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Transformers Purchased in February 2019

February 2019 is another month of all official purchases. This month it’s back to mostly figs from Studio Series.

  • War For Cybertron Siege Skytread, amazon.com, $18.88

  • Studio Series WWII Bumblebee, Walmart, $19.87

  • Studio Series Barricade, Walmart, $19.87

  • Studio Series Sideswipe, Walmart, $19.87

  • Cyberverse Shockwave, Amazon seller, $14

Skytread

WFC Siege Skytread was released in the same wave as all the WFC Siege deluxe figures last month. For some odd reason, I couldn’t find one til this month. This was probably for the best, as there has been numerous complaints of production issues with Skytread’s right leg not being able to move. My assumption is these issues only appeared on the very first batch. I found my copy a bit later, and it’s fine.

Any true G1er knows that Siege Skytread is really G1 Duocon Flywheels. Why Hasbro chose to change the name here is anyone’s guess. The other Duocon, Battletrap, was released in 2018 in the Power of the Primes line as Battleslash and Roadtrap. Very good to see that the Duocons are complete in the modern era.

For those that don’t know, Duocons were released in G1 Season 4. Their gimmick is that two vehicles come together to form one robot mode. There is a spring mechanism that activates when combining to robot for a semi-automatic transformation. The process is completely manual when going to the alt modes.

For PotP Battletrap, Hasbro went one step further and gave each vehicle component a robot mode, and they still combine into the larger robot as Battletrap. While this sounds good on paper, having all these modes made none of the modes all that good. In Battletrap robot form, the figure is a bit unstable. Figure integrity will be compromised with enough rough play. For Siege Skytread, Hasbro stuck with the basics and implemented a simple jet and tank that will combine into Skytread. I appreciate this decision, as the individual alt modes are better, and Skytread’s robot mode is way more stable.

In robot mode, Skytread is unmistakably G1 Flywheels. The colors should be a dead giveaway, as no other G1 TF I can think of has a dark red color chest and brown limbs. The head mold also closely resembles the look of Flywheels. The design itself is not that unique, but it’s what he had in G1. Skytread is fairly poseable, with joints at all the right places and at the right tolerances. He’s well proportioned and without too much kibble. Again, he’s very stable. The two components will not accidentally separate. In robot mode, Skytread is about the same height as PotP Battletrap. The two Duocons are ready to kick ass together. Or get their asses kicked together. The latter is more likely.

Separation to alt modes is pretty straightforward. Just pull apart at the waist. Transformation of each component to its alt mode is not difficult at all. The legs form the tank. It looks kinda Earth style, but with Cybertronian enhancements. My only gripe about the tank is that pegging the main cannon in the middle peg hole doesn’t work well. There’s a piece right behind this peg hole which sort of blocks access for the back of the cannon. Better to peg each weapon on top but off center, one to the right and one to the left. The upper body forms the jet, which looks like a Earth Harrier. This mode’s not bad, though the obvious weakness here is the under-kibble that results from where the arms go. Both components have plenty of peg holes for the 2 weapons. The 2 weapons can also be combined into a super cannon, another recognition of this character’s two-as-one motif.

G1 fans who already bought PotP Battleslash and Roadtrap will get Siege Skytread regradless of what I say. To everyone else, I say get him. He’s a fun figure with a gimmick that is well implemented.

Bumblebee

First of the Studio Series figures this month is WWII Bumblebee from The Last Knight. I didn’t look at the box carefully when I bought this, so I just assumed this is from the Bumblebee movie. So the whole time I was trying to figure out when did Bumblebee transform into this WWII vehicle. I should have looked closer.

I didn’t like The Last Knight all that much, so I can’t recall any specifics about the movie. I definitely don’t remember Bee transforming into the alt mode represented by this figure. If I ever re-watch it I’ll look for it, but that’s not happening anytime soon.

As for SS WWII Bumblebee, the figure is mediocre at best. The alt mode is kinda unique. I do like the main cannon and the rotating blaster on the roof. But that’s about all the figure has got going for it. In alt mode, the whole thing doesn’t come together as well as it should. The roof cannot completely close down, because the cannon on the inside will come into contact with other pieces. Transformation is sorta frustrating. There’s too much kibble on this buy, things getting in the way and thus preventing a smooth experience. Pieces love to pop off during transformation. WWII Bumblebee is very much a panel former. The hips are on ball joints that are way too lose, so the figure does not stabilize well in robot mode. It is kinda cool that the main cannon can be detached and used as a hammer in robot mode, but that alone does not redeem the other negatives. Add to all this the fact that I don’t even remember Bumblebee in this form makes this a very forgettable purchase.

I think Hasbro actually re-released this figure in the Buzzworthy Bumblebee line. Different packaging but the same figure. Leave this on the shelf if you see it. Not recommended.

Barricade

Studio Series Barricade is my 5th Barricade figure from the Movie-verse. I have written about how none of the mass-produced deluxe Barricade figures thus far are all that good. And I have mentioned that Masterpiece Barricade (MPM-5) is by far the best. So how does SS Barricade fare? Let’s find out.

It alt mode, I am impressed by the amount of detail on SS Barricade. The overall black and white scheme works well here for Barricade. There are a lot of printed on labeling on the vehicle, such as the police logo, the words “POLICE” on the doors and spoiler, “643” on the roof, “911” on the rear sides of the vehicle, and last but not least the words “to punish and enslave”. The words “SALEEN” is molded across the rear. The sirens are a separate piece on the roof, painted blue on the right and red on the left. Rear brake lights are painted. HasTak did a top-notch job with the mold of the entire vehicle by closely resembling a real Ford Mustang. The figure stays together in alt mode, and Barricade rolls nicely on a flat surface. The spinning wheel accessory can be attached under the front hood, if you want to recreate that scene of Barricade threatening Sam. For a mass-retail deluxe toy, SS Barricade gets the highest marks in alt mode.

Transformation to robot mode follows the standard Barricade scheme, so I won’t describe it too much. Back of the car form the legs, sides of the car form the arms, and the front section flips down to form the chest and reveal the head. Car hood and roof ends up on the back. Of all the mass-retail deluxe Barricades made, this is by far the best. SS Barricade looks closest to his on-screen persona and to the MP figure. He stands up well on 2 legs. The arms are kind of long, but that’s his design. The detail on the head is amazing. SS Barricade is also not terribly difficult to transform, much more forgiving than the MP figure.

I give SS Barricade the highest possible recommendation. If you like this character, go out and get this.

Sideswipe

Movie-verse Sideswipe is another figure where Hasbro has made tons of. So I guess it’s no surprise that a Studio Series version would be made. This SS Sideswipe is from Dark of the Moon.

Looking at this SS Sideswipe immediately reminds me of the custom silver painted DOTM Sideswipe that Gemini made for me (sidebar: That post was made exactly 10 years ago today). DOTM Sideswipe should have been painted this nice silver to begin with, and if you’re wondering how he looks out of the box, here you go. Yeah, that dull grey doesn’t do it for me either.

SS Sideswipe obviously corrects this problem by having this nice silver paint applied all over. The alt mode is nice and sleek. As a Corvette, I think he looks terrific all around, especially from the back. His twin weapons are attached under the vehicle at the rear so they look like the exhaust. The entire mode stays together well, no floppy or dangling bits. The Corvette logo on the front hood is molded on and painted over. A nice touch.

Transformation to robot mode is pretty standard fare for a Movie-verse car TF. My memory is now hazy, but I do remember ROTF Sideswipe as rather difficult to transform, and DOTM Sideswipe being relatively easier. SS Sideswipe is probably more in tune with the DOTM version, as far as transformation difficulty. The front part of the car become the legs, and the rear part of the car forms the chest and arms. Car hood and roof ends up on the back. Upper part of the car doors become wings. The lower part of the car doors are detached and serve as Sideswipe’s blades in robot mode. You could argue it’s a bit of puzzle-forming here, but nothing to get terribly upset about. SS Sideswipe does stand OK when you take care to really balance him, but he’s not the most stable fig on 2 legs.

Overall, SS Sideswipe is a solid addition to the Studio Series line. There’s nothing here we haven’t seen before, so I would not put this in the required purchase category. But what is there is all done pretty well. If you’re on the fence on this figure, go ahead and get him.

Shockwave

This is my second figure from Transformers Cyberverse. And this 2nd figure is also Shockwave. Yes, I now have both Warrior Class and Ultra Class Shockwaves. As of this writing, these remain my only 2 figures from Cyberverse.

It’s obvious that the whole Cyberverse line of toys is marketed to young children. Sometimes you see a figure or two that may appeal to you, usually out of nostalgia or design. But as a whole, the mature TF Collector need not bother with this line. The toys themselves are full of gimmicks and have extremely simple transformations. I watched through all of the show’s Season 2 on Netflix, mostly to see how my favorite characters from G1 would be updated. The series is fairly forgettable, and you’re not missing out if you missed out.

So how is this Ultra Class Shockwave figure? He’s ok. The robot mode is pretty solid. He’s unmistakably Shockwave, with the purple colors, the cyclops eye, and iconic left gun arm. I like how the Decepticon logo is painted sharply on the chest. The figure is entirely plastic, and all articulation points are either ball or rotation joints with no ratchets. Pretty standard fare for a figure in this line.

Transformation to the walking tank is kinda like the Warrior class version, with one notable exception. The left arm goes over the back to form the main cannon. And in its place, a 2nd left arm that will act as the tank’s front left leg sprouts from the left side of the chest. Rest of the transformation should be obvious just by looking at pics. The chest section rotates 90 degrees up. This piece does not lock into anything in alt mode, resulting in a tank mode not as solid as the Warrior class version. The gimmick on this figure is that there’s a switch on the side of the gun. Flipping the switch backwards will separate the gun chamber and protrude forward the laser effects. Flipping the switch forward reverses this. This can be done in both modes. Young kids will probably get hours of enjoyment out of this gimmick.

I can’t tell if the Warrior class or Ultra Class of Shockwave is more show accurate. Rating this purely on the figure, I think I like the Warrior class better. I find the whole 3 arm thing on Ultra Class Shockwave a bit disturbing. I know Shockwave is a mad scientist and all, but 3 arms?! A bit too Frankenstein for my taste.

Lots more to come next month. Transform and Roll Out.
 

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