Ooooh. I gotta get that!
Ooooh. I gotta get that!
So, during Comic-Con I picked up a number of figures at local stores, as Tycho said, and saw even more. Here's what I picked up and my thoughts...
scout Dune Runner - decent, though my fellow fans are overselling this figure a bit. Better than most scouts, but bot mode isn't all that great looking and articulation feels hampered by other stuff.
dlx Arcee - a little more stable in both modes, but shocking pink color is harsh. Bike mode feels a little unfinished on the right side, but mainly good. Bot mode is another weirdy but solid and better design balance. Still not a recommendable toy though.
dlx Dead End - not quite as good as I hoped in bot mode, tolerances don't hold stuff together as well and colors a little noisier than expected, but still decent. Alt mode looks great. Sideways is the better of the 2 though.
dlx Blazemaster - nice alt mode but uuuuugly colors. Transformation is a disaster, instructions are beyond useless. Bot is gappy in the midsection, has terrible arm articulation and non-hands (a thumb surrounded by 2 panels, horrible), a few panels that won't decide where they want to go, the rotors become sloppy kibble that's no fun. Awful, avoid at all costs.
voyager Long Haul - very cool in both modes, very accurate too. Big vehicle, big bot, very good articulation, heavily armored, nifty. Good sculpting, solid, deco is a little minimalistic but adequate. Swords are whatever but not a huge drawback. Mech alive gimmick in chest simple but works. All around winner.
The funny thing is that when JT and I went shopping (we're both in our 30's like probably a majority of the people who post here) - we met these two guys that work at Wal-Mart who were probably in their 50's who were collecting Star Wars. We spent a while talking with them. It was so different to see this age group involved as well - as it's much more common to watch kids get into it like we did when we were little.
Only 1 guy was an employee, I think. And they were into GI Joe as well as SW.
Here are some of my mini-reviews of some, not all, of my recent acquisitions...
Long Haul (voyager)
This figure seems a little like a "mature" version of Energon Demolishor, which is a good thing, but he's not as much a hunch back and he has no missile launchers.
Alt mode: giant earth mover. Green. Detail from the front is very good, from the sides it's a little cut away to reveal bot mode if you look for it, but it gets away with it. Truck bed can tilt up, nice touch. Fairly solid. Big.
Transformation: lots of big chunks moving about, almost no panel action, plenty to do. Seems simple in theory, but execution keeps you busy.
Bot mode: nearly perfect iteration of concept art. Big brawler type of guy. Odd fat bird mouth. Undocumented Mech Alive feature, turn head and a gear in the chest turns, foolish coloring on that gear is black. Kibble isn't too bad, the dually wheels end up over the shoulders like turbines, the truck bed ends up on back, pegs down, but rear section becomes buttflap. Only real problem is that there's a big rollbar up above the figure's head that juts up and out to the front which is a little odd but no dealbreaker. Wrap-around bumper on legs is very clever. Arm kibble reveals spring-out clear blades, fat with hooks and tf glyphs. The clear color does them NO favors unfortunately, and this guy seems too bulky to bother using swords. Color is green with green and some more green, no weathering though which would have made it 100% accurate to concept art. Big.
Articulation: decent, most of what you'd need for a bot. No swivel wrists or movable fingers, no movable waist. The 2 sets of moving pistons on each elbow is cool though.
Fairly satisfying voyager-class figure that's also pretty accurate. Deco could have used weathering, hands could have used a little more articulation, top kibble could have been movable, cockpit could have been whole, but for what it is, it's pretty nifty.
Alt mode: Dauphin news helicopter in dark blue, gold, and white. Garish. Landing wheels fold up, nose sticks and requires excessive force without folding flat. Big blue window in front but secondary non-clear windows unpainted. Lots of seams, nose doesn't want to finish the last 2% of the transformation. Rotor has spinny gimmick. Mostly kibble-free except trench on the underside.
Transformation: these may be the absolute worst instructions they've ever done, and that's saying quite a bit. There are so many moving parts shown from the wrong angles and flipping about, nothing seems like it should go in a specific place, it just kinda stops and hovers there hoping it's done. The panels around the head are the worst, they don't go out as far as the Hasbro pictures think they do, and they flop about. The shoulders don't really make enough sense since the articulation is neutered but the joint could be doing more. It's just a huge mess of a transformation.
Bot mode: ugh, this is no good. The "hands" are just kibble panels with a thumb. The elbows are limited articulation, the shoulders don't make much sense and don't move, the core is hollow, the back tabs over the spine in a tenuous manner, the tail becomes a backpack in an interesting but unsatisfying way, the legs are spindly chicken legs. It's just lame lame lame, lots of halfassery and limited points of articulation. Still ugly coloring too. And it's not entirely stable. The rotor comes apart to clip half onto the other forearm for no apparent reason, no fun at all and it easily drops out.
The Dauphin helicopter mode is alright, but ugly coloring and I don't think I've ever seen one used as a news chopper. Transformation is a miserable, confusing chore. Bot mode is a lazy mess that would be incompetent as a scout, so is downright shameful as a deluxe.
Dead End (deluxe)
When I first saw dlx Dead End at Botcon, I thought it looked amazing and way better than Sideways from which it's retooled. Then I bought Sideways on a whim after being shown the alternate transformation, and that figure became awesome, so the tides turned.
Alt mode: same as Sideways in sculpt, of course. Glossy deep black plastic and paint really dazzle. The black wheels with red stripe coupled with the red racing stripes and dark purple tinted windows give this more of a tuner look than Sideways' factory look. Dead End's tail lights are painted to have a clear definition between the reverse lights and brake lights, nice touch. The dark gray Decepticon logo on the front of the driver door is a nice subtle touch.
Transformation: it's the same exact transformation as Sideways, but there's an issue. The alternate, superior backpack transformation on Sideways used a little friction to hold those tabs onto the very narrow slots, and on Dead End they have smoothed out this area so the backpack easily unpegs with the slightest nudge.
Bot mode: Throwing the darker maroon and gold-caramel colors from the G1 character into the mix has made this a very different bot, but it's more of a visual tangle than I was expecting, and reflects more upon Sideways than I had hoped, not in a positive way (it looks more like Sideways if he wasn't as good). The torso with its single silver paint stripe seems pretty barren, and the arms only have red plastic with a few gold bits (the small detail panel on the left forearm is painted copper) with the black gearing almost impossible to see inside the arms. The silver saw on the right hand seems lost next to the silver fingers, so I swapped it with Sideways' black saw which was lost on his black arm, the swap was very easy and helps them both. Dead End's dead is a movie take on G1 heads, I guess, it's blocky and has a big reddish-pinkish translucent grille visor that lightpipes like crazy, followed by a sizable dark gray jaw, and stick-out gold red & gold ears. The head seems wrong for this sleek body, more of a bruiser's head, but the arms were already like that so if you play with the doorwings and a few other bits it can make a bruiser upper body out of that, though the legs remain spindly and bird-like. The neck-plate doesn't seat as well as Sideways and there's a bit more visual gap from the side as well, I think it's more about the colors than anything. Frustratingly, the figure has a harder time standing, and the head doesn't tilt up at all so it's a little frustrating getting him to stand.
Articulation: Same, although the neck doesn't look up that crucial 3 degrees which hampers things. The shoulder joints are much tighter here and work against the inner transformation joints quite horribly.
I wanted to like this remold better, but in person it doesn't quite deliver as well as I hoped. The colors and new head don't really go with the sleek black alt mode too well, and there are some joint tolerance issues holding this back. Between this and Sideways, definitely go for Sideways.
I got Devastator from Wal-Mart tonight: $107 after tax.
Wal-Mart wanted to sell me a Product Protection Plan on him even :rolleyes:
I haven't opened him yet, but in Try Me packaging, Devastator talks and growls, probably says "I am Devastator!" (just in case we get him confused with Wheelie) and his mouth opens wide enough to swallow a Legends or maybe even a Scout Class figure.
I'll update this post after I open him and do some transforming of his components.
Today's the last day to get a question into the TF Q&A, so if you haven't posted yet in that thread, do so now: http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=38950
I got your phone call about Dev. I was busy sleeping. I cannot fathom why you're so eager and excited on this one.
Every figure that's Leader-class or bigger says its name this year, it's kind of stupid, like they think that $45 Optimus isn't iconic enough or is some sort of baby's toy.
Target jacked up the price on Leaders to $52. No chance in hell now Target jerks!
Received my Human Alliance Bumblebee from HTS finally, the same day I find one at Target for the same $30 price, d'oh! Nice figure, Tycho has his transformed wrong, with the last step not done (the back window folds up against the roof). It's got some issues, but I'll get into that later.
Picked up scout-class Dirt Boss, could be in scale with HA BB which is pretty funny. Likable design but some issues hold it back from greatness.
Actually, in messing with Devastator, he says a few things like "I am THE Decepticon!" or something and "Crush the Autobots!" plus he laughs and growls.
Wow. A few more speeches that sound like they were written by Grimlock.
When I open him, I'll see if Legends Class Mudflap is in scale to Devastator before I open Mudflap. The Deluxe Class might be better. I'm not sure yet but haven't opened anything yet either.
No, Mudflap legends is probably a little too big, like 25%, so Deluxe would be about 500% too big. I think that Legends purchase you made will fit the bill for your needs though, and when Skids comes out in the next wave of legends, you'll have your diorama.
I also bought Scout Dune Runner to go in the diorama - and possibly purchase multiples of him, just to use as other vehicles (not Cybertronians) in the scene.
Like I said, nothing is open so I can return what won't work. I can always buy a few Matchbox cars if need be. Hot Wheels tends to make mostly sportscars.