Posts tagged with "transformers prime" - 2
Posted January 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm
Instead of finishing up the little Recordicon Data Disk guys, I thought I'd talk about the other toy of the exact same Soundwave I got this past week-or-so.  It's him from the future and/or our present!  And he's lost weight!

Hasbro's new direction for the Transformers Prime toyline is called Beast  Hunters, which was a title that was first used for Beast Machines in its preliminary stages.  The forgotten Predacon race of Transformers dragons has returned!  And the Autobots and Decepticons apparently have covered themselves in spikes and shit to combat them!  I found the new spikey Bumblebee first, and I think he was a pretty successful execution of this concept, but I'll talk about him later.  Soundwave, though, I dunno.

I bought him only for Ravage, as I do, because Ravage is awesome and I ain't not gonna buy a Ravage.  Like the first Soundwave toy's Laserbeak, Ravage does the splits and fits X-shaped into Soundwave's chest.  You can swap him with Laserbeak and vice versa, as I demonstrate in that first photo up there on the left.  And,  yes, Ravage's butthole is placed under Soundwave's nose and Ravage's head is reaching for Soundwave's crotch.  Let's acknowledge this and move on.

Soundwave himself is heavily retooled from the original Transformers Prime Soundwave.  The yellow and dark blue parts on Beast Hunters Soundwave remain from the original tooling, but everything else is new.  The result is kind of a mess, I think.  I'm not really sure what's going on, and it kind of detracts from Soundwave's sleek design.  On the other hand, he does transform into something that now looks less like those things the President uses to kill civilians in other countries!

shit now that's all the comments are going to be about now isn't it oh well

Beast Hunters Soundwave comes with a new grappling claw weapon as well!  It's one of those spring-loaded missile launcher deals but with a string.  It's not pictured because I forgot about it.

So let's sum up: Ravage comes with a Soundwave that's kind of a mess and possibly ultimately forgettable.  He transforms exactly the same way, but he's got more stuff on him.  And he has a grappling hook.  Maybe I'll come around on him later?  Right now, he's just hard to visually resolve.
Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:23 am
The second novel set in the War for Cybertron/Transformers Prime Aligned universe introduced a third faction of Transformers, pirates named Star Seekers, who roamed the universe angry that the Autobot/Decepticon war had ruined their homeworld.  Seems pretty fair.  The book strangely goes out of its way to avoid naming the leader of the pirate faction for the longest time, dropping familiar names for his crew, only to finally reveal the name of the pirate leader guy at the very end, super dramatically.  ...it's Thundertron, a completely new guy with an underwhelming name.  Weird implementation of subterfuge.

Hasbro seemed pretty super-excited about Thundertron and the Star Seekers.  At the subsequent BotCon, they revealed designs for all of the Star Seekers and implied that these pirate guys would figure big in the future.  So far, that's only manifested in this toy for Thundertron.

It's not a great toy.

I was excited for it because it was an animal.  I love beast toys, and new ones come along so seldom.  Plus, hey, a pirate, why not.  But sadly, he's kind of a mess.  His robot mode is okay-ish with annoying shoulderpad things and his lion mode is pretty awful.  There are some good ideas here, but they're outweighed by the not-so-good ones.  It's neat and interesting that his robot arms double up on themselves to form only the biceps of his beast forelimbs.  However, this means his lower arms and claws, which become his annoying shoulder pads in robot mode, are attached to the body separately.  Pegging all this together results in stubby, immobile forelimbs.

Hey, remember the original Cheetor's back legs, which looked amazingly awful?  Well, this guy's got the same legs.  It's one of those things I took for granted we'd never seen in a Transformers beast toy again, and certainly not on a Voyager Class toy, but here they are.  The lion mode tries to obscure this arrangement with a pair of wings.

But the weirdest part is how the lion mode's tail attaches in the middle of his back.  Not from the top of his butt, but practically up at his shoulders.  Do not understand.

At least since he's a pirate, one of his robot feet is removable so he can have a peg-leg.  The robot foot can peg onto his robot arm like a claw weapon.  His primary weapon is just like the others from his size-class, a two-moded weapon that's spring-loaded to stay in one mode.  So if you want him to have a sword, you have to hold his weapon open in place.  Unlike Magnus, there's no tab to keep it in the second mode.

Yeah, I don't really like this guy.  I like that he's a pirate lion and he's a prose-only character, but he's an awkward robot who transforms into a bad-looking, immobile beast-thing.  I had the Japanese version, Leo Prime, on preorder, but I canceled that 'cuz I don't think I want two of this guy.
Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:01 am
Ultra Magnus and Ironhide seem to be two characters in the Transformers Prime toyline who weren't slotted to appear in the television show, but got multiple toys as if they were important characters anyway.  (Well, okay, we didn't get Ironhide's larger toy as himself, but as Kup, but the concept still stands.)  That Ultra Magnus got two toys caused some folks to speculate that he'd show up in Season 2, but SPOILERS: he did not.

Now that I have Ultra Magnus's Voyager Class toy, I dunno if I'm sad that this awesome design isn't in the show or grateful that a non-show character has a toy strong enough to make me like it this much.  'Cuz I do.  Like it this much, that is.  It's a charismatic chunk of fossil fuels.  If he were real, I'd follow him anywhere.  It doesn't hurt that Ultra Magnus borrows pretty heavily from the Animated version of the character, with his big truck-front shoulderpads and the massive hammer.  And it super-doesn't hurt that this Ultra Magnus is founder of the Wreckers, and you know me and my Wreckers.  (The massive hammer really helps him fit in with the iconography of that group.)

His transformation is pretty simple, but clever enough that Magnus doesn't look simple.  Magnus basically lies down and stuff folds around his robot parts to form a truck.  My favorite part is the two pairs of rear wheels which unfold from vehicle mode to wrap around his shins.  The only annoying part are his fairly loose shoulders.  They're not quite stiff enough, and so they easily sag under the weight of his large weapon.

His large weapon, as I mentioned, is a giant hammer, but its default mode is an equally-large gun.  Like the other electronic-light-up weapons of the Transformers Prime Voyager Class toys, one mode is transformed into the other through spring-lever action.  Unlike the other weapons, though, Magnus has a latch that locks the weapon into his ax mode so it can stay there without you having to hold it in place with your fingers.  This is very good, 'cuz Magnus needs his friggin' hammer and I care much less about the gun.  It can also stow on his back if you want to keep his hands free.

There's a second accessory, a missile launcher with a red missile that looks like a call-out to the missile launchers of the original Ultra Magnus.  You can peg it wherever.

I imagine Magnus knows Bulkhead, the former Wrecker.  I wanna know more details of their shared history, though I doubt we'll get any anytime soon.  We're also expecting a whole combiner team of Wreckers soon, too, so Magnus won't always be so lonely.  (Of course, before then we'll get a Fall of Cybertron Magnus toy which will probably work better aesthetically with them, but meh.)
Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:46 am
Never in all my collecting life have I heard a knock at the door, discovered it was UPS, been handed a box from Big Bad Toy Store, and not known what in the friggin' Hell it was.   Seriously, this was a first.  There was this real moment of anticipation as I cut open the package to see what was inside.  It was like Christmas.  But, you know, a good Christmas, back when I got toys instead of underwear.  (I have to admit this is mostly my own fault.  I would probably still get toys for Christmas if everyone I knew weren't aware that I've already bought everything I want.)

But it was Prime Thundercracker!  I didn't even realize he was out.  He's a Japanese exclusive of some sort.  So I guess whatever event he was attached to happened, and I didn't check my Hotmail account for a shipping notice during the few days that it took for the package to arrive here.

I don't know how keen I am on Skywarp and Thundercracker being exact duplicates of Starscream in the Primeverse.  Starscream's design is pretty individualized, unlike how it is in most other continuities.  But at least Starscream's "First Edition" Deluxe Class toy is pretty damn awesome, so that mitigates this unease somewhat.

Thundercracker has the same stickers as Skywarp, but in different colors.  Thundercracker's Mini-Con's stickers, however, are different.  Which is neat!  What isn't neat is that this chrome version of Balo is just an upgraded form of Bulo.  I kinda wish he were a second guy.  Instead, he just replaces a guy I already have.  I've probably whined about this phenomenon before.  Let me also whine about "Silver Metal" Balo's chrome plating.  It keeps mine from coming together well.  His legs like to pop off because the chrome adds just enough extra coating to keep his parts from meshing properly.  Bummer.

Now I'm excitedly waiting for Slipstream to arrive next year.  The Transformers Prime cartoon is pretty light on worldbuilding, so I have to depend on the toylines to make me feel like this is a massive universe.
Posted October 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm
Maybe it's the nearly 20 years we went without a Unicron toy, but I just can't pass up a new Unicron toy.  I'm pretty sure I have all of them, save some redecoes.  There's this artificial (by now) feeling of Unicron toy scarcity that compels me to buy them.  Why am I buying this, my brain asks?  The answer is, obviously, because it's friggin' Unicron, my seven-year-old self  barks back at me.

There could be worse compulsions.  I like Unicron.  At least, I really like the Unicron that appeared in the later Marvel Comics and gave him a purpose beyond "random eating robot built by tiny dumb monkey alien."  Him being the cosmic Big Bad, the Transformers Satan,  just makes more sense.  That has been, thankfully, the Unicron that has marched forward since, even into the current permutation of the Transformers brand, Transformers Prime.  TFP can be pretty by-the-numbers at times, but I really like what they did with Unicron.  It's hard to make that guy fresh.  But Unicron's body is actually the Earth's core, and his essence can barf up onto land via volcanoes.  It's a pretty dark twist, putting the Ultimate Evil below our own feet.

Anyway, that's why this Unicron looks like he's a rock monster and why he transforms into his own face inside of a volcano.  Sure, the instructions tries to pass his alternate mode off as a spaceship, but that's no spaceship.  It's a volcano with Unicron's face embedded in it, with his skeletal wings doubling for a lightning storm.  It's a Face Volcano.  And it's why I love this toy.  Because Face Volcano.

Otherwise, it's just another toy of Unicron that also transforms into the most bullshittiest third mode "Capture Mode" ever.  Yeah, there's this other thing you do with him, besides the robot and the Face Volcano, that involves you splitting Unicron open, yanking him apart, and wrapping him around either Megatron or Optimus Prime.  It looks like it should be pretty simple if dorky-looking, but it is so aggravating to try to put into place that I've decided this third Capture Mode is a prank.  It's a lie.  It doesn't exist.   TakaraTomy's trying to pull one over on me.  The only other option is that they are not very great at making toys, and I think I prefer my toy companies evil rather than incompetent.   Seriously, it makes you break your toy to put it together according to the instructions. And even then nothing lines up properly, resulting in a sloppy mess.  If you are not bald or gray already, this Capture Mode will make you so.  Ignore it.

Unicron comes with a Mini-Con, like other Japanese TFPrime toys, and this one transforms from a mole-like creature into Unicron's left arm.  When the Mini-Con's on vacation, you can pull the halves of Unicron's big spikey club arm apart and they can be used for both of his arms.  This doesn't look too great, because the half-arms are obviously half-arms with no backs to them, so I think the Mini-Con's staying attached to his elbow.

Technically, this Unicron is an army builder, since there were buttloads of him in the season one finale, but I think I'll pass.  There was only one Face Volcano, after all.
Posted October 8, 2012 at 12:07 am


Generally I take a few photos of my toys before slaughtering them with paint.  But not Ironhide, apparently.  He's had good photos of him up on TFWiki from another user for a while now, so half my impetus to photograph him was gone.  And, really, I got Ironhide for the express purpose of painting him.  It was why he was in my hands.  So he went on the kitchen table pretty damn quickly.

I wanted to paint him 'cuz we've seen Ken Christiansen's concept art of Ironhide and he's a mostly black guy with a splash of red, while the toy is mostly red with a splash of black.  And I know black paint goes on reeeeally easy, especially for a shaky-handed and impatient painting novice such as myself, so I became obsessed with getting this guy so I could "fix" him.

And I did!  His arms and legs are black now, as God and/or Christiansen intended.  Those guns he's sporting are Kup's, of course.  The Mini-Con that comes with Ironhide (and transforms into one of his cannons) is giving me trouble with assembly, so he's sitting around somewhere.  The purple crystal thing won't snap in.  It pops out.  It's annoying.  I have the plastic flash sanded and everything.  It's gone.  The piece just won't stay.  I hate it.

I have but one photo of Ironhide without paint or his stickers applied.  There it is on the right, with his buddy Unicron The Face Volcano.

Oh, and if Kup's review taught me anything, it's that I should mention that this is not the Cyberverse toy you can find in America.  It's a Deluxe and it's from Japan.  It's unknown whether he's ever coming over here at the moment.
Posted September 19, 2012 at 12:16 am
It can't be great that both of the popular old guys in Transformers are just a color swap away from each other.  What I'm saying is, making Ironhide into Kup shouldn't result in that great of a Kup, yet it does.  I mean, it's good that it's a great Kup, y'know, for purposes of having a great Kup, but not so good in a world-building sense.  You don't want the two guys who share an archetype to be even more interchangeable.  It makes one of them redundant.

For some reason, the toy that was originally designed and solicited as Transformers Prime Deluxe Class Ironhide, based on Ken Christensen's design for Prime Ironhide, ended up being redecoed and released as Kup instead.  And like I said, it works pretty well.  They're both pickup trucks who are old guys who have windows on their chest, and neither of them is particularly shy with weaponry.  But Kup is green and Ironhide is red.   This is how you tell the two old guys apart.

The design itself is a great hybrid of elements of various Ironhide incarnations, particularly his G1 and live-action movie versions.  He's red and has his mohawked dome head with the cylinder ears and a windshield chest, but he's a pickup truck with giant cannons on his arms, his head embedded within his massive shoulders.  Since this version of the toy is Kup, I've not been attaching his giant cannons to his arms, opting to combine them into a larger  hand-held cannon.  It makes him look less Ironhidey.

Ironhide's character is pretty huge, especially in these post-Michael Bay days, and this toy's design reflects that.  What I mean to say is his head is tiny compared to his body.  In a more perfect world, he would have been a Voyager Class toy.  Instead, he's the size of Deluxe Arcee and with a head half the size.  It makes him look kinda Classicsy, really, since a frequent feature of G1 toys is their pinheadedness.  He's got a small head and he's blocky and rectangley.  Plus he has a nose.  Deluxe is a better size for Kup, I think, but his tiny head makes him  look really out of place next to other Prime toys.

I like how the doors fold in half to make his forearms.  I don't like how hard it is to get the center of his hood to split off from the rest of his hood and headlights.  I was afraid I was gonna break it when I tried to separate them the first time.  They click together pretty solidly.  After a few tries, the hood comes apart more easily, and also comes off the hinge entirely, which it's not supposed to do.  But if I put it back on upside-down in robot mode, that actually solves the problem of it sticking out pretty annoyingly from his back.  So, hey, making lemonade.

I'm sad this guy isn't who he was originally supposed to be, with no known stateside release at the moment, but I do like Kup way better than Ironhide, so that works for me.

UPDATE: I have added an image of Deluxe Kup next to Cyberverse Commander Ironhide because many folks are apparently confused about Kup's size and there was no way to slip any more iterations of the word "Deluxe" into this blog post without sounding like a jerk.
Posted September 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Within the past two waves of Legion Class (the smallest!) Transformers toys, there've been some older guys redecoed into new folks who otherwise don't have toys. And I'll pick them up! Why not? New guys!  Plus two of them were molds I hadn't owned before.


Flamewar is the most interesting character choice.  The original Flamewar was a BotCon 2005 exclusive toy and since then she has only appeared in BotCon and Collectors' Club-related materials, until now.  Like before she's a redeco of a motorcycle Arcee toy.  But now she's got a grudge against Arcee as well!  ...basically, she's Airachnid.  But now in that "I hate you and want to kill you but I am also wearing your skin" sort of way.  Her packaging art doesn't dispel any creepiness.

There's also Fallback, which is what Hasbro has to call Outback these days for steakhouse reasons.  (Yeah, it's a restaurant, but they also hold the trademark for toys for some reason.  Probably merchandise.)  Fallback is a redeco of Legion Class Breakdown.  Like Flamewar, he hasn't been mentioned on the cartoon, but in the most recent episode, Optimus Prime ordered his troops to "Fall back!" and so I like to pretend that Fallback is always just off-screen where we can't see him and that sometimes Optimus Prime yells at him.

Tailgate has been mentioned and seen on the cartoon, as he is Arcee's notorious first ill-fated partner.  He was a redeco of Cliffjumper in the cartoon as well, so this is a good use of the Cliffjumper Legion Class toy.  His transformation is crazy and I love him.  It's amazing how much versatility you can get out of a pile of ball joints.  He's seriously impressive for his size.

If you don't care about getting new characters, I'd still get Tailgate just for the hell of it.  He's pretty and his toy is a neat thing to keep around in your pocket.
Posted September 12, 2012 at 1:58 am
Yay, it's a Dreadwing.  It's hard to believe we first saw the grayscale prototype for this guy at BotCon 2011, which was a while ago.  So long ago, the toy was gonna be Dreadwing's green brother Skyquake at that point in time.  But now we get Dreadwing (who's alive) first and Skyquake (who died in his first appearance) in a later wave.

This is my second "Robots in Disguise" Voyager!  I have First Editions of Starscream, Optimus Prime, and Bulkhead, so other than Megatron, the first few waves of Voyager Class product had been a wash.   (He's the first Prime Voyager I've bought in a store, come to think.)  And since Dreadwing is RID instead of FE, that means he comes with one of those big-ass unfolds-from-giant-block-into-weapon-with-electronic-lights things.  Megatron's similar deal only activated his sword; his giant cannon stayed as you'd like it while in default mode.  Dreadwing's, like everyone else's big weapon, does not.  The reason it doesn't stay in this unwrapped mode is because the weapon's LED lights up as it does so.  It's the gimmick.

And so I shoved a toothpick in there because I want Dreadwing's gun to look like the weapon he has on the show instead of a big mess of parts that's taller than it is long.  I wonder how long the battery will run.  (If you don't want to use a toothpick, you can prop the finger catch on the butt of the weapon into Dreadwing's chest as he holds the gun, as shown in the photo.  That'll cram the weapon in place while looking somewhat natural.)

Dreadwing also has a sword which can attach to the gun like a bayonette, also as seen on the cartoon.

The toy itself is complicated!  Not aggravatingly so, except for in one spot.  There are many series of kibble panels that form Dreadwing's robot mode, and as you get him towards jet mode, they all converge on a spot near the center of his fuselage, just behind the cockpit.  You have to order these strata just right.

He is, of course, a jet with a couple of giant robot legs hanging underneath him.

And let's not talk too much about the two robot hands grabbing out of the back near his thruster all goatse-like.

I am satisfied with him.  He looks like the character, has an interesting transformation (so many surface panels of the jet move around to seamlessly form pieces of him!), and he's a pretty cool jet if you don't look underneath him or from the side.  (If you collect Transformers, that's just kind of a given that you accept, so.)   It's too bad about that weapon.  I mean, I understand why.  It's for kids, and they like glowing.  Hell, I like glowing.  But fun-hating adults like myself may sometimes get cranky about it.

(Dreadwing is voiced by Tony Todd, who also voiced The Fallen, btw.)
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