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4 hours ago, sh9000 said:

I like the new Ironhide.

Me too.  I think the robot mode looks a lot more accurate.  The improvements to the van mode are a bit more subtle (aside from the rear with the stock feet being utterly wretched on the stock Earthrise version), but they're there, and the fact that there's no partsforming shield is a huge deal.  I fully intend to get Ironhide and the inevitable Ratchet (dunno if I'd buy the Diaclone black version* again, but possibly the e-Hobby green Ratchet).  That said, due to a higher parts count SS86 Ironhide will be a Voyager.  I get that not everyone's going to want to spend Voyager money to replace an Ironhide figure they already own, especially if they bought upgrades for it.

Anyway... while the Target-exclusives seem plentiful enough (Creatures Collide is sold out at my Target, but they had a whole peg full of Red Cogs, a whole peg of Terrorsaurs, and a stack at least six deep of Buzzworthy Grimlock), Walmart's new Velocitron Speedia 500 line has been something of a crap show, with the two Deluxes that seemed to have the highest demand shortpacked, causing them to quickly sell out of preorders online and for Walmart to flat out remove the online listing for Cosmos.  Indeed, I've yet to secure a Cosmos for myself (but I have a deal in the works and hope to have him soonish).  Likewise, no sign of Scourge of the Voyagers.  I did manage to get all the other Deluxes, though, so let's take a quick look.

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Burn Out is the figure it seems you're most likely to find on the shelf, as Skids himself seems to be peg warming a bit.  Well... Burn Out at least has a new head, one we're almost certain to see again on Crosscut (and possibly Reboost, if Hasbro milks this mold hard enough).  Otherwise, Burn Out is 100% Skids again just in black instead of blue.  Which is fine!  Burn Out is based on one of the Diaclone colors available for the Honda City mold, a figure that was more or less Skids but black.

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Fun fact, though... while other Diaclone repaints like Exhaust got cool backstories in the MP line Burn Out's introduction in Transformers fiction came from a very convoluted, multiverse-spanning Botcon story.  I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say that the comics establish Burn Out as a mecha with a female AI based on her human pilot, Dia.  Dia's partner, Cline, (see what they did there?) piloted his own mecha with the AI called Lift Ticket, so if you picked up Gen Selects Lift Ticket earlier congratulations, you've completed the set!  I like the Diaclone repaints anyway, so if you're in that boat then sure, go for Burn Out.

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On the subject of female Transformers, while the original G2 toy established Road Rocket as a male the only change in tooling from Legacy Arcee is the head.  During Road Rocket's unveiling on a Habsro livestream the team consistently referred to Road Rocket with female pronouns, and designer Mark Maher credits Takara employee Hisashi Yuki for reimagining Road Rocket as a "female ninja."  So I guess Road Rocket's a girl now?

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From the first time I saw Arcee's front wheel split open as a "weapon" that stored on her back I kind of expected she'd be retooled as Road Rocket.  While I tend to keep Arcee's backpack with the wheel turned and pointed down, mostly like Prime Arcee did, turning it 180 degrees allows you to mount the splayed wheels behind Road Rocket's head in a way that's very reminiscent of the original G2 toy's wheels hanging off the shoulders.  I'd almost think this mold was designed as Road Rocket first, with Arcee coming later as a more marketable retool.

Regardless, Road Rocket's got the same translucent disc/blades, only with a lighter blue plastic and a shuriken painted on.  I still think it's a pretty lame accessory, but the shuriken (which was molded into Arcee's, again suggesting that Road Rocket was planned first) at least fits the ninja motif, and it's so far removed from the G2 toy's flip-out saw blade.

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The bike mode is still... I dunno.  My first thought was to suggest that it's more Arcee than G2 Road Rocket, but I guess it never struck me as very Arcee-ish, either.  

Truthfully, I very nearly passed on Road Rocket.  I like Arcee's mold enough, but I was planning on getting the much slicker Flame War repaint and figured that's enough for me.  But Since I saw Road Rocket in the store I went for it, and I'm glad I did.  Ultimately, I think I actually prefer Road Rocket to Arcee.

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Another one I didn't bother to preorder but bought because he was actually in stock at my Walmart is Blurr.  In addition to new colors, Blurr has a new head, new shoulders, a new backpack, a new pelvis, and new bits on the backs of his arms.  The rest of him and both of his accessories (I forgot to include the blow torch) are from the Studio Series toy.  The idea is to make a Blurr that looks more like the IDW version, which is sort of an odd decision.  I mean, most of the Velocitron line seems to be based on the IDW v2 miniseries Wreckers: Tread and Circuits where a team of Wreckers (but basically none previously established as Wreckers in Marvel or IDW v1) gets involved in the Speedia 500 on Velocitron, to the extent that Road Rocket appeared in this body before Legacy Arcee was even revealed...  but Blurr did not appear in this series.  In fact, aside from a mention as a previous Speedia winner, Blurr doesn't appear in IDW v2 at all, and his design is actually based on his IDW v1 appearance.  And by based, I mean the colors are fairly accurate, the new head and pelvis are definitely IDW, but the retooled shoulders are still missing a lot of the details and all the stuff that wasn't remolded is more G1 Blurr than IDW Blurr.

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That half-IDW, half-G1 design is somewhat more jarring in alt mode.  It's supposed to look like this:

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And, sure, it's got the shorter nose and wheels in the front, but that's kind of it.  It's missing the fins, it's missing the big engines.  I supposed you could leave the seat folded down, but the cockpit is still pretty different.  And that's because what we're really looking at is G1 Blur with a new nose and wheels, wheels that don't even touch the ground.  The mix of aesthetics just don't work.

