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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 1

February 28th, 2010 1 comment

Happy Chinese New Year! Today I’m concluding the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. We have finally arrived at No. 1!

No. 2 appears here.

Number 1: Ravage
Series: G1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Mini-cassettes
Function: Saboteur
Cat Alt Mode: Jaguar

Those of you who followed this countdown regularly over the last 15 days are probably not surprised at seeing Ravage in the top spot. Ravage needs no introduction. He is among the first TFs to have a beast mode, the only other two being Laserbeak and Buzzaw. Ravage made regular appearances in G1 up to the Movie. In the cartoons he is portrayed as someone who operates purely on animal instincts, and other Decepticons treat him as human beings treat their pets. However, in his tech spec bio, it is suggested that he is no different from ordinary Decepticons, capable of independent thought and speech. We would indeed see this in Beast Wars, where he appears more humanoid but still with the jaguar head. Many TF toylines include a figure of Ravage, including G1, Universe/Classics, Binaltech/Alternator (2 separate figures), ROTF, and the upcoming Device Label where he transforms from jaguar to a USB drive. The Ravage in the banner of this blog is from the Alternator line, where he transforms from a jaguar to a Jaguar XK (oh so very appropriate). Heh, I guess that was a giveaway all this time that I would put him at No. 1. But I can’t think of another TF cat more deserving.

Well, that’s all for the cool TF cats. I had fun doing this countdown. The countdown was meant to coincide with Chinese New Year, but interestingly enough, these last 2 weeks was also the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Today is exactly the last day of competition as my countdown comes to a close. It was pure coincidence that my countdown would take place over the identical period as the Olympics. Over the last 2 weeks, I generally kept the TV on the Olympics as I wrote my blog entries. So I managed to watch a lot of it, and for the first time in my life I actually enjoyed some figure skating. I’m a pretty big sports buff, and like typical sports guys, up til now I did not consider figure skating a “real sport”. However after watching these Olympics I have more than changed my mind. Watching them do what they do, I realized it takes real skill and real commitment. And being Chinese myself, I guess I was partial to seeing the Chinese do well. I’m glad China took both Gold and Silver in the pair skating. I also really enjoyed watching Kim Yu-Na. She’s just amazing! Right now as I write this, US and Canada are playing for the Gold in Men’s Hockey. Canada is now up 1-0 but I have faith. Go US! I’m kinda sad that the Olympics are ending, but next month is March so I got March Madness to look forward to!

I hope you enjoyed the countdown of cool cats. And I hope in the year of the Tiger, you will… Transform and Roll Out!

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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 2

February 27th, 2010 No comments

Happy Chinese New Year! I’m continuing the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. Today we’re at no. 2.

No. 3 appears here.

Number 2: Cheetor
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Sub-Group: None
Function: Scout
Cat Alt Mode: Cheetah

Cheetor made regular and frequent appearances in all 3 seasons of Beast Wars. Cheetor was one of the main characters the show, and is one of the very few TFs from any series to be given enough treatment that we see sufficient character development as the show progressed. At the start of the series, Cheetor is young and impulsive (not unlike Hot Rod from G1). He showed great potential as a warrior but would also often be a liability because of his recklessness. At the end of Beast Wars, Cheetor keeps much of the same traits, but shows signs of maturity and hints that leadership skills may be surfacing. Cheetor goes through two transformations in the show, first advancing to Transmetal form then Transmetal II (kinda like class advancements in a RPG). I’m not too familiar with BW toys, but I believe they made toys of all versions of Cheetor. Cheetor is indeed a popular character as his toy was made in other toylines as well, including Titanium and Universe. The pic you see above is the toy from the Universe line. My buddy Gemini has this toy and I kinda regret not getting one. That cheetah mode is looking pretty good. I’m also reading some reviews stating the Titanium Cheetor is not too bad either. I may need to hunt these down.

No. 1 Tomorrow… Transform and Roll Out!

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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 3

February 26th, 2010 3 comments

Happy Chinese New Year! I’m continuing the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. Today we’re at no. 3.

No. 4 appears here.

Number 3: Tigatron
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Sub-Group: None
Function: Reconnaissance
Cat Alt Mode: White Tiger

The second cool cat to come from Beast Wars on this list, Tigatron is a regular for most of the seasons. He is famous in BW for being the extreme pacifist and nature lover. However, by no means is he a pushover, and will often rise to the occasion and put evil Predacons in their place as a powerful warrior when the situation calls for it. He’s also famous for being one of the very few TFs to experience a romantic relationship. He and fellow Maximal Airazor share a love of Earth, and eventually they developed deep feelings for each other. I can’t really comment on the toy b/c I’ve never seen it. Beast Wars came around during my TF hiatus so I missed all the toys. I think its time for another round of BW re-issues, or better yet bring out more BW characters in the Universe line like they did Dinobot.

