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Transformers Purchased in January 2019

February 21st, 2021 Leave a comment Go to comments

2019 started off with a bang. War For Cybertron: Siege is now available in full force. Last month we got a taste of it with Battlemasters, which is the modern term for Targetmasters. 2019 begins with the full-fledged figures in WFC Siege.

No 3P or 4P products this month.

  • War For Cybertron Siege Hound, amazon.com, $19.99

  • War For Cybertron Siege Sideswipe, amazon.com, $19.99

  • War For Cybertron Siege Cog, Walmart, $19.96

  • War For Cybertron Siege Megatron, amazon.com, $29.99

  • War For Cybertron Siege Optimus Prime, amazon.com, $29.99

  • War For Cybertron Siege Roadhandler and Swindler, Target, $9.99

  • Power of the Primes Wreck-Gar, Walgreens, $17.99

  • Studio Series Dropkick, Walmart, $18.84

Hound

Hound was one of my favorite characters from G1, so I am happy that 2019 kicks off with Hound as the very first figure.

The WFC Siege figure does justice to Hound. The alt mode is tough and rugged. The vehicle rolls well on a flat surface, and the whole thing comes together as a solid cohesive unit. The green paint job is nice, with painted-on decals of the Autobot symbol and the star that pays good homage to G1 Hound. The are peg holes for all the accessories.

Transformation to robot mode is nothing we haven’t seen before, but for Hound that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The only thing worth noting that’s a bit different is the leg transformation. The side panels of the vehicle unpegs, and the whole unit wraps around inwards to form the legs. We have seen this mechanism before on other figs, but it’s refreshing to see this on Hound. The hood of the car forms the chest and arms come out from underneath the sides. Overall, a very straightforward transformation.

In robot mode, WFC Hound does not disappoint. He’s iconic Hound in all the right ways. From the colors, the overall shape, and his trademark face sculpt, no TransFan will mistake this character for any other. The figure is well built with the right joint tolerances. Most fans should be happy with the level of articulation for a $20 toy.

Hound comes with 3 accessories. He still has his trademark shoulder-mounted missile launcher that is highly reminiscent of G1 (no missiles, unfortunately). He comes with a rifle that bears little resemblance to what he had in G1. And he has a circular accessory that can be pegged behind the rifle as a cartridge. In alt mode, this round accessory can be positioned to look like the spare tire he had in G1.

I recommend WFC Hound without reservations.

Sideswipe

WFC Sideswipe is the next figure acquired in 2019. Sideswipe is another one of my favorites, 2019 is starting off on the right foot.

In alt mode, WFC Sideswipe is a nice and sleek looking Cybertronian car. The paint job is superb, and the painted-on Autobot logo on the hood is sharp and spot-on. All parts of the figure come together well in alt mode with no loose or dangling bits. The gun and shoulder cannon accessories can be combined together as a super cannon and pegged on top of the car. A nice alt mode all in all.

Just like Hound, transformation of Sideswipe from alt to robot is pretty standard fare. It follows the tried-and-true Sideswipe transformation formula that we’ve known since G1 without too much deviation. A 180 degree waist rotation is required for WFC Sideswipe, but that in itself is nothing revolutionary. WFC Siege Sideswipe is a fun figure to just pick up and play.

The robot mode of this figure is pure classic Sideswipe in terms of appearance and design. The face sculpt, the car-hood chest, and the shape of the arms and legs, all scream G1 Sideswipe. Articulation is decent enough for a toy of this class. I detect no construction issues on my copy, all joints operate flawlessly.

Sideswipe comes with 2 accessories: a gun and a shoulder cannon. As mentioned already, they can be combined into a super cannon, for use in both robot and alt modes. G1 purists will probably bash these weapons as being non G1 accurate, but that falls into hardcore nitpicking.

If I was to mention one negative about both Hound and Sideswipe, it’s that their Cybertronian alt modes look too much like Earth alt modes. Hound is basically a Jeep with some Cybertronian modifications here and there, while Sideswipe’s Cybertronian sports car could pass as a Lamborghini concept. From a story perspective, I find it hard to believe that their alt modes would resemble their Earth alt modes to such a high degree. But that’s me nitpicking on the design. Rating purely on the merit of the figure, both Hound and Sideswipe are exceptional. No true G1 fan would pass on these figures. Get them.

Cog

Cog is a character with G1 origin. He was the combined robot form of Gasket and Grommet, accessory vehicles that came with G1 Fortress Maximus. Titans Return Fortress Maximus was released without the vehicles or Cog, so it’s good to see him made as part of the WFC Siege line.

A gimmick of the WFC Siege line are Weaponizer figures. This means they transform between robot and alt modes by mostly detaching and re-attaching parts of the figure. And more importantly, since the parts detach, they can be used as weapons for other WFC Siege figs. Cog is a Weaponizer. This role fits this character really well, since in G1 he was assembled from two vehicles (sort of like Duocons).

The robot and alt modes of WFC Siege Cog is solid. I’ve only seen pictures of G1 Cog, but as far as I can tell, Siege Cog pays good homage to its G1 roots. Transformation, as described already, is mostly puzzle forming. Personally I’m not a big fan of puzzle forming. But I understand the role that Weaponizers serve, and Cog does have parts forming G1 roots.

This figure truly shines when he is used as weapons and accessories to enhance other figures. Most WFC Siege figs have peg holes all over the place. As a Weaponizer, Cog can be disassembled and attached to other Siege figures in all kinds of ways. The instructions will give some official configurations as to how Cog can be used. But some TransFans have came up with some very creative ways for Cog to shore up other Siege figs to make them look extra ready for battle. Weaponizers really add a lot of replay value to the WFC Siege line. The whole thing still feels a tad too gimmicky for me, but it’s a good gimmick.

Megatron

WFC Siege Megatron is the first Voyager class figure this month. The Decepticon leader needs no introduction. In terms of design, this figure is completely based on G1 Megatron aesthetics in the 80s cartoon. The head, chest, and abdomen designs scream G1 Megatron. The arms and legs are also heavily G1 based, the designs retooled from the Earth mode appearance for a Cybertronian look. There are small bits on the shoulders that retains the G1 gun hammer protrusions. And of course the fusion cannon, the most iconic thing about Megatron, is well intact. I mean that both figuratively and literally, as the cannon cannot be detached from the figure. WFC Siege Megatron is well-proportioned. No weird G1 Megatron toy proportions here. He comes with a sword accessory, which I feel is kind of unnecessary. All in all, there’s a lot to be liked about the robot mode.

Transformation from robot to tank feels rehashed from, most notably, Generations Thrilling 30 Megatron and Combiner Wars Megatron. The arms come together over the back and squeezes the fusion cannon between them, collectively forming the turret. The legs rotate and fold to form the rear tank treads. The front tank treads that is stored on the back in robot mode folds outwards and rotates down for alt mode. And if you’re saying you have seen this movie before, I don’t blame you.

In tank mode, Megatron is distinctively Cybertronian. Other than the colors, he does not resemble his G1 Earth mode. In my opinion that’s a good thing, since all the other WFC Siege figs this month have their alt modes resemble their Earth forms a bit too much. The main turret does rotate a full 180, but the main cannon cannot be angled up or down. Tank treads are obviously non-working, and plastic wheels are present under each tread for actual movement. My biggest gripe about this mode is that the tank does not feel cohesive enough. The tabs that peg the front treads to the main body don’t seem to work that well. There is nothing pegging the front and rear tread together. The alt mode could have been much more stabilized if these few shortcomings were corrected.

Of all the WFC Siege figures acquired this month, I recommend Megatron the least. Overall he’s still fairly solid, and TF diehards will of course get a Megatron for their collection so what I say here probably won’t stop anybody from buying one. But if for some reason you had to cut one figure this month, Megatron gets my vote. Besides, in the months that follow, HasTak will repaint this numerous times. You will have many more opportunities to get one.

Optimus Prime

It’s no surprise that an Optimus Prime figure would be part of the first wave. Besides Megatron, the iconic Autobot leader is the other Voyager class figure we get in WFC Siege in the first wave. And this figure does not disappoint.

In robot mode, there’s no mistaking this character for anyone else. Prime’s iconic head and truck cab body are in full display. The colors and proportions of the figure are everything that you’ve come to expect from a G1-based Optimus Prime figure in the modern era. The included rifle unmistakably belongs to Prime. The figure also comes with an axe, and it never ceases to amaze me that Optimus only used the axe in one scene in G1 and all these toys accessories have been made for it for the past 25 years. Siege Optimus is quite poseable, with articulation points at all the places you expect.

Transformation to alt mode utilizes the standard overall scheme that’s been in place for Optimus since G1. There are some slight variations here and there, but there should be no surprises here for the seasoned TransFan. In this case it’s not a bad thing, and Optimus in any G1 reincarnation is too iconic for experimentation. The alt mode comes together nicely. Everything tabs into place where it should, with nothing dangling around. Prime rolls well on a flat surface. There are peg holes aplenty for both accessories. The axe blade and handle can both be compacted and tucked away. Much like Hound and Sideswipe, my only gripe is that his Cybertronian alt mode resembles way too closely to the cab of an Earth semi-trailer truck. I actually prefer his Cybertronian designs from the War For Cybertron video games or the War Within comics published by Dreamweave.

Hasbro has another winner with WFC Siege Optimus. Construction of the figure is solid all throughout. Everything is at the right tolerance. This figure does not take the Autobot Leader into uncharted toy territory, but it doesn’t need to. What this figure does, it does very well. Recommended.

Roadhandler and Swindler

Roadhandler and Swindler are the first Micromasters that I bought in the modern era. I have some G1 Micromasters, that I reviewed here. And just like G1, WFC Micromasters are released in packs and not individually. Roadhandler and Swindler make up the Autobot Race Car Patrol. Roadhandler is the red one, and Swindler (not to be confused with the infamous Swindle of Combaticons) is the grey one. I had to Google which is which.

In alt mode, these 2 figures ain’t too shabby. They each tab together well to form a cohesive unit. You can also easily tell what the alt modes are supposed to be. Roadhandler looks like a 80s Trans Am, while Swindler looks like a DeLorean (of Back to the Future fame). They are small, but you knew that going in.

Transformation is super obvious so I won’t even describe it. If you have played with any transforming robots at any time in your life, you know how these 2 transforms. The robot modes are mediocre at best. Because the transformation is so limited, the robot modes themselves are limited. All joints are cheap plastic ball joints, and parts love to pop off during transformation. For robots this small, I don’t know why they bother with articulation. It’s not like there’s much there to begin with. I much rather they sacrifice leg articulation for more stability. Roadhandler’s car hood ends up on his back, creating a back-heavy robot mode that doesn’t stand well.

A gimmick of these 2-pack WFC Siege Micromasters is that they will combine with each other to form a super weapon, for use with bigger WFC Siege figs (like Hound or Sideswipe). Roadhandler and Swindler will combine to form a cannon. But it’s so awful looking, like 2 half transformed cars stacked on top of one another. If you get this 2 pack, don’t even bother with this mode. I would later get Storm Cloud and Visper, and they do the weapon combination thing much, much better.

Roadhandler and Swindler retails for $10. I don’t think they are entirely worth it at this price. If you can find them for $5 or less, go for it. At more than that, you should stop and check yourself. There’s no shame in walking away from these 2.

Wreck-Gar

Last month I mentioned that Predaking was my final purchase from Power of the Primes. I was mistaken. The final purchase from that line is Wreck-Gar. I totally forgot about this purchase. It was never opened, and went straight to a box in my storage unit after purchase.

PotP Wreck-Gar is essentially a minor rework off of Protectobot Groove, from Combiner Wars. Hardcore TransFans like myself bought this store exclusive figure to complete the Protectobots and form Defensor in its proper G1 configuration. On its own, Combiner Wars Groove is ok at best.

I was travelling for work when I found Wreck-Far. I stopped into Walgreens for some essentials, and stumbled upon the figure. Wreck-Gar was probably a Walgreens exclusive, since I have not seen this figure anywhere else. I bought this figure for that reason alone. This will probably never get opened.

Dropkick

The only non WFC Siege purchase this month is Dropkick from the Bumblebee movie. Dropkick and his commander Shatter were two Decepticons sent to Earth in pursuit of Bumblebee. Shatter and Dropkick are both triple changers in the movie. To my knowledge, there exist no triple changing figures of these two characters, official or otherwise. It’s much like how they never made an Age of Extinction Drift that will transform into both a car and a helicopter, just one or the other. And in that tradition, Hasbro made figures that will only transform to one alt mode. Studio Series figure 22 is Dropkick that will transform into the chopper.

Dropkick is not half bad in chopper alt mode. The main body feels kinda skinny, but it reflects the look of this vehicle in real life. The details on the figure is more than sufficient for a figure at this price point. Painted logos of the US Air Force, the Jolly Roger, and caution signs provide some nice accents to the overall look. The main and tail rotors are both working. The canopy uses a separate clear piece. Dropkick sits well on his landing skids on a flat surface. There may be a tendency to fall back on the tail, but can be easily made to balance correctly.

Transformation of SS Dropkick is actually quite unique. The lower portion of the chopper body form the legs, while the tail boom become the arms. Cockpit folds down to form the chest, and during this process the head is revealed as well. Upper portion of the chopper body rotates 180. There’s a bit more transformation detail that I’m not describing, but that’s the high level summary. The overall transformation is not difficult by any means, but it’s not super intuitive either if you haven’t touched the figure for quite some time.

How I feel about the robot mode is a mixed bag. I can’t get over the fact that it’s such a skinny figure, a look that doesn’t quite resemble his movie appearance. The arms are weird too, being that it’s the chopper tail boom folded. The tail end doesn’t fold onto the arms completely, and are just left dangling to the sides. Articulation is not half bad, but in my opinion uses too many ball joints to achieve this result. The figure in robot mode is relatively proportionate, and balances well on a flat surface. Construction is decent. Some joints are a tad loose, but still offers enough support.

I don’t entirely recommend SS Dropkick, but I don’t hate it either. The alt mode is good and the transformation is refreshing. The robot mode is a bit too skinny and does not accurately resemble how he looks in the movie. And I know this may be unfair, but Bumblebee Dropkick has gotta be a triple changer. Having just one mode feels incomplete.

That will do it for the TFs in January of 2019. Here is the summary if you just want the Cliff Notes version.

Recommended:

  • Hound
  • Sideswipe
  • Cog
  • Optimus Prime

Not Recommended

  • Roadhandler and Swindler
  • Wreck-Gar

You Decide:

  • Megatron
  • Dropkick

Transform and Roll Out.

 

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