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  1. #1061
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    They haven't announced any voice casting for the movie yet, I fear it'll be lame stuff like Bernie Mac though.
    There's a list up at IMDB... you did see that Bernie Mac is on it didn't you? No voices for the bots on there yet though.
    plasticfetish.net

  2. #1062
    Comics:

    Hearts of Steel #1:
    This is the first Transformers comic in over 2 years
    (since Armada) that I can honestly say is *good*, and
    worth reading wholly on objective merit. This is the
    first in IDW's series of "Elseworlds" style comics.
    Normally, I despise the whole "lets apply this gimmick
    or genre convention to the franchise because....."
    idea. But, the Elseworlds concept, when done
    correctly, can yield some great stories. When
    exploited to its full potential, it can bring in new
    readers. IDW making a solid attempt at this, using
    Chuck Dixon as a writer. The Industrial Revolution is
    a good setting to apply Transformers to, and Dixon is
    exploiting the progress angle well. Grade: A Full
    steam (pun intended) ahead!

    Official Transformers Fan Club Magazine
    April/May '06 Issue:
    The fan-wank, erm fan-club comic consists of several
    "in-house" advertorial style articles, some toy
    previews, and a comic. The advertorials are about par
    for course. If you can stomach White Dwarf articles,
    you can handle this. The preview pics, while dated,
    are clear, and well handled. And, the Alvarez
    written article about the old BW2 Niagra Base is well
    written. (As a point of information, the toy was
    originally produced for a non-TF line, which explains
    the off-scale detailing Alvarez notes in the article.)

    The real meat of the issue is the comic, and the
    accompanying time-line, written by Allspark's MSipher.
    Now, as I am about to give a very harsh review to
    content written by a fan (who is affiliated with a
    very large board no less), let me say that I am
    reviewing the work, not the man. I have never met
    Sipher (unless I unwittingly blundered into him at a
    convention), and have nothing to say about him besides
    painfully obvious ovbservations like, "he is a
    transfan". Put simply, the comic is terrible. It
    makes the worst hackfest I pick up and the local shops
    look good. And, the timeline is neither comprensive,
    not comprehensible. Rather than resolving points of
    confusion about the comic and franchise in general, it
    only adds to the confusion. For example, does the
    comic take place on cartoon, or comic Cybertron. And,
    if one or the other, does not the timeline's linking
    of the two violate its stated rule of not following
    characters, but events. And, if the timeline follows
    events, why does Omega Point not connect to Wreckers,
    and Universe? Why does Universe not clearly route to
    the current comic? Why does Sipher feel compelled to
    note that Axer (a very obscure character) dimension
    hops (despite never being shown to), by not Vector
    Prime (clearly shown to)?
    Overall, this type of effort is best undertaken after
    a decisive reboot. Sipher is trying to make sense fo
    the non-sensical. The main problem is that
    Transformers as a franchise does not have the
    intellectual capital, and institutional know-how to
    manage this kind of thing without it turning into a
    regretable session of "applying genre elements to a
    franchise because it seems kewl". I am assuming that
    Transformers is going to get a cold reboot by the end
    of this year. Perhaps a revised, and more disciplined
    timeline would be appropriate then. Grade: D

    Toys-

    Longrack:
    This is one of the 4 infamous retools from the
    Cybertron line. Like the other 3, Longrack is a vague
    reference to an older character. Unlike the other 3,
    Longrack is the only one to note refer to a US
    character, and instead refers to a character from the
    Japanese BWNeo series. The steam-shovel vehicle mode
    is a bit too pedastrian to be consistent with the
    Cybertron key, but it does do a good job of evoking
    the giraffe beast mode the original Longrack had.
    Additionally, the coloring around the cockpit does a
    good job of evoking an animal's face. The key works
    from both an engineering and aesthetic perspective.
    The key unlocks, but does not deploy (a rarity for
    this line) the shovel gimmick, and looks good as an
    ornament. Grade: B partyboss@fastmail.fm

    Universe Downshift:
    This is a KB exclusive recolor of the Energon mold.
    Aside from a gaudier paint scheme, nothing much has
    changed for this toy. The combination tabs are still
    present, thought the instructions do not mention them
    (as there is no combination partner offered in the
    Universe line). There are some nice touches to the
    engineering, such as the legs, feet and shoulders.
    And, there are some blah touches. Interestingly, the
    tech specs seem to contradict the theory that this is
    the same character as Cybertron Downshift. The two
    coulc be reconciled, but it would likely be a hasty
    "fix", rather than any useful story addition. This
    mold is worth owning one of. Grade: B/C

