Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Masterpiece Sunstreaker MP-39


Profile (Translated from the Trading Card)
MP-39 Cybertron Warrior / Sunstreaker
Function: Warrior
Motto: "They can't beat the best!"
Profile:
Sunstreaker is an egotist. He believes himself to be the most beautiful thing on earth. His polymer steel body has only strengthened his vanity. Transforms into the same Countach LP500S as his brother Lambor with strong armour and battle technology; as his name suggests he runs the battlefield like the streaking light from a sun.
STR:5; INT:6; SPD:7; END:8; RNK:5; CRG:7; FBL:7; SKL:6




Translated Extended Bio & Descriptions


14 years after the start of the Masterpiece toy line, MP-39 Sunstreaker was finally released in December 2017 and this time based on his appearance in the 1984 cartoon series following Takara's new direction with the line.



Surprisingly Sunstreaker was not released soon after Lambor / Sideswipe (2012) but it was well worth the wait. Initial images of Sunstreaker surfaced in mid 2017 which illustrated the rear wing was yellow and not chromed like the G1 toy but luckily this was not the case for the final product.

Initial reveal of Sunstreaker with a yellow rear wing

Packaged in vehicle mode, Sunstreaker is a modified Lamborghini Countach LP500S and features significantly more detail compared with Lambor as well as being noticeably heavier. A nice touch with the box artwork is the toy has been photographed in the same pose as the original G1 boxart. The bonnet and doors can open up and there is a transformation in vehicle mode where you can lift up the chrome section, turn it over and place it down to transform it into a standard Countach LP500S. The headlights can also flip up from pushing them upwards from beneath the car which is a really nice touch considering this detail could have been left out.



Another feature in vehicle mode is the anti-aircraft gun; when the chromed air intake is on display, the rear wing can split in half and a gun can be raised upwards as seen in the episode "More Than Meets the Eye Part 2".

Sunstreaker & Lambor defending Trailbreaker. "More Than Meets the Eye Part 2"

Transformation with Sunstreaker is not overly complicated however this is a very fragile figure especially is roughly handled. There have been reports of the windscreen breaking as well as the robot mode backpack section. The backpack section rotates on a small hinge, due to the stress marks this creates I have ended up removing the screw so I can manually remove it so the plastic does not split. For the price you would expect this to be a lot sturdier but as it is with the Masterpiece line, there are going to be a few of these issues you have to deal with. Another cause for concern are the painted hands; due to the transformation and opening and closing of the fists, the paint will chip off over time.


Air intake hidden leaving the standard Countach LP500S

In robot mode Sunstreaker is very impressive and true to the animation. Unlike Lambor, Sunstreaker features an incredible amount of posability and even though he does have a backpack, it does compact quite well. As well as his standard "neutral face" Sunstreaker comes with 2 exchangeable faces, one "shouting" face and the other a "smiling" face.



Sunstreaker comes with 2 weapons, a Flare gun which is a simplified version of Lambor's gun and the second is a smaller Electro Pulse Gun that can be folded up and stored within his leg. This gun can also be stored beneath the chrome air intake in vehicle mode. The larger gun can be stored on Sunstreaker's back when not in use.



Sunstreaker also comes with an Evil Space Alien mask as worn in the episode "Hoist Goes Hollywood", and with Sunstreakers balance and posability it is possible to pose him as in the cartoon, walking like a zombie.

"Hoist Goes Hollywood"

"Hoist Goes Hollywood"

Chip Chase also comes with the set, the figure is detailed enough although it is not posable staying in a seated position and he comes with a wheelchair and the wheels don't move. With the upcoming MP-44 due August 2019, Takara are completing the main human cast by including Sparkplug and Carly along with a new version of Spike.

Sunstreaker with Chip Chase



Sunstreaker does not come with the missiles from the original G1 toy as it was never used in the cartoon, however MP-42 Cordon does come with the missile accessory which also works with Sunstreaker.



Overall, Sunstreaker is one of the most impressive of the Autobot car robots however he is expensive, almost double the price than the likes of Lambor and Hot Rodimus and closer in price to the likes of the larger Inferno. One more "issue" to point out are the wing mirrors. I found when transforming both Sunstreaker and Cordon from robot mode to vehicle mode flipping up the folded in windows on the legs can catch on the wing mirrors preventing the windows from folding out. This is a case of taking you time, failing that the mirrors are detachable and when removed the windows easily fold up. Despite the price, in hand you can certainly see why and this is a worthy addition to a Masterpiece collection.



Thank you for your patience, the shining star has arrived! (Translated from the back of the box)
Lamborghini’s “Super Car” the Countach LP500S is a conspicuous alternate mode for a Transformer, especially the super tuning version with the huge air intake at the rear of the car. This is an apt form for the narcissistic warrior “Sunstreaker”. Along with his brother Lambor, they appeared in the first episode of the animation “Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers”. Sunstreaker was a popular character due to his looks and narcissism. Vehicle mode reproduces the impressive air intake with chromed parts. The rear anti-aircraft cannon that intercepted Jetrons in the animation can be extended without removing any parts. Not only that but this has a masterpiece of a gimmick, in an amazing three step transformation the huge air intake can be transformed turning the vehicle mode to a completely normal Countach LP500S without the need for replacing any parts! Although this is a Transformer model, gimmicks have been packed in which are synonymous with the Countach car such as the scissor doors, retractable headlights and the opening and closing of the bonnet. Additionally the robot mode has a wide range articulation allowing for many dynamic poses and is equipped with two types of gun as seen in the animation. As an accessory, the “evil alien robot” mask worn when he starred a movie is finally represented three dimensionally! Two faces are included with different expressions and additionally the first ever figure of the young human genius and reliable friend of the Cybertron Warriors, Chip Chase, is included. The full set is all here to compliment Sunstreaker. The Masterpiece brand now takes the new transformation of the Countach to the limit.


Lamborghini Countach LP500S (Actual Car Notes) (Translated from the back of the box)
The Countach LP500S was custom made in 1982 in accordance to the specifications of a Canadian industrial magnate. It is based on the Countach LP400 but has a front spoiler, a front and rear fender and a rear mounted wing. It has a futuristic wedge shape, a mid-mounted V type 12 cylinder monster engine and the gearbox placed in front of the engine. The reversal of the powertrain attracted a lot of attention at the time. The “LP” attached to its name stands for “Longitudinal Posterior” meaning the mid-positioned engine and 500 cones from the 5 litre engine. 30 years have passed and still this is the king of the super cars and is still incredibly popular.

■ Length: 4140mm
■ Width: 1995mm
■ Height: 1029mm
■ Wheelbase: 2443mm
■ Weight: 1490kg
■ Maximum Power: 375 Horsepower / 7000rpm
■ Maximum Torque: 41.7kgm / 4500rpm
■ Maximum Speed: 290km/h That’s all







Vehicle Mode: Lamborghini Countach LP500S (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
The Warrior, Sunstreaker’s car mode is a “Super Countach”, remodelled from the Lamborghini Countach LP500S complete with a colour reminiscent of the sun. The base car model is the same as his brother Lambor and twin Alert. However he is equipped with a supercharged electronic propulsion booster which is mounted on the rear of his body with a huge air intake; this certainly embodies the ego of Sunstreaker. Very vain about his appearance and he is always waxing. He hates is when the Destrons attack close quarters when he is still in his vehicle mode and his bodywork gets scuffed. He gets frustrated that he won’t be able to return to his usual handsome self quick enough.
In vehicle mode he never stops flaunting his appearance or showing off his abilities. He took part in a charity race and imitated the Earthen stunt car drivers by recklessly jumping over his companions and failing. He always seems to be attracting attention with his youthful exuberance.
When the paint on his body is scratched off however, his fighting spirit ignites.
His rear wing opens up and and Anti-Aircraft Cannon raises upwards. Equipped with an Electron Pulse Gun which emits high energy bolts at 300 bursts per second.
As Lambor transforms into the same Countach LP500S they often refer to themselves as “brothers”. Overseas they are actually twin brothers but in Japan Lambor is a closer brother to Alert.




Robot Mode: Sunstreaker (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Function: Warrior
Motto: “They can’t beat the best.”
Profile:
There is no one more beautiful than him on Earth, that is at least what Sunstreaker thinks. Conceited and narcissistic, he hates it when his bodywork gets damaged in battle. A calm and collected warrior yet deep down he is very much like a human teenager, flashy and conspicuous. When he heard that Hoist was going to appear in a movie, he wanted to become a movie star himself. He was however disappointed to learn that his role was going to be an “evil alien robot” and had to wear a strange mask. When the cameras turned on he made sure his hands and feet were raised higher than anyone else's which is seen as they march in single file. Has an interest in the earthlings and their culture but feels betrayed when they turn on him becoming abusive. This is because he wants to believe in the human beings. When he saw the earthling Chip Chase defeat the Destrons using his intelligence and courage he acknowledged and accepted that they can win with human help. Very plain spoken which comes from his unadulterated innocence. Has a solid polymer skin that can deflect missiles however it doesn’t stop his nerve's or his constant groaning at the rattling of his joints and bearings in battle. He has invaluable aerial battle capability along with his Cybertron sibling Lambor; he jumps out on Jetron opponents to skillfully attack. Even when he gets shot down it doesn’t dampen his spirits.





Weapon: Flare Gun (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Sunstreaker uses a variety of weapons dependant on his situation. Among them is his flare gun, similar in build to his brother Lambors favourite weapon. As seen in “Dinobot Showdown!! Part 2” it can be used for attack but also to force open a hole in a time warp.





Weapon: Electron Pulse Gun (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
A portable folding FMG (Folding Machine Gun) housed in Sunstreakers engine section as seen in “Defeat Devastar!” and “Stop the Transforming!”. It was also used as a laser gun to attack the airborne Starscream in “Mystery of the Golden Lagoon”; it can also be attached to his roof in vehicle mode.



Weapon: Anti Aircraft Laser Cannon (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
This is a weapon specifically to intercept aircraft housed in the rear portion of his car mode. It has enough power to penetrate Jetron wing armour. His brother Lambor is equally equipped and they both saved Trailbreaker when he was pursued by the Jetrons.




Costume: Evil Alien Robot Costume (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
A mask from “Hoist Goes Hollywood” which Sunstreaker had to wear in the Science Fiction Movie “Attack of the Alien Robots”. Sunstreaker wore it when he appeared as an “evil alien robot” chasing a girl. This was far from the starring role he was expecting in the movie.


History

In 1977 under the Microman Command toyline, several vehicles were released for the Microman figures; one of these was the "Cosmo Countach". The front half was based on the Countach LP400, the rear end of the vehicle was a new configuration featuring a chromed engine. This vehicle was released in red, yellow and blue. As well as being able to seat a Microman, the rear of the vehicle could turn into a robot which could separate from the front of the car mode. The toy was released as a model kit which were popular at the time, with snap on parts and stickers.

Microman Command Cosmo Countach. Source: Yahoo Auctions

Microman Command Cosmo Countach. Source: Yahoo Auctions

In March 1982, the first toy to be released under Takaras Car Robots subline of their Diaclone series was the Countach LP500S Super Tuning which was only released in red in Japan. The car model was not only based on the Countach LP500S but also inspired from the Microman Cosmo Countach with the chromed engine.

Car Robot Countach LP500S Super Tuning. Source: Yahoo Auctions

In 1983 Takara launched the Diakron line in North America, one of the releases was a repackaged Countach LP500S Super Tuning which was renamed as Diakron DK-1 complete with a pilot.

Diakron DK-1. Source: eBay

In 1984 GiG (Italian toy company) who were already releasing Takara's Diaclone line in Italy, released their own version called Countach LP500S. This time round it was released in both red and yellow variants. The yellow variant came about due to the crossover with the production of Transformer toys for Hasbro.

Countach LP 500S red version. Source: eBay

Countach LP 500S yellow version. Source: eBay

The more well known of the releases was also released in 1984 which was the Transformers version called Sunstreaker. This version was only released in yellow.

Sunstreaker. Source: eBay

In 1985 under their second Diaclone series, Joustra (French Toy Company) released their version called "Countach". The red version was the only example seen in catalogues but first hand accounts said it was the yellow version which was actually released. This perhaps is one of the rarest examples and recently one appeared on an online auction site confirming the account that this was indeed the yellow version and is identical down to the copyright markings of the standard Hasbro release. The Joustra Diaclone line are known to have the Transformer toys in the Diaclone packaging with many featuring the Autobot or Decepticon symbols.

Source: eBay

Source: eBay

In Japan, Sunstreaker was only made available in the 1986 VSZ set along with Skids and Buzzsaw.


The original Sunstreaker mould was last released in 1991, during Hasbro's Classic (reissue). The character of Sunstreaker was not seen until 12 years later when Sunstreaker (yellow repaint of Car Robots Mach Alert / Prowl) was released as an Official Transformers Collectors Convention exclusive in 2003. Since then Sunstreaker has been a staple character in the different Transformer series that followed since.



View the full gallery here on Flickr.


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