Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

Friday, December 14th, 2018 4:44PM CST

Category: Toy News
Posted by: ZeroWolf   Views: 14,861

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Thanks to fellow Seibertron user, Cyberpath, we've learned that a user on the Chinese social media site, Baidu has uploaded a transcript of an interview found in the Transformers Generations 2019 Book. This interview is with the creators of MP-44 and talks about the design process they followed, and even talks of cross compatability with Takara Tomy's Diaclone line.

Please note that the text has been translated with Google Translate and cleaned up by TFW2005 member opoptimus. Here is the translation.

1: When did the project planning start?
We normally start planning for an MP project a long time in advance, this was started from back in December 2016. At that time we still thought MP10 (Convoy 2.0) was the best/definitive OP, but looking at the time line from 1.0 to 2.0, a 3.0 would be on the table sooner of later, so we started planning real early.

2: Where did you start?
The first thought was "to surpass OP 2.0", but we couldn't quite imagine exactly what counts as "surpass" at the beginning. We thought of areas of improvement, for example a more accurate mouth plate, better articulation etc. Also the comparability with MP 36. we wanted to do a cartoon accurate Optimus just like MP 36 Megatron. So we drew up an Optimus with ideal proportions then started to think about the mechanism within,

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

3: It'd be difficult to recreate a cartoon accurate Optimus?
For example the truck wind shield and the 'bot mode chest. The angle and height-width ratio are both different. In the past we would find a middle ground between truck and bot then achieve a balanced look by detail design. But this time around, we really wanted to recreate this difference in physical form. Although MP 10 has quite an involved transformation, the parts placement actually follows the G1 toy. But in order to create the definitive Optimus, we were willing to change it up this time around. If it couldn't surpass OP 2.0 this project would be pointless.

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

4: Proportions have evolved too!
From past experience designing Optimus, the balance in the cab and back section is very tricky. First it's the size of 'bot mode chest; it'd be too wide to be toon accurate if using the truck wind shield directly. Also the trailer hitch section needs to be thin in order for the trailer to sit at a proper height, but on the other hand Optimus' legs are long and thick in the cartoon so kind of mass shift between modes, it's very difficult to achieve a balance.

5: How did you solve this?
We had a flash of genius to move the mass as solution, so that in 'bot mode the volume in the legs is increased and volume in the chest decreased. So we came up with the transformation to move some of mass on the side of the cab to the lower half of 'bot mode. We used to have to put a lot of effort into concealing the arms seamlessly into the cab, with this design it's automatically solved as well.

6: What an amazing idea!
But here comes the color problem: the upper body (cab) is red and the lower body is blue. So we had to hide the red surface within the legs, with the rear tires too.

7: The tires have finally disappeared
The rear tires are narrow and rotate to conceal inside the legs. We felt this is a must.

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

8: Another evolution in design is a clean and flat waist.
Finally able to make the waist flat (LOL). Initially we though of the same mechanism as Megatron. Then we wanted to achieve better articulation without breaking up the sculpt, so this time the waist doesn't have the articulated front skirt pieces but has an automatic mechanism where if the thighs move up the skirts retract. And we made them pop back up automatically as well.

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

9: The double knee joint gives off an action figure impression
This is a modern construction we only started to pay attention to recently. The friction resistance in the the two joints is different, so only when the first joint is bent to a certain degree then would the second joint engage. So that in normal posing only one joint is engaged to keep the body proportions. Because MP 36 has incredible articulation, this Optimus definitely needs to be able to match up with that.

10: The trailer has several new gimmicks, a lot more play value
We thought if the trailer isn't re-made properly, it wouldn't be called Optimus 3.0, so we can't have a similar trailer to MP 10's. So we thought about what gimmicks hadn't been done before. For example the mobile artillery in "Fire in the Sky". We thought it could be formed from the battle station with wheels added.

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

11: Using Roller to drag the artillery; seems like a very Takara-esque Sci-Fi design
Yeah we wanted to include this kind of Takara-esque Sci-Fi gimmick similar to Diaclone. The figures included have magnets on the bottom of their feet so they can stand on the deck etc. Although it's not an official way to play, you can have this interact with the Diaclone figures as well. This sort of product cross over play pattern is something we'd love to see.

12: There are two styles of head sculpt..lots of accessories!
Because there's two drawing styles in the G1 cartoon so we made two head sculpts. And the head is removable so that scene from "City of Steel" where Bumblebee is holding Prime's detached head can be recreated.

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

13: I almost forgot there's that episode where Prime had a jet pack...
Yup he sure did.

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

14: What's with Starscream's head and the intakes
To recreate that certain scene lol.

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

15: So technically it's not Prime
Yep, so yeah these can't be stored inside the trailer (does it sound like an excuse? lol)

16: Which part to design has most effort gone into?
The trailer. Although the cab is always more important and the trailer just kinda needs to be a square box, its thickness is quite hard to get right. Making it too thick would effect the overall height, so it took several tries to get to where we are.

17: Something not in the cartoon?
We've made slight changes to the toes and added bumper-like details so they look more realistic.

18: Would this product be the benchmark for future releases just like MP 10 did before?
MP 10 already had the design philosophy of "recreating the cartoon". In a sense we finally arrived at a time where we can face the origin of Transformers, where staying true to that source material without modifying or compromising can be viewed as a good thing.

Transformers News: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers

19: Now that the project is finally done and dusted, how do you feel?
Feel like "we've done everything we could". This is Optimus Prime after all, so we put in our heart and soul. At the same time even if we overdid it, Prime would forgive us (LOL). After MP44, the MP benchmark might have been raised again!


What do you think of the interview? Do you think they've gone too far on this or that this is the pinnacle of the Masterpiece line to date? Let us know in the Energon Pub and stay tuned to Seibertron for all the latest news and reviews.
Credit(s): Cyberpath from Seibertron, Baidu social media network, opoptimus from TFW2005
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Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998883)
Posted by Ironhidensh on December 14th, 2018 @ 5:40pm CST
-Kanrabat- wrote:I... begin to actually want the thing... :shock:



I've wanted it since day one. The wanting has never been the problem.


This figure is NOT worth the price, end of discussion. For me, at least. This figure will be the first time that I actively seek out a knock off of, and I hate that I feel bad about that.
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998885)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on December 14th, 2018 @ 5:52pm CST
Ironhidensh wrote:
-Kanrabat- wrote:I... begin to actually want the thing... :shock:



I've wanted it since day one. The wanting has never been the problem.


This figure is NOT worth the price, end of discussion. For me, at least. This figure will be the first time that I actively seek out a knock off of, and I hate that I feel bad about that.


Dunno about that. I'll definitely wait for the video reviews to hit so we finally know how it actually feel in hand.
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998887)
Posted by Ironhidensh on December 14th, 2018 @ 6:07pm CST
-Kanrabat- wrote:
Ironhidensh wrote:
-Kanrabat- wrote:I... begin to actually want the thing... :shock:



I've wanted it since day one. The wanting has never been the problem.


This figure is NOT worth the price, end of discussion. For me, at least. This figure will be the first time that I actively seek out a knock off of, and I hate that I feel bad about that.


Dunno about that. I'll definitely wait for the video reviews to hit so we finally know how it actually feel in hand.



That information is irrelevant. All the basis needed to say this is ridiculously over priced can be found in previous Masterpiece releases.
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998888)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on December 14th, 2018 @ 6:11pm CST
Ironhidensh wrote:That information is irrelevant. All the basis needed to say this is ridiculously over priced can be found in previous Masterpiece releases.



If you mean the latest MP released and how the prices keep increasing and increasing but people just buy them as much or even more, yeah, maybe.
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998895)
Posted by itscramtastic on December 14th, 2018 @ 7:11pm CST
Ironhidensh!! I know that feel. I do think I’m going to see what I can do to get it though. Let’s see what product moves over the next few months.
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998944)
Posted by Autobot Roadburn on December 15th, 2018 @ 12:06am CST
Ok, that skirt piece automatically folding inward to work with the leg movement is super impressive. I'm really excited to get this guy next year.
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998961)
Posted by noctorro on December 15th, 2018 @ 3:08am CST
I like MP 44, but I stopped collecting Masterpieces. Megatron looks impossible to transform.
And this guy costs like a new computer.

On the Siege comparison.

I'm telling you man, Siege Optimus Prime is thé best G1 looking normal line Optimus Prime so far.
Anyone a better example?
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998972)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on December 15th, 2018 @ 4:15am CST
noctorro wrote:I like MP 44, but I stopped collecting Masterpieces. Megatron looks impossible to transform.
And this guy costs like a new computer.

On the Siege comparison.

I'm telling you man, Siege Optimus Prime is thé best G1 looking normal line Optimus Prime so far.
Anyone a better example?



Spot the Frenchie phoneposting! :lol:
I can relate because that damn auto-correct is relentless. :BANG_HEAD:

As for the perfect modern "G1" Optimus, Siege might be the best one so far if the only factor is to look close to the original. Next best one would be the good old Classic mold. Power of the Primes leader Optimus/Orion Pax is quite amazing too.
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998976)
Posted by noctorro on December 15th, 2018 @ 5:24am CST
-Kanrabat- wrote:
noctorro wrote:I like MP 44, but I stopped collecting Masterpieces. Megatron looks impossible to transform.
And this guy costs like a new computer.

