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So I was pretty disappointed with Matrix Workshop's upgrades for Earthrise Hoist.  So I ordered Nonnef's.

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Nonnef's aren't 3D-printed, and this particular kit comes on two small sprues.  Unlike the Matrix Workshop kit you get just the one hand gun, but you also get a round thing, a two-pronged thing, and some gap fillers.

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The gap fillers are two parts for each forearm, and one part for each thigh.  They do the job well enough, but I can't help but note that there's no green parts.  The gap is his bicep is left unfilled.  As a rule, I don't buy gap filler kits for every figure Hasbro makes, because then I'd be spending as much (or more) on gap fillers than on Hasbro figures.  I only buy them for really egregious figures, like Siege Ironhide/Ratchet or Siege Impactor.  But if I am buying them, I'd kind of like them to fill all the gaps.

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The new gun hand is smaller than the Matrix Workshop one, and white.  Not that it necessarily matters, but it's smooth since it's not 3D-printed.  It fits into the mushroom peg slot in pretty much the same fashion.  It feels slightly less secure, but the white matches his forearm better and it doesn't look so weirdly out of scale.  It's a better fit.

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The pronged part can attach the same way.  The nubs at the end can work with Siege effect parts, which I guess is nice.  Or, the round can-looking thing has a hole in the side that happens to fit on those little nubs.  It's... a tool?  I guess?  That thing from that episode?  I guess, with just the single gun hand, that you have to do something to make it seem like you're getting your money's worth, but I honestly could have done without these parts.

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Now here's the rub... once again, you have to remove the gun hand for alt mode.  But unlike the Matrix Workshop kit there are no tabs, pegs, or anything else on the gun hand (or the two-pronged thing, or the can) that you can use to attach them anywhere in vehicle mode.  Not gonna lie, it's a huge bummer and the thing that pushed me toward the Matrix Workshop kit in the first place.  Would it have killed Nonnef to put a little tab, slot, peg, or notch on it somewhere so it could be stowed on the alt mode?  I mean, there's a ton of space under the front end.

Actually... ok.  So, there's no way to lock it in place, but you can kind of wedge it between his legs with the barrel tucking into the orange parts on the back of his bed.  I gave it a good shake, and it'll stay in well enough.  So, this kit's not perfect, but if you're looking to give Hoist a more traditional gun hand I'd say this is your best option.

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Since Nonnef charges for shipping (but has lower prices overall than the kits at TF Safari) I figure I'd better order a couple things.  So while I was there I picked up two of these kits.  They're for Siege Sideswipe/Red Alert/G2 Sideswipe, and they come in a few colors.  I got red gun/white launcher/red missile for Red Alert, which I think is cartoon accurate, and a white gun/black launcher/white missile for Sideswipe.  That's more toy accurate, but Nonnef seems to be sold out of white/white/white.  The guns are just a single piece with a bit of molded detail.  The launchers are actually three pieces, with detachable missiles and the tab at the bottom on a hinge.  They come fully assembled.  Compared to the Shapeways kit I'd picked up for Sideswipe earlier they seem to have better detail, but they were all marred by some serious sprue marks.  The launcher wound up slightly bigger than the Shapeways kit, but the gun is smaller.

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Nonnef on your left, Shapeways on your right.  Nonnef's gun actually seems like a better size; the Shapeways one looks like it should be for a Voyager.  The bone-color is also a better match for Sideswipe's own non-quite-white arms and thighs.  The rifle does have a nub at the end of the barrel for Siege effects, which is nice, but no extra 5mm peg holes.  The hinge on the shoulder launcher is nice, but I wouldn't have minded if the whole thing were a little smaller. 

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Red Alert isn't one of my more favorite characters.  He already game with a gun, and I figured giving him Sideswipe's old accessories might be good enough for him (right).  I was a bit surprised to find that the white launcher and the lack of excess pegs really makes a difference.

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While Nonnef's kits don't have any extra pegs, holes, tabs, or what have you these can at least use the 5mm peg handles on the guns and the tabs on the launchers to fit into the existing 5mm peg holes on the sides or roof of their alt modes.  I'd say that alone makes these kits my favorite of the Nonnef kits I've bought, and they're worth looking into you have these figures.

Here's hoping he comes up with some new shoulder launchers and cartoon-accurate guns for the space-Datsuns.

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2 minutes ago, Convectuoso said:

I just bought a Grimlock model kit from China. The brand is Kubianbao. 

Does anyone know anything about that brand?

Yes, they're Chinese pirates, who re-engineer molds from other companies and often make oversized knock-offs.

It's IP theft (often from other third-party manufacturers), but it's quality work.  :good:

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1 hour ago, Convectuoso said:

Hi.

I just bought a Grimlock model kit from China. The brand is Kubianbao. 

Does anyone know anything about that brand?

 

Thanks

@tekering's correct.  I'm not sure, but I think the KBB Grimlock comes pre-assembled, but yeah, the original version was a model kit of a Legends-sized Grimlock that was made by Warbotron.  

In addition to that Grimlock they made a KO of MP-10 that's just a little taller than Siege/Earthrise Optimus.  Well, technically it's a KO of Wei Jiang's oversized KO of MP-10, which had a few modifications that fixed the gorilla-armed proportions of the original MP-10.  It doesn't come with a trailer, but in does come with alternate heads, a jetpack, a sword, and a Megatron gun.  AFAIK it was released in regular Optimus colors, Ultra Magnus white, and Nemesis black.  It's a pretty cool figure for around $35-$40; I wound up picking up all three colors.

 

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On 6/21/2020 at 9:49 AM, mikeszekely said:

So I was pretty disappointed with Matrix Workshop's upgrades for Earthrise Hoist.  So I ordered Nonnef's.

Shouldn't this be in the official thread? Should be of more interest to people who collect official toys.

Fillers are very nice (I can't stand the figures with gaps), but they are expensive to get kit by kit. If only someone makes one kit for the entire line...

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1 hour ago, nhyone said:

Shouldn't this be in the official thread? Should be of more interest to people who collect official toys.

Fillers are very nice (I can't stand the figures with gaps), but they are expensive to get kit by kit. If only someone makes one kit for the entire line...

@mikeszekely posts his third-party reviews to this thread. That includes the unofficial parts/filler sets for HasTak figures. I think he's just following up on those posts.

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5 hours ago, nhyone said:

Shouldn't this be in the official thread? Should be of more interest to people who collect official toys.

Traditionally no.  While the parts are for official figures they're unofficial, unlicensed kits, and this is the same separation that a big Transformers board (that shall remain nameless) uses.

I agree with you in principle, though.  People who collect unofficial 3P figures aren't really going to be interested in the add-ons unless they collect official figures, too, and people who collect official figures but don't read this thread might miss out.

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

People who collect unofficial 3P figures aren't really going to be interested in the add-ons unless they collect official figures, too, and people who collect official figures but don't read this thread might miss out.

I expect most third-party consumers buy just as many official figures... and those conscientious objectors who refuse to buy third-party products probably wouldn't be interested in 3P add-ons, anyway.

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Can someone point me in the best direction to order a sheet of 3rd party Decepticon stickers of varying sizes?  I need them for my Newage Seekers!  I've looked on Evilbay and can only seem to find them in deepest darkest China, and I'm not going there. Once bitten twice shy...  

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1 hour ago, derex3592 said:

Can someone point me in the best direction to order a sheet of 3rd party Decepticon stickers of varying sizes?  I need them for my Newage Seekers!  I've looked on Evilbay and can only seem to find them in deepest darkest China, and I'm not going there. Once bitten twice shy...  

I bought these:

https://a.aliexpress.com/_dT6DYnS

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2 minutes ago, Kuma Style said:

*Galaxy Meteor pic*

That's a good figure.  Shame Maketoys didn't use better materials in the hips.  Or that it doesn't really fit in my collection.  Thinking about selling my copy.

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

**snip**

You absolutely should sell it. I don't agree on the structural whatever you said but in the end it's a fantastic figure that's relatively hard to find now so if you don't dig it and it doesn't have a place in your home let it go to a better fit.

-----------------

Cycling back:

Glad to have this copy og Shadow Scythe in. It's my 3rd one but it came with an authentic SG Rodimus so now I can display it with both the WildRider and SG Roddy Side-by-side. Too bad the other one is packed up atm. Can't wait for this move to be done.

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5 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

That's a good figure.  Shame Maketoys didn't use better materials in the hips.  Or that it doesn't really fit in my collection.  Thinking about selling my copy.

I still want a Galaxy Skycrow from that mold. :(

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1 hour ago, sh9000 said:

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Waiting for XTB Gravestone’s trailer to go up for preorder soon.

Hmm.  I wonder if it's just the G1 trailer?  I'm in on all three sets of Stunticons, and right now I'm leaning toward DX9 for the combined mode and Fans Toys for the robot mode.  I'll probably pick up the toy-style "Youth" version of XTB's trailer and make XTB's a toy-style Menasor (despite going with the regular cartoon-style Stunticons).  For some weird reason I like my combiner team members to look like their cartoon selves, but I prefer more of a toy/Studio OX look for the combined modes.

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18 hours ago, Convectuoso said:

Today I took the time to build my Kubianbao Grimlock kit

Took me about 2 hours to build it

It has good articulation and can be posed in many ways.

I'm really happy with it

He looks great!

I almost bought that one. Isn't it like $12 on ebay or something ridiculous?

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Vroom!  Got a shipment with two new Stunticons in.  Today we'll take a look at one of them, DX9's Kukinski, aka MP Dead End.

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One the one hand, yep, that's what Dead End looks like.  DX9 managed to get a lot of the details you'd want, like the vents on his forearms, the geometry and colors of the shapes on his torso (although I suppose he could have used a little more gray under the protruding white part), the layered shape of his crotch, the "O"s on his thighs, the details on his shins, and the wheels on the insides of his shins.  The colors are all fine.  On the other hand, there's a bit about him that feels almost stylized.  His torso has an inward taper that I don't hate, but stands a bit in contrast to the cartoon's slab of a torso.  Likewise his thighs have MP-10-ish tapers at the corners.  His visor seems like it should come down a bit lower, closer to his face mask.

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Stylized or not, there's no question he's cut from the same cloth as the other DX9 Stunticons.  He's got the same thin body, wheels on the shoulders, the hood of the car wraps around the back and outside of his forearms in the same way.  His lower legs are also quite similar to Henry's (Wildrider's).

There is one difference, though, that I'm almost loathe to point out because once you see it you won't be able to unsee it.  And that is his tiny hands.  They look kind of small on him when he's by himself, but with Montana and Henry and their more proportional hands it's extra noticeable.

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Kukinski doesn't come with a ton of accessories.  He's got his rifle.  And he comes with a leg.  I sort of recall that Henry came with the entire upper body of a Legends-size Orion Pax, so this looks to be the left leg that attaches to it.  All it'll need after that is the right leg, which I suppose will come with DX9's Dragstrip.

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Kukinski's head is on a hinged swivel that can look up maybe 30-ish degrees and down a little until his chin touches his chest.  The swivel isn't a full 360; his cheeks will hit into his collar, but the range he has feels natural enough.  His shoulders rotate and have a joint that gives him 90 degrees of lateral extension.  If you work the transformation joint around the folded car panel behind his shoulder you can get a bit more if you need it.  His biceps swivel, and he's got double-jointed elbows that curl all the way up.  His wrists swivel.  His thumbs are pinned at the base to move in and out.  His fingers are permanently curled and pinned at the base, with his index finger being one piece and the other three fingers being a separate piece.  His waist can swivel.  He has 90 degrees of ab crunch, but he can also arch his back at least 60 degrees.  His hips can go forward 90 degrees, backward 60 degrees, and laterally 90 degrees.  His thighs rotate below the hips, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  He doesn't actually have whole feet; his calves basically run the whole way to the ground and serve as his heels.  The front of his foot is on a double hinge that lets it bend up and down, and a ball joint gives him a faux ankle pivot of around 90 degrees.

He holds his gun fine, with a tab on the handle that fits into his right palm.  There is no tab on the other side of the handle, though, so Kukinski is right-handed whether you like it or not.

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Kukinski's alt mode seems reasonable enough (although, spoilers for comparison that will come later after I have Fans Toys', not as detailed and real-world accurate as XTB's).  The transformation has a lot of elements of Henry's, with differences mostly being in how the head comes out and how the legs fold up, with more minor differences in how the torso collapses.  We'll see how Fans Toys does with theirs, but DX9 again provides a transformation that is more fluid and fun than XTB.

One thing that I find a bit interesting is that Kukinski is smaller than Montana and Henry in alt mode.  I'm too lazy to Google if that model of Porsche is honestly that much smaller than a Countach or that particular Ferrari, but it still strikes me as kind of surprising.

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As I said, I'm saving the big comparison between DX9, XTB, and FT for later, after Fans Toys releases there's, but spoilers for that, Kukinski is bigger than XTB's but not by as much as Montana or Henry were.  The height is pretty close, Kukinski's just a bit longer and ever-so-slightly wider.

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Given that Montana, Henry, and even Capone (DX9's Motormaster) all had doors that open it should come as no real surprise that Kukinski's do too.  Not that there's anything to see in there except his scrunched-up waist.  The handle on his gun can fold back, revealing a tab on the bottom that can peg into one of two slots behind the sunroof.  His tires are rubber, and they roll pretty well.

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Like XTB's Dead End Kukinski physically comes apart at the waist for combined mode.  Instead of relying on spring-loaded latches, though, DX9 goes for a simpler (and honestly more effective) method.  The actual waist joint has a large, square, grooved peg (not unlike a Combiner Wars connector) that slides into a notched slot at the top of his pelvis.

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Connecting him to the Menasor frame is pretty simple.  The top half has that protruding piece on his tummy.  There are grooves on the side, and you just push it into the wider part of the hole on his shoulder and slide it down to lock it into place.  Meanwhile, the bottom half has a pair of slots near the wheels.  They fit into tabs on the forearm, with a larger tab near Menasor's elbow sliding into the socket that where his upper half normally connects.  Just be aware that you'll have to bend this feet down and turn the ankles so the bottoms of his feet are touching so they'll tuck inside Menasor's forearm.

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Kukinski's connection to Menasor's arm feels a lot more secure than Montana or Henry's to the backs of his legs.  As for how they look there, well... it's cartoon-accurate.  I know some of us would prefer that the car make up the entire arm, but we knew this was what DX9 was going for, and it works, they pulled off what they're going for.  

Weirdly, despite only having four of the five Stunticons while XTB has five Stunticons out, DX9 feels closer to having a completed Menasor, and I can't wait for their Dragstrip.  Which, for all I know, could come out before XTB finishes their trailer and combined mode (although if I were a betting man I'd say XTB finishes up late summer/early fall, DX9 late fall, and Fans Toys sometime in 2021).

Should I recommend Kukinski?  I think he's the strongest release yet of DX9's Stunticons, with similar engineering and aesthetics but improvements in the joint tolerances.  In what's becoming a running theme with this set I like Kukinski more than XTB's Dead End, and I definitely think he's playable and is more fun to mess with than XTB's (which was true for their Motormaster as well, even if I think XTB beat them on that one).  Based on the other Fans Toys Stunticons I expect they'll also be more fun to mess with than Fans Toys', but I've been preferring Fans Toys' overall (at least for their Stunticons).  And, of course, we're a long ways off from having complete Menasors, which will be a factor.

For now, I'll just leave you with this- Kukinski is a good figure.  If you're already in on DX9's Stunticons you won't be disappointed by him.  If you're only after one set of Stunticons, though, I like him better than XTB's but expect to like Fans Toys' more that Kukinski, and it's simply too soon to call a winner for Menasor.  But chances are good that you've probably committed to one set or another already anyway, and I don't think my Kukinski review is going to get anyone to jump ship at this point.

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31 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

 

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I just love this picture. It implies that Menasor doesn't so much transform as he does "dress himself", and it makes me smile to imagine him picking up his shirtsleevebots and putting them on.

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