Posts tagged with "beast hunters" - 1
Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:05 am

You might recall from a few months ago my happiness at getting what by all appearances seemed to be some strange Ratchet/Dinobot cyborg fusion as part of the Beast Hunters line.  Well, TakaraTomy over in Japan took one look at this mold and apparently thought, okay, no way this is a good guy.  Just look at this dude.  And they made him a Decepticon.

All the other Japanese releases of the Beast Hunters guys were just done up in colors similar to their appearances on the show, despite their heavily-retooled appearances, but not Ratchet.  Ratchet gets to be green like in the movie and a Decepticon and super evil.  This is awesome, and so I had to have it.

According to some guy on the Internet, the packaging bio for Hunter Ratchet is about how he tried to sneak into a Decepticon/Predacon/whatevs lab to steal some technology and whatnot, but he got captured and infused with Dark Energon and turned into this green monocled thing.  The Autobots managed to bring him back eventually, but Ratchet still struggles with the vestiges of his time as a Decepticon.  

Hunter Ratchet is literally the American toy in other colors, so there's nothing new there, but the plastic tolerances on him seem to be a bit more sturdy.  So that's nice.  Also the green is kind of a glittery plastic, which reminds me of Best Buy's Premium Movie Ratchet a little.  That coupled with the white and black and red is a pretty attractive look for him.  

Plus, you know, evil Decepticon Ratchet.

Posted September 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm

His real name is "Sharkticon Megatron," but I just like calling him Fish Megatron.  FISH MEGATRON!  WITH HIS TARTARSAUCE SWORD.

Tartarex Sword?  Whatever.

Beast Hunters gave us a bunch of extensively-remolded guys I already had as crazy-armored beasty versions of themselves, and while that appeals to me on a toyetic level, I didn't want to end up with a double set of the cast.  But some of these guys I just couldn't resist.  Like Fish Megatron here.  

I mean, look at him.

He's fantastic.

I'm also happy to report that his plastic tolerances feel a little more satisfying and he clicks together more securely than the original version.  If you don't care that Megatron doesn't look like this on the teevee show, this is an objectively better toy.  

He does have big fins on his arms, which means his usually-arm-mounted cannon has a longer connection peg so it reaches past them, but that's not what you want to do with the weapon.  You want to transform it into the monstrous sword mode.  You really do.  It completes him.  Screw arm cannons.  Giant heavy fish sword, dudes.



Posted August 18, 2013 at 1:33 am

I really really like Beast Hunters Prowl's robot mode! �And since it comes packaged in it, you can just leave it in robot mode forever and never transform it. �In fact, I recommend that! �Heartily!

There were two reasons why I bothered transforming him. �One, I figured I might need a photograph of his car mode for this blog. �And two, I forgot how much I hated transforming the Smokescreen version of this toy. �Oh, man. �It is really the worst. �You get the legs transformed, and you sort of get the doors in place, and then the rest of the process is about 45 minutes of trying to get his arms and the piles of car panels on them to line up with the rest of everything. �He's like if Beast Wars Neo had cars. �...or, right, that's what Car Robots was, never mind.

But that robot mode! �I love it! �Smokescreen is retooled to have the Prowl head design from Transformers Universe, the online game that used to be an interesting-sounding game until they removed all the things from it anybody would possibly want or were excited about and also will never ever come out ever at this rate I'm pretty sure. �Did you know we "reserved" our in-game names about 30 months ago? �It was coming out in a few months then. �It's always coming out "in a few months," in perpetuity. � It's been coming out soon since Transformers Prime began, but now TF Prime is over, so OH WELL. � But Prowl's a really nice design, and so I'm glad it's become plastic. �The paint applications try to approximate the design as well, best it can. �But the result, regardless, is something I really like.

He's a G1y Prowl in a TF Prime animation style with hints of the TF Animated version of the character, particularly the unified eye-shades. � And boy does his light piping work. �Oh and they dropped the Beast Hunters net and armor that came with the Smokescreen version. �He's only got the missile launcher. �The only thing he's really missing is the "Justice Hammer" the Cyberverse version of Prowl comes with, because, come on, JUSTICE HAMMER.

He's just classy.

Just forget he's a Transformer, please.

Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:07 am
I love Ratchet.  I love Dinobot.  So what happens when you take a Ratchet toy and retool him into Dinobot?

Woodies.  Millions of them.

I don't know what the target audience is for a toy that takes the show's medic and gnarls it up into this thorny DeathUV with what some would say is a mind-boggling choice of color scheme, but that target audience is at least one, because I am me and I exist.  Mostly white with some beige and orange and hints of bright green?  Yeah!  Staple up Ratchet's face and give him a targeting monocle, making him look eerily reminiscent of Dinobot II?  Yeah! Give him a friggin' rotate blade?  Hell yeah!

Thank you, Hasbro.  I have no idea if anyone else will ever buy this toy, but I sure did.

Ratchet is extensively retooled, but it doesn't affect his transformation any.  Mostly they just wanted to give him giant spiky scabs everywhere.  The kibble panels that form his inner forearms (with the zig-zag line on them) likes to pop out of joint way too much, though.  Might as well just rip them off first-thing and set them aside for the duration.  Also, man, was getting the ambulance's rear end panels aligned as hard as it was before?  I think some of the extra stuff sculpted on here might be making him a little rougher to fit together.

Posted May 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm
It seems like Hasbro's trying to shove Ultra Magnus into their own cartoon programming through sheer force of action figure market saturation.  We got the Cyberverse Ultra Magnus, then the Voyager Class Ultra Magnus, both based on the same design, followed by a Fall of Cybertron Ultra Magnus, and... okay, two more Ultra Magnuses?  Oh, and these are actually based on the design from the cartoon?  All right, then.

Seems like the way to get ol' Mags into the cartoon was to make him a partial rebuild of Optimus Prime's model.  Likewise, that's how this Beast Hunters toy works.  It's a retool of the "Robots in Disguise" Voyager from last year, which is a toy I didn't own, so it was new to me, at least.  And unlike the First Edition Optimus Prime I did own, this version tried to get stuff to transform into what it actually transforms into, rather than having a bunch of fake kibble.  The chest windows become the real windows (such as they are), the air foil shoulders become the real air foils... that sort of thing.  Though for some reason the toy doesn't get to keep the smokestacks.  They're in the instructions, but not included with the released toy.

Also, because Ultra Magnus has new gigantic shoulders, Ultra Magnus's truck mode has new gigantic Ultra Magnus shoulders sticking out the back of the cab.  In robot mode, they can point forward and launch missiles.  The missiles can store all sorts of places.  There's clips everywhere.

Weirdly, Ultra Magnus's retool seems to be based on the Japanese "Arms Micron" iteration, as it's got the Mini-Con peghole attachments still there on his forearms.  Maybe it's not really THAT weird, if TakaraTomy permanently altered the tooling to put those in.

Oh, and Magnus comes with a winged jetpack!  It seems to be the same design that Beast Hunters Optimus Prime has, with the X-shaped wings and the metal shard tail.  It clips up over the back of Maggy's shoulders behind his head, and it's amazingly snug.  You kind of have to overreach the whole mechanism to get it to fit in.  In truck mode, it just pegs into the hitch and you set the Forge of Solus on there.

(Yeah, he comes with a tiny Forge of Solus.  Because Magnuses these days have hammers, and so I guess any hammer will do?)

It was hard to choose between this Magnus and the upcoming Premium Edition Magnus.  Premium Magnus comes with a much better Forge of Solus, plus my mental image of Ultra Magnuses is "they are huge."  However, once Magnus showed up in the cartoon proper, I saw he was represented by being a Voyagerish size.  Cartoon scale won out and I got the smaller version.  Also the least expensive!  That helps!
Posted March 14, 2013 at 11:18 pm
Nobody wants a Deluxe Shockwave!  Shockwave is massive and powerful and awesome.  And so I'm pretty happy to get this new Beast Hunters Shockwave to take the place of my Fall of Cybertron Shockwave on my WFC/FOC/Prime shelf.  He's a Voyager!  He ain't a small Voyager either, considering he makes TFPrime Voyager Megatron look kinda puny.  Not sure what I feel about that, but whatcha gonna do.

Beast Hunters Shockwave is.... most Shockwave toys.  That is,  he's an amazing robot.  A fantastic robot.  And he transforms into... soomethiing.  I think the only Shockwave toy that transformed into an Actual Something was the Alternator.  Everything else has been, like, ray-gun-that-looks-like-a-folded-up-Shockwave or satellite-thing-that-looks-like-a-folded-up-Shockwave or tank-that-looks-like-Shockwave-with-a-turret-pegged-to-it.  BH Shockwave ain't any different.  He's an exceptional robot toy and he transforms into himself doing the splits.

Oh, it's not an overly-simple transformation, by any stretch.  It looks like it is, but there are lots of tiny little twists and turns.  His feet... slide forward at an angle, for example, I think so that they lie flush with the rest of his legs in tank mode, which in tank mode are... legs.  I guess there are tumbler-like wheels in his heels, but they're not terribly visible so it just looks like he has treads in the back and legs in the front.  His handed arm tucks underneath while his gun arm tucks overneath.  And there's some panel-rearranging with his chest and stuff....  Okay, it's kind of simple.

But, dammit, he's a great robot.  One of the rubber treads on his back unfurls and plugs into his cannon.  (The other tread is also rubber, despite not doing anything, which is some nice symmetry.)  What's the most glorious thing about this toy is the cannon.  You know those gimmicks where you push down on a lever and it causes something to spin and spin and spin until friction finally wins, eventually?  The cannon's one of those.  But, wait, there's more.  While it's spinning, the cannon is slowly opening and closing and also extending and retracting.  And while this is going on, you can peek inside the cannon through it's twirling gaps and see the missile launcher, fleetingly.  It's a fascinating contraption, and I can't stop making it do what it does.  I haven't even gotten to where I find out how that missile fires.  Why would I?  This is great.

anyway there's some beast stuff to plug into him so he looks all beast huntery the end
Posted February 23, 2013 at 12:21 am
Sometimes my faith is rewarded!  Takara's Smokescreen toy was a Knock Out redeco with a new head, and Hasbro's Smokescreen toy was nonexistent.  But I decided, naw, there's no way Hasbro's not going to release a car Autobot guy.  They didn't do a large Breakdown either, but Breakdown is a Voyager Decepticon.  Deluxe Car Autobot guys are Hasbro's bread and butter.  And so I passed on the Known Smokescreen for in the hopes I would be rewarded with a real one that's his own mold.

And, yea, God helps those who sit on their ass, I guess!

Sure 'nuff, the second wave of Beast Hunters gives us a new mold Smokescreen toy.  Unlike the Autobots from the first wave, Smokescreen isn't an older toy with spikes retooled all over him.  Instead,  he's a "plain" Smokescreen with add-on spikey accessories.  You can throw those bonus parts in the trash and have a normal ol' Smokescreen toy, or you can go all Mad Max.  I kind of expect that this Smokescreen was already in the planning stages before he got Beast Hunterized.  Maybe it's the way the rubber trap net stuff just slides over his otherwise unremarkable missile launcher weapon.  It all seems like an afterthought.

Anyway, Smokescreen toy -- how is he? Well, as you can probably tell from looking at him, he's got a fake kibble chest.  Those headlights and hood don't become the real headlights and hood at all.  The real hood (and roof) hang off the back of his forearms.  I can sort of see their line of thinking here -- Smokescreen's chest on his cartoon model kind of has a lot of stuff going on.  It splits up into a bunch of angles.  Plus, well, the real car hood is kind of a lot bigger than the fake one, nearly twice as wide.  I guess the designers preferred leaving all that stuff hanging off his arm to a robot mode  that was 50% chest.

Despite all that, the kibble junk is kept largely out of the way during posing, so he's a good robot mode overall.  I also like his big sturdy feet.  The only annoying part of his robot mode are the many, many hinges built into his shoulders which are part of his transformation.  They can come undone if you're rough with him.

Unfortunately, those many, many hinges are part of his super-frustrating transformation.  He's another of those guys who went to the Side Burn School of Transformation.  He comes along fairly okay-ish until you get to the arms and all that junk hanging off of there.  Trying to fit the arms in (and their 50 billion hinges) and close in all the gaps in the vehicle mode is an ordeal I haven't really smoothed out yet.  Once you get one side all pegged together, that forces out the pegs on the other symmetrical side.  You wanna punch somebody.  Unless you're a wizard, you're gonna end up with gaps.

The Beast Hunters stuff fits over him in either mode.  In car mode, it fits snugly over the hood and under the side mirrors.  In robot mode, it sort of wraps up over his torso and behind his head.  There's tabs just below his ribcage and two more tabs at the tops of his shoulders; you'll have to use the stuff's rubbery quality to your advantage on this last bit.  You literally wrap it around him and peg it in.  There also seem to be some extra missile storage places on the sides of it.

Smokescreen's colors aren't quite accurate to his screen portrayal.  I can understand why they'd want to include more red and blue accents instead of leaving Smokescreen almost entirely white and silver, but I do find it weird that they painted stuff on his head blue instead of red.  I'll probably have to do some paint adjustments of my own.
Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:04 pm
Just in time for Wednesday's strip about How Strika Should Be, Like, More Wankable Or Something, I have received Ripclaw (and Smokescreen from BigBadToyStore.  They're Wave 2 Beast Hunters Deluxes.  They'll be in stores soon, probably?)  You see, the connection is Ripclaw is a lady!  She is a Transformer who ostensibly has girl parts.  She shares a body design with Ser-Ket, who at the time had begun to appear in the "Rage of the Dinobots" comic book miniseries, but we had no idea she was female until samples of Ripclaw's toy showed up with pronouns and everything and we realized, oh, hey.  They're both probably ladies.  And sure enough, Ser-Ket got some gendered pronouns in her subsequent appearance.  They are shes.

So she's not Thunderblast is what I'm saying.

What I am saying is that this toy is great.  I knew I was going to like it just from the stock photography, and the stock photography didn't lie.  Just like Lazerback, Ripclaw's card bubble is relatively deep.  She's a hunk of toy.  Unlike Lazerback, she has wings and a neck and a jointed tail.  Now, here's the super awesome did-not-see-this-coming thing about Ripclaw's tail.  It's not just simply segmented.  There's a rubber tube running through the middle.  The tail can hang lax, or you can tighten the whole contraption by hooking it up more securely onto the back of the torso.  It is an amazing tail.  The grabby-claw tip can be removed, leaving a simple nub at the end of the tail, while the grabby-claw  can be held by one of the robot arms.  (The claw attaches deeply enough through the hand-hole that it appears that the claw is an extension of the arm itself.)

Ripclaw's dragon jaw opens, and the top of her head is rubber plastic like the center of her tail.  Like many beastformers, she transforms roughly by standing up, though the limbs each go through a step or two so they don't look identical in both modes.  The robot head looks kind of cowl-y, like an eyed hat sitting on a neck, but she does have a jaw down there.  It's just mostly obscured by her collar.  I guess the artist who was drawing Ser-Ket in the comic was going off of stock photography or something, since Ser-Ket was pretty jawless in that.

Ripclaw is a super-great toy that looks dynamic by default.  It's hard for her to look bad.  She's a dragon, she has an involved but non-frustrating transformation, and a sweet rubber-enabled segmented tail.  Also, happens to be a chick.  She was the favorite of the Predacons I'd seen so far, judging only by photography, and the toy lived up to my expectations.
Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:58 pm
Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that the Beast Hunters toyline, which is all about a whole faction of dragons, will include new toys based on the original Terrorcons, who were a combiner team made out of dragons.  I was happy enough to find out that Sinnertwin was getting an homage in Twinstrike, but I get to have all of them?  And they'll combine???

(P.S. in case nobody's noticed, yeah, apparently Hasbro doesn't wanna name a toy "sinnertwin" any more)

I had two Sinnertwins when I was a kid.  I don't know how that happened, but it did.  And so I have some nostalgia invested in him.  And so, hot dang, I am super into Twinstrike, the concept.  Now that he's in hand, I am super into Twinstrike the toy, as well.  This is a friggin' awesome dude.  Sinnertwin was a box that had dragon parts on it.  To transform him, you folded back all the dragon parts and stood it up.  Not terribly compelling.  But Twinstrike is friggin' awesome, especially for his small size.  (He and the other reimagined Terrorcons are Legion Class, the tiny dudes.)  I'm not used to Legion Class toys being this involved.  He's a tiny marvel.

The dragon forelegs and double-tail still fold back behind him, but otherwise this is a completely different approach.  The two dragon heads become arms, obviously.  The torso splits open so you can flip the robot head inside.  The feet flip around so the toes become heels.  And in completely-unexpected-in-a-legion-class-toy land, the dragon thighs pull out and rotate down to cover the dragon's digitigrade hind legs.

I heart him.

Plus, y'know, it helps that he's yellow and teal.
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