Posts Tagged ‘Alternity’

Transformers Purchased in May 2012

May 31st, 2012 Comments off

The end of the month is upon us once again. The time has come to count up the TFs my friends. What kind of damage did I do in May? Let’s find out…

  • TF Prime RID Hot Shot, Target, $12.99

  • Alternity Megatron, Craigslist, $45

  • PCC Searchlight, CVS Pharmacy, $8.29

  • TF Prime RID Bulkhead, Walmart, $19.96
  • TF Prime RID Starscream, Target, $19.99

  • TF Prime RID Knock Out, Target, $12.89

  • TF Prime Zombie Cliffjumper, about $35

This feels like a typical month as far as TF purchases go, not too many and not too few. 5 figs come from Transformers Prime, which is what I would expect at this point in time. 1 PCC and 1 Alternity rounds out the rest. As of this writing, I opened all of these except the 2 Japanese releases: Alternity Megatron and TF Prime Zombie Cliffjumper.

I bought Alternity Megatron off some dude that posted an ad on Craigslist. For this fig, Takara also made a blue one and a black one. But being the G1-er that I am, I had to get the silver, no exceptions. The asking price was $50. I offered $45 and the dude took it. I remember at Wondercon in 2010, a dealer had the same fig for $50. I thought about buying it, but couldn’t make up my mind. This was around lunch time. I said to my friend Gemini that we’ll go to lunch, and if the figure was still there when we return, I’ll take that as a sign and buy it. So we go eat at the nearby Jollibee, and when we came back to the con, Megatron was gone. I was not destined to have Megatron that day. But finding it 2 years later for cheaper is what fate had in stored for me. Just goes to show, sometimes when things don’t work out, it just isn’t meant to be and something better will come along later. Who says life lessons can’t apply to TFs? 🙂

As for the Japanese TF Prime Zombie CJ, Gemini ordered this from a online retailer. We both had to have this since we both missed out on a First Edition CJ. Zombie CJ is the same mold, just all zombified. Most fans seem to suggest that the FE CJ mold is so much better than the RID mold, so I look forward to opening this soon. Another CJ figure for my Cliffjumper collection.

I opened the remaining figures. RID Hot Shot is a repaint of RID Bumblebee with a different head. I like his colors, and I think his goggle gimmick is pretty cool. RID Knock Out is also a very good figure. I like both his car mode and robot mode, and his transformation is quite refreshing. I think Knock Out is actually one of the harder figures from the TF Prime RID deluxe line, but I only transformed him once so far so this assessment may change.

As for the TF Prime RID Voyager figures, I like Bulkhead. I like his alt mode, no issues here. As for his robot mode, overall it’s not too bad. Some fans complain about his wings on the back, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. The only thing that really bug me about Bulkhead is his weapon. It has a cool MechTech feature where pulling the switch back moves the spinning ball forward, but the weapon just looks awful when placed on either the vehicle or the robot. Hasbro really believes that we fans love MechTech. Personally, I could do without MechTech if it means getting a better figure (which is basically what First Editions are). Speaking of First Editions, I bought a FE Bulkhead on eBay and it should arrive next month. As for Voyager Starscream, I can’t really recommend this figure. This is hard to explain in words, but something about this figure just seems off. Maybe it’s because the FE was so impressive. A lot of fans complain about the scale too. If you can only get one, definitely get the FE.

That only leaves the 1 PCC figure, Searchlight. I got this near the middle of the month around Mothers Day. I only got Searchlight because there wasn’t any other new TFs to buy at the time. Plus I had a bunch of coins that I needed to take to Coinstar. With that voucher, I had more than enough for Searchlight. I’m really glad I decided to buy him. He’s one of the better PCCs in my opinion. Also, I don’t have that many helicopter TFs, so I’m happy to add more. I only have one gripe where in robot mode his shoulders don’t really lock into place, but that’s a small complaint.

That about covers it. TFs in the month of May. Will I ever have a month where I don’t buy any TFs? Not something I wanna think about.

Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

My Cliffjumper Collection

March 7th, 2012 3 comments

Today I’m going to feature a character that Hasbro/Takara didn’t take seriously until the last few years: Cliffjumper. For decades, CJ was simply that red repaint of Bumblebee. In the G1 cartoons, CJ and Bee were distinct characters with distinct personalities. But as for the G1 toys, the two were awfully similar. Technically they were not repaints of each other (with different head molds and slightly different body molds), but it was obvious that the two figures were cut from the same cloth. It didn’t help matters that, early in G1 before the TF brand was properly established, Hasbro released red Bumblebees and yellow Cliffjumpers, further blending the identity of the two. As the years went on, the Bumblebee mold was often selected to be repainted as Cliffjumper whenever Hasbro felt like making a quick buck off the same mold.

At around 2009, things began to change. Cliffjumper figures began to see more variation from Bumblebee. If memory serves, the first Cliffjumper with a different head in this modern era is the Alternity figure. Technically Takara sold the figure as Bumblebee, but we all know he’s really Cliffjumper. In Transformers Prime, CJ is a completely different mold from Bumblebee. After all these years, Cliffjumper is finally getting the recognition that he deserves.

Below I proudly present my Cliffjumper collection.

Clockwise from top left: Classics deluxe, TF Prime RID deluxe, Movie deluxe, Alternity, Generations WFC deluxe.

G1 Keychain

Interestingly enough, I still have the packaging to all my Cliffjumper toys. Mostly because I didn’t open them. The only ones I opened are the Alternity and WFC figures (as shown in the pic above). But I keep the box to all my Alternities, and I have two of the WFC figure, one unopened. I plan to open TF Prime RID Cliffjumper and I don’t plan to buy multiples, so this trend of having all CJ’s packaging probably won’t continue.

From Casey Kasem to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

More Toys! Robots I Bought in the Last 2 Weeks

February 10th, 2010 2 comments

February looks like another good month of robot action. I have acquired even more transforming robots. They are:

Robotech Masterpiece BETA Fighter VFB-9H by Toynami
This is a figure I have wanted for quite a while now. Toynami has made a reputation of producing figures of sub-par construction (I heard the Maia Sterling Shadow Alpha was even recalled), but the Beta appears to be the exception. I’ve seen very favorable reviews of this piece on many Youtube videos and blogs, so I look forward to this fighter with high anticipation. Word is that Toynami contracted a new factory in China to produce their figures, and the improved results are reflected in this piece. Prices over the holidays hovered around $130 to $140 at the low end while some dealers were asking $160+. So yesterday when I saw this on Ebay for $114 shipped Buy It Now, I jumped on it immediately. Actually, this was the price of many dealers and I don’t know what accounted for this price drop. Maybe all of a sudden Toynami recovered a lost stash somewhere, or maybe they simply decided to make more, who knows. But I’m glad I waited. I paid this morning and I’m hoping to get it by this weekend. I will be doing a review of this for sure. Stay tuned.

Transformers Animated Leader Class Bulkhead by Hasbro
Transformers Animated is officially over so I’m buying its figures while they’re still up for grabs. There’s not a whole lot left in the stores at this point. Last week I was once again at TRU to return my Samurai Prowl because of the broken peg issue. While I was there, I saw that they were clearing out all TFA Leader Class figures at $20 apiece. The only thing they had was Bulkhead. I’ve heard good things about him, and he is one of the central 5 Autobots in TFA, so I went ahead and bought him. That was a good decision b/c I am very impressed with this figure. He’s got a sturdy frame and nice clicky joints. The toy captured the Animated look extremely well, and his transformation is unique without being overly difficult. I won’t go into all the details here since I plan on doing a full review. But at $20, you owe it to yourself to get this if you haven’t already. At this price he’s one of the best TF values around.

Transformers Alternity Bumblebee by Takara
I was very impressed with Alternity Cliffjumper, and so I was also on the lookout Alternity Bumblebee. I generally don’t like buying repaints, but I’m a sucker for repaints of G1 characters. About 2 weeks ago, my buddy Gemini informed me that OtaCute had these on sale at $24.99 each. They also offer SAL shipping, and for one Alternity figure its about $8. I thought this was way too good to be true. But at this price we could not resist. Gemini already had Bumblebee and needed CJ, so we decided to combine our orders and save even more on ship. The grand total for 2 Alternities plus SAL ship came to only about $60. I still had my doubts, but this week they arrived just fine. OtaCute came thru no problem! These prices are unbeatable and I will definitely check OtaCute from now on when I need Japanese TFs. I already opened CJ so I will most likely keep Bee in the box.

More Robots = More Awesome. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt

Alternity Cliffjumper Review

January 25th, 2010 2 comments

Last weekend I mentioned I got a whole bunch of robots. Well, the sellers of each shipped them super quick, and Wheeljack arrived on Thur and Cliffjumper and the SV-51 on Fri. I work full time so that meant I picked up all 3 Sat morning at the post office. Handing the PO 3 pick-up slips at the same time was a total trip.

Last night I took out Cliffjumper from its shipping box. I already knew how these are boxed since I have the Alternity Primes. I guess I just wanted to see how CJ looks.

The Alternities are fairly small (about standard TF deluxe size) and I like the fact that Takara is using a box of the appropriate size. I hate it when a huge box is used to package a small figure (I’m not just referring to TFs here). It’s misleading to the buyer, it takes up too much space, and it increases shipping cost. However, I’m not a fan of these clear hard plastic boxes. They dent and crack easy, and there’s just no substitute for the charm of a traditional cardboard box. My understanding is that these are the cheapest boxes to produce, and the way they look certainly reflects that fact.

I never opened an Alternity figure before. I had intended to keep CJ in the box too. My premium Transformers usually remains unopened. I like to keep them mint, and at the same time I like to see them go up in value, kinda like an investment. However the box for CJ is already dinged. Take a look at the lower left corner in the pic above. The future value of this piece already took a hit. I could’ve returned this to the seller, but I don’t need the extra hassles and I really wanted to open an Alternity, and so I went ahead and opened CJ.

After taking the figure out, I’m even less impressed with the box. The whole thing just screams cheap. But I’ll stop ranting about the box now, and just show you this one last pic of the back of the box before I move on to the figure itself.

The first thing you’ll notice about CJ in alt mode is his nice paint job. I guess the best way to describe it is a metallic deep cherry red. G1 purists might complain about this b/c CJ has always been the standard red, but I applaud Takara’s decision to go with this alternate red. This shade goes very well with this mold when you see it in person. He’s definitely got a nice reflective tint in the colors that goes very well the die cast exteriors. Speaking of which, the die cast parts gives this figure more weight and it certainly feels nicer than a lot of the cheap plastic crap that Hasbro produces.

In alt mode he’s got rubber tires. He rolls very well on a flat surface. Cliffjumper is a Suzuki Swift (SX4 Crossover in the US) in the Alternity line and the toy designers captured the look of the car extremely well.

All 4 doors on the unit (5 if you count the rear hatch) opens up like the real Swift. When you look inside you can see the seats, even the rear seats. There’s way more interior details here than your typical TF. The steering wheel is located on the right side of the vehicle. This is a Japanese model for sure.

The hood also opens to reveal where the engine is housed. In this pic below, both the hood and the engine cover is lifted up to expose the engine. Keep in mind that the engine becomes his weapons.

Here are some size comparison shots. He’s only a tad bigger than Classics Bumblebee.

Overall, I’m very happy with the alt mode. For a figure of this size, I find no weaknesses at all. He looks nice, got plenty of detail, feels solid, and just exudes quality. Now let’s take a look at the robot mode.

The first thing you’ll notice here is the very G1 accurate head mold. I’ve ranted about this before and I’ll do it again: it sucks that CJ is almost always an exact repaint of Bumblebee. Well not this time. Takara loves you and they gave Cliffjumper a different head mold from the Bee figure, and they’ve done an excellent job in replicating the G1 design. I dare say this is the best looking Cliffjumper head they’ve ever made. Takara most definitely wins points here.

In robot mode, CJ is significantly taller than Classics Bumblebee. I think part of the reason is that the CJ figure’s legs extends out farther. CJ’s transformation is a little bit complex the first time you try it, but if you’re used to transforming Binaltechs, this should not be new for you. The legs are a little hard to figure out if you’re simply reading the instructions b/c there are so many moving pieces there. I suggest you watch Peaugh’s video of Cliffjumper if you are having trouble transforming him. The upper body is not too bad in terms of the complexity, but that’s not to say it’s simple by any means. He does have this automorph feature; when you pull the legs down, the front windshield goes up towards the chest area. This feature works fairly well when you go from car to robot, but in reverse it can be hard to get it to work. You just have to be patient and keep trying until you get it.

As I’ve said before, the engine comes apart and becomes two guns for him. The handle flips out and they insert easily into either hand. These guns look kinda generic, but it is in fact how his guns looked in the G1 cartoon. Cliffjumper’s G1 figure did not come with weapons and his guns are simply something conjured up by the cartoon designers. It’s nice to see the toy designers of this figure pay homage to that look and give us real guns that CJ can use.

CJ has awesome articulation. The arms can be positioned in a variety of ways. In the legs, he’s got good pivots in the knees and in the feet. The head is on a ball joint and can be turned all over. The only place missing articulation is in the waist, but I’m not really complaining here. The figure is also nicely balanced. I was very impressed with how easily I can make him stand on his legs, considering there’s so much articulation there. CJ is very solid in his construction and certainly hold his poses well.

My first gripe about this figure is the “chunkiness” that other fans have complained about. I suppose these pics really add that extra 10 pounds, but in person the chest area doesn’t look much better. There is quite a bit of bulk there, and I wish the toy designers added some extra mechanism to reduce that extra mass.
CJ: “Jazz, we’re not getting away!”
Jazz: “Well duh… you’re too heavy. Too much energon again?!”

My only other gripe about this figure, and all Alternities in general, is the cost. I paid $47 for CJ, most dealers ask $50+. The figure is simply too small to justify the cost. Only the most hardcore TransFans like myself would even consider paying this. Sure, he’s got a decent level of die cast parts, but still. Binaltechs were much larger (more than twice the size) and they were die cast too, and their cost was about the same.

But overall, I highly recommend Alternity Cliffjumper. If you are a TransFan deeply affected by G1 values, this figure will not disappoint. We have a figure even Casey Kasem would be proud. The price and the chest bulk are concerns, but he’s got way too many positives that easily overshadow his shortcomings. Not only that, if you’re a fan of G1 Diaclone car figures, you owe if to yourself to check out the Alternities. As I was messing with CJ today, I could not help but feel brought back to the mid 80s when I was playing with those figures. Alternities are much more complex than Diaclones, but they are about the same size, they are constructed out of quality materials such as die cast metal and the rubber tires, and they place a heavy emphasis on accurate alt modes. Some TransFans have suggested that Binaltechs are a continuation of those values, a second coming to the golden days of TFs, if you will. But I think with Alternities that’s even more true. Alternities are the very embodiment of the TF spirit that the Diaclones stood for. Again, price is a factor, and I question the choice of turning the alt modes of some characters into sports cars that never were. But this is as close to G1 as we’re ever gonna get without going backwards, and I would love to see this line continued for many more years.

Prime: “Cliffjumper, commence countdown.”
CJ: “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Transform and Roll Out!”

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

More Toys! Robots I Bought This Weekend

January 18th, 2010 2 comments

I’m starting the new year right! This weekend I bought some more Transformers and Macross stuff and I got good deals on all of them. Here’s what I acquired:

Macross Zero SV-51r Gumma Nora Type Valkyrie 1/60 Scale by Yamato
Yamato always produces great Macross fighters. My most recent Yamato purchase before this weekend was the VF-11B from Macross Plus. Other Yamatos I have include the 1/60 scale YF-19 (with fold booster and fast pack, purchased separately) and a whole bunch of 1/60 VF-1 fighters that were made in the early 2000s (non-Perfect-Transform versions). I am happy to add the SV-51r to my Macross collection. The best part: I found a brand new one for $160 shipped! The English site of AmiAmi had one on sale at 50% off which was only about $113. Shipping from Japan is expensive, but at $160 total it’s still a steal for a Perfect Transform 1/60 scale Yamato. I’ve wanted the SV-51r for a while now. It’s very different from fighters in the VF line and I can’t wait for this piece to arrive.

Transformers Alternators Wheeljack by Hasbro
I love figures from the Binaltech/Alternator line. This line is now officially discontinued and there are figures I regret not buying when I had the chance. Alternator Wheeljack is one of these figures. Prices for Alternators are usually ridiculously high on Ebay, and for Binaltechs it’s even more so. But this weekend I was able to find one at a reasonable price. I won the auction at about $30 shipped for a brand new Alternator Wheeljack. Not a bad price at all considering what some other dealers ask for. I already have the Grimlock mold (in both Binaltech and Alternator) so I know how this transforms, but Wheeljack does have a different head mold and nice blue racing stripes that makes it worth adding him to my collection.

Transformers Alternity Cliffjumper by Takara
When I first started this blog, I made a post about whether or not I should buy Alternity Bumblebee and Cliffjumper. Well, this weekend I finally caved and saw a good auction for Cliffjumper on Ebay, so I went for it. I won the auction at $47 shipped. This was pretty much the pre-order price at many online toy sites, but I missed my chance and now most dealers are asking for him in the mid-50 dollar range. I’m glad I was able to find one without paying any markup. The only reason I hesitated on pre-ordering these guys is b/c Seibertron made a post about his chest and mid section being too bulky, resulting in a chubby figure. But then I saw this Youtube review by Peaugh that offered a very different opinion. So yeah, had to have him. Now I still need to buy Bumblebee.

I just paid for all these guys and I’m hoping they arrive in a week. I will be doing reviews of all of these… if I decide to open them. So stay tuned…

I’m off to see what else I need to buy… keep shopping my fellow TransFans… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt