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.
If I had a time machine, I would probably use it to go back to like 1999 or so and tell myself that this toy would exist. Look, little dude, you don't have to pull all the parts off your Rhinox and sculpey yourself a more show-accurate one. Just... wait a while. You'll lose that thing anyway.
Also in a few years you're going to stop believing the Earth is 6000 years old, so why not cut that shit out earlier. You'll be free. Let it go. Let it go. Turn away and slam the door!
The original Rhinox toy was designed to be kinda like a samurai guy. He's got his samurai skirt and he gets a sword and a mace weapon and his mutant face splits out and kinda looks like the sides of a samurai helmet. The cartoon model was all "hell naw" and removed a bunch of that and ignored his sword and just made him this huge unstoppable bruiser who's also super-smart and really good at being a leader and settling disputes and... okay, Rhinox was kind of on the edge of being annoyingly perfect. But he was humble and kind of a homebody, so that kept that from happening. Rhinox was never "i have to go now my home planet needs me," and other folks mostly ignored that he was clearly the most awesomely competent dude in that show.
The original Rhinox toy was also a mess. God dang. Everything hangs everywhere. He transformed from rhinoceros to a Christmas tree, I'm pretty sure. Just cascading panels everywhere. Thank goodness the newer, bigger Rhinox toy emulates the cleaner look of the television show. The back end of the rhinoceros does split into quite a few parts, but they all compact neatly around him and usually lock down. A hanging crotch skirt piece remains as the single remaining callback to his original samurai look. (You can fold it up under his jaw-chest if you want to erase that motif completely.)
In rhino mode, he's a very satisfying rhino, if immobile. His butt and tail and horns and ears are all made of soft plastic. There are no gimmicks in this mode. He will look pretty and that is basically it. Don't even open his jaw. It's not supposed to be opened. The jaw is for transformation and there's rows of very very not-rhinoceros-like sharp teeth in there for robot mode and the whole thing is hinged too far back in the jaw anyway to look good. Don't do it! Enjoy your static rhinoceros, dammit.
In robot mode, Rhinox has the articulation you expect, though I'm appreciative that his balljointed neck allows him to look up, which facilitates some nice chaingun of doom poses. Speaking of which, he comes with two of those, as is Proper. As with the original (single) weapon, pump the lever and the chain spins. As not with the original, it's an actual chaingun thing, and not a weird rotating mace sawblade thing. If you don't want your Rhinox to be encumbered with his weapons, you can shove the 5mm handles into the deep screwholes in the backs of his shoulders. We always wondered where Rhinox was reaching when he'd grab behind himself and pull these outta seemingly nowhere, and now we know.
Rhinox is packaged mistransformed so that his torso is elongated. Properly transformed, his crotch compacts deeper into his torso. He's depicted this incorrect way on the packaging as well. But done correctly, he's rightly stout.
Two things I don't like about him: 1) His legs are a little loose! Sometimes he's hard to stand. 2) I wish they'd kept his lips. This new toy's mouth is more of a simple sculpted line. Not only can't he be a samurai anymore, but he can't be a black dude, either (who is voiced by a white dude). Stop this cultural erasure, Hasbro!
you totally need to buy him, for reals
he's so great
Man, Waspinator is the one guy in this wave of Generations Deluxes that is always hard to find! He was missing when I got the other three in Austin (no worries, he was bought up by the dude who sent me there), he was the lone member of the wave when I found them yesterday, and there was just one lone Waspy remaining when I finally found him this afternoon. He's not shortpacked or anything -- there's two of everyone in each case, and most places seemed to have multiple cases. Folks are just buyin' up Waspinators and leaving everyone else.
In your face, G1!
When folks learn we're getting new toys of old Beast Wars guys, they often wonder why. It's an understandable viewpoint if thought about in the abstract -- I mean, usually fans want modern reimaginings of characters who are from Before Articulation, and Waspinator is definitely on the After side of that wavefront. Usually folks want new toys of old dudes just to get those dudes with articulation, and Waspy's original toy doesn't fall short there.
But once you get the original (well, mine's the Japanese release with bright green shoulders instead of pea green) next to the new one, you realize, oh, hey, Hasbro/Takara's gotten a lot better at things that aren't articulation in these past nigh-20 years. Next to the new Waspinator, old Waspinator looks like someone blindly put him together out of mud. Increased show-accuracy aside, new Waspy is just much more crisp and solid and visually interesting. He's got a lot more going on.
Waspinator's lost his spring-loaded missile launching (he still has the stinger gun though) while picking up a wing-flap gimmick. Pull on the lever on his back and they either swing forward or clap together, depending on how you have your wings placed into the balljoints. He's also lost the head-swapping "mutant head" gimmick, but I wouldn't be surprised if the "robot" head exists in the tooling somewhere so they can pump out a Buzz Saw redeco in the future.
Waspinator also transforms a little differently. Instead of transforming Waspinator's robot legs into some amazingly oversized wasp legs, the legs instead try to hide themselves underneath the insect mode. Well, "try." They're pretty obvious under there, because they're actual robot legs, but they do run along the contour of the body. It's also better, I think, than trying to do it the old way. I prefer the insect legs to look like insect legs, even if they're sprouting out of robot parts.
He's basically a perfect Waspinator toy, if what you're looking for is a toy of Waspinator-the-character, not toy-that-will-become-Waspinator-the-character. But if you'd rather the latter, then you probably already have that one.
Like the other Deluxes from this wave, Waspy comes with a comic book issue that features him. It's not a great issue, but hey it's a comic book, and I'm sort of happy that Waspinator has been inserted into this continuity. It's fun to see guys like Jhiaxus and Optimus Prime interact with him. And since Wheelie's in there, too, it's not like Waspinator's the guy with the most annoying speech gimmick.