Posts tagged with "animated" - 2
Posted January 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm
Now with 100% more sculpted detail.

Man, y'know what I like? Animated-original characters getting toys in other lines!  You may remember that I was super in love with Revenge of the Fallen Lockdown and his Animated-inspired rivalry with live-action Ratchet.  I also adore that Bulkhead is one of the main Autobots in Transformers: Prime.  And, hey now, look, it's Reveal the Shield Lugnut, everyone's favorite five-eyed sycophant, in Generation 1 style!

Did you know that Lugnut was in the 1986 animated Transformers film?  Well, he was.  Sort of.  According to the comic book that comes with the Rodimus/Cyclonus "Battle in Space" set, which retroactively places him at the Battle of Autobot City, anyway.  That's the kind of stuff I like, the new additions that are presented as if they'd been there all along.

So wide it was hard to fit into my lighting studio.

Frankly, after getting your hands on this guy, you'd be happy for him to be in every continuity possible.  Out of the huge box of swag I got on Friday, I'd rank his toy as the winner in all respects.  There's just so much going on with him.  Let's work our way through them.

Where the sun don't shine.

First of all, I am super digging his alternate mode.  It's a giant war bomber.  Folks tend to describe it as a "WWII bomber," but I can't really agree so long as he has jet engines instead of propellers.  The second best thing about this mode is the amazing wingspan.  Usually, Transformer plane wings are stubby so that they fit into the packaging in vehicle mode or a conservation of plastic mass is attained.  But Lugnut gets around that by being packaged in robot mode and by having his wings transform into his arms.  Often wings just get thrown onto the back of a robot mode as kibble, but Lugnut uses the wings to add to his robot mode mass.   The FIRST best thing about his vehicle mode is the missile that launches out of the back of the tail, which calls back to those World War II-era bombers.  You flip up the little gunpod at the very tip of the tail, and underneath is the missile launcher.  In robot mode, this launcher can point over the shoulder.  ...Or up under the crotch, if you're crude.

Go go Gadget arms!

How Lugnut gets massive arms out of his wings is inspiring.  His hands transform out of the jet intakes(?) on the wings, the wingtips fold over onto the backs of the hands, and then the wings articulate like arms.  Each hand has two articulated fingers and a thumb.  (He can go grabby grabby.)  It's a feat of engineering we haven't seen before.   Animated Lugnut had a "Punch Of Kill Everything" attack where he'd punch the ground and create a massive crater, and this version of Lugnut tries to borrow that as well.  Both of his fists have spring-loaded punch gimmicks.  You could use this to make his wings even longer, but I don't think it's necessary, and it leaves a few gaps.

(Oh, and his mouth can open and close.)

Missiles and speakers and wrenches and axes and machine guns and grenade launchers and...

In my reviews for the past several toys, I've talked about the new, shared "C joint" gimmick, where toys come with clip-on weapons and a number of rungs for those weapons to attach.  Well, Lugnut is the holy mother of this.  He doesn't come with any weapons, but he has rungs hidden all over his body that can accommodate 15 clip-ons.  There's one on the missile launcher.  There's four spread across his shoulder jet engines.  There's two on each of his shins.  There's two each more on the backs of his wrists, hidden under the wingtips.  And there's one more on both of his wingtips.  I wouldn't be surprised if I found even more later, but at that point I'd be put out, 'cuz I'm out of weapons to attach to him.  (I think the next time I get more is whenever Wheeljack comes out.)

To sum up, you have to get this guy.  He's an amazing toy that can do buttloads of stuff and he's an appealing character with a memorable visual design.  Any toy with giant articulated fingers is already going to be near the top of my list, but Lugnut gives me that and so much more.  If you see him, snatch him up.
Posted November 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm
But seriously, where's my Ramjet?

If there's one thing I didn't like about the various Voyager Class Animated Starscreams I'd accumulated, it's that they all had the same face!  (If there were two things I didn't like about them, the second would be that they take up so much shelf space.)  All these Starscream clones had different personalities, some whose facial expression really shouldn't be the Classic Starscream smirk.

So it was about damn time Reprolabels gave us a sheet of stickers to remedy that.  It's not perfect, since all of the faces on the sheet are colored in Starscream gray, rather than in the colors of the clones' faces, but weighed against them all having the same smirk I'd say it was a fair trade.

There were a few other stickers for the nominal Starscream as well, such as the colored logos.

If you're attending the Second Annual Webcomics Rampage in Austin, TX, be sure to RSVP!  It's required for getting in to see the panel with myself, Jeph Jacques, Danielle Corsetto, Randy Milholland, Joel Watson, Josh Lesnick, and Bill Williams. The panel has limited seats, so RSVP so you don't miss it!  Plus, it's helpful to know how many folks are gonna be around for the signing that happens afterwards.
Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm
Protip: Never give her her swords.

I always love the "Upgrade" sticker sets that offers for Animated figures.  Since Animated toys are cartoony to begin with, stickers on them that recreate unpainted detail stick out less than, say, trying to smoosh old G1 sticker detail across Classics Hot Rod's legs.  And more often than not, Reprolabels manages to provide stickers for stuff I wasn't able to duplicate myself with paint.

Case in point: The "Upgrade" set for Animated Arcee!  Sure, I managed to put in the black under her eyes and color in her lips and chin, but there were lots of little things that are out of the jurisdiction of my ability.  (Basically, anything that isn't black is pretty rough.)  For example, those white areas on the tops of her feet.  Those stickers make me happy.  The ones that cover up the fronts of her behind-the-head shoulder kibble with the proper magenta/white layouts are also much appreciated.  The smaller things aren't so bad, either, like the white and black circles for her shoulders and knees.  And stuff for her back, even though you can't see it usually?  Why not.  Oh, and woo, a colored Autobot logo.

There's always extra stuff on these sets that I don't want or stuff I was able to do better myself.  The set offers a battlemask if you want one, or you can make her head look like it's being opened and probed like in "TransWarped."  A sticker to cover her face with a "normal" face is provided, but I liked my paint better.

Reprolabels has been a long-time sponsor of the Transformers Wiki, so they're awesome in that way, too.  Currently, they have a  special offer running where you get a free faction symbol sticker sheet for every $10 you spend.  Go check them out!
Posted September 24, 2010 at 12:42 am
He comes with all of the Voyager's original stuff, so he technically has four modes.

The Transformers Animated toyline is undoubtedly done in the States, but Japan's still cranking out what remains of what we didn't get over here.  Good news!  Also, bad news, since their stuff is not often compatible with our stuff, what with the metallic paint coating.

Nonetheless, I decided to chip in for Takara's Wingblade Optimus Prime, which gives Optimus his flight powerup that we saw in the final episodes.  Originally, these parts were supposed to come with a battle-damaged-less version of Deluxe Class ($12) Optimus Prime and be sold as a Voyager ($20).  But because Hasbro made sure that the upgrade was equally compatible with Voyager Optimus Prime, Takara opted for using the bigger Prime with their Wingblade release.

(I don't have access to my Deluxe Prime, so no pictures of the new parts on him just yet.)

I find the toy's proportions more pleasing. big forearms = awesome

Prime's mine because even if he ended up not fitting in with the rest of my Animated display due to his clashing deco, he'd still make a pretty good solo display piece.  Takara released the newer, more-in-scale Bumblebee at the same time, but I declined to order him because, well, the whole point of getting the more-in-scale Bumblebee is to stand him with other dudes... and he's in colors that definitely won't mesh well with my other dudes.  So dang.  Maybe I'll pick him up at a BotCon if I get needy.

Takara already released a Voyager Optimus Prime in metallic paint, so they decided to make the base figure of their Wingblade Prime release in translucent plastic.  Parts of him are still painted metallic (probably the parts they couldn't cast in translucent plastic), but he's still mostly translucent.  Thankfully, his Wingblade parts weren't done in translucents, probably just so you could combine the parts seamlessly with the original metallicky release if you wanted to.

Let's get something out of the way.  I don't like the metallic paint.  Why?  Because these things are shipped tangled up in twist-ties.  Not the new paper ties Hasbro has recently changed to, but the old plastic ones.  These like to scratch up metallic paint something fierce.

Here's all the new parts on my American Prime. See, it's not so bad!  (I leave the wing-tips mistransformed on purpose.  I think it looks better.)

It's a bad idea.

The parts snap on easy enough.  Obviously this upgrade wasn't planned from the beginning, since the add-ons are done pretty creatively.  Did the original toy have some sort of random tab or groove somewhere?  Guess what, that's getting used!  The arm parts fit over the previous arms, pegging into the fistholes.  The jetpack plugs into the flashers on Prime's back the same way the flashers plug into the top of the truck roof during transformation.

Now, the new truck mode is where it gets kinda sloppy.  Basically, all you do is pile everything onto the back of the vehicle.  In layers.  It doesn't really create anything pretty.  It's a truck with wings and a pair of forearms on it.  There is a Magnus hammer shoved somewhere in there.  It's inelegant, but it serves its purpose.  And, really, nobody is going to care that much about this mode.

I thank God that the new parts don't stand out that much when plugged into my matte American Voyager Prime.  That's what I was hoping for, anyway!  Sure, some of it's shiny, but it doesn't matter all that much.  They were hastily-added upgrades in-fiction as well, so I can even justify it like the continuity nerd I am.

Even if Denton Tipton looks down his nose at me for being so.
Posted August 25, 2010 at 2:01 am
Here's quick note about my BotCon 2010 bagged set auction: It ends in a day!  That's quicker than Rome was built!

Guess which one of me is the old crusty one!

Here's Animated Ironhide, Rodimus Prime's Toys "R" Us exclusive casemate.  There's not a lot to say about him that wasn't said about Ratchet.  He has a new head!  His red is very Cel-Animation-Red, if you know what I mean.  Muted, what with the televisions.  He has a lot of paint operations on stuff that is usually superfluous, probably because he didn't need much paint, what with being entirely red, and so they had to use up their paint budget somewhere.  Like painting his accessories entirely silver, even though they could have been fine left black, especially since they're made-up weapons for the toy and they could be any color.  He has the black areas under his eyes painted, and the three yellow hashmarks on the sides of his chest.

Oh, and his knees now snap into place in robot mode, which is new.  And very nice.
Posted August 23, 2010 at 2:01 am
When Capt--HAWKEYE throws his mighty shie--ARROW.

The last of two scheduled Transformers Animated toys are hitting Toys "R" Uses now.  (In the states, anyway.)  There are a few others that Hasbro let us know might happen, but we don't know anything about their release, so these might as well be the last two.

One of them is the awesome Rodimus Prime.  (Well, Rodimus Minor, if you go by his packaging.  Hasbro thought there were too many Primes in the toyline, and he's definitely Rodimus Prime in the fiction.)  I wasn't super-anticipating his toy versus the others.  I mean, he looked awesome, but I was looking forward more to the upgrades of existing characters because I am a retarded doofus like that.  I like characters, and Rodimus didn't do very much.  What he did was mostly awesome, but it was within the span of a few minutes.  The most noteworthy thing is that he's voiced by Judd Nelson again, the voice of Hot Rod/Rodimus from the 1986 movie.  (Nelson was too rich for the third season's blood, and they got the talented Dick Gautier to replace him.)

If you're gonna ride, ride in style.

But, let me tell you, this toy is pretty damn neat.  And, after riding the crest of my recent Hot Rod character model nerdgasm over-analyzation, it was good mental timing.  Remember how I was going on about how Hot Rod is pink?  Well, this toy still isn't pink (though the Japanese release is metallic purple), but it's definitely more purple than Hot Rod or Rodimus toys usually are.  The photos show him next to the Challenge at Cybertron Rodimus I recently got, which is a very vibrant watermelon red, which does make Rodimus look purpler.  I also compared him to the darker red of the original Classics Rodimus, just to see if he was indeed purpler, and he is.  Not quite as much to be as accurate as I was pining for previously, but definitely an improvent.

Blackout's not so big! He's just standing on a riser!

Animated Rodimus also transforms differently from every other Hot Rod toy.  His arms are formed from the back of the vehicle rather than tucking under either side of the hood.  This frees up his legs to be relatively kibbleless, and those tuck up underneath the car.  It's a welcome diversion from the usual approach.

The only annoying part of the transformation is entirely my own fault -- I always forget to flip the hot rod engine panel over to the Autobot symbol side during transformation, and I never realize my mistake until I get to the point where I have to take everything apart again to give it room to rotate.

I guess another annoying part is how rough it is to get the crossbow plugged into the top of the roof of the vehicle.  There's not much clearance for the back ends of the missiles, and since the connection is pretty shallow, you're more often than not likely to shoot missiles everywhere rather than attach anything.

That said, he's pretty, dynamic, and fun to play with.  If you spot him, I'd recommend picking him up.  He shows what wonders Hasbro and Takara were able to do in translating the Animated aesthetic into plastic form, especially after much practice.
Posted July 1, 2010 at 2:01 am
You will masturbate to this book.

I've been complaining (sort of) about the lack of Transformers to buy over the past few months.  Well, that's certainly over.  Between the ten new guys I got at BotCon and the buttload of stuff that's starting to show up at Toys "R" Us, I officially have Too Much.  So much that I probably should have started blogging these guys days ago, or I'll never ever get through them!  I have to be at a convention in just about a week!

(Speaking of which, come see me at ConnectiCon!)

But first, lemme remind you to pick up the AllSpark Almanac II, which came out yesterday.  The first volume was like a veritable Transformers orgasm, and the second one is like a whole sexy evening of Transformers orgasms.  Even better, I have some contributions within it!  The back cover illustration is mine, plus I'm the guy who put together the Ninja Gladiator game sprites.  A few of the character selections were my own, and you can probably tell.  You'll know what I'm talking about.  Also, co-author Jim Sorenson kept me around to make sure he wasn't going too far off the edge on some things.  He does kinda need to be reigned in sometimes!  Unchecked, he's a monster!

Graham loaned me his G2 Firecons. Heck if I have these guys!

Anyway, BotCon toys.  I think I'll talk about Cindersaur first, because conceptually I think he's the most high-concept BotCon figure in a while.  Back in Generation 2, they put out redecoes of both Flamefeather and Sparkstalker, but not the third and final dude Cindersaur.  Well, let's fix that!  And so BotCon gives us a G2 Cindersaur 15 years after the fact.  That's only really part of it.

I also like how they arrived at Cindersaur's color scheme.  They extrapolated it from the other two dudes!  See, both G2 Flamefeather and Sparkstalker had bright green and purple robot parts, but were mostly a third translucent color.  Flamefeather was green, purple, and translucent orange, while Sparkstalker was green, purple, and translucent red.  Well, clearly Cindersaur has to have green and purple robot parts, plus they gotta choose a third, dominant color.  And that's just what we got.

Ha ha, everyone thought this was gonna be Cryotek.

Unfortunately, plastic tolerance issues being what they were, BotCon Cindersaur was unable to make all of its blue translucent.  But it's the thought that counts.  And, hey, the toy won't split into pieces in a few years, so that's good.

I really like him 'cuz at this point anybody can throw an existing character's colors on a toy and call it a day.  That's done all the time!  It's old hat.  But how often do we see potential color schemes extrapolated from other toys?  Plus, hey, it's the Beast Wars 10th Anniversary Megatron mold, which is like the best Tyrannosaurus rex Transformer ever.  Hot damn.

Hmm.  Who should I do next?  Who from this set haven't I given enough love?  ... on the other hand, I also just got Leader Starscream today, so...
Posted May 29, 2010 at 1:00 am
New Saturday Joyce and Walky! here!


Holy Lord Almighty, it's a new Transformers Animated toy!  It is a gift bestowed unto us from the heavens, shrouded in light and majesty.  And it's from Japan, because, you know.  Fuckin' America.

Transformers Animated is running now over there, in a surprisingly un-totally-rewritten way.  (Though they remove a bunch of scenes to accommodate scripted infomercials for the toys.)  And since the American toyline has kinda gotten waylaid, I jumped on their release of Blackout.  At the moment, it's uncertain whether Blackout will see release over here.  Ratchet and Arcee were released as Toys"R"Us exclusives in February, and Rodimus and Ironhide will reportedly see similar release this fall, but otherwise that's all we know of that's coming down the pipeline.

So, hey, hello, Japanese Blackout.  It makes it easier that he's not very much like the other Japanese releases of the Animated toys.  Most of them have been unevenly covered in metallic paint, which turns me off something fierce.  Blackout emerges from this relatively unscathed.  He's mostly unpainted matte plastic, like the American line, with a few spots of metallic lime green.  I am fine with this.  But if he were entirely metallic gunmetal, this purchase would have been a lot more bittersweet.

(Speaking of bittersweet, Blackout only showed up on the Animated cartoon in his pre-Earth body.  This toy is based on the body he would have taken would we have gotten Season Four.  His very appearance mocks me with what could have been.)

It's the right thing to do and the tasty way to do it.

Blackout is notable because he is an Animated character who's based on somebody who originated from the live-action films.  I don't really remember Michael Bay's Blackout resembling Wilford Brimley so closely, but I'm not complaining.  Still, you can see the inspiration.  The helicopter cockpit splits to become the chest in much the same way, with the engines remaining on his shoulders, and the helicopter blades still hang off the top of his back.  He's a great cartoony translation of the super-complicated live-action film design.

That said, in several ways he's very much like Animated Lugnut.  They're both Voyager Class aircraft Decepticons whose cockpits split to form the torso and reveal their forward-jutting heads, and they're both short and stocky with tiny legs.  They both even keep their weapons in their vehicle tails, though Blackout's is much cooler.  Lugnut looked like he was basically carrying around a useless vehicle part on a stick; Blackout's rotor weapon shoots a disc.

Blackout is basically a better Lugnut toy.  As well as the more playtime-friendly weapon, he also holds together better in robot mode.  When you transform  his chest into robot mode, everything pegs very securely.  Even seamlessly!  You can barely tell that it splits apart in transformation back to helicopter mode.  His torso looks like an indivisible geometric shape.


If there's anything annoying about him, it's his arm articulation.  His shoulders can't swing out from the torso, they can only rotate along an axis.  If you want to bend his elbows (since otherwise the torso gets in the way), you have to rotate his arms at the bicep, revealing the giant gaps in his forearms where his hands store in vehicle mode.   So he's pretty good at clenching his fist menacingly and little else.  (This may be enough for some people.)  On the other hand, both of his fingers are individually articulated.

All in all, I think he may be one of the better Animated toys.  He's going to look way undersized compared to the rest of his Decepticon peers, since most of his Voyager Class mass went into making him as wide as he is tall (like both Bulkhead and Lugnut), but in a vacuum, he's outstanding.  He has a great gimmick, and his visual aesthetic looks great in both vehicle and robot modes.  And, hey, if you like automorphing, when you plug his pelvis into his torso, the rotor behind his head automatically springs back.  He's pretty awesome.

Need more.

Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:01 am
SP! avatar wallpaper

So as we were debuting the new site this weekend, Frumph says to me, hey, guess what, this is awesome.  See all those folks with no avatars?  Well, what if I told you that if you uploaded your own avatars to a certain directory and did some Comicpress magic, they'd be randomly assigned to unavatared users?

So I says, holy balls!

And so after crankin' out a handful every day since then, there are now a total of 24 avatars in the pool.  If you don't have an avatar and you post, you'll get randomly assigned, say, Sodomuffin.  And then every time you post, you'll keep that Sodomuffin avatar.  (... at least until I upload a new image into the pool, which restarts the math and they all get switched around again)

Since I have so many, and I put so much work into them despite being tiny 64x64 things, I thought I'd show them to you big as a wallpaper.  You are also free to crop them out and make your own avatars on other boards, so long as you give me credit.  I am also wondering if maybe I should try to do this a print or a poster or something in the meager number of hours I have remaining before C2E2, but we'll see.

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