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On 1/20/2021 at 8:47 PM, Shawn said:

I wasn’t aware that it actually got released but I wouldn’t mind having one just for the heck of it.

On 1/24/2021 at 10:59 AM, Bobby said:

Just got this from Hasbro Pulse ...

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Finally an F-14 transformer... Top Gun fun

 

 

 

Very nice Gerwalk mode.

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3 hours ago, Knight26 said:

I'd bet that Hasbro told Funko, "let HG come, we'll stomp them."

Or, since it is a limited edition, "Who cares, we'll sell out before they can arm the lawyers."

Wouldn't be the first time they pulled that move.

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Why does Bombshell's package have the late-gen logo like Banzai-tron? He should have the same logo style as Starscream.
I thought it was cool that they were using the period-appropriate logos for the characters until I got to him. :(

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5 hours ago, JB0 said:

Why does Bombshell's package have the late-gen logo like Banzai-tron?

It makes about as much sense as the character selection (one Autobot vs. three Decepticons)...

Optimus, but no Bumblebee....  

Starscream, but no Megatron...

Bombshell, totally off-scale and all by himself... 

...and Banzai-tron, because he was just SO cool in the cartoon.8P

Honestly, mass-market retailers have got to stop ordering this garbage. :angry:

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7 hours ago, JB0 said:

Why does Bombshell's package have the late-gen logo like Banzai-tron? He should have the same logo style as Starscream.
I thought it was cool that they were using the period-appropriate logos for the characters until I got to him. :(

Because it's not this Bombshell (1985), nor the cartoon.

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Look at the shape of the torso, the spikes on the shoulders, the black head with the silver mask and green eyes, the lack of a proboscis on his forehead, the purple shins and orange feet, the weird gun and the green bug hat that come with the Super7 one...

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It's Action Master Bombshell.  Who came out in 1991, a year after Banzaitron.

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All that said, crappy articulation, crappy price, doesn't scale with existing lines, and homages the absolute worst subline idea in all of G1, and I'm really starting to wonder how these got into production, because I doubt even the biggest Transformers fans have any interest in these.

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9 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

It's Action Master Bombshell.  Who came out in 1991, a year after Banzaitron.

I actually didn't realize Bombshell had an Action Master version. That explains that.

 

Really, they shoulda gone all-in and just Action Master'ed the whole line. No half-measures.

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Man, FedEx.  Got an email this morning that my Shattered Glass set was out for delivery.  I kept checking, all day long it's "loaded on vehicle for delivery" and "scheduled delivery by end of day Sunday, January 31st."  But it never came, and now the status is "pending, no delivery date scheduled."

Meanwhile, Amazon tells me yesterday that my next Galactic Odyssey box's delivery date is moved up to Tuesday.  And it came today.  Score one for the beleaguered USPS, I guess.

Well, half this box is a repaint, as is all of the Shattered Glass stuff, so I guess I'll be doing a repaint roundup soon.  But the other half... well I guess it's technically a repaint too.  But it's a repaint of a figure I never bought, so he gets his own review.  It's Deluxe-class Punch!

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Y'know, I always start these things by talking about how accurate or not a figure is to the source material, but I guess we need to address first the differences between this version and the first release, and then we have three different sources to compare to.  In addition to having a G1 toy, this guy appeared in both the "The Rebirth" in the West and in The Headmasters in Japan.

Well, right off the bat, he's a lighter shade of blue than the first release, and the rims on the wheels aren't painted.  That's all less-accurate, regardless of the source, but those are the big differences, but there are a few small ones like his hands not matching the rest of his blue, black bands on the outsides of his forearms, black biceps, and black on his abdomen, again, all less-accurate (at least as Punch).  The rest is more car-related, and we'll cover them when we get to car mode.  He retains the black feet and purple shins, which are toy details, His eyes are red and separated like "The Rebirth", but the shape of his helmet and the silver part of his face with the molded mouth is pure The Headmasters.  His chest is the biggest departure from all sources.  The toy had the windshield split by a white panel with the Decepticon badge on it, which The Headmasters copied.  "The Rebirth" put a pair of Decepticon badges on the windshield, but the windshield narrowed over the space between them.  Here we have the entire windshield intact and looking like a normal windshield, with the badge sitting a bit lower.

Punch is a bit tall for a carbot.  Fine with me, I have no idea where he goes on a scale chart.  He was shown as tall as Galvatron and a little shorter than Fortress in The Headmasters, but animation is always an inconsistent source.

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Punch comes with this single yellow pistol.  I was ready to say that it lacks the second barrel that the yellow gun that came with the G1 toy had, and it's shorter than the black rifle that came with the G1 toy.  However, Punch did seem to have a yellow pistol in The Headmasters so I guess this is fine.  The gun is all you get with this version, but I'll note here that the original Prime Wars release also came with a Prima Prime Master and one of those double-thumbed Prime Armor combiner hands that came with Power of the Primes Jazz.

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Punch's head is on a ball joint.  He can look down, but nothing really up and no real sideways tilt, but it could be that the manufacturing was off because if I try to pose him looking straight forward the head wants to kind of pop into a slight sideways turn.  Shoulders can rotate, and he can almost move them 90 degrees laterally, on hinged ball joints.  You might have to fiddle with the car kibble on his shoulders, though.  His biceps swivel and his elbows bend a tiny bit under 90 degrees.  No wrist swivels, but his waist does swivel.  His hips are ball joints not my favorite; I prefer universals).  They can go forward, backward, or laterally a little under 90 degrees.  I'll note that I'd prefer if they were a bit tighter, but the the tolerances are a lot better than my old Combiner Wars stuff.  He has mushroom swivels in his thighs, and his knees can bend about 90 degrees.  Although he has little painted black spots to show his feet, they're actually just the bottom of his legs, molded at an angle for an A-stance, so no ankles or tilt.

He can hold his gun fine.  There's a single 5mm port on his back you can use for storage as well.

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Wait, did I say Punch?  Maybe I meant Counterpunch.

Again, the most immediate difference between the Galactic Odyssey version and the original Prime Wars one is the color.  The blue is lighter, and the yellow more of a lemony yellow than the orange creamsicle on the original.  And yep, that makes him less-accurate all around.  He's also lacking the painted details on his thighs meant to evoke the G1 toy's stickers, but that's technically more cartoon accurate (bare black in "The Rebirth," tiny red dots but otherwise black in The Headmasters).  Likewise, while "The Rebirth" used yellow biceps, the G1 toy and The Headmasters had black arms for Counterpunch, so the black band on his forearm and black biceps are more accurate than the all-blue on the PotP version.

As for details that are the same between versions, there's molded details on the yellow parts of his shoulders that match details on the car parts in The Headmasters. The head doesn't match "the Rebirth," but it splits the difference between the G1 toy and The Headmasters by giving him two separate eyes like the toy but making them blue like The Headmasters.  Most of the molded details on his torso and the placement of the Autobot badge follow pretty much all three G1 versions.  The only real differences is that he's got some black markings that no version had under the badge, and the circles on his abs have changed to trapezoids.

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Unlike the G1 toy, Counterpunch doesn't get a separate gun.  He has to share Punch's.

Speaking of sharing with Punch, his articulation is basically identical because he shares the same joints.  Even his elbows and knees are the same; the joints are simply designed to hinge in both directions.  The only real differences are that the downward tilt of Punch's head means an upward tilt for Counterpunch, and the position of Counterpunch's shoulder kibble seems to interfere more with his shoulder articulation than with Punch.  Note that I've arranged properly according to the instructions, with the bottom of the car pointed up and the seam against the back of his shoulder.  His kibble actually will tab onto the sides of his shoulders that way.  But, many pictures I saw of the original seemed to have it arranged so that the bottom of the car was against the back of his shoulder and the seam facing down.  If you do it the unofficial way it's a bit easier to get the car kibble out of the way.

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In some ways, transformation between Punch and Counterpunch might be easier than the G1 toy (I don't know, I never actually owned it).  In both cases you're basically spinning him around 180 degrees, so Punch's back is Counterpunch's front and vice versa.  He's got the same tilting visor that the G1 toy had, so the top of his helmet covers the eyes on whichever face is currently the back of his head, although nothing hides the fact that Counterpunch has a mouth on the back of his head.  On both sides the badge is set on a panel that can be flipped down.  This doesn't just hide the badge for whichever faction he's not being; underneath the flap is a 5mm port for robot mode weapon storage or possibly use with some Siege accessories.

The big difference between this version and the G1 version is that the car kibble doesn't house separate arms for each robot mode.  They share the same arms, and as I mentioned the elbow simply bends both ways.  He does have separate hands, though, to make sure that the thumb is on the right side.  The black panel on the outside of his forearm opens up, and as you rotate one fist into his forearm the other will rotate out.

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If other Transformers didn't think it was suspicious that Punch looks a lot like Counterpunch from behind and vice versa, you think the fact that they both transform into the same car would tip them off.  Their larger robot mode size still works pretty well in car mode with War For Cybertron figures.

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Once again, the blue was darker on the PotP version, and the PotP version had red rims, and in both cases that's more accurate to the source.  This one retails the red-painted taillights but loses the silver paint around the grill, and on those little indented bits on the fenders behind the front tires.  A part of me hates to see that paint go, but it's not like the G1 toy had a silver grill.  But the biggest is the yellow painted around the skirts.  Sporty, but not at all accurate to the source.

Speaking of the source, regardless of which version you have the car isn't G1 accurate at all, aside from being a blue car.  The original was supposed to be a Pontiac Fiero.  This car is sort of like a Ferrari SF90 Stradale and a 6th-gen Camaro had a baby.  While I guess something a little closer would have been nice I'm not a big fan of the Fiero, which I don't think has aged as well as contemporary Firebirds (aesthetically speaking).  So I'm not too put off.

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Punch/Counterpunch has a 5mm port on his roof, and you can stick his gun there if you want.  However, if you look on the underside one of the black armatures that connects the car kibble to his shoulders has a small tab on it.  That tab happens to fit into a slot on one side of his gun's handle, allowing him to store it underneath.

Oh, and despite the fact that a large section of his hood unfurls from inside his torso, despite the fact that his head doesn't fold into that cavity for car mode, and despite the fact that the original PotP version came with a Prime Master, a Prime (or Titan) Master doesn't fit in the void vacated by the section of his hood.  I tried.

Alright... regarding this figure on its own, the engineering is a throwback to the Prime Wars cars, which is not up to par with the War for Cybertron stuff even if I ignore the feet.  That said, the engineering is still pretty interesting, like how the roof curls up into his feet, and I'm honestly impressed that a character like Punch/Counterpunch would get made with a unique mold in modern times at all.  I don't think he's a must-have character, but if you like the design or had fond memories of the G1 character/toy then he's still pretty cool.

That said, if you want an Earth-mode Barricade then Punch/Counterpunch is along for the ride.  If you're like me and you didn't get the Amazon-exclusive Power of the Primes version then cool, now you have this guy in your collection too, even if he is colored more like Nightbeat than G1 Punch/Counterpunch.  However, the Power of the Primes version has the superior deco.  If you already have him then your faced with either skipping Earth-mode Barricade or being forced to buy a second, inferior version of Punch/Counterpunch along with him.

Edited by mikeszekely
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Quick update on Punch/Counterpunch-

When transforming him to car mode his forearms are supposed to tab into his sides.  On my copy they kept popping out, which messed up the alignment of the front end of the car.  My first thought was that maybe which hands are exposed made a difference- it didn't.  I wrote it off as either a tolerance issue inherent to the design, or possibly an issue with my copy specifically like mold flash.  I mean, I was already having some minor issues with his head ball joint, right?

Well, while reading up on the character I stumbled onto something.  See, the PotP version had an assembly issue, and this assembly issue has apparently not been corrected for the Galactic Odyssey version.  If you need the fix, or think you need the fix, here's what you do.  Begin by popping the arms off the ball joints.  Now, look at the post the ball joint is on that runs into his torso (it's blue on the original version, black on the newer one).  Where the post is jointed to the torso look at the shape on top, then swivel the post and look at the shape in his armpit.  One side will be a little rounder, the other a little flatter.  The flatter side should be on the top, if if you're like me you'll find the rounder side is on top.  If that's the Punch's chest and get the hood kibble out of the way, then get a spudger and carefully wedge it between the yellow plastic and the blue/black plastic on his flank.  Wiggle the ball joint toward the gap you created and you'll see it's just on a post.  You can pull the part out once it clears the post, flip it over, then put it back.  With the flatter side up the ball peg will find a natural stopping point when you rotate it up, and that point will perfectly align his forearms with his sides and they'll stop popping back out.

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Good review, Mike. I haven't messed with my PotP P/CP for awhile, and honestly, I couldn't remember whether or not I'd had issues pegging the arms in as you described. After transforming mine, my copy's arms stay pegged without my having had to change anything (I may have made the change back when I first got him and just don't remember). Anyway, those tabs on the arms are pretty small to start with, and getting them to align even on a functioning copy requires care to ensure the shoulders are in place. As I said, it's been awhile, and my first attempt to put him in car mode resulted in the bottom bulging due to my having forgotten to close the center chest tab so the Autobot symbol is showing on the bottom of the car. Fixed, it went together much more smoothly. The ball joint for the head on mine is tight but free moving, so I'm able to get a decent range of motion. Sorry to hear that yours sticks. A bit of sanding will likely remedy that.

I still have my G1 P/CP, and it's a fig for which I'd hoped for an update until the PotP version was released. I was a little bummed that they didn't replicate the double set of arms, which helped differentiate the looks of the bot modes a little more on the original toy, but overall, I was pretty happy with how well it turned out. I wish now they'd done it for ER or Kingdom, as the articulation and possibly the engineering would have been improved, but for a very minor character, it does the job. I'm also happy with the new car mode; while I liked the look of the Fiero back in the day, the modern, albeit fictional, car mode is fitting and looks really nice to my eye.

I'm also expecting the new version of P/CP along with Barricade, who's the real draw for me for that particular two-pack. Since the PotP version captures the look of the G1 toy better, with more accurate coloration and paint apps (love the darker blue and the red rims), I'll likely leave the new P/CP in storage.

Concerning Fed Ex, your experience with projected delivery dates getting shuffled and delayed echoes my own.  Generally, though, my Fed Ex packages come intact, but last week I got a couple large LEGO sets in, and while I built the one, I kept the other put aside. I finished the first and was opening the second yesterday only to discover that the bottom had been impaled by god knows what, and said instrument of destruction penetrated not only the cardboard box, but also the main box and a secondary box within (It's a large modular building set, which often have half the bags contained within a secondary box or boxes within the main box, probably for ease of factory sorting). Anyway, I was dismayed at having the thing punctured, as I may have lost bags of parts, and because I keep the boxes to the majority of my sets. I'll likely go through and do an inventory this week to make sure everything's there. It's a first, and hopefully a last, especially with a $200 set.:(

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8 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Concerning Fed Ex, your experience with projected delivery dates getting shuffled and delayed echoes my own.  Generally, though, my Fed Ex packages come intact, but last week I got a couple large LEGO sets in, and while I built the one, I kept the other put aside. I finished the first and was opening the second yesterday only to discover that the bottom had been impaled by god knows what, and said instrument of destruction penetrated not only the cardboard box, but also the main box and a secondary box within (It's a large modular building set, which often have half the bags contained within a secondary box or boxes within the main box, probably for ease of factory sorting). Anyway, I was dismayed at having the thing punctured, as I may have lost bags of parts, and because I keep the boxes to the majority of my sets. I'll likely go through and do an inventory this week to make sure everything's there. It's a first, and hopefully a last, especially with a $200 set.:(

Actually, you reminded me that early last week I'd ordered a PS4 game from best buy that they shipped FedEx. It came the same day as our cat food from Chewy. The driver dropped the game in a bubble mailer onto my porch, then dropped a box with 40-some cans of cat food on top of it. The disc was ok, but the case was pretty crushed.

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8 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Actually, you reminded me that early last week I'd ordered a PS4 game from best buy that they shipped FedEx. It came the same day as our cat food from Chewy. The driver dropped the game in a bubble mailer onto my porch, then dropped a box with 40-some cans of cat food on top of it. The disc was ok, but the case was pretty crushed.

A dick move like that seems more likely purposefully inconsiderate than just merely thoughtlessly incompetent.  I'm sure delivery drivers, regardless of the corporation/agency they work for, have to deal with stressful/annoying situations. Hell, the the odious driving habits of the indigenous population here in Spokane would have me wanting to invest in a minigun with several barrels of ammo if I had to contend with it every day as part of my job. Fortunately for me and the population at large, I'm retired and a homebody, so my outings are minimal. Anyway, as a pro delivery driver, one expects a little more care as a matter of courtesy and professionalism. 

8 hours ago, technoblue said:

Thanks for posting the Figure King images @sh9000. I’m liking the design work on MP Skids. It’s going to be interesting to see how much of that detail migrates over to the prototypes. 

Man, I'd forgotten about MP Skids. Given the number of more prominent characters that have yet to receive the MP treatment, Skids seems an odd choice. Nonetheless, if the final product has all the detail of the concept, I'm interested, as I skipped XTransbot's version. Too, I liked the look of the original toy, even though I never had him, so hopefully this'll be worth the wait. 

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mp skids looks REALLY good.  i like that they are going away from hyper toon style on this one.  xtb already has that covered honestly for that character. haha.  hopefully takara's won't be priced as badly a their hound etc.  looks like  fairly simple design but i fear they will charge a bunch because i guess they've seen......they can.  i do wonder if this is marketed as "toy styled" or sort of a hybrid the best elements and the way you remember it the way the old hasui designs were.

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Deep Cover is available to preorder on Hasbro Pulse.

What's interesting is that it's being reported that this is one of two figures, causing some to speculate that an official Clampdown is coming, too. While I wouldn't say no to that, the wording is

"This special edition WFC-GS23 Deep Cover figure is 1 of 2 different versions that will be our first U.S. releases of the character (each sold separately, subject to availability)."

That suggests to me two versions of the same character, which perhaps lends credence to the rumor I reported on that Deep Cover, Red Alert, and Sideswipe are getting retooled Earth modes.

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14 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Man, I'd forgotten about MP Skids. Given the number of more prominent characters that have yet to receive the MP treatment, Skids seems an odd choice. Nonetheless, if the final product has all the detail of the concept, I'm interested, as I skipped XTransbot's version. Too, I liked the look of the original toy, even though I never had him, so hopefully this'll be worth the wait. 

Yeah. I'm looking forward to other new MPs too (and not just the update/rehash MPs). It is curious that Skids got bumped to the head of the line. XTB's version was a good effort, but ultimately I passed on it because I wasn't keen on the face sculpt. 

5 hours ago, Mechapilot77 said:

mp skids looks REALLY good.  i like that they are going away from hyper toon style on this one.  xtb already has that covered honestly for that character. haha.  hopefully takara's won't be priced as badly a their hound etc.  looks like  fairly simple design but i fear they will charge a bunch because i guess they've seen......they can.  i do wonder if this is marketed as "toy styled" or sort of a hybrid the best elements and the way you remember it the way the old hasui designs were.

Toy style MPs are few and far between. For instance, I wish they had given us a toy version of Sunstreaker instead of the sticker upgrade kit that came with Spinout. As much as I like both toon and toy, I also hope they go more toy/hybrid with Skids. It makes the collection more interesting. 

Just my opinion. ;)

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Comparing XTB's Savant, the G1 Skids, and Takara's art, I like XTB's feet and Takara's arms. Takara's feet look wonky, like he's walking on platform shoes.

I kinda wish they made them look like the original box art:

 See the source image

Ever since first laying eyes on Prowl's boxart, I've been enamored with glass enclosed innards on the legs of Transformers, and Skids is no exception. That just looks awesome to me, as well as just the general shaping of the foot, with the nice gently flaring taper.  :wub:See the source image

XTB's Savant resembles this art: 

See the source image

Here's what I believe is the Sunbow model:

See the source image

And here's the original toy:

See the source image
G1 Skids definitely did not enjoy one of the better robot modes. His arms were the worst, but the placement of the feet on the original and on Savant look much better to me than Takara's art:

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I'm sure opinions will vary, but, the feet just bug me, even if they do help the proportionality of the design. If I had my druthers, he'd look as close to the OG box art as possible.

 

 

Edited by M'Kyuun
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FedEx was a little late, and then we've been getting smashed with a winter storm here.  It's not one of those ones where you get hit by a foot of snow and dig yourself out the next day.  No, it's one of those ones where it snows and inch and then stops, so you go out and shovel the driveway only for it to snow another inch, so I've basically had to go shovel four times in the last three days (and my driveway is currently an unbroken sheet of white).  But hey, I managed to take a few pictures while my daughter did her Zoom kindergarten, and since I dozed watching TV after dinner I'm good to stay up and write.  So here's there latest edition of Repaint Roundup.

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We're starting with Barricade, who's been my most-wanted repaint since he was announced.  And yeah... he's alright.  He's Earthrise Smokescreen with no mold difference, just different colors.  Hasbro opted for clear plastic on his windows and lights, which I guess is fine, but it does kind of reduce the purple on him.  So while I think in actuality the lilac plastic used on him is the same as the Siege toy it comes across as slightly more pinkish.  I mentioned before, especially in this post, that the notion of Barricade as a psuedo-G1 repaint of Prowl/Smokescreen comes some art Guido Guidi did a few years back, and in his art you can see black shoulders, purple biceps, black forearms, and purple hands.  Now, because of his movie design, I prefer more black than purple, so when the Siege figure was purple from the bicep down I wound up buying a second Siege Prowl and swapped arm parts.  Well, this time Barricade does have proper black forearms, but now his shoulders are purple.  And this time they're not easily removed to replace or repaint.

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On the subject of colors, we come to his weapons.  Again, on Guidi's art, Barricade had a gold gun, and Smokescreen-style purple shoulder cannons with gold barrels, which is why I painted Siege Barricade's gun and the barrels of his shoulder cannons.  This time Hasbro actually painted Barricade's gun, and it looks pretty good!  But, we've got the smaller Earthrise shoulder guns used with Smokescreen and Bluestreak, and they're just purple.  In anticipation of Barricade's release I'd ordered some replacement accessories for both him and Smokescreen from Nonnef.  Smokescreen's white accessories work perfectly fine for him, but I'm not loving the "gold" ones for Barricade.  They're more of a caramel color.  Plus, with just the barrels on the shoulder guns appearing as gold on Guidi's artwork you kind of have to decide if all purple guns are more or less accurate than all-gold.  Given that this is two toys that went for purple shoulder guns now I'm starting to lean that way, and I might just stick with his default accessories.  Besides, a Smokescreen chest and head with Bluestreak's shoulder guns and Prowl's lightbar makes him an amalgamation of all three Datsuns instead a black-and-purple Smokescreen with a light bar.

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Alt mode.  The matte paint on the hood look nice, until you realize how quickly it starts showing marks.  The Datsun mold looks great in black, but the deco is a bit lacking.  There's no paint on the taillights, and the only police markings are some white on the door with "POLICE" tampoed in black.  Toyhax seems a bit behind, but I really hope they do a set for Earthrise Barricade that gives him markings similar to what was on the Mustang in the 2007 movie.

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We can do something about the colored wheel clip, though (for him and the other Datsuns).  Nonnef makes these wheel covers.  They have a tab on the back that simply wedges into the middle of the clip.  Black works fine for Barricade and Prowl (G1 Prowl might have had silver rims, but most modern police cars do seem to use black).  Black will also match Smokescreen out of the box, but I did wind up painting his rims.  Likewise, Bluestreak's come painted.  Nonnef makes gray wheel covers, too, but I think I'm going to have to wait for warmer weather and I'll paint the gray ones silver before installing them.

So Barricade- I like the ER Datsun mold, I like Barricade, so it's a recommend, especially if you don't have the packed-in Punch/Counterpunch yet so you're not just paying for Barricade.

The Nonnef weapons- recommend for Smokescreen, not so much for Barricade.  I didn't get the sets for Prowl and Bluestreak, which are more toy-style than cartoon-accurate.

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Leaving the Galactic Odyssey behind for a bit we've got the Pulse-exclusive Shattered Glass pack.  We'll start with Prime, who's a straight repaint of Earthrise Prime, sans trailer.

SG Prime's a bit interesting because the original one was the Classics mold, and the deco's been retroactively applied to Universe Laser Optimus mold and MP-10 before Earthrise got the SG treatment.  While some details have been uniform- dark blue legs, purple torso and arms, yellow window with one of them damaged, other details have been less consistent.  The pelvis markings (which, like ER Prime, leaves off the paint for the middle rectangle), sort of Mountain Dew-colored here, matched his windows on the Classics mold, but were sort of greenish on the MP.  But, the MP had yellow eyes, but ER goes for the original's red.  This version, unlike both the Classics and the MP, has gray hands and a green forehead crest, but the grayish gun matches the MP.  Classics had the Autobot insignia on both shoulders, the MP on just his left shoulder, but ER swaps to it just his right shoulder.  Perhaps the play up the "mirror" aspect?  But one thing you notice is that ER Prime's left shoulder was left smooth for the tampoed insignia, and mirroring it makes it look messy on the shoulder with greebles while his left shoulder is out-of-place smooth.  Well, at least his lower legs are solidly blue (from the front).

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SG Prime does still come with a Matrix.  The handle is painted a darker silver than ER's, and the center is purple with a yellow crystal.  Hasbro did get a little lazy here, though.  Unlike ER Prime, Hasbro only painted one side of SG's Matrix, so the back is just a pee-yellow translucent plastic.

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Truck mode looks fine, with yellow windows and headlights, minus the aforementioned issue with the insignia being on the greebles and the other side being smooth.  I do wish he had a trailer, though.  Maybe he can use Alternate Universe Prime's.  I don't think he needs it, being dead and all.

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Instead of a trailer, SG Prime comes with SG Ratchet, who's a straight repaint of Earthrise Ratchet.  I think there's less of a precedent for SG Ratchet's colors.  As near as I can tell the only Shattered Glass Ratchet prior to this was from a Botcon customization class using a new head on Combiner Wars First Aid.  That toy did seem to establish that SG Ratchet is still mostly white, does trade Ratchet's red for grays and purples, and does have a purple crest and a darker face.  But all this cyan?  That seems new.  I gotta tell you, though, I don't hate it.  Actually, I think it goes pretty great with the purple.  That said, if ER Ratchet had a white hinge for the window on his chest why couldn't SG Ratchet?

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SG Ratchet comes with the same roof-shield and tool that ER Ratchet does.  The main difference is that the boosters are purple, the Autobot insignia is purple, and Hasbro put some silver paint on his tool.

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SG Ratchet's vehicle mode suffers the same way ER Ratchet and Ironhide's do- molded but unpainted windows on the back of the sides, gray wheels, a partsforming roof, and robot feet instead of the back of the van.  That last one's a bit worse for SG Ratchet because his cyan feet really stand out against the white.  The windows I don't mind too much; a lot of ambulances and cargo vans don't have windows on the sides of the rear.  The feet, though.... the sooner someone comes up with a better solution the better.

I'm not a big fan of the Shattered Universe in general.  Flipping the script, so the Autobots are the bad guys and the Decepticons the good guys, isn't clever or original and, in this case, ultimately makes for the same good robots fighting bad robots.  Nemesis Prime already makes for an in-universe evil Optimus with a better deco to boot.  That said, I actually really like SG Ratchet's deco.  I've got half a mind to slap a Mercenary or Decepticon badge over the Autobot one on his roof, rename him, and make him the Decepticons' medic, no SG universe required.  There's also the rumors that Hasbro will go going hard on SG as Pulse-exclusives.  If you're in for a collection of SG repaints and this isn't just a one-off set then it makes more sense to pick this one up.  If you're really not into SG, though, unless you really like the molds or decos this set's probably a safe pass.

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Anyone know where I could source an MP-36 "clean" chest piece? I dug my MP-36 out of storage and I apparently lost the non-damaged chest at some point, he had the battle damaged chest on inside the box, and the other is nowhere to be found. I really don't want to have to buy a KO or something for this one piece, but I've had zero luck finding any damaged figures, or parts lots, containing that regular chest piece. 

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The day started out a little rough.  See, I've been waiting for a package from China.  The package cleared customs and was taken by a courier to a USPS facility in Lancaster, PA (between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, about 3 and a half hours east of me).  Yesterday I was alerted that it arrived and then departed from Warrendale (north west of me, less than an hour away).  The next stop should be my local post office, so if it arrived there early enough it should have been delivered today.  So I checked the status when I woke up and saw that, for whatever reason, it went back to Lancaster.

Next up I check my email, and I see three emails from Amazon about revised shipping dates.  Since stores are starting to get Studio Series 86 in but my preorders all had a release date of April 1st I assume that Amazon is moving them up.  That's the case for Kup- he might be here by Monday.  But the other two are delays, with Amazon now telling me I'm not getting Jazz or Grimlock until May.

Well, after dropping my daughter off at Kindergarten I went out to get more driveway salt.  Target doesn't have any salt, and aside from some Buzzworthy Bumblebee stuff they only have a single Kingdom Optimus Primal.  So I head over to Walmart.  No Grimlock, but I did manage to find Studio Series 86 Deluxe-class Jazz!

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Y'know, for such a major character Jazz hasn't had a lot of love.  We had a crappy Legends-class toy in 2008, the well-received but definitely dated Reveal the Shield toy a decade ago, and less-well-received Power of the Primes toy in 2017.  While I think both of those figures have their issues they both were passably Jazz in robot mode... but not like this one.  SS86 Jazz nails the cartoon-style, to the point that the only flaws I can pick out are very subtle details like different line work on his grill, a little extra details on his silver abs and shins, and a lack of stripes over the fenders on his lower legs.  And some of that, like the differences on the grill, might be an effort to get around Porsche's licensing, because nothing on the box seems to suggest that they did obtain such a license.

With that in mind, accuracy to the 86 movie was clearly the priority, so fans of the G1 toy might find a few other disappointments.  He doesn't have a shoulder launcher, and his doors cannot fold out to make wings like the RTS toy or the G1 toy.

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Jazz comes with a mostly-cartoon accurate gun.  I've seem some people online complaining about it, but I'm not sure what their problem is aside from the white pegs on the sides.  But those pegs serve a purpose, allowing Jazz to store his gun on his back while he's in bot mode.

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Jazz's head is on a ball joint, with very little downward tilt, adequate sideways tilt, and plenty of upward tilt.  His shoulders rotate and extend laterally a little over 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  Sadly, his wrists don't swivel, but his waist does.  His hips can move forward almost 90 degrees, backward about 45 degrees, and laterally about 75 degrees; not the best, but I think an adequate amount for most poses.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His feet can't tilt up, but the toes do tilt down.  And his ankles can pivot almost 90 degrees.

Jazz can hold his weapon in either hand, no problem.  He has one more 5mm port on his back, where he can store his gun, and one on each foot under his toes.

While articulating Jazz I should point out that I ran into two more minor issues.  The first is that his backpack doesn't really lock in place.  Gravity and friction are enough that it's not flopping around or anything, but you might push it out of place while handling him.  The other issue is that his knees have these little tabs that plug into his shins.  Neither are as secure as I'd like, but his left knee especially pops out constantly while handling him.

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While previous Deluxe-class Jazz toys were pretty passable in robot mode I've never been satisfied with their alt modes.  RTS Jazz looks more like a Ford Fiesta than a Porsche.  PotP Jazz did pull off something very Porsche-esque, but the wrong model (something more like a Porsche 956, aka the same car Gobots Crasher turned into).  SS86 Jazz is finally, unmistakeably, the whale-tailed Porsche 935.

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Really, the departures from the real car and the animation model are slim.  There's the aforementioned grill and the missing stripes over the rear fenders.  There's a weird vent on the side, in front of the door.  There's some missing black from the sides of the spoiler, the number 14 instead of 4.  And perhaps most noticeable of all there's his toes sticking out the rear of the car.  Some of those things, like the missing stripe, the number change, the grill, and the vent were again probably to avoid licensing issues.  As for the feet, well, it's unfortunate, but I think it boils down to how his feet were engineered.  While other, usually unofficial, takes on the character have demonstrated that it's not necessary for his feet to poke out like that I'll say that for Hasbro to have avoided it they'd have had to totally redesign his legs.

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While I do prefer weapons to be hidden in alt mode that's not the case for SS86 Jazz.  That said, the peg hole on his back winds up on his roof, and you can plug his gun in there.

Studio Series 86 Jazz is not a perfect figure.  That said, his flaws are mostly very minor, and the aesthetic ones (save the feet sticking out in alt mode) will almost certainly be corrected with some Reprolabels down the line.  All-in-all, for a Deluxe-class figure he came out pretty fantastic.  I think he's a huge improvement over the previous two Deluxes.  Fans of the toy-style shoulder launcher and door wings might be less enthusiastic, but anyone looking for a cartoon-accurate Jazz is sure to be pleased, and I highly recommend this figure.

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I wish they'd stayed more beholden to the toy transformation on the legs, hiding the toe within the leg and having his whale tail and back windows on the backs of his legs in bot mode. I'm not the biggest fan of their using the tail as his heel, as even in the G1 animation, he was drawn to resemble the toy in this manner. The lack of an option to deploy his wings is a little disappointing, but since he never had them in the toon, or Movie by extension, it's forgivable. The omission of his shoulder launcher is a bummer, although he's rarely shown with it in the show or Movie. Gripes aside, HasTak did a lot right on this fig so far as giving us a proper G1 Jazz, and it's nice to finally get a Jazz fig this close to the original source. As Mike said, for being so prominent a character, he's had little love over the years, and that likely boils down to Porche's reluctance to give a license for what they deem "war toys". :rolleyes: They skirted pretty close with this figure, though- enough that I'd think Porche could take legal action if they cared to do so. Let's hope they don't. It's just nice to have a Jazz that looks like , gasp, Jazz!

RTS still holds a special place in my heart, as I think he's a well done Jazz fig, especially for the time period in which he came out. With the exception of ankle tilts, his articulation is superior to SS '86 Jazz. Moreover, he had the proper G1 deco on the car mode including the number '4' on the doors, a folding weapon that integrated into the alt mode (which should be the standard at this point), and fold out speakers to replicate one of several scenes throughout the series where he would deploy speakers from somewhere on his body to lay down some sick beats. Your definition of sick may vary.:lol: The transformation departed a fair bit from the G1 model in the legs; I'm not sure if it was IDW inspired, but I dig it regardless. It hides all the bot parts, and captures the essence of G1 Jazz while being stylistically different. He was arguably the best official Jazz figure for a decade, and despite SS '86 Jazz's faithfulness to the G1 toon model, IMHO, he remains the better toy

As for toy deliveries, I think my Kingdom Blackarachnia and possibly Optimus Primal are coming tomorrow, along with my LEGO '89 Batwing, so some nice stuff to look forward to for the weekend. I was quite surprised earlier this week to find Blackarachnia at my local Wally, which is usually a barren wasteland of empty shelves and pegs where Generations Transformers stuff is concerned. I knew Pulse had already sent me a package, so I left her for, hopefully, another fan to find. Still no sign of the rereleased Headmasters; I've looked at two of my local Wallies, and neither had them. I'm hoping to snag Brainstorm, as he's the one I missed when they were originally released for TR.

Haslab released another Unicron update showing the molding and painting processes, as well as the packing process. While the sheer amount of labor necessary to bring this figure to production is extraordinary, what stood out to me while perusing the pics was that the majority of people assembling and painting this figure are women. I was also struck by the length of some of their fingernails despite the nature of the work- that's either courageous or extremely optimistic. However, I salute them and the work they do, as it keeps my shelves full of these lovely shape-shifting playthings that give my life a measure of joy.

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@mikeszekely I think you forgot to mention the Fall of Cybertron Jazz from 2012 which might be worse than the PotP one. :p

Anyhow thank for the review, Jazz looms good but I think I’m content with the MakeToys one.

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I miss my Shield Jazz. It was within reach of a new puppy, who apparently wanted to make it more screen-accurate, but had only seen Bay's work.

...

Yeah. Ripped in two. I found the top half and bottom half in diffrent places.

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