Magnificus is a new character based on the pre-Transformers version of Perceptor, who was, well, a black version of Perceptor. He was established as his own guy by e-Hobby in 2005, when they released a black version of the original Perceptor (with a Micronauts partner named Ga'mede).
I don't have that guy.
But e-Hobby (and Fun Publications?) just did a black version of the most recent Perceptor toy as Magnificus, and now I have that! Built into the original tooling was a toy-accurate alternate head for the toy, which basically works as a Magnificus head and few other things, so that's pretty fortunate. He's, well, a black Perceptor. Not terribly exciting on the face of it, but I do like being able to see/own the tooling's alternate head. Also, it's a character I didn't already have around, so he's not doubling up on any guy I already have.
What's super-great is the comic this dude comes with. It's only six pages, but it's got art by the great Hidetsugu Yoshioka and it features Magnificus (and his still-tiny pal Ga'mede) fighting one of the unreleased Double Pretender guys -- specifically the gorilla. He's got a name now and he's drawn pretty radly. I like him a lot. All toys should come with fiction!
The toy itself is still Perceptor, which is not exactly a beloved pile of engineering, but I never disliked it as much as some other people did. However, I do have more trouble getting Magnificus's shoulder/backpack arrangement to consolidate into the torso than I did Perceptor's, so he requires a bit extra fiddling.
There comes a time in a man's life when he's willing to buy limited-edition Linkin Park crossbranded Transformers robots. Generally that time comes after he's drawn a bunch of official comics about tape cassette guys and these new gold tape cassette guys either fill in some blanks or offer potential for the future! See that gold Laserbeak/Buzzsaw? Totally SG Buzzsaw. Collection hole filled. See that gold Ratbat? Totally civilian-mode SG Ratbat. Collection hole filled. See those other guys, including the duplicate Laserbeak/Buzzsaw? I have the ability to make them new characters, though the magic of of a certain corner of canon which I uniquely wield.
Of course, no matter way you slice it, I still have this group of expensive butterscotch-colored Transformers.
Man, what a weird thing this is. Linkin Park got the chance to design their own color scheme for Soundwave and four of his friends, and they went for solid gold plastic. I will never understand them. And because this set comes with both Buzzsaw and Laserbeak, and because everyone is solid gold plastic, it means you get two identical guys. Who's Buzzsaw? Who's Laserbeak? WHO KNOWS!
The whole thing comes in a special packaging that looks like a larger black Soundwave with a cassette player inside that says "LINKIN PARK/TRANSFORMERS MIX" on it. Inside the packaging is the usual plastic tray that the toys sit in, but this plastic tray is flocked in purple so it looks like velvet. Yes, this is that ridiculous.
There's a fold-out instructions booklet that features recolored Soundwave's box art in gold and simple instructions for everybody, because everyone's pretty simple, because these are 1984 and 1986 dudes. I'm guessing the many, many stock image photographers did not get a copy of these instructions, because there is a myriad of hilariously mismatched guys-and-accessories image sets.
My Ratbat came misassembled, with his tippy-toes pointed inside his own cassette mode torso in such a way that you can't flip them out for bat mode. And so I spent the first few minutes of opening this guy unscrewing him open so I could set things right and then screw him back together again. Man, no wonder everyone loses this guy's ears. They are held in by nothing more than teensy-tiny bumps and friction.
Anyway, I already have identities figured out for the non SG Buzzsaw/SG Ratbat guys in this set, so I guess look forward to those, if you're a Transformers Collectors' Club subscriber.
(Can I just unilaterally declare this toy is SG Buzzsaw and have it officially be so, or so I have to do a new strip where he's a little golder than he was previously?)
You might recall from a few months ago my happiness at getting what by all appearances seemed to be some strange Ratchet/Dinobot cyborg fusion as part of the Beast Hunters line. Well, TakaraTomy over in Japan took one look at this mold and apparently thought, okay, no way this is a good guy. Just look at this dude. And they made him a Decepticon.
All the other Japanese releases of the Beast Hunters guys were just done up in colors similar to their appearances on the show, despite their heavily-retooled appearances, but not Ratchet. Ratchet gets to be green like in the movie and a Decepticon and super evil. This is awesome, and so I had to have it.
According to some guy on the Internet, the packaging bio for Hunter Ratchet is about how he tried to sneak into a Decepticon/Predacon/whatevs lab to steal some technology and whatnot, but he got captured and infused with Dark Energon and turned into this green monocled thing. The Autobots managed to bring him back eventually, but Ratchet still struggles with the vestiges of his time as a Decepticon.
Hunter Ratchet is literally the American toy in other colors, so there's nothing new there, but the plastic tolerances on him seem to be a bit more sturdy. So that's nice. Also the green is kind of a glittery plastic, which reminds me of Best Buy's Premium Movie Ratchet a little. That coupled with the white and black and red is a pretty attractive look for him.
Plus, you know, evil Decepticon Ratchet.
G1-style Breakdown was the toy I was least excited about in this year's Transformers Figure Subscription Service. I mean, I've already got a BotCon toy of that guy, and in way better colors! I know at the time, when we were getting this teal-and-magenta G2 Breakdown toy, some folks were clamoring for a white-and-blue G1 version to be one of the at-show surprises, but I do not understand those people. I do not understand them at all. Did they not realize that G2 Breakdown has, like, nonsensical splattered blood on his roof? How is that not the best possible already? Where is the room for improvement?
But those people yet exist, and so I guess this G1-style Breakdown is for them. That's okay. He's the sort of thing these Subscription Service toys should have -- y'know, stuff not everyone wants, so wouldn't have been done otherwise except under cover of a larger spread of toys. Some folks can get their G1 Breakdown if I can get my Circuit. That's how these things work.
Anyway, huge yawn.
UNTIL YOU READ THE FRIGGIN' BIO. Sure, he's the most pointless toy in the world in my eyes, but he's apparently from the best universe. This Breakdown hails from the third issue of Blackthorne's 3D Transformers comics. You know, the "Part one of three" story which never got its second and third parts because Blackthorne quit, in which the Autobots and Decepticons discover an enigmatic third faction called the Detructons, led by Lord Imperious Delirious.
(Well, best universe spin-off, to be precise. The story clearly takes place in original cartoon continuity post-The Rebirth.)
Anyway, that's super awesome. And now I begrudgingly appreciate this lump of otherwise boring plastic. Good show.
Orion Pax toy Number Two! The first one was a redeco of the original Kup, but this new one is his own mold. It's based on a design for Orion Pax seen in the IDW comics. It first appeared in just one story, Spotlight: Blurr, and it was designed by Guido Guidi though illustrated by Casey Coller. However, subsequent appearances of Orion Pax used Optimus Prime's usual pre-Earth design, which is kind of annoying. It's cool when Optimus Prime gets to have a separate Orion Pax body!
And so when it came time to release this toy with a comic book, a new story was commissioned featuring Orion Pax receiving this body for a limited time for the sake of a specific mission. It's kind of hamfisted, but at least some continuity was smoothed out, I guess. In all honesty, I just wish he was always drawn with this Orion Pax body when he while he was Orion Pax to begin with.
The toy itself is fun -- as fun as an Optimus Prime toy gets to be, anyway. The windows become the windows, the long-nose part of the cab is formed from somewhere else, this time piling up on his shins, and his arms sort of poke out the back, but are obscured enough that it doesn't look all Energon Optimus Primey. He comes with both a giant axe and a gun, because why not. They don't integrate into the vehicle mode, but instead peg in whichever 5mm peghole you choose.
The comic story included is the first of two of these new "Spotlight" issues that feature a very conspicuous Nightbeat. PRETTY WEIRD HOW HE'S SHOWING UP IN A LOT OF THESE STORIES SUDDENLY, I WONDER ABOUT THAT