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All that kibble between the legs, mostly for covering up his faux robot mode cockpit, is an unsightly, and IMHO unnecessary, mess. The only good viewing angle, as with most of Has/Tak's jet offerings, is a top shot where none of the generally kibbley undercarriage, which all but ruins the illusion that this is anything but a robot with airplane parts attached, can be seen.  This sort of egregious compromise would never be tolerated with a car alt mode.  Even the New Age Seekers have better presentation in fighter mode, while still delivering a toon accurate and highly poseable robot mode.  Takara, with all their experience, should be able to do at least as well, especially in a Masterpiece class figure. They did a far better job with the fighter mode with MP-3 and MP-11. Granted the bot modes weren't as well done, nor as toon accurate, but I would expect a better balance from Takara that delivers a far less compromised fighter mode while still giving the bot mode a toon look. Maketoys did it, and did it better, IMHO.

Honestly, I wish this Starscream had turned out better- I have neither a Starscream nor a Thundercracker in my MP Seeker collection (that I want to display- I have Greenscream, and the Walmart versions of  MP-3 Starscream and TC, I believe), as well as Maketoys' Skywarp, who I do have displayed. I have Maketoys' Starscream PO'd, but with the way things seem to be going with that company of late, I'm not sure it will ever materialize.:( Moreover, I want to support Takara. but when they produce a figure like this with so much compromise to the alt mode, and IMHO, unnecessary faux parts to try and capture the Sunbow look, the appeal is lost on me. For those who get it and love it, that's fantastic. As a toy, it did its job, and I hope it continues to bring joy to those who buy him for years to come. Meanwhile, I'm open to alternatives.

 

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I'm honestly getting sick of all these attempts to look *exactly* like the animation, especially in Masterpiece, because the character artists cheated with the designs to make it easier to animate, resulting in things like weird proportion changing that you can't do with a physical transforming figure like this

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Thanks for posting the photos, @sh9000. :hi:

I agree with anime52k8. This version of Starscream looks like he enjoyed a little too much energon in lockdown but I still enjoy everything it adds to the line.

Yeah. For me there’s a lot of good going on here. Toy versus toon? Stylized releases? I collect from each available bucket so that isn’t an issue for me. 

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I feel the same way about the new MP Starscream that I do about Arcee... It looks ok. Maybe a little too toon, but it's a big improvement over MP-3/MP-11 in robot mode. But I already have Maketoys' Starscream and don't feel a need to upgrade.

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As always, their thought process is "can we make the robot mode 1% more toon-accurate, even if it'll make alt-mode 35% worse?  Yes, yes we can..."  

And thus, a whole 'nother cockpit/upper forward fuselage, that's fake, just for robot mode, that makes up the bottom half of alt-mode and doesn't really hide anywhere...   

Same as Prime's two completely separate sets of "big square windows".   (and yet neither one is alt-mode accurate!)   

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2 hours ago, David Hingtgen said:

As always, their thought process is "can we make the robot mode 1% more toon-accurate, even if it'll make alt-mode 35% worse?  Yes, yes we can..."  

And thus, a whole 'nother cockpit/upper forward fuselage, that's fake, just for robot mode, that makes up the bottom half of alt-mode and doesn't really hide anywhere...   

Same as Prime's two completely separate sets of "big square windows".   (and yet neither one is alt-mode accurate!)   

Which is why Maketoys and Magic Square are my choices for Seekers and Prime, respectively, for my MP collection. I don't mind their move towards toon accuracy so much as the compromises they employ to achieve it. I'm not a big fan of using faux parts, but I will concede that it has its place here and there, especially if it doesn't egregiously effect the alt mode, but  benefits the bot mode such as SS86 Hot Rod, or WfC Runamuck/Runabout. But the use of a double cockpit seems superfluous and only serves to ruin the look of fighter mode. Being a plane guy more than a car guy, having had some actual hands-on experience with the F-15, and having been spoiled by Macross designs, the new MP Starscream seems a step or two in the wrong direction design-wise. That sort of obvious compromise would be unsightly but acceptable on a mass retail non-collector grade toy, but on a Masterpiece figure, far more care should be taken to ensure that the F-15 mode is close to the source, especially given that it's a licensed likeness. Apparently Micky-D don't care, but David and I do.

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11 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

Apparently Micky-D don't care, but David and I do.

They can't care, they don't exist anymore.

Boeing, on the other hand, is probably just glad to cash a check.

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1 minute ago, mikeszekely said:

They can't care, they don't exist anymore.

Boeing, on the other hand, is probably just glad to cash a check.

I'm ashamed to say I was unaware of McD's having been absorbed into Boeing.  So yeah, it's a low investment paycheck for them, but I wish they cared.  Such a beautiful and iconic aircraft- it symbolized America's air dominance for decades, and I wish they guarded its likeness as zealously as many car manufacturers do.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, most of Boeing's problems are from eating too much Mickey-D's.

The management that had run McD into the ground managed to negotiate control of Boeing in the merger, somehow. And proceeded to do the same things all over again. And at this point I don't think Boeing is healthy enough to turn down the cash, no matter how badly the designers flubbed it.

Edited by JB0
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Yet I have heard first-hand stories from manufacturers of model planes, how Boeing would reject a model airliner because of "black vs very dark grey" being used for the windows...   

I think they seem to only "care" about things they themselves designed, license-wise.   (As in, they'll demand payment regardless, but if it's from Long Beach or St Louis, their accuracy standards to get that license are non-existent)   

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Ugh.  I might still pick it up, if only because seeing it on the shelf at my local Target will make me more inclined to buy it than I otherwise would be, but I'm still holding out hope that a 3P will do a better one that's MPM-scaled and not ThreeA.

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I thought I'd try to spruce up my ER Prowl with some stickers only to find to my dismay that Toyhax never made any for him. It seems a bit of an omission; they made stickers for Slitherfang, but not one of the most recognizable and wanting of the G1 Autobots. :wacko: Anyway, I busted out my paints and tried to give him a minimal makeover to the best of my meager ability. I thought about trying to paint his zig-zag waist detail and his shoulder shields and stripes, but that's a bit too far outside my wheelhouse.

I also bought a weapons set for him from Nonnef.  The Nonnef gun is  more accurate than the gun he came with, but somehow I like the official gun better. I gave it a coat of paint and it doesn't look too bad, IMHO. I also painted the missiles, although all I had in my rather limited and aging paint collection was aluminum, so that's what I used. I may pick up some silver or maybe even chrome paint at some point and give them a shinier coat to better match the OG toy. 

I still wish there were decals available to pick out the mechanical details in his shins, as well as the waist and shoulder details. I may still pick up some white paint and paint the insides of his legs as well as the little gap filler panels. Anyway, thought I'd share.

 

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Edited by M'Kyuun
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1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

I thought I'd try to spruce up my ER Prowl with some stickers only to find to my dismay that Toyhax never made any for him. It seems a bit of an omission; they made stickers for Slitherfang, but not one of the most recognizable and wanting of the G1 Autobots. :wacko: Anyway, I busted out my paints and tried to give him a minimal makeover to the best of my meager ability. I thought about trying to paint his zig-zag waist detail and his shoulder shields and stripes, but that's a bit too far outside my wheelhouse.

I also bought a weapons set for him from Nonnef.  The Nonnef gun is  more accurate than the gun he came with, but somehow I like the official gun better. I gave it a coat of paint and it doesn't look too bad, IMHO. I also painted the missiles, although all I had in my rather limited and aging paint collection was aluminum, so that's what I used. I may pick up some silver or maybe even chrome paint at some point and give them a shinier coat to better match the OG toy. 

I still wish there were decals available to pick out the mechanical details in his shins, as well as the waist and shoulder details. I may still pick up some white paint and paint the insides of his legs as well as the little gap filler panels. Anyway, thought I'd share.

 

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ZX Studios includes a few decals in their upgrade kit for Prowl. You get the wheel covers, shoulder cannons, rifle and a chest piece filler along with the decals, stars for the doors and blinkers - tail lights.  Not sure if their Barricade set comes with any decals but it does add a night-stick.  Roughly $15 each for the various Datsuns. 

 

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14 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Ugh.  I might still pick it up, if only because seeing it on the shelf at my local Target will make me more inclined to buy it than I otherwise would be, but I'm still holding out hope that a 3P will do a better one that's MPM-scaled and not ThreeA.

Similar situation, was first going to preorder the Takara release, but now I am just going to wait until it goes on sale. You can tell this thing has Hasbro's usual budget/price capping written all over it. It's 2021 and they still have not understood what it means to make a premium collectible toy. I am appreciative of the fact that Takara has full control of the real MP line and Hasbro does not interfere with it.

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Ok, so this might be Kingdom Waspinator, or might be a heavy custom.

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I gotta say... I'm kind of hoping it's the latter.  I mean, I like what's going on with the wings here and ditching the flapping gimmick, and the wasp head seems both more organic and more cartoon accurate than the Thrilling 20 one.  I like that he's get hinged elbows instead of ball joints.  But the engineering is entirely too similar, with the arms half-heartedly tucked between the body and his folded-up legs forming the wasp chest, so it's got the same weird, chunky proportions.  It even looks like his weapon stores the same way.  Given what Hasbro's already pulled off with Primal, Megatron, Airazor, and Blackarachnia (and to a lesser extent Cheetor and Dinobot), I kind of expected more, like some kind of simple-yet-clever new transformation that made for a better all-around figure.

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If this is indeed Kingdom Waspinator, and I'm betting it is,  like the ER Seeker, they gave him improved articulation, but essentially copied the transformation. Honestly, though, there really aren't that many ways to accomplish BW Waspinator and keep him true.  I prefer tucking his legs up under the body better than the original toy's use of the robot legs as the grossly out of scale and inaccurate back legs in wasp mode.  The integration of his weapon into the wasp's abdomen goes back to the original toy, and I'm glad that that particular feature carries forward. It's certainly better than Kingdom Cheetor's tail axe instead of his gut gun and tail gun. I never minded the flapping gimmick on T30, but YMMV. Honestly, I like the sharpness of detail on the T30  better than this fig, whose legs and wings have a gloopy melted candle look about them, similar to the original '95 toy.  With all the other Kingdom BW figs aiming to look like the real animals instead of their toonier looks, this is a step in the wrong direction.

So, no sooner does speculation begin over the photos yesterday when TonTon pops up with a review today. Crazy.

Other than the better tucked arms and the more organically painted stripes on the abdomen, the T30 toy does everything else better, IMHO. Think I'll be skipping this guy.

Edited by M'Kyuun
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Posted (edited)

I'll probably still get him, if only to judge him in hand, but I do think that this is a lateral move from T30 Waspinator at best.

Speaking of figures I've gotten... I'd bought MPM Optimus and Bumblebee when TRU was still around.  I forget where I got Barricade at, but as one of the few movie designs I actually liked he was definitely getting bought.  After them, I ignored the MPM line until they started popping up at Target, where the novelty of buying figures like that in actual stores sold me on Starscream and Ratchet.  Having Bee, Ratchet, and Prime motivated me to pick up Ironhide and Jazz to complete the first movie Autobots, but without Blackout and Brawl I wasn't feeling any strong urge to pickup Megatron.

And then Hasbro dumped a bunch for like $60 on ebay.

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Megatron's a pretty big figure, standing one of his bulbous heads over MPM Optimus (or like three of Prime's heads).  Aesthetically, though, I'm not convinced he looks that much better than the Studio Series toy.  Some of the molded details on the MPM are better, sure especially around the pelvis (where the SS figure reused parts from the RotF version) and lower legs (because the SS version has his alt mode wings stuffed into his calves).  But, the paint is actually better on the SS version.  Too much of MPM Megatron's "silver" color is bare plastic.  Much of the paint on MPM Megatron is actually copper accents that the CGI model either didn't have, or if it did were far more subtle.

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Speaking of those folded-up wings... yes, MPM Megatron winds up with cleaner legs, especially when viewed from behind.  The cost of cleaner calves, though, is that his wings and tail are instead folded up into a fairly obvious backpack.  That's kind of a pick-your-poison, I guess.

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Well, MPM Megatron does have the SS version beat on accessories, at least.  You get his flail, although there's not weight at the end like the SS version has.  Also, the bulk of it is a very rubbery plastic.  You get a fusion cannon, something I wish the SS toy had.  And you get a tiny diecast Allspark.

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Alright, so Megatron's head is on a swivel for looking left and right, with a double hinge that technically allows him to look almost straight up, as well as a good bit down.  However, moving the head up or down really destroys the sculpt and looks very unnatural.  Plus, the lower hinge is really a c-clip, and is extremely prone to coming off.  His mouth can open wider, but it doesn't totally close.  His shoulders rotate on ratchets, and some of the detail on the edge of his shoulder hinges up so that his arms can ratchet laterally, but only about 60 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbow ratchet 90 degrees.  His wrists swivel.  On both hands, his two larger fingers are hinged at the base and have an additional hinge.  The three smaller fingers are molded together as a single piece hinged only at the base.  His waist swivels.  His hips ratchet forward and backward, but the spaces between the detents are very large; three clicks takes you from straight to 90 degrees forward, and he only gets one click backward, and they're pretty loose between clicks.  Fortunately, the lateral ratchets feel much better.  The spikes on the outside of his hips fold out of the way, and the hips move laterally 90 degrees.  His thighs swivel just above his ratcheted, single jointed knees, which bend 90 degrees.  Then his feet... well, they kind of suck.  See, he's got great up/down tilt, way more than he actually needs... because his feet are connected on a double hinge.  These hinges are not necessary for transformation, and they're not ratcheted, so he's a little prone to tipping forward.  I thought maybe tightening the screws would help, but they're in as tight as they can get.  Meanwhile, he does have an ankle pivot, but it seems at first like it doesn't move much and wants to naturally go back to straight.  If you force it enough, the ankle will pop into place for a wider stance... one that's too wide, really.  So, too shallow, or too deep; 45 degrees isn't happening here.

If you want Megatron to use his flail, you actually pop his hand off, plug one end into his wrist socket, then plug the hand back on the other hand.  Was that how it was in the film?  I can't remember, but the SS figure's flail isn't molded to look like a hand.  The fusion cannon also works by plugging into his wrist socket.

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Or, you can pop off both of his hands, and change the angle of the wrist peg on the cannon so it can plug into both of his wrists.  The the top of the cannon opens and a much larger barrel unfurls, to recreate that one scene in the movie.  Yay.

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So you don't lose them, you can store his flail and cannon in robot mode.  It's hard to tell from this picture- heck, it was hard to tell from the instructions- but the cannon plugs into Megatron's butt.  Then, the end of the flail that you'd plug his hand into plugs onto the peg on the cannon that connects to Megatron's wrists.  The other end has a small peg that plugs into a spot on Megatron's back.  Megatron's hands also have small tabs that fit into the holes on his butt.  I don't know if that's intentional or not, but there isn't room enough to store both hands, and I don't think you can store the flail with a hand on his back.

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As for the Allspark, it stores in his chest, of course.  There's a large translucent red plastic piece behind his chest with a cutout just for the Allspark.  You technically don't even have to open his whole chest; a small part of his chest is removable, in case you wanted to display dead Megatron with the cube jammed in there.

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Megatron's transformation isn't too complicated.  You have to combiner-wars the legs to collapse them, and the nose has to be unfurled from the inside of his torso.  His chest turns inside out a bit, and his backpack unfolds into his wings and tail.  His arms collapse into the void left by the unfurled nose, sure.  But... he's mostly just lying on his tummy with his arms outstretched in a Superman pose.

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The lack of folded-over feet, the largely visible head, the bigger fins on the wings, the smaller vertical stabilizer, the wings blending into the tail, and the lack of a visible gap between his legs (when viewed from above) do make MPM Megatron more accurate in alt mode than the smaller Studio Series version.  It's hard to say exactly how accurate it is to the barely-glimpsed space jet we see in the film, though.  It's definitely lacking a lot of the smoother, flowing lines seen in the concept art.  And he just sits in this mode; there's no landing gear or anything.

I do like how the fusion cannon fills in the back, though.

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As for his other accessories, the flail uses 3mm pegs on one end to connect to his ankle on one side, then the other end plugs under Megatron's wing.  It's not pretty, but it's storage.  As for the Allspark, it doesn't even have to be removed for transformation.  It just stays in his chest.  I was a little worried that it might fall out, but it hasn't yet.

Honestly, I think movie 1 Megatron is one of the worst designs in the Bayverse- a collection of jagged metal in a humanoid form that transforms into "Cybertronian jet," so it doesn't have to be anything real, but still winds up looking like a collection of jagged metal.  Maybe MPM Megatron is a success, then, given that he kind of looks like trash in both modes.  I like the RotF and DotM bodies better, but I guess this is the way to go if you're thinking about collection the cast of the first movie and then stopping.  That said, I think Megatron is ok at best.  As @lechuck noted on the upcoming MPM Bumblebee Prime Hasbro's interference with the MPM line has left us with bigger, more complex, more expensive figures than the mainline, sure, but they still feel pretty far from "Masterpiece."  If I'd bought Megatron at full retail price ($160) I'd probably feel ripped off, and frankly I don't really recommend MPM Megatron.  That said, I think he's ok for $60.  Now c'mon, Hasbro, give me and MPM Brawl and Blackout so I can be done.

Edited by mikeszekely
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I saw WFC Kingdom Galvatron in person at Target this morning but left it there.  I think he would have been better without the added purple marks that to me look like slime.  Also saw a Legends scale Soundwave that looked cool but I didn’t buy it either.

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2 hours ago, sh9000 said:

I saw WFC Kingdom Galvatron in person at Target this morning but left it there.  I think he would have been better without the added purple marks that to me look like slime.  Also saw a Legends scale Soundwave that looked cool but I didn’t buy it either.

Where? I'd have gone gone with both. Well, I need a birthday present for my daughter's friend, so I guess I'll go to Target tomorrow. Even though I'll bet my local Target doesn't have squat.

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

Where? I'd have gone gone with both. Well, I need a birthday present for my daughter's friend, so I guess I'll go to Target tomorrow. Even though I'll bet my local Target doesn't have squat.

I was just at one of the Targets in my area today, and all they had in leader scale was a couple copies of ER Ultra Magnus, which I happily left on the shelf. I hope the Hasbro team will get the opportunity to revisit his design with SS86, using a recolored ER Prime as core, as they purportedly wanted to do in the first place. Aside from a couple Kingdom Huffers and Ractonites, they had a peg's worth of Arcee to round out their Generations offerings. I don't recall if they had any of the legends class figs, or core class, as I rarely buy the official toys in that scale anymore.

Anyway, I have Galvy PO'd, so I'll get him eventually. No hurry. Slag, OTH, I probably would have snapped up and canxed the PO. Priorities!:p

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Yeah, I have them all preordered, too.  I just don't feel like waiting.  Slag, Rodimus, and Galvatron are currently my most-anticipated Transformers purchases... and I'm including the 3P stuff I have preordered.

Well, I did stop at Target today (and I was at my local Walmart on Saturday).  Didn't expect to find anything at my Walmart... I can go to the next two closest Walmarts to my house and find then nicely stocked while my local one constantly has half empty aisles.  Can't tell if the problem is distribution, management, lazy stock people, or employees grabbing them for scalping, but yeah, it's consistently the worst Walmart to shop at.  But to be fair to them, Target was pretty empty, too.  Couple of the Buzzworthy packs (the one with Exo Suit Spike, RotF Bee and Sam), couple of Cyberverse Arcees, couple of Kingdom Arcees (maybe '80s Hasbro was right and girl Transformers don't sell... at least in redneck Westmoreland County, PA), and that's about it.  Nothing bigger than a Deluxe.

On Wednesday I'm planning to pick up my dad and take him to lunch.  I can hit the Walmart and Target out that way, maybe I'll have better luck.

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13 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Yeah, I have them all preordered, too.  I just don't feel like waiting.  Slag, Rodimus, and Galvatron are currently my most-anticipated Transformers purchases... and I'm including the 3P stuff I have preordered.

Well, I did stop at Target today (and I was at my local Walmart on Saturday).  Didn't expect to find anything at my Walmart... I can go to the next two closest Walmarts to my house and find then nicely stocked while my local one constantly has half empty aisles.  Can't tell if the problem is distribution, management, lazy stock people, or employees grabbing them for scalping, but yeah, it's consistently the worst Walmart to shop at.  But to be fair to them, Target was pretty empty, too.  Couple of the Buzzworthy packs (the one with Exo Suit Spike, RotF Bee and Sam), couple of Cyberverse Arcees, couple of Kingdom Arcees (maybe '80s Hasbro was right and girl Transformers don't sell... at least in redneck Westmoreland County, PA), and that's about it.  Nothing bigger than a Deluxe.

On Wednesday I'm planning to pick up my dad and take him to lunch.  I can hit the Walmart and Target out that way, maybe I'll have better luck.

Good luck with the hunt, Mike.

A second part of an interview with Shogo Hasui at Takara has been posted on TFW2005. The first part of the interview was posted about a week or so ago, and the mods over there were kind enough to merge both parts. Interesting stuff if you're collecting Generations or Studio Series.

Speaking of SS, the interviewer and Hasui-san speak of SS Devastator, which I presumed in my excitement to mean an upcoming set of figs based on the '86 movie. It took a second reading for me to realize they were talking about the Bayverse version.:( Interesting reading , nonetheless, but Bay's take is best summed up by :bad:. The similarity between the Classics Seeker and the ER Seeker molds is also explained.

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On 6/9/2021 at 9:23 PM, valhary said:

why did they change the windows BACK to blue from the transparent smokey brownish?  and as dave mentions...that white paint app is a big WTF.  its silver on one face then white on the adjacent one.  i'm not OCD but that will bug me and i will need to fix that.   bothers me more than the "cat ears" almost.   like i could leave it in bot mode i guess but just knowing its white wwill bother me.  also i hope somebody makes a slightly better head/helmet for the bot mode.  its just off enough to bug me.  the rest of the bot looks pretty good though (i don't even mind the kibble on the forearms...it reminds u its a truck!). 

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Like mention before my biggest complaint is the fact that doesn't look a masterpiece toy  the studio series made a much better work needless to say the 3rd party options 

a over priced figure that you get with a very average transformation (almost a copy of the studio series) the alternative mode is so lame (kitty ears and storage gun) and this would not bother me if we speak of any other transformers line but is the masterpiece series that theoretically have the highest quality and engineering

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6 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Today's toy hunt turned up a fat load of nothing.

Like mine a couple days ago. My Walmart is typically disappointing, but Targets usually fare better for inventory. The one I visited didn't have any of the latest wave, so I remain committed to just getting all my TFs online, and if I happen to stumble upon one in the wild, I'll grab it and canx the PO. Speaking of POs, I broke down and paid the extra $5 markup for the Amazon Exclusive ER Sideswipe/BW Skywarp two-fer. I missed the better priced Pulse PO, so that's what I get for hesitating.

Initially, I wasn't going to bother with the ER version, but there are enough differences from the Siege, and similarities with ER Sunstreaker's alt mode to warrant getting a copy. I really wasn't interested in Skywarp, but I like the Airazor mold, and I like the colors they used, so I'm sure I'll enjoy the figure for what it is. I'm just not crazy about the head sculpt, but I can live with it.

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For what it's worth, I hit a Walmart and a Target. Both were reasonably well-stocked, better than my home stores, but with older stuff. Lots of Netflix Deluxes, Kingdom Arcee, Airazor, Dinobots, Primal. SS Dino and B-127, and even a few Grimlocks and a lone SS Scavenger.

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The Target I went to did have a couple copies of B-127, with his Cybertronian car mode. I left them on the pegs. I have Bee Movie Prime and Dropkick, but I've yet to own a version of Bee.

I'm hoping some the new Kingdom stuff will start releasing soon. As in Transformers, not Egypt.;)

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1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

but I've yet to own a version of Bee.

I mean... there's only been seven of them ('76 Camaro, '07 Concept Bee, RotF Bee, Bug Bee, Jeep Bee, B-127, and WWII Bee), not counting repaints.  Maybe eight, if you count the repack of TLK Premiere Bee with the repaint of Bug Bee.  I can see why you wouldn't have a Bumblebee yet.

Seriously, though, just give me another slight retool of Concept/RotF Bee as DotM Bee (maybe this time without the battle mask), '67 Camaro Bee, AoE Bee, and maybe a proper standalone TLK Bee (the Premiere figure is out of scale, as he's slightly bigger than the others), then I think we're done with him until Transformers 7.

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