Posted January 15, 2023 at 1:09 pm

It's been 20 years, and we've yet to get a good Lio Convoy toy.  The original was awkward and cumbersome and transformed into a lion with the worst rear legs, and was also extremely popular in the North American fandom at the time because it looked more like Optimus Prime than that dumb Optimus Primal who turned into a dumb monkey instead of a way cooler lion the way an Optimus Prime should.  And it was a tragedy, because for all Lio Convoy's faults, it was Beast Wars II Galvatron who was the true MVP of the two new toys Takara had created at the time.  But Lio Convoy righted all the horrendous wrongs Optimus Primal had perpetrated on the newly-adult fandom, so that dude was all the rage.

The Robot Masters adaptation of the Lio Convoy toy into a smaller form was reportedly an improvement on the design, I've heard.  And then there were roughly 30 billion redecoes of other lion toys like Leobreaker into Lio Convoy colors (which is the first time we got the "Leo Prime" moniker for the character), which were all of varying success.  And then there was Masterpiece Lio Convoy, which... honestly, I'm not sure how, but it's the worst one.  (Okay, I know how.  In the BWII cartoon, Lio Convoy's beast mode fleshy cartoon anime lion head shifted into an angular robotic head in robot mode, and since Masterpiece tries to be Faithful At All Costs, MP Lio Convoy became this clusterfuck of trying to fit two whole lion heads into that poor dude's right shoulder.)  It was so bad and we haven't gotten a new Beast Wars Masterpiece in the years since, that I've kind of assumed that it killed that portion of the line.  We might have a Rhinox by now if that thing hadn't happened.

Anyway, Transformers: Legacy: Evolution Beast Wars Universe Maximal Leo Prime (phew) has brought us a new attempt at the character!  And it's... good????  I mean, it's a low friggin' bar, but even judging it against Transformers toys in general, not just the Lio Convoys, it stacks up admirably.  It's got a lion mode without garbage hind legs and with existing forelimb biceps, it's got an interesting transformation that cleverly reconfigures that lion shape into an anime-styled robot mode, and it has a few gimmicks tucked in as well. 

The toy comes with four small little barrels which you can plug into various ports in his mane.  The two top ones can remain plugged in there while those panels fold back in for lion mode (or be unplugged and be used as handguns), and the two side ones can stow inside his back.  Additionally, as with the original toy, long X-Men Wolverine-esque claws can fold out of the lion forepaws and augment the robot mode's arms.  And, hey, the left chest panel still opens to reveal an Energon Matrix.  And it's painted!

Leo Prime is honestly painted pretty well.  The detail-less lion face can give you a false impression, but you get pretty much everything else detailed perfectly.  After taking photos of the guy stock, I added some black paint to the lion face and he's basically perfect.  (The eyes themselves are nylon and so couldn't be painted by the factory anyway.)  

I adore the more realistic lion face.  The cartoony anime face never did it for me, and the more realistic portrayal helps Leo Prime fit in better with, say, Kingdom Tigatron or any of the other Beast Wars guys in Legacy.  Admittedly the giant paws remain cartoonish.

While this is clearly the Best Lio Convoy Toy Ever, there are still some things that fall short.  The lion mode is useless in anything other than a standing pose, really.  It's not jointed well enough to do a believable attack pose.  I do miss the original's "push the forehead button in and his jaw puppets" action.  And, yeah, the lion face could have used the black lines, even if the eyes themselves couldn't have taken factory paint.  

But it's a toy that's excellent enough that I'm actually excited about it, despite my lukewarm feelings for the character itself.  It's just a nice lion toy!  We've had lions before, but, like, they're rarely any good.  And most of them are the worse toys of this guy.  A solid recommendation from me.

Posted January 8, 2023 at 1:00 pm

Hello!  This is attempt #2 at Modern Poseable Hot Shot!  Let's see how this guy does.

See, there's an integral problem with making Armada Hot Shot, But With Joints.  Armada Hot Shot transformed in a certain way that doesn't really.... allow for real arms?  Like, he's a sports car, and his arms are layered on top of his torso, and they really only swung out to the sides because, like... there's no room for additional jointing, and this also means his torso is absolutely flat.  So if you want to give him real arms and a real torso so that he doesn't look like Pancake The Robot Man, you have to... change things?  A lot?  And the more you change things, the less he looks like Hot Shot.  

The first attempt at Armada Hot Shot But With Joints, Universe (2009) Hot Shot, tried to reinvent him pretty hard.  It gave him a vehicle mode that was shaped more like an actual car (an Audi TT to be precise) and it did all sorts of crazy shellformer stuff that resulted in him having arms, sort of.  I mean, sure, he had arms, and those arms articulated... but not with the amount of panels piled on them from every direction.  The toy, despite all its joints, was immobile.  (also the feet were extremely loose, making it difficult to stand the thing, but that's a separate issue)  

And so attempt #2, in all honesty, has a pretty low hurdle to succumb.  Legacy Evolution Armada Hot Shot comes back to do Armada Hot Shot Again.  But good this time, we hope!  And for the most part, it succeeds!  The good news is, its arms are finally absolutely free to move about.  Nothing is attached to them.  If there's panel-y backpack stuff, it's tucked away.  And he's got a waist rotation joint, at long last, which honestly seems like heresy in connection to an Armada Hot Shot toy.  Also unlike the previous new Hot Shot, he's got his axelzooka again (but not geared to a Mini-Con nor does it fire anything).  He's also stolen Jolt's gun one more time, but that's really the cartoon's fault for stealing it first.  His feet do fold out like the original toy's, but there's no chainsaw stuff sculpted on there.  Driving claws?  Sort of.

The downsides are his forearms are a little anemic.  They have to be, because so much is being crammed into that middle section of the car, but the result is a Hot Shot that's not quite his expected silhouette.  He had big punchy arms, and now he doesn't.  The roof of the car, instead of hanging off the underside of his forearms, is now on the back of his legs.  This is out of the way of his arms!  It's not out of the way of his knees, though, and in order to bend those knees more than 30 degrees, you gotta fold those car roof halves out of the way.  (The car windows are still sculpted on the insides of Hot Shot's forearms.)  

But otherwise, hey, yeah, it's finally an Armada Hot Shot that functions well as an action figure.  It's an odd existence, since his entire appearance was originally wholly dependent on being a platform for various gimmickry.  He looks the way he does because the play pattern came first.  But now here's that design but with ankle tilts. 

Something gained, something lost.  

Posted November 2, 2022 at 3:01 pm

It's funny how long Transformers has been circling the drain of Doing Just The Cartoon Style Ironhide Goddammit.   Sure, it was a major milestone when we first got an Ironhide with an actual head, and there was that obligatory Masterpiece, but there was an entire War for Cybertron toyline trilogy of Faithfully Approximating Cartoon Appearances which gave him two toys and neither went Full Cartoon.  Stege Ironhide, the first one, was one of the few "Cybertronian" versions that actually went for a distinct space-y vehicle, rather than Recognizeable Earth Car With A Different Roof Or Something.  And then Earthrise Ironhide tried to retool that into an Earth vehicle with mixed success.  But even that effort fell short of attempting to match the animation model.  

And so we start from scratch!  It's Studio Series '86 Ironhide, who's gonna cartoon at you super hard!  He's a robot made out of boxes wearing a minivan windshield on his chest!  AS GOD INTENDED.

The previous two Ironhides were both Deluxe Class-ish.  Well, the first one was solidly Deluxe Class, but as tall as Deluxe Class could manage to keep him in scale, and the next one was... half of an exclusive set but given a very gigantic Roof Piece that was 20% of his new altmode, so who knows whether that budgets into a retail pricepoint.  But clearly the upper limit of Large-ish Deluxe had been hit, and if you want a better toy at that size, you gotta pump him up to Voyager Class.

SS86 Ironhide is no bigger than the previous two Ironhides, but by handling and transforming him you can see the difference.  He's... a lot of parts.  His roof doesn't get yanked off and set aside, the whole mini-van becomes the robot.  (RIP battle sled)  And so there's a lot of folding.  It's not bad folding?  It's actually fairly interesting folding.  Like, the rear section of the minivan collapses into his feet.  Just his feet!  The rest, up to the front cab, origamis into his legs.  There's a lot of engineering here.  There kind of has to be, if the toy must meet its mandate.  

When you finally get him narrowed into mini-van mode, he clips together pretty solidly.  So solidly you kind of wonder how you get him out of that mode again.  There's no obvious staring point, since what's holding the van together is buried inside.  But you can kind of wriggle him out of vehicle mode again, and yanking the arm clips out of the front roof section is really the only leap-of-faith do-or-die will-I-break-this moment.  And you won't.  Ironhide's pretty robust, true to his name.  Yeah, he's got clear plastic.  He's still robust.  

Ironhide comes with two pistols.  They're based on the pistol (singular) that Ironhide wields in his death scene in The Transformers: The Movie.  He comes with two because Ratchet had two, and Ratchet's getting retooled out of this guy later, obviously.  The pistols can store in multiple places -- in vehicle mode there's two nubs on the roof (which for Ratchet will undoubtedly house the siren/flashers) which you can fit the pistols on.  There's also two more nubs on the underside of the rear, where the pistol barrels can kind of double as dual exhaust pipes.  In robot mode, there's two more nubs on the back behind his head, in case you need robot mode storage.

It's a very good Ironhide!  I can't imagine them doing better at the pricepoint.  

Posted October 16, 2022 at 10:15 am

You know that Branson Reese meme with the "NO FEAR" t-shirt, the second panel, and then the "ONE FEAR" t-shirt?  Well, my middle panel is "MP-scale show-accurate Beast Wars Transmetals third party toys."  I was never a third party (not-Hasbro/Takara, unlicensed, illegal, infringing, etc) guy, but once you have TakaraTomy indefinitely stall their Beast Wars Masterpiece efforts, essentially signal that they're never ever going to slip into Season 2/3 Metals guys, and have TransArt (a 3P company) start cranking out screen-perfect toys of Beast Wars Transmetals folks, that's really my silver bullet.  I'm sorry.  I can't not own these.  It's impossible.

I saw on the Internet that Transart's "BWM-06 Metal T. Rex" was going to exist, saw that it was perfect, and then amassed their previous offerings in anticipation.  So I have their Transmetal Cheetor, their Optimus Primal, their Ravage, and these are basically all I ever live for now.  Well, my wife and children, sure.  But also mostly these.  

These third party toys by TransArt also avoid the pitfalls that both official Masterpieces and third party offerings often succumb to, by my experience.  Usually they're overwrought and fragile with complexities and unnecessary engineering, but so far TransArt's outings have kept things simple and robust.  These are mostly just oversized versions of the original toys, with extra articulation.  They're not literally upsized knockoffs or anything -- all the sculpts are distinct from the originals (the CGI models were very similar but not identical to the toy sculpts), but the endpoint is you have a toy that you can transform back and forth without having to take an afternoon off.  It helps that the Transmetals were pretty close to their original toys, so you don't have to change much to them to keep them accurate other than the "upscaling."  The hugest difference between "Metal T. Rex" and Transmetal Megatron's transformation is that Metal T. Rex has some folding panels to cover up his forearms in tyrannosaurus mode.  And these fold easily away.  

But it's a big, MP-scale Transmetal Megatron.  Transmetal Megatron is... probably my favorite Transformer.  Of all time.  It's a t. rex and it has roller skates and VTOL engines and it transforms into the best Megatron ever in the form he was in when he did all of that Megatron's most memorable things.  Also, unlike the Hasbro version of Transmetal Megatron, he doesn't crumble into pieces cuzza Gold Plastic Syndrome.  So that's a plus! 

But it's a Transmetal Megatron who has ankle tilts, articulated fingers, an ab crunch, shoulderpads that fold up out of the way for more poses, a head on a neck ball-joint, opening tyrannosaurus jaws and moving tongue, separate, articulated t. rex fingers for waggling, a t. rex head that can look up and down and left and right, and swappable robot head faces.  And electronic lights in both heads for glowing eyes!  Tap the magnetic end of his large effects part for his tail blaster on either head and the eyes will turn on and glow.  (Mine arrived with dead batteries, so I had to swap them out with new ones first.)

He's also got finger guns to replace the t. rex fingers for when you want the robot mode to use the tyrannosaurus arms as blasters, plus a Golden Disk shard projector that replaces the tip of his tail, for when you want Megatron to show Ravage home movies of G1 Megatron.  

The toy does include two tails, one for each mode.  There's some... size changing between modes, and so you do have to give him the larger tail in tyrannosaurus mode and the smaller tail for robot mode.  A little disappointing, but understandable when you have him in hand and see how incompatible the sizes are.  The larger tail can also store the extra faces and tyrannosaurus finger guns.  

And he's MP-scale, so he's, you know, large.  A bit taller than MP Season 1 Megatron, who's already pretty huge.  

I did have to do some customization, paint-wise, when he arrived.  Some parts of his faces aren't adequately painted, and so I opted to add some gunmetal to his helmet and around his eyes, plus separate his teeth on his smiling face with some black.  There's also a few chrome hits on his shoulders and legs that were neglected, but I haven't gotten to those, nor are they as important to me.  Maybe if Toyhax does some labels to fix those up, I dunno.  

But he's probably my favorite thing.  If our house had a fire and I could only grab one toy, he'd be in my top five.  (his size, realistically, is what'd keep me from putting him at #1, he'd be kind of a liability to have to drag around, plus, like, what, do i keep his extra tail in my pocket, or)

TransArt is doing a second run of him later this year/early next, so there's still opportunities to get him.  I think the second run will come with stickers for his various eyes, since many of him have had trouble with his electronics.  

Posted September 5, 2022 at 11:26 pm

Last time, we talked about Override, and today we're talking about Legacy Deluxe Class Elita One (spelled "Elita-1" on the packaging because Hasbro doesn't care about parsing Transformers names correctly the way I do), so we're going from Lady Transformer With Head Hat On Car Roof to Lady Transformer to Head Hat On Car Roof!  Those lady Transformers sure like putting their head hats on car roofs!  Elita's is removeable (and isn't her actual forehead, unlike Override's) and can plug into anything with a 5mm port.  It's just there to make her vehicle mode look more like her animation model.

Though technically it makes her vehicle mode look more like... fan art of her animation model?  For decades, we didn't have access to Elita One's actual animation model (and we only see the front of it in her one episode), so at least one enterprising fan artist took a crack at it, and arrived at a very short car mode that... this toy seems to be based on?  It was only in the past year or so that we've been blessed with an actual animation model and the... much more elongated actual car mode Elita One was designed to have.   I mean, both the fan art and the actual model have the head hat on the roof, but, like, dang.  Hasbro.  Check your sources.  

This is the first Elita One toy to be based on her animation model while also transforming into a car!  We've got a retool of Starscream from back in Power of the Primes, and that became a jet, and I still adore that toy, but this Elita One is getting back to basics.  She's a car!  She's a car with her forehead on the roof.  The forehead on the roof is important.  Did her Power of the Primes jet mode have her forehead on the fuselage?  No!  

After that weird half-step of Netflix's Elita One, it's also nice to have an Elita One who, like, looks like Elita One.  Her torso's actually got sculpted detail that looks like her!  She's got her collar and the T on her tummy, and the crotch fangs... it's all well-appreciated.  She does borrow Netflix Elita One's shoulders, but that's fine.  And also her legs ... become the actual back of the vehicle, rather than being slim lady legs that tuck underneath somewhere?  That's more than fine!  It's off-model, but it's way preferable.  I love some good stomping boots.  One Arcee is more than enough, we don't need a second lady Transformer that piles the entire vehicle mode on their ass just so that they can have shapely calves.

Elita One comes with two rifles: one that's based on her pistol from the cartoon, but elongated into a more substantial weapon, and one that's Minerva's.  Elita One is going to be retooled later as Minerva, with a new headsculpt and presumably released as a Walgreens exclusive.  (they like their medic Transformer exclusives)  So that Minerva weapon's built in.  Elita One's backpack also has two configurations for this reason.  You can bunch it all that car hood stuff up behind her, out of sight, or you can extend the outer thirds into taller shoulders that kinda-sorta-mostly remind one of Minerva's taller car door shoulders.  A similar silhouette, if you will.  I'll use that configuration on Minerva, while keeping Elita One's backpack compact.  

My only real complaint about this toy is... it's not tall enough?  Elita One is, like, Ironhide height, while this toy is regular Autobot car height.  A weird misstep after years of hitting scale at any cost.  And it's not like she's smaller to synchronize with Minerva -- Minerva's Ironhide height, too!  She stood next to Perceptor once.  Anyway.  I dunno.  

A very satisfying Transformer, regardless.  She's a female Transformer but, like, with vehicle mode parts that become her limbs.  whaaaaaaaaaat?????

Posted September 3, 2022 at 12:30 am

Legacy Velocitron Override has an interesting conceptual history.  Always a Walmart exclusive, originally she started out as a retool of Studio Series '86 Hot Rod.  Basically, everything above the waist would be new.  It would be Override with Hot Rod legs.  For this Walmart-exclusive toy, four new molds were budgeted, replacing four of Hot Rod's presumed 9 or 10.  

But what if, Hasbro/TakaraTomy designers dared to dream, what if: Rather than giving Hot Rod four new molds to make him half-way Override, would it be... possible...?  to get an entire Override figure out of those four new molds?  Four plastic colors.  Fewer than a Deluxe (6-7 molds).  Could an entire be toy be somehow extracted from retool budget?

And the answer is: apparently!  Legacy Velocitron Override is just four plastic colors: White ABS, black ABS, red nylon (unpaintable), and translucent red!  Just four!  And despite this, is she still a good toy?

The answer is: surprisingly so!  It's a very satisfying toy of Override, whose original Transformers: Cybertron toy is probably the line's lowest point.  She didn't hold together very well!  Her torso, which was a zigzag of springloaded hinges, would just flop open.  And the toy couldn't stand.  It was back heavy, and had very little heel to speak of, and so she'd just pitch backwards if you looked at her funny. 

The new Legacy Override takes very strong notice of these two massive weakpoints and spends lots of engineering capital addressing them.  First, the torso is held together by a number of slots and tabs, enough to keep things in place.  And secondly: they put some dang heels on this thing to keep the toy stabilized.  It's not gonna fall over.  

All of the Cyber Key-activated gimmickry is gone.  (though there's still a sculpted slot for one in the back of her gun)  But that's fine, because it didn't really work well for Override in the first place, and this toy addresses everything wrong and fixes it.  It's no longer key-activated or spring-loaded, but it... works?  It's not annoying?  That's a win.

There's also some neat tricks to make the robot mode look better.  The torso compresses using some levers and sliders to make sure Override compacts into a more slim humanoid racing shape (and more closely matches her media appearance).  The middle portion of her hood folds across the back of her legs instead of adding to her backpack.  And there's also the expected level of articulation -- waist rotation, wrist rotation, those fabled ankle tilts, the works.  

It's an attractive, engaging toy!  

I mean, it's a 4-mold Deluxe sold for Voyager price, but I like it more than I would have the original retooled Hot Rod intent, so I suppose that's still a win.

Override is exclusive to Walmart!  And she's not shortpacked (there's even some full cases of her), so she shouldn't be that hard to get ahold of.  

Posted June 28, 2022 at 1:38 pm

Look, I'll take a billion rehashes of 1984 guys if it means we get one (1) faithful toy of Jhiaxus.  And good news!  There have been, and there is one!  Hot dang.  

This is where I put that "It's been 84 years" meme from Titanic.  Jhiaxus was a villain invented solely for the Marvel Generation 2 comic book, right?  His name is literally "Gee, axe us" because they didn't expect the series to last more than 12 issues, and it didn't!  The Generation 2 book was, of course, about how some Transformers were having sex the Bad Way, and their sin created an off-product vengecloud, and ... wow, okay, this sounds pretty iffy when it's all written out like that.  Jhiaxus was the leader of this actual Bastard Race of Transformers, which was off Cyberforming innocent planets, doing some widescale genocides, plural, while Optimus Prime and Megatron were busy alternately sleeping for 4 million years or playing video games.  Anyway, Jhiaxus's path intersects with Prime and Megatron's, and he's like Hey, I'm New Hotness, Fall In Line, Grandpas, and Prime and Megatron were like LOL no, and then Jhiaxus kicked both their asses, and then the vengecloud ate him.  

That was his original incarnation.  Since then, they've tried to do other things with him in other continuities, usually resulting in him being.... a scientist?  Sure.  "Scientist" is the job they give non-Megatron Decepticon leaders these days when they have to coexist in a story where Megatron must remain the default Decepticon leader.  Shockwave?  Scientist.  Thunderwing?  Scientist.  Jhiaxus?  Scientist.  Ratbat?  ... politician...?  Sure.  

Not sure why it's taken so long to make a toy of this Sex Monster Fascist!

I mean, they've tried a few times, sort of.  Back at the turn of the millennium, they painted a Beast Machines Jetstorm gray and orange and called it Jhiaxus.  Eight years ago they retooled Armada Starscream halfway into Jhiaxus and then colored him like the orange Beast Machines guy.  But this-- THIS Jhiaxus -- this toy is... an actual Jhiaxus!  Properly scaled versus other toys!  Looks like Jhiaxus!  In Jhiaxus colors!  

In robot mode, he makes a great Jhiaxus action figure.  All his joints have a pretty wide range of motion.  Jhiaxus doesn't have double-jointed elbows, but his arms do bend in on themselves more than 90 degrees.  And he's got... articulated hands?  Usually they save those hands for the toys that have to hold a Matrix, but Jhiaxus is one of the few bad guy leaders who never once gave a shit about the Matrix.  Nope, this toy just has articulated hands just to make me happy.  So far as I know.  Maybe he'll get retooled into somebody later who needs opening hands, who knows.  Jhiaxus's scalloped green bat wings are supposed to be folded in for robot mode, but I say keep those babies spread open.  Jhiaxus does not keep himself smaller for anybody.  He manspreads.  

Jhiaxus's design has always been, essentially, Starscream's original toy but beefier.  He's got the cockpit chest, he's got the, uh, vent... pectorals, he's got ONE of Starscream's shoulder intakes, including the toy's sticker detail there.  Jhiaxus's head has Starscream's ear vents AND the jet nosecone Starscream's toy had sticking out the back of the skull.  Wings were on the back, tinier wings were on the legs, the whole deal.  Jhiaxus was a Starscream who didn't skip Any day.  Not Leg Day, not anything.  So, unsurprisingly, Jhiaxus transforms kind of like a Starscream!  Chest becomes cockpit, legs become the rear of the jet, wings flip to where wings go, arms go... somewhere.  (They go underneath.  Don't look too closely.)

And it's a pretty okayish jet mode!  This is definitely the weak point of the toy.  I mean, it's not BAD, it's just not as phenomenal as his robot mode.  And, honestly, this is as good as it was gonna be, if we're rightfully prioritizing the robot mode in this toy's design.  Do you know what his jet mode looked like in the comics?  It looked like his torso with wings.  Absolutely no where for arms or legs to go.  So tucking those arms underneath and putting the legs in the back is probably the best you could do without just yanking parts off.  

He comes with two rifles.  These rifles are not pictured.  The pictured rifles (to the right) are from a Nonnef upgrade set for Siege G2 Sideswipe.

ANYWAY I'm very excited this toy exists.  I've wanted one for literally half my life.  And I'm old!  So that's a long time!!!

Posted April 6, 2022 at 11:13 pm

First of all, I'm going to come right out the gate here and ask why the instructions, photography, and promotional material all show Kickback's translucent energon weapons attached to his wings.  I mean, yes, they *can* attach to his wings.  There's slots specifically for that and nothing else.  HOWEVER.  


This is not their real purpose.  These two translucent energy weapons COMBINE and PLUG INTO THE INSECT MODE THORAX because they are THE ABDOMEN.  This is the insect mode's abdomen.  Kickback has no abdomen otherwise.  The combination of extra pieces and plugging into the back of the insect mode (there is a combination of a peghole and a guided slot only for this purpose) is what completes the insect mode.  But nothing mentions this!  Nothing!  It seems IMPORTANT!  Attaching them to the wings?  BAD.  Why is this what they advertised?  I don't get it.


No no no wait.  I'm not done.  Do you REALIZE what this MEANS that his sword things are made out of halves of his abdomen?  It means HE HAS ASS SWORDS.  HE BEATS YOU TO DEATH WITH HALVES OF HIS OWN BUTT.  This is GREAT.  This is INTERESTING.  This is worth my attention.  

Otherwise, this is an extremely standard Kickback toy.  He transforms very simply (essentially exactly like the original toy but with a flap to cover up the robot face in insect mode) in like five seconds, tops.  He looks like the cartoon.  If in the cartoon he weaponized his own buttcheeks.  

He's bigger than he should be?  Transformers since the beginning of War for Cybertron: Stege has been very good at making toys be the correct size relative to each other.  But Insecticons are, like, Mini-Vehicle size.  I checked!  I watched many cartoon episodes to make sure the scale chart got this one wrong!  Yet Legacy Kickback is regular Deluxe Class size.  Kinda beefy, really.  Hasbro could have gotten away with selling us a smaller toy for our money.

And yet they give us this large-ish toy with even larger ass swords. 

Posted March 28, 2022 at 5:35 pm

The last 1984/1985 Autobot Car guy is here in WFC Trilogy style, and it's Skids, of course, and also the WFC Trilogy is over, this is Legacy, the toyline afterwards, where we pick up the leftovers.  Poor Skids always gets left out.  He only got two lines in the original cartoon, each in a different episode and by a different voice actor.  He had way more luck in the original comic, where he actually got a solo focus issue and appeared in a few ongoing storylines afterwards!  (Of course, in the UK, Skids got displaced to Limbo for years so that Galvatron could hang around from the future, so it wasn't all sun and roses.)

Skids is a vehicle we didn't have in North America, a Honda City Turbo, which is essentially a tiny-ass hatchback.  But American writers assumed he was a mini-van.  And so he got drawn large-ish in the comics and called a "van" by other characters, but he's actually a pretty tiny car!  His original toy was pretty good at expanding to a tall height from such a small vehicle.  

Another thing about Skids is that his character model was drawn from a mistransformed toy photo.  And so his shoulders start at, like, his abs, because the toy reference had his arms hanging down from the sides.  Neither Skids recent Masterpiece toy nor his new Legacy toy try to replicate this, though it's possible to mistransform the Legacy toy's shoulders lower.  

The final thing about Skids is that he got carwashed by a cowgirl and he shuddered a bunch in pleasure.

Anyway, he has a toy now, in the first Deluxe Class wave for Transformers: Legacy!  He's finally a first wave guy, because he's the only 1984/85 guy left!  An honor, sort of!  If there was going to be a Legacy cartoon for Netflix, he might've gotten some airtime.  (There will not be, so he won't.) 

Legacy Skids transforms essentially how you'd think -- the hood becomes the chest, doors become wings, roof stays on the back, arms hide underneath.  The most interesting diversion is how his spine folds up in a zig-zag pattern to compress him more.  A lot of his car shell is translucent plastic, which may give some pause, especially how you're supposed to kind of stretch the roof into place to fit into all the tabs, but it's a pretty thick translucent plastic, so it doesn't worry too much.  He seems pretty hardy.  

Skids comes with his two arm-mounted weapons, and you're supposed to mount them ON his arms, that's why there's 5mm ports there, but the instructions only show you putting them in his fists.  He also comes with a translucent blue Energon axe, but the instructions only show him holding it horizontally like a gun.  I mean, there's a barrel, but it's clearly also an axe.  You can combine all three weapons into a mega weapon thing.  

I painted Skids' hands red at first opportunity.

Posted March 19, 2022 at 4:24 pm

Legacy???  Is out??? In stores now???  They told us JULY.  Because of COVID probably.  But here's "Prime Universe Bulkhead," sure enough, bought in a local Target.  Transformers Legacy, this year's Transformers toyline, says it's about a bunch of different guys from other universes visiting the G1 guys or something like that, and so this is Bulkhead from Transformers Prime.

Apparently when you step into Generation One, your limbs become boxes and whatnot, as this is a classic-look reimagining of the character, rather than an attempt at recreating the original character model.  I have a First Edition Bulkhead, meaning I'm fine with this different take, but those of you who don't and wanted a more traditional Prime Bulkhead, I'm sorry!  Everything's all G1 now, even the stuff that isn't.  So sorry.  

He's actually pretty surprisingly complex despite how he looks!  Like, you look at him and think, okay, he kind of stands up and transforms and that's it, right?  Naw.  His crotch breaks apart into like six pieces and rearranges.  His entire arms tuck inside his chest.  His legs are full of vehicle parts!  There are many tabs and slots!  But it's not complex in a way that hates you, which is good.  He's just got a lot more going on than you'd think.  

Prime Universe Bulkhead comes with two weapons -- an Energon gatling blaster that pegs into his shoulder and his trademark wrecking ball, which opens up and closes around his fist.  Both of these can stow in the truckbed under his tarp in vehicle mode.  Also, his tarp can come off and attach to his arm as a shield.  If you want to do that.  It doesn't need to be removed during transformation, so I haven't really bothered yet.  I like adding the shapes to his torso's silhouette.

This toy is good?  Yeah, I like it.  I wanna get a second one, swap his head for Hound's, and make myself a Big Red.  We'll see.  

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