    LoC RedAlert:
    This might be the only LoC toy that I actively
    dislike. The 'bot form is okay, but the vehicle form
    is something to write home and complain about. The
    vehicle form is lacking in basic elements (such as at
    least trying to hide the robot bits) to the point that
    one has to wonder why the designers ever bothered with
    this toy. The paint work is pretty good though,
    especially on the sigil. Still, this was 4 bucks I
    couls have spent on something else. Grade: D

  3. #1063
    Quote Originally Posted by plasticfetish
    There's a list up at IMDB... you did see that Bernie Mac is on it didn't you? No voices for the bots on there yet though.
    I have seen, but part of the list is based on rumors and such, a lot of the bigger name actors haven't actually had their parts publically revealed.


    Dom, I'm surprised to hear Hearts of Steel works, I wasn't expecting it to simply because it IS so much of a gimmick. I may just track this one down.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  4. #1064
    Hearts of Steel is fantastic. Why would you expect it to be bad? The "Elseworlds" gimmick has a pretty good track record.

    If you cannot find a copy, let me know.

  5. #1065
    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Guglieme
    And, I might have to get that TrU baxed set. Dang. What they should have used were the Robot Master molds, but without the wrong faction sigils.
    No.. the RM Beast Megatron sucked.

  6. #1066

  7. #1067
    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Guglieme
    How so? I never saw one.
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=view&alb...e=1000&start=0

    I think he just REEKS of suck.


    Hey JT. Can you link the fix for Ransack you did awhile back? I bought the repaint today (along with some other stuff that I'll get into after I go see Pirates) and I thought I would do them both at the same time.

  8. #1068
    www.geocities.com/jeditricks/ransack/


    I gotta admit, RM Megs looks kinda "meh" in that photo.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  9. #1069
    Wave 8 Basics:

    TF:CY Ransack GTS - I am not going to base this review on my Ransack review because that was before I discovered how to fix the rear wheel strut issue which make it a better toy.

    Paint-Deco: 3/5
    Black with a yellowy-gold, white, and translucent green, plus light metallic blue accents in key locations to bring out a few sculpted details. Overall, this is a better look than Ransack which was too simplistic, but GTS' colorscheme is a bit odd in its own rite. The rest works together even though it's strange, but the white is offputting in vehicle mode, gray or light gray-blue would have been a better choice. The trans green looks very good though, strangely the trans plastic of the weapon has been painted opaque rough black and gold; there's also black paint on the white waist. Bot mode's got more white which balances better, such as white paint on the face - the gold-painted eyes stand out well, why they painted over light-piping again though, I dunno, but if you shine enough light through the back of the head the green light shines through the eyes a tiny bit. The head is now black with green ears, but it doesn't show that much detail. The trans green chest isn't painted over like Ransack v1, instead it's clear with light blue vents and a small Decepticon logo in the middle. Overall, more details get paint, the colors are odd choice yet kinda work, but the white hurts.

    Vehicle Mode: 3/5
    Still a long, futuristic motorcycle, sleek and fast-looking. The clear green wheels are flat and wide, so the bike stands by itself perfectly, and my favorite feature of the figure is the empty middle of the wheels. The bike is still gappy in places it shouldn't be, and while solidly together, some parts move around too much and it still needs parts to be massaged into correct alignment. If it weren't so long, I'd like it a lot. The faux-windshield still doesn't align perfectly with the faring, sitting just a tiny bit up and forward, just like the original Ransack. The only kibble is the tops of the bot fists in the seat.

    Hasbro assembles the rear wheel struts on backwards so the wheel sits up way above the rear fender, this doesn't look good and pushes some parts out of the way, so I fixed it, it looks a lot better with the wheel closely following the contour of the rear fender and the key gimmick gun shooting horizontally rather than up in the air.

    Key Gimmick: 1.5/5
    Insert key into the weapon and the top flips over to become twin barrels minus the actual gun details, uninteresting in both modes. The weapon is too wide and has pieces that get in the way of poses, because of how it's integral to the vehiclet mode. There's one likely unintentional feature of GTS' translucent barrels being painted black and gold though, when you hold it up to the light, the light shines through the black a little.

    Transformation: 2/5
    I like how the head is revealed and the arms are revealed, but it's not an especially exciting one and not totally satisfying since some of the alignment seems questionable and the chest really needs to be better.

    The wheel strut fix changes the transformation slightly, the robot heels fold all the way into their voids in the feet in vehicle mode.

    Bot Mode: 2.5/5
    Ransack GTS is an awkward robot, he's got low shoulders with wide shoulderpads, long arms that go down to his knees, legs that make him sit way back to balance, really big narrow boots with long toes and heels, and a lot of kibble. His details get sorta lost in robot mode, the worst being the blankness of the torso elements. I don't like how the head sits on a neck plate now, the white plate sitting over black everything else makes it look very separate and not part of the bot which sucks since the head is already too small for the body. Overall, it's an unusual look for any robot and seems not quite finished, but it does have some odd charm to it too.

    Articulation: 4/5
    Ransack GTS has standard neck, shoulders, and waist, ball-jointed elbows, hips, and knees, a hinged lower torso so he can bow, and side-hinged upper biceps (the "flapping" joint). That's a lot of articulation for a Basic figure, but much of it doesn't like to work with other points in concert, the legs being the biggest problem there. Still, there's a lot of range of motion and pose potential if you can figure out how to keep him upright. At times the figure can look pretty stupid holding his large weapon, but there are some 2-handed poses where it really looks cool.

    Overall: C
    This is a mold I never loved, I liked some aspects of it but the overall falls flat in my book, yet this Ransack GTS recolor is less of an eyesore than the original, so that does give him a leg up. There's also an ineffable quality charm to this mold, he can win you over almost as if through sheer willpower so I do have to give this one props for that.

    --------

    TF:CY Giant Planet Minicon Team - Cool new Minicons, and they're eeeeevil Decepticon Minicons, if you believe their packaging (none sport Decepticon logos, just sculpted Minicon faction logos). I'm a pretty big fan of the Minicons in general, they pack a lot of cool stuff into a tiny little robot, and they're generally cheap. This is only the second set of new-mold Minicons sold alone since the Armada line, though this Cybertron line's other Giant planet Transformers all have new-mold Minicon pals as well.

    Paint-Deco: 4.5/5 (Deepdive); 3.5/5 (Longarm); 4/5 (Overcast)
    The colors all 3 figures have in common is the purple plastic used for hips and shoulders, it's neither a deep dark purple nor a red burgandy - intead right in the middle, and good for Decepticon use. All 3 also share a little bit of dark gray plastic, red detail paint; and Longarm and Overcast also share some dark blue plastic and silver paint. Deepdive and Overcast balance out very well in bot mode, and their dark colored plastic doesn't hide their sculpted details.

    Deepdive's alt mode is mostly that gray plastic with red paint details and light metallic blue oceanic camo - the overall look is perfect for the submarine alt mode, especially the neutral darker gray plastic. The robot mode uses the same colors plus the purple mentioned before, his face is a red visor, it all works together and looks good, if perhaps a bit simple.

    Longarm's alt mode is light green with purple grasper arms, some silver details, and a little red and dark gray paint - standard Constructicon colors, which is fine but I wish they were a little more subdued. I also wish the side windows were painted silver like the windshield. Bot mode adds dark blue thighs and a completely red face in its green head; the redistribution of darker colors helps balance out the overwhelming green. And they painted his feet, good choice.

    Overcast's alt mode is dark blue with some purple plastic, silver painted details, and a little gray; the amount of purple plastic depends on if you leave the missiles loaded, with them in it's almost half purple, with them set aside it's a lot less and more in check by the overall dark blue, which is how I prefer it. The alt mode underside is more of a hodgepodge of dark blue, silver and purple. In bot mode, there's a little more purple and silver in action, yet it all balances out smartly. The only new color is the red of the eye visor.

    Alternate Mode: 4.5/5 (Deepdive); 3/5 (Longarm); 4/5 (Overcast)
    Deepdive is an attack submarine, the conn tower is 2/3rds of the way back and has a powerlink hardpoint on top, the large, angled bow of the boat has 3 torpedo tubes on either side, and everywhere you look there are little rectangular cuts around the shapes like rivets, as well as other small details which gives this a fantastic look. One thing I find odd is that the boat tapers up from the stern to the back almost like forced-perspective, maybe this is accurate but it seems a trifle unusual. The only kibble is the bot head, which faces into the back of the conn tower so it's barely noticable, and the front of the fists in the back of the engines. I like how sealed up and solid this is, even the underside is closed as much as possible, except for the powerlink port.

