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I didn't get MP Hound, but for those who did, and for any of us who likes official Transformers, this is disheartening news that certainly gives pause concerning trust in the brand. As you said, for the prices Takara commands for the latest spate of MP figures, one expects, at minimum, a toy that's well-built and will stand the test of time being manipulated; after all, that's kinda the point of these things. So, yeah, it sounds like they need to take a look at their process, and do some housecleaning, as it were, or they're going to alienate many of their consumers who are weary of expensive toys that fall to pieces when touched. For their sakes, and for ours, the collectors/fans, I wish them every success in restoring quality. I just hope it doesn't add an additional $50 to the asking price.-_-

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I'm super satisfied with my toy-colored Gundog and was never going to pick up MP Hound, but it's still a shame to hear about yet another Takara MP release with QC issues.

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Well, I didn't care for the Studio Series Deluxe WWII Bumblebee, and I thought Hot Rod was pretty terrible in The Last Knight, so it's safe to say I'm skipping the WWII Hot Rod repaint.  So it looks like this will be my last review for the current wave of Studio Series figures... Deluxe-class Soundwave.

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Before sitting down to write I looked at the CGI model, I looked at the previous Deluxe-class and Human Alliance toys, and yeah, this one's more accurate.  The tires on his back are sitting a little too high, and he's got door kibble on the inside of his forearms.  His chest, mainly the grill, doesn't compact.  He's got some car kibble around the tires on his calves.  But this is a Deluxe-class toy, not an MPM, and I expect concessions to be made.  And on the other hand, the faux car panels on his thighs, the discs on his forearms, in the gaps in his chest, and (not that you can easily see them) on the linkage between his shoulders and his torso are all spot on.  His head sculpt is good.  That is what his feet look like, and the car kibble does at least put the tires correctly in his heels.  For a Deluxe-class, I think the sculpt is pretty good overall, and I like that he's painted silver and not simply made of swirly silver plastic.  But, paint might actually be my main gripe with the aesthetics, because he winds up being very monochromatic, but the CGI model has red in its abs and blue in the chest and shoulders.  All things considered, though, this is one of the better-looking Studio Series releases.

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Soundwave's only accessory is this tiny Laserbeak.  The sculpt here is ok, but unlike Soundwave it's not painted (aside from the red eyes).  The only articulation is at its hips.  I guess as long as Hasbro is trying to keep things in scale for the Studio Series line the only way we're going to get characters like Laserbeak is as pack-in accessories.  But then again, Barricade didn't come with Frenzy, we don't have Ravage, and I'd have been quite content without Brains, Wheelie, Igor, and the baby Dinobots.  So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'd have rather Soundwave came with a weapon.

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Soundwave's articulation is a little on the poor side.  His head is on a ball joint.  He can look up and has ok sideways tilt, but he can't look down and his collar impedes rotation.  His shoulders rotate and extend nearly 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  No wrist or waist articulation.  His hips are (a little loose) ball joints, and can go 90 degrees forward, about 60 degrees backward before his backpack is just too in the way, and only about 45 degrees laterally due to the shape of the faux car kibble causing it to dig into his waist.  He has extremely minimal thigh rotation.  His knees bend 90 degrees.  With everything tabbed in properly he has no foot articulation.  Sure, you can untab the front of his foot so it can tilt up, but that doesn't get you a pivot.

There's a rail on the edge of either forearm, and Laserbeak's feet have a shape that's basically a c-clip, allowing him to clip onto those rails and perch on Soundwave's arm.  And... that's about it.

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As he did in Dark of the Moon, Soundwave turns into a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, which is a pretty big car for only being a two-seater (probably due to Mercedes-Benz building a supercar that could hang with the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the era, but deciding to go with a front-engine setup instead of a mid-engine one).  As big as the SLS AMG was, though, a Saleen Mustang was still bigger.  Since Soundwave's bigger than Barricade in their alt modes this is another example of how having robots in scale usually means having alt modes that aren't.

