Transformers Purchased in March 2019

December 30th, 2021 No comments

March of 2019 is Siege Month! All figures except for one (and one accessory) are from War From Cybertron: Siege.

  • War For Cybertron Siege Starscream, Walmart, $29.84

  • War For Cybertron Siege Soundwave, Walmart, $29.84

  • War For Cybertron Siege Ultra Magnus and Shockwave, bbts.com, $99.99

  • War For Cybertron Siege Chromia, Target, $19.99

  • War For Cybertron Siege Prowl, amazon.com, $19.99

  • Warbotron WB03-D Double Strike, bbts.com, $51.99

  • Fans Toys FT-08 Grinder Dinohead, bbts.com, $17.99

Starscream

First up in this WFC Siege month is none other than Starscream. And here we have something truly special! Ladies and gents, for the first time in TF history, HasTak has given us Seekers that transform into their Cybertronian alt mode from the very first G1 episode! We all know how that first episode started. Bumblebee and Wheeljack was looking for some energy conductors. On the way back to Iacon, they were intercepted by Seekers of various colors. The Seekers transformed into what fans dub as tetra-jets, and the chase was on!

The tetra-jet is something completely imagined by the show animators, in that this was the Cybertronian alt mode of robot toys that transformed into F-15s. Of course the transformation sequence from robot to tetra-jet was entirely made up and don’t make much mechanical sense. But as fans we accepted the show’s creativity, and welcomed the fact that Cybertronian robots would not have Earth alt modes when they were on Cybertron. The toys’ alt modes were all Earth in origin, and in the 80s it was never conceived that there would be toys that transform into a mode made up by the cartoon artists.

Fast forward 35 years, and HasTak has made a transforming tetra-jet to robot figure a reality! Having this Voyager-sized Starscream as a tetra-jet is something magnificent to behold. The design of the tetra-jet is slightly modified for the War For Cybertron show, but it still heavily resembles the G1 tetra-jet. The overall triangular scheme is clearly seen. What impresses me most about this figure is how the designers are able to take various design bits of the robot mode and have them transform into mechanical elements of the tetra-jet that makes sense. For example, the side shoulder protrusions of the standard Seekers (formed from the front intake of the F-15) comes together and forms the tip of the tetra-jet. And the circular chest design bits in robot mode forms part of the rear thrusters. The toy designers thought through this transformation, and it shows.

In alt mode, Starscream looks great in his standard grey with bits of blue and red. The tetra-jet is a bit bulky at the bottom where the legs go. But the rest of jet mode is a sleek representation of a Seeker dominance vehicle in the Cybertroian skies. Cockpit of Starscream’s tetra-jet is still orange, though why a Cybertronian jet would need a cockpit is anyone’s guess. Guns are attached under the wings. The alt mode is a solid and cohesive whole with no loose or dangling parts.

In robot mode, the figure heavily resembles the look of the classic Seeker that we all know. This is a spectacular achievement by the HasTak toy design team. This robot mode could easily pass for the robot mode of a classic Earth-style Starscream. This resemblance lends credence to the fact that this is the same character on Cybertron, with a Cybertronian alt mode, and later transcanned to have an Earth alt mode. The cockpit down the center chest area is “fake”, in that the module is purely decorative and doesn’t transform into the cockpit of the jet. All other pieces serve a mechanical purpose.

Construction of the figure is also superb. All joints are at the right tolerance. Pieces come together when they should, and separate when they need to. All in all this is a great figure. G1 fans will undoubtedly not pass this up. I give the figure the highest possible recommendation.

Soundwave

Next up in the WFC Siege lineup is Soundwave. This is another character where I was really looking forward to what HasTak would come up with as the origin Cybertronian interpretation.

I’ll start with the alt mode of WFC Siege Soundwave. I was really hoping this origin alt mode would be that statue looking thing that we saw Soundwave transform into in the very first G1 episode. Unfortunately, that is not the case. HasTak chose to go with something more utilitarian for WFC Seige Soundwave in that he transforms into a Cybertronian aircraft. It’s a bit of a bummer, in that I think they could have easily made a Soundwave figure that is able to transform into the statue/lamppost/highway-callbox thing. And I could be wrong here, but I don’t think Soundwave ever transformed in the WFC show. So this flying alt mode doesn’t do all that much for me. But this what we got. It is what it is.

The alt mode looks ok. It’s a Cybertronian form, so the toy designers could fancy this into any appearance they like. If you imagine how Soundwave would look as a jet based on how he looks in robot mode, it probably would not be too far off from the alt mode of WFC Siege Soundwave. The overall shape is very blocky. The tape deck area in robot mode forms the very back of the vehicle. Two wing/thruster bits that I assume are Cybertronian jet thrusters protrude at an angle, and these are the only major bits not found on Earth mode Soundwave. Overall I’m not too crazy about this alt mode. It feels very retroactively forced on a robot design that was not meant to be a starship.

As for the robot mode, it’s classic Soundwave. The blue and grey colors, overall rectangular proportions, the well-known head design, and the iconic chest tape deck, it’s all there. The colors and shape of the arms and legs look like it’s straight out of G1. The battery-formed shoulder cannon mounted on his right is there as well. All other cassette player bits, on the crotch and legs, are all present and accounted for. The only big difference from the Earth form in robot mode is the back, in that the previously mentioned Cybertronian jet thrusters are placed there. But for a robot mode that has to account for flying apparatus bits, that’s where I would expect them to go. The tape deck ejection mechanism works fine and well. In later months I would purchase his infamous cassette minions (released as Master-sized figures in WFC) and they can be placed inside.

As for weapons, WFC Siege Soundwave comes with his twin iconic battery-shaped modules. In robot mode, one becomes a cannon mounted on his right shoulder, and the other one transforms into a hand-held blaster. Also included is another rifle. This weapon can be unfolded to look like a sniper rifle, or folded to look like another hand-held blaster.

And just like Starscream, I find no issues with the construction of the figure. Despite not having an alt mode that I had hoped for, Soundwave still gets a recommendation.

Ultra Magnus

Ultra Magnus and Shockwave were purchased together as one order item. That’s how they sold it. No discounts were offered when bought this way. It is now Dec 2021, and on Amazon you can still get them both at slightly below regular price. I know I have seen both of these in the $30 range, in 2020. TF prices are like stocks. You never know how they will go.

Ultra Magnus is a terrific update. This character was given a great treatment in Combiner Wars. WFC continues that trend and makes even more improvements on everybody’s favorite City Commander. In alt mode, instead of being a car carrier, Siege Ultra Magnus looks like some kind of Cybertronian armor weapon vehicle. It looks close enough to his Earth alt mode, but at the same time different enough to not simply be an Earth-mode derived mode. While we’re on that topic, Ultra Magnus’ alt mode always looked a bit Cybertronian, even in G1. The front cab looks Earth mode enough, but the trailer section is definitely Cybertronian. So is it possible he only partially transcanned? It’s worth exploring.

Siege Ultra Magnus feels very solid in alt mode. The unit feels like one cohesive whole, despite the entire mode being puzzle-formed together like Ultra Magnus typically is in this mode. 5 weapons are attached in this mode for a very impressive look: 2 black blasters, 2 white missile launchers with red missiles that he’s had since G1, and a large silver rifle, all mounted and ready to intimidate some lowly Decepticon scum. The whole thing rides on a total of 10 wheels, and the unit does sit well on a flat surface. The colors are distinctly Ultra Magnus, with the cab white, the trailer blue, and top section red. The shape of the front cab is distinctly Cybertronian. All in all a very nice alt mode.

In G1, Ultra Magnus had 2 robot modes. There was the smaller robot transformed solely from the cab, a white repaint of the famous G1 Optimus Prime toy. This smaller robot was never seen on-screen in G1. Then there’s the bigger robot formed from both the cab and trailer, the appearance that we’re all familiar with from the cartoons. Siege Ultra Magnus faithfully reproduces this scheme. The cab is capable of forming a smaller robot resembling Optimus Prime. (sidebar: part of this Ultra Magnus mold would indeed be reformatted into WFC Siege Galaxy Upgrade Optimus Prime, to be released later, but that’s for another day) In this mode, Ultra Magus is well-proportioned. Joints are at the right tolerances. For a blocky figure, the articulation is adequate. Transformation from cab to this robot mode is nothing we haven’t seen before. But this tried and true formula works for this character, and I’m never a proponent of messing with what works. I’m happy this mode is included, but we didn’t pay the $50 price tag to have Ultra Magnus in this mode.

To get Ultra Magnus into the robot mode that we all know and love, the trailer disassembles and acts as armor over and on top of the smaller robot mode. 3Ps have implemented such a mechanism already, most notably the FansProject City Commander Add-On Set. HasTak has explored this scheme too, with Evolution Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime. I believe this is the first time that HasTak has done this for Ultra Magnus. In G1, the trailer isn’t really so much an armor for the cab. The trailer gets transformed into the main body, and then the cab gets attached to it behind the back. All other Ultra Magnus figures in the modern day kind of has the cab and trailer transform as one. So it is indeed a nice treat to see that WFC Siege implemented an armor attachment mechanism for the smaller cab robot to fully form Ultra Magnus.

And what a glorious robot mode this is. Fully armored up, Ultra Magnus is every bit his G1 self. There is no mistaking this character for any other. His entire design aesthetic, down the to the last detail, is based on G1. The colors, the overall blocky shape, the shoulder missiles, all G1 derived. Design of the chest, arms, legs, and head, all taken from G1. With this robot mode, it’s clear that there was very much an Ultra Magnus on Cybertron before coming to Earth. Transformation to this mode is very much a puzzle forming adventure, but you kinda expect that with this character. It’s fairly obvious where each armor piece should go, and the entire package comes together really well. Articulation in the mode suffers a bit because he’s so blocky, but what’s offered is sufficient.

I give this Ultra Magnus figure the highest possible recommendation. Yes by now we all know how he ends up in the Netflix War For Cybertron series, but don’t let that discourage you. And maybe you expected a $50 figure to be true leader size. Don’t let that discourage you either. The figure is made to scale nicely with other cast members from WFC. The cost of admission for this figure is paid in full with the number of modes and accessories. He can deal with that now. I know you can.

Shockwave

Shockwave is another character that got a great update in WFC Siege. He is also leader class. Or more accurately, he is sold as leader class. There is the core figure of Shockwave, which is voyager class size. Then there are the accessories that can be added on top of the core figure, in both robot and alt mode. All this in one package is how Hasbro justifies the $50 price tag.

Let’s take a look at the core figure first. In robot mode, Shockwave is every bit his G1 self. All the classic iconic features of Shockwave are present, from the purple colors, the left-arm blaster, the left-arm hose attached to his backpack, the his cyclops eye. At voyager class, he scales well with other Decepticons in WFC Siege. The figure is well built, no joints too loose or too tight. Ample articulation points gives the figure some great poseability, and solid engineering means he can actually hold those poses. Transformation to alt mode follows the standard Shockwave scheme, with some modern variations. Some aspects of the transformation seems borrowed from both Fans Toys Quakewave and MP-29 Shockwave, but on a CHUG figure the overall scheme is way more playable. WFC Siege Shockwave still transforms into the iconic space gun that we all know and love, and it’s good see HasTak did not butcher this into something different (like a Cyberverse Shockwave, the Fall of Cybertron Shockwave, or the Alternator Shockwave).

Now on to the accessories. In robot mode, the accessories can be attached in a number of different ways. But the default configuration is some large flat gun pieces added onto the bottom of the feet, some wing and gun pieces that are attached to the shoulders, and a backpack cover. Shockwave looks quite menacing in this mode, and the overall feel does reflect a mad scientist that decided to perform Frankenstein-ish experiments on himself. In the space gun mode, the extra accessories are attached so Shockwave looks more like a genuine Cybertronian jet. It does look cool, and give more credence to the fact that Shockwave can fly around in alt mode.

So do I recommend this figure? The short answer is yes. The core Shockwave figure without the accessories is a terrific modern day CHUG update of the Decepticon mad scientist. This is probably the first real update of Shockwave in CHUG, and the core figure does not disappoint in any way. Now for the long answer. The extra accessories are kind of unnecessary, in my opinion. They’re cool, but don’t really add that much to the character. In fact, I think it sort of turns Shockwave into a different character, one that wasn’t explored very much in the G1 cartoons or the WFC Netflix series. And speaking of the WFC series, we never saw Shockwave in any of these enhanced modes. It feels like HasTak made these extra things to justify Shockwave being a $50 figure. I would have much rather they released a $30 figure of just the core Shockwave minus all the extras. But like I said already, this is the ultimate CHUG Shockwave that has been produced. So if you want one, you have to buy it with all the extra baggage. And as of this writing, I will emphasize again that you can buy this for less than MSRP on Amazon. Logic dictates you buy this now if you haven’t already.

Chromia

Here we have another rework off of the now famous Fembot deluxe mold. We got Moonracer and Novastar in Power of the Primes, so it’s no surprise that we would get Chromia in WFC Siege. Personally, I would have been ok if they didn’t make WFC Siege Chromia. I would have simply used Thrilling 30 Chromia to complete the Fembots. I think I like Thrilling 30 Chromia better anyways, if only for the variety.

WFC Siege Chromia is a rework because it’s not an exact repaint. The head mold is different. She gets different weapons. Chromia gets something that more resembles a sniper rifle, and we saw her use this several times in the WFC Siege show. Some pieces in alt mode are molded differently too. Chromia gets back pieces that covers the rear wheels, the cockpit piece clearly looks different, and she gets 4 molded-on front headlights. I commend HasTak for providing these variations to the same mold, to counter what would otherwise be a quick cash-grab. WFC Siege Chromia does not come with that Combiner Wars attachment.

G1 purists will undoubtedly get this Chromia to complete all 4 of the original Fembots (along with this Elita-1 or the upcoming Netflix Elita-1). For everyone else, this Chromia is an optional purchase if you already have Moonracer or Novastar. But buy this rework if you want. No judging here.

Prowl

WFC Siege Prowl follows that “Prowl” formula that all TransFans since G1 have come to memorize by heart. By “Prowl” formula, I mean that the transformation is tried and true for this character, the figure is deluxe size, Prowl colors of black and white are used, the alt mode is a police sports car of some sort, and HasTak will undoubtedly repaint this mold into Bluestreak and Smokescreen. WFC Siege Prowl certainly offers no deviation from this formula, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

WFC Siege Prowl is deluxe size, as you would expect. The alt mode, while Cybertronian, doesn’t offer much originality when compared to his Earth alt mode of a Nissan Z throughout the different decades. In fact, if you told me that this alt mode is a concept Nissan Z, I would have believed it. The writing of “POLICE” that are usually on Prowl’s doors are now replaced with Cybertronian font. The wheels are clear instead of black. The police sirens on the car’s roof is found here as well, but they look at bit too Earth mode if you ask me. The alt mode comes together well as one cohesive whole. All in all, a solid alt mode, but not much originality in that this is supposed to be in Cybertronian form.

Transformation is classic Prowl so I won’t describe it too much. Car hood becomes the chest, arms come out from the sides, rotation at the waist, car back becomes the legs and feet, car doors swing out to form the wings. You’ve seen this script many times.

In robot mode, WFC Siege Prowl is iconic Prowl. No one would mistake this bot mode for any other. I really don’t have much to say about the robot mode, because this is Prowl through and through. That’s a good thing, as this Prowl is supposed to represent the G1 version of this character on Cybertron. This figure does not come with shoulder rockets, and that’s a shame, probably the only aspect that make this less Prowl than usual. The roof sirens in alt mode can be detached and placed on his rifle, or be attached to his forearms to be used as a shield.

If you collect the WFC Siege line, you will undoubtedly buy Prowl regardless of what I say. He’s an iconic G1 character that no true G1-er would pass up. The WFC Siege version does Prowl very well, in that it’s G1 in all the right ways. The only critique I can offer here is that it may be too G1. The alt mode looks too close to what he would be on Earth, and I just can’t imagine Cybertronian vehicles resembling Earth vehicles that much. But as far as having a CHUG Cybertronian Prowl, this fits the bill.

Double Strike

Warbotron Double Strike got a dedicated review already, so go check out that post for all the details. Double Strike is Warbotron’s homage to Strafe from the Technobots. In short, this is a good figure, but not as good as Turbo Ejector (Afterburner).

As of this writing, Double Strike and Turbo Ejector are the only Warbotron Technobots I have. I really want to get the rest. I was overall not terribly impressed with MakeToys Quantron, so I sold that set and re-invested in the Warbotron set. I never got the official Combiner War Technobots set, just Scattershot by his lonesome. That is bizarre, considering how much I love the Technobots. Perhaps another 3P will attempt the Technobots. Would Fans Toys be brave enough to do this? Let’s hope so.

Grinder Dinohead

The last item featured this month is an accessory for Grinder. More specifically, this alternate dino head replaces the default dino head that comes with Grinder. I have mentioned repeatedly on this blog that I feel Grinder’s T-Rex mode make me think of Barney. The problem is the head. Fans Toys has heard your complaints and released this alternate Dino head.

In short, this head is much, much better. I didn’t really look at what is changed on this head, but it certainly doesn’t make me think of Barney anymore when I see Grinder in T-Rex mode. See for yourself. With the alternate head attached, Grinder resembles Grimlock from the G1 movie much more closely. This accessory piece goes for $17.99. At this price, every Grinder owner should get this. However I have seen this marked up to about $100, in this era of global shortages of just about everything. Fans Toys items always gets marked up these days, but this is just crazy! I can’t say if FT will make more of these, but I personally would not pay $100 to get one.

More TFs are to come in the months that follow. This is my last post for 2021. Happy New Year! Transform and Roll Out!
 

EDIT 2021/12/30:

I later found that I took some pics of all the Siege TFs this month. Here they are. Enjoy!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

My Ramjet Collection

December 10th, 2021 No comments

Today I proudly present my Ramjet collection. I could swear I have more Ramjets, but this appears to be it. I did sell one Ramjet, but that figure was built so poorly it does not deserve to be in my collection. Yes I only keep the best.

I have a thing for Ramjet. The simplicity and stupidity of his attacks – very appealing. I would consider myself fortunate if I could solve all my problems like Ramjet. I’m not sure who would be my favorite Seeker. It’s either Starscream, Skywarp, or Ramjet.

From left to right: ToyWorld Combuster, Classics Ramjet, War For Cybertron Earthrise Ramjet

Some quick bits about each of these figs, in the order released.

Classics Ramjet

Classics Ramjet was released pretty early in the era of modernizing classic G1 characters, I think in either 2006 or 2007. Classics Starscream was released as part of the first wave of Classics, so we knew the Coneheads wouldn’t be far behind. Ramjet was the only one released in mass retail as part of Classics in the United States. For Dirge and Thrust, you had to either get them imported as part of Henkei, or wait for the later Generations line.

Classics Ramjet is still a fun figure today to pick up and play, but it is a dated figure for sure. Even for a CHUG fig, the robot mode has its limitations by today’s standards. There’s no waist swivel or ankle tilt. The arms seem a bit short as they don’t extend at all from jet to robot mode. The wings on the legs cannot fold back, so they are stuck extending straight outward.

As dated as this figure is, I still recommend getting one today if you can find one at reasonable price. The jet mode still holds up well. The figure is well constructed. Mine is still in very good shape despite an adequate amount of play. This Ramjet figure is a good first attempt at a modern day Conehead Seeker. And in the halls of TF history, the figure is a good representation of where we were and where we’ve been. This figure paved the way for better Conehead Seekers today.

ToyWorld Combuster

I kind of already summarized my thoughts about the ToyWorld Seekers back in this post. ToyWorld Assault (Thrust) was given more treatment here, and ToyWorld Requiem (Dirge) here. Today is Combuster’s turn. In short, I like Combuster way more than the official MP Ramjet.

Looking at Combuster now in 2021, it’s becoming a bit dated. The jet mode is still great, but the robot mode is beginning the show its age when compared with recent offerings of what a MP style jet robot could potentially be. I don’t have MP-52 Starscream, but I’ve seen enough pics, watched enough reviews, and have friends verbally confirm that the robot mode is out-of-this-world awesome. Looking at pics of MP-52, then looking at pics of Combuster, it’s clear who is a toy and who is the superior physical manifestation of a show character.

