Posts tagged with "robots in disguise" - 1
Posted August 4, 2023 at 2:21 pm

Look, nobody liked Strongarm in 2015's Robots in Disguise cartoon because she was a cop, they liked her because she used the strict following of rules and procedure to help her cope with a universe she otherwise had trouble socially engaging with!  Let's just focus on that second part instead of the part about how the Autobots' whole deal in that cartoon was incarcerating various wayward individuals who all shared the visual coding of being subhuman animals.  

and with that out of the way

I am super into this Transformers: Legacy: Evolution toy of Strongarm!  She's a retool of Legacy Elita One, who was already a favorite toy of mine, so of course Strongarm is already going to be up my alley.  To tell the truth, she's an entirely new sculpt from the waist up, sharing only some transformation similarities.  (And some parts in her shins are new.)  Her new shoulders are sculpted in a way that lets the front hood/wheel pieces sit cleanly over them, plus the're on hinged arms that let them maneuver to and fro to accommodate different poses.  Though this is ignored by the instructions, she now has the ability to fan out her truck mode's doors into little wings.  

Legacy Elita One was a good choice for retooling into Strongarm because she was basically already Strongarm-shaped, with her big boxy boot shins and general un-Arcee-like proportions.  Even so, Strongarm's new parts widen her torso and give her bigger, boxier forearms.  She's literally got stronger arms.  Strongarm's head is even a little smaller than Elita One and Minerva's, but not too much smaller -- you want Strongarm to fit in amongst the rest of the Legacy toys, while acknowleding that every single humanoid character on Robots in Disguise was kind of goofily pinheaded.  

But by far the best thing about Legacy Strongarm is how much of the paint budget is dedicated to decoing her head.  Like, luxurious numbers of paint operations.  I wonder how much paint her case assortment mates don't have just to make this possible.  I mean, usually a Transformer's head has only the face and eyes painted, plus maybe a token bit of forehead decoration, but Strongarm also has the line of blue that traces around her face and chin, the extra blue lines on the tips of her ears, the additional six lighter-blue marks on the front of her ears, the three blue lines that travel over the top of her noggin, her lips... it's a lot.  And yet the rest of her doesn't feel underpainted.  A lot of care was put in here.  

Definitely several steps up from the original Warrior Class toy, which kind of felt like it fell halfway into blue paint once and they felt it was done.  

Strangely satisfying for a toy that has somebody else's legs.  

Posted November 14, 2016 at 2:45 am

I was tentatively excited about the Transformers: Robots in Disguise cartoon that started up a while ago.  I was super excited about the Decepticon in the preview clip.  It was a lobster robot that transformed into a car.  And his name was Bisk.  You know, like the lobster dish, bisque, but spelled funny.  A reddish orange lobster robot who transforms into a car and is named Bisk is, like, the most perfect thing.

But the toyline decided, nahhh, and gave us nothing but Autobots and one goddamn single boring-ass Decepticon for the longest time.  Yeah, there's a Decepticon who transforms from a wolfman to an SUV.  I don't care.  Wolves are boring and also Steeljaw was boring.  He was a boring character.  Where's my fucking lobster car???

It was this lack of lobster cars (or any non-Steeljaw Decepticons in general) that put me off a mainline Transformers cartoon for the first time.  Sure, I got myself a Strongarm, whatever.  But if the cartoon is gonna dazzle me with all these animalistic Decepticon weirdos and only give me the boringest one, then I'm out.  Out, I say!

A large number of months later, finally, there's a Bisk toy.  There's several, actually!  There's some simple quick-change ones and a smaller pocket-sized one, and a "real" Warrior Class Bisk toy.  It's too late for me to start caring about the rest of this toyline I've mostly avoided, but heck yeah I'll buy a Bisk.  I ordered the Japanese TakaraTomy Adventure version of the Warrior Class Bisk toy, because he has a little more paint.  

And, frankly, he's goddamned amazing.  If this guy had been, like, wave one or wave two, I might have bought the rest of the line just on the strength of him.  Again, he's a fancy Batmobile-esque sports car that transforms into a lobster robot.  He's got big lobster claws and big lobster-stalk eyes and a little lobster tail that hangs down behind him.  He hunches over like a goofy weirdo and has a dopey grin.  He comes with two black pistols that can plug into the tops of his claws.   And his name is fucking BISK.

instead we got like sixteen goddamned sideswipes all in a row.

Posted October 26, 2016 at 2:01 am

The year was 2001!  Transformers Beast Machines, the toyline, was not doing so great!  And so a bunch of tail-end product was shuffled into the next toyline as store exclusives.  A toy of Beast Wars/Machines Megatron as a robot that transformed into his Giant Head Spaceship Thing, But With Legs was eventually released at KB Toys as Robots in Disguise Megatron Megabolt.  The back-of-the-packaging bio recast the toy as not Beast Megs but as RID Megatron, the redubbed Gigatron from the Car Robots anime.  

I bought it, because, like, it was a BW/M Megatron toy I was worried we wouldn't otherwise get, and tried to personally ignore who the toy was "officially."  

I'm not good at this.  It bothered me.  I am anal retentive.  

Yeeaars later, Japan finally imported the series, sort of, but, like, on some weird nobody television station and released a bunch of Beast Machines toys in extremely limited numbers.  And so the toy that would have been Beast Megs was finally released as himself.  But he was, again, extremely limited, which made him both hard to find and expensive, and I was much poorer then.  I sucked it up and shrugged.  My Megatron Megabolt was close enough.


Anyway.  I decided recently that this hole in my otherwise pretty comprehensive Beast Megatron collection was something I now needed to plug.  Easier said than done.  Once again, extremely limited production run.  Even if you have the money, you can't buy what isn't available to buy.  My pal Robowang grabbed one off eBay earlier this year while I was lax in searching there, and for a pretty good price, if I recall.  Like, it was listed under a typo or something.  Anyway, he got one.  He keeps it in his bathroom.  I think he does this to taunt me.

Finally, after checking eBay for "Beast Wars Returns Megatron" every other day for several months, another one popped up, and I grabbed it.  It's mine!

Megahead Megatron is a robot that transforms into a head with spider-legs -- y'know, like Mr. Freeze in New Batman Adventures.  If you roll the spider-legs-head thing along the ground, the wheel-gears on the underside open and close the mouth (and launch the missile out of the mouth) while the spider legs articulate up and down.  It's pretty awesome.  It's hard to not like a head with spider legs.

In robot mode, Megahead Megatron is.... very back heavy.  The whole spider-leg-geared contraption is an indivisible unit unto itself, and it's gotta go somewhere.  It goes on the back.  The robot mode's legs are a series of multiple ball joints, and you can imagine how well that goes.  If the ball joints aren't tight, he's gonna collapse like a marionette.   The balljoints on mine are thankfully stiff, but he's still a balancing act.

The head mode's missile launcher is springloaded to flip over the shoulders of the robot and land on the robot's head, giving Beast Wars Megatron's head a Beast Machines Megatron helmet and facemask.  This is also pretty neat.  There's magnets involved.  I don't think toys can afford magnets anymore these days.  Or springloaded missile launchers.  And certainly not both at the same time as the geared spider leg contraption, anyway.

The huge difference between this Megahead Megatron and the US release Megatron Megabolt is the red was swapped out for purple.  The silver plastic is also a little more purple.  And although the Japanese-release Beast Machines product mostly didn't alter the American paint operations at all, this guy has a new set of paint operations -- the teeth on the giant spiderleg head are now painted white.  It's a good addition.

Undocumented feature: Head mode fits on top of Fortress Maximus really nicely.  Fits even better if you pull the balljointed spiderlegs out.  

Posted June 16, 2016 at 8:01 am

Transformers Asia Kids Day Platinum Edition Robots in Disguise Premium Grimlock and Bumblebee 2-Pack – Exclusive

You probably haven't seen me talk about many Robots in Disguise toys here, and for a pretty good reason -- I don't really buy many!   I mean, the cartoon's okay, and the toys look okay, but early on, before the toyline hit, it became apparent that I would be more frustrated with the toyline than I would find enjoyment out of it, due to my particular eccentricities.  

You see, it was going to be a pretty small line, as far as "real" toys go (the non one-step or two-step guys), and they were all going to be Deluxe Class-sized.  So I'm sitting there, looking at this coming line-up, realizing that if I was going to start collecting these guys, I was going to have to get used to having a Grimlock (who is very large in the cartoon) who was the same size as every other toy.  And that chafed my bum, I realized I could save myself a lot of storage space and money, and decided that I was cool skipping on it all.  I mean, minus Strongarm, of course, OBVIOUSLY.  Strongarm is great.

But at some point last year, Japan's version of the toyline decided to go balls-out and make everyone a properly-transforming larger Grimlock that's not a one- or two-step toy.   They grabbed Fall of Cybertron Grimlock (who may or may not be the same character depending on who you ask and how you look at things) and then retooled the crap out of it.  New torsos, new robot legs, new shoulders, new fists, new heads -- there was a lot of new stuff to make him look like Robots in Disguise Grimlock instead of "basically G1-style Grimlock" -- and kazam you have a Grimlock who technically solves my Grimlock Problem or, perhaps, my RID collection problem.  

And then Hasbro brought him over, put him in a Platinum Edition set with a redecoed RID Bumblebee, and now Entertainment Earth has him as an exclusive in the United States.  Entertainment Earth also sent me these two to review!  So here I go.

Let's talk about Bumblebee.  If you have a Transformers Prime Vehicon toy (from the RID subline, not the First Edition) then this Bumblebee's going to feel very similar as far as transformation processes go.  The roof folds up on the back of the robot legs, the arms pull out from the sides, and the rear bumper hangs off the back of the head.  There's a sword that stores underneath the car mode.  I got one the regular retail version in the take-home bag for Toy Fair 2015, but this is the PREMIUM EDITION!  Mostly that means he's in a more metallic gold-ish color instead of canary yellow and he has a handful of new paint operations.  There's black on his feet, there's red on his headlights, there's some silver on his sword... it's not a lot added here.  But he's not really the main attraction; Grimlock is.

Fall of Cybertron Grimlock was not a well-received toy, and the retooling present in this version sort of addresses the perceived problems.  His dino hips/robot shoulders accordion out during transformation, and it's incredibly easy to get them so untransformed that you can't remember how to inch them back turn by turn into the way they're supposed to go.  It's one of those things where you wish you could leave a trail of breadcrumbs for yourself to find your way back home, but this is a plastic robot toy's shoulder apparatus, so that's not really possible.  However, the retooling done to make Grimlock into another Grimlock removes the need to untransform the shoulders so much to get him back and forth between robot and dinosaur modes.  All the possibility for over-accordioning his shoulders is there, but so long as you temper yourself, you can probably avoid getting lost in the woods.  

The other thing people didn't like about the toy was how empty he is if you look at him from the bottom in dinosaur mode.  You know that scene in Pete's Dragon where they put a big sheet over the dragon and he runs around and you can see a dragon-shaped sheet and there's nothing underneath it?  No, you don't know that scene, because I'm really old and nobody has watched Pete's Dragon in thirty years.  But the toy is kind of like that, trust me. 

Honestly, that part I don't mind too much.  Like, I'm not gonna be shoving my eyeballs in this toy's underside anyway.  He's gonna stand upright on the shelf, not hanging around lying around on his back, exposing how little robot he has under there.  If you have a bunch of RID Mini-Cons, though, this problem is partly addressed.  There's ports tooled in there for you to fill him up with specific Mini-Cons.  I don't know what they are because, again, I haven't collected much RID.  But it's nice that you can do this if you have the toys available to you.  

The original FOC Grimlock also had electronic lights for when you open up his jaw with a lever behind his head.  This RID retooling has neither the electronics nor the lever to open his jaw, which is sad.  The new dinosaur head does have an opening jaw, however, with both the top of the skull rising a little and the jaw itself hinging down more.  You have to -- gasp -- use your finger, though.

Grimlock still comes with Grimlock's sword and shield.  They don't suit this version of the character very well, but you can pretty easily forget you own them.  I'm sure some other toy could borrow 'em.  

Unlike Platinum Bumblebee's seemingly scant bit of paint, Platinum Grimlock feels covered with it.  Lots of details here and there, from silver and green and charcoal to yellow.  That and the retooling is where all the money went, and it's all very pleasing.  He doesn't look unfinished, and I don't think I see any deco that my mind thinks is missing.  

If Platinum Edition Grimlock/Bumblebee pleases your noodle, you can find him on Entertainment Earth's website for sale!  

Posted June 15, 2016 at 12:01 am

Hey, you guys!  Entertainment Earth has a fancy new exclusive toy set It’s one of those Platinum dealies where you get all the paint and whatnot, so if you saw Deluxe Bumblebee in stores last year and were like, okay, but what if this thing were painted, or if you saw Deluxe Grimlock and were like, okay, but what if this were scaled to Bumblebee correctly – these are your guys.

I will have one soon!  And I will talk about it too much then, I’m pretty sure.  You know how I am.

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