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Didn't find any in stores yet, but I finally got the inaugural Core-class entry into the Studio Series line.  It's Ravage, from the Bumblebee movie.

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Aesthetically, the sculpt is very accurate to the movie but I do have two complaints.  The first one is a pretty common gripe with the Studio Series line, and that's a lack of paint.  There's that white paint on his biceps and thighs, but none on this forelimbs.  This is despite the fact that his forelimbs very clearly have white over most of the bare metal surfaces... and we're assuming that the gray plastic on his forelimbs is meant to be the bare metal, since it's the same gray plastic used for his back and tail, parts that are silvery metal color in the film.  My other main complaint is totally not Hasbro's fault, it's the movie's.  Ravage is supposed to be a cat, specifically a jaguar.  With his long, narrow snout, though, Bumblebee Ravage looks more like a wolf to me.

I think Ravage is a bit small compared to previous Core-class figures like Rattrap or the smaller G1 guys.  He's definitely bigger than Siege Ravage, though, or the Ravage figure that came with Grindor.

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He comes with a fair amount of accessories, too.  You get his hip-mounted guns, which have a decent enough sculpt but no paint, which is a shame because the solid color isn't accurate.  What does have some paint is the missile launcher, which has bits of silver, and the other bit which is entirely painted silver.

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Ravage's head can tilt up a little or down a lot, and his jaws can open.  His shoulders are on ball joints for swiveling, and they give him a very slight lateral range.  His elbows bend 90 degrees, both forward and backward, and a hinge at the wrist allows his paws to bend up and down.  His rear legs are similar, with ball joints for swiveling and limited spread and knees that bend 90 degrees in either direction.  Where things get a little different is that Ravage has a hinge for his digitigrade ankle, then an additional hinge at the base of his paws' toes.  Finally, his tail has hinge at the base mostly for transformation, but it does allow him to lift his tail up or droop it down.

The hip guns go, well, on his hips.  The missile launcher plugs into his back.  By virtue of being pegs in holes, the hip guns can swivel up/down and the missile launcher can rotate around.

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The last silver painted bit has a peg on it, and that peg allows you to attach it to Ravage's underbelly.  However, this is not something you'd have seen in the movie.  What you can do, though, is use another peg on the back of it and plug it into the shoulder cannon on Studio Series Soundwave.  Yes, this piece is modeled off the tip of G1 Soundwave's rifle, not his shoulder cannon, but since SS Soundwave's rifle doesn't look anything like G1 Soundwave's, the homage goes on the shoulder cannon.

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Ravage's transformation is decided uncomplicated.  Most of his accessories can stay on, but there's some partsforming involved to move them to different spots.  Otherwise, he kind of just curls into a ball, with specific places to position his legs so they can lock into place.  The result is a box, with a slightly smaller height and width than Siege Ravage.  However, he's much, much thicker.

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As noted, the hip guns come off the hips, but plug into his pelvis just behind his hips.  The missile launcher comes off his back and goes into the underbelly peg hole before you curl his body over it.   If you don't have Soundwave and you want a spot to store the silver tip, you plug it onto his back where the missile launcher was.

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You'll need to leave it off Ravage, whether you put it on Soundwave's shoulder cannon or not, if you want to stuff Ravage into Soundwave's chest.  Ravage is designed to fit in there and you can get the door closed.  I'll note that pushing him in far enough to close the chest door on Soundwave did start to push out the panel on Soundwave's back, though.  I'm not sure if the tolerances are off a little, or if it's something I did wrong.

Well, ultimately Ravage is a lot like Soundwave.  He's a fairly screen-accurate figure in one mode with a pretty weak alt mode.  He's better built and with better articulation than his Siege counterpart, but the small size doesn't totally make him feel worth the price, even with all of the accessories.  As a figure on his own, I probably wouldn't recommend him.  That said, I hope buying him encourages Hasbro to continue to use the Core-class in the Studio Series, specifically SS86 to give us better G1 tapes that'd either work with Siege/Netflix Soundwave or an improved SS86 Soundwave.  And, if you have Bumblebee Soundwave he's a bit easier to accept less as a standalone figure and more as an accessory pack for Soundwave.  In other words, pass on Ravage if you're passing on Soundwave, but if you got/will get Soundwave then Ravage is a recommend from me.

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Looks like Kotobukia is doing Transformers now. Hope this line is doing well and we see a Shockwave out of this line (and Galvatron and Cyclonus too). More images available at TFW: https://news.tfw2005.com/2022/02/12/first-design-and-sculpt-reveal-for-kotobukiya-bishoujo-series-transformers-convoy-megatron-450100

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4 hours ago, JB0 said:

I honestly expect them to stop with Optimus and Megatron. But if they do more, I am absolutely interested.

I hope you’re right. I’m still curious what a Shockwave would look like. It most likely would have an eyepatch to replicate the mono eye (which I like) and be super busty due to the chest shape in robot mode (which I don’t like).

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Having had some time to think about this... I think Megatron is done much better than Optimus. it is a shame, because I like Optimus better as an adaptation of the toy, but not the character. I know the immediate response is "but there's so many more obvious callbacks to the original Optimus design", but bear with me.

 

The characterization conveyed by the Megatron design is one of self-assured power and contempt. I think it is reasonably on-brand for Megatron.

The design of Optimus Prime conveys... well, "turbo-revvin' young punk". It lacks the maturity and presence of it's inspiration, and feels more like Hot Rod in a halloween costume.

 

 

While I can understand a desire to not tick too many of the same design notes, I feel Optimus should also exude a sense of strength, albeit one carried without the forceful projection of Megatron's presentation. If she's going to have a bare midriff anyways... make her buff. Give her abs some definition, which would also provide a slight homage to the radiator, which is so iconic it is even present in Primes that don't turn into trucks.

It also seems obvious to me that Megatron should wear boots, but what do I know? I would've given Optimus a set of rugged construction boots, and Megatron tall black leather boots.

 

 


I do really like how both characters' hair manges to evoke the head shapes of the original. Which is appreciably more difficult with Optimus. And the carry-size trailer is a fantastic detail.

Edited by JB0
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4 minutes ago, JB0 said:

Having had some time to think about this... I think Megatron is done much better than Optimus. it is a shame, because I like Optimus better as an adaptation of the toy, but not the character. I know the immediate response is "but there's so many more obvious callbacks to the original Optimus design", but bear with me.

 

The characterization conveyed by the Megatron design is one of self-assured power and contempt. I think it is reasonably on-brand for Megatron.

The design of Optimus Prime conveys... well, "turbo-revvin' young punk". It lacks the maturity and presence of it's inspiration, and feels more like Hot Rod in a halloween costume.

 

 

While I can understand a desire to not tick too many of the same design notes, I feel Optimus should also exude a sense of strength, albeit one carried without the forceful projection of Megatron's presentation. If she's going to have a bare midriff anyways... make her buff. Give her abs some definition, which would also provide a slight homage to the radiator, which is so iconic it is even present in Primes that don't turn into trucks.

It also seems obvious to me that Megatron should wear boots, but what do I know? I would've given Optimus a set of rugged construction boots, and Megatron tall black leather boots.

 

 


I do really like how both characters' hair manges to evoke the head shapes of the original. Which is appreciably more difficult with Optimus. And the carry-size trailer is a fantastic detail.

To me the Optimus Prime figure gives off more of an Orion Pax vibe. Young and cheerful.

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1 minute ago, Scyla said:

To me the Optimus Prime figure gives off more of an Orion Pax vibe. Young and cheerful.

Also fair. I confess to not thinking of the character's pre-Prime life most of the time.

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5 hours ago, JB0 said:

Having had some time to think about this... I think Megatron is done much better than Optimus. it is a shame, because I like Optimus better as an adaptation of the toy, but not the character. I know the immediate response is "but there's so many more obvious callbacks to the original Optimus design", but bear with me.

 

The characterization conveyed by the Megatron design is one of self-assured power and contempt. I think it is reasonably on-brand for Megatron.

The design of Optimus Prime conveys... well, "turbo-revvin' young punk". It lacks the maturity and presence of it's inspiration, and feels more like Hot Rod in a halloween costume.

 

 

While I can understand a desire to not tick too many of the same design notes, I feel Optimus should also exude a sense of strength, albeit one carried without the forceful projection of Megatron's presentation. If she's going to have a bare midriff anyways... make her buff. Give her abs some definition, which would also provide a slight homage to the radiator, which is so iconic it is even present in Primes that don't turn into trucks.

It also seems obvious to me that Megatron should wear boots, but what do I know? I would've given Optimus a set of rugged construction boots, and Megatron tall black leather boots.

 

 


I do really like how both characters' hair manges to evoke the head shapes of the original. Which is appreciably more difficult with Optimus. And the carry-size trailer is a fantastic detail.

To be fair, Prime's personality is sort of trucker dad, and I'm not sure I wanna see trucker dad as an anime girl.

Edited by mikeszekely
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How's about a nice Repaint Roundup?

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First up, we have Deluxe-class Lift-Ticket.  And... I dunno.  It's Hoist, but red.  There's zero mold changes, although this time around I'm less inclined to replace the pack-in weapon with a Nonnef gun-hand.  I'd have like to have seen Hasbro replace the yellow pelvis and knees with black, as that'd have been more Diaclone-accurate.

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Nothing really different in alt mode, either; Hoist but red.  Well, there's the addition of "Wrecker" on the caution stripe, which is Diaclone-accurate.

I'm fortunate enough to be at a point in my life where $20-30 is more or less impulse buy territory for me, so I've got lots of time for Generations Selects Diaclone repaints.  Heck, give me Yellow Trailbreaker to go with Lift-Ticket (but at least give that one a new toy-accurate head).  That said, I'm thinking for most people Earthrise Hoist and Trailbreaker alone are enough of this mold.  As it stands, the most interesting thing about Lift-Ticket is that he's got the "Legacy" logo on his otherwise non-descript brown Gen Selects box, which technically makes him my first Legacy figure.

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Simultaneously more and less interesting, we have Studio Series 86 Leader-class Starscream.  On his own, there's not a lot to distinguish him from the Voyager-class Earthrise release.  The blue plastic is a slightly lighter shade, the Decepticon badges on his wings are a little larger, and there's a little less paint around his knees.  That said, there is a slight change to the mold... this time, Starscream has a pin hinge at the base of fingers, giving him the ability to open and close them like ER Optimus, SS86 Hot Rod, and Kingdom Rodimus.  It's a very minor change, one that doesn't really address the complaints some had with the mold (no waist or wrist swivel, similar engineering to the very old Deluxe Classics release).

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What really makes this Voyager-class toy a Leader is the accessories.  In addition to the same null rays the Voyager came with, you get an additional set with the pegs moved back further, a cape that's plastic, not soft goods, with a pair of hinges, two shoulder pads, a crown, and a throne.  That's because this is a Studio Series release, and so they had to include accessories to recreate Starscream's most memorable scene in the movie.  Well, maybe second-most memorable, but a battle-damaged Megatron and an Astrotrain playset to dump him out of probably would take more than a Leader budget.

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While we've already seen that he can wear the regular null rays on his shoulders, just like the regular ER release, those shoulder peg holes are necessary for securing the shoulder pads.  That's where the second set of null rays comes in.  See, there's peg holes on flaps inside the shoulder armor, and the second set of null rays has their pegs moved back so that they have the clearance to plug into those flaps.  The cape has a peg on it that fits into the peg hole that was already on the back of this mold.  And the crown simply has the right shape to fit snuggly around Starscream's head.

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As for the throne, it's got a deep and enough seat so that Starscream can sit on it, at least perched near the edge, with enough room for his backpack and wings.  A nice side effect of having the seat that big is that you're not limited to having Starscream sit on the throne.  I tried out a few other Decepticon leaders, and I got Megatron on there, perched near the edge like Starscream.

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If you're a Marvel comics fans, Shockwave fits on there really well, although he's short enough that his feet don't reach the ground.  Or, if you want to take the coronation scene a step further and Galvatron already gave Starscream his hint then Galvatron will fit on the throne.

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The throne's not just a nice seat for your chosen Decepticon leader.  It also provides handy storage for all of SS86 Starscream's accessories.  The regular Null rays plug into ports on the back of the seat.  The other set stays plugged into the shoulder pads, which in turn have ports to plug into in the hollow space under the seat.  The cape pegs into the hole between the null rays, covering them up.  Finally, there's a little notch under the front spike on the crown.  This notch fits onto a small protrusion above the hole where the cape plugs into.

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Turns out that you'll probably need that space, too.  Starscream's alt mode wasn't designed to carry them all.  Sure, you can still put some null rays under his wings.  Actually, between his wings, his forearms, and the ones under the horizontal stabilizers there's enough ports that you can mount all four null rays, if you want.  The port on his back means you can still have the cape on him, too, albeit at an angle.  Of course, we're just getting silly now, and there isn't really a good way for the jet to interact with the crown or throne.

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Oh, one final word about the jet- there's a few deco changes here, too.  We already mentioned the lighter blue plastic and larger Decepticon badges.  We can also see that his vertical stabs are just plain blue.  This is something that HasTak apparently thinks is accurate to the cartoon.  I re-watched the "my foot" scene from the '86 movie, and you don't really get a good look at them so I can't say if that's an accurate movie detail or not.  Between the animation model and looking at different images from the cartoon his vertical stabs have been portrayed pretty inconsistently, from solid blue to something akin to the Earthrise version to something like the ER version but inverted.  My personal preference is for some kind of stripe.  One cartoon detail that SS86 did pick up are the two gunmetal-painted blocks near the 5mm port on his spine.  Those spots weren't on the ER toy, but they do appear in the animation where the animators copied the hinges on the G1 toy's wings.

If, for some reason, you never got around to picking up ER Starscream then SS86 is the one to get, as he's got the articulated fingers, slightly more cartoony deco, and loads of extra cool accessories.  If you already have the ER toy, though, the minimal differences to the figure itself make SS86 kind of a hard sell that's ultimately determined by how badly you want the extra coronation gear and throne.  I personally don't regret buying Starscream again; I think the coronation gear is worth it.  But I am kind of left wondering what to do with my original ER one.  Maybe I'll take a stab at repainting him in G2 colors...

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I saw this set at Target awhile back, but honestly, I wasn't all that impressed with the ER mold. It's ok, but calling a spade a spade, it's a rehash of the Classics version, which, IMHO did some things better than this 'update'. Given the engineering applied to characters like OP and Cyclonus, I was really hoping that this would be on par with those figures, especially given all the Seeker repaints. Alas, it's mediocre at best, with all the shortcomings of its predecessor's F-15 mode, and then some. One would hope that the bot mode would be its salvation, especially after the ER Seeker's rather impressive articulation, but again, this toy falls short. I was hoping Studio Series would introduce that better toy I was hoping for, but alas, no. The coronation gear and throne don't interest me, and the minimal improvements to the core figure do little to entice me to drop more money on a fig I already own. Had Hasbro led with this instead of releasing the ER fig alone, I may have bitten, but in retrospect, I'm glad they didn't. 

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Been messing around with the new MP Skywarp. The black, grey and purple combo looks great to me.

No real structural or visual issues to report, although this time I ended up with two stoic faces and am missing the smiling face, ironically the exact opposite to my Thundercracker.

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And for some chuckles...

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Edited by lechuck
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I really, really wish they'd struck a fairer balance between the bot and fighter modes, but that fighter mode suffers terribly for a nice, albeit overly-toonish bot mode.

Regardless of my opinion, I'm glad you like it, @lechuck. Bot mode certainly has presence.

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I was just typing about this when @obakesan's post popped up.  Yep, Sludge and Junkheap set for August and BB Ironhide and Arcee for October.  Buzzworthy Cliffjumper and Kup are also up on Pulse, and it looks like they're supposed to be in stock but Cliffjumper's already showing sold out.  I ordered Kup and preordered the other four, guess I'll have to keep an eye out at my local Target for Cliffjumper.

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Just got my POs in at Pulse. Been away from my computer all day, just checked in here to see what's new before turning in for the night and saw that the new figs were up for PO. Fortunately they weren't all sold out (figured Sludge would be for sure). Glad I popped in here as I didn't have a clue, so thanks!

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Perceptor is a character that I loved as a kid, but hasn't seen much love from others.  I mean, his first toy since the original G1 was a tiny Cybertron Red Alert repainted in Perceptor's colors.  In 2010 we got our first real Deluxe-class Perceptor, but he turned into a truck instead of a microscope.  It wouldn't be until just five years ago when we finally got a new transforming microscope.

Things weren't much better in the land of unofficial Transformers, either.  KFC was first out of the gate, with a Deluxe-sized IDW-inspired figure that looked OK but suffered from notoriously bad QC.  Planet X did one based on his appearance in the Fall of Cybertron game, and Fans Toys gave us an MP-ish option (also with pretty poor QC), but all of those figures were out even before 2017's Titans Return.

But when it rains it pours, I guess.  In the last month or two we got MP releases from both XTB (review here) and Fans Toys.  And now Hasbro's replacing the Titans Return figure with a new Deluxe-class Studio Series 86 Perceptor.

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The new Studio Series figure comes out of the box swinging for the fences.  It's clear that Hasbro's going hard for that Sunbow look.  Love it or hate it, he's got the the weird, chonky body but slimmer scope of the Sunbow model.  Hasbro opted for a duller cornflower blue that better matches the animation than toy-inspired cerulean shade seen on the TR figure.  SS Perceptor likewise eschews the silver color used on TR Perceptor's abs, chest, and dials for a pearlescent white.  It makes for a very cartoon-accurate figure, right down to the red notch at the top of his pelvis.

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From the side we can see that SS Perceptor looses some of the extra details, including the toy-inspired tampos, for a cleaner bot mode.  But as we continue to the back we come to my first big gripe with the SS figure... that gaping hole in the back.  Now, sure, his forearms also have gaps, but almost every Hasbro figure with fists that fold into the forearms have that gap so I'm not going to keep harping on it.  But when was the last time Hasbro put out a figure with a huge gaping hole on his back where the head just tucks in?  On a Core-class, maybe?  Would it have killed Hasbro to put a hinged cover back there, ala ER Prime, Siege Soundwave, Kingdom Blaster, etc?

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Wherever the budget for a back cover went, it wasn't accessories.  Perceptor comes with just this single pistol.  I dig it, though.  It's pretty cartoony.  G1 toy fans may lament the lack of the bigger rifle or the missile launcher that the G1 toy had, but I'm good.  It's a fair sight better than the sniper rifle with a Titan Master seat that came with TR Perceptor, anyway.

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SS Perceptor improves over the TR version with articulation, too.  His head is on a ball joint with minimal sideways and downward tilt.  Upward tilt technically isn't better, but you can use the transformation hinge to fake a bit more.  His shoulders are ball joints that swivel and move laterally 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  Sadly he lacks any wrist swivel, but he does have a waist swivel.  His hips can move forward, backward, and laterally 90 degrees.  His thighs swivel, and his knees can bend about 120 degrees.  His toes can bend down, and his ankles can pivot up to 90 degrees.

In addition to holding his gun in either hand, he's got peg holes on the outside of either shoulder, on the outside of either leg, under either foot, and one on the small of his back.  There's also one on the hinge under his scope.

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I feel like things are starting to take a hit again in microscope mode.  TR has the black panel with the scope on it across the top, which I feel helps with the notion that it's not just his arms sticking up from the top.  To be fair, though, arms sticking from the top is pretty Sunbow accurate, though, but if they insist on going that route then maybe they should have but the red elbow hinges on him?  Even if I give the arms a pass we still have to look at the legs.  They're a little closer together on the TR toy, and they actually tab into the shoulders to give the whole thing a more solid feel.  The end result, I suppose, doesn't look bad on it's own, just more like a robot doing yoga than a purposeful microscope than the TR toy.

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Perceptor doesn't do much in this mode.  The scope is on a pair of hinges, friction where the blue armature connects to his body and ratcheted where the scope connects to the armature.  There's no swivel, though.  The dials on his arms don't turn, but neither does the one on the scope this time, so the lens doesn't move.  And yeah, from the back you can see the back of Percy's head between his shoulder blades.  I guess nothing's stopping you from not swiveling his head and having his face visible there.

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Despite not being a feature in the '86 movie, or at all in cartoon that I can recall, SS86 Perceptor does have his tank mode.  He's even got molded faux treads on his legs that show in this mode.  What I'm finding interesting here is that I don't recall TR Percy having the tank mode in his instructions, but it was included more like an Easter egg, while SS Percy has instructions for the tank mode.  Yet, again, I think TR Percy is a bit more purposeful, with an extra hinge on his chest plate to give his Titan Master a seat and blue fold-out treads under his feet like the G1 toy had, whereas SS86 Perceptor just bends his legs around so they tab into his forearms.  Plus the treads on TR Percy are painted black, while they're just molded into the red on SS86.  Speaking of treads, the TR figure has translucent wheels under those foot treads and on his butt, so his tank mode rolls.  The SS86 version has no wheels, so he just sits or slides.  However, as a Studio Series figure priority should be rightly on nailing the robot mode over a G1 toy feature that wasn't in the cartoon, so I'm not going to ding him for falling behind the TR version here.

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Whichever alt mode you choose, you've got places you can plug in his gun (but nothing purposeful that really tucks it away).  In scope mode, the holes on his shoulders, legs, and back are your obvious choices.  They're all covered in tank mode, but you can still use the peg hole under the scope's hinge.

Studio Series 86 Perceptor isn't without his disappointments, mostly being the lack of a cover for his head storage on his back and that his legs don't do more to transform in microscope mode, leaving them rather wide apart and without the ability to lock in place like the TR version.  Despite these drawbacks, the robot mode is slightly taller than the TR version, with significantly greater cartoon accuracy and improved articulation, not just with the addition of a waist swivel and ankle pivots but with better joint tolerances all around.  For a character that spends as little time in alt mode as Perceptor anyway I do think that the SS86 version is an overall improvement over the Titans Return figure and a safe recommend from me.

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On 3/2/2022 at 5:46 PM, mikeszekely said:

Perceptor is a character that I loved as a kid, but hasn't seen much love from others.  I mean, his first toy since the original G1 was a tiny Cybertron Red Alert repainted in Perceptor's colors.  In 2010 we got our first real Deluxe-class Perceptor, but he turned into a truck instead of a microscope.  It wouldn't be until just five years ago when we finally got a new transforming microscope.

Things weren't much better in the land of unofficial Transformers, either.  KFC was first out of the gate, with a Deluxe-sized IDW-inspired figure that looked OK but suffered from notoriously bad QC.  Planet X did one based on his appearance in the Fall of Cybertron game, and Fans Toys gave us an MP-ish option (also with pretty poor QC), but all of those figures were out even before 2017's Titans Return.

But when it rains it pours, I guess.  In the last month or two we got MP releases from both XTB (review here) and Fans Toys.  And now Hasbro's replacing the Titans Return figure with a new Deluxe-class Studio Series 86 Perceptor.

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The new Studio Series figure comes out of the box swinging for the fences.  It's clear that Hasbro's going hard for that Sunbow look.  Love it or hate it, he's got the the weird, chonky body but slimmer scope of the Sunbow model.  Hasbro opted for a duller cornflower blue that better matches the animation than toy-inspired cerulean shade seen on the TR figure.  SS Perceptor likewise eschews the silver color used on TR Perceptor's abs, chest, and dials for a pearlescent white.  It makes for a very cartoon-accurate figure, right down to the red notch at the top of his pelvis.

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From the side we can see that SS Perceptor looses some of the extra details, including the toy-inspired tampos, for a cleaner bot mode.  But as we continue to the back we come to my first big gripe with the SS figure... that gaping hole in the back.  Now, sure, his forearms also have gaps, but almost every Hasbro figure with fists that fold into the forearms have that gap so I'm not going to keep harping on it.  But when was the last time Hasbro put out a figure with a huge gaping hole on his back where the head just tucks in?  On a Core-class, maybe?  Would it have killed Hasbro to put a hinged cover back there, ala ER Prime, Siege Soundwave, Kingdom Blaster, etc?

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Wherever the budget for a back cover went, it wasn't accessories.  Perceptor comes with just this single pistol.  I dig it, though.  It's pretty cartoony.  G1 toy fans may lament the lack of the bigger rifle or the missile launcher that the G1 toy had, but I'm good.  It's a fair sight better than the sniper rifle with a Titan Master seat that came with TR Perceptor, anyway.

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SS Perceptor improves over the TR version with articulation, too.  His head is on a ball joint with minimal sideways and downward tilt.  Upward tilt technically isn't better, but you can use the transformation hinge to fake a bit more.  His shoulders are ball joints that swivel and move laterally 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  Sadly he lacks any wrist swivel, but he does have a waist swivel.  His hips can move forward, backward, and laterally 90 degrees.  His thighs swivel, and his knees can bend about 120 degrees.  His toes can bend down, and his ankles can pivot up to 90 degrees.

In addition to holding his gun in either hand, he's got peg holes on the outside of either shoulder, on the outside of either leg, under either foot, and one on the small of his back.  There's also one on the hinge under his scope.

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I feel like things are starting to take a hit again in microscope mode.  TR has the black panel with the scope on it across the top, which I feel helps with the notion that it's not just his arms sticking up from the top.  To be fair, though, arms sticking from the top is pretty Sunbow accurate, though, but if they insist on going that route then maybe they should have but the red elbow hinges on him?  Even if I give the arms a pass we still have to look at the legs.  They're a little closer together on the TR toy, and they actually tab into the shoulders to give the whole thing a more solid feel.  The end result, I suppose, doesn't look bad on it's own, just more like a robot doing yoga than a purposeful microscope than the TR toy.

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Perceptor doesn't do much in this mode.  The scope is on a pair of hinges, friction where the blue armature connects to his body and ratcheted where the scope connects to the armature.  There's no swivel, though.  The dials on his arms don't turn, but neither does the one on the scope this time, so the lens doesn't move.  And yeah, from the back you can see the back of Percy's head between his shoulder blades.  I guess nothing's stopping you from not swiveling his head and having his face visible there.

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Despite not being a feature in the '86 movie, or at all in cartoon that I can recall, SS86 Perceptor does have his tank mode.  He's even got molded faux treads on his legs that show in this mode.  What I'm finding interesting here is that I don't recall TR Percy having the tank mode in his instructions, but it was included more like an Easter egg, while SS Percy has instructions for the tank mode.  Yet, again, I think TR Percy is a bit more purposeful, with an extra hinge on his chest plate to give his Titan Master a seat and blue fold-out treads under his feet like the G1 toy had, whereas SS86 Perceptor just bends his legs around so they tab into his forearms.  Plus the treads on TR Percy are painted black, while they're just molded into the red on SS86.  Speaking of treads, the TR figure has translucent wheels under those foot treads and on his butt, so his tank mode rolls.  The SS86 version has no wheels, so he just sits or slides.  However, as a Studio Series figure priority should be rightly on nailing the robot mode over a G1 toy feature that wasn't in the cartoon, so I'm not going to ding him for falling behind the TR version here.

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Whichever alt mode you choose, you've got places you can plug in his gun (but nothing purposeful that really tucks it away).  In scope mode, the holes on his shoulders, legs, and back are your obvious choices.  They're all covered in tank mode, but you can still use the peg hole under the scope's hinge.

Studio Series 86 Perceptor isn't without his disappointments, mostly being the lack of a cover for his head storage on his back and that his legs don't do more to transform in microscope mode, leaving them rather wide apart and without the ability to lock in place like the TR version.  Despite these drawbacks, the robot mode is slightly taller than the TR version, with significantly greater cartoon accuracy and improved articulation, not just with the addition of a waist swivel and ankle pivots but with better joint tolerances all around.  For a character that spends as little time in alt mode as Perceptor anyway I do think that the SS86 version is an overall improvement over the Titans Return figure and a safe recommend from me.

I have SS Perceptor POed, but honestly, I think I like the TR fig better, stupid headmaster gimmick notwithstanding. With exception of better articulation, the TR toy does more of the things that the G1 toy did in microscope mode- the scope is adjustable and his reflecting mirror folds down (I don't see the mirror on SS). Moreover, he has more accurate bits that fold out for his unofficial tank mode, echoing the G1 toy. And as Mike pointed out, he doesn't suffer a huge hole in his back in bot mode.  I don't understand why Hasbro didn't carry all those features over to this version- it would have made a good figure great. 

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1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

the TR toy does more of the things that the G1 toy did in microscope mode- the scope is adjustable and his reflecting mirror folds down (I don't see the mirror on SS).

You mean that square on his abs, under his chest?  Yeah, it folds down separately on the TR figure, but I always though it was some kind of support- too small and set too far back to really reflect much light through the chest and slide (although I gather that it worked better on the G1 toy?  I'll know in a few days).  On SS Perceptor the hinge for his chest runs through it, so an entire T-shaped panel that incorporates both his chest and abs fold down together as one solid piece.

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23 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

You mean that square on his abs, under his chest?  Yeah, it folds down separately on the TR figure, but I always though it was some kind of support- too small and set too far back to really reflect much light through the chest and slide (although I gather that it worked better on the G1 toy?  I'll know in a few days).  On SS Perceptor the hinge for his chest runs through it, so an entire T-shaped panel that incorporates both his chest and abs fold down together as one solid piece.

The mirror on G1 Perceptor not only extended out far enough to actually reflect through his chest, but it also swiveled within its armature like the real thing so as to be angled to adjust the amount and angle of light shining through the slide tray.  TR's take simplified things, but at least it was there for appearances. SS Perceptor seems to have omitted it entirely. 😒

Here's my old G1 Perceptor- don't mind the dust- with his reflecting mirror extended and angled slightly. I loved that he had working features of a real microscope- it gave a sense of purpose to his alt mode, which wasn't quite as exciting as a car or a jet plane. But I used to put stuff on his tray and try to examine it through the lens, granted the optics aren't exactly high precision, but for a toy microscope, it was pretty cool that he actually functioned as one. I lament that they didn't include those functions in the SS toy. Moreover the microscope mode on the whole suffers from a chintzy transformation; the point of the arms is to look like the supports for the lens barrel, but the SS toy has them spaced too far apart and serving no function to the alt mode. I'm often critical of jet alt modes and Has/Tak's lack of 'try", but any attempt to make this even close to accurate or realistic was obviously dismissed. As 80s Transformers go, his conversion was simple even by those standards, so the absence of care in SS Perceptor's alt mode design is dismaying and disappointing.

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Edited by M'Kyuun
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5 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Here's my old G1 Perceptor- don't mind the dust- with his reflecting mirror extended and angled slightly. I loved that he had working features of a real microscope- it gave a sense of purpose to his alt mode, which wasn't quite as exciting as a car or a jet plane. But I used to put stuff on his tray and try to examine it through the lens, granted the optics aren't exactly high precision, but for a toy microscope, it was pretty cool that he actually functioned as one. I lament that they didn't include those functions in the SS toy. Moreover the microscope mode on the whole suffers from a chintzy transformation; the point of the arms is to look like the supports for the lens barrel, but the SS toy has them spaced too far apart and serving no function to the alt mode. I'm often critical of jet alt modes and Has/Tak's lack of 'try", but any attempt to make this even close to accurate or realistic was obviously dismissed. As 80s Transformers go, his conversion was simple even by those standards, so the absence of care in SS Perceptor's alt mode design is dismaying and disappointing.

 

I think the Studio Series line is just really focused on accurate robots above all else.  I'd have really liked to see some toy gimmicks like the mirror and the wheels that come out of the feet for tank mode, but the wheels aren't even on the Sunbow model so I guess they're just given low priority.  Like I said in my review, TR Perceptor pulls off both the microscope and tank mode better, in my opinion, but SS Perceptor just destroys him in bot mode.

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But yeah, I got my hands on a G1 Perceptor.

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Technically, I got him and a G1 Ironhide.  But I'm showing Perceptor off with Blaster, since the other G1 toys I covered were the new '86 cast, and Percy and Blaster shared a scene in the '86 movie.  I guess Ironhide will have to wait until I get the rest of the Autobots on that shuttle, along with the the Decepticons that killed them.  Which is tough, because even reissue Megatrons are stupid expensive right now.

Speaking of the movies, my BB Kup came today.

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The most immediate, obvious difference is that he's traded the translucent blue on his chest for a gray paint.  Now, I'm not usually the type to go for painted windows, but in Kup's case it's a huge difference that feels so much more accurate, not just to the cartoon but the G1 toy as well.  The little wear marks are a welcome touch as well; that big pointy one on his left is so much a part of his character that I drew it when I drew pictures of Kup as a kid.

The window's not the only difference, though.  His eyes are brighter.  The lighter color on his thighs and biceps is a bit more gray blue than faded mint.  The darker blue is a different hue, to, that I thought looked a bit greener but my camera doesn't seem to be capturing it well.  On the whole, I think it's an improvement all around- the colors just feel better to me.

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So it's somewhat surprising, then, that the alt mode is actually less accurate.  Don't get me wrong, I still like the painted windshield and different colors on the new version.  But, the lighter color on the back of the cab is correct, and I'm not a fan of the gray tires on the new version.  Well, the tires can be swapped between them, I guess.

On the whole, I wouldn't say the new version of Kup is necessary if you have the old one, but between the two I do prefer the new one.

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Cliffjumper was sold out on Pulse when I ordered Kup, but I was lucky to find him at my local Target last night.  Unlike Kup, who remains SS86-02, Cliffjumper gets a bit of new branding; the box is Buzzworthy Bumblebee, but his numbering indicates that this is a Studio Series figure now, vs Earthrise for the original run.  And the difference is a lot less subtle than Kup.  Cliffjumper's red color is much more vibrant, and some colors have been altered.  His shoulders are black instead of red, his biceps and legs are gray instead of black, and his forearms are gray instead of red.  Which, you know, takes some colors that weren't Sunbow-accurate and changes them to ones that are.  Like Kup, Cliffjumper comes with painted blue windows now; I do prefer the translucent windows on the original one, but not as much as I prefer the cartoon-accurate grays on the new one.  Less relevant to discussions of cartoon accuracy, but the silver on his weapon has been swapped to a metallic blue.

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OK, so while I prefer the translucent windows, I guess it is kind of nice that all the windows on the new Cliffjumper match.  No more black rear window.  Black in general is kind of removed; the front grill and rear bumper and now left a solid red, although the new version adds some silver around the taillights and license plate.  The removal of the black, though, seems like removing details from an actual Porsche 924 and offering something more akin to the chibi Sunbow model.  So, as with Kup, I don't think that Cliffjumper is an absolute necessity if you already have the older version, but the newer version a more cartoon-accurate improvement in my book.

The question remains, what to actually do with the old ones?  Dunno about Kup, but I have some ideas for Cliffy (and BB Bumblebee).  Toyhax has some labels so I could do them up as less cartoon and more IDW versions of the characters.  Or, more risky but with a better potential gain, I could try painting them into Glyph and Tap-Out.

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Due to the Chibi racer and Sunbow asthetic, I always thought Cliffjumper was supposed to be an Escort, GT at minimum though after owning a "tail-happy" 87' EXP and his name, they missed his true Alt mode. 

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8 hours ago, Wolf-1 said:

Due to the Chibi racer and Sunbow asthetic, I always thought Cliffjumper was supposed to be an Escort, GT at minimum though after owning a "tail-happy" 87' EXP and his name, they missed his true Alt mode. 

Honestly? As a kid, I'm pretty sure I thought he was "Bumblebee but red". I'm probably the reason he has so much trouble getting a new mold these days, and I'm sorry.

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18 hours ago, JB0 said:

Honestly? As a kid, I'm pretty sure I thought he was "Bumblebee but red". I'm probably the reason he has so much trouble getting a new mold these days, and I'm sorry.

I doubt it's entirely your fault, but at least you're owning your part in it.  I actually like the Starion/Daytona Alt mode, maybe someday he can scan another DSM and we can have the Cliffjumper/F&F Eclipse.

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Sorry, no fancy introductions, but the new BB movie Studio Series figures are coming in.  First up, we have Deluxe-class Wheeljack.

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While I've complained since the Studio Series line's inception that there's a tendency to skimp on things like paint, it's definitely been the case that more recent figures, especially the 86 figures, to be bot-accurate above all else.  For this recent round of characters from Bumblebee, it seems like this task is a bit extra easy, since the alt modes weren't even in the movie.  Needless to say, Wheeljack is very faithful to the concept art from the film.  Most I can really say is that the white kibble on his arms isn't on the concept art, and there's a bit of red on the green on his shins.  Maybe his wings should be white, too, but I'm not sure that film presented it that way for the brief moment he's on screen.

When I first saw the reveal for Wheeljack I thought he looked like he might be a retool of B-127.  In hand, though, you can see that they're fairly different figures.

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The biggest difference might be on the back, though.  I mean, sure, they've both got the nose of their alt modes for heels, wheels tucked into their calves, and a chunk of the side panel on the outside of their legs, but Wheeljack's back is fairly clean.  B-127 (and Cliffjumper, BTW) has that huge honking backpack.

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Wheeljack's sole accessory is his rifle.  It's got a decent enough sculpt, but there's no paint or anything.

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Wheeljack's head is on a ball joint, which gives him some slight down/sideways tilt, good upward tilt, and a swivel.  His shoulders are also ball joints for rotation and about 90 degrees of lateral movement.  Note that his wings are not on his back, but on the backs of his shoulders, so they move with his arms.  His biceps swivel, and his double-jointed elbows bend 180 degrees.  No wrist articulation.  His waist swivels, but the cockpit on his tummy will get caught on his hips.  Hips that are, BTW, ball joints, which on my copy are disappointingly loose.  They can go 90 degrees forward and backward, but only about 45 degrees laterally.  His thighs swivel around his hips, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His feet have some slight up/down tilt due to his transformation, but he doesn't have ankle pivots.

Wheeljack's gun fits into either fist via the 5mm handle.  A second 5mm peg is on the side of the gun, and this is meant to go into a peg hole on his back for storage.

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Wheeljack's transformation is fairly simple, which much of the roof being formed from his chest and belly.  The size and overall aesthetic is definitely similar to B-127.

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Of course, with both figures in hand the differences are more apparent, with differences in the nose, cockpit, and spoilers.  B-127 has that panel that makes the rear of the vehicle, while Wheeljack's rear end is left open and unfinished.

The car is pretty close to the concept art, again.  The only thing I'd really complain about (aside from the unfinished rear) is that the red on the top is broken up in four different spots by unpainted gray hinges.

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On the side of Wheeljack's gun opposite the peg for back storage is a tab.  This tab fits into one of the slots between his spoiler fins for alt mode storage.

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And then, just because I originally took pictures with Earthrise Wheeljack before deciding B-127 was a better comparison, here's those as a bonus.  Surprisingly, BB Wheeljack is shorter than the ER figure.

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The difference in size carries over to alt mode.

Wheeljack is, much like Soundwave, an OK figure.  He's pretty accurate to the concept art in both modes, which I think is what most people want.  I'm just finding myself a bit disappointed by the fact that the War for Cybertron line kind of made improvements like better joint tolerances, better joint hardware, and ankle pivots standard, and while the 86 figures have maintained that those improvements haven't carried over to the rest of the Studio Series.  We've got ball joints for shoulders and hips here.  The ball joints in the hips are Prime Wars loose.  He doesn't have ankle pivots.  And I haven't even mentioned an issue (that is apparently widespread) where something is just a bit off and at least one side of his body won't stay tabbed in place in bot mode.  And, as far as Cybertronian cars from Bumblebee go, with a much cleaner robot mode I would say he's improved from B-127 and Cliffjumper, just not as much as I'd hoped.  I guess, if you're a fan of Bumblebee and want to collect the cast from the Cybertronian battle then Wheeljack is fine, but at the same time if you don't really care if you have every character to show up in the film, however briefly, then you're not really missing anything if you skip Wheeljack.

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