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Transformers Purchased in October 2017

September 19th, 2018 No comments

October 2017 is a month of 4s in terms of purchase pattern. 4 figs from The Last Knight. 4 figs from Titans Return. 4 Autobots. 4 Decepticons. A very balanced month.

  • The Last Knight Hot Rod, Walmart, $19.99

  • The Last Knight Megatron, amazon.com, $26.86

  • The Last Knight Nitro, Walmart, $26.86

  • The Last Knight Scorn, Walmart, $26.86

  • Titans Return Misfire, Target, $15.29

  • Titans Return Twin Twist, Target, $15.29

  • Titans Return Windblade, Target, $15.29

  • Titans Return Repugnus, Target, $4.99

Hot Rod

Last month there was a Hot Rod purchase, and this month there is one as well. The Last Knight Hot Rod is a Walmart exclusvie. His overall motif is similar to Age of Extinction Lockdown. But make no mistake, Hot Rod is a brand new mold. As far as I can tell, the only parts that are shared between the two figures are the lower legs. Everything else are new molds for Hot Rod.

Again, with the exception of the lower legs, it’s as if Hasbro went back to the drawing board and re-designed every single part of the pieces that make up Lockdown. The result is a brand new figure using a new mold that follows the patterns of a previous figure. This effort yielded a superior figure in many regards. In my opinion, Hot Rod looks better in both modes. He feels more solid and robust. But most importantly, the transformation becomes a much more enjoyable process. Hot Rod’s alt mode comes together way better than Lockdown’s. The re-designed parts and pieces fit congruently in ways that Lockdown never did.

Hot Rod’s Lamborghini alt mode is super well done for a mass produced retail deluxe class toy. I’ll let the pics below speak for themselves.

Here is an alt mode comparison between TLK Hot Rod and AoE Lockdown.

Personally I like the paint job on Hot Rod way more than the one on Lockdown. Lockdown should have been painted black or dark grey, instead of this weird brown/grey color.

Hot Rod is a recommended purchase. Don’t brush this off as another simple repaint. This is how Lockdown should have been. If the Studio Series didn’t already release a brand new Lockdown, I could totally see Hasbro repainting this Hot Rod into Lockdown. Fans of movie figures will undoubtedly want Hot Rod in their collection.

Megatron

TLK Megatron is another figure in the line that deserves your hard-earned dollars. This is is the voyager class version of the figure. There is a leader class version of TLK Megatron, but I opted for this one. The leader class has a weird transformation where the front jet nosecone becomes his fusion cannon. I didn’t particularly like that design, so I bought the voyager class figure instead. Leader class Megatron may well be a nice figure too, but I don’t have it so can’t comment.

Megs is back to being a jet in the 5th movie. As a sidebar, Megatron has a different alt mode in each movie. He goes from being a Cybertronian jet in the first movie, to a Cybertronian tank in RotF, then an earth fuel truck in DotM. He comes back as Galvatron in AoE in as an Optimus Prime type semi-trailer truck, then returns in TLK as this Cybertronian jet that’s different from the first movie. His robot mode kinda differs in each movie too. I don’t even remember how he comes back in TLK since I really wasn’t all that invested in the movie.

But let’s get back to this figure. TLK voyager class Megatron has got one of the best transformations that I have seen in a long time. I touched on this topic back in this post. This Megatron looks dramatically different from previous incarnations, perhaps because he was modified to being Galvatron. But whatever the case, I do like TLK voyager class Megatron. Hasbro is obviously going for a knight motif here. The robot mode appears below.

The figure is well proportioned, with nothing looking too oddly out of place. In the pic above, the sword is stored on the back, but he can wield it fine in either hand. The overall color scheme of the figure is very unique, and the paint job is quite good on a whole. The figure is well built. The joints are at just the right tolerance. All parts that need to be locked down from transformation are tabbed in, so what you have here is a solid robot figure with nothing dangling around. Poseability is decent.

Again, the transformation of TLK Megatron is where this figure hits it out of the park. I have seen plenty of robot to jet transformations among the hundreds of TFs that I own, and yet I still find this one totally refreshing. It doesn’t justify it when I describe it in words. The overall motif is that the jet nosecone is on the back and flips forward. The arms go around the back and folds in the opposite direction, ending up towards the rear of the jet. The wings unfold from the legs, and the legs end up kind of on the side and underneath the wings. Yes I know it sounds like we have seen this all before, but believe me when I say that the implementation of this motif is new and invigorating. When all this is coupled with the solid construction that I mentioned already, the result is a figure that is a pure joy to play with. I think I transformed TLK Megatron at least 10 times, and these days that’s a lot for me. I got way too many TFs and I’m usually too busy with other things. Transforming a figure this many times is a testament to its fun factor.

The jet mode can be seen in the above pic. This is a fantastic looking jet mode. Many TF jets suffer from having too much bulk in jet mode, but Megatron looks nice and sleek. Everything also tabs in where it should in this mode. Again, this figure is so well built that you don’t have to worry about anything dangling around. The tolerance on the wings are perfect and you don’t have to worry about them drooping down.

I give TLK voyager class Megatron the highest recommendation possible. He really deserves a separate review on this blog. Maybe someday.

Nitro

I reviewed the excellent Nitro figure here. See that post for my detailed thoughts. Nitro is one of the best figures that TLK has to offer.

Scorn

The last of the TLK figures this month is voyager class Scorn. Many will point out that we got a deluxe class Scorn in AoE. AoE deluxe Scorn is one of the better Dinobots from that movie. I think I bought all the mass retail Dinobots from AoE, and I ended up selling most of them because I thought they were underwhelming. Deluxe Scorn is one of the few that I kept (along with AoE deluxe Snarl).

TLK Scorn ups the figure to voyager class size. They should have done this back in AoE. All Dinobots need to be voyager class or bigger, in my opinion. The robot mode appears below.

I don’t know how movie accurate TLK Scorn is, and I’m not going to check. The one thing that immediately sticks out with me is that the dino tail becomes the left arm. Beast Wars fans may be thrilled with this design choice, but I’m not so sure. AoE is the same way. I guess this is more of personal taste, but I like my robots having both functional arms (Shockwave may be the lone exception here).

TLK Scorn definitely feels beefier than AoE Scorn. The upgrade to voyager class makes a big difference. This Dinobot now has more of a presence when lined up on the shelf with the Autobots proper from the movie line. This figure weighs quite a bit too. He is the heaviest figure this month. All this is very fitting of his Dinobot pedigree.

Poseability of this figure is more limited, mostly because of all the dino kibble. Most fans will probably have this guy in spinosaurus mode anyway, which we will look at now.

In dino mode, this Scorn looks much better than AoE Scorn. Many pieces on the dino are painted silver, such as the jaws, and claws on both the hands and the feet, and the top of the tail. The bigger scale means a more imposing spinosaurus. And speaking of that, TLK Scorn has three rows of spines on the back, versus just one row on AoE Scorn. This is the Scorn that we should have got all along.

There are some negatives with this figure that I need to mention. TLK Scorn is an unsymmetrical transformer, like most motorcycle figures. This means that parts that may be symmetrical in one mode will have unsymmetrical placements in the other mode. In Scorn’s case, the left arm becomes the tail, while the right arm tabs underneath the neck. This may not bother some, but I prefer my figures symmetrical. Transformation is also not the most intuitive. Going from robot to dino, there are arm rotations at the shoulder that need to happen for proper placement. The instructions does point it out, but doing it on the figure is harder than it looks. This is required on both arms. There are tabs and pegs to help you align them, but I found them to be of little help.

Below is a pic of AoE Scorn and TLK Scorn in their spinosaurus modes.

I should point out that TLK Scorn is not simply an upsize of AoE Scorn. TLK Scorn is a brand new mold. As of this writing, I can’t remember if the two molds transform the same way. I’m tempted to say that the overall motif is the same, but mechanics are different.

I give TLK Scorn a weak recommendation. There are some personal preferences that I don’t like, but you may be ok with them. Transformation to dino mode is more frustrating than it should be, but many will probably leave Scorn in this mode anyway. The upsizing alone may be worth the ticket of admission. Movie Dinobots fans should definitely get this, no question.

Misfire

Misfire is a figure that I have long looked forward to. I have G1 Misfire, and I’m always partial to characters that I owned from G1. Titans Return Triggerhappy was released back in December of 2016. Misfire and Triggerhappy came from the same group (both are Decepticon Targetmasters from Season 4). So if they did Triggerhappy, I knew Misfire couldn’t be far behind.

Sure enough, we get Titans Return Misfire this month. What I didn’t know is that they would re-work the Triggerhappy mold and use that as a base for Misfire. And the result is… quite good, actually. I usually don’t like repaints, and this isn’t one. The overall base mold is the same, but there are enough new or modified moldings on top of the existing framework that the new figure created feels distinct from the parent. The jet mode is where you see the most differences. TR Misfire is definitely an homage to the G1 figure, I’ll attest to that. See the pics for yourself.

Still, Misfire is mechanically similar to Triggerhappy, so read the post on Triggerhappy for more detailed thoughts on the figure. I love this mold and all characters that are derived from it. For G1 fans, purchase of Misfire is required.

Twin Twist

Twin Twist is yet another must purchase item for G1 fans this month. His brother Topspin was acquired back in June of 2017. In that post, I gushed on and on about how nice of a figure Topspin is. All that applies to Twin Twist. He is a virtually identical figure, but that’s how it was in G1.

The only mold differences I can detect between Topspin and Twin Twist is that the wings got replaced with tank treads, the 2 front nosecones are swapped for twin drills, and the front cockpit area went from more of a smooth sports car hood to that of a tough truck grill. The chest mold designs didn’t change, but they are swapped mirror images between the brothers.

Buying Twin Twist should be a no-brainer for those that got Topspin. And if you didn’t, do yourself a favor and go get both of these.

Windblade

Windblade sure has been getting a lot of love lately. How many Windblade figures is Hasbro gonna put out there? For a character that is a relative unknown, it’s impressive that she has had a figure made in most of the current TF lines. It all started with Generations Thrilling 30 Windblade. Then Robots in Disguise Windblade (of which there are two separate versions). Now we get a Titans Return Windblade, with a fully functioning Headmaster gimmick. So how does TR Windblade fare with the rest? Let’s take a look. The toy comes packaged in robot mode.

I like the look and appearance of TR Windblade in robot form. I think she looks better than Thrilling 30 Windblade, but not quite as good as RiD Windblade. Paint apps on the figure is good. TR Windblade gets twin long straight swords this time around, instead of the single curved blade with sheath. As a Headmaster she still has her iconic face design. All of this creates the image of a Japanese geisha girl who happens to be samurai, all represented by a giant fembot. And of course TR Windblade still has the iconic twin rotors on her wings. She would not be Windblade without them.

Poseability of TR Windblade is not too shabby. She’s capable of some dynamic poses.

Transformation to jet mode is laughably simple. She uses all the standard jet transformation mechanics. Nose cone folds back, arms the sides, and fold the legs. The only thing that’s kind of original is you have to pull out the waist, but there’s nothing groundbreaking here as far as transformation goes. Head transformation is standard Headmaster fare.

The jet mode does look nice though. The Titan Master sits nicely in the cockpit. The jet looks nice and sleek with no obvious bulk. The colors are unmistakably Windblade. The twin wing rotors are clearly visible. Everything tabs together nicely to form a cohesive whole, with nothing dangling or flopping around.

I definitely like TR Windblade better than Thrilling 30 Windblade. That figure was too much of a floppy mess, so anything more solid is automatically better in my book. I’m not sure how I would rate TR Windblade when compared with RiD Windblade. I like both figures, and each has its pros and cons. RiD Windblade has a better robot mode and a slightly more involved transformation (though not by much), but TR Windblade has better paint apps, better jet mode, and sturdier construction. I would recommend TR Windblade for fans of the character, but don’t expect any originality here.

Repugnus

I can’t close this post until I mention Repugnus. He’s a Titan Master. To this day, I still haven’t opened him. I got him along with all the other TR figs this month, in a single trip at Target. I only got him because I wanted to push the order over $50. Target was doing this deal for 10% off if the Transformer purchase is over $50. And with my Target Red Card, that adds another 5% off. All the prices listed at the top is MSRP. I think with all the discounts, total for this set of 4 TR figs came to around 40 bucks. Not bad.

But yeah, I chose Repugnus because he’s an actual G1 character. Repugnus is another Monsterbot, in the same group as Twinferno. I would later acquire a deluxe class Repugnus. This Titan Master Repugnus will probably stay unopened til Primus knows when.

Here are some group photos of the figs for this month.

Final Grades for the month:

Strong recommendation

  • TLK Hot Rod
  • TLK Megatron
  • TLK Nitro
  • TR Misfire
  • TR Twin Twist

Weak recommendation

  • TLK Scorn
  • TR Windblade

No opinion

  • TR Repugnus

More to come in later months. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in September 2017

August 12th, 2018 No comments

A very modest number of TFs were acquired in September of 2017. And none of them were Decepticons. Autobots, roll!

  • Titans Return Hot Rod, amazon.com, $9.99

  • The Last Knight Drift, Walmart, $15.83

  • The Last Knight Bumblebee, Walmart, $15.83

Hot Rod

TR Hot Rod was already first acquired back in Dec of 2016. So why did I buy this a second time? In the post for Dec 2016, I mentioned that I broke off the head connection mechanism while removing Firedrive from Hot Rod on the very first transformation attempt. Read that post for all the details and for my thoughts on the figure. But suffice it to say I don’t like having broken Transformers in my collection. And at less than $10, I felt justified in getting another Hot Rod. He is the star of the G1 Movie, after all. I took care not to break the connection mechanism this time.

The packaging arrived in less than perfect condition, as you can clearly see in the above pic. I would definitely file a complaint with Amazon if my intention was to keep this figure mint on the card. But I planned to open this, and at less than $10, it’s not really worth my time.

Drift

The Last Knight figures continue with Drift. AoE gave us a very good Deluxe class Drift, one of my few favorites from that line. So how does TLK Drift fare? Overall, he’s not bad. In robot mode, he’s got decent articulation and his proportions are well balanced. The iconic twin swords are on full display here. This Drift is colored mostly red in robot mode, and that’s quite a departure from the blue AoE Drift.

TLK Drift in an action pose.

Close up shot. Pretty good face sculpt. Drift has got the full samurai motif going on, from the samurai face plate to the samurai shoulder pads. Notice the Mercedes logo on the center of the chest. Drift is luxury class samurai… no ghetto swordsman here.

Backview of TLK Drift. Notice he has twin shorter swords, stored on his back over the shoulders. So this guy comes with a total of 4 blades. Very, very cool.

In TLK, Drift transforms into a Mercedes, while in AoE he was a Bugatti. Transformation to car mode is completely different from AoE. In AoE, the front of the vehicle transforms into the chest, while in TLK it transforms into the feet. I won’t describe the rest of it too much since the transformation is not that complicated and not terribly original.

In alt mode, he’s mostly black, with just a touch of red on the very bottom of the vehicle. He looks good as a Mercedes, though I still prefer it if he was a Bugatti. Below is a shot of TLK and AoE Drift side by side.

All in all, I like this Drift. I think AoE Drift is still better, but TLK Drift has got some nice features going on too. Recommended.

Bumblebee

We really don’t need any more Movie-verse Bumblebees. But I suppose the execs at Hasbro just love pumping out more of the one Transformer character that even the most casual of fans can identify by name. This is the second Deluxe class Bumblebee figure in the TLK line. I passed on buying the first one, which was just a repaint of AoE Deluxe class Bumblebee. This second one is a brand new mold.

Word has it that this new TLK Bumblebee is a mass retail toy representation of Masterpiece Movie Bumblebee (MPM-3). I can neither confirm nor deny that assertion, since I don’t have MPM-3. And I’m not gonna pay about $100 to find out. From what I know, the overall transformation schema is the same. But TLK Bee is obviously smaller. I will also guess that the materials used are cheaper and the mechanical complexity is toned down.

In robot mode, TLK Bee looks good. I like the details on the figure. Compared to previous deluxe Movie Bumblebees, TLK Bee appears more show accurate.

TLK Bee is capable of some fairly dynamic poses since he’s pretty well articulated. He comes with a gun-arm accessory, which he uses in the shot below. This can be used on either arm. However, the arm does need to be removed to attach the gun-arm.

I should point out that the construction of TLK Bumblebee is not the best. The feet pieces are quite loose. The hip joints are a bit loose too. The result is that it’s difficult to stand the figure. While TLK Bee is capable of a wide range of poses, he cannot hold it because of the weak construction.

Close up shot of TLK Bee. The face sculpt is quite good, and I like that the eyes are painted blue. I believe the Autobot logo on the forehead is painted on. In this pic below it looks a bit sloppy since it’s totally magnified, but under the naked eye it actually looks quite good. I commend Hasbro for including this bit of detail.

Transformation to alt mode is a completely new design. Like I said, I don’t know how much of this is borrowed from MPM-3, but for a deluxe class mass retail toy it’s definitely cool. From a engineering perspective, I rate this deluxe Bumblebee second among all the deluxe Movie Bumblebees. And if you’re wondering who gets first honors, it’s Battle Blade Bumblebee from Revenge of the Fallen, Hunt for the Decepticons subline.

In alt mode, TLK Bee has black coloring painted over the hood and roof. All the Movie deluxe Bumblebees has been pretty good in alt mode, and TLK Bee is no exception.

The gun-arm accessory can be attached in alt mode, but it looks quite silly.

Underside of the vehicle.

All in all, this Bumblebee is good, but just short of great. I would give it much higher recommendation if the build and construction had no issues. But as is, I would still get it. It’s without a doubt one of the better deluxe Bumblebees made. I don’t think you would be missing out on too much if you passed on this, especially if you already have too many Movie Bumblebees taking up precious shelf space. But I would definitely get this Bee over many others that have been made in the Movie-verse.

Here is a pic of Drift, Bumblebee, and Hound, all from The Last Knight.

Autobots, Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in August 2017

August 1st, 2018 No comments

Some very good items were purchased in August of 2017.

  • Optimus Prime Autobot Legacy 2-Pack (Amazon Exclusive), amazon.com, $29.99

  • The Last Knight Hound, Walmart, $26.86

  • ToyWorld Assault, Combuster, Requiem, tfsource.com, $159.99

Optimus Prime and Orion Pax

I’m not sure what is the official name of this 2-Pack. This Amazon exclusive is officially listed on their website as Optimus Prime Autobot Legacy 2-Pack. I have seen it listed elsewhere as the Optimus Prime Evolution Pack. There is also the name of Transformers Tribute written on the upper left corner of the box. And I’m not sure if this falls under Titans Return, Power of the Primes, or something else. But whatever it’s called, it’s a good 2-Pack to have.

Both figures in the set are repaints. As of this writing, I have not opened the set. The Optimus Prime figure is a repaint of War For Cybertron Optimus Prime. I see some minor paint app differences between this release and the WFC figure, and I’m gonna assume everything else is the same. Do not underestimate the complexity of this deluxe figure. If I am to compile a top 10 most difficult Transformers list today, this figure would easily make the list. The Orion Pax figure is a repaint of Titans Return Kup. This is an excellent mold to be re-used as Orion Pax.

Buy this set if you don’t have either of the figures used as the base for the repaint. But even if you do, this set is still worth getting. There has not been that many Orion Pax figures made. Not counting this one, I only recall two others. One in Generations Thrilling 30, and another as the base figure in the Leader Class Evolution Optimus Prime that will be released in the Power of the Primes line. This 2-Pack adds another Orion Pax to your collection and that alone is worth the price of admission.

Hound

This is my second figure from The Last Knight. TLK gave us another excellent Hound figure, after the superb Hound we got from Age of Extinction.

The figure comes packed in robot mode. In this mode, he’s a bit stocky, but that may more accurately reflect his movie proportions. Arm articulation is decent, but there’s not that much going on in the head, chest, or legs. The front wheels of the vehicle mode transforms into the feet. This makes standing the figure somewhat challenging. Not impossible, but you will have to balance Hound just right if you want to get him into any kind of action pose.

He comes with five pieces of weapons: 2 pistols, 2 heavy rifles, and 1 weapons connector type thing. There are many ways to assemble and configure this assortment.

Transformation of TLK Hound is where this figure truly shines. The overall transformation mechanism is one of the most unique I have seen in some time. I mentioned that the feet becomes the front wheels, but worth mentioning are other engineering feats besides the feet (pun intended). The legs collapse in an impressive way too complicated to explain in words. The arms are placed bent in alt mode and it works. The entire package is well constructed. When done right, the alt mode feels like a cohesive whole.

TLK Hound looks a bit different from AoE Hound in alt mode. I don’t know if either is movie accurate, and I won’t bother looking into it because both movies pretty much suck. AoE Hound is more of a van, while TLK Hound is more of a pick-up truck with a scary big missile launcher attached on top of the bed. TLK Hound is in a lighter shade of green, which seems a bit more movie accurate as far as I know.

TLK Hound appears below with other TLK figs Barricade, Drift, and Bumblebee.

Overall, I like TLK Hound. The transformation is unique, and the alt mode comes together well. TLK Hound doesn’t sport as many weapons as his AoE counterpart, but what’s there is more than sufficient.

I should note that the Japanese version of this figure comes with a riot shield. And I’m guessing the shield goes over the bed of the truck in alt mode. But since I don’t have that version, I’m not able to say if that significantly enhances TLK Hound in any way.

Some will inevitably ask which is the better Hound. In my opinion, AoE Hound is superior. AoE Hound is sleeker looking, has more weapons, and a robot mode that is easier to stand on. But these two figures are different enough that comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. If you like movie figures, get them both.

Requiem, Assault, and Combuster

Every once in a while, you find a deal so awesome that you immediately jump on it’s purchase. That was the case with this set of Masterpiece style Conehead Seekers from ToyWorld. They usually retail for a bit over $100 each. So at $159.99 for the set of 3, I wasted no time clicking on that “Buy” button and made sure this online transaction entered the vendor’s system. This was a Labor Day sale. It didn’t take long before this set sold out at this amazing price.

I have documented my long and utter disappointment with the official MP Conehead Seekers, back in this post. So I won’t rant again here. The only thing worth repeating is that they suck, and no self-respecting TransFan should spend any of their hard earned money on such garbage. I have since sold MP Ramjet, and have been looking for 3rd party substitutes for the Coneheads. Thus I’ve had my eye on this set for some time now. Seeing this spectacular deal, I acted with haste.

My fellow TransFans, this is the set of MP Coneheads that you should have in your Decepticon forces. TW gave us a completely new design on MP Coneheads that has far surpassed all my expectations. I touched a bit on the sheer brilliance of these figures in this post about Decepticon air superiority, but some of that is worth repeating here. But before that, let’s take a look at the jet mode, which is what the figures come packed in.

ToyWorld Requiem (Dirge) in his beautiful jet mode.

ToyWorld Assault (Thrust) in his beautiful jet mode.

No scale issues with official MPs in jet mode.

Assault and Combuster in jet mode.

Now let’s look at the robot mode.

All 3 look excellent in robot mode. Nice and slender build, unlike the fat bulky MP Coneheads.

Each figure comes with 2 black display panels that can connect both vertically and horizontally. In these pics I am using all 6. They are also used in the pic above for Hound and the other cars.

In robot mode, the TW Coneheads are quite a bit taller than official MPs.

The TW Coneheads really deserve a review in a separate post, but I’m gonna give some quick thoughts here:

  • Both modes look good – no complaints from me as far as the appearance of both jet and robot modes; see the pics for yourself
  • Amazing build and construction – nice and tight joints, no quality issues here like the MP Seekers
  • Great materials used – these figures feel solid and heft, and by comparison the MP Seekers feel cheap and sloppy
  • Excellent design and engineering – an intuitive and enjoyable transformation that is many times superior to official MPs
  • Each figure comes with 2 black display panels – TW didn’t have to include this but it’s a great addition
  • Front landing gear of each jet and be hard to get out, but that’s a minor complaint
  • Requiem (Dirge) and Combuster (Ramjet) come with firing missiles – and they FIRE! Careful not to lose them, they shoot pretty far
  • Cockpits open in jet mode
  • No scale issues in jet mode with official MPs
  • In robot mode, TW Coneheads don’t scale so well; they are a tad taller than official MPs, which may be a turn off for some (see above pic)
  • When you have all three and assemble the boxes, they form a nice big image

There is much more I should mention about this set, but I’ll reserve that for my review. I give the TW Coneheads the highest possible recommendation, and that’s the bottom line. If you are looking for Masterpiece style Coneheads for your collection, look no further.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in July 2017

June 26th, 2018 No comments

Only 2 Transformers were purchased in July of 2017. This is the lowest purchase count in a month since March of 2014. But what was lacking in quantity, this month makes up for in quality.

  • Titans Return Seaspray, Walmart, $9.84

  • Fans Toys Stomp, thechosenprime.com, $199.99

I already reviewed Titans Return Seaspray. He’s a terrific little figure that all G1-ers need in their collection.

Now let us focus on Stomp, a 3rd party Masterpiece interpretation of Dinobot Sludge. Stomp is produced by Fans Toys, and Fans Toys is probably the highest regarded 3rd party toy company in the TF fandom. And I’ll get straight to it: Stomp is an awesome figure! FT hit this one out of the park and delivered a MP Sludge figure that exceeded all expectations.

Stomp is the 4th Dinobot figure I have from FT. FT calls this line of figures the Iron Dibots. The first one I got was Scoria, their tribute to Slag. Scoria was pretty good for it’s time as the first MP style Dinobot by a 3rd party. But it is kind of lacking by today’s standards. And from a build and engineering perspective, Scoria was not without its issues. Many have complained about loose shoulder joints. Mine is ok, but I don’t like how Scoria’s hip joints droop down when the figure is picked up, because the weak hip joints cannot support the heavy die-cast legs. Next I got Sever (Snarl) and Soar (Swoop). These 2 were much better. I hold both of these in very high regard, close to TF perfection. Now I’m happy to add Stomp to the mix.

Like I mentioned already, Stomp is awesome, like his brothers Sever and Soar. Stomp deserves a review of its own, but I will mention here some quick points on why you need Stomp in your collection.

  • Look great in both modes! Robot mode is well proportioned, and dino mode is large and intimidating.
  • G1 accurate transformation. Sometimes 3P takes too many liberties in the way a figure transforms. I give that points for creativity, but some may consider it straying too far from the original source. Stomp’s transformation scheme is identical to that of G1 Sludge. Obviously it’s implemented with modern day engineering, which takes me to my next point…
  • Solid build and engineering. It seems that FT took all the lessons learned from the previous FT Iron Dibots, and improved on their design choices in how Stomp is constructed. The drooping hips/legs issue I mentioned for Scoria, none of that applies to Stomp. There is a spring tabbing mechanism that locks Stomp’s hips into place in robot mode. So despite the heavy legs, no drooping occurs. Bravo Fans Toys!
  • Quality materials used for the figure.
  • Comes with working LED blaster and sword.
  • Premium paint job.

There are other pros about the figure, but I’ll stop here. Check out some pics for yourself.

Stomp comes packaged in robot mode.

With his pal Soar.

Stomp in his awesome dino mode.

With his creator Wheeljack.

With ToyWorld Muddy.

Now I am debating if I should buy Fans Toys Grinder (Grimlock) to complete the set of FT Iron Dibots. I have MP Grimlock, but he’s too small when scaled next to the Iron Dibots. I can’t have have the leader of the Dinobots be the smallest one!

And I’m also considering getting the next evolution in Scoria, which is Perfect Fusion Cesium. As far as I know, Perfect Fusion is a spin-off sister company of Fans Toys. PF took everything wrong with Scoria, went back to the drawing board, and produced another version of MP-style Slag called Cesium that fixes everything wrong with Scoria. I am tempted to buy Cesium. However, in robot mode he seems to big. In fact, he is even a smidge taller than Grinder. For that reason I am hesitant. At $139.99, Cesium is a bit cheaper than the Iron Dibots (usual MSRP is $199.99). I may get him. Or not.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in June 2017

June 9th, 2018 1 comment

The purchases for June 2017 were all part of a single wave.

  • Titans Return Sergeant Kup, Target, $15.29

  • Titans Return Perceptor, Target, $15.29

  • Titans Return Topspin, Target, $15.29

  • Titans Return Quake, Target, $15.29

All figures are deluxe class, from Titans Return. All have Titan Masters that transform into the head (or Headmasters, if you prefer G1 terminology).

Kup

The last time we got a Kup figure in the CHUG-verse was back in 2011, so we are long overdue for an update. We already got updates to Hot Rod and Blurr in Titans Return, so Kup should come as no surprise.

I like TR Kup. For starters, this Kup has an alt mode that is most G1 accurate since the original G1 figure. I like the 2011 Generations Kup, but that figure’s alt mode did not resemble G1 Kup’s alt mode in the least. TR Kup has ample room up front to fit the Titan Master in vehicle mode, and the twin weapons can be stored on the bed of the pickup.

TR Kup offers one of the more refreshing transformations that we got in recent years for a retail deluxe figure. The leg transformation is worth mentioning. The truck side panels open up, and folds upward to form the legs. It’s very cool and very original. Arms are tucked behind the cab in alt mode. The cab area collapses on itself to form the torso in robot mode.

Fans will undoubtedly compare this Kup to 2011 Generations Kup. It’s hard to say which is superior. They each have their pros and cons. TR Kup has a more show accurate alt mode and an overall cleaner design. Generations Kup has a more show accurate head mold (since he’s not a Headmaster). Other aspects are up for debate. I would keep both Kups in my collection.

Perceptor

I think this may be the first time we got a Perceptor that transforms into a microscope since G1 (not counting G1 re-issues). In TR, Perceptor too is a Headmaster, but it doesn’t bother me.

I like the microscope alt mode. It doesn’t really look like a real microscope in my opinion, but the G1 toy had the same issue as well. I believe TR Perceptor has another alt mode where he’s a tank, with seat area for the Titan Master. I didn’t try this though.

Transformation to robot mode is fairly simple. If you look at the two pics, you can kinda see how he would transform. And you would be right. There aren’t any hidden surprises to this transformation. And that’s not a bad thing. Not every Transformer needs to have original engineering mechanisms. Sometimes sticking to the tried and true is best, if it’s executed well. Perceptor comes with a long rifle type weapon, complete with built-in gun rest. I think this totally works. In battle, I see Perceptor as the type that would stay back and pick off his enemies from long distance with extreme precision.

I would say this is the most show accurate G1-style Perceptor that we have got. For that reason, I recommend TR Perceptor. He is a bit flimsy in construction in my opinion, but nothing here is so bad that it’s a deal breaker. Fans would undoubtedly compare TR Perceptor with Generations Perceptor (who also was released at the same time as Generations Kup). TR Perceptor is way more show accurate, but there are things I like about Generations Perceptor too. They both have a place in your collection.

Topspin

TR Topspin is my favorite figure this month. I am not sure if Hasbro has released any direct updates to this character since G1. This may be the first time, and that’s a treat. Topspin and his near-identical clone Twin Twist were Jumpstarters in G1. The gimmick of this little known subgroup is that they have pull-back motors and they auto-transform. You start in alt mode, lay them on a flat surface, pull back, release, then watch them roll forward and automatically “jump” and transform into their robot modes. Yeah, it’s a crazy gimmick that only kids would dig, but it represents toy technology that was popular back in the 80s.

Because of this gimmick, the Jumpstarters had very simple transformations, even for G1 standards. There are really only two steps to the transformation: legs rotate forward by 180 degrees, and stand the figure. That’s it. Transformation is achieved automatically through the gimmick. I imagine modern day 2-Step Changers are highly similar, but I don’t have them so I can’t say for sure.

The Jumpstarters never got any love in the G1 cartoons. I imagine they were last minute additions in Season 2 in the toy line, so they got left out in the cartoon planning. The toys themselves were also forgettable to the more mature collectors. I’m gonna guess that, for these reasons, Hasbro never saw fit to update them. Until now.

And what a update it is. Using toy technology available today, Topspin is a very impressive figure from a engineering perspective. Yet he still retains that 80s futuristic and blocky robot aesthetics. This is definitely a figure catered to fans that grew up with robots in the 80s, and I commend Hasbro for giving us something so advanced and so nostalgic at the same time.

The Jumpstarters are supposed to be futuristic or Cybertronian in their alt modes. Topspin is a jet, while Twin Twist is a drill tank. The G1 toys were near clones of each other (think G1 Bumblebee and Cliffjumper), and in TR that still applies. I like Topspin’s alt mode. It’s unmistakably Topspin, there are no other alt modes that resemble this in the entire TF Universe. Colors and paint job are superb. A Titan Master can sit comfortably in the cockpit. The twin guns can be stored underneath the wings.

Transformation is where this figure truly shines. In G1 it was super simple, but in TR it is 10 times more advanced. The legs come apart where they are in alt mode, and then they are extended Combiners Wars style. Flip out the feet and collapse the rear leg panels. Fold the knee panels forward. Arms come out from the sides of the vehicle alt mode. Extend the arms and flip out the fists. Rotate the wings back. And here’s the part where it’s really cool: rotate the entire chest assembly 180 degrees, so the legs are now directed the other way. Open the cockpit and remove the Titan Master, then fold the front nose assembly into the cockpit area. Then close the cockpit. Rotate figure at the waist. Transform the Titan Master to head and insert. I’m glossing over the process very quickly, but you can already see it’s a pretty involved transformation for a retail deluxe figure. I wouldn’t say that it’s difficult by any means, but the number of steps required does surprise you. In some way I say this is the best kind of Transformer as a toy: involved enough for the mature collector, but not difficult or frustrating.

In robot mode, TR Topspin is a perfect homage to G1 Topspin. His overall appearance is trademark Topspin. Articulation of the figure is decent, and overall construction is solid. Topspin and Twin Twist both had very blocky heads in G1, so as Headmasters, it works. I cannot recommend this figure enough. Get yours now. You may have purchased Apex and Geminus by Mech Ideas. I like those figures too, but I would still get TR Topspin and Twin Twist if you got those 2. Mech Ideas and TR are separate efforts on updating the Jumpstarters, and both efforts have produced quality figures worthy of inclusion in your collection.

Quake

Kup, Perceptor, and Topspin were bought from Target on the same trip. I initially did not wanna buy Quake, because he’s a repaint of Titans Return Hardhead. And Quake is one of those repaints that make little sense. In G1, Quake’s tank mode is that of a modern day battle tank (Leopard 2), and this TR futuristic/Cybertronian tank mold used for Quake is unique to Hardhead. Plus Quake was a Targetmaster, not a Headmaster. Using this mold for Quake reeks of cash-grab desperation.

Still, the G1 purist in me got to me. I have G1 Quake, so I figured what the hell. One more repaint won’t hurt. So I went back to Target a few weeks later and obtained Quake. See my review of Titans Return Hardhead for my thoughts on this figure. I think Quake is a bit better constructed than Hardhead, at least on my copy. He doesn’t feel as flimsy.

I give Quake a mediocre rating. If you didn’t get Hardhead, or if you simply have a thing for Quake, then go ahead and buy this figure. Otherwise this is an optional purchase.

Below are group photos of all the purchases this month.

I should mention that there is another deluxe figure as part of this wave. That figure is Krok, a repaint of Skullsmasher. I was not terribly impressed with Skullsmasher, and I never even heard of Krok the character, so I left this on the shelf.

Grades for the month.

Recommended:

  • Topspin
  • Kup
  • Perceptor

Mediocre:

  • Quake

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in May 2017

May 26th, 2018 No comments

Repaints and more repaints! That is the theme this month. There were 7 TFs purchased in May of 2017, and 5 of them were repaints.

I never kept stats on how many repaints there are in a month, but I can’t remember one that was this high. 5 out of 7… that’s more than 70%. Hasbro is being plenty lazy here, but perhaps I’m the sucker for buying so many.

Below I proudly present the TFs where most of these molds has been previously used on a different figure.

  • Titans Return Blitzwing, Target, $24.99

  • Titans Return Octone, Target, $24.99

  • Titans Return Brawn, amazon.com, $9.99

  • Titans Return Roadburn, Toys R Us, $9.99

  • Robots in Disguise Skywarp, Walmart, $14.97

  • Masterpiece Megatron MP-36, amiami.com, ¥17280 (about $159.09)

  • Masterpiece Starscream MP-31, amiami.com, ¥9770 (about $89.95)

Blitzwing and Octone

Blitzwing needs no introduction. As perhaps the most famous Triple Changer in TF history, Blitzwing saw plenty of action in G1, including the G1 Movie. Even casual TransFans could identify both his alt modes: a MiG-25 jet fighter and a Type 74 battle tank. Titans Return Blitzwing is a repaint of Titans Return Megatron. Or to be more precise, Megatron is a “prepaint” of Blitzwing.

In my opinion, TR Blitzwing is way better than Generations 30 Blitzwing. I enjoy the transformation of TR Blitzwing. All 3 modes look pretty good, and it doesn’t have the famous construction issue that Gen 30 Blitzwing had.

It feels weird to write Octone. His name should really be Octane, the fuel truck and fuel jet Triple Changer that came about in G1 Season 3. Titans Return Optimus Prime is a prepaint of Octone.

In the early years of the Generations line, Hasbro released a deluxe version of Octane called Tankor. That figure was really not that good. TR Octone is leaps and bounds superior to Tankor. And just like Blitzwing, all 3 modes are pretty good. There isn’t one mode that is obviously inferior to the rest, like many other attempts at Triple Changers. I commend Hasbro for coming up with modern Triple Changers where all the modes are properly represented.

G1 purists will no doubt argue that Blitzwing and Octane were never Headmasters. They would be right, but I don’t think it’s such a big deal.

Hasbro did make enough mold changes to Blitzwing and Octone that buying these repaints feels a bit more justified. If you didn’t purchase TR Optimus or Megatron, then there is no reason to not buy these 2. But even if you did, I still recommend them. The molds here were always meant for these 2 characters. Sell off Prime and Megs and put Octone and Blitzwing in your collection if you have a no-repaint rule.

Brawn

Brawn is one figure that uses a brand new mold this month. I have a quick review for him here. He is most definitely recommended.

Roadburn

I don’t think there was a character named Roadburn in G1 (though it won’t surprise me if I’m wrong on this). Instead, I think this character is meant to be Chase, a member of the Throttlebots. Roadburn’s color scheme and head mold is a dead on for Chase. I have G1 Throttlebot Chase. I also have ToyWorld’s MP scale interpretation of Chase, called Trace. My Chase collection is now complete with the acquisition of Roadburn. This totally unknown character deserves his 15 minutes of fame. Maybe I will do a separate collection post dedicated to Chase.

