Hey, you guys! Entertainment Earth has a fancy new exclusive toy set! It’s one of those Platinum dealies where you get all the paint and whatnot, so if you saw Deluxe Bumblebee in stores last year and were like, okay, but what if this thing were painted, or if you saw Deluxe Grimlock and were like, okay, but what if this were scaled to Bumblebee correctly – these are your guys.
I will have one soon! And I will talk about it too much then, I’m pretty sure. You know how I am.
Yay, it's (Universe) Ramjet! The original Universe Ramjet was some sure-whatever store exclusive redeco of Armada Skywarp, who would be otherwise entirely foregettable if he hadn't been used in very early Fun Publications fiction as a cosmic-level jackass. Ramjet had been caught between dimensions too many times, and so his body was in a constant state of making and unmaking that resulted in him looking like he was bathed in Kirby Krackles while melting randomly and growing tendrils. The original toy did not look like this. He was just an unremarkable white/red/blue redeco of another toy, as I said above.
And so I grabbed a grill lighter and melted mine a bunch and then put some splashes of purple on him. That's exactly the kind of embarrassing nerd I am. A toy-ruiner.
Anyway, at the end of that storyline, he got thrown back into the space between dimensions and wasn't heard from again... until now! When he has a new toy! Weird how that works out! Ramjet's back, from outer space, and I guess he's not structurally bonkers anymore. Which is fine. I don't need to take another grill lighter to another toy.
The new Ramjet is a retool of the new Armada Starscream toy (the one I really like), now retooled to have a head that looks like the Skywarp version of that toy. (A Skywarp version of this Ramjet tooling will be sold later this year.) Neato New Retooled Ramjet doesn't have all the retoolings that the original version did -- there's no VTOLs on his tailfins, nor are his nosecone wings trimmed. But it still works.
It's neat how the new finned head works with the toy. The original head pushed straight down during transformation, but the remake folded the head face-down 90 degrees. There's no room for a fin at the top of the head if you do that! .... unless you make sure the neck balljoint is at the back of the helmet, allowing the headfin to still point up even as you push it down and forward.
New Ramjet is a sharp-looking toy, though packaging problems have kinda messed with many folks'. The top layer of packaging foam was left out, and so many people's Ramjets had paint scratches across the tops of theirs as it arrived. Mine was relatively lucky -- there's just a chip of blue gone at the top of one of the shoulder intakes. If you look for this guy on the second market, make sure there's good pictures of him.
Or don't. Having an awful finish is kind of his original motif.
Japan is probably not too big on Skids. He, like, showed up barely in two episodes of the original cartoon, with a line of dialogue each (performed by a different voice actor for each appearance in both English and Japanese), and Japan didn't get the Marvel comics where he had a spotlight issue and several other appearances. His toy wasn't released normally over there, as it was available not separately, but only in a boxset with Sunstreaker and Buzzsaw. And so it's not surprising that it took so long for TakaraTomy to put out their own version of our Generations Skids.
It IS kind of surprising that it's such a perfect deco replica of his appearance in IDW's More Than Meets The Eye comic book series. Like, I'm not sure that's released properly over there. I think you hafta get it on iTunes or something. I mean, there seems to be a small fanbase in Japan for it, but I don't think that's a widespread thing. Honestly, I don't really know. My knowledge here is spotty. If someone wants to fill me in on Japan's relationship with IDW Transformers comics, that'd be neato.
But, yeah, instead of trying to deco Skids hardcore like the cartoon, they made sure to MTMTE him up, including painting pink stripes across his hood despite there not being any sculpting there to suggest a need for that. Nope, he gets those stripes (and basically everything else) off his color model for an American comic.
And so, obviously, I had to get him. I mean, I'd put Reprolabels on my domestic Skids to get those necessary stripes and other details on there (as you can see in the photos -- that toy ain't stock), but this TakaraTomy version is so much more comprehensive in replicating the MTMTE color model than the domestic version + stickers. He's got the black toes and the silver ankles and the red hands and tummy, and I adore the use of pink for the stripes, as well.
Addendum: After taking a photo of the new toy next to the old one with the stickers, I tried to remove the stickers to get a more fair visual assessment of the two toys unaltered. BAD IDEA. Those Reprolabels are not meant to come off. You leave a lot of silver chrome behind, and I'll probably hafta get some serious Goo-Be-Gone to remove it, if I decide to at some point. You can get the American toy carded on eBay for like $8, so I'm not sure it's worth selling the thing once I subtract the cost of the Goo-Be-Gone. If it even works. Meh!
Here is another post in our series of "i bought another beast wars toy because it was painted a little better than the beast wars toy i already have." Today's subject: LG-EX Waspinator!
Like TakaraTomy's Generations Rhinox, so too was their Waspinator heavily metallic. This didn't look nearly as weird on him, since wasps are all chitinous (I looked that up, thank you) and less leathery than rhinos. But it meant his yellows were gold, and so even though it painted his face a little better than the domestic Waspinator, I passed. I did reconsider a few times, but that version of Waspy's pretty popular and so he's hard to find on the secondary market. ... thankfully, because then this version was announced.
Bye-bye, gold! Hello, more-accurate yellow. And, important to me, they've finally painted the bee stripes on his robot head antenna. They don't tend to do that! Probably because that's a hella lotta paint operations. I mean that's... *counts* 12. Twelve paint operations spent on 1% of his overall surface area. If you've got a paint budget, you're not gonna blow it all on danged antenna. But dammit, it's appreciated. Thank you, limited-release convention exclusive!
My to-be-imminently-replaced domestic Waspinator has more differences to catalog, versus his replacement. I love the darker green around his eyes. I love the brown tusks on his cheeks. I love his mouth having yellow in it.
I do like the darker green replacing the lighter lime green plastic on his body. It makes him a more uniform color, but the additional yellow paint operations balance that out, plus it calls attention away from how made-of-robot-parts his wasp mode is. His thorax is now a homogeneous patch of dark green at a quick glance, rather than a jumble of green with some lime green biceps and fists thrown in there.
Briefly, foolishly, I give my brain the luxury of believing that, yes, this is it, this is the best Waspinator, I don't need another ever again unless it's like a Combiner Limb or something. And then I remember that, oops, oh, right, they've just started making Masterpiece Beast Wars toys. In a year or several, we might have a Masterpiece Waspinator. And once again, what was once sufficient will then be insufficient.
But that's probably not for a while. I can enjoy this one until then.
ADDENDUM: There is also a redecoed Rattrap from this set, but I didn't bother getting him. Either he wasn't different enough or my current Rattrap is fine or any combination of the two.
I drew a Shortpacked! strip nine years ago about the arms race of more accurate Beast Wars Dinobot toys, wherein we're presented a toy, it's not painted so accurately for whatever reason, and then Hasbro and Takara go back and forth on the toy, with each subsequent release being a little more accurate but not ALL the way more accurate, and over the course of a decade or two get you to buy slightly better and better Dinobots. It's a pretty good racket they have going!
COMPLETELY UNRELATED here is LG-EX Rhinox. He's like the Hasbro Generations Rhinox I already had, but now he's brown instead of tan! The tan was more accurate to the original Beast Wars toy, but less accurate to the television animation. TakaraTomy's first attempt at this mold, released under their Legends toyline, had similar colors to this new LG-EX Rhinox, but the line-wide visual gimmick at the time was "make everything metallic." That's probably more okay if your toy's, like, a car, but Rhinox is 80% rhinoceros hide. And so he was this awful-looking metallic brown rhinoceros, despite otherwise being more accurate colors to the animation. I skipped that specific release of that toy, preferring having the rhino hide parts be matte plastic rather than him looking to be made out of aluminum foil.
Well, good, because a toy convention over on that side of the world decided that they were going to give Rhinox (and Waspinator and Rattrap) another go, this time without the mindboggling metallic plastic. So, like, problem solved. Matte brown plastic! Perfecto. This time Rhinox even has his gums painted inside his rhino mouth, which is a nice (and show-accurate) touch. Great work! Thanks toy convention!
Other than the brown, the most obvious change is to the dual Chainguns O' Doom, which feature actual paint, rather than being solid unpainted plastic. Rhinox is no longer trying to stop you with a pair of oatmeal cookies. Also his hip joints are a little tighter, which solves another problem. LG-EX Rhinox is less likely to faceplant.
Anyway, time to get rid of this older, tanner Rhinox before I end up with a Rhinox collection like I do my mountainpile of Dinobots.