Transformers Purchased in May 2018

September 11th, 2019 No comments

A recent trend I see among my monthly purchases is that I buy more 3rd and 4th party figures than official products. Some recent examples were June 2016, March 2017, and November 2017. May 2018 further contributes to this trend.

You see that Hasbro? Release quality products, and people will buy. It’s not rocket science.

  • Studio Series Starscream, Target, $29.99

  • Mech Planet Big Yellow Bee, chosenprime.com, $17.99
  • Zeta Toys Air Strike, chosenprime.com, $59.99
  • MakeToys Ironwill, chosenprime.com, $79.99

Starscream

I went briefly into Starscream in my last post, so I won’t repeat all that here. Just know that he’s an awesome figure from the Studio Series. I’ll let the pics below speak for themselves.

With Nitro from The Last Knight, another excellent figure.

Big Yellow Bee

HasTak gave us a marvelous rendition of G1 Bumblebee in the Masterpiece line. However, if you always felt that you needed a CHUG Bumblebee that is G1 accurate in both robot and alt modes, which HasTak is unwilling or unable to do, then you need look no further than Big Yellow Bee by Mech Planet.

Big Yellow Bee is an excellent 3rd party take on everyone’s favorite yellow VW bug from G1. He transforms exactly like you think he would, so I won’t describe it too much. The build quality is superb for a $17.99 third party toy. I don’t have any other offerings from Mech Planet. Big Yellow Bee was my first one, and I was quite pleased.

Check the pics below. The faction symbol is after market, obviously.

Big Yellow Bee scales nicely with his mini-bot friends in the CHUG line.

The way that Big Yellow Bee compacts into his alt mode is actually very impressive. Arms, legs, and head all compact into the body area. It does take some cues from MP Bumblebee, but this is quite a feat nevertheless. If he got any smaller from robot to vehicle, you would think he’s mass shifting.

Scale in alt mode.

Big Yellow Bee comes with some accessories. Again, considering the price, this isn’t bad at all. He comes with a pistol, the spare tire wheel cover, and a chest plate type thing that I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be. And in the poly bag, there’s the instructions, a bio card, and some mystery accessory labeled “HOT”. That’s a lot of stuff in the package. Great value here.

I recommend Big Yellow Bee without hesitation.

Air Strike

Air Strike by newcomer Zeta Toys is their interpretation of Air Raid. I first mentioned Zeta back in this post, when I featured their figure for Fireflight called Flyfire. Zeta Toys is an offshoot of ToyWorld. Or more specifically, toy engineers at ToyWorld felt cheated, so they left the company and formed Zeta. Power to the employees!

As of this writing, I only have two items from Zeta. Air Strike was the first one, and Flyfire was the second. They were released in that order, too.

First let’s take a look at Air Strike in the box.

He comes packaged in a nice soft polystyrene box. I prefer this kind of package. I hate Styrofoam, because you’re bound to have little white bits fall off the box and it gets everywhere. I also don’t like plastic clam shells, because it’s hard to put the figures back into them. This kind of packaging is perfect, for what it is. It’s durable enough to protect the figure, while at the same time being easy to handle. I’m sure this is not environmentally friendly either, but none of them are. All in all, this is a no-frills type of packaging, and that’s how I like it. Some companies like to do extra special type boxes to give the items more of a collector status. I’ve never been into that sort of thing.

As far as accessories, Air Strike comes with 4 missiles and his rifle. Included also are the instructions and a bio card. It’s pretty minimalist for a figure of this size. But considering that the price is only $59.99, I feel it’s more than sufficient.

Air Strike looks great in robot mode. See the two pics above. As far as looks, he feels like a combination of the toy and the animation model. I still have my G1 Air Raid. He’s in pretty good shape. The design of Air Strike’s head feels more like the G1 toy, with the blocky shape and visor eyes. The rest of figure takes aesthetics from both the toy and the show. Overall, no one will mistake this figure for any other character besides Air Raid. The iconic black jet on the back, white body, and red chest all screams Air Raid.

Air Strike is a large figure. Below is a pic of how he scales next to War For Cybertron Siege Galaxy Optimus.

Siege Galaxy Optimus is a leader class figure. And Air Strike is taller than him, if you look at where the top of their heads are. In this pic I forgot to flip out the nosecone of Air Strike. If I did, he would be even taller. Air Strike is this size so we would get an accurately scaled MP Kronos (Superion). But individually, the Zeta Aerialbots are probably too fig for standard MP scale. Zeta is betting that most fans want Kronos to scale well with the rest of their MP collection. To that end, this Zeta team should fit the bill. As of this writing, I only have Air Strike and Flyfire, but I’m told that Kronos is very, very impressive when combined.

Transformation to jet mode follows the standard Aerialbot scheme. It’s more complicated than G1 of course, but nothing that would trip up any experienced TransFan.

That is a great looking Air Raid. Zeta did a marvelous job in capturing the look of this iconic black F-15. I probably should have took a pic of Air Strike next to the standard MP Seekers. They’re about the same size in jet mode. In the above pic, I don’t have the 4 missiles attached, but they go under the wings like you expect them to.

I do want to point out that there’s something weird about the front landing gear. On my copy, it’s not possible to get it out without detaching some other pieces first. It’s a minor annoyance for sure. Also, the figure as a whole feels light. I went into this too when I briefly covered Flyfire. My guess is that the materials used for the Zeta figures is not as high quality as the ToyWorld offerings. At only $59.99, they had to cut corners somewhere. Zeta decided to save on using higher quality plastics. And it goes without saying that there are no die-cast on Air Strike to speak of.

So do I recommend Air Strike? That’s a difficult question. Hardcore G1 TransFans, of which Air Strike is catered to, would look to get the entire Aerialbot team. So I almost need to look at the entire set, and see how they combine, before making a recommendation. Also, as of this writing, Fans Toys have come out with their own team of 3P Aerialbots. To this date they have only released Maverick (Silverbolt), and I have not seen any of the limb components. By itself, Air Strike is not a bad figure by any means. He looks great in both robot and jet modes. The transformation is fun, the engineering is solid. However, individual bot size can be an issue (too large). The plastics used does feel inferior to other 3P figures of this caliber, and there’s the front landing gear issue I mentioned. As it stands, I will refrain from making any recommendation, until I have seen the whole team.

Ironwill

The last figure this month is Ironwill, MakeToys’ 3P homage to Hardhead. I bought Ironwill back in November of 2017 during a Black Friday sale. In this same sale, I got Contactshot and Despotron, all by MakeToys. Chosen Prime must have some kind of working relationship with MakeToys, to be able to offer their figs at such a discount. Anyways, Ironwill was bought back then, but did not become in stock til this month.

Ironwill comes with two rifles, his iconic should-mounted cannon, an extra toy-accurate face plate, and instructions. Surprisingly, he does not come with a bio card. That’s almost standard for 3P MP figs these days. Personally I don’t think it’s a big deal to not have one, but just wanted to point it out for those of you that are expecting it.

In robot mode, Ironwill looks good. MakeToys did a fantastic job in updating the look of this character in MP form. The figure feels solid and hefty, befitting of someone whose name is Hardhead.

The figure has tight and clicky joints, just the way I like them. He’s capable of some good poses, and he can stand vertically just fine without leaning too forward or back.

I do have some gripes about Ironwill in robot mode. I don’t like the way that the main shoulder cannon is attached. It just clicks into place, using the most rudimentary rotation joint. It’s weird, but sometimes the joint feels too tight, while other times it feels too loose. Maybe it’s based on the weather (or the phases of the Cybertron moons). The up-and-down swivel of this cannon also feels a tad too loose. I suspect that, over time, pointing the cannon up and holding it there would no longer be possible.

The back pieces of Ironwill also do not hold too well in place in robot mode. When handling the figure, and especially when transforming, the back assembly can become undone when you don’t want it to. I wish there was more of a click-into-place mechanism here.

Ironwill’s transformation hits all the right notes, and is fun for the most part. Again, where I found it frustrating is the main cannon and the back assembly. They don’t stay in place well during the transformation. It’s probably easier to remove the cannon and re-attach after transforming is done. But that feels like parts-forming, and totally unnecessary given that the cannon doesn’t switch position. If the engineering was better on the cannon attachment, this won’t be an issue.

Here is Ironwill in alt mode. The Cybertronian tank looks great. The Headmaster figure can ride inside.

Fans will undoubtedly compare Ironwill to ToyWorld Hardbone. Honestly, I’m not sure which is the better figure here. Most fans will probably choose Ironwill. But there are a bunch of things I like better about Hardbone. Hardbone scales better with other MPs, in my opinion. Ironwill is too big to scale well with anything (should have taken a pic here). Hardbone does have a superior shoulder cannon attachment, and he comes with some cool accessories.

My final verdict on Ironwill is get it if you can find it at the price that I did. Regular MSPR is over $100, and at that price there needs to be less issues with the figure.

That does it for May. Some awesome stuff is coming next month, so stay tuned. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Random Decepticons, August 2019

August 3rd, 2019 No comments

Once again, I got a bunch of mostly unrelated Decepticons lying about. I’m gathering a bunch of them together for a feature.

WFC Siege Brunt

I consider myself pretty hardcore G1, and even I had to look up Brunt. In G1, he was a figure that came with Trypticon. Kind of like Six-Gun and Metroplex. However, in G1, Brunt is a tank that transforms into some gun towers for Trypticon. He does not have a robot mode. So it’s a bit debatable if you can even call Brunt an independent figure. But Hasbro did create a profile for him and here we are.

In War For Cybertron Siege, Brunt is upgraded to a modern Cybertronian interpretation. And this figure ain’t too shabby. He gets a full-fledged robot mode. And the original tank mode is still intact. But more importantly, Burnt is what they now call a “Weaponizer” figure in Siege. What this means is that he can separate into bits, and the individual parts can be used as weapons for other figures. It’s kind of a gimmicky feature. Not groundbreaking in my opinion, but marginally cool. Though this does make Brunt very much a parts-former. When transforming from robot to tank, the arms, legs, main gun, and back panel all needs to be removed and reattached. Yikes! The right arm on my copy is also a bit too loose in the elbow.

Still, I like Burnt. Both modes look good. I like the color scheme. The newly designed head mold works great for the character, and the parts-forming transformation actually feels kinda fun. Recommended.

WFC Siege Refraktor

Here is a figure that many hardcore G1 purists like myself have been waiting for. Focus your camera lenses on: Refraktor! Yes all G1 nerds will immediately recognize this as Reflector. I’m assuming the name change was required for trademark reasons.

I have seen the original Diaclone toys in a Diaclone catalog. But they were Japanese only. In the US, I believe these G1 Reflectors were only available through Hasbro’s mail order at the time, using Robots Points that you cut out of the G1 packaging. And they were still in Diaclone colors and not the show colors.

There has been several modern efforts at updating Reflectors. Hasbro has made Mini-Con Reflectors that came packed with Skrapnel, but these Reflectors are hardly G1 accurate. I know there has been a legend size Reflector figure, but those were convention exclusives. And they were simply repaints of Combiner Wars Shockwave, which stunk of Hasbro laziness. There has been many third party efforts as well. But they are not massively accessible, and I’m told none of them are that good. Each set has its issues.

Enter WFC Siege Refractor. This is the most show accurate physical manifestation of an official Refraktor that we have seen to date! This is a brand new mold, designed to be the character. The overall shape and colors of the robot mode screams Reflector. And yes, when you have 3 of them, they will combine to form a camera! G1 TransFans, Hasbro loves you. As of this writing, I only have 2 Refraktors. I got a third one in my Roller’s Stash at The Chosen Prime. I’ll form the camera when I ship the stash. I am told the camera comes together really well.

Build and construction of the figure is extremely solid. No loose bits or dangling parts. All pieces tab in where they should. Joints are of the right tension.

Each Refraktor also has an individual alt mode, that I’m guessing is supposed to be some kind of flying Cybertronian craft. Reminds me a bit of some versions of Shockwave’s alt mode. This mode feels like an afterthought, made up so toy buyers who know nothing about G1’s history don’t feel cheated when buying Refraktor. But you and I know better. The 3 as 1 camera alt mode is where the true action is.

For those of you that remember me saying how lame Reflectors are, this makes them a bit less lame. They almost earned themselves a seat at the cool kids table.

If you’re G1 guy, you already made up your mind that you’re buying 3 Refraktors. And if you’re not a G1 guy, buy them anyway.

Generations Thrilling 30 Skywarp

This Skywarp was purchased back in February of 2014. That was more than 5 years ago. Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly time flies. If I didn’t document the purchase, I would have thought this was only 2 or 3 years ago.

Generations Thrilling 30 Skywarp is based on designs from the Fall of Cybertron game. So he does fit in fairly well with WFC Siege. Though a Skywarp is planned for WFC Siege (as an Amazon exclusive).

This is a solid Skywarp figure. I have written about this mold elsewhere, so I won’t repeat them here. Though, playing with Skywarp after all these years, he does feel dated when compared to the WFC Siege line of figures. TFs as a whole are constantly getting better. And sometimes I need to remind myself of that fact by going back to older figures. It’s a bit like looking at your own children. Sometimes you don’t realize how much they have grown, until you go back and look at old but still recent pictures.

Studio Series Starscream

The last figure here is Studio Series Starscream. I started going into SS figures starting with my last post. Starscream was part of the first wave of SS figures released.

I like this Starscream. Overall, he feels like an up-sized version of Dark of the Moon deluxe Starscream. That figure came around before I started documenting my TF purchases on this blog. And I don’t think I ever featured that figure in anything. I think the closes I came to featuring it somewhere is in this post. Look carefully at the only picture that he’s in. It looks like Skywarp, but it’s really Starscream! Gemini and his wife took a deluxe store DotM Starscream, repainted it like Skywarp, and put it in this Japanese packaging for DotM Skywarp. To my knowledge, a retail deluxe DotM Skywarp was never released in the States. This has got to be one of the best Christmas presents I ever received! I really need to dig out this figure and give it a proper review.

