Masterpiece MP-14+ Alert'It was a world transformed. A world of toy coloured masterpieces and anime coloured masterpieces.'
Announced around April 2016 the anime coloured version of MP-14 was always going to be devisive and so is worthy of an in depth compare and contrast article.
In this article I want to look at the changes made in this anime coloured version of Alert as well as examine the reasons why we may be getting more anime coloured masterpieces in the future.
BoxThe first thing to notice is that the box art for the new release of Alert shows the figure in a more dynamic pose. Originally Alert was in a static, neutral stance whereas the new release has Alert looking ready for action. For me this is an improvement as it adds more character and life to the figure.
|Box art is different and better|
|Similar layout, different poses|
The original Masterpiece Alert was a lovely bright white colour which really stood out. The same type of pure white was used for the Clampdown version of the mold which kind of diminished the impact of the original Alert.
For the new anime coloured Alert, TakaraTomy have repainted the figure to more accurately match the colours used for the character in the original cartoon. So gone are the whites and silvers and instead we get grey... Lots of grey.
|3/4 side on|
|From the top|
Wheel RimsThe box image shows the wheel rims being the same grey as the rest of the figure but it looks like the silver rims from the first version made it onto the new one. This is a shame as the grey rims look rather good.
|You can see both sets of rims have the same paintwork|
|The new version of Alert|
|The original version of Alert|
The original Alert came with a shoulder cannon molded in red plastic and painted silver at the rear. The new version of Alert has a shoulder cannon molded in slightly lighter red plastic and painted the same grey as the bodywork over more of the cannon than the original was. The images below better demonstrates what I am getting at.
As you can see from the photo below, there is a difference between the original Alert and the new Alert with regard to the Autobot insignia on the chest. The original is G1 through and through whilst the new Alert has a more outlined version without the filled in eyes and forehead.
The photograph above clearly shows the difference in shoulder colour between the two figures. The original Alert had white shoulders whilst the new Alert has black shoulders. My personal preference is for the darker colours shoulders as they break up the massive amount of white seen on the original version.
The original version of Alert came with silver feet to match the silver on the shoulder cannon and also the arms whereas the newer version has the same grey paint applied to the feet. I think it looks nice as it keeps the colour scheme looking uniform.
|Spot the difference|
This is an odd one for me. The original blue energy sparks looked awesome and actually looked like electricity shooting out of the head.The new ones are orange and look a little less exciting. Personally I am going to use the blue version on the new Alert as it looks better.
What started with an anime inspired and coloured Masterpiece MP-29 Laserwave and is continuing with MP-33 Inferno and MP-35 Grapple looks set to be an ongoing re-imagining of existing releases in order to make them more accurately match their anime counterparts with Alert being the first of potentially many.
Some will see this as yet another rebooting of the Masterpiece line. A line which has already seen one reboot, starting with MP-10 Optimus Prime, in order to make the figures appear more like their G1 anime models.
Others will see it as a cash grab, a way to sell us the same figure with a slightly altered colour scheme.
Personally I see it as a correction to a mistake made with the original version of the character and a way to give fans what they want... Choice. Some people want toy accurate figures, other want anime accurate figures. This way you get to choose the option that best suits you. Nobody can argue with choice right?
So what's next?
There are certainly other Masterpieces that could benefit from a more anime accurate colour scheme. Whether any stand out as blatantly as Alert is questionable. Given the choice between a new mold or another anime coloured version of an existing figure... I would go with the former every time.