Posts tagged with "transformers prime" - 4
Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:34 am
I had talked before in a comic about how Miko's little figurine is unattainable in the United States.  It was a true story!  But through the help of eBay, I was able to buy a loose set of the three kid figurines from Malaysia.  All said, it wasn't that expensive, considering what I paid for them was what the big DVD Entertainment Pack set they're a part of would have cost here, plus shipping.  And now I don't have to sell any extra unneeded Megatron or Optimus Prime.

I have the New York Comic-Con versions of Raf and Jack already, with their white NY-stamped shirts, but these are painted in their "real" shirt colors.  As before, they have neck articulation and they can be separated from their stands.  Miko's entirely new to me, though, as just stated!  She too can be separated from her stand, but her neck does not turn.  It's probably 'cuz of her ponytail, which would have blocked movement anyway.

Miko's on my shortlist of favorite Transformers: Prime characters, and it felt incomplete to own Bulkhead without his little partner.  Sadly, you can't fit Miko into the gaps in Bulkhead's chest, but not all things in life are perfect.
Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:15 am
Look, I can't help it.  There's lots of McDonald's everywhere, and if I swing by there around lunch and get a Happy Meal, I get a free Transformers toy I can photograph for the Transformers Wiki.  I don't even want these things.  But they come free with food.  And nobody else is photographing these things for the wiki.

And they come free with food.

(Now, if I may go off on a tangent about the food, I have to say I'm pleased that Happy Meals now come with both fries AND sliced apples in addition to your entree.  You don't have to choose, you automatically get apples.  And the fries now come in this adorably small cardboard container.  It's a very small portion.  Adorably small.   Like, hit by a shrink ray.  Very welcome for a dude who should really be maintaining his diet better.)

I have four of these guys by now, just by luck of the draw, and thankfully getting a different dude every time, but today I'm only going to talk about Ratchet.  I just like Ratchet.  Plus Ratchet comes with stickers!  You know, like the TakaraTomy version of the normal retail version.  ...does this mean I can start derisively comparing the TakaraTomy version to HappyMeal toys?  I won't.  It's just, well, "like a Happy Meal toy" is a common epithet.

Putting on stickers is fun!  ...though less fun when the sticker placement directions are printed on the back of the sticker sheet itself.  I'm probably old enough and smart enough to figure out where these stickers go  unaided, but my paranoid self kept on flipping the sheet around obsessively just to make sure I was getting things right.

The toy's gimmick is probably the least awesome of the ones I've gotten so far.  Bumblebee shoots a missile.  Knock Out has flip-out hood cannons.  Bulkhead shoots discs.  Ratchet has a variation of Knockout's flip-out weaponry, in that it's spring-loaded but doesn't fire anything, but it feels more anticlimactic.  You reveal the base of the cannon by pushing down on the back of the lever that comprises the roof.  Then you press the Autobot symbol on that same roof to make a cannon pop out.  The problem is, it's a very small cannon.  It's not impressive.  At first I thought it must be a tiny LED or something because why else would it be so small.

But it's something to do.  And I got to put stickers on it.  And it's Ratchet.  And it came with McNuggets.
Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:42 am
I told you I'd give you photos of my painted-up Prime Ratchet toy!  And here they are.  I couldn't begin to tell you all that I did in exacting detail.  Suffice to say I added a lot of red and silver and tiny amounts of black and yellow.  The one important detail that's still beyond my skill levels is the thin red zigzag line that runs down the side of his vehicle.  Maybe mirrorverse David can paint that in a way that will not end in tragedy, but I sure as hell can't.

[gallery columns="4"]
Posted March 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm
For a while I was searching Targets pretty hard for this guy.  But of course the day after I gave up looking for a while was the day Graham found him for me at the nearby Target I check every day.   Ain't it always the way.  That was more than a week ago, but I had to take my desktop computer in for some repairs (everything's fine now), so I haven't been pushing the toy reviews since then.  But I'm back in business, and here we are again!

Ratchet's my favorite character on Transformers Prime.  That's not saying a whole lot because Ratchet is often my favorite character in any given Transformers series, but it's still true, so I'm still saying it!  He is my second-favorite Ratchet, if only because no new Ratchet is likely to top the one who singlehandedly fought Megatron when I was 5 years old, because as a human I am a big sack of chemical-induced emotions.  I like to think Prime Ratchet is basically what G1 Marvel Ratchet would have been like if we'd seen G1 Marvel Ratchet at times when he wasn't trying to kamakaze himself.  He's snarky, cranky, doesn't put up with bullshit, and has a healthy understanding of his place in the universe, for good or ill.  He's the Autobot closest to Optimus Prime, has known him the longest, and that means Ratchet can call him out when Optimus is acting stupid.  And despite Ratchet's slight superiority complex, he's sad that he can't do more than medicine to further the Autobot cause, and would be willing to give up nearly anything of himself to right that perceived shortfall.

(The episode that aired Saturday night was a good example of this.)

Prime Ratchet is an actual ambulance.  I shouldn't have to point that out, but Ratchets rarely are.  The first one was a minivan with flashers, the second one was a Mercedes SUV with a ladder painted on it, the third one was a H2 Hummer made up to look like an ambulance, evil Mirrorverse Ratchet is a crane, and only Animated and Prime Ratchets seem to be actual amblances rather than converted versions of nonambulance vehicles.  And as a real ambulance, the Deluxe Class is probably a little small for Ratchet, considering most of the Deluxe Class toys are sports cars.  Indeed, Ratchet is one of the tallest Autobots on the show, only shorter than Optimus Prime and of equal or greater height than Bulkhead.  But at the next size class up, there's a real possibility a Voyager Ratchet would be too close to (or greater than) Voyager Optimus Prime's height, so Deluxe is good enough for me.

Like his casemates Arcee and Cliffjumper, Ratchet's transformation depends on a lot of "cheating."  Not many of the vehicle mode parts become parts of the robot.  About a third of the ambulance is a shell that slides down over the backs and sides of his legs.  His robot mode torso gives hints of being vehicle mode parts, but those hints are only sculpted detail.  The ambulance doors sculpted on to his chest, for example, are not the vehicle mode's actual doors.  (And for good reason, the sculpted chest-doors are about half the size of the vehicle mode's actual doors.  The show model does a lot of cheating of its own.)

This cheating doesn't make him a bad toy by default.  He's reasonably easy to get in and out of either mode, and that middle-third-of-his-vehicle-mode shellforming is really the only shellforming that occurs.  (I'm not sure how to classify how his forearms transform -- the back walls of the ambulance fold around his forearms to complete them, but that seems like it's not strictly "shellforming" as we usually define it.)

Ratchet has a lot of paint, but the usual budgeted amount is not nearly enough to give him all of the red areas he has on the cartoon.  (Probably another symptom of the fake kibble, since the red stripes on his fake doors and his real doors have to be painted twice.)  He's also missing the red zig-zagged line that runs down the side of the ambulance, but the way his arms break up during transformation would complicate that.  I took to this guy with my own paint pretty quickly after taking these photos of the "stock" version.

Ratchet comes with two rubbery surgical "battle blades."  Presumably they're rubbery so they can be sculpted to look sharp rather than horribly blunted for child safety.  In vehicle mode, the blades can store underneath or they can peg into the front bumper.  You know, for ram-stabbing.  In robot mode, Ratchet can either hold them upright in his fists, or his fists can fold down into his wrists so that it looks like the blades are protruding from his arms as they do on the show.  There is sadly no storage for the blades in robot mode.  Which is kind of disappointing, considering Ratchet's got a lot of backpack space.

I like Ratchet a lot.  He evokes the character I enjoy as well as can be expected for a $12 toy, and he's fun to transform back and forth.  He's even better if you throw some red and silver on him.  I'll show you guys photos of that later.

Did I mention that Ratchet is voiced by Jeffrey Combs?
Posted February 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm
I'm still sick, but I napped like aalll day and so I have the energy in me to write this.  Huzzah!

Like all of the other "Robots in Disguise" Revealers, Arcee is an entirely new mold apart from her "First Edition" version.  And just like Cliffjumper, she relies more on faux kibble for her transformation.  Instead of the front of the bike splitting apart and folding down to become her upper torso, the entire front of the bike now hangs off her back.  This results in a more "show accurate" chest, but I think I'm preaching to the choir when I say that's not a step in the right direction.

I do not, however, want to give the impression that this is a disappointing or terrible toy.  It is not.  In fact, it's superior to the FE in a few ways.

First of all, all its kibble is further out of the way this time.  FE Arcee had this problem with her shoulders, where the big shoulder kibble was attached to her upper arms and kept getting in the way of all the stuff hanging off her back.  This is not a problem with RID Arcee.  Everything's back and out of the way of her range of movement.

Secondly, I like that she's shorter.  FE Arcee was taller than both Bumblebee and Cliffjumper, which just won't do!  RID Arcee is about a head shorter than FE Arcee, which is loads better, though not perfect.  I will take better over worse any day of the week, however.

Because she was created more recently, RID Arcee manages to be slightly more cartoon accurate than her earlier FE version as well.  The cuffs on her wrist are shaped properly, for example, and they managed to get her forearms blue this time.  Her chest, as mentioned, is more accurate, but that's a function of the different transformation, of course.  (Other than the torso, the rest of the toy transforms basically the same as the older one: The rear wheel splits apart and folds into the back of her shins.)  The head also looks a lot better.  Her eyes are lessbeady and more large and expressive.

Oh, and did you know you can use the FE's weapons on Arcee?  In addition to the 5mm pegholes that remain under her forearms for her blade weapons, there's also two skinny pegs on either side of her motorcycle mode that allow you to mount her blade weapons as you could on the previous toy.  There's no other reason for them.  That's pretty awesome.

There are some downsides, of course.  She only comes with one blade.  It combines with a giant version of the blaster her arms can transform into on the cartoon.  She loses both her waist articulation, her wrist articulation is now a balljoint and keeps her from being able to put her hands on her hips most excellently, plus she lost all of her pink.  I assume the latter is because of Boys, who tend to be strongly sexist at the toy's target age.

I now have all three of Prime Arcee's toys!  How did this happen?

(I may have to sell the FE.  Hey, it has Reprolabels on it!)
Posted February 11, 2012 at 1:40 am
When news hit that most of the "First Edition" toys weren't gonna be making it into the United States, I was out a Bulkhead (and some other things).  A day or so later, Big Bad Toy Store put up a preorder for a restock of the Takara figure.  I threw that into my stash, sort of hoping I'd find an alternative in the meantime.  But the preorder got restocked sooner than I thought it might (it's February already???) and now I have a Japanese Bulkhead.

Given the choice, I would have gone for the American version.  I think its lighter, oliver green looks more accurate, and I was afraid the shiny finish would stand out too much from my other figures.  In person, I don't mind the darker, more forest green as much as I'd feared.  It's not ideal, but it's not as conspicuous as the sparkly gold Takara Animated Bumblebee I have.  (Eep.)

The toy itself is crazy, possibly in an awesome way.  Bulkhead transforms from a pretty small SUV for a Voyager Class toy into a huge ball of a robot.  It's like he explodes into something twice his mass.  (So probably exactly what he does in the cartoon.)  Part of this is because the robot mode compresses as much as possible into vehicle mode.  I don't think there's a sizable gap anywhere inside.  And the transformation unwinds the vehicle into this multidirectional ticker tape of plastic which reassembles into the surface area of a torso with limbs.  Bulkhead's got a spine back there, but most of his gut is empty air.  The way the panels form the torso's surface area is amazing.  Everything goes where it should according to the animation, with doors on top of panels on top of other panels, but the animation makes it look implausible.  And yet here we are.

That Arcee should probably be about half-again as tall, but the Deluxe is taller than Bulkhead.

It is not a simple toy.  Its complexity approaches the event horizon of Oh My God Why, but pulls back just short of being an annoying mess.  My awe in its engineering manages to eclipse any potential rage.  I'm not sure exactly where that particular threshold is, but this toy really skirts it.  Well, maybe flirts with it is more accurate.  Its complexity is playful.

Which is all heartbreaking, because I want to recommend the toy, but it's not an easy toy to come by.  I hope it gets released somewhere for cheap so others can share my infatuation.

And hopefully by then there'll be a Miko to buy to hang out with him.
Posted February 10, 2012 at 2:43 am
So I bought Legion Class Arcee and Ratchet on Wednesday.  Legion Class toys are the smaller price point in the Cyberverse arena of Transformers toys.  They're tiny and very simple and there are playsets for them.  And I got an Arcee because I was wondering about her scale and I got a Ratchet because I'm weak and I like Ratchet.

Arcee's a motorcycle on the show, but she's a Deluxe Class toy the same as the cars and planes, so of course her scale's a bit wonky. And so I picked up Tiny Arcee to see how she'd compare to the other toys.  Maybe she'd be a better Arcee than my admittedly awesome Deluxe Class version!  And, as expected, she's a way better scale versus the cars in vehicle mode, but about half as short as her cartoon's robot mode.  See, in the show, she grows between modes.  A lot.  Very much a lot.  Her motorcycle mode's as large as her shin.  It's kind of annoying.

Which, as it turns out, puts her Legion motorcycle at perfect television scale with her Deluxe robot.  Huh.

Her transformation is pretty sweet for such a small toy.  It reminds me a lot of Animated Prowl in its elegance.  And like Animated Prowl, one wheel ends on one leg and one wheel on the other, with the arms pointing out the rear of the motorcycle and motorcycle kibble ending up as wings on her back.   It's fun to do and she fits in your pocket.

Ratchet is way more pedestrian.  The back becomes legs and the sides pull out to be arms.  He's basically a Micromaster.

Both Ratchet and Arcee come with rubbery translucent pink weapons.  These weapons are covered in pegs and pegholes so that you can combine them in various ways, and the toys themselves have multiple pegholes.  In theory, if I had more than just these two Cyberverse toys, I could combine my pile of weapons into a superweapon, or many superweapons, or just load up one toy with all of them.
Posted February 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm
I didn't get to go to San Diego Comic-Con last year 'cuz I was Moving with a capital M, which was Terrible with a capital T, which meant I didn't get to see this toy for the first time in person. I only had photos to go off of. But I was in love from first sight all the same. And so I counted down the days.  I counted down the days until I'd receive my Transformers: Prime "First Edition" Optimus Prime.

And counted. And counted and counted and counted. And, oh, hey, I guess these aren't ever gonna show up in the United States! WONDERFUL. Well, I'm getting him, dammit, and thanks to Magnus from, I got one shipped from Canada at cost. That cost was still not a good one considering US retail, but I was not gonna not own this guy.

Sure, there's another Voyager ("Robots in Disguise") Optimus Prime in stores that I could readily grab out of the back of any of the fifty billion Targets in the Columbus area, but that's not the Optimus Prime I fell in love with. And I'm sure the RID one's better in some ways. The RID one is better in some ways, in fact! His shoulders actually become the air foil junk on top of the truck. The robot mode windows actually become the truck mode windows. And he's electronic. Those are all very good improvements over the more expensive one I chose. But--

I'd miss the very-important red on the chest. I'd miss the way the truck kibble folds up better on the robot mode back. I'd miss the sword and the gun that mount properly on the arms. I'd miss the general proportions. And I'd miss the toy I fell in love with.

So here I am with the "First Edition" Optimus Prime!  And I do love him.  I don't think I have any complaints.  He is at his core a sized-up version of the Deluxe, the one that came in a wearable Matrix at SDCC.  He transforms nigh-identically.  The hood of the truck folds up over the back of his arms.  His shoulders attach to a pair of fake windows that cover up the real windows.  The air foil splits up to become his heels and folds down over his legs.  Everything else crams onto his torso.  But the Voyager does it so much better, undoubtedly because of his size.  The front wheels don't have to hang uselessly off of his back, instead they fold into his shoulders snugly.  The leftover truck panels can collapse into a smaller space on his back.  The hood halves are more snug against his forearms.  Everything comes out looking way better at this scale.

I will probably put some silver paint on him, however.  Parts of him call out for it.

He comes with two weapons!  One is the gun from the show, but annoyingly in black.  Well, black with obvious silver specks all over it.  He also has his sword, which is equally important.  The sword is cast in very rubbery plastic.  I'm not used to 5mm pegs being so rubbery.  But oh well.  He has the sword, which, again, is important.  And they plug into his hands so they look like they popped out of his wrists, which is, again, important.  The toy readily available in stores just gives him a sword he holds like a sword.  I don't want that crap!

Anyway, now that I overspent on this guy, I fully expect him to show up in Marshall's and TJ Maxx everywhere tomorrow for $15.  Which, really, would be fine by me in the long run, because I want to be able to share my joy with others.

But with this guy, I was leaving nothing to chance.

And I still need to figure out what I'm gonna do about Bulkhead.
Posted February 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm
"Soundwave is absolutely devoted to Megatron. He uses his ability to intercept any electronic transmission to ensure the supremacy of his leader, and the eventual victory of the Decepticons over the Autobots."

Let's start off this post by making sure everyone knows that Soundwave and Megatron, according to Soundwave's package bio, are basically married.  We got that?  Okay, we can move on now.

Soundwave was the guy from wave 1 that I was looking forward to the most.  He comes with a little guy!  And he was in more than one episode.  In the show, he's basically Shortpacked!'s Mike, if Mike were mute, and also if Mike only hated Starscream.  Okay, so not very much like Mike.  But his function on the show so far is to be a jerk to Starscream without saying a word.  And Soundwave is very good at it.  It's very entertaining.  I hope he never speaks.  It would diminish him.

Prime Soundwave turns into some sort of unmanned drone jet.  His toy looks more like a convoluted knob of transformation joints, but the wings and nose of the plane remain smooth and alt-modey.  The obvious robot mode greebles and hinges everywhere make the jet mode less satisfying than it should be, but like Voyager Megatron they at least are in service of creating a great robot mode.

For all Soundwave's convoluted knob of joints, he transforms pretty simply.  The nose splits up to make legs.  The rear opens to reveal the head.  The wings unfold into arms.  Those joints are there mostly for articulation, like the knees and balljointed hips that sit between the wings and the fuselage.

Soundwave's robot mode, also like Megatron, is amazingly faithful to the show's design.  I never would have thought you'd get that robot mode out of anything, even a ball of joints with wings.  The backs of Soundwave's legs are kind of messy, but that's my only complaint.  He has all the articulation you'd need, plus a little extra joint in his tummy to help him hunch over properly.

Speaking of all the articulation you need, Soundwave has his little buddy Laserbeak.  You can peg Laserbeak into Soundwave's arm and have Soundwave talk to him all you like.  And when Laserbeak's work is finished, you can fit Laserbeak right back onto his resting place on Soundwave's chest.  He can remain there in jet mode or plug into the top of the jet mode and look conspicuous there.

I kind of wish Laserbeak had, y'know, a beak.  Also I think Laserbeak should talk.  That's something Dark of the Moon got right.

Soundwave's only one per case in wave one, unlike everyone else in the assortment.  He's shortpacked!  So have fun with that.  When Graham and I found these guys on Wednesday, we had to go to more than one store to make sure we had one for both of us.  Let me tell you, it's much easier to ask an employee to get a box out of the back if you're buying most of the case than it is to ask an employee to get a box out of the back to get the shortpacked guy.  Even if I know I'm not doing this to scalp them, it makes me feel a little guilty for no reason.
Posted February 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm
This is Wheeljack!


Man, we just got a Generations Wheeljack last year in the Deluxe Class scale, and so this feels kind of deja vu-y.  And I like that Wheeljack a lot.  It was a Wheeljack that I spent a lot of time with as a character.  This Wheeljack was in one episode and he wasn't even himself for 95% of that, since it was an Evil Imposter episode.

So what to say about Prime Wheeljack.

He's more interesting to transform than I expected.  Yeah, he's one of those guys whose hood becomes his feet and the roof becomes  his chest and the rear becomes his arms.  There are lots of those guys.  Like G1 Wheeljack.  But there's some surprises, like how his shins transform.  Both his forearms and the "bones" of his shins are on these long pieces that rotate between modes.  Starting out in car mode, you split the legs, and then split the legs again, rotating the inner half that has the feet attached.  Then you have to slide up the rest of the hood and fold it over.  I'm doing a terrible job of describing it.

Wheeljack also has swords.  Wheeljack can hold them in his hands, peg them into his shoulders, or in vehicle mode he can stow them underneath or attach them to the front bumper like big... sword things on the front of a car.

He looks like a good recreation of the show model, best I can tell from images.  So that's another plus.

Wheeljack's not bad.  He's just not a pleasant surprise like Cliffjumper was.
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