Timelines Botcon 2011 Motormaster Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Animated, Botcon, Decepticon, Stunticon, Timelines, Voyager

'Timelines

General Information:
Release Date:
Price Point: $315 (for club members), $385 (for non-club members), $210 (Loose sets)
Retailer: Botcon 2011 Exclusive (Sold in boxed set and as part of a loose set)
Accessories: Blaster, Energon Axe

Images:

In the beginning of the Generation One series, Autobots were largely portrayed as ground vehicles while Decepticons had the ability to fly. Though the cartoon played fast and loose with this distinction, there eventually came a time where the lines between who could fly and who stayed on the ground changed when the two Combiner teams of the Aerialbots and Stunticons were introduced. While the Aerialbots were a team of Autobot fliers, the Stunticons were a team of Decepticon ground vehicles. 2011's Botcon set offered fans the chance to see an expansion on the world of "Transformers Animated" both in terms of storyline and the introduction of new characters into the mythos, among them the Animated equivalent of the Stunticons from Generation One.

The centerpiece of the Botcon 2011 Stunticon boxed set is the leader of the Stunticons: Motormaster. Motormaster is a redeco of the Voyager Class Optimus Prime figure from the "Transformers Animated" toy line. Motormaster was included in the Botcon boxed set as well as a loose set packaged in a polybag (within a larger polybag). There was no difference between the two versions other than their packaging.

Vehicle Mode:
Out of the myriad of figures in the "Animated" toy line, the Voyager Class Optimus Prime figure made the most logical sense from a cost and character perspective for Motormaster. Not only was the original Motormaster also a truck in vehicle mode, but he was portrayed more than once as someone who could challenge Optimus Prime himself on the road. In addition, this allowed the use of the sculpt as Toxitron, another Botcon 2011 figure that was put out in a "souvenir" set separate from the boxed set.

Motormaster's vehicle mode is a futuristic tractor trailer truck. Unlike some interpretations of the Optimus Prime sculpt, this particular one did feature a trailer of sorts (more of a back pack really) that was formed from the character's two weapons coming together and attaching to the back of the vehicle. The trailer doesn't really pull anything, it's just one contained piece. This gives it a nice and solid feel that offers value add in terms of the price point. This also provides some needed sculpted detail on the sides and a weapon on top of the back section to boot.

Many of the "Animated" character designs took influence from previous versions of the characters they represented. In the case of Optimus Prime, this sculpt was developed to pay homage to G1 Optimus Prime in many forms including his original truck form and his "Star Convoy" form, which featured windshield windows and a front end with severe angles. As distinctive as this sculpt is, it works for Motormaster as well since it looks like he is portraying a futuristic (or Cybertronian) truck, fitting in with the "future Earth" theme of many of the vehicle forms shown in "Animated". Having the cannon on his back also adds a touch of aggressiveness that is appropriate for a Decepticon.

Motormaster is cast in black, purple, grey and translucent purple plastic. These are all colors that are inspired by his Generation One counterpart. Even the proportions are these colors are similar to G1 Motormaster. Black makes up most of the front end and the wheels while purple is fond on sections such as the front bumper and the sides of the truck. The "trailer" piece is actually made up of two parts. The lower part that forms the panel details on the sides are grey while the weapon on top is made up of grey and purple plastic. The translucent purple plastic gets a little lost in the mix due to having so many dark colors making up the figure. The translucent purple is found on the windshields and the lightbars on the top of the cab. When you hold the vehicle at certain angles however the translucent plastic does peek through nicely and it was the most appropriate color to use both for the character and to match the dark tones of the other plastic colors.

Paint applications are done in metallic flake purple, silver and neon green (bordering on yellow). Silver is definitely the color that is used the most, making up a large portion of the front end including the grille and the area around the headlights. All the lights in the front including those on the top of the cab have their bulbs painted neon green. The metallic purple is used really beautifully on the sides with the silver paint to form the Stunticon symbol which is basically a circle with a Decepticon symbol in the center (it's neater than it sounds, see the photos for reference). The sides of the panels on the back have purple horizontal lines with a Decepticon symbol in the middle, inspired by the lines on the trailer of G1 Motormaster. I find the metallic purple particularly eye catching and it looks fantastic on the sides of the vehicle.

Functionally Motormaster is unusual in that he is a truck cab that rolls on four, not six wheels. All four wheels roll nice and smoothly on my Motormaster. The aforementioned blaster on the back is able to rotate in a complete circle. Since it is set on an angle, as you rotate it around it either points straight to the back, to the sides or at a slight angle towards the front. It's a very smooth action and works nicely. In another neat bit of action, push the end of the blaster barrel in and it will spring back out in a reciprocating action.

Motormaster is solid in this form. No parts appear to be loose and the two weapons on the back lock firmly in place.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the blaster and set it aside for now.
  2. Detach the second piece that makes up the back and then swing out the handle and sides to form the axe weapon.
  3. Swing the front bumper panels out to the sides.
  4. Separate the legs on the rear section from each other.
  5. Swing each of the rear wheels in so they tuck behind the legs.
  6. Swing the robot feet up.
  7. Swing each bumper piece down, then collapse the pieces from step three against the sides of each leg. There is a small tab on the bumper pieces that fit into notches on the back of the legs.
  8. Pull the lower legs down to extend each leg to its full height.
  9. Swing out the sections under the headlights to be begin forming the robot arms.
  10. Swing the robot fists out.
  11. Swing the robot shoulders out to complete forming the arms.
  12. Rotate the torso at the waist joint and push it up.
  13. Swing the panel with the lightbar back.
  14. Swing the robot head up.
  15. Attach each weapon into one of Motormaster's fists.

Robot Mode:
If there is one thing you can say for sure, Motormaster is a formidable looking opponent in robot mode. Thanks to the legs extending and the way his arms are designed, he manages to elongate in robot mode in such a way that there is some sleekness to the robot design while also having powerful looking bulk. A lot of the sleek elements are contained in the upper body. His torso benefits from having many angular sections on the chest and sides while his arms have some angular designs worked into the shoulders and forearms. When you get to his legs, they are more curved in the front and flat in design, but the thickness of his lower legs combined with the width of his upper body show strength. I believe it is a valid consideration that between having a very classic Optimus Prime inspired body and black and purple colors it would be very easy to interpret this figure as a "Nemesis Prime" of sorts. However the strength of this figure comes in the cumulative details of the color scheme and a brand new head sculpt.

The way the colors break out in this mode, most of the upper body is black and grey plastic and most of the lower body is purple. This works out nicely as color detail is provided by the same paint colors as the vehicle mode. Metallic purple and silver details are found on his shoulders that keep them from looking dull. Neon green details offer extra coloring on his hip area and a bit of his feet are colored in with neon green as well. It's a rather simple color scheme in all honesty, but it's an effective one and with the Stunticon sub-group symbol on his left shoulder it distinguishes him a bit more from previous uses of this sculpt or a "Nemesis Prime".

But let's get to the real bit of awesomeness shall we? Of course I refer to the head sculpt. Designed by "Transformers Animated" lead designer Derrick Wyatt, this head sculpt is a treat to see made into reality. He has taken his flair of design and taken the traditional Motormaster head, distilled some of its base elements and then taken them into an amusing but cool direction. Motormaster was distinctive in G1 thanks to his head being encased in a rectangular helmet section that extended almost to his shoulders (largely depending on who was illustrating him). Taking that same design element, Motormaster's "helmet" section is a trapezoid shaped enclosure that contains his facial details. Motormaster's face was based on the stereotypical "trucker" look with an aggressive disposition, a huge chin and a large mustache and beard going from the middle to the bottom of his face. It's an awesome sculpt that looks like he is growling at an enemy complete with bared teeth. The sides have rectangular patterns sculpted into them vertically and add some extra detail while being reminscent of the trailer details. It's a gorgeous sculpt and I am really happy to see it made into reality. No matter what you may think of the body deco, once you see the head sculpt this figure screams "Motormaster"!

The head is cast in grey plastic. His eyes are painted metallic purple while parts of his face are painted lavender. The beard and the area around his eyes are painted black while the bared teeth are silver. I appreciate the use of one extra color on the face that isn't used on the rest of the figure. It blends in well but also adds a color dimension to the toy.

Motormaster has fourteen points of articulation. I'm sort of cheating here and including the ability of his hands to turn in at the wrists. This includes waist articulation as well as a swivel joint at the knees. For those curious, the head does still turn, do not let the fact that it looks blocky fool you into thinking otherwise.

While technically these weapons were carried over from the Optimus Prime design of the figure, it is very appropriate for Motormaster to have both a melee and energy weapon. Generation One Motormaster had the same. He carried a rifle weapon as well as a sword. Now it's an axe and a blaster. I dig this unintentional historical callback and think the weapons add to how intimidating this Decepticon looks!

Final Thoughts:
Motormaster is a fantastic centerpiece to a Stunticon themed sets. His colors, design, head sculpt and weaponry all serve as fantastic homages to Generation One Motormaster. Keep in mind that Motormaster was a limited item and part of the larger boxed set to boot. While I do consider him highly recommended, he is going to be very costly and is intended for the more discriminating collector and/or hardcore "Animated" fans.