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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. I share the same view. The point to these DX toys is that they transform between all three modes. If you want ideal representations of the different modes, buy a toy or a model that offers that without the concessions that transformation dictates. The absolute last solution I want to see employed in the DX line is parts-forming. I'm a battroid guy, so Bandai's version thus far appeals more to me than my Yamato, which I boxed up years ago due to its instability and disproportionate appearance owing to its too-skinny legs. Since no release date has been given, I take that as a sign that Bandai wants to give themselves the time they need to refine the design, hopefully giving heed to fan feedback to inform improvements. As it stands from the pics, I'm already happier with it than my old Yammie. Also, I like the shorter hip skirts, as I also always felt like the longer ones on the Yamato got in the way and made posing more difficult. Moreover, the hinges tended to become weak and they wouldn't hold the panels up. Shorter panels, IMHO, are more practical, even if they're not entirely accurate. I'm sure Bandai didn't enter this project without recognizing the engineering challenges involved, as Kawamori-san, more than usual, employed a great deal of idealization to each illustration across modes in his lineart. Moreover, I assume at least one or two of the Bandai designers own or have handled the Yamato YF-21, which continues to hold its place as the best perfect transformable representation ever made, at least officially, which offers an excellent toy to study in preparation for creating their own.
  2. I have all but two of the Action Toys MR line (Rod Drill and Bike Robo DX), and overall, I have a more favorable opinion of the line. There are negatives: Ball joints appear frequently, which we all know breed floppiness; weapon choices are questionable for most, and storage is a mixed bag between really favorable to the alt mode, well hidden, or just tabbed on, or non-existent, as is the case with Loco. I too looked, but could not find a spot to attach his gun anywhere in alt mode. I even tried to hide it inside his alt, but just couldn't make it fit. Pretty crappy. Articulation is pretty standard across the line, generally featuring ball jointed heads, shoulders, hips & feet/toes, pinned elbows and knees, mushroom pegged bicep and thigh rotation joints. A couple of them have pegged heads, usually due to their alt modes/transformation, and a couple have wrist rotation, but both of these are exceptions. I was not a big collector of Gobots, having a KO Cop-tur and Dive-Dive, and maybe a couple others I don't remember anymore. Like most, I was hooked by the Transformers story, and I thought the overall presentation of the toys was better, so to them and LEGO went my meager childhood earnings. However, I still looked at them in the stores and in the ole' Sears and JC Penney catalogs (my Mom's preferred method of Christmas acquisitions- the lay-away plan), and became increasingly impressed with the complexity of the toy line as it expanded over the few years it enjoyed on shelves. I remember being blown away by the Puzzler combiner, which, unlike Transformer combiners, eschewed the need for additional parts to form the gestalt. That was revolutionary to me at the time, and ever since I've carried with me the impression that that is how a combiner should be. To that end, kudos to MMC for their current Bruticus figure. Anyway, as a guy unfamiliar with the MR characters/toys, except through web searches, I've been pretty pleased with the AT line thus far. I think they're a little overpriced for what they are, but the majority do have some nice complex engineering, and get enough right to be decent homages to the originals. My biggest complaint, really, is that they're, by necessity, limited only to the Revenge of Cronos characters, which omits a great number of potential characters from the whole MR toy line. That, and their release schedule is glacial at best. Still waiting on Super Car/Turbo and Blue Jet/Fitor whose protos were shown several years ago along side Eagle, Bike and the rest of the figures we already have in hand. Waiting......
  3. Same situation. Even before any QC issue was known, the floating head and face sculpt had me doubting enough to hold off on a PO. That said, having seen a couple vid reviews, I don't think the final toy is all that bad. I still don't like the head armature, but I understand why it's there, and I think I could live with it so long as that joint was toleranced tightly to keep it flush with the hood. I have to say, I love how all the weapons fold and integrate into the transformation, and I hope this becomes a standard. I hope Takara act quickly to fix what ails their manufacturing process to restore quality, as they can't expect a negative QC trend across several recent toys to not affect sales over time. As it is, I'm not feeling too comfortable shelling out for a toy with probable stress related issues right out of the box. I assume, as is usually the case, a KO of this toy, likely fixing some of its issues, will come along in due time. I may consider that option, depending on what mods they make to it. If they figure out a way to make the head poke out of the hood, I think I'd be sold. I like Hound, so I wouldn't be adverse to having another version, one closer to the toon this time. On a larger scale, although I passed on Prime V3, Bee V2, and Hound, I've bought a copy of just about every other MP mold, and if they continue to put out G1 releases, my interest is there, along with my wallet if what they're offering appeals. I'm not shy to say I miss the Hasui philosophy, mixing the best attributes of toy and toon, rather than slavishly going for the bland toon look in bot mode, and even in vehicle mode, as V3 attests. However figures like the amazing Sunstreaker show that Takara are still masters of their domain, and its figures like that that keep me coming back to the official table with anticipation. I hope they fix what's broken, and continue putting out amazing stuff. Concerning SS Soundwave, this is obviously a licensed vehicle mode, and yet I see concessions galore, with obvious separation lines throughout and robot bits, especially hands, clearly visible through the windows and windshield, and yet Mercedes must not have made a fuss. So it boggles my mind that Jeep, of all companies, would take issue with a panel in its hood, which likely would have been better engineered to flush than a $20 deluxe. I don't envy Takara some of the ridiculous demands they have to deal with when dealing with licensees, especially if they have no association, and thus appreciation, for what's involved in making a transforming toy.
  4. I didn't get MP Hound, but for those who did, and for any of us who likes official Transformers, this is disheartening news that certainly gives pause concerning trust in the brand. As you said, for the prices Takara commands for the latest spate of MP figures, one expects, at minimum, a toy that's well-built and will stand the test of time being manipulated; after all, that's kinda the point of these things. So, yeah, it sounds like they need to take a look at their process, and do some housecleaning, as it were, or they're going to alienate many of their consumers who are weary of expensive toys that fall to pieces when touched. For their sakes, and for ours, the collectors/fans, I wish them every success in restoring quality. I just hope it doesn't add an additional $50 to the asking price.
  5. I like transforming motorcycles, but I always thought the designs of these things were just terrible. There was a better stand alone Arcee figure that came out in '07 that I believe was based on unused concept art for the character. I have her, and while I much prefer the Prime cartoon Arcee, the Bayformer version wasn't half bad for that aesthetic, although she had a fair bit of kibble and a fish face. I'll confess, I've never seen the screen versions of Arcee and the bike girls, so I only have the toys, these and the deluxes that were released years ago, to judge by. I don't know which of the films they were in, TBH, as I find them abhorrent, so perhaps they looked better onscreen. I doubt it, but I have my bias. The Cycle-girl toys, though, have never looked good to me, and, despite my bias, I have a decent collection of Bayverse figures from over the years, and I actually do like quite a number of them. From what I've read over on the TFW and Seibertron boards, there's a Siege Arcee coming this year, and that definitely piques my interest. I hope they're able to make a less kibble-y version than her Generations release. If they borrowed some engineering cues from MMC's Azalea, I wouldn't be heartbroken. I do find it odd, however, that she's being released during the Earthrise wave rather than the first, which would have been apropos, as she never had an Earth mode in the Movie or the show. I sense a potential redesign. I just hope she gets her own mold and isn't yet another partial remold/recolor of the Moonracer toy. Not the best design.
  6. The Proto looks gorgeous. Can't wait to get my shipping notification from AE.
  7. I always enjoy your Iron Factory reviews, Kuma. One Man Army looks great, and the Mini-Cooper alt is perfect for a mini-bot. Pretty sweet. I wish this was official, as it already has a leg up on the upcoming Siege Cliffjumper by eschewing the need to parts-form, and AFAIK, there is no official Mini-Cooper alt mode, which seems a bit of an obvious omission so far as the smaller bots go.
  8. I'm not quite so vehemently against scantily clad female heroes, but the pragmatist in me thinks it's a little ridiculous and unnecessary, so we're similar in our views. Concerning Nicee, I still wish they made her chest smaller, or provided cup-size options (what a funny thing to be discussing when talking about Transformers), but on the whole, she's just a beautiful figure from various perspectives. I'm still waiting to see if they kept her gun-in-leg storage feature, a la Robocop. I hope so. Kinda curious where those huge jugs go when she transforms, or if they parts-form. That's a lot of volume to hide.
  9. Don't know Skullface; like Mike, I just watch his TF reviews, and as Mike mentioned, Bobby shouts out to friends loaning him figures to review probably more than figs he actually owns, TF-wise, anyway. So, yeah, he has a fantastic network of folks willing to loan him stuff, and I'm a little envious. In all fairness, though, Skullface seems like a really honest and morally decent guy to deal with, and that's part and parcel to why so many folks are willing to go through the hassle of sending him their expensive, and oft fragile, high-end toys for review. It's pretty damned cool if you give it a moment's thought. I'd be nervous about losing my stuff in the mail, or having the reviewer in question inadvertently break my expensive, and perhaps difficult to obtain, toy. You and me both, brother. One could get that impression, at least from the outside, since most of us buy what we like, and there's a tendency to create a false bias to justify a purchase when it doesn't live up to expectations. Having read a good many of your reviews, however, I don't get that impression. You call out the negatives as well as pointing out the good, so I think you do a good job of presenting a fair and objective look at the figures you review. And there's nothing wrong with liking a figure with flaws; nothing's perfect, after all. The delicacy of the situation is being able to acknowledge those flaws, call them out, along with the good, make a fair assessment, and offer an honest recommendation. You do these things, and that's what makes you a good reviewer.
  10. Really enjoyed the first; I figured if a sequel was made, it'd revolve around the discovery of using sound as a weapon to defeat the creatures, and the film would be akin to Aliens . This looks good, though, actually better than another military bug-hunt. In these sorts of films, where the first begins with the aftermath of some calamity, in this case invasion by a less-than-cordial species, I usually enjoy seeing how that calamity unfolded, and I hope we get to see John Krasinski, who's again co-writing and directing, reprise his role as the father, at least for a brief time. I like the line, "The people who survived aren't the kind of people worth saving", as it sets up a moral conundrum, and I can't help but feel, perhaps too cynically, that that's the way it would go if something like this really did happen. It's a good setup for yet another adventure for our intrepid family , and I look forward to how it plays out in the sequel.
  11. Nice group photo, Tekering. Lotsa third party love going on there. I liked the Grimlock design from Fall of Cybertron, and the HasTak version left much to be desired. The Planet X, which I've only seen in reviews, did a brilliant job of capturing the look, and imbuing the dino mode with a lot of articulation, which is an area where official toys often fall short when the alt is a creature of some sort. I don't know why, but I have a soft spot for Arcee; I thought she was a good character, I love Sue Blu's voice through the character, and I really like a decent transforming toy of her, especially considering the challenges inherent in translating her lithe and nearly kibble-less (per the animation model) bot mode. I was pretty excited for the Generations figure, the only toy representation we've ever had of G1 Arcee in any line, like ever. It was more of a shellformer than I would have liked (I think some of her car kibble could have been reduced while still presenting a decent car mode, but it is what it is), but overall, it was still pretty decent. Prior to the CHUG Arcee, the closest we ever had in official form was Animated Arcee, which definitely took its cues from the G1 design, but was its own thing ultimately. I still love that mold, though. I have MMC's Azalea as my MP Arcee, and, IMHO, she's an excellent figure- well-engineered , lots of articulation, a good car mode (the cockpit area being the only concession), fun to transform, just all-around good. I'm hoping Nicee will share all these traits as well. Ah man, Windblade just can't seem to get a good toy. I own three versions- Thrilling Thirty, Titans Return, and the Robots in Disguise versions. The Titans Return is the simplest to transform, followed by the RID, whose legs are bulky, and thus form a bulky aft jet section with, oddly, two sets of stabs. The Thrilling Thirty is closest to the comic depiction, but fiddly, difficult to balance, and I hate that her toes stick up perpetually when she's in her plane mode. Would it have killed them to hinge those things so they flush in jet mode? Grrr The TR version also has bulky legs, but I like the way the toes fold and tab into her back forming a more natural looking aircraft. All three toys just have the arms tabbing into the side of the plane, looking very much like arms. I hope Big Firebird find a more elegant solution for integrating the arms into the transformation, or at least hiding them out of sight in jet mode. You're good, Mike- I didn't construe anything you said as negative or judgmental. Everyone has his own preferences- that's just human nature, and it'd be a damned boring world if everyone liked exactly the same thing with no variance. I also wish I had friends like Skulface, only I'd just like the opportunity to check out some of these figs without actually buying them. Be nice if there was a toy library where you could check these things out for a week or two- just pay a liability fee plus S&H. Could get expensive....
  12. Honestly, I don't think she really fits the MP aesthetic- too many artistic liberties, especially those to overtly emphasize her femininity- but sometimes a toy stands on its own merit, and I think this does. T&A aside, the beautiful sculpt work itself, the paint, the features ( articulating hydraulic cylinders in her knees, and possible in-leg gun storage), the articulation, the ability to swap heads and reconfigure her fenders to create two different characters, and the fact that she pulls off a pretty decent transformation into a recognizable, albeit stylized, Arcee car mode all combined to make this a figure I felt I'd really enjoy for what it is on its own. I realize the sexualized nature of it may not be to everyone's liking (I'd actually prefer it to be toned down a little), but I can look past that one aspect to see the other stuff it offers, and overall, it appeals to me. I'll probably keep her on my desk along with a lot of my other disparate robot toys for which I have no related companions. Just a cool toy for cool toy's sake.
  13. Ah man, tugging at the heart strings. Like many of us, uh, older folks here, I grew up with Schoolhouse Rock, and the merest mention conjures up good memories. Jack Sheldon's vocals on "I'm Just a Bill", and "Conjunction Junction", which are probably two of the most popular songs from that series, still evokes a strong sense of nostalgia for many Americans who were fortunate to grow up in a time when Saturday cartoons were still a thing. ( I feel bad that today's kids will never know the shared joy of watching toons for four or five hours solid, and all the sweet nostalgia that goes with it. YouTube is a poor substitute, IMHO). On a personal note, my name is Bill, and in my younger days in the military, I'd sometimes sing "I'm Just a Bill" to the amusement of my comrades (and myself)- having that shared connection was funny and cool, and I'm glad to have been just a very small part of keeping that Schoolhouse Rock legacy alive. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Sheldon, and I hope you're keeping them entertained in some cosmic jazz club somewhere out there.
  14. +1 for preferring the aesthetic, both bot and alt, of Cyberverse Megs over the Siege version. Kinda wish they'd done the same tank, only upscaled and with better engineering for his Siege Cybertronian tank mode, as it has a little bit of a Tron vibe to it (and, yeah, Star Wars, too, with that paint scheme). Honestly, they made Siege Megs' tank mode so close to an Earth mode that I'm wondering if there's even going to be an Earthrise mold. It'd be ironic if there was, and it turned out to look like the Cyberverse version. I'm still enamored of the Robots in Disguise warrior class Megatronus figure. While not the most complex toy, I dig the minimalist sci-fi tank mode and his bot mode. I wouldn't have minded a voyager scaled version with improved engineering for Siege. So, I saw a list of upcoming Earthrise figs and was pleased to see Snapdragon among the names. I hope it gets more love from the design team than Apeface.
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