No. 2 Tomorrow… Transform and Roll Out!

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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 4

February 25th, 2010 No comments

Happy Chinese New Year! I’m continuing the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. Today we’re at no. 4.

No. 5 appears here.

Number 4: Razorclaw
Series: G1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Predacon
Function: Predacon Commander
Cat Alt Mode: Lion

Razorclaw is the second Predacon to be featured on this list (the other one being Rampage). As the Predacon Commander in charge of a team of wild beasts, it is natural that he would assume the alt mode of the king of the jungle. Razorclaw made regular appearances in season 3 of G1 animated, though he is hardly ever seen without his Predacon teammates. In the pages of both Marvel and IDW, Razorclaw’s qualities as a capable field commander is given more treatment. There are also hints that he may be one of Grimlock’s rivals, which makes sense considering the Predacons toyline were advertised to be the Dinobots’ opposite number. Razorclaw is named for his abilities to shred through thick slabs of steel with his claws. These claws also enable him to run up vertical surfaces with extreme ease. As leader, he forms the torso of Predaking (I think the only exception to this trend is the Constructicons). The Predacons toys were re-issued earlier this decade, around 04 or 05 if I remember correctly. The asking price at the time were between $150 to $200. Today, the asking price for the re-issue set is much higher on both Amazon and Ebay, though some of these dealers are fooling themselves if they think anyone will pay what they’re asking. Still, I’m kicking myself hard for not buying the set when I had the chance. Hopefully there will be an Encore re-issue for the full set sometime later.

No. 3 Tomorrow… Transform and Roll Out!

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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 5

February 24th, 2010 No comments

Happy Chinese New Year! I’m continuing the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. Today we’re at no. 5.

No. 6 appears here.

Number 5: Steeljaw
Series: G1
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Mini-cassettes
Function: Tracker
Cat Alt Mode: Lion

For the first two seasons of the G1 animated series, Soundwave was the only TF to have transforming cassette minions. My friends and I always wondered why Blaster didn’t have any, and this really gave Soundwave an unfair advantage if the two met in a duel. Then came the G1 Movie, which I watched in the theaters. The scene where Rumble and the other cassettes invaded Blaster’s communication chamber, I thought him and Perceptor were goners. And then, totally unexpected, Blaster launches his own cassettes! I think at the time, I almost jumped out of my seat cheering. Steeljaw was one of these cassettes, and needless to say this was his first appearance in G1. Steeljaw is among the Autobot’s best trackers. When he’s on a tracking mission, he is so focused that fellow Autobots consider him cold, even rude. But he is just as concerned about this allies as any other Autobot. Steeljaw later made regular appearances in season 3, including joining the “primitive” team to battle Tornedron and accompanying a revived Optimus Prime to recover metal that is immune to the Hate Plague. I listed lion as his alt mode just to be consistent to my other posts, but in fact this mode is the robot mode (the alt mode being the cassette). Supposedly, he had a robot mode on Cybertron, but chose to reformat this mode to resemble Earth’s lion to better suit his function. It appears that Steeljaw will be re-issued with Blaster and his other cassettes later this year. I must have this.

No. 4 Tomorrow… Transform and Roll Out!

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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 6

February 23rd, 2010 1 comment

Happy Chinese New Year! I’m continuing the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. Today we’re at no. 6.

No. 7 appears here.

Number 6: Rampage
Series: G1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Predacon
Function: Gunner
Cat Alt Mode: Tiger

The Predacons are unique among the G1 Combiner groups. Other Combiners teams, such as Aerialbots, Stunticons, and Combaticons, are all cut from the same cloth, in that the limbs are all the same size, they each use the same size square hole and peg, and they can be swapped around (even between teams). Predacons are not part of this paradigm. Individually, they are by far the biggest figures, each about the size of a Dinobot figure. Apparently, there are 2 different versions of the toy back in 1986: an all plastic version, and another version with die-cast pasts. They made regular appearances in season 3 of the G1 animated series. Initially they were advertised to be the nemesis of the Dinobots, but the cartoons never really showed this (though I think in the comics they might have clashed). Rampage is the tiger that forms the right arm of Predaking. His profile lists him as the standard type of Decepticon who’s only into violence and destruction. However, he can be easily distracted by Earth’s mindless television entertainment, and he’s been known to be agreeable for hours while watching some of the most vapid and inane TV has to offer, such as reality shows (seriously, I’m not making this up). Decepticons probably have a good time watching American Idol on their giant 500″ screen.

No. 5 Tomorrow… Transform and Roll Out!

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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 7

February 22nd, 2010 No comments

Happy Chinese New Year! I’m continuing the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. Today we’re at no. 7.

No. 8 appears here.

Number 7: Pounce
Series: G1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Clone
Function: Infiltrator
Cat Alt Mode: Puma

Pounce is unique in the TF Universe for being one of the very few clones produced in the TF toyline. The concept of a clone is two TFs having identical robots modes, but different alt modes. Pounce transforms into a Puma, while his cloned twin Wingspan transforms into a hawk. Clone toys are not to be confused with repaints. Repaints are exact duplicates of the mold in every respect (sometimes with minor alterations), while clones are two distinct molds, with only the robot mode appearing similar with different alt modes and different transformations. The cloning process is explained in detail in the More Than Meets The Eye profile books by Dreamweave. There are occasions when a spark will naturally separate and produce bothers, the most famous example being Sunstreaker and Sideswipe. The cloning process is an artificial methodology developed to simulate this phenomenon, and I’m guessing this is another one of Shockwave’s crazy experiments. It should be noted that natural spark separation is still the far superior process, and artificially produced clones can be unstable. Pounce’s only G1 appearance was in the fourth season “Rebirth”. He and his clone brother were tasked to steal the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber when they were discovered by Punch. The two of them then proceeded to kick his ass. His profile lists him as savage, deadly, and merciless. Kinda sounds like every other Decepticon.

No. 6 Tomorrow… Transform and Roll Out!

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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 8

February 21st, 2010 No comments

Happy Chinese New Year! I’m continuing the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. Today we’re at no. 8.

No. 9 appears here.

Number 8: Leobreaker
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: None
Function: Warrior
Cat Alt Mode: Lion

Leobreaker comes from Transformers Cybertron, part of the Unicron Trilogy. This is one of those TF series that I’m not all too familiar with so I’m just gonna comment on the toy. This is a Voyager class figure and I think he looks pretty good. The pic above is the lion mode and his robot mode ain’t too shabby either. My understanding is that his original identity was Overhaul. After arriving on the Jungle planet, some stuff happens and he gets reformatted into Leobreaker. Some fans speculate that originally his name was supposed to be Trailbreaker (after the G1 character) and not Overhaul. This would make sense, since Overhaul’s alt mode was a SUV and the transition to the name Leobreaker would be much smoother. Regardless, I like this character because in robot mode he’s got claws like Wolverine.

No. 7 Tomorrow… Transform and Roll Out!

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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 9

February 20th, 2010 2 comments

Happy Chinese New Year! I’m continuing the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. Today we’re at no. 9.

No. 10 appears here.

Number 9: Sky Lynx
Series: G1
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: None
Function: Lieutenant Commander
Cat Alt Mode: Lynx

Sky Lynx is unusual to say the least. His toy was originally manufactured by a third party and then later incorporated into the Transformers line, much like the toys for Jetfire and Omega Supreme. This probably explains why he always seemed like such an odd fit in the TF Universe. I’ve never seen the toy for Sky Lynx, but I know the bottom component is battery operated and it rolls in transport mode and walks in lynx mode (the pic above is this lower component in lynx mode). His two components combine to form a large, griffin-like creature, and it is this mode for which he is most famous in G1 because this mode acts as his dominant robot mode. I guess his name is a play on words, being that he’s a lynx and his two components “link” up. His profile describes him as snobby and arrogant, punctuated by a British accent. He was a regular recurring character in season 3 of G1, and his most famous appearance was probably when Optimus Prime was revived. For a TF with so many appearances, you might think he would rank higher on this list. But I’m not a big fan of Sky Lynx and so this is as high as he goes. Hey at least he’s in the top 10.

No. 8 Tomorrow… Transform and Roll Out!

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Happy Chinese New Year! Top 15 TF Cats: No. 10

February 19th, 2010 No comments

Happy Chinese New Year! I’m continuing the countdown of the top 15 big cats of the TF Universe during the 15 days of the celebration in honor of the year of the Tiger. Today we’re at no. 10.

No. 11 appears here.

Number 10: Quickswitch
Series: G1
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Six Changer
Function: Assault Warrior
Cat Alt Mode: Puma

This is the second time Quickswitch made one of my lists (the other time being the top 10 TF boats). As a Six Changer, he’s got lots of opportunities for recognition. I have read repeatedly online that he is the son of Sixshot (the only other Six Changer in the TF Universe). I have no idea what that means, but I always assumed that this information must’ve come from either comics or the Japanese TF continuity, because G1 cartoons were canceled well ahead of Quickswitch’s toy release. As it turns out, it is directly stated that he is the son of Sixshot in his toy commercial! See the commercial for yourself here. Also of note in the commercial is that we see Getaway in the opening moments (the one that says “The Decepticons are attacking”). Getaway is a Powermaster that I’m partial to, and I’m glad he has an animated appearance somewhere. But yeah, other than this commercial, I am not aware of any other appearances by Quickswitch. As a toy, Quickswitch has a horrendous looking robot mode and I’m not feeling his color scheme. But his puma mode doesn’t look half bad.

No. 9 Tomorrow… Transform and Roll Out!

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