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Yep, those are the winglets, and mine are installed swept forward. Honestly, it doesn't matter which way you install them; they mount so loosely that they are easily knocked off. It's the only flimsy element of the toy; everything else is pretty solid. the connection to the two panels that just kinda hover behind his head is a potentially weak spot for breakage, as the base rotates and can be inadvertently sandwiched between bits of the backpack; if it's not sitting flat and one attempts to squeeze the backpack together, it could possibly break. It's an unfortunate holdover from the Jetfire design that has no function and just looks odd. I wish they could have found a way to redesign it for X-Spanse.

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Figure King posted some greyscale pics of the upcoming MP Skids. I shamelessly copied the pic from TFW2005, where there's a bit of discussion about it, mostly complaints.^_^ One thing that was pointed out was the return to lackluster articulation after a spate of MP figs with a focus on improved articulation. Given the seemingly backward approach to the articulation and the extent of detail on the bot mode uncharacteristic of the plain Jane toon direction, my theory is that this is an old, possibly Hasui-era design that Takara sat on and only now decided to produce. Like I said, just a theory. But the change in direction is notable for its departures from what has become the standard for this line over the last few years. This looks like a step back in time to me. Regardless, seeing detail on a bot again is a good thing.

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I’m looking forward to putting the Blackbird in the background of my X-Men figures.

I originally wasn’t planning on getting the Generations Retro Headmasters but I ended up getting all of them.

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I have yet to see a single retro-Headmaster in my area.  I was going to get Brainstorm, but with no signs of these things in stores, I've given up on it.

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11 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

I have yet to see a single retro-Headmaster in my area.  I was going to get Brainstorm, but with no signs of these things in stores, I've given up on it.

I saw some the other day.  If I go back and see them again I'll grab one for you.

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On 2/21/2021 at 9:08 PM, mikeszekely said:

Ok, big rumor so take this with a grain of salt (but this is the source that told me about Deep Cover plus the Quintesson drone (black Siege Ironhide), Sparkless Siege Datsun, and the purple Paleotrex that have leaked more thoroughly with pictures), but supposedly Hasbro is planning to redo Menasor.  Motormaster will be a Leader-class figure this time, but we don't have any more info than that.  We don't know if Motormaster will have a trailer, we don't know if he'll be be CW-compatible and the other four Stunticons will be reissues or if all the Stunticons are getting a do-over.  If it's a do-over, we don't know if they'll be Scramble City or if they'll be locked into a Sunbow configuration.  We do know that this shouldn't be considered a do-over of Combiner Wars, where every Deluxe in a line is meant to combine.  For now it's just Menasor, and IF Hasbro decided to do another combiner it won't be until after Menasor is done, and we're talking one, maybe two combiners a year.

Drink lots of water, because you're going to need more salt... but I was talking with someone else who claims to be in the know.  They confirmed that Motormaster is coming, maybe sometime next year.  But they also said that all the Stunticons will be getting a do-over, and the reason actually boils down to the Combiner Wars connectors.  Apparently Hasbro was considering doing CW reissues, but that one common bit is actually a fairly expensive part to make.  Someone decided that if Hasbro was going to spend money putting out Combiners that they'd rather start over on designs that are more in line with WfC than waste money making more Combiner Wars pegs.

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7 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

I saw some the other day.  If I go back and see them again I'll grab one for you.

Thanks Mike. PM me if you snag one.

2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

 Someone decided that if Hasbro was going to spend money putting out Combiners that they'd rather start over on designs that are more in line with WfC than waste money making more Combiner Wars pegs.

That's very good news if true. Compared to WfC standards, I don't think a rerelease of CW/PotP toys would go over well. Even if they only did one combiner a year at WFC levels of quality, it'd be worth it. I hope the rumor's true. I also hope they get around to doing a much improved set of Constructicons. I have CW Menasor and Bruticus, and I'm not sure I feel I need to replace them. It would depend on just how much improved they really were. 

I bought a couple of the CW Aerialbots, but I thought Silverbolt was an atrocious toy, and the limb bots, too, left somewhat to be desired. If they were to bring their A-game to the table and design them all with convincing jet modes, I'd be down for picking them up. After seeing MP-52's travesty of an alt mode, I'm not holding my breath.

 

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The space in the back, as well as the ability to open the hatch for access, makes me think a Diaclone recolor with the transforming scooter is already in the works. 

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36 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

The space in the back, as well as the ability to open the hatch for access, makes me think a Diaclone recolor with the transforming scooter is already in the works. 

Black red, silver... bring 'em on!

diaclones.jpg

The Diaclone homages are my favorite Transformers. :wub:

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6 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Apparently Hasbro was considering doing CW reissues, but that one common bit is actually a fairly expensive part to make.  Someone decided that if Hasbro was going to spend money putting out Combiners that they'd rather start over on designs that are more in line with WfC than waste money making more Combiner Wars pegs.

Makes sense to me. The Combiner Wars peg is (relatively speaking) large and complex, as well as requiring somewhat tighter tolerances than most Transformers pieces.

...

It was also the biggest problem with CW and Primes combiners, as it took up a significant chunk of the space available to the limbs, necessitating major sacrifices to the designs. While it would be fine in the larger volume of Voyager-class limbs(and still sturdy enough to do the job)... I'm not particularly sorry to see it go.

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I skipped every mainline combiner set except for the POTP Predacons, which have been formed together here at home as Predaking from day one. Those combiner ports are massive and chunky indeed. Luckily, the look fits given how much the new Predacon set is a homage to the original G1 set. It will be really interesting to see what HasTak comes up with for this new batch of combiners, but I'm still going to be picky about them. 

I wholeheartedly agree about Devastator. I would love to see him get a WFC update with new tooling. I don't know how realistic that is, given how an Ultra Magnus with an updated ER Prime inside was rumored to be too pricey for Kingdom. However, if such a thing is in the cards, it would be fantastic. The UW/CW set just didn't do the gestalt or any of the individual figures justice (IMO). 

11 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

<snip>

The space in the back, as well as the ability to open the hatch for access, makes me think a Diaclone recolor with the transforming scooter is already in the works. 

I agree. I think the chances are quite high that we'll get the scooter, but the group over on tfw are debating it. As a bonus, I also hope that we get a Charlene fig, but that may be more of a pie-in-the-sky thing since she had more of a presence in the comics.

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11 hours ago, JB0 said:

Makes sense to me. The Combiner Wars peg is (relatively speaking) large and complex, as well as requiring somewhat tighter tolerances than most Transformers pieces.

...

It was also the biggest problem with CW and Primes combiners, as it took up a significant chunk of the space available to the limbs, necessitating major sacrifices to the designs. While it would be fine in the larger volume of Voyager-class limbs(and still sturdy enough to do the job)... I'm not particularly sorry to see it go.

The combining peg was a double-edged sword, so to speak; practically speaking, it performed pretty well given the amount of weight that it generally had to support. However, in a deluxe sized figure, it was so voluminous in comparison to the rest of the figure that all the transformation mechanics had to be designed around it, which caused simplification and repetition of the transformations throughout the line. In a voyager scaled fig, they could do more with the transformation, but with a larger figure, the joint has to support more weight, so there's a tradeoff. I'm not sure how they could improve on it. Whatever they end up doing so far as the combiner joints go, I hope they're  up to the task, as it sounds like we may be getting leader class torsos and voyager class limbs, which will require some strong tolerances.  It's a good challenge for Takara, and I hope they come through with something innovative and dependable.

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I received my Hasbro Pulse Premium expiration notice after finishing work today, and decided to renew. This last year was a good run on the service for me, and I can't knock my primary benefit which is the free shipping. Given how shipping costs keep inching up elsewhere (understandable, of course), I'm keen on keeping that active.

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1 hour ago, technoblue said:

I received my Hasbro Pulse Premium expiration notice after finishing work today, and decided to renew. This last year was a good run on the service for me, and I can't knock my primary benefit which is the free shipping. Given how shipping costs keep inching up elsewhere (understandable, of course), I'm keen on keeping that active.

How much is the renewal?  I've had Pulse Premium since they opened the site, but I've never actually paid for it.  They gave it to me for free for being one of the first X number of people to join Pulse, and last year they just renewed me for free for being "a loyal customer" or something like that.  They did send me an email that my Pulse Premium is running out, but I haven't decided if I'll renew or not.  I preorder more from Amazon than Pulse (my wife gives me less grief about Amazon purchase for some reason).  Right now the only thing I have preordered is Deep Cover, and that one's got me scratching my head because it seems like places like BBTS and TFSource got him weeks ago.  I think if I were into something like GI Joe or Marvel Legends or something I'd probably renew for sure, but as it stands I dunno...

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52 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

How much is the renewal?  I've had Pulse Premium since they opened the site, but I've never actually paid for it.  They gave it to me for free for being one of the first X number of people to join Pulse, and last year they just renewed me for free for being "a loyal customer" or something like that.  They did send me an email that my Pulse Premium is running out, but I haven't decided if I'll renew or not.  I preorder more from Amazon than Pulse (my wife gives me less grief about Amazon purchase for some reason).  Right now the only thing I have preordered is Deep Cover, and that one's got me scratching my head because it seems like places like BBTS and TFSource got him weeks ago.  I think if I were into something like GI Joe or Marvel Legends or something I'd probably renew for sure, but as it stands I dunno...

I've been on the site since early days too. The free upgrade to premium really was a nice perk. I'm going to miss it. Now Hasbro wants $50 for the year. That comes to about $4.17 a month which will be worth it if I find myself buying as much as I did last year. I'm also hoping we get some good convention exclusives and access to cool "Selects" style exclusives again. The D&D Drizzt release from last year, albeit not Transformers related, was one of my favorites. 

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Well, he came... a whopping two days before I'd have got him from Amazon.  I'm so glad my impulse control couldn't have held on just a little longer... anyway, it's Studio Series 86 Leader-class Grimlock.

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Compared to the guy on the left (Power of the Primes Voyager Grimlock) the new Leader-class figure is a revelation.  The proportions are better.  He's got his wings.  He's got paint on his shins instead of stickers, and the gold paint on his torso is brighter and shinier.  He's also meant to actually scale properly with the other SS86 and WfC figures, which is nice.  But that brings us to the guy on the right... MP-08 Masterpiece Grimlock (Hasbro version).  He's only slightly taller, and many people were already using him as their CHUG Grimlock as he's far too small for the post MP-10 Masterpiece scale.  Compared to MP-08 the new Leader has blockier proportions, less detail, and proportionally longer but less swole arms.  Now, an argument could be made that all of those things are more cartoon-accurate, but I feel like they make the newer figure appear less dynamic.

Of course, I should point out that SS86 Grimlock feels a lot more solid than MP-08, despite weighing a fraction of what MP-08 does.  My copy of MP-08 has gotten very loose over the years.  He looks good on a shelf, sure, but he handles like a rag doll.  SS86 Grimlock has two minor joints I'll try to tighten (one of the wing hinges, and the dew claw on his left hand), but nothing else budges if I give him a little shake.

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Partly because MP-08 is a little big, and partly because he's so floppy, I explored some 3P options awhile back.  SS86 is a little taller than Fans Project's Severo (left) or Planet X's Vulcan (right).  SS86 Grimlock is also far more G1 accurate.  I don't regret getting either of the 3P figures, but SS86 is definitely a better fit with the WfC stuff.

All that said, I do have a few minor aesthetic gripes.  Early promo photos showed him with a totally clear chest piece, and I think that would have worked a lot better than the smoked translucent plastic they went with.  You can barely see the Autobot insignia under bright lighting.  Speaking of things that are too dark, his eyes are actually painted a metallic blue, but again they chose a shade that's a little too dark so his eyes get lost in the black plastic of his head.

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Grimlock doesn't come with a lot in the way of accessories, and honestly some of what he has I'd trade in a heartbeat for some of what he doesn't have.  You get a gun, cast entirely in black and nothing particularly fancy.  I'd prefer if the barrels were spaced a little further apart, like the G1 toy or the MP, but it's actually pretty cartoon-accurate the way it is.  You get a little Wheelie figure.   Wheelie can move his head, his waist swivels, and his shoulders and hips are ball joints, but he doesn't have bicep, thigh, or wrist swivels, and he doesn't have elbows or knees, either.  Scale-wise I don't think he's much different than the Titan's Return Wheelie.  He's got greater screen accuracy, sure, but the Titans Return figure can transform, has better articulation, and has less hollow gaps.  Sadly, while the slingshot is removable, the post it uses is not 5mm so you can't give it to TR Wheelie.  I'd have been much happier if they left Wheelie out and gave us Grimlock's sword instead.  Supposedly they didn't give him a sword because he didn't use one in the '86 movie... but I don't recall him using a gun in that movie, either.  Well, there are 3D-printed options available, although I'm waiting to see if Nonnef or DNA will gives us something better.  Also, MP-08's accessories just used 5mm pegs, so you can give SS86 MP-08's sword.  Actually, if you prefer it, you can also give MP-08's gun to SS86 Grimlock.  Just note that SS86 Grimlock doesn't have the MP's light-up fist to work with the translucent blade/barrels.

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Grimlock's head is on a ball joint.  Not much in the way of upward tilt, but he can look down pretty well and he can tilt his head sideways.  Instead of MP-08's giant ball joints, SS86 Grimlock's shoulders have ratcheted rotation and a hinge that gives him 90 degrees of lateral movement.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows can bend over 90 degrees (although the sculpt is a bit ugly).  His wrists swivel, but he doesn't have any finger articulation.  His waist swivels.  His hips can go 90 degrees backward or laterally, and a little over that forward.  His thighs swivel.  His knees are soft ratchets, and they can bend 90 degrees.  His feet don't have any up/down tilt, but his ankles can pivot up to 90 degrees.  His wings can fold back, and a hinge in the corner lets them splay upward.  All-in-all, articulation is an improvement over MP-08.

As I alluded to, his hands are the standard 5mm port, so he holds his gun just fine.  He also has a port on his back, on the outside of each shoulder, on the outside of each forearm, on the outside of his lower legs, and under each foot.  Or, if you really don't want him to hold his gun there's a groove on the top of the gun that allows it to clip over the dino arm on either wing.

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As for Wheelie, he's got a small peg on one thigh.  That peg plugs into a port on top of either of Grimlock's shoulders, allowing him to sit securely up there.

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He might not be scientifically accurate, but Grimlock turns into a G1-accurate early 20th-century idea of a T-Rex.  The engineering from the waist up is fairly similar to MP-08's.  From the waist down, though, maybe Grimlock could have stood to borrow a bit more.  He seems to shrink more in this mode than MP-08, and he's proportionally wider through his proportionally shorter tail.  It's still a pretty huge improvement over PotP, though.

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My biggest complaint isn't actually the stubby tail, it's his face.  If you look at his left side, it looks great.  From the right, though, you've got three extremely noticeably screw holes.  And from the front you can see that his teeth run down the sides of his jaws, but he's missing his front teeth.

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In dino mode he loses the tail of MP-08, but otherwise articulation is fairly similar.  His head can tilt up, not so much down (assuming you having him in a G1 upright position).  His neck can also rotate at the base of the gold section.  His shoulders are ball joints for rotation with minimal lateral movment.  Elbows can bend a little over 90 degrees, but he doesn't have any bicep or wrist swivels or any kind of claw articulation.  No waist or tail articulation.  His hips can move 360 degrees and spread laterally up to 90, due to being his shoulders, and his bicep swivel becomes a thigh swivel.  His robot elbows lock into place.  At first I thought he didn't have any dino knee articulation, but it turns out he does- they're just really tight ratchets, but they can bend over 90 degrees.  Not foot tilt, and unfortunately no ankle pivots in this mode.  His claws can bend down, though.  Most important of all, his jaws do open.  Inside is a small peg that works with blast effect parts.  Although none are included, I found part of Jetfire's makes for a pretty good breath attack.  As for Wheelie, there are little posts on the sides of Grimlock's neck.  These posts fit into molded notches in Wheelie's ankles (not the holes in his knees, don't be fooled!).

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Grimlock's gun, meanwhile, uses a pair of tabs that fit into Grimlock's robot-mode heels on his dino-mode back.  Or, again, you have 5mm ports on the sides of his tail, on his hips, and on his lower legs.

Grimlock's kind of a funny figure.  He's easily the best Grimlock for a CHUG collection, crushing previous HasTak efforts and 3P figures alike on scale and accuracy while beating MP-08 on solidity and articulation.  But, because he did so much right the little things that bug me seem magnified.  I wish his tail were a little longer.  He really needed screw hole covers for his face and neck.  The metallic blue for the eyes needed to be a lighter color.  The translucent plastic on his chest should have been clear and not smoked.  And he really should have come with a sword instead of a crappy Wheelie you can't pose.  And, most of all, he needs his front teeth!  So I guess Grimlock doesn't wow me the way Cyclonus, Scourge, or even Hot Rod and Kup have.  He's still a great figure, though, and very much one I'd recommend.

IMG_20210301_174505.jpg

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Good review, Mike. I was expecting my copy today, but it didn't come. Tracking showed it about two hours south of my location today, but after checking tracking just now, it's at Troutdale, OR with delivery pending. This has become SOP with FedEx this year. I'm not sure if that's a Covid thing, but I've had any number of packages come within spitting distance, only to be rerouted the day of projected delivery with a pending ETA. Kinda frustrating. I was really looking forward to getting this Grimlock figure, and your review is just one more confirmation of how well he was done (the screw holes in the dino head are a bummer, though). The nitpicks are few and relatively insignificant compared to Grimlocks past, and it only whets my appetite for more Dinobots at this level of scale, design and quality.

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7 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

This has become SOP with FedEx this year. I'm not sure if that's a Covid thing, but I've had any number of packages come within spitting distance, only to be rerouted the day of projected delivery with a pending ETA.

FedEx has never been reliable in my area.  They're always slower than UPS and USPS, they often miss their estimated delivery dates, and the worst thing they did was deliver a $2000 Razer Blade laptop to my neighbor's porch (no signature) instead of me.  More recently they delivered a DVD by tossing it in a bubble mailer onto my porch, then dropping a case of canned cat food on top of the mailer.

But yeah.  Even when they're not screwing up they're inconsistent.  Figure my Ultimate X-Panse shipped when yours did, probably, but I'm still waiting for it after it spent three days in Indiana (it looks like it should be tomorrow, finally).  Meanwhile I ordered Bravely Default 2 from Walmart on Friday and FedEx delivered it Sunday.

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7 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

FedEx has never been reliable in my area.  They're always slower than UPS and USPS, they often miss their estimated delivery dates, and the worst thing they did was deliver a $2000 Razer Blade laptop to my neighbor's porch (no signature) instead of me.  More recently they delivered a DVD by tossing it in a bubble mailer onto my porch, then dropping a case of canned cat food on top of the mailer.

But yeah.  Even when they're not screwing up they're inconsistent.  Figure my Ultimate X-Panse shipped when yours did, probably, but I'm still waiting for it after it spent three days in Indiana (it looks like it should be tomorrow, finally).  Meanwhile I ordered Bravely Default 2 from Walmart on Friday and FedEx delivered it Sunday.

Jeez. All I can do is shake my head with incredulity.  The DVD incidence- really unforgivable from professional delivery people. At least I can take some small comfort in knowing I'm not their only victim.

USPS is usually pretty good here, too. Today, however, my Magic Square Megs and Soundwave (I caved) showed up and the box looked like an accordion. ShowZ are great about putting the plastic corner protectors on, but they didn't save the outer box this time. To my surprise, however, neither of the actual product boxes sustained damage beyond maybe a little bit of denting. The toys, thank goodness, were in perfect condition. I've only ever had one major issue with USPS- I sent two large boxes of stuff from PA to my WA address, about $200 worth of stuff, and neither of them ever showed up. USPS sent the paperwork salvaged from one of the packages to my sister in PA, and by the time she sent it to me, the routing number or whatever was out of their system, so I couldn't even file a claim. Total loss. I wasn't too happy. 

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Thanks for the Grimlock review, Mike! This new Studio Series Grimlock and the 3P Planet-X version create a cool contrast when standing side-by-side.

The missing screw covers is a bit of a puzzle. I mean, I understand cost savings but looking at your photos, the new toy shares the same screw hole layout as the old MP. Hasbro really only needed to include the two tiny fillers in the dino head to go the distance. It's too bad those didn't make the cut. A good 3P add-on set will definitely iron out these visible wrinkles. Hopefully, one will come our way soon.

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On 3/1/2021 at 1:52 AM, tekering said:

Black red, silver... bring 'em on!

diaclones.jpg

The Diaclone homages are my favorite Transformers. :wub:

LOVE LOVE LOVE.  i didn't even know there was a blue bumblebee MP release.  ironhide is voodoo?  i think i have the rest other than red bumblebee.  i actually bought spinout too but i don't know if he'll replace sentinel blaze for me as the latter looks more toy based.

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as for that grimlock, if they had made the tail a bit better and given him a "proper" (well to me) gold chromed chest, vac plated dino arms and tail....he'd definitely IMO beat mp-08 almost everywhere.  too bad our favorite OSKO folks are out of business at the moment as i'm sure they could make some improvements and size him up to fit even MP collections.  as is, i think 3P could help out wiht screw hole fillers and maybe even a more clear chest if its easily removable. 

 

great review as always mike.  i still prefer overall these pictorial adn text reviews over videos in a lot of ways.

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This guy not looks like a masterpiece to me (except for the ridiculously high price) the exposed connectors in the leg and the cat ears in truck mode are unforgivable and more when the 3rd party companies are doing a much better job shame of you Hasbro shame of you:angry:

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MP Skids looks good, but I'm pretty done and happy with my MP collection, I just wanted season 1 Cons and Autobots. Interesting to see this more kibbly, Hasui-like design for the bot. I wonder what the accessory count will look like, and from that, the price tag?

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6 hours ago, Mechapilot77 said:

great review as always mike.  i still prefer overall these pictorial adn text reviews over videos in a lot of ways.

Agreed!  The multiple comparisons to figures past or 3P offerings helps a lot more than just the typical here is said figure with Prime. While all the same basic topics are covered, Mike does it without all the typically useless filler; "Because it's precious, just oh so precious".   

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6 hours ago, Mechapilot77 said:

ironhide is voodoo?

Yeah, that's right.

resurgence.jpg

6 hours ago, Mechapilot77 said:

i didn't even know there was a blue bumblebee MP release.

Sorry, I didn't mean to mislead you... :unsure:

bluebee.jpg

...but that's just a custom I made myself. :p

bluebug.jpg

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Hasbro's Transformers Crossovers are moving out of the '80s and into the '90s... it's Ultimate X-Panse, representing X-Men X Transfomers.

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Could Hasbro really not have come up with a better name for this guy?  At the very least, it's X-Men in the '90s, so he should have been called X-Treme X-Panse.  But I'm just going to call him X-Pants.

Anyway, X-Pants is a big boy!  He's like the Leader-class of old, dwarfing Gigawatt (who's the same size as most of the WfC Autobot cars) and Maverick (who's a bit taller than WfC Prime or Megatron). To the top of his head he's actually just a bit taller than Studio Series Grimlock. Not as big as Siege Jetfire, though.

As an original character I can't go and point out all the deviations from the original but... he's kind of a mess, isn't he?  For one, the yellow paint isn't the best.  Some spots, like his right knee, are fine.  Some spots, like his left knee, needed another coat.  And in some places, like his left shoulder, they went out of the lines.  And yeah, he's technically remolded from Studio Series Jetfire, and it's kind of impressive how much of him isn't that toy... but the parts of him that are still Jetfire leave a ton of kibble on his back.  The nose backpack and the "wings" I can live with, I suppose, but the flaps just hanging out behind his head are atrocious.  Still, they definitely captured a lot the '90s X-Men vibe, with the mostly blue body, the yellow belt with extra chest and leg straps, and Cyclops' visor.  So I don't exactly love it, but I don't really hate it, either.

Note that the instructions have the landing gear sticking up from his hips as pictured above.  You can rotate them so they're pointing backward instead.  Cleans him up a little.

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X-Pants doesn't come with a weapon, but he does come with two slugs, Sabertooth and Wolverine, and three effects parts.  One of the effects parts looks like the thing that appears around Psylocke's face when she uses her powers, but there doesn't seem to be any way to use with directly with X-Pants.  The instructions say you can put it around one of the slugs' waists, but that really doesn't make a ton of sense.

Speaking of the slugs, they're not great.  Sabertooth isn't too bad, but Wolverine is painted terribly with far too much black on his face and he's molded into a pose that he can barely stand in.  They and the Psylocke effect are probably going back in the box.

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Credit where it's due, because I don't recall Jetfire having great articulation, but X-Pants can move.  His head is on a hinged swivel, so he can turn his head, he can look up a good amount, and he can look down a bit.  His shoulders rotate and extend laterally a hair over 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel.  His elbows bend 90 degrees, and his wrists swivel.  Despite his large backpack his waist can swivel and a small ab crunch- it's not the best for posing, but it may be to aid in transformation or a leftover bit of Jetfire's engineering.  What is new is a hinge that gives him a sideways bend.  I'm not sure why it's there, though.  The range is limited, and the joint is very loose on my copy, but it doesn't seem to serve any other purpose.  Anyway, his hips can go forward and laterally 90 degrees on ratchets.  Backward is a little more limited, maybe 45 degrees, due to his backpack getting in the way.  His thighs swivel.  His knees are double-jointed and ratcheted, but they still only get about 90 degrees of bend.  The front of his feet tilt up, mostly due to transformation, and maybe a little down.  He does have about 30 degrees or so of ankle pivots.

Take care when posing him.  He's a little back-heavy.

His hands aren't molded in a way that can hold any accessories.  However, he's got some bumps on the backs of his hands with a 5mm port on each one.  That allows you to use the other two blast effects.  One is very akin to Psylocke's psychic blade.  The other is the same color, but the trio of claws on it are reminiscent of Wolverine's.

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So is he supposed to be like Cyclops, Psylocke, or Wolverine?  I don't know.  But I do know that, unlike Cyclops, X-Pants can lift up his visor and you can see his eyes without him blowing your face off.

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Like the other Crossovers the idea here is that he's a famous vehicle re-imagined as a Transformer.  In this case, it's the X-Men's private jet, the Blackbird.  I guess, at some point in the comics, it actually was an SR-71 Blackbird, but it wasn't in the cartoon.  X-Pants, starting from a toy that is an SR-71, kind of splits the difference, with new engine nacelles, new wings, and a new first section of the fuselage.  The rest of the fuselage and the vertical stabilizers, though, come right from Jetfire.  The result is something that isn't really cartoon accurate, but the colors and silhouette are close enough that you'd recognize it as the Blackbird even without the X-Men emblems on the wings.

Transformation is not very much like Jetfire at all.  It's mostly straightforward, except for the legs, which are a bit of a pain.

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Here's a look at the underside.  Yeah, he's got a bit of kibble under there, but honestly I think it does a fairly good job stuffing most of it between the nacelles, so it's really not the worst (especially for an SR-71 derivative).  He's got three working landing gear (compared to Jetfire's one), and there's peg holes in the gap between his robot chest and waist that allow you to store his arm blade and claw effect parts.

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Alternatively, there are small peg holes on the effect parts, and tiny pegs under the wings, allowing you to mount them there.  (While I'm at it, there are little pegs on the landing gear on his belt, so you can also store them on his hips in robot mode.  But how are you supposed to hang an energy blade from your belt?)  I'm a bit surprised, but there aren't any peg holes in the engine nozzles, though, so he can't put the effect parts there or even borrow from Siege Jetfire or something.

A note on those little wings... mine came packaged in the correct forward-swept position.  They don't seem to be popping off; I've only had it happen once, and I definitely bent it farther than it was meant to go at the time.  However, they're loose in the sense that they have two stopping points, one for bot mode and one for plane mode, and there's almost no friction between those points.  And even at those points there really isn't enough.  My wings like to droop, especially the left one.  It's a shame they couldn't have some way to tab into place.

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As for the slugs, well... they can stand on top of the Blackbird.  He doesn't ahve a cockpit for them to sit in, though.  The instructions also show that they can stand on the flaps behind his head in robot mode, but that doesn't seem like a great idea.  There's no peg holes on the slugs and none of those little Titan Master bumps on X-Pants, so they don't secure onto him the way Wheelie secures onto Grimlock.  They literally just stand there.

X-Men was one of my favorite cartoons in the '90s.  It's largely responsible for getting me into comic books, a habit I indulge to this day, and drawing my own comics in high school is why I started college as an art major.  But, either I'm just not as nostalgic for the '90s as I am the '80s, or the Blackbird isn't as much a character as the DeLorean time machine or Ecto-1, because I'm not feeling it the way I did with those two, or the way I would with something like KITT, the Batmobile, or the TMNT Party Wagon.  And unlike Maverick, who I also didn't have a ton of nostalgia for, X-Pants doesn't have the clever engineering, which leaves him as my least favorite of the Crossovers.  I probably wouldn't have even bought him, as $65 seems a bit much for him, but thankfully I had reserved him with a coupon that gave me a pretty significant discount.  If you're into the Crossover thing and you're a fan of the X-Men, then by all means give him a go.  But if you pass on him I don't think you're missing much.

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1 hour ago, Wolf-1 said:

Agreed!  The multiple comparisons to figures past or 3P offerings helps a lot more than just the typical here is said figure with Prime. While all the same basic topics are covered, Mike does it without all the typically useless filler; "Because it's precious, just oh so precious".   

Who could you possibly be referring to? :lol:

8 hours ago, Mechapilot77 said:

as for that grimlock, if they had made the tail a bit better and given him a "proper" (well to me) gold chromed chest, vac plated dino arms and tail....he'd definitely IMO beat mp-08 almost everywhere.  too bad our favorite OSKO folks are out of business at the moment as i'm sure they could make some improvements and size him up to fit even MP collections.  as is, i think 3P could help out wiht screw hole fillers and maybe even a more clear chest if its easily removable. 

 

great review as always mike.  i still prefer overall these pictorial adn text reviews over videos in a lot of ways.

My SS Grimlock came today, and I like it a lot.  Definitely a step in the right direction for the mainline, with hopefully more Dinos to follow.:good:

I like vid reviews, but there's definitely value to pictorials, especially when they highlight certain aspects and make comparisons.  Mike does a commendable job with his reviews.

As to the smoked plastic chest piece, I'm glad they at least made it transparent, but yeah it's too dark. The box art depicts Grimlock with a  transparent yellowish chest piece and neck pieces for his dino mode, both of which look good. Unfortunately, they eschewed the transparent parts altogether for his T-Rex neck, and used the smoky plastic for his chest which is too dark to discern his Autobot symbol except from up close, and barely then. It's an odd choice. I'd love for third party to make the neck pieces, too, although it would requiire making the internal bits as well as the trans outer pieces. But it's one of those features I always loved about the G1 toys, and it's a little disappointing to see that this figure was intended to have it, but for whatever reason, it was dropped.:(

9 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Hasbro's Transformers Crossovers are moving out of the '80s and into the '90s... it's Ultimate X-Panse, representing X-Men X Transfomers.

Transformation is not very much like Jetfire at all.  It's mostly straightforward, except for the legs, which are a bit of a pain.

X-Men was one of my favorite cartoons in the '90s.  It's largely responsible for getting me into comic books, a habit I indulge to this day, and drawing my own comics in high school is why I started college as an art major.  But, either I'm just not as nostalgic for the '90s as I am the '80s, or the Blackbird isn't as much a character as the DeLorean time machine or Ecto-1, because I'm not feeling it the way I did with those two, or the way I would with something like KITT, the Batmobile, or the TMNT Party Wagon.  And unlike Maverick, who I also didn't have a ton of nostalgia for, X-Pants doesn't have the clever engineering, which leaves him as my least favorite of the Crossovers.  I probably wouldn't have even bought him, as $65 seems a bit much for him, but thankfully I had reserved him with a coupon that gave me a pretty significant discount.  If you're into the Crossover thing and you're a fan of the X-Men, then by all means give him a go.  But if you pass on him I don't think you're missing much.

I thought the legs were the most interesting part of the transformation, although, with really tight double joints used to articulate the cowlings, it is a pain to get them positioned. I dig the engineering, though.

Spiderman and His Amazing Friends was more my jam than X-Men back in the 80's, although I enjoyed it, too, and it was my introduction to that world, and remained my only connection to it until the live action movies came along. That said, being aware of the X-Men's Blackbird and its stylistic departure from the Lockheed SR-71 that inspired it, all things being equal, I would have rather they made X-Pants:lol: more faithful to the comics/live action version. That said, despite being a huge fan of the SR-71, I passed on Bayformer Jetfire due to how heavily compromised that toy was in jet mode. X-Spanse , while sporting a few changes, as Mike mentioned, from the actual Blackbird, is closer to the source and far less compromised. Indeed, he's fairly clean in jet mode for a Hasbro jetformer, a rarity. For that reason, more than my passing affinity for X-Men, I bought him.  Initially, I thought the mixture of X-Men character attributes was off-putting, but upon reflection, I think it works, as he's more of a general representation of the X-Men rather than a specific character, and I imagine that was Hasbro's intention. He's a much improved retool of Jetfire, but as Mike pointed out, he retains the superfluous and annoying back flaps that hover just behind his head. It would have been nice had they found a way to either get rid of them or fold them into the backpack.  This isn't Hasbro's first foray into Marvel-Transformer crossover toys, but IMHO, X-Spanse represents a minor upgrade to the previous toys, at least in articulation. Glad I got him.

 

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10 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Who could you possibly be referring to? :lol:

Would have quoted the talking Bionicle but none of the jokes stand out, other than bad!  

Edit: However, at least it's a changing useless filler/gimmick. 

Edited by Wolf-1
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2 hours ago, Wolf-1 said:

Would have quoted the talking Bionicle but none of the jokes stand out, other than bad!  

Edit: However, at least it's a changing useless filler/gimmick. 

While some of his personality quirks can be wearying, I find that the reviewer in question, once he gets into the meat and potatoes of his review, is very competent at what he does. He's often my go-to when I'm stuck on a transformation. I also like the levity he brings to his reviews- more often than not, I get a chuckle, usually from his more wry observations. He and a particular mask wearing reviewer have very different styles and deliveries, but I appreciate both for what they do for the fandom, and just for the people they are and their obvious love of the hobby. "It takes all kinds", as the old saying goes, and being a 49 year old man-child whose life revolves around toys, I suppose I've a certain predisposition to be forgiving of quirkiness. I'm one of those oddities, so I've little room to judge.^_^

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

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Where's the trailer?

i hope there is a trailer, just not picture becasue taht looks like the just upsized the hot rod mold and gave it a differetn windshield and butt.  i say upsized because no way a commander class could be just a retooled voyager even if you add a trailer....  i'm a rodimus hater anyway so unless its really good, i'll pass. 

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Assuming Hasbro is keeping things in scale then Rodimus shouldn't be taller than Optimus. Hot Rod with a rifle and a sword sized up to Optimus is still a Voyager, maybe a Leader if the engineering is crazy. To be a Commander he pretty much has to have a trailer and can do space winnebago mode. Best guess is the car mode is a reference to a specific episode.

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14 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Assuming Hasbro is keeping things in scale then Rodimus shouldn't be taller than Optimus. Hot Rod with a rifle and a sword sized up to Optimus is still a Voyager, maybe a Leader if the engineering is crazy. To be a Commander he pretty much has to have a trailer and can do space winnebago mode. Best guess is the car mode is a reference to a specific episode.

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totally forgot i ever saw that happen, but you're probably right.  it has the larger rear end vs. hot rod's.  granted its kingdom so they an pretty much do whatever they want but it does look like they are referencing that based on proportions.  personally, i can't believe they are doing rodimus up all premium like (i mean he got to be somehwat premium at that price point and small robot size and the trailer has to be somewhat decent?) and they let optimus out with that very cheap feeling trailer.  as an original fan of the 85/85 characters way more so than the 86 guys - that sucks!  then again , i can look at my kbb mp-10V with trailer and say hasbro was never gonna beat that with optimus in the mainline scale (yeah he is a bit big but so what!) even at an $80 pricepoint.

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3 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

While some of his personality quirks can be wearying, I find that the reviewer in question, once he gets into the meat and potatoes of his review, is very competent at what he does. He's often my go-to when I'm stuck on a transformation. I also like the levity he brings to his reviews- more often than not, I get a chuckle, usually from his more wry observations. He and a particular mask wearing reviewer have very different styles and deliveries, but I appreciate both for what they do for the fandom, and just for the people they are and their obvious love of the hobby. "It takes all kinds", as the old saying goes, and being a 49 year old man-child whose life revolves around toys, I suppose I've a certain predisposition to be forgiving of quirkiness. I'm one of those oddities, so I've little room to judge.^_^

Nowhere have I said either lacks in content, nor hinted at being able to do a better job myself.  I frequent both and here as well; I like covering the bases.  Each has garnered a following and justly so, even if others point in jest.  I'll turn to them before I end up on the absolute dry British reviews.  Each brings a different nuanced perspective to the whole picture; don't we all?

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