Posts tagged with "beast wars" - 2
Posted October 13, 2016 at 10:01 pm

Yay, 3D printing!  It's getting to be not-crappy!  Now that Shapeways (the online 3D printing folks) has introduced a new material, black high-def acrylate, and my pal Trent Troop had a Dinobot head to purchase, I was like, yes, I will try this thing.

Shapeways' high-def acrylate, which currently only comes in black, is pretty close to looking like normal-ass molded plastic.  You don't see any layers in the plastic, like you're looking at a toy made out of lasagna, and the sculpted detail is very fine.  The only downside, at least for this project, was the piece comes in black, and I needed to make it gold and blue.  This meant.... base coat layer!  I was painting like some kind of adult, with preparedness and forethought and everything.  Whaaaaaat.  Luckily I had some medium gray acrylic paint sitting around from when I was painting up my BotCon Ratchets.

After that, it was only a matter of getting the gold and metallic blue paint on there.  After using plain-ol' Gold Leaf, I decided the gold needed to be a little more orangey-er, and so I mixed some orange into my gold and painted it again.  At this point, I think I've started to lose a little of the sculpted detail, but, eh, I don't feel like scraping it all off and starting over.  It looks nice, though!  I like it.

Trent/TheRobotMonster's got over 100 heads to choose from in his Shapeways store.  There's some Optimuses, some Pretender Monsters, Skeletor, the goddang Sogmaster, Krang, Rung and Tarn... there's a bunch there.  And all you gotta do is screwdriver away the head on the Titan Master toy itself, replace the head with the new one, and screwdriver the screw back in.  Easy cheezy.  You can make any Titans Return headmaster guy into Dinobot.  Or the Sogmaster.  

Posted June 1, 2016 at 2:15 am

Here is another post in our series of "i bought another beast wars toy because it was painted a little better than the beast wars toy i already have."  Today's subject: LG-EX Waspinator!

Like TakaraTomy's Generations Rhinox, so too was their Waspinator heavily metallic.  This didn't look nearly as weird on him, since wasps are all chitinous (I looked that up, thank you) and less leathery than rhinos.  But it meant his yellows were gold, and so even though it painted his face a little better than the domestic Waspinator, I passed.  I did reconsider a few times, but that version of Waspy's pretty popular and so he's hard to find on the secondary market.  ... thankfully, because then this version was announced.

Bye-bye, gold!  Hello, more-accurate yellow.  And, important to me, they've finally painted the bee stripes on his robot head antenna.  They don't tend to do that!  Probably because that's a hella lotta paint operations.  I mean that's... *counts* 12.  Twelve paint operations spent on 1% of his overall surface area.  If you've got a paint budget, you're not gonna blow it all on danged antenna.  But dammit, it's appreciated.  Thank you, limited-release convention exclusive!

My to-be-imminently-replaced domestic Waspinator has more differences to catalog, versus his replacement.  I love the darker green around his eyes.  I love the brown tusks on his cheeks.  I love his mouth having yellow in it.  

I do like the darker green replacing the lighter lime green plastic on his body.  It makes him a more uniform color, but the additional yellow paint operations balance that out, plus it calls attention away from how made-of-robot-parts his wasp mode is.  His thorax is now a homogeneous patch of dark green at a quick glance, rather than a jumble of green with some lime green biceps and fists thrown in there.  

I do kinda miss the Predacon symbol that was on the domestic version's beast mode.  Ah well.

Briefly, foolishly, I give my brain the luxury of believing that, yes, this is it, this is the best Waspinator, I don't need another ever again unless it's like a Combiner Limb or something.  And then I remember that, oops, oh, right, they've just started making Masterpiece Beast Wars toys.  In a year or several, we might have a Masterpiece Waspinator.  And once again, what was once sufficient will then be insufficient.  

But that's probably not for a while.  I can enjoy this one until then.

ADDENDUM: There is also a redecoed Rattrap from this set, but I didn't bother getting him.  Either he wasn't different enough or my current Rattrap is fine or any combination of the two.

Posted May 29, 2016 at 9:30 pm

I drew a Shortpacked! strip nine years ago about the arms race of more accurate Beast Wars Dinobot toys, wherein we're presented a toy, it's not painted so accurately for whatever reason, and then Hasbro and Takara go back and forth on the toy, with each subsequent release being a little more accurate but not ALL the way more accurate, and over the course of a decade or two get you to buy slightly better and better Dinobots.  It's a pretty good racket they have going!

COMPLETELY UNRELATED here is LG-EX Rhinox.  He's like the Hasbro Generations Rhinox I already had, but now he's brown instead of tan!  The tan was more accurate to the original Beast Wars toy, but less accurate to the television animation.  TakaraTomy's first attempt at this mold, released under their Legends toyline, had similar colors to this new LG-EX Rhinox, but the line-wide visual gimmick at the time was "make everything metallic."  That's probably more okay if your toy's, like, a car, but Rhinox is 80% rhinoceros hide.  And so he was this awful-looking metallic brown rhinoceros, despite otherwise being more accurate colors to the animation.  I skipped that specific release of that toy, preferring having the rhino hide parts be matte plastic rather than him looking to be made out of aluminum foil.

Well, good, because a toy convention over on that side of the world decided that they were going to give Rhinox (and Waspinator and Rattrap) another go, this time without the mindboggling metallic plastic.  So, like, problem solved.  Matte brown plastic!  Perfecto.  This time Rhinox even has his gums painted inside his rhino mouth, which is a nice (and show-accurate) touch.  Great work!  Thanks toy convention!

Other than the brown, the most obvious change is to the dual Chainguns O' Doom, which feature actual paint, rather than being solid unpainted plastic.  Rhinox is no longer trying to stop you with a pair of oatmeal cookies.  Also his hip joints are a little tighter, which solves another problem.  LG-EX Rhinox is less likely to faceplant.

Anyway, time to get rid of this older, tanner Rhinox before I end up with a Rhinox collection like I do my mountainpile of Dinobots.  

Posted April 27, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Back in 2004, the official Transformers convention was run by different people.  One of their last gasps was releasing mockups of toys that would-have-been if they'd kept the license and Fun Publications hadn't taken over.  One of these toy concepts was RID Megatron/Car Robots Gigatron in red and gold with a new Beast Wars Megatron head.  Dubbed "Transmetal 3 Megatron," he would have come with a rubber ducky accessory with a 5mm peg and starred in the then-current Transformers: Universe comic books as the reincarnation of a post-Beast Machines Megatron.  

It was an okay idea.  At the time, I was lukewarm on it.  I have never liked RID Megatron's toy very much, and I liked Beast Wars Megatron as a dragon (instead of a T. rex) even less.  And so I was pretty okay with the toy not happening because of the change of licenses.  Back then Beast Wars Megatron was not a distant memory of a beloved favorite character, forgotten and buried under decades of subsequent franchises.  I didn't need another right then.

But I'm much more than okay with one now.  I miss Megs, and I'm super happy to get a new toy of him.  I've suffered a Beast Megatron drought, and this toy is a fresh glass of cool water.  

In the meantime, other people kept up demand.  They kept asking Fun Pub when they were gonna make this guy.  And their answer was always "eehhh we dunno" because, well, frankly, it wasn't their idea, and it makes sense to me that they'd rather do their own ideas.  You don't take over a license from somebody else and crib their notebooks, you make your own notebooks.  And so it kind of makes sense, in Fun Pub's final BotCon, to finally put this guy out there, as a bookend.  So as the previous licensee ended, so too will these guys.

If only they had made more than, like, five of him!  Jeez!

Anyway, yeah, this toy is pretty nice-looking.  He's still a toy that has ... nine?  ten? modes, and all but one or two of them are garbage.  But the robot mode is pretty fucking great, and the dragon mode is pretty okay.  The jet mode and the gargoyle-mode-you-can't-do-anymore-because-the-snout-was-removed-to-fit-megatron's-head and especially the car mode... they are not very good.  And you can make him into sort-of-a-hand, which is neat, but, like, there's still giant wings on it and that kind of ruins the illusion.  But, again, robot mode is beautiful.  

Some problems I should mention: He's started to immediately shed his chrome for some people.  Me, I put some clear nailpolish on him before I even transformed him, to stave this off.  So think about that.  Maybe in a few months when everybody's TM3 Megatrons are completely chrome-shedded, he'll come down from the like $800 he's going for on eBay.   Also, the forward-movement ratchets on hips can be... frightening.  Like, squeaky-this-is-gonna-break frightening.  So I had to open him up and sand off some nubs.  He also was erroneously given a Dinobot spark crystal instead of a Predacon one, probably because the Dinobot spark crystal tooling is the only spark crystal tooling that still exists.  There's a Predacon logo sticker that's sold separately that can cover this up.  So, like, keep that all in mind before plunking down major cash for him.  

He doesn't come with the originally-planned rubber ducky 5mm accessory.  There was a normal-sized rubber ducky sold at the convention, but, like, it's just a normal rubber ducky with the BotCon logo stamped on it.  

Okay, since this toy has like six (five?) modes, and I need a wall of text to fit all the pictures in, let's *sigh* talk about the convention comic these guys featured in.

Ever since "The Agenda" aired, the legacy of G1 has been used as a cudgel to beat any possible new life out of the Beast Wars cartoon.  For a good two seasons, Beast Wars gave us new characters in a new setting that divorced us so far from what we knew about Transformers we had really no choice but to submerse ourselves in these new possibilities.  And it was pretty glorious!  But then we got "The Agenda" and a hook back into G1, and it's like a switch flipped.  Beast Wars-the-cartoon was now chainganged to this fucking monster and was going to be devoured.  Everyone had their "this is how the old war ended, this is how the era of the Maximals began" story, and you want to know the secret?

They are all bullshit.  

Knowing that stuff is antithetical to what makes Beast Wars great.  To the Beast Warriors, G1 was the stuff of legend, a distant terrifying-yet-glorious past that is best left to the imagination.  ...sort of.  Some people's imaginations leave much to be desired, and those're the kind of imaginations that keep getting fucking put in charge of writing Beast Wars stories.  They decide, one by one, that each character/toy in the Beast Wars needs to be some guy from G1.  Sure, Beast Wars Grimlock was explicitly the G1 guy on his packaging bio.  We'll let that slide.  (but does he have to be on the Axalon????) Okay, there's a Soundwave, so maybe that Soundwave is the other Soundwave, even though that Soundwave is a goddamned bat/gator Animorph toy!  Hey, did you know that Magnaboss shared its components names with some G1 guys?  Well, you're in luck, because now Prowl, Silverbolt, and Ironhide from G1 are in Beast Wars.  Oh, there's ANOTHER Beast Wars Prowl?  Hey, guess what, now they're BOTH G1 Prowl, simultaneously, with one being a clone of the other!  

Was that already kind of annoying?  Well, this comic and the accompanying profile cards gives you more.  Two of the members of the Tripredacus council are probably old Decepticons you know!  Under-3 might be a famous Autobot!  Autobot Inferno might be Beast Wars Inferno!  There is so very little Beast Wars left when you get done with all this shit.  It's not even clever.  No one's going to be handed an award for noticing two completely different guys have the same name.

Did you like the enigma surrounding the Great War and the reverence the Beast Warriors had for the Autobots and Decepticons of the past?  Well, too bad, because everyone in Beast Wars was around for those years and were important and sharing the same space.  Remember when Beast Megatron was entering the Ark and everyone comatose onboard was large and special and magical, and the whole event felt like an intrusion upon sacred ground?  Well, fuck that, now Megatron knew those guys and was once as large as them and they hung out all the time and he bossed them around because he was in charge.  Beast Wars Megatron himself was a Decepticon.  Everyone in the Beast Wars was either an Autobot or a Decepticon.  All the show's talk of "our Decepticon/Autobot ancestors" is taken out behind the shed and shot.  

It just makes the universe so... amazingly, pathetically SMALL.  This comic book's universe is so small, you guys.  Did you like the mystery of the 300-year-span of time between G1 and BW?  Well, good news, turns out there wasn't anything new to know.  You already know the cast.  They were the guys you already knew, and some of those guys are also the same guys as the other guys, secretly!   You weren't missing anything.

I think how little regard the comic has for its alleged source material is made clear in the following: 300 years ago, Optimus Primal was already on board the Axalon (which is G1-robot-scaled), serving as its captain, and already going on exploration missions.  With Rattrap.  WITH RATTRAP.  After the comic was released and objections about Rattrap knowing Primal for that long were raised, the response was, "Well, they never say EXPLICITLY how long they knew each other!"  The fuck they didn't.  It was abundantly clear in their every interaction in the cartoon.  Rattrap's entire first season arc is buried in the idea that he starts out with zero regard for Optimus Primal and then over the course of the Beast Wars slowly warms up to him and respects him.  At no point does Rattrap literally say "I've only known you for like two days," sure, but he is constantly degrading and belittling Optimus Primal.  He places no value on his commander's life or on the lives of his fellow crewmembers.  He only cares for saving his own skin.  This is a guy who has served with Optimus Primal on this same ship for THREE HUNDRED YEARS?  How the hell was he not fired 299 years, 11 months, and 29 days ago?  "This your first day on the job or somethin'?" he asks.  "You sure you're cut out for this commander gig?" he asks.  The apologists say he's being sarcastic.  Is the entire first goddamn season's character arc also sarcastic?  

This informs my final point: This comic book feels like it was written from the Wikipedia article about Beast Wars.  It's like somebody's bad book report.  There's some attention to surface detail ("Rattrap doesn't outright say how long he's known Primal!") but there's no proven familiarity with the actual material as it is viewed in-the-moment.  But that's okay, because all what made Beast Wars great is obviously secondary to making it connect to G1.

That is sarcasm, by the way.

Posted April 25, 2016 at 2:01 am

BotCon really likes Tigatron, I guess.  The first year the convention was allowed to do pre-existing characters, back in 2001, they chose him and Arcee.  They did another Tigatron in 2006, in which they decided Tigatron wasn't actually a newborn protoform like all the others, but was actually a police officer who pratfalled himself into one of Axalon's stasis pods and some amnesia.  And here he is again in 2016, where we learn he's actually a really important Autobot from the end of the Great War, known and revered by both sides!  Weird nobody remembered this integral historical icon when he woke up later on prehistoric Earth, still being named Tigatron and wearing his old face on his chest.

But, again, let's not get me started.

2016 Tigatron takes a lot from 2001 Tigatron, in that the former is directly based on the latter.  This makes sense, as 2001 Tigatron was a Beast Wars Ravage redeco, so this one is a redeco of this year's Ravage, who himself is a remake of that old Beast Wars Ravage.  This time around, Tigatron's secondary color is teal instead of the icy blue he had before.  It's a slight color shift, similar to how this year's Ravage has that pretty steel blue instead of the original beige.  Otherwise, this is a color-for-color recreation of that original BotCon toy design, down to the primary blue tummy deco.  He really feels like he belongs later in the timeframe, after that original toy, since this is such a direct upgrade of it.  There's even a bonus Wreckers symbol sticker you can put on his right arm, included in the convention's Magnaboss sticker set.  

Of course, this time he transforms into a car.  And a leg.  And an arm.  

Same as with Ravage, since they're just redecoes of each other, Tigatron has the whole "missing back half of the skull" deal.  Just... try to keep forgetting to look at him from the sides.

Try to forget a lot of things.

Posted April 23, 2016 at 3:00 am

Newsflash:  I am, like, super into Combiner Wars.  I want every Transformer already in my collection to be redone as a Combiner Wars limb or torso or accessory, I don't care if it means I would then own six hundred Dead End retools, I am up for it.  

So imagine my interest in Combiner Wars combined (get it?) with my love for Beast Wars, and you've got this Predacus guy.  And then imagine my interest in Ravage combined with both of those two things already, and, yeah, this BotCon 2016 set is in my wheelhouse.  Because Ravage is in it.  Hell, the first thing we saw was Ravage, and I was sold.  Everything else could have been soggy dead puppies and it still would have been a great set, because at least one part of it was a Ravage who could become an arm or a leg.

Ravage himself is a Combiner Wars-style recreation of his appearance in the Beast Wars cartoon, crossed with his Alternators toy where he was a robot with a jaguar head who transformed into a black sports car.  You have no idea how much my jam that is.  All of my jam.  Ravage is Breakdown with a new kitty head.  A very flat, as seen from the side, kitty head.  What I'm saying is he has no back of his skull.  It's like the Invisible Man is wearing a Halloween mask of Ravage's face.  

But it's okay.  I don't care.  It's Ravage as a Combiner Wars limb.

I may be somewhat biased.

Ravage's partner leg is Tarantulas, who's Combiner Wars Rook with a new head.  We just got a vehicle-mode-style Tarantulas last year who's essentially perfect, which would in most cases make this new vehicle-mode-style Tarantulas surplus to requirements, but you forget that I want all characters ever to be able to be a limb or a torso, so he's still desired.  He's a Tarantulas who can become an arm or a leg.  He's a want.

The other three, now, these guys are interesting!  They're the Tripredacus Council from "The Agenda (Part 1)," also known as "that time that it was really cool that Beast Wars started connecting itself to G1 a little but then fandom started thinking that connecting BW to G1 was what BW was all about and then we never got anything else out of new Beast Wars fiction ever."  Ahem.  But I digress.  The Tripredacus Council!  We've never got toys of them as they've appeared on the cartoon, as they were essentially three random robot dudes who got randomly assigned names from the components of Tripredacus, the Predacon Beast Wars combiner.  But here they are, and they turn into vehicles, because they aren't beasts right now/yet.  

Ram Horn is the guy on the show who had little wings on his head and whose face was made mostly of Rattrap's, but with a nose.  He's got a new head and that head sits atop Brawl/Nosecone.  Combiner Wars Brawl/Nosecone is not that great of a toy, but I guess it's an appropriate use, nonetheless.  Ram Horn was a rhinoceros beetle, and so using a tank with a drill is kind of evocative of that kinda beasty shape.  

Cicadacon is the guy on the show who had Megatron's face incased inside a DEVO hat with little horns.  Sadly, his Combiner Wars toy does not have his own new head, and he's the only toy in the combiner that doesn't have a new head!  It makes me a little sad.  He's just Skydive with no sculpting alterations, and while he has the same general shape for his helmet, he lacks the little horns and most importantly he lacks the Megatron face.  I need that triangle nose, man!  

Sea Clamp is the guy on the show who had a head that looked like somebody had five minutes to extrude a CGI block into something resembling a face and then somebody else's mouth was pasted onto the chin.  Sea Clamp's original toy was a lobster, hence the name, but Combiner Wars doesn't have much in the way of sea vehicles.  Or any sea vehicles.  But he's Scattershot, who's a spaceship thing, and maybe you can pretend spaceship things are sea vehicles, right?  He has a new head.

He also has another new head in his tummy for the combined mode, Predacus.  Ravage and Tarantulas become the legs and the Tripredacus Council becomes everything above the knees.  You'd think, seeing three red guys and one black guy and one dark blue guy, that he'd look a little mismatched, but honestly he looks pretty great.  There's Tarantulas and Ravage's colors duplicated on the combiner chest, and they want you to swap the red and black fist/foot/weapons with each other so that there's a better scattering of colors, and it basically works.  He's a very attractive combiner.  His new head is based on Tripredacus's, of course.  

My complaints:  Some plastic tolerance issues!  Sometimes their fist/foot/guns don't fit securely into the wrist or ankle pegholes.  You can have hands drop off the arms and it's annoying.  Also, man, Brawl/Nosecone is not a great toy.  He's the weak link in this chain of robots.  And, yeah, Ravage is missing his brain.  Whatevs, I don't look at him from the side anyway, and really the limp wrists and Brawl are more of an annoyance than that.  There's also unfortunately the comic book he comes with but let's keep this a happy place in the wake of a very important day.

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the first airing of the Beast Wars cartoon pilot on syndication!  I watched it on television that day, like after school or something.  Because of course I did.

Posted April 19, 2016 at 5:30 am

The only thing better than giving us pre-beast toys of the rest of the original Beast Wars Predacon crew is giving us those pre-beast toys in Combiner Wars form.  Terrorsaur mostly delivers on this!  For some reason he doesn't come with his hand/foot/gun, so you have to borrow somebody else's.  Or you can end up with a combiner with a limp, I dunno.

But, yeah, Terrorsaur satisfies me.  We got pre-beast Megatron, Waspinator, and Dinobot way back in 2006, and then pre-beast Tarantulas nine years later in 2015.   With Terrorsaur here, we're just one original Predacon down, and Scorponok is promised from the Figure Subscription Service before the end of the year!   Huzzah.

Combiner Wars Terrorsaur is in his cartoon deco, rather than the original toy deco which replaced the silver and other silver with black and purple.  As such, Terry's a little less vibrant than some may remember him, but the silver and charcoal, with the edges here and there of orange, do manage to keep him visually interesting.   

He's got a new headsculpt which is... well, it's goofy-looking, but in a way that Terrorsaur kind of looked all the time.  Those first few Beast Wars CGI models were kind of rudimentary.  This toy gives him a kind of awkward toothy grin, like he's stifling a chuckle after a fart, but honestly that's not too far off-character.  

Combiner Wars Terrorsaur is also essentially perfectly scaled to his fellow pre-beast Predacon pals, as best as he can be, anyway.  Tarantulas is an abberation, being so tall, but otherwise CW Terrorsaur clocks in at just shorter than Dinobot and quite a bit taller than Waspinator and waaaaaaay shorter than Megatron.  These are all correct Nerd Measurements.  If pre-beast Tarantulas weren't done so perfectly I'd be more resentful of his size screwing up the otherwise perfect scale.

Posted April 15, 2016 at 12:30 am

I keep wanting to say, "one of the best BotCon toys this year," but honestly, they're all pretty damn great, so unless they all get to tie for second and first place, I dunno.  But this Airazor?  It's a pretty good toy of Airazor!  If you don't mind that she's not a bird!

Combiner Wars Airazor (she doesn't combine) is a redeco of Slipstream who herself was a heavy retool of Windblade.  There's no changes to Slipstream's sculpt, just a different deco, and yet it works pretty damn well as Airazor.  The head is painted up to kind of resemble Airazor's beaky bird hat, the fake sculpted cockpit on her chest is a reasonable vehicleish facsimile of a falcon's head, and the whole brownish-black/tan/yellow/extrayellow thing going on with her, with the dash of translucent green, is pretty fancy.  It's not a group of colors you see together a lot in Transformers, if ever, especially since the retail line has been kinda overwhelmingly White And Red for the past year as Combiner Wars has retreaded 1986.  Whoever designed the deco on this toy, good job.  

I don't reeeeally want to get into the convention comic in which Airazor featured right here, right now, because, again, as I said, there would be swearing.  

So let's instead say this is superfab Airazor bein' all jetty in the years following her enigmatic disappearance following the events of Primeval Dawn!  Let's unfridge her.  Yup, she's returned from the distant past to the less-distant future, maybe to participate in some Universe wars or something.  It could be fun!  Think of all the adventures she could have, y'know not being a super important Autobot from the end of the Great War or anything like that.

That'd be ridiculous.

Anyway, she technically replaces the other Airazor-as-a-jet-instead-of-a-bird exclusive toy we got a decade ago, which is a replacement that is FINE BY ME.  Timelines Airazor is, like, one of the worst things ever, and I own her because I am dumb.  First of all, she's the Energon Slugslinger toy, and Energon Slugslinger is terrible.  Like, it's one of those infamous Toys That Hate You.  There is no love for humanity in its engineering.  It was designed to snuff out your life force.  Now, imagine that toy with an Airazor head and at exclusive limited-run prices and representing a fundamental misunderstanding of the character herself.

But there's a better one now.  You can bury the other in the back yard or maybe set it on fire.

Posted April 13, 2016 at 1:40 am

Every year at BotCon, invariably there's an exclusive toy that really feels like somebody was saying, "hey, what's some cracked-out shit that Walky kid would like?" Well, this is this year's.  This is Under-3.

Under-3 was a McDonald's Happy Meal toy way back in the early Beast Wars days.  He wasn't part of the regular assortment, but a very simplified toy with minimal moving parts that was intended for children under the age of three.  Hence the name.  "Under-3" was printed on his baggy in the same space that the names for the other guys went.  He was a lion head that flipped open like a clam to reveal a robot sculpted inside that looked kinda like Optimus Prime/Primal.  That's it.

Bogglingly, a toy based on him is part of this year's BotCon offerings.  He's a strait redeco of Combiner Wars Streetwise, meaning instead of transforming into just a head, now he can transform into just an arm or just a leg.  And a yellow police car, but whatever.  His name is "Unit-3" on his profile card because I don't know.  The point is, that's just a callsign he uses, so his real name could easily be "Under-3."  That's what really matters.  Renaming Under-3 something else puts you on my shit list.  

He's a very striking-looking toy, making him easily one of the best exclusive toys available this year -- and that's in the company of TM3 Megatron.  He loses a little of the charm of the original toy (well, a lot of the original charm) by not transforming into a disembodied lion head, but I think being a new toy of that crazy-ass Happy Meal dude is its own separate charm.  He's Under-3.  For adults.

don't talk to me about the comic he appeared in just yet, there would only be swears

Posted November 5, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Last year, we got three female Autobot toys in rapid succession: Windblade, Arcee, and Chromia.  And it was great!  But it'd be even cooler if we got female Decepticons, too.  As short supply as female Autobots are, female Decepticons are in even more dire straits!

And suddenly, TakaraTomy over in Japan, they saw this deficit, did some retooling, and BAM, gauntlet cast.  And one of these three new bad guy ladies is Blackarachnia.  She's technically a Predacon, not a Decepticon, but she was a Decepticon once, and she's often a bad guy, and so I'm fine including her in that group.  She's also different in that she wasn't retooled from Arcee or Windblade or any other recent mold, naw, Takara went back and grabbed Animated Blackarachnia from 2007 and used her as a retooling base.  I mean, Blackarachnia's a spider, and there aren't really a lot of spider toys to make stuff outta, so.  

Animated Blackarachnia is a pretty great toy to start off from!   It's actually a fairly inventive transformation, especially with how the arms and legs from from the spider limbs and how the torso is created.  The spider head folds down to form the chest and the pedipalps (which are balljointed) rotate and form the contours of the waist.  Seriously, it's pretty great.  

so what takara did was remove the pedipalps and replace them with new pedipalps that instead fold up and become boobs

I mean, I sort of get it.  If you're going to make a Beast Wars style Blackarachnia, her, um, chesty parts are an important part of the visual package.  Kind of, you know, in the same way you'd want your Jazz toy to have a chest made out of a car hood.  That's just what Jazz looks like!  And Beast Wars Blackarachnia puts the "rack" in "arachnid."  And, so, yeah, on that level, I understand.

But, damn, this does not leave her with much of a torso.  In fact, it merely leaves her with the original toy's spine.  She's got these two globes, a skinny stick to connect those to... well, the middle part of her pelvis that wasn't previously created out of pedipalps, and then legs.  She looks like something from the cover of Youngblood.  

That aside, she does make a pretty good Beast Wars Blackarachnia.  The new headsculpt is absolutely perfect, if set a little high on the neck, the paintjob is a good attempt at hiding the fact that she has hands and not claws (and you're supposed to leave her forearms half-transformed to achieve the look), and she's just generally painted meticulously all over.  You don't notice she no longer has a torso if your room's lighting ain't so great.

But it's just, like, what.

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