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Archive for February, 2019

FansProject Smart Robin Quick Review

February 26th, 2019 No comments

Once in a while, I dig out older figures from their hiding places (read: stored in a closet or garage). I was looking for another figure, when I found FansProject Smart Robin in the same storage box. This figure was purchased back in April of 2014. I played with Smart Robin for a bit before he got stored. He hasn’t seen light since then.

Smart Robin is a 3P homage to Brainstorm, arguably the most famous Headmaster there is. Since it’s release, Hasbro has put out two official Brainstorm figures. One of them was a Walgreens exclusive. I bought Smart Robin before either of those. And yes, I would buy Smart Robin today, even if you already have any of the official figures.

As usual I will start with the mode that it comes packaged in.

Classic A stance.

Back view with and without weapon attachment. Very little back kibble.

Side view.

Smart robin is a well built figure with nice articulation. He can hold some good poses. He comes with twin guns, like he did in G1.

Close up of the face. I like the face mold, but it appears to be modeled more after the G1 toy. There’s a bit of paint smudge near both eyes. Other than that, paint job is nice. Obviously this will detach and transform into a Headmaster figure.

There is no working tech-spec that appears on the chest like G1 Brainstorm. Oh well. That was kinda gimmicky anyway.

With some other modern Brainstorm figures: Generations 30 voyager on the left, Titans Return deluxe (Walgreens exclusive) on the left. Smart Robin is just a bit taller than deluxe size. I think this is a good size to scale with MP class figures.

Transformation to jet mode is some of the most innovative that I have seen in quite a while. Two mechanisms are noteworthy. The first is that the wings are entirely compacted into the legs, and they fold out for jet mode. The other is that the body collapses onto itself from the sides, kind of like an accordion. To go to jet mode, this part is stretched out. It sounds hokey when I describe it in words, but trust me it’s cool. The jet looks a bit different from how Brainstorm looked in G1. But I like this update. The G1 jet shape is too bulky for today’s standards and I applaud FansProject to give him a more sleek look.

Jet mode at a different angle.

Rear view of the jet.

Directly from the front.

Cockpit opens and the Headmaster can sit inside.

Bottom view.

Retractable front landing gear.

Rear landing gear, one retracted and out left out.

With other Brainstorms in jet mode.

All in all, Smart Robin is a solid tribute to Brainstorm. He’s fun to play with and transform. He’s well built. Articulation is great in robot mode, and cohesively tight in alt mode. Scale wise, I would say he’s more MP. Yeah some fans may say this is more CHUG, but I disagree. In robot mode, he’s about the same height as MP Sideswipe or MP Wheeljack, and that’s how tall I imagine Brainstorm to be. Some of the other 3P Headmasters produced (such as MakeToys Hardhead) are way too big, even for MP. Here is a pic from an old post, where I have Smart Robin next to MP Bluestreak and MP G2 Sideswipe. Determine for yourself.

You would be smart to purchase Smart Robin. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Purchased in January 2018

February 12th, 2019 No comments

2018 is starting off with a bang. Power of the Primes is in full swing. Some nice 3P products and one Masterpiece figure adds to this month’s collection to start the new year right.

  • Power of the Primes Micronus, Target, $4.99
  • Power of the Primes Liege Maximo, Target, $4.99
  • Power of the Primes Vector Prime, Target, $4.99

  • Power of the Primes Grimlock, amazon.com, $24.99

  • Power of the Primes Slug, Walmart, $16.82

  • Power of the Primes Swoop, Walmart, $16.82

  • Titans Return Arcee, toysrus.com, $24.99
  • Titans Return Grotusque, toysrus.com, $24.99

  • Power of the Primes Evolution Optimus Prime, Target, $44.99

  • Power of the Primes Evolution Rodimus Prime, Target, $44.99

  • Masterpiece Sunstreaker, amiami.com, ¥9959 (about $91.48)

  • Dr. Wu Blue Skybreaker Sword, tfsource.com, $17.99

  • DX9 Gewalt, tfsource.com, $139.99

Micronus, Liege Maximo, Vector Prime

I like the Prime Masters. For those that don’t know, Prime Masters are the master class figures that came released as part of the Power of the Primes line. The master figures can go inside an exo-suit, and the exo-suit transforms into a weapon. G1-ers can think of them as a Targetmaster and Pretender rolled into one.

In my opinion, the Prime Masters are countless times superior to Titan Masters. Titan Masters are the modern day equivalent of Headmasters, but the accessory that comes with them are so lame. With Prime Masters, Hasbro actually made Pretenders cool. Didn’t think I would live to see this day.

The 3 Prime Masters below are Micronus, Liege Maximo, Vector Prime. Though G1-ers will instantly recognize they are using the Pretender shells of Cloudburst, Skullgrin, and Metalhawk. Good to see that Hasbro did not forget their G1 roots. As a sidebar, I still have my Couldburst and Skullgrin from G1, in pretty good shape too.

In the pic below, the Prime Masters are inside the outer shell.

All transformed to weapons, shown in the pic below. Notice the Prime Master of each figure is transformed into a block attached on top of the weapon. You could do this or just leave them inside in weapon mode.

Overall, I highly recommend the Prime Masters. They are fun to play with and their weapon modes serve a real purpose.

Grimlock, Slug, Swoop

Power of the Primes finally gives us some G1-worthy updates of the Dinobots. And I don’t just mean Grimlock. PotP is doing the whole team. Purchased this month are Grimlock, Slug (Slag), and Swoop. Below I have them in their dino modes.

As a whole, these Dinobots are not too shabby. They are true G1 derivatives, updated for this modern era. However, in my last post, I did mention that this PotP Grimlock pales in comparison to the many 3P offerings that are available today. If you have bought any of them, you will find that these PotP Dinobots simply don’t compare in quality or aesthetics. But on the other hand, you can’t get better G1-esque Dinobots for the price. Grimlock is only about $25, the rest about $17. Hasbro is offering a way to get decent upgrades of G1 Dinobot characters without breaking the bank.

The pic above shows off Grimlock, Slug (Slag), and Swoop. They each look solid in their dino mode, and in robot mode (not pictured) they look just as good too. Transformation of each of these is on the simple side, with obvious transformation schemes for anyone familiar with G1 and CHUG. When complete, the 5 figures will combine. I kinda wish they didn’t do this, as implementing the combination mechanics means putting restrictions on other aspects of the figure, such as the dino modes, robot modes, and sizes of the figures. Grimlock at voyager size is fine, but I do with the other Dinobots are bigger than deluxe.

Overall, I recommend these. Sure they’re not as good as the 3P stuff out there, but Hasbro hasn’t done anything this G1 for the Dinobots in, like, never. Do them a solid and show that you appreciate this effort by buying them.

Arcee and Grotusque

Arcee and Grotusque are Toys R Us exclusives. This was the last online purchase I made from Toys R Us, before they went belly up. To this day I still have not opened these. It’s mostly because I love the packaging that they come in, that I don’t want to ruin it. And these are both repaints, so it’s not like I haven’t seen the mold. Arcee is a repaint of TR Brainstorm and TR Blurr. Grotusque is a repaint of Twinferno. I am more inclined to open Grotusque, to complete my Monsterbots (I will have Repugnus in a later month).

I will show off how they look in the cool packaging. Pics below.

Each of these figs come with two Titan Masters. Grotusque comes with Scorponok and Fengul, and Arcee comes with Ultra Magnus and Leinad. What kind of name is Leinad? It’s Daniel spelled backwards. Oh what will these crazy Hasbro writers think of next.

Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime

Toward the end of the month, I started my paternity leave. Having a baby changes your life. The wife sent me to Target for some baby stuff one Saturday night. I welcomed the opportunity as it allowed me to get out of the house. But more importantly, it gave me a chance to hunt for some TFs. I love my daughter, but anyone who’s had a baby will tell you that you need to do some stuff that reminds you of the person you were prior to the baby. For me, hunting for TFs satisfy that requirement. That, and writing in this blog.

But back to the topic at hand. On this trip to Target, I found Evolution Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime. Both are leader class figs, and both have the “Evolution” tag written above their names. This is because both figs include a smaller fig that represents their persona before taking on the mantle of Autobot leadership: Orion Pax for Optimus, and Hot Rod for Rodimus.

Let’s look at Optimus first. He looks great in the box. At Target I was astonished how close he looks to MP-10 Optimus. After I opened the figure and had him side by side with MP-10 (and I should have taken a pic of this), I was amazed at how much Evolution OP resembles MP-10. The two are about the same size. In your hands, MP-10 weights quite a bit more than Evolution OP. But the details and the paint job of Evolution OP is on par with the MP figure. I’m especially impressed with the head mold of Evolution OP, it’s MP quality.

To transform, the smaller figure detaches from the rest through the back. This smaller figure transforms into the cab, while the rest of the body forms the trailer. Think of how G1 Ultra Magnus or Powermaster Optimus Prime does it. Picture below.

Obviously the cab can detached from the trailer. The cab can then transform into Orion Pax by itself. The whole things sounds gimmicky, but Evolution OP implements all this very well. A review is definitely in order and I plan to do one soon.

Rodimus Prime has all the similar features. It’s packed in robot mode just like Optimus. Rodimus is a bit more of a puzzle former, and he does remind of the FansProject Protector upgrade kit designed for Classics Rodimus. To transform, you first detach Hot Rod from the rest of the figure. Hot Rod will transform into the front cab, while the body forms the trailer. Pic below.

The front cab will come out as the Hot Rod race car. And this can transform into Hot Rod. All in all, I like this figure too. I recommend both the Evolution leader figures. They are not perfect, but they offer very good alternatives to buying MP versions of these characters at affordable prices. And for both of them, you get two characters in one package. Oh, and they both come with Matrix holders where you can plug Titan Masters into them.

Sunstreaker

MP Sunstreaker was pre-ordered months ago. During my paternity leave, it finally showed up on my doorstep (or maybe it was in the mailbox). He is packaged in car mode like all the other MP cars. And you would expect this to scale well with all other MP cars, especially Sideswipe.

I looked through all my pics, and I guess I didn’t take any of Sunstreaker by himself in alt mode. I can only find pics of him and Sideswipe, so here they are. Notice how well they scale together.

I cannot be happier with the alt mode of Sunstreaker. The Lamborghini alt mode is just as good as Sideswipe’s, and the scale is so on par. He is in his trademark yellow, and his iconic rear mounted engines is proof of having a “Super Tuning” Lamborghini alt mode.

MP Sunstreaker is VERY VERY IMPRESSIVE from an engineering perspective. The transformation is something to behold. And yes, he is difficult. I used instructions because I’m always worried that I’ll break something for such a complicated piece, but it is possible to do it without them if you’re looking for a challenge. I only transformed him once, from car to robot. So I don’t remember it too well now as I write this. But I do remember there were a lot of steps, and I that the backpack transforming sequence is simultaneously awe-inspiring and demanding. Sunstreaker is definitely not a figure that you actively play often to transform it over and over. But when you are finally done, it is so rewarding. Check out the awesome looking robot mode.

Sunstreaker is well built. All joints are nice and tight. In robot mode he scales well with other MP Autobot cars. He can be put into some nice action poses.

Great face sculpt worthy of the handsome Autobot.

Below are shots of the backpack. A lot goes on to get the backpack in this configuration, and this is a testament to the engineering brilliance of this figure. Those that like to nit-pick could argue there’s a bit of junk here, the backpack is quite thick when viewed from the side. But when you consider how much of the alt mode is folded into this, I can easily overlook this minor distraction. The rest of Sunstreaker is completely kibble-free.

Sunstreaker can store his pistol on the back. He also comes with a Chip Chase figure. MP Sunstreaker is not too playable because of the high difficulty, but as a collector piece he gets my highest possible recommendation.

Blue Skybreaker Sword

I got the Blue Skybreaker Sword to push my order over $150 to get free shipping (the order was this and Gewalt, below). I chose this accessory because I still need a sword to go with my TF Prime Beast Hunter Optimus Prime. The stock sword is broken, and the handle is stuck in his right fist. The story of that incident is documented here. As soon as I can get that handle out, I will consider this figure repaired and using this better sword. See the pic above in all its shiny blue glory. I can’t wait for OP to try this sword in his robot mode.

Gewalt

Last but certainly not least, we have Gewalt, DX9’s homage to Blitzwing. And I’ll get straight to it: Gewalt is awesome! As of this writing, there has been some attempts at a MP Blitzwing by various 3Ps. DX9 Gewalt is by far the best, and the preferred MP Blitzwing by most hard core fans. Fans Toys does have their offering coming up, but that’s been on pre-order for more than 2 years now and to this day still no real pics other than computer renders. FT usually has me impressed, but I got sick of waiting for them. Gewalt is so thoroughly spectacular that FT needs to come up big for me to consider their interpretation of Blitzwing.

Gewalt is German for violence, if any of you are wondering. He comes packed in tank mode, and for good reason. The tank mode is the most compact mode, and thus easy to fit into the box. The tank mode is good, and I should have took a pic. However, I would consider the tank mode the weakest of the 3 modes. Gewalt really shines in his 2 other modes. Consider the jet mode below.

Now that is Blitzwing! This is the MiG-25 that he was meant to be. Yes I know some G1 purists will bash it for not having the thick tank-kibble wings that he had in G1, but c’mon. The wings in that shape was nasty and in no way reflect how a MiG-25 looks. They only looked like that because of the toy limitations in the 80s. Gewalt’s jet mode is a vast improvement and updates this alt mode to modern MP standards.

The colors in this mode are unmistakably Blitzwing. I have a pic above showing off Gewalt in jet mode next to ToyWorld Requiem (or Elegy, as he is sometimes called). Gewalt is a big figure, but scales nicely with other MPs.

Now for his robot mode. Check it out:

Now if that’s not Blitzwing, than I don’t know what is. The way he looks, it’s like he stepped straight out of the G1 Movie. Blitzwing got a decent amount of screen time in the movie, up til the fracas inside Astrotrain after the injured Decepticons were jettisoned.

Articulation for Gewalt is pretty good. And the figure is so well built that he can hold all those poses. Gewalt’s transformation does test your abilities as a TransFan. I won’t say it’s difficult, like say Sunstreaker, but it’s certainly not easy. I only transformed it once from tank to jet, then again from jet to robot. I’m not sure I will be able to go back without looking at the instructions. But that’s a challenge for another day.

For accessories, he comes with his rifle, his sword, the tank cannon (which can be removed), an extra screaming face, and some extra waist parts (I’m not entirely sure that they’re waist parts, and I don’t know if they go on Gewalt or some other DX9 figure).

Here I have a pic of Gewalt with a fabulous rub-on faction decal.

That’s all the items for the month. Again, 2018 started with a bang, with so many figures. And they’re all quality products too. The only two pieces here that I would possibly not recommend is Arcee and Grotusque, and I only say that because they’re repaints. I recommend everything else. It’s a good time to be a TransFan.

Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics