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Apparently Hasbro's having a warehouse sale at the Carlisle Convention Center in Carlisle PA.  Anyone near there?  Rumor has it that they're selling Siege Omega Supreme for an insanely low $20!  I'm pretty caught up on Transformers, but I'm half tempted to go check it out anyway; it looks like it's a little under a three hour drive for me.

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Welp, with Siege rolling to a close it looks like the next wave of Studio Series figures is rolling out.  I haven't seen any of the figures Emgo's reviewed (Soundwave, Mixmaster, Scavenger, and Shockwave), nor the Arcee trio that Baltmatrix got, despite having them (and the '07 Camaro Bee) all preordered.  But I did get my hands on the new Voyager-class Megatron.

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Before anyone gets confused about the review subject usually being in the middle I'll say right away that the new figure is on the far left.  That's because I arranged all the movie Megatrons in the order of their films, and this new figure is based on his appearance in the first Bayverse Transformers film (and yes, I know that The Last Knight Megatron there isn't a Studio Series figure, but I think it's good enough to be).

Of the four figures above, it definitely looks the nicest as it's positively covered with silver paint.  His lower legs are a little chunky from some extra kibble, and likewise the outside of his forearms have some smooth surfaces that weren't on the CGI model, but for the most part I think they did a pretty good job of molding in the right details.  The one exception is the front of his torso.  If you look carefully, you'll see Hasbro actually reused that one piece from the Revenge of the Fallen Voyager-class figure.  It's probably not something that's going to bother too many people; the designs were similar, with most of the difference in the abs and crotch, and you almost have to have a picture of the CGI model handy to really key in on the difference.  The silver paint over dark plastic on the newer toy vs the copper-painted details nestled in bare gray plastic on the older figure help both figures look visually distinct.

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Megatron's sole accessory is his whip/mace thing.  It's made from a rubbery plastic.  I guess that's better than the no accessories that Revenge of the Fallen Megatron came with.

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Megatron's head is on a ball joint.  He can look up 90 degrees, but not much down before his chin bangs his chest.  Turning and tilting his head sideways is a little limited due to the angle of the ball peg.  His shoulders rotate and can extend 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows can bend 90 degrees.  His hands, which are a rubbery plastic, can't do more than fold inward for transformation.  Sadly, like all the Megatrons before him, he lacks a waist swivel.  His hips can go forward, backward, or laterally 90 degrees.  His thighs can swivel, and his knees can bend over 90 degrees.  Be advised, though, that the hinge for the knee is at the very back of his thick lower legs, so it's not the prettiest knee bend.  The front of his feet can tilt up and down a bit, and the entire foot has a hinge that gives him deep ankle pivots.

You can attach his weapon into either hand.  Just fold the hand in, as you would for transformation, and you'll see a slot just above his wrist hinge.  Plug the end of his weapon into the slot and you're good to go.  He cannot make a Fusion Cannon in robot mode, though.

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Speaking of transformation, while I've never been a huge fan of this alt mode this new figure feels refreshingly large for a Voyager, and has probably the least-complicated engineering of the four figures shown above.

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The next obvious question would probably be, "How movie-accurate is it?"  And that's a surprisingly tough question to answer, as all I could find was some concept art that may or may not match the final CGI mode, and some blurry stills directly from the movie.  But, if I assume that the MPM-08 version of Megatron is at least more accurate, then no, the new Studio Series figure isn't super accurate.  It's starts out alright, with the Fusion Cannon and his forearms sticking out of the front, although his arms seem a little short.  But instead of having his poorly-disguised head chilling behind the Fusion Cannon it goes right to his back.  This leaves his back further forward than the wings, instead of even.  Speaking of the wings, they don't have the winglets on the ends, nor those connecting struts to a panel on the rear.  Instead, his shins are folded over, leaving some bumps and a very visible gap on the back, with a vertical stabilizer that's much too large.

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From other angles, you can see that the Fusion Cannon, which should sit a little higher than his arms, is too low, and that overall he's kind of thick.  He's got no landing gear or struts, which is maybe accurate to the movie design, but in practice it means you're resting him on his chest and thighs, which could scratch the paint.

Generally speaking, I think I'm feeling more positively about this figure than negatively.  I think, of the three Studio Series Megatrons released so far, that this one looks the best what with all the silver paint.  And I think for a lot of fans, especially ones who aren't going to dig up pictures and concept art of the jet mode to obsessively compare it with, that the alt mode might be close enough.  Still, for a line that's exists to provide movie-accurate updates to older movie toys it's kind of disappointing that the alt mode isn't a bit more accurate.

Although, I can't argue that it's not far more movie accurate than the previous Voyager-class version of this Megatron.

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For poops and giggles, here's the Revenge of the Fallen versions:

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And the Dark of the Moon versions:

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All big improvements.  Maybe expecting even more accuracy, especially on designs as wonky as some of the Bayverse characters, simply isn't in the scope of a $30 mass-retail toy.

At the end of the day I think I recommend him.  As I noted, he looks a bit nicer due to the silver paint, and he's a bit less work to transform.  Plus, with this version of Megatron you can really say that you've got all the 2007 movie characters and just stop.  That said, if you already have the RotF or DotM versions of Megatron and you only want one version of Megatron to fill that niche you're not going to be missing out on a figure of the year or anything if you skip him.

(Me, mind you, will be trying to track down the Universal Studios-exclusive repaint of DotM Megs.)

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6 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

(Me, mind you, will be trying to track down the Universal Studios-exclusive repaint of DotM Megs.)

Gotta catch 'em all!

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On 12/16/2019 at 1:57 PM, mikeszekely said:

Apparently Hasbro's having a warehouse sale at the Carlisle Convention Center in Carlisle PA.  Anyone near there?  Rumor has it that they're selling Siege Omega Supreme for an insanely low $20!  I'm pretty caught up on Transformers, but I'm half tempted to go check it out anyway; it looks like it's a little under a three hour drive for me.

If you go, let me know so I can give you a small list!

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48 minutes ago, Sildani said:

If you go, let me know so I can give you a small list!

It was snowing yesterday, so I didn't go since between me and Carlisle is the Appalachians. And yesterday was the last day. :(

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It was a rough day today, it's late, and I got two packages today and I'm supposed to get another tomorrow.  So we'll do this one quickly tonight- Studio Series Voyager-class Mixmaster.

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That is one awkward-looking robot.  And short for a Voyager-class, at roughly half Megatron or about as tall to the head as Deluxe-class Lockdown.  That said, he is very broad.  Not helping my first impression is the fact that he's not even fully assembled in the box, with some of the truck cab on his back and the mixing drum quarters on his shoulders detached.  The truck cab I can kind of overlook; it's a bit a partsforming we'll talk about later.  But the drum quarters seem to be detached solely to fit Mixmaster in the box without packaging him sideways.

Of course, an awkward robot is forgivable if it's just copying what's on screen, so is Mixmaster accurate?  Kind of.  His shoulders, if you'd call them that, are a little too broad, but not by as much as you might think.  The gray cylinders sticking out of his torso are missing some gold, and I think they're meant to connect to his shoulders.  The cannisters behind his head should be silver, not black.  He's gota lot of molded details like the wheels in his hips that are basically correct, but left a bland, unpainted gray plastic.  Speaking of gray, a lot of places you see it, including his torso, legs, and the stripes on the drum should be much darker.  The overall result is a robot that would look a lot less dull and more accurate if they'd used a darker gray and painted some gold accents.

Unless you count the "some assembly required" bits, Mixmaster doesn't come with any accessories, so we'll get to articulation.

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Mixmaster's head is on a ball joint with a hinge at the base, so he can look up and down quite a bit, swivel his head, and tilt sideways a bit.  His shoulders have a hinge for transformation that acts as a butterfly joint where they connect to the torso.  At the other end of the black part is a swivel that rotates the shoulder, and a hinge for over 90 degrees of lateral movement.  His biceps can swivel, and his elbows can bend a little less than 90 degrees.  His wrists don't swivel, but they can bend up and down.  The drums on his forearms have hinges for transformation and they don't lock into place on his arm, but they don't have swivels either so he can't do the shield thing with them.  No waist swivel.  His his can go forward over 90 degrees, laterally 90 degrees, and backward less than 90 degrees with his backpack kind of interfering.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His feet can tilt up and down, but they don't have any pivot.  The canisters on his back can elevate a bit, but they can bend all the way around and he can't do cannon thing some of the older Mixmaster figures could.  All-in-all it seems like his joints should be adequate, but he's simply too ungainly to do much in the way of posing, and has no accessories to pose with.

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Mixmaster's transformation is easier than you might expect, and aside from the gray color being far too light he does pull off the truck mode fairly well.  I think he looks pretty good alongside fellow Mack truck Megatron, even if I rationally know Megatron should be bigger (or Mixmaster smaller).

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A lot of the details are molded in, like the Mack logo on the grill and doors, the the vents on sides, The smaller tire in front of the rear wheels, the step on the driver's side, and the shape of the smokestacks, although again more color was needed.  A lot of what you see black here should actually be silver.  There's some missing detail, though, like the ladder at the back that's been replaced with obvious Transformer bits.

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When you pull the front of the cab off you'll see a good chunk of Devastator's face.  Simply unfold the rest, spread the drum out on the sides, and curl his legs under him instead of sandwiching them between his arms and you've basically got his combined mode done.  The part of the cab you pulled off relocates to the back where it sticks up like it doesn't belong.  Perhaps attaching it will ultimately be optional, although you'd risk losing it.

Mixmaster's got the same problem that Rampage and Hightower did- they're crappy designs that don't translate well to $30 mass-retail toys that also have to combine.  On his own, I wouldn't really recommend him.  But, I'm sure that most people buying the Studio Series Constructicons aren't doing it for the individual guys, and we've still got three Constructicons to go before I can tell you if Devastator is any good or not.

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Anyone else preorder Transformers on Amazon?  I'd preordered the entire first wave of Earthrise figures, minus Ironworks, but a few days ago I got an email saying they canceled my order for Grapple, and today they canceled Starscream on me.  Not cool, Amazon.  Luckily both figures were still available to preorder on Hasbro Pulse.

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I'm surprised Pulse still has those figs. This far out from release and they're already sold out on most of the Earthrise figures.<_< I waited too long to order Prime, but I figured they'd keep taking orders at least until February. Guess not.  Just checked Amazon, and they didn't have Earthrise Prime at all. I can find deluxes at my local Wally, but voyagers are extremely sparse, and I've never seen a leader or larger there. Target's usually my go-to locally for the voyager and leader stuff. I can't recall seeing Siege Jetfire at all at any of my local Targets, so apparently they carry nothing larger than leader. Pulse has become my go-to for a lot of new figs, and some of the exclusives, so I was pretty surprised, and not just a little annoyed, that they were already sold out on most of the Earthrise stuff. That said I have Starscream and Grapple PO'd, so at least that's two less voyager figs I have to worry about trying to find in the wild.

Speaking of Pulse, I ordered Apeface from them, and he came today. Not really crazy about the way the back panel is supposed to tab his legs together to form the ape chest/plane fuselage. It's a finnicky and tenuous connection that leaves a bit to be desired. As you said in your review, Mike, he's really boxy, which doesn't serve either alt that well, but the ape mode is definitely the better of the two. It is what it is, I guess, and I'm glad they did an update; I just wish it was done better. I'm hoping Snapdragon isn't too far behind; he was always the better of those two, anyway, and if they do an update, I hope it gets more love than ole Apeface. 

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As an adult collector my collection has focused on three lines: 3rd party, unlicensed stuff, Studio Series, and whatever Hasbro decides to call the Generations line in a given year.  However, since the launch of Robots in Disguise (the second one, not the Western dub of Car Robots) there's been a concurrent line of Transformers figures, with different class names like "Warrior-class," aimed at kids too old for the Rescue Bots stuff but perhaps too young for older kids (or us adults).  And I've largely ignored it.  I mean, I watched several episodes of RiD, but I thought it was terrible.  The only figure I picked up was Warrior-class Grimlock because he was the only character I liked.  What I'd say that Grimlock was a little smaller but fairly similar in engineering to contemporary Deluxes, RiD was followed up with the more evergreen Transformers Cyberverse.  Cyberverse seems like something of a mixed bag.  I like the character designs a lot better, although the faces still seem overly cartoony.  The handful of episodes I've seen are better than RiD but they're still not as good as Prime or Animated.  And then there were the toys.  Most of them were extremely simplified, like the Scout-class that only partially transforms, or the One-Step Changers that transform in, well, one step.  The classes that were the closest in quality to what you might find in Generations were the Warrior-class and the Ultimate-class, which were roughly Deluxe-class and Leader-class in size and more complex than most of the other toys in the line, but still fairly simplified and often lacking in pretty basic articulation (for example, one Warrior-class Bumblebee doesn't have working knees).

Then something unusual happened.  Word got out that there'd be a new wave of Deluxe-class figures, under the slightly rebranded name Transformers Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures.  And it looked like, as actual Deluxe-class figures, they'd be more show-accurate and sport improved articulation.  Now here's the part where I confess that I actually like the idea of a G1-ish Bumblebee that's "grown up" from the VW minibot to a carbot-sized muscle car.  IDW pulled it off briefly and Hasbro even made a figure based on IDW Bee... but it wasn't very good, with the door wings actually part of his shoulders and a ton of car kibble hanging on his back.

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Meanwhile, we're yet to get any Siege Bumblebee.  The last Generations Bee we've got was the so-so Legends-class version.  So this is a meandering sort of way to say that, despite having no attachment to Cyberverse I was kind of curious about this upcoming Deluxe-class Bumblebee.

Well, I don't know when these new figures will be widely available at a Target near you, but on a tip from Youtuber Baltmatrix I was able to find the first wave of these new Cyberverse Deluxes at Walmart.com from a third party seller listed as the defunct Hasbro Toy Shop.  So... here he is, Transformers Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures Deluxe-class Bumblebee.

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Bee isn't a large figure.  Baltmatrix was suggesting that he's between a Deluxe-class and a Legends-class, but he was using Siege Ironhide for a comparison.  I think it's more fair to say that he's about the same size as the smaller Siege Deluxes like Prowl, Bluestreak, Mirage, Sideswipe, or Hound.  Based on what I can tell (as I don't own it) this is also roughly the same size as the previous Cyberverse Warrior-class Bumblebee, but it's far, far more cartoon-accurate.  he's still got some car panels with the tires on the sides of his legs that magically disappeared in the cartoon, but his arms aren't solid yellow, the car kibble on his shoulders is more accurate and set at shoulder height instead of mid-torso, there's no flaps of kibble behind his arms, he has car door wings instead of a hodgepodge of half-folded panels on his back, and he has actual feet.  I daresay this Deluxe-class is even an improvement over the Leader-sized Ultimate-class, which had his left arm replaced with two thirds of the car mode's front end.

Something I find to be extremely curious is if you look on his chest and on his right shin you'll see some little bumps.  Those are the same pegs that Siege figures have to attach the effect parts that come with Siege Battlemasters.

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, though.  While the sculpt and proportions are far better than any previous Cyberverse Bumblebee, he's missing a ton of painted detail.  His hands are missing the yellow on the backs, he's missing black on his knees, shins, and a little on his pelvis, plus some red on his crotch.  His feet are missing the black band and the red and blue lights on his toes.  These missing details make him look a little cheap and unfinished, despite the figure sporting the same $20 price tag as a Siege Deluxe (to be fair, I don't know if that's the actual retail price or if I paid a markup).

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Bee comes with three main accessories.  He's got a small black pistol, and the stinger he uses in the cartoon.  There's also a translucent blue rubbery blast effect.  You see, previous Warrior and Ultimate-class Cyberverse figures had some kind of gimmick.  Warrior-class Bee had a "Sting Shot" that caused its permanent stinger hand to spin.  The Ultimate-class had a "Sting Shot" as well, that caused the car kibble on its left hand to open and a blue blade to pop out.  Spoilers for the rest of the line, but it looks like these new Deluxe figures are replacing the gimmick with translucent blast effects.  The other accessory is the other gimmick that they're working into the line- a build-a-figure.  In this case, the figure will be Maccadam, the proprietor of Maccadam's Oil House, and Bee comes with the lower torso.

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Bee's head seems to be on a ball joint.  It swivels, and he has a small amount of upward and sideways tilt, but nothing really down.  His shoulders are kind of weird.  There bars on hinges in his torso for transformation.  Those hinges actually bend down and end in ball joints.  This gives him rotation and a very slight butterfly, but his shoulders are limited to only about 45 degrees of lateral motion.  His elbows are ball joints, which gives him 90 degrees of bend but also serves as his bicep swivel.  His wrists cans swivel.  His waist can also swivel.  His hips are ball joints that can go 90 degrees forward or backward but only about 75 degrees laterally.  His thighs can swivel, and his knees can bend just a little shy of 90 degrees.  His feet can't really bend up, but they bend down for transformation (if you don't mind breaking up the sculpt).  Most happily, they have dedicated pivots that can get up to 90 degrees.

He holds his pistol fine.  His stinger actually fits over his fist with a 5mm peg inside, and the blast effect fits over it for the "Sting Shot."

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If I spin him around, you can see that he's got storage for his weapons.  The pistol has little tabs that fit into slots on the back of his door wings.  His stinger has little pegs on it that can fit into a small peg hole on Bee's butt.  The only way to store the blast effect seems to be to leave it on the stinger.  You can also see that his back is relatively clean and kibble-free, but he's got quite a bit of Hasbro's cost-cutting hollow spots.

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Transforming Bee is a mostly uncomplicated affair.  The trickiest part is simply lining up the tabs in the front of the car that unfolds from his back with the parts of the front of the car that make up his shoulder pads.  Size-wise it's again pretty similar to a Siege car.

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Once again, I like the car mode and the overall shape and molding is cartoon-accurate, but it's lacking a lot of painted detail.  The grill, the red fog lights, a bit of silver between the black lines on the bumper, and the badge on the nose are all unpainted.  He's also missing some blue in front of the sideview mirrors and on the rims.  None of his tail lights are painted, and his rear is broken up by some unsightly gray hinges.  Again, it's an improvement over previous Cyberverse toys but it comes across as pretty cheap compared to a Siege figure.

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Bee does have storage for his accessories in this mode.  On the underside of the car you'll see some square gray tabs that you can plug his pistol into.  Meanwhile, the edges of the stinger fit into slots on the rear fenders.

I guess you could say that I have mixed feelings about this Deluxe-class Bee.  On one hand he's easily the best version of Cyberverse Bee produced to date.  The cartoon-accuracy and articulation are big improvements over both the old Warrior and Ultimate classes.  He's fun to transform and mess with, and he cleans up well in both modes.  And he's got ankle pivots!  As an adult collector with almost the entire Siege line, though, Cyberverse Deluxe-class Bee is simply not on par with a Siege Deluxe.  Bee's still got articulation issues, he's still got ball joints for elbows, shoulders, and hips instead of hinges and swivels.  He's lacking in paint, and he's got some unsightly hollow spots.  But both Siege and Cyberverse Deluxes (appear to) cost the same.  Presumably this is because you have blast effects and chunks of build-a-figure packed in, but I'd gladly have traded the BAF, the translucent bit, and even the pistol if it'd have bought me more paint.

And yet, despite the fact that I think you're objectively getting a higher-quality figure for the same price with Siege, this new Bumblebee is fun.  I dig the Cyberverse aesthetic.  And I have to admit that I'm finding myself really enjoying this figure.  So, sure, if you're into Cyberverse or just like this design I do like this figure enough to recommend checking it out.

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11 hours ago, sh9000 said:

MP Hound should be coming in soon from Amazon JP.

Reading through the thread over at TFW. I hope yours doesn’t break.

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14 hours ago, sh9000 said:

MP Hound should be coming in soon from Amazon JP.

I mean, I hope everyone who's getting him enjoys him, but no thank you.  Takara's MPs have gone from "must have" to "I see the appeal, but prefer a 3P option" to "garbage that sacrifices too much to make a robot that looks exactly like the cartoon (poorly drawn and all) from just the right angle so you don't see the whole alt mode folded up on up the back that you better not mess with too much because it'll break."  

Now, to be fair, Hound looks a lot better than Prime 3.0 or Bee 2.0.  But plenty of people already bought Maketoys Gundog or Fans Toys Willis, and I'm not seeing anything so incredible about MP Hound that's worth replacing those figures.

So yeah, if you're getting him, I hope he's great and that there's no QC issues or anything.  But hard pass for me.

...

Anyway, I may not be interested in the next official MP, but I love what HasTak's doing with this War for Cybertron trilogy.  And on that front, I've got some rumors for about the second wave of Earthrise.

Deluxes: Fast Track, Trailbreaker, Sunstreaker, and Runamuck

With Hoist in the first wave, Trailbreaker was pretty much a forgone conclusion.  It's nice that he's actually a regular release and not some Generations Select or store-exclusive while some more obscure character becomes the regular retail release.  Fast Track, if the name isn't immediately familiar, is the little six-wheeled robot that came with G1 Scorponok.  Given what we've got with Cog, Sixgun, and Brunt it's a safe bet that Fast Track will be a Weaponizer.  I'm all about new versions of these pack-in guys (I'd actually love a better Deluxe version of Scamper and some kind of transforming Slammer while we're at it).  As for Sunstreaker and Runamuck I'm kind of wondering if one or both are remolds of Wheeljack.  Well, here's hoping we get Runabout at some point, too.

Voyagers: Snapdragon and Quintesson

I know a lot of people, myself included, will be happy to the other Horrorcon to go with Apeface.  And if I'm not mistaken, I do believe that Snapdragon and Scorponok will complete the actual Headmasters from both the Western Season 4 and the Japanese Headmasters anime.  But Quintesson?  I mean, I'm cool having an official Quintesson toy.  I mean, technically we could ask "which one," but I think it's safe to presume it'll be the Quintesson judge.  But how do they justify the Voyager-class price point?  Even if they made it much bigger than a typical Voyager we're still talking about an extremely simple figure that shouldn't have a high parts count or many points of articulation.  Maybe it's actually a multipack, like the Studio Series release of the Arcee sisters, and it'll have the judge, the executioner, and an Alicon guard.  I'd be into that.

Leader Doubledealer

Doubledealer should be interesting, if he's actually going to be based off of the G1 toy instead of being a repaint of a not-so-good Blitzwing toy.  I think the question I have is if Hasbro's going to make him a Headmaster (excuse me, Titan Master) like they did with Ginrai, Darkwing, and Dreadwind, because it seems kind of late to decide to do actual Powermasters.

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I could just stop at Bumblebee, but then I'd have a random torso.  So I guess I've gotta buy the rest.  Here's Cyberverse Adventures Deluxe-class Optimus Prime.

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Prime is the same size as Bumblebee.  You're gut's probably telling you that this figures aren't in scale, then.  Well, I finished watching the first season of Cyberverse now, and I'd have to say that you're technically correct, but not by as much as you'd think.  Transformers in Cyberverse seem much closer in size to each other than in G1, and Prime's really only around a head taller than Bee in it.

I think Prime actually looks a little better than Bee, too, as he's not missing as many paint details.  Hasbro got the black on his top of his chest, the vents on his shoulders, and his toes.  They got the blue and red lights on his toes.  He's really just missing some yellow on molded triangles on his arms and crotch, yellow on the dots on his crotch, and blue on the bottom of his crotch.  Oh, and like Bee he's just got gray plastic hands, and I'm pretty sure that they're supposed to be blue on the back and his fingers should be the same gunmetal color as his shins.  If you want to get technical, in the cartoon he has a darker face plate, too, but I actually prefer the silver.

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Prime comes with similar accessories as Bumblebee.  You've got a stocky little ion rifle, two translucent blue effect parts, and half a left arm.

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Prime's head is on a ball joint.  He can't really look down or tilt his head sideways, but he can look almost straight up and rotation isn't a problem.  His shoulders are also ball joints that give him rotation and 90 degrees of lateral movement.  Additionally, a transformation hinge gives him a backwards butterfly joint.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  His wrists are actually ball joints, so they swivel but they can also bend inward.  his waist swivels.  His hips are ball joints that can go almost 90 degrees backward but only about 45 degrees forward or backward.  His thighs swivel just above his knees, which bend 90 degrees.  His feet can tilt down, but not up, and his ankles can pivot about 45 degrees.  So, like Bee, the articulation could be a bit better, but it's a huge improvement over previous Cyberverse figures.  An extra complaint here is that his joints are a little loose.  Maybe not as bad as some older Generations figures, but definitely not as tight as most Siege figures.

Prime's blast effect does fit into the barrel of his rifle.  And when he's not using the rifle, it can plug into a peg hole on his back, which features unpainted by molded faux tires where he has them in the cartoon.  A pity, though, as we're also seeing plenty of hollowness.

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While you can plug the effect part into Prime's rifle, if you open up his chest you'll see a non-removable silver-painted Matrix with a blue peg hole in the middle.  The effect part can plug into that hole, for what the box calls his "Matrix Mega Shot."

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Prime's transformation has some of the new stuff we've come to expect from transforming Primes, like a turn at the waist so his shins are facing up on the back, but it's largely that same satisfying bend the legs and tuck in the arms you've been doing since the G1 toy.  It's refreshingly simple and fun.  It's just shame the resulting truck is so small.

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It's hard for me to say exactly how accurate Prime's truck mode is, because Prime only appears in Bumblebee's memories until the last episode of the first season.  And in those scenes, Prime's mostly in robot mode.  The big bumper is accurate, but I think it's missing painted details like the triangle and lights.  I also think he's missing paint on his hubcaps.  The silver stripe on the side seems to be accurate, but I think it might be better if it were thinner and higher.  And, at least in the one episode I remember him being in truck mode, he didn't have a trailer and the rear did have that slope.  So there you go.

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There's a peg hole between Prime's feet.  The rifle doesn't really work there, but the blast effect can be plugged in there like some kind of rocket exhaust.  And there are little slots near Prime's ankles that a tab on butt of the rifle can fit into, at just the right angle for shooting at pursuing Seekers.  However, the instructions will tell you that the rifle is properly stored in alt mode by putting that tab into the notch on the roof of the cab, and the handle into a peg hole on the back of the cab, so the barrel points down between Prime's legs.

I really don't have anything to end on that I didn't already say when I reviewed Bumblebee.  I paid $20 for this, same price as a Siege Deluxe, but the loose joints, excessive ball joints, and missing paint hearkens back to pre-Siege Hasbro and makes it feel like it should be cheaper.  But compared to previous Cyberverse figures Deluxe-class Prime is a huge improvement and an all-around fun figure that's the best representation of Prime from a show that's actually turned out to be pretty good.  Ultimately, there are worse ways to blow $20, and if you're a fan of Cyberverse or just curious about the mold then he's worth checking out.

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MP-47 certainly won't supersede "Willis" on my Masterpiece shelf, but I'd happily display it in vehicle mode alongside FansToys' figure in robot mode.

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

However, the instructions will tell you that the rifle is properly stored in alt mode by putting that tab into the notch on the roof of the cab, and the handle into a peg hole on the back of the cab, so the barrel points down between Prime's legs.

Sounds like a good way to accidentally remove his "truck nutz".

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7 hours ago, tekering said:

MP-47 certainly won't supersede "Willis" on my Masterpiece shelf, but I'd happily display it in vehicle mode alongside FansToys' figure in robot mode.

He won’t replace hin on my shelf either. But I‘m looking forward having a Detritus from the MP mold. ^_^

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MP-47 Hound yt-reviews:

Paik4Life (english):

Wotafa (japanese):

 

 

Edited by treatment
updated with wotafa part2 (bot-to-jeep)

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to be honest the floating head neck thing doesn't look too bad.  its got a more toon presence than willis...not sure if that is a positive thing for me but it is for some people.  its got a more reasonable scaled alt mode than willis, and a touch better overall in vehicle mode.  i'm not going to replace willis because willis pretty damn good still and $120 could better be spent elsewhere in this hobby (IMO), but if we get a redeco as a toy hound or detritus (love g1 repaints) I may pick it up.  i don't feel like i'm missing much i guess is the whole thing here. haha. 

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Edited

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sqidd

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On 12/30/2019 at 11:12 AM, Mechapilot77 said:

to be honest the floating head neck thing doesn't look too bad.  its got a more toon presence than willis...not sure if that is a positive thing for me but it is for some people.  its got a more reasonable scaled alt mode than willis, and a touch better overall in vehicle mode.  i'm not going to replace willis because willis pretty damn good still and $120 could better be spent elsewhere in this hobby (IMO), but if we get a redeco as a toy hound or detritus (love g1 repaints) I may pick it up.  i don't feel like i'm missing much i guess is the whole thing here. haha. 

My understanding for that bit of debatable engineering is due to Jeep's request that the hood remain intact. I still don't see why a hinged panel that folds under and allows the head to poke through wouldn't have been a good compromise, but whatever. But yeah, given the necessity for a floating linkage, it's not that bad, although it could have been a little better if it had at least tabbed into the hood, just to anchor it. The folding shoulder weapon and tires are both clever bits of engineering. I like the fact that pretty much everything that's indicative of the G1 character is completely inclusive, so kudos to Takara for some neat engineering. I wish they'd bring some of that mindset to Generations- at this point, integrated weapon storage in alt mode should be the standard. Having these big guns hanging off the cars at all sorts of odd external areas just looks terrible.

I've watched at least two reviews, and in neither did anyone show whether the arms can clear the front fenders when posed straight ahead and rotated around at the shoulder. That was one of the main deciding factors for me when I chose Gundog over Willis (plus I liked the chunkier, more G1 toyish aesthetic). At least MP Hound has a nice butterfly to overcome any hindrance those fenders may pose, although it looks a bit awkward, and kinda breaks the sculpt a bit, to my eyes anyway.

MP Hound looks alright, but I think I'll stick with my Gundog for now.

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Originally I was going to post once a day but I didn't want to be in the middle of a ton of MP Hound discussion.  But Hound doesn't seem to be generating much buzz, at least not here, and I've got a few more Studio Series figures on the way, so I might as well wrap these up.  This guy is Cyberverse Adventures Deluxe-class Megatron.

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Nothing new to add about the size.  Deluxe-class Megatron is the same size as the other Cyberverse Deluxes, and thus smaller than Siege Megatron.

But you know what?  I think I kind of like the aesthetic of Cyberverse Megatron better.  He's got plenty of G1 cues- he's mostly gray, with a darker gunmetal color on his shins, some tech detail on his abdomen surrounded by red highlights, a rectangular slab of chest, his bucket helmet, of his fusion cannon.  But the stylized design and proportions give him an almost athletic look that I really dig.

It's a bit of a running theme with this line, but he is missing some paint details.  In the cartoon he has red biceps, black on the front of his pelvis with two red spots, and some additional red and gray details on his fusion cannon.  But, perhaps due to the paint he does have turning up in the middle of his torso, he doesn't seem as bland as Bee and Prime.

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Megatron comes with his fusion cannon (of course), two little missile launchers with some red and black paint, two blast effect parts, and Maccadam's chest.

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Megatron's head is on a ball joint.  He can't really look up, but he can look down a bit (which seems more appropriate for Megatron) in addition to some sideways tilt and swivel.  His shoulders are ball joints that allow for rotation and 90 degrees of lateral extension.  His elbow is also a ball joint, doubling as a bicep swivel and a slightly over 90 degrees of elbow bend.  His wrist and waist can swivel.  His hips are ball joints that can go almost 90 degrees back or forward, and about 75 degrees laterally.  His thighs swivel, and his knees can bend 90 degrees.  His feet can tilt down a bit and up ever so slightly, and his ankles can pivot a little over 45 degrees.  I think that's enough range to get some decent poses, but the hips, shoulders, and knees are a little too loose.

Megatron's fusion cannon is properly pegged into his forearm, and the missile launchers go into his legs if you're after cartoon accuracy.

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The fusion cannon has two additional pegs on the sides, angled slightly forward.  This is so he can hold the cannon in a two-handed grip to do his "fusion mega shot."  Since all the pegs and holes are 5mm you would also have him hold the fusion cannon like a gun, or plug the missile launchers into his arms.  As a certain Youtube personality likes to say, "options are good."

Of course, with all of his weapons normally attached to his body he doesn't really have the storage that Bee and Prime do.  That said, there is a 3mm peg on his backpack you can store his blast effect on.

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Megatron folds up into a little tank, which is what Megatrons do since they can't turn into guns anymore.  What not difficult at all compared to a lot of the 3P figures I collect I found Megatron's transformation to be the one I have to think about the most of the Cyberverse Deluxes.

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I'm honestly not sure how cartoon-accurate this tank mode is.  I've only watched the first season, since it's available on Netflix, and I don't recall seeing Megatron turn into a tank in it.  I can say that the tank mode has its flaws.  It's necessary to remove the fusion cannon to transform him, and while the launchers can stay on his legs it seems you're meant to remove them and place them on the sides of the turret, which doesn't rotate.  If you're looking from the front there's a view of his thighs and crotch, and if you're looking at him from the back you're going to see his hollow forearms and his fists trying to cover his head.

From most angles, though, I really dig this tank.  The angles seems appropriate for a sci-fi tank, and the gunmetal on light gray gives it an almost Star Wars Imperial vibe.

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The fusion cannon forms the barrel of the tank, but since it's just a 5mm peg into a hole the barrel can't raise or lower.  Combined with the the fixed turret it doesn't make for the most articulated tank.  But who knows, maybe space tanks don't have rotating turrets or barrels that can be aimed.  You can still use the blast effect to make the tank look like it's firing, or put it on the storage peg for a rocket-propelled tank.

And with that, I once again don't really have anything else to say that hasn't been said before.  Loose joints, excessive ball joints, and a lack of paint again make this feel a little cheap compared to a Siege Deluxe, but it's also a fun figure that's currently the best representation of Cyberverse Megatron on the market.  So pass if you're not interested in Cyberverse, but if you are it might be worth checking out.

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+1 for preferring the aesthetic, both bot and alt, of Cyberverse Megs over the Siege version. Kinda wish they'd done the same tank, only upscaled and with better engineering for his Siege Cybertronian tank mode, as it has a little bit of a Tron vibe to it (and, yeah, Star Wars, too, with that paint scheme). Honestly, they made Siege Megs' tank mode so close to an Earth mode that I'm wondering if there's even going to be an Earthrise mold. It'd be ironic if there was, and it turned out to look like the Cyberverse version.:wacko:

I'm still enamored of the Robots in Disguise warrior class Megatronus  figure. While not the most complex toy, I dig the minimalist sci-fi tank mode and his bot mode.  I wouldn't have minded a voyager scaled version with improved engineering for Siege.

So, I saw a list of upcoming Earthrise figs and was pleased to see Snapdragon among the names. I hope it gets more love from the design team than Apeface.

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So, you'll recall that I'd bought the Cyberverse Deluxes by way of the defunct (or so we thought?) Hasbro Toy Shop as a third-party seller on Walmart.com.  So I'm saying that this is the last one that was available, but I don't know if that's it for the first wave or if these four just got out early.  But anyway, here's Deluxe-class Shockwave.

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Shockwave came a little later than the other three, and I kind of forgot that I'd been shooting these guys with their Siege counterparts... but I don't think it's really necessary.  Cyberverse Shockwave is the same size as the other Cyberverse Deluxes, which is fairly in-keeping with the Cyberverse cartoon.  We don't really need Siege Shockwave hanging around for me to point out that Siege is bigger, right?

Aesthetically, Cyberverse Shockwave is the most G1 of a very G1-inspired line.  I mean, ditch the little secondary eye on the top of his head, loose the purple glow lines, and swap out the Cyberverse proportions for more traditional shapes and he really is G1 Shockwave.  He's got the protruding, hexagonal chest the gun arm, the backpack, and the hose connecting them.  He's got the ears, the thinner thighs, the vent under his chest, the segmented abs, and the lumps of feet.  If Siege hadn't come alone this would probably be a better CHUG Shockwave than the Combiner Wars Legends-class or the old Fall of Cybertron Deluxe.

I'm pleased to say that of the Cyberverse Deluxes released so far Shockwave is probably the least in need of paint.  Hasbro did a pretty good job painting all the light purple glow lines and the silver vent in his chest.  They did miss a spot on his belt, though, and where he'd have the purple glow on his feet he just has holes cut into the plastic.  His gun arm has the purple glow lines, but the details are different in the cartoon, and the barrel is lacking some of the molded shape.  His face is expressionless, which I (as a fan of the old Marvel G1 Shockwave) like, but that does mean he's missing the eyelid he has in the Cyberverse cartoon.  Finally, the hose that runs from his back to his gun arm is translucent pink instead of gray or silver, and it runs into the back of his arm instead of the front.

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That last bit is actually fixable, though.  The hose is tabbed in, and you can simply pull it out, then push the tab into the 5mm port on the front of his forearm.

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Actually, the other end of the hose can be detached from his backpack.  And the gun forearm actually fits over his actual arm, with a 5mm peg that goes into a normal left hand.

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Aside from his gun arm, Shockwave comes with a rifle, blast effect parts, and Maccadam's left leg.  So it's pretty irritating if this is it for the first wave, and we have to wait who-knows-how-long for a second wave to complete Maccadam.  I mean, the parts that came with Bee, Megatron, and Shockwave at least fit together, but without any biceps the forearm that came with Prime is just begging to be lost.

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Anyway, I suspect that Shockwave's head is probably on a ball joint, but the design is such that his head can only swivel.  No tilt.  His shoulders are ball joints that rotate and are cut to allow 90 degrees of lateral extension.  His biceps swivel, and for a change his elbows are hinges instead of ball joints and they can bend 90 degrees.  His wrists can swivel, as can his waist.  His hips are universal joints instead of ball joints, and they can move 90 degrees forward, backward, or laterally.  His thighs swivel just above his knees, which are hinges that bend around 120 degrees.  His feet can tilt slightly up, an ok amount down, and pivot around 45 degrees.  Not for nothing, the hardware for the joints is better and tighter than the ball joints on the other three, and he winds up with better articulation.

He can hold the rifle, and the blast can attach to the end of the barrel.  The instructions indicate that the blast effect is really meant for his gun arm, though, so he can do his "Shock Blast."

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Alternatively, Shockwave's eye happens to be the same size as the little pegs the blast effects plug into.  So it could also be used as an eye beam.  Meanwhile, Shockwave's rifle can plug into a hole on his backpack for storage.

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I don't recall seeing Shockwave's alt mode in the first season of Cyberverse, although this is presumably accurate based on the fact that this is what previous Cyberverse Shockwave toys have turned into.  He also has little drones that kind of look like this.  I have kind of mixed feelings about his alt mode.  The transformation is super basic, as you're basically spinning his arms and waist 180 degrees then propping him up on all fours with his chest pulled up over his head, his backpack flipped down, and his gun arm plugged into the backpack.  On the other hand, you just know that they weren't going to have Shockwave turn into a "spaceship" that's even remotely similar to the G1 gun like Siege did.  As phoned-in as this walking tank mode is I can at least say that it doesn't have any bits or gimmicks that spoil the G1-but-Cyberverse aesthetic of the robot mode.

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The tank legs have some articulation, since they're using the robot's hips, shoulders, knees, and elbows.  In theory, the turret can turn, but in practice the hose is pretty stiff and tends to pull at the cannon.  The rifle can be plugged into the side of backpack, where it stores in robot mode, or into the 5mm port on the gun arm.  For this mode, I prefer to put the hose back into the tab on the underside of the gun arm, as it gets in the way more if you leave it plugged into the 5mm port on top.  Since the tank's barrel is Shockwave's gun hand it can, of course, still pose with the blast effects.

Shockwave was the figure I was the least interested in.  I wanted Bee because I like Bee as a full-sized carbot, and thought about using him as a Siege Bee.  I decided to get Prime and Megatron because I almost always get Prime and Megatron (especially when Megatron looks as good as he does in Cyberverse).  But I could have stopped there.  The decision to get Shockwave was less because I'm loving this line or loving the show and more because I started wanting to finish building Maccadam*.

I'm actually really glad that I did pick up Shockwave, though.  Lazy alt mode aside, he's got the best joints, best articulation, and he's missing the least paint.  His robot mode is a pretty awesome Shockwave.  Objectively, Shockwave might be the best of the four Cyberverse Deluxes- at the very least, he's the only one not making me say "he feels kind of cheap compared to the Siege Deluxes."  And, yeah, I did finish the first season, Shockwave turned out to be a major villain, so there's that.  So whether you're a Shockwave fan or a Cyberverse fan, this one's worth picking up.

*About that... as I said, the others aren't available yet, and I don't know if they're still part of the first wave or if they're considered the second wave of Cyberverse Deluxes, but we do know that the missing pieces will come with Grimlock, Hot Rod, Arcee, and Thunderhowl.  Grimlock I totally get, but the other three seem like odd choices.  I mean, maybe they have bigger roles in the second season, but in the first season the only Autobots outside of Bee's flashbacks until close to the end are Bee and Windblade, so where's my Deluxe Windblade (that would hopefully be way better than the Titans Return or Thrilling 30 ones)?  Likewise, I've never even heard of Thunderhowl.  The (presumed) Decepticon doesn't even have a page at the TFWiki.  Why not Slipstream, one of the first seasons main villains?  Why not Starscream, who was set up as a major future baddie, or Soundwave, who had that awesome dance scene in the first season (and seems to be a bigger villain in season 2)?

I guess I have to hope that there will be future waves of Deluxe-class Cyberverse figures, and that they're at least as good as these four.  I won't complain if they trade the build-a-figure gimmick for more paint in the future, though.

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Some wholesaler leaks are showing Studio Series Voyagers Blitzwing from the Bumblebee movie, and Skipjack from Revenge of the Fallen. "Who's Skipjack?" you're probably asking.  Apparently he's Rampage, but yellow.  It's been suggested that the bulldozer that makes Devastator's leg is supposed to be yellow, and therefore Skipjack.  Rampage wasn't the best of toys, though, so I'll probably stick with red.

In Earthrise news, apparently we're getting a Voyager Megatron.  We don't know if it's a new mold with a more Earthican tank, or if it'll be some retool/repaint of Siege Megatron.

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Well, I do believe I'll follow up my Shockwave review with another Shockwave review.  This time, though, it's Studio Series Leader-class Shockwave.

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It's been something of a trend in recent years for Hasbro to stuff what's essentially a Voyager-class toy with some extra paint or some extra accessories into a bigger box and call it a Leader-class.  While Shockwave is guilty of that to some degree (more on that in a bit), I don't think he's the worst example of it.  I mean, from head to toe he's bigger than the Dark of the Moon Voyager-class.  And his gun arm is gigantic compared to the older toy's.

And he's definitely looking a lot better than the older toy.  The colors, the proportions, and the molded details are far more movie-accurate.  Honestly, this is the part of the review where I usually nitpick minute inaccuracies, but there's not much to comment on.  The only things I can really point out is that his backpack sits a little too high on his back, and the molded details on his hips are wrong (because he's actually reusing the hips from Revenge of the Fallen Megatron).  Combine that with the fact that Hasbro actually molded him in dark gray plastic, and all the shiny silver and purple you see on him looks like it was dry-brushed on, and Shockwave might be one of the best-looking figures to come out of the Studio Series line.

Hasbro was definitely worried about safety on Shockwave, though.  His left hand, the spikes on top of his feet, and the hose connecting his gun arm to his back are all rubbery plastic.

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But, just in case you weren't sure if he warranted Leader-class money, Hasbro threw in a few goodies.  You've got his arm blade, which is made of more of that rubbery black plastic with some of that dry-brush effect on it.  You've got a NEST paratrooper, with no articulation and who's too heavy for the parachute to actually slow. and an extremely tiny Wheelie and Brains.  Good luck not losing them!

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Shockwave's head is on a ball joint, and due to his transformation he can look straight up as well as tilt his head sideways a bit and rotate it.  For reasons that don't seem to have anything to do with his transformation, that ball peg is hinged at the base, and it's connected to a second hinged panel.  That allows him to look straight down, too.  His shoulders rotate, and can extend laterally 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  His left hand has a hinge in the wrist, so it can bend inward a little, but not swivel.  His gun arm has a little hinged thumb that can wiggle.  He doesn't have any waist swivel.  His hips can move forward and backward over 90 degrees, and 90 degrees laterally.  His thighs have swivels.  His knees bend a little over 90 degrees.  His feet can tilt up and down, and his ankles can pivot nearly 90 degrees.

Unlike the older Voyager toy this Shockwave's gun arm is not removable.  You can remove the hose, but the connection at the arm is extremely tight.  It's not necessary for his transformation, so I don't recommend it.  As for the arm blade, officially it goes on the back of his left arm.  That being said, he does have a second 5mm port on the side of forearm, and on his gun arm a little behind where the hose is plugged in.  Plus, he's got a 5mm peg grip carved into his left hand.

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And if we spin him around, we see he's pretty movie-accurate even from behind.  The trio of thrusters on his back have hinges, so the two upper ones can aim left and right while the lower one can aim up and down.  An eagle-eyed observer might also notice that the tank treads in his calves are borrowed from Revenge of the Fallen Megatron's toes.

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Shockwave turns into... a tank, I guess?  I really can't say if it's accurate or not, because Shockwave didn't transform in the movie.  He didn't transform in the PS3/Xbox 360 game.  And despite an hour of Googling, I can't even find any concept art of Shockwave's alt mode.  What I can say is that the Studio Series toy looks like a jumbled mess.  The older Voyager-class toy looks like a more coherent vehicle.  And, not that it necessary counts for anything, both the Voyager and the Cyberverse Shockwave toys from the older Dark of the Moon line were similarly longer with the little wheels in front, so SS Shockwave is a departure from previous movie Shockwave toys.

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It's not all bad, though.  I mean, both toys basically have his arms on top, so one side is a gun and the other is a big blade.  I like that SS Shockwave has his toe spikes up front, and that he's sporting a visible head alá Megatron.  His backpack makes for thrusters on the rear.  And he does have little wheels he can roll on.

And there you have it, folks.  Much like his Cyberverse counterpart Studio Series Shockwave is an excellent robot with a mediocre alt-mode that seems designed around messing with that robot mode as little as possible.  I actually like him a lot.  I'm not so keen on his packed-in extras, and I'm sure that (despite being significantly larger than the Siege Leader-class Shockwave or the older Voyager-class DotM Shockwave) that some people are going to balk at his Leader-class price tag.  Value is subjective, so I'll leave it to you to decide if you think he's worth it or not.  All I can say is that I think he's one of the better figures released under the Studio Series banner, so I'm giving him a recommend.

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Posted (edited)

More Earthrise leaks... now I'm hearing Deluxes for Smokescreen, Airwave, Arcee, and Alicon.  If they're all true, and none of them are Generations Selects or store exclusives, every figure for 2020 must have been leaked by now.  And between you and me, I kind of hope Smokescreen is wrong.  I mean, yeah, Siege Smokescreen was a Generations Select figure, but I'm not really interested in re-buying a ton of Siege figures already when there are plenty of other characters that could use an update more.

But anyway, if we can go back to Studio Series for a minute, here's one that's sure to generate some buzz: Leader-class Scavenger.

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While a lot of Leader-class figures in both the Siege and Studio Series lines have been glorified Voyagers with some extra accessories, Scavenger is clearly a big figure.  As big as he is, though, he looks a little bland.  There's not a ton of paint on him, and what paint there is seems sloppily sprayed on his arms.  His main body has about the right shape, and his head's not too bad.  His arms are missing a lot of gray, all of the lettering, and weirdly the vehicle bits that should cover his shoulders are all folded up flat.

Fun fact, Demolisher is the red excavator that shows up at the end of Revenge of the Fallen.  Although he shares the same design, he is not the white excavator that Prime brutally murders in Shanghai at the beginning of the film.  That one is Demolisher.  With rumors that Rampage is going to get a yellow repaint, I wonder if we'll see this figure repainted as Demolisher?

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Scavenger doesn't come with any accessories, so we'll skip to articulation.

His head is on a ball joint with a hinge at the base, and so he can look up plenty, but not really down.  His head can also swivel on the ball, but that doesn't allow him to look left and right so much as it just turns his face upside down.  The shoulders are soft ratchets for rotation, with a stronger ratchet that allows his arms to move a bit under 90 degrees laterally. His biceps swivel.  There's also a ratcheted swivel for transformation you might find useful.  His elbows are double-jointed and allow him to curl his arms almost the whole way up, and they can even bend backward.  His wrists don't swivel, but there is a hinge that bends them up and down.  Also, his pinky fingers are hinged so they can spread in and out.  You could say that he has a waist swivel, I suppose, although the swivel is where the struts on his lower wheel connect to his body, and it's limited by the fact that both connection points have to turn together.

The bottom wheel does rotate, but there's nothing on it that stops it from rotating or balances him on it.  So however you pose him you're going to need him touching the ground with at least one arm just to keep him standing.

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Scavenger's transformation isn't as complicated as you might expect.  The biggest difficulty comes from rotating the struts connected to the upper wheel.  They need to move together, but they tend to pull other parts with them that you don't want to rotate.  The resulting excavator is suitably large and chunky.  It can roll, and the shovel has four hinges for some digging poses.

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I noticed that a lot of the promotional photos look a lot like the picture on the above left, with the shovel close to the vehicle.  There's a reason for that.  Move that shovel out of the way and you'll see basically the whole upper wheel stuffed in there.  And if you spin him around and look from the top or the back, you'll see more of that wheel and some poorly-concealed kibble.  Ultimately, the alt mode is a shovel and some side panels that look like an excavator surrounding a big ball of kibble set on some tracks.  Frankly, I think the old Voyager-class Demolisher pulled off this alt mode better, but to be totally fair that figure didn't have a combined mode.

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Speaking of combined mode, this is it.  Scavenger forms the shoulders and upper torso of Devastator.  On his own, it's not much to look at.  But you can see little bars that Mixmaster clips onto (marked in green) and slots where the arms connect (marked in blue).

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We're still missing two Constructicons before we're done, and one of them (Overload) forms the lower torso and thighs, so we can't connect the legs yet.  But we do have enough to attach the head and left arm (Scrapper, the last one, is the right arm).  It's enough that we're starting to see where this set is going, though, and enough that I can estimate that the finished Devastator will be taller than the bulk of the Combiner Wars gestalts, but shorter than Titan Devy or Predaking.

I really don't know how many of the issues I have with Scavenger are due to sacrifices made for the combined mode, and how much is just due to him being a goofy design in the first place.  But in what's becoming something of a theme for the Studio Series Constructicons Scavenger isn't a very good figure on his own.  As a transforming toy of a robot that turns into an excavator I wouldn't recommend him.  But I'm sure most of us are in it for the combined mode, and if you want a Studio Series Devastator you're stuck buying a Studio Series Scavenger.

 

Edited by mikeszekely

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Okay, I'll admit I have less than no interest in the Bayverse Constructicons, but your review piqued my curiosity...

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...and I'm shocked to learn that those massive tires -- Scavenger/Demolisher's defining feature -- having nothing to do with their alt. mode?  :shok:

What initially struck me as a lazy, half-assed robot mode design is now virtually incomprehensible.  :blink:

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, tekering said:

...and I'm shocked to learn that those massive tires -- Scavenger/Demolisher's defining feature -- having nothing to do with their alt. mode?  :shok:

This is mostly true, for the Studio Series version.  The upper wheel is just stuck in the middle.  The tracks are actually part of the lower wheel, which is mostly lying flat on the underside of the vehicle.

On the old Voyager-class toy, though, one strut on each wheel detaches and folds up, but the wheels are permanently connected to the other strut.  Both wheels rotate to the outside of the strut, the upper strut and wheel swings around so both are on the bottom, then the wheels stretch to form the tracks.  The look isn't as screen-accurate, since the wheels lack whatever movie magic made them solid on screen, but it does make the design make a lot more sense.

Edited by mikeszekely

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It's kind of funny how, despite being a major character in the current IDW ongoing, there hasn't been a Bumblebee released or even announced in the War for Cybertron trilogy.  Meanwhile, Bumblebee makes up something like 10% of all the Studio Series releases.  Including this new Deluxe-class Bumblebee.

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The packaging implies that this Bee is from the first movie.  In my mind he's RotF Bee to keep him straight with the '70s Camaro Bee (although there are some minor differences).  As possibly the most iconic of Bee's movie designs, this was a figure I was really looking forward to, and I was pleasantly surprised that it's not a remold with the same engineering as the first Studio Series Bee and the sometimes Studio Series Age of Extinction Bee.  He's still got a ton of car folded up onto his back, sure, and no, he's not as screen-accurate as the MPM Bee or anything like that, but I do think the molded detail has improved a bit over previous Deluxe-sized Bees.  They're unpainted and just molded into his collar and don't move, but he's even got those little neck antenna.

I do have a pretty big complaint, though.  They gave Bee is battle-masked face.  Unlike the Studio Series Bumblebee Bee, it's not removable.  If it had his normal face this could have been the definitive SS Bee, but as it stands I'm waiting to see if Hasbro doesn't do an actual RotF Bee with the normal head and modified stripes.  I mean, we're getting Jeep Bee from Bumblebee, Hasbro might as well give us all the Bees.  Which after Jeep Bee and RotF Bee leaves the Dark of the Moon Bee (mostly this, but with different stripes, a spoiler, and ground effects on the Camaro, '60s Camaro Bee (which would actually be pretty cool), and then Age of Extinction Bee, I think.

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This SS Bee's sole accessory is his arm blaster.  It looks a little drab, IMHO.

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Bee's head is on a ball joint.  He can swivel and look up and down a little, but doesn't seem to have any sideways tilt.  His shoulders are ball joints and can rotate, although they get caught up on his wings, as well as extend laterally 90 degrees.  Speaking of his wings, while they look like the original SS Bee and AoE Bee's wings only the part with the door can fold back.  The part with the wheels is as far back as it goes, so his wings can't really get out of the way of his shoulders.  He doesn't have a dedicated bicep swivel, but his elbow is yet another ball joint so it can swivel there and bend 90 degrees.  No wrist articulation.  He does have a waist swivel, though.  His hips are on ball joints that can go forward and backward 90 degrees but laterally only about 60 degrees.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His foot can bend down.  And although the engineering of Bee's legs is similar to the older SS figure it's kind of backward, so everything bends the opposite way.  As a result this Bee actually has ankle pivots.

Another change over the earlier SS Bees is that you don't have to remove his right forearm to attach his blaster.  The underside is hollowed out and has a 5mm peg in it, so you simply plug it into his hand.  If you don't want him to have it on his arm there's a smaller tip at the base of the 5mm peg.  That tip fits into a hole on his back.  Alternatively, that hole can be used with a stand.

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I'll be the first to admit that I have a hard time telling if older cars and newer ones scale correctly.  I didn't think that '70s Camaro Bee looked too off with AoE Bee.  But the new Bee is noticeably smaller than AoE Bee.  Should I hope that Hasbro does a new version of AoE Bee, too?

Size aside, while this new figure isn't the same as the other two Bees the engineering feels very similar.  The biggest changes are a few extra steps to transform the legs, and as I already noted the result was an improvement for robot mode.  The other big change is how his shoulders, wings, and chest move.  These changes don't really affect the robot mode, but they make it a little easier to transform since you don't feel like you're forcing the section of the car's nose that's on his backpack between the real lights on his otherwise faux-car chest.

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The car mode looks fairly good, although like a lot of other SS cars there's some gaps where things just don't want to line up and tab properly.  It's in car mode, too, where you can really see that this is the concept Camaro from the first film and not the production Camaro from RotF (it actually was the same car, but it was modified to look like a production-model), which had some differences to the front bumper and fog lights.  I'd have liked to see a little more paint on the rear, around the bumper and exhaust.

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There are two tabs on Bee's blaster.  Those tabs fit into slots between his exhaust pipes, so he can carry his blaster while he's in car mode.

I don't have the same expectations for a $20 deluxe that I do for an $80 MP(M) figure, so while this Studio Series Bumblebee doesn't have the same level of detail as MPM-03 I didn't and wouldn't expect it too.  But in terms of sculpt, engineering, and articulation it does feel like an improvement over the first SS Bee, WWII Bee, and Bumblebee Bee.  Between that and the fact that this is arguably his most iconic movie design I reluctantly recommend it.  But I do mean reluctantly, because as I said with a permanent battle mask instead of his regular face this is not the definitive Bee I'd hoped for.  And maybe I'm a bit cynical, but I could absolutely see a slight remold/repaint of this figure released as Revenge of the Fallen Bumblebee with the head we actually want, because Hasbro knows a lot of us will absolutely shell out for that remold to get the one with the head we want.  If you're a gambler, feel free to pass on this one and see if I'm right, because if I am this figure will be as obsolete as SS RotF Optimus was after the Leader-class DotM version came out.

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I need to find the Vintage G1 Astrotrain from Walmart.

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No intro today, we're just going to dive right into Studio Series Deluxe-Class Arcee, Elita-One, and Chromia.

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When they say "Deluxe-class" they don't mean each sister is a Deluxe, they mean the three sisters are sold together as one Deluxe-class.  Needless to say, they're pretty small.  Not as a small as the baby Dinobots that came with Drift, or as small as Igor that came with Megatron.  Certainly not as small as Wheelie and Brains.  But much smaller than any singular Deluxe-class, and smaller than a Titans Return Legends-class.

Now, I don't mind the size, if that's the proper scale for these characters.  But whether their small size makes them difficult to detail, or spreading the cost of a Deluxe over three figures simply doesn't leave the budget for it, they come across as really bland.  Not counting the black tires, each sister is molded in just two shades of plastic, with the sparest of silver and black painted accents.  That means none of the sisters have any white, they don't have their blue accents, and they don't have any black that isn't seats or tires.  Arcee's gun arm isn't very accurate, Chromia's isn't even in the ballpark of accuracy, and Elita-1's tire hand doesn't have fingers.  The shape and joints on their bodies seem to be off, and perhaps made worse because they share parts that they really shouldn't.  But then, when you're most ready to rip into Hasbro for how lazy these figures are, you'll notice some detail that's on the CGI model, and I start to realize that someone really did put effort into these sculpts, but again were completely hamstrung do to some combination of their small size and Hasbro's budget for a Deluxe-class toy.

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They do come with a few accessories.  You get a trio of stands- each one is unique and fits just one sister.  They're necessary if you want to keep them from falling over in robot mode.  The other accessories are less so.  There's a large, unpainted pink gun arm for Arcee, an unpainted blue blade for Chromia, and a blue chunk of... something with some silver paint.  The blue matches Chromia, but the instructions say it's for Arcee.  Any way you slice it, Elita-1 gets robbed.

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Each sister has basically the same articulation, and as noted they actually share a lot of parts like their heads, chests, upper arms, and middles.  Their heads are ball-jointed and can look up and swivel but they have minimal downward or sideways tilt.  Their shoulders are ball joints for rotation and 90 degrees of lateral extension.  Their elbows are ball joints, bending 90 degrees and serving as bicep swivels.  Their upper torso that gives them some backward lean, a little waist swivel.  The ball socket in the middle is itself on a mushroom swivel that leans their upper bodies left and right.  Below that their lower bodies move to a hinge that moves their bodies backward and forward, and everything below the hinge is pretty much fixed.

Arcee's arm gun mounts over her right arm.  I guess it's more movie-accurate than the arm that's always kind of a gun.  The blade plugs into the Chromia's gun arm.  The extra piece fits over either Arcee or Chromia's left bicep and shoulder.

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Transforming the sisters into their bike modes is kind of a pain, because they're kind of fiddly and they feel a little fragile.  It's slightly easier going back to robot, though.  Going to bike mode involves scrunching them up, arranging their limbs and bodies in just the right ways so that everything tabs together, but going to robot is more untabbing and stretching them back out.

The sisters suffer from the same problem as their robot modes; only two colors of plastic (excluding tires) and minimal paint.  Elita-1 is missing a lot of the white that was on her bike mode, she and Arcee are both missing fenders, Elita-1's headlights (which are actually in the middle) are unpainted and she's got inaccurate lightning bolts painted around the headlights instead.  From what I can gather, Arcee should be a Ducati 848, Elita-1 should be an MV Agusta F4, and Chromia should be a Suzuki B-King, but there are so many inaccuracies that I wonder if Hasbro did them on purpose to avoid having to pay licensing fees.

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I mean, they're not even symmetrical.  And sure, I don't know a ton about motorcycles.  Maybe they're not exactly symmetrical.  But I do know enough to know that Arcee's missing most of her fairing, and that not only is her front fork (or lack thereof) totally inaccurate it's also totally impractical since the front wheel can't turn.

The icing on the cake?  All those accessories they come with, accessories I would have gladly traded for more paint or better sculpts, don't seem to be compatible with the bikes.

Oh, before I forget, I'm hearing stuff about a combined mode for these sisters.  And, yeah, there seem to be bits on their stands that fit into bits on the girls that serve no other purpose.  But, I'm not going to get into that in this review, because A.) there is no mention of combined mode in the instructions, so even if it's intentional it's still not really official, and B.) it's a hot mess.  They don't look like they combine so much as Chromia and Elita-1 twist together into a giant backpack for Arcee.

So... yeah.  If it's not clear from my tone, the Arcee sisters aren't very good.  They look and feel cheap, and they're not particularly screen-accurate.  But, they come across as pretty much what you'd expect you'd get from Hasbro spreading the budget of one Deluxe-class figure over three Legends-ish ones.  So while they're not good, I actually don't think they're as bad as Shatter or WWII Bumblebee.  That being said, unless you're a big fan of the characters or a completionist collector I really don't recommend them.

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I like transforming motorcycles, but I always thought the designs of these things were just terrible. There was a better stand alone Arcee figure that came out in '07 that I believe was based on unused concept art for the character. I have her, and while I much prefer the Prime cartoon Arcee, the Bayformer version wasn't half bad for that aesthetic, although she had a fair bit of kibble and a fish face.  

I'll confess, I've never seen the screen versions of Arcee and the bike girls, so I only have the toys, these and the deluxes that were released years ago, to judge by.  I don't know which of the films they were in, TBH, as I find them abhorrent, so perhaps they looked better onscreen. I doubt it, but I have my bias. The Cycle-girl toys, though, have never looked good to me, and, despite my bias, I have a decent collection of Bayverse figures from over the years, and I actually do like quite a number of them. 

From what I've read over on the TFW and Seibertron boards, there's a Siege Arcee coming this year, and that definitely piques my interest. I hope they're able to make a less kibble-y version than her Generations release. If they borrowed some engineering cues from MMC's Azalea, I wouldn't be heartbroken. I do find it odd, however, that she's being released during the Earthrise wave rather than the first, which would have been apropos, as she never had an Earth mode in the Movie or the show. I sense  a potential redesign. I just hope she gets her own mold and isn't yet another partial remold/recolor of the Moonracer toy. Not the best design.

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So it seems MP Hound is officially one of Takara's worst releases as far as QC goes, it's fair to say he has widespread issues at this point. I read about some shenanigans about parts being made in Vietnam, then shipped over to China for assembly, and due to that there was no chance at fixing the QC issues. I also read the back and forth between Vietnam and China was due to Takara being overly protective due to the really, really early leak of MP-45 Bumblebee 2.0, which got out into the wild months before release. 

Engineering looks fantastic, those with an intact figure love it, but damn, lots of breaks all over the internet, people are receiving replacement figures that are broken as well, and some who thought there figure was fine are finding it stressing and breaking days later from basic handling. I like to transform my figures, and it appears over time, after a few transformations, you may end up breaking the figure yourself. It seems the pins in certain areas are an issue, Vietnam makes the parts then sends them to China, then in China if there are tolerance issues or issues with pins cracking plastic they really can't do anything. At first some thought certain batches sent to certain retailers were fine, but that's being debunked as more and more break reports come in. 

If you've got one and it seems solid, great, but it seems multiple transformations are a bad idea, and if you were on the fence about MP Hound, maybe wait for a re-issue. Gotta wonder if Takara will slow it's roll on the production of whatever they have cooking currently, they really can't afford to have another expensive MP release that's this riddled with issues, they've gotta get their factories sorted, these things are way too pricey for these blatant issues. 

Once again, I'm plenty happy with FansToys Willis, Hound was never an important character to me, Willis is plenty of MP Hound for me and my collection. At this point, I'd really only be in for a Takara Trailbreaker, I actually liked Trailbreaker, and my MMC/Ocular Max one kind of sucks. That said, the prospect of paying what I imagine would be $150+ for an MP carbot is daunting, and I would NOT pre-order, I'd absolutely wait for in hand opinions first.

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