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2 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I find it somewhat sad that a similar analog doesn't really exist today, with the advancement of electronics, to continue the tradition with a modern take on Soundwave.


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1 hour ago, Negotiator said:

That's dope. Too bad only 2gb

At least if it is an actual TakaraTomy product, you might get that.

I had a bootleg version with a blue decepticon logo, and it was a 128 meg drive that told the OS it had 2 gigs of space.

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Oh man, I forgot about Device Jaguar when I was writing my earlier post. I wanted one of those, as it was so perfect an evolution from the cassette, and it was Ravage! But I wasn't as savvy with online buying at that time, and never managed to get one. I'm glad you posted that, as it's still a relevant device, and it'd be neat to see if some of the other cassette characters could be made into data sticks, especially ones that are actually functional. A laptop seems the perfect update for Soundwave, although the sweet gimmick of carrying around his storage device minions internally would no longer apply, except, perhaps, as a bot-only feature. Not quite the same, but halfway is better than not at all.


Edit: Found some pics of the Ocular Max Autobot cassettes, courtesy of Planet Steel Express. Hopefully these will be released this year.


Edited by M'Kyuun
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Planet X's first release, PX-01, was their Omega Supreme.  But after that they did the Dinobots, so I guess it makes sense to start with PX-02 next.  That would be Caelus, their version of Fall of Cybertron Swoop.


Aesthetically, I think Caelus is kind of a mixed bag.  Some of that is High Moon Studios' fault.  They're the ones that gave him the blue visor and weird face that's either a grooved mouth plate or a really ugly frown, they're the ones that decided Swoop's wings don't fold the way they usually do, and they're the ones who decided to go with red Swoop over blue Swoop (sorry, I'm still a cartoon first guy).  Some of that is definitely on Planet X, though, as this is probably the least-accurate thing I've looked at from them so far.  I've looked at both screenshots from the game and concept art, and his shoulder pads are too small, his wings just hang where they should collapse and kind of angle upward, and he's missing some silver around his waist and on those circles on his chest.  Speaking of those circles they should be closer to his collar, and he shouldn't have the yellow marks under them.  The yellow marks above them were glowing red in the game.  He's also missing some of that red glow from around the dino head in his torso.  His shin details are too small, and the red part of his head should come a lot further forward (you can see that it's molded onto the head, but the back of of his head is cast in red plastic and the front in that silvery plastic, and it's like they just couldn't be bothered to find a paint that matched.  And frankly, I think he's way too small.  The concept art was bulkier, and the in-game model was nearly as big as the other Dinobots.  I can't recall that he was in robot mode close enough to any of the other Dinobots to really be sure how he measures up, but he's significantly smaller than Fansproject's Swoop, and maybe half the size of Planet X's Grimlock.


In fact, he's only slightly taller than many Siege Deluxes, and shorter than Hasbro's War for Cybertron Deluxe-class Megatron.  I do wonder if, at the time, Planet X wasn't sure if they were going to do all the Dinobots and they meant for Caelus to scale with Hasbro's own figures, which included a smaller Voyager-class Grimlock and a Deluxe-class Optimus that would be about the same size as Caelus.  Whatever the reason, it could be that he's a little small if you're planning on using him with Siege or Earthrise figures.

Credit where it's due, though, in an age where making a kibble backpack is routine Planet X definitely made Caleus nice and clean.


Anyway... Caelus comes with a gun/missile launcher thing and a sword.  And since it's a Swoop thing they doubled up the gun/missile launcher, and I guess they figured if they're doubling it they might as well double the sword, too.  Some things to note here, Caelus' swords are a single piece of plastic each, with the blades painted in an orangish pink.  You may recall from when I reviewed Vulcan (Grimlock) that his sword has translucent plastic for the blade.  Spoilers, Caelus' swords don't match the rest of the team.  The other thing to note is that Caelus' gun/missile launchers are kind of G1-ish, to the point that I'm half-tempted to paint them silver with gold missiles.  And that's not accurate for this version of Swoop.  I don't think I caught him with a ranged weapon in bot mode in the game, but both the concept art and his in-game model clearly depict him carrying flattish silver pods with glowing read panels on the front (in fact, the panels on the front of the pods look like they're made from the rounded detail in the middle of his shins).


Another way you can tell this is one of Planet X's first efforts?  The articulation is a little sub-par.  His head may be on a ball joint (I can't see the actual joint), but he's got no swivel, and what ability he has to look up (a good amount) and down (just a teeny tiney bit) is actually a hinge at the base of the ball peg.  His shoulders can rotate, and a ratcheted hinge gives those shoulders the ability to move 90 degrees laterally inside the shoulder armor.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows can bend just about 90 degrees.  His wrists do NOT swivel, though.  Due to his transformation and the design of his arm they can kind of bend up, but that's it.  His waist can swivel a little, but it's extremely limited.  Surprisingly, it's not the dino head dominating his torso that's blocking things up, it's the thruster on his back.  His hips can move forward over 90 degrees, backward 45 degrees, and laterally 90 degrees.  Although there are molded teeth on his hips joints they seem like they're just regular friction joints.  Moving along, he's got cut thigh swivels, and his knees are double-jointed.  Combined you'll get 180 degrees of bend.  His feet can bend down due to transformation, but not really up, and most disappointingly he has no ankle pivots.

His hands, which do not open and close, are molded into 5mm peg holes.  Arming him up is as easy as sliding the handle of either the swords or the gun/missile launchers into his hands.  As you might expect, his wings also have 5mm peg holes you can plug the launchers into.  The swords have additional shorter 5mm pegs on the sides of the hilt, and you can use those pegs to store the swords on the wings instead of the launchers.  If that's still not enough he's got a 5mm peg hole on the back of each forearm, just below his elbow.


Caleus' transformation is fairly straightforward, which is good because the instructions are terrible.  It's fairly similar to his G1 design, except that his wings shift a little and his legs rotate and fold under his body instead of onto his back.   I must admit, I prefer this to Fansproject's awkward attempt at a more anatomically correct pteranodon.


I think this mode is more game-accurate than the robot mode.  The wings look good, save for the missing pods.  The backpack is almost exactly right, it's even got the moving fins and booster, but it's missing a red stripe on the booster.  The head could use a little more red and the eyes look a little small, but still basically accurate.  His arms and legs make for a little extra kibble on the underside, but hey, they've gotta go somewhere.

The dino head is hinged and can range from looking straight ahead in flight to straight down in flight.  The mouth opens; on my copy the jaw hinge is a little loose.  His wings have swivels at the base, hinges at the base, and two additional hinges near the middle and tips of the wings.  Each hinge has approximately 90 degrees of range backward or 90 degrees of range forward; as I mentioned earlier it's not enough to fold the wings flat.  Caelus' little dino feet have two hinges that I guess are analogous to a knee and ankle.  The knee is very limited, but the ankle can bend the foot nearly 180 degrees from straight forward around past straight out behind him in flight.

Speaking of flight, I have him posed on the flight stand that came with MP tracks, but it's just kind of wedged between his legs and doesn't plug in anywhere.  If you plan on displaying him in dino mode you might want to invest in those FlightPose stands that have the three arms with nubs for the figure to rest on.

As far as alt mode weapon storage goes, you do have the 5mm ports under the wings and on the sides of his dino body, but Planet X did offer an alternative.  The gun/missile launchers themselves actually have a 5mm peg hole on either side, allowing you to stick the swords onto the guns and then to mount the whole thing under the wing.


Caelus does have one more feature.  You may have noticed what look like gray L-shaped hand grips sticking out of his dino body, from the toes of his robot feet.  They have a purpose!  If you have Vulcan, you can bend Caleus' feet down and slide the ends of the hooks into slots at the back of Vulcan's collar.  This allows you to recreate the scenes from a level in the game where Swoop is carrying Grimlock.  Alas, I gave away my Hasbro Fall of Cybertron Grimlock, so I can't check to see if Caelus can attach to it the same way.

On his own, I'm not totally sure I'd recommend Caelus.  I believe his retail price is around $80, and when you look at what $80 gets you from Maketoys Cross Dimension or MMC ReFormatted and Caelus doesn't really seem worth that much.  Plus, I prefer the robot mode aesthetics and size of Fansproject's Swoop.  However, Caelus is more fun to mess with than Fansproject's.  He feels more solid, better, built, and better engineered.  And while I think you can get away with buying just Grimlock, I sort of think if you buy any of the other Dinobots you're in for the whole group.  So I guess I'd conclude that you shouldn't buy Caelus as a one-off Swoop, but if you're interested in all the Planet X dinos then there's nothing about Caelus that should dissuade you.

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The next figure Planet X released after their Swoop was Neptune, their version of Sludge.


Well, he's certainly bigger than Swoop, so we're off to a good start!

Sludge actually appeared in the game only as a corpse, so I guess I'd less inclined to worry about accuracy.  That said, concept art exists and was published that shows Sludge pretty clearly, so it's not like Planet X had nothing to go on.  Going off of the concept art, Neptune looks a bit more accurate.  The only major differences are that some of the red areas, including the painted "glow", should actually be silver, and the details on the front of his forearms are significantly simplified.  Other than that, most of the differences come down to places where they molded the details but just didn't paint them, like the little trapezoids at the bottoms of the vents on his shins and the notches at the tops of his knee pads.

As far as what High Moon did with the design in the first place, Sludge always struck me as the dumb bruiser of the group, and I appreciate that he's built that way with a bigger torso, shoulders and forearms and smaller legs compared to Fansproject's.  I miss his "wings," though (this is true for Grimlock as well).


Something I want to point out is that his back isn't as clean as some of the other Planet X figures I've looked at recently.  Aside from the folded up tail it's not exactly dissimilar to the concept art, though.  YMMV if you think it's better or worse than the dino head and neck just dangling off of his back.


Planet X opted not to give Neptune a sword, which is a little unusual for a Dinobot.  Instead they gave him a hammer, which I guess does fit the bruiser image.  They have him a gun, too.  After digging through game art and looking at the Teletraan inventory on my completed save I do believe it's the Corrosive Slime Cannon, which again I suppose fits a guy with "Sludge" for a name.  Although it's not necessary Planet X doubled up the accessories again.

Oh, and Planet X also included some screw hole covers.  Nice!


Neptune's articulation is better than Caelus', but could still be better.  His head is on a ball joint that can swivel, look up, slight sideways tilt, nothing down.  Shoulders are ratcheted for rotation, and they actually have a double hinge for lateral movement (or slumping his shoulders) but they're still limited to about 45 degrees of lateral movement.  His biceps can swivel.  His elbows are ratcheted, and they can bend 90 degrees in four clicks.  He does have wrists swivels, and his fingers can open and close at the base as one solid piece with no additional knuckles.  His waist can swivel; it gets a little caught on his backpack, but can turn past 45 degrees in either direction and I think that's ultimately fine.  His hips are ratcheted all the way around and can go 90 degrees forward or backward, and very close to that laterally.  His thighs can swivel.  He's got double-jointed ratcheted knees but he's still limited to 90 degrees of knee bend due to the dino legs stuffed into his calves.  His toes have a very slight up/down tilt, nothing really useful for posing, and once again we have a 3rd-party figure with no ankle pivot.

Although his hands can open and close his weapons still have 5mm pegs for handles, and his palms are cut into a 5mm peg hole.  If you like, he's got additional 5mm peg holes on the outsides of his shoulders and forearms.


As for the screw hole covers, the two red ones go into the top of his torso, right were you were probably looking at the toy out of the box and thinking, "Man, they left exposed screws threre?"  The other two go into the sides of the dino neck.


Neptune's dino mode is definitely less-accurate to the concept art than his robot mode, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it actually has to transform.  If you look at the concept art it looks like Sludge was meant to transform similarly to the G1 version (or Fansproject's), with the arms becoming the front legs, his backpack unfolding into the the dino head and neck and the traditionally chrome part of his back, with his robot legs folding around and his gold feet becoming the his dino-butt.  I can't say for sure, but I'd assume from the concept art that his tail is stuffed into his robot legs.  But then his rear legs, while being bigger than his front legs, must come out of nowhere.  Planet X tried to make it work by turning the transformation backward, so his legs fold up to make most of the dino-back, and the front legs were tucked into his robot calves.  The head and neck stretch down from his back, and the rest of his backpack forms the tail and covers his head.  His robot arms become the rear legs.  So it kind of works.  It gives us the right silhouette.  But he's missing details like the lighter silver/chrome on his back and the vent details there, he's got chunky gold feet in the middle of his back instead of his rump, and his rump is red and gray instead of gold.  He's got those big bars along the tops of his hips that were accurate in robot mode but not present at all in dino mode.  His rear legs don't have the digitigrade shape, and his front legs have knees that bend the forelimb back like a human leg instead of forward like a cat's.  Weirdly, they also gave him gold toes instead of dark gray.  The shape of the head is good, though, right down to the chin spikes.


His dino head can swivel where the gold meets the gray, and there's a hinge near the base of the neck for a very slight up/down tilt.  His head has some up/down tilt as well, but it's on the same hinge that works his jaw.  So, if you have the lower neck hinge titled down and the head tilted up so he's looking straight ahead you're opening his jaw by pulling the jaw down.  But if the lower hinge is up, and his head his tilted down so he's still looking straight ahead, you open his mouth by tilting most of his head up.  And that's really it for dino head/neck articulation.  His front legs can rotate at the hips and he's got a little knee bend, while his rear legs have the same articulation as his robot arms (because that's what they are.  No tail articulation.

The peg holes on his shoulders and forearms, now his hips and rear legs, can be used for storing his guns.  He's also got another peg hole on his front hips.  None of that's really useful for storing the hammer, though.


Planet X didn't leave you hanging, though.  You can open up the red panels on his butt, and inside is a compartment were his dino head and neck tucked away in robot mode.  This compartment is also shaped so that the hammer can slide into it, translucent red face up, with the handle along his tail.  You can't totally close the panels back up, but they have ridges that fit into grooves on the hammer to hold everything in place.

Once again I have to say that the materials tolerances feel better on Neptune than on his Fansproject counterpart.  However, again I'm not sure there's a clear-cut winner.  I would say that I prefer Neptune in robot mode, but Fansproject's the winner in dino mode with leg joints that bend the right way and far more articulation in the dino head and neck.  Push come to shove I'd say that at their normal retail price, which is something like $90, Neptune's probably the better toy overall, but the Fansproject version can frequently be found on sale for much less and might be the better buy (especially if you're going to display them in dino mode).  Of course, there is the small matter of it being nearly impossible to find a complete set of FP Dinobots while the Planet X ones are still pretty easy to find.  I guess what I'm saying is that Neptune is ok.  If you're looking for a Sludge or you're trying to get a complete set of dinos you won't be disappointed with him.  But if you have a different Sludge to use with your Classics/Generations/Siege/Earthrise figures then don't feel like you need this one.

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So I should be on PX-04, right, but for reasons we're going to jump ahead to PX-07 Triton, which is to my knowledge the only figure official or otherwise that pays homage to Paddles, a character who's only appearance was a short story in the 2004 Transformers Legends anthology.


Triton is a retool of Neptune.  Almost all of his torso, his hands, and legs are simply repainted, but he's got a new head, backpack, arms, and the front panel of his torso.  Despite the obvious similarities I do think the different shoulder pads and the gold on his chest and knees do help him look at least somewhat distinct from Neptune, but he's definitely built like another bruiser.

Being a toy based on a character with no official artwork (aside from a dinosaur head on the front of the book) done in Planet X's interpretation of High Moon's design style, well, there's nothing to go on as far as judging the accuracy of the character.  All I can really say is that the head works, although I think it's a little generic, and I kind of dig the flipper wings.


Triton comes with a few accessories.  You've got two big cannons, which I believe are meant to be the Chaos Rift Combuster from the Fall of Cybertron game.  You get a partsforming tail, two screw hole covers, and a pair of swords that seem too small for him.  And that's because they are too small for him.  They're not intended for Triton at all; they're actually meant to replace Caelus' painted swords with orange translucent blades that better match the swords that come with Grimlock and (spoilers?) Snarl & Slag.


Triton's head is cut a bit differently than Neptune's, so he has the same articulation but with slightly improved range.  The new shoulders can rotate and extend laterally 90 degrees, but this time they're friction joints.  He has very tight bicep swivels.  His elbows are double jointed, which is necessary to get just 90 degrees of bend.  Be advised that the upper elbow joint on both arms on my copy are kind of loose and do no support holding up any weapons.  His wrist can swivel and his hands work like an MP carbot's with a single pin hinge at the base of the fingers, which are all molded together.  From the waist down it's the same toy as Neptune, with the same articulation, including the disappointing lack of ankle pivots.

Once again the handles of the guns are simply 5mm pegs, and his palms are cut into a 5mm peg holes.  His tail also has a 5mm peg inside, so it can slide over and into his hand as some kind of melee weapon.  Like Transmetal Megatron from Beast Wars, I guess.  Alternatively, the flippers on his back have peg holes, and you could use them to mount the Chaos Rift Combusters as massive shoulder cannons.  And if you really want he can hold Caelus' swords.

As for the screw hole covers, they go in the same spots at the top of his torso as they do on Neptune.


Triton turns into a plesiosaur, and is much larger in his alt mode than Neptune.  This is due to his arms, shoulders, and melee weapon forming a longer tail, while his neck has a section hinged inside another section so it too becomes longer.  Despite the main body sharing the same basic transformation as Neptune I found Triton to be a bit fiddlier.  They both have an issue common in figures with double-jointed knees where both joints have to be in just the right position for everything to fit together properly.  Thing is, it's not too much of a hassle on Neptune, but due to different tolerances in the knee ratchets Triton feels like he's fighting you.  Once you have him transformed, though, I think he looks pretty cool.


Looking cool is about all he does, since Triton doesn't have a ton of articulation in dino mode.  He has a swivel where the gold and silver parts of his neck meet, he can open his jaws, and his head tilts up and down at that hinge the way Neptune's does (albeit with improved range).  But that's it for the neck; as long as it is, there's no articulation in the silver section.  His front flippers can move front-to-back (x-axis) and up-and-down (y-axis), and the gold part of the flipper is hinged so it can bend back (x-axis).  The rear flippers can do the same (with slightly less y-axis up/down range), but they can also rotate  where they're attached to the body (z-axis).  I'm not sure it's intentional, but the tail section has a little side-to-side waggle at the base, very very slight up/down bend near the base of the tail (where his robot elbows are tucked away), and a little up/down hinge at the second circle from the tip of the tail.  Oh, and the tip of the tail can spin, if it matters.

Each of the four flippers has a 5mm peg hole that you can mount the Chaos Rift Combusters onto.  But unlike Neptune there's no screw hole covers for this mode despite having four screws on the neck and three in the tail that could have used them.  Oh well.

Triton has a few other issues worth mentioning.  Since his back is almost entirely Neptune's, and Neptune's back was designed to contain Neptune's dino head and beck and not Triton's (plus it had the folded-up tail to help things stay put), Triton's dino head and neck fall out of his back very easily.  The redesigned shoulders come away from the body (necessary for transformation) while you're trying to use the lateral motion in the shoulders.  Speaking of his shoulders, the shoulder pads split in half, and the halves swing around over the armpit and meet again for tail mode.  They have little pegs that keep them together for shoulder mode, but the pegs that hold them together tail mode come apart much easier.  Likewise, the armor on his forearms is on a double hinge, so that it comes down to his wrists and exposes the elbows in arm mode but shifts up to cover the elbow and expose some area near his wrists that the rest of the tail slides onto for tail mode.  The hinges don't lock in place in either mode.  That doesn't really matter in dino mode, but in robot mode they feel fiddly and never sit quite how you want them too.  In other words, Triton comes across as an interesting idea for a remold from Sludge, but not necessarily one that was executed as well as it could have been.

With all that in mind, and the fact that I'm always up for more Dinobots but don't consider characters like Paddles or Slash necessary to have a complete set, there's no way I'd recommend Triton at anything close to his original retail price.  That said, Triton was marked down at a lot of stores, and can be found today on the secondhand market for $35-$50.  He's still the worst of this set, he's still got some issues, but at that price I'm personally willing to overlook them to have a 17" robotic plesiosaur.

Edited by mikeszekely
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With Triton out of the way, we'll get back to the proper release order with PX-04 Summanus, aka Fall of Cybertron Snarl.


I'd have loved to compare this guy to Fansproject's Snarl; unforutnately I was never able to track one of those down, so we'll have to settle for comparing him with the Power of the Primes figure and ToyWorld's.  And I guess the comparison I'd make is that PotP is small and kind of crappy and ToyWorld's is decent enough, but between the three I like Summanus.

Aesthetically I'll note that of High Moon's designs for the Dinobots Snarl's was probably the most traditionally G1, and the changes that they did make are kind cool (in my opinion).  What's more, Planet X did a pretty good job of maintaining accuracy (at least to the concept art).  The plates behind his back look like they folded back a little further on the concept art, and the dinosaur head is upside down on the sides of his legs, but the rest of the differences are primarily spots where the art had a little extra black or that red glow (side note, I thought that might be something Toyhax might have fixed, but it seems like they were more interesting in releasing stickers to cover the the existing "glow" paint).


Summanus comes with the sort of accessories you'd expect by now.  You've got your sword with the translucent orange blade.  You've got your gun (this time I do believe it's the Scatter Blaster from War for Cybertron instead of Fall of Cybertron).  The sword and the gun are somewhat needlessly doubled up again.  And you've got a sprue of twelve screw hole covers.


Summanus' head is on a ball joint.  He has some pretty good sideways tilt and he can, of course, swivel his head, but the up/down range is pretty limited.  His shoulders can rotate, and this time Planet X set the arm on a hinge that extend the shoulder laterally 90 degrees, but it's on the wrong side of the rotation so it always goes up and away, meaning if you rotate the arm up the shoulder hinge is rotating the arm along the shoulder-to-wrist axis instead of spreading it outward.  His biceps can swivel and his elbows bend 90 degrees, although there's a bit of a clearance issue if you engage both at the same time.  His fingers can open like an MP carbot (or Neptune, or Triton), but he doesn't have a wrist swivel.  He does have a waist swivel.  His hips have a soft ratchet forward and backward 90 degrees, and a clickier ratchet for 90 degrees of spread.  His thighs swivel.  His knees are double-jointed, both of them ratcheted, and can get you nearly 180 degrees.  His ankles are ball joints, which gives him a swivel, a downward tilt (not really up, though, as his foot is kind of flat against the base of the leg, but a hinge does allow his toes to bend up), and a bit over 45 degrees of ankle pivot.  The ball joint isn't as tight as I'd like, though, which gives him a tendency to lean.  It doesn't help that he doesn't have much in the way of heels, and he's a little back heavy, but I've definitely had figures that have had a harder time standing.

Summanus's weapons work the same as the rest; 5mm pegs for handles, 5mm peg holes in the hands.  I will note that, based on the design of the Scatter Blaster in War for Cybertron, that the peg should actually slide into the bottom of his hand, but it doesn't really look right to me like that so I put it in upside down.  I'll also note that there's a big rectangular chunk on the handle of his swords, so he looks like he's always holding the sword too low on the grip.

The sword has 5mm pegs on the sides as well as the handle.  You can use it to store the sword in 5mm peg holes on either of his hips.  If you need them, there's also 5mm peg holes in the middle of his shoulders.


As for the screw hole covers, they're all black so they're not color-matched like the ones for Neptune and Triton, and they're all the same instead of being fitted to specific screw holes like Neptune's.  I'm not saying for certain that this is correct, but I wound up putting to on each forearm (where I thought he needed them the most), two on the outside of each leg, and two on the outside of each foot.  Unlike the ones for Neptune and Triton all but the ones in Summanus' legs were very difficult to get in place, but the only other spot they maybe could have gone that I could tell is one on the inside of each thigh


When I reviewed Caelus I complained that Planet X's instructions kind of suck.  This is true for Neptune and Triton as well, but the thing is if you looked at a picture of the alt mode you could almost certainly figure them out without the instructions and I was really just looking to see if I'd missed anything.  Well, I couldn't figure out Summanus, even with the instructions.  I wound up looking for a YouTube review (and why did so many popular YouTubers go from dino to robot when he comes packaged in robot mode?).  I'll tell you that transforming him isn't actually difficult and I don't think you'll have any issues the second time you do it, it's just not very intuitive.  To get the halves of his head onto the inside of his legs you have to rotate them at the thigh swivel, then rotate at the waist to get they back on his front side.  And instead of folding his legs up he sort of sits down and brings his knees up toward his chest, so the top of the dinosaur back between his hips is actually the top of his robot torso.  When you do this, though, you have to un-tab his abdomen and fold it down between his thighs to make the dino chest.


The transformation is a little awkward, but it does get the job done and the results are still pretty game-accurate.  Again, it's a design I like a lot that doesn't deviate super far from the G1 version, but I like what High Moon did with the vents by the hips and the glowing red plates and tail spikes.  Almost like they're made of fire.  My aesthetic complaints are minimal; his eys should be red, his lower jaw should be silver, his hands are partially exposed at the heels of the rear legs, and there's a weird gap on his back where you can see the back of his head poking through.  There is a flap that folds out and two hinged pieces that are part of his knee pads, but they don't really fill the space.  Oh, speaking of the knee pads the rest of the pads spin around and lie along his flanks.  There are tabs on his flanks that, in theory, fit into shallow grooves inside the knee pad, but in practice they don't really work at all.  I'm not sure if the grooves are too shallow, or if the fit is off, but with friction alone to keep them in place it's super easy to knock them out of place.

In dino mode, Summanus can open his jaws and look up/down a little bit, but that's it for his head and neck.  His front legs can rotate at the shoulders, swivel (and wiggle forward/backward/inward/outward on a ball joint.  He's got a little elbow hinge, and a another hinge at the paw.  His rear legs can rotate at the hip, extend outward a little bit, swivel at the thigh, bend a little at the knee, and bend a little up/down at the feet.  Sadly, his tail has no articulation, which is a little disappointing for a creature with a thagomizer.  


There are 5mm ports on his rear hips for storing his weapons.  That technically means he can only store two of his four accessories in dino mode, but to be honest aside from Swoop I really only need one gun and one melee weapon per Dinobot and the extras have been going into storage.

So yeah, Summanus is an interesting figure because you can see how Planet X was improving with each release.  He's definitely still got a couple of issues, but he's a definitely step up from Caelus and Neptune and the first of Planet X's Dinobots* that I feel comfortable recommending on his merits.  Of all the Snarls, this would be my pick for your Generations/Classics/Siege/Earthrise Snarl.**

*Chronologically speaking, because Vulcan isn't just Planet X's best Dinobot, it's the best figure they've done that I've handled period and I think everyone should own a copy.

**With the caveat that I'd still like to review Fansproject's, if I could ever get my hands on it.

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2 hours ago, Kuma Style said:

I honestly feel like it was made with this in mind originally because it just seems to "work" way too well to be an afterthought.

Yeah, that color scheme is awesome.  :good:

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9 minutes ago, tekering said:

Yeah, that color scheme is awesome.  :good:

Dude, I'm extremely impressed. Even the retro packaging presentation of stuff like this and G2 Maestro are so well done and "special" feeling. 

I also think I'm starting to judge companies a bit by how well they can retool because I look at something like this and Power Baser in the way that they look and feel like very separate, individual characters that are each well done homages were I can't get into much of the MMC reformatted stuff because they'll have pieces that are retools and don't represent either character well to me. Hell I even look at something like MakeToys Battle Sentinel and their Hyper Novae and how even though they fit that more manga-esque stylization of theirs, they really do come off like very unique designs.  It seems like the ability to pull it off is pretty special. 

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Last one (since I reviewed Vulcan last summer).  Tonight it's PX-05 Quirinus, their Fall of Cybertron Slag Slug (I remember Hasbro decided that Slag was offensive in some markets and they made Animated Slag "Snarl," and I know they used "Slug" in the IDW comics and for the Power of the Primes figure, but I'd forgotten that he was called Slug in the game until I replayed it).


Quirinus does suffer some inaccuracies compared to the game model and concept art, but I might suggest that a pattern is emerging when I say that a lot of the inaccuracies seem to be necessities of being a real transforming toy and not some shifting polygons on a screen.  Aside from some proportion differences, perhaps the biggest difference is on his forearms, which in the game have details that suggest they house part of his dino tail (as do his calves, which actually do house his tail on the figure).  For the most part, though, with the shape of the torso, the lower-jaw collar, the shoulder pads, the hatchets for knee pads, and the dino feet for robot feet are all game accurate.  Oh, and I guess the face Planet X gave him is black.  It's silver on my copy because the original owner "wanted him to better match the team."  I was originally thinking I might have to try to remove the paint, but when I started looking at screens from the game and concept art I think High Moon actually meant for his face to be silver.

I have to say, given that Planet X's Grimlock and Sludge are similar in size (if not proportions) to Fansproject's I'm a bit surprised that Quirinus is noticeably smaller than Fansproject's Slag.  Like Caleus, I wonder if Quirinus was originally meant to scale with Hasbro's Grimlock and not Vulcan?  Because from head-to-toe Quirinus is the same size height as Earthrise Prime, which I'd say is technically too short for a Classics/Generations/Siege/Earthrise Slag.


One thing I'd like to point out before we move on is how Planet X designed his dino-mode neck frill to fold up.  I don't know if Planet X or High Moon gets the credit here, but of all the Slag figures I've messed with now (ToyWorld, G-Creation, Hasbro, Fansproject, Gigapower, and now Planet X) this is the only one where I never felt like the frill was getting in the way.


Anyway... Quirinus comes with his sword and a gun, and once again they're doubled up.  Pretty sure the guns are the EMP Shotgun from War for Cybertron.  An interesting first is that Quirinus' swords come with scabbards.  As you'll soon see, I kind of wish they didn't, though.


Quirinus' head is on a ball joint with a little up/down/sideways tilt and the always-important swivel.  His shoulders are actually big ball joints for rotation and moving about 60 degrees laterally.  The tolerance is such that if you spread his arms as wide as they'll go they have a tendency to droop if he's holding his weapons, but at 45 degrees they seem ok to stay put.  His biceps swivel.  His double-jointed elbows bend a little over 90 degrees.  His wrists swivel, and his hands can open.  His waist can swivel.  His hips can go forward, backward, or laterally 90 degrees on ratchets.  His thighs swivel just above the knees, which bend a little under 90 degrees due to dino kibble in his calves.  Most of his feet are on a ball joint that gives him a little upward tilt, combine with a hinge for plenty of downward tilt, and give him excellent ankle pivots.  He's got heel spurs on hinges to help keep him stable.  On my copy he kept leaning backward anyway, but I tightened some screws and he seems fine now.

Once again, the weapons have 5mm handles, and his hands have 5mm grips.  As with Summanus I think Quirinus's weapon technically rightside up when you insert the handle into the bottom of his hand, but again that doesn't look quite right to me and I'd rather he hold it upside down.  Now, while the swords themselves have 5mm pegs on the hilt there are no exposed 5mm peg holes on his body in this mode.  He does have a smaller hole on each hip, though, and the sword scabbards have smaller pegs that fit those holes.  So, he can wear his swords on his hips with the scabbards, but the scabbards serve no other purpose and can't be stored anywhere else.


Quirinus' dinosaur mode is a lot like his robot mode.  There are definitely areas that Planet X worked on making game-accurate, like the red horns, the spikes on his backward-pointed frill, the engine on back, the red spikes on his back, and the red tip of his tail.  And some of his inaccuracies are due to the fact that he needs to transform, like his front forelegs are black in the game, but they have to turn into his robot arms on the toy, his rear legs are a bit more digitigrade and have more black in the game, his toes are less splayed than in the game, the bicep/front thighs were silver with a red stripe in the game, and his dinos shoulders looked a bit different in the game.  Planet X did manage to keep the spikes along his tail that he sported in the game, but here they're red instead of gray.

As far as the transformation goes, he's one of the smoother and more straightforward of the group.  The only troubles I ran into is finding just the right spot to unfold and then fold back the tail, and the fact that the engine on his back likes to come untabbed.


For his dino articulation, I'll start by saying that it's disappointing that he doesn't have any tail articulation (especially when Fansproject's does, and especially because they'd go on to give Vulcan great tail articulation).  However, his legs are decently articulated.  His front legs are his robot arms, with hinges for the dino toes.  His rear legs have ball joints at the hips for rotation and slight spread, a hinge at the knee with pretty great range, a hinge that the dino ankle, and the ball joint that was his robot ankle for the dino toes.  His head is where things get really funky, though.  Whether due to a necessity of his transformation or by deliberate design his dino head is attached via a ball joint at the end of an armature with multiple hinges (technically four, but there's a piece that tabs down and holds two of the hinges in place).  This means he can look up quite a bit, or straight down at the ground.  He can tilt his head sideways like he's confused or curious.  He can even look left and right a little bit.  Oh, and he can open his jaw, too, and the horns are on ball joints giving you some freedom in how you want to angle them.

Like Summanus, Quirinus has just two 5mm ports on his dino hips and can only carry two out of his four weapons in this mode.  Still works for me.  I'll note that sword storage in this mode uses the peg on the sword itself, though, not the scabbard.  The scabbard could, I suppose, just stay on the sword anyway, but honestly I think I'll store both scabbards with the extra sword and gun.

I guess the only other thing worth noting is that in robot mode the rear dino legs are stuffed into his calves, with the tail folded up and lying over it.  If you look at the above picture you'll see that two of the spikes on his tail have squarish holes in them.  There are tabs inside his legs that, in theory, fit into those holes and hold everything together.  In practice the tabs don't stay in, and it's just friction holding everything in place.  So far, though, that friction seems adequate.

Although he still has his flaws, Quirinus is an improvement over Summanus and the best of Planet X's Dinobots that aren't Vulcan.  He's a good figure, and worth picking up if you're interested.  Just be advised that Fansproject's Slag was also one of the better of their Dinobots with his own pros and cons, and I'm not sure that there's a clear winner between the two.

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3 hours ago, Kuma Style said:

Lightning Eagle remains my favorite use of the Power Baser mold. I honestly feel like it was made with this in mind originally because it just seems to "work" way too well to be an afterthought.

I've contemplated picking him up, but aside from his stint in More Than Meets the Eye I have no attachment to Thunderclash.  The original toy was never released (as such) in the States, and I've got my budget tied up in other things right now.

52 minutes ago, tekering said:

Yeah, that color scheme is awesome.  :good:

I mean, yeah?  I guess?  Honestly, while I'm not ready to commit to a $200 Thunderclash, I'd have a harder time saying no if they redecoed it as Machine Wars Optimus



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2 hours ago, Kuma Style said:

@mikeszekely They're actually doing the Optimus. It's shown in the instructions for Lightning Eagle.



Guess I'd better start saving, then.

Does it have the toy head (that is, the same head as Lightning Eagle but silver with blue eyes instead of gold and red) or the box art head (looks like Optimus with a mouth plate and all)?  Maybe the spare head from Gunfighter's trailer will work...


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17 hours ago, Kuma Style said:

It's only line art so no color but it's a prime styled masked head.

Thanks for the info!


EDIT: Funny, just after you tell me about this Fans Hobby put this up on Twitter.


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When I review a figure I (obviously) have to transform it to take pictures, but regardless of what mode I end up in I always go back to robot mode and put it on my desk while I write so I can double-check the range and type of joints.  Well, I've had this one figure that I got and took pictures of at the same time I picked up Planet X's Megatron, but I've put off because transforming it is a hassle.  Still, with all the other Planet X stuff I've covered this week I think it's time I stopped putting this off- Planet X Apocalypse, aka War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron Trypticon.


I normally like to start off in robot mode, but I'm doing things a little differently here because Apocalypse was actually sold in two parts.  This would be Part A.

There's not a lot to comment on, though.  It's a spaceship, and it does that well enough, with a sleek nose, wings on the sides, and a trio of engine thrusters in the back, but it's not game-accurate so much as it's Planet X cutting Trypticon in half and fan-moding the top.


Of course, at least you get a coherent ship out of the top.  This is Part B.  It's... some kind of tank?  His pelvis looks a little like a face, maybe it's a creepy space machine ghost, coming to grab you.

Bottom line, you don't want to order either Part A or Part B alone.  You want both, and you want to put him together right away.


That'll give you one whole Trypticon.  With most of the concept art existing for Fall of Cybertron, and the boss fight in War for Cybertron being more from the chest up, I had to do some digging but I'm able to conclude that he's pretty darn game-accurate.  Since it glows on the CGI model the purple stands out a lot better on it than it does on Apocalypse, but the placement of the purple spots, the shape and placement of the spikes, the shoulder weapons, the shape of his feet and tail, the two fins and three power cores on his back (which are weak spots you have to attack during the boss fight) are all basically spot on.  My only complaint are the gap in his forearms and the wings folded on the back.

Size-wise, he's a bit shorter than Titans Return Trypticon, and doesn't really scratch the G1 itch.


He's also a bit shorter than, say, Maketoys' Metroplex.  I think the size difference isn't so bad, though, that these guys look out of place next to each other.


Apocalypse's shoulder weapons do not detach, so he doesn't come with much in the way of accessories.  Just a handful of these little purple LEDs that light up when you squeeze them, and in my case a little baggie with some replacement teeth.  I guess people were breaking his teeth when they pushed his head through his chest for transformation, but I also understand that there's a way to transform him properly so that the breakage doesn't occur.

I wish Planet X would have included some screw hole covers.  Many of Apocalypse's parts were mirrored, so the screw holes on the back of his left arm and the inside of his left leg are rather exposed on the front of his right arm and the outside of his right leg.


Apocalypse has a few neck joints so he can swivel his head left and right, or he can look up and down quite a bit.  His jaws open.  His shoulders rotate on ratchets.  Another ratcheted joint will allow you to raise his arms a bit under 90 degrees laterally.  If you move the panel on his collar, though, you can push it up to 90.  Just be mindful of the spikes at the top.  His biceps swivel just below his elbows, which are ratcheted and can bend a little under 90 degrees.  He doesn't actually have a wrist swivel, but his whole forearm rotates just below the elbow.  Each of his three fingers are individually-articulated, with one hinge at the base and one hinge at the middle knuckle.  His waist swivels.  His hips rotate on ratchets, and they can spread 90 degrees on another ratchet.  His thighs swivel just above his knees, which are ratcheted and bend a little under 90 degrees.  His feet can tilt up and down on ratchets.  He also has a ratcheted ankle pivot, but only one click in either direction so the range is a bit limited.  His heel has a hinge, and each of his three toes are individually-articulated, with hinges at the base and the middle knuckles.  Finally, his tail has six ratcheted hinges and two friction hinges.  That doesn't give him any side-to-side articulation in his tail, but it does allow him to curl it up quite a bit.  This is useful because you're probably going to need his tail as a third leg to keep him standing.


As for the lights, as I mentioned they light when they're squeezed.  Apocalypse has numerous ports on his body that you can stick the lights into, and closing the port should provide enough pressure to make the light work.  Many of mine were kind of dim... maybe they sat in a warehouse too long.  But since they're more or less on if they're installed and need to be removed to be off I'll be stuffing mine in a box somewhere.


Just because Apocalypse didn't come with many accessories doesn't mean he's unarmed.  I already pointed out the shoulder cannons, which can swivel on the outsides of his shoulders.  Inside his mouth you'll fine a gun on a hinge.  Or, if you're nostalgic for G1, the translucent yellow part on top of his head opens up.  Inside you'll find another gun that you can pull up and out.  You might need a tool to do so, though, as it's recessed inside.


Apocalypse isn't limited to the alt modes for his separate halves.  In Fall of Cybertron Megatron recovers Trypticon's wreck and coverts it into the Nemesis.  And... well, no, Apocalypse isn't particularly game-accurate.  I think I have to cut them a little slack, though.  In the game, the Decepticons even remark that Trypticon's conversion into the Nemesis is permanent, and High Moon's artists looked like they were focused on designing a ship with elements of Trypticon but also elements of the Nemesis from Transformers Prime (which Hasbro established as being part of the same continuity and which started airing nearly two years before the game's release).  It was up to Planet X to figure out how to take War for Cybertron's Trypticon and actually fold it up into something even remotely resembling the Nemesis of the sequel.


That said, I think Planet X did manage to get a lot of key elements right.  Apocalypse has the long, pointed bow with a fake Trypticon head, and the curved tusks underneath it.  Although they're not blended into the stern as well as the ship in the game he does have the shoulder weapon pods visible on the sides, and the wings near the engines.  Mostly what they don't have is the extra decks and windows below the Trypticon head at the bow, a smoother hull that's not clearly folded up space-dinosaur parts, spikes near the tusks, and the tail fin.


Now, Planet X could have stopped there  No one would have blamed them if they did.  But, since G1 Trypticon had a city mode Planet X gave one to Apocalypse.  It's nothing really to write home about, as it's mostly him lying on his back with his waist turned 180 degrees, feet and tail pointed straight up, arms half transformed into engines, and the backpack pulled up in front.


The shoulder weapon pods can be pulled up on double hinges that, along with the swivel, allow them to function like turrets on a base.  I mean, I probably won't ever put him in this mode again (he'll be lucky if I ever even turn him into the Nemesis again), but I guess I've see worse base modes.

Apocalypse is a figure that's big enough that he'll take up a lot of shelf space and is a bit of a pain to handle, but not big enough to hang with Hasbro's Titans (or big enough to be in-scale with other Planet X figures).  He's reasonably poseable in dino (robot?) mode, but he's not fun to transform and his alt modes aren't that great.  His dino (robot) mode is game-accurate, which is great if you're a fan of the game but isn't going to cut it if you want a G1-style Trypticon.  So do I recommend him?  Well, certainly not in pieces, and honestly not at the $350-380 total he was running at most US-based stores.  However, the Big Bad Toy Store currently has this guy marked down to $215.  At that price he's still not for everybody, but if you're a fan of the game or just like the design at that price he's worth it even if you don't really transform him.

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NewAge continues to deliver on mini marvel MP/Anime style 3P TFs.

The light shinning off these guys is not an effect. The metal paint finish on the plastic parts shines brightly. Also the metal painted feet are ultra smooth an provide the needed weight to keep these three standing well.

Gotta keep buying these as my son and daughter are loving them all.


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I keep wondering, how the New Age transformation would work on an MP scaled figure. 

Especially the way the chest and leg fins transform is so innovative and awesome.


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And I keep wondering why some fourth party doesn't glom onto these designs and pump out some voyager scaled versions to go with the rest of my Siege/Earthrise figures. The official Earthrise figure is disappointing, especially after handling the superior Siege figure, insofar as articulation goes. The Earthrise toy only exacerbates some of the less desirable traits of the Classics toy it emulates, especially the ugly chest band, the giant hole between the intakes, and the awkward placement of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers at the feet. It's sad when a legends scaled figure so completely outclasses a voyager scaled toy, but New Age did a great job.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes-Model's oversize KO of Maketoys' Vulcan finally arrived for me this week:20200419_233837_copy_747x1328.jpg.bc5fb10cc2020f450576972c0c40927a.jpg

I wish I could at least provide a pic of its fully combined mode, but the limb bots are at another location.  Regardless, it looks good and feels solid so far.  The printed instructions are absolute crap, so thank goodness there are transformation videos already out there.  I'll post a few pics once I go home and grab the other not-Protectobots.20200420_011818_copy_501x922.jpg.da0039958f345df2b702b82081be2f53.jpg

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The full article and gallery for Civil Warrior CW-01 is up; https://kumastyledesigns.com/civil-warrior-grant-review/


The article breaks it down but all in all I ended up giving it an 8.0/10. Definitely a few minor adjustments away from being one of the best and it's nice to already have a runner for my transforming TF of the year.

A few pics from the gallery;





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After quite a bit of searching, I found the rest of the gang:20200420_224751_copy_656x1036.jpg.8df3c09ac50fe05857f27d4b91b96ccd.jpg

Was it worth the wait? Yes.  A resizing of an already beefy design on Defensor sounded sublime, especially after missing out on the original Maketoys release.  It's also very stable in a low stance:20200420_223625_copy_665x823.jpg.e19a07da642eba437cd5f29dd9f364e2.jpg

Major joints like the shoulders, hips, and knees have solid ratchets on them.  However, the elbow joints cannot support the massive gun with a bent arm, it's just too heavy.

Just a couple of complaints come to mind.  Yes Model was all too faithful in resizing Guardia; they didn't even bother to give Katana rolling rear wheels, just molded-in tires. Yes Model could have also made an improvement by finding a way for the gestalt's head to actually face different directions.  The head is on a ball joint, but is caged to face forward by the ladder base assembly.  And then there's the presence of fake screws scribed into Vulcan's hip joints.  I reckon the original Guardia had real screws there, but Yes Model decided to leave them out to save costs.  But why scribe the look of having screws there? Why not just smooth the surface out? It just seems odd.  So yeah, not a lot of complaints from me. It's a great IDW-esque combiner made out of four Deluxe-sized limbs and a Voyager class torso.

Anyhoo, I'm glad Yes Model went all the way through to complete the team-I had strong doubts about that.  I highly recommend their KO.

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I wish Maketoys would return to making CHUG scaled figs; aside from Hasbro/Takara, no one else is making toys at that scale anymore. I'd love a simplified voyager scaled Meteor from them to fit in with my CHUG collection, which has long been my primary collection of Transformers. While they're at it, they could make a good Astrotrain to make up for the crappy Earthrise version.  If I were a third party company, I'd want to seize on the lack of competition in that scale, since everyone else is doing either MP or legends scaled figures.

I didn't pay much attention to a lot of these CHUG scaled combiners back in the day, but that's a pretty nice looking Defensor. I like how the elbow joints are specific to the gestalt, rather than just using the the arm bots' hips to do the job. It's a shame they're a little weak; you'd think they would have put ratchets on those., especially given the size. 

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