MP-01/MP-04 20th Anniversary Masterpiece Optimus Prime is the best transformer ever made in my opinion. This figure is what got me back into collecting transformers and I ended up with my first entirely by accident.
I came across the Hasbro 20th Anniversary version at some random Wal-Mart in 1999 or so when I had been completely ignorant of transformers for some time. My collecting was focused on die-cast 1/18th scale and had no idea this even existed and just happened to see it on a model car hunt. I picked it up and immediately realized this wasn’t the usual toy as it weighed a lot. In fact most of the figure is die-cast metal. What finally sold me on it was the chest and torso. The way the front wheels of the cab vanished into the torso to give it that tapered look, I needed to see how it was done. I bought it just to see how it transformed and it was genius.
In truck mode the suspension works.
In robot mode Optimus has moving pistons on his joints, flip out forearm communicators, the shins vents do a neat opening thing when you press his foot a certain way, his fingers are articulated, his mouth plate moves by pressing a tiny button.
oh and the chest opens up to reveal a removable Autobot Matrix which lights up!
He also comes with a snap on Energon axe, his blaster rifle, and a small Megatron in pistol mode.
Overall the figure is hands down the best transformer I have. Its held the title since the moment I picked it up and still to this day. Its worth mentioning that I’m biased as the rating is more than the sum of its parts because honestly the newer MP-10 is better in nearly every way. The thing is the MP-10, and all the Masterpiece Transformers in between wouldn’t exist without the foundation MP-01 built.That makes a difference in my mind because you always appreciate this one just that little bit more.
At the time it was released it was astounding that someone even mass-produced it being mostly metal, downright huge and essentially a one-off. I’m glad they did because it has led to one of the best collector Transformers lines with fantastic representations of Megatron, Starscream, Rodimus, Grimlock, and the newer Optimus Prime V2 in my collection so far.
Then a few years after all this another friend asks me where his trailer is. Enter MP-04 aka Takara Masterpiece. I knew you could get a trailer for this thing in some form or another but it’s really just a plastic box, and it’s not really worth the money PLUS it takes up lots of room. That’s what I told myself for a few years until I finally caved and got the MP-04 version for no other reason except to keep in the box, on a shelf so I would stop thinking about it.
I opened it once, here’s the only pic I could find of my MP-04 trailer: