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7 hours ago, lechuck said:

Not really seeing this superiority everyone is claiming with Azalea, a decent try but by no means light years ahead of MP-51.

She looks like she has been given stilts as lower leg replacements, feet are too simple almost like door stoppers, unsightly knee-bend due to the knee-caps not moving properly, the back of the legs are not very clean, hips seem strangely disconnected to the crotch, chest sits in the right place, but then it is ruined by not tapering properly into the abdomen area and having a rounded appearance instead of stronger canted edges, she is also missing a proper collar piece and her face design is neither hear nor there.

From straight on Azalea gives me this wooden marionette design vibe.

MP Arcee is not perfect, but I can tolerate her flaws better. There is no need for Takara to use 3P as a template for their MPs.

I was going to reply in my former post and forgot. Anyway, if MP-51 appeals to you, then that's great; opinions and impressions are highly subjective, and what works for you or me may not work for everyone else. If we all thought the same way, it'd be a boring world devoid of change or diversity. To that end, I hope you're able to score a copy, that she lives up to your expectations, and graces your shelf proudly.  

 I agree about your comment about Azalea's lower legs; it's probably my least favorite thing about that figure, and there's really no functional reason for not giving her more rounded natural looking legs while still having the hinged feature for transformation. I think the aim was to make her more robotic looking, but the abrupt stepped look is indeed stilt-like and diminishes the fig a bit.  The other issues you pointed out don't bother me. Your mileage obviously differs, and that's your prerogative. As I'm fond of saying, it's great to have options, and we're currently spoiled for them in this hobby. Enjoy it as you will, regardless of dissent, or else what's the point?^_^

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1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

As for the Countach siblings, it was indeed mentioned in the original toy bios that Sideswipe and Sunstreaker were bros, and it was also mentioned in a couple eps of first season as well. That's canon from the get-go, likely courtesy of Bob Budiansky, who wrote the majority of the bios for G1. Looking at these in hindsight is pretty interesting; Bob was pulling these out of the aether, often based on his impressions of the toys, and it's neat to see what stuck and what didn't over the years.

Regardless of who ultimately came up with the idea it's still funny to me that two very different robots that happen to both have a Countach for an alt mode were brothers (twins, no less!), but guys who were a literally just a palette swap apparently look the same by coincidence.  And like I said, it's funnier to me once Spinout and Tigertrack were retroactively added, because you have a guy that looks like a red Sunstreaker or a yellow Sideswipe, but no, it's Sideswipe and Sunstreaker who are the brothers.  

Maybe Spinout and Tigertrack are brothers?

Anyway... all this talk about the Lambos makes me want both an MP and WfC release of Deep Cover.

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7 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Regardless of who ultimately came up with the idea it's still funny to me that two very different robots that happen to both have a Countach for an alt mode were brothers (twins, no less!), but guys who were a literally just a palette swap apparently look the same by coincidence

That's fair, and it is funny. (And everyone's spent the decades since wondering how robots even have brothers...)

I didn't actually mean to be a wet blanket by pointing out the origin. It just happened.

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2 hours ago, JB0 said:

That's fair, and it is funny. (And everyone's spent the decades since wondering how robots even have brothers...)

I didn't actually mean to be a wet blanket by pointing out the origin. It just happened.

No, you're fine!  If I'm mistaken I'd rather be corrected so I'm not telling people the wrong thing.  I'm just highlighting absurdity.

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Let's see how much of the Fan First event we can spoil.

Studio Series B-127

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Studio Series Dino

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Ectotron Afterlife version.

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Preorders will go up at 1:00pm EST.  The Studio Series figures are regular retail releases, Ectotron will be a Target-exclusive.

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42 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

No, you're fine!  If I'm mistaken I'd rather be corrected so I'm not telling people the wrong thing.  I'm just highlighting absurdity.

I think the idea of robot siblings is something that sounds cool to you as a kid, but after a few years and a bit of worldly wisdom, indeed sounds absurd.  It's even more so when you had characters in the original show mentioning the day they rolled off the assembly line. In that context, as a manufactured being, the idea of siblings becomes even further removed from practicality. I always just accepted it without too much questioning; it's sci-fi, and honestly, I don't care; it's been a part of the lore since the beginning and I never spent much time trying to reason it out in a show chock full of far greater impracticalities.:lol:

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2 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I think the idea of robot siblings is something that sounds cool to you as a kid, but after a few years and a bit of worldly wisdom, indeed sounds absurd.  It's even more so when you had characters in the original show mentioning the day they rolled off the assembly line. In that context, as a manufactured being, the idea of siblings becomes even further removed from practicality. I always just accepted it without too much questioning; it's sci-fi, and honestly, I don't care; it's been a part of the lore since the beginning and I never spent much time trying to reason it out in a show chock full of far greater impracticalities.:lol:

'Sister-ships' are a thing, so why not sibling-autonomous-machine-beings?:lol::D

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I'd already pre-ordered Starscream, and I added a preorder for Dino.  B-127 is one of those cases where I'll probably pick it up if I see it on my usual Target run, but I don't need a yellow Cliffjumper with a new head so I'm not going to pre-order.

Likewise, the paint on Slimer, the tardigrade ghost, the weathered paint, and the mold differences on Afterlife Ectotron are neat, but not really neat enough for me to buy another one.

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Gotta admit, Dino has me intrigued. I like the look of both modes. Ironically, Dark of the Moon is the only Bay film I ever watched in the theatre; I barely remember it, and don't remember Dino at all, but the Hasbro folks said that's what film he's from so I believe them. I'm not into it enough to PO, but my local Wally tends to get a good rotation of SS figs in, so chances are good I'll see him on a peg when he releases. I saw BB Movie Cliffy today at Walmart- same mold as the upcoming Bee. It looked ok to me, but I left it in the store. Unless they do a really good aircraft, I've been skipping SS for the most part. Dino's the exception; I may just pick him up.

I've been stoked to see my local Wally carrying deluxe and voyager ER figs of late; for years now, all they were carrying for the main line was deluxes, and sparsely at that. Months would go by with empty pegs where the Generations figs should be. My fingers are crossed that this becomes the norm for their stocking practices, as I'll likely be able to score Soundwave when he releases. 

Speaking of Generations, I got my Autobot clones yesterday. @mikeszekely did a good review a few pages back,. The Clones have been something of a mini-grail set of figs for me for awhile, and I missed out on them during the Titans Return line. So when they announced a rerelease, and this time with the Autobot and Decepticon clones packaged together, respectively, as they always should have been, I was really pleased and made sure I got a PO in on both. So now I have both sets and I'm pretty happy with them. They are a bit simplistic, but so were the G1 figs, and these guys are pretty faithful (maybe too faithful, with Fastlane's spoiler attached to an armature coming out of the back of his head. Not too bad on a fig with no head articulation, but on a modern fig- awkward and impractical).:wacko:  I like them for what they are- fun updates to a unique set of 80's figs with a cool gimmick. That said, I can't help myself for wondering how a set by NewAge or Magic Square would turn out.^_^

I also got ER Trailbreaker today (so glad they got the trademark for his name again). It's a nice marriage of the OG toy and toon model, and this mold was most obviously intended to be Trailbreaker with Hoist a secondary retool, even though he came out first.  I wish Hasbro would have slapped a little paint onto his back weapons, as I think they would have looked much better, certainly closer to the source. It's a shame they don't chrome anything anymore- it made those old 80's toys pop. The truck flank panels, which contain the shoulder joint, can rotate fore and aft, but not laterally, and due to their size and permanent position behind the arms, look a bit awkward, especially when you bend the arm at the elbow and then bend the entire arm forward. It would have been more practical to have the shoulder rotate independently of the flank panel, but that's not how they rolled. It's true to the OG toy, but faithfulness to those old oft poorly designed figs doesn't necessarily benefit a modern fig with much greater ranges of articulation. Overall, though, he's a pretty darned good Trailbreaker. With an apropos color scheme and deco, a decent sculpt that captures G1 Trailbreaker's unmistakable silhouette, fully integrated back weapons and no partsforming necessary, modern standards of articulation, and a slightly stylized but otherwise close representation of the OG toy's Toyota Hi-Lux alt mode, he's the G1 update that I've been craving all these years. He's not without his warts, but they're minor and easily remedied, and I'm glad to have him, and Hoist by extension, in my collection. 

