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Transformers Purchased in May 2018

September 11th, 2019 Leave a comment Go to comments

A recent trend I see among my monthly purchases is that I buy more 3rd and 4th party figures than official products. Some recent examples were June 2016, March 2017, and November 2017. May 2018 further contributes to this trend.

You see that Hasbro? Release quality products, and people will buy. It’s not rocket science.

  • Studio Series Starscream, Target, $29.99

  • Mech Planet Big Yellow Bee, chosenprime.com, $17.99
  • Zeta Toys Air Strike, chosenprime.com, $59.99
  • MakeToys Ironwill, chosenprime.com, $79.99

Starscream

I went briefly into Starscream in my last post, so I won’t repeat all that here. Just know that he’s an awesome figure from the Studio Series. I’ll let the pics below speak for themselves.

With Nitro from The Last Knight, another excellent figure.

Big Yellow Bee

HasTak gave us a marvelous rendition of G1 Bumblebee in the Masterpiece line. However, if you always felt that you needed a CHUG Bumblebee that is G1 accurate in both robot and alt modes, which HasTak is unwilling or unable to do, then you need look no further than Big Yellow Bee by Mech Planet.

Big Yellow Bee is an excellent 3rd party take on everyone’s favorite yellow VW bug from G1. He transforms exactly like you think he would, so I won’t describe it too much. The build quality is superb for a $17.99 third party toy. I don’t have any other offerings from Mech Planet. Big Yellow Bee was my first one, and I was quite pleased.

Check the pics below. The faction symbol is after market, obviously.

Big Yellow Bee scales nicely with his mini-bot friends in the CHUG line.

The way that Big Yellow Bee compacts into his alt mode is actually very impressive. Arms, legs, and head all compact into the body area. It does take some cues from MP Bumblebee, but this is quite a feat nevertheless. If he got any smaller from robot to vehicle, you would think he’s mass shifting.

Scale in alt mode.

Big Yellow Bee comes with some accessories. Again, considering the price, this isn’t bad at all. He comes with a pistol, the spare tire wheel cover, and a chest plate type thing that I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be. And in the poly bag, there’s the instructions, a bio card, and some mystery accessory labeled “HOT”. That’s a lot of stuff in the package. Great value here.

I recommend Big Yellow Bee without hesitation.

Air Strike

Air Strike by newcomer Zeta Toys is their interpretation of Air Raid. I first mentioned Zeta back in this post, when I featured their figure for Fireflight called Flyfire. Zeta Toys is an offshoot of ToyWorld. Or more specifically, toy engineers at ToyWorld felt cheated, so they left the company and formed Zeta. Power to the employees!

As of this writing, I only have two items from Zeta. Air Strike was the first one, and Flyfire was the second. They were released in that order, too.

First let’s take a look at Air Strike in the box.

He comes packaged in a nice soft polystyrene box. I prefer this kind of package. I hate Styrofoam, because you’re bound to have little white bits fall off the box and it gets everywhere. I also don’t like plastic clam shells, because it’s hard to put the figures back into them. This kind of packaging is perfect, for what it is. It’s durable enough to protect the figure, while at the same time being easy to handle. I’m sure this is not environmentally friendly either, but none of them are. All in all, this is a no-frills type of packaging, and that’s how I like it. Some companies like to do extra special type boxes to give the items more of a collector status. I’ve never been into that sort of thing.

As far as accessories, Air Strike comes with 4 missiles and his rifle. Included also are the instructions and a bio card. It’s pretty minimalist for a figure of this size. But considering that the price is only $59.99, I feel it’s more than sufficient.

Air Strike looks great in robot mode. See the two pics above. As far as looks, he feels like a combination of the toy and the animation model. I still have my G1 Air Raid. He’s in pretty good shape. The design of Air Strike’s head feels more like the G1 toy, with the blocky shape and visor eyes. The rest of figure takes aesthetics from both the toy and the show. Overall, no one will mistake this figure for any other character besides Air Raid. The iconic black jet on the back, white body, and red chest all screams Air Raid.

Air Strike is a large figure. Below is a pic of how he scales next to War For Cybertron Siege Galaxy Optimus.

Siege Galaxy Optimus is a leader class figure. And Air Strike is taller than him, if you look at where the top of their heads are. In this pic I forgot to flip out the nosecone of Air Strike. If I did, he would be even taller. Air Strike is this size so we would get an accurately scaled MP Kronos (Superion). But individually, the Zeta Aerialbots are probably too fig for standard MP scale. Zeta is betting that most fans want Kronos to scale well with the rest of their MP collection. To that end, this Zeta team should fit the bill. As of this writing, I only have Air Strike and Flyfire, but I’m told that Kronos is very, very impressive when combined.

Transformation to jet mode follows the standard Aerialbot scheme. It’s more complicated than G1 of course, but nothing that would trip up any experienced TransFan.

That is a great looking Air Raid. Zeta did a marvelous job in capturing the look of this iconic black F-15. I probably should have took a pic of Air Strike next to the standard MP Seekers. They’re about the same size in jet mode. In the above pic, I don’t have the 4 missiles attached, but they go under the wings like you expect them to.

I do want to point out that there’s something weird about the front landing gear. On my copy, it’s not possible to get it out without detaching some other pieces first. It’s a minor annoyance for sure. Also, the figure as a whole feels light. I went into this too when I briefly covered Flyfire. My guess is that the materials used for the Zeta figures is not as high quality as the ToyWorld offerings. At only $59.99, they had to cut corners somewhere. Zeta decided to save on using higher quality plastics. And it goes without saying that there are no die-cast on Air Strike to speak of.

So do I recommend Air Strike? That’s a difficult question. Hardcore G1 TransFans, of which Air Strike is catered to, would look to get the entire Aerialbot team. So I almost need to look at the entire set, and see how they combine, before making a recommendation. Also, as of this writing, Fans Toys have come out with their own team of 3P Aerialbots. To this date they have only released Maverick (Silverbolt), and I have not seen any of the limb components. By itself, Air Strike is not a bad figure by any means. He looks great in both robot and jet modes. The transformation is fun, the engineering is solid. However, individual bot size can be an issue (too large). The plastics used does feel inferior to other 3P figures of this caliber, and there’s the front landing gear issue I mentioned. As it stands, I will refrain from making any recommendation, until I have seen the whole team.

Ironwill

The last figure this month is Ironwill, MakeToys’ 3P homage to Hardhead. I bought Ironwill back in November of 2017 during a Black Friday sale. In this same sale, I got Contactshot and Despotron, all by MakeToys. Chosen Prime must have some kind of working relationship with MakeToys, to be able to offer their figs at such a discount. Anyways, Ironwill was bought back then, but did not become in stock til this month.

Ironwill comes with two rifles, his iconic should-mounted cannon, an extra toy-accurate face plate, and instructions. Surprisingly, he does not come with a bio card. That’s almost standard for 3P MP figs these days. Personally I don’t think it’s a big deal to not have one, but just wanted to point it out for those of you that are expecting it.

In robot mode, Ironwill looks good. MakeToys did a fantastic job in updating the look of this character in MP form. The figure feels solid and hefty, befitting of someone whose name is Hardhead.

The figure has tight and clicky joints, just the way I like them. He’s capable of some good poses, and he can stand vertically just fine without leaning too forward or back.

I do have some gripes about Ironwill in robot mode. I don’t like the way that the main shoulder cannon is attached. It just clicks into place, using the most rudimentary rotation joint. It’s weird, but sometimes the joint feels too tight, while other times it feels too loose. Maybe it’s based on the weather (or the phases of the Cybertron moons). The up-and-down swivel of this cannon also feels a tad too loose. I suspect that, over time, pointing the cannon up and holding it there would no longer be possible.

The back pieces of Ironwill also do not hold too well in place in robot mode. When handling the figure, and especially when transforming, the back assembly can become undone when you don’t want it to. I wish there was more of a click-into-place mechanism here.

Ironwill’s transformation hits all the right notes, and is fun for the most part. Again, where I found it frustrating is the main cannon and the back assembly. They don’t stay in place well during the transformation. It’s probably easier to remove the cannon and re-attach after transforming is done. But that feels like parts-forming, and totally unnecessary given that the cannon doesn’t switch position. If the engineering was better on the cannon attachment, this won’t be an issue.

Here is Ironwill in alt mode. The Cybertronian tank looks great. The Headmaster figure can ride inside.

Fans will undoubtedly compare Ironwill to ToyWorld Hardbone. Honestly, I’m not sure which is the better figure here. Most fans will probably choose Ironwill. But there are a bunch of things I like better about Hardbone. Hardbone scales better with other MPs, in my opinion. Ironwill is too big to scale well with anything (should have taken a pic here). Hardbone does have a superior shoulder cannon attachment, and he comes with some cool accessories.

My final verdict on Ironwill is get it if you can find it at the price that I did. Regular MSPR is over $100, and at that price there needs to be less issues with the figure.

That does it for May. Some awesome stuff is coming next month, so stay tuned. Transform and Roll Out.
 

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