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War For Cybertron Kingdom Pipes Quick Review – with G1

April 27th, 2022 Comments off

I have said many times on this blog that I’m partial to TFs that I have owned during G1. So today I’m going to do another review of a figure updated in the War For Cybertron line with G1 roots. Ladies and gents, I give you… Pipes!

Most TransFans outside of G1 will not have heard of Pipes. He was a mini-bot that came around in Season 3. According to my research, Pipes appeared in the original US Transformers run a whopping 2 times. Pipes had more comic book appearances in both G1 and later incarnations, but that media is reserved for the hardcore. So yeah, this is a very minor G1 character that most just brush off as a Huffer repaint.

But I had Pipes during G1. So he’s getting some love today. And to be fair, Pipes wasn’t simply just a Huffer repaint. They’re based off of the same overall scheme. But they had different head molds, different arm molds, but most importantly, they don’t transform exactly the same. Opposite sides of the truck are used to form the front side of the robot. There’s enough examples of this in today’s figures (Universe Sideswipe and Sunstreaker comes to mind), but for G1, this achievement in variation off a same mold is beyond epic!

In WFC, Huffer came first, and rightly so since he’s the more famous character. It was only a matter of time before they got to Pipes. We all know HasTak is not going to make a mold to release it just once.

WFC Kingdom Pipes in the package.

First let’s take a look at how Pipes appeared in the animation models.

In the pics on the left, Pipes appears with pipe arms and a visor-type face, just like his G1 toy. But then in the pics on the right, he appears with pipes as attachments on his forearms and a face with two separate eyes. This was classic G1… no definitive appearance and lots of discrepancies between animation studios. Whatever the case, the latter interpretation is what WFC Pipes went with. See below.

Pipes in classic A-stance. Notice the pipes attachments on the forearms.

Pipes side profile. A bit of backpack kibble, but not too bad. Very G1 accurate and the size is more than acceptable when viewed from the side.

View from the back. The backpack kibble looks a bit big from this view, but it’s part of Pipes’ defining attribute since G1. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at G1 Pipes.

This is an authentic G1 Pipes that I had since either ’86 or ’87. I believe he was acquired at Lucky. I went shopping one day with my mom, and she was nice enough to buy this for me. If memory serves, he was an item placed on a hanging strip, possibly in the cereal aisle. Lucky didn’t always put toys in the toy aisle back then. This G1 Pipes is not in the best shape today. Nothing broken, but very loose joints. I transformed this guy literally hundreds of times.

G1 Pipes with WFC Pipes – about 35 years between them.

Another shot of this duo.

WFC Pipes is able to use the pipes as twin guns.

Another alternate pose for Pipes, with the pipes attached on the shoulders.

Close-up of WFC Pipes. They obviously used the animation model.

Close-up of G1 Pipes. I have no idea why there’s a smudge on the cab, to the left of the Autobot symbol. Looking at the two pics above, it’s clear they very much kept the chest design intact. Bravo!

Now for some action shots. Pipes is fairly poseable. Lots of articulation points for a $20 figure.

Another action shot.

Same action shot as above, but with the focus on one pipe.

Pipes kick. Hiyah!

Now for some size comparisons. First with Studio Series 86 Perceptor.

With Generation Selects Exhaust. Why did I use Perceptor and Exhaust? Because I had them handy. No other reason.

Transformation to truck is fairly obvious. Detach arms from the shoulders and flip the front wheels out. Rotate cab around the place over the head. Place arms to the back and sides of cab. Angle the fists inwards. Rotate and flip legs in. Very straightforward transformation for a G1 derivative.

Truck side view.

Alternate configuration view from the side, without the pipes.

View from the back. The paint on the rear brake lights is a nice touch.

WFC Pipes bottom view. I could’ve rotated the head so the face is not visible, but whatever.

Now for some pics of G1 Pipes in alt mode. I think there was a rub-on faction label on the top of the cab, but it fell off. Transformation from robot to truck is beyond obvious so I won’t even describe it.

Another shot of G1 Pipes in alt mode.

Below I present G1 and WFC Pipes together in alt mode, in various angles.

In summary, I recommend WFC Kingdom Pipes. They certainly did not forget his G1 roots when he was conceived, the design aesthetics taking cues from both the G1 toy and G1 animation. The figure is well built and very poseable. Transformation is fun, intuitive, and straightforward. Both modes look superb. I like this figure so much, I got this mold 4 times. See below.

Clockwise from upper left: Pipes, Huffer, Road Ranger, Puffer

You certainly don’t need to get them all. But all TransFans should get at least one. All these can still be had at MSRP as of this writing. Pipes is asking you to collect them all – read his tech spec bio if you didn’t get that reference.

Go Pipes. Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Beelzeboss Heroic Duo Custom Kit with WFC Siege Sideswipe and Red Alert

April 15th, 2022 Comments off

A few days ago, I was browsing old content on this blog. I stumbled on posts regarding the Beelzeboss Heroic Duo Custom Kit version 2. This upgrade kit is designed to enhance Universe Sideswipe and Generations Red Alert for a more G1 accurate look. So this got me thinking… does this set work with War For Cybertron Siege Sideswipe and Red Alert? I love to experiment. So I dug out this set, the 2 WFC figures, and proceeded to weaponize them G1 style.

Box of the set. Nice artwork.

The above pic shows what’s in the set. Included are:

  • 1 grey rifle for Sideswipe
  • 1 red rifle for Red Alert
  • 1 white launcher with white missile for Sideswipe
  • 1 white launcher with red missile for Red Alert
  • 4 shoulder pads for attaching the missile launchers
  • 2 pile drivers for Sideswipe
  • 1 G1 accurate red head for Red Alert

First I’ll go over what’s not usable with WFC Sideswipe and Red Alert. The hands on the WFC figs cannot be detached, so the 2 pile drivers are useless here. The shoulders on the WFC figs are molded completely different from the CHUG figs, so the 4 shoulder pads have no where to go on the WFC figs. And without the shoulder pads, the missile launchers cannot be attached. Total bummer.

It is unclear to me if the G1 accurate Red Alert head can be used. WFC Red Alert’s head does appear to sit on a ball joint, but getting it off could take some work. it’s positioned in between the chest/hood and the back, and getting to it is not easy. So I didn’t try it. WFC Red Alert already has a pretty good looking G1 head that is different from Sideswipe.

This only leaves the rifles. Below is a pic that compares the Heroic Duo rifles with the stock WFC Siege weapons.

So how does it look? See for yourself.

All in all, not too shabby. For WFC Sideswipe, my gripe was always that he didn’t come with good weapons. The stock 2 piece attachment could function as either the missile launcher or the gun, but it doesn’t look G1 enough to really qualify as either. You could take apart the 2 pieces and have a launcher and a gun, but that kinda looks worse. With the Heroic Duo rifle, that obviously becomes his hand weapon, and the stock weapon can now be fully devoted to be the missile launcher. I like this look.

As for WFC Red Alert, he comes with a stock rifle. So I chose to use the red Heroic Duo rifle over his stock black one for a more G1 look. The stock rifle doesn’t look bad, but Heroic Duo is better, in my opinion. I could’ve had him use both rifles, but Red Alert never did that in the G1 cartoons. WFC Red Alert does not come with any pieces that he could use as a shoulder launcher.

I should point out that the fit for the weapons isn’t the best. For Sideswipe, the Heroic Duo rifle feels pretty loose in either fist. It’s ok for posing. But during play it’s sure to fall off. The fit is a bit better on Red Alert, but not by much.

Now for the alt modes. Here are some ways to use the Heroic Duo weapons.

It looks ok. Neither attachment option looks that natural. The fit on Sideswipe with the weapon on the side is not too bad. All other fittings is as loose as the robot mode. Again, ok for posing, but not the best during play.

My final verdict is that the Heroic Duo kit is great for the figs they were designed for. But for Siege Sideswipe and Red Alert, I would only get this set if you can find it cheap. Only the rifles are of any use. They look pretty good, but the fit is only good for posing.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

Transformers Rub On Faction Decals, More Pics ++

March 31st, 2022 Comments off

Today I am going to show off even more of my 3rd party TFs using these awesome decals.

Fans Toys Grenadier – clear backing
 

Fans Toys Hunk – clear backing
 

MakeToys Downbeat – white backing
 

A quick word about Hunk – I’m not sure why the contrast between the decal and chest is so bad on the pic. Must be bad lighting. The contrast of the red decal against the light orange chest is much more evident when looking at the fig in person. Here is a review of Hunk – see the pics there.

Links to previous decals:

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics

Happy St Patrick’s Day 2022! Seen in Green!

March 17th, 2022 Comments off

Welcome to another one of my special St Patrick’s Day posts! This is the time of year when I feature my green Transformers. I always try to look for green figures that I have not featured before. For 2022, I came up with the figures below, all from the War For Cybertron line.

This St Patrick’s Day feels quite different from the last time I did one of these, in 2020. COVID caught the United States by storm at that time, marking an unusual start to the decade to say the least. But we’re now in 2022. It’s debatable if we can say COVID is behind us, but life goes on.

Quick bits about each figure:

  • War For Cybertron Galactic Odyseey Lifeline – I call her the “Green Queen” of this bunch. She’s basically a WFC Earthrise Arcee repaint. Lifeline came packaged with WFC Ratchet in Earth mode. This was an Amazon exclusive, and the only way to get WFC Earth mode Ratchet. So yeah, Lifeline is a totally unnecessary repaint to get us G1 hardcore dummies to buy more figures. I love and hate Hasbro.
  • War For Cybertron Earthrise Allicon – This guy has got enough green on him to qualify for my St Patrick’s Day features. The fact this even got made as a toy is a treat for all G1-ers. The Allicon was another Quintesson foot soldier designed purely for the 1986 TF Movie without a toy origin. In the film, they love the energon goodies, but get seriously hangry when there are no more. The Allicon figure is not bad at all. It’s a fun figure to just pick up and play, transforming between a mechanical humanoid Alligator and robot.
  • War For Cybertron Earthrise Hoist – this character need no introduction. The WFC Earthrise figure is not bad. Good looking robot and alt modes. Not hard to transform and very G1 accurate.
  • War For Cybertron Kingdom Waspinator – Another terrific update to Waspinator. I need to dig out Generations Thrilling 30 Waspinator and compare him to this one. The two seems very similar, but I’m going purely by memory here.

On a separate note, St Patrick’s Day usually means March Madness. In 2020, the NCAA Tournament was cancelled. But in 2022 it’s alive and well. Can my UCLA repeat last year’s surprising appearance in the Final Four? Of course they can. They’re going all the way this year!

Happy St Patrick’s Day! Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: Pics

CHUG Update of G1 Season 4 Decepticon Targetmasters

February 23rd, 2022 Comments off

Happy New Year and Happy Lunar New Year! This is my first post in 2022. The 2020s have got off to a really lousy start, and I am hoping 2022 will reverse that trend for this decade. And I can’t believe we are yet at another year of the Tiger. Time flies.

I have a thing for TFs out of Season 4 in G1. Sure, nothing beats the first 2 seasons. But I felt Season 4 had better toys than Season 3. The figures were better designed, better built, and had some interesting new gimmicks that would forever be part of the TF landscape.

Season 4 introduced the “Master” gimmicks, with Headmasters and Targetmasters. Headmasters were the featured figures of Season 4, but I have said many times that I like Targetmasters more than Headmasters.

The Decepticon Targetmasters for Season 4 were Triggerhappy, Misfire, and Slugslinger. All 3 has been updated for the modern day, between 2016 and 2018. However, they were updated as Titan Masters (Headmasters in the modern day). Hasbro would not get to releasing their respective weapons til later, in the War of Cybertron line. The weapon figs are called Battle Masters.

Today I feature all 3 Season 4 Decepticon Targetmasters in their modern CHUG updates, together with their weapons.


Misfire, Triggerhappy, and Slugslinger in alt mode.


With Aimless, Blowpipe, and Caliburst.


Another view of the trio in alt mode.


In robot mode.


Holding the weapons in robot mode.


Action pose.

Some quick thoughts as I look at this trio:

  • All 3 base figs follow the same scheme. Triggerhappy was the first mold, and Misfire and Slugslinger are re-works off the same mold. HasTak did introduce enough molding differences between the 3 so they each feel like a unique fig. Great job!
  • In alt mode, there’s really no good way to attach the Battle Master weapon figs. Bummer.
  • G1 purists would scream bloody murder at the fact that all 3 are Titan Masters, and in G1 they were never Headmasters. Normally I would agree, but all 3 figs turned out so good that I’m choosing to ignore this inaccuracy.
  • Triggerhappy is my favorite among this threesome. I think this mold works best on him.

Now I’m hoping that HasTak would get to doing all the Season 4 Autobot Targetmasters. We got Crosshairs, but where is Pointblank and Sureshot?

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

Transformers Purchased in March 2019

December 30th, 2021 1 comment

March of 2019 is Siege Month! All figures except for one (and one accessory) are from War From Cybertron: Siege.

  • War For Cybertron Siege Starscream, Walmart, $29.84

  • War For Cybertron Siege Soundwave, Walmart, $29.84

  • War For Cybertron Siege Ultra Magnus and Shockwave, bbts.com, $99.99

  • War For Cybertron Siege Chromia, Target, $19.99

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

  • Warbotron WB03-D Double Strike, bbts.com, $51.99

  • Fans Toys FT-08 Grinder Dinohead, bbts.com, $17.99

Starscream

First up in this WFC Siege month is none other than Starscream. And here we have something truly special! Ladies and gents, for the first time in TF history, HasTak has given us Seekers that transform into their Cybertronian alt mode from the very first G1 episode! We all know how that first episode started. Bumblebee and Wheeljack was looking for some energy conductors. On the way back to Iacon, they were intercepted by Seekers of various colors. The Seekers transformed into what fans dub as tetra-jets, and the chase was on!

The tetra-jet is something completely imagined by the show animators, in that this was the Cybertronian alt mode of robot toys that transformed into F-15s. Of course the transformation sequence from robot to tetra-jet was entirely made up and don’t make much mechanical sense. But as fans we accepted the show’s creativity, and welcomed the fact that Cybertronian robots would not have Earth alt modes when they were on Cybertron. The toys’ alt modes were all Earth in origin, and in the 80s it was never conceived that there would be toys that transform into a mode made up by the cartoon artists.

Fast forward 35 years, and HasTak has made a transforming tetra-jet to robot figure a reality! Having this Voyager-sized Starscream as a tetra-jet is something magnificent to behold. The design of the tetra-jet is slightly modified for the War For Cybertron show, but it still heavily resembles the G1 tetra-jet. The overall triangular scheme is clearly seen. What impresses me most about this figure is how the designers are able to take various design bits of the robot mode and have them transform into mechanical elements of the tetra-jet that makes sense. For example, the side shoulder protrusions of the standard Seekers (formed from the front intake of the F-15) comes together and forms the tip of the tetra-jet. And the circular chest design bits in robot mode forms part of the rear thrusters. The toy designers thought through this transformation, and it shows.

In alt mode, Starscream looks great in his standard grey with bits of blue and red. The tetra-jet is a bit bulky at the bottom where the legs go. But the rest of jet mode is a sleek representation of a Seeker dominance vehicle in the Cybertroian skies. Cockpit of Starscream’s tetra-jet is still orange, though why a Cybertronian jet would need a cockpit is anyone’s guess. Guns are attached under the wings. The alt mode is a solid and cohesive whole with no loose or dangling parts.

In robot mode, the figure heavily resembles the look of the classic Seeker that we all know. This is a spectacular achievement by the HasTak toy design team. This robot mode could easily pass for the robot mode of a classic Earth-style Starscream. This resemblance lends credence to the fact that this is the same character on Cybertron, with a Cybertronian alt mode, and later transcanned to have an Earth alt mode. The cockpit down the center chest area is “fake”, in that the module is purely decorative and doesn’t transform into the cockpit of the jet. All other pieces serve a mechanical purpose.

Construction of the figure is also superb. All joints are at the right tolerance. Pieces come together when they should, and separate when they need to. All in all this is a great figure. G1 fans will undoubtedly not pass this up. I give the figure the highest possible recommendation.

Soundwave

Next up in the WFC Siege lineup is Soundwave. This is another character where I was really looking forward to what HasTak would come up with as the origin Cybertronian interpretation.

I’ll start with the alt mode of WFC Siege Soundwave. I was really hoping this origin alt mode would be that statue looking thing that we saw Soundwave transform into in the very first G1 episode. Unfortunately, that is not the case. HasTak chose to go with something more utilitarian for WFC Seige Soundwave in that he transforms into a Cybertronian aircraft. It’s a bit of a bummer, in that I think they could have easily made a Soundwave figure that is able to transform into the statue/lamppost/highway-callbox thing. And I could be wrong here, but I don’t think Soundwave ever transformed in the WFC show. So this flying alt mode doesn’t do all that much for me. But this what we got. It is what it is.

The alt mode looks ok. It’s a Cybertronian form, so the toy designers could fancy this into any appearance they like. If you imagine how Soundwave would look as a jet based on how he looks in robot mode, it probably would not be too far off from the alt mode of WFC Siege Soundwave. The overall shape is very blocky. The tape deck area in robot mode forms the very back of the vehicle. Two wing/thruster bits that I assume are Cybertronian jet thrusters protrude at an angle, and these are the only major bits not found on Earth mode Soundwave. Overall I’m not too crazy about this alt mode. It feels very retroactively forced on a robot design that was not meant to be a starship.

As for the robot mode, it’s classic Soundwave. The blue and grey colors, overall rectangular proportions, the well-known head design, and the iconic chest tape deck, it’s all there. The colors and shape of the arms and legs look like it’s straight out of G1. The battery-formed shoulder cannon mounted on his right is there as well. All other cassette player bits, on the crotch and legs, are all present and accounted for. The only big difference from the Earth form in robot mode is the back, in that the previously mentioned Cybertronian jet thrusters are placed there. But for a robot mode that has to account for flying apparatus bits, that’s where I would expect them to go. The tape deck ejection mechanism works fine and well. In later months I would purchase his infamous cassette minions (released as Master-sized figures in WFC) and they can be placed inside.

As for weapons, WFC Siege Soundwave comes with his twin iconic battery-shaped modules. In robot mode, one becomes a cannon mounted on his right shoulder, and the other one transforms into a hand-held blaster. Also included is another rifle. This weapon can be unfolded to look like a sniper rifle, or folded to look like another hand-held blaster.

And just like Starscream, I find no issues with the construction of the figure. Despite not having an alt mode that I had hoped for, Soundwave still gets a recommendation.

Ultra Magnus

Ultra Magnus and Shockwave were purchased together as one order item. That’s how they sold it. No discounts were offered when bought this way. It is now Dec 2021, and on Amazon you can still get them both at slightly below regular price. I know I have seen both of these in the $30 range, in 2020. TF prices are like stocks. You never know how they will go.

Ultra Magnus is a terrific update. This character was given a great treatment in Combiner Wars. WFC continues that trend and makes even more improvements on everybody’s favorite City Commander. In alt mode, instead of being a car carrier, Siege Ultra Magnus looks like some kind of Cybertronian armor weapon vehicle. It looks close enough to his Earth alt mode, but at the same time different enough to not simply be an Earth-mode derived mode. While we’re on that topic, Ultra Magnus’ alt mode always looked a bit Cybertronian, even in G1. The front cab looks Earth mode enough, but the trailer section is definitely Cybertronian. So is it possible he only partially transcanned? It’s worth exploring.

Siege Ultra Magnus feels very solid in alt mode. The unit feels like one cohesive whole, despite the entire mode being puzzle-formed together like Ultra Magnus typically is in this mode. 5 weapons are attached in this mode for a very impressive look: 2 black blasters, 2 white missile launchers with red missiles that he’s had since G1, and a large silver rifle, all mounted and ready to intimidate some lowly Decepticon scum. The whole thing rides on a total of 10 wheels, and the unit does sit well on a flat surface. The colors are distinctly Ultra Magnus, with the cab white, the trailer blue, and top section red. The shape of the front cab is distinctly Cybertronian. All in all a very nice alt mode.

In G1, Ultra Magnus had 2 robot modes. There was the smaller robot transformed solely from the cab, a white repaint of the famous G1 Optimus Prime toy. This smaller robot was never seen on-screen in G1. Then there’s the bigger robot formed from both the cab and trailer, the appearance that we’re all familiar with from the cartoons. Siege Ultra Magnus faithfully reproduces this scheme. The cab is capable of forming a smaller robot resembling Optimus Prime. (sidebar: part of this Ultra Magnus mold would indeed be reformatted into WFC Siege Galaxy Upgrade Optimus Prime, to be released later, but that’s for another day) In this mode, Ultra Magus is well-proportioned. Joints are at the right tolerances. For a blocky figure, the articulation is adequate. Transformation from cab to this robot mode is nothing we haven’t seen before. But this tried and true formula works for this character, and I’m never a proponent of messing with what works. I’m happy this mode is included, but we didn’t pay the $50 price tag to have Ultra Magnus in this mode.

To get Ultra Magnus into the robot mode that we all know and love, the trailer disassembles and acts as armor over and on top of the smaller robot mode. 3Ps have implemented such a mechanism already, most notably the FansProject City Commander Add-On Set. HasTak has explored this scheme too, with Evolution Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime. I believe this is the first time that HasTak has done this for Ultra Magnus. In G1, the trailer isn’t really so much an armor for the cab. The trailer gets transformed into the main body, and then the cab gets attached to it behind the back. All other Ultra Magnus figures in the modern day kind of has the cab and trailer transform as one. So it is indeed a nice treat to see that WFC Siege implemented an armor attachment mechanism for the smaller cab robot to fully form Ultra Magnus.

And what a glorious robot mode this is. Fully armored up, Ultra Magnus is every bit his G1 self. There is no mistaking this character for any other. His entire design aesthetic, down the to the last detail, is based on G1. The colors, the overall blocky shape, the shoulder missiles, all G1 derived. Design of the chest, arms, legs, and head, all taken from G1. With this robot mode, it’s clear that there was very much an Ultra Magnus on Cybertron before coming to Earth. Transformation to this mode is very much a puzzle forming adventure, but you kinda expect that with this character. It’s fairly obvious where each armor piece should go, and the entire package comes together really well. Articulation in the mode suffers a bit because he’s so blocky, but what’s offered is sufficient.

I give this Ultra Magnus figure the highest possible recommendation. Yes by now we all know how he ends up in the Netflix War For Cybertron series, but don’t let that discourage you. And maybe you expected a $50 figure to be true leader size. Don’t let that discourage you either. The figure is made to scale nicely with other cast members from WFC. The cost of admission for this figure is paid in full with the number of modes and accessories. He can deal with that now. I know you can.

Shockwave

Shockwave is another character that got a great update in WFC Siege. He is also leader class. Or more accurately, he is sold as leader class. There is the core figure of Shockwave, which is voyager class size. Then there are the accessories that can be added on top of the core figure, in both robot and alt mode. All this in one package is how Hasbro justifies the $50 price tag.

Let’s take a look at the core figure first. In robot mode, Shockwave is every bit his G1 self. All the classic iconic features of Shockwave are present, from the purple colors, the left-arm blaster, the left-arm hose attached to his backpack, the his cyclops eye. At voyager class, he scales well with other Decepticons in WFC Siege. The figure is well built, no joints too loose or too tight. Ample articulation points gives the figure some great poseability, and solid engineering means he can actually hold those poses. Transformation to alt mode follows the standard Shockwave scheme, with some modern variations. Some aspects of the transformation seems borrowed from both Fans Toys Quakewave and MP-29 Shockwave, but on a CHUG figure the overall scheme is way more playable. WFC Siege Shockwave still transforms into the iconic space gun that we all know and love, and it’s good see HasTak did not butcher this into something different (like a Cyberverse Shockwave, the Fall of Cybertron Shockwave, or the Alternator Shockwave).

Now on to the accessories. In robot mode, the accessories can be attached in a number of different ways. But the default configuration is some large flat gun pieces added onto the bottom of the feet, some wing and gun pieces that are attached to the shoulders, and a backpack cover. Shockwave looks quite menacing in this mode, and the overall feel does reflect a mad scientist that decided to perform Frankenstein-ish experiments on himself. In the space gun mode, the extra accessories are attached so Shockwave looks more like a genuine Cybertronian jet. It does look cool, and give more credence to the fact that Shockwave can fly around in alt mode.

So do I recommend this figure? The short answer is yes. The core Shockwave figure without the accessories is a terrific modern day CHUG update of the Decepticon mad scientist. This is probably the first real update of Shockwave in CHUG, and the core figure does not disappoint in any way. Now for the long answer. The extra accessories are kind of unnecessary, in my opinion. They’re cool, but don’t really add that much to the character. In fact, I think it sort of turns Shockwave into a different character, one that wasn’t explored very much in the G1 cartoons or the WFC Netflix series. And speaking of the WFC series, we never saw Shockwave in any of these enhanced modes. It feels like HasTak made these extra things to justify Shockwave being a $50 figure. I would have much rather they released a $30 figure of just the core Shockwave minus all the extras. But like I said already, this is the ultimate CHUG Shockwave that has been produced. So if you want one, you have to buy it with all the extra baggage. And as of this writing, I will emphasize again that you can buy this for less than MSRP on Amazon. Logic dictates you buy this now if you haven’t already.

Chromia

Here we have another rework off of the now famous Fembot deluxe mold. We got Moonracer and Novastar in Power of the Primes, so it’s no surprise that we would get Chromia in WFC Siege. Personally, I would have been ok if they didn’t make WFC Siege Chromia. I would have simply used Thrilling 30 Chromia to complete the Fembots. I think I like Thrilling 30 Chromia better anyways, if only for the variety.

WFC Siege Chromia is a rework because it’s not an exact repaint. The head mold is different. She gets different weapons. Chromia gets something that more resembles a sniper rifle, and we saw her use this several times in the WFC Siege show. Some pieces in alt mode are molded differently too. Chromia gets back pieces that covers the rear wheels, the cockpit piece clearly looks different, and she gets 4 molded-on front headlights. I commend HasTak for providing these variations to the same mold, to counter what would otherwise be a quick cash-grab. WFC Siege Chromia does not come with that Combiner Wars attachment.

G1 purists will undoubtedly get this Chromia to complete all 4 of the original Fembots (along with this Elita-1 or the upcoming Netflix Elita-1). For everyone else, this Chromia is an optional purchase if you already have Moonracer or Novastar. But buy this rework if you want. No judging here.

Prowl

WFC Siege Prowl follows that “Prowl” formula that all TransFans since G1 have come to memorize by heart. By “Prowl” formula, I mean that the transformation is tried and true for this character, the figure is deluxe size, Prowl colors of black and white are used, the alt mode is a police sports car of some sort, and HasTak will undoubtedly repaint this mold into Bluestreak and Smokescreen. WFC Siege Prowl certainly offers no deviation from this formula, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

WFC Siege Prowl is deluxe size, as you would expect. The alt mode, while Cybertronian, doesn’t offer much originality when compared to his Earth alt mode of a Nissan Z throughout the different decades. In fact, if you told me that this alt mode is a concept Nissan Z, I would have believed it. The writing of “POLICE” that are usually on Prowl’s doors are now replaced with Cybertronian font. The wheels are clear instead of black. The police sirens on the car’s roof is found here as well, but they look at bit too Earth mode if you ask me. The alt mode comes together well as one cohesive whole. All in all, a solid alt mode, but not much originality in that this is supposed to be in Cybertronian form.

Transformation is classic Prowl so I won’t describe it too much. Car hood becomes the chest, arms come out from the sides, rotation at the waist, car back becomes the legs and feet, car doors swing out to form the wings. You’ve seen this script many times.

In robot mode, WFC Siege Prowl is iconic Prowl. No one would mistake this bot mode for any other. I really don’t have much to say about the robot mode, because this is Prowl through and through. That’s a good thing, as this Prowl is supposed to represent the G1 version of this character on Cybertron. This figure does not come with shoulder rockets, and that’s a shame, probably the only aspect that make this less Prowl than usual. The roof sirens in alt mode can be detached and placed on his rifle, or be attached to his forearms to be used as a shield.

If you collect the WFC Siege line, you will undoubtedly buy Prowl regardless of what I say. He’s an iconic G1 character that no true G1-er would pass up. The WFC Siege version does Prowl very well, in that it’s G1 in all the right ways. The only critique I can offer here is that it may be too G1. The alt mode looks too close to what he would be on Earth, and I just can’t imagine Cybertronian vehicles resembling Earth vehicles that much. But as far as having a CHUG Cybertronian Prowl, this fits the bill.

Double Strike

Warbotron Double Strike got a dedicated review already, so go check out that post for all the details. Double Strike is Warbotron’s homage to Strafe from the Technobots. In short, this is a good figure, but not as good as Turbo Ejector (Afterburner).

As of this writing, Double Strike and Turbo Ejector are the only Warbotron Technobots I have. I really want to get the rest. I was overall not terribly impressed with MakeToys Quantron, so I sold that set and re-invested in the Warbotron set. I never got the official Combiner War Technobots set, just Scattershot by his lonesome. That is bizarre, considering how much I love the Technobots. Perhaps another 3P will attempt the Technobots. Would Fans Toys be brave enough to do this? Let’s hope so.

Grinder Dinohead

The last item featured this month is an accessory for Grinder. More specifically, this alternate dino head replaces the default dino head that comes with Grinder. I have mentioned repeatedly on this blog that I feel Grinder’s T-Rex mode make me think of Barney. The problem is the head. Fans Toys has heard your complaints and released this alternate Dino head.

In short, this head is much, much better. I didn’t really look at what is changed on this head, but it certainly doesn’t make me think of Barney anymore when I see Grinder in T-Rex mode. See for yourself. With the alternate head attached, Grinder resembles Grimlock from the G1 movie much more closely. This accessory piece goes for $17.99. At this price, every Grinder owner should get this. However I have seen this marked up to about $100, in this era of global shortages of just about everything. Fans Toys items always gets marked up these days, but this is just crazy! I can’t say if FT will make more of these, but I personally would not pay $100 to get one.

More TFs are to come in the months that follow. This is my last post for 2021. Happy New Year! Transform and Roll Out!
 

EDIT 2021/12/30:

I later found that I took some pics of all the Siege TFs this month. Here they are. Enjoy!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

My Ramjet Collection

December 10th, 2021 Comments off

Today I proudly present my Ramjet collection. I could swear I have more Ramjets, but this appears to be it. I did sell one Ramjet, but that figure was built so poorly it does not deserve to be in my collection. Yes I only keep the best.

I have a thing for Ramjet. The simplicity and stupidity of his attacks – very appealing. I would consider myself fortunate if I could solve all my problems like Ramjet. I’m not sure who would be my favorite Seeker. It’s either Starscream, Skywarp, or Ramjet.

From left to right: ToyWorld Combuster, Classics Ramjet, War For Cybertron Earthrise Ramjet

Some quick bits about each of these figs, in the order released.

Classics Ramjet

Classics Ramjet was released pretty early in the era of modernizing classic G1 characters, I think in either 2006 or 2007. Classics Starscream was released as part of the first wave of Classics, so we knew the Coneheads wouldn’t be far behind. Ramjet was the only one released in mass retail as part of Classics in the United States. For Dirge and Thrust, you had to either get them imported as part of Henkei, or wait for the later Generations line.

Classics Ramjet is still a fun figure today to pick up and play, but it is a dated figure for sure. Even for a CHUG fig, the robot mode has its limitations by today’s standards. There’s no waist swivel or ankle tilt. The arms seem a bit short as they don’t extend at all from jet to robot mode. The wings on the legs cannot fold back, so they are stuck extending straight outward.

As dated as this figure is, I still recommend getting one today if you can find one at reasonable price. The jet mode still holds up well. The figure is well constructed. Mine is still in very good shape despite an adequate amount of play. This Ramjet figure is a good first attempt at a modern day Conehead Seeker. And in the halls of TF history, the figure is a good representation of where we were and where we’ve been. This figure paved the way for better Conehead Seekers today.

ToyWorld Combuster

I kind of already summarized my thoughts about the ToyWorld Seekers back in this post. ToyWorld Assault (Thrust) was given more treatment here, and ToyWorld Requiem (Dirge) here. Today is Combuster’s turn. In short, I like Combuster way more than the official MP Ramjet.

Looking at Combuster now in 2021, it’s becoming a bit dated. The jet mode is still great, but the robot mode is beginning the show its age when compared with recent offerings of what a MP style jet robot could potentially be. I don’t have MP-52 Starscream, but I’ve seen enough pics, watched enough reviews, and have friends verbally confirm that the robot mode is out-of-this-world awesome. Looking at pics of MP-52, then looking at pics of Combuster, it’s clear who is a toy and who is the superior physical manifestation of a show character.

But don’t get me wrong. Combuster was a great 3P MP Ramjet for its time, and is still a solid transforming figure today. The jet mode is awesome and scales well with official MPs. The robot mode is a tad tall, which is perhaps the only real weakness in this mode. Combuster sports super solid construction backed by quality materials. The paint job is superb. Transformation is fun and intuitive. Complex enough to be MP, but definitely not frustrating. I don’t know if I would get one today, considering that HasTak would probably take the MP-52 mold and reformat that into Conehead Seekers. But as of this very moment, Combuster is still in my opinion the best MP Ramjet on the market.

WFC Earthrise Ramjet

My newest Ramjet figure is the one from War From Cybertron Earthrise. This was released in 2020 as an Amazon exclusive 2-pack with Dirge. And if you missed out on this 2-pack, it sucks to be you. As of this writing, this 2-pack goes for $219.99! Yikes. MSRP was $59.99. It’s only been about 18 months since release. I guess they seriously didn’t make enough, or damn scalpers are at it yet again. And in case you’re wondering, Thurst was a Target exclusive. And now that I think about it, Thundercracker and Skywarp was also a Target exclusive 2-pack. I’m conflicted about all these exclusivity deals that Hasbro is making. On one hand I’m glad they’re released, but on the other it’s like you have to be on top of releases or you’ll miss out. First world problems at its best.

But back to this Ramjet figure. This is by far the best and most G1 accurate Ramjet that HasTak has came up with. The overall mold is a re-work off of WFC Siege Starscream. When that fig came out, we all knew HasTak would repaint this at least 5 more times, one for each G1 Seeker. And they really made it happen. This figure is highly similar to the Classics Seeker mold, in that overall transformation feels identical. But many improvements are made to modernize the figure. For starters, it’s Voyager size, the size that Seekers should have always been. Ankle tilt has been added, for better stability in A-stance. The arms now have an extension mechanism, from jet to robot mode. Wings on the legs can how fold back. Yes all my gripes about the Classics Ramjet has been addressed. I think HasTak planned for all these repaints when they designed Starscream, because the mechanical differences in Ramjet feels fluid and not tacked on. My only gripe now is the weapons. WFC Ramjet still comes with the same null-ray blasters mold that Starscream has. He should have something that more resemble cruise missiles. I was expecting a 3rd party accessory company to do this (like Dr. Wu Customs perhaps). Maybe someone did, I’m not sure.

I totally recommend this figure. But I wouldn’t pay the scalping prices. My hunch is Hasbro would re-release this for a general release at some point. Wait for that.

“If it flies, crash it!” Wiser words have never been said. Maybe except this… Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Arcee Riding Wreck-Gar

November 21st, 2021 Comments off

The title post says it all. This is War For Cybertron Earthrise Arcee riding Studio Series 86 Wreck-Gar. It sorta works. Check it out.

Would Arcee prefer to ride someone else? You tell me.

Ride or die. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

Who Wore It Better? CHUG 2015 vs CHUG 2021 Season 3 Autobots

November 7th, 2021 Comments off

CHUG 2015 Lineup
Pic taken from Generations Season 3 Autobots.

CHUG 2021 Lineup

 
Who wore it better? You decide.

Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: Pics

TF Matrix 12 Year Anniversary

October 9th, 2021 Comments off

The show must go on! This blog has now been running for 12 years!

Once again, the blog got about 12,000 hits in the year. That neatly equates to 1,000 hits a month. No gain or loss from last year.

It’s hard for me to summarize how I feel about the TF collecting fandom as a whole. My feelings are definitely a mixed bag. COVID threw the whole world for a loop, and even TF collecting was not spared. Several new trends have definitely emerged in this year and last. Some for the better, and some for the worse.

For now, I’m just gonna make a post here to mark the anniversary. I’ll save my thoughts for another day.

Happy Birthday, TF Matrix! Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Uncategorized