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Transformers Purchased in June 2018

February 21st, 2020 No comments

After a LONG hiatus from me documenting my monthly TF purchases, I’m gonna continue here. There’s a lot of TF purchase action in June. Let’s get started.

  • Studio Series Brawl, amazon.com, $29.99

  • Studio Series Megatron, amazon.com, $29.99

  • Power of the Primes Snarl, Target, $16.99

  • Power of the Primes Moonracer, Target, $16.99

  • Titans Return Trypticon, Amazon seller, $103.65

  • Zeta Toys Flyfire, gift

  • NBK Bulldozer, showz.com, $9.99

  • ToyWorld Constructor, chosenprime.com, $469.99

Brawl

SS 12 Brawl is my third movie Brawl figure. The first one is the original leader class figure that made 2 of my top ten lists (most difficult and broken). The 2nd one is the original deluxe figure, which I never opened. I really don’t have too much recollection of leader class Brawl. It’s a big figure, sitting at the bottom of a box in a closet somewhere. That’s the problem when you have too many Transformers; you just don’t have enough time for all of them.

It’s inevitable that there will be comparisons of this SS 12 Brawl to leader class Brawl from the first movie. And I can’t do that compare here. All I can do is rate SS 12 Brawl on its own.

Like all offerings in the Studio Series line, Brawl is packaged in robot mode, and comes with cardboard backing that may be used as the movie backdrop. In Brawl’s case, he gets a very fitting graphic of the battle in Mission City from the first movie.

Brawl’s robot mode much resembles his movie appearance. He only appeared in the first movie, but the toy designers captured his look in this figure quite well. Construction of the figure feels good. Joints are at the right tolerance, nothing too tight or too loose. There is a lot going on in this figure as far as weapons, but nothing feels out of place as the solid construction is able to keep it all together. Most of the fiddly bits clean up quite well in robot mode. And if something is dangling around, it is more intended as part of the design and not a production flaw. The back of the robot cleans up nicely too (which I should have took a pic). There’s not a lot of unwanted kibble on the back, so kudos to HasTak.

Brawl is a bit limited in the articulation category. Part of it is because of his design; he’s very bulky with lots of kibble, and that in itself limits articulation. The design of the feet, while movie accurate, don’t allow for any ankle tilt, which hinders poses. The hands are molded directly into the forearms, and don’t come out. Arm articulation as a whole suffers from all the weapons and extra kibble present all around.

Transformation to tank mode is fun. I don’t remember any other figure quite like SS 12 Brawl, not even the original leader class figure. The leg transformation is fairly straightforward. Arms form the tank turret, and they come together in an interesting and unique way. The hardest part to describe is the chest. This section folds on itself several times, and there are other minor pieces that complement this scheme to produce a robot to tank transformation unlike anything else we’ve seen before. SS 12 definitely gets points for transformation originality.

In my opinion, the thank mode looks really good. This is on par to the looks of the leader class Brawl figure in alt mode. In the movie, I think there is only one scene of Brawl in tank mode. It was when he was first summoned along with the rest of the Decepticons. This tank mode looks extremely close to that tank on screen. There are no working tank treads here, but I wasn’t expecting that for a $30 toy. With all weapons attached in tank mode, Brawl really looks like the menacing ground assault Decepticon that he is.

Brawl comes with 2 accessories: a missile launcher with 4 missiles, and a claw type weapon. Add to that all the molded-in weapons (the main cannon, 2 sub cannons, and 2 4-set missiles, all on the turret), he will give Age of Extinction Hound a run for his money as the TF with the most arsenal. I recommend SS 12 Brawl with no reservations.

Megatron

I never realized something until I started doing this post, and I had to confirm by looking at my TF List: I only have 2 movie Megatrons! Considering how many movie Optimus Primes I have, that’s almost a crime. The two movie Megatrons I have is Dark of the Moon voyager fuel truck Megatron, and The Last Knight voyager jet Megatron.

I never got the original jet leader class Megatron from the first movie, or the ROTF leader class tank Megatron. I didn’t want them as a silent protest to how Michael Bay completely butchered the G1 roots of Megatron and created this weird amalgamation that is supposed to represent the Decepticon leader. In retrospect, I kind of regret not buying them. From a pure toy perspective, they were unique, and Hasbro never released anything like them again.

So when I heard that the Studio Series are coming out with a new take on ROTF Megatron, I had to look into it. Here is the figure in robot mode.

