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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

War For Cybertron Siege Autobots

February 13th, 2020 No comments

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

Included in this group are:

  • Ultra Magnus
  • Chromia
  • Prowl
  • Ironhide

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

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

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

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

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics

War For Cybertron Siege Crosshairs Quick Review – with G1

January 13th, 2020 No comments

Happy New Year! Welcome to my first post in 2020. Yes I know it’s been more than 3 months since I posted anything, but I gotta make a post to kick off the new decade.

To kick off the new year right, I am doing another quick review of a figure that’s just released, with the original G1 figure of inspiration. My last such review was for Storm Cloud and Visper (Whisper). Today, I am reviewing Crosshairs.

Crosshairs was one of my favorite Targetmasters from G1. Why you may ask? Well, I had the figure, that’s why. I received G1 Crosshairs as a gift from my cousin for my birthday. I still have the figure to this day, in fairly good shape too. But to be fair, the G1 figure was pretty good for its time. G1 Crosshairs looks good in both modes, has solid construction, and has a Targetmaster figure that is unlike most other similar figures at the time. Crosshair’s Targetmaster partner is called Pinpointer, and he is supposed to be more of a rocket launcher than a pistol. This means he actually requires folding at the waist and at the feel to form the weapon! Yeah 2 whole steps from robot to gun! That’s unheard of for G1.

Crosshairs is now upgraded in the War For Cybertron Siege line. It’s a repaint of the Ironhide and Ratchet figure, but I feel this mold can represent Crosshairs quite well. Below are some pics in the box.

Siege Crosshairs holds poses quite well.

Classic A-Stance.

Ready for some action.

Ready for more action.

Standing around looking cool. Notice the rifle weapon can be attached over the shoulder.

Head mold is modeled after G1 season 4 animation, not the toy.

Siege Crosshairs is about the same size as G1 Crosshairs. When compared side by side, you can see that HasTak took great care to reference the G1 character. A lot of the details is modeled as close to G1 as possible, especially in the legs. Pics below.

For reference, here are some solo pics of G1 Crosshairs in robot mode, with Pinpointer as weapon and robot.

Siege Crosshairs is built well. I detect no construction issues on my copy. All joint are at the right level of tolerance. Pieces tab into place where they should with no problems.

Transformation to vehicle mode is pretty simple. It’s exactly the same as Ironhide and Ratchet, so I won’t describe it too much. In short, flip down the chest piece, fold in the head, then flip the chest piece back up. Raise the arms over the head and combine as one. Rotate the entire chest assembly 180, so that the arms are now pointing in the same direction as the legs. Flip open the lower leg covers, then combine the legs. Position the figure so that the arms are over the legs, and close the leg covers over the arms. Snap the covers together. That’s pretty much covers the transformation.

I like the look of Siege Crosshairs in alt mode. The vehicle shape doesn’t resemble G1 Crosshairs all that much, but I think this alt mode is more fitting of what Crosshairs should have. G1 Crosshairs has an alt mode more like a Cybertronian sports car, while Siege Crosshairs is more like a Cybertronian mobile combat vehicle. As a weapons supervisor, the latter makes more sense to me.

Below are the 2 in alt mode, side by side.

Again, I really like the look of Crosshairs using this mold in Siege.

Alt mode with no weapon attachment.

Alt mode with weapon attachment.

Alt mode rear view.

My only gripe about WFC Siege Crosshairs is that he’s not a Targetmaster. Maybe a third party will release an accessory to make it Targetmaster. Smells like a perfect job for Dr Wu.

I recommend WFC Siege Crosshairs with no reservation. Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

TF Matrix Ten Year Anniversary

October 14th, 2019 1 comment

Oct 9, 2019 was the 10 year anniversary of this blog! It was on my radar when this date was approaching. But when the date arrived, it totally slipped my mind. I forgot because I just returned from travelling overseas, and am still somewhat jet-lagged. Also, this time I traveled with my 21 month old baby girl. She was fine on the trip for the most part, but she did not adjust well to coming back. Jet-lagged baby == even more jet-lagged parents.

Still, now 5 days later, I am giving this blog the happy birthday that it deserves. I debated if I should really make this post, since I’m so tired, and the blog stats are as abysmal as ever.
But I still felt compelled to make this post for two reasons: 1) I do it every year, and 2) this is a big 10 year anniversary.

Current blog stats below.

If my math is right, I only got about 12,000 hits this past year. That’s pretty sad. Other than my first year, this is worse than every year since. The 2nd year is when this blog kinda took off. That trend continued til the 5th year. Then the hits started sliding every year after that.

In 10 years time, this blog reached a bit over 620,000 hits. About 380,000 when this was on WordPress, and about 240,000 self hosted.

10 years is a long time. I have never even stayed at a job for this long. I’m not happy about the hits that this blog is getting, but I’m proud that it’s been around for 10 years.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Transformers Purchased in May 2018

September 11th, 2019 No comments

A recent trend I see among my monthly purchases is that I buy more 3rd and 4th party figures than official products. Some recent examples were June 2016, March 2017, and November 2017. May 2018 further contributes to this trend.

You see that Hasbro? Release quality products, and people will buy. It’s not rocket science.

  • Studio Series Starscream, Target, $29.99

  • Mech Planet Big Yellow Bee, chosenprime.com, $17.99
  • Zeta Toys Air Strike, chosenprime.com, $59.99
  • MakeToys Ironwill, chosenprime.com, $79.99

Starscream

I went briefly into Starscream in my last post, so I won’t repeat all that here. Just know that he’s an awesome figure from the Studio Series. I’ll let the pics below speak for themselves.

With Nitro from The Last Knight, another excellent figure.

Big Yellow Bee

HasTak gave us a marvelous rendition of G1 Bumblebee in the Masterpiece line. However, if you always felt that you needed a CHUG Bumblebee that is G1 accurate in both robot and alt modes, which HasTak is unwilling or unable to do, then you need look no further than Big Yellow Bee by Mech Planet.

Big Yellow Bee is an excellent 3rd party take on everyone’s favorite yellow VW bug from G1. He transforms exactly like you think he would, so I won’t describe it too much. The build quality is superb for a $17.99 third party toy. I don’t have any other offerings from Mech Planet. Big Yellow Bee was my first one, and I was quite pleased.

Check the pics below. The faction symbol is after market, obviously.

Big Yellow Bee scales nicely with his mini-bot friends in the CHUG line.

The way that Big Yellow Bee compacts into his alt mode is actually very impressive. Arms, legs, and head all compact into the body area. It does take some cues from MP Bumblebee, but this is quite a feat nevertheless. If he got any smaller from robot to vehicle, you would think he’s mass shifting.

Scale in alt mode.

Big Yellow Bee comes with some accessories. Again, considering the price, this isn’t bad at all. He comes with a pistol, the spare tire wheel cover, and a chest plate type thing that I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be. And in the poly bag, there’s the instructions, a bio card, and some mystery accessory labeled “HOT”. That’s a lot of stuff in the package. Great value here.

I recommend Big Yellow Bee without hesitation.

Air Strike

Air Strike by newcomer Zeta Toys is their interpretation of Air Raid. I first mentioned Zeta back in this post, when I featured their figure for Fireflight called Flyfire. Zeta Toys is an offshoot of ToyWorld. Or more specifically, toy engineers at ToyWorld felt cheated, so they left the company and formed Zeta. Power to the employees!

As of this writing, I only have two items from Zeta. Air Strike was the first one, and Flyfire was the second. They were released in that order, too.

First let’s take a look at Air Strike in the box.

He comes packaged in a nice soft polystyrene box. I prefer this kind of package. I hate Styrofoam, because you’re bound to have little white bits fall off the box and it gets everywhere. I also don’t like plastic clam shells, because it’s hard to put the figures back into them. This kind of packaging is perfect, for what it is. It’s durable enough to protect the figure, while at the same time being easy to handle. I’m sure this is not environmentally friendly either, but none of them are. All in all, this is a no-frills type of packaging, and that’s how I like it. Some companies like to do extra special type boxes to give the items more of a collector status. I’ve never been into that sort of thing.

As far as accessories, Air Strike comes with 4 missiles and his rifle. Included also are the instructions and a bio card. It’s pretty minimalist for a figure of this size. But considering that the price is only $59.99, I feel it’s more than sufficient.

Air Strike looks great in robot mode. See the two pics above. As far as looks, he feels like a combination of the toy and the animation model. I still have my G1 Air Raid. He’s in pretty good shape. The design of Air Strike’s head feels more like the G1 toy, with the blocky shape and visor eyes. The rest of figure takes aesthetics from both the toy and the show. Overall, no one will mistake this figure for any other character besides Air Raid. The iconic black jet on the back, white body, and red chest all screams Air Raid.

Air Strike is a large figure. Below is a pic of how he scales next to War For Cybertron Siege Galaxy Optimus.

Siege Galaxy Optimus is a leader class figure. And Air Strike is taller than him, if you look at where the top of their heads are. In this pic I forgot to flip out the nosecone of Air Strike. If I did, he would be even taller. Air Strike is this size so we would get an accurately scaled MP Kronos (Superion). But individually, the Zeta Aerialbots are probably too fig for standard MP scale. Zeta is betting that most fans want Kronos to scale well with the rest of their MP collection. To that end, this Zeta team should fit the bill. As of this writing, I only have Air Strike and Flyfire, but I’m told that Kronos is very, very impressive when combined.

Transformation to jet mode follows the standard Aerialbot scheme. It’s more complicated than G1 of course, but nothing that would trip up any experienced TransFan.

That is a great looking Air Raid. Zeta did a marvelous job in capturing the look of this iconic black F-15. I probably should have took a pic of Air Strike next to the standard MP Seekers. They’re about the same size in jet mode. In the above pic, I don’t have the 4 missiles attached, but they go under the wings like you expect them to.

I do want to point out that there’s something weird about the front landing gear. On my copy, it’s not possible to get it out without detaching some other pieces first. It’s a minor annoyance for sure. Also, the figure as a whole feels light. I went into this too when I briefly covered Flyfire. My guess is that the materials used for the Zeta figures is not as high quality as the ToyWorld offerings. At only $59.99, they had to cut corners somewhere. Zeta decided to save on using higher quality plastics. And it goes without saying that there are no die-cast on Air Strike to speak of.

So do I recommend Air Strike? That’s a difficult question. Hardcore G1 TransFans, of which Air Strike is catered to, would look to get the entire Aerialbot team. So I almost need to look at the entire set, and see how they combine, before making a recommendation. Also, as of this writing, Fans Toys have come out with their own team of 3P Aerialbots. To this date they have only released Maverick (Silverbolt), and I have not seen any of the limb components. By itself, Air Strike is not a bad figure by any means. He looks great in both robot and jet modes. The transformation is fun, the engineering is solid. However, individual bot size can be an issue (too large). The plastics used does feel inferior to other 3P figures of this caliber, and there’s the front landing gear issue I mentioned. As it stands, I will refrain from making any recommendation, until I have seen the whole team.

Ironwill

The last figure this month is Ironwill, MakeToys’ 3P homage to Hardhead. I bought Ironwill back in November of 2017 during a Black Friday sale. In this same sale, I got Contactshot and Despotron, all by MakeToys. Chosen Prime must have some kind of working relationship with MakeToys, to be able to offer their figs at such a discount. Anyways, Ironwill was bought back then, but did not become in stock til this month.

Ironwill comes with two rifles, his iconic should-mounted cannon, an extra toy-accurate face plate, and instructions. Surprisingly, he does not come with a bio card. That’s almost standard for 3P MP figs these days. Personally I don’t think it’s a big deal to not have one, but just wanted to point it out for those of you that are expecting it.

In robot mode, Ironwill looks good. MakeToys did a fantastic job in updating the look of this character in MP form. The figure feels solid and hefty, befitting of someone whose name is Hardhead.

The figure has tight and clicky joints, just the way I like them. He’s capable of some good poses, and he can stand vertically just fine without leaning too forward or back.

I do have some gripes about Ironwill in robot mode. I don’t like the way that the main shoulder cannon is attached. It just clicks into place, using the most rudimentary rotation joint. It’s weird, but sometimes the joint feels too tight, while other times it feels too loose. Maybe it’s based on the weather (or the phases of the Cybertron moons). The up-and-down swivel of this cannon also feels a tad too loose. I suspect that, over time, pointing the cannon up and holding it there would no longer be possible.

The back pieces of Ironwill also do not hold too well in place in robot mode. When handling the figure, and especially when transforming, the back assembly can become undone when you don’t want it to. I wish there was more of a click-into-place mechanism here.

Ironwill’s transformation hits all the right notes, and is fun for the most part. Again, where I found it frustrating is the main cannon and the back assembly. They don’t stay in place well during the transformation. It’s probably easier to remove the cannon and re-attach after transforming is done. But that feels like parts-forming, and totally unnecessary given that the cannon doesn’t switch position. If the engineering was better on the cannon attachment, this won’t be an issue.

Here is Ironwill in alt mode. The Cybertronian tank looks great. The Headmaster figure can ride inside.

Fans will undoubtedly compare Ironwill to ToyWorld Hardbone. Honestly, I’m not sure which is the better figure here. Most fans will probably choose Ironwill. But there are a bunch of things I like better about Hardbone. Hardbone scales better with other MPs, in my opinion. Ironwill is too big to scale well with anything (should have taken a pic here). Hardbone does have a superior shoulder cannon attachment, and he comes with some cool accessories.

My final verdict on Ironwill is get it if you can find it at the price that I did. Regular MSPR is over $100, and at that price there needs to be less issues with the figure.

That does it for May. Some awesome stuff is coming next month, so stay tuned. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Random Decepticons, August 2019

August 3rd, 2019 No comments

Once again, I got a bunch of mostly unrelated Decepticons lying about. I’m gathering a bunch of them together for a feature.

WFC Siege Brunt

I consider myself pretty hardcore G1, and even I had to look up Brunt. In G1, he was a figure that came with Trypticon. Kind of like Six-Gun and Metroplex. However, in G1, Brunt is a tank that transforms into some gun towers for Trypticon. He does not have a robot mode. So it’s a bit debatable if you can even call Brunt an independent figure. But Hasbro did create a profile for him and here we are.

In War For Cybertron Siege, Brunt is upgraded to a modern Cybertronian interpretation. And this figure ain’t too shabby. He gets a full-fledged robot mode. And the original tank mode is still intact. But more importantly, Burnt is what they now call a “Weaponizer” figure in Siege. What this means is that he can separate into bits, and the individual parts can be used as weapons for other figures. It’s kind of a gimmicky feature. Not groundbreaking in my opinion, but marginally cool. Though this does make Brunt very much a parts-former. When transforming from robot to tank, the arms, legs, main gun, and back panel all needs to be removed and reattached. Yikes! The right arm on my copy is also a bit too loose in the elbow.

Still, I like Burnt. Both modes look good. I like the color scheme. The newly designed head mold works great for the character, and the parts-forming transformation actually feels kinda fun. Recommended.

WFC Siege Refraktor

Here is a figure that many hardcore G1 purists like myself have been waiting for. Focus your camera lenses on: Refraktor! Yes all G1 nerds will immediately recognize this as Reflector. I’m assuming the name change was required for trademark reasons.

I have seen the original Diaclone toys in a Diaclone catalog. But they were Japanese only. In the US, I believe these G1 Reflectors were only available through Hasbro’s mail order at the time, using Robots Points that you cut out of the G1 packaging. And they were still in Diaclone colors and not the show colors.

There has been several modern efforts at updating Reflectors. Hasbro has made Mini-Con Reflectors that came packed with Skrapnel, but these Reflectors are hardly G1 accurate. I know there has been a legend size Reflector figure, but those were convention exclusives. And they were simply repaints of Combiner Wars Shockwave, which stunk of Hasbro laziness. There has been many third party efforts as well. But they are not massively accessible, and I’m told none of them are that good. Each set has its issues.

Enter WFC Siege Refractor. This is the most show accurate physical manifestation of an official Refraktor that we have seen to date! This is a brand new mold, designed to be the character. The overall shape and colors of the robot mode screams Reflector. And yes, when you have 3 of them, they will combine to form a camera! G1 TransFans, Hasbro loves you. As of this writing, I only have 2 Refraktors. I got a third one in my Roller’s Stash at The Chosen Prime. I’ll form the camera when I ship the stash. I am told the camera comes together really well.

Build and construction of the figure is extremely solid. No loose bits or dangling parts. All pieces tab in where they should. Joints are of the right tension.

Each Refraktor also has an individual alt mode, that I’m guessing is supposed to be some kind of flying Cybertronian craft. Reminds me a bit of some versions of Shockwave’s alt mode. This mode feels like an afterthought, made up so toy buyers who know nothing about G1’s history don’t feel cheated when buying Refraktor. But you and I know better. The 3 as 1 camera alt mode is where the true action is.

For those of you that remember me saying how lame Reflectors are, this makes them a bit less lame. They almost earned themselves a seat at the cool kids table.

If you’re G1 guy, you already made up your mind that you’re buying 3 Refraktors. And if you’re not a G1 guy, buy them anyway.

Generations Thrilling 30 Skywarp

This Skywarp was purchased back in February of 2014. That was more than 5 years ago. Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly time flies. If I didn’t document the purchase, I would have thought this was only 2 or 3 years ago.

Generations Thrilling 30 Skywarp is based on designs from the Fall of Cybertron game. So he does fit in fairly well with WFC Siege. Though a Skywarp is planned for WFC Siege (as an Amazon exclusive).

This is a solid Skywarp figure. I have written about this mold elsewhere, so I won’t repeat them here. Though, playing with Skywarp after all these years, he does feel dated when compared to the WFC Siege line of figures. TFs as a whole are constantly getting better. And sometimes I need to remind myself of that fact by going back to older figures. It’s a bit like looking at your own children. Sometimes you don’t realize how much they have grown, until you go back and look at old but still recent pictures.

Studio Series Starscream

The last figure here is Studio Series Starscream. I started going into SS figures starting with my last post. Starscream was part of the first wave of SS figures released.

I like this Starscream. Overall, he feels like an up-sized version of Dark of the Moon deluxe Starscream. That figure came around before I started documenting my TF purchases on this blog. And I don’t think I ever featured that figure in anything. I think the closes I came to featuring it somewhere is in this post. Look carefully at the only picture that he’s in. It looks like Skywarp, but it’s really Starscream! Gemini and his wife took a deluxe store DotM Starscream, repainted it like Skywarp, and put it in this Japanese packaging for DotM Skywarp. To my knowledge, a retail deluxe DotM Skywarp was never released in the States. This has got to be one of the best Christmas presents I ever received! I really need to dig out this figure and give it a proper review.

Anyways, back to SS Starscream. This figure is voyager class. That’s a more appropriate size for someone like Starscream. The robot mode appears very close to his movie design. He’s fairly stable when standing on 2 legs on a flat surface. The feet is a feat in engineering (pun intended) considering his overall shape. Starscream has virtually no kibble on the back, which is saying something for the movie seekers. Starscream comes with a weapon that can be attached on either arm, when the hand is flipped in. In jet mode, Starscream looks great. Again, very little kibble on the underside of the jet, and that’s to be commended. There’s some kibble on the wings, but in my opinion it’s not at all distracting. Landing gears flip out easily. The weapon pegs in nicely and securely on the rear of the jet, behind the thrusters.

Again, the transformation scheme is identical to the DotM deluxe figure. SS Starscream is in my opinion the best movie Starscream made to date. The RotF Leader class figure was very good too, but this SS figure is more playable.

I recommend all the figures here.

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Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews