Sorry for the late reply. My internet has been down since Sunday night when we experienced some rather severe storms..I have never seen golf ball size hail fall like rain until then.
To answer your question about wave 4 JT, they are pretty decent figures. There aren't really any surprises, as we have already seen them before, except for airachnid. She is hands down the weak spot in this wave. The alt mode helicopter is solid, and I like it, but when you transform her into robot mode you will notice that the legs don't quite support the figure and the head is very limited in its movement. The head is on a ball joint, but you can't really rotate it fully because the cockpit of the copter folds back when you transform it, so that gets in the way of any real articulation in that area. If you plan to get it I look forward to your thoughts, because in all honesty its lacking in those areas, but yet I find myself not hating it like a lot of folks are over on Tfw2005. If you are familiar with Peaugh's video reviews, you know he is usually an optimistic reviewer, looking for the good in any figure. Well if you take a look at his take on airachnid, he doesn't keep that tone too well. :)
Dead end and Shadow Strike bee are just repaints of molds we have already seen, but Dead end does have a different head. What I like about Dead end is how the colors just pop. He looks like a rastafarian jack-o-lantern, and I love it. Add the neon green swords and he makes a perfect compliment to Wheeljack.
Shadow bee is completely the same mold, but with new grey paint. What I like about it is how a few extra paint apps to the body and head make the features more evident.
Now I am awaiting the wave 4 revision case, as it is supposed to have 2 vehicons in it.
I got the reference. It's easy to not notice the air Vehicons, they move very fast in their scenes usually. I saw them clearly in an episode, was able to pause and compare, but didn't think to screenshot it, so all you get is this:
Originally Posted by figrin bran
oh, and this:
and the japanese toy in color:
Yes, there have been sightings, and here comes one now...
Sorry to hear about crazy murderweather!
Originally Posted by JetsAndHeels
The new figure is the bad one in the wave? Ouch.
Wave 6 also a Vehicon.
We were fortunate. There were some homes that had trees on them.
Originally Posted by JediTricks
Just be aware that airachnid is kinda flimsy, the legs have a hard time supporting the figure, and of course the head issue I mentioned. Having said that, she is not the worst figure I have bought, but she is also not the best.
I want at least 2 more Vehicons.
I guess if my FE and RID Arcee feel a thirst for revenge, they'll have to take it out on TFA Blackarachnia ;)
JT, I sort of remember that first screen shot from the Convoy episode and they like sort of like Stealth bombers to me and so I guess that's what I was expecting. I'll still plan on getting at least one and at least there will be other proper jets in the TFP lines like Dreadwing and hopefully Skyquake? Hopefully Voyager Breakdown is announced at SDCC too since Hasbro has been so hush hush about it but the Takara mold definitely exists.
I know what you mean, I turned down Cmdr Dreadwing the other day because he was half the price of the Voyager and had arms in the middle of vehicle mode, then I realized as I left the store that they haven't had a good track record with these larger figures so far.
Commander Dreadwing is a great little figure. I find him to be very cyberjetty.
My cases of AMBreakdown and Vehicons come in tomorrow or Friday.. I am excite :joyous:
I picked her up today but haven't opened her yet, thinking she might go back or someone else might buy her off me if they're really desperate.. I've been thinking about your comments, and was looking at pictorial reviews but didn't think to check out Peaugh's video of her, thanks for the advice.
Originally Posted by JetsAndHeels
Blame Hasbro, their packaged look has the wrong transformation with the arms pegged under the wings like fuel tanks and the biceps just sitting out there between the fuselage and the outer wing, it looks terrible. I saw photos today of Dreadwing with his better transformation, definitely seemed more tolerable that way. Do his arms lock onto the sides of the legs/jet engines that way though, or are they just "there" via friction?
Originally Posted by Adam
Found a bunch of the Cyberverse vehicles today at Walmart...
