Posts tagged with "generations" - 22
Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:31 pm
Er, Detritus was busy that day.


Today I found Junkheap at Target.  Two Junkheaps, in fact!  And they're buy-two-for-$11.99 or so, so I got one for Graham as well.  That's a $6 Junkheap!

And so Junkheap joins Wreck-Gar and Scrapheap.  Junkheap's name is probably meant to be "Junkyard," which is a name Hasbro owns and belongs to a pre-existing Junkion, but this is probably one of those things where Hasbro decided that "Junkyard" is "a G.I. Joe name" and gave him an alternate.  I'm thinking that's why they recently put out G.I. Joe Shockwave as "Shockblast," even though they owned the "Shockwave" trademark at the time.  "Shockwave" is "a Transformers name."

He's a top from the bottom.


Junkheap is undoubtedly supposed to be the Transformer-previously-known-as-Junkyard, though there seem to have been some speedbumps along the way, even other than the name.  He's got a pretty similar color scheme and color placement, to be sure, but what clinches it is the head he got in the instructions.  It had Junkyard's upturned-corkscrew horns, as well as his shades and general helmet shape.  However, somewhere between the instruction art's creation and the toy's release, Junkheap's horns are now these tiny indistinct nubs.  A safety problem?  Who knows.  But it makes him look less like Junkyard.  Also, that mustache.  That doesn't help either.

Scrapheap's brown, gray, and red color scheme was kind of dull, and Junkheap's colors are similar. They're much brighter, but not in an interesting way.  Maybe I just don't like Junkion colors, which are kind of limited to the area of the spectrum between "rust" and "mustard."  My brain just wants there to be a vibrant blue somewhere to balance it all out.  Alas, it is not to be.
Posted April 20, 2011 at 11:50 pm
Original Warpath, new Generations Warpath, and Universe Warpath


Deluxe Warpath here is kind of like a weird footnote in my brain.  He was so barely on my radar I still don't really register him existing, despite having gotten him in the mail 36 hours ago.  I suppose my anticipation factor for him was pretty low.  He's just Warpath!  I got a new toy of him in the last batch of Generation 1 retreads.  And, well, he's just Warpath.

He punctuates his speech with "POW!" and "KABLAMEE!"  That's his entire personality, right there.

So,  yeah, it's a Warpath.  He looks a lot like Warpath!  He still has the turret chest with the barrel poking out and the treads on his arms and feet.  He's dark red and silver.  He's Warpath!  This version did borrow the trick from the previous Warpath, the Legends Class toy, with the collapsing tank barrel.  It pushes into his chest in robot mode, and it's engineered that so when it's extended in tank mode, it can articulate up at an angle.

Before a dip in the pool.


People seem to dislike Warpath not being a real tank.  He's an "H-tank," which means he's a tank that doesn't look like a rectangle from the top, but instead a smaller rectangle with four "legs," each housing a set of treads.  On this matter I don't really care.  H-tanks are a staple of Transformers by now, and while some dislike them, I tolerate them if only for the variety they bring to tank alternate modes.  Hell, I got Rumble and Frenzy just last week, and they were also tanks.  I'm happy that Warpath's tank mode has a different silhouette.  It also allows a better visual upgrade to his original form, with the treads on both his arms and feet.  I dislike when Transformer toys break treads cleanly in half during transformation, so splitting the treads up into smaller, self-contained chunks to begin with avoids this.

After a dip in the pool.


In tank mode, in addition to the barrel articulation, his turret can also rotate.  This is a feature I'm always happy to see in Transformer tanks, and usually it requires the turret to stay on the robot mode's back, unintegrated into the rest of its robot mode form.  Not Warpath!  It turns, plus it manages to fold down into and become the robot mode torso.  There's also a spring-loaded missile launcher on his right shoulder.  This is notable because spring-loaded weaponry seems to have been kinda slowly budgeted-out of Deluxe Class toys in recent years as prices remain the roughly the same and production costs continue to skyrocket.

I was disappointed to learn that the missile launcher and the non-functioning weapon on his other shoulder weren't "c joint" snap-on accessories.  They really look like they should be!  But at least Warpath has places on his arms and legs that you can snap other guy's "c joint" accessories onto him.

His color scheme's a little boring.  I mean, yeah, it's exactly like the original Warpath's, but I kind of wish he had a brighter accent color somewhere.  He does have bits of gold, but it's hard to distinguish those parts from the silver, since it's a very desaturated gold.  As a nod to his sole personality trait, as I mentioned above, tampographed on either side of his tank mode are "K4-90W" and "Z0W-333."

I sound kind of down on the toy, but I'm really not, over all.  He looks great in robot mode and I enjoy his big treaded stompy feet.  The fun of a robot mode is a very important attribute that can help me overlook minor disappointments elsewhere.  He's a much better Warpath than the one I already had, but I think I would have preferred a toy of a guy I didn't already have as Generations' last hurrah.

Speaking of which, the head in Warpath's instructions belongs to Hardhead.  Guess what old toy they'll be  wanting me to replace now!
Posted March 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm
That's right, boxart pose! Deal with it!


Man, what the hell.

It's been crazy all up in this shit.  I had a red-eye flight back from Seattle, got home in Columbus around 9am, took a cab home, and I spent an hour or two doing things on the Internet and opening my Generations Wheeljack.  I'd ordered him online and he'd arrived on Friday while I was gone.  So I cracked open the bubble, transformed him into robot mode, and then went to take a nap.

And when I woke up from my nap, I was the sickest I have ever been in my life.  I spent 20 hours out of Tuesday in bed, asleep, and Wednesday wasn't looking too different until about 5pm.  But I'm slowly getting my strength and energy back.

So this Wheeljack may have the plague or something.  Or it was that awkward guy who hovered over my exhibitor table all three days in Seattle, wiping his nose on the book he read meticulously but didn't buy, and leaving his trash behind.  Either or.

My spleen for a Circuit Breaker figure.


Wheeljack's got a special place in my heart from my childhood, though probably not from the same childhood place as many other people.  When I was wee, the first comic books I ever owned were three-packs of Transformers titles sold at the K-mart register.  So I got a polybagged set of issues 7, 8, and 9, and another polybagged set of 10, 11, and 12.  Since I wasn't always home from school in time to watch the Transformers cartoon, these six issues were the main source of Transformers lore.  That I could read them over and over and over at my leisure kind of tipped the scale in their favor as well.  The world didn't have TiVo back then.  Hell, it barely had BetaMax.

But these issues are why, to this day, I love Ratchet and Huffer and Frenzy and Jazz and Wheeljack.  Specifically, I loved the Wheeljack as he appeared in issue 9, "DIS-Integrated Circuits!" He wasn't addressed as a mad scientist, he was just a gung-ho wise-talking warrior.  He was also, I had decided, due to issue 9, always Jazz's partner.  As my experience with Transformers widened, my idea of Wheeljack started encompassing the greater "Wheeljack is a wacky mad scientist" deal, but deep in my soul, he's that plucky wisecracker from issue 9.

Wheeljack, aka "shorty"


I talked a lot about this Wheeljack toy back when I reviewed Tracks, his mold buddy.  He's a pretty extensive retool!  And he  has even more surprises.  We could tell from the photos that Wheeljack had a new head, new wrenches (instead of missiles), new feet, a new shin transformation, new spoiler, and new wingtips.  That in itself is pretty impressive.  But what's even crazier is this: when you transform him from vehicle to robot mode, his head is on a geared track that moves up and out along with his shoulders.  Wheeljack's geared track is more shallow than Tracks's, meaning his torso ends up a smidge wider.  In addition, Wheeljack's legs don't extend as far as Tracks's legs do.  This means even the robot mode proportions between Tracks and Wheeljack are retooled.  Wheeljack's original toy was short and stocky and Tracks's original toy was tall and lithe, so this makes some manner of sense, and it results in Wheeljacks's new toy being a head shorter than new Tracks.

I kinda like keeping the wrenches stored back there. They look like pistons.


Sweet deal, yes?

As mentioned previously, the backs of Wheeljack's shins are retooled, what for making the altered leg transformation, but there's also new C joint rods back there to store his wrenches, if you're so inclined.  Wheeljack can't carry his wrenches around forever!

I'm sure Reprolabels will fix the deficiency of racing numbers.


Be careful about the instructions, however.  Though Wheeljack's instructions do give him his new head, they don't depict any of the other mold changes during the transformational steps.  Tracks's legs are supposed to extend way farther than Wheeljacks's, so strictly following the instructions on this may result in some excessive force that shouldn't be applied.  Just pull them out as far as they seem to want to go, and no further.

This is a great Wheeljack toy, one that magically incorporates all of his signature physical attributes: his stumpiness, his shoulder missile launcher, his wings, and even the placement of his wheel kibble.  It's absolutely insane that it also makes a fantastic Tracks toy, created with equal love.

I'm not sure how coherent this has been.  I'm still a little under the weather.
Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm
Scourge can finally see his own feet again.


This past year, it seems Hasbro's been doing its darnedest to do mainline retail versions of guys from the BotCon 2009 set.  I talked about Kup a few days ago, there's a Banzaitron in stores (which I didn't buy because I preferred the BotCon version), and now here's Generations Scourge.   There's also Dirge, Thrust, and (soon) Thundercracker in stores, which replaces a chunk of the BotCon 2007 set, but that stings a lot less, 'cuz, hey, I've had those for nearly five years by now.  It hurts more when BotCon toys get replaced in what feels like a few months.

But hey, that's why BotCon should probably stay away from popular guys who are undoubtedly going to get new toys at some point, like Kup and Scourge, and why BotCon 2010's set is more valuable to me personally.  Hasbro's probably not chomping at the bit to make Rapido or G2 Breakdown so much.

Don't tell the Sweeps, but they're adopted.


That said, I'm pretty okay with getting a new Scourge.  I never thought BotCon 2009's Scourge, which was Cybertron Sideways with a new head, worked well as him.  He was a space jet, but beyond that the similarities weren't really there.  It did help that BotCon also offered a set of Sweeps that year, which helped the illusion that this toy was Scourge, via sheer number, and I figger I'll keep using those Sweep toys even with my new Scourge that doesn't match.  Hey, they're the only real, actual Sweeps toys!  I mean, you COULD buy multiple Scourges, but...

Despite being an entirely new toy designed to be Scourge from the start, Generations Scourge transforms into a very similar altmode to BotCon Scourge, albeit a more real-world approach than alien.  Either altmode is pretty different from the original Scourge's altmode, which was a flying bathtub.  I'll allow it.  The most important thing, I maintain, about this new altmode, is its undocumented feature.  In the original cartoon, Scourge could stick his head up out of the back of his flying bathtub form, an artifact of his preliminary design.  Well, dude, look who can really do that now?  And no, it's not just an accident.  His head pulls up an extra notch not needed for the transformation to robot mode, undoubtedly just to recreate this oddity. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

This is the single most awesome thing about this toy.


There are a few annoyances with the transformation to robot mode.  Firstly, his wings like to pop off when you try to get them into the proper positioning.  There's a lot of friction back there with the parts surrounding his wings.  They're also kind of a bitch to put back on, since there's not much room given for the hinge to slip back into the socket.  The other annoyance is due to an opposite problem -- it's hard to get his feet pulled out of his legs.  There's no groove to get leverage, so you kind of have to try to wiggle them back and forth for a few minutes, hoping something gives.

Another undocumented feature from the instructions is that you can open his wings to create a more-accurate "caped" appearance.  Opening the wings also gives you a place to store his two guns in vehicle mode, which combine into a bigger gun via a C joint.  The combined gun looks a lot like Scourge's 1986 Targetmaster parter, Fracas, but it does not transform into him.  (Though since Universe Cyclonus's Targetmaster partner is basically Fracas already, and I have an extra, I can remedy Scourge's Nebulan-impairment pretty easily.)  The gun on Scourge's head is also C joint compatible so you can clip one of his handheld weapons onto it.

S'where you keep the guns.


Overall, this Scourge is a much better companion for Universe Cyclonus than the BotCon version, which served as a helpful stopgap in the meantime.  I prefer the facial hair on my Transformers to be painted, after all, so you can see it better.

If you're fixing for a Scourge of  your own, TFSource has both the American and Japanese versions available for preorder.
Posted January 24, 2011 at 12:30 pm
Original Kup, BotCon 2009 Kup, Generations Kup, and four different musket lasers.


Kup is right up there in my upper tier of favorite characters.  Part of the reason for this is his prominence in the later Marvel Comics stories.  There wasn't a particular reason for Kup to stay around in those latter-year stories.  He was even around for the G2 stuff, years and years later.  His toy wasn't on shelves any more, and by the time those G2 issues were out, it'd been about a decade.  But he's just a good archetype.  He's an important one to have around.  You need an old, grizzled dude who won't bullshit you, and who's just a little crazy, what with the millions of years of combat under his belt.  A dude who has the spark of horrible, unspeakable violence under the whole grandpa pastiche.  Kup's a really old warrior who's still around because he's just that good, for all the positives and negatives that implies.

I really like the direction that IDW comics has taken Kup these past few years.  Kup, I think, has benefited the most out of all the other Transformers characters they've handled.  Spotlight: Kup was the first IDW story I truly enjoyed genuinely on every level, rather than "hey it's a Transfomers story, of course I enjoy it."  He was a robot past his prime, left on a planet to die... if not for the intense radiation that not only kept him going, but was giving him paranoid hallucinations.  Kup was so good at what he does that he took down every single unnaturally-animated zombie that came his way... unaware that these were actually Autobot soldiers sent to retrieve him.

Targetmaster and clip-on missile pods not included.


But what really clinched it for me was birthed out of All Hail Megatron.  I know, I know, please don't hit me.  I know.  But say what you will about Shane McCarthy's work, Kup adopting a cigar into his body language really made him come alive as a character.  It was a simple prop, but it embodied what I feel Kup is.  Artist Casey Coller has apparently always envisioned Kup as Sgt. Rock, which is a character angle I appreciate.  Throw some Nick Fury or some Hannibal in there, and I think the picture is complete.  That was the difference between the original cartoon's Kup and the one in the Marvel stuff.  The Kup of the cartoon is just your grandpa.  The Kup of Marvel is a seasoned warrior who's pretty rough around the edges.  Adding the cigar brings in that Marvel-esque aspect, solidifying and focusing it into a stronger character concept all-around.  Plus it forces artists to incorporate unique body language: is he holding it in his teeth?  Is he pinching it in his fingers?  No other Transformers character does this, since none of them have ever had a cigar.

(I-Gear is planning to sell third-party Kup heads with cigars.  I'll have to think about it.  I can prooobably make my own cigar for pretty cheap, should I decide to.  I need, what, a grain of rice, glue, and a silver Sharpie?)

Mint rider!


But anyway, back to Kup's new toy.  Despite how important I feel Kup is, he doesn't get many figures.  He got his original toy in 1986, plus the Targetmaster retool the following year, and then nothing nothing nothing nothing, all the way up to 2009, when BotCon did a figure of him.  Man, I was so excited to get that Kup, even though my excitement was dulled by how much I hated the toy they were making him out of.  It was the wrong kind of vehicle, it was the wrong kind of body shape, and it was an annoying toy to transform.  But it was Kup and I loved it.  Because, man, I'll take my Kup love where I can get it.

Generations "Sergeant Kup" has arrived now, however, and it is my hero.  It's exactly the Kup toy I've always wanted.  I remember when Alternators were the big thing, and I was all about Kup being a Chevy SSR.  Kup's name is taken from the last three letters of "pickup," you see.  He should be a roundish pickup truck thing, and the Chevy SSR fit the bill perfectly.  Generations Kup isn't exactly an SSR, but it's certainly the same kind of vehicle.  It's a roundish retro-style pickup truck.   This was my ultimate wish.

Battle without Honor or Humanity


His robot mode's not too shabby, either.  Despite being a roundish pickup truck, he still transforms into a recognizable facsimile of his original robot mode.  I love his thick blocky legs and his rounded arms.  Plus there's his old man belt and the fake truck grill tummy that the cartoon made up.  And one of the best details is the slight fake windshield that rises up out of his collarbone.  I can't help but feel that it's a callback to his pre-Earth War Within design from the Dreamwave comics.

The transformation isn't exactly as no-fuss as I'd like, but it's far from murderous.  I'm still a little confused on how to get his torso to go from one mode to the other in a more streamlined fashion, since I always feel like I'm kind of forcing it instead of taking the right steps in the right order.  (Instructions are never really any good at helping with these minor things.)  And if there's one nagging detail about the robot mode itself, it's the door kibble that hangs off his forearms.  It's hard to get them not in the way.  Looking at them, you think they need to be rotated up and away from his hands, but that just gets them in the way of his elbows and his shoulder wheels, and that's the vehicle mode configuration anyhow.  The proper positioning does give him more freedom of movement, but they look a little awkward hanging out so far past his hands.

He's not Abe Simpson, he's Sean Connery.


Kup still comes with his musket laser, as always.  No matter what Kup toy you're dealing with, it has a laser musket.  It might be a little cyan sci-fi gun, it might be a dude who turns into a gun, or it might be an arm-mounted black cone.  In Generations Kup's case, his musket laser (or laser musket, as the packaging calls it) looks more like an actual musket.  This is pretty nerdy and awesome, since someone on the design team had to have done this on purpose, rather than "laser musket" being something the packaging copy guy added later after Googling "what the hell was Kup's old weapon called?" at 3am.  In vehicle mode, the musket laser becomes one of his exhaust pipes, or you can clip it to his rooftop on one of the C joints.  Kup has two C joints on his roof/backpack, plus two more on each of the aforementioned wrist-mounted kibble bits.

I also adore Kup's colors.  Kup's colors are often botched.  His original toy was one of those colors that just don't photograph accurately, as it hovered somewhere between cyan and teal.  The toy in person is decidedly on the greenish teal side, but Marvel really liked coloring him in light blue.  Generations Kup is very minty, which pleases me greatly.  It's not exactly a color Kup has been before, but it's a color that I feel suits him.  Anything but blue, really.  Kup is not blue.  Kup should never, ever be blue.   (Except in the Big Looker storybooks, which I allow to live on a technicality.)

Kup is starting to pop up at Target and Kohl's, folks.  You should (wait a week or so and) go find him.
Posted November 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm
Real ram monsters wear pink.


Like Thunderwing, Skullgrin is also an oft-used Decepticon Pretender from the old Marvel Comics stuff.  Skullgrin didn't ever lead the Decepticons or anything, nor did he get to run around eating people with the Matrix, but he was still a memorable grunt.

Skullgrin got his biggest spotlight in a one-off story that featured him almost exclusively, in which he becomes a famous movie star.  I am serious.  Scorponok had sent him on a fuel-gathering mission, and when he's discovered by famous movie director Rollie Friendly, who offers to pay him in fuel to star in his sci-fi flicks, well, that's a win-win!  Rollie doesn't even know he's a Decepticon, what with his Pretender shell disguise. Of course, there's some King Kong undertones, especially since Skullgrin has trouble controlling his rage in front of flashing cameras, plus his friendship with the film's leading lady, Carissa Carr.  Anyway, long story short, Circuit Breaker finds him, the end.

Pictured: One half of famed couple Skullissa


What makes the story for me is that it's mentioned in later issues.  The other Decepticons make fun of Skullgrin for, y'know, having been a movie star.  It doesn't help his credibility an evil bad guy, especially with all those humans he befriended!  I do wish we'd gotten to see more of that, especially since poor Skullgrin was casually killed off a few years later in the Generation 2 comics.

So, fuck yeah, Skullgrin!  He's Straxus with a new ram skull-like head, courtesy of the new "everybody gets a head retool" policy.  Though choosing Skullgrin is kind of a left-field kind of thing, it does kind of make sense.  Both Straxus's toy and Skullgrin's original toy transformed into half-track tanks.  Skullgrin also carried a bladed weapon, so that's kind of analogous to Straxus's Pick-Axe Of Deathtiny.  The robot mode proportions also remind me of the build of the old Pretender shells.  They were all big chunks of thing.   Straxus's toy with a new head makes a pretty damn good Skullgrin, all things considered.

There were some color shifts, of course.  The original Skullgrin came out in a period when pink on a kid's toy wasn't something you did if you wanted to lose lots of money.  1988 Skullgrin's shell was white, gray, and pink. Basically, he was Arcee's colors.   The inside robot was gray and purple.  He was a giant evil ram monster from Hell decoed like a Barbie doll.  Oh, 1988.

The last celebrity not on Twitter.


But this is 2010, so new Skullgrin shifts that pink more towards the red side.  There's a hint of magenta, but for the most part, his pink is now red.  And, hey, though I dig bright terrible colors, I'm not complaining here.  It's a beautiful color scheme.  If Straxus weren't Straxus, then I'd like this version of the mold more, just from the colors.  He looks very nice.

Skullgrin should return to action movies.  I bet there's room for him in a sequel of the Expendables!
Posted November 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm
Man, on no other day I am more glad that I'm out of retail.  Have a conglomeration of fun toy photos.

Here's Straxus with Jazz's speakers clipped onto him. Didn't I tell you these speakers are awesome? They spread their awesomeness around.


And here's Skullgrin and Straxus's clip-on weapons doing their magic with Thunderwing. His gun has gone from "over-the-top" to "fucking ridiculous."


PRETENDERS HIDE THE HAMSTER INSIDE
Posted November 24, 2010 at 2:30 am
He shrunk in the wash.


Transformers sure has been ringin' my Marvel Transformers bell recently.  Earlier this year we got Masterpiece King Grimlock, which was done up with his blacks as comic-blue and his Marvel-only crown.  Generations has already given us Lord Straxus from issues 17 and 18.  And in this new wave we get both Thunderwing and Skullgrin, who were prominent Decepticons from the Marvel material.

Thunderwing was one of the string of Decepticon leaders that rose to prominence following the disappearance of Megatron.  It's anyone's guess why he was chosen out of the entire 1989 lineup to be the New Big Bad.  Thunderwing wasn't the largest of that year's Decepticon toys.  He didn't even rate an appearance in toy commercials.  His packaging profile painted him as a typical lying, deceitful Decepticon.  But nonetheless, Simon Furman chose him to be the Big Bad Dude in the days running up towards Unicron's arrival.

And now you know the inspiration for today's SP! strip.


What set Thunderwing apart from all the other Decepticon leaders was, amazingly, his compassion.  Unlike Megatron or Straxus or Galvatron, he actually seemed to care about the welfare of his troops.  That doesn't mean he wasn't a jerk.  He had a crazy streak in him that grew out of his escalating obsession with finding the Creation Matrix.  Eventually he possessed it, but really it possessed him.  Tainted by evil, the Creation Matrix took control of Thunderwing and transformed him into a careless monster.  When he turned on his own troops, he had a brief moment of clarity as the weight of what he'd just done dawned on him, and he pleaded for the Matrix to leave him.  You never saw anything like that from the other Decepticon leaders.  This other, sane side to Thunderwing made him a little more three-dimensional than the rest.

"Who's taller now, Jazz? Who's taller now?!"


Anyway, Thunderwing was a popular guy, and the good news is that because of this he gets a new toy.  The bad news is that he gets it during a year in which all of the "Classic"-style Transformers are Deluxe Class guys!  One of the few things I didn't like about the original Thunderwing toy was that it wasn't quite big enough.  He needed to be larger to interact with and/or tower over his contemporaries.  But the new Thunderwing toy is smaller still.  D'oh!  And he's one of the smaller Deluxes.  D'oh again!  He's a little taller than, say, Deluxe Classics Bumblebee, and shorter than most everyone else.

Part of it has to do with how much of his alternate-mode mass ends up on his back.  ...which is all of it, so there isn't much toy left to make the robot very large.  As a result, he's basically a jet with a robot folded up underneath, which isn't unique to him among jetformers at all, but is still a little disappointing.  The advantage to this is that since none of his robot parts become jetparts, he can be as accurate to the original Thunderwing as designers wanted, and he is pretty damn accurate.  He's like a little Thunderwing action figure with a jet on his back.

The arms, uh, help with aerodynamics! Yeah!


I don't mean to imply that he's incredibly simple, because he's not.  True, his arms just line up under the wings, but the rest of the transformation was more complex than I was expected.  A piece of the chest unfolds out of his torso and hides his head and streamlines the curvature of the undercarriage.  His legs shorten not by shoving the thighs into the shins, but by unhinging everything apart and folding the legs up further into the inside of the body at the hips.  I also like how the jet wings fold out into shapes that remind me of feathered wings.

Thunderwing's got a few other surprises.  Though Hasbro couldn't budget a little robot for him to pal around with, Pretender-style, the nose of the jet does detach and become a little jet drone.  His massive double missile launchers combine to form an even bigger double missile launcher.  I kinda wish the jet drone attached to this combined weapon, but it doesn't seem to.

Your Thunderwing can be either circumcised or uncircumcised.


Getting back to that "Marvel love" stuff, what's most interesting to me are his colors.  Thunderwing spent most of his comic book appearances looking like an approximation of his vivid toy colors, or at least as close as the comic book coloring process could manage.  But then suddenly in his last two major appearances, the colorist dropped his color scheme and just made him an all-white guy with green arms and a yellow face.  Generations Thunderwing incorporates those green arms into his color scheme, which is surprising to me.  Hasbro tends to stick to the original toy colors, so taking inspiration from a specific two issues of the Marvel run is pretty neat.  It's too bad the face is more Don Figueroa than Geoff Senior.

Drawing to a close, this is a damn fine Thunderwing if you don't have a Thunderwing.  The original Thunderwing is mighty expensive on the secondary market.  I was super-lucky to have friends who chipped in together to get me him a few years ago, and he's one of the bigger joys of my collection.  It was also one of the better toys of its era!  However, this new Thunderwing is definitely not one of the better toys of its era, but it's also only $12 instead of eleventy million.  He's a great character and I'm glad he's earned a second chance at retail.  Everyone can own a Thunderwing!

Unless you live in the UK, because Hasbro over there is kind of dumb.
Posted September 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Drift brings three swords to a gunfight.


Oh,  hello, Blurr.  I remember you.  You're that speed-talkin' Micro Machines guy.  You know what my favorite Blurr moment was?  When  Hardhead forcibly shut you up by smothering you.  That was pretty great.

And, sure, there were times when you didn't have the speed-talking gimmick.  There were your few pre-Furman Marvel comics speaking roles.  There was, uh, All Hail Megatron.  The sad thing that I learned is that Blurr needs his speed-talking gimmick.  He's super boring and unexceptional without it.  It's all he has.  Blurr's problem is what makes him remarkable is also what makes him annoying.  He's an incredibly superficial character.

Which is why (gasp) I am going to go out on a limb and say that I like Drift's character more than Blurr's.  So, yes, you might believe that Drift is the worst kind of Marty Stu, being some kind of magical sword guy who shows up just to be righter about everything than everyone else, with a dark, scandalous past and godlike training from a secret Mary Suetopia which he discovered...  but at least he's not That Guy Who Talks Fast.  It's way more fun to hate Drift than it is to love Blurr.

Watch for paint-scratches on the hood.


Thus part of my problem ranking Blurr's toy versus Drift's.  As you can see, one is a retool of the other.  Blurr has a new head (based on his IDW comics design), a large gun and two handguns instead of a large sword and two ... handswords?, and a different spoiler.  And despite being a less interesting character to me, he's much, much, muuuuuch prettier.  Drift's colors are pretty boring.  He's solid white and dark gray, with some tiny bits of red.  Blurr, instead of being solid white, has this vivid range of blues.  The only non-blue non-black color on him is the red for his knees and his chest symbol.  He's not solid blue.  He's multi-blue.  And they're very good blues.

1986 Autobot Cars REPRESENT!


I probably stared at Blurr the most of all the toys in Hasbro's BotCon 2010 display cases.

Blurr's guns work real hard to out-cool Drift's swords.  Blurr has a huge gun, of course, just like Drift had the huge sword, and it's a huger gun than Drift's sword.  It also has a fold-out peg in the middle of the barrel so that Blurr can hold the gun two-handed.  What you can do with Blurr's two handguns is pretty neat.  Yeah, they still store in the hip holsters, just like Drift's mini-swords did, and Blurr can run around carrying them individually while the big gun's snapped onto his back... but you can also clip them onto the end of the barrel of the larger gun.  If you face them barrel-forward, you end up with a three-pronged supergun.  If you face them barrel backwards, you end up with a tripod for the larger gun.  A tripod!  You know, for all your crouching and waiting snipery needs.

He has a gun tripod MADE OUT OF GUNS.


And yet is it cooler than swords?  I dunno.  That's a tough call.  Sure, lots of  characters come with bunches of guns, but who the heck comes with a veritable golf bag of blades?  However, these blades don't combine like Blurr's guns do.  And Blurr is prettier than Drift, hands down, but Blurr-the-character just isn't that interesting to me.  You can't even ironically own Blurr's toy like you can ironically own Drift's toy.

People ask, which of the two should they get?  I answer... fuck me if I know!
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