It hasn’t been an easy journey for Takara TOMY’s repaint of Masterpiece Wheeljack. The original response for a lot of people to MP-23 Exhaust was pretty much:
I was one of those people as well, but I quickly fell in love with him. Since MP-10 I really haven’t been disappointed with a release in the series. If Takara TOMY wants to do some nutty d-list variant with an existing mold go right the hell on; I’m in. It also helped that he was designed to look like a pack of Marloboro Reds. Of course this was also the undoing of Exhaust …
Shortly after preorders went up the American based stores pulled the listing and canceled any orders placed. Apparently Marlboro and Philip Morris took immediate action, and any US based stores selling the figures were asked (told) to take them down. Suddenly Exhaust was the talk of the town since most of the international stores had long sold out on their preorders. People scrambled to lock in on what surely was going to put their kids through college.
Takara TOMY must have taken notice since they have adjusted his paint scheme. The symbols on each side of the car’s hood have been altered to make them look a lot less like the Marlboro logo that caused all the problems. It also appears some domestic stores have listed the figure again. So no worries, MP-23 is alive and well with a slightly different paint scheme.
The old paint (notice the green logos on the hood):
And the updated version: