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17 hours ago, Scyla said:

@mikeszekely I am as puzzled by the rock Armorizers as you are. They probably wanted to to Rocklords but thought kids won’t play with robots that turn into sphere-like objects and thus they are now vehicles.

The weird part is that while I think the homages don't work, the notion of a rock guy needing to turn into a rock truck is weird, and I'd really prefer Hasbro stop wasting slots on this nonsense, I do weirdly like the figure.

Anyway... no reviews today, because Amazon delivery is incompetent and the three figures that were supposed to arrive today are now listed as "delayed".  According to the GPS tracking the driver made it to my neighborhood, but only got halfway through before deciding to screw off and call it a night.  And if I'm salty about it, it's because this is a semi-regular occurrence when Amazon uses their own delivery service, and even when they do actually deliver stuff it's always way later in the day than USPS, UPS, or even FedEx.

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On 12/8/2023 at 10:34 PM, mikeszekely said:

However... if you ignore everything I just said in the previous paragraph, Magneous is actually kind of cool.  He's got decent articulation, a straightforward transformation, and a vibe that's basically "what if Optimus Prime had a love child with a Rock Lord that grew up to be a bad guy?".  So while you probably should skip him, if you don't you might find that you actually like him.

That is almost exactly as cool as I expected. Definitely gonna add this sucker to my shelf at some point.

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On 12/9/2023 at 2:28 AM, Scyla said:

@mikeszekely I am as puzzled by the rock Armorizers as you are. They probably wanted to to Rocklords but thought kids won’t play with robots that turn into sphere-like objects and thus they are now vehicles.

I don't get it either, especially when there are actual characters who still need figs. That said, like Mike, I find something appealing about the fig, enough to have ordered it through Pulse awhile back. Still waiting for him and the rest of his wave mates to ship.

Edited by M'Kyuun
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OK, today we get to finish off the wave 1 Legacy United Voyagers with Thundertron.

PXL_20231211_014319715.jpg.acbfcb470cca3aa0e9f1a29cc5fa29b1.jpg

I'd love to tell you how cartoon-accurate Thundertron is, or compare him with the original Prime toy, except I never bothered to buy the original Prime toy because Thundertron was never in the show.  It's my understanding that Thundertron was intended to be the leader of the Star Seekers, a group of pirates who were planned to be either the antagonists of a fourth season of Prime or whatever the next post-Prime Transformers show would be.  That ultimately never came to be (perhaps because of the end of The Hub, but I'm not certain), and Thundertron's only appearance in fiction wound up being in the novels Exiles and Retribution.

Now, I could show him with his wave mate, so you could see that he's basically the same size as Optimus.  But I think a more interesting comparison is Deluxe-class Cyberverse Thunderhowl, and I think the reason it's interesting is because Legacy Thundertron has a number of differences from the original Prime toy.  Some of them, like the darker blue, the silver beard instead of translucent blue, blue on the sides of his head, no blue paint on his crest, etc, are purely aesthetic or budget choices.  But there are other changes, too.  Like, he's got molded claws on his wrists that the original toy didn't have, and that are not part of his alt mode.  But Thunderhowl has them.  The gold triangles with the big claws on the shoulder pads of the original toy are gone, replaced with something that's a few spikes away from Thunderhowl's

PXL_20231211_014335106.jpg.47a02e7d46c2439353baabc3df825c16.jpg

Thundertron's hip skirts, which were originally meant to evoke a long coat and came down nearly to his ankles on the original toy, are shortened to about knee length.  Kinda like Thunderhowl's.  I suppose it's a bit unfair to compare Thundertron's coattails to Thunderhowl's, given that the original toy had them.  But why, Hasbro, did you swap the blue on the original for unpaintable gray plastic?  Same question for Thundertron's biceps, feet, and tail.  Regardless, my point is Thundertron seems like a pretty obvious retool for a Thunderhowl toy (even if none has been officially listed for United).

One last thing to note about the aesthetics- his calves and in the insides of his forearms are super hollow.  Disappointing to see on a figure with a Voyager budget...

PXL_20231211_015410137.jpg.b57e0ecbea9a17c6ea6793db2481731d.jpg

...especially when he comes with so few accessories.  Because you get this sword, made from a fairly bendy and unpainted plastic.  That's it.

PXL_20231211_015520882.jpg.c704adbfb31e09a7bc321c86431cd857.jpg

Thundertron's head seems to be on a ball joint.  Due to clearances around his neck and shoulders he can turn his head only about 45 degrees to either side and can look up a bit, nothing really down and no sideways tilt.  His shoulders can swivel and move almost 90 degrees laterally; the joint itself seems capable of more, but the shoulder pads actually hover above his arms and get in the way.  He does have, due to his transformation, very slight butterfly joints.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend about 120 degrees.  His wrists swivel.  He has a waist swivel, but his hip skirts and coattails limit it to about 45 degrees to either side.  His hips can go 90 degrees forward, and the ball joints on his hip skirts move them enough that he can get his hips 90 degrees laterally, too.  His coattails don't move as much, though, limiting his backward hip movement to under 45 degrees.  Due to his transformation he has thigh swivels at both the top and bottom of his thighs, and his knees bend nearly 180 degrees.  His left foot has a slight upward tilt, a good downward tilt, and a limited ankle pivot.  His right foot, though, has a limited upward tilt and a limited downward tilt, with no ankle pivot at all.

PXL_20231211_015607479.jpg.54dac09b228dda90de81cf19f46e9edd.jpg

This is because he retains the peg leg gimmick from the original toy.  You just pull his foot off the peg.  Since Legacy Thundertron has claws molded onto his wrists already, he can't wear his foot on his forearm like a clawed weapon the way the original toy did.  Instead, you're meant to use a tab on the front of his sword to plug the foot onto it, then wrap the silver edge toes down.  With or without the foot on it, the sword has a peg that allows Thundertron to hold it in either first.  The sword has no pegs on the sides, though.  So, despite having a 5mm port on either hip skirt, he can't wear the sword on his hip.  Thundertron also has 5mm ports on the side of either calf, on the outside of either forearm, and on top of his left shoulder pad, not that any of that is useful for storing his sword in bot mode.  Best you can do is use a tab on one side of the blade to plug the sword into his coattails.  It sits way too low, though, and is really meant for alt mode.

PXL_20231211_020257147.jpg.956dc0e6ec6866f1b32acba8890e26e2.jpg

Speaking of alt mode, the engineering isn't super different than the original toy.  His chest still comes up over his head, his arms still curl up, and his legs still have to twist at the top and bottom of the thighs, and the silver "toes" on his feet still fold back to that only the three gold claws remain.  There are two big differences, though.  The first is that his back and coattails shift forward, so his robot hips bend forward, his knees bend back, then you engage a joint mid shin to bring the lion's feet down.  This gives him more proper digitigrade lion legs, but the hip skirt "wings" now look like they're coming off the lion's butt instead of its sides.  The other is that the curled arms fold into the lion's chest instead of its biceps, so the front legs are entirely formed from the shoulder pads.

PXL_20231211_020410480.jpg.8fe4df8f1c5e9cc7b79dba41f812c114.jpg

There's no color on the molded triangle bits on the lion's wrists, and the unpaintable gray plastic stands out on his back and tail in a way that the original toy's blue didn't.  And, of course, there's no translucent plastic.  Otherwise the aesthetic differences are limited to the aforementioned differences in the hip skirt wings and the more digitigrade rear legs.

PXL_20231211_020524953.jpg.4e11413fdc05625ee954ea494bb233f4.jpg

Thundertron's lion articulation is extremely limited, as the lion legs are actually pegged into place.  The front legs can bend at the elbow and the paws have a little up/down tilt, but that's it there.  The lion's mouth opens a bit, but there's no articulation in the lion's neck.  The rear legs have all the articulation of the robot mode plus the digitigrade joint, but there's only so much you can do with it due to the limited foot articulation.  The tail has a hinge at the base so it can raise up a bit, but that's it.

As I touched on earlier, there's a slot on one side of his coattails that allows you to plug the sword onto his back.  I'll also note, though the instructions don't mention it, that his right shoulder pad has a pair of slots where the left on has a 5mm port.  The lower of the two slots also happens to be a nice snug fit for the sword's tab, allowing you to store it on the lion's bicep as well.

I give Hasbro crap for wasting slots in the mainline on original Junkions and rock guys, but in some ways Thundertron feels like a bigger waste.  I mean, at least with the Junkions and the rock guys Hasbro's really pushing a gimmick, and fans might take umbrage if Hasbro applied that gimmick to established characters in a way that felt out of character or compromised the quality of the figure.  Here Hasbro's using a Voyager slot to bring back a Prime character nobody asked for because he was never actually in Prime.  I mean, just from Prime alone, why not Breakdown, who didn't get a toy in the West until a few years ago when Hasbro decided to reissue the Japanese one on Pulse?  Why not Hardshell, who never got a toy bigger than Legends?  The only explanation I can come up with is because Breakdown and Hardshell can't be retooled into Thunderhowl.  What's more, while I again don't have the original Thundertron toy, from what I've seen Legacy Thunderhowl isn't even that much of an upgrade, as he loses some of his aesthetic details, gains a bit of articulation above the waist in robot mode, but gains nothing in lion mode.  Now, I wouldn't say he's a bad figure; if you dig the idea of a peg-legged robo-pirate that turns into a Liger from Zoids (designer Mark Maher literally suggested that Star Seekers stopped on Planet Zi at some point and Thundertron scanned a Liger there for his alt mode), then you might like Thundertron.  I think he's objectively a rather mediocre figure, though, of a character that lacks the benefit of fiction and nostalgia to justify a place on your shelf.  Most of you can probably skip this one.

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19 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

OK, today we get to finish off the wave 1 Legacy United Voyagers with Thundertron.

PXL_20231211_014319715.jpg.acbfcb470cca3aa0e9f1a29cc5fa29b1.jpg

I'd love to tell you how cartoon-accurate Thundertron is, or compare him with the original Prime toy, except I never bothered to buy the original Prime toy because Thundertron was never in the show.  It's my understanding that Thundertron was intended to be the leader of the Star Seekers, a group of pirates who were planned to be either the antagonists of a fourth season of Prime or whatever the next post-Prime Transformers show would be.  That ultimately never came to be (perhaps because of the end of The Hub, but I'm not certain), and Thundertron's only appearance in fiction wound up being in the novels Exiles and Retribution.

Now, I could show him with his wave mate, so you could see that he's basically the same size as Optimus.  But I think a more interesting comparison is Deluxe-class Cyberverse Thunderhowl, and I think the reason it's interesting is because Legacy Thundertron has a number of differences from the original Prime toy.  Some of them, like the darker blue, the silver beard instead of translucent blue, blue on the sides of his head, no blue paint on his crest, etc, are purely aesthetic or budget choices.  But there are other changes, too.  Like, he's got molded claws on his wrists that the original toy didn't have, and that are not part of his alt mode.  But Thunderhowl has them.  The gold triangles with the big claws on the shoulder pads of the original toy are gone, replaced with something that's a few spikes away from Thunderhowl's

PXL_20231211_014335106.jpg.47a02e7d46c2439353baabc3df825c16.jpg

Thundertron's hip skirts, which were originally meant to evoke a long coat and came down nearly to his ankles on the original toy, are shortened to about knee length.  Kinda like Thunderhowl's.  I suppose it's a bit unfair to compare Thundertron's coattails to Thunderhowl's, given that the original toy had them.  But why, Hasbro, did you swap the blue on the original for unpaintable gray plastic?  Same question for Thundertron's biceps, feet, and tail.  Regardless, my point is Thundertron seems like a pretty obvious retool for a Thunderhowl toy (even if none has been officially listed for United).

One last thing to note about the aesthetics- his calves and in the insides of his forearms are super hollow.  Disappointing to see on a figure with a Voyager budget...

PXL_20231211_015410137.jpg.b57e0ecbea9a17c6ea6793db2481731d.jpg

...especially when he comes with so few accessories.  Because you get this sword, made from a fairly bendy and unpainted plastic.  That's it.

PXL_20231211_015520882.jpg.c704adbfb31e09a7bc321c86431cd857.jpg

Thundertron's head seems to be on a ball joint.  Due to clearances around his neck and shoulders he can turn his head only about 45 degrees to either side and can look up a bit, nothing really down and no sideways tilt.  His shoulders can swivel and move almost 90 degrees laterally; the joint itself seems capable of more, but the shoulder pads actually hover above his arms and get in the way.  He does have, due to his transformation, very slight butterfly joints.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend about 120 degrees.  His wrists swivel.  He has a waist swivel, but his hip skirts and coattails limit it to about 45 degrees to either side.  His hips can go 90 degrees forward, and the ball joints on his hip skirts move them enough that he can get his hips 90 degrees laterally, too.  His coattails don't move as much, though, limiting his backward hip movement to under 45 degrees.  Due to his transformation he has thigh swivels at both the top and bottom of his thighs, and his knees bend nearly 180 degrees.  His left foot has a slight upward tilt, a good downward tilt, and a limited ankle pivot.  His right foot, though, has a limited upward tilt and a limited downward tilt, with no ankle pivot at all.

PXL_20231211_015607479.jpg.54dac09b228dda90de81cf19f46e9edd.jpg

This is because he retains the peg leg gimmick from the original toy.  You just pull his foot off the peg.  Since Legacy Thundertron has claws molded onto his wrists already, he can't wear his foot on his forearm like a clawed weapon the way the original toy did.  Instead, you're meant to use a tab on the front of his sword to plug the foot onto it, then wrap the silver edge toes down.  With or without the foot on it, the sword has a peg that allows Thundertron to hold it in either first.  The sword has no pegs on the sides, though.  So, despite having a 5mm port on either hip skirt, he can't wear the sword on his hip.  Thundertron also has 5mm ports on the side of either calf, on the outside of either forearm, and on top of his left shoulder pad, not that any of that is useful for storing his sword in bot mode.  Best you can do is use a tab on one side of the blade to plug the sword into his coattails.  It sits way too low, though, and is really meant for alt mode.

PXL_20231211_020257147.jpg.956dc0e6ec6866f1b32acba8890e26e2.jpg

Speaking of alt mode, the engineering isn't super different than the original toy.  His chest still comes up over his head, his arms still curl up, and his legs still have to twist at the top and bottom of the thighs, and the silver "toes" on his feet still fold back to that only the three gold claws remain.  There are two big differences, though.  The first is that his back and coattails shift forward, so his robot hips bend forward, his knees bend back, then you engage a joint mid shin to bring the lion's feet down.  This gives him more proper digitigrade lion legs, but the hip skirt "wings" now look like they're coming off the lion's butt instead of its sides.  The other is that the curled arms fold into the lion's chest instead of its biceps, so the front legs are entirely formed from the shoulder pads.

PXL_20231211_020410480.jpg.8fe4df8f1c5e9cc7b79dba41f812c114.jpg

There's no color on the molded triangle bits on the lion's wrists, and the unpaintable gray plastic stands out on his back and tail in a way that the original toy's blue didn't.  And, of course, there's no translucent plastic.  Otherwise the aesthetic differences are limited to the aforementioned differences in the hip skirt wings and the more digitigrade rear legs.

PXL_20231211_020524953.jpg.4e11413fdc05625ee954ea494bb233f4.jpg

Thundertron's lion articulation is extremely limited, as the lion legs are actually pegged into place.  The front legs can bend at the elbow and the paws have a little up/down tilt, but that's it there.  The lion's mouth opens a bit, but there's no articulation in the lion's neck.  The rear legs have all the articulation of the robot mode plus the digitigrade joint, but there's only so much you can do with it due to the limited foot articulation.  The tail has a hinge at the base so it can raise up a bit, but that's it.

As I touched on earlier, there's a slot on one side of his coattails that allows you to plug the sword onto his back.  I'll also note, though the instructions don't mention it, that his right shoulder pad has a pair of slots where the left on has a 5mm port.  The lower of the two slots also happens to be a nice snug fit for the sword's tab, allowing you to store it on the lion's bicep as well.

I give Hasbro crap for wasting slots in the mainline on original Junkions and rock guys, but in some ways Thundertron feels like a bigger waste.  I mean, at least with the Junkions and the rock guys Hasbro's really pushing a gimmick, and fans might take umbrage if Hasbro applied that gimmick to established characters in a way that felt out of character or compromised the quality of the figure.  Here Hasbro's using a Voyager slot to bring back a Prime character nobody asked for because he was never actually in Prime.  I mean, just from Prime alone, why not Breakdown, who didn't get a toy in the West until a few years ago when Hasbro decided to reissue the Japanese one on Pulse?  Why not Hardshell, who never got a toy bigger than Legends?  The only explanation I can come up with is because Breakdown and Hardshell can't be retooled into Thunderhowl.  What's more, while I again don't have the original Thundertron toy, from what I've seen Legacy Thunderhowl isn't even that much of an upgrade, as he loses some of his aesthetic details, gains a bit of articulation above the waist in robot mode, but gains nothing in lion mode.  Now, I wouldn't say he's a bad figure; if you dig the idea of a peg-legged robo-pirate that turns into a Liger from Zoids (designer Mark Maher literally suggested that Star Seekers stopped on Planet Zi at some point and Thundertron scanned a Liger there for his alt mode), then you might like Thundertron.  I think he's objectively a rather mediocre figure, though, of a character that lacks the benefit of fiction and nostalgia to justify a place on your shelf.  Most of you can probably skip this one.

The Zoid aesthetic is the reason why I POed this guy. I'm disappointed that, once again, a beast alt mode, even a robotic beast alt mode which enjoys more license by its nature, has so little articulation. It strips a lot of the potential fun from the toy when an alt that should be highly poseable is anything but. Disappointing.

Edit: Seeing him from the various angles in lion mode, he just doesn't look that great. The lackluster articulation in said mode eroded his appeal further, and I decided to canx my PO. With ever shrinking shelf space, his absence makes room for other figs that I want far more.

Edited by M'Kyuun
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I cut one my fingers today and it's hampering my ability to type, so I think we're going to go with some lighter fare this evening.  How about Legacy United Core-class Bouldercrash?

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Of the two Infernac Universe fellows released so far, I think Bouldercrash is the less interesting one.  It's tempting to write that off as Bouldercrash simply having less budget, but as I noted before Magneous has almost Optimus-esque details and a color scheme that almost suggests a rocky Nemesis Prime.  Bouldercrash, aside from having an even rockier, more asymmetric design, is sort of non-descript.

PXL_20231211_011304940.jpg.2cfddbea4fd53856d55072252ec3612a.jpg

That isn't to say that he doesn't have any budget issues, though.  Turn him a bit and suddenly you're detailing with a massive backpack and a rod growing out of his spine that runs almost to the ground.  Frankly, Core-class figures rarely wow me with their engineering, especially lately, but the kibble on Bouldercrash feels extra lazy.

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Bouldercrash comes with this bladed... thing.  It's probably a quarter of his own mass.

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As is often the case on lower-budget figures, Bouldercrash is full of ball joints.  His head's on one, and while he can't look up too much he's got surprisingly good downward and sideways tilt.  Ball joints in the shoulders swivel but only get about 45-60 degrees laterally.  Ball joints in the elbows act as bicep swivels as well as provide 90 degrees of bend.  His waist swivels.  More ball joints in the hips go 90 degrees forward and backward, but only 45 degrees laterally.  Ball joints in the knees bend a little over 90 degrees while doing double-duty as thigh swivels.  He has no foot or ankle articulation.

His weapon-thingy has a 3mm port on the underside so that it wraps over his hand, giving him a kind of arm blade thing.

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Bouldercrash's articulation is very simple, even by Core-class standards.  Spin him at the waist, lift his chest flap and backpack up around his head, rotate that whole bit 180 degrees, bend his hips and knees so that tabs on his feet fit into that rod coming out of his spin, untab his arms and fold them around to fill in the gaps between his knees and the rod.  Then fold the blade on his accessory over and tab it over his backpack and you've got yourself a kind of rocky three-wheeled motorcycle.

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I don't have a lot to say about his alt mode, really.  The wheels and the shape of the front end sort of let your brain fill in the blanks, but it's a rockier vehicle that seems less fit to be piloted.  I mean, I wouldn't want to sit on that big red blade where the seat would go!  But at the same time, you can't remove the blade without removing the front end.

PXL_20231211_012038126.jpg.2e4706a008dc9c0135a5a3dd30979d79.jpg

You can, however, fold the blade back over into the position used for Bouldercrash's weapon.  Nothing's stopping you from saying it's a bike with a big blade on the front, but the intention isn't for Bouldercrash to stab people as he's running them over.  Instead, there's a 5mm peg on the end of the rod holding his feet in place.  With the blade extended, you can have a larger figure hold the 5mm peg and use Bouldercrash as a weapon.  It's... well, I get that they gotta play into the gimmick with these Infernac guys.  But I'd honestly prefer they focused on making a decent robot with a decent alt mode at the Core-class, or downgraded him to a Battle Master or Micromaster if all they wanted was a dude to turn into a weapon.

Hopefully the other two Cores in this wave shake out to be a bit better, because Bouldercrash is a pretty meh start.  Unless you're going all-in on the rock dudes, you can skip this one.

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Turns out I cut my finger badly enough that I cut into the nail.  Doesn't really hurt, though, just hard to type with a bandage.  Oh well, we can get through this... Legacy United Deluxe-class Chase.

PXL_20231211_012713188.jpg.b6a21c71abf1aff8b9b084aea3e9c765.jpg

As an old geewunner, I have no ties to Rescue Bots.  I tried getting my daughter to watch an episode or two when she was maybe two or three- she wasn't having it, and it was definitely too into the Play-Skool crowd for my tastes.  That said, the show's 12 years old now, and a tot that watched Rescue Bots as a kid is quite possibly hitting the age where adult collecting begins, and I could see that hypothetical kid being quite charmed to see their favorite characters with a more grown-up style.  Because really, the designers did a bang up job taking the core elements of the Rescue Bots design and translating it into something that fits the pseudo-G1 style of WFC/Legacy.  Sure, broad strokes, he's got the roof chest with the yellow window, he's got the head that looks sort of like cop shades and a police cap with a Bulkhead chin.  He's got the wheels in his shoulders, the white arms, the blue legs and feet.  He's even got the lightbar behind his head.  But there's some real attention to details.  The headlights just above his feet, the vents on his toes, and the knee pads are all part of his Rescue Bots design.

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Chase doesn't even suffer much in the way of hollow spots, though he does have two tiny wings on his back.  I'm not sure if that's a design element from the original cartoon I never watched or toy I never played with, but I find myself wishing they had more articulation.

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Chase comes with a translucent blue box, a pair of translucent hooks, and two silver bits, one with a blue end and one with a red end.  Unlike most police and rescue vehicles since Siege, the lightbar you see on the figure is actually part of the figure, not an accessory that plugs into a 5mm port on the roof.

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Chase's head is on a ball joint, adequate sideways tilt, minimal up/down tilt.  His shoulders rotate, but once again the rotation is on the wrong side of the lateral hinge.  So he can move his arms out 45 degrees when they're at his sides, but they're stuck pointing straight forward if he raises his arms.  He does have bicep swivels, though, and elbows that bend about 90 degrees.  Weirdly, his hands have hinges that are not used for transformation that allow him to bend his wrists inward, but they don't swivel.  His waist does, though.  His hips can go 150 degrees forward, 45 degrees backward, and 90 degrees laterally.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend a little over 90 degrees.  No up or down foot tilt, and he's got a little under 45 degrees of ankle pivot.

So, the the hooks have 5mm ends, and they're meant to plug into a pair of 5mm ports on the translucent box to form Chase's "Capture Claw."  I assume this is like his signature thing from the cartoon... at least one of his Rescue Bots toys has something like it.  Although the box has a 5mm peg on it, and you could plug it into some port on him, the box is actually designed to fit snugly over his entire hand.  Oh, and since the hooks have 5mm ends, Chase can hold them in his hands like some kind of knives or something if you prefer.  As for the silver bits, they're meant to plug into 5mm ports on his forearms, red on the right arm and blue on the left.  This further replicates his appearance from the show, but as they themselves use 5mm pegs they could be carried in his hands like pistols.  Really, with their 5mm port "barrels," you could even attach a (not included) blast effect, or have him firing the hooks.  Whatever floats your boat.  In addition to his hands and forearms, Chase also has 5mm ports on his shoulders, and the side of each leg just below the knee, in the middle of his back, and under each foot.

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Chase's transformation is more interesting than I expected.  A flap opens on his chest so that the entire chest can lift over his head, tucking under the lightbar.  His legs stretch and open up with his feet tucking in to form the front of the car.  You rotate his arms so his hands are above his head, then shift them down so his shoulders are by his hips.  Speaking of hips, you bend his legs at hips so that the windshield, now on his back, tucks under the car's hood.  The winglets on his back fold down to fill in the gaps between his shoulders and forearms.

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What we've got here is, again, is pretty much what you'd expect if you took the chonky Play-Skool car from the original toy/cartoon and translated it into a more realistic car that fits the WFC/Legacy aesthetic.  Like the cartoon, it's mostly blue and white, evocative of a Mustang without getting a license from Ford.  I may point out that the Rescue Bots style Autobot badge on the grill is just a flat blue space, and the vents on the bumper are unpainted.  They added fog lights, and there's no silver on the hood due to his legs not poking through.  Probably could have used some paint on the (again, very Mustang) taillights.  One detail that sort of stands out are the exhaust pipes on the sides, just in front of the rear wheels.  As near as I can tell, it's not a detail from any iteration of Chase's Rescue Bots design.  The early speculation is that this mold could be used to make a Legacy Prime Cliffjumper.  In a trilogy that's given us Rescue Bots, Prime characters that were toys but not in the cartoon, and G1 super deep cuts like Devcon I certainly wouldn't put a Prime Cliffjumper past them.  All I can say is that it'd take some doing to get the horns on the hood and to get rid of the lightbar, and that Cliffjumper is not on the schedule for a 2024 mainline release (but I don't have a list of the Gen Selects or store-exclusives for next year).

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To really replicate the cartoon look, you'll want to leave the silver parts on his arms, and they'll end up on his doors in alt mode.  The Capture Claw, meanwhile, uses that 5mm peg to plug into the port on his back, which is now his rear window.  There are also 5mm ports available just behind each of his four wheels.

Chase might be a character that means nothing to me, but he is a major character in what is technically the longest-running Transformers cartoon, even if it's not a show I can get into.  So I can't really begrudge him his place in the lineup the way I can with rock dudes.  And unlike a lot of the Animated and Prime Legacy updates, Chase's strikes me as a pretty good G1-ification (though now I kind of want an actual G1 Chase of the Throttlebot variety).  Plus I like Transformers who are cops that turn into police cars, making Chase the first Legacy United figure that I feel like I can really recommend, even if he's got a few articulation issues.  All that being said, now that I have him in hand, it's not a Prime Cliffjumper repaint I want out of him.  Swap the blue to black, maybe make the yellow translucent plastic clear or light purple, give him a new head and different accessories, and this is actually the G1-ified Barricade I really wanted instead of the lazy Prowl repaint.  If Hasbro gives me a Barricade out of this mold they can have all my money.

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United Chase looks really cool, which isn't something I ever thought I'd say about a Rescuebots toy.

 

Meanwhile, my local Target has nothing of interest. The only robot from the current subline is Armada Megatron, who just isn't doing it for me.

What they do have is FOUR PEGS OF REACTION FIGURES. Who even wants these? Why do they exist? And why is Target dedicating so much shelf space to them? The world may never know.

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At long last, it's time for the review I thought would be my last for the year (but if Pulse or Amazon would hurry up and send the other half of United wave 1, who knows?).  It's HasLab Deathsaurus!

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First off, let me start by saying, "Dang!"  The original G1 Deathsarus toy was a bit chunkier, with a blocky body and a bigger head, and while the control sheet and box art maintained that look the Victory anime did as anime does, shrinking the torso and head and lengthening the legs to create a more dynamic silhouette.  The HasLab team nailed the anime proportions.  What they didn't copy from the anime was the simplified details.  Details that were stickers on the original toy are not just painted here but sculpted right into the plastic.  Seriously, I'm looking for something to critique, and I technically could say something like "well, his shin details didn't have the gold vents at the bottom in the anime" or "the toy had dark blue thighs," but the simple fact is that, IMHO, this figure walks a perfect balance between toy and anime, at a size that's bigger than Star Saber and even with the combined Victory Saber (and just a smidge shorter than Siege Jetfire).

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Back and sides are mostly clean, aside from his alt mode feet on the backs of his arms and the alt mode head on his back.  Toy-accurate, I suppose, while they simply vanished in the anime.  While I suppose it's theoretically possible that they could have been engineered to fold away somehow I think it's fine.  I just wish that the kaiju head actually tabbed into place; it's just gravity and friction keeping it there, and I've noticed that while manipulating Deathsaurus that I'd sometimes push it up and out of place.

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Having met all the funding goals, Deathsaurus comes with a ton of accessories.  You get a base, a throne, the Living Metal Destroying Cannon, a shield, two Micromasters, two Breastmasters (or Chestmasters, as I think is now Hasbro's official English name for them), an arrow, a sword, a flail, a stand, a stand adapter, and six effect parts.

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Let's start with the Micromasters.  They don't actually have anything to do with Deathsaurus.  Rather, when Siege was going on Hasbro released Stakeout and Red Heat, updates of half the G1 Rescue Patrol.  As the Japanese version of the Rescue Patrol featured heavily in the Victory anime, anime-accurate redecos as their Victory counterparts Holi and Fire became stretch goals for Victory Saber.  At some point someone decided that we should have the whole team, so brand new molds were created for the other two and packed in with Deathsaurus.  They weren't even a stretch goal, it was just a "hey, we're doing this" after Deathsaurus was already funded.  So we've got the ambulance, Pipo, and the boat, Boater.  Like the Siege Micromasters they're pretty simple figures- Boater has a head swivel, a Pipo might but I can't get a finger in there to manipulate it.  They both have ball joints at the shoulders for rotation and limited lateral movement on Pipo and nearly 90 degrees on Boater.  No other arm or waist articulation.  Hips are ball joints that go 90 degrees forward and 45 degrees laterally on both, with limited backward movement on Pipo and about 90 degrees backward on Boater.  Pipo has hinged knees that bend 90 degrees, while Boater has ball joints for knees that bend 90 degrees and act as thigh swivels.  The main thing to really take note of is that, as brand new molds just for this project, they a bit more accurate to the G1 Micromasters and they don't have the 5mm pegs or the half-hearted "they're accessories for bigger characters!" gimmicks the Siege Micromasters did.  This makes them some of the best Micromasters Hasbro's done in modern times.

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The Breastmasters are the other small figures that come in this set.  Tigerbreast is the star here.  His head is on a ball joint and a slider, so he can look up and down, tilt his head 45 degrees, and even turn his head slightly.  Plus his jaws open, his tail has a pair of hinges, and all four of his legs have hinges at the hips and knees.  Eaglebreast can open his mouth, and he's got a pair of hinges in his neck for up/down tilt, but he can't turn or tilt his head sideways.  His hips are ball joints and his feet ankles have hinges for up/down tilt.  His wings have a pair of hinges, but they're really for transformation.  They're not designed to fold back to get very dynamic flapping poses.

Eaglebreast folds up until a box, basically.  You can stuff him into Deathsaurus' chest, which pushes in a spring-loaded door.  Push it in far enough and you'll also be able to wedge the underside of Tigerbreast in there to give Deathsaurus the chest you're probably more familiar with.

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I'm not totally sure about Deathsaurus' neck joint.  He can look up pretty well, but not so much down, and nothing sideways.  His shoulders rotate on ratchets, and they can move laterally on friction hinges 90 degrees.  You can also unlock the shoulders and bring them forward 90 degrees on butterfly joints (the wings on Tigerbreast are hinged and can move forward out of the way).  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend a little over 90 degrees. His wrists swivel.  His fingers are kind of odd... they're hinged at the base and molded into a permanent curl, similar to an MP carbot.  However, his fingers are not one solid piece, but rather two.  The odd part is that it's not his index finger as one part and the other three as the other.  Instead, his index and middle finger is one part, and the ring and pinky the other.  Moving on, his waist swivels, and he's got a small ab crunch.  His hip skirts hinge out of the way so that his hips can ratchet forward, backward, or laterally 90 degrees.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend 90 degrees on ratchets.  The ratchets actually can click forward into a slightly hyperextended position as well.  His feet can't tilt up, and although the front half can tilt downward it forces the heels down as well.  His ankles pivot about 45 degrees.

Whereas even Victory Saber and Commander-class figures like Menasor and Jetfire have still used standard 5mm ports for accessories, Deathsaurus goes with a more MP-style approach.  Accessories like his sword have tabs on the handles, and there's an adapter part for the shield as well.  Plug it into the shield with the handle facing out, then open Deathsaurus' hand, line up the tabs with the slot in the palm, then close his hand up.

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Or, you can plug the adapter in so that the handle is flat against the shield.  This will leave a 5mm peg sticking out.  Deathsaurus' right shoulder has a 5mm port that you can flip out and plug the shield into, similar to the G1 toy.  Sadly, the left shoulder lacks this feature.

The flail works like the sword, tabs in the handle, slots in the palm.

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Tabs in the handle, slots in the palm is also how Deathsaurus holds his Living Metal Destroying Cannon.  The butterfly joints in the shoulders really help when posing Deathsaurus with this gargantuan thing.  I was even able to get him to grab the handle on the side with his feet hand.  Of course, the barrel is compatible with the blast effects, but there's also a port on the rear for them.

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Swords, flails, and giant guns are all well and good, but the Breastforce gimmick was that the Breastmasters come off the chest and turn into not just animals but weapons as well.  For Eaglebreast, you mostly leave him in chest mode, but you fold the tail out a bit and you fold out the shoulder guns before tuck him all back up.  The tail becomes a handle for Deathsaurus to hold, and the shoulder guns become something more akin to pistol barrels.  Those shoulder guns are also compatible with effect parts.

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Tigerbreast is a bit more involved.  You need to flip over a panel behind his head to reveal a tab.  Fold the underside of Tigerbreast and tab it into his chin, and extend his wings on sliders.  Deathsaurus doesn't actually hold Tigerbreast with his hand.  Instead, there's a pair of tabs on the underside of Tigerbreast that plug into a pair of slots on the inside of Deathsaurus' wrist.  Then, grab the arrow accessory.  A tab near the arrowhead fits into the slot we uncovered when we flipped over the panel behind Tigerbreast's head.

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Another tab in the middle of the arrow's shaft can be used to store the arrow into one of the slots on Deathsaurus' back on either side of the kaiju head.  The sword has a cutout on one side of the hilt that fits a trapezoidal peg on the kaiju neck so the sword can also be stored on his back.  It's kind of a weak "feature," but the instructions also indicate that you can store the flail by simply dumping it into the hollow space inside the kaiju head/neck.

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Like his rival, Deathsaurus comes with a stand.  Slide the stand into the base so that it looks like this.  A peg will fit into the screw hole on the bottom of Deathsaurus' butt, with a supporting chunk sticking out for him to rest his grundle on.

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The stand does a good job supporting the weight of the figure.  However, you might not want to use it as a stand at all.

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Without the stand attached, you can use the four holes on it to plug the throne into the base.  The throne has a little cavity with a slit.  You have to unlock Deathsaurus' knees and bend them at the transformation joint, not the ratchets, and the kaiju head on his back will fit into the cavity with his spines sliding into the slit.

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It's a minor complaint, but if you look from the side you'll see that even then Deathsaurus isn't actually sitting on the throne.  His butt hovers just above it, like he's trying to poop in a dirty public toilet.

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The real utility of the throne isn't for sitting, though.  It's a place to store most of Deathsaurus' accessories.  The flail locks in on both the handle and the ball, the arrow and sword goes on the sides, and the Living Metal Destroying Cannon folds up and fits onto the bottom.  With the blue handle in the "plug it into the shoulder" mode, the shield goes on last, covering most of the stuff back there.  Oh, and there's a pair of 3mm ports on top of the throne.  These match with ports on Eaglebreast's feet, allowing him to perch above Deathsaurus as he schemes in his throne.  So for those of you keeping score, the only accessories that don't store on the throne are the Micromasters (which aren't for Deathsaurus anyway), Tigerbreast, the stand, and the effect parts.  It's a bit of a shame that Hasbro could find a way to store the effect parts or at the very least the stand under the base.

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As big as Deathsaurus is, he's got a refreshingly simple transformation.  Pinch in Deathsaurus' ears, then fold his kaiju head up and over his robot one.  Unlock the gold bits on his knees, rearrange some flaps on his shins, then fold his lower legs over his thighs.  Pull his arms out from his torso, then swing them around and lock them back into tabs near his ankles.  Double hinge his wings from his robot back to his kaiju back, then open the bits that were on the edges of his back and shift them to the middle, revealing his kaiju arms, which you then shift into place.  Officially*, rotate his biceps 180 degrees then collapse them.  Open the fronts of his forearms and fold his hands inside, folding out the kaiju feet as you do.  Spin the feet around and splay the toes.  Finally, fold his shield up into the tail and plug it in, using the gold knee pads to lock it all into place.

Instead of using Victory Saber for a comparison, this time we're switching to SS86 Grimlock.  Apparently, there was at one point Hasbro was considering retooling Grimlock into a Leader-class Deathsaurus.  Boy, am I glad they didn't!

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Deathsaurus has been called many things... a dragon, a space chicken, etc.  I think it's safe to assume that Takara meant for Deathsaurus to be some kind of kaiju.  For the most part, I think he looks fine.  He's maybe a little gappy on the back, where the flaps don't entirely cover his knee joints, pelvis, and the tops of his thighs, and I do wish his robot feet folded in or away a bit better.  His kaiju arms are also kind of small.  They're pretty accurate to the G1 toy, but I'd have liked articulated wrists with individual claws more like the anime.  I'll also note that there's no covers for his robot fists in this mode.

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*And about that officially.  So, the official transformation will give Deathsaurus legs that are accurate to the G1 toy and, as near as I can tell, the anime.  Good enough, right?  But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that collapsing the bicep doesn't actually lock the elbows.  So, if you don't rotate the bicep before collapsing it and you don't rotate the kaiju foot, you can bend the elbow 90 degrees and suddenly you've given Deathsaurus true digitigrade legs.  Sweet!

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In kaiju mode, Deathsaurus' head has excellent up/down tilt with a hinged bit on his neck that you can move to keep the joint hidden, plus his head swivels.  His jaws open.  His shoulders are hinged swivels for rotating and moving 90 degrees laterally, plus he's got bicep swivels and hinged elbows.  His shoulders became his hips, so they've got ratcheted rotation and lateral friction hinges.  No thigh swivels, though, since his bicep swivels are locked while collapsed.  He's got limited hinges for the kaiju knee/ankle (at his robot wrists), then swivels and hinges for good up/down tilt at the top of the kaiju feet.  No kaiju ankle pivots, though.  His ab crunch becomes a bit of a back bend, to help the lower body be the pelvis and tail while keeping the upper body upright.  No tail articulation, but the wings have hinges for folding the wings back, and swivels to spread them out.

Since it was a thing in the anime, the kaiju mode can't use most of the accessories like the sword and flail, but it can use the Living Metal Destroying Cannon.  There's a tab on the cannon that can plug into a slot on either shoulder, since the little claws can't do much with it.  Eaglebreast can still store inside, and Tigerbreast can attach to the kaiju's back.

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The kaiju mode also works with the stand.  This time, you slot it in at an angle.  The adapter pieces plugs into the kaiju's belly, into a hole between his robot feet.  The other end of the adapter fits into an octagonal post on the stand.

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With Deathsaurus in a flight pose on the stand, it's a good time to mention that there are three 5mm ports under each of his kaiju feet, plus the little nubs for effects parts in the middle of each foot.  Another 5mm port is inside Deathsaurus' mouth, allowing you to plug an effect part in there as well.

In some ways I'm inclined to think that Victory Saber gave a little more bang for the buck, what with him being a figure that combined with a "trailer" to make a bigger figure, that also came with another figure that combined to make an even bigger super mode.  But in hand, Deathsaurus is simply bigger, and he doesn't have some of the hollow spots that Victory Saber did.  He feels more solid and less fiddly, making him a bit more fun to play with.  And he's got so much more presence.  I don't mean this to slight Victory Saber, who was my favorite official figure and one of my favorite figures overall last year.  I'm impressed that Hasbro managed to follow Victory Saber's HasLab so quickly with one that managed to surpass it.  I have very little to complain about with Deathsaurus, and the complaints I do have are exceedingly minor things like wishing the kaiju head locked into place in bot mode, that the kaiju arms were just a bit better, or that he came with his G1 toy gun.  

When Armada Optimus hit I was thinking that it was likely going to be my toy of the year.  I was pleasantly surprised when SS86 Ultra Magnus managed to top it.  Now I'm really hoping you all backed the Deathsaurus HasLab, because Deathsaurus trumps Prime and Magnus.  Combined.

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I finally decided to get G2 Mirage today....he was pretty much the last G2 figure on the list minus Jazz....I already got a Studio Series Jazz that's been redecoed with the G2 stickers from Toyhax. He's not bad, takes a little getting used to the green and pink....think his G2 autobot logo could had been a little more pronounced as it blends in with the hot pink. If ya got kingdom Mirage, he's pretty much just the exact same mold just new paint.

I haven't heard anything from TFsource yet on my copy of Deathsaurus....I'm gonna assume it'll be another week or two before anything there happens.

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Pulse Premium members, Hasbro is opening for one day a chance to buy the previous Haslabs. Good time to get a Victory Saber to go with Deathsaurus. Too bad in logged in right at noon and Unicron was already sold out.

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Pulse Premium members, Hasbro is opening for one day a chance to buy the previous Haslabs. Good time to get a Victory Saber to go with Deathsaurus. Too bad in logged in right at noon and Unicron was already sold out.

Can you see if Victory Saber is still available (in Europe)? I don’t want to spend €50 for nothing. <_<

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27 minutes ago, Scyla said:

Can you see if Victory Saber is still available (in Europe)? I don’t want to spend €50 for nothing. <_<

Victory Saber sold out very shortly after I posted. Everything but Hero Quest is gone now.

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18 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Victory Saber sold out very shortly after I posted. Everything but Hero Quest is gone now.

Bummer. As one of the supporters that were "scammed" bei Zavvi that sent a mail to Pulse that Zavvi cancelled my order it hurts a little that Hasbro doesn’t think about those people first…

…especially when miraculously additional stock shows up of a made to order item…

…I feel like at this point it sounds plausible that that Hasbro just didn’t sent all the orders to Zavvi…

…the more I think about it the angrier I get. :angry:

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5 hours ago, Scyla said:

Bummer. As one of the supporters that were "scammed" bei Zavvi that sent a mail to Pulse that Zavvi cancelled my order it hurts a little that Hasbro doesn’t think about those people first…

…especially when miraculously additional stock shows up of a made to order item…

…I feel like at this point it sounds plausible that that Hasbro just didn’t sent all the orders to Zavvi…

…the more I think about it the angrier I get. :angry:

It's my understanding from talking to a few people that Hasbro basically made a couple extra of each Haslab specifically to deal with QC issues and orders that were lost or damaged in shipping.  This sale was basically them acknowledging that the warranty period is up and clearing out the warehouse.  Kind of stupid to run the sale for 24 hours when almost everything was sold out in ten minutes (and I wonder if they even actually had any Unicrons), but it is what is is.

I wish I had more info for you on what happened with Zavvi (and another German store, from what I've heard), but no one I've talked to seems to know for sure.  I've heard it suggested that there were issues with Zavvi's order (or orders), but I've also heard rumors that there were QC issues with early batches so Hasbro cut the allotment to some stores to make good on their own Pulse orders.

20 hours ago, tekering said:

Unquestionably, yes. 😋

Since you asked nicely, here's Yolopark's AMK Pro G1 Megatron.

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So, Yolopark is billing these as "model kits," but if you've ever built a Gundam model or a Flame Toys Furai Model, well, this isn't like that.  There are no runners.  You don't clip anything off of a sprue.  There's no decals, and nothing to paint.  Everything in the box is already painted, complete with dry brushed weathering and a wash on some parts.  And stuff's kind of already built.  Sure, you've got a head, torso, pelvis, shoulders, arms, hands, and legs that all need to be connected, but the more complex stuff is already done.

Aside from the parts that make up Megatron's body, you've got the gun barrel for his back, his fusion cannon, two alternate faces, his energon mace, a battle damaged chest, the key to Vector Sigma, the beam saber and pistol he used in the '86 movie, and the parts to make a stand.

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OK, a little backstory here... I'm not a huge fan of Earthrise Megatron.  Deep down, I don't want a G1 Megatron that turns into tank (that's a G2 upgrade).  What I want is a more accurate robot mode, even if the figure doesn't transform at all.  After all, in the cartoon he always mass-shifted into a gun that Starscream could wield, and between the one that came with the Centurion pack and the even nicer one that came with a reissue Starscream I have Megatron guns that Starscream can hold.  So I cut his tread-backpack off, I added a little paint, and I used one of the weird guns that came with various Soundwave figures to stick a gun barrel on his back.  But I've always been on the lookout for a better option, especially since (Sunbow scale be damned) I don't mind a Megatron that's a little taller than Optimus, and ER Megatron was starting to get dwarfed by Galvatron, Beast Wars and Transmetal 2 Megatron, and most recently Armada Megatron.  R.E.D. Megatron was obviously too small, but Yolopark's Megatron was going to be bigger.

Well... shoot.  Yolopark's Megatron is indeed taller, but a little too much for me.  He's at least two heads taller than ER Megatron, and over a head taller than Armada Megatron.  I feel like they maybe could have re-worked his legs a bit... they have a ton of flare at the bottoms, with very large feet.  If they could have found a way to shave even a centimeter off he could have been ideal.

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Because otherwise, I really like what Yolopark is doing here.  I mean, this is clearly G1 Megatron, right?  But, where some companies like Super 7 or Hasbro's own RED line have gone hard into Sunbow territory, Yolopark included plenty of sculpted detail, even stuff like the swing bar for the barrel's transformation into gun mode (despite the fact that this figure doesn't transform).  Combined with the weathered paint, and you've got the sense that you're looking at Megatron as he might appear if he were a real life robot, and not an attempt to capture a 40 year old cartoon in three-dimensional plastic.

Oh, and yes, my copy is missing a part of his left heel.  I sent Yolopark a message about it, and they responded within an hour or two that they'd be sending a replacement part.  So far that seems like good customer service, but we'll see how they follow through on it.

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Another advantage of not having to transform, and one that not everyone seems to take advantage of (looking at you, Super 7 Ultimates), is that every joint exists only to provide articulation, rather than having to work in tandem with the engineering required to transform it.  Which is an awkward way of saying Yolopark Megatron has great articulation.  Is head is on a ball joint with plenty of up/down/sideways tilt on its own, but the ball joint is on a hinged bit as well so he can look even further down, or kind of crane his neck forward.  His shoulders rotate and can extend 90 degrees laterally, plus he's got butterfly joints that bring his arms about 60 degrees forward.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows are double-jointed and bend nearly 180 degrees.  His wrists swivel, and they have hinges that allow him to bend his hands inward.  His thumb has a hinge at the base.  His fingers have two hinged knuckles each, with his index finger being separate from the other three.  There's what I assume is a ball joint in his torso, between the upper block of his chest and the mechanical details that are his abs.  This allows him to lean back, crunch his abs, and even teapot lean to the sides.  He swivels at the waist, plus there's a little bit of a hinge that helps with his ab crunch.  The skirts on the front and sides of his pelvis are hinged, allowing him to bend his hips forward 90 degrees, backward 45 degrees, and laterally 90 degrees.  His thighs swivel.  His knees are double-jointed and bend nearly 180 degrees.  His feet have a slight downward tilt, and an even slighter upward tilt, although the toes themselves are hinged and bend about 30 degrees up.  They also have a limited swivel, a little over 45 degrees of the usual ankle pivot, plus a limited outward ankle pivot.

There's a tab on the fusion cannon, and matching slots on either of Megatron's forearms.  The fit is quite snug.  The gun barrel connects to his back in a similar fashion, although the tab/slot is bigger.

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There's a battery compartment inside the fusion cannon, and a button on top turns an LED light on and off.  If you take apart his head you'll find another LED module.  This one is magnetic.  There's a magnet in the bottom of the gun barrel.  Pop it off his back, and touch it to his forehead to activate the LEDs in his eyes.  It'll cycle through three modes- steady on, rapid blinking, and a breathing mode that's on for a few second before fading off, then fading back on for a few seconds.

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Some of his accessories didn't get quite the same love as the rest of Megatron.  The sculpt of the pistol is fine, but Yolopark didn't paint it so the colors are off.  Likewise, the beam saber is made entirely of translucent plastic.  Both of those weapons fit into his hands, but they don't lock or tab in, they just rely on the friction of his fingers to hold them in place.  The mace is also translucent plastic, but I think that's a bit more appropriate here.  To use it you remove a hand then plug the mace into the socket.  Rather than being a piece, or having an actual chain, the sculpted chain has four hinges to allow you to pose Megatron mid strike.

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To swap faces or chest place, you simple pull the old ones off.  Nothing too exciting to see in his head, besides a reminder for what battery goes in there.  Yolopark put some really nice mechanical detail inside the chest, though.

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The first face has more detailed line work on it.  In some ways I like it; it seems to add to the "this is a real robot, not a cartoon" look.  But it also reminds me a bit of the Bumblebee design, like it's just too busy to be G1 Megatron.  As for the third face, sure, Megatron made that maniacal laughing face enough in the cartoon.  I just prefer something a bit more stoic, so I'll never use it.  In a similar vein, the sculpt and paint on the battle damaged chest looks great, but I'll stick with the stock.

The Key to Vector Sigma is also fine.  No special way to hold it.  Painted gold with a black wash to bring out the line work.  It's going back in the box now.

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The stand is functional.  You build it by taking the main arm, plugging the included Decepticon badge into it, then plugging it into the base.  There's a joint that you plug into the top of the main arm, and a claw goes onto the joint.  The main arm has a joint in the middle, giving you two to work with, and if you want to unscrew it you can even take the main arm apart and reattach at a lower position.  Ultimately, though, it works by making the claw grip Megatron around the waist.

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At the end of the day I'm not really sure how I feel about Yolopark's Megatron.  The materials are a lot better than most "model kits," but he ultimately feels a little less solid than an action figure.  He looks and poses great, which makes him an excellent display piece.  At a very reasonable $50-$60 (depending on shipping), I can definitely recommend Yolopark's Megatron if a non-transforming display piece is what you're after.  But, aside from Megatron and maybe a few others, I do prefer Transformers than, y'know, transform, so I'm not sure I'd be interesting in collecting a whole line of these Yolopark figures.  And he's just a bit too big for me to sub him into my Generations/Siege/Legacy stuff in place of Earthrise Megatron.

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I think I might need to jump into Yolopark's AMK Pro line, all the right ingredients seem to be here.

Clean sculpt/silhouette - check!
Proper proportions - check!
Advanced engineered/integrated articulation - check!

The only thing I don't like is that Megatron's silver face is a bit lost with all the other silver surrounding him.

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1 hour ago, lechuck said:

I think I might need to jump into Yolopark's AMK Pro line, all the right ingredients seem to be here.

Clean sculpt/silhouette - check!
Proper proportions - check!
Advanced engineered/integrated articulation - check!

The only thing I don't like is that Megatron's silver face is a bit lost with all the other silver surrounding him.

Right? I would probably buff most of the silver on the body with #0000 steel wool to give it a bit of a "brushed metal" look. That would let the face stand out a bit better, especially if the face were done in a different shade of metallic and black were added around the eyes:

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Edited by pengbuzz
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First I've seen a Yolopark fig this in depth. If it's purely an action figure you're after, this does the job. It is a shame, however, that they didn't, or couldn't, scale it with the mainline Generations figs for those who want a decent G1 Megs stand-in. Personally, the transformation is the reason I love and collect Transformers, so this is an easy pass for me. I continue to hold out hope that Takara will do a Studio Series '86 Megatron. With the rest of the Movie roster getting figs, it's a must.

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I suspect that won't be my last Yolopark review, but don't worry.  Transforming figures are still my jam.  In fact, I'm switching gears back to the first wave of Legacy United with a look at Deluxe-class Bumblebee.

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Once again, we've got an Animated character getting a geewunny makeover to fit with the other WFC/Legacy bots, and once again I want to ask, "Why?"  I mean, they did some stuff well.  I like the head sculpt, and his chest is made from (some of) the car's roof without using faux parts.  But gone is Derek Wyatt's exaggerated lines, replaced with more generic boxes that includes a bit of extra kibble on his arms and legs.  Speaking of legs, his thighs are solid black, missing the yellow of the cartoon.  Likewise, his fists are solid black, lacking the yellow fingers.  His feet have molded headlights, but they're left unpainted, and the bottom of his feet don't have the black treads the cartoon did.

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Annoyingly, his feet are faux parts.  More annoying still, the actual front of the car that is feet are supposed to be made from are on his heels.  Like, could Hasbro seriously not design the figure to rotate at the waist and have the knees bend the other way?  There's no reason the front of the car couldn't be his actual feet.  Bee's also sporting a bit of a backpack, but so did the original Animated Deluxe, so I'll let that slide.

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Bee comes with exactly the accessories you'd want; his two stingers, done nicely in a vibrant blue translucent plastic with silver paint, and his two rocket boosters, done significantly less well in clear plastic for some reason, with no paint at all.  Like, OK, the original toy had translucent blue plastic, but with silver paint, and in the cartoon they were actually black and yellow.  Are we supposed to pretend Bumblebee's rockets are invisible?  I think I'm going to have to paint mine some other color.  Even if I do silver or gunmetal, they won't be cartoon-accurate but they won't be less accurate than friggin' clear.

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Bee's head is on a hinged ball joint.  He can't really look down or tilt his head sideways, but he can look up very well and swivel his head.  His shoulders are funky.  Like far too many modern Hasbro figures, they have hinges that allow them to move laterally 90 degrees, but only when his arms are at his sides.  There's a swivel in the shoulder, but it can only raise his arm about 90 degrees.  Then, for some reason, there's a second swivel that connects his arm to his shoulder that can raise his arm a little further.  Below that is a bicep swivel, then an elbow joint that bends about 90 degrees.  No wrist swivel.  His waist does swivel, though, and his hips can go forward, backward, and laterally 90 degrees.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend about 120 degrees or so.  His feet have a little upward tilt, but nothing down.  At first I thought his ankle pivot was kind of limited, but it gets caught on the kibble.  Once you get it free, he actually has about 45 degrees of ankle pivot.

The G1-ified way to arm Bumblebee is to plug the stingers into the boosters, using tiny pegs on the backs of the stingers and tiny holes on the backs of the boosters, then allowing Bee to hold them via the 5mm pegs.

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If you care to pretend that the stingers are like blast effects, you can also use a pair of ports on Bee's back to plug the boosters on like a jet pack.  It's worth noting that the holes in the boosters are NOT 5mm, so they don't work with blast effects.

If you want a more traditional Animated look, you can fold Bee's hands in to reveal little holes.  The stingers plug into those holes, although they're at a significant angle.  That angle does allow you to bring his arms close enough that he two stingers can tab into each other, but the combined nub at the end still isn't compatible with blast effects.

In addition to his fists and the pair of ports on his back, Bee has 5mm ports on either side of his backpack and on the sides of his legs near his ankles.

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Bee's transformation isn't exactly like the Animated cartoon, but there's definite shades of it.  His chest and head have to flip up to connect with the rest of the roof on his back, his waist has to spin 180 degrees, and there's a bit of work to be done with his legs to fold in his feet and get the hood from his shins to his calves.  One you've done that, though, he does fold at the waist the way the cartoon did.  His arms tuck into his sides to make the doors and rear fenders, then his backpack unfolds to fill in the rear.

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Bee makes for a tiny car.  The Animated pedigree is still there, including a molded siren on the roof (gonna make this one harder to remold, eh?), and I do appreciate the silver paint on the rims (an area Hasbro likes to skimp on).  But he almost seems like a different model year of the same car.  He's a bit more angular.  There's an ugly black spot on either side where the shoulder joint is exposed, no rear side windows (though there's a slot molded for them), and molded but unpainted taillights and the rear window on the back.  It's ok, I guess.  It's in the ballpark.

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Bee's alt mode kind of gives you two options.  You can use the 5mm ports where the rear side windows should be to place the rocket boosters as, well, boosters, with the stingers serving as blast effect parts.  Alternatively, you can put the rocket boosters in the 5mm ports just behind the front wheels, with the stingers facing forward, in an attack mode.  The only other 5mm ports are on the rear.  They angle slightly upward, and aren't much use for storing his accessories, but you could at least plug in some (not included) blast effects.  The kind that don't work with his weapons.

Like I said at the beginning, "Why?"  For one, if you want a new Bumblebee toy, why not Cyberverse, or IDW?  Get a good G1-ified version of a larger muscle car Bee.  Or, as I keep saying, if they want to do new Animated figures, why not just go all-in on making new cartoon-accurate ones instead of G1-ing them?  Because Hasbro seems to think that to fit into WFC/Legacy they have to replace Derek Wyatt's exaggerated style with something more G1-ish.  This kind of unified aesthetic kind of works for popular characters that weren't already in G1, like Bulkhead or Knockout (or, hey, how about a Legacy Blackout?), but they don't seem to get that Animated Bee was already basically G1 Bumblebee drawn in Wyatt's exaggerated style.  We already have that, it's G1 Bumblebee.  With that in mind, I have the Netflix VW Bee and the Cliffjumper repaint from the Target pack; I have half a mind to see if I can't get the head from the multipack Bee onto Legacy Bee, then maybe track down a Bumper head I can use on mutipack Bee's body.  Regardless, Legacy Bumblebee is a mostly ok figure hampered by poorly designed shoulders that's too Animated for G1 but too G1 for Animated.  I'd call this one a pass.

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Thanks @mikeszekely I appreciate your insight in the Hasbro Pulse situation. I just to add one more thing and then I will be quite about the whole situation.

I feel this is a case of a major corporation trying to mimic small scale operations that have a closer link to their customers, like other Kickstarter-esque endeavors and companies liker Arcadia, and terribly fail.

Why not clearly communicate where the stock is coming from and how much is available. Is it more than a 100 units? Why not try to sell it to the people who missed out like the Taiwanese collectors or Zavvi?

Is it only a couple of units? Why not sell them off in a charity raffle or auction and donate the earnings to a good cause?

Supposedly, there was some charity angle to it but it was phrased quite vague. The items were hidden behind a $50 paywall, there was no real time to react to the announcement, the sale started add an inconvenient time, not every member got an email, etc.

It feels like they tried doing something for the fans with the right intentions behind it but it failed because they are a multi billion corporation.

I am super salty because I was one of the Zavvi customers whose order was cancelled so maybe it was not a big deal to others. 

And that is all I have to say about it.

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10 minutes ago, Scyla said:

Is it only a couple of units? Why not sell them off in a charity raffle or auction and donate the earnings to a good cause?

Supposedly, there was some charity angle to it but it was phrased quite vague. The items were hidden behind a $50 paywall, there was no real time to react to the announcement, the sale started add an inconvenient time, not every member got an email, etc.

I can't comment on the "inconvenient time" or "not every member got an email" stuff.  I don't have any exact numbers, but nothing was reissued.  It was, per the invitation, "very limited quantities" from Haslab's "reserve vault."  And if quantities were that limited (a $600 Unicron sold out in under 30 seconds) it makes sense to limit the pool of potential buyers- less people competing for limited inventory, and Hasbro gets to market the whole idea as another perk of their premium membership.  The invitation email with the link went out a hour or so before, which does sound like no real time to react, but they sent a more vague email about a special event for Pulse Premium members a week or so before, so it wasn't exactly a surprise.  Even if people weren't getting emails the usual TF news sites covered it, and it was discussed on the board-that-shan't-be-named.  And yes, while it wasn't a raffle or an auction, the proceeds went to Hasbro Children's Hospital, so this was a charity thing.  So, yeah, I'm not really arguing against the idea that Hasbro could have handled it differently, and I'm definitely not trying to diminish the justified anger of the Zavvi debacle.  Just wanted to clarify a few facts.

Anyway, bitter as I am that Hasbro told me I had a chance to buy Unicron that I never actually had, it's probably better for me to focus on the present than to dwell on the past.  And the present is Legacy United, so let's wrap up the Deluxes with a look at Windblade.

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Legacy's Windblade is specifically supposed to be Cyberverse Windblade, which I think is a good thing.  See, when she debuted in IDW comics I hated her.  While she was ostensibly the product of a fan vote, the fan input was mostly limited to stuff like female, Autobot, primarily red, uses a sword, turns into a jet.  The Japanese fetish look is squarely on the design team, primarily one Lenny Panzica.  And while she technically debuted in the "Dark Cybertron" story arc, her role in that story was fairly limited to her being a Cityspeaker (a Cybertronian with the ability to communicate with Titans, and a weak justification for the Japanese fetish look by writing as the ceremonial look of Cityspeakers on the planet Caminus).  Her personality wasn't really fleshed out until her first limited series, where Mairghread Scott wrote her as the worst kind of Mary Sue (female outsider happens to be brave, smart, and capable enough to be the only one who can save the day).

Cyberverse made her one of the main characters in the first season, and she was written much better there.  She was brave and capable, but she knew her limits.  She was a loyal friend who both helped Bumblebee and was helped by Bumblebee.  Their friendship came across as a genuine bond from shared experiences, not as props in the story of a self-insert MC.

The Cyberverse design definitely informed a lot of her aesthetic choices.  It's the blue X on her chest, the big red-rimmed knee pads, and the lower legs that flare out like boots with sensible feet.  However, she's not simply the Cyberverse Warrior-class with more budget.  To make her fit the Legacy aesthetic they added a ton of linework, shrunk her eyes, made her face less round, and tweaked her headdress.

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As a Legacy figure, I think most collectors will see her as an alternative to the previous pseudo-G1 Windblade figures, not necessarily Cyberverse specifically.  To that end, Legacy Windblade is still probably your best choice.  Although her lower legs lack the slimmer, high-heeled appearance, her shoulder pads are red instead of black, and her chest is a bit different that the art popularized by Saren Stone and Sara Pitre-Durocher, overall she has a better head sculpt and more accurate bot-mode colors than the old Generations toy, and all-around better proportions than the Titans Return figure.

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Windblade is far from perfect, though.  The "front" side of her wings are riddled with hollow spots, and none of the black you'd see on pretty much every version of Windblade, Cyberverse or otherwise.  And her backpack is pretty massive.  Granted, that's been true for most Windblade figures, but in this case her backpack is like the first third of her alt mode, not just the nose, and while it folds in on itself it winds up sticking out pretty far.  That said, it's just friction clipped on, and you can yank the whole thing off pretty easily if you don't mind partsforming.  Heck, you can pull her wings off just as easily to nearly recreate the wings-retracted look of the cartoon.

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Windblade's accessories are perfectly adequate.  She comes with her Stormfall sword, which is better than the weird things the Titans Return figure came with or the nothing the Cyberverse Warrior came with.  The translucent purple blade has a flame shape, and the hilt is nicely painted, but it's not quite as accurate and lacks the scabbard that the Generations toy had.  She also comes with her hairpiece, which is removable because the original Generations Windblade's was removable, presumably.

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Windblade's head is on a ball joint with good up/down range, very limited sideways tilt, and a limited swivel due to her collar.  Her shoulders rotate and move 90 degrees laterally.  Her biceps swivel, and her elbows bend just under 90 degrees.  Her wrists, waist, and thighs swivel, hips go 90 degrees forward, backward, or laterally, and her knees bend 90 degrees.  Her feet can tilt down due to transformation but not up, and her ankles can pivot around 60 degrees.  Her wings have hinges that allow them to fold back and angle upward, but how far back they fold is limited by her backpack.  The fans in her wings do not spin, but they can flip around.  This lets you position them so the only painted side is facing forward.

Windblade can hold Stormfall in either hand, no problem.  She can even hold her hairpiece... maybe she uses it like Kitana's fan in Mortal Kombat?  If you're like me you'll plug it into the back of her head and leave it there forever.  It doesn't need to be removed for transformation, after all.

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You may have noticed that Stormfall has a 3mm peg on the hilt.  You can use it to plug the sword onto her hips.  Less useful for her own accessories, but maybe handy if you want to armor her up with a rock guy, she's got two 5mm ports on the front of each wing, one on the back of each shoulder, one on the back of each forearm, one on the side of each leg, and two under each foot.

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Transforming Windblade to jet mode is similar to the Cyberverse Warrior-class, but with a bit of extra engineering.  Like, yes, the backpack folds up to cover her head, but it has to split apart and unfold first.  Her waist rotates and her shins have to double-hinge up over her thighs, but her calves also flip over to cover on the bottom.  Her feet transform a little differently, meaning you have to flip out the horizontal stabilizers separately and giving her a more accurate single vertical stab.

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I can't really say that Windblade's jet mode is good.  Her cockpit uses clear plastic and gets lost in the underlying red... I wish they'd used translucent blue, which would be more Cyberverse accurate, or even yellow like most other versions of Windblade.  The primarily red color with black underneath is mostly cartoon-accurate, minus the black space in the middle and the all-black stabilizers, but she's totally lacking the sleekness of the cartoon's jet mode.  The proportions are closer to the IDW version, but with less black and none of the white, plus her tail is chunkier due to having the Cyberverse boots instead of the slimmer IDW legs.  And that blocky fuselage is just yuck, no matter which version of Windblade we're talking about.  The fact that her shoulders are still kind of visible and her arms are just laying against her sides isn't doing her any favors. 

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As noted, the fans in her wings can swivel, allowing you to angle them forward for flight (as she does in the cartoon).  There's fold-out landing gear in her nose, while her back rests on always-present fins.  Stormfall stores in her alt mode by using the 3mm pegs on the hilt to plug into ports between the exhausts on her heels, with the blade pointed out like a flame from a booster.

Windblade is a frustrating release.  Her bot mode, even with the back kibble, is quite good IMHO.  Her transformation is lazy, though, leading to an ugly jet mode, but one that's honestly still better than all but the original Generations toy.  But since the Generations toy is kind of fiddly, has an ugly head, and a hard time standing up straight I'm forced to conclude that Legacy Windblade is ultimately the best Windblade toy Hasbro released so far.  Reluctantly, I'm going to recommend her while also hoping that maybe in a few years they'll revisit Windblade with a more comic-accurate design that turns into a jet that doesn't suck.

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I dunno what's the holdup with the remaining two, but I do have one more Legacy United figure to talk about for now.  It's Core-class Tasmanian Kid.

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OK, so what's up with the name "Tasmanian Kid"?  In Japan, where he appeared in the Beast Wars II anime, it's just "Tasmania Kid."  "But Mike," you say, "Tasmanian Kid is probably just them fixing it for English."  "But reader," I'll remind you, "while not appearing in any fiction, this character was released in the West, and his name was Snarl."

Eh, I digress.  As a Core-class he scales pretty well with other Core-class figures, and is only marginally shorter (but simpler) than his wavemate, Animated Bumblebee.  And while he did have a Beast Wars toy back in, oh, 1997 or so, I get that the design team considers him a Japanese character and has some concerns about using a more expensive slot on him (but not on rock guys and Rescue Bots, go figure).  Still, I'm not sure the simple engineering is doing him any favors.  For one, although I don't own Beast Wars Snarl, from what I can gather the Legacy toy is a similar size to the original.  But, two, the new figure is less anime-accurate.  The gray color on his biceps should come down further on his arms, and the gray on his thighs should really be his entire torso behind the jaw that makes up his chest and abs.

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Spinning him around, at a glance you might think he's got the look down.  Beast head for feet, back kibble, it's the same, right?  Well, his feet are smaller, with his ankles coming up through the top of the head instead of behind it.  The lower jaw on his chest turns out to be fake; the real lower jaw has become heel spurs that replace the gray spikes he ought to have.  And the beast legs are on the upper outside of his kibble cape, instead of on the lower inside.  Weirdly, he's got holes in place of the hinges that folded the original's legs to inside.

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Although still made from his tail, his weapon is also a downgrade.  First and foremost, it's the wrong color.  Whether you're talking the '97 toy or the Beast Wars II cartoon, his tail should be gray.  The barrel of the gun has been significantly shortened, too, and the bottom his hollowed out.  

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Then we come to articulation.  The head is on a ball joint, but with the ball in the chest instead of in the head.  It swivels and can look up slightly, but there's now downward or sideways tilt.  Shoulders are ball joints that go 90 degrees laterally.  Elbows are ball joints that give him 90 degrees of bend and serve as his bicep swivels.  His wrists are also ball joints, giving him swivels and an upward tilt.  No waist swivel.  Hips are ball joints that go 90 degrees forward, almost 90 degrees laterally, but under 45 degrees backward due to his back kibble.  Knees are still more ball joints, acting as thigh swivels and bending 90 degrees.  His ankles are, you guess it, even more ball joints.  Despite their ball-ness, the cutouts allow him to bend his feet down 90 degrees but no upward tilt, no ankle pivots, and no ankle swivels.  Now, for those of you curious, the original Snarl toy also used a lot of ball joints.  Tasmanian Kid's head articulation winds up being the same, shoulders have the same rotation but a bit better lateral movement.  Elbows/bicep swivels are the same, wrists are similar but the ball bends inward on the original instead of upward.  Hip, knee, and ankle articulation are the same.  Generally, I expect new toys to have better articulation than ones from 26 years ago, but aside from slightly better lateral shoulder range and a more anime-style head, the original toy has pretty much the same articulation and is more accurate overall.

Plus, there's how he uses his weapon.  Similar to the original toy, he can't actually hold it, so it plugs into his arm.  Thing is, on the original toy it's on top of his forearm.  And if you look at promo photos of him, or even my picture of him above, you might think that's exactly what we're doing with Tasmanian Kid here.  But, look at the elbow.  Yeah, the 5mm port for mounting his weapon is actually on the under side of his forearm.  To pose him with his weapon on top of his arm, you have to rotate his elbow backward and his arm is stuck straight.  Were they afraid having a big 5mm port on the front of his arm would look bad?  Why not use a 3mm port, then, like the original toy or, I dunno... basically every other Core-class figure.  The weird thing is, Tasmania Kid does have 3mm ports... in his palms.  So you can plug the barrel (blast-effect compatible, at least) into his palm.  I don't know why you would, but you can.

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And then we come to the transformation.  For a Core-class, it's needlessly complicated.  On the original toy, you had to bend him at the hips to get his legs behind his back so that his feet were behind his head to form the top of his beast mode head, and you have to do that here, too.  The difference is, on the original toy it was fairly simple to do because, aside from folding his chest up to form the lower jaw, that's pretty much all you had to do to the torso on the original figure; his arms became the front legs, his backpack folded around to form the body and rear legs.  Hasbro decided to get cute with Tasmania Kid and make his arms turn into the rear legs instead.  So now you have to shift his shoulders down and work his rear legs up and under with minimal clearances until things settle into place before folding his backpack around him to form the sides and his front legs.  Since his heels are the lower jaw, Tasmanian Kid's faux jaw is still just hanging out on the underside.

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And what, may I ask, was the point of the musical limbs?  To make Tasmanian kid more accurate to a real Tasmanian Devil?  Nah, the head and ears are still the wrong shape, and too small compared to his body.  To make Tasmanian kid more anime-accurate?  Again, no, because then he'd have bigger ears, a more cat-like face, solid brown rear legs, gray on his underbelly and tail (actually, all his gray would be more like dark brown), and he wouldn't have those stupid holes on his flanks where his robo-hips are poking through.  The icing on the cake is the the top of Legacy Tasmania Kid's beast mode head is a flap that doesn't quite want to lock in tight.  It looks like someone lobotomized him and didn't put the lid back on all the way.

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Perhaps Tasmanian kid as better alt mode articulation?  Well, not really.  He can open his jaw, but so could the original.  His front legs can swivel at the shoulders... much as the original's could swivel at the hips.  Meanwhile, the not-quite-digitigrade rear legs are actually tabbed in place at the robot shoulder, leaving him with just his robot elbows and wrists to work with on the rear legs.  The original toy had access to the ball joints in his robot shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and they were the more useful front legs there.

The Core-classes in this first wave are not off to a good start when I tell you that the overly-kibbly rock guy that I was fairly unimpressed with is better than Tasmanian Kid.  Honestly, Hasbro could have reissued the original Snarl toy when they were doing Beast Wars reissues at Walmart, and that would have been a better figure than Tasmanian Kid.  I really don't know why Hasbro even bothered, except that I think he was one of the main Beast Wars II Maximals so you could buddy him with Legacy Leo Prime, and that like Leo Prime there's a built-in Nemesis repaint.  The only reason I can think of to pick this figure up is you're one of the rare fans of Beast Wars II so you really want a toy of Tasmania Kid but you don't feel like paying the $25-ish or so the original toy goes for on the secondary market.  If that's not you, and statistically it isn't, then Tasmanian Kid is a super easy pass.

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