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The Transformers Thread (licensed) Next


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1 hour ago, Scyla said:

Rumors have it that the next G1 from Takara will be Trailbreaker:

image.jpeg.958633ccb2d1f9cacf93efca4b7880c5.jpeg
(image courtesy of TFW2005).

I have MMC Terraegis for Trailbreaker and FT for Hoist so not really interested but I would be open for a yellow or blue one to have the mold in my collection.

Woah! Looking fine from what can be seen. Doesn't seem like it is going the Skids route, which for me is a good thing. Also Takara having the last word on announcements :)

Hasbro: Commander class Motormaster

Hasbro Asia: MPM-13 Blackout

Takara: Nani? Hold my Sake!

 

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2 hours ago, Scyla said:

image.jpeg.958633ccb2d1f9cacf93efca4b7880c5.jpeg

I think this clinches it for me. I'm a toy first TF fan. I want TFs that look like the original toys, with better proportions and articulation.

Really don't like the cartoon look. The tiny waist/underwear-shaped hips/skinny thigh/bell bottom pants thing, I just don't like it.

I believe the cartoons were drawn that way to give the impression of height, since TFs were giant robots. There was some foreshortening when "looking up" at them. I don't think it works as part of the toy sculpt though. It just looks silly, IMO.

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Okay. I am suitably teased. I’ll just wait on the side over here for Takara to release a hi-res photo. I’m curious about the detail in those extra faces and I find the return of the swappable bumper/grille most welcome too.

As an aside, Trailbreaker moves the MP line into the group of G1 toys that I had no exposure to as a kid.

That makes this something new to me.

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I want a blue diaclone version with some more toy detsils and flava.  Mmc has finished trsilbreaker himself for me years ago...this guys silhouette reminds me of a slightly slimmer terragis anyway...but im sure utll be more toonified...hipefully not to p infernos extent.

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26 minutes ago, Scyla said:

Shame that the legs are not more solid and the gray plastic could have used a painted finish.

Yeah, but that vehicle mode... 😍

mmc_trailblazer.jpg

The camper top was also far more accurate to the Toyota Hi-Lux (and the G1 toy) than the upcoming Masterpiece, which is instead based on the simplified Sunbow animation model😑

Edited by tekering
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I'll likely stick with my copy of Terraegis as well. The truck mode dominates the Takara with all that chrome finish and big rubber tires. I like the raised hood/engine detail feature of the Takara, but I like the ability to slim the torso in bot mode more. The legs on the Takara do look better, but I prefer the styling of Terraegis over the toony styling of the Takara. I like it when bits of the vehicle become parts of the bot mode; it makes sense mechanically, and visually reinforces the fact that this turns into that.

In main line news, looks like SS86, which I think most fans were hoping would be a marked improvement over the lazy shellforming WfC figure, is going to be a retooled Thrilling 30 figure. Mixed feelings about that. I consider the T30 to be far, far superior to the abysmal WfC fig: she actually transforms, has decent presentation (giant backpack notwithstanding), and decent articulation, although she's missing the ankle tilts, waist and wrist swivels that are characterizing more and more of the Legacy/SS86 figs. That said, I was really hoping they'd start fresh with a completely new and improved mold that perhaps borrowed some ideas from MMC's Azalea so far as producing a fully articulated Arcee  w/ minimal backpack whose chest forms the front of her car, thighs form the rear fenders, and shoulder pods form the front fenders. I really didn't want a retool of T30, but if they're not going to invest in creating a new improved fig and just rehash an old one, I'd rather it be the T30. NGL though, I'm disappointed.

The other side of that coin is, many of us already own the T30, which we bought for less than what this rehash is going to sell for. Unless they made improvements all around to her articulation, I'm not feeling a need to buy her again. Too, from that pic, the backpack looks no better than the original; at the very least they could at least make an attempt to clean it up. I don't expect a G1 Arcee as clean as her toon model; you just can't squeeze that much plastic down to a couple tiny shoulder pods. But again, MMC did a great job minimalizing all that car body into reasonably sized pods, and it'd be great if Has/Tak took a cue or two from some of these third party designs where it was just simply done well. I'll also throw Dr. Wu's upcoming legends scale Arcee (Amie) in there as a an example of a G1 Arcee done well. If they can pull it off at this scale, why can't Has/Tak at deluxe? I wish Dr. Wu would upscale his design to deluxe- it'd be the better option for my CHUG collection.

  SS86-Arcee.jpg

image_18415_4_1625605853.pngdwms30-amie-05.jpg

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1 hour ago, tekering said:

Yeah, but that vehicle mode... 😍

mmc_trailblazer.jpg

The camper top was also far more accurate to the Toyota Hi-Lux (and the G1 toy) than the upcoming Masterpiece, which is instead based on the simplified Sunbow animation model😑

Also MP Trailbreaker doesn’t have enough of the yellow orange red patterns which will be forever burned into my brain as an 80s signifier.

Edited by Scyla
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5 minutes ago, Scyla said:

Also MP Trailbreaker doesn’t have enough of the yellow orange red patterns which will be forever burned into my brain as an 80s signifier.

Yep, that too. I prefer all the OG toy detail cross over to the MP figs, which is yet another reason why the toon-slavish direction doesn't really work for me.

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Wow, I hate MP-56.

It's overly cartoony to the point of being comical. It looks like a soft toy that was squeezed around the waist and hasn't decompressed yet. The exaggerated proportions make it look like a toy from the Robots in Disguise line. The weird chubby smirk creeps me out.

I'm kinda surprised more people haven't ridiculed it already...

If other people love it, fine, but I reserve the right to make fun of it.

Personally when I look at the legs all I see is this:

Multipet Gumby Rubber Dog Toy - 9" : Target

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3 hours ago, tekering said:

While I admit MP-56 is an improvement (at least in the legs), I remain satisfied with "Terraegis."

I don't admit MP-56 is an improvement. Terraegis looks better to me in every aspect, especially in the legs. 

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4 hours ago, obakesan said:

 

Love it!

Stark contrast to the hybrid nonsense that was Skids.

Robot proportions, articulation, alt-mode, accessories... everything a proper MP should be!

Should be around 130 Euro after AJ pre-order rebate, that's a steal for a classy premium toy if you ask me.

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42 minutes ago, lechuck said:

Love it!

Stark contrast to the hybrid nonsense that was Skids.

Robot proportions, articulation, alt-mode, accessories... everything a proper MP should be!

Should be around 130 Euro after AJ pre-order rebate, that's a steal for a classy premium toy if you ask me.

You're Takara's intended market. Hope Trailbreaker turns out great and he brings you joy.

I'm not in the toon-accuracy camp, so the hybrid Skids MP and MMC's Terraegis represent what I want in a MP fig- more toy influence, especially in bot mode, along with as much detail as is possible crammed into both modes, as well as alt mode bits carried over into bot mode, b/c that makes mechanical sense.

 

Clearer pic of SS86 Arcee just popped up on Twitter. Everything's new from just under her chest and down. Looks like they changed her backpack, too, not for the better. If anything, it's even chunkier than before. That's great with stew, but not with a G1 Arcee. Looks like they did away with the mechanism to spread her legs out for car mode. I wish they'd kept that and just let her thighs form the rear fenders. Not heartened at all by this, really. 🤕Image

Edited by M'Kyuun
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In the posted picture, MMC’s bot mode is beginning to look dated to me. Those legs on Terraegis are almost unfinished compared to the likes of their Azalea and Saltus. What would be interesting to me is to see MMC redesign Trailbreaker with the engineering knowledge and talent that they have built up today.

That said, the alt mode does hold up really well. Back when these were still readily available, I wanted to get a copy of PS-06R but I ended up letting it go.

Anyway, the official MP is a clear lock for me. It’s hard to say where the exchange rate will be in December but today, if I were to pay the full price up front, the pre-order would cost $167US. After the discount, if the exchange rate isn’t too volatile, this could drop down as far as $117US. IMO, this is a really good price for a bot clocking in at around the same height as Ironhide and Starscream.

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Lots of news lately, eh?

2 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

In main line news, looks like SS86, which I think most fans were hoping would be a marked improvement over the lazy shellforming WfC figure, is going to be a retooled Thrilling 30 figure. Mixed feelings about that. I consider the T30 to be far, far superior to the abysmal WfC fig: she actually transforms, has decent presentation (giant backpack notwithstanding), and decent articulation, although she's missing the ankle tilts, waist and wrist swivels that are characterizing more and more of the Legacy/SS86 figs. That said, I was really hoping they'd start fresh with a completely new and improved mold that perhaps borrowed some ideas from MMC's Azalea so far as producing a fully articulated Arcee  w/ minimal backpack whose chest forms the front of her car, thighs form the rear fenders, and shoulder pods form the front fenders. I really didn't want a retool of T30, but if they're not going to invest in creating a new improved fig and just rehash an old one, I'd rather it be the T30. NGL though, I'm disappointed.

The other side of that coin is, many of us already own the T30, which we bought for less than what this rehash is going to sell for. Unless they made improvements all around to her articulation, I'm not feeling a need to buy her again. Too, from that pic, the backpack looks no better than the original; at the very least they could at least make an attempt to clean it up. I don't expect a G1 Arcee as clean as her toon model; you just can't squeeze that much plastic down to a couple tiny shoulder pods. But again, MMC did a great job minimalizing all that car body into reasonably sized pods, and it'd be great if Has/Tak took a cue or two from some of these third party designs where it was just simply done well. I'll also throw Dr. Wu's upcoming legends scale Arcee (Amie) in there as a an example of a G1 Arcee done well. If they can pull it off at this scale, why can't Has/Tak at deluxe? I wish Dr. Wu would upscale his design to deluxe- it'd be the better option for my CHUG collection.

Regarding her car mode, the SS86 figure has the longer nose and curvier base of the T30 toy, but seems to have retooled the back end so it's more shellformery.  This fills it in and makes it more accurate, color-wise, than the T30 toy.

As far as the robot mode goes, I know a lot of people weren't happy with the Kingdom toy, who is really a robot doing a yoga pose under the alt mode she wears on her back, but honestly for all the extra steps in the T30 toy I don't think it does much better; the nose and the rear sides of the car were on her bot mode, and that's it, and for SS86 it looks like they're covering up the legs.  In both cases you're left with a robot carrying nearly her entire alt mode on her back, but at least some of Kingdom's backpack could be partsformed off, she had better proportions, and better articulation.  I might be in the minority (and I'm definitely not saying Kingdom Arcee is a great figure), but I actually prefer it to the T30 toy (and that when I actually have the more accurately-colored Takara Legends version). 

SS86 Arcee looks like a pretty extensive retool.  I need to see the back of her calves to be sure, but aside from her backpack it looks like she shares arms, chest, and her collar, probably some of her back, too, with the T30 toy.  Looks like a new head, though, and from the bottom of her chest down she looks like an entirely new figure, as I can't see any shared parts between either SS86 and T30 or Kingdom.  And the results are somewhat promising.  The sculpt on the arms and legs is more screen accurate than both, the proportions in the hips and waist are better than T30, and she looks to have the waist swivel and ankle pivots that T30 lacked (I'm guessing lateral hip movement will still be limited to around 45-60 degrees, though).  The pink and red lips on the face is better than the all-white Kingdom toy, but I think I prefer the overall head sculpt better on both of the earlier toys.

All-in-all, she does look to be the best of both the earlier figures, although not exactly a definitive Arcee toy.  I'll pick her up, for sure, then sell my Legends version and maybe give Kingdom to a buddy.  But I can't really say I'm excited for her.  What she really represents is a willingness by HasTak to go back and fix some of the worse WfC figures already.  Fingers crossed for SS86 Vanettes and an SS86 Astrotrain, then.  Maybe SS86 Constructicons.

In addition to Arcee, also leaked or announced in the Studio Series recently are:

DotM Bumblebee, which is really just RotF Bumblebee and movie 1 new Camaro Bumblebee retooled to make the alt mode more accurate to DotM and with the unmasked face.  I mean, I guess I have to buy him for the alt mode differences, but wake me up when we get a new '67 Camaro Bumblebee from Age of Extinction.

Sideways, who was a pretty minor character in RotF but I kind of dug him for his alt mode and superficial similarities to Barricade.  The robot mode looks ok.  I wish it had more of the red lighting from the CGI model, but I guess that's tricky with the lighting being on car parts.  The alt mode is... kind of meh.  It's obvious they didn't get a license from Audi for the R8, so they changed the front end and added some vents on the hood to make it legally distinct.  I appreciate that they're at least trying to get the colors right, with the dark stripe over the bulk of the car and the thin strips running through the middle.

Galvatron, who still looks a bit like a shellformer but a definite improvement over the AoE toy in bot mode.  The truck looks good from head on, but there's a bunch of weird robot kibble on the back.

Regarding MP Trailbreaker, I don't think I'd fault anyone for sticking with Terraegis, but I missed the boat on that one and have been hitting a point where I'd almost have to consider trying to get Fans Toys.  But now, I can safely say that FT's is off the table.  I kind of like the look of the new MP... I agree that it's a bit too cartoony in some areas, especially the alt mode, but the legs look a lot better.  I might pick one up, or, at the very least, between this and Fans Toys my chances of finding Terraegis at a good price on the aftermarket are improving.

Finally, I see Amazon's Wreckers are starting to be revealed.  Now, you guys know I'm into repaints for some weird reason, but each reveal so far has been on repainted WfC character with one remolded Fossilizer.  And, frankly, the Fossilizers kind of sucked, if you ask me.  So the first one, Impactor and Spindle, that's an easy pass.  Impactor is retooled and repainted to be closer to the Marvel comics, but I already have two Impactors (the retail release and the one with the more IDW-style head).  Plus, Spindle is a retool of Paleotrex as a Spinosaurus, and Paleotrex was my least-favorite of the Fossilizers.  The second set is slightly more tempting.  It's the Earth-mode Mirage redone as Leadfoot.  It looks great, just a bit of a shame they didn't give him his helicopter blade thing.  I'd buy him in a second if he was being sold on his own, but I'm not sure I want to be saddled with Masterdominus, a retool of Ractonite as a Mastodon.  I will say this, though, it looks like Masterdominus' colors are based on the Black Ranger's Mastodon Zord, and that's kind of awesome.

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Lots of news lately, eh?

Regarding her car mode, the SS86 figure has the longer nose and curvier base of the T30 toy, but seems to have retooled the back end so it's more shellformery.  This fills it in and makes it more accurate, color-wise, than the T30 toy.

As far as the robot mode goes, I know a lot of people weren't happy with the Kingdom toy, who is really a robot doing a yoga pose under the alt mode she wears on her back, but honestly for all the extra steps in the T30 toy I don't think it does much better; the nose and the rear sides of the car were on her bot mode, and that's it, and for SS86 it looks like they're covering up the legs.  In both cases you're left with a robot carrying nearly her entire alt mode on her back, but at least some of Kingdom's backpack could be partsformed off, she had better proportions, and better articulation.  I might be in the minority (and I'm definitely not saying Kingdom Arcee is a great figure), but I actually prefer it to the T30 toy (and that when I actually have the more accurately-colored Takara Legends version). 

SS86 Arcee looks like a pretty extensive retool.  I need to see the back of her calves to be sure, but aside from her backpack it looks like she shares arms, chest, and her collar, probably some of her back, too, with the T30 toy.  Looks like a new head, though, and from the bottom of her chest down she looks like an entirely new figure, as I can't see any shared parts between either SS86 and T30 or Kingdom.  And the results are somewhat promising.  The sculpt on the arms and legs is more screen accurate than both, the proportions in the hips and waist are better than T30, and she looks to have the waist swivel and ankle pivots that T30 lacked (I'm guessing lateral hip movement will still be limited to around 45-60 degrees, though).  The pink and red lips on the face is better than the all-white Kingdom toy, but I think I prefer the overall head sculpt better on both of the earlier toys.

All-in-all, she does look to be the best of both the earlier figures, although not exactly a definitive Arcee toy.  I'll pick her up, for sure, then sell my Legends version and maybe give Kingdom to a buddy.  But I can't really say I'm excited for her.  What she really represents is a willingness by HasTak to go back and fix some of the worse WfC figures already.  Fingers crossed for SS86 Vanettes and an SS86 Astrotrain, then.  Maybe SS86 Constructicons.

The only positive I can say about Kingdom Arcee is that her bot proportions were better, especially in the hips. But, she didn't transform so much as hide under her car, so her bot mode was pretty much uncompromised.  T30, and now her somewhat improved Doppelganger, SS86 Arcee at least have the distinction of actually transforming, although, TBF, SS86 is more shell-formery than T30 since her thighs will no longer form the rear fenders of her car mode. Hence my preference for T30. I like that her legs are part of the car mode. It reminds me of this art 😍:

 See the source image

SS86 would have been greatly improved had they used MMC's technique of overlapping the aft half of the car bits with the front fenders to coalesce them into smaller pods that manage to look more accurate to her G1 toon appearance while greatly reducing the backpack volume. Not sure why Has/Tak didn't do it to make a more definitive Arcee (probably that old nemesis, Budget), but I would have gladly paid a voyager price for a deluxe Arcee fig done as close to perfect as absolutely possible. This is the time and the line to do it, so this is rather disappointing. Maybe a third or fourth party will come up with a new backpack set that does just that to drastically reduce its volume and improve her profile. every little bit helps. Sigh.

I will echo your sentiment about Has/Tak's willingness to make improvements to earlier releases; I'm a fan of that move. In Arcee's case, they came close but stopped short of excellent by not shrinking the backpack. But I'm a fan of the additional articulation. TBF, though T30 didn't have all the hollow spots in the legs like SS86. It's the tradeoff these days for improved articulation, and I'm sure third parties will make fillers.

I'm also hoping that we'll get new improved Vanette bros with completely new molds that better capture the Earth mode vans w/out all the crappy partsforming. Likewise, a new improved Astrotrain (also a completely new mold with far more attention given to the alt modes, i.e. a complete shuttle and a locomotive where all the wheels are in alignment) and a whole new set of Constructicons, hopefully in voyager scale, would be nice additions to the SS86 line. 

As to the new Bayverse figs, not much interest.

Regarding Trailbreaker, I think TT did good with this fig, all things considered. If I didn't already have Terraegis, I wouldn't give getting him a second thought. But I do, and I like the design aesthetic MMC went for more than the totally-toon look of the MP.  I never bought a MP Hoist {my MP collection mostly centers around first season characters and a few 86 Movie figs, w/ a few outliers: Delta Magnus in lieu of UM, and MMC's Ater Beta (Drift's former Decepticon alter-ego Deadlock)}, but if the eventual Hoist repaint/retool looks good to me, and the price remains around $160 or lower, I may go ahead and pick up a copy.  Other than Skids, it's been a few years and several releases since my last official MP purchase. Just not a fan of the toon look or some of the convoluted engineering/compromises they've been employing to have a realistic vehicle turn into a toon-centric bot with low detail, as well as compromises like Hound's floating head. Terrible shame that Jeep insisted on keeping the hood intact. In my mind, having a MP level toy made of a company's vehicle is up there with Weird Al wanting to do a parody of your song- let them do what they will b/c it'll turn out better. Both are a badge of honor of sorts, at least to this old 80s nerd. 

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Kingdom Arcee is a great "Action Figure" once you unpin the backpack and add the aftermarket upgrade kit.  While I like some of the additional paint of the SS86 version; the fact that I will not be able to repeat said "action figure" is a non-sale, as the "Transformer" aspect of the figure is still very much lacking.  Besides, she transformed what, a total of 4 times from the movie until the end of season 4?  

If they ever manage to pull off the headmaster version where her head can actually become Daniel in the typical Exo-suit, backpack be damned I'm in.

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MP Trailbreaker looks pretty good, but I'm definitely in the camp of Terraegis being plenty fine. Trailbreaker isn't a favorite character of mine, he was always meh, so I have zero interest spending any amount of money on another MP of him when I like what I've got. As others have said it seems the totally toon accurate crowd will be happy, seems Skids was a fluke, I liked that thing more then any of the past half dozen official G1 MP releases, he looks like an MP from the good ol days. 

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5 minutes ago, obakesan said:

Lego Masterpiece Prime 

1652276573873.jpg

Nemesis Prime when? :p
 

@M'Kyuun I think it is hard to do a G1 accurate Arcee well without copying the MMC OX to a certain extent. I have three of the MP Arcee molds (TT, FT and OX) and MMC Azalea is by far the best one. 

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18 minutes ago, obakesan said:

Lego Masterpiece Prime 

1652276573873.jpg

Nemesis Prime when? :p

[edit:] The eye stickers look terrible. I really wish Lego would just print all the details on the collector releases.

Ideally they would have created a new piece in the shape of the eye lenses to give the face more definition and character. I 

@M'Kyuun I think it is hard to do a G1 accurate Arcee well without copying the MMC OX to a certain extent. I have three of the MP Arcee molds (TT, FT and OX) and MMC Azalea is by far the best one. 

Edited by Scyla
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The third Wreck N Rule figure went up for preorder on Amazon and Pulse.  Unlike the other two, which were saddled by unwanted Fossilizers, this one is simply a G1 toy-colored Springer, and I'm down for it.  Heck, after this, Galvatron, and Cyclonus I think I might be down for the rest of the '86 cast in toy colors.  Or at the very least, Hot Rod, Blurr, and Kup.

1352133184_71aOR7OBsL._AC_SL1500_.jpg.3444eebec327526b6d0b260d762bc5f1.jpg

71W2r6ZxMqL._AC_SL1500_.jpg.816f991fb72fb5bd84d5ba1357679726.jpg

1787273607_71mv3WX1TL._AC_SL1500_.jpg.358a13b8c60936a52aed1d6257998a2e.jpg

71aOR7OBs+L._AC_SL1500_.jpg

71W2r6ZxMqL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

71mv+3WX1TL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

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5 minutes ago, sh9000 said:

I wish the face of Lego Optimus looked better.  

I’d buy a reissue WFC Siege Springer without any painted wear and released in the Studio Series TFTM line.

Agree- little too narrow and the eyes are too high- price of using a plate with the eyes printed on the side and a bracket below it, which has that little bit of offset that makes the eyes appear too high above the mask.  I'm sure folks will mod it, but from a set perspective, there aren't many alternatives in such a small space. I see people complaining about the neck too, but I'd rather the head was on a ball joint than just a rotational joint. I can accept the gap.

Not sure why they couldn't put knees on him, but I'm sure it'll be clear once reviews are cleared to be posted. The cat's out of the bag, so I don't know why LEGO doesn't just put the official pics up on their site/social media and clear all the reviewers. 

G1 Optimus was a good choice- not too complicated as far as transformation goes, and he presents well in both modes. I noticed that his gas tanks are turned 90 degrees in bot mode, and I wonder if that's some sort of locking mechanism for leg sliders. Again, wait and see. 

I'm saddened to think, however, that we'll never get a proper G1 Megatron to go with this, unless they just do him as a non-transforming model. That would suck, IMHO, but at least you'd have both leaders in scale for display. Most peeps are gonna keep Prime in bot mode anyway, so it's a good compromise.

I'm excited for what this means going forward; are they going to do more like this, or maybe shrink them down to the size of the Speed Champions? I hope Prime isn't a one and done deal- I want a whole collection of brick-built Cybertronians to build, play, and display. Fingers crossed.

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Lego Prime looks quite nice to me—in a classy way like MP-1. I’m curious to see how difficult it will be to MOD some G1-style knees onto those legs. Otherwise, I don’t have much to complain about from the leaked images. Maybe it would have been nice to include two colored eye prints: the blue (for toon) and the yellow (for toy)? I’m definitely in for a pre-order. 

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Thanks to @sh9000 putting up the link when Pulse got it in stock, today I've got Studio Series 86 Core-class Spike to look at.

20220511_142139.jpg.8e325f246dbd82e546957c23f6ea0ef3.jpg

So, the sculpt is generally pretty good, and I like that they painted the details on his chest, but... where's his face?  The blue on his forearms and legs is a tad too dark, and small details on his feet are left unpainted.  Seriously, Hasbro, those paint apps are red and yellow, like you already used on his chest, and very small.  They couldn't have cost that much.

Speaking of skimping on the paint, they molded parts of his arms in blue, which is correct for his biceps and, maybe, parts of his shoulders.  But everything on his forearms save his hands should have been white, as well as parts of his shoulders.

20220511_142158.jpg.1edfd47592023c4fbcfa9d38ff8405df.jpg

One assumes that his back and butt should also be white.  And you can see they molded some details on the outsides of his legs, and those details should have been blue.  There worst thing, though, is that they have a huge hollow cutout in the back of his head.  It's ugly, and it's cheap.

20220511_142322.jpg.bbfe9a81a68a077a81a58eb3f5963e84.jpg

Maybe I could forgive the not-quite-right colors and hollow head if the figure's budget went toward engineering or accessories, but... well, all you get are these two small blast effects.

20220511_142408.jpg.531f6ada4d2368a3198846aab51c2f16.jpg

And the engineering isn't really all that, as far as articulation goes.  There's a switch behind his head you can use to swivel it about 45 degrees to either side.  His shoulders rotate, but the wheels on the back collide with his hips, limiting him to only around 45 degrees forward.  A hinge lets his shoulders move 180 degrees laterally.  His elbows are kind of permanently bent at a 45 degree angle.  There's a transformation hinge in his bicep that you can use to bend his arm up maybe 75 degrees and backward around 45 degrees, but it makes his arm look like it's broken.  I guess he does have a bicep swivel, but it's below the transformation hinge.  There's no wrist swivel or waist swivel.  His hips are ball joints that get about 90 degrees forward and backward and 75 or so laterally.  His knees are also ball joints, acting as his thigh swivels and bending the knee 90 degrees.  You can get more knee bend by using the transformation hinge above the ball joint.  No foot or ankle articulation.

The lower white part of his forearms spin around to simulate the weapons Daniel used to shoot the cover over the acid pool.  The included blast effects plug into the nubs on the ends.  They do not fit onto the littler nubs on the blue part of his forearms, nor do they plug into the boosters on his back, which is a major missed opportunity.  Likewise, there's no holes on his feet for them to plug into, which is another missed opportunity.

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I can't say that there's much engineering in his transformation, either.  His shoulders rotate 180 degrees, his forearms spin 180 degrees, and then it's just a matter of using the hinges in his shoulders and biceps to line his arms up.  His hips move forward 90 degrees, his lower legs spin 180 degrees at the ball joint, then they bend forward the wrong way and tab together.  Spin his helmet dome 90 degrees so the white triangles are in front and behind his head instead of along the sides.

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The minimal transformation is semi-accurate.  His legs should really scrunch up more, but yeah the molded round detail at his ankles are supposed to be the wheels.  Likewise, the front wheels really do just kind of jut out from his shoulders, although they should have some sort of fenders.  I think his arms are supposed to wind up along the sides.  But the animation, and the figure that came with MP-21, seem to do a better job making the end result look cohesive.  Spike here looks like he's just lying down with his arms busted behind his back.

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Officially, his hands are pointing forward in vehicle mode, and the blast effects plug on like boosters.  Which, I guess, was at least screen accurate for Daniel.  You can swing his arms back around and have them pointed forward, like guns blasting, though.  I'm almost thinking that actually looks better, as it kind of makes his hands slightly less visible and doesn't expose the mushroom peg on the outside.

So... here's the thing... are you just collecting the mainline?  Do you need a Spike figure, preferably with better articulation than the Daniel slug that came with Slag?

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Studio Series Spike will get you that, for around $12.

But, are you an MP collector?  Do you already have the version 1 MP Bumblebee that came with Daniel?  I don't, but if you do that Daniel figure looks better in both modes, I think, and is only slightly larger in bot mode (it actually seems smaller in alt mode).  Aside from the fact that its head is rounder, as it's meant to be Daniel, you're better off re-using that with your Studio Series figs.  DNA Design is also coming out with an upgrade kit for Studio Series Slag that will include an Exo-Suited Daniel figure that could be another viable alternative, assuming you were in for the kit anyway.

Long story short, I think it's a tough call between Spike or Hot Rod as the worst overall Core-class figure I've looked at.  The articulation isn't great, the accessories aren't great, the hollow back of the head is a real weak move, and the alt mode is trash.  On it's own merits (or lack thereof) I can't really recommend him.  But, if you want an in-scale Exo-Suit Spike to go with your other SS86 figures you don't have a ton of options, and this one is the cheapest.  

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The 4th Wreckers set is Legacy Bulkhead, and he might be the most underwhelming of the collection so far.  His thighs, biceps, hands, and fuel tanks are black now instead of silver/light gray, and his cab and bed cover have some extra brown and black camo spots.  Oh, and he comes with a hammer that looks more like it should go with Prime Breakdown.  I do kind of want the hammer, but not enough to pay $35 for another Bulkhead over it.  It's too bad they couldn't have given him a new head and passed him off as another character... Bayverse Hound, General Optimus Prime, anyone but another figure I just bought in a barely-different deco.

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