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Transformers Purchased in December 2016

September 11th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Finally! We have arrived at the end of 2016. Took some time, but better late than never.

When I first started tracking my purchases, back in Feb of 2012, I would usually put my purchases in the order that they were bought within the month. Lately I have been sorting them by category (such as Titans Return, Combiner Wars, or 3P). For this month, I’m going old school. This will be presented in the order that they’re bought.

  • Robots in Disguise Ratchet, Walmart, $14.97

  • Titans Return Triggerhappy, Walmart, $9.88

  • Titans Return Hot Rod, Target, $9.99

  • Titans Return Twinferno, Target, $9.99

  • Titans Return Blaster, Amazon seller, $34.95

  • Robots in Disguise Blastwave, Target, $14.99

The year closes with all purchases from either Titans Return or Robots in Disguise. All are deluxe class figures, with the lone exception being Leader class Blaster. Not a single 3P purchase. I feel that third parties are saturating the market a bit much. They’re going to destroy themselves at this rate. Just my opinion. This topic deserves a post of its own. Something I might do in the future.

First purchase of the month is Ratchet from Robots in Disguise. I’ve heard about this figure for a while before finding him. Like I mentioned numerous times in the past, I know nothing about Robots in Disguise. So all I really do for RiD is look at the figure, and/or if it’s a recognizable G1 character. In this case, the figure appears solid in both forms, and you can’t begin to call yourself a TransFan if you don’t recognize Ratchet. So I took this figure to checkout without knowing anything else. He’s an okay figure. Very easy to transform, even for RiD standards. He’s very blocky in alt mode, and almost just as so in robot mode. In alt mode, he could probably use more paint applications. I do like that there are extra storage spaces for the twin weapons (on the back in robot mode, inside and under the van area in alt mode). His head sculpt is excellent. Hardcore RiD fans and Ratchet fans will probably appreciate this figure. But on the whole, RiD Ratchet is not a required purchase by any means.

For this month, Titans Return deluxe figures continue the trend of being only around $10 each. Again, this is no fluke. They would go up in retail price in 2017, but it was great to find them in 2016 at such a bargain.

Now, for my favorite Titans Return deluxe figure thus far: Triggerhappy! Back in G1, Triggerhappy has always been one of my favorite Targetmasters. I never had the toy, but my cousin had one and I played with it quite a bit. For G1 standards, he had both a good robot mode and jet mode. I like the design of the jet with twin guns on both sides, and I like the way he transforms. I also like his name. His rootin’ tootin’ quick trigger persona in the short lived G1 season 4 cartoon does his name proud. Now in 2016, Hasbro does not disappoint. The TR figure is everything I could ask for in a modern deluxe update of Triggerhappy. Well, for the base figure anyway (more on this later). In alt mode, Triggerhappy still holds the overall shape of his iconic jet, but now even more sleek. Overall color palette is blue, with the wing twin guns colored white. Front landing gear is retractable. The Titan Master can sit comfortably inside the cockpit. Guns can be attached under the wings. Transformation to robot mode is one of the best that I have seen in quite some time, for a mass-produced retail deluxe figure. The twin guns and wings fold back on each arm. Fists come out after the twin guns are flipped back. That’s the obvious part. The main body and legs have this clever mechanism of how it’s formed. The body rotates on itself after you unlock the waist and nose cone. In robot mode, Triggerhappy looks completely balanced in body proportions. He’s quite poseable, and I detect no construction issues on my figure. Everything is at the right tolerance. Detail on the head is nice, and the Decepticon logo painted on the chest is spot on. Now for my gripes. The first is that Hasbro made him a Headmaster. This I can kinda live with, but I would prefer it if he wasn’t. Second, he does not come with the Targetmaster gun figure. The Japanese version does, and I feel the US version should have included it too. Maybe Hasbro will release the gun mini-figures later. But for the base figure itself, Triggerhappy is more than worthy of the price of admission at about only $10. He is a must have in your CHUG collection.

Next up in Titans Return is the star of the 1986 G1 Movie: Hot Rod. I mentioned TR Hot Rod before, and in Dec 2016 we finally get this figure. So here’s the burning question: is he better than Classics Rodimus? I’m gonna break it down. For starters, I’m happy Hasbro used the name Hot Rod. They could have used Rodimus like they usually do, but printing Hot Rod on the package is a great nod to those of us old enough to hold the G1 Movie in high regard. They had to go with “Autobot Hot Rod”, but that’s ok. In alt mode, TR Hot Rod looks closer to his animation model, while Classics Rodimus looks closer to the original G1 toy. They each appear sleek, but in different ways. The passenger area appears especially different when compared side by side. The side thrusters go all the way to the back for TR Hot Rod, while Classics Rodimus ends right before where the real wheel is. Looking at the back, Classic Rodimus has the gun pegged into the bottom rear, acting as the main rear thruster in alt mode. TR Hot Rod has this thruster molded into legs, but smaller.


Left to right: Reveal the Shield Rodimus (from Battle in Space 2-pack), Titans Return Hot Rod, Classics Rodimus


Left to right: Titans Return Hot Rod, Classics Rodimus

Transformation to robot mode follows the overall same motif. TR Hot Rod has a slightly simpler transformation. But in my opinion it’s more straightforward, and allows the figure more poseability in robot mode. Chest and arms transformation is more or less the same. TR Hot Rod requires a waist swivel, while Classics Rodimus does not. The lower legs of TR Hot Rod folds back. Back transformation of TR Hot Rod involves only one fold and one swivel, while Classics Rodimus uses one fold and two rotations. And obviously, TR Hot Rod requires the Titan Master to form the head.


Left to right: Reveal the Shield Rodimus (from Battle in Space 2-pack), Titans Return Hot Rod, Classics Rodimus


Left to right: Titans Return Hot Rod, Classics Rodimus

In robot mode, TR Hot Rod is quite a bit taller than Classics Rodimus. Overall, TR Hot Rod is better proportioned. Some argue the arms are too long, but I think they’re fine and it’s not distracting at all. TR Hot Rod is overall a taller and slimmer figure. Classics Hot Rod appears stocky and blocky next to TR Hot Rod. When looking at the figures from the back, TR Hot Rod is leaps and bounds superior. Classics Rodimus has some bulk on the back while TR Hot Rod does not. TR Hot Rod is way more poseable. You can feely move the arms and legs, unlike Classics Rodimus. One particular annoying issue on Classics Rodimus is these side panels on the upper legs that prohibits movement. Similar issues does not exist on TR Hot Rod.

So in my opinion, TR Hot Rod is the superior figure here, if we make a direct comparison side by side. It’s debatable which alt mode is better, but TR Hot Rod has better transformation and a better robot mode. However, there are some other factors to consider. TR Hot Rod is a Headmaster, an idea I’m not too thrilled about. Classics Rodimus is better built. My TR Hot Rod is quite loose in the legs. And worse, I believe I broke the head connection mechanism on my Hot Rod already. When I first opened the figure on my desk, it was impossible to remove Firedrive (Titan Master) from Hot Rod. So I forced it. I think I saw a little orange piece on the desk but didn’t think anything of it at the time. Then when I tried to reconnect Firedrive, I saw that he doesn’t fit too well. It’s still functional, but you don’t get that nice clicked-in feel. That’s when it occurred to me I probably broke it. So be aware when you get one. Classics Rodimus didn’t have such mechanical issues. And I do feel Transformers need to be rated with other figures in the same era. As an example, figures today are obviously going to be better than figures from G1. But that would be an unfair comparison. Classics Rodimus is 10 years old now. And I thought Rodimus was an awesome figure for its time. For TR Hot Rod, I feel it’s only above average when compared with figures of today. So all in all, it’s up for debate which is the better Hot Rod here. But I am going to give a seal of approval to TR Hot Rod. He’s definitely a worthy update of everyone’s favorite punk that would become an Autobot leader. I may even get another TR Hot Rod since I kinda broke mine.

Twinferno was found in the same trip to Target as Hot Rod. Only the most hardcore of G1-ers like myself would know about this character. In season 5, Hasbro released a team of Autobots that would transform to monstrous creatures. This team is appropriately called Monsterbots. Transformers was full of gimmicks by then, so it was kind of unusual for this team of toys to be gimmick free (perhaps transforming to creatures is itself a gimmick, but that’s up for debate). Modern 3P companies have started doing this team in recent years. I’m happy Hasbro is updating Monsterbots, but it does feel a tad like they are reaching for the bottom of the barrel here. Anyways, one original member of the Monsterbots is Doublecross. He transforms into a 2-headed dragon. He is called Twinferno in the modern era. And to be honest, I like this name better. Combining the words twin and inferno is so appropriate for this character.

As for the Titans Return figure Twinferno, he’s not too shabby. I love the monster mode. It’s probably one of the most original modes to be released in some time. Twin-headed dragons are always welcome. I know the Michael Bay movies have explored twin headed beasts for their version of the Dinobots, but the design for Twinferno came before all of them. Transformation of the figure is quite refreshing too. He’s not terribly difficult to transform, which adds to the fun factor. The twin heads and neck obviously form the arms. Legs fold out from the rear and tail section of the dragon. The robot mode looks well balanced. Build of the figure is solid enough. My only gripe with the figure is how the arms are positioned. The elbow joint and dragon hand orientation don’t make much sense. If would be nice if they provided an extra rotation for the hands. Twinferno was not originally a Headmaster, but he’s such an unknown character that I don’t mind if Hasbro wants to update him as such in the modern era. Overall, I recommend this figure. I now hope Hasbro would release updates to the rest of the Monsterbots.

Blaster needs no introduction. At leader class size, he is the only non-deluxe figure this month. I was really looking forward to this figure. But after buying it and playing with it, I think he’s only ok. Blaster is very boxy, but that’s no surprise to anyone that is familiar with the character from its G1 days. He’s technically a triple changer in Titans Return (and to that fact, I think every figure at voyager class or bigger is a triple changer in TR). He has his usual boombox alt mode, the robot mode, and in TR he gets a new base mode. In the base mode, he is able to connect with TR Fortress Maximus and Optimus Prime in their base modes to form some kind of super base. I didn’t try this, but maybe I will one day.

As for the two standard modes that everyone is familiar with, they’re ok. Like I said, both modes are very boxy. In alt mode, I feel that improvements could have been made on how the boombox come together. Everything does tab together, but it doesn’t work that well. Despite the overall simple transformation, a lot of finagling is required to get Blaster to alt mode. And when you get everything just right, it still doesn’t feel too solid. Cohesiveness tend to be a plus for boxy figures, but Blaster’s alt mode fails in this department. There are less such issues in robot mode. He looks like a good homage to his G1 cartoon appearance. Articulation is limited, however, due to the boxy design. The chest/tape deck eject mechanism is included. Blaster’s scale also presents some question marks. He’s probably too big to scale correct with CHUG, so I think he would go better with MPs. However, TR Blaster clearly isn’t up to par with MP quality figures. He will look off if he’s standing with MPs on the shelf. Still, I will use TR Blaster is my MP Blaster for now. Hasbro also reworked this mold as Soundwave. I will probably not get that Soundwave. He’s too big to be CHUG, and there’s already an excellent MP Soundwave.

From Blaster we go to Blastwave. I’m having a blast with two figures in one month having names that begin with “Blast”. I debated if I should buy Blastwave when I first saw him in the store. He’s a minor rework off of Megatronus, of which I already have two. He’s not a recognizable G1 character. So I almost left him on the shelf. But something tugged at me to take a second look. He looks a lot like Bludgeon from G1. I liked his colors. And I felt like Hasbro made enough differences on this mold from Megatronus, especially with Blastwave having twin cannons. Plus this was in that week between Christmas and New Years where I feel like I need to buy some new TFs (though you could argue I always feel that way). So I splurged and bought Blastwave. And I’m very glad I did! I have always felt that Megatronus is one of the best built figures in the RiD line, and Blastwave is built just as well. The legs are virtually identical, but the upper body moldings (chest, arms, and head) are almost completely different. In alt mode, Blastwave has his arms that form the turrets point backwards toward the rear of the tank, while Megatronus has them pointing forwards. In robot mode, the samurai motif becomes obvious. Blastwave comes with a sword as well for some heavy bushido cutting action. My prediction is Hasbro will totally repaint this into Bludegon. Oh, another thing, Blastwave is an Autobot! I keep forgetting that. Maybe this would be more obvious if I actually watched RiD (and assuming he appears in the show). But all in all, I recommend Blastwave. He’s one of the better figures in the RiD line. Worthy of your collection.

Obligatory group photo below.

One interesting factoid of the month: four of the Autobots have the word “Autobot” in front of their names on the package. For example, “Hot Rod” is “Autobot Hot Rod”, like I mentioned already. Hasbro does this when they cannot use the character’s name alone, usually for legal reasons. So this means Hot Rod, Ratchet, Blaster, and Twinferno are all copyrighted, by someone other than Hasbro. I miss the 80s when Hasbro could’ve used whatever name they wanted.

Well folks, that’s it for 2016. I’m going to compile some stats for 2016, like I did here, and make a separate post.

In retrospect, I’m not sure how I feel about 2016. I like that Titans Return have started. But the figures that made up the end of Combiner Wars were lackluster. Robots in Disguise as a whole don’t really keep my interest. There was not a movie to inject new TF interest for the masses. And 3P products are saturating the market and raising prices at the same time. That sounds like a lot of negatives. But I’ll address them in more detail in my 2016 stat post to come.

Stay frosty my fellow TransFans. Transform and Roll Out.

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