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The engineering with Soundwave is, for the most part, quite straightforward.  There is one bit that I found to be a bit of a hangup, and that's how his pelvis sits.  Your instinct (or at least mine) is to bend him 90 degrees at the hips.  And while everything will seem like it's in the right spot, and most of the car will start to line up, but there won't be enough room for his arms to tuck in and form the sides of the car.  What you really need is to is give his pelvis an extra push, so the hinges tuck into a corner and his pelvis is sitting at an angle (as shown above).

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Soundwave's alt mode has a lot of the problems the other Studio Series cars do- at this size, with this engineering, it's nearly impossible to get everything to line up and tab in just right.  No matter what I do I get at least some gaps, most prominently where the rear window and trunk tab into the rear of the car made from his legs.  He doesn't roll so well, and I think that's at least in part because his ears hang down well below the front end of the car.  And, at least on my copy, I've got some paint blemishes on the rear.  I also think the car would have looked better if Hasbro used that black paint they have on the grill on all the other vents.  Despite these issues the sculpt is pretty great, with lots of detail in the molding like the turn signals on the mirrors, the "SLS" and "AMG" marks on the rear, the "6.3" and the low door handle on the gullwing doors, and the Mercedes-Benz insignia on the rims.

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Laserbeak can come along for the ride in this mode.  There's a small slot on the back of the roof.  When you bend Laserbeak's legs backward you'll find a tab between his knees that plugs neatly into that slot.  I'd still rather have a weapon, though.

And there you have it, folks, a somewhat mixed-bag wave ends on a fairly high note.  Soundwave is lacking in accessories and articulation, but his strong sculpt and copious silver paint still gives him a strong visual presence, and his straightforward engineering lets you flip between those modes with minimal hassle.  That makes Soundwave one of the better Deluxes in the Studio Series line, and a recommend from me.

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On 1/7/2020 at 8:19 PM, mikeszekely said:

I'm super satisfied with my toy-colored Gundog and was never going to pick up MP Hound, but it's still a shame to hear about yet another Takara MP release with QC issues.

Same situation. Even before any QC issue was known, the floating head and face sculpt had me doubting enough to hold off on a PO. That said, having seen a couple vid reviews, I don't think the final toy is all that bad. I still don't like the head armature, but I understand why it's there, and I think I could live with it so long as that joint was toleranced tightly to keep it flush with the hood. I have to say, I love how all the weapons fold and integrate into the transformation, and I hope this becomes a standard.  I hope Takara act quickly to fix what ails their manufacturing process to restore quality, as they can't expect a negative QC trend across several recent toys to not affect sales over time. As it is, I'm not feeling too comfortable shelling out for a toy with probable stress related issues right out of the box.  

I assume, as is usually the case, a KO of this toy, likely fixing some of its issues, will come along in due time. I may consider that option, depending on what mods they make to it. If they figure out a way to make the head poke out of the hood, I think I'd be sold. I like Hound, so I wouldn't be adverse to having another version, one closer to the toon this time.

On a larger scale, although I passed on Prime V3, Bee V2, and Hound, I've bought a copy of just about every other MP mold, and if they continue to put out G1 releases, my interest is there, along with my wallet if what they're offering appeals. I'm not shy to say I miss the Hasui philosophy, mixing the best attributes of toy and toon, rather than slavishly going for the bland toon look in bot mode, and even in vehicle mode, as V3 attests.  However figures like the amazing Sunstreaker show that Takara are still masters of their domain, and its figures like that that keep me coming back to the official table with anticipation.  I hope they fix what's broken, and continue putting out amazing stuff.

Concerning SS Soundwave, this is obviously a licensed vehicle mode, and yet I see concessions galore, with obvious separation lines throughout and robot bits, especially hands, clearly visible through the windows and windshield, and yet Mercedes must not have made a fuss. So it boggles my mind that Jeep, of all companies, would take issue with a panel in its hood, which likely would have been better engineered to flush than a $20 deluxe. I don't envy Takara some of the ridiculous demands they have to deal with when dealing with licensees, especially if they have no association, and thus appreciation, for what's involved in making a transforming toy.

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Ultimetal Battle Damaged Optimus Prime.

Un-boxed this monster today. I absolutely like the battle damaged version more than the standard. And it's officially time to put some hours in on displays. "Just put that anywhere" is probably the best description of their current state.:D

Time to set up some LED's and build another Detolf.

 

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35 minutes ago, sqidd said:

Time to set up some LED's and build another Detolf.

At least he fits in a Detolf...

prime-size-jpg.28084835

No such luck with Lewin's "Atlas."  :unsure:

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31 minutes ago, tekering said:

At least he fits in a Detolf...

prime-size-jpg.28084835

No such luck with Lewin's "Atlas."  :unsure:

:shok:

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While I have a few G1 reissues (and a few G1 figures from the '80s) the old toys aren't really my thing.  I'd pretty much decided I'd buy Astrotrain if I see him in stores, but I don't know if I would order him online.

Then again, I haven't seen him in my local store, or the one by my buddy's house, so...

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Other than the cassettes, I have no interest in collecting the 80's toys (except G1 Megatron, but that'll never happen in this country). Even when I was a kid, I found the toys rather lackluster due to their lack of articulation. The box art, often depicting them in cool poses, just rubbed salt in the proverbial wound. I'm happy to collect the modern stuff. But, to those who like collecting the old toys (they have their charm), I'm glad Hasbro's making them available.

And while I'm pretty pleased with Siege,, I keep hoping a third party will either make a KO of Siege Astrotrain with an improved shuttle mode, or that , at the very least, someone will make a mod (like the MP vans' doors) or just a filler panel. If I had my druthers, I think I'd like a good KO with improvements over the other options.

My local Wally got cleaned out at Christmas, and only recently did a reset for the action figure aisle. Unfortunately, all the pegs for Siege/Earthrise remain barren and forlorn; Transformers always seem to be short stocked, and my Walmart never carries anything over voyager, and they seldom have voyager figs. Not sure if that's Hasbro's distro, or just shortsightedness on the part of the associates , but  I can usually count on being greeted by empty pegs and sadness.

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Welp!

My MP-47 finally developed a nasty crack today...

mp47-cracked.jpg.98bff1b7d8a72098ddd0e518e55bdd23.jpg

 

Be doing the return/refund thing since AMJ is out of stock for replacements.

:angry:

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I hope they fix it with the repaints :unsure:

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Ah man, sorry to see that. I have to wonder what's up with Takara's products of late, as the QC has been questionable on a number of releases over the last couple of years. A crack like that, with normal handling, should be a non-issue; after all, these things are designed and given tolerances to be manipulated as part of their inherent gimmick. If there's a feedback venue to Takara, I'd be sending some pics.

Anyway, I hope you reach a fair resolution, and that your next copy will be made of sterner stuff.

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One of the podcast I Iisten to mentioned that, out of fear of knock-offs, Takara manufactured the parts in Vietnam and shipped them to China for assembly.

If that is true there wouldn’t be a possibility to fix tolerance issues hence the many broken pieces. 

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20 minutes ago, Scyla said:

One of the podcast I Iisten to mentioned that, out of fear of knock-offs, Takara manufactured the parts in Vietnam and shipped them to China for assembly.

If that is true there wouldn’t be a possibility to fix tolerance issues hence the many broken pieces. 

Not sure if they're being assembled elsewhere, and I haven't bought an official Takara MP in ages, but I can confirm that Hasbro's moved a lot of Transformers manufacturing to Vietnam.

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Forgive me for getting a bit retro here, but what are people's thoughts on the Transformers Prime First Edition figures vs the later releases?  FE Prime and Bulkhead look like they're better than the RiD Voyagers, and the Deluxe FE Starscream seems like it's actually better than the Voyager release, while the FE Vehicon seems more complicated and kibbly than the other version.  Both versions of Bumblebee have their issues, but I think I prefer the FE version.  Arcee and Cliffjumper are a little less clear cut.  I think I'm fine with the second version of Arcee.  FE Cliffjumper looks a lot better to me than the second one, but the aftermarket prices for FE Cliffjumper are kind of crazy.

The only FEs I have are Bee and a KO of Prime.  I'm (overpaying) for a Deluxe Starscream, but not sure if I should actually try to track down the others.

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FE Bulkhead is a really good figure, even a bit better than FE prime.  Voyager starscream is not very good, but the deluxe is excellent. The RiD vehicon is better than the FE version in every way but paint, I'd tell you to also look for the Arms micron jet vehicon because it's a really cool remold of the RiD version, but the current ebay prices are stupid. FE Arcee is a lot better than the RiD Arcee but she's probably the the weakest of the FEs excluding bumblebee. FE cliffjumper is an interesting figure but absolutely not worth stupid ebay prices. if you just want the mold consider the GDO version (although I still wouldn't pay the prices I'm seeing that going for).

 

I'd say Bulkhead, prime and starscream are the only  "must haves;" the others are cool but not worth overpaying for.

 

 

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I never had either version of Cliffjumper, but I have both versions of Prime, Arcee, Bee (at one time, but the RiD was lost in the mail), and Starscream. Of all these, I'd say the FE is the better of the two, as well. I also have FE Bulkhead- nice figure, and the deluxe Vehicon, which was probably the only FE that was worse than its retail doppelganger.  The RiD Vehicon is a brilliant design- one of my favorites. 

I don't remember why I never picked up Cliffjumper- I'm pretty sure I saw him at least once in the store, but for some reason, he didn't appeal to me at the time. Regret. 

Prime was a pretty good toyline- Wheeljack and Kup are two other figs that stand out in my mind. Soundwave was ok- I think a larger more detailed fig would have been nice. I would have liked to have had FE Megatron, which was a much nicer looking figure than his RiD version, but I only ever got the latter. Still an ok fig, though, but it's weapon looks like ass.

All this Prime talk is igniting my nostalgia; I have the series on DVD, but haven't watched it in years. May have to give it a watch soon, as I remember enjoying it quite a bit.

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13 hours ago, anime52k8 said:

FE Arcee is a lot better than the RiD Arcee

 

3 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I have both versions of Prime, Arcee, Bee (at one time, but the RiD was lost in the mail), and Starscream. Of all these, I'd say the FE is the better of the two, as well.

What makes you guys say that you prefer FE Arcee?  FE Arcee is missing her wings (even if they are a too big on RiD Arcee), has an uglier face sculpt, and seems to have more kibble.

3 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Prime was a pretty good toyline- Wheeljack and Kup are two other figs that stand out in my mind.

I didn't even know they made a Prime Kup.  Found one on Amazon for $15, so ordered.

I think the Prime toyline had it's hits and misses.  Wheeljack was good, sure, RiD Vehicon, yep, and I liked Rumble.  FE Prime is so good that I'd accept a slightly improved upscaled KO as an MP.  But then there was stuff like Knockout, the fact that you had to import Breakdown (as it was, I never got the blue version, just the black "Silas Breakdown), and the fact that we never got a proper Hardshell.

13 hours ago, anime52k8 said:

I'd tell you to also look for the Arms micron jet vehicon because it's a really cool remold of the RiD version, but the current ebay prices are stupid.

This.  I'd love to have the white version, but not $100+ for a Deluxe want.

3 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I would have liked to have had FE Megatron, which was a much nicer looking figure than his RiD version, but I only ever got the latter.

If you mean the one that came with Optimus in the two-pack, I agree that it's better in a lot of ways than the RiD version, but it's sadly only a Deluxe.

3 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Still an ok fig, though, but it's weapon looks like ass.

There's an upgrade kit for that.  Cleans up his backpack and gives him a more show-accurate head, too.

Yeah... at their current aftermarket prices I don't see any real reason to invest in FE Arcee, Cliffjumper, or Vehicon.  But I got APC Prime and FE Bumblebee already, I have Starscream (and Kup) on the way, and I'll either track down an FE Bulkhead or see if APC ever does theirs.  And after that I think I might track down an Arms Micron Rumble (RiD Rumble in Frenzy colors).

Any other Prime toys you guys think are must haves?  I think I have most of the characters that were actually in the cartoon, so I guess I'm more curious to know if I missed anything good like Kup and Rumble.

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FE Arcee has her wings: they're actually her shoulder pauldrons, which is somewhat accurate to her animation model. If they'd engineered them for her shoulders to poke through them to sit externally, then they'd have been pretty spot on. It doesn't bother me any. I have her RiD version, too, which I also thought was a good mold, and I was happy to see it reused, albeit with some heavy remolding, into Generations Chromia. I dig the Tron-ish look of her bike mode.

I never had Breakdown-honestly, I don't recall ever seeing him in stores, but I may have just passed on him for whatever reason. I'd like to see an updated toy of Dreadwing: I liked the character, and the character animation model, but the RiD toy left somewhat to be desired in jet mode, especially with half a hip sticking out from under the jet on either side.:bad: Stuff like that perplexes me- why are some figs engineered so well, and then others end up like this where it looks half-arsed? It's irksome. Anyway, he could stand an update.

Almost forgot about Prime Rumble- cool figure. I like how they used his car shell as giant pauldrons for his smaller pauldrons.:lol: Fun figure. The mold hints to his G1 cassette look are appreciated.

At this point in my collecting, I rarely look back. One exception is Animated Blackout- so wish that toy had been marketed here in the States. He's one that got away, as I wasn't really familiar with the online shopping scene back then. The markups for that figure are crazy- it's cool, but not cool enough for the asking prices these days.

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

What makes you guys say that you prefer FE Arcee?  FE Arcee is missing her wings (even if they are a too big on RiD Arcee), has an uglier face sculpt, and seems to have more kibble.

The colors/paint are nicer on the FE, and it feels more solid/less cheaply made than the RiD. that's about it really.

 

1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

ever had Breakdown-honestly, I don't recall ever seeing him in stores, but I may have just passed on him for whatever reason.

Breakdown was only ever sold in japan because he was too expensive to sell at the US voyager price point.

and speaking of prime toys that deserve an upgrade, I've always wanted a third party company to make a figure based of the first voyager toy of Prime Ultra Magnus. The toy itself had a lot of issues, but the character design and basic transformation was so cool and not just a blue Optimus prime with a new head and extra crap stuck on his shoulders.

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Finished digging everything out of storage, although I might be missing some accessories.  Looks like I have:

Deluxe Optimus and Megatron
KO FE Voyager Optimus
RiD Voyager Optimus
RiD Voyager Bulkhead
FE Deluxe Bumblebee
RiD Deluxe Bumblebee
RiD Deluxe Ratchet
RiD Deluxe Arcee
RiD Voyager Ultra Magnus
RiD Deluxe Cliffjumper
Beast Hunters Voyager Optimus
Beast Hunters Deluxe Smokescreen
Beast Hunters Voyager Ultra Magnus
RiD Voyager Megatron
RiD Voyager Starscream
RiD Voyager Dreadwing
RiD Deluxe Soundwave
RiD Deluxe Airachnid
RiD Deluxe Vehicon
RiD Deluxe Knockout
RiD Deluxe Rumble
Arms Micron Silas Breakdown
Beast Hunters Voyager Shockwave
Beast Hunters Ultimate Predaking
Beast Hunters Voyager Darksteel
Beast Hunters Deluxe Vertebreak
Beast Hunters Deluxe Skylynx
Beast Hunters Deluxe Ripclaw

I have Kup and FE Starscream on the way, and assuming no issues with my ebay seller and/or customs the Pharaonic upgrade kit for Megatron.  And like I said, one way or the other I'll get me an FE Bulkhead.

So, same question- any other hidden gems in this line I should be looking for?  Is Thundertron any good?

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while i never had astrotrain as a kid, someone at school did and i fiddled with it a bit so there is some nostalgia there.  i did  have blitzwing (which they totally need to do because having one without the other like i did as a kid makes you want the other lol).  that said $50ish bucks for this seems a bit high...i never got around to getting soundwave (so if anyone did and doesnt' want it anymore i'd take that off your hands for a fair price!)...and i think astrotrain might be a "if i see him and he is discounted i'll get him but dunno about plunking down full retail for it."  thanks for the link though

Edited by Mechapilot77

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While Prime's "First Edition" series was a particular stand-out...

team_prime.thumb.jpg.28e370f8e7ac0f7e18bde14c24663c91.jpg

...there were many satisfying, show-accurate figures in the toy line.

prime_cast.thumb.jpg.85a0f9172b07b4ae325062123bc4d53f.jpg

The only ones I wouldn't recommend here are Airachnid and Knock Out.

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15 minutes ago, tekering said:

While Prime's "First Edition" series was a particular stand-out...

team_prime.thumb.jpg.28e370f8e7ac0f7e18bde14c24663c91.jpg

...there were many satisfying, show-accurate figures in the toy line.

prime_cast.thumb.jpg.85a0f9172b07b4ae325062123bc4d53f.jpg

The only ones I wouldn't recommend here are Airachnid and Knock Out.

best modern hasbro tf line until probably siege but its a tie i think.  FE prime is aces (i have the takara too and i think its up there with best voayers figures ever)!  so was bulkhead.  i have a case of first edition deluxes i never got to opening though....  vehicon RID version, and wheeljack are among my fav deluxes ever.

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Nice collection. I have most of these as well. I really wanted the flying Vehicon, but I don't think it was sold here in the States, and I wasn't too savvy about online retailers then. Overall, I think there were more stand-outs than stinkers in the line. I'll concur with Airachnid- just the worst- and Knock Out being weak.  Good stuff overall.

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I’m fine with getting Walmart G1 Astrotrain for retail since my Walmart is far away and the toy section sucks.

As for the Prime toys, they were cool and so were the Animated toys.

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I got FE Starscream and RiD Kup in.  I don't know that anyone wants full reviews of such old figures, so I'll just offer some quick thoughts.

Starscream is interesting because he's really not that much smaller than the Voyager-class RiD version.  The FE's head is slightly smaller, his arms are slightly shorter, but his torso is almost the same length.  Put another way, almost all of RiD's added height comes from his legs, so the FE version actually looks more proportional.  He can stand a little straighter, too.  FE Starscream has less kibble on his arms and legs, and isn't taller than RiD Megatron, so I definitely prefer him.  I just wish his missiles were more accurate one-to-an-arm.

Kup's pretty nice, too.  No waist swivel, but he actually has ankle pivots, which feels like a luxury pre-Siege.  I do have two complaints, though.  While the alt mode and truck parts wrapping over the shoulders does sort of evoke Generations Kup, it's super obvious that the mold was designed to be Ironhide.  He's got Ironhide's rounded head and a fake chest windshield, and the alt mode and weapons are very movie Ironhide inspired.  In fact, I do believe that the Takara release of the mold was Ironhide (and I might track one down, if it's not too expensive).  Second, that last flap with the hood and grill just lays over the backpack.  It's a shame they couldn't have put one more hinge where the grill and the hood so that the grill couldn't have folded down to lie flat.

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Need to see more of that Sky Lynx.  I mean, yeah, it's almost certainly getting bought, but I'm still curious about the size and waiting for confirmation that the bottom turns into the lynx and not just a launchpad.

I couldn't be happier with Scorponok, though.  Titan-sized, better articulation, and it's got the double headmaster gimmick that Fortress Maximus does, while looking properly G1 in all three modes.  All I need to hear is that we're getting a Deluxe-class Fasttrack... which, if I'm not mistaken, was already a rumor.

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3 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Need to see more of that Sky Lynx.  I mean, yeah, it's almost certainly getting bought, but I'm still curious about the size and waiting for confirmation that the bottom turns into the lynx and not just a launchpad.

I couldn't be happier with Scorponok, though.  Titan-sized, better articulation, and it's got the double headmaster gimmick that Fortress Maximus does, while looking properly G1 in all three modes.  All I need to hear is that we're getting a Deluxe-class Fasttrack... which, if I'm not mistaken, was already a rumor.

I mean why wouldn’t it turn into a lynx? All it needs to du is flip out the head.

Given how slavish this design team follows what G1 did I can’t imagine it won’t.

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2 minutes ago, Scyla said:

I mean why wouldn’t it turn into a lynx? All it needs to du is flip out the head.

Given how slavish this design team follows what G1 did I can’t imagine it won’t.

It's not that I disagree, just that until it's confirmed there's room for Hasbro to screw it up.

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15 minutes ago, Scyla said:

I mean why wouldn’t it turn into a lynx? All it needs to du is flip out the head.

Given how slavish this design team follows what G1 did I can’t imagine it won’t.

Well, I mean there was no reason for the Combiner Wars Sky Lynx to not turn into two separate creatures either, and here we are.

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