Posts tagged with "generations" - 2
Posted October 27, 2019 at 11:31 pm

So, yeah, he's Ratchet, he transforms into an ambulance and a medical bed, he's exclusive to friggin' Walgreens, but according to the website his function is "engineer"???  And Red Alert is apparently the doctor?  Look, I dunno.

Stege Ratchet is a heavy retool of Stege Ironhide!  It's not immediately apparent, but a whole lot of him is different.  I mean, their toys are still essentially the same, but Ratchet's sculpting been resurfaced pretty extravagantly.   It's just hard to tell since, you know, the two toys have the same silhouette and also Ratchet is mostly white so details are washed out.

But it's nice to see the extra mile here.  Ratchet also comes with a giant repair arm with two potential attachments -- a laser scalpel and a wrench.  The repair arm/scalpel is based on the one inside the original Ratchet toy's trailer medical bay.  The wrench is there because Robot Doctor/ENGINEER APPARENTLY, also I guess you could hand it off to Nautica if you wanted.  Considering Ratchet's one of the bigger Deluxe Class toys in Stege, it's nice to see him with all this extra stuff regardless.  Is it because he's an exclusive?  Maybe.  (Though I suppose regular retail Ironhide came with that giant hammer.)  

Ratchet also has a third mode, a medical bed thing.  It's basically a half-ambulance half-robot deal.  It's not terribly convincing.  But it's there and it didn't need to be, so I'll shrug and like it.  This is actually where a lot of the new sculpted tooling comes into play -- there's a series of tools and monitors on the back of Ratchet's arms that don't make themselves apparent until this mode, where they're finally facing upwards.  It's all unpainted white plastic, though, so you have to pay attention.

I don't know what's going on with the deco?  Like, okay, I get why he'll have a white helmet black chevron forever and ever because of the fucking cartoon, but why is the rest of him?  Ratchet tends to be solid white, sure, and there are ways to break up that white with some red.  The Marvel comics gave him a red helmet and red hands.  The cartoon gave him a red pelvis and red hands.  This toy... kind of randomly paints red rectangles on him.  It's not a very cohesive look!  You think, oh, maybe this deco comes together in vehicle mode, but it doesn't.  It's just as random there.  What was going on?  I dunno.

Anyway, I painted the helmet red on my Ratchet almost immediately.  It makes the weird deco choice look a little more cohesive, since there's a red focal point that isn't a rectangle on his thigh.  

I will not be painting his white hands red because those white hands will be going to Crosshairs when he comes out in a month.  The Rebirth colors, yo!  (I will then be painting Crosshairs's black fists red before giving them to Ratchet, obvsly.)

Deco aside, Stege Ratchet is a pretty good Ratchet!  He's dynamic in all the ways Stege toys tend to be dynamic -- by which I mean he's a pile of boxes you can pose very well.  He's also one of the few Stege toys that, you know, actually looks unapologetically like a Cybertronian vehicle.  He's not a Lamborghini with the serial numbers filed off, or a Freightliner cab with a hat.  Ratchet's a wheeled spacebox.  

A wheeled spacebox who needs his helmet painted red, gaddangit. 


Posted August 17, 2019 at 7:51 pm

I just kind of assumed that no other new Seeker mold would get the mileage that the 2006 Classics Seeker mold has.  After all, that toy got milked for new uses over the course of a decade, and by a collectors' club.  No newer Seeker mold has had the attention span.  We'd get Starscream, Thundercracker and/or Skywarp, maybe an Acid Storm, and then it's on to the next new Seeker Mold.  And not since the Collector's Club has there been a NEW Seeker previously untoyed.  

And so when Stege Redwing popped up, I was like, yeah, okay.  He's never had a toy before, so I'll get this one, and he'll be the odd one out of all my Classics Seekers (well okay, the second odd one out, since Legends Slipstream is also in the mix), but I'm not, like, replacing my Thundercracker or Skywarp with the Stege versions.  The Classics Seekers still rule the gamut of Seekerhood.  

But then this three-pack of Acid Storm, Nova Storm, and Ion Storm suddenly existed, and I was like... welp.  Looks like Hasbro's going to invest in this Seeker version after all.  Acid Storm's had toys before, but not Nova Storm and Ion Storm.  That's three characters in Stege that Classics doesn't have.  You know how many characters Classics Seekers have that Stege doesn't?  Three (Sunstorm, Bitstream, and Hotlink) or maybe four since Nacelle straddles that Seeker/Conehead line.  So we're at the tipping point.

And He Tell Me says there's maybe more coming.

I had to hop on.  

Redwing is available through Target online.  If you have a Target redcard.  Mind, I got mine early on when it went up by accident for a few hours and at the time the Target redcard wasn't required, but I have a Target redcard and so I used it anyway.  Because 5% off and free shipping, baby.  

He's got one sculpting difference, and that's the smirking face.  (I don't recommend swapping it with Starscream, since the face is painted offwhite instead of silver.  Swap Thundercracker's smirking face with Starscream instead.  They match.)

But Redwing has a color scheme!  You know, reds and blacks and whites.  There's some thought put into it.

Acid Storm, Nova Storm, and Ion Storm not so much.  They showed up in the original cartoon as (nicknamed by the fandom through dialogue) the Rainmakers, and they... well, they were quick single-colored generics.  They were solid green, yellow, and blue.  Those animation cel painters made quick work of them.  And lordy do these toys match.  They are one solid color head to toe, save the cockpit, helmet, and a white midsection.  And, sure, the identical Stege battle damage deco every Stege seeker has.  

Acid Storm, previously translated into toys, has had his cartoon color scheme... elaborated on.  His Classics toy muted his green and gave him grown camo.  He tends to be given more than the one solid color.  (Except in Cyberverse anyway, where their toy is solid green again.) 

Stege Acid Storm, though is... well, he's neon green.  He's a green that doesn't/can't photograph properly.  He's the green I wish the cover of Dumbing of Age Book 8 could be, but that color doesn't exist in CMYK.  He looks like he could illuminate a room.  The other two are similar.  And I'm okay with this.  After decades of the fandom getting pissy about "day-glow playskool colors," here these three are, unapologetically so.  And, of course, they're highly sought after.  Of course.  They're also Target exclusives, and they keep selling out at the website and are scarce in stores.  

I recommend trying to find them in person, if you can.  Just to bask.  Get a taste of their fluorescence.  

Posted July 21, 2019 at 4:40 pm

For decades, Greenlight and Lancer were known as "the green one" and "the orange one."  The original cartoon episode, "The Search for Alpha Trion," had named Elita-One (the pink one), Moonracer (the teal one), Firestar (the red one), and Chromia (the blue one), but there were two more Female Autobots appearing occasionally in the background who didn't get names until a bit of Transformers Collectors' Club prose.  

And then years later, Mairghread Scott put them in the Windblade comic book series and paired them up, making them the first w|w couple to be depicted in Transformers fiction.

And now they both have toys!

Power of the Primes introduced figures of Moonracer and Firestar, with Firestar being Moonracer with a new head, and Stege Greenlight and Lancer follow the same pattern, with Lancer being Greenlight with a new head.  Greenlight herself is the Moonracer/Firestar mold with some new thighs, forearms, torso, and head.  At the end of the day, this means Moonracer and Greenlight are the most accurate to their cartoon portrayals, while Firestar and Lancer have accurate new heads but with bodies that don't suit them as well.  

(It's too bad, because cartoon Lancer has this whole layered armor look going on.)  

Other than surface details, the biggest change to Greenlight/Lancer versus Moonracer/Firestar are the new forearms.  The fists are no longer separate pieces, so those don't fold in during transformation to car or limb modes.  And the 5mm pegholes are removed entirely, which is a bizarre choice for a line that boasts 5mm pegholes everywhere for weapon compatibility!

Greenlight also comes with Dazzlestrike, a ... well, repaint of Battle Master Lionizer.  Literally the same plastic colors with some green painted on the blade.  Feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity to do something different.  

With Greenlight and Lancer out, you can finally complete ORTHIA, which is a combiner formed out of five Female Autobots introduced in "The Search for Alpha Trion."  You just gotta dig up your Power of the Primes Elita One, Moonracer, and Firestar.  Chromia's the only teammate left out, as she got a similar-but-retooled-to-be-combinerless toy in Stege's second wave.  

And since there's been a handful of Alpha Trions, the arrival of Lancer means every new character introduced in that episode now has a toy!  That's pretty neat. 

Since IDW's comic continuity was rebooted, it seems Greenlight's been shacking up with Arcee instead of Lancer, but I'm probably the last person who can point fingers at pairings being swapped around after a continuity reboot.

Lancer was debuted this weekend at San Diego Comic Con, and you can preorder her from Entertainment Earth, while Greenlight's over at Amazon.   

Posted July 15, 2019 at 9:26 pm

Dang, Transformers: Stege has been so committed to keeping robot mode scale consistent that they up and went and made a new Commander Class price point so that they could do Jetfire at the right size.  This is very crazy and also I respect it.

But yeah!  Jetfire!  He's PRETTY BIG!  Not as big as the 27"+ Unicron that went up for HasLab crowdfunding today, but definitely a large-ass guy!  At over a foot tall, he's nearly as massive as the old Armada Unicron we got, that's how big he is.  Starscream and Optimus Prime only come up to the tops of his thighs.  This is accurate to his portrayal in the cartoon, where he was a gigantic scientist who keeps getting left for dead until the next time the Autobots need him to fly them somewhere.  Because, again, he swol.  

Jetfire has a lot of small... stuffs about him.  Little things, here and there that make you think, yeah, okay, the Commander Class price tag is worth it, hopefully.  First of all, you know those 5mm pegholes they put in fists that let them hold weaponry?  Well, Jetfire has them, sure, but only when his fists are closed.  When you open his fist's fingers out into a relaxed shape, the 5mm peghole hides away into the palm.  Very neat!  

The Autobot logo on his chest can be flipped around to display a Decepticon logo.  Jetfire was a former Decepticon in nearly every continuity, so this is a good feature.  

All Stege has waist rotation and ankle tilts, and Jetfire is no exception.  His waist articulation is a little shallow, because of hip kibble, but it's there.  The rest of him is pretty dang articulated!  Again, articulated palms. That Commander Class price point money went into joints.  

Open up his jet cockpit.  Pull out the chunk of greeble inside.  Now there's a seat for a Titan Master!  (Remember, the little head guys from Titans Return?)  Open up the other window area on the back of the jet, and there's another two Titan Master seats hidden there.

When he's in jet mode, he has four 5mm pegs that can deploy from underneath him.  You can have other, smaller Transformers hold onto those pegs so that they can catch a ride with Jetfire into battle.  This is also very neat, but admittedly hard to coordinate.  

Because there's some sort of rule that Jetfires have to have battle armor pieces, Stege Jetfire comes with some of that.  And a mask, even!  It feels very perfunctory.  I honestly don't care for all that junk, but that's not new to my feelings on Jetfires.  I've always tossed that armor stuff aside.  (In jet mode, it all combines into a little hat you can put on top!)

Jetfire's the first toy bigger than the smallest size class (Battle Masters) to come with his own effects parts!  You know, the translucent plastic explosions and blasts and what not that you can peg onto your Stege guys?  Jetfire comes with two thruster bursts, which each can break apart into three pieces.  They're my favorite effects parts so far.  They can work for thrusters or weapon blasts or Jetfire's chest taking hits from other weapons...  Jetfire's effects parts are very satisfying.  

He transforms into that box with wings he was in the original cartoon and comic.  It's not nearly as sleek as the Robotech or whatever thing he was originally licensed from, but that's cool.  Cartoon/comic Jetfire transforms into something that looks like a kid drew it, and that kind of tickles me.  It's the Axe Cop of spaceships.  Again, it's just some boxes with some wings with another box on top with some tinier wings.  And it transforms about how you'd expect.  (Fold out the cockpit, fold the arms under, collapse the legs, lay it down.)  

There are some fun details in that otherwise standard transformation, however.  For example, there's the way the wings fold up between robot and jet modes.  The wings themselves transform.  They don't merely swing up.  There are multiple maneuvers that sculpt the tinier, stubbier robot mode wings into the longer, more aerodynamic wings the jet mode has.

He's honestly the Jetfire to end all Jetfires.

(They'll still make more.)

Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:22 pm

I think I've definitely fallen out of love with the Universe (2008) Sideswipe/Sunstreaker/RedAlert/Punch/ Counterpunch/G2Breakdown/Breakdown mold.  I guess it doesn't help that a number of those were misassembled, causing the neat little "rotate the roof backpack to cause the head to rise up out of the torso" gimmick to result in an always-off-angled roof backpack.  But mostly, like, yeah, it tried to do so much, and the end result is this tall and gangly guy with funny ears.  

I guess that's one of the advantages of so much Transformer stuff being budgeted out after a decade of rising costs.   You really gotta narrow your toys down to the basics.  They get a lot less fiddly!  A little less flying too close to the sun, y'know?  Brass effin' tacks.

Anyway, I've already reluctantly sung Stege Sideswipe's praises.  Reluctantly mostly because, really?  I'm not that attached to Sideswipe-the-character.  The most interesting thing he's ever done is die, whether it's Pat Lee making it up that he died in the movie, or actually dying in the IDW comic that one time.

But Stege Red Alert!  I like him.  He has a personality.  He's a paranoid, anxious mess.  And who among us on Today's Internet can't relate to that?  So I've been keeping a keener eye on replacing Universe Red Alert, more than Universe Sideswipe, with Stege Red Alert.

Red Alert is what you'd expect from a Red Alert.  He's Sideswipe, but in white/red/black Fire Chief deco!  He's got his red helmet from the cartoon, which is nice, because non-black helmets are interesting.  Most of his white plastic is stark white, but his arms and thighs are this off-white color.  He's not an Earth vehicle, and so the "F D" that's typically on his chest has been swapped out for the Cybertronian letters for "F" and "D."  

The one thing I don't like is that he doesn't come with the same shoulder missile launcher weapon thingy that Sideswipe does.  They both had that!  The should both have that.  Instead, Red Alert comes with a rifle, which you can also attach his flasher lights to and have him hold the whole contraption as an axe.  Maybe something presumably made out of glass isn't something you should be swinging around at metal people, but whatever.

He's a good, satisfying toy, now available in Interesting Character Flavor.

man, transformers used to have a lot more deco, didn't they

Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:00 pm

We're just gonna have to face some facts -- Springer gets pretty great toys.  Well, okay, not the first one.  That toy was... not super great.  But the BotCon 2007 redeco of Cybertron Defense Hot Shot?  The Universe redeco of Cybertron Evac?  The GDO retool of Movie Tomahawk?  And (pen)ultimately, the Thrilling 30 Springer that was the first triple-changing Springer since the original and is widely considered to be one of the better Transformers of all time?  

Yeah, well, the new Stege Springer is up there, too.  

Thrilling 30 Springer was so good that a lot of folks are saying, yeah, okay, so why do I need this other new Stege Springer?  It's a legitimate question!  And there's no definitive answer.  But I can definitely say that Stege Springer is a great toy in its own right.  It fits in that category that so many other War for Cybertron: Siege [sic] toys hail from -- aka, ugh it's just the cartoon design, oh wait, once it's in my hands it's pretty satisfying, what is this??? oh no I like it.  

While Thrilling 30 Springer was a glorious adaptation of Nick Roche's IDW Springer, albeit too skinny to get the exact feel of it, Stege Springer is a fairly faithful adaptation of Springer as we remember him from the cartoon.  This time, though, he's not lanky.  He's wide.  He has the presence.  He's got that Han Solo-esque charisma.  

It helps immensely that Stege Springer isn't as... Stegey as Stege often gets.  For example, Stege Starscream is a chunk of technogreeble detail that overwhelms the eyes if you look at him in focus.  Stege Chromia's another where you want to say, yikes, guys, scale it back a bit.  But Stege Springer doesn't suffer from that at all.  He's not overdetailed, he's just detailed.  Heck, his entire chest front is an absolutely flat box with nigh a sculpt line across it.  

And while he's a big pile of boxes, it's nice to see a few curves on him nonetheless, from the exhaust ports on the back of his canopy, to the wheel wells, to his helmet.  His toy strikes a good balance between edges and curves, between detail and negative space.  

He feels very at home with Titans Return Hot Rod, Blurr, and Kup, and Thrilling 30 Arcee.  ...not so much with Stege Ultra Magnus who is, again, looks like somebody was sculpting uniform detail across him while zoomed in at a billion percent.  

Some folks have described Stege Springer as fiddly, and, honestly, he's not any more fiddlier than Thrilling 30 Springer.  Perhaps less fiddly.  It is up to you whether the end result of that fiddliness results in very faithful renditions of Springer's original collaboration-of-boxes altmodes.  These aren't the reimagined car and helicopter modes of the Thrilling 30 Springer toy.  These, again, are just what he looked like in the cartoon, for better or worse.  He'll fit in well, again, with your newer Hot Rod, Blurr, and Kup toys.  

Springer comes with quite a few accessories, which is surprising considering how much Stege's gimmick is "buy these other toys to arm your other Stege toys."  His helicopter blade splits into three pieces -- two swords and a connector piece.  He also comes with two guns which combine into a longer gun.  You could probably get away with doing a Springer with just the swords in these budget-conscious days, but he comes with guns, too.  You can combine all the accessories together to make a larger cannon, though it's just the longer gun on top of the propeller connector with swords on the side.  Otherwise, he's got more weapons than he has hands, so I like to put the guns on his back, pointing upwards, to call back to his 2007 BotCon toy.  The propeller connector also fits back there, out of view.  

He looks good using the effects pieces that come with the two Battle Masters that transform into swords.  

He's fun and I like him.  He's an excellent Springer and an excellent toy.  


Posted June 4, 2019 at 11:27 pm

So anyway, there's this Decepticon who transforms from a robot into a stick.  And then that stick can wad back up into a box, and if you get two more of the same robot-to-stick toy, you can make combine those three boxes into a larger box!

This Decepticon is Refraktor, the trademark-sidestepping name for Reflector, the ol' three-guys-become-a-camera dude.  Remember him?  The toys were all different, but the show just took the middle guy and made two clones out of him, but without the lens on his tummy.  And, honestly, the execution of this new toy is better than it sounds?  It's almost satisfying.  It's so very close.

I mean, let's get this out there: one Refraktor is worthless.  As stated, you get a robot who lays down and you put his gun between his ankles and you put his shield over his head.  That's a spaceship!  Maybe!  And every single shortfall of this toy is entirely because it's saving its engineering for the occasion in which you have three of him.  The gun combines with two other guns to become a tripod.  The shield combines with two other shields to become a camera lens.  The robot transforms into an unremarkable plank because that robot also needs to become an unremarkable third chunk of a camera.  

And the real kicker is that if you buy this toy and plug in the blacklight code into the website, you get a tease for a better possible version of the toy you just bought, with a flashcube and other extra parts.  That's just mean, Hasbro.

I'm less down on the toy than I seem, I'm pretty sure?  I mean, at the end of the day, it's three guys who combine to form a camera, which is neat.  The gun-tripod and shield-lens are good engineering.  And it's Reflector, the camera guy.  You can even yank the tummy-lens off two of them (plugging them into their butts), so you can have the regular tummy-lensed guy and his two non-tummy-lensed sidekicks.  

He just, you know, exists almost entirely on the steam of recreating something from the cartoon, without a lot of gas put in the tank of "is this fun for people in general."  And it works for me, because I've been in Transformers for 35 years and so I put value in these sorts of things.  But it's.... probably not a good sell to anybody else?  Unless they like Transformers who become sticks?

And lord knows I do if their name is Rung, but, like, he's a real character, and Reflector -- the perpetual cameo -- is so not.  

dang this came out a heck of a lot more sour than i was expecting

Posted March 10, 2019 at 6:41 pm

Transformers Stege is just tearing through Universe (2008) Autobots with so-so toys and replacing them with solid entries.  Universe Sideswipe, Ironhide, and Prowl were all toys with some problems, and these Stege iterations are just dancing on their graves.  (The lone exception is Hound, whose Universe 2008 toy is still nigh-perfect.)  

The issue with Universe Prowl was that he was impossible to transform without his door wings popping off.  There just wasn't clearance, and the balljoints weren't very secure to begin with.  It was easier to just yank those car parts off to begin with before attempting transformation just to get it over with and out of the way.  Plus he commonly had some bad paint that reportedly came off in lots of folks' hands, and his painted translucent plastic doors (the ones that pop off) always had kind of a sticky texture to them. 

More subjectively, the dude was a little too tall and gangly to read perfectly as Prowl to me.  And when I got him off the shelf to take pictures of him for this, apparently he's hard to stand?  His heels are not sufficiently large.  He just likes to fall over backwards a bunch.

(Note: The Universe Prowl pictured below has been customized with stickers and had his thighs swapped with Universe Smokescreens.)

But this new Stege Prowl?  I have been excited for this Prowl ever since we got to see stock images of him.  He's deliciously short and stocky (the original 1984 Datsun toy has the platonic ideal for Autobot Car proportions, I feel), and he's in a toyline where there hasn't really been an issue with toys being too fiddly or fall-aparty.  And sure enough, Prowl's toy takes some cues from Stege Sideswipe's execution.  During transformation, everything fits neatly into place.  It's very simple.  There's no cramming anything past anything else.  Nothing pops off.  (The only balljoint on him is his neck.)  He's just efficient, straightforward, and compact.  

The result is a very good Prowl robot mode (with the standard Stege articulation which includes waist and ankle tilts) which transforms into a reasonably space-y police car.  I mean, okay, this space police car has Japanese patrol car markings on the hood, but that's just what Prowl looks like, so whatever.  I like his giant clompy feet.  I like his meaty fists (which are on rotatable mushroom joints).  He's got a great look to him.  

Some people don't like his legs.  These people are wrong.

Prowl comes with two accessories.  One his his lightbar, which plugs into his roof with a 5mm peg.  The other is his rifle.  You can plug the lightbar into the top of the rifle.  You can also plug the rifle into the top of the lightbar!  Or you can, just like, leave the lightbar on the roof in either mode and have him carry his gun around normally without a big flashing bowtie on it, I dunno.

I did make some visual modifications to this guy.  I painted his thighs, abs, and gun silver.  I'm a big fan of original Prowl's silver accents, but Transformers toys tend to keep Prowl a black/white-only guy, so I tend to have to finish his deco myself.

Posted March 9, 2019 at 2:08 am

Transformers Stege is moving on to wave 2, and so here's Starscream.  He's half of the second wave of Voyager Class guys, and gaddangit, I like him.  I hate that I like him.  

First of all, like, dude, he is very Stege.  His legs look like a close-up of the Death Star trench run.  Like he was carved out of a Cheddar Bay Biscuit.  Like he is literally a sponge.  I could go on.  It's not an aesthetic I like.  There's not an art to his leg details, it just looks like detail for detail's sake.  An obsession with lines without understanding how they fit into the whole.  It's like drawing in Photoshop while zoomed in too much.

The silver lining is that the soot and scorch marks they slop all over his legs has a flattening effect!  There's just so much detail on top of detail that your eyes kind of glaze over and can't focus on it!   *uneasy thumbs up*

It's maddening that this is the style they chose for this particular Starscream, because otherwise this particular Starscream is superb.  He is... delightfully poseable.  He's more poseable than the Masterpiece.  (though the Masterpiece is admittedly pretty stiff)  It's not just the amount of articulation points, but the range.  His elbows are double-jointed.  His wrists turn and can hinge down a bit.  His knees aren't double-jointed, but when you fold his legs up, the thighs collapse into the shins, allowing the legs to bend as much as a human's.  (there is a spring-activated piece of plastic back there so that his shins don't look hollow from behind)  And, universal across Stege toys Deluxe and larger, a dedication to giving each figure ankle tilts and waist rotation.  Yeah, that's right.  A Starscream toy has waist rotation.  You'd think that'd be impossible, based on, you know, how his chest canopy window usually has to reach across to his happy trail area, but this toy says LOL and splits that canopy in two so you can twist his torso as you please.  And also, he's got extra hinging at his shoulders for transformation that also allow you to get his arms across his torso into one of the best approximations of folded arms I've seen in a Transformers toy.  

As a result of this, you can give him a lot of personality.  This is what will sell you on owning him once you have him in hand.

He transforms like a Transformers jet.  You know, he's got a robot on the bottom and a jet on the top.  In Starscream's case, you kind of put him in a limbo pose and then fold his backpack around him while twisting his shoulder intakes into the jet's nose.  And by "jet," I mean this guy is a Cybertronian Tetrajet, as seen in the first episode of the original Transformers cartoon.  And by "Cybertronian Tetrajet," I mean this guy is a Colonial Viper.  

I'd love for this guy's face sculpt to have a smirk.  Instead, Thundercracker seems to have the smirk head, if the samples at Toy Fair last month were indicative of the final production run.  Smoove move, guys.  You got Seeker noggins switched.  (i guess they switched the original tech spec numbers around in the 80s, so maybe this is an homage)

To sum up, if you like Starscream and don't mind that his leg texture looks like an Escher print, get your hands on this guy.  He is a great toy in spite of himself.  I originally planned to buy him only because he's so Steged that he looks like the overdetailed art of Underbase-powered Starscream from the Marvel Comics.  But now I just genuinely like him.  It sucks.

Posted January 27, 2019 at 10:55 am

War for Cybertron: Siege "Stege" Shockwave is a toy that I'm disappointed in because of an expectation I had built up for myself.  Like, okay, Stege's thing is interchangeable armor parts that work with everybody else, right?  Cog comes apart and he fits on other guys.  And everyone has identical placement of 5mm ports all over their bodies.  Clearly Shockwave's Shockwave armor is going to be able to similarly fit on other Stege toys.  

This is not the case.

And so I'm a little grumbly about it.

  

You can... sort of fit Shockwave's Shockwave armor on Skytread/Flywheels.  But I think this is just by accident.  Everyone else's shoulders are just off from being able to fit his shoulder armor on by, like, millimeters.  It's frustrating.  There's always some different kind of ridge that keep things from connecting properly. 

I am denied giving everyone Shockwave armor by the smallest of technicalities.  I'm a little put out.

I mean, you can still give him Shockwave's platform gun shoes.  And you can peg his shoulder/arm thingers elsewhere, haphazardly, but it's not quite what I wanted.

Other than that, Shockwave is very ... serviceable!  He's like a scaled-down Masterpiece Shockwave, transformation-wise.  The barrel folds up on his back, connected by long stretch of plastic.  His legs break up and become "the handle" and the butt of "the spacegun."  And I put those in quotes because he's one of those "no it's not a gun it's a, uh, submarine" things.  You flip his altmode upside-down, the "handle" is now a command tower, and it's "a spaceship."  Then you can connect all his extra parts to this spaceship mode to make a bigger more spaceshippy mode.  It's a pretty nice bigger spaceship!  The smaller spaceship is, uh, a spacegun upsidedown.

You can also connect all his extra bits together to make a little Shockwave Head-shaped hoverplatform for Shockwave to stand on.

As per the rest of Stege, Shockwave's robot mode is intended to be in cartoon scale with the rest of the line.  Thus he's a head shorter than Megatron and Optimus Prime.  Cartoon Shockwave was a little shorter than the leaders in the original cartoon (and in the original comic on the rare occasion someone looked at the height charts).  

Also as per a lot of Stege, Shockwave is absolutely covered in detail.  Some would say... too much detail!  Shockwave's got a lot of stege on him, is all.  Just so much stege.  I've got astigmatism, which means I often have trouble with horizontal and vertical lines, so if I, like, don't focus too hard on Stege Shockwave I sometimes forget that he looks like he's covered in mecha-scabs.  Detail is fine but this detail is just so... homogeneous.  It's all the visual interest of a chicken tender.

I imagine he'd be pretty ugly if I had crystal clear vision.  

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