Posts tagged with "buzzsaw" - 1
Posted September 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm

There comes a time in a man's life when he's willing to buy limited-edition Linkin Park crossbranded Transformers robots.  Generally that time comes after he's drawn a bunch of official comics about tape cassette guys and these new gold tape cassette guys either fill in some blanks or offer potential for the future!  See that gold Laserbeak/Buzzsaw?  Totally SG Buzzsaw.  Collection hole filled. See that gold Ratbat?  Totally civilian-mode SG Ratbat. Collection hole filled.  See those other guys, including the duplicate Laserbeak/Buzzsaw?  I have the ability to make them new characters, though the magic of of a certain corner of canon which I uniquely wield.  

Of course, no matter way you slice it, I still have this group of expensive butterscotch-colored Transformers.

Man, what a weird thing this is.  Linkin Park got the chance to design their own color scheme for Soundwave and four of his friends, and they went for solid gold plastic.  I will never understand them.  And because this set comes with both Buzzsaw and Laserbeak, and because everyone is solid gold plastic, it means you get two identical guys.  Who's Buzzsaw?  Who's Laserbeak?  WHO KNOWS!

The whole thing comes in a special packaging that looks like a larger black Soundwave with a cassette player inside that says "LINKIN PARK/TRANSFORMERS MIX" on it.  Inside the packaging is the usual plastic tray that the toys sit in, but this plastic tray is flocked in purple so it looks like velvet.  Yes, this is that ridiculous.

There's a fold-out instructions booklet that features recolored Soundwave's box art in gold and simple instructions for everybody, because everyone's pretty simple, because these are 1984 and 1986 dudes.  I'm guessing the many, many stock image photographers did not get a copy of these instructions, because there is a myriad of hilariously mismatched guys-and-accessories image sets.

My Ratbat came misassembled, with his tippy-toes pointed inside his own cassette mode torso in such a way that you can't flip them out for bat mode.  And so I spent the first few minutes of opening this guy unscrewing him open so I could set things right and then screw him back together again.  Man, no wonder everyone loses this guy's ears.  They are held in by nothing more than teensy-tiny bumps and friction.

Anyway, I already have identities figured out for the non SG Buzzsaw/SG Ratbat guys in this set, so I guess look forward to those, if you're a Transformers Collectors' Club subscriber.  

(Can I just unilaterally declare this toy is SG Buzzsaw and have it officially be so, or so I have to do a new strip where he's a little golder than he was previously?)

Posted August 2, 2013 at 3:10 am

People are still scrambling Toys "R" Uses this week to get their hands on Masterpiece Soundwave. He's scarce and tends to be bought up in the first five minutes of whatever store he appears at. It's been a mad dash, and hopefully more will continue to filter into stores. I got mine at Comic-Con, from Entertainment Earth's booth, thanks to some help from Phillip Donnelly and his magical mug. (Brandon Bird also owes PD some thanks, as the mug was not only magical but transferable.)

How is the toy? Well, long story short, it's the best robot toy you'll ever own that folds up into a box. And man, does it fold up into a box! I know there's something in my brain that pumps happy juice through my body when I know a robot can transform into something, but damn if that Box Mode ain't superfluous. It's not like you can't do all the stuff you can do with his box mode in robot mode! That mini-cassette door still opens and everything. And it's not like Box Mode actually looks like a micro-cassette recorder -- he looks like a box with a very tiny window in it. This is entirely because his cassette door is still the same size as the original's to accommodate identically-sized micro-cassette toys, but the robot mode which surrounds that door is a chunk larger, and so you have this ridiculous... thing. Like Soundwave's altmode got elephantiasis.

The door still opens when you press the eject button on the top/shoulder. This time around, there's room inside him for three Recordicons. The back wall of the cassette storage area can slide in by pushing on it, and a button on Soundwave's backside will reset this wall to the usual one-cassette-deep width, so long as he's not full of dudes at the time. The arrow buttons on his crotch also depress, but those don't accomplish anything. There are ridges on both Soundwave's shoulders and his forearms that Buzzsaw or Laserbeak's feet can plug into, all perch-like.

He transforms about as simply as you'd expect -- very similarly to the original toy -- but with a few added wrinkles of some additional fold-out panels to cover up his articulation. His shoulder-mounted missile launcher and hand-held rifle are also included, but this time they don't transform into his batteries and store inside a battery compartment. Mind, they still transform into the same battery shape, but you don't put them inside him like batteries inside his battery compartment anymore (that's where his head goes) and instead they kind of just peg behind him and fill up space easily viewable from behind. D'oh well.

Soundwave also comes with a plethora of additional accessories, other than the five Recordicons and their stuff. He has a little vacuum cleaner attachment for his wrist, he has a digital-readout screen which you can plug into his chest door to make it look like he's computing stuff, he has an energon cube which you can pull the lid off of and plug into his chest door to make it look like he's making energon cubes -- all things he did in the cartoon. I'm not a big cartoon guy, so those won't get much play from me. He also comes with a nontransformable Megatron rifle. I think it's the same one that came with earlier MP toys.

Tiny Blaster not included. You gotta buy a Giant-Ass Jetfire for him.

Unlike the Japanese release, though, this Soundwave has yellow eyes instead of red, which reflects more his original toy and early comic book appearances. I welcome this change! I was happy to learn he was getting yellow eyes. On the other hand, his Frenzy seems to be purpler than the Japanese Frenzy, in order to make him look more like cartoon Rumble, even though the packaging still calls him Frenzy. Buzzsaw's accent color is now more yellow than orange, and I think there may be some other very slight color differences all around.

IMPORTANT: Be careful with Soundwave's dang index fingertips. Seriously, this piece will drop from him like ripened fruit. The only thing keeping the fingertip on the rest of his finger is the tiniest bit of friction, and trying to articulate it without it sliding out of "joint" (I use this term loosely because there is barely a set of bumps in there to keep it in place) will almost always cause it to go diving for whatever floor or table or couch you're over at the time. You will be looking for this finger constantly. Years from now, there will be no Soundwaves with complete index fingers. I prophesy this.


Posted March 27, 2013 at 11:33 pm
Laserbeak?  Who the hell's Laserbeak?  A chump, that's what.  A cowardly chump.  Seriously, look up his Tech-Spec bio.  He's not only a condor, he's also ... chicken.

pause for laughter

Now, Buzzsaw, he's where it's at.  Buzzsaw will cut you.  Buzzsaw's got a kill list a mile long.  He's like Rambo, but with a razor-sharp beak.  You know that speech about velociraptors Alan Grant gives the kids in Jurassic Park?  That's Buzzsaw.  He's weaponized bird.  Don't believe me, ask Omega Supreme.  Except you can't.  Because Buzzsaw murdered him.  Murdered him and he never came back ever again.

Which is why Buzzsaw is the only Masterpiece Recordicon I sought out.  Yeah, I'll get them all later (including Buzzsaw) when they're sold as a package deal as a Toys"R"Us exclusive over here in North America, but I wanted Buzzsaw now.  At $60 for the Japanese set of him and Frenzy, that was a little cost prohibitive, but I struck a deal with Cheetimus since he wanted Frenzy but not Buzzsaw.  And so now I have my Buzzsaw.  Frenzy is already repackaged up and ready to go out the door.

Part of the reason I want him now, other than Wanting Him Now And Not Later, is that there's no guarantee the Hasbro release will be so creamy orange.  It's hard to tell from Hasbro's stock photography because it's so Photoshopped and airbrushed, but Hasbro seems to be doing a toy-color kinda theme with their version of Soundwave and the Recordicons, particularly with Soundwave's yellow eyes.  But I want that damn orange.  It matches the color of Buzzsaw in the comic.  It also matches the color of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.  Toy-accurate gold is acceptable but not perfect.  And for Buzzsaw, I want perfect.

With Masterpiece Buzzsaw, perfect is exactly what you get.  I mean, I like my Ravages and all, but Masterpiece Laserbeak/Buzzsaw's mold is insanely perfect.  Impossibly perfect.  You know how on the original Buzzsaw toy you had to plug in half his mass with those chromed wing pieces?  Yeah, well, screw that with this new version, because that stuff is all incorporated into the transformation.  Somehow this engineering marvel gets everything to extract out of the exact same sized mini-cassette shape as the original.  Masterpiece Ravage's add-on guns are also included in his transformation, but it's a much less-elegant looking tape when you're done with it.  With Laserbeak, you flip him over and he's still a flat surface back there, even if that flat surface has condor-shaped carvings through it.  Ravage... Ravage seems to be kind of a mess back there.  I mean, he looks nice enough, but he's relatively a little rough around the edges and I don't have to have him now-now.  I can wait.

But really, the best part about Buzzsaw is that he can perch.  He's not always stuck in the swooping-forward pose, nose out, head down.  You can rear him back up on his hind legs and he can just sort of hang out casually.  That's something I really really like and it doesn't happen incredibly often.   And he has a little flip-up camera on his head.  You know.  Because this toy wasn't perfect enough.

This is a toy I can imagine keeping on my shelf basically forever.  I have a few toys that hit that sweet spot for me that outlive their usual desk life, and I'm pretty sure Buzzsaw's gonna be among them.  He hits all the right notes.  He's the Buzzsaw of my mind's eye.  When Masterpiece Soundwave and all his little duders show up later this year whenever, you buy the hell out of it.  Just for the Buzzsaw.

Or for Laserbeak, if you wanna be all mainstream about it.
Posted January 12, 2013 at 12:25 am
Yay, I have my Frenzy (red guy) again!  I left him in Memphis, and so Alan had to mail him to me.  Also, now I have Laserbeak (and Soundwave).  I had a $5 Rewards coupon at Toys"R"Us and figgered oh what the hell.  Besides, as of the most recent issue of Robots in Disguise, this data disk form is now repurposed as G1 Laserbeak's current body.  Guess he's gonna replace the GDO Skystalker redeco in my display.  It was fun having you around for a few months!

So here's how this thing is supposed to work.  These guys are these little cylinders, right?  And there is a button on the bottom of them that triggers an auto-transform when it's depressed.  And so you cram up to three of these dudes inside Soundwave or Soundblaster's torso, and use a chunk of kibble on his back to push these disks out through the front of his chest like he's taking a front-poop.  One by one, these disks hit the ground and land on their buttons and spring-transform and you're done.

EXCEPT IT KIND OF DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.  Mostly these guys get stuck and then you push and push and push and use excessive force and then when finally one of them gives they all explode out of his chest at the same time, usually hitting you in the face no matter where your face is and then you have a scattering of half-transformed things everywhere.  It would be perfect fun if it worked as advertised, but it really, really doesn't.  Some folks have said sanding down the insides of their Soundwaves helps smooth things over.  I may try that?  But, man, it's hard to accept that these things reached stores with their main gimmickry being dead in the water.

Not helping at all are the instructions, which demonstrate you putting the disks into Soundwave with the activation button facing outwards.  oh jesus guys don't do this ever   I nearly lost a Ratbat by trying this.  They will not come out.  I had to get a screwdriver or something to jam into one of Ratbat's crevices to get some leverage to yank him out.  It is a testament to the plastic they make these guys outta, though.  These guys are fortunately made of sturdy stuff.

The flying guys are my favorite.  Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, and Ratbat all transform fully by having their buttons depressed, and they do this little flip, and it's easy to put them back in disk mode.  Laserbeak and Buzzsaw are obviously redecoes of each other, and Ratbat's a retool.  He's the same engineering, but reskinned to be a bat instead of a bird.

Frenzy and Rumble are middle-of-the-road to me.  They require a few extra steps to get from "hey i've auto transformed" mode into their completed transformation.  You gotta swing down the arms so they're not doing the wave and fold out their feet.  It takes a little extra time to get them back into disk mode, too.  You have to rotate their pelvis around and maneuver their pelvis and legs down and around at the same time.  A little annoying, but not a dealbreaker.

Ravage is infuriating.  He pops out half-transformed, and then you have to open his back and flip out his tail and then set the back down loosely on top of his body and then open up his hind legs and maybe fiddle around with those a little.  And the result is this awful-looking thing.  He's got a longer torso than Mike Turner's Supergirl and an ugly little rat face, with tiny little limbs at both ends.  He is not an attractive thing.  To get him back into disk mode, first you have to let go of the concept of being happy again for the rest of your life.  Then you spend the next several minutes trying to negotiate him back.  Certain parts won't move into place unless certain other parts are in the middle of whatever they're doing.  There's no one-two-three step to him.  It's all at once and also never at once.  If I could explain it, I could do it, and I can't do it.  I mean, I can.  After way too long.  And cursing and threatening to destroy all humanity and probably pushing some things in ways they are not meant to be pushed.  It's not often I am tempted to take a sledgehammer to something I just paid money for.

To add insult to injury is the realization that this toy is this way because of a gimmick that doesn't work properly.

Let that sink in.

Posted January 5, 2013 at 12:53 am
Hey, guys, Soundwave's got a new toy where little guys fit into his chest and pop out and you can buy a whole army of the little buggers. There've been other Soundwave toys since 1984 where a guy fit into his chest, but this was always a limited enterprise of one or two dudes. This Soundwave's got six so far, not counting the five upcoming Autobots which also utilize the same interaction.

Soundwave's part of the first wave of Voyager Class ($25) Generations figures.  Who does he share that first wave with?  HIMSELF!  One out of every four figures in the case assortment is actually Soundblaster, a same-character redeco of Soundwave based on his black-gold-and-red Headmasters appearance.  That's right, it's "New Soundwave," as regaled by the infamously terrible English dub of those episodes.  Soundwave comes with Laserbeak (red) and Soundblaster comes with Buzzsaw (gold).

I wasn't super keen on either Soundwave or Soundblaster, honestly, but I can't not buy a Buzzsaw toy.  Buzzsaw is awesome.  (Also, turns out I kind of have a growing nigh-complete Recordicons display, and the inclusion of these guys is perhaps mandatory anyhow.)  So when I found Soundwave and Soundblaster buried deep in the Batman stuff while I was in San Diego, I put Soundwave back where he goes and grabbed Soundblaster for myself.   Besides, I already have a toy of Aligned Laserbeak, so this particular iteration of him isn't super-high priority.  He can wait for sales.

I had already found the sets of the other guys (Frumble/Ratbat and Frumble/Ravage), so I knew I was gonna like Buzzsaw.  Ratbat was the best of those guys, and Ratbat's just a reshell of Laserbeak/Buzzsaw.  The reason why he's the best is that he's the simplest and least irritating.  When  he drops in Data Disk mode onto the ground and the button underneath him springloads him into "vulture" mode, that's it.  That's the end of the transformation.  There's no more left to do.  And he's easy to put back in Data Disk mode.

Plus, y'know, he's Buzzsaw, whose predecessor was a frightening friggin' monster who will kill you with his face.

I will talk more about the gimmick itself when I write later about the other Recordicons, but it will suffice to say this now: WHEN THE INSTRUCTIONS TELL YOU TO PUT THE DATA DISK INTO SOUNDBLASTER'S CHEST WITH THE BUTTON FACING OUT, THIS IS A HORRIBLE LIE.  DO NOT DO THIS.  EVER.  PUT THE DISK IN BUTTON-FIRST, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Soundblaster himself is basically a larger version of the Deluxe Class War for Cybertron Soundwave from a few years ago, but now with a chest that flops open when you press a button on his shoulder.  He's got lots of tightly-ratcheted joints, so he's pretty solid.  I dunno if his vehicle mode is particularly inspiring, as it's a box with wheels, but I suppose that's probably better than a box without wheels, which is what Soundwave usually transforms into.

(Comics return on Monday, btw.)
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