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About M'Kyuun

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    New Edwards Test Pilot
  • Birthday 07/05/1971

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    Spokane, Wa
  • Interests
    Transformable mecha; Lego; sci-fi; ancient tech and architecture; well engineered toys

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  1. M'Kyuun

    The Transformers Thread (licensed) Next

    That's what I was thinking, too. It's a panel-forming CW toy, and while it's cool for becoming Ecto-1, not $50 cool.
  2. I have no answer for your face color question; I have little recollection of Superion from the cartoon. My comment concerns design aesthetic, particularly for aircraft in the TF world. The original Seekers did a pretty decent job of looking like F-15s, although we have Kawamori to thank for designing the original Diaclones. It seems, though, that depite what Kawamori was doing with his subsequent Macross designs in terms of producing very realistic jet modes, Takara went the opposite direction favoring the bot modes, which generally end up as boxy chunks with a few plane parts added to try and complete the illusion. Despite the amazing strides they've made with rendering all sorts of ground vehicles accurately, they never really applied the same design philosophy to aircraft, and that legacy has been carried over, by extension, to many of the third parties. Unless there's a serious paradigm shift at Takara, I'm sure this pattern will remain, sadly, the norm. I hope some of the third parties, unconstrained as they are, will at some point find a better compromise. I look at Unique Toys' Challenger and wonder why that level of origami can't be brought to bear. Imagine if they did a G1 Silverbolt, or an Bayverse Jetfire applying the same complex engineering to make a virtually seamless and accurate looking jet mode. As a guy who like planes, it's something I want to see happen: a revolution in design thinking as technologies emerge, and fan standards elevate. To that end, I'm glad Macross has enjoyed such a long life, and that Kawamori hasn't run out of ideas yet. After all these years, with thousands of inspired designers learning from his work, I still think he's unparalleled at what he does.
  3. M'Kyuun

    Legos, anyone?

    That's really nice. And all that dark blue.
  4. M'Kyuun

    The Transformers Thread (licensed) Next

    I was running an errand on base yesterday, and it just so happens that the Base Exchange (like a department store on a military base. Fairchild's is rather small, as the size of the BX is determined by any number of factors, but I digress) had all their Transformers on markdown, a rarity. So, after about 15-20 minutes of picking it up and putting it down, I bought Studio Series Blackout for just under $40 (there's no sales tax at the BX, either. As Spokane sales tax is 8.8%, it's a nice savings). Anyway, I've been looking at pics of this thing since it came out, and I generally like the look of the overall sculpt, with exception of the hands, which I think was a common criticism. In hand, seeing all the other joints throughout, it boggles my mind that they didn't put the hands on a mushroom joint so they could both pivot for transformation and then rotate into a proper configuration. Moving on, I wasn't sure what to expect with articulation, but it's a lot more limited than I thought it would be. The thighs are impeded by a single-piece hip skirt, which can be moved out of the way a bit, but it still doesn't allow for much forward leg movement. The rest of the leg, however has a fair bit, especially with its digitigrade design. The knees are a little weak on my copy, however, and this is a pretty decent sized figure, so I'm not sure how its going to do over the long term. The shoulders are limited to fore and aft, like a LEGO minifig, due to its mounting within the pontoons. The small plate to which the shoulder mounts, is on a hinge for transformation, and allows for an iota of lateral swing. More lateral movement can be achieved by untabbing the larger panel, which moves the arm from helicopter position to robot position. On mine this large panel untabs fine from one side, but the other does not and I was afraid I was going to snap the tabs off (they are sideways 'L' shaped tabs which grab and lock into their relative recesses. Nice for strength, but stress-inducing to get them to relinquish their hold). Pressing on, I bought this guy primarily because he becomes a CH-53 Pave Low helicopter, an impressive aircraft I had the opportunity to see up close when I worked at Hurlburt Field many moons ago. Moreover, of the Bayverse designs, his was one of the better ones, IMHO. The '07 toy just never quite did the job, so when this was announced, I was all but ready to part with my cash. Then I saw the hands, and for some reason, that just killed my enthusiasm. Anyway, Blackout is in large part a panel-former, which I think can be excused given the shardy nature of Bayformers, and the size of the resulting helicopter. I was pretty impressed with the size of this thing- about 13 inches from the tip of its refueling probe to the upper aft surface of its vertical stab. Little more if you measure rotor overhang, both main and tail. And it looks very good from top and sides. Viewing from the rear, he has a gaping hole where his cargo ramp and door should be, and the entirety of the bottom reveals the robot inside. I wish they could have found a solution for the cargo door, but as the aft side fuselage panels become the soles of his feet, there really is no non-complex way, nor room, to add more substantially decent sized folding panels. It's a concession, much like the bottom of just about every Transformer alt ever made. One issue that seems endemic to largely panel forming figures is fit, and mine has a couple issues here: the forward halves of the cowling above and directly behind the cockpit on mine do not tab firmly, leaving an omnipresent eighth inch gap, and the large panels to which the arms attach don't flush and tab on either side of the heli mode, which also leaves unsightly gaps. Otherwise, everything else seems to go together pretty smoothly, and the final result is a rather large, fairly accurate, and imposing Pave Low. My final thought is that SS Blackout makes a better display piece, in either mode, than a playable toy. Short of swooshing, there's little playability to the helicopter mode. The main rotor hub has friction, ostensibly favoring the robot mode, so you can't free spin it. I think some sort of optional locking device would have been favorable here, but c'est la vie. The landing gear are permanently extended, which likely doesn't bother most; I would have preferred retractable gear. Purely subjective. The bot mode certainly has presence due both to his design and size. Posing him in any sort of dynamic pose will take a bit of creativity, and probably some untabbing. Overall, it's still a fairly 'faithful' depiction of '07 Blackout, and despite its flaws, quite literally stands above any previous official incarnation of the character. Somehow, though, I still think the little legends sized Blackout is the more fun toy- it's adorable, and far more posable- a fantastic little Mini-me for his Studio Series big brother. That's all I've got. If anyone's on the fence, and you're just looking for a nice display piece at an affordable price, this is probably the toy for you. If you're looking for a better overall figure, especially in bot mode, Wei Jiang's Hide Shadow is, IMHO, the superior option. Cheers!
  5. M'Kyuun

    The Transformers Thread (licensed) Next

    You're not impressed with it, either, I take it. Ah well, it's not the worst figure I've bought over the years. I think with all the positives that have surrounded this line thus far, expectations have been raised. There's definitely a notable improvement since Combiner Wars, which was probably the cheapest looking mainline I've seen. So, in that respect, Siege Megs is a step up, but it's tank mode is uninspired, and the figure's articulation is pretty much at the minimum standard of current expectation. I could sing its praises if they at least improved him in that aspect to make up for his lackluster alt. I guess it can only get better from here. Fingers crossed.
  6. Yeah, I watched that review today, too, as I have Harry PO'd . Normally I wouldn't buy a legends scaled fig of a normally deluxe scaled character, as I'm primarily a CHUG and MP collector. However, I love G1 Prowl's design, and NA just nailed it, so I decided to get it as kind of a one-off purchase. He'll be my pocket TF that I take on trips and such. Anyway, just in general, I've noticed that there's really no legend scale yardstick for third parties, although I think DX9, Iron factory, and Magic Square are pretty close, close enough anyway that figures from all three companies can be placed together in a display without too much scale issue. Iron Factory have their own aesthetic direction, and take some license with the designs, which may or may not appeal to everyone. MS and DX-9 seem like they're going more for a mini-MP look, hitting that G1 nostalgia button pretty hard. I bought MS' Strongman, as I wanted a more G1 accurate Huffer to replace my old IGear figure. He's almost too accurate and just a bit too small to fit in with the current Generations legends figs, but he looks so good I'm willing to fly the F**k-it flag. TBH, with its chunkier proportions, the IGear actually fits better visually. I'm eyeballing NA's Cosmos, as I like the squatter look of it-very faithful to the toon look. MS have a nice looking Cosmos, too, but it's slightly lankier, although the engineering looks better. Alas, the greatest of first world problems, choices.
  7. M'Kyuun

    The Transformers Thread (licensed) Next

    I have no idea; I didn't realize there were two variations of the same mold. I had no interest in it, so I gave it enough attention to see whether it was the VW version or other. I have no interest in the VW version either, TBH, but for some reason which I don't understand, I care enough to check. Anyway, sorry I couldn't be more specific. BTW, your knowledge of the numbers and variations of the Studio Series is a bit daunting. I have a vague awareness of all the characters made thus far, but of the entirety, I only own Dropkick. I'd own Blackout if it wasn't for those terrible hands; funny how a small detail like that can completely derail your interest, but it did. Concerning Siege Megs, I find myself hoping that he'll receive a whole new mold when it comes time to bring the line to Earth, as I'm thinking they will eventually. It'd be fantastic if they actually gave him a gun mode, but I know that's a forgone conclusion. It's an irony not lost on me. Anyway, if they're dead set on making him a tank, I'd hope they'd make him something akin to an M-1 Abrams instead of the more sci-fi quad tank he possesses as his Cybertronian alt. I also hope this hypothetical new mold has improved articulation. Just not feeling like I'm getting my $30 worth from Siege Megs.
  8. M'Kyuun

    The Transformers Thread (licensed) Next

    While I was at Wally today, I made the usual sojourn to the normally sparsely populated Transformers section. To my surprise, while they had one SS old Camaro Bee, and one copy of Skytread, they had a couple copies each of Megs and Optimus (they usually have nothing bigger than deluxe, so voyagers are a rare sight indeed). So after some hmming and hawing, I bought Megatron. Not quite as nice as I thought it would be, but ok. Prime is certainly the better figure, judging from vids. I think Mike's pics up there seduced me to the Dark Side. I will say that the joints on mine all feel tight; nothing flops when I pick it up and change its orientation. However, his right ankle becomes floppy loose once ankle tilt is used. For those who don't own the figure, the feet are attached to a pivot that has a molded panel which fills the inside leg. When the ankle tilt is engaged, the panel, which is held in place by a small raised nub, snaps into a hollow cavity behind it, providing a fairly ample amount of ankle tilt. Once engaged, the ankles are a little floppy, one worse than the other on my copy. I like transforming tanks, so I caved on this guy, although, IMHO, there are better tank figures.
  9. M'Kyuun

    Armored Gull

    Just looked at the artist's Twitter- some of those transforming designs are brilliant. Love the red triple-changer that goes from bot to plane to car. I saw the wheels, so when it went to a plane first, I was totally surprised. Awesome. This guy's pretty much a Chinese version of Kawamori. Hopefully, he'll find a career in animation, and we'll get to see these things in action. And toys- there must be toys....
  10. M'Kyuun

    The Transformers Thread (licensed) Next

    Perhaps the joint issue was endemic enough that Hasbro received complaints. At any rate, good to hear that they're fixing the issue. Gotta say, not at all crazy about the G2 color scheme. For me, that goes for just about everything G2, though- they went Crayola crazy with some of those schemes, and few, if any, that I've ever seen really appealed to me. Anyway, Megatron's tank mode is great until you get to those obvious feet hanging out. It's the only weak point on an otherwise good tank-alt Megatron. I very much like the G1 color scheme of Seige Megs, but it looks like they went overboard on the battle damage, like he's got mud splatter all over him, but the placement on his shins makes little sense in tank mode (if it was mud, but I know it's not). I'm curious if they're going to do a straight reissue with him if, and when, they start doing Earth alt modes. I could see them changing the cannon to look more realistic, but otherwise, not much really needs to be done. Seige Prime will need a little more work, but the core bot should remain about the same, I'd say. That vid of Skyfire up there (I know they're still calling him Jetfire, but we all know what his name really is) is cool, but much too limited. I'd love to see some more transformation stuff going on. I'm glad they didn't copy FT's arm transformation, which is brilliant for how it becomes part of the fuselage, but found their own method of stashing the arms. It's not as efficient, but far and away better than their usual non-solution of just letting them hang off the sides. I've got this guy PO'd from Hasbro's Pulse site, and I can't wait get him.
  11. M'Kyuun

    Armored Gull

    Never heard of 'Armored Gull', but that bike looks cool. Transformation is reminiscent of the Garland, but differs enough in both modes to be its own thing. Hopefully the manga, and potential OVA, will become popular enough to get some toy treatment. I also like transforming bikes, so this would be nice.
  12. M'Kyuun

    Battle Angel Alita

    I've not read the manga, either, so again, I'm making inferences just based on the OVA and the live action. My thinking is that she's a complete construct, artificial from head to toe, but the makeup of her brain, similar to the cyberbrains from GitS, is still somewhat organic, hence her need to eat. However, her brain and other pseudo-organics can survive hundreds of years, even without nourishment. We know that her head is a construct, as one can see bits of her metallic skull peaking through holes in the skin when Ido finds her in the scrapyard. Considering she's likely been there for some time and there seems to be no normal decomposition, that to me indicates that everything is artificial even if it has organic similarities. I assume Shirow-san took inspiration from Gunnm when he created his cyborg society in Ghost in the Shell, such are the similarities.
  13. M'Kyuun

    The Transformers Thread (licensed) Next

    I bought Twinferno after passing him up many times after I got the Grotusque exclusive. I had the original Grotusque toy, and they did such a nice job on the TR toy that I splurged the $24 for him. No regrets. Anyway, learning that the same basic body was used for Twinferno, I picked him up on impulse shortly thereafter. I thought both were done really well relative to the rest of the TR line, which I enjoyed thoroughly and agree with Mike that it was best of the Prime Wars trilogy line. the only real issue I have with the toy is trying to tab the leg bits into his torso in beast mode. On both Grotusque and Twinferno, they don't line up naturally and I have to use a bit of force to get them to do so and tab in. Beyond that, fun figures.
  14. M'Kyuun

    Battle Angel Alita

    I liked that part, too. It wasn't maudlin, but just simply stated, and a nice sentiment towards Ido.