Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:25 pm

It took four toylines (Titans Return, skipping Power of the Primes, Stege, and EarthRise) to finish the 1987 Decepticon Headmasters, but here we are!  Snapdragon is here!  Trailing Scorponok by only a little.  It's been remarked upon that Titans Return was a toyline with the express gimmick of Headmastering, with the secondary gimmick of Voyager Class guys who triple change, and for some reason it didn't give us Apeface and Snapdragon, the larger Decepticon Headmasters who could triple change.  But, well, it is what it is, and they're both here now.  Apeface sputtered out just barely at the end of Stege, and now Snapdragon is here for Wave 2 of Earthrise.  

Snapdragon, again, is a Headmaster who Triple Changes!  He's a robot, a spaceship, and an extremely-widely-hipped dragon.  I guess dragons are fictional, and so they can have as wide a stance as they like.  His head transforms into Krunk, who is not Patrick Warburton from Emperor's New Groove.  That's Kronk, with an O.  Common mistake.

The best thing about Krunk, other than his name, is that the little cockpit area he sits in has decoed control panels.  That's wild for a mainline toy!  They never do that.  I mean, it looks like a little LEGO control panel, with buttons tampographed onto a slick surface, but it's still great.  (Getting the cockpit window halves to split so you can place Krunk in there, though, is a workout.)  

Unlike the original Snapdragon, Krunk doesn't become the entirety of both the dragon and robot mode heads.  He still transforms into the full robot head, but in dragon mode his legs become the lower jaw and the rest of him is shoved up into the roof of the mouth of the rest of the dragon mode head.  It's amusing because Snapdragon's dragon mode head has Krunk's arms sculpted and painted onto his cheeks, so that he matches original Snapdragon despite transforming differently.  

Snapdragon's transformation into all three modes is pretty straight-forward.  If he's a jet, you bend out the wings and engines into either robot arms or dragon legs, and then you either need to make the jet's nose into robot legs or bend them into a dragon tail.  There's not as much peg-to-slot massaging as with Apeface.  

I do wish Snapdragon had better shoulder articulation in dragon mode.  The shoulders only rotate up and down, not outwards.  He does have balljointed elbows, you can point his tiny tyrannosaurus-esque arms out to the sides, but working this motion only reminds you that his shoulders don't move much.  

It explains why Daniel Witwicky had to jump directly on Snapdragon's head to get within reach of his jaws.  Those tiny forelimbs would be no help.

Posted July 31, 2020 at 3:18 pm

The Last Stand of the Wreckers is TEN YEARS OLD this year, and it took a decade to get a new Rotorstorm.  There have been so many helicopters since then, and five of those years we had a BotCon, and yet no Rotorstorm made out of anybody more important.  Finally, Generations Selects (Hasbro's online exclusive toyline of retooled/redecoed mainline toys) has given us a Rotorstorm.  

("HOW DID YOU GET HIM EARLY" you may ask, and the answer is All Time Toys in Maryland got in some a few days ago ahead of release date, and had them in stock for roughly 15 minutes, and I jumped on that sucker like a me on Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.)

Rotorstorm was properly announced by Hasbro in one of their Fan First Friday livestreams on Facebook.  They showed off Rotorstorm, who's Stege Spinister with a new head, and were very excited to tell us about his new head that looked like Rotorstorm.  But, funny story, he still had Spinister's head.   Thankfully, in the next Fan First Friday, Hasbro was like "lol our bad, our sample had the wrong head, Rotorstorm gonna have Rotorstorm head" and we all sighed a sigh of relief.  

'Cuz this is the Transformers of 2020, where guys get their own heads, not the Transformers of early BotCon, where your Sideswipe will have RID Prowl's head and you'll like it.  (You will.)

Rotorstorm has GREAT colors.  Of course he does.  He's from the mid-Nineties.  Mid-Nineties EUROPE.  He was released over there in that one off year the United States had between Action Masters and Generations 2.  We got the mold redecoed and sold over here as Machine Wars Sandstorm.  Machine Wars Sandstorm had very drab colors.  Brown and green.  But Rotorstorm says FUCK YOU I'm dark blue and electric blue and silver and teal and yellow and PINK.  It's a better choice.  Go bold or go home.

The fun thing about Stege Spinister's toy is that he has a fake cockpit for one leg and a real cockpit for the other.  Hasbro was trying to duplicate his box art, I guess, and so they just gave him two identical cockpit legs, one of which becomes the actual cockpit and another which tucks underneath the helicopter mode out of sight.  Gotta keep him symmetrical!  The reason I bring this up is because since original Rotorstorm's cockpit was on his chest, in order to make this new Rotorstorm look like Rotorstorm, Hasbro painted another fake cockpit on the new toy's chest on top of Spinister's robot chest details.  

That's right.

Rotorstorm effectively has three cockpits, two of which are fake.  THREE COCKPITS.

It is absolutely ridiculous and I honestly love it.  It's a story.

Rotorstorm would laugh.

Posted July 28, 2020 at 9:34 pm

1) cut a hole in a box

2) put your chick in that box

3) they make you open that box

and that's how you transform her


Ah, the eternal battle of "Arcee toys should look like Arcee" versus "Arcee is a human woman who transforms into a box."  How will we wad up the robot inside the car shell this time?  Will the chest actually become the hood of the car, or have we now given up on that completely?  Will, in fact, any part of the robot become part of the vehicle mode?  

The answer with Cyberverse Deluxe Class Arcee is: just the forearms this time.  You unfold the car on her back, fold her knees back, and tuck her inside her altmode.  Panels on her arms form a portion of the sides of the vehicle.  

Her animation model on the Cyberverse cartoon smartly expects this.  If you see her from behind, yeah, there's an entire car drawn/rendered back there, just shrunk a little.  So, you know, at least it's ... accurate.  I remember when Animated Arcee was redesigned between seasons to have vehicle kibble hanging off her butt 'cuz whoops I guess she's going to be a toy now and not be just a cameo.  Whoever designed Cyberverse Arcee's animated appearance seems to have been genre savvy enough to put that massive backpack in to begin with.  

Despite all that!!! Cyberverse Deluxe Class Arcee is an appealing-looking toy.  She's a very vibrant pink.  She has enough paint to make her dazzle.  And I really like how her shins look like, you know, robot shins instead of naked human lady legs painted white.  It's just a pity those robot legs aren't also vehicle parts.  It could have saved on so much backpack.

Arcee comes with a blaster, two blue effects parts so you can either make the gun look like it's shooting or her vehicle mode look like it's zooming.  She also comes with Build-A-Figure parts for Maccadam, specifically his biceps and weapon.  Just one Thunderhowl left to go until I can finish that guy!

Posted July 25, 2020 at 10:39 pm

Both Stege and EarthRise like to beat the hell out of that 1984 drum, but ever so often it'll give us a small crumb from the margins of the original toyline.  So, hey, say hello to Doubledealer!  This 1988 Double Powermaster is back, minus his Powermasters, sort of.  

Transformers has been steadfastly adhering to the old Eighties cartoon as its bible, and so Doubledealer comes in like an enigma.  We like to have things look like the cartoon, but Doubledealer only appeared in animated form in a commercial which you can only find fuzzy versions of on YouTube.  We like things to be SCALED like they were in the cartoon, but, again, same issue.  What Doubledealer looks like and how big he is are largely things Hasbro could make up.  And so EarthRise Doubledealer takes its lead from the original toy a lot more than it would otherwise.  And it turns out Doubledealer is a pretty chonky dude!  He's Leader Class, which recently means "Voyager Class-sized robot with extra stuff," but in his case he's extra wide and a little extra tall and a higher parts count.  He's dense.

The original Doubledealer was pretty lanky, but EarthRise Doubledealer adds girth so that his torso can encompass a gimmick borrowed from Soundwave.  Yeah, he's got a tape cassette compartment!  That's how the Powermaster angle is achieved with him this go-round.  His Powermaster buds were released separately as part of an online-exclusive mini-cassette four-pack, and so instead of attaching them to him as little engines, you slot them into a big box on his chest.  Knok (the red humanoid partner) has his details sculpted into Doubledealer's abs, but you can still put Knok into Doubledealer's chest compartment, unplug a portion of the engine detail from the abs, and replug it onto Knok.  Ditto with Skar, though Skar doesn't seem to be sculpted into Doubledealer's bird mode.

(That was Doubledealer's double deal.  He was an Autobot-aligned robot who transformed into a Decepticon-aligned vulture/chicken/thing, and his missile truck mode was the... neutral mode?  In practice, he was pretending to be two folks -- Both an Autobot robot/truck guy and a Decepticon bird/truck guy.   Just... two guys, both with the same missile truck mode.  You weren't supposed to connect the robot guy to the bird guy.  Optimus Prime wasn't very perceptive, I guess.)

EarthRise Doubledealer is... complicated!  Like I said, he's got a high parts count.  Lots of hinges and stuff, all of which help you get a pretty okay robot to an acceptable missile truck to a block with a head and wings on it that's a bird because we say so.  When there's a robot/vehicle/animal Triple Changer, I feel it's the animal mode that suffers the most.  And being a bird doesn't help, either.  Transformers has trouble with birds.  There's a not a lot of volume in a bird for stuff to go, and so you end up with situations like Doubledealer where he looks like a chicken that's trying to poop a truck.  Like half his beast mode is truck butt, with a tiny little bit of tailfeathers on top.

The original Doubledealer placed his giant missile slung under his torso in bird mode.  Earthrise Doubledealer realizes, yo, this looks like a huge dick, and officially the missile gets placed on his bird mode back.  ....however, there's 5mm pegs placed underneath if you still want to give him that huge traditional bird dick.  And it's not a happy accident, they're definitely there for that purpose.  Gotta keep the fans happy with bird dick!

That's essentially EarthRise Doubledealer's deal!  1) Hooray, a minor character from the latter days of G1 who's not, like, the 30th Prowl toy!  And 2) oh dang he is fussy.  He's just trying to do so many things at once, but not any of it well.  Not any of it TERRIBLY either, just, you know, he's solidly in the middle.  

Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:15 am

The early 80s were a wild time!  For example, you could sell a kids toy robot that transformed into a racing car with the logo of a cigarette company painted across it.  In Japan, a variant of the toy that would later be repurposed by Hasbro as Wheeljack had a new head, plus Marlboro's distinctive red and white angles across the hood.  Marlboro was misspelled (probably purposefully) as Marlboor, and so the little guy was known in collectors circles as Marlboor Wheeljack.

It wasn't until 2015 that TakaraTomy tried to integrate Marlboor Wheeljack into Transformers proper as Exhaust.  A retool of Masterpiece Wheeljack (so that he got the new head), Masterpiece Exhaust's photos promised a slightly altered arrangement of the hood deco.  But, whoops, that wasn't enough, and Marlboro had them change it even more.  The toy was released with a weird stairsteppy version of the usual clean red angles.  

Five years later, we've got Generations Selects Exhaust!  A retool (again, for the new head) of EarthRise Wheeljack, his car mode has an even more Game-Of-Telephoned iteration of the red hood deco.  Just, y'know... going that extra mile to not get the attention of Marlboro.  There's very little resemblance to the original deco, other than color.  Which is honestly fine.  Collectors know Exhaust is about cigarettes.  He's still got that hint of illicit marketing.  And I betcha five bucks ToyHax has stickers ready to go to recreate it.  

Also, "Exhaust" is misspelled three times on the toy as "Exhuast."  Let's... pretend that's a purposeful reference to the vintage "Marlboor" mispelling, and not, like, an accidental typo.  Let's pretend it very hard.

Generations Selects is the online-exclusive line of Hasbro toys that's supplemental to the ongoing retail mainline.  Exhaust (and Greasepit) showed up for order from a few of the smaller online stores a few weeks ago, but Hasbro's yet to acknowledge the toy exists.  It's possible it's going to be available as a "see it and buy it now" SDCC-timed exclusive in a week or so, at which point HasbroPulse and the rest of the usual online retailers will put theirs up for sale.  

Honestly, if Hasbro was gonna do an Evil Wheeljack, I woulda preferred Slicer.

Posted July 5, 2020 at 10:53 pm

When a new $80 "Commander" size class for Transformers was announced last year , just so that a Jetfire toy would be at cartoon scale, the amount of eye-rolling in my reaction was non-zero.  I mean, sweet, new size class, yes, and yeah actually I do like scale, and the Jetfire it produced was actually surprisingly good, but... what else could this new avenue bring us?

Well, David of the past, nuts to you, because this year's Commander Sky Lynx is glorious, actually.  And it's largely due to his size.  He's just... an enviable chonk of Sky Lynx.  He's a big dude!  Well, two big dudes that combine into one bigger dude.  ...fine, one bigger dude that separates into two smaller dudes.  You know what I mean.  He's a lynx.  He's a bird.  He combines into a dragon.  The dragon transforms into a shuttle on a transport.  The shuttle can detach from the transport.  There's a lot going on here!

There's apparently a lot of budget room to work with on an $80 Transformers toy.  Jetfire spent its moolah on a lot of smaller things like hands that disappeared their 5mm ports when the palm opened and little handholds for smaller Transformers to hold onto while Jetfire airdrops them into battle.  There aren't many things exactly like that on Sky Lynx, but he feels like he has a robust budget all the same.  His poseable neck and tail, the ankle rockers on all six of his limbs (the bird has two), the myriad of ways you can pose his wings... Sky Lynx is just impressive.

Because he's a large Earthrise toy, he's got a new base mode.  You unfold the lynx into a shuttle launch pad with multiple ramps!  The ramps each have connectors to attach to other EarthRise base modes.  There's two broad white cannons  you can awkwardly attach to the lynx feet in this mode, helping you pretend these are towers and not, you know, feet.  This is probably the weakest aspect of the whole arrangement.  In lynx or dragon modes, you can attach these cannons to his hips.

One of the biggest joys of Sky Lynx is standing other guys next to him and getting this sense of scale.  Again, he's a big guy, and it's neat to see Optimus Prime small next to him.  Plus, like, huge winged dinosaur thing.  And, yes, his face is just a shuttle cockpit with a jaw, but it still possesses this shocking charisma.  

EarthRise SkyLynx's altmode is actually licensed by NASA.   Like, it's got the NASA logo on there, and on purpose, and he transforms into a very accurate 80's style space shuttle.    His shuttle name is the Magnificence.  Later this summer, there's a pair of Micromasters that transform together into a shuttle which also have the NASA logo printed on them, so Hasbro went for broke this year, NASA-wise.

I'm just always delighted to see this thing on my desk.  I need to eventually put him away where he needs to end up in my display shelves, but he's just gonna be mostly hidden behind so many other guys, and I'll be sad.  I put him there once just to make sure he fit (he did, amazingly), but had to yank him out soon enough so I could love him more.  

Though it's also possible I'm just going mad from being inside for 4 months, I dunno.

Posted May 3, 2020 at 11:06 pm

Man, this universe just doesn't make sense anymore.  Everything's just off the rails unbelievable.  It's all jumped the shark.  Game show host President?  Pandemics?  Murder hornets?  A Rack'N'Ruin toy?  Seriously?

Let that float around in your brain a bit.  A Rack'N'Ruin toy.  And no, they're not even from the Serious Collectors Toyline, they're from the KIDS TEEVEE SHOW toyline!  Rack'N'Ruin is in Cyberverse, baby!  Rack'N'Ruin showed up in the goddamned kids cartoon and subsequently got a $20 action figure.  That's not even the smaller size class.  They're an up-sell, baby.

Backing up to Who The Eff Are Rack'N'Ruin for some of you, there were some Marvel Transformers comic book stories exclusive to the United Kingdom back in the 80s.  There was a team of Toys Not Appearing Elsewhere guys called the Wreckers, and to fill out their early ranks (until they could get more Toys Not Appearing Elsewhere), there were two (three) folks that Marvel just absolutely totally made up.  First there was Impactor.  He was the leader and he got murdered very quickly to make room for Springer (an actual toy) to take his place.  And then there was Rack'N'Ruin, who is two green guys attached at the shoulder, forever.  One has a hammer for an arm and one has an anvil.  They can't transform.  (Because, y'know, two guys attached at the shoulder, forever.)

Aaaaanyway, 30 years later, and I guess the folks writing the Cyberverse cartoon were all EFF YEAH, RACK'N'RUIN, CUZ WE'RE INCREDIBLE DORKS and put them in the show.  Just... Rack'N'Ruin, being in an actual Transformers cartoon that children watch and having scripted lines.  What the what?  

And so later he got a toy.

It's not even that being on the cartoon means you get a toy automatically.  There's quite a few folks that've appeared but aren't slated to get toys!  Folks that actually transform into things!  And yet here's Rack'N'Ruin, on shelves, to buy, where people can see him.  (In theory, 'cuz pandemic.)

Unlike the original Rack'N'Ruin, who was attached only at the shoulder, Cyberverse Rack'N'Ruin also shares a lower torso between the two conjoined Autobots.  So instead of there being four legs, there's just two.  And the toy has an altmode, an armored mine-sweeping car.  It's a part of the Energon Armor subline that's going on right now, and so you can spring-load deploy some translucent armor to pop out of his torso and cover his face and chest.  The unarmored faces, as seen on the cartoon, are based on Rack'N'Ruin's unhelmeted faces from the IDW comics, with one guy having a monocle and the other guy having two eyes.  The toy's armored faces are similar to the traditional helmet, with the slit eye, but the view slit is shaped more like Boba Fett's T-shaped visor.  

The toy is sculpted to look like Rack'N'Ruin has two conjoined bodies, but the paint sadly obscures this by painting his midsections solidly across.  If the middle gutter between the two stomaches were left unpainted, it'd read more as two distinct torsos.  

The robot mode has above-average articulation for its size class, which is generally gimmick-prioritized.  They've got balljointed shoulders and hips, and universal elbows and hinged knees.  The heads do not move.  It stands at about Tall Deluxe Class height, if you want to put them with your other Wreckers from other toylines.  They fit in reasonably enough.  

The transformation is... well, you're essentially doing the old H-tank arrangement, where you bring up the knees to plug into the arms while the robot mode does the splits.  The mine-sweeping shovel (cowcatcher?) pops off his back and it's attached to the back of his weapon, which he can hold like a gun because it is one.  

I like to give them Stege/EarthRise Smashdown, so that Rack'Ruin has his hammer, but sadly there is not a Battlemaster that transforms into an anvil.

HOW DOES THIS TOY EXIST

Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:49 pm

If I recall, I bemoaned Stege Optimus Prime for being a uncanny valley Earth Truck, so very close that it looked like an Earth truck wearing some extra parts stapled on it.  Well, here's the truck underneath those parts!  It's what you wanted really all along, after we sold you the other one that tried to be this but not really!  Stege was ""not"" Earth truck, and EarthRise Optimus Prime is just Earth truck.

I mean, it's an Optimus Prime, whaddya want.  A trailer?  It's here!  It even splits open and there's Command Deck inside.  Roller?  It's... not here.  Well, there's plenty of other Rollers.  But this is your Trying To Be The Cartoon G1 Optimus Prime With An Actual Trailer, At Retail.  

And to be honest...?  Heck, I think I preferred the Cybertronian-style one.  I miss the way the front wheels folded up into the ribcage.  I miss it having... I dunno, what small amount of stylization it had.  Yeah, it was an Earth truck wearing goggles, but turns out the goggles were the interesting part.  

I mean, this isn't a bad toy.  It's actually quite good!  It has some new ways to get Cartoon Optimus out of a box.  I like how it wads its truck stuff up inside its shirt.  I do actually like the trailer -- it's largely why I bothered with it.  My kids are... VERY into trucks with trailers and also connecting all my Transformer base stuff together.  The middle section of the trailer door slides out and becomes a shield, AND it has hinged edges that connects to all the road pieces from the rest of the line (plus Stege's Omega Supreme).  If I skipped this Optimus Prime toy that has a trailer with base-connecting capability, I'd be a monster.  

I did have to fix his eyes, though.  They were blue, which... well, his face is also blue, so they kind of disappear.  I opened up his noggin and painted his eyes gold.  That's one major thing I like about current Transformers toys, the part where the eyes are sculpted into the back of the head but poke out through the front, likely to make painting them easier for the factories.  Well, it makes it easier for me, too!  Huzzah.  Those gold eyes pop, now.  

EarthRise Optimus Prime also comes with an ion cannon (his rifle) that folds in half and can store anywhere there's a 5mm peghole.  (There are lots.)  And there's a Matrix of Leadership inside his chest which can be removed.  Technically this is why his hands are sculpted to open, but he's not great at holding it.  Kind of have to wedge either end around his thumbs and pray.  But!  If you flip around the Matrix, there's a 5mm port there, which means you can shove effects parts into there if you want to have him do Matrix Blasts or whatever Optimus Prime is up to these days.  Or just have the Matrix zoom through the sky like Nyan Cat.  

One of my favorite oddities with EarthRise Optimus Prime is that he's partially made from actual Stege Optimus Prime parts, especially his legs.  But they gutted his legs, put some new stuff in there, and they don't flip around to transform anymore, and so you have this extra, vestigial 5mm trailer hitch peghole split across the outsides of his shins, with a new 5mm peg added to the insides of his new legs.  It's wild.

I'm not sure any of you followed that.  I barely understood myself reading it.

Oh well.

It's Optimus Prime, folks.  

Posted March 11, 2020 at 10:05 pm

Yo, if you've got any familiarity with the original Grapple toy, dang is EarthRise Grapple gonna feel like some dejavu!   In ways more than other retreads, he feels solidly like "this 1980s guy but with joints."  He transforms basically identically, but now there's knees.  And because Grapple's cartoon model was designed in 1985, he's gonna look pretty much just like his original toy, too!  Due to Circumstances, there is not a lot new here.

And generally, with Stege/EarthRise stuff, things just work so dang well -- executed so simply and flawlessly -- that even though there's (again) that feeling of dejavu, it's all cool!  ... However, Grapple has a big problem.

See, he's got some pegs at the back of his head/crane arm that plug into the back of the vehicle/his feet while transforming into crane mode.  But the connections between the pegs and the crane arm are kind of Not Enough and so there's a chance of plugging them into the pegholes for the first time and then ... them tearing off inside the pegholes when you try to untransform him.  Mine has not done this, but the problem was already reported and I was careful and it was still... an... ordeal to get them out.  Just, like, pulling on them as straight and outward as I could, very slowly.  Some folks sand the pegs or the peghole down, some folks just snip the pegs in half.  But this is still a pretty serious oopsie-doodle!  The default of "Stege/EarthRise is boringly G1 but executed really well so it's hard to be mad" has been poked in the eye by this feller.  

*DISTRAUGHT SHRUG*

I painted the helmet on my Grapple black.  The all yellow head look from the cartoon IS NOT GOOD.  I fixed it.  

Also I had to shave down the pegs on mine as a precaution.  

One of those things I shouldn't be expected to do with my stuff.  

Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:10 am

Hot on the heels of Stege Starscream and his Colonial Viper altmode is... EarthRise Starscream, who's back to being an F-15!  You're like, "hey, didn't we just get a Voyager Class Starscream, and this is a new Voyager Class Starscream?" and the answer is "YUP."

(Though honestly, it's Starscream.  He's popular.  Folks will buy him, even if you or I are not one of those folks.)

The thing about Stege Starscream is that he was surprisingly great.  You know, for a shellformer.  He wadded up his robot mode into a little ball and you close the spaceship mode around him, the end.  And while that in itself may not be what we strictly want out of a transforming toy, it did offer some advantages.  Mostly, like, Stege Starscream's robot mode was incredibly poseable, especially for a Starscream.  It had waist rotation, it had ankle tilts, it had double-jointed elbows, it had shoulders with wide range... you could get the danged thing to fold its arms across its chest, fer cheese's sake.  It could do that BECAUSE it folded up into a ball and the altmode closed around it.  

EarthRise Starscream, meanwhile, is ... a Transformer.  It transforms.  The cockpit becomes the cockpit chest, the wings become the wings, etc.  The robot becomes the jet -- at least as much as most Transformer robots become jets.  And that... means the articulation is scaled back.  It's been noted by everyone (including Hasbro) that ER Starscream is essentially a scaled-up Classics 2006 Starscream.  And it... has slightly more articulation than that toy, which was notoriously stiff.  ER Starscream adds some wider range to Classics Starscream's shallower joints, plus a bicep swivel, and the head turns independently of the nosecone on his back, there's those ankle tilts that are all the range...

But there's no waist rotation, which is a gaddanged FIRST among the Deluxe-and-up toys in this War for Cybertron toyline trilogy.  There's no double-jointed elbows, no extra range in the shoulders for arms-folding (it was required for transformation on the Stege toy).  And so after the absolute bounty of articulation that Stege offered a Starscream for the first time, this new Starscream feels stiff.  Even though, on average, his articulation is more than Starscream toys typically have.  

On the other hand, it actually transforms traditionally without being a Popple.  

So, y'know, pick your poison, I guess.  

I have two.  I bought a second one to paint up in Early Marvel Comics Starscream colors, from back when the interiors colorist was working off early Starscream model sheets where his chest was black instead of red.  I got halfway through that one and realized, yo, if I stop here, I've got a toy colors Starscream, with darker blues instead of the cartoon's brighter blues.  It looked nice, so I kept it there!  I also gave him Classics Starscream's null ray arm cannons, because I like them bulky.  ...and then I painted my back-up ER Starscream toy in the Early Marvel scheme.  Y'know, comics blue-for-black chest, blue head and face with white eyes, inverted colors on the feet...  And I fold the wings back out of view, since Mike Manley didn't draw them in issue 9.  

no i'm not gonna lop off an ear, jose delbo drew him earless only after the color scheme was updated

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