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Decepticon Air Superiority, 2017 !

October 20th, 2017 No comments

Exactly 5 years ago on this day, I presented a short post about Decepticon Air Superiority. Well, 5 years later, I also find myself with lots of Decepticons jets lying about here and there. So it’s time for another post that will remind the Autobots of Decepticons’ sheer and utter dominance in the not-so-friendly skies.

The 5 jets presented here are all very nice figs that represents how far transforming toys have come. All of them have clever engineering mechanisms that showcase how well a transforming jet can be made today. The oldest figure here, in terms of when the mold was first released, is Masterpiece Starscream. What I have here is a 2017 re-issue of the MP-11. I missed out on the MP-11 when first released. But I have enough other characters that utilize this mode, including MP Thundercracker (picutred 5 years ago), MP Acid Storm, and MP Sunstorm. This mold is the 2nd one used in the official MP line from Takara. The design feels a little dated today, and the mold’s poor durability after all this time is well documented. But I’m glad to finally have a Starscream in this mold in 2017. And the copy of I have feels ok in terms of build quality.

The two jets in front are some of my most recent acquisitions from The Last Knight: Voyager class Megatron and Nitro. Megatron is the dark grey futuristic looking jet, and Nitro is the light grey F-16 with the black nose cone. Both figures are excellent additions to the LK line. Megatron is a pure joy to transform and play with. Both modes look good, the figure is well built, and the transformation is fun, intuitive, and refreshing. Nitro is one of the more difficult figures in the LK line. But he’s a testament to modern TF engineering. He’s a non-symmetrical transformer, like many of the motorcycle figs. In jet mode, when done right, he comes together so well that the difficult and frustrating transformation sequence is easily forgiven. Both figs were acquired in the past 2 weeks.

The black jet in the center is Combiner Wars Skywarp. I acquired him in November of 2016, and left him out in the open all this time.

Last but not least, we have ToyWorld Requiem, their MP styled homage to Dirge. He’s the blue jet with brown wings. And let me tell you: this is an amazing figure! A lot of other TransFans are turned off by these TW Coneheads because of their scale. Yes in robot mode they are a bit tall. But seriously, don’t let that discourage you! These Coneheads are so well built and designed that they put official MP Seekers to shame. The TW Coneheads have a nice heft to them, and in your hands they feel more like the real deal and make official Takara products feel like knock offs. The Takara Seeker mold is so used now that figures produced feel cheap and sloppy. My Starscream (mentioned above) feels ok, but some fans have not been so fortunate. I have outlined how poorly my official MP Ramjet is in terms of build quality. TW Coneheads have no build issues whatsoever. All joints feel nice and tight. But what ultimately impressed me about TW Requiem is the design and engineering. The transformation is many times superior to Takara MPs. It’s enjoyable and intuitive, and the nice and solid construction means that everything properly tabs into place. In robot mode, Requiem looks slender and sleek instead of wide and bulky. I got the set of 3 TW Coneheads for only $159.99 from TF Source on a sale in August. This is probably the best TF purchase I have made this year.

So who is leading this bunch? LK Megatron? Or MP Starscream? You decide.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics

Transformers Purchased in December 2016

September 11th, 2017 No comments

Finally! We have arrived at the end of 2016. Took some time, but better late than never.

When I first started tracking my purchases, back in Feb of 2012, I would usually put my purchases in the order that they were bought within the month. Lately I have been sorting them by category (such as Titans Return, Combiner Wars, or 3P). For this month, I’m going old school. This will be presented in the order that they’re bought.

  • Robots in Disguise Ratchet, Walmart, $14.97

  • Titans Return Triggerhappy, Walmart, $9.88

  • Titans Return Hot Rod, Target, $9.99

  • Titans Return Twinferno, Target, $9.99

  • Titans Return Blaster, Amazon seller, $34.95

  • Robots in Disguise Blastwave, Target, $14.99

The year closes with all purchases from either Titans Return or Robots in Disguise. All are deluxe class figures, with the lone exception being Leader class Blaster. Not a single 3P purchase. I feel that third parties are saturating the market a bit much. They’re going to destroy themselves at this rate. Just my opinion. This topic deserves a post of its own. Something I might do in the future.

First purchase of the month is Ratchet from Robots in Disguise. I’ve heard about this figure for a while before finding him. Like I mentioned numerous times in the past, I know nothing about Robots in Disguise. So all I really do for RiD is look at the figure, and/or if it’s a recognizable G1 character. In this case, the figure appears solid in both forms, and you can’t begin to call yourself a TransFan if you don’t recognize Ratchet. So I took this figure to checkout without knowing anything else. He’s an okay figure. Very easy to transform, even for RiD standards. He’s very blocky in alt mode, and almost just as so in robot mode. In alt mode, he could probably use more paint applications. I do like that there are extra storage spaces for the twin weapons (on the back in robot mode, inside and under the van area in alt mode). His head sculpt is excellent. Hardcore RiD fans and Ratchet fans will probably appreciate this figure. But on the whole, RiD Ratchet is not a required purchase by any means.

For this month, Titans Return deluxe figures continue the trend of being only around $10 each. Again, this is no fluke. They would go up in retail price in 2017, but it was great to find them in 2016 at such a bargain.

Now, for my favorite Titans Return deluxe figure thus far: Triggerhappy! Back in G1, Triggerhappy has always been one of my favorite Targetmasters. I never had the toy, but my cousin had one and I played with it quite a bit. For G1 standards, he had both a good robot mode and jet mode. I like the design of the jet with twin guns on both sides, and I like the way he transforms. I also like his name. His rootin’ tootin’ quick trigger persona in the short lived G1 season 4 cartoon does his name proud. Now in 2016, Hasbro does not disappoint. The TR figure is everything I could ask for in a modern deluxe update of Triggerhappy. Well, for the base figure anyway (more on this later). In alt mode, Triggerhappy still holds the overall shape of his iconic jet, but now even more sleek. Overall color palette is blue, with the wing twin guns colored white. Front landing gear is retractable. The Titan Master can sit comfortably inside the cockpit. Guns can be attached under the wings. Transformation to robot mode is one of the best that I have seen in quite some time, for a mass-produced retail deluxe figure. The twin guns and wings fold back on each arm. Fists come out after the twin guns are flipped back. That’s the obvious part. The main body and legs have this clever mechanism of how it’s formed. The body rotates on itself after you unlock the waist and nose cone. In robot mode, Triggerhappy looks completely balanced in body proportions. He’s quite poseable, and I detect no construction issues on my figure. Everything is at the right tolerance. Detail on the head is nice, and the Decepticon logo painted on the chest is spot on. Now for my gripes. The first is that Hasbro made him a Headmaster. This I can kinda live with, but I would prefer it if he wasn’t. Second, he does not come with the Targetmaster gun figure. The Japanese version does, and I feel the US version should have included it too. Maybe Hasbro will release the gun mini-figures later. But for the base figure itself, Triggerhappy is more than worthy of the price of admission at about only $10. He is a must have in your CHUG collection.

Next up in Titans Return is the star of the 1986 G1 Movie: Hot Rod. I mentioned TR Hot Rod before, and in Dec 2016 we finally get this figure. So here’s the burning question: is he better than Classics Rodimus? I’m gonna break it down. For starters, I’m happy Hasbro used the name Hot Rod. They could have used Rodimus like they usually do, but printing Hot Rod on the package is a great nod to those of us old enough to hold the G1 Movie in high regard. They had to go with “Autobot Hot Rod”, but that’s ok. In alt mode, TR Hot Rod looks closer to his animation model, while Classics Rodimus looks closer to the original G1 toy. They each appear sleek, but in different ways. The passenger area appears especially different when compared side by side. The side thrusters go all the way to the back for TR Hot Rod, while Classics Rodimus ends right before where the real wheel is. Looking at the back, Classic Rodimus has the gun pegged into the bottom rear, acting as the main rear thruster in alt mode. TR Hot Rod has this thruster molded into legs, but smaller.


Left to right: Reveal the Shield Rodimus (from Battle in Space 2-pack), Titans Return Hot Rod, Classics Rodimus


Left to right: Titans Return Hot Rod, Classics Rodimus

Transformation to robot mode follows the overall same motif. TR Hot Rod has a slightly simpler transformation. But in my opinion it’s more straightforward, and allows the figure more poseability in robot mode. Chest and arms transformation is more or less the same. TR Hot Rod requires a waist swivel, while Classics Rodimus does not. The lower legs of TR Hot Rod folds back. Back transformation of TR Hot Rod involves only one fold and one swivel, while Classics Rodimus uses one fold and two rotations. And obviously, TR Hot Rod requires the Titan Master to form the head.


Left to right: Reveal the Shield Rodimus (from Battle in Space 2-pack), Titans Return Hot Rod, Classics Rodimus


Left to right: Titans Return Hot Rod, Classics Rodimus

In robot mode, TR Hot Rod is quite a bit taller than Classics Rodimus. Overall, TR Hot Rod is better proportioned. Some argue the arms are too long, but I think they’re fine and it’s not distracting at all. TR Hot Rod is overall a taller and slimmer figure. Classics Hot Rod appears stocky and blocky next to TR Hot Rod. When looking at the figures from the back, TR Hot Rod is leaps and bounds superior. Classics Rodimus has some bulk on the back while TR Hot Rod does not. TR Hot Rod is way more poseable. You can feely move the arms and legs, unlike Classics Rodimus. One particular annoying issue on Classics Rodimus is these side panels on the upper legs that prohibits movement. Similar issues does not exist on TR Hot Rod.

So in my opinion, TR Hot Rod is the superior figure here, if we make a direct comparison side by side. It’s debatable which alt mode is better, but TR Hot Rod has better transformation and a better robot mode. However, there are some other factors to consider. TR Hot Rod is a Headmaster, an idea I’m not too thrilled about. Classics Rodimus is better built. My TR Hot Rod is quite loose in the legs. And worse, I believe I broke the head connection mechanism on my Hot Rod already. When I first opened the figure on my desk, it was impossible to remove Firedrive (Titan Master) from Hot Rod. So I forced it. I think I saw a little orange piece on the desk but didn’t think anything of it at the time. Then when I tried to reconnect Firedrive, I saw that he doesn’t fit too well. It’s still functional, but you don’t get that nice clicked-in feel. That’s when it occurred to me I probably broke it. So be aware when you get one. Classics Rodimus didn’t have such mechanical issues. And I do feel Transformers need to be rated with other figures in the same era. As an example, figures today are obviously going to be better than figures from G1. But that would be an unfair comparison. Classics Rodimus is 10 years old now. And I thought Rodimus was an awesome figure for its time. For TR Hot Rod, I feel it’s only above average when compared with figures of today. So all in all, it’s up for debate which is the better Hot Rod here. But I am going to give a seal of approval to TR Hot Rod. He’s definitely a worthy update of everyone’s favorite punk that would become an Autobot leader. I may even get another TR Hot Rod since I kinda broke mine.

Twinferno was found in the same trip to Target as Hot Rod. Only the most hardcore of G1-ers like myself would know about this character. In season 5, Hasbro released a team of Autobots that would transform to monstrous creatures. This team is appropriately called Monsterbots. Transformers was full of gimmicks by then, so it was kind of unusual for this team of toys to be gimmick free (perhaps transforming to creatures is itself a gimmick, but that’s up for debate). Modern 3P companies have started doing this team in recent years. I’m happy Hasbro is updating Monsterbots, but it does feel a tad like they are reaching for the bottom of the barrel here. Anyways, one original member of the Monsterbots is Doublecross. He transforms into a 2-headed dragon. He is called Twinferno in the modern era. And to be honest, I like this name better. Combining the words twin and inferno is so appropriate for this character.

As for the Titans Return figure Twinferno, he’s not too shabby. I love the monster mode. It’s probably one of the most original modes to be released in some time. Twin-headed dragons are always welcome. I know the Michael Bay movies have explored twin headed beasts for their version of the Dinobots, but the design for Twinferno came before all of them. Transformation of the figure is quite refreshing too. He’s not terribly difficult to transform, which adds to the fun factor. The twin heads and neck obviously form the arms. Legs fold out from the rear and tail section of the dragon. The robot mode looks well balanced. Build of the figure is solid enough. My only gripe with the figure is how the arms are positioned. The elbow joint and dragon hand orientation don’t make much sense. If would be nice if they provided an extra rotation for the hands. Twinferno was not originally a Headmaster, but he’s such an unknown character that I don’t mind if Hasbro wants to update him as such in the modern era. Overall, I recommend this figure. I now hope Hasbro would release updates to the rest of the Monsterbots.

Blaster needs no introduction. At leader class size, he is the only non-deluxe figure this month. I was really looking forward to this figure. But after buying it and playing with it, I think he’s only ok. Blaster is very boxy, but that’s no surprise to anyone that is familiar with the character from its G1 days. He’s technically a triple changer in Titans Return (and to that fact, I think every figure at voyager class or bigger is a triple changer in TR). He has his usual boombox alt mode, the robot mode, and in TR he gets a new base mode. In the base mode, he is able to connect with TR Fortress Maximus and Optimus Prime in their base modes to form some kind of super base. I didn’t try this, but maybe I will one day.

