FansHobby quite possibly just threw a hail-mary pass for my 3rd-Party Transformer figure of the year with MB-06 Power Baser!
Price: Approx. $210 USD
Release Date: Dec. 2017
Item Height: Approx. 9.25″ for the standard robot and 12.25″ for the Powered, combined mode.
Item Weight: N/A
Batteries: x1 CR927 cell (not included.)
FansHobby seems to have really hit their stride with their latest release, MB-06 Power Baser. This addition to thair “Master Builder” series is an homage to the “Power Master” version of Optimus Prime (or Ginrai/Super Ginrai in the “Transformers: Masterforce” cartoon.) The videos above share my thoughts and a run through of the transformations but in this article my goal is to break it down piece-by-piece as well as share some additional thoughts on it all and of course a full gallery of it. Check it all out, enjoy, and please share some love (or hate) in the comment section below.
Presentation: Power Baser comes packaged in its alt (truck) mode in a box laden with artwork done by my friend 928 Toys Laboratory (he also did the packed-in bio card as well!) It’s well-fit in the plastic clamshell and there’s no reason at all to feel like anyone is going to get anything broken-in-box due to anything packaging-related. The colors are well-selected and separated, and I personally found the “tampos” (colored logos, writing, and shapes throughout the piece) very attractive because it’s a nod to other Japanese mecha which you’ll see in a glance-over of this site that I primarily collect. The two large blasters as well as the gray “side” blasters are a perfect throwback to PMOP (Power Master Optimus Prime)
in its original toy form.
Build: This is a completely plastic piece and genuinely well-made. The plastics used are thick and the different finishes on them really compliment the colors to offset individual pieces. Outside of accents and tampos, Power Baser’s color separation is largely controlled by different colored plastics which I prefer. I didn’t have any q.c. (“quality control” which encompasses things like breaks due to contruction and/or aeshetic defects.)
Just like the original PMOP toy, Power baser has a variety of modes which I’ll give some thoughts on below.
Power Pilot: This is their homage to “Ginrai” of the cartoon which acts as a “Power Master” in both the cartoon as a toy. What a power Master does is transform into something (in this case, an “engine” in front of the grill) and attach to a non-sentient (doesn’t think on its own) robot in order to command control of it. It looks great, and at 2″ the articulation is minimal as to be expected (basic, ball-jointed shoulders and hip articulation with elbow and knee bend at 90 degrees each as well as neck swivel.) Aeshtetically, I like that they went with a completely white face rather than a “flesh-toned” mouth because it has a more mecha (robotic) look. The chrome on the engine mode was a good choice as it looks great when attached to Power Baser.
Truck Mode: I really enjoy Power Baser’s truck mode in that it’s got a very large, “chunky” look that sets it apart from the more “standard” truck cab look of the original design and thus lets it set apart (in a good way) next to other Optimus Prime toys in the same mode. It’s a very simple transformation from robot to (and vice-versa) with six rubber wheels that all set and roll evenly. I think what may turn some people off to it is the very visible robot-mode kibble throughout it; particularly the folded-up arms on the backside of the cab.
Robot Mode: This mode is an homage to the “regular” robot mode for PMOP in the cartoon. Although it mostly resembles the original Optimus Prime from the “G1″ cartoon, PMOP has a number of aesthetic differences from design to proportions which the Robot Mode of Power Baser captures perfectly, and at the same 9.25” height as MP-10 Masterpiece Optimus, it’s a great fit scale-wise to your existing Masterpiece-scaled collection. Where it’s going to blow a lot of your other pieces away though is the articulation. From an insanely wide range of appendage motion to even above-and-beyond stuff like ab-crunch (the ability to actually bend the upper portion of his torso inwards towards the bottom,) this is a piece that I implore you to watch the video above to see in motion as I think the visual does much more than me simply writing “it’s awesome!” I also really like that the large blasters packed in disassemble and transform into smaller blasters for this particular mode.
Combined Mode: Even though Power Baser’s Robot Mode is my favorite, this is where the money’s at. Using the robot and the trailer to transform into the “Super” version of the character, I was floored the second I got it together. At 12.25″ tall, this thing is perfectly sized for a Masterpiece-scaled collection and really stands out as a centerpiece when displayed amongster them. The leg kibble on being so high on its back was the topic of a lot of discussion but personally it looks like a ruck sack to me which boosts the aesthetic and the general, imposing aura of it ten-fold. The option of either having colored or clear eyes (which light up using the LED mechanism within the head activated by a switch on the backside of the head) is a great touch and the ability to swap out within seconds without any unscrewing needed is genius.
What’s especially awesmoe about the Combined mode is that the articulation actually mirrors that of the Robot mode and is especiallt impressive being so large. I think that people who buy this are going to have as much fun putting it into neat poses as anything else in this mode.
Base Mode: Honestly, I found this mode to be very convoluted on the original PMOP toy and that feeling hasn’t changed with Power Baser. With the Robot standing so much higher than the base itself, it’s hard to really take it legitamately as a “fortress” which would actually shield him from anything in in terms of play, I find that the female pegs on the opposite sides of the “combined” hands which hold the black blasters in place on the arms aren’t deep enough to hold them very securely. It’s hard to really hold this mode against the sum of the whole as to me it’s always come off as more of a fan-mode than anything truly attached to the character.
Overall Score: 9.5/10 – FansHobby’s Power Baser definitely isn’t perfect. There are some minor niggles like wishing the hip ratchets on both the robot and powered robot modes were a stronger plastic (they work and hold just fine, but there’s something really satisfying and assuring about that strong “click” that the shoulder ratchets give that I wish were present on the hips as well) and more articulated hands (again an instance where they’re “fine” in terms of general look and functionality, but on the powered robot with the hands being so much larger that lack of individual finger articulation comes off equivalent to a Masterpiece-scaled toy having Classics-scaled articulation; I just naturally expect a bit more.) Even with those nitpicks, this piece is about the most fun I’ve had with a 3rd-Party Transformers figure in some time. FansHobby has really managed to give us a great-looking, solidly-built, and extra-cirricularly articulated (get your obari on) piece that manages to be not only a lot of fun to play with in every mode (even the base-mode is fun albeit convuluted,) but actually fun to take between each mode. I’ve “liked” most of FansHobby’s stuff to this point, but I LOVE Power Baser and even though it may not be for everyone, it’s the Masterpiece-scaled “Power Master” Optimus Prime for me. If it’s not obvious, this gets a helluva’ recommendation from me.