Anyways, Roadburn is a repaint of Titans Return Bumblebee. Roadburn has a different head mold, but that’s the only mold difference. Read the post on Bumblebee for my thoughts on this figure. If Chase the character means something to you, then go ahead and get this figure. Otherwise it is a skip. This figure really doesn’t offer anything that hasn’t been done before.

It should also be noted that Roadburn is one of my last in-store Transformer purchase from Toys R Us before the giant toy chain went under in early 2018. I started to write about my thoughts on TRU here, but then it got so long I realized it should get its own post. So that’s what I’ll do. A “farewell to TRU” post is coming soon.

Skywarp

Robots in Disguise Skywarp is a figure I debated about buying. I saw him on the shelves in late April or early May and decided to skip it. He is an exact repaint of RiD Starscream, which I have. I like the figure, but it’s not worth buying again in a different color.

About a week or two goes by, and I gave in to my urges and bought Skywarp. I guess it’s because I like Skywarp the character, I like the figure in the black and purple color scheme, and there was really nothing else to buy (I was not counting on the two MP figs to arrive later in the month). Read the RiD Starscream post for a more detailed discussion about the figure. Skywarp is solid, but not a required purchase by any means.

Starscream

What can I say about MP Starscream that hasn’t already been said? The mold used for this figure has been around for so long and Takara is still abusing it. What I have here is the official 2017 re-issue of MP-11. I’m fortunate enough that my Starscream doesn’t seem too bad, but it comes as no surprise that many fans report inferior construction quality with this figure (loose joints, weak tabs, etc).

I got this re-issue because, up until this point, I don’t have the famous Decepticon Aerial Commander in the newer MP Seeker mold. I have MP-3 Starscream, but that was done in the older MP Seeker mold (with the side skirts, among other things). It’s a crime not to have Starscream updated, so when I saw this re-issue, I bought it. Though, now in 2018 as I write this, 3Ps are doing their own MP style Starscream that appears to be superior (one example is MakeToys Meteor). So in retrospect, maybe I should not have bought this MP-11 re-issue, especially considering the questionable build quality.

MP-11 with MP Thundercracker and MP Skywarp. MP Thundercracker is in the new Seeker mold like the MP-11, while MP Skywarp is in the old Seeker mold like MP-3.

MP-11 in full coronation gear.

It should be noted that having the figure stand with the coronation gear is pretty difficult. It takes forever to position it so Starscream doesn’t fall ass backwards when wearing the full gear. Another reason to not get MP-11.

Megatron

I saved the best for last. Here we have the big prize of the month – Masterpiece Megatron, designation MP-36! This is the other figure having a new mold this month. Much like MP Optimus Prime that was first released as MP-1, then later got an improved but smaller version of MP-10, Megatron first received the MP treatment back in 2007 with MP-5. Now 10 years later, he is getting an updated version as MP-36, and he is meant to scale with MP-10.

MP-36 Megatron is a fantastic looking figure. Imagine if Megatron stepped out of the G1 cartoons and became a solid, tangible figure. That is how MP-36 looks. Take a look at the pics below. I cannot say enough about the show accuracy of this Megatron. He really is something to behold.

Back view. The upper back is a bit messy, but nothing I can’t live with.

Construction of MP-36 is superb. All joints are tight and clicky. No cosmic rust syndrome here.

MP Megs with the famous MP-10. Look how well they scale together.

MP Megs with his top MP lieutenant.

MP Megs up close and personal.

Look at all these accessories!

Obviously I never even took these out of the box. There’s a lot here to accessorize the Decepticon leader with. Other than the scope / fusion cannon, included are:

  • The silencer
  • The stock
  • 3 alternate face plates
  • Key to Vector Sigma
  • Energy sword (appears in the epic fight with Optimus Prime in the G1 Movie)
  • Pistol (also in the same fight)
  • Damaged chest plate (as a result of same fight with Prime)
  • Energy ball and chain (during fight with Optimus Prime, in Ep2 of More Than Meets The Eye, which he only used once ever)
  • Helmet (used in some Ep in G1 that I no longer recall)

I’m ashamed to say that, even after having this figure for about a year, I still not have transformed it. It’s not that I don’t want to. I took a quick look at the instructions, and it is more than daunting. This figure could very well make it into a top most-difficult list (btw, I really need to update that post and make a 2018 edition). I promise I will transform MP-36 soon.

Grades for the month:

Recommended:

  • TR Blitzwing
  • TR Octone
  • TR Brawn
  • MP Megatron

Mediocre:

  • TR Roadburn
  • RiD Skywarp

Not recommended:

  • MP Starscream

Again, TR Brawn and MP-36 Megatron are the only new molds in this list of Transformers. All others are repaints, and their purchase is at your discretion.

The Decepticons far outnumber the Autobots this month. Poor Brawn and Roadburn… these 2 tiny Autobots had better get back to headquarters and rustle up a few more friends (G1-ers will recognize this reference from Fire on the Mountain).

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in April 2017

May 6th, 2018 No comments

There was no shortage of purchases in April of 2017. Figures from every TF line of the time was represented this month, including Titans Return, Robots in Disguise, and for the first time, The Last Knight. Even third party products were not left out. Some of these figures are pretty darn good. And some of them, not so much. If you just want to get to my final thoughts about a figure, scroll down to the bottom of the post.

There’s a lot to get through, so let’s get to it.

  • Robots in Disguise Soundwave, Walmart, $14.97

  • Robots in Disguise Blurr, Walmart, $14.97

  • The Last Knight Barricade, Walmart, $15.83

  • Titans Return Broadside, Target, $24.99

  • Titans Return Sky Shadow, Target, $40.99

  • Titans Return Bumblebee, Kickback, Gnaw, tfsource.com, $32.99

  • Keiths Fantasy Club E-Nergeon Cubes, tfsource.com, $9.99

  • FansProject Function-XV MADLAW, tfsource.com, $39.99

  • Warbotron WB03-A Turbo Ejector, tfsource.com, $79.99

Soundwave and Blurr

The two Robots in Disguise figures this month are Soundwave and Blurr. I found these two very early in the month.

I could never get enough Soundwave figures. I love the character, and I’m pleased he has a figure in the RiD line (though I don’t watch the show so I don’t know if he makes an appearance). RiD Soundwave takes design cues from many previous incarnations of the character. In robot mode, he’s got the iconic Soundwave colors and right-shoulder mounted cannon. Overall body shape takes design aesthetics from War For Cybertron Soundwave, and the head mold is an obvious homage of Transformers Prime Soundwave. I dig Soundwave’s overall appearance in robot mode. The red featureless face is a good fit for the character, and works well as a light piping feature. The figure is capable of some good poses in robot form, though most of it is achieved through cheap plastic ball joints. Transformation of RiD Soundwave is not difficult by any means. But unless you do it all time, there are some minor twists to an overall familiar motif that could have you very slightly stumped during the process. I don’t transform the figure that much, and every time I do it, I find myself asking silently, “How do I do that again?” RiD Soundwave’s alt mode is most certainly taken from War For Cybertron. But that’s not a bad thing. The Cybertronian car/SUV works well for the character. In my opinion, there are not that many good figures from Robots in Disguise, but Soundwave is one of them. This is a recommended figure. Get it.

Let’s look at Blurr next. The figure features the iconic Blurr colors that we have grown accustomed to. His head mold is an unique take on Blurr. It looks like he’s wearing a helmet with a visor, something Blurr would use if he was a human race car driver. I dunno, I think it’s design gimmicks like these that turns me off on Robots in Disguise. The show heavily attempts to humanize every Transformer, and I think they’re forgetting that they’re robots, not humans. Blurr is super easy to transform, just like every other figure in the RiD line. His transformation motif features nothing that we haven’t seen before. Arms to the sides, snap the legs together, and fold the back assembly over to the top of the vehicle. Flip in the feet pieces and line up the spoilers. That pretty much describes the entire transformation. It’s painfully simple, even by RiD standards. Granted, the alt mode does look cool. This futuristic race car reminds of me Crasher from the GoBots. I bet a customizer has already made a Crasher using this figure. Blurr’s weapon is in a translucent blue, and it comes with 2 pegs so you can position the weapon in two different orientations. All in all, this is not a bad figure, but offers nothing new for the mature collector.

Barricade

I am pleased to introduce my very first figure from The Last Knight: Barricade. There has been many deluxe movie Barricades made, and none of them are that good. I have the very first Barricade, from the 1st movie, as part of “First Encounter” 2 pack. And I have deluxe Barricade from Dark of the Moon. DotM Barricade is slightly better than the first Barricade, but neither one set the world on fire.

Hasbro used the term “Premier Edition” to label TLK toys that are more geared towards collectors, kind of like how Age of Extinction used the “Generations” banner. I started seeing the Premier Edition figs at Walmart in early April. Right away I liked the packaging. Even for the deluxe size figs, they are packed in boxes and not on cardboard. That’s always a plus in my book. In addition to Barricade, there was Bumblebee, Berserker, and Slash in the first wave of Premier Edition deluxe figs. I’m pretty sure Bumblebee and Slash are repaints from AoE. Berserker didn’t look all that interesting. That only leaves Barricade. Out of these 4, he does look the best in the box. And since I was never satisfied with the previous Barricades, I was really hoping this figure would be better. So I left the store with only Barricade.

I’m gonna go over the alt mode first. Barricade’s police car paint job is quite good. This Barricade is more of a dark blue, and not black. The Decepticon logo and the “POLICE” markings are painted very sharply on both sides. Front headlights and the police siren lights on the grill are also nicely painted. Same goes for the rear brake lights. This Barricade still has the phrase “To Punish and Enslave” written in cursive right above the rear wheels, and this application looks better than ever. What I find most impressive about this alt mode is that it’s got room for all his accessories. There are peg holes for the pistol and the night stick underneath the vehicle. And with those attached, there is still plenty of clearance for the police car to roll well on a flat surface. But what’s really impressive is how the arm cannon is placed in alt mode. The round arm cannon fold apart to form 2 semi-circles, and in this form the cannon is pegged in on the rear windshield. It’s a very cool effect and I commend Hasbro for this design. Barricade feels cohesive in this mode, nothing dangling or flopping around. If I was only judging this by alt mode, this is the best Barricade ever made.