On the Siege comparison.

I'm telling you man, Siege Optimus Prime is thé best G1 looking normal line Optimus Prime so far.
Anyone a better example?



Spot the Frenchie phoneposting! :lol:
I can relate because that damn auto-correct is relentless. :BANG_HEAD:

As for the perfect modern "G1" Optimus, Siege might be the best one so far if the only factor is to look close to the original. Next best one would be the good old Classic mold. Power of the Primes leader Optimus/Orion Pax is quite amazing too.


Haha, very close m8. Dutch ;)

Agree, Classics Optimus is very good. I'm a real sucker for the flat chest and G1 headsculpt. I think Hasbro might remold Siege Optimus for a pure G1. The figure we have now has a great transformation and shave off some excess detail. G1 Optimus.
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1998999)
Posted by Cyberpath on December 15th, 2018 @ 10:13am CST
Takara posted a few samples of the unnecessary sound gimmick, check it out --

https://tf.takaratomy.co.jp/products/tf_mp/mp44_m

Image






Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999023)
Posted by Overcracker on December 15th, 2018 @ 12:26pm CST
Cyberpath wrote:Takara posted a few samples of the unnecessary sound gimmick, check it out --

https://tf.takaratomy.co.jp/products/tf_mp/mp44_m

Image





Sounds a lot like the voice from MB-11 Prime. Probably same guy.

Also, for those wearing headphones, lower the volume for the second voice clip... :michaelbay: :michaelbay: :michaelbay:
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999027)
Posted by kiwijinxter on December 15th, 2018 @ 12:30pm CST
Cyberpath wrote:
19: Now that the project is finally done and dusted, how do you feel?
Feel like "we've done everything we could". This is Optimus Prime after all, so we put in our heart and soul. At the same time even if we overdid it, Prime would forgive us (LOL). After MP44, the MP benchmark might have been raised again!


Thanks Cyberpath for this. It is helpful to know the details. Personally for me, I feel that the only MP benchmark they have set is the killer price. But in the end it's just business, so I can see why they chose Optimus Prime to charge the killer price - I can imagine Optimus as the best-selling figure across the range of Transformers. They wouldn't dare charge USD$450 for say, Ironhide... (which reminds me, Masterpiece MPM-6 really needs some major fixing from what I read!)
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999051)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on December 15th, 2018 @ 3:22pm CST
Not counting Maketoys version, how much longer for a 400$ new cartoon accurate MP seeker mold? :-?
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999057)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 15th, 2018 @ 3:36pm CST
-Kanrabat- wrote:Not counting Maketoys version, how much longer for a 400$ new cartoon accurate MP seeker mold? :-?

Considering the Starscream head...I'd say sooner rather than later.
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999067)
Posted by Cyberpath on December 15th, 2018 @ 4:34pm CST
Kind of hoping they will paint the back of the robot fuel-tanks blue on the final product.

Image



It's not unheard of, they changed MP-22 Magnus before the release. Even edited the stock photos to match the toy when they redid the MP page.

Image

Image
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999085)
Posted by itscramtastic on December 15th, 2018 @ 5:30pm CST
Dang it Cyberpath. Can’t unsee!!
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999114)
Posted by SkyFire Prime on December 15th, 2018 @ 10:23pm CST
Haha the last pic is mine :D
I'm flattered
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999347)
Posted by william-james88 on December 17th, 2018 @ 10:53am CST
SkyFire Prime wrote:Haha the last pic is mine :D
I'm flattered

Hey man, it was awesome!

Also, this made me crack up real bad:

Image
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999349)
Posted by itscramtastic on December 17th, 2018 @ 10:54am CST
So I've got MP-1 at the office today, and proportionally he's pretty similar to MP-44!! Every time I handle this figure I forget how heavy he is. Hot dang the detail in robot mode is great. Alt mode is super wonky, but he's a pretty awesome robot. Also, his head can be removed easily like MP-44, and he has a giant ion blaster.

I know there are some western retailers carrying him, but we haven't received any update on if they'll have non-Japanese instructions/box/sounds yet correct?
Re: Translation of interview with Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime designers (1999350)
Posted by william-james88 on December 17th, 2018 @ 10:56am CST
itscramtastic wrote:I know there are some western retailers carrying him, but we haven't received any update on if they'll have non-Japanese instructions/box/sounds yet correct?

There will be a version with english wrap around to sell the box at US and Canadian retailers. Do not know about the sounds, Hasbro will be getting back to me on that. I told them that would be the main reason people would spend $100 more to buy it locally than getting it off amazon japan.

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