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Archive for March, 2011

Transformers I Bought in March

March 31st, 2011 2 comments

It is now the end of March. Looking back, this has been a very productive month as far as hunting for new TFs. I will show here what I got this month, in the order that I found them.

Highbrow

Highbrow is a voyager figure that has been released for some time now. If I’m not mistaken, he is released under The Hunt For Decepticons subline. Right before Halloween of 2010, I met up with a dude from Craigslist to buy Armada Starscream from him. At that time he told me there has been sightings of Highbrow at the local Target. Other sightings on Seibertron does confirm that this figure has been released. So I’ve been keeping my eyes open, and almost 5 months later, I find one around mid March in said Target. To this day I’ve only seen one Highbrow. He’s hard to find in my area. I forgot to take pics of him in the box, so here he is in robot mode.

Highbrow is ok in robot mode, but his alt mode is where he really shines. I can’t think of any other TF that has a WWII plane has his alt mode. The plane is well constructed, has plenty of detail, is very robust, and simply looks awesome. The spinning propeller gimmick is also a nice touch. For a pic of the alt mode, check out my last post where he appears in a group shot.

Kup and Scourge

Around the middle of the month, the GF and I had sushi near her place. There was a TRU nearby so naturally I suggested we stop and take a look. This TRU is located in a really crowded shopping center on a major avenue in the heart of Silicon Valley. Navigating around the parking lot was next to impossible with all the cars trying to get in and out. When I finally parked, I complained to her that we’re not coming back unless I find something. As it turns out, I found Kup and Scourge here. So I guess we’ll be going back.

I opened both of these and they are awesome figures. Kup as a pickup is a great update for 2011. The alt mode is solid and the robot mode more resembles how he looks in the G1 Movie. Scourge in this form is way less of a shell-former. Oh btw, he his NOT a Targetmaster. I always assumed he is because of how the gun looks and the fact that Universe Cyclonus is the Targetmaster version. The gun does Transform like Targetmaster figs, but it is so he can use them as twin pistols or one larger rifle. This kinda reminds me of the Double Targetmasters in G1, except the guns do not transform into figures. I highly recommend both Kup and Scourge.

G2 Laser Optimus Prime

The following day I went to Target to buy some everyday supplies. This is a different Target from the one where I found Highbrow (I got a bunch of Targets near me). If I’m at any store that sells TFs I’ll be sure to stop by and check it out (more on this later). On this trip I found G2 Laser Optimus Prime in the Reveal the Shield line.

I opened this figure as well. Overall he’s not too bad, but he does have some flaws. I like the robot mode. The mechanism of the wheel transformation is not too intuitive. In fact I already broke off some tabs trying to figure it out. Also, in alt mode it is hard to store the sword where it’s supposed to go. I can’t recommend this Prime as highly as the 3 figures above.

Wheeljack, Thundercracker, Lugnut

About two weeks later, I made an order from HasbroToyShop.com for Wheeljack, Thundercracker, and Lugnut. I saw that they were available and in stock, so I went ahead and bought them. I think I already mentioned repeatedly that I bought Jazz and Tracks from HTS around Christmas and I didn’t see them in stores til about 3 months later. I have a feeling the same thing will happen again for these 3 figures. I don’t feel like waiting for 3 months to get them, so I made the order. I don’t have them in hand yet, so no pics to show. But I’ll be sure to do that for a later post.

Perceptor

After work in that same day, I went back to the shopping center of the Target where I found Prime for a haircut. Since Target is right next door, I stopped by real quick to check it out. I’m glad I did because I found Perceptor.

I still have not opened Perceptor, but I plan to real soon.

I mentioned earlier in this post I will stop by the TF section of any store that sells TFs. This includes even clothing stores! For instance, earlier this week I was at Kohl’s. For those that don’t know, they do have a toy section and they carry TFs. They generally put it all the way in the back. Anyway, I found a whole bunch of Reveal the Shield Special Ops Jazz at Kohl’s! They had like 5. Before the Kohl’s visit, I only saw him twice at different Targets, and only 1 each. So how did Kohl’s get 5?! I can’t explain it. Either Hasbro has a really weird distribution system, or there are way too many TF hunters out there camping out at the Targets and Walmarts and TRUs that as soon as some new figs come in, they hunters snatch them. I didn’t see anything I needed on this visit. However, I should point out that Kohl’s sell the deluxes at $14.99 each. Ouch! But regardless, I think I will make Kohl’s a regular hunting spot from now on.

Well, that’s it for March. I don’t plan on hunting for TFs today (but you never know, hehe). NCAA March Madness is coming to a close with only 4 schools left, and it feels like I’ve had a March Madness of my own in getting all these TFs. I already have plans for some more TFs in April, so the Madness will continue. I might do full reviews of some of the figures here. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Happy St Patrick’s Day! My Green Transformers

March 18th, 2011 7 comments

Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone! To honor this holiday I decided to take pics of my green color Transformers. I didn’t think there would be that many green robots, but after looking through my TF List, there turned out to be more than I thought.

Below are the TFs that would never get pinched on St Patrick’s Day. I know this post is dated 3/18, but that’s only because I left my time zone settings at default on WordPress, which is like 7 hours ahead of Pacific Time. Here in California it is still 3/17.

 

The Autobots
Bottom row: Animated Bulkhead. Middle row (left to right): Movie Ratchet, G1 Hoist, Movie Highbrow, Movie Dune Runner, Alternator Hound. Top row (left to right): Universe Air Raid, Botcon Springer, Warbot Defender, Universe Hound.

 

The Decepticons
Front row (left to right): Movie Hailstorm, Robots in Disguise Rollbar, Movie Brawl, Movie Bludgeon, Universe Brawl. Top row (left to right): Robots in Disguise Mega-Octane, Animated Oil Slick, Animated Waspinator, Universe Acid Storm.

 

Today was also the start of March Madness. This is my favorite weekend as far as sports go. 16 games today, 16 more tomorrow, and 16 more over the weekend… I can barely contain myself!

There were some very close college basketball games today. I did my undergrad at UCLA so of course I was happy to see them beat Michigan St. UCLA was up by 23 points with about 8 minutes left in the game, so naturally I thought this one was all wrapped up. But by a weird combination of the Spartans making 3s and getting offensive rebounds and the Bruins not making their free throws, Michigan St. made of game of it down the stretch. In the end UCLA barely survived 78-76. I’m happy for the win, but the Bruins can’t continue this kind of sloppy play if they hope to have any kind of chance against Florida next round (who knocked them out of both 06 and 07 tournaments).

Go UCLA! Bruins… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics

Masterpiece Rodimus Prime Review Part 1

March 14th, 2011 2 comments

As mentioned in my my last, I bought Masterpiece Rodimus Prime. Here is part 1 of the review. I’m going to go over the alt modes first, even though he comes packaged in robot mode. I transformed him to alt mode so I figure I do this now before I transform him back.

Here is a pic of the figure as Hot Rod.

As far as appearance goes, this is probably the most show accurate Hot Rod alt mode in the history of TFs. The G1 toy was very good for its time, and the Henkei/Classic version was an excellent update of the star of the G1 Movie. But in terms of show accuracy, the MP figure has them both beat. Take a look at the outline of Hot Rod’s vehicle mode. This is exactly how he was shaped in the Movie. Masterpiece figures are known for show accuracy and this figure certainly did not disappoint. I think this is even more obvious when you look at the rear of Hot Rod’s alt mode, which is pictured below.

Check out the scene where Hot Rod races up the hill with Daniel to catch the shuttle, early in the Movie. During this scene there is a good shot of Hot Rod from the rear view. This figure has captured that look perfectly. No other Rodimus figures even come close to the MP as far as reproducing this look.

The colors on this figure is classic Hot Rod. I think everyone knows what his colors are supposed to be so I won’t go into it. The red, orange, and yellow on the figure is reproduced faithfully. Windows are painted blue and that is accurate also. All the chrome bits that you would expect are there, including his side thrusters, engine, and rims. Clear yellow bits are used for the headlights. Overall, no gripes from me about the paint apps or the detail on this figure.

Tires are made of rubber like other vehicles in the MP and Binaltech line. Hot Rod comes with two guns like the original G1 toy (the non-Targetmaster version). On the engine you can attach a gun like pictured below. You can do this with either gun, but not both at the same time. Personally I think it’s kinda lame, but it was a G1 feature so it’s good to see the MP fig still account for that.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few issues with the MP Rodimus. I will go into each of them.

Hasbro/Takara stopped using die-cast in TFs long time ago, even in the MP line. Rodimus is no exception. Only die-cast I can detect are the feet pieces. Considering I paid over $200 for this fig, I expected a little more die-cast.

Transformation from robot to car was quite difficult. He is complex in terms of design, and in my book that’s a good thing. But what makes it an issue is that the pieces on this figure do not come together as well as they should. Add to it the already difficult transformation and you have a figure that is simply frustrating to do. Hasbro/Takara has made complex figures before, such as MP Megatron and leader class Optimus from the 2nd Movie. But those figures are well engineered and all part and pieces fit where they’re supposed to go when you do it right. MP Rodimus is not one of these figures.

My main gripe is on the sides of the vehicle. Check out the pic below.

Notice there is a very large “hole” on the side, around the thrusters where his hands go. This is pretty much the best that I can get it. I’ve checked the pics on Seibertron and they have it at about the same configuration. The figure is designed so the parts would come together more, but this is simply not the case. I really don’t like the design of the hand placement. It gets in the way of the connection. The pic below shows a bottom view and illustrates how the hands are placed in this mode.

I’ve checked the instructions carefully and I looked at Seibertron pics and I’m confident this is the proper placement. There is simply too much there for the sides to come together nicely. The irony is that the hand is designed so it can fold into the forearm. The reason for this is so Hot Rod can whip out his saw-blades (I’ll go more into this in part 2), but I would rather they ditch the saw-blade feature if it means there’s room to fold in the hands so in alt mode the sides would come flush.

The other construction issue I have has to do with the large bottom black panels towards the rear in the leg area, also pictured above. Mine doesn’t seem to want to snap in nicely, at least on one side. Not sure if I can get this to be better. It is sometimes dangling off, and this leads me to my next issue. There is practically no clearance on the bottom in alt mode. Those black pieces I mentioned, the large red piece right next them, and the head, they are almost touching the ground when Hot Rod is placed on a flat surface in alt mode. And they will touch the ground if you don’t get everything just right. This figure is not meant to be rolled around or you might damage these pieces.

Below is a shot for size comparison. MP Rodimus with Animated and Henkei Rodimus.

Now let’s look at this figure in Rodimus Prime alt mode. To do it, you attach the trailer that comes with the figure. He looks quite solid in this mode. It’s show accurate the the details and colors do not disappoint. He kinda looks like an RV in this mode, but that’s just how he looks. Maybe that’s why he never lived up to Optimus.

My main gripe with this mode is has to do with how the trailer is attached. The trailer comes with a hidden front piece that resembles Hot Rod’s hood and seat area. To attach the trailer, the Hot Rod fig goes into the trailer head first, then that front piece come around and covers Hot Rod’s ass. See the pic below for yourself.

I’m very disappointed with this mechanism. I didn’t think that front piece would be necessary and the trailer can attach toward Hot Rod’s rear, like MP Optimus.

Last pic for part 1 shows off MP with Titanium Rodimus.

I’ll reserve my final thoughts for when I do part 2, which is the robot mode. Until then… Transform and Roll Out!

EDIT 09/22/2011:
Click here for Part 2 of the review.

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews