Posts tagged with "prowl" - 1
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 August 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm

I've probably mentioned it in this blog before, but when I was a kid, I designed a Transformers combiner.  Powermaster Optimus Prime and Pretender Classics had just happened, and I noticed that we were starting to get old guys (Bumblebee, Jazz, Grimlock, Starscream) redone as new toys with current gimmicks, and I hatched a plan to get me other new toys of guys I wanted years earlier but never got toys of.  And so, using allll the creativity that a ten-year-old can muster, I designed a Transformers gestalt guy made of Ratchet, Ironhide, Prowl, and Wheejack with Optimus Prime as a torso.  It was very creative.  So wow.

Anyway, twenty-five years later, the dream is nearly being realized.  I've got my Ironhide and Prowl, Wheeljack's coming, and there's some art of a possible Ratchet that leaked, and of course there's Optimus Prime.  I am so into this.  I want everyone to be a combiner.  I want to rebuy my entire Transformers collection as combiner limbs and torsos.  Combiner Wars is the shit.

Anyway, all these new limbs here (Ironhide, Sunstreaker, Prowl, and Mirage) are retools of the Stunticons.  Ironhide was Offroad, Sunstreaker was Breakdown, Prowl was Dead End (well, okay, he's a retool of Streetwise who's a retool of Dead End), and Mirage was Drag Strip.  They all get new heads.  They're officially supposed to combine with "Battle Core Optimus," a white redeco of the first wave Optimus Prime torso with a new also-Optimus-Prime head retool, but I'm cool with the first wave Optimus Prime I already have.  My childhood combiner guy didn't have a white redeco of Prime in it.  Also Legends Class Rodimus forms the chest armor.  Sort of.  He likes to not stay on so well.

My favorite of the four is Sunstreaker, since his toy incorporates the big fist/foot/cannon accessory into the robot mode itself.  Plus Sunstreaker's yellow, and you know me and my yellow.  

One thing I don't like is how the fist/foot/cannon accessory on each of these guys is split up between silver-painted plastic and silver plastic.  Some of the plastic in these toys are nylon for structural integrity reasons, and nylon won't take factory paint, but it still makes the weapon modes of each toy look even less cohesive than before, like a piece of gun with some fingers in it.  It's just more conspicuous.  Which, again, is why I'm happiest with Sunstreaker, who can peg his fist/foot/cannon accessory onto his back.  

I've seem some folks complain that we're getting new toys of these four guys when we already have toys of them.  Well, maybe you do!  Those toys came out in 2008!  That was a while ago!  And, like my childhood self, sometimes you don't get to get everything you want during the first pass, so second chances are nice.  And it's even better if these second chances combine into a larger robot.  

Now where's my Wheeljack and my Ratchet?

Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I was pretty fine skipping MP Sideswipe, because, really, who the hell is Sideswipe?  He's only a popular guy because 1) he's from 1984 and 2) he's red.  He's kind of the Default Autobot.  (Now, put him in G2 colors and we'll talk.)  But I don't think I can pass up on Prowl.  

Like Ravage and Buzzsaw, Prowl is one of those dudes I just like a whole bunch, and feel I should own a "Masterpiece" version of.  Much like Sideswipe, he didn't do much of note for years, but he finally distinguished himself in the very late Generation 1 years in the Marvel comic, where he started appearing again because he had an Action Master toy to sell.  Here, he was strict, by-the-book, and was an amazingly self-righteous prick.  And I gobbled this the hell up, because this was pretty outstanding characterization for an Autobot back in the day.  Other than Grimlock, Autobots tended to be pretty nice.  But Prowl was not.  He was selfish and had an inflated view of his own importance.  He was kind of like Dwight from The Office -- very good at his own actual job, but his inability to connect with others and lack of charisma kept him from rising as far in the ranks as he'd like.  And this really infuriated him.  

I'm very happy the current IDW comics have taken this version of Prowl and ran with it.  If Prowl isn't just a little bit of a jerk, he doesn't feel like Prowl to me.  And while Prowl is indeed a super jerk, it's also nice when he's also right.  He is indeed a by-the-book strategist, a mechanoid run by logic -- kind of a heroic counterpart to Shockwave -- and Prowl's correct when he sees his fellow Autobots championing the more bloodthirsty and reckless amongst their ranks and is disgusted.  But Prowl's just as interested in justifying his means as they are, just from a different angle.

(The cartoon Prowl was basically a non-entity, meanwhile.   It's part of why this Masterpiece toy doesn't COME with anything wacky like much of the other Masterpieces have.  He was not terribly noteable.)

So I'm happy to report that this Masterpiece toy is pretty great!  There are two kinds of Masterpiece toys -- the ones that I want to smash a little with a hammer and the ones that are complicated but not infuriating.  Prowl is thankfully one of the latter!  In fact, I'd say he's less infuriating to transform than both the recentish Universe toy and his more-recent Beast Hunters toy.  He's certainly more involved than either of them, but he doesn't require the harrowing fiddliness they require.  There's no going back and trying to get panels to line up better because you didn't fit something inside the right way.  

And unlike many similar toys which have trouble getting the arm assembly down and out and around the hood during transformation, his arm assembly is pretty no-nonsense.  The whole damn thing just swings down and out of the way first-thing.  Nothing pops off during transformation and nothing ever tries to occupy the same space as the rest of him.  His feet are a much-more complex version of the Universe toy's, but, again, not in a way that will cause frustration.  There's just more steps.  

So, like, major thumbs up.

Prowl's Masterpiece toy is sized based on his robot height relative to Optimus Prime's in the television show.  It's sort of a nonsensical scale beyond that (he'd be much smaller if their vehicle modes were in scale) but I like that it is a purposeful scale of some stripe.  Him being much smaller in general makes me happy.  I don't have Sideswipe, and so most of the Masterpiece toys I have currently are all basically about the same size.  It's nice to have some height variance.  I like height variance.  It makes the Masterpiece line come alive to me. 

Just wish Grimlock were taller.

Posted August 18, 2013 at 1:33 am

I really really like Beast Hunters Prowl's robot mode! �And since it comes packaged in it, you can just leave it in robot mode forever and never transform it. �In fact, I recommend that! �Heartily!

There were two reasons why I bothered transforming him. �One, I figured I might need a photograph of his car mode for this blog. �And two, I forgot how much I hated transforming the Smokescreen version of this toy. �Oh, man. �It is really the worst. �You get the legs transformed, and you sort of get the doors in place, and then the rest of the process is about 45 minutes of trying to get his arms and the piles of car panels on them to line up with the rest of everything. �He's like if Beast Wars Neo had cars. �...or, right, that's what Car Robots was, never mind.

But that robot mode! �I love it! �Smokescreen is retooled to have the Prowl head design from Transformers Universe, the online game that used to be an interesting-sounding game until they removed all the things from it anybody would possibly want or were excited about and also will never ever come out ever at this rate I'm pretty sure. �Did you know we "reserved" our in-game names about 30 months ago? �It was coming out in a few months then. �It's always coming out "in a few months," in perpetuity. � It's been coming out soon since Transformers Prime began, but now TF Prime is over, so OH WELL. � But Prowl's a really nice design, and so I'm glad it's become plastic. �The paint applications try to approximate the design as well, best it can. �But the result, regardless, is something I really like.

He's a G1y Prowl in a TF Prime animation style with hints of the TF Animated version of the character, particularly the unified eye-shades. � And boy does his light piping work. �Oh and they dropped the Beast Hunters net and armor that came with the Smokescreen version. �He's only got the missile launcher. �The only thing he's really missing is the "Justice Hammer" the Cyberverse version of Prowl comes with, because, come on, JUSTICE HAMMER.

He's just classy.

Just forget he's a Transformer, please.

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