Transformers came to its peak in 1986, but Hasbro had nearly exhausted licensable designs from other manufacturers, including old Takara toylines. Hasbro and Takara turned to unused Diaclone concepts and designs, such as the combiners. The Special Team Leader Motormaster was a result of this development, transforming into a Kenworth K100 Aerodyne pulling a silver high-cube trailer.
Motormaster was originally conceptualized for a Diaclone subseries called “Jizai Gattai”, or Free Combination, which would have included the Stunticons, Combaticons, Aerialbots, Protectobots, and Metroplex. Each team had a theme, each limb figure could combine with any other team leader as any limb, and each leader figure had some sort of base mode, usually, with a spring-loaded vehicle launcher. All the figures could also interact with Metroplex. However, Transformers’ imminent success put Diaclone and Jizai Gattai on ice. It was Transformers’ long term success that saw these designs to completion, however.
Motormaster transforms into a black Kenworth K100E sleeper cab pulling a silver high-cube box trailer. The truck mode is fairly accurate, using many molded details and chrome applications to depict the truck mode. He features six rolling wheels: the front cab wheels, and both trailer axles. The middle-rear cab axle features chromed faux wheels in the same pattern as the others, while the rear cab wheels disguise a riveted hinge for the transformation. His trailer is decorated in stickers with purple stripes and Decepticon symbols, mimicking the design on Optimus Prime. He can transform into a base mode, splitting the cab and trailer front in half, and unfolding the rear of the trailer to reveal a ramp and deck. The deck has a flat black plate inset into it, covering an intended car-launcher mechanism (the mechanism was included in Takara’s Japanese release). The ramp is narrow, but the included “roller car” fits perfectly.
Motormaster’s transformation and robot mode are unique in that the cab is permanently attached to the trailer, and simply used as the robot’s feet while the trailer forms the bulk of the robot. This leads Motormaster to have a very blocky robot form, going so far as to have his molded chestplate and purple face set into the box-like sections of his body. Motormaster can wield his large purple rifle and chrome sword in this mode. He transforms to the torso of Menasor by pressing his arms against his body, pivoting his thighs outward, and rotating his cab-feet back. He then dons the Menasor head as a mask, and the roller car mounts as the chestplate, as well as a large waistplate.
Motormaster is a fairly sturdy figure, but the black chestplate (inset into his trailer roof) can pull out, or break the internal tabs it is mounted to. Care should be taken when removing the roller car, to make sure the inner chestplate is not pulled off as well.
Motormaster has no molding variations, but does exhibit some color variants. Some versions of the Menasor mask have painted red eyes, while others leave the eyes in the silver of the rest of the face. Further, earlier Japanese-made Motormaster accessories are cast in dark purple plastic, while later Macau-produced samples use a lighter shade of purple.He was available again in 1990 in Europe’s extension of G1, as part of the Classic Stunticons.
Motormaster was available in 1986, either individually boxed, or as part of a Menasor giftset. Due to the popularity of the combiners, Motormaster was available again in 1987.
Redecos & Retools
Motormaster’s mold has not been re-used, but a prototype redeco was produced for Generation 2. Several of these prototypes exist, but none made it to the packaging stage of production.