To be exact, this is about Maketoys’ MTRM-11 Meteor aka G1 Starscream, MTRM-12 SkyCrow aka G1 Skywarp and MTRM-13 Lightning aka G1 Thundercracker. The Decepticon Seekers were in the beginning Megatron’s primary enforcers, they were bullies, they were jerks and they all had something that set them apart albeit being the exact mold in different colors. I think the show was always unfair to each of them in their own way. Yes, they were primarily thugs and bullies, but each characteristic was played up over the top.
Starscream was easily the comic relief of the show, but aside from his bumbling schemes he had to be more effective than most of his brethren to remain as the Decepticon Air Commander and Megatron’s second in command. Thundercracker almost never used his sonic boom, but has been considered less violent than his brothers and most often capable of cooperating with the Autobots if he saw it necessary. Skywarp is supposed to be a cruel prankster and although he was considered less smarter, he’s been around enough to have picked a thing or two. He’s loyal to the Decepticon cause and one of the few outliers: He can teleport, something shown only once in the show but proven to be far more useful in the comics under Megatron’s guidance.
Now, whenever the Seeker mold is reviewed the chosen one to run the gamut is usually Starscream. As much as I’ve come to appreciate ole Screamer, my favorite Seeker has never changed: It’s Skywarp. He’s gone from thug to devout soldier to been hooked up to a machine by Galvatron to become a teleporting service, to serve Megatron again and is currently working with G.I. Joe (yeah, seriously). For this review, it’s fair that I compare him to the Masterpiece Seeker mold, MP-11SW. Here are MTRM-12, MP-11SW and my very own original G1 Skywarp!
The light is making the light violet on the Takara Masterpiece look lighter but the MP-11SW mold does still hold up to the times. However, it’s quite obvious that the shade of purple on the MakeToys version more closely resembles the original toy and the cartoon version. Also, the bright gold of SkyCrow’s cockpit does provide an extra dash of color. Let’s see them alt modes!
Here’s where the Masterpiece shines. The F-15 Eagle never looked better. Yes, the underside will always be a compromise, but it’s still sleek enough to get a pass. The MP-11SW is actually the best execution of the MP-11 molds and everything clicks and snaps into place if you are careful of the details. The MTRM-12 instead could’ve used some fine tuning as the intent is there but some of the gaps are a hair short from closing. It also feels not quite as solid as the MP-11SW.
Still, the colors are brighter and far more accurate to the cartoon. It’s just that the MakeToys went for a toy plane while the Masterpiece looks more like a plane model. Although Skycrow has a lot more die-cast and feels heavier, picking it up from the wrong end will cause some parts to disconnect and misalign. Masterpiece Skywarp is more likely to stay together. The transformation for each mold has some common ground, but the cockpit is where the divergency is rather pronounce. The MTMR-12 is far more complex. There’s so much extra turns in it, that some parts are build to intentionally disconnect under pressure which ends up being a plus – it avoids breaking the toy and gives you the option of just cheating and reconnecting them already in the configuration you want.
The unfair difference here is that while the Masterpiece is the better of Takara’s seeker molds, MakeToys has been consistent on MTRM-11, MTRM-12 and MTRM-13. You are getting their best version on all three. On the other side, Masterpiece Skywarp does look better and results in a far better robot mode than Masterpiece Starscream.
The differences are subtle but pile up. The execution of the Seeker mold for Masterpiece MP-11 Starscream doesn’t look quite right compared to MP-11SW Skywarp. The head doesn’t sit quite as right on his shoulders. The shoulders leave a gap in the intakes. The cockpit doesn’t seem to slide as far in. The colors are even less vivid. Although Starscream’s color scheme should look more colorful than Skywarp, the more grayish color results in the finish looking dull.
The difference becomes night and day when you compare MP-11 Starscream to MTRM-11 Meteor. The MakeToys version just leaves the Takara Masterpiece in the dust. Meteor not only is more cartoon accurate, his colors are also vivid. The white is brighter, the red is bright red and the figure seems like it jumped out of a comic book. Add to that the amount of die-cast parts and there’s no contest. It’s really MTRM-11 Meteor that gives MakeToys Seekers the win.
I don’t have a Masterpiece MP-11S Thundercracker to compare, but there’s a reason for that. Living in Canada, and trying to find that figure I realize that my only options left would require me to go through some very expensive options. It was then that I realize that I would be spending literally more than TWO of MakeToys’ Seeker offers to get one older Masterpiece figure. In some cases, it was closer to all three of them. So, I went with the third-party version.
Are the transformations complicated? Yes. The resulting planes might not rival the Masterpiece version but they do make more than acceptable planes. Unfortunately, they don’t come with flight stands. Not a big issue for me as more than likely I will keep them in robot mode. Besides having a little ankle tilt, the MakeToys Seekers have a waist crunch which is really helpful as they tend to fall back if they’re completely straight. The heads also come with additional faces, although Starscream’s doesn’t show that well in camera. I also have to say, they’re pretty solid in robot mode.
That will do for now.