Hey, it's a new toy of Scoop, why the hell not? He's one of those guys I had a toy of from my childhood but who never became important beause he really got much fiction, so this feels like one of those times that Hasbro reaches into my specific nostalgia.
Mind, since these guys have to be presented in the comic books they come packaged with, Scoop's getting some characterization now. However, it's kind of hard to figure out what it is. Broadly, he seems to be a religious zealot, but specifically, he's kind of violently bipolar about how Starscream fits into those prophesies he totally buys into. Does he like Starscream? Does he hate him? Depends on what issue it is! Is he a jerk? Is he a hero? Is he just misguided? Does he believe what he's saying or is he putting on a front? I'm not sure the story knows?
Anyway, New Scoop is a little more deceptively complex than you'd think by looking at him. Visually, he looks like the original toy but with joints, but there's a lot more going on in that torso than is first apparent. The whole front of his chest is just a panel that folds down, and his shoulders are both on a rotating tumbler separate from the real meat of the body. It's all fine in robot mode, but in vehicle mode, nothing really holds together very well. The slots and tabs are pretty shallow, and there's always one of them kinda hanging loose, it seems. So if you want to buy this for a young kid to smash around, that's probably not gonna end well. It's gonna come apart pretty easily. It's not a sturdy brick like the original Scoop. (I bring this up because I've been asked about it a few times already, and so it seems like a common concern.)
His Targetmaster partners, Holepunch and
Tracer Caliburst, are not immune from problems either. Their gun modes' pegs are on rotating joints which are held between their legs by a shallow hinge rather than being pinned through, and it takes a lot less force to punch that chunk of plastic out than it is to push the peg through any kind of fist of peghole, so that's kind of frustrating. You have to be kind of calculating to get the peg into the hole without the toy disassembling.
Also I kind of wish the yellow paint on the shovel hadn't been budgeted out of the production version.
Those are some definite negatives, but he's not all bad! I am very happy with his colors. He's mostly orange, which if you know me is a big plus in my brain, and his yellow is this very attractive faded yellow that I hope we see more of. It's kind of a shortcake color. I want to eat it. The robot mode is great, as noted, and I love that we get new toys of Holepunch and Tracer and that they combine into their double weapon still. And he comes with a comic book! ...though if I recall correctly, he spends his time in it being a weird religious creep behind bars. I'm not sure if that's gonna make him some kid's favorite character.
I was gonna talk about the new Whirl first, but he kind of snapped his leg off at the knee before I could even get stickers on him. SO HERE'S ARMADA STARSCREAM, COVERED IN MY TEARS
Armada Starscream is, obviously, a new toy of the Starscream design from Transformers: Armada. Since these toys are being featured in the IDW Transformers comics that come packaged with every Deluxe, Armada Starscream's design is also now a IDW comics continuity G1 Starscream toy! For those of you keeping track, this is the second time in a row a Starscream toy that represented Starscream from a different continuity family has been used as a G1 Starscream in this comic. With both Aligned and the Unicron Trilogy out of the way, once this Starscream also repurposes an Animated or Movie-style version of himself, I think this dude will have collected the whole set. He will become Meta Starscream, the Allscream, Devourer of Alternate Starscreams.
The toy itself is fantastic. While it is, broadly, a smaller version of the original Armada Starscream toy but with joints, the sum is more than these parts. He feels solid and dynamic and feels like he has a presence, and he has more weapons than you expect of a toy in these expensive times. While the original Armada Starscream would pop off his entire wing to make a sword, this new Armada Starscream hides his (now-translucent) swords behind his wings. They just fold up and plug into the backs. He also gets two, instead of just the one. Also, dude's got double missile launchers. It's been a while since those were the norm! They're the push-pressure kind, not the spring-loaded kind, and they sit in his maneuverable shoulder intakes. Starscream's also got Mini-Con hardpoints on both his forearms and on the back of each of his launchers, as is right and good.
If you're more discerning about your Starscream purchases, I'd check out this guy. He's one of the best Starscream toys, I feel. Or you can wait until we get that Jhiaxus retool out of him we seem to be receiving. New cockpit, new wings, new tailfins, new head. When I'm at Toy Fair in a few weeks, I hope we get to see him.
In Bumblebee and his redeco/retool Goldfire we've got a little microcosm of toy-pushed fiction. The Bumblebee toy was designed to mimick a comics-only design that appeared years back. Later in the comics, he'd be rebuilt into a "Goldfire" version of that same body because the comic had to advertise the redeco/retool. As I type this, I realize no one else is going to care. BUT TOO LATE, YOU READ IT.
The toy is simple enough, and for that it's a fun buy. Back of the car becomes the legs, the sides become the arms and the hood becomes the shoulders. The torso untelescopes to reveal the head, and everything else piles up on his back. It works better as Bumblebee -- my Goldfire has trouble keeping the torso locked together in robot mode.
That's about it.
Cosmos is Swerve's casemate but I'm way less excited about him. Mostly because, well, we got a pretty similarly-sized Cosmos a few years ago. It's kind of like a partial upgrade. The rest of my malaise is that I'm in a pretty strong More Than Meets The Eye groove at the moment, toy-wise, and Cosmos is kind of the odd guy out. In the current comics, Cosmos is a pretty big guy! (as you'd expect a guy who transforms into a spaceship to be, probably) And this is a small toy, albeit marginally larger than the other one. I also think this design isn't quite what's in the comic, either, though it's hard to tell. Cosmos mostly likes to be in the back of big group shots.
That said, it's still.. an upgrade! I mean, it's clearly a better-looking robot and a slightly more interesting saucer mode. He's a bit larger and he comes with a little Micromaster guy. The Micromaster parter transforms from robot to shuttle to weapon and is clearly supposed to be Blast Master despite being named Payload instead. This guy's pretty cool. I like him.
Cosmos himself isn't bad or terrible, but he kind of feels like a rerun. I'm sure there are some Star Wars collectors out there rightfully mocking my tears as they buy their sixteenth Han Solo with better-painted belt buckles or whatever, but oh wells.
This new one's red, too, in addition to being (almost) perfect. Swerve's always been pretty cool! He's a Transformer who can't drive, despite being a car. He never really got any good fiction, like, ever, though, so all he's had to go for him all these years has been that Tech Spec write-up. Until recently, that is! The "More Than Meets The Eye" ongoing comic book series (which you may have heard me talk about for forever and ever) has thrust him into the spotlight as an insecure loudmouth jokester. And he's pretty great. And this Legends Class toy is really really good at looking like that Swerve does.
Sure, the toy transforms into an Earth vehicle instead of the Cybertronian car he does in the comic, but that's details. What's important is that he's a tiny ball of annoying energy and that perfectly sculpted little always-yackin' face of his. Even his toy can't keep his mouth shut.
He transforms pretty simply, as you'd expect. Unfold his legs, pull out his arms, and collapse his hood back over his roof. Remember to push forward his head from his shoulders so he's not staring at the sky. I mean, you can have him do that, if you want -- he's pretty short, and so up articulation on his head comes in handy sometimes. This articulation means his head can't turn left and right, though. That's no big deal.
Up there, I put (almost) in parenthesis in front of "perfect." The only thing that keeps him from being so, really, is that I really wish he were sculpted with fingerguns. You know, index fingers out, both of 'em. That woulda made him perfect. Dude needs some third-party forearms.
Swerve comes with a little Micromaster dude who's basically Sky High but named "Flanker" for trademark reasons. Sky High transforms from robot to weapon to jet and back. I know less about Sky High as a character (there's not much to know) so I'm less excited about him. Here's a gallery on Tumblr if you wanna look at him and more of Swerve.
I got mine from RobotKingdom.com. He's not in the United States yet. I'm sorry, but you have to wait.