Posts tagged with "dark of the moon" - 2
Posted May 28, 2011 at 1:32 am
Microsized but nonsucky seeker

Despite my still huge backlog of first- and second-wave Dark of the Moon toys, I'm talking about a third wave guy I picked up today.  That's just how I roll sometimes.

(You'll note a pretty mundane word is being auto-censored right now.  It's an experiment I'm doing.  Ad revenue from one of my adservers is oddly down this month, and this is also the month that, because of writing the phrase "Dark of the Moon" all the damn time, I'm suddenly classified as an "asssstronomy" site.  I'm usually classified as a film site, because ... I don't know.  But I was wondering if I ditched all the Lunar references and got myself back into the film category revenue would increase, because I'm a curious nerd like that.  (A curious nerd who likes money.)  Also, I changed all of the "dark of the moon" tags to "transformers 3."  Anyway.)

At some point in the past few years, I've started to really enjoy movie Starscream's design.  I don't know if I like it as Starscream, per se, but I enjoy it regardless.  Why these things happen is hard to discern.  Starscream's not from a particular design philosophy that I usually enshrine.  Perhaps it's rooted in how much I really like Leader Class Starscream from the previous movie's toyline.  And so a current attempt at that same design in a smaller size caught my attention, I guess?  But I had force myself to pass up Deluxe Class Starscream himself.  I had the perfect Starscream already.  But this guy, Thundercracker, isn't Starscream!  I don't have a movie Thundercracker.  There've been movie Thundercrackers, but I don't own any of them.  And, woo, such a pretty blue.  Yes.

Yes, I shall buy a Thundercracker.

I took like six pictures of his jet mode and every single one was fuzzy like this. I guess my Four Loko must have kicked in just before then.

And he's a pretty great toy, all things considered, once you get past the whole relative scale thing.  He's certainly not clear of robot mode parts on his jet mode underside, but he's no boat, either.  I'd say he has amazingly small amounts of robot mode parts silhouette for being a smaller Deluxe Class toy that looks as much like the movie's design in robot mode.Everything smooshes and folds up and compacts pretty well, even though sometimes that means it's compacting up against the undersides of the wings.

Getting him in and out of both modes isn't a frustration party, either.

Thundercracker comes with a blue version of Roadbuster's okayish chainsaw.  He also comes with a sword which I am guessing is the top half of the MechTech weapon that came with Starscream's Deluxe Class toy.  There's a notch at the bottom of the sword that looks like it connects to something else.  Hmmm.

And nearly most importantly, Thundercracker is a very attractive blue.  I almost picked him off the peg with my mouth instead of my hand.
Posted May 27, 2011 at 12:05 am
The meched-out vehicle mode makes for a more film-y robot mode, at least.

A few days ago I talked about Roadbuster, and here's Topspin, who's his Wreckers NASCAR buddy.  Like Roadbuster, he's named after a guy who was a Wrecker in Generation 1, and he's even in a similar blue-and-white color scheme.  It's a nice bit of multiversal symmetry.  (The third guy, Leadfoot, is not named after a former Wrecker.  It's too bad.  "Broadside" really would have fit the red-and-white dude designed to look like a fat bearded man.  There's no deluxe Leadfoot known about at the moment, but there's bound to be one later on.)

Topspin's head looks like he has long hair and buck teeth.  Take from that what you will.

One of the conceits of the Wreckers (and perhaps Dark of the Moon vehicles as a whole) are that their vehicle modes have these halfsy weaponed-out modes.  Roadbuster's toy was "normal," or "stock," as I believe the jargon goes, but Topspin is sculpted into the halfsy weaponed-out mode.  His surface is all split and shifted with bits of tech and weaponry poking out.  In addition to his MechTech gun (which goes from crossbow gun? to claw), Topspin has four additional 5mm-pegged guns.  In robot mode, they all end up on the weird harness behind his shoulders.  It's hard to figure out exactly how this harness is supposed to be configured in robot mode, even with the instructions, but I've done my best.

One thing I didn't notice about Topspin until a second pass was that he doesn't have claw hands.  It looks like he does, but he has little sculpted "normal" hands underneath them.


The transformation isn't as clean as Roadbuster's, but it's not that much worse, really.  It just takes a few extra seconds of wiggling to get him back into vehicle mode from robot mode.  It is kind of neat how you layer his arms and legs together underneath the car mode, but still not as intriguing to me as Roadbuster's simple-yet-explodey transformation.  That, plus my affection for the "stock" version of the NASCAR alternate mode makes me prefer Roadbuster over Topspin.  There's no guarantee they'll do a "normal" Topspin, but if they do, I'll snatch him up.  I don't know much about NASCAR, but NASCAR cars do look cool.  Certainly more cool than cars in plain colors.

Wheeljack > Sideswipe
Posted May 24, 2011 at 12:57 am
Nobody can say Roadbuster isn't well-armed.

Disclaimer #1: This is my second Roadbuster.  First one snapped off its left thigh-mounted wheel when I was trying to transform it.  Be careful with that.

Disclaimer #2: I know nothing about NASCAR.

That said, this is Roadbuster!  He's a NASCAR vehicle.  He's based on a real life one, so far as I know.  Who it belongs to, I could really care less, but his signature is tampoed above the window on each side.  There's a foil sticker on the cardback that identifies this toy as official NASCAR merchandise.  And as NASCAR merchandise, he's got some sponsor logos on him.  ...well, in this toy's case, he's got sponsor logos from exactly two entities, Amp Energy Drinks and the National Guard.  I'm fairly certain, without Googling the thing, that there's probably a lot more sponsor logos filling up the large areas of space left blank on the source material.

While knowing zero about NASCAR, having sponsor logos on a car is cool to me.  Cars can be boring, and they liven up the deco.  I expect Reprolabels, once the movie comes out and we get a better look at Roadbuster, will do some Upgrade Stickers that complete his look, and I'll buy them the heck up.

Man, I'm suddenly thirsty for energy drink!

Roadbuster is a member of the Wreckers!  Roadbuster was a member of the Wreckers back in Generation 1, too, so it's sort of neat that Roadbuster-the-green-Wrecker has continued.  I expect him to last maybe two minutes in the film before gruesomely dying.  Maybe that's what'll happen in the clip they're showing us at BotCon.  I'll try not to get too attached to him.  It's not smart to get emotionally attached to Wreckers anyway, regardless of continuity.  They're there to die.

Short of that stupid wheel that snapped off my first Roadbuster, Roadbuster's a pleasure to transform.  He goes back and forth between robot and vehicle modes without incident, even all of the vehicle panels.  The only possible snag is fitting his head's antenna into the groove carved between his thighs, but that's not really a big deal.  (And, yeah, his head is designed to look like a stereotypical NASCAR fan, with a baseball cap, sunglasses, and a mullet.  The other two Wreckers have similarly-styled heads.)

He uses this to open his cans of chew.

Roadbuster's MechTech weapon isn't as inane as Sentinel Prime or Bumblebee's, but it's certainly not as cool as Ratchet's.  But then, Ratchet's sawblade kind of sets an unfairly high standard.  Roadbuster has a gun with sawblades on the side that, with the push of a lever, becomes a chainsaw.  Once you stop pressing the lever, the sawblade halves snap right back into place on the sides of the gun.  Fun, but not Ratchet fun.

Another of Roadbuster's interesting features, and one that's shared with a few other DOTM toys, are the "hidden" 5mm peghole ports for the MechTech weapons in vehicle mode.  Instead of having a big unsightly hole in the vehicle mode, that hole is filled in.  When you push the weapon peg into the hole, the filled-in-area is pushed in, and when you remove the weapon, the filled-in-area comes back out again.  If you look closely at the photograph of the vehicle mode, you can see the little circle-shaped indent in the middle of his "88"s.

(Let's see if I get more comments about not caring who the car's driver is or the English error I employ to make the point.)
Posted May 22, 2011 at 2:01 am
Don't mind me, I'm just Sergeant Chaos.

Sometimes I just buy toys because of their name.

Like Sergeant Chaos here.  He's part of a smaller-scale "Human Alliance" class of Transformers toys.  The old Human Alliance stuff stuck to established live-action movie characters like Sam and Mikaela and Epps, but this new smaller stuff is expanding out into new human characters to pair with new Transformers characters.  The humans have awesome totally-inconspicuous names like "Major Tungsten" and "Private Dedcliff" and "Sergeant Noble" and... Sergeant Chaos.  Who is a secret traitor to the Autobots and their Human Alliance!  He's paired with Icepick, who's a Decepticon who hangs with Chaos to get his awesome stolen intel.

Sergeant Chaos rides the world's largest snowmobile.

Sergeant Chaos!  I like to think that Chaos is his real last name and that he slowly worked his way up the ranks, from Private Chaos to Private First Class Chaos to Corporal Chaos and so on.  Maybe his first name is Frank?  Who knows.

Anyway, the absurdity appeals to me.  Plus his Decepticon partner transforms into a snowmobile.  A snowmobile!  So Sergeant Chaos is mine.  I boughts him.

Yeah, whatever this is.

The Sergeant Chaos figure itself has some articulation, despite its tiny size.  The head turns, of course, plus there's universal joints at the hips and shoulders, and bending knees and rotating wrists.  No elbows, but they're not really necessary.

Icepick the snowmobile is okay.  I don't have much to say about him.  I keep him in snowmobile mode, mostly.  He's just Sergeant Chaos's snowmobile, as far as I'm concerned.  Icepick also has a third attack mode where you put the treads in front and split them up into a huge sawblade.  There's a 5mm peg at the back so larger toys can hold him as a weapon.

Sergeant Chaos.
Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm
Enjoys: Logic, calling Batman "Detective"

So all of this Dark of the Moon toy review stuff has convinced one of my ad networks that my site is primarily astronomy-related. Which isn't, like, terrible, but I wonder if I type "Transformer" like 30 times, I can reverse that. Transformer! Action figures! Transformers 3! Toys! Shockwave! Optimus Prime! Megatron! Shokaract!  Lord Imperius Delirious!


Man, I want a Shockwave in Leader Class size! Though I don't rate my chances, even if there were Decepticon Leader Class toys planned. He feels like he fills the same slot as The Fallen's Voyager Class toy did, last movie. The Fallen was the big bad but never rated a larger toy, probably because he's, y'know, a villain who isn't Megatron.

So this is likely it, regardless.

Also like The Fallen, Shockwave transforms into a Cybertronic vehicle, though Shockwave's tank mode is a lot less "pile of robot mode parts in awkward sex pose" than The Fallen's jet-thing. Shockwave compacts into a pretty solid brick with a cannon and a blade on top. Everything pegs and slots together really solidly, too. Lots and lots of pegs and slots. You could smash him repeatedly into a wall and he'd stay together. (It does take a bit of excessive force to get him OUT of tank mode...)

Cybertron's vehicle designers are paid by the surface area.

The only really annoying thing about the tank is the rubber cord that runs from the tank cannon to... somewhere on the tank. It's supposed to plug somewhere, but the instructions aren't really helpful about where. It seems like it's SUPPOSED to plug into the very conspicuous 5mm peghole buried in the dead center of the vehicle, but... Well, the hole is mounted inside a barrel that's tilted a little to the right, which helps in robot mode, but in vehicle mode it just means the cord's not gonna want to fit very well. It wants to occupy the same space as the tank body, since the barrel's angling it into the tank itself. Grar.

Both the cannon and the blade can be removed, but I dunno why anybody'd want to.

Shockwave's assortment of purples are very pretty and metallic-ish. He's most beautiful purple logic-ruled emotionless mastermind ever. Which... doesn't exactly match what we've seen of him in promotional renders and the trailers, where he's basically gunmetal gray like every other Decepticon ever. But I'm pretty okay with the inaccuracy. He's neat-looking.

EDIT: Oh, hey, apparently Hasbro's putting up transformation demonstration videos.  Here's Shockwave's.  Neat.

EDIT 2: And also apparently I've been plugging  his wire in the wrong place, if the video's accurate.  Hrm.
Posted May 19, 2011 at 2:02 am
Who knew Megatron was so fashion conscious?

There's been a new Voyager Megatron for each live-action movie, and this is the first one I've bought.  I always stuck with the Leader Class Megatrons, for good or ill.  Why did I buy this one?  Apparently we're not GETTING a bigger Megatron.  I will be very happy if the Hasbro folks at Toy Fair had misspoken, but for now I'll have to make do with this smaller guy.

I'd stay with one of my older, larger Megatrons, but the design of this new Megatron really appeals to me.  After movie 1's Cybertronic jet and movie 2's Cybertronic tank, this is live-action Megatron's first Earth mode.  He transforms into a big tanker truck.  A big tanker truck with a tarp over the back.  A tarp that becomes a hooded cape in robot mode.

Hooded cape!

Oh, great, he's naked.

Judging by the way Megatron's face is sculpted, it seems he retains the physical damage Optimus Prime (plus Jetfire corpse) inflicted on him at the end of Revenge of the Fallen.  So, vain creature that he apparently is, Megatron covers up the wrecked side of his face with his  hooded cape and has retreated to somewhere on Earth as a tanker truck.  Which is pretty bad ass.  How many Transformers come with articles of clothing?  Articles of clothing that TRANSFORM?  During the transformation from robot to truck mode, the hood rotates into the interior of the rest of the cape and the resulting shape fits nicely over the back end of the truck.

Another awesome thing about the toy: in truck mode, his trailer is somewhat articulated, even though that area is Megatron's thighs.  You can wiggle the trailer half of the tanker truck to and fro, independent of the cab.  I forgot to take a photo of this because I am a dumbass.  Maybe I'll rectify that later.

It's nice to have a movie Megatron with vehicle mode parts.  That's just satisfying in itself.

He's like the covered straws they put in your cocktails at drive-thru alcohol shops.

Like the rest of the Deluxe-and-larger Dark of the Moon toys, Megatron comes with a MechTech weapon.  His is his arm-cannon, of course, and it's formed from the front half of his tanker.  Plug it into his arm, yank the ladder, and the cylinder opens up into a claw.  Unlike the Deluxe MechTech weapons, the Voyager MechTech weapons can retain their open configuration.  Play with the ladder a bit and the claws will stay deployed.  If you want to put the cannon away, you can plug it into his back.

*yoink* "Nooooo, you can't see my ugliness!"

The transformation is complex but not annoying.  There's lots of twists and turns, and it's pretty satisfying to have to break up vehicle mode kibble here and there on a movie Megatron toy.  The prior movie Megatron toys didn't really have to do that sorta stuff since they transformed from one pile of detail into another.

It's just too bad that he's not bigger.  I hope  Hasbro changes their mind, or were lying or whatever, and we get a big-ass Leader Class toy of this design later down the road.  For now, though, this Megatron will have to face off against Twilight Prime and his moon nipples.
Posted May 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm
This Optimus Prime is actually an allegory for sexual abstinence.

Ha ha ha ha, let's start off my Dark of the Moon reviews with stuff recycled from the first and second movies.  That's kinda anti-appropriate, no?

This Walmart-exclusive pair is something we found out about only a few days ago, which is an amazing feat in today's world of action figure theft espionage.  How often does that happen, really, where a toy isn't known about until it shows up in stores?  Just about never?  Yeah.  And what a crazy pair of toys.  ...which is why I craved them, of course.  Let me enumerate the many ways in which they are crazy.

Of course, Dark of the Moon is going to be involving all sorts of  moony and spacey stuff.  Well, what about an Optimus Prime toy with the reflections of stars and the moon on the surface of his body?  "Twilight sparkles," to coin a phrase, trail up and down the sides of the truck mode, and more appear scattered across his windshield, with a very clear moon decoed in the corner of one of his windows.  He's spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace Prrrriiiiiiiiiiime!  (in space!)  The sparkling and the moon imagery kind of make him an unintended, unwanted callout to the Twilight series.  Look, he doesn't want to cut off your face!  He wants to take care of you and not eat you and absolutely not have sex with you!  Look how he shines.

So if Comettor spends all his time on the moon, and the moon is reflected in Prime's windshield, does that mean their toys can't ever actually interact?

How could I not own that?

What made it more appealing is that this deco treatment is on a version of Optimus Prime that I didn't have.  This is the Voyager Class Optimus from last year's post-Revenge of the Fallen toyline, with the flip-out blades and the chest-stored Matrix of Leadership.  I passed it up then because, well, I didn't need a Prime at that scale.  But this year, I kinda think I do.  Shockwave and Megatron this year are mere Voyager Class, and word from Hasbro at this year's Toy Fair was that they weren't considering doing them in a bigger size.  No Decepticons planned in Leader Class scale.  Fooey on that, man!  So I might as well get a Voyager Prime so my Voyager Megatron and Shockwave have somebody to interact with.  I choose Twilight Prime to fill this slot with no regrets.

Other than the star reflections, Twilight Prime has other differences from last year's use of the mold.  The toy came out in Japan with hooks instead of swords, and it's that version of the toy that's being used here.  (He also has a face instead of the mouthplate.  TFwiki doesn't mention it in the writeup for the Japanese release of the toy, so I'm uncertain whether this head is new or if it's just a dumb omission on the wiki's part.)  I've never owned a movie Prime toy with the hooks or the face, so those are other things that attracted me to it.

I'm a moon buggy, honest!

The toy itself is unsurprisingly complex.  Have you ever tried to transform the Leader Class ROTF Optimus Prime?  Well, Voyager Prime is designed to be the same toy, but smaller.  The robot mode explodes into a pile of parts and reassembles itself into a truck.  With the necessary aid of the instructions, I assure you.  You can't touch it with your thumb without feeling a joint or moving part.

Twilight Optimus Prime comes with a "bonus value" deluxe toy, Comettor.  Comettor is a redeco of the first movie's Landmine, which was one of the Sector Seven vehicles from the film re-envisioned as a Transformer.  It's a real Earth vehicle, albeit modified.  And guess what?  Now it's a moon buggy!  Or so the packaging claims, anyway.  Ha ha ha ha.  That also amuses me.  Comettor is an Autobot who transforms into a moon buggy that Optimus Prime counts on for assistance when he has to go to the Moon to fight Decepticons.  And so the old Movie 1 Landmine toy is redone up in moonish almost-white with some gold.  Even the wheels are painted over in white.  Because, y'know, moon buggy.

You're not gonna be pegging any MechTech weapons into this guy.

Whatever the intention, the toy is, at the very least, pretty.  White and gold with some black'll do that.  And since he's the old Landmine toy, he still transforms relatively easy and cleanly.  All four wheels have springs in their suspensions, so if you want you could bounce him around like he's in low-grav.

But let's get down to the real clincher.  This Voyager plus "bonus value" Deluxe toy is $17.77 for the pair.  That's a whole dollar less than a DOTM Voyager by itself costs at Walmart!  Comettor costs negative one dollars!  So, yeah, I bought the Hell out of it.  Looking for this set was the reason why Graham and I went out searching again late last night to Walmarts we'd already been to, in the hopes that they'd started putting their DOTM stock out.  Two Walmarts failed us, but the final one was good to us.  We found a dozen of him on an endcap.

I love this goofy lunar Prime.  And I know that he loves me, too.  I can tell by the way that he won't kill me.
Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:00 am
Our first and also last stop of the past day, 24 hour time lapse.

It's May 16.  I think Graham and I just spent the last 24 hours looking for Transformers: Dark of the Moon stuff.  Sure, there was a sleep break.  And we probably ate at some point.  And we took a few moments here and there to open some toys.  But that was a midnight-to-midnight deal we just wrapped up.

I gotta tell ya, this sure wasn't 2007.  In 2007, we woke up, went to a Toys "R" Us, a Target, and a Walmart, hoping to pick up each of their native exclusives as well as the general releases, and that was just a three-store run.  We were done by lunch.

Not so with Movie 3, nosirree.  It wasn't totally surprising that Walmart wasn't putting up Transformers 3 toys at the crack of midnight.  They're not Ethan.  And so in the wee hours of the night, Meijer was the only real game in town.  But was surprising was that, nearly 24 hours later, most of those same Walmarts still had nothing!  Several didn't even have their old product cleared away to make room!  And forget Targets.  Even though they definitely have the toys out back (I should know!), searching them was a waste of time.  Only Toys"R"Us, the old standby, was consistently good to us. Not that, like, they had anything Transformers on the feature wall.  No, that's still dedicated to Pokemon Black and White.

Most of my haul, plus some of Graham's.

Is this the general malaise that sets in on the third movie of a franchise?  And, yeah, Revenge of the Fallen was not a beloved movie, but its many faults didn't hurt sales at all, that's for sure.  The last two Transformers movies have been like Christmas in July for retailers.

At any rate, after much searching, some of it redundant once we started backtracking to Walmarts previously hit under premature circumstances, I did manage to find everything that I was out looking for.  Plus a few impulse buys.  I've had a pretty good haul.  It's no '07 haul, but it's a good haul.  And if it were the '07 haul, it woulda taken about 20 hours fewer.

Seriously, screw a Target.

(If you want to see a list of everywhere I hit in the past 24 hours, check out my Foursquare history.   It paints a picture of... something.  And it may not be flattering.)
Posted May 9, 2011 at 12:59 am
Lookit me, wiling my way into pre-street date Dark of the Moon toys!  I'm like a DPCI ninja.

Here's the new Bumblebee.  Normally I'd be satisfied with my old Bumblebee, but the third movie gives him an altered vehicle mode and a retooled robot mode, so I kinda need a representation of the "current" version.  Now Bumblebee has a little skirt on the front of his bumper and a new spoiler, plus this toy has those little NASCARish grills in place of the side windows.

(Disclaimer: I know very, very little about NASCAR.)

Oddly, during the transformation to robot mode, the NASCARish grills stay attached to the back kibble and translucent blue windows fold up in their place for robot mode.  These blue windows are only for robot mode, and cannot be used in vehicle mode.  Weird!  Movie 3 Bumblebee also has a new, bulkier torso design that this toy tries to replicate the details of.  Pieces of the front bumper skirt fold up into new abs for Bumblebee, while the sides of front of the car still fold out and up.

I am told that this mold is very similar to last year's "Battle Blades Bumblebee," a reportedly fantastic toy that I skipped 'cuz I knew Bumblebee was getting an upgraded form in a year.  Some say this toy is a slightly scaled-down version of Battle Blades Bee, but I don't have Battle Blades Bee to compare with.  Regardless of its creation history, this version of Bumblebee is pretty easy to get back and forth from robot mode.  ...compared to previous Bumblebees, anyway.  The first Concept Camaro Bumblebee from the first movie was a relative chore!  I don't mean to say that this toy is simple, no, because it's not, but it's complex in a way that everything fits together neatly and transforms logically and cleanly.  What seems to aid the toy's transformation, versus the prior Bumblebees, are the way the front wheels fold out of the way entirely during transformation, allowing the arms to maneuver out freely.  And large parts of the car's roof fold up into a big ball of stuff which hangs off his back... which definitely gets it out of the way, though it can look inelegant in robot mode.  This kibble snaps back into vehicle mode very easily, which is a trait that I believe makes up for any ugliness.

Bumblebee's forearms have "c joint" rods so you can attach clippy weapons on there.  I'm glad that functionality is continuing.

And finally, we get to Bumblebee's MechTech weapon.  Ratchet's, if you recall, was glorious.  I couldn't stop playing with it.  Bumblebee's isn't nearly as great.  All pressing on its lever accomplishes is open up the gun into a larger gun.  When you're done pressing on the lever, the gun reverts back to its brickish form.  Not a single spinny saw!  Oh well.  It can plug into 5mm ports on his forearms, be held in either of his hands (the thumbs open a tiny smidge), or they can be pegged into hidden 5mm ports in his back kibble, which, when mistransformed, extends the weapon over his shoulder.

It's a very good movie Bumblebee.  It's probably not the BEST movie Bumblebee, since the very awesome deployable battle mask of Battle Blades Bumblebee is missing from this version, but it's definitely up there.  Perhaps it's the second best.  I own a very small fraction of all movie Bumblebees, so I can't give a real informed opinion on that.

There are a lot of movie Bumblebees.
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