Thursday 1 June 2023


The good folks at Cosmic Toys continue to throw trade-ins at me with the insistence that I apply my Half-Arsery approach and form mildly coherent yet potentially intelligent and helpful reviews. It’s that or they’re doing it so they can just copy and paste my hard come by words to use on their bloody website!

Regardless of their motivations, the next figure to land in my lap is Takara Tomy’s MP-52 Masterpiece Starscream (Knock Off Version). Yes, that’s right folks. This time round we head to the murky underbelly of collecting, the moist darkened depths of intellectual property theft…. Oh hang on, that’s 3rd Party. Sorry, I mean just straight up ripping off someone's hard work…. and sometimes doing it better.

KO Starscream, from now on to be referred to as “5tar5cream” is loose but complete with all accessories and instruction sheet. However at the time of writing, I was not in possession of the display stand as that had been left at the shop…. just can’t get the staff these days. The accessories when they are all in hand comprise of: x5 Alt faces, Megatron in gun mode, Corkscrew thing, Pincer and Rock thing, a selection of blast effects and the display stand. All accessories except the display stand, fall into the ‘from that episode’ category which doesn’t particularly appeal to me. Give me the figure as is, then for those who want, do an accessory pack as an additional purchase item.

Now that I’ve established what’s there and isn’t, I’ll move on.

Now knock off Transformers, especially Masterpiece ones, are a lot better than they used to be say 10 years ago. And I’ve noted that in some cases, collectors will wait for the KO version of a Takara Masterpiece as it’s usually built better with better materials whilst also correcting any QC issues that have been noted. All this and adding die-cast, which Takara seems to have abandoned altogether.

That said, I’ve not had an official MP-52 in hand so I cannot comment as to how it would fair against this KO version. However, I do know that this is a first release KO 5tar5cream as indicted by the loose feet (we’ll get to that shortly).

Depending on which angle you view 5tar5cream at in jet mode, it ranges from barely okay to what the f*ck. In the chase to have everything attached it has led to some interesting kibble being on display. From the side it looks like a brick with wings and a ‘V’ shape chiseled out of it. For me this is a real step back from MP-3 all those years ago. But, trying to be kind, they have tried to retain certain play features from that vastly superior mold in the form of: opening cockpit, movable thrusters and the nose cone radar dish.

Transforming from jet to robot is not the ball-ache I expected it to be. In fact it wasn't too bad. Lots of flappy and bendy bits but it gets there. I do like the idea of the wings splitting to hide components, but it just makes the whole back section look quite thick. A gimmick I think would work better on other lesser lines and not Masterpiece.

5tar5creams robot mode is an improvement on his jet mode, but again, angle dependent. People often mock certain 3rd Party companies for their ‘back-packs’ but there is one here to be honest, as I eluded to just moments ago. His proportions are good and has bags of articulation, even managing an ab-crunch, but still no waist swivel. Because I’m looking over the KO and not the official, I can only attest to this versions quality. The joints for the most part are great, solid ratchets complimented by stiff friction joints. Sadly, the let down are the feet, which as I mentioned earlier are very loose and make certain poses unattainable, mainly just standing upright. This is an issue that the second version KO has rectified since this versions release.

So what positives versus negatives can I draw from this figure? Positive, for the cheap money it’s a good option over the overpriced official version. It captures some of the cartoon characters, well, character… if that's your thing. Negative, I can only think of two positives! It looks awful in jet mode and it’s too small in scale considering the other MP’s, oh and the loose feet.

So to close up, it’s not a figure that will be gathering dust on my shelf any time soon. However, if you are in the market for a decent knock off of a character you like then it’s a good option. Personally though, if you can afford the KO I’d buy the Deformation Space Crimson Wings Starscream, it’s far superior to both this reasonable knock and the vastly overrated official.

Right, I’m done here. This figure will be available on the Cosmic Toys website for you to buy… once I’ve returned it to them.

I’ll see you in the next Half-Arsed review…..

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