Posts tagged with "generations" - 7
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.

Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:26 am

So, phew, Transformers has been going down the checklist of "Guys Who Haven't Gotten New Toys Since the 80s" like friggin' mad over the past few years, and we're finally... running out... of guys to remake?

I mean, we must be, if we're getting a new toy of Cog.

Make no mistake, I love myself some Cog, but.... Cog was the pile of accessories that came with Fortress Maximus and assembled into a robot.  He's a wheeled vehicle and a treaded vehicle and two guns, and they peg together into a robot.  Not transform --  peg.  He's literally spare parts.  Sure, he's appeared in fiction, but clearly only by accident.  

BUT NOW HE'S BACK.

A new toyline trilogy from Hasbro is upon us, and the first chapter of this "War for Cybertron" is titled "Siege."  Or affectionately(?) "Stege," if you were around on the Internet a while back when a fan to mocked up a news graphic using the Star Wars font and the letters melded together a bit.  

I will be referring to Siege as "Stege" on this website henceforth, as a heads up.

Regardless, Cog is a Deluxe Class toy in Stege, and he's a special kind.  He's a Weaponizer, which means he primarily exists to split apart into weapons and armor that other toys can wear.  It's a good role for a guy whose prior Transformers experience was transforming by coming apart and pegging back together in different ways.  And make no mistake, new Cog transforms essentially identically to the original Cog.  But with joints!  Lots of joints.  He's got all the articulation you'd expect, plus some fancy stuff like waist rotation and ankle tilts.  The only new wrinkle in his transformation is his face folds away in vehicle mode.   Before, his face was a seat.  A seat that Spike Witwicky would sit on.  Oof.  But no worries, that head flips out of sight now.

And as described, Cog is created by a bunch of stuff 5mm-pegged together, and it can reassemble into various kinds of armaments that other toys can wear.  The front car can fold out into a shield, or it can stay unfolded-out and peg into a shoulder as some armor.  The back car's shin-treads can become, I dunno, blocks the other robot can stand on and become taller.  These blocks also have guns.  The thighs and pelvis can peg into the back of a robot and you can plug Cog's arms into that backpack, giving a robot over-the-shoulder launchers.  Everything's modular, so if you want, you can take the tread-stilts off and place them into the middle of the over-the-shoulder launchers, making them mightier.  

There's lots of 5mm pegs and pegholes on Cog, and each non-Weaponizer Deluxe Class toy has a wealth of 5mm connection points.  

Which means Cog is a pretty crummy toy by himself.  You need another toy to unlock all the actual neat stuff he does.  Because, frankly, he's a lousy Transformer and his two altmodes aren't much to write home about.

That's what makes him an excellent Cog, though, if nothing else.  To thine own self be true, Cog.  

Posted October 14, 2018 at 9:17 pm


Man, remember when these Transformers Fan Vote things resulted in new characters? I guess that was just the first two years, but since, like, Windblade is in EVERYTHING now, you'd think Hasbro'd be all... hey, that worked out for us pretty well, why don't we do that, like, a second time. But, naw, these days we just get to choose which pre-existing old guy to remake.

And for this year's, we weren't even originally sure what the end result of the vote would have been. Hasbro said simply "CHOOSE THE NEXT PRIME" and gave us a smattering of pre-existing characters and told us to vote for our favorite. (Sure, one of those was "UNKNOWN EVIL," but unknown evil was technically just Deathsaurus.) It wasn't until later we learned that, oh, we're taking the winning character and giving him a Leader Class toy where they have a smaller-scale figure that folds up into a portion of a larger-scale figure. Really makes you wonder how that would have worked out if, say, Arcee had won. Maybe one of her halves would have been a giant techno-organic spider, I dunno.


Anyway, who won was Optimus Primal. Because, as Hasbro should really have figured out by now, if you have a list of guys and only one of them isn't G1, folks vote for the not-G1 guy. Any more than one not-G1 guys, you're gonna split the not-G1 vote and end up with, say, Wheeljack or whoever, but otherwise you're gonna have a Beast Wars character every time one's on the list. So Optimus Primal won! And Hasbro had to make him a toy! Had to! We made them do it! There's always some crank somewhere who claims that these votes are always rigged (because he didn't get what he wanted and/or thinks girls are stupid), but the fact that we got Optimus Primal and not Star Saber definitely puts lie to that conspiracy. I feel like this team really wanted to do Star Saber, and they only do Beast Wars literally when we force them to.

Since the theme was "early form merging with later, larger form," seen elsewhere in the Power of the Primes toyline as "Hot Rod becoming Rodimus Prime's chest" and "Orion Pax becoming Optimus Prime's chest," this new Optimus Primal toy has a mechanical-looking Optimus Primal becoming the torso of his later, larger, Optimal Optimus form. And if you're worried they forgot about that intermediate Transmetal form, it's given a tip of the hat through the Optimal Optimus gorilla mode being able to ride on Optimus Primal's spaceship mode like a surfboard.


It's nice that they found extra things for this Optimal Optimus re-do to do, because they cut out the fourth mode, the wheeled armored transport. He's just the big robot, the big gorilla, and the big jet. The smaller robot doesn't turn into a gorilla, just a spaceship that looks an awful lot like Optimal Optimus's torso flattened out with a rolling pin. The Matrix fits into the cockpit of the spaceship, which helps you play out your favorite "Optimal Situation" moments.

Some other changes are attempts to make the appearance more cartoon-accurate. In the cartoon, Optimal Optimus could retract his shoulder guns. The toy couldn't, because they were, y'know, electronic. But in cartoons, you probably don't want giant missiles constantly blocking the face of your super tall character, so they tucked away. So on this toy, you can yank those off and plug them elsewhere if you want. The bigger robot's face is also just the show's version of his head, instead of having the more stylized, angular mouth of the toy.


Also there's no chrome. Which is probably better in the longer run. Or it would be, the toy didn't have stickers. And as you have probably heard me grumble about more than once on this blog, Hasbro's current factory-applied stickers are garbage. They start peeling and shredding under all possible atmospheric conditions. And on this new OpOp, those stickers are right on the torso part that you shove in between the parts of the rest of his torso. Woo! So, you know, one step forward and all that.

oh and the original optimal optimus's backpack is made out of sparkly brown plastic that is kind of brittle so, uh, yeah, this may be a welcome update for some people


It's an okay toy. It's got a lot of different configurations, a good combined robot, an okay gorilla, and a jet because we say so. And that gorilla can ride himself as a surfboard.

This toy hasn't shown up at regular North American retail as of this writing, and so mine is the Japanese release, which is absolutely identical to ours but with a sticker on the packaging. And we're running out of time for this guy to come out over here before the next line (Stege) starts hitting stores this winter, so it's entirely possible Hasbro's "fan vote winner" will end up getting shat out into places like TJ Maxx and Marshall's. Who even knows.

Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:07 pm

Punch/Counterpunch has had quite a few toys, for who he is.  There's the original, the first Club exclusive retooled from Sideswipe/Sunstreaker, the second Club exclusive whose Punch mode was a literal arm, and now this one.  That's four!  Four toys for a guy who has a pretty restrictive gimmick.  Like, he has two robot modes, one Autobot the other Decepticon. 

The idea, of course, is that Punch is an Autobot who has a second robot mode which he uses to infiltrate the Decepticons as "Counterpunch."  I mean, it's... not the best cover.  It's just putting another two syllables in front of your name.  It's like if James Bond were sneaking around some supervillain's lair maintaining his name is "Counterbond."  And his disguise is just himself walking backwards with a hat tipped over his face.  And he drives James Bond's car.  

It's absurd and goofy and people love it.  

The previous two Punch/Counterpunch toys were... insufficient.  The first Club toy was based on an awkward toy and had the tiniest of tiny heads.  The second turned into an arm instead of having both robot modes because it was just Combiner Wars Wheeljack with a new head.  But this toy... this toy is a new Punch/Counterpunch from the ground up.  And it's mostly unencumbered by any of the past three line's gimmicks.  It doesn't make itself turn into an arm like the Combiner Wars or Power of the Primes toys.  It doesn't have a head that turns into a robot (or two heads that turn into robots, one would imagine for this guy).  Yeah, it has a 5mm peghole hidden behind a hatch in both robot mode chests so you can plug in the Power of the Primes fist/chest armor, but that's not really intrusive.  And, honestly, it's a plus, since you can just put the fist/chest armor on the back of whichever robot you're using, pretend it's a jetpack, and cover up the other robot mode's chest.  It's essentially a feature.

What I'm saying is, he's kinda just a regular Generations-style toy.  We haven't gotten one of those in about half a decade.  

His transformation is simple enough, but not condescendingly so.  The entire back two-thirds of the car folds up behind his legs.  His arms pull out from the sides.  The hood splits in thirds -- the outer thirds stay on top of the arms in either of two Autobot/Decepticon figurations, and the middle third folds up and hides inside the torso.  And that's it!  Nothing about it really annoys, and so he's a fun guy to shift between modes.

Punch/Counterpunch also comes with a little translucent Prima figure.  The only other way to get Prima is to get that SDCC Throne of the Primes set, so if you missed that, here's another chance.

He's neat.  I like him.  He's an Amazon exclusive which is currently out of stock, but if he follows the pattern of the others, there'll be lots more eventually.

Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 22