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2 hours ago, JB0 said:

Marines, F-35B.

The Navy's F-35C has wider wings(that fold up), and sturdier landing gear for handling catapult launches and arresting wire landings, but no VTOL capability.

I stand corrected. I was thinking the Navy's was the VTOL version, completely forgetting that the Marines have a variant as well. 

If a company were to make a transforming F-35B, I'm curious how they'd work around that forward fan- perhaps a jet pack for the bot mode. That would be my solution.

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1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

I stand corrected. I was thinking the Navy's was the VTOL version, completely forgetting that the Marines have a variant as well. 

If a company were to make a transforming F-35B, I'm curious how they'd work around that forward fan- perhaps a jet pack for the bot mode. That would be my solution.

The promise of the F-35: One plane for every service!

The reality of the F-35: Three planes sharing one name and confusing everyone!



Jetpack is what I'd do too. Especially since I'd like to see the VTOL capability echoed in the robot.

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18 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I don't know if contributing to a Chinese toy company furthers the CCCP's agenda, although I get what you're saying in principle. I'm not at all a fan of the Chinese government or their shady practices, 

I had to look at my grandfathers picture on the wall and smile , it was taken a year before my family was deported from Georgia to Oklahoma in 1934 after the state seized the reservation. in all fairness I think he would have liked this toy . not defending the CCCP it's just an old saying he told me was anytime I pointed one finger at someone I always had three fingers pointing back.:)

Edited by Spark-O-Matic
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Not a super big update or anything, but I picked up a few 3D printed kits from Go Better.


Up first we have this kit, a pair of missiles and attachments.  This kit is for Transformers Prime First Edition Deluxe-class Starscream, and it addresses my single biggest complaint with the figure.


See, FE Starscream came with these rubbery pale gray missiles, molded in trios.  In the cartoon, though, he had a single red missile each arm, evocative of his G1 null rays.  With this kit, you pop the rubber missiles off, pop the new red missiles into their attachments, and use the attachments to clip them on where the rubber missiles were.  The fit of the attachments onto Starscream is quite snug; I've found that the missile will come off before the attachment will.  The paint accurately reflects the fact that the missiles in the cartoon had two red tones, a darker one for most of the missile and a brighter shade on the tip.  My only real complaint is that I wish the missiles didn't stick out so far from his arms, but that's more an issue with FE Starscream's design than Go Better's.


As they attach to the robot mode exactly where the stock accessories do, you could probably guess the same holds true for his alt mode.  No real complaints here.

Actually, I do have one complaint... the price.  This kit ran me about $16 dollars, and as good as Go Better's prints are I really don't think this is $16 worth of paint and plastic.  That being said, the lack of cartoon-accurate missiles for Starscream has bugged me for a long time and I don't see anyone else rushing to fix the issue.  I personally have no regrets, but I do think it's too expensive to recommend more generally.


This kit's for Studio Series Wheelie, and it's a bit more involved.  There's a number of filler parts (including one not pictured, because I'd already test fit it and couldn't get it back out), but we've also got a hinged part, a pin, and new forearms.


We'll start with the easy stuff- the fillers.  The gray ones go in the insides of his toes, the big orange ones go on the inside of his lower legs, and the small orange ones go inside his thighs.  Note the directions: it's easy enough for the big orange pieces to follow the curves, but for the rest if you're not as sure remember that the molded details should wind up on towards the bottom of his feet and the backs of his thighs.

For me, the orange pieces fit very well, and the color match is quite good.  The gray parts are slightly too large.  I had to push them in very hard to keep them from forcing themselves back out.  I kind of wonder why they didn't make fillers for the smaller cutouts in Wheelie's thighs.  Generally speaking, I tend not to buy filler kits for cheaper figures like a Core-class and wouldn't buy this kit if all it were was fillers, even if it did have fillers for the smaller thigh cutouts.  By the same token, I'm not really bothered that they're not there, either, just curious.


Moving on.  Now we gotta prep Wheelie for surgery.  First, pop his forearms off the ball joints.  Turn him around, and push the pin out of his butt flap from left to right.  Be careful, that pin also goes through the cockpit on his back, but you want the cockpit to stay put.


Take the hinged piece from the kit.  Find the side with pin holes and line it up with the hinge you just removed his butt flap from, then slide the new included pin (not the original) from left to right to pin everything in place again.  With this new butt part, you can use the double-hinge to fold it up tighter against his back, so he no longer looks like he's got a bustle for a dress he might put on.


The arms attach a bit easier... simply pop them onto the ball joints, making sure that the wheels point in toward his body.  The first thing I'll note is that the new arms have some molded details that are a bit more cartoon-accurate than the smoother originals.  And personally, I think the gray Go Better used for the hands matches his feet, knees, and cap better than the silver Hasbro used.  However, that's not exactly the point of replacing them.  Rather, it's the transformation.  With the new arms, you can open panels on the sides, then the fists can swivel inside.


The transformation is basically the same at that point, except the forearm panels (which stay open) tuck up under the new butt flap.  Then the butt flap unfurls to fill in the gap between his arms, and... yeah.  The hinges and concave spaces aren't as neat as the smoother, rounded stock parts.  But the trade off is wheels with silver rivets that better match the front wheels, and... something else... oh, yeah, that's right.  No more big ol' silver hands sticking out the back!  Frankly, I'll take the slightly messier trunk over visible hands any day.

Overall, I think this kit's a pretty big improvement over the stock figure, and at $17 it's also a lot more reasonably-priced (although still technically more than the base figure).  There are some caveats, though.  For one, Wheelie's new butt flap doesn't have a place to store his slingshot like his old one does.  Two, the new fist holes are a tad large, so even holding the slingshot in bot mode is a tad problematic.  I still think it's an improvement overall, though, so I'll recommend this one.

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You guys know I collect Optimus Primes, I think.  And a long time ago I picked up Magic Square's Light of Freedom, their first take on an MP-style Optimus Prime and, IMHO, still probably my favorite one.  At the time Light of Freedom was announced, Magic Square was (and still is, really) a company focused on Legends-scale releases, and it eventually came out that Light of Freedom's design was a reworked design they'd done for a Legends-scale Prime.  Sure enough, a few months later they released Light of Justice, a figure I wound up buying despite not really being into the whole Legends thing.  And it, too, was good, but Magic Square wasn't the only one releasing Primes then.  Transform Element's Op Leader and Takara's own MP Prime 3.0 went hard in a more cartoony Sunbow direction, and while I don't always prefer that it seems a lot of fans do, which sent Magic Square back to the drawing board.  Last year I picked up Light of Peace, their second stab at an MP Optimus, and while I ultimately preferred the realistic details and heroic proportions of Light of Freedom I preferred the clean design to MP-44 and the excellent articulation to Op Leader, making it a close second over all.

However, in the words of one Jean-Luc Picard:


Yeah... unlike last time, where Magic Square released the MP version then went back to do Legends, this time Magic Square replaced the Legends one first before tweaking and upscaling it to MP.  It was actually in the back of my mind a few weeks ago when I picked up Hasbro's Legends Prime and Bumblebee set and I compared it with Light of Justice.  I was acutely aware that I was missing an Optimus, and I set out to rectify that.  Now, here he is, Magic Square's Light of Victory.


As I kind said, just as Light of Justice is like a tiny Light of Freedom, Light of Victory is like a tiny Light of Peace.  To be clear, the copy I have here is a recent reissue; the original release had painted windows instead of translucent, didn't have the arm details painted, and I believe that the pelvis and thighs were a brighter white.  Here, you can see that more like a very light gray.  But see, this makes things a bit more interesting for me.  Remember, I'm not part of the super Sunbow crowd, and I prefer Prime to have silver or gray instead of pure white there.  I preferred the original MP Light of Freedom over the newer Light of Peace because it has details like painted arm details, translucent yellow in the pelvis, gray thighs, louvered vents in the shins, and more realistic details like rivets and and wipers.  But in shrinking Light of Freedom, Light of Justice wound up with cartoony painted windows, lost the paint on his arm details, lost the louvered vents, lost the details on his smokestacks, and got some wonky proportions on his head.  Light of Victory, meanwhile, retains more Sunbow proportions than Light of Justice, but with a bigger head, painted arm details, and details on his smokestacks I think he comes out ahead aesthetically over his predecessor in a way that the MP version kind of didn't for me.


Quick looks around the sides and back.  Victory has the same bit of the top of the cab on his back that the larger Peace figure does, and I know that was a sore spot for some on Peace.  I don't think it's as noticeable from the front of Victory, though.


On area that's improved over Justice is the accessories.  To be fair, with Roller and a trailer with a non-removable drone Justice already had more accessories than either of the MP versions, but Victory takes the Takara approach of tossing in everything.  So, you get the trailer with a separate drone.  You get Roller.  You get his rifle, and a blast effect for the rifle.  You get a jetpack, and effect parts for the jetpack.  You get his axe.  You get alternate smokestacks that have sliding parts like the MP versions instead of the solid ones that come installed.  You get the Starscream head and shoulder intakes from that one episode.  You get a battle damaged head.  You get a sprue with six pairs of alternate hands.  And you get a little black part... I think Justice came with the same or a similar part.  I'm not 100% sure what it's for, so don't quote me on this, but if I had to guess I think it might be an adapter to let Magic Square's Huffer pull the trailer.  If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.


Moving along, Victory's got some solid articulation, but surprisingly not as much range as his larger cousin, Peace.  His head's on a ball joint that can tilt sideways slightly and look down maybe 30 degrees, but the cutout on the back allows him to look 90 degrees straight up.  His shoulders swivel and can move over 90 degrees laterally, and while they have a slight butterfly they don't pull out the way Peace's do.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend maybe 120 degrees on a single hinge, actually a bit worse than Justice.  His wrists swivel.  His waist swivels, and although it breaks up his sculpt he can also arch his back 45 degrees and crunch his abs 90.  His front hip skirt moves up under the top of his pelvis along with his leg, allowing his hips to go forward a full 90 degrees (improved from Justice), and he can also move flaps on the sides of his pelvis to get 90 degrees of lateral motion.  However, he doesn't have any butt flaps and only has a little backward hip movement.  His thighs swivel, and his knees are double jointed for nearly 180 degrees of bend.  His heels can tilt down, and the front of his foot can tilt up or down about 90 degrees.  His ankles can pivot nearly 90 degrees, and he even has a limited swivel to point his toes in or out slightly.

Victory's rifle fits into the default hands and the closed alternate hands (but I didn't check of those closed hands fit for transformation).  To replace the hands you open his arm up like you're going to transform him, then pop the hand off the ball joint and pop a different hand into the socket.  The energon axe also has a ball joint at the base and connects the same way.


Presumably, popping off the ball joint is also how you change his head to the battle damaged one or the Starscream one.  The Starscream intakes, meanwhile have hooks.  You undo his backpack a little, then fit the hooks in notches on the backpack before pushing it all back into place.  The jetpack, meanwhile, is designed to fit over the backpack without undoing it.


Oh, yeah, I didn't mention it in the accessories but of course Victory's chest opens up and of course he comes with a Matrix.  More detail was molded and painted into Victory's chest, and unlike Justice the Matrix can stay in Victory's chest when he transforms.


Still going on with the accessories, Victory's drone has a claw and antenna that work very similarly to Justice's, but they're a more typical gray than the black used for Justice.  Also, the drones lasers/missiles can extend, and the drone's translucent cockpit can open.  Like MP-44, the drone can roll on wheels independently of the trailer.  To install it in the trailer, simply fold the wheels down and tab it into place.  The trailer itself has the usual gimmicks.  It has the regular truck supports as well as the swing out supports for base mode.  The doors on the back of the trailer open, and a ramp slides out from a space between the bottom of the trailer and the bumper.  I like that it's the whole ramp, not just the two tire-sized ones they used on Justice.  The interior of the trailer is similarly empty, though; no diaclone consoles, no spaces for storing accessories.  You can set Roller inside, although there's no launching mechanism.  And Roller's red light flips around to reveal a small peg.  That peg can be used to arm Roller with Victory's rifle.


The peg also fits into a small port under the front of the trailer, allowing Roller to pull it.


Again, much as Justice is a slightly simplified version of Freedom, Victory's engineering is extremely similar to Peace.  At a glance, you might even think that the only obvious differences between Victory and Peace is that Peace has some chrome and translucent parts in the bumper, or that Victory's toes don't fold down to show off the colored lights and Victory doesn't have wing mirrors.  Truthfully, there are a few other minor differences in engineering, but it's still like 90% the same... for better or worse.  You see, some ideas that worked well enough at an MP-scale create tolerance issues at smaller scales, and parts that could be comfortably manipulated on Peace are too tiny for my fat American fingers on Victory.  What's more, the leg transformation that left Peace with a smoother, thinner rear winds up just making Victory just as thick as Justice because the relative thickness of the flaps can't be scaled down.  Materials, often an issue for Magic Square, are one here again.  While everything lines up nicely and sits proper on Peace, material tolerances from the nylon plastic Magic Square uses mean that Victory's legs don't like to stay together, the fuel tank on the one side kept popping out, and the flaps that stack on the back of the truck don't like to stay in place.  It's interesting, though, that where Peace came with trailer hitches compatible with MP-10 and MP-44's trailers, Victory's own trailer has a hitch part on it.  If you turn it 180 degrees you can pop it off and attach it to the cab, which helps to hold the legs together.  However, to attach Victory to the trailer, you have to remove the hitch from the cab, put it back on the trailer, then attach the cab.


Cab attached, I think the overall truck mode is pretty good, although I prefer the stripe on the cab and the blue on the trailer on Justice.  Actually, I think the overall level of detail and the shape of the lights make me prefer the truck mode on Justice/Freedom, even if the back of the truck is more obviously robot legs.  Still, Victory does have some improvements.  For one, the trailer hitch, which rotates on the the trailer so the truck can turn, actually uses a pair of tabs to attach to the truck vs kind of just sitting on the back of Justice and hoping for the best.  Also, due to the transformation, Victory's doors can open, although all you'll see inside is his hands.  Curiously, Victory's trailer is significantly longer than Justice's (or, for that matter, Hybrid Style Convoy's).  I think it might actually be a little more proportional to a real American truck, although I think Justice's proportions are probably more similar to the G1 and MP toys.


And on that note, say you prefer those toy proportions, or you really want the blue stripes on the cab.  If you go back and look at the hitch again, you'll notice that in addition to the space in the center keyed to attach to Victory's trailer there's a small peg hole.  Remove the hitch from Victory's trailer and put it on the cab, and that peg hole will allow Victory to pull Justice's trailer.

With the number of players entering the 3rd party Legends market I have to say that I don't think Light of Victory is the perfect Legends Optimus.  He's got flaws, mostly from scale and material tolerances, that make transforming him kind of a pain compared to the larger, easier Light of Peace, and someone else could swoop in and make a Legends-scale Prime I like better.  That being said, what surprised me given that I still prefer Light of Freedom to Light of Peace at the MP scale is that I do prefer Light of Victory to the older Light of Justice.  The truck mode isn't as good, but the sculpt and proportions are a bit better in robot mode, he doesn't need to remove his Matrix to transform, and his accessories are (minus the lack of blue stripes on the trailer) all around improvements over Justice's.  If you want a good-looking, fun-to-pose mini Optimus figure for your desk Light of Victory is the one you want... probably.  Because, well...


Tune in tomorrow (or Monday if this is how you kill time at work) for a Legends-scale Optimus that isn't from Magic Square.

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While yesterday was spent talking about Magic Square's various lights, the simple fact is that if there's one player in the Legends game bigger than Magic Square it's NewAge.  So I'm guessing that those of you who follow Legends releases could probably guess that today I'd be writing about their Optimus Prime, David.


Where Magic Square's design ethos seemed to be, "let's take our first Optimus and make it a bit more cartoony," NewAge's approach to David (middle) seems more like they wanted to make MP-44, but small.  The difference in materials vs Magic Square's nylon plastic is immediately noticeable.  David is made from harder, more vibrant materials, some of which I think might be painted.  Admittedly, although I do prefer gray/silver for the thighs and pelvis, the reds and blues on David make the duo of Magic Square Primes seem a bit washed out.  However, as NewAge goes hard into Sunbow territory, David's got proportionally smaller shoulders, thinner limbs, and a bigger pelvis.  I definitely prefer the overall shape of Light of Victory.


That remains true as we look at them from the back and side.  Despite not having any electronics, David's hauling a bit more backpack, plus is chest protrudes farther forward.  While David and Light of Victory both went for the cartoon-accurate back, Magic Square laid Victory's over a mostly flat red space while David's got more obvious folded bits and even small gaps.


David's accessories are pretty much what you'd expect.  You have the rifle and axe, basically the minimum.  A trailer, which is pretty typical yet often overlooked, and a Roller.  You get two pairs of alternate hands, then David eschews Light of Victory's MP-44 excess in favor of two alternate head sculpts.


About those heads... one seems to be a rounder face with the top of the mask angling downward instead of the more common upward.  I don't know if it's based on any specific animation, but it gives me major Marvel Comics vibes.  The other head is more squared off, with a larger mask.  It's closer in design to the head on MP-44 (or Light of Victory, for that matter), and I kind of prefer it, but I'll leave the stock head in place for now to give him a slightly more unique appearance.  If you do want to swap, it's simply a matter of popping one head off the ball joint and popping another one on.

Oh, yeah, and of course his chest opens up, and of course he's got a Matrix inside.  I mean, even Hasbro can't make a Prime figure without one anymore, so... anyway, the sculpt and paint on the Matrix is fine, and there's a bit of molded detail behind it, but its all black and not really done as thoughtfully as Light of Victory.  Not that the Matrix chamber is the be-all, end-all factor of how good a Prime figure is.


Moving along, let's talk about articulation.  Now, it's here that I should note that as with Light of Victory, my copy of David is a recent reissue.  On Light of Victory that meant some slight changes to the aesthetic, but for David this means improved articulation from the original release.  So, head is on a ball joint that has no sideways tilt and less downward tilt than Victory, but the same ability to look 90 degrees straight up.  Shoulders rotate and can extend laterally a little over 90 degrees.  He's also got a small backwards butterfly.  His biceps swivel, and his double-jointed elbows can curl a full 180 degrees.  His wrists swivel.  His waist swivels, and he too has a multiple transformation hinges that lend him a sculpt-wrecking 45 degree back bend and 90 degree ab crunch.  David has more tradition hinged flaps on his pelvis that give him the clearance to get his hips 90 degrees forward and laterally, plus about 75 degrees backward.  His thighs swivel, and double-jointed knees bend a little short of 180 degrees.  His entire foot has a slight up/down tilt, plus his heels have some up/down tilt and his toes can bend upward 90 degrees.  His ankles, which are ball joints, have a slight swivel to them and can pivot a little more than 45 degrees.

David's rifle slots neatly into either of the default fists.  To swap a fist or equip him with his axe you simple pull one hand off, leaving a peg hole behind.  All the hands and the axe have a peg on the end.


At first blush, the David's trailer is a lot like Light of Victory's.  There's the normal trailer supports, and the fold out supports for base mode.  The doors on the trailer open, and the whole thing splits in half.  Inside you'll find a drone with the antenna and hinged claw, and a translucent cockpit that can open up.  There's no consoles for dianauts, and no storage dedicated storage for accessories.  Roller can sit in the trailer, but doesn't lock in and there's no launcher.  Honestly, the biggest difference might be that instead of having a ramp that slides out from under the trailer the ramp folds out from the floor, leaving a small dip in front of Roller.


NewAge didn't entirely abandon MP-44's removable drone gimmick, they just went about it differently.  You can yank the drone out, but it doesn't have wheels on its own.  Instead, you have to yank the wheels and bumper off the trailer.  The pegs that attached the drone to the trailer line up with peg holes on the detached wheels and... well, it works, but what are you supposed to do with the rest of the trailer?  It can't even roll now.  I did have the thought that the hollow space in the wheels might be a good place to store extra accessories.  That's partially true.  You can fit a few in there, but the rifle is too long.  Even without it, there simply isn't room in there for two heads, four hands, and an axe.


Of course, Roller can always carry David's rifle.  What's interesting here is that, as you'd expect, the siren can flip around.  However, where most Roller figures have the siren flip all the way around, then use the revealed ports for everything, you only want to flip Roller's rear 90 degrees.  This will give you a small hole that you can plug the long handle of David's rifle into.  Without the rifle, if you continue to flip the siren all the way around you'll find a much bigger port.  This port allows you to plug in the trailer so Roller can pull it.


Now we come to the transformation, and I can say that David is a weirdly over-engineered figure.  Like, he rotates at the waist so his pelvis is pointing backward, but then at the thighs, then below the knees, but then again at the ankles.  And what does that accomplish?  Sure, it allows most of his lower legs to invert over the thighs and form a back of the truck that isn't a total mess like MP-44 and not obviously legs like MP-10 or the first version Magic Square Primes, but it's still not super clean, still has a very obvious robot pelvis, and still leaves his feet and what's left his his shins sticking so far off the back that I had to double check the instructions to make sure I hadn't done something wrong here.  Then there's the whole window thing.  Like MP-44 and the second versions of Magic Square's Prime, David goes for cartoony square windows in robot mode but rectangular windows with more realistic details and wipers in truck mode.  Unlike MP-44 and Magic Square, who simply turn the windows around, David's entire robot chest is fake parts that sit directly in front of the truck's windows.  This leaves a cab that's roughly as long and tall as Magic Square's to make room for the faux chest, but significantly thinner.  I could, perhaps, overlook the fact that David, in my opinion, looks the worst of the three trucks if it were more pleasing to transform.  And for all the unnecessary spinning the legs are pretty easy.  However, transforming the cab has a lot of the same issues with clearances and flaps that Light of Victory does.  Neither are particularly enjoyable.


David's trailer has a peg with a lip, and attaching it to David actually means splitting his legs apart and encapsulating the hitch around the peg.  As with Light of Victory and MP-44 David goes for the Sunbow look, so no stripe on the cab, and no blue on the trailer.  The trailer itself is closer in size to the earlier Magic Square release, which is fine.  And David works about as well as Light of Victory, able to turn and open his doors.

I don't mean to come across as down on David.  On the whole, he's a very well done, well built figure.  I don't think an Optimus needs quite all the accessories Light of Victory or MP-44 came packed with.  David looks good, has good articulation, probably scales a bit better with other NewAge figures, and if it's your thing is arguably the most cartoony Legends-scale Prime.  In a vacuum I'd simply say he's good, he gets a recommend, and move on.  In practice, though, I have to admit that I think Light of Victory looks a bit better in both modes, has just as good articulation, plus he has more accessories for the same price (even if you don't need them all).  Unless Magic Square's nylon plastic really bothers you Light of Victory is still my recommend Legends-scale Optimus Prime.

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On 11/16/2023 at 9:22 AM, Chronocidal said:

Don't know if anyone's mentioned this one, but it randomly popped on me today.  Interesting compromises in both vehicle modes, but still impressive overall.


I've got a preorder for this on ShowZ  I like it a lot but hoping someone offers a better head upgrade kit for it. I liked her in the movie as a 'Decepticon Peace Keeper'😀

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I don't have a lot of gaps left in my MP-style collection, at least if I'm just counting US G1 cartoon characters.  Taken with the fact that the number of companies working on MP-style seems to be dwindling, and a combination of inflation, less competition, and MP-44 showing just how much collectors are willing to spend causing prices to rise, and I'm feeling like I'm just not that excited even when I do buy a new figure.  Case in point, I've actually had these guys in hand for nearly a month, but I just today got the motivation to take a few pictures and talk about them.  These guys being Ocular Max's Motif and Pitch, their REmix versions of Rewind and Eject.


If you've picked up the previous REmix versions of Rumble and Frenzy, then you kind of know what to expect: bigger, cartoon-accurate, articulated versions of the super simple G1 cassettes.  We're just doing Blaster's humanoid buddies instead of Soundwave's this time.  And they are indeed cartoon accurate.  They have the cartoon-style heads with the little ears, normal eyes, and a face mask.  They've got the square shoulders and sculpted abs of the cartoon.  The pelvis details are reduced to a cartoon-style silver square on the belt and hexagon on the crotch.  And their feet are intended to match their legs, though under some lights the diecast used in the feet doesn't quite match plastic used for other parts.


They're still mostly flat, and still rely on some transformation tricks to thicken out some parts.  Oh, and that molded detail on the sides of their shoulders?  Cartoon accurate again.


Both figures come with the same accessories.  I photographed Pitch's (Eject's), but Motif (Rewind) has the same stuff.  Just imagine black plastic instead of blue, and red paint on the faces instead of gold.  Anyway, you get a pair of guns that walk a line between being toy and cartoon accurate.  You get some extra shoulder pads.  And you get three replacement Studio OX faces- a stoic one, a yelling one, and a smirking one.  It's here that we're running into our first bummer with these figures.  I don't have any attachment to the Studio OX designs.  What I would have greatly preferred is a toy-style head (basically, the OX helmet and visor, but with a face mask instead of a mouth and the visor matches the face), or even an IDW-style head (similar to the toy-style, but with a blue visor and a camera on the left side).  The irritating thing was that at some point there actually were toy and IDW-style sculpt done for these guys, and hand-painted samples were produced.  But at some point MMC quietly ditched the toy and IDW heads, and I don't think an explanation was ever given short of one confused minor MMC employee saying he thought the OX heads were supposed to be convention exclusives (the convention-exclusive head was actually based on the '86 movie, and was basically the default cartoon head with bigger cheeks and pointier ears).

Swapping the heads is done by removing the screw from the back of the head, separating the halves, then fitting the halves of the other head around the ball joint and screwing it back together.


Anyway, articulation.  Their heads are ball joints with adequate up/down/sideways tilt.  Their shoulders can swivel and move laterally 90 degrees.  Their biceps swivel.  Technically, they have single-jointed elbows that bend 90 degrees.  However, they have transformation joints near the the top of their biceps that can act as a double elbow, if you don't mind breaking the sculpt a little.  Their wrists swivel, and their fingers are molded as a single hinged part so they can open their hands.  They have a slight swivel under their chests, and more complete swivels at the waist, plus a hinge in their abs lets them lean back or crunch their abs forward about 45 degrees. Flaps on their pelvis move out of the way so their hips can go 90 degrees forward, backward, or laterally.  Their thighs swivel.  They have double-jointed knees that bend nearly 180 degrees combined.  The front of their feet can bend upward, but they have under 45 degrees of ankle pivot.

There's actually a few things you can do with the guns.  The most obvious thing is that they have rectangular handles, and those handles simply slide into their fists.  The handles fold in, though, to reveal a small square tab.  That tab allows you to plug into slots on their backs for storage.  Or, for better replicating the G1 toys, they can be plugged into the sides of their forearms.

Speaking of replicating the toy, there are the included shoulder pads.  These simply clip over the existing square shoulders and give them angled look that sticks out a bit further, to better mimic the shape of the G1 toy.  However, they have to be removed for transformation, and that's a bit dumb, as the convention-exclusive versions had shoulders that had that angled look that replaced the square ones rather than fit over them, and those shoulders could be kept on during transformation.

While I'm in complaining mode, something that you're not likely to notice just looking at the figure on a shelf but will absolutely drive you crazy when you handle the figures are the way their backs and chests work.  Basically, the pecs and traps split in half and there are panels on them that swivel up to cover the head in tape mode.  That's fine (although I've heard of a few people breaking the chests at the swivel point).  The issue is that in bot mode they do not lock in place in any way, meaning that as you manipulate the figures they won't stay in place.


The transformation for these guys might just be the easiest of all the REmix tapes so far.  Tuck away the hands, swivel the panels on his chest and pack to cover his head, bring his shoulders up beside his head and scrunch the arm using the elbow and bicep hinges, then swivel the panels on the sides of the forearms around to form the bottom of the tape.  Open the shins, then use the multiple knee hinges to collapse the lower legs onto the backs of the thighs, then swivel the thighs and tuck the leg up against the torso so the part with the spools tabs into place (if it seems like it doesn't fit, make sure you split the bottom of the feet and folded them out).  The shins will double-hinge forward to fill in the sides of the tape.

The A side of the tapes has tampographs that are at least somewhat reminiscent of the G1 stickers.  Aside from no window to see the tape inside the cassettes, from that side they do look passably like cassette tapes.  The B sides are pretty plain, although that's likely a necessity to recreate their robot modes in a cartoon-accurate way.


As cassettes they don't do much.  They do come with acrylic cases that could hold a real cassette.  Sadly, as was the case with their Steeljaw, the inserts with the instructions do not fit inside the case, rather, they fit around it like sleeves.  Also, when going into tape mode you'll notice slots inside the shins.  The slots allow you to store their weapons, one in each leg, while they're in cassette mode.

I have mixed feelings about these guys.  On the one hand, even if it is a bit simpler than previous figures, the way MMC manages to move parts from a thin cassette to bulk out areas in the forearms and lower legs is still impressive, and these guys have pretty great articulation.  And it's nice that Blaster's tapes are getting some love; not sure when Ramhorn is coming, but he is coming.  And Blaster's tapes were the only ones I actually had as a kid.

On the other hand, the chest and back panels are super annoying.  Taken with the somewhat simpler transformation, and I wonder if these guys couldn't have used a bit more time in development.  There's a lack of refinement here.  A lack of refinement, and a lack of accessories, as the far more desirable toy-style and IDW-style heads somehow didn't make the cut.  Long story short, I'd say I do recommend them, if you've been collecting the REmix tapes and you prefer their larger size for your MP display than the smaller KFC or Fans Toys ones, but also know that they're probably the REmix tapes that I find to be the most disappointing. 


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2 hours ago, Drad said:

Hey @mikeszekely, didja get your copy of this guy yet? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. I like him, he's great for the price.

Sat in Chinese customs for over a week.😩 Finally arrived today, but my wife and kid are off for Thanksgiving which maybe won't leave me with a lot of free time.  I will try to have a review (with comparisons to SS-38 and SS-102) probably Sunday or Monday.

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So I finally got my copy of James//Bond from X-Transbots.  I'm not a huge TF collector, and less so 3P figures, but Punch is my absolute favourite character so I had to have him.


Tight.  Everything on this toy is so.  Very.  Tight.  Every joint, every panel, every tab is frighteningly tight and makes me hold my breath every time something makes a noise that I'm not expecting.  I don't have a spudger so I made do with a plastic comb, 'cuz there's no way my fingernails would survive trying to separate these panels!


I've made it as far as sliding the chest sides up, but there's the teeniest bit of interference with the shoulder pieces.  The plastic is just that fraction of a mm too thick and the chest isn't sliding properly into place.  I'm taking a breather before attempting again.  Anyone else run into this issue?

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3 hours ago, CoryHolmes said:

Anyone else run into this issue?

Yeah, I broke mine trying to rotate the chest/hood... 🤕


It's beautifully painted, but the tolerances clearly hadn't factored in the thickness of the paint. 🤨


I'm trying to get a replacement, but according to my retailer "we have been receiving a number of complaints shared by several players like you who have experienced similar issues."

Transform him at your peril! 😬

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I'd preordered the Japanese version of him. I don't have any strong attachment to the character, but the concept is neat. After people started getting the Western version and I started hearing reports about QC issues and an overly-complicated transformation I cancelled my preorder. X-Transbots is gonna be X-Transbots, and I don't really need (or have room for) an MP-scale Punch/Counterpunch anyway. 

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OK... so for reasons I am not privy to, nor do I understand, Hasbro and Target worked out a deal to make Studio Series 102 Rise of the Beasts Optimus Prime an exclusive to Target's Buzzworthy Bumblebee collection.  As they do with store exclusives, Hasbro sold a limited number through Pulse.  Meanwhile, while Target did apparently stock a few in stores, they canceled a large number of preorders and quickly listed the figure as "discontinued," leaving quite a few collectors in the lurch.  Those collectors barely had time to post their displeasure on the internet before KOs started popping up.  A relative newcomer to the scene is a company called Baiwei, who'd previously done KOs of Studio Series Ironhide, Shockwave, Sentinel Prime, and Optimus Prime from Dark of the Moon. But since Baiwei was beaten to the punch on doing a 1:1 KO of ROTB Optimus they took a bit of a different approach and decided to KO a different unofficial figure (assuming that Baiwei isn't related to the original), Lemontree's LT-01 Lemon Prime.


Lemon Prime released over two years ago, and was meant to represent Bumblebee Optimus, not Rise of the Beasts.  It was a figure that seemed kind of interesting, but was overlooked by a lot of people because it was a bit over a head shorter than Hasbro's own Studio Series 38 Optimus- too big to be a Legends figure, too small for Studio Series.  So the first thing that Baiwei smartly did was to make their version, TW-1027 Cybertron Commander, scale better with Studio Series. 

I think Baiwei made a few other minor changes to the mold (I'm not totally sure, as I myself didn't buy Lemon Prime), but they definitely made changes to the deco.  Like SS-38, he's got black hands instead of blue, and he lost a lot of Lemontree's accents including some copper in some of the mechanical details on his legs and abs and some silver on his forearms.  Also, in an attempt to ride the Rise of the Beasts wave, Baiwei removed the blue from the crotch and the red from lats, and added silver to the sun visors on his chest.


Spinning him around, Cybertron Commander has also lost some of the red on the outsides of his forearms, blue on his calves, and fins on his smokestacks are painted silver.

As a Bumblebee Optimus, while I do wish Cybertron Commander was closer to Lemontree's original deco, it's hard for me to fault Baiwei too hard here.  Black hands, missing silver on the arms, missing red on the lats, missing blue on the crotch and calves?  You can say the same about the official Studio Series figure.  Meanwhile, Cybertron Commander has better proportions with less backpack, less forearm kibble, and much more accurately-shaped legs and feet.  As a substitute for SS-102, he might pass at a glance but he lacks the circles on his knees (that technically didn't belong on SS-38), the sun visor isn't big enough, and the shins and feet have some subtle shape differences that mark them as Bumblebee Prime, not Rise of the Beasts Prime.


Cybertron Commander comes with a lot of accessories.  He lacks the stand and extra hands of the original Lemon Prime, but he's got the rifle.  Baiwei also added rim covers, a second head based on SS-38's, two swords, an axe, an arm blaster, a translucent globe, and some extra gear for the truck bumper.


Cybertron Commander's head is on a ball joint that can look up a little, down not too much, and only slightly sideways.  His shoulders rotate and move laterally almost 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows are double-jointed and bend nearly 180 degrees combined, and he's got a slight backwards butterfly due to transformation.  Unfortunately, he doesn't have wrists swivels (or removable hands) like the original Lemon Prime did.  His waist swivels, though, and he's got 90 degrees of ab crunch thanks to his transformation.  His hips have a joint that swings the actual hip down and forward, allowing him to kick 130-140 degrees forward, and a respectable 90 degrees backwards or laterally.  His thighs swivel just above his knees, which bend 90 degrees.  Ball joints in his ankles allow his feet to swivel, tilt slightly up, and tilt a ton down, and a transformation hinge gives him 45 degrees of ankle pivot.  Note that while most of his joints are adequate, the ankles on my copy were super loose, to the point where he had a hard time standing.  I had to give them several coats of floor polish before I could take these photos.

On that note, he also holds his rifle and axe a bit loosely, His swords, though, are quite snug.  They're basically just 5mm peg handles and 5mm port fists, which means you can also give him SS-38's rifle, or share his weapons with any of the official Studio Series Primes.


That also goes for his big arm blaster.  It's simply hollow underneath, with a 5mm peg inside.  That said, I wish the peg was closer to the barrel and the hollow section covered more of his forearm.  It's like the wanted to make up for SS-102's little stumpy blaster, but over-corrected.  It's also a bit heavy for his shoulders.


As for the other accessories, as I noted before the extra head seems to be based on SS-38's.  I don't know which is more accurate, but I prefer the longer ears on the Lemontree head.  The translucent globe, another giveaway that this is actually Bumblebee Optimus, plugs into a port on either forearm and is for recreating the scene in Bumblebee where Prime orders B-127 to go to Earth.  The wheel covers, also mean to represent Prime's Cybertronian design from that movie, have tabs on the back that fit into cutouts in the rims of the wheels.  Personally, to me it takes more than different rims to make a truck a Cybertronian alt mode, so I'll leave those off and hope that someday maybe Hasbro will give Bumblebee Prime a toy with a proper Cybertronian mode.


For an unlicensed third-party toy (or KO of one), Cybertron Commander has a very simple, straightforward transformation.  In some ways it's similar to SS-38 with the way to upper torso rotates, the lats fold out, the arms tuck in, and panels on the arms help fill in the cab.  The rotate and tuck in between his legs the same.  Really, the biggest differences are that his shins don't fold up and stick to the back of the cab, and instead of using hip skirts to make the back of the wheel well on the cab and flipping the fuel tanks out of the back of the thigh, more panels fold out from inside Cybertron Commander's legs and stretch along the bottom, providing some mechanical details, fuel tanks, and the bottom of the cab, tires included.

Oh, and one more big difference... Cybertron Commander requires partsforming.  Yeah, you actually have to remove his backpack, and remove the little gray bits on the sides of his knees.  Once you have the rest of him in truck mode, you can turn the gray bits so the part that was facing forward on his leg faces toward the cab, and the divot on the top is facing up (divot down would look like it simply rotated 90 degrees, the way SS-38's due, but it'll cause them to pinch against the tires and inhibit his ability to roll).  Then, flip the keyed peg on the backpack and plug it back in to finish up the front of the cab.



The result is pretty good.  A little smaller than SS-38, and still a bit gappy between his robot thighs.  His robot shins are also quite prominent, and he lacks a hitch to pull any kind of trailer.  The back is a lot cleaner than SS-102, though, and the cab is cohesive.  He's got rubber tires, which is a nice touch.  Sadly, he lacks any method of storing any of his accessories in alt mode.


As a replacement for SS-88, I think his truck mode is pretty good.  The wider stripe on the cab and the design of the bumper do strongly suggest that this is Bumblebee Prime.  I just need to take a little rubbing alcohol to the sun visor.  A tab on the bumper lets you plug in the extra armor to make him better resemble Rise of the Beasts Prime.  It doesn't quite pull it off, though.  Although they molded the lights onto it that Hasbro seems to have missed, the overall shape of Hasbro's is more accurate.  Likewise, the stripes on the cab don't angle up, the sun visor is too small and elevated, and he lacks the little wings near the smokestacks.  Note that if you opt to use the bumper armor, you'll have to remove it to fully tab his backpack on in bot mode.  Even if you don't mind his backpack being slightly untabbed, you'll have to remove it to flip the keyed peg around.

A lot of people missed their chance to get Studio Series 102 at a reasonable price, and even those of us who did can point out many flaws with the figure, flaws that had me preorder DNA's upcoming upgrade kit for him the minute it went up.  Cybertron Commander copied a design that was clearly meant to be Bumblebee Prime, but if you don't look too hard I suppose he could pass for Rise of the Beasts Prime, too.  That said, from my point of view I'm expecting that DNA kit to fix most of my complaints about SS-102.  Meanwhile, the more I look at it the more SS-38's huge backpack, clumsy forearm kibble, blocky legs, and pizza box flat feet bug me.  I wish that Cybertron Commander's deco was closer to the original Lemon Prime's, but at the very least if I can get the silver paint off the sun visor Cybertron Commander makes an excellent alternative to SS-38 as my Bumblebee Prime.  I mean, deco aside, my biggest complaints would be the loose ankles, which I tightened up with floor polish, and the bit of partsforming needed for his transformation.  If I want to be really hard on him, I might also point out that the plastic Baiwei used doesn't feel as robust as Hasbro's, and you can even see some swirling in the red.  However, all his flaws are pretty easily forgiven when I point out that Cybertron Commander can be had for $25 or less, well under the price of a Voyager and certainly less than I paid for either SS-38 or SS-102.  So, know what you're getting into, but at that price he's an easy recommend as a figure that's going to look a lot better on your shelf than SS-38.

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Success!  It took a few minutes with an emery board (the only suitable sanding option I had) to get each side of the chest to the point where they'd slide up enough to get to the next steps.


With all the other fiddly bits of the transformation, I'm honestly disappointed by the Punch -> Counterpunch conversion.  I was really hoping for more than "flip shoulder pads around, flip arms, bend knees other way, turn figure around". 

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6 hours ago, CoryHolmes said:

Success!  It took a few minutes with an emery board (the only suitable sanding option I had) to get each side of the chest to the point where they'd slide up enough to get to the next steps.


With all the other fiddly bits of the transformation, I'm honestly disappointed by the Punch -> Counterpunch conversion.  I was really hoping for more than "flip shoulder pads around, flip arms, bend knees other way, turn figure around". 


I was thinking of getting this figure since I always thought it was a cool idea. Now I'm not sure though. The Fiero would've been nice to have, heh.

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On 11/28/2023 at 9:55 PM, CoryHolmes said:

I was really hoping for more than "flip shoulder pads around, flip arms, bend knees other way, turn figure around". 

On 11/27/2023 at 12:17 AM, mikeszekely said:

I started hearing reports about QC issues and an overly-complicated transformation

It may seem oxymoronic, but this figure manages to be both overly-simplistic and overly-complicated simultaneously. 🤨

19 hours ago, Drad said:

The Fiero would've been nice to have, heh.


The Fiero's definitely nice...


...but not exactly worth the price of admission, you know?


Still, the rotating hood panel and pop-up headlights are a nice touch. 😋


And I suppose he looks the part, for what it's worth.


I hope XTB comes through with a replacement.

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13 hours ago, shazam said:


Well, damn, if I had known this was coming, I'd have waited. I got the first release and bought the Toyhax set. Applying stickers is far from my favorite activity, but it seemed necessary at the time to make my Jazz (Jive) complete.

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Hiding in the shadows..


"To punish and enslave..."


Waiting for the right moment to strike!



Transformers 2007 will always be etched in my mind as a cool entry to the franchise. I liked their take on the Decepticons' aesthetics - still somewhat hominid but with otherworldly alien proportions, as opposed to the more conventional humanoid Autobots. Barricade here is one that made a strong impression as one of the bots revealed pretty early on in the show.

Edited by MKT
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1 hour ago, tekering said:

Beautiful lighting -- and I love your angles -- but dust your Transformers properly before you photograph them! 😅

LOL! Yeaahh not too happy with the dust too.. Due to my very makeshift photography set up, sometimes this is the result when after wiping the toy, I am unable to recreate the same angle & lighting of the prior quick & dirty impromptu test shots. I processed these quick shots instead, and imagine the dust being there from Barricade patiently waiting for a long time for the time to pounce.  :p

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  • 3 weeks later...

I noticed that in recent years I've bought a lot less 3rd party Transformers figures.  What was once an exciting competition to see who was going to fill the gaps in Takara's Masterpiece collection has shifted into an arms race to between Magic Square and NewAge to make figures that seem like Masterpiece in terms of looks and complexity, but in figures somewhere between Hasbro's Core-class and a smaller Deluxe.  That's great for collectors who want good representations of a very large cast of characters to fit in limited shelf spaces.  But what if you want something easier to transform, cheaper, and even smaller?  Well, for that we've got Dr. Wu, and tonight I've got his latest figure in hand, Fire Ladder.


Fire Ladder is, as you can see, Inferno.  I've suspected that Dr Wu's stuff isn't exactly in-scale with the fairly tallish mini-bots they've done, and now we've got Inferno who's roughly the same height as Optimus.  But I don't really mind it too much, because...


...they're very tiny figures!  I mean, Fire Ladder is only knee-high to Earthrise Inferno.  Despite his diminutive size he's got the sorts of details you'd expect- the ridges around his forearms, the squares on the front of his shoulders and the pylons on top, the wing and gun/nozzle on the side of the block around his head.


He's even got the hoses on the sides of his legs, and half of the circles on the sides of his forearms.  His ladder doesn't hide away like the MP, but it folds up into his backpack at least as well as the Kingdom toy does.  Oh, and speaking of the Kingdom toy, like that figure Fire Ladder has both of his hands.


But if you want the cartoon gun-hand look, well, he comes with one accessory.  Guess what it is...


Fire Ladder's head can swivel, but only about 45 degrees to either side due to space constraints inside his head box.  His head flips around in the box for transformation, but you can use that to tilt his head up and down.  His shoulders are ball joints that swivel without issue, but the pylons limit his lateral movement to about 45 degrees.  Elbows are ball joints that bend 90 degrees and act as bicep swivels.  No wrist or waist swivels.  Hips are ball joints that can go about 75 degrees forward, and nearly 90 degrees backward and laterally.  The limited swivel around the ball joints are all he's got for thigh swivels.  His knees bend 90 degrees.  Due to his transformation he's got a lot of downward tilt in his feet, but not much upward.  He does have 90 degrees of ankle pivot, though, so you can get him in some dramatic wide stances.

His gun accessory attaches by simply fitting over his fist, with the cutout facing in toward his body.


It's funny, Fire Ladder's engineering is very similar to the Earthrise toy.  His head is on an armature that expands and moves it and the ladder backward, his arms fold back with the pylons tucking into the back of the cab.  His hips fold backward and his feet fold back, then the armature with his head plugs into them.  What's funny about is that I think it made the Kingdom toy seem fairly simple compared to some of the other Voyager-class toys at the time, but when you shrink it down to make a fire truck closer in size to Micromaster Red Hot you get one of the more complex figures Dr. Wu has done so far.


The fire truck mode looks pretty good, too.  There's a bit of gap where his black hips are showing, but that's technically true for the Earthrise figure, too.  The hinges and clips for his shoulders don't look too great, and his hands aren't really hiding at all.  On the other hand, he's got a nice white bumper and grill, with painted blue headlights and windows, and even painted windshield wipers.  He's even got some white paint on the skid plating above his rear wheels.  Although they're not painted, the sirens are molded onto the top of the cab.  The white plastic used for the hoses, ear wings, and ladder also looks a bit better than the gray Hasbro used for the Earthrise toy.


Fire Ladder's ladder can swivel and be raised up.  And if you're looking for a place to store his accessory, look no further!  It simply clips on the smaller molded nozzle at the end of the ladder.

I've been a big fan of these little Dr Wu figures from the get go, and Fire Ladder's definitely another hit for the good doctor.  Sure, a little more articulation would have been nice, maybe hide the hands in the alt mode, but we gotta remember just how tiny these guys are.  I showed him next to Earthrise Inferno, but even if you put him next to a figure like NewAge or Magic Square's Optimus and Fire Ladder is still not even reaching Prime's crotch.  And they're cheap to boot!  Fire Ladder ran me about $20.  That's in the ballpark of a Hasbro Deluxe, which doesn't seem too bad for a figure that still looks better than most of Hasbro's Core-class figures.  It's also half (or less) the price of Magic Square or NewAge's versions of Inferno.  Honestly, it's also about half of what I spent taking my wife and daughter to Wendy's, so I'd say it's comfortably in impulse buy territory.  So I'll happily recommend Fire Ladder, I look forward to the inevitable Grapple retool (and possibly even Artfire, Roadhauler, and maybe Bulkhead), and quite frankly I hope Dr. Wu continues to crank out at least the entire S1-S3 cast.

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I'm not super into Beast Wars; when it aired I was definitely in the "Trukk not Munky" crowd and refused to watch it, and when I finally watched it as an adult I thought the writing was pretty great but I still wasn't a fan of robots that turn into organic animals.  That said, I'd gained enough appreciation for it that I didn't really mind when Beast Wars characters started popping up in Kingdom, and I figured I'd at the very least want the "core" cast.  To me, that meant Optimus, Rattrap, Rhinox, Cheetor, and Dinobot for the Maximals (and Airazor and Tigatron being the runners up), and for the Predacons that meant Megatron, Terrorsaur, Tarantulas, Waspinator, Scorponok, and Blackarachnia (with Inferno being the runner up).  And you know, between Kingdom and Legacy we'd pretty much gotten all of those, but with a big ol' asterisk on that word "all."  And that's because every one of those characters had a mainline release you could buy anywhere except one... Terrorsaur was an Amazon exclusive.  If you missed getting him on Amazon you could get the toy deco at Target, and much later you could try importing the Takara Beast Wars Vs pack with a slightly tweaked deco and an extra copy of Rattrap.

Even if you did get a copy of Terrorsaur, it's kind of obvious he's a compromise.  Despite his prominence in the show, he's the only one of the "main" cast not to get an original mold.  Instead, he was heavily retooled from Airazor.  I mean, kudos to Hasbro for how heavily that retool was; he was passably show-accurate at a glance, after all, but I think it did create two main problems.  The first is that his wings point down, like Airazor's, when in the show they point up.  The second is that he's just too small.  I'm not aware of any official scale chart for Beast Wars, but some DVD extras suggested he was originally supposed to be nearly as tall as Megatron, roughly the same as Dinobot.  An unofficial scale chart was put together by fans who seemed to research the matter fairly thoroughly.  They pegged Terrorsaur as chest-high to Megatron, roughly the same size as Rhinox, a little taller than Primal, a little shorter than Inferno and Dinobot, and significantly taller than Tarantulas, Waspinator, or Scorponok.

Well, would you rather have a Terrorsaur that's too small, or that's a little too big?


That one on the top is the Golden Disk Terrorsaur with Legacy Tarantulas & Inferno and Kingdom Megatron.  And the second one?  The packaging isn't exactly clear, but I believe he's called Overwatch, a modified KO from a brand (or label) called The Beast Alliance.


In terms of the sculpt of the figure not much has really changed, it's just be embiggened... mostly.  One part of him actually shrunk, and that's his hands.  They're actually smaller than the official figure's, despite the rest of the figure being larger.  I think The Beast Alliance might have resculpted some of his abdomen, leaving less space for the fists in beast mode, but yeah, those baby hands are going to be the biggest aesthetic strike against the figure.

Fortunately, The Beast Alliance has made up for it in other ways.  While still not perfectly cartoon-accurate, using a dark metallic silver paint for his shoulders, biceps, and thighs, with a darker gunmetal inside the shoulders, on the outsides of his thighs, and on his fingers.  I might have suggested that The Beast Alliance use a lighter silver to make the two-tone nature of those parts a bit more apparent, but it's still closer than the official figure.  Some of the details on his feet, and even picking out a few details on his head, and for what it's worth some of his parts are made from diecast.


Spinning the figure around, you can see see another major improvement.  The Beast Alliance engineered an additional swivel into his wings, so you can flip them around into a more cartoon-accurate position.  It's not as immediately apparent in my pictures here, but if you look at the swivels that let him stretch his wings you can see that The Beast Alliance modified or capped off the swivel, so his wings don't pop off as they do on the official.  You can also just make out some filler in the beast-mode neck where the original was hollow.


Overwatch comes with the same accessories as the official Terrosaur, but also embiggened.  The arm blades and the gun lack the visible red plastic of the official's, and the pegs have been shrunk to fit Overwatch's baby hands.  The embiggened golden disk is also more of a coppery color, but it hardly matters.  I already have all the golden disks I could want, I just wanted a bigger, better Terrorsaur.


The engineering of the figure hasn't changed, so Overwatch's articulation is the same as Terrorsaur's.  To quote from that review:

"Terrorsaur's head is on a swivel.  That means he's got no downward or sideways tilt, but a transformation hinge can be used to get him to look up a little.  Shoulders rotate and move laterally over 90 degrees.  His biceps swivel, and his elbows bend 90 degrees.  No wrist swivel.  His waist does swivel, but you have to unlock it but untabbing his butt flap.  His pelvis also has a hinged flap, but the purpose of it eludes me as it doesn't interfere with his hips, which go 90 degrees forward, backward, and laterally.  His thighs swivel, and his knees bend well beyond 90 degrees.  His ankles are ball joints, so his feet can swivel, tilt up and down, and his ankles can pivot.  That said, the ball joints on Terrorsaur are much looser than Airazor."

Which, I suppose, is yet another thing The Beast Alliance fixed.  All of his joints are toleranced pretty well, with just a few exceptions I'll talk about later.

And, as noted the pegs on his gun and arm blades where shrunk to fit his little hands, so he can still hold them the same as the official figure does.  The wing and hip storage for his gun also still applies.


Transformation is 99% the same on Overwatch as it is on the official Terrorsaur... you're still stretching the torso, still tucking the head into his chest, still tucking his fists into his abdomen, still spinning the waist only to spin the thighs back to the front.  The big difference is, of course, that you have an additional swivel to do with the wings to angle them back down.

Unfortunately, Overwatch's beast mode isn't as clear an improvement as the robot mode.  It's more like they fixed a little, but then broke other things.  Mainly, they painted the yellow claws on his wings and toes, which is better.  But, the part that the head flips on is that dark silver instead of red, which makes the "chest" a bit less cohesive.  Also, I guess because they were already using yellow and didn't feel like getting out a different color paint, Overwatch's beast eyes are yellow, instead of the cartoon-accurate green the original toy used.


He's still got the cartoon-style yellow beak and black spots on his back.  I'd say the red thighs on the Gold Disk toy helped his robot legs blend in with the beast body a bit, where the silver and gunmetal The Beast Alliance used definitely stands out more.  However, I've gone on record saying that sacrifices to the alt mode to get a better bot mode are preferable to the other way around, and I'll stand by that.  If this is the price we pay for a more accurate robot mode, so be it.


The beast mode works the same on Overwatch as it does on Terrorsaur.  Same articulation, including the opening beak.  Same need to pull the blades off of his arms and store them on the backs of his legs (and fortunately The Beast Alliance made those holes smaller to accommodate the smaller pegs).  And you still store his gun by tabbing it into the side of his robot thigh.

Now, while the Beast Alliance did make a lot of improvements, there are some flaws here.  Most of them could just be my copy, but based on his rather low price I kind of doubt it.  Well, for starters, there is size.  As I noted at the beginning, yeah, Terrorsaur is too small, but at slightly taller than Inferno Terrorsaur is a little too big.  That being said, for most of the first season Terrorsaur was basically Starscream- Megatron's second-in-command, scheming to replace him as top dog.  I really prefer Terrorsaur to be bigger than most of the other Predacons, then, so as long as he's still smaller than Megatron (which he is) I can more easily forgive a Terrorsaur that's bigger than Inferno than one that's closer to Blackarachnia in size.

The other issues are less subjective, but fixable.  First, when transforming him I couldn't get his head to fold in.  I wound up removing the rotating piece that his head is attached to and using a Dremel to carefully remove a bit of material from around the joints, putting a little silicon lube inside the joints, then making sure that the part was slid all the way back over the mushroom pegs when I reattached it.  After doing all that he transformed fine.  But while messing with him one of his feet popped off the ball joint.  I popped it back on, but it was super loose afterward.  I realized that The Beast Alliance had put a ton of paint on the joint, which was diecast, not plastic.  The paint, which provided most of the friction, had rubbed off when the foot fell off.  A little floor polish, though, and the foot's no looser than the official.  Finally, the forward/backward on the hips seemed a little loose, but quickly became too loose for him to even stand.  Seems the screw hole was at least partially stripped and his pelvis was coming apart, reducing the friction on the hips.  I probably could have replaced the screw with a longer, slightly thicker one, but I was feeling lazy and simply glued his pelvis.  As long as the glue holds his hips have enough friction that I can hold the figure face down or face up, parallel to the ground, and his hips won't move (and yes, I was careful not to get any glue in the hip or waist joints).

Now normally I might suggest that a figure that needs that much work isn't one you want to buy... but here's the kicker.  Overwatch ups Terrorsaur to a Voyager-size, and he runs around $30... a little less than Hasbro would charge for a figure this size, yeah?  And with Terrorsaur being a store exclusive (twice) there's a good chance you missed picking him up.  Overwatch doesn't just give you another chance to add a Terrorsaur to your Kingdom/Legacy Beast Wars shelf, he does it with a better deco, (mostly) better joints, a bigger size, and wings that point the right way in bot mode.  If you did get Terrorsaur and you're happy with him, then cool.  But if you didn't, or if like me you think Overwatch has enough improvements to justify the upgrade (even with the baby hands), then I would recommend checking Overwatch out.  Just be prepared to give him a little extra TLC.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It looks like an OS KO of Magic Square's Light of Justice.  Which, mild quibbles about the type of plastic MS used and the somewhat light feeling of the figure, I thought was a pretty awesome Optimus Prime toy.


I wish instead of OS KO-ing Magic Square's one real MP-scale figure that someone would upscale their Legends stuff to fit with Hasbro's mainline stuff.

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