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Finally there's an actual picture of the cell shaded voyager prime. It honestly turned out pretty good.

01-35-Anniversary-Classic-Animation-Opti

Edited by anime52k8

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1 hour ago, derex3592 said:

Hey that looks pretty cool for like a work desk toy!  How much? 

$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).

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$30, Walmart exclusive. supposed to be out October 1st-ish. pre-orders are closed on walmart.com though.

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I'm not really a fan of the cell-shaded look, but I can appreciate both the appeal and a decent application, and that doesn't look half bad. I wonder if Hasbro will start making more figures with cell-shading if this one sells well. They do love their repaints, and this seems a cheaper, simpler way to go while still putting out a niche version that appeals to fans.

Over on the TFW frontpage, John Warden has a new vid showing off a couple features of HasLab Unicron. This thing doesn't seem to picking up much momentum in backing despite the trickle of promotional vids. As of right now, they only have 2,463 backers, with only 18 days to go to reach 8,000.  The light at the end of the tunnel is receding.

It's a shame, for all its flaws, it's still the best Unicron figure they've ever made, and I've wanted a decent representation that actually turns into a spherical planet for years. While some may feel their Armada version is good enough, I want something better, and this, IMHO, is about the best we're going to get, at least officially. 

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The cost is too high for the execution they’re offering. Great looking planet, okay looking robot, but the folded panels making up the lower legs kill it, for me at least. They can and should come up with a more elegant solution, for that kind of cash. 

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I don't disagree with you; with all their experience, they should have been able to create more of a true 'transformer', utilizing more of the body parts to effect transformation rather than their far less elegant multiple-folding-panel solution. It is, indeed, a rather steep price tag, and I, too, would have liked to see commensurate engineering brought to bear. Alas, it is what it is, and given consideration that this may be the only opportunity to have a Unicron that is at least this faithful, I felt compelled to back it. At this point, I don't think it's going to see production, which is bittersweet- I keep my money, but it would have been a nice piece to have on display next to the rest of my CHUG shelves.

Considering engineering, I think of Unique Toys' Challenger, and imagine the possibilities. I'm curious to see what Zeta's version is going to offer, as it seems it may soon be the only game in town, so to speak.

Edited by M'Kyuun

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Folding panels or no.. If I had the money and more importantly the space to display it, I would have already backed it! I do agree that they should have come up with something better than they did for the legs. Call the guys who engineered TE-01. I say that's one of the most clever transformations of late especially in the leg department. 

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TE-01 is definitely clever.  Taking it closer to home, look no further than MP-36 Megatron.  To effect a decent transformation from thin handgrip to bulky robot legs in keeping with the Sunbow animation has been something of an engineering hurdle for both Takara and third parties. But, Takara solved it with an ingenious folding-in-on-itself  transformation system allowing for both gun and bot modes to look proportional. (I hope Arcadia and Bandai are both taking notes if they produce a YF-21 and/or variants). I most certainly believe that Takara has the engineering chops to make a better engineered Unicron figure that relies far less on folding panels; however, I think they were laboring under a myriad of constraints, chiefly budgetary, along with Hasbro's requirements, US safety laws, etc. To that end, unfortunately, the system of panels was the most effective way to proceed, at least in the eyes of those who make the decisions. It's not the best, but it gets the job done, and he still presents pretty well, although he's got a backpack, not unlike a certain upcoming red and blue MP figure, that's fit for summiting Everest. 

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They should sell JUST the head with a shattered eye and the mouth open like it ended up orbiting Cybertron at the end of the movie....For those of us who can't afford/don't have space for the whole thing! 

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Or make the head big enough so that legends scaled figs of Rodimus, Kup, Springer, Arcee, Jazz, Bumblebee, and Cliffjumper  can crash through the eye, which has a break-away 'smashed glass' feature and a green LED to shine through the hole.  If you're gonna have a big Unicron head, you may as well be able to do something with it. Oh, and have it play "Dare" along with Unicron's final words before he goes all splodey. :p

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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.

01.jpg.11300729155b622140dd813daa720439.jpg

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).

02.jpg.f06350317d898f2ca46d7fc2ef364daf.jpg

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.

03.jpg.52719dec2fb0a6f13d8cb9ff7e5e80d2.jpg

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.

04.jpg.181ceca7409f8b64ab07e233441d8425.jpg

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.

05.jpg.dba462d07e6af8c8d1b89d8c10188a94.jpg

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.

06.jpg.ef2cd401664d60d5f699dc8da93a4b64.jpg

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.

07.jpg.b7c71020612a64aa7ddfce76e5dff446.jpg

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.

08.jpg.4251c793301f69389cd6875257207efc.jpg

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.

09.jpg.202acdac6875df4018cc9eb38dcc272f.jpg

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.

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Which makes me glad that, Dropkick and Blackout aside, I've no interest in the Studio Series figures.  My opinion notwithstanding, your review is appreciated, especially when you're prepping for travel out of country.  Have a great trip and take care, Mike.

And if you're headed to Hong Kong, y'might wanna take a gas mask, just in case. ;) 

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1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

Have a great trip and take care, Mike.

Thanks!

1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

And if you're headed to Hong Kong, y'might wanna take a gas mask, just in case. ;) 

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.

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Customs is gonna confiscate your Switch as capitalist propaganda(read as: they are bored out of their gourd and want it for themselves). Hope you brought a good book.
...

Seriously, though. Enjoy the trip.

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On 8/13/2019 at 8:41 AM, anime52k8 said:

Finally there's an actual picture of the cell shaded voyager prime. It honestly turned out pretty good.

01-35-Anniversary-Classic-Animation-Opti

Megs looks good:

Transformers-war-for-cybertron-siege-WFC

Still irks me that he's a tank instead of a gun, but I understand the argument that it makes more sense instead of mass-shifting.

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ahhh, the memories to this day of that metal hitting your finger nail full force when you were a kid.....:lol:

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2 hours ago, derex3592 said:

ahhh, the memories to this day of that metal hitting your finger nail full force when you were a kid.....:lol:

Funny you mention this, I remember my cousin chipping his front tooth on the landing gear when it deployed as he was closely admiring Jetfire.

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22 hours ago, derex3592 said:

ahhh, the memories to this day of that metal hitting your finger nail full force when you were a kid.....:lol:

The mere mention of this resulted in an instant phantom pain in my finger. Thanks!

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god i'd love to have that jetfire!  too bad there is not box....i wonder where in my parent's basement my g1 jetfire box is.  lol...hmmm...

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New Studio Series reveals at Fans Expo Canada. Mixmaster and Scavenger aren't a surprise, since they're part of Devastator. What is a surprise is a new Voyager-class Megatron based on his movie 1 design, and a Leader-class Shockwave.

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3 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

New Studio Series reveals at Fans Expo Canada. Mixmaster and Scavenger aren't a surprise, since they're part of Devastator. What is a surprise is a new Voyager-class Megatron based on his movie 1 design, and a Leader-class Shockwave.

<3 shockwave :wub:

 

SS-Shockwave.thumb.jpg.7b27ead6242da1a5a1f80a96e3a6f4d2.jpg

Edited by anime52k8

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bit of a push happening with Unicron? thousand or more orders in the last 1-3 days, it's at 4860 as of this message.

4 and a half days left.

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Swap out chin gimmick revealed for Unicron so that solves one issue.

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Unicron transformation vid:

Panel-mania!

 

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that music tho....SO full of win! LOOOL!!! 

 

Honestly though...that looks EXTREMELY time consuming and NOT easy at all...  And why is he wearing sunglasses???

I eagerly await someones transformation video when they have it in hand...LOL! 

 

 

Edited by derex3592

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that was both really impressive and simultaneously really disappointing.

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I'm guessing there are very bright lights in the room and that is why he wore sunglasses.

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3 minutes ago, jenius said:

I'm guessing there are very bright lights in the room and that is why he wore sunglasses.

Japanese people rarely wear sunglasses, and only for dramatic effect; it's a fashion statement, not a practical choice.  In fact, most Japanese people believe their dark brown eyes provide natural protection from the sun, and that Caucasians are much more sensitive to light...  :huh:

Nonetheless, on sunny days, it's not uncommon to see cyclists sporting sun visors like this one:

Newly-Design-UV-Protection-Sun-visor-Cap

But sunglasses?  Only celebrities, usually.

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3 minutes ago, tekering said:

Japanese people rarely wear sunglasses, and only for dramatic effect; it's a fashion statement, not a practical choice.  In fact, most Japanese people believe their dark brown eyes provide natural protection from the sun, and that Caucasians are much more sensitive to light...  :huh:

Nonetheless, on sunny days, it's not uncommon to see cyclists sporting sun visors like this one:

Newly-Design-UV-Protection-Sun-visor-Cap

But sunglasses?  Only celebrities, usually.

I don't know if there's the same rationalization behind it, but I can confirm that here in Beijing it's hot and sunny but no one around here wears sunglasses. I can't even find a place to buy them, despite there being a shopping mall within walking distance. Too bad. I was hoping for some KO Ray Bans to replace the real ones that got stolen.

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Curse my weak Caucasian eyes! I also wear sunglasses a lot... Because they're prescription and I don't always feel like looking around for a more appropriate pair.

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