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Fans Toys Hunk Quick Review

September 24th, 2020 No comments

I first featured Fans Toys Hunk in this post. FT’s version of MP Brawn is getting his 15 minutes today.

He’s packed in robot mode, so let’s start there.

Hunk in classic A-stance.

View from the side. A bit of backpack kibble, but not too bad.

Back view.

Close up of the face. That’s a great sculpt. Good job FT.

Overall I’m very happy with Hunk’s robot mode appearance. This is a robot mode that does Brawn justice. I can nitpick here and there, but I don’t think there is a figure in existence that comes closer to how Brawn look in the G1 cartoons. The face is spot on. The colors are spot on. Brawn is stockier in the animation, so you might say Hunk’s proportions are a bit too slim. But I like it.

Here we see Hunk with his trademark pistol that the G1 animators created for him. As far as I can tell, this gun resembles the cartoon weapon fairly well. Hunk only comes with three accessories: this gun, another face of Hunk yelling (not pictured in this review), and a drill bit he uses in vehicle (more on this later).

Hunk in action.

Hunk celebrating.

Hunk standing around looking cool.

The articulation in robot mode is ok, but some may find it too limiting. The arms are not bad. Shoulder, elbow, and wrist rotations are all there. The legs ain’t too shabby either. Hip swivel, knee bend, and ankle pivots are all accounted for. Head rotation is very limited. There is no up and down, and side to side is extremely limited due to the back flap behind Hunk’s head. I’ve seen pics of Hunk with waist swivel, but I could not get the waist to twist. If possible, it’s really hard to do. I didn’t try it too hard in fear of breaking the toy. All the official FT pics don’t show Hunk with any waist swivel. There’s no ab crunch of any kind.

Here is Hunk next to the famous MP-10 Optimus Prime. They scale together pretty well.

When I took this pic, I had Hunk in one hand and the MP-10 in the other. To my surprise, Hunk weighs more! This is the US Version of the MP-10, and it’s unclear to me if the Japanese version uses any die-cast. But to have Hunk weigh more than the Hasbro MP-10 is still a testament to the fact that FT uses some quality materials. Bravo.

I detect no weaknesses in Hunk’s construction. All joints are at the right tolerance, nothing too loose or too tight.

As far as the robot mode’s appearance, I have next to no gripes. At first I thought the feet looked weird, in that they’re too big and they’re the wrong shape. But then I checked the G1 animation model and the comic book model, and that’s exactly how they look (especially in the US Marvel comics). So again, props to Fans Toys for being so toon accurate, something they never fail to do. I already mentioned about the size of the backpack when viewed from the side. Yes it’s not perfect, but easily forgivable considering how well everything else looks.

Transformation to vehicle mode is more on the complex side for a figure of this size. He’s not impossible like FT Rouge, but he’s also not simple like FT’s earlier offerings (Stomp, Soar, Sever, etc).

The leg transformation deserves special mention. Each leg splits apart, and ends up forming the sides of the vehicle. It sounds hokey on paper, but seeing this transformation implemented in action is kind of cool. G1 purists will bash this for being an unfaithful transformation, but that would fall into the area of hardcore nitpicking.

Going to alt mode, getting the backpack to be formed properly as the vehicle’s top rear section can be a bit frustrating. It takes perfect alignment for the whole assembly to snap into place. There are also a bunch of small transformation pieces on both the waist and legs that, in my opinion, detract from the overall enjoyment of the transformation process.

Hunk looks good in alt mode once the transformation is complete. Check the pics below.

Super accurate alt mode to the cartoon.

Another angle. Hunk comes with rubber tires and rolls well on a flat surface.

Side view.

Front view.

Back view. They did not forget the gas canister.

Bottom view. Notice there is storage for the weapon. Nice.

Here we see Hunk using that alt mode drill that Brawn used in The Ultimate Doom. I see this more as a novelty accessory, but kudos to FT for including it.

Another shot of the drill.

Now for some alt mode size comparisons. Here he is next to MP Bumblebee.

Now next to MP Sideswipe.

Next to both of them. For a mini-bot Hunk does seem a bit big in alt mode. But seeing as he is a Jeep off-road type of vehicle, I think it works.

Hunk is definitely a worthy purchase for your Masterpiece collection. Most of my gripes are transformation related. I think he’s more complicated than he needs to be. Fan of intricate articulation may also find Hunk a bit lacking in this regard. But this figure scores high in all other areas. I recommend Hunk with no reservation. The only other Masterpiece style Brawn that I’m aware of is Bad Cube Brawny. I don’t have that figure. I’m told Brawny is good too, but comes with a very punishing transformation process that is not for the faint of heart.

On a completely separate but related note, this marks my third review of a Brawn figure. The other two are my reviews for Revenge of the Fallen Brawn and Titans Return Brawn. Why am I reviewing so many Brawns? Is he subconsciously my favorite character? Probably not. I hope not.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Purchased in November 2018

September 3rd, 2020 No comments

Only 2 figures were purchased for Nov of 2018. Both figures are from the Power of the Primes Evolution series.

  • Power of the Primes Evolution Optimal Optimus, Target, $44.99

  • Power of the Primes Evolution Nemesis Prime, amazon.com, $32.99

Both these figures were presented in this special Black Friday post. There are some minor details that’s worth repeating here. Being that they are both from the Evolution series in Power of the Primes, they each have 4 modes.

Optimal Optimus

When I found this figure at Target, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted him. I enjoyed Beast Wars, but I’m a G1 guy at heart. Figures that come from other TF lines are a lower priority for me. But Optimal Optimus does look cool in the box. And I’ve been mostly impressed with the Evolution series thus far. “Just buy it!”, said my wife, as she got sick of waiting for me to make up my mind while in the store. That was all the nudging I needed. And that was smart, since I never saw this figure in store again.

Optimal Optimus is an entertaining and fun figure. He represents all 3 forms of Optimus that we see in Beast Wars. First we have the base Optimus Primal figure, which is the smaller black and white component in this toy. That’s the first mode. This component transforms into a flying hoverboard (yes you read that right) used by the next form of Optimus Primal, the larger transmetal gorilla figure. Alternatively, the smaller component can transform into a backpack with weapons for the gorilla. This is the 2nd mode. The two components then come together to form Optimal Optimus, the final evolution of this character in Beast Wars. This is the 3rd mode. In this mode, Optimal Optimus can transform into a Cybertronian jet. And that’s the 4th mode. Yes I know on paper this all sounds very hokey and gimmicky. And yes this figure is a bit guilty of all those qualities. But I’m gonna guess that BW fans love this. This is the first time in TF history that we got a single figure who can decently represent Optimus Primal in all his forms in the show. Hasbro should be applauded for even attempting this. The end result is not perfect, but each mode is decent enough on its own.

BW fans should definitely not pass up on this figure. And I do recommend this for all other TransFans that want something different and original. If you don’t fall into either of these 2 groups, then this purchase would be optional. Optional Optimus. Yes, bad puns at their best.

Nemesis Prime

Evolution Nemesis Prime is an Amazon-exclusive repaint of Evolution Optimus Prime, with some minor mold differences and the inclusion of some additional weapons. Checking my TF List, this is only my 3rd Nemesis Prime figure. The other 2 I have is Alternator Nemesis Prime, and the Thrilling 30 legend class Nemesis Prime.

The only mold difference I’m aware of is in the heads. Nemesis Prime’s head is designed to look like that of Optimus, but everything is more triangular. The mouth piece, eyes, crown, and overall shape of the face, all more extremely triangular and angled. Looking directly from the front, the face kind of resembles the Decepticon symbol. I love it! To me this makes sense too, since Nemesis is supposed to be a different character from Optimus. The smaller base figure gets a new head mold too, though I’m not sure what this is supposed to be. I have no idea who “evolves” into Nemesis Prime, or if that even makes sense.

Nemesis Prime gets quite a bit of additional weapons. The first are two large grey twin-cannons, that can be used in the large robot mode and the truck mode. Next is the inclusion of a red sword. Finally, we have a grey sword that can transform into a bird! All the new weapons alone make this set worthy of purchase on its own, even if you already have Optimus.

I need to mention that construction of this figure is not as good as Evolution Optimus Prime. It’s not terrible, and nowhere near as bad as Evolution Rodimus Prime. But I just wanted to point out that there are some joints that feel a tad too loose, and I don’t remember Evolution Optimus Prime having those issues.

I bought this figure for $32.99 on a Cyber Monday sale, from Amazon. Checking the site now, this figure goes for more than $250! Wow. TFs are like stocks. You never know how they’re gonna go. If I can go back in time, I buy a few more of these. Heck, I’ll buy more Amazon stock. Then come back to my own time and retire.

That’s it for this month. One more purchase post left for 2018, and then it’s on to 2019! Yay. Better late than never I always say.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Masterpiece Optimus Prime and Autobots, Team 5

August 27th, 2020 No comments

MP Optimus is back with another team of trusted Autobots to lay waste to some undisciplined Decepticons up to no good.

This is Team 5. Here were the previous teams: Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, Team 4.

With the exception of MP-10 Optimus, all figures here are 3rd party and purchased within the last year. This really shows how far 3rd parties have come.

Fans Toys got 2 representatives here in Hunk and Sheridan. Hunk is a great figure, possibly the best MP Brawn on the market today. Both modes look toon accurate. Transformation to car mode can be a tad frustrating in the final steps. I have yet to transform Sheridan, but he definitely looks good in robot mode.

X-Transbots have undoubtedly improved their status as a 3rd party company of transforming figures in recent years. I’m generally very impressed with their offerings, and I got 3 here to prove it. I chose Neptune after looking through many choices in 3P MPs of Seaspray. He is in my opinion the best MP Seaspray on the market, in terms of cartoon accuracy and figure engineering. (Sidebar: the upcoming Spindrift 2.0 by Fans Toys may change that, but only time will tell.) Klaatu was also chosen among many 3P MP offerings of Cosmos. He looks the most toon accurate in both modes. I went with the metallic version, and I’m oh so glad I did. The picture here does not do this paint job justice, it has to be seen to be fully appreciated. Klaatu is a bit chunky in bot form, and he does present a bit of scale issues with other Mini-bots.

X-Transbots Aegis stars as MP Trailbreaker. In G1, Trailbreaker was my very first Carbot, so I’m extremely partial to Trailbreaker. He was the last Carbot to get any love in CHUG, something that I wasn’t entirely happy about. And now he is the last Carbot to appear in my Autobot MP Teams. I feel kinda bad about that. But better late than never, and in this case I could almost say I saved the best for last. XT Aegis is better than all previous attempts at an MP Trailbreaker. I won’t go into what those are, but if you are in the market for a MP Trailbreaker, you need only consider Aegis.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

Transformers Purchased in October 2018

July 31st, 2020 No comments

2018 continues with more TF goodies. Surprisingly, nothing from Power of the Primes (which was the current CHUG line at the time) and nothing from trusted 3Ps. Everything this month is Studio Series, G1 reissues, or 4P products.

  • Studio Series Shadow Raider, amazon.com, $19.99

  • Studio Series Bumblebee, amazon.com, $19.99

  • Studio Series Ironhide, amazon.com, $29.99

  • G1 Hot Rod, Walmart, $29.84

  • NBK Drump Truck, eBay seller, $12.74

  • NBK Mixer, eBay seller, $12.74

  • Kubianbao MP10-V Tactical Container, eBay, $34.76

Shadow Raider

Shadow Raider is a repaint of Studio Series 11 Lockdown. Overall, I like Shadow Raider better. I dig the orange colors. And I like his head mold. It’s as if Lockdown is wearing that green night vision helmet that we see him sport in Age of Extinction. I also like that Shadow Raider comes with an awesome looking gun, as opposed to that claw or hook thing that Lockdown has. If you already have SS Lockdown, then you may not want to buy essentially the same figure again. But if you don’t, then I recommend SS Shadow Raider over SS Lockdown, for the reasons I listed.

And now that I think on it, this orange Lamborghini reminds me of Revenge of the Fallen Oil Pan. The only pic I have of Oil Pan on this blog is this Halloween 2012 Pic (scroll to the most bottom pic, Oil Pan is the orange Lamborghini). I probably still have Oil Pan somewhere. Shadow Raider was featured in a Halloween post here.

Bumblebee

And here we have yet another movie Bumblebee. I swear, I’m so sick of writing about movie Bumblebees. Hasbro churned these out over and over and really forced this character down our throats. But this Studio Series Bumblebee transforms into a VW Bug, so I felt obligated to get one.

G1 purists will get this figure for the VW alt mode, but that’s about all this figure as going for it. Mechanically, this feels like all movie Bumblebees before it. The figure offers nothing new as far as transformation scheme. Take any deluxe movie Bumblebee made in the last 5 years, and imagine that it transforms into a VW Bug and not a Camaro. That’s how this figure feels.

Construction wise, this figure is also not the best. The joints are tolerable, but a bit too loose for my liking. Going to alt mode, SS 18 Bumblebee feels very much like a panel former. And the panels don’t come together that easily, because of the sub-par construction. Trying to combine panels when the build is too loose is not a fun exercise. Everything does come together in the end, but getting there is not pleasant.

Hasbro does sometimes improve their figures, then release the improved mold as a new figure. Case in point, SS 01 Bumblebee was later improved and released as SS 27 Clunker Bumblebee. I don’t have SS 27, but supposedly it fixed some stability problems. Will SS 18 also get an improvement sometime in the future? Only time will tell. In the mean time, get SS 18 Bumblebee if you must have a movie representation of everyone’s favorite hero as the VW Bug. Just don’t expect any originality here. You’ve seen this before.

Ironhide

Studio Series 14 Ironhide is a figure that I still have not opened to this day. I’m not sure why that is. I had every intention of opening this, but life gets in the way, other stuff happens. And before you know it, nearly 2 years go by and it’s still sitting in a box in the closet, unopened and collecting dust.

And I doubt I will open it now. A quick search on Amazon tells me that a new copy of SS 14 Ironhide goes for nearly $150! Yikes! Why is this figure is so valuable? Did they not make that many? Looking through the Amazon reviews, SS 14 appears to be a terrific figure. Some even prefer this over the MPM version.

I am really tempted to open SS 14 to check it out for myself. But on the other hand I don’t want to intentionally destroy $150 of value. What am I gonna do? Woe is me.

Hot Rod

This G1 Hot Rod reissue is a Walmart Exclusive. In G1, I had the Targetmaster version, so this is a figure I know well. Hot Rod is definitely one of the better figures from G1 Season 3. Of course, he is the star of the G1 Movie, so it makes sense for Hasbro to construct a figure worthy of our hero.

I normally don’t purchase G1 reissues from Walmart that they have released in the last several years. I feel weird saying that, since I re-started my TF collecting 16 years ago with G1 reissues. Looking at my TF List, I certainly have bought a lot of G1 reissues over the years. This means I have most of the figures being released now. And these new reissues are kind of pricey, for what they are. Perhaps that’s why I don’t feel the love for G1 reissues anymore.

But with all that being said, I bought this reissue of Hot Rod. I did that for 4 reasons: 1) I had the Targetmaster version, not the Season 3 version, which is what this is, 2) I don’t have Hot Rod as a reissue, 3) this is a good toy for G1 standards, and 4) he is the star of the G1 Movie.

My only regret is that I bought him way too soon. I got him at regular MSRP of close to $30. Walmart apparently had way too many of these, and within a month started dropping prices at my local store. At first they dropped to $25. At that price they still sat on the shelves. Then they were slashed to $15. Even at this price, they weren’t exactly moving. My local store even put them in the clearance section. I thought they would go down to $10, and at that price I’ll buy another one. But that never happened. It was pushing up against the holiday season, and at $15 many parents probably jumped on this. Either that, or some scalper came in and bought them all. I should have got another one when it was $15. If I did, I would open up one of them, and compare to my G1 Targetmaster fig. Oh well.

Dump Truck, Mixer

Here we have 2 more NBK Constructicons. After buying the first 4, I had to get these last 2 to complete this famous sextet in my collection. Dump Truck and Mixer is obviously Long Haul and Mixmaster, respectively. I love how NBK is just using their alt mode as their names. Actually, these may be the names that Generation Toy is using for the genuine article, and NBK is too lazy to come up with their own.

I like Dump Truck. I like the look of both of his molds. Transformation is not hard, but feels complex enough for a figure of his size. Speaking of size, all the NBK Constructicons are about voyager size. Many other modern Constructicon teams absolutely butcher Long Haul. Some of them make him way too big or too bulky, being out of scale of with the other team members (I’m looking at you). Some of them have production problems, being that Long Haul fails to be stable enough to be Devastator’s center. NBK Dump Truck shares none of these faults. Alt mode looks good, robot mode is just a tad bulky (as he should be, from the design), and overall he’s stable enough to provide adequate center of gravity for the gestalt. There are some panels that are difficult to tab together when transforming back to alt mode. It’s a slight distraction and does reduce my overall satisfaction with the piece. But, on a whole, Dump Truck is still a recommended 4th party figure.

Mixer is my final addition to this team. Unfortunately, much like Crane, my feelings for this figure is not as positive. Mixer is another piece where shoddy construction ruins a figure. Going from alt to robot, as soon as you un-peg the arms, the giant mixer barrel falls out. I don’t think this is intended, as the instructions never show it removed for any purpose. Alt mode looks pretty good. Robot mode could be better. I don’t like the large side panels on the arms, near the shoulders. Having the mixer barrel stay on in robot mode is not easy (again, don’t think it’s supposed to come off). In their defense, I don’t think any of the modern Constructicon teams does Mixmaster that well. None of them have figured out what to properly do with the mixer barrel in robot mode. It’s possible that the genuine article from Generation Toys does have the barrel stay on. The NBK figure is a floppy, frustrating mess.

With all 6 NBK Constructicons complete, they can combine and form Devastator. That deserves a review of its own, but I’ll just say quickly here that the combined form is impressive. Many will undoubtedly compare this to ToyWorld Constructor. I don’t think it’s fair to say here which is better. A lot of it will depend on what you value as a TransFan. But I will review NBK Devastator. A discussion on comparisons will be offered in that review.

MP10-V Tactical Container

In March of 2018, I acquired KBBMP10-V by Kubianbao. Yes, we all know what this is, a KO voyager size figure of perhaps the most famous MP to date. And Yes, KBBMP10-V is the name of this figure. Any true TransFans should be able to easily decipher it. It’s original, humorous, and lazy. I can’t get enough of 4th party shenanigans.

MP10-V Tactical Container is the trailer to that figure. And I’ll get straight to it: this is good! KBBMP10-V screamed high production values, and its trailer is no different. KBB is 4th party. When 4th companies can produce products that are superior in quality to the originals, it’s high time HasTak take a look in the mirror and do some serious soul searching.

Everyone already knows what modern Optimus trailers needs to feature today. So I’ll just quickly point out the pros and features of MP10-V Tactical Container in bullet points:

  • Beautiful paint job
  • Rubber tires on trailer
  • Spike figure included
  • Roller included (silver color)
  • Retractable ramp
  • Extendable drone module
  • Extendable antenna and claw on drone module
  • Trailer also functions as repair bay
  • Storage for all of KBBMP10-V’s weapons
  • Spike can sit in Roller, drone module, and a control unit inside the trailer
  • Drone module can be extended outside in trailer mode
  • Gap covers for hole used for drone module extension in trailer mode
  • Automatic down deployment of stabilizers when side supports move outward
  • Roller’s rear top can be transformed to allow for towing of trailer

Look at all the features above – this thing is just awesome! I’m probably forgetting some features too.

MP10-V Tactical Container is totally worth the money. I recommend this purchase with no hesitation.

That’s it for this month. Stats for the month:

  • 3 Studio Series figs
  • 1 G1 reissue
  • 3 4th party items

Until next time… Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in September 2018

July 16th, 2020 No comments

September 2018 is full of TF goodies. I bought products of all kinds: official, 3rd party, and 4th party!

  • Power of the Primes Novastar, amazon.com, $16.99

  • Power of the Primes Rodimus Unicronus, Target, $44.99

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

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

  • Power of the Primes Megatronus, Target, $4.99

  • Power of the Primes Punch-Counterpunch, amazon.com, $24.99

  • Bumblebee Bumblebee, Walmart, $4.93

  • Cyberverse Shockwave, Target, $14.99

  • Masterpiece Movie Series Barricade, tfsource.com, $79.99

  • NBK Excavator, eBay seller, $11.81

  • NBK Crane, eBay seller, $12.74

  • MakeToys Downbeat, tfsource.com, $99.99

  • DX9 Richthofen, eBay seller, $62.17

When I first started tracking my monthly purchases, back in Feb of 2012, I pretty much just listed the TFs along with where I got it and for how much. Somewhere along the line, I thought it would be cool to also include pics of each fig opened. Then I kinda went into mini-reviews of each fig. One of the more recent purchase post that I did was for July 2018. These kind of posts take way too long to do. Digging out the figures, taking pictures of them, then writing about them takes a lot longer than one realize. I’m never gonna catch up to where I am currently (July 2020) at this rate.

So today I’m going old school. Much like Feb 2012, I’m just gonna say a few bits about each. These posts are more about what I bought, and not reviews. Here we go.

Novastar

Novastar will always be Firestar for those of us hardcore enough in G1 to know better. I’m guessing the name change is for legal trademark reasons, as I can easily see the term Firestar used elsewhere. Power of the Primes Novastar is a repaint of Moonracer from the same line. And as such, this figure has all the same strengths and weaknesses. The biggest weakness is that giant kibble of a backpack in robot form. She’s also a bit of a shell-former.

Novastar does get a new unique head mold and different weapons, so there are some redeeming features here. Of course G1 enthusiasts like myself will be buying this figure, if purely for G1 nostalgia. Seeing physical manifestation of something designed in the 80s is more than enough reason to reach nerdgasm.

Go to the post for Moonracer for a more detailed discussion of the figure.

Rodimus Unicronus

The 2nd repaint this month is Rodimus Unicronus. This is a repaint of Power of the Primes Evolution Rodimus Prime. I sort of reviewed Evolution Rodimus Prime in that post, but I did kind of skimp on the details. This figure does need a more detailed treatment, but that’s for another day.

Fans seem to be very divided on Evolution Rodimus Prime. There are those that love the figure, like me. And then there are the haters. If you’re like me, you like how the figure has 4 molds, representing all the forms of both Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime. The depiction is G1 accurate, and while the figure is not perfect, all forms are more than decent. If you’re a hater, then you don’t like the giant shoulders and giant back kibble in Rodimus Prime robot mode, the long arms of Hot Rod robot mode, and the puzzle-forming.

With Rodimus Unicronus, I thought I was getting the same fig as Evolution Rodimus Prime, just with different colors and a different head mold. That would have been sufficient. I’m sad to point out that Rodimus Unicronus is constructed so poorly that this feels like an entirely different figure. The prime (pun intended) culprit is the super loose hips of the large robot mode. Rodimus Unicronus weighs quite a bit with all pieces attached in robot mode, and the weak hips can barely support it in A-stance. Never mind posing him in any other stance in this mode. In the RV vehicle mode, pieces don’t seem to come together as well, when compared to Evolution Rodimus Prime. Connecting the car to trailer takes more work, and attaching the arms on top of the trailer is literally a chore. Getting everything lined up and flush seems impossible.

I cannot recommend this figure. Bad build has deemed this unplayable. Get Evolution Rodimus Prime, but stay away from this.

Quintus Prime, Solus Prime, Megatronus

This month features 3 more Prime Masters. I normally don’t pay much attention to “Master” figs. I feel like they’re not fully qualified figs, more like accessories. But I love Prime Masters, something I’ve mentioned repeatedly on this blog. I like that they’re both Targetmasters and Pretenders rolled into one. Yes I hate Pretenders, but only for full-sized figs. For accessory figs, I actually think it’s kinda cool.

I gave stellar reviews to Prime Masters in months past (see Jan 2018 and July 2018), and the 3 featured this month is no exception. I love how the shells are homages to G1 Pretenders. Quintus Prime is Bludgeon, Solus Prime is Octopunch, and Megatronus is Bomb-Burst.

Mechanically, these 3 don’t offer anything beyond a painfully simple transformation scheme, similar to all Prime Masters before them. But again, I see them more as accessories. So any transformation is better than none, no matter how simple. And at $4.99 each, you really can’t lose.

Punch-Counterpunch

Power of the Primes Punch-Counterpunch is a fig that I have been waiting for some time. I’m partial to figs that I own, and yes I have G1 Punch-Counterpunch. I still remember the day that I bought him. My parents dropped me off at the mall while they had some business to attend to. They gave me some spending money, which was rare. I ran straight to the toy store (I think it was KB Toys, but not sure anymore). I looked long and hard at all the Transformers, and after about 2 hours I decided to buy Punch-Counterpunch. Even the check-out clerk commented to me about my long decision.

For those that don’t know, Punch-Counterpunch is a “Double Agent”. He has both an Aubobot robot mode and a Decepticon robot mode, named Punch and Counterpunch respectively. And one car alt mode. (Sidebar: The only other fig in the entire TF-verse that has this twin robot feature is TF Animated Shockwave.) Punch is in reality an Autobot, but he transforms into Counterpunch to infiltrate the Decepticon ranks and gather intel. He had a very short appearance in Season 4 Rebirth episode 1. As Counterpunch he stumbled on Pounce and Wingspan up to no good, and tried to take them down as Punch. For that effort, he got his ass handed to him.

PotP Punch-Counterpunch is a fig that was worth the wait. As far as I can tell, he’s a brand new mold, designed specifically to be the character. The overall transformation scheme is similar to G1, but more advanced. The legs have panels that extend and wrap around the car mode. That’s probably the biggest difference.

As Punch, the robot mode looks pretty good. I think the car bits that form the shoulders are too long, and they could have perhaps did a better job to compact them in a bit more. But that’s my only gripe about this mode. The car alt mode is absolutely gorgeous. It feels solid and cohesively formed. There is room under the car to store the weapon, and even with that there’s enough clearance to have the car roll on a flat surface. As Counterpunch, I find no weaknesses in the robot mode. Even the red Autobot hands are flipped in for the blue Decepticon hands to flip out. Very very cool. Of course in G1 he had a completely separate set of forearms, but I like this interpretation equally well.

Punch-Counterpunch comes with another Prime Master, Prima Prime. He also comes with another Combiner War style accessory, that forms either the hand or feet for a Combiner. It’s a mystery to me why Punch-Counterpunch would need such an accessory. It’s possible that Punch-Counterpunch can be used as a limb to a Combiner.

My only gripe about this whole package is that he only comes with one weapon, the yellow pistol. In G1, that was only the weapon for Punch, while Counterpunch had a black rifle. Also, in G1, the yellow pistol was twin-barrel, while this new PotP version is single barrel. A minor gripe, but something to point out to all the G1 purists.

I recommend PotP Punch-Counterpunch with no reservation.

Bumblebee

I only got this Bumblebee because I was looking forward to the movie Bumblebee. And this is the first time in a LONG time that we got a mass retail Bumblebee that transforms into an official VW Bug. Plus at this small size, it reminds me of G1 Bumblebee. To this day, this figure remains the only figure I bought from Bumblebee. Yes I got Studio Series 38 Optimus Prime, but I consider that more Studio Series, and not Bumblebee.

All in all, this is an ok fig. Nothing wrong with fig itself, but nothing to write home about either. How you think this fig would transform is exactly how it does. Purchase of this is fig is completely optional.

Shockwave

The whole Cyberverse line of toys caught me completely by surprise. I was not expecting them at all, then one day at Target I saw Cyberverse Ultimate Class Optimus and Megatron. Warrior Class figs appeared soon after that. Many online reviewers gave glowing reviews to Shockwave, so I bought one.

I already went into this figure in this post. Overall, he’s ok. To summarize, he’s easy to transform. The gimmicks are kinda entertaining. The robot mode is unmistakably Shockwave, but the alt mode could be more G1 if you ask me. I’m not really feeling this walking tank. Cyberverse figs reminds me of Robot in Disguise figs. They feel like cheap plastic held together by even cheaper ball joints. Good for young children to mess with for a few hours, but collectors need not bother.

If you have a thing for Shockwave, then this fig should do you no wrong. For everyone else, this is not a required purchase by any stretch of the imagination.

Barricade

Masterpiece Barricade is a figure worthy of your time. I gave my thoughts in that same post mentioned earlier for Shockwave. Movie Masterpieces are designated MPM. I guess that’s short for MP Movie. To this day, MPM Barricade remains the only fig I have from this line. I am tempted to buy more MPMs, but I’m a G1 guy at heart and MPMs just aren’t a priority.

Truth be told, I only bought MPM Barricade because he was on sale. But I’m glad I did. MPM Barricade is the only Barricade you need in your collection. I have 3 other deluxe Barricades, and none of them are all that good. MPM Barricade fixes all that and more. He feels weighty in your hands, with high quality plastic used throughout the fig. There could be some die-cast, but I’m not sure. The alt mode is a great representation of the Ford Mustang as a police car, and the robot mode is the most screen accurate Barricade that HasTak has produced. The paint job on this figure is superb. Transformation is tad challenging, but nowhere near impossible. He only comes with one accessory, which is that spinning blade thing we see him use in the movie. The arm does need to be transformed a bit to attach the accessory.

MPM Barricade gets a strong recommendation from me. If you love movie figs, this is a required purchase.

Excavator, Crane

Here are two more 4th party NBK Constructicons. The first one I got was Bulldozer, and the next one I got was Scraper. At this point, I think I was buying them more to complete the set. But that doesn’t mean they’re bad figs. Not in the least.

Excavator is another fine addition in this NBK line. He’s not quite as good as Bulldozer, but better than Scraper, in my opinion. Both modes look good and the transformation is fun. The overall transformation scheme is fairly G1 accurate. My only gripe about this figure is that the excavator arm in robot mode is way too big. When attached, the fig becomes back heavy. It can be removed, but I didn’t try it. However it should be noted that this is a common problem among all modern Scavenger figures.

I would say Crane is the weakest figure in this line so far. The alt mode is quite solid, everything coming together with no issues. The crane arm works too, which is a plus. The robot mode is where this thing falls apart. Bad construction hurts this figure. Some parts of the robot becomes a floppy mess. Of note is the crane arm in robot mode. It doesn’t really stay in place on the back, and having it angled over the shoulder is even worse. I do wonder if the genuine article of this figure is better constructed.

Downbeat

As of this writing, if you want a Jazz in your MP collection, then go with Downbeat. There is not a better G1 MP Jazz on the market right now. I sort of featured Downbeat back in this post. Jazz is my favorite TF character of all time. I had to have him in MP form, and I got sick of waiting for HasTak to do it. So it’s MakeToys to the rescue.

Downbeat gets a strong recommendation from me on all counts. He looks good in both modes. Transformation is a pleasure, just challenging enough to be fun yet not frustrating. Overall transformation scheme follows the G1 paradigm, and not something out of left field. The looks of the figure is completely G1 accurate, in both modes. The aesthetics of the robot mode is simple, much like the animation. The door panels in robot mode can be hidden or flipped out, so you get to configure Jazz like the show or the toy. He comes with plenty of accessories (rifle, shoulder rocket launcher, grappling hook, and more). Downbeat is the perfect Jazz package.

Some fans complain about the alt mode, where from the back you can see bits hang down below the rear bumper. Honestly, when you see the figure in hand, it’s not that bad. It looks worse than it is in pictures. Personally I would not let this issue keep you from buying an otherwise great figure.

As of this writing, Fans Toys have announced their plans for Jazz. Fans Toys is generally considered the best in the business for 3P TFs. But FT’s plans for Jazz could literally be years away. FT announced their plans for Blitzwing more than 2 years ago, and so far we only see renders. Only Primus knows how long before FT Jazz really materializes. In the mean time, go with MakeToys Downbeat. I’ve had mine for almost 2 years now. FT Jazz may indeed be better, but Downbeat is already at the party. How long you want to wait for FT Jazz to show up is up to you.

Richthofen

Richthofen is another great 3P MP figure this month. I featured DX9’s Powerglide here and here.

Richthofen is the best MP Powerglide on the market now. And I’m not aware of any future attempts on a MP Powerglide. Richthofen has a fun, intuitive transformation. Both modes look extremely good and very G1 accurate. The build is super solid. Perhaps too solid, as some joints are a bit too tight. On the first run of this figure, some fans complained of loose tail fins. So on the 2nd run (which is what I have), DX9 may have over-corrected. But I rather have joints too tight than too loose.

Richthofen comes with a figure of Astoria, and his chest panel flips up to reveal a molded-on heart pattern. Powerglide is such a playa. He gets a girl on Earth, but still has his piece back on Cybertron (Moonracer).

That’s a lot of figs this month. Sometimes I don’t realize how much I buy in a month, til I do these kind of posts. The must-haves this month are Downbeat, Richthofen, Barricade, and Punch-Counterpunch. Everything else is optional.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Masterpiece Sunstreaker Quick Review

June 8th, 2020 No comments

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

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

The box.

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

Instructions, bio-card, and extra side mirrors.

Let’s start with the alt mode.

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

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

Flip-up head lights.

Doors and front hood opens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunstreaker in classic A-stance.

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

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

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

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

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

Action pose #2 – twin gun action.

Action pose #3 – looking cool after the shot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

UPDATE: Shelter From Home Transformer Challenge

April 15th, 2020 No comments

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

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

Fans Toys Roadking

Roadking is successfully transformed into truck mode. Pic below.

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

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

Masterpiece Sunstreaker

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

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

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

Fans Toys Rouge

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Pics, Uncategorized

Happy St Patrick’s Day 2020! Green in Quarantine

March 17th, 2020 No comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links to previous St Patrick’s Day posts.

2019
2018
2015
2013
2012
2011

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

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

Categories: Pics

Transformers Purchased in August 2018

March 11th, 2020 No comments

Only 3 figures were purchased in August of 2018.

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

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

  • NBK Scraper, eBay seller, $13.89

Blast Off

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

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

Here is a pic of him in the box.

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

Repugnus

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

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

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

Pic of Repugnus in the box below.

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

Scraper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in July 2018

March 3rd, 2020 No comments

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

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

  • Power of the Primes Blot, Walmart, $16.82

  • Power of the Primes Sinnertwin, Walmart, $16.82

  • Power of the Primes Cutthroat, Walmart, $16.82

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

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

  • Power of the Primes Outback, Target, $9.99

  • Power of the Primes Cindersaur, Target, $9.99

  • Studio Series Jazz, Walmart, $19.87

  • Studio Series Lockdown, Walmart, $19.87

  • Cyber Battalion Jetfire, Walgreens, $17.99

  • Cyber Battalion Sideswipe, Walgreens, $17.99

Blot, Sinnertwin, Cutthroat

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

Alchemist Prime and Alpha Trion

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

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

Outback

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

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

Cindersaur

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

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

Pics below.

Jazz

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

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

Lockdown

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

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

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

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

Jetfire and Sideswipe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics