Posts tagged with "fall of cybertron" - 2
Posted December 12, 2012 at 12:36 am
I was about to remark how there's five whole new dudes in this third wave of Fall of Cybertron figures, but there were five new dudes in the previous wave, too, plus five new dudes in the wave following.  So I guess that's actually situation normal, and not some weird aberration.  What is still remarkable is the huge-ass new weapons that this wave's guys have.   Three out of the five are retools of guys from the first wave but with new giant things to tote around.  I presume this is the result of the growing pains the pricepoint has been in for the past tiny bit.  As the pricepoint skips up to $15, Hasbro's able to shove in more.  The first uses of these molds were on the low-end of the bell curve as far as deluxes go, but now they're bulked up in mass a bit.

I can't scoff at the $5 raise.  $15 in Today Money is equal to $10 in Past Money.  Proportionally I'm paying the same amount for these things as I was in 1999.  And in 1999 I was a poor college student who could barely afford Chef Boyardee, so I'm putting this one in the Win column.

It is surprising to me how much I like Sideswipe.  I didn't hate Jazz or anything, but I seem to like Sideswipe (who Jazz was retooled into) so much more.  I don't even like Sideswipe much!  Sideswipe is boring!  And I love Jazz.  But Sideswipe just appeals.  Maybe it's the smoother car mode.  Maybe it's the colors.  Maybe it's the large-ass gun.  I dunno.

It's the exact same transformation as Jazz, but nearly the entire car mode has been reskinned.  I assume all the bumper-to-hood-to-roof-to-spoiler parts were on one moldset, and that's been swapped out for a different moldset that poops out a different car design.  This is awesome.   I hope to see more retools like this. Sideswipe is retooled to look like his car mode from the game, though Jazz's transformation gives him a different robot mode.

Sideswipe's new huge-ass gun is a Path Blaster, a weapon from the game which isn't nearly this huge.  But I don't care that it's oversized, because the Path Blaster is named after the Pathblaster from the Marvel UK stories, which was indeed huge.  And wielded by Roadbuster.  Who's in the next wave.  The design looks nothing like the old Pathblaster, but I'm still totes giving this thing to Roadbuster when I get him.

The only thing I actively dislike about Sideswipe are his eyes.  I like his new head, but his eyes aren't so much eyes as they are black gouges on his face.  He looks as if he has expired.  I might try painting them, if there's anything there to paint and the eyesockets aren't portals to some cruel dimension of pain.

(My Jazz has the Reprolabels upgrade set, so he may not look just like yours.)
Posted July 26, 2012 at 12:54 am
Phew!  I'm finally to Part Five of Bruticus.  Unlike the other four, Onslaught doesn't become any number of limbs.  He's limited to being the torso/head/thighs.  Someone's gotta have all the male connection ports!

I am a little saddened by Onslaught, but not because of Onslaught himself.  No, I'm sad in advance for Impactor.  I've always wanted an Impactor toy.  (Well, where "always" means "since about 1997," when I learned the Marvel UK stuff existed.)  But Onslaught's robot mode has some problems, and I want Impactor to be amaaaaaazing.  And if Onslaught's not amazing, then neither will Impactor.

Technically, Onslaught only has two problems.  His forearms.  They are attached to his elbows by tiiiny ball joints.  But his elbows are attached to his biceps by some very stiff ratcheting rotational joints.  I think you know where this is leading.  You try to move his forearms, his forearms are more likely to pop off than to move, because that's the path of least resistance.  It's supremely annoying.

Maybe the plastic tolerances on Impactor will be different, and his arms will be fine!  Who knows.  But it irks me.

The arms are what get in the way of the other modes, too.  They just sorta hang underneath his ribcage in torso mode (though they peg in place) and in truck mode you have to cover them up with his weapon or else he's a truck with arms on his hood.

The rest of Onslaught's robot mode has no problems.  Sure, he obviously has Bruticus' pelvis hanging off the back of his ass even when seen from the front, but I can overlook that.  And don't look at him from the back because of the whole Bruticus head thing, but Transformers rarely look nice from that angle anyway.   (I do wish you could plug in his gun behind his head, as you could the original Onslaught.  You can in Bruticus mode, as is intended, but the Bruticus head gets in the way of it happening when Onslaught is in robot mode.)

His truck mode is not great.  Well... it's better than it looks, and how it looks is "less good 1986 Kup pickup truck mode."   Again, I care less about this re: Onslaught, and moreso about future Impactor, who hasn't had a toy before.  It's definitely its own thing and not a recreation of 1985 Onslaught's very long military truck mode.  Like Brawl, Onslaught was a pre-existing design for the previous Transformers game, so the designers didn't have as much leeway, and instead the torso mode had to be kind of shoehorned out of him.  If you've seen his truck mode from War for Cybertron, you'll see that it suffers the most.

The torso mode though is everything Bruticus needs, however.  It's the most important thing Onslaught does.  He's the torso, which means he has to hold everything together.  He can't be the weak link, and he's not.  He pegs together very stiffly so that the whole thing doesn't fall apart under its own weight.  This is a good reason for him to be a Deluxe instead of a Voyager or larger -- if he were any bigger, this thing would be hella unstable.

FOC Onslaught is not a great toy of the Onslaught character.  But he's a fantastic Bruticus torso.  Given a choice between the two, I think this toy chose wisely.

At least Impactor will be orange.  Orange absolves a lot of sins.
Posted July 25, 2012 at 2:25 am

It's my last limb to talk about!  Vortex is #4.  And as the title of today's blog reminds us, that helicopter blade is basically Bruticus' raison d'etre.  Historically all the other guys are pretty much blocks with vehicle details sculpted into them, but Vortex brings propellers!  It's how you know Bruticus is Bruticus!  (Except for when he's Defensor.)

Vortex isn't terribly interesting to talk about.  It's not like he has a terrible robot mode or a terrible copter mode or a terrible arm mode or a terrible leg mode.  He does those all well enough!  Sufficiently, even!  Not memorably, no, but sufficiently!  And that's his deal.

The only sticking point about his robot mode is where his propellers end up.  On the original Vortex and in the video game model for FOC Vortex, the propellers end up out of the way on his back.  But on the toy, due to the transformation, the propellers end up on his forearm.  It's not a terrible place for propellers to be -- they could be sweet arm blades or something.  But they're not placed on his forearm with any amount of grace, and so they just look kind of awkward.  Also, they make his dual swords feel kind of redundant.  Why carry a sword when the damn blades embedded in your arm eclipse them?

He's a pretty good arm.  He's not a great hand.  I generally like open-palmed hand sculpts, but that's because they tend to look more natural than a fist.  But a hand sculpted straight open so that you can waffle the thumb to one side or the other so it can serve as either a right or left hand... that doesn't look terribly natural.  So Vortex is, by default, the "Kung Fu Chop" hand.  That's what it looks like it's for.  Not exactly something I imagine to be one of Bruticus' signature moves, but hey.

He also makes a pretty good leg.

Not sure why he's green.

(Note: I was dumb and mixed up Brawl and Swindle's guns.  I'll fix it in the TFwiki photos, but fixing it here will be a chore and I'm just that lazy enough, so just imagine them being swapped.)
Posted July 24, 2012 at 12:43 am
Fall of Cybertron Brawl is probably the weirdest of the Bruticus limbs.  Part of his weirdness I'm sure stems from him being one of the designs from the first game.  Unlike Swindle, Vortex, and Blast Off, Brawl already had a set robot mode and vehicle mode which they  had to incorporate into the design for Bruticus, instead of being able to start from scratch.  And I really liked the design from the first game!  ... but this isn't a particularly good toy of it.

The culprit is, obviously, him having to be both an arm and a leg in addition to the hovertank and robot modes already given him.  And for this to happen, apparently he's mostly backpack, with some dragging coattails.   Brawl's robot mode is small and spindly, which is very not like the giant massive titan seen in the first game.  His giantness probably took some influence from the live-action movie Brawl, who was a giant green guy with two barrels on his back, versus the original Brawl, who was a normal-sized green guy with one barrel on his back.  Incorporating new ideas into older characters, especially those who are as blank slate-y as Brawl, is something I enjoy, so I was happy to see that.  But most of that is lost in this toy's interpretation of the design.

It's an awkward robot mode.  Easily the worst robot mode of the set of five.  He's not good at standing, either.

Thankfully, his leg and arm modes are interesting enough to compensate a little!  His default limb is the left leg.  It's not quite just the tank mode stood on its ass like Swindle and Blast Off are.  There's some stuff to do with the turret and the rear-end of the tank, plus you gotta fold down a foot.  Mercifully, the foot pegs into notches on the robot arms.  Otherwise, the foot is too floppy to support his weight.

Like the foot mode, Brawl's arm mode is also not just the tank mode with a fist attached at the end.  In fact, most of the tank mode isn't used for the arm itself at all.  The legs of the robot fold down and out from the tank mode and form the arm itself.  Two sets of two fingers deploy from the sides of the super robot's wrist, and which sided arm you're making him into determines which of his feet you unfold as his thumb.  It's neat looking.  Though it does result in the double-barreled turret pointing at Bruticus' own head.

Posted July 23, 2012 at 12:28 am
In G1, Blast Off's toy was a brownish-black shuttle with some purple.  The cartoon character model made him a lighter brown.  So I guess that's where Fall of Cybertron Blast Off gets his entirely-caramel coloration from, probably?    I'm not skewing more towards caramel than black was a great decision, 'cuz enough of Bruticus is beige already.

FOC Blast Off is still a shuttle, insomuch as a hunk of caramel sculpting detail with what could generously be called wings is a shuttle.  I think the shape of the wings are what makes him still feel like a shuttle versus some other kind of flying craft.  Otherwise, he's kind of out there.  He's really just a pile of shapes.

Stand up the shuttle mode on its ass and fold back the wings, and you have his leg mode.

Unlike Swindle, Blast Off's robot mode has a little more going on, transformation wise.  The body of the jet becomes his chest, the wings fold out and down to become his legs, and the thruster/tailfin area in the back become his massive shoulders, from under which come his arms.  It's a pretty good robot mode.   He comes with two rifles with little wings on them.  (When they're plugged into the tops of his wings in vehicle mode, they provide extra tailfins, because I guess the seven he has already aren't enough.)

It's the arm mode of Blast Off that causes all the headscratching, though!  His arm mode is suuuuuper long.  One half of each of his arm mode's fist are in each of his heels, with an optional thumb for either-handed mode tucked in next to them.  You extend Blast Off's robot mode legs, peg the halves of the fists together, and that whole leg assembly hangs off the entirety of the rest of Blast Off's shuttle mode.  It looks mistransformed.

And, sure, you can try to shorten him a little if you're okay with putting some terrible stress marks on him.  His lower legs double up on his thighs during transformation to shuttle mode, and you can try to do that in arm mode as well, but there will be complications.  Namely, you gotta connect the halves of the super robot's fist together, and this can only happen at an angle.  There's a hook in one leg and a place for the hook to grab onto, meaning you can force it and it mostly won't pull apart, but that's gonna, again, cause some structural damage.  So do that at your own risk.  I recommend not.

Blast Off also has a rotational joint in this mode in mid-fuselage.  Not sure exactly what it's for.  It seems irrelevant to everything, except maybe as a superfluous and mostly unnecessary bicep rotational joint for arm mode.  S'kinda weird.
Posted July 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm
Still not sure how I should attack the individual members of Bruticus here.  Individually?  In groups?  Ah well.  Let's try Swindle and see how that works out.

Swindle's the simplest of the Fall of Cybertron Combaticons and the most like the original Scramble City-style combiner components.  His vehicle mode is a brick, it transforms pretty standardly into robot mode (hood folds down into chest, rear of vehicle folds out into legs, robot arms pull from the sides), and his leg and arm modes are basically bricks as well.  This isn't a knock on him!  It's actually kind of nice.  The rest of the limbs go through crazy gymnastics to get into each mode, so Swindle is like a mini-vacation from them.  Want to go from vehicle mode to leg mode?  Stand it up on its ass!  Want to go from leg mode to arm mode?  Flip out one of the hands!

And, yeah, he can do both the left and the right arm.  There's a differently-thumbed fist inside each robot mode leg.  The fist is sculpted in a relaxed position with a 5mm peghole in there.

If there's a downside to him, it's his robot mode shoulders.  I wish they folded upwards more!  As-is, his shoulders are kinda slumpy.  He's also one of the biggest robot modes of the set of five (tied with Onslaught), which is kind of odd for Swindle, who should be the smallest, but it makes sense considering how no-nonsense his transformation is.  He's efficient.  (His size'll work out pretty well when this mold is later used for Roadbuster.)

Apparently a few people have broken the tabs that connect the halves of his vehicle mode together more securely?  This is not something I have experienced, but folks should be careful.

Oh, and maybe I should talk about the combiner connector ports.  They're very similar, to my recollection, to the original Scramble City-style connectors, but without using the heads of the robots.  Onslaught has four block-shaped pegs on him, and each of the limbs has a connector piece that snaps around those blocks.   The connector piece isn't one solid mechanism, but a claptrap of different walls of plastic that close around the block.  It takes some force to remove and connect the limbs, which is probably a good thing.

If I could change one thing about the toy, it's that I'd put a peghole on his right robot mode arm so I could mount his gun on there cartoon-style.

This is your chance to get all your Fred Willard jokes out of your system.
Posted July 18, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Look, I have a lot of toys to talk about, but we have to get this little thing out of the way first.  In the "Are We Sure This Isn't A BotCon Exclusive Idea?" Department, Hasbro's retooling Fall of Cybertron Bruticus as, well, the Wreckers.  The torso is now Impactor, with a new Impactor head and a new handheld harpoon gun.  Impactor's never gotten a toy before.  He was a Marvel UK-only character that recently got new exposure in Last Stand of the Wreckers.  The limbs are the Jumpstarters and the Deluxe Autobots.  Topspin and Twintwist haven't gotten new toys since 1985.  Roadbuster and Whirl have had plenty of new toys since then, but none with their actual heads.

And the head of this combiner, dubbed Ruination, is based on Emirate Xaaron, another previously non-toy guy.

And and the chest of Ruination has the old BotCon Wreckers logo, the blue Autobot symbol with the hammer forehead.
Plus with a dark blue helicopter, a green jeep, a light blue tank, and a white shuttle, the toy seems to serve as an homage to Robots in Disguise Ruination as well, with the orange/golden chest of the Car Robots version seen in the animation.  This thing is an homage within an homage baked inside another  homage.  An homage turducken.

Seriously, what in the hell.  Mind, this is a good "what in the hell," but what in the hell regardless.

My only reservations are that Xaaron is not the best head choice for a giant combiner thingy of murder.  He was a politician at worst and a resistance movement figurehead at best.  But still.  Xaaron head.  It's hard to complain.  (Plus no matter what continuity we're talking about, at least two of these guys are dead.)

But, yeah.  I will buy this.  I will lick it.  It makes no sense, but I don't care.  Rule of Cool overrides all else.  Why is it not next spring yet, I put to you folks.  I think TFWiki needs a new category for "Things That Should Not Be Normal Retail Releases Yet Somehow Are."
Posted July 18, 2012 at 1:45 am

THIS GUY IS FIVE DUDES, so for my own sanity I'll just talk about the combined form of Bruticus for now, and wing back to the individual Combaticons later.

Is this some magical forgotten way of transforming this arm that I discovered and couldn't replicate? Or is this configuration silently breaking my toy without me knowing?

First:  I was pretty sure Blast Off's arm was mistransformed in all of the stock photography.  His arm mode was twice as long as Vortex's and his elbow was at Bruticus's thighs.  And for all the world it looks like you can fold his legs up in on themselves and shorten his arm.  Which I did!  And then undid.  And then did again, but possibly with more trouble.  But, uh, either one or both of these attempts left a huge stress mark across the plastic because it takes some incredible forcing to get both halves of the forearm together when they're doubled up on themselves, because of angles.  And so I don't recommend that.  Perhaps the first time I did it I found some magical work-around that didn't damage my toy.  Or maybe I was just delirious from the joy of having him.  The instructions tell you to transform him the long-armed way.  Maybe he's just not a great arm and would make a better leg.

Bruticus graciously has some pegs and holes in his thighs which improve his stability.  These lock him into a standing position, but I feel these are intentionally optional.  If you want to bend his legs forward at the hips, you can so long as you unlock him.  For a toy as large and unwieldy as Bruticus, this is goodness.

He has a waist joint.  This is amazing.  I mean, it's just Onslaught's, but it's still there.

Each and every limb can form any of the other limbs.  There's either duplicate thumbs for swapping in, or the thumbs themselves can fold over to the other side of the hand Optimal-Optimus style.

At least three of his five components are some variant of beige.  I can see why the retail version is going for brighter, more distinct colors.  The last thing the toy shelves need is a wall of brown.

Like RID Ruination, the 2001 retool of the original Bruticus, this Bruticus can merge all his individual components' weapons into a larger weapon.  This is excellent, though when held by the super-long Blast Off arm (Vortex doesn't have a fist hole) it kind of looks ridiculous.  You can peg the extra weapons on Bruticus's back easy as you please.

I wish Brawl's foot mode had a tougher ankle joint.  That foot collapses like nothing.

TL;DR: An amazing combiner with an insane amount of thought put into it, with some very minor grievances.
Posted July 11, 2012 at 12:30 am
A question that repeats in my brain is "why the hell does this jazz exist the last one was the best ever pretty sure."  RTS Jazz was a great mold, and pretty definitively Jazz, and probably couldn't be topped for "G1 Jazz toy" until a Masterpiece comes out at some point, and maybe not even then.

Of course, the answer I have to shove back in that question's face is, "Fall of Cybertron Jazz isn't G1 Jazz."  I mean, sure, this design has been repurposed AS G1 Jazz in the current IDW comics, and it looks more like a G1 Jazz than a design from the universe he's intended to be from, but it's still the case.  This is the "Aligned" continuity Jazz, the universe Transformers Prime is located in, as well as the War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron video games.  This is the Jazz who was Orion Pax's best friend before the war.  Organizationally, he'd go on my Prime shelf.  He's technically a new character.

But still, comparisons still battle in my mind, not unlike when I got Prime Wheeljack not so long after G1 Wheeljack.  And then,  y'know, the size.  RTS Jazz was a pretty friggin' huge Deluxe, and FOC Jazz is a pretty small Deluxe.  He's no Scout, but he's definitely less massive.  And while RTS Jazz's transformation is pretty standard and been-there-done-that, FOC Jazz is streamlined even more.  His entire car mode roof and rear is pretty much a shell that Automorphs onto his back, with his legs tucking underneath.  The only manual transforming you really have to do is folding down his feet and rotating his arms at the elbow.

Things I do really like, however: He's blue!  The Jazz of my childhood was white and blue, thanks in part to the Marvel Comics coloring practices of the times, as well as the Pretender and Action Master toys.  And so a Jazz with blues instead of blacks hits me right in the nostalgia.

And, yeah, he's fairly simple, but at least he's not goddamn WFC Bumblebee.  That toy should die in a fire.
Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm
No, seriously, I have no idea where they are.  They were in an odd spot in the old house before the move, since they didn't really go with any existing display and there were just four of them, and so now I have no idea where in my basement of bins they would be.  Hrn.

This came up today because I got the new Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime today, and he's a replacement for my old War for Cybertron Prime.  I thought maybe I'd photograph them together or something.  Nope!

If I never find that WFC Prime, it's not a HUGE loss.  I mean, first of all, obviously, he's been replaced.  He's now nonessential.  And gaddangit, I prefer his replacement.  WFC Prime was a mess of parts and it always kinda annoyed me.  It wasn't nearly as aggravating as his contemporary WFC Bumblebee, but Jesus, man.  The new HOC Prime is delightfully simple.  I enjoy him.

He's pretty straightforward to transform.  Like a stereotypical Prime, he folds his arms up against the sides of his chest and his legs fold back behind him.  No surprises.

FOC Prime is the size of a modern Deluxe Class toy.  He's Prime RID Bumblebee's height.  Taller than Cliffjumper, shorter than Wheeljack.  (He's also the same height and mass as Beast Wars Dinobot, if we want a more historical comparison.) But those of you yearning for the sizes of Deluxes of Armada through Cybertron, I think oil prices have kind of ruined that for the mo'.

I'm bringing this guy with me to San Diego Comic-Con.  When I (god willing) get my Bruticus, he'll need someone to stomp into the ground.  At least then his relative smallness will be a feature.
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