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Some color pictures of Unite Warriors Bruticus are leaking. Can't put up links right now, but my impressions-

-Bruticus' head is lighter than CW, but still too dark.

-Looks like they were trying to get more animation accurate colors, maybe. The center of Bruticus' chest plate is purple, like the cartoon, but the sides are a mix of gray and, for some reason, brown. The parts of Onslaught's legs that make Bruticus' thighs are gray.

-I guess, again for animation reasons, Swindle's hand/foot is yellow and Brawl's is olive.

-Onslaught appears to be a much darker blue, and his head is the same blue with a silver mouthplate instead of black.

-Blast Off looks pretty much like you'd expect in color.

-It's hard to tell, but Swindle looks pretty much the same as the CW version.

-Brawl, like the CW version, looks more brown than green. He also looks like he's got some weird stuff going on with his head, like a yellow crest and a red mouthplate.

-Vortex is looking pretty great. The toy-inspired reds, yellows, and purples appear to be gone for a more animation-inspired look with more gray and blue. The blue on him is more vivid and less turquois than the CW version, and it's on his combiner part/chest and missiles. The gray parts look a lot darker than the CW version. His head has the same dark gray, but his mouthplate is silver.

I don't know about the rest of you, but it kind of makes me glad that I bought the Hasbro version before I preordered the UW version. When the UW version comes, I'll probably swap the UW Vortex and Blast Off but keep using the Hasbro Onslaught, Swindle, and Brawl. While I do want a shuttle Blast Off and I do like the animation colors better on Vortex, I prefer the silver chest and blue thighs on Hasbro's Bruticus, don't care for what's going on with UW Brawl's head, and don't see enough of a difference in Swindle one way or the other. I also prefer the gray feet/hands on the Hasbro version, but I have 3P feet on order anyway.

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MP Ironhide arrived and.....I love it. Satisfying transformation and solid toy. The side hip doors really aren't that big of a deal in person. Looks like crap in pics but when you're playing with it, at least me, you barely notice them even there. That mod done above, not going to work if you want to retain the hip swivel. This MP is a fun MP. I can hear his grumpy voice when I play with him.

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More color pics of the Unite Warriors Combaticons are leaking. Mostly, I stand by what I said before; I dig the animation-style blue on Onslaught, but prefer the black head and silver chest piece of the CW version. I also don't like how Takara colored the shoulder bits that form Onslaught's cab brown. And while it's animation-accurate, I don't care for the yellow and olive hand/feet/guns for Swindle and Brawl. And it still looks like Brawl has some extra yellow on his forehead and a red mouthplate, which I guess he had in at least one episode of the cartoon.

What I can see better is that Swindle has some color differences from the US version after all. In an effort to appear more animation accurate, the waist (purple on the CW version) is yellow, the chest (black with blue bits, yellow on the combiner plug on the CW version ) is yellow with white bits and white or gray on the combiner piece, and his abdomen (purple on the CW version with yellow on the combiner port) is purple the whole way across. Plus, he lost the gunmetal paint on his feet, and the gunmetal on his legs is a smaller bit of lighter gray. Oddly, the UW version appears to have silver or gray hands and thighs, which is neither toy nor animation accurate. The thighs should be black, like the CW version, and the hands should be black if they want to go with the animation or yellow if they want to go with the toy (which is also what the CW version has). Also, in vehicle mode, there's a swath of purple across the hood. That is animation accurate, but I think it's kind of ugly. I kind of like the UW version's torso, with the colors on the combiner plug, but everything else on the CW version.

Vortex looks to be a very dark gray, almost black. The way the rotors fold up on his back is a little messy, but not as bad as I thought it'd be. It might be a little odd, after criticizing UW Swindle, Brawl, and Onslaught for going too hard for the animation look, but I'm really digging the UW Vortex a lot better than the CW version.

Not a lot to add about Blast Off. As near as I can tell, his bot mode is fairly accurate to the cartoon, with brown arms and thighs, black hands and torso, purple chest, and shins that are mostly black with bits of brown and purple booster feet. Can't really make out his head, but it looks safe to say that it'll be brown with a gray mouthplate. The front of the shuttle forming his chest also means he's a little chunky. But hey, he's a brown, black, and purple robot with a mouthplated head that turns into a space shuttle. He's miles ahead of the Combiner Wars version.

But yeah, it still looks like I'm going to wind up sticking the Unite Warriors Blast Off and Vortex onto the Combiner Wars Onslaught, Swindle, and Brawl, with 3P feet and back guns. Can't decide if I should get Perfect Effect's lighter Bruticus head or just paint the Combiner Wars version's silver.

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MTMTE has become my all-time favorite Transformers fiction. Yeah, it's totally bonkers. But it runs with it, and in the process gives genuine character to the various cast members as they deal with ridiculous situation after ridiculous situation beyond the confines of Earth or Cybertron. It's why I was bummed that Generations Whirl wasn't less G1 and more IDW.

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Check out Masterpiece Hot Rodimus:

It seems to be pretty cool, but he continues the trend of weird shaped torsos. Why is the chest/bonnet so straight? I don't know maybe this is a fetish of the new designer. Looks promising so far.

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Big hair forearms are always distracting in these type of toy review videos.

I get several comments about my arms too and while I think part of the problem is pale skin with dark hair under bright lights, the other part is people who are looking at the arms instead of the toy... what's wrong with you people? :D

I really wish men would shave their arms for Youtube.

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Long chest aside, I just don't care for Hot Rod's overall bot mode. To my eyes, he would have been much improved if they'd shortened that hood just a little and maybe left the fenders out to give him a curved 'V' shape to his chest. But then his waist would look too small, so that's probably why they went with the long straight hood. His car mode is nice. :D

TF Animated Hot Rod still has the best looking car mode among the various incarnations, IMHO. Kubalsky did a great job translating the art into toy form. He has big hood, skinny waist and leg syndrome, too, but he still looks better to me than MP HR.

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It boggled my mind why the newer Masterpiece don't have an abdomen anymore. Sure MP Lambor has a wide chest but the designer was mindful enough to sculpt a lower abdomen so that he has a waistline. Ironhide and Hot Rodimus are missing that. On the other hand when I look in the mirror I can see where Ironhides proportions come from. :p

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I know I've disparaged video reviews in the past for taking an hour to tell me something I could read in five minutes, but my six month old daughter hates it when I try to do stuff during the 10-12 hours where I'm her lone caregiver while my wife is at work. Pretty much all I can do that doesn't send my dear daughter into a fit is watch TV while I play with her. With limited time to read but hours to kill with video, the inefficiency of video reviews has actually become advantageous.

Anyway... who do you guys like for TF reviews? I'm leaning toward peaugh and benscollectibles.

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Other reviewers besides the two you mentioned:

  • I like Vangelus purely because his reviews are informative and entertaining beyond the actual toy.
  • Bobby Skullface seems to be quite harsh (which is a good thing soemtimes) but recently his reviews seem a bit rushed.
  • Rocket Punch Army and OptimusPrimeSG are also good sources (I wish someone would give the latter an HD camera).
  • Veef from MW does Transformers reviews over at CollectionDX (mostly Masterpiece stuff).
  • Paik4Life is very thorough in his reviews which means they are quite long since he covers transformations in both directions.
  • Baltmatrix' reviews on the other hand are usually pretty short if you don't want to wast time.
  • Jenius also has some Transformers Masterpiece reviews up and they are of the usual high quality but he doesn't seem to do them anymore.
  • If you have trouble transforming something I would check out Breauxman since he shows the transformation in all its details (this tab goes there)
  • Then there is TJOmega who covers mostly stuff from his TF archieve.
  • Other than that there are Emgo who tries to be funny and Kuma Style Reviews. The latter gives you a really short overview of the toy.

I usually pick and choose between them depending in which figure I'm interested and what topics need to be covered. For example I really needed some input on FansProject Diesels transformation so Breauxman was my reviewer of choice (thanks David Hingtgen for the recommendation).

You see there is plenty of stuff to check out till your daughter attends college. ^_^

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Thanks for the tips guys. Especially Scylla, with that exhaustive list (although I hope my daughter learns to entertain herself before college!).

Mostly, I like reviews that let me know what's good, what bad, and whether or not the reviewer thinks it's worth it. I think that's why I started liking peaugh; he definitely has a knack for highlighting what he thinks works and doesn't.

I actually don't like transformations in the reviews. Don't get me wrong, I think transformation videos can be extremely helpful, but when I'm just trying to learn if a toy is good or not it sucks watching a dude fumble with it for a half an hour.

Now on to Bruticus... the clearly the pics, the more I like UW Vortex and the more I hate UW Brawl. I don't dislike their Swindle, but I do think I like the CW version better.

I like Unite Warriors Onslaught more than I thought I would, I just don't like the hamfisted attempt at getting the cartoon look on Bruticus' chest or the brown on the alt-mode cab.. On the other hand, I do like the lighter gray for Bruticus' head and the deeper blue. Then again, I like CW Onslaught's black head. If I can take them apart I might put CW Onslaught's head and chest plate on the UW version. Or I'll put UW Bruticus's head on CW Onslaught.

So it's still UW Blast Off and Vortex with CW Swindle and Brawl. The only question is which Onslaught, or which piece of each Onslaught.

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Peaugh and Wotafa are my go to review guys. Both are great. At the other end of the spectrum, bobby skullface is the absolute worst. He is way too hard on the toys, he handles them like he is trying to break them, he practically demands perfection with every release and if something is not 100% perfect he gets really frustrated and top of all that, he thinks he is hilarious. He can't just review the figure, he feels the need to add a bunch of sarcastic, poorly scripted one liners throughout the review.

Edited by Jeremy007
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Peaugh and Wotafa are my go to review guys. Both are great. At the other end of the spectrum, bobby skullface is the absolute worst. He is way too hard on the toys, he handles them like he is trying to break them, he practically demands perfection with every release and if something is not 100% perfect he gets really frustrated and top of all that, he thinks he is hilarious. He can't just review the figure, he feels the need to add a bunch of sarcastic, poorly scripted one liners throughout the review.

I've never heard of Bobby Skullface, and apparently ignorance truly is bliss in this instance. Peaugh is usually my go-to reviewer...he's pretty fair in his opinions, and has a pleasant manner about him. Emgo's alright, too. I've watched Vangelus here and there...he tries way too hard to be funny, but his reviews are fair. No mention of Optibotimus? B)) Or, Sean Long? :ph34r:

I'm usually put off by overly critical reviews, or ones where they toss the box and other items offscreen instead of just setting them aside. Just b/c you're reviewing a toy doesn't mean you need manifest a 7 year old mentality in the way you handle the various items. It's simply bad form.

Back to TFs, I really wish Takara had eschewed those terribly inadequate hand/foot/weapon parts in lieu of proper hands and feet that are scaled to the combined figures. I realize there are 3P products, but my point is, there shouldn't be a need. I understand why Hasbro goes with them, since, despite overwhelming evidence that alot of adults buy these toys, their firm marketing focus is on kids 5-12. Takara seems to recognize a more discerning audience for their products, hence numerous enhancements, better paint apps, additional whole figs to ensure toon accuracy, etc. Given that mindset, I'm surprised they didn't make proper hands and feet for their Unite Warriors line. It's a badly beaten dead horse, but holy crap do I hate those shamefuly sh!tty uni-appendages with a passion. <_< Anyway, I'm waiting for HLJ to open preorders for UW Bruticus. I've never been a huge fan of combiners, but Bruticus, and Devastator, of course, always struck a chord with me. I didn't care for how most of the individual Constructicons for either version of Devy turned out, but Bruticus is looking pretty good to me.

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In my opinion many of the reviewers are too positive to most of the toys. It is true that you can find some merit in every piece but I want to know the bad spots so I know what I'm up to. For example Perfect Effect Leonidas has many areas that are prone to breaking. I want to know this because I have so many toys that I'm unable to play with all of them on a regular basis. So I'm ok with a toy that looks good on the shelf so a toy that is absolutely worthless to some collector might fit my bill. Optibotimus is clearly the worst in that regard and after watching his videos for a long time I decided not to watch any of his stuff again because he sounds like a salesperson trying to convince you to buy the toy all the time. This is especially problematic since he is heavily backed by toy stores and I personally can't stand his attitude.

What I want is a fair assessment of a toy. If it is crap say so. In addition it is important to me that the reviewer puts the toy into perspective with other pieces of the same toyline/style so you get an idea where it stands in the global ecosystem so to speak. I feel that this is something that happens not enough.

Humor is especially hard to pull of since everyone has a different understanding of what is funny. ^_^

Regarding the combiner hand-foot-guns. I think you have to take into account that not only designers have input but also salespersons, PR-guys and even stakeholders. One article about a poor child unable to combine his favorite toy because he lost a foot and the toy can't stand on one alone and some higher-ups in the company are going to be mad. :) During Botcon Hasbro representatives said time and time again that it is unfeasible to do mainline combiners. Now I think to pull it off they had to convince the guys in charge with several clever ways to make it work. For example all the toys in the line can be part of a combiner (yes even Wheeljack) massive reuse of engineering.parts and molds and the usage of feet for hands and weapons. You can see with Victorion that they can go a different route but I think Victorion is a very special case.

Now why Takara couldn't include new feed and hands I assume they have a budget for new stuff in their releases and opted for new toys rather than better looking hands and feet. Maybe they don't want to upset Hasbro because releasing new molds can be beneficial for Hasbro since they have more stuff to release (see the G2 box sets). Having new feet and hands might upset the fan base in areas where Hasbro is releasing the mainline. On the other hand I don't understand why they don't sell color coded hand/foot replacement sets through some a HasTak exclusive store is beyond me. Maybe the 15-20% (IIRC) sales through collectors are not enough to warrant something like this.

To be crystal clear here this goes only for the mainline. The collector focused Masterpiece line has no excuse for shortcomings of any type. :D

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Ha, those hands and feet have kept me away from all CW offerings. My wallet is thankful Hasbro/Takara.

Edit in: Don't get me wrong, i still go to walmart and target to droll over Combiners, but I can never go through with it. The only one i actually ordered, and later cancelled was Takara's Devastator. I do regret cancelling it, but i had some priorities at hand.

Edited by vlenhoff
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Back to TFs, I really wish Takara had eschewed those terribly inadequate hand/foot/weapon parts in lieu of proper hands and feet that are scaled to the combined figures.

Whoever in Hasbro and/or Takara thought those "things" were a good idea needs to be flogged repeatedly.

Every day.

Anyway, I'm waiting for HLJ to open preorders for UW Bruticus. I've never been a huge fan of combiners, but Bruticus, and Devastator, of course, always struck a chord with me. I didn't care for how most of the individual Constructicons for either version of Devy turned out, but Bruticus is looking pretty good to me.

Been up since yesterday:

http://hlj.com/product/TKT86205/Act

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Back to TFs, I really wish Takara had eschewed those terribly inadequate hand/foot/weapon parts in lieu of proper hands and feet that are scaled to the combined figures. I realize there are 3P products, but my point is, there shouldn't be a need.

I have the G1 Menasor feet pegged right underneath the CW Menasor feet and it looks fine by me. However it requires the purple foot piece from 2 CW Dragstrips. Luckily I sold one Dragstrip.

Edited by sh9000
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I'm usually put off by overly critical reviews

In my opinion many of the reviewers are too positive to most of the toys

I think that's one of the things I like best about Peaugh. He'll tell you if he likes something or not, but I feel like he mostly highlights things that he thinks were done well or done poorly without gushing nor nitpicking, letting the viewers make up their own minds. I think he also does a good job of taking the price into consideration. I mean, if he's reviewing a Hasbro Voyager-class he's going to evaluate it as a $25 toy. It's a peeve of mine when Hasbro's mainstream stuff gets trashed for not being up to the standards of the MP line or 3rd party figures. I mean, yes, as a consumer if you want to spend more to get a higher-quality toy that's perfectly fine, but you can't expect a toy that costs $25 to live up to one that costs five times that much.

But anyway, yeah, Peaugh is good. I just wish he'd do something to improve the audio. It sounds like he's using his camera's built-in mic; maybe get a dedicated line-in mic?

I think Benscollectables can be overly positive, but I just like listening to him talk. Must be his accent.

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British...yeah, he has a pleasant accent, thankfully not Cockney. Watch Snatch or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels for your fill of Cockney, or anything with Michael Caine. There's a Scotsman who does reviews as well (forget his username)...can't remember now if he reviews TFs or LEGO. I watch a lot of reviews for both.

Anyway, Peaugh does a good job, and usually isn't shy about pointing out something that he feels isn't right, or could have been improved. Overall, though, he always comes across as a nice guy, sincere and passionate about his hobby. A-hole reviewers aren't worth my attention.

I wish all these Takara releases were coming out closer together: I have TAV Thunderhoof, MP Shockwave, UW Bruticus, and MP Ratchet all preordered through HLJ, but I'm not sure if there'll be enough bleedover time in PW to even use the benefit of combined shipping. It's tough living in a first world country.

Well, since I've taken the plunge for Bruticus, I guess I need to start looking at 3P options for better feet and hands. I'll likely go with PE. Any other suggestions are welcome, though.

Edited by M'Kyuun
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Well, since I've taken the plunge for Bruticus, I guess I need to start looking at 3P options for better feet and hands. I'll likely go with PE. Any other suggestions are welcome, though.

Depends on what you're going for, I guess. PE has two sets; one is the usual hands and feet, the second is a new head for Bruticus, extra parts for Shockwave to make it easier for the PE hands to hold him (if the UW Bruticus doesn't come with Shockwave, I recommend picking him up separately), a new color-accurate head for Bruticus, and new cannons for his back. From what I've seen, the cannons might be too big (they look ridiculous on Onslaught), and the head less necessary for the lighter-headed UW version. PE's feet and hands are nice, but I don't really care if they come apart to make weapons. Having feet with ankle tilts are pretty much a necessity, and taller cannons are important if you want them to remain visible with the official transformation. The thing is, for both PE sets you're looking at around $60-$70.

I'm rolling the dice on Dr Killenger/GCIToys. If you preorder before March I think it's only $20, and it's just for new feet and cannons. I'm not sure how the cannons will look. The feet are modeled after the G1 toy and don't become weapons like the PE feet. That route's a lot cheaper, but you get less gimmicks and you don't get new hands. I can live with that; the CW hands don't bother me as much as they do as feet, but if you want articulated fingers the GCIToys set is not for you.

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