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Masterpiece Sunstreaker Quick Review

June 8th, 2020 No comments

During the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order (which is still happening as of this writing), I gave myself a Transformers Challenge that involved transforming 5 difficult figures. One of those figures is Masterpiece Sunstreaker (MP-39). I already knew what an awesome figure Sunstreaker is, but transforming him from robot back to alt mode doubly reaffirmed that notion.

Sunstreaker’s twin brother Sideswipe was the first MP Carbot (MP-12). A review of that figure appears on this blog, nearly 8 years ago. It’s only fitting that Sunstreaker get a review too.


The box.


Look at what’s inside: Sunstreaker, a pistol, a rifle, two extra faces, Chip Chase, his wheelchair, and the monster mask from Hoist Goes Hollywood!


Instructions, bio-card, and extra side mirrors.

Let’s start with the alt mode.


Beautiful “Super Tuning” Lamborghini alt mode, with Sunstreaker’s iconic exposed rear-mounted engine.


Rear of the vehicle, in “Super Tuning” configuration.


Flip-up head lights.


Doors and front hood opens.


In alt mode Sunstreaker even has the rear-mounted gun that he uses to shoot down Laserbeak in Ep 2 of More Than Meets The Eye. Yes HasTak loves you. No detail was spared.


And because HasTak loves you, there is the ability to configure Sunstreaker to look like a standard Lamborghini, as opposed to the “Super Tuning” version. So don’t say that HasTak never does anything for you. In this configuration, Sunstreaker is virtually the same as his twin Sideswipe. The most obvious difference is the lack of the exposed rear-mounted engine, which is now hidden by a panel flip.


Rear of Sunstreaker in non “Super Tuning” form. Notice you get the rear brake lights instead of thrusters.

Before we go on to bot mode, I’ll include some alt mode side-by-side pics of the two brothers.

Transformation to robot mode is nothing short of amazing. It is quite intricate, and could easily make a Top 10 most difficult list if I decided to compile one today. But it’s not so difficult that you can’t figure it out without instructions.

Describing the transformation will not do it justice, so I won’t. I’ll just quickly mention that the forming of the backpack in bot mode deserves special mention. It is quite a feat in TF engineering. The designers of this figure have earned themselves a place in the TF Toy Engineers Hall of Fame.


Sunstreaker in classic A-stance.


Sunstreaker side view. The backpack is perfectly acceptable size. No kibble or junk whatsoever. Bravo.


Back view. Upper back looks extremely toon accurate. A tiny bit of kibble around the butt area, but nothing that I can’t overlook.


Close up of the face. Is Sunstreaker as handsome as he thinks he is? You decide.


Sunstreaker loves to kick butt and look good while doing it. So I included a whole bunch of action shots. This is action pose #1.


Close up of action pose #1. Because Sunstreaker wouldn’t want you to miss out on the details.


Action pose #2 – twin gun action.


Action pose #3 – looking cool after the shot.


Action pose #4 – only Sunstreaker can make kneeling down look good.


I love it when figures have spaces to store weapons when they’re not used. Sunsteaker can store the rifle on his back.


With Chip Chase. Why is Chip included with Sunstreaker? Is it because of that one G1 scene where Chip was riding on Sunstreaker’s shoulder? That seems like a flimsy reason. There are better suited Autobots to pair Chip with, like Prowl. But I’m glad we got a Chip figure somewhere.


Last but not least, this is Sunstreaker wearing the monster mask from Hoist Goes Hollywood. HasTak spared no detail. I wonder if I can get this mask on the other MP Carbots who also wore it on that episode. I should try that.

If you collect Masterpiece Transformers, you no doubt already have MP Sunstreaker in your collection. There’s no reason to be on the fence about this figure. Sunstreaker is one of the best offerings in the entire MP lineup. Both modes are beautiful. Plenty of accessories. Amazing transformation. Superb construction. I would sound like a commercial if I offered any more praises.

The only thing I can say that sort of remotely qualifies as a negative is that he’s not that playable, because of the transformation difficulty. MP Sunstreaker is not a TF you are likely to transform multiple times a day. Once you get it to the other mode, you will likely leave Sunstreaker as is for days, if not weeks or months. In my case, I opened Sunstreaker almost as soon as I got him and transformed him to robot right away. Then I left him like that for about 2 years before I transformed him back.

Fans will obviously compare Sunstreaker with Sideswipe. The are both good figures. Sunstreaker is the more impressive piece, from a toy engineering perspective. He came five years later than Sideswipe, so that’s not a surprise. Sideswipe, however, is more playable with a more straightforward transformation. In my opinion, Sunstreaker is purely a collector’s piece, while Sideswipe achieved the perfect balance of being a collector’s item and toy.

I give MP Sunstreaker the highest possible recommendation. This is another figure that does justice to the Masterpiece line.

“They can’t beat the best!” Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Autobot logo

June 1st, 2020 No comments

The COVID-19 shelter-in-place is still sort of happening where I am. To pass the time, the wife and I started playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch.

My wife is a non-gamer, but she’s the one that got seriously addicted to the game.

As a TransFan, I immediately tried to look for TF related custom designs. I couldn’t find any. So I made my own. Below is my contribution to the Animal Crossing community.

Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: Uncategorized

Top 10 G1 Transformers That Desperately Need An Update

April 22nd, 2020 No comments

We live in a great era of Transformers. When I came back to collecting the toys in 2004, it was returning from a 16 year hiatus where I paid little to no attention to what’s going on with the toyline. Now in 2020, I’ve been recollecting for 16 years, as long as my hiatus. Time flies.

Hasbro certainly did not forget us older fans that grew up with the franchise. CHUG (Classics, Henkei, Universe, Generations) draws inspiration mostly from G1. Many G1 favorites were updated in the line, sometimes multiple times.

CHUG obviously started with some of the most popular characters, like Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Bumblebee. And as the years went, more and more would be updated. Characters from the first 2 G1 seasons usually got earlier treatment. G1 Movie characters would soon follow. Even more obscure characters would later get updated. I wrote back in 2009 how I wished Sixshot would get an update, then in 2017 it became reality.

Now as I write this in 2020, and looking back, Hasbro has updated some TFs that seem as if they were reaching for the bottom of the G1 barrel. For example, they updated Jumpstarters (both Topspin and Twin Twist). They updated Duocons (Battletrap and Flywheels). Heck, they even did all the Monsterbots (Doublecross, Grotusque, Repugnus). I can think of way better G1 characters to update. And that’s where I got the inspiration for this post. I present below my top 10 G1 Transformers that desperately need an update today.

But first, some ground rules:

  • I am not including any Pretenders. They suck.
  • I am not including any Action Masters. They suck too.
  • This list is for G1 TFs that got no update whatsoever. Even if a TF got a lame repaint of something else, or got revived as a Micron (like Titan Masters), or got a completely butchered Movie-verse update, that counts as an update. Yes I know that not having a real G1-style update sucks, but not having being updated at all sucks more. This list is reserved for the latter.
  • There are G1 TFs where there’s no update now, but their update is coming. These TFs are not included.
  • I am not counting 3rd or 4th party products. Only official products are considered

Here we go.

10. Hosehead
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Headmaster
Function: Emergency Rescue
Modes: robot, fire engine
 
 

You think there would be an update to Hosehead by now. He is a Headmaster that came around in Season 5, and he transforms into a fire engine. Hasbro LOVES making repaints out of something simply because two characters share the same alt mode. Inferno has been repainted into Hot Spot so many times that I lost count. How about giving some love to Hosehead. Yeah I realize no one outside of G1 has heard of him. But this is too easy to not do. And we all know Hasbro loves easy and quick cash grabs. Admittedly, I had Hosehead in G1. He’s still in pretty good shape. Yes I’m partial to TFs that I own, but this is my blog, so there.
 
 

9. Dogfight
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Triggerbot
Function: Aerial Combat
Modes: robot, jet
 
 

I must have a Triggerbot or Triggercon on this list. In G1 there were 3 Triggerbots (the good guys) and 3 Triggercons (the baddies), and I never had any. My favorite out of the 6 is Ruckus, a Triggercon. I wanted to put him on here, but then discovered that he was technically updated. He had a lame Transformers Figure Subscription Service update, being repainted from Combiner Wars Offroad. And worse, they called him Grabuge. Seriously?! Can Hasbro make him anymore trashy? But that technically counts as having being updated, so I went to my next favorite in this group of 6: Dogfight. I don’t know that much about Dogfight, but I do remember him having a scene in one of the IDW comics. In that scene, he was talking to the great Optimus Prime. And Optimus seems to not know who he is, hahaha! It’s refreshing to see that not all Transformers know each other, a concept that the G1 cartoons never explored. Anyways, he transforms into a jet with forward-swept wings. Similar to Conquest X-30 from G.I.Joe and YF-19 from Macross. They could repaint Terradive or Space Case from the movie verse, with a new head mold. Though I would prefer a brand new mold with a more G1-esque robot form. And I want the trigger switch gun action on the updated figure! That never gets old.
 
 

8. Freeway
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Throttlebot
Function: Saboteur
Modes: robot, sports car
 
 

I had to include at least one Throttlebot on here. I have all 6 Throttlebots. I know there was at least one update to Goldbug. There could be more. But what about the other Throttlebots? Anyway, Freeway is my favorite out of the six, so I elect him to get an update. I know ToyWorld produced updates to all 6 Throttlebots, including Freeway (which they called Highway). I have their update to Searchlight and Chase (Aurora and Trace, respectively). Speaking of Chase, I think Roadburn may be the modern update to Chase. Still, there is no update to Freeway. If Hasbro wants to be lazy, just take Roadburn and repaint him blue to be Freeway. Personally I rather see a real update with a new mold. C’mon Hasbro get on it.
 
 

7. Venom
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Insecticon
Function: Psychological Warfare
Modes: robot, cicada
 
 

Finally, a Decepticon on here! When I was compiling this list, I immediately saw that they were mostly Autobots. So I very consciously tried to include more Decepticons. But if playing with the rules that I laid out above, there are almost no Decepticons to include. When you exclude Pretenders and Action Masters, it feels like all G1 Decepticons got an update. I did’t specifically exclude Micromasters in my rules, but deep down I feel they are just not cool enough. Deluxe Insecticons never got any love in G1 in the cartoons. The toys came as early as Season 2, so I’m including one here. Out of the 4, Chop Shop is the only one to have had an update (a lame repaint of Generations Skarpnel). So I could have picked any of the other 3. I chose Venom to be on this list for 3 reasons: 1) I like his wacky head mold, 2) he’s technically the Insecticon leader, though realistically that’s Shrapnel, and 3) he shares the same function of Psychological Warfare as Bombshell, my favorite Insecticon. In G1 I never had any of the Deluxe Insecticons, and I don’t know anyone that did. Thus I have no idea if the toys were any good. But if HasTak chose to update them now, I bet they could do something pretty nice.
 
 

6. Slugfest
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Cassette
Function: Messenger
Modes: stegosaurus, cassette
 
 

Another Decepticon on here! Slugfest is one of the few that I could find without any kind of update. I have the G1 toy, along with Overkill. You get these 2 in one pack. That’s how G1 sold the cassettes. Again, I’m partial to toys I had, and I still got these 2 in pretty good shape. They repainted other toys to be Overkill a bunch of times, probably anytime Hasbro felt like making a repaint from another T-Rex for a quick score. Slugfest never got any love. The character does not exist past G1. That’s a crime. Slugfest is just as cool as Overkill, for G1 standards. If you wanna go the repaint route, take Power of the Primes Snarl and give that Slugfest colors (that would look kinda cool, actually). Though I like a new mold, that transforms from stegosaurus to cassette. While you’re at it, do Overkill too. A real update from T-Rex to cassette. Hasbro this is your chance to impress me.
 
 

5. Sizzle
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Sparkabot
Function: Interceptor
Modes: robot, funny car
 
 

A Sparkabot or Firecon is required on this list. These 2 Sub-Groups feature another popular toy gimmick at the time. All figures have a friction-motor that produces cold sparks. For the 3 Sparkabots, the cold sparks fire out the rear exhaust in vehicle alt mode. And for the 3 Firecons, sparks come out of their mouths in the monster alt mode. Sizzle is my favorite out of this 6 (and again, he’s the only one I had out of this bunch). For most G1 Fans, Sizzle is the one that everyone thinks of when this group is mentioned. In his tech spec bio, he’s described as a daredevil of an Autobot, akin to Hot Rod, Fastlane, or Air Raid. He transforms into a cool funny car. I think Hasbro needs to update Sizzle for that reason alone; I can’t think of any other funny car Transformers. His color scheme is also quite unique, going from an ash brown in car mode to tangerine red in robot mode. I very much would like to see cold sparks in a modern day figure, though I imagine Hasbro would never do it.
 
 

4. Slapdash
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Powermaster
Function: Interceptor
Modes: robot, F1 race car
 
 

I love Powermasters. I first mentioned that here, and probably elsewhere on this blog too. From a toy perspective, having a Mini-con that transforms into the engine to unlock the transformation is kinda cool. But from a story perspective, it’s kinda lame. Now that I think about it, all Master technology makes no sense. If I was a TF, no way I share my head, weapons, or transformation ability with someone else. Nevertheless, the Powermaster toys were all really good for G1 standards. My favorite Powermaster is Getaway, who was updated as Breakaway. So I’m going to include the other 2 Autobot Powermasters not updated. The first one is Slapdash. I really don’t know much about the character, and I only vaguely remember the toy. He transforms into a F1 race car. Hasbro could just be lazy here and repaint WFC Siege Mirage. But don’t be lazy, be cool. Make a new mold.
 
 

3. Joyride
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Powermaster
Function: Warrior
Modes: robot, dune buggy
 
 

Joyride is the other Autobot Powermaster that was released with Getaway and Slapdash. I know very little of Joyride as well, other than that his toy was pretty cool. He transforms into a dune buggy. Off the top of my head, I can only think of 2 other Earth mode dune buggies in the entire TF Universe: G1 Beachcomber and G2 Jetstorm. I like the color scheme on Joyride as well. He kinda has the same color palette as Skullcruncher (or Skullsmasher in recent updates). This is a very unique color scheme that belongs only to these 2 TFs. Maybe this needs to be explored. Or not.
 
 

2. Sureshot
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Targetmaster
Function: Sharpshooter
Modes: robot, Cybertronian buggy
 
 

I love Targetmasters. So in preparation for this post, I looked through every Targetmaster ever made in G1. As far as I can tell, all the Decepticon Targetmasters have had an update for some kind. As for the Autobots, there are several that could use some love. One of them is Sureshot. I don’t know much about the character. He appeared in “Rebirth”, but his role was next to non-existent, so you would only find him if you really squint your optics and look. I never had the G1 toy, and I don’t know anyone that did. But it looks pretty cool, based on pictures. HasTak can really go to town and make a terrific update of this character if they chose to. If they opt to be cheap, they could make one mold and use it for both Joyride and Sureshot. They are both buggies in alt mode. Make the head mold different. Give Sureshot a Battlemaster and Joyride some kind of engine accessory. This is almost too easy to not do. I’m almost confident enough to bet that this will happen.
 
 

1. Pointblank
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Targetmaster
Function: Enforcer
Modes: robot, Cybertronian car
 
 

I can’t believe Pointblank has not been officially updated yet. Back in G1 Season 4 when Hasbro introduced all the “Master” gimmicks, Pointblank is widely regarded as one of the best figures produced for that period. Many G1 fans jumped on getting Pointblank very quickly. His Cybertronian car alt mode looks great, and the robot mode looks well proportioned too. The color combination of red and baby blue sounds hokey on paper, but on the figure it doesn’t look too shabby. I am told too that Pointblank has a bigger role in the Japanese TF Continuity after Season 4. I have the MakeToys update of Pointblank, called Contactshot. Overall, Contactshot is not a bad 3P product, but there could be improvements. He’s a big figure in robot mode, which presents scale issues, even for MP. And the transformation is more complicated than it needs to be for a character like Pointblank. It’s high time HasTak stepped up to the plate and gave us an official update. Pointblank should probably be deluxe size to scale with other CHUG figs. Modern HasTak figures of this size are all very playable, which is exactly what I’m looking for in a Pointblank update.
 
 

So what do you think of my top 10? I know if another G1 fan had to make a top 10 based on the rules I laid out above, it would be very different. Feel free to comment below.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Top Ten

UPDATE: Shelter From Home Transformer Challenge

April 15th, 2020 No comments

It is now April 15th. Yes I am still doing the whole Shelter in Place thing. But more importantly, I wanted to give an update on how I’m doing with my Transformers Challenge that I outlined in the last post.

I was only able to complete 3 out of the 5 that I set out to do. A bit less than I hoped for, but a 60% completion rate is better than 0.

Fans Toys Roadking

Roadking is successfully transformed into truck mode. Pic below.

From an engineering perspective, this is a really impressive piece. Roadking (aka Motormaster) is only a bit taller than the MP-10 in robot mode, but this truck is equal in size to the MP-10 in alt mode with the trailer! That’s some awesome mass-shifting going on there. Lots of panels collapse onto itself in Roadking’s robot mode, and for alt mode they expand out and form the trailer.

I would say this is a challenging piece, but not impossible. On my next transform I will probably need the instructions again. But I feel like this process can be committed to memory if done repeatedly. At this point I am undecided as to if I would call this a fun transformation. I enjoyed the overall process, but lining up the panels in alt mode is more chore than pleasure.

Masterpiece Sunstreaker

Here is a figure that I had fun transforming back to alt mode. Sunstreaker is looking super sexy in his awesome Lamborghini Countach!

For this transformation back to alt mode, I resorted to using the instructions. But that was more because I didn’t want to accidentally break something (which I’ve done from time to time). Without the instructions, I probably could have figured this out in reasonable time.

Going back to alt mode felt about the same as going to robot mode in terms of difficulty. There are some really small pieces on this figure which makes for an intricate transformation. Engineering wise, Sunstreaker is probably the most impressive official MP Carbot made to date. Definitely a lot going on for a toy this size. One side mirror popped off during my transform back to car mode, and getting it back on took some effort. Other than that, the conversion process is a joy. I intend to transform Sunstreaker more in the future, because it’s fun and challenging. I would say his twin brother Sideswipe is still the better piece as far as being the perfect balance of toy and collector’s item, but Sunstreaker is the more accomplished figure in terms of TF engineering.

Fans Toys Rouge

You could almost say you’ve been to hell and back if you have successfully transformed Fans Toys Rouge. With much sweat and tears, I got this MP style Arcee back to her robot mode.

Looking at the instructions is a must for doing this piece. However, the instructions only show how to go from robot to car. Sure, just “reverse steps to go back” like what all instructions say. That is way easier said than done for something as frustrating as FT Arcee. There a bunch of pieces held together by thin plastic and metal poles. All these pieces move and rotate around these poles, so during transformation Arcee is one hot mess. There is one waist hinge that seems like it would totally break off if you bend her the wrong way. The instructions proved to be only marginally useful. I had to look at another transformation video of FT Rouge going from car to robot. Thank you Chosen Prime for putting that vid together.

The positive about this figure is that Arcee looks absolutely beautiful in both modes. I have no complaints about the appearance of either robot or car mode. She looks like she stepped straight out of the G1 movie. Fans Toys is really all about show accuracy and Rouge is no exception. FT engineers are to be commended for coming up with a figure that looks so good and so accurate in both modes, while the transformation requires no cheating (ex: parts-forming, fake parts, etc). But this figure is not fun at all. It is highly unlikely that I will ever transform Rouge back to car again.

At this point I still got about 3 weeks of Shelter in Place remaining, if plans don’t change. I will get to Megatron and Gewalt in later weeks.

Stay strong and stay home my fellow TransFans. We can beat this pandemic together. Transform and Roll Out (again, not literally out).
 

Categories: Pics, Uncategorized

Shelter From Home Transformer Challenge

April 5th, 2020 No comments

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the coronavirus pandemic has forced most of the local counties to adopt a Shelter in Place order. Everyone needs to “Shelter From Home”. In other words, only go out for essential activities, and stay home otherwise. All food establishments are in to-go only mode. Most other businesses are closed. Social Distancing has become the norm. Initially this order was only to go til April 7th, but now it looks like it will extend to May 1st at the minimum.

I have been working from home full-time since St Patrick’s Day. My wife has been working from home for even longer than that. I am busy doing real work at home, all the while trying to entertain a 2-year-old baby who’s stuck at home with us full time since her daycare is closed from the isolation order. It has been tough.

When you have a 2-year-old, life is always busy. I don’t have that much free time on my hands anymore. But when I do, I need to find different ways to pass the time as going outside is a non-option. I stumbled on this article suggesting 10 Transformers-related activities to beat the self-isolation blues. I am inspired by #8 and #9, and came up with my own challenge. I will select 5 MP-style Transformers that’s been lying around and untouched for some time (or never), and get them transformed! I am selecting these 5 below.

#1 Masterpiece Megatron (MP-36)

MP-36 Megatron is a Transformer that I’ve had since May of 2017, and to this day I still have not transformed him! This may be the only figure in my entire collection that I have opened but not transformed. Now, nearly 3 years later, I will attempt to get him to that awesome Walther P38. This might take a while, but it will be fun.

#2 Fans Toys Roadking

I got Fans Toys’ homage to Motormaster in January of this year. I still haven’t opened him, right up til before writing this blog entry. In preparation for this, I got him opened just now. The pic above is him posed with his sword and gun, in robot mode. I will get him to truck mode.

#3 Masterpiece Sunstreaker (MP-39)

MP-39 Sunstreaker is probably the most demanding piece in the entire MP Carbot lineup. I got him back in January of 2018. I opened him pretty soon after he arrived, and got him transformed to robot. He’s been stuck in robot ever since then. Now after 2 years later, I will transform him back to that superb Lamborghini Countach. Since I’ve gone through this once, I am mentally prepared to give my transforming senses a workout. It wasn’t easy going from car to robot, and I anticipate that going backwards will be even tougher.

#4 Fans Toys Rouge

I bought Fans Toys Rouge in May of 2019, about a year ago. I opened her pretty quick. She’s packed in robot mode, and I got her transformed to alt mode fairly soon after opening the figure. But I remember the transformation process being a nightmare. This is not a fun transformation at all. If I compiled a list of top frustrating figures to transform, FT Rouge would top the list. And because of that, Rouge stayed in alt mode all this time. Don’t get the wrong, both modes are fantastic. I salute Fans Toys’ engineers for making a figure that looks true to Arcee in both modes while requiring no parts-forming or puzzle-forming. But damn, the conversion process is not for the faint of heart. I’m hoping that going back to robot will be easier. We’ll see.

#5 DX9 Gewalt

DX9 Gewalt is another figure I acquired in January of 2018. Currently, most fans agree this is the best MP-style Blitzwing on the market. Gewalt is packed in tank mode. I transformed him to jet mode pretty soon after I got him, then transformed him to robot mode. He’s stayed in robot mode all this time. The transformation is not impossible, but definitely challenging. I will attempt to do the reverse transformations from memory, but most likely I will resort to looking at instructions or online videos.

There you have it. My self-imposed Transformer challenge for this Shelter From Home episode. I will attempt to get this challenge done by April 15th. Yes, I know that some of you out there reading this think you can do all this in less than a day. If you really can, then I congratulate you on all the free time you have on your hands. I am not so fortunate. Despite being sheltered at home, I still have a full-time job, and a 2-year-old to tend to. Time is not my friend.

What kind of Transformers related activities are you doing during this difficult time? Feel free to comment below.

Stay safe and stay healthy everyone. We will beat this pandemic together. Transform and Roll Out (again, not literally go out).
 

Categories: Uncategorized

Happy St Patrick’s Day 2020! Green in Quarantine

March 17th, 2020 No comments

Welcome to this special edition of another St Patrick’s Day celebration post. Here in the SF Bay Area, the coronavirus outbreak has forced local governments to implement a “Shelter in Place” order. It’s not a full lockdown, but pretty close. Details here. I’ve been ordered to work from home.

This is a St Patrick’s Day unlike any other. No one will be out. Bars are forced to close. But that won’t stop me from making another St Patrick’s Day post with my green Transformers. Seriously, I got nothing better to do at home in quarantine.

Back row, left to right: Masterpiece Acid Storm, Studio Series Brawl

Front row, left to right: X-Transbots Klaatu (Metallic version), Generations Thrilling 30 Acid Storm, WFC Siege Springer

I keep forgetting to include the 2 Acid Storm figures on previous St Patrick’s Day posts. The MP was purchased in 2013, and the Generations legend fig in 2015. They get to shine today.

Brawl is one of the better figs from the Movie SS line. If you dig movie figs, get this one.

War for Cybertron Siege Springer is the best Springer released by HasTak, probably even better than Generations Thrilling 30 Springer. He is now in mass retail as of this writing. Go get yours.

X-Transbots Klaatu is obviously a homage to Cosmos. This is a great figure! He is superbly constructed with tight ratchets. Figure looks screen accurate in both modes. And what an awesome paint job! I’m so glad I got the metallic version. If you want an MP Cosmos for your collection, get Klaatu.

Links to previous St Patrick’s Day posts.

2019
2018
2015
2013
2012
2011

We need Perceptor and Ratchet to give us a vaccine to COVID-19 stat!

Stay indoors and stay safe everyone. Wash your hands. Transform and Roll Out (well, don’t literally go out).
 

Categories: Pics

Transformers Purchased in August 2018

March 11th, 2020 No comments

Only 3 figures were purchased in August of 2018.

  • Power of the Primes Blast Off, amazon.com, $24.99

  • Power of the Primes Repugnus, amazon.com, $24.99

  • NBK Scraper, eBay seller, $13.89

Blast Off

I mentioned this Blast Off figure back in this post. Go there for all the details. In short, this was the Blast Off that should have been released in the United States all along. In that post, I listed him as being in Combiner Wars. Realistically that’s not wrong, since the rest of his Combaticon cohorts were from Combiner Wars. But technically Blast Off is released in the Power of the Primes line (written on the side of the box).

Power of the Primes Blast Off is completely representative of G1 Blast Off. He transforms into a space shuttle, has a head mold that resembles his G1 cartoon looks, and has a paint scheme that his G1 toy brother would be proud of. This Blast Off is an Amazon exclusive, much like what they did for Quickslinger (Slingshot) and Brake-Neck (Wildrider).

Here is a pic of him in the box.

As of this writing, I still haven’t tried combining this Blast Off as part of Bruticus. I’ll get to that someday, promise.

Repugnus

In G1, Repugnus is part of a little known Autobot sub-group called the Monsterbots. This was a trio of Autobots that transformed into monsters. They came around in Season 4 of the toys. I don’t remember them appearing in the limited 3-episode arc “Rebirth” that made up the entirety of US Season 4 cartoons. They may have had more of an impact in the comics and the Japanese continuity, but I don’t care enough about the group to look it up.

All 3 Monsterbots are now released in the Prime Wars Trilogy. Both Twinferno and Grotusque were relesaed in Titans Return. In Power of the Primes we get Repugnus. This is yet another Amazon exclusive. I guess Hasbro figured there would be a limited audience for this guy. For once I agree with them.

As of this writing, I still have not opened Repugnus. Based on pics I’ve seen, he’s a slight re-work off the Twinferno mold. The same goes for Grotusque too. In Prime Wars Trilogy, all 3 Monsterbots share the same overall motif and base mold, but HasTak did add or modify enough mold bits to make each unique. I am glad this trio has an update in this modern era for Transformers. But no biggie if you missed out on any of these 3.

Pic of Repugnus in the box below.

Oh, I also have a Titan Master Repugnus. This is still unopened. It may never get opened.

Scraper

Here we have another NBK knock-off product. NBK Scraper is a knock-off of Generation Toy Scraper, who is an homage to Scrapper. You gotta love the names of 3rd party and 4th party products. In this case they dropped one p; the name still works, everyone still knows who this is supposed to be. NBK is too lazy to even come up with their own knock-off name.

Scraper is my 2nd NBK knock-off, after Bulldozer. Scraper is packed in alt mode, and he is constructed just as well.

I really like the look of Scraper in alt mode. This is unmistakably Scrapper. In this mode, everything tabs together nicely. The giant shovel is at the right tolerance, and can be lifted up to stay up if so desired. Scraper rolls well on a flat surface.

Scraper comes with only 1 accessory, his pistol. In alt mode, it can be attached underneath the vehicle. Pic below.

Transformation to robot mode follows the usual Scrapper scheme. Two features are worthy of note, however. One is the arm transformation. They rotate to the reverse direction for robot mode. And in turn, the ladders on them needs to be rotated and flipped. Very cool. The other feature is with the driver area piece that sits on the back in robot mode. This piece is attached to a folding mechanism, allowing for different placement of it in alt, robot, and combined mode.

Like I said already, construction of the figure is good. So this transformation is not frustrating to do at all. Couple that with a familiar scheme, Scraper’s transformation is completely intuitive. But at the same time, Generation Toy incorporated some refreshing design choices. This is a fun toy.

Robot mode is pretty good for the most part. The joints work well, and figure construction is good enough to have him hold poses. Articulation is limited, mostly because of the giant back kibble of a shovel, and the two huge wheels on the shoulders. But this is part of his G1 design. He appears a bit stocky from how Scrapper should look, and that’s unfortunate. I do wish his proportions are more in tune with Scrapper’s lean G1 look. Bulldozer does not have such proportion issues, and for that reason alone I think Bulldozer has the better robot mode.

Transformation to leg mode for the combined form is pretty straightfoward. Looking at the pics alone is enough to see how it goes, so here they are.

All in all, I’m very impressed with how everything tabs together for this leg mode. This is great engineering design by Generation Toys. Of special mention is that the robot arms come around the back and tab together to form the heel (see above pic). The arms tab in to each other, and tab onto the body. There is ankle pivot for the leg mode, and which translates to waist pivot in robot mode. This is a very effective transformation to the combined form.

I’m so impressed with Bulldozer and Scraper already, that at this point I have made a conscious decision to buy the rest of this set. The other 4 figs will come in later months.

Much more to come next month. Til then… Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in July 2018

March 3rd, 2020 No comments

Only official products were purchased in July of 2018. No 3rd or 4th party products. Most figs come from the Power of the Primes line. That’s the flavor of the month.

Also, with the exception of the Terrorcons, everything came in pairs. Read on below.

  • Power of the Primes Blot, Walmart, $16.82

  • Power of the Primes Sinnertwin, Walmart, $16.82

  • Power of the Primes Cutthroat, Walmart, $16.82

  • Power of the Primes Alchemist Prime, Target, $4.99

  • Power of the Primes Alpha Trion, Target, $4.99

  • Power of the Primes Outback, Target, $9.99

  • Power of the Primes Cindersaur, Target, $9.99

  • Studio Series Jazz, Walmart, $19.87

  • Studio Series Lockdown, Walmart, $19.87

  • Cyber Battalion Jetfire, Walgreens, $17.99

  • Cyber Battalion Sideswipe, Walgreens, $17.99

Blot, Sinnertwin, Cutthroat

Power of the Primes Terrorcons were featured back in this post. Read all about them there. In short, I highly recommend them. If you can only get one combiner team from the Prime Wars Trilogy, get this team.

Alchemist Prime and Alpha Trion

I have mentioned that I really like Prime Masters. They are inexpensive, fun, adds play value to other TFs, and is a great homage to their G1 roots. Alchemist Prime and Alpha Trion continues this trend. G1 purists will immediately recognize their shells as Submarauder and Landmine. Sidebar: the only other time I have mentioned Submarauder is in this post. Landmine was never mentioned on this blog, til now.

There’s really not a whole lot to say about Prime Masters, because they’re all kind of the same. I’ll just let the pics below do the talking.

Outback

Power of the Primes Outback is a repaint of Titans Return Brawn. Read that review for all the details. As for mold variations, the only difference is the head.

In G1, Outback was also a repaint of Brawn. Outback appeared in G1 Season 3. I personally don’t remember him all that much. Get this toy if you don’t have TR Brawn, is a G1 completist, or if you feel for the character. I’ll present some pics of Outback here, in robot and alt modes.

Cindersaur

Power of the Primes Cindersaur is a repaint of Power of the Primes Slash, which I sort of reviewed here. I recommend Slash, and so I recommend Cindersaur as well. Cindersaur gets a new head mold. Other than that, these 2 molds are exactly the same. This smells like another Hasbro cash-grab repaint. The raptor alt mode bears no resemblance to his G1 monster form, other than being a bipedal beast. I can’t comment on the G1 accuracy of the new head mold.

If you already have Slash, then should you skip Cindersaur? That may be a wise choice if you are basing this purely on the toy. Keep in mind, however, that Cindersaur was a G1 character, while Slash was not. Though Cindersaur never made it to the G1 US cartoons. Cindersaur is part of a little known sub-group called the Firecons. The only other time I even mentioned Firecons on this blog is in this post. Will Hasbro release updates to the other 2 Firecons? That all depends on what else they can find to repaint.

Pics below.

Jazz

I have already reviewed Studio Series Jazz, so I won’t repeat any of that here. To summarize, I give him a weak recommendation: this is a fun figure with a nice paint job and an awesome alt mode, but ruined by a robot mode with way too much back-kibble and small size. Read that review to get all the details.

Here I will show off SS Jazz with the cardboard movie backdrop.

Lockdown

At first glance, Studio Series Lockdown looks like he may be a slight tweak off of The Last Knight Hot Rod. But comparing the two side by side, it’s obvious that SS Lockdown is a brand new mold. In fact, I wrote that Hot Rod post after I received SS Lockdown already, and in the post I mentioned that this is brand new.

In robot mode, SS Lockdown resembles his movie designs. He’s not that poseable, and I don’t like that the hands are molded onto the forearms/car-side-panels. But he makes up for it with the amount of detail. He also comes with two weapons: a sword, and a retractable claw type thing. He’s got very little kibble. The side robot profile below shows that the back cleans up very nicely.

Transformation to alt mode follows the same scheme that TLK Hot Rod does, so I won’t go into too much detail. I like the way the alt mode comes together though. This figure works just as well as TLK Hot Rod does in alt mode. Below are some comparison pics: SS Lockdown on the left, TLK Hot Rod on the right.

In short, I recommend SS Lockdown. This figure is several times better than Age of Extinction Lockdown. If you already have AoE Lockdown, sell that figure and get this one.

Jetfire and Sideswipe

I was first introduced to Cyber Battalion when I was in Shanghai. Me and Gemini were exploring the city, when we found a Toys R Us inside one mall. Of course we had to stop by. I purchased Cyber Battalion Starscream on the trip.

I opened the figure after I got back to the States. Cyber Battalion Starscream is definitely on the simple side, but I thought the figure wasn’t too shabby. He’s fun to play with, is very durable, and most importantly, scales nicely with other CHUGs. It’s possible that last point only applies to Starscream (and other Cyber Battalion Seekers, if they exist). For CHUG, he’s too small as a deluxe. But he would be the same size as Megatron at voyager. So this Cyber Battalion size is perfect. I looked forward to possible Cyber Battalion releases in the US.

As it turns out, Cyber Battalion figures would be released in the States as Walgreens exclusives. Why Walgreens is getting into exclusive TF action is beyond me. And the term Cyber Battalion is never used in the US; the boxes simply say Transformers with a Generations logo in the corner.

I bought Jetfire and Sideswipe from Walgreens, because my impression from Starscream is positive. I hate to say it, but Jetfire and Sideswipe aren’t very good. Jetfire is a slight remold of Starscream. This mold as Jetfire just doesn’t work. It makes Jetfire way too simplistic. And the scale is completely off; Jetfire should be much, much bigger. And as for Sideswipe, he feels too big to be in Cyber Battalion scale. This is a very simple Transformer, even more so than Jetfire and Starscream. At this size, with this minimal complexity, I feel like I’m playing a Fisher Price Transformer. Also, he does not come with any weapons. Articulation for both is a non-priority. Maybe the target audience of these figs is preschool to 1st grade. Mature collectors need not bother.

As of this writing, I have already sold these 2 on eBay, so I’m not adding them to my TF Count. Gemini has Jetfire. He agrees it sucks, but he kept it for his son to play with. I’m thinking I should have kept these for my baby girl. On well.

I mentioned that all TFs came in pairs, other than the Terrorcons (which came in 3). All pairs were bought on the same trip to their respective store. In case it wasn’t obvious enough, these are the pairs:

  • Alchemist Prime and Alpha Trion – Target
  • Outback and Cindersaur – Target
  • Jazz and Lockdown – Walmart
  • Jetfire and Sideswipe – Walgreens

Will this ever happen again? Who knows. Everything was actually bought in store this month. That’s becoming more and more rare, given the internet shopping age that we live in.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Netflix TRANSFORMERS War For Cybertron Siege Trailer

February 28th, 2020 No comments

Oh my god! Or should I say Oh my Primus! I kinda heard that this was coming, but nothing could have prepared me for how awesome the end product would look. See this fantastic trailer for yourself.

I am guessing the name of the series is TRANSFORMERS: War For Cybertron, and Siege is the first chapter. Hopefully the first of 3 chapters.

There’s been some decent Transformers material in the last 15 years. There were 6 feature length movies, of which I only liked the first one, and Bumblebee. Transformers Prime was a good series, but it felt radically different from true G1 roots. TF prime also took many cues from the movies, especially in the character design. I mildly enjoyed TF Animated. Some of the later toys were decent, but the show itself was done way too cartoony. And don’t even get me started on Robots in Disguise and TF Cyberverse. Those are very obviously marketed to children. In the last 15 years there were no movie or series catered specifically to fans of Transformers that grew up with G1.

That all changes with TRANSFORMERS: War For Cybertron. This is the kind of TF series that I have always dreamed of. It’s dark and serious in tone, like the 1986 G1 Movie. It’s animated with modern day CG. And best of all, it’s G1 inspired! This series takes cues from G1 only. No movie influences, no TF Prime influences, no Beast Wars influences, nothing! G1 and G1 only! They finally got this right.

What we know for sure is that this takes place on Cybertron. How much time this is before the original G1 series is unclear. And it’s also ambiguous if this will really tie into G1. I’m sure if it does, there will be all kinds of continuity errors. But right now I don’t care. This a true G1-ers dream come true. I know I’ll be watching. And if you’re reading this, you know you will too.

Some take aways from watching this trailer:

  • Like I said already, this how feels dark and serious. There will probably be casualties in this series.
  • Optimus is not voiced by Peter Cullen. I don’t know who they got, but he does a great homage to Peter Cullen. No complaints here.
  • This is not a simple black and white show of heroic Autobots vs evil Decepticons. It feels like even the Autobots don’t agree on their overall strategy. Optimus wants to fight to win, but Ultra Magnus and Bumblebee are happy fighting just to survive. Megatron is seen rallying the troops in a grand speech, and he could be feeding them politically charged propaganda about how it’s the Autobots that are escalating the war. Very nice to see a TF show that incorporates some hot topics of the day.
  • Jetfire appears as a Decepticon. We know he will switch sides at some point. Or if this really does tie into G1, he will just leave for Earth before the faction switch. This will be fun to see.
  • This is a talking Bumblebee, like G1. The non-talking Bees started in the movies were cute, but I had enough of that schtick. This is Bumblebee like how he’s meant to be.
  • One scene has Wheeljack and Bumblebee surrounded by a bunch of Seekers. This is obviously a homage to how those 2 Autobots were the first ones we see in the original 1984 G1 series, then later on their way back to Iacon they get attacked by Seekers. Bravo.
  • Elita-One and Chromia appears in the trailer. It’s nice to see they included 2 fembots – having only one always feels like one was included just to be the token female. Both of them get some nice fighting action too. If this does tie into G1, it will be interesting to see how and why they got left behind and not join Prime.
  • No stupid whiny humans in this series. Nothing but robot action.
  • None of the top Decepticon lieutenants (Starscream, Soundwave, Shockwave) get any speaking roles in the trailer. Hope they play a bigger role so it’s not just Megatron calling the shots the whole time.
  • I am so glad Netflix is picking this up. I heard something about Hasbro’s The Hub Network getting acquired by Discovery, which would make TRANSFORMERS: War For Cybertron not entirely suitable. This is all for the best. Everyone I know already has Netflix, and no one I know has access to The Hub Network. Thank you Netflix!

As of this writing I already have most of the WFC Siege figures, so it will be fun to see them get animated on-screen. I heard that some repaints made for the show are coming too. But it will be with the same molds.

I cannot wait for this show!

And I cannot wait for Optimus to utter this line… Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: TF News

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