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I'd been expecting M.A.S.K. vehicles with proper robot modes ever since Hasbro acquired Kenner back in the day...

I'm still not sure why that hasn't come to pass.¬†ūü§Ē

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4 hours ago, tekering said:

I'd been expecting M.A.S.K. vehicles with proper robot modes ever since Hasbro acquired Kenner back in the day...

I'm still not sure why that hasn't come to pass.¬†ūü§Ē

Because it's too obvious, likely.

Also, when it does happen, I'd guess they'll be more like the G.I. Joe crossovers- pricey, really accurate alt modes roughly the size of the original toys with seats for packed-in humans with too-large, crappy bot modes.

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19 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

I also want K.I.T.T, but I'd say that the Turtle's Party Wagon would be high on my want list, too.  Maybe the Thundercats' Thundertank, Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine, the Mach 5, or the Gadgetmobile.

Not a Turtles or Gadget fan, but yes for the rest, especially the Mach 5- I didn't even think of that but that would be awesome.

18 hours ago, tekering said:

I'd been expecting M.A.S.K. vehicles with proper robot modes ever since Hasbro acquired Kenner back in the day...

I'm still not sure why that hasn't come to pass.¬†ūü§Ē

Yeah, that'd be awesome, akin to the Omnibots that they continue to ignore.

13 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Because it's too obvious, likely.

Also, when it does happen, I'd guess they'll be more like the G.I. Joe crossovers- pricey, really accurate alt modes roughly the size of the original toys with seats for packed-in humans with too-large, crappy bot modes.

Alas, too true. 

1 hour ago, JB0 said:

I sort of feel like MASK being "the bastard child of GI Joe and Transformers" makes it a harder sell at Hasbro, where they already HAVE GI Joe and Transformers.

Well, too, it was an acquired property by virtue of a rival company buyout, so there may be mixed feelings. Then again, they've had zero qualms with hocking Star Wars stuff ad infinitum, so I'm thinking there's just a general lack of interest on the part of Hasbro. It's a shame b/c M.A.S.K. was a really cool concept and the OG toys were exceptionally cool. Ramen Toys has us covered on that front, so we really don't need Hasbro to do it at this point, but the idea of combining M.A.S.K. and Transformers is one I could totally get behind; however, I fear Mike's all-too close to the truth regarding how such a marriage might end disastrously. I wouldn't mind seeing a third party attempt it, though. If they did, however, I would want them to all be original bots tailored to the alt modes and not wonky attempts to make them into established characters. Hasbro's desire to want to make every tie-in either Prime or Bumblebee (or another well-worn character) is, IMHO, the most limiting factor. I get wanting to have recognition, but for Pete's sake, there's room for new characters, and cutting those ties and allowing the various vehicles' designs and alternative weaponized forms inform the bot modes would be a far more practical approach as well as doing proper justice to the bot modes. And just keep the M.A.S.K. vehicle names for the characters- simple and apropos.

I build transformery things with LEGO, but until this conversation, I'd never given thought to making my own M.A.S.K.¬†-inspired bot. Sounds like an interesting challenge.¬†ūüėČ

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21 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Likewise. I want K.I.T.T. , Airwolf, and Blue Thunder. Maybe a Viper from BSG, or a small shuttle from V. Image result for v shuttle | "V" the Mini Series | Sci fi tv series, Space crafts, Space series

 

19 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

I also want K.I.T.T, but I'd say that the Turtle's Party Wagon would be high on my want list, too.  Maybe the Thundercats' Thundertank, Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine, the Mach 5, or the Gadgetmobile.

I'll take all of these.

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25 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

Well, too, it was an acquired property by virtue of a rival company buyout, so there may be mixed feelings. Then again, they've had zero qualms with hocking Star Wars stuff ad infinitum, so I'm thinking there's just a general lack of interest on the part of Hasbro.

They've floated the idea of doing something with MASK before. Most notably, they released a Matt Trakker figure in GI Joe back in 2008, complete with MASK logo on the package.

I think they keep poking to see if there's enough market interest, then not seeing it. I'm not saying they're right(personally, I didn't know about the Matt Trakker figure at all until a few years later).

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1 hour ago, JB0 said:

They've floated the idea of doing something with MASK before. Most notably, they released a Matt Trakker figure in GI Joe back in 2008, complete with MASK logo on the package.

I think they keep poking to see if there's enough market interest, then not seeing it. I'm not saying they're right(personally, I didn't know about the Matt Trakker figure at all until a few years later).

There was the IDW comic book, too (as well as Rom and Micronauts), when IDW was trying to do a connected universe of Hasbro properties.  Then again, I've heard that the connected Hasbro universe was less about Hasbro pushing IDW to do it and more IDW asking Hasbro if they could do it and Hasbro basically shrugging and saying "whatever, we don't care."

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Speaking of IDW, I'm going to do a quick Repaint Roundup tonight so I don't get swamped later.  And we're starting with the Amazon-exclusive Nova Prime.

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Well, Nova Prime is a retool of Siege Galaxy Upgrade Optimus Prime.  So, we're going to start with the inner core robot.  Frankly, given Nova Prime's appearances in the IDW comics, I doubt that there are too many people that actually care about this mode and you might expect that Nova is a straight repaint of Optimus.  I was surprised, then, to note that there are a few subtle mold changes.  He's got a new grill and some tweaked lats.  It makes sense when you think about it, because that's the part of GU Op that's showing in his super mode.

I should technically note that this figure bears very little resemblance to Don Figueroa's original design, which did indeed include a smaller core mode.  However, the core robot was only seen in sketches, and I'm happy to have another entry in the White Optimus club.

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When GU Optimus was released I remember a ton of people at a certain other message board going on about how GU Optimus would make for a good Nova repaint.  I disagreed, arguing that Nova Prime honestly has very little in common with GU Optimus aside from both having wings.  Now that Hasbro has actually delivered a Nova Prime repaint I'm feeling vindicated.  The new chest is close, but not quite exact, to what we see in the comics, and the remolded grill works pretty good for this mode, but the new lats are no more accurate than GU Optimus' already were.  The new head looks good, and although they're a bit understated the new shoulder pads work pretty well.  Broadly speaking the new wings are kind of right, and kudos to Hasbro that they do have the lights at the shoulders.  They lack articulation, though, and are too short.  As for the rest of him, nothing's remolded in his arms or below his waist.  You can squint and kind of ignore the pipes he has on his arms, because he does at least have one wheel, and the gold fingers look pretty nice even if they should be black.  But his legs are just wrong, as they're made from his cab in the comics and don't look at all like the pretty standard Optimus legs we got.  It's all compounded by the fact that he's got GU Optimus' ladder cannons on his back, which he most definitely did NOT in the comics.

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And that segues nicely into his alt mode, which is almost entirely GU Optimus but white.  Technically the different wings do make the sides slightly different, but the differences are pretty subtle.  Again, I guess it's not entirely fair to say that it's not comic book accurate, since we don't actually see his alt mode in the comics, but we do have Don's design sketches, and yeah, this ain't it.

All of this can be taken as a critique of whether or not this mold was good for this character, but I think we should also step back a bit and ask if this is even a good mold in the first place.  And, y'know, I didn't mind it as a Cybertronian take on Ultra Magnus, but the GU Optimus retool has always been a bit of a cludgy disappointment as Cybertron Optimus/Galaxy Convoy, who probably deserves his own new mold.  And maybe that's the rub... while I'd LOVE for a proper Nova Prime that isn't a retool, I'm guessing that he might not rank that highly for most Transformers collectors.  So maybe pick this figure up as it might be the only official Nova Prime we get, and hope that someone like DNA can do something about the wings and backpack.

Moving on from Amazon's comic exclusives, the final wave of Legacy Evolution is starting to trickle out.  I was pretty critical of the third wave, which relied too heavily on retools, obscure G1 characters, and Junkions no one asked for.  Now here we are kicking off wave 4 with Voyager-class Bludgeon...

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...and right out of the gate we've got a repaint.  I mean, the only new parts are his head and his sword, the rest of him is Tarn.  Sure, his new head and sword are cool, but even allowing for Hasbro's claims that they were going for an Alex Milne IDW Bludgeon design instead of  more traditionally G1 design, the fact is that aside from the color choices and the head.  Not treads on his back, no treads in his feet, no guns on his shoulder pads (which were NOT made of treads).  I'd have maybe forgiven all of that, if they'd at least bothered to remold his chest to look more like Milne's design (which was inspired by the Cybeverse design, which was inspired by the RiD '15 design, which was inspired by the ROTF design on he left).

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To make Bludgeon look slightly more like his IDW self and slightly less like Tarn, you can move the smaller back guns down and attach his fusion cannons to his back.  The barrels are a bit thicker than what he's got in the comics, but Tarn's back guns are too small for Bludgeon.

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A big part of me is half tempted to tell you that the ROTF Bludgeon is still the superior toy.  Well, it's true that the samurai armor motif comes through more on that figure, and it does use some interesting and clever engineering.  But Legacy Bludgeon has the better head and much better articulation.  

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Bludgeon's bright colors, different cannon placement, and new head distract from how little he's actually retooled in robot mode, but in alt mode he's very clearly Tarn.  His alt mode is the reason he still needs both the smaller back cannons and the double fusion cannon.  And the sword storage is a complete afterthought... they just stuck a peg on the hilt so you can jam it into on the available 5mm ports.  A better head and better articulation can go a long way toward selling me on Legacy Bludgeon's bot mode, but the old ROTF toy far and away has the better tank mode, and that's without mentioning how cool it is that ROTF Bludgeon's sword becomes part of his tank barrel.

Bludgeon was a major character in not just the IDW comics, but also the old Marvel comics and he even had some appearances in the Cyberverse cartoon.  I'd sincerely hoped that Bludgeon rated a little better, if not a brand new mold at least a more extensive retool.  Instead what we got is a half-hearted repaint of Tarn that I'm hesitant to say is even better than a toy that's almost 15 years old.  Maybe worth checking out if you don't have a better Bludgeon alternative and you haven't experienced the Tarn mold, but it's definitely better as Tarn than Bludgeon and it's a pretty lazy start for Evolution's fourth wave.

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I'm tired and can't think of anything witty, but I got the new Jurassic Park X Transformers pack.  This time we've got Autobot JP12 and Dilophocon.

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Up first we'll look at Autobot JP12.  Like JP93, his super generic name belies the fact that he's a pretty interesting guy.  His design is meant to evoke Dennis Nedry.  It's pretty obvious from his head design, with its black "hair" and glasses.  But the designers didn't stop there.  Rather than flip the wheels into the torso like JP93, JP12 drops them and angles them toward his front to give him a belly.

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That said, I do have one pretty big complaint, and that's his backpack.  It sticks fairly far off his back, and it's not clear to me why it couldn't have folded in just a bit tighter.  On the whole, though, I think JP12 has a pretty solid design.

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JP12's got some interesting accessories.  He's got a gun, sure.  But he's also got a translucent part that, technically, can go on the gun as a blast effect.  However, a closer look shows that it's meant to be the device that Nedry was supposed to use to store the dinosaur embryos.  You know, the one that he stored in a can of shaving cream.  On that note, you get a can of shaving cream.  It's got an Autobot insignia on it instead of the Barbasol branding, but the red, white, and blue stripes are instantly recognizable.  Lastly, we have a hat with the Jurassic Park logo on it.  Now, here's the thing... I don't actually recall Nedry wearing a hat.  That said, I think it's supposed to be a rain hat, like the one the Gorton Fisherman wears, and it's standing it for the rain coat Nedry wore.

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JP12's head is on a ball joint, with limited up/down tilt and no sideways tilt.  His shoulders are also ball joints, but they're connected to hinges.  So they swivel, no issues, and from down at his sides you can get his arms out past 90 degrees.  But the ball is cut so that alone it's more like 60 degrees, and if you raise his arms them move them laterally that's all you'll get.  His elbows bend 90 degrees, and he's got swivels at both the biceps and the wrists, but unfortunately not at his waist.  His hips get just a little under 90 degrees forward, but his backpack gets in the way and he can only get about 45 degrees backward.  His hips can spread laterally 90 degrees.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His feet can tilt straight down, but only very slightly up, and his ankles pivot about 45 degrees.

JP12 can hold his gun, no problem.  As mentioned, the translucent part can sit on the tip as a blast effect, but the translucent part has to be stored in the shaving cream for JP12 to be able to hold it.  If you'd rather store it, you can plug it into one of the 5mm ports on the back side of his door wings, but again, the 5mm peg is on the translucent part and there's no way for JP12 to interact with the shaving cream without the translucent part.  As for the hat, it just sits on his head.  What'd you expect?

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JP12's transformation is similar to, but slightly more involved, than JP93's.  Unfortunately, it's slightly more irritating, too, as his backpack/the roof never seems to be out of the way enough, and the flaps on his shins open toward the inside instead of the outside which forces him to do the splits every time he folds them up.  Credit where credit is due, the resulting Jeep Wrangler scales pretty well with JP93's Ford Explorer XLT alt mode.

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I don't have a lot of notes for the alt mode.  It's got the Jeep license and it's a pretty accurate replica of what you actually see in the films, down to the "Jeep" logo just in front of the doors and on the rims to the Jurassic Park license plate on the front bumper and rear.  His gun plugs into a hole above the license plate on the front bumper to form the Jeep's winch.  I guess, if I had to nitpick, I might suggest that the soft top of the Jeep could be a little darker brown, and the Jeep itself should be a little less brown and a little more gray.

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While the gun actually forms an integral part of the vehicle, the translucent part stores in the shaving cream and together are clipped to the underside of the vehicle.  That's fine, that works for me.  What doesn't is that there's no storage for the hat.  Was the hat some kind of afterthought?  I've found that you can kind of wedge it in front of his face before you tab his arms into place.  The hat is secure enough that it won't fall out, but it'll rattle as it's not actually locked into place.

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Dilophocon is another interesting figure, for the simple reason that a lot of these crossover figures have been remolds (Gigawatt, Ectotron, Draculus, X-Panse, and the upcoming Frankentron).  Sure, sometimes you get a brand new mold like Maverick.  But last time, when JP93 was new, he was packed with a T-Rex that was merely a new head and paintjob on Beast Wars Megatron.  With JP12 being a new mold sporting a very good alt mode, I'd have figured Dilophocon to be retool, maybe of Dinobot (side note, why no Jurrasic Park collab with a retool of Dinobot into Blue?  Maybe packaged with a transforming version of the Mercedes Benz AMG 6x6 or Chris Pratt's motorcycle?).  Nope, instead we got an entirely new mold.  It's not like Hasbro splurged or anything, as he's pretty clearly made entirely from two sprues, but still.  He's got a certain charm to him, reminding me a bit of the old Beast Wars Iguanus.  I wouldn't be surprised if that toy influenced Dilophocon's design, as you can really see it in the design of his robot head.

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That isn't to say that no corners were cut, though.  His design and engineering is very basic, which leads to stuff like a chunk of his tail just awkwardly chilling on his butt.

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Again, much like Beast Wars Iguanus, the rest of the tail is an accessory.  The tip of the tail flips under to reveal a little gun barrel.  Dilophocon also has a blast effect part.

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Dilophocon's head is on a ball joint that also has a limited up/down tilt, but better sideways tilt.  His shoulders are ball joints that swivel and move laterally just a bit under 90 degrees.  Also, due to his transformation, his shoulders (and part of his torso) can butterfly forward.  His elbows are ball joints, able to bend 90 degrees and doubling as bicep swivels.  No wrist or waist swivels.  Hips are ball joints that can do well past 90 degrees forward and backward, but only about 60 degrees laterally.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His feet have hinges that give him a ton of up down tilt, and ball joints that let his feet swivel, but despite cutouts for it his ankle pivots are short of 45 degrees.

His tail has a 5mm peg under it (the same one that connects it to the stump on his butt) that allows him to hold it as a weapon.  There's a small hole not in the barrel, but on top of it, that you can plug his effect part into.  There doesn't appear to be any storage for his accessories besides leaving the tail attached to the stump.

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As a pretty simple figure, Dilophocon's transformation is pretty simple.  His legs become his legs, you just shift his shins up to his thighs.  His dino face and part of his chest and his sides fold in, tucking his arms into the void.  The most interesting thing his that his back folds backward, giving you the space to fold in his robot head and turn the frill with the back of his dinosaur head around before you fold it back down and join it with the front of his body.  The stump folds back and the tail plugs into it.

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As a representation of the Dilophosaurus that spit on Nedry, Dilophocon is fair, similar to a lot of the mass-market Jurassic Park toys.  The light green plastic with painted dark green mottling seems ok to me, but I can't help but notice that there's no red on his frills, and there's still an awful lot of brown showing on this guy that simple wasn't on the dinosaur in the movie.  However, I think his overall aesthetic fits pretty well with the Kingdom Beast Wars guys like Terrorsaur, Megatron, and Dinobot.

Dilophocon doesn't do much in dino mode, though.  His jaws can open, revealing a port you can plug the blast effect into so it looks like he's spitting venom.  The frills can be moved or even removed, as they're just attached via 5mm pegs (in fact, you'll likely find yourself unintentionally knocking them off when you transform him, as the pegs are pretty shallow).  He has no other head articulation, though.  His dino arms swivel at the shoulders, but that's about it.  You can use most of his robot hip articulation, although technically his thighs should tab into his body and lock in place.  On a similar note, having his robot shins tabbed into his thighs locks his knees, so he technically has no leg articulation in dino mode.  He's got the full range on his feet, though.

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I can't speak for all Transformers fans, but something I touched on when I reviewed the previous set is that I feel that Transformers vibed pretty well with other '80s franchises like Back to the Future and Ghostbusters because it's all stuff from my childhood, and coming when I was a teenager in the '90s Jurassic Park just isn't serving up the same nostalgia for me.  Objectively, though, I think this is a pretty good set.  If you enjoyed the previous Jurassic Park X Tranformers collab then you'll probably like this one, too.  Even if you avoided that earlier set you might find this one worth checking out, as it's two new molds instead of just one, it's cheaper than the previous set, yet it's arguably the better of the two sets.  I'll go ahead and give this one a recommend. 

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I've got something a little different today.  So, way back in February, I reviewed Studio Series Rise of the Beasts Arcee.  I didn't like it, and I don't think I was alone in that sentiment.  Someone suggested that there are better Arcee options outside the Studio Series line, so I looked to see what's out there.

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I was a bit surprised, there wasn't as many options as I'd have liked.  While many of the Studio Series releases have had "main" movie line Deluxes and Voyagers Arcee has not (although it's my understanding that Hasbro has more figures planned for the movie line in 2024).   That means I had to find other Arcees in the gimmicky "Beast Alliance" stuff.  On the left, we have Beast Weaponizer Arcee, and on the right we have Beast Combiner Arcee.

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Beast Weaponizer Arcee is definitely not a figure without flaws.  Like oh-so-many cheaper Hasbro figures she could use some more paint, and while she's honestly looking pretty good overall from the front you can see from the sides and back that she's got significant kibble on her back.  That said... is it really worse than the Studio Series figure?  I mean, both have the front of their alt modes on their butts and wheels on their backs.  The big difference is that Weaponizer Arcee cleans up her calves and puts all her wheels on her back, and I don't even think that's entirely inaccurate.  I just wish there was some extra hinges to shift them up to her shoulder blades.

Beast Combiner Arcee, on the other hand... whoever suggested that this figure might be better than the Studio Series figure was probably drinking.  She's made entirely of red plastic, and while they slapped some paint on her to try to break it up the paint they applied is often inaccurate.

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Combiner Arcee's problems carry over into her articulation.  Her head swivels, but despite being on a ball joint it's basically tilted down as far as it goes, and tilting it up sinks it into her chest.  Her shoulders are ball joints that swivel and move laterally about 60 degrees... and that's it for her arms.  No bicep swivels, no elbows, no wrists.  She has a transformation ball joint mid torso that does allow her a sort-of waist swivel and the ability to arch her back backward.  Hips are ball joints that can go forward and backward 90 degrees, and just shy of that laterally.  he has thigh swivels just above her knees, which bend 90 degrees.  And that's it.

Weaponizer Arcee's head is on a swivel, no tilt.  Her shoulders are ball joints that rotate and get about 60 degrees laterally.  She has ball joints at the elbows, though, bending slightly more than 90 degrees and acting as bicep swivels.  Plus she has wrist swivels!  No waist swivel, though.  Her ball-jointed hips can go 90 degrees forward or laterally, but the kibble on her butt (which you can actually pop off) limits her backward range. Her only thigh swivel is how much you can work her leg around the ball joint in her hip.  Her knees bend over 90 degrees, but if you want even more you can use a transformation hinge in her upper shin to fake a double knee.  No articulation in the foot.

So, yeah, Combiner Arcee's articulation is a definite downgrade.  Weaponizer Arcee is kind of a wash; she looses the waist swivel and some of the shoulder range that the Studio Series had, but she gets wrist swivels and better knees.

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Studio Series Arcee came with that stand that doubled as her gun from the movie.  What about the Beast Alliance figures?  Well, this is where their names really come into play.  Weaponizer Arcee isn't really the Weaponizer, she called Weaponizer Arcee because she's paired with one.  And it's one we've already seen sold separate, Cheetor.  Cheetor's changes from his stand alone release are pretty minimal, too.  The silver/gray plastic is a bit lighter, and they didn't paint the spots or the silver details on his legs.  Cheetor is fine; I'm a fan of the ROTB Weaponizers.  It's just a shame she's packaged with one I already have.

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Beast Combiner Arcee also comes with an animal buddy, This big white wolf is named Chainclaw, and he might be made of more plastic than Arcee herself.  Despite his large size, though, he's pretty basic, with worse articulation than some Weaponizers.  His mouth doesn't close.  All he's got are some knee hinges that are really for transformation.

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Because that's his gimmick.  Pull off his tail and the top of his head, then tuck in his legs.  Arcee's head goes into a cavity on Chainclaw's belly (that helps ensure that you're orienting him correctly) and pegs secure him into ports on Arcee's shoulders.  You fold a panel on his back and side down and tuck it onto Arcee's chest.  Doing so not only reveals the head, but automorphs Chainclaws chest and butt down around Arcee's shoulders.  Then you can take the tail and turn it into a sword and the top of his head and turn it into a shield.  Kind of a neat gimmick (that's original from Cyberverse, I think), but not one that really pays off.

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Then there's the bike modes.  Again, I'm not sure why people thought Combiner Arcee is better than the Studio Series toy.  She tucks awkwardly up into a mass of kibble that sort of looks like a bike (never mind that the front wheel isn't connected to the steering).  Weaponizer Arcee is kind of similar to the the Studio Series toy; head tucks in, arms shift over her head, front of the bike comes around from her butt, and her legs scrunch up to make the sides of the bike.  The extra red on the front of of the bike around the mirrors is actually even more accurate than the Studio Series toy.

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I suspect that the designers of the Studio Series toy were more concerned with the bike mode.   Her arms form a more convincing rear and seat, and because her waist swivels her back becomes a more realistic-looking fuel tank, while a good chunk of Weaponizer Arcee's bike mode is clearly the front of her robot mode with her arms above her head.  Her scrunched up legs don't form the smooth sides of the bike, either.  However, I tend to prefer sacrifices to the alt mode to get a better bot mode than the other way around, and I prefer Weapnizer Arcee's cleaner legs to the Studio Series massive kibble calves.

Neither of these figures are the slam dunk win over the Studio Series toy that I wanted.  I sincerely hope that we do see a mainline movie Deluxe that can really champion the design.  For now, though, these are your options.  One is a clear loser- Beast Combiner Arcee is an overly simple toy built around a gimmick for young kids and is, frankly, not a good toy.  It's also the most expensive of the three, so I REALLY don't recommend it.  It's a tougher call between the other two.  They're similarly priced, with Beast Weaponizer Arcee being slightly more than the Studio Series toy.  They have similar engineering. The Studio Series has a better bike that scales better (but is still big) compared to the cars, but Weaponizer Arcee looks better in bot mode, and that's what I prefer, so that's the one I'll recommend.

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Getting back to the final wave of Legacy Evolution figures, we have our first totally new mold, Deluxe-class Shadow Striker.

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Right out of the gate, two things jump at me.  One, she's thinner but basically the same height as your average Deluxe-class car.  Two, aside from her head and predominantly purple color, she really doesn't resemble the character who was one of the more prominent Decepticons in Transformers Cyberverse.  I actually had to double check her packaging, but no, it says right there that this is the Cyberverse character.  Then why isn't her chest made from the car hood?  Where are her big boots with the wheels in the heels and the pair of toes?  Where's the windows on her forearms?  Instead she's got an engine block for a chest, wheels on her thighs, narrow shins with v-shaped bands wrapped around them, and long, thin feet with big heels on the back.  And the reason for all of this becomes clear when you look into the history of Shadow Striker.  Sure, she had an original design and was a main character for Cyberverse, but the first use of a character named Shadow Striker seems to be in 3H's Universe comics that were made to support the 2003 Official Transformers Collector's Club set, which invented sisters named Shadow Striker and Roulette who were both repaints of the 2001 Robots In Disguise Sideburn toy with new heads.  And with that information handy, you can see that yeah, they used her Cyberverse head, and yeah, they used her Cyberverse black and purple colors instead of the black, blue, and gold colors used on the 2003 Universe toy, but from the neck down that's definitely Sideburn (and wouldn't you know it, according to the leakers Sideburn's coming in 2024, so...).

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I guess I should be thankful that they cleaned up Sideburns design, eh?  There's still a fair amount of kibble on the back, but Legacy Shadow Striker at least folds it into something like a cape or wings instead of just hanging out there, plus she's got wheels on her back like she does in Cyberverse instead of one on her right forearm and the other Primus knows where (seriously, look at the 2001 RID toy and find that forth wheel).

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Shadow Striker comes with a few accessories, and unfortunately most of them seem to be bits of her alt mode.  The largest piece is her entire roof, but there's also her rear end.  Her final accessory is a gun with blade-like edges that are somewhat evocative of the original Sideburn/2003 Shadow Striker's, but with a bigger 5mm port for a barrel.

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Shadow Striker's head is on a ball joint with the ball in her torso instead of her head.  She can look down very well and swivel, but she lacks any real upward or sideways tilt.  Her shoulders are just weird.  You might notice that they're back a bit far, ad it's because they're not attached to the sides of her torso.  Rather, they're attached to the front of her backpack.  So the shoulders are actually turned sideways and the hinge that's usually for lateral movement is her up/down swivel, and the swivel is her lateral movement (well over 90 degrees).  She has bicep swivels, which you'll need to use if you want to pose her with her arms raise and moved laterally, and 90 degrees of elbow bend.  Her wrists swivel, as does her waist.  Her hips can go 90 degrees forward, backward, or laterally.  Her thighs swivel, and her knees bend 90 degrees.  Her feet can't tilt down, but they can tilt all the way up to her shins for transformation, and she's got 90 degrees of ankle pivot.

She can hold her gun in either hand.  Additionally, she has 5mm ports on either forearm, in the middle of her back, one on top of her backpack behind her head, one on each of her calves, and one in each heel.  If you take her roof kibble and peg it into her forearm the resemblance to Sideburn becomes even more unmistakable, even if Sideburn's kibble was actually on his shoulder.  Which leaves her rear end.  The roof kibble actually has its own 5mm port, so you could just stick it there.  The instructions tell you to stick it into the barrel of her gun, apparently to kind of mimic a missile accessory from the original Sideburn toy.

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Shadow Striker's gun has a 5mm peg on the back, so she can also hold it like a club or a... sword?  And the rear of the car can also fit on her forearms; I personally like sticking it on the opposite arm as the roof.  Alternatively, if you'd rather just store it all away you can lift one of her wings to find a 3mm hole.  A 3mm peg allows her gun to be stored there, then you can plug the rear of the car onto her roof and the roof into the 5mm port on her back.  Fair warning, the gun will be tucked away just fine but the roof sticks off her back pretty far.

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Shadow Striker's transformation is definitely different. That chunk of the car's nose with the red pentagon is her crotch.  Her chest opens up and unfurls the rest of the hood which covers her waist and hips.  Her backpack and shoulders fold out on an armature that stretches her shoulders all the way to the rear of the car, and her legs bend 180 degrees backward to form the bottom, and her arms fold down so that they tab into her calves.  Her wings fold in to make the sides of the car, and then the roof goes into place, either because you're just plugging it on now or because she can actually transform without removing it from her forearm.  The rear of the car does need to be partsformed into place, though; there isn't enough room behind her head in robot mode for it to stay in place.

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Her alt mode is a bit of a weird one.  I mean, I know Hasbro's probably too cheap to license a Sideburn's Dodge Viper alt mode, and from the front windshield back she looks passably like a less angular version of her Cyberverse alt mode.  Her rear is weirdly gappy, though.  Aside from the engine block, which isn't part of her Cyberverse alt mode, her front end has no resemblance to a Viper whatsoever.  The headlights look a bit like her Cyberverse car but the overall shape is inverted.  Instead of having angular sides that sit higher and extend further than the midsection they're lower and shorter.  Ultimately, it's neither the aggressive, angular appearance of her Cyberverse alt nor does it look much like the rounded front end of Sideburn's.

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With her roof and rear attached, that just leaves you looking for a place to store her gun.  Realistically, the only place you can put it is the 5mm port on her roof.  That said, her rear still has a 5mm port on it.  A small tab on the back means you're not really going to able to plug the gun into it, but you could grab an effect part from another figure and make it look like flames are coming out of her exhaust like the Batmobile.

I think it's fair to say that I have mixed feelings about Shadow Striker.  Aside from her odd shoulders, she does have pretty good articulation and she's got one of the more interesting transformations I've seen lately.  On the other hand, her robot mode is far more Sideburn than Cyberverse Shadow Striker, and her car mode is kind of an ugly neither.  And the problem that I'm starting to run into with Transformers is that Hasbro seems more keen than ever to reuse molds, but as they branch out from G1 I'm less interesting in owning the same mold again and again.  Give me multiple Datsuns and Seekers?  Sure.  Give me a Sideburn pretool that doesn't really resemble the character she's supposed to be, though, and now I'm wondering if I really wanted this figure or if I'd rather have Sideburn, because I kind of don't want both.  I suppose, with the limited knowledge that I have now, I think I'd rather have Shadow Striker, since Cyberverse was pretty good but Robots in Disguise (2001) honestly wasn't.  That said, if I knew for 100% certain that Hasbro was also planning on rounding out the core RID cast with Prowl, X-Brawn, and Optimus Prime I'd probably go with Sideburn over Shadow Striker.  Make of that what you will.

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Pulsecon is this week, and with the final wave of Legacy Evolution I expect that they'll start showing off the new trilogy.  And with that in mind, apparently Legacy UNI(verse? cron?) Animated Bumblebee has leaked.

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Kind of interesting that they toned down Prowl's chin to make him aesthetically more homogenous with the other WfC/Legacy releases, but Bee keeps his Animated head but gets a more generic body.

I can't help but notice that the nose of the car is on his heels, not his toes.  Maybe tell me who this is a pretool for, and I'll skip to that one.  I'm not feeling this one.

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Continuing with the final wave of Legacy Evolution we have another new mold... albeit a Core-class.  This one is Snarl.

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Despite his small size, Snarl is a pretty decent, cartoon-style representation of the character.  Granted, he's not perfect.  You can see the dino legs on the sides of his robot legs, and his largely-hollow tail is kind of backward.

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From the back and sides, we can also see that he's lacking some of the plates higher on his back, and instead he's got a big gray lump.   Concessions are definitely being made to the fact that he has to combine.  Still, compared to some of the other Core-class Dinobots (especially Sludge) he's got one of the best bot modes.

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The good times continue to his accessories.  While the rest of the team have accessories that have to double as their dino tails or gestalt hands, Snarl gets his sword.  And it's just a nice, little sword.

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The good news keeps coming!  For a Core-class figure his articulation is also pretty good.  His head swivels.  His shoulders are ball joints that swivel and move laterally just under 90 degrees.  Plus, due to his transformation, he can butterfly his arms across his chest.  His elbows bend past 90 degrees, until his wrist gets to his shoulders.  Sadly, there's no bicep or wrist swivels, but hey, he does have a waist swivel.  His hips are ball joints that can go 90 degrees forward and backward, and nearly 90 degrees laterally.  His thighs don't have swivels, just what you can manage around the ball joints.  His knees bend over 90 degrees, and he has no foot articulation.

He can hold his sword just fine in either hand.  One side has a tab on the hilt, and it can plug into a slot on his back for storage... although the tolerance isn't that great.  I have a hard time getting it plugged in so it'll stay.

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Transforming Snarl is pretty easy.  His arms curl up, his legs fold over with the dino head flipping out, and you just close his tail over his head.  As with the robot mode, it's heavily cartoon-influenced.

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That being said, the dino mode is definitely a bit weaker than the bot mode.  From some angles it's not too bad, but from the side or back you can see that his tail is way too small, his rear hips are too low on his body, his robot fists are still very visible, and his rear dino feet are just molded in place and not colored.  Oh, and he's still got that gray lump, now on his butt.

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And he's basically a brick in this mode.  His arms/rear legs actually tab into his sides, so they have no articulation.  And his front legs are basically molded details on his robot legs; that is' the entire lower leg is a single part, so his dino legs don't move.  And his head?  Yeah, it doesn't move either.  His jaws don't even open.

At least he has a place to put his sword.  There's a slot on his robot chest so the sword can hang out under the Stegosaurus, just like the Leader-class Studio Series figure.  As with the slot on his back, though, I find the tolerance a bit off and the sword doesn't like to stay attached.

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And finally we have Snarl's leg mode.  There's a bit of partsforming involved here.  You have to pull his back off.  This will allow you to flip out the 5mm combiner peg.  Plus, the slots where his back was tabbed into now serve as connection points for tabs on his heels, as the dino head stays inside his legs and his hips move back so that his legs don't fold entirely over.  His shoulders butterfly over his chest, tab together, then tab into his crotch, then his back reattaches to his forearms serve as the toes of the foot.  The instructions indicate that you should store is sword by plugging it into his back, but it's kind of out-of-place on Volcanicus' foot.

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Speaking of Volcanicus, with all six Dinobots we can finally complete him!  He's pretty tiny, at slightly taller than the Deluxe-class Power of the Primes Dinobots.  That makes the entire combiner smaller than a single Studio Series Dinobot!

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Aesthetically, I do like some of the things they've done.  Like, the combined Slag/sludge torso looks a lot better than the stock POTP Volcanicus, who I had to modify with an upgrade kit.  But little Volcanicus could probably use an upgrade kit of his own.  His legs have kind of weird proportions; I'd almost suggest mistransforming him so that Snarl and Grimlock's legs are straightened out to make his legs longer, but it turns out that Grimlock winds up being a bit taller than Snarl that way.  I think he's also hurt by the lack of proper feet.

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I guess he's not too bad from the back, ignoring that Snarl's butt sticks out from his back and Sludge's head is just kind of there (assuming it didn't fall off).  His lower legs are too-thick front-to-back, and somewhat gappy.  The worst thing might be his arms, though.  Although both Swoop and Snarl theoretically have waist swivels that could be bicep swivels in their arm modes, their own robot arms are in the way.  Combine that with a lack of wrist swivels and you wind up with a permanently gorilla-armed Volcanicus.PXL_20230918_002848639.jpg.d1d8b6ba0dfcfc7024936f2dfde58125.jpg

Which, you know, figures into his articulation.  So, his head is on a swivel, no tilt.  His shoulders swivel on their 5mm pegs, and hinges allow them to move laterally a bit under 90 degrees.  As I said, he might have bicep swivels, but they're blocked by the armbots's own arms.  Their hips and knees act kind of like elbows, but they're only going to curl inward, and he's got no wrist articulation.  He does have a waist swivel, though.  His hips can go 90 degrees forward and backward, and about 60 degrees laterally.  His knees bend 90 degrees, and since they're attached via 5mm pegs they also serve as this thigh swivels.  I don't think it's fair to say that he has no foot articulation, it's more accurate to say that he lacks feet entirely.

A few other things to note... while manipulating him you can expect two things.  First, Sludge's head is bound to pop off his back.  Second, Grimlock's dino head isn't locked in place at all, and it has a tendency to get shifted upward and reveal his robot head.  The other thing I'll point out is that the gestalt's hands, poor as they are, have 5mm ports.  So if you want a weapon for him, turns out he works great with the sword that came with the old Fall of Cybertron Grimlock.  Which is great for me, since I still have the sword despite giving away the figure itself.

Now that we've looked at the whole set, was it worth it?  Honestly, probably not.  I mean, I'm not opposed to Core-class Dinobots per se, even knowing that Hasbro's Core-class figures are pretty basic.  But the reality is that Snarl is probably the least-compromised by the combining gimmick, and he's still suffering from some compromises.  Guys like Sludge were seriously boned by  the gimmick.  That might be ok if the gestalt itself was good, but it too seems compromised with a lack of arm articulation and chunky, short legs with no feet.  And what is this even supposed to be displayed with?  I suppose if you put him with a Titan-class figure it makes the Titan look huge, but we don't have any other Core-class combiners for him to pair with.  So I guess I don't really recommend Volcanicus, or buying all the Dinobots to make Volcanicus.  That said, Snarl's really not a bad little Snarl, and I actually do recommend him if you've already been buying the Core-class Dinobots and are just looking to complete the set, since he's probably the best one.

One final elephant I want to address in the room... I've been saying pretty much since it was revealed that Slag and Sludge were announced as the torso parts of version of Volcanicus that would use six Dinobots that this is pretty obviously a pretool for Monstructor/Dinoking.  If/when that happens I may do a deeper look at how the individual guys stack up, but for now just looking at Volcanicus I feel like Hasbro's doing him dirty if this is the only version we ever get.  I mean, yes, I know the original G1 Monstuctor was the smallest combiner.  But with compromised engineering, no feet, and molds that seem to be Dinobots first despite the obvious repaint I don't feel like this is going to be an adequate Monstructor/Dinoking.  I think the Pretender Monsters/Dinoforce deserve to be done at the very least as six Deluxes that combine to make a Monstructor/Dinoking around the same height as the Combiner Wars/PotP gestalts, designed to be a more accurate Monstructor/Dinoking with better engineering and fewer compromises and Dinobot repaints as more compromised repaints, if necessary.

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As someone whose only G1 combiner was Monstructor, he deserves to be six voyagers!

 

 

Actually, I think all the combiners deserve this kind of lavish treatment. Shelf-dominators, sure but it gets them an oversized hulking presence that I feel fits them.

Obvious problem*: I know the "Scramble City" designs need a larger torso-bot... bring back ultra?

 

Or sell the combiners as a box set in commander or titan, so compromises can be distributed where they most make sense instead of each bot being held to a strict parts & paints budget? I think this is a genuinely good idea. I know they did this with Devastator and people were unhappy with the individual bots, but frankly anything vaguely modern is a huge improvement over G1 Monstructor, no matter how badly done. And since there aren't any interim versions to point at and say "Siege of Generations: Primus Rising had a better Bristleback than this forty-seven years ago", it'll just be "the best Pretender Monsters ever released"

 

 

*aside from basically dedicating an entire line's Voyager assortment to a single team, but that's basically trivial!

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11 hours ago, sh9000 said:

I'm skipping both of them.

*sigh*  I'm not going to kid myself, I'm probably buying both because you can never have too many Bumblebees and Primes.  But I haven't been this unenthusiastic for new figures since before Siege when I was thinking about quitting entirely.

EDIT: Bee and Prime are pretty much confirmation that the leaks are spot on.  So you can expect the other three Deluxes to be Cyberverse Windblade, Rescue Bots Chase, and Magneous, the first of Unite's rock guys that are replacing Junkions as the line's gimmick.  The other Voyager should be Prime Thunderhawk, and the Leaders will be Beast Wars Thunderhawk and some kind of Optimus Prime.

So, yeah, I'll reserve judgement until I see the figures (likely at Pulsecon on Thursday).  But the only figure I'm sure I'm going to want is Windblade, and I'm questioning why Hasbro (who still has pegs full of Animated Prowl and Crosscut clogging up shelves) thinks we want a G1-ified version of a Prime character who was never in the cartoon.  Tigerhawk's not much better; I think BW fans will probably be into him, but for most people we're talking about spending Leader money on a character that was only in three episodes.  As for Leader Optimus, I think it really depends on what Leader Optimus.  Is it a package refresh of Earthrise or Legacy Optimus?  Is it a new mold?  If it's a new mold, which Optimus is it? 

And I really think that, no matter what, I'm out on the rock dudes.  Bad enough that Hasbro wasted three Deluxe slots and a Voyager on original character Junkions (plus released a repaint of Hound while the actual Hound languishes in limbo as a store-exclusive that's on indefinite hold so said store can get more movie toys out), at least they helped bulk out Wreck-Gar's crew.  No way am I rewarding Hasbro for filling slots with guys that turn into rocks (that aren't even based on Rock Lords) when characters like Gears and Windcharger need doing.

Edited by mikeszekely
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On 9/19/2023 at 8:15 AM, sh9000 said:

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I'm skipping both of them.

I'm not; while they're not purely Animated, they're hewing closer than most of the other G1/non-G1 hybrids in Legacy thus far, including Prowl, who was still ok, but definitely had more G1 influence in the chunkiness and head sculpt departments. As an Animated fan, I'm enjoying these, compromises notwithstanding, as we went 15 years without so much as a whisper about Animated before they released Prowl. IMHO, Legacy Bulkhead has far more in common with the Animated design than the Prime design as well, but Hasbro says it's a Prime design. I say, 'whatever' with a skeptically raised eyebrow. Anyway, with the absolute dearth of Animated toys over the last decade and a half, I'm excited to get anything Animated at this point, even if the figs are hybridized. FWIW, though, Legacy United Prime looks really close to how he did in the show, as well as to the original toy. I think I'll still prefer the original voyager Prime over LU Prime, as it's a great fig, but I'm looking forward to adding this guy to my collection along with LU Bee, who apparently has been the cause of some ugliness amongst fans on Twitter and other TF fan sites. Imagine, toxicity among adults over toys; whodathunk it?!!¬†ūüėȬ†So silly.

As to other potential reveals on Friday, I'm curious but apprehensive over the new Windblade, as I have a feeling she's going to be yet another lazy design with arms just hanging out like every other version thus far. I wish she'd get at least one good toy with arms integrated into the jet mode. No interest in Tigerhawk; when they eventually remold/repaint it into Silverbolt, I may bite, as I loved that character but never had much interest in the Fuzors character designs. My interest in a new leader Prime fig will hinge on the design and whether or not it appeals to me. I'd love for it to be his FoC game design, as that's one of my favorite OP designs, but as they just released the WfC version at voyager scale, I'm guessing it'll be something different.¬† I have zero recollection of Prime Thunderhawk- guess I'll wait and see how it turns out. Rock Lords didn't really grab me in the 80s, and I'm not sure modern TFs that turn into rocks and such are going to inspire a new appeal, but again, I guess we'll see. I'm with Mike in that I want to see the rest of the G1 minibots completed in deluxe scale for Legacy, as well as Omnibots, a brand new and improved mold for both Astrotrain and Blitzwing in the SS86 series (even if it means doing them both in commander class for the requisite budget- I just want damned good definitive CHUG scaled figs of these guys for my collection), a new set of voyager scaled Constructicons that are in every conceivable way an improvement over the awful Combiner Wars figs, an improved Arcee fig that results in a far more compact backpack (just copy MMC's Azalea- there's no shame in copying the best design out there), a new improved Seeker design in SS86 that gives us a pretty accurate F-15 akin to MP-03 only with better bot proportions than that fig. I know, I'm not asking for much.¬†ūüėĄ¬†

So, thus far, the figs I'm most anticipating on Friday have already been leaked, but I'm hopeful that there will still be a couple good surprises in the mix. I'm also hopeful that these Animated-ish figs will catch on and maybe lead to a spate of rereleases of old figs, especially the Japan-only figs, as I'd badly love to have a copy of Blackout. Meanwhile, I'll collect the new Animated hybrids in the hopes that they continue to improve, i.e. move ever closer to the cartoon aesthetic and perhaps spark new interest in both the toon and the toys it originally inspired.

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Life's been a bit hectic, but I've got our third new Legacy Evolution figure after Shadow Striker and Core Snarl.  This one is Voyager-class Trashmaster.

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My initial impression out of the gate was a bit underwhelmed.  He's pretty short for a Voyager, roughly around the height of a Seeker or slightly taller than the Deluxe-class Siege or Earthrise Vanettes.  His colors are a bit muted, too.  I mean, sure, the Junkion in general are a lot of browns, grays, and orangy-reds, but I can't help but notice there's a lot of molded detail that's just the color of the part it was molded onto that was actually colored on Mark Maher's concept art, like big silver pistons on his shins, red ears, and red on his feet.

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Hasbro wasn't just skimping on size and paint, but plastic as well.  You can't really see because his backpack is covering it, but his entire midsection is hollow.  Look around that dangling hunk of kibble and the backs of his thighs are hollow, too, as is the back of his head.  Weirdly, it's the front of his hands that are hollow.  Most of that hollowness doesn't really bother me as much as the lazy kibble flap, though.  To be fair, it does have a purpose, but when you see what it is you'll likely still wonder why they couldn't have folded it away better.

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If I had to guess, I'd reckon that a lot of Trashmaster's budget is his accessories.  You've got a big claw, but you also have some hydraulic arms and two parts that look like the front end of a truck.

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Trashmaster's head swivels fine, but it has very minimal tilt.  His shoulders rotate and move laterally a little over 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend about 120 degrees.  His wrists and waist swivel.  His hips move 90 degrees forward and laterally, but his butt kibble means he can only realistically get about 45 degrees backward.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His feet have excellent up/down tilts, and his ankles pivot about 45 degrees.

Trashmaster can hold the claw in either hand.  His instructions indicate that the hydraulic arms should plug into his hip skirts, where they just get in the way, and the truck nose parts tab together then plug into the kibble flap on his butt, making it even bigger and more obnoxious.  Well, at least the hydraulic arms and truck nose do not have to be removed for transformation.

PXL_20230921_180604037.jpg.401beec108288c216b8bd09d4755ebd1.jpg

As far as ports go, Trashmaster has one on the back of each shoulder, two on the back of each forearm, one on the side of each forearm, two on his backpack, two on his butt kibble (that are mostly likely occupied by the truck nose), one on each hip skirt (that are probably being used by the hydraulic arms, but the arms also have a 5mm port each, so it's a wash), on the outside of each leg between the tires, and under each foot.  Additionally, the rims on every tire have hexagonal ports in the middle.  Oh, and as a Junkion Trashmaster's lower legs are 5mm pegged into his thighs and can be removed and replaced with another Junkion's leg (or a Core Volcanicus leg).  Unlike the Deluxes, though, his arms do not come off.

PXL_20230921_181802103.jpg.7f973eaeb09fb32b5690dac4fb3eb544.jpg

If the massive kibble flap on his butt wasn't indication enough, transforming Trashmaster will clue you to the fact that engineering is also not where Hasbro allocated his budget.  The transformation is simple bordering on Core-class... head tucks in, backpack covers over, arms fold back behind him, waist rotates 180, legs lock together, chest untabs so his lower body folds back and his arms tab into his legs, then the kibble flap with the front of the truck tucks in under the chest.  Arrange the hydraulic arms and tab his claw into his hands and you're done.  At least the resulting truck does seem to scale nicely with Junkions like Scraphook and Axlegrease.  

PXL_20230921_181813979.jpg.a1995e1145bafb069d1706e1f6e11b31.jpg

Garbage trucks are one of those alt modes that are criminally underutilized, so I want to be in Trashmaster's corner.  That said, there's a real lack of cohesion here.  Half of the cab made from his chest is orange, but the half made from the kibble is brown and the tiny portion that's actually the flap it's connected to is yet another shade of brown.  His smokestacks have silver paint on the top, they gray from a randomly gray part it's attached to in the middle, then orange on the bottom.  And, this last bit's subjective, but frankly I could do without the rust-tones and spikes.  I don't want a garbage truck that looks like it rolled off the set of a Mad Max movie, I want a green and white Waste Management truck.

PXL_20230921_181910737.jpg.cb995dc141756220dd58d5baccf7b2d8.jpg

All of Trashmaster's accessories are integral to his alt mode.  His claw covers his robot arms and acts like the top of the trash container.  The claw itself can even open while attached, and you can imagine garbagemen tossing trash into the rear.  But wait, is he supposed to be a rear-loader or a front-loader?  The fact that the rear is covered and the claw opens at the back suggests rear, but the hood over the cab and the hydraulic arms suggest that he should be a front-loader.  Although they lack the spokes that allow it to actually grip a Dumpster, that's the only purpose those arms serve.  But, if they did pick up a dumpster, trash would roll off the closed back of the truck and back into the street.

PXL_20230921_182056261.jpg.b2db1f86dcdf65ee18f1c8e164d0b930.jpg

Of course, the Junkion gimmick hasn't been full executed if it's only a robot-mode thing.  So yes, you can pull the truck kibble off, and yes, you can swap it with another Junkion's.

What you can't do, though, is make the gestalt Junkasaurus that Mark showed off on his Instagram account.  I'll say that's partly because Trashmaster's joints are a little loose and a lot of the connections are just 5mm ports.  But the main reason is because, as shown on Mark's Instagram, you need two Crashbars.  Hmm... I wonder if we'll see a Crashbar repaint?  I kind of hope so, frankly, he was the best of the Legacy Junkions.

As for Trashmaster, he's just ok.  I mean, his articulation is fine, and I do appreciate that he's a garbage truck.  I'm just not entirely sure I'm getting my money's worth, and I can't help but feel that a bit more paint might have gotten him where I needed him to be.  At the very least, I can say I like him better than Scraphook, and I do appreciate some extra Junkion's to round out Wreck-Gar's squad, but at the same time there's a lot of characters I could use new Voyager toys for that I'd rather have than an original character Junkion.  If you liked the other Legacy Junkions then Trashmaster is worth a look, but if you passed on the previous ones there's nothing here that's going to make you change your mind.

With Trashmaster out of the way... what if I told you that we've covered all the new molds for this wave?

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

Life's been a bit hectic, but I've got our third new Legacy Evolution figure after Shadow Striker and Core Snarl.  This one is Voyager-class Trashmaster.

PXL_20230921_180347704.jpg.92aeaa34b3c7505a173982aaec14330f.jpg

My initial impression out of the gate was a bit underwhelmed.  He's pretty short for a Voyager, roughly around the height of a Seeker or slightly taller than the Deluxe-class Siege or Earthrise Vanettes.  His colors are a bit muted, too.  I mean, sure, the Junkion in general are a lot of browns, grays, and orangy-reds, but I can't help but notice there's a lot of molded detail that's just the color of the part it was molded onto that was actually colored on Mark Maher's concept art, like big silver pistons on his shins, red ears, and red on his feet.

PXL_20230921_180359876.jpg.c37fa4e149ebb894294b47545d5c452e.jpg

Hasbro wasn't just skimping on size and paint, but plastic as well.  You can't really see because his backpack is covering it, but his entire midsection is hollow.  Look around that dangling hunk of kibble and the backs of his thighs are hollow, too, as is the back of his head.  Weirdly, it's the front of his hands that are hollow.  Most of that hollowness doesn't really bother me as much as the lazy kibble flap, though.  To be fair, it does have a purpose, but when you see what it is you'll likely still wonder why they couldn't have folded it away better.

PXL_20230921_180443215.jpg.9fad185eae64bfe2e8e53ba621b6150d.jpg

If I had to guess, I'd reckon that a lot of Trashmaster's budget is his accessories.  You've got a big claw, but you also have some hydraulic arms and two parts that look like the front end of a truck.

PXL_20230921_180822734.jpg.887b98b2bb621e3915ee16e3838b52ab.jpg

Trashmaster's head swivels fine, but it has very minimal tilt.  His shoulders rotate and move laterally a little over 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend about 120 degrees.  His wrists and waist swivel.  His hips move 90 degrees forward and laterally, but his butt kibble means he can only realistically get about 45 degrees backward.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His feet have excellent up/down tilts, and his ankles pivot about 45 degrees.

Trashmaster can hold the claw in either hand.  His instructions indicate that the hydraulic arms should plug into his hip skirts, where they just get in the way, and the truck nose parts tab together then plug into the kibble flap on his butt, making it even bigger and more obnoxious.  Well, at least the hydraulic arms and truck nose do not have to be removed for transformation.

PXL_20230921_180604037.jpg.401beec108288c216b8bd09d4755ebd1.jpg

As far as ports go, Trashmaster has one on the back of each shoulder, two on the back of each forearm, one on the side of each forearm, two on his backpack, two on his butt kibble (that are mostly likely occupied by the truck nose), one on each hip skirt (that are probably being used by the hydraulic arms, but the arms also have a 5mm port each, so it's a wash), on the outside of each leg between the tires, and under each foot.  Additionally, the rims on every tire have hexagonal ports in the middle.  Oh, and as a Junkion Trashmaster's lower legs are 5mm pegged into his thighs and can be removed and replaced with another Junkion's leg (or a Core Volcanicus leg).  Unlike the Deluxes, though, his arms do not come off.

PXL_20230921_181802103.jpg.7f973eaeb09fb32b5690dac4fb3eb544.jpg

If the massive kibble flap on his butt wasn't indication enough, transforming Trashmaster will clue you to the fact that engineering is also not where Hasbro allocated his budget.  The transformation is simple bordering on Core-class... head tucks in, backpack covers over, arms fold back behind him, waist rotates 180, legs lock together, chest untabs so his lower body folds back and his arms tab into his legs, then the kibble flap with the front of the truck tucks in under the chest.  Arrange the hydraulic arms and tab his claw into his hands and you're done.  At least the resulting truck does seem to scale nicely with Junkions like Scraphook and Axlegrease.  

PXL_20230921_181813979.jpg.a1995e1145bafb069d1706e1f6e11b31.jpg

Garbage trucks are one of those alt modes that are criminally underutilized, so I want to be in Trashmaster's corner.  That said, there's a real lack of cohesion here.  Half of the cab made from his chest is orange, but the half made from the kibble is brown and the tiny portion that's actually the flap it's connected to is yet another shade of brown.  His smokestacks have silver paint on the top, they gray from a randomly gray part it's attached to in the middle, then orange on the bottom.  And, this last bit's subjective, but frankly I could do without the rust-tones and spikes.  I don't want a garbage truck that looks like it rolled off the set of a Mad Max movie, I want a green and white Waste Management truck.

PXL_20230921_181910737.jpg.cb995dc141756220dd58d5baccf7b2d8.jpg

All of Trashmaster's accessories are integral to his alt mode.  His claw covers his robot arms and acts like the top of the trash container.  The claw itself can even open while attached, and you can imagine garbagemen tossing trash into the rear.  But wait, is he supposed to be a rear-loader or a front-loader?  The fact that the rear is covered and the claw opens at the back suggests rear, but the hood over the cab and the hydraulic arms suggest that he should be a front-loader.  Although they lack the spokes that allow it to actually grip a Dumpster, that's the only purpose those arms serve.  But, if they did pick up a dumpster, trash would roll off the closed back of the truck and back into the street.

PXL_20230921_182056261.jpg.b2db1f86dcdf65ee18f1c8e164d0b930.jpg

Of course, the Junkion gimmick hasn't been full executed if it's only a robot-mode thing.  So yes, you can pull the truck kibble off, and yes, you can swap it with another Junkion's.

What you can't do, though, is make the gestalt Junkasaurus that Mark showed off on his Instagram account.  I'll say that's partly because Trashmaster's joints are a little loose and a lot of the connections are just 5mm ports.  But the main reason is because, as shown on Mark's Instagram, you need two Crashbars.  Hmm... I wonder if we'll see a Crashbar repaint?  I kind of hope so, frankly, he was the best of the Legacy Junkions.

As for Trashmaster, he's just ok.  I mean, his articulation is fine, and I do appreciate that he's a garbage truck.  I'm just not entirely sure I'm getting my money's worth, and I can't help but feel that a bit more paint might have gotten him where I needed him to be.  At the very least, I can say I like him better than Scraphook, and I do appreciate some extra Junkion's to round out Wreck-Gar's squad, but at the same time there's a lot of characters I could use new Voyager toys for that I'd rather have than an original character Junkion.  If you liked the other Legacy Junkions then Trashmaster is worth a look, but if you passed on the previous ones there's nothing here that's going to make you change your mind.

With Trashmaster out of the way... what if I told you that we've covered all the new molds for this wave?

Appreciate the review, Mike. The Junkions never really appealed to me, although I have to admit I have the old 2011 deluxe as well as the Studio Series fig and his mold mate, Junkheap. All three were pretty well-done figs, and I have an interest in well-done transforming motorcycles. That said, my interest waned with the newly created Legacy Junkions. Trashmaster initially had my attention for the same reason as you had; how many garbage truck alts have there been in the history of TF toys? To wit, Animated Wreck-Gar is the only other one I can think of, and he was remarkably better than poor Trashmaster. Alas, after reading your review, he's a solid pass. I wish he'd been better executed, and I'm in complete agreement with wanting a Waste Management type truck as an alt mode. Too, the Mad Max look isn't to my taste, either, although it does fit with the Junkion look. I guess these were a fun experiment for the Hasbro designers, especially Mark, and I'm sure they found an audience with any number of fans, but as you've mentioned before, I'd much rather they knocked out all the legit G1 figs, esp the first season characters, along with the rest of the minibots. I'd throw in the rest of the cassette bots, but I haven't been all that impressed with Has/Tak's cassettes in the new scale. Frankly, they suck, especially when Magic Square and New Age did them better at much smaller scales. I'm hoping Dr Wu will get around to doing all of them, as his combining cassette teams were both done well. I digress.

Despite the leaks, I'm looking forward to PulseCon tomorrow. I'm glad they start it at 1100 on the east coast, as that gives me enough time to grab a quick Pop Tart before tuning in at 0800. Transformers is the first panel, so anything left to reveal will be shown within the first hour, and then it's just a matter of waiting until the POs open. I hope they have at least a few surprises that haven't been spoiled. Guess we'll see. Cheers!

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29 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

I hope they have at least a few surprises that haven't been spoiled. Guess we'll see. Cheers!

I'm not counting on it.  I don't think there's anything left for Gen Selects this year, although I suppose they could announce something for early next year.  But as far as regular retail goes I was already let in on almost everything that's coming out in 2024.  I mean, there's a few that I need clarification on, like I know there's a Leader-class Optimus Prime in the first wave of Unite but I don't know which Optimus Prime.  And I don't know what what the Titan will be (but if I were a betting man I'd say Animated Omega Supreme).

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8 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

I'm not counting on it.  I don't think there's anything left for Gen Selects this year, although I suppose they could announce something for early next year.  But as far as regular retail goes I was already let in on almost everything that's coming out in 2024.  I mean, there's a few that I need clarification on, like I know there's a Leader-class Optimus Prime in the first wave of Unite but I don't know which Optimus Prime.  And I don't know what what the Titan will be (but if I were a betting man I'd say Animated Omega Supreme).

Animated Omega- god I hope so, and I hope it's legit Animated and not G1-hybridized.

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Pulsecon's started.  I'm expecting the following in United (EDIT: Nailed it)

Core-class Energon Megatron: Looks good, wish it was Voyager.

ImageofCoreEnergonMegatronfromTransformersUnited(12)__scaled_800.jpg.4c7b840c0705e191075421fbe4fbf9ae.jpg

Core-class Tasmanian Kid: Meh. I mean, I appreciate that they're trying to do ALL the continuities, but Beast Wars II is pretty obscure, and we already got Leo Prime.  But it's also just a Core-class, so I can't be mad.

ImageofCoreTasmanianKidfromTransformersUnited(15)__scaled_800.jpg.c3728e4935d789887273256daa09236c.jpg

Core-class Bouldercrash: So the rock guys don't even turn into rocks?  Yeah, I'm out.

ImageofCoreInfernacBoldercrashfromTransformersUnited(13)__scaled_800.jpg.d7f53c5d33414f03eccdbe0e9a080e98.jpg

Deluxe-class Animated Bumblebee: He looks OK-ish.  Head's still to Animated to be G1-ish, body's too G1-ish to be Animated.

ImageofDeluxeAnimatedBumblebeefromTransformersUnited(12)__scaled_800.jpg.024801daa582e92992167867caba15c8.jpg

Deluxe-class Cyberverse Windlblade: This one I want. Cyberverse is my favorite Windblade, and there hasn't been a really good Windblade yet.

ImageofDeluxeCyberverseWindbladefromTransformersUnited(13)__scaled_600.jpg.367fba56476ae733fc91db5082dfd51c.jpg

Deluxe-class Rescue Bots Chase: I was a bit nervous about Rescue Bots joining Generations, but he looks surprisingly great.  I wonder what remold they're hinting at, though... I'm not aware of any mainline figures that'd fit, but like I said I'm not clear on what Gen Selects are coming next year.  I kind of hope it's a version of Barricade.

ImageofDeluxeRescueBotsChasefromTransformersUnited(14)__scaled_600.jpg.0e5695231ef7652c60c8587454684bee.jpg

Deluxe-class Magneous: Re-read what I wrote about Bouldercrash, except worse because he's wasting a Deluxe spot.

ImageofDeluxeInfernacMagneousfromTransformersUnited(15)__scaled_600.jpg.33c11656d4185812d9c39e8d386ef05c.jpg

Voyager-class Animated Optimus Prime: Looks surprisingly good, still not loving the Animated revival though.

ImageofVoyagerAnimatedOptimusPrimefromTransformersUnited(15)__scaled_600.jpg.c73b0cbb10bb528958a3b3c71ebeafd2.jpg

Voyager-class Prime Thundertron: On the one hand he looks kind of good.  But on the other hand, like I complaibed about earlier, we're wasting a mainline Voyager slot on a Prime character that never appeared on the cartoon.  At least they're hinting at Tidal Wave.

ImageofVoyagerPrimeThundertronfromTransformersUnited(15)__scaled_600.jpg.14742dd11f80f98f26766628eacf5333.jpg

Leader-class Beast Wars Tigerhawk: Cool for people who are really into Beast Wars, but Tigerhawk appeared in all of three episodes and I can't help but feel like there are other, better characters that could fill the slot.

ImageofLeaderBeastWarsTigerhawkfromTransformersUnited(11)__scaled_600.jpg.93488d37ba6238e645c7205e22b5e5a2.jpg

Leader-class Optimus Prime: Turned out to be Laser Optimus.

Not sure what's getting revealed in Studio Series. Turned out to be none!

The rest is older, known stuff.  Robosen Grimlock and Powerlinx Hot Shot.

Edited by mikeszekely
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38 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

Animated Omega- god I hope so, and I hope it's legit Animated and not G1-hybridized.

Maybe don't get too excited.  I was hearing that Tidal Wave was going to have compatibility with Armada Megatron and expected him to be the Commander-class.  But the reveal of Magmatron on the poster and the subtle "you know Thundertron's ship" comment makes me think Tidal Wave might be the Titan after all.  Magmatron is actually a surprise for me, I'd heard nothing about him, but I have a feeling he's the Commander.

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32 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Maybe don't get too excited.  I was hearing that Tidal Wave was going to have compatibility with Armada Megatron and expected him to be the Commander-class.  But the reveal of Magmatron on the poster and the subtle "you know Thundertron's ship" comment makes me think Tidal Wave might be the Titan after all.  Magmatron is actually a surprise for me, I'd heard nothing about him, but I have a feeling he's the Commander.

Well, BMac mentioned an "Omega type reveal" in lieu of a TF Haslab for next year, so I'm hoping it'll be Animated.

Your observation about LU Animated Bee is correct, but I still think the body looks sufficiently similar to pass. With Animated having been all but ignored for the past 15 years, I'm just happy they're returning to it at all. Of course, if I had my druthers, they'd eschew the G1 influence and go full-on toon styling, but at this point, I'll take what I can get. LU Animated Prime is probably the closest we've come to copying the animation, and I hope they stick to a more toonish look going forward, especially if they do a Bulkhead, a Lugnut, or hopefully, a Blackout. I know that's not to your liking, but it definitely appeals to me. And I confess that I wasn't exactly crazy about the animation style initially, but it grew on me, and once I started buying the toys, I fell in love with them. Still one of my favorite TF toylines ever, and I have them on permanent display on my desk. They're literally one of the first things I see every day when I enter my mancave.

As for today's reveals, not feeling the core class figs, as usual, nor the rock figs, although Bouldercrash isn't terrible- I may get him. I do, however, dig the Rescue Bot Chase fig, and I'm curious what they have planned for further Rescue Bots in the line. I think it was BMac who hinted at some gimmick, and I wonder if they're going to be combiners. I have no knowledge of Thundertron, but as a long-time Zoids fan (the toys and models , not the shows), this thing hits all the right notes with me. The bot mode, with that cool beard, looks pretty cool, too. I've always wondered what a transforming Zoids fig would look like, and now I know, and I'm happy about it. Windblade still has the arms hanging out in jet mode, so no real improvement there, but I'll still probably get her. I like the character; I just wish she got a better jet mode in toy form.

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POs for new PulseCon merch is up for members. I got LU Animated Prime and Bee, Rescue Bots Chase, Windblade, Infernac Universe Magneus (Hasbro's answer to a modern Rock Lords, and the new Weaponizer class of figs ), and LU Thundertron. It's certainly the most eclectic group of TF figs I've ever bought at one time. 

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Ugh, I fell asleep (you try getting your crap done while taking care of an 8yo who's mom left the country for a month), and by the time I got on Pulse Windblade sold out.  (EDIT: Got a preorder on Amazon)

I wound up preordering everything else United except both rock guys.  If I'm being honest they do look cooler than I imagined, but I think I'm morally opposed to giving Hasbro any more money on these original characters that exist entirely as gimmicks.  And, frankly, I might cancel Tigerhawk.  I just wasn't that into Beast Wars (good story when I eventually watched it as an adult, but robots turning into animals never grabbed me like robots turning into trucks and planes), and I'm loathe to open my wallet for Leader money on such a minor character.

Also while being tighter with my wallet I passed on Powerlinx Hot Shot.  I know, with G1 I throw money at all sorts of obscure repaints, but I dunno, regular yellow Hotshot is enough representation of that character for me.  If they do Energon Hotshot, or when they do Cybertron Hot Shot, sure, but I don't need the one I have with his colors inverted (even if I do kind of want Jolt).

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8 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Ugh, I fell asleep (you try getting your crap done while taking care of an 8yo who's mom left the country for a month), and by the time I got on Pulse Windblade sold out.  (EDIT: Got a preorder on Amazon)

I wound up preordering everything else United except both rock guys.  If I'm being honest they do look cooler than I imagined, but I think I'm morally opposed to giving Hasbro any more money on these original characters that exist entirely as gimmicks.  And, frankly, I might cancel Tigerhawk.  I just wasn't that into Beast Wars (good story when I eventually watched it as an adult, but robots turning into animals never grabbed me like robots turning into trucks and planes), and I'm loathe to open my wallet for Leader money on such a minor character.

Also while being tighter with my wallet I passed on Powerlinx Hot Shot.  I know, with G1 I throw money at all sorts of obscure repaints, but I dunno, regular yellow Hotshot is enough representation of that character for me.  If they do Energon Hotshot, or when they do Cybertron Hot Shot, sure, but I don't need the one I have with his colors inverted (even if I do kind of want Jolt).

I don't have kids, but I can sympathize. Glad you were able to score most of them on Pulse, anyway. I feel the same about both Tigerhawk and Powerlinx Hot Shot. IMHO, the original yellow version, which I have, should have come with Jolt like the original toy did. One decent representation of him is enough for me; I was never into the UT, so I'm cherrypicking the associated figs purely on the merits of the figs themselves. Thus far, I have yellow HotShot and Starscream, which also suffers from jet-with-arms syndrome, but at least his hands fold away unlike the new Windblade. If nothing else, I wish there were retractable covers on her thighs to cover her hands or her forearms extended similar to Animated Prowl or SS86 Ultra Magnus to cover them. Anyway, I like the bot mode for Magneus (vehicle is ok), but I'd rather have a vehicle over a rock as an alt, and I can get behind the idea of these figs being inorganic creatures who happen to transform. It's not my favorite gimmick, and like you, I'd rather that budget went towards finishing up the G1 crew, but since they're feeling creative, I'll evaluate each one and buy if they appeal. 

As for Tigerhawk, it's a certainty that it'll get remolded into Silverbolt at some point- that's all I could see looking at the fig.  I really like BW, but I have no recollection of Tigertron and Airazor fusing. I guess it's time for a rewatch. I have an abysmal memory, so after a couple years, I tend to forget to a great extent even the stuff I enjoy.

Well, another PulseCon behind us. I enjoyed some the SW stuff and quite a bit of the G.I. Joe stuff; I think they're absolutely knocking it out of the park in both themes, and I often feel like Transformers is drawing the short straw so far as paint and accessories, but I guess the engineering and higher part counts need to be taken into account. As always, I 'm just grateful that Transformers is still an existing toyline. I was surprised by Ejima-san's comments and the realization of how close the brand came to extinction in the late 80s, early 90s. Takio Ejima has my eternal thanks for keeping it going single-handedly and heartfelt congratulations for earning a much. much deserved spot in the Transformers Hall of Fame. 

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So I'm looking at this picture...

OfficialImageofHasbroPulseCon2023TransformersPanel(10)__scaled_800(1).jpg.d61ff0c335c8af93c3cf4abc61e37627.jpg

And I kind of don't know what to think.  I mean, like Evan said, this isn't the completed artwork because they were deliberately hiding some future reveals and most of what we see here is what we saw today- Windblade, Magneous, Bouldercrash, two other rock dudes (one of which looks like a straight repaint of Magneous), Tigerhawk, Tasmania Kid, Thundertron, Optimus, Bumblebee, and Chase.  What we didn't get announced today but are clearly in the picture is Magmatron, the guy made out of dinosaurs in the middle and big bad from Beast Wars Neo, and up in the upper right we have Tidal Wave from Armada.  Now, full disclosure, I was told that Tidal Wave was coming, but I wasn't told what class.  What I was told is that he'd work with Legacy Megatron (and United Galvatron, whom you can expect in the third wave, some time next summer), so the assumption was that he'd be Commander-class.  Magmatron, though, that's a surprise to me.  Now, I didn't watch Beast Wars Neo, I have no idea how big Magmatron is supposed to be, but my gut reaction is that he can't be that big, so he must be the Commander.  And a lot of people have be asking for a Titan Tidal Wave, so maybe he's the Titan after all?  Except, if you look next to him in the picture you can see Megatron.  And if you look closely, that's a chunk of Tidal Wave on his arm.  And Magmatron is made of three dinosaurs.  Maybe he's the Titan and Tidal Wave is the Commander after all?  Or maybe they're taking my advice and doing two Commander and ditching the Titan class?  I dunno.

EDIT: Yeah, you can pretty much disregard like that whole paragraph.  Talked to my source, and he's now confirming that Magmatron is the Commander-class, and Tidal Wave is the Titan.  From what I was told Magmatron will be able to do the three separate beast modes, the combined "magmasaurus" alt mode, and the combined robot mode.  As for Tidal Wave, parts of him will come off and can be attached to Megatron (or Galvatron, who should be hitting around the same time), but unlike the original you won't attach to the whole figure to him.

Anywho...

11 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Well, BMac mentioned an "Omega type reveal" in lieu of a TF Haslab for next year, so I'm hoping it'll be Animated.

The way I understood it is that there isn't a new Transformers Haslab this year because they want to do one for the 40th anniversary (which is fine with me, because I'd rather have the previous one I paid for in-hand before I back another).  And yeah, they definitely said "Omega" when they talked about it.  It's just that... well, an Animated Haslab for the franchise's 40th anniversary seems kind of odd to me.  It really feels like it should be something G1... but what?  I mean, as much as I gripe about the G1 characters that still haven't been done, there aren't really that many left, and short of combiner nothing that really jumps out at me as needed a Haslab to get made.  Then there's that "Omega" reference.  We already got G1 Omega Supreme, plus the Omega Guardian repaint.  Only two other Omegas really jump out at me- Animated Omega, as we've already discussed, and Omega Prime, the fusion of Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus in RID 2001, which still isn't G1.  That said, between those two, I really hope it's Omega Prime.  I know how much you love Animated Omega, but RID Optimus/Car Robots Fire Convoy has been super high on my wishlist since I started collecting again in 2006.

11 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I have no knowledge of Thundertron

Like I said, he never appeared in the cartoon.  I remember his original toy coming out and me skipping it for that very reason.  At some point there were plans for a 4th season of Prime that would have been about the Star Seekers, a group of pirates from Cybertron's 13 colonies, of which Thundertron is the leader, but it never happened.  He did appear in the novel Transformers: Retribution, but that's about it.

Here's the original toy:

thundertron-robot-12-jpg.jpg.858bb02f76bda1e76587e63fd1aaacf7.jpg

6 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Starscream, which also suffers from jet-with-arms syndrome, but at least his hands fold away unlike the new Windblade.

Yes... and technically that's cartoon-accurate on Starscream.

Tactician_starscream_jetmode.jpg.a73a0362827f0e06c91cb3bb1473999b.jpg

6 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

As for Tigerhawk, it's a certainty that it'll get remolded into Silverbolt at some point

No.  You actually can expect Silverbolt in the second wave, but he'll be a new Voyager, not a repaint Leader.

6 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I got... Magneus...

 

5 hours ago, JB0 said:

The neo-Rocklords(I guess they're called Infernac)... I'm kinda diggin' 'em. The vehicles have sort of a Flintstones vibe, and I'm here for it.

When Kilauea erupted a few years ago I remember watching a Youtube video of slowly engulfing a 4th-gen Mustang.  To me, those Infernac dudes remind me of that Mustang, like if instead of catching fire and melting it somehow busted out with cooled lava still stuck to it.

And boo, if you're going to bring back Rock Lords, man up and bring back actual Rock Lords.  Nuggit's my boy.

In any case, I keep hearing people (like you two) expressing interest in these Infernac guys, so while I stand by my belief that Hasbro should stop doing these gimmicky original characters you gave me FOMO and I wound up preordering both Bouldercrash and Magneous.ūüė©

Edited by mikeszekely
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52 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

When Kilauea erupted a few years ago I remember watching a Youtube video of slowly engulfing a 4th-gen Mustang.  To me, those Infernac dudes remind me of that Mustang, like if instead of catching fire and melting it somehow busted out with cooled lava still stuck to it.

Which sounds AWESOME!

 

53 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

And boo, if you're going to bring back Rock Lords, man up and bring back actual Rock Lords.  Nuggit's my boy.

You know what? That's fair.

 

53 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

In any case, I keep hearing people (like you two) expressing interest in these Infernac guys, so while I stand by my belief that Hasbro should stop doing these gimmicky original characters you gave me FOMO and I wound up preordering both Bouldercrash and Magneous.ūüė©

Haha!

Well, I hope they live up to the accidental hype. I just think they're neat plastic robots, and if Transformers is going to be the entire plastic robot space then they can stretch their legs.

I've been served enough red semis and yellow subcompacts/sports cars to last a lifetime, honestly. But I've never had an SUV made out of obsidian before!

 

 

Also: Transformers x Knight Rider when, Hasbro?

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

So I'm looking at this picture...

OfficialImageofHasbroPulseCon2023TransformersPanel(10)__scaled_800(1).jpg.d61ff0c335c8af93c3cf4abc61e37627.jpg

And I kind of don't know what to think.  I mean, like Evan said, this isn't the completed artwork because they were deliberately hiding some future reveals and most of what we see here is what we saw today- Windblade, Magneous, Bouldercrash, two other rock dudes (one of which looks like a straight repaint of Magneous), Tigerhawk, Tasmania Kid, Thundertron, Optimus, Bumblebee, and Chase.  What we didn't get announced today but are clearly in the picture is Magmatron, the guy made out of dinosaurs in the middle and big bad from Beast Wars Neo, and up in the upper right we have Tidal Wave from Armada.  Now, full disclosure, I was told that Tidal Wave was coming, but I wasn't told what class.  What I was told is that he'd work with Legacy Megatron (and United Galvatron, whom you can expect in the third wave, some time next summer), so the assumption was that he'd be Commander-class.  Magmatron, though, that's a surprise to me.  Now, I didn't watch Beast Wars Neo, I have no idea how big Magmatron is supposed to be, but my gut reaction is that he can't be that big, so he must be the Commander.  And a lot of people have be asking for a Titan Tidal Wave, so maybe he's the Titan after all?  Except, if you look next to him in the picture you can see Megatron.  And if you look closely, that's a chunk of Tidal Wave on his arm.  And Magmatron is made of three dinosaurs.  Maybe he's the Titan and Tidal Wave is the Commander after all?  Or maybe they're taking my advice and doing two Commander and ditching the Titan class?  I dunno.

EDIT: Yeah, you can pretty much disregard like that whole paragraph.  Talked to my source, and he's now confirming that Magmatron is the Commander-class, and Tidal Wave is the Titan.  From what I was told Magmatron will be able to do the three separate beast modes, the combined "magmasaurus" alt mode, and the combined robot mode.  As for Tidal Wave, parts of him will come off and can be attached to Megatron (or Galvatron, who should be hitting around the same time), but unlike the original you won't attach to the whole figure to him.

Anywho...

The way I understood it is that there isn't a new Transformers Haslab this year because they want to do one for the 40th anniversary (which is fine with me, because I'd rather have the previous one I paid for in-hand before I back another).  And yeah, they definitely said "Omega" when they talked about it.  It's just that... well, an Animated Haslab for the franchise's 40th anniversary seems kind of odd to me.  It really feels like it should be something G1... but what?  I mean, as much as I gripe about the G1 characters that still haven't been done, there aren't really that many left, and short of combiner nothing that really jumps out at me as needed a Haslab to get made.  Then there's that "Omega" reference.  We already got G1 Omega Supreme, plus the Omega Guardian repaint.  Only two other Omegas really jump out at me- Animated Omega, as we've already discussed, and Omega Prime, the fusion of Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus in RID 2001, which still isn't G1.  That said, between those two, I really hope it's Omega Prime.  I know how much you love Animated Omega, but RID Optimus/Car Robots Fire Convoy has been super high on my wishlist since I started collecting again in 2006.

Like I said, he never appeared in the cartoon.  I remember his original toy coming out and me skipping it for that very reason.  At some point there were plans for a 4th season of Prime that would have been about the Star Seekers, a group of pirates from Cybertron's 13 colonies, of which Thundertron is the leader, but it never happened.  He did appear in the novel Transformers: Retribution, but that's about it.

Here's the original toy:

thundertron-robot-12-jpg.jpg.858bb02f76bda1e76587e63fd1aaacf7.jpg

Yes... and technically that's cartoon-accurate on Starscream.

Tactician_starscream_jetmode.jpg.a73a0362827f0e06c91cb3bb1473999b.jpg

No.  You actually can expect Silverbolt in the second wave, but he'll be a new Voyager, not a repaint Leader.

 

When Kilauea erupted a few years ago I remember watching a Youtube video of slowly engulfing a 4th-gen Mustang.  To me, those Infernac dudes remind me of that Mustang, like if instead of catching fire and melting it somehow busted out with cooled lava still stuck to it.

And boo, if you're going to bring back Rock Lords, man up and bring back actual Rock Lords.  Nuggit's my boy.

In any case, I keep hearing people (like you two) expressing interest in these Infernac guys, so while I stand by my belief that Hasbro should stop doing these gimmicky original characters you gave me FOMO and I wound up preordering both Bouldercrash and Magneous.ūüė©

I appreciate the legwork concerning the artwork. I'm not familiar with Beast Wars Neo so I didn't make the connection. Searched it and I'm pleasantly surprised to see a Plesiosaur amidst the Magmatron trio. I'm down for that.

So far as potential "Omega" figs go, you already know my wish.  :) FWIW, whichever gets made this time around, I hope the other gets its toy as well.

I looked up that Thundertron toy, too, out of curiosity. It's somewhat familiar, but honestly I don't remember it. Funny thing is, I may even own it and not remember buying it. Like I said, my memory sucks. Anyway, I like the Zoidish direction they took with the new fig, and I'm looking forward to getting him.

Concerning Armada Starscream, I don't fault the toy, as the OG toy was like that and the toon mirrored it. I'm not a UT fan, but I think Has/Tak did a good job on the fig, and I actually think it's one of their better jetformers. 

Hmm, looking at the similarities between Tigerhawk and Silverbolt, it makes perfect sense to me to just do a remold/recolor. However, you and your source have a great track record, so I believe you. Just seems a waste of an already perfect mold to me.

Interesting story about the lava-covered Mustang (what a lamentable fate for a nice car). It's fitting regarding the look of the Infernac figs. While I can understand your and other fans' desires to have no-kidding Rock Lords realized in a modern toy line, I think I prefer the direction they're taking. Bots that turn into rocks just don't have the same appeal, at least to me anyway. A light-hearted LOL at your acquiescence to FOMO. I hope they at least turn out to be fun figs and you end up enjoying them. I didn't get Bouldercrash, but I think Magneous looks pretty cool even though these weaponizer-type figs generally don't float my boat. I think I'm gonna dig him in hand.

1 hour ago, JB0 said:

Haha!

Well, I hope they live up to the accidental hype. I just think they're neat plastic robots, and if Transformers is going to be the entire plastic robot space then they can stretch their legs.

I've been served enough red semis and yellow subcompacts/sports cars to last a lifetime, honestly. But I've never had an SUV made out of obsidian before!

 

 

Also: Transformers x Knight Rider when, Hasbro?

Yeah, the rocky critters cum vehicles is a new direction, and admittedly a bit odd, but like you say, if they want to stretch their legs and get creative, well, IMHO, they could do worse. Like Mike, I'd much prefer they finish the G1 characters, but you're not wrong that some characters have had their lion's share of figs over the years, and, like 'em or not, these Infernacs bring something fresh to the line.

Along with Knight Rider, Airwolf, Blue Thunder, the '89 Batmobile, the Tumbler, and BA's van would also be nice crossovers.

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Rawr!

PXL_20230923_052648522.jpg.52b5f4a0b415c6b3461869b69211f195.jpg

When Mark showed off "Junkasaurus" on his Instagram there were two problems with it.  The big one is that it used a repaint of Crashbar that never happened, so unless you wanted to double up on him you're short a Junkion.  The smaller problem, but one that still kind of rubbed people the wrong way, is that while you had Scraphook as one leg, you needed either Axlegrease (canonically a Junkion, despite not matching, but a Decepticon when the other three are with the Autobots) or Towline (an Autobot, but also not matching because he's not actually a Junkion).  Well, I was screwing around on The App Formerly Known as Twitter and came across some alternative ideas.  Turns out you can make a pretty good Robo Rex with just the three Autobot-aligned rust-colored ones (Scraphook, Crashbar, and Trashmaster).

PXL_20230923_052758663.jpg.93eda140cb5768f82be571988587a0c7.jpg

The configuration I went with isn't using Crashbar's torso, his rear wheel, Scraphook's spare tire, or the bits from the front of Trashmaster's cab.  Mind you, I've seen people incorporate them.  In fact, you can find homes for the wheels pretty easily.  But there isn't really a good spot for Crashbar; the best-looking one I'd seen had him sitting on Junkasaurus' back, but he wasn't actually attached.  Likewise, while you can find places to but Trashmaster's cab the way I'd seen that looked the best doesn't allow the dinosaur legs to be pegged in all the way, and the joints are loose enough as it is.  But, there's a reason I left the wheels off the dinosaur.

PXL_20230923_052917511.jpg.1e30031b53d1875f087514d130022f04.jpg

It ain't pretty, but the leftover but plugging the cab into Crashbar's thighs, folding out the shoulders, and plugging the wheels into them sort of makes for a little rover.

As for the dinosaur, start with Trashmaster in truck mode.  Pull off his legs, his cab, the arms for lifting dumpsters, and his claw, then turn him upside-down.  Grab Scraphook and pull off his front end and hook.  Now, plug the orange pipes that come with Crashbar into Trashmaster where his cab was, with the pipes curving down toward the top of his cab.  Those pipes basically turned the 5mm ports on Trashmaster into pegs that'll allow you to plug most of Scraphook onto them.  Take Crashbar's left leg, the one made from the front of his alt mode, and plug it into the port on the back of Scraphook, then plug Scraphook's hook (with the actual hook part swapped to the top of the boom) into Crashbar's toe to make a tail.  Take the front end from Scraphook and split it into two legs with the feet folded out.  Use the pegs on knees to plug them into Trashmaster's feet, which are still folded up in their alt mode position.  Plug Trashmaster's own knee pegs into the barrels of Crashbar's gun-ish accessories, arrange the joints until they look like dinosaur legs, then use pegs on the sides of Crashbar's accessories to plug them into Scraphook's doors.  Take Crashbar's arms and use the 5mm ports on them to plug into Trashmaster's thighs so that the spikes on the shoulders are pointing outward and the elbows are curled up opposite Trashmaster's thighs.  Take Crashbar's other leg, and plug the 5mm port at the knee into a hole on the gray top of the claw.  Plug Trashmaster's hydraulic arms into the 5mm ports on either side of the seat on Crashbar's leg, so that they make a U on either side and leave 5mm pegs near Crashbar's ankle.  Plug those pegs into Crashbar's hands to attach the head and neck of the dino to the body.  Finally, you can give him little T-Rex arms by plugging Scraphook's exhaust pipes into the 5mm ports on Trashmaster's forearms, just behind his wrists, then I plugged Scraphook's engine parts into the 5mm ports on the inside edges of the exhaust pipes.

I think the dino mode looks pretty good.  It can open it's jaws, has a little up/down tilt on the head, shoulder swivels, hip swivels, thigh swivels, digitigrade knee and ankle bends, and even a little side-to-side swishing on the tail.  But be advised, on my copy the joints in the legs are a bit weak for supporting that much weight, and using the hydraulic arms to connect it's head to it's torso by way of what's really just Crashbar's curled elbows and and the connection between Trashmaster and Scraphook, just a pair of pipes, are a bit precarious.  That makes this dino mode ok for display, but it'll fall apart if you play with it.

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I'm very whelmed with the excitement of the PulseCon reveals. The only one I'm looming forward is the Galvatron repaint of Energon Megatron. 

If they do a Cliffjumper or Nemesis Prime out of the Animated toys I'm also on board since the original Animated Nemesis Prime (technically Optimus Prime Black Ver.) is one of my favorite black and teal toys.

However, I don’t feel that the style they chose works for the Legacy toy line. There is too many flared out, non straight shapes on them that clash with the lines aesthetic. And while everyone berates the nones on the Prime toys, they fit better into the G1 style in my opinion.

What I'm trying to say: They look more like their Animated selves but less like they belong in the Legacy line.

Meh on the Rocklords. I'm sure the Hasbro design team struggled with how to incorporate the concept into Legacy and went with the one that makes the least amount of sense to me (i.e. vehicles with extra greebles).

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