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4 hours ago, JetJockey said:

This is it for Version 2?

Someone on TFW2005 actually bought both versions. Apparently there are also some minor improvements to the hip ratchets, but no, no battle damage or other new accessories. And there's been no mention of a third revision.

Speaking of revisions, one of the few complaints about Magic Square's Prime was the lack of paint. So in addition to a white Ultra Magnus repaint and a black Nemesis repaint MS has announced an X version with metallic paint. I'm going to pick one up, compare it to the first version here, then sell one off.

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5 hours ago, JetJockey said:

This is it for Version 2? No battle damage options like on the Magic Square? Any Version 3 rumors or is it too early?

Way too early to be talking about a V3, the V2 just barely came out last week and over the weekend. There was never any talk of battle damage parts or extras to that extent, a new head is one thing, entire extra parts like that would be way too much to add, and would be a bit insulting to early adopters.

I also read the backs of the knees for V2 are molded blue plastic instead of metal like the V1, so the V2 is slightly lighter then the V1 as well. And yes, some on TFW2005 have found there are more ratchet teeth in the V2, but it doesn't seem to add any extra articulation of any kind, the extra ratchet teeth appear to just be a piece of mind thing.

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Shame to hear that there doesn't seem to be any improvement to V2's hip articulation, especially if they changed out ratchets for ones with smaller/more teeth. That was certainly an area in need of improvement.  I think it was cool of them to include a different head sculpt, depending on one's sensibilities. I know the original had its share of detractors. personally, I think both look good. It's a beautiful mold; the articulation, or lack thereof in certain areas, was really what edged me over to the MS. Well, that and I prefer the chunkier MP-10ish look. However, both are good MP Prime figures, so ultimately, especially for the price, you're a winner regardless of your choice.

I continue to be well pleased with my Magic Square. It's a good mold, and really, the only two criticisms I can levy against it are the lack of a Matrix cover and the lack of a trailer adapter for MP-10's trailer. The latter isn't as important as the first in my case, as MP-10's trailer has been boxed up nearly from day one, and is now buried under so many other boxes of TFs I've bought since then that it's not worth the effort to dig it out. My Detolf couldn't accommodate it, anyway, so it's relatively moot. All that said, addressing the upcoming repaints, cool for those who really like the mold but want either completion or something more than the original offered. I prefer the matte finish of the original, but I still look forward to seeing how the shiny version stacks up. As for the Ultra Magnus version, he's only half Magnus without the trailer to complete his look, IMO. If they made the trailer, and it became his armor, then that'd be damned impressive. He'd be huge, but cool nonetheless. 

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16 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Someone on TFW2005 actually bought both versions. Apparently there are also some minor improvements to the hip ratchets, but no, no battle damage or other new accessories. And there's been no mention of a third revision.

Speaking of revisions, one of the few complaints about Magic Square's Prime was the lack of paint. So in addition to a white Ultra Magnus repaint and a black Nemesis repaint MS has announced an X version with metallic paint. I'm going to pick one up, compare it to the first version here, then sell one off.

 

I need to check that other forum more often. I didn't know about that Magic Square repaint. But I did like the cartoon color of the original release.

 

15 hours ago, Tking22 said:

Way too early to be talking about a V3, the V2 just barely came out last week and over the weekend. There was never any talk of battle damage parts or extras to that extent, a new head is one thing, entire extra parts like that would be way too much to add, and would be a bit insulting to early adopters.

I also read the backs of the knees for V2 are molded blue plastic instead of metal like the V1, so the V2 is slightly lighter then the V1 as well. And yes, some on TFW2005 have found there are more ratchet teeth in the V2, but it doesn't seem to add any extra articulation of any kind, the extra ratchet teeth appear to just be a piece of mind thing.

 

I guess I'm used to companies like Sideshow Collectibles making variants and repaints after releasing stuff.

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I think @sh9000 was waiting for this... X-Transbots' Boost, their MP Windcharger.

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This is a reissue, which is important to note because XTB originally released this with a gray chest, pelvis, and head that was similar to the G1 toy's, with silver legs, as a toy version and another with a bluish chest, pelvis, and head and white legs as a cartoon version.  This reissue is alternately called "teal" and "comitoon."  It retains the silver legs of the toy version, but the chest, pelvis, and thighs are a different color that's kind of a bluish-gray.  It's not as light as the old toy version, but not as blue as the cartoon version.  For my money, I think the color is actually more cartoon-accurate than the old cartoon version.

I like a lot of what XTB's doing here, aesthetically.  They captured the goofy shape of the cartoon shoulders, the cartoon pelvis, the lines on the thighs, the red hip skirts on his sides, and even the way the cartoon had some silver shins.  The head sculpt is pretty good, although the face is a little long.  His forearms are a little thick, too, but nothing I can't live with.

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Boost comes with a gun, as all transforming robots should, an alternate toy-style face, an alternate back of the head, and that magnet/tractor beam/flashlight from that one episode.  Gotta be honest, I don't really remember this thing too well.  I'd have preferred XTB tossed in the lab coat he work in "More Than Meets the Eye, Part 3."

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Boost's head is on a hinged swivel, with a little bit of up/down tilt.  His shoulders are on ball joints, and due to the shape of his shoulders they're pretty limited.  He can only extend them about 45 degrees laterally if his arm is at his side.  If he's raised it he'll get less because the top of his shoulder collides with his body.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend just a touch over 90 degrees.  His wrists can swivel, and his hands are like an MP car's, with a fixed thumb and all of his fingers molded as one piece pinned at the base so he can open and close his hands.  His waist swivels.  His hips can kick 130 degrees forward, but only about 30 degrees backward.  The red hip skirts hinge out of the way so he can get a little under 90 degrees laterally on those hips.  His thighs swivel.  His knees bend a little over 90 degrees.  Then his feet... well, both his toes and his heels can bend down, but not really up, and both his toes and his heels can hinge inward to give him 90-ish degrees of ankle pivot.

I'm not going to use the toy head, so I didn't swap them.  It looks like you just undo a screw.  He can hold his gun in either hand.  The handle has tabs on it that are meant to fit into his palms, MP-style, but the fit is pretty loose.  It's really the tension in his fingers doing all the work.  As for his magnet thingy, you make his right hand into a tight fist and then slide the handle into his hand with the edge going over the back of his hand.  Doesn't seem to work on his left hand.

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Transforming Boost is a bit of a bear.  I mean, it's pretty clear what you're supposed to do, but there's constant tolerance issues getting in the way.  Going from car to robot you have to untab is arms from against his body and from under the side view mirrors, which require you try to move the arm in opposite directions.  There's minimal clearance for getting his head in and out from the nose of the car.  But the worst is his feet, which involves moving and rotating different parts while trying to get a screw to fit under part of his leg.  It feels unnecessarily complicated, but the kicker is that the tabs that hold the red parts of the legs into the silver parts and the pegs that lock the heels into the front of the feet don't really work.

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X-Transbots went with a realistic Pontiac Firebird alt mode.  Well, it does look pretty good, and my first thought was that I wished they'd done a black version (ala a rare variant of the Windcharger keychain) because it'd look awesome as KITT.  Now, I know some people prefer the realistic alt mode, but it just doesn't look like Windcharger to me any more than a realistic Porsche 924 looks like Cliffjumper.  To me Windcharger needs big, flared fenders, bigger rear tires, silver rims, and a silver grill with lights in the front.

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Speaking of lights, Boost's do pop up.  He's got plastic tires that roll just fine.  And he's supposed to have storage for his gun and his magnet.  The magnet does tuck in nice and snug, but there's a little notch on his other robo-heel that's supposed to grip a notch on the gun's handle.  It really doesn't, though.  I kind of balanced it in there for this picture, but as soon as I moved him it fell right back out.  Well, due to the other tolerance issues I really don't see myself transforming back to car mode again any time soon.

Windcharger and Gears are fighting for the position of "Mike's least favorite season 1 Autobot," and that's why when I picked up Badcube's Grump, an ok but not great figure, I was pretty satisfied.  "This is good enough for Gears," I said.  Happy to cross him off the list.  With Boost that's almost, but not quite the case.  The robot mode is fine, and I am glad to cross him off the list.  But even as an armchair designer who doesn't really know what goes into making a toy like this I can think of ways this design could be improved.  If another company took a stab at doing Windcharger there's a good chance they'd do it better (especially if they give him a more cartoonish, penny racer alt mode).  So I don't really recommend Boost, but after all this time I don't see anyone offering an alternative any time soon.  So buy him if you want to cross Windcharger off of your list, but expect that he'll be a placeholder if something better comes along.

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

... my first thought was that I wished they'd done a black version (ala a rare variant of the Windcharger keychain) because it'd look awesome as KITT...

Me too. Could even use the toy-style face to differentiate it from a "real" Windcharger on the shelf. I think the toy face would work great for a KITT head, if you paint the optics visor with red segments. 

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Today we're looking at three add-on kits by Perfect Effect for Takara Legends God Ginrai.  The kits in question are PC-15, PC-16, and PC-18 (PC-17 is for Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus).  This is a follow up to some stuff I began discussing in the regular TF thread, so you might want to go here for my reviews of the base figures.

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We'll start with PE-15.  This kit contains a new head for Super Ginrai that doesn't have the Titan Master gimmick (but does have some light up eyes), some thigh fillers, and a replacement Ginrai that turns into a proper Powermaster engine instead of a head.  And, I gotta say, the new Ginrai is pretty cool.  His chest is a little big, but he's got a sharper sculpt and more anime-esque proportions than the Titan Master, plus he's got better articulation.  His little shoulders are ball joints that can rotate and move laterally about 60 degrees.  His legs can move independently of each other, with his hips able to kick forward a little over 90 degrees, and a swivel under that joint lets him move his hips laterally 90 degrees.  His knees are ball joints that can bend about 90 degrees, plus they can act as a thigh swivel.  And he does all of that without really being any bigger than a Titan Master.

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Installing the thighs and head is pretty straightforward.  The thigh fillers just push into the hollow spaces on the inside of Super Ginrai's thighs.  They'll work on a Hasbro Powermaster Prime, but the color match is meant for the Takara toy.  As for the head, the original is on a mushroom swivel.  Just push it out, and push the new head in.

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Now, PC-15 does effectively do away with the Titan Master gimmick... but it doesn't really work as a Powermaster.  If you open up Super Ginrai's chest you'll find the white stabilizers for base mode.  Basically, you're supposed to use grooves in them to slot the Powermaster Ginrai into them, as far forward as you can.  That way you still have room for the head in truck mode.

On its own, PC-15 is kind of waste.  The thigh fillers are nice, but not necessary.  And if you're just going to jam a Powermaster into the space inside the torso instead of on his belly engine then frankly I think you're better off sticking with the default Titan Master.  The worst thing about it is that the retail price for it was something like $50!  I don't care if the eyes light up or not, a head, a powermaster, and some thigh filler isn't worth $50.

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But then we add PC-16 to the mix.  PC-16 is, for the most part, a new figure called Jinrai Prime.  Jinrai Prime comes with a very Optimus Primey ion rifle, replacement splayed hands, and a new chest piece for Super Ginrai.

Of course, Jinrai Prime is meant to be Ginrai's base transtector, the cab robot the Super Ginrai toy was desperately missing.  And he's a pretty cool toy on is own.  Like the smaller powermaster Ginrai in PC-15 he's got a puffy chest and narrow waist that gives him a heroic look.  He's just a little shorter than Siege Optimus, which is an advantage over Thunder Manus' tiny cab robot.

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Jinrai Prime's head is on a ball joint with some fantastic up, down, and sideways tilt.  His shoulders are also ball joints that allow him to rotate and extend laterally about 90 degrees, but not both at the same time- his shoulders are a little too tall and bang into his backpack.  There's also a hinge in his shoulders that gives him a forward butterfly.  His biceps can swivel, his elbows can bend a little under 90 degrees, and his wrists can swivel.  His waist can swivel, plus he's got about 45 degrees of ratcheted ab crunch.  His hips are ball joints that can get 90 degrees to the side and backward, but a little under that forward.  They can provide a little bit of thigh swivel, but he's actually got cut thigh swivels below his hips.  His knees can bend a little over 90 degrees.  His feet can bend up a little, down over 90 degrees, and his ankles can pivot 90 degrees.

He holds his rifle just fine in his fist-hands.  I checked, and Siege Prime can hold that rifle, too.  It's a little loose, though.  Or, you can pop out the fists, as they're just pegged in, and replace them with the splayed hands.  They look cool for some poses, but only the fists fit for transformation.

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And speaking of transformation, Jinrai Prime turns into a truck, of similar size and aesthetics as Super Ginrai's cab.  Which, y'know, is what you want, since Jinrai Prime is meant to replace that cab.

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What we do is flip Super Ginrai over.  See that white bit?  Unscrew the little screw in it, and pop it out.  The cab will come right off.  Then you can use the post that ran through the cab (1) as a peg that fits into a hole (2) on the back of Jinrai Prime.

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And there you go!  Now, it's not super secure, but it's not any worse than, say, G1 Prime and his trailer, or G1 Ginrai and his trailer.  But it's not enough to be the cab of the truck.  Jinrai Prime also has to integrate into Super Ginrai's body for robot mode.  And, sure enough, if you open up the front of the truck you'll find a spot for a mushroom peg in an otherwise empty, hollow cavity.  If you bought PC-16 without buying PC-15 you can use the original Titan Master head.  The instructions will tell you that it doesn't fit in the vehicle mode, since Jinrai Prime doesn't have as much space inside and, if he's looking forward and you flip the head in, the hinges to open the helmet don't fit.  You can, however, turn the head sideways and it'll fit.  There just isn't a seat for the Titan Master, but you can leave him stuffed in the head.

Of course, if you are using Jinrai Prime with PC-15, the replacement head fits fine.  And you'll notice that the the piece with the grill is on a swivel.  If you spin it 180 degrees you've got a little nook that you can plug the new Powermaster Ginrai into.

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If you're using Jinrai Prime without PC-15 you can leave the original chest piece on Super Ginrai alone.  It'll fit over Jinrai Prime, same as the default cab.  If you have PC-15, though, you're going to want to pull that chest piece off.  The hinge is one of those friction types that have the little nubs, you just have to fold the chest piece up almost like you're closing it and pull it straight out and away from the body.  The new chest piece pops on by doing the reverse.  It's molded to look very similar to the original, but instead of having a faux Ginrai engine in the middle there's a space for the actual engine that comes with PC-15 to poke through.  Jinrai Prime finishes securing in place by using that post that connected the cab to the trailer and fitting it into another hole, closer to the cab in truck mode and higher on Super Ginrai's back.

So, taken solely on his own the Jinrai Prime figure is a pretty cool figure that's kind of worth buying just to have a cool Optimus/Ginrai figure.  And as an add-on for Super Ginrai he addresses one of my biggest complaints by giving us the cab robot.  What I find really frustrating, though, is that PC-16 is far better with PC-15, but PC-15 on its own isn't worth buying.  In other words, I think PC-15 and PC-16 should never have been two separate sets, and if Perfect Effect ever reissues them (which they probably should, as the God Ginrai gift set is still readily available but good luck finding the PE-15 and 16 kits) I'd like to see them do it in one box.  They're essential for turning a pretty disappointing toy into a pretty good one.

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Moving along now to PC-18, this kit was marketed as an upgrade that's actually for Godbomber.  And, judging by the reviews I've seen on Youtube and the fact that I had a much easier time tracking this kit down, it seems that everyone wanted PC-15 and 16 but kind of neglected this set.  Probably because most of it is stuff that seems nice to have, but not totally necessary.  Namely, we've got two new rifles, a new sword, and new wing tips.  Plus two little blue pieces.

As you can see, the new guns and sword are much bigger than the ones that came with Super Ginrai/Godbomber.  They may even look a little too large for them.

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The weapons don't work all that hot with Godbomber.  His hands aren't 5mm pegs like Super Ginrai's, so while he can hold the new sword it's not tabbed in like the original and is relying entirely on the tension in his knuckle joints to stay in place.  He likewise can't really hold the rifles, although the instructions suggest that you can fit the handles into the holes on his forearm wings... I think that's more so that Perfect Effect can say that everything has a place in robot mode.  And on that note, since he can't really hold the new sword, you can use little tabs on the ends of the cross guard to plug the sword onto Godbomber's back.

The new wing tips use pegs to fit into peg holes on the old tips.  To be honest, I don't think they do much for Godbomber himself, as they're kind of too big for him.  The blue pieces, though, fit into Godbombers forearms and help fill out some of that hollowness. 

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Perfect Effect still wanted to make sure that everything can be stored in alt mode, too.  The wing tips just stay where they are.  The blue parts fit onto the pegs on Godbomber's shoulders.  Then the new rifles can plug into the blue parts, and the new sword can plug into a peg hole on top of Godbomber's cannon.  And the result... is a bit excessive.  Instead of trying to store everything on Godbomber it might be helpful to think of the new weapons as replacements for the old ones instead of in addition to them.  Then you could plug the rifles on top of Super Ginrai's trailer and maybe stuff the sword inside.  Then you'd only have to deal with the fact that the new wing tips look way too big for this mode.

And I think, perhaps, this is where most people stop and think they don't need this kit.  I mean, why pay $35 (plus shipping) for new weapons that you kind of don't really need, and bigger wing tips that look out-of-place on Godbomber?

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And the answer is really down to how those unassuming blue parts work on God Ginrai.  For that mode, you slide them over the Combiner Wars connectors so the taller side faces toward the toes and the little arm is pointing in toward the other foot.  Then when you fold it up into God Ginrai's heel it sits up against Super Ginrai's foot, and the panels that fold around the back of his legs come over the shorter side and lay against the taller side of the blue part.  The result is night and day.  God Ginrai goes from requiring extra care to balance just right so he won't tip over backward to rock solid.

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As for the rest, the slots that locked Godbomber's torso into tabs on the top of Super Ginrai fit into the tabs that usually hold Ginrai Prime's waist together in his robot mode, but Perfect Effect otherwise suggests you use this alternate configuration for Godbomber.  It sits his wings more behind his shoulders instead of above, which looks better, although Godbomber's arms don't lock things together in the back anymore and you can't store Godbomber's helmet there, either.  The tradeoff, aside from the more desirable wing position, is that there's enough clearance now to leave the helmet on Godbomber's cannon.

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God Ginrai can hold the new weapons just fine, and they don't look so oversized for him they way they do for Super Ginrai or Godbomber.  And he can even wield all three at one time, as the new rifles can be plugged into each other for a double-barreled blaster.

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If you'd rather store some, though, PE's got you covered there.  There's pegs on both sides of the sword's crossguard.  One is a 5mm peg that can plug into Godbomber's robot-mode pelvis, so you can use the PC-18 kit even with a stock God Ginrai.  If you've got PC-16's Jinrai Prime in there, though, you can also use the 4mm peg on the other side of the sword to plug it into one of the screw holes on the back of Jinrai Prime's pelvis.  The new wing tips, which again don't look so big on God Ginrai, have pegs on the sides and peg holes on the back that you can use to attach the stock rifles, the new rifles, or both at the same time.  Heck, I was even able to store Jinrai Prime's rifle by plugging it into one of the peg holes on the bottom of Jinrai Prime's feet.

Plus, if you really don't want to give all these new weapons to God Ginrai, since they're basically using 5mm pegs for handles you could theoretically use them with other large figures like other Leader-class figures or a Combiner Wars/Power of the Primes gestalt (as a matter of fact, I do believe Perfect Effect used the same rifles for replacement back cannons for Combiner Wars Bruticus).

So yes, on the one hand most of PC-18 are upgraded parts for stuff that you already have, which are often things that are nice but not necessary.  Those little blue parts that go into God Ginrai's heels, though, thoroughly address my biggest complaint with God Ginrai, to the point where I'd actually recommend PC-18 regardless of whether you bought 15 or 16.  

Now, taken together I could also say that the three kits fix most of my complaints about the whole set, taking a mediocre Ultra Magnus repaint and a mediocre Godbomber that combined into a floppy God Ginrai and giving me a proper Ginrai that combines with his trailer for a proper Super Ginrai and combines with Godbomber for a solid God Ginrai.  However, one of my complaints still stands; he's too big against Titans Return Overlord.  And then we have to address the elephant in the room, that being the price.  The God Ginrai gift set's price has dropped, but it's still $140.  And the retail prices, assuming you could actually still find PC-15 and 16, add up to nearly another $150.  For half of that you could pick up Maketoys Thunder Manus and get a God Ginrai that scales better with TR Overlord and has much better articulation (although you're giving up a robot-mode for Godbomber).  For $50 less you could get Thunder Manus and Divine Shooter, which would give you the same God Ginrai but also add back that Godbomber robot mode.  And if you're not particular about scale with your other Generations figures and just want an awesome Powermaster Prime/God Ginrai I expect the price of Fans Hobby's Super Ginrai plus their Godbomber to only be around $50 more than Legends God Ginrai with all the add ons.  So I think, ultimately, my recommendation is something like this:

If you're starting from scratch, I do NOT recommend buying God Ginrai and trying to track down all the add-ons.

If you've already got God Ginrai, I strongly recommend PC-18.  Chances are you mostly display it in God Ginrai mode, and those blue pieces are lifesavers.

If you just want a cool little Prime/Ginrai figure I do recommend PC-16.  If you don't care about Godbomber or God Ginrai and just want a Powermaster Optimus Prime you can even use PC-16 with the Hasbro Titans Return version to save money and get the trailer.

If you already have Super Ginrai and want the complete experience I recommend PC-15 if and only if you also have or can get PC-16.  PC-15 is practically essential to making that experience work.  Without PC-16, though, you're better off sticking with the Titan Master gimmick.

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Best 3rd party Tf I got is Fans Toys' Phoenix:wub:

 

Hands down, he can stand in for an official anime/Sunbow Skyfire!

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15 minutes ago, fenrir72 said:

Best 3rd party Tf I got is Fans Toys' Phoenix:wub:

 

Hands down, he can stand in for an official anime/Sunbow Skyfire!

Phoenix is great.  It's just too bad Fans Toys hasn't made anything close to that good since.

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Phoenix is great.  It's just too bad Fans Toys hasn't made anything close to that good since.

What about that Arcee version? Planning on getting her, she that bad?

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27 minutes ago, fenrir72 said:

What about that Arcee version? Planning on getting her, she that bad?

Just my two cents, but yes.  The absolute worst thing Fans Toys has put out.  I sold mine not long after buying it.  Bought MMC's Azalea instead, couldn't be happier with that decision.

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

Just my two cents, but yes.  The absolute worst thing Fans Toys has put out.  I sold mine not long after buying it.  Bought MMC's Azalea instead, couldn't be happier with that decision.

The Azalea does look good too. And is cheaper. The Fans Toys Phoenix effect got me a bit biased for their product but if you  could humor me, what's the worst thing with Rouge that Azalaea improves on?

On Azalea, does she have a die-cast frame and feet? For stability that is. Thanks in advance.

 

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17 hours ago, fenrir72 said:

The Azalea does look good too. And is cheaper. The Fans Toys Phoenix effect got me a bit biased for their product but if you  could humor me, what's the worst thing with Rouge that Azalaea improves on?

On Azalea, does she have a die-cast frame and feet? For stability that is. Thanks in advance.

 

Short answer: Rouge has diecast in her chest, which is good for not much besides making her top heavy and paint chipping.  Azalea has diecast his her lower legs and feet, so she's pretty stable.  I'd say that Azalea has slightly better articulation, too.  But the main difference is that Azalea was my least favorite thing to transform ever, but Azalea is pretty fun to mess around with.

Longer answer here.

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4 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Short answer: Rouge has diecast in her chest, which is good for not much besides making her top heavy and paint chipping.  Azalea has diecast his her lower legs and feet, so she's pretty stable.  I'd say that Azalea has slightly better articulation, too.  But the main difference is that Azalea was my least favorite thing to transform ever, but Azalea is pretty fun to mess around with.

Longer answer here.

:shok: Thanks for the link.  I think I'll be changing my must have her to neutral then.

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I know I've replaced my Takara Legends Metroplex with Maketoys Utopia, but I had a chance to get the DNA upgrade kits for Metroplex, so I figured why not.  This is going to be short, and sorry, no pictures.

The kits come in two sets.  The first is just a set of hands.  They're slightly larger than the ones that Metroplex comes with, and they're molded so that the fingertips have that same "I'm actually a cannon!" look, but they have actual joints.  The fingers have three knuckles each, plus another hinge so they can splay at the base.  The thumb has two hinges that you'd consider to be knuckles, and another hinge at the base so the thumb can fold over the palm.  Additionally, there's a swivel between that hinge and the first knuckle hinge.  DNA kept the wrist hinge, too, so they can still "transform" by folding down.  They also retained the slots in the palms, so his guns still tab into them.

Something that's pretty cool is that you can lift up the back of the hand, spin it 180 degrees, then fold it back down to reveal a double-barreled gun.  The gun has its own up/down hinge, and the barrels extend a bit.  Aside from giving him more bot-mode firepower it's an option in his alt modes to distract from the hands just chilling there.  All-in-all, they're a big improvement over the stock hands and I'd give them a recommend.

The other kit's primary purpose is to improve Metroplex's lower body articulation.  So the first thing it comes with is new ratchets and a new spring for his hips.  What they're supposed to do is give him more and stronger detents in the outward motion of his hips.  Well, if the US release was like my US retail Fortress Maximus then I'd guess they're a big improvement, but my Metroplex is the Takara (and from a reissue run), and I don't really have a problem with the hips.  Frankly, I'm thinking about how much of a pain it is to open ratchet joints and have to line everything back up carefully, sandwich everything together, then try to hold it down while simultaneously putting the screw back in, and it's not worth the hassle.

The other thing it comes with are essentially shoes.  You have to open up the front of Metroplex's legs, unscrewing it from the runway on the other side.  Once it's off, Metroplex' original foot is basically four parts.  You leave the bottom, but pull the top and sides off.  The sides have to be replaced with parts from the kit, then you put it all back together.  Then the shoes attach with little hooks that fit into the bottoms of Metroplex's feet (remember to put the toes on the shoes).  Now what's going on is that the hooks that fit into Metroplex's feet are actually on a flap that's hinged on the inside edge.  So, you can put Metroplex in an A-stance, putting Metroplex' real feet at an angle, but only the flap that's hooked onto it goes with it.  Gravity keeps the rest of the shoe flat, so it looks like he's got ankle pivots.  The shoes look a little big, and the left shoe doesn't seem to connect very solidly, but if you want ankle pivots they're largely successful at that.  There's even some rubber strips you can put on the soles.

Now, because they're just hooked on, you can easily take them off again, which is good because he can't transform with them on.  But DNA tried to make sure that you could use them in his other modes, too.  There are eight pegs in the kit.  If you plug one into each of the peg holes on the back of each arm you can snap the shoes onto his arms while he's in vehicle mode.  Since the backs of his arms are facing up and sticking out behind him, that puts the soles of his feet facing up.  DNA designed the soles, then, to look like helipads.  It's not perfect, but it hides the hands a bit and doesn't look any worse than arms sticking straight out behind him.  The only trade off is the somewhat unsightly pegs sticking out of the backs of his forearms in robot mode, which I think I can live with.

Unfortunately, the shoes don't work as well with city mode.  DNA wants you to use the remaining pegs with the peg holes on the front of his forearms.  That's a red flag right away; there's no convenient way to store the pegs except to leave them installed in his arms.  I think you're more likely to be using the front peg holes for guns or other accessories, but even if you're not the pegs are big and pretty unsightly.  I just wouldn't want them to be showing.  But, suppose you decide to go for it anyway.  Well, on his right arm you're covering the hatch with the gun, and I'm not a fan of that.  For what it's worth, though, DNA just has you turn the bicep on the left arm so you can bend the elbow 90 degrees have have his forearm run along his back, with a shoe helipad on top.  Aside from the need for the unsightly pegs that doesn't really hurt anything.

I guess my recommendation for the foot kit comes down to how badly you want ankle pivots.  As I said, they do mostly pull that part off, but if you're just going to have him stand up straight I think he looks better without them.  The foot kit is also a tad pricey, and frankly for what they cost I'm not impressed with the fit and finish.

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I'd hoped to have this one up sooner, but my package was held up in customs for two weeks.  This is Gigapower's Gaudenter, their MP Swoop.

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Yeah, that's a good-looking Swoop.  What's interesting here is that, although his arms and shins are darker than his face and thighs, the difference is probably more subtle than the cartoon, plus he has black hands instead of hands that match his arms.  And the interesting thing is that Fans Toys did basically the exact same thing.

Gaudenter does have the sort of details you'd expect, though.  The chrome is as bling as ever.  Blue torso, red on his chest, gold on his thighs, red on the outside of his lower legs, black details on his shins.  Surprisingly, the blue isn't uniform, either.  His upper torso and hip skirts are lighter than his midriff and the elevated portion of his chest.  But there's the usual Gigapower touches, too... painted detail on his knees ala the G1 toy's stickers, silver trim on the red on his chest, some extra gold details on his chest, red spots on his hip skirts, and blue on his shoulders.  Giga also opted to put the black between the silver face and red helmet.  This isn't cartoon accurate, but I've thought that the cartoon had kind of a caveman brow.  Gaudenter doesn't have the best face sculpt, but the black trim elevates it above Fans Toys' in my opinion.

Oh, and if you're one of those people who preferred the toy, the UK Marvel run, or just think all the Dinobots should match, Gaudenter is also available with red chrome.  The red version is mostly the same, just red instead of blue, but he does have black shoulders and biceps with red details instead of blue.  Unfortunately it doesn't have red chrome dino feet, otherwise I might have considered picking that one up, too.

And yes, Gaudenter is a big fellow.  You can see how much taller he is than the ToyWorld version, and the TW version is about a head taller than an MP car.  Gaudenter is a little shorter than the other Gigasaurs, but he's taller than MP-10, and he's taller than FT's Swoop.

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Every copy of Gaudenter comes with these accessories.  There's a base stand, a flight stand, two adapters (one for robot mode, one for dino mode), two swords, two missile launchers, some red eye stickers, a clip for storing the swords, a replacement neck piece, and an alternate head.  The alternate head has an angry robot face with red eyes, and a dinosaur head that's got the toy-style smoked translucent beak over a thin gold piece.  The robot head is on a ball joint, so you can pop it off and swap it if you want the smoked beak but the stoic face.  You can't swap just the eyes, though.  The swords light up, but I don't have the batteries.  The missiles don't fire, but they can be removed, and apparently the metallic paint version will come with blast effects.  Both his launchers and his swords can be stored on the base stand.  As for the flight stand, it's got an extending arm and several strong ratchets, with a lock for the upper-most joint.  The pre-installed adapter is for robot mode.  You have to remove a screw to swap them.  I put the dino adapter on, because I'll definitely use it for dino mode but probably never for robot mode.  Oh, and I do dig the "GP" on the flight stand.

I might be in the minority, and I probably wouldn't have used it anyway, but I kind of wish that Giga had included a toy-style face with a visor.

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Early orders also include a pair of these lights with a remote.  There are six spots for them on the stand, though.  Maybe Gigapower will sell them separately later?  The lights have a number of hinges so you can aim them how you like, but again, no batteries, so I can't test the remote.

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Unfortunately, some signs of trouble start to crop up with the articulation.  As previously mentioned, his head is on a ball joint with adequate sideways tilt, but he can only look up a little.  Downward tilt is even more limited, but you can move the entire flap his neck is on to fake it.  His shoulders rotate on ratchets, and they can move laterally a little under 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his double-jointed elbows (ratcheted at the bottom) get about 120 degrees of curl.  His wrists swivel.  His fingers are fully and individually articulated, with a pin at the base and middle knuckles on the fingers and a ball-joint at the base with two additional hinges on the thumbs.  His waist actually can swivel, although you'll have to move the beak to clear his hips.  The hips themselves can go just under 90 degrees forward or backward, and over 90 degrees laterally.  What's interesting is that the forward/backward hip joint is ratcheted, but it's a very soft, quiet ratchet.  Despite this, the joint requires almost too much effort to move it, like the friction would have been good enough.  Anyway, his thighs swivel.  His knees bend 90 degrees on a ratchet, and doing so reveals some nice piston inside.  And then we come to his feet.  For starters, his feet bend up and down, but only on a friction joint that's too loose to really support his weight.  In my experience he stands ok in a static pose, but has a tendency to tip backward in more dynamic poses.  Then, you see that little metallic bit at the top of his foot?  That's where the foot is actually connected to the joint.  There's a little empty space around it.  Gaudenter's ankle pivot is limited to how much the metallic bit can move before it runs out of space, which is to say his ankle pivot is almost nonexistent.  There's no excuse for his ankle articulation being this poor in 2019.  The feet are just poorly designed.  Gigapower should have redesigned them instead of rushing to get Gaudenter out before Chinese New Year (and failing at that, anyway).

In any case, Gaudenter can hold his swords using the usual MP method of mating tabs on the handle of the swords with slots on his palms.  Or, you can plug the enclosed clip into a peg hole on his back, then clip the swords into it for storage.  Likewise, his missile launchers can fit into peg holes on his wings for the standard Swoop look, but they do have flip-out handles with the tabs that allow him to hold them in his hands.

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I never owned Swoop as a kid, but from what I can gather Gaudenter's transformation is basically G1.  The beak comes up and plugs onto the face, the lower legs flip around and lie on his back, and his arms and torso collapse inward.  For the most part everything moves smoothly and locks solidly into place.  The only area that you might get a little hung up on is collapsing the chest.  You need to fold the wings back to get access to clips on either side on his back.  Unclip them, them squeeze the arms in and everything should collapse.  Then hold it in place until you can close the clips.  Going back to robot mode there's a button on Gaudenter's back that you need to press.  His sides are spring-loaded and will pop back out.

And the dino mode looks pretty much the way you'd expect it should.  My biggest complaint is that, like Guttur, the dino eyes are left unpainted.  The theory is that it's because the paint might not stick so well to the chrome, hence the included stickers.  Which, ok, fine, but why only include red stickers, then?  I might have to see if I can find a blue I like that'll stick to the chrome.

As far as dino articulation goes, his dino legs have their own thigh swivels, and the can partially bend forward a little.  His neck has three different hinges for up/down movement, plus a swivel so he can turn his head.  His wings have a swivel near his shoulder to move the wings forward, two hinges near is back for up/down flapping, a double hinge near the middle of the wing, and another double hinge near the wing tips.

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His mouth can open and close, and there's a little gun inside with its own hinge.  He's got wing claws.  The claws can swivel at the base, and each claw can wiggle up/down independently on a hinge.  They're actually just pegged on, too, and can be removed.  He's got a little tail.  His toes all have a hinge and can bend down individually, including a dewclaw that folds out from inside his thighs.  The flaps on the backs of his thighs keep you from folding the dewclaws up, though, so he can't stand flat-footed in dino mode unless you leave the backs of his thighs open.

It's not pictured, but you can of course also leave the missile launchers plugged onto his wings.  With his legs on his back, though, there's not enough room for the sword clip.

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Of course, there's always the stand for storing his weapons.  As you can see, the stand is taller than even a big boy like  Fans Toys' Phoenix, so Gaudenter will have no trouble soaring above the other Gigasaurs.  And doesn't he just look majestic up there?  His full wingspan is significantly longer than MP-10 with his trailer in truck mode.

I'm not going to beat around the bush... Gaudenter looks fantastic, but his feet are so poorly do that this is the first Gigasaur that had me wondering if I'd made a mistake going with them over the Fans Toys Dibots.  And I think, ultimately, the answer is no, I haven't.  Even just as a head-to-head, Swoop vs Swoop, I still prefer Gaudenter to FT's, and Gaudenter still feels like a premium figure.  He just feels like a step backward after how great Graviter was.  So yes, I do recommend Gaudenter.  Just know that he's not the best Gigasaur, and I hope Gigapower ends on a higher note with Superator (their Grimlock).

Edited by mikeszekely

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31 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Oh, and if you're one of those people who preferred the toy, the UK Marvel run, or just think all the Dinobots should match, Gaudenter is also available with red chrome

I'm usually a dirty toy supremacist, but I kinda like Swoop being diffrent-colored. He already doesn't match the other four because of his thin lanky build in a team of bulky, brutish brawlers. (That and not turning into a dinosaur. :P )

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4 minutes ago, JB0 said:

I'm usually a dirty toy supremacist, but I kinda like Swoop being diffrent-colored. He already doesn't match the other four because of his thin lanky build in a team of bulky, brutish brawlers. (That and not turning into a dinosaur. :P )

I tend to think of Grimlock as primarily gold, not red, too.  That helps, because I don't really see him as matching the other three.

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LOOK what finally arrived while I was out of town!!! Definitely worth the wait!!! This IS my Prime! New head??? Yup! Don't know if I prefer it or the original. I haven't tried swapping it yet... 

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10 hours ago, derex3592 said:

LOOK what finally arrived while I was out of town!!!

Twinsies!

(That's Transform Element's TE-01 Op Leader, an MP-44 alternative apparently designed by the same guy who did DX9's Mightron, for anyone who wasn't sure.)

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Back when it came out, MP-10 blew me away with how much more dynamic it was over MP-01, but I think even before the Prime Wars of 2019 most of us were longing for something that was a bit more cartoon-accurate.  Magic Square already did that with their MS-01.  MS-01 has better proportions than MP-10, he's got less surface greebles, straighter thighs, and he doesn't have the bump outs on the sides of his legs for wheels.  But Magic Square didn't exactly throw out the baby with the bathwater, and some of MP-10's style did carry over.  He's still got the beveled shin vents, even if they are blue now.  He's still got the yellow paint on his wrist markings.  He's still got indents on the tops of his feet, and visible windshield wipers on his chest.  His thighs and pelvis are still a light gray.  He's still got a seam on his lats where they flare back out before reaching his pelvis.  And even with the simpler details, the head sculpt is still similar to MP-10's.

That's a lot of talk about MS-01 in a TE-01 review, but the point I'm trying to make is that MS-01 is, aesthetically, a very refined take on MP-10, which is going to be very appealing to some people, but still not cartoon accurate enough for others.  For those others, TE-01 definitely skews closer to the upcoming MP-44 than MP-10.  His chest is taller, with windows that are more squares than rectangles.  His pelvis is taller, too, leaving his midriff significantly shorter.  His arms are thinner, with smaller shoulders and longer biceps.  His hands are more rounded, and the markings on his wrists are left red.  His pelvis and thighs are pearl white.  His legs, like his arms, are thinner.  And there's basically no greebles on him that aren't on the animation model.  Even the vents are his shins are just molded lines.

The gray plastic on the hinges at the top of and sides of his pelvis are a little unsightly, but they bother me less in hand than they did in photos.

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I don't usually talk about the backs of figures, because I don't think a little kibble in the backpack is necessarily the worst thing in the world (although MP-44 does look like he's all set for a week of camping with his).  I didn't have a problem with MP-10's, and MS-01's slightly smaller backpack is also fine.  But holy cow, that's some sorcery Transform Element did to clean up TE-01's back.  It's impressively cartoon-accurate, right down to the way his legs just run all the way to the ground with no heel spurs sticking out the back.

Another thing that I personally don't think should matter, but for some people it does seem to, is that TE-01 is noticeably heavier than the others.  TE-01's got some diecast in him.  If empirical data is more your thing, MS-01 clocks in around 13.7 ounces (390 grams), MP-10 at 14.5 ounces (412 grams), while TE-01 weighs a hefty 18.7 ounces (528 grams).  It's not a huge difference... similar-sized figure from Fans Toys like Sovereign or Dracula are even heavier, but the difference is unmistakable nevertheless, and gives TE-01 a sort of brickish solidness.

And yet, for all the praise I'd been hearing about about TE-01, it's not like TE-01 is sporting a ton more paint than MS-01.  I've also noticed a ton of sprue marks on him.  It's a solid, well-made toy, don't get me wrong, but in the way a lot of 3P figures are these days, not in the 2016/2017 Fans Toys worship kind of way you might think if you've been hanging out at TFW2005.

Oh, and I think the head is trash.

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Fortunately, my copy (and pretty much any copy you'd buy going forward) is a slightly revised version that comes with an alternate head and screwdriver to install it with.  Moment of truth time, I still prefer MS-01's head, but this new head is a vast improvement over the other with an aesthetic that's very close to the '86 movie.  It's going on my copy before the next photo.

Whether you wind up with a revised TE-01 or one from the original batch, you'll get a Matrix of Leadership, an energon axe, a fifth wheel, and Prime's signature ion rifle.  All of these things also look fine, especially the axe.  It's done in a more solid, more translucent plastic than MP-10's, and it's looking sharp.  But it's a shame Transform Element cast the rifle in a dark gray plastic and left it unpainted.  Oh, and you'll probably get a small strip of Autobot insignia stickers.  I say probably because mine were actually inside the figure's box, not just tossed in the shipping box, so it seems like something TE is doing at the factory, but I've heard some people saying that they didn't get any. 

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Something that comes up in some discussions is that TE-01's articulation is inferior to MS-01's.  This is technically true, but I think the challenge in getting him to look dynamic in poses is more to do with his cartoonish proportions than a fault of his articulation, which beats MP-10's.  His head is on a hinged swivel with good up range but a more limited downward tilt (especially if you're using the newer head).  His shoulders rotate on ratchets and can extend 90 degrees laterally.  His biceps swivel.  He's got a single-hinged elbow, but it's still good for around 140-150 degrees of curl.  His wrists swivel.  His hands are a little weird.  The index finger is separate from the others, with a hinge at the base and a hinge at the middle knuckle.  The other three are hinged at the same spots, but molded together.  And his thumb is also hinged at the base and middle knuckles, but it's molded so that the hinge folds it over the palm at an angle.  His waist can swivel.  His hip skirts are a little unusual, with the ones in the front on hinges that move them forward, the ones on the sides on swivels that kind of move them out and up a bit, and the back not moving at all.  That gives him enough clearance to move his hips 90 degrees forward in five ratcheted clicks, 60-ish degrees backward in three clicks, and 90 degrees laterally on a friction hinge.  His thighs, due to the way this figure is engineered, don't really swivel, but his lower legs can swivel just above the knee.  It doesn't look as pretty, but it gets the job done.  The knees themselves can bend about 120 degrees on a ratcheted hinge.  His feet can bend down, but the toes can at least bend upward, and he's got about 45 degrees of ankle pivot.

His rifle plugs into his hand just fine using the now-standard method of plugging tabs on the handle into slots on his palms.  Unlike the other Primes I have, TE-01's rifle has an LED in the barrel, and refreshingly enough the batteries are already installed.  As for the axe, you have to fold his hand into his forearm like you would for transformation.  The other side has a rounded bit, and you attach the axe using what's essentially an oversized c-clip.

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When you try to remove the axe, the translucent part is going to slide right off the gray c-clip part.  I personally didn't have much trouble getting the clip back off, but some people have, and at least one person wound up with stress marks on the clip.  If you're really worried about it, MP-10's axe does fit over TE-01's right hand.  Or you could use both if you want him dual-wielding axes.

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The Matrix is diecast, hard to remove even with a spudger, and similar is sculpt and size to MP-10's.  It's a little thinner, though, so while MP-10's seems like it might fit you won't be able to close things up.  And speaking of closing things up, it seems like most of TE-01's paint budget went to what is very likely the most '86-movie accurate inside of Prime's chest ever done on a toy.  While the Matrix can be hard to remove from it's compartment, the cover has two little notches near the bottom you can use to pull it up and open.

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A lot of modern Optimus Prime toys, from the ancient Classics Deluxe-class to MP-10 to MS-01 have all had engineering that's somewhat similar to MP-01.  Now, while I think a lot of refinement has gone into making a good-looking cab, they all seem to have the same issue with the rear of the truck still being kind of obvious robot legs (and sometimes pelvis) that don't really look like a truck.  TE tried something very different, and it's kind of a double-edged sword.  Basically he sits down, his lower legs turn inside out, his torso turns inside out with various sections spinning around 180 degrees and his arms tucking in halfway through the process, then his pelvis splits in half rolls up 180 degrees.  Sometimes it comes across as absolutely brilliant.  I love the way his lower legs work.  I love the way his pelvis splits- the blue chunk under his crotch turns out to be the wheel wells for his front tires, and that's genius.  However, at other times it can be a bit frustrating as it's not always clear what you're supposed to be moving, and even when you do know what you're supposed to be doing limited clearance (especially for lining up the bumper at the end) can make it more of a chore than I'd like.  Plus, while everything is extremely solid once you're entirely in robot or truck mode, when you're halfway through with his torso exploded some of the parts can be a little floppy, forcing you to check and re-check that everything is lined up right before pushing tabs in.

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The results do kind of speak for themselves, though.  TE-01 transforms from a clean, nearly backpack-less robot to a truck whose transformative ability isn't quite as obvious as some of his competitors.  His feet are still kind of just chilling back there and the back isn't as bare-bones machinery as a real truck would be, but it's flatter than MS-01 and lower than both MS-01 and MP-10.  He's got some molded truck details, movable windshield wipers, and rubbery tires.

That said, the details are a little flatter and less refined than MS-01 or even MP-10.  Combined with the more squarish windows TE-01's cab has a more cartoonish appearance.  While that's arguably what they're going for, I find it to be a tad drab, especially without the stripe* that pretty much every other toy of Optimus has ever had and the animators always drew but for whatever reason colored the same red as the rest of the cab most of the time in the cartoon.  I find myself kind of preferring MS-01, even with it's trash rear.  Oh, if only I could have a prime with MS-01's cab and TE-01's rear. 

*I'm debating on whether or not to try to paint the stripe myself.  It'd put a little silver on the backs of his arms, same as MS-01, but most of it would actually be hidden in robot mode.  I guess I'm just worried that my ability to paint isn't so hot, and that I'll either screw it up or it won't look good.

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Well, TE-01 does have one big advantage over MS-01.  Remember that fifth wheel piece back when we were talking about the accessories.  It plugs into the rear of the truck, and just that by itself makes things a little more convincing as a truck.  But it's not just cosmetic- it allows you to attach MP-10's trailer.  Now, I think most of us are displaying our Primes in robot mode.  For most MP-10 owners that trailer is probably sitting in a closet.  I'm glad that MS-01 and TE-01 don't come with trailers and a ton of other accessories I'll never use that'd probably jack the price up to some obscene number in the $400+ range.  But the fact remains, a lot of people who buy MS-01 or TE-01 are likely doing so to replace MP-10, and already have that trailer.  Even if the only time I ever use it is for this photo, I still think compatibility with that trailer is a smart move on TE-01's part.

So, having purchased and reviewed both MS-01 and TE-01 I feel qualified to say that both are excellent figures that really make MP-10 look and feel like a relic.  If MP-10 is current Masterpiece Optimus Prime then either figure is a huge upgrade that I'd strongly recommend picking up.  Even MP-44 would have to do something pretty special to get me interested in it at even half the price at this point.  I can tell you right now I have no plans to pick one up.  YMMV, but based on looks alone I think MS-01 and TE-01 look like better choices.

Still, I get the feeling that people aren't really interested in comparing TE-01 and MS-01 to MP-10 (who most people will find to be inferior) or MP-44 (which people are alternately either writing off as too expensive or biting the bullet on because it's an official Takara toy).  People want a winner crowned just between TE-01 and MS-01, but that's a lot tougher to do.  MS-01 has better articulation and is easier to transform, TE-01 has more diecast and works with MP-10's trailer.  But none of that really overshadows the aesthetic differences between them, and that's why  I don't think either is definitively better than the other.  Just look at them, and buy whichever you think looks better.  Do you want an Optimus Prime that looks just like he stepped off the screen?  TE-01 is what you want.  Do you prefer a more refined aesthetic that looks like the real robot the often-poor animation was trying to emulate?  Pick yourself up an MS-01.  You really can't lose either way.

 

 

...that said, while I can't say one is definitively better, my personal preference is for MS-01.  I like his cab better, and that's the more important part of the truck.  I like his robot proportions and details better.  And I prefer Prime to have gray/silver thighs and hips.  To my mind the only reason they were white in the cartoon was because white was often used for shiny metal in old cartoons... same reason the grill, smokestacks, fuel tanks, and bumper were white in the cartoon, too.  I still (obviously) like TE-01 a lot, and I plan on keeping him.  MS-01 is going to go in my main display with my other MP Autobots, while TE-01 is going to represent G1 cartoon Prime in my smaller display of various Optimuses.  (And maybe, with his whiter face, I can paint the blue eyes yellow on the other head and display the head alone as G1 Marvel Prime.)  So, yeah, I guess my ultimate recommendation is to buy both MS-01 and TE-01 if you can afford it.

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Thanks for the review Mike. I must admit I am kind of paralyzed by the descision. I still can’t make up my mind between the 2 and fear that while I’m stuck in indecision, I’ll miss out on both. :unsure:

Chris

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Great review!  I absolutely adore my TE-01. I wanted the one that looked like he stepped off the screen in robot mode and he's definitely it!  MS-01 I do prefer in truck mode however, but I had to just pick one, as I already have my old MP-10 for that.  I'm about to go put the 2nd head on mine, which I had to ask the guys over on TFW-2005 how to do, if anyone here needs help, I can post a how to after I do it. I'm also gonna add the extra cell shaded looking window decals to the cab windows that I picked up from a guy on those boards for $6. Pics to follow! 

 

 

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Another great review, Mike. 

My preferences skewed towards the chunkier Prime, so MS-01 was my choice, and I think he's an excellent figure overall, with the largish hitch area of his truck mode and exposed Matrix his only weak points. Well, that and his mind-boggling lack of hitch compatibility to MP-10's trailer. However, as Mike mentioned, I doubt many of us display our figs in vehicle mode, and my MP-10 trailer has been buried under the boxes of several years' worth of TF purchases to where it'd be a serious hassle to unearth it even if it did hitch up. 

I'm glad that that these two figs didn't end up being cookie cutters of each other; rather there are plenty of differences from materials to engineering (TE-01's is much more involved, with some neat solutions employed), to fit and finish of the two modes that give fans a real choice based on personal preferences, and how one views the Autobot leader in his or her mind's eye. Both are definite steps up from the paragon, MP-10. Even the Takara designers considered this the gold standard of Prime toys as they began the process of designing what would become MP-44. To my tastes, compared with the slimmer backpacks and smooth gapless torsos, both third party figs, at least on an aesthetic level, both surpass the upcoming MP figure, not to mention both have a far more palatable price tag. From pics I've seen, the engineering, as has been the case for quite a number of recent releases, is where Takara shines- rather involved with some cool and unique solutions brought to bear. It makes too many compromises overall, for me, so Magic Square got my money, with zero regrets. 

At the end of the day, if you go with TE-01, MS-01, or wait out Takara's MP-44, and you're chosen Prime makes you happy, then you're victorious, no matter the cost. ;)

Edited by M'Kyuun

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Love to read your reviews Mike. I will get the Transform Elements one if they do him in black and teal.

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2 hours ago, derex3592 said:

@mikeszekely can you tell me what size batteries I need for TE-01's gun? I can't seem to find anything that says....

Yes, they're listed as LR41, and you'll need two.  According to my chart, they may also be listed as AG3, 192, GP92A, 392, or SR41W.

40 minutes ago, derex3592 said:

Boom! Cell shaded window decals on!

Are those jream's?

8 hours ago, Dobber said:

I must admit I am kind of paralyzed by the descision. I still can’t make up my mind between the 2 and fear that while I’m stuck in indecision, I’ll miss out on both. :unsure:

Look at the first picture of my review.  Going with your gut, which one looks better to you?  You're probably fine going with that one.  The only two caveats I'd throw in are that MS-01 might be a little better if you have an aversion to complicated transformations, although TE-01 is certainly not the worst I've dealt with, and the other would be that if you're digging MS-01 you should be aware that Magic Square is releasing an MS-01X that has a metallic paint job.

Oh, and if you guys kind of want to experience both figures without owning two red and blue Optimus Primes, you can always get TE-01 in the traditional colors, while MS-01 is (or will be) available in Ultra Magnus and Nemesis Prime colors.

reduced-galery_image_15726_32516.jpg.8130dfc2dd5ce0bd72e7e33fb96f39b4.jpg

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I want a movie-accurate grill sticker. Truck looks better with Thrust's face on it.

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I'm sure the TE-01 repaints will come sooner or later.

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On 4/28/2019 at 12:01 PM, derex3592 said:

@mikeszekely can you tell me what size batteries I need for TE-01's gun? I can't seem to find anything that says....

I got the first batch te-01 and batteries were already in the gun.  Don't know how many ppl got it that way.  Also got the 3p arm cannon for Megatron with English voice chip, batteries included too. Both from tf-direct.  Maybe I just got lucky??

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1 hour ago, Negotiator said:

I got the first batch te-01 and batteries were already in the gun.  Don't know how many ppl got it that way.  Also got the 3p arm cannon for Megatron with English voice chip, batteries included too. Both from tf-direct.  Maybe I just got lucky??

My TE-01 came with batteries, too. Opening it up and looking at the batteries was how I figured out the answer. It's possible that someone forgot to put the batteries in a few at the factory, or people got duds.

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Just checked out Skully's review of Fanstoys' Roadking, their take on Motor Master from the Stunticons. While I'm not in the market for these guys, I am pretty impressed by the engineering brought to bear to make this figure an all-in-one transformation, which is something I adore in a tractor-trailer transformation. Truck mode looks great, if a bit panel-y in the trailer. But it does have a functional rotation at the hitch, which is really impressive considering that the cab splits in half and accordions almost entirely into the sleeper section in bot mode. And that bot mode is nigh perfect in the aesthetic dept, and quite imposing in size. If memory serves, he had about 2-3 inches in height over MS-01, which would be close to MP-10 or TE-01.  Considering he scales to MP-10 in truck mode, and bot mode is comprised of both cab and trailer, and that he forms the body of Menasor, the size seems about right. Anyway, I was pretty impressed with this guy and thought I'd share an impression. FT did a great job, and the transformation, while a bit tedious in the trailer section with all the tabbing of panels, overall doesn't seem difficult, even if it is a little involved. The final bot and truck modes look really good, and the trailer is hollow enabling him to cart around at least one Stunticon car. Pretty cool.

Ocular Max's take on Springer, Saltus, is getting ready to release soon, and that's a figure I'm really anticipating, as in if reviews are solid, they can take my money. While I think some of the already released 3P Springers are nice, the OM design of his car mode, a departure from canon, nonetheless looks better to me than FT's more canon approach. Springer, admittedly, had a sh!tty G1 toy (I have it), and though they took serious liberties with his animation model, even in the Movie, his car mode just wasn't the best. MMC and Takara, with their upcoming Siege Springer, both chose to widen out the rear section of the car mode, making it much more appealing. It certainly swayed me. I love Azalea, and it just seems fitting to pair her up with Saltus in the display case. Fingers crossed he turns out really well with little to no issues.

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