Knight Morpher Commander (AKA Hearts of Steel Optimus Prime)
Review by Shogundan
Today I will be reviewing Master Mind Creations KM-01 Knight Morpher Commander.
The sample for this review was supplied by our good friends over at Big Bad Toy Store. Please check them out to get this toy or something else from their huge in-stock supply of toys and collectibles.
The Knight Morpher Commander may look very familiar to you, as it should. It actually is Optimus Prime from the IDW comics miniseries, The Transformers Evolutions: "Hearts of Steel". I am not actually sure of the reason why this figure isn't named by the correct name but, you can almost bet it is because of a licensing issue. Enough of the background, onto the review!
Let’s start off with the box. The box is actually very plain, mostly black with a picture of the enclosed figure’s head adorning it as seen below. The box does state that this is a collectible figure and that it is recommended for ages 18+. I actually have never encountered this before and it made me chuckle a little. I know the 18+ statement is probably on there so the manufacturer can avoid safety testing but, unfounded thoughts of lead paint, etc..., raced through my head.
Upon opening the box we are greeted with the figure in its locomotive mode encased in a clear plastic resealable clam-shell. I really like the use of the clam-shell style packaging, as it allows you to put everything back for that Mint In Box feel that collectors love.
Let’s talk about the Locomotive/Train mode. In this mode the KM-01 has a real steam-punk, industrial-age look that, in my opinion, looks really badass! The dark red, blue, and gray just perpetuate the ominous, blocky look of this mechanical titan. The paint detail is pretty good, as you can see from all angles in the next four photos below. I especially like the look of the paint application to the rear door, ladder, and the round porthole type window.
Like most Optimus Prime incarnations, this KM-01 Optimus consists of two parts: an engine and tender, mimicking the ubiquitous cab, and trailer.
Looking at the trailer/tender, notice the silver paint on the side. You may notice that this stripe looks very much like the blue stripe on the side of the G1 Optimus Prime trailer. Optimus comes with a second set of fists that are used for holding his weapons at a different angle than the fists that are included affixed to the figure. These extra fists can be stored on the trailer's/tender's bottom as shown in the third photo below.
Now, what good would Prime's trailer be if it couldn't unfold and transform? As you can see below, The KM-01 doesn't disappoint! It opens up to reveal a huge cannon. The cannon can be raised and lowered, moved side to side, and it also is able to slide forward and backward. The cannon can also be disassembled and turned into Prime's jousting lance and jet packs. The front bulkhead of the trailer becomes Prime's shield.
Moving along to Optimus, the transformation is very easy (as shown in the video below). The figure joints are very tight and clicky, allowing Optimus to hold a wide range of poses. Optimus stands at almost 7" tall in robot mode and has some great details. Some of the detail highlights are the Matrix of Leadership within his chest, and the painted gear details on the inner calves. Oh, and let’s not forget all the cool little rivet heads that can be found all over the figure. My only real gripe about this figure (as I mention in the video) is that the piece above the eyebrow on my figure came separate, packaged in with the directions. This piece pops off rather easily, which led me to glue it in place. For the life of me, I do not understand why this wasn't done by the manufacturer.
As I mentioned up above, the cannon and other parts of the trailer/tender become Prime’s, jousting lance, jet-pack, and shield. His gun is formed from the engine’s smokestack, shown in the next five photos below. Check out the posability! The KM-01 Knight Morpher Commander looks fantastic when posed dynamically.
I think the KM-01 Knight Morpher Commander is a very posable, cool, and unique collectible. I encourage Transformers fans to pick one up. You can grab one now by going to Big Bad Toy Store and placing your order today!
Comments19 comments posted
What a great, soulful toy. If only all fandoms were as motivated and competent as TF fans. TF fan-generated toys are just outstanding. I was hoping to see a review of this on cdx. Thanks!
-when we periodically grapple with the merits of sub-par figures (the Atelier Sai Garland comes to mind) I think of pieces like this. Here a few fans, amateur toy manufacturers, have created an astonishing toy, in very limited numbers, and it's high quality. How do giant toy companies so often fail with less ambitious products?
And for other super-passionate mecha fans (cough, Macross, cough) what are you doing while these guys are creating stuff like this?
They're doing nothing obviously. Too much time defending their purchases on the internet, or complaining about inaccuracies on MW.
I love the fact that these new small TF fan companies outdo the big guys on a regular basis. This is an obscure character design that would never have been made otherwise. And surprise, somebody actually did a good job. And did a good job with no need to justify it or defend it.
Just like some of the vinyl figures that have been debated the last few months, you might not like the toy design or character, but you can't help but be inspired by the level of dedication, love, and craftsmanship that is present here. People teamed up to make this happen. They didn't just complain on message boards. They made it happen.
When you buy stuff like this, you know your money is going to a good place- people who care about it.
"This is an obscure character design that would never have been made otherwise."
Really? I don't think you can make a statement like that with any accuracy, considering the number of toys Hasbro has already produced for The War Within, and the enormous amount of fan-pleasing material they continue to work into the line wherever they find the opportunity.
Hearts of Steel was an awful comic, and did terribly. We were never going this toy from Hasbro.
"Really? I don't think you can make a statement like that with any accuracy, considering the number of toys Hasbro has already produced for The War Within,"
But TBR did thought of it, & he did make a statement w/ accuracy, so what # of toys did you claim that Hasbro has already made for TWW? There were only 11 of them from the awful 6" Titanium line & they were all horrible w/ the remaining 5 figures to be Seeker clones.
" and the enormous amount of fan-pleasing material they continue to work into the line wherever they find the opportunity."
Except that it wasn't fan-pleasing, the amount WASN'T enormous. The Titanium line was pathetic, The Universe line were moderate & it's in a standstill thanks to the cringing B-Formers merchandise that continues to dominate the Wal-Mart shelves to this day.
The opportunity was passed over and over again b/c their persistence in tampering w/ a hit product, & whenever a board of idiots go the wrong way, the TF fanbase followed suit like a pack of lemmings w/ a genetic death wish.
These real indie-fan toy studios were tired of being mad at Hasbro, so they decide to make things right by producing moonshine, & boy does it pack a punch.
Better yet why arn't these amateur toy manufacturers developing thier own original toy lines instead of leaching off the intellectual property of Hasbro, Takara and IDW publishing.
Further, what happened to all those value conscious toy fanboys? This is a unlicensed toy that retails for over $80 with clearly sloppy paint applications...And the fanboys suddenly get all forgiving???
Credibility of those fanboys has just dropped through the basement.
I think you are forgetting this is a fan's project, and not a project to make tons of money, or an artist's original baby. Very different standard to judge than Revoltechs, or Macross Valkyries.
This is a group of folks who wanted to see this design, and went ahead and actually did it. Not a bloated company buying up any license it can to dump cheapy figures on the market.
I'm far more forgiving on a hand-painted toy, or a toy made by an underground manufacturer, than by something made by Yamato, Bandai, etc. - especially when those items are sold as collector's products.
This, on the other hand, is designed and manufactured by fans for fans. And worth the $80, if you like the design.
I don't see how since you personally don't like the design, everyone who does loses credibility.
Like most designer toys, this toy was manufactured in China inbetween production runs of other toys. Not by fans for fans, but a buisness looking to make money and keep the doors open. Same as all those bloated toy companies.
Unlike most designer toys, this toy is an unlicensed representation of Hasbro, Takara, and IDW intellectual property. No matter how you want to justify it, that is theft.
Because you ignore facts and make ignorant assumtions, you have no credibility with me. Deal with it.
Like anyone cares about what's credible in your eyes?
All I see is a cool toy, whatever your prejudices are is your own crap to sort out at the psychiatrist.
Oh wow, I have some concept designs of this toy, but since Hasbro decided against the toy line, I figured it'd never see the light of day. Is it to model scale? 00 gauge maybe?
The gun is clever, and the lance is awesome. Refreshing to see a modern transformer that doesn't look like an autocad mistake.
vehicle or train mode looks more like a regular toy train. robot mode is quite ok.. color combination is ok i guess.. hmmm will appreciate this as a present. nice review chief.
the box is good, accessories are a plus.. im just not awed by the train mode, they would've atleast changed the color of the wheels into black or gray or silver.... an above average toy for me.
Great review Dan. I liked that someone went to the effort to do that cool alternate story line in the first place, and now a cool design was made into reality by some talented fans.
Dan, like Timothy asked above, can you get us a measurement between the bottom wheels outer edges? May be able to determine if this was intended to match a standard moedel gauge.
So, I ordered this guy as soon as I saw your review. Funny thing with this is that it does seem that people are taking a wait and see approach to this toy. BBTS usually seems to sell out of things like this on preorders, and this (and the Fansproject Defender too, I might add) is still available. Guess with a brand new company and an unproved track record (plus a high price) people are just going to wait a bit. Anyway, I love the design, so it's a must buy. I've always wanted TF's from previous ages of technology, and this is right up my alley. I'd love to see 30's gangster era TF's, but that's probably a pipe dream...
I'm quite impressed with how this toy, and glad that it got made. Normally I would support this kind of venture, as for $80 I think this toy really does display a good level of craftmanship. All of the little added functions like in the tender parts are really sweet. The only reason I haven't pulled the trigger is that I just bought the FansProject Warbot Defender (aka: Springer), and I really did not like the Hearts of Steel comic, so I'm much less attached to the actual design.
So it's an awesome toy that's well-done and really shows a lot of value, but you didn't like the comic it's from and so this toy sucks and nobody should buy it?
Oh, no no... not at all! I think the toy looks extremely well made, and from the review I think we can safely say that it is well worth the cost and will be a big hit with any fans of the design. I was just saying that I personally don't have alot of attachment to the design, so I probably won't pick it up. My point was merely that I just picked up a different fan-made figure, so I was tapped out. I think it's awesome that this figure got made, and it looks great. I just don't really want one myself.
leads you to think that they are going to have other toys coming from the same comic perhaps. Either way, it's described that the toy has a link to allow multiple cars to be attached to the main engine/tender. In fact they show multiple tenders coupled together. I would guess that a Bumblebee is on its way, and potentially some accessory cars (I would hope).