June 11, 2010 02:01 am
I've gone on a number of times about how Dr. Venom is awesome -- sometimes in non sequitur, sometimes in preparation for this toy coming out. Suffice to say, he's some guy in a lab coat and tie who works for Cobra and his name is Dr. Venom. He does not understand piddly emotions such as "love." I should not have to explain further.
He's never had a toy until now, probably in part to being, you know, some guy in a friggin' lab coat and tie. Oh, and his name is Dr. Venom, which I'm sure would raise legal eyebrows somewhere marvelous. (His packaging presents his name as Dr. Archibald "Venom" Monev. That's right, his real last name is "venom" backwards.)
The G.I. Joe Collectors' Club is selling him as an exclusive to its members in a big box along with an absolutely huge venus flytrap monster and Joe Colton. I'm pretty okay with that being the last two-thirds of this set, so it was no big to plunk down the cash for everything. I'm not a member of the Joe club, but my pal Ron is, so I gave him the money and he got me the set. Easy cheesey.
His given function is "Evil Scientist." Sometimes in fiction I feel that is redundant.
Unsurprisingly, Dr. Venom is nearly all recycled parts. He's got the pajama Joe arms, Shipwreck legs, Cobra "Rex" Commander labcoat, and the Cobra Trooper body with a tie painted on. His head appears to be new.
He comes with four accessories. Two black handguns and two equally black test tubes with corks in them. The black test tubes are how you know he's an Evil Scientist. He holds the test tubes easily enough, but his right hand sure has trouble with either of the handguns. Its non-Kung Fu grip is molded a little small for the gun's handle, so it'll inevitably pop out after the rubbery plastic in the right hand gets bored. I did manage to get it to stay in his hand long enough to snap a photograph, but only barely. You can see the gun's kinda blurry as it prepares to pounce out of its place.
Man, remember when Cobra was allowed to be dorky and campy? I miss those days. Realistic Cobra sure is fucking boring.
June 9, 2010 02:01 am
June 8, 2010 02:01 am
T Campbell let the cat out of the bag on Friday, so I'm good to let you folks know: I'm drawing another Fans! storyline! I know, I know, the last time I drew Fans! it ended forever. Well, I promise you it won't end forever this time. (*knock on wood*) I'm just doing a smaller-scale four-week story. There's no looming end of the world, but it's no less important to the characters.
Fans! (and writer T Campbell) and I go back a while. Fans! was a story about a science fiction club that rose to prominence as Earth's most unorthodox government-sanctioned weirdo commando force, so of course it had a crossover with It's Walky!, my tale of an unorthodox government-sanctioned alien commando force. That was 2003. In 2005, I drew Fans!'s would-be conclusion during the period between the end of It's Walky! and the beginning of Shortpacked!.
And then in 2008 it came back. And in 2010 (that's now!) I'm drawing another story, because doing the first one was fun. It's a different discipline entirely to draw someone else's script versus your own, a creative muscle that I like to flex from time to time.
So next Monday, I'll start linking you my Fans! updates as well as my Shortpacked! updates. Well, at least on the days when I'm not busy at BotCon, anyway.
June 7, 2010 02:01 am
Cybertronian Optimus Prime was the talk of Friday, and here's his wavemate Cybertronian Bumblebee. Unlike Optimus Prime, who's had four "pre-Earth" toys to his name, this is Bumblebee's first! There was going to be one in Titanium Series based on his War Within design, but like the rest of that batch of guys, he was dropped. And I'm fine with that, because Titanium Series toys weren't terribly great in general.
Cybertronian Bumblebee transforms into a car that looks like a four-wheeled TRON lightcycle. This results in a pretty slick-looking vehicle. It's also very broad, using its Deluxe Class mass to be nearly as wide as it is long. Classics Bumblebee included a sizable accessory to keep Bumblebee himself relatively small while still being worth Deluxe Class dollars, but Cybertronian Bumblebee does no such thing. He's a big Bee, and he looks bigger than Prime even though they are at the same height. He's squat and round, but at a different scale, so a lot of his features are bigger relative to Prime's. Bumblebee's shouldn't be the same size as Prime! But all of the Generations toyline are Deluxe Class, so this sort of thing's going to be hard to avoid. Regrettable, regardless.
Like Prime, Bumblebee comes packaged in robot mode. I thought Prime's transformation to vehicle was rough until I attempted Bumblebee. It took 15 minutes to get him roughly into vehicle mode, and then another 30 minutes were spent trying to get all his various panels aligned. Locking one side into place would spring open the other side, and vice versa, rinse/wash/repeat for thirty whole minutes until I gave up. Man, I wanted to throw him into a wall. I did not encounter this problem on the second attempt. I think something very minor inside him, like maybe the wrist orientation, was fudging things up. But, jeez, I hate Transformers like these. I just want everything to lock together easily, not a back-and-forth game of fuss.
Bumblebee's sorta a pearlescent gold instead of the usual yellow. It calls to mind the 1986 Goldbug toy. Like Cybertronian Optimus Prime's pink accents, the gold color helps distinguish Bumblebee from previous Bumblebee toys. Oh, and, hey, surprise, 80% of the vehicle mode ends up folded up and stowed on his robot mode back. It's generally out of the way, though.
His handgun, when not in use, can be stored behind his bumper in either robot or vehicle mode. The instructions tell you this can only be done in robot mode, but they lie. So long as you insert the gun halfway through transformation, before the arduous task of getting the legs crammed in there, the gun stows in that same spot easy-as-you-please. Bumblebee also features a translucent red blade on each wrist that can be ratcheted manually in and out of battle-readiness.
Speaking of Bumblebee's instructions, the art within erroneously depicts Bumblebee with Cliffjumper's head. Seems we're getting a retool further down the line.