And yet... while I'm hoping an enterprising third party might make some addons, like the big engines, and I do think the alt mode looks a but dumb, I actually kind of like the robot mode better than the Studio Series one.  The new head just has so much more personality.  Still, unless you're an IDW fan, this is one you can probably pass on.

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Last but not least, we have Clampdown.  Aside from the fact that he, like Cosmos, is shortpacked, I'm not sure why the demand is so high that he also sold out (all the others were still available on Pulse last I checked).  And unlike the other three, whom I did find at my local Walmart, I only got Clampdown because I'd managed to get a preorder on Pulse.

Clampdown is a straight repaint of the Walgreens-exclusive Earth-mode Red Alert, no mold changes.  And about that redeco... I have some questions.  Like, I have him here with a custom Siege Clampdown I made from a spare Siege Red Alert, and I based my choices (silver forearms, red biceps, red thighs, silver feet) on MP Clampdown.  Which was, in turn, based on a Diaclone deco (and later e-Hobby release).  So it's a bit jarring to see white hands, black feet, and off-white forearms, biceps, and thighs on Velocitron Clampdown.  Apparently the Hasbro design team decided to make these changes to make him more visually distinct from Walgreen's Red Alert... but the only reason why Walgreen's Red Alert had red thighs and forearms was because Hasbro used the toy deco on him (save for the gray shins, go figure).  If Hasbro had used the cartoon deco then Red Alert could have had more white and Clampdown would have appeared more distinct by having the correct red.  Sigh.  I know it'll involve popping a rivet at the knee joint, but a part of me really wants to disassemble Red Alert and Clampdown so I can swap their thighs.

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Fortunately, the alt mode looks good.  I expect it'll look really nice with Cordon, actually.  There's the small matter of the missing spoiler, sure, but I've already ordered spoiler parts, as well as a new rifle and shoulder launcher, from Nonnef.  And yeah, questionable colors aside, go for Clampdown, he's the last of the Diaclone Sideswipes to get an official release (although if Hasbro would like to do an Earth mode Tigertrack and Deep Cover I won't say no).

 

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I'm down for SS86 Ironhide and the eventual Ratchet. I dig the engineering, the much-improved alt mode, and the all-inclusive transformation. I don't dig the huge protruding hinges (double hinges would've been an improvement), the mismatched color blocking between red plastic and red painted translucent plastic, the overuse of silver around the bumper (part of the front is supposed to be red), the crappy hands and single piece loin-plate (C'mon, Hasbro, what gives?- voyager budget and still these shortcuts?), the omission of his back cannon (although there's really nowhere to plug it in if it did come with), his somewhat lackluster articulation, and the lack of his yellow stripe. Having seen what they're able to do with a voyager budget for other deluxe figs, the bar was a bit higher. This had the potential to be a knockout fig. I guess the cost of plastic, and perhaps molds, is still nigh prohibitively expensive. There does seem to be a high number of moving parts/pin hinges, so I guess that's where the majority of the budget went. I wish they could've painted the entire fig so the red was uniform. I may just have to do that myself, as well as give him his yellow stripe.

Swung by Wally today and saw Velocitrons Burn Out, Road Rocket, and Blurr. Of course, no Cosmos or Clampdown, the two I'm interested in.  Not sure what Hasbro was thinking when they short-packed Cosmos- he's going to be scalper-bait from here on out unless Hasbro rectifies the situation. Grrrr!!!!

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@mikeszekely I haven’t collected transformers in years and years but I come here just to see your reviews and look at your excellent pictures.  It keeps me in touch with a hobby I can no longer afford and a part of my life that is in the past but still holds a lot of positive feelings for me.  Thanks for all the work you put in.  

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1 hour ago, hutch said:

@mikeszekely I haven’t collected transformers in years and years but I come here just to see your reviews and look at your excellent pictures.  It keeps me in touch with a hobby I can no longer afford and a part of my life that is in the past but still holds a lot of positive feelings for me.  Thanks for all the work you put in.  

You should buy yourself some plastic crack every now and again. I promise, it's not addictive. 😈 Mwaahahahahahahaha!

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10 hours ago, hutch said:

@mikeszekely I haven’t collected transformers in years and years but I come here just to see your reviews and look at your excellent pictures.  It keeps me in touch with a hobby I can no longer afford and a part of my life that is in the past but still holds a lot of positive feelings for me.  Thanks for all the work you put in.  

Thanks so much, I really appreciate it!  If Hasbro could get more of the second wave of Legacy out than just Jhiaxus I'd have more content coming soon.

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I got my release of SS86 Sludge, yeah those toes really sit to low which is a bummer, all because the gun sits in his belly. So maybe I'll get those foot upgrades at some point.

Also not a fan of how his back wings just pop up so dang easily....sort of drives me nuts.

I did come across those Velicitron figures from Walmart this morning and I just couldn't get the urge to pick up any of them, I really just want Cosmos and Goldbug, that's namely it. 

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26 minutes ago, Hikuro said:

and I just couldn't get the urge to pick up any of them, I really just want Cosmos and Goldbug, that's namely it. 

Goldbug is at Target, not Walmart, and part of a 4-pack with other dudes you don't want. I actually had to buy a second 4-pack as part of a trade to get Cosmos, hopefully by the end of the week.😩

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6 minutes ago, sh9000 said:

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Sweet.

Something about these spilt cars look super weird. Maybe they don’t sit close enough to the arms.

Also the sculpting on Menasor‘s elbows looks like the thighs and waists of a Combiner Wars combiner.

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56 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

Takara Tomy OPTIMUS PRIME R5

I know they probably wanted Optimus because he (along with Bumblebee) is really the most well-known Transformer, but if they really wanted to appeal to Transformer fans they'd have made that Reflector.

30 minutes ago, sh9000 said:

Sweet.

I need the rest of the Stunticons like yesterday.  The Voyagers, the Commander, and the Titan are out, where's my Deluxes at?

24 minutes ago, Scyla said:

Something about these spilt cars look super weird. Maybe they don’t sit close enough to the arms.

I don't think it's as bad on the Dragstrip side because he's thinner, but yeah, I see what you mean.  Like a little more of Dead End should cover the elbow.

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54 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

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If the camera lens is a removable piece...

55 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

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...why the hell do they keep it on his chest in robot mode? 🤨

It might have a halfway-decent chance of looking like a humanoid robot, but there's no way to tell from these so-called promotional pics. 🙄

Either way, if it's not a functioning DSLR camera, the whole design is pointless. 😑

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I like gadget-formers, but that Canon-bot just ain't doing it for me. That said, I think the Reflektor repaint works better than the Prime, but honestly, Reflektor is a traditional character whose camera mode is comprised of three bots, and I think this would have been better served as its own unique character. I get why- recognition sells. But, if all Hasbro ever did throughout TF history was rename every single new character after an existing character, it'd be a much smaller universe. Anyway, it's another left-field Transformer toy, like the tennis shoe and the baseball hat figs, and to me it looks like a camera with arms and legs tacked on Mr. Potatohead-style. I know it transforms, and I want to like it, but it looks wonky to me. 

Alas, if you like it, and you can get your hands on a copy, then that's fantastic. I hope it proves a fun and unique addition to your collection.

 

What the heck is up with his feet? Not a bad looking fig otherwise. His car mode looks great. I wish Aerialbots fared so well.😢

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3 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I like gadget-formers, but that Canon-bot just ain't doing it for me. That said, I think the Reflektor repaint works better than the Prime, but honestly, Reflektor is a traditional character whose camera mode is comprised of three bots, and I think this would have been better served as its own unique character. I get why- recognition sells. But, if all Hasbro ever did throughout TF history was rename every single new character after an existing character, it'd be a much smaller universe. Anyway, it's another left-field Transformer toy, like the tennis shoe and the baseball hat figs, and to me it looks like a camera with arms and legs tacked on Mr. Potatohead-style. I know it transforms, and I want to like it, but it looks wonky to me. 

Alas, if you like it, and you can get your hands on a copy, then that's fantastic. I hope it proves a fun and unique addition to your collection.

 

What the heck is up with his feet? Not a bad looking fig otherwise. His car mode looks great. I wish Aerialbots fared so well.😢

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Well with a name like Deadend, did we really expect him to go anywhere? Here's hoping some 3P gives us some decent Slippers for him, that way he can easily shed them for Alt and Combined modes.

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11 hours ago, no3Ljm said:

Hey @mikeszekely. Here's REFRAKTOR R5 with Mini-Refraktor Camera. ;)

Much better!  I mean, I'm still probably not getting it (If it was like $70-$80 maybe I would for the novelty, but the preorders I've seen are closer to $170), but at least that looks like someone took the camera guy and gave him a modern, realistic alt mode instead of Canon's marketing department saying, "let's make our new camera Optimus Prime!"

3 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

What the heck is up with his feet? Not a bad looking fig otherwise. His car mode looks great. I wish Aerialbots fared so well.😢

The problem with Dead End is that instead of getting a whole new mold he's actually a retool of Dragstrip (which, in hindsight, explains why you have to turn Dragstrip's waist 180 degrees and use the bottom of the car as the front of his legs).  Dead End has a lot less spoiler to stand on, eh?

Worse for me, this doesn't bode well for Breakdown (my favorite Stunticon).  He's likely to be a retool of Wildrider, and I'm guessing that means another kibble cape.

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

The problem with Dead End is that instead of getting a whole new mold he's actually a retool of Dragstrip (which, in hindsight, explains why you have to turn Dragstrip's waist 180 degrees and use the bottom of the car as the front of his legs).  Dead End has a lot less spoiler to stand on, eh?

Worse for me, this doesn't bode well for Breakdown (my favorite Stunticon).  He's likely to be a retool of Wildrider, and I'm guessing that means another kibble cape.

I didn't even pick up on the retool aspect. So far, Dragstrip is turning out to be the best of the Stunticons, followed by Motormaster (who's due on my doorstep today). I intend to keep Wildrider's hood together when I get my copy. I don't understand why they bothered making it expand; it's not faithful to the original toy or toon, but just a 'feature' they added for no good reason that does little for the fig, IMHO. As you say, breakdown will likely be another retool, but hopefully without the pointless expanding hood.

I wish we'd hear something from Hasbro addressing the egregious and short-sighted shortage of Cosmos figs. Out of all the Velocitrons, they had to know that Cosmos was undoubtedly going to be the most highly desired fig in an assortment of otherwise repaints, as would any update of a G1 minibot be. I hope they don't rinse and repeat if they ever decide to finally give Gears, Brawn, and Windcharger their own deluxe updates. I don't see how they benefit from the rabid exorbitant scalping on the secondary market, so I'm going to give Hasbro the benefit of the doubt and call it myopic oversight. If the former, it's downright evil. Either way, it blows for us fans who just want the damned toy for our collections without sacrificing organs. I really feel for the kids, and parents of those kids, trying to find these things in stores; the adult collecting market has made buying toys a nightmare for us in the know of all the various avenues to procure them. Most parents, grandparents, etc are not that invested or knowledgeable, and it has to be heartbreaking for them when they can't find this or that fig for their kids. It shouldn't be this hard to find retail toys in stores, but this is our reality. Greedy people suck.

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3 hours ago, Wolf-1 said:

Well with a name like Deadend, did we really expect him to go anywhere? Here's hoping some 3P gives us some decent Slippers for him, that way he can easily shed them for Alt and Combined modes.

Meh, I'm not really down with parts-forming. I say that, but I just got the upgrade kit for The Ark that fills in his sides. Alas, I prove my own hypocrisy. Anyway, I'll take Deadend as-is and just grumble about the terrible feet design. 😊  I think the rest of him looks decent though, and his car mode is pretty spot-on.

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1 hour ago, sh9000 said:

If I had to choose between Wildrider or Dead End to use as a retool to make Breakdown I think I'd prefer Dead End.

Yeah, but since Dead End is engineered to be an arm bot, with all the corresponding pegs and tab for body separation that Wildrider likely doesn't share, Wildrider will be the obvious retool/repaint. I'm not sure if they made these guys all swappable as limbs, since they just tab on to a frame- seems like something they'd normally do, but in the interest of serving the toon faithfully, I'm not certain.

Got my Motormaster today, and in his combined mode, he's a beastly fig, although 2/3 of his huge commander class box was just air due to the cardboard filler.  For space-saving purposes, I wish they'd just tailor the box to fit the fig, regardless of the size class. Anyway, he's a pretty satisfying take on the character, and while I'd prefer the limb-bots actually formed the limbs, knowing the concessions of that design direction from Combiner Wars, and in the interest of producing a sturdier combiner, this works well. Dragstrip is the only other Stunticon I own so far, and the tab-on separation gimmick when he attaches to the arm works really well (and it's pretty satisfying in its own right). Compared to his ungainly and stooped CW counterpart, the stability, joint strength, and posture of Legacy Menasor is far superior. Very solid- no movement of the joints, even with his arm extended with Dragstrip attached, gun in hand, and a bit of light shaking. Definitely an improvement. Looks great and rather imposing, as a Decepticon of his stature should. As is the case with combiners, now I'm anticipating with greater zeal the eventual arrival of the other three limb-bots.

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11 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I like gadget-formers, but that Canon-bot just ain't doing it for me. That said, I think the Reflektor repaint works better than the Prime, but honestly, Reflektor is a traditional character whose camera mode is comprised of three bots, and I think this would have been better served as its own unique character.

Like Spy Shot 6?

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So... it took some finagling, but thanks to a deal I was able to work out with another board member at TFW2005 I finally have the last of the Walmart-exclusive Velocitron Speedia 500 Deluxes... Cosmos!

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So, I thought the old Thrilling 30/Combiner Wars Legends-class was pretty good for the time, especially when IDW started using the design for Cosmos in their comic books.  But there's something to be said for the G1 cartoon's original fatboy, and Velocitron Cosmos brings it.  He's got the squinty little eyes, the big arms with the circular details on the elbows, the guns/pipes on his wrists, they managed to shrink his feet down, and he's even got the cartoon's weird pelvis and massive side skirts.

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My complaints are fairly minimal.  He's got some hollow bits on the insides of his arms and the backs of his calves.  He's sporting a bit of a backpack.  I'd have preferred if all the green on him was uniformly the darker green (which seems to be paint on the lighter green plastic).  The silver on his chest should actually be yellow, I think.  Oh, and speaking of his chest, to truly match the cartoon he should honestly be a bit wider.  But none of those complaints are huge ones.

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As far as accessories go, he's got this checkered flag and a pole.  I guess everyone else is racing in the Speedia 500, but Cosmos is a track employee.  The flag seems to be molded in the same color plastic as the pile, if the paint chip is anything to go off of, with the entire thing being painted.

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Cosmos' head is actually on a ball joint with enough of an indent around it to actually have some decent up/down/sideways tilt in addition to swiveling.  His shoulders rotate and can move 90 degrees laterally- the right shoulder on my copy is pretty loose.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  No wrist swivels.  His waist swivels, though.  His hips can go 90 degrees forward, backward, and laterally.  His thighs swivel, and his knees can bend 90 degrees.  No up or down tilt on his feet, but he does have just under 45 degrees of ankle pivot.

The flag uses a peg to plug into a hole on the pole, then the pole can be inserted into either of Comsos' fists.  There's also a peg on the pole, and you can use it to store the flag on a 5mm port on his back.  He's also got 5mm ports on either arm near his elbow, on the outside of either leg just above his feet, and on the bottom of each foot.

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Oh, one more thing about that flag pole... ditch the flag, and use the peg as a handle and the end of the pole as a barrel... and it's actually a gun.  It's not a can of robotic insecticide, but I'm glad he's got a better weapon than a flag.20220810_202046.jpg.c2a8935ad042b216be873b2904ffb0ec.jpg

Cosmos' transformation isn't actually super complex, but there is some interesting stuff going on with the shoulders and backpack that makes him a bit more interesting than you might expect.  Like, the little nubs at the front of the saucer?  Those are his heels, not his shoulders.  His shoulders are, in fact, where the exhaust pipes are sticking out the back.  And unlike the G1 toy or even the T30/CW toy, his head doesn't collapse into his torso.  Instead, the entire top of the saucer is on a hinge, and the entire thing spins 180 degrees, folding his real head into his torso and exposing a fake top-of-the-head on the other side.

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Aesthetically, again, my complaints are pretty minimal.  There's a big silver panel on the front of the saucer (cartoon-accurate), but no Autobot insignia on it (even though the line art of him in the instructions has it).  There's molded lines where the yellow of his legs showed on the G1 toy (and was colored as such on the Sunbow model), but no yellow paint.  Maybe Toyhax will have me covered there.  The top of the saucer is a bit tall, but that's likely a concession to the already-smallish torso.  All-in-all, I do dig it.

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When it comes to accessory storage, you do have options, and they kind of depend on what you think the accessory is.  Is it a gun?  You can use the peg holes on either side to arm up his UFO mode.  Is it a flag?  Plug it into the hole on the back and Cosmos can tote it to his next race.

Cosmos, like Cliffjumper, Bumblebee, Warpath, and Huffer, shows how great the minibots can be with a Deluxe-class budget... here's hoping they can do the same for Gears, Brawn, Windcharger, Seaspray, and Powerglide.  Heck, maybe even Beachcomber, too.  And yeah, I 100% recommend him... if you can find him.  And therein lies my biggest complaint with Cosmos, a complaint that has nothing to do with the figure or the work the designers did on it, and everything to do with the series of poor decisions Hasbro's made surrounding his release.  Like, why is Cosmos not in the main Legacy line?  I understand that they only have so many slots in the main line, and that store-exclusives can become an avenue for releasing a figure that might not have made the cut for the main line, sure.  But consider the figures that are taking up slots in the main line.  Wave 3 of Legacy includes Skullgrin, Point Blank, and Crankcase.  Now, I don't hate any of those reveals- as an IDW fan, Crankcase gets to pal around with Siege Spinister, Siege Skytread/Flywheels, Titans Return Krok, and TR Misfire as one of the Scavengers.  But how many Transformers fans wouldn't happily trade one of those guys for Cosmos?  For that matter, Prime Universe Knockout is in the second wave of Legacy.  He, like all the other Velocitron Deluxes, is a retooled figure (from Studio Series 86 Jazz).  What's more, there's the recently-concluded IDW miniseries Wreckers: Tread and Circuits, a story where the Speedia 500 is a central element to the plot.  Road Rocket, Burn Out, Clampdown, Override, and Hauler all appear in it.  While Blurr doesn't, he is mentioned as a previous winner.  Knockout isn't just in it, he's one of the characters central to the plot.  But you know who's not in it?  Cosmos.  It would have made 100% more sense to put Knock Out in the Velocitron line and Cosmos in Legacy.  But, if that wasn't enough of a screw up, the Deluxe case assortment for Velcitron is 2x Blurr, 2x Road Rocket, 2x Burn Out, 1x Clampdown, and 1x Cosmos.  So not only did Hasbro give a slot that could have been Cosmos' in Legacy to a Jazz retool of a non-G1 character and put the totally new mold of a G1 cartoon character in a store-exclusive line at a store known for screwing up its exclusives, they shortpacked him on top of that.

TLDR- Cosmos is good, you should buy him, someone at Hasbro should be fired.

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

So... it took some finagling, but thanks to a deal I was able to work out with another board member at TFW2005 I finally have the last of the Walmart-exclusive Velocitron Speedia 500 Deluxes... Cosmos!

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So, I thought the old Thrilling 30/Combiner Wars Legends-class was pretty good for the time, especially when IDW started using the design for Cosmos in their comic books.  But there's something to be said for the G1 cartoon's original fatboy, and Velocitron Cosmos brings it.  He's got the squinty little eyes, the big arms with the circular details on the elbows, the guns/pipes on his wrists, they managed to shrink his feet down, and he's even got the cartoon's weird pelvis and massive side skirts.

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My complaints are fairly minimal.  He's got some hollow bits on the insides of his arms and the backs of his calves.  He's sporting a bit of a backpack.  I'd have preferred if all the green on him was uniformly the darker green (which seems to be paint on the lighter green plastic).  The silver on his chest should actually be yellow, I think.  Oh, and speaking of his chest, to truly match the cartoon he should honestly be a bit wider.  But none of those complaints are huge ones.

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As far as accessories go, he's got this checkered flag and a pole.  I guess everyone else is racing in the Speedia 500, but Cosmos is a track employee.  The flag seems to be molded in the same color plastic as the pile, if the paint chip is anything to go off of, with the entire thing being painted.

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Cosmos' head is actually on a ball joint with enough of an indent around it to actually have some decent up/down/sideways tilt in addition to swiveling.  His shoulders rotate and can move 90 degrees laterally- the right shoulder on my copy is pretty loose.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  No wrist swivels.  His waist swivels, though.  His hips can go 90 degrees forward, backward, and laterally.  His thighs swivel, and his knees can bend 90 degrees.  No up or down tilt on his feet, but he does have just under 45 degrees of ankle pivot.

The flag uses a peg to plug into a hole on the pole, then the pole can be inserted into either of Comsos' fists.  There's also a peg on the pole, and you can use it to store the flag on a 5mm port on his back.  He's also got 5mm ports on either arm near his elbow, on the outside of either leg just above his feet, and on the bottom of each foot.

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Oh, one more thing about that flag pole... ditch the flag, and use the peg as a handle and the end of the pole as a barrel... and it's actually a gun.  It's not a can of robotic insecticide, but I'm glad he's got a better weapon than a flag.20220810_202046.jpg.c2a8935ad042b216be873b2904ffb0ec.jpg

Cosmos' transformation isn't actually super complex, but there is some interesting stuff going on with the shoulders and backpack that makes him a bit more interesting than you might expect.  Like, the little nubs at the front of the saucer?  Those are his heels, not his shoulders.  His shoulders are, in fact, where the exhaust pipes are sticking out the back.  And unlike the G1 toy or even the T30/CW toy, his head doesn't collapse into his torso.  Instead, the entire top of the saucer is on a hinge, and the entire thing spins 180 degrees, folding his real head into his torso and exposing a fake top-of-the-head on the other side.

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Aesthetically, again, my complaints are pretty minimal.  There's a big silver panel on the front of the saucer (cartoon-accurate), but no Autobot insignia on it (even though the line art of him in the instructions has it).  There's molded lines where the yellow of his legs showed on the G1 toy (and was colored as such on the Sunbow model), but no yellow paint.  Maybe Toyhax will have me covered there.  The top of the saucer is a bit tall, but that's likely a concession to the already-smallish torso.  All-in-all, I do dig it.

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When it comes to accessory storage, you do have options, and they kind of depend on what you think the accessory is.  Is it a gun?  You can use the peg holes on either side to arm up his UFO mode.  Is it a flag?  Plug it into the hole on the back and Cosmos can tote it to his next race.

Cosmos, like Cliffjumper, Bumblebee, Warpath, and Huffer, shows how great the minibots can be with a Deluxe-class budget... here's hoping they can do the same for Gears, Brawn, Windcharger, Seaspray, and Powerglide.  Heck, maybe even Beachcomber, too.  And yeah, I 100% recommend him... if you can find him.  And therein lies my biggest complaint with Cosmos, a complaint that has nothing to do with the figure or the work the designers did on it, and everything to do with the series of poor decisions Hasbro's made surrounding his release.  Like, why is Cosmos not in the main Legacy line?  I understand that they only have so many slots in the main line, and that store-exclusives can become an avenue for releasing a figure that might not have made the cut for the main line, sure.  But consider the figures that are taking up slots in the main line.  Wave 3 of Legacy includes Skullgrin, Point Blank, and Crankcase.  Now, I don't hate any of those reveals- as an IDW fan, Crankcase gets to pal around with Siege Spinister, Siege Skytread/Flywheels, Titans Return Krok, and TR Misfire as one of the Scavengers.  But how many Transformers fans wouldn't happily trade one of those guys for Cosmos?  For that matter, Prime Universe Knockout is in the second wave of Legacy.  He, like all the other Velocitron Deluxes, is a retooled figure (from Studio Series 86 Jazz).  What's more, there's the recently-concluded IDW miniseries Wreckers: Tread and Circuits, a story where the Speedia 500 is a central element to the plot.  Road Rocket, Burn Out, Clampdown, Override, and Hauler all appear in it.  While Blurr doesn't, he is mentioned as a previous winner.  Knockout isn't just in it, he's one of the characters central to the plot.  But you know who's not in it?  Cosmos.  It would have made 100% more sense to put Knock Out in the Velocitron line and Cosmos in Legacy.  But, if that wasn't enough of a screw up, the Deluxe case assortment for Velcitron is 2x Blurr, 2x Road Rocket, 2x Burn Out, 1x Clampdown, and 1x Cosmos.  So not only did Hasbro give a slot that could have been Cosmos' in Legacy to a Jazz retool of a non-G1 character and put the totally new mold of a G1 cartoon character in a store-exclusive line at a store known for screwing up its exclusives, they shortpacked him on top of that.

TLDR- Cosmos is good, you should buy him, someone at Hasbro should be fired.

Good review and commentary, Mike. Agree heartily with both. They did a great job with Cosmos, nitpicks aside. Unfortunately, most of us fans are left enjoying him vicariously for want of stock at Wally & Pulse. Very poor marketing decision for all the reasons you enumerated.

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I can't imagine that the stream will have anything big at this point.  They'll probably show Studio Series Wheelie and Ironhide, talk about the upcoming Pulsecon, rehash the stuff from SDCC, and maybe open preorders for the third wave of Legacy (that was already shown at SDCC).  Ironhide might go up for preorder, but expect Wheelie to just be available for sale.

Anyway... I said I wasn't going to do it.  But I had some Amazon credit, and I'm high on all the other plastic crack I've been getting lately, so I did it.  I bought Legacy Titan-class Metroplex.

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Metroplex is a big boy, but (and I realize that my pictures are NOT making this clear) he is shorter than the original Titan, Thrilling 30 Metroplex.  Now, I should probably preface this with a disclosure- I have zero attachment to this character.  Cybertron is one of only a handful of Transformers shows I never finished (the others being Victory, Rescue Bots, and the 2015 version of Robots in Disguise).  I vaguely recall the plot had something to do with Autobots from Cybertron running around different planets looking for keys- I managed to get up to them going to Velocitron, but that's about it.  Apparently later they go to a planet called Gigantion, where the Transformers were all huge (despite most of the toys from that arc being mini-cons).  Metroplex, or Megalo Convoy in the Japanese version, was the leader of Gigantion.

Like I said, I'm not super familiar with this character, but I do know that the CGI models in Cybertron were pretty faithful to their toys, and that this toy sports some changes from the original.  His face is a little longer and has some of the extra linework Hasbro put on stuff like Scorponok and the Ark.  He seems to have less blue on him, although I can't tell if that's because the original toy used a brighter blue than this one for some parts, or if it's because some of the bits that were separate blue parts on the original toy are just paint on molded details here.  There's some extra silver on his forearms.  I think he has a little bit more of a backpack.  Mostly, though, I think the biggest difference is that they changed his proportions.  While he's still kind of skinny, he doesn't have the weirdly stretched look of the original toy.

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Metroplex comes with two accessories, although they really combine to make one weapon.  Compared to some recent Titans like the Ark, which had no weapons, or Scorponok, who just had his shield, I guess it's nice to see an actual weapon, and I know that one this size probably ate into Metroplex's budget.  Still, T30 Metroplex had Legends Scamper, Trypticon had Deluxe Full-Tilt, Fort Max, Scorponok, and the Ark had big Deluxe/small voyagers in the form of Cerebros, Zarak, and Mainframe, and even Omega Supreme came with Micromaster Countdown.  It feels a bit cheap that Legacy Metroplex, then, doesn't come with Drill Bit, the mini-con the original toy came with, or a Cyber Planet Key.

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Metroplex has pretty good articulation.  His head multiple hinges so he can look down and up more than you might expect, although there's no sideways tilt.  His mouth can even open.  His shoulder rotate on strong ratchets, and move laterally over 90 degrees, also on ratchets.  He's got ratcheted bicep swivels, ratcheted elbows that bend 90 degrees, and a second ratcheted swivel below his elbow (although that's really for transformation).  His wrists swivel.  His thumbs are on hinges that fold them over the palm, and his fingers are hinged at the base, but he's got no additional knuckles and his fingers are all molded together.  He's got an ab crunch and a back bend.  His waist has a ratcheted swivel.  His hips can move forward, backward, or laterally 90 degrees, all on ratchets.  His thighs swivels are soft ratchets.  His proper knee joints are ratcheted and bend just over 90 degrees.  There's ratcheted joint above his foot that's mostly for transformation, but you can use it to get some up/down foot tilt.  Also, his toes can tilt down, his heels can tilt up, his feet have a ratcheted swivel, and his ankles can pivot a little under 45 degrees.

The biggest issue I have with his articulation isn't the range, but the variations in the joints themselves.  The shoulder rotation is super stiff, but the ab crunch (that's really used for transformation) is much weaker, so turning his shoulders without holding his torso in place is likely to simply bend him at the ab crunch.  Even if you are holding his torso, transformation hinges in torso may pop loose.  Moving down the figure, the ratchets that move his feet for transformation are looser than the ones in his knees and hips.

The two halves of his weapon have spring clips that clip them together.  One half has a lunchbox-style handle that you just hook around his fingers on one hand.  The other half has a fold out, rotating handle.  That handle has tabs that slot into Metroplex's palms.  Thing is, it's still a pretty heavy weapon and he can have some trouble holding it.

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There's a clip near the spinning blade that plugs into the protruding gray parts on his backpack so Metroplex can carry it on his back.  With his sturdy ratchets and long heels he stands, stable, even with the additional weight on his back.

While I don't think Metroplex has any Armada-style mini-con ports like the original toy, he does have a few 5mm ports.  There's one on the front of either forearm, one on the back of either hand, and three on the front of either foot.  If you close up his backpack like you're going to one of his alt modes, you'll also find his backpack was covering four on his back, plus there are three on either side of his backpack on the side that was against his back.

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Now, I don't know if this was an intentional feature of the original toy (I know it wasn't including in the original Japanese instructions, anyway), but a gimmick that did appear in the cartoon was a "work" mode that was sort a mode halfway between his robot and alt modes.  It's sort of a second, shorter robot mode.  There's quite a bit more departure from the source material on this mode.  While his legs do collapse and his butt winds up on the front like the original, things start to get screwy above the waist.  While the torso did collapse a bit on the original toy, it was still basically spun 180 degrees at the waist and largely the same as his regular robot mode- still has his hands, same robot head, still looking at the side of his shoulders with the Autobot insignias.  For Legacy, part of his chest, his head, and his backpack are all on a part that spins 180 degrees, not his waist, so while his torso does collapse a bit you're still looking at his back side.  This means, should you have his hand showing, they'd be backward, and you're looking at the back side of his shoulders.  And while you're free to use the same face, the instructions actually want you to flip a blue cover from the back of his head over his face, spin the head 180 degrees, and use a different face that's sort of styled like the alt mode cockpit from the original toy.  Oh, and since the hands are backward, you fold them into his forearms and reveal clips like the ones that hold his weapon together.  Split that weapon in half, and plug one part either wrist.

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His head, shoulders, biceps, elbows, waist, hips, thighs, knees, toes, ankles, toes, and heels all have the same articulation as they do in his normal robot mode.  He loses the ab crunch, upward foot tilt, and wrist/hand articulation, but that's about it.  The saw blade that replaces his left hand can spin, but that's about it.  The other "arm" has two ratcheted hinges, plus the digging claw can open and close.  The guns on his shoulders are hinged and can move up and down.  Weirdly, they have a 5mm peg on them.  I think it's probably to prevent the guns from angling down too far; I don't see an easy way to remove them to let another figure wield them.

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Thrilling 30 Metroplex, and I suppose G1 Metroplex before him, is often derided in alt mode for being essentially a robot sitting down.  If that's the case, Legacy Metroplex is a robot doing an awkward yoga pose.

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I didn't realize until just now, but I actually have him slightly mistransformed- I should have two chunks of his back folded over and plugged into the clips on his legs.  But, I think you get the gist... Metroplex turns into... something.  I mean, the front end looks like the bottoms of two bulldozers towing something that's half giant-clawed excavator and half one of those Bagger mining vehicles.  And let me tell you, while driving across the state once I saw some of those Baggers, and they are indeed appropriately huge for a Titan.

But, again, we find some deviations from the source material.  His shoulders are shifted in a way that puts the guns so they're facing out to the sides instead of behind him.  His forearms are turned so his wrists point toward the front, which allows a tab on the corner of his arm to plug into the underside and solidify everything, but on the original they were turned the other way.  If I had the black chunks folded out and tabbed properly that would help lock his legs in place, too, but he'd have those large black chunks there with hollow spaces a Micromaster could sit in... I'm again lamenting the absence of Drill Bit).  The original just had blue bars that folded over.  But I'd say the biggest difference is that his weapon/digger boom is mounted more centrally, where it was back further on the original, and there's no cockpit.  His head is hiding on the back of the vehicle, hunched between his shoulders.

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There are wheels on Metroplex's feet, arms, and butt that allow him to roll in this mode.  As with his "work" mode, the wheel on the ripper turns, and the claw has the ratcheted hinges and the ability to open and close.  The entire boom can swivel side-to-side a bit, but his shoulders block the ripper and limit the amount of rotation you can get without pulling him apart, turning the boom, and reassembling him.

The trick with Metroplex is that I don't want to judge him unfairly.  I mean, I'm an admitted geewunner with no real attachment to Cybertron, so my gut reaction is to resent that it's this Metroplex, and not a replacement for the nearly decade-old Thrilling 30 Titan that has better foot articulation and a stronger G1 likeness.  That said, I have to acknowledge that Hasbro's been catering to geewunners like me pretty hard for nearly two decades... the nearly two decades it's been since Cybertron had it's original TV run.  Kids who grew up watching the Unicron Trilogy are around the same age now as I was when Classics launched, and those fans want their hits of nostalgia, too.  While it's fair for a geewunner to say, "this isn't for me," I don't think it's fair to say that Hasbro should only cater to geewunners.  UT fans deserve their moment in the sun, too.  Now, does Legacy Metroplex hit that mark for them?  I don't think I'm qualified to say.

What I can say, though, is that despite the price hike on Metroplex over previous Titans (and I'm talking just over last year's Ark, nevermind that this Metroplex has an MSRP that's double Thrilling 30 Metroplex's), this Metroplex feels like you're getting less stuff.  That is, even if Metroplex cost the same as the Ark I'd feel like I was getting less for my money than I did with the Ark.  Now, I'm not here to say whether or not that's justified- I mean, there was already a pandemic disrupting the global supply chain, and now there's the whole situation in Ukraine and all of that's led to the worst inflation since before Transformers were even a thing.  So, despite no real familiarity with the character, I do actually like Metroplex.  His bot mode seems better than the Ark's, and while it's certainly not accurate to any actual real-world vehicle I do sort of dig the Bagger-ish alt mode.  But, between the higher price, the fact that you're getting less previous Titans despite the higher price, and the fact that it's not G1, I think a lot of fans who have been on board since Thrilling 30 Metroplex are probably going to sit this one out.  It makes me curious to see where the Titan-class might go from here, or if Hasbro might even axe the infamously low-margin category all together.

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Got a shipment of G1 minibots.  As of now, I think I'm caught up with the Season 1-2 ones (although some are reissues, like Bumblebee with the cartoon face instead of the original), except for Cliffjumper and Bumper (who are stupid expensive).  After that, I think I'll just need the season 3 repaints (Swerve, Tailgate, Outback, Pipes, and Hubcap).

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15 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Got a shipment of G1 minibots.  As of now, I think I'm caught up with the Season 1-2 ones (although some are reissues, like Bumblebee with the cartoon face instead of the original), except for Cliffjumper and Bumper (who are stupid expensive).  After that, I think I'll just need the season 3 repaints (Swerve, Tailgate, Outback, Pipes, and Hubcap).

I thought some of the latter ones you mentioned were part of the Walmart reissues a few years back. I remember seeing some G1 Mini-bots, but as I don't collect G1 toys except cassettes, I didn't pick any of them up. Anyway, best wishes in your continuing search to complete your collection.

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1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

I thought some of the latter ones you mentioned were part of the Walmart reissues a few years back. I remember seeing some G1 Mini-bots, but as I don't collect G1 toys except cassettes, I didn't pick any of them up. Anyway, best wishes in your continuing search to complete your collection.

Tailgate and Swerve were, yes, and they'll be cheaper adds for it. Outback and Pipes aren't too bad, either. Cliffjumper and Hubcap will be more, Bumper will be stupid expensive.

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11 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Tailgate and Swerve were, yes, and they'll be cheaper adds for it. Outback and Pipes aren't too bad, either. Cliffjumper and Hubcap will be more, Bumper will be stupid expensive.

I wish you every success in tracking them down, and at reasonable prices. 

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So, I nearly had my hands on a copy of Cosmos at my local Wally this morning, but b/c I dallied a bit, I didn't get there right at 6 when they open, but a few minutes after. Those few minutes were enough, apparently, for someone else with the same idea but better execution. I talked with the lady who stocked the Velocitron figs, and she said she'd put two Cosmos out that morning. Both were gone by the time I got there. The good news is I know they're getting them; the bad news is that there's no rhyme or reason when they get stock in, which means I'd have to be on their doorstep at 0600 every morning until I finally snag one, and that's just ludicrous. I did, however, manage to get a copy of Clampdown, so a minor victory. Not the prize I so dearly sought, though.

Not happy at all with Hasbro for creating this BS situation. <_<

At the very least, I hope it was collector(s) like me with a passion for the hobby and not some POS scalper who got those two copies. Alas, the hunt continues.

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