MP-15E/16E Cassettebot vs. Cassettron

MP-15E/16E Cassettebot vs. Cassettron

The exclusive Cassettebot vs. Cassettron set has finally arrived at JunkionHQ!

Cassettebot vs. Cassettron Cassette Mode

It’s not an original thought, but if there is a logic to TakaraTomy’s Masterpiece numbering system I have yet to decipher it. For a release containing a straight repaint and a remold from MP-15, a straight repaint from MP-13B and an unreleased pre-mold, the 15/16 release number seems odd to say the least. I would think that a new number or a Legends inspired MP-EX would be far more fitting.

Cassettebot vs. Cassettron Beast Mode

One thing that surprised me is that everything in the box is in a little plastic baggy. I don’t remember the previous Takara cassette sets being packaged like that.

Enemy

Enemy Cassette Mode

Enemy is a repaint of the Rumble/Frenzy mold inspired by the G1 radio and voice changer accessories. As you can see, Enemy is a deep burgundy and navy blue which looks very good on this mold.

Enemy Robot Mode

He does come with pile-drivers but, even though he’s red, he’s not Rumble so isn’t allowed to use them.

Stripes

Stripes Cassette Mode

Stripes is a slight remold and repaint of Ravage inspired by a character in an early draft of the original Transformers movie. The original Encore cassette was Ravage with Steeljaw’s weapons so, in this version, Ravage’s rockets have been dramatically reduced in size and vertical wings have been added to the sides. Unfortunately, since the wings and rockets are part of the hip they can end up in odd locations when posing the figure.

Stripes Beast Mode

I know this is due to how parts line up in cassette mode but, for a character called Stripes, he has very few actual stripes.

Wingthing

Wingthing Cassette Mode

Wingthing is a Ratbat repaint based on G1 Soundwave’s Action Master companion. Like Stripes, this is another orange repaint, but it is a slightly darker shade which helps it stand on its own.

Wingthing Beast Mode

I do like the Ratbat mold, for anyone who doesn’t have it yet this is probably the least expensive way to get an official version.

Nightstalker

Nightstalker Cassette Mode

Nightstalker is the only new mold in this set and is clearly a pre-mold of Steeljaw, which will hopefully see a release soon along with a Masterpiece Blaster. According to TF Wiki, Nightstalker is most likely inspired by a G1 Marvel UK “design-a-decepticon” contest winner. The original Encore cassette was Steeljaw with Ravage’s weapons so, this version has rockets with flip out side wings to mimic those on G1 Ravage. Unfortunately the missile pods do not lock in place when in cassette mode.

Nightstalker Beast Mode

Due to the mechanics of the transformation he turns out to be about 2/3 the size of Stripes or Ravage. Despite the size however, Nightstalker is very pose-able and fun.

Nightstalker and Jaguar

Transformers Prejudices

After coming clean about being a “Rumble is Red” guy in my last post I started thinking about my personal Transformer Prejudices. For example the reasons that, for me, Rumble is red, Thrust is the best Seeker (with wings behind his shoulders BTW) and Twin Twist is an important character is all due to the fact that I owned the toys as a kid.

A lot of the G1 arguments we have in the fandom are topics where both sides are technically correct. Of course, my side is more technically correct, but I digress.

Scale

We talk about this a lot; Masterpiece Ultra Magnus is too big (disagree), Masterpiece Grimlock is too small (conditionally agree), Power of the Primes Predaking is too big/not big enough (too early to tell). Lets be honest, there is no possible way that you can make everyone happy using a physical object to represent anything animated in the original cartoon.

TFwiki.net Hoist driving HufferScale – I don’t think that word means what you think it means (photo from TF Wiki)

With deliberate mass-shifting and abundant animation errors it’s simply impossible to represent the characters as they were shown.

Takara decided to base their post MP-10 Masterpiece scale on the following guide (photo from TF Wiki):

TFwiki.net G1 Scale Chart

This is great-ish. We have a standard scale for the robot modes that is consistent across the line. However, take Bumblebee…

Sideswipe & Bumblebee robot mode

…looks about right…

Sideswipe & Bumblebee vehicle mode

…wait, is that a child’s pedal-car model of a Volkswagon?

Personally I like the approach that Takara took since I primarily display my collection in robot mode.

Masterpiece Autobots

However, eagle-eyed readers might notice MP-8 Grimlock standing between Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime, a clear violation of the scale chart. To compound the violation is Bullsfire DB-01 Air Strike, my Swoop stand-in which, unlike every other Masterpiece themed Swoop, is scaled to match MP-8. I did pick up FansToys’ FT-05 Soar but it is far too large to fit into my display.

Ultra Magnus

I don’t think of Ultra Magnus as a repainted Optimus Prime in armor because I didn’t get the toy until I was in college and the animation model always transformed straight from the car carrier to the bot.

Ultra Magnus with Minimus Ambus

Sure, I’ve read the Dreamwave comics where he was “revealed” as wearing armor and I’ve read the IDW comics where he was “revealed” as Minimus Ambus, just one in a long line of Ultra Magnus cosplayers, but that was long after my opinions were solidified.

Takara vs. Hasbro vs. Third Party

TakaraTomy vs Hasbro Hot Rod

There are a lot of fans that will, very emphatically, argue that one is inherently better than the others, often followed by declaring how poor those other two options “really” are. I tend to double dip into Takara for my main collection when a deco (Henkei chrome) or additional accessory (Targetmasters) warrants it then use third party versions to fill gaps, primarily on the Masterpiece side. If I have a third-party version and an official version comes out I tend to display only the official.

Takara, Fansproject, Hasbro sharing the spotlight

Masterpiece Cassettes

With MP-15E/16E Cassettebot vs. Cassettron due out by the end of the year I wanted to spend some time with the previous Masterpiece cassettes.

Cassettrons cassette mode

The cassettes have been available as part of Takara’s Masterpiece line releases; MP-13 Soundwave with Condor, MP-15 Rumble & Jaguar, MP-16 Frenzy & Buzzsaw and MP-13B Soundblaster with Ratbat. In the US Hasbro released Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage, Rumble and Frenzy with their Masterpiece Soundwave set then again with their Year of the Goat Soundwave repaint. The Transformers Collectors Club brought the Ratbat mold to the US as part of their G.I. Joe and the Transformers box set (still available as of this writing as part of their going out of business sale).

Cassettrons group

I did not pick up the original US version of Soundwave since I had already imported the Takara releases.

Let’s go through them mold by mold:

The Cats

Ravage has always been my favorite cassette – the original G1 set with Rumble were the only cassettes in my collection the first time around.

Jaguar cassette mode

Jaguar is a great mold and I love the way that they managed to integrate the rockets into the cassette.

Jaguar

The Year of the Goat release (and all of the “year of the…” releases as far as I’m concerned) is an odd duck. The clear and grey plastic is certainly distinctive but also quite “love it or hate it”.

Ghost Ravage cassette mode

I tend to think of it these as “ghost” versions.

Ghost Ravage

The Robots

The robot cassettes are the only ones that have external accessories with their separate wing blasters and pile drivers.

Robots cassette mode

Ok, let’s just get this out in the open – I’m a “Rumble is red” guy. As I mentioned above, Rumble was one of the only two cassettes that I owned as a kid so the red toy color scheme made a stronger impression on me than the blue cartoon color scheme.

Robots

The Birds

This has to be my favorite of the Masterpiece cassette molds

Birds cassette mode

Like Ravage, the designers found a way to integrate the booster backpack into the cassette mode without sacrificing the look of the figure.

Birds

The Bats

For collectors in the US, this is the most difficult to acquire of the Masterpiece cassette molds since it wasn’t included in the US version of Soundwave. (I’m aware of the KOs but am specifically referring to official releases here)

Bats cassette mode

Like the other non-robot cassettes, Ratbat’s backpack is fully integrated into the transformation. Ratbat also holds the honor of being the only Masterpiece figure released in comic book colors.

Bats

Unofficial Bonus: Autoscout

Autoscouts cassette

Many years ago two versions of the one-hit-wonder Autoscout from the G1 episode A Prime Problem were released. I still include the TFC Toys version (on the ? in the photos) from their Gears of War set in my Masterpiece display. I much prefer the transformation on this one over iGear’s version although iGear’s cassette mode has the better deco.

Autoscouts angle

Coming up…

When MP-15E/16E is released we’ll have another four members of the cassette army. I’m waiting…