Posts tagged with "transformers prime" - 1
Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:05 am

You might recall from a few months ago my happiness at getting what by all appearances seemed to be some strange Ratchet/Dinobot cyborg fusion as part of the Beast Hunters line.  Well, TakaraTomy over in Japan took one look at this mold and apparently thought, okay, no way this is a good guy.  Just look at this dude.  And they made him a Decepticon.

All the other Japanese releases of the Beast Hunters guys were just done up in colors similar to their appearances on the show, despite their heavily-retooled appearances, but not Ratchet.  Ratchet gets to be green like in the movie and a Decepticon and super evil.  This is awesome, and so I had to have it.

According to some guy on the Internet, the packaging bio for Hunter Ratchet is about how he tried to sneak into a Decepticon/Predacon/whatevs lab to steal some technology and whatnot, but he got captured and infused with Dark Energon and turned into this green monocled thing.  The Autobots managed to bring him back eventually, but Ratchet still struggles with the vestiges of his time as a Decepticon.  

Hunter Ratchet is literally the American toy in other colors, so there's nothing new there, but the plastic tolerances on him seem to be a bit more sturdy.  So that's nice.  Also the green is kind of a glittery plastic, which reminds me of Best Buy's Premium Movie Ratchet a little.  That coupled with the white and black and red is a pretty attractive look for him.  

Plus, you know, evil Decepticon Ratchet.

Posted September 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm

His real name is "Sharkticon Megatron," but I just like calling him Fish Megatron.  FISH MEGATRON!  WITH HIS TARTARSAUCE SWORD.

Tartarex Sword?  Whatever.

Beast Hunters gave us a bunch of extensively-remolded guys I already had as crazy-armored beasty versions of themselves, and while that appeals to me on a toyetic level, I didn't want to end up with a double set of the cast.  But some of these guys I just couldn't resist.  Like Fish Megatron here.  

I mean, look at him.

He's fantastic.

I'm also happy to report that his plastic tolerances feel a little more satisfying and he clicks together more securely than the original version.  If you don't care that Megatron doesn't look like this on the teevee show, this is an objectively better toy.  

He does have big fins on his arms, which means his usually-arm-mounted cannon has a longer connection peg so it reaches past them, but that's not what you want to do with the weapon.  You want to transform it into the monstrous sword mode.  You really do.  It completes him.  Screw arm cannons.  Giant heavy fish sword, dudes.

FISH MEGATRON

(Megatrout?)

Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:07 am
I love Ratchet.  I love Dinobot.  So what happens when you take a Ratchet toy and retool him into Dinobot?

Woodies.  Millions of them.

I don't know what the target audience is for a toy that takes the show's medic and gnarls it up into this thorny DeathUV with what some would say is a mind-boggling choice of color scheme, but that target audience is at least one, because I am me and I exist.  Mostly white with some beige and orange and hints of bright green?  Yeah!  Staple up Ratchet's face and give him a targeting monocle, making him look eerily reminiscent of Dinobot II?  Yeah! Give him a friggin' rotate blade?  Hell yeah!

Thank you, Hasbro.  I have no idea if anyone else will ever buy this toy, but I sure did.

Ratchet is extensively retooled, but it doesn't affect his transformation any.  Mostly they just wanted to give him giant spiky scabs everywhere.  The kibble panels that form his inner forearms (with the zig-zag line on them) likes to pop out of joint way too much, though.  Might as well just rip them off first-thing and set them aside for the duration.  Also, man, was getting the ambulance's rear end panels aligned as hard as it was before?  I think some of the extra stuff sculpted on here might be making him a little rougher to fit together.

ROTATE BLADE!
Posted March 14, 2013 at 11:18 pm
Nobody wants a Deluxe Shockwave!  Shockwave is massive and powerful and awesome.  And so I'm pretty happy to get this new Beast Hunters Shockwave to take the place of my Fall of Cybertron Shockwave on my WFC/FOC/Prime shelf.  He's a Voyager!  He ain't a small Voyager either, considering he makes TFPrime Voyager Megatron look kinda puny.  Not sure what I feel about that, but whatcha gonna do.

Beast Hunters Shockwave is.... most Shockwave toys.  That is,  he's an amazing robot.  A fantastic robot.  And he transforms into... soomethiing.  I think the only Shockwave toy that transformed into an Actual Something was the Alternator.  Everything else has been, like, ray-gun-that-looks-like-a-folded-up-Shockwave or satellite-thing-that-looks-like-a-folded-up-Shockwave or tank-that-looks-like-Shockwave-with-a-turret-pegged-to-it.  BH Shockwave ain't any different.  He's an exceptional robot toy and he transforms into himself doing the splits.

Oh, it's not an overly-simple transformation, by any stretch.  It looks like it is, but there are lots of tiny little twists and turns.  His feet... slide forward at an angle, for example, I think so that they lie flush with the rest of his legs in tank mode, which in tank mode are... legs.  I guess there are tumbler-like wheels in his heels, but they're not terribly visible so it just looks like he has treads in the back and legs in the front.  His handed arm tucks underneath while his gun arm tucks overneath.  And there's some panel-rearranging with his chest and stuff....  Okay, it's kind of simple.

But, dammit, he's a great robot.  One of the rubber treads on his back unfurls and plugs into his cannon.  (The other tread is also rubber, despite not doing anything, which is some nice symmetry.)  What's the most glorious thing about this toy is the cannon.  You know those gimmicks where you push down on a lever and it causes something to spin and spin and spin until friction finally wins, eventually?  The cannon's one of those.  But, wait, there's more.  While it's spinning, the cannon is slowly opening and closing and also extending and retracting.  And while this is going on, you can peek inside the cannon through it's twirling gaps and see the missile launcher, fleetingly.  It's a fascinating contraption, and I can't stop making it do what it does.  I haven't even gotten to where I find out how that missile fires.  Why would I?  This is great.

anyway there's some beast stuff to plug into him so he looks all beast huntery the end
Posted February 23, 2013 at 12:21 am
Sometimes my faith is rewarded!  Takara's Smokescreen toy was a Knock Out redeco with a new head, and Hasbro's Smokescreen toy was nonexistent.  But I decided, naw, there's no way Hasbro's not going to release a car Autobot guy.  They didn't do a large Breakdown either, but Breakdown is a Voyager Decepticon.  Deluxe Car Autobot guys are Hasbro's bread and butter.  And so I passed on the Known Smokescreen for in the hopes I would be rewarded with a real one that's his own mold.

And, yea, God helps those who sit on their ass, I guess!

Sure 'nuff, the second wave of Beast Hunters gives us a new mold Smokescreen toy.  Unlike the Autobots from the first wave, Smokescreen isn't an older toy with spikes retooled all over him.  Instead,  he's a "plain" Smokescreen with add-on spikey accessories.  You can throw those bonus parts in the trash and have a normal ol' Smokescreen toy, or you can go all Mad Max.  I kind of expect that this Smokescreen was already in the planning stages before he got Beast Hunterized.  Maybe it's the way the rubber trap net stuff just slides over his otherwise unremarkable missile launcher weapon.  It all seems like an afterthought.

Anyway, Smokescreen toy -- how is he? Well, as you can probably tell from looking at him, he's got a fake kibble chest.  Those headlights and hood don't become the real headlights and hood at all.  The real hood (and roof) hang off the back of his forearms.  I can sort of see their line of thinking here -- Smokescreen's chest on his cartoon model kind of has a lot of stuff going on.  It splits up into a bunch of angles.  Plus, well, the real car hood is kind of a lot bigger than the fake one, nearly twice as wide.  I guess the designers preferred leaving all that stuff hanging off his arm to a robot mode  that was 50% chest.

Despite all that, the kibble junk is kept largely out of the way during posing, so he's a good robot mode overall.  I also like his big sturdy feet.  The only annoying part of his robot mode are the many, many hinges built into his shoulders which are part of his transformation.  They can come undone if you're rough with him.

Unfortunately, those many, many hinges are part of his super-frustrating transformation.  He's another of those guys who went to the Side Burn School of Transformation.  He comes along fairly okay-ish until you get to the arms and all that junk hanging off of there.  Trying to fit the arms in (and their 50 billion hinges) and close in all the gaps in the vehicle mode is an ordeal I haven't really smoothed out yet.  Once you get one side all pegged together, that forces out the pegs on the other symmetrical side.  You wanna punch somebody.  Unless you're a wizard, you're gonna end up with gaps.

The Beast Hunters stuff fits over him in either mode.  In car mode, it fits snugly over the hood and under the side mirrors.  In robot mode, it sort of wraps up over his torso and behind his head.  There's tabs just below his ribcage and two more tabs at the tops of his shoulders; you'll have to use the stuff's rubbery quality to your advantage on this last bit.  You literally wrap it around him and peg it in.  There also seem to be some extra missile storage places on the sides of it.

Smokescreen's colors aren't quite accurate to his screen portrayal.  I can understand why they'd want to include more red and blue accents instead of leaving Smokescreen almost entirely white and silver, but I do find it weird that they painted stuff on his head blue instead of red.  I'll probably have to do some paint adjustments of my own.
Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:04 pm
Just in time for Wednesday's strip about How Strika Should Be, Like, More Wankable Or Something, I have received Ripclaw (and Smokescreen from BigBadToyStore.  They're Wave 2 Beast Hunters Deluxes.  They'll be in stores soon, probably?)  You see, the connection is Ripclaw is a lady!  She is a Transformer who ostensibly has girl parts.  She shares a body design with Ser-Ket, who at the time had begun to appear in the "Rage of the Dinobots" comic book miniseries, but we had no idea she was female until samples of Ripclaw's toy showed up with pronouns and everything and we realized, oh, hey.  They're both probably ladies.  And sure enough, Ser-Ket got some gendered pronouns in her subsequent appearance.  They are shes.

So she's not Thunderblast is what I'm saying.

What I am saying is that this toy is great.  I knew I was going to like it just from the stock photography, and the stock photography didn't lie.  Just like Lazerback, Ripclaw's card bubble is relatively deep.  She's a hunk of toy.  Unlike Lazerback, she has wings and a neck and a jointed tail.  Now, here's the super awesome did-not-see-this-coming thing about Ripclaw's tail.  It's not just simply segmented.  There's a rubber tube running through the middle.  The tail can hang lax, or you can tighten the whole contraption by hooking it up more securely onto the back of the torso.  It is an amazing tail.  The grabby-claw tip can be removed, leaving a simple nub at the end of the tail, while the grabby-claw  can be held by one of the robot arms.  (The claw attaches deeply enough through the hand-hole that it appears that the claw is an extension of the arm itself.)

Ripclaw's dragon jaw opens, and the top of her head is rubber plastic like the center of her tail.  Like many beastformers, she transforms roughly by standing up, though the limbs each go through a step or two so they don't look identical in both modes.  The robot head looks kind of cowl-y, like an eyed hat sitting on a neck, but she does have a jaw down there.  It's just mostly obscured by her collar.  I guess the artist who was drawing Ser-Ket in the comic was going off of stock photography or something, since Ser-Ket was pretty jawless in that.

Ripclaw is a super-great toy that looks dynamic by default.  It's hard for her to look bad.  She's a dragon, she has an involved but non-frustrating transformation, and a sweet rubber-enabled segmented tail.  Also, happens to be a chick.  She was the favorite of the Predacons I'd seen so far, judging only by photography, and the toy lived up to my expectations.
Posted January 18, 2013 at 1:15 am
The current New Big Line is Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters, which means some motherfriggin' beasts, dude!  All of the titular beasts appear to be  dragons, but while I am not super fond of dragons, beggars can't be choosers, y'know?  It's been a dry season for beasts for quite a few years!  I mean, sure, you get your occasional Grimlock or Laserbeak or Ravage -- which I am thankful for because those are awesome guys or at least guys who can be redecoed into Buzzsaw -- but never an actual semi-flood of beasts.  A beast buffet.  And the most recent two beasts like Thundertron ... some... other guy... I forget... were kind of bleh, so hopefully these Beast Hunters beasts will amend my disappointment!

Beasts beasts beasts beasts... yeah, now the word has no meaning.

Anyhow, in the first wave of Deluxe Beast Hunters is Lazerback.  Oh man, that name.  Did you know that the packaging mock-up in the presentation slide at New York Comic Con had it spelled "Laserback," as is right and holy?  And everyone online kept on spelling it Lazerback, with a Z, and I was all "NO YOU DUDES IT HAD AN S OH MY GOD LEARN TO SPELL LASER" but ahahahaha no, the packaging mockup was a dirty well-spelled lie and we got it with the Z for reals.

"LASER" IS AN ACRONYM THAT STANDS FOR SOMETHING GOD DAMMIT

Anyway.

Lazerback is pretty cool!  And... hefty.  His card bubble is way deeper than the rest of his wave, and he feels about twice as heavy.  He's dense.   He is also the Beastiest Beast.  His forelimbs become arms and his hindlimbs become legs.  His tail comes off and becomes a weapon.  These are all things that beast toys like to do a lot.  And y'know, I don't think I really care.  If I can get 30 billion car toys where the hood becomes the chest and the trunk becomes the legs and there's some door wings or something, then I can enjoy Lazerback.

And truth be told, he's a solid toy. He doesn't do a lot of innovative things, but he does old things well.  He's a great dragonbeast thing.  He's meaty.  His jaws open and he has a missile launcher that comes out of his spine.  And while the tail does become his weapon, the way it closes up around his fist makes me think it's supposed to be just an extension of his arm in one mode, like the tail IS his arm.  He's got a tail-arm.  And that's pretty cool.  Definitely Beast Warsy.  And those colors of his -- red, purple, and yellow -- they're really grabbing me.  I like him.

I want more.
Posted January 11, 2013 at 2:01 am


In the same box from BigBadToyStore as Artfire was Prime Starquake and Dark Energon Wheeljack.  I keep internally calling it my Super Expensive Box of Entirely Redecoes, but I think that title's taken by BotCon each year.   Skyquake I had on preorder 'cuz, well, he's a tailender, so no guarantee he'll hit stores in great numbers.  Beast Hunters stuff is already coming out, so his time on the shelf is limited.  And I had Dark Energon Wheeljack on preorder 'cuz he's friggin' Slicer.  In fact, he had Decepticon faction symbol Reprolabels stickers on him in about thirty seconds, once I looked up on Transformers Wiki to see whether he had photos taken of him yet.

Because Skyquake has been dead in fiction for years (seriously, he showed up to die in the first episode of Transformers Prime's proper first season), I started to come up with a backstory for him.  He doesn't really have a present- or a future-story, so that's all he gets.  And, hey, look, he came in a box from BBTS with another guy based on a Europe-only release from the early Nineties.  That's right, he and Slicer are now super badass partners-in-evil.  In the past.  Before Skyquake got locked in a closet in a mountain on Earth.  Where Slicer is these days, I dunno.
Posted January 7, 2013 at 2:15 am
Can't find my Frenzy! So pushing back talking about the Data Disk guys once again.

Here's Beast Hunters Bumblebee. I found him and nobody but him when I was out looking for his wave, and as I am weak, I snatched him up. He wasn't on my list or anything, since my place is kind of lousy with Bumblebees already, but after seeing some photos of him in-hand on the Internet, I saw that he was pretty neat-looking. And, hey, Bumblebee with spikes all over him. He reminds me of Johnny Five at the end of Short Circuit 2 where he covers himself in random spikey punk rock shit and then uses his last five minutes alive for spiteful vengeance, as you do.

As you might notice, he is heavily retooled! Not much of the original toy survives, though the engineering and transformation is the same. Let's see, the middle of his upper torso, all of the gray of his middle torso and thighs, and the non-vehicle-y parts of his lower legs, plus his arms from the biceps on down... those are all old parts. The head and pretty much the entirety of the vehicle mode (other than that middle hood section) are new.

He still comes with the two arm-mounted blasters of the original tooling, plus a crossbow-like weapon that mounts on his hood or his arm or in his hand. He comes with a whoppin' six dang missiles, which the crossbow-thing can fire with a spring-loaded mechanism. This dude is armed. He will murder you. If you're a beast, anyway. Or so I think the story goes.

He's pretty hard core.
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