Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) -
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 186, October 8th 1988 / Issue 187, October 15th 1988
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - The Transformers: The Movie, August 8th 1986 / Episode 94 (Season 3 #29), February 24th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Takara
Toyline - Generations
- Added an Autobot symbol to the chest, covering the tampographed one
I have to admit that I was rather late to the party as far as Metroplex was concerned. Apparently it was he in the movie whose defenses were activated; albeit manually because his Transformation cog was knackered. Is this the first retcon in the cartoon continuity, or were the writers acutely aware that Metroplex would have easily beaten all the Decepticons, without the need for Optimus Prime to sacrifice himself? Either way, Metroplex was reduced to a weapons platform as a small part of the sprawling Autobot City complex. He did feature relatively prominently in the next series of the cartoon, but unfortunately some of the storylines he was involved in were very daft, as was the case when his eyes were stolen to replace Unicron's in one of the most notorious cases of mass-shifting in Transformers folklore. Metroplex was but a component of a large city, Unicron was a planet. How their eyes would have been therefore interchangeable is beyond me. Never mind. It was really the single comic story that Metroplex appeared in which caught my attention - during the UK Space Pirates story, Metroplex is awoken to dispatch the Quintessons and, boy, is he impressive. The sheer size he is portrayed at is just awe inspiring. He is able to squish multiple Quintessons under foot, for starters. Then way later, Metroplex got his own IDW spotlight where he incapacitated the most powerful Phase-sixer, Six-shot, with one clumsy stomp. So for me the key aspect of the character I most enjoyed was sheer size. But the G1 toy was not really very tall at all. And he was a brick, and an extremely flimsy one at that. For this reason, I was never inclined to get the figure. Then, last year, rumours began to surface of a new Metroplex figure. Buoyed by a prominent role in the very successful 'Fall of Cybertron' videogame, I guess Metroplex suddenly became viable for Hasbro again. I expected a redeco with maybe some minor retooling of an Energon figure, as was the case with Omega Supreme, but to my surprise, we were treated with a brand new mould. And a figure big enough to topple Fortress Maximus as the tallest Transformer of all time. Oh boy.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 10/10
I must say that this mould is fantastic, not only for the fact it is resplendent with detail, proportionally spot on and with an amazing head sculpt, but the size is super impressive. I could stop here but I elected to plump for the Takara version, which is superior to the Hasbro version for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are soo many more paint apps, and in key areas these have made a fundamental difference to the figure. The Hasbro version, nice as it is, is just too sparse when it comes to paint. One of the main criticisms leveled at the figure is the blank white face as opposed to the chromed original. I am pleased to say that the shiny chrome is present and correct here. And the lower legs provide a great contrast to the rest of the figure as they are now finished in dark grey instead of white. There are also individual changes too numerate to mention which all add up to make this figure look so much more substantial and balanced. It's not just big, it is extremely elegant at the same time. Secondly, There are far less stickers to apply on the Takara version of this figure. Don't get me wrong - there are still about 80 stickers, but this is a vast improvement over the hundred plus required to make the Hasbro version look less sparse. Metroplex comes with 2 large shoulder mounted guns, and 2 absolutely huge (probably ultra-class height) rifles, which unfortunately do not transform into Sixgun. There is also no Slammer but Scamper does get an update and is Legends sized. Metroplex is designed to work best with figures on this scale, but he dwarfs any other figure anyway. Omega Supreme was my largest Autobot prior to this acquisition and he is about half the size. The headsculpt is large, and therefore one could expect a lot of detail which is what we are presented with. I particularly like the visor which is optional, so Metroplex can walk into a (very large) nightclub at night without looking like a massive idiot. The eyes are not light-piped but then who needs that archaic effect when the eyes light up via battery instead? As well as this light up feature, Metroplex also repeats several phrases lifted from Fall of Cybertron and can also make a mean omelette (OK, I made that last bit up). Despite this being a Japanese toy, the sound chip is identical to the US version so Metro speaks English, hooray! One last thing and than I shall move on - I was never happy with the windows immediately below his 'neck' as they had stupid stickers of Prime, Arcee and some other Autobots which just looked awful. Thankfully, Takara have had the good sense to paint the windows on in a nice, solid red, and thus you can display this bloke with one of the aforementioned Autobots without it looking like they are in 2 places at the same time. Phew.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
I suppose that not only is Metroplex the tallest Transformer ever, but he is also the tallest triple changer ever, to boot. To be honest, base formers are pretty uninspiring and pretty easy to achieve since most of the time you are merely putting the robot into a vaguely pornographic pose and unfolding a few ramps. The only large Transformer who ever had a decent alt mode for my money was Scorponok. But I digress. Metroplex had a base mode and a mobile aircraft carrier, both of which are present here. Starting with the base mode this is definitely the most accomplished, featuring a multitude of ramps and a helipad. All of the guns form various towers in this mode, although they could only conceivably accommodate humans given their relative size. There are a couple of nice play features which are compatible with Legends class toys: A gun platform under the robot head and another in one of the forearms. A lot of stickers are employed in this mode to flesh out some of the nice moulded panels, providing screens aplenty. My main issue with this mould is the stowing of the hands, which are just very obviously folded over, but equally obviously hands. This is an issue with both alt modes and almost makes you hanker for the days of removable (and inevitably lost) limbs. The Aircraft carrier on wheels concept is still pretty daft, although the multiple stickers at least add some depth to the runways. There is a small articulated crane which adds another dimension and a smaller helipad, but, yeah those are really obvious hands at the back there. Not bad overall but definitely Metroplex's alt modes remain pretty weak.
This is simple stuff really, again due to the somewhat suspect alt modes mainly you are just revealing panels and unfolding them. Anyway for the base mode, the head folds forward to reveal a gun platform, with the rear of the head lifting up to provide a sight and frontal protection for the gunner. The legs are folded backwards and the ramps are unfolded, this forms the base of the base(!). One leg is pivoted outwards to an angle of 45 degrees. The right arm is lifted straight forward and kind of sits there, and the hand kind of sits there too. There is a weapons platform which is unfolded from the forearm and then slid forward. The rear of the lower legs are opened up to reveal things vaguely resembling open-roofed rooms and the knee pads are lifted slightly to form roof-type things? I don't know really. The left arm is folded behind the back, as if a meddlesome bully had just done it and the chest splits in 2 to reveal the helipad. Then you just have to swing out a few tower-like appendages and pull a ramp out here and there, attach the guns in vaguely tower-like configurations and you are done! Moving onto the carrier mode, and the head is transformed in the same manner. This time Metroplex's legs are moved forward, with what was the bottom of the figure in base mode becoming the top. There is a crane appendage rather close to the groan area. Both arms literally pivot back and just kind of sit there. That's really kind of it, with the exception that the legs are slotted together in this mode as well.
Well, colour me impressed. Metroplex offers the following articulation for your posing pleasure: Head and waist swivel, lateral and side-to-side ratcheted shoulders, with the same on the hips. He also sports sturdy elbow and knee ratchet joints, bicep and thigh swivel, Wrist swivel and tilt, individually articulated fingers (although no secondary joint) and even articulated eyes. Yes, eyes. You can move the 'iris' of each eye from side to side, very much like the old Action Man figures. Obviously, this is only apparent when you activate the light 'n' sound feature. My only gripe is that there is not really much in the way of ankle articulation, but still, this figure is more poseable that I would expect, thanks to super-strong ratchets which help him hold dynamic poses even under all the weight of his huge guns and forearms. I am seriously impressed by how dynamic you can pose this figure, who manages to look intimidating and massive without looking remotely lumbering or clumsy.
This figure feels extremely well balanced between something of huge size whilst retaining flexibility. The plastic used is great, and the additional paint apps provided courtesy of Takara really add to this figure. All of the paint is well applied and the chrome is spectacular. Even the decals are very high quality. The ratchet joints take me back to a time before ball-joints existed, and add a real qualitative weight to the figure which is quite rare in this day and age. They all feel suitably large and hard-wearing enough to cope with the load and you can be pretty rough with this figure without ever feeling like something is in jeopardy. Really fantastic work courtesy of Hasbro and Takara.
Overall - 42/50
I am the first to criticise Hasbro when they make moulds which are skinny or just too small, so it is only fair that I praise them when they deliver a product as good as this. This is probably one of my favourite figures they have ever produced, in terms of sheer size, quality and aesthetic. This can slot straight into a 'classics' collection or easily sit with War For/Fall of Cybertron figures. You could probably even surround him with Bay-verse figures and he would look at home. This is some achievement and it feels like Hasbro have managed to get it just right in terms of the look this figure evokes. For me, this is the figure which finally fulfills the promise of the original G1 character. I only have one criticism of this figure, and that is how the hell do my Decepticons hope to compete? It doesn't matter how many combiners I have, they all pale into insignificance when faced with this behemoth. So now, I am tasking Hasbro to bring me a Trypticon on the same scale. Then when they get time, an updated Scorponok and Fortress Maximus would be nice!