Wednesday 19 September 2018

Masterpiece Dinobot (Beast Wars) MP-41

Profile (Translated from the Trading Card)
MP-41 Cybertron Frontline Combat Dinobot (Beast Wars)
Function: Specialised Combatant
Height: 2.9m (In Robot Mode)
Weight: 1.7t (In Robot Mode)
A Cybertron Frontline Combat specialist who transforms into a raptor (Velociraptor). Originally a Destron but walked away from them after he lost a confrontation with Megatron. After challenging Convoy to fight for leadership, his abilities were recognised and he became a friend. He lives by survival of the fittest, yet deep in his spark he is a proud warrior. Before anyone else he realises Megatron’s true intentions and heads into battle to protect the future of humanity.
STR:8; INT:5; SPD:9; END:5; RNK:6; CRG:9; FBL:6; SKL:6

Masterpiece Dinobot is a hard figure to recommend, mainly being that this is the most expensive mainstream Masterpiece figure released up to now, retailing for 28,000 Yen (around $250 / £190). Additionally for whatever reason Dinobot was not released outside of Japan by Hasbro Asia meaning most of the usual western retailers are now sold out.

Additionally there was a reported problem with the shoulder ratchets which could turn problematic. The shoulders should move up and down with no problem and indeed my copy had no problem until both shoulders suddenly seized and became stiff which was frustrating seeing as I had taken several precautions to avoid such an incident (using e-clips and lubrication). For a high price brand new toy to do this on first transformation is very frustrating. Now the right hand shoulder moves but not with a ratchet joint, it now relies on friction squeaking as you move it up and down. I thought the left shoulder would suffer the same fate until I had the idea to "hit" the shoulder and it moved back smoothly. The issue must be a spring within the shoulder similar to the issue with the spring in MP-9 Rodimus Convoys ankle issue. Other than that my copy still transforms now but the ordeal has taken the fun out of it.

The box is large, being the size of MP-29 Laserwaves box, inside Dinobot is packaged in dinosaur mode partially disassembled with the tail removed along with the other accessories - 3 additional faces (Screaming Face, Smiling Face and Beam Face), Dino Saber, Golden Disc, Golden Disc adaptor, base adaptor for beast mode, base adaptor for robot mode, Golden Disc stand, Base section A, Base section B, a base support arm and an eye beam effect.

Dinobot in velociraptor mode is very impressive, there are obvious limitations with what can be achieved in toy form compared to the CGI character model; however when compared to the original Dinobot the Masterpiece figure speaks for itself. Incidentally the model of the original Dinobot I am using for comparison is the 1999 Fox Kids classic repaint as I can't find my original loose Dinobot figure.

Dinosaur mode is very close the CGI model especially the dinosaur head. Using the same eye swap gimmick as MP-8 Grimlock, the top of the head flips up and you can rotate the eyes to alter the expression. The dinosaur mouth opens to reveal an independently moving tongue and if you open the mouth fully the top set of teeth are exposed. The tail is also very articulated. A negative aspect of dinosaur mode is getting the thing to stand upright; this is where the figure needed strong ratchet joints. By careful positioning it will stand, just not very well. Luckily Takara Tomy included the large stand to be able to pose Dinobot in any number of positions. In dinosaur mode, Dinobot can hold the Golden Disc using the small clear plastic adaptor. One thing to point out in dinosaur mode is that the claws are extremely sharp.

Much like the original Dinobot, to transform from dinosaur to robot the tail needs to be removed and put aside. The transformation is not simple but nor is it difficult, basically the dinosaur mode folds in on itself and what you are left with is more impressive than the beast mode. In robot mode, Dinobot looks like he has stepped out of the cartoon and is surprisingly big, almost as tall as MP-10 Convoy. Unfortunately for the photographs I forgot to lift the top of the feet up.

All of Dinobots faces feature an opening and closing mouth which adds to the dynamic poses. On the back of the robot head is a button and when you add 2 LR44 batteries into the back of the head, when depressed the eyes light up red which does show through the painted eyes. One face is simply called "Beam Face" which features clear eyes, on this face you can plug in the clear plastic beam effect accessory over the eyes. When you hold down the button on the back of the head the eyes turn green replicating Dinobot firing his eye beams as seen in the cartoon.

Transforming Dinobot's tail can be an ordeal; you have to split the tail in half and with each half, the end section is prised out of the tail and rotated back over the tail shortening it. Trying to push these sections of tail took quite a long time especially when you are trying to be careful. When the end sections have been rotated back and clipped into place the tail can be closed and it can be stored on the robots back.

Weapon storage

To form the Cyber Shield, the shortened tail just needs to be split in half again and then plugged into Dinobot's hand. Like the original toy the tail can spin around at the push of a button. The Dino Saber which comes folded can be unfolded and wither plugged in the centre of the shield or placed in Dinobot's hand. The sword is chromed a salmon pink colour which matches the cartoon. In robot mode Dinobot can also hold the Golden Disc using the small clear plastic adaptor.

Like dinosaur mode, Dinobot's ankles in robot mode are weak and unless balanced he will topple over so using the stand comes in handy.

Translated extended bio. Click to enlarge

Below are translations from the instruction pamphlet including the translation from the back of the box after several people have requested this.

■ I will not hand the future over! (Translated from the back of the box)
Never before seen in full length CG, the cartoon “Super Robot Beast Wars Transformers” took the unprecedented concept of having Transformers “transform” into animals. The third Masterpiece is the professional combatant, the Cybertron Frontline Combat “Dinobot”; his beast mode is a raptor (Velociraptor). A former Destron, initially his presence was not appreciated, especially by Rattle but he later won his comrades trust through battle and he became an indispensable partner for the Cybertrons. Many fans may vividly remember him living the life of a warrior, cold and aloof. This product is a masterpiece, stylishly reproduced, specifically the storage of the legs within the beast mode body. This has allowed him to maintain his overall silhouette which has been achieved with the latest transformation technology. You can certainly see the changing evolution within the last 20 years. The changing facial expressions with the dinosaurs eyes gimmick along with the opening and closing mouth recreate the expressive CG animation. As well as the evolution of his robot mode proportions, the highlights are the Dino Saber and Cyber Shield. Bringing the set together using Convoy as the set standard scale gives Dinobot a charm as a Masterpiece beast warrior. We want you to enjoy the creation of Dinobot and celebrate the Beast Wars 20th anniversary.

Dinobot (Beast Wars) (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Function: Cybertron Frontline Combat
Height: 2.9m (In Robot Mode) Weight: 1.7t (In Robot Mode)
The velociraptor, a small dinosaur has a large skull yet slender body. Their hind legs have developed to allow them to move at speed on the ground then and kill their prey with their sharp talons. Dinobot is a tough and powerful Dinosaur type Transformer. Whereas the other Cybertrons are new to warfare, Dinobots presence can be unsettling given that he is a former Destron who specialises in combat. Taller than Convoy in robot mode, he has the largest physique out of the Cybertrons. However in beast mode he can reach speeds of 90km/h and is also agile in robot mode able to reach speeds of 80km/h. His Dino Saber and Cyber Shield are best utilised for close quarter battles; Dinobot has the skill to stand toe to toe against the leaders of both factions; in the Beast Wars Dinobot is a valuable asset for the Cybertrons.
In the early days, Dinobot did not fit in well with the Cybertrons and as his personality lacked cooperation and he was quick to anger many thought that he would turn “traitor”. Only the thought that he was only a merciless Destron living only for war differentiated him from the other Cybertrons. However his calm judgement in warfare is superb with his experience as a Destron working to his advantage. Only Convoy appreciated his abilities and trusted him entirely and in turn Dinobot on occasion would pay special respect for Convoy. This is the kind of respect that exists between those who have fought one another. Eventually following many battles Dinobot won the trust from his peers especially Rattle whom he was once at loggerheads with, but later they built a strong friendship with each other. He was once in a sense of doubt when he learnt the secret of the Golden Disk and returned to the Destrons but in the end he finally chose to fight alongside the Cybertrons.
In order to thwart Megatron’s ambitions, Dinobot chose to challenge the Destron army alone. He protected the future of humanity. He was a warrior to the end, a true hero….

Weapon: Dino Beam (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
A weapon built into Dinobots head. It is a green beam that is fired from both eyes in robot mode; powerful enough to penetrate steel up to 3 meters thick. This weapon destroyed the Golden Disk. Commonly referred to as “light from the eyes”.

Weapon: Cyber Shield (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
One of his hidden weapons; a rotating shield which is transformed from his Beast Mode tail. It can be used defensively or offensively by rotating its point as well as connecting the Dino Saber to the centre of the open shield. It can also be used as a rotor.

Weapon: Dino Saber (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Dinobot's main handheld weapon used in one on one combat. A reverse rotating sword made up of small blades, each blade rotates the opposite of each other. It can easily cause damage by scraping off enemy armour. In beast mode it is stored in the tail.

Item: Golden Disc (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
A disc inscribed with details of a legendary planet which was stolen by Megatron on Planet Seibertron. Messages from his descendant, the original Megatron were also recorded on it. As well as the catalyst for the Beast Wars, it is a key item linked with Dinobot’s fate.

There were two Golden Discs in the Beast Wars cartoon, one which was stolen by Megatron which comes with Dinobot and a near identical alien disc which Inferno found in a mountain. The disc stolen by Megatron is based on the real life Voyager Golden Record which was launched into space in 1977 aboard the Voyager spacecraft.

View the full gallery here on Flickr.

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