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Posts Tagged ‘FansProject’

FansProject Smart Robin Quick Review

February 26th, 2019 Comments off

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

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

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

Classic A stance.

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

Side view.

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

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

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

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

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

Jet mode at a different angle.

Rear view of the jet.

Directly from the front.

Cockpit opens and the Headmaster can sit inside.

Bottom view.

Retractable front landing gear.

Rear landing gear, one retracted and out left out.

With other Brainstorms in jet mode.

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

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

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Transformers Purchased in April 2017

May 6th, 2018 Comments off

There was no shortage of purchases in April of 2017. Figures from every TF line of the time was represented this month, including Titans Return, Robots in Disguise, and for the first time, The Last Knight. Even third party products were not left out. Some of these figures are pretty darn good. And some of them, not so much. If you just want to get to my final thoughts about a figure, scroll down to the bottom of the post.

There’s a lot to get through, so let’s get to it.

  • Robots in Disguise Soundwave, Walmart, $14.97

  • Robots in Disguise Blurr, Walmart, $14.97

  • The Last Knight Barricade, Walmart, $15.83

  • Titans Return Broadside, Target, $24.99

  • Titans Return Sky Shadow, Target, $40.99

  • Titans Return Bumblebee, Kickback, Gnaw, tfsource.com, $32.99

  • Keiths Fantasy Club E-Nergeon Cubes, tfsource.com, $9.99

  • FansProject Function-XV MADLAW, tfsource.com, $39.99

  • Warbotron WB03-A Turbo Ejector, tfsource.com, $79.99

Soundwave and Blurr

The two Robots in Disguise figures this month are Soundwave and Blurr. I found these two very early in the month.

I could never get enough Soundwave figures. I love the character, and I’m pleased he has a figure in the RiD line (though I don’t watch the show so I don’t know if he makes an appearance). RiD Soundwave takes design cues from many previous incarnations of the character. In robot mode, he’s got the iconic Soundwave colors and right-shoulder mounted cannon. Overall body shape takes design aesthetics from War For Cybertron Soundwave, and the head mold is an obvious homage of Transformers Prime Soundwave. I dig Soundwave’s overall appearance in robot mode. The red featureless face is a good fit for the character, and works well as a light piping feature. The figure is capable of some good poses in robot form, though most of it is achieved through cheap plastic ball joints. Transformation of RiD Soundwave is not difficult by any means. But unless you do it all time, there are some minor twists to an overall familiar motif that could have you very slightly stumped during the process. I don’t transform the figure that much, and every time I do it, I find myself asking silently, “How do I do that again?” RiD Soundwave’s alt mode is most certainly taken from War For Cybertron. But that’s not a bad thing. The Cybertronian car/SUV works well for the character. In my opinion, there are not that many good figures from Robots in Disguise, but Soundwave is one of them. This is a recommended figure. Get it.

Let’s look at Blurr next. The figure features the iconic Blurr colors that we have grown accustomed to. His head mold is an unique take on Blurr. It looks like he’s wearing a helmet with a visor, something Blurr would use if he was a human race car driver. I dunno, I think it’s design gimmicks like these that turns me off on Robots in Disguise. The show heavily attempts to humanize every Transformer, and I think they’re forgetting that they’re robots, not humans. Blurr is super easy to transform, just like every other figure in the RiD line. His transformation motif features nothing that we haven’t seen before. Arms to the sides, snap the legs together, and fold the back assembly over to the top of the vehicle. Flip in the feet pieces and line up the spoilers. That pretty much describes the entire transformation. It’s painfully simple, even by RiD standards. Granted, the alt mode does look cool. This futuristic race car reminds of me Crasher from the GoBots. I bet a customizer has already made a Crasher using this figure. Blurr’s weapon is in a translucent blue, and it comes with 2 pegs so you can position the weapon in two different orientations. All in all, this is not a bad figure, but offers nothing new for the mature collector.

Barricade

I am pleased to introduce my very first figure from The Last Knight: Barricade. There has been many deluxe movie Barricades made, and none of them are that good. I have the very first Barricade, from the 1st movie, as part of “First Encounter” 2 pack. And I have deluxe Barricade from Dark of the Moon. DotM Barricade is slightly better than the first Barricade, but neither one set the world on fire.

Hasbro used the term “Premier Edition” to label TLK toys that are more geared towards collectors, kind of like how Age of Extinction used the “Generations” banner. I started seeing the Premier Edition figs at Walmart in early April. Right away I liked the packaging. Even for the deluxe size figs, they are packed in boxes and not on cardboard. That’s always a plus in my book. In addition to Barricade, there was Bumblebee, Berserker, and Slash in the first wave of Premier Edition deluxe figs. I’m pretty sure Bumblebee and Slash are repaints from AoE. Berserker didn’t look all that interesting. That only leaves Barricade. Out of these 4, he does look the best in the box. And since I was never satisfied with the previous Barricades, I was really hoping this figure would be better. So I left the store with only Barricade.

I’m gonna go over the alt mode first. Barricade’s police car paint job is quite good. This Barricade is more of a dark blue, and not black. The Decepticon logo and the “POLICE” markings are painted very sharply on both sides. Front headlights and the police siren lights on the grill are also nicely painted. Same goes for the rear brake lights. This Barricade still has the phrase “To Punish and Enslave” written in cursive right above the rear wheels, and this application looks better than ever. What I find most impressive about this alt mode is that it’s got room for all his accessories. There are peg holes for the pistol and the night stick underneath the vehicle. And with those attached, there is still plenty of clearance for the police car to roll well on a flat surface. But what’s really impressive is how the arm cannon is placed in alt mode. The round arm cannon fold apart to form 2 semi-circles, and in this form the cannon is pegged in on the rear windshield. It’s a very cool effect and I commend Hasbro for this design. Barricade feels cohesive in this mode, nothing dangling or flopping around. If I was only judging this by alt mode, this is the best Barricade ever made.

Transformation to robot mode is pretty simple. That seems to be the trend for movie figures these days, even the ones made for collectors. It’s nothing we haven’t seen from the movie line, so I won’t describe it too much. In robot mode, Barricade looks ok, not great. I feel that his proportions are off. The legs appear a bit short in my opinion, giving more of a stocky look. The big weakness of the robot mode is that there is way too much back kibble. The roof of the car is draped over almost the entire back side. In fact, the roof of the car accounts for about 70% of the height in robot mode. It’s not AoE Crosshairs bad, but pretty close. Articulation is decent for a fig in this class, though I gotta point out there is no waist articulation and the head only moves from side to side, not up and down. The pistol and nightstick can be held in either hand. The same peg holes for their storage in alt mode is now positioned to the side of the thighs, so he can store them there in bot mode for kind of a cool look. The arm cannon can be wrapped around either arm. In my opinion, the robot mode is mediocre at best.

So should you get Barricade? I do feel this is the best Barricade made to date, but that’s not saying too much. Alt mode is excellent, but bot mode is so-so. If you’re not crazy about the character, then perhaps wait for the MP Barricade that is due out sometime this year.

Below is a pic of Barricade with some other TLK figures, that will come in later months.

I mentioned in earlier entries that I made a visit to New Zealand and Australia in 2017. That was a great trip! And I wanna go back there so bad. Anyways, that happened in April of 2017. The 3 figures featured so far were found before the trip. All other figures this month were acquired after the trip. And believe me, I tried hunting for Transformers in Australia. I did locate some Toys R Us stores on Google Maps, but they were too far out of the way from where we stayed and where we went for attractions. Bummer. I would have liked to see Toys R Us in Australia, like I did for Paris and Shanghai. And now that Toys R Us is officially closing all stores here in the United States (and in the U.K.), I wonder if the international stores will survive.

Broadside

TR Broadside is one of the last figures I found in April, but I’m gonna talk about him now. For a long time, I was really hoping Hasbro would make a Broadside. I featured my CHUG Wreckers a while back, in this post. Look on the 3rd shelf, and I got all the original Wreckers updated in modern day form. Except for Broadside. So now having Broadside is a dream come true. That is, until I opened the figure.

Broadside is one of the original Autobot Triple Changers, along with Springer and Sandstorm. His 2 alt modes is a jet and an aircraft carrier. The concept of such a figure already boggles the mind. From a story perspective, Broadside has to be doing some crazy mass shifting to go from a regular sized bot to an aircraft carrier. And as for the toy, it’s very, very had to implement in physical form, because the shape of an aircraft carrier is very different from the shape of a jet. I never had the G1 toy, but I understand it’s not the best.

Titans Return is taking a stab at doing this difficult figure to please the hardcore completist fans, and I do appreciate them trying. But the end result is less than stellar. The aircraft carrier mode is decent, the robot mode is passable, but the jet mode is horrendous. The front of the jet looks ok, but the rear of the jet looks like something a fan would make up out of a toy as another mode. It’s as if the toy designers did not know what to do with the robot legs, so they kinda just stuck it in an awkward configuration for the rear of the jet called it a day. There is so much bulk at the back that this can’t be considered a good jet mode by any means. I don’t recommend this figure. Here are some pics.

Sky Shadow

Another figure I got towards the end of the month is Sky Shadow. He’s the last TR figure for the month. I did a quick review for him already, so read all the juicy details here. Sky Shadow is a recommended figure for this month.

Bumblebee, Kickback, Gnaw

The 3 TR legend class figures were bought as a set, for $32.99. I did find them all individually later in store for cheaper, but I wanted to lock them in early since legend figures always go fast when they first come out.

TR Bumblebee is not bad, but not great. Transformation uses the tried and true Bumblebee formula. Poseability is decent and construction is solid. I love the head and face sculpt, it’s done really well for a $10 figure. The Autobot logo is also nicely painted on and not a cheap sticker. The alt mode, while not a G1 bug, resembles something that Bumblebee would choose to be today. This figure doesn’t do anything that previous CHUG legend Bumblebees haven’t done, with the exception of one thing: A Titan Master can ride inside him in alt mode. You read that right. Most figures first released under the Titans Return line can have a Titan Master ride somewhere in their alt modes. And legend figures are no exception (if the alt mode is a vehicle). In Bumblebee’s case, the chest cavity is made hollow enough that a Titan Master can be squeezed in there in alt mode. However, this does mean that getting the car mode to clean up nicely after transformation is a bit tougher. The panel pieces surrounding the hollow cabin can collapse on itself inwards. My final verdict is that TR Bumblebee is a nice offering. Worth picking up if you have no other CHUG Bumblebees, or if you dig the the Titan Master riding feature. As for everyone else, this is an optional purchase.

TR Kickback is the last of the 3 famous Insecticons to be released in legend scale, in some kind of Generations line. We already got Thrilling 30 Skrapnel (Shrapnel) and Combiner Wars Bombshell (glad they could keep the name and not use Bombshock). Titans Return Kickback completes the trio. Overall, I like this Insecticon less than the other 2. The figure is ok, but he’s more flimsy than his Insecticon brothers. Construction of the figure feels cheap. He’s got parts dangling about in both modes, but that’s more of an issue with the initial character design. The insect mode is the weakest of the 3, by far. The mechanics of the transformation seems rushed and lazy. All TR legend figures use cheap ball joints, but Kickback’s implementation of them appear really obvious. If you got the other 2, than by all means pick up this figure to assemble the trio. But if you don’t, Kickback can be a skip. Or better yet, get one of the other ones first. My favorite out of these 3 is Bombshell, and it’s not because I’m partial to the character. He’s the most robust and solid out of the 3 Insecticons.

The last in this set of threesome is Gnaw. Anyone who has seen the G1 Movie knows that Gnaw makes up the drone soldiers of the Sharkticon army, under direction of the Quintessons. A G1 figure of Gnaw was made, and I think his allegiance was Sharkticon on the Tech Spec Bio. However, they still put a Decepticon logo on the toy, and I don’t recall if the name Gnaw was ever used in the G1 Movie or Cartoons. So was a figure made after the Movie designed this character, or did they take this toy and then make up the whole Quintesson backstory? We may never know. But what I do know is that TR Gnaw is pretty cool. He is one of the most unique figures that I have purchased in some time. His colors are unmistakably Gnaw. In robot mode he’s kinda stocky, but that actually reflects how he looked in the G1 Movie. Transformation to the metal shark creature is one of the most unique I have seen, and mechanically it actually works quite well. Robot head folds back, and the legs go backwards and form the shark back and head. Robot arms become the shark legs. The weapon becomes the shark tail. It doesn’t do justice when I describe it in words, but trust me it’s cool. I love how Gnaw looks as the shark creature. He’s got nice clear yellow eyes and a working lower jaw. Shark arms can be rotated, and the shark legs has a decent level of articulation. The alt mode also comes together well, forming a solid cohesive piece despite the fact that he’s got arms and legs. My only gripe is that he’s only legend class. In the Movie he’s actually a tad bigger than Hot Rod and Kup, so a deluxe or voyager class figure would have made more sense. But as legend class, I suppose some hardcore fan out there can get a bunch of these and assemble a Sharkticon army. I give Gnaw the highest level of recommendation. This figure is a required purchase for G1 fans.

E-Nergeon Cubes

I made quick post about these cubes here. See that post for a more in depth look at this high quality 3P accessory made to scale with your MP figures. Highly recommended.

MADLAW

Sixshot is not the only Six-Changer in the TF Universe. There is also an Autobot Six-Changer: Quickswitch. Only the most hardcore of G1-ers know about Quickswitch, and that’s for good reason. The toy came about way too late in G1 to matter. And, to be quite frank, G1 Quickswitch is not the best figure by any standards. In robot mode he looks like he’s wearing diapers, the puma mode is a mess, and his weird color palette of red and green is worthy of arrest by the Cybertron fashion police.

MADLAW is FansProject’s attempt at a modern Quickswitch, much like Hexatron is to Sixhot. Upon first hearing about MADLAW, I was quite excited. When he was finally released, there wasn’t much fanfare or fan buzz. Then the figure faded into obscurity, buried among the many 3P products that we are now saturated with today. Now I know why. Unlike the awesome Hexatron, Quickswitch is not a figure that will knock your socks off.

I purchased MADLAW sometime in late 2016. Tfsource.com had a sale for it at $39.99. I figured you can’t go wrong at this price. I didn’t have anything else to ship with MADLAW so I waited til now. And MADLAW did not make this worth the wait. He’s packed in robot mode. He looks alright in this mode, not great but not bad. He’s significantly smaller than Hexatron. So I guess MADLAW is meant to scale with CHUG.

The first mode I tried to transform him to is the boat mode. I didn’t get very far before I noticed something weird. On one side, the foot piece wouldn’t rotate and line up correctly to go into this alt mode no matter how hard I tried. Turns out, I got left foot pieces on both legs! At this point I gave up on trying to transform the figure and MADLAW stayed in robot mode all this time.

I contacted Tfsource.com to have the situation remedied. Tfsource made me take pictures of the issue, so I did and sent it to them. Then they come back saying I contacted them after 30 days, and per their policy they can’t do anything after 30 days. I got two problems here. One: why did they make me take pictures if all they are gonna say is this is past 30 days? That was a total waste of my time. Two: quoting a policy to not remedy the problem is simply hiding behind policy to do nothing. Real good here, tfsouce. Aren’t you the one that makes the policies? There is no faster way to alienate customers than hiding behind stupid policies. I have since given tfsource way less business. Both capturedprey.com and thechosenprime.com have gone to much greater lengths to take care of me. I mentioned how capturedprey.com got a replacement stand piece for me for Soar. And more recently, thechosenprime.com got me a replacement piece for Contactshot. On a part that I broke! And I broke it about 4 months after the purchase! I now give these 2 much more business. Screw Tfsource!

Anyways, back to MADLAW. Even without the foot piece issue, I don’t think he’s such a great figure. He is kinda small for today’s standards. The only alt mode I tried to get him to didn’t look all that good, even if there was not a wrong foot piece getting in the way. Transformation for that one mode also didn’t feel that smooth. I realize I didn’t fully give the figure a chance here, but if FansProject had better QA, I would have. I blame FP for including the wrong part to begin with, and tfsouce for not fixing the problem. As it stands, I do not recommend this figure. For that reason, I’m not gonna include any pics of MADLAW out of the box. My thoughts about the figure may change, if I choose to dig out this figure and play with it more. But that seems highly unlikely.

If you’re wondering why this figure is called MADLAW, it’s because each letter in the name is also the first letter for each of the modes. For example, W stands for Wood Runner (the puma mode).

All this reminds me of the time I got two left hands for the TF Animated Rodimus figure. How do errors like these happen? Sometimes I really wonder what goes on at a transforming figure toy factory. I have a feeling I might not wanna know. I hope it’s not as bad as what I read about Apple factories.

Is another 3P going to take a stab at their own Quickswitch? Only time will tell.

Turbo Ejector

Last but certainly not least, I have to mention Turbo Ejector. This awesome figure is Warbotron’s interpretation of Technobot Afterburner in MP scale. I did a quick review of the figure. Go read that for all the details, or just trust me and go buy this figure now.

To summarize, these are the grades for the figures this month:

Recommended:

  • RiD Soundwave
  • TR Gnaw
  • TR Sky Shadow
  • E-Nergeon Cubes
  • Warbotron Turbo Ejector

Mediocre:

  • TR Bumblebee
  • TR Kickback
  • RiD Blurr
  • TLK Barricade

Not Recommended:

  • TR Broadside
  • FansProject Function-XV MADLAW (though this may change)

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in December 2015

October 4th, 2016 Comments off

Finally! We have come to the end of 2015. Here are the purchases for the last month of 2015.

  • Combiner Wars Devastator, tfsource.com, $109.99

  • Masterpiece Exhaust, hlj.com, $44.51

  • FansProject Function-X4 Sigma L, tfsource.com, $69.99

  • Warbotron Whirlwind, gift

This may be the first month were I only got Decepticons! Long live Decepticons!

First on the list is Combiner Wars Constructicons and Devastator. This group needs no introduction. The Constructicons were the first combiner group to debut in G1, and I’m glad Hasbro is doing this team justice by giving them unique molds that are completely different from the rest of the Combiner Wars line. I reported on this set back in this post and this post, and at the very last month in 2015 I finally have this awesome set in my hands. For it’s 2015 Black Friday sale, TFSource was letting this go at a very reasonable price. I wasted no time buying these Constructicons as soon as I saw the sale.

Individually, each Constructicon look quite nice their vehicle modes. They are true to their G1 appearance, and build quality is solid and robust. In the individual robot modes, some figures are better than others. Long Haul is one fig that looks quite awful in robot mode. And that is clearly because of the function he serves in combined form. And that combined form is the main attraction of the set. So without further ado, I give you… Devastator!

Now that is an awesome Devastator! He is freakin’ huge! Check out the pic below of him next to a standard deluxe size CHUG Seeker.

Hasbro has done some pretty stupid stuff with combining robots in the past, such as the Movie Devastator and Power Core Combiners. You may be left jaded after buying those products, but believe me, all is forgiven after seeing THIS Devastator in person. I don’t know if this figure is meant to scale with CHUG or MP figs, but it doesn’t matter. He’s so big and tall that his size would be appropriate when displayed next to either set. This combiner is solid. The leg combining mechanism is quite clever. It’s easy to do, and at the same time provides a most solid connection. The body and arm connections are more standard fare when compared to the 3rd party Devastators, such as TFC Hercules and MakeToys Giant.

Much like all the modern Constructicons, Devastator’s head is part of Hook, and no connection pieces are required between any of the six components. The only extraneous pieces are the forearms, fists, chest shield, and Devastator’s gun. Hasbro has designed places for them in alt mode, and they can be used as accessories in robot mode. Glaringly missing are the individual hand held pistols for each figure in robot mode. Not a big deal if you ask me. In G1, it was difficult to remember who had which gun. And this set was meant to be displayed combined in the awesomeness that is Devastator.

Devastator has got some limited poseability. He’s got all the standard articulation points that you would expect, but as a combiner the range of poses would be more limited than a standalone figure. Personally I don’t think that’s an issue. This figure is so big, so solid, and looks so G1 that you have to get it if you call yourself a G1 fan. Sure, there are some 3rd parties out there now that are doing Constructicons that may be superior (such as ToyWorld and Generation Toys), but their sets would cost 6 times as much. For the price, the Hasbro set can’t be beat. Get this now if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it.

Next up we have Masterpiece Exhaust. I’m not familiar with this character at all. His origin may have been from the Japanese continuation of G1, but I could be wrong. I got him because I love the MP Wheeljack mold. Plus HLJ was having a pretty good sale on the figure. Exhaust looks absolutely stunning in his alt mode. His flashy and vibrant colors adds a lot to the already beautiful Lancia Stratos Turbo. This alone is worth the price of admission. I like the new head mold in robot mode, and he comes with plenty of extra accessories, including Wheeljack’s “Immobilizer” from the famous G1 episode of the same name. Construction and transformation is just as solid as Wheeljack. I highly recommend this figure even if you already have Wheeljack.

Now onto the 3rd party offerings for the month. Function-X4 Sigma L is by FansProject, and this is their homage to Mindwipe. Function-X is the label that FP uses for all their HeadMaster figures. I was really impressed with Function-X3 Smart Robin (aka Brainstorm). I have G1 Mindwipe from back in the 80s (and still in pretty good shape too), and TFSource had a sale on this Sigma L. For all these reasons, I got the figure. Overall, I say he’s ok. I like the robot mode, and I definitely like the twin shotguns, even though he had nothing of the sort back in G1. In this mode, the wings kinda get in the way, so it becomes difficult to have him posed with the arms raised in any way. He looks fairly cool in bat mode. Construction of the figure is solid. I was hoping that Sigma L would offer some new ingenious mechanisms in transformation like Smart Robin, but that’s not really the case here. It seems like FP decided to give their own spin on this figure. Like they took Dracula and vampires and adapted that whole motif to a HeadMaster robot, the result of that being Sigma L. I applaud them for giving Mindwipe a new spin, but all in all I’m not quite sure it works. There are no obvious shortcomings with the figure, but at the same time it doesn’t wow you either. I guess I give this fig a weak recommendation. If you need a Mindwipe to complete your HeadMaster collection and you find this fig at less than retail, then go for it. Oh, and the name. Why he’s called Sigma L is beyond me. When I see Function and Sigma mentioned in the same phrase, I keep thinking this is some kind of math equation here. Like let’s get the Sum L from this Function X.

Last but not least, there is Whirlwind, Warbotron’s interpretation of Vortex. Whirlwind is a Christmas gift from my wife. This is my 2nd fig in the Warbotron Combaticons, after Sly Strike. I like Whirlwind. I don’t think he’s as good as Sly Strike, but he’s solid nonetheless. He looks great in robot mode. I like all the different ways that the helicopter blades can be configured in this mode. You could leave them on the back, like the Vortex G1 look. Or you could put two on each forearm, and have them point back up the shoulder in rest position, or have them point forward like he’s Wolverine. Or use two in each hand (one up one down), so it looks like he’s wielding 2 twin blades, like if Darth Maul wielded 2 twin-bladed lightsabers. I like his colors in this mode, very G1. Some G1 purists complain about the clear orange canopy on the chest in robot mode, but I think it’s fine. I don’t think it’s distracting at all. In alt mode, the helicopter comes together quite nicely. My biggest gripe in this mode is that, when you spin the main rotors, they would often times make contact with the tail fin rotors. I also don’t like how the front nose cone area of the helicopter is formed by attaching a shield/pistol accessory. Makes me feel like he’s a bit of a parts-former. Constructions wise he’s pretty solid for the most part, but there are more tolerance issues when compared to Sly Strike. Some accessories don’t peg in as well as they should. But overall I still recommend Whirlwind. He’s a worthy addition to your MP-scaled Decepticon lineup.

Below is a pic of some of these figs, in what appears like a bunch of random Decepticons jammed together for one photo shoot. I had these figs scattered about here and there at the time, so I gathered them all up for a pic. Clockwise from top: Sigma L, Scavenger (from CW Devastator), Exhaust, and Megatronus (who snuck in there for no good reason).

Since Whirlwind is not in the pic above, he gets a solo shot.

He also gets a shot of him looking up at Devastator, waiting for the rest of his teammates so Bruticus can devastate Devastator.

Not only was this month all Decepticons, this month was also all on-line purchases. No in-store purchases whatsoever. Not too surprising considering the items acquired. And not counting Whirlwind since he was a gift, all figures were bought on sale. I am the ultimate TF bargain hunter!

That is all for 2015. I’m gonna compile some stats for 2015 and have them ready for the next post. Stay tuned my fellow TransFans. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in April 2014

October 17th, 2014 Comments off

April has traditionally been a slow month as far as Transformers purchases go. This year was no exception.

  • FansProject Smart Robin, toyarena.com, $68.95

  • Masterpiece G-2 Ver. Lambor, hlj.com, $50.85

The only figure here that was found at retail was Whirl. I remember I was pretty excited when I saw him, since it has been some time since I saw any TF that I wanted in store. I didn’t know this before I bought it, but Whirl has a third mode. You would only know this if you looked at the instructions (or if you looked at the box carefully where it says 3 modes – duh). Hasbro calls this the Heloped Mode, which is a half-way mode between robot and helicopter, kinda like a GERWALK in Macross. I have not transformed the figure to this mode, since I really don’t see the point. Still, Whirl is a good figure. I like both the robot mode and the helicopter mode. And I’m glad that Hasbro is giving us all the Wreckers. Here’s to hoping they will someday make Broadside.

Smart Robin is a FansProject homage to Brainstorm, a Headmaster from G1 Season 4. As of this writing, it is confirmed that Hasbro is making an official Voyager sized Brainstorm, set to be released in about a month. But back in April I don’t think anyone really knew this. I had a chance to play with Smart Robin last Dec, and back then I knew I had to have one. The transformation of this figure is ingenious. It’s hard to describe in words, but this figure utilizes some transformation mechanisms that are both clever and functional. The end result is a figure that looks good in both modes, and at the same time fun to play with. I would recommend this figure wholeheartedly if I didn’t know about the Hasbro figure that will come out soon, since the official Brainstorm will be larger, cheaper, and potentially awesome. Though at this point it’s hard to say if the Hasbro figure will be better than Smart Robin. I’ll reserve final judgement until I have the Hasbro Brainstorm. Oh, this is the first and only time I have used ToyArena. I was forced to try them for this figure since my usual vendors were all sold out of Smart Robin. ToyArena is a good store. I don’t use them as much since they are based in CA, which means I gotta pay sales tax. But I’ll keep them in mind for the future as a backup store.

Last but not least is the Masterpiece G2 Sideswipe (or Lambor in Japan). This a Takara import figure, and a US release is not likely. I have done reviews of both Sideswipe and Red Alert so I won’t go too deep into it. Imagine taking G1 Sideswipe and reversing the colors of black and red where they are, and you have G2 Sidewipe. Fr MP G2 Sideswipe, Takara gave him a new face mold, 2 different looking guns, some spiked wheels for the shoulder attachment, and a nice looking sword. For the decals, you have the option of using the G1 or G2 Autobot insignia. Very cool! I still have my original G2 Sideswipe from back in the 90s. Maybe someday I’ll put these 2 figs side by side for a past and present shot.

All 3 figures appear for display in this post.

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers on Display, September 2014

September 3rd, 2014 Comments off

Earlier this year I bought a glass display case for all my TFs. I have a small shelf in my bedroom for such a purpose, but there are too many robots I want to display. So I got the Detolf case from Ikea.

It took some effort to put this case together. But in the end the display looks quite nice. Here is what I currently have displayed.

Here on the top shelf is a random collection of Autobots. On display is CHUG Sideswipe with the Beelzeboss Heroic Duo Custom Kit (v2) upgrade, MP Streak, MP Prowl (hiding in the back in alt mode), MP G2 Sideswipe, FansProject Smart Robin, TF Prime Voyager Ultra Magnus, and a Mega Bloks minifig from their Battleship line.

On the 2nd shelf is Maketoys Giant in the combined form, PCC Heavytread with Maketoys Mobine Armor Marine upgrade kit, Generations Thrilling 30 Dreadwing (hiding in the back in alt mode), and another Mega Bloks minifig from the same Battleship set (the GF insists I put these here).

Here on the 3rd shelf is my Wreckers team! I’m so glad Hasbro is taking the time to please us true fans, as most figures here are official products. On display here are Generations Thrilling 30 Springer, Sandstorm, Whirl, and Roadbuster. And from Mech Ideas are Apex and Geminus.

And here on the bottom shelf are some random stuff. FansProject Intimidator appears here in combined form. Other figures include a Samus Aran Figma, Nickelodeon TMNT Donatello riding a a Maisto motorcycle, and a Diarobo figure that transforms into a Japanese garbage truck. The teddy bear and shot glasses are random contributions from the GF.

I will probably rotate out the figures in here every so often, when I want some new stuff to look at. Til next time… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics

Transformers Purchased in January 2014

August 18th, 2014 1 comment

Continuing with the tradition of this blog, I will still document what I am buying each month. I am now back-posting what I bought per month since the start of 2014.

  • Mastermind Creations Fortis, tfsource.com, $89.99

  • Generations Thrilling 30 Dreading, Target, $17.99

  • FansProject Diesel, tfsource.com, $119.95

I have opened all of these. Fortis (not Headstrong) is almost exactly like Bovis, which I was not expecting. I thought MMC would do more to distinguish between the 2 figures which forms the legs of Predaking. Dreadwing is a redeco of Generations Thrilling 30 Megatron. Only differences between these 2 figs are the paint job and the head mold.

Diesel (not Motormaster) is a complicated piece to say the least. He’s packaged in truck mode like you see in the pic above. In the pics below, I have him transformed to his robot mode, with and without armor.

And for course the real reason we hardcore collectors all get this figure is so we can form the mighty Intimidator (not Menasor)!

Intimidator looks totally kick-ass when combined! The limb components were bought in March and August of last year.

So that’s 3 figures for the month, two 3rd party figs and one generations figs. Not a bad way to start the new year.

Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers Purchased in August 2013

August 31st, 2013 Comments off

Not a whole lot of TF action this month. All purchases in August are for 3rd party products.

  • FansProject Down Force, tfsource.com, $59.95

  • FansProject Last Chance, tfsource.com, $59.95

  • Beelzeboss Heroic Duo Custom Kit Version 2.0, tfsource.com, $33.95

I opened both Down Force and Last Chance, respectively Drag Strip and Dead End. I like these two way better than the first two that they released (Car Crash and T-Bone). The design of Down Force and Last Chance are much better. They don’t feel like repaints of each other, unlike Car Crash and T-Bone. Also, some joints on Car Crash and T-Bone are way too tight. On this new pair, some joints can still be kinda tight, but much improved. Down Force and Last Chance also feel a tad bigger than the first figures, but they are still smaller than your standard Hasbro deluxe. I would recommend buying only for those fans that really like the Stunticons. Now I’m looking forward to FP’s Motormaster homage to complete the set.

The only other purchase this month is the Heroic Duo Custom Kit Version 2 by Beelzeboss. I saw a review of this some time ago, and felt I had to get it. I opened the set, but haven’t tried it yet. The kit is a bunch of accessories designed to be used with CHUG Sideswipe and Red Alert. Included are 2 rifles, 2 missile launchers, 4 shoulder pads for the missile launchers, 1 new head mold for Red Alert, and 2 pile drivers for Sideswipe. This is Version 2 of this set, which improves upon Version 1 with some minor mold modifications, and molding with plastic color instead of painting. The kit looks cool, but the price seems a tad high for a bunch of add-ons.

That’s it for August. Two 3rd party figs and one 3rd party add-on kit. There was nothing to buy in the stores. I did find some Target exclusive Beast Hunter figures. I even bought the Target exclusive BH Abominus set. But I’m kinda sick of BH toys. Knowing me, I’ll probably play with the Abominus set a little when I first open it, then it would just sit somewhere and collect dust. So I returned it to Target.

Hopefully I’ll have more TFs next month. I still got a bunch of figs on pre-order. I hope some of them will come in next month, but you never know. I only find BH crap these days in the stores, so I’m not counting on finding anything good in mass retail. Historically, in a non-Movie year, August is always bad for TFs. I guess this year is no exception.

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers On My Shelf, June 2013

June 11th, 2013 Comments off

The “active” TFs on my shelf have changed somewhat from the last time I did a post like this. So here they are. Most of the figs on the shelf are new for this post. Some are the same as last time, with some of them in a different mode.

Same pic, different angle.

From left to right
Top shelf, back row: FOC Blaster (with Steeljaw inside), FOC Omega Supreme, FOC Air Raid (on Omega’s shoulder), FOC Grimlock, TFP Beast Hunters Optimus Prime
Top shelf, front row: Generations Springer, FOC Starscream, FansProject Car Crash, FansProject T-Bone, TFP Rumble, TFP Beast Hunters Smokescreen
Middle shelf: TFP Breakdown, TFP Dreadwing, TFP Shockwave, TFP Beast Hunters Starscream, TFP Jet Vehicon General
Bottom shelf: TFP Beast Hunters Soundwave, MP Soundwave (with Laserbeak insde), FOC Soundblaster (with Buzzsaw inside)

All these TFs are excellent. There’s not a single one on here that I would not recommend.

I believe all the figures on here are 2013 purchases, with the exception of Breakdown and Dreadwing (which were late 2012). The middle shelf appears to be a TF Prime Decepticon shelf, and the bottom shelf is a turning into a Soundwave exclusive shelf. Maybe I should add a few more Soundwave figs here.

The most recent acquisition displayed here is Springer. I have only transformed him from robot to car, but I can already say that he’s AWESOME! I can’t wait to do the heli mode next. He must be reviewed and I intend to do one.

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: Pics

My Current Pre-Orders, May 2013

May 24th, 2013 4 comments

I got a whole bunch of crap on pre-order. So much that it makes sense to make a post dedicated on just this topic. So here they are.

Takara MP-17 Masterpiece Prowl

Takara MP-18 Masterpiece Bluestreak

FansProject Causality CA-11 Last Chance

FansProject Causality CA-12 Down Force

Mastermind Creations Reformatted R-01 Terminus Hexatron

Mastermind Creations Reformatted – Feral Rex – R-02 Talon – Aerial Assaulter

Mastermind Creations Reformatted – Feral Rex – R-03 Bovis – Supply Specialist

MakeToys MB-01-C Mobine Paladin / Chaos

MakeToys MB-01-SP1 Mobine Missile Launcher Jungle Type

Beelzeboss Heroic Duo Custom Kit Version 2.0

RENDERFORM: GOLD SCOUT UPGRADE KIT + BONUS WEAPON

ToyWorld TW-T03 Trace – Gestalt Part 3

That’s a lot of stuff! With the exception of the 2 MPs, they are all 3rd party products. It seems like everyone wants a piece of custom TF action. Perhaps this is a more lucrative business than I thought. Only Primus knows when all this stuff will get released though. I hope it’s soon.

On unrelated news, I will be attending Fanime 2013 this Sunday. Look for a coverage soon… Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Transformers On My Shelf, April 2013

April 8th, 2013 6 comments

Quick post today. I got this little shelf in my bedroom where I like to display my “active” TFs. Usually this refers to the figures that I recently bought and are still playing with, before they get boxed and stored somewhere. Occasionally this could be a TF that I dug out from said storage, for one reason or another. It’s impossible for me to display every single TF that I have, and quite frankly I don’t like having a lot of clutter. So I display my TFs with this more limited approach.

But the TFs are adding up on this shelf, and it does look quite awesome to see them all together.

TFs on my shelf

Same pic, different angle.

TFs on my shelf 2From left to right
Top shelf, back row: MP Optimus Prime (US TRU exclusive), FOC Air Raid, FOC Omega Supreme
Top shelf, front row: Reveal the Shield Battle in Space Rodimus, MP Soundwave with Laserbeak, TFP Beast Hunters Trailcutter, Reveal the Shield Windcharger, FansProject Car Crash, FansProject T-Bone, TFP Wildrider, TFP Rumble
Middle shelf: GDO Megatron, TFP Breakdown, TFP Dreadwing, GDO Powerdive, MP Thundercracker
Bottom shelf: GDO Cliffjumper (with G1 head), FOC Kickback, TFP Beast Hunters Wheeljack, TFP Beast Hunters Bulkhead, TFP Beast Hunters Smokescreen
To the side: Spike, Roller, and Trailer for MP Optimus Prime (US TRU exclusive)

Most of these are recent purchases. Reveal the Shield Rodimus and Windcharger are the only two older figures that I dug out from boxes, and even they aren’t that old (2011 I think). MP Optimus, Cliffjumper, and all the figures on the middle shelf were all purchases late in 2012. The rest were acquired in 2013.

FOC Omega Supreme is such an awesome figure! He’s robust, well built, and very playable. Not to mention easy to transform. The details on this figure is also superb. This Omega functions well as both a toy and a collector’s piece. I need to do a full review on this figure soon.

Notice that Spike is sitting inside Roller. And Roller is hauling the Trailer. Optimus can be such a slacker sometimes.

Transform and Roll Out.

Categories: Pics