REVIEW: KO MP-10 Eva Optimus Prime

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One Masterpiece to rule them all. You may choose to argue that MP-10 is not the greatest masterpiece ever made because you’re young and you’re cool and you’re a hipster and an individual and rise about the ‘sheeple’. But you’re also wrong. MP-10 is, as they say down our way, ‘the bollocks’.

OK, I concede that you at least maintain the right not to adore MP-10 above all others, but I’m happy to go with the crowd on this one. He’s a magnificent figure, with two virtually perfect and kibble free modes that sport a gorgeous anime look. There are complaints to be made, such as the vehicle rear still looking a bit leggy. Some cite the figure’s ‘gorilla’ arms (which I’ll take any day over the added kibble introduced by the Shadow Fisher add-on). And some specimens might be troubled by loose ankles or smokestacks. But, really, to criticise MP-10 is prove yourself impossible to please. This is as good as it gets.

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Which is the best MP-10? That’s a good question, and will likely vary depending on your personal experience. In my collection, Takara’s vanilla MP-10 feels the best quality in hand. Saying that, mine suffers from the aforementioned ankle and stack looseness. My Hasbro one, however, does not, but at the same time the plastic doesn’t have quite the same feel. Takara Nemesis is the standout on my shelf, ticking every single box – it feels great, the tolerances are spot on and he’s just a total Decepticon badass.

It’s no surprise, considering the popularity of the mold, that MP-10 KOs are prolific. You can get them in every colour and every size. Just recently KuBianBao released the really quite wonderful voyager size MP-10V, which is as solid a figure as you could ever wish for. It comes packed with accessories and extras, too, and is an excellent purchase. On the other end of the scale, Wei Jiang has now released three colour variants of the supersized MPP10, which is hands down one of the very best figures I have ever handled. Pre-Brexit you could have him for under £60, too, which is unfathomable for a bot of this class.

The small and large MP-10’s, then, may have re-written the rule book when it comes to what we can expect from KO quality, but your standard size knock-offs are a different story.

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The earliest KO MP-10s were pretty disastrous, with gappy forearms and all sorts of tolerance and paint application issues. Later revisions improved the situation but KO buyers of this particular mold still face somewhat of a lottery. There are trends you can expect, however. The Red Bape KO is probably the weakest of the new breed. He’s not a write-off, and his matte red finish is actually quite nice. The right leg on mine doesn’t play nicely when I want to extend it, and various tolerance issues niggle throughout. He doesn’t quite feel like a premium bot, in truth. My Green Bape KO fares a bit better all round, and my White Ultra Magnus KO (an official version of which has yet to be released) is actually a bit of a stunner, let down only by a bit of paint scratching.

Your luck will vary on a figure by figure basis, then, but the general rule is this – don’t expect perfect paint, the Matrix might look like it’s been chewed, do expect a couple of transformation wobbles but, crucially, also expect a pretty decent figure for your money. It WON’T be MP-10 quality, but it also WON’T have an MP-10 price.

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Which brings us onto the Eva edition of the figure. Aftermarket prices for what was a limited edition figure are north of £300 (sometimes well north), so the temptation to run the gauntlet and gamble on a sub-£100 KO is understandable, especially as the pound continues to tumble and Her Majesty’s Forces prepare to take up arms and usher the skilled, resourceful and talented immigrants from our borders. Sorry, I’m off message – I mean the unskilled, workshy and largely stupid immigrants from our borders. No, I don’t mean that. Damn, the UK is so FUCKED. How on earth did we become such hateful, gullible and xenophobic BASTARDS?

Erm. I digress.

So, KO Eva. If you do take the plunge and get something along the lines of what I received, you’ll likely be pleased.

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Let’s get the bad out of the way first. Minor scuffs can be found on the smoother parts of the torso pieces, one of the shoulders takes far more force to push back than it should, leading to a proper ‘shit your pants’ moment during the first couple of transformations. The clearance for the head flip into the chest is super restricted, again feeling a bit uncomfortable. Both of the fuel tanks are pretty loose, the chest doesn’t quite sit flush, he’s a bit ‘sprucey’ in the legs, one of the wing mirrors is a little wonky, there are a couple of paint chips and a hint of overspray, and one of the rear tyre covers doesn’t sit quite flush.

That might sound pretty disastrous to you, but bear in mind that this extensive list of issues is possible only because of my intense familiarity with the mold. And you can expect one or more of the above to crop up on a typical Takara or Hasbro specimen, too.

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Plus, this figure gets an awful lot right. All of the joints are tight, he holds his gun perfectly, the wipers move nice and freely, the metal Matrix is pristine, the detailing is great, the smokestacks are absolutely spot on and everything tabs together pretty well. Best of all, the plastic is not the slightly flimsy type found in the Bapes and is far more akin to the Hasbro version. And the colours are spot on. This guy really pops. Perhaps I got lucky, but I wouldn’t hesitate to call mine a ‘winner’. He definitely voted Remain.

(EDIT: It has been said to me that it’s likely worth mentioning that KO Eva does not come with all of the accessories that the official includes. In the box – which is completely plain, it should be added – you’ll find the bot, his blaster, the axe, metal Matrix and Megatron gun. A version with the trailer is due out in November.)

CONCLUSION

Is this guy for you? Not if you’re the sort who goes crazy at the slightest imperfection. And have £300 to spare. If that’s you, go official, no doubt. If, however, you’re the kind who thinks Apollyon and Ollie are ‘great’ and value budget over quality, then this is a pretty safe bet. I’m quite quality sensitive, but for me this is good enough to justify the money saving over the Takara. Just be sure you go in with your eyes open.

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