As for the two standard modes that everyone is familiar with, they’re ok. Like I said, both modes are very boxy. In alt mode, I feel that improvements could have been made on how the boombox come together. Everything does tab together, but it doesn’t work that well. Despite the overall simple transformation, a lot of finagling is required to get Blaster to alt mode. And when you get everything just right, it still doesn’t feel too solid. Cohesiveness tend to be a plus for boxy figures, but Blaster’s alt mode fails in this department. There are less such issues in robot mode. He looks like a good homage to his G1 cartoon appearance. Articulation is limited, however, due to the boxy design. The chest/tape deck eject mechanism is included. Blaster’s scale also presents some question marks. He’s probably too big to scale correct with CHUG, so I think he would go better with MPs. However, TR Blaster clearly isn’t up to par with MP quality figures. He will look off if he’s standing with MPs on the shelf. Still, I will use TR Blaster is my MP Blaster for now. Hasbro also reworked this mold as Soundwave. I will probably not get that Soundwave. He’s too big to be CHUG, and there’s already an excellent MP Soundwave.

From Blaster we go to Blastwave. I’m having a blast with two figures in one month having names that begin with “Blast”. I debated if I should buy Blastwave when I first saw him in the store. He’s a minor rework off of Megatronus, of which I already have two. He’s not a recognizable G1 character. So I almost left him on the shelf. But something tugged at me to take a second look. He looks a lot like Bludgeon from G1. I liked his colors. And I felt like Hasbro made enough differences on this mold from Megatronus, especially with Blastwave having twin cannons. Plus this was in that week between Christmas and New Years where I feel like I need to buy some new TFs (though you could argue I always feel that way). So I splurged and bought Blastwave. And I’m very glad I did! I have always felt that Megatronus is one of the best built figures in the RiD line, and Blastwave is built just as well. The legs are virtually identical, but the upper body moldings (chest, arms, and head) are almost completely different. In alt mode, Blastwave has his arms that form the turrets point backwards toward the rear of the tank, while Megatronus has them pointing forwards. In robot mode, the samurai motif becomes obvious. Blastwave comes with a sword as well for some heavy bushido cutting action. My prediction is Hasbro will totally repaint this into Bludegon. Oh, another thing, Blastwave is an Autobot! I keep forgetting that. Maybe this would be more obvious if I actually watched RiD (and assuming he appears in the show). But all in all, I recommend Blastwave. He’s one of the better figures in the RiD line. Worthy of your collection.

Obligatory group photo below.

One interesting factoid of the month: four of the Autobots have the word “Autobot” in front of their names on the package. For example, “Hot Rod” is “Autobot Hot Rod”, like I mentioned already. Hasbro does this when they cannot use the character’s name alone, usually for legal reasons. So this means Hot Rod, Ratchet, Blaster, and Twinferno are all copyrighted, by someone other than Hasbro. I miss the 80s when Hasbro could’ve used whatever name they wanted.

Well folks, that’s it for 2016. I’m going to compile some stats for 2016, like I did here, and make a separate post.

In retrospect, I’m not sure how I feel about 2016. I like that Titans Return have started. But the figures that made up the end of Combiner Wars were lackluster. Robots in Disguise as a whole don’t really keep my interest. There was not a movie to inject new TF interest for the masses. And 3P products are saturating the market and raising prices at the same time. That sounds like a lot of negatives. But I’ll address them in more detail in my 2016 stat post to come.

Stay frosty my fellow TransFans. Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Power of the Primes

August 22nd, 2017 No comments

Hasbro recently released these images of their next batch of figures, after official completion of Titans Return. Apparently the next line will be called Power of the Primes. I don’t know if I care for that name, but these rendered images are looking awesome! Check it out.

These are beautiful renders, and the images are big enough to double as wallpaper at 1920 x 1080. Very nice job Hasbro!

Here are some of my initial thoughts as I look at these:

Beachcomber – looking great. This figure will complete the last of the G1 Season 2 Mini-Bots. Both modes look good, and a Titan Master can ride in alt mode. Must get for me.

Dreadwind – it’s good to see Hasbro bringing back more Powermaster characters. This mold is really just a re-worked Aerialbot fig from Combiner Wars, but they did enough changes to justify this release. Plus they also plan to release Darkwing. And if you’re the G1 purist asking if the jets will combine into a super jet -the answer is YES! Hasbro did not forget their roots. I saw a vid of someone on YouTube doing this. The super jet does look kinda awkward, but I’m not sure the guy did it right. Another must get for me.

Jazz – I love Jazz. Don’t know how many times I mentioned that on this blog, but Jazz was my favorite Autobot growing up in the 80s. Any Jazz figure released in the CHUG-verse is an automatic purchase for me. Now the only question is how he will fare against Reveal the Shield Special Ops Jazz. I know Hasbro can’t call him Jazz on the package for licensing reasons, so they go with Autobot Jazz. I never liked that. Calling him Special Ops Jazz was much better.

Liege Maximo – I normally don’t care for Titan Masters as an individual purchase, but this guy is obviously Skullgrin so I might make an exception here. The name Liege Maximo may have its origins in a Marvel or IDW continuity.

Rodimus Prime – Finally! A worthy update of everyone’s Autobot leader not named Optimus Prime! This is the leader class Rodimus Prime we have been waiting for. This figure is both Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime, kind of like the Classics Rodimus figure with the FansProject Protector add-on kit. This is the figure that everyone will be buying. At leader class, I guess he won’t scale so well with TR Galvatron. But maybe that means a leader class Galvatron is coming? I hope so.

StarscreamI love Starscream. At voyager class he is finally the right size. They’ve made voyager class figures for the Movie-verse, but this may be the first in CHUG-verse. And a F-22 Raptor no less! Robot mode looks awesome, but the jet mode may have a lot of bulk underneath. I’ll reserve final thoughts for when I see the figure.

So yeah, all are required purchases for me. Maybe not Liege Maximo, but you never know.

Here’s a good look at these figs at SDCC. Man I wish I could go to SDCC. I will get there one day.

It’s time for Power of the Primes! Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: Pics, TF News

Transformers Purchased in November 2016

July 31st, 2017 No comments

November of 2016 is filled with some TF goodness. Focus your optics on the figures below and observe.

  • Titans Return Brainstorm, Walgreens, $18.99

  • Titans Return Brawn, Target, $4.99
  • Titans Return Nightbeat, Target, $4.99

  • Titans Return Chromedome, Walmart, $9.88

  • Titans Return Highbrow, Walmart, $9.88

  • Titans Return Mindwipe, Walmart, $9.88

  • Titans Return Wolfwire, Walmart, $9.88

  • Titans Return Astrotrain, Target, $24.99

  • Combiner Wars Sky Lynx, Ross, $12.99

  • Combiner Wars Skywarp, HasbroToyshop via eBay, $22.49

All purchases in November of 2016 belongs to either Titans Return or Combiner Wars. Not a single third party purchase, which was strange considering how many 3P products I have been buying. There are 10 purchases for the month, for a total of 8 figures and 2 accessories (I don’t count the 2 Titan Masters as full fledged figures). All for less than $130. That’s not bad.

