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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. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    Last I checked Planet Steel Express still has Jaguar. Anyways... I might be stuck waiting for a replacement Galaxy Meteor, but he's not the only wedge-shaped flying Decepticon I picked up. This is Tyrant, Generation Toys' version of Don Figueroa's IDW Megatron. So I've compared this figure to both Don's sketch as well as Alex Milne's art from the main Transformers series and Nick Roche's art from Spotlight: Megatron and I gotta say, while not perfect, Tyrant is pretty close. Even small details like the molding on his biceps, the hexagonal panels on the inside of his shoulders, and the vents on his kneecaps are all present. The face is very remincent of Milne's art. My biggest quibbles would be the translucent plastic inside his cannon, some minor faults with the shape of the lower thighs, and more substantial differnces in the thickness of the silver panels on his shins are most of my aesthetic complaints in this mode. He really makes the old Hasbro toy look bad my comparison, with not just far greater accuracy and paint but better proportions. Size-wise, he's of course bigger than a Deluxe-class figure or a Seeker like Meteor, but he's also a bit taller than other Megatron figures like Despotron. He's also a bit bigger than Generation Toys' Optimus, Op Ex, who would likely be facing off against Tyrant in some people's collections. And if you're noticing that Tyrant's eyes seem brighter in the pic with Op Ex than they do in the pic with Meteor, you're not wrong. Like Op Ex, Tyrant has a light-up eye gimmick that simultaneous has me thinking "this looks cool" and "I wish they'd just painted his eyes." Tyrant doesn't come with a lot of accessories, but what he does come with is pretty impressive. You get a flight stand, and a small hook. The stand is a pretty big step up from the mostly-fixed two-piece affairs that come with a lot of other flying MP-style figures. In fact, it rather reminds me of a sturdier, more solid Bandai Action Base for Gundam moldels. It's ratcheted at the base with a friction joint at the tip. The arm can be extended. One you have everything positioned the way you like there are three locking mechanisms to hold the base joint, tip joint, and slider in place. There's a little claw that can fit over the peg at the tip. The front is adorned with a large, flat, blank petagonal area perfect for a Decepticon emblem, should you choose to put on one it. The claw is meant to grab onto Tyrant's back. I doubt it could support his weight long, but you can have Tyrant stand on the base. In fact, panels on the front can be slid outward to stay under Tyrant's feet even if you have him in a wider stance. Alternatively, you could take the hook off of the tip, and then the tip will fit in a hole on his, er, undercarriage. The locks do indeed hold everything in place and support the figure, so feel free to put him into flying/hovering poses. Speaking of posing, Tyrant's head is on a hinged swivel, with a pretty good up/down range and rotation but, of course, no sideways tilt. His shoulders can rotate, and as long as you're ok opening a panel on top of his shoulder and rotating the hexagonal panel inside of his shoulder armor out of the way you can extend his arms 90 degrees laterally. He has bicep swivels. His elbows are single-jointed, and you can bend them a bit under 90 degrees with his forearm armor in its' regular place. The armor is on a double hinge, though, you can swing forward on his forearm. That'll get it out of the way enough for you to get well beyond 90 degrees, but it does have the points on the armor hanging down a bit low on his arms. His wrists can swivel, but an additional hinge lets him bend his wrist a bit, too. It's the kind of joint you don't often think about, but it lets Tyrant point his fist down a little bit when he's aiming his cannon, and it's a nice little touch I'd like to see on more Megatron figures. His hands are fairly typical of MP figures his size, with a fixed thumb, an independent index finger pinned at the base and the mid-knuckle, and the remaining three fingers molded as a single curved piece pinned at the base. He has a waist swivel, but some the panels on his back catch on his hips so it's pretty restricted. I'd have personally liked at least a quarter turn, but the 1/8th of a turn you get is still sufficient for a lot of poses. His hips ratchet forward a shade over 90 degrees and backward a bit less than that. They can move laterally perhaps 60 degrees on friction joints. He doesn't have a true bicep swivel, but he does have a swivel just abvoe the knee, and I think that's fine. Ratcheted knees bend 90 degrees. His feet have one hinge for downward tilt, but upward is hindered by his shins. A second hinge provides a good 45 degrees of inward ankle tilte and even some outward ankle tilt. Plus, his toes can rotate if you kneed to fake a little more tilt, and his heel is hinged for transformation, but that give it some downward tilt on it's own. His cannon has a tab that fits into slots on either forearm. Each forearm actually has two slots, but the back of the cannon pushing up against his arm prevents you from putting the cannon in the slot closer to his wrists. It fits fine in the slots closer to his elbows, though. Tyrant turns into a stealth bomber-esque plane in a transformation that is a bit more complicated yet ultimately fairly similar to the Deluxe toy. It's a transformation that seems a little daunting at first, but once you figure out how things are supposed to move it's actually pretty easy and fun. While again not perfect, the overally silhouette is closer to Don's art than the Hasbro toy. He's also a lot bigger. If I could change one thing, though, I'd have asked the engineers to find a way to make the leading edge collapse to hide the translucent purple plastic. Tyrant doesn't have any landing gear. He does have a hole on his underside, and of course that hole is for mounting him on the display stand again. Despite the heft of the figure, I've yet to have him come off, even when posing him flying at angles. GT did a remarkable job hiding the robot bits in bomber mode, with vents on the back of his legs and the hole for mounting him to the stand in robot mode looking like exhaust nozzles or thrusters. Panels on his legs even rotate around to cover up most of his thighs. The problem is that while they rotate, they don't lock in place anywhere except the robot-mode position. Now, just like GCreation released an IDW Optimus (that was actually out before GT's), GCreation is going to do this Megatron as well. From what I've seen, it's a bit more accurate to the comics than Tyrant is. However, my experience with GCreation is that they make the kind of toys that look really cool on a shelf but you don't actually want to play with them because they're a horrible pain to transform. So, fans of this Megatron might want to wait to see how that ultimately shakes out before committing to one. However, I've been extremely satisfied with basically every Generation Toy figure I've bought, and Tyrant is no exception. They use quality materials, and they have a talent for engineering figures that both look good and are fun to transform and play with. With that in mind, I'd give Tyrant a recommend.
  2. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    I preordered both. The official MP ones are too small. I have Jaguar coming, too. I'm skipping the birds, though. They happen to be the one case where the officials are a fine size and the Ocular Max ones are too big. I really hope Ratbat is next. My impression of him came from his run in the Marvel comics, where he took over for awhile.
  3. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    Unique Toys have definitely worked some wizardy there to get a good-looking Lamborghini to turn into anything even remotely resembling his movie model. The car basically turns inside out. I'm not personally interested, since I've got no love for most movie characters, but UT is doing an Age of Extinction/Last Knight Optimus that looks very impressive. I'll probably grab that.
  4. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    So... for a character who's basically the Aquaman of the Transformers, I probably like Seaspray more than I should. I like him enough that, in addtion to the G1 toy, the Titans Return toy, Wavebreak, and Spindrift that I've already shown, I also have Storm Surge from the first movie toyline that I repainted (poorly) to look more like Seaspray, plus the movie Voyager Hunt for the Decepticons Seaspray. Mini review bonus round- I also have these guys, Maketoys' Hover and iGear's Spray. Now these guys were released in the way back time of 2011, when 3Ps were kind of dabbling their toes in pool of entire figures to go with your CHUGs instead of upgrades for your CHUGs, so these guys are definitely not MPs. Hover is actually only a little bigger than G1 Seaspray, who was already one of the smaller G1 toys. Spray, while bigger than Hover, was designed to fit with the older 2009-era Legends toys and is smaller than the Titans Return Legends-class Seaspray. Aesthetically, Hover is fairly close to G1 Seaspray, just with more rounded feet, better articulation, and some blue and black paint apps on the upper deck. Spray is a bit more stylized, but still very obviously Seaspray. My complaints would be that both of them have gray mouth plates for some reason, Spray's shoulders are too high up, and Hover is perhaps too close to G1 toy wtih very little pelvis and hands that are molded detail at the end of his arms instead of real hands. Normally I'd show off accessories, but Hover doesn't have any and Spray just has a little harpoon gun that pegs into his hands. Articulation-wise, Hover's head is on a swivel; no tilt. His shoulders are ball joints for rotation and about 45 degrees of lateral motion. His elbows are hinges and can bend 90 degrees. He doesn't have any bicep, wrist, or waist swivels. His hips are on ball joints that provide a little thigh swivel as well as moving 90 degrees forward, 90 degrees backward, but less than 45 degrees laterally. His knees are ball joints that get you a little over 90 degrees of bend and a little extra thigh swivel. His feet are on ball joints that get you some upward tilt, 90 degrees of downward tilt, about 45 degrees of ankle tilt, and ankle swivels. Spray's head is on a ball joint so in addition to rotation he has some up, down, and sideways head tilt, although it's kind of hard to get at his head due to his "collar." His shoulders are on ball joints, so he can rotate them and get a little over 90 degrees laterally. His elbows are also ball joints, so in addition to giving him 90 degrees of bend they double as pseudo-bicep swivels. A ball joint in his spine can be used as a waist swivel and/or a reverse ab crunch. Ball-jointed hips can do nearly 90 degrees forward and over 90 degrees backwards and laterally, plus provide a limited thigh swivel. His knees can bend a little over 90 degrees. Ball-jointed ankles can tilt just a hair upward, 90 degrees downward, 45 degrees inward, and swivel. In hovercraft mode, Hover is again about the same size and shape as the G1 toy. Just just a bit rounder in the front, and he's missing some of the grooves. He's even got yellow paint to match teh yellow stripes created by the G1 toy's legs. My only real complaint is the unsightly ball joints in plain sight behind the windows. Spray is again a little bigger and slightly more stylized. He also doesn't feel like he's locked together very well in this mode. Spray does have yellow from his legs showing, but it's kind of unfortunate how much his knees stick out. Titans Return Seaspray is again the biggest of the four. Both Hover and Spray have spinning propellors and lack the G1 toy's wheels. I also couldn't find a place to store Spray's harpoon gun while he's in hovercraft mode. Both are mildly fun little figures you can mess around with, and they can be had cheaply enough that they're practically an impulse buy. They're also both neat little time capsules, showing off a younger, simpler 3P era before everyone started pushing Masterpiece-alikes. That said, I don't recommend either of them. If this were 2011 I might tell you that slightly better articulation plus a weapon and the ability to hold it would make Spray the better choice for a Legends-class Seaspray for your CHUG collection. In 2017, though, Titans Return Seaspray is better than either of them and cheaper to boot.
  5. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    Yesterday we took a look at ToyWorld's attempt at an MP Seaspray. Of course, they're not the only 3P to take a shot at Seaspray, and one of the others just so happens to be one of the names that springs to mind for a lot of people when asked about the best 3Ps. This is Spindrift, FansToys' version of Seaspray. Size-wise, Spindrift seems like a better fit than Wavebreak. His thinner arms and legs are proportionally much closer to MP Bumblebee's, and he's only a hair taller than Bee to the top of his head. He's also got none of Wavebreak's odd yellow accecnts on the feet and arms, no blue dots on his legs, and some painted detail that's sort of remincent of the G1 toys' stickers without any of Wavebreak's garish translucent blue torso panels. The gray around his eyes and yellow mouth plate are also much more accurate than Wavebreak's white. His hands and elbow joints are blue. Yet sometimes it's two steps forward, one step back. The upper deck on his chest sits up well above his belt line, and his chest tapers down to a thin waist and pelvis. Spindrift has a very heroic silhouette... but "heroic" is not the adjective I'd use to describe Seaspray's figure. It's somewhat jarring to see a figure from FansToys look so stylized, as I've often heard fans of figures like Willis or Spotter argue that Maketoys' competing figures are too stylized and FansToys' are more accurate. I'd also argue that Spindrift's head is too round, but... ...one of the included accessories is an alternate head with a flatter top and a more angular forehead. So instead of dinging FansToys' for the round head, I'll just swap them. Also included are a pistol and two smaller guns with tabs instead of handles. Spindrift's head is on a ball joint for rotation, a small downward tilt, and fractional upwards or sideways tilt. His shoulders can rotate and extend laterally around 140 degrees. He's got bicep swivels and double-jointed elbows that can curl all the way up. He's got wrist swivels, and MP carbot-style hands with a fixed thumb and fingers molded in once piece hinged at the base to open and close. His waist can swivel, with none of the limitations found on Wavebreak. His hips can move forward and laterally 90 degrees, and just a hair shy of that backward. He's got thigh swivels just below his hips. His knees are double-jointed and can curl nearly the full 180 degrees. Plus, do to his transformation, they can bend the wrong way a little. His feet can point downward about 45 degrees, and his ankles can tilt inward a little less than that, plus they can swivel. The pistol fits into either hand with the typical MP-style tabs on the handle fitting slots in his palms. The smaller guns fit into little slots on his forearm. The pistol, I think, is fine, but I'm wondering why FansToys' thought Seapsray needed arm guns. It's been a long time since I watched a Seaspray episode of the cartoon, and I can't say that I recall him having arm guns. Spindrift's hovercraft mode is a step closer in the right direction. The upper deck is a little short, but again none of the weird accents that Wavebreak has. Plus, we've gone some yellow leg exposed, and that's points for accuracy. Like Wavebreak, Spindrift is a little wide relative to his length, but not to the same degree. I think it's a pretty good hovercraft mode, it's just a shame that it's not particularly fun to get him there. Somehow FansToys managed to take what was a very simple transformation on the G1 toy and over-engineer it to the point where it's it's a little clunky. I found myself working against some tight tolerances, and the whole thing cumulates with some panels that were on his back filling in some of the space between his arms and his svelte torso. There are three tabs per panel that need to be massaged into three slots, and the positions of those slots practically force you to bend the panels a bit. He locks together pretty well, except for another fold out panel filling the gap between his legs that doesn't lock in place and the front of the boat, which always seems to have a little gap. Spindrift's pistol fits into a space between his legs, and the two smaller guns fit into small slots in front of the upper deck. While I'm glad that all his guns can still be used in alt mode, I still find the smaller guns to be an odd decision. I do remember Seaspray using a gun in alt mode... but it was just one gun, on top of the upper deck. And it was white. Like Wavebreak, he doesn't have the G1 toys' rolling wheels, and you can spin his propellors. My biggest gripe about alt mode is where his head goes. FansToys opted to have it drop down into his chest, which is fine, except that there isn't room for his whole head. I don't even mind some of his head poking out, but I really wish that his eyes could get down in there at least. I think it's fair to say that Spindrift is a better Seaspray figure than Wavebreak. His colors and markings are more accurate in both modes. His hovercraft mode has better proportions. His robot mode has better articulation and, at least to my eyes, better accessories (even if the small guns are going back in the box with the round head). That being said, I still don't recommend him. He just doesn't have the correct Seaspray shape, and while I do think Spindrift is the best Seaspray you can buy right now this second there are at least two other companies working on MP Seasprays, ACE and X-Transbots. Only time will tell if the materials, build quality, and articulation are up to par, but based on pictures both look like they could be better aesthetic matches than either Wavebreak or Spindrift. I've already got X-Transbots' on preorder, and as long as the QC bug doesn't strike I kind of expect that one will be my G1 MP Seaspray and Spindrift will go with Op Ex and J4ZZ as an "IDW" Seaspray.
  6. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    As much as I loved Transformers as a kid, I'm sure I told you guys before about how we didn't have much money when I was little and my parents simply couldn't afford to buy a lot of Season 1 and 2 characters. Heck, I remember playing with the Gobot Res-Q and pretending it was Ratchet (in that case, Res-Q was probably closer to Ratchet's animation model than his own toy...). So when a new version of a character I actually had as a toy comes out I have a stronger than normal urge to to buy. In this case, we're talking about Seaspray, whom I managed to locate, and Wavebreak, ToyWorld's take on him. So right off the starting line I'm running into some questionable aesthetics with this guy. I mean, if we were looking at an uncolored test shot I'd say that ToyWorld started off in the right direction. Big boat feet, round arms, pudgy belly, stumpy legs, and propellors growning out of his shoulders... that's Seaspray alright. But the yellow paint on his toes, the blue paint in the rings on his knees, the black hands and elbow joints, the white paint on his face, and the translucent blue panels all over his torso just look so off that I think the new Titans Return Seaspray actually looks better. And yet, he's bigger than MP Bumblebee, and even a smidge taller than Huff here. Thrown in some diecast, most notably around the propellors and the top white section around his chest, and you get the feeling that ToyWorld expected Wavebreak to be part of their "MP but on our own slightly larger scale" line. Are the white face and blue torso panels a Studio OX thing that I missed? Wavebreak doesn't come with a ton of accessories, not that Seaspray really needs a ton. We've got just the two guns, with short 5mm pegs for handles and extending barrels. When not in use, they can be stored on Wavebreak's back. Questionable aesthetics can sometimes be fixed with Reprolabels, but unfortunately Wavebreak's articulation is kind of poor, too. His head is on a ball joint so he can rotate his head, look up and down a little, and tilt his head sideways a little. His shoulders can rotate, and they're actually on a double hinge so he can get a ton of lateral movement. His elbow is similarly double-jointed, allowing him to get 180 degrees of bend. He's totally lacking a bicep swivel, though, which is unacceptable on an MP-style figure in 2017. His wrists can swivel, but he has no articulation in his hands. They're molded into a 5mm grip very reminicent of what MMC uses on figures like their Feralcons. He has a waist swivel but it's very limited, and pushing it too far will cause his torso to come unpegged. His hips can go only about 45 degrees forward before they collide with his pelvis and they, too, try to force his torso to come unpegged. He's got more than 45 backward but still less than 90, and does managed to get to 90 degrees laterally. He has thigh swivels, knees that can bend 90 degrees, and ankle swivels. Due to his transformation he can tilt is foot down 90 degrees but not up at all, and he's got about 45 degrees of ankle tilt. Despite the shallow pegs, he can hold his guns fine. Transforming him to his hovercraft mode is fairly easy. I find that I don't mind the translucent blue on the white parts too much in this mode. What throws me off, though, are the lack of yellow stripes that were formed by the G1 toys' legs, and the fact that it's either far too wide or far too short, take your pick. G1 is actually fairly long relative to his width, and even the Titans Return version manages to have better proportions while making room for the Titan Master space. Unlike the G1 toy, there's no wheels on the bottom of Wavebreak for him to roll on. He does have propellors that spin though. Plus, you can lift flaps open on the top to deploy a pair of hidden guns. Speaking of guns, while you can dump them off to the side somewhere for a more accurate Seapsray, you can store them in the same place as you do in robot mode. They're actually designed to look like part of the skirting. Although Wavebreak is fairly inexpensive my recommendation would be to pass on him. He's not exactly awful, but the odd aesthetic choices make him look funny next to other MP-style toys. And the limited articulation means he just doesn't come across as a Masterpiece toy, and that's something that all the diecast and paint in the world can't fix.
  7. EA suits seeing what works in the mobile games market and trying to apply it to a $60 AAA retail game for consoles/PC. Of course it's going to blow up in their faces! The mobile market works by giving people simple, addictive gameplay for free and getting a larger market of casual players to spend a buck it two here and there. Trying to nickel and dime a hardcore audience who already dropped $60 on the game and who already have expectations about what that $60 should get you is a recipe for getting your target audience to say, "no thanks, I'll play something else instead."
  8. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    I'm going to look into removing the shin and at least the front of the foot. I was just planning on using a metallic silver spray can on them (and the gun). One of these days I should really invest in an airbrush... Usually, I know what you mean. But what I did for Downbeat after I wrote my review was to use one of Reprolables clear with white outline symbols. Their sheets have five sizes, and I used the middle one. I let the borders on the symbol overlap the white outline Maketoys painted. I think it worked pretty well.
  9. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    Some last minute tweaks. Was supposed to get out already, should be out by end of November/early December.
  10. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    I'm going to try something a little different today. Instead of the usual background I'm going to try the bases that came with the ToyWorld Coneheads. Now that Zeta is selling them separately, if you guys like this look I'll buy a few more to make a larger space. Since the last figure I did before I left was Meteor I wanted to review Galaxy Meteor, figuring they'd bookend my hiatus nicely. Unfortuantely mine came with a busted hip and is going back in the morning. Instead, we'll look at a different Maketoys figure. This is Downbeat, their version of Jazz. I kind of fought against buying Downbeat for awhile. I already had GT's J4ZZ, who's a good figure in its own right, and I wasn't particularly mussed over J4ZZ's modern alt mode so I didn't feel I necessarily like I needed a more G1 cartoon Jazz. However, I didn't have Jazz as a kid, and even though his toy had the door wings my impression of Jazz was shaped more by the cartoon. Something about J4ZZ's higher-sitting headlights and door wings made me feel like J4ZZ would be a better mold for Prowl or Bluestreak... he just didn't seem Jazzy enough. I can safely say that Downbeat doesn't have that problem. The wizards at Maketoys didn't just deliver a figure with a very cartoon-inspired deco, they included some thoughtful engineering, like collapsing his chest, to give Downbeat very cartoonish proportions. You could make a subjective argument that he's a little bland... I wouldn't have minded a little more molded detail in the thighs or maybe a splash of color in the knees myself, and I know a lot of people wish he had more of the Martini livery. However, cartoon accuracy above all else is the direction Takara is going with their figures, and I can't really fault Maketoys for going along with Takara (especially since people who want the Martini livery can always add aftermarket ones like Reprolabels, but afficianados of the cartoon look would have a harder time removing paint or tampos). If you're going to go cartoon, though, do it right; paint the thighs white instead of leaving then unpainted diecast, and give him blue headlights instead of the smoked translucent. I'm also not a huge fan of the swirly gray plastic used for the shins and feet; that kind of plastic always looks cheap. Maketoys should have painted those parts silver. Aside from those mostly subjective and mostly minor complaints, I really think that Downbeat looks great. Although slightly more cartoony than, say, Prowl (whom I have Reprolabels on anyway), I don't think he looks out of place with him. Downbeat's got a few accessories, many of which are the usual "that thing from that one episode" sorts of bits that you'll probably leave in the box. We've got a shoulder missile launcher, two big purple speakers, his gun, two smaller black speaker boxes, a grappling hook, and a pair of extra faces. For the most part, everything looks fine, but the gun is that same swirly gray plastic as his shins and feet, and once again I think it should have been painted silver. The grappling hook is connected to the winch via some string, and the winch does turn so you can pull the hook out or reel it back in. A little paint would have made it pop, but I'm not really going to complain about a lack of paint on an accessory that's going back in the box after this review. The faces have some paint, though. That taupe color is paint, and the visor is a stunning chrome blue. The neutral face comes installed, but you can swap it with either the yelling face or Jazz's o-face by popping off his helmet, popping the face off a tab, putting a different one on, and dropping the helmet back on. Downbeat's articulation is fine, minus a few limitations. His head is on a ball joint so he can turn it, tilt it sideways, or look down a bit. He doesn't have a ton of upward range. You can fake a little by pulling the whole neck up like you're transforming him, but it does leave a somewhat unsightly gap between his neck and collar. His shoulders can, in theory, rotate 360 degrees, but in practice you don't want to rotate them more than 90 degrees forward or a little less than that backward or the joints will force a tabs under the shoulders to pop out. Hinges in the shoulders will get you something like 130-140 degrees of lateral motion. He's got bicep swivels, and double-jointed elbows that get you well past 90 degrees. His wrists can swivel, and his hands are fairly standard MP-car hands with a fixed thumb and all four fingers molded as a single piece with a single hinge at the base knuckles so he can ope and close his hands. He has a forward ab crunch. His waist can swivel, but his backpack will get caught on his pelvis unless you make use of the ab crunch to help clear it. Now, so far, all the joints have just been friction, but they've been toleranced quite well (indeed, the fingers on his left hand are almost too tight). As we come to his hips, though, they have some seriously strong ratchets for 90 degrees forward once you move the hinged hip skirts out of the way, and maybe 45 degrees backward. Similar ratchets are used for lateral movement just shy of 90 degrees. Like so many other figures this size, Downbeat would have benefitted from friction joints instead, as the first click is fairly wide. He's got thigh swivels at the top of the thighs, and double-jointed knees that get a little over 90 degrees. His feet can bend down a tad, up significantly, and his ankles can tilt inward well over 45 degrees. While his feet already have heels and he can balance on just his feet ok enough, you can use the whale tail spoiler on the backs of his legs for some extra support, and they can even rotate to match the angle of his feet. He holds his gun just fine, using tabs on the handle that fit slots in his palm in a manner that's very common among both official and 3P MP-style figures. If using those things from those episodes is important to you, small pegs on the large purple speakers fit into small holes on the backs of Downbeat's shoulders and the smaller black speaker boxes clip onto his side hip skirts. As for the grappling hook, you actually just peg it into his palm like a weapon and tuck his fingers behidn the winch. Just be careful, as fitting the grappling hook into his hand looks like it could stress or even break the thumb. Alternatively, if toy Jazz is more your thing, he can deploy his door wings, and the shoulder missile launcher clips onto his back. And here we have his Porsche mode. Again, I think he looks right at home with official MP cars, although again if you wanted less cartoon and more Martini livery you're still out of luck. We can also revist my earlier complaint about the headlights being smoked translucent instead of blue, although that's almost certainly because they were on the same sprue as the windows. If push comes to shove, I'd rather have smoked translucent everything than translucent blue everything. He rolls fine in alt mode, and although his tires are smooth and shiny they do seem to be made of some rubbery material. From most angles, Downbeat looks fine, but there are a few decisions that strike me as odd or unfortunate. Like the gold rims. They don't really bother me, and there was apparently a Martini #4 Porsche 935 that had gold rims, but why exclude all that Martini livery for a clean, cartoon aesthetic, to the point that you're molding the intent for the rear brake vents but not molding or painting the vents themselves, and then toss in that one random real-world detail that runs counter to the silver rims on the cartoon? Then there's the elephant in the room, the one detail that seems to be the dealbreaker for some people, and that's the low-hanging kibble on the rear of the car. In robot mode, those parts serve to fill in the outside of the lower legs near his ankles, but in car mode they just look like something's falling off the car that shouldn't be. Couldn't MT have engineered a better solution, like an additional sliding layer beneath to extend from beneat the faux fenders (that you can just see poking out from under the real rear fenders)? It is, perhaps, the toy's single biggest flaw, but one you don't really see unless you're looking at it from right on the side or the back. You don't even see it from most viewing angles. In alt mode, the only accessory Downbeat makes use of are the purple speakers, which can plug into little holes on his taillights. That's fine, if you're into recreating scenes from episodes, but again I'm putting everything but his gun back in the box. And that gun that isn't going in the box has nowhere to store in alt mode that I can find, which is a bummer. Downbeat is not a perfect figure. As is often the case with Maketoys' figures, though, I find myself really liking him a lot despite his flaws. He feels solid and has some diecast in his thighs and abdomen. His transformation is very Takara MP-ish, mostly intuitive, and even includes a little automorphing in the legs. I've heard some people say they've had problems keeping his chest tabbed together but that hasn't been my experience. Just make sure you push the tires down all the way, tab the tabs under his shoulders in first, then tab the front bumper to the red flap and don't rotate his arms so much that the force the shoulder tabs out and he's solid. The one tab I did have popping loose was the outside of his right knee, but I fixed that by shaving down some of the white plastic on the hinge behind it. And while I haven't handled Downbeat's primary competitior, ToyWorld's Coolsville, I gotta say that aesthetically the narrower chest, the shorter and more tapered abdomen, and the longer legs deliver much better robot proportions in my eyes than Coolsville. I do think that Coolsville looks better in alt mode than Downbeat does, but bot mode is more important to me. I'm going to go ahead and recommend him. I definitely think he's the best option for an MP Jazz right now, and what's more I don't see a lot of companies doing one better.
  11. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    Thanks for the kind words! I hope to have some new stuff up soon, once I shake this pesky jet lag. I usually work after I put my daughter to bed, but right now I'm having trouble making it past dinner time. Anyway, new stuff soon. But not Galaxy Meteor. Mine is going back, so I have to wait for a replacement.
  12. Microsoft used to make a tool that'd scan you PC before you install the new OS to check for potential issues. Guess they don't anymore? Have you seen this? How to troubleshoot common setup and stop errors
  13. The Third Party Transformers Thread

    Got a big box today. Still going through it, but it looks like I got a bad Galaxy Meteor...
  14. The Transformers Thread Next

    For some reason I remembered him being bigger than Cheetor but smaller than Primal... I guess because some guys were bigger than your average Autobot, but not often bigger than Optimus. But yeah, looking at some screen caps and it turns out he's the tallest of the core Maximals. Huh.