Cyberverse Star Hammer with Wheeljack (known on the show as the Jackhammer)
For $20, you get an exclusive Wheeljack Legion figure who sports 2 clear versions of his swords, and the Jackhammer vehicle which sports a slide-to-change gimmick, 2 missile launchers, and a light-up feature. The price is an entirely acceptable value.
At first, I didn't like the Jackhammer at all, there's a lot of compromises that hamper its looks and have it feeling cheap, but after about 15 minutes of messing around with it, it grew on me quite a bit. It really is the kind of value that is otherwise missing from the line, it doesn't feel like a ripoff, it doesn't feel hobbled by budget or a big empty box, it doesn't feel like you're paying a premium for a small figure simply because he's a popular character, the vehicle doesn't feel like a cheap hollow piece of junk built to bilk an extra $15, hopefully Hasbro sees good sales here and recognizes that value still means something to consumers of all walks - hardcore collectors, kids, parents, fans of the show.
PACKAGING: a nice size window box, wide and not too deep or shallow, it feels like the right layout for the price, moreso than the Voyagers. A Try Me hole is right up front, very large, which lights up the cannon on top of the cockpit, but doesn't trigger the main gimmick, and like every other TFP light-up feature, it really doesn't look good in the package. The Jackhammer is in "battle mode" with the wings spread and the cannons raised. Wheeljack is in robot mode tied into his own tray off the right, and this seems to have been an afterthought because there's a spot for him in the main tray beneath - this was wiser, highlighting the figure in the set. 2 swords and 2 missiles are tied to the main tray, and the Jackhammer is tied in 4 spots plus it sports a 5th tie for the Energon Booster light-gun. The Energon Booster's cable/hose is exposed in a clear plastic sheath, and at first glance it almost looks like someone ripped wiring out of the vehicle.
Speaking of the Energon Booster, the packaging highlights it in photos in 2 spots on the box art, and both times even with photoshop help it really doesn't look like it's doing anything, and there's a reason for that which I'll get to later.
WHEELJACK ROBOT MODE: This is a nice figure for Legion, it's got almost as much going on as the deluxe version. Lots of painted details - even the little Autobot symbol on his chest, the only place that could have used more paint I think is the arms, which are white aside from bot-mode accents on the outside; the only real problem with the deco is the head, it's entirely painted a muted silver-gray and the only thing breaking it up is blue eyes, there's no white or lighter gray, so the head looks cheap.
Sculpt is good, there's enough going on, but I do feel like it's soft in the sculpt or in the molding compared to other Legion figures. The robot mode lacks the back wings and the knee spikes, the feet are more G1-style than the animation model, the arms are just the sides of the car, the chest is more window than chest plate, but overall I think it works pretty well. The back of his head is hollow though, and unpainted white. There's 2 pegholes in his back to stow his swords, but there's also enough gap that you can with a little care get both swords slid into his back-cavity. Wheeljack scales nicely to Cyb Commander Bulkhead.
Articulation is ok for a Legion - ball-jointed shoulders and hips, hinged knees, and hinged ankles to point his toes down; the shoulders are a little awkward from the way they're limited on a rotation axis due to the moving inner shoulder piece de-transforming when you try to counter the problem, but otherwise the arms and legs have good range of motion. The figure stays together nicely, although the shoulders as I said are easy to move down when you don't want to. Wheeljack stands well too thanks to long heelspurs and a slight spread-leg foot position, it's not a lot of foot surface so there's not a ton of single-legged stability, but you can get him to stand on 1 foot with a high kick.
WHEELJACK TRANSFORMATION: This is nearly as good as the deluxe, the body splits down the middle and hinges open at the top, then the waist unpegs from the chest to fold back under the car, the shoulders swing far back, the feet fold into the nose of the car, the legs come together and the arms become the car sides to lock it all up. Nothing pops out of position or gets in the way, yet it's not too simple either. Going back to bot mode is a breeze, the only issue is that the shoulders feel like they want to lock into something that they don't.