Tomorrow, I believe Sunstreaker is due on my porch, and I'm very much looking forward to finally having a fairly G1 accurate Sunstreaker in my Generations collection. The old Classics toy just never did it for me, but from all the reviews and pics I've seen, the ER version gets it right.

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I'm not really feeling this X-Men crossover.  I mean, I loved the '90s cartoon, but it lacks the charm of the '80s mashups.  Instead, this reminds me more of the old Marvel Crossovers.  I don't really like that the robot looks like Cyclops with Psylocke's powers, I don't like that this looks to be based on Studio Series Jetfire, and I don't like that the Blackbird looks less like the cartoon (and the logo on the box) and more like an actual SR-71 (they remolded the nacelles and wings, but couldn't sweep those wings forward?).  I'll probably pass on this one.

I do like the face on it, though.  Looks like it's based on Alex Milne's art.

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I have mixed feelings about it as well. From just a transforming toy perspective, I like how how the legs form the engines, and though it does have a big block'o robot hanging underneath, somehow it doesn't look as bad to me as the vast majority of Silverbolts, and certainly not as bad as every Bayformer Jetfire thus far. The ro-block is there, it's noticeable, but appears to me to be a little slimmer and more streamlined with the rest of the aircraft so as not to be as obnoxiously obtrusive as Silverbolt's ro-blocks usually are. Action Toy's Blackbird Robo is still done better, IMO, and still stands as the best transforming toy representation of the SR-71, albeit with its own imperfections.

I was hoping that the arms would form the forward fuselage, but upon closer inspection, it looks like it's, as usual, relegated to back kibble.  grrr   What a waste. Lots of panel-forming going on, too. I have a feeling this thing's a mess from the back view.  I wish they'd employed more Macross influence and borrowed, with Kawamori's blessing, the transformation mechanics of the VF-14. It would have been a lot cleaner.

I, too, would have liked the alt mode to resemble the X-Men's highly stylized Blackbird rather than a slightly stylized but nigh accurate SR-71 as a crossover. I've always loved the look of that reinterpretation, and this was the opportunity to produce it. Don't get me wrong, I love the SR-71, and welcome a decent transforming representation, but as an X-Men specific figure, I think they missed the mark here. More's the pity. Bit of false advertising, too, as the 80s X-Men version is depicted on the boxart.

I guess giving this fig the Cyclops visor is fitting, as he was the leader of the X-Men , at least in the 80s cartoon, which was my first exposure to the X-Men. I never read the comics, so pretty much everything I know about Marvel characters came from toons. That said, I was never really a big fan of Scott's. Logan was much cooler, but then so was Storm. I wish they'd just leave the slug figures out; they're way too big to scale with the Blackbird mode, and are basically useless. Wish they'd used that that bit of budget to make the main toy better.

4 minutes ago, danth said:

I wonder if the pictured toy is misassembled. The wings look like maybe they'd be fine if they were swapped.

If you look at the box, the wings flare forward, unlike the stock toy photo. My guess is that they rotate at the wing root. Or, they're misassembled as you infer.

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9 minutes ago, danth said:

I wonder if the pictured toy is misassembled. The wings look like maybe they'd be fine if they were swapped.

Could be.  I do notice that the wings on the box look to be flipped.

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I checked out X-Spanse (can they get any cornier?:lol:) on Pulse and to my surprise, he's a licensed Lockheed product. I was thinking they avoided licensing by making so many stylistic changes to it, but nope. Apparently, Lockheed's not as demanding with the final look of the toy as most car companies. Anyway, he's a pricey fellow, coming in at $65 for what, if past toys are any indication, is a leader class toy at 8.5". Guess that license wasn't cheap.  I'm curious what's going on with the nose of the plane, as it plays no part in the transformation, and yet it appears to have some moving function. Maybe it opens to allow one of the slug figs to awkwardly fit in there? If it's weapon effect storage, that would be much better.

I'm also curious if this is coming with a special sticker sheet, as the description on Pulse mentions Lockheed markings and such on the toy being registered TMs, but when I look at the pics, I don't see any Lockheed specific markings- just the big red X-Men symbols on the wings.

I'm still a bit torn on it. I love that it's an SR-71, and considering their past attempts, this is better in my eyes. It's still not great, and looks to have a fair amount of panel-forming going on. Jet mode has an obvious ro-block.  It's about $15 more than a standard leader class fig. The bot mode is junked up with a bit of panel-foolery that detracts rather than enhances. And yet, despite all these detractors, I'm somehow drawn to it. Sigh.

 

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8 hours ago, Firefox said:

It is just a SS Jetfire remold. But arguably looks cleaner.

It's definitely a very heavy remold. If it wasn't for the bot's wings and the large panels floating behind his head, I'd have thought it was an original mold. It's also cleaner in jet mode by some measure. There's bot stuff obtrusively hanging off the bottom of the jet from nose to tail that completely ruins Jetfire's profile, whereas X-Spanse presents a clean, albeit shallow, forward fuselage until the point where it mates to the main fuselage where the chunky bot kibble adds some thickness to the jet. The X-Men chest symbol is pretty obvious as well, but apparently it still has an iota of ground clearance. I would have preferred the main gears retract into the body somehow, but in true Hasbro fashion, no effort was made to do so, so they hang off the sides of his belt like a pair of Batman's gadgets.-_- Don't get me wrong; I'm glad he has all three gear. I just wish the implementation had been better executed for accuracy's sake. ( I kinda wish Lockheed had been as draconian in their demands for accuracy as Lamborghini or Ferrari- really make HasTak try for a change). Engineering-wise, there are myriad differences between the structures and look of the limbs and head, which I'm sure will also affect differences in the transformation. It's practically a new toy, and while it's not as accurate in jet mode as I would like, it's a much better effort than HasTak's usual aircraft offerings. As a stylish take on the SR-71, and done fairly well for Hasbro, I got a PO with Target. 

As they continue to do these crossovers, I'd love to see them take a crack at doing the '89 Batmobile, the Tumbler, and Airwolf as a few possibilities. I know Knight Rider's in there, too, and I'm not opposed to that either. Heck, if they wanted too, they could repaint ER prime to be Goliath.;)  But please Hasbro, for the love of all that's right in the universe, don't reuse the sh!tty ER Ironhide mold for BA's van.:bad:

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Well... I guess the jury's still out on an other MPM Decepticons, as I'm unaware of any new announcements and we're still three short of completing the first movie.  But with four out of five movie Autobots in hand I went ahead and finished the set with MPM-09 Jazz.

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Yes, MPM Jazz is shorter than MPM Bee.  That's movie-accurate.

I find the comparison with the Studio Series version to be pretty interesting.  The MPM figure has a lot more molded and painted detail, and his feet, shoulders, and biceps are much more screen accurate (plus he doesn't have the door kibble on his biceps).  But he's still got kibble on the sides of his legs and shoulders, you're just trading some kibble for different kibble.  And the Studio Series toy, despite being less accurate, actually has better proportions.

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From the back it's a similar case- MPM Jazz has much more accurate feet, and they tried to give him the sort of details on his back that he had in the movie instead of a backpack that's most of the top of the car.  But... MPM Jazz's back is actually a backpack that's made of pretty much the exact same top of the car as the SS figure's, it's just folded up and presented differently.

Also, I gotta ask... what's up with the black hooks on his butt?  I can't find any purpose that they serve in transformation and they're certainly not screen-accurate.  Dangling down seems the be the right position for car mode, but folding them up (they are on a pin hinge) just puts them in the way of his waist swivel.

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Anyway... Jazz comes with three accessories.  First and probably most important is his blaster/shield thing.  But you also get a static figure of Sam running with the cube, and... a spine.

When you're not using them, the shield can fold so it's flatter against the gun part.  And that leaves room for you to plug the spine into the gun.  I guess the only way to store Sam is in the box.

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Jazz's head is on a hinged swivel that can look down a little, up a fair bit, and rotate.  Both the hinge and the swivel are very loose on my copy.  His shoulders are a bit awkward.  They butterfly backward at his torso for transformation.  They also rotate at the wheels, no issue.  The issue is that he's got a lateral hinge inside his chest, then another hinge that rotates on it's own.  The hinge in the chest doesn't give him much lateral movement, but if you orient the other hinge right and move his collar bits out of the way you can get a little under 90 degrees laterally.  But you could just as easily orient it as a butterfly joint.  Either way, it's another joint that's a little too loose.  Moving along, his bicep can swivel but if his elbow is bent expect it to get caught on his bicep armor.  And the elbow does bend- it's actually double-jointed, although both joints are necessary to get the maximum bend of just 90 degrees due to the weird way his forearm transforms.  His wrists do not swivel, but each finger on both hands is individually-articulated with hinges at the base and at the mid-knuckle.  His waist can swivel.  His hip skirts are almost always in the way, but if you hinge them out you'll be able to move his hips 90 degrees forward and just under that laterally and backward.  His thighs swivel.  His knees are, again, double-jointed but again don't really get much past 90 degrees.  Also, his upper knee joints are again very loose.  Due to the way he transforms his front toe can bend down a bit, but it'll move the inner toe with it.  The other toes don't move, so the outer diecast toes might not even touch the ground.  He does have some ankle pivot, but it's extremely limited, maybe 15 degrees.

On the box and in some promo art you might have seen Jazz posed on one hand, as if mid-transformation when he did that breakdance move in the movie.  Forget it, MPM Jazz isn't doing that without additional support.  I think you could, in theory, balance the figure to pull it off but in practice his loose joints just will not support the pose.

Jazz's blaster fits on his arm by pinching all his fingers together then stuffing them in a hole on the back of the shield.  The instructions show it attached as in the above picture, but I do believe that flipping it 180 degrees is more accurate and it will fit that way.

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As for the spine, well, there's a button under Jazz's backpack.  If you push it in you can separate his top from his bottom.  The plug on his top half that secures him to his bottom can then be plugged into a port on the spine.  If you have MPM-08 Megatron it allows you to recreate Jazz's most iconic scene in the movie- the one where he gets ripped in half.  Can't do that with the Studio Series!

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On the subject of gimmicks, you can lift up the top of Jazz's head and fold his visor in, then close it back up.  This allows you to see his nicely-painted blue eyes.  I'm not sure why they opted to do this, as Jazz is never seen visor-less in the film, but it's a thing you can do.

While we've got a close up of his head, I have to say that I wish they'd smoked that translucent plastic.  Even the blue they used on the SS toy is better than straight-up clear.

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Speaking of the translucent plastic, again, smoked would have been nice and even the blue of the SS toy is better than clear.

The transformation is actually sort of similar to the Studio Series toy.  His legs make up the rear, his arms the head lights and the sides, the top of the car from the front windshield back to the spoiler is a backpack, the and the front of the car has to do a 180 to get the hood under it before forming his chest.  There's just a lot of extra steps involved.

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Clear windows aside the alt mode does look pretty good.  I do think its a bit weird that he's got the spot of his license plate but doesn't have a plate tampoed on the way Bee and Barricade do.  Other than that the clear windows and lack of license plate I don't really have anything to complain about.

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The instructions don't mention any vehicle mode accessory storage.  I couldn't find any for the spine, and Sam just stands alongside, but there is a gap on the gun/shield.  That gap happens to fit over the spoiler.  With no other use for that gap spoiler storage might be an intended feature.  However, while it's snug enough that it won't fall off while sitting on a shelf it's loose enough to fall off when handled, which makes me think maybe it's not intentional.  I don't know.

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One last shot, with the Autobot cast together.  And... yeah.  Jazz is sort of in the middle.  I like him better than Ratchet and Ironhide, but less than Prime and Bee.  If we're counting Decepticons, less than Starscream and Barricade, too.  Some of his issues are endemic to the Studio Series line- yes, he's got more paint and greater accuracy than the Studio Series toy, but there are still unpainted spots and kibble that make you feel like he's still falling short of that "Masterpiece" label.  And before I even complain (again) about loose joints.  It's like he's just nice enough that you buy into the notion that he's a premium collectible, but with enough flaws that you're sure a third party could do a better job.  And with that in mind I'm not sure I'd recommend him.  See, while the Studio Series is less accurate overall I'm more forgiving of those flaws and inaccuracies at their lower prices.  Any three of these characters in the Studio Series cost as much or less than MPM Jazz.  And frankly, for the Bay films, I think that's enough.  If you really are into these designs or these versions of the characters and you want a more premium display then, yes, the MPM line will give you that, but with enough un-premium flaws that I don't know that you're really that much better off.

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I bought Human Alliance Jazz a few years back when it was out at retail, and I thought it was pretty close to the MP level of engineering at the time. I'm curious if you've ever handled that fig and, if so, how you think the two compare. It is notable that the HA figures were designed around accommodating a minimally articulated human character figure from the movies, which meant some concessions, but also an inspired carryover from the Binaltech/Alternators in that the car mode's cabin could fit a human fig behind the wheel.

For clarity, I'm not really interested in picking up MPM Jazz, but thought a comparison with the HA fig would be rather interesting from a toy evolution POV.

 

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7 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I bought Human Alliance Jazz a few years back when it was out at retail, and I thought it was pretty close to the MP level of engineering at the time. I'm curious if you've ever handled that fig and, if so, how you think the two compare. It is notable that the HA figures were designed around accommodating a minimally articulated human character figure from the movies, which meant some concessions, but also an inspired carryover from the Binaltech/Alternators in that the car mode's cabin could fit a human fig behind the wheel.

For clarity, I'm not really interested in picking up MPM Jazz, but thought a comparison with the HA fig would be rather interesting from a toy evolution POV.

 

Unfortunately I never tried any of the HA figures. I bought all the cast of the first movie in the first movie line, but after the first movie I bought very few movie toys until Studio Series. I think just Voyager Megatron, Sideways, and Breakaway from RotF, Megatron, Shockwave, Starscream, Sideswipe, Roadbuster, and a repaint of Topspin (and those last two only because of deep clearances at Target), Voyager Grimlock from AoE, and Voyagers Prime and Megatron plus Bumblebee and Barricade from TLK. That's it.

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Contrarily, despite my lack of fondness for the overall aesthetic, I found the complexity, engineering, alt modes, and even the bot modes of some to be alluring, especially many of the non-movie-featured figures. As such, I accumulated a decent collection of Bayverse figs. The majority of my movie toy buying petered out around the release of DotM, I picked up AoE Grimlock and SS Blackout, but I don't think I bought any more Bayverse stuff after that. I picked up a few Bumblebee Movie figs, which obviously share the Bay aesthetic, but since Bumblebee, I've pretty much lost all interest in collecting Bayformers. 

The reason I bought HA Jazz, despite abhorring his depiction in the film, was that his bot mode hearkened back to the hood chested figs G1 figs like Jazz and the Datsuns, and I liked the look of the Solstice. Unfortunately, the '07 deluxe toy was disappointing to say the least. HA offered a near-MP level of engineering at lower-than-MP prices, and so I got him. He's the only HA fig I own, and though I haven't had him out of storage for a few years, I remember thinking he was pretty well done, capturing a lot of the smaller details and moving bits, not to mention much better hands, than the atrocious deluxe. The HA figs were about the same scale as the Alternators, so that upscale in size allowed for a higher degree of engineering and accuracy that the main line just couldn't match. Anyway, with a MPM fig released, I thought a comparison of the two would be interesting. I'll have to scout about the various Youtubers and see if anyone there is doing it.

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The final wave of Earthrise just hit, we're months away from the first wave of Kingdom... but here's a peak at the second wave.

 

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I'm really curious to see how that Earth-mode Ultra Magnus turned out.

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My Netflix Spoiler pack came from Hasbro Pulse today.  Is it really a spoiler?  I think everyone knows it's Nemesis Prime.

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Nemesis Prime is a redeco of Siege Optimus, aka the best mainline Optimus Prime figure for maybe a year until Earthrise hit.  I do wonder why they didn't just use Earthrise... maybe Hasbro's worried we're getting sick of it after releasing Dead Optimus and with the Shattered Glass version coming next year, but honestly I'll keep buying ER Prime if they keep making different colors.  I'm not going to complain too much, though, the Siege mold makes for a slightly more aggressive appearance and I don't mind a Nemesis Prime that's a bit different than the regular one.

I'll note now that Nemesis Prime was released in Japan during Siege.  The Japanese version didn't have the painted crotch, plus the silver on his ribs, the silver on his crest, and his Decepticon badge are teal.  For robot mode I might have liked the teal ribs, but for the most part I think I'm fine with how this release looks in robot mode.

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Nemesis Prime comes with a ton of accessories, much more so than his original Japanese release.  None of it's really new, though.  You have the blaster from the Siege mold, makes sense.  You have the trailer and drone from the Earthrise mold, which is fine since the trailer works with the Siege mold.  You get Fangtron, a redeco of the Battlemaster Slitherfang, and the accompanying effect part.  Then things get a little weirder.  You get a trio of energon cubes, but they're not packed in the box.  Instead, they're buried in black Play-Dough in a cup on the side of the box (apparently this was done with the Ultra Magnus spoiler pack, too, but I didn't buy that one).  Then you get a "Dark Saber" sword, a bird named Giza, and a pair of double-barreled cannons.  Those all came with the Power of the Primes Leader-class Nemesis Prime.

We're glossing over the trailer, drone, and Energon cubes, as they don't do much.  Let's look more at Fangtron and the stuff that came with PotP Nemesis Prime, though, as I haven't covered them before.

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Fangtron as a tail hinge, two hinges in his body, one in his neck, plus a mid-body swivel.  You can get some fairly dynamic poses out of him, although balancing him can be a bit tricky.  He turns into a shield, and with the WFC connectors on both ends he can connect to the ramps on various other figures, or the trailer door/shield that Nemesis Prime comes with.  Giza has nothing in the way of articulation, but he turns into a perfectly adequate sword.

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Prime can hold his gun, either sword, or shield just fine.

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The Dark Saber has a 5mm peg on one end and a slot on the other.  Giza has a tab that fits into the slot on the Dark Saber.  Since Prime has two peg holes on his back, and there's a peg hole on his rifle that Fangtron can fit into, he can even carry all that gear on his back.

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The double barreled cannons are a bit of an issue, though.  This is basically because they have two short pegs on the underside, instead of just one, with a ridge between them that's raised higher than the rest of the surrounding plastic.  Basically, you can fit them into the 5mm ports on his forearms, but that's about it.

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OK, so I'm not a big fan of the truck mode deco.  I mean, the trailer looks great (like I wish Hasbro put that much effort into ER Prime's trailer, then I wouldn't have needed so much paint and Reprolabels).  I like that they put a silver stripe on the side that surrounds the headlights where the Takara version was black around the headlights and just had a teal band where Siege Prime has a white stripe).  But I hate all that translucent red.  Like, it's fine for the windshield, maybe the overhanging roof bits, but not the headlights and grill.  Takara used teal for the grill and headlights, as well as the rims and the cannons on the bumper, and it looks much better.  I also don't know about that black bit on the bumper.  Maybe I'd prefer if the whole bumper were silver.

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Takara also had a little teal on the side windows, where Hasbro left them unpainted black, and Takara painted the fuel tanks silver.  I'm not sure why Hasbro didn't; they started to paint that area with the tool boxes.

Nemesis Prime can, of course, tow his trailer, but he doesn't really have room for any other accessories if he's pulling it.  And he actually comes with so many that you can't fit them all in the trailer.  Without the trailer, though, you have room to peg in almost everything but drone and the Energon cubes.

End of the day, not all of the included accessories work all that great, and I'm not a fan of the translucent red headlights and grill, but overall this is a very good Nemesis Prime in my book and well worth picking up.

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10 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

The final wave of Earthrise just hit, we're months away from the first wave of Kingdom... but here's a peak at the second wave.

 

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I'm really curious to see how that Earth-mode Ultra Magnus turned out.

I'm down for all except the skelly Triceratops, and I may change my mind about that after seeing a review. After all, dinos are cool. I feel like ER is over too soon. There are still any number of missing characters that need figs in this line, as this is probably the most faithful G1 main line we're going to see for some time, and for the sake of continuity, it'd be nice if they exhausted the roster before moving on to something new, or more likely, Unicron Trilogy stuff. I've no interest in the UT, but I realize its the G1 for a lot of younger fans, and certainly Japanese fans, and like us old codgers, they deserve their updated collections as well.

If the boxart is reliable, ER Ultra Magnus looks much, much better than his Siege counterpart, with its ugly 'underbite' and vacuous front wheel wells. :bad: I was curious whether they'd go old skool with a white ER Prime and a separate trailer that becomes his armor, or do an all-in-one similar to the Siege. I'm guessing the latter, which is no doubt a heavy retool of the former toy. Fine with me either way as long as the truck mode is better this time around. FWIW, I thought Siege UM 's bot mode looked great; I just couldn't abide the hideous truck mode.

Finally, after waiting 36 years, I get my official G1 Huffer, and so far, he's looking pretty good. My only concern is that he has a weird looking shield attached to his left arm which makes me think parts-forming. <_<

I'm digging Dinobot's bot mode chest solution, as you can see the Raptor head sandwiched in the center, but it blends reasonably well to give him that spread out dino head look like he had in the toon. MP Dinobot used a completely faux chest; I prefer the Kingdom, as its a more creative solution that still utilizes the dino head in the same manner as the original toy, just straddled by side panels that complete the look. Moreover, MP Dinobot isn't much fun to transform; it's a beautiful figure in both modes, but the act of getting from A to B is laborious and often frustrating. I'm hoping this fig will offer a less intensive, more fun transformation, as well as good looking bot and dino modes.

I'm looking forward to adding Airazor to my collection, as I only bought her Transmetal toy, but not her original organic falcon toy. I was never a big fan of the Fuzors, but I hope they do Silverbolt- loved the character in no small part due to how he was written and Scott McNeil's awesome performance. So cheesy, chivalric, and big-hearted he even swayed bad girl Blackarachnia to the good side.:D  Until Beast Wars, I never in a million years expected a romantic relationship story in a Transformers cartoon, but the way they slowly developed it with charm, wit, and a lot of humor just made it so enjoyable to watch it play out.

 

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More pictures of Flame Toys Cosplay version of Tarn I mean the Fallen (from TFW2005):

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https://news.tfw2005.com/2020/11/21/flame-toys-kuro-kara-kuri-the-fallen-official-gallery-product-information-424581

This is the first Kuro Kara Kuri figure I feel super meh about. The gorilla like proportions that where already to exaggerated in their Tarn make ab even more odd looking bot as the Fallen.

Arms and legs are have no remolding done and he doesn’t come with his own weaponry. Only when you buy from D4 Toys you get a chainsword in addition to Tarns fusion cannons.

Disappointing!

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Got an email that Pulse shipped Bugbite. FedEx says it should come today, but I have my doubts since the tracking says they picked it up in Lewisberry, PA (about a three-hour drive from me) and took it to Kennesaw, GA yesterday (a ten or so hour-drive).

EDIT: nope, he came.

Edited by mikeszekely
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Ah, the great and wonderful hub system which is confoundingly impractical and frustrating, especially in such cases.  The same applies to cross-country flights, too. 

Hoping POs will drop soon for the next wave of Kingdoms figs. I'm just so happy that they finally made a G1 Huffer in the main line. I hope he turns out well.

Edited by M'Kyuun
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