figure. Speaking of which, you can of course opt for a more "historically accurate" look, should you wish, by flipping over the chest symbol and maybe lowering the wings a bit. There are also some additional "D" (for "Diaclone, innit!) stickers to go on the wings, though again, I've opted not to use them just yet.


So, I have to say it's all good stuff really. I'm trying to think of some flaws to write about to try and balance the case a little, but I'm honestly coming up empty... even the wobbly knee issue that some fans found with Road Rage has been fixed. My grandmother always taught me that if there's nothing good to say then don't say anything at all, but this is sort of the opposite... I can't think of anything bad to say! Just check him out next to the other versions of this mould.

With Road Rage

Also with Masterpiece Tracks

They just look so great next to each other, and I love how each figure seems to have their own personality. He equally holds his own when standing next to some other companion figures.

With his Diaclone Decepticon comrade, Masterpiece Exhaust

With Ocular Max Liger

With fellow black repaint, Masterpiece Soundblaster

Yet it's the full Diaclone-themed line up that really seals the deal for me. I still can't quite believe how quickly this part of the official line has ramped up, nor how amazing some of these releases are shaping up to be. It's fair to say that I'm now often equally as excited for a Diaclone repaint than I am for the original cartoon character version of a mould, and I cannot wait to add the likes of black Ironhide or Deep Cover to this mix, not to mention Delta Magnus very soon. What a time to be a Transformers fan!


CONCLUSION
What else to say? Masterpiece Loudpedal is everything you would want in a stunningly sexy, glossy black repaint of this incredible mould. He's fun, poseable, well-made and looks absolutely amazing. Must buy.

What's HOT?
Stunning vehicle mode, equally attractive robot mode. Oh, and with a third flight mode thrown in. He's super-poseable and fun to mess around with. I'm also giving extra points for that amazing remoulded head.

What's NOT?
Hmm... there must be someting, right? Right?!

SUGGESTED FURTHER READING
For more on the original Diaclone black Corvette, check out Maz's amazing articles here:
- www.tf-1.com
- Transformers Square One



6 comments:

  1. Hello! Another great review, another bunch of very good photos (that in my opinion make the toy better then it is). Loud Pedal look great in robot, coolest then Tracks, but in the alt mode I prefer the original. I have a question about the mold in general: the logo chest plate on my Tracks is instable and filp every moment. It's the same for your Masterpieces? I suspect that my e-shop sold me copy that other client send him back ( or to is supplier) for minor issues. For example I recently purchased Mp28 e Mp29 (this week in fact). Hot Rod has a wrist loose and one of the Shockwave ankle don't fit very well. The next mount I bought Unite Warrior Superion and one the arm can't stand up with the gun on. As I said before, minor issue but I spend a lot of money in this junk and I am a bit dissatisfaied.

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    1. Thanks! The flip symbol is loosest on my Loudpedal of the three, so still stays in place OK. Equally, I haven't had any issues at all with either MP Hot Rod or Shockwave... sorry to hear! I would maybe speak with your retailer to see what they say.

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    2. Thank you. For the next purchase I'll simply change the seller. Let see if
      the things turn better. Sorry for my poor English. I'll wait for another of your review. Bye

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    3. Don't be silly, and thanks very much for the kind comments! :)

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  2. nice write-up, what's the camera equipment you use?

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    1. Thanks! It's all pretty simple - I use a Canon 70D with a 55-250mm zoom lens, for the most part.

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