Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby aronjlove » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:05 pm

william-james88 wrote:
aronjlove wrote:What's up with the scale? I don't remember Dinobot towering over Primal in the cartoon and I just recently re-watched the first two seasons.


He did, I am rewatching it now. The reason they seem the same height in some shots (like the first episode) is because Dinobot in alt mode is as tall as Primal (in either mode).

But in robot mode...
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Huh, you're right. I was completely oblivious to it but now that I know to look for it I can't not see it. In my defense, Dinobot does seem to spend more time in beast mode than not.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:15 pm

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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby william-james88 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:37 pm

aronjlove wrote:Huh, you're right. I was completely oblivious to it but now that I know to look for it I can't not see it. In my defense, Dinobot does seem to spend more time in beast mode than not.

Yeah, he certainly does, to the extent that his clone was only the beast version.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby Immortal Starscream » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:44 pm

My copy of blackarachnia had a minor QA issue, that I was easily able to fix. her hips were very loose. theres a single piece that holds her hip joints in place. its held in by a pin on one end, and pegged into place on the other. the peged in side wasnt pushed in all the way. I put a dab of glue and forced it down into place, and hips were good and snug

the spider mode looks good in hand at most natural viewing angles, its when you look at it from the side that the illusion falls apart. took me forever to figure out her best looking spider on my own, by fiddling with her and ham-fisting things. so to her credit, shes a lot sturdier of a figure then the initially feels. in fact, her spider legs seem really loose at first, but then upon shaking her violently, her spider legs didn't budge an inch.

I'm not one who ever needs to look at instructions, but in this case I did because nothing was locking into place, except for her spider thorax into her abdomen. The instructions are useless, except for the one shot that shows how to snap on her anchor in spider mode. Seeing how the arms are positioned in that shot made things work perfectly for her spider legs. I do kinda like how the little tabs on the anchor form a stand so her entire arm section inst directly on the ground

honestly I love the figure, but putting her in spider mode is not the experience I have come to expect from masterpiece figures. It isnt just the not tabbing well together,, its that moving parts are being used to hold moving parts in place with nothing to keep them from moving, and some joints are tight enough that when you try to put them in place, you end up sliding all the other pieces back out.

so what would I change to improve this figure? honestly that's a really hard one. some locking tabs in her thighs or knees to help that whole area stay in place for one would be nice. but other then that, she needs more panels to cover the gaping holes in her sides, and cover her legs just a little bit more. but I don't know how you could do that without making her spider mode much bigger then it is supposed to be. maybe you could use the divot in the front of her abdomen (just below the gold of her chest that sticks out, and yes, the back side of that needed to be painted black) to snap in a separate panel piece. maybe said panels can unfold and make one of the 3 screen computer terminals you would see in the show. maybe have a fold out clip so you can clip it onto the web?
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:08 pm

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I've been messing around with Blackarachnia since Wednesday, and she is incredible. Really really good. The transformation is nice and simple in comparison to the other MPs, and i figured out her thorax, which has helped make her more fun.

The robot mode is perfect, I have nothing to complaint about. She is 110% perfect. Spider mode is pretty good, the thorax is a bit big but I like it, it I have no complaints.

The stand is really nice too, I'm really glad they included it

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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby joevill » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:50 am

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All are pretty impressive but just seem pretty pricey
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:07 am

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Hmmm

This has the distinction of being the first MP figure I didn't need the instructions to transform. I'm unsure if the simplicity of it is a good or bad thing, given it is more expensive/overpriced than the more complex contemporaries within the BW MP line.

I barely took anything out of the box, to be fair. The instructions and "stand" remain taped in place and I can guarantee they won't be coming out of the packaging. I was pleased she was so tiny when in Beast Mode. The earlier promo pictures did little to reassure that the scale system this line began with would continue with the smallest Predacon of Season One. I'd have to see Inferno, Rattrap and Airazor to see if she truly scales properly, but so far it looks ok.

Bot Mode, other than the clean paint work, reminds me of Hot-Rodimus. Viewing from the side there is a hole going straight through the torso. Surely some concertina type hinge, just like with Hot-Rod's backpack, would have tidied the figure up and streamlined the final execution. An extra click 'in' with the backpack for example, would have made her a practically perfect show model. Her limbs, on the other hand, are as good as it gets. The articulation of her claws is quite impressive visually and her feet are a lot more stable than they appear.


HasTak's current ethos that Transformers generally only need to look good from the front is really becoming a worrying trend, when it reaches MP too. Alas some still throw money at anything they do, so it isn't likely to change.


As expected, Beast Mode isn't great. Those that defended the half-assed design of the abdomen prior, fail to appreciate the difference between the Masterpiece Line and the rest of HasTak's output. When other lines give you MP-5, the MP line should be giving you MP-36. To expect less, to lower your own expectations, is to turn a blind eye to what this entire collection is supposed to be. Essentially settling for an overpriced CHUG line shouldn't be the ideal of Masterpiece.

Ultimately, particularly for a character I didn't like, she is a decent figure. Certainly not the best Predacon of the three to date and if she wasn't mired by some very disappointing design conceits, I think I would have thought more of this release. Normally I keep New purchases on my desk for a while, to look at. MP Blackarachnia is already on my MP shelf, at the back, as predicted. I really hope lessons are learned for MP Tarantulas. 6/10
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby william-james88 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:50 am

AllNewSuperRobot wrote:This has the distinction of being the first MP figure I didn't need the instructions to transform. I'm unsure if the simplicity of it is a good or bad thing, given it is more expensive/overpriced than the more complex contemporaries within the BW MP line.


I think it's a good thing. For a smaller figure, making it as complex as MP 36 might have lead to frustration. Simplicity can be as hard to engineer as complexity. You have to get to the mode with fewer steps so you have to figure out a way as a designer to make the most of the parts. there is a certain elegance to it, which is fitting for this character.


An extra click 'in' with the backpack for example, would have made her a practically perfect show model. Her limbs, on the other hand, are as good as it gets. The articulation of her claws is quite impressive visually and her feet are a lot more stable than they appear.


I am also happy with how stable the figure is, especially when you'd think she'd be super top heavy with those extra 8 limbs. That's where the real engineering comes in. Fans tend to use engineering and design interchangeably, but in truth anything linked to transformation is from a designer. The toy engineer is more about the composition of the toy, what plastics are used, for it to come together as a designer intended. And when looking at it from that aspect, the engineering is really impressive. The toy's composition backs up the great articulation so that many fun poses can be achieved.
And we do get an extra click on the back, at least I felt we did. The back piece with the hourglass symbol does clip adjacent to the hole at the base of the back of the neck. It hooks there and you can feel a "click". I find her super solid in robot mode.

HasTak's current ethos that Transformers generally only need to look good from the front is really becoming a worrying trend, when it reaches MP too. Alas some still throw money at anything they do, so it isn't likely to change.


She looks good form the back though. And unlike Hot Rodimus, there isn't some huge backpack and her silhouette isn't compromised. As I wrote above, I had fun posing her in many different ways and I never felt she looked off in the different angles I saw. Definitely not the same level as Rodimus to me, which only looks ok from the front.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:43 pm

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Dunno what figure you are holding man, Blackarachnia tabs like a boss. Everything snuggles on in together and holds nicely for me. She is solid, and the simplicity is very refreshing after half hour conversions for the past several MPs I've gotten.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:53 am

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william-james88 wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:This has the distinction of being the first MP figure I didn't need the instructions to transform. I'm unsure if the simplicity of it is a good or bad thing, given it is more expensive/overpriced than the more complex contemporaries within the BW MP line.


I think it's a good thing. For a smaller figure, making it as complex as MP 36 might have lead to frustration. Simplicity can be as hard to engineer as complexity. You have to get to the mode with fewer steps so you have to figure out a way as a designer to make the most of the parts. there is a certain elegance to it, which is fitting for this character.


As I said before this is Masterpiece, not CHUG. Complexity is The Standard, because all of the best engineering and design techniques should be at play to make Both Forms as close to flawless as possible.

As an example, look to Universe Cyclonus (2008). An 11 y/o CHUG figure. Find the altmode or alternately, find the Bot Mode when Transformed. As opposed to MP Blackarachnia, look to the seams. The visibly hollow torso that doesn't exist in a far cheaper figure from over a decade ago.


An extra click 'in' with the backpack for example, would have made her a practically perfect show model. Her limbs, on the other hand, are as good as it gets. The articulation of her claws is quite impressive visually and her feet are a lot more stable than they appear.


william-james88 wrote:I am also happy with how stable the figure is, especially when you'd think she'd be super top heavy with those extra 8 limbs. That's where the real engineering comes in. Fans tend to use engineering and design interchangeably, but in truth anything linked to transformation is from a designer. The toy engineer is more about the composition of the toy, what plastics are used, for it to come together as a designer intended. And when looking at it from that aspect, the engineering is really impressive. The toy's composition backs up the great articulation so that many fun poses can be achieved.
And we do get an extra click on the back, at least I felt we did. The back piece with the hourglass symbol does clip adjacent to the hole at the base of the back of the neck. It hooks there and you can feel a "click". I find her super solid in robot mode.


The extra click I'm referring to would apply to the lower back hinge and could potentially have tidied up the hollow torso and streamlined her overall. As it stands she has a vague Quasimodo hump, due to her backpack, which didn't need to exist.

If she had ever been top heavy from the spider legs that would have been extremely bad design. The original figure wasn't compromised, so why should the MP figure?. Not even TM Rampage had weight issues assigned to his crab legs. So it isn't really anything noteworthy here.

Objectively, I do find her the weakest of the Beast Wars Masterpiece collection to date. They took some puzzling and unnecessary shortcuts. Subjective opinions may vary, but I think the deco is the only strong point to this figure.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby william-james88 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:47 am

AllNewSuperRobot wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:This has the distinction of being the first MP figure I didn't need the instructions to transform. I'm unsure if the simplicity of it is a good or bad thing, given it is more expensive/overpriced than the more complex contemporaries within the BW MP line.


I think it's a good thing. For a smaller figure, making it as complex as MP 36 might have lead to frustration. Simplicity can be as hard to engineer as complexity. You have to get to the mode with fewer steps so you have to figure out a way as a designer to make the most of the parts. there is a certain elegance to it, which is fitting for this character.


As I said before this is Masterpiece, not CHUG. Complexity is The Standard, because all of the best engineering and design techniques should be at play to make Both Forms as close to flawless as possible.


This was never established. Never. It's just a fan assumption, your opinion of what the line should be. MP 10, for instance is not a complex figure, definitely not as complex as ROTF Leader prime which was half the price and a wide release figure at standard retail. There are more MPs like that. Soundwave isn't complex either, neither is the first BB mold and Wheeljack is rather simple too. The difference between MP and Chug is budget alloted to the figure, and getting the best version out there. This is the best blackarachnia out there and it is of very high quality when you look at the paint and sculpt work. And Hasui himself (my favourite MP designer) talks as much about the intricacies and merit of a simple transformation as something with more steps. She is the weakest BW MP, I am not denying that. But saying that she sucks because she is simpler to transform than the others sounds like a load of croc to me. You compare her to a CHUG figure, but we have an actual CHUG Blackarachnia released by Takara. And the MP is vastly superior in both modes for show accuracy. This does not feel to me like a CHUG figure at all.

So definitely disagreeing with you on that point.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby Nemesis Maximo » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:43 am

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MP 10, for instance is not a complex figure, definitely not as complex as ROTF Leader prime which was half the price and a wide release figure at standard retail. There are more MPs like that. Soundwave isn't complex either, neither is the first BB mold and Wheeljack is rather simple too.

Not to mention the Datsuns, MP-12 and his mold-mates, Shockwave, and the v2 Seekers. Hell, I’d go as far as to say that the “complexity scale” is roughly 50/50 in the MP line.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby william-james88 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:41 pm

Nemesis Maximo wrote:
MP 10, for instance is not a complex figure, definitely not as complex as ROTF Leader prime which was half the price and a wide release figure at standard retail. There are more MPs like that. Soundwave isn't complex either, neither is the first BB mold and Wheeljack is rather simple too.

Not to mention the Datsuns, MP-12 and his mold-mates, Shockwave, and the v2 Seekers. Hell, I’d go as far as to say that the “complexity scale” is roughly 50/50 in the MP line.


Oh man, Shockwave, can't believe I forgot that one. He even has partsforming.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:46 pm

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I truly appreciate how simple she is. She is complex enough, but not over complicated. Sometimes, overcomplicated is bad, see a lot of 3P figures. And her sculpting and paint work is fantastic. She is wonderfully done, and i think she looks good from all angles in robot mode. Spider mode is ok, but again, robot mode is wonderful.

She earned the MP rank
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby Nemesis Maximo » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:37 pm

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D-Maximal_Primal wrote:I truly appreciate how simple she is. She is complex enough, but not over complicated. Sometimes, overcomplicated is bad, see a lot of 3P figures.

I mean jeezopeets just look at MP-44’s legs. As someone who loves MP-44, I hate transforming his legs.

Or even ROTF Leader Optimus.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:07 pm

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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Dec 08, 2019 7:09 am

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D-Maximal_Primal wrote:I truly appreciate how simple she is. She is complex enough, but not over complicated. Sometimes, overcomplicated is bad, see a lot of 3P figures. And her sculpting and paint work is fantastic. She is wonderfully done, and i think she looks good from all angles in robot mode. Spider mode is ok, but again, robot mode is wonderful.

She earned the MP rank



Complexity isn't just about engineering but design too. Not every Transformer needs to be MP Dinobot ala A "flower" that eventually folds in on itself to become the figure. But to call something part of the MASTERPIECE line, there should be enough little tricks and shifting panel innovations EG Cheetor's shins, that this figure couldn't be part of another line. That the standard should be a noticeable degree higher.

Your description of what is good about her could just as easily be talking about a Flame Toys model. To be a Masterpiece Transformer is more than that. Which BA simply isn't and in that respect, I don't think this figure has earned the MP rank. An MP figure shouldn't have overt hollow spaces, when fully transformed.

As I said before, I found her the weakest of the BW MP line to date, a 6/10. I wouldn't say she "sucks" because even though she is a character and a design I don't like, that is a bit too childish to me. I mean I dislike the Season One design of Megatron, but I wouldn't mark down the figure because of that. If anything, the quality of That figure did warm me to that design. Of which I am sure if Blackarachnia had been done to an equally high standard, that would have been the case again.

But as a just above average MP figure, I think this could easily have been sold as a well painted CHUG and no one would have taken issue with that.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:08 am

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I'm just gonna have to agree to disagree with you. She is no Generations figure, she is the step above needed for a MP. And I really don't understand what overt hollow spaces you are talking about. Mine is solid and there are no gaps or hollow spaces. She is tight.

to me, she ranks right up there with my MP-12 Sideswipe, equally as complex, equally as filled out, equally as fun. they are both MPs and good ones.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:28 am

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The sides of the bot mode have gaps you can see through. That aspect of the transformation is similar to the original toy. That toy didn’t have the same problem and that was made in 1996/7, a lot cheaper and a far simpler design.

Objectively, hold EG MP Primal, and Blackarachnia in each hand. Ask the ‘elephant in the room’ question: In terms of design (in both modes) engineering and Price Point. Is she worth more than him?
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby Nemesis Maximo » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:32 am

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D-Maximal_Primal wrote:She is tight. .

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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:33 am

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AllNewSuperRobot wrote:The sides of the bot mode have gaps you can see through. That aspect of the transformation is similar to the original toy. That toy didn’t have the same problem and that was made in 1996/7, a lot cheaper and a far simpler design.

Objectively, hold EG MP Primal, and Blackarachnia in each hand. Ask the ‘elephant in the room’ question: In terms of design (in both modes) engineering and Price Point. Is she worth more than him?

I don't own Primal. cannot make that comparison.

and I'm starting to think you have her transformed wrong, mine does not have any gaps.

I also don't have the original spider toys, so i cannot compare to those either.

Holder her in my hands, I think she is equally as good as Greatshot and is better than Dai Atlas, and those come out to similar prices to what I paid. Compared to Dinobot and Megatron, she is a lot smaller than those 2, but she is more solid and of better overall quality than those 2. I'm not afraid to break her and transform her regularly
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:04 pm

Motto: "Guilty or Innocent?
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Exactly, you are saying she is as good as a CHUG figure (Greatshot) which I would agree with. As for better quality comparisons I would disagree. She feels cheaper than Dinobot or Megatron. Who look and feel Masterpiece, immediately out of the box.

As for the price point issue:

MP Primal/Supreme Commander/Burning Convoy £90-100
MP Cheetor/Shadow Panther £75-80
MP Dinobot £200-230
MP Megatron £250-£300
MP Blackarachnia £110-130

Size-wise Cheetor and Primal are her closest contemporaries. It is pointless to compare a MP Beast Wars figure to anything other than Beast Wars, as what does a car-bot and a spider-bot have in common?

So I go back to the question, is her MP figure worth more than Primal or Cheetor (ignoring the nebulous costing arguments, given neither Primal nor Cheetor are that far removed). Objectively, it could have been.
I've said before I was always fond of the Bug-bots and was quite looking forward to the Masterpiece iterations. This one however, has cut alarming corners they shouldn't have. Those that do concern me regarding the rest of the line, not just the immediate counterpart in Tarantulas. Other than Terrorsaur, the rest of the Predacons are bugs of various kinds. I thought ala the original line, that the Predacons would really be the showcase of the MP line. My hopes and expectations have dropped significantly now, from their high when I saw MP Megatron.
For what people seem to like about MP Blackarachnia, she might as well have been a Masterpiece Actionmaster.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby Nemesis Maximo » Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:19 pm

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Blackarachnia is the smallest of the Predacons, and one of the smallest in the series. So yeah, there’s going to be some “corner cutting,” but what could conceivably have been done to change that? Any more material would make her larger than she should be, and then you would have complained about her size being wrong. If there were extra flaps/hinges to hide any “gaps” (which I’m also not seeing in a huge way) would potentially give here a larger backpack, which you would have complained about.

I understand that you don’t like the price tag, but to say she doesn’t fit in the masterpiece line is outlandish.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:33 pm

Motto: "Guilty or Innocent?
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Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
Nemesis Maximo wrote:Blackarachnia is the smallest of the Predacons, and one of the smallest in the series. So yeah, there’s going to be some “corner cutting,” but what could conceivably have been done to change that?



Now I have her in hand, I can answer that. Her backpack, as it stands, folds down to a mild hump. Adding hinged sides to that backpack would have disguised her overt golden legs in the Spider abdomen. Solving the overall aesthestic issues of the beast mode. These same hinged sides could have then folded down ala the backpack and completely filled in her bot mode sides and thus, all of her issues would have been solved with two extra little panels. In much the same way hollow forearms and shins have been filled over with panels in previous MPs.

Nemesis Maximo wrote:I understand that you don’t like the price tag, but to say she doesn’t fit in the masterpiece line is outlandish.


A Masterpiece Transformer should be more than just "ok" in both modes. Which is the kindest appraisal anyone has given her Spider-Mode. This isn't 1997 and this is supposed to be a premium collectors line. For the price point of MP, you shouldn't be getting altmode shortcomings that you typically wouldn't find in a CHUG figure.
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Re: Masterpiece MP-46 Blackwidow (Beast Wars), A.K.A. Blackarachnia

Postby ZeroWolf » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:01 pm

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But D-Max and Nem Primal have stated they don't have the gaps you have?
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