Transformation to robot mode is pretty simple. That seems to be the trend for movie figures these days, even the ones made for collectors. It’s nothing we haven’t seen from the movie line, so I won’t describe it too much. In robot mode, Barricade looks ok, not great. I feel that his proportions are off. The legs appear a bit short in my opinion, giving more of a stocky look. The big weakness of the robot mode is that there is way too much back kibble. The roof of the car is draped over almost the entire back side. In fact, the roof of the car accounts for about 70% of the height in robot mode. It’s not AoE Crosshairs bad, but pretty close. Articulation is decent for a fig in this class, though I gotta point out there is no waist articulation and the head only moves from side to side, not up and down. The pistol and nightstick can be held in either hand. The same peg holes for their storage in alt mode is now positioned to the side of the thighs, so he can store them there in bot mode for kind of a cool look. The arm cannon can be wrapped around either arm. In my opinion, the robot mode is mediocre at best.

So should you get Barricade? I do feel this is the best Barricade made to date, but that’s not saying too much. Alt mode is excellent, but bot mode is so-so. If you’re not crazy about the character, then perhaps wait for the MP Barricade that is due out sometime this year.

Below is a pic of Barricade with some other TLK figures, that will come in later months.

I mentioned in earlier entries that I made a visit to New Zealand and Australia in 2017. That was a great trip! And I wanna go back there so bad. Anyways, that happened in April of 2017. The 3 figures featured so far were found before the trip. All other figures this month were acquired after the trip. And believe me, I tried hunting for Transformers in Australia. I did locate some Toys R Us stores on Google Maps, but they were too far out of the way from where we stayed and where we went for attractions. Bummer. I would have liked to see Toys R Us in Australia, like I did for Paris and Shanghai. And now that Toys R Us is officially closing all stores here in the United States (and in the U.K.), I wonder if the international stores will survive.

Broadside

TR Broadside is one of the last figures I found in April, but I’m gonna talk about him now. For a long time, I was really hoping Hasbro would make a Broadside. I featured my CHUG Wreckers a while back, in this post. Look on the 3rd shelf, and I got all the original Wreckers updated in modern day form. Except for Broadside. So now having Broadside is a dream come true. That is, until I opened the figure.

Broadside is one of the original Autobot Triple Changers, along with Springer and Sandstorm. His 2 alt modes is a jet and an aircraft carrier. The concept of such a figure already boggles the mind. From a story perspective, Broadside has to be doing some crazy mass shifting to go from a regular sized bot to an aircraft carrier. And as for the toy, it’s very, very had to implement in physical form, because the shape of an aircraft carrier is very different from the shape of a jet. I never had the G1 toy, but I understand it’s not the best.

Titans Return is taking a stab at doing this difficult figure to please the hardcore completist fans, and I do appreciate them trying. But the end result is less than stellar. The aircraft carrier mode is decent, the robot mode is passable, but the jet mode is horrendous. The front of the jet looks ok, but the rear of the jet looks like something a fan would make up out of a toy as another mode. It’s as if the toy designers did not know what to do with the robot legs, so they kinda just stuck it in an awkward configuration for the rear of the jet called it a day. There is so much bulk at the back that this can’t be considered a good jet mode by any means. I don’t recommend this figure. Here are some pics.

Sky Shadow

Another figure I got towards the end of the month is Sky Shadow. He’s the last TR figure for the month. I did a quick review for him already, so read all the juicy details here. Sky Shadow is a recommended figure for this month.

Bumblebee, Kickback, Gnaw

The 3 TR legend class figures were bought as a set, for $32.99. I did find them all individually later in store for cheaper, but I wanted to lock them in early since legend figures always go fast when they first come out.

TR Bumblebee is not bad, but not great. Transformation uses the tried and true Bumblebee formula. Poseability is decent and construction is solid. I love the head and face sculpt, it’s done really well for a $10 figure. The Autobot logo is also nicely painted on and not a cheap sticker. The alt mode, while not a G1 bug, resembles something that Bumblebee would choose to be today. This figure doesn’t do anything that previous CHUG legend Bumblebees haven’t done, with the exception of one thing: A Titan Master can ride inside him in alt mode. You read that right. Most figures first released under the Titans Return line can have a Titan Master ride somewhere in their alt modes. And legend figures are no exception (if the alt mode is a vehicle). In Bumblebee’s case, the chest cavity is made hollow enough that a Titan Master can be squeezed in there in alt mode. However, this does mean that getting the car mode to clean up nicely after transformation is a bit tougher. The panel pieces surrounding the hollow cabin can collapse on itself inwards. My final verdict is that TR Bumblebee is a nice offering. Worth picking up if you have no other CHUG Bumblebees, or if you dig the the Titan Master riding feature. As for everyone else, this is an optional purchase.

TR Kickback is the last of the 3 famous Insecticons to be released in legend scale, in some kind of Generations line. We already got Thrilling 30 Skrapnel (Shrapnel) and Combiner Wars Bombshell (glad they could keep the name and not use Bombshock). Titans Return Kickback completes the trio. Overall, I like this Insecticon less than the other 2. The figure is ok, but he’s more flimsy than his Insecticon brothers. Construction of the figure feels cheap. He’s got parts dangling about in both modes, but that’s more of an issue with the initial character design. The insect mode is the weakest of the 3, by far. The mechanics of the transformation seems rushed and lazy. All TR legend figures use cheap ball joints, but Kickback’s implementation of them appear really obvious. If you got the other 2, than by all means pick up this figure to assemble the trio. But if you don’t, Kickback can be a skip. Or better yet, get one of the other ones first. My favorite out of these 3 is Bombshell, and it’s not because I’m partial to the character. He’s the most robust and solid out of the 3 Insecticons.

The last in this set of threesome is Gnaw. Anyone who has seen the G1 Movie knows that Gnaw makes up the drone soldiers of the Sharkticon army, under direction of the Quintessons. A G1 figure of Gnaw was made, and I think his allegiance was Sharkticon on the Tech Spec Bio. However, they still put a Decepticon logo on the toy, and I don’t recall if the name Gnaw was ever used in the G1 Movie or Cartoons. So was a figure made after the Movie designed this character, or did they take this toy and then make up the whole Quintesson backstory? We may never know. But what I do know is that TR Gnaw is pretty cool. He is one of the most unique figures that I have purchased in some time. His colors are unmistakably Gnaw. In robot mode he’s kinda stocky, but that actually reflects how he looked in the G1 Movie. Transformation to the metal shark creature is one of the most unique I have seen, and mechanically it actually works quite well. Robot head folds back, and the legs go backwards and form the shark back and head. Robot arms become the shark legs. The weapon becomes the shark tail. It doesn’t do justice when I describe it in words, but trust me it’s cool. I love how Gnaw looks as the shark creature. He’s got nice clear yellow eyes and a working lower jaw. Shark arms can be rotated, and the shark legs has a decent level of articulation. The alt mode also comes together well, forming a solid cohesive piece despite the fact that he’s got arms and legs. My only gripe is that he’s only legend class. In the Movie he’s actually a tad bigger than Hot Rod and Kup, so a deluxe or voyager class figure would have made more sense. But as legend class, I suppose some hardcore fan out there can get a bunch of these and assemble a Sharkticon army. I give Gnaw the highest level of recommendation. This figure is a required purchase for G1 fans.

E-Nergeon Cubes

I made quick post about these cubes here. See that post for a more in depth look at this high quality 3P accessory made to scale with your MP figures. Highly recommended.

MADLAW

Sixshot is not the only Six-Changer in the TF Universe. There is also an Autobot Six-Changer: Quickswitch. Only the most hardcore of G1-ers know about Quickswitch, and that’s for good reason. The toy came about way too late in G1 to matter. And, to be quite frank, G1 Quickswitch is not the best figure by any standards. In robot mode he looks like he’s wearing diapers, the puma mode is a mess, and his weird color palette of red and green is worthy of arrest by the Cybertron fashion police.

MADLAW is FansProject’s attempt at a modern Quickswitch, much like Hexatron is to Sixhot. Upon first hearing about MADLAW, I was quite excited. When he was finally released, there wasn’t much fanfare or fan buzz. Then the figure faded into obscurity, buried among the many 3P products that we are now saturated with today. Now I know why. Unlike the awesome Hexatron, Quickswitch is not a figure that will knock your socks off.

I purchased MADLAW sometime in late 2016. Tfsource.com had a sale for it at $39.99. I figured you can’t go wrong at this price. I didn’t have anything else to ship with MADLAW so I waited til now. And MADLAW did not make this worth the wait. He’s packed in robot mode. He looks alright in this mode, not great but not bad. He’s significantly smaller than Hexatron. So I guess MADLAW is meant to scale with CHUG.

The first mode I tried to transform him to is the boat mode. I didn’t get very far before I noticed something weird. On one side, the foot piece wouldn’t rotate and line up correctly to go into this alt mode no matter how hard I tried. Turns out, I got left foot pieces on both legs! At this point I gave up on trying to transform the figure and MADLAW stayed in robot mode all this time.

I contacted Tfsource.com to have the situation remedied. Tfsource made me take pictures of the issue, so I did and sent it to them. Then they come back saying I contacted them after 30 days, and per their policy they can’t do anything after 30 days. I got two problems here. One: why did they make me take pictures if all they are gonna say is this is past 30 days? That was a total waste of my time. Two: quoting a policy to not remedy the problem is simply hiding behind policy to do nothing. Real good here, tfsouce. Aren’t you the one that makes the policies? There is no faster way to alienate customers than hiding behind stupid policies. I have since given tfsource way less business. Both capturedprey.com and thechosenprime.com have gone to much greater lengths to take care of me. I mentioned how capturedprey.com got a replacement stand piece for me for Soar. And more recently, thechosenprime.com got me a replacement piece for Contactshot. On a part that I broke! And I broke it about 4 months after the purchase! I now give these 2 much more business. Screw Tfsource!

Anyways, back to MADLAW. Even without the foot piece issue, I don’t think he’s such a great figure. He is kinda small for today’s standards. The only alt mode I tried to get him to didn’t look all that good, even if there was not a wrong foot piece getting in the way. Transformation for that one mode also didn’t feel that smooth. I realize I didn’t fully give the figure a chance here, but if FansProject had better QA, I would have. I blame FP for including the wrong part to begin with, and tfsouce for not fixing the problem. As it stands, I do not recommend this figure. For that reason, I’m not gonna include any pics of MADLAW out of the box. My thoughts about the figure may change, if I choose to dig out this figure and play with it more. But that seems highly unlikely.

If you’re wondering why this figure is called MADLAW, it’s because each letter in the name is also the first letter for each of the modes. For example, W stands for Wood Runner (the puma mode).

All this reminds me of the time I got two left hands for the TF Animated Rodimus figure. How do errors like these happen? Sometimes I really wonder what goes on at a transforming figure toy factory. I have a feeling I might not wanna know. I hope it’s not as bad as what I read about Apple factories.

Is another 3P going to take a stab at their own Quickswitch? Only time will tell.

Turbo Ejector

Last but certainly not least, I have to mention Turbo Ejector. This awesome figure is Warbotron’s interpretation of Technobot Afterburner in MP scale. I did a quick review of the figure. Go read that for all the details, or just trust me and go buy this figure now.

To summarize, these are the grades for the figures this month:

Recommended:

  • RiD Soundwave
  • TR Gnaw
  • TR Sky Shadow
  • E-Nergeon Cubes
  • Warbotron Turbo Ejector

Mediocre:

  • TR Bumblebee
  • TR Kickback
  • RiD Blurr
  • TLK Barricade

Not Recommended:

  • TR Broadside
  • FansProject Function-XV MADLAW (though this may change)

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in March 2017

February 20th, 2018 No comments

Some impressive figures arrived in March. And like June of last year, this is another month where 3P products outnumber official products. Is this a new trend among hardcore TF collectors? Only time will tell. But for now let’s focus our optics on the goodies below.

  • Titans Return Sixshot, Toys R Us, $46.99

  • Masterpiece Grapple, hlj.com, ¥11200 (about $102.72)

  • MakeToys Gundog, thechosenprime.com, $79.99

  • Fans Toys Mercenary, thechosenprime.com, $82.99

  • Warbotron Air Burst, bbts.com, $71.19

Sixshot

Let’s first take a look at Sixshot. This is an official Hasbro update of the character. There was a time when I was really hoping for Hasbro or Takara to do their modern interpretation of Sixshot, something I have expressed all in way back in 2009. This became reality 8 years later in 2017. However, one third party beat them to the punch. I featured MMC Hexatron in a previous post. I bought the figure in 2014, but I believe he was released in 2013. So Hasbro/Takara is late to the party. That kind of took some of the hoopla out of Sixshot’s release now. And fans will undoubtedly compare Sixshot to Hexatron.

I will say this now: Sixshot is not as good as Hexatron. If you want a MP scaled Sixshot with better construction quality, more detail, and superior transformation, Hexatron is the way to go. When the two are compared side by side, Sixshot feels like the toy while Hexatron feels like the collector’s piece. But this doesn’t mean that Sixshot is a bad figure in any way, shape, or form. I will outline some of the pros and cons of Sixshot below.

Pros:

  • At only $46.99, better value over Hexatron
  • There are some specific areas of Sixshot where the engineering has pleasantly surprised me, not many of these areas though
  • Comes with a Titan Master (or Headmaster) figure, though hardcore G1 purists will argue this is a con
  • In each of the six modes, there is a different place to store the Titan Master

Cons:

  • Detail not as good as Hexatron
  • Engineering not as good as Hexatron
  • Scale may be an issue; too big for CHUG, and too small to be MP

I would say that if you already have Hexatron, you may want to skip Sixshot. But if you don’t collect 3P products, or if you’re just a completist, then by all means pick up Sixshot. He’s a perfectly solid figure with no severe shortcomings.

Grapple

The only other official product this month is MP Grapple. Grapple is a repaint of MP Inferno, which was purchased last month. To this day I still have not opened Grapple. I have been meaning to, but I just haven’t got around to it. I’m gonna trust that he’s as good as Inferno. In fact, some fans have said that he’s better. I’m told that Takara reworked enough bits on Grapple that he feels like a different figure. I can’t confirm nor deny that. I will open him soon and see for myself.

Gundog

Let’s now turn our attention to the 3P products of the month. But first, I want to mention a new online TF retailer that I decided to try: The Chosen Prime. I have bought from them before, though it was through Amazon, for a legend class Acid Storm. This month is the first time I ordered from them direct. And let me say this: they have surpassed all my expectations! The items were carefully packed and delivered on time. There was a mix-up about how I wanted the items shipped, but a short email to their customer service quickly resolved the issue. Since then, they have become one of my trusted go-to stores online for collector grade TFs. Bravo Chosen Prime!

First item from Chosen Prime is MakeToys Gundog, their tribute to G1 Hound. Hound needs no introduction. He got significant screen time in the first 3 eps of G1, “More Than Meets The Eye”. It looks like he was gonna be best friends with Spike, until later Bumblebee took that role. Hound is perhaps best known for his hologram projections, which he used to fool Decepticons time and time again. As a G1 toy, Hound is memorable as only one of a few Jeep type vehicles in all of G1. As of this writing, there is still not an official Masterpiece update of Hound. So it’s left up to third parties to step up to the plate.

There are currently two flavors of 3P Hound: MakeToys Gundog and Fans Toys Willis. I looked at the pictures over and over, and considered which one I wanted to represent my Hound. In the end I went with Gundog. I won’t bore you all with what went into this selection process, but suffice it to say it was not an easy decision. They both have their pros and cons. It comes down to mostly aesthetics. Gundog represented the G1 toy a bit more and that won me over.

I am very happy with Gundog. I opted for the cartoon accurate green version (over the toy accurate dark green version). He comes packed in robot mode. The details in the head mold is excellent, and the design is unmistakably Hound. He’s got enough articulation to satisfy those fans who like dynamic poses in their figures. I do have two small gripes about the robot mode. The legs can appear a bit thick. And the upper portion of the figure does not appear to be able to snap in with the lower half, resulting in a figure that like to bend forward at the waist when it’s being handled.

Gundog’s transformation is one of the most ingenious that I have seen in recent years. The arms have this very original unfolding mechanism that flats out into the base of the Jeep. I love Gundog in the alt mode and I find no weaknesses in this mode whatsoever. He rolls fine on a flat surface. Gundog comes with many accessories, and in alt mode is where all these accessories truly make an impact. Below I have some Minions cruising around in Gundog.

Mercenary

Next up is Fans Toys Mercenary, also purchased from The Chosen Prime. I had already committed to the Fans Toys Insections, starting with Grenadier (Bombshell). By March of 2017, it was getting difficult to secure purchases of the Fans Toys Insecticons. Most hardcore fans seem to agree that FT does the best 3P MP-style Insecticons, and these figures were selling fast. When I saw that Chosen Prime had a copy of Mercenary remaining, I quickly jumped at it.

As you can no doubt see, Mercenary is Shrapnel, unofficial leader of our favorite robotic insect pests. Fans Toys did a remarkable job with this figure. He looks cartoon accurate in both modes, and in bug mode he feels G1 toy accurate as well. These FT insects may be small, but they got some heft to them. The weight and feel seem to suggest that some diecast parts are used. Transformation follows the same overall G1 motif for Sharpnel. However, there are some minor mechanics that you should watch for if you decide to get this figure and transform it. Also, since there are diecast parts, transformation can be more difficult than you might expect. It’s hard for me to explain this in words, but transforming and manipulating diecast takes more effort than plastic. But don’t let these annoyances stop you if you want MP style Insecticons in your collection. Shrapnel looks fantastic. The beetle horns are painted an excellent silver chrome (unlike the FansProject Insecticons, which came with a dull grey and had to be custom painted silver). He scales accurately with other MP Decepticons. Construction of the figure is solid. All these positives are wrapped up in a package of around $80. You will not be disappointed with Mercenary.

Air Burst

The final entry of the month is Air Burst. It’s also the final piece that I needed to complete my Warbotron Combaticons. Ironically, Air Burst (aka Blast Off) was the first figure released in the Warbotron line. Back in G1, Blast Off was my first Combaticon purchased. So why did I get all the other Warbotron figs first? All the Warbotron figs were already released when I started buying them. I was recommended to go with Sly Strike (aka Swindle) first, since many fans have voiced that he’s the best one of the bunch. And also because I found him at a good sale. Then my wife got me Whirlwind (aka Vortex) and Heavy Noisy (aka Brawl) as gifts. Fierce Attack (aka Onslaught) was found at a sale shortly after. And this leaves only Air Burst. I actually found him at a sale too, and got him sometime late in 2016. I held back on shipping him because I thought I was gonna get more items. As it turns out, I didn’t. So I waited to ship him all the way til March of 2017 for nothing. Super bad planning on my part.

I thought I was going to be disappointed with Air Burst, since many fans have expressed dissatisfaction of sorts. I’m not sure what everyone’s complaining about, because I love the figure! Just to be clear, I got V1 of this figure, and not the supposedly fixed V2. (Sidebar: Earlier releases of Fierce Attack comes with V2 parts, but unfortunately I was not aware of that and got a later release that doesn’t 🙁 ) I don’t detect any issues to have a crying fit. I love both the alt mode and the robot mode. I love the way he transforms – simple enough to be fun but complex enough to be satisfying. I have no issues with his appearance. He’s very G1 accurate as far as I’m concerned. Warbotron figs are known to have minor tolerance issues, but I detect nothing of the sort on my Air Burst. The arm connection mechanism for the combined mode is what is supposedly fixed for V2. I dunno, I combined Bruticus with my V1 Air Burst and everything seems fine. I guess my only gripe about Air Burst is that there’s a bit of puzzle forming, in that the rear thrusters form the arm cannons. I would have liked to see the thrusters incorporated into the transformation and be parts in robot mode, but it’s something I can live with.

Now for some group pics. Air Burst looks great with his fellow Combaticon cohorts. Check it out!

Now that the team is complete, it’s time combine! Combaticons, transform and merge into Bruticus!

I love this combiner set. Warbotron did justice to my favorite combiner team from G1. I have absolutely no regrets with buying this set for my MP styled Combaticons. I know there are some newer 3P offerings coming for the Combaticons. But only time will tell if any of the newer sets are hands down superior to Warbotron. For now, these are my MP Combaticons.

One last thing: the boxes for each Warbotron fig can combine and form a giant piece of artwork. It’s kinda cool. Check out the pic below.

Below are some extra pics of the three 3P figs this month in their alt modes.

That wraps it up for March of 2017. Until next time, Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in February 2017

January 27th, 2018 No comments

Titans Return continue in Feb of 2017. This month also includes one MP fig that I’ve been eagerly awaiting for some time.

  • Titans Return Megatron, Walmart, $24.86

  • Titans Return Optimus Prime, Walmart, $24.86

  • Masterpiece Inferno, hlj.com, ¥11200 (about $101.62)

Both TR Megatron and TR Optimus Prime are solid offerings. These 2 are quite fun to play with. Both of them continue the trend of being Triple Changers for all Voyager class figures in the TR line. And as Triple Changers, all 3 modes for each figure are decent. There are no modes that look immediately out of place. Megatron has a jet mode and a tank mode, while Optimus has a fuel truck mode and a jet mode. Does this sound familiar? That’s right… Hasbro’s real motives are to use these modes as Blitzwing and Octane. Once again, they issued the repaint of the mold first, and saved the real character for later. But this time they used such famous characters for the repaint. Oh Hasbro… will their shenanigans ever cease?

Anyways, if you just want one character each of this mold, then get Blitzwing and Octane. However, if you need more figures to add to your Megatron or Optimus collection, by all means pick these up. Hasbro did make several minor mold changes for each character, so it feels like you’re not getting the exact same thing.

And as Titans Return figures, they both come with a Titan Master which forms the head (aka Headmasters in G1). The Titan Masters can sit comfortably inside the cockpit in alt modes.

Now for the big prize of the month… Masterpiece Inferno! Many fans have waited for this figure for a long time. And he does not disappoint. There are some 3P variants of Inferno out there already, such as MakeToys Hellfire and MMC Backdraft. I don’t have these figs so I can’t attest to how good they are. But what I can attest to is the brilliance of MP Inferno.

MP Inferno comes packaged in fire engine mode. Takara did a good job with this mode. It looks show accurate to me, and the whole piece feels cohesive and solid. Though to be honest, I think every interpretation of a MP styled Inferno has a pretty good alt mode. This official MP is not any better or worse.

Transformation wise, Inferno has one particular feature that has all TransFans wetting themselves… the ladder hiding mechanism. This feature has to be seen to be believed. The ladder collapses on itself and folds into the back. Writing about it doesn’t do it justice… it’s times like these that I wish I did video reviews. I may start doing that one of these days. But yeah, this transformation mechanism alone gets Inferno a score of awesome for engineering.

In robot mode, Inferno looks like he stepped straight out of the G1 cartoons. No gripes about the appearance from me whatsoever. Compared to Hellfire or Backdraft, he as a more simplistic look. But that also makes Inferno more G1 show accurate. Construction of the figure is also superb. The joints are all solid and clicky. Add some nice detailing to all this and you really have a winning package.

Inferno with his good buddy Red Alert.

Check out all the accessories that come included with Inferno! Accessories fiends will find nothing to complain about here.

I don’t even know what all the accessories are, but in here I see:

  • 1 hand pistol
  • 1 alternate color grill/chest
  • 1 alternate color hand cannon
  • 1 alternate grill/chest for having Inferno hold Red Alert
  • 1 extra helmet, possibly for more G1 toy accuracy
  • 3 extra faces
  • 1 pipe and water attachment, to make Inferno look like he’s fighting fires

All in all, I highly recommend MP Inferno. If you need a MP scale Inferno in your collection, look no further.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in January 2017

December 3rd, 2017 No comments

Welcome to 2017! The year continues where 2016 left off, with more figures from Titans Return and Robots in Disguise.

  • Robots in Disguise Stormshot, Toys R Us, $16.99

  • Titans Return Breakaway, gift

  • Titans Return Fangry, Target, $4.99

  • Titans Return Fortress Maximus and Cerebros, entertainmentearth.com, $75

First let’s take a look at Stormshot. I know nothing about this character, and I know next to nothing about Robots in Disguise. So why did I buy this figure? He evokes heavy 80s nostalgia of a time when transforming robots were fun and simple. I took one took of his overall motif, and I’m immediately reminded of Transformers (Diaclones) and GoBots (Machine Robo) in their early days. Stormshot’s mechanical design borrows heavily from G1 Aerialbots, and perhaps even some GoBot figures, like Fitor.

While looking through Transformers Wiki one night, I stumbled upon Armada Red Alert. I know nothing about Transformers Armada or this Red Alert, since they came around during my TF hiatus. But take a look at Armada Red Alert, and you can bet your boron compressor that Stormshot’s design aesthetics is based on this Red Alert. This can’t be a coincidence. The head design and overall color scheme is near identical.

In both mechanics and design, Stormshot is a throwback to the Transformers of yore. And he transforms exactly like you would expect, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The legs extend out Combiner Wars style. Arms simply rest on the sides in alt mode. Feet and hands flip out from where they usually are like so many TFs before. The only original mechanics here is how the nose cone and wings form the back. They go through many folds, then collapses on itself. A very simple transformation overall. And that’s good for playability. Stormshot comes with two weapons, a handgun and a medium size rifle. The two can be combined into a super rifle. All in all, I like Stormshot. I recommend this figure for kids due to the ease of play, and I highly recommend this to collectors that grew up playing with transforming robots in the 80s.

Fangry is another Titan Master that I consider more of an accessory than a full-fledged figure. I only got him because he’s a direct homage to G1 Fangry. I never had G1 Fangry. He’s a winged wolf kind of creature. His name is a mash up of fang and angry, and I’ll give Hasbro credit for coming up with something so clever. The Titan Master figure here is kind of a fail. This thing is advertised as transforming, but it’s really just some pieces rotating back and forth.

The only value to these Titan Master figures is they can become the head of the character they’re supposed to be, and you can use them on any Titans Return figure. Here I have Fangry on the body of Misfire. This combination kind of works. See for yourself.

Breakaway is a Christmas gift from my buddy Gemini. This character means something to me, as I had G1 Getaway. The G1 toy was excellent for its time. It’s a shame that Hasbro had to rename this character, and it’s more of a shame that Titans Return Breakaway is a Headmaster and not a Powermaster. To make matters even worse, TR Breakaway is an exact repaint of TR Chromedome. I compared the two side by side and there no mold differences whatsoever between the two base figures. For the Titan Master, the face plate in head mode is different, but the rest of the figure is identical. Even the accessories are exactly the same. And to add insult to injury on top of all this, Breakaway was a pain in the butt to find during the 2016 Holidays. Breakaway is in the same wave as Hot Rod, Triggerhappy, and Twinferno. But Hasbro’s weird distribution issues rears its ugly head again, and Breakaway didn’t come distributed with the other 3 for whatever reason. Even the 3rd party online TF retailers (you know who they are) were price gouging for sets that included Breakaway. Luckily Gemini was able to find one for me. As of this writing, Breakaway is no longer hard to find. But that should not have been an issue to begin with.

Anyways, Breakaway is exactly the same as Chromedome, so I won’t go in depth. Check out some pics below.

Now, for the big enchilada of the month: Titans Return Fortress Maximus! Yes my fellow TransFans. To see Fort Max reproduced in the modern era is a dream come true. As a kid growing up in the 80s, owning something like Fortress Maximus is entirely out of reach. G1 Fort Max is the biggest G1 figure produced, and for a long time it was the most expensive Transformer ever made. It was re-issued some years ago. I considered buying it, but deep down I wanted something made to be up to par with today’s toy standards. Metroplex was made in 2013, so we all knew Fort Max couldn’t be far behind. And it really happened. TR Fort Max was produced in 2016. It is indeed a rework off of the Metroplex mold. TR Fort Max retails for $149.99. Expensive TFs will usually go on sale after some time. And sure enough, at the end of 2016, in that week between Christmas and New Years, entertainmentearth.com had a sale of this figure at half price! I was able to pick up this city-sized Headmaster at $75! Merry Christmas!

The pic above has all the decals applied. And believe me, he looks so much better after putting on all the decals. It took me about 1 hour and 30 min to put them all on, but it’s worth it.

Fort Max is a Headmaster, which is one big difference from Metroplex. For a city sized robot, the head needs to be a regular deluxe sized Transformer. That’s where Cerebros comes in. He forms the head of Fort Max. I think it’s a shame that Cerebros does not have an alt mode of his own. Cerebros himself is a Headmaster. His Titan Master is Emissary (though all hardcore G1ers know that in Season 4, it was Spike). Emissary is sitting in the gun pod on Fort Max’s left shoulder in the pic above. Below is a pic of Cerebros.

That does it for January of 2017. This month would have been all Autobots, if it wasn’t for Fangry. And I usually don’t even buy Titan Masters individually. Decepticons represent – barely!

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics