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About mikeszekely

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  • Birthday 02/03/1980

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

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  1. Star Wars Rebels - animated series

    Not for free, if that's what you mean. Maybe when Disney launches their new service? I gave up and started buying it on Google Play. (Pro tip: Google Play purchases play on YouTube, so they're watchable on pretty much everything.)
  2. Star Wars Rebels - animated series

    My two year old will be bummed out when Rebels ends. She loves Chopper and "Ezba". I've really enjoyed the series myself; like Clone Wars it kind of started slow but ramped up into something good. But they'd been writing stories that have been getting closer and closer to A New Hope that you knew it had to end sooner or later. Really hope the next Star Wars series is as good as Rebels and Clone Wars.
  3. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    I'd be curious to hear your thoughts. It looks good in robot mode, but I'm not sold on the alt mode and I haven't really enjoyed the GC stuff I have bought. Now if someone would please do SUV Prowl from a little later in TF ongoing, I'd probably be all over that.
  4. The Nintendo Switch

    I'm sort of curious to see what kind of stuff they come up with, but none of it really interests me yet. I think the Switch is doing well because it's offered a traditional, no-gimmicks experience with the flexibility to be both a home console and a portable. This Labo stuff reeks of the "but what if you didn't play with a regular controller?" nonsense that made the Wii and Wii U very unappealing to me.
  5. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    Absolutely. If I could ever get my hands on them I'd still love to look at and review the FT Dinobots. On some boards I know there's some bad blood between the FT and Giga supporters, but the truth is they're both excellent options. I think what it really boils down to is if you want total carton accuracy (FT) or if you want some G1 toy mixed in (Giga). I think I like a little toy in my Dinobots so I went Giga, but I don't think @M'Kyuun is having second thoughts about going with FT.
  6. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    For something that even remotely scale with MP, yeah. I like Maketoys' Cross Dimension one a lot, but it's too small, and the can way too small. Speaking of MP scale vs not... I've covered both ToyWorld and GCreations' Dinobots, but I think it's pretty accepted that they are too small to be MP. Since I'm switching focus from combiners to MP, I figure it's time to get me some more Dinobots. And despite telling @M'Kyuun to go with FansToys I've been less a little underwhelmed with the FT figures I bought, so I'm going with Gigapower.
  7. The Nintendo Switch

    Looks like I'm buying Hyrule Warriors again...
  8. All things Voltron

    Found my missing lion. So here's some thoughts and comparisons with the Netflix Voltron. Black lion. Maybe not the best-proportioned, and certainly not as shiny as the Chogokin, but he's not too bad. His jaws can open, revealing a little molded misile. His tail moves up and down. His head can tilt down and rotate. His front shoulders can rotate 360 degrees on ratchets, his elbows bend 90 degrees forward or backward on soft ratchets, and his front paws have about 180 degrees of range in their up/down tilt. His hips are ratcheted and can bend backwards quite a bit but are limited to a right angle to his body at their farthest forward position. The upper knee joint can bend 90 degrees backward on ratchets, and the lower knee (technically a lion's ankle) can bend 90 degrees foward to 45 degrees bacwkard. His claws are ratcheted and range of a little under 180 degrees. His torso is pretty much a solid, chunky block with the same sort of electronics as the Netflix Voltron. I only tried one clip before I hit the switch- given that he said something about making a laser sword instead of "Form Blazing Sword!" I'm guessing they didn't get actual clips from the old show. Blue and Yellow. Again, not shiny or anything, but fairly accurate. Their jaws do open and do reveal some molded missiles, but much like their Netflix counterparts they're spring loaded so they snap back shut. Due to their transformation, their necks have ratcheted joints in their chest that move the whole head up and down, so you can have them low like they're stalking or up like something's caught their attention. There's a hinge where the neck connects to the head so they can look up and down, but the hinge has some play so they can look side to side or tilt their heads a bit. No torso articulation, although Yellow's back cannon can swivel up, and their tails are hinged at the base. Their shoulders and hips are ratcheted for rotation and could rotate 360 degrees if they didn't collide with their bodies. Back legs bend backward at the knee and the elbows bend forward on the front legs a good deal on ratchets, as that's necessary for transformation. The front legs can bend backward over 90 degrees, though, and the back legs can bend a little less than 90 degrees forward. Their paws are also soft ratcheted. The front paws go from a little less than 90 degrees foward to a little less than that backward. The back paws do a little less than 90 degress backward but well over 90 degrees forward. Red and green, both look fine. Their tails are the same sort of rubbery type that the Netflix lions have, and like the Netflix lions contracts into the body for transformation. Spring-loaded jaws open, but no molded details inside. Probably because they make Voltron's hands. They can bend the sides a good deal due to the Voltron elbow. They also have swivels in their torso in front of the elbow joint. Their heads can tilt on ratchets, but they can't look up or down or swivel their heads to the sides. Their legs are basically the same as the Yellow and Blue's, in both range and ratchets. While the Netflix lions had big, funky add-ons that shot all manner or projectiles, the weapons that come with the classic lions are a bit more subdued. Each one has a blade weapon it can carry in its mouth. Unlike the Netflix lions each lion has a slot in the roof of its mouth, and the blades tab into those. Each lion has a unique missile-firing weapon that plugs into its left hip, and each lion has a unique something else that plugs into the right hip. Except for the Black Lion, anyway; like his Netflix counterpart, he doesn't come with anything except electronics. They do not have little pilots or sleds like the Netflix lions have. Red and Green also come with Voltron's sword and shield, respectively. Same as the Netflix ones. The combined Voltron money shot. Given the Netflix Voltron's weird proportions I was a little worried, but all told Classic Voltron is looking pretty good. His proportions are actually pretty good, better than a lot of the Voltron toys from the '80s. Honestly, I think my only complaints are the somehwat mushy face sculpt and the lack of paint on the smaller-than-I'd-like sword. Compared to Netflix, his hips and midsection are little wider, his shoulders are a little higher, his hands don't go below his knees, and his limbs are a little less chunky. The result looks like a robot who happens to come apart into lions, vs the Netflix lions that happen to come together to make a big robot. Voltron can look up, but the faux neck goes up with the lion's jaw. Unlike his Netflix counterpart, this Voltron does have a neck swivel. His shoulders rotate on ratchets, but he's got the same problem as Netflix Voltron where the rotation is the Black Lion's shoulders, so a chunk of his upper torso is actually rotating. He can extend his arms laterally a little over 45 degrees, again on ratchets. Even though it seems like it would have been simple to give him one he doesn't have bicep swivels. Instead, there's a ratcheted swivel just below his elbows. He has racheted wrist swivels. His elbows can bend nearly 90 degrees, and the lion legs don't get in the way like they do on Netflix Voltron. No waist swivel. His hips can go 90 degrees forward or 45 degrees backward on nice, tough ratchets. His hips can also ratchet laterally a little under 45 degrees. He's got ratcheted thigh swivels, and his ratcheted knees bend 90 degrees. The inside of his legs (so on Blue's left and Yellow's right sides) there's a small ridge that creates a natural point for folding that side's lion leg to, but the outside doesn't have that ridge. That's to encourage you to to use the limited tilt in the lion's head and the outside lion leg to give Voltron a sort of faux ankle tilt that keeps his heels flat. The sword and shield have tabs that fit into slots in the lion's mouths, giving them a more secure connection that simply relying on the tension from the spring-loaded jaws. Now, QC-wise, the plastic here is basically the same stuff used on the Netflix lions. You've still got some hollow spots. And while the paint isn't as attrocious as the Netflix Voltron, there's definitely some instances of overspray, some blemishes, and some places wehre they could have used another coat. At the end of the day, I'm pretty happy with this Voltron. Again, he's no Chogokin, but at around $110 (going by Target's prices) for a 16" Voltron with a pretty good sculpt and adequate articulation I'm pretty satisfied. While I think the Netflix Voltron's invididual lions are a little bit better this is definitely the superior Voltron. Oh, and as a bonus, you can swap limbs between the two Voltrons if you have them both. So... now I kind of want them to do a Classic Metal Defender diecast version, like they did with the Netflix Voltron.
  9. The Transformers Thread Next

    Ok, I think PotP Grimlock is probably the second-smallest Grimlock I own, after the original Classics version. Aesthetically, much like his fellow Dinobots, he's not too bad here in robot mode. His chest is maybe a a bit too barrel-ish and his shoudlers a bit too large, so his wings are a bit obscured, but it's definitely a very G1 Grimlock. In robot mode the underside of his forearms are a tad large, he's got square-shaped gaps on the sides of his feet, the ends of his dino tail are on the back of his legs instead of the sides (or folded inside), and his butt is clearly the combined mode pelvis, but those are the only obvious signs he's doing the combiner thing. Honestly, I think my biggest complaint is that a lot of the detail on him isn't paint, it's stickers. Now, on a $25 Hasbro toy I don't mind stickers, but I do mind that they're shoddily applied and destined to peel off. Head is on a ball joint, he can look up a bit, slight sideways tilt, nothing to speak of in the way of looking down. Shoulders rotate on ratchets and can extend laterally 90 degrees (which I feel like is actually kind of good for Grimlock). Biceps swivel, and he's got double-jointed elbows good for nearly 180 degree curls. No wrist or hand articulation. Waist can swivel, and it's actually ratcheted. Hips go forward 90 degrees on soft ratchets, but only 45 backward due to his butt kibble, but that's fair. Lateral motion is also ratcheted and can do well over 90 degrees. His thighs don't swivel, but he does have a swivel just above his knees, which are ratcheted and good for 90 degrees. No foot or ankle articulation. The only accessories Grimlock comes with are the combined mode feet and the "Dinobot Enigma," which is basically a Titan's Return Titanmaster that can't unfold. The Enigma can fit into ports on the feet or the hands that came with Slag and Swoop, but it's kind of dumb that you only have one. You either have one filled and three empty, four empty for symmetry, or you buy those stupid figures that look like Pretenders and come with little Titanmasters sans faces to fill the other three. Or, I guess you could fill them with Titan Masters from Titans Return. I kind of like the idea of running around with extra faces stuffed into the hands and feet of Volcanicus. As stupid as the Enigma is, the stupidest thing is that Grimlock doesn't come with any gun or sword. What kind of grimlock doesn't come with a gun or a sword? Or any kind of weapon for combined mode? Even as Hasbro is raising the prices on Transfomers they're finding new ways to cheap out on us. If you want to arm Grimlock with something, you can attach the feet to his forearms. Of course, they don't look like weapons or armor, they just look like Grimlock's got giant feet on his arms. Grimlock's dino mode is, again, not too bad, especially from some angles. Sure, his back's a little messy, with extra chunky calves and a lump on the bottom of his tail where his feet are, since they don't fold over the way the G1 toy's did. And his dino toes are too small. But from the front he's as G1 Grimlock as you can get without going and getting yourself a G1 Grimlock. As far as dino articulation goes, he can look up and down a good bit but he can't swivel his head. His jaws open extremly wide. His dino arms are on ball joints for some lateral movement and rotation, but the cut of the socket is a factor and he's got no elbow, wrist, or claw articulation. His hips can rotate on ratchets and he can spread his legs pretty wide since they're his robot shoulders. He's got two knee joints; the upper one can bend backward 45 degrees or forward 90 degrees. The lower joint just bends forward 90 degrees. You can combine them to give him a sort of digitgrade look. No foot articulation. The base of his tail is actually his ratcheted knees, so you can bend it up and down a few clicks. And this is the Volcanicus combined mode so far. Honestly... I'm not hating it. Despite having the angled thighs for hips and sideways-turned lower legs for thighs that Combiner Wars Optimus/Motormaster he seems to stand pretty straight and stable. He's probably going to look a bit gorilla-armed when he's complete, but most of the Hasbro combiners do, and with no obvious locked position for the hips you can add some height by making Grimlock's legs as long as you can before his leg bots start touching. Oh, and if you think his torso is looking a little broad across the chest and narrow at the waist, I do believe that Snarl and Sludge are coming with an additional set of combiner hands. I didn't take a picture of it, and I'm not sure that I like the way it looks, but there's a pair of peg holes on the sides of his torso, just in front of his shoulder joints (you can kind of see on in my first picture). Looks like you're supposed to angle the wrist peg down 90 degrees, so it's pointing toward the palm, then plug the wrist of the second set of hands into those holes before wrapping the weird dual thumbs around his front. It bulks him up, but it also looks weird and gappy. My two cents; there's definitely better Dinobots out there, but he's not bad for the money and I'm a sucker for Dinobots that combine. Looking forward to the last two.
  10. The Transformers Thread Next

    They didn't have squat at TRU, but I stopped at my local Target on the way home. Target was in the middle of a major reset. Tons of PotP stuff; I just nabbed Grimlock. I had to ask them to check the back, but I got my blue lion, too. They had several of the black lion, too. Kinda tempered to buy one, since the one I ordered from BBTS hasn't come yet.
  11. The Transformers Thread Next

    Hmm. I'm going to take my dad to Olive Garden tomorrow. No Targets there, but there is a TRU down the road. I wouldn't mind finding Grimlock (and the classic Voltron Blue Lion, while I'm at it), but that's about it. And yeah, Transformers distribution pretty much sucks across the board. I don't know if it's a store thing, or a Hasbro thing, or what. I was at a Walmart the other day in the middle of nowhere that I don't often go to (only when I visit a friend who lives out that way), and they had a ton of Voyager Megatrons from The Last Knight. Wasn't really interested, but given that it's like six months after the movie came out and most stores around here are still clogged with Grimlocks I actually thought I'd never see it at retail.
  12. The Transformers Thread Next

    I got Prime and Bee because they're somewhat iconic now, but I don't think I like the Bayverse designs enough to bother with Ironhide.
  13. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    I'd heard that the demand for Power Baser was higher than Fans Hobby anticipated, and they (and other stores) are taking preorders for a second run due in April. Where are you at? TFSource, The Chosen Prime, and Toy Dojo in the US are showing in stock still. If you're not in the US, Action Robo (Hong Kong) seems to still have some. No guarantees about whether you'll get a Matrix or not, but since it's very close to MP-10's and not compatible with Power Baser anyway you're not really missing out.
  14. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    While not nearly as exciting as a massive new Power Master Optimus, Power Baser wasn't the only figure in the shipment. Way back in November I picked up X-Transbot's Klaatu, their version of Cosmos, and I'd just been waiting for something else to come in at that store so I could get free shipping. Initially I thought that Klaatu might be too big, as he seems to dwarf other MP(ish) minibots like Bumblebee and Spindrift. I think that's more due to his signifcant heft (his lower legs are diecast) and his stocky proportions; his arms are pretty huge, and his legs are at least twice as thick. In reality, though, he's only maybe a head taller than them, and maybe half a head taller than a Combiner Wars deluxe, which I think is actually a fairly appropriate size for him. The other thing is that X-Transbots really nailed Cosmos' look. The squinty eyes (painted a lovely metallic blue), the rectangular panel on his forehead, the molded arrow shapes on his upper arms, the circles on his elbows, the blue area on his torso with the white and light blue panels, the tiny wrist blasters, the molded lines on his crotch, and the L-shaped hip skirts with the columns of little rectangles are all totally cartoon-accurate. The colors are just about right, too; the lighter green could have been a little lighter to stand out better from the darker green, but that's splitting hairs. Really, my only aesthetic complaint is that Klaatu doesn't clean up particularly well from the back. His feet and legs aren't too bad, but folded up panels hang awkwardly from the backs of his arms, and a large chunk of his saucer sits on his back as a backpack. I'd mind it less if there was maybe one or two hinges to fold the backpack up a little more to keep the backpack below the top of his body so you don't see it from the front. Klaatu comes with a bit of accessories. There's no gun, which is a bummer, but I don't think he actually had one in the cartoon anyway. There is an alternate set of translucent eyes and a screwdriver to open his head with in case you prefer light piping to paint (I certainly don't). There's a can of robotic insecticde and a rubber Morphobot, both from the episode "Quest for Survival." And there's a base with a molded crop circle, a translucent cone that can open, and an arm that can make a flight stand. A nice thing about his accessories is that you can clip the arm to the bottom of the base, use a small tab to put the insecticide on the top edge of the base, the Morphobot inside the cone, and the cone into center of the base to store all of his accessories except the alternate eyes and screwdriver. Klaatu's articulation is reasonable for something with his proportions. His head is on a ball joint and can rotate, look up a little, tilt his head sideways more than you'd need, but can't really look down. His shoulders can rotate, but they tend to get caught up on his backpack (which could have been avoided if they'd just put that one extra fold in it), and laterally 90 degrees as long as you rotate his arm a bit so his shoudler doesn't hit his head. His biceps rotate enough to have a natural range, but the flaps I mentioned earlier do prevent them from swiveling a full 360 degrees. His elbows are double-jointed and he can actually get nearly 180 degrees of bend between the two joints. His wrists can swivel, and he's got MP carbot-style hands with a fixed thumb and all four fingers molded as a single curled piece pinned at the base. He's got a soft-ratcheted waist swivel. His hip skirts can move up on hinges so his hips can ratchet 90 degrees forward and 45 degrees backward. Lateral hip movement is friction, but toleranced well enough that his legs won't fall even with the diecast in them. He gets a little over 90 degrees of lateral movement out of them. His thighs can swivel outward 90 degrees, which is again enough for a natural range of movement. His knees are double-jointed, friction at the top and soft ratchets at the bottom. Combined he's probably got maybe 120 degrees of bend (maybe I should get a protractor or something instead of just eyeballing these angles?). His feet can tilt up 45 degrees and, if you don't mind moving a panel on his heel out of the way, downward 90 degrees (0 degrees if you don't move the panel). His inward ankle tilts are ratcheted and good for 45 degrees, but that's only two clicks. That said, it's not hard to use the friction between clicks to keep his feet pretty flat. Although he doesn't have a gun, the insecticide has grooves on the back and a hole that his thumb plugs into so he can hold it in his left hand. A hole on his, er, let's say perineum, lets him use the flight stand in robot mode. The panels on his chest can open to reveal some kind of venting on one side, some molded circuits and wires on the other, and a button in the middle that causes his spring-loaded head to pop out of his chest when you're transforming him from alt mode to robot mode. Speaking of alt mode, again X-Transbots really nailed the cartoon look. He's got the darker green around the rim of his top and the rim of the saucer. Yellow painted rectangles capture cartoon detail that was in turn based off of part of his legs showing on the G1 toy. A pair of little laser nubbins and some molded rectangles, all cartoon-accurate, adorn the front of the saucer. XTB even has part of the toes flip around so his all-green feet to reveal the cartoon-accurate white patch that's just missing an Autobot symbol to look perfect. And the size of the saucer in relation to the size of the upper cylinder looks about right. I know a lot of people initially went with the ToyWorld Cosmos, but I'd always thought the alt mode proportions on that one made it look more like a trash can than a flying saucer. From another angle we see more cartoon-accurate yellow stripes on the back and the engine nozzles that doubled as the G1 toy's fingers. The only bit of detail that isn't really cartoon accurate are a pair of little blue pipes on the back, but they are what allows the Morphobot to latch onto Klaatu. Klaatu has a peg hole on the bottom of the saucer, and he fits onto the flight stand just fine. Another arguably cooler way to display him in alt mode is forget about the arm. Instead, take the cone and pop something inside, like Power Baser's Powermaster. Snap in in the cone, put the cone in the middle of the base, then use the peg on top of the cone to attach Klaatu to the top*. The result doesn't just make Klaatu look like he's flying or hovering, it looks like he's abducting whatever you put in the cone. I dug through my daughter's little farm animal toys for a cow, but alas the only cow I could find was too big. *So one downside is that the peg on top of the cone is noticeably larger in diameter than the one on the flight stand arm, at least on my copy. Klaatu can kind of rest on top of the cone, but the peg won't go into the hole on Klaatu very far and pushes itself back out. Big bummer. I'm going to see if I can't file or polish it down a bit. Klaatu isn't a perfect figure, but his biggest flaws really boil down to minor limitations in articulation and a bit of kibble on the back. He makes up for those flaws with attention to cartoon details, fun accessories, and by oozing character. I really get the impression that Klaatu was a labor of love by X-Transbots, and although I haven't actually handled the other two MP Cosmos (who'd have thought there'd be a Cosmos war?) I feel pretty comfortable giving this guy a recommend.