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Oh, I have a couple Bayverse Bees- I just don't have any BumbleBee Movie Bee figs. I like the design, but I just never felt compelled to bring it home. I think the Bee Movie Prime fig was pretty well done, and I really like Dropkick, but then I've been a helo fan since my preteen years, so getting an official AH-1 Transformer was a delightful surprise. I like the transformation engineering on that one. Not for everyone, but I dig it. ^_^

Kinda like Maverick: an F-14 with a wickedly similar transformation as the venerable VF-1. Pretty cool, and I hope it galls HG to no end. :diablo:

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A million and one thanks to @Wolf-1, who decided our little community needed a Kingdom Leader-class Galvatron review more than he needed a copy right now and generously sent his BBTS pre-order to your favorite(ish?) impatient collector who still writes Transformers reviews on a corner of a Macross board instead of getting his own website.

IMG_20210618_134533.thumb.jpg.5190c3b2d41f5ee71636c389e12c7d01.jpg

While a new Galvatron was inevitable after Cyclonus and Scourge hit shelves roughly around the same time a few months ago, the fact is that many of us already started seeking out a good CHUG Galvatron almost immediately after getting the extremely disappointing Deluxe-class Universe one way back in 2008.  For some of us, that meant going for a 3rd party alternative, like Unique Toys' Mania King, a figure that's held up fairly well but definitely has a few issues (like the fists locked in a gorilla pose, and some loose joints on my copy).  Some of us grabbed the holy-crap-has-it-been-five-years-already Titan Return figure, which again was better than I expected with then-uncommon features like a waist swivel and ankle pivots, but he also suffered his share of flaws, most notably the awful headmaster gimmick.

Now, after a very good Scourge and a downright excellent Cylconus I think the internet at large was ready to tear into Kingdom Galvatron for being anything less than perfect.  And, well, he's not.  The Siege battle damage/dirt is back, which I know I'm not a fan of.  His face seems a little long, but in hand I actually appreciate it (more on that in a minute).  I wish his belt buckle had a bit of red paint.  But perhaps worst of all, something we've complained about since he was first revealed, are his proportions.  His shoulders sit far too low on his torso, and his arms look too long.  I said before that it looks like his upper body is a size larger than his lower body, but was I right?  Well, if you totally ignore his arms for a minute, his proportions are actually fairly similar to the Titans Return toy.

IMG_20210618_135549.thumb.jpg.d437e19901a7c4942763fe0b41e4c7a1.jpg

And those arms?  Turns out it's a manufacturing error (so you might have dodged a bullet, @Wolf-1).  The inner joint that connects his arms to his torso is upside down.  See, if I flip the joint and spin his arm back around you can see his shoulder is raised and his arms don't look as long.  This can be a fix, if you don't mind the visible rivet, although you have to rotate it back for alt mode.  A better but more difficult solution might be to pop the rivet out, pry apart the shoulder, flip the joint, then reattach, but it will involve an uncomfortable amount of prying and flexing the plastic.  Fortunately, Hasbro is aware of the issue and a running change has been made, with fixed copies supposedly already in the wild.  I myself will seek out another copy to exchange.

IMG_20210618_134648.thumb.jpg.ab245bb34180ead91992c3fddc761f78.jpg

Even with the misassembled shoulders, though, I have to admit that in-hand I like Galvatron a lot more than I thought I would.  That longish head bears a striking resemblance to Megatron when you have them side-by-side (although Galvatron is quite a bit taller; I wonder how he'll scale with Rodimus?).  He's a lot more G1-accurate than Mania King or TR Galvatron, although I think I'd have preferred a bluer shade of purple, and he's a lot more solid as well (I weighed Mania King at 154g, TR Galvatron at 184g, and Kingdom Galvatron at 244g even without all of his accessories).

IMG_20210618_132546.thumb.jpg.8fc8ede87ca49e180e6c7f81a216291e.jpg

Speaking of accessories, you get quite a few (gotta hit that Leader budget, eh?).  You of course get his cannon, again far more G1 than TR's with a translucent barrel that's just a bit of metal flake away from being the G1 toy's.  You get a pair of what I suppose are guns- I mean, they're not like anything Galvatron wielded in the cartoon, and the sculpt is basically the Revenge.  They can fit together for some reason.  Frankly, I'm not huge on them and will probably toss them in a box in my storage closest, but perhaps you'll get more use out of them if you have the Haslab Unicron and you want a Revenge to display with the Autobot shuttle.  You also get a soft plastic chain with a Matrix on it.  While it's painted a bit differently, especially with a bright blue over the crystal instead of leaving it bare translucent, it's the same Matrix we've gotten with Optimus (and, in my case, Netflix Optimus, Dead Optimus, and Shattered Glass Optimus), Hot Rod, and presumably Rodimus.  It uses the peg hole on the back to attach to the chain, so you can pop it off and pop on one of the other ones if you desire.

IMG_20210618_135057.thumb.jpg.d236b25cce390d25b27f3b0b4bbc9880.jpg

Galvatron's head seems to be on a ball joint.  It swivels fine, but there's just a bit of upward and sideways tilt and really nothing down.  His shoulders rotate and can move laterally almost 180 degrees.  Now, his biceps do swivel, but I'll note that there are little tabs on the treads on the backs of his arms that don't seem to have a function in alt mode, so it seems like the intention was for them to plug into the rivet holes on the backs of his shoulders.  Thing is, if you do that then the locked-in treads will keep is biceps from swiveling, so...?  Anyway, his elbows are double-jointed and curl all the way up.  His wrists swivel.  His waist swivels, but only about 45 degrees in either direction before some back kibble gets caught in his hip skirts.  Still, should be fine for most poses.  Speaking of hips, they can go forward 90 degrees, backward a little less due to the same back kibble, and with the hip skirts hinged out of the way slightly over 90 degrees laterally.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His feet don't have any up/down tilt, but they've got about 30 degrees of ankle pivot before the shape of his shin gets in the way.  You can use a transformation hinge on the inside of his leg under his knee to move the whole foot out a bit to get a bit more pivot, but it will break up the leg sculpt.

The chain with the Matrix just slips over Galvatron's head.  You'll notice that there's a tab on the chain and a slot in Galvatron's chest, but if you plug the chain in the chest the Matrix will sit in front of Galvatron's face and the chain will be floating in the air.  It seems Hasbro wasn't sure where his cannon should go; to be fair, the cartoon wasn't always sure, either.  Hedging their bets, there's a 5mm port on the outside of his bicep, where I think it looks the most proportional, but if you want it to bend with his forearm or to rotate with his forearm like Megatron's there's a 5mm peg immediately below the first one, on the outside of his forearm.  Personally, I think the best bet would have been a fold-out peg on the orange part of the barrel itself that plugged into the forearm, but what do I know.  Aside from those ports, the rivet holes on the backs of Galvatron's shoulders are 5mm ports, there's one on the small of his back, and there's one under each foot.

IMG_20210618_134910.thumb.jpg.dea26bc16d577a342b465a8809810252.jpg

As for his Revenge-guns, they can plug into his fists separately or combined, but the shape of the gun/ship around the 5mm peg prevents it from being plugged into his arms or the port on his back.  Instead, should you wish to store them there are tabs  sticking out of Galvatron's back at angles.  Slots on the top of the gun/ships allow them the grab onto those tabs.

IMG_20210618_133208.thumb.jpg.99c234a44f126c8e44f4f10c45a63652.jpg

Galvatron's alt mode is always a huge challenge.  The exaggeratedly thin lines and mostly-gray color of the animation came from the G1 toy, which was mostly-gray itself and had huge rectangles for biceps with little dangly forearms.  Mania King managed to get a mostly-gray cannon by changing the transformation, so his legs are the front of the cannon.  Titans Return kind of passed; you could argue that the shoulder pads and cannon kibble sort of make a gray section near the barrel, but the bulk of it is still purple.  Credit where credit is due, Kingdom Galvatron transforms in such a way as to have a mostly-gray cannon, although there are some spots molded in the purple plastic near the back of the cannon that still could have been gray as far as I'm concerned.

IMG_20210618_133230.thumb.jpg.16a9a58f953966979e452f044b6343c4.jpg

Indeed, I think the extra purple panels on his robot legs are what's keeping the cannon from appearing less cohesive than it actually is (and it's very cohesive- if the gray part seems floppy, it means you don't have the black-and-silver side parts plugged into his chest correctly, a mistake I made the first time I transformed him because that step's kind of glossed over in the instructions). Well, that and the butt of his arm cannon just plugging into the top.  It's like, there's space behind his robot chest on the underside of the cannon where you could have tucked it away (seriously, a 5mm port under his crotch is all it'd have taken).  The other complaint I'd have is the rear support strut.  I'm not sure they could have done anything without a drastic redesign to be totally cartoon accurate.  That said, the instructions and many images I've seen have his feet folded down as in the above picture, and I'm not sure that really looks the best.  However, you can change the angles of his his arms and the treads*, then fold the feet partway back in and use his ankle pivots to keep everything flat and the cannon angled slightly upward.  That actually looks a lot better to my eyes.

*On that note, it seems like copies without the misassembled shoulders should be a bit easier to position, as they'll sit in higher and tighter to the body and not force his arms to spread so wide to keep everything level.

IMG_20210618_133422.thumb.jpg.08aaed880631b02af1633c995496f818.jpg

Galvatron's got room for his other accessories, even in cannon mode.  Both of his forearm ports are still visible, and there's a port on either side of the fold-out rear strut.  Again, though, the gun/ships actually use the slots to attach to tabs on the body of the cannon.  As for the Matrix, while you could just hang the chain over the barrel and call it a day this is the time you're meant to use the tab on it to plug it into the slot on his chest, securing it in place.

IMG_20210618_135351.thumb.jpg.10e33a1450bef3634bec357b9a22b8a9.jpg

Aside from the misassembled shoulders I have to say that I'm actually very pleased with Galvatron, much more so than I expected.  Yes, both his robot and alt mode have their flaws, but they're definitely not as bad in-hand as they appear in some pictures.  I expected that he'd be on par with the TR version (with upgrades like the helmet I got for mine), and that he'd be nowhere near as good as Cyclonus and Scourge.  And, actually, well, there's still no beating Cyclonus.  But he blows TR Galvatron away, it's not even close, and I think I might actually like Galvatron better than Scourge.  So despite my initial fear, where I thought I'd be telling you that you don't need this guy if you have TR Galvatron or Mania King, I'm pleasantly surprised to tell you that I totally recommend this figure.  He's solid, he's fun to transform, and he's a definite upgrade from both of those figures.

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

You get a pair of what I suppose are guns- I mean, they're not like anything Galvatron wielded in the cartoon, and the sculpt is basically the Revenge.  They can fit together for some reason.

Honestly, I thought they were questionable as heck until I saw the picture of them snapped together. They make a fairly neat-looking split-barrel cannon.

 

But yeah, they're probably really meant to go with Unicron.

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

A million and one thanks to @Wolf-1, who decided our little community needed a Kingdom Leader-class Galvatron review more than he needed a copy right now and generously sent his BBTS pre-order to your favorite(ish?) impatient collector who still writes Transformers reviews on a corner of a Macross board instead of getting his own website.

IMG_20210618_134533.thumb.jpg.5190c3b2d41f5ee71636c389e12c7d01.jpg

While a new Galvatron was inevitable after Cyclonus and Scourge hit shelves roughly around the same time a few months ago, the fact is that many of us already started seeking out a good CHUG Galvatron almost immediately after getting the extremely disappointing Deluxe-class Universe one way back in 2008.  For some of us, that meant going for a 3rd party alternative, like Unique Toys' Mania King, a figure that's held up fairly well but definitely has a few issues (like the fists locked in a gorilla pose, and some loose joints on my copy).  Some of us grabbed the holy-crap-has-it-been-five-years-already Titan Return figure, which again was better than I expected with then-uncommon features like a waist swivel and ankle pivots, but he also suffered his share of flaws, most notably the awful headmaster gimmick.

Now, after a very good Scourge and a downright excellent Cylconus I think the internet at large was ready to tear into Kingdom Galvatron for being anything less than perfect.  And, well, he's not.  The Siege battle damage/dirt is back, which I know I'm not a fan of.  His face seems a little long, but in hand I actually appreciate it (more on that in a minute).  I wish his belt buckle had a bit of red paint.  But perhaps worst of all, something we've complained about since he was first revealed, are his proportions.  His shoulders sit far too low on his torso, and his arms look too long.  I said before that it looks like his upper body is a size larger than his lower body, but was I right?  Well, if you totally ignore his arms for a minute, his proportions are actually fairly similar to the Titans Return toy.

IMG_20210618_135549.thumb.jpg.d437e19901a7c4942763fe0b41e4c7a1.jpg

And those arms?  Turns out it's a manufacturing error (so you might have dodged a bullet, @Wolf-1).  The inner joint that connects his arms to his torso is upside down.  See, if I flip the joint and spin his arm back around you can see his shoulder is raised and his arms don't look as long.  This can be a fix, if you don't mind the visible rivet, although you have to rotate it back for alt mode.  A better but more difficult solution might be to pop the rivet out, pry apart the shoulder, flip the joint, then reattach, but it will involve an uncomfortable amount of prying and flexing the plastic.  Fortunately, Hasbro is aware of the issue and a running change has been made, with fixed copies supposedly already in the wild.  I myself will seek out another copy to exchange.

IMG_20210618_134648.thumb.jpg.ab245bb34180ead91992c3fddc761f78.jpg

Even with the misassembled shoulders, though, I have to admit that in-hand I like Galvatron a lot more than I thought I would.  That longish head bears a striking resemblance to Megatron when you have them side-by-side (although Galvatron is quite a bit taller; I wonder how he'll scale with Rodimus?).  He's a lot more G1-accurate than Mania King or TR Galvatron, although I think I'd have preferred a bluer shade of purple, and he's a lot more solid as well (I weighed Mania King at 154g, TR Galvatron at 184g, and Kingdom Galvatron at 244g even without all of his accessories).

IMG_20210618_132546.thumb.jpg.8fc8ede87ca49e180e6c7f81a216291e.jpg

Speaking of accessories, you get quite a few (gotta hit that Leader budget, eh?).  You of course get his cannon, again far more G1 than TR's with a translucent barrel that's just a bit of metal flake away from being the G1 toy's.  You get a pair of what I suppose are guns- I mean, they're not like anything Galvatron wielded in the cartoon, and the sculpt is basically the Revenge.  They can fit together for some reason.  Frankly, I'm not huge on them and will probably toss them in a box in my storage closest, but perhaps you'll get more use out of them if you have the Haslab Unicron and you want a Revenge to display with the Autobot shuttle.  You also get a soft plastic chain with a Matrix on it.  While it's painted a bit differently, especially with a bright blue over the crystal instead of leaving it bare translucent, it's the same Matrix we've gotten with Optimus (and, in my case, Netflix Optimus, Dead Optimus, and Shattered Glass Optimus), Hot Rod, and presumably Rodimus.  It uses the peg hole on the back to attach to the chain, so you can pop it off and pop on one of the other ones if you desire.

IMG_20210618_135057.thumb.jpg.d236b25cce390d25b27f3b0b4bbc9880.jpg

Galvatron's head seems to be on a ball joint.  It swivels fine, but there's just a bit of upward and sideways tilt and really nothing down.  His shoulders rotate and can move laterally almost 180 degrees.  Now, his biceps do swivel, but I'll note that there are little tabs on the treads on the backs of his arms that don't seem to have a function in alt mode, so it seems like the intention was for them to plug into the rivet holes on the backs of his shoulders.  Thing is, if you do that then the locked-in treads will keep is biceps from swiveling, so...?  Anyway, his elbows are double-jointed and curl all the way up.  His wrists swivel.  His waist swivels, but only about 45 degrees in either direction before some back kibble gets caught in his hip skirts.  Still, should be fine for most poses.  Speaking of hips, they can go forward 90 degrees, backward a little less due to the same back kibble, and with the hip skirts hinged out of the way slightly over 90 degrees laterally.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His feet don't have any up/down tilt, but they've got about 30 degrees of ankle pivot before the shape of his shin gets in the way.  You can use a transformation hinge on the inside of his leg under his knee to move the whole foot out a bit to get a bit more pivot, but it will break up the leg sculpt.

The chain with the Matrix just slips over Galvatron's head.  You'll notice that there's a tab on the chain and a slot in Galvatron's chest, but if you plug the chain in the chest the Matrix will sit in front of Galvatron's face and the chain will be floating in the air.  It seems Hasbro wasn't sure where his cannon should go; to be fair, the cartoon wasn't always sure, either.  Hedging their bets, there's a 5mm port on the outside of his bicep, where I think it looks the most proportional, but if you want it to bend with his forearm or to rotate with his forearm like Megatron's there's a 5mm peg immediately below the first one, on the outside of his forearm.  Personally, I think the best bet would have been a fold-out peg on the orange part of the barrel itself that plugged into the forearm, but what do I know.  Aside from those ports, the rivet holes on the backs of Galvatron's shoulders are 5mm ports, there's one on the small of his back, and there's one under each foot.

IMG_20210618_134910.thumb.jpg.dea26bc16d577a342b465a8809810252.jpg

As for his Revenge-guns, they can plug into his fists separately or combined, but the shape of the gun/ship around the 5mm peg prevents it from being plugged into his arms or the port on his back.  Instead, should you wish to store them there are tabs  sticking out of Galvatron's back at angles.  Slots on the top of the gun/ships allow them the grab onto those tabs.

IMG_20210618_133208.thumb.jpg.99c234a44f126c8e44f4f10c45a63652.jpg

Galvatron's alt mode is always a huge challenge.  The exaggeratedly thin lines and mostly-gray color of the animation came from the G1 toy, which was mostly-gray itself and had huge rectangles for biceps with little dangly forearms.  Mania King managed to get a mostly-gray cannon by changing the transformation, so his legs are the front of the cannon.  Titans Return kind of passed; you could argue that the shoulder pads and cannon kibble sort of make a gray section near the barrel, but the bulk of it is still purple.  Credit where credit is due, Kingdom Galvatron transforms in such a way as to have a mostly-gray cannon, although there are some spots molded in the purple plastic near the back of the cannon that still could have been gray as far as I'm concerned.

IMG_20210618_133230.thumb.jpg.16a9a58f953966979e452f044b6343c4.jpg

Indeed, I think the extra purple panels on his robot legs are what's keeping the cannon from appearing less cohesive than it actually is (and it's very cohesive- if the gray part seems floppy, it means you don't have the black-and-silver side parts plugged into his chest correctly, a mistake I made the first time I transformed him because that step's kind of glossed over in the instructions). Well, that and the butt of his arm cannon just plugging into the top.  It's like, there's space behind his robot chest on the underside of the cannon where you could have tucked it away (seriously, a 5mm port under his crotch is all it'd have taken).  The other complaint I'd have is the rear support strut.  I'm not sure they could have done anything without a drastic redesign to be totally cartoon accurate.  That said, the instructions and many images I've seen have his feet folded down as in the above picture, and I'm not sure that really looks the best.  However, you can change the angles of his his arms and the treads*, then fold the feet partway back in and use his ankle pivots to keep everything flat and the cannon angled slightly upward.  That actually looks a lot better to my eyes.

*On that note, it seems like copies without the misassembled shoulders should be a bit easier to position, as they'll sit in higher and tighter to the body and not force his arms to spread so wide to keep everything level.

IMG_20210618_133422.thumb.jpg.08aaed880631b02af1633c995496f818.jpg

Galvatron's got room for his other accessories, even in cannon mode.  Both of his forearm ports are still visible, and there's a port on either side of the fold-out rear strut.  Again, though, the gun/ships actually use the slots to attach to tabs on the body of the cannon.  As for the Matrix, while you could just hang the chain over the barrel and call it a day this is the time you're meant to use the tab on it to plug it into the slot on his chest, securing it in place.

IMG_20210618_135351.thumb.jpg.10e33a1450bef3634bec357b9a22b8a9.jpg

Aside from the misassembled shoulders I have to say that I'm actually very pleased with Galvatron, much more so than I expected.  Yes, both his robot and alt mode have their flaws, but they're definitely not as bad in-hand as they appear in some pictures.  I expected that he'd be on par with the TR version (with upgrades like the helmet I got for mine), and that he'd be nowhere near as good as Cyclonus and Scourge.  And, actually, well, there's still no beating Cyclonus.  But he blows TR Galvatron away, it's not even close, and I think I might actually like Galvatron better than Scourge.  So despite my initial fear, where I thought I'd be telling you that you don't need this guy if you have TR Galvatron or Mania King, I'm pleasantly surprised to tell you that I totally recommend this figure.  He's solid, he's fun to transform, and he's a definite upgrade from both of those figures.

Great review, Mike. You're totally on point with your observation that the bot mode gun mount would have served the cannon mode far better if it was tucked up by the crotch. I saw a solution on Twitter using several of Nonnef's 5mm port adapters, albeit with one sanded down to fit the screw hole in the crotch, that allows for that piece to tuck away nicely. Unfortunately, I can't find it now to link it.  My copy of Galvatron is PO'd with Pulse, so hopefully mine will benefit from the updated shoulder fix, as Pulse seems to take longer to get stuff out, even when it's already appearing in brick and mortar stores.<_< While I still like the TR version, it has some compromises, and this one was certainly designed to more closely fit the G1 toon model. I had initial reservations, but had to concede, after a vid review or two, that it was a decent fig, with some minor flaws. I do wish instead of having his feet rotate down out of the legs as they do in cannon mode,  he would have had the more handle-esque support bar like the OG toy and the TR fig, via its tacked on third mode's cockpit. All things considered, it's arguably the best official Galvatron toy to date, and I'll be happy to pair him up with the exquisite Cyclonus and very good Scourge as you did.:wub:

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15 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

A million and one thanks to @Wolf-1, who decided our little community needed a Kingdom Leader-class Galvatron review more than he needed a copy right now and generously sent his BBTS pre-order to your favorite(ish?) impatient collector who still writes Transformers reviews on a corner of a Macross board instead of getting his own website.

IMG_20210618_134533.thumb.jpg.5190c3b2d41f5ee71636c389e12c7d01.jpg

 

 

And those arms?  Turns out it's a manufacturing error (so you might have dodged a bullet, @Wolf-1).  The inner joint that connects his arms to his torso is upside down.  See, if I flip the joint and spin his arm back around you can see his shoulder is raised and his arms don't look as long.  This can be a fix, if you don't mind the visible rivet, although you have to rotate it back for alt mode.  A better but more difficult solution might be to pop the rivet out, pry apart the shoulder, flip the joint, then reattach, but it will involve an uncomfortable amount of prying and flexing the plastic.  Fortunately, Hasbro is aware of the issue and a running change has been made, with fixed copies supposedly already in the wild.  I myself will seek out another copy to exchange.

Sorry I passed along a quirky copy; great review though!

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2 hours ago, Wolf-1 said:

Sorry I passed along a quirky copy; great review though!

That you did him a solid by getting him a copy early is commendable, man. And you can't be held responsible for factory mistakes. Hopefully Hasbro's on top of it and getting it corrected for future copies (like mine:D).

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31 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

That you did him a solid by getting him a copy early is commendable, man. And you can't be held responsible for factory mistakes. Hopefully Hasbro's on top of it and getting it corrected for future copies (like mine:D).

100% this! I appreciate the hookup that let me get this review up. And I'll get the shoulders sorted one way or another.

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Posted (edited)

Shattered Glass Goldbug is up for Pre-order on Pulse.

F2704_PROD_TRA_GEN_GOLDBUG_0010_Online_2000SQ_2000x.thumb.jpg.5b355911324ed4b823383dca64b167e2.jpg

No surprise, they have to use the Cliffjumper/Hubcap/Bugbite mold with a new head instead of Bumblebee (licensing, what can you do?).  I do really dig the colors, though.

Edited by mikeszekely
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If you've been collecting the mainline Transformers like I have, at first you were probably a little miffed that, between Earthrise, Kingdom, Gen Selects, or other store-exclusives, you've re-bought most of the figures you just bought in Siege to get Earth modes.  The further along we get, though, I'm kind of wanting two things.  First, I'm wanting an Earth-mode Hound.  I mean, I'd gladly take more Earth-mode Seekers (especially Acid Storm and Sunstorm), and with the recent announcement of an Earth-mode Sideswipe (and leaked images of Earth-mode Red Alert) I wouldn't mind Earth modes for Deep Cover, Tigertrack, and hey-can-we-please-get-Clampdown-yet, but I think Hound is the last of the Siege sorta-G1-but-sorta-Cybertronian releases that hasn't seen an update.

But going the other way, suppose I want to have my Cybertronian Siege figures battling, and I pretend they crash and get reformatted into their Earth modes.  Now it seems like there's some Season 1 characters we have Earth modes for but we don't have Cybertronian ones.  I guess it's pretty unlikely that Hasbro's going to go back and give us Cybertronian modes for Brawn, Huffer, Gears (who can't even get an Earth mode!), Jazz, Wheeljack, and Trailbreaker.  But Hasbro does actually have us covered for Bumblebee (and where there's a Bee, there's often a Cliffjumper retool).

Friends, I give you Origin Bumblebee.

647723139_TransformersBuzzworthyBumblebeeOriginBumblebeeOfficialImages(1)__scaled_600.jpg.082e69b5a9f3e29f8e0b9587e5de22b6.jpg

1513916144_TransformersBuzzworthyBumblebeeOriginBumblebeeOfficialImages(4)__scaled_600.jpg.68243c078ed6504a40ad87d7bb9c4ed3.jpg

No word on a release date, but it's part of the Buzzworthy Bumblebee line so it'll be a Target-exclusive (at least in the States).  The report I read also didn't have a price, but given the "War for Cybertron" branding clearly printed on the box I fully expect Origin Bee to scale with Netflix Bee, which would suggest a price between $20-30 depending on how much the jetpack and energon rods cost.

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Awhile back I mentioned some leaks for a "Transformers crossover bat" and a "Prime Optimus Prime."  Those leaks turned into speculation that the crossover would be the Batmobile and Prime Optimus Prime would be a new mold of Optimus from Transformers Prime.

Nope to both.

The crossover is Universal Monsters X Transformers Draculus, a Transformer version of Dracula.  Maybe it'll be an improved retool of Titans Return Mindwipe and I'll actually want it...

As for "Prime Optimus Prime," it's Amazon Prime x Transformers Optimus Prime.  It's expected to be a repaint of Earthrise Optimus Prime as an Amazon Prime delivery truck.  Presumably that means a white cab and a blue trailer, although I've seen the reverse (and would LOVE a blue Optimus, so...).  On the one hand this one feels a bit commercial, even for me.  On the other hand maybe this will lead to a Pepsi x Transformers and we'll get a new version of Pepsi Convoy...

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

If you've been collecting the mainline Transformers like I have, at first you were probably a little miffed that, between Earthrise, Kingdom, Gen Selects, or other store-exclusives, you've re-bought most of the figures you just bought in Siege to get Earth modes.  The further along we get, though, I'm kind of wanting two things.  First, I'm wanting an Earth-mode Hound.  I mean, I'd gladly take more Earth-mode Seekers (especially Acid Storm and Sunstorm), and with the recent announcement of an Earth-mode Sideswipe (and leaked images of Earth-mode Red Alert) I wouldn't mind Earth modes for Deep Cover, Tigertrack, and hey-can-we-please-get-Clampdown-yet, but I think Hound is the last of the Siege sorta-G1-but-sorta-Cybertronian releases that hasn't seen an update.

But going the other way, suppose I want to have my Cybertronian Siege figures battling, and I pretend they crash and get reformatted into their Earth modes.  Now it seems like there's some Season 1 characters we have Earth modes for but we don't have Cybertronian ones.  I guess it's pretty unlikely that Hasbro's going to go back and give us Cybertronian modes for Brawn, Huffer, Gears (who can't even get an Earth mode!), Jazz, Wheeljack, and Trailbreaker.  But Hasbro does actually have us covered for Bumblebee (and where there's a Bee, there's often a Cliffjumper retool).

Friends, I give you Origin Bumblebee.

647723139_TransformersBuzzworthyBumblebeeOriginBumblebeeOfficialImages(1)__scaled_600.jpg.082e69b5a9f3e29f8e0b9587e5de22b6.jpg

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No word on a release date, but it's part of the Buzzworthy Bumblebee line so it'll be a Target-exclusive (at least in the States).  The report I read also didn't have a price, but given the "War for Cybertron" branding clearly printed on the box I fully expect Origin Bee to scale with Netflix Bee, which would suggest a price between $20-30 depending on how much the jetpack and energon rods cost.

That looks pretty decent, and it'll be the first time, AFAIK, that they've ever released this version of Bee. Shame that half his car mode is on his back and he has a faux chest. Alas, that's become the unimaginative solution for a lot of TF figs over the last few years, and will remain so so long as Hasbro keeps its iron grip on the direction of the franchise. I wonder if Takara would have done it differently, given their design it first, assign price later approach.

Anyway, glad we're finally getting this version, warts and all.

A Batmobile Transformer would have been awesome. I always thought Animated Lockdown, Animated Blurr, or the Prime Vehicon would make for nice Batman crossovers. Apparently, I'm not alone: 

Image result for transformers batmobileSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Oh, and yeah, and Earth mode Hound would be nice. Classics Hound is still one of my all-time favorite toys, though, and it was so well done that in my mind, it's still the toy to beat in mainline. A simple retool of Siege ain't gonna cut it, but that's what we'll get, no doubt double packed with a Beast Wars repaint on Amazon, if they do make an Earth version.-_-

Edited by M'Kyuun
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It's too bad that Hasbro waited on this Cybertron Bumblebee. It would have been fun to see him released in parallel with the first waves of WFC Siege or as an option to the old Target exclusive RedWing Seeker. That said, I haven't had much luck acquiring Target exclusive Transformers locally so I guess I'll look forward to the in-hand photos. ^_^ Hopefully, for those that do pick up this Origin Bee release, they also will get an Origin Wheeljack and an Origin Jazz later on.

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23 minutes ago, Alex GS said:

the figure looks stunning in both modes!, this is indeed a Masterpiece in my opinion:

 

My copy is on the way from AmiAmi. Looking forward to it! If I remember correctly, the same designer who was on the original Diaclone releases is on the MP team for 52 (just like Skids). That’s a pretty cool connection too.

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On 6/25/2021 at 10:58 AM, mikeszekely said:

As for "Prime Optimus Prime," it's Amazon Prime x Transformers Optimus Prime.  It's expected to be a repaint of Earthrise Optimus Prime as an Amazon Prime delivery truck.  Presumably that means a white cab and a blue trailer, although I've seen the reverse (and would LOVE a blue Optimus, so...).  On the one hand this one feels a bit commercial, even for me.  On the other hand maybe this will lead to a Pepsi x Transformers and we'll get a new version of Pepsi Convoy...

Some new info on this... apparently the cab is a licensed Volvo truck (maybe an FH?).  That said, given that it's reported to still have a Matrix that stores in the chest, and that it converts in 37 steps (ER was 35), I'm still thinking this is more of a retool or Earthrise Prime than a totally new mold.

Aside from the Matrix, it's coming with a trailer (cab and trailer are designed to look like an Amazon Prime truck), a rifle, and two "packages" complete with the black and blue tape that can store in the trailer for Prime to deliver.

 

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43 minutes ago, obakesan said:

This is kinda slow video - but shows of the MP 2.0 Screamer transformation, etc, video by Takara

 

 

It is fascinating how detailed the insides of his wings are while the rest of the figure is so incredibly bland. ^_^

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1 hour ago, Scyla said:

It is fascinating how detailed the insides of his wings are while the rest of the figure is so incredibly bland. ^_^

There are some clever transformation steps in that video, but also some finicky steps that look like they could use a more careful touch (or some shock oil to lubricate important joints).

I think the inner wing detail is terrific. I’m surprised they waited this long to add greebles back in to show other bot bits and bobs.

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I will have to admit, I do like the transformation and how the rear stabs fold up into the main wings. Pretty cool. That inner wing detail is great. I still don't like Alt mode, if I owned it, it would stay in robot mode and I'd be happy. But....alas, too rich for my blood Takara. 

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1 hour ago, derex3592 said:

I will have to admit, I do like the transformation and how the rear stabs fold up into the main wings. Pretty cool. That inner wing detail is great. I still don't like Alt mode, if I owned it, it would stay in robot mode and I'd be happy. But....alas, too rich for my blood Takara. 

Like wise, the alt mode. I think MP should have a better balance between modes, but the focus was obviously on the bot mode here, and the F-15 mode suffers terribly for it. MP03  struck a better balance, but its bot mode left somewhat to be desired, especially with the neck section above the intakes. Always hated that.

Still need to watch the vid to see the full transformation. I dozed off watching it yesterday, and never finished it. 

Ok, watched it. I like the arm transformation, as it hides the blue forearms and eschews just tucking them in to the sides that virtually every one making Seekers has done. I also like the weapon transformation, and the fact that they needn't be parts-formed. The head looks a little too big to my eyes, and although I generally find Takara's face sculpts to be excellent, this one doesn't look right. I can't put my finger on what's off, but it just looks off to me. I still don't understand why they needed the faux cockpit, as the real thing folds and sits right behind it. Seems superfluous to me, and b/c they need to hide it in fighter, ruins the smooth transition from forward fuselage to mid fuselage, all of which should be nigh parallel to the bottom of the intake ramps.

See the source image

See the source image1024px-McDonnell_Douglas_F-15E_First_production_F-15E_%28SN_86-0183%29_in_flight_060905-F-1234S-026.jpg

Transformers Masterpiece Starscream (MP-11) (Image #87 of 382)

See the source imageF 15 Taxis High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

Transformers Masterpiece Starscream (MP-11) (Image #53 of 382)

I included some comparison shots of MP-11's fighter mode to show the differences between old and new molds.

MP-11 was fairly close to source, not perfect by any stretch, especially in the lower rear fuselage, and the placement and length of the mains, but the size and shape of the Seekers' legs as they appeared in the show has always been contradictory to the real F-15. So too the integration of main gear, as they should properly extend from the waist/high thigh region of the bot mode, and that leaves little room for containing them. Having them extend from the knee on MP-11 situates them fairly accurately; it's just a shame that they couldn't be longer, or the bulk of the leg reduced and streamlined to more accurately reflect the real aircraft. As for MP-56, it's rife with inaccuracies that should be obvious by comparing to the actual aircraft. I don't think Takara even tried- it was all about that Sunbow looking bot mode, and the fighter mode was just an afterthought.

 

Edited by M'Kyuun
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I respectfully disagree about the alt mode. I’ll have more to say once my copy arrives, but the in hand images look like an improvement over MP-11 to me. MP-03 was designed by Kawamori and the intent was to present a specific type of F-15 alt. That wasn’t repeated thereafter.

I’m just comparing Takara’s own releases in the above example and not any of the third-party releases. Anyway, even with third-party releases, MP Seekers tend to have robot junk visible underneath to some degree or another. MP-03 was the only one that tried to hide it away.

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41 minutes ago, technoblue said:

I’m just comparing Takara’s own releases in the above example and not any of the third-party releases. Anyway, even with third-party releases, MP Seekers tend to have robot junk visible underneath to some degree or another. MP-03 was the only one that tried to hide it away.

I think the key difference for me tends to be the line between "visible underneath" and "visible from the side" (or even, visible from everywhere, in some cases).

If you can see parts of the robot from directly underneath, that's really not a surprise.  Very few transformers of any type can hide everything if you look at them from underneath.  It's the fact that this plane has another plane's worth of thickness underneath dragging on the ground that puts me off the design,

I'm glad people enjoy it, and the bot is fantastic, but the chunk of robot dragging underneath just kills it for me.

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3 hours ago, technoblue said:

I respectfully disagree about the alt mode. I’ll have more to say once my copy arrives, but the in hand images look like an improvement over MP-11 to me. MP-03 was designed by Kawamori and the intent was to present a specific type of F-15 alt. That wasn’t repeated thereafter.

I’m just comparing Takara’s own releases in the above example and not any of the third-party releases. Anyway, even with third-party releases, MP Seekers tend to have robot junk visible underneath to some degree or another. MP-03 was the only one that tried to hide it away.

To be fair, the original Seeker is most likely based on the F-15C version, and MP-03's alt is an F-15E. However, the conformal tanks which give the E series its slight bulge along the sides do not affect the silhouette in profile. It's more obvious looking straight on at the nose. I didn't mind Kawamori's changing the original MP Seeker to an E series, as those tanks helped to hide bot bits along the flanks. The new MP suffers from the semi-hollow biceps sticking out quite obviously, made all the moreso by the red area surrounding it. It's like a bullseye saying look at the f'd up bit right here.^_^ It's a universal truth.

It seems to me that the majority of Transformers fandom is far less critical of dicked up jet modes than they are of flawed car modes. Perhaps it's because they seldom deliver a nice looking jet alt without its being terribly compromised proportionally and with excessive kibble, and fans have simply grown so used to it that even a fairly passable looking jet looks great to them. I'm not one of those fans.:lol: I come from an aviation background, having worked on and around aircraft for twenty years in the Air Force. Heck, I've sat in an F-15 (never got to fly in one though😪). I made double sure those ACES II safety pins were installed- didn't want to be another messy statistic. Anyway, lackluster jet modes is a huge frustration for me, especially when I see the care they take to try and nail every nuance of a licensed ground vehicle. I don't expect a perfect capture, but they could certainly try a little harder. Because jets will always and forever be cooler than cars.

36 minutes ago, Scyla said:

I‘m still a firm believer that NewAge managed to do the best compromise between alt- and bot-mode and at Legends scale.

NewAge did a remarkable job. I say this looking at NA's Thunderctacker in jet mode mounted on his stand on my desk. They did a notable job keeping the bottom fairly streamlined. It's not perfect, as it still has to present in bot mode, but as compromises go, they did an admirable job. The other part of what makes it so good is the engineering to collapse and enfold the chest bits nigh seamlessly into the forward fuselage. It's brilliant, and works beautifully, while stripping off a lot of the usual undercarriage that mars many a Seeker toy. The only kibbly bits that extend down are the outside fairings for the forearms, but they're shaping at least complements the whole, and they're not so obtrusive as to affect the overall streamlined and accurate lines and proportions of the jet. And the robot mode looks fantastic, with well executed toonish proportions and G1 toy details. Just an excellent set of figs. Takara could have learned a thing or two by studying these things.

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2 hours ago, Chronocidal said:

I think the key difference for me tends to be the line between "visible underneath" and "visible from the side" (or even, visible from everywhere, in some cases).

I get it, and for me that’s part of the charm.

The thing is, when I look at MP-52 from unflattering alt mode angles, I see something that kind of resembles an upscaled version of the old G1 toy. For instance, take the triangles on the thrusters/fuselage that contain the rear landing gear. That kibble reminds me of my first Starscream toy and yeah those bits underneath are not on any real F-15 but some of them (minus the faux canopy) are very nostalgic to the original Seeker toy design—even going back to its Diaclone days. At least, it is for me. 

Long story short, my expectations are a bit askew I guess. I’m not looking for the same thing from this that I would from a Valkyrie. I’m not asking for ultra realism mixed in with Transformers fantasy. At least, not for the official MP line which now often embraces the awkward, clunky, and silly Sunbow aesthetic. 

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Transformers Generations Collaborative
Jurassic Park Mash-up Tyrannocon Rex & Autobot JP93
November 2021
US$104.99

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Edited by no3Ljm
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1 hour ago, M&#x27;Kyuun said:

It seems to me that the majority of Transformers fandom is far less critical of dicked up jet modes than they are of flawed car modes. Perhaps it's because they seldom deliver a nice looking jet alt without its being terribly compromised proportionally and with excessive kibble, and fans have simply grown so used to it that even a fairly passable looking jet looks great to them.

I'm sure I've talked about this before, but I'll do it again. 

A Datsun 280zx's height is just under a third it's length.

On paper, an F-15's height to length ratio is fairly similar... but keep in mind that the official height is to the top of the vertical stabilizers.  Through most of the fuselage it's going to be, if I'm generous, maybe half that height.  In other words, there's simply more room to stuff the robot into the car.  Case in point-

IMG_20200908_200231.jpg.eb77f5b0c7d4c8a9d11e536856c447a8.jpg.9f65c7421f47a4e5a11a12b1b71ee2e8.jpg

That doesn't mean that good jetformers are impossible, of course; Kawamori has done some impressive work, and Maverick turned out pretty good, but Transformers like Starscream are a bit hamstrung because the designers aren't just trying to turn an F-15 into a robot, they're trying to turn an F-15 into a robot that looks like the cartoon.

On that note, no, Starscream doesn't look like a perfect F-15.  I think he looks alright, though.

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Time for a little detour from MP. While I utterly detest the Bay films, and am not the biggest fan of the Bayformer aesthetic, some of the designs hit a sweet spot with me, as my modest Bayformer toy collection can attest. Two characters that I thought were rather cool were Sideswioe and Jolt, and Hasbro has just announced Studio Series versions of each based on their RotF appearances. News and pics courtesy of TFW2005.

ss-002-200x150.jpegss-003-150x200.jpegss-001-150x200.png

I recalled Jolt as being one of the more interesting deluxe toys, and pulled my grey and black DotM version down to do comparisons with the new fig and attempt to transform him after quite a few years of guarding the shelf. Still a pretty neat Transformer figure, and impressively complex relative to what we've been getting for the past five or six years. The parts count, and number of moving parts is quite high for a deluxe scaled figure. It's a shame that Hasbro works within such a confined budget these days, as seeing these old toys and the level of complexity involved, lack of hollowed out bits, number of moving parts, and complexity of transformation make the stuff that has come since feel all the more lacking by comparison. While the old DotM fig is still a good fig, the new SS version is a bit more accurate to the CG model, especially the feet and the chest details. He is also burdened with non-accurate kibble like the folded panels on his hips and the weird way his front fenders hang out on his back. The DotM toy was cleaner in both these respects. 

Transformers ROTF -Jolt Render by Simbiothero on DeviantArt

I believe my copy of RotF Sideswipe is packed away, and I didn't feel like searching through boxes to find him, but I do recall thinking his design was interesting. I've never seen RotF in its entirety, and as I recall, never saw any of Sideswipe's scenes, so the toy is my only connection to the character. He has a beautiful alt mode, and the skater-like bot mode with big blades on his arms make him stand out from the rest.

In other news, the Amazon exclusive Jurassic Park crossover pack that's been teased has been announced. 

 

Transformers-x-Jurrasic-Park-01.jpg

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It's a pricey set at approximately $114 with free shipping, but the Kingdom BW Megs mold is one of the best beast modes I've ever handled, and AFAIK, the JP truck is an all new mold. Both look good to me, so I got one on PO.

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I preordered the JP set.  I kind of wish Tyranocon had gray biceps and a gold torso- she looks a lot like if Grimlock turned into a real T-Rex.  JP93 is interesting.  The use of ball joints in the hips and elbows speak of pre-WFC engineering, but if it's a retool I'm not sure what the original figure was.  There's some speculation that is a new mold, but perhaps a pretool for a new Skids figure.  I could see it perhaps working for an earth-mode Hound, too.

@M'Kyuun I'll be getting Jolt, and I'll review him here.  But I'm not sure about Sideswipe, since it's a minor retool of the DotM version I already reviewed two years ago.  Pretty sure the only real difference is that RotF doesn't have the spoiler and does have a roof in car mode.

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

I preordered the JP set.  I kind of wish Tyranocon had gray biceps and a gold torso- she looks a lot like if Grimlock turned into a real T-Rex.  JP93 is interesting.  The use of ball joints in the hips and elbows speak of pre-WFC engineering, but if it's a retool I'm not sure what the original figure was.  There's some speculation that is a new mold, but perhaps a pretool for a new Skids figure.  I could see it perhaps working for an earth-mode Hound, too.

@M'Kyuun I'll be getting Jolt, and I'll review him here.  But I'm not sure about Sideswipe, since it's a minor retool of the DotM version I already reviewed two years ago.  Pretty sure the only real difference is that RotF doesn't have the spoiler and does have a roof in car mode.

Looking forward to the review, Mike.  I'll probably get Jolt, but I still like the RotF Sideswipe toy better than this one, at least from a detail POV. The RotF version had the faux actuators at the hips :wub: that speak of pure robot joy, had a lovely sculpt, good paint apps, and was also the roofed version of the Corvette, which I prefer. I'm not sure I'm feeling the need to get another version.

As for the JP set, I agree that Tyranocon ( such a bland name; makes one crave the inventiveness of Bob Budiansky and Denny O'Neil) could have used more color to differentiate her from Grimlock. At minimum, some additional color to break up the solid black and red spaces would have been nice. I also noticed the use of ball joints for JP93's  elbows and found that to be a step back from current WfC standards of pins and screws for joints. I get the sense this is a heavy retool of a CW fig. Ball-jointed elbows and hips don't bother me as long as they have good tolerance, although those elbows do stick out like a sore thumb after all this WfC goodness. What went through my mind when I saw this guy was why couldn't they have designed Ratchet's and Ironhide's legs in a similar manner to blend the feet seamlessly into the vehicle mode.  No sense dwelling on what coulda/shoulda been.:( I think they cheaped out on the figure itself so they could fit that intensive paint job into the budget. They did a great job with that aspect anyway, or at least in this test shot. Final product may vary, after all. -_- Oh, and 'JP93'. Sheesh.:rolleyes:  I get it, but it sounds more like a Star Wars droid name than a Transformer. How about something like Siteseeker and Tremor? :D

Edited by M'Kyuun
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23 minutes ago, M&#x27;Kyuun said:

Oh, and 'JP93'. Sheesh.:rolleyes:  I get it, but it sounds more like a Star Wars droid name than a Transformer. How about something like Siteseeker and Tremor? :D

I woulda leaned hard into the naming sense of the Marvel and Star Wars crossover lines and named them 'Sue' and 'Muldoon'. But what do I know?

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