Transformers Review – God Ginrai/ Powermaster Optimus Prime


Intro:
            Back in the G1 era, the legendary Optimus Prime has met his maker more than once, and each time he died, he’d eventually be reborn into one form or the other.  In the Masterforce series, which took place after the events of Headmasters, and before the Victory Series, Optimus Prime met his maker yet again, and a temporary body was made to house his spark, but eventually fell into the hands of a human named Ginrai, who in turn wielded the power of the mighty robot.
            Throughout the 3 series, we have been introduced to the various technologies, all nicknamed “Masters”. The 1st of these was called Headmasters, in which humans (or humanoid beings) would wear robotic outfits or suits, which enables them to transform into the head of a larger robots. There were also Brainmasters, which allows humanoid robots to enter the body of the giant robots via the chest & provides their face; Breast force (breast or chest plates transforming into various animals); and finally, Powermaster (humans who transform into the engine blocks bigger robots). According to definition, the Powermaster technology is one of the ways for the Transformers race to better utilize or conserve energy efficiently. The engine block or the Powermaster provides better energy or power regulations to areas that needed them, while minimizing power consumptions over other robotic processes. In other words, these new breed of Transformers have more power at their expense when needed.
            Ever since I’ve started collecting Transformers figures, I’ve never had any Powermaster figures – the closest being the knockoff versions of Doubledealer (which was fairly accurate to its original counterpart, down to even its colors) & Ginrai (which incidentally doesn’t even have the small Hi-Q figure). My most favorite of these were obviously Powermaster Optimus Prime or Ginrai. The Japanese animation series depict Ginrai as a very powerful warrior, and constantly been able to upgrade & regenerate himself, and finally being able to combine with Godbomber (also known as Apex Bomber in the West).
            Since I never thought I’d be able to have one due to the cease of production of Powermaster figures some 20 years ago, you can imagine my surprise when the people at Robot Master called me to inform me of its availability. Last I check, this figure could fetch up to RM 1000 due to its unavailability. So, I knew instantly that I could never pass up this opportunity to own one of the most iconic G1 era figures.
            So, keep on reading for the review...

Ginrai (Powermaster Optimus Prime)
Powermaster Ginrai:
            Nothing much to mention about the little powermaster save that it transform into an engine block that serve as a catalyst to the transformation of Ginrai’s main robot mode.
Alternate Mode:
            Just like the G1 figure, Powermaster Optimus Prime or Ginrai transform into the traditional but heavily armed flat-surface semi truck with trailer, which looks eerily similar to the original version (befitting because it was supposed to be a replacement body for the dead Optimus Prime). As far as the concept of “robots in disguise” is concerned, Ginrai is definitely not a good disguise. The truck mode is so heavily armed that it would make the famed Tiger tanks looked like fancied trucks. There are not many features in this mode safe probably the ability to connect with Godbomber’s vehicle mode. If you are wondering, the Ginrai’s cab mode is slightly bigger than the original Optimus Prime figure.
Super Ginrai and Masterpiece Grimlock
Robot Mode:
            The robot mode is less than stellar. The original G1 Optimus Prime outshines Ginrai in every way: in terms of articulation & stature. The only bright point of this figure is the size, which is approximately a full inch taller than his G1 predecessor. One thing that irritates me to no end is the connector between both feet. I think the designers could have easily revised the designs of the legs to make it better.
Ginrai and Masterpiece Grimlock
Base Mode:
            The base mode is actually one of the highlights of the package. Personally, I love the designs & its appearance. It is both simple & elegant. I’ll bet that it’d make a more convincing base if you pair it up with other Minibots or Minicons, but with Ginrai, it looks more similar to a battle platform. Probably the idea is to have it serve as a battle platform for Ginrai & other headmasters. Overall, I think it more than makes up for a very weak robot mode.
Super Ginrai Mode:
            Super Ginrai is literally the cream of Powermaster Optimus Prime setup. Yes, it may be nothing more than an oversize brick with very little articulations. Still, at 10 inch tall, the figure itself looked awesome & imposing. 
Super Ginrai and Godbomber
Godbomber (Apex Bomber)

Alternate Mode:
            I literally do not know what to make of the alternate mode of Godbomber. Although it’s supposed to be a trailer extension to Ginrai’s truck mode, Godbomber makes a more convincing alternate mode on its own, even though I have no idea what it’s supposed to be on its own. 
            The only way I could make of it is that it could probably be a heavily modified battle-ready van. For its size, Godbomber is incredibly light, mostly due to its hollow interior.  
Robot Mode:
            Transforming Godbomber into robot mode is itself unique. In term of transformation, I would relate Godbomber to Omega Supreme, in the sense that you literally have to completely disassemble the alternate mode apart, and re-assemble the parts back together. If Super Ginrai mode was bad in terms of articulation, Godbomber is even worse, since it contain no articulation at all save the shoulders, which turns around 360 degrees. Apart from that, Godbomber is a total brick. Size-wise, it’s slightly shorter than Super Ginrai.

God Ginrai
            The combination mode looks very imposing. The combined mode doesn’t reduce or increase the number of articulation points to the figure, it merely adds to the bulk as body shields and armors. Standing at 12 inches tall he is 2 inch shorter than Cybertron Primus, but almost similar in bulk. Looking at really reminds me why I liked the Powermaster idea in the first place.

Overall:
From Left: Godbomber, Super Ginrai and Masterpiece Grimlock
            Overall, I am very happy with the action figure. Yes, despite its numerous shortcomings, you have to keep in mind that this was a figure designed and made in 1988, and it would be grossly unfair to compare it to the aesthetics of any modern Transformers figures. Keep in mind also that this version is actually a re-release set in the year 2000, and roughly underwent minimal changes from its original designs. The same however cannot be said for Godbomber. If you observe carefully, the parts such as the arms & wings were joined together with screws, rather than having to dismantle them during transformations. Along with the designs of Ginrai cab-robot, those are probably the only eligible gripes that should be addressed. 
Clockwise from left: Masterpiece Grimlock, God Ginrai, Big Convoy and G1 Optimus
            It’s a beautiful figure worth adding to any collections, especially to those looking to add to their Optimus Prime collections. God Ginrai is literally one of the most difficult to find figures, and its purchase value could easily reach RM 800 to RM 1000 marks and at approximately RM400, it’s worth every single cents. 
           Highly Recommended. 

            Final verdict: 9/ 10.

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