Titans Return is definitely continuing in a good direction with some heavy Headmaster action. First up in the month is Brainstorm. I found this figure early in the month. And as rumors have long confirmed, Brainstorm is a Walgreens exclusive! Yes you read that right. Freakin’ Walgreens. Why Hasbro would enter an exclusivity deal with Walgreens makes no sense whatsoever. But I’m glad I believed the rumors and checked Walgreens with regular attention during that time period. There are several Walgreens within short driving distance of where I work and where I live. I was really happy when I found him at this one particular Walgreens that I never go to. The price tag of $18.99 kinda hurt considering it’s only a deluxe size fig, but he was hard to find so I bit the bullet on this one.

Brainstorm is a minor remold of Blurr. I didn’t realize it early on when I looked at the pics. It was only after repeated viewing of the pics that this finally dawned on me. I already commented on the awesomeness of Blurr, so I won’t repeat all that stuff for Brainstorm. He’s built just as well, and there are enough molding differences that a separate purchase feels justified. The detachable piece at the front of the vehicle is obviously different for Brainstorm in that it’s molded more to look like the front of his iconic jet mode. Blurr’s long hand cover extensions are changed for Brainstorm, and Brainstorm has wings at the shoulders while Blurr has none. Blurr’s iconic piece on top of the alt mode, which usually transforms to the top of his head, is now replaced with a simple tail fin for Brainstorm. Titan Master for the two are obviously different, each made to look like the head of the character. And finally, Brainstorm has different stickers on the legs, placed at different positions. All in all, Hasbro made enough changes off of the same mold that having two characters here is warranted. I’m glad Hasbro didn’t just give us a straight up repaint with only the head change. Below is a pic comparing the two. Get Brainstorm if you see one. You’ll thank me later.

There are other versions of this deluxe Brainstorm that you could get. There is the Japanese Legend version, and there is an exclusive convention version (not sure if it’s SDCC or some other con). They each look different in terms of paint scheme and sticker layout, but they each have their origin in what they are modeled after.

Next up are two Titan Masters which I never opened, even as of this writing: Brawn and Nightbeat. I’m generally not a fan of buying these Titan Masters, as I don’t see why you would want to swap heads with bodies. They never did that in the cartoons. But I got Brawn and Nightbeat because they are famous characters from G1. In fact, some customizers have took this Titan Master Nightbeat head and stuck it on the body of Generations Thrilling 30 Nightbeat. I may attempt that myself, so I’ll get a true Headmaster in the modern era. I’m not sure what I will use Brawn for.

Titans Return continue with more purchases in the month. On one trip to Walmart, I found all wave 2 deluxe figs in one shot: Chromedome, Highbrow, Wolfwire, and Mindwipe. All 4 are must haves for me, because they were all original Headmasters in G1. When I brought these 4 to checkout, they each rang up $9.88. That’s right, only $9.88! I thought for sure Walmart must have messed up. I didn’t want Walmart to have the chance to correct any goofs, so I quickly finished checkout and ran out of the store like a Decepticon in full retreat. Turns out, this “goof” was nationwide. I had friends in other cities reporting the same prices. In retrospect I’m not entirely sure if this was a goof. It’s possible Walmart really were selling these at discounted prices. But as of this writing, all TR deluxe figures are around $15 at Walmart. I have seen these 4 figs before this trip to Walmart. I saw them at Walgreens when I was looking for Brainstorm. But I was not gonna pay $18.99 for each of these at Walgreens.

Let’s start with the Autobots. Chromedome and Highbrow are both pretty good figures. Chromedome has a fun transformation. The chest and arms transformation is fairly standard for a robot-to-car figure, but the leg transformation is pretty unique. It’s kind of got that standard Combiner Wars deluxe fig leg transformation, but Chromedome offers a twist in how the windshield is formed. In robot mode, it’s at the back of the legs, forming the heels. In alt mode, it combines and folds forwards, forming the windshield covering the Titan Master driver. Very cool. Chromedome’s head details is also superbly done. Highbrow is another fun figure. His transformation feels simpler than Chromedome’s. One interesting transformation mechanism is pulling down the waist when you go from robot to helicopter. Then you rotate and inwardly fold up the legs, like some CW deluxe figs. Rest of the transformation is pretty standard fare (arms to the sides, fold out the cockpit from the back). Highbrow also has amazing details to the head mold, making him look like the G1 character. Both Chromedome and Highbrow are well built. Their robot modes look nice, and their alt modes come together well with no issues. Both their alt modes provide space for the driver/pilot. Chromedome and Highbrow are both recommended purchases in the Titans Return line.

With the addition of Brainstorm, Chromedome, and Highbrow, and Hardhead from the last wave, I now have all the original Autobot Headmasters from Season 4. Check out pics below. It’s a dream come true to have modern interpretations to these iconic G1 characters. Kudos to Hasbro.

Now for the Decepticons. The two deluxe figs this month are Wolfwire and Mindwipe. Wolfwire was called Weirdwolf in G1, and I’m gonna guess that the name change is for legal reasons. Weirdwolf is such a better name as it’s a wordplay on werewolf. Anyways, TR Wolfwire is the best of the three Decepticon animal Headmasters so far. He’s got an awesome looking wolf mode that has to be seen to be believed. I love the head mold of the wolf, with jaw biting action that will seriously hurt some Autobots. There are enough articulation in the wolf arms and legs for some good poses. Both the gun and sword accessories have places in alt mode; the sword becomes the tail, and the gun can be placed on top of the wolf’s back near the rear. The Titan Master can sit inside the gun, or can be placed inside the main body cavity, accessible from a hatch on top of the back. Transformation to robot mode is pretty straightforward. The wolf arms and legs become the robot arms and legs. I generally don’t like this motif, because I think it’s a lazy transformation. Wolfwire is certainly guilty of this, but he’s got some clever mechanics for the rest of his transformation that make up for it. The way that the main body transforms deserves special mention. From alt mode to robot mode, Wolfwire has this unqiue lower abdomen mechanism where the body collapses on itself, making for a shorter main body that is more proportionate in robot mode. The Decepticon logo is painted very nicely on the chest. I wish faction logos were done this well all the time. If you only had the funds for one deluxe Decepticon Headmaster in the TR line, get Wolfwire.

