Posts Tagged ‘Rodimus Prime’

Transformers Purchased in January 2018

February 12th, 2019 Comments off

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

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

  • Power of the Primes Grimlock,, $24.99

  • Power of the Primes Slug, Walmart, $16.82

  • Power of the Primes Swoop, Walmart, $16.82

  • Titans Return Arcee,, $24.99
  • Titans Return Grotusque,, $24.99

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

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

  • Masterpiece Sunstreaker,, ¥9959 (about $91.48)

  • Dr. Wu Blue Skybreaker Sword,, $17.99

  • DX9 Gewalt,, $139.99

Micronus, Liege Maximo, Vector Prime

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grimlock, Slug, Swoop

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

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

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

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

Arcee and Grotusque

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

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

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

Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Great face sculpt worthy of the handsome Autobot.

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

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

Blue Skybreaker Sword

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


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

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

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

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

Now for his robot mode. Check it out:

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

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

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

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

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

Transform and Roll Out!


Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Power of the Primes

August 22nd, 2017 Comments off

Hasbro recently released these images of their next batch of figures, after official completion of Titans Return. Apparently the next line will be called Power of the Primes. I don’t know if I care for that name, but these rendered images are looking awesome! Check it out.

These are beautiful renders, and the images are big enough to double as wallpaper at 1920 x 1080. Very nice job Hasbro!

Here are some of my initial thoughts as I look at these:

Beachcomber – looking great. This figure will complete the last of the G1 Season 2 Mini-Bots. Both modes look good, and a Titan Master can ride in alt mode. Must get for me.

Dreadwind – it’s good to see Hasbro bringing back more Powermaster characters. This mold is really just a re-worked Aerialbot fig from Combiner Wars, but they did enough changes to justify this release. Plus they also plan to release Darkwing. And if you’re the G1 purist asking if the jets will combine into a super jet -the answer is YES! Hasbro did not forget their roots. I saw a vid of someone on YouTube doing this. The super jet does look kinda awkward, but I’m not sure the guy did it right. Another must get for me.

Jazz – I love Jazz. Don’t know how many times I mentioned that on this blog, but Jazz was my favorite Autobot growing up in the 80s. Any Jazz figure released in the CHUG-verse is an automatic purchase for me. Now the only question is how he will fare against Reveal the Shield Special Ops Jazz. I know Hasbro can’t call him Jazz on the package for licensing reasons, so they go with Autobot Jazz. I never liked that. Calling him Special Ops Jazz was much better.

Liege Maximo – I normally don’t care for Titan Masters as an individual purchase, but this guy is obviously Skullgrin so I might make an exception here. The name Liege Maximo may have its origins in a Marvel or IDW continuity.

Rodimus Prime – Finally! A worthy update of everyone’s Autobot leader not named Optimus Prime! This is the leader class Rodimus Prime we have been waiting for. This figure is both Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime, kind of like the Classics Rodimus figure with the FansProject Protector add-on kit. This is the figure that everyone will be buying. At leader class, I guess he won’t scale so well with TR Galvatron. But maybe that means a leader class Galvatron is coming? I hope so.

StarscreamI love Starscream. At voyager class he is finally the right size. They’ve made voyager class figures for the Movie-verse, but this may be the first in CHUG-verse. And a F-22 Raptor no less! Robot mode looks awesome, but the jet mode may have a lot of bulk underneath. I’ll reserve final thoughts for when I see the figure.

So yeah, all are required purchases for me. Maybe not Liege Maximo, but you never know.

Here’s a good look at these figs at SDCC. Man I wish I could go to SDCC. I will get there one day.

It’s time for Power of the Primes! Transform and Roll Out!


Categories: Pics, TF News

Transformers Purchased in July 2016

April 4th, 2017 Comments off

July 2016 is blessed with a heavy dose of TF goodness. This month marks the start of a new TF line – Titans Return! TR is Hasbro’s official update of Headmasters, and I have been looking forward to this series of figures for quite some time now. July also includes some excellent third party acquisitions.

  • Titans Return Galvatron, Toys R Us, $24.99

  • Titans Return Sentinel Prime, Toys R Us, $24.99

  • Titans Return Skullsmasher, Toys R Us, $16.99

  • Titans Return Hardhead, Toys R Us, $16.99

  • Titans Return Scourge, Toys R Us, $16.99

  • Titans Return Blurr, Toys R Us, $16.99

  • Titans Return Stripes, Target, $10.29

  • Combiner Wars Starscream, HasbroToyshop via eBay, $35.99

  • Masterpiece Ramjet,, $179.99

  • ToyWorld Muddy,, $80

  • DX9 Carry,, $129.99

Quick sidebar: I started a new job in July. It was bittersweet to leave my last job, after 9 and a half years there. For reasons that I won’t go into, it became obvious that I should no longer stay at that job. I like my new job. I won’t say that it’s better than my old job in all aspects, but I’m playing the long game, and I’m confident that this new position will work out better for me in the long run. Besides, my new job allows me more time to dedicate to this blog. This was the first post after starting the new job. I have been more consistent in making new posts since then.

Those of you that read this blog regularly know that I like to hit up stores at lunch time and hunt for TFs. And just like my old job, there is also a TRU near my new job. The very first week on this new job (I think it was Day 2), I found the Titans Return figures at the TRU! I say this is a clear sign that I made the right decision in taking this job.

Titans Return

So let’s go over these TR figures first. I found all the Wave 1 deluxe and voyager figures in one shot. The 4 deluxe figs are Blurr, Scourge, Hardhead, and Skullsmasher. And I like them in that order, from best to worst.

Blurr is an awesome fig. The alt mode is extremely cartoon accurate in appearance. The robot mode is nice and proportionate. Transformation is smooth and intuitive, complex enough to feel like it’s not made for kids, but not too complicated that it distracts from the fun. Construction of the figure is superb, no joints too loose or too tight, and no tolerance issues. My only gripe is the color. The US version of TR Blurr is like this dark turquoise color. Why they decided to go with this color scheme is beyond me. Especially since the Japanese version (called Transformers Legends) has G1 accurate colors. For that reason, many hardcore G1-ers have decided to import the Japanese version. I may do that myself at some point. Blurr was never a Headmaster in G1. In TR, his Headmaster partner (now called Titan Masters) can fit comfortably inside the vehicle in alt mode, and attaches nicely in robot mode. All in all, TR Blurr is highly recommended, despite my gripe with the colors.

TR Scourge is a solid fig. Like Blurr, G1 Scourge was never a Headmaster. And like TR Blurr, the Japanese version of TR Scourge has a color scheme more similar to G1. TR Scourge has a much more accurate cartoon alt mode appearance over the Generations figure that was released around 2011. Sometimes in the cartoons, you see Scourge fly around in alt mode with his head exposed, on top of the spaceship. With TR Scourge, you can reproduce that look. All you need to so is stick the Titan Master in head mode on top of Scourge in alt mode. I like the robot mode as well. When compared to the robot mode of the Generations fig, it’s debatable which is more toon accrurate. They each have their pros and cons. But in my opinion there are no obvious weaknesses with TR Scourge in robot mode. He’s fun to transform, and he’s well built. Scourge became a Targetmaster in Season 4, so I guess making him a Headmaster is not that far-fetched.

Hardhead was one figure that I was really looking forward to in TR. I always regretted not buying the G1 figure, and I had many opportunities to. As a kid in the 80s with a very limited allowance, G1 Hardhead was a bit out of my price range. But I always liked his alt mode, and the robot mode wasn’t too shabby for G1 standards. I do have Hardbone, ToyWorld’s take on Hardhead. I highly recommend that figure, though as of this writing, you may want to consider Iron Will by MakeToys if you are in the market for a 3P Hardhead. Anyway, back to TR Hardhead. He’s only ok. I like the alt mode and the robot mode, but the figure feels a bit flimsy. During transformation, the figure feels extremely hollow. I think the reason for that is equal parts design and construction. And speaking of construction, Hardhead is not the best. He’s ok, but some parts are too loose for my liking, especially in the legs and hips. This figure could have turned out so good if they made some design tweaks, and if the build was improved to have better tolerances. His floppiness is so not worthy of the name Hardhead. As is, I can only recommend Hardhead to hardcore G1 devotees like myself. Casual TransFans should invest their money elsewhere.

Last of the deluxe TR figs is Skullsmasher. In G1 he was called Skullcruncher. I can only assume Hasbro renamed him for license reasons. This alligator Headmaster is probably one of the most unique in the world of TF. I mean, what other figure transforms into an alligator? And on that point, Skullsmasher is awesome. I love his alt mode. The toy designers really hit it out of the park with the look of the mechanical alligator. That alligator head mold has to be seen to be believed. Even the paint job is superb for a $15 toy. Some parts of Skullsmasher have this shiny, metallic finish that you only find in MP or 3P figures, and I commend Hasbro in this application. However, I mentioned that this is my least favorite of the 4 deluxe figs. Transformation and robot mode is where this figure falls apart, literally. Construction of the figure is beyond poor. Many joints are way too loose, and I guarantee you some limbs will fall off the first time you transform the figure. Holding action poses for Skullsmasher in robot mode is difficult if not impossible, due to the weak joints. Some glue or nail polish application in the ball joints should address this, but it’s not something I should have to do. Skullsmasher is recommend for hardcore G1 fans only.

Hasbro, IDW, Paramount, and whoever else is behind the Transformers have been super inconsistent with Sentinel Prime’s appearance. He’s a large and pinkish-red modern fire engine in the Movie-verse, a medium size blue pick-up truck in TF Animated, and (mostly) various shades of orange and yellow in different CHUG lines. Even when focused strictly on CHUG, it’s hard to pin down Sentinel’s appearance. And due to that reason, he’s the perfect character for a first lease of a new mold. Hasbro does this because hardcore fans like me would buy anything when it’s a new mold, then they repaint this mold with a more famous character later and I’ll buy it again (damn you Hasbro). In this case, TR Sentinel Prime is using a mold designed for Astrotrain, which they intend to release later. The body styling resembles Astrotrain, and he’s got a space shuttle alt mode and a train alt mode. All Hasbro had to do is repaint the mold and give the figure a new Titan Master for a different head design. Personally, I think this mold is not half bad. But it’s more appropriate to look at this mold in more detail when Astrotrain is released, so I’ll reserve final thoughts til then. But I will say this now… Sentinel Prime is way too orange. It kind of makes for a goofy looking Transformer.

Last in this TR lineup, but certainly not least… behold… Galvatron! Hasbro has not made that many direct G1 updates of Galvatron in the modern era. The only one I can think of is the deluxe Generations fig that was released in 2008, which was way too hard to transform to be any fun, and no Galvatron fig should be smaller than voyager class. Age of Extinction Galvatron doesn’t count as a real Galvatron. Combiner Wars had Galvatronus (formed with Cyclonus as the main body), but that’s not a standalone figure. So a real voyager sized, G1 inspired, and standalone Galvatron figure is a real treat! And Hasbro did not disappoint. TR Galvatron is the definitive CHUG Galvatron that we have been waiting for. The figure comes packaged in robot mode. This is hands down the most show accurate looking Galvatron produced to date (not counting 3P products). The figure in robot mode is well built and nicely proportioned. I don’t detect any construction issues, and he’s got enough articulation for some nice poses. He’s voyager size, so he scales well with other leaders of this size, such as Optimus and Cyclonus (quick sidebar: I hope Hasbro will one day make a CHUG voyager size Rodimus Prime, but that’s for another day). This Galvatron is both a Headmaster and a Triple Changer. I can see some G1 purists scoff at this change, but I personally don’t see it as a big deal. One alt mode of TR Galvatron is the futuristic Howitzer-like cannon first made famous in the G1 Movie, and the other alt mode is a jet with the huge orange cannon attached in the front. Both alt modes are pretty cool. The transformation mechanism is well designed and superbly implemented. Some parts in certain configurations could probably have been better tabbed in, but it’s a minor gripe. The Titan Master feature is ok. Hasbro chose a weird implementation where there is a helmet that flips out over Galvatron’s chest and it covers the head. I guess this was done so you can use any Titan Master figure with Galvatron. It looks ok, but I still wish he had a non-Headmaster head. I’m hoping that some third party will make a separate, G1 accurate head for TR Galvatron. I highly recommend this figure. Despite some minor negatives, it is the best official Galvatron figure made. Go out and get yours if you haven’t already.

Oh, I should mention that I also got Stripes this month. I found Stripes on the very last day of the month. Seriously, I took all the pics for the figures I got this month earlier, thinking I won’t find anymore. Then Stripes sneaks in on me on the last day! I think Stripes is a totally made up character. This mold is meant to be for Ravage, and the release of Stripes is just another quick cash grab for Hasbro (like Sentinel Prime before Astrotrain). I should have just left him on the shelf at Target, but the TF collector in me won’t let me. I’ll go more into Stripes when I do my purchase post for next month. I found the other 2 figures in the same wave as Stripes next month, so it makes more sense to mention him then.

Combiner Wars

By the middle of 2016, the number of CW figs have dwindled. TR is now in full swing, and that is now the active line considered to be CHUG, catered to mature, adult collectors of TF. Nevertheless, some CW figs are still out there. And here is one that I did not purchase during it’s initial release: Leader class Starscream.

I love Starscream. There is no other character like him in the entire TF universe. I try to get all Starscream figures produced in MP or CHUG form. I bought CW Leader class Starscream one day before I started my new job (on Hasbrotoyshop via eBay). This Starscream is an exact repaint of Leader Thundercracker that came before it. And for that reason, I won’t go into too much detail. I don’t like paying full price for something so similar, so I waited for a bit of a sale before committing to buy. But know that he does come with the bling-bling crown he wore during his gaudy coronation ceremony, shortly before being vaporized by Galvatron, in the 1986 movie.


The lone MP figure this month is Ramjet. And I’ll get right to it… he’s disappointing. I wanted to like this figure, I really did. Hasbro and Takara have pumped out so many repaints of the 2nd generation MP seeker, and like an addict I bought all the US versions (including Thundercracker, Acid Storm, and Sunstorm). And I think that’s part of the problem… Hasbro/Takara has used this mold way too many times. I have been told that, when a mold gets used for manufacturing repeatedly, the later batches of figures comes out vastly inferior in quality to the early batches. I don’t exactly understand the specifics of why that is. But many industry insiders have assured me that this is a common problem. In the case of Ramjet, I understand that he’s reworked quite a bit off the standard MP Seekers. But most of it is still the same, and I’m betting this mold is getting seriously old and worn down that the end product is just one lousy mess.

The real problem with the figure is in the construction (probably from the bad mold I just described). It’s most evident in the robot mode. Most of the joints are way too loose, especially in the legs. The arms ain’t much better. Supposedly, this figure was already delayed because of serious issues with the shoulder joints. Takara recalled the figure from the retailers, and they went back to the factory to be repaired. I don’t know, in the end they’re still kinda bad. I would hate to see how this was before the repairs. In robot mode, this figure does not feel like a cohesive whole in the least. The overall design also don’t help matters. This mold was meant to be for the standard Seekers, and modifying it for Conehead Seekers feels like a tacked on design choice. The head transformation is bizarre. The jet nosecone kind of just hangs off the back of the robot mode, and there’s nowhere to plug it like the standard Seekers. Coneheads have their wings on their legs, and doing that in this mode, the robot mode looks too bulky below the waist. Combine that with the awful construction and you get one jumbled disarray of a figure. Takara took the cheap route and decided to rework an existing mold. They should have re-designed the Coneheads from the ground up.

I do like MP Ramjet’s alt mode. It looks show accurate. Some of the transforming mechanism is worthy of recognition. I like how the missiles cover over the guns. Some of the wing and thrusters additions are quite neat. Everything else is what you have seen before. Below are some pics of the alt mode, since this is the better mode.

With Classic Ramjet

MP Ramjet is not at all recommended. The nice alt mode is not enough to save it from the painfully crappy robot mode. And when I think that I paid $179.99, it really hurts. You may want to consider ToyWorld Combuster (or Jets) if you are in the market for a MP sized Ramjet.

To this day I still don’t have a 2nd generation MP Starscream. I missed out on MP-11 when it was first released, and I never found the TRU exclusive US version in store. But I got a MP-11 re-issue on pre-order. I sincerely hope that this re-issue will be better built. Though I have heard that the TRU version is horribly flawed in construction… so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Third Party

The first of two awesome 3P figures this month is ToyWorld Muddy, their homage to Sludge. Just like Iron Dreg last month, I also bought Muddy on sale, and he was shipped to me this month. Out of the 4 TW dinos that I now have, Muddy is my favorite. This may be because I never had a Sludge figure. But Muddy is genuinely impressive. The dino mode is fantastic. I love how he looks as a brontosaurus. In robot mode he looks cool too. I had reservations at first, because I thought having the dino front legs hiding in the wings in robot mode would look weird. But having the figure in hand, it really doesn’t look bad at all. And because of that design, the transformation from dino to robot works really well. He’s fun to pick up and play. The transformation is not difficult by any means, but at the same time complex enough for older collectors. One common gripe among fans is that his sword is too small. Yes that is a legitimate complaint, but seeing as how it’s made to compact itself into the neck in dino mode, I’m willing to give TW a pass. Having room to account for all accessories in every mode is always a plus in my book. Like I said already, I think Muddy is the best TW Dinobot out of the 4 that I have. Corelock (Grimlock) has an awesome T-Rex mode, but his robot mode leaves a bit to be desired. Roar (Snarl) is a good figure, but his tail keeps coming off during transformation. And as for Iron Dreg (Slag), it feels like TW didn’t update him enough for today’s standards. Muddy is the only one out of the four where I don’t detect any obvious weaknesses. I like both his modes, he’s well built, transformation is fun, and he’s a good modern update that will do Sludge proud. Muddy is a figure that belongs in your collection.

I reserved the best for last. My fellow TransFans… I am proud to give you (drum roll please)… Carry! Yeah, that name doesn’t do it for me either. But this figure takes 3P TF engineering to new levels. Carry is a homage to Rodimus Prime by DX9. I touched on this figure when I did my purchase post for June 2016 (pictured with Alpha Pack). Hasbro/Takara has given us only one Masterpiece Rodimus Prime figure (MP-09). That figure was met with mixed reactions from fans. Earlier in 2016 there was a MP release for Hot Rod. This figure is awesome, but it’s Hot Rod and not Rodimus Prime. So there is certainly room on my shelf for a 3P Rodimus Prime in MP scale. DX9 answered the call… and the result is amazing. Both modes are great representations of Rodimus in Prime form. He scales nicely with other MPs. Construction of the figure is nothing short of superb. And the transformation engineering of this figure is where DX9 Carry really shines. It is times like these that I wish I did video reviews, because writing about the transformation really does not do it justice. DX9 implemented some very clever mechanisms in the way that Carry converts from vehicle to robot and back. The process is smooth and fluid. The mechanics proceed logically from one step to the next. The transformation is complex yet intuitive. There are lots of steps in the process, but you really don’t feel stuck at any one time in the overall paradigm. He’s a great figure to just pick up and play, and at the same time there’s enough going on that this figure easily classifies as MP. And unlike MP Rodimus Prime, Carry is able to transform from robot to truck without external attachments. The entire truck is wholly contained within the figure. And what’s more amazing is the size differential between robot and alt mode. Carry in alt mode is only about voyager size, but in robot mode he is fully MP size. Some fans have complained that he’s too small in alt mode, but I see this more as testament to the great engineering of the figure. Another minor nitpick from some fans is how his wings appear in robot mode. Personally it doesn’t bother me. Carry comes with a Targetmaster figure. This fig is ok, but in gun mode he can be too heavy for Carry to hold properly. I don’t think of Rodimus Prime as a Targetmaster anyway, so I usually have Carry use some other weapon. The rifle from CW Silverbolt is a good substitute. I got Carry on sale at $129.99, but even at the full retail of $169.99, he’s worth every penny. I give Carry the highest possible recommendations.

Arise, Rodimus Prime

Since there are so many TFs this month, I thought it would be fun to take some group pics. Check them out below! (And like I mentioned already above, no pics of Stripes. He’s coming next month… promise.)

The Autobots:

The Decepticons:

Titans have returned! Transform and Roll Out!


Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Generations Season 3 Autobots

April 17th, 2016 Comments off

Much like this previous post from about a year ago, today let’s take a look at some CHUG Autobots from G1 Season 3.

CHUG is an acronym for Classics Henkei Universe Generations. These are all terms that Hasbro or Takara has used to label various Transformers lines that represent a modern update of classic G1 characters. I have also seen some fans refer to them collectively as G3, since it follows G1 and G2. Whatever you call it, they are all modern toy interpretation of Generation 1, though not necessarily in their exact G1 forms.

All characters below are regulars in G1 Season 3. Though they may have had their origins well before that.

I chose these 5, mostly because I have them handy. Let’s look at each of them in detail, in the order of release.

Rodimus, Reveal the Shield, 2011
If you are talking about G1 Season 3, you must include Rodimus. He is the leader of the Autobots for most of the season. Sure, he never lived up to Optimus Prime, but those are big shoes to fill for anyone. Originally in 1986, his name was Hot Rod. And he would become Rodimus Prime after receiving the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. For licensing reasons, Hasbro could not use the name Hot Rod nowadays. So now the Hot Rod incarnation of this character goes simply by Rodimus. The first version of this particular figure came out all the way back in 2006. That Rodimus was one of only 6 figures first released for the Classics line. I have that figure too, but he’s stuck in a box somewhere in the back of the closet. So I am using this Reveal the Shield version instead, only because he was easier to get to. This figure was released in 2011 as part of a 2-pack with Cyclonus. He’s more cartoon color accurate than the initial version, though I’m not sure that’s a good thing here. This figure still holds up well today. The alt mode is nice and sleek while being G1 accurate, and the robot mode is robust with nice poseability. Transformation is also well engineered. In my opinion, this is still the definitive CHUG Rodimus even 10 years later. But he might be due for another upgrade soon. We’ll see what Hasbro does.

Springer, Generations Thrilling 30, 2013
I know I have written about this Springer back in this post. If you read that post, I mention that I was so excited to open this fig that I didn’t even stop to take pics of it in the box. This Springer is one of the best figs that Hasbro has ever produced! That’s a strong statement coming from me. I have limited space for displaying figs. So usually what happens is I display a new figure for a while, then it goes into some storage somewhere. I acquired this Springer back in May of 2013. And almost 3 years later today, I have continuously displayed this on some shelf, never going back into a box! That should tell you how much I like this fig. This figure is hands down the best triple changer that Hasbro has ever made. All 3 modes look good. Transformation is complex enough to satisfy the true fan, while being not overly complex to reduce any fun factor. As of this writing, he’s still very affordable on Amazon. So get one if you don’t have one yet. This mold was later re-worked slightly to be Sandstorm. That fig is good too.

Arcee, Generations Thrilling 30, 2014
This Arcee figure was mentioned in the very last post. I acquired the fig in 2015, but I believe her release was in 2014. Regardless, she is the definitive CHUG Arcee. Mostly because this is the only CHUG Arcee released. As the most famous female Autobot in the history of TF, you would think Hasbro would want to do this figure well before 2015. But better late than never. This Arcee figure is a worthy rendition of the character. I like the alt mode. It well represents the sporty future/Cybertronian car that she transforms into in G1. In robot mode she’s got some back kibble. And transformation wise, she’s a bit of a shell-former. But I can overlook it because I do understand the challenges of making Arcee. Most other TF characters that appear in G1 are toy-first, meaning the designs are based on an existing toy. Arcee is the opposite of that. She was created for the 1986 G1 Movie, and toy makers are now doing a figure based on that design. Overall I am happy with this figure. Not perfect, but pretty solid.

Corelock (aka Grimlock), ToyWorld, 2015
Dinobots are forever favorites among the G1 fandom. By the time Season 3 rolled around, all 5 Dinobots are still kicking butt and taking names. But the only one that made regular appearances in the season is Grimlock. In Season 3, he talks more then ever before, in his classic Grimlock speech. And much like when I made the post for Season 1 Autobots, I am using the ToyWorld version of Grimlock. As a 3rd party, ToyWorld cannot officially call him Grimlock. So he is listed as Corelock (and sometimes Grimshell). Of all the Grimlock toys that I own, this one is hands down my favorite (and I own a lot). In T-Rex mode and robot mode, Corelock captures the G1 look down to the last detail. Transformation follows the tried and true G1 formula for Grimlock, but there are enough engineering differences here to make this figure feel modern. Construction is solid and robust. He is the perfect size for CHUG too. Hasbro has made some CHUG dinos, but scale wise they feel too small. Corelock displays well next to other CHUG Autobots, as you can see in the pics. Large enough to be CHUG, but not so large as the 3rd Party MP dinos. (A sidebar: the FansToys MP style G1 Dinos are awesome figures, which I must write about in a future post.) He can also combine with the other ToyWorld Dinos to form a giant robot. G1 Dinos never did this, so I won’t go into this too much. I know what you’re thinking: how does he compare with MP Grimlock? That is a very tough comparison. I really like that figure too. But I feel Corelock edge him out just a little as the better Dino, only because Corelock is more playable than MP Grimlock. Overall, Corelock gets my highest recommendation. If you need a Grimlock in your CHUG lineup, look no further.

Ultra Magnus, Combiner Wars, 2015
Last but not least, there is Ultra Magnus. I love Ultra Magnus. He never got enough credit as a member in the Autobot leadership hierarchy. Always the 2nd in command, but consistently available to make leadership decisions and fight in tough battles when the Primes are not around. Sure, no one was gonna take the place of Optimus (and rightfully so), but he should have got his chance instead of Rodimus (like Optimus instructed). As a toy, this character never got much love until perhaps the late 2000s. Before that, he was ALWAYS a repaint of the Optimus Prime toy. G1 was nice enough to give him a different trailer at least, so in robot mode he appears completely different. These days, UM always rightfully get his own figure (including a nice MP figure). This Combiner Wars figure is the first full-fledged Ultra Magnus that we get in the CHUG line that is NOT a repaint of Optimus Prime. And boy did they do a good job here. Personally, this is my favorite UM figure of all time, surpassing even the MP. He is Leader class size, like he should be. He looks great in robot mode. One of my complaints about the MP UM fig is that he’s too blocky. CW UM does not have that problem. He appears exactly like he does in the show. In truck mode he looks great too. Some might complain that the cab is a bit small, but if that scales right, UM would be way too big in robot mode. Transformation follows the standard UM formula, but in this case it’s not a bad thing. The cab and trailer is integrated into one when he transforms. He also comes with a Mini-Con, which I don’t really care for. As for this writing, he is lower than MSRP on Amazon. He is released as part of the Combiner Wars lineup, but he doesn’t really combine with anything. Gets your now if you don’t have one already. No true TransFan can live without this UM in their collection.

Below is a pic of the figs in alt mode.

Season 3 Autobots… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics

2011 TFs For The Holidays

December 29th, 2011 1 comment

Happy Holidays! I hope everyone got what they wanted this Holiday season. There’s no better way to celebrate the Holidays than to get some new TFs! OK maybe there are, but new TFs are worth celebrating any time of the year. Below are some TFs that I received or found in the past week or so.

The pic above are the 3 Transformers Prime figures that are now out in mass retail. I went into TF Prime figures in this earlier post.

TRU Exclusive Rodimus appears in the lower left in the pic above. I have yet to open this, and I’m hoping this version is equivalent to the Japanese MP Rodimus Prime 2nd Release since the 1st Release is not without its faults. It will be interesting to see if this US version can attach the Japanese trailer in alt mode. In the lower right of the pic is PCC Double Clutch. Haven’t opened this either, but he seems promising for a PCC. In the upper left is the Walmart Exclusive Deluxe DOTM Optimus Prime. I opened this figure and he’s not half bad. The alt mode comes together well, transformation is not overly difficult, and I like the MechTech weapon. And last but not least, in the upper right is Skywarp. Did any of you out there think this is the Japanese Exclusive Takara DOTM Skywarp? Look carefully. It is inside the Japanese packaging, but it is actually a custom made by my buddy Gemini. He took a DOTM Deluxe Starscream and painted it into Skywarp. Very cool. Look for a review of this custom in a future post.

And finally, yesterday I found some Generations Junkheap. Wreck-Gar was such a pain in the ass to find when he was released. In fact, I didn’t find any in retail until this past November at discount stores. So I kept my eyes open for Junkheap. Last year a new Target opened near my home in SoCal that is within walking distance. I had some free time yesterday so I walked over. The trip paid off with these 2 Junkheaps.

This is probably the last post I will make for 2011. Looking back on 2011, I think I bought a record number of TFs for the year. It’s hard to say what Hasbro has in stored for us next year, but I’m curious to find out. See y’all in 2012! Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

Masterpiece Rodimus Prime Review Part 2

September 22nd, 2011 5 comments

OK, after more than 6 months of reviewing MP Rodimus Prime in alt mode in Part 1, today I’m going to review the robot mode in Part 2. I know, its way too late and I’m procrastinating way too much. But I just hate to do Part 1 then not do Part 2. Better late than never I always say.

Click here for pics of the box if that’s your thing.

Just like in alt mode, this Masterpiece figure will let you transform it as both Hot Rod or Rodimus Prime. Though I should point out now that the differences between the robot modes are slight. Let’s start by looking at the Hot Rod robot mode.

I think the first thing that should jump out at any hardcore G1 TransFan is how show accurate this figure is. MP figs are revered for their show authenticity and this fig did not disappoint in this area. Just look at it. This is exactly how Hot Rod looks in the G1 movie. The MP designers certainly did their homework and engineered a figure that captures Hot Rod down to the last detail. The colors are unmistakably Hot Rod with the red, orange, and yellow flames. They even got the legs right as that’s dark gray just like his G1 movie appearance. And speaking of legs, I’m particularly impressed here, because the shape of these legs is exactly like the animated design. The head mold is perfect Hot Rod. As far as toys go, this is most show accurate Hot Rod ever made. No complaints here.

Some might be quick to point out that Hot Rod did not have twin guns in G1 animated. In fact, he never really used guns as Hot Rod. In the Movie he simply shot lasers out of arm cannons the whole time. However, the G1 figure came with twin guns. The guns here is simply an homage to that fact, and personally I think he looks quite cool with the twin gun action. And if seeing Hot Rod with guns ain’t your thing, then don’t use them.

As far as poseability goes, this figure does a pretty good job. There’s plenty of articulation below the waist. The hips, knees, and feet are all capable of a wide array of motion. Ratchet joints are used at the hips and knees so he’s able to hold poses well. He can rotate at the waist. The head can turn from side and side and look up and down. Hand articulation is good, thumb and the rest of the hands are separate pieces like all the other MP figs. The arms suffer a little in this area because the shoulders are a little long. If you raise the arms straight up, the shoulders start to come in contact with the frame and that limits his overall arm motion. But that’s a small complaint for poseability and I feel there’s enough here to satisfy most fans.

The above pic shows off some of the gimmicks of the figure. We see Hot Rod use these features, though this fig is designed so you can use them in either robot form. The first one is the blue visor. We see Hot Rod use them as binoculars and for targeting early in the G1 movie. These visors are kept in the helmet of the fig. To display them, simply slide them down over the face. The second gimmick featured in this pic is the saw blades. You can do this on either hand. To use the saw blade, rotate the hand into the forearm at the wrist. The saw blade attachment is flipped out when you do this. The blade is a separate piece that you have to attach. There’s no place for it when its not in use.

MP figs of the Autobot leaders will always come with a Matrix. This figure continues that trend. This Matrix is smaller than the one that comes with MP Optimus Prime because the figure is smaller. It can be stored in the chest area like in the above pic. You simply flip down the lower chest panel to reveal the housing for the Matrix. You can take it out and have Hot Rod hold it as if he’s gonna open the Matrix since there is enough hand articulation designed to do just that.

Above is a pic for size comparison. The MP fig is obviously much bigger than the Classic fig. I probably should have taken pics of Hot Rod with other MPs but I didn’t have any handy.

Now let’s look at the Rodimus Prime robot mode.

Transformation from Hot Rod to Rodimus Prime is very subtle. All you have to do is the following:

  • Stretch out the legs at the hips. Look carefully at the very top portion of the legs where it’s orange, at the location connected to the waist. Notice that as Rodimus Prime, the legs are lowered more.
  • Raise the wings up a tad, and angle them in toward the center. This is hard to see from the pics (and I probably should have took some back shots). Its a very minor change. Most fans probably won’t even notice unless someone points it out.
  • Change the face plate. This is probably the most obvious difference. The figure has a cool mechanism of how to do this (again, should have took a pic). Both face plates are built into the head. To change, raise the helmet and position the face you want in front while the other one hides behind it. I know it doesn’t make much sense when I describe it in words, but believe me it’s cool.
  • Combine the two guns as one into a larger rifle. G1 Rodimus Prime used a rifle and it’s good to see the makers of MP not forget this. The concept of combining the twin pistols into a larger weapon is also ingenious. A very slick way of accounting for the weapons of both robot modes.

There you have it. That’s all there is to transforming Hot Rod to Rodimus Prime. Extending the legs out does make Rodimus Prime a little taller than Hot Rod, but not by much. The face plate change is good as the figure does look older and wiser as Rodimus Prime, and the twin guns combined as the rifle is a nice touch. But still, I don’t feel there’s enough of a difference here. I was really hoping for more distinctions between the two robot modes. Maybe some mechanics that clearly make Rodimus Prime larger. As is, the surefire way to distinguish between the two robot forms is the face. But if you’re looking at the figure from far away, it can be hard to tell if Rodimus is supposed to be Prime or not.

Poseability as Rodimus Prime is exactly the same as Hot Rod, so I won’t go into it again.

The Rodimus trailer converts to a battle station, just like the G1 toy. To do so, simply press the black button on top of the trailer and the two halves of the trailer shell will fold down (to see the back button, check out pics from Part 1). Then lift the cannon stand to an upright position and pull it up. Finally, raise the cannons themselves forward and rotate the handlebars up. A very simple transformation, but this piece feels very solid. Rodimus Prime can then ride this battle station like the pic below.

I should also point out that the trailer can hold all of Rodimus Prime’s accessories.

Unfortunately, this figure is not without its flaws. I touched on some of them already, both in this post and in Part 1. But there are others that I’ve yet to mention. Below I list them all in bullet points.

  • There are construction issues galore. The first one I will mention is the one concerning the visor gimmick. The visor has a tendency to fall down in front of Rodimus’ face when you don’t want it to. Many other fans have complained about this problem. With this issue present, I almost wish they didn’t do the visor.
  • Another construction issue: the hands are way too loose and way too weak. It’s not too bad when he’s not holding the gun, but the problem becomes obvious the moment you try it. Wrist joints have practically no support so it’s difficult to have Rodimus hold good poses with the guns. This is especially true when using the combined rifle since it’s twice as heavy. But more importantly, it’s very hard to place the guns in Rodimus’ hands. There are holes in the palms of the hands that are designed to have pegs on the guns stick in, but they just don’t work well. The guns fall off real easy if given a slight shake. I’m very disappointed with the whole hands mechanism. I almost wish they just keep it simple and do your standard fists with holes.
  • The figure is not good value. MSRP was $200. There are no diecast pieces. At first I thought the feet would be diecast, but upon closer inspection I don’t think they are. They are just high quality plastic with good paint.
  • More construction issues: the back of the figure does not hold up too well, on mine anyway. There is a tab mechanism that is supposed to lock the back in place, but more often than not it doesn’t work. On mine it’s always coming apart when I’m trying to pose him. He’s also a bit back heavy which further contributes to this problem.
  • I mentioned this in Part 1. But to re-iterate, transformation to alt mode is complex. You have to align everything just right or the alt mode won’t come together. The transformation process is not necessarily hard, but it’s very unforgiving. The slightest mis-alignment will mess up the alt mode’s appearance. And even after you do everything right, there are still gaps that appear on the sides of the vehicle. I expect more out of a MP figure.
  • Transformation to Rodimus Prime alt mode is lame, another thing I mentioned in Part 1. Having a front cab piece that folds over the figure like diaper is not my idea of transformation.
  • There’s not enough differences between Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime in their robot modes.
  • Rodimus Prime is not to scale with other MPs, with the exception of Grimlock and the upcoming smaller Optimus Prime MP. So the natural conclusion to draw here is that Takara is starting to scale them down. I guess this gripe applies to new MPs as a whole and it’s not exclusive to Rodimus Prime, but it’s something worth noting if you were expecting this figure to scale with previous MPs.

That’s a lot of gripes. MP Rodimus Prime is not a figure I can wholeheartedly recommend. Certainly not at the full MSRP of $200, which is what I paid. There are some design flaws, but what really chaps my hide are all the construction issues I listed.

At this point I should mention that Takara is working on a Version 2 of this figure. That will be the 2nd release and supposedly they will have fixed all the construction issues. My review is for the 1st release. Many retailers have the 1st version for $150 now, maybe because they know Version 2 is coming.

My final verdict is that this figure is good, but far from perfect. Rodimus is the weakest of the MP figures in my opinion, so get all the others first before you consider this one. He does have his strengths, the biggest one being the show accuracy of the figure in both alt and robot modes. But too many construction issues, combined with some questionable design choices and the high price tag, prevents me from giving this figure a strong recommendation. If possible, check out a friend’s first to see if you really want one. Or as an alternative, try to locate the US TRU exclusive version, which is only $59.99 (Rodimus only, no trailer). This version, however, has been released once already and scalpers quickly bought them all. No word on if more are coming.

In G1, Rodimus never really lived up to Optimus. It’s sad to see this trend continue, even in the Masterpiece line of TFs. But I think we should be appreciative of the fact that Takara tried something new and produced a MP Rodimus figure. Of course, right afterwards they went back to their usual ways of re-working the same old figures (eg. the new Optimus MP). C’mon Takara, enough is enough. Don’t forget that pioneering spirit that made Transformers so successful in the first place. Don’t forget to take transforming toys into new areas. Don’t forget to… transform and roll out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

April Order Arrived!

May 4th, 2011 6 comments

Last month I made an order from The order was shipped through Fedex. I’m not the biggest fan of Fedex and this recent order has further reaffirmed that sentiment. I’ll spare you all the details of everything that went wrong with this shipment, but this afternoon it finally arrived. Every item in my order appears to be intact. Here’s what I got:

  • Predaking 2010 Reissue Boxed Set by Takara
  • BTS-03 G1 Prime Matrix of Leadership Upgrade Set by BTSToys
  • TFX-04 Protector Trailer by FansProject
  • TFX-05 Sidearm by FansProject

They shipped this in a pretty big box, though its not the biggest box I’ve received for ordering collectibles. Here’s a pic next to a soda can for size comparison.

TFSource is known for packing their items well and I would have to agree.

All items are brand new, but to save money I bought all C9 versions. As far as I can tell, the boxes for TFX-04, TFX-05, and BTS-03 all seem perfect. However, the box for the Predaking set is flawed. Below is a pic.

Notice the side of the box is kinda pushed out. There is a piece of tape holding the side panel in place. The tape looks factory to me, but I really don’t know. Not sure if a C10 would be better, and I’m not sure if Takara boxed them up bad or if TFSource messed with it. But regardless, I’m not too concerned since I plan on opening this set. I’m cool as long as there are no issues with the figures. As a kid I dreamed of owning the Predacons. In my youth, there was no way my parents would’ve bought me all 5 Predacons, and my allowance was next to nothing. There was a reissue set in 2005. This was around the time I got back into TFs. Most dealers asked between $150 to $200 for the set. That amount can seem like a lot when you’ve just started to buy TFS. So I hesitated, and before I knew it they were all sold out. 6 years and 350 TFs later, I’m now kinda desensitized to TF spending and I didn’t even blink when I chose to buy it this time. In retrospect I’m glad I didn’t buy the 2005 set, because I hear the 2010 set has die-cast and the 2005 set does not.

I am on a mission to have all the G1 Combiner sets. The figures could be G1 or reissue. I now have 4 Combiner teams complete: Combaticons (G1), Technobots (G1), Seacons (reissue), and now Predacons (reissue). I have some other figures of various teams from G1: Air Raid, Breakdown, Dragstrip, Dead End, and Seawing. Dead End is missing all accessories, and Seawing is kinda unnecessary since I got the complete Seacon set as a reissue. I’ll be looking for other Combiner figures, and I’m hoping Hasbro/Takara would do more reissues.

I’m looking forward to opening the other items as well. Actually, I already opened BTS-03 and I’m really liking this upgrade set. I like it so much I may review it in a future post. And I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Protector armor and Sidearm, so it’s a pretty sure bet I will be impressed with those.

As a sidebar, this is my 100th post on this blog. I’ve been enjoying the experience and I will keep this blog going for as long as I can. Long Live TFs! Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics

Masterpiece Rodimus Prime Review Part 1

March 14th, 2011 4 comments

As mentioned in my my last, I bought Masterpiece Rodimus Prime. Here is part 1 of the review. I’m going to go over the alt modes first, even though he comes packaged in robot mode. I transformed him to alt mode so I figure I do this now before I transform him back.

Here is a pic of the figure as Hot Rod.

As far as appearance goes, this is probably the most show accurate Hot Rod alt mode in the history of TFs. The G1 toy was very good for its time, and the Henkei/Classic version was an excellent update of the star of the G1 Movie. But in terms of show accuracy, the MP figure has them both beat. Take a look at the outline of Hot Rod’s vehicle mode. This is exactly how he was shaped in the Movie. Masterpiece figures are known for show accuracy and this figure certainly did not disappoint. I think this is even more obvious when you look at the rear of Hot Rod’s alt mode, which is pictured below.

Check out the scene where Hot Rod races up the hill with Daniel to catch the shuttle, early in the Movie. During this scene there is a good shot of Hot Rod from the rear view. This figure has captured that look perfectly. No other Rodimus figures even come close to the MP as far as reproducing this look.

The colors on this figure is classic Hot Rod. I think everyone knows what his colors are supposed to be so I won’t go into it. The red, orange, and yellow on the figure is reproduced faithfully. Windows are painted blue and that is accurate also. All the chrome bits that you would expect are there, including his side thrusters, engine, and rims. Clear yellow bits are used for the headlights. Overall, no gripes from me about the paint apps or the detail on this figure.

Tires are made of rubber like other vehicles in the MP and Binaltech line. Hot Rod comes with two guns like the original G1 toy (the non-Targetmaster version). On the engine you can attach a gun like pictured below. You can do this with either gun, but not both at the same time. Personally I think it’s kinda lame, but it was a G1 feature so it’s good to see the MP fig still account for that.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few issues with the MP Rodimus. I will go into each of them.

Hasbro/Takara stopped using die-cast in TFs long time ago, even in the MP line. Rodimus is no exception. Only die-cast I can detect are the feet pieces. Considering I paid over $200 for this fig, I expected a little more die-cast.

Transformation from robot to car was quite difficult. He is complex in terms of design, and in my book that’s a good thing. But what makes it an issue is that the pieces on this figure do not come together as well as they should. Add to it the already difficult transformation and you have a figure that is simply frustrating to do. Hasbro/Takara has made complex figures before, such as MP Megatron and leader class Optimus from the 2nd Movie. But those figures are well engineered and all part and pieces fit where they’re supposed to go when you do it right. MP Rodimus is not one of these figures.

My main gripe is on the sides of the vehicle. Check out the pic below.

Notice there is a very large “hole” on the side, around the thrusters where his hands go. This is pretty much the best that I can get it. I’ve checked the pics on Seibertron and they have it at about the same configuration. The figure is designed so the parts would come together more, but this is simply not the case. I really don’t like the design of the hand placement. It gets in the way of the connection. The pic below shows a bottom view and illustrates how the hands are placed in this mode.

I’ve checked the instructions carefully and I looked at Seibertron pics and I’m confident this is the proper placement. There is simply too much there for the sides to come together nicely. The irony is that the hand is designed so it can fold into the forearm. The reason for this is so Hot Rod can whip out his saw-blades (I’ll go more into this in part 2), but I would rather they ditch the saw-blade feature if it means there’s room to fold in the hands so in alt mode the sides would come flush.

The other construction issue I have has to do with the large bottom black panels towards the rear in the leg area, also pictured above. Mine doesn’t seem to want to snap in nicely, at least on one side. Not sure if I can get this to be better. It is sometimes dangling off, and this leads me to my next issue. There is practically no clearance on the bottom in alt mode. Those black pieces I mentioned, the large red piece right next them, and the head, they are almost touching the ground when Hot Rod is placed on a flat surface in alt mode. And they will touch the ground if you don’t get everything just right. This figure is not meant to be rolled around or you might damage these pieces.

Below is a shot for size comparison. MP Rodimus with Animated and Henkei Rodimus.

Now let’s look at this figure in Rodimus Prime alt mode. To do it, you attach the trailer that comes with the figure. He looks quite solid in this mode. It’s show accurate the the details and colors do not disappoint. He kinda looks like an RV in this mode, but that’s just how he looks. Maybe that’s why he never lived up to Optimus.

My main gripe with this mode is has to do with how the trailer is attached. The trailer comes with a hidden front piece that resembles Hot Rod’s hood and seat area. To attach the trailer, the Hot Rod fig goes into the trailer head first, then that front piece come around and covers Hot Rod’s ass. See the pic below for yourself.

I’m very disappointed with this mechanism. I didn’t think that front piece would be necessary and the trailer can attach toward Hot Rod’s rear, like MP Optimus.

Last pic for part 1 shows off MP with Titanium Rodimus.

I’ll reserve my final thoughts for when I do part 2, which is the robot mode. Until then… Transform and Roll Out!

EDIT 09/22/2011:
Click here for Part 2 of the review.

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Masterpiece Rodimus Prime in the Box

February 27th, 2011 4 comments

Several weeks ago I received MP Rodimus Prime. I still have not opened this figure. I intend to do this soon, but before that I thought I take some pics of him sealed in the box.

Rodimus is finally getting the MP treatment that he deserves. Could Galvatron be next? That would complete the G1 leaders. Anyway, I plan on doing a full review. Until then… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics

Animated Rodimus Minor Review

October 22nd, 2010 1 comment

I think by now, all TransFans are aware that Transformers Animated have officially ended. All remaining TFA toys that were planned are exclusively released in the United States through Toys R Us. I’m really only aware of 4 figures: Cybertron Mode Ratchet, Arcee, Rodimus Minor, and Cybertron Mode Ironhide. Cybertron Mode Ratchet came out as early as January of this year, and I think I found them locally in February. Toys R Us ordered way too many of this figure. Every store I visited recently is overstocked with Ratchet. This is not true with the rest of the figures. Arcee I only saw once in May, and never again. And because of this, I had a feeling that Rodimus and Ironhide were gonna be rare finds as well.

Fans have been reporting sightings of these two figures as early as August, so I’ve been keeping my eyes open. I was lucky I was able to find some right before Columbus Day weekend. My local Toys R Us didn’t have that many either, only 4 Rodimus and 3 Ironhide figures. Needless to say, I quickly grabbed some and proceeded to check out. I only left one of each on the shelves. The girl at the checkout was like, “Damn, you got them all! People have been asking about these!” LOL. I have been back to the store once since, and yeah, they’re all gone. I don’t anticipate my TRU to get anymore either. Ebay dealers ask a minimum of $25 for these, and that doesn’t include ship. These appear to be rare indeed.

Anyway, today I’m doing a review of the Rodimus Minor figure. I have not yet opened Ironhide, but he’s a repaint of Ratchet so I already know what to expect. I may do a review of him and Ratchet later in a future post.

Check out some pics of Rodimus Minor in the package.

I really like the look of this Rodimus in alt mode. His appearance is most definitely G1 inspired. The figure is mostly red with some stripes of yellow on the hood and on the wing. In G1 he had flames, but I think the yellow triangular stripes actually looks better. The window is in that famous blue like all other Rodimus figures. The engine on the hood is faithfully represented here. In G1 and Classic Rodimus, the side exhaust pipes are located on the side bottom of the vehicle. However in Animated, they’re located higher on the side, a little above the rear tires. I rather like this design, it manages to make the look refreshing, but still identifiable. Compared to other Rodimus figures, the shape of this one is more streamlined and more sleek. I have no complaints on the looks of the alt mode whatsoever. I haven’t seen Season 3 of Animated so I can’t comment on show accuracy, but if it looks anything like the package image then I would say the figure represented his look faithfully.

Functionally, Hasbro’s toy designers did a great job in the engineering of this figure. Rodimus is quite solid in this mode. As with most other TFA figures, the various parts and pieces come together well to form the vehicle. Everything snaps together nicely, and there are no dangling bits to be found. The alt mode will not come apart easily even if you choose to play rough with the figure as the car. On a flat surface, Rodimus rolls well on all 4 wheels and I see no balancing issues. The only noticeable seam line is towards the rear, above the wheel area, but that is something I can easily live with.

Size-wise, Animated Rodimus is a little smaller compared to Classic or Henkei Rodimus in alt mode. Check out the pic below.

His bow-type weapon can be attached in alt mode. Simply plug the pegs on the weapon into the slots on top of the vehicle. The missiles fire a good distance, though it’s not the strongest when compared to recent Hasbro offerings. If I was to name one gripe, it’s that the weapon is not that easy to attach in this mode. This weapon is angled upwards when mounted, and the tail end of the missiles make contact with the wing, so attaching this thing is harder than it looks. Not only that, the obvious place to apply force downwards on the weapon to mount it is exactly where the firing buttons are, so you almost always accidentally fire the missiles. I’ve learned to attach the launcher first, then connect the missiles. Also, even with all this, it’s real easy to accidentally make contact with the weapon, in which case you will almost always knock it off the figure (very similar to Arcee’s wings, though not that bad). I opened two Rodimus figures (more on this later), and they both have these issues with the weapon, so I’m going to assume this is an issue with the mold. Still, this is just a little gripe, and I think he looks better without the weapon in alt mode anyway so I just prefer to leave it off.

Overall, I’m very happy with the alt mode.

The transformation to robot mode is quite unique for a Rodimus figure. The standard transformation for Rodimus in other lines has the hood forming the chest, cockpit and wings becoming the back, the sides folding out to be the arms, and rear section of the car as the legs. Animated Rodimus Minor puts a slight spin on this familiar theme. The legs are buried entirely underneath the vehicle, with the feet connecting to below the front hood area. The arms go over the rear wheel area, and during transformation there are joints that will connect them with the chest. The front wheels also fold into the chest, and the engine can flip over in robot mode to reveal the Autobot insignia. It’s nice to see Hasbro trying something new in the transformation. The result is a process that feels both refreshing and familiar at the same time, something not easily achieved for such a recognizable character. And in my opinion, the transformation difficulty level is just right. It’s complex enough to be a fully qualified Transformer, but at the same time still fun enough that it doesn’t feel like work to transform it.

In robot mode, Rodimus looks great. He’s well proportioned and there’s not any body parts that look too big or too small. Again, I have not seen this character in the cartoon, but it appears that the toy captured the look of Animated Rodimus quite well. The paint job on a standard $10 Hasbro figure usually leaves a little to be desired, and on this figure it’s no exception. However, I don’t detect any color goofs, so at least Hasbro got that right.

Design wise, there is no mistaking that this is Rodimus. Anyone who is vaguely familiar with G1 Hot Rod will easily identify this character. His overall color scheme, his trademark wings, and his arm cannons are all here. The figure is capable of a wide range of poses. Ball joints are used almost everywhere. Fans big on poseability will find nothing to complain about here.

Functionally, Rodimus is well built. All pieces lock into place where they should, resulting in a solid robot mode. When I transformed him the first time, I thought the chest piece would dangle around. But after you lock in the cockpit window into the upper back, everything stays put. The side exhaust on the upper legs also clicks into position. The figure is very, very well engineered. Overall, I have no complaints about the robot mode of Rodimus Minor whatsoever.

Below are some size comparison pics with other Rodimus figures. Notice in robot mode, Animated Rodimus becomes a little bigger than Classic/Henkei Rodimus, whereas in alt mode he was smaller.

I mentioned that I got two of these and I opened both of them. For really rare figures that don’t cost much, I sometimes buy multiples, one to open and one to keep mint in the package, maybe to sell later or just to hang on to so I can say I have a mint one. Well, the first one I opened came with two left hands! Check out the pic below. The two-handed one is on the right. Functionally that’s just wrong, so I opened the other one as well. By the time I opened them, there were none left at TRU so exchange is not an option. I could return it, but I thought I keep it just for laughs. I googled this and I don’t see any other fan reporting this issue, so I’m forced to assume this is an isolated incident. But just keep in mind this could happen if you find and buy a Rodimus figure. And I’m just happy that I got a 2nd one so I don’t have to live with the two left-handed one.

So there you have it, my thoughts on Animated Rodimus Minor. I can’t recommend this figure enough. Compared with other Rodimus figures, I would say this is the second best one of all time, right behind Classic/Henkei Rodimus.

Come and think of it, all the recent figures that I opened have been really good. Hasbro has been on a roll when it comes to doing new molds. I will be doing reviews of some other great figures that came out recently, so stay tuned. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews