Posts tagged with "generations" - 19
Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:01 am
Boss wishes he had this transformation.


So this is Drift, the character everybody loves to hate.  He used to be a Decepticon, but then he fell in with a mysterious third faction of Transformers that taught him how to be zen, and now he's joined the Autobots so he can tell them how much better he is than they are!  And he has three swords.  One of them he only uses in the most dire of circumstances, which is all the time.

On that sword, it says that he's better than you.

(I'm serious.  "Peerless under heaven" is written in Japanese across the blade.)

So, yeah, for some reason people hate Drift.  But people somehow hate him with an intensity greater than his suckage, and it's not like he ever really did anything beyond being given a hilariously overwrought backstory, so it's hard to hate him too much.

And his toy is fucking awesome.

I'm serious!  The toy somehow manages to come with all three swords and allow them to store.  He's got the two smaller blades tucked into scabbards on his hips.  The third, "special" sword stores on his back.  And, sure, he's got three swords, big whoop, but he's also got enough articulation to use them.  He can grip the special sword with both hands!  I don't think I can begin to list all the points of articulation on his arms and in his shoulders.  He's one of the few Transformers that can almost cross his arms over his chest.

He's a drift racer! Get it?


His leg articulation is a little less awesome.  It needs better (meaning any) heel articulation, but is otherwise pretty good.  I forgive this because the way his lower legs transform is nifty.  I don't know how to even begin describing the process.  I guess the car parts sorta rotate separately from the upper robot shin parts, while the feet and ankles sort of fold up and around and...

I also like how neatly and easily it is to fold his arms up into the underside of the hood.  In some Transformers, this is an ordeal, especially the ones like Drift who have wheels somewhere on their arms.  With him, it's pretty straight-forward.  Just fold them up into the shoulders, easy-cheesy.

Why must we fight? We are not enemies!


Now, some genuine problems.  First of all, he clips together really well in car mode.  So well that it's a little scary trying to pull him back apart.  When I say "clips together," I mean it.  In some spots he doesn't just peg together.  At the front and at the back, there are some legitimate irregular-shape in irregular-slot deals.  You basically have to pull them apart with excessive force because there's no room at that stage to slide one side out of the other.

Oh, and one of my shorter-swords was missing the pin that goes through the hinge between the blade and the hilt.  I cut a tiny bit off of a rubber-coated paper clip (so it was thick enough) and shoved that in there.  Seems to be fine now, but still kinda annoying.

Maggie saw him on the coffee table this evening and said he was beautiful.  Then I told her his backstory and she changed her mind.  Can't wait for that Drift comic book miniseries this fall!
Posted June 7, 2010 at 2:01 am
A bigger bee


Cybertronian Optimus Prime was the talk of Friday, and here's his wavemate Cybertronian Bumblebee.  Unlike Optimus Prime, who's had four "pre-Earth" toys to his name, this is Bumblebee's first!  There was going to be one in Titanium Series based on his War Within design, but like the rest of that batch of guys, he was dropped.  And I'm fine with that, because Titanium Series toys weren't terribly great in general.

Cybertronian Bumblebee transforms into a car that looks like a four-wheeled TRON lightcycle.  This results in a pretty slick-looking vehicle.  It's also very broad, using its Deluxe Class mass to be nearly as wide as it is long.  Classics Bumblebee included a sizable accessory to keep Bumblebee himself relatively small while still being worth Deluxe Class dollars, but Cybertronian Bumblebee does no such thing.  He's a big Bee, and he looks bigger than Prime even though they are at the same height.  He's squat and round, but at a different scale, so a lot of his features are bigger relative to Prime's.  Bumblebee's shouldn't be the same size as Prime!  But all of the Generations toyline are Deluxe Class, so this sort of thing's going to be hard to avoid.  Regrettable, regardless.

Like Prime, Bumblebee comes packaged in robot mode.  I thought Prime's transformation to vehicle was rough until I attempted Bumblebee.  It took 15 minutes to get him roughly into vehicle mode, and then another 30 minutes were spent trying to get all his various panels aligned.  Locking one side into place would spring open the other side, and vice versa, rinse/wash/repeat for thirty whole minutes until I gave up.  Man, I wanted to throw him into a wall.  I did not encounter this problem on the second attempt.  I think something very minor inside him, like maybe the wrist orientation, was fudging things up.  But, jeez, I hate Transformers like these.  I just want everything to lock together easily, not a back-and-forth game of fuss.

Gold-3 to Gold-2. Those demons are coming down.


Bumblebee's sorta a pearlescent gold instead of the usual yellow.  It calls to mind the 1986 Goldbug toy.  Like Cybertronian Optimus Prime's pink accents, the gold color helps distinguish Bumblebee from previous Bumblebee toys.  Oh, and, hey, surprise, 80% of the vehicle mode ends up folded up and stowed on his robot mode back.  It's generally out of the way, though.

His handgun, when not in use, can be stored behind his bumper in either robot or vehicle mode.  The instructions tell you this can only be done in robot mode, but they lie.  So long as you insert the gun halfway through transformation, before the arduous task of getting the legs crammed in there, the gun stows in that same spot easy-as-you-please.  Bumblebee also features a translucent red blade on each wrist that can be ratcheted manually in and out of battle-readiness.

Speaking of Bumblebee's instructions, the art within erroneously depicts Bumblebee with Cliffjumper's head.  Seems we're getting a retool further down the line.
Posted June 5, 2010 at 2:01 am
New Saturday Joyce and Walky!

Finally, an Optimus Prime toy.


As you can probably tell by the frequency of video game jokes in Shortpacked!, (not that often!) I am way more into action figures than I am in video games. This is, after all, a comic strip about a toy store and not Penny Arcade. I will dutifully plow through any new Super Mario game when one makes itself available, but it is not a primary interest of mine. Regardless, sometimes these two interests intersect.

Because I get an email every other day from you guys letting me know, I think it's safe to say that it is general public knowledge that a Big Transformers Game is coming out this month. War for Cybertron is a multiplatform third-person shooter that takes place on Cybertron before the Transformers leave for Earth. Optimus Prime isn't leader yet, he's just "Optimus," sans "Prime."  Everyone is in crazy alien hovertank-like modes because Volkswagen Beetles and Freightliner trucks won't exist for another few million years. And, as Hasbro tends to do, they have some action figures of the game's character models.

He likes to drive crotch first.


This is Optimus Prime! He transforms into an "armored tank." This is my... third? toy of a Cybertronian-mode Optimus? First there was the War Within Prime (another pre-Earth story), then I picked up Cybertron mode Optimus Prime from the Animated toyline, and now this. We have an extra housemate this summer, necessitating the packing up of my not-on-display toys in the attic, so I did not feel like digging out the entire attic closet to search through fifteen Rubbermaid containers for these two other dudes to photograph next to my new one. You will just have to imagine them!

He comes packaged in robot mode. I have to admit, this removes a lot of my incentive to do the inaugural transformation, especially since robot-to-vehicle is always much more of a chore than the reverse. With Cybertronian Optimus Prime, this is no exception. He's a little too complicated, but I hate him waaaaaaaaaaay less after attempting the same on his wavemate Cybertronian Bumblebee. Really put things in perspective. Prime is a deceptively complicated toy. I don't think there's an uninterrupted square inch on him. But things peg together well enough in each mode, so no harm no foul. The only annoying part of him in robot mode is his shoulder kibble, which likes to flair up and about when you don't want it to. A good portion of the vehicle mode roof folds onto his back, sorta shellformery, but it packs away out of site well enough.

Megatron's is still bigger.


The most intriguing part of him is his gun. It transforms as well, from robot mode rifle configuration to vehicle mode weapon-mount configuration. There's little springs in it that keep it in one mode or the other - there's no pegs. In weapon-mount configuration, it wraps around itself.  In this compacted mode, it's also intended to be mounted on his forearm.  (You can see it in this configuration in some concept art.)

My favorite aspect, I think, is his pink highlights. Generally, Prime has yellow highlights, but I really like the pink. It accentuates him in a different way, and it sets him apart from other Primes. And, lord, that's the kind of thing I need at this stage in my collecting days. I have a buttload of Primes.

There's some rumblings that War for Cybertron is going to be the established canon for future Hasbro Transformers ventures.  That would include this fall's Transformers: Prime CGI cartoon.  So if you want a head start on your TF: Prime collection, this is probably it.
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