The other deluxe Decepticon this month is Mindwipe. I have G1 Mindwipe. It was a birthday gift from my cousin. I still have it to this day, in pretty good shape too. About a year ago, I bought this 3P Mindwipe from FansProject called Sigma L. I love FansProject, but I thought Sigma L is only ok, not bad, not great. So I was kinda hoping that TR Mindwipe would do the character more justice. There are some interesting things going on for TR Mindwipe, but as a whole I would say he’s one of the more lackluster figures in the Titans Return line. Let’s start with the better mode: the robot mode. He looks good in this mode. He’s well proportioned and he’s got plenty of articulation. He’s got a great head sculpt. The joints are at the right tolerance. Even the wings on his back are of the right size. They’re big enough in appearance, but not too big that it’s distracting or get in the way. The Decepticon logo is beautifully painted on the chest. There’s one big weakness in robot mode though, and that’s the back. The bat head has nowhere to go, and kinda just hangs off the back. You can position it so the bat head is hanging off the butt instead, but I think that’s a even worse look. Transformation to bat is quite clever. The arms become the feet, and the legs open up to reveal the wings. The transformation really is quite cool. However, bad construction plague this figure, much like many of the other TR deluxe figures. The right wing is really loose on my figure in alt mode. And the accessory that plugs in to become the tail, it doesn’t plug in too nicely. One slight touch and it comes off. This figure could have been so great if the construction was more solid. And if they designed a place for the bat head in robot mode. Like if it somehow went inside the Headmaster chamber.

Below is a pic of all the original Decepticon Non-Horrorcon Headmsters from Season 4. Skullsmasher (Skullcruncher) was from July of 2016.

Now for the only Triple Changer of the month: Astrotrain. TR Astrotrain is a repaint of TR Sentinel Prime. As of this writing, I have sold my Sentinel Prime, because I felt he’s just too damn orange. And because this mold was meant to be Astrotrain anyway. Yes Hasbro screwed me with their double dip tactics by releasing the more famous character later using the same mold. If only I had more willpower, I would not continue to fall for this.

Let’s take a look at the shuttle mode first. In this mode, Astrotrain is not the standard NASA space shuttle that we’re accustomed to. The overall body is more flat, with a large Titan Master compartment toward the top and rear. It looks more like a Cybertron shuttle, or something from futuristic sci-fi. All the panels tab in securely in this mode, something that worked less well on Sentinel Prime. The retractable landing gears are a nice touch. Astrotrain is decked out in his iconic purple and grey, with touches of black here and there. Transformation from shuttle to robot is super straightforward. It’s almost painfully simple. Astrotrain looks good in this mode. Body proportions are nicely balanced. His head mold is terrific, and looks exactly like Astrotrain should. I should point out that the Japanese version of this figure has better paint apps, though. The US version is light grey, while the Japanese version is dark grey. The dark grey is much more accurate to G1, both in terms of the show and the toy. This fact becomes a lot more obvious in robot mode, when looking at Astrotrain from the front, he is mostly grey. Transformation to train mode from this mode is interesting to say the least. First you pull the legs apart to either side, like if Astrotrain is doing the splits. From there it becomes pretty obvious; arms raise up and attach on top of the legs on either side, some minor panel flaps on the legs, flip over the feet so the train head comes out, and position the back Titan Master compartment on top of the train. This is another mode where TR Astrotrain got an upgrade. He’s no longer the old-school steam locomotive, but now more of a bullet train. Astrotrain looks ok in this mode. Sort of long and skinny, but I guess that’s how a train should be. This is another mode where the Japanese colors look much better than the US version, especially if you had both figures side by side. My overall impression of this figure is that he’s ok. He’s a good modern update. But I think deep down, I still want a Astrotrain with a proper NASA shuttle mode and a true steam locomotive mode. My hardcore G1 preferences is taking over here. I can live with the fact that he’s a Headmaster, but I still prefer him not being one.

This month also has Combiner Wars purchases. Yes I said Combiner Wars. By this time, the CW line has been long dead. But I did miss out on some figures in this line, and I was fortunate enough to find them this month.

The first CW fig this month is Sky Lynx, and he’s the 2nd space shuttle this month. But unlike Astrotrain, he’s still a NASA shuttle, with ground transport. This Sky Lynx looks G1 through and through. However, he only transforms from the space shuttle and ground transport mode to his full on griffin-like robot mode (and combined mode, but more on that later). In other words, he doesn’t separate into two components (the dino-bird/shuttle and lynx/transport) like he did in G1. I had a G1 re-issue of Sky Lynx briefly, for about two years, before I sold it (and actually made a slight profit on this). The G1 toy was kinda gimmicky. It was done by the same company that also did the original toy that would become Omega Supreme. I never had G1 Sky Lynx growing up, so my curiosity prompted me to buy the re-issue as an adult. He’s fun for a while, but the gimmicks wear off fast.

G1 Sky Lynx was not well received at all back in the 80s, both in terms of the character and the toy. However, in the days of CW, fans were singing praises about CW Sky Lynx, and he was probably the hardest figure to find in the line. I pretty much gave up looking for CW Sky Lynx. Until one day in Nov of 2016 when I found him at Ross. That’s right, Ross! Hasbro’s strange distribution rears its ugly head again. There was a time (I think around 2010 and 2011) when I regularly went to Ross and other discount stores, because new figures from Hasbro would go there instead of the usual places.

Combiner Wars Sky Lynx is not a bad figure, but I wouldn’t put him in the must-buy category either. Like all the other body component figures in the CW line, Sky Lynx is not perfect. They all have at least one mode that I consider lacking. I would say the best one in CW is Silverbolt (and his repaints). Sky Lynx would probably be the next best one. I like his alt mode, and he works well as a combiner body. But the griffin mode is just so-so. Still, the real value of this figure is having the ability to form Sky Reign. And that’s worth the price of admission, especially when admission price is only $12.99. Yes Ross is a good place to get TFs when you can find them. Below is a long over due pic of Sky Reign. All the limb components were bought in Feb of 2016.

Final purchase for the month is Leader class Skywarp. I already have the other two repaints of this figure, Leader Thundercracker and Starscream. So I was not gonna get Skywarp at full price. Around the end of Nov of 2016, I was vacationing in Cabo, attending a destination wedding. I think I opened the eBay app on my phone to check on one of my sales, and saw that Skywarp was on sale for half price! I wasted no time and got one. He’s just like the other 2, so I won’t go into detail. With Skywarp I have now completed the trio. Skywarp is my final purchase from the Combiner Wars line.

The pic below is for all the Decepticons this month. Autobots beware!

Whew! That was more TFs than I thought. Next month will wrap up 2016 with more Titans Return action. Til then… Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Decepticon Power!

July 25th, 2017 No comments

Quick post today. I got a bunch of Decepticons out and lying about. So it’s time for Megatron to lead the troops into battle and kick some Autobot ass!

Check the pic below.

This roster of Decepticons won’t take crap from no one:

  • Masterpiece Megatron (MP-36)
  • Masterpiece Starscream (MP-11)
  • Titans Return Octone (Octane)
  • Titans Return Blitzwing
  • Titans Return Sky Shadow
  • Titans Return Kickback
  • Robots in Disguise Soundwave
  • Robots in Disguise Skywarp
  • Last Knight Barricade
  • Warbotron Bruticus – Fierce Attack, Air Burst, Whirlwind, Sly Strike, Heavy Noisy

Autobots everywhere had better beware. This collection reminds me of the time I gathered this group of Decepticons.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics

Before Carly 6

June 20th, 2017 Comments off

Welcome to another edition of Before Carly! It has been about two and a half years since the last installment, so here we go again with this long overdue episode of Before Carly 6! As usual, I will start with what I think was the official description given by Seibertron:

“Spike is quite the ladies man. He eventually married Carly, but she was not the only one to have fun in the backseat of Bumblebee.”

The fictitious name of each girl is made to sound like various characters in the TF universe, and each part of every name is based on real names I’ve seen. See how many TFs you can identify. Spike sure is lucky. How can he keep his mind on saving the Earth from routine Decepticon attacks while he has all these babes to keep him busy? We may never know the truth. What Spike did off camera will be a mystery for the ages.

Hover the mouse over each girl’s name to see the name of the TF. Make Spike proud! Impress all these babes with how much Transformers you know. Or not.

Enjoy the pics!

Riko Shay
Ricochet

 

Rowe D. Byrne
Roadburn

 

Skye Shade Oh
Sky Shadow

 

Astrid O. Train
Astrotrain

 

Bree K. Down
Breakdown

 

Erica Torre
Erector

 

Hedy Strong
Headstrong

 

Goldie Bugg
Goldbug

 

Oak T. Eng
Octane

 

Tripti Khan
Trypticon

 

If you can’t get enough of Before Carly, here are links to the previous installments:
Before Carly
Before Carly 2
Before Carly 3
Before Carly 4
Before Carly 5

Everyone loves Before Carly! Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Top Ten

Mastermind Creations Terminus Hexatron

June 14th, 2017 No comments

Terminus Hexatron by Mastermind Creations was a figure I bought almost 3 years ago. Any TransFan worth his energon would take one look at him and immediately know he’s an homage to Sixhot, the first six changer in the Transformers universe.

There are plenty of reviews out there already for Hexatron, so I won’t do one here. But I am going to post pics of this awesome figure in all six modes. Let these pics convince you to get one if you haven’t already. This is required purchase if you call yourself a G1 fan.

Robot Mode


Hexatron with MP Shockwave


Hexatron with Cyber Battalion Starscream, MP Shockwave, and Fans Toys Grenadier

Winged Wolf Mode

APC Mode

Laser Pistol Mode

Tank Mode


Hexatron in tank mode (left), Titans Return Sixshot in APC mode

Star Fighter Mode

My favorite mode is probably the robot mode. If I had to pick a favorite alt mode, it would either be the APC mode or the tank mode. Right now I’m leaning towards the tank mode, but catch me at a later time and the answer could be completely different.

There’s a pic above under the tank mode section that featured Titans Return Sixshot. That figure ain’t half bad, but Hexatron is still leaps and bounds superior.

Some other Third Parties are attempting their versions of Sixshot. I believe Fans Toys will soon release Hydra. Hydra looks to be massive, and it remains to be seen how Hydra would stack up against Hexatron. But for now, Hexatron is still the reigning king of Sixshot figures.

Go Hexatron! And in true Sixshot fashion, I will say this 6 times:

Transform and Roll Out!
Transform and Roll Out!
Transform and Roll Out!
Transform and Roll Out!
Transform and Roll Out!
Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Purchased in October 2016

May 30th, 2017 No comments

October has historically been a month filled with many TF purchases. That is not so in 2016. But there are some cool items this month, and one surprising trend that I didn’t notice before.

  • Titans Return Powermaster Optimus Prime, amazon.com, $39.99

  • Titans Return Apeface, Target, $4.99
  • Titans Return Skytread, Target, $4.99

  • Robots in Disguise Paralon, Toys R Us, $9.99

  • Fans Toys Soar, capturedprey.com, $180

Like I said, October 2016 does not have a crazy TF purchase count, as was the case in 2012, 2014, and 2015. This October is more on par with 2013 with a modest number of TF purchases.

Let’s take a look first at Powermaster Optimus Prime! Growing up, I really wanted G1 Powermaster Optimus Prime. I know, the concept of a Powermaster is really lame. But all Powermaster figures were good toys, for G1 standards anyway. And back in the 80s, Hasbro was not in the habit of releasing 10 different Optimus Prime figures every year across all toylines and sizes. Believe it or not, Powermaster Optimus Prime was only the 2nd OP figure produced, after the original season 1 toy. It was already Season 5 when Powermasters rolled around, and us fans were all itching for a new figure of OP.

My cousin had G1 Powermaster OP. I played with the figure quite a bit. For G1 standards, this was an awesome figure. I tried to buy one back in the 80s, but didn’t have the money. Now nearly 30 years later, Hasbro is giving us a homage to the original Powermaster OP in the Titans Return line. In this case he’s really a Headmaster, but he’s still got his 80s Powermaster design and aesthetics.

The figure is a heavy retool of the wonderful Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus figure that I went into back in this post. Hasbro took that mold and reconfigured it to resemble G1 Powermaster Optimus Prime with modern stylings and updates. The result is quite nice, and I’m happy that Hasbro took the effort to give us true fans something to homage the Powermasters, even though the figure is not a ture Powermaster. The Titan Master (or Headmaster figure) transforms into Prime’s head in robot mode. The helmet of the head is part of Prime’s body, flipped out from the cab. We’ve seen this mechanism before on TR Galvatron.

Since this technically a repaint, I won’t comment too much more. But he is recommended. Below is a pic of the alt mode. Notice how similar the cab appears when compared with CW Ultra Magnus.

Next up are two Titan Masters figures. Hasbro makes a whole bunch of these. For this month I got Apeface and Skytread. Yes, these are small figures that transform to heads. And FYI, all heads are interchangeable for figures in the TR line. Meaning you can take the head for Blurr and stick it on Scourge, or any other combination you see fit. Why you would wanna do this is beyond me. And with these small Titan Master figures, you get extra heads to swap between figures to your heart’s content. I got Apeface because I liked the original G1 Horrocon (and I’m hoping Hasbor will give him a true modern update). Not sure why I bought Skytread. The small Titan Masters also have another alt mode, in addition to the robot mode and head mode. To this day I still have not opened Apeface and Skytread, but I did open some other ones (purchased in later months). These figures are mostly forgettable in opinion. Oh, in my TF count page, I specifically stated that I don’t count mini-figures, such as Targetmasters and Mini-Cons. So I’m not adding Titan Masters to the figure count either. I truly seem them more as accessories. But they will add to the purchase count, since I did have to buy them separately.

The only RiD purchase this month is Paralon. I dont’ even know who Paralon is, as my knowledge of Robots in Disguise is severely limited. I only bought him because I like the purple scorpion. Supposedly, this is a Toys R Us exclusive. And Paralon was released before Scorponok, a brown repaint of this figure. So this was another case where Hasbro gave a new mold to an unknown secondary character, and released the more famous character later. However, when I saw Paralon, Scorponok was already on the shelve too. I chose Paralon anyway because I liked the purple, and honestly, I don’t much care for Scorponok as a character. Anyways, the toy itself is just ok. Like I said, a giant purple scorpion is very unique. Transformation is kind of unorthodox too. The shoulder mechanism requires that you take parts off, but the part never really completely comes off as it still dangles on the arm. So does this count as parts-forming? Who knows. Get Paralon or Scorponok if you’re partial to either character. Most fans could probably skip these two. They’re not bad figures, but they don’t have much going for them either.

Last but not least… ladies and gentlemen… I give you, Soar! That’s right folks! This month we have yet another outstanding 3P Dinobot from Fans Toys. And this time it is our favorite flyer of the group, Swoop! For trademark reasons, FT can’t call this figure Swoop, so they went with Soar. Gotta give them credit from coming up with these creative names.

Soar is packaged in robot mode, like all the other FT Dinos so far. Right upon getting this guy out of the box, the first thing you will notice is that he weighs quite a bit. I think he’s actually heavier than Scoria or Sever. Size wise, he’s smaller than these 2 when you don’t count the wings, so FT packed a lot of heft into the core frame of the figure. This is already a plus in my book.

The robot mode is a sight to behold. I went with the cartoon accurate blue version (FT also produced a G1 toy accurate red version, and I had G1 Swoop as a kid, all broken today). Check out the pic below. It’s like Swoop stepped straight out of the show!

“Me Swoop no see nothing.”

Seriously, this is so cartoon accurate that I can’t gush enough. Everything from the colors to the proportions, it’s like FT looked very carefully at every single one of Swoop’s show appearance and faithfully constructed a figure out of what they saw. Construction of this figure is absolutely superb. All joints are of the ratchet variety, and every one of them is tight enough to support the weight of this heavy figure. Soar is capable of some nice poses. I had him in several action poses, but unfortunately I didn’t take any pics. Take my word for it. If dynamic posing is your thing, Soar will not let you down.

Soar comes with the two iconic G1 wing missiles, as you can see in the pic. Unfortunately they do not fire. He also comes with his sword, which looks just like what he had with the G1 toy. The sword is attached to his back in the pic above. LED lights are featured in the sword (batteries are not included, however). I can’t remember if I have ever seen Swoop use this sword in the cartoon. All these weapons can be held in his hand, or pegged where they are in the pic in robot mode.

Transformation to pterodactyl is fairly simple. Soar is probably the easiest to transform out of all the FT Dinos so far. The overall transforming paradigm is exactly what it was in G1: bird head and beak flip up from the chest, arms and chest collapse toward the middle, and legs fold up to the back of the bird. Obviously this is all updated with modern mechanical engineering. G1 purists should have nothing to complain about in the design of transformation. Check out the pterodactyl mode below.

This dino bird is absolutely amazing! I took a quick measure of the wingspan, and in the above configuration, the wingspan is close to 18 inches! Soar looks fantastic flying above all your other MPs in this mode. The wings hold their position fairly well. On my figure, one side of the wings is nice and tight, while the other side can be argued to be a bit loose. But it still holds up well in alt mode and it does not droop down, so it works well enough for me. Soar comes with an extra set of wings. The default attached wings are more chrome, while the extra wings are more metallic. I did not try the extra wings yet. Fans Toys have thought of everything. They really love you.

In alt mode, the missiles go where you expect them to go. I detect no storage location for the sword in alt mode, but that’s a minor gripe. The beak opens and closes. The beak joint is tight and I expect no less. The alt mode comes together nicely as one cohesive whole. All parts are tabbed into place where they should be. No dangling parts whatsoever. This is the Dinobot pterodactyl that the Autobots deserve.

Last but not least, Soar comes with this awesome display stand for the figure in alt mode. You can see it in the pic above. This stand is large and robust, with enough support for this heavy figure without any worries. Oh, my figure was missing the vertical piece of the display stand when it was first shipped to me. Props to capturedprey.com for contacting Fans Toys and shipping me the missing part. I have complete faith in this retailer and I will use them more in the future. Minor issues with Fans Toys figures are not uncommon, however. I have been lucky thus far, until Soar. Other fans have complained of missing weapons, missing accessories, non-working LED weapons, batteries that should have been included but are not, etc. These periphery issues seem to plague Fans Toy’s track record. So open your FT figures as soon as you get them. Most respectable retailers will work to make it right within the proper time frame.

I give Soar the highest possible recommendation. If you want a MP Swoop in your collection, look no further than Soar. Get one before they all soar off the shelf (bad pun intended).

The surprising trend that I mentioned at the top of this post is the trend of when I buy the FT dinos. Scoria was purchased in October of 2014, and Sever October of 2015. And now Soar in October of 2016. So it looks like I buy one FT dino every year, and at October. I doubt this trend will last though. I have the 2nd release of Stomp (Sludge) pre-ordered, and he’s set to arrive June or July of 2017. But who knows… maybe he will get delayed til October. I hope not. I heard excellent things about Stomp.

More TFs are to come in the months that will end 2016. Until then, Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in September 2016

May 17th, 2017 No comments

Here are the purchases for Sept of 2016. What kind of goodies did I get? Well… nothing too special. 3 repaints and 2 RiD figs. Nothing to write home about, but better than getting nothing.

  • Titans Return Rumble, Target, $10.29

  • Titans Return Laserbeak, Target, $10.29

  • Titans Return Ravage, Target, $10.29

  • Robots in Disguise Starscream, Toys R Us, $14.99

  • Robots in Disguise Windblade, Walmart, $14.97

Let’s start with the Titans Return cassettes first. Actually, in the modern era, they are all tablets. And it hit me just now that all 3 of these are about $10 each. Oh man… there was a time when deluxe class figures were $10. Now all you can get with $10 all super small figs. Sigh. And in retrospect I totally see Hasbro’s “release-the-famous-character-later” tactic for repaints. Double sigh.

Anyways, these are all repaints. Rumble is my favorite out of these three. At least he gets a different head mold from Rewind. Ravage is a repaint from Stripes, and Laserbeak is a repaint from Buzzsaw. You can see Laserbeak’s release coming from a mile away. But in G1 these 2 were also exact repaints of each other, so I guess the trend must continue. I won’t comment any more about these 3, other than they are all famous G1 chracters from Season 1. So as much as you hate Hasbro’s double dip tactics, you still open your wallet and make the obligatory purchase. Damn you Hasbro.

Now onto some new stuff. First up is Robots in Disguise Starscream. I really tried to watch Robots in Disguise now that it’s on Netflix. But it just doesn’t grab me like any of the TF shows before it. I’ve tried starting the show on three separate occasions, starting with Ep 1. I don’t get too far before I lose interest, and before you know it, a few months has gone by and I kinda forgot what happened in Ep 1 and I had to start over. So I really don’t know what’s going on in the RiD story line. But to see Starscream on the shelf, that took me by surprise. I didn’t know if this RiD figure would be any good, but it’s Starscream, and as a hardcore G1-er you always buy Starscream.

RiD Starscream is not too shabby. I like the jet mode. It’s nice and sleek. He’s not a F-15, but some kind of futuristic jet that resembles something out of Macross. The forward wing design is a nice touch. When you look on the underside of the jet, there’s a bit of bulk but not too much. He’s got the iconic Starscream colors of light grey, red, and blue. Canopy is in a cartoon orange, and in this case I think it works. The guns go underneath the tip of the wings. If I got a gripe, it’s that the arms are under the wings in jet mode, and that makes the wing area a bit thick. But all in all I like the alt mode. It’s a familiar yet refreshing Starscream alt mode.

Transformation of RiD Starscream is pretty cool. It’s definitely different from how Starscream usually transforms. To start, the nosecone folds backwards onto the top of the plane and stays there. The arm and chest section are formed by moving it from the rear and wing of the jet and attaching it more forward. The legs fold out from the top. In robot mode, the design is still most certainly Starscream, but with RiD aesthetics. The wings on his back make it look like he’s wearing a cape, and it’s not a bad look for him. His head mold looks like a cross from various Starscreams of the past. And his shoulder design resembles his G1 shoulder ornaments during his short lived coronation in the G1 movie. Construction of the figure is solid. Everything tabs into where it should so nothing flops around. A lot of the figure is cheap ball joints, but that does make for some nice articulation. The right hip joint is a bit loose on my figure, but a little nail polish should fix that right up. To sum up, I like this Starscream figure. I wouldn’t put it in the must get category, but it’s a solid addition to your RiD lineup, or if you just want something extra to play with during a TF dry spell. Oh, I got the exclusive Toys R Us version. There is a mass retail version of this figure, but I don’t know how they’re different.

The last entry for the month is RiD Windblade. Again, I know next to nothing about RiD so I was not expecting this figure at all. And what a sweet surprise she was. Windblade as a character is getting some love in the IDW Transformers comics. Reading the IDW comis is something that’s been on my mind for a long time now, I just can’t find the time for it. And if my understanding is accurate, Windblade is a central character in some of the recent IDW plot lines. Hasbro has already produced a figure of her IDW incarnation. However, I’m not particularly fond of that figure. It looks ok, but it’s too flimsy for my liking. I have been wishing for a better Windblade.

And along comes Robots in Disguise Windblade. In my opinion, this is the Windblade to get. RiD Windblade is mostly decked out in red with patches of black here and there. Her jet mode is fairly unique. She seems to be a hover jet in every continuity, and RiD Windblade is no exception. She’s got the iconic turbines on the wings. In this mode, the figure comes together fairly well as most parts tab into place. A lot of the female figures that Hasbro has produced are flimsy (even in alt mode), but Windblade does not share that problem. There is storage space on the underside of the jet for the sword inside the sheath (more on this later). However, that’s not possible if you want to place the jet nicely on a flat surface. It will get in the way of the landing gear.

Transformation to robot is mostly derivative of what we have seen before. Legs fold out from the rear of the jet, arms untab from the sides, and the jet nosecone and wings folds to the back. Windblade implements a tried and true jet to robot formula, but there are some original mechanics. The jet turbines flips to the other side of the wings in robot mode, and the top of the jet collapses on itself in robot mode. This transformation is more about the execution and it’s done very well.

I love how Windblade looks in robot mode. I’m gonna assume she looks accurate to her RiD appearance, and I like the overall red upper body motif with black legs. The frame and shape of the robot mode makes it obvious that this is a female character. And for a female TF, she feels much more robust than other female TFs that have been done in the past. Windblade comes with her iconic sword. The sword can be placed into the sheath when not in use. There is a peg on the sheath that can be placed on the outer side of either leg for a sword-carrying samurai look.

Windblade has got some great articulation due to liberal use of ball joints. Yes, cheap ball joints again, but I can overlook it when it’s done this well on a $15 figure. She can be posed holding the sword in all kinds of ways. The figure comes with this yellow fan looking piece that I didn’t know what to do with for the longest time. I thought it was some kind of fan-based weapon, like in the old kung-fu movies. Turns out, you insert it to the back of her head. I should have looked at the packaging art more closely.

To sum up, I highly recommend RiD Windblade. Get one if you see one. However, the latest batch of Windblades that I see in the stores appears different. Take a look at pics of mine, then look at this pic I snapped today at Walmart.

At first my thought was Hasbro forgot to paint her face. Then comparing this pic with my figure, I see that the store figure now is quite a bit different. I see bits of yellow on her chest, and bits of blue on her abdomen. Her knees are also painted yellow instead of blue, and the legs are almost entirely black. I guess this is a 2nd version (much like how they did two versions of Megatronus), and she wears a face mask. I don’t know if I like that look.

More TFs to come. Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in August 2016

May 1st, 2017 No comments

After a short break away, I am back! I was in New Zealand and Australia for about 2 weeks. We were in Auckland, Queenstown, and Sydney. These were all beautiful places, and I had so much fun! I want to go back so badly. Though after so much traveling, I am happy to be back in the States. And I welcome a return to my usual routine so I have time to play with my TFs and blog about them.

Unlike last month where I got a bunch of figures, only two purchases were made in August of 2016. And they’re both small legend size figures.

  • Titans Return Wheelie, Target, $10.29

  • Titans Return Rewind, Target, $10.29

Last month I mentioned that I got TR Stripes on the last day of the month. I will describe him here with his two other Legend size associates that are part of the same wave. None of these 3 figs will knock your socks off, but they ain’t half bad either. Stripes and Rewind are both triple changers, and both are meant to be compatible with Titans Return leader class Blaster (to be purchased in a few months). They each have an electronic tablet mode, which is the modern equivalent of the tape cassette mode that they had back in the 80s. To be frank, their shape in this mode still looks more like cassettes than tablets because they’re too thick. In addition to this mode, Stripes offers a panther mode and a jet mode, while Rewind has a robot mode and a tank mode. I like Rewind’s robot mode. All in all, these 2 figs are quite mediocre in every way possible. Stripes and Rewind will be painted into Ravage and Rumble, respectively. Frenzy probably won’t be far behind.

The only other figure here is Wheelie. He’s the most famous character out of these 3. Hasbro has not done that many CHUG Wheelies in the modern era. I can only think of 2 others: a legend size fig that came around 2010, and a deluxe version released in 2012 that’s a repaint of Reveal the Shield Jazz. So a new Wheelie figure that can more appropriately scale with new figures is very much welcome. I had high hopes for TR Wheelie, but in the end he’s just ok. Both modes look cartoon accurate to the G1 show, but this figure is just so flimsy. During transformation he can feel like a real mess. I would only recommend this Wheelie to those hardcore G1 purists that has to have a Wheelie in their CHUG lineup.

Below is a pic of the three of them.

This month is all Autobots, and all small legend size Autobots. I guess that’s the theme for the month. Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics