Posts tagged with "drag strip" - 1
Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:01 pm

I've had enough of these Combiner Wars guys to make a full combiner since Christmas, but I didn't have the right components to make an official team until Thursday.  And so I figured I'd wait to talk about the combined forms until then, when I could show off a completed group.  The first two waves of Combiner Wars staggered the teams, with one or two missing members of the two completable teams held off until the second wave.  (Optimus Prime being a third wheel.)  

Here are the Stunticons!  There are four of the original members here, with two new members of the team.  Wildrider has been replaced by Offroad, partially for "we lost the trademark" reasons and partially for "wouldn't it be nice if one of these guys weren't a sports car" reasons.  You gotta vary up your allotted retail space.  Offroad himself is sculpted to be a new Ruckus, a Triggercon from the late Eighties, but it was determined for one reason or another that his toy would instead become a new guy in colors that would look like Wildrider when in combined mode.  (I think "Ruckus" itself is another lost trademark, but I'm not sure.)  

The other new member of the team is Blackjack, who was originally a Micromaster from the Sports Car Patrol, but is now the guy who forms Menasor's chest.  The original Menasor had a little black car-like drone on his chest that came with Motormaster, the semi truck torso guy, and Blackjack is the new approximation of that.  The new Blackjack toy itself, like Offroad, was sculpted to be a different guy, Runabout, the Battlecharger.  But they didn't have the trademark to that guy the last time a Runabout toy was made (he was a Transformers Collectors' Club exclusive renamed Over-Run), so that toy became another small black car, Blackjack.  S'just as well, since I'm not ready to replace my Over-Run yet, and am happy to have a new Blackjack.  

(Blackjack doesn't fit super securely on many people's Menasors, but mine is snug enough.)

Wildrider won't be completely forgotten, as he's getting a limited release through online retailers(?) as a Dead End head-retool named Brake-Neck. 

Like the Aerialbot limbs, the Stunticons share some engineering ideas.  Offroad transforms the way most Combiner Wars limbs do so far, with the head placed at the far end of the combiner connector piece, the front of the vehicle folding over onto the back of the robot, the arms splitting off from the sides of the vehicle, and the legs pulling out from the rear.  Dead End and Breakdown differ similarly from this formula in that their heads are not attached to the connector piece at all, but are hidden under the hood of the car during vehicle mode, attached to the front of the torso which wraps over the tops of the shoulders and over the connector piece in robot mode.  Drag Strip's head is done similarly, but without the chest wrapping part.  

Breakdown is super obviously going to be Sunstreaker eventually.  He looks like Breakdown, sure enough, and there aren't really any compromises on Sunstreaker's behalf, but Breakdown's foot/hand/gun is Sunstreaker's car engine thruster dealio, and it can peg onto Breakdown's back appropriately, as well as slot into Breakdown's car mode in a way that better approximates Sunstreaker's vehicle mode than the usual orientation.  Breakdown will likely get some new parts, like a head and chest, and some new colors and be a pretty good Sunstreaker.  

The highlight of these guys, however, is the combination engineering,  The connection points are a dream.  There's no shoving or excessive force, and yet it's incredibly sturdy and poseable.  I'm in awe of its simplicity.  You really can play with the larger combined robot as if it were a single entity, without fear of anything falling off.  (With the exception of Blackjack for some people, as mentioned above.)  

This is probably pretty good, since this is a line titled Combiner Wars, so the combining should probably work.

Posted December 25, 2014 at 11:01 pm

The Transformers action figure toyline theme this coming year is Combiner Wars, which means most everything combines with other things.  Everything in the Deluxe and Voyager size classes become limbs and torsos, respectively, and a few things in the Legends size class become weapons or armor for the combined robot.

Which is super great if you have more than just four Deluxes!  I got too clever for myself this past week or so. got in the Combiner Wars Voyagers, and so I ordered them and got them shipped to myself... in California.  It's Christmas, y'see, and so we visit the in-laws down in San Diego most every year.  Maggie goes out there earlier, while I stay behind a few extra days to finish up work.  And so I thought I was being super crafty, getting those toys to myself on the other side of the continent.  Until I got super sick and couldn't fly out to California.  It was just me and the cat this year.  Well, me, the cat, a turkey, and the Combiner Wars Deluxes I had preordered from Big Bad Toy Store, which arrived here while I was stuck in Ohio as the torsos arrived in California.  

So I have some limbs.

No torsos.  But some limbs.

There's three aircraft (which belong to Superion) and one car (which belongs to Menasor), and they all transform basically the same.  You fold the arms up alongside the vehicle, collapse the shins around the thighs, and cover the head with the front of the vehicle.  The legs of the aircraft sort of accordion into themselves after opening up the shins, rather than the literal collapsing of the car's legs, but it's all the same formula.  No actual shared pieces, but very similar engineering.  And it sort of makes sense -- these are all based on guys from 1986, who all transformed fairly similarly then for the same reason they do now: they all have to become limbs that are exactly the same size and proportion.  You can't have a combiner robot guy with one leg longer than the other.  And each guy can become any of the four limbs, so there has to be a common pattern between them at some denominator.  

Each guy also comes with a rifle and a second much bulkier double-barreled weapon that also transforms into either a foot or a fist.  It's a step up over the original versions of these guys, who came with extra foot or fist pieces you just sort of set aside when not in use.  Here at least the feet/fists have something they can do when they're not being feet or fists.  

My favorite of the four is Alpha Bravo.  He's a replacement for Slingshot (who was the only Aerialbot I owned as a child), partly because "Slingshot" isn't a trademark Hasbro owns anymore and partly because four Deluxe-sized jets who all transform nigh-identically is kind of overkill.  Three (Air Raid is in wave 2) is kind of pushing it already.  Alpha Bravo's a helicopter and so he's also super obviously just the Combaticon Vortex in Slingshot's colors.  I like Alpha Bravo best because he's a new character who's a little orange and also because he makes a better helicopter than the two other aircraft are jets.  Jets are flat things and don't lend themselves well to robots (unless you open up like a cootie catcher akin to live-action Starscream) or combiner robot limbs.  Helicopters are taller and rounder and can contain robot parts better.  ...even if Alpha Bravo's arms just peg onto the sides and hope they hide themselves behind those missiles sculpted on his arms.

Drag Strip's a pretty good car, sure, but Alpha Bravo's weapons integrate better into his vehicle mode than Drag Strip's.  And maybe Drag Strip also needs to get drawn by Sarah Stone before I pay attention to him.

Posted February 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm
BotCon's continued to roll out the exclusive toy previews.  Last week we got Breakdown, who is roughly the fifteen millionth Breakdown BotCon has done in its time.  But the first in G1 colors!  And the first that referenced his head design in the original cartoon, which was entirely different from the one his toy had.

But I've sort of hit Breakdown saturation, so I didn't blog about it.

This week, though, I'm excited again.  BotCon's revealed their third toy, Drag Strip, who's also in original Drag Strip colors. a girl.  Ha ha ha.  She's been female-ized!  There's only so many sports car molds in the Animated toyline, see, and Arcee happened to be one of them.  So this is a thing that has happened.

I'm actually all for it.  Arcee's a great mold, and the Transformers universe can use more chicks.  Especially yellow ones.  The BotCon Twitter feed seems to suggest she's characterized as Kill Bill's the Black Mamba, who was also a sword-wielding yellow chick.  Watch out for your eyes!

NOTE: No, you are not the first and/or only person to come here and make a HUR HUR DRAG AMIRITE?? joke.  They tire me.  They will be deleted.  If you want them, try every single other Transformers forum or blog on the face of the planet.
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