Posts tagged with "universe" - 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 January 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm
Scourge can finally see his own feet again.

This past year, it seems Hasbro's been doing its darnedest to do mainline retail versions of guys from the BotCon 2009 set.  I talked about Kup a few days ago, there's a Banzaitron in stores (which I didn't buy because I preferred the BotCon version), and now here's Generations Scourge.   There's also Dirge, Thrust, and (soon) Thundercracker in stores, which replaces a chunk of the BotCon 2007 set, but that stings a lot less, 'cuz, hey, I've had those for nearly five years by now.  It hurts more when BotCon toys get replaced in what feels like a few months.

But hey, that's why BotCon should probably stay away from popular guys who are undoubtedly going to get new toys at some point, like Kup and Scourge, and why BotCon 2010's set is more valuable to me personally.  Hasbro's probably not chomping at the bit to make Rapido or G2 Breakdown so much.

Don't tell the Sweeps, but they're adopted.

That said, I'm pretty okay with getting a new Scourge.  I never thought BotCon 2009's Scourge, which was Cybertron Sideways with a new head, worked well as him.  He was a space jet, but beyond that the similarities weren't really there.  It did help that BotCon also offered a set of Sweeps that year, which helped the illusion that this toy was Scourge, via sheer number, and I figger I'll keep using those Sweep toys even with my new Scourge that doesn't match.  Hey, they're the only real, actual Sweeps toys!  I mean, you COULD buy multiple Scourges, but...

Despite being an entirely new toy designed to be Scourge from the start, Generations Scourge transforms into a very similar altmode to BotCon Scourge, albeit a more real-world approach than alien.  Either altmode is pretty different from the original Scourge's altmode, which was a flying bathtub.  I'll allow it.  The most important thing, I maintain, about this new altmode, is its undocumented feature.  In the original cartoon, Scourge could stick his head up out of the back of his flying bathtub form, an artifact of his preliminary design.  Well, dude, look who can really do that now?  And no, it's not just an accident.  His head pulls up an extra notch not needed for the transformation to robot mode, undoubtedly just to recreate this oddity. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

This is the single most awesome thing about this toy.

There are a few annoyances with the transformation to robot mode.  Firstly, his wings like to pop off when you try to get them into the proper positioning.  There's a lot of friction back there with the parts surrounding his wings.  They're also kind of a bitch to put back on, since there's not much room given for the hinge to slip back into the socket.  The other annoyance is due to an opposite problem -- it's hard to get his feet pulled out of his legs.  There's no groove to get leverage, so you kind of have to try to wiggle them back and forth for a few minutes, hoping something gives.

Another undocumented feature from the instructions is that you can open his wings to create a more-accurate "caped" appearance.  Opening the wings also gives you a place to store his two guns in vehicle mode, which combine into a bigger gun via a C joint.  The combined gun looks a lot like Scourge's 1986 Targetmaster parter, Fracas, but it does not transform into him.  (Though since Universe Cyclonus's Targetmaster partner is basically Fracas already, and I have an extra, I can remedy Scourge's Nebulan-impairment pretty easily.)  The gun on Scourge's head is also C joint compatible so you can clip one of his handheld weapons onto it.

S'where you keep the guns.

Overall, this Scourge is a much better companion for Universe Cyclonus than the BotCon version, which served as a helpful stopgap in the meantime.  I prefer the facial hair on my Transformers to be painted, after all, so you can see it better.

If you're fixing for a Scourge of  your own, TFSource has both the American and Japanese versions available for preorder.
Posted August 18, 2010 at 2:01 am
My legs are like a house of cards, I'm serious!

Unlike Rodimus and Cyclonus, I didn't have any older versions of the Galvatron mold that was included in the "Challenge at Cybertron" three-pack. There's a pretty good reason! Man, that mold sucks harder than your mom at a nickel convention. He always looked kinda iffy, and I was able to play with my friend Graham's back when he came out, confirming my suspicions.

So, yay, now I have my own, and he isn't much better. I mean, I guess he has a little more paint on him? I'm not actually sure. His robot mode sure has more paint, but his tank mode has practically none except for the treads. They really could have tried to paint something on it. It's not like it had to be accurate to any onscreen cartoon tank or anything! They coulda had fun with it.

Once again, the left (cannonless) arm is painted over. I'm still not sure why! They're going for cartoon accuracy, and Galvatron's cartoon arms are purple. Entirely purple. And yet the purple-plastic arms are covered in gray paint. It's not like that arm shows up in tank mode or anything. It doesn't make a difference. Though in general, I do like the colors. Mostly-white toys with a much darker secondary color are always pretty.

Why did I take a photo? I could have just taken a blank Photoshop canvas and drawn an orange line.

But dude, this toy does not like to be transformed. It's not that it's complicated. The transformation's probably about medium difficulty. Nothing about it is frustrating on paper. But, damn, does he like to pop apart. His arm will pop off and you'll try to fix it and more of the arm will pop off of itself and then the backpack will pop off and then the cannon will pop off as you try to fix the arm and backpack. Later, you will lose both legs during transformation.

See, this is why I skipped him the first time.

Despite this, I may keep him. I use Energon Galvatron as my Galvatron now, and have for a number of years. But he's huge, and space is increasingly a premium. It might be nice to try a smaller Galvatron for a while so I can actually fit in all those Sweeps. And the new Cyclonus's Armada I have.

Some day we'll get a good Voyager Class Galvatron. And he won't suck! These are my hopes and dreams.
Posted August 16, 2010 at 2:01 am
I photograph a lot pinker than I am.

So there's this exclusive three-pack of Classics Rodimus, Galvatron, and Cyclonus that's been released in Southeast Asia with no sign so far of release anywhere else.  Sometimes I get paid in toys for art, so I figgered I might as well check them out since Big Bad Toy Store had the set in stock.

This here is "Challenge at Cybertron" Rodimus in front of his regular American retail self.  He's an attempt at doing the toy in pure cartoon colors, taste be damned.  I was super-interested in this toy when a few stolen samples of him showed up online just before BotCon.  I was interested because it looked like he was pinkish purple.  Hasbro and Takara try their damnedest to pretend that in the 1986 Animated Movie that Hot Rod is totally red and orange and yellow.  Ha!  It is to laugh.  He's frigging pink. Magenta-ish, even.  Early in the toy's design stage, Hasbro was gonna release him in pink, before they realized that holy crap no this is a boy's toy that would be financial suicide.  The production version was dark red, and every Hot Rod or Rodimus since then has been too.

And so photos showed up online of this Rodimus who looked pretty damn pink.  So pink the plastic had a translucent quality.   Hot damn, I said!  That'll be mine!

The actual toy is not pink.  In person it is a very brilliant red which that is pretty damn opaque.  Think of the color of, say, raw meat.  Or maybe watermelon.  Vaguely orangey, very vaguely pinkish, but definitely red.  Denied once again!

Dayglo Playskool

As a result the toy is a different kind of eyesore.  I think I kind of like it, but it's definitely an acquired taste.  This toy is the Eighties punching you in the face.  Other than the missed opportunity to do the first pink Hot Rod ever, it's a valiant effort to make the toy look like the cartoon model.  The fists are painted entirely over in light gray, as are the spoiler in a drab yellow and the fronts of the legs in dark gray.  Most noticeable is the canopy area which is no longer a translucent blue, but the same solid raw meat red as everything else but with painted light-blue windows.

Contrast it with the original Classics Rodimus toy, with its attempt to update and subdue Hot Rod's original look into something more palatable.

The "Challenge at Cybertron" Rodimus is both horrible and great, in comparison, and I waver on whether I prefer the cartoony one or not.  It certainly stands out more on a shelf, good or bad.

And one of them has to go.  I don't need two Classics Rodimuses.  We'll hafta see which one it is.
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