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Studio Series Jazz Quick Review

August 29th, 2018 No comments

Welcome to my first review of a Movie Studio Series figure. And what better figure to do than Jazz, my favorite TF of all time! OK, maybe he’s not my favorite in the Moive-verse since he dies on the first outing. But he’s my favorite from G1, so there.

As always let’s first take a look at the mode he comes packaged in.

Jazz looks pretty good in robot form. Love the silver paint.

Articulation is not the greatest. Shoulder movement is quite limited, and there is no waist swivel whatsoever. Leg articulation is decent.

He comes with one radar looking gun type accessory. We have seen this before on other movie Jazz figures. The Human Alliance Jazz figure comes to mind.

Back view of Jazz. That’s a bit too much kibble for my liking.

Up close and personal. The head sculpt is ok.

There’s no sugar coating this: Jazz is a small figure. Yes I know they did this for scale reasons, but I’m not sure he’s supposed to be this small. And considering Jazz is priced the same as other deluxe figures, this kinda feels like a rip-off. SS Jazz is with PotP Outback in the pic below. Jazz is just a tad bigger than legend size.

I enjoyed Jazz’s transformation to the Pontiac Solstice. This figure is well built, and the transformation implements satisfying folds and clicks throughout the process. He’s not terribly difficult to do, which makes the figure a good piece to just pick up and play.

Jazz looks amazing in alt mode. The silver paint really comes through in this mode.

One complaint I have about the alt mode is that it’s hard to get everything flush. In these pics, you can still see lots of gaps between the panels. I fiddled with this for a long time and this is the best I can get it. It’s not MP Rodimus Prime bad, but I feel like it could have been better.

Underside of the vehicle (yes I said underside).

SS Jazz with HA Jazz. Again, notice how small he is.

There is room for the weapon in alt mode, but it just looks plain silly.

Overall, I give movie Studio Series Jazz a weak recommendation. There are a lot of positives here: the nice silver paint, awesome looking alt mode, fun and satisfying transformation, and solid construction. But that’s countered by some negatives too: the back kibble, the limited articulation, panels in alt mode that are hard to align, and most importantly, the small size. Still, I think the good here outweighs the bad, and so the scales tip in Jazz’s favor. And this figure does score high on originality points. There are not many other toys in the entire Transformers line that remind me of this figure.

Jazz is here to remind you to “do it with style or don’t bother doing it.” I’m here to remind you to “Transform and Roll Out.”

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Purchased in September 2017

August 12th, 2018 No comments

A very modest number of TFs were acquired in September of 2017. And none of them were Decepticons. Autobots, roll!

  • Titans Return Hot Rod, amazon.com, $9.99

  • The Last Knight Drift, Walmart, $15.83

  • The Last Knight Bumblebee, Walmart, $15.83

Hot Rod

TR Hot Rod was already first acquired back in Dec of 2016. So why did I buy this a second time? In the post for Dec 2016, I mentioned that I broke off the head connection mechanism while removing Firedrive from Hot Rod on the very first transformation attempt. Read that post for all the details and for my thoughts on the figure. But suffice it to say I don’t like having broken Transformers in my collection. And at less than $10, I felt justified in getting another Hot Rod. He is the star of the G1 Movie, after all. I took care not to break the connection mechanism this time.

The packaging arrived in less than perfect condition, as you can clearly see in the above pic. I would definitely file a complaint with Amazon if my intention was to keep this figure mint on the card. But I planned to open this, and at less than $10, it’s not really worth my time.

Drift

The Last Knight figures continue with Drift. AoE gave us a very good Deluxe class Drift, one of my few favorites from that line. So how does TLK Drift fare? Overall, he’s not bad. In robot mode, he’s got decent articulation and his proportions are well balanced. The iconic twin swords are on full display here. This Drift is colored mostly red in robot mode, and that’s quite a departure from the blue AoE Drift.

TLK Drift in an action pose.

Close up shot. Pretty good face sculpt. Drift has got the full samurai motif going on, from the samurai face plate to the samurai shoulder pads. Notice the Mercedes logo on the center of the chest. Drift is luxury class samurai… no ghetto swordsman here.

Backview of TLK Drift. Notice he has twin shorter swords, stored on his back over the shoulders. So this guy comes with a total of 4 blades. Very, very cool.

In TLK, Drift transforms into a Mercedes, while in AoE he was a Bugatti. Transformation to car mode is completely different from AoE. In AoE, the front of the vehicle transforms into the chest, while in TLK it transforms into the feet. I won’t describe the rest of it too much since the transformation is not that complicated and not terribly original.

In alt mode, he’s mostly black, with just a touch of red on the very bottom of the vehicle. He looks good as a Mercedes, though I still prefer it if he was a Bugatti. Below is a shot of TLK and AoE Drift side by side.

All in all, I like this Drift. I think AoE Drift is still better, but TLK Drift has got some nice features going on too. Recommended.

Bumblebee

We really don’t need any more Movie-verse Bumblebees. But I suppose the execs at Hasbro just love pumping out more of the one Transformer character that even the most casual of fans can identify by name. This is the second Deluxe class Bumblebee figure in the TLK line. I passed on buying the first one, which was just a repaint of AoE Deluxe class Bumblebee. This second one is a brand new mold.

Word has it that this new TLK Bumblebee is a mass retail toy representation of Masterpiece Movie Bumblebee (MPM-3). I can neither confirm nor deny that assertion, since I don’t have MPM-3. And I’m not gonna pay about $100 to find out. From what I know, the overall transformation schema is the same. But TLK Bee is obviously smaller. I will also guess that the materials used are cheaper and the mechanical complexity is toned down.

In robot mode, TLK Bee looks good. I like the details on the figure. Compared to previous deluxe Movie Bumblebees, TLK Bee appears more show accurate.

TLK Bee is capable of some fairly dynamic poses since he’s pretty well articulated. He comes with a gun-arm accessory, which he uses in the shot below. This can be used on either arm. However, the arm does need to be removed to attach the gun-arm.

I should point out that the construction of TLK Bumblebee is not the best. The feet pieces are quite loose. The hip joints are a bit loose too. The result is that it’s difficult to stand the figure. While TLK Bee is capable of a wide range of poses, he cannot hold it because of the weak construction.

Close up shot of TLK Bee. The face sculpt is quite good, and I like that the eyes are painted blue. I believe the Autobot logo on the forehead is painted on. In this pic below it looks a bit sloppy since it’s totally magnified, but under the naked eye it actually looks quite good. I commend Hasbro for including this bit of detail.

Transformation to alt mode is a completely new design. Like I said, I don’t know how much of this is borrowed from MPM-3, but for a deluxe class mass retail toy it’s definitely cool. From a engineering perspective, I rate this deluxe Bumblebee second among all the deluxe Movie Bumblebees. And if you’re wondering who gets first honors, it’s Battle Blade Bumblebee from Revenge of the Fallen, Hunt for the Decepticons subline.

In alt mode, TLK Bee has black coloring painted over the hood and roof. All the Movie deluxe Bumblebees has been pretty good in alt mode, and TLK Bee is no exception.

The gun-arm accessory can be attached in alt mode, but it looks quite silly.

Underside of the vehicle.

All in all, this Bumblebee is good, but just short of great. I would give it much higher recommendation if the build and construction had no issues. But as is, I would still get it. It’s without a doubt one of the better deluxe Bumblebees made. I don’t think you would be missing out on too much if you passed on this, especially if you already have too many Movie Bumblebees taking up precious shelf space. But I would definitely get this Bee over many others that have been made in the Movie-verse.

Here is a pic of Drift, Bumblebee, and Hound, all from The Last Knight.

Autobots, Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in August 2017

August 1st, 2018 No comments

Some very good items were purchased in August of 2017.

  • Optimus Prime Autobot Legacy 2-Pack (Amazon Exclusive), amazon.com, $29.99

  • The Last Knight Hound, Walmart, $26.86

  • ToyWorld Assault, Combuster, Requiem, tfsource.com, $159.99

Optimus Prime and Orion Pax

I’m not sure what is the official name of this 2-Pack. This Amazon exclusive is officially listed on their website as Optimus Prime Autobot Legacy 2-Pack. I have seen it listed elsewhere as the Optimus Prime Evolution Pack. There is also the name of Transformers Tribute written on the upper left corner of the box. And I’m not sure if this falls under Titans Return, Power of the Primes, or something else. But whatever it’s called, it’s a good 2-Pack to have.

Both figures in the set are repaints. As of this writing, I have not opened the set. The Optimus Prime figure is a repaint of War For Cybertron Optimus Prime. I see some minor paint app differences between this release and the WFC figure, and I’m gonna assume everything else is the same. Do not underestimate the complexity of this deluxe figure. If I am to compile a top 10 most difficult Transformers list today, this figure would easily make the list. The Orion Pax figure is a repaint of Titans Return Kup. This is an excellent mold to be re-used as Orion Pax.

Buy this set if you don’t have either of the figures used as the base for the repaint. But even if you do, this set is still worth getting. There has not been that many Orion Pax figures made. Not counting this one, I only recall two others. One in Generations Thrilling 30, and another as the base figure in the Leader Class Evolution Optimus Prime that will be released in the Power of the Primes line. This 2-Pack adds another Orion Pax to your collection and that alone is worth the price of admission.

Hound

This is my second figure from The Last Knight. TLK gave us another excellent Hound figure, after the superb Hound we got from Age of Extinction.

The figure comes packed in robot mode. In this mode, he’s a bit stocky, but that may more accurately reflect his movie proportions. Arm articulation is decent, but there’s not that much going on in the head, chest, or legs. The front wheels of the vehicle mode transforms into the feet. This makes standing the figure somewhat challenging. Not impossible, but you will have to balance Hound just right if you want to get him into any kind of action pose.

He comes with five pieces of weapons: 2 pistols, 2 heavy rifles, and 1 weapons connector type thing. There are many ways to assemble and configure this assortment.

Transformation of TLK Hound is where this figure truly shines. The overall transformation mechanism is one of the most unique I have seen in some time. I mentioned that the feet becomes the front wheels, but worth mentioning are other engineering feats besides the feet (pun intended). The legs collapse in an impressive way too complicated to explain in words. The arms are placed bent in alt mode and it works. The entire package is well constructed. When done right, the alt mode feels like a cohesive whole.

TLK Hound looks a bit different from AoE Hound in alt mode. I don’t know if either is movie accurate, and I won’t bother looking into it because both movies pretty much suck. AoE Hound is more of a van, while TLK Hound is more of a pick-up truck with a scary big missile launcher attached on top of the bed. TLK Hound is in a lighter shade of green, which seems a bit more movie accurate as far as I know.

TLK Hound appears below with other TLK figs Barricade, Drift, and Bumblebee.

Overall, I like TLK Hound. The transformation is unique, and the alt mode comes together well. TLK Hound doesn’t sport as many weapons as his AoE counterpart, but what’s there is more than sufficient.

I should note that the Japanese version of this figure comes with a riot shield. And I’m guessing the shield goes over the bed of the truck in alt mode. But since I don’t have that version, I’m not able to say if that significantly enhances TLK Hound in any way.

Some will inevitably ask which is the better Hound. In my opinion, AoE Hound is superior. AoE Hound is sleeker looking, has more weapons, and a robot mode that is easier to stand on. But these two figures are different enough that comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. If you like movie figures, get them both.

Requiem, Assault, and Combuster

Every once in a while, you find a deal so awesome that you immediately jump on it’s purchase. That was the case with this set of Masterpiece style Conehead Seekers from ToyWorld. They usually retail for a bit over $100 each. So at $159.99 for the set of 3, I wasted no time clicking on that “Buy” button and made sure this online transaction entered the vendor’s system. This was a Labor Day sale. It didn’t take long before this set sold out at this amazing price.

I have documented my long and utter disappointment with the official MP Conehead Seekers, back in this post. So I won’t rant again here. The only thing worth repeating is that they suck, and no self-respecting TransFan should spend any of their hard earned money on such garbage. I have since sold MP Ramjet, and have been looking for 3rd party substitutes for the Coneheads. Thus I’ve had my eye on this set for some time now. Seeing this spectacular deal, I acted with haste.

My fellow TransFans, this is the set of MP Coneheads that you should have in your Decepticon forces. TW gave us a completely new design on MP Coneheads that has far surpassed all my expectations. I touched a bit on the sheer brilliance of these figures in this post about Decepticon air superiority, but some of that is worth repeating here. But before that, let’s take a look at the jet mode, which is what the figures come packed in.

ToyWorld Requiem (Dirge) in his beautiful jet mode.

ToyWorld Assault (Thrust) in his beautiful jet mode.

No scale issues with official MPs in jet mode.

Assault and Combuster in jet mode.

Now let’s look at the robot mode.

All 3 look excellent in robot mode. Nice and slender build, unlike the fat bulky MP Coneheads.

Each figure comes with 2 black display panels that can connect both vertically and horizontally. In these pics I am using all 6. They are also used in the pic above for Hound and the other cars.

In robot mode, the TW Coneheads are quite a bit taller than official MPs.

The TW Coneheads really deserve a review in a separate post, but I’m gonna give some quick thoughts here:

  • Both modes look good – no complaints from me as far as the appearance of both jet and robot modes; see the pics for yourself
  • Amazing build and construction – nice and tight joints, no quality issues here like the MP Seekers
  • Great materials used – these figures feel solid and heft, and by comparison the MP Seekers feel cheap and sloppy
  • Excellent design and engineering – an intuitive and enjoyable transformation that is many times superior to official MPs
  • Each figure comes with 2 black display panels – TW didn’t have to include this but it’s a great addition
  • Front landing gear of each jet and be hard to get out, but that’s a minor complaint
  • Requiem (Dirge) and Combuster (Ramjet) come with firing missiles – and they FIRE! Careful not to lose them, they shoot pretty far
  • Cockpits open in jet mode
  • No scale issues in jet mode with official MPs
  • In robot mode, TW Coneheads don’t scale so well; they are a tad taller than official MPs, which may be a turn off for some (see above pic)
  • When you have all three and assemble the boxes, they form a nice big image

There is much more I should mention about this set, but I’ll reserve that for my review. I give the TW Coneheads the highest possible recommendation, and that’s the bottom line. If you are looking for Masterpiece style Coneheads for your collection, look no further.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics