Posts tagged with "rumble" - 1
Posted August 2, 2013 at 3:10 am

People are still scrambling Toys "R" Uses this week to get their hands on Masterpiece Soundwave. He's scarce and tends to be bought up in the first five minutes of whatever store he appears at. It's been a mad dash, and hopefully more will continue to filter into stores. I got mine at Comic-Con, from Entertainment Earth's booth, thanks to some help from Phillip Donnelly and his magical mug. (Brandon Bird also owes PD some thanks, as the mug was not only magical but transferable.)

How is the toy? Well, long story short, it's the best robot toy you'll ever own that folds up into a box. And man, does it fold up into a box! I know there's something in my brain that pumps happy juice through my body when I know a robot can transform into something, but damn if that Box Mode ain't superfluous. It's not like you can't do all the stuff you can do with his box mode in robot mode! That mini-cassette door still opens and everything. And it's not like Box Mode actually looks like a micro-cassette recorder -- he looks like a box with a very tiny window in it. This is entirely because his cassette door is still the same size as the original's to accommodate identically-sized micro-cassette toys, but the robot mode which surrounds that door is a chunk larger, and so you have this ridiculous... thing. Like Soundwave's altmode got elephantiasis.

The door still opens when you press the eject button on the top/shoulder. This time around, there's room inside him for three Recordicons. The back wall of the cassette storage area can slide in by pushing on it, and a button on Soundwave's backside will reset this wall to the usual one-cassette-deep width, so long as he's not full of dudes at the time. The arrow buttons on his crotch also depress, but those don't accomplish anything. There are ridges on both Soundwave's shoulders and his forearms that Buzzsaw or Laserbeak's feet can plug into, all perch-like.

He transforms about as simply as you'd expect -- very similarly to the original toy -- but with a few added wrinkles of some additional fold-out panels to cover up his articulation. His shoulder-mounted missile launcher and hand-held rifle are also included, but this time they don't transform into his batteries and store inside a battery compartment. Mind, they still transform into the same battery shape, but you don't put them inside him like batteries inside his battery compartment anymore (that's where his head goes) and instead they kind of just peg behind him and fill up space easily viewable from behind. D'oh well.

Soundwave also comes with a plethora of additional accessories, other than the five Recordicons and their stuff. He has a little vacuum cleaner attachment for his wrist, he has a digital-readout screen which you can plug into his chest door to make it look like he's computing stuff, he has an energon cube which you can pull the lid off of and plug into his chest door to make it look like he's making energon cubes -- all things he did in the cartoon. I'm not a big cartoon guy, so those won't get much play from me. He also comes with a nontransformable Megatron rifle. I think it's the same one that came with earlier MP toys.

Tiny Blaster not included. You gotta buy a Giant-Ass Jetfire for him.

Unlike the Japanese release, though, this Soundwave has yellow eyes instead of red, which reflects more his original toy and early comic book appearances. I welcome this change! I was happy to learn he was getting yellow eyes. On the other hand, his Frenzy seems to be purpler than the Japanese Frenzy, in order to make him look more like cartoon Rumble, even though the packaging still calls him Frenzy. Buzzsaw's accent color is now more yellow than orange, and I think there may be some other very slight color differences all around.

IMPORTANT: Be careful with Soundwave's dang index fingertips. Seriously, this piece will drop from him like ripened fruit. The only thing keeping the fingertip on the rest of his finger is the tiniest bit of friction, and trying to articulate it without it sliding out of "joint" (I use this term loosely because there is barely a set of bumps in there to keep it in place) will almost always cause it to go diving for whatever floor or table or couch you're over at the time. You will be looking for this finger constantly. Years from now, there will be no Soundwaves with complete index fingers. I prophesy this.


Posted January 12, 2013 at 12:25 am
Yay, I have my Frenzy (red guy) again!  I left him in Memphis, and so Alan had to mail him to me.  Also, now I have Laserbeak (and Soundwave).  I had a $5 Rewards coupon at Toys"R"Us and figgered oh what the hell.  Besides, as of the most recent issue of Robots in Disguise, this data disk form is now repurposed as G1 Laserbeak's current body.  Guess he's gonna replace the GDO Skystalker redeco in my display.  It was fun having you around for a few months!

So here's how this thing is supposed to work.  These guys are these little cylinders, right?  And there is a button on the bottom of them that triggers an auto-transform when it's depressed.  And so you cram up to three of these dudes inside Soundwave or Soundblaster's torso, and use a chunk of kibble on his back to push these disks out through the front of his chest like he's taking a front-poop.  One by one, these disks hit the ground and land on their buttons and spring-transform and you're done.

EXCEPT IT KIND OF DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.  Mostly these guys get stuck and then you push and push and push and use excessive force and then when finally one of them gives they all explode out of his chest at the same time, usually hitting you in the face no matter where your face is and then you have a scattering of half-transformed things everywhere.  It would be perfect fun if it worked as advertised, but it really, really doesn't.  Some folks have said sanding down the insides of their Soundwaves helps smooth things over.  I may try that?  But, man, it's hard to accept that these things reached stores with their main gimmickry being dead in the water.

Not helping at all are the instructions, which demonstrate you putting the disks into Soundwave with the activation button facing outwards.  oh jesus guys don't do this ever   I nearly lost a Ratbat by trying this.  They will not come out.  I had to get a screwdriver or something to jam into one of Ratbat's crevices to get some leverage to yank him out.  It is a testament to the plastic they make these guys outta, though.  These guys are fortunately made of sturdy stuff.

The flying guys are my favorite.  Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, and Ratbat all transform fully by having their buttons depressed, and they do this little flip, and it's easy to put them back in disk mode.  Laserbeak and Buzzsaw are obviously redecoes of each other, and Ratbat's a retool.  He's the same engineering, but reskinned to be a bat instead of a bird.

Frenzy and Rumble are middle-of-the-road to me.  They require a few extra steps to get from "hey i've auto transformed" mode into their completed transformation.  You gotta swing down the arms so they're not doing the wave and fold out their feet.  It takes a little extra time to get them back into disk mode, too.  You have to rotate their pelvis around and maneuver their pelvis and legs down and around at the same time.  A little annoying, but not a dealbreaker.

Ravage is infuriating.  He pops out half-transformed, and then you have to open his back and flip out his tail and then set the back down loosely on top of his body and then open up his hind legs and maybe fiddle around with those a little.  And the result is this awful-looking thing.  He's got a longer torso than Mike Turner's Supergirl and an ugly little rat face, with tiny little limbs at both ends.  He is not an attractive thing.  To get him back into disk mode, first you have to let go of the concept of being happy again for the rest of your life.  Then you spend the next several minutes trying to negotiate him back.  Certain parts won't move into place unless certain other parts are in the middle of whatever they're doing.  There's no one-two-three step to him.  It's all at once and also never at once.  If I could explain it, I could do it, and I can't do it.  I mean, I can.  After way too long.  And cursing and threatening to destroy all humanity and probably pushing some things in ways they are not meant to be pushed.  It's not often I am tempted to take a sledgehammer to something I just paid money for.

To add insult to injury is the realization that this toy is this way because of a gimmick that doesn't work properly.

Let that sink in.

Posted April 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm
Frenzy (left) and Rumble (right) DO NOT ARGUE THIS POINT

I've got a pair of ex-Recordicons here from Japan!  See, Frenzy and Rumble are tanks now.  Well, okay, I guess maybe they could still be Recordicons.  Maybe they still record!  They're.. recording tanks!

I decided to get the Japanese release of these guys for two reasons.  First of all, there's no sign of Rumble being solicited over here, so chances are when he does come out stateside, it'll be post Movie 3 period, which is a long time from now.  Hell, there's little chance of Frenzy (er, "Demolition Rumble") showing up here, either!  He has been solicited, but the way distribution's been going, I dunno if he'll make it into stores before the movie stuff hits.  Retail stores drop non-movie stuff like a bad habit once movie stuff arrives.  They know where the money is.


Secondly, Japan names their cassettes right!  Frenzy is blue, dammit!  His toy is blue, he's blue in the Marvel comics.... it's just in the pesky American cartoon that the blue guy is Rumble.  When Japan dubbed the American series way back when, they wised up and called the blue guy Frenzy.  And so their set is named correctly.  And thus I required it.

They're just a pair of Scout Class guys so they're not too big.  When I first opened the box, I worried that they'd be too fiddly.  They do look very... involved.  But they aren't!  They transform pretty quickly back and forth.  There's some frustrating bits involved, but it's mostly due to the spring-loaded piledrivers.  Those things sure like to launch when you're trying to push everything together for tank mode.  Kind of annoying.  I also wish their forearms weren't jointed in the middle.  It makes posing them more complicated than it has to be, but that joint is required for transformation, so oh well.


Like the rest of their contemporaries, they're compatible with C Joint snap-on weaponry.  Their double tank cannons attach this way, and there's a bunch of rungs here and there to place them elsewhere if you desire.

As I sort of mentioned in passing before, these guys have piledrivers, just like they did in the cartoon.  (Well, Frenzy's not really SUPPOSED to have piledrivers, since he's a sonic-scream kinda guy, but Rumble's piledrivers are too iconic to leave out and they kinda have to share a mold.)  You flip the entire arm over at the shoulder, tuck the forearms away, and then the tip of the piledriver springs forward when you press the silver section on the side.  The instructions also ask you to move the tank cannons to their shoulders for this mode.

And then he's crushed by the contents of the entire parking lot.

My favorite of the two is Frenzy.  Not just because I like Frenzy more (he was in my earliest comics and my brother I had his toy), but because I like his colors better.  I'm a blue kinda guy, moreso than black and red.  And the electric "Allspark blue" with the darker blue is more visually striking.  Like the rest of Japan's "United" toyline, they both have metallic paint.  Rumble's is metallic black, which is barely noticable at all.  Which is fine by me.  Frenzy  has some metallic blue that is so dark that I thought he just had dark blue or black plastic.  It doesn't really look metallic at all.  I guess, uh, A for effort there, Takara.

I'm keeping my Frenzy away from my new Wheeljack.  That showdown won't end well for him.

I also demand an Enemy from this mold.  BOTCON AND/OR E-HOBBY, DO NOT FAIL ME IN THIS REGARD.
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