Jump to content

Recommended Posts

So it seems BBTS put up a listing for MP-49 as Black Convoy.

The easy conclusion is that it is a MP-44 repaint, but there is also some wishful speculation that it could be Scourge from RiD.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, lechuck said:

So it seems BBTS put up a listing for MP-49 as Black Convoy.

The easy conclusion is that it is a MP-44 repaint, but there is also some wishful speculation that it could be Scourge from RiD.

 

i bet its mp-44 minus the trailer and all the other extra parts etc...redeco'd as per usual black prime/nemesis prime for a more reasonable price (say ~$200).  if its a truly new mold like scourge from RiD, i'd be surprised and a little dismayed they are doing even more non G1 stuff (despite how that design looks like it could be from g1).   fans hobby better get rid of that stock quick (they are having  black friday sale with black g2 prime discounted heavily btw. haha)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mechapilot77 said:

i bet its mp-44 minus the trailer and all the other extra parts etc...redeco'd as per usual black prime/nemesis prime for a more reasonable price (say ~$200).  if its a truly new mold like scourge from RiD, i'd be surprised and a little dismayed they are doing even more non G1 stuff (despite how that design looks like it could be from g1).   fans hobby better get rid of that stock quick (they are having  black friday sale with black g2 prime discounted heavily btw. haha)

Oh, it's definitely going to be an MP-44 repaint.  You saw how much they milked the MP-10 mold; you know that MP-44 is going to get the same treatment.  Scourge would necessitate a new mold, and given the Japanese preference for heroes you can pretty much bet if they do anything from RiD/Car Robots Optimus/Fire Convoy is up first.

(Speaking of the Fans Hobby sale, I already own and recommend their Scourge.  Shipping will kill you if you don't spend at least $169, though.  I still managed to snag the four Monsterbots and the trailers for Scourge and Laser Prime for $312 shipped, though).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MP-49 is confirmed to be a repaint of MP-44, sans the trailer and probably most of the accessories, with an MSRP of ¥28,000 (around $250).  That's... better than MP-44, but if I were in the market for a Black Convoy/Nemesis Prime (I'm not) I'd still probably stick with the third parties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If my review of Apeface wasn't a good indication, the final wave of Siege is really starting to hit.  I've got a handful of little guys on my desk waiting to be looked at, Spinister's preorder page on Hasbro Pulse has an estimated ready-to-ship date of yesterday, and this guy, arguably the most-anticipated figure in the wave, landed on my porch today.  It's Siege Leader-class Astrotrain.

IMG_20191202_204948.jpg.3cb3918333b1f3b60c5253ad1f40746e.jpg

Might as well get this out of the way first... like Shockwave, Astrotrain is really a Voyager-class figure whose Leader-class price is partly going toward his accessories, and mostly likely partly spread out over the rest of the wave so we can have things like Apeface's Titan Master.  Still, paying for a Leader-class figure that's actually shorter than his Voyager-class brethren from Titans Returns can be a hard pill to swallow.

IMG_20191202_204844.jpg.7eefe5a121f2e2dc6d9e3a41c6fc748f.jpg

Size and price concerns aside, I really can't complain about the aesthetics.  I don't have the old Classics Deluxe or the Voyager-class Titans Return version, but I do have Sentinel Prime, and as far as I know Astrotrain was simply a different Titan Master on the same body, only with G1 toy colors, and the new Siege version really blows the Titans Return mold out of the water.

IMG_20191202_205128.jpg.e95727e67aba02194e6dbdd445798898.jpg

So, what accessories does a Leader-class price on a Voyager-class toy get us this time?  Well, it gets you five guns (technically four and a missile launcher).  And you get a box.  The box can open and splay out, and there's room inside to store all five guns, as laid about above, and still have room to close the box.  Not that Hasbro is content to simply call it a box and leave it.  We'll talk about the uses for the box as we go through the modes, but for now note that the sides of the thinner flaps end with the base connection introduced with Titans Returns.

IMG_20191202_204659.jpg.55b128d2aa05cd03cb64acb10f1cd660.jpg

Astrotrain's head is on a ball joint, with some upward and limited downward and sideways tilt.  His shoulders can rotate and extend laterally a little under 90 degrees.  You can kind of cheat a little extra if you disconnect them from the sides of his torso and use the transformation hinge in the purple shoulder kibble.  His biceps swivel, and his double-jointed elbows can curl 180 degrees.  His wrists don't swivel, but they do tilt up/down due to transformation.  His waist can swivel.  If you move the hip skirts out of the way his hips can bend 90 degrees forward and backward but only a little bit backward.  His thighs can swivel, and his knees can bend just under 90 degrees.  When he's properly transformed his feet are locked, so they don't tilt up and down, but they've got around 60 degrees of ankle pivot.

As far as ports for mounting all his accessories go, he's got one on the front of each wing, one on the outside of each shoulder, one on the outside of each forearm, on on the outside of each leg near his ankles, three on his backpack, one in the small of his back, and one on the bottom of each foot in addition to his fists.

IMG_20191202_205559.jpg.e086393398210d49b7a5778bd0a25c5d.jpg

Again, like Shockwave, he does have an "armored" mode.  You want to start by pulling the top of the box off; it splits in half and becomes shoes for Astrotrain (which helps a little with the height difference between him, Octane, and Blitzwing).  Take the side of the box with the three pegs on the rotating triangular bit and fold it open, twist it 180 degrees, then fold it flat against the bottom.  You can then use the three pegs to plug into the three peg holes on the thrusters on his back, and... uh... I guess Super Astrotrain is a guy with half a box on his back.  To finish the look off you could start plugging all his guns into 5mm ports on his body, but they're actually designed to combine into a super gun.

IMG_20191202_210511.jpg.f37747b5b2ee3709686abff8a1f5f093.jpg

Astrotrain's shuttle mode is a real heartbreaker.  It's got the single vertical stabilizer, bigger wings, and that uncircumsized cockpit look with poorly-disguised train wheels that the G1 toy and and animation model had.  Plus, you know, it's cartoon-colored instead of toy-colored like previous Hasbro Astrotrains, so it's definitely the most animation-accurate Astrotrain to date.  The problem is that from about the middle of the fuselage to the tail has a super unfinished look, like someone was building a space shuttle but quit before they got all the outer paneling on.  And I'll tell you right now, it's a problem caused by the engineering (his arms curl up, then fold up around his head, then his chest basically folds up to hide his head and bring out the vertical stabilizer) that probably could have been solved with a little more engineering (panels in his forearms or legs could have unfolded to cover up the gaps... or, you know, use the box in a way that would have been actually useful).  Still, it looks like it would be super easy for someone like Dr Wu or DNA to do an upgrade kits with, what with four different 5mm ports to plug into in that area.  That'd be one on either side near the tail and two on the top just behind the finished part of the fuselage.  He's also got one in each thruster on the back, on on either side of the cockpit, one on top of each wing, and two on the underside of the fuselage.

IMG_20191202_210535.jpg.15a8aec0b8728eada61b2cd14dff79fd.jpg

While you can use those various ports for mounting the guns there's still the matter of the box.  Again, I'd have thought some kind of transformation into something that could cover the back half of the fuselage would have been really useful, but nope.  (For the record, I actually pulled the lid shoes off to see of there was at least something I could do with those, but they're kind of too thick and the toes stick up to high).  Instead, Hasbro offers these other two uses.  Begin by opening the box up and rotating the skinny sides up.  Then you're supposed to put the shuttle on it, somehow.  I can't find a way to lock the shuttle on... heck, the sides of the box we rotated don't lock into place.  Plus, despite what the instructions show, my box does NOT lay flat.  So I think this "mode" is pretty dumb.

IMG_20191202_210756.jpg.cd9e3a39f871ce12db04d3ecf694d3bc.jpg

Something else you can do is rotate the side with the pegs around and fold it back so that the pegs are pointing up.  Then you can plug the shuttle into the pegs via the booster peg holes, and you've got something of a launch pad.  Again, I'd have much preferred something that covered the back of the shuttle, but I can't really be made at this.  I mean, you've got four peg holes and two pegs showing that you can use to mount the guns, plus the connectors that allow you to connect it with Trypticon, presumably Scorponok, and any Leader-class Titans Return base.

IMG_20191202_211603.jpg.a9a18930af6f3c1b4cec4b519f1d068c.jpg

We can't forget the "train" in "Astrotrain."  The train mode is alright.  Again, a huge improvement over the Titans Return mold in that it actually looks like a train locomotive, and an improvement over the Classics because it's a steam locomotive.  My initial, contradictory thoughts were "too much purple" (although that's pretty accurate for this mode) and "why is the front black instead of purple?" (which isn't accurate.  There's a few other quirks.  I'm not a fan of the gray on the roof, but to be fair that's Astrotrain's feet, and I'd rather have som extra gray on the train than purple robot feet.  The rear doesn't have the raised roof with the overhang, either.  But arguably the worst thing is that the wheels don't line up.  Part of that is because of how he transforms, necessitating that the front wheel and guard fit inside his robot legs while half of the rest are on the outside.  But I also think that Hasbro made the folding panels with the wheels on his legs and the rotating panels with the wheels on the backs of his wings too thick.  They simply stick out too far on the sides, plus if they were thinner they'd stick out less in shuttle and robot modes, too.

IMG_20191202_211611.jpg.b396035b33d981de37d85072e507e942.jpg

The folding of panels to get to train mode unfortunately covers many of the 5mm ports we could use in robot and shuttle modes.  You've got two on the top, two under the train, and the three in the boosters on the rear, but for guns only the two on the roof are practically useful.  Mind you, you really only need one; if you put the guns together into the super gun mode, but turn the gun in the front 180 degrees so the missile launcher is on top instead of under the barrel, the super gun back plug into the rearward 5mm port with enough clearance for everything.  Of course, that's not the only way to carry everything.  You can turn stuff all the guns into your trusty box, then use the three pegs on the box to connect to the rear of the train.  It's kind of like a train car, except small, and with tank treads instead of train wheels... I guess it's best if we don't think too hard about it.

I'll be honest, reviewing Astrotrain is tough.  On the one hand, we have a great bot mode.  On the other it's a little shorter than the Titans Return Decepticon triple changers.  On the one hand he's got a ton of accessories.  On the other most of us would probably have been happy to give them up if this could have been a Voyager release.  On the one hand it's the most G1, cartoon-accurate alt modes Astrotrain's had on an official toy since the original G1.  On the other hand they're still not perfect, with the shuttle mode especially suffering.

Ultimately I am going to give him a recommend, if a somewhat reserved one.  I mean, if this were an MP I'd trash it, but I just don't hold Generations to the same standard.  So I see his flaws, I've noted his flaws, but I'm still having fun with it.  I still think this is the best CHUG-style Astrotrain available, especially in robot mode.  If you, too, can get past his flaws then by all means pick him up, because who knows when we'll get another Voyager-sized Astrotrain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Opened MP-45 and I am not as disappointed as I expected to be. I lucked out with the paint and mine doesnt seem to have as many issues as others I've seen. Transformation is pretty impressive despite the alt mode size. Where it really fails is in the tolerances of the joints and some parts not locking. The backpack i cant get it to lock and the shoulder are super tight to the point that if I try to move them it moves the whole backpack. However the bicep joint is loose but then the wrist swivels are tight. Tolerances are just all over the place with this figure. The hips loose are well, not floppy and still hold poses just fine but they would be better. Overall I like it but its definitely not worth the price of admission. Wait for a sale when its under 60-50 bucks.

MP-45 Bumblebee 2.0 MP-45 Bumblebee 2.0

 

MP-45 Bumblebee 2.0

 

MP-45 Bumblebee 2.0

 

MP-45 Bumblebee 2.0

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

If my review of Apeface wasn't a good indication, the final wave of Siege is really starting to hit.  I've got a handful of little guys on my desk waiting to be looked at, Spinister's preorder page on Hasbro Pulse has an estimated ready-to-ship date of yesterday, and this guy, arguably the most-anticipated figure in the wave, landed on my porch today.  It's Siege Leader-class Astrotrain.

IMG_20191202_204948.jpg.3cb3918333b1f3b60c5253ad1f40746e.jpg

Might as well get this out of the way first... like Shockwave, Astrotrain is really a Voyager-class figure whose Leader-class price is partly going toward his accessories, and mostly likely partly spread out over the rest of the wave so we can have things like Apeface's Titan Master.  Still, paying for a Leader-class figure that's actually shorter than his Voyager-class brethren from Titans Returns can be a hard pill to swallow.

IMG_20191202_204844.jpg.7eefe5a121f2e2dc6d9e3a41c6fc748f.jpg

Size and price concerns aside, I really can't complain about the aesthetics.  I don't have the old Classics Deluxe or the Voyager-class Titans Return version, but I do have Sentinel Prime, and as far as I know Astrotrain was simply a different Titan Master on the same body, only with G1 toy colors, and the new Siege version really blows the Titans Return mold out of the water.

IMG_20191202_205128.jpg.e95727e67aba02194e6dbdd445798898.jpg

So, what accessories does a Leader-class price on a Voyager-class toy get us this time?  Well, it gets you five guns (technically four and a missile launcher).  And you get a box.  The box can open and splay out, and there's room inside to store all five guns, as laid about above, and still have room to close the box.  Not that Hasbro is content to simply call it a box and leave it.  We'll talk about the uses for the box as we go through the modes, but for now note that the sides of the thinner flaps end with the base connection introduced with Titans Returns.

IMG_20191202_204659.jpg.55b128d2aa05cd03cb64acb10f1cd660.jpg

Astrotrain's head is on a ball joint, with some upward and limited downward and sideways tilt.  His shoulders can rotate and extend laterally a little under 90 degrees.  You can kind of cheat a little extra if you disconnect them from the sides of his torso and use the transformation hinge in the purple shoulder kibble.  His biceps swivel, and his double-jointed elbows can curl 180 degrees.  His wrists don't swivel, but they do tilt up/down due to transformation.  His waist can swivel.  If you move the hip skirts out of the way his hips can bend 90 degrees forward and backward but only a little bit backward.  His thighs can swivel, and his knees can bend just under 90 degrees.  When he's properly transformed his feet are locked, so they don't tilt up and down, but they've got around 60 degrees of ankle pivot.

As far as ports for mounting all his accessories go, he's got one on the front of each wing, one on the outside of each shoulder, one on the outside of each forearm, on on the outside of each leg near his ankles, three on his backpack, one in the small of his back, and one on the bottom of each foot in addition to his fists.

IMG_20191202_205559.jpg.e086393398210d49b7a5778bd0a25c5d.jpg

Again, like Shockwave, he does have an "armored" mode.  You want to start by pulling the top of the box off; it splits in half and becomes shoes for Astrotrain (which helps a little with the height difference between him, Octane, and Blitzwing).  Take the side of the box with the three pegs on the rotating triangular bit and fold it open, twist it 180 degrees, then fold it flat against the bottom.  You can then use the three pegs to plug into the three peg holes on the thrusters on his back, and... uh... I guess Super Astrotrain is a guy with half a box on his back.  To finish the look off you could start plugging all his guns into 5mm ports on his body, but they're actually designed to combine into a super gun.

IMG_20191202_210511.jpg.f37747b5b2ee3709686abff8a1f5f093.jpg

Astrotrain's shuttle mode is a real heartbreaker.  It's got the single vertical stabilizer, bigger wings, and that uncircumsized cockpit look with poorly-disguised train wheels that the G1 toy and and animation model had.  Plus, you know, it's cartoon-colored instead of toy-colored like previous Hasbro Astrotrains, so it's definitely the most animation-accurate Astrotrain to date.  The problem is that from about the middle of the fuselage to the tail has a super unfinished look, like someone was building a space shuttle but quit before they got all the outer paneling on.  And I'll tell you right now, it's a problem caused by the engineering (his arms curl up, then fold up around his head, then his chest basically folds up to hide his head and bring out the vertical stabilizer) that probably could have been solved with a little more engineering (panels in his forearms or legs could have unfolded to cover up the gaps... or, you know, use the box in a way that would have been actually useful).  Still, it looks like it would be super easy for someone like Dr Wu or DNA to do an upgrade kits with, what with four different 5mm ports to plug into in that area.  That'd be one on either side near the tail and two on the top just behind the finished part of the fuselage.  He's also got one in each thruster on the back, on on either side of the cockpit, one on top of each wing, and two on the underside of the fuselage.

IMG_20191202_210535.jpg.15a8aec0b8728eada61b2cd14dff79fd.jpg

While you can use those various ports for mounting the guns there's still the matter of the box.  Again, I'd have thought some kind of transformation into something that could cover the back half of the fuselage would have been really useful, but nope.  (For the record, I actually pulled the lid shoes off to see of there was at least something I could do with those, but they're kind of too thick and the toes stick up to high).  Instead, Hasbro offers these other two uses.  Begin by opening the box up and rotating the skinny sides up.  Then you're supposed to put the shuttle on it, somehow.  I can't find a way to lock the shuttle on... heck, the sides of the box we rotated don't lock into place.  Plus, despite what the instructions show, my box does NOT lay flat.  So I think this "mode" is pretty dumb.

IMG_20191202_210756.jpg.cd9e3a39f871ce12db04d3ecf694d3bc.jpg

Something else you can do is rotate the side with the pegs around and fold it back so that the pegs are pointing up.  Then you can plug the shuttle into the pegs via the booster peg holes, and you've got something of a launch pad.  Again, I'd have much preferred something that covered the back of the shuttle, but I can't really be made at this.  I mean, you've got four peg holes and two pegs showing that you can use to mount the guns, plus the connectors that allow you to connect it with Trypticon, presumably Scorponok, and any Leader-class Titans Return base.

IMG_20191202_211603.jpg.a9a18930af6f3c1b4cec4b519f1d068c.jpg

We can't forget the "train" in "Astrotrain."  The train mode is alright.  Again, a huge improvement over the Titans Return mold in that it actually looks like a train locomotive, and an improvement over the Classics because it's a steam locomotive.  My initial, contradictory thoughts were "too much purple" (although that's pretty accurate for this mode) and "why is the front black instead of purple?" (which isn't accurate.  There's a few other quirks.  I'm not a fan of the gray on the roof, but to be fair that's Astrotrain's feet, and I'd rather have som extra gray on the train than purple robot feet.  The rear doesn't have the raised roof with the overhang, either.  But arguably the worst thing is that the wheels don't line up.  Part of that is because of how he transforms, necessitating that the front wheel and guard fit inside his robot legs while half of the rest are on the outside.  But I also think that Hasbro made the folding panels with the wheels on his legs and the rotating panels with the wheels on the backs of his wings too thick.  They simply stick out too far on the sides, plus if they were thinner they'd stick out less in shuttle and robot modes, too.

IMG_20191202_211611.jpg.b396035b33d981de37d85072e507e942.jpg

The folding of panels to get to train mode unfortunately covers many of the 5mm ports we could use in robot and shuttle modes.  You've got two on the top, two under the train, and the three in the boosters on the rear, but for guns only the two on the roof are practically useful.  Mind you, you really only need one; if you put the guns together into the super gun mode, but turn the gun in the front 180 degrees so the missile launcher is on top instead of under the barrel, the super gun back plug into the rearward 5mm port with enough clearance for everything.  Of course, that's not the only way to carry everything.  You can turn stuff all the guns into your trusty box, then use the three pegs on the box to connect to the rear of the train.  It's kind of like a train car, except small, and with tank treads instead of train wheels... I guess it's best if we don't think too hard about it.

I'll be honest, reviewing Astrotrain is tough.  On the one hand, we have a great bot mode.  On the other it's a little shorter than the Titans Return Decepticon triple changers.  On the one hand he's got a ton of accessories.  On the other most of us would probably have been happy to give them up if this could have been a Voyager release.  On the one hand it's the most G1, cartoon-accurate alt modes Astrotrain's had on an official toy since the original G1.  On the other hand they're still not perfect, with the shuttle mode especially suffering.

Ultimately I am going to give him a recommend, if a somewhat reserved one.  I mean, if this were an MP I'd trash it, but I just don't hold Generations to the same standard.  So I see his flaws, I've noted his flaws, but I'm still having fun with it.  I still think this is the best CHUG-style Astrotrain available, especially in robot mode.  If you, too, can get past his flaws then by all means pick him up, because who knows when we'll get another Voyager-sized Astrotrain.

Thanks for the review, Mike. Honestly, I'm having an extremely hard time getting past that unfinished shuttle mode, and, like you, wondered why they didn't integrate some covers to finish the shuttle into that backpack. It seems like a no-brainer move to me. I was pretty excited to learn that an Astrotrain was coming in this line, especially given the overall quality of the rest of the line so far, for the most part. I figured this would be the definitive Astrotrain I've been waiting for, and it comes close, minus the various flaws you pointed out. The too- wide train mode I can live with, but the unfinished shuttle just kills it for me, especially for $50. I might pick it up if I find a sale for $30, like I eventually did with Shockwave. However, I'm also holding out hope that a third party, like Dr. Wu, will indeed make covers or go further and make all new parts that can be substituted, to improve the shuttle mode. It smacks of lazy engineering, and I wish they'd eschewed the accessory box in lieu of just making a better figure. Grrr     I love this hobby, but sometimes it frustrates.

On that note, I hope FT's Thomas ends up being one of their better figures, as it looks to be the best version I've seen thus far, and I want it, and maybe a shrunken version for the ole CHUG shelf.

3 hours ago, mark-1s said:

Not sure if serious, but the next MP may be.......Raiden???

https://www.seibertron.com/transformers/news/possible-masterpiece-raiden-coming/44268/

What an odd, out-of-left-field choice, if, in fact, that's the next MP. Still no Jazz, no other minibots except two versions of Bee, no Trailbreaker, no Mirage, a Seeker mold that's well due an update, and that's just to complete the '84 lineup. There are plenty of other more popular and well known figs that have yet to get the official treatment- Galvatron, Cyclonus, and Scourge, for starters. 

Looking at the pics of the train dude, I happened across some of those at a hobby store outside Kadena when I was stationed in Okinawa back in '90-'92. I had no idea what they were, but they were in Transformer boxes, so I assumed, correctly in hindsight, that they were Japanese only releases. I didn't pick any of them up- kinda wish I had now, as their rarity in the States would have made them unique and valuable. Alas, hindsight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

What an odd, out-of-left-field choice, if, in fact, that's the next MP. Still no Jazz, no other minibots except two versions of Bee, no Trailbreaker, no Mirage, a Seeker mold that's well due an update, and that's just to complete the '84 lineup. There are plenty of other more popular and well known figs that have yet to get the official treatment- Galvatron, Cyclonus, and Scourge, for starters. 

Look on the bright side. It could've been yet another Optimus Prime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, JB0 said:

Look on the bright side. It could've been yet another Optimus Prime.

Now with even bigger backpack, more panels, and cell shading for the ultimate cartoon look!

Seriously, though, I guess they could do one of the Japanese Primes. I know they've gained popularity here in the US, but I'm not really a fan of the more Super Robot look of many of the Japanese TFs. That's more Kuma's territory.  One of the most appealing aspects of Transformers from the start was their apparent realism, and the whole 'robot in disguise' theme that drove at least first season.  Now the idea of a series of train cars and engine that can become a gestalt is interesting, but I think it would be better served at the CHUG scale. At the MP scale, how would they scale train cars and an engine to the carbots? Are they going to come as a set? If so, they'd likely topple Unicron, by a fair margin, as most expensive TF to date. Would they be a Takara exclusive? Most likely in my mind. lots of things to ponder with this announcement.

As I mentioned, I wouldn't mind seeing them done as part of Siege. They'd still be expensive, but not nearly so much as MP scaled figs.

Edited by M'Kyuun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

At the MP scale, how would they scale train cars and an engine to the carbots? Are they going to come as a set? If so, they'd likely topple Unicron, by a fair margin, as most expensive TF to date.

I keep forgetting there IS a scale these days.  

Much like Starscream, trainbots will probably be built to robot scale, resulting in a silly small train.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JB0 said:

I keep forgetting there IS a scale these days.  

Much like Starscream, trainbots will probably be built to robot scale, resulting in a silly small train.

Exactly why it's a concern. From the beginning in the current MP line, scale should have been predicated on alt mode rather than bot, as these things look awkward next to each other if displayed in alt modes. But then again, you have a Walkman, a big purple laser pistol, and a Walther P-38 that are bigger than the cars, so what do I know? So yeah, way-undersized trains is likely what they'll be. I guess it's no different than Astrotrain, who can carry a fully formed Devastator in his cargo bay, but stands about as tall as Starscream in bot mode. Scale was just all over the place in Transformers, which is why I guess, until recently in the Siege line, HasTak just never gave it much credence. I appreciate that they're trying with Siege, though.  Sometimes it's the thought that counts.

When I made my last post, I was a bit irritated that this was the next MP when so many more popular characters had yet to be made; I've had time to rethink it, however, and given the latest design direction and the overriding adherence to toon accuracy, an oxymoron if ever there was one, and finding neither MP-44, the new MP Bee, nor the upcoming Hound to my liking, perhaps something out of left field is a refreshing change. These will represent the first official combiners in the MP line. In my mind that's fine; before they attempt a potential Devastator, or any other of the more well-known combiners, let them cut their teeth on these guys. I'm curious to see how they turn out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost forgot to share that the full article and gallery for the Flame Toys Kuro Kara Kuri 03 Star Saber  is up on Kuma Style; https://kumastyledesigns.com/flame-toys-star-saber-review/

Title-twitter-FT-SS.png 

Article breaks it down in full but overall this one got the big 10/10 because frankly it went above and beyond on all accounts. Someone can say things like they'd prefer it transform but that's a non factor because it's not meant to and the things that it was made to do it excels at. I don't think there will ever be a more "perfect" homage to the IDW version of Star Saber in my lifetime, even.

Here are some pics from the gallery portion;

14-189.png 

17-134.png 

20-80.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still waiting for Spinister.  But I've got a handful of little guys.

IMG_20191206_205217.jpg.9e6ae6c63adc306962361e612b834919.jpg

First up, we have Battle Masters Rung and Singe.  Rung's an interesting one, as he's hugely popular with the subset of Transformers fans who've read James Roberts' excellent More Than Meets the Eye and Lost Light series from IDW comics but completely unknown outside of that group.  So, no, he's not going to scale properly, and IDW fans may still be holding out hope that someone like MMC will deliver a better Rung figure in the future, but at the same time I'm pretty happy MMC is throwing IDW fans a bone by giving us a Rung at all.  And this Rung is... ok.  If you ignore the backpack the sculpt is actually pretty good, although his arms could use some of that white paint they used on his thighs and the yellow stripes on his chest should properly be red.  His feet are kind of weird, too.

Singe, on the other hand, is pretty unremarkable, as yet another repaint of Firedrive.  Well, at least the colors are looking pretty good.  Oh, and if you have Shrute from the set you had to buy to get Skywarp then he, along with Singe here, give you both of Spinister's Targetmaster buddies.

Singe's articulation is the same as it ever was, basically just ball joints at the shoulders and hips.  You can pull the gun barrels off of his back and use the 3mm peg on them to stick them onto Singe's arm (they they didn't give the mold 3mm peg holes in their fists I'll never understand).  At first blush Rung looks like more of the same, except he also has a waist swivel.  Which is cool, I guess, but not as cool as elbows or knees would have been.  It's also worth mentioning that his backpack isn't removable, and it kind of pushes against his legs so he's always bent forward slightly.

IMG_20191206_205557.jpg.60207edb1aa20270aff1becd409e4869.jpg

Singe, again no surprises, turns into a gun.  He comes with some nice green effect parts.

Taken at face value Rung is also, in the Siege continuity, a gun.  His feet are weird because they're the barrel of his gun mode, and the blue effect parts he comes with plug into his feet.  Those who've read The Lost Light know what Rung's alt mode really is; for the purposes of this review I'll say that this gun mode is close enough, but again needs more paint.  Especially around the circle at the back/top.

IMG_20191206_205949.jpg.f6305afe9a09a6ee16c2e6d6429bb391.jpg

Moving onto Micromasters, probably the most-anticipated release smaller than a Deluxe would be Frenzy and Ratbat.  Although there's a weird typo on the box and in the instructions calling him Rumble, we're living in an era where cartoon accuracy is now so sacrosanct that silvers are being replaced with whites and alt modes are becoming shells that fold into backpacks on robots full of faux parts to match the cartoon's often poor animation better.  This "Sunbow über alles" mentality has to be the nail in the coffin for the "Rumble is red, Frenzy is blue" crowd.  Regardless of what name they'd put on the box, if they'd put the blue one in this pack I think they could have quit.  Most of us could have lived without Frenzy and Buzzsaw, as they were almost never in the cartoon.  But fans are still going to demand Hasbro give them the blue one, and since Micromasters go in two packs you have to figure Buzzsaw is coming with him.

Regardless, Frenzy's looking fine, if a little squat, although he's got weird bumps coming off of his fists.  Guns?  Piledrivers?  Who knows.  No backpack guns, either.  Ratbat is also lacking a backpack, and he's got some molded kibble between his ears.  But he's adorable and I love him.  Articulation isn't a huge improvement over the Battle Masters.  Frenzy's shoulders are still ball joints, he still doesn't have elbows, bicep swivels, a waist swivel, or a neck.  His hips are hinges, though, and he's got ball-jointed knees.  Ratbat's got hinges at his hips, and swivels at his shoulders so his wings can go in and out.  His neck is on a double hinge for transformation, but it does give him some miniscule head posability.  But he really can't do much, because his wings have to open to maximum for him to stand, and he's really balance between his feet and the tips of his wings.  Attempts to pose him will just unbalance him.

IMG_20191206_210234.jpg.d71f96c9f9aaf4b111855fddfef59ae5.jpg

Frenzy and Ratbat turn into... rectangles.  I mean, we can't really call them tapes, since they haven't been to Earth yet, right?  One side each looks pretty rectangular all right, while the other leaves their faces peeking out at you.  As was the case with Ravage and Laserbeak, one side does have a flip-out peg that you can use to attach them to the 5mm ports on a Siege figure.  So maybe they're armor... that blocks stuff with their faces.  Of more interest to me is the idea that someone like Dr. Wu could do an upgrade kit that gives them their backpacks by using those pegs as attachment points.

IMG_20191206_210440.jpg.7a4116c0d4c1dd5fd89e199e527fbca3.jpg

And yes, they do still fit in Siege Soundwave and Soundblaster's chests.  Soundblaster can even fit two of them.

IMG_20191206_210946.jpg.ff38aa4d7e25676dbf9f1b00ff3ac60a.jpg

Last but not least we have these color-coordinated guys, who I didn't really want but had to buy to get BBTS to sell me Frenzy and Ratbat.  The one on the left is Power Punch, and the one on the right is Direct-Hit.  And before you ask, no, I'm not sure why one is hyphenated and one isn't, but that's a convention that seems to go all the way back to their G1 days.  Like most of the other Micromasters these guys are modern versions of G1 Micromasters.  And like the other Siege Micromasters the biggest changes to the engineering in 30 years seems to be that they have ball joints for shoulders and hips (and knees, in the case of Direct-Hit) and their legs aren't stuck together, giving them ever-so-slightly better articulation than their G1 selves.

Power Punch is looking very G1.  The biggest differences on him seem to be a second shade of blue on his shins and fists and some silver on his chest to bring out some details.  He also doesn't have the original's super visible belly screw, and he's missing some kibble on his collar.  Direct-Hit has the same second shade of blue on his forearm, but for whatever reason Hasbro decided to give him a black torso, like Power Punch, instead of the G1 toy's darker purple, which he does retain on his chest vents.  His face is also a metallic copper now, vs the bright orange of the G1 toy.

IMG_20191206_211201.jpg.baf6d1934dc3f5a3b5acb38235beff6f.jpg

Both Micromasters transform into some sort of armored vehicle.  Direct-Hit fares a little better here, because I think he looks more complete on his own.  He's got his windows and marker lights, and what appear to be molded guns in front of a peg I'm going to pass off as a hatch.  Power Punch has a nice purply-pink cannon, but nothing that looks like windows or anything a driver could see out of, unless we're supposed to pretend that the super obvious hole in the front is a window.

IMG_20191206_211222.jpg.3cc354be2cb75a7d3e6821a084a766e6.jpg

But then again, these guys have a gimmick, and it's the same gimmick the G1 toy had.  Flip down the hatch-peg on Direct-Hit, then plug it into Power Punch's hole to make one long armored truck carrying a cannon.  Vaguely Onslaught-ish, I think.  And very G1.  The biggest differences seem to come down to extra molded and painted details, like marker lights, the darker blue bits, and the gunmetal section with the molded guns.  Speaking of guns, while it can be tabbed to lie flat for robot mode, the cannon is on a hinge and can articulate up and down on twin mushroom pegs.  The instructions even suggest that you can remove the cannon by pushing the pegs out of their sockets, but I think that'd just wear them out over time.

IMG_20191206_211311.jpg.e6ff4488a9d8da68eb0c1f1ab544b538.jpg

Besides, the 5mm peg on the top of the cannon isn't really so other toys can use the cannon as a gun.  The Siege gimmick dictates that the Micromasters combine to be a weapon, and in this particular case you do that by turning the combined vehicle over and plugging the 5mm peg into a fist so that the rear of the vehicle is pointed forward.  And sure, that does kind of look like a missile launcher or something from dead on.  But from the sides it looks like he's holding an upside-down truck, and from above you'll see both Power Punch's and Direct-Hit's faces.

Which brings me to the recommendations.  And they're pretty much the same as they always are for the smaller figures- they're cheap enough that you can get them if you want to, but (mostly) unimportant enough that you're not really missing anything if you don't.  I could do without Frenzy but you have to get him to get Ratbat, and as a fan of the old Marvel comics who remembers reading "Car Wash of Doom" as a kid I will never turn down a toy of my favorite Fuel Auditor.  Fans of IDW are likely to appreciate having some representation of Rung, and if you bought Skywarp and you're planning on buying Spinister you might as well pick up Singe to complete the group.  Direct-Hit and Power Punch are probably the hardest sell here, unless you actually had the G1 versions, as they've had basically no representation in any media for you to get attached to.  But they're certainly not the worst Micromasters I've handled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

This "Sunbow über alles" mentality has to be the nail in the coffin for the "Rumble is red, Frenzy is blue" crowd. 

Not gonna lie, with the whole "toon accuracy or GTFO" thing that's been running through the franchise lately, it is REALLY weird for them to suddenly be "toy accuracy or GTFO" for Rumble, where opinions about toon vs toy accuracy are strongest.

 

Personally, I think they should sell the toon-accurate one as Rumble, and the toy-accurate one as Ranburu. Or Toon Rumble and Comic Rumble.

THERE IS NO FRENZY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, davidwhangchoi said:

wat happened to sound blaster:unknw: he looks scraped up.

Welcome to Transformers: Siege. Every character has some annoying battle damage paint slapped across it. Some of them wear it well, some you basically can't see it, and some ... are Soundblaster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JB0 said:

Welcome to Transformers: Siege. Every character has some annoying battle damage paint slapped across it. Some of them wear it well, some you basically can't see it, and some ... are Soundblaster.

^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 11:02 PM, mikeszekely said:

IMG_20191202_211603.jpg.a9a18930af6f3c1b4cec4b519f1d068c.jpg

Again, a huge improvement over the Titans Return mold in that it actually looks like a train locomotive, and an improvement over the Classics because it's a steam locomotive.  My initial, contradictory thoughts were "too much purple" (although that's pretty accurate for this mode) and "why is the front black instead of purple?" (which isn't accurate.

That area being black is incredibly accurate to a real steam loco though.  Even the most brightly-painted ones left that area black (or covered with heat-resistant graphite-aluminum mixes), because it gets so hot you can't keep it painted.  I am planning to make a "real" Astrotrain (as in, take a model D51, and paint it purple) but intend to leave that area black, despite going for overall toy-accurate coloring----same reason I wouldn't paint a "real" Skywarp F-15's nozzles lavender.   Lavender tailfins, trans-orange canopy?  Sure. But lavender afterburner nozzles?  Nope, simply "cannot be" in the real world. 

Same reason my "real" Astrotrain will not have painted treads on the tires---they are polished (well, more like burnished) bare metal due to the sheer action of running on the rails. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 11:02 PM, mikeszekely said:

IMG_20191202_211611.jpg.b396035b33d981de37d85072e507e942.jpg

You can turn stuff all the guns into your trusty box, then use the three pegs on the box to connect to the rear of the train.  It's kind of like a train car, except small, and with tank treads instead of train wheels... I guess it's best if we don't think too hard about it.

Ok, gotta ask, (and sorry for venting, it's not personal)----because all us train fans are getting so bugged by this----why does no one realize this is a tender? 99% of reviews call this a caboose or boxcar or something.  It's a tender---you know, the thing that like 90% of steam locomotives have, all the time, right behind them?  Has Thomas the tank engine's "no tender" look become so popular, and so permeated the world's consciousness, that people no longer realize/remember that "oh yeah, steam engines have tenders behind them".  (unless they're small and British).   Seriously, every single "Wild West" train you see will have one, the trains at Disney World all have them, 95% of the ones you see in museums will have them. 

The wheel configuration is even decently accurate---tenders are full of water, and so are incredible heavy for their size---they often will have many small wheels in a row, like this:

PFM+United+UP+814+D+FEF-1+4-8-4.jpg?form

Sure, it's not EXACTLY what Siege Astrotrain has (treads!), but the overall wheel arrangement effect is pretty similar---2 axles up front, by themselves, widely spaced----followed by a group clustered together.  

Siege Astrotrain having a tender isn't some "weird use of extra plastic" that a lot of reviews seem to "complain" about its presence---it's the most appropriate/realistic Astrotrain has ever been.  He's been MISSING his tender for 30 years and always looked "incomplete".  He's finally got one.   This is like adding 2 booster rockets and an external tank to Blastoff or Skylynx---sure, it's not how they've always looked, but it's DAMNED appropriate to do so based on their "need these things to actually move" alt modes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, David Hingtgen said:

Ok, gotta ask, (and sorry for venting, it's not personal)----because all us train fans are getting so bugged by this----why does no one realize this is a tender? 99% of reviews call this a caboose or boxcar or something.

Short answer: because I'm not a train fan. I don't have model trains, I don't know things about trains, I'd never even been on a train (including subways) until I went to China. And yeah, I do get that this sort of locomotive burns coal to turn water to steam to drive the pistons that make the train go, and if I stop and think about it the coal required needs a place to go. But it's it really incorrect to refer to the tender as a train car? I mean, I understand that not all cars are tenders (including box cars), but tenders still look like cars to me.

In this specific case, though, because it doesn't look like a tender. It looks like a lot box on treads (with more treads on the roof).

1 hour ago, David Hingtgen said:

Has Thomas the tank engine's "no tender" look become so popular, and so permeated the world's consciousness, that people no longer realize/remember that "oh yeah, steam engines have tenders behind them". 

Dunno. Never watched Thomas. My impression of this sort of locomotive is entirely formed by Astrotrain and the Gobot Loco. Neither of which had tenders.

1 hour ago, David Hingtgen said:

Seriously, every single "Wild West" train you see will have one, the trains at Disney World all have them, 95% of the ones you see in museums will have them. 

Can't speak for everyone, but I'm more interested in the fight going on on top of those wild west trains, I've never been to Disney World, and I've never been to a train museum.

1 hour ago, David Hingtgen said:

Siege Astrotrain having a tender isn't some "weird use of extra plastic" that a lot of reviews seem to "complain" about its presence---it's the most appropriate/realistic Astrotrain has ever been. 

I feel like this is where you're really venting more than referring specifically to my review.:p But in the interest of being very clear, I don't mind that they gave Astrotrain a tender. I just wish they'd have used the tender to cover the unfinished half of the shuttle. I also think that a lot of TF fans would have preferred not to have it and some of the guns and Astrotrain been labeled a Voyager instead, but that's small potatoes to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

. But it's it really incorrect to refer to the tender as a train car? I mean, I understand that not all cars are tenders (including box cars), but tenders still look like cars to me.

Dunno. Never watched Thomas. My impression of this sort of locomotive is entirely formed by Astrotrain and the Gobot Loco. Neither of which had tenders.

 

1.  Yes, it is incorrect, actually.  It's kind of like saying a 747 "hauls 4 engines under its wings as part of its payload". The tender is generally considered part of the locomotive.   Length, weights, etc for a locomotive, unless specified, usually do mean "the engine and tender, together, as a single unit".   The consist, is what the locomotive hauls---hoppers, tank cars, passenger cars.  The locomotive doesn't haul the tender, it's part of it.   (the tender is semi-permanently attached---you don't "drop it off at the station and pick up another" like you do with cars)     Engine+consist=train.     

2.  Just FYI, but the Gobot Loco, is the EXACT same type of loco that Astrotrain is---and is also missing his tender...  (it's Japan's fave loco, far and away, they literally have HUNDREDS on display at museums, so that pretty much every kid in the nation can go see one at any time)    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, David Hingtgen said:

1.  Yes, it is incorrect, actually.  It's kind of like saying a 747 "hauls 4 engines under its wings as part of its payload". The tender is generally considered part of the locomotive.   Length, weights, etc for a locomotive, unless specified, usually do mean "the engine and tender, together, as a single unit".   The consist, is what the locomotive hauls---hoppers, tank cars, passenger cars.  The locomotive doesn't haul the tender, it's part of it.   (the tender is semi-permanently attached---you don't "drop it off at the station and pick up another" like you do with cars)     Engine+consist=train.

Well, see, I really didn't know that.  Like I said, I don't know trains.  Which reminds me of something I was thinking this afternoon; when you're familiar with a subject, even (or especially) if you're not an expert, you tend to underestimate how much other people don't know about that subject.  And yeah, as someone who used to do computer setups and repairs for retirees looking to Skype with their grandkids, I get how frustrating it can be to listen to someone describe something they know nothing about (getting it wrong in the process).  All I can do is try to remember this discussion should it become relevant when Fans Toys releases Thomas.

BTW, I had YouTube on while I was trying to get some work done this afternoon, and I happened to catch Baltmatrix' Astrotrain review.  You'll be happy to know that he correctly identified Astotrain's box as a tender.

4 hours ago, David Hingtgen said:

2.  Just FYI, but the Gobot Loco, is the EXACT same type of loco that Astrotrain is---and is also missing his tender...  (it's Japan's fave loco, far and away, they literally have HUNDREDS on display at museums, so that pretty much every kid in the nation can go see one at any time)

I don't think I knew that they were the exact same locomotive, but I knew that they were extremely similar.  In fact, as I often tell you guys, my family was poor and I didn't have too many pre-movie/Season 3 Transformers, but I had a ton of Gobots.  I had Loco, and I used to pretend he was Astrotrain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know how long G1 Optimus is supposed to be in vehicle mode? That is to say, how long is a  FL86?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jenius said:

Does anyone know how long G1 Optimus is supposed to be in vehicle mode? That is to say, how long is a  FL86?

I'm having a hard time getting a total length (or telling exactly what model year Prime is), but I was able to find that the wheelbase on a '74 FLA86 is 231".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/7/2019 at 4:28 PM, mikeszekely said:

Well, see, I really didn't know that.  Like I said, I don't know trains.  Which reminds me of something I was thinking this afternoon; when you're familiar with a subject, even (or especially) if you're not an expert, you tend to underestimate how much other people don't know about that subject.  And yeah, as someone who used to do computer setups and repairs for retirees looking to Skype with their grandkids, I get how frustrating it can be to listen to someone describe something they know nothing about (getting it wrong in the process).  All I can do is try to remember this discussion should it become relevant when Fans Toys releases Thomas.

BTW, I had YouTube on while I was trying to get some work done this afternoon, and I happened to catch Baltmatrix' Astrotrain review.  You'll be happy to know that he correctly identified Astotrain's box as a tender.

I don't think I knew that they were the exact same locomotive, but I knew that they were extremely similar.  In fact, as I often tell you guys, my family was poor and I didn't have too many pre-movie/Season 3 Transformers, but I had a ton of Gobots.  I had Loco, and I used to pretend he was Astrotrain.

I'm not a train guy, although I did know that the car, for lack of a better term, behind a steam engine was called a tender. I wasn't aware that it was considered part of the engine, so I learned something new. Anyway, just to fan the flame, I recently got the new Steam Robo  (Loco Robo for Gobots fans) from Action Toys, and it's a pretty neat figure. It doesn't come with a tender, though.:p And, unlike the majority of figures in the line, no discernable spot for his weapon in locomotive mode. All his wheels turn, though, so that already raises him a notch in quality above Siege Astrotrain. Moreover, his wheels line up beautifully with the rest of the engine, imparting a much more accurate and believable aesthetic that nobody who does an Astrotrain can seem to capture, even with all the panel-formery magic that seems to grace recent TFs. I guess it's a little unfair given the concessions for a second alt mode, but I think it'd be possible to do both alt modes believable justice given modern techniques, materials, and such.

+1 for criticizing Takara for not making at least a part of Astrotrain's tender become a gap-fill for his shuttle mode. It boggles my mind that it was released like that. The train mode is pretty poor, with the wheel base sticking way out away from the body as it does, but the incomplete shuttle mode is where it just flat out fails , and that's my favorite of his alts. To their credit, they did do a great job on his bot mode, but it just seems like the rest got an 'eh, good enough' pass.:( Really wanted this to be the definitive mainline Astrotrain after waiting thirty plus years, so I'm rather disheartened that it has so many flaws.

 

100_4385.JPG

100_4386.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continuing the train discussion, there's an  article on the TFW frontpage saying that the recently announced Raiden train combiner will indeed be part of the MP line, and it seems that Takara are putting their "A" team of designers on it.

Personally, I have no connection to Raiden- in fact, while I was aware that a train combiner existed (I saw them when I was stationed in Okinawa back in the early 90's), I didn't know what it was called, or from what series it came. I think it's an odd choice, as I'm guessing few but the most die-hard of TF fans outside of Japan have ever heard of it or know what it is, so Takara is definitely catering to a small slice of the fandom. I haven't read the article yet, but I'm assuming this will be a Takara-Tomy Mall exclusive. I'm wondering if they're using this as a testbed to see how viable a large scale combiner is, both physically and financially. Obviously, we know it can be done, as third parties have been producing them for years (I own Toy World's Constructor), and even now there are a number of MP scaled Bruticus figures in the works by different companies. It's an interesting, if unexpected, toss of the hat into the combiner ring, and I'm curious to see how it turns out. I doubt I'd get it, if it's even practical to do so, but I'm hoping it'll pave the way for some of the more popular combiners. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ton Ton has a video review for Studio Series Shatter up, where she converts to a Harrier, or an approximation thereof.  First of all, as Ton Ton points out, her plane mode is way under-scaled  relative to the rest of the line. I can't really fault Takara for that, as I'm guessing they try to scale the bot mode, and the alt mode scale is a concession. Moreover, I blame the Bumblebee Movie producers/director for choosing alt modes that are severely out of scale with each other.  Had they had her become a much smaller aircraft, I think the disparity would have been lessened, but when you're dealing purely with animation (be it cell or CG), then scale can be fudged wildly, as we're all aware from the good old G1 days, to Macross, to Bayformers, and so on. Unlike Dropkick, whose helicopter mode betrayed no signs of his car mode, Takara put forth an effort to incorporate some of Shatter's car details in bot mode, which of course, need to be hidden in plane mode, requiring more design concessions. Honestly, though, I don't think they did a half bad job of it. If I had my druthers, however, they would have eschewed the car bits altogether and focused on making the best Harrier possible. Which brings me to my biggest gripe; it's a really fudged Harrier. I'm biased, as the Harrier is one of my favorite aircraft, and so , much like our esteemed Mr. Hingtgen, I tend to wax critical of the details, or lack thereof.  The front of the plane doesn't look too terrible, although the intakes' inner detail portrays two fan blades, when the real aircraft has a single large fan that spans both intakes. Considering that they split into identical engine pods for bot mode, it gets a soft pass. The intakes also have a canard of sorts that , AFAIK, has never appeared on any model of Harrier, and thus constitutes artistic license. Moving on, the wings should cant downwards at a greater angle and they lack outriggers for landing, although it does have aft and nose retracting gear. They're not accurate, but points for at least including the feature. Once we move beyond the intakes, the illusion falls apart entirely, as the fuselage area where the vectoring nozzles are located is truncated and dominated by a huge section of red robot thigh, followed aft by mechanical leg details, terminating in what looks like standard dual engine jet engine exhaust augmenters. Just...terrible. 

Due to my preference for the Harrier, I was looking forward to this figure, especially seeing how Dropkick's AH-1 mode turned out. Movie accuracy be damned, I'm glad they completely eschewed the car mode to focus on his helo mode, as it's the most accurate version of that chopper in TF toy history. I wish Shatter Mk2 had been given the same treatment, focusing entirely on making the most accurate Harrier possible. Alas, no. :(  So disappointing.  Ending on a positive, I will say that the transformation is interesting, especially the way the car torso is folded and hidden within the plane, so kudos to Takara for fun factor, even if their take on the Harrier is pure fiction.

One final thought; I wish someone would create and disseminate an aircraft nomenclature tutorial to video reviewers; it bugs the hell out of me every time they refer to stabilizers, or stabs, as we in the field call them, as 'fins'. They're aircraft, not fish.  It'd be like referring to car tires as donuts. Big sigh. Just needed to get that off my chest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

One final thought; I wish someone would create and disseminate an aircraft nomenclature tutorial to video reviewers; it bugs the hell out of me every time they refer to stabilizers, or stabs, as we in the field call them, as 'fins'. They're aircraft, not fish.  It'd be like referring to car tires as donuts. Big sigh. Just needed to get that off my chest. 

In addition to Mike saying that Baltmatrix properly called it a tender---I believe he tends to do much better than most, when it comes to plane terminology.  So he must have at least some interesting "mechanical transports".  

Also---well, I call vertical stabs "fins" all the time.  Short for tailfin.  F-15's have 2 tailfins.  Most airlines paint their logo on the fin...   :D

What really irks me though, is how people call EVERYTHING THAT MOVES, a flap.   Rudder=flap.  Aileron=flap.  Spoiler=flap.  Flap=flap*.  

*though, if anything, the actual flaps, will be called ailerons or something...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I do a fairly good job of referring to vertical stabs as such and not fins.  Likewise, I don't call the horizontal stabs "tail wings" or other such things.

I'll be the first to admit that, until I Googled it just now, I couldn't tell you what the difference between an aileron and a flap is, and have probably referred to both as flaps.  I would have confined "flaps" to the wings, though; I know that elevators and rudders aren't flaps.  Not sure I'd have paid enough attention to look for molded spoilers on any toys (but I like watching them work if I get a seat near the wing of an actual airplane, and wouldn't mistake them for flaps).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my goodness, I was so stuck on the 'fin' thing that I forgot about the 'everything is a flap' , and ,ugh, 'tail wing' (that's the worst!):lol: I have the advantage, I suppose, having worked in aviation for twenty years, but I find it simultaneously fascinating and frustrating that more reviewers don't do a little homework before doing a review so they can speak somewhat intelligently about the subject.  Before I make comments about something of which I'm unfamiliar, I try to Google or Wiki it for some background so I don't sound as if I'm speaking from my backside. And if it's something completely outside of my realm of understanding, I keep mum. As Mr. Lincoln said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a l fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Wise words. 

TBH, with all the innovations in aircraft design, there are any number of flight control surfaces that lay people wouldn't know: slats, leading edge flaps, elevons, spoilers (also known as speed brakes), inboard and outboard spoilers(which operate independently of each other), trim tabs (used for minute adjustments to improve stability of an independent flight control), and so on. The refueling boom used by the USAF has ruddervators to control both pitch and yaw, which may have been the inspiration for the canted vertical stabs on the YF-23, where the entire surface moves rather than just a small rudder mounted within the larger surface. The B-1 Lancer has two rudders, an upper and lower, operated by two different hydraulic systems for redundancy. It also uses spoilers in lieu of ailerons. I could go on (love this stuff), but at the risk of waxing pedantic, I'll stop. Besides, I'm woefully off-topic.

To that end, Ton Ton once again regales us with a review of Siege Earthrise Ironworks on the TFW boards. I haven't watched the vid yet, but perusing the pics, and having seen earlier pics, despite my misgivings with partsformers, I kinda dig this one. I like the utilitarian look and feel of it, and while I don't care for the more vertical combo, his crane platform mode just hits all the right notes. Scalewise, he's kinda small, coming up shorter than Ironhide. I'd like to see a version of him in voyager scale, and fully transformable. I also watched a vid of Earthrise Cliffjumper by PrimevsPrime, and to my dismay, the entire back section of his car partsforms. I'm not sure why they couldn't have had an armature for it to swing on, but Takara didn't bother. Overall, though, it's the most G1 CJ since the original, and it comes with his large cannon from the very first episode, and his water skis from a later ep of first season. Good stuff.

And finally, PrimevsPrime also did a review of Earthrise Hoist, which looks fantastic. I'll agree with the reviewer that the way the arms/hands stick out of the bottom of the truck isn't the best, but in all other regards, Takara pretty much nailed it. The articulation is excellent, and I'm so glad that , after so many years of  mediocre articulation in the mainline, they've really improved articulation throughout the deluxe and larger figs in Siege. I'm anticipating their Trailbreaker release now. I'm definitely enjoying the G1 love in this line. Hope they keep 'em coming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's interesting how much Earthrise stuff is already being reviewed, considering it's supposed to be 3-4 months out yet.  Heck, Emgo's been reviewing stuff from the new wave of Studio Series, and I'm wondering where he got those since I've had the whole wave preordered since it was announced, none of the US shops I've checked are showing in-stock, and at both Hasbro Pulse are saying that none of them should be in stock until January (although Amazon apparently shipped movie 1 Megatron already, and I'll hopefully have my review up early next week).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very true, and oft pointed out in the reviews of these things. I wonder if they work at the factories, know someone who does, or have some sort of agreement with Hasbro to get them early for review. It's good PR for Hasbro. I know LEGO gives advanced copies of sets to a number of the more high profile LEGO reviewers/bloggers, so I could see Hasbro doing the same.

What I can't understand is that months out from release, and Pulse is already showing sold out on a number of Earthrise figs. It just seems odd that they can't meet demand this far out from release. I procrastinated on getting Prime and a couple of the other deluxes, and when I finally made up my mind to get them, they were sold out.  I was taken aback, it's being their own shop. So, now I guess I'm at the savage mercy of Retail. I hate those odds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

What I can't understand is that months out from release, and Pulse is already showing sold out on a number of Earthrise figs. It just seems odd that they can't meet demand this far out from release. I procrastinated on getting Prime and a couple of the other deluxes, and when I finally made up my mind to get them, they were sold out.  I was taken aback, it's being their own shop. So, now I guess I'm at the savage mercy of Retail. I hate those odds.

I don't know why they do the things they do the way they do it, either, but I wasn't taking any chances, especially with Prime.  I preordered all the Earthrise figures the day they were announced (except Ironworks, whom I don't really care about but will probably end up buying anyway if I see him at retail).

But before we move on to Earthrise we have to finish Siege.  And since I'm not looking at picking any anymore repaints/remolds (sorry, Hot Shot, Crosshairs, and Nightbird) that just leaves me with this guy: Deluxe-class Spinister.

IMG_20191214_141230.jpg.7b94109936672164fd8638de9d8a081f.jpg

As a tall Deluxe, Spinister is about even with Ironhide and Ratchet and taller than the cars, but he's still a little short of a Voyager.  Which, to me, is too bad, since in the IDW comics Spinister was the one Scavenger that was noticeably bigger than the others.  And while Siege has been one of Hasbro's most cartoon-accurate lines to date Spinister is leaning heavily into the G1 toy.  This might be because I don't recall him appearing in the G1 cartoon, and the toy was never released in Japan let alone animated.  His head is very G1 toy (I'd have preferred a little more IDW), and although his chest sticks out a bit further he's got molded and painted details that replicate the stickers on the original toy.  His lower legs, which were a single solid piece that flipped over to become his cockpit, copy the G1 box art that where he was drawn with a separate cockpit on each shin.  His rotor bends to make a V-shape behind his back, like the G1 toy, and there's a notch on it so that when his back is pushed together it (mostly) stays in place.

I do have some notes, though.  If we're copying the toy, he's missing the wheels on the sides of his legs, and due to differences in how they transformed the G1 toy didn't have the tail sticking up behind his head.  Siege Spinister's torso is all pink, while the G1 toy had a two-tone pink and purple.  Speaking of purple, the color Hasbro used on Siege Spinister's arms is a little muted compared to the original.  I wonder if that's a deliberate choice, though, since Siege Spinister's only appearances in G1 fiction were the old, often badly-colored Marvel comics, where he was all pink from the waist to the neck, arms included.  Still, that wouldn't explain the bafflingly gray hands, which were black on the original.

IMG_20191214_142429.jpg.c66a3b62ad56b8887eb1d1f5e807e9b2.jpg

Spinister comes with two guns, with molds meant to evoke the gun modes of Spinister's G1 Targetmasters.  I'm personally not loving the fact that they're different colors, even though the G1 toys were as well.  However, the G1 toys were purple and black, not pink and blue.  Although they don't transform, Siege Spinister's guns do have pegs and pegholes on both sides, which gives you options for how you want to use them.  You can even combine them, which I believe was a feature of the G1 toy.

IMG_20191214_142557.jpg.26928a440b32bc42325685a15be39871.jpg

Spinister's head is on a ball joint with a little up/down tilt and nothing notable sideway.  A transformation hinge can move the flap his neck is on to give him some extra downward range.   His shoulders rotate and can extend laterally over 90 degrees.  His biceps and his wrists can swivel, and his double-jointed elbows combine for 180 degrees of bend.  His waist swivels.  His hips can go forward or backward a little over 90 degrees, and 90 degrees laterally.  His thighs can swivel, and his knees bend a little over 90 degrees on a single hinge.  His feet can tilt down and slightly up, and due to transformation his ankles can actually pivot 180 degrees (not that you'd use that much, and no, that's not a typo and I don't mean 90).

Spinister has 5mm peg holes on the outside of each shoulder, on the outside of each forearm, on the outside of each lower leg, and under each foot.  Technically, he has two on his back as well, but they're positioned right behind the rotors.  And again, there are pegs and peg holes on both sides of his guns, which means that even when you stick one into one of his 5mm ports you're adding another one, which I think extends his playability.

Oh, and as a reminder, if you picked up Singe from the current wave of Battle Masters and you bought the Phantom Strike Squadron pack (probably because you wanted Skywarp) then you have both of Spinster's Targetmasters.

IMG_20191214_143952.jpg.8ebf33d8a1415c37a1ea2c3baa24d1f9.jpg

Spinster has an interesting transformation, and the result is similar enough to the G1 toy that you know who it is but different enough that Hasbro doesn't have to pay Bell to license the Apache.  The rear is missing some purple and black where his arms and head were, and there's a splash of blue paint leading up to the rotor since the rotor on the G1 toy was connected to its blue waist.  The black fold-out wing pylons on the original are bigger and blue now, because they're actually his feet.  And instead of folding in, his arms are just lazily curled up along the sides, with his gray hands visible.

IMG_20191214_144029.jpg.730c4c7b3bf6de6aa83cb69e37a3548b.jpg

Due to his transformation he's not totally symmetrical.  His actual cockpit is formed by the leg with the landing gear on the calf, and it leaves a peg hole on just one side of the cockpit and a hinge on the other side.  His other leg folds up under the belly, which looks a little weird but it's not noticeably from most angles.  The entire copter rests on the fake cockpit belly and the nose landing gear.  There are no other wheels or gear.

Side note, I have the tabs that lock the feet flat, the tabs that connect the feet to his pelvis, the tabs that lock is arms to his sides, and the tabs that link his feet to his elbows all in place with no issue, but nothing I do can seem to get the tabs that are supposed to connect his fake cockpit leg to his tail to stay in place.  I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, but a quick check showed me that, at the very least, Baltmatrix is having the same issue.

IMG_20191214_144228.jpg.8e1e2f911f0df5559457a60540eb7689.jpg

Even though his feet are proportionally longer than the fold out wing pylons of the G1 toy, the 5mm peg holes underneath allow them to serve the same purpose.  I think mounting his guns there actually makes him look a bit more complete.  However, even though I get that this is more G1, I think I'd have preferred if both guns were the same mold and the same color.  The lack of symmetry is bugging me.

If you try to peg Singe and Shrute (née Hairsplitter) in those spots you won't have enough clearance for Spinster to rest on his belly.  You still have two peg holes on the sides where his arms are curled up, though, plus one on the left side of the cockpit and two behind the rotor.  I've found that if you use the ones on his robot shoulders to connect the Battle Masters you'll have just enough clearance for the rotor to spin.  And they do spin.  Neither canopy opens, though, and even if they did the space inside is occupied by his thighs.

IMG_20191214_144839.jpg.4baeb575e665e6f1656960e088d2e1a0.jpg

Something else I want to point out, although I don't know of it's an intentional but undocumented feature or a happy accident, is that in copter mode the painted panel on his waist winds up looking like a dashboard inside his now-hollow torso.  A Titanmaster or a Prime Master can't sit in the space exactly, but if you leave him folded in head/shape mode you can actually fit him in there and still get everything closed up.  Just be advised that to open him up to get to that space you have to undo the arm and foot on one side so you can bend the nose of the copter down enough to get the clearance to open the torso.

IMG_20191214_145334.jpg.5835225abb553278d2caa11c172a084f.jpg

At the end of the day, Spinister is a toy that borrows heavily from the G1 toy when I think a lot of fans would have preferred the IDW version, and still manages to make some odd or lazy color choices.  Minor aesthetic quibbles aside, he's a fun toy with good articulation and an interesting transformation.  I wish he could have been a Voyager, but that might actually be my biggest complaint.  He gets the recommend from me; Spinister is definitely a toy worth checking out.  Now if I could just get a Crackcase and Fulcrum...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...