Posts tagged with "timelines" - 1
Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:01 am

Yay, it's (Universe) Ramjet!  The original Universe Ramjet was some sure-whatever store exclusive redeco of Armada Skywarp, who would be otherwise entirely foregettable if he hadn't been used in very early Fun Publications fiction as a cosmic-level jackass.  Ramjet had been caught between dimensions too many times, and so his body was in a constant state of making and unmaking that resulted in him looking like he was bathed in Kirby Krackles while melting randomly and growing tendrils.  The original toy did not look like this.  He was just an unremarkable white/red/blue redeco of another toy, as I said above.

And so I grabbed a grill lighter and melted mine a bunch and then put some splashes of purple on him.  That's exactly the kind of embarrassing nerd I am.  A toy-ruiner.

Anyway, at the end of that storyline, he got thrown back into the space between dimensions and wasn't heard from again... until now!  When he has a new toy!  Weird how that works out!  Ramjet's back, from outer space, and I guess he's not structurally bonkers anymore.  Which is fine.  I don't need to take another grill lighter to another toy.

The new Ramjet is a retool of the new Armada Starscream toy (the one I really like), now retooled to have a head that looks like the Skywarp version of that toy.  (A Skywarp version of this Ramjet tooling will be sold later this year.)  Neato New Retooled Ramjet doesn't have all the retoolings that the original version did -- there's no VTOLs on his tailfins, nor are his nosecone wings trimmed.  But it still works.  

It's neat how the new finned head works with the toy.  The original head pushed straight down during transformation, but the remake folded the head face-down 90 degrees.  There's no room for a fin at the top of the head if you do that!  .... unless you make sure the neck balljoint is at the back of the helmet, allowing the headfin to still point up even as you push it down and forward.

New Ramjet is a sharp-looking toy, though packaging problems have kinda messed with many folks'.  The top layer of packaging foam was left out, and so many people's Ramjets had paint scratches across the tops of theirs as it arrived.  Mine was relatively lucky -- there's just a chip of blue gone at the top of one of the shoulder intakes.  If you look for this guy on the second market, make sure there's good pictures of him.

Or don't.  Having an awful finish is kind of his original motif.  

Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:45 am

This is Nightracer!  Way back in 1995, while BotCon spent a few years rotating through different showrunners, we got our first real-ish Transformers convention exclusive.  At the first BotCon in 1994, the exclusive was just an unreleased figure provided by Hasbro, Generation 2 Breakdown, but in the following year, we got a new toy sort-of designed by the convention itself.  I say sort-of, because Raksha, 1995's person-in-charge, wanted a G2 Go-Bot Bumblebee in black and blue, but Hasbro gave her a G2 Go-BotBumblebee in black and neon yellow/green.  (...which, I recall, is just what you get when you don't give G2 Go-Bot Bumblebee his gold paintjob -- he's just black under there)  

Anyway, I didn't go to that BotCon.  I was still a teenager and I don't think my parents were letting me out of the subdivision on my bike yet, much less Dayton, Ohio.  And so I don't have original Nightracer.

I do have this one, though, now!  She was the secret final figure of this year's Transformers Figure Subscription Service, and she's a redeco of Tailgate, finally in the intended black-and-blue instead of the black-and-neon.  She comes with Shakar, a little Micromaster person of undetermined gender (though since the name is an anagram of "Raksha" who is female I like to imagine the little 'Con is also).  Raksha also wrote the filecard bio, which is a nice touch (but didn't name Shakar).  

I am pleased!  Nightracer is one of those super-expensive early BotCon toys I don't have, due to her limited numbers, and now I have a toy of the character, plus a little friend.  And more Decepticon women are always welcome.  There's a shortage!  

Posted August 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm

There's not many Transformers like Sideways!  Who could forget that canny servant of Unicron, that crossfactional manipulator who worked both sides against the other in pursuit of his mysterious, personal goals?  The way he'd judge you, piercingly, through that glowing slit of a mouthless face, and laugh.  And so visually distinctive, with his purple and his yellow and his black, all wrapped around his menacing two-wheeled vehicle mode.  And his multiple little helper guys!  Who could forget those dudes?  And just when you think he's dead, he comes back, more powerful than ever, resurrected through seemingly supernatural forces. 

Sideways is definitely one of a kind.

And this is definitely Timelines Sideways, one of this year's Transformers Figure Subscription Service toys!  A year ago, we threw a truckload of money down, and then this year, every month for six months we get a different guy in the mail.  And, man, have I been waiting for Sideways.  A lot of detail has gone into turning the Junkion Scrapheap into our favorite twotiming jerkwad, from flawlessly replicating the iconic yellow-stripes-on-purple decor to including his two Mini-Con friends!  

It's a toy that's just so amazingly striking.  That bright green he has is so piercing it looks like it might be glow-in-the-dark, but though it is sadly not, it's meserizing all the same.  And there's so much paint on him, between the stripes, and the trim, and the little details on his face, and the color choices all just come together so well.  I mean, it's hard to go wrong with these colors.  It's definitely the best use of the Junkion toy so far.  And for what a great character!

The Junkion toy is kind of fiddly, though, so he might not be so fun to put back into vehicle mode.  Since their robot modes are designed to ride another of themselves in vehicle mode, the desire to switch them back and forth and have fun with them riding each other is great, but the toy's a little too complicated to facilitate that easily, and so it can be frustrating.  (But Sideways doesn't need to ride a Junkion, I guess, so I'm not sure why I'm going off on this tangent.) 

He makes me wish I'd picked up the new Combiner Wars (noncombining) Leader Armada Megatron, so I could have Complete Armada Character Reimagining Power!  But, honestly, I'd just want it for a group shot to photograph and then put it away forever, so eh.  The original Armada Megatron is better.  

This Sideways, though, is definitely an improvement.  

Posted June 28, 2015 at 9:30 pm

BotCon's been over for a week, but I've been pretty lax in getting some talk up on my site about the stuff I picked up.  But hey, here's Galva Convoy!  He built him myself, separating all his plastic parts from the sprues, pushing in pins and screwing in screws, and painting/stickering him.  I really enjoy the process of putting the BotCon Customization Class toy together, which is why I keep going back every year.  It's just calming to sit there and assemble a guy.  

Galva Convoy is a redeco of Nova Prime (the super racist) and Lio Convoy (the ... lion.... guy...) who were both offered from the Transformers Collectors' Club this year.  He's in homage to the original Galva Lio Convoy, who was an extremely limited (like, 50 of him) version of Beast Wars II Lio Convoy in Beast Wars II Galvatron's colors.  

He comes with a fan-made Covenant of Primus book, designed after its appearance in Beast Wars.  They were given to you in the class upon completed assembly of your Galva Convoy, as part of an incentive to actually put it together, since a handful of folks take the class just to take their Galva Convoys home unassembled still on the sprues.  And, y'know, probably sell it.  That's not in the spirit of the class!  And also Hasbro's like "dude, we only safety-tested these things assembled, so that kinda leaves us wide open legally" so, yeah, the class gave us this small gift for assembly.  It was "handcrafted by Japanese fan Myu" according to the written materals.  It opens up to a 90 degree angle and has a 5mm peg at the bottom.  The written materials also say the accessory is "neither manufactured by nor endorsed by Hasbro."  Does that last bit mean this little thing can even go on TFWiki?  I dunno.

Since the toy was mostly black plastic, there was more steps to painting areas of the toy than usual, since some of the colors required a base coat.  This is true of the stuff painted lavendar, red, and gold.  The black and blue violet got away without needing a base coat.  The end result is very pretty, though.  Not enough pink guys in Transformers.

Posted May 11, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Nova Prime is an artifact of Cybertron's past.  He merged the ancient thirteen tribes into a united society, bringing about a new golden age... or, well, at least a new golden age for the folks Nova Prime liked best.  If you were a sweet battleready humanoid-type person like him, you didn't fare so bad.  But if you were, like, a beast dude or whatever, then you were probably not gonna like Nova Prime's new caste system.  History regarded Nova Prime as pretty awesome because of all the stuff he did, because folks who were happy with Nova Prime got to write history.  And so it came as a surprise to a few people when Nova Prime returned in the modern day and was amazingly evil, with a dark Matrix and everything and also he was calling himself Nemesis Prime.  You know how it is.  It'd be like if Andrew Jackson, that friendly dude from the twenty dollar bill, suddenly showed up, tried to destroy the universe, and changed his name to Jerkwad Jackson.  Some folks would be all "dude what the hell" but the rest would be all "yeah that makes sense."

Shortly, Nemesis Prime is a supremacist.  Some would say, looking at him, that he could be accurately described as a white supremacist.  

So this is super racist white supremacist Transformers Collectors' Club Nova Prime.  He's the Orion Pax toy from Generations a few years back, but in white and black and with a new head.  This toy was announced around while Dark Cybertron was going on last year, literally the day after I was looking at my display of Deluxe Shockwave and Deluxe Galvatron and an open spot waiting for Deluxe Jhiaxus, and wishing that there'd be some kinda Deluxe Nova Prime to fit in that spot.  I make things happen just by wanting them to happen hard enough, apparently.

Now, as of two days ago, I don't draw Recordicons nor do I do anything else for the back page of the TCC magazine anymore.  I totes quit.  So I'm gonna really tell you what I think about this toy, for reals.  No holding back, no hemming or hawing.  I am free to be completely honest with you, no strings attached.

I really like it.  It's a pretty toy and the concept was executed well.  Some of the joints are a little loose, but I dunno if that's just mine or if it's everybody's.   The white with black and gold and a dash of translucent blue is engaging, plus it's a toy of a character who's never gotten a toy before.  

There are rumblings that this Nova Prime toy is actually a stealth Shattered Glass figure.  Conjecture is floating around that at the end of this year's magazine comic, SG Optimus Prime will have been rebuilt into "Nova Prime" by SG Unicron, mirroring how Megatron became Galvatron in the animated film.  I will be a little pissy if that happens.  I'm an ornery nerd and I want my toys to actually be the characters I thought they were when I bought them, because I guess that matters to my nerd brain.  I mean, we'd have to move this toy off the Nova Prime TFwiki page, and that'd be super ornerifying.  

Though a switch to being SG Optimus Prime would downgrade this Nova Prime toy from representing Super Racist Genocidal Monster to something a little more cartoonishly benign, like Accidentally Thumb-Mash-Favoriting Racist Tweets Somehow.  I guess in some respects that's better, but it still leaves a bitter taste.

Posted September 16, 2014 at 12:15 am

I think the only other one is Tigatron.  And he was married to an actual lady tiger.  A lady tiger he scanned for his own altmode.  What I'm saying is, his crudely-sentient tiger wife was into banging herself, apparently.  Look, I know wildlife can get kinda inbred, but wow.

By comparison, Chromedome is your normal type of widower, the kind that isn't a clone of his other-species husband.  You see, there's some actual lawful consent going on in this situation.  

Anyway, ignoring all that, Chromedome is the guy I've been looking forward to the most out of this year's Subscription Service toys.  Other than a Transformers Jr which is... somewhere...? ... I don't own any Chromedome toys, and so ol' Domey fills a very important vacancy in my Lost Light crew.  What made me especially excited for him was that his head was designed by Nick Roche to reflect the look he has in the ongoing IDW series.  And with Rewind being the final guy in this year's subscription service (due next month) that means I can finally own a pair of gay-married Transformers.  (Okay, I own a few Rewinds, but not THIS Rewind.)  

The toy itself is a good enough match for IDW Chromedome.  He's got wide shoulders, though if you want to keep them from being gorilla-like, I'd leave them half-transformed so the elbows aren't down by his hips.  The new head sculpt is fantastic -- one of the best Fun Publications has ever done -- and it didn't come out all duckfaced or anything like this year's Devcon's did.

Short of being an entirely new toy designed to be IDW Chromedome, this is the best IDW Chromedome you could hope for.  He's a very pretty color scheme, put on a pretty good toy, with an awesome head sculpt, as a very engaging character.  Just ignore the swords.  And Stylor.  

Posted July 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Awww, it's new toys of my favorite early Aughts BotCon characters!  Well, okay, Primal Prime was a retail exclusive, but BotCon used the damn toy so much in their stories he's kind of considered an honorary BotCon guy, I guess.  But Apelinq was definitely a BotCon 2000 dude, same year as Shokaract!  And this is his... third toy!  (He was also the head-and-chest of Sentinel Maximus.)  Whoof!  

Primal Prime was this year's Customization Class toy, which means I assembled and painted him myself from off the plastic sprues.  That was my early Thursday of the show, removing parts from the sprue, shaving off the excess plastic, screwing and pinning things together, and eventually painting the dude.  I did mine according to the directions (because TFwiki needs pictures and I'm also a super nerd that way anyway) but he was free to paint however you wanted.  

Oh, right, he's a redeco of the Beast Wars 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal toy, which they decided to give a Cyber Key gimmick to in case the BWX line didn't work out and they had to shove him into the then-current Cybertron toy line.  They ended up doing both, releasing him as Optimus Primal AND as a "Jungle Planet" version of Optimus Prime.  I've always had trouble transforming this guy, because you have to transform his robot mode chest in a certain order or it won't move between robot and beast mode positions.  But now that I've assembled the damn thing myself and transformed both Primal Prime and Apeline like a billion times (plus I brought my BWX Primal with me as an assembly reference), I think I've finally got the hang of it.  Phew!  

Primal Prime is probably one of the prettiest customization class guys we've gotten.  I'm not usually super-up for translucent plastic, but it really works for him.  The whole thing is very striking once all completed, so I mind not so much that this is kind of a super body downgrade from his original form.  Whatevs!  It's pretty, I like it.  

Apelinq was one of the at-show souvenir exclusives, and so he could only be purchased in a bagged set along with Alpha Trizer and Flareup.  I have some pretty strong nostalgia for the guy, so I'm happy to see him again.  Plus I strongly associate the character with Glen Hallit, so he helps make the year's set feel like a more inclusive celebration of BotCon history, despite the retrospective panel totally skipping the OTFCC years.  

Both come with that obnoxiously large surfboard accessory which "transforms" into a giant missile launcher.  Oof.

I like them both a lot.


Posted July 1, 2014 at 1:30 am

This BotCon's set had a few things I wouldn't have thought I wanted but once presented with them I was all OH YEAH.  Like, say, "Hey, do you want another Classics Optimus Prime redeco?"  If that was said to me?  Naw.  No thanks.  I've got like four versions of that guy already, and one of them from BotCon.  But no no no let them clarify:  "Hey, do you want Classics Optimus Prime in FRIGGIN' SUNSTORM ORANGE as FIRE GUTS GINRAI?"

Oh, yes.  Yes, I do.

I've said before that Powermaster Optimus Prime is still probably up there at the top of my list of favorite Optimus Prime toys.  Yeah, it's a placement fueled in nonnegligible amounts of nostalgia.  It was my first Optimus Prime toy as a kid.  It combines with its trailer to make a bigger robot.  It's a cool toy.  Well, once Japan did that sucker up in friggin' orange (and red) and that was their Fire Guts God Ginrai toy.  (Powermaster Prime was a human trucker named Ginrai in a mech suit in Japan, not Optimus Prime.)  I own this, because it's friggin' Powermaster Prime in orange.  It's beautiful.

Well, BotCon apparently decided to homage that version of that guy as a redeco of Classics Optimus Prime, for reasons I can't imagine other than to please specifically me.  Let me tell you about this guy.  The photography is worthless.  Whatever color orange he is (same goes with the original), it doesn't photograph.  It's close to that creamsicle Sunstorm orange I love the best, but I can't get Photoshop to make my photos approximate it.  Regardless, it's astoundingly pretty.  There's some chrome involved too, on the truck grill.  It's a fantastic-looking thing.

Ginrai is supposed to be a Knight Commander.  He comes with two guns!  So apparently BotCon wants you to use one of his guns, untransformed, as a shield.  You half-transform his arm so it can peg into the handhole, and then the "shield" points forward from his wrist.  It's clever, and makes him feel a little more Knightish.  Albeit, y'know, a knight with a giant rifle.  

I just want it to be on the record: BotCon, you can redeco anything in these colors and I will buy it.

Posted June 29, 2014 at 12:01 am

In a world where Arcee is basically the only girl Transformer who ever gets toys on the regular, while the powers that be are reluctant to redeco toys that aren't originally female into more females, female Transformers sure always look exactly like Arcee, huh?  Heck, just in the past month or so, Fun Publications has given us three female Transformer toys all based on three different versions of Transformers Prime Arcee.  Whoof!

It's BotCon's 20th year, and so BotCon gave us a bunch of toys that reimagined some of the toys of years past (like Shokaract).  Flareup and Flamewar were from Fun Publications' first BotCon in 2005, and both were toys based on Energon Arcee.  (Though Flareup got a new head.)  So here they are again, now as redecoes of two different versions of Transformers Prime Arcee.  

Of the two, Flareup is my favorite, I think.  But then, she's exactly the colors of my luau shirt I wear to conventions (orange, black, orange, and yellow), so I may be a little biased.  She's a straight redeco of Transformers Prime "Robots in Disguise" Arcee, the second version of Prime Arcee that followed the brief "First Edition" toyline.  I prefer this version of Prime Arcee the most, I think.  It's a little simpler than the First Edition and easier to transform, and so it's a little less unwieldy.  And so I'm happy to get it in orange.  

Flamewar is a straight redeco of "Robots in Disguise" Arcee's heavily-retooled Beast Hunters iteration, with lots of wings and sharp edges.  I don't have the retail version of this Arcee, partially in the hopes that we'd get a redeco of her as a different character later for BotCon, and my hedging has obviously paid off.  The Beast Hunters version of the mold also has a giant crossbow weapon which feels about as large as the rest of the toy.  It's kind of ungainly.  It's the reason I prefer the earlier version of the mold.  I mean, I like the wings and talons and what have you, but that huge-ass weapon is often annoying to deal with.  

If you've been following BotCon news, you've probably heard about these two in the convention comic book.  Yeah, they, uh, get pretty objectified in there.  It's kind of distracting.  The comic pushes forward with the plot, as per normal, with pretty excellent art, because everyone else is all dudes, and then suddenly BAM, boobs and contorted torsos and panty-shots.  Oof.  Well, um.



Posted June 26, 2014 at 8:30 am

A G1-redeco of Energon Scorponok was not something I thought I wanted until this thing was presented to me.  The original Energon use of the mold was G1y enough for me already.  It had enough green for me to think of it as passably G1 Scorponok and I didn't figure the-same-thing-but-with-purple would be interestingly different enough for me to care.



I guess I didn't count on the unforeseen insanity of giving the guy a new transforming Headmaster head in addition to the tweaked colors.  Honestly, that kind of stuff doesn't happen at this level.  We get a new head occasionally, sure, but the weird extra mile taken here took me aback.  Here's how it works: Encore Fortress Maximus came out recently, a reissue of the original Fortress Maximus.  That means tooling for the little Headmaster guy, Spike Witwicky, is viable.   So what Fun Publications did was retool Spike Witwicky a new Scorponok face to go on his back, then retool a new neck connector piece for the combined robot mode.  That piece just flips down into the chest cavity where the original head used to go in the other two modes.  So in the end you've got two separate toys being combined unnaturally into this new entity, using a multiple of new pieces.  

Energon Scorponok is one of my favorite Transformers toys ever, and so even though I kind of shrug at the idea of doing a G1-style version, I'm happy to have another in general.  There's something delightfully monstrous about him.  Some folks don't like his proportions or the way his torso looks, but for me that's part of the appeal.  He's dwarfed by his own massive claws.  He looks like he could grab planets out of the air.  The whole damn thing projects this feeling of menace.  And, so, sure, I'll take another one of those with a new transforming head, why not.

The retooling does solve a few minor problems with the toy, as well.  It ditches the original head's visor, which in latter releases was getting loose and having trouble staying on.  That's entirely gone, so problem dissolved.  Also the new neck connector piece makes the head sit up higher on the torso, so that looks a little better to me for the character, bridging the monstrous Energon Scorponok's feel with the slightly more housebroken G1 Scorponok.  

The toy is, however, assembled wrong.  The green and orange panels on either side of the purple torso (along with the panels' purple backings) are swapped left-to-right.  This doesn't impede transformation, but it does keep his shoulders from sitting properly in robot mode by a fraction of an inch.  Just unscrew the two screws behind the panels on either side, remove the arms, swap the panels-and-backings, re-attach the arms, and rescrew.  Huzzah.  

Scorponok still transforms into three modes -- robot, scorpion, and jet.  The new Headmaster can kind of stand in the small gap remaining inside the cockpit, in between the new neck piece and the wall of the torso, but it looks a little awkward.  The scorpion mode, as always, is great.  It's really just a pile of construction equipment - shovels and hooks and treads - assembled into the shape of a scorpion.  That's always really done it for me.  The jet mode is still that surprisingly awesome thing as well.  You wouldn't think you'd get a great jet out of a scorpion made of construction parts, but you do.  The electronics are gutted, however, as BotCon electronics tend to be. 

The box set sold out, so the only place to get this guy now is on the secondary market.    Good luck with that.

Page 1 2 3