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Titans Return Sky Shadow Quick Review

April 22nd, 2018 No comments

Titans Return Sky Shadow was acquired about a year ago. I only have one other Sky Shadow, which is a repaint of Generations Thunderwing. TR Sky Shadow is also a repaint. Actually, he’s what I call a “prepaint”. I should officially coin this term before someone else does. What this means is that the mold used is meant for a more famous character, but HasTak is releasing a different character first using this new mold. This way, hardcore buyers would first get this character because the mold is new, and then buy it again when the more famous character is released later. I ranted about this so many times now I’m repeating myself, so I’ll stop. I hate the practice of prepainting, but I fall for it every time.

Sky Shadow is a prepaint of Overlord, who would be released towards the end of 2017. It’s super obvious once you see the alt mode. To be fair, Sky Shadow is not a bad figure. I have Overlord too, so I know they made enough mold differences between the two figures that buying Sky Shadow is a bit more justified. Sky Shadow reminds me of G1 figures from Season 4: he’s big and blocky, easy to transform, and full of gimmicks. Sky Shadow is a Headmaster, Triple-Changer, and Duocon, all rolled into one.

The figure is packed in bot mode. I like his overall colors of black and red, and the paint job is nice for a mass retail store proudct. As a leader class fig, his size is impressive. For such a blocky figure, his articulation is actually not half bad. He is a Headmaster, and Ominus (the Titan Master) is attached has the head in all the bot mode pics below. Other than the Titan Master, he comes with 2 accessories, a gun and a jet nosecone piece. In bot mode, the jet nosecone can function as a shield.

Sky Shadow has a base mode. In this mode, he can supposedly connect with other base figures in the Titans Return line, such as Fortress Maximus. I didn’t try this. Before doing this transformation, I thought this mode would be a half-assed fan mode. But then I tried it and it’s actually quite nice. The Titan Master is featured in the pic below. There are plenty of Titan Master ports on the surface of the base mode for other Titan Masters to stand on.

As a Triple-Changer, Sky Shadow has one more mode. Or maybe I should say modes, because he splits into a jet and a tank. That’s right, Sky Shadow is also a Duocon! Well, maybe he was never officially classified as such, but that’s essentially what was a Duocon is in G1 (a robot that splits into 2 alternate modes). Check the pics below. The Titan Master can fit inside either the tank or the jet.

And like I said already, he’s quite easy to transform. Very easy to just pick up and play. Easy to handle too, since he’s so large. At first he seemed a bit too gimmicky, but the way in which all these gimmicks are implemented is well done. I highly recommend this figure based on the fun factor alone.

And now I just realized that both of my Sky Shadow figures got quick reviews. What are the chances of that? This was not deliberate… another weird trend fated by the TF powers that be.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

MakeToys Quantron Pictorial Review

April 6th, 2018 No comments

MakeToys Quantron is a third party homage to my favorite Autobot combiner team, the Technobots. I got this set back in October of 2014. A quick search for them on this blog revealed that… gasp!… I never mentioned them again since that post! That’s a crime. So here they are getting their 15 minutes.

Packaging and Manuals

Alt Modes

Robot Modes

Combined Mode

I’m going to quickly list out some things I like about this set, and some things that I don’t.

Pros

  • Metalstorm (Scattershot) is a great fig. I thoroughly enjoy this fig, in both robot and alt modes
  • Materials used for every figure in the set is quite good. High quality plastic all around.
  • Quantron (Computron) combined is impressive.
  • There are plenty of detail on each fig. No plain or simple looking figures here.
  • Relatively G1 accurate, though that’s debatable.
  • Plenty of accessories to satisfy even the most demanding accessory fiend.

Cons

  • My biggest gripe: Overheat (Afterburner) has to be the left arm, and Blindfire (Strafe) has to be the right arm. WHAT?! That’s reversed! MakeToys, why?!!!
  • Combining into Quantron is more work than fun. So much to assemble – it feels like putting together LEGOs and not transforming.
  • Too small for today’s standards, even for CHUG scale. The only one that’s ok is Metalstorm, the rest too small.
  • Transforming each figure is more difficult than it should be, mostly because they’re so small.
  • SonicDrill (Nosecone) is a horrible fig – poor construction and poor design. A very unstable fig that doesn’t work well in either robot or alt mode.

