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About mikeszekely

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  • Birthday 02/03/1980

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

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  1. I've dabbled with Retroarch, but not on Vita and not with those games. All I can suggest is trying a different emulation core.
  2. Thanks! While I'd like to visit Hong Kong again someday (when things settle down) we won't be anywhere near there. We're just stuffing in a quick visit with my wife's family in Beijing before my daughter starts preschool next month. If all goes well it'll be nice and low-key. I've been to Beijing a couple of times, so I already told my in-laws that we're just coming to visit family. I don't want to do any tourist stuff, I want to sit in "my" armchair and play some games on my Switch I'd been saving just for this trip. Depending on the spotty and heavily censored internet I may even stop by the boards.
  3. Well, I'm off to China for two weeks, and I still have some stuff to do to get ready. But I'm taking a bit of time to bring you guys one more review before I go. This one is for Leader-class Studio Series Optimus Prime. Ok, so the new one (SS-044) is the one in the middle. And I think I need to point that out, because there's a good chance you might not be able to tell otherwise. After all, SS-05 (right) was in the first wave, and SS-32 (left) was already a retool of that. SS-44 is barely even a retool... the only difference between it and SS-32 is the abs and the paint. And from this angle, the difference in paint really only shows as silver-painted windows instead of clear. So basically, everything I said when I reviewed SS-32 still stands (basically that the torso looks better without that hinge in the middle of his chest, but that SS-05 had better paint on the hips and less kibble on his lower legs). Given that SS-32 was sold as a Voyager-class and SS-44 is the same figure, what makes SS-44 $20 more? That'd be the accessories. SS-44 comes with the gear he had in Dark of the Moon: a large ring, a jetpack, a gun, a sword, a shield, an axe, and (for some reason not in my picture) a pair of larger guns. Do note that the smaller gun is identical to the one that came with SS-32, minus the bit of charring on the barrel. The sword is different than the ones that came with SS-04, as he used it like an actual handheld weapon in DotM instead of as wrist blades. Also of note, there's almost no color to the accessories. There's two different colors of gray plastic, with a little orange paint on the sword and a little blue paint at the top of the ring. Speaking of the ring, it provides storage for almost all of the other accessories, with holes and tabs for all three guns, the shield, the sword, and the axe. I can't see any way to store the jetpack on it, though. SS-44's articulation is unchanged from 32's, which was unchanged from 05. SS-44 has no issues holding his gun. His grip on his axe his fine, but kibble under the fist prevents you from sliding the handle in any further so he can't choke up on it, he has to hold it at the base of the handle. The sword mostly works fine, but his grip on it seems a little loose, at least on my copy. As for his shield, there's a 5mm peg on the back, but no peg holes on his arms. So the only way I could get him to hold it is to put the peg in his hand. It's not the best look. And yes, you can still use SS-05's arm blades with him. He holds the big guns just fine. And the backpack, which does make him a little back heavy, is much easier to get on and off than all of Jetfire's bits on SS-32. A huge, huge complaint I have about it, though, is that the engines on the jetpack are hollow. I'm not a fan of Hasbro cheapening out like that at the best of times, but a.) this is a $20 add-on and a $30 toy, so they shouldn't be cutting corners like that, and b.) the hollow spots are staring at you on the front of the wings. It'd be at least a little more excusable if the hollow spots were on the back, out of sight. Here's hoping Dr. Wu can make some fillers like he did for some of the Siege figures. Oh, and speaking of Jetfire, remember how he came with an ab piece for Optimus? Aside from having metallic paint it was identical to the abs on SS-32. Well, the abs on both SS-32 and SS-44 are just tabbed in place. If you pull the abs off of SS-44 you can replace them with the abs that came with Jetfire (or the ones on SS-32), making SS-44 totally compatible with Jetfire. SS-44's transformation is identical to SS-32's. He retains the brighter colors, more accurate fuel tanks, missing tool boxes, messier sides, and painted rims that SS-32 already had over SS-05. The most obvious difference between SS-44 and SS-32 is that SS-44 has a more screen-accurate paint job, with yellow near the nose fading into red instead of just slapping blue flames over red plastic. The other big difference is that the weapon storage ring and jetpack combine and transform into a trailer. Even though trailers often just sit in a closet and take up space I love it when a Prime toy comes with a trailer. The trailer pegs securely into SS-44's hitch (or SS-32, or SS-05, but not Bumblebee Prime). It won't fall out, but it does allow the cab to turn while carrying the trailer. I think it looks pretty good. Despite being smaller than the trailer that comes with G1 Prime measurements suggest that it's actually fairly in-scale with the SS-44's truck mode. My one big complaint would, again, be the lack of paint. It's a little jarring to see the silver on the grill, the smokestacks, and the sunvisor on the cab but bare gray plastic on the trailer. It's especially noticeable that the cab's rims are painted but the trailer's aren't. Speaking of the trailer's wheels, they roll... at least the back ones do. The ones in front of them are fixed and sit slightly off the ground. It's a little weird, but presumably it's so they don't roll in ring mode. The doors on the trailer can open, but you can't put anything in there. There's already kibble inside. Despite the kibble, and despite jamming the wings and engines of the backpack inside (the rest of the backpack forms most of the top of the trailer), there's still room for all his accessories in or under the trailer. The shield sits on the bottom, the axe and sword on the sides near the back. The smaller gun pegs into the side closer to the front of the trailer, while the larger guns peg into the boosters and kind of act like the side guards on the trailer. You'll note that while everything has a place and that the trailer fits together fairly securely that it mostly doesn't have a bottom. SS-44 still isn't perfect. The lack of paint, especially on the accessories, limited ankle pivot, and huge hollow gaps in the engines are a stark reminder that Studio Series doesn't seem to have the same value for your money as Siege. However, the yellow sunburst on the cab goes a long way toward making the truck look better than previous versions, and the trailer and accessories to give you a lot more options for your money. While I'd have liked better paint and a little more screen-accuracy I feel like this is the best non-MP representation of Prime from the first 3 Bayverse films, and a worthwhile upgrade even if you already have SS-05. And in a vacuum I'd recommend him. However, it really stings that this is, for all intents and purposes, the same toy as SS-32. Jetfire even gives you the same abs as 32, and one of the accessoires is the same gun that SS-32 came with. And this isn't like a Seeker, where another color is another character. No, if you bought SS-32 you might as well toss it in the trash. And this obsolescence was planned from the start, since Jefire came with the ab part for SS-44 but was released alongside SS-32. That's irksome. What I'd like to do is tell you to go back in time and not buy SS-32, because the same toy with more accessories, better paint, and a trailer would come out six months later for $20 more.
  4. $29.99. it's a Walmart exclusive, and listed as out of stock online (but the release date isn't supposed to be until October).
  5. It's nice to see that TFC is still moving ahead with that, considering that the only thing I can think of that they released this year was a repaint of last year's S.T. Commander and I was worried that they're dead. But I don't see myself replacing Ordin with TFC's. Anyway, TFSource might have screwed up my order and I still can't finish my reviews of CHUG-style Grimlocks... but how about an MP style one? Yes, at long last we're finishing Gigapower's Gigasaurs with a look at Superator. While I quite liked MP-08 ten years ago when he first came out, I seem to recall even then there were complaints that he was too small. If I'm remembering that wrong, there were definitely complaints when MP-10 came out as the new standard for Takara's MP scale and he was still roughly the same size as MP-08. Well, like the other Gigasaurs before him, Superator is an appropriately larger figure. And Superator brings the other usual Gigapower trappings, including a grayish silver paint over most of the body, multiple painted accents including on the insides of his wings, luscious red chrome on his red bits, and a brilliant gold chrome on his chest and dino claws that makes my Hasbro MP-08 look positively dull by comparison. There's been some complaints about his legs being too skinny, and I'm not sure I agree with that. Proportionally, they look pretty similar in-hand to MP-08's, after all. His chest is broader, though, and although his shoulders don't sit as high on his body as MP-08's his arms are thicker. Maybe that's what's throwing people off. Regardless, I think an improvement over both MP-08 and Fans Toys' Grinder, at least aesthetically. My only real complaint would be that the soles of Superator's feet swivel out for transformation in a manner that's basically identical to MP-08's but they lack any kind of detailing on the sole-side, whereas MP-08 had those thrusters. Superator doesn't come with a ton of accessories. Like the other Gigasaurs he comes with a sword sporting a black hilt and red translucent blade, with a switch on the bottom for activating the LED. He comes with a gun, which actually doesn't seem to have a spot for an LED. I do dig the smoked translucent plastic for the barrels and over a gold-painted sbot between them. Speaking of smoked translucent, there's a smoked translucent panel to go over his chest. He, of course, comes with his crown, which seems to be standard issue for a Grimlock toy these days. And, in lieu of a way to change the eye color on the default blue-eyed head, Gigapower included and entire second head. The red-eyed head doesn't have exactly the same sculpt, though. See, the blue-eyed head has smooth cheeks, ala G1 Grimlock, but the red-eyed head has fangs molded onto the cheeks, a detail that I believe was first used on Dreamwave's War Within design for Grimlock. It's a shame that you can't mix and match the eye colors with the different faces (and no, the red-eyed head isn't lighter, it's just how my camera picked up the lighting). I didn't count his dino arms as accessories, but it's worth noting that they are not installed in the box. Superator's articulation is an improvement over the decade-old MP-08, but it's perhaps a tad underwhelming by 2019 standards. His head is on a ball joint that can look down and up a decent amount (although pushing his head too far up will pop it off the ball joint), tilt a small amount sideways, and swivel. His chin is a little long, though, and you almost have to make him look up a little for it to clear his collar when you turn his head. His shoulders rotate on ratchets, and extend laterally just shy of 90 degrees on another ratcheted joint. His bicep swivels, which are quite tight, are ratcheted. His elbows are double-jointed and ratcheted at both ends but still only combine for 90 degrees. His wrists swivel, and each finger is individually articulated with pins at the base and middle knuckles on each finger plus swivels to allow his fingers some splay. The thumb also has two hinged knuckles, but the very base is a ball joint so he can swivel his thumb and fold it down over his palm. His waist swivels, and interestingly enough there's a button on his back. If you press it, you'll unlock a 45-degree ab crunch. Like MP-08, his wings can be angled up on a ratcheted joint. His hip skirts are hinged to allow his hips to bend almost 90 degrees forward, a little less than 90 degrees backward, and 90 degrees laterally, all on ratchets. His thighs swivel. His ratcheted knees bend 90 degrees, but they can also go one click in the wrong direction due to his transformation (which you can use to kind of cheat his lower leg into the position it'd naturally be if his hips could bend the full 90 degrees forward. Like many of the other Gigasaurs a ratcheted transformation hinge can also allow him to bow out at the knee. And you may need to do that to keep him flat-footed, because his ankle pivot is worse than MP-08's. It's practically non-existent, which isn't something I should have to write on an MP-style figure in 2019. For crying out loud, DX9's little Legends-class Grimlock has 90 degrees of pivot! It's probably worth mentioning here that my biggest complaint with MP-08, even at the time, was just how floppy he was, especially mid-transformation. Nothing is floppy on Superator. Pick him up, give him a good shake, and nothing moves. He holds his weapons fairly well using the time-tested method of pushing tabs on the handles into slots on his palms. While they feel pretty secure, the vibration from his shoulder ratchets can pop them loose. Dino mode is, again, par for Gigapower's course. Unlike FT's Grinder, which I felt took a few liberties with the angled claws and the default dinosaur head having a more organic shape, Superator hews pretty closely to G1 and doesn't stray too far from MP-08. Again, he's covered in paint, and the gold chrome is brighter, which helps it not look so green under the translucent plastic on his neck. The molded greebles are a bit sharper, and painted up a little more like the G1 toy. Just as his arms were a bit thicker proportionally in robot mode, his legs are a little thicker now than MP-08's, with thicker, stumpier claws. Aesthetically, my complaints are fairly minimal again. I prefer blue eyes for the dinosaur mode, but by now it's pretty well established that the chrome releases have red eyes and the blue eyes are on the metallic versions. From what I've heard, a color-changing gimmick ala MP-08's was something the designer wanted to include but Gigapower nixed for whatever reason. The rocket booster wing hinges seem a tad too large. There's no detail on the underside of the dino foot. Once again, this was something I think MP-08 did better, with the other side of the wrist having boosters molded in that were exposed when you tucked in the hands. And lastly, the flat space Gigapower left for an Autobot emblem doesn't hide away in dino mode the way MP-08's did. This isn't a huge deal for me, but again it's apparently something the designer wanted to include but Gigapower ultimately nixed. In dino mode Superator's articulation is a bit closer to MP-08's. The dinosaur head can swivel 360 degrees on ratchet, and it's got about 90 degrees of range from parallel with his spin to a right angle with his spine, also on a ratchet. His ratcheted jaws can open about 90 degrees, revealing chrome inside his mouth and on his teeth, plus a silver-painted flamethrower. His dino shoulders are ball joints, and his got elbow hinges that can bend 90 degrees. He's got wrist swivels, but turning his wrists pushes them off the mushroom pegs. Each of his claws are pinned at the base so they can wiggle, and the pinky claw is slightly shorter than the other two. His hips can still rotate and extend on ratchets. His knees can't bend too far, largely due to his elbow pads hindering the joints. No dino ankle pivots, but that's somewhat expected, I think. The claws on his feet can bend up and down a little, though. And his tail has a tiny amount of swish at the base. A slot on his back does allow his gun to be tabbed onto it. I couldn't find any storage for his sword, though. Weirdly, there are hexagonal peg holes on the his dino thighs, but they don't seem to serve a purpose. Oh, and be advised, there have been reports of breakages. See, to fold in is robot fists the front of the forearm folds up. However, the clearance needed to open the forearm is pretty tight. If you encounter any resistance stop immediately. What you need to do is bend the elbow backward at the lower joint, and you'll see a little seam start to appear between the hinge and the elbow joint. Once you do that, the flap will open with no problem. Again, though, it seems like this problem could have been avoided if they'd copied MP-08 and put the flap on the inside of the forearm instead of the front. And there you have it, folks. After four long years the last of the Gigasaurs has been released. I can't help feeling, though, like the line didn't go out on quite the bang I'd hoped. Don't misunderstand, I think Superator is the best MP-style Grimlock on the market today, beating out MP-08, the upscaled Reximus KO, and Fans Toys' Grinder. But while you could see the steady improvement in the Gigasaur line from Guttur to Grassor to Graviter, Superator (and Gaudentor before him) feel like a bit of backwards step, especially with the extremely poor ankle pivots. In Superator's case the regression is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that, even though he fixes the size, proportions, articulation, and floppiness of MP-08 there's still some things that MP-08 did better. The real kicker is that some of those things, like the color-changing eyes and the hiding chest symbol, are things that were apparently planned at one stage but killed at some point. As a result, Superator feels a little rushed, like Gigapower just wanted to hurry up and get him out so they could be done with dinobots. So Superator is a good figure and the best MP-Grimlock available, and I do recommend him. He's just not the definitive Grimlock I was hoping he'd be.
  6. Hmm. Eknight told me September. EDIT: but they're in the US. Dunno if that makes a difference. Didn't the first run get a Voltron slipcover to to over the Golion box or something?
  7. If I can get my hands on that set I'll have seven of that mold, and they haven't even done Coneheads. EDIT: I do wish that Blue Raspberry was the grape one, though.
  8. There's a spot on the shelf for it at my local Target, but no stock. In fact, according to Brickseek there isn't a Target for 100 miles with any in stock.
  9. IIRC the lion's share of backers for the sail barge came in the final week. Plus the Takara mall and some retailers are taking orders, and we don't know when/if they're counted in the 8000.
  10. I didn't have any of the Stunticons as a kid. My impression of them is comes entirely from the cartoon, and compared to that I find the toy heads overly generic. So this doesn't interest me at all, but it's nice that XTB is providing it for those that want it.
  11. And speaking of Studio Series, I managed to get my hands on a figure that never seemed to come in stock in most online stores, going from no listing straight to "out of stock." I set a stock alert on Amazon, got emailed maybe four or five times that it was in stock only to check the link and have it still showing as out of stock before I got lucky and actually completed an order. It's Voyager-class Long Haul. Long Haul is one of the Bayverse designs I actually kind of liked (perhaps due to the fact that he wasn't designed by the people who worked on the first film, and his design actually began as fan art by Josh Nizzi that impressed Aaron Archer and Michael Bay enough that they hired him). I mean, it's got the Bayverse aesthetic, but at the same time he has a humanoid shape without extra eyes, chicken legs, or the other oddities the Bayverse foist on a lot of the Decepticons. He's green like the G1 version, turns into a dump truck like the G1 version, and you can tell what he turns into when you look at the robot. And frankly, the original Voyager-class toy was kind of a mess, with a tiny torso and long, thin limbs. This version is much closer to the CGI model. He's properly thick and chunky. Pretty much anything I could do to criticize the aesthetic boils down to this being a $30 Voyager-class toy and not an MP. I will say that I wish they could have done a little more to condense his backpack. I'm will say I'm not sure if I like the size, though. I have him here with Deluxe-class Scrap Metal, but I'll say that he's maybe a head shorter than Studio Series Optimus and roughly eye-to-eye with SS Ironhide. I'm not sure what the official sizes are, but I've seen 28' listed for Optimus and 30' listed for Long Haul. If they're counting Long Haul's backpack, then I suppose this is correct, but for some reason I thought he was bigger. Long Haul doesn't come with any accessories. He does have nubs on the ends of his (screen-accurate) arm kibble, though. Hasbro left them unpainted, because they double as tabs, but they'd properly be red, and in the movie he used his arm kibble as missile launchers. His articulation is kind of so-so. Screen-accurate or not, the kibble on his arms and the tires on his shoulders like to get in the way, and his thick, squat proportions don't do him any favors, but with patience you can still get him into some fairly dynamic poses. His head is on a ball joint and he can swivel his head, but the placement of his head and collar means he can look up and that's about it. His shoulders can rotate and extend laterally 90 degrees, but again working the arm kibble around the tires can be a chore. His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend a little over 90 degrees. No wrist or hand articulation. His waist is on a ratcheted swivel. His hips are also ratcheted forward/backward. By default he can only move his legs forward one click, though, because of his thighs banging into his torso, and he can get roughly 90 degrees backward. The hips spread on friction joints about 45 degrees. His thighs swivel. Now, there's a second swivel at the knee that's used for transformation. If you swivel the thigh, then swivel the knee you'll have enough clearance to bend his hip forward over 90 degrees and his leg will still look normal, as long as you don't bend the knee. Speaking of knees, they can bend 90 degrees. The front of his foot can bend upward for transformation, and he's got up to 90 degrees of ankle pivots. Long Haul does indeed still turn into a dump truck, but the accuracy seems to be off just enough that Hasbro can say it's a generic dump truck and not have to pay Caterpillar for licensing on the 773B. The front bumper should be shorter, ending so that the steps are in line with the ladders flanking the grill. The headlights should stick out a bit further, and the area above them should be flat with black stripes. And he's missing the railing on the cab and the deck next to it. I expect that some of these changes, like the protrusions over the headlights, are due to the front of the truck forming the soles of his feet (those protrusions are basically heel spurs). They could have left the railing on it without affecting the other modes, though. For the most part, I'm sure there's someone out there who cares as much about dump trucks/construction vehicles as some of us care about cars, planes, trains, etc, but I think most people are going to look at Long Haul, see that he's a green dump truck, and figure that's good enough. Long Haul rolls, and that's about it. His bed can't move and he can't dump, or even really haul much of anything since the bed is really more arms and kibble than an actual truck bed. And when you flip him over you can see that there isn't a whole lot to his transformation. But, I suppose there doesn't need to be. When the rest of the Studio Series Constructions come out (which won't be for awhile, since we've still got five to go), Long Haul will be Devastator's right foot. And, yeah, that's a pretty decent foot. Due to the way he transforms for this mode (which kind of boils down to taking the truck mode, turning him upside down, then bending his hips 90 degrees) his waist swivel will become a ratcheted ankle, which I think works fairly well. Based on the drawing of how everyone will fit together I think we can use Long Haul's foot-mode size to and estimate the combined Devastator will be roughly 3 Long Hauls tall. So, despite being made of four Voyagers, two Deluxes, and two Leaders I think he'll be shorter than his Combiner Wars counterpart, but bulkier. Anyway, at the end of the day Long Haul isn't the most spectacular figure, but he's certainly not the worst the Studio Series has to offer, either. Chances are most people are really mostly interested in him as a foot, anyway, but I think it's a solid representation of the character in its own right, and I'll give it a recommend.
  12. Between new figures hitting stores and the SDCC reveals Siege has been getting a lot of attention lately. But Studio Series is chugging along as well, and at a toy show in Mexico we got some new reveals. First is a repaint of WWII Bumblebee as Hot Rod. Now, if I didn't buy the mold as Bumblebee, safe money says I pass on "Ut Rudd" as well. A bit more interesting is a 3-pack of Arcee, Chromia, and Elita-1. Each one is unique; it's not three colors of one figure. But they look to be tiny, and probably not very complex. They're roughly half Hot Rod's size, which I guess aligns with the goal of having the robots in-scale with each other. All three will the sold together as one Deluxe. Moving up the interest scale, we're getting a Deluxe-class DotM Soundwave, and after, what, I think four other Bumblebees we're finally getting 2007 Camaro Bumblebee.
  13. If you look at my pics, you can see seams where sections of the fuselage split, yeah? The last segment, with most of the tailfin, sits inside the leg. The segment right before it, with the kink, is actually the outside edge of his lower leg. The part of the wing with the thrusters is the inside edge of his leg, and the rest of the wing (that isn't on his backpack) wraps around to make the back of his leg. Now, you see those big, reinforced slits near the tips of the wings? When you fold the wings around the fuselage to make his legs those slits slide over the kinked bit of tailfin to lock it all together. Presumably, if the geometry of the tail was more accurate, the slits in the wings would have to be larger, perhaps infeasibly so.
  14. While I like Zeta's Superion a good deal there have been a few things on my mind. For one, as good as the gestalt is, the four Aerialbot limbs aren't so hot. And while I think their Silverbolt is the best single-release they've done I remarked in my review of Fans Toys' Motormaster that Zeta's Silverbolt seemed a little cheap by comparison. Combine that with the fact that Fans Toys figures usually sell out pretty quickly and that Motormaster was a noticeable improvement over a lot of their other recent releases and I was wrestling with FOMO by the time they released Maverick, their Silverbolt. Ultimately, I caved in and bought a copy. Did I make the right call? Read on to find out! If I'm going to give credit where it's due, Maverick is the more cartoon-accurate of the two. He's thicker. There's a recess above his feet. He's got gold kneepads, a thick, diaper pelvis, a "U" shape in the middle of his torso, the protrusion at his collar, black behind his little shoulder wings, and the diagonal lines on his forearms. And he's definitely feels like he's got better materials than Zeta's, with loads of diecast and paint on nearly every surface. Yet for all of the vaunted "Fans Toys Quality," I think Zeta's actually looks cleaner or more refined. I'm not a fan of the red stripes on the tops of Maverick's thighs. Actually, I would have preferred if they used either a paler yellow or a metallic gold instead of the yellow they used, which is nearly identical to what they used for their Weirdwolf. The pair of white tabs flanking his head are a little unsightly, but not as much as the visible mushroom swivels and diecast joints in his lats, or his asymmetric forearms where his left arm has a big tab and his right has a large notch. I think it's worse from other angles, too. Yes, they both have backpacks, but Zeta's folds up so that he's got cartoon-accurate wings. Maverick's got that part of the wings on his legs, with a section more toward the front faking it and the nose hanging off his back like coattails. Plus, Zeta's looks like it's sitting snug, while Maverick again has noticeable diecast joints including a large diecast bar sticking out of his back and hanging like a bridge over his backpack. Maverick comes with a gun. It's one of the smaller Silverbolt guns I've seen, and it feels the most cartoon-like. He's also got an entire second head with a yelling face, and an extra face that looks kind of like the default but it has a chin strap. I'm not sure why the yelling face comes with a second head but the third face doesn't; there doesn't seem to be any difference in the actual heads. Like their Motormaster, Maverick doesn't come with any combiner parts. The latest word I'm hearing is that the next three each of Aerialbots and Stunticons won't either, that everything needed for combined mode will come with the last member of each team, and that the last member of each team will be priced around the same as Maverick and their Motormaster. In an era where combiners have been coming down in price that'd make Fans Toys' close to $700 a piece. Not only does Maverick look a little unpolished to me, I'm sorry to report that his articulation is fairly poor. His head is on a hinged swivel and can look up an ok amount but not so much down. His shoulders rotate on ratchets and can technically only extend about 45 degrees laterally on another ratchet. You can get more, up to a little past 90, but doing so involves partially pulling the shoulder apart like you would for transformation. His biceps swivel. His elbows are single hinges, and they fall a bit short of 90 degrees of bend. His wrists swivel. His thumbs are on ball joints at the base with a single hinge above it. His fingers are individually-articulated with a pin hinge at the base and a second hinge mid-knuckle. He has a waist swivel, but he can only turn about 15 degrees before it's blocked. His hip skirts can swing forward, pulling the sides along with them, so that his hips can bend about 90 degrees forward and a little less than that backward on a ratchet. His hip skirts can't move up out of the way for lateral movement, but they can fold in like they do for alt mode. With the skirt out he gets a little under 90 degrees, with the skirt in he can reach 90. Those joints are just friction joints, too, which seems a little inadequate given the diecast weight of the legs. His thighs swivel around his hip joints, and his knees bend 90 degrees on ratchets. If you move the slide-down covers above his feet out of the way his feet can tilt up, but not down. His ankles do pivot, but only about 15 degrees (you're looking at about the maximum in the above picture). The gun is your standard MP fare; tabs on the handle fit into slots on either palm. He holds it securely. Maverick's alt mode does look better than Zeta's. It's got the black nose, gold cockpit, and gold windows that Zeta's was lacking. It's also a big longer, and the proportions seem better as long as you can ignore the humps just past the midpoint of the fuselage. The vertical stabilizer has a simple cartoon-accurate yellow stripe instead of Zeta's goofy "Cyper Mission" mark. And yes, there's some large red chunks sticking out from under the wings. They're not Concorde-accurate, but they are cartoon-accurate. An interesting thing here is that Maverick is significantly thinner than Zeta's Silverbolt. This is because Zeta, like pretty much everyone else who ever made a Silverbolt toy, formed most of the plane from the backpack and squished most of the robot into a block stuck on the underside. Fans Toys tried to stuff more of Maverick into the actual plane. His head, the middle of his chest, his midsection, and his pelvis are actually jammed into the fuselage, his calves unfurl into much of the wings and tail. His pecs and collar move some of their mass to the sides, and his forearms split in half. Those pecs and shoulders swing around on diecast arms to sit near his hips. The thing is, while Maverick does ultimately end up with a thinner block of robot on the underside, he still ends up with a block of robot on the underside. Plus, trying to stuff his thighs partly into the fuselage is why he's got the humps on the other side. And this is all at the expense of a transformation that, while not as frustrating as Rouge or Quietus, isn't particularly elegant or fun. Oh, and you notice that there's a red bit sticking off on one side that's lying flat on the other? That's because the pin hinge that part is on is super loose on both sides of my copy. Ultimately, shaving a few millimeters of thickness doesn't really feel worth making his transformation so much more complicated than it otherwise needed to be, especially because his shifting pecs and shoulders are the direct cause of his shoulder articulation issues. Maverick doesn't do much in plane mode, anyway. He does have rolling landing gear on diecast pieces. His nose can tilt down, but the droop is too far away from the cockpit and doesn't have a visor. As near as I can tell there is no storage for his gun in alt mode. Well, as I said at the beginning of this review, I like Zeta's Superion just fine. I don't need to replace it with Fans Toys', but I thought that I might use Fans Toys' individual releases as the non-combined Aerialbots. But if I'm being honest Maverick isn't giving me a lot of confidence. Fans Toys would do well to figure out that there is such a thing as too much diecast, especially when you're going to jam it into the torso of a 20" combiner. They need to stop overdoing it with the engineering when a simpler solution exists, especially when that engineering interferes with articulation. The fact that Fans Toys' stuff sells out so quickly and you're worried you might miss out on this guy if the other four and/or the combined mode turns out to be good is the only reason I can suggest for buying Maverick, otherwise feel free to pass. While he's not the worst figure Fans Toys has released in the last few years he's a major disappointment after their Motormaster, and I'm not convinced that he's actually better than Zeta's Silverbolt.
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