I’m never gonna warm up to the looks of movie Megatron. I’m a G1 die-hard that will never recognize this as Megatron. But that being said, and rating purely on the toy’s representation of the movie depiction, I love the look of SS 13 Megatron in robot mode. His proportions are very balanced, and HasTak captured that alien bug-like appearance of Megatron really well. I like the giant sword weapon that he has in the right arm. All the mechanical tentacles on the left arm gives me a satisfying yet creepy conception of what could happen if they got hold of unsuspecting Autobots (or any other kind of prey).

Construction of the figure is solid. Megatron has the articulation chops for a variety of poses, and the solid construction allows him to hold those poses. For the most part, he’s a kibble-free figure. That’s not easily done with a design like his. Much credit to HasTak here.

SS 13 ROTF Megatron is not too shabby in alt mode, either. I like the look of this alien tank. I’m not sure how close it looks to the movie, though I will admit that my recollection of ROTF the movie is faint at best. I honestly don’t even remember Megatron in alt mode, but I’m sure there are fans out there that will correct me.

I do feel like SS 13 Megatron is one of those figures that, if you haven’t transformed it for some time, it will throw you for a loop. That’s especially true for robot to alt mode. This Megatron tank is alien, so there’s not the usual earth mode cues to go on. Everthing does tab into place, however, so you know you didn’t do something right if the resulting alt mode feels more floppy than solid. I think for that reason, I didn’t like this piece at first. But he grew on me, and on subsequent transformations, I regard SS 13 Megatron as one of the better figures in the Studio Series line. This figure gets my recommendation.

Snarl

Continuing the trend of the Power of the Primes Dinobots, this month we get Snarl. Grimlock, Slug (aka Slag), and Swoop were released in January, while Sludge came around in March. Snarl completes everybody’s favorite quintet of dinos.

He comes in robot mode, like all the other PotP dinos.

I really like Snarl, and I am happy that HasTak has finally given him some official love by updating the G1 version of this character. But PotP Snarl is a mediocre figure in every sense of the word. Overall transformation is the same standard scheme that every G1 fan is familiar with, albeit updated with some modern mechanics. He comes with his classic sword, but no blaster. Poseability is sort of there, not great yet not bad. Construction of the figure is adequate. Some parts are a bit too loose in my opinion, but not so horrible that the figure can’t hold any poses on its own. The figure is somewhat playable. You think he would be easy to transform, and that’s true for the most part. But PotP Snarl is one of those figures that, if you haven’t touched it for a while, it will surprise you with transformation impediments here and there. Not because it’s hard, but because there are little mechanical details that you are supposed to remember, but you don’t because you either forgot or didn’t think it’s important.

The one good thing about PotP Snarl is that he looks good in both modes. Here he is in dino mode.

For a retail deluxe class figure, I think the detail on PotP Snarl is more than adequate. You won’t confuse this character with any other.

The 5 Dinobots will combine. I never tried this, but I might if I get bored enough. I have mentioned before that I wish they didn’t, because implementing 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 wish the other Dinobots are bigger than deluxe.

If you got the other 4 dinos, then you will get this regardless of what I say. It’s hard to see anyone buying just Snarl and none of the others. But if that happens to be you, then you are indeed an original. Bravo.

Moonracer

HasTak has been releasing many Fembots in recent years. The female Autobots was something completely made up by the G1 show creators in a desperate attempt to win over more girls to the toyline. Whether that worked is anyone’s guess. But what it did do is create demand for toys of the Fembots among the hardcore G1 TF nerds.

HasTak loves you and has started creating toys of the Fembots in CHUG. In January of 2015, Generations Thrilling 30 Arcee and Chromia were introduced. Then PotP Elita-1 was released in March of this year. This month we get Moonracer, one of the original 4 Fembots in the G1 episode “The Search for Alpha Trion”.

First let’s take a look at Moonracer in robot mode. Looking from the front, the figure is not half bad. She’s got a distinctive female body shape, and the head mold resembles her cartoon design fairly well.

But looking at Moonracer from the side, this figure becomes a total fail. Look at that huge backpack. Moonracer has got some serious back junk. Maybe that’s how Powerglide likes it.

Transformation to alt mode is pretty easy and intuitive, so I’m won’t describe it too much. Moonracer is a bit guilty of being a shell-former. Not G1 Scourge bad, but still a shell-former nonetheless. That huge backpack should have clued you in.

The alt mode itself is not badly done. I don’t remember how Moonracer really looked in alt mode, and I’m not going to look it up for the purpose of this post. Power of the Primes Moonracer has a vehicle mode that looks truly Cybertronian, and that works well enough in my book.

So do I recommend Moonracer? If it wasn’t for that giant backpack issue, I would classify this figure as good. But as it stands, Moonracer is still a decent toy. The robot mode is not half bad, as long as you’re only looking at it from the front. Poseability of the figure in this mode is solid. I have no complaints about the alt mode. But if you’re even remotely thinking about buying Moonracer, you are probably a G1 fan that grew up with the cartoons. If that’s the case, you will go buy this figure no matter what I say. Having these characters come to life 30+ years later is a G1ers dream come true. Go buy the figure and fully engage yourself in the TF nerdgasm that is Moonracer.

Trypticon

I first reported on the news of a Trypticon release back in March of 2017. I think in the fall of 2017, Titans Return Trypticon was released. It’s generally agreed that this is a good fig, though reports of hips breaking from the super tight hip ratchets put a damper on things. There are many proposed fixes out there; Google the topic and you’re bound to find some good ones.

With Metroplex and Fortress Maximus, the prices quickly dropped after only a few months of its release. I’m not sure why that is. My theory is that there are only so much demand for such figures. Titans class figures that are clearly G1 inspired would only appeal to the most hardcore G1 enthusiasts, willing to part with hundreds of dollars on a single Transformer figure. The average Transformer fan would take a look in store, stare at the figure in awe, and walk away. Little kids who happened on these figs in the toy aisle would have a hard time convincing their parents to buy such items, and that’s if they even took an interest in the first place.

MSRP for Trypticon is $149.99. Not surprisingly, the fig was going for around that much upon first release. But I was expecting this to follow the pattern of both Metroplex and Fort Max, and have the price reduced soon. I got Metroplex for a bit over $100, and Fort Max for $75. The 2017 Holidays rolled around, and Trypticon was still close to MSRP. I think the lowest I saw at the time was around $120 on Amazon, and after adding in tax it would go over $130. I thought it could go lower so I waited, but then the stock dried up and no more Trypticons would go on sale for a while.

Fast forward to June of 2018, and I saw one third party seller offering this at $103.65. This was a third party seller on Amazon, and not in the same state as me, which means no sales tax. So I quickly jumped on this and got me Trypticon.

I am disappointed to report that, to this day, my Trypticon still sits in the closet, unopened. I don’t know why I’m so hesitant. Maybe it’s because I know of the hip ratchets issue. Maybe I was always more of a fan of Metroplex. Or maybe I’m just too busy, with a 2 year old baby girl in the house.

But I’ll get to this one day. And if you’re reading and think you missed out, don’t. I just checked. Amazon has Trypicon at $109.99, while bbts has it at $99. Value of Trypticon has not gone up at all. Maybe the hip ratchets thing really hurt it. Compare that to Metroplex, which third party sellers on Amazon list at about $650.

Flyfire

I first mentioned Zeta Flyfire back in this post. And in the purchase post for last month (May 2018), I went into Air Strike. So I won’t repeat all that stuff here. Just know that these 2 Zeta Aerialbots are highly similar, definitely cut from the same cloth.

In the pic below, you see that Flyfire uses the exact same kind of packaging as Air Strike. And just like Air Strike, Flyfire comes with the same number and kind of accessories: a rifle, 4 missiles, instructions, and bio-card. Very minimalist, and in my opinion not a bad thing.

Flyfire in bot mode below.

Overall, I would say that Flyfire is about the same as Air Strike in robot mode, but comes together better in jet mode. I mentioned that, for Air Strike, there’s this weird issue with the front landing gear in jet mode. Flyfire has no such issue. It seems like Zeta fixed these minor annoying things this time around. Flyfire is the sophomore release in this series and it shows.

As of this writing, all 5 Zeta Aerialbots are released. My friend Gemini has all 5, and pics of the combined mode into Zeta Superion is impressive. However, Fans Toys have come out with their own set of Aerialbots. I have not yet decided if I want to stick with Zeta, or change direction mid-course and go with Fans Toys. I have a hunch that I will make this decision based on how I feel about Roadking, FT’s version of Motormaster. I received Roadking a few weeks ago, but have not had a chance to open the fig yet.

Bulldozer

By the end of 2015, there already exist several modern interpretations of Constructicons. Two were done by 3rd party: TFC Toys Hercules, and MakeToys Giant. Hasbro also released it’s own update on this popular combiner group. None of these sets are perfect, each with its pros and cons. But all of them can be considered good, and you can make a case for each as to which is the best. Instead of being forced to choose just one and suffer analysis paralysis, I got all 3. And if you were to point a fusion cannon to my head right now and force me to choose the winner among these 3, I probably go with Hercules by TFC Toys.

As if all these options weren’t already enough, in 2017 two more 3rd party companies decided to enter the fray and do their own take on Constructicons. One is Constructor by ToyWorld, which is the next entry (scroll down below). The other is ReBuilder by Generation Toy.

For those that don’t know, NBK is 4th party (read: knock-offs of 3rd party). I have no idea what NBK stands for. In this case, NBK Bulldozer is a knock-off of Generation Toy ReBuilder GT-99D Bulldozer. NBK didn’t even bother giving this figure a new name and just stuck with Bulldozer. And we all know this is supposed to represent Bonecrusher.

So is NBK Bulldozer any good? For a knock-off, it is surprisingly good! It’s packed in alt mode. The box is very minimal, but I will stress again I consider that to be a plus. As for accessories, he comes with a pistol, and the attachment that will become the forearm.

In alt mode, all pieces come together to form a nice cohesive whole.

There is placement for the forearm attachment in alt mode. It can be hooked up to the rear, like a trailer.

The pistol can be folded and tucked underneath the vehicle. See if you can identify where it is in this pic.

I’m guessing Generation Toy took some liberties with the design of Bulldozer, but to me he still seems very G1 for the most part. For color issues, the giant one that immediately pops up is why is the bulldozer blade purple. That’s probably a question that only NBK can answer. Knock-offs are notorious for botching color schemes, and whether or not that’s intentional is anyone’s guess.

Transformation is fun. And I will emphasize that again… FUN! That’s something I feel is often missing from today’s Transformers. 3rd party will often make something that is impressive in how it transforms, but transforming it becomes a chore. And as for HasTak, sometimes the figure is so simple, there is no fun. Sometimes bad construction issues ruin an otherwise well designed piece that would have been fun. NBK Constructor suffers from none of these pitfalls. The superb design is probably more a credit to Generation Toy, but NBK has built a piece that feels more than solid enough to be played with. All joints are at the right tolerance. Things snap together when they need to, and come apart when they should.

The transformation process itself should be familiar enough to anyone who has played with enough G1 style TFs in the modern era. But it’s not super-obvious either, with enough challenge to offer mature fans something to marvel at. Some G1 diehards will complain about transformational design changes, such as the 180 turning at the chest and how the bulldozer blade splits and ends up on the shoulders. I personally feel these are refreshing changes that offer a different yet familiar take on an old and tired scheme.

Below are some pics of the robot mode. I’ll let them do the talking.

Again, G1 diehards will complain about the non-G1-ness. But I like it. Bulldozer is well proportioned in robot mode. He looks different enough from G1 Bonecrusher, but still similar enough to be Bonecrusher. The figure is pretty poseable. And again, I don’t know if the purple bits are by design, this being knock-off and all.

The head mold should satisfy all G1 requirements.

The designers of this mold did account for storage of the arm attachment in robot mode. I guess this is supposed to be a giant backpack thruster kind of thing. It’s kind of hokey, but hey, they tried. Points for effort.

As for the arm attachment in combined mode, the fist flips out from inside the forearm. I like this. I’m not a fan of using extra combining pieces, and GT really minimized this in the design.

Overall I really recommend this toy. Get the Generation Toy version if you don’t mind spending the money. Or get this NBK KO version if you’re on a budget. Speaking of being on a budget, this is the first and only time I got something from ShowZ. I heard about the store, prior to this. At only $9.99 for NBK Bulldozer, I had to try it. That’s $9.99 from China, no extra shipping fees and no taxes! The figure arrived in reasonable time. So if you’re hesitant about the store, don’t be. ShowZ is legit. It’s not one of the China scammers that I have wrote about.

As of this writing, I do have all 6 of the NBK knock-off Constructicons. But I’ll save my thoughts about this NBK set for another day. Because we have something extraordinary to get to. And that is…

Constructor

I saved the best for last. Ladies and gentlemen… I give you… (drum roll)… Constructor!

I will say this right now, so you don’t have to read through all the details: if you want the best Devastator in this modern era, then pick up ToyWorld Constructor. This is hands down the best team in the combined form! If you care nothing for the individual robot or alt modes, then this is the set for you. ToyWorld Devastator is truly worthy of the name, and will put all other Devastators to shame.

But just to be complete, I will show pics of the other modes. Below is each fig in alt mode.

Individually in robot mode.

And now the pics you have been waiting for… the combined mode! Behold the awesomeness that is ToyWorld Constructor.

I spent $469.99 buying this set, and in this form, he’s worth every penny. Constructor is at the size he needs to be to properly scale with MPs. ToyWorld really hit it out of the park with this awesome set.

Doing a full review here won’t pay enough homage to group, so I intend to do a separate review later. So I will quickly list some pros and cons in bullet points.

Pros:

  • Awesome Devastator! (I can’t say that enough)
  • Solid build and construction
  • Nice individual robot and alt modes
  • G1 accurate – TW took very little liberties in the design
  • Fun transformation that’s intuitive and not frustrating

Cons:

  • Uses combining parts – and many of the parts have nowhere to go when in individual mode
  • Individual modes do not scale well in MP – way too big

The bullets in Cons are points you kinda would expect, for Constructor to be so good. Unless someone really figures out show to mass shift, either the combined mode would be too small, or the individual bots would be too big. TW took the latter approach, but that’s to give us a Devastator that is truly representative of what we see in G1. As for using combined parts, I will concur with the naysayers and agree that it’s kinda cheating. Especially when the parts have nowhere else to go in the individual modes. But the proportions of Constructor is so good, I’m almost willing to forgive this. Almost. How you feel about using combiner parts is up to you, but I still see it as a negative.

When this set was first released, each bot had to be purchased separately, costing about $100 each. TW has gone away from that and now only release the complete set as one. The edition that I have here is the regular edition. It’s a very minimal set that only comes with the essentials. I don’t even remember if I have the Devastator gun, I’ll have to check. Other editions come with extra heads and different color thigh parts. TW knew they had a winner here, and kinda went crazy and released all sorts of different versions of Constructor. There’s a yellow one, an orange one, a clear green one, a clear orange one, a limited edition metallic one, and some more that I don’t remember. As of this writing, this regular edition that I feature here is on longer available. But there is a limited ultimate edition that costs about $500. I’m not sure what’s exactly in this ultimate version, but I see that it has more realistic paint. Some minor tweaks to the molds were made, probably after getting fan criticism on certain issues. It might come with all the extras. For only $30 more on top of what I paid, I wish I waited for this version. Oh well. Am I hardcore enough to get this version too? Most likely not. Probably not. I hope not.

And another quick FYI… sometimes the other color sets may go for crazy cheap. I think I have seen the clear orange one go for $299. It might have been ShowZ. Or maybe one of the other dealers on a weekend sale.

Whew… that was a WAY longer post than I had intended. Sometimes when the writing mood hits me, I don’t stop. This may have been my longest post ever. Longer post equals more proof reading, something I hate doing. It takes time away from playing with the awesome figs featured here.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

War For Cybertron Siege Autobots

February 13th, 2020 No comments

Quick post today. Below is a pic of some of my Autobots from War For Cybertron Siege.

Included in this group are:

  • Ultra Magnus
  • Chromia
  • Prowl
  • Ironhide

As a whole, I am really impressed with the WFC Siege line. All molds new to the line are well designed. Manufacturing of this line is also above par. There are very little issues that come as a result of bad production runs, unlike some figs in other TF lines.

In my opinion, this is the best Ultra Magnus produced. I like this better than both Combiner Wars and MP Ultra Magnus. I already hold both of those in very high regard. But WFC Siege UM tops them both. He looks more G1 than either of them. Transformation is interesting without being frustrating. And in robot mode, he’s better proportioned. The alt mode is exactly what I expect him to be on Cybertron. Totally recommended.

Prowl and Ironhide are interesting additions to the line. Both are solid figs that are worthy of your purchase, though I don’t put them in the must-have category. HasTak did a good job of re-imagining the two characters as how they would be on Cybertron. Their robot modes heavily resemble their G1 selves, and the alt modes properly reflect what they would be on their home planet. Transformation of both is on the simple side, and neither of these figs break new area as far as offering something we haven’t seen before. But both figs are solid enough on their own, and fans are sure to snatch these two up as they are some of the most famous characters from G1.

Chromia is the only one that is a repaint of something previous. I made peace with the fact that Hasbro is not gonna make a mold for just one character, ever. But this mold was used twice already, once for Moonracer and once for Novastar (Firestar). Still, I chose to buy it. So it’s on me. And personally, I like Thrilling 30 Chromia better than this Chromia.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics