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1 hour ago, Mechapilot77 said:

its a little sad that if you were to upscale either newage or MS and make the necessary changes - they'd both look better than quakewave or quakeblast in a lot of areas.  lol.  not that i don't still love those pieces but i would love for a properly sized MP shockwave that actually looks the part.  takara's is too small for me...and feels not great in hand (yes i have that one too). 

I agree.  I'd even take some if they were just upscaled without any modifications to scale with War For Cybertron to fill in some gaps or even replace what Hasbro gave us.  Like right now, if a genie granted me three wishes I'm pretty sure one of them would be MFT's Iron Sky scaled up to a Voyager.

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58 minutes ago, Convectuoso said:

Is Iron Sky a good figure? I've always have doubts about the quality of MFT figures

I don't personally own one, but from everything I've seen, yes. Maybe I'll grab one and review it here.

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4 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Well, I don't think I'll go all in on an MFT movie cast, but I did break down and order Iron Sky. Should arrive some time next week.

I'm in agreement with upscaling that fig to voyager, or even leader scale to go with the rest of my CHUG collection. It's sad when when a little legends fig upstages a leader class toy to such an extent.

Hopefully, there'll be a KO at some point- I'd be tempted, as Astrotrain is still a void in my CHUG collection.

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1 hour ago, technoblue said:

I can recommend Iron Sky. I ended up getting both MS-20 and MS-20B, one of the two toy repaints. I think MS-18 is the other one.

Yeah, MS-20 is cartoon colors, MS-20B is Japanese toy colors (white shuttle with black nose and trim, black locomotive). MS-18 is supposed to be US toy colors (white shuttle with the entire cockpit and nose purple, purple trim, and a mostly purple loco with some black). However, I think MS-18 still has the cartoon purple head.

What finally pushed me over the edge was that it looks like Iron Sky is around the same size as the G1 toy. So if I like MS-20 I may pick up MS-18, too.

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Just sharing a recent un-boxing. Got this NewAge movie DotM Soundwave when it was released last year, but only now am messing with it..



Always liked the Mercedes Benz SLS-AMG model. The silver paint here is pretty good, there's a nice consistent sheen to it. Wheels are chrome, with painted red calipers.



Love that the gullwing doors are functional here. Headlight & rear lamp details aren't so good though, rather cheap looking and lacking detail. In fact, these are the only parts I do not like, especially when compared to the excellent paint and detailing found everywhere else.



Soundwave comes with nice little movie Ravage & Laserbeak. The plastics and articulation on both of them are pretty good. I forgot to install Ravage's twin guns on his back when taking this pic though..



Movie-verse designs aren't many people's cup of tea, but I love what NewAge have done here in terms of movie accuracy, built quality and paint finish. Nice gold accents, chrome parts and miscellaneous paint in the mechanical areas only visible in bot mode, and complements the silver body paint. Just, as noted earlier, the rear lamps (on his knees here) are pretty crappy and jarring in its lack of detail..



I love how clean the back is, and there's more chrome here on some of the larger mechanical details..



This toy holds its poses quite well, given how complex the transformation is, especially the legs. But everything tabs together nicely and key limb joints are sufficiently tight..



Final shot. Including this only because the wheels on his back somehow reminds me of VTOL fans..

Edited by MKT
spelling & some added text
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Likewise for the Bayverse designs. Soundwave's is one of the better ones, IMHO, and NA did a tremendous job here. 

Edit: Just watched a vid of the transformation. At approx MP scale, it's an incredibly complex piece with more moving parts than I care to contemplate. The result is beautiful in either mode. Hat's off to NA. This makes me wish they'd tackle figs in proper scale for which the official toys left us wanting, like WFC Astrotrain. I'd love to see this level of engineering put into a voyager or leader scaled version of Astrotrain.

Or a downscaled version of FT's Thomas. I just want a decent Astrotrain for my CHUG collection. A good Blitzwing, too, while we're at it.


Edited by M'Kyuun
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32 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

Likewise for the Bayverse designs. Soundwave's is one of the better ones, IMHO, and NA did a tremendous job here. What scale is this?


Size-wise, he scales pretty well with the Masterpieces in alt mode. In robot mode, he's close to Bumblebee's height..

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5 minutes ago, MKT said:

Size-wise, it scales pretty well with the Masterpieces in alt mode. In robot mode, he close to Bumblebee's height..


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I'm likewise not particularly into the Bayverse design, but I've picked up a few, notably Unique Toys, because the engineering they use to translate movie-accurate ricotta with minimal kibble into their vehicle modes is really impressive.

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that soundwave is nice.  i just didn't want to spend that much on it.  i might still pick up  an mpm jazz though (if i can find it for a good discount off retail) and if i do that i'd me more likely to be tempted to add another bayverse car like this guy.  really though, i will get around to the dx9 hot rod figure at some point though.  prices are not great now and i heard teh ko is just so so.  oh well...maybe i won't go down further down bayverse car path

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On 4/14/2021 at 11:31 AM, Convectuoso said:

I'll wait for your review

Wait no longer!  Here's Mechanic Studio (aka MFT) MS-20 Iron Sky.


Iron Sky actually comes in two flavors (and the mold also saw another release with a different number and name), but this one is the "main" cartoon-style release I think most of you would want.  Iron Sky isn't just immediately recognizable as Astrotrain, I'd say it's one of the most-accurate, best-proportioned Astrotrains to come out.  He's got almost all the cartoon details you'd want; circles on his shoulders, square bump outs on his hip skirts, that bit of overhang on his forearms, the purple and red deco on his abs, the faux wheels around his head, etc.  He's cleaner overall than Siege Astrotrain.


From the back and sides you can see a lot of similarities between Iron Sky and many other Astotrains; train wheels under the wings, thick calves, thrusters on the back, etc.


And for size comparison, here is is with one of my few other Legends figures, Magic Square's Optimus, and a G1 Astrotrain.  If we're being honest, Iron Sky is a bit tall for a Magic Square collection, which in turn is a bit tall for a Newage collection.  But some people seem to like a bigger Astrotrain than the holy scale chart dictates, and if you're cool with that kind of fudging you might find Iron Sky's size acceptable.  Me, I'm mostly amused by the fact that Iron Sky is very similar in size to G1 Astrotrain (I feel the same way about Magic Square's Seaspray).  It's amazing how much more they can do in the same size today.


Iron Sky comes with a pair of guns that are very G1 in detail, and a small block whose purpose wasn't immediately apparent to me that wasn't mentioned in the Instructions.  But we'll get to it.


Iron Sky's head is on a ball joint, and he can look up a little, tilt his head sideways slightly, but he doesn't really have much room to look down.  Also, while his head can swivel (turning it 180 degrees is a listed transformation step), the sides of his cheeks will hit and slide against the faux wheels.  His shoulders are ball joints that can rotate and extend laterally 90 degrees.  He has a dedicated bicep swivel, and his elbows cand bend 90 degrees.  Alas, he has no wrist articulation.  His waist does swivel, though.  His hip skirts are hinged, but they're a solid piece and don't flap individually.  His ball-jointed hips can go about 90 degrees forward, 90 degrees laterally, and 60 degrees backward.  His thighs have cut swivels, and his knees bend 90 degrees.  His whole foot doesn't move, but the front part is on a ball joint so it can do the faux pivot to 90+ degrees.  All-in-all nothing amazing, but I'd say it's adequate, especially for a figure this size.

The peg handles on either gun fit into either hand.  Although they look like 5mm and are definitely bigger than Magic Square's a quick test fit reveals the handles of his guns to be slightly too small to fit in Kingdom Cyclonus or SS86 Jazz's hands.  As for the block piece... not yet.


One quick flip into locomotive mode and... yeah.  That works pretty well.  Again, it's a pretty similar size to the G1 toy, with proportions like look like a locomotive and not some kind of alien machine giving birth to a locomotive.  Siege Astrotrain's robot mode isn't bad, but we're starting to see why so many people have suggested that someone upscale Iron Sky to replace him.  The engineering going from robot to train is pretty simple, and surprisingly similar to the G1 toy.  Between Iron Sky and Fancy Cell's Transportation Captain I can't quite shake the feeling that Siege Astrotrain would have been better if he were a simple Voyager, because Hasbro over-engineered him into that mess.


Iron Sky isn't exactly perfect, though.  His wheels are just molded on, and the sculpt of some of them are thrown off by a hinge.  I find myself also wishing that Iron Sky had taken a page from the G1 toy and put the hinge on the front wheels between the second and third wheel.  Then they could have molded in more behind the third wheel to fill in the gap on the side.  A little gray is showing on the sides, and there's a small gap on the top.  If this mold really were upscaled I might like to see some fixes like a few more fold-out panels or working wheels, but at this size these complaints are easily forgivable and even at a Voyager-scale he's a huge improvement over the Siege toy.


The gap at the top isn't totally useless, by the way.  You'll notice small divots with ridges between what are his robot shoulders.  If you look at the gun handles you'll find some notches on them; you can pull the shoulders apart and slide the gun into the divots so the ridges fit into the slots on the handle.  There does seem to be room for just the one, though.  As for the block, it also seems to fit into snugly into the small gap between his forearms, and even has cutouts where his shoulders sit.  But it's still not really for train mode.


Shuttle mode.  Again, not perfect, but it's not an unfinished mess like the Siege toy.  Again, the transformation from train to shuttle is a lot like the G1 toy.  You do have to undo his arms to get at the legs so you can flip the shuttle's cockpit out.  Speaking of flipping out the cockpit, there's a clever bit where the ball-jointed toe bends 90 degrees out of the way and the front of the train actually splits, with part of if folding 90 degrees, so the toe can tuck inside.  It's simple and effective, and I wonder why no one else has thought of it before now.


And because I love it, the comparison with the G1 toy.


The single gold window doesn't really match the cartoon's more real-world accurate multi-paneled window, the tail is a bit tiny, the sides have a few seems and gaps.  The slight taper up his robot torso doesn't really capture the engine humps on the G1 toy or the animation model, either.  But again, it's nothing I can't live with in this size.  The one thing I do wish, though, is that they'd either painted this side of the panel with the wheels gray, or that they'd cast it in gray plastic and painted the train side purple.


Again, Iron Sky doesn't have working wheels, and the smokestack from the train actually pushes the nose of the shuttle up at an angle if you set him on a flat surface.  But now, we finally get to the block!  By sliding it in where I showed before in train mode the bottom of it is roughly level with the smokestack, allowing him to sit level on a surface.  If I was a betting man, though, I'd wager it's actually an adapter for some kind of flight stand.  As for his rifles, when you fold his arms him for alt mode you'll notice some peg holes in the actual shoulder joints.  They're covered by the wings in train mode, but in shuttle mode they're exposed on the sides.  Just pop the handles in and you're good to go.  The shuttle can even accommodate both guns.

Iron Sky isn't the masterpiece that Fans Toys Thomas is.  There are definitely some areas that could use a bit more refinement, a few colors that could be tweaked for greater accuracy, a few tweaks for more articulation, etc.  Like I said before, though, my complaints are easily forgivable on a little Legends-scale toy, and even if he were upscaled to the same size as the Siege toy Iron Sky would still be the superior figure with a smoother transformation and much better train and shuttle modes.  Scale would be my biggest concern picking him up for a Legends collection (and the idea that Magic Square or Newage might eventually do a better one would be my runner up concern), but if you can get around that or just want a fun little Astrotrain you can actually mess around with he's a worthy figure I'd recommend picking up.  I like him enough that I ordered the other two versions, which you can think of as US toy version and Japanese toy version, and I'll post comparison pictures when they come in, but this is the one you want if you're after Sunbow cartoon colors.

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Indeed. A very thorough review.

It's also worth noting that MFT are releasing a new version of their Springer, Blitzwing, and Octane. So if you want to fill out the Legends Triplechanger ranks sooner rather than later, they are the only game in town at the moment. Magic Square figures look all right mixed with MFT IMO, so that could be an option if you are comfortable mixing figures from multiple manufacturers. NewAge can look okay too, but for certain characters their scale does runs short and I know there are a few on the forum here who won't abide by that nonsense. I'm not that picky, though.  

FansToys Thomas looks impressive for MP, for sure. I'm a bit disappointed that I opted out of the original pre-order and its sane pre-order price.  The $100+ markup for the reissue at places like ShowZ and TFSafari isn't as inviting. I'm not at a place where I'm okay with paying that much for a single FansToys release.

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I've been waiting years for this MP'85 Minibot lineup to finally become a reality! :wub:


Seaspray was the last holdout, since none of the third-party options available were cartoon-accurate enough -- even FansToys' initial FT-27 release -- but at last, FT-45 "Spindrift" ticks all the boxes. ^_^

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1 hour ago, tekering said:

I've been waiting years for this MP'85 Minibot lineup to finally become a reality! :wub:


Seaspray was the last holdout, since none of the third-party options available were cartoon-accurate enough -- even FansToys' initial FT-27 release -- but at last, FT-45 "Spindrift" ticks all the boxes. ^_^

I've had him in my stash for awhile. Just waiting on a few more things to come in before I click that ship button.

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As promised, I picked up the other two.  So it's MS-18 Steel Ambition on the left, MS-20 Iron Sky in the middle, and MS-20B Iron Sky on the right.


I'm kind of starting to get why they used a different number for the one, but slapped a B on the other.  MS-20B is the same mold (almost) as regular MS-20, the difference really just comes down to the color.  The white with black trim is meant to be the more realistically-colored Japanese G1 release of Astrotrain, which looked like this:


And, yeah, he's missing some sticker details, but if you're working backward from an animation-accurate Astrotrain it's about what you'd get.

Meanwhile, MS-18 actually has some subtle mold differences.  I don't know how well it's showing up in the photo, but he's got different shoulders with lines similar to the toy's instead of the animation-style circles, and he's got a totally different head, which we'll touch on more in a bit.


With the new molded parts, I find myself wishing that his tail could unfold and splay over his chest like the G1 toy.  The new head doesn't have the visor that the toy does, but the general shape of his helmet is is more detailed and a bit more like the toy, and the vents on his knees are painted to look more like the stickers on the G1 toy.  But something worth noting is that, unlike the G1 toy, he's not really white, but rather a light gray.


Then we come to the accessories.  MS-20B has the exact same pair of rifles and flight stand that came with MS-20, just in black instead of purple.  MS-18 has the same purple rifles and stand that MS-20 does, but he's got a few more accessories.  You get a third rifle, in the lighter gray plastic instead of purple, and you get two alternate heads.  Both are cast in the more detailed MS-18 mold, but they're colored a bit differently.


See, one is colored like the animation, with a purple helmet and yellow forehead, and it's actually the one installed on the figure out of the box.  While the darker gray color and the little mold differences do make MS-20 more animation-accurate, I think with the purple head MS-18 can still pass for a cartoon Astrotrain, which might be why he's light gray instead of white.  The other head is a whiter color that doesn't match MS-18's light gray, and without a forehead stripe.  I'd say it really matches MS-20B, which has me wondering if MS-18's extra accessories are really meant for MS-20 and MS-20B.  I mean, if you think the rounder head looks dopey you could always pop the purple MS-18 head onto MS-20.  Likewise, the white head that came with MS-18 looks meant to give a little more toy style to MS-20B (even if it's got yellow eyes instead of a red visor).  Then there's the third rifle.  The G1 toy came with a purple rifle, so the two purple ones should be fine.  But in the cartoon Asttrotrain had a gray rifle, so maybe the gray one is for MS-20?  I don't know.


Anyway, here are their alt modes.  MS-20B looks about what you'd expect; black locomotive with a white pilot, and white shuttle with black trim.  In locomotive mode there's some white showing on the sides, but that's a necessary sacrifice for alt mode.  Likewise, he's missing the sticker details and has the red-painted abs he didn't technically need.

Oh, remember I said MS-20B is almost the same mold?  There is one small difference.  If you look closely you can see that there's a small slot right above where I put a Decepticon emblem on the front of MS-20.  There's a corresponding tab on the train wheels, and that locks the flap with the wheels in place for robot mode.  MS-18 doesn't have that slot and tab, relying only on friction for it, and MS-20B for some reason uses the MS-18 version of those parts.


MS-18 is also missing some sticker details, and he's got the yellow window and orange cockpit windows that the cartoon has.  His engine bells are also silver instead of black.  Again, I'd chalk this up to Mechanic Studio expecting MS-18 to pass as both a toy-inspired and cartoon-style Astrotrain.  To that end, you can see they also used more of a dark gray instead of black for the black parts of the locomotive and the nose of the shuttle.

As I said before, if you want a cartoon-style Astrotrain the regular MS-20 version is the one you want.  But MS-18 comes with more accessories and will do in a pinch, while MS-20B has the benefit or more realistic alt mode colors.  Any version of this figure is good, and any version scaled up with no differences would be a better figure than Siege Astrotrain.  That said, there are a few changes I'd hope they'd make if they did upscale it.

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6 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

That looks really good. Arguably better than either of the MP versions currently available and again far superior to the best Hasbro's given us.

Nothing new there.  Third-party designs have been making HasTak look like incompetents for over a decade now. <_<

To be frank, though, it's not really a fair comparison.  Back in my fansubbing days, I remember the Central Park Media guys talking at cons about how much better fansubs were because there were no overhead costs, no budgetary concerns, and dedicated fans could spend all the time they wanted getting the work perfect, simply because "time is money" doesn't apply outside the business world.  When it comes to 3P designers, they've had years honing their craft as they keep up with the latest developments in CAD and manufacturing technology... and they're probably spending more than 40 hours a week doing it.

Conversely, TakaraTomy is where the design work is being done for the official figures, and Transformers aren't even a priority for a company with so many product lines.  Furthermore, as in any large Japanese corporation, they're compelled to shuffle staff around every few years, so whoever was designing Transformers last year will be doing Bakugan next year, and the new designer on the Transformers team this year was doing Tomica die-cast cars up to last month. :unknw:

That's the way Japanese companies run things.  They don't want any employees to get too comfortable where they are, or forgetting who's actually calling the shots.  Nobody gets stuck in a rut, but nobody gets the chance to really excel in their position, either.  They'll never have the chance to focus their skillset the way independent designers do. 

It's all about sacrificing the individual for the homogeny of the group, a concept deeply rooted in the Japanese corporate mindset.  The "actual talent" must remember their place in the hierarchy, lest they realize how lucrative their talents could really be and leave the company... only to start making superior products for the competition.

That's what the old men at the top are really afraid of.  The quality of their products is a tertiary concern at best. :unsure:

Thus we get inconsistent product lines that shift their focus every few years...

Like, just when you thought Masterpiece had abandoned the G1 toy aesthetic to go full-on Sunbow cartoon, we suddenly get MP Skids... :huh:

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