Anyways, back to SS Starscream. This figure is voyager class. That’s a more appropriate size for someone like Starscream. The robot mode appears very close to his movie design. He’s fairly stable when standing on 2 legs on a flat surface. The feet is a feat in engineering (pun intended) considering his overall shape. Starscream has virtually no kibble on the back, which is saying something for the movie seekers. Starscream comes with a weapon that can be attached on either arm, when the hand is flipped in. In jet mode, Starscream looks great. Again, very little kibble on the underside of the jet, and that’s to be commended. There’s some kibble on the wings, but in my opinion it’s not at all distracting. Landing gears flip out easily. The weapon pegs in nicely and securely on the rear of the jet, behind the thrusters.

Again, the transformation scheme is identical to the DotM deluxe figure. SS Starscream is in my opinion the best movie Starscream made to date. The RotF Leader class figure was very good too, but this SS figure is more playable.

I recommend all the figures here.

Other related posts:

Decepticons… Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Purchased in April 2018

July 27th, 2019 No comments

April of 2018 is all Power of the Primes and Studio Series action. And one unexpected purchase for an item that I considered in China, but smart to have waited to find back in the States. No 3rd or 4th party products.

  • Power of the Primes Battleslash, Walmart, $9.84

  • Power of the Primes Roadtrap, Walmart, $9.84

  • Power of the Primes Blackwing, Target, $16.99

  • Power of the Primes Tailgate, Walmart, $9.84

  • Studio Series Bumblebee, amazon.com, $19.99

  • Studio Series Stinger, amazon.com, $19.99

  • Studio Series Optimus Prime, Target, $29.99

  • Studio Series Blackout, amazon.com, $49.99

  • Robots in Disguise Bumblebee and Grimlock 2-pack, entertainmentearth.com, $29.99

Battleslash and Roadtrap

For the very first time since G1 (to my knowledge), Hasbro is updating the Duocons! Only the most hardcore of TransFans know of Duocons. They came around in G1 Season 4. Transformer toys in that season were full of gimmicks, and the Duocons were no exception. The gimmick here is that two vehicles come together to form the robot mode. Or alternatively, the robot splits into two vehicles. I never had the G1 toys, but my understanding is that when you put one vehicle on top of the other, the spring loaded action kicks in and the figure auto transforms. It’s similar to Battle Chargers, or Automorph from the first Bay movie.

Only two Duocons were released. One is Flywheels, a jet and a tank. The other is Battletrap, the figure you see updated here. Battletrap is a helicopter and a jeep. For this Power of the Primes upgrade, Hasbro went one step further and gave each component its own robot mode. The heli is named Battleslash, and the jeep is called Roadtrap. They can still come together to form the bigger robot, Battletrap. Yes even the name is a portmanteau of the two individual components (Battleslash + Roadtrap). The two figures are sold separately. See some pics below.

Combined as Battletrap!

Holding a random weapon. Big prizes to whoever correctly identifies who this weapon belongs to.

Overall, I like these two. Both are more complicated than meets the eye when it comes to transformation. To account for the combining gimmick and individual robot and alt modes, none of the modes are all that good, but it’s not terrible either. Combined as Battletrap, the figure can be a tad unstable, but not too bad if you’re not being overly rough. The figures themselves are more than playable. At only about $10 each, you owe it to yourself to get both of them. They are proper updates to some lesser known characters that true G1-ers will appreciate.

And if you’re wondering where is Flywheels, he will be updated in War For Cybertron Siege in 2019. Why they’re calling him Skytread in the update will be a mystery for the ages.

Blackwing

Blackwing was called Darkwing in G1. Darkwing and his very close cohort Dreadwind were both Decepticon Powermasters introduced in G1 Season 5. Powermasters had this gimmick where the Master figure transforms into the engine, which unlocks the transformation ability of the base figure. The toys were kinda cool, having to plug in the Powermaster and then transform. But from a story perspective, Powermasters are totally lame. I mean, why have someone else unlock an ability you always had before?

Dreadwind and Darkwing also has this unique feature where the two jets can come together to form a super jet, then called Dreadwing (Dreadwind + Darkwing). Yes, all these names that can abbreviate to DW is confusing. In G1 I never got them straight without looking at toy catalogs.

As a figure, PotP Blackwing is nothing we haven’t seen before. He feels like another retooled Combiner Wars figure that’s now released in the Power of the Primes line. The transformation is like so many CW figs before it, so I won’t even describe it.

PotP Blackwing can also combine with PotP Dreadwind to form Dreadwing. See pic below.

So does this also make Blackwing and Dreadwind Duocons, except they combine to form the alt mode instead of the robot mode? And are Dreadwind and Blackwing brothers like Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, or are they unrelated? These and any other questions about this pair will not be answered here. Because, quite frankly, these toys are not that good to be worth the time.

Tailgate

PotP Tailgate is a white repaint of PotP Windcharger, just like how it was in G1. Yes this is a quick cash grab on Hasbro’s part. But at least this repaint has its roots in G1 which makes it somewhat more justifiable. I hate it when repaints are created for the silliest reasons, such as when two characters share similar alt modes. One example that comes to mind is repainting Titans Return Hardhead into Titans Return Quake. There are many other such lame efforts.

I like this Tailgate better than Generations Thrilling 30 Tailgate. Both the robot mode and the alt mode bear stronger resemblance to his G1 self. Pics below.

Bumblebee

The Studio Series (SS) is officially kicking off this month. Technically, my first Studio Series purchase happened last month with SS Thundercracker. But that was a store exclusive, the character never appeared in the movies, and it was a repaint of something that existed prior to SS. So to me it did not feel like an official kick off to the series.

The Studio Series is Hasbro’s latest offerings on figures from the movie-verse. SS will offer characters from every movie, from the 1st Bay movie all the way up to Bumblebee. The main selling point of SS is that they’re “BIG SCREEN INSPIRED”. This means the figures are re-engineered to be much more screen accurate than previous offerings. SS pays close attention to scale, and every SS figure will be scaled accurately to each other in size (or so they claim). Every SS figure comes with a cardboard backdrop of an important scene relating to the character in the movie.

All Studio Series are numbered, along with an indication of the figure’s movie of origin. And of course for 01 it would be Bumblebee. And not just any Bumblebee; for 01, it’s the classic Camaro Bee from the first movie.

The only classic Camaro movie Bumblebee figure I had was from the first movie. And he’s broken. So I very much welcomed this new SS01 Bumblebee.

I’ll start with the pros of the figure. In both modes, Bumblebee looks very very screen accurate. I estimate 90% of all movie Bumblebee figures made are of the new Camaro. So it’s very refreshing when we get a Bumblebee figure of the classic Camaro. The figure comes with an extra arm in the arm cannon mode (see pics above), so you can pose Bumblebee in his iconic fighting stance. When not being used, the arm cannon can be stored on Bumblebee’s butt. It’s a weird placement that would invite all kinds of jokes, but I’ll give Hasbro points for coming up the feature nevertheless.

Unfortunately, there ware way too many cons about SS01, in my opinion. He could have been better constructed. Some joints are way too loose, such as the hip joints. The roof joint and arm socket pops off way too easily during transformation. The right arm is meant to come off so it can be swapped with the gun cannon arm, but neither arm bits stay on well. The transformation scheme we have seen a thousand times before. It really does feel like HasTak took deluxe Last Knight Bumblebee and retrofitted a classic Camaro mode on top of that figure. And while we’re on that point, do we really need any more movie-verse Bumblebees? Strip away the fancy Studio Series packaging, and you get the nagging feeling you’ve played with this figure before. Because, chances are, you have.

Despite these negatives, SS01 Bumblebee is the best mass-produced classic Camaro movie Bumblebee that has been made to date. All previous efforts pale in comparison to what we have here. SS01 Bumblebee is a very good figure that looks great in both modes. So do I recommend him? If you don’t own any other movie-verse classic Camaro Bumblebees, then by all means pick up this one. If you must have a classic Camaro Bumblebee figure with today’s TF engineering, then this figure should fit the bill. If you are generally sick of movie Bumblebees, however, you may want to pass on this figure. It’s really just a rehash of all the deluxe movie Bumblebees that has been released in the last few years.

Stinger

Studio Series 02 is Stinger from Age of Extinction. I don’t think a deluxe version of Stinger was ever released in the United States. There is a Takara version floating around out there, and I know there are legion figures made of Stinger. But a mass produced deluxe version of Stinger aimed at mature collectors was never made available on this side of the Pacific. So I very much welcomed Stinger in the SS line.

And this Stinger delivers! Check out pics below.

The robot mode looks great. He’s very proportionate, and I love the look of all the gears sticking out his back. I’m not a big fan of the arm cannon that is transformed from the roof of the car, but that may have been his design from the movies.

Stinger’s transformation is where this toy truly shines. Stinger has perhaps the most unorthodox robot-to-car transformation scheme of any Transformer in history! Yes you read that right. I cannot think of any other Transformer figure that even slightly resembles how Stinger transforms, across all Transformer lines. And because the transformation is so unorthodox, it’s hard to describe it in words. There are a lot of rotations involved. The chest kind of flips back onto itself, then folds out from the windshield where it was resting. It’s super bizarre, but totally refreshing at the same time. The result is a super cool and sleek alt mode that does the figure justice. Pics below.

I love the look of this car mode. I think Stinger is supposed to be a Pagani, and this alt mode pays good tribute to the overall defining shape of the automobile.

SS02 Stinger is a well-built figure. Way better than the SS01. All joints are the right level of tightness, and the alt mode comes together well with no parts flopping around. There are no issues with standing and posing the robot mode. Articulation fiends should have nothing to complain about here.

In the movie, Stinger is an Earth-made Transformer created by humans. It makes sense that Stinger is radically different from all Transformers before it, and the toy transformation more than reflects that fact.

There are minor issues with the toy that I need to point out. In alt mode, it can be tough to position the four back extrusions properly underneath the vehicle so that the car has enough bottom clearance when rested on a flat surface. The 4 gear accessories also love to fall off. They don’t stay on that well. For these reasons, I actually didn’t like SS Stinger too much when I first played with it. But the awesome transformation eventually grew on me. This toy takes Transformers to new territories, and that’s always a plus in my book.

If you like Transformers that are like nothing before it, then Stinger is a required purchase for you.

Optimus Prime

With every new line of TFs, you can bet that one of the first figures will be Optimus Prime. In Studio Series, SS05 is Optimus.

It’s generally agreed that the hallmark of Optimus Prime figures in the movie-verse is the Leader Class figure from Revenge of the Fallen (or any direct derivation of it). That figure is indeed impressive, with a very difficult but satisfying transformation and high screen accuracy in both modes. RotF Leader Class OP was released about 10 years ago, and no movie OP released since has been able to claim the top spot as the best Movie Optimus.

It’s hard for me to evaluate SS05, because comparisons to RotF leader OP will be unavoidable. And I’ll get straight to it: SS05 is not superior to RotF Leader Class OP. But that doesn’t mean SS05 is a bad figure.

SS05 Optimus is a very playable figure. Out of all the Studio Series figures, I transformed SS05 back and forth the most. The transformation feels very natural. Upon picking it up, you just instinctively know what to do next, assuming you’ve had some experience with Transformers. The figure is well built, so there are no issues with posing, or parts not coming together when they should.

SS figures are supposed to be very screen accurate. In the case of SS05, I feel that the robot mode is just OK as far as how close it looks to the movies. I feel that RotF leader OP is still the more movie accurate of the Primes.

The twin blades are attached on SS05. They don’t flip out like RotF leader OP, another area where the RotF fig is superior.

As for the alt mode, it’s very screen accurate.

This is kind of hard to explain in writing, but SS05 is a very blocky figure. I know it doesn’t look it in the pics, but the blockiness shows through when the figure is transformed. In robot mode, the blockiness is apparent when you try to pose the figure. SS05 is not very poseable, and I think it has more to do with the overall shape, as opposed to not having articulated joints.

I will re-emphasize here that the transformation process is very intuitive, which is perhaps the biggest plus for this figure.

SS05 with KBBMP10-V in alt mode.

As you can see from the pic above, SS05 is definitely closer to voyager class and not leader class. Yes I know they did it for scale reasons, but it’s hard to see the great Autobot leader at less than leader class when RotF did it so well in that class. And on that point, I’m not so sure that Optimus at voyager class is the right scale. More on this in the Blackout section below.

So should you get SS05? I recommend it, based on how playable it is. It’s a solid addition to the SS line. Just don’t expect this to be the best Optimus Prime ever made in the movie-verse.

Blackout

Blackout is the first Leader class figure I got from the SS line. And no, it’s not your imagination. Hasbro is really downsizing these guys. Below I have a pic of Leader class Blackout with Leader class Titans Return Overlord, both in the box. See for yourself. SS Leaders are considerably smaller. Hasbro says they’re doing this for scale reasons. You can choose to believe that, or not.

A voyager class Blackout was released for the first movie. To my knowledge that was the only Blackout figure released. I bought that figure well before the existence of this blog, and it was one of my first figures in the movie-verse. I still have that figure, in a box in a closet somewhere. It hasn’t seen the light of day in over 10 years. I remember that figure being pretty good for its time. If you missed out on that figure, there’s no need to fret, because Studio Series Blackout blows it out of the skies. SS Blackout is the true definitive version of this character that does justice to the very first Transformer that we see in the movies.

SS Blackout is way more screen accurate than what was released for the first movie. See the pics below for yourself. A big selling point of Studio Series figures is screen accuracy, and Blackout has got that in spades.

Blackout does come with Scorponok. For the sake of scale, Scorponok is a tiny figure. That works for me. Scorponok is only supposed to be a bit bigger than humans.

Transformation to helicopter features some of the best engineering in a movie-verse fig. It is quite involved, but I would not put it in the complicated category. It is a refreshing transformation for sure, I can’t think of any other figure in the entire TF universe that transforms like Blackout. The head the chest mechanism deserves special mention. From robot to heli, the head pushes downward and into the body. This moves out the front landing gear at the bottom in one motion, and the front antenna folds out. Very very cool. Arms and legs fold back to form the rest of the heli body. My words don’t do it justice. See the pics for yourselves.

Look at this heli mode. Now is that Blackout or is that Blackout? I totally want to do a side by side comparison of this Blackout with the Movie 1 figure, but I’m too lazy to dig it out. As far as looks, SS Blackout wins in a landslide.

SS Blackout is well built. All joints are at the right tightness. Every part and piece come together when it should, in both robot and alt modes.

Posebility in robot mode can be a tad limited, because of all the kibble. But that is the look of this figure. A kibble-free Blackout would not be Blackout. Kibble will impede articulation. I’m ok sacrificing articulation here for a movie accurate look.

SS Blackout is leader class, which makes total sense because he was supposed to be the biggest character from the first movie. But since we’re on the topic of class, let me get back to something I started in the Optimus section above. Even in SS, where figures are supposed to be scale accurate, Optimus feels too small at voyager class. In my opinion, Optimus should have been at the smaller leader class scale, like SS Blackout. SS Blackout in turn then get the traditional leader class size.

SS Blackout deserves a review of its own. I plan on doing one. But all you really need to know is that Blackout is a required purchase for any Transformer fan.

Here is a pic of all the Studio Series figs in alt mode, assembled for a group photo. They look great together. The scale works for the most part, though as I mentioned already, I feel Optimus is too small.

Bumblebee and Grimlock

I first saw this Robots in Disguise Bumblebee and Grimlock 2-pack when I was in Shanghai in 2016. I wanted to buy this set so badly on that trip. But I didn’t after converting local currency to dollars. I wasn’t gonna put down around $100 for RiD figures. And I’m glad I didn’t. Entertainment Earth had this set this month at a clearance price of $29.99. I wasted no time and bought one.

Now that I have it, I am doubly glad I didn’t spend that kind of money in Shanghai. I’ll be blunt: this Grimlock figure is horrible. This is a reworked figure off of Fall Of Cybertron Grimlock. I knew that before the purchase. But what I didn’t know is how poorly done this figure would be. In robot mode, RiD Grimlock is decent. But in dino mode, the whole thing just doesn’t come together well. RiD Grimlock is shaped differently from FoC Grimlock. The extra kibble on RiD Grimlock interferes with the dino formation. I should have known that having different designs retrofitted on top of an existing frame would be a bad idea. The deluxe version of RiD Grimlock is 10 times superior. That mold was made to be RiD Grimlock, and having something designed exclusively for what it was meant for is always the way to go. I wish HasTak just upscaled dexluxe RiD Grimlock to voyager size. I could see a 4th party company do this, but I’m guessing the 3P market for Robots in Disguise is too small to be worth the trouble.

The saving grace of this 2-pack is the Bumblebee figure. I don’t have any RiD Bumblebee figures, which was another reason for me to get this 2-pack. I like RiD deluxe Bumblebee. Both robot mode and alt mode looks good. The figure is well constructed too, for RiD figure standards. Transformation is nothing we haven’t seen before, but I don’t expect much in this area from RiD.
This 2-pack version looks more gold than the standard deluxe retail version, but I’ll take it. The translucent blue sword looks nice too.

Below is a pic of the two of them in alt mode.

That turned out to be a way longer post than I had intended. I wanted to give each of these figs their 15 minutes. Here is the summary if you just want the Cliff Notes version.

Recommended:

  • Battleslash
  • Roadtrap
  • Tailgate
  • Stinger (SS02)
  • Optimus Prime (SS05)
  • Blackout (SS08)
  • Bumblebee (RiD)

Not Recommended:

  • Blackwing
  • Bumblebee (SS01)
  • Grimlock (RiD)

Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Pop-Outz! Grab Bag

July 2nd, 2019 No comments

As fan of all things Transformers, every once in a while I would pick up some Transformers related merchandise which are not the figures themselves. I was at Dollar Tree and stumbled upon this wacky item you see before you. A Transformers Pop-Outz! Grab Bag! For only a dollar I can potentially amuse myself for hours. Or not.

So what the heck is in here? Let’s open and find out.

Feast your optics on the contents before you. There’s a sticker sheet, 1 set of 3 markers, a cardboard cut out sheet of Optimus and Bumblebee, and a cardboard cut out sheet of Megatron and Grimlock.

Megatron and Grimlock

Optimus Prime and Bumblebee

Stickers

Markers

If I was to really color the 4 characters here, that would take me hours if not days. The markers that come with the set don’t offer enough colors to really do a good job here. Perhaps it’s possible to do an adequate Bumblebee, with the yellow and black. You are probably better off using your own markers. I like to color one. The characters look like they are from the Cyberverse line.

The cardboard cut outs can be attached to the included stand (also on cardboard).

Kids will most likely love all the stickers here. And some adults too.

This grab bag is probably just something to give out at kids parties, or used as Christmas stocking stuffer. The coloring and stickers should keep the little ones entertained for hours.
Recommended age is 3+.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

War For Cybertron Siege Storm Cloud and Visper Quick Review

June 14th, 2019 No comments

I have a treat for you all today! Recently, I acquired Storm Cloud and Visper, two Micromasters in one package from the War For Cybertron: Siege line. These two are modern updates to two G1 Micromaster characters from the Air Strike Patrol, of which I do have! I will be able to show them side by side.

Storm Cloud kept his name, but Whisper is now Visper. OK Hasbro you’re so creative. Let’s get on with the review.

Robot mode.

Storm Cloud, G1 and Siege.

G1 Whisper and Siege Visper.

As for the robot modes, there is no comparison here. The new Siege Micromasters look way better than their G1 counterparts in robot mode. The G1 guys have no articulation other being able to raise their arms. The Siege guys actually has some decent articulation for toys of this size. Siege Storm Cloud can bend at the hips, knees, arms, and elbows. Visper has all that minus the elbow articulation. No head, waist, or feet articulation on either of the Siege guys.

Hasbro really did the G1 old schoolers a favor and modeled the new characters as faithfully as possible to the G1 characters of origin. Check out the body and head molds of Storm Cloud and Visper. The designs are almost carbon copies of how they were in G1. Smashing.

Storm Cloud and Visper are both solid figures. I detect no weaknesses in the constitution of either fig. Visper can be a tad back heavy if you choose to pose him with knees bent.

And looking at the pics just now, I see that Storm Cloud and Visper (Whisper) are inverted in their color schemes. Storm Cloud has a black body with purple limbs, while Visper (Whisper) has a purple body with black limbs. I never realized this in G1.

Transformation to jet mode is obviously going to be on the simple side here. But the transformation paradigm does differ from G1, and Storm Cloud and Visper do not transform in the same way. Both figs feature a cockpit shift and extend out mechanism from the back, like G1 Aerialbot limb figures. Visper tucks the legs under the front cockpit, while Storm Cloud does the splits and rotate the legs under the wings. Arms stay tucked on the sides for Visper. Storm Cloud has the arms rotated behind while the elbows bend up. Wings fold out from the back for both figs.

Storm Cloud jet mode, G1 and Siege.

G1 Whisper and Siege Visper, jet mode.

For the jet modes, I’m gonna give the edge to the new kids as well. Siege Storm Cloud and Visper look sleeker in their jet modes when compared to their G1 counterparts. But the G1 guys have their charms too in jet mode. In jet mode I find the Siege guys to only be slightly superior, unlike the robot mode where Siege killed it by a wide margin.

Both Siege Storm Cloud and Visper come together well in jet mode. Everything tabs into place where it should to form a cohesive unit. Tabbing everything in perfectly is a bit tougher on Storm Cloud, because the legs need to tab onto the arms and wings, and they’re all moving parts. It’s a tad difficult, but nowhere near impossible.

Siege Micromasters feature this gimmick where the two Micromasters can come together and form weapons for other robots in the Siege line sized deluxe or bigger. So in a way, Siege Micromasters are also kind of like Targetmasters. It’s kind of a lame gimmick if you ask me, but whatever. For Visper and Storm Cloud, the instructions just show you to connect the two once you got each properly transformed. But it’s missing one very important detail: there is a peg on the rear of Visper in jet mode that needs to be rotated out. I didn’t know this, and spent several minutes looking at how these two are supposed to connect. A pic of the peg is below.

The combined jet looks pretty cool. Much better than the PotP Dreadwing combination.

This is supposed to be a weapon. I’m gonna guess this is more like a sword. Here I have Titans Return Blitzwing holding it.

Overall, I like Siege Storm Cloud and Visper. Some will say the original G1s are better, but don’t believe it. At least not for these 2. I have some other Siege Micromasters that are disappointing, but Storm Cloud and Visper are worth your money. Get them.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Masterpiece Optimus Prime and Autobots, Team 4

May 7th, 2019 No comments

MP Optimus returns with a different team of MP Autobots to give the Decepticons some serious beat down.

This is Team 4. Here were the previous teams: Team 1, Team 2, Team 3.

With the exception of Optimus Prime, all other MP figs were acquired in the last two years. Not only that, half these figs are 3rd party. Just goes to show how far the 3Ps have come.

The only one that I will not wholeheartedly recommend here is Artifex (Hoist). He’s a good display piece in both robot and alt modes, but during transformation the figure is somewhat flimsy. I intend to get a different representation of MP Hoist at some point.

I transformed Optimus a bunch of times. Downbeat I transformed several times. Sunstreaker, Grapple, Toro, and Artifex I have only transformed once, from alt mode to robot mode. I need to give these figs more love.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

Warbotron Double Strike Quick Review

April 25th, 2019 No comments

I recently acquired Double Strike. This is Warbotron’s MP interpretation of Technobot Strafe. Since I did a review on Turbo Ejector (Afterburner), I’m gonna do a review on Double Strike as well.

I got Double Strike at a sale price of $51.99 (MSRP is $95.99). That’s almost half off! Since I was so impressed with Turbo Ejector, I had to get Double Strike to check it out for myself. Is he as good as Turbo Ejector? Let’s find out.

We will start with the box.

Double Strike is packed in the same kind of box as Turbo Ejector. And that’s a good thing, because these boxes are so high quality. They are composed of hard cardboard, and there’s a tab on the side for easy pull out. I didn’t include the outer box wrap in the pic above, but Double Strike has one too.

Box flap opens to reveal another good artwork.

In the packaging.

Double Strike is about the same height as Turbo Ejector. That makes sense as they both form the arms. I think Double Strike weighs a bit less than Turbo Ejector, but not my much. The figure is solid, with a nice hefty feel for a toy of this size.

Pic of lower back and legs. Notice how well the wings compact onto the back of the legs.

Ready for battle.

Another action pose.

Close up of the face. Decent sculpt with awesome light-piping.

Watch me balance on 1 leg!

Just like Turbo Ejector, Double Strike is well built. All joints are nice and tight, and some are clicky too. I detect no tolerance issues. All weapons fit where they are supposed to without it being too loose or too tight.

Transformation to jet mode is super straight forward. Just like Turbo Ejector, Double Strike follows the same overall scheme of his G1 predecessor. If you read the instructions, it will seem like the transformation is more complicated than it really is. I suggest just going straight in without looking at the instructions. Anyone familiar with Transformers in general shouldn’t have any problems.

The arms go up and over the back, and sits on top of the jet alt mode, instead of on the sides like G1. Waist rotation is required. Snap legs together and push in toward the waist. Unfold the wings. There is a back assembly with missile that stretched down and pegs in. Attach twin guns at front of the shoulder. That’s about it.

Pics of the jet mode below. It looks good and resembles G1 Strafe quite well. No TransFan will mistake this jet for anyone else.

View from the side.

View directly from the front.

View directly from the back.

Bottom view.

Rear landing gears don’t retract. The front landing gears can be rotated up, but they are still visible from the side. In the pic above, I got one front landing rotated up, and one left out.

An alternate wing configuration is in the pic below. This is actually the official Warbotron configuration. But I prefer a more G1 look, so in all other pics I had the wings configured more like G1.

The missile launcher on top of the jet deserves its 15 minutes. This thing shoots far! Be careful when firing. You’ll shoot your eye out, or worse yet, lose the missile.

Overall, I recommend Double Strike. I don’t think he’s as good as Turbo Ejector, but he’s still another solid addition to the Warbotron Technobot team.

Will I get the rest of the team? Only time will tell. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Purchased in March 2018

April 11th, 2019 No comments

March of 2018 continues with a random assortment of Transformers. And for the first time in a long time, there are two purchases for the same character! I’m not sure if the last time this happened was February of 2016, when I got two Onslaughts. You can try to guess the lucky Transformer that this happened to, or just scroll down to see who it is.

  • Power of the Primes Rippersnapper, amazon.com, $16.99

  • Power of the Primes Elita-1, Walmart, $24.97

  • Studio Series Thundercracker, Toys R Us, $29.99

  • Power of the Primes Sludge, Target, $16.99

  • Mech Fans Toys Slurdge, eBay, $20.99

  • Kubianbao MCS-01 KBBMP10-V, eBay, $42.99

Rippersnapper

I went into Rippersnapper and the rest of his Terrorcon cohorts back in this post. But to quickly summarize, all the Terrorcons are pretty good. Terrorcons are the ultimate version of combining figures that started in Combiner Wars and then evolved to peak form in Power of the Primes. Rippersnapper is a required purchase if you collect the combiner teams.

Elita-1

It’s good to see that Hasbro is continuing the trend of properly releasing fembots in the CHUG-verse. What I mean is that these are new molds introduced in CHUG, made specifically for the character they represent, and not repaints of other TF lines. It started with Generations Thrilling 30 Arcee and Chromia, in late 2014 / early 2015.

Elita-1 in PotP is the next fembot to continue this treatment. We got this mold for Starscream, back in December of 2017. It’s debatable if this should be classified as a prepaint. Starscream is the more famous character, but this mold was always meant to Elita-1. Using it first for Starscream was another quick cash grab on Hasbro’s part.

As for the toy itself, I think it’s just ok. None of the three modes are all that good, if you ask me. The jet mode is too bulky. The robot mode has too much kibble. And the combined body mode doesn’t serve the purpose well, when compared with superior body combining figs like Hun-Gurrr or Silverbolt. Transformation between jet mode and robot mode is so simple it’s not even worth describing. Making Elita-1 the body of a combiner seems entirely unnecessary. A superior figure could have been made if the mechanics needed to combine were left out. I suppose the only real reason to get this fig is to have a proper CHUG version of Elita-1. She is a character that only true G1 fans would know about. If you know nothing of the character, then it’s best to leave this figure on the store shelf.

I will point out that this figure has a terrific head mold, which may be its one redeeming feature as a toy. Check out the pic below. This head design is derived directly from the G1 animation. That’s right G1 fans. Hasbro loves you.

Thundercracker

Studio Series Thundercracker is another Hasbro cash grab. I was under the impression that Studio Series were all new movie molds, but that’s simply not the case. This Thundercracker is a repaint of Nitro from The Last Knight. As good as that figure is, I don’t think this repaint is all that relevant. I don’t remember Thundercracker making an appearance anywhere in in the movie-verse.

Still, I got this fig because he is a Toys R Us exclusive. And because I knew this was gonna be the last thing I buy from Toys R Us. If you don’t have Nitro, or if you dig that figure in these blue and grey colors, then go ahead and buy Thundercracker. Otherwise, this purchase is not recommended. I still have not opened Thundercracker to this day. I’ll probably re-sell him someday.

Sludge

Continuing with Dinobots in Power of the Primes, Sludge makes his appearance this month. He is a solid edition to the team. Both modes look good. Transformation is a bit on the simple side, but it’s different enough from the usual way Sludge transforms to make this figure refreshing. PotP Sludge is a great toy to just pick up and play.

Transformation from robot to dino deserves some explaining. There are some key variations from the usual G1 Sludge transformation scheme. Flip up the dino head and neck from the back, but a rotation of the neck is necessary. Close the wings like normal, but the wings form a full closure, and the contact point is where the dino back is. The waist needs to rotate 180, then fold the robot legs. Forearms need to rotate 180 so the fists face the other side. Those are the key differences. If you followed all that, you will see that the back of the dino is where the robot chest is housed. All other transformation mechanics are there to account for that difference. It sounds complicated when I describe it, but it’s really not. Like I said, PotP Sludge is simple for anyone to transform, and that goes double for any TransFan who’s been around since G1.

If you got the other PotP Dinos, then you will get this regardless of what I say. And if you don’t, get Sludge anyway.

Slurdge

From Sludge we go to Slurdge. That’s not a mis-spelling. Slurdge by Mech Fans Toys is 4th party, which means it’s a KO of a 3rd party product. I know next to nothing about Mech Fans Toys. Even their name sounds like a ripoff of Fans Toys.

MFT may think that they can add “r” in there and no one is the wiser, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this is Sludge. And Yes, Sludge the character get the proud distinction of being represented by 2 different figures in the same month. I believe MFT Slurdge is a KO of a DX9 product. Though MFT did give it way better paint. Look at all the bling on Slurdge in the pics below.

The only other MFT product I have is Grmlock. Be prepared for a good workout, because both MFT products will test your hands when transforming. There are some moving pieces on these figures you will have to pry open. Both high strength and high dexterity are required.

Transformation scheme of Slurdge is also unique. It deviates from the standard G1 scheme, even more so than PotP Sludge. What folds up from the robot back to cover the robot head is the dino tail, instead of the dino neck and head. The robot arms become the hind dino legs. The robot chest needs to flip down, then rotate and fold downwards toward the robot legs. The dino front legs and neck and head are all folded inside the robot legs, and they need to come out. Stretch out the robot waist then fold the robot legs unto itself. This is most definitely an original implementation of how Sludge transforms. And the dino mode looks so good. See below for yourself.

Playing with the figure can be a chore. In addition to the tight joints, some bits and pieces need to be angled perfectly to have enough clearance to get to where it needs to be.

Slurdge comes with a black gun (pictured above) and a clear red sword (not pictured).

All in all, I like this MFT figure. Yeah it’s a KO of something else, but they did add nice paint to their offering. At a price point of being in the low 20s, it doesn’t break the bank. Dinobot fans should check this out.

On a related note, most of the modern Sludge figures made have original transformation schemes from G1. The only Sludge that follows the G1 scheme is Fans Toys Stomp. Mech Fans Toys Slurdge, ToyWorld Muddy, and Power of the Prime Sludge described above all implemented a new unique scheme.

So who wore it better? PotP Sludge or MFT Slurdge? I’ll be doing a in-depth analysis of these 2 in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.

KBBMP10-V

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Kubianbao (KBB), they are another KO company. As far as I know, none of their products are original creations. They tend to make KO figures out of official HasTak products. Now that’s not to say what they produce is bad. In fact, many TransFans have stated their figures are superior to what HasTak churns out. A prime example of this is their version of official MP Seekers. HasTak has used that mold so many times now that the later production runs are plagued with build and construction issues. KBB, being KO and all, does not have such problems.

KBBMP10-V is Kubianbao’s KO take on the MP-10 Optimus Prime. However, this figure is now downsized to Voyager scale. KBB didn’t even give this a name, they just called it KBBMP10-V. So let’s break apart this designation: it’s from KBB, a KO of MP10, at Voyager scale. KBBMP10-V. Very apt.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “KO is crap!” Well, let me state this now with no uncertainty: MBBMP10-V SCREAMS QUALITY!!! Everything from the packaging to the figure to the accessories, MBBMP10-V is produced so well that HasTak should be ashamed of themselves for not being up to par. Let’s start by looking at the box.

The box is made of high quality hard cardboard, not unlike the kind used for Warbotron Turbo Ejector. Are you seeing this Hasbro? KO products are doing it better than you.

Paint and finish of the figure is top-notch. Below are some pics of the truck mode.

Transformation of the figure is just like MP-10, so I won’t go into it too much. Below is a pic of the robot mode with a nice rub-on decal on his left shoulder (duplicated from this post).

Look at all these accessories!

  • 3 extra heads: 2 are a different style of Optimus, and 1 is Orion Pax
  • energon axe with energy ball attachment
  • standard Optimus rifle, folds and stores onto the back like the official MP-10
  • Megatron in alt mode with shoulder stock attachment
  • jetpack (only used once in the cartoon, but it’s become an OP accessory staple)
  • sword (used by OP in the movies)
  • Matrix of Leadership; not pictured, can be placed inside KBBMP10-V

I highly recommend KBBMP10-V. Essentially, it’s MP-10 scaled down to voyager size. So if you need a G1 accurate OP to go along with your CHUG figs, this is the toy to get. It may be KO, but it’s so well done. And at only around $40, you’re getting a quality figure in a quality box with tons of accessories.

That’s it for this knock off heavy month. Will I ever buy more KOs in a single month than legit and 3P products? Only time will tell.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in February 2018

March 22nd, 2019 No comments

February 2018 is another month where the repaints outnumber the new molds, much like May of 2017. I suppose it’s my own fault for willingly buying figures that I know are retreads and retools, but Hasbro and Takara keeps inventing new ways to sucker me in. Woe is me.

  • Titans Return Slugslinger, Amazon seller, $22.99

  • Legends Blurr (LG25), bbts.com, $39.99

  • Power of the Primes Hun-Gurrr, Target, $24.99

  • Titans Return Overlord, Amazon seller, $36.00

  • Fans Toys Sovereign, bbts.com, $154.99

Slugslinger

To be fair, Slugslinger is a good retool of the Triggerhappy and Misfire mold. Read those posts and see that I gushed on and on about how cool these figs are. Slugslinger reworks both of these molds by adding new molds for the head, jet nose cones, and wings. In the end, he does feel like a new figure, and so the purchase is more justified. G1-ers will know that this trio makes the original 3 Decepticon Targetmasters from Season 4. For me, that’s reason enough to buy Slugslinger to complete the set.

Slugslinger is hard to find. Not sure if this is due to Hasbro’s weird distribution patterns or him being a possible store exclusive. Whatever the reason, I resorted to buying Slugslinger from an independent seller on Amazon. At a slight markup of $22.99, I bought with haste. And that was smart, because I have not seen this figure anywhere in store before or after the purchase. Prices on Amazon hovered around my purchase price for a while. But as of this writing, it costs about $40 to get Slugslinger. Glad I got in when I did.

Oh yeah, I also have Metalhawk. So Slugslinger is my 4th figure of this mold. Damn you Hasbro.

Blurr

And speaking of being the 4th figure of a mold, Legends Blurr is also my 4th figure of its mold (after Titans Return Blurr, Walgreens exclusive Brainstorm, and Toys R Us exclusive Arcee). The colors for the American Titans Return Blurr just don’t do it for me. It’s not even remotely close to his G1 colors. I usually don’t buy a Japanese release purely for the colors, but in this case I had to make an exception.

Figure wise, Legends Blurr is just like his American counterpart. Read my post on TR Blurr for my thoughts on this fig.

Hun-Gurrr

Hun-Gurrr is yet another retool. I don’t even know how many figs of this mold I have now. Off the top of my head, there’s Silverbolt, Cyclonus, and Scattershot. So Hun-Gurrr is at least the 4th fig of this scheme. Damn you Hasbro, double damn you.

However I should point out that Hun-Gurrr is an excellent rework off this mold. I did a review of all the PotP Terrorcons, read it for my detailed thoughts. But to summarize, Hun-Gurrr is great in all 3 modes, and super stable as the body of Abominus. Totally worth the repeat purchase.

Overlord

Overlord is yet another retread, but at least I know for sure I only have one other fig of this mold. That would be Sky Shadow. Read that review for my full thoughts on this fig. Sky Shadow is a “prepaint” to Overlord.

To be fair, this mold was always meant for Overlord, because of the separating mechanism. And there are quite a bit of mold differences between Overlord and Sky Shadow. But is buying both figs justified? I would say no, since neither characters are all that famous. If you want to buy one of these for the character, then get Overlord, as he does make some impact in the comics. But I personally like the look and colors of this fig better on Sky Shadow. So it’s your call.

Overlord is another figure where I bought from an independent Amazon seller this month. Much like Slugslinger, I never saw Overlord in store. But unlike Slugslinger, price for Overlord keeps going down! I thought I got a good deal at $36, but as of this writing you can get one on Amazon for $28! TF prices are like stocks, I swear. They go up, down, sideways, and no TF insider or outsider has any freakin’ clue how it’s gonna go.

Sovereign

Finally we have a completely new figure this month, and it comes from every TF fanboy’s favorite 3P company, Fans Toys! Ladies and gents I give you: Sovereign!

Sovereign comes packed in robot mode. G1-ers will undoubtedly recognize him as Galvatron, the Decepticon leader re-formatted from Megatron by Unicron in the G1 Movie. And let me say this with no uncertainty: this is the ultimate MP interpretation of Galvatron that any company has made to date. Titans Return Galvatron is a pretty good figure for CHUG scale, and Sovereign is an even better figure for MP scale. Below is a pic I took of Sovereign when I got some nice rub-on faction decals, but it’s worth re-posting here since he looks so awesome.

Now is that Galvatron or is that Galvatron? Look at that robot mode. Fan Toys always study an animation model down to it’s tiniest detail and produce a figure that is faithful to that appearance. The G1 toy looked nothing like it’s animation counterpart. And it’s anyone’s guess if HasTak will officially bring out a MP Galvatron. If you need a MP scale Galvatron in your collection, look no further than Sovereign.

Transformation to alt mode is on the complicated side. I only did it one time, and I used the instructions. I did not need it on the reverse transformation back to robot, because I did that not too long after the first transformation to cannon. However, if I am to transform Sovereign again to alt mode, I’m not sure if I can do it from memory. There are some tricky details to the overall scheme that is both ingenious and challenging. But it is so satisfying. Check out pics of the cannon mode below if you’re not convinced.

Sovereign is such a well built figure too. There are no loose bits in either mode. All joints are nice, tight, and clicky, the way I like them. I don’t detect any build issues on my copy. My Sovereign comes from the 2nd run, so whatever issues they had with the figure were ironed out in this run.

I don’t remember much about the accessories as I write this, but Sovereign does come with a solid orange cannon (as opposed to the clear orange one as shown in all my pics). Neither one has any LED lights, unfortunately. Also included is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership with gangster chain attached. He can wear it around his neck with the Matrix on his chest, just like in the movie. That Galvatron, he’s so bling.

Below is a pic of Sovereign with some other figures (KBB MP-10V Optimus Prime, PotP Rippersnapper, MakeToys Contactshot), so you can see how they scale.

There are other MP scale Galvatrons out there now, but Sovereign is still the best, IMO.

Do yourself a favor and incorporate Sovereign into your collection if you haven’t already. You know you want to.

That’s it for this repaint-heavy month. Lots more to come. Transform and roll out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Happy St Patrick’s Day 2019! Mean and Green Transformers

March 17th, 2019 No comments

It is that time of year again! St Patrick’s day is upon us, and that means another feature of my green Transformers.

As a rule, I always use green TFs that I have not used in a previous St Patrick’s Day post. Every TF needs their 15 minutes. I actually found quite a few TFs to feature this year.

Back row standing, left to right:

Front row in alt mode, left to right”

  • War For Cybertron Siege Hound – excellent Hound figure from the Siege line
  • Combiner Wars Hound – not the best Hound, but ok
  • Studio Series World War II Bumblebee – interesting fig, but not that good
  • Titans Return Brawn – great modern update of Brawn
  • Titans Return Skullsmasher – modern update of Skullcruncher, ok fig with some construction issues
  • Robots in Disguise Grimlock – this is the voyager fig that I first saw in Shanghai; I bought later from Entertainment Earth, and quite frankly, he sucks; glad I did not pay high prices in Shanghai to get this

Unlike many previous years, March Madness has not started before this year’s St Patrick’s Day. In fact, the Selection Committee will release the bracket sometime today. UCLA will not be selected this year. Woe is me.

Here are links to previous St Patrick’s Day posts:

2018
2015
2013
2012
2011

Have a safe and happy St Patrick’s Day everyone. And let March Madness begin! Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics