Man, why didn't this head option for the Inferno mold exist back in 2010? It's perfect for Pyro. Instead, we got Inferno's head in bluebecause all of the slots for head retools were used up on other figures in the BotCon 2010 set. Back then, I figured I'd get home with my set and immediately tape over the mouth and then paint the tape silver or something. That mouth had to go, man. It just did. But I never got around to doing that. I'm pretty lazy.
So anyway, now Hot Spot is a thing that exists, and he has a head that's pretty Pyro-y. It's probably more Pyro-y than Hot Spot-y. And so I waited until our stores started getting piles of Hot Spots and grabbed an extra one to steal a head from. I got some Cobalt Blue and mixed in a bit of Napoleonic Violet, and apparently that matches Pyro's blue pretty damn well.
I could have made his faceplate gold or yellow, to match the head this head's replacing, but I have never ever ever painted yellow or gold without it looking like utter crap. And so I left him with a silver faceplate, which happily matches the original Pyro toy. Huzzah.
This is the last of my six new guys from my Giant Box Of Awesomeness. He was the only retool of a toy I already had of the bunch, so of course he was the least interesting to talk about, and that's why he's bringing up the rear. His name...
Yes, that's right. "Grappel." Misspelled for some reason. It can't be for trademark purposes, since, well, trademark doesn't really work that way. Hasbro couldn't sell a toy named "Batmanne." And usually the name prefixes like "Solar Storm" are appended onto common nouns that are hard for Hasbro to defend ownership of, like with "Special Ops Jazz" or "Turbo Tracks." But "Grappel" isn't a word, much less a common one. Except maybe, I guess, amongst drunken people.
So I assume this was the worst kind of typo. Even if it wasn't, it's still horrible.
But, at least, this means I can start calling the guy who used to be simply "Grapple" the distinguished name of "Grah-PELL." Y'know, pronounced all French-like or something. Like "GRA-pell" was his commoner name and now that he's a famous arteeeest, he's known in the galleries as "Grahh-PELLLLLL." This amuses me.
Grahpell is an extensive retool of Inferno, the fire truck. They shared a toy back in 1985, and they do so again in 2011. And by extensive, I mean they changed wayyy more than the water cannon, which would have been sufficient. Grahpell has a new crane hook arm, obviously, since a crane is what he's supposed to be, but he also has a new head based on the original cartoon's character model for him. He also has new forearms, new hands, and new feet. The new hands are sculpted into an open position, but not the kind that still allows for him to hold 5mm peg weapons. No, they're just open to look pretty. They don't rotate at the wrist, either. The new forearms do away with the previous version of the mold's ability to rotate the vehicle kibble higher up onto the arm and out of the way of the hands. It's all one solid piece here.
The crane hook arm can extend in either mode, but it's kind of unwieldy in robot mode. Since the wrists don't rotate, it always has to be slung under his arm, meaning the crane hook arm's hook has to always be hanging, uh, upwards, unless you want his arm to look broken.
A plus for this version of the toy is that it holds together much better in vehicle mode than either of the older versions I have. The arm panels lock into his legs more securely. This might be because of the loss of rotating arm panels or it might be plain ol' plastic tolerances, who knows.
And finally, because Grahpell's not gonna be left out, the little rungs on the tops of his shoulders have been widened so that they can interact with the whole C joint clip system that all the other current toys are a part of. This, my friends, is sweet ass.
It's not just your usual trade. It has, like, crazy extra stuff in it. As I warned months back, the profiles in the individual issues aren't in the trade, but the trade has soooo much stuff the individual issues do not. There's, like, a whole text story in here. It's several pages long and excellent. There's two new profiles for Overlord and Snare. There's a page of trivia notes on the individual issues. There's another page of designs and arts and what have you. There's the one-page Wreckers comic, "Dead Men's Boots." It's all magnificent. All trades should be like this. I mean, c'mon, a whole extra story in here!
And that's besides the main event being all super-awesome. Buy the hell out of it.
Meanwhile, I need to get another box of books ready for AnimeFest. I mailed two out to Texas ahead of time and only one arrived! Shit! I'll have to check a replacement box with me at the airport. Glad I got some insurance on that missing box. Hopefully it'll show up... somewhere...
And oh, some websites thought they had an awesome scoop! And man, were people angry. What a terrible choice for Clench! And why doesn't he have a new head? BotCon is RUINED!
Of course, it was all a joke played by Fun Publications. (At least, the second part.) And about half an hour after the image was "leaked," the BotCon.com site updated to reflect the theme of the year's set, plus an awesome new Guido Guidi illustration of Spark and the real Clench toy.
The real Clench is apparently a redecoed Universe Onslaught with a new head. Suitably large, since he's Decepticon leader, and the little details we can spot in this illustration make him look super rad. The blue on his legs sparkle, which is very important for Clench, and there's his Tron-like circuit patterns on his abdomen. Here's hoping for his anti-wolf deco and his Texas license plate!
Streetwise Streetstar, the other reveal, is okay. It's cool that we're getting a toy of an unreleased Generation 2 character, but I really wish the toy had more detail. I mean, it's super-accurate to the original toy, but the original toy was kinda dull, too. He just needs some more color somewhere. But hey, at least it reminds folks that G2 wasn't all dayglo playskool neon. And the tampograph on his windshield is awesome.
The BotCon 2010 brochure is up! Preregistration will go up later, so we can have a chance to look this thing over. I haven't really read anything other than the names of the toys in the set, but oh my god yes.