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Power of the Primes Terrorcons

October 15th, 2018 No comments

First came Combiner Wars. Then came Titans Return. Now we are at Power of the Primes, the third and final installment of this toyline. Collectively, the three arcs form Transformers: Prime Wars Trilogy.

There is a backstory to each of the toy arcs. The link above to the Wiki page explains more. Toy-wise, Combiner Wars focused on Combiners (duh) and Titans Return put an emphasis on Headmasters (called Titan Masters). Power of the Primes kind of merged both of these gimmicks. This toyline features Prime Masters that are similar to Headmasters, but at the same time many combining figures are also introduced.

The Terrorcons are one of the last Combiner Team that Hasbro would release as part of the Prime Wars Trilogy. I was kind of waiting for HasTak to release this group, since they did release their opposite number, the Technobots. And it was worth the wait! HasTak has obviously learned their lessons from doing all the previous Combiner Teams. In my opinion, the Terrorcons are the best Combiner Team that uses the standard Combiner Wars mold (Aerialbots, Combatcions, etc). I say this for many reasons. Let’s start the review.

Each Terrorcon is sold separately. They are packed in their robot modes.

Hun-Gurrr

The awesomeness starts with Hun-Gurrr. This is the leader of the Terrorcons, and he forms the body. Hun-Gurrr is famous for saying “Hun-Gurrr hungry” in the G1 episode “Money is Everything”. I never tire of hearing him say that. So dumb yet so direct.

Hun-Gurrr is a heavily modified remold of Combiner Wars Silverbolt (who was also reworked into Cyclonus and Scattershot). But seriously, so much is reworked for Hun-Gurrr that you can argue this is a unique mold of it’s own. All the jet pieces you would find in any of the previous molds are gone, and are now replaced with new monster bits. He gets a new head mold for his robot form, and also a new head for the combined mode.

Both modes look good. Transformation from robot to two-headed monster is on the simple side, but that’s always been the case with Silverbolt and any of the derivatives. The main difference here is that the feet and legs form the twin heads with long necks. So instead of tucking them under where the wings would normally go, you leave them out and about to gobble up unfortunate Autobots.

I have said before that of all the Prime Wars Trilogy combining body figs, the Silverbolt mold provides the best stability in combined form. That is still true here. But Hun-gurrr ups the game even more. Everything properly tabs into place. I’ll go into this more later in the combined form. But in its individual modes, Hun-Gurrr provides tab connectors where there should be. Not only does this provide stability, it’s a confirmation that you’re doing the transformation right. Hun-Gurrr is hands down the best Prime Wars combiner body fig produced, because all 3 modes work.

Blot

Blot is the stinky foot soldier of the group that the other Terrorcons try their best to avoid. He transforms into some kind of big purple bipedal type monster.

Of all the PotP Terrorcon limbs, Blot is my favorite. For starters, I think he has the best looking robot mode, because all the monster bits are best hidden when compared to the other limb Terrorcons. I also like his color scheme of purple and dark blue.

All the limb components share similar transformation motifs. But within that same framework, Blot is the most unique. His legs fold backwards to form the monster back, instead of simply collapsing into the body. I love his fist-to-claw transformation. You flip the fist backwards, and that would rotate out the middle claw. Very very cool. In robot form, the monster head is neatly hidden on the robot back. For transformation to alt mode, the monster head comes up and out, while the robot head goes underneath.

I think this is the most unique looking monster in the group, so I like him. The placement of the over-the-shoulder weapon in monster form is also G1 accurate.

Cutthroat

Cutthroat is the bloodthirsty one of group, with a crazy and barbaric fighting style that even other Decepticons find disturbing. As a sidebar, why is it that every beast subgroup has to have a flyer? Dinobots have Swoop. Predacons have Divebomb. Pretender Monsters have Wildfly. And Terrorcons have Cutthroat. In sitcoms and dramedies of eras gone by, there is often a token black guy. Cutthroat is the token flyer.

PotP Cutthroat is an ok fig. I say that because he could have been great, if not for one flaw. And it’s that the bird head piece (and sometimes also the bird mouth piece) will unavoidably come off during transformation. I have transformed this guy back and forth 5 or 6 times now, and that head will come off each time. This is because the side pegs that hold in the bird head is super loose, while the assembly that the head sits on is super tight to rotate up or down during transformation. I have come to just take the bird head off during transformation, then re-attach.

Other than this flaw, the fig is not too shabby. The face sculpt is amazing. I think this is pretty accurate to either the G1 animation model or the G1 toy box art. I also think this face sculpt would work great for Thunderwing, if they wanted to make a figure of him in PotP. The rest of the fig in robot form is well-proportioned.

Transformation to bird beast is fairly obvious, so I won’t describe it. Again, the bird head coming off is an issue. Other than that the fig is solid. The wings transform well and has no tolerance issues.

There’s nothing too surprising about the alt mode. It’s pretty much the kind of bird monster alt mode you would expect from a $15 toy. It’s functional and it works.

Rippersnapper

Rippersnapper is some kind of amphibious mechanical fish monster with arms and legs. His Tech Spec Bio mentions a massive inferiority complex, but I’m quite sure neither the cartoon nor the comics went into that.

I like PotP Rippersnapper. Overall he reminds me of Blot, but he’s different enough to not feel like buying a repeat figure just to complete the group. Both his modes seem very G1 accurate, and I like his overall color scheme. In robot mode, I like how he still has the monster claws on the back of his hands. Very Wolverine like.

There are no surprises to the transformation. If you look at both modes and mentally imagine how the transformation would be, that’s how it is. The only unexpected piece is the monster’s tail that hides into the legs, which needs to be flipped out for alt mode. An obvious transformation does not mean that it’s not fun or it’s poorly done. Rippersnapper is a well constructed figure. Both modes look good.

I really like the design of Rippersnapper’s alt mode. I think out of all the limb components, this is my favorite monster in terms of appearance. The twin guns on the monster shoulders is very G1 accurate. The mouthpiece can be opened, and unlike Cutthroat, it does not constantly fall off. The monster mode is surprisingly articulate. Balancing the monster on two legs is not hard at all.

Overall, Rippersnapper is another fine addition to the Terrorcon group.

Sinnertwin

Sinnertwin is the second two-headed monster of the group. His Tech Spec bio mentions he likes to patrol the Terrorcons’ lair in the hopes of finding something unwelcome then killing them. Feels like another garden variety Decepticon. Strangely, nothing is mentioned in the Tech Spec Bio about the twin heads. I guess after Hun-Gurrr and Twinferno, another two-headed monster is not such a big deal.

PotP Sinnertwin is okay all around. He’s not bad, but not great either. This wacky green and yellow color combo warrants a visit by the Cybertron fashion police. In robot mode, there’s not much that stands out for Sinnertwin, other than the colors.

Transformation to monster mode is also pretty straightforward. However, he doesn’t seem to be constructed as well as the other Terrorcons. Blot and Rippersnapper are constructed well. Cutthroat has the one construction flaw of the bird head, but other than that, the rest of the fig is solid. Sinnertwin feels slightly off, for the entire fig. What I mean is that there are parts that should snap together or tab into place, but the pieces fall just short of coming in sync with each other. On my copy, the monster head won’t completely rotate and snap into place on the body, the legs don’t completely snap together, the tail has the same problem, and I can’t seem to fully rotate the robot legs to align completely with the body. There are tabs and grooves to help you locate where the pieces should go, but I can’t seem to fully get them there. Overall it doesn’t impair the functionality of the figure, but it does present itself as a minor distraction.

In alt mode, Sinnertwin is another monster with a cool design. I like the twin heads. They each have a working jaw, though getting them open takes some prying. The color scheme in monster mode works better than it does in robot mode.

Most buyers of PotP Terrorcons are looking to buy the whole set. But if for some reason you’re not, and is making purchase decisions on the individual merit of each figure, then I would recommend Sinnertwin as the last one to buy. The minor build issues irk me, and that color scheme is not doing it for me.

Below I present all the Terrorcons in their hideous monster forms.

Terrorcons, transform and merge into… Abominus!

Abominus

This is one awesome looking Combiner. Check it out!

It all starts with Hun-Gurrr. He is based off of the best Prime Wars Trilogy combiner body, so the combined form has the best stability. Not only that, HasTak improved on it by providing proper tabbing for all pieces of the body transformation. This gives the combined body extra support. The result is a stable Abominus that stands up well in the classic A-stance. Not only that, he is actually somewhat posebale in action stances.

Transformation to Abominus requires no extra pieces, other than the hands and feet. Hun-Gurrr comes with the two pieces, or you can elect to use the individual combiner pieces the comes with the limb Terrorcons. For the hands you must use the individual combiner pieces. The Abominus chest shield is built into the Hun-Gurrr figure, and will be wholly formed through the transformation to body mode. I cannot commend HasTak enough for the engineering designs on Hun-Gurrr.

The limb components are on par with other Prime Wars Combiners that have come before it, but the superior body figure means they can be better connected in the combined form. Also, there are no tolerance issues for attaching the hands or feet to the limb Terrorcons, as there were for some of the previous Combiners.

Abominus has got a great new head mold that pays homage to the G1 figure.

If you can only get one Combiner Team in the Prime Wars Trilogy, the Terrorcons are the team to get! This is the final evolution of the Prime Wars Combiners, and HasTak has corrected many of the flaws that plagued the previous Combiner teams. The Terrorcons may not be the most recognizable of the G1 Combiners, but if you’re reading this blog, the Terrorcons must mean something to you.

Terrorcons… Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Masterpiece Style Red Jets

October 2nd, 2018 No comments

I got a bunch of third party Masterpiece-styled red jets lying here and there, so I thought I compile them and make a post. Here they are.

From left to right: ToyWorld Assault, Zeta Toys Flyfire, DX9 Richthofen

Assault

This 3P homage to Thrust by ToyWorld is an incredible figure. I kinda went into their awesomeness back in this post, see that for all the details. Lots of TransFans give these TW Coneheads a hard time, and I say they’re totally trippin’. Don’t believe them. Subscribe to my TF authority and go get these while you can.

Flyfire

Newcomer Zeta Toys is responsible for this 3P MP homage to Aerialbot Fireflight. Fireflight is probably my least favorite Aerialbot. His alt mode as a F-4 Phantom is one of the worst of the jets. And he has no personality whatsoever. Honestly, I can’t really say anything else about him. Other than he was mysteriously missing when all the other Aerialbots were fighting that giant purple robot griffin in “Aerial Assault“, one of my favorite eps from G1.

Zeta Toys is supposedly a split-off from ToyWorld. Well, split-off may be too professional a term here. What I heard is that the design engineers at ToyWorld didn’t feel they were getting what they deserved and had a falling out with management. So they took their designs, left ToyWorld, and formed their own company. The result is Zeta Toys. This is evidenced by how some products overlap between ToyWorld and Zeta.

Anyway, back to Flyfire. I like the figure. He looks good in both alt mode and robot mode. The engineering is top-notch, and I wouldn’t have expected any less from the designers behind some of ToyWorld’s best offerings. The transformation is satisfying, striking a good balance between complexity and fun. Flyfire is Zeta’s second Aerialbot, the first being Airstrike (Air Raid). I liked Airstrike as well, but there were some minor construction hiccups here and there. Zeta has obviously learned their lesson from that first offering, and as the sophomore figure Flyfire is much more polished. At only $65.99, Zeta is making these extremely affordable. However, that does come at a price. The materials used for both Flyfire and Airstrike feels incredibly cheap for something that is supposed to be MP quality. That’s pretty much my only complaint about these figures. Next to TW Assault, the cheap plastic become more than obvious. I wonder if TW planned to make these with superior materials, but now we’ll never know. But as it is, Flyfire is still a recommended figure. These are currently the best MP styled Aerialbots you can buy on the market.

ZT is getting quite clever with the naming. Hasbro can no longer use the term Fireflight, so modern productions of this character go with Firefly. ZT just reversed it and call it Flyfire. What will these crazy Chinese engineers think of next.

Richthofen

The last of these 3P MP red jets is DX9 Richthofen. I had to Google what is Richthofen. Apparently that was the last name of the Red Baron. Anyway, this figure is obviously Powerglide. And what a figure this is. I have been really enjoying all my purchases from DX9, such as Invisible, Carry, and Gewalt. I hold DX9 in the highest regard possible, and they did not let me down with Richthofen. This is an amazing figure.

Both alt mode and robot mode looks good. DX9 really studied the G1 animation models and produced a figure faithful to the show’s appearance. Unlike Flyfire, nice quality materials are used for the figure. Construction of Richthofen is superb. In fact, it may be too good, as all the joints are super tight. My hands hurt when trying to transform this guy. This may be due to the fact that some productions runs of Richthofen had a manufacturing problem, where there was a loose tail fin. DX9 corrected this in later runs, but the result is all the joints became way too tight. I got one such figure. Still, I rather have joints that are too tight than too loose.

Other than the tight joints, Richthofen is a blast to transform. It’s just the right amount of complexity and challenge. I’m hoping the joints will soften after a few transformations. He even comes with a Astoria figure, from “The Girl Who Loved Powerglide“. And when you open his chest panel, there is a heart shaped mold engraved there. Gotta give DX9 points for show accuracy, as cheesy as this feature is.

Richthofen has a place in your collection.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

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

Studio Series Jazz Quick Review

August 29th, 2018 No comments

Welcome to my first review of a Movie Studio Series figure. And what better figure to do than Jazz, my favorite TF of all time! OK, maybe he’s not my favorite in the Moive-verse since he dies on the first outing. But he’s my favorite from G1, so there.

As always let’s first take a look at the mode he comes packaged in.

Jazz looks pretty good in robot form. Love the silver paint.

Articulation is not the greatest. Shoulder movement is quite limited, and there is no waist swivel whatsoever. Leg articulation is decent.

He comes with one radar looking gun type accessory. We have seen this before on other movie Jazz figures. The Human Alliance Jazz figure comes to mind.

Back view of Jazz. That’s a bit too much kibble for my liking.

Up close and personal. The head sculpt is ok.

There’s no sugar coating this: Jazz is a small figure. Yes I know they did this for scale reasons, but I’m not sure he’s supposed to be this small. And considering Jazz is priced the same as other deluxe figures, this kinda feels like a rip-off. SS Jazz is with PotP Outback in the pic below. Jazz is just a tad bigger than legend size.

I enjoyed Jazz’s transformation to the Pontiac Solstice. This figure is well built, and the transformation implements satisfying folds and clicks throughout the process. He’s not terribly difficult to do, which makes the figure a good piece to just pick up and play.

Jazz looks amazing in alt mode. The silver paint really comes through in this mode.

One complaint I have about the alt mode is that it’s hard to get everything flush. In these pics, you can still see lots of gaps between the panels. I fiddled with this for a long time and this is the best I can get it. It’s not MP Rodimus Prime bad, but I feel like it could have been better.

Underside of the vehicle (yes I said underside).

SS Jazz with HA Jazz. Again, notice how small he is.

There is room for the weapon in alt mode, but it just looks plain silly.

Overall, I give movie Studio Series Jazz a weak recommendation. There are a lot of positives here: the nice silver paint, awesome looking alt mode, fun and satisfying transformation, and solid construction. But that’s countered by some negatives too: the back kibble, the limited articulation, panels in alt mode that are hard to align, and most importantly, the small size. Still, I think the good here outweighs the bad, and so the scales tip in Jazz’s favor. And this figure does score high on originality points. There are not many other toys in the entire Transformers line that remind me of this figure.

Jazz is here to remind you to “do it with style or don’t bother doing it.” I’m here to remind you to “Transform and Roll Out.”

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

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

Before Carly 7

July 4th, 2018 No comments

Welcome to this special exciting installment of Before Carly, 4th of July Edition! 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. “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings,” and the babes below celebrate freedom on the 4th of July the best way they know how.

Hover the mouse over each girl’s name to see the name of the TF. Let freedom ring! Join Spike as he celebrates Independence Day with all the patriotic babes below.

Enjoy the pics.

Aimee Lest
Aimless

 

Missy Friar
Misfire

 

Debb Uru
Daburu

 

M. Ethel Houck
Metalhawk

 

Dae Euge
Deluge

 

Breanne Storm
Brainstorm

 

Flo Spade
Flowspade

 

Tae Al Gates
Tailgate

 

Rowe Barr
Rollbar

 

Shay D. Locke
Shadelock

 

You know you want more Before Carly…
Before Carly
Before Carly 2
Before Carly 3
Before Carly 4
Before Carly 5
Before Carly 6

Happy Independence Day! God Bless America!!! Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Top Ten

Transformers Rub On Faction Decals, More Pics

June 30th, 2018 1 comment

I have previously reviewed these awesome faction rub on decals for your Transformers. Today I’m gonna show off some more pictures of them being used on my 3rd party and 4th party transforming figures.


Kubianbao MP-10V Optimus Prime – white backing
 


Mech Planet Hot Soldiers Bumblebee – clear backing
 


Fans Toys Mercenary – clear backing
 

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: 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

Titans Return Seaspray Quick Review

June 20th, 2018 No comments

All G1 TransFans need no introduction to Seaspray. He is perhaps the only Transformer ever to have a hovercraft alt mode (not counting characters that are repaints of Seaspray in any one of his toy molds). G1-ers also immediately recognize his unique gurgle speech.

Titans Return finally gave us a modern update of this famous Minibot.

Seaspray in modern form and holding true to his G1 aesthetics.

Back of Seaspray is pretty clean. No nasty kibble here.

Helmet is modeled after the G1 animation model, while the eyes are more G1 toy accurate. Probably a good thing, the Seaspray cartoon eyes on a toy might bug me.

Articulation is limited, but decent for a $10 figure.

Holding a random weapon that belongs to another Transformer. Big prizes to anyone out there hardcore enough to identify the weapon.

With G1 Seaspray.

Notice in the above 3 shots, Seaspray has a module attached to his chest. The module can be seen packaged in the upper right corner (first pic). I guess you can detach this for a more accurate animation look, or attach it to look more like the G1 toy. I’m not sure if there exist other reasons for this extra attachment.

Transformation from robot to hovercraft follows almost the exact same scheme as G1, so I won’t describe it too much. The only real difference is that, for the alt mode, the arms point backwards in TR, as opposed to forwards like in G1.

Rear view of the hovercraft. Those are working spinning propellers.

A Titan Master can ride inside in alt mode.

With G1 Seaspray.

Seaspray with his Season 2 Minibot cohorts in modern form.

Go Seaspray! Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews