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War For Cybertron Siege Storm Cloud and Visper Quick Review

June 14th, 2019 No comments

I have a treat for you all today! Recently, I acquired Storm Cloud and Visper, two Micromasters in one package from the War For Cybertron: Siege line. These two are modern updates to two G1 Micromaster characters from the Air Strike Patrol, of which I do have! I will be able to show them side by side.

Storm Cloud kept his name, but Whisper is now Visper. OK Hasbro you’re so creative. Let’s get on with the review.

Robot mode.

Storm Cloud, G1 and Siege.

G1 Whisper and Siege Visper.

As for the robot modes, there is no comparison here. The new Siege Micromasters look way better than their G1 counterparts in robot mode. The G1 guys have no articulation other being able to raise their arms. The Siege guys actually has some decent articulation for toys of this size. Siege Storm Cloud can bend at the hips, knees, arms, and elbows. Visper has all that minus the elbow articulation. No head, waist, or feet articulation on either of the Siege guys.

Hasbro really did the G1 old schoolers a favor and modeled the new characters as faithfully as possible to the G1 characters of origin. Check out the body and head molds of Storm Cloud and Visper. The designs are almost carbon copies of how they were in G1. Smashing.

Storm Cloud and Visper are both solid figures. I detect no weaknesses in the constitution of either fig. Visper can be a tad back heavy if you choose to pose him with knees bent.

And looking at the pics just now, I see that Storm Cloud and Visper (Whisper) are inverted in their color schemes. Storm Cloud has a black body with purple limbs, while Visper (Whisper) has a purple body with black limbs. I never realized this in G1.

Transformation to jet mode is obviously going to be on the simple side here. But the transformation paradigm does differ from G1, and Storm Cloud and Visper do not transform in the same way. Both figs feature a cockpit shift and extend out mechanism from the back, like G1 Aerialbot limb figures. Visper tucks the legs under the front cockpit, while Storm Cloud does the splits and rotate the legs under the wings. Arms stay tucked on the sides for Visper. Storm Cloud has the arms rotated behind while the elbows bend up. Wings fold out from the back for both figs.

Storm Cloud jet mode, G1 and Siege.

G1 Whisper and Siege Visper, jet mode.

For the jet modes, I’m gonna give the edge to the new kids as well. Siege Storm Cloud and Visper look sleeker in their jet modes when compared to their G1 counterparts. But the G1 guys have their charms too in jet mode. In jet mode I find the Siege guys to only be slightly superior, unlike the robot mode where Siege killed it by a wide margin.

Both Siege Storm Cloud and Visper come together well in jet mode. Everything tabs into place where it should to form a cohesive unit. Tabbing everything in perfectly is a bit tougher on Storm Cloud, because the legs need to tab onto the arms and wings, and they’re all moving parts. It’s a tad difficult, but nowhere near impossible.

Siege Micromasters feature this gimmick where the two Micromasters can come together and form weapons for other robots in the Siege line sized deluxe or bigger. So in a way, Siege Micromasters are also kind of like Targetmasters. It’s kind of a lame gimmick if you ask me, but whatever. For Visper and Storm Cloud, the instructions just show you to connect the two once you got each properly transformed. But it’s missing one very important detail: there is a peg on the rear of Visper in jet mode that needs to be rotated out. I didn’t know this, and spent several minutes looking at how these two are supposed to connect. A pic of the peg is below.

The combined jet looks pretty cool. Much better than the PotP Dreadwing combination.

This is supposed to be a weapon. I’m gonna guess this is more like a sword. Here I have Titans Return Blitzwing holding it.

Overall, I like Siege Storm Cloud and Visper. Some will say the original G1s are better, but don’t believe it. At least not for these 2. I have some other Siege Micromasters that are disappointing, but Storm Cloud and Visper are worth your money. Get them.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Masterpiece Optimus Prime and Autobots, Team 4

May 7th, 2019 No comments

MP Optimus returns with a different team of MP Autobots to give the Decepticons some serious beat down.

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

With the exception of Optimus Prime, all other MP figs were acquired in the last two years. Not only that, half these figs are 3rd party. Just goes to show how far the 3Ps have come.

The only one that I will not wholeheartedly recommend here is Artifex (Hoist). He’s a good display piece in both robot and alt modes, but during transformation the figure is somewhat flimsy. I intend to get a different representation of MP Hoist at some point.

I transformed Optimus a bunch of times. Downbeat I transformed several times. Sunstreaker, Grapple, Toro, and Artifex I have only transformed once, from alt mode to robot mode. I need to give these figs more love.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

Warbotron Double Strike Quick Review

April 25th, 2019 No comments

I recently acquired Double Strike. This is Warbotron’s MP interpretation of Technobot Strafe. Since I did a review on Turbo Ejector (Afterburner), I’m gonna do a review on Double Strike as well.

I got Double Strike at a sale price of $51.99 (MSRP is $95.99). That’s almost half off! Since I was so impressed with Turbo Ejector, I had to get Double Strike to check it out for myself. Is he as good as Turbo Ejector? Let’s find out.

We will start with the box.

Double Strike is packed in the same kind of box as Turbo Ejector. And that’s a good thing, because these boxes are so high quality. They are composed of hard cardboard, and there’s a tab on the side for easy pull out. I didn’t include the outer box wrap in the pic above, but Double Strike has one too.

Box flap opens to reveal another good artwork.

In the packaging.

Double Strike is about the same height as Turbo Ejector. That makes sense as they both form the arms. I think Double Strike weighs a bit less than Turbo Ejector, but not my much. The figure is solid, with a nice hefty feel for a toy of this size.

Pic of lower back and legs. Notice how well the wings compact onto the back of the legs.

Ready for battle.

Another action pose.

Close up of the face. Decent sculpt with awesome light-piping.

Watch me balance on 1 leg!

Just like Turbo Ejector, Double Strike is well built. All joints are nice and tight, and some are clicky too. I detect no tolerance issues. All weapons fit where they are supposed to without it being too loose or too tight.

Transformation to jet mode is super straight forward. Just like Turbo Ejector, Double Strike follows the same overall scheme of his G1 predecessor. If you read the instructions, it will seem like the transformation is more complicated than it really is. I suggest just going straight in without looking at the instructions. Anyone familiar with Transformers in general shouldn’t have any problems.

The arms go up and over the back, and sits on top of the jet alt mode, instead of on the sides like G1. Waist rotation is required. Snap legs together and push in toward the waist. Unfold the wings. There is a back assembly with missile that stretched down and pegs in. Attach twin guns at front of the shoulder. That’s about it.

Pics of the jet mode below. It looks good and resembles G1 Strafe quite well. No TransFan will mistake this jet for anyone else.

View from the side.

View directly from the front.

View directly from the back.

Bottom view.

Rear landing gears don’t retract. The front landing gears can be rotated up, but they are still visible from the side. In the pic above, I got one front landing rotated up, and one left out.

An alternate wing configuration is in the pic below. This is actually the official Warbotron configuration. But I prefer a more G1 look, so in all other pics I had the wings configured more like G1.

The missile launcher on top of the jet deserves its 15 minutes. This thing shoots far! Be careful when firing. You’ll shoot your eye out, or worse yet, lose the missile.

Overall, I recommend Double Strike. I don’t think he’s as good as Turbo Ejector, but he’s still another solid addition to the Warbotron Technobot team.

Will I get the rest of the team? Only time will tell. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Purchased in March 2018

April 11th, 2019 No comments

March of 2018 continues with a random assortment of Transformers. And for the first time in a long time, there are two purchases for the same character! I’m not sure if the last time this happened was February of 2016, when I got two Onslaughts. You can try to guess the lucky Transformer that this happened to, or just scroll down to see who it is.

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

  • Power of the Primes Elita-1, Walmart, $24.97

  • Studio Series Thundercracker, Toys R Us, $29.99

  • Power of the Primes Sludge, Target, $16.99

  • Mech Fans Toys Slurdge, eBay, $20.99

  • Kubianbao MCS-01 KBBMP10-V, eBay, $42.99

Rippersnapper

I went into Rippersnapper and the rest of his Terrorcon cohorts back in this post. But to quickly summarize, all the Terrorcons are pretty good. Terrorcons are the ultimate version of combining figures that started in Combiner Wars and then evolved to peak form in Power of the Primes. Rippersnapper is a required purchase if you collect the combiner teams.

Elita-1

It’s good to see that Hasbro is continuing the trend of properly releasing fembots in the CHUG-verse. What I mean is that these are new molds introduced in CHUG, made specifically for the character they represent, and not repaints of other TF lines. It started with Generations Thrilling 30 Arcee and Chromia, in late 2014 / early 2015.

Elita-1 in PotP is the next fembot to continue this treatment. We got this mold for Starscream, back in December of 2017. It’s debatable if this should be classified as a prepaint. Starscream is the more famous character, but this mold was always meant to Elita-1. Using it first for Starscream was another quick cash grab on Hasbro’s part.

As for the toy itself, I think it’s just ok. None of the three modes are all that good, if you ask me. The jet mode is too bulky. The robot mode has too much kibble. And the combined body mode doesn’t serve the purpose well, when compared with superior body combining figs like Hun-Gurrr or Silverbolt. Transformation between jet mode and robot mode is so simple it’s not even worth describing. Making Elita-1 the body of a combiner seems entirely unnecessary. A superior figure could have been made if the mechanics needed to combine were left out. I suppose the only real reason to get this fig is to have a proper CHUG version of Elita-1. She is a character that only true G1 fans would know about. If you know nothing of the character, then it’s best to leave this figure on the store shelf.

I will point out that this figure has a terrific head mold, which may be its one redeeming feature as a toy. Check out the pic below. This head design is derived directly from the G1 animation. That’s right G1 fans. Hasbro loves you.

Thundercracker

Studio Series Thundercracker is another Hasbro cash grab. I was under the impression that Studio Series were all new movie molds, but that’s simply not the case. This Thundercracker is a repaint of Nitro from The Last Knight. As good as that figure is, I don’t think this repaint is all that relevant. I don’t remember Thundercracker making an appearance anywhere in in the movie-verse.

Still, I got this fig because he is a Toys R Us exclusive. And because I knew this was gonna be the last thing I buy from Toys R Us. If you don’t have Nitro, or if you dig that figure in these blue and grey colors, then go ahead and buy Thundercracker. Otherwise, this purchase is not recommended. I still have not opened Thundercracker to this day. I’ll probably re-sell him someday.

Sludge

Continuing with Dinobots in Power of the Primes, Sludge makes his appearance this month. He is a solid edition to the team. Both modes look good. Transformation is a bit on the simple side, but it’s different enough from the usual way Sludge transforms to make this figure refreshing. PotP Sludge is a great toy to just pick up and play.

Transformation from robot to dino deserves some explaining. There are some key variations from the usual G1 Sludge transformation scheme. Flip up the dino head and neck from the back, but a rotation of the neck is necessary. Close the wings like normal, but the wings form a full closure, and the contact point is where the dino back is. The waist needs to rotate 180, then fold the robot legs. Forearms need to rotate 180 so the fists face the other side. Those are the key differences. If you followed all that, you will see that the back of the dino is where the robot chest is housed. All other transformation mechanics are there to account for that difference. It sounds complicated when I describe it, but it’s really not. Like I said, PotP Sludge is simple for anyone to transform, and that goes double for any TransFan who’s been around since G1.

If you got the other PotP Dinos, then you will get this regardless of what I say. And if you don’t, get Sludge anyway.

Slurdge

From Sludge we go to Slurdge. That’s not a mis-spelling. Slurdge by Mech Fans Toys is 4th party, which means it’s a KO of a 3rd party product. I know next to nothing about Mech Fans Toys. Even their name sounds like a ripoff of Fans Toys.

MFT may think that they can add “r” in there and no one is the wiser, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this is Sludge. And Yes, Sludge the character get the proud distinction of being represented by 2 different figures in the same month. I believe MFT Slurdge is a KO of a DX9 product. Though MFT did give it way better paint. Look at all the bling on Slurdge in the pics below.

The only other MFT product I have is Grmlock. Be prepared for a good workout, because both MFT products will test your hands when transforming. There are some moving pieces on these figures you will have to pry open. Both high strength and high dexterity are required.

Transformation scheme of Slurdge is also unique. It deviates from the standard G1 scheme, even more so than PotP Sludge. What folds up from the robot back to cover the robot head is the dino tail, instead of the dino neck and head. The robot arms become the hind dino legs. The robot chest needs to flip down, then rotate and fold downwards toward the robot legs. The dino front legs and neck and head are all folded inside the robot legs, and they need to come out. Stretch out the robot waist then fold the robot legs unto itself. This is most definitely an original implementation of how Sludge transforms. And the dino mode looks so good. See below for yourself.

Playing with the figure can be a chore. In addition to the tight joints, some bits and pieces need to be angled perfectly to have enough clearance to get to where it needs to be.

Slurdge comes with a black gun (pictured above) and a clear red sword (not pictured).

All in all, I like this MFT figure. Yeah it’s a KO of something else, but they did add nice paint to their offering. At a price point of being in the low 20s, it doesn’t break the bank. Dinobot fans should check this out.

On a related note, most of the modern Sludge figures made have original transformation schemes from G1. The only Sludge that follows the G1 scheme is Fans Toys Stomp. Mech Fans Toys Slurdge, ToyWorld Muddy, and Power of the Prime Sludge described above all implemented a new unique scheme.

So who wore it better? PotP Sludge or MFT Slurdge? I’ll be doing a in-depth analysis of these 2 in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.

KBBMP10-V

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Kubianbao (KBB), they are another KO company. As far as I know, none of their products are original creations. They tend to make KO figures out of official HasTak products. Now that’s not to say what they produce is bad. In fact, many TransFans have stated their figures are superior to what HasTak churns out. A prime example of this is their version of official MP Seekers. HasTak has used that mold so many times now that the later production runs are plagued with build and construction issues. KBB, being KO and all, does not have such problems.

KBBMP10-V is Kubianbao’s KO take on the MP-10 Optimus Prime. However, this figure is now downsized to Voyager scale. KBB didn’t even give this a name, they just called it KBBMP10-V. So let’s break apart this designation: it’s from KBB, a KO of MP10, at Voyager scale. KBBMP10-V. Very apt.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “KO is crap!” Well, let me state this now with no uncertainty: MBBMP10-V SCREAMS QUALITY!!! Everything from the packaging to the figure to the accessories, MBBMP10-V is produced so well that HasTak should be ashamed of themselves for not being up to par. Let’s start by looking at the box.

The box is made of high quality hard cardboard, not unlike the kind used for Warbotron Turbo Ejector. Are you seeing this Hasbro? KO products are doing it better than you.

Paint and finish of the figure is top-notch. Below are some pics of the truck mode.

Transformation of the figure is just like MP-10, so I won’t go into it too much. Below is a pic of the robot mode with a nice rub-on decal on his left shoulder (duplicated from this post).

Look at all these accessories!

  • 3 extra heads: 2 are a different style of Optimus, and 1 is Orion Pax
  • energon axe with energy ball attachment
  • standard Optimus rifle, folds and stores onto the back like the official MP-10
  • Megatron in alt mode with shoulder stock attachment
  • jetpack (only used once in the cartoon, but it’s become an OP accessory staple)
  • sword (used by OP in the movies)
  • Matrix of Leadership; not pictured, can be placed inside KBBMP10-V

I highly recommend KBBMP10-V. Essentially, it’s MP-10 scaled down to voyager size. So if you need a G1 accurate OP to go along with your CHUG figs, this is the toy to get. It may be KO, but it’s so well done. And at only around $40, you’re getting a quality figure in a quality box with tons of accessories.

That’s it for this knock off heavy month. Will I ever buy more KOs in a single month than legit and 3P products? Only time will tell.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in February 2018

March 22nd, 2019 No comments

February 2018 is another month where the repaints outnumber the new molds, much like May of 2017. I suppose it’s my own fault for willingly buying figures that I know are retreads and retools, but Hasbro and Takara keeps inventing new ways to sucker me in. Woe is me.

  • Titans Return Slugslinger, Amazon seller, $22.99

  • Legends Blurr (LG25), bbts.com, $39.99

  • Power of the Primes Hun-Gurrr, Target, $24.99

  • Titans Return Overlord, Amazon seller, $36.00

  • Fans Toys Sovereign, bbts.com, $154.99

Slugslinger

To be fair, Slugslinger is a good retool of the Triggerhappy and Misfire mold. Read those posts and see that I gushed on and on about how cool these figs are. Slugslinger reworks both of these molds by adding new molds for the head, jet nose cones, and wings. In the end, he does feel like a new figure, and so the purchase is more justified. G1-ers will know that this trio makes the original 3 Decepticon Targetmasters from Season 4. For me, that’s reason enough to buy Slugslinger to complete the set.

Slugslinger is hard to find. Not sure if this is due to Hasbro’s weird distribution patterns or him being a possible store exclusive. Whatever the reason, I resorted to buying Slugslinger from an independent seller on Amazon. At a slight markup of $22.99, I bought with haste. And that was smart, because I have not seen this figure anywhere in store before or after the purchase. Prices on Amazon hovered around my purchase price for a while. But as of this writing, it costs about $40 to get Slugslinger. Glad I got in when I did.

Oh yeah, I also have Metalhawk. So Slugslinger is my 4th figure of this mold. Damn you Hasbro.

Blurr

And speaking of being the 4th figure of a mold, Legends Blurr is also my 4th figure of its mold (after Titans Return Blurr, Walgreens exclusive Brainstorm, and Toys R Us exclusive Arcee). The colors for the American Titans Return Blurr just don’t do it for me. It’s not even remotely close to his G1 colors. I usually don’t buy a Japanese release purely for the colors, but in this case I had to make an exception.

Figure wise, Legends Blurr is just like his American counterpart. Read my post on TR Blurr for my thoughts on this fig.

Hun-Gurrr

Hun-Gurrr is yet another retool. I don’t even know how many figs of this mold I have now. Off the top of my head, there’s Silverbolt, Cyclonus, and Scattershot. So Hun-Gurrr is at least the 4th fig of this scheme. Damn you Hasbro, double damn you.

However I should point out that Hun-Gurrr is an excellent rework off this mold. I did a review of all the PotP Terrorcons, read it for my detailed thoughts. But to summarize, Hun-Gurrr is great in all 3 modes, and super stable as the body of Abominus. Totally worth the repeat purchase.

Overlord

Overlord is yet another retread, but at least I know for sure I only have one other fig of this mold. That would be Sky Shadow. Read that review for my full thoughts on this fig. Sky Shadow is a “prepaint” to Overlord.

To be fair, this mold was always meant for Overlord, because of the separating mechanism. And there are quite a bit of mold differences between Overlord and Sky Shadow. But is buying both figs justified? I would say no, since neither characters are all that famous. If you want to buy one of these for the character, then get Overlord, as he does make some impact in the comics. But I personally like the look and colors of this fig better on Sky Shadow. So it’s your call.

Overlord is another figure where I bought from an independent Amazon seller this month. Much like Slugslinger, I never saw Overlord in store. But unlike Slugslinger, price for Overlord keeps going down! I thought I got a good deal at $36, but as of this writing you can get one on Amazon for $28! TF prices are like stocks, I swear. They go up, down, sideways, and no TF insider or outsider has any freakin’ clue how it’s gonna go.

Sovereign

Finally we have a completely new figure this month, and it comes from every TF fanboy’s favorite 3P company, Fans Toys! Ladies and gents I give you: Sovereign!

Sovereign comes packed in robot mode. G1-ers will undoubtedly recognize him as Galvatron, the Decepticon leader re-formatted from Megatron by Unicron in the G1 Movie. And let me say this with no uncertainty: this is the ultimate MP interpretation of Galvatron that any company has made to date. Titans Return Galvatron is a pretty good figure for CHUG scale, and Sovereign is an even better figure for MP scale. Below is a pic I took of Sovereign when I got some nice rub-on faction decals, but it’s worth re-posting here since he looks so awesome.

Now is that Galvatron or is that Galvatron? Look at that robot mode. Fan Toys always study an animation model down to it’s tiniest detail and produce a figure that is faithful to that appearance. The G1 toy looked nothing like it’s animation counterpart. And it’s anyone’s guess if HasTak will officially bring out a MP Galvatron. If you need a MP scale Galvatron in your collection, look no further than Sovereign.

Transformation to alt mode is on the complicated side. I only did it one time, and I used the instructions. I did not need it on the reverse transformation back to robot, because I did that not too long after the first transformation to cannon. However, if I am to transform Sovereign again to alt mode, I’m not sure if I can do it from memory. There are some tricky details to the overall scheme that is both ingenious and challenging. But it is so satisfying. Check out pics of the cannon mode below if you’re not convinced.

Sovereign is such a well built figure too. There are no loose bits in either mode. All joints are nice, tight, and clicky, the way I like them. I don’t detect any build issues on my copy. My Sovereign comes from the 2nd run, so whatever issues they had with the figure were ironed out in this run.

I don’t remember much about the accessories as I write this, but Sovereign does come with a solid orange cannon (as opposed to the clear orange one as shown in all my pics). Neither one has any LED lights, unfortunately. Also included is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership with gangster chain attached. He can wear it around his neck with the Matrix on his chest, just like in the movie. That Galvatron, he’s so bling.

Below is a pic of Sovereign with some other figures (KBB MP-10V Optimus Prime, PotP Rippersnapper, MakeToys Contactshot), so you can see how they scale.

There are other MP scale Galvatrons out there now, but Sovereign is still the best, IMO.

Do yourself a favor and incorporate Sovereign into your collection if you haven’t already. You know you want to.

That’s it for this repaint-heavy month. Lots more to come. Transform and roll out.
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Happy St Patrick’s Day 2019! Mean and Green Transformers

March 17th, 2019 No comments

It is that time of year again! St Patrick’s day is upon us, and that means another feature of my green Transformers.

As a rule, I always use green TFs that I have not used in a previous St Patrick’s Day post. Every TF needs their 15 minutes. I actually found quite a few TFs to feature this year.

Back row standing, left to right:

Front row in alt mode, left to right”

  • War For Cybertron Siege Hound – excellent Hound figure from the Siege line
  • Combiner Wars Hound – not the best Hound, but ok
  • Studio Series World War II Bumblebee – interesting fig, but not that good
  • Titans Return Brawn – great modern update of Brawn
  • Titans Return Skullsmasher – modern update of Skullcruncher, ok fig with some construction issues
  • Robots in Disguise Grimlock – this is the voyager fig that I first saw in Shanghai; I bought later from Entertainment Earth, and quite frankly, he sucks; glad I did not pay high prices in Shanghai to get this

Unlike many previous years, March Madness has not started before this year’s St Patrick’s Day. In fact, the Selection Committee will release the bracket sometime today. UCLA will not be selected this year. Woe is me.

Here are links to previous St Patrick’s Day posts:

2018
2015
2013
2012
2011

Have a safe and happy St Patrick’s Day everyone. And let March Madness begin! Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics

FansProject Smart Robin Quick Review

February 26th, 2019 No comments

Once in a while, I dig out older figures from their hiding places (read: stored in a closet or garage). I was looking for another figure, when I found FansProject Smart Robin in the same storage box. This figure was purchased back in April of 2014. I played with Smart Robin for a bit before he got stored. He hasn’t seen light since then.

Smart Robin is a 3P homage to Brainstorm, arguably the most famous Headmaster there is. Since it’s release, Hasbro has put out two official Brainstorm figures. One of them was a Walgreens exclusive. I bought Smart Robin before either of those. And yes, I would buy Smart Robin today, even if you already have any of the official figures.

As usual I will start with the mode that it comes packaged in.

Classic A stance.

Back view with and without weapon attachment. Very little back kibble.

Side view.

Smart robin is a well built figure with nice articulation. He can hold some good poses. He comes with twin guns, like he did in G1.

Close up of the face. I like the face mold, but it appears to be modeled more after the G1 toy. There’s a bit of paint smudge near both eyes. Other than that, paint job is nice. Obviously this will detach and transform into a Headmaster figure.

There is no working tech-spec that appears on the chest like G1 Brainstorm. Oh well. That was kinda gimmicky anyway.

With some other modern Brainstorm figures: Generations 30 voyager on the left, Titans Return deluxe (Walgreens exclusive) on the left. Smart Robin is just a bit taller than deluxe size. I think this is a good size to scale with MP class figures.

Transformation to jet mode is some of the most innovative that I have seen in quite a while. Two mechanisms are noteworthy. The first is that the wings are entirely compacted into the legs, and they fold out for jet mode. The other is that the body collapses onto itself from the sides, kind of like an accordion. To go to jet mode, this part is stretched out. It sounds hokey when I describe it in words, but trust me it’s cool. The jet looks a bit different from how Brainstorm looked in G1. But I like this update. The G1 jet shape is too bulky for today’s standards and I applaud FansProject to give him a more sleek look.

Jet mode at a different angle.

Rear view of the jet.

Directly from the front.

Cockpit opens and the Headmaster can sit inside.

Bottom view.

Retractable front landing gear.

Rear landing gear, one retracted and out left out.

With other Brainstorms in jet mode.

All in all, Smart Robin is a solid tribute to Brainstorm. He’s fun to play with and transform. He’s well built. Articulation is great in robot mode, and cohesively tight in alt mode. Scale wise, I would say he’s more MP. Yeah some fans may say this is more CHUG, but I disagree. In robot mode, he’s about the same height as MP Sideswipe or MP Wheeljack, and that’s how tall I imagine Brainstorm to be. Some of the other 3P Headmasters produced (such as MakeToys Hardhead) are way too big, even for MP. Here is a pic from an old post, where I have Smart Robin next to MP Bluestreak and MP G2 Sideswipe. Determine for yourself.

You would be smart to purchase Smart Robin. Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Purchased in January 2018

February 12th, 2019 No comments

2018 is starting off with a bang. Power of the Primes is in full swing. Some nice 3P products and one Masterpiece figure adds to this month’s collection to start the new year right.

  • Power of the Primes Micronus, Target, $4.99
  • Power of the Primes Liege Maximo, Target, $4.99
  • Power of the Primes Vector Prime, Target, $4.99

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

  • Power of the Primes Slug, Walmart, $16.82

  • Power of the Primes Swoop, Walmart, $16.82

  • Titans Return Arcee, toysrus.com, $24.99
  • Titans Return Grotusque, toysrus.com, $24.99

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

  • Power of the Primes Evolution Rodimus Prime, Target, $44.99

  • Masterpiece Sunstreaker, amiami.com, ¥9959 (about $91.48)

  • Dr. Wu Blue Skybreaker Sword, tfsource.com, $17.99

  • DX9 Gewalt, tfsource.com, $139.99

Micronus, Liege Maximo, Vector Prime

I like the Prime Masters. For those that don’t know, Prime Masters are the master class figures that came released as part of the Power of the Primes line. The master figures can go inside an exo-suit, and the exo-suit transforms into a weapon. G1-ers can think of them as a Targetmaster and Pretender rolled into one.

In my opinion, the Prime Masters are countless times superior to Titan Masters. Titan Masters are the modern day equivalent of Headmasters, but the accessory that comes with them are so lame. With Prime Masters, Hasbro actually made Pretenders cool. Didn’t think I would live to see this day.

The 3 Prime Masters below are Micronus, Liege Maximo, Vector Prime. Though G1-ers will instantly recognize they are using the Pretender shells of Cloudburst, Skullgrin, and Metalhawk. Good to see that Hasbro did not forget their G1 roots. As a sidebar, I still have my Couldburst and Skullgrin from G1, in pretty good shape too.

In the pic below, the Prime Masters are inside the outer shell.

All transformed to weapons, shown in the pic below. Notice the Prime Master of each figure is transformed into a block attached on top of the weapon. You could do this or just leave them inside in weapon mode.

Overall, I highly recommend the Prime Masters. They are fun to play with and their weapon modes serve a real purpose.

Grimlock, Slug, Swoop

Power of the Primes finally gives us some G1-worthy updates of the Dinobots. And I don’t just mean Grimlock. PotP is doing the whole team. Purchased this month are Grimlock, Slug (Slag), and Swoop. Below I have them in their dino modes.

As a whole, these Dinobots are not too shabby. They are true G1 derivatives, updated for this modern era. However, in my last post, I did mention that this PotP Grimlock pales in comparison to the many 3P offerings that are available today. If you have bought any of them, you will find that these PotP Dinobots simply don’t compare in quality or aesthetics. But on the other hand, you can’t get better G1-esque Dinobots for the price. Grimlock is only about $25, the rest about $17. Hasbro is offering a way to get decent upgrades of G1 Dinobot characters without breaking the bank.

The pic above shows off Grimlock, Slug (Slag), and Swoop. They each look solid in their dino mode, and in robot mode (not pictured) they look just as good too. Transformation of each of these is on the simple side, with obvious transformation schemes for anyone familiar with G1 and CHUG. When complete, the 5 figures will combine. I kinda wish they didn’t do this, as implementing the combination mechanics means putting restrictions on other aspects of the figure, such as the dino modes, robot modes, and sizes of the figures. Grimlock at voyager size is fine, but I do with the other Dinobots are bigger than deluxe.

Overall, I recommend these. Sure they’re not as good as the 3P stuff out there, but Hasbro hasn’t done anything this G1 for the Dinobots in, like, never. Do them a solid and show that you appreciate this effort by buying them.

Arcee and Grotusque

Arcee and Grotusque are Toys R Us exclusives. This was the last online purchase I made from Toys R Us, before they went belly up. To this day I still have not opened these. It’s mostly because I love the packaging that they come in, that I don’t want to ruin it. And these are both repaints, so it’s not like I haven’t seen the mold. Arcee is a repaint of TR Brainstorm and TR Blurr. Grotusque is a repaint of Twinferno. I am more inclined to open Grotusque, to complete my Monsterbots (I will have Repugnus in a later month).

I will show off how they look in the cool packaging. Pics below.

Each of these figs come with two Titan Masters. Grotusque comes with Scorponok and Fengul, and Arcee comes with Ultra Magnus and Leinad. What kind of name is Leinad? It’s Daniel spelled backwards. Oh what will these crazy Hasbro writers think of next.

Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime

Toward the end of the month, I started my paternity leave. Having a baby changes your life. The wife sent me to Target for some baby stuff one Saturday night. I welcomed the opportunity as it allowed me to get out of the house. But more importantly, it gave me a chance to hunt for some TFs. I love my daughter, but anyone who’s had a baby will tell you that you need to do some stuff that reminds you of the person you were prior to the baby. For me, hunting for TFs satisfy that requirement. That, and writing in this blog.

But back to the topic at hand. On this trip to Target, I found Evolution Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime. Both are leader class figs, and both have the “Evolution” tag written above their names. This is because both figs include a smaller fig that represents their persona before taking on the mantle of Autobot leadership: Orion Pax for Optimus, and Hot Rod for Rodimus.

Let’s look at Optimus first. He looks great in the box. At Target I was astonished how close he looks to MP-10 Optimus. After I opened the figure and had him side by side with MP-10 (and I should have taken a pic of this), I was amazed at how much Evolution OP resembles MP-10. The two are about the same size. In your hands, MP-10 weights quite a bit more than Evolution OP. But the details and the paint job of Evolution OP is on par with the MP figure. I’m especially impressed with the head mold of Evolution OP, it’s MP quality.

To transform, the smaller figure detaches from the rest through the back. This smaller figure transforms into the cab, while the rest of the body forms the trailer. Think of how G1 Ultra Magnus or Powermaster Optimus Prime does it. Picture below.

Obviously the cab can detached from the trailer. The cab can then transform into Orion Pax by itself. The whole things sounds gimmicky, but Evolution OP implements all this very well. A review is definitely in order and I plan to do one soon.

Rodimus Prime has all the similar features. It’s packed in robot mode just like Optimus. Rodimus is a bit more of a puzzle former, and he does remind of the FansProject Protector upgrade kit designed for Classics Rodimus. To transform, you first detach Hot Rod from the rest of the figure. Hot Rod will transform into the front cab, while the body forms the trailer. Pic below.

The front cab will come out as the Hot Rod race car. And this can transform into Hot Rod. All in all, I like this figure too. I recommend both the Evolution leader figures. They are not perfect, but they offer very good alternatives to buying MP versions of these characters at affordable prices. And for both of them, you get two characters in one package. Oh, and they both come with Matrix holders where you can plug Titan Masters into them.

Sunstreaker

MP Sunstreaker was pre-ordered months ago. During my paternity leave, it finally showed up on my doorstep (or maybe it was in the mailbox). He is packaged in car mode like all the other MP cars. And you would expect this to scale well with all other MP cars, especially Sideswipe.

I looked through all my pics, and I guess I didn’t take any of Sunstreaker by himself in alt mode. I can only find pics of him and Sideswipe, so here they are. Notice how well they scale together.

I cannot be happier with the alt mode of Sunstreaker. The Lamborghini alt mode is just as good as Sideswipe’s, and the scale is so on par. He is in his trademark yellow, and his iconic rear mounted engines is proof of having a “Super Tuning” Lamborghini alt mode.

MP Sunstreaker is VERY VERY IMPRESSIVE from an engineering perspective. The transformation is something to behold. And yes, he is difficult. I used instructions because I’m always worried that I’ll break something for such a complicated piece, but it is possible to do it without them if you’re looking for a challenge. I only transformed him once, from car to robot. So I don’t remember it too well now as I write this. But I do remember there were a lot of steps, and I that the backpack transforming sequence is simultaneously awe-inspiring and demanding. Sunstreaker is definitely not a figure that you actively play often to transform it over and over. But when you are finally done, it is so rewarding. Check out the awesome looking robot mode.

Sunstreaker is well built. All joints are nice and tight. In robot mode he scales well with other MP Autobot cars. He can be put into some nice action poses.

Great face sculpt worthy of the handsome Autobot.

Below are shots of the backpack. A lot goes on to get the backpack in this configuration, and this is a testament to the engineering brilliance of this figure. Those that like to nit-pick could argue there’s a bit of junk here, the backpack is quite thick when viewed from the side. But when you consider how much of the alt mode is folded into this, I can easily overlook this minor distraction. The rest of Sunstreaker is completely kibble-free.

Sunstreaker can store his pistol on the back. He also comes with a Chip Chase figure. MP Sunstreaker is not too playable because of the high difficulty, but as a collector piece he gets my highest possible recommendation.

Blue Skybreaker Sword

I got the Blue Skybreaker Sword to push my order over $150 to get free shipping (the order was this and Gewalt, below). I chose this accessory because I still need a sword to go with my TF Prime Beast Hunter Optimus Prime. The stock sword is broken, and the handle is stuck in his right fist. The story of that incident is documented here. As soon as I can get that handle out, I will consider this figure repaired and using this better sword. See the pic above in all its shiny blue glory. I can’t wait for OP to try this sword in his robot mode.

Gewalt

Last but certainly not least, we have Gewalt, DX9’s homage to Blitzwing. And I’ll get straight to it: Gewalt is awesome! As of this writing, there has been some attempts at a MP Blitzwing by various 3Ps. DX9 Gewalt is by far the best, and the preferred MP Blitzwing by most hard core fans. Fans Toys does have their offering coming up, but that’s been on pre-order for more than 2 years now and to this day still no real pics other than computer renders. FT usually has me impressed, but I got sick of waiting for them. Gewalt is so thoroughly spectacular that FT needs to come up big for me to consider their interpretation of Blitzwing.

Gewalt is German for violence, if any of you are wondering. He comes packed in tank mode, and for good reason. The tank mode is the most compact mode, and thus easy to fit into the box. The tank mode is good, and I should have took a pic. However, I would consider the tank mode the weakest of the 3 modes. Gewalt really shines in his 2 other modes. Consider the jet mode below.

Now that is Blitzwing! This is the MiG-25 that he was meant to be. Yes I know some G1 purists will bash it for not having the thick tank-kibble wings that he had in G1, but c’mon. The wings in that shape was nasty and in no way reflect how a MiG-25 looks. They only looked like that because of the toy limitations in the 80s. Gewalt’s jet mode is a vast improvement and updates this alt mode to modern MP standards.

The colors in this mode are unmistakably Blitzwing. I have a pic above showing off Gewalt in jet mode next to ToyWorld Requiem (or Elegy, as he is sometimes called). Gewalt is a big figure, but scales nicely with other MPs.

Now for his robot mode. Check it out:

Now if that’s not Blitzwing, than I don’t know what is. The way he looks, it’s like he stepped straight out of the G1 Movie. Blitzwing got a decent amount of screen time in the movie, up til the fracas inside Astrotrain after the injured Decepticons were jettisoned.

Articulation for Gewalt is pretty good. And the figure is so well built that he can hold all those poses. Gewalt’s transformation does test your abilities as a TransFan. I won’t say it’s difficult, like say Sunstreaker, but it’s certainly not easy. I only transformed it once from tank to jet, then again from jet to robot. I’m not sure I will be able to go back without looking at the instructions. But that’s a challenge for another day.

For accessories, he comes with his rifle, his sword, the tank cannon (which can be removed), an extra screaming face, and some extra waist parts (I’m not entirely sure that they’re waist parts, and I don’t know if they go on Gewalt or some other DX9 figure).

Here I have a pic of Gewalt with a fabulous rub-on faction decal.

That’s all the items for the month. Again, 2018 started with a bang, with so many figures. And they’re all quality products too. The only two pieces here that I would possibly not recommend is Arcee and Grotusque, and I only say that because they’re repaints. I recommend everything else. It’s a good time to be a TransFan.

Transform and Roll Out!

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

More of my Grimlock Collection

January 30th, 2019 No comments

Nearly six years ago, I made posts showing off my Grimlock Collection (alt mode and robot mode). I have acquired more Grimlock figures since then, especially in the past year. It’s high time for an update.

For this update I’m only including new G1 and direct derivatives of the character. That means no Grimlocks from the Movie-verse or Robots in Disguise.

These are the 3 Grimlocks I’m feature here:

  • Fans Toys Grinder – This is a 3rd party MP Grimlock by FT. It’s the large one in the group.
  • Mech Fans Toys Grmlock – A 4th party product, by MFT. This is the figure with the really silver paint job.
  • Power of the Primes Grimlock – The only official Grimlock here. It’s the only one in the group with an Autobot symbol.

Dino Mode

Standard dino pose.

Me Grimlock king.

Doing their best Jurassic World impersonation, looking fearsome from the front.

Robot Mode

Grimlocks standing at attention.

Similar shot, different angle.

“Quick guys, look cool! Get into our synchronized action pose.”

Some quick thoughts about each of these Grimlocks:

Grinder: This is a terrific figure. Possibly the best Grimlock ever made. He is larger than MP-8, the official MP Grimlock. And so he scales better with the rest of the Fans Toys Dinos and the rest of the MP Autobots. MP-8 is simply too small by today’s MP scale (in robot mode MP-8 is about the same height as MP-10 Optimus), and Grinder addresses that problem more than adequately. FT made many mechanical improvements over MP-8. The transformation sequence seems much more intuitive. The figure looks good in both modes. Grinder is super solid, no construction issues whatsoever with clicky joints all over the place. My only gripe is that, in T-rex mode, from some angles he looks too much like Barney. I think it’s the dino head mold. Good thing FT does offer an alternate dino head for Grinder (sold separately). I will get it and hopefully that will make this the perfect Grimlock figure.

Grmlock: I touched on this figure back in this post. This figure is 4th party (read: knock offs of 3rd party products). I’m not sure which 3rd party figure they copied, but Grmlock is quite good. I love that silver paint. His transformation scheme is a bit different from the standard Grimlock paradigm that every TransFan is familiar with by now, but that’s not a bad thing. Grmlock hides the T-rex head into the robot chest as opposed to letting it hang on the back, and the way it’s done is actually pretty cool. This figure is super tight in all its joints – almost too tight. Your hands will hurt when transforming this guy. As for Mech Fans Toys, I have no idea who they are. Even this company’s name is a ripoff of Fans Toys (as far as I know FT and MFT are not related whatsoever).

PotP Grimlock: The only official product here, PotP Grimlock kinda pales in quality next to the other 2. He’s decent for a mass produced retail toy. And I’m glad that Hasbro is finally putting out a CHUG Grimlock in voyager scale that G1-ers would consider true enough to the original. But next to the other 2 here, PotP Grimlock very much indeed feels like a toy, while the other 2 are more collector items. I like the robot mode, but some may complain that the arms are too long. And in T-rex mode he appears a bit off, like his tail is too long. Part of the problem is that he is made to combine with the other PotP dinos in which he forms the body. This requirement puts a limitation on what the robot mode and alt mode could look like. Still, I like PotP Grimlock overall. He’s worth buying if you find one.

Go Grimlocks! Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics

Transformers Purchased in December 2017

December 26th, 2018 No comments

We are finally at the end of 2017. Long time coming, but better late than never.

Unlike last month, this month is all official Hasbro products. This month also sees the introduction of the new Hasbro Generations line: Power of the Primes!

  • Power of the Primes Jazz, amazon.com, $15.00

  • Power of the Primes Dreadwind, amazon.com, $15.00

  • Power of the Primes Windcharger, Walmart, $9.84

  • Power of the Primes Slash, Walmart, $9.84

  • Power of the Primes Beachcomber, amazon.com, $12.00

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

  • Titans Return Cosmos, Target, $5.14

  • Titans Return Shuffler, Target, $2.48

Power of the Primes is the 3rd arc in the Prime Wars Trilogy, the first 2 being Combiner Wars and Titans Return. This is the current line in the universe of what fans label CHUG (Classics, Henkei, Universe, Generations). I sort of went into the timeline history of Power of the Primes back in this post for the Terrorcons. Anyway, the first Power of the Primes figures appeared this month. I also first previewed Power of the Primes figures back in this post. Now that I have them, how does each of them fare? Here are my grades:

Recommended:

  • Beachcomber – Nice homage to G1 Beachcomber. Fun transformation with good robot and alt modes. Solid construction and nice paint job.
  • Windcharger – This figure is better than Combiner Wars Windcharger. It’s more G1 accurate.
    I like this as much as Reveal the Shield Windcharger.
  • Slash – Good little Dino. Slash was not part of the original 5 G1 Dinobots, but I like that they took a Movie-verse character and made him in G1 style. Since he’s a raptor, a legend size figure makes sense. The toy is well built and has a fun transformation. Both modes are solid.

Not Recommended:

  • Jazz – PotP Jazz is disappointing. Decent robot and alt modes, but nothing spectacular here. Transformation is derivative and lackluster. The panels behind the fists in robot mode really bug me. Construction is poor with some loose joints in robot mode and some REALLY bad connections in combined mode. As a limb Jazz does not connect well to both CW body components and the fist/feet add-on piece.
  • Dreadwind – This is yet another re-work of old figures. He has some new mold bits, but nothing that hides the overall motif of the CW Aerialbot. He does combine with Blackwing (to be released later) in alt mode, but the combined super jet seems forced and tacked-on. As a limb, the connections are poor too.
  • Starscream – Weird body proportions in robot mode, and way too bulky in jet mode. Decent as a body component for a combiner. This mold is really meant for Elita-One (to be released later). Get that figure instead.

I did not open Cosmos and Shuffler. I bought these two only because they were half off. I have Generations Thrilling 30 Comsos, which is the exact same thing with minor paint app differences. See this post for in-depth comparison. I imagine Shuffler is not terribly different from the many Titan Masters out there. There was a G1 Shuffler, in Japan only and supposedly super rare. I know nothing about Shuffler the character.

Some group pics of the opened TFs this month.

This is the last of my purchase posts for 2017. Time to move onto 2018. Transform and Roll Out!
 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics