本帖最后由 郁闷的蛋 于 2014-11-26 15:55 编辑
原日文来自《变形金刚官方指导书》（Transformer Masterpiece Official Guide book）
Joined Takara in 1998. Has been the TF Marketing Team Producer since 2010 and been involved with the MP series since MP-9.
– You have been involved with the MP series since 2010.
M: At that time, MP was our flagship high-end TF product. However, by the time I joined, (the series) was rather quietened down and frankly put, seemed to have reached its limit. I suppose the momentum had been lost after several years.
But such atmosphere has completely changed once MP-10 Convoy was released. There was MP-1 Convoy, which was released 8 years before, but it was becoming difficult to continue its production due to various matters such as the cost and the mould. I can’t remember exactly, but it was one of the reasons why MP-10 was planned.
MP-10’s trailer has many functions, but the initial idea was even more impressive. Unfortunately it would have easily increased the ptrice to over 30,000 yen. We trimmed what could be trimmed to make (the product) as affordable as possible, and settled with the features it has now.
These happened in succession and while I could see the potential marketability of the MP series, I began to suspect if we should stop assuming that if we made a good product it would sell however expensive it was. The new trend MP-10 started was an opportunity to reassess the ideals and directions of our Transformers products.
– Is that why MP-12 Lambor was handled differently?
M: On top of its design and concept, MP-12 gave us new challenges in terms of material and its texture. It was quite rewarding.
The MP series is currently doing extremely well, and I realise it’s thanks to Lambor.
– The Lamborghini emblem on the box is especially eye-catching.
M: It is officially licensed after all. Obtaining the licence from a famous car manufacturer overseas was much harder than dealing with domestic companies. Although thanks to the successful movies, there seems to be more understanding of the Transformers brand and the tradition of form-shifting (note by Sydney; the direct translation of the words he uses here is “Form-shifting culture”), and the negotiation goes fairly smoothly in recent years.
The series is doing better and better, and I am hoping to present the next step of the development to the market between later this year and the next near.
原日文来自《变形金刚官方指导书》（Transformer Masterpiece Official Guide book）
Joined Takara in 1992 and was in charge of MP-4 Convoy Perfect Edition (Trailer) and MP-5 Megatron. Currently working on MP Star Saber.
– I hear the first Masterpiece figure you created was MP-5 Megatron and you hold the fastest development record with it.
Y: That is right. (*laughs) I was not assigned to be in charge of it initially, but due to the circumstance within the company I was unexpectedly handed down the project. The schedule came with it and I was stunned when I realised that I was only given 12 days, about 2 weeks…To make it worse, at the time of my receiving the task, even the product size wasn’t decided. (*tears)
Even more horrifying was the plan of reissuing MP-1 to go with Megatron – simply reissuing him wasn’t considered to be appealing enough and it was decided to give him a trailer. That decision was made after the Golden Week (note by Sydney; The Golden Week is a period usually between the end of April to early May which include some public holidays and their makeup holidays) and I was told to come up with a proto (of the trailer) by the end of May, and I designed it in one night. This is how MP-4 Convoy Perfect Edition came into existence. I couldn’t shirk my task as the release date had already been set by backward calculation. I really did the best I could though there just wasn’t enough time.
As for Megatron, the more I watched him in the cartoon setting the more I wondered how that form could turn into a gun (*laughs) Looking back now, it was such a great effort on my part to have made him into a form within such a short time frame, if I may say so myself.
– It has been a long time since you went through such hardship, and now you are back to the MP series to work on the 30th anniversary project, Star Saber.
Y: That is correct. While I participated in brainstorming sessions to discuss the lineup and such, I did not contribute to any actual item developments as I was not a main MP designer.
– And where did the idea of choosing the first of the new lineup of Masterpiece figures according to the poll result of “Masterpiece Fan’s Choice” come from?
Y: My memory is a bit fuzzy, but the main reasons were we were keen on doing something that the fans can participate for the 30th anniversary and we were also keen to know which characters in “The Headmasters” and the later series were more popular by asking the fans directly.
– So the idea was to ask the fans directly what they want first, then realise it as a product.
Y: Yes. It turned out Star Saber was the winner. Hasui, the main series designer, was going to be in charge of the 30th anniversary MP originally. But he was fully occupied with Bumble and Wheeljack, and since Star Saber was a character I was attached to personally, I stood for the job eagerly.
Actually, when I was still a student I tried to come up with my own way of turning Star Saber into a three-dimensional form. I considered scratch-building a fully articulated model though it wasn’t meant to be transformable, and drew plans while watching the cartoon.
In fact I had a similar idea with Ginrai as well. I had fun drawing plans and trying to create Ginrai that was fully transformable yet proportioned as seen in the cartoon.
– You already had many ideas for Star Saber and Ginrai that far back?
Y: Well, because they were my favourite characters, or rather, as one of the fans I used to think they looked so cool. The original Star Saber released in 1989 has many excellent components as a toy and I embarked on the MP Star Saber project with an intention of being always true to those. Also I wanted to make him into a product which would remind you of that cool Star Saber from the cartoon as that’s the characteristic of the Masterpiece series.
– The proto shown at Tokyo Toy Show had a very refined shape – were there lots of trial and error until you reached that stage?
Y: No, it went unexpectedly smoothly. I had a much clearer image of Star Saber in my head than I thought, so I could draw a good-looking Star Saber with hardly any effort, then added gimmicks here and there…and it was done.
My method is to outline the shape first, then draw the inner mechanism. As I draw, inconsistencies and hindrances to the transformation become apparent and gradually, the rough structure takes a form in my head. I add various mechanisms to it and consider suitable structures for the articulations, I contrive several patterns based on different ideas until I settle with the final one.
– In your mind, it is almost concluded.
Y: The appearance of Star Saber is quite set from the very beginning, so what I did first was to decide on the rough proportion, estimate the size and consider how many gimmicks could be incorporated.
The product size is slightly bigger than MP-22 Ultra Magnus. It is about the same size as the original Star Saber toy. I couldn’t help it becoming one size bigger because I wanted to include the gimmicks the original toy had.
To be honest, during my long career as a toy developer, I have rarely had an opportunity to remake a robot toy I liked. When I was working on MP Star Saber, I discovered that a job with such fun actually existed. (*laughs)
– Is it possible that you will work on a MP figure again in the future?
Y: I can’t say for sure as it also depends on the balance of the entire TF development duties at any given time, although I wouldn’t say it’s impossible. But if Ginrai gets a go-ahead, I want the job no matter what. I am still waiting for a fully articulated, anime-proportioned toy of my very favourite, Ginrai. (*laughs)
原日文来自《变形金刚官方指导书》（Transformer Masterpiece Official Guide book）
Joined Takara in 1999 and was in charge of MP series MP-10, MP-12 to MP-21. He was also responsible for Movie MP figures.
“I envisioned MP-10 to set a standard for the new MP series”
– Tell us about the time when you began working on the MP series.
H: MP-10 Convoy was the first Masterpiece I was involved in developing.
When the project was conceived I was mainly working on the products for the overseas Hasbro market, but was given a chance to develop a Masterpiece for the domestic market irregularly.
– What prompted the reboot of MP Convoy?
H: During the development of MP-9 Rodimus Convoy, it was agreed that there should be a MP Convoy that could be displayed side by side with it. That was the beginning. Then MP-10 development started with the release date set to be 2 months after MP-9 as a part of the “2010” project. Another reason as to why MP-10 project went ahead was that 7 years had passed since the release of MP-1 – we thought a new MP Convoy was needed to bridge the technical gaps well as the size.
By the time I took the project on, it was already decided that (MP-10 was) to be in scale with MP-9 in robot mode. And when I digested the directive, I came to the conclusion that if I was to create a new Convoy, I should make it to be a standard for the new MP series, not merely making a product in scale with another.
I realised making it in scale with MP-9 also meant the following MP figures could be made in the same scale as well, which would add another value (to the series).
Previous MP figures were not very mindful of the scale as the focus was on making each individual figure as good as possible. I thought introducing the concept of a scale would help the items complement each other and the connection would enhance the world view (of the Transformers) and the enjoyment in Transformers altogether. In short, what I wanted was the direction for creating items worthy of Masterpiece name including the world view.
I often hear the comments that since MP-10, the series has a stronger selling point as character toys. I believe it is because as the series go on the concept that started with MP-10 has been emphasised more and more.
– You took on MP-12 Lambor next.
H: When I was working on MP-10, MP-12 was yet to be definite. I myself was very eager, however Lambor was not a character that was ranked high in TF popularity contests and some doubted if it would be marketable. I spent lots of time and effort to rid of such doubts.
Though it was not like there were only negative factors – Lamborghini Countach, which is his vehicle mode is based on, is a legendary car and hugely popular and well-known even now. I armed myself with that fact and had many discussions about the price and the way it should be done.
Even when the project was very close to get a go-ahead, it was pushed back to the point of having it questioned if it had to be a Masterpiece product, if it had to be Lambor. If Countach was so popular, why not simply creating another robot with a Countach alternate mode? Maybe the price point could be around 1,000 yen in that case? – I was asked for the reason of making MP Lambor until the very last minute.
– Why did MP Lambor have to be priced so low?
H: I can list various reasons, but the biggest one was the need to change the mindset about the vehicle theme and the price point. It was necessary when releasing a product on which the future of the MP series was depending.
All the hardships were worthwhile in the end as (MP-12 was) close to the sold out on the first release day. I was happy to know that my intention was accepted by the others.
– When Lambor is talked about, we can’t go without thinking of another Countach, Alert.
H: I believe MP-14 Alert’s good sales figure after MP-12 expanded the potential of the MP series.
MP-17 Prowl, which was the second real car model, was the character I coveted from Diaclone series. So I had a very strong feeling for Prowl and knew he would be a definitive choice if only I could make the MP real cars happen because of the possibility of various repaints. It gave me a motivation to work harder even when I was developing MP-10.
– I think compared to MP-12, MP-17 is easier to play with.
H: I didn’t intentionally make it that way as the developer, it is possible that my experience with MP-12 influenced the degree of precision during the development. Also, the original toy has a quite perfect transforming process and that contributed as well. The type of vehicle, the quality of the original toy and how close the original toy is to the cartoon; they all affect the perfectness of the end result.
– The pre-order incentive from amazon(co.jp) was appealing.
H: For MP-18 Streak, (the mould) already had cannons stored inside the body, but they weren’t enough to evoke the memory of the impressive cannons the original toy had. I chose to release (the missile launchers) as amazon exclusive like MP-12’s pile driver.
– Speaking of MP-18, what is the difference from MP-17?
H: I changed the face and the hip. They are often considered to be almost identical, but you notice quite a few differences when you watch the cartoon again and again. As for his colour scheme, that is the only colouring true to the actual car and I found the way to incorporate the cartoon colours and the realism of the actual car.
Real Car series started with MP-12, and by the time the fifth (of the real car MP) MP-19 Smokescreen was planned, good sales figure was expected considering the past sales and some new parts could be added. Not only that, I was also allowed to re-create the paint applications even though it resulted in a slight rise of the price. It made me very happy because keeping the product price the same would have become impossible as various features were being added.
When you line up the three figures with FairladyZ motif, I think a certain theme becomes more apparent; in MP, even the slightest difference of characters are re-created.
– MP-13 Soundwave is not a part of Real Car themed series.
H: Indeed, Soundwave was already being considered as a MP product before the real car project began. MP-11 was to be Soundwave originally, not Starscream. There are many reasons why it didn’t happen, but I think it’s mostly because his cassette tape recorder alternate mode may not be acceptable nowadays. I felt it was a shame such a popular character could not be made into a product because of his alternate mode motif.
So I developed him with a precondition of chest storage space for up to three Cassettrons, and taking advantage of the new lower-priced MP series foothold established by MP Lambor, it was decided to release two pairs of MP Cassettrons around the same time as MP Soundwave.
My intention was for Soundwave and the Cassettrons that support him to enhance the product value of each other. This concept is similar to how MP-10 Convoy and the car robots make each other more collectible. Thankfully, MP-13 sold very well, too. Though I don’t think it was not because of Soundwave alone but MP-15 Rumble & Jaguar and MP-16 Frenzy & Buzzsaw were essential.
– I was amazed how (Soundwave) could transform without detaching the missile pod on his shoulder.
H: When designing his transformation process, I had to consider the precondition that three Cassettrons were to fit inside his chest. Which meant certain part of his torso had to be non-transformable and the missile pod transformation was designed to accommodate it – the missile pod could not be stored in his backpack like the original toy as it would make the backpack so large it would have disproportioned the robot mode. If so, I thought I might as well make the transformation more like the cartoon.
– Despite their small size, the Cassettrons also have Masterpiece quality.
H: Frenzy is especially my favourite and I believe he is so well made he could be a main character in a cartoon show. Unlike Condor or Jaguar, there needed to be enough axes in him to have a swivelled neck and articulated arms and legs so that he could be a posable robot. With that size the axes for the transformation and the ones for the articulations had to be mutual for the mechanism to work, and it was very challenging.
– Now, tell us about MP-20 Wheeljack due out in August (note by Sydney; MP-20 release has been pushed back to September) and other later releases.
H: Lancia Stratos – I really had a difficult time trying to come up with a way to accommodate the head and the arms. As a result, his mechanism consists of a fascinating pivot unlike anything in MP-12 or MP-17 and I am confident his structure is quite interesting with many highlights.
With MP-21 Bumble due to be released after, I had difficulty in suggesting that I wanted the vehicle to be done in a deformed style because when signing a contract with a car manufacturer, the car on which we model (the vehicle mode) has to be specifically named; what model, what year and what scale. While a Volkswagen (Beetle) isn’t much shorter than Prowl (FairladyZ) or Lambor (Countach) in real life, it is deformed in the cartoon and the robot mode is even smaller. His scale was a cause of a very lively discussion among the team members.
Lancia Stratos ————如何容纳头和手臂，我遇到了一些困难。结果就是他的变形机制包含一个非常迷人的中轴，完全不像MP-12或者MP-17。我有自信说，他的结构很有意思有很多亮点。
Ultra Magnus, who was selected to be MP-22, was a character I was dreaming of making into a product since the time of MP-10 development. I was happy to be finally able to work on him. As there had already been several real car MP figures and Ultra Magnus is a car carrier that can carry them, I considered Magnus as a certain milestone in the new MP series.
I wanted the car carrier to have a capacity of at least 4 real car MPs while in robot mode his height needed to be as close as seen in the cartoon. The transformation process was expected to require lots of folding of the parts to achieve it, and solving that problem became a very important task. Upon agreeing on that point, Kobayashi took over to work on the transformation mechanism and (Ultra Magnus is) finished as he is now.
– How do you feel about MPs now?
H: I created them in the hope that they would supplement the memories. The toys in the 80s are not even close to the modern toys in terms of refinement, but I think the fans who followed Transformers back then used information obtained through various media such as magazines or the cartoon to supplement the image in their mind.
I believe MPs are meant to be the embodiment of that image. Neither making the cartoon version into a three dimensional form nor making it as realistic as possible is a good idea. The important thing for me has been to create a MP product through which you can meet yourself from the past, in which you can find a toy you have been dreaming of. It was certainly a difficult and harsh challenge.
I made a list of candidates (to be made into a MP figure) and I thoroughly checked what they did in which episodes and with whom. I referred to the list when planning the MP lineup. I also studied the impressive parts of the original toy’s transformation process to see if they could be incorporated into the new toy, and extensively collected cartoon reference materials and comic book illustrations. The MP series was always highly anticipated by the fans and I myself desired to create a better product – I suppose those factors worked out positively in me.
– What kind of future development are you hoping for?
H: The series has grown based on the concept established in MP-10, so I expect they will continue with the in-scale Robot modes and licensed real cars. On top of that, I hope the series moves onto the next, higher step.
I was introduced to the world of Transformers by combiner warriors, so personally I hope to see such characters in the MP series. Also I would like to see Megatron in scale with MP-10 soon or the characters who weren’t given many opportunities to have their toys made such as Ironhide.
More than anything I hope it continues on as a series that realises the fans’ wishes.
原日文来自《变形金刚官方指导书》（Transformer Masterpiece Official Guide book）
Joined Takara in 1999 and was in charge of MP series from MP-1 to MP-9, and MP-11. Though as for MP-5 Megatron, he only worked on the colour scheme and packaging.
“I want the MP series to continue to make the fans’ dream come true”
– tell us about how the Masterpiece project started
K: “MP-1 Convoy” was originally planned by the manager at that time as the 20th anniversary Optimus Prime, I had took over and completed it. The size had already been decided to be similar to 12-inch figures.
– The 20th anniversary product eventually became the beginning of MP series?
K: “Alternators” (Binaltech series in Japan) project was developing at the same time, and we came up with the plan of marketing those two series as one brand domestically. It (MP-1) was initially no more than an anniversary product, but TakaraTomy made it a part of a brand by naming it Masterpiece and Hasbro ended up calling the series MP as well. From the very beginning, we didn’t want it to appear as if it was a stand alone product. Though the reason why it was “MP-1” and not “MP-01” is because I feared the series may not last beyond 9 figures (*laughs). But once it was released there was very strong reaction and it was decided that the high-end Transformers were to be continuously developed alongside Binaltechs. I believe it was thanks to the market that was very appreciative (of a new high-end product).
– I appreciated MP-1 ‘s heaviness, too.
K: I was determined to use diecast, though there might be a bit too much of it (*laughs). There was a long line of Transformers toys without any diecast and it was the first TF using diecast for a long time. However, I might have miscalculated the diecast amount….the first testshot couldn’t stand because of its weight (*laughs)
– The impression I get from MP-1 is that it represents something quite different from earlier transformable Convoy figures.
K: There was a PVC Convoy figure from “Metalforce Collection” (released by Time House in 1999), and the accompanying booklet provided lots of interesting read. For example, it said (Convoy’s) vehicle interior was rearranged to form the chest when transforming and I was very impressed with it. It was simply written up in the text, but I wondered how the actual mechanism would be like – maybe the seats would fold down to give room for the Matrix chamber to move?…it stimulated my imagination. The cartoons often show a scene in which the transformation is done after the humans inside get off, and I interpreted it as the indication of the disappearance of the passenger space and the shift of the inner matters. What came to my mind then is suggested in MP-1.
曾经有过一个PVC擎天柱，属于Metalforce Collection（Time House发行于1999年），附带的说明书有很多有意思的内容。比如，里面说擎天柱的车辆形态内部变形时会重新排列，我对这个印象很深。书上写的很简单，但我不知道实际机制是如何的，也许座椅会折叠下来给能源宝腾空间？这个刺激了我的想象力。动画经常有些场面，人从车里下来才能变形，我把它理解成乘客空间消失，内部物质变化。然后我就想到了MP-1
Actually, when I was in university I drew a sketch of Convoy I would want to create. I thought of the shifting tires in the stomach at that time. (note by Sydney; if you have the book, the sketch of Convoy in page #91 is the drawing he refers to here)
– It is amazing that you realised your long time wish.
K: Surprisingly, there weren’t many remake of transformable Convoy back then. Designers even prided themselves on making (the toys) different from the cartoon. It was considered not creative as a designer to follow old examples, and the change was preferred.
My initial image (of MP-1) was more like the CG Convoy that appeared very briefly in “Beast Wars Metals” rather than G1 cartoon Convoy. I imagined he was the same Convoy character but altered and not exactly the same as his old self. However, I was hoping to remake him close to the cartoon setting as much as possible.
我最初对MP-1的印象更像野兽战争”Beast Wars Metals”的CG擎天柱而不是G1动画。我想象过他是同一个人物但是变化过，而不完全是最初最早的他自己。不管怎么样，我希望能够尽可能把它重制得还原动画。
– Who drew the design sketch shown in the MP-1 booklet?
K: Our team leader at that time requested Dreamwave to provide us with a sketch. We hoped Dreamwave would give it prestige. I can see now that it means before Mr.Shoji Kawamori, we had already used a designer (from outside TakaraTomy).
After MP-2 Ultra Magnus, Starscream was chosen to be the next. But then we began to doubt if Starscream had as much appeal as Convoy did. To create a new attraction at the design stage, it was suggested that we invited a designer who was very much talked about. As a result, Mr.Kawamori was brought in.
– Tell us how Mr.Kawamori came to take on the role of the supervisor.
K: When it came to plane robots, Mr.Kawamori was the obvious choice back then. Once we actually discussed it in person, he was quite eager to be largely involved and we were keen to have him on board.
– What was your involvement with MP series after that?
K: I did MP-5 Megatron’s colour and packaging. I was especially particular about the processing of the hairline on his chest. I even bought a model pistol for a reference.
As for MP-6 Thundercracker, how to distribute the colours was a big problem. The recent, Asian edition Sunstorm uses fire patterns in slightly different warm colours and I feared Skywarp and Thundercracker might become too dull-looking without such arrangement. By applying clear coating, I gave them luxurious appearance. I considered applying large markings on their wings, but it didn’t happen (*laughs)
– Grimlock’s transformation is very true to the cartoon.
K: Beast Machines Rattle (Rattrap) figure has a drive shaft mechanism that connects the tail and the neck so that they move in unison, and I attempted something similar. Even though those parts had to transform, I wanted to sneak in the dino neck and tail connection in the transforming mechanism.
– There is also MP-8X King Grimlock. Which is more satisfying for you personally?
K: To think of it now, Grimlock’s silver isn’t pure silver colour but closer to grey. Taking that into consideration I suppose the regular version is closer to my image of Grimlock. On the other hand, I enjoyed colouring King Grimlock according to the comic version – his delicate colours, such as the blue in place of the black or the pale blue chrome on the tail. I was also happy that the American comic style package by Mr. Hidetsugu Yoshioka was well received many people.
– MP-9 Rodimus Convoy has very intricate transforming process. Did you have the 4 different modes in mind from the start?
K: Yes. It started with a discussion to determine if either of Rodimus Convoy and Hot Rodmius was more popular than the other. If you have seen “Transformers The Movie”, you naturally like Hot Rodmius since he is the main character, while Rodimus Convoy is one of the succession of commanders. We concluded that we couldn’t decide which was better, and the project was more concentrated on figuring out the way to represent both characters.
Turing the upper body over when transforming was already planned at the early stage. I ran into difficulties when I had to come up with a good colour distribution to represent different colour schemes between Hot Rod’s vehicle mode, which is almost flat and his humanoid form. I repeated trial and error many times.
– I have the impression that MP-9 was the most challenging product to develop.
K: Rodimus Convoy is a very popular character who always ranks as the number two in the popularity contest among the successive commanders. Although I think he doesn’t have many opportunities to get a remake in spite of his popularity. At that time I feared if he didn’t get the update then he might never receive such treatment for a long while.
– What were your involvements with MP-1L Convoy, MP-1B and MP-4S?
K: I designed the font of “LASTSHOT” on (MP-1L’s) back. Some of MP-1’s diecast moulds were not serviceable any longer and “LASTSHOT” was added to a newly created part. MP-1B is a black Convoy, which I feel made the “black and green” format conventional for the later releases. With MP-4L, I used the sepia colour to express the moment Convoy lost his colours as he passed away.
– MP-11 is Starscream, who has become the Emperor of Destruction.
K: By then, “MP = the re-creation of the cartoon” direction was set. I got the idea that Starscream should be re-done as the anime version since MP-3 did not represent the cartoon setting. In fact, I had also created a crown and a cape for MP-3. After the time passed I gave it another thought, and considering the trend in the hobby industry toward creating capes not from cloth but from plastic with articulations, I decided to introduce it to create a changeable cape fit for a Transformer.
– You must have a strong personal attachment to Ultra Magnus like you did to MP-8.
K: I observed how Hasui was envisioning Magnus project while working on (MP) real car series. While I thought (Magnus) was his, I also kept on thinking of the way as to how Magnus could be made into an actual form. I ended up taking it over from Hasui when the development of overseas “Lost Age (Age of Extinction)” products wrapped up.
– What did you find challenging in MP-22 development?
K: The problem was to conceive the way to allocate the mass of the truck. I settled with splitting it into the front and the back sections, putting the head between the chest parts and placed the remaining parts on the back. He is slightly taller and fits in quite well.
As a factor to express his character, the Matrix can be fitted in his chest. Additional face part like action figures have is included so that his expression can be changed as well.
– What direction will the MP series take in the future?
K: Thanks to the (fans’) support, the current MP series is very popular right now. I hope the addition of Ultra Magnus as the centric character to the real car series will make the whole lineup more enjoyable.
The factors of the current popularity are the re-creation of the cartoon characters and the use of real cars, of course, and I’d like to explore the next step up while keeping those important factors intact. I am not the developer of Star Saber, who was chosen to become a MP figure by the MP Fans’ Choice votes, but I suspect (MP Star Saber) may initiate the next step. I want the MP series to continue to make the fans’ dream come true. I hope (the fans) will look forward to future developments.
挖地虎部队/大力神（铲土机，吊钩，搅拌机 ，清扫机 ，推土机 ，拖斗）