This set was ok, but it was far from perfect. I no longer own Quantron; I sold the set some time ago. Most 3P TF retailers are now clearing out this set for around $200 to $250.

The only other 3P Technobot set that is available at this time is Warbotron Computicon. I have one figure in this set: Turbo Ejector (Afterburner). Turbo Ejector is leaps and bounds better than Overheat. Though I’m told that Turbo Ejector is the best one in the set. I may get the rest of Computicon. Or not.

Technobots rule. Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Unique Toys Allen

January 24th, 2018 No comments

I recently purchased Allen by Unique Toys. Any TransFans worth his energon will tell you immediately that this is Springer, the green Autobot triple changer first made famous in the 1986 G1 Transformers Movie.

There has been other 3P attempts at Springer, such as FansProject Defender. As a side bar, I believe Defender was the very first 3P full-blown figure produced (all 3P products before that were accessories or add-ons). Oh how times have changed. There are almost too many 3P figures to count nowadays.

But back to the topic at hand. As far as I know, there are 6 different 3P companies making their own MP scaled Springer. UT struck first with Allen. And in my opinion, they have set the bar very high. This won’t be a full review. I will post some pics, then bullet point some pros and cons of the figure.

Box

Robot Mode

Car Mode

Helicopter Mode

Pros

  • Amazing engineering – Allen is mechanically well designed with a satisfying transformation
  • Fun to transform – Allen strikes the perfect balance of complexity and fun
  • All 3 modes look good – the Helicopter is my favorite, robot mode is great, and car mode is adequate
  • Solid construction – nice tight joints and transformation points; figure is big and heft and will withstand some rough play
  • Super paint job
  • Fully articulated
  • Great value – he currently goes for only $59.99 since UT want to move him before the other 3P Springers hit the market

Cons

  • Questionable aesthetics – many have said that this figure feels like a Fisher Price toy
  • Feet that seems way too big, and the wrong color
  • Figure feels a bit big – may not scale well with other MP figures
  • G1 accuracy is debatable, especially when compared with later 3P offerings of the character

Personally, I love the figure since he’s so playable and so much fun to transform. But the first bullet in the cons section is a notable negative for me. The other negatives are all appearance related as well. If they styled the figure more “MP” like, I would give Allen an even stronger recommendation. But as is, he’s a terrific figure at only $59.99, which is what I got him for. And out of other 5 MP scaled Springers out there, Fans Toys Apache looks the most G1 accurate. I may consider buying Apache as well in the months to come.

This is my first and only purchase from Unique Toys, and they have me impressed. I will be on the lookout for their offerings in the future.

And why is he called Allen you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. TransFans have suggested he really should have been called Jerry – and if you don’t get the joke, then Primus help you.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Mastermind Creations Terminus Hexatron

June 14th, 2017 No comments

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

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

Robot Mode


Hexatron with MP Shockwave


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

Winged Wolf Mode

APC Mode

Laser Pistol Mode

Tank Mode


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

Star Fighter Mode

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

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

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

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

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

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

ToyWorld Dinobots

July 8th, 2016 No comments

Behold my fellow TransFans… ToyWorld Dinobots!!! This set looks so good together, I had to make a post on this topic alone. Focus your optics on the pic below.

For those that don’t know, this set of Dinobots is made by 3rd party ToyWorld. Obviously they have to use their own names for the characters since they have no rights to any Hasbro properties. None of them come with any Autobot symbols for the same reason. I bought some TF faction stickers last year, and I applied one to each figure with the exception of Grimlock. The faction stickers are applied to the area that would become the chest in robot mode, so you don’t really see them in this pic (except for Slag, if you look carefully). Here is the name mapping for each character to figure:

  • Grimlock – Grimshell (or Corelock)
  • Slag – Iron Dreg
  • Sludge – Muddy
  • Snarl – Roar

I assembled this set together when I received Sludge last week. I actually bought Sludge months ago, back in March. TF Source had a weekend sale so I was able to snag Sludge at $80. But I had nothing else to ship with Sludge, til now. Slag I received about a month ago. Much like Sludge, BBTS had a daily sale on Slag for a tad over $90, and so I snagged him quick. I already kind of went into Grimlock and Snarl. And so here’s the four of them together. I know what you’re thinking… where’s Swoop?! Don’t worry TransFans, I will get him. I’ll take a another pic with the full force when I do.

From a transformation perspective, I like Sludge the best. His transformation is fun and intuitive, and at the same time complex enough to satisfy the mature TransFan without being overly complicated or frustrating. Snarl is good too, but I don’t like how his tail keeps coming off during transformation. It makes me feel like he’s puzzle forming. It is possible to have it stay on, but you would have to be super delicate. Slag is a little too simple transformation wise when going from Dino to Robot. Going back, there is something that’s kinda frustrating with the legs, to have it positioned exactly so it would align with the back. Grimlock has a cool transformation, but in my opinion his T-Rex mode is so much better than the robot mode, so most of the time I just don’t bother. Don’t get me wrong, I think his robot mode is solid. But the T-Rex kicks ass!

I might also take a pic of them all in robot mode. And maybe even the combined mode after I get Swoop! But that’s for another post.

Me Grimlock say… Dinobots kick butt!

Me Grimlock say too… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Toys R Us Shanghai and Asian Trip Haul

June 28th, 2016 No comments

I’m back from Asia! Actually, I got back at the beginning of the month. I was just being a little lazy in updating this blog. But now I got some free time.

I was in Asia for some personal business. Altogether I was in Shanghai (China), Siem Reap (Cambodia), and Taipei (Taiwan). For the purpose of this blog I will only go into the toy hunting aspect of the trip. Gemini accompanied me on the Shanghai leg of the trip. This is the first time that Gemini and I have traveled together internationally. Being the collectors that we are, of course we are gonna go hunting for TFs and other goodies. But enough background info. Let’s get into what we uncovered!

Shanghai Anime Street

On Friday, May 27th, we decided to hit Shanghai Anime Street. Gemini discovered this area from someone’s blog post. Friday we had a driver in Shanghai, and so we asked him to take us here. It’s a good thing we had a driver for this. This area is really hard to get to. We came here in a van, and anyone that has seen Shanghai traffic will tell you that traveling in a van is ill-advised. When the driver got to this area, I was thinking we are gonna have to go in on foot since the streets are really small. Then the driver drove the van into the area! I was half freaking out. I seriously thought he was gonna hit something for sure. But these professional drivers in China have gotten navigating big vehicles in small spaces down to an art. Needless to say I was amazed.

We got out once we got to Shanghai Anime Street. I only have pics of the outside, since most stores do not allow photography of any kind inside. I never really understood that rule.

I think we went into about 8 or 9 stores total, looking for various things. Only 2 stores carried enough TF of interest. One store had a set of the Prometheus Combiner by TFC Toys, Gundog by MakeToys, some figures of Nero Rex by MMC, and some other stuff that I don’t remember. The other store had some figures of Gravity Builder by Generation Toy (GT). Looking at these figures, I was really impressed. The amount of detail on them is amazing. Looking at these figs and comparing them with TFC Toys Hercules, it’s mind blowing to see how far 3rd party transforming figures have come. I was talking with the store owner there, and he really liked the GT set of Constructicons. Doing the conversion of RMB to Dollar, I saw that it was a little cheaper to buy in China. And so I tried to buy GT Scavenger. But then I find out those were for display only and he wasn’t selling them. Bummer. In the end I left Shanghai Anime Street with nothing, but Gemini was able to find some nice Gundam sets.

Isetan

On Sunday, May 29th, Gemini and I roamed around Shanghai during the day. The Shanghai Metro is totally cool; very fast and very easy to use. We looked up places that have toys and went to Isetan. (Sidebar: China blocks Google, including Google Maps. So using some other site for map navigation is preferred, such as Baidu.) Isetan is basically a huge department store. Shanghai has tons and tons of department stores. But Isetan is one of the few that has a dedicated toy section. And of course department stores allow photography, so I was able to capture some pics below.

There were some TFs, but nothing that I can’t get here in the States for cheaper. The store had lots of the G1 Platinum reissues, including Trypticon, the Blaster and Perceptor set, the Insecticons set, and others. On the shelves were also the Combiner Wars G2 color Aerialbots and Stunticons sets. Again, all these can be purchased cheaper in the States for less. So we left without buying anything. It was cool to see all the toys though. Isetan had a really impressive Lego section.

On the way back from Isetan to our hotel, we stopped by Jing’an Temple again. Last time I was here I saw a nice display for Age of Extinction. This time Hasbro/Takara had another booth, but not for TFs. It was their new robot building toy line. I didn’t get the name of this line, so just check out pics below.

Toys R Us

On Monday, May 30th, we had another driver to take us around. We went all over Shanghai on this day. While we were in the Pudong district, we stopped by Toys R Us. Now here we hit the mother lode! Lots of TFs here! And lots of other toys too. I was able to find stuff here that I never saw in the States! Check out pics below.

Most of the figures on the shelves are from Transformers Robots in Disguise. But they had Cominber Wars stuff too. Gemini and I looked hard through the CW section for Groove, since we know this to be an Asian exclusive. We didn’t have any luck finding Groove. But looking at the Takara version of CW figs, it’s clear that the paint job is much better.

See the pic above. In the lower right corner, there is a voyager sized green Grimlock from TF RiD. This is something I never seen before. Looking at it close, this Grimlock is a repaint/rework of Generations Fall of Cybertron Grimlock, with a new color scheme, new head mold, and some minor mold reworks. Very very cool! I have the deluxe size version of this fig, and I feel that’s just too small to be Grimlock. I wanted to get this at the store, but the price wasn’t worth it. I later saw a online retailer here taking orders, at a much more reasonable price. I may get this later.

See the last pic above. They had a whole section of approximately Voyager class figs that I never even knew of! And believe me when I say I’m on top of everything that will come out. At first glance I thought they must be from the TF RiD Line, but the packaging more suggests the Generations line. There are 5 figs in all: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, and two kinds of Bumblebees (a G1-styled version and a movie-styled version). Gemini has never seen these before either, so we both stood there for a long time to examine these closely. We came to the conclusion that these are basically bigger versions of Generations legend size figs, particularly Starscream. I would find out later, after returning to the States, that these are part of the Cyber Battalion line. But at the time I was beyond thrilled of finding something new, and so I bought Starscream. I wanted to buy them all, but didn’t know if these would be any good. I picked Starscream because he would scale well in the Generations line of figs. Legend and Deluxe Generations Starscream are much too small in CHUG, and the leader class way too big. This one is just right.

Starscream

And so here is Cyber Battalion Starscream, my only TF purchase for this Asian trip. I won’t review this too much. He is very much like the legend figure, but bigger and slightly more intricate.

The last two pics above show him next to legend Starscream. Cyber Battalion Starscream has feet transformation that’s slightly different, and the wing edges can be folded back. The figure only cost about $15 US, so I don’t expect perfection here. He’s a nice figure to pick up and play since he’s so easy to transform, but at the same time he scales nicely with the rest of my CHUG line-up. I like to pick up the rest of the Cyber Battalion figs when they arrive here in the States.

So that’s the re-cap of the toy-hunting aspects of this Asian trip. I had a blast! I want to go back there soon.

Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics, Toy Reviews

Felisaber and Feral Rex Ultimate Mode

August 29th, 2015 No comments

By now, all third party Transformers collectors are familiar with the Feral Cons by Mastermind Creations, an homage to G1 Predacons. The 5 standard Feral Cons combine to form Feral Rex (Predaking).

However, MMC manufactured a sixth Feral Con named Felisaber. Felisaber is a yellow repaint of Tigris (Rampage) with some minor mold tweaks. I know what you’re thinking… “There are only 5 Predacons!” Yes you are right. Maybe this is just a ploy for MMC to sell more toys. But MMC did give Felisaber a backstory. Felisaber is an homage to Catilla, an Autobot Pretender Beast who appeared late in the G1 toyline. The robot head mold, the yellow mechanical saber tooth tiger alt mode, and the tiger helmet with the Pretender shell looks, all point to the fact that Felisaber is Catilla. I don’t know much about Catilla as a character since he arrived way too late to be included in the US G1 cartoons, but he did make appearances in the G1 comics. Apparently, Catilla used to be a Decepticon. And MMC extended the story so that Felisaber was once part of the Feral Cons.

With Felisaber in the mix, all six Feral Cons can combine to form the Ultimate Mode of Feral Rex. In this mode, Felisaber replaces Talon as the left arm. Talon then goes on the back of Feral Rex, acting kind of like a backpack or booster. As of this writing, there ain’t a whole lot of pics of the Ultimate Mode up on the web. Worry not my fellow TransFans! I have Felisaber and I have combined my Feral Cons into Feral Rex Ultimate Mode! Feast your optics on the pics below.

In the Ultimate Mode, Feral Rex does look more balanced. However, he becomes extremely back heavy. Talon is now fully on the back, as you can see in the pic below.

Personally I’m not a big fan of the Ultimate Mode. It’s not in the official TF canon that Predaking has a Ultimate Mode. And as for the MMC figures, Feral Rex easily falls backwards in this mode, making poseability a lot more challenging. I would buy Felisaber if you are a fan of Catilla. Or if you really like the Tigris figure. Tigris is my favorite of the standard 5 Feral Cons, which is why I bought Felisaber. But I would not buy Felisaber for the Ultimate Mode. Feral Rex is already an amazing figure without him, and Felisaber really doesn’t add anything to the combined form in my opinion.

Before I end this post, here are some pics of the Feral Cons individually in their robot modes.

Feral Cons… Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Trailbreaker and Trailcutter

May 12th, 2013 No comments

Back in 1984 when Transformers first came on the scene, there were only 3 categories of Autobots that you could buy. There was Optimus Prime, who was in a category all by himself (and rightfully so). There were the Minicars, such as Bumblebee. And then there were the Autobot Cars, a US localization of Japanese Diaclone figures. A scan of the Season 1 catalog below illustrates the 3 categories.

Of all the 1st Season Autobot Cars, Trailbreaker is the only one that has yet to have a proper update in the CHUG-verse. Sure they made a Legend class figure a while back, but that’s not a real update considering all the other characters had a deluxe class or larger CHUG figure made.

Earlier this year, Hasbro finally announced that they will be releasing a deluxe size Trailcutter. I’m guessing for trademark reasons, they could not get the name Trailbreaker. But whatever. I am totally stoked that Trailbreaker is finally getting the recognition he deserves! This means the Season 1 Cars will be complete in CHUG. Pics of this Trailcutter have been floating around for a while now, but I need to do my part and post them here.

But there is another reason why I’m so thrilled at Trailbreaker’s inclusion in CHUG. Back in G1, he was the very first Autobot Car that I owned. I still remember that trip to TRU. It was 1985. I was standing in the TF aisle and my parents were gonna buy me a TF car of my choosing. The Season 2 cars were already out by then (I remember distinctly seeing Red Alert), but Season 1 cars were still on the shelves. I looked at the section for a long time. In the end I decided on Trailbreaker.

I can’t explain why I picked Trailbreaker. If you were going by characters, it’s hard to pick Trailbreaker over one of the cooler characters, like Jazz or Sideswipe. Admittedly, I didn’t know the TF characters too well, since I barely knew any English. So my choice was not based on TF persona. Likewise, if you were going by alt mode (all TFs back then were packed in alt mode), it’s hard to imagine picking a SUV over a sports car. So it’s a mystery why I went with Trailbreaker. Maybe the toy just looked too cool in the box. I’m partial to TFs that I own. So for the next few years, I cheered every time Trailbreaker did something cool in the cartoons. Like using his Force Field so save the day when another Autobot has gotten them into some sorry Decepticon mess.

Since Trailbreaker and I have this special history, I’m kind of irked by the fact that Hasbro CHUG-updated all the other Season 1 cars except for him. It’s like I picked the character that got left out. But better late than never I always say. Trailbreaker has finally arrived at the party. And besides, the pics above look awesome! Maybe in this case, they were saving the best for last. Yes that must be it. I feel better that my character of choice received this proud distinction. 🙂

I still have my G1 Trailbreaker figure, from 1985. In this modern era of new Transformers, I only have 2 Trailcutters. And to give Trailbreaker the recognition he deserves, I’m taking group pics of all of them.

The largest figure in the pics is obviously G1. The middle size figure is a Cyberverse Commander class figure from TF Prime, the new Beast Hunters subline. And the smallest figure there is a Legends figure from Reveal the Shield. I will give some quick thoughts on each of these figures.

G1
This figure needs no introduction. They sure don’t make TFs like this anymore. G1 figures, especially the first 2 seasons, were generally alt mode first and Trailbreaker is no exception. His alt mode still holds up well today. Trailbreaker is a fourth generatino Toyota HiLux and the toy resembles the real thing very closely. The diecast construction and real rubber tires were iconic of figures at the time. I had this figure since 1985 and even today he’s in pretty good shape. In alt mode he feels like one cohesive whole. He rolls extremely well on a flat surface, even when compared to other G1, because he’s got such high clearance like a real pick-up truck. In robot mode Trailbreaker looks somewhat different from his cartoon counterpart. Like many other Season 1 characters, the show made him look better than he really is. But the toy’s robot mode is still not too bad for it’s time. Much better than the robot mode of some other G1 cars, like Ironhide or Sunstreaker. Like all G1 the poseability is super limited. You can move the arms, but that’s it.

Reveal the Shield Legend
I bought this figure back in 2011. For a legends figure he’s not bad. The overall transformation schema of this piece is almost exactly like G1. The arms and back are formed differently, but those are the only obvious transformation differences. The amazing thing about this figure is that, though small, it doesn’t feel that much dumbed down from G1 when compared side by side. The transformation complexity is almost equal. I guess toy technology have made some significant progress in the last 25+ years. The alt mode is sufficient, and the robot mode is an obvious homage to G1. The look of the legs and the force field module on the head are both very G1 inspired.

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander
This figure was bought in March of this year, only two months from this writing. Normally I don’t buy Cyververse figs, but when I saw Trailcutter I had to get him, since I’m partial to the character. This figure is a slight remold of Cyberverse Ironhide. Hasbro made enough differences here to properly distinguish the two. Trailcutter gets a new head mold, shoulder cannons, spikes on the shoulders and arms, and a weapon. I applaud Hasbro for not simply giving us a unmodified repaint. This figure has the most articulation of the 3 TFs here. You can do some nice poses with this fig. There’s even articulation in the head, though there’s probably too much around the neck to really put that to use. He’s also the most difficult out of these 3 to transform, though that’s not really saying much. The colors are pure Trailcutter, and the shoulder cannons and head Force Field module are nice G1 homages.

I cannot wait to get this new CHUG Trailcutter. He’s finally getting some love! Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, TF News, Toy Reviews

Roadbot 1:18 Scale Toyota Celica Review

February 7th, 2013 5 comments

Several years ago, my buddy Gemini got me a Roadbot for my birthday. For those that don’t know, Roadbots are a line of transforming robot toys that transform from robot to car/truck/motorcycle and back. Not affiliated with Hasbro or Takara in any way, the Roadbots are made by HappyWell, a company in China. The toys are often seen as third party cousins of Alternators or Binaltechs for several reasons. The alt mode of each Roadbot are all real vehicles, and in this form the toys are supposedly on par with official replicas. Roadbots come in several scales, from 1:32 to 1:12. Is “Roadbot” a wordplay on robot? Your guess is as good as mine.

Gemini got me the 1:18 scale Toyota Celica Tuner Version Roadbot. This is because I drive a Toyota Celica, pictured below.

I removed the license plate numbers with Photoshop for obvious reasons. I have had this car for over 12 years now. It’s got over 225k miles on it currently. Who knows how much longer my ride will last. But for now it’s still going strong and I plan to keep it for a while.

Anyway, here is the Celica Roadbot in its usual packaging. I ripped this pic from TFSource since I trashed the box as soon as I opened the figure all those years ago.

OK, now on to the Roadbot itself. Before this review, I transformed this guy only once, from robot to car when I first got it. He stayed this way all these years. So first let’s see some pics in alt mode.

This 1:18 scale Roadbot is a pretty large figure, but more on this later. As someone who looks at a real Celica everyday, the first thing I will comment on is the authenticity of the alt mode. In my opinion, the Roadbot captured the Celica pretty well. There’s no way you would mistake this alt mode as any other car. There are some areas of the vehicle where I think the scale is a little off, but that would just be nitpicking on my part.

As far as detail goes, what’s there is decent. This figure is at least 4 years old now, so it would be unfair to compare the details with those on the figures of today. Keep in mind that this is a transforming toy made by a third party, so overall it sort of still has a “toy” look. The overall paint job is great. In fact, the paint is probably better than most TFs. This piece is mostly a glossy metallic blue with silver pieces here and there. Headlights and taillights are made of separate clear plastic pieces that adds to the realism of the vehicle. The rims are a nice chrome silver. Front windshield is made of clear plastic. I also like how there’s a Toyota emblem painted on in the front grill area. Though I wish they used a different color, the black is kinda hard to see. The side mirrors are painted a dull grey. I kinda wish they used a more reflective color, or at least use reflective stickers. The rear license plate just has the Toyota emblem with the words “TOYOTA” below it. This is a sticker. The words “CELICA” are engraved into the mold right above it, which is pretty cool because I see that on my car too. I’m not sure if HappyWell got official license from Toyota or any other makes to do the Roadbots.

Construction of the piece is extremely solid. In alt mode, this guy can withstand some heavy treatment. The Roadbot is a lot more durable than your average TFs. You don’t have to worry about damaging the toy from rough play. Like all Binaltechs and Alternators, the tires are made of rubber. As far as I can tell, this piece is all plastic, no diecast.

Now for some features of the Roadbot in alt mode. Notice on the box, it says “With Lights & Sound”. In alt mode, press a button on the hood where the intake is, and the Roadbot will start flashing the front headlights in orange and make some laser sounds. It’s a cool gimmick that the kids will enjoy. Another cool feature that I didn’t take a pic of is connected front wheel steering. Most Binaltech and Alternator figures have this, and this Roadbot is no exception. Doors of the vehicle can be opened, like in the pic below.

The interior details are not half bad. Again, I’m in my car everyday so I can attest to the accuracy of the interior. The look of the dashboard, center console, and steering wheel are all reproduced faithfully. Even the look of the seats are well captured. It is obvious that the toy designers of this piece looked at a real Celica before they started design of the figure.

Here is a pic of the bottom of the Roadbot. The giant sword (which I will go into in robot mode) covers up most of the bottom of the car. I wish my Celica had a giant sword underneath it. And that it can stick out the rear bottom of my car at the push of a button to scare off pesky tailgaters.

Here are some size comparison shots. As you can see, this Roadbot is a large figure like I mentioned already. He looks big next to Alternator Ravage. And next to Generations Sideswipe, he’s just freakin’ huge!

OK, now to transform this guy to robot mode. I transformed the Roadbot to car within hours of getting the gift all those years ago, and he stayed like that the whole time. I’m too lazy to dig out the instructions, and I have practically no recollection of how to transform him. So here I’m transforming him back to robot mode for the first time, and I’m doing it purely based on pics.

After checking some other online pics and YouTube reviews, I’m fairly certain this is how the robot looks. He’s not half bad. Obviously I like the big kick ass sword that he’s holding. In fact, to get him to stand up straight without falling backwards, he must be holding that sword (but more on this later). The engine/intake piece that makes the flashing lights and sounds becomes the sword handle unit, the the large sword that was underneath the car forms the blade. So when you press the button for lights and sounds in this mode, the sword flashes and it’s really cool.

Articulation of this guy is not too good, even comparing him to other figures of his time. You get some decent articulation in the arms and legs, and the head rotates 180 degrees. But that’s about it. Even from the front, you can see there’s quite a bit of kibble all around. So what little articulation there is to begin with is hindered by all the stuff around him. This allows for a very limited set of poses. You will notice in all these pics he’s kinda posed the same, like a G1 figure. There’s just not a whole lot of poses you can do here.

The above pic is a closer shot of the Roadbot in robot mode. I like the details on this guy. I’m digging the head mold. The shape of the helmet kinda reminds of a samurai. Couple that with the giant sword, he’s got a samurai motif going. I like how the hood piece looks as his chest plate. The colors of blue and silver really work on this figure. There are some features on both forearms that I should point out. One the right forearm, there are retractable cannons that are hidden in alt mode. And on the left forearm, there are scissor-like claws. The two pieces of the claws rotate in sync with each other when they go forwards and backwards. Overall, I like how this guy looks.

The above pic shows one of the real weaknesses of this figure: the back. There’s way too much kibble on the back! It is especially bad in the back of the legs, where you see the front car frame just hanging around. The rear hatch of the vehicle kinda just sits on the back. This figure is really back heavy, and that’s part of the reason for the limited poses. Also, this is why he must be holding that giant sword, because that offsets the heavy weight of the back. The moment you take the sword off, he will most likely fall backwards.

Another major weakness of the figure is that this is too much of a puzzle-former in my opinion. Check out the pic below. These are all pieces that must be removed for transformation. The engine/intake and sword pieces I already talked about. The hood piece is removed and re-attached to form the chest, not transformed. The side-skirts must also be removed, because they go on opposite sides of the door between alt mode and robot mode. Also, the doors come off real easy during transformation, so if you count that then he’s even more of a puzzle-former.

Now for some size comparison shots in robot mode. He’s a big figure. Even next to MP Grimlock, he’s taller. He towers over all deluxe figures. I only have FOC Ultra Magnus handy so here they are together.

To sum up, I think this Roadbot has a pretty good alt mode, but the robot mode leaves a little to be desired.

Pros:

  • Accurate rendition of the Toyota Celica
  • Nice detail and paint apps
  • Cool flashing lights and sounds gimmick
  • Rubber tires
  • Large figure
  • Solid construction
  • Good value – I think MSRP was around $20

Cons:

  • Too much kibble and very back heavy
  • Too much puzzle-forming
  • Limited articulation and poses

So do I recommend the figure? I think if you like Binaltech and Alternator TFs, then give this guy a try. If you like Toyota Celicas and are curious about transforming toys, then go ahead and check this guy out. But if you are expecting top notch quality figures, like the recent MPs, then this figure is not for you. Oh yeah, if you like Michael Bay TFs, this figure is not for you.

Being both a Celica owner and a hardcore TransFan, this was the perfect b-day gift for me. I regret not buying any Roadbots for myself, since I am curious about the others. Maybe I’ll get them on eBay someday.

Roadbots… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Generations GDO Megatron with Blood the Dark Warrior Upgrade Kit

January 22nd, 2013 2 comments

There are plenty of third party accessories out there that are designed to enhance Hasbro and Takara products. I haven’t had the opportunity to buy too many of these (something I’m looking to rectify), but one of the few that I did get is the Blood the Dark Warrior Upgrade Kit by Headrobots. This kit obviously is designed to work with ROTF Voyager Bludgeon (a very nice figure BTW). I bought the kit back in October of 2011, and to this day I still have not tried it with Bludgeon. Anyway, here’s how the kit looks in the package.

About a year after that purchase, I got Generations GDO Megatron. This is a repaint of that Bludgeon mold, but with a new head for Megatron. This figure is obviously a homage to G2 Megatron. Here are some pics of this Megatron in the box.

Anyway, I opened this figure pretty soon after I got it. And out of the box my first complaint is the rubbery look of those purple swords. That did not work for me at all. A badass like Megatron cannot be holding swords that look like they were made out of play dough. See the pic for yourself.

And so I remembered I still have the Bludgeon upgrade kit that I never tried. I’m gonna try it on Megatron since I have him handy.

Much better! There seems to be several figures that interpret Megatron as a samurai, like this figure and the Alternity Megatron. Having silver swords that aren’t bent goes a long way to help Megatron look like the kickass dictator that he is.

Now let’s see how this would look in alt mode.

In both pics above, we only see the gun piece attached at the end of the cannon. The long sword is hidden inside the barrel, with the gun piece fitted over the sword handle. The short sword is completely concealed inside the turret where it usually goes. The pic below help illustrates this.

The pic below shows that you can attach the gun piece to the side of the mini purple gun on the turret. This is where you would place the gun piece in robot mode, which ends up being on Megatron’s back.

All in all, I think using this upgrade kit for Megatron is quite cool. The green doesn’t match, but the way it sticks out doesn’t seem so bad. Having straight shiny silver swords is way better than the purple crap that Hasbro saw fit to use.

Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews