The set includes modular railway sections that can be connected together as throwback to the original Diaclone toys, those toys also came with their own train tracks back in the day.
Lots of clear parts to simulate “windows”, unfortunately, that means you can see the clutter inside the train mode. Lol…
The shinkansen mode features an opening front and you can put in the installable seats that can be used by most Masterpiece-scaled “human” figures (except the big Spike that came with Hound).
The chairs even have “booster seat” options, by simply folding down the back rest to raise the chair higher.
Alternately, you can remove the seats altogether and place in the Raiden chest piece/ Shouki Shield into the front carriage for storage.
Shouki’s Mach Laser pistol can be stowed underneath the train mode.
Lastly, for the train mode, there’s an option where you can recreate the “flying train” look for the Trainbots we often see in the Japanese Transformers Headmasters cartoons. This requires using flight stands pegged into the train mode, an adapter is provided for this. Unfortunately, the actual flight stand is NOT included here (you’ll have to get it from other MP releases like Prime or Dinobot), only the adapter piece for Shouki’s end of the connection is included in this set. Bummer…
You can just leave it there like this if you really want to though. Eh, I guess it’s better than nothing… ?
Shouki Robot mode
Leader of the Trainbots, Shouki takes his responsibilities as “Light Speed Commander” very seriously. However, this straightforward, fastidious Autobot has a tendency to lose his cool in certain situations and can get his entire team into trouble. Already the fastest of the Trainbots in alt mode, Shouki can further boost his max speed when he’s linked to his younger brother Yukikaze.
In the Japanese Transformers series, by the time of the Headmasters, Omega Supreme and Sky Lynx had both departed for deep space on exploration missions, leaving only the Trainbots to serve as the Autobots’ primary transport for space missions via the Space bridge. Each member of the team can change its size, to allow them to carry a lot of Autobots inside them, similar to how Astrotrain could transport the entire Decepticon army back in the original series.
Shouki is the first in a new Masterpiece sub-line from Takara Tomy, called MPG or “Masterpiece Gattai”. Hopefully this means we’ll be finally seeing other combiners in Masterpiece scale following the Trainbots.
An ongoing theme with the Trainbots subgroup is that each member has an elemental weakness that can affect their speed and performance. Shouki’s weakness is earthquakes.
You can opt to pose Shouki with his “wings” spread out. Though I honestly can’t remember this look happening in the series.
Shouki’s hands are surprisingly well articulated. I didn’t expect Takara to give him thumb joints.
Surprisingly, there are some diecast bits scattered about. Namely:
-Certain sections of the leg joints
Man… that is a lot (!) of backpack kibble.
Shouki comes with his iconic “Mach Laser” pistol.
Raiden’s chest plate can function as a shield for Shouki in robot mode, but it requires mounting it on the clear plastic sections of the forearms. Not the best idea IMHO.
When not in use, the shield can be stowed inside his backpack. This actually helps hold the backpack in place better.
Overall, this Transformers Masterpiece sub-line is off to a less-than-impressive start for me. I love the details and ideas presented in this set. The train mode is the strongest point and there’s even little diecast bits here and there. The downside is, there’s a lot of backpack kibble, plus clear plastic parts that stick out like sore thumbs in robot mode. That said, this did still win an award of sorts at the Japan 2022 Toy Awards. You can read more about it here:
Given the choice to do it again though, I think I prefer the unofficial Moon Studios version. But since I had already this one on preorder, the official MPG is the route I’m following. I might check out the Moon Studios version out later on at some point (budget willing), but for now, I guess I’m set on sticking to the official Takara MPG Trainbots. I really hope they don’t get worse with succeeding releases.
Sidenote: Because I’m a lazy person, I just decided to store Shouki in his robot mode in the box (lol). By removing the tray and opening up his backpack like so, you can fit him in pretty easily. This saves me time when I inevitably have to do group shots of the whole team later on.