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Four Very Good Reasons For TakaraTomy To Make A New Masterpiece Optimus Prime Mold
RAC - Thursday, March 08, 2018

With the rumors of a new MP Optimus Prime that have begun to circulate, we can't help but wonder if the MP-10G Gold Optimus Prime that just popped up on Taobao will be the final release of that oft-recolored, oft knocked-off mold. There's a few good reasons that this could be true, and RAC's going to go over them in this post. Read on!

4. They've Done Nearly Every MP-10 Recolor Imaginable

Above is MP-711, the (Japanese) 7-Eleven exclusive recolor of MP-10. (It's kinda neat! Also expensive, but that's beside the point.) Amazingly, it's the only MP-10 variation that's similar to Ultra Magnus' G1 inner robot. But since we have a proper Magnus now it's questionable whether they could've done a straight up Magnus Cab recolor with any degree of success. In the meantime we've gotten Nemesis Prime/Black Convoy, two Bathing Ape color variants, Shattered Glass Prime (the evil alternate universe Optimus Prime not to be confused with Nemesis Prime), a gold-tinged MP-10 for Asian markets to celebrate the Year of the Horse, and an Optimus Prime in Neon Genesis Evangelion Eva Unit-01 colors. From here out the color schemes can only get weird and more obscure, but also harder to justify selling.

Or, we can get a new mold and start alllll over again...

3. MP-10 Has Been Knocked Off To High Heaven

It's been upscaled, recolored, and straight-up replicated, much as the Smallest Transforming Transformers figures have been in the 15 years since their initial release. And if anything the knocking-off of Masterpieces, even at high levels of quality, is accelerating. MP-10 faces a fair amount of stiff competition from itself, which could be remedied - for a time, at least - by an all-new MP Prime release.

2. It's The 35th Anniversary

It's not perhaps as fancy an anniversary as a big round number would be, but anniversaries divisible by five do tend to draw some extra attention. With the Transformers franchise entering an uncertain future with the Michael Bay movie years seemingly behind us, starting off the 35th anniversary with a flagship product using the best of Takara's design and engineering skills could be a good way to keep collector attention on Transformers.

1. The MP-10 Mold Is Simply Worn Out

The corollary to the number of variants we mentioned above is that the mold has been used a lot. Molds don't last forever, and there are some figures - for example, the Car Robots/Robots In Disguise(2001) Autobot Brothers - that would simply have to be remade from the ground up because the mold is so far gone that re-release is impossible. Technology has improved in the nearly 20 years since that example, but injection molding still involves heat and pressure, so mold degradation is still a thing and always will be. The later releases of the 2006 Generations Seeker mold still betray that odd looseness that comes from a mold that has been used a zillion times. And if something as complex as a Masterpiece can be coated in vacuum-metalized gold coating and still be functional? Odds are the tolerances on the mold are not as good as they once were. To my mind, this is the clearest indicator that MP-10 is going to be replaced for a reason.

Whatever the reason, MP-10 is nearly seven years old as of this writing - which is roughly the amount of time between MP-1 and MP-10. Advances have been made in both technology and styling since its creation; if TakaraTomy can pull off a 100% animation accurate Optimus Prime, the results would definitely be fascinating, if not something we might feel is strictly necessary. With any luck, we'll know more about MP-10's successor soon.

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