Transformers Review -- Metroplex (Encore Edition/ G1)


Intro:

Part of the joy of collecting Transformers, is to see robots transforming to all sorts of objects imaginable. Throughout Transformer’s 24 glorious years, we have seen Transformers transforming into cars, planes, trains, rockets, UFOs, animals, dinosaurs, and recently, we even have watches, PS2 joy-pads, cell-phones and gigantic Planets. Back in those days, designing a Transformer that could transform into a planet was nearly an impossible task. Just look at the prototype designs of Unicron – they are hideous and disgusting at best – only during these recent 5 years or so that they managed to produce convincing ones in the form of Armada Unicron and Cybertron Primus.
The point is that nothing is impossible in the Transformers Universe. Back in the good old days, if you’re looking for huge Transformers, planets are definitely out of the question, so they had to settle for the next best thing – Transformers that transform into bases and cities!!! Prior to getting this Metroplex figure, I have not had a single Transformer that could transform into bases or cities. The best I had was a couple of knockoff figures in the form of Powermaster Optimus Prime and Fortress Maximus, both of which sucks BIG TIME. The Cybertron line Metroplex could somewhat unofficially transform into a base, but it really requires a lot of imagination to it (trust me on that, cuz I got Cybertron Metroplex too). Two-years or so, I would eventually own a re-released God Ginrai figure, which is quite awesome, but I would rather consider him as a form of battle platform rather than an actual base. Since I started with my childhood obsession, I had wanted to own either one of the bunch – Scorponok, Trypticon, Fortress Maximus or Metroplex. So you can imagine my childlike excitement when Takara-Tomy announced that they were reissuing the G1 Metroplex via the Encore line.
Another Holy Grail-level figure in the bag… so let’s roll with the review.

Robot Mode:
            Standing among the Giants in my collection, G1 Metroplex is among the smallest – not as tall as Primus or Cybertron Metroplex, or even 20th Anniversary/ Masterpiece Optimus Prime and Masterpiece Megatron, but he is the stoutest and the sturdiest. Previously I’ve read in other reviews on how Cybertron Metroplex’s work mode was a tribute to G1 Metroplex, now I could see why. There’s an aura of thickness and stoutness to both figures. It’s worth to note that G1 Metroplex is exactly the same size of Cybertron Metroplex’s work mode. Standing side-by-side, they look as if they make a perfect wrestling tag-team partners – I can almost see it now, “coming in to the ring at this time, weighing at a combined weight of 500,000 tons, the Metros!”
The Metros
            Erm… never mind that… anyways, back to the matters at hand. 
 
            In robot mode, Metroplex is armed to the teeth! Apart from the two guns in his hands, there are also missile launchers on his chest, laser cannons on his shoulders and 2 more lasers on his back. Being a G1 reissue, the articulations generally suck. The arms & legs swings back and forth; its waist turns and Metroplex can also do splits, and those are practically it! However, that doesn’t matter much, since to me, Metroplex is meant as a display set, which he makes a perfect one. 

City/ Base Mode
 
            If you’re looking for playability, then Metroplex’s city mode has loads of it! In this mode, Metroplex really makes a more convincing base rather than a city. If it’s intended to be a city as the name suggest, then it should be regarded as part of a city rather than a city as a whole. Even though it has few towers resembling buildings, it still has no streets whatsoever. However, this doesn’t take away the overall play value of the figure. There are basically 4 towers – one of it is highly debatable. Both of Metroplex’s arms act as the towers—with one of them has Slammer (more on this guy later) attached to it. Another tower at back is literally the cannon holder turned upside down. The tower near the helipad is kinda debatable; because I’m not exactly sure what’s it supposed to be. I’m assuming, since its right beside the helipad, it should be a control tower of sort. The tower actually consists of Six-gun (more on this guy later) chest and torso rearranged. Metroplex’s legs opens up to reveal repair bays which in total can accommodate at least 4 Minicon-sized cars. The missile launchers in front of the helipad can be opened up to give more defensive weapons to it. The right chest house a garage of sorts which can accommodate most Minicon-sized cars and of course, Scamper (more on this guy later too). There is a dial on top of Metroplex’s shoulder that activates the propeller within the garage, which could propel Scamper out of the garage and down the ramp. 
 
            It may not be an actual city, but heck, this is one damn good base! The only problem with this mode is that it’s too small. If only Metroplex was the size of G1 Fortress Maximus, then that would’ve been even better.

Battle Mode:
 
            Normally, I’m not quite keen on a “third” mode, as most third modes are nothing more than an afterthought. Just look at Cybertron Primus’s Battle Mode – it’s nothing more than just a half-transformed Primus. There are other examples as well, but I just can’t recall any right now. Anyways, somehow, I just love Metroplex’s 3rd mode. The battle mode is just so heavily armed. If you take off all of those missile launchers at the legs, the battle mode almost resembles a carrier, complete with launch-pads for fighter jets.
            The wheels roll smoothly, which supports the hefty weight quite well. If you have enough Minicons and mini-cars transformers, you can actually place some of them on Metroplex, and makes this thing look like even more menacing as a carrier.

Minions:
From left: Scamper, Six-Gun, Slammer
            Well logically, since the guy is city-sized, Metroplex must require a lot of minions to maintain him and to add more to the defensive aspect of the city. This is where Scamper, Slammer and Six-gun come to play.
            Scamper is the tiny black car that almost resembles a black-colored Sideswipe. He’s the only independent robot that doesn’t play any part whatsoever in each of Metroplex’s modes.
            Slammer – the tank – on the other hand transforms into the top half of a tower in Metroplex’s city modes.
 
            Six-gun is the strangest of all. The guy has guns for limbs, back and another gun as, well, a gun. His chest and torso forms the control tower in city mode. Six-gun is quite big, which he is roughly as tall as any normal Voyager-class Transformers. Six-gun may have been an afterthought, but visually, he does look good.

Summary:
            Overall, this guy is impressive. Disregarding the fact that the articulations suck—forgivable since this is a G1 figure—Metroplex makes both a very good display set, and an equally impressive play-set. 
            For me to finally own a base of my own, I am quite happy with this figure. I just wished that he could’ve been a bit bigger, or enticingly, to the size of Fortress Maximus. Still, he is a well-executed figure and highly recommended to all TransFans out there.

Rating – 9.5/10. (Would’ve gotten a solid 10 if it were bigger).

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