But don’t get me wrong. Combuster was a great 3P MP Ramjet for its time, and is still a solid transforming figure today. The jet mode is awesome and scales well with official MPs. The robot mode is a tad tall, which is perhaps the only real weakness in this mode. Combuster sports super solid construction backed by quality materials. The paint job is superb. Transformation is fun and intuitive. Complex enough to be MP, but definitely not frustrating. I don’t know if I would get one today, considering that HasTak would probably take the MP-52 mold and reformat that into Conehead Seekers. But as of this very moment, Combuster is still in my opinion the best MP Ramjet on the market.

WFC Earthrise Ramjet

My newest Ramjet figure is the one from War From Cybertron Earthrise. This was released in 2020 as an Amazon exclusive 2-pack with Dirge. And if you missed out on this 2-pack, it sucks to be you. As of this writing, this 2-pack goes for $219.99! Yikes. MSRP was $59.99. It’s only been about 18 months since release. I guess they seriously didn’t make enough, or damn scalpers are at it yet again. And in case you’re wondering, Thurst was a Target exclusive. And now that I think about it, Thundercracker and Skywarp was also a Target exclusive 2-pack. I’m conflicted about all these exclusivity deals that Hasbro is making. On one hand I’m glad they’re released, but on the other it’s like you have to be on top of releases or you’ll miss out. First world problems at its best.

But back to this Ramjet figure. This is by far the best and most G1 accurate Ramjet that HasTak has came up with. The overall mold is a re-work off of WFC Siege Starscream. When that fig came out, we all knew HasTak would repaint this at least 5 more times, one for each G1 Seeker. And they really made it happen. This figure is highly similar to the Classics Seeker mold, in that overall transformation feels identical. But many improvements are made to modernize the figure. For starters, it’s Voyager size, the size that Seekers should have always been. Ankle tilt has been added, for better stability in A-stance. The arms now have an extension mechanism, from jet to robot mode. Wings on the legs can how fold back. Yes all my gripes about the Classics Ramjet has been addressed. I think HasTak planned for all these repaints when they designed Starscream, because the mechanical differences in Ramjet feels fluid and not tacked on. My only gripe now is the weapons. WFC Ramjet still comes with the same null-ray blasters mold that Starscream has. He should have something that more resemble cruise missiles. I was expecting a 3rd party accessory company to do this (like Dr. Wu Customs perhaps). Maybe someone did, I’m not sure.

I totally recommend this figure. But I wouldn’t pay the scalping prices. My hunch is Hasbro would re-release this for a general release at some point. Wait for that.

“If it flies, crash it!” Wiser words have never been said. Maybe except this… Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Arcee Riding Wreck-Gar

November 21st, 2021 No comments

The title post says it all. This is War For Cybertron Earthrise Arcee riding Studio Series 86 Wreck-Gar. It sorta works. Check it out.

Would Arcee prefer to ride someone else? You tell me.

Ride or die. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

Who Wore It Better? CHUG 2015 vs CHUG 2021 Season 3 Autobots

November 7th, 2021 No comments

CHUG 2015 Lineup
Pic taken from Generations Season 3 Autobots.

CHUG 2021 Lineup

 
Who wore it better? You decide.

Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: Pics

TF Matrix 12 Year Anniversary

October 9th, 2021 No comments

The show must go on! This blog has now been running for 12 years!

Once again, the blog got about 12,000 hits in the year. That neatly equates to 1,000 hits a month. No gain or loss from last year.

It’s hard for me to summarize how I feel about the TF collecting fandom as a whole. My feelings are definitely a mixed bag. COVID threw the whole world for a loop, and even TF collecting was not spared. Several new trends have definitely emerged in this year and last. Some for the better, and some for the worse.

For now, I’m just gonna make a post here to mark the anniversary. I’ll save my thoughts for another day.

Happy Birthday, TF Matrix! Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Uncategorized

Who Wore It Better? CHUG vs 3P MP Autobots

September 27th, 2021 No comments

CHUG Lineup

  • War For Cybertron Earthrise Optimus Prime
  • Studio Series 86 Grimlock
  • Studio Series 86 Jazz
  • War For Cybertron Kingdom Warpath
  • War For Cybertron Earthrise Trailbreaker

 

3P MP Lineup

 

Who wore it better? You decide.

Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: Pics

Transformers Purchased in February 2019

August 16th, 2021 No comments

February 2019 is another month of all official purchases. This month it’s back to mostly figs from Studio Series.

  • War For Cybertron Siege Skytread, amazon.com, $18.88

  • Studio Series WWII Bumblebee, Walmart, $19.87

  • Studio Series Barricade, Walmart, $19.87

  • Studio Series Sideswipe, Walmart, $19.87

  • Cyberverse Shockwave, Amazon seller, $14

Skytread

WFC Siege Skytread was released in the same wave as all the WFC Siege deluxe figures last month. For some odd reason, I couldn’t find one til this month. This was probably for the best, as there has been numerous complaints of production issues with Skytread’s right leg not being able to move. My assumption is these issues only appeared on the very first batch. I found my copy a bit later, and it’s fine.

Any true G1er knows that Siege Skytread is really G1 Duocon Flywheels. Why Hasbro chose to change the name here is anyone’s guess. The other Duocon, Battletrap, was released in 2018 in the Power of the Primes line as Battleslash and Roadtrap. Very good to see that the Duocons are complete in the modern era.

For those that don’t know, Duocons were released in G1 Season 4. Their gimmick is that two vehicles come together to form one robot mode. There is a spring mechanism that activates when combining to robot for a semi-automatic transformation. The process is completely manual when going to the alt modes.

For PotP Battletrap, Hasbro went one step further and gave each vehicle component a robot mode, and they still combine into the larger robot as Battletrap. While this sounds good on paper, having all these modes made none of the modes all that good. In Battletrap robot form, the figure is a bit unstable. Figure integrity will be compromised with enough rough play. For Siege Skytread, Hasbro stuck with the basics and implemented a simple jet and tank that will combine into Skytread. I appreciate this decision, as the individual alt modes are better, and Skytread’s robot mode is way more stable.

In robot mode, Skytread is unmistakably G1 Flywheels. The colors should be a dead giveaway, as no other G1 TF I can think of has a dark red color chest and brown limbs. The head mold also closely resembles the look of Flywheels. The design itself is not that unique, but it’s what he had in G1. Skytread is fairly poseable, with joints at all the right places and at the right tolerances. He’s well proportioned and without too much kibble. Again, he’s very stable. The two components will not accidentally separate. In robot mode, Skytread is about the same height as PotP Battletrap. The two Duocons are ready to kick ass together. Or get their asses kicked together. The latter is more likely.

Separation to alt modes is pretty straightforward. Just pull apart at the waist. Transformation of each component to its alt mode is not difficult at all. The legs form the tank. It looks kinda Earth style, but with Cybertronian enhancements. My only gripe about the tank is that pegging the main cannon in the middle peg hole doesn’t work well. There’s a piece right behind this peg hole which sort of blocks access for the back of the cannon. Better to peg each weapon on top but off center, one to the right and one to the left. The upper body forms the jet, which looks like a Earth Harrier. This mode’s not bad, though the obvious weakness here is the under-kibble that results from where the arms go. Both components have plenty of peg holes for the 2 weapons. The 2 weapons can also be combined into a super cannon, another recognition of this character’s two-as-one motif.

G1 fans who already bought PotP Battleslash and Roadtrap will get Siege Skytread regradless of what I say. To everyone else, I say get him. He’s a fun figure with a gimmick that is well implemented.

Bumblebee

First of the Studio Series figures this month is WWII Bumblebee from The Last Knight. I didn’t look at the box carefully when I bought this, so I just assumed this is from the Bumblebee movie. So the whole time I was trying to figure out when did Bumblebee transform into this WWII vehicle. I should have looked closer.

I didn’t like The Last Knight all that much, so I can’t recall any specifics about the movie. I definitely don’t remember Bee transforming into the alt mode represented by this figure. If I ever re-watch it I’ll look for it, but that’s not happening anytime soon.

As for SS WWII Bumblebee, the figure is mediocre at best. The alt mode is kinda unique. I do like the main cannon and the rotating blaster on the roof. But that’s about all the figure has got going for it. In alt mode, the whole thing doesn’t come together as well as it should. The roof cannot completely close down, because the cannon on the inside will come into contact with other pieces. Transformation is sorta frustrating. There’s too much kibble on this buy, things getting in the way and thus preventing a smooth experience. Pieces love to pop off during transformation. WWII Bumblebee is very much a panel former. The hips are on ball joints that are way too lose, so the figure does not stabilize well in robot mode. It is kinda cool that the main cannon can be detached and used as a hammer in robot mode, but that alone does not redeem the other negatives. Add to all this the fact that I don’t even remember Bumblebee in this form makes this a very forgettable purchase.

I think Hasbro actually re-released this figure in the Buzzworthy Bumblebee line. Different packaging but the same figure. Leave this on the shelf if you see it. Not recommended.

Barricade

Studio Series Barricade is my 5th Barricade figure from the Movie-verse. I have written about how none of the mass-produced deluxe Barricade figures thus far are all that good. And I have mentioned that Masterpiece Barricade (MPM-5) is by far the best. So how does SS Barricade fare? Let’s find out.

It alt mode, I am impressed by the amount of detail on SS Barricade. The overall black and white scheme works well here for Barricade. There are a lot of printed on labeling on the vehicle, such as the police logo, the words “POLICE” on the doors and spoiler, “643” on the roof, “911” on the rear sides of the vehicle, and last but not least the words “to punish and enslave”. The words “SALEEN” is molded across the rear. The sirens are a separate piece on the roof, painted blue on the right and red on the left. Rear brake lights are painted. HasTak did a top-notch job with the mold of the entire vehicle by closely resembling a real Ford Mustang. The figure stays together in alt mode, and Barricade rolls nicely on a flat surface. The spinning wheel accessory can be attached under the front hood, if you want to recreate that scene of Barricade threatening Sam. For a mass-retail deluxe toy, SS Barricade gets the highest marks in alt mode.

Transformation to robot mode follows the standard Barricade scheme, so I won’t describe it too much. Back of the car form the legs, sides of the car form the arms, and the front section flips down to form the chest and reveal the head. Car hood and roof ends up on the back. Of all the mass-retail deluxe Barricades made, this is by far the best. SS Barricade looks closest to his on-screen persona and to the MP figure. He stands up well on 2 legs. The arms are kind of long, but that’s his design. The detail on the head is amazing. SS Barricade is also not terribly difficult to transform, much more forgiving than the MP figure.

I give SS Barricade the highest possible recommendation. If you like this character, go out and get this.

Sideswipe

Movie-verse Sideswipe is another figure where Hasbro has made tons of. So I guess it’s no surprise that a Studio Series version would be made. This SS Sideswipe is from Dark of the Moon.

Looking at this SS Sideswipe immediately reminds me of the custom silver painted DOTM Sideswipe that Gemini made for me (sidebar: That post was made exactly 10 years ago today). DOTM Sideswipe should have been painted this nice silver to begin with, and if you’re wondering how he looks out of the box, here you go. Yeah, that dull grey doesn’t do it for me either.

SS Sideswipe obviously corrects this problem by having this nice silver paint applied all over. The alt mode is nice and sleek. As a Corvette, I think he looks terrific all around, especially from the back. His twin weapons are attached under the vehicle at the rear so they look like the exhaust. The entire mode stays together well, no floppy or dangling bits. The Corvette logo on the front hood is molded on and painted over. A nice touch.

Transformation to robot mode is pretty standard fare for a Movie-verse car TF. My memory is now hazy, but I do remember ROTF Sideswipe as rather difficult to transform, and DOTM Sideswipe being relatively easier. SS Sideswipe is probably more in tune with the DOTM version, as far as transformation difficulty. The front part of the car become the legs, and the rear part of the car forms the chest and arms. Car hood and roof ends up on the back. Upper part of the car doors become wings. The lower part of the car doors are detached and serve as Sideswipe’s blades in robot mode. You could argue it’s a bit of puzzle-forming here, but nothing to get terribly upset about. SS Sideswipe does stand OK when you take care to really balance him, but he’s not the most stable fig on 2 legs.

Overall, SS Sideswipe is a solid addition to the Studio Series line. There’s nothing here we haven’t seen before, so I would not put this in the required purchase category. But what is there is all done pretty well. If you’re on the fence on this figure, go ahead and get him.

Shockwave

This is my second figure from Transformers Cyberverse. And this 2nd figure is also Shockwave. Yes, I now have both Warrior Class and Ultra Class Shockwaves. As of this writing, these remain my only 2 figures from Cyberverse.

It’s obvious that the whole Cyberverse line of toys is marketed to young children. Sometimes you see a figure or two that may appeal to you, usually out of nostalgia or design. But as a whole, the mature TF Collector need not bother with this line. The toys themselves are full of gimmicks and have extremely simple transformations. I watched through all of the show’s Season 2 on Netflix, mostly to see how my favorite characters from G1 would be updated. The series is fairly forgettable, and you’re not missing out if you missed out.

So how is this Ultra Class Shockwave figure? He’s ok. The robot mode is pretty solid. He’s unmistakably Shockwave, with the purple colors, the cyclops eye, and iconic left gun arm. I like how the Decepticon logo is painted sharply on the chest. The figure is entirely plastic, and all articulation points are either ball or rotation joints with no ratchets. Pretty standard fare for a figure in this line.

Transformation to the walking tank is kinda like the Warrior class version, with one notable exception. The left arm goes over the back to form the main cannon. And in its place, a 2nd left arm that will act as the tank’s front left leg sprouts from the left side of the chest. Rest of the transformation should be obvious just by looking at pics. The chest section rotates 90 degrees up. This piece does not lock into anything in alt mode, resulting in a tank mode not as solid as the Warrior class version. The gimmick on this figure is that there’s a switch on the side of the gun. Flipping the switch backwards will separate the gun chamber and protrude forward the laser effects. Flipping the switch forward reverses this. This can be done in both modes. Young kids will probably get hours of enjoyment out of this gimmick.

I can’t tell if the Warrior class or Ultra Class of Shockwave is more show accurate. Rating this purely on the figure, I think I like the Warrior class better. I find the whole 3 arm thing on Ultra Class Shockwave a bit disturbing. I know Shockwave is a mad scientist and all, but 3 arms?! A bit too Frankenstein for my taste.

Lots more to come next month. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

My Warpath Collection

June 30th, 2021 No comments

I haven’t made any posts in such a long time that I’m beginning to feel guilty. So I’m doing one today. And getting his 15 minutes of fame today is… Warpath. Yes, this guy is way too hyper and loves explosions way too much. Warpath is perfectly suited for a Michael Bay movie, so it’s kinda surprising that he never appeared in one. These two need to be introduced.

I have most of my Warpath figures out and about for some odd reason. So I dug out the remaining ones from their hiding spaces, and I proudly present to you my Warpath collection. Pics below.

From left to right:
Back row: Generations, War For Cybertron Kingdom, Fans Toys Sheridan
Front row: Universe, G1, Combiner Wars

I’m going to present some quick thoughts on each of these figs, in what I think was the order released.

G1
G1 Warpath is the toy that started it all. I believe what I have here is a genuine G1 article, acquired in the early 2010s off eBay. He’s in OK shape. Obviously for today’s standards, this toy is not the best. But for 80s standards, this little transforming tank is quite a marvel. The tank mode looks good. The robot mode, while weird, has a great design in that the main cannon ends up on the chest. The Autobot forces needed more than just cars, and Warpath’s unique tank alt mode gave the good guys something to brag about.

Universe
Universe Warpath is probably the oldest of these figs, if you don’t include G1. This was probably the first G1 style Warpath released in the modern day. I was happy to get this fig at the time, simply because there was no other figs to represent Warpath in CHUG. The legend size is good, reminiscent of the G1 Mini-Bot. Neither mode is all that G1 accurate, and the overall color scheme definitely strays from G1. If you don’t already have this Warpath, there’s really not much reason to get this fig now.

Generations
In my opinion, this is the first quality Warpath that we got in the modern day. And to my surprise, this figure still holds up well today in 2021. The figure is good size, being the 2nd largest of the Warpaths I have. And it was only $10. Hasbro does not make figures of this size for this cheap anymore, that’s for sure. Generations Warpath feels solid and well-constructed. Transformation is fun and intuitive. Robot mode is well-proportioned. Colors are G1 accurate. The head mold is modeled more after the G1 toy, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Detractors will say that Generations Warpath is not too G1 accurate overall, and at deluxe size he’s too big in CHUG for his Mini-Bot stature. These are legitimate gripes. But as far as being a nicely built figure and being a playable toy, this is my favorite Warpath here. If you can find one today, buy this figure.

Combiner Wars
Combiner Wars Warpath (say that 3 times fast) is probably my least favorite of the Warpaths here. Other than his head mold, colors, and scale, he’s not at all G1 accurate. He’s the only Warpath here to not have the tank main cannon placed on his chest in robot mode. Instead, the cannon ends up on the arm, explained by the fact that this figure is a repaint of legend size Thrilling 30 Megatron. Transformation scheme is vastly different from all other Warpaths. The arms come together in alt mode to form the main turret, squeezing the main cannon between them. This scheme is used way too often for tank Transformers. But worst of all, this is not a fun figure. Transformation, while simple, feels more like a chore than enjoyment, partly because this figure is not that well built. There is no value to getting Combiner Wars Warpath today.

Fans Toys Sheridan
Sheridan is Fans Toys’ take on a Masterpiece-style Warpath. And all fanboys of Fans Toys will tell you that G1 cartoon accuracy is held in the highest regard in all of Fans Toys’ offerings. Sheridan is no exception. He looks great in both robot mode and tank mode. The tank mode is especially fantastic, exactly like how I imagine a M551 Sheridan tank to look represented in MP form. The robot mode, while good, looks a tad skinny in my opinion. I think he should be shorter in robot mode. Next to some standard size MP Carbots (like Sideswipe or Prowl), Sheridan feels too tall. Transformation of Sheridan from one mode to another is somewhat challenging. I needed the instructions from robot to tank. On the reverse transformation, I kinda needed it too. The transformation can be committed to memory, but you will have to transform the figure quite a few times. If you can find a copy of FT Sheridan today without too much markup, definitely get one. All FT figures go for double these days, so expect to pay a premium. Sheridan looks great in your MP lineup. And quite honestly, I’m not aware of any other MP style Warpaths. I can’t imagine anyone transforming Sheridan over and over. This figure can be played with, but not many will.

War For Cybertron Kingdom
Last but not least, we have the recently released Warpath in the WFC Kingdom line. The newest Warpath is by far the most G1 accurate Warpath that Hastak has ever released. The robot mode, alt mode, colors, and scale, all subscribe to Warpath’s G1 design. He’s sold as deluxe, but he is a bit shorter than deluxe Carbots made in the WFC line. Transformation is not difficult, but it’s not super simple either. The legs can be a bit complex, but nothing that experienced TransFans can’t figure out. There is a shield in robot mode. And this shield is used to lock the legs together in alt mode at the bottom. Hardcore G1 nitpickers will probably bash the existence of this shield, and I do wish they engineered the transformation process sans shield. But this is not a deal breaker by any means. WFC Kingdom Warpath is the truest G1 update we have got as a mass retail product. No G1-er would pass this up.

BAM! POW! KABOOM! Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Decepticon Air Superiority, 2021 !

May 17th, 2021 No comments

I haven’t posted anything in so long. This blog seriously needs some love, so I’m doing one today. And once again, a bunch of random Decepticon jets are lying about here and there. Which means it’s time for another Decepticon Air Superiority post!

Prior such posts in years past:
2012
2017

Here are the jets to give the Autobots nightmares in 2021.

All 5 jets come from different TF toylines. In order of release:

  • Dreadwing is from Transformers Prime Beast Hunters
  • Armada Starscream is from Generations Thrilling 30
  • Snapdragon is from War From Cybertron: Earthrise
  • Cyclonus is from War From Cybertron: Kingdom
  • Scourge is from Studio Series 86

In terms of continuity, Cyclonus and Scourge are obviously related in G1, with Snapdragon appearing with them a season later in the US continuity. Armada Starscream and Dreadwing are on their own.

As for the toys, Armada Starscream and Dreadwing are fairly outdated by today’s standards. These are still good mass-retail deluxe figs to pick up and play with. They present no challenge transformation-wise, and both figs look decent in both modes.

In my last post I reviewed Kingzilla, a 3rd party MP homage to Snapdraon. Here we have the official CHUG version of the same character released in the WFC Earthrise line. And just like Kingzilla, I like WFC Earthrise Snapdragon quite a bit. This is a fun figure, easy to transform between the 3 modes. Not only that, all 3 modes look fantastic. This is not an easy feat by any means for a Triple Changer. Of course the Headmaster gimmick is still in place. Krunk functions as the head for both robot and dragon, and he can sit in the cockpit in jet mode. G1 purists may whine over the minor alteration in transformation scheme, in that the jet nosecone become part of the legs instead of being on the robot’s back. Personally I don’t see it as a big deal.

The 2 newest figure here are Cyclonus and Scourge. I acquired them both in 2021. It’s unclear to me why the 2 figs are released in separate toylines. Cyclonus could have easily been released as part of Studio Series 86 as well. Perhaps he has an appearance in Kingdom, the upcoming final chapter of War For Cybertron.

WFC Kingdom Cyclonus is hands down the best Cyclonus that has ever been made. This one easily tops my other Cyclonus figures, such as the one from Generations or Combiner Wars. WFC Cyclonus looks great in both modes. The jet mode is nice and sleek, while the robot mode is proportionate and toon-accurate. Transformation is pure joy. For a mass produced toy, the transformation difficulty is above average yet very satisfying. There are enough steps to fully qualify this piece as geared towards collectors, but at the same time the whole process is intuitive and ingenious. The jet nosecone transformation deserves special mention. The entire unit folds and compacts into itself that it’s the perfect way for Cyclonus to go from alt to robot. Construction of the figure is superb as well. Cyclonus gets the highest recommendation from me.

Studio Series 86 Scourge is a terrific addition as well. I don’t think he’s as good as Cyclonus, but this is also without a doubt the best Scourge figure made to date. Both modes look good. The robot mode is toon-accurate, while the alt mode replicates that boat-looking space craft that he’s supposed to be. The transformation is tweaked a bit from G1 so that SS86 Scourge is not as much a shell-former. It does take some work to align all panels of the alt mode, but it can be done with just a bit of effort. In alt mode, SS86 Scourge can be configured with his head exposed above the space craft, something we often he him do in the G1 cartoons and Movie. Hardcore G1-ers will probably multiples of this figure to create a Sweep army. This makes even more sense if some 3P will create a head for the Sweeps (basically Scourge minus the mustache).

So who’s leading this bunch? Other than Snapdragon, all the others have a claim to Decepticon leadership. Though individually, Snapdragon may be the most powerful.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

KFC Toys Kingzilla and Komodus Quick Review

April 12th, 2021 No comments

The Horrorcons are one of my most treasured subgroups from G1 Season 4. They are both Triple Changers and Headmasters, successfully combining the two gimmicks. My cousin had both Apeface and Snapdragon, and I was super envious since I had neither. I remember playing with his Apeface quite a bit, but not Snapdragon. I also remember buying Apeface for my best friend at the time. Those were the days.

The jet modes of both G1 Apeface and Snapdragon are really good. But their other modes left a lot to be desired. In robot mode, both of them look like they are wearing diapers with legs that are way too short. And in beast mode, both figures suffer from having way too much bulk in the main trunk section. Even for G1 standards, all modes other than the jet modes were horrible (pun intended).

When I started collecting TFs again in the modern era, I knew Hasbro would update the Horrorcons at some point. And they did. We saw WFC Siege Apeface in 2019, and WFC Earthrise Snapdragon in 2020. It took them longer to do the Horrorcons than I thought they would, but better late than never.

As much as I loved the Horrorcons, it would be absurd to expect HasTak to make official Masterpiece versions of the duo. So it was inevitable that a 3P company would attempt it. Enter KFC. This is Keith’s Fantasy Club, and not the famous fried chicken chain. KFC released their takes on MP style Horrorcons, around 2017. And as far as I know, they’re the only 3P to attempt it thus far. Are Horrorcons not as popular as I thought? Am I the only TransFan that like them? The horrors!

I acquired KFC Kingzilla (aka Snapdragon) in 2020 on a sale. Prior to that, the only KFC product I have are these E-Nergeon Cubes. They’re not bad, but this product alone is hardly an indicator of the quality of KFC’s offerings. Kingzilla is my first real figure from KFC. So how good is Kingzilla? Let’s find out. But first let’s first take a look at the box and what’s inside.

Box and Contents

Front of the box.

Back of the box. Gotta love this bio. Riches! Fembots! TFs apparently value much the same things humans do.

Look at all the stuff inside! Kingzilla comes with:

  • 2 rifles
  • a magnetic metal plate for Komodus to stand on
  • 2 chest blast or flame thrust effects
  • extra face for KFC Kingorilla (Apeface), attached to Kongor (Spasma)
  • 2 extra red parts that I assume is a fix or enhancement for Kingorilla
  • bio card
  • instruction book and comic

Another accessory is a stand to be used in jet mode. I didn’t actually try this. Kingzilla is a heavy figure, and I’m not entirely sure this stand can fully support the weight for an extended period of time. But don’t say KFC doesn’t love you. They included everything but the kitchen sink in this package. Bravo.

Robot Mode

I always start with the mode that the figure comes packed in.

That is one awesome looking MP style Snapdragon. This is a big and beefy figure. The colors are G1 accurate. Materials used on the figure is superb, with high quality plastic and die-cast. Kingzilla really has presence, he impresses by appearance and size alone.

Smart observers will notice that the above pic does not show the figure in a standard traditional A-stance. And that leads me to the first very noticeable issue with Kingzilla. See below.

The legs are on ratchets, and this is the first position swinging outwards. It’s way too wide! Quite a few TFs share this problem. Generations Jetfire is the first figure that comes to my mind. Someone should coin a term to describe this problem.

The pic above shows the legs perfectly straight. So it’s either this, the super wide A-stance, or some kind of modified action stance to have Kingzilla posed in a standing position. This issue does mark down the figure a bit for me. But on the bright side, this is about the only real weakness with this figure. It’s all good news from here.

Looking at Kingzilla from the side. The obvious distraction here is that huge backpack which makes up the jet mode nosecone. But it doesn’t bother me that much. Notice the super long heel spurs, which provides great stability for the figure.

Another shot of the side, with the arms raised, to get a better look at the sides of the body and legs.

Back of the figure. A bit bulky, but I like how it looks.

As I look through these pics of the robot mode, I realize almost all of them has Kingzilla holding the 2 rifles. So here I offer a pic without the rifles, in his wide A-stance.

Pretty good face sculpt. This is how I remember Snapdragon looking, in the animation.

KFC did not forget the chest tech specs that was a feature on all G1 Headmasters. The specs automatically come up upon inserting the Headmaster. Seeing this unnecessary but nice gimmick brings me back to the 80s. I yearn for the 80s.

Kingzilla in an action pose. There is quite a bit of articulation points in robot mode. However, some issues hinder the overall articulation. A lot of the joints are on ratchets, so it does limit the positioning. The bigger issue, however, is that this is a large and heavy figure. There are poses that are achievable, but the figure won’t hold it due to its own weight. The big backpack also makes the figure back heavy, limiting poses where Kingzilla is leaning backwards.

Here is Kingzilla with those chest blast effects. I guess Snapdragon did this somewhere in the G1 animation, though personally I don’t remember it. Kudos to KFC for including it. Nipple blast action never gets old.

Now for some size comparisons.

With MP-36 Megatron. I like how these scale. In the wide Kingzilla A-stance, Megatron is actually a bit taller, if you compare where their eyes are. But Kingzilla is overall bigger, buffer, and beefier. That’s how I would expect these 2 to scale.

With WFC Earthrise Snapdragon.

Before we get to the other modes, let’s take a look at the Headmaster Komodus (Krunk).

Komodus looks pretty good. I can’t say how close he resembles the G1 toy or cartoon, since I don’t pay close attention to the Headmaster Nebulans.

Here is Komodus with the magnetic stand. I don’t detect any magnets when Komodus is placed on it, so it’s possible this is not magnetic at all. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure where I learned that this is supposed to be magnetic. Not a big deal, I can’t see myself using this accessory often.

I’m very pleased with the robot mode overall, though it is my least favorite mode of the 3. The obvious weakness is that super wide A-stance. The big backpack could turn off some fans as well. But he’s got way more positives than negatives in this mode. He’s a big, imposing figure, built with solid materials. Superb construction with tight ratchets. Nice paintjob with G1 accurate colors. Enough articulation at most of the joints that need them.

Jet Mode

The instructions start off with going from robot to jet first, so that’s the mode we’ll look at next.

That is one sleek and awesome looking jet!

Here we see the jet in another angle. It’s very G1 accurate, as far as the shape of the jet. KFC opted to use a dark silver as the overall color, instead of Snapdragon’s G1 off-white. Some fans bash this decision, but I personally don’t see it as a big deal. Maybe KFC will release a repaint later with more G1 accurate colors. If this was Hasbro, I know they will.

Looking at the jet directly from the front. From this angle you almost don’t see the wings. Kingzilla is a long jet with wings way in the back. Kinda reminds of the Cobra Night Raven S3P from G.I.Joe Real American Heroes.

Looking at the back of the jet. From this angle, you can easily see the wings, rear vertical stabilizers, and main thrusters. I should have took a pic where the flame effects are used on the thrusters. Notice the rifles are attached under the wings.

Underside of the jet. It’s pretty clean. The bulk of the body is nicely incorporated into the jet as part of the overall transformation scheme. This is partly due to the original G1 design.
It was obvious that the G1 toy designers prioritized the jet mode first, and Kingzilla adheres to that same overall G1 scheme almost to a fault. The landing gears are deployed in the above pic. The two rear landing gears on the legs can be a bit tough to deploy and retract.

A cool gimmick of Kingzilla (and Kingorilla too) is controls that light up inside the cockpit. The pic above shows it lighted. I love this gimmick.

Here is a shot of Komodus sitting inside the cockpit of Kingzilla in jet mode. Notice the controls are lighted too. The lights are activated by the black switch, to the right of Komodus, at the base where the cockpit opens. Opening the cockpit will automatically flip the lights on. The black switch is accessible from the outside too, without having to open the cockpit.

for size comparison, I’m reusing a pic I took when I did the DX9 Gewalt review. Here are these 2 figures together in jet mode.

Kingzilla’s jet mode is my favorite of the 3 modes. I honestly see no weaknesses with this mode. It’s nice and sleek with no bulk. All parts come together well with solid construction and no dangling parts. The jet mode balances well on the 3 landing gears. The controls light up gimmick, though unnecessary, is too cool to ignore. This jet mode gets an A+.

Dragon Mode

It’s not clear to me what Kingzilla’s beast mode is supposed to be. But since his name is Snapdragon, I’m gonna go with dragon. Whether this is a walking komodo dragon, a mythological dragon, or some kind of future space T-Rex type dragon, your guess is as good as mine. All I know is Kingzilla looks quite fearsome in this mode.

That is a great looking interpretation of Snapdragon in beast mode. It’s very G1 accurate, as far as overall look and colors. The twin cannons on the back screams G1. The purple neck attachment that Komodus connects to really nailed the G1 cartoon look. The way that the jet nosecone bends up as the dragon tail is so G1 it’s criminal. If I have one complaint about this mode, is that the dragon arms are a bit skinny. In these pics they look ok, but they look skinnier in person. Construction of these arms also feel somewhat flimsy, when considering that the rest of the figure is so robust and solid.

A shot of the dragon from the side.

Kingzilla dragon back view.

Close up of the dragon head. Komodus looks great as the head of the dragon as well. The jaw can be opened and closed, ready to bite on hapless Autobots, or anyone foolish enough to challenge Kingzilla.

Size comparison of Kingzilla in dragon mode with MP Megatron.

With Siege Snapdragon, both in dragon modes.

Kingzilla terrorizing WFC Earthrise Airwave. Why would these 2 characters ever be together in the entire TF-verse? They wouldn’t. Airwave was handy on my desk when I needed a victim for Kingzilla.

One aspect of Kingzilla I didn’t mention til now is the transformation engineering. In short, this figure is not at all difficult to transform, especially for a figure of this size. Some modern day MP style TFs go overboard with the transformation complexity. Not Kingzilla. This is a figure where any decent TransFan can quickly figure out the transformation scheme of all 3 modes without looking at the instructions. And on top of that, all 3 modes look pretty damn good. This is a testament to the design engineering achieved by KFC.

TL;DR

In summary, I highly recommend Kingzilla. He’s a big and solid figure, scaling well with other MPs, official or otherwise. He’s well built with excellent materials, much of the figure is composed of high quality plastic and die-cast. Construction of the figure is superb, with tight joints and ratchets. Design and colors of the figure screams G1. He comes with plenty of accessories. The figure has several interesting gimmicks. All 3 modes look great without a super complex transformation.

Kingzilla is a figure you need in your collection. If you can find one now, buy it.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews