Archive for November, 2012

Transformers Purchased in November 2012

November 30th, 2012 4 comments

There’s a storm passing by the Bay Area right now in Northern California. It’s not raining too heavily at the moment, but last night it was coming down hard. It’s supposed to pick up later and continue til the end of Sunday. This storm is giving me a cold so I didn’t even go to work today. With both the storm and this cold, I’m probably staying in all weekend. Me and some guys thought about doing paint ball on Sunday before this storm arrived. Pretty sure that’s not happening.

But with all the TFs I bought in November, staying in all weekend is not so bad. 🙂

  • Masterpiece Sideswipe,, about $75 shipped

  • Generations GDO Hoist, Toys R Us, $5.99

  • Masterpiece Optimus Prime,, $119.99
  • Generations GDO Megatron,, $22.99
  • Generations GDO Powerdive,, $22.99

  • Transformers Prime Breakdown, eBay, $59.99 shipped

  • Generations Fall of Cybertron G2 Bruticus, Amazon, $59.99

  • Transformers Prime Thundertron, Target, $19.99
  • Transformers Prime Ultra Magnus, Target, $19.99

  • Generations GDO Hot Spot, Toys R Us, $22.99

That’s 14 TFs for the month: 2 MPs, 4 Generations GDO, 5 Generations FOC, and 3 TF Prime.

So far I opened only 5 of these: MP Sideswipe, Hoist, Megatron, Powerdive, and Ultra Magnus. Still plenty of TFs to open on this rainy weekend. And out of the 24 TFs I got last month, 2 are still unopened (the 2 Cliffjumpers).

I did a full review on MP Sideswipe here and here. Hoist I kind of reviewed here.

Normally I would write more thoughts about these TFs, but I’m sick and that medicine is kicking in. Need to go rest for now. Even Autobots need to spend time in the CR chamber every now and then.

Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

My TF Legend Collection

November 27th, 2012 2 comments

Legend class figures are some of the smallest figures that Hasbro makes. Sometimes they’re called Legion figures. Since they’re so small, I put them all in one box, regardless of which series they came from. This way it’s easy for me to find them. They are all super easy to transform. I usually don’t buy them, but they can be a fun distraction every now and then. So I was kind of surprised when I took them all out and see that I have this many. Guess they add up like everything else.

From left to right:
Back row: Vehicon, Motorbreath, Thundercracker, Megatron
Middle row: Dualor, Warpath, Trailcutter, Gold Bumblebee, Beachcomber, Prowl
Front row: Wheelie, Optimus Prime, Hoist, Bumblebee, Brawn, Bluestreak

Some random thoughts in bullet points:

  • I recommend all of these, except Vehicon and Dualor. Deluxe Vehicon is way better, both FE and RID. Dualor is just a waste of space.
  • As of this writing, 4 of these are readily available: Thundercracker, Motorbreath, Hoist, and Bluestreak. Get to your Toys R Us store if you want them.
  • For a lot of these figs, I’ve only seen them once. They include: Optimus Prime, Wheelie, yellow Bumblebee, Brawn, Beachcomber, Warpath, and Dualor. It’s safe to say they’re rare.
  • The only one I would say is not that rare is Gold Bumblebee, though I think I’ve only seen him like 3 or 4 times.
  • As a G1 purist, I would say the must gets are Wheelie, both Bumblebees, Brawn, Warpath, and Beachcomber. Their small size accurately reflects how they were in G1. Though it’s worth noting that Warpath and Bumblebee have more impressive Deluxe versions too.
  • For the time being, I would also get Trailcutter and Hoist, just because these are the only way to get CHUG representations of the characters. I’m still holding out hope that Hasbro will give us Deluxe versions of these guys. Then the Autobot cars from the first 2 seasons would be CHUG complete in Deluxe or larger (sans Skids, but I don’t care much for Skids).
  • Prime, Megs, Thundercracker, Prowl, and Bluestreak are all good figs. But their larger counterparts in CHUG are way better. And as Legend they make no sense scale wise. So only get them if you’re hardcore or a completest.
  • Conspicuously missing is Cosmos. He’s super rare.

Bluestreak: Hoist, it’s your turn to mow the lawn.
Hoist: No way dude! I did it last week.

Legend figures… Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Masterpiece Sideswipe Robot Mode Review

November 19th, 2012 4 comments

I’m procrastinating way too much, but today I’m finally getting to the robot mode review of Masterpiece Sideswipe. The alt mode review appears here. But before I go any further, let me just say this now: I am impressed with MP Sideswipe! IMPRESSED! Just go out and get one now. Don’t even waste time reading the rest of this review. But if you like to know why I like this figure so much, I will explain why.

First things first though. There are some things I need to re-state or correct from the alt mode review, so let me do them now. First, I mentioned that the tires are made of rubber, but they are actually high quality plastic. The paint job on them is so good though, and something about the material of that plastic makes them feel like rubber if you are not paying careful attention. I would’ve liked to see them use real rubber, but this works too.

Another thing I mentioned in the alt mode review is that there are other pieces besides the tires that will rub the surface. After transforming Sideswipe to robot mode and back, I find this to be less of an issue. You will still need to line up everything just right, but it’s not too tough to position everything so there’s enough bottom clearance.

The last thing I want to point out about the alt mode is you can attach the missile launcher on the car if you want. The gun can then be attached to the side of the launcher. Sideswipe is now ready for some serious drive-by. I think he looks better in alt mode without it, but it’s nice to see the toy designers account for the weapons. There is a swivel joint mechanism for the missile launcher attachment, so you can angle the whole thing up or down if you wanted to.

OK, now on to the robot mode. Check out Sideswipe in all his G1 robot glory.

Now is that Sideswipe or is that Sideswipe? This is the ultimate interpretation of G1 Sideswipe. Masterpiece figures are known for detail and show accuracy and this figure certainly does not disappoint. The designers of this figure must have looked at G1 cartoon screenshots over and over, and came up with a figure that captures Sideswipe’s look down to the last detail. They say life imitates art and vice versa. In this case, it’s toy imitating cartoon imitating toy. G1 Sideswipe’s cartoon appearance, though based on the G1 figure, is way more enhanced than what the toy was really capable of. Masterpiece toy designers have made that interpretation a reality.

Detail on this figure is nothing short of amazing. Take a look at Sideswipe’s face. That is pure G1. I thought the face mold on the Generations figure was good, but this blows it out of the water. This has got to be one of the most show accurate face molds I have ever seen, on any TF. Paint job on the face is also a nice silver, good to see that Takara wasn’t afraid to splurge for this figure. The chest is your typical Sideswipe car hood. That is probably the most iconic thing about Sideswipe’s robot mode, so they be crazy if they changed it.

I really like the look of Sideswipe’s limbs. Again, it’s as if the toy designers reproduced his cartoon appearance exactly. I won’t describe it too much. Just look at the pics. Same goes for the lower abdomen and hips area. I’m amazed at how faithfully they can get Sideswipe to look while the figure still transforms.

Speaking of transformation, the overall transforming schema is fairly similar to G1 (hood becomes chest, rear of car form the legs, arms at the sides, etc). But they made some heavy improvements to how everything is implemented. Hood of the car still folds down to form the chest (no surprise here). But the top of the head folds back in alt mode, like it’s sliced off. This allows for more room to store the head, since the alt mode is so flat. The arms are still tucked to the sides of the car, like G1. But they are angled more inwards, and the door pieces don’t account for as much of the robot mode, resulting in less kibble for the arms. The biggest transformation difference from G1 is probably in the legs. In G1 you simply pull them out. For the MP, the mechanism is much more complex. In fact, in the instructions, most of it devotes to how the legs are transformed. MP Sideswipe’s legs use more of a rotate-at-the-knees mechanism that we’ve seen used heavily in G1, like G1 Windcharger or Gears. However there are other pieces at the legs that needs to be transformed as well, resulting in a refreshing take on a familiar scheme.

Overall, this transformation is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. MP figures usually don’t disappoint in terms of the transforming mechanism. However, often times, the transformation is complex to the point where it takes the fun out of playing it as a toy (think MP Megatron or MP Rodimus). Sideswipe do not share that problem. The transformation of this figure is challenging enough to be worthy of MP, but at the same time still fun when played with as a toy. In my opinion, Takara has achieved the perfect balance of transformation complexity and fun in MP Sideswipe. This is very rarely done in the world of TFs. And let’s not forget, this is a figure that looks good in both modes. Usually figures that look this good does not transform. So when you consider a transforming mechanism that is ingenious yet intuitive, coupled with a alt mode that Lamborghini felt confident in branding its logo, and with a super show accurate robot mode added in for good measure, you realize what a gem you have on your hands.

Poseability of the figure also does not disappoint. He’s got moving joints just about everywhere: head/neck, shoulder, elbows, hips, knees, feet, and hands. He’s capable of some really good poses. And for once, I like how the hands are implemented on MP. Usually for MP, they try to make articulation down to the fingers. I know there are fans out there that enjoy that feature, but I’m not one of them. Usually too much finger articulation translates to poor holding of weapons by the figure, so I’m glad Takara chose a simpler mechanism here. The non-thumb fingers will move as one piece, but that’s about it. In my opinion, that’s enough.

Articulation would mean nothing without proper construction. I’m glad to report that MP Sideswipe has no construction issues whatsoever. All joints will move like you expect them to, nothing too tight and nothing too loose. In alt mode everything comes together nicely, and in robot mode he’s able to hold poses without problems of any kind. I wish all TFs were this well built.

Here’s a shot of the back of Sideswipe. As you can see, he’s really kibble free. Some might argue there’s a bit of kibble on the back, but in my opinion this is nothing to complain about.

Now for some extra gimmicks on this figure. He comes with pile drivers that you can attach in robot mode. Just flip the hands back into the forearms and attach them. We saw him do this in one episode. Very show accurate, though why someone like Sideswipe would have pile drivers is beyond me. Also, the missile launcher can be attached on either the right or left shoulder. I stuck it on the left since that’s how he had them on the show. In robot mode the missile launcher can be angled up or down, just like alt mode.

Here are some size comparison shots. Sideswipe scales well with the newer MPs. I also placed them next to some CHUG figures, so those of you who only has CHUG can see how he compares.

Sideswipe: Hey Grimlock, I got the MP treatment just like you did.
Grimlock: Me Grimlock still look better!

MP Sideswipe is good value. I got mine for about $75 shipped from Japan. That’s actually quite reasonable these days for a figure of this quality. Also, MP Sideswipe is not a figure that will take up a lot of space on your shelf. In the alt mode review I mentioned he comes in a really small box, a good thing in my opinion. When MPs started getting smaller, I was complaining like everyone else. But now I’m beginning to see the value. It keeps the cost of the figure down, and if you have a large collection like me, the smaller size benefits in being a space saver.

To sum up, this is a figure that must be purchased. If you call yourself a TransFan, then do not hesitate to add this piece to your collection. It is rare to come across a TF of such high quality. I seriously detect no weaknesses in this figure. Hands down, this is my favorite new figure for 2012. I know there’s still about a month and a half left of the year, but right now I can’t imagine anything topping this. Takara has really outdone themselves. MP Sideswipe is TF perfection.

Now I must go pre-order MP Red Alert somewhere. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Masterpiece Sideswipe Alt Mode Review

November 5th, 2012 4 comments

This past summer, rumors began to surface of the next wave of Masterpiece Transformers that Takara will produce. I’m always excited to hear of new MPs, and the characters that Takara chose to do this time certainly did not disappoint. I don’t remember who came first, but it was announced that they will do Sideswipe, Red Alert, and Soundwave. Actually, I’m guessing Sideswipe must have came first since that’s the only one I pre-ordered.

On Thursday when I got home, I see a mail pickup slip left at the front door. Lo and behold, it was for MP Sideswipe! I didn’t have time to go pick it up til Saturday. And today, here are some pics of the box and his alt mode.

I did not know that Takara obtained rights from Lamborghini to make this figure. Bravo! The Lambo logo is shown proudly on the front of the package. It was too bad that they could not secure Lambo rights when they did Binaltechs and Alternators, but I’m happy they worked out something now.

Also from the back of the box, it’s clear that this figure is made to scale with the new MPs, like MP-10 Optimus Prime. Looks like the alt mode will go into the Prime trailer just fine, and in bot mode he comes up to about Prime’s lower abdomen. Very cool. I still have not opened MP-10 (don’t even know what the heck I’m waiting for), but after I transform Sideswipe, that will be my next priority.

This has got to be the smallest box ever produced for a MP! Actually, I think that’s a good thing, since space is always an issue when you got as many TFs as I do. Anyway, check it out next to RTS Jazz.

Sideswipe comes in clear plastic like all MPs. Pic below shows him in the package.

I wasted no time taking this guy out. This is pure G1 Sideswipe! If there are any hardcore G1-ers out there that actually have complaints about Sideswipe not appearing G1 enough, they need to be shot. Check out some pics below.

Paint job on this figure is superb. I don’t detect any die-cast pieces, which is a shame. But the paint job is so good that some pieces look die cast. He is mostly in his iconic red. On the hood, the Autobot emblem is painted on. It’s rare to see such a large faction emblem painted on any TF, but in this case it works and it looks great. And right below the Autobot symbol, there is the Lamborghini badge. Very cool. Headlights are made of clear plastic.

At the rear of the vehicle, the taillights are all painted. There are also the words “Lamborghini Countach” written in what I’m assuming is the official Lamborghini font for this vehicle. Windows appear to be clear black plastic. Side mirrors are painted black as well. On my figure I don’t detect any paint splatters for goofs.

Like all other MPs, the tires area made of rubber. I wish they would make the tires of all TF figures out of rubber, but that’s probably too much to ask for.

Functionally, in alt mode, the figure feels like one cohesive unit. I don’t detect any dangling pieces, or parts that easily come apart from anything else. Sideswipe is robust and solid to say the least.

Below is a pic of the MP next to Generations Sideswipe.

The MP is slightly bigger. Initially, I was worried that this MP would be deluxe size. But now that I see he’s bigger, I feel slightly more justified in paying what I did (about $75, shipped from Japan).

Now I do have one small complaint. This seems to be the trend with many of the new premium car Transformers, and it’s that there’s too much stuff underneath the vehicle. Place Sideswipe on a flat surface, and the large black pieces near the rear will make contact with the surface. In my opinion, the tires should be the only thing touching the ground, but for this figure it’s simply not so. Masterpiece Rodimus has this problem, many of the Human Alliance figures has this problem, and MP Sideswipe also shares this problem. Here’s a pic of the bottom of the figure in alt mode.

I have not transformed this figure at all. Let’s see if this problem will go away when I transform him back from robot mode. But even so, don’t let this small gripe distract you from buying the figure if you’re eyeing one. He’s got way too many positives to warrant a purchase.

I’m gonna transform him real soon. Look for a follow up review on his robot mode. Transform and Roll Out!

EDIT 11/18/2012:

Click here for review of the robot mode.

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews