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In a vacuum, Monolith looks really good. But I think DX9 looks more like the goofy Sunbow Menasor if that's what you're going for. Plus, selling the cars for $80 or less and Motormaster for $130, while telling us everything else would come with Motormaster's trailer and that the trailer would still be a good price, then splitting the trailer and accessories into separate purchases and charging over $200 for just the trailer is a bait-and-switch. I'm definitely not buying the standard one, despite having five Stunticons from them. Given the QC issues with Dragstrip and Dead End I'll wait and see how well other people's hold up, then maybe consider the toy-style trailer. Assuming they get around to it. Then after that I'll probably quit buying XTB's stuff until their prices come back down to more reasonable levels.

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6 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Plus, selling the cars for $80 or less and Motormaster for $130, while telling us everything else would come with Motormaster's trailer and that the trailer would still be a good price, then splitting the trailer and accessories into separate purchases and charging over $200 for just the trailer is a bait-and-switch. 

Yeah, but it's still the cheapest option for a Masterpiece Menasor, since the accessory set is entirely optional... and you don't even need to buy "Gravestone" to complete the gestalt, right?

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9 hours ago, tekering said:

Yeah, but it's still the cheapest option for a Masterpiece Menasor, since the accessory set is entirely optional... and you don't even need to buy "Gravestone" to complete the gestalt, right?

I'm not sure how necessary Gravestone is or isn't.  Assuming it is for some structural reason, no, even without the accessory set DX9's is cheaper.  Even more so if you missed the first run cheaper pricing on XTB's Breakdown and Wildrider.  If you shopped around (and took the free shipping option with ShowZ, which might not be a good idea right now) and got XTB's early prices it was 40 for Breakdown, 60 for Wildrider, 80 for Dead End and Dragstrip, 130 for Gravestone, and $200 for the trailer- $590.  You can add another $60 or so if you missed the first run, or if you were buying the G2 or Youth versions.  DX9 was 90 per limb and 180 for Motormaster, $540 total.

If Gravestone really isn't necessary then you gotta start asking if any of the Stunticons are necessary.  There's a kit you can buy for $120 that puts fake car parts and gap fillers on DX9's Menasor, so all you'd need is their Motormaster. 

In any case, I'm not really mad about the total cost of XTB's Menasor.  I've been buying Fans Toys Stunticons, too, and they're almost certainly going to be the most expensive set by a wide margin.  I'm mad that XTB sold me five Stunticons for less than anyone else's Stunticons, positioning themselves as the least-expensive choice, only to pull a "oh, you want them to combine?  That'll be an extra $200."  Their trailer of combiner bits costs more than DX9's trailer of combiner bits, and DX9's came with Motormaster.

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4 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

There's a kit you can buy for $120 that puts fake car parts and gap fillers on DX9's Menasor, so all you'd need is their Motormaster.

No way! :o

Where would I find that?

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7 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Sorry, I must've misunderstood.  I thought you were talking about something professionally manufactured. :unsure:

I'm sure that 3D-printed stuff looks great up on the shelf... from the other side of the room.:nea:

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40 minutes ago, tekering said:

Sorry, I must've misunderstood.  I thought you were talking about something professionally manufactured. :unsure:

I'm sure that 3D-printed stuff looks great up on the shelf... from the other side of the room.:nea:

Ah, my bad.

All I can say is... depends on the printer and settings.  I didn't buy that set (I'm actually just waiting on Dragstrip to actually finish the set), but I've bought a ton of other 3D-printed accessories and gap fillers.  Some of it's very noticeably 3D printed, but some of it's been printed so fine and painted so well you'd swear it was made from a mold.  Still, yeah, $120-ish on a combiner is a lot more to roll the dice on than some $20 guns and gap fillers.

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1 hour ago, bravo5 said:

These look pretty damn good. Looks like they'll scale well with the SS 86 figures

I don't see the appeal.  They're the same size and price as the Earthrise versions, but not nearly as cartoon-accurate... <_<

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18 minutes ago, tekering said:

I don't see the appeal.  They're the same size and price as the Earthrise versions, but not nearly as cartoon-accurate... <_<

I'm a sucker for police cars, and they're cheap enough for an impulse buy.  I'm really only in it for Prowl, though, and I might see if anyone else wants just Smokescreen.

Besides, if this set does well enough perhaps they'll also do Barricade and Bluestreak, and I'm definitely interested in a Barricade that isn't a repainted Smokescreen with a light bar.

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12 hours ago, tekering said:

I don't see the appeal.  They're the same size and price as the Earthrise versions, but not nearly as cartoon-accurate... <_<

I like 'em as a kind of reimagined G-1 style, almost IDW like. Not saying as a substitute for a classic look, just a fresh take

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I question why they made the Datsun Bros, whose ER fig is already accurate to the G1 character, when so many other figs could use an improved fig, such as the Vanette Bros, Arcee, or an improved Astrotrain. These Datsun figs are ok, but they're clearly not based on the G1 model. What I want from third party is improved versions of the not-so-great WFC figures.

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4 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I question why they made the Datsun Bros, whose ER fig is already accurate to the G1 character, when so many other figs could use an improved fig, such as the Vanette Bros, Arcee, or an improved Astrotrain. These Datsun figs are ok, but they're clearly not based on the G1 model. What I want from third party is improved versions of the not-so-great WFC figures.

While I think there's definitely a market for supplementing the WfC Trilogy with figures that Hasbro seems intent on ignoring (like Gears), characters that weren't done particularly well yet in either WFC (like Astrotrain), or characters that are still only represented in the Prime Wars Trilogy (Blitzwing, the combiners, etc), that doesn't seem to be TT Hongli's intent.  The designer seems more interested in doing vaguely IDW-ish versions with modern alt modes.  I have no idea if they're going to put it into production, but they had some art for a Bumblebee I wouldn't mind having.

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(I do wish they'd stop putting the front fenders on the shoulders, though.  It limits shoulder articulation.)

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1 hour ago, sh9000 said:

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Cool for the people who are all-in on the toy-style Youth versions.  I'm only interested in the Youth trailer for a toy/OX-style Menasor, though, which I expect to use with the regular-release Stunticons.

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I know not everyone's a fan of 3D-printed stuff, but I've got a couple of Go Better's kits and some of them I like better than Nonnef's injection-molded stuff, like their spoiler and wings for Wheeljack.

Anyway, no preorder links yet, but looks like they're doing a set for Sunstreaker.  It'll have a lower leg filler similar to the one on their Wheeljack kit, thigh fillers, a rifle, and most importantly a spoiler for the alt mode.  But, while I've already seen other spoilers that just plug into the 5mm ports on the rear of the vehicle, Go Better's are a little more elaborate.  They have a part that does fit onto those holes, but it wraps over the back of the car mode, and in robot mode the spoiler folds around and covers over the gap on the inside of his forearm.  I was waiting to see what Nonnef does, but honestly at this point I'm probably going to go for this.  Hopefully they'll do them in red and white for Spinout and Cordon.  Barring that, I hope I can find a red paint that's a good color match (what should be easy enough).  Bonus, on those two the kit would cover over the black on their rears.

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After picking up APC's Megatron, I decided to replace the APC Prime I bought a nearly a year ago because they re-released it with tweaked colors.

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While the original version (left) was good, with a bit of extra silver paint on the abdomen, the colors were still mostly the same as the original Hasbro First Edition Optimus Prime.  Which was fine at the time; the First Edition mold was a lot better than the RiD mold, it saw an extremely limited release, and APC's was technically more accurate than the official, so it was a smart buy for anyone who missed FE Prime.  But there were still plenty of inaccuracies that APC decided to correct.  They ditched the weird brownish plastic, which partially addresses his shins.  The red plastic is a bit more brilliant now, and the blue just a bit darker.  The abdomen keeps the extra silver paint from the first release, but also spreads it to his biceps, thighs, and around his neck, plus the windows and faux windscreen on his chest.  Speaking of his chest, the window are much darker and more opaque.  His feet are now also silver instead of black, which looks off after seeing so many Prime Prime toys with black feet, but it's actually correct.  Even his head has a bit more silver detail with a darker section inside his crest.  I was sure that was wrong, but nope, after checking with the source it's half right; his ear and the smaller antenna is supposed to be silver, the bigger one should be blue.  And yeah, the inside of his crest should be darker.  So there you go.

That said, it's still not perfect.  Only the front of his hips is painted, and he's missing blue on the backs of his thighs.  His hands are black, when they really should have been silver.  He's missing the red on the outside of his biceps.  And the first release had the marker lights on his chest painted (not that you can see it in my pictures), they're just silver on the new one.  And the yellow lights on his ribs, which are painted here, should be silver.

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You get a lot of the same in truck mode- improved, but still not perfect.  The smokestacks have a wash on the tips that looks cool, and again around the windows and the windscreen are painted silver.  The grill and bumper are chromed out, and they tweaked the area around the headlights so that only the headlights are translucent blue and not the space between them and the bumper.  One other thing that might be a bit subtle is that the panel that the smokestack sits along is red plastic with a little blue paint.  On the original it was blue plastic with red paint, and you can see that the painted red sections aren't an exact match for the red plastic, but the colors on the new one seem to match better.  Finally, the new version has painted taillights, which I appreciate.  However, again the marker lights that were painted yellow on the original are just silver on the new one.  The hitch is the same blue as the rest of his legs; I don't know if that's right or not.  The joints that connect the roof-feet to the shins also have a bare rivet on the new one, instead of the molded fans of the original.  And he's still missing some silver at the bottom of the blue, under the smokestacks.

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You get the same accessories, with a few minor differences.  The translucent blue used for the arm blades and the star saber is a bit darker, but they're otherwise painted the same.  You still get the clips so he can carry the sword on his back, and they're basically the same (minus a little unpainted bit on the end of the original).  The guns, though, are painted silver instead of being plain black plastic, with a copper and black wash over the barrel.  Looks nice!

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And you do still get the second head, whcih I believe is based on Dr. Wu's Sage head.  Again, a darker blue plastic, silver paint on the ears and face, and a darker section on the crest make it a bit more show-accurate.

When I reviewed it, I recommended the original version of Attack Prime.  I'm not normally a supporter of KOs, but given that FE Prime is so much better than the RiD figure but was never widely available, and given that Attack Prime is like half or less the price of an FE Prime on Ebay (to say nothing of the fact that it comes with double the guns and blades plus accessories you'd need two Dr. Wu upgrade kits for) it was really the best option for a TF Prime Optimus.  That being said, if you want one but haven't bought one I'd recommend paying extra for the repainted version.  It's still not perfect, but it's much more screen-accurate and noticeably nicer in hand than the first run.

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Between Generations Selects, Target-exclusives, Walmart Netflix, the first wave of Kingdom, and even a few Studio Series 86 figures I've gotten my hands on it seems like I've been writing a lot about official stuff lately while 3P has kind of slowed down.  But finally, after losing my package for nearly three weeks, I've got my hands on the last of DX9's Stunticons, their take on an MP Dragstrip that they've cunningly called... Dragstrip.

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Sorry, if you want a comparison with XTB's you'll have to wait a little bit until I get my hands of Fans Toys', because I'm not transforming those shoulders on XTB's more than I have to.

But yeah, I think Dragstrip will fit just fine with the other DX9 Stunticons in the sense that he hits a lot of the Sunbow notes but with a few concessions to the engineering.  His arms are a little thin, with tiny hands.  the engine in his chest doesn't fill his whole torso, leaving him with a chunk of gold abs.  While I'm used to robot toys having shorter thighs and longer shins than a human would have Dragstrip's thighs seem extra short and his shins extra long.  None of it is terrible, but in a market with two competing designs it needs to be noted.

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That said, it also needs to be noted how very clean Dragstrip is, which has been the case for DX9's Stunticons.

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Dragstrip doesn't come with a ton of accessories, but he doesn't need much.  He's got his gun, which has a nice metallic purple paint job.  And he's got a little leg.

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Leg in hand, we can finally build the little Legends figure DX9 has haphazardly packed in with the Stunticons.  It's Orion Pax, a repainted version of their Legends Kup with a new head.  I'm not going to talk a lot about it except to say that it has a very interesting transformation that involves him splitting in half vertically, but the alt mode seems a bit unfinished.

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Getting back to Dragstrip, his head is on a ball joint so he can look down and tilt his head sideways a little in addition to swiveling, but he doesn't really have any upward tilt.  His shoulders rotate, with a hinge for lateral movement that'll get you 90 degrees.  There's a transformation hinge that you can use to get more, but it's inside the torso from the swivel joint.  His bicep swivels in two difference spots due to his transformation, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  His wrists swivel.  His thumb is fixed, but his fingers are pinned at the base knuckle and his index finger is a separate part from his other fingers.  His waist swivels.  He does have an ab crunch, but due to the shape of the cockpit on his tummy it only has enough clearance to engage when his waist isn't swiveled.  His hips can move 90 degrees forward or laterally, and about 60 degrees backward.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  The front of his feet can bend down but not up, and his ankles can pivot 90 degrees.

A note here... his heels move, mostly for transformation.  Your instinct is going to be to fold them all the way back for robot mode- fight that instinct!  If you do the pipes that make up most of his heel don't actually touch the ground, causing Dragstrip to tip over backward.  You actually need to angle them down a little.  As long as you do that he's perfectly stable.

Dragstrip's weapon doesn't tab into his hand at all, it just slots in behind his thumb and his fingers hold it in place.  The friction seems to be adequate, though.

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Dragstrip turns into a Tyrrell P34, as Dragstrips are wont to do.  Again, no Fans Toys to compare it to yet, but the transformation is much simpler and more fun than XTB's, which has kind of been the running theme for this set- they're not quite as cartoon or real world accurate as FT or XTB, but they're the most fun to handle.

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It's interesting that DX9 and XTB both noted that animation model is two different shades of yellow, and they both used paint to color the darken basically the same spots on their Dragstrips.  DX9 opted for a much more metallic gold for theirs, though.  I know some people complained that XTB's looked like it was supposed to be one color and they just did a bad job of color matching the paint.  The gold on DX9's stands out more in a way that stands out more and looks somewhat less correct to me, but at the same time looks more deliberate.  I can't decide if I like it better or not.

That said, there's some departures from the animation, like the short engine not reaching to the rear spoiler due to his robot knee caps taking that space, and the alt mode is far less real-world accurate than XTB's.  However, the colors, stripes, and basic design are unmistakably Dragstrip.

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The biggest gripe most people have with him is that there's no seat or steering wheel in the cockpit.  Instead, there's Dragstrip's head.  In fact, he comes packaged in alt mode with his face staring up at you from the cockpit.  You can turn it around so the back of his head is showing instead, just be careful because I've heard of people scratching the paint on Dragstrip's nose that way.  A more enterprising designer would have found a way to open the back of Dragstrip's head and turn it into the seat, but as I understand it DX9's designer quit before Dragstrip was totally finished.

The tires are rubber, and the gut can plug into slots on the sides by folding the handle in, revealing a small tab.

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Just like XTB's, Dragstrip splits in half at the waist for arm mode.  However, as was the case with their Dead End, the mechanism for separating his halves is simpler and less prone to issues than XTB's peg with the button release.

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Speaking of combined mode, I actually talked about it extensively when I reviewed Motormaster, since his trailer formed the bulk of Menasor with the cars just clipping on.  I even went over how Motormaster, Breakdown, and Wildrider connect.  Dragstrip and Dead End have hook-like tabs that fit into a slot on Menasor's biceps then slide down to lock it place.  The forearm parts use the connector part that attaches their tops to their bottoms plus some slots that plug onto tabs on the forearms.  The cars on the calves could connect more securely, especially Wildrider, but the arms are nice and secure.  And the result is a well-proportioned, stable, well-articulated, Sunbow-accurate Menasor.  Sadly, I don't think I'll be comparing it with XTB's.  Despite being five Stunticons in I can't justify over $200 for a trailer that turns into the combiner skeleton when I paid less for a trailer that turns into a combiner skeleton AND Motormaster from DX9.  I think XTB's has some sharper details on theirs that I like, but I think DX9's looks better overall.  Perhaps I'll change my mind and buy the XTB trailer if/when they come out with the toy version to make a toy/OX-style Menasor, which I greatly prefer to Sunbow Menasor.

For now, I guess I'll say that Dragstrip is a fun toy and worth picking up if you're already in on the DX9 Stunticons, but I doubt he'll be my choice for the definitive MP Dragstrip.  But, with the caveat that we're still waiting to see how FT's Menasor turns out, I do think that DX9's Menasor beats XTB's and I'd recommend it for anyone looking to have a Sunbow Menasor on their MP shelf.

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I know a lot of folks on here aren't really into the movie bots but the designs for the Bumblebee movie characters are absolutely amazing. I haven't been a fan of the movies since the first Transformers flick and, while Bumblebee wasn't terrible, it's not a great film, either.  It was mediocre enough for me to fail to notice just how great some of the designs are.  Mecanical Alliance's take on Blitzwing (Thunder Warrior).....wow.

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I couldn't resist picking up one for each mode.  Also picked up a Weijiang Metal Dition Optimus and a Trans Craft Bumblebee and am hyped to get my hands on all of them.  That Blitzwing, though.....

I know Zeta Toys has a Blitzwing coming as well, and I'm almost as excited to check that one out,but I'm a sucker for weathering so I just couldn't resist the MA version.  I also dig the robot mode of MA version more, as well.  I'd love to see some versions of Dropkick and Shatter equal to Prime and Blitzwing as their alt modes would be definite eye candy and worthy of purchase, in my eyes.

Anyway, hadn't seen mention of any of these figures so I thought I'd do it.  I find it odd that I'm so excited for figures from a movie I didn't particularly care for but still.  I. Can't. Wait.

Edited by mantisfists
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10 hours ago, mantisfists said:

I find it odd that I'm so excited for figures from a movie I didn't particularly care for

Welcome to the party, pal. 

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Some of us have been here since 2009. <_<

Remember "Buster Prime?" :p

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On 1/21/2021 at 11:08 AM, tekering said:

Welcome to the party, pal. 

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Some of us have been here since 2009. <_<

Remember "Buster Prime?" :p

@tekeringOhhhhh...someone has the Master Replicas Boba Fett blaster!! NICE! That thing is worth a small fortune now. Got any more MR 1:1 stuff?

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8 hours ago, Bobby said:

Really digging the Kalavinka (next to HMR and Studio Series Blitzwing for size-o)...

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Looks good.  Your Gerwalk mode is cool.  That will be perfect for my HMR collection as an enemy mecha.  Now I need to find a store that has it for the cheapest price.

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9 hours ago, Bobby said:

Really digging the Kalavinka (next to HMR and Studio Series Blitzwing for size-o)...

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It's crazy that this and lumitent are the two things I'm most excited for coming in in terms of things that are transformers-related. 

I'd love to see more companies do stuff like this because to me it honestly shows off their engineering and design skill more than being held to pre existing characters/templates on top of plain being "fresh." 

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