Interview from Figure King 232 (May 2017): MP-39 Sunstreaker Developer

Translated & Interpreted by Jeremy Barlow © Soundwave's Oblivion 2022

Masterpiece Sunstreaker Development Team Interview

“Someday I’d like to line them up like you see in the opening sequence.”

-What made you decide to make a Masterpiece version of Sunstreaker?
From a development point of view, we want to have representations of the original Car Robot lineup. While making our selection on this occasion, Sunstreaker was the obvious choice. In the “Diaclone” series this was the first Car Robot and it was also a fantastic opportunity to revisit the New Countach which Lambor was based on. In the Masterpiece series Lambor was the first Car Robot to be released so this was the complete opposite of Sunstreaker. With this in mind we pursued a “Countach-likeness” by adding additional car mode styling and gimmicks.

-Originally, Sunstreakers car mode is different from the actual Countach.
When Lambor was released it was well received, not just by Transformers fans but also fans of the Countach. We had so many requests from these fans that we couldn’t simply ignore them. For Sunstreaker I wanted to present a product which could be appreciated by Countach enthusiasts as well as making it cartoon accurate. That's why I came up with the idea of representing both the actual vehicle mode as well as the version which appeared in the show and I was challenged to make this a complete transformation instead of using removable parts. I also wanted to have the Countach doors opening upwards as well as the retractable headlights.

-The basic robot mode structure is similar to the G1 version such as the positioning of the limbs.
Yes, I agree. However the feet of the original toy were wider as they were formed from splitting the bonnet. For the Masterpiece version we divided it into three parts and only used the left and right sections as feet. We also wanted to avoid having the insignia split in half. In the cartoon the back parts are surprisingly large and a completely different shape from the toy so this may appear to look different from the G1 version.

-What was the most difficult part of the development process?
Definitely the robot mode chest. The car mode roof does move but without the use of a dummy roof the proportions would appear off. Some of the team did not like the use of dummy parts and we struggled to convince them. We ended up turning the roof inside out rather than utilise chest parts from another location. The roof section has a small windshield and other parts folded inside it. As the windshield is a large area this led to challenges in other areas as well.

-The articulation in robot mode is also a key feature.
The shoulders have pull out joints and have been designed to move back and forth. We also designed it so the entire arm can be raised. By utilising these joints you can put him into great poses such as  holding the gun in front of him.

-Am I right in saying the shoulder movement has nothing to do with the transformation?
People have told us that they want Masterpieces with better articulation. Until now we have always prioritised the shape of the product over the transformation but going forward we are designing the figure with its articulation at the beginning as much as possible. We have also improved durability by inserting soft parts between joints. Recently the Masterpieces have been painted as much as possible to enhance the texture giving us the freedom to design parts knowing they would end up being painted. However the number of parts has increased from the previous Lamborghini given the three stage transformation.

-What is the best feature? Is there anything you’d like to call out?
I would say the ankles. They have not only been designed to tilt inwards but also outwards slightly. This allows him to stand on one leg. We haven’t just limited this to Sunstreaker as we are designing future Masterpieces with the ability to stand on one leg. This lets you replicate the march you see in the cartoon when they were dressed up as evil space robots.

-Could you please tell us as much as you can about the future of Masterpiece.
I’m hoping to see Beast Wars and G1 characters released side by side. We would like to stagger the releases of the Beast Wars and G1 characters as they appeal to different age groups and purchasing preferences. Thanks to the success of the Beast Wars series we have succeeded in attracting people who watched it when it was first broadcast and we would like to keep that passion alive.

-In relation to the 4WD vehicles, I’m curious how you will portray the differences between Hoist and Trailbreaker.
I hope to fully realise this in the near future. I believe both Megatron and Sunstreaker incorporated surprises that went far beyond fans and the developers expectations. I would be happy if I could create Hoist with a few surprises as well.

-We are seeing more and more Car Robots.
At Wonder Festival we lined up all the past Masterpieces and it was well received. Now I’d really like to arrange all the Masterpiece Car Robots side by side just like the opening of the cartoon series.

-I love it! Can you tell us anything about other characters like the Minibots?
We have heard many similar requests and we would love to respond to each and every one of them. We have identified the problems which need to be solved to develop these characters and we are working at solving them from various angles. Thank you very much for your patience.
Translated Tech Specs
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