Transformers Masterpiece Exhaustz
Before I talk about the toy, it’s release caused a bit of an uproar. Notable death merchant Philip Morris, maker of such suicide stick brands as Virginia Slims, Merit, Benson & Hedges, and of course Marlboro sent letters to online retailers in the USA claiming that the toy violated their IP and was illegal under a law that forbids selling cigarette related materials that could fall into the hands of children.
First off, it never looked anything like their logo, either the original paint job, or the altered one that was ultimately produced. Hell, I’ve seen pictures of the Diaclone Marlboor Wheeljack many times, and it never even occurred to me that it was supposed to look like the logo, because it doesn’t. Second of all, if it does infringe, then they can file a lawsuit against Takara, which they will ultimately lose. As I have said many times about Third Party Toys and Hasbro, they need a court decision saying that it infringes, otherwise it’s just hot air.
The absurdity of it all is that Philip Morris can threaten all they want, but the damn thing looks nothing like their logo. It’s moronic, and they still claimed this AFTER Takara changed the shape on the hood so it was no longer a triangle and absolutely not their logo. Let’s be honest, what they object to is a toy that is associated with Marlboro, however thin that association is, being named “Exhaust”.
As for it violating that law, since it does not look in any way like their logo, it can’t be said to violate that.
It should be noted that after all this, at least one USA online toy retailer caved. As much as I hate that anyone would submit to garbage like this, people have businesses to run, and you can’t really fault them. I know of at least one other that is selling it, and I think that’s great.
Of course, none of this mattered to me. I ordered mine from Hong Kong when I heard this mess come up.
Philip Morris is in the business of lies. They exist by trying to pretend that what will kill people won’t. They sue over anti-smoking campaigns. How fucked up is that? That’s like a supermarket suing a soup kitchen for feeding homeless people.
They really should just focus on what they do best, helping people kill themselves and getting kids to start smoking. They need to keep their noses out of Transformers. Every fan who wants a Masterpiece Exhaust WILL BE ABLE TO GET ONE and there is absolutely nothing that Philip Morris can do to stop it.
Fuck you, Philip Morris. You screwed with the wrong fandom, and now you just look like even bigger pricks than you did before. Who knew that was even possible?
Now, after reading all that about Philip Morris, you probably feel as dirty as I did writing about them, so here’s a picture of kittens to cleanse you.
That’s better. Now back to the toy. You can read my review of Masterpiece Wheeljack here.
Exhaust comes with Wheeljack’s Instant Immobilizer. It was from a G1 episode. Kind of cool, though I might have included it with Wheeljack instead.
Vehicle Mode: Exhaust looks awesome. He’s been nicely painted in red and white. The blue windshield looks really great. The missiles looks great on his roof.
Robot Mode: Exhaust’s head sculpt is awesome. He has a new set of missile launchers that is similar to G1 Wheeljack toy’s launchers. They are a lot smaller, but really look good. The missiles are removable, but they don’t launch.
Overall: This toy is going to be most appealing to Diaclone collectors, but it’s origins aside, it’s an awesome repaint and remold of a classic we waited a long time for. It’s not a bad thing to have two of this mold. I highly recommend this one.
Update 4/13/15: Above I noted that I knew of one online retailer was going to sell MP Exhaust. That was TF Source, and it wasn’t exactly accurate. Without telling their customers who had preordered Exhaust, they had the hoods professionally repainted. I think this is ridiculous, but what really should make everyone who receives this outraged is that they didn’t inform anyone of it ahead of time. Now, in fairness, they include a note saying they will accept returns, but so what? Those people have may have missed out on preorders from overseas, or even preorder pricing. They will likely be able to get one, but it means they have to wait even longer. They have to ship it back, and wait for their refund. If this was TF Source’s plan, they should have informed those who preordered as soon as they decided to do this. I had a preorder with them, but fortunately I canceled it when my Robot Kingdom preorder shipped. I would be very curious to know how many get returned. Hopefully all of them. I would hate for any other online stores to think it is okay for someone to order official product and send them customs. Now, for the record, this is different than the plugs they put in Megatron barrels, since they are completely removable and leave the toy undamaged and unaltered when removed. What they should have done is had a removable sticker made and put on the hood, then, like the Megatron’s barrel plugs, it could have been easily removed.
Thanks for reading!