"Legends" Super Ginrai Toy Review

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Headmaster, Leader, Legends


Ginrai General Information:
Release Date: December 28, 2016
Price Point: 8500 Yen (Takara Tomy suggested retail price)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: Ginrai Headmaster, Shoulder cannons x 2, Blasters x 2

Translation below by Doug Dlin:
Function: Supreme Commander
The Japanese youth Ginrai has once again acquired the Master Braces and achieved restoration as the reborn Transformer Super Ginrai. Having changed into a Headmaster, the reborn Ginrai's Supersoul power is still going strong, and with the new Iacon Engine in his chest and his new battle systems, he shatters the Decepticons' ambitions.

Unlike the current trend of Hasbro and Takara Tomy releasing the same figure in slightly different packaging, Super Ginrai is meant to represent a completely different character. This figure is a retool and redeco of "Titans Return" Powermaster Optimus Prime, which makes th is the third iterations of this sculpt, with "Combiner Wars" Ultra Magnus being the first. Interestingly, this represents history repeating itself. In G1 the Powermaster Optimus Prime figure and its Japanese equivalent Super Ginrai were the same basic figure but there were differences in the sculpt (including the design of the arms and the use of die-cast metal in Ginrai versus Optimus Prime).

This review will focus on the changes made to this figure for this release. Check out my Powermaster Optimus Prime review for my original thoughts on this figure. Note: Many of the modifications on this figure were made to allow it to combine with the "Legends" Godbomber figure. I will address those specific functions in my Godbomber review in the future.

Super Ginrai is packaged in a window box which takes inspiration from past G1 packaging. The background is mostly red with a grid pattern on top. If you look from left to right in the front of the box the bright red has a gradient that goes to darker red on the right. A small, vertical "Transformers" logo is on the left. The bottom part has a silver background with the "Transformers Legends" logo (in Japanese and English) with Ginrai's artwork on the right and his ame overlapping it. The figure is inside in vehicle mode with all its weapons laid out above it. In the upper right hand corner is Ginrai himself with the words "Head Master" under him (separated into two words).

The back of the packaging shows the figure in all three modes: vehicle, base and robot. The artwork is behind the pictures fading into the red background of the packaging. A brief write up on the character is in the upper left hand corner. I really love the "Legends" packaging and it is one of my favorite parts of this line.

Super Ginrai includes four weapons. Two of them are the same shoulder cannons included with Powermaster Optimus Prime featuring two barrels and a "seat" for a Titan Master or Head Master (or Prime Master) to sit in. Instead of being cast in the greyish color used for Powermaster Optimus Prime, these are a silver color.

The weapons that were included with Powermaster Optimus Prime have been replaced with two rifles. These are thin and roughly based on the design of the rifles that came with G1 Ginrai. They have a rear section with rectangular details leading to a long barrel with a targeting sight on top. The rifles have 5mm pegs, allowing them to attach to any figure with 5mm ports. Interestingly, these rifles can connect together at the top to form a thicker, dual barreled version of the weapon, but there is no way to have a Titan Master figure sit in them or anything like that. These weapons are cast in metallic blue but are mostly painted a gunmetal grey.


Unlike the "Titans Return" line, the "Legends" line seems to be treating the Head Master figures as the core personality of the character. Much like the "Headmasters" cartoon in Japan, the body was basically a large mech suit (known as a 'Transtector' in "Headmasters" and "Masterforce" lingo) being controlled by the smaller head. As shown in the comic included with this figure, the character of Ginrai has traded up his "Godmaster" engine transformation and now transforms into Super Ginrai's head.

Ginrai uses the same sculpt as the Titan Master Apex who came with Powermaster Optimus Prime. The colors are very different on Ginrai. The idea of this figure's deco was to make him look the way the character appeared in "Masterforce". No changes were made to the head, arms, torso or legs since they already looked like the character from the cartoon. However I am really impressed by how much the colors changed!

The head is white and the torso has been painted white. His arms are red, but a much brighter, deeper red than the one used on Apex. His thighs are red and his lower legs are black. To really drive home the association with his animated counterpart, the visor eyes are painted blue and the nose/mouth area is painted a flesh tone. Keep in mind that in "Masterforce" the humans controlled larger Transformers bodies, so even in their "Godmaster" or "Headmaster" suits, their human faces still showed through. I love the way Takara Tomy worked this into the deco!

The head mode is very different and reinforces the fact that Apex and Ginrai represent two different characters. Apex transformed into a head based on Orion Pax, the character who would become Optimus Prime. However Ginrai is a different character who just looked like Optimus Prime. Taking a cue from the head from the cab section of G1 Ginrai, the face plate on this figure is completely different than the one on Apex. This one looks like a traditional Optimus Prime design complete with a crest in the middle, antennae on the sides and a mouthplate. The sculpt is spot on with the face seen in "Masterforce" and I am very happy the designers made this choice. It looks great and it reinforces the difference between this figure and its predecessor.

Ginrai's head mode has some gorgeous coloring. The "helmet" section is a dark, metallic blue. The crest and face have silver paint on it and the eyes are painted light blue. In a really nice additional touch, the part of the disks on the sides of the head that wind up on Ginrai's arms are painted blue as well. This deco looks like the animation model and has gorgeous colors. I am very impressed with the deco and design of the head mode.

Super Ginrai

Vehicle Mode:
Super Ginrai's vehicle form has a simple but very dramatic retool: the cab section. The front of the cab is formed by two panels that form the front of the cab. On Powermaster Optimus Prime these were made into a futuristic looking truck with a giant grille and thin windows. However, since this figure is intended to represent "Masterforce" Ginrai these panels have been changed. Instead we wind up with a much more traditional "Optimus Prime" looking design. This includes rectangular windshield windows separated in the middle, a grille under it and headlight sections with two circles inside of them. It is impressive how simple, yet effective this change is. The vehicle looks dramatically different than Powermaster Optimus Prime and I definitely prefer this cab design.

The rest of the vehicle mode shares the same parts as Powermaster Optimus Prime, but the deco is dramatically different. The cab and the front section of the trailer are mostly made up of red plastic, matching the red on the Ginrai mini-figure. Then the area behind the red section is cast in silver until you get to the rear doors which are metallic blue. The wheels are black plastic. The red and silver really work a lot better together than the colors used on Optimus Prime (which were good, but just not as great as these). I like the metallic shine on both the blue and silver colors.

The deco on this figure is fantastic. Silver is used extensively on the cab section, calling back to both G1 Optimus Prime and Ginrai's designs. The windows are painted a metallic light blue which sparkles under the right light. Even better? There is silver on the rims of the wheels which looks amazing. The wheels on Powermaster Optimus Prime are not painted and just wind up looking unfinished. The finishing touch is the iconic angled line pattern on the trailer in blue and white with an Autobot symbol in the middle. This is not the same exact pattern as the one on Powermaster Optimus Prime. The Autobot symbol here is much smaller than the one used on that figure but it looks good. I really love this deco. It's eye catching and true to the character.

In terms of play value Super Ginrai still has 5mm ports on the top and sides of the trailer section. There are also Titan Master pegs on the top of the trailer and cab section. The doors at the back can also swing down, allowing a Legends Class figure to fit inside the trailer in vehicle mode. The front panels can swing open to allow Ginrai to sit inside the cab.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach all the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Transform Ginrai into head mode and set him aside for now.
  3. Swing the panels that form the sides of the trailer out to the sides.
  4. Swing the panels on the top of the trailer forward. This begins forming the robot arms.
  5. Swing the robot arms out to the sides.
  6. Push the robot fists up, compressing the arms.
  7. Split the rear section of the trailer.
  8. Swing the legs down at the hips.
  9. Pull the sections with the rear trailer doors out to the side a tad, then swing them up.
  10. Swing the foot pieces forward.
  11. Swing the panels on the bottom of the feet out, then rotate them up.
  12. Swing the red heel pieces down.
  13. Fold the panels from the sides of the trailer back, then around to form the lower legs.
  14. Swing the upper body section forward.
  15. Swing open the front panels of the cab section, then swing the head out, then swing the panels back into place.
  16. Rotate the front section of the cab around.
  17. Push the cab section down, then swing the cab itself down to form the robot chest.
  18. Swing the section from the middle of the trailer section up.
  19. Attach Ginrai in head mode to the port on the top of the figure, then swing the "helmet" over it.
  20. Attach the dual barreled cannons to the shoulders. The rifles fit in each hand.

Robot Mode:
It may not look like it at first glance, but take a good look and you will see that there has been extensive retooling done to the Powermaster Optimus Prime sculpt for its release as Super Ginrai. Here's what's changed:

  • The arm design is very different. The forearms have been replaced with new parts that better resemble the arms on G1 Ginrai and he now has fists with 5mm ports instead of hands that can open. Also, the arms slide out as part of his transformation, something Powermaster Optimus Prime did not do.
  • The part that swings up against the torso has been completely changed. Instead of a complex set of machinery, it now looks more like the torso seen on G1 Super Ginrai, complete with a design in the middle based on G1 Ginrai's "Godmaster" engine mode (my favorite new design element).
  • The hip pieces at the top of the thighs are new. Instead of the ones that Powermaster Optimus Prime had with criss crossing bands this one has a vertical rectangle with a hole in the middle. This is based off a design on G1 Super Ginrai's hip/waist area.
  • The feet are perhaps the most complex new part. They are completely new pieces, taking the place of the feet on Powermaster Optimus Prime. These have several parts including a panel forming the foot in front, a heel piece and a center section that holds it all together. This also winds up making this figure taller than its predecessor since the foot pieces swing out and the figure stands on them. The design of the front panel is based on the lower legs and feet on G1 Super Ginrai, but they lack any sort of foot piece coming out in front, which looks a bit odd.

I absolutely love how much retooling went into this sculpt. First off, if you are going to double dip on a sculpt, it is good to know you are not just buying the exact same figure in new colors. Also, these new pieces help bring the sculpt more in line with the appearance of G1 Super Ginrai.

The colors from the vehicle mode carry over here and really pop. The red makes up most of the top of the figure while the sivler and blue make up most of the lower part. The piece that forms the middle of the waist/hip area is white plastic. These colors are all brighter and more striking than those used on the more muted Powermaster Optimus Prime and I really like them.

The deco is fairly minor in this mode, but that is because the basic plastic colors do a good job of matching up with G1 Super Ginrai. The shoulders have red and white Autobot symbols on them. The torso has a combination of light metallic blue, silver, black and white, forming a complex pattern of colors centered around the faux "Godmaster engine" in the middle. The center of his crotch area is painted red. The legs have yellow tampographs on the knees and middle sections. The head's crest and mouth plate are painted silver. The deco is fantastic and I am really happy with it.

Super Ginrai has the same number of articulation points as Powermaster Optimus Prime (twenty one in all) but they are in different places. For instance, his fingers do not move, but his wrist turns. His feet move, but they can swing side to side. I also have to say that all the joints on this figure feel significantly tighter than those on my Powermaster Optimus Prime figure. This is especially noticeable on the elbow and hip joints.

Transformation to Battle Command Base Mode (Starting in Robot Mode):

  1. Detach all the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Detach Ginrai and transform him into robot mode (or human mode if you prefer).
  3. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  4. Rotate the arms up so they are pointed forward.
  5. Pull the fists up to extend the forearms.
  6. Swing the silver panels behind the forearms up.
  7. Swing the piece over the torso down.
  8. Swing up the sides of the torso cover piece up.
  9. Open the panels on the cab section, swing the head in and then close the panels.
  10. Swing the cab section back, then rotate it around.
  11. On the bottom of the cab section, swing out the support pylons.
  12. Swing the legs forward, then out to the sides, then rotate them at the thighs so the front of the lower legs face forward.
  13. Swing out the side panels from the vehicle mode to form a ramp on each leg.
  14. Bend the legs at the knee to push the legs forward a bit, giving the ramps some clearance.
  15. Swing the red heel pieces back.
  16. Rotate the foot piece around, then fold it in and push the foot pieces back into the lower legs.
  17. Turn each fist so the 5mm port faces outward, then attach the rifles to them.
  18. The shoulder cannons can be attached to the 5mm ports near the wheels at the top of the ramps.

Battle Command Base Mode:
Super Ginrai's base mode is a bit different than the one Powermaster Optimus Prime has due to the new parts on the figure. This includes the middle of the base, which is more open since it folds straight down, with only the sides sticking up. This section also allows a Titan (or Head or Prime) Master to sit in it. The other major difference are the two towers formed by the arms. The ones on Powermaster Optimus Prime are shorter since the forearms on that figure do not extend. I like the taller towers and I appreciate the way the designers figured out how to get weapons attached to them towards the middle.

The only weakness of the official transformation is that the ramps still lead to the back of the base and there is not a lot of clearance there. I prefer my alternate transformation where the legs swing back, allowing the ramps to point forward.

This mode does not show off too many new bits. You get a better look at the interior of the torso and the top of the waist section, but overall this does wind up just looking like a variant of the vehicle mode in color.

Final Thoughts:
Super Ginrai is an awesome retool and redeco of Powermaster Optimus Prime. He is one of those retools/redecos that I can wholeheartedly recommend because there are extensive changes made to the base figure and he represents the G1 character very well. The feet are a bit weird but if you can get past them this figure is highly recommended!


  • Extensive retooling works for all three modes.
  • Colors are vibrant and eye catching.
  • Holds weapons much more securely than Powermaster Optimus Prime.
  • Deco on Ginrai Head Master figure is fantastic.
  • Joints are all significantly tighter than its predecessor.


  • New foot design is rather odd.