Posted June 26, 2018 at 4:02 pm


The two best combiner teams from Generation One were the Protectobots and the Terrorcons.

This has absolutely nothing to do with which two teams I owned as a child.

(yes it does)

But do you know why the Terrorcons were the best?  Because they were effin' monsters.  Vehicles are essentially little boxes, but a monster has arms, legs, teeth... all these extra things to play with.  Terrorcons, then, transform into two separate things you can do things with (besides scoot along on the floor).  So, yeah.  They're empirically the best.

(i had them when i was a kid)

And now there's a new combining version of them!  I've talked about Hun-Gurrr, the torso before, and I got Rippersnapper a few months ago, but since then I've gotten his other three limbs.  I'll say right off the bat what makes these toys improvements over the originals: they have working jaws.  Other than Blot, they all have working jaws.  It's by far the best improvement of the entire set.  Like, sure, the articulation is way up all around, but frankly jaws are the most important.  

(Blot's jaw does seem to be a different piece versus the plastic that makes up the top of his head, but there do not appear to be any joints to allow the jaw to move independently.)

Cutthroat is the weakest of the limbs.  Engineering-wise, he's large amounts of the Dinobot Swoop repurposed.  He's got the same thighs, arms, and he mostly transforms the same.  The only difference is how the beast mode feet get tucked away.  But his beast mode head is hinged pretty loosely, and so it likes to fall off.  The beast mode torso doesn't hide very well that it's just a compacted robot mode, and so it looks elongated and goofy.  

Blot, other than his lack of chompers, is by far the best, though!  He wads up his robot mode legs behind him in beast mode to create a different shape entirely, resulting in this angry grumpy cube.  I dub him "Most Improved" of the new Terrorcons, since he's just better in all respects.  He doesn't just stand up and hide his monster arms behind him.  The monster torso/head folds back, giving him a different robot mode chest, and the fists cleverly transform out of the beast claws.  

Sinnertwin has more articulation than the original.  That's what I got to say about him!  I mean, that extra articulation is nice, with the jaws and the balljointed beast mode necks (at the skull -- it's just hinges at the torso), so there is a lot more to do with him.  But he's had less evolution to his design than Blot.  

Hun-Gurrr holds together extremely well in torso mode.  A friggin' lot of tabs.  Tabs everywhere.  That results in a very solid combiner robot.  I can't find fault with their combined mode, Abominus.  He may be the best of the new Combiner Wars-style guys.  And he's made out of monsters, yo.
Posted June 12, 2018 at 1:56 am

I was never big into Street Fighter II.  Mostly I liked playing Blanka because he could bite the other guy's head.  But I don't have the dexterity for pulling off any kind of special move, so the game was mostly lost on me.  But it was an everpresent part of kidvid growing up, so it's there in my brain just through pop culture osmosis.  Not many strong feelings.

Not many strong feelings, but not none.  Like, for instance, if TakaraTomy were to go friggin' bonkers and redeco a set of four Transformers as Ken, Ryu, Chun Li, and M Bison?  Yeah, that intersects my interests.

(note: m bison's name over in japan -- and thus on this toy's packaging -- is vega, but i am going to be calling him m bison anyway)

Seriously, what the fudge.  These two sets are nuts, and they came outta no where.  Megatron, Optimus, Hot Rod, and Arcee are all decoed like the human characters from Street Fighter II, down to having flesh tones where the characters have flesh tones.  It's equally ugly and visually captivating.  Ken has bare feet?  Yes, let's paint Hot Rod's toes pink.  Let's paint his Headmaster's toes pink, too.   And the toys are posed in their packaging doing their special moves.  M Bison is launching sideways, Chun Li is doing her upside-down spin kick, etc.  

Unfortunately, they're packaged in a way that made me buy them both.  I really only want Megatron/M Bison and Arcee/Chun Li, and not Optimus/Ryu or Hot Rod/Ken, but they matched each of the two I wanted with one I didn't, so whatcha gonna do. 

Look, I'm gonna be completely honest with you.  I bought these sets because of Raul Julia.  I wanted a Raul Julia M Bison Transformer.  That dude knew how to have fun playing an incredibly goofy fascist dictator, with, like, octopus hat racks and everything.  He chewed scenery like it was friggin' beef jerky.

And so now I have a Transformer of him.  He's a redeco of Titans Return Megatron, who's a triple changer.  (Which itself is essentially Blitzwing with a new chest and head.)  M Bison transforms from tank to jet to robot and back.   His head transforms into a little robot guy who's ALSO painted to look like M Bison.  It's a pretty solid toy, and it has a good presence as M Bison.  

Arcee as Chun Li probably has the most interesting deco of the set.  Ken's a solid red guy and Ryu is that scheme but in white, and M Bison is red again but with silver... but Chun Li gives the Generations "Thrilling 30" Arcee toy a nice blue/brown/yellow/peach ensemble that's more engaging than the others.  Plus nobody doesn't like Chun Li.  She's friggin' Agent Melinda May, yo.  

Unfortunately, she doesn't have the same Headmaster gimmick as the other three.  I guess TakaraTomy didn't want to use Titans Return Windblade or Titans Return Arcee for her.  

They're probably not gonna do more of these.  But if they did, I'd take a Blanka, please.
Posted May 29, 2018 at 2:30 pm

I have no idea where most of my old Star Wars Transformers are.  Maybe I gave them to my friend Ron a few years ago?  All I know is sometimes I give Ron stuff and I searched my entire basement and only found my Death Star Darth Vader and an AT-AT Snowtrooper.  I wanted to find my Imperial Shuttle Emperor "Sheev" Palpatine, but I did not, nor did I find my X-Wing Luke or my TIE Advanced Darth Vader.

But me not finding my Imperial Shuttle Emperor "Sheev" Palpatine left me open to buying a replacement!  See, I had the original white/gray Imperial Shuttle version.  At the veeeeeeeeeeery end of the line, they did a redeco in black.  A, uh, stealth Imperial Shuttle, if you will.  Or, more valuably, a robot Emperor that's in the Emperor's colors.  That redeco barely came out.  It was not really seen many places.  But I managed to find one for Not Bad on eBay, and now I have a relatively scarce Sheev Transformer.

Oh, god, I'd forgotten how bad these things were.  Like, I was kinda "yeah okay" about the new TakaraTomy TIE Advanced Darth Vader, but having this old Sheev toy again really puts that toy in perspective.  I can see why I may have given my original to Ron.

I mean, I still want this newer version.  It's Emperor Palpatine.   He's the best Star Wars character.  Well, okay, his chair is the best Star Wars character, but he gets to sit in it.  And I can't not have an Emperor Palpatine Transformer if there's an Emperor Palpatine Transformer to be had.  Sheev is the shit, yo.  

And this Sheev toy is just shit.

Yeah, this toy is not great.  During transformation, you remove all of the wings, and you reattach them elsewhere... dumbly.  Like, it's not really the positioning, though it is also kind of the positioning, but it is mostly the methods used to attach the pieces.  Tiny, tiny clips and/or barely perceptible hinge bumps.  And the instructions are no help.  They're like, okay, now, you take these wings, and you put them on his hips.  On his hips HOW?  And then you try all manner of "okay let's try putting these wings on his hips and see if they stay" and they don't, ever, until you see tiny, tiny, TINY shallow little bumps on the wings and I guess that is how it's done.  Whoof.

The middle wing becomes a shield.

The base of the middle wing becomes a springloaded missile launcher.  The missile is the lightsaber.  That is a little bit awesome.

And, like, the wings aren't even stable.  They have more joints than are needed and it's difficult for them to hold in place in either of the two positions -- flying or parked.  It's barely even a good Imperial Shuttle toy.

The robot has a problem standing because even though the feet have flip-down heels, the heels, like, don't click in place and also they're incredibly loose.  So, like, good job.

Maybe the point of this toy is to make your anger so great that you succumb to the Dark Side.  It's working!

But yeah.  My new Darth has a Sheev.  I figure... it will be a while, if ever, before TakaraTomy gets to making their own Emperor Palpatine toy.  Like, they haven't announced a third figure yet, so it's distinctly possible Darth Vader and the Millennium Falcon are it.  And if there are more, I can't imagine the Emperor is far up on that list.  I mean, like, a Luke, right?  A Luke or even a goddamned Slave-1/Boba Fett.  

Worse comes to worst, long from now, I'll have to buy a new Emperor Palpatine Transformer and have two Emperor Palpatine Transformers.  Oh no!

Posted May 16, 2018 at 12:45 am

Everyone remembers Star Wars Transformers!  I know this because a decade ago everyone told me about them every six seconds.  Anyway, Star Wars Transformers is dead.  Long live Star Wars Transformers!

The original line was one of Hasbro's few attempts to do transforming toys on their own without Takara.  Usually Takara works with Hasbro to engineer these effers, but for the original Star Wars Transformers, Hasbro's like "we got this."  They didn't got it!  I mean, they sort of got it.  Technically, the toys transformed from robot to vehicle and back.  But engineering transforming robot toys is a heckuva learning curve, and Takara worked through most their kinks a long while ago, while Hasbro was just getting started.  You know that adage about how every artist has 10,000 bad drawings in them and they gotta get them out first before they can get to the good drawings?  Well, Star Wars Transformers were Hasbro's first few dozen drawings.  

Anyway, it's 2018, and it's TakaraTomy's turn!  I believe I read that TakaraTomy was all scheduled up with engineering transforming robot toys at the time of the original Star Wars Transformers line, and they kind of regretted not getting into that game themselves.  And so they're doing it now, themselves!  First this Darth Vader Tie Advanced toy and in a month or so we're getting another Millennium Falcon made out of Han and Chewbacca.  

And let me tell you, as Hasbro-y as those first SWTFs were, TakaraTomy's Darth Vader is... kind of TakaraTomy-y.  I mean, he's no Robots in Disguise Side Burn or one of those Transformers Go! combining guys, but parts of him sure get in his own way like those toys often did.  Like, the TIE advanced wings perched the robot mode's shoulders... those just don't have a placement that looks nice.  And if you try moving the arms around into battle poses, the wings just start trying to clip through the torso (or the arms themselves) at any opportunity.  They're kind of a mess.

Hasbro's original TIE Vader had the wings just come off, with one becoming an arm-mounted s hield and the other becoming a cape once you re-plugged it into his back.  It's kind of cheating to remove half the vehicle mode for transformation, but on the other hand, that placement never annoyed.  (I've dug through my entire basement looking for my old Hasbro TIE Vader, but I must have given him away at some point.  Really wish I had a side-by-side comparison shot!)  

The rest of the toy is pretty simple, so that's nice!  I have a feeling New Vader would be even more of a mess if it weren't for licensing terms -- I imagine Lucasfilm/Disney/whoever probably had some guidelines on where engineering could put transformation seams on the vehicle mode.  Like, with car licensing, sometimes they're like "okay you can't have fold lines down the hood, OUR HOOD IS ICONIC, OKAY" and so you end up with a giant unaltered car hood somewhere (usually the chest).  It's possible Star Wars is similar with the TIE Advanced, I dunno.  

New Vader comes with a light saber which the robot can hold and the vehicle can stow on its wing.  There's also a tiny Vader figurine which can be placed inside the cockpit and five bonus Stormtrooper figurines.  

If you're cool with the awkward wings, New Vader is a pretty okay toy.  I mean, it's a giant Vader mech that Darth Vader can pilot, which transforms into Vader's TIE fighter.  There are few things more rad.

Posted April 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Live-action Grimlock is, uh, sort of there in the movies!  He's in about 2% of Age of Extinction, during which Optimus brutally beats him until he submits and then rides him around town a little, and then he's also sort of in The Last Knight, where I think he disappears like a third of the way through.  

Thankfully, a giant robot T. rex toy is something that sells itself on its own merits.  

If you have any other movieverse Grimlock toy, throw that thing in the garbage.  This is it.  This is what you wanted.  What were those other previous movieverse Grimlock toys even thinking?  They are mere boys in the world of men.  

Studio Series Grimlock is large and massive.  In robot mode he's a little taller by a smidge than the usual Leader Class, and also pretty wide.  And he looks amazingly decoed, even though he's really mostly the same plastic color all over and most of him is covered with a metallic green paint wash.  It's the incredible sculpted detail and the beefy proportions that make him look impressive, and to the eye it cheats him even bigger than he already is.

It does some weird yet impressive stuff in service of making him look as much like the movies' CGI model.  There, he has a full dinosaur head on each shoulder.  Like, a copy-pasted entire Tyrannosaurus rex head, even though he transforms into, you know, a single-headed Tyrannosaurus rex.  All of his earlier toys unsurprisingly split the head in half for transformation and put each outward-facing head on each shoulder.  This toy says nah.  He has both full heads.  But only one actually transforms into his actual Tyrannosaurs rex head.  The other splits open and integrates into his tail.  

The tail is also formed out of his right arm (which ends in a spikey ball) and his coattails.  These three elements -- the head halves, the coattails, and the arm -- sort of loosely form a pretty good tail shape.  It's a better solution than the usual approach, which is "oh hey look, actually this tail pops off and becomes a weapon!"  It's interesting and fun AND it means that a third of the toy's mass isn't being used for a weapon -- it all becomes robot mode, baby.

In dinosaur mode, Studio Series Grimlock is the best thing my kids have ever seen.  I kind of have to keep it out of view or they go nuts.  (I, of course, let them handle it with supervision, I'm not a monster, but I can't have them being crazy for hours of the day.)  I don't blame them, because it's a great stompy dinosaur toy.  The only thing I think is missing is I wish its head could turn side-to side, or even up or down at all.  The transformation prevents it, but I still feel a need for it.  This is why Beast Wars Tenth Anniversary Megatron is still one of my favorite Tyrannosaurus rex Transformers -- the full neck articulation.  

As with the other Studio Series toys, it comes with a cardboard display stand/background.  It's less appealing paired with this toy than the others only because Grimlock is so large.  He barely fits against the backdrop in robot mode, and his dinosaur mode is entirely too wide to fit onto the stand.  But this is damning with faint praise.  He's a large toy, posed on his bent knees to even fit into the packaging, and this is ultimately good.

Beyond those small complaints, there's very little wrong with this and so much right.  It justifies the entire Studio Series line all by itself.  

Posted April 9, 2018 at 11:02 pm

Holy crap, a non-Transformers toy review!

I can't believe it took me as long as it did to realize that Donald Glover playing Lando Calrissian would inevitably result in Donald Glover action figures.  It is as if the heavens opened in that entirely later than excusable moment and God shined down on me and said "YOU WILL BUY THE FUCK OUT OF THAT"

And he was right!

I don't pay attention to Star Wars toy news as fastideously as Transformers toy news (I can only spread myself so thin), so the news that Solo toys were being found in stores was delivered to me through the Star Wars Minute Listeners Society Facebook group.  By that evening, I was looking at Targets.  But one of the nearby ones had completely empty pegs and a gaddanged 75%-off clearance sale on 6" Black Series figures.  I figured that store was an eternal dead end.  I mean, who the heck isn't gonna buy up $5 Landos (or anybody else) as soon as those things hit the pegs?  

But Target's online inventory kept telling me that store was in stock, despite the empty pegs, and so I went back the next day and LO AND BEHOLD there were $5 Landos.  And $5 everybody.  I grabbed up a Lando and a Grand Moff Tarkin and a friggin' Han, why not.  I wasn't planning on getting Young Han, but that was at $20.  For $5?  Heck yeah.  Lando can have his sidekick for $5.  

The other closeby Target has them all for full price and I think it's just a wall of Troopers and Kylos.  

Donald Glover Lando, the toy, hit at just the right time.  Hasbro's just started upping their paint deco game.  Instead of completely unpainted plastic for faces with maybe some eyes and eyebrows in there, they now do this thing where they, like, spray the face on.  Unlimited colors, at once.  Like an inkjet printer.  They print a photo on the sculpt.  And it increases the likeness pretty darn a lot!  I'd been adding some color variation to my Star Wars 6-inch guys myself, so this not only looks better but also saves me a lot of time!

And so Lando looks fantastic.  He's (usually) a $20 action figure, so he dang well better.  

Lando's cape sits across his shoulders.  Gravity keeps it there; there's no attachments.  He's also got his double ties and a holster on his right leg.  I learned while removing the gun from the holster that the gun's barrel/silencer can remove.  So that's neat!  

Han also looks okay.

Posted March 23, 2018 at 10:02 pm

Finally, the Dinobot combiner that "The Beast" sort-of kind-of not-really foretold!

Wave 2 Power of the Primes has two the final two Dinobots, allowing Volcanicus to be properly combined.  Sludge owes a lot of his parts to Slag.  In robot mode, his thighs, shins, and upper arms are the same.  From the waist up, he transforms backwardsly, with his front becoming the dinosaur back instead of the dinosaur stomach. Similarly to Slag, Sludge's brontosaurus head/neck closes around the robot head, concealing it.  

The original Sludge toy had you fold his forearms up against the insides of his upper arms, with his brontosaurus toes at the elbows.  This new toy just leaves this transformation step out of the equation and leaves the brontosaurus toes at the wrists.  The instructions want you to bend his arms at the elbows for dinosaur mode, but I think I like them better straight.  It's more of a brachiosaurus look, but oh wells.

(I'm going to call him a brontosaurus, since I'm pretty sure the character design is old enough that he's not meant to be an apatosaurus.)

Snarl, the stegosaurus, is all new!  He keeps his thagomizer behind his head, but he otherwise transforms similarly (surprise!) to his other quadropedal Dinobot friends.  His head's a little smaller than the others, possibly since it needs to hide inside the combiner port cavity within his own chest, rather than inside a dinosaur part.  Instead of being flatfooted like the others, his dinosaur hind legs stand on their tippy toes.

Sludge, Snarl, Grimlock, Swoop, and Slag all combine to form VOLCANICUS!  Volcanicus is actually a pretty good combiner.  A lot of anguish has been thrown about over how wide his shoulders are, but so long as you plug those extra two combiner fists into his abs, it's really not a problem in person.  He's wide, sure, but his torso tapers from the waist properly to make it look fine.  His wideness merely makes him look mighty.

The other option for the two extra fists is to plug them into the back of the feet for additional stability.  He's not going to need this.  Well, he's not if yours has the same plastic tolerances as mine.  The biggest threat to my Volcanicus's stability is that one of his feet likes to rotate a little to the right, which can lead to him ultimately losing traction and doing the splits.  Extra heels would not solve this.  Tighter 5mm pegs at the ankle, yes, but not heels.  

The major negative to Volcanicus is his lack of a weapon.  In the cellphone game Earth Wars, Volcanicus gets an upsized version of Grimlock's Fall of Cybertron sword.  You can try giving him the FoC toy's sword, but it was already a little undersized for the Voyager Class toy.  Being held by a giant combiner makes the sword look like it's meant to serve cheese on a plate.  There's some third party options, one of which is $50 and includes a bunch of extra stuff I'm absolutely not interested in, and at least one Shapeways sword.  For the time being, at least, my Volcanicus is gonna have to fight people with his bare fists.  

Posted March 20, 2018 at 11:30 pm

You know, Powerglide, when Moonracer says she'll hang out with you after the war's over, and the war's been going on nine million years, maybe she's just not that into you.

This is Power of the Primes Moonracer!  This is the first toy Moonracer's ever gotten.  Sure, back in 2005, BotCon made a Moonracer toy but they couldn't get the trademark and they ended up deciding she was Chromiainstead, but this is, like, the first... successful Moonracer toy?  In that they managed to design her after Moonracer and also call her Moonracer and also decide that yes, she's Moonracer?  It's good! 

I like Moonracer.  She's always in good spirits, even when the situation isn't appropriate.  Also she can shoot Decepticons out of the sky over her shoulder while not looking.  She's very good things that aren't following orders or reading the room.

Her toy is very unlike the other Power of the Primes/Combiner Wars Deluxes, so this too is refreshing.  She transforms completely differently from the rest.  Everyone else's boots open up so you can squeeze/telescope the thighs inside.  It's all a bit of shared engineering that Moonracer lacks.  Mind, she lacks this so she can have on-model skinny lady legs, but it's still a new approach.  Instead, she keeps the bulk of her vehicle mode on her back.  It's a massive, massive backpack she has.  

She transforms into an elongated Cybertronian car.  Since nothing telescopes, the car parts just kind of wrap around the top of her as she lies down.  She's got three separate translucent blue areas (a fourth if you include her combiner fist weapon), all of which read as driver compartment canopy windows, so, uh, I guess she's got a lot of driver compartments?  I dunno.  She's a very long car, is what I'm saying.  

Her toy is incredibly pretty.  She's very vibrant seafoam green with some white and a tiny bit of lavendar.  It's very Nineties Shopping Mall Signage.  Her colors are so striking you feel like it's insufficient that she's merely standing on your desk and that maybe it would be more satisfying if you could absorb her essence somehow.

Like other Power of the Primes Deluxe Class toys, her fist weapon can clasp around her torso to become chest armor.  ...unfortunately, hers clasps low on her torso, putting her armor around her stomach.  She, um, kind of looks pregnant?  Especially since the armor includes a hole for you to bury tiny Transformers in.  Well, whatever!  *shrugs*

Her ankle artictulation rocks a little from side to side, which is helpful in posing.  

I like her VERY MUCH, despite the huge backpack.  Combiner limbs have run such a strong rut, it's nice when one escapes it, even if there are compromises.

In wave 4, she'll get a new head and be redecoed as Firestar.  Well, Novastar.  For some reason, "Firestar" is an unavailable trademark.

Posted February 28, 2018 at 2:00 am

The Transformers live-action movies are over a decade old now, so we're getting a new ... commemorative(?) toyline in Studio Series.  It seems to be taking the place of last year's The Last Knight toyline on store shelves (you gotta maintain your retail footprint), and towards the end of the year it will eventually encompass toys related to December's Bumblebee The Movie or whatever its specific title is.  

Among Studio Series' strengths, seen from a distance, is that it goes back and gives a few older characters newer, better, more appropriately-sized toys.  A Leader Class-sized Blackout, for example.  A new Leader-Class-sized Grimlock that's actually based on his finalized screen appearance and isn't a half-chromed awkward curiosity.  A Revenge of the Fallen Megatron that's not bizarrely teal.  

Another strength is that... extraordinary lengths (for Hasbro) have been traversed to make each toy roughly in scale with the rest of the line while in robot mode.  That means that despite Bumblebee and Ratchet both being Deluxe Class toys, Bumblebee is a very small Deluxe and Ratchet is more on the large size.  So, bravely, Hasbro is trying to sell some smaller toys at us for the same price as the bigger dudes, but altogether, the toyline will look nice standing up in a row.

(also there's a cardboard display thingy inside)

Weaknesses?  Let's talk about Ratchet.  

Ratchet is a completely new toy, though he transforms pretty similarly to the last Ratchet toy, the Deluxe Class Dark of the Moon version, which was recently done up in fancy paints by Takara in their "Transformers Movie The Best" line.  Studio Series Ratchet does not compare favorably to The Best Ratchet in the paint department.  There are some areas that TB Ratchet underperforms, to be sure -- he has no shin paint, for example, nor are his flashers painted -- but overall, TB Ratchet just looks better than SS Ratchet.  Actual movie CGI Ratchet's face is more gunmetal than green, but SS Ratchet's head is mostly unpainted green plastic, and the likeness strongly suffers for it.  

Studio Series Ratchet also has trouble staying together in vehicle mode.  His roof railing stuff is rubbery plastic, and it has trouble laying flat across the roof, even though there are pegs to plug in.  It just wants to bend outwardly.  (Also, since it is one long rubber piece, it hangs off his back like a cape, rather than being able to be folded up and tucked away.)  Additionally, the panels on the sides of the vehicle which are formed from his shins have trouble staying pegged in, and they like to puff out.  It is very annoying!

Things that are better about him?  I love that the light and piping stuff is finally included on his shoulders.  In recent Ratchets, they were fine with just leaving his wheels up there unadorned, but on Studio Series Ratchet you can rotate the wheels around in robot mode to display his proper kibble.  I also like that his buzzsaw weapon is included.  It'd been a while.  And, yeah, it's appealing that he's a larger Deluxe than usual.  Plus he's a very bright green!  Movie Ratchets are often a desaturated yellow or a gross pea green, but this one is properly sunny-looking.

I bought him because I like Ratchets, and this was a completely new tooling.  It's hard to strongly recommend him otherwise.  

Posted February 23, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Hun-Gurrr is Elita One's casemate, and if local Walmarts are any indication, much more popular!  I mean, I guess unlike Elita One he's a completely new mold (though he transforms similarly to Combiner Wars Silverbolt), so he's got that going for him.  And, like, I know, I had Hun-Gurrr/Grrr/Gur when I was a kid, and so that lure of nostalgia is there.  But c'mon.  Elita One, you guys.  She'll punch your face so hard her arms need smokestacks.

Not to say that Hun-Gurrr is terrible or anything.  He's all right!  Which is... honestly kind of a damning thing to say, since the original 1988 version is probably the best combiner torso there was.  That dude had crazy articulation, man, for 1988.  1988 Hun-Gurrr established a pretty high bar for 2018 Hun-Gurrr to clear.  And in some ways he does, and in some ways he doesn't.

First off, you notice that the rear legs of the beast mode are backwards-elbowed.  It's kind of necessary for how the torso mode thighs form, but it still looks awkard.  Second-off, you notice the big mass of purple hanging under his stomach.  That's both good and bad -- Good, because it's fun to integrate combiner mode kibble into the main toy rather than having to attach it later, and Bad because it wasn't actually integrated very well here.  It just hangs off his stomach.  It's less bad in person, and you're more likely to notice how the deco purposefully tapers off between the parts and the dragon mode on his stomach so you can see a purposeful dragon shape under there, but, uh, yeah.

The ways he does better, though?  They're pretty good ways!  The original Hun-Gurrr didn't have beast mode mouths that opened.  This is pretty ridiculous for a robot friggin' named "Hunger."  Dude can't eat!  But the new toy does have openable mouths.  The new toy also has side-to-side dragon head articulation (or ankle tilting in robot mode), and this plus the mouths... is everything.  The original 1988 toy was unusually dynamic, but the new one is just a little moreso because of the addtional head articulation. 

Otherwise, y'know, it's Hun-Gurrr again.  He's good, but he's no Elita One.

(i'll wait to talk about the combined mode once his limbs come out)

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