Posts tagged with "springer" - 1
Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:00 pm

We're just gonna have to face some facts -- Springer gets pretty great toys.  Well, okay, not the first one.  That toy was... not super great.  But the BotCon 2007 redeco of Cybertron Defense Hot Shot?  The Universe redeco of Cybertron Evac?  The GDO retool of Movie Tomahawk?  And (pen)ultimately, the Thrilling 30 Springer that was the first triple-changing Springer since the original and is widely considered to be one of the better Transformers of all time?  

Yeah, well, the new Stege Springer is up there, too.  

Thrilling 30 Springer was so good that a lot of folks are saying, yeah, okay, so why do I need this other new Stege Springer?  It's a legitimate question!  And there's no definitive answer.  But I can definitely say that Stege Springer is a great toy in its own right.  It fits in that category that so many other War for Cybertron: Siege [sic] toys hail from -- aka, ugh it's just the cartoon design, oh wait, once it's in my hands it's pretty satisfying, what is this??? oh no I like it.  

While Thrilling 30 Springer was a glorious adaptation of Nick Roche's IDW Springer, albeit too skinny to get the exact feel of it, Stege Springer is a fairly faithful adaptation of Springer as we remember him from the cartoon.  This time, though, he's not lanky.  He's wide.  He has the presence.  He's got that Han Solo-esque charisma.  

It helps immensely that Stege Springer isn't as... Stegey as Stege often gets.  For example, Stege Starscream is a chunk of technogreeble detail that overwhelms the eyes if you look at him in focus.  Stege Chromia's another where you want to say, yikes, guys, scale it back a bit.  But Stege Springer doesn't suffer from that at all.  He's not overdetailed, he's just detailed.  Heck, his entire chest front is an absolutely flat box with nigh a sculpt line across it.  

And while he's a big pile of boxes, it's nice to see a few curves on him nonetheless, from the exhaust ports on the back of his canopy, to the wheel wells, to his helmet.  His toy strikes a good balance between edges and curves, between detail and negative space.  

He feels very at home with Titans Return Hot Rod, Blurr, and Kup, and Thrilling 30 Arcee.  ...not so much with Stege Ultra Magnus who is, again, looks like somebody was sculpting uniform detail across him while zoomed in at a billion percent.  

Some folks have described Stege Springer as fiddly, and, honestly, he's not any more fiddlier than Thrilling 30 Springer.  Perhaps less fiddly.  It is up to you whether the end result of that fiddliness results in very faithful renditions of Springer's original collaboration-of-boxes altmodes.  These aren't the reimagined car and helicopter modes of the Thrilling 30 Springer toy.  These, again, are just what he looked like in the cartoon, for better or worse.  He'll fit in well, again, with your newer Hot Rod, Blurr, and Kup toys.  

Springer comes with quite a few accessories, which is surprising considering how much Stege's gimmick is "buy these other toys to arm your other Stege toys."  His helicopter blade splits into three pieces -- two swords and a connector piece.  He also comes with two guns which combine into a longer gun.  You could probably get away with doing a Springer with just the swords in these budget-conscious days, but he comes with guns, too.  You can combine all the accessories together to make a larger cannon, though it's just the longer gun on top of the propeller connector with swords on the side.  Otherwise, he's got more weapons than he has hands, so I like to put the guns on his back, pointing upwards, to call back to his 2007 BotCon toy.  The propeller connector also fits back there, out of view.  

He looks good using the effects pieces that come with the two Battle Masters that transform into swords.  

He's fun and I like him.  He's an excellent Springer and an excellent toy.  

Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Both Springer and Sandstorm sold in 1986, and both were car-to-helicopter Triple Changers.  Both were not great Triple Changers.  Springer was designed as a cartoon character first, like most of the new Transformers The Movie characters, and so his toy was kind of a robot who becomes this vague vehicle thing that's two vague vehicle things if you squint at it.  Sandstorm, on the other hand, was designed as an actual Triple Changer, more in line with the other four Triple Changers sold that year.  He's everything Springer's original toy wishes he could've been.

And now he IS Springer's toy.

When you've got two car-to-helicopter Triple Changers and Hasbro makes one of them, there's a good chance they're a headswap and a redeco away from making the other, especially when the other guy isn't nearly as well known, meaning you can take more liberties with his design.  But apparently Hasbro was all, yeah, okay, we could do that, but what if we also heavily retool him to give him different vehicle modes and a different transformation?  Like a boss?

At a glance, Sandstorm seems like he might be an entirely different toy.  Much of the toy's engineering and parts are the same, but between all the new parts and the strikingly different color scheme, they could be confused for different tooling entirely by casual buyers.  Sandstorm's land mode is now an offroad dunebuggy thing with a wire-frame bumper and oversized hind wheels, the latter of which flip to become VTOL engines for his new hovercraft mode (instead of the traditional helicopter mode).  You like his new hovercraft tailwings?  Well, they fold over to become his roof and armor up his windows in land vehicle mode.  The VTOL engines and the tailfins also change the robot mode's silhouette significantly.  All the new parts are used pretty efficiently.  You can fold the kibble that pops up behind his head if you want, and it fits snugly into his back, but I'm fine doing it the instructions way since I think of Sandstorm having kibble up over his head like on the original toy.

Like Springer, Sandstorm has a gun (a completely different one) that hooks up under his cockpit in ways unexplained by the instructions.  And also like Springer, you kind of have to start shoving stuff everywhere until you find the elusive groove that snaps into the elusive slot.  His gun has one firing missile instead of Springer's two, and because Sandstorm isn't a helicopter anymore, he doesn't come with the propeller sword either.  A trade-off for the awesome color scheme, I guess.

Sandstorm's traditional mustard-and-orange color scheme has been contrasted dramatically into a very visually grabbing yellow and orange.  He's hard to look away from, he's so pretty.  If I didn't have such a hard-on for Springer and Nick Roche, Sandstorm would be the best of the two just by virtue of his color scheme.  Even then, he and Springer are often neck-and-neck in my brain.

(All Wreckers symbols are Reprolabels I applied.)
Posted May 14, 2013 at 12:41 am
("He ends most of his speeches that way.")

Hey, everyone, let me introduce you to The Perfect Springer.  And, no, actually, it's not because he's a Triple Changer again for the first time in forever.  I mean, that's nice.  I like that.  It's cool.  But what makes him the super best is that he takes the bulk of his visuals from Nick Roche's Springer redesign for Last Stand of the Wreckers -- which, you know, is an awesome story, because I keep telling you that it is.

I would have been happyish with a based-on-the-old-cartoon Triple Changer Springer.  But Last Stand of the Wreckers Springer?  That gets me instantly to climax.  It is Boner City over here.  In four hours I'm gonna have to call a doctor.

Admittedly, this particular rendition of LSOTW Springer is taller and thinner than how he was rendered in the story itself.  He was a wide mass of dude in that thing.  This toy is thinner than that, though still, you know, not being a stick.  It's probably one of those sacrifices you gotta make because of physics, as this guy has two altmodes to transform into, and if you bulk up his legs you kind of end up with a fat car and helicopter.  His proportions do resemble more Roche's original control art, versus Springer's actual appearances.

There are some other changes to the design for this toy, but they're ones I'm satisfied with.  Mostly, it's that his altmodes look less made-up vehicle-y by a smidge.  Springer's new car mode looks a lot more like a car versus a four-wheeled vehicle of some undetermined sort.

Let me tangent here: Man, what the hell was with original 1986 Springer's toy, anyway?  I'm not sure that thing is a real Triple Changer.  It has a robot mode and it has an okayish helicopter mode, but his car mode is just the midtransformation step with the propeller removed.  It barely pretends to have rear wheels.  What an awful thing.  And how awesome is it that this new toy has three distinct modes that are all great?  I mean, even the shape of the windshield changes.  Looking at either vehicle mode, you couldn't tell at a glance that it has a second one.

Springer doesn't have any engineering hurdles like Blitzwing's shoulders.  He's, as I've been saying, pretty damn perfect.  The only part of the transformation that gave me pause was how to attach the gun under the cockpit in helicopter mode.  The instructions just give you an arrow and the words "ATTACH WEAPON."  Well, yeah, great, but HOW?  Apparently there are some... notches?  I just kind of use excessive force and some shapes that look like they complement each other eventually snap together.

The propeller spins very satisfactorily.  And it transforms into a believable sword seamlessly.  It's not that giant plank of wood on a peg the original toy had.  I'm impressed at the amount of articulation he has, too, despite the engineering demands.  He has a turning waist and even though his hands bury inside his own forearms while transformed, he still has articulated wrists.   Voyager Class is also the perfect size for a Springer -- dude was larger than everyone else in the cartoon (he was Optimus Prime/Rodimus Prime's height), and in the comic he wasn't no shrimp.   So he'll look right next to a Deluxe Hot Rod, Kup, or Blurr.

you will buy this

you will buy this now
Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Somehow I have all the Primax Springer toys.  I didn't intend to.  I have the four of them, and I only purposefully bought three.  Over a decade ago (probably 2001), I bought the original Springer 'cuz it was the only game in town, and I wanted the Wreckers' leader.  Then in 2007 BotCon gave us a second Springer, a redeco of Hot Shot.  Shortly after, we got another Springer at retail.  I considered my BotCon Springer sufficient for my requirements, but this New Retail Springer came packaged with a Ratbat I wanted, so.

And now this even newer Generations Springer.  I thought myself satisfied with the BotCon one.  It was a BotCon toy, after all!  And Generations Springer was originally a China-exclusive, which meant he was gonna be $30-$40.  I can pass on that, easy.

...but then Hasbro decided he was gonna get sold over here, too (as Toys"R"Us exclusives), and so now he was suddenly domestic prices.  Impulse-buyable.  And since around that time we were getting our first good photos of him, I started to realize he had things I desired.  I mean, I already knew he had a new head and a new sword.  Those were nice.  But I didn't realize he was going to be so gray-with-yellow-and-blue-hazard-stripes in helicopter mode.  His helicopter mode gives me Original Springer Toy Feels in a way the other new Springers have not.  So, yes, for $15, I would own that.

The new sword does complicate things a little.  It can peg into helicopter mode, but only if you unpeg one of his missile launchers.  His missile launchers do have several other ways to attach several other places, but I liked them best under the helicopter wings.  The sword also is grasped pretty loosely in his hand.  Good thing it's got a hilt guard (double powerlinx ports!), 'cuz that's what keeps it from just slipping down through his palm.

Folks say that the toy is too movie-y for Springer.  I disagree!  Springer's toy is pretty large in my mind when I think of Springer, and one of the things about Springer's toys are his stickers.  They are crazy.  The front of his legs have these stickers where the detail shows all these access panels falling open and hanging open by wiring.  G1 Springer's kind of a messy dude.  And so translating that into lots of crazy movie detailing really works for me.

(Besides that toy has already been another G1 guy, so technically it was a G1 aesthetic already.)

Have I mentioned how much I like those little yellow-and-blue hazard stripes on his gray wings?  I really, really do.
Posted May 21, 2010 at 2:01 am
The final issue of Last Stand of the Wreckers dropped on Wednesday.  Holy cow, dudes.  The trade isn't until August.  You can't wait that long.  Go get the individual issues.  The individual issues have character profiles that aren't gonna be in the trade, anyway.  (Which is kinda bullshit, but whatevs.)

(Also, issues 1-3 are available on iTunes.)

There was something else I wanted to talk about today!  Man, I can't remember.

Getting old.
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