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KFC Toys Kingzilla and Komodus Quick Review

April 12th, 2021 No comments

The Horrorcons are one of my most treasured subgroups from G1 Season 4. They are both Triple Changers and Headmasters, successfully combining the two gimmicks. My cousin had both Apeface and Snapdragon, and I was super envious since I had neither. I remember playing with his Apeface quite a bit, but not Snapdragon. I also remember buying Apeface for my best friend at the time. Those were the days.

The jet modes of both G1 Apeface and Snapdragon are really good. But their other modes left a lot to be desired. In robot mode, both of them look like they are wearing diapers with legs that are way too short. And in beast mode, both figures suffer from having way too much bulk in the main trunk section. Even for G1 standards, all modes other than the jet modes were horrible (pun intended).

When I started collecting TFs again in the modern era, I knew Hasbro would update the Horrorcons at some point. And they did. We saw WFC Siege Apeface in 2019, and WFC Earthrise Snapdragon in 2020. It took them longer to do the Horrorcons than I thought they would, but better late than never.

As much as I loved the Horrorcons, it would be absurd to expect HasTak to make official Masterpiece versions of the duo. So it was inevitable that a 3P company would attempt it. Enter KFC. This is Keith’s Fantasy Club, and not the famous fried chicken chain. KFC released their takes on MP style Horrorcons, around 2017. And as far as I know, they’re the only 3P to attempt it thus far. Are Horrorcons not as popular as I thought? Am I the only TransFan that like them? The horrors!

I acquired KFC Kingzilla (aka Snapdragon) in 2020 on a sale. Prior to that, the only KFC product I have are these E-Nergeon Cubes. They’re not bad, but this product alone is hardly an indicator of the quality of KFC’s offerings. Kingzilla is my first real figure from KFC. So how good is Kingzilla? Let’s find out. But first let’s first take a look at the box and what’s inside.

Box and Contents

Front of the box.

Back of the box. Gotta love this bio. Riches! Fembots! TFs apparently value much the same things humans do.

Look at all the stuff inside! Kingzilla comes with:

  • 2 rifles
  • a magnetic metal plate for Komodus to stand on
  • 2 chest blast or flame thrust effects
  • extra face for KFC Kingorilla (Apeface), attached to Kongor (Spasma)
  • 2 extra red parts that I assume is a fix or enhancement for Kingorilla
  • bio card
  • instruction book and comic

Another accessory is a stand to be used in jet mode. I didn’t actually try this. Kingzilla is a heavy figure, and I’m not entirely sure this stand can fully support the weight for an extended period of time. But don’t say KFC doesn’t love you. They included everything but the kitchen sink in this package. Bravo.

Robot Mode

I always start with the mode that the figure comes packed in.

That is one awesome looking MP style Snapdragon. This is a big and beefy figure. The colors are G1 accurate. Materials used on the figure is superb, with high quality plastic and die-cast. Kingzilla really has presence, he impresses by appearance and size alone.

Smart observers will notice that the above pic does not show the figure in a standard traditional A-stance. And that leads me to the first very noticeable issue with Kingzilla. See below.

The legs are on ratchets, and this is the first position swinging outwards. It’s way too wide! Quite a few TFs share this problem. Generations Jetfire is the first figure that comes to my mind. Someone should coin a term to describe this problem.

The pic above shows the legs perfectly straight. So it’s either this, the super wide A-stance, or some kind of modified action stance to have Kingzilla posed in a standing position. This issue does mark down the figure a bit for me. But on the bright side, this is about the only real weakness with this figure. It’s all good news from here.

Looking at Kingzilla from the side. The obvious distraction here is that huge backpack which makes up the jet mode nosecone. But it doesn’t bother me that much. Notice the super long heel spurs, which provides great stability for the figure.

Another shot of the side, with the arms raised, to get a better look at the sides of the body and legs.

Back of the figure. A bit bulky, but I like how it looks.

As I look through these pics of the robot mode, I realize almost all of them has Kingzilla holding the 2 rifles. So here I offer a pic without the rifles, in his wide A-stance.

Pretty good face sculpt. This is how I remember Snapdragon looking, in the animation.

KFC did not forget the chest tech specs that was a feature on all G1 Headmasters. The specs automatically come up upon inserting the Headmaster. Seeing this unnecessary but nice gimmick brings me back to the 80s. I yearn for the 80s.

Kingzilla in an action pose. There is quite a bit of articulation points in robot mode. However, some issues hinder the overall articulation. A lot of the joints are on ratchets, so it does limit the positioning. The bigger issue, however, is that this is a large and heavy figure. There are poses that are achievable, but the figure won’t hold it due to its own weight. The big backpack also makes the figure back heavy, limiting poses where Kingzilla is leaning backwards.

Here is Kingzilla with those chest blast effects. I guess Snapdragon did this somewhere in the G1 animation, though personally I don’t remember it. Kudos to KFC for including it. Nipple blast action never gets old.

Now for some size comparisons.

With MP-36 Megatron. I like how these scale. In the wide Kingzilla A-stance, Megatron is actually a bit taller, if you compare where their eyes are. But Kingzilla is overall bigger, buffer, and beefier. That’s how I would expect these 2 to scale.

With WFC Earthrise Snapdragon.

Before we get to the other modes, let’s take a look at the Headmaster Komodus (Krunk).

Komodus looks pretty good. I can’t say how close he resembles the G1 toy or cartoon, since I don’t pay close attention to the Headmaster Nebulans.

Here is Komodus with the magnetic stand. I don’t detect any magnets when Komodus is placed on it, so it’s possible this is not magnetic at all. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure where I learned that this is supposed to be magnetic. Not a big deal, I can’t see myself using this accessory often.

I’m very pleased with the robot mode overall, though it is my least favorite mode of the 3. The obvious weakness is that super wide A-stance. The big backpack could turn off some fans as well. But he’s got way more positives than negatives in this mode. He’s a big, imposing figure, built with solid materials. Superb construction with tight ratchets. Nice paintjob with G1 accurate colors. Enough articulation at most of the joints that need them.

Jet Mode

The instructions start off with going from robot to jet first, so that’s the mode we’ll look at next.

That is one sleek and awesome looking jet!

Here we see the jet in another angle. It’s very G1 accurate, as far as the shape of the jet. KFC opted to use a dark silver as the overall color, instead of Snapdragon’s G1 off-white. Some fans bash this decision, but I personally don’t see it as a big deal. Maybe KFC will release a repaint later with more G1 accurate colors. If this was Hasbro, I know they will.

Looking at the jet directly from the front. From this angle you almost don’t see the wings. Kingzilla is a long jet with wings way in the back. Kinda reminds of the Cobra Night Raven S3P from G.I.Joe Real American Heroes.

Looking at the back of the jet. From this angle, you can easily see the wings, rear vertical stabilizers, and main thrusters. I should have took a pic where the flame effects are used on the thrusters. Notice the rifles are attached under the wings.

Underside of the jet. It’s pretty clean. The bulk of the body is nicely incorporated into the jet as part of the overall transformation scheme. This is partly due to the original G1 design.
It was obvious that the G1 toy designers prioritized the jet mode first, and Kingzilla adheres to that same overall G1 scheme almost to a fault. The landing gears are deployed in the above pic. The two rear landing gears on the legs can be a bit tough to deploy and retract.

A cool gimmick of Kingzilla (and Kingorilla too) is controls that light up inside the cockpit. The pic above shows it lighted. I love this gimmick.

Here is a shot of Komodus sitting inside the cockpit of Kingzilla in jet mode. Notice the controls are lighted too. The lights are activated by the black switch, to the right of Komodus, at the base where the cockpit opens. Opening the cockpit will automatically flip the lights on. The black switch is accessible from the outside too, without having to open the cockpit.

for size comparison, I’m reusing a pic I took when I did the DX9 Gewalt review. Here are these 2 figures together in jet mode.

Kingzilla’s jet mode is my favorite of the 3 modes. I honestly see no weaknesses with this mode. It’s nice and sleek with no bulk. All parts come together well with solid construction and no dangling parts. The jet mode balances well on the 3 landing gears. The controls light up gimmick, though unnecessary, is too cool to ignore. This jet mode gets an A+.

Dragon Mode

It’s not clear to me what Kingzilla’s beast mode is supposed to be. But since his name is Snapdragon, I’m gonna go with dragon. Whether this is a walking komodo dragon, a mythological dragon, or some kind of future space T-Rex type dragon, your guess is as good as mine. All I know is Kingzilla looks quite fearsome in this mode.

That is a great looking interpretation of Snapdragon in beast mode. It’s very G1 accurate, as far as overall look and colors. The twin cannons on the back screams G1. The purple neck attachment that Komodus connects to really nailed the G1 cartoon look. The way that the jet nosecone bends up as the dragon tail is so G1 it’s criminal. If I have one complaint about this mode, is that the dragon arms are a bit skinny. In these pics they look ok, but they look skinnier in person. Construction of these arms also feel somewhat flimsy, when considering that the rest of the figure is so robust and solid.

A shot of the dragon from the side.

Kingzilla dragon back view.

Close up of the dragon head. Komodus looks great as the head of the dragon as well. The jaw can be opened and closed, ready to bite on hapless Autobots, or anyone foolish enough to challenge Kingzilla.

Size comparison of Kingzilla in dragon mode with MP Megatron.

With Siege Snapdragon, both in dragon modes.

Kingzilla terrorizing WFC Earthrise Airwave. Why would these 2 characters ever be together in the entire TF-verse? They wouldn’t. Airwave was handy on my desk when I needed a victim for Kingzilla.

One aspect of Kingzilla I didn’t mention til now is the transformation engineering. In short, this figure is not at all difficult to transform, especially for a figure of this size. Some modern day MP style TFs go overboard with the transformation complexity. Not Kingzilla. This is a figure where any decent TransFan can quickly figure out the transformation scheme of all 3 modes without looking at the instructions. And on top of that, all 3 modes look pretty damn good. This is a testament to the design engineering achieved by KFC.

TL;DR

In summary, I highly recommend Kingzilla. He’s a big and solid figure, scaling well with other MPs, official or otherwise. He’s well built with excellent materials, much of the figure is composed of high quality plastic and die-cast. Construction of the figure is superb, with tight joints and ratchets. Design and colors of the figure screams G1. He comes with plenty of accessories. The figure has several interesting gimmicks. All 3 modes look great without a super complex transformation.

Kingzilla is a figure you need in your collection. If you can find one now, buy it.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

DX9 Gewalt Quick Review

December 6th, 2020 No comments

Last week I featured my Blitzwing collection. It started with the robot modes, then jet modes, and ended with tank modes. Thanksgiving week 2020 became Blitzwing week.

I transformed DX9 Gewalt from robot to jet to tank in that span, taking many pictures along the way. This transformation fulfilled one of the goals in my self-imposed Shelter-From-Home Transformer Challenge. (Sidebar: With local COVID cases rising, State authorities where I am have recently imposed an even more strict stay-at-home order. There is a curfew. Some authorities are calling this a lockdown.) And since I just transformed this guy through all his modes, a quick review of this excellent figure is in order.

Let’s start with the box and the goodies packed inside.

Gewalt in the box, packed in tank mode. Notice he comes with his purple rifle and a purple translucent sword. The black accessory is used to help budge certain tight connections during transformation.

Here are Gewalt’s other items and accessories: the instruction book, a bio card, an extra yelling face, one replacement part that looks like it’s for the thighs (not sure if this is for Gewalt or something else), and the rear horizontal stabilizer wings for jet mode. They can be attached in tank mode, but mine came unattached. More on that later.

Also included is this nice poster of Gewalt.

Tank Mode

I always start the review with whatever mode the figure comes packed in.

This is a nice looking tank. Though right off the bat I will say that this looks more like a Cybertronian tank, and not an Earth M1 Abrams tank. The turret and tank treads look Earth mode enough, but the rest of it, not so much. Also, the turret appears too small in relation to the rest of the tank.

The turret can be angled up. Now I just need a MP style Kup to re-create that famous scene from the G1 Movie.

There does seem to be a bit too much purple on Gewalt in tank mode. See those pegs that stick out at the back, near the bottom? That’s where one of the rear wing stabilizers would go, if it was still attached in this mode. The instructions illustrate the entire transformation process with these wings not attached across all 3 modes. But there is room for them, they can be attached and folded in tank mode.

Gewalt directly from the front. Reminds me of the opening sequence in G1 Season 3. Notice you can see where the head is. I know this bothers a lot of fans, but in my opinion it’s not a big deal. More on this later.

Gewalt directly from the back.

A look at the bottom. Most of it cleans up quite well. Again, the one oddity is where the head is situated. I know this appears to be a deal breaker for many fans. But I don’t find myself compulsively looking there, so it’s not a problem for me.

Now for some size comparisons in tank mode.

With MP Thundercracker. These 2 scale quite well in this mode.

With other Blitzwings.

Overall, Gewalt’s tank mode is decent. Personally I think it’s the weakest of the 3 modes, but it’s not bad by any means. My wife actually likes this mode the best.

Jet Mode

Next up is the jet mode. Blitzwing is supposed to be a MiG. In G1, he looks nothing like a MiG, with those thick bulky wings that obviously forms a tank. Gewalt improves upon that in spades.

Now that is a jet that looks way more like a MiG! In G1, I always assumed that Blitzwing’s jet mode is a Cybertronian jet, like Jetfire. I didn’t find out that he’s supposed to be a MiG until the 2000s. With this jet mode, no one will make that mistake.

Another angle of this awesome jet. I love this purple. Totally G1 accurate and looks great too!

An angle from the back. Notice I put on the rear wing stabilizers. You could leave them on for robot mode (more on this later).

Great skinny profile of the jet, looking directly from the front.

Looking directly from the back. Nice looking thrusters.

View from the bottom. Gewalt cleans up quite nicely in jet mode. In this pic the landing gears are retracted, but they easily come out. The tank treads clearly can be seen underneath the wings in this pic. It’s mostly near the body of the jet, so it does not bug me, as the wings themselves are still quite thin.

It is worth noting at this point that the tank turret and main cannon is not seen at the bottom of the jet, like G1 Blitzwing in both the toy and the animation model. Gewalt folds the tank turret into the legs, which forms the back jet area. I think this is pretty cool. But the main cannon has nowhere to go in jet mode. It has to be removed entirely. I wish DX9 made it so the cannon can at least be pegged at the bottom of the jet somewhere. Gewalt’s parts-forming with the main cannon does bother me a bit. I do wish they came up with a way to incorporate it in all 3 modes.

Now for some size comparison pics in jet mode.

With other G1 style Blitzwings.

With MP Thundercracker. These 2 scale amazingly with each other in jet mode. In Transformers: Infiltration, there is a nice overhead panel of Blitzwing and Skywarp in jet mode. Blitzwing is just a tad bigger, like you see in the pic above with Thundercracker. DX9 really got this scale right. Gewalt’s jet mode appearance also looks strikingly similar to how Blitzwing is drawn in Infiltration. Perhaps this was the source material for DX9.

Here I have KFC Kingzilla (aka Snapdragon) with Gewalt in their jet modes. Two big and beefy triple-changers side by side.

Of the 3 modes, Gewalt’s jet mode is my favorite. Now on to the robot mode.

I love the robot mode. This is Blitzwing as he appears in G1. I compared this with some G1 animation models. There are differences here and there, but not nearly enough to say that this is G1 inaccurate. I do wish the nosecone bits that appears on the sides of the waist can be hidden for a cleaner look, but overall it doesn’t bother me too much.

Looking at the side profile, there’s a bit of backpack kibble. But not too bad. In G1 Blitzwing is drawn with a bit of a backpack. Notice the rear wing stabilizers are attached on the legs, on the sides toward the bottom. Again, instructions show them as unattached. This area does look cleaner when the the rear stabilizers are not there. Perhaps that’s why DX9 made them removable. I personally like having all pieces in all modes.

View of the back. Notice the main cannon that is blatantly absent in jet mode can be pegged on to the back. This is too iconic for Blitzwing. Even DX9 would not mess with that look. I don’t really like the look of the heels. They are obviously half of the thrusters on each side. But this is only visible from the back, and in honesty I’m not gonna look there very much. So this gets a pass.

Very nice face sculpt that is unmistakably Blitzwing.

Now for some action poses. Gewalt is kind of a big, bulky figure. There’s also enough kibble on the back and shoulders to limit overall movement. So the poseability gets an average score, at best.

For robot size comparison, Gewalt appears with MP Megatron below.

At first glance it would appear that Gewalt is taller, but Megs is actually taller if you look at where the top of their heads are. Still, I feel Gewalt in robot mode is a bit big to properly scale with official MPs. Blitzwing is good size, but he should still be noticeably shorter than Megatron.

As a whole, I love the Gewalt figure. He’s got his shortcomings, which I outlined throughout this post. If you’re looking for the executive summary of what those are, it’s the mediocre tank mode, parts-forming with the main cannon, limited robot articulation, and robot mode scale issues. But the figure has way more positives. The jet mode is awesome, and the robot mode is solid. He’s very well built. All joints are super tight, some may say even too tight. Transformation is definitely involved, but not impossible.

As of this writing, if you’re looking for a MP style Blitzwing, you can’t go wrong with Gewalt. The only other option available I know of is Ditka by KFC. Ditka is more G1 than Gewalt, but in my opinion it’s too G1. The figure kept a lot of Blitzwing’s G1 weaknesses that should have been improved upon. Also, Ditka has got construction issues galore that I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. Fans Toys has their Blitzwing coming, called Berserk. This figure has been on pre-order for nearly 3 years now, and so far all we’ve seen are black-and-white renders. The renders look terrific. But seriously… is this figure still happening? Your guess is as good as mine.

If you want a MP Blitzwing today, get Gewalt. It’s that simple.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

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

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

War For Cybertron Siege Crosshairs Quick Review – with G1

January 13th, 2020 No comments

Happy New Year! Welcome to my first post in 2020. Yes I know it’s been more than 3 months since I posted anything, but I gotta make a post to kick off the new decade.

To kick off the new year right, I am doing another quick review of a figure that’s just released, with the original G1 figure of inspiration. My last such review was for Storm Cloud and Visper (Whisper). Today, I am reviewing Crosshairs.

Crosshairs was one of my favorite Targetmasters from G1. Why you may ask? Well, I had the figure, that’s why. I received G1 Crosshairs as a gift from my cousin for my birthday. I still have the figure to this day, in fairly good shape too. But to be fair, the G1 figure was pretty good for its time. G1 Crosshairs looks good in both modes, has solid construction, and has a Targetmaster figure that is unlike most other similar figures at the time. Crosshair’s Targetmaster partner is called Pinpointer, and he is supposed to be more of a rocket launcher than a pistol. This means he actually requires folding at the waist and at the feel to form the weapon! Yeah 2 whole steps from robot to gun! That’s unheard of for G1.

Crosshairs is now upgraded in the War For Cybertron Siege line. It’s a repaint of the Ironhide and Ratchet figure, but I feel this mold can represent Crosshairs quite well. Below are some pics in the box.

Siege Crosshairs holds poses quite well.

Classic A-Stance.

Ready for some action.

Ready for more action.

Standing around looking cool. Notice the rifle weapon can be attached over the shoulder.

Head mold is modeled after G1 season 4 animation, not the toy.

Siege Crosshairs is about the same size as G1 Crosshairs. When compared side by side, you can see that HasTak took great care to reference the G1 character. A lot of the details is modeled as close to G1 as possible, especially in the legs. Pics below.

For reference, here are some solo pics of G1 Crosshairs in robot mode, with Pinpointer as weapon and robot.

Siege Crosshairs is built well. I detect no construction issues on my copy. All joint are at the right level of tolerance. Pieces tab into place where they should with no problems.

Transformation to vehicle mode is pretty simple. It’s exactly the same as Ironhide and Ratchet, so I won’t describe it too much. In short, flip down the chest piece, fold in the head, then flip the chest piece back up. Raise the arms over the head and combine as one. Rotate the entire chest assembly 180, so that the arms are now pointing in the same direction as the legs. Flip open the lower leg covers, then combine the legs. Position the figure so that the arms are over the legs, and close the leg covers over the arms. Snap the covers together. That’s pretty much covers the transformation.

I like the look of Siege Crosshairs in alt mode. The vehicle shape doesn’t resemble G1 Crosshairs all that much, but I think this alt mode is more fitting of what Crosshairs should have. G1 Crosshairs has an alt mode more like a Cybertronian sports car, while Siege Crosshairs is more like a Cybertronian mobile combat vehicle. As a weapons supervisor, the latter makes more sense to me.

Below are the 2 in alt mode, side by side.

Again, I really like the look of Crosshairs using this mold in Siege.

Alt mode with no weapon attachment.

Alt mode with weapon attachment.

Alt mode rear view.

My only gripe about WFC Siege Crosshairs is that he’s not a Targetmaster. Maybe a third party will release an accessory to make it Targetmaster. Smells like a perfect job for Dr Wu.

I recommend WFC Siege Crosshairs with no reservation. Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Random Decepticons, August 2019

August 3rd, 2019 No comments

Once again, I got a bunch of mostly unrelated Decepticons lying about. I’m gathering a bunch of them together for a feature.

WFC Siege Brunt

I consider myself pretty hardcore G1, and even I had to look up Brunt. In G1, he was a figure that came with Trypticon. Kind of like Six-Gun and Metroplex. However, in G1, Brunt is a tank that transforms into some gun towers for Trypticon. He does not have a robot mode. So it’s a bit debatable if you can even call Brunt an independent figure. But Hasbro did create a profile for him and here we are.

In War For Cybertron Siege, Brunt is upgraded to a modern Cybertronian interpretation. And this figure ain’t too shabby. He gets a full-fledged robot mode. And the original tank mode is still intact. But more importantly, Burnt is what they now call a “Weaponizer” figure in Siege. What this means is that he can separate into bits, and the individual parts can be used as weapons for other figures. It’s kind of a gimmicky feature. Not groundbreaking in my opinion, but marginally cool. Though this does make Brunt very much a parts-former. When transforming from robot to tank, the arms, legs, main gun, and back panel all needs to be removed and reattached. Yikes! The right arm on my copy is also a bit too loose in the elbow.

Still, I like Burnt. Both modes look good. I like the color scheme. The newly designed head mold works great for the character, and the parts-forming transformation actually feels kinda fun. Recommended.

WFC Siege Refraktor

Here is a figure that many hardcore G1 purists like myself have been waiting for. Focus your camera lenses on: Refraktor! Yes all G1 nerds will immediately recognize this as Reflector. I’m assuming the name change was required for trademark reasons.

I have seen the original Diaclone toys in a Diaclone catalog. But they were Japanese only. In the US, I believe these G1 Reflectors were only available through Hasbro’s mail order at the time, using Robots Points that you cut out of the G1 packaging. And they were still in Diaclone colors and not the show colors.

There has been several modern efforts at updating Reflectors. Hasbro has made Mini-Con Reflectors that came packed with Skrapnel, but these Reflectors are hardly G1 accurate. I know there has been a legend size Reflector figure, but those were convention exclusives. And they were simply repaints of Combiner Wars Shockwave, which stunk of Hasbro laziness. There has been many third party efforts as well. But they are not massively accessible, and I’m told none of them are that good. Each set has its issues.

Enter WFC Siege Refractor. This is the most show accurate physical manifestation of an official Refraktor that we have seen to date! This is a brand new mold, designed to be the character. The overall shape and colors of the robot mode screams Reflector. And yes, when you have 3 of them, they will combine to form a camera! G1 TransFans, Hasbro loves you. As of this writing, I only have 2 Refraktors. I got a third one in my Roller’s Stash at The Chosen Prime. I’ll form the camera when I ship the stash. I am told the camera comes together really well.

Build and construction of the figure is extremely solid. No loose bits or dangling parts. All pieces tab in where they should. Joints are of the right tension.

Each Refraktor also has an individual alt mode, that I’m guessing is supposed to be some kind of flying Cybertronian craft. Reminds me a bit of some versions of Shockwave’s alt mode. This mode feels like an afterthought, made up so toy buyers who know nothing about G1’s history don’t feel cheated when buying Refraktor. But you and I know better. The 3 as 1 camera alt mode is where the true action is.

For those of you that remember me saying how lame Reflectors are, this makes them a bit less lame. They almost earned themselves a seat at the cool kids table.

If you’re G1 guy, you already made up your mind that you’re buying 3 Refraktors. And if you’re not a G1 guy, buy them anyway.

Generations Thrilling 30 Skywarp

This Skywarp was purchased back in February of 2014. That was more than 5 years ago. Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly time flies. If I didn’t document the purchase, I would have thought this was only 2 or 3 years ago.

Generations Thrilling 30 Skywarp is based on designs from the Fall of Cybertron game. So he does fit in fairly well with WFC Siege. Though a Skywarp is planned for WFC Siege (as an Amazon exclusive).

This is a solid Skywarp figure. I have written about this mold elsewhere, so I won’t repeat them here. Though, playing with Skywarp after all these years, he does feel dated when compared to the WFC Siege line of figures. TFs as a whole are constantly getting better. And sometimes I need to remind myself of that fact by going back to older figures. It’s a bit like looking at your own children. Sometimes you don’t realize how much they have grown, until you go back and look at old but still recent pictures.

Studio Series Starscream

The last figure here is Studio Series Starscream. I started going into SS figures starting with my last post. Starscream was part of the first wave of SS figures released.

I like this Starscream. Overall, he feels like an up-sized version of Dark of the Moon deluxe Starscream. That figure came around before I started documenting my TF purchases on this blog. And I don’t think I ever featured that figure in anything. I think the closes I came to featuring it somewhere is in this post. Look carefully at the only picture that he’s in. It looks like Skywarp, but it’s really Starscream! Gemini and his wife took a deluxe store DotM Starscream, repainted it like Skywarp, and put it in this Japanese packaging for DotM Skywarp. To my knowledge, a retail deluxe DotM Skywarp was never released in the States. This has got to be one of the best Christmas presents I ever received! I really need to dig out this figure and give it a proper review.

Anyways, back to SS Starscream. This figure is voyager class. That’s a more appropriate size for someone like Starscream. The robot mode appears very close to his movie design. He’s fairly stable when standing on 2 legs on a flat surface. The feet is a feat in engineering (pun intended) considering his overall shape. Starscream has virtually no kibble on the back, which is saying something for the movie seekers. Starscream comes with a weapon that can be attached on either arm, when the hand is flipped in. In jet mode, Starscream looks great. Again, very little kibble on the underside of the jet, and that’s to be commended. There’s some kibble on the wings, but in my opinion it’s not at all distracting. Landing gears flip out easily. The weapon pegs in nicely and securely on the rear of the jet, behind the thrusters.

Again, the transformation scheme is identical to the DotM deluxe figure. SS Starscream is in my opinion the best movie Starscream made to date. The RotF Leader class figure was very good too, but this SS figure is more playable.

I recommend all the figures here.

Other related posts:

Decepticons… Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Pop-Outz! Grab Bag

July 2nd, 2019 No comments

As fan of all things Transformers, every once in a while I would pick up some Transformers related merchandise which are not the figures themselves. I was at Dollar Tree and stumbled upon this wacky item you see before you. A Transformers Pop-Outz! Grab Bag! For only a dollar I can potentially amuse myself for hours. Or not.

So what the heck is in here? Let’s open and find out.

Feast your optics on the contents before you. There’s a sticker sheet, 1 set of 3 markers, a cardboard cut out sheet of Optimus and Bumblebee, and a cardboard cut out sheet of Megatron and Grimlock.

Megatron and Grimlock

Optimus Prime and Bumblebee

Stickers

Markers

If I was to really color the 4 characters here, that would take me hours if not days. The markers that come with the set don’t offer enough colors to really do a good job here. Perhaps it’s possible to do an adequate Bumblebee, with the yellow and black. You are probably better off using your own markers. I like to color one. The characters look like they are from the Cyberverse line.

The cardboard cut outs can be attached to the included stand (also on cardboard).

Kids will most likely love all the stickers here. And some adults too.

This grab bag is probably just something to give out at kids parties, or used as Christmas stocking stuffer. The coloring and stickers should keep the little ones entertained for hours.
Recommended age is 3+.

Transform and Roll Out.
 

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

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

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

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