Posts tagged with "machine wars" - 1
Posted July 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm
Here's all of the non-Beast Machinesy Autobots.  From left to right we got Mirage, Hoist, Sandstorm, and Electro.

Hoist and especially Sandstorm are victims of some of the absolute worst timing.  We're getting "Classics" versions of both of them this summer/fall, and I think that kind of puts these two iterations of their characters out of the limelight.  Hell, it was just  week or so ago when I got the Prettiest Fucking Sandstorm Toy Ever for $25, and about three days later I was paying twice that for this olive green and caramel thing.  Admittedly, Pretty Sandstorm is a retool of a toy I already had and BotCon Sandstorm is a redeco of a movie toy that I'd never owned, so at least the latter was a new experience to me, but pretty goes a long, long way, man.  (Also, Sandstorm is the only toy from the original Machine Wars I never bought.)

And while Hoist is getting a G1y version of himself sold in stores for $15, I don't think that's the worst news about the BotCon version.  Both he and Electro, who share Kup's Generations body and a new head, suffer at least one if not two misassembly errors, depending on your specimen.  The first, an interior misassembly that keeps you from transforming the torso all the way, is fairly easy to fix, and I have.  The second, a bicep misassembly which keeps their arms from being able to fold all the way down, is not easy to fix, if not impossible.  So many pins.  My Hoist suffers from this, but not my Electro.  I don't think I care that much.  Hoist is probably going back in the box soon anyway.  (Also, I didn't notice this until I got home because I only took out Hoist out of the box long enough to look at his shoulders, but man is the black stripe down the middle of his torso so not actually in the middle.  Oof.)

Electro I appreciate if only for his cyan and magenta paint apps.  He is super 90s.  I never owned an original Electro, and I recommend that none of you try to own an original Electro, as that guy will crumble to dust.  He suffers from Gold Plastic Syndrome, you see.  He's the GPS poster boy.  And so I'm happy to have this newer version that hopefully will not suffer the same fate.  He's gold plastic, but it's not the swirly glittery kind that chemically falls apart after a few years.  He's the only guy in today's group of folks who I don't have any sort of toy of, so it's nice to have a guy I hadn't owned previously.

On the flipside, that Mirage tho.  I can't believe how much I dig this Mirage.  I've got a lot of Mirages, including the original Machine Wars Mirage, and BotCon MW Mirage is so so so so so damn pretty.  He's not the dark teal of the original, instead being more of a sea foam, and goddamn do I love him.  He may replace my Classics Mirage on my shelf, because aw hell yeah, this guy.  He was worth buying Thundercracker for.  I just want to put him in my mouth.
Posted July 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm
So in the first two pages of BotCon 2013's comic book story, the Autobots commit a war crime.

If it were lampshaded as something terrible to do (especially since the folks directing them to do so are villains hundreds of years later) it wouldn't bother me so much, but instead it's played as if disguising yourself as a non-combatant to facilitate your sweet ambush is an amazing and awesomely clever thing to do.  Sure, Cybertron doesn't have the Geneva Convention, but the Geneva Convention has some pretty common sense stuff in it to help protect the innocent, like, say, not teaching your jerky enemies that they should fire on random civilians in case they might be you in disguise.  Heroes one and all, these Autobots.

Anyway, it's more important to the story to point out that Obsidian and Strika are hilariously obtuse when giving out orders, rather than point out, hey, maybe not commit war crimes maybe you guys.  You are supposed to be Cybertron's greatest (obsessively rule-bound) generals, right?

Which is not to say I dislike having these guys as toys.  Pre-Beast Machines bodies for Obsidian and Strika have been on my want list for a while, and these aren't terribly-realized versions of them.  Strika, in fact, is pretty damn amazing.  I like her a lot, and wouldn't have considered Warpath for her until being shown how perfect his toy is for her.  She may be the best toy of this year's entire set.  Obsidian isn't quite as on the mark, since I think RTS Lugnut would have given him the proper gangly arms and bad posture, but using Highbrow/Powerdive for him isn't awful.  He's at least got propellers on those tiny ineffectual arms of his, and his new head is impeccable.
Posted July 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm
In 1997, in the middle of a years-long focus on Beasts who War, Machine Wars was an oasis of vehicles.  It wouldn't be until 2000 that Hasbro would give us vehicles again, and so this strange KB Toys-exclusive line of  redecoed European toys and unused G2 stuff was all the game there was to be had, if you were into stuff with wheels or thrusters.  It was also the only place you could find Autobot or Decepticon symbols or the names "Optimus Prime," "Soundwave," and "Starscream."  And as the one of the first real departures for these characters from what they're "supposed" to look like, it was an exotic thing.  It became less exotic as time went by, and doing weird things with older characters wasn't terribly special.  Optimus Prime's been both a shoe and a baseball cap by now, so an Optimus who transforms into a truck with some slightly different colors isn't as eyebrow-raising as it used to be.  And oh no, he had an exposed mouth!  ... and so has nearly every Optimus since 2004.

However, despite all this, Machine Wars still had some unique things going for it, which called out to everyone that "this is Machine Wars."  For example, it had two new characters!   The first was Hubcap, who shared a name with an older character, but was written to be nothing like him.  The second was Megaplex, who was a decoy for Megatron.  Like, he was literally an exact copy of Megatron's body so as to confuse the Autobots.   His entire existence was based around him being target practice for someone more important.  Another interesting thing about Machine Wars is that Starscream was the tallest toy in the line.  He was massive, while Megatron (and his decoy) were pretty small.  How did that work?  How did Tiny Megatron keep Giant Treacherous Starscream in check?  There must be a story there.

Well, I guess, too bad.  BotCon 2013's toy set went off in a completely different direction entirely.  Megaplex is no longer a decoy, he's a clone, and so he doesn't look anything like Megatron anymore.  In fact, everyone's clones.  Skywarp and Thundercracker and Starscream are also all clones.  The entirety of last year's magazine comics were also about repurposing toys from the Nineties as clones of the guys they have the names of, rather than being the real guys themselves.  It was annoying last year and it's annoying now.  And Starscream's now shorter than his Megatron, aka Megaplex, the clone of Megatron.  There's not much here that resembles Machine Wars to me any more, at least not the parts I found memorable.

And my love for Machine Wars is pretty nil enough already to have what slivers of stuff I found remarkable about it be ignored.  Excitement level... pretty low.

So, uh, hey, here's your normal-sized Starscream who's not really Starscream, or whatevs.

*half-hearted thumbs up, forced smile*
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