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The Transformers Thread (licensed) Next


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On 7/8/2021 at 9:27 AM, Scyla said:

I’m always surprised how unconcerned Transformers collectors are with the accuracy of the alt-mode. Probably because most of them collect a representations of the character Starscream and not a toy that „converts“ from a F-15 fighter jet to a mecha.

 I think there is a big difference to what Macross Valkyrie collectors are after.

Suprised? Are Macross collectors any different or better when it comes to preferring or neglecting modes? Yamato's YF-21 - absolutely garbage Battroid/Gerwalk mode, yet so many still like it only because fighter mode is super slim. Even in the Bandai YF-21 thread you get the impression that the majority still do not want to concede or compromise on the jet fighter side and would rather have a repeat of things like with the Yamato. Or how about the Yamato 1/48 VF-1 - terrible, terrible Battroid proportions, but still liked. Why? Because of fighter mode. VF-4, again very little in the way of critical response to the poor implementation of Battroid mode, because everyone just cares to display it in jet mode.

So this "unconcerned-ness" is not just a Transformers collectors attitude, it just as much manifests itself in Macross and other collector groups as well.

On 7/8/2021 at 9:27 AM, Scyla said:

But to be fair MP-52 alt-modes underside looks faithful to his representation in the show (i.e. not like an F-15). ^_^

That's exactly the point or maybe that's the point people still don't understand - MP-52 was intended to do that from the get go. I don't know how or where this notion came from that it was supposed to ever emulate a F-15 as realistic as possible.

On 7/8/2021 at 6:56 PM, technoblue said:

Therefore, on the one hand, you have fans who are forgiving of the goofy toon design and who can overlook its imperfections. Mind you, a portion of these forgiving fans are also Macross fans who enjoy sleek fighters and cool mecha design. Speaking for myself, I'm able to separate Macross and Transformers into two buckets. One is premium and the other not so much, Unfortunately, the prices are starting to look the same. That critique is fair.

Why are Transformers Masterpieces less premium than Macross toys? What does premium even mean in this context, by price comparison? If you are talking about Hybrid/Hasui era of toys, then I would agree. But anything starting around Shockwave/Inferno can hold its own, they have higher grade of engineering and refinement - more fluidity between the modes, elimination of clunk and gaps, better articulation and better proportions.

22 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I concur. I admire Technoblue's optimism that another more balanced MP Seeker will come along, but, with the current toon-centric bot philosophy driving the designs, and Takara's general indifference towards aircraft alt accuracy, I think we've already gotten the best we'll ever get in a balanced F-15 Seeker. The thought just struck me; what if the same level of  compromises were to show up on any other characters' alt modes besides the Seeker? Would those, too, be acceptable? I somehow doubt it. The fandom is willing to forgive egregious compromises to aircraft alts, but what if Hound had a serious lift to accommodate all sorts of odd shapes under his vehicle mode with like a mm of ground clearance. Or a potential Jazz, for that matter. Would that be acceptable? 

Never had a problem with how he looked, but as a thirteen year old, I wasn't quite as critical. There was soooo much license employed in that show; anyone who bought the toys and then watched the toon had to feel some form of disenchantment with both. The toys had a lot of great real world detail that was ignored by the simplified and often inconsistent animation. The toon gave an idealized version of the characters that contrasted with the compromises necessary to make the toys work. The toon characters had full body articulation; the toys seldom had any below the waist, and often stationary heads. Some had no elbows.  Then there were Ratchet and Ironhide- night and day from toy to toon (Thank you for that, Floro Derry)  I think Kawamori designed the vanette bros for Diaclone, IIRC. Not sure what he was smoking that day, but I'm glad Derry redesigned them to fit the show. Their toon likenesses being inventions almost completely divorced from the toys is another of those odd compromises that has affected how the toys are envisioned over the years.

To me, that was MP-03, and then MP-11, exactly as you said. Takara could have taken some design cues from those toys and applied them to MP-52 to make a better alt mode, but the emphasis of that design was clearly to achieve the most toon accurate Starscream bot mode possible, and all else was afterthought. When Takara invited Kawamori to help refine the already designed MP Seeker, which would become MP-11, he took a similar approach as he does with his valks and concentrated on getting the F-15 mode as close to accurate as possible, fudging some of the design by turning it from a C to an E model, and giving the bot mode hip scabbards, and changing the shpe of the legs and feet to better approximate the F-15's aft fuselage. So yeah, that toy evolved from very F-15 accurate to more of a compromise, with the blocky G1 legs equipped with stabilizer supports mounted on sliders permanently attached to the lower legs. I think with a little better sculpting to try and capture the shape of the toon leg, they could have achieved a better balance back then. It still wouldn't have changed the cockpit's too-high hinge, which set it and the head too far above the shoulders, but it would have been a step in the right direction. Maketoys did a really good job of making good compromises between the bot and alt modes, and I was hoping that Takara would improve on that design, but they went way overboard for bot mode toon accuracy.

As I see it, as long as Takara stays the course with their current design philosophy, I don't entertain much hope of a better balanced MP Seeker any time soon. Maybe in another decade or two when perhaps some of the current designers are retiring and new guys are coming in, but at that point, will G1 even have relevance? I dunno.

How comfortable would you feel if toy company made a VF-1 toy that is supposedly a weird hybrid of previous toys, real world F-14 and a bit of animation, but in the end only remotely resembles its original animation or line art? That is essentially what everyone here is asking G1 fans to accept and endure!? MP-3, -11 and the 3P interpretations are not what die-hard or casual fans envision when you mention Starscream.

15 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

With their current design philosophy I don't entertain much hope of MPs I like, period.  Like I've said, I like cartoon-accuracy, but in a PG Gundam vs the animation sort of way.  I don't want toys that look exactly like a poorly-animated, 37 year old cartoon, I want toys that look like they could be the actual, real robots the animators were trying to capture.

Except they are not toys that are based exactly on the cartoon drawings - Takara are not a bunch of amateurs, they have their own in-house artists/designers that rework the original cartoon drawings and make them look more refined. Various scans from the Transformers Generations books have proven this, e.g. this 1612357624_OptimusPrimeG1charactermodel.jpg.c16865d049798b6542eac4d9f0ad6dbe.jpg

is not really the same as this

 781410041_MP-44OptimusPrimeDesignWorks1.jpg.03376069c7b5640e1b0bd34a7781c5b3.jpg

I don't know what you see, but latter drawing looks more real robot mechanical to me - yet still maintaining that dynamic and emotive vibe from the original cartoon. And a lot of that has been translated into MP-44, when I pick him up I don't really see any so-called cartoon dorky- or goofiness in its appearance or proportions. In fact this is what I really like with the latest Takara MPs compared to 3P stuff, that fine balance and subtleness between homage-ing the emotive cartoon robot and at the same time still having a certain degree of being mechanically grounded. With 3P I never get that, e.g. see TE-01 or the announced Perceptor and Soundwave, cartoon designs but the robots look very stiff and lack any kind of verve - just very lifeless.

15 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I couldn't have come up with a more apt description. I think that was the direction Hasui was pursuing, and I'm super happy that MP Prowl got made under his watch instead of the current team's. I have no issue with taking the better aspects of the toon and incorporating them into a toy, but to try and copy the blandness and other idiosyncrasies of a poorly animated show just takes the approach too far.  I wish they'd done a spin-off line like Studio Series to channel the toon-centric philosophy, and let Hasui and his team continue the MP line as it was. 

Is hybrid design with make-believe greeblies on the surface all that counts for it to be a true and better Masterpiece than the other ones?  Awkward proportions, clumsy silhouettes, weak articulation, hollow spaces, big gaps and unengaging transformations don't make these earlier "Masterpieces" standout toys. What's the point of making or buying something like that? Might as well just get even cheaper mainline Transformers toys with the exact same shortcomings.

 

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1 hour ago, lechuck said:

I don't know what you see, but latter drawing looks more real robot mechanical to me - yet still maintaining that dynamic and emotive vibe from the original cartoon.

Oh yeah, the second drawing looks much better.  But I think MP-44 looks more like the first one.  MP-44 has a short torso, especially in the midsection, with a large pelvis, long legs, thin arms, and cartoonishy round fingers.  Personal preference, I'm also against a white pelvis and thighs on Prime.  I think they're supposed to be silver; they're silver on the G1 toy, and that white color is the same color as the cartoon used for the grill and smokestacks (which are still chrome on MP-44).

I mean, if you like it that's cool.  You're definitely not alone; Takara knows what sells and the MP line evolved to be more cartoonish for a reason, and I'm not trying to tell anyone what they should/shouldn't like.  I'm just sharing what my preference is, and no, MP-44 doesn't look like that ideal, "real" robot to me.

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3 hours ago, lechuck said:

Suprised? Are Macross collectors any different or better when it comes to preferring or neglecting modes? Yamato's YF-21 - absolutely garbage Battroid/Gerwalk mode, yet so many still like it only because fighter mode is super slim. Even in the Bandai YF-21 thread you get the impression that the majority still do not want to concede or compromise on the jet fighter side and would rather have a repeat of things like with the Yamato. Or how about the Yamato 1/48 VF-1 - terrible, terrible Battroid proportions, but still liked. Why? Because of fighter mode. VF-4, again very little in the way of critical response to the poor implementation of Battroid mode, because everyone just cares to display it in jet mode.

So this "unconcerned-ness" is not just a Transformers collectors attitude, it just as much manifests itself in Macross and other collector groups as well.

That last statement is definitely true, and I don't think it's a stretch at all to say that a lot of the Macross community favors the jet mode over the robots, so long as the robot is at least functional, even if it's not matching the aesthetics of the animation.  Personally, I just like fascinating transformations and cool jets.

I think a more apt comparison though would be to compare the TF community's attitude toward cars, trucks, etc, vs aircraft.  That does not make any sense to me.  I've watched people going back and forth arguing bits and bobs of car transformers for years, debating things like curved or straight exhaust pipes, shapes of tail lights, whether or not they mold the windshield wipers on, or put a gas cap in the right place.. absolutely miniscule details of real vehicles that they want to see accurately replicated.

But bring in a jet, and suddenly they don't give a crap if it's carrying its mutated Siamese twin under its gut.  The community seems almost as picky about car alt modes as Macross fans are about jet modes.  What makes transforming jets different?  Why do jets smuggling a robot under them get a pass when people flip out over Optimus Prime having the wrong chrome trim pattern in truck mode?

Edited by Chronocidal
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, lechuck said:

How comfortable would you feel if toy company made a VF-1 toy that is supposedly a weird hybrid of previous toys, real world F-14 and a bit of animation, but in the end only remotely resembles its original animation or line art? That is essentially what everyone here is asking G1 fans to accept and endure!? MP-3, -11 and the 3P interpretations are not what die-hard or casual fans envision when you mention Starscream.

I'm replying to this because you specifically speak for all the fans. As a fan, you do not speak for me, and present a vision I abhor. 

I don't want toys that closely resemble the "original" animation, because it isn't the original. Even as a kid I recognized the animation was pretty crappy, and a pale imitation of the toys it was based on. In the majority of cases, I see those original toys when I envision these characters. I'm a filthy toy supremacist, and if we're doing slavish G1 remakes forever instead of something new, then I want much more of that original detail represented. And I want modern engineering to take over where the 80s failed us and give us articulation, and plane modes that look as clean as car modes do.

THAT'S what the fans want. Some subset of the fans, anyways. 

 

 

I'd also really like to see some alternate takes. Give me MP Classics Prime, that was a really cool interpretation of Optibotimus that was held back by size and budget.

 

 

That's exactly the point or maybe that's the point people still don't understand - MP-52 was intended to do that from the get go. I don't know how or where this notion came from that it was supposed to ever emulate a F-15 as realistic as possible.

Probably from Takara bragging how this was the first time ever that Starscream transformed into an actual licensed F-15.

Edited by JB0
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28 minutes ago, JB0 said:

I'd also really like to see some alternate takes. Give me MP Classics Prime, that was a really cool interpretation of Optibotimus that was held back by size and budget.

Like this?

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56 minutes ago, lechuck said:

Why are Transformers Masterpieces less premium than Macross toys? What does premium even mean in this context, by price comparison? If you are talking about Hybrid/Hasui era of toys, then I would agree. But anything starting around Shockwave/Inferno can hold its own, they have higher grade of engineering and refinement - more fluidity between the modes, elimination of clunk and gaps, better articulation and better proportions.

There is some nuance here that shouldn't be overlooked. Although I think modern Macross toys are more premium, that doesn't mean that I entertain the hyperbole that all official MPs are trash or garbage. I feel I should state that explicitly first in case it is being misunderstood. Also, there are Macross toys (like v1 1/60-scale Yamato Valkyries) that are well past their prime. I should also reiterate that I do try to empathize with opposing viewpoints in passionate discussions like these. Really, rather than having a virtual shouting match or repeating tl;dr points, I like to keep an open mind. ^_^

With that said, what I mean by premium can be defined in two parts: 1) that the standard of quality is consistent with the price that I'm paying and 2) that the toy embodies the stated mythology of the story. In my experience, Macross is often in line with parts 1 and 2 more often than not. Transformers MP is often in line with 1 or 2 but its rare to see MPs that get both down. I do think the toon-centric MPs are getting closer, mind you, but it took time for me to come around. I was also a fan of the Hasui-era MPs.

More to the point, I've had QC issues with a couple of the later toon-centric MPs, as much as I enjoy them. My copy of MP-45 arrived in its box scratched up with multiple paint defects---not what I was expecting for the price I paid. MP-43, BW Megatron, one of the few BW MPs that I went out of my way to pick up had the less-than stellar grey swirly plastic and my copy did develop cracks, making it unusable. I haven't messed with MP-44  or MP-47 enough to know if I have the common issues that are reported with Hound and Prime v3, but part of me doesn't really want to go looking for those problems either.:help: 

With regard to MP-52 specifically, I've already been writing about how I thought it was supposed to match the G1/Diaclone design. That's been my point from the beginning! :lol: I don't know how that was lost in the debate? Oh well, this is neither here nor there. I'll say again that I'm quite content with how MP-52 turned out. I think it's terrific how this toy, which looks so close to G1 Starscream from the cartoon/movie, transforms into an F-15 that looks almost like the G1 toy. That is almost its own MP moment for me. But please do appreciate how this doesn't mean that I'm unmoving or unwilling to relate to those who say that MPs are getting too expensive and who feel that the toon-centric design language is getting away from what they wanted from this line. It also doesn't mean that I can't appreciate designs from other toys like Go-Bots.

Really, Takara is in a tough place. Go one way, disappoint this group of fans; go another way, disappoint that group of fans. You can't please everyone. Like @M'Kyuunsays, it's a good thing we fans have choices!:drinks:

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52 minutes ago, technoblue said:

I'll say again that I'm quite content with how MP-52 turned out.

Out of curiosity, how are the joints on yours? Skullface's review had the ankles, knees, and hips looking to be incapable of supporting the figure's weight, but Peaugh has his review up and his looked a lot more stable.

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12 hours ago, technoblue said:

That’s a great comparison. The original Leader-1/Eagle Robo toy has a good balance between modes. The action toys redux of Eagle Robo adds modern engineering and articulation, sacrificing some of those clean alt mode aesthetics. Even so, the action toys updates (even the other fliers) are well received by fans.

Yes. The DX version of Eagle Robo is long overdue. I hope the DX line is more than a one and done offshoot.

Concur. The vast majority of the Machine Robo line had very good looking aircraft modes; it was the robot modes, much like Diaclone, that suffered due to limitations in tech, and the design philosophy, in the early 80s for most transforming toys. the transformation gimmick was the selling point, the alt modes chosen for their 'cool' factors, and the bot modes brought up the rear end of the design process, focusing more on durability and stability, with very minimal articulation. So glad the times have changed. :)

I didn't get a DX Bike Robo, but I'd definitely be down for a DX Eagle.:good:

5 hours ago, lechuck said:

Suprised? Are Macross collectors any different or better when it comes to preferring or neglecting modes? Yamato's YF-21 - absolutely garbage Battroid/Gerwalk mode, yet so many still like it only because fighter mode is super slim. Even in the Bandai YF-21 thread you get the impression that the majority still do not want to concede or compromise on the jet fighter side and would rather have a repeat of things like with the Yamato. Or how about the Yamato 1/48 VF-1 - terrible, terrible Battroid proportions, but still liked. Why? Because of fighter mode. VF-4, again very little in the way of critical response to the poor implementation of Battroid mode, because everyone just cares to display it in jet mode.

I don't consider the YF-21's B mode garbage. I'm not really a fan of GERWALK, as it just looks like a mid-transformation step to me, but Kawamori likes it and it has become a Macross staple. So be it. Anyway, I'm a battroid guy, so I'll just say that up front, even though I'm also a fan of aircraft of all kinds, with a soft spot for jet fighters. That's why Macross appeals to me so; it has very realistic, albeit fictional, fighters which are often heavily inspired by real world jets, that transform into pretty nice looking robots, for the most part. The real problem I have with the YF-21 is the liberal amount of artistic license Kawamori took to give each mode idealized proportions which makes it very challenging to translate it into a three dimensional form.

I agree with your observation that the majority of Macross fans are in it for the jet modes over the battroid. I was supremely bummed when Yamato's VF-4's shoulders couldn't pivot; how the hell is a combat machine supposed to fight when it can't raise it's arms beyond a little less than 90 degrees perpendicular to it's body? That's why my LEGO version has multiple joints at the shoulder, but I digress. Anyway, my Yamato VF-4 remains in battroid along with all my other valks. I'm in the minority, I guess. but it's my shelf, and damn if it doesn't make me supremely happy every time I look at it.😍

5 hours ago, lechuck said:

That's exactly the point or maybe that's the point people still don't understand - MP-52 was intended to do that from the get go. I don't know how or where this notion came from that it was supposed to ever emulate a F-15 as realistic as possible.

I can't speak for other fans, but that's never been my expectation, although mine is probably the loudest voice here critiquing the lack of accuracy. It's obvious that the majority of Transformer fans, judging by the reception of the heavily-toon inspired design direction, want these guys to look like they stepped out of the cartoon. The issue I take is that they can accomplish that and still create a realistic ground vehicle mode, but when it comes to a jet, all bets are off, and the sole focus is on the robot mode. MP-3 and 11 had a more balanced design, trying to present a more accurate F-15, but of course, the bot mode was blocky, the forward fuselage pivot was mounted too high, and the stabs didn't tuck away to at least give the legs a smooth look. MP-52 addressed all those things and more in bot mode, but the F-15 mode was far more compromised. With all their accumulated experience and talent, I don't understand why they couldn't have applied a little more engineering to try and clean up the F-15 mode. It didn't need to be perfect, but as it is, it's worse than its predecessors. I expect, and want, better from Takara, especially for $250.  To my eyes, Maketoys did a better job, and NewAge did a better job than both.

5 hours ago, lechuck said:

Why are Transformers Masterpieces less premium than Macross toys? What does premium even mean in this context, by price comparison? If you are talking about Hybrid/Hasui era of toys, then I would agree. But anything starting around Shockwave/Inferno can hold its own, they have higher grade of engineering and refinement - more fluidity between the modes, elimination of clunk and gaps, better articulation and better proportions.

I've never really compared them; they're apples and oranges to me. By premium, I think most people denote a general expectation of high quality materials, design, engineering, durability, and presentation. The order of priority is subjective, of course, but I think we can all agree that if we're paying more than a $100 for a toy, at that price it's higher end, relatively, and the quality of that toy should be commensurate, i.e., it shouldn't feel brittle, shouldn't have cracks and stress markings (nor develop them with moderate non-aggressive handling), should have a reasonable level of workmanship and functionality without failures. Both Macross and Transformers MP toys, which are arguably 'premium' by general definition, have fallen victim to various and sundry QC and material deficiencies, so despite their higher price tags and general acknowledgement as being premium toys, they're not immune to human fallacy nor the shortcomings of materials and paint. As to whether or not the post Hasui spate of MP toys is more premium than their predecessors, I think it's completely subjective based upon what each fan wants in a MP toy. It's obvious which you favor, and that's fine. My own preference is for a more, to borrow your term, hybrid approach which eschews faux parts, and carries the real world alt mode detail into bot mode. I also like mechanical detail, especially if it's faithfully recreated from the original G1 toys, like the internal details in Prowl's shins. I wish they'd painted those to match the OG boxart, but you can't have everything. I'm just glad it's there- fascinated me as a kid, and that fascination has never diminished. I don't care for blank panels, which is an artifact of the simplified art direction for mass-produced hand-drawn cell animation. Had they the CG capabilities of today, the toon likely would have looked more like the WfC series. Alas, naught to be done for it. Anyway, IMHO, more detail is better, and I think that the majority of us who favor the Hasui era designs feel the same. What I value most about the current MP toys is the move to incorporate high levels of articulation into the figs. That's wonderful so long as it doesn't compromise the fig. MP Arcee's chest sculpt was a compromise to give her forward butterfly joints, but it made her chest shape inaccurate and unsightly, IMHO. Too, her backpack is a huge jumbled mess. MMC did it better on both counts. Azalea may not have the same level of articulation, but butterfly isn't that important to me, and the way MMC compressed her backpack is far more efficient and accurate to the animation. 

Obviously, we all want different things from these toys. Takara is definitely hitting the toon-centric niche hard, and it's paying off for them, as there are a lot of fans who want their bots to look just like the animation models. Most of those fans seem willing to overlook compromises to alt mode to get that perfect bot capture. I get it, but that's not what I want. At least not that fanatically toon accurate. A good balance of detail, especially detail belonging to the alt mode, married with salient characteristics of the toon models is what I want. It just so happens that Hasui got closer to that than the post-Hasui era. 

3 hours ago, JB0 said:

II don't want toys that closely resemble the "original" animation, because it isn't the original. Even as a kid I recognized the animation was pretty crappy, and a pale imitation of the toys it was based on. In the majority of cases, I see those original toys when I envision these characters. I'm a filthy toy supremacist, and if we're doing slavish G1 remakes forever instead of something new, then I want much more of that original detail represented. And I want modern engineering to take over where the 80s failed us and give us articulation, and plane modes that look as clean as car modes do.

THAT'S what the fans want. Some subset of the fans, anyways. 

This sums up my views, as well. Let the realistic details of the alt mode and the toy details of the G1 toys inform the current MP toys, while capturing the salient features of the animation models in bot mode, with today's levels of articulation and engineering.  Recipe for perfect MP figs, IMHO.

1 hour ago, technoblue said:

There is some nuance here that shouldn't be overlooked. Although I think modern Macross toys are more premium, that doesn't mean that I entertain the hyperbole that all official MPs are trash or garbage. I feel I should state that explicitly first in case it is being misunderstood. Also, there are Macross toys (like v1 1/60-scale Yamato Valkyries) that are well past their prime. I should also reiterate that I do try to empathize with opposing viewpoints in passionate discussions like these. Really, rather than having a virtual shouting match or repeating tl;dr points, I like to keep an open mind. ^_^

With that said, what I mean by premium can be defined in two parts: 1) that the standard of quality is consistent with the price that I'm paying and 2) that the toy embodies the stated mythology of the story. In my experience, Macross is often in line with parts 1 and 2 more often than not. Transformers MP is often in line with 1 or 2 but its rare to see MPs that get both down. I do think the toon-centric MPs are getting closer, mind you, but it took time for me to come around. I was also a fan of the Hasui-era MPs.

More to the point, I've had QC issues with a couple of the later toon-centric MPs, as much as I enjoy them. My copy of MP-45 arrived in its box scratched up with multiple paint defects---not what I was expecting for the price I paid. MP-43, BW Megatron, one of the few BW MPs that I went out of my way to pick up had the less-than stellar grey swirly plastic and my copy did develop cracks, making it unusable. I haven't messed with MP-44  or MP-47 enough to know if I have the common issues that are reported with Hound and Prime v3, but part of me doesn't really want to go looking for those problems either.:help: 

With regard to MP-52 specifically, I've already been writing about how I thought it was supposed to match the G1/Diaclone design. That's been my point from the beginning! :lol: I don't know how that was lost in the debate? Oh well, this is neither here nor there. I'll say again that I'm quite content with how MP-52 turned out. I think it's terrific how this toy, which looks so close to G1 Starscream from the cartoon/movie, transforms into an F-15 that looks almost like the G1 toy. That is almost its own MP moment for me. But please do appreciate how this doesn't mean that I'm unmoving or unwilling to relate to those who say that MPs are getting too expensive and who feel that the toon-centric design language is getting away from what they wanted from this line. It also doesn't mean that I can't appreciate designs from other toys like Go-Bots.

Really, Takara is in a tough place. Go one way, disappoint this group of fans; go another way, disappoint that group of fans. You can't please everyone. Like @M'Kyuunsays, it's a good thing we fans have choices!:drinks:

Good points. I like your argument as to what 'premium' entails. 

Most of us have discovered in this and other toy hobbies, that no matter how 'premium' the toy may be, ultimately it's the product of human minds and hands and things can and do go wrong from time to time. I have an old Yammie YF-19 whose arm just decided to fall off from a crumbled shoulder one day. I hadn't touched the thing in probably a year- it just stood on display. Fortunately, my brush with QC issues has been far less than many others I've encountered here for both TFs and Macross. Knock on a California Sequoia. 

Anyway, like @technoblue, my robot delights aren't just limited to TFs and Macross; I'm a general all-things-that-transform kinda fan, leaning more towards vehicles and such, but I've recently discovered 52Toys' Mega/BeastBox toys, and I'm hooked. I've been enthralled by machines that transform into other things since watching Battle of the Planets as a wee lad, and that fascination hasn't diminished one iota over the last 40-odd years (just turned 50, BTW- half a century under my belt. Don't look it, and certainly don't feel it. Toys keep me young at heart and mind). 

Agree with your assessment about Takara's position among the fandom, and despite not being the biggest fan of the current approach, I think it's the correct one for their market (Japanese TF fans). Takara doesn't care about the West- Online retailers do, though, so that's where the vested interest lies. Thank goodness for third parties! options are good!😉

FWIW, I hope everybody who got MP-52 gets a good copy with no issues. Nothing sucks worse than getting that anticipated toy and finding flaws, great or small. Best wishes, healthy toys to all! Cheers!

Edited by M'Kyuun
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Re: MP-52's belly in fighter mode, alt-mode realism vs robot mode, etc----IMHO, it comes down to a point I made earlier:  

They will always side with a minor improvement in toon-accuracy, over a massive increase in alt-mode realism.   What if MP-52 used the actual canopy in robot mode?  (or, like some 3P versions do, use most of the canopy and a few other bits)------the jet mode would look SO much better without that whole assembly hanging beneath it, and the robot mode would only be a smidge less accurate.  (and IMHO, look better for it, since it wouldn't have the bulging beer-belly curve any more).   It's a MASSIVE change to the alt-mode and transformation, for the sake of a minor difference that is arguably denigrating to the character.  

"Gotta make sure the otherwise-trim guy has his beer-gut!"

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3 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Out of curiosity, how are the joints on yours? Skullface's review had the ankles, knees, and hips looking to be incapable of supporting the figure's weight, but Peaugh has his review up and his looked a lot more stable.

I bought my copy form amiami and I was worried, but gave it a quick check when it arrived. My copy has none of the critical issues like the cracks that have been reported on other forums. It has good clicky ratchets in the knees and hips, with the right-side hip ratchets feeling a little more stiff out of the box than the left-side. The ankles are ok but I may add some floor polish as reinforcement anyway since the backpack does make Starscream top heavy in bot mode. All that said, my copy of MP-52 can pose without the stand and he doesn't flop around.

Hm. If I were to compare my copy to a reviewer's copy, I would say that mine is more like peaugh's but with a few more blessings from the good QC spirits.

In person, MP-52 looks mighty fine to me in bot mode. I don't know if it's due to lens distortion but he doesn't appear to be as bloated as he looks on camera. 

In his F-15 alt mode, holding and swooshing MP-52 is so much fun. I daresay it's as fun as swooshing MP-3 around, or even a VF-1 from Arcadia or Bandai. I think some of that is due to how well my copy tabs together in alt mode. It's solid. Of course, some of it is probably due to how the design plays on my nostalgia strings too, but I'm okay with that. ^_^

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though I do not enjoy that grey codpiece, or whatever it is, I do have to say that I really enjoy how they implemented the rear landing gear on this design.  The thing that really bothered me about the MP-3/MP-11 design was the implementation of those main gear.  

Twich 

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14 hours ago, lechuck said:

Suprised? Are Macross collectors any different or better when it comes to preferring or neglecting modes? Yamato's YF-21 - absolutely garbage Battroid/Gerwalk mode, yet so many still like it only because fighter mode is super slim. Even in the Bandai YF-21 thread you get the impression that the majority still do not want to concede or compromise on the jet fighter side and would rather have a repeat of things like with the Yamato. Or how about the Yamato 1/48 VF-1 - terrible, terrible Battroid proportions, but still liked. Why? Because of fighter mode. VF-4, again very little in the way of critical response to the poor implementation of Battroid mode, because everyone just cares to display it in jet mode.

So this "unconcerned-ness" is not just a Transformers collectors attitude, it just as much manifests itself in Macross and other collector groups as well…

I agree that you can find that in every collector community. However I feel that it is more openly discussed outside of the Transformers fandom (excluding the intersection of Macross and Transformers fans). Whereas Transformers fans seem to be happy if it matches the general shape of the alt-mode. And of course how have apologists in every fandom that need to defend their believe system (i.e. purchases ) no matter what.

MP Hound doesn’t really look like the Army Jeep from all angles. Same for Sideswipe or Optimus. They all fall into the „close enough“ category because they need to make concessions for transforming into the robot they are supposed to be. Seldomly the licensor demands alt-mode accuracy like Lamborghini did with Sunstreakers unsplittable hood.

Generally this is a good thing because it gives the designers more freedom in how to get from one shape to another. Case in point all the renditions of a „Masterpiece“ Optimus: completely different but they all resemble each other in both modes. However sometimes this approach also allows for lazy solutions where the designer neglects one mode. MP-52 seems to be a victim of that.

Macross on the other hand is the total opposite where you have „canonized“ conversions and you are not allowed to derivate from them. I would love to have a VF-1 that has slim legs and long wings in Fighter-Mode  yet it has a mechanism that shortens the wings and bulks out the legs in Battroid. But you can’t have that because of how it is supposed to transform. Sure there are small tricks you can implement like the improvements between the VF-25 V1 and Renewal but in the general the designers are much more restricted in what they are allowed to do.

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16 hours ago, lechuck said:

 Or how about the Yamato 1/48 VF-1 - terrible, terrible Battroid proportions,

 

You spelled "Next to the DX the Yamato 1/48 has the best Battroid proportions".:D

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11 hours ago, technoblue said:

I bought my copy form amiami and I was worried, but gave it a quick check when it arrived. My copy has none of the critical issues like the cracks that have been reported on other forums. It has good clicky ratchets in the knees and hips, with the right-side hip ratchets feeling a little more stiff out of the box than the left-side. The ankles are ok but I may add some floor polish as reinforcement anyway since the backpack does make Starscream top heavy in bot mode. All that said, my copy of MP-52 can pose without the stand and he doesn't flop around.

Hm. If I were to compare my copy to a reviewer's copy, I would say that mine is more like peaugh's but with a few more blessings from the good QC spirits.

In person, MP-52 looks mighty fine to me in bot mode. I don't know if it's due to lens distortion but he doesn't appear to be as bloated as he looks on camera. 

In his F-15 alt mode, holding and swooshing MP-52 is so much fun. I daresay it's as fun as swooshing MP-3 around, or even a VF-1 from Arcadia or Bandai. I think some of that is due to how well my copy tabs together in alt mode. It's solid. Of course, some of it is probably due to how the design plays on my nostalgia strings too, but I'm okay with that. ^_^

Glad to hear it, man. Hopefully it'll stay that way! If it strums the heart strings, it's doing its proper job.:good:

13 hours ago, David Hingtgen said:

Re: MP-52's belly in fighter mode, alt-mode realism vs robot mode, etc----IMHO, it comes down to a point I made earlier:  

They will always side with a minor improvement in toon-accuracy, over a massive increase in alt-mode realism.   What if MP-52 used the actual canopy in robot mode?  (or, like some 3P versions do, use most of the canopy and a few other bits)------the jet mode would look SO much better without that whole assembly hanging beneath it, and the robot mode would only be a smidge less accurate.  (and IMHO, look better for it, since it wouldn't have the bulging beer-belly curve any more).   It's a MASSIVE change to the alt-mode and transformation, for the sake of a minor difference that is arguably denigrating to the character.  

"Gotta make sure the otherwise-trim guy has his beer-gut!"

Yep.;)  

10 hours ago, twich said:

though I do not enjoy that grey codpiece, or whatever it is, I do have to say that I really enjoy how they implemented the rear landing gear on this design.  The thing that really bothered me about the MP-3/MP-11 design was the implementation of those main gear.  

Twich 

It's the cover for the faux canopy in bot mode that becomes, IIRC, part of his backpack. Agree on the gear; due to the Seeker's design, it's nigh impossible to put the mains where they should be (top of the thigh), so putting them in the feet proved a good compromise.  MP-3/11's gear came out of the knees, and were laughably miniscule, although closer to accurate positioning, but they didn't look very good.:lol: On an otherwise relatively accurate looking F-15 mode, those little gear kinda stuck out like a sore thumb. Not a problem with the new Screamer.:ph34r: I'll find my way out.^_^

Edited by M'Kyuun
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Pulsecon exlcusive?

204111377_988585558561470_1450082772027804423_n.jpg.945463ea1c9d50c87d3c2701348df0fa.jpg

211338718_988585605228132_5418846961582695067_n.jpg.9b6c0cbf26973c52a19c87725eff32a4.jpg

The two figures look like a heavy retool of Kingdom Cheetor and a reissue of G1 Ravage (of which I already have two).  There was some initial discussion of whether or not it was a new figure, maybe even one that doesn't transform, but trust me it's Cheetor.

Transformers-War-For-Cybertron-Covert-Agent-Ravage-01.jpg.1d47b7f3006ad2c6a3300cc012e3ce88.jpg

And yeah, I'm going to try to get it.

Also, this is Buzzworthy so it must be Target-related, but I'm not sure when.  But...

BB-001.jpg.530e4186636076967858a6dd17645952.jpg

Maybe Bumblebee is cool for people who missed the Netflix one, but he's beyond redundant for someone like me who already has Netflix Bee (which is more accurate) and Hubcap (which fits the yellow Cliffjumper better).  Too bad they couldn't give him a different head, he could have been Bumper.

I'm unsure if I'm going to pursue this set or not.  The rumor is that the set will be around $150, (which isn't great, considering that's only $90 worth of figures), and I'm honestly only really interested in Fangry.  If anyone wants the any of the other three, PM me after release and we'll see if we can work something out.

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6 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Glad to hear it, man. Hopefully it'll stay that way! If it strums the heart strings, it's doing its proper job.:good:

Thanks. I was able to set aside time today to take a few photos with the cell phone. Nothing high quality, but I did dig out G1 Starscream to sit it with the MP side-by-side. Although it's well used, that old G1 toy is still holding up after 37 years. Here they are together in bot mode. The blue nose cone, lighter grey fuselage, darker face, and tinted canopy color stand out on the G1 toy along with those stickers.

mp52G1_a.png.e547f7503c99bb0a3444b823fb367bf5.png

I can see Takara taking those toy details and making an MP+ release or whatever they're calling the toy MPs today. As I noted in my earlier post, everything tabs together nicely in bot mode. Transforming MP-52 back to alt mode is more of a challenge.  There are hidden tabs that take more finesse to lock into place. I'm going to have to transform him one or two more times back and forth to figure out all that stuff. Still, I like the way it looks.

mp52G1_b.png.4804aa235be90409669d557a151a22c4.png

 It's cool how on the G1 toy one can swap out parts to change the null rays into cluster bombs. On the new MP, you change the end piece by transforming it. And yes, I do have someone in MP Screamer's cockpit. Although Takara missed a beat by not including a figure of their own this time out, MP Screamer's cockpit is compatible with a number of small pilot figs. I have a Macross gummy pilot in there right now.

mp52G1_c.png.2e4f7fd57fc269b63ffa7ff828058b1d.png

Say hello to Nora! :hi:I thought they made for a good team. :lol: Alas, she can't stay in there during transformation, so this F-15 won't work as a substitute Valkyrie for her. :p It's still cool that she fits, though, without looking huge.

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Always interesting to see modern interpretations of the old toys/ toon designs. Makes you wonder how things would be now had they taken a more toy faithful approach, like Gobots, in rendering the characters. :wacko:

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

The rumor is that the set will be around $150, (which isn't great, considering that's only $90 worth of figures), and I'm honestly only really interested in Fangry.

Hell yes, Fangry!

...

Man, that's a sticker, though.

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Popped into my local Walmart to get some stuff for my kid's birthday.  I was kind of surprised to see that they were extremely well-stocked with both Netflix and Kingdom Deluxes... the only problem is that the Deluxes were all Black Arachnia, Paleotrex, and Warpath, putting them two waves behind.🙄

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I thought I write something about the quality of the Masterpiece line.
From all the toylines I collect regularly (MMC Reformatted and Ocular Max, FansToys, Metal Build Gundams, DX Chogokin Valkyries and Kuro Kara Kuri Transformers) besides Masterpiece Transformers they are the worst ones in terms of quality.

And it is not just cracks which plagued the line since MP-05 Megaton I think. My first experience of a figure crumbling in my hands was MP-09B whose knee joints exploded after one transformation.  Of course the after sales service is non existing for overseas buyers so I had to order 3rd party replacement pieces just to discover that the tubes the joints rotate in also crumbled.

I had inconsistent, lumpy paint on MP Lambor, partial painted pieces on MP Star Saber and Ultra Magnus. Paint rub out of the box on the lights on MP-44s chest and a fingerprint good enough to fool any security system on the back of Roller, which HLJ told me was to be an expected QC issues on a product of this company so they won‘t do anything about it.

Their toys have the ugliest nub marks in the most obvious places. Their materials feel cheap and not as sharply molded as they could be. Their paint is thick yet inconsistent and flakes off easily. The joints on MP Transformers often are too loose of inconsistent quality or broken and can’t support poses.

I cut them a lot slack in the past because I feel that they have some of the best engineering when it comes to designing the transformation and producing collector grade toys is obviously not their bread and butter.
But when several of your direct, unofficial competitors put out a superior product in terms of fit and finish, something is not right. And that was before their prices skyrocketed. Now I don’t feel like getting my money’s worth and I lucked out by not buying their Hound and Starscream.

And I say all this as a fan of Transformers and the Masterpiece line. I want to enjoy collecting their releases.

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2 hours ago, Scyla said:

I thought I write something about the quality of the Masterpiece line.
From all the toylines I collect regularly (MMC Reformatted and Ocular Max, FansToys, Metal Build Gundams, DX Chogokin Valkyries and Kuro Kara Kuri Transformers) besides Masterpiece Transformers they are the worst ones in terms of quality.

And it is not just cracks which plagued the line since MP-05 Megaton I think. My first experience of a figure crumbling in my hands was MP-09B whose knee joints exploded after one transformation.  Of course the after sales service is non existing for overseas buyers so I had to order 3rd party replacement pieces just to discover that the tubes the joints rotate in also crumbled.

I had inconsistent, lumpy paint on MP Lambor, partial painted pieces on MP Star Saber and Ultra Magnus. Paint rub out of the box on the lights on MP-44s chest and a fingerprint good enough to fool any security system on the back of Roller, which HLJ told me was to be an expected QC issues on a product of this company so they won‘t do anything about it.

Their toys have the ugliest nub marks in the most obvious places. Their materials feel cheap and not as sharply molded as they could be. Their paint is thick yet inconsistent and flakes off easily. The joints on MP Transformers often are too loose of inconsistent quality or broken and can’t support poses.

I cut them a lot slack in the past because I feel that they have some of the best engineering when it comes to designing the transformation and producing collector grade toys is obviously not their bread and butter.
But when several of your direct, unofficial competitors put out a superior product in terms of fit and finish, something is not right. And that was before their prices skyrocketed. Now I don’t feel like getting my money’s worth and I lucked out by not buying their Hound and Starscream.

And I say all this as a fan of Transformers and the Masterpiece line. I want to enjoy collecting their releases.

I feel ya, @Scyla. I used to enjoy collecting the line, and excitedly looked forward to new reveals like everyone else. It was was fun to play the guessing game of which character was next, until they started just doing revisions of already done characters with only the infrequent previously unmade character tossed in from time to time. Since they started the line in 2003, there remain a great many omissions just from the original first season cast, let alone the other two. Why we got Tracks ahead of Trailbreaker, Mirage, Cliffjumper, Brawn, Gears, Huffer, the Insecticons, the rest of the Dinobots, etc, is anybody's guess. I'm grateful for third parties who provided these and so many more characters over the years. To whit, I've not had much in the way of QC issues with my third party figs, who well outnumber the official figs on my MP shelves at this point. I've been lucky. To be fair, I've fortunately not been the recipient of QC issues with my official MP figs, but then again, I rarely handle them, so they may exist and I'm unaware. I can't recall any that stand out.

Sorry to hear of all your issues, Scyla. It's enough to sour your enthusiasm for colleting when toy after toy has issues.:(

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44 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

I feel ya, @Scyla. I used to enjoy collecting the line, and excitedly looked forward to new reveals like everyone else. It was was fun to play the guessing game of which character was next, until they started just doing revisions of already done characters with only the infrequent previously unmade character tossed in from time to time. Since they started the line in 2003, there remain a great many omissions just from the original first season cast, let alone the other two. Why we got Tracks ahead of Trailbreaker, Mirage, Cliffjumper, Brawn, Gears, Huffer, the Insecticons, the rest of the Dinobots, etc, is anybody's guess. I'm grateful for third parties who provided these and so many more characters over the years. To whit, I've not had much in the way of QC issues with my third party figs, who well outnumber the official figs on my MP shelves at this point. I've been lucky. To be fair, I've fortunately not been the recipient of QC issues with my official MP figs, but then again, I rarely handle them, so they may exist and I'm unaware. I can't recall any that stand out.

Sorry to hear of all your issues, Scyla. It's enough to sour your enthusiasm for colleting when toy after toy has issues.:(

I feel like the QC issues are something you need to accept when collecting Takara MP figures. They are not Bandai Tamashii Nations after all.

However it would be nice to see a learning curve in the build quality and QC in their most prestigious toy line but it is either stagnant or getting worse. MMC and FansToys both have shown considerable growth in that regard even if they have the occasional dud.

And I want them to do better because I feel like some of figures I want in my collection I will only get from them, like a good Fire Convoy or Overlord & God Ginrai (Don’t bring up Fans Hobby I wouldn’t touch any of their releases with a 10 foot pole) .

 

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25 minutes ago, Scyla said:

I feel like the QC issues are something you need to accept when collecting Takara MP figures. They are not Bandai Tamashii Nations after all.

You absolutely shouldn't accept QC issues with the MP line. When you start paying three hundred dollars for a toy robot, you start expecting to receive a product with no obvious issues. 

If they can't supply high-quality products with premium finish, they shouldn't price them like they are.

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I gave up collecting Masterpiece Transformers when they shifted to the full toon design aesthetic. I didn't want a shelf full of mismatched figures and they were becoming more and more expensive. My breaking point was when I realized that I wasn't enjoying them because I was worried about breaking a very expensive toy because of whatever issues it may have had, or having to set aside a half an hour to transform them because of how over-engineered they'd become. I was in denial for a while since I was pretty well invested in the line, but I just wasn't having fun. They're great display pieces, but not really fun to handle.

I've since switched over to main line Transformers figures. Between Siege, Earthrise, Kingdom and Studio Series 86 I'll soon have the collection I'd been trying to build with Masterpiece figures. I can forgive a lot more at mass retail price points. So far, so good.

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4 hours ago, Drad said:

I gave up collecting Masterpiece Transformers when they shifted to the full toon design aesthetic. I didn't want a shelf full of mismatched figures and they were becoming more and more expensive. My breaking point was when I realized that I wasn't enjoying them because I was worried about breaking a very expensive toy because of whatever issues it may have had, or having to set aside a half an hour to transform them because of how over-engineered they'd become. I was in denial for a while since I was pretty well invested in the line, but I just wasn't having fun. They're great display pieces, but not really fun to handle.

I've since switched over to main line Transformers figures. Between Siege, Earthrise, Kingdom and Studio Series 86 I'll soon have the collection I'd been trying to build with Masterpiece figures. I can forgive a lot more at mass retail price points. So far, so good.

It has been a long time coming, but the mainline is finally providing what I think most of us old timers, myself included, have wanted all along, and why MP became popular; it's giving us updated faithful versions of the G1 characters. Unlike the current hyper-toon faithful MP, it skirts the line with toonish proportion, alt mode detail, and some G1 toy detail in what I consider a good balance.  The WfC line is essentially the toys that 13 year old me wishes had come in the box instead of what we got. My MP collecting, official and third party, has slowed down considerably, but my enthusiasm for what the mainline is providing is piqued. I hope they continue doing these G1 homages as they've been doing until they cover at least all of the first season characters, and onward, regardless of what they call the next line. Give us old farts the toys we've been craving, and then move on to UT, or do something completely new. Primus knows the franchise could use something fresh, especially for the non-G1 crowd. Heck, I'm an  unapologetic Geewunner, but I'd still like to see them take the franchise in new directions, introduce new characters, new worlds, new stories. Plus it would give the designers opportunities to flex their creative muscles a little. Time for something completely new, IMHO.

With one exception: Give us a titan class Animated Omega Supreme, Hasbro.  And don't make it a retool of the Ark, you cheap bastards!

 

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It is Tuesday.  Maybe it'll be another Transformers Tuesday and this will go up on Pulse today.

Shattered-Glass-Jetfire-03__scaled_600.jpg.d5340c72f44da90d923fc46b4477d791.jpg

Shattered-Glass-Jetfire-08__scaled_600.jpg.32a6939a2dc1bce55d6f2c02cbb29cb5.jpg

I dunno... the other Shattered Glass figures have been under $40, which has been cheap enough to almost consider an impulse buy in my book.  Jetfire's certainly going to be significantly more, I'm guessing around $90, which is definitely a price tag that's going to give me some pause.

I forget who the last one is supposed to be.  I hope it's a Decepticon, though.  Megatron and Starscream are seriously outnumbered.

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As much as I like this mold, I really haven't the space for another, I've no attachment at all to the Shattered Glass Universe, and at this point I'd rather save my money for characters I want, like the forthcoming Dinos and Insecticons, not to mention all the POs I have that'll be dropping over the next few months. It's a cool effort and I dig the colors; I just have nowhere to put this guy, and it'd be a shame to leave him in the box. Better that he find a home where he'll be free of his cardboard containment unit to cause havoc and destruction (I'm assuming he's a Decepticon, even though the rotating Autobot/Decepticon placard is showing Autobot in these pics).  Anyway, nice to see such a good mold getting a second use, and the execution looks good to my ignorant eye. 

As to Beast Wars Ravage, I always thought that was an even weirder bit of animation magic than usual, not to mention changing Ravage into an anthropomorphic character who can speak. To my mind, Ravage is forever anchored to his G1 cassette/jaguar forms, first and foremost. I have the Binaltech Ravage as well, which was a Jaguar, that turned into, well, a robot jaguar, if you squinted and maybe took a couple shots of tequila. Still, it has its charms.^_^ The BW incarnation still strikes me as weird, and while I'm glad they made it for the fans, it just doesn't really do much for me aside from getting another copy of G1 Ravage. Gotta say, though, that head sculpt is mighty reminiscent of Tigatron, who I hope they give a new larger mold for Kingdom as they did for the MP version rather than recycling Cheetor's.

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IIRC, the story behind Shattered Glass is that it's using the mirror universe trope like Star Trek, so everyone appears as tweaked versions of themselves complete with opposite personalities. Jetfire is an Autobot just like his G1 counterpart but the implications of that are completely different since Autobots in the SG universe are authoritarian, underhanded, and antagonistic like Decepticons in G1. 

https://tfwiki.net/wiki/Jetfire_(SG)

The WFC Jetfire toy is okay but I wasn't keen on it with the G1 deco and I'll be passing on the SG deco. I'm sticking to a very specific set of figures for my mainline collection and Jetfire didn't make the cut. :ph34r: The Studio Series Dinobots did, though, after some flip flopping. I haven't heard anything about the Insecticons but I might be interested if they are well done like the Dinobots.

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7 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

It is Tuesday.  Maybe it'll be another Transformers Tuesday and this will go up on Pulse today.

Yep, it's live now.

Eh, I preordered.  With $30 Deluxes and $38 Voyagers I was worried Jetfire would be over $100.  But $92.  And I have the others preordered already (I forgot about Goldbug's recent drop, so Jetfire is the last of the line).  FOMO.🤷‍♂️

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On 7/9/2021 at 11:50 PM, treatment said:

hmm.

I finally put MP-52 back to jet-mode and discovered a surprise:

mp-52-moar-ground-clearance.jpg.2d714c01a30bc2d14e9a154257da992b.jpg

 

Seems like he's actually got more ground clearance now than when I first got him out of the box some time ago.:

starcream-chesty.jpg.d817b1467b0fa26ab3b3484083f720b5.jpg

 

😄

Holy crap, his underside looks gnarly.  I think I prefer previous versions of Starscream.

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