Toy Wizards Review: MechPlanet Hot Soldiers HS-02 General Commander Prop Sky Pillar

Mech Planet was a seemingly small operation headed by lead designer SpikeArt. They began releasing slightly larger Legends scaled Transformers (now affectionately referred to as Legends+ in the fan community) in 2016 with their first release The Hot Soldiers HS-03. Why “03”? Well the line was designed to be a continuation of Takara’s Transformers Hybrid Style line that only featured two releases, Convoy and Galaxy Force Convoy. Turns out that Mech Planet runs out of the same factory as Mech Fans Toys, and subsequently the two companies both adhered to a similar scale, plastic quality, and design aesthetic. They were also careful not to step on each other’s toes with character selection. This is why MFT has not released their own versions of G1 Soundwave, his cassette minions, Ironhide, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Goldbug or this heavy hitter – Optimus Prime.

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Sculpt

It says right on the packaging that this is “G1 Style” and that is very accurate. SpikeArt did a wonderful job realizing a Legends scaled Prime that looks like he jumped off the screen and into your hands. Not an easy feat to do at this size by any means. The design seems to borrow elements from a number of Optimus Prime toys and amalgamate them into one package. He stands heroically at 12.5cm in robot mode. The barreled chest and tapered waist along with the thick, squared off arms and legs really emphasizes his stature as the commanding leader of the Autobots. The head sculpt is true classic Prime. Again, mixing elements of the small cosmetic differences between Season 1 and 2 of the cartoon to come up with a perfect melding of G1 Optimus.

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Paint

Painted areas include the head crest, the face, the silver on the ribcage, the yellow areas of his pelvic plate, the silver gas tanks on the sides of the legs, the bumper of the vehicle, as well as the silver wheels. All of these are applied cleanly and evenly. There isn’t any overspray on the face, but it seems like it could have used one more pass over. It’s a very small surface area at this scale though, and I am pleased that it was done so well as is. I’m not sure if the trailer is painted silver or molded. It’s a very nice silver, and there’s no sign of mold lines, swirls, or anything similar to what Hasbro has released in “silver” in the last 10 years. The signature blue and white stripe on the trailer is painted crisp and clean.

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Articulation

The supreme commander has ball jointed neck, butterfly and ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, single elbow, wrist swivel, waist, ball hips, thigh swivel, single knees, but with the transformation joint below the proper knee you can simulate a double knee, and finally ball jointed ankles.

The articulation is there, though there is a fair amount of restricted range of motion. This is most notable in the hips. He’s not doing the splits or throwing high kicks any time soon.

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Accessories

This toy shines in the accessories! Included in this package is a very long trailer that opens to a repair bay and battle station. The repair bay can separate from the trailer interior and features an opening cockpit. Also included is Roller, the small six-wheeled scout vehicle. Prime himself has two weapons. His gloss black ion cannon rifle and a translucent orange energon axe that fits over the robot fist and into the peg hole in his hand. What would a leader be without his Matrix of Leadership? It is also included and fits into the chamber revealed by opening the chest of the robot and pegging it into place.

As a pre-order bonus MechPlanet also included two special color accessories outside of the box. A Matrix of Leadership and Energon Axe cast entirely in translucent blue plastic and two painted plastic Autobot symbols that I can assume are intended to be glued onto the trailer for a more complete look.

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Alternate mode

The snub-nosed semi and trailer here is really wonderful. I’m very pleased with how well the truck came together. It’s also very cartoon accurate without any visible silver lines on the cab of the vehicle. The torso and arms come together as the cab of the truck. The arms unfold panels that create a very clean front end of the cab. Meanwhile the legs collapse and peg together to become the back end with the gas tank panel swiveling 180 degrees and filling the gap in between. Everything pegs into place with very little gaps or holes. The only real glaring omission being the shoulder ball joints being visible from the top of the truck. The trailer itself is wonderful once attached. The length is much more accurate to a real life cargo container and may come of to many accustomed to G1 Prime as overtly long.

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Value

I pre-ordered this late last year for $42.99 with free economy shipping. That is a little higher than many Legends scaled products, but I knew well ahead of time that this was a larger boxed package with the trailer and all the accessories. I had also been watching the development of this product for well over a year, anticipating its release. Optimus Prime is without a doubt a popular character and that coupled with nostalgia often inflates the price on many Generation One related releases. Walmart has an exclusive G1 reissue of just the cab with two weapons and two fists for $49.97. Takara Tomy is releasing their new MP-44 Masterpiece Convoy for $400+. Considering the overall package here as more of a toy that will hold up to multiple transformations, lots of posing, and fills a much needed hole as a centerpiece for a Legends scaled collection, a fixture to scale other pieces around, and the leader of my tiny troops it really was a no brainer for me. I can see this being a very smart jumping on purchase for many new collectors of this scale. For me it was worth every penny.

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Score

5 out of 5 Wizard’s Stars

This was a much anticipated release for Mech Planet’s Hot Soldiers line. For a time it seemed like it’s production was in dire straits until Mech Fans Toys stepped in and announced it would see the project to completion. If this had ended up being the last Hot Soldiers release it would have been a hell of a one to go out on. Thankfully though the line will live on with Nissan Fairlady Z police car Prowl as their next planned release. Mech Planet Hot Soldiers toys are one of the few Legends scaled lines that I own every offering from. It’s a testament to their hard work, quality, and ability to just make a fun toy.

 

MechPlanet Hot Soldiers HS-02 General Commander Prop Sky Pillar Gallery:

 

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