WHEELJACK VEHICLE MODE: Pretty good, and it even fills in the car nose where the deluxe left that gap. Ground clearance is decent, the nose is low but everything else is good and it rolls adequately. The vehicle mode holds together ok, but the design seems like the tolerances required to keep the front end tight were higher than the factory could deliver so it spreads a tiny bit at the fender and hood seams where they meet the windshield and doors.
Sculpting is alright, there's a lot of detail still and it feels authentic - although the windshield is still much larger than it should be, and the flares behind the side windows is fatter. The one area that compromises is the spoiler, they sculpted it but it's not hollow beneath so it's a brick at the back of the car. Sculpting is still soft, but it doesn't hurt as much as bot mode. The wheels are not softly sculpted, and have nice detail on the tread and hubs, they're actually side-specific, but they're on the wrong sides so they're cutting into the wind instead of away from it, a really small thing of course but funny. The swords can be pegged into the roof, although not in the orientation shown in the instructions - blades angled down - so only flat or up.
Paint is good, but without the extra colors in bot mode, the lack of gray on the hood and the rear window louvers leaving white plastic stands out a bit; the wheels are cast in gray plastic with metal hub pins.
WHEELJACK ACCESSORIES: Not as good as they could be, but ok. A mirror twin set of swords cast in rigid blue plastic, about the same hardness as Cyb Starscream's. They're very low on detail, with just the general shape of the blade and a very small bit at the hilt. They do sport a 3mm peg handle plus shorter pegs at the hilt, facing the side and facing out from the hand.
INSTRUCTIONS: The instructions are pretty small for a set like this, Wheeljack's entire instructions are on the back, and while for once nothing's explained wrong, there's a number of things missing. For one, there's no mention of Wheeljack's swords at all in robot mode, and the final image in his transformation shows the swords attached to the car in a way they can't be used because there's no peg for that.
More importantly though, there's a few really nifty features on the Jackhammer which are entirely ignored and deserved mention. The Energon Booster light gun has a long cable/hose, that cable/hose has a hatch which it can be fully stowed in and is a massive improvement visually. They've also ignored that the Energon Booster can be slid into the back of either missile launcher to light up the missile from the back. They don't mention that the vehicle sports several 3mm and even a pair of 5mm holes to attach weapons to. They ignore that the gun on top of the cockpit can be removed to be hand-held and attached elsewhere, they downplay the same on the Energon Booster (although the package mentions it can be plugged into Cyb Commander figures). And finally, they don't mention the clip on the right wing and rail on the left wing, these are Cyberverse playset connection points, why not play this up since there's the DOTM Ark and Energon Driller as well.
JACKHAMMER FLIGHT MODE: A mixed bag, but leans towards ok. In terms of accuracy, it's recognizable but there are a lot of compromises here -- they widened the wings' stance I think so that the battle mode could hold Cyb Commander figures, as the fat missile launchers could have been done inboard; there's those fat missile launchers and their red armatures; the cockpit doesn't flare out to the sides because those missile launchers need to swing forward; the nose is fatter and missing the facing "pinchers"; the wings don't drop below the underside; and it's just generally more a cockpit box and then a lot of ship behind it, so it's not as sleek as it should be. The cannon on top of the cockpit only further obfuscates things, removing it gives the ship a lot of its personality back, but there is an argument for leaving it on which I'll get to in a moment. The wings are recognizable, big cutters at the front and angled gundam-like "feathers" at the back; the outer sculpting and paint is pretty good, the inner sculpting looks like shallow mold cavities but it's not terrible, if they had painted it though it'd look a lot less cheap. There's a lot of sculpted detail, almost too much actualy as the Jackhammer is a bit sleek and this comes off busy. The cockpit has plenty of detail even on the inside of the hatch, but a control panel screen - even a sticker - would improve things over the blank spot where it should be. The underside also gets sculpted detail, thankfully, but there's not a lot of thought given to where the ship gets its propulsion, just a small pair of hover vents.
In terms of features, it rolls on shallow red wheels on the underside, and if you don't like to look at them the rear pair can be popped out easily (the front one can be removed, but it's surrounded so it'd be a chore). There's a large firing missile launcher on either side. An autobot symbol highlights the button which lights up the Energon Booster (I'll detail that separately) and in stock configuration that continues into the cannon above the cockpit, light-piping its nose and a narrow stretch in the midsection. There's no real moving parts aside from the transformation and the opening cockpit, unfortunately no variability on the wings. The cockpit canopy opens forward, and there's a clever thing with the Energon Booster light in how it attaches to the rest of the cannon (assuming you don't move them to other areas), they sculpted it so that the front half of the cannon goes with the canopy while the light gun half stays on the main body and the canopy just barely clears it. The size is good for whooshing, it's mostly solid except for the missile launchers which wobble a bit on their armatures.
The cockpit holds Wheeljack cleanly, there's even enough space for him to wear his swords on his back crossed to the sides while sitting in the seat, but you'll not be able to fit a second figure in there at the same time, and no Cyb Commander I own will fit without removing all their limbs. I could juuuust barely fit Legion Evac in there, it wasn't pretty how contorted he was and it seemed his hips were about to break; Arcee fit in there ok with the wings folded forward; but Breakdown's shoulders were way too wide to let him in.
Moving the cannon from the top to the nose hints at the hidden guns seen on the show since the cannon is flanked on either side by a smaller round gun.
JACKHAMMER BATTLE MODE: A chunky slider towards the rear causes the ship to widen at the rear lower area, which slides the lower parts of the wings out so they angle about 30 degrees up to the top of the ship, and also triggers the missile launchers to jump forward so they sit just above and to the side of the cockpit. At first, I really didn't like this look, it's complicated and messy, the wings looked good angled like that but the cannons so far forward and just looked terrible to me as a vehicle - they're really meant to be an attack platform at this point, but they ruin the flight look. Apparently someone on the design team agreed with me, because the gearing which drives them forward is soft enough to allow them to be pushed back, and even though they can't take the flight mode position due to the wings, there's a midway stop so they sit higher but much further back. The missile launchers in either position wobble a bit more than before with nothing to brace them now, mine has the metal pins vary in how loose they are, the left side is acceptable, the right side front was not, and they're hidden behind the wings so tapping them in is a chore, and they still will wobble from the inherent play in their design. The ship's overhead and side profiles look pretty decent in this configuration, even if the cockpit is still a bit boxy.
As a battle station, it's really just a pair of flat surfaces behind a pair of massive cannons. The flat surfaces for the figures to stand on have the hexagonal waffle holes reminiscent of the DOTM Ark playset's floor. The gaps are wide enough to allow Cyb Commanders to use the cannaons, and the flip-back control grips have 3mm pegs at the top and bottom, so no matter how short a Legion figure is it should be able to man these guns. Cyb Commanders look ok using the guns, it's not too cramped. Wheeljack has to be slightly de-transformed at the shoulders to get his hands to line up with the grips, just a little oddity as it doesn't look too bad. The cockpit canopy opened helps convey a battle station concept, Cyb Commanders can stand in there and just barely peer out the gap at the top, fire around the sides.
The deco is acceptable, the base plastic is gray; then there's red plastic for the armatures, gun grips, and wheels; red paint accents on the wings; metallic off-black at the front of the wings; dark metallic gray for the missile launchers and floor extensions; clear blue for the fronts of the missile launchers, the cockpit canopy window, and the removable cannon and Energon Booster light gun; clear flexible hose stuffed with a red wire, a black wire, and a white string attached to the Energon Booster; and finally clear yellow with a hint of green for the missiles - they pick up light very well.
ENERGON BOOSTER LIGHT UP GUN: This is a feature they talked about a bit at Botcon last year, the idea being a modular light source built into these playsets to illuminate accessories, Cyb Commanders, and even Voyagers. On the Jackhammer, this is found as a pistol at the back of the cannon at the top of the ship, the pistol tethered to a flexi-hose with wires stuffed inside. Press a button and it lights up, the button here has an added clicker for audible feedback, better than nothing I guess. The pistol has some sculpted detail, and sports a 3mm peg at the top and bottom, minicon-style 5mm hollow pegs (the kind with 3mm holes in the middle) at either side and at the front, a small fin, and inside is a green LED. I'm not sure why they went with a green LED over a blue one, I could assume cost since they are a few cents cheaper, green doesn't shine through as well as blue would have but it does contrast in it better... when it works.
I do have to credit Hasbro with including a string in the flexi-hose alongside the wires, if the gun is pulled too hard the string should help keep the wires from ripping out. And I can't say enough about including an opening storage hatch to put the excess into. But I have to say, using a clear hose over an opaque or even blue-tinted one was a massive mistake, exposed wiring just looks bad.
The pistol is small enough to be held by Legion figures and not look odd. The LED is pretty bright for a green one, clear blue plastic obviously leaks a lot of the LED light out the pistol, this becomes a notable issue when using it to light up accessories or figures, it works ok for the blue of the Autobot Cyb Commanders but does absolutely nothing to the Decepticon red of Starscream's torso. Some Cyberverse figures' accessories peg into the tip easily while others don't clear it at all. The green light doesn't do anything for Starscream's accessories, gives a marginal light to the area around the peg on Breakdown's accessory, lights up Bumblebee's accessory ok but that's one that only pegs into its grip not its rear peg, it does a marginal light effect on Ironhide and Bulkhead's accessories, and it does a fair job lighting up the clear hollow cannon that comes with the Jackhammer.
The Booster lights up Ironhide's chest windshield green, and Bulkhead's chest windows it does a small job but that's partly stacking a second set of slightly more opaque windows on top of the original ones, those light up quite well - I just don't know why you'd want to light any of this up green.
I already explained how leaving the light gun at the top of the cockpit connected to the cannon lights that up, removing the cannon leaves the light gun up there with a bare LED that's pretty bright.
An undocumented feature is the light gun can be plugged into the back of either missile launcher to light the missile up before it's fired (it's angle-specific, so it only fits in with the fin facing up). If you get the hose cleared right (either a lot of slack, or very little), you can leave the light gun in the launcher during transformation. Since the missile is yellow-green and the LED is green and the missile is dome-shaped, I was expecting it to really get brilliant, but it only does a middling job lighting up, good enough but not really impressive. You can see a lot of light lost not just out the back but through the light gun and through the missile launcher housing as well.
OVERALL: I'll call this a B, perhaps a little generous of a grade but it holds its own on value and concept even if the exeuction doesn't do everything it wants or you'd hope. Wheeljack is as good as a Legion figure could expect to be, I think; yes he's missing elbow articulation and he could be sharper, but the broad strokes make for a satisfying little Transformer.
The Jackhammer has some good ideas, even some clever ones, and its presence makes Cyberverse feel more like a working system. At the same time, there were compromises and cost-cutting measures, so it feels like it's about 75% of the way there. In some ways it's better than I expected, in others it's right along what I feared, but for the price it's certainly not terrible - at this price it's not even a risk assuming you can tolerate Cyberverse in the first place. I can find fun in it, and that's enough to let what works breathe.
That's a very good and in depth review, JT. I don't have the Star Hammer yet (I have the driller w/Knockout), but have been thinking about getting it. Based on what you have said here, I will probably pick it up soon.
Speaking of Wheeljack, I think he may just be the best deluxe in the Prime line so far. Vehicon is nice, but Wheeljack has everything going for him..a great transformation, awesome alt mode, the storage of his weapons, etc. I love that figure.
I feel the same way about Dead End, since he is basically the same, just with awesome jack-o-lantern halloween colors.
Completely agree with your review JT. Definitely worth a buy if you like the cyberverse system, IMHO. And I particularly enjoy having transforming robots who pilot ships. Always have. One of the reasons I loved the Master concept.