Bludgeon can never die. He is a skeleton and therefore already dead. :)
Bludgeon can never die. He is a skeleton and therefore already dead. :)
Me again. . . I saw the 6" Titanium Jetfire and Thundercracker at Target today. Man, it's just sad how bad these larger-scale figures are.
Ben Yee has reviews of Classics Bumblebee, Rodimus, and Optimus with lots of photos: http://www.bwtf.com/classics/
I think I like Rodimus now more than ever, and I liked him before. I really like how his alt mode looks, and the jet engine in the back looks so cool. I cannot wait to get these classics!
I finally found another Titanium 6" Megatron to replace my defective one with, so now I have one that forms correctly. This new one's arms hold upright unlike the last one, the joints are all around tighter. The alt mode is even smaller than I expected, not really sure why I expected bigger but it seems almost chibi. Still problematic: can't stand that well, poorly articulated, easy to accidentally pull pieces off, cannon doesn't lay flat against Megs' arms. I still like it though.
I saw Primus w/ Unicron head last night, the head looks better than I thought but I didn't have $50 so I didn't have to worry about it. ;)
Those Classic Transformers are sure tempting to me (the Autobots anyway - man all of 'em look good!)
Ben posted a review of Classics Astrotrain:
To be honest, I think this is where Ben's enthusiasm and generous reviews hurts the most, figures that just don't look that great getting fairly positive marks and few mentions of the negative aspects (he doesn't even comment on how bad the train mode looks). Still, at $10 I can't see why I'd bother not getting this, maybe add some black paint wash... and never ever transform it into train mode. :p
So at Target tonight, I found me Titanium Series 6" Jetfire and Thundercracker! I don't understand why the bad vibes aimed at these 2, I think they're pretty good, if they were $10 Cybertron deluxes I'd be happy yet they wouldn't be metal and their paint wouldn't be this nice.
I'm not quite ready for full comments, but some points:
- They're about a head shorter than the previous set.
- The paint is pretty good on both, Thundercracker's matte coloring looks nice, but their lower leg halves don't match the other sides on both figs, very odd.
- Who is the sadist that designed the twistie tie configurations on these? I gave up and annihilated Thundercracker's tray.
- Neither figure has parts that fall off or come off easily, Jetfire has a piece that is meant to come off though and it barely clears the right shoulder (in fact, all the pics out there are wrong, the backpack only snaps in totally and the right shoulder clears when the engines are pointed forward 1 click).
- The articulation is pretty decent, they even have ratchets in several places and articulated wrists; neither is wobbly, although there's a little play in Jetfire's legs.
- Both use a good amount of die cast metal, Jetfire has a little more than Thundercracker.
- Jetfire's ball-jointed knees can't bend beyond a few degrees, but his elbows and wrists have good motion.
- Jetfire has twin guns that can tab together to make 1 double-gun.
- His feet are very cool with a separate thruster nozzle in the middle, and fold up for transformation.
- His forearm kibble is derived from a couple different War Within appearances.
- The play in the hips and the hollowness of the feet lead to a little trouble standing him at first, but once you get the idea of which joints are causing that, it's easy to compensate and he stands fine, even in some poses.
- The transformation has a few nifty bits for a deluxe-sized TF.
- Hiding the left hand under the stabilizer panel is a good idea, but getting it out is a tough job because of limited play in the stabilizer panel.
- Jet mode is better than I expected, the legs are too obvious but they make more sense from the front or back, it's not blocky from the front or back.
- Jet mode's rear landing gear is one of the coolest little reveals I've ever seen, the panel with the small winglet at the bottom of the leg-engines hinges up and at the bottom are the wheels.
- Although riffing off Cybertron Starscream's design (which itself was based on the War Within tetrajet design), Thundercracker is his own man as it were.
- The packaging has his shoulders mistransformed up in the air (basically halfway to vehicle mode) and they don't articulation this way, they fold down and then work fine.
- Bot mode is pretty tough looking, wide but not squat.
- Thundercracker's head and hands are very rubbery, but this doesn't affect anything (the hands are closed fists, no holes).
- I really like his blue coloring, it's a medium blue that plays well with the silver, red, and strong yellow; TC has a big 'Con logo on his upper chest.
- TC has shoulder rotation and hinged elbows, the shoulders are totally free and the elbows can hinge up 2 clicks to 90 degrees (although his forearms barely pass his shoulders this way).
- TC is a solid stander thanks to strong joints and wide feet, he can take some pretty good poses.
- The panels in front of the shoulders could have had a little more detail, and the diagonal paint thing is weird.
- TC's face is a little more mature, there's some tech for his cheeks that makes him look a little bulkier.
- Transformation isn't as complex as Jetfire, but doesn't totally ape Cybertron Starscream either.
- Rear landing wheels aren't hidden, but are kept nearly out of sight.
- The jet looks great from every angle but the back, where the hands don't do much to hide themselves, and under the tail area is a big open where you can see the head.
- The shape is good, the lines are clean and there's some good detailing.
With TS6" Optimus & Megs, although I kinda like them, they're more of a curiosity, if the line had stayed that quality it would have not been worth paying attention to, but luckily the quality came back to something acceptable and now we've got ourselves a ballgame, I look forward to more cool, unusual designs... heck, I even like the look of the packaging. The next TS6"ers I'll be interested in are Soundwave and Rodimus Prime, Optimal Optimus Primal, RiD Super Optimus Prime, Scourge, and even Starscream just don't do it for me (Screamer's paint is too much white, and Thundercracker's bulked face doesn't quite work as Starscream).
Thundercracker should not completely ape Cybertron Starscream, as the Starscreams from that line did not follows the War Within designs, while Thundercracker is intended to do just that.
That being said, here are my thoughts on Cybertron as a line.
As Cybertron is just about over save for a few recolors and some re-packs (actually pre-packs of the Classics Minicons with the upcoming Wal*Mart Primus), this is probably the best time to look back on the line. For me, this is an ending of sorts, as I plan to skip Classics, and most of the next year's product.
That being said, I will be seperationg the toys by key, not so much by package. In the case of toys without keys, guess work becomes a factor.
This is the easiest sub-line to examine, as it consistest of 3 toys, all cast from two molds, Vector Prime, and the Recon Minicons, as well as the recolors of both. The aesthetic is supposed to be one of time and space. Vector Prime does a good job of this, in terms of the molding if not paint. The downside is that the key is unpainted, despite having the most elaborate molding of any key. The Minicons lack a consistent and unifying gimmick and aesthetic, (these being the only set of gang-molded Minicons without said factors). These are not bad molds, but nothing really brings them into any particular banner. Still, I cannot think of a sinble toy in this category to avoid, as all of them have some merits. Over-all, the one thing I would change about this category would be to bulk it out a bit, possibly with recolors from every other planet category. For example, a recolor of Ransack as a new character, with a Universal key, a recolor of Wreckloose, maybe a Swindle recolor, a Menasor recolor, and maybe a CD Scattorshot recolor.
This is the the title banner of the line, and unless I miss my guess, the most expensive sub-line to complete. Ideally, the aesthetic here should have been "futurist", but instead it just delivered a good number of tricked out a Earth-type forms. The most obvious thing to change here is the execution of the aesthetic. Rather than variants of Earth vehicles, perhaps it would gave been better to produce more sci-fi forms evocative of War Withing designs, or even old UK comic background characters. The best toys for this set are Primus (obviously), and the Voyager scale Starscream. The worst could be any of the Defense team, or the Wave 3 Minicons. Oddly, Cybertron is also the only planet with molded key variants, rather than the color variants the other planest got.
Regardless of whether or not one considers X to be Unicron, this category had a consistent aesthetic. In this cast it is "fast 'n sneaky", and it is nicely delivered. In fact, even the late addition, US exclusive mold, Unicron as a tank, fits. While all of the bot modes seem rather mishappen, but they look unified. The biggest aesthetic change to make is that the toys (especially Soundwave) could have benefited from looking more alien. But, the biggest change to make is more contextual than aesthetic, as the whole Unicron thing has only gotten more tedious these last 5 years. The best toy is probably Sidways, and the worst being Soundwave, a toy most people should avoid.
This is the "standard" TF category. Lots of Earth vehicles produced and sold at insonsistent scales. Fans of G1 likely had much to enjoy here. While the aesthetic was redundant and a bit boring, this line had the highest number (both in relative and absolute terms) of well executed designs. Even if the aesthetic does not appeal, the engineering alone could carry this group. And, the engineering changed from toy to toy, with there being little redundancy in engineering. While it would have been nice to get more non-vehicular machinery (such as the infamous traffic light character from the cartoon), this category is generally the most reliable. The best toy is Evac, or maybe Redalert. The worst is probably Cannonball, as the mold does not match the paint, nor the context. All told though, I could probably find something to praise about most any toy in this category.
This category more or less fails on the same points that Cybertron fails on, namely most of the characters pretty well look like tricked out Earth vehicles. But, the unfying theme of speed is consistently presented. Every toy for this category looks fast, and based on my fiddlin', most of them roll pretty fast across a kitchen floor. The clear wheels on most of the toys are nice unifying touch. The main things Hasbro should have done different are delivering more alien looking vehicles, and sticking with basic colors, if only to be evocative of an old racing game. I am curious to see if sales of toys from this category vary by region. For example, were thee toys more popular in areas where NasCar is popular? The best toy from this line is probably Crumplezone, the worst is probably Clocker, which lacks a basic color scheme, and looks like it may as well be an Earth vehicle. All told, Velocitron was a disappointment.
Yeah, I used the Japanese name, deal with it. This planet is supposed to be the Hobbesian state of nature taken to the Nth degree. All but one of the toys had a beat form. The cartoon showed Transformers making genocidal war on a native faction. (Outside of the old G2 comic, I think this is the first time the US has had this sort of thing in official TF context.) The toys were somewhere between the old Beastwars toys, and Powerrangers. While the aesthetic and context are pretty consistent, this category is not perfect. As the whole idea here is anarchy and nature, a bit nore variety would have served the Animatros line. All but one toy had a land-based alternatore form, and the bulk of the animal forms were reptilian. (Discounting recolors, there were only 3 mammals, and no birds or sea critters.) The best toy here is probably Undermine. The worst is probably Nemesis-Breaker, as its lackluster context does little to cover the fact it is an uninspired black recolor of a mediocre mold. Not a bad set over all, but there was a good deal of un-exploited potential.
The concept here is large scale industry. Every toy released under this banner conveys either industry, or large scale. There is also an element of symbiosis with the gargantuan Gigalonians teaming up with lil' Minicons. (Aside from Vector Prime, the larger Gigalonians where the only Cybertron toys to be released with specific Minicons.) The best Gigalonian toy is probably Metroplex, owing partly to the sheer scale of the toy, and the look of the toy evokes large scale construction. The worst is Quickmix, as the toy could just as easily pass for an unmodified Earth cement mixing truck. Gigalonia also had the best designed key (from an aesthetic point), looking like a combination of mechanical component and sacred artifact.
Slightly off-topic, but it's all TF: Since (aside from Megatron and the upcoming Scourge) the entire 6" Titanium line seems to be based on designs from The War Within, has anyone heard anything about a 6" Titanium War Within Grimlock?
Nor does he, but since they're both WWi-style tetrajets, their transformations are fairly similar - the big difference is that the majority of the nose on Thundercracker folds into the back, and the shoulders slide back and fold closed over the head; the similarities are the legs as the sides of the jet and the forearms folding 180 under the engine/shoulders; all in all it's an effective transformation.Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom
To me, Vector Prime's cheap transformation, cruddy gimmick, and ineffective vehicle mode are sins.Quote:
Still, I cannot think of a sinble toy in this category to avoid, as all of them have some merits.
This is where your breakdown pattern fails IMO, these are 3 of the better molds in the line but because they are formed on Earth and then head off to spend most of their time on Cybertron they get Cybertron keys and thus don't live up to your artificial "Cybertronian" ideal - same with Wing Saber. I would never define the CY line by its keys because of this, Jungle Planet and Giant Planet are insular characters created out of the politics of the Autobots and Decepticons so it makes sense that they're designed closer to those aesthetics, but Speed Planet, Earth, and Cybertron figures are all mishmashed concepts (Speed planet is supposed to be insular, but really what we got was just Earth/Cybertron hybrid designs) while Planet-X doesn't even exist so they could do whatever just like on Cybertron.Quote:
The worst could be any of the Defense team
I would say Red Alert, Crosswise, or Downshift; Evac is good but definitely not at the top of my Earth list. Your reasoning for Cannonball is sound, I can't think of another Earth figure to challenge that standing.Quote:
The best toy is Evac, or maybe Redalert. The worst is probably Cannonball, as the mold does not match the paint, nor the context.
For me, it's a total disagreement, Crumplezone is near the worst on my list along with Override and Ransack. Brakedown is probably my top choice with Hot Shot following.Quote:
The best toy from this line is probably Crumplezone, the worst is probably Clocker, which lacks a basic color scheme, and looks like it may as well be an Earth vehicle.
Wow, that sounds bad, what does it mean?Quote:
The toys were somewhere between the old Beastwars toys, and Powerrangers.
So Dom, what does that all mean about the Cybertron line itself?
Sorry Chux, no WWi Grimlock mentions yet that I know of.
Huh? Yeah it did. X was blown up when its inhabitants tried firing a doomsday device at the Giant Planet, but it malfunctioned and destroyed Planet X instead.Quote:
Originally Posted by JediTricks
A cautionary tale if ever I've heard one. Transformers is deep, yo.Quote:
Huh? Yeah it did. X was blown up when its inhabitants tried firing a doomsday device at the Giant Planet, but it malfunctioned and destroyed Planet X instead.