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About mikeszekely

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    Pensburgh, PA
  • Interests
    3P Transformers, video games, quantum gravity, hockey

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  1. Heh, I'm doing the same thing I did with Doom Eternal... Playing the previous release. So... RE2 remake is pretty good so far... Seriously, though, I heard RE3 is a bit short and not as replayable as 2. It's a but disappointing; 3 was my favorite prior to 4 shaking things up.
  2. Well, Drift might not be a great example. I mean, I've read and re-read IDW's stuff and I'm still not a huge fan of the character. But using Optimus as an example, I've got a Detolf full of Optimuses. A new Transforming Optimus comes out and I just can't help myself (well, excluding MP-44, because it's just not a $400 toy in book- I'd be willing to go to $200). But even if someone offered to sell me the Kuro Kara Kuri Optimus for under $100 and I'd pass. So, yeah, maybe if paint and finish are the most important criteria for you (and nothing wrong if it is) then Flame Toys is the way to go. They are objectively high-quality figures. But, subjectively speaking, a toy that doesn't transform fails at being a Transformer. Nice to look at, but not for me. I don't know, maybe I feel that way because I only collect Transformers? I mean, I've dabbled with other stuff but nothing else caught on. Maybe if you're more used to collecting other high end figures that don't transform it's easier to buy into high end figures of Transformers that don't transform?
  3. I was editing my original post, but you replied before I finished. But it comes down to what your criteria is for a Transformer. If your criteria is "looks like the character" (which, even then, is debatable; Flame Toys' stuff is pretty stylized) then sure. But if your criteria is "it transforms" then Flame Toys' is missing the mark. Yeah, if I'm not happy you didn't wash the dishes when you aced your test when I'm your teacher that'd be weird and irrelevant. But if I'm your roommate and I'm tired of you leaving cereal bowls in the sink its your test score that's irrelevant. It's all a matter of perspective, and personal tastes. Flame Toys is nailing it for you, because they're giving you what you want in a toy. But if they're not nailing it for others our opinion isn't unfair just because the reason we don't think they're nailing it is a deliberate choice. So again, by all accounts Flame Toys makes a great product and if you're into what they're doing then great. I'm genuinely glad that they're able to fill a need in the collector community. They have many good qualities and they certainly look good in photos. But they don't do the thing I want my Transformers to do, so for me they're not nailing it.
  4. Absolutely still a fair statement. You called Flame Toys "pinnacle Transformers collecting. Just nailing it on all accounts" and @M'Kyuun pointed out an area they're definitely not nailing. Yes, it's true that's not what they're going for. Yes, not transforming does allow for less visual compromises and better articulation, but for a lot of collectors the point of a Transformer is to transform. As good as it looks I for one have zero interest in Flame Toys' Prime despite having a display just for Primes. Now I'm not saying that your preference for a high-quality, visually stunning figure isn't valid just because it doesn't transform. But by the same token you can't dismiss our disagreement on whether Flame Toys is "nailing it" as unfair just because our main point of contention was deliberate on their part. For people like us, it's the difference between pinnacle and "yeah, it looks nice, but it's not for me." Again, not saying they don't make a great product. I'm sure they do. And I'm not saying that every TF toy needs to transform. But whether or not you think they're nailing it depends a lot on your criteria.
  5. I don't really regret signing up for Disney+, the Star Wars and Marvel stuff will come. Plus it's great if you have kids; my 4 yo loves Doc McStuffins and Winnie the Pooh. Netflix is the one streaming service I'm most likely to drop. Yeah, Stranger Things and BoJack Horseman are good and all, but Netflix has been so focused on original content (which, be honest, are a few gems in a sea of crap). And there's a couple of shows like Futurama and Archer that I are like comfort food, I can watch them again and again if there's nothing else on. A lot of those sorts of shows left Netflix, forcing me to finally sign up for Hulu.
  6. I mean, it could be, but I was able to get the Siege Seeker 3-pack in stores, and it and the Micromasters weren't too difficult to find. And as far as I know Redwing is still available online. So there's hope. But yeah, I'm going to be Hulk-level mad if I can't get the Skywarp and Thundercracker.
  7. Looks like Target is going to be selling store-exclusive two-packs. The first looks like a repackage of the Power of the Primes Decepticon clones, which is nice for those of us who didn't track them down the first time, as long as it's cheaper than importing the Takara box set. The second and more interesting by far is that if you want Earth-mode Skywarp and Thundercracker, well, I hope this set won't be hard to come by...
  8. Hmm. I'm currently the Mandalorian, but maybe I'd switch to Gambit. I think my wife and daughter are still happy with Mulan and Elsa, respectively.
  9. When I review a figure I (obviously) have to transform it to take pictures, but regardless of what mode I end up in I always go back to robot mode and put it on my desk while I write so I can double-check the range and type of joints. Well, I've had this one figure that I got and took pictures of at the same time I picked up Planet X's Megatron, but I've put off because transforming it is a hassle. Still, with all the other Planet X stuff I've covered this week I think it's time I stopped putting this off- Planet X Apocalypse, aka War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron Trypticon. I normally like to start off in robot mode, but I'm doing things a little differently here because Apocalypse was actually sold in two parts. This would be Part A. There's not a lot to comment on, though. It's a spaceship, and it does that well enough, with a sleek nose, wings on the sides, and a trio of engine thrusters in the back, but it's not game-accurate so much as it's Planet X cutting Trypticon in half and fan-moding the top. Of course, at least you get a coherent ship out of the top. This is Part B. It's... some kind of tank? His pelvis looks a little like a face, maybe it's a creepy space machine ghost, coming to grab you. Bottom line, you don't want to order either Part A or Part B alone. You want both, and you want to put him together right away. That'll give you one whole Trypticon. With most of the concept art existing for Fall of Cybertron, and the boss fight in War for Cybertron being more from the chest up, I had to do some digging but I'm able to conclude that he's pretty darn game-accurate. Since it glows on the CGI model the purple stands out a lot better on it than it does on Apocalypse, but the placement of the purple spots, the shape and placement of the spikes, the shoulder weapons, the shape of his feet and tail, the two fins and three power cores on his back (which are weak spots you have to attack during the boss fight) are all basically spot on. My only complaint are the gap in his forearms and the wings folded on the back. Size-wise, he's a bit shorter than Titans Return Trypticon, and doesn't really scratch the G1 itch. He's also a bit shorter than, say, Maketoys' Metroplex. I think the size difference isn't so bad, though, that these guys look out of place next to each other. Apocalypse's shoulder weapons do not detach, so he doesn't come with much in the way of accessories. Just a handful of these little purple LEDs that light up when you squeeze them, and in my case a little baggie with some replacement teeth. I guess people were breaking his teeth when they pushed his head through his chest for transformation, but I also understand that there's a way to transform him properly so that the breakage doesn't occur. I wish Planet X would have included some screw hole covers. Many of Apocalypse's parts were mirrored, so the screw holes on the back of his left arm and the inside of his left leg are rather exposed on the front of his right arm and the outside of his right leg. Apocalypse has a few neck joints so he can swivel his head left and right, or he can look up and down quite a bit. His jaws open. His shoulders rotate on ratchets. Another ratcheted joint will allow you to raise his arms a bit under 90 degrees laterally. If you move the panel on his collar, though, you can push it up to 90. Just be mindful of the spikes at the top. His biceps swivel just below his elbows, which are ratcheted and can bend a little under 90 degrees. He doesn't actually have a wrist swivel, but his whole forearm rotates just below the elbow. Each of his three fingers are individually-articulated, with one hinge at the base and one hinge at the middle knuckle. His waist swivels. His hips rotate on ratchets, and they can spread 90 degrees on another ratchet. His thighs swivel just above his knees, which are ratcheted and bend a little under 90 degrees. His feet can tilt up and down on ratchets. He also has a ratcheted ankle pivot, but only one click in either direction so the range is a bit limited. His heel has a hinge, and each of his three toes are individually-articulated, with hinges at the base and the middle knuckles. Finally, his tail has six ratcheted hinges and two friction hinges. That doesn't give him any side-to-side articulation in his tail, but it does allow him to curl it up quite a bit. This is useful because you're probably going to need his tail as a third leg to keep him standing. As for the lights, as I mentioned they light when they're squeezed. Apocalypse has numerous ports on his body that you can stick the lights into, and closing the port should provide enough pressure to make the light work. Many of mine were kind of dim... maybe they sat in a warehouse too long. But since they're more or less on if they're installed and need to be removed to be off I'll be stuffing mine in a box somewhere. Just because Apocalypse didn't come with many accessories doesn't mean he's unarmed. I already pointed out the shoulder cannons, which can swivel on the outsides of his shoulders. Inside his mouth you'll fine a gun on a hinge. Or, if you're nostalgic for G1, the translucent yellow part on top of his head opens up. Inside you'll find another gun that you can pull up and out. You might need a tool to do so, though, as it's recessed inside. Apocalypse isn't limited to the alt modes for his separate halves. In Fall of Cybertron Megatron recovers Trypticon's wreck and coverts it into the Nemesis. And... well, no, Apocalypse isn't particularly game-accurate. I think I have to cut them a little slack, though. In the game, the Decepticons even remark that Trypticon's conversion into the Nemesis is permanent, and High Moon's artists looked like they were focused on designing a ship with elements of Trypticon but also elements of the Nemesis from Transformers Prime (which Hasbro established as being part of the same continuity and which started airing nearly two years before the game's release). It was up to Planet X to figure out how to take War for Cybertron's Trypticon and actually fold it up into something even remotely resembling the Nemesis of the sequel. That said, I think Planet X did manage to get a lot of key elements right. Apocalypse has the long, pointed bow with a fake Trypticon head, and the curved tusks underneath it. Although they're not blended into the stern as well as the ship in the game he does have the shoulder weapon pods visible on the sides, and the wings near the engines. Mostly what they don't have is the extra decks and windows below the Trypticon head at the bow, a smoother hull that's not clearly folded up space-dinosaur parts, spikes near the tusks, and the tail fin. Now, Planet X could have stopped there No one would have blamed them if they did. But, since G1 Trypticon had a city mode Planet X gave one to Apocalypse. It's nothing really to write home about, as it's mostly him lying on his back with his waist turned 180 degrees, feet and tail pointed straight up, arms half transformed into engines, and the backpack pulled up in front. The shoulder weapon pods can be pulled up on double hinges that, along with the swivel, allow them to function like turrets on a base. I mean, I probably won't ever put him in this mode again (he'll be lucky if I ever even turn him into the Nemesis again), but I guess I've see worse base modes. Apocalypse is a figure that's big enough that he'll take up a lot of shelf space and is a bit of a pain to handle, but not big enough to hang with Hasbro's Titans (or big enough to be in-scale with other Planet X figures). He's reasonably poseable in dino (robot?) mode, but he's not fun to transform and his alt modes aren't that great. His dino (robot) mode is game-accurate, which is great if you're a fan of the game but isn't going to cut it if you want a G1-style Trypticon. So do I recommend him? Well, certainly not in pieces, and honestly not at the $350-380 total he was running at most US-based stores. However, the Big Bad Toy Store currently has this guy marked down to $215. At that price he's still not for everybody, but if you're a fan of the game or just like the design at that price he's worth it even if you don't really transform him.
  10. I passed on Generations Selects Star Convoy because it seemed kind of expensive for what it was, and what it was looked honestly more like Optimus with some extra bits on his chest and shoulders than actually Star Convoy. But this... ...yeah, I might have to get that.
  11. I wish I had a local hobby shop in the first place. As for the movie theater I don't really miss it. Ever since my daughter was born I'd either have to find a sitter if I wanted to go to the movies with my wife, or get the ok from her to go with a buddy instead. It's a hassle, and I'd mostly worked it down to just stuff like Star Wars and The Avengers that I didn't want to spend three months avoiding spoilers for while I waited for a home release. It's way easier to grab a movie on Amazon or Google Play and watch it with my wife on the sofa in the living room, which is what we've been doing Saturdays and Sundays the past three weekends. I don't even have to worry too much about if it's ok for my daughter or not; she's so timid that even movies for kids kind of scare her*, so as long as I let her watch something else in her playroom she'll leave us to it. *While it's true that I can't even talk her into watching the copy of Trolls I picked up for her, she loves watching Godzilla films with me, especially if Mothra is in it. Go figure.
  12. Guess I'd better start saving, then. Does it have the toy head (that is, the same head as Lightning Eagle but silver with blue eyes instead of gold and red) or the box art head (looks like Optimus with a mouth plate and all)? Maybe the spare head from Gunfighter's trailer will work...
  13. I've contemplated picking him up, but aside from his stint in More Than Meets the Eye I have no attachment to Thunderclash. The original toy was never released (as such) in the States, and I've got my budget tied up in other things right now. I mean, yeah? I guess? Honestly, while I'm not ready to commit to a $200 Thunderclash, I'd have a harder time saying no if they redecoed it as Machine Wars Optimus
  14. Last one (since I reviewed Vulcan last summer). Tonight it's PX-05 Quirinus, their Fall of Cybertron Slag Slug (I remember Hasbro decided that Slag was offensive in some markets and they made Animated Slag "Snarl," and I know they used "Slug" in the IDW comics and for the Power of the Primes figure, but I'd forgotten that he was called Slug in the game until I replayed it). Quirinus does suffer some inaccuracies compared to the game model and concept art, but I might suggest that a pattern is emerging when I say that a lot of the inaccuracies seem to be necessities of being a real transforming toy and not some shifting polygons on a screen. Aside from some proportion differences, perhaps the biggest difference is on his forearms, which in the game have details that suggest they house part of his dino tail (as do his calves, which actually do house his tail on the figure). For the most part, though, with the shape of the torso, the lower-jaw collar, the shoulder pads, the hatchets for knee pads, and the dino feet for robot feet are all game accurate. Oh, and I guess the face Planet X gave him is black. It's silver on my copy because the original owner "wanted him to better match the team." I was originally thinking I might have to try to remove the paint, but when I started looking at screens from the game and concept art I think High Moon actually meant for his face to be silver. I have to say, given that Planet X's Grimlock and Sludge are similar in size (if not proportions) to Fansproject's I'm a bit surprised that Quirinus is noticeably smaller than Fansproject's Slag. Like Caleus, I wonder if Quirinus was originally meant to scale with Hasbro's Grimlock and not Vulcan? Because from head-to-toe Quirinus is the same size height as Earthrise Prime, which I'd say is technically too short for a Classics/Generations/Siege/Earthrise Slag. One thing I'd like to point out before we move on is how Planet X designed his dino-mode neck frill to fold up. I don't know if Planet X or High Moon gets the credit here, but of all the Slag figures I've messed with now (ToyWorld, G-Creation, Hasbro, Fansproject, Gigapower, and now Planet X) this is the only one where I never felt like the frill was getting in the way. Anyway... Quirinus comes with his sword and a gun, and once again they're doubled up. Pretty sure the guns are the EMP Shotgun from War for Cybertron. An interesting first is that Quirinus' swords come with scabbards. As you'll soon see, I kind of wish they didn't, though. Quirinus' head is on a ball joint with a little up/down/sideways tilt and the always-important swivel. His shoulders are actually big ball joints for rotation and moving about 60 degrees laterally. The tolerance is such that if you spread his arms as wide as they'll go they have a tendency to droop if he's holding his weapons, but at 45 degrees they seem ok to stay put. His biceps swivel. His double-jointed elbows bend a little over 90 degrees. His wrists swivel, and his hands can open. His waist can swivel. His hips can go forward, backward, or laterally 90 degrees on ratchets. His thighs swivel just above the knees, which bend a little under 90 degrees due to dino kibble in his calves. Most of his feet are on a ball joint that gives him a little upward tilt, combine with a hinge for plenty of downward tilt, and give him excellent ankle pivots. He's got heel spurs on hinges to help keep him stable. On my copy he kept leaning backward anyway, but I tightened some screws and he seems fine now. Once again, the weapons have 5mm handles, and his hands have 5mm grips. As with Summanus I think Quirinus's weapon technically rightside up when you insert the handle into the bottom of his hand, but again that doesn't look quite right to me and I'd rather he hold it upside down. Now, while the swords themselves have 5mm pegs on the hilt there are no exposed 5mm peg holes on his body in this mode. He does have a smaller hole on each hip, though, and the sword scabbards have smaller pegs that fit those holes. So, he can wear his swords on his hips with the scabbards, but the scabbards serve no other purpose and can't be stored anywhere else. Quirinus' dinosaur mode is a lot like his robot mode. There are definitely areas that Planet X worked on making game-accurate, like the red horns, the spikes on his backward-pointed frill, the engine on back, the red spikes on his back, and the red tip of his tail. And some of his inaccuracies are due to the fact that he needs to transform, like his front forelegs are black in the game, but they have to turn into his robot arms on the toy, his rear legs are a bit more digitigrade and have more black in the game, his toes are less splayed than in the game, the bicep/front thighs were silver with a red stripe in the game, and his dinos shoulders looked a bit different in the game. Planet X did manage to keep the spikes along his tail that he sported in the game, but here they're red instead of gray. As far as the transformation goes, he's one of the smoother and more straightforward of the group. The only troubles I ran into is finding just the right spot to unfold and then fold back the tail, and the fact that the engine on his back likes to come untabbed. For his dino articulation, I'll start by saying that it's disappointing that he doesn't have any tail articulation (especially when Fansproject's does, and especially because they'd go on to give Vulcan great tail articulation). However, his legs are decently articulated. His front legs are his robot arms, with hinges for the dino toes. His rear legs have ball joints at the hips for rotation and slight spread, a hinge at the knee with pretty great range, a hinge that the dino ankle, and the ball joint that was his robot ankle for the dino toes. His head is where things get really funky, though. Whether due to a necessity of his transformation or by deliberate design his dino head is attached via a ball joint at the end of an armature with multiple hinges (technically four, but there's a piece that tabs down and holds two of the hinges in place). This means he can look up quite a bit, or straight down at the ground. He can tilt his head sideways like he's confused or curious. He can even look left and right a little bit. Oh, and he can open his jaw, too, and the horns are on ball joints giving you some freedom in how you want to angle them. Like Summanus, Quirinus has just two 5mm ports on his dino hips and can only carry two out of his four weapons in this mode. Still works for me. I'll note that sword storage in this mode uses the peg on the sword itself, though, not the scabbard. The scabbard could, I suppose, just stay on the sword anyway, but honestly I think I'll store both scabbards with the extra sword and gun. I guess the only other thing worth noting is that in robot mode the rear dino legs are stuffed into his calves, with the tail folded up and lying over it. If you look at the above picture you'll see that two of the spikes on his tail have squarish holes in them. There are tabs inside his legs that, in theory, fit into those holes and hold everything together. In practice the tabs don't stay in, and it's just friction holding everything in place. So far, though, that friction seems adequate. Although he still has his flaws, Quirinus is an improvement over Summanus and the best of Planet X's Dinobots that aren't Vulcan. He's a good figure, and worth picking up if you're interested. Just be advised that Fansproject's Slag was also one of the better of their Dinobots with his own pros and cons, and I'm not sure that there's a clear winner between the two.
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