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On 6/11/2024 at 3:47 AM, Scyla said:

@mikeszekely it‘s good to see that these early 3rd party figures are not crumbling to dust almost 15 years later. It gives me some hope for the longevity of my collection.

Is it a bad time to mention a little piece of plastic around the backpack hinge fell off?

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On 6/13/2024 at 4:51 AM, mikeszekely said:

Is it a bad time to mention a little piece of plastic around the backpack hinge fell off?

Oh no… :ohmy:

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  • 2 weeks later...
5 hours ago, tekering said:

I love everything about this concept. 😍

 

Interesting concept...although I noticed when some of the robots moved, details seemed to vanish in shift in weird ways.

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On 6/30/2024 at 6:13 PM, anime52k8 said:

AI garbage. I hate every single thing about it.

Who could've expected such prejudice, such hatred, such discrimination against machine intelligence... in a Transformers thread...?! 😬

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On 6/30/2024 at 5:13 AM, anime52k8 said:

Because it's AI garbage. I hate every single thing about it.

Hmmm...aren't Transformers themselves, artificial intelligence?

*ducks*

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1 hour ago, pengbuzz said:

Hmmm...aren't Transformers themselves, artificial intelligence?

*ducks*

No, they're a naturally-evolving machine intelligence. 

Unless they were made by the Quintesssons.

Or Primus.

...

You know what? This is why the Go-Bots are better.

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Well... I wanted to write about something else today, but FedEx elevated the act of telling me they're going to deliver on one day only to actually deliver a day or two later from an occasional "it happens" to absolutely every time they have to bring a box to my house.😠  So I guess today I'll make due with a couple of upgrade kits from Nonnef.

For starters, when I talked about Legacy Windsweeper the other day, I said:

Quote

For bot mode, I think the only things he really needs are a different chest and his flip out guns

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Well... here's a kit that does just that.

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We'll start with the easy part.  The chest piece has some tabs on it, and they're meant to go right into the recesses on his stock chest.  It's a lot closer to his G1 toy's look, now, although I wish Nonnef would have painted those two rectangles when he put the red at the top, and that the bottom of the chest reached down to the bottom of the silver part behind it.  Technically, I'll need to add a Decepticon insignia and some blue paint to the still-visible vents on the original chest, but that's not on Nonnef.

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As for the guns, lay them flat, then plug in the other parts so that they stick off the back with the 5mm pegs on the side with the long barrels.  Once assembled, it's as easy as plugging the aforementioned 5mm pegs into the ports on the outsides of his forearms.  The guns can then swivel behind his arms, which is about as similar to the G1 toy as you're going to get without being able to stick the guns inside his arms.

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The only negative here is that, due to how he transforms, the guns have to be removed to transform him.  There are ports on the underside of the guns, though, so you can plug them onto the tips of his wings, so it could be worse.  All in all, for $10 this is a pretty solid kit.

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With Windsweeper upgraded and Ruckus coming soon, I recalled that the transition from G1 to Legacy left Crankcase with just these little nubbins.  I figured I'd better get him an upgrade, too.

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As with Windsweeper, we'll start with the easy stuff first.  There's a pair of thigh fillers.  just slot them into the hollow insides of his thighs and you're good to go.

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For the guns, put them so the peg on the rear is facing up.  Take the angled parts and put the big end over the peg so that the side with the groove is facing up and the the bottom is bending back toward the barrel.  Then take the small piece and fit it over the small peg on the angled piece; I don't think it matters which side.

PXL_20240703_185551517.jpg.0802b914a9c0e73ea866c2592e2a2360.jpg

Fully assembled, the tabs on those last little pieces fit into slots on Crankcase's roof.  The armature between those pieces and the actual guns allows the guns to fold against his back, or to swivel up and over the top of his backpack.  It looks pretty good and short of storing inside the backpack works just about as well as the G1 toy.

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Unlike Windsweeper, you don't even have to remove the guns to transform him!  However, there's no way to hide them, since they don't fold into the roof the way the G1 toy's did.  Instead, they just chill out on his roof.  That said, they can still swing out in front of the windshield.

Again, my biggest complaint here is that the upgrade can't fold away and hide like the G1 toy, but that's a flaw of the Legacy toy using the Skids mold instead of getting his own new mold designed to work like the G1 toy in the first place.  Nonnef's upgrades work about as well as you could reasonably expect, and for a mere $6 they're a pretty easy recommend (for $3 you can get some hubcaps for his wheels, too, but I opted not to).

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Last up, we have a kit for Legacy Windblade that provides a new sword and wing fillers.  The ones I got here are red fillers with black paint; the paint is neat but super thin; if you go this route you might want to repaint the black yourself.  The black fillers don't have any paint.  As for the sword, you can pick when you order if you want blue, red, clear, or smokey clear.  You can also order just a sword, so I wound up getting two- blue is the color she originally had when she first appeared in IDW Comics, but pink seems to be the color she's more often seen with, including her appearances in the RiD '15 and Cyberverse cartoons.

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Nonnef clearly tried to copy the design of the hilt on the sword the Legacy figure came with as closely as he could, but the molded detail comes across as a bit flatter and mushier.  They retain the pegs that let you plug them into her hips, and she can hold them just fine.  The real difference, aside from color, is the shape of the blade.  Rather than looking like it's blazing with an Energon fire, it's got the same shape first seen in Sara Pitre-Durocher's IDW artwork, which carried over into the Cyberverse cartoon.

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As for the wing fillers, they simply use a pair of pegs to plug into the peg holes under her wings.  They're cutout so that the turbines in her wings can still rotate.  Your mileage may vary here... there's no denying that the underside of her wings, which is the side that faces forward in bot mode, are all kinds of waffled.  Adding the filler smooths it out, but adds thickness to her wings takes up those 5mm ports.

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Because the Nonnef swords have the same little pegs as the stock one, they can plug in between her ankles in jet mode the same way.  Of course, you can only store one sword this way, and a random blade sticking out the back makes a bit less sense than fire.

A lot of people online seem to be raving about the Windblade kit, but I'm pretty lukewarm on it.  I think the Nonnef swords look better in bot mode, but worse in jet mode.  And when the fillers do smooth out the underside of the wings, I'm not a fan of the added thickness.  At $12 ($6 extra per additional sword) this is the most expensive of the upgrade kits I'm looking at today, but I feel like it does less than the other two.  Ultimately, the value you derive from this kit will come down to whether you're more bothered by waffle wings or thicker wings.

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It seems like Fans Toys is getting ready to complete their first combiner:


I have to say no matter how good or bad it will turn out, it can only disappoint. ^_^

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Just got these beauties in today. Still haven't transformed either of them (may have to consult a vid for Blitzwing, er Commander). Both of these guys have a lot of crisp lovely paint, and Magic Square's light of Peace Toy Colored version has some nice tampos reflecting the G1 toy. He also has the silver stripe around the cab which, to me, is a bit of an essential detail that the toon unfortunately omitted. I wish he had leg vents instead of those stupid toony squares, but otherwise this is IMHO the best MP OP mold out there for how well it captures Optimus, with Magic Square's previous MP OP, Light of Freedom, a close second (love his chunkier proportions even if he does also have a chunkier hitch bed in truck mode. And he has leg vents FTW!) 😄

I've been waiting, along with everyone else, what seems like an eternity for Fans Toys to finally release their take on Blitzwing, only to recently have them announce that they won't be producing it in the near future. Fortunately, there was already a pretty damned good contender available, and after fence-sitting waiting on FT, I finally made the executive decision to go with Star Toys' lovely design (i.e. FOMO). In some ways, especially the shaping of the thighs, he's a bit too toony IMHO, but in all other regards, especially the incredible balance they achieved with his alt modes (looking extra especially at you jet mode), I'm really happy with this fig thus far. After watching a number of vids, I know that the tips of his weapons in jet mode parts-form, and while I'm not a fan of that approach, considering the extent of his complexity, I think it's a passable offense. On the subject of his jet mode, while most Blitzwing toys just leave the turret hanging off the jet's belly like some misbegotten WWII modification, Star Toys brought their A-game and by virtue of some effective plastic origami, integrated the turret into the fighter's form giving him a nice flat belly. So nice! For anyone not aware, I'm prior Air Force and a bit of a snob when it comes to the accuracy, or general lack thereof, when it comes to Transformers with jet modes. Demonstrably, even Star Toys' take is merely a loose approximation of the MiG -25 Foxbat just like the G1 toy, but this toy's superb adherence to the G1 toy's fighter and the cleanliness of its execution warrant a pass. I appreciate the effort. I'm looking forward to getting into the transformation.

Overall, these are simply amazing looking figures. 'We're eating well', to borrow a phrase. I try not to take it for granted.

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Credit to Sixo and TFSource for the fighter pic

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"Come on down, Autobrat."

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Edited by M'Kyuun
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First, there was Maketoys vs TFC.  Then ToyWorld vs Generation Toy.  And not that long ago we had Magic Square vs. Newage.  But the Devastator Wars aren't over, friends.

I already knew we were getting three Sunbow-style options.

Fans Toys

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MMC

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and X-Transbots

xtb.jpeg.7e872ec374ae6f4f956b4bc98cb2b38c.jpeg

And, yeah, after waiting how many years now for Fans Toys to finish one combiner their Scrapper looks far too chunky for me to be interested in what they're offering.  XTB's might look the best, at least the prototype stage, but again I don't actually trust them to pull it off.  Since Scrapper is my favorite Constructicon I might check just him out, from the other two, but MMC is the only one I planned to get all six of.

You'd think, with those three big names working on Constructicons that other players might want to work on something else.  But nope!  I found out that 01-Studio, the former Zeta guys who did an excellent 3P Unicron, are also throwing their hat in the ring, though their take is a bit stylized.

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Dream Star Toys, who are doing that weird gunmetal super stylized Superion, are going to do a more IDW-style set.

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Then there's this one.

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It's apparently the first try from a new company called Mech Invasion.  Personally I think it looks a bit funky, but he's apparently going to be kind of cheap and come with Mixmaster, so it might be worth checking out.

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1 hour ago, anime52k8 said:

That last one is weird but I kinda like it.

Right?  It gets weirder.

First off, here's Mixmaster.  He and Scrapper will be sold together as a set.

451009231_472652575367676_4836408284985559236_n.jpg.8cded2be3b1bf6f4fa892747f5b73ce6.jpg

Stylized, but a little more conventional than Scrapper.  But there's the alt modes...

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I mean, Scrapper looks fine in alt mode, but Mixmaster looks more like the Bayverse version.  But then there's the combined modes...

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...arms.  Not legs, arms.  And those hands don't partsform, either.  Mixmaster's is in the mixing drum.  Scrapper's is in his back.  When they come, Bonecrusher and Scavenger will be legs, so Devastator will look like this:

img-1705747203443b6b4d6d8911f83d041b3dcb1af6af023674470922bb8406dafdeff7f9b303202.jpg.6126e533007ec4caff7c4c2eeb26e9ff.jpg

And if all that isn't weird enough, Mecha Invasion is apparently also working on a Volcanicus.  They haven't shown any of it except for line art for Grimlock's alt mode... but I guess Volcanicus and Devastator are going to use the same connectors for the limbs, because they showed this at a trade show.

0078x5qngy1hii5otpvi0j32402tc1ky.jpg.1529b559bbf842a64e554e6e6840cc94.jpg

Now, I guess the question is whether or not there's a market for such an unconventional Devastator when three of the biggest names in 3P are promising Sunbow-accurate MP Devastators.  But Mecha Invasion have apparently announced a price for the Scrapper/Mixmaster set at 399 yuan.  That's almost exactly $55 USD at today's exchange rate.  Even after dealers get their markups and build their "free" shipping into the price, I'm guessing $70-$80.  And that's for two figures, with ratchets and diecast, that look to have good articulation, storage for their guns in alt and combined modes, and relatively straightforward engineering.  I think at that price they're not actually competing with guys like Fans Toys or MMC at all, they're simply making neat figures that you can play with at a very reasonable price.  I'm going to roll the dice on the first set.  Once they announced the price, they went from being a curiosity that I wasn't planning on buying to something I'm actively anticipating now.

As for the rest, I'm not sure I can do all the Devastators again, but I might try to get all the Scrappers, since he's my favorite.

 

Edited by mikeszekely
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