Transformers Review: Star Saber (Masterpiece)

Intro:
            Every so often, an announcement of figures releases by HasTak would get me so darn excited. Then, sometime last year, Takara-Tomy announced that they would be releasing the long-awaited Star Saber figure in their Masterpiece lineup – as a result of public fan-voting – and I can feel the excitement building inside of me.
            Star Saber was the Autobot’s Supreme Commander during the events of Transformers: Victory. The original vintage G1 Star Saber, though a “brick” by nature, is probably one of the most expensive figures in the secondhand market today, if you can ever find him in the first place.
            The only other Star Saber figures that I have prior to this release was the Robotmaster and the Kabaya Candy Star Saber/ Victory Leo sets, each are very good in their own respect.
Instruction Manual
            I have always wanted a Star Saber figure, and thanks to the good people and TeenCom, Melaka, I have finally managed to get a hold of MP-24 Masterpiece Star Saber, thus making this review possible.
Bio Card and Tech Spec

             Of course, with this release, there is no Victory Leo. We’d probably have to wait for either Takara-Tomy or some 3rd Party companies to release a companion Victory Leo.

Packaging:
            It has been a long time since a Masterpiece figure came in such a large box, until the release of Ultra Magnus, of course, and it’s really a welcoming sight.

            MP-24 also comes packed with an instruction booklet, a bio-card, as well as accessories for his swords – for Saber and Star Saber modes; a shield that double-up as a display stand; a blaster; and of course, the original Brainmaster – Brain of Courage.


Brain of Courage:
            Yes, I admit, this is probably one of the most uncreative names ever in the franchise, but this is what he was called back them (from hereon in, BOC).
BOC literally looks like a mesh of Saber and Star Saber mode. He generally has the larger robot’s body and Saber’s head designs.
            Standing at about 1-inches tall, BOC does not transform, but he does have a little bit of articulations. He has a set of rotational shoulder joints and swinging hips – that’s all.
            For scale, BOC is actually human-sized and he can actually pilot the jet.

Saber - Vehicle Mode:
            Saber transforms into a red jet, which is a damn good realistic jet really. It looks like and very aerodynamic.

            There are also landing gears – real landing gears with wheels, not just stumps.

            The cockpit opens to allow BOC to pilot him.
Saber - Robot Mode:
            When required, Saber can transforms into robot mode. Here, he is a bit of a part-former. The front portion of the jet detaches itself to become he robot mode’s arm shield.


            Transformation is quite similar to its original G1 and Robot Master figures – so you actually forgo the instruction manuals and still do fine.
Brainmaster... ON
            Just like the original G1 figure, the chest opens up and there is a space for BOC to be inserted. Once the chest is closed, Saber’s face appears.
           Unlike the G1 figure where BOC itself is the face, in MP-24, the face is in the body of the larger figure itself, and BOC only acts as an extension tool to push up that face.
            Standing at about the height of your standard Deluxe figures of old, Saber is a huge improvements to his old G1 self, especially in terms of articulations.
            The head actually rotates, which a pleasant surprise. The shoulders are on soft ratcheting universal joints. The arms rotate and bend at the shoulders, and the wrists rotate. One thing worth to note is that the lower arms are hollow.
            There are no waist joint, unfortunately. The hips are on really, really tight ratcheting joints. However, the rotating axis can be relatively loose. The knees are on soft ratcheting joints, and also rotational joints.
Saber and Classic Optimus Prime
            Finally, the toe-piece can tilt as well.
            In this mode, he wields his sword, a blaster, as well as a shield formed by the front portion of the jet mode.

Base & Mobile Platform Mode:
            I have never been a fan of Star Saber’s base mode, and somehow the designers agreed to it, by not giving him a base mode officially. However, based on how the old G1 figure did it, Saber too can have his own battle platform, formed by his larger back-jet.
            The back-jet can also act as a mobile platform for Saber to ride into battles. This was frequently depicted in the animated series.



Storing the hilt
            The back-jet also provides several storage space for the accessories, i.e. the sword, hilt and blaster.
            It also has hidden missile launchers.

Star Saber Vehicle Mode:
            When the threats get too overwhelming, Saber can combine with back-jet and form a larger spacecraft/ jet, and what a humongous spacecraft it is.

            For display, the spacecraft can be mounted on the display. However, he can only be displayed in one particular way. It would’ve been really cool if he could be displayed in more ways than one.
            Anyways, those are only small gripes, nothing much.

Star Saber Robot Mode:
            The threat of Deathsaurus can be so overwhelming, that no mere bot can withstand him on their own. When all else fails, Saber will transform into his super-mode by combining with his back-jet, similar to how Gin Ginrai combines with his trailer, and the resulting super bot is absolutely awe-inspiring!


            He is HUGE and much taller than MP-01! He looks very screen accurate and very proportionate.
Side-by-side with MP-01 Convoy (Last Shot)
            His head sculpt, which actually a helmet, is totally wicked!
            Articulation-wise: the head has the exact same movements as Saber’s, provided the clips are released first. The shoulders are on soft ratcheting universal joints; the elbows swing outward and bend at two-points; the wrists rotate; the thumb is fixed; the first finger swings and the other 3 fingers move in tandem.

Finger articulations
            The waist turns; the hips are on hard-ratcheting universal joints; the knees are on ratcheting joints; and finally there is a little bit of ankle movements.
Sword storage
            All in all, his articulations are wonderful!!!
Storing the hilt
            You can really have hours of fun putting him in various action poses.
            In this mode, he can wield his large sword as well as his shield. Of course, he tends to look like a Gundam Mobile Suit, which is exactly what most people think… at least I do.


            Anyways, he can also wield his smaller gun in this mode, without looking any awkward.

Star Saber Coin:
            The coin packaging is kind of unique -- it has two flaps, representing the chests of both Saber and Star Saber.


           The coin of course depicts Star Saber's face, although it kinda looks like Optimus Prime with really long ears.
Overall:
I am absolutely happy with Star Saber. I have always wanted a Star Saber and this is probably the best Star Saber ever. He looks good; fantastic articulations – he’s the best Star Saber figure ever.
Now… if only there was Victory Leo.
Highly recommended.


            Final verdict: 10/10. 


 TeenCom

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