Posts tagged with "generations" - 3
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.  

Posted January 13, 2019 at 10:03 pm

Remember back in 1986 when Ultra Magnus had this white Optimus Prime inside him?  That was weird!  And then the cartoon and comic ignored it, and then Dreamwave remembered it, and that inspired a bunch of white Optimus Prime toys, and then IDW said "actually you know what inside Magnus is this tiny white mustached guy," and then Hasbro made THAT a toy.  But throughout it all, we never really got an Ultra Magnus toy that had a white Optimus Prime inside.  Sure, we got White Optimus Primes, and we got Big Combined Mode Ultra Magnuses, but never again an intersection between the two, where one fits inside the other.  

Well, Stege Ultra Magnus has stepped forward to finally make that dream come true.  For the first time in forever, Ultra Magnus is a white Optimus Prime toy which armors up into an Ultra Magnus toy.  And.... 

...That's about really the best it has going for it!

All the other zillions of kinds of Magnus toys kind of do better all the things Magnus toys tend to do.  Like... Stege Magnus doesn't even work as a car carrier.  He's too full of armored parts that you snap around your White Optimus Prime.  So unlike, say, Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus, you can't cram a car into him somehow.  

Stege Magnus is also pretty short.  I mean, it makes sense.  He's a Voyager-scale White Optimus Prime (albeit different from the actual Voyager-scale Stege Optimus Prime) that adds armor parts to make him a slightly taller robot.  He weighs more than Combiner Wars Magnus, despite being a fraction of its height, just because how he works makes him so dense.  He's full of things.  (Which, again, probably helps keep him from working as a car carrier.)  But White Optimus Prime works as the skeleton of Armored Ultra Magnus, so Armored Ultra Magnus can only be so large.  

I also don't really like the aesthetics of Stege Magnus.  He's just so busy.  He is very Stege.  

I do like some small non-White-Optimus-Prime aspects of him.  Like, he's an actual Space Truck, rather than Stege Prime's "1980s Freightliner with the serial numbers filed off" truck mode.  That's appreciated!  I also like how he has flippable underwear that swaps between smaller and larger robot modes.  Oh, and how his Space Truck bumper transforms along a track of plastic up his spine.  

But, like, in most respects, once you start comparing to other Magnuses, for me this is a disappointing Ultra Magnus.  I definitely prefer the Combiner Wars one overall.  And that's before we get into Laser Magnus or Masterpiece Magnus or Animated Magnus, etc.  BUT: if you like the White Optimus Prime Guy who wears parts to become Big Ultra Magnus, this guy's your guy.  That's what this Magnus specializes in.

You just gotta... weigh how much that means to you versus other things Magnuses tend to do.

Wait!  Almost forgot.  There's more thing this Magnus can do that others can't.  He has waist articulation.  Not even the Masterpiece had waist articulation.  This is in part due to, you know, how Magnuses tend to transform.  There's too much going on in the abdominal area for waist articulation to make sense and/or not break physics as we know it.  But Stege Magnus breaks up the car carrier trailer into smaller parts and fits it on a smaller toy with waist articulation and takes care to not obstruct that articulation.  

So, hey!  Waist articulation on an Ultra Magnus!  That's the innovation we've been waiting for.  

Note: Later, this guy's gonna be retooled into Optimus Prime.  He'll have a new truck front/chest and probably a new trailer/armor parts.  We haven't seen the actual toy yet, but IDW's started drawing him into their next Transformers continuity, which begins this March.  And the art for that Optimus gives him a Transformers Cybertron-styled cab chest, and Ultra Magnus comes with Transformers Cybertron-styled leg guns, soooooooooo...

Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm

Here's a toy which I own because TFSource wasn't selling Stege Megatron separately and reviews on his casemate Optimus Prime were pretty strong.  I'd been pretty underwhelmed with Stege Optimus just from promotional materials, partly because, well, it's Optimus Prime.  We get a lot of those!  And the only new thing he brings to the table is his half-assed Cybertronian altmode.

Yeah, it's very partially assed.  It literally looks like a licensed Freightliner cab but with some boxes tacked on last-minute, like the Earth truck underneath was a stash of weed you needed to disguise from your parents who barged in unexpectedly.  This vehicle mode is the Standing Up Against A Billboard Pretending To Be A Part Of It of preEarth forms.  

Having the toy in-person doesn't change that a whole lot.  What does help partially is that you can rotate the wheels facing down as if they were, like, hoverpods or something.  Then, suspended by a display stand (sold separately), Prime looks more like a floating Tetris piece than a badly-disguised Earth truck at first glance.  Second-through-eleventy glances he looks like a badly-disguised Earth truck again, though.

But I can see why he's been getting positive reviews.  Though his robot mode is Just Optimus Prime again, it's a great robot mode to fiddle with.  It's well-proportioned and has all that Stege-level articulation you expect (ankle tilts!).  His head has a greater range of motion than Megatron, though, plus his elbows are able to bend at a little more than 90 degrees, which gives him a more natural "holding gun up" stance.  

What really strikes me about him (and Megatron and to a lesser extent Sideswipe) is the little things they can do with his transformation now that they're not allocating budget and parts to making him a combiner torso or a little guy which turns into his head.  Stege Optimus has so many little panels here and there that "complete" his transformation and make the robot mode feel more "finished" than there would be otherwise.  Hell, there's tiny little flaps on his knees that fold out in truck mode just to cover up his thighs more.  There's no real super need to do this, but it's nice that the toy has the bandwidth to spend on this kind of small stuff.  

Optimus comes with an axe that folds up into... into something that plugs onto the back of his truck mode, and he comes with his signature ion cannon.  

It's the first Classics-style Optimus that Just Transforms since... well, Classics Optimus in 2006.  So if you weren't around then, or if you feel like 12 years is plenty time to justify an upgrade, then this toy's your dude.  This toy's like that one in a few ways but easily better, though its altmode may make you roll your eyes.  

Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:10 am

Honestly, from initial photos, I was kind of meh on this guy until I mentally envisioned what he'd look like with a darker helmet like Marvel Comics Megatron and suddenly dang I needed him.  I haven't painted it yet, as of this writing, but it will be very soon.  

I was initially kinda meh because, like, it's another G1-style Megatron.  I have a few of those!  And Combiner Wars Leader Class Megatron is pretty great already.  I use him on my Lost Light shelf, since he's properly Magnus-sized.  And my regular ol' Decepticon shelf has Classics Megatron, who is an amazing toy.... but is severely yellowing.  But is still an amazing toy!  It would hurt to replace him.  He transforms into a Nerf Gun.  It's hard to beat that. 

I didn't think I needed yet another Megatron.  I already skipped the regular Titans Return Megatron for the same reason.  (I later ended up getting the purple Takara Tomy redeco of him because, well, he's really Beast Wars Megatron and comes with a tiny Savage Noble.)  

But here I am with another Megatron again anyway.  And, you know what?  This is a pretty solid Megatron toy.  He's just trying to be a really good Megatron, The Way You Remember Him.  And he generally succeeds.  Sure, he transforms into a Cybertronian-style tank and not a gun, but the latter isn't gonna happen again and Megatrons transform into nonEarth stuff all the time now.  Megatron's been a Cybertronian vehicle for three out of his four movie appearances.  He was a Cybertronian jet for all of Transformers Prime.  He was a Cybertronian tank for all of More Than Meets The Eye/Lost Light.  And so, like, Megatron not being an Abrams tank or a Walther-P38 but some kind of space tank doesn't really register on the Not Megatron scale anymore.  He could be exactly this toy in a toyline full of otherwise licensed Earthy guys and you wouldn't blink an eye.

If you're a fan of 1984 Megatron, other than a gun transformation, this toy has basically everything you want.  He's obviously cribbing a lot from the original cartoon/comic book character model.  He's got an arm-mounted cannon that looks like a gun scope instead of a tank barrel.  His head is incredibly buckety.  And he even comes with a big sword, if you pine for the original Megatron accessory Japan got but we didn't.  You can peel the blade away and attach the tank cannon inside the sword on his back, if you want to duplicate the barrel placement of the original Megatron model.  (It may take some Cog pieces to get it to attach around his hip like the original toy.  I haven't tried, but it might be possible.)

Again, Stege emphasizes articulation.  There's that ankle tilting again, though you can lock those ankles in place completely vertically if you want.  Megatrons rarely have rotating waists, due to their transformations, but this Megatron manages.  His head really only turns left and right, but it's on a panel that rotates forwards and backwards a little before you rotate it too much and it looks kinda dippy.  

The transformation is more involved than you'd think.  I mean, he's a Cybertronian tank, so he could look more like a pile of Megatron parts if Hasbro wanted him to be.  But his chest tucks away underneath, and the hull of the tank folds out of his back and wraps around the front.  Like Sideswipe, a panel opens up on his legs to give room for his thighs to hide inside, though Megatron's thighs do some 90 degree bendery to make it more interesting.  The arm-mounted cannon pegs onto the arm via the usual 5mm peg, but it doesn't remove for transformation; it rotates around, pointing backwards in the middle of the turret that the arms fold.  The sword transforms into the tank's barrel and plugs into the back of the arm-mounted cannon.  The sword halves themselves tuck under the turret.  The turret can rotate in tank mode, which is always a welcome feature as it's not always possible.  The feet, uh, stick out the back.

The feet sticking out the back is really the toy's only visual downside.  

If you want a good, no-nonsense Megatron that gives you a good feel for the classic iteration of the character, you can't really go wrong with this guy.  Again, I think that's essentially what they were going for.  

Posted November 13, 2018 at 12:44 am

Sideswipe is not an interesting character!  I can think of, like, one good Sideswipe story out of all three decades of Transformers fiction, and he dies in it.  Even his design is kind of the Default Transformers Look.  You fold down the hood, yank the arms from the sides, and pull out the legs.  The end!  But he was the Red Sportscar Guy in 1984, and that's always given him an artificial sense of importance.  

And so when War for Cybertron: Siege (aka Stege) was first unveiled, and Sideswipe was part of that unveiling, I had to fight back a yawn.  (I failed.)

But I am here to give you good news: Stege Sideswipe is GOOD.  Oh my gosh, I really like him.  I hate that I like him.  It's like when somebody you dislike on the Internet says something you agree with, and you're torn between going ugh, fine, and wanting to alter your entire worldview just to put yourself on the opposite side again.  I really like Stege Sideswipe, and so I worry I'm a bad person.

Let me try to explain why.  I think it's the transformation.  There's a lot of car Transformers where you kind of have to fight and fiddle to figure out where, say, the arms go.  And they maybe sometimes just kind of fold under loosely, sometimes it's a fight, and you hope for the best.  But Stege Sideswipe's arms are a dream.  They fold into little Ls, you tuck the fists in as far as they go, and they just... fit underneath in an extremely satisfying way.  There's no fighting over the same physical space.  There's no forcing them over other parts.  And then some car kibble folds down over the biceps and plugs in, securing them.  

The leg transformation is pretty good, too.  you pull out the front leg panels, smoosh everything inside in layers, and close the front leg panels back again.  

Again, it's hard to state exactly how satifying everything is.

Sideswipe has 5mm pegholes everywhere so you can plug in parts from other toys in the line.  There's one on his back, one underneath each foot, one on the outside of each shin, and one on both his shoulders and forearms.  He's also pretty well articulated for a toy his size.  He's got ankle tilts, which seems to be standard in this toyline, which really ups his shelf presence.  

He's supposed to be a Cybertronian-style car, but he passes for a fancy concept car from Earth if you squint.  He's going on the shelf with my other Earth car guys, so that's fine by me.

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