Posts tagged with "reveal the shield" - 1
Posted August 18, 2011 at 2:46 am
Hey, look, some new stuff.

So I ordered a lot of new Reprolabels sets after their recent update, which was a great idea because most of my toys are still packed away.  I got to do some digging!

I was most excited for the Reveal the Shield Perceptor upgrade set because of the monocle sticker.  One of the reasons I liked RtS Perceptor is that he reminded me of Perceptor's appearances in Last Stand of the Wreckers, and the only important visual detail that got in the way of Complete LSotW Power was the lack of a monocle.  The upgrade sticker set comes with three of them, because it's hard to apply and they're easy to lose.  They're tiny.  They're super tiny.  And getting them onto the face itself is really challenging, since it's a recessed area smaller than the tip of my finger.  I lost the first of the three, managed to get the second onto the face, pushing it up into place with a prong of a fork, and then realized that I needed the third one as well.  Just one sticker doesn't really over the eye that well.  I used both.

The rest of the stickers are pretty good, but not as important to me.  It's nice to get some color on his stomach, since that was a silver piece on the original toy, and I think the tech readouts look better than the gray windows they cover up.  There's some smaller stuff as well, like the  headlight stickers and the "14X" and "United States of America Antarctic Program" stickers.

The one set of stickers I used but wasn't sure about are the ones that go on the thighs.  They call back to the original toy, but I don't know if I think they're attractive.  I might remove them later.  I'm not sure.

And I'm certainly not replacing the rub sign faction symbol with a normal Autobot symbol, no.  I love that gimmick.  IS PERCEPTOR AUTOBOT OR DECEPTICON????
Posted January 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm
Guess which one of these guys is not based on a dude from 1985. Hard, I know.

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... Solar Storm Grappel.

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.

The forearm retooling helpfully gets rid of the hose nozzles on the original version's vehicle mode.

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.

And the money shot.

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.
Posted January 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm
Perceptor doesn't come with any handheld weapons, but thankfully he can borrow his old one.

Unlike Wreck-GarLugnut, and Kup, Perceptor doesn't happen to be in my Hall of Awesome. I mean, I like Perceptor well enough, I guess, but he's always just kind of there, y'know? Being a scientist. Being a buzzkill. Being a favorite subject of slashfic, apparently. (Slashfic writers love their repressed nerds.)  Besides, I think I got all of the "How I Feel About Perceptor" out of my system when I talked about his Toys"R"Us reissue a while back.

But right at the beginning, let's get this out of the way: Perceptor's a bit of a shellformer.

If you've got Perceptor's legs, you've got 75% of his vehicle mode.  It all wads up in there, the entire back half of his truck mode.  During transformation from robot to truck, you unfold all these panels and treads and assemble the back half of the truck.  Next you wad up his robot mode inside this truck shell you've created, and seal it off with the truck hood that's on his back.  It is not terribly compelling, and it can be very frustrating at times.  It's not, like, Side Burn level or anything, but it's just not my favorite transformation style.

Something old, something new, something borrowed from someone blue.

But on the positive side, I think I am positively in love with his robot mode.  I'm not sure exactly what it is that does it for me.  Maybe it's his lankiness.  I've always thought Perceptor should be more lanky.  I mean, he's a nerd, right?  He shouldn't be the same pile of rectangles that everyone else is.  I love how his forearms taper organically.  Maybe what's happening is that his more angular shape puts me in mind of his All Hail Megatron redesign appearances in IDW comics, particularly his role in Last Stand of the Wreckers, which anyone who reads this blog regularly should know that I have a boner for.  The shape of the chromed piece on his chest definitely calls out to his design in that series, though I don't know if this specific call-back was intentional, or whether it was merely a side-effect of Hasbro's intentions of retooling Perceptor as Reflector.  Reflector's chest is shaped like this, after all.

(It is because of his design's similarity to LSotW Perceptor that I am happy to lend him Blurr's sniper rifle.)

Wonder which vehicle gets worse mileage.

Back to Perceptor's chromed chestpiece. Yes, Perceptor has chromed parts, which is eyebrow-raising for a mainline Hasbro product.  It just doesn't happen that often.  I guess someone at  Hasbro thought it was important?  Me, I can take it or leave it, in theory, but I do kind of think it makes him stand out a bit too much from his peers.  Plus, well, you know how much I like the C joint system, with the clips?  The dials on Perceptor's wrists have C joint rungs sculpted into them.  Two per.  Sweet, right?  No, because the vacuum-metalized coating makes these rungs too thick to work with the clips.

It took me a while to notice this, and at first I was wondering why Perceptor felt so, well, gimmickless, compared to the rest of his contemporaries.  He doesn't have a handweapon, only the truck-lights-become-his-shoulder-cannon thing.  (I'm not sure how the cannon's crosshairs helps, what with it being set behind his head.)  I kept thinking I must be missing something crucial.  But no, it's just that his compatibility with the rest of his wave is hindered by his chrome.  Kinda annoying.

I do like his choice of altmode.  Frankly, I never liked the microscope.  He didn't even ever look like a microscope so much as a robot folded into something that sort of looked like a microscope, if you were mostly blind.  So I'm happy that Hasbro remembered Perceptor's third mode, his mobile tank/cannon/thingy, and ran with that instead.  Yay,  half-track SUV!

Anyway, his chest opens up, the end. is considering sponsoring Shortpacked! in the future, so in a practice flexing of my web-muscle, here's a link to their RtS Perceptor order page.  He's (of course) sold out at the moment, though, so maybe a link to the Japanese United version would also be prudent?
Posted January 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm
Now with 100% more sculpted detail.

Man, y'know what I like? Animated-original characters getting toys in other lines!  You may remember that I was super in love with Revenge of the Fallen Lockdown and his Animated-inspired rivalry with live-action Ratchet.  I also adore that Bulkhead is one of the main Autobots in Transformers: Prime.  And, hey now, look, it's Reveal the Shield Lugnut, everyone's favorite five-eyed sycophant, in Generation 1 style!

Did you know that Lugnut was in the 1986 animated Transformers film?  Well, he was.  Sort of.  According to the comic book that comes with the Rodimus/Cyclonus "Battle in Space" set, which retroactively places him at the Battle of Autobot City, anyway.  That's the kind of stuff I like, the new additions that are presented as if they'd been there all along.

So wide it was hard to fit into my lighting studio.

Frankly, after getting your hands on this guy, you'd be happy for him to be in every continuity possible.  Out of the huge box of swag I got on Friday, I'd rank his toy as the winner in all respects.  There's just so much going on with him.  Let's work our way through them.

Where the sun don't shine.

First of all, I am super digging his alternate mode.  It's a giant war bomber.  Folks tend to describe it as a "WWII bomber," but I can't really agree so long as he has jet engines instead of propellers.  The second best thing about this mode is the amazing wingspan.  Usually, Transformer plane wings are stubby so that they fit into the packaging in vehicle mode or a conservation of plastic mass is attained.  But Lugnut gets around that by being packaged in robot mode and by having his wings transform into his arms.  Often wings just get thrown onto the back of a robot mode as kibble, but Lugnut uses the wings to add to his robot mode mass.   The FIRST best thing about his vehicle mode is the missile that launches out of the back of the tail, which calls back to those World War II-era bombers.  You flip up the little gunpod at the very tip of the tail, and underneath is the missile launcher.  In robot mode, this launcher can point over the shoulder.  ...Or up under the crotch, if you're crude.

Go go Gadget arms!

How Lugnut gets massive arms out of his wings is inspiring.  His hands transform out of the jet intakes(?) on the wings, the wingtips fold over onto the backs of the hands, and then the wings articulate like arms.  Each hand has two articulated fingers and a thumb.  (He can go grabby grabby.)  It's a feat of engineering we haven't seen before.   Animated Lugnut had a "Punch Of Kill Everything" attack where he'd punch the ground and create a massive crater, and this version of Lugnut tries to borrow that as well.  Both of his fists have spring-loaded punch gimmicks.  You could use this to make his wings even longer, but I don't think it's necessary, and it leaves a few gaps.

(Oh, and his mouth can open and close.)

Missiles and speakers and wrenches and axes and machine guns and grenade launchers and...

In my reviews for the past several toys, I've talked about the new, shared "C joint" gimmick, where toys come with clip-on weapons and a number of rungs for those weapons to attach.  Well, Lugnut is the holy mother of this.  He doesn't come with any weapons, but he has rungs hidden all over his body that can accommodate 15 clip-ons.  There's one on the missile launcher.  There's four spread across his shoulder jet engines.  There's two on each of his shins.  There's two each more on the backs of his wrists, hidden under the wingtips.  And there's one more on both of his wingtips.  I wouldn't be surprised if I found even more later, but at that point I'd be put out, 'cuz I'm out of weapons to attach to him.  (I think the next time I get more is whenever Wheeljack comes out.)

To sum up, you have to get this guy.  He's an amazing toy that can do buttloads of stuff and he's an appealing character with a memorable visual design.  Any toy with giant articulated fingers is already going to be near the top of my list, but Lugnut gives me that and so much more.  If you see him, snatch him up.
Posted January 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm
Happy motoring! Cock-a-doodle-doo!

With my deluge of new toys, it was kind of hard to decide which one to talk about first.  Do I go from least favorite to most favorite, do I go from most favorite to least favorite, do I go randomly, as the wind turns?  Do I say "fuck it" and start a site about stamp collecting?  I ended up going with Wreck-Gar, because he's this month's featured article on, which meant I felt he needed pictures the most immediately.  There's not many days in this month left!

I've never owned a toy of Generation 1 Wreck-Gar.  My only Wreck-Gar toy is the Animated version, who's a similar but different character.  Reveal the Shield Wreck-Gar fills a pretty obvious hole in my collection, because, dude, Wreck-Gar.  He leads the Junkions!  He talks TV!  He sounds like Eric Idle, except when he doesn't!  ...which is truthfully all the time, because Eric Idle's voice was processed so much you couldn't really tell it was him anyway.

You check in, but you don't check out.

Getting him out of the package, my first thoughts were, wow, this is a friggin' huge toy.  Maybe this was because I'd recently opened and played with RtS Laser Optimus Prime, who is a munchkin, but mostly it's because Wreck-Gar is legitimately pretty big for a Deluxe. vehicle mode, anyway.  He's very tall, since conservation of Deluxe Class mass means a thin altmode is going to be wider in other dimensions.   And as I transformed him and put him on our coffee table, I realized that this was probably going to be my favorite toy of this batch.  I mean, look at him.  Look at that devilish grin.  He just has all this personality.  And something about his visual style just tweaks my nipples or something.

I changed my mind a lot on how much I liked him on the way back into vehicle mode.  He was boggling.  I ended up with a bunched up torso and arms and some flailing legs that refused to fit into where they should go.  It was not a fun time.  Thankfully, it's not the kind of transformation that I hate, with the meticulously interlocking panels.  I was just missing a step somewhere, obviously.  It was murder trying to figure out what that step was, is all.  I think it turned out being something to do with how the upper thigh joints connected into the pelvis.  They unlock further, and doing that gives the bike mode the leeway to fit into itself better.

I'm a pepper. Wouldn't you like to be a pepper, too?

I really want to get Wreck-Gar's transformation down to a relatively short amount of time.  The Junkions' whole deal is that they ride each other in bike mode, get knocked off each other, then transform and swap places.  If it takes half an hour to get a dude back into bike mode, that's harshing on my playtime.  At this point I should mention how grateful I am that having one Junkion ride another Junkion is even possible.  The original toy was a super-wide bike that transformed into a robot with unarticulated legs.  The cartoon was kind of an asshole, repeatedly showing the Junkions doing shit that their toys could never ever do ever ever.  RtS Wreck-Gar makes up for that in spades.  He is obviously supposed to ride other iterations of his mold.  The underside of his pelvis ends in two square pegs, and there are two square pegholes on the seat of the motorcycle.  His fingers are also molded into a "holding onto handlebars" shape.  So once they redeco this guy into another Junkion, happiness comes to town.

He's really brown.

Offer expires while you wait. Operators are standing by.

His rear hubcap and its corresponding exhaust pipe clip off and unfold to become his battle axe weapon.  The hubcap portion also unfolds, going from "fan" to "pinwheel."  Wreck-Gar can hold onto the axe by the handle, or he can stow it on his back using the clip.  Or, of course, any number of other contemporary toys can use the axe, by either the handle or via their own clip joints.  (Lugnut has like 15 million.)

This is the toy Wreck-Gar's deserved for decades.  And it looks like the mold has at least two other possible Junkion heads (e-Hobby uses one, and another is featured in the instructions), so you're probably going to be seeing a lot of it.  What I'm saying, I think, is that I'd better friggin' like this toy, because I aim to own all of them.
Posted January 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I had preordered Reveal the Shield Laser Prime at the same time as the rest of his casemates, of course.  But he got shipped all by his lonesome.  This was a little annoying to me, since, y'know, that's $7 of shipping for one dude when it could have been $7 shipping for three dudes.

But it was made up for.  'Cuz, wow, today I got six toys delivered.  The other guys from Laser Prime's assortment that I wanted, plus guys from two other assortments.  So I consider it a net gain.  I think Laser Prime got sent alone only because he wouldna fit into the box with the others.

It's like Christmas in January!  Expect some toy reviews this coming week.
Posted January 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm

The penis mightier!

When I was in high school, Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime was the fucking bomb.  It was seriously the best Transformers toy ever, hands down.  I wasn't alone in this assessment: in the Nineties the annual online Transformers fandom awards gave Laser Prime the #1 spot on the  "Best Toy Friggin' Ever" poll for years and years after his release.  The only thing that knocked it from its lofty perch was the arrival of Masterpiece Optimus Prime.

What granted the toy immortal status was the context of its birth.  Laser Prime came out late in Generation 2, just as Hasbro decided, hey, maybe we should, y'know, give these guys some, like, knees and elbows or something.  Laser Prime was the highest-priced item that year, so what he gave us was a very sizeable, very poseable, very electronic Optimus Prime who not only came with one of the best missile-launching and disc-shooting trailer bases ever, but he also rocked the fucking sword.  (Which, in theory, would light up along with the rest of his electronics if plugged into his fist.)  Laser Optimus Prime was fucking badass, and he was the most fucking badass Generation 1/2 Optimus Prime toy for a friggin' decade.

Some people prefer the mold in his "Black Convoy"/Scourge colors from Robots in Disguise.  (Who inspired a tiny Spy Changer version of the toy that later got redecoed as Optimus Prime in a "Circle of Life" sort of way.)  Me, I go for e-Hobby's Laser Ultra Magnus, who you see accompanying this blog's subject in the photos here.  And I still love that toy.  So It was hard to imagine what a newer version could bring to the table.  Wasn't the original Laser Prime mold good enough?  Was it that dated?  Could it be improved on 15 years later?

I may be small, but I can hold my sword with both hands!

So here's Reveal the Shield Optimus Prime, who's an homage to ol' Laser Prime.  He's just a Deluxe Class toy, compared to the, uh, whatever large undefined size class original Laser Prime was.  So, yeah, RtS Prime is pretty tiny.  He's even pretty tiny by modern Deluxe Class toy standards.   He's shoulder-height with Generations Thunderwing and Classics Bumblebee, which makes him one of the shortest Deluxes ever.   It makes me wonder what about his construction made it too costly to make him bigger.  Bumblebee came with that sizable transforming jetski/trailer accessory, so that's a conservation of mass.  Thunderwing is mostly wing, and so he's about as big as he can get and still fit into the bubble packaging.  With RtS Prime, though, I'm not so sure.  He feels like he has a lot less mass than, say, Drift or Straxus, both of whom tower over him and come with more accessories.

Might it be his complexity?  I'm not talking really about his transformation, which is indeed much more complex than the original Laser Prime's.  I'm thinking more of the extravagant series of lightpiping that runs through the top half of his body.  His shoulders, torso, and head are all full of translucent orange plastic, and so when you put him up against a light, he glows through all these sculpted cracklines.  It's pretty neat.  (And was probably intended as a replacement for the original version's electronic lights.)

But let's get back to his transformation.  One thing that this toy definitely improves on versus the original is the vehicle mode.  While Laser Prime's back end was unmistakably a pair of robot legs pegged together, RtS Prime's vehicle mode tries to make that back end look like an actual truck back end.  This means some liberties have to be taken with Optimus Prime's legs, and those liberties were definitely taken, with some very compelling results.  There's a series of flip-over panels that move out of the way from truck to robot mode so that you can compress the wheels into the insides of the thighs and shins.  This is necessary because, like a real semi, he's got those double-wheels, and double-wheels are wide!

Plus I hide my legs better.

I also appreciate how the windows of the vehicle become the chest of the robot.  Original Laser Prime had vestigial chest windows, which looked nice but were a real cheat, but RtS Prime says fuck that shit and goes the extra mile of moving the chest windows down into the robot mode.  And they even paint them silver so that they call back to Laser Prime's chest color.  (That is super appreciated.  If they'd done his chest up in traditional red, it wouldn't feel much like Laser Prime at all.)

When you fold the side windows in so that his shoulder jointings have a place to go, they press up against the insides of his chest window.  Why?  'Cuz there's a Matrix sculpted on the facing side of those window panels.  Oh fuck  yeah.  And in an undocumented feature, when you compress the remaining vehicle kibble into his backpack, there's a large slot there for his sword to stow.  His sword which transforms into the trailer hitch.  (Not nearly enough Optimus Primes have actual trailer hitches, instead of the usual humdrum peg and peg-hole.)

I like to pretend that back kibble is a jetpack.

I'm not sure where I stand on RtS Prime's poseability versus the original's.  In theory, he has the original's joints and more.  In theory, he adds very-helpful ankle articulation to the pile.  His head is perched high on a ball joint.  And his additional wrist articulation allows him to, at long last, hold his sword double-fisted style.  But a lot of the rest of his articulation is hindered by the sculpt.  His waist could turn more than a few degrees to each side if his backpack didn't get in the way.  His elbows don't quite bend 90 degrees.  And the admittedly nifty collapsible leg wheels keep his knees from bending much.

So RtS Prime is something of a mixed bag.  Whether he skews awesome or meh depends on how you prioritize his shortcomings and improvements.  Plus he has some pretty big shoes to fill... literally.  What with being tiny.  And, hey, let's be real, here.  Laser Prime was the most awesome toy of his decade.  If he came out today, he wouldn't be so legendary.  ...which is just about where RtS Prime stands.

Posted December 30, 2010 at 2:01 am
Lookit me, buying's upgrade sticker set for Reveal the Shield Tracks for not the same reason as everyone else, because I'm unique and counter-culture-y!    Ah-heh.  No.

Is Wheeljack out yet? Is he?

Anyway, nobody likes Tracks' new tribal-style flame deco on his hood, and so everyone was super happy when Reprolabels made a sticker set for him that gave him some labels that'll cover them up with a more classic-style flame pattern.  Yeah, I didn't want those.  The tribal-pattern flames don't bother me, and the retro-style flames are just kind of gross.  Plus, yikes, they were designed by the guy who drew this.  I don't want that on my stuff.  I have some scruples left.  Not many, but a few.

Instead, I was all about the other stickers included in the set, most of which you can't see in this photo because I didn't feel like transforming Tracks back into car mode just so you could see his new foglights.  There's also a license plate sticker and some chrome silver stickers that apply on the business end of his side-view mirrors.  That's the kinda stuff I always like seeing in these sets.  I like "completing" the vehicle mode.

The robot mode stuff is almost always secondary to me.  But there's an awful lot more of it than the vehicle mode stuff, so that's why there's a picture of it here.  He's got yellow stripes on his feet, which I much appreciated, some more-complete red stripes on his wings, which I was okayish on, and green stripes that wrap around his missiles, which are okay by me because I like adding color like that.   There's also silver stickers that go on his knees which I only added because at that point I was having fun putting on stickers.
Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Redface is all the rage this year.

Reveal the Shield Tracks is kind of insane.  He's insane in a way I don't think I'll be able to express fully until his retool comes out, but I'll give it some lip service here, because it's on my mind.

Much like Universe Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, Reveal the Shield Tracks's toy is intended to eventually do double duty as Wheeljack.  What's different this time, though, is the severity of changes between the two toys.  The only difference between Sunstreaker and Sideswipe was a headswap and rotating the waist 180 degrees.  From what we've seen of Wheeljack's toy in promotional photography, though, shows stuff that blows that out of the water.  It's crazy.  I told you, it's insane.

Hasbro photo of Wheeljack. Note the new head, wings, wrenches, feet, and shins with fold-down wheels.

Back in 1984/5, Tracks and Wheeljack were two totally different molds that were entirely unrelated to each other.  They transformed pretty similarly, with both getting the roof-chest, hood-legs treatment, plus they both had wings.  It seems like a smart move to make the new Wheeljack the same guy as the new Tracks, but with a new head and a twist of the waist during transformation.  But, like, holy cow.  The number of new parts we're getting on Wheeljack is crazy.  He's got a new front bumper, a new spoiler, he gets wrenches instead of missiles, different wingtips, and the super-crazy part is the entirely new robot shins. Why are they new?  I dunno!  The robot parts of the shins end up on the back of Wheeljack's robot legs, so you don't even see them!  But apparently it's just that important to make it so that Wheeljack's front wheels can fold down by his heels where they were on the original toy.

The old flame deco was so last millennium.

Anyway, enough about the toy that Tracks isn't.  It's a hard subject to avoid, since it informs a lot of my feelings about him.  So much about him is just there to be Wheeljack later.  He has Wheeljack's stumpier proportions, for example.  The original Tracks was tall and lean.  His hand weapon is just Wheeljack's shoulder-mounted missile launcher with a 5mm peg.  His wheels are on a hinge that rotates around the upper bicep so that you can position them on the front like Tracks's original toy or out to the side like on Wheeljack's original toy.

I fully expected this hedging to make the toy into a fiddly mess, but Tracks still remains a solid toy that has a lot of Tracks-specific features.  It's not as clean of a transformation as RtS Jazz, but it's not anything near a disaster, either.  The only problem I've ever had transforming him back and forth was finding out exactly where to shove the forearms into the car shell so that they fit.  And now that I have that figured out, it's no problem at all.

Once again the clip-on weapons make the toy enjoyably versatile.  Tracks has three.  One of them, Wheeljack's shoulder weapon, as I mentioned previously, has a peg on it so that Tracks can hold it in either of his hands.  Tracks also has two other clip-on weapons that approximate his dual shoulder missiles.  They can clip under the doors in car mode and either stay stowed or fold out at an angle to the sides, or you can attach them to the back of the car mode via a panel that rotates around a hinge to unveil notches that the missiles can peg onto.

Sweet for Tracks, not so sweet for his passengers.

Just like the original Tracks toy, this one also has a winged car mode.  It's, uh, about as good as the original, which isn't saying much, but it's still fun as hell.  I've been keeping him in winged car mode probably more than robot mode, but then I've had a predisposition to flying toy cars around in the air since I was a child.  When I was little, I had a little Matchbox car with little opening doors.  I'd swing them open and pretend the car had wings.  That's... basically where the idea for Ultra Car came from.  A car with wings.  It's basically the best possible vehicle ever, I tell you!

I'm still loving the open-sculpted hands.  Tracks's are particularly good, since I like how bulky his fingers are, like he's wearing hockey gloves.  They add so much personality to a toy.

I really like this toy as Tracks, so I'm bound to like a partially-different toy as Wheeljack!  I look forward to him so hard.  But, man, I am not complaining for having to have 70% of the toy twice.  This is a good toy.  And, Jesus, the lengths they're going to distinguish the two is admirable.  Hasbro/Tomy's outdoing themselves here.
Posted November 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm
He's living in a material world.

I was gonna save this guy for tomorrow, but then I'd be talking about Jazz on Black Friday, and that's RACIST.

Man, how did it take so long to get the last of the Classic Pretenders into Classics/Universe/Generations form? Bumblebee, Grimlock, and Starscream came out in 2006! And finally, four years later, outta nowhere comes Jazz. (Of course, the reason we didn't get a new G1 Jazz all those years is because we kept on getting Other Kinds of Jazz. He woulda had to sneak out before the first movie toyline like the others.) I'm so glad I found him the same day I got Thunderwing, 'cuz you just can't have a Matrix Quest battle against Thunderwing without the final Classic Pretender, man. You just can't.

Speaking of finding Jazz, I found mine at Walgreens! Yeah, friggin' Walgreens! I noted in my ToyNewsI strip that he first started showing up in "Neighborhood Market" Walmart stores, and the closest one of those is 3 hours away. That's too far even for me! So I was happy to see the first sighting of Jazz in a store that Columbus has plenty of. Oh, we have plenty of Walgreens. We have too many of them. I've been to probably 20 Walgreens in the past 52 hours and I'm still not out of Walgreens to check. (See, I found Jazz, but Tracks is still out there.) If I were out of Walgreens, I could stop looking, but at this rate by the time I search the last one it'll be time to cycle back around again!

Oh, hey, a Pontiac Solstice! Just like... movie... jazz.... Think you're clever, huh, Hasbro.

Did you know Walgreens are open on Thanksgiving?

This is a sickness.

Anyway, Jazz. If you're jonesing for a new Generation 1 Jazz, then I'm pretty sure this toy will be sex to you. It's really hard to find fault with this toy. Sure, the hood-chest transformation style is a little Done To Death, but whether that bugs you depends on what sorta person you are. Even so, the transformation has a few surprises. I'm tickled by how the "4" on the hood splits in half and is pulled underneath and away by the shoulder transformation. It's sort of an ingenius way of keeping the "4" on the hood yet not on the robot chest, as seen in the old animation model sheets. I don't mind the "4" on the chest, but I still find it fascinating that they tried to replicate this.

Did he use these in the cartoon? Probably. I'm not up on my cartoon.

And with the arms no longer trying to both fit under the hood (they line up lengthwise along the underside of the car), he makes a very satisfyingly-proportioned robot. He's big and blocky, and a little stout, an aesthetic that I enjoyed from the early Transformers toys. The continued use of slightly-open hand sculpts pleases me as well. Jazz has got plenty of articulation, as well, including double-jointed elbows, bicep swivels, a balljointed head that can look around pretty freely, and a turning waist. The one thing that's missing is the ability for his arms to rise above his shoulders, due to his wheel kibble. He's basically John McCain. Poor guy.

It's kinda floppy, but awesome regardless.

Now, that's all super awesome, but ultimately secondary to what I found most fun about the mold. I've talked about the new little clippy-rod snap-on weapons that new Transformers toys are utilizing. Well, Jazz comes with two. They're speakers! 'Cuz, y'know, he loves to listen to Madonna. What's awesome about them is that there's little hinges down the middle of both of his windows so that you can open the doors, flip out the speakers, close the doors, and have yourself an awesome car with speakers hanging out the doors. That's sweet. You can flip them out in robot mode, too, of course. Plus you can snap them onto his blaster and make a super-weapon! That is some great versatility, and I keep moving the speakers around to all the various places and ways they can attach.

Plus, of course, you can give the speakers to anyone else that has the clippy-rod things. Don't tell me you don't see the hilarious potentialities.

Jazz also has a rubsign. And his rifle looks like his Classic Pretender rifle.   And his details are heavily-inspired by the original toy as much as his media appearances.  I keep on coming up with reasons why I dig this dude, which is great for a hood-chest car guy. You'd think I'd be bored of them by now. But this is a really solid toy. I want them to redeco and retool it a billion times.
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