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About mikeszekely

  • Birthday 02/03/1980

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    Pensburgh, PA
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    3P Transformers, video games, quantum gravity, hockey

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  1. Oh, ok. A storm knocked out my internet for most of the day and my spotty cell reception wasn't giving met the bandwidth to watch the trailer. Well, yet another Predator movie (and one where it looks like the the writers tried to up the stakes for the human protagonists by reducing their level of technology but really just makes me wonder where the sport is in using invisibility cloaks and lasers to hunt some people that only have a bow and arrows to fight back with) doesn't strike me as super interesting. But I have Hulu (and will continue to have Hulu as long as it remains my source for Archer and Letterkenny), so I might as well give it a shot if I'm bored. And I guess I can install the Prey reboot and play that in the meantime.
  2. When it comes to ordering figures online I'm *slightly* more selective. I can look at a figure and say, no, I don't really need/want that one. But when I walk into a store and see a Transformer I don't have my brain wants that hit of dopamine, and that's how I walked out of my local Walmart with the three Walmart-exclusive Beast Wars repaints. First up, we have Buzzsaw. He's Waspinator from the neck down, just with his colors reshuffled so there's more yellow, less green, and the blacks and purples are shuffled around. He does have a new head, though, based on the unmasked, non-mutant head from the original Beast Wars Waspinator/Buzz Saw toy. None of the issues with Waspinator's mold have been fixed. There's still nothing keeping the beast head on his chest open, and the connection between his upper body and his pelvis is still too loose. In beast mode the only thing separating Buzzsaw and Waspinator is color. I think Buzzsaw is colored more like a typical yellow jacket, and probably looks more "realistic" to many of us (despite the green cuckoo wasp being a real thing). Honestly, I think that the biggest draw for me is that we never got a Siege G1-style Buzzsaw. Especially with Ravage already making a Beast Wars appearance, my head canon tells me that this Buzzsaw is the same one that hung out with Soundwave during G1. Sandstorm is a repaint of Scorponok. Like his wave mate Buzzsaw, he's sporting a new head, but this time it was Scorpnok who had the normal head and Sandstorm who got the head based on the mutant mask. And, just like Scorponok doesn't really resemble his original toy's colors, Sandstorm's are a bit off, too. Most of his body is a sandy tan color, where the original toy was more gray. His shoulders, claws, and lower legs are a bright orange instead of the original's golden brown, and the beast legs curled on his back are a bright purple instead of the much darker purple of the original. But, y'know, it's fine, I guess. I mean, purple legs and orange claws aside, a sandy brown color does sort of seem like the kind of color you'd find on a real scorpion. But yeah, it's mostly the same toy, so it's really up to you if you think you needed another of the mold (or potentially a third, since Scorponok himself will be getting a toy-colored repaint, just like Terrorsaur). Oh, and I do think it's a bit nuts that we've gotten two Sandstorm figures in the last two years, but not the G1 triplechanger. At the rate we're going Hasbro will give us a new Bruticus ala their new Menasor and we'll get a repainted Brawl as the Battle Gaia version of Sandstorm. Finally, we have Nightprowler. I'll be honest, I very nearly left this one on the shelf, as there are a number of reasons why Nightprowler is the least-interesting of the three. For one, unlike his wave mates, Nightprowler is strictly a repaint of Cheetor, as the retooled mutant head was already used for Shadow Panther. And, while Buzzsaw and Sandstorm are retools of Kingdom Scorponok and Waspinator, the idea to repaint those two came in the '90s and the newer figures are actually based on older figures that really existed. Nightprowler, on the other hand, is based on a Walmart-exclusive Universe early aughts repaint that never released. Oh, and Buzzsaw and Sandstorm are, so far, only the second use of those molds, but there are A LOT of cats already. Add in Netflix Cheetor and this is the fourth release of this mold. Count Ravage, Tigatron, and Golden Disk Tigatron who are closer to being new figures but still use a lot of the same engineering and I'm a bit catted out. It's not to say that there's nothing interesting about Nightprowler, though. I mean, Buzzsaw and Sandstorm are both Predacons, but Nightprowler is neither a Predacon nor a Maximal. Look at the symbol on his forehead, and you'll see he's actually an Autobot. And to be totally fair, I kind of dig the snow leopard colors on his beast mode. It gives him a touch of individuality. Really, of all the cats I think I'd suggest getting him over Shadow Panther, who's panther alt mode is already covered by the much more interesting Ravage (I also don't recommend getting two Cheetors, and I can safely say that I'd have never picked up the regular Kingdom version if I knew that the Netflix one was going to have the better blues). At the end of the day, none of these figures are really necessary, and as a geewunner I'm not in the best position to say how nostalgic a given repaint of Beast Wars characters are or aren't. To me, the most interesting thing about them is that there's nothing to indicate that they're Walmart-exclusives. They come in standard Legacy packaging... well, that's not quite true. Unlike the regular wave 1 Legacy figures, the packaging for these guys has one major change that I hope carries over to all future Legacy figures- the boxes are no longer open with the figures exposed. There's a plastic window on them. I'm all for Hasbro making their packages more environmentally-friendly, minimizing plastic in favor of cardboard and what not. But as long as the window is made from a recyclable plastic I'll happily tear it from the cardboard before tossing the whole mess into my recycle bin if it means my new toys won't be exposed to scratches, damage, or strangers poking them before I get them home.
  3. Based on the games, I assume? I played but never finished the original one, and never bothered with the reboot. I've been interested in checking it out, though, since I found out it's from the same studio that made the Dishonored games.
  4. The last Wrecker reveal is up, and it's the Diaclone Twin Twist that leaked earlier. Funnily enough, I was just messing some of my Titans Return figures, including the Jumpstarters. And, while I think it's not the worst of the reveals, I'm going to pass. The only figures that really interested me in the line were the toy-colored Springer and Leadfoot, but since I don't want any more Fossilizers I guess I'm just getting Springer. EDIT: And if you missed it, Maverick is getting a reissue. Preorders are going to be available at Walmart in late July.
  5. Oh, I don't disagree with any of that, but you gotta keep things in the context of the time. HS Convoy came out in, what, 2006? Still a good five years before MP-10. We weren't spoiled for G1 Primes at the time like we are now- it was mostly reissues of the G1 toy, the Robot Heroes toy (which had a worse alt mode), and MP-01. Classics Prime, both the much-loved Voyager and the Deluxe one (yet another crappy alt mode), hit the same year as HS. It was exciting to get a cartoon Prime at all, but the real novelty was getting such a tiny one. But yes, by modern standards Magic Square and Newage have both delivered similar-sized, much better figures. At least that one had a tank mode.
  6. I still have Hybrid Style Optimus. Yeah, engineering has come a long way since then. I mean, it's impressive for what it does, but I'm sticking with V1. V2 is a little too cartoony. The trend is definitely to make toys that look as much like the animation cells as possible, warts and all. MP-44 was never my cup of tea, either, but I did upgrade from MP-10 to Magic Square's MP-scale Prime, which seemed like a nice middle ground that hides the wheels on the legs and fixes MP-10's gorilla arms but still retains some truck details and doesn't try to copy the Sunbow short torso, big pelvis, long legs, and thin arms. Plus, unlike MP-10, MS-01's abdomen grill is the actual truck grill. I agree, but not enough to pay over $200 for a guy that just turns into a head for an impractically larger toy coming at a future date.
  7. The 4th Wreckers set is Legacy Bulkhead, and he might be the most underwhelming of the collection so far. His thighs, biceps, hands, and fuel tanks are black now instead of silver/light gray, and his cab and bed cover have some extra brown and black camo spots. Oh, and he comes with a hammer that looks more like it should go with Prime Breakdown. I do kind of want the hammer, but not enough to pay $35 for another Bulkhead over it. It's too bad they couldn't have given him a new head and passed him off as another character... Bayverse Hound, General Optimus Prime, anyone but another figure I just bought in a barely-different deco.
  8. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. I nearly bought one the first time, but ultimately I decided I don't really need an MP Star Saber. I'm hoping the HasLab one fills teh Star Saber-shaped hole in my heart.
  9. Thanks to @sh9000 putting up the link when Pulse got it in stock, today I've got Studio Series 86 Core-class Spike to look at. So, the sculpt is generally pretty good, and I like that they painted the details on his chest, but... where's his face? The blue on his forearms and legs is a tad too dark, and small details on his feet are left unpainted. Seriously, Hasbro, those paint apps are red and yellow, like you already used on his chest, and very small. They couldn't have cost that much. Speaking of skimping on the paint, they molded parts of his arms in blue, which is correct for his biceps and, maybe, parts of his shoulders. But everything on his forearms save his hands should have been white, as well as parts of his shoulders. One assumes that his back and butt should also be white. And you can see they molded some details on the outsides of his legs, and those details should have been blue. There worst thing, though, is that they have a huge hollow cutout in the back of his head. It's ugly, and it's cheap. Maybe I could forgive the not-quite-right colors and hollow head if the figure's budget went toward engineering or accessories, but... well, all you get are these two small blast effects. And the engineering isn't really all that, as far as articulation goes. There's a switch behind his head you can use to swivel it about 45 degrees to either side. His shoulders rotate, but the wheels on the back collide with his hips, limiting him to only around 45 degrees forward. A hinge lets his shoulders move 180 degrees laterally. His elbows are kind of permanently bent at a 45 degree angle. There's a transformation hinge in his bicep that you can use to bend his arm up maybe 75 degrees and backward around 45 degrees, but it makes his arm look like it's broken. I guess he does have a bicep swivel, but it's below the transformation hinge. There's no wrist swivel or waist swivel. His hips are ball joints that get about 90 degrees forward and backward and 75 or so laterally. His knees are also ball joints, acting as his thigh swivels and bending the knee 90 degrees. You can get more knee bend by using the transformation hinge above the ball joint. No foot or ankle articulation. The lower white part of his forearms spin around to simulate the weapons Daniel used to shoot the cover over the acid pool. The included blast effects plug into the nubs on the ends. They do not fit onto the littler nubs on the blue part of his forearms, nor do they plug into the boosters on his back, which is a major missed opportunity. Likewise, there's no holes on his feet for them to plug into, which is another missed opportunity. I can't say that there's much engineering in his transformation, either. His shoulders rotate 180 degrees, his forearms spin 180 degrees, and then it's just a matter of using the hinges in his shoulders and biceps to line his arms up. His hips move forward 90 degrees, his lower legs spin 180 degrees at the ball joint, then they bend forward the wrong way and tab together. Spin his helmet dome 90 degrees so the white triangles are in front and behind his head instead of along the sides. The minimal transformation is semi-accurate. His legs should really scrunch up more, but yeah the molded round detail at his ankles are supposed to be the wheels. Likewise, the front wheels really do just kind of jut out from his shoulders, although they should have some sort of fenders. I think his arms are supposed to wind up along the sides. But the animation, and the figure that came with MP-21, seem to do a better job making the end result look cohesive. Spike here looks like he's just lying down with his arms busted behind his back. Officially, his hands are pointing forward in vehicle mode, and the blast effects plug on like boosters. Which, I guess, was at least screen accurate for Daniel. You can swing his arms back around and have them pointed forward, like guns blasting, though. I'm almost thinking that actually looks better, as it kind of makes his hands slightly less visible and doesn't expose the mushroom peg on the outside. So... here's the thing... are you just collecting the mainline? Do you need a Spike figure, preferably with better articulation than the Daniel slug that came with Slag? Studio Series Spike will get you that, for around $12. But, are you an MP collector? Do you already have the version 1 MP Bumblebee that came with Daniel? I don't, but if you do that Daniel figure looks better in both modes, I think, and is only slightly larger in bot mode (it actually seems smaller in alt mode). Aside from the fact that its head is rounder, as it's meant to be Daniel, you're better off re-using that with your Studio Series figs. DNA Design is also coming out with an upgrade kit for Studio Series Slag that will include an Exo-Suited Daniel figure that could be another viable alternative, assuming you were in for the kit anyway. Long story short, I think it's a tough call between Spike or Hot Rod as the worst overall Core-class figure I've looked at. The articulation isn't great, the accessories aren't great, the hollow back of the head is a real weak move, and the alt mode is trash. On it's own merits (or lack thereof) I can't really recommend him. But, if you want an in-scale Exo-Suit Spike to go with your other SS86 figures you don't have a ton of options, and this one is the cheapest.
  10. The third Wreck N Rule figure went up for preorder on Amazon and Pulse. Unlike the other two, which were saddled by unwanted Fossilizers, this one is simply a G1 toy-colored Springer, and I'm down for it. Heck, after this, Galvatron, and Cyclonus I think I might be down for the rest of the '86 cast in toy colors. Or at the very least, Hot Rod, Blurr, and Kup.
  11. Lots of news lately, eh? Regarding her car mode, the SS86 figure has the longer nose and curvier base of the T30 toy, but seems to have retooled the back end so it's more shellformery. This fills it in and makes it more accurate, color-wise, than the T30 toy. As far as the robot mode goes, I know a lot of people weren't happy with the Kingdom toy, who is really a robot doing a yoga pose under the alt mode she wears on her back, but honestly for all the extra steps in the T30 toy I don't think it does much better; the nose and the rear sides of the car were on her bot mode, and that's it, and for SS86 it looks like they're covering up the legs. In both cases you're left with a robot carrying nearly her entire alt mode on her back, but at least some of Kingdom's backpack could be partsformed off, she had better proportions, and better articulation. I might be in the minority (and I'm definitely not saying Kingdom Arcee is a great figure), but I actually prefer it to the T30 toy (and that when I actually have the more accurately-colored Takara Legends version). SS86 Arcee looks like a pretty extensive retool. I need to see the back of her calves to be sure, but aside from her backpack it looks like she shares arms, chest, and her collar, probably some of her back, too, with the T30 toy. Looks like a new head, though, and from the bottom of her chest down she looks like an entirely new figure, as I can't see any shared parts between either SS86 and T30 or Kingdom. And the results are somewhat promising. The sculpt on the arms and legs is more screen accurate than both, the proportions in the hips and waist are better than T30, and she looks to have the waist swivel and ankle pivots that T30 lacked (I'm guessing lateral hip movement will still be limited to around 45-60 degrees, though). The pink and red lips on the face is better than the all-white Kingdom toy, but I think I prefer the overall head sculpt better on both of the earlier toys. All-in-all, she does look to be the best of both the earlier figures, although not exactly a definitive Arcee toy. I'll pick her up, for sure, then sell my Legends version and maybe give Kingdom to a buddy. But I can't really say I'm excited for her. What she really represents is a willingness by HasTak to go back and fix some of the worse WfC figures already. Fingers crossed for SS86 Vanettes and an SS86 Astrotrain, then. Maybe SS86 Constructicons. In addition to Arcee, also leaked or announced in the Studio Series recently are: DotM Bumblebee, which is really just RotF Bumblebee and movie 1 new Camaro Bumblebee retooled to make the alt mode more accurate to DotM and with the unmasked face. I mean, I guess I have to buy him for the alt mode differences, but wake me up when we get a new '67 Camaro Bumblebee from Age of Extinction. Sideways, who was a pretty minor character in RotF but I kind of dug him for his alt mode and superficial similarities to Barricade. The robot mode looks ok. I wish it had more of the red lighting from the CGI model, but I guess that's tricky with the lighting being on car parts. The alt mode is... kind of meh. It's obvious they didn't get a license from Audi for the R8, so they changed the front end and added some vents on the hood to make it legally distinct. I appreciate that they're at least trying to get the colors right, with the dark stripe over the bulk of the car and the thin strips running through the middle. Galvatron, who still looks a bit like a shellformer but a definite improvement over the AoE toy in bot mode. The truck looks good from head on, but there's a bunch of weird robot kibble on the back. Regarding MP Trailbreaker, I don't think I'd fault anyone for sticking with Terraegis, but I missed the boat on that one and have been hitting a point where I'd almost have to consider trying to get Fans Toys. But now, I can safely say that FT's is off the table. I kind of like the look of the new MP... I agree that it's a bit too cartoony in some areas, especially the alt mode, but the legs look a lot better. I might pick one up, or, at the very least, between this and Fans Toys my chances of finding Terraegis at a good price on the aftermarket are improving. Finally, I see Amazon's Wreckers are starting to be revealed. Now, you guys know I'm into repaints for some weird reason, but each reveal so far has been on repainted WfC character with one remolded Fossilizer. And, frankly, the Fossilizers kind of sucked, if you ask me. So the first one, Impactor and Spindle, that's an easy pass. Impactor is retooled and repainted to be closer to the Marvel comics, but I already have two Impactors (the retail release and the one with the more IDW-style head). Plus, Spindle is a retool of Paleotrex as a Spinosaurus, and Paleotrex was my least-favorite of the Fossilizers. The second set is slightly more tempting. It's the Earth-mode Mirage redone as Leadfoot. It looks great, just a bit of a shame they didn't give him his helicopter blade thing. I'd buy him in a second if he was being sold on his own, but I'm not sure I want to be saddled with Masterdominus, a retool of Ractonite as a Mastodon. I will say this, though, it looks like Masterdominus' colors are based on the Black Ranger's Mastodon Zord, and that's kind of awesome.
  12. I picked up XTB's Hoist... I looked how, compared to MMC and BadCube, they were the only one that really retooled the legs and made him fatter. I never did pick up a Trailbreaker, though, and I'm done with Fans Toys (after Dead End). So I'll be keeping an eye on this.
  13. I dunno, I like Scourge's alt mode. As a kid it seemed kind of otherworldly, the idea that this smooth, wingless shape could fly. So I wound up getting Scourge and two Sweeps to go with him (plus I still have a pair of Titans Returns Scourges if I really need more Sweeps). Cyclonus definitely had the cooler alt mode, though. Less alien, but sleek and dangerous. Plus, like @M'Kyuun said, it's one of the best figures Hasbro's released in the entire WfC trilogy. I'd have bought a second if they just tweaked the colors a little, I can definitely do toy colors. I agree that the first season is a lot better than the second. As a kid, I'd also agreed that I didn't care for the cartoon after the movie... but as an adult, I dunno. There's definitely some really bad episodes in season 3 (Madman's Paradise, Carnage in C-Minor, Surprise Party), but some of the better episodes had a stronger sci-fi feel than the first season's "what kind of crazy plan is Megatron coming up with to steal the Earth's energy this week?". And sure, as a kid Rodimus seemed like a lump while Hot Rod was cool and cocky, but as an adult I think Hot Rod's self doubt and struggle to find his own way to lead living in Optimus' shadow as more believable than Rodimus carrying on like the same reckless punk that got Optimus killed. Likewise, while I too prefer Nemoy's Galvatron, Season 3 Galvatron is explained by head damage he sustained after being tossed from Unicron. In fact, the episode "Webworld" is about Cyclonus trying to get Galvatron help. Can't say I'm excited for it, but it's not like I was dying to have Lift-Ticket and Guard, but I still bought them.
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