Yeah: I really wanted the Alternators to have an Ironhide and Ratchet. A larger size Alternator if need be.
The closest I could get to better-scaled Seekers were the Masterpieces (of which I have Starscream and Skywarp) and I also bought Megatron and Prime (the No.1 out of 100 Best Toys of the Century - or whatever he won 1st Place for in Toy Fare, I think).
I'm waiting to see Grimlock in person before I make a decision on him.
I bought the Universe Powerglide as many of you know, as his size approached the Masterpiece jets halfway decently (not perfectly however) and I just love Warthog jets and Powerglide's G1 character.
The movie line still needs Leader Class Starscream and Blackout. The former might happen for ROTF, but I don't know if we'll get the helicopter. Choppers are cool. I want to have a big one to fly around and attack my Autobots with. Bonecrusher would also be nice in a Leader Class movie figure, but he's less of an interest for me.
I don't know what I'll be buying from ROTF if anything.
Alternators Prime was supposed to be Ironhide.
Yeah. I know the story behind that (Ironhide / Prime switch).
Tonight I'm having difficulty transforming Alternators Wheeljack. Part of me appreciates having a challenge. He's like a puzzle. Specifically, I'm having trouble getting the front arms under the hood and the doors alligned.
I'll get it though. I'm just tired and decided to put him down rather than risk breaking him.
I like tough-to-transform bots though, especially when Hasbro was creative with figuring out how they'd work (movie BumbleBee's roof separating into his arms, for example). That and great articulation are 2 things I look for in a Transformer, amongst other stuff.
I also watched a little bit of the Animated show when I couldn't sleep last night. It was pretty cool. That clutzy new giant Autobot (the green guy) is a different element. I'm not sure whether I like him or not. But I'm surprised Optimus tolerates him destroying humans' private property, even if it is by accident. Prowl tried to get him under control, though. With Prowl's new form, I didn't even recognize him until they said his name.
Anyway, it seemed Megatron was a detached head in need of repairs, and he was helping a scientist dude realize the Dinobots. I finally got tired and didn't watch the end. However, it was interesting. It further pushed me over into the "maybe" category for ordering Masterpiece Grimlock. But I still think that my plan to see him in person at my comic book shop is probably for the best.
If you're on the fence, maybe you should wait for Hasbro's inevitable release. Will probably be cheaper.
Originally Posted by Tycho
Masterpiece Grimlock is one I'm definately not going to pass up.
I figured out how to handle Alternator Wheeljack's arms finally - and I've now successfully transformed him into a car. The Mustang's awesome. I just thought I'd share that.
Mirage is up next. He goes from Ford GT to robot, but right now I'm still admiring the car.
Tycho, that Animated series is a mixed bag - some outstanding episodes but some kiddie fluff eps as well. I actually think Corey Burton does a better Megatron than Frank Welker! I'm not a big fan of Bulkhead (as a character. but as a toy, the Voyager is pretty good) but he's infinitely more tolerable than Bumblebee!
Originally Posted by Tycho
Frank Welker was in the credits for one of the Star Trek movies. I forgot which and who he voiced, but I noticed it the other night.
I want to say he did one of Chekov's screams, but Walter Koenig is famous for his Chekov screams. I don't see why they'd need a voice actor to replace him on that.
Welker might have played the whales in Star Trek 4 though. Like I said, I'm not sure. OH!!! Now I remember - I think he was Klingon Captain Kruuge's Targ (dog)!
Welker is a voice in Star Trek 3, he's the voice of young Spock (he cries out, but doesn't speak).
I got a bunch of TFs this week. 2 TF:U deluxes from Target, and 2 TF:A deluxes from HTS.
First up was TF:U Cyclonus and Dinobot.
Cyclonus is pretty cool. His alt mode is decent, a little more blocky than the original but looks good none the less, lots of little guns sculpted everywhere. However, the rear section is somewhat gappy and unsure of itself, the leg halves don't really want to go anywhere that much. Transformation is super clever, lots of fun stuff, I'd love to see more of these elements recycled into other figures. Bot mode is great, very tight design, minimal kibble, lots of attitude, great way to get the wings into the cartoon look, just brilliant all around. He comes with Nightstick, his Targetmaster companion, who is now more minicon-esque with actual articulation. Nightstick is pretty simple but acceptable, he even plugs onto Cyclonus' untransformed wrist stump. I'd give this set an "A-".
Dinobot is a mixed bag, what works does so well, what doesn't work really doesn't. Alt mode is a more cartoon-accurate raptor, but he still has kibble issues. His forearms and bot claws are now under his thorax (on the original BW figure, it was his horrible legs), Hasbro makes this worse by packaging the bot mode hands out instead of the claws. Also, the robot thighs are left very obvious, so the figure only looks good from the right side (the left side is covered in screw holes). Annoyingly, this figure is less poseable than the original, his legs barely move at the hip and knee which leaves him a rather "leggy" raptor.
Transformation is almost "stand up, you're a robot" but has so much going on that it doesn't feel unsubstantial, I really appreciate the conceptual engineering that went into a transformation to get a cartoon-accurate bot mode. However, the actual toy suffers because of too many small panels just not getting their jobs done, which I'll elaborate on in a little bit.
Bot mode looks great in the sculpt, this is recognizably Dinobot from the cartoon, they pay homage to the leg design, the feet, the hand claws, and of course the head. Dinobot could be a little wider at the shoulders, more beefy, and the chest design isn't all that show-accurate in general, but it gets the idea across pretty well. Strangely, the thighs, which were a problem in alt mode, are still a problem, this design looks too standard TF, too robotic and not particularly character-accurate, so it leaves one to wonder why they went this route at all. Articulation is mixed, the arms have a fair amount, and the hips and ankles are ball joints, but the knees have limited range and there's no rotation at the thighs which kills the best poses. My biggest problems with this bot are first the secondary colors, the horrendous yellow-gold plastic used everywhere, this color is absolutely fugly; also, instead of Dinobot's signature blue bot mode coloring, they went Decepticon purple in plastic and paint (even on his face!), that is a total "WTF" moment. But most damning is the panels that make up the chest, there is absolutely no cohesion to this design, the shoulder panels require the torso panels to hold them in place, but the torso panels cannot possibly do this, so moving the arms usually dislodges something. Then there's the spring-loaded panel that covers the bot face in alt mode, this thing is supposed to slip across several sections inside the torso, but that interior design has too many bumps and gaps so instead it forces the raptor head to stick further out leaving it less stable and more unattractive (when it doesn't pop the raptor head completely off).
In terms of gimmicks, the figure has a rotating panel on his chest with tiny Maximal and Predacon logos painted on, as well as regular raptor sculpting, it's tough to rotate because it's so small, but it's nifty. The figure sports traditional robot-style hands with 5mm holes that can rotate around to make up the signature claw-hands, it's a clever gimmick if a little tough to work with at times. The whole rear quarter of the raptor becomes a weapon again, this time it's a stationary (boo!) representation of the original weapon, and it's a spring-loaded missile launcher. This larger weapon can be clipped by its firing tab to the back of Dinobot's collar to be worn on his back, or held in his right hand only through friction bumps that are specifically cut to only be used in that 1 hand with that 1 orientation - this is such a strange choice because they could have easily NOT done this, made it a 5mm handle, and thus held in either hand in either orientation. The sword is a red/orange translucent missile, it's got the basic shape of the cartoon sword but is shorter and they had to blunt the tip because it's a missile; it can be held in either the hand-style fist or the character's claws, but I do wish it was longer and not clear.
Overall, I like what they were thinking with Dinobot, and I'd love to see some of these concepts reused down the line, but here they just don't seem practical enough to make up this torso, there are too many little issues so that he's a likable figure to look at, but not to pose or play with. The drawbacks mostly seem to come down to odd choices: why did they leave a problem under the alt mode again, why did they limit the range of motion on the knees, why did they use that thigh sculpt, why did they go with those horrible color gold and purple colors, why did they design in a handle limitation to the larger weapon. Those choices detract heavily from this figure, and they didn't need to. My grade would be split, for the "fun" collector: "C", and for the "character" collector, a generous "B-".
Then it's TF:A in the mail.
Swindle looks kinda cool in alt mode, a jeep crossed with a hummer. The big TOW missile launcher on top is silly-oversized, and leaving the back window unpainted sucks, but generally it's a likable design. The missile launcher doesn't want to peg into its holes though, the peg is a touch too small so the launcher just flops about. Transformation is quite clever, lots of folding and panels without being a shellmaster - I love how the forearms get created, this has to be used again for more figures - but the chest panel's double-hinge requires more force than seems possible. Bot mode has some good ideas in it, and is mainly a good design overall, but maybe I'm having bad QC because the lower chest panel absolutely will not stay closed, it just flops open no matter what, and the missile launcher will not stay in the forearm peg. The clear plastic upper arm pieces don't want to work together either, the right bicep slips out of its shoulder groove, and the left shoulder won't stay upright, stupid clear plastic never works right! I wish I liked this figure more, but the extensive use clear plastic is already causing trouble, and I loathe this figure's overly simple giant head design. Grade would be "D+" for mine, if I got one with the missile launcher peg working and the chest locking down and no upper arm troubles, it might be a "C+" or even maybe a generous "B-".
Blurr is almost everything I'm looking for in a Transformer. I love the speedy futuristic alt mode with its hollow rear wheels, Tron-esque "electro lighting" paint, and pop-out saw, I really hope to see this get another color scheme soon so I can buy another version; this is a toy car I'd buy even if it wasn't a Transformer. This alt mode is quite different in overall shape from the original G1 character, less alien, but they both convey similar themes - futuristic, sleek, fast, blue. In package, the robot feet are pushed against the rear wheel, so make sure you move those feet away slightly so they can spin. If you look carefully, you can see the glossy black cockpit is translucent plastic with sculpted circuit detailing on the inside, nice touch. The only complaint I'd have about the alt mode is that the rear end is too gappy if you look straight in, they could have used the fold-away panel over the bot face to add some triangular blocks thus making it look more "whole" while still allowing the see-through rear wheels.
Transformation is one of the most challenging deluxes I can remember, and it doesn't help that the instructions are vague about where the front fenders separate from the body so they can fold back, which makes it very difficult to even get started. In fact, why they started with the front fenders instead of the rears, which are easier to get going and unlock the front fenders, is beyond me. Once you get those sorted out, it's still a bit difficult but you start to get those "aha, I see what they're getting at" moments as the limbs switch orientations, the back becomes the front. Finally, the instructions totally leave out a step rotating the feet, the feet still work when you don't have them but they look worse. I have some trouble transforming this figure back to alt mode because the forearms and hands don't want to get under the canopy piece, and I always hate the way the hips rotate around (they've been using this more and more the last few years).
Bot mode is tall and extremely thin, beyond "lanky" even. There's a fair number of edges showing from the alt mode, but they somehow get visually absorbed into the overall look so it all works. Blurr clearly is a hand-to-hand fighter - they didn't give him a gun at all, just a shield with saw - but he looks like it, like a lithe master of some unknown martial art that focuses on speed and agility over strength. The head, although possessing notes of the G1 toy and cartoon designs, is really its own man and quite different from most TFs, he seems like an alien to regular TF and even TF:A designs IMO, though he does still fit the TF:A aesthetics. The rubbery antenna on his head is an interesting choice, mine came slightly warped but is slowly going back to the normal shape. Articulation is very good, ball-jointed head, elbows, foot front, foot back, and hips; limited ball-jointed shoulders; hinged knees and front feet; and rotation waist, biceps, and boots. The upper body posing is good, the lower body posing is very good, ultimately with some creativity the figure ends up incredibly stable in almost any 2-footed pose (I don't foresee any 1-legged poses working at all though). Just like in alt mode, bot mode is rock solid, nothing comes off or pops out, only the shoulder tabs want to transform back yet they're held in place pretty well.
In terms of gimmicks, there's the removable shield with clear blue spring-out saw, this can peg into the side of the forearm (the hands aren't sculpted to hold stuff), or onto the figure's back via an extra set of holes. The head also has light-piping, and from the sides rather than the back or top.
Bottom line, I love this figure, Blurr looks great in alt mode, is fascinating in bot mode, and has an incredibly clever transformation. It's going to be tough for kids to figure out the transformation, it's tough enough without the instructions being vague, so they will need help. For the rest of us, this is a real winner, my grade is "A".
JT, I'm glad you gave Animated Blurr an "A"! :thumbsup:
As I'm trying to pass on all ROTF toys, this weekend was probably my largest TF haul for the year - TFU Cheetor (despite the negative reviews, I still wanted it), a duplicate Hound because my first one had the holo projector stolen, Dinobot, repaint Starscream and Cyclonus.
In short, Cyclonus = awesome. I like the Dinobot character a lot so I always want his figures to turn out great but they never do for the most part. I also like the Cheetor character a lot and this one might be the worst one I own!
JT, I'll have to check if my TFA Swindle has the same issues that yours does.