    Longarm is a crane truck I guess, it has a large forward section followed by a long, narrower utility section, the shape reminds me slightly of RID Optimus. If it weren't for the lack of wheels in the middle area, it might look like a truck hauling a separate piece, but alas no. There's a fixed digger/grasper claw which sits over the cab, and a narrower fixed crane arm - that looks mostly retracted - with closed hook which hangs way off the back; both can rotate and are hinged at the "shoulder", but can't lean down past horizontal. There's plenty of sculpted details, but the utility area's details are a bit generic; the 6 rolling wheels are also ridiculously small. There's no bot kibble though, and the powerlink port is at the middle underside. It's mostly solid, but the back half of the utility part isn't locked in so it can be easily pushed down out of position.

    Overcast is a large cargo jet with high, wide wings, a tall tail, a large fuselage... and gigantic missile launchers under each wing. The missiles are a tiny bit longer than the plane itself, they're marble-shooter style - which is the worst of the worst in my book (they look like crap AND they don't fire worth a damn) - with big, rounded, tech-detailed warheads at the front that don't really look like anything here, just an ugly, oversized distraction; with missiles removed, the launchers - which tab into the underside of the wings - aren't very distinct but are more passable as weapons pods or engines... with pinchers in front. The plane has some good detailing with little windows and jet engines, but nowhere as good as Deepdive's sculpt. The powerlink port is on the underside just behind the nose; bot kibble includes the missile-launcher arms under the wings, and the waist and thighs at the midsection. The front half of the plane just ahead of the wings is easy to knock askew down at the transformation hinge, but is otherwise solid. I like this vehicle, but the missiles have to go.

    Transformation: 2.5/5 (Deepdive); 4/5 (Longarm); 3.5/5 (Overcast)
    Deepdive's transformation has the bow split and rotate into boots while the rest of the hull splits in half to become arms and big shoulders, then the head folds back and locks the shoulders into place. It's a bit cheap, and the card art - both drawing and photo - show the shoulders as long arms which works better, but the hands and instructions suggest that is wrong.

    Longarm's transformation isn't complex, the legs are in fact quite ordinary, but the torso - while simple - is fun and creative, with half the body folding in half to meet itself and reveal the head, the waist then rotates into place; the waist has just 1 stop-point, at the vehicle mode location which is just right. Any transformation where I want to see it as a deluxe or larger is a dandy one.

    Overcast's transformation in the instructions is just wrong, there's no way around it, there's a second joint in the fuselage that has no use in the instructions and could only be there to raise the large front fuselage up to neck height, then let that front fuselage fold down to become the chest - there's even sculpted lines inside that double-hinge which could only be seen by doing this. The corrected transformation is a bit tough to hinge over, but holds well and is visually superior. The head flips up, the waist and legs swing down, and the arms just lower to position, the part Hasbro doesn't mention is the only really nifty part, the rest is good but standard.

    Bot Mode: 3/5 (Deepdive); 3.5/5 (Longarm); 4/5 (Overcast)
    Deepdive is unusual, he's got these thin but very wide boots with long feet, a narrow body, a simple round head with a full-face visor, short forearms, and then VERY TALL SHOULDERS - the figure is 6cm to the head, and the shoulders from joint to top are 3.5cm more! The shoulders are too much kibble, they actually offset the humungo-boots but this is a ridiculous amount and use of kibble. As mentiond prior, the card shows them shoulders as his arms, which - while long - is vastly superior to the skyscrapers trying to pass as shoulders because the actual forearms are so very short that they make unnoticable shoulders. The actual forearms end in little fists sculpted into the inner half of the alt mode engines. I like the new distribution of detail, but the back of the bot gets almost none. I can accept his oddities, but I dunno if everybody can. And he's solid, nothing comes off or flops about.

    Longarm reminds me a lot of another Minicon, Bonecrusher in the Armada line, they both have a stocky build, 1 longer arm, and wheels in the middle of the chest. Longarm's shoulders look good until you use them and realize they're a bit too low, his shovel arm and crane arm both end with claw-like hands, and while neither match they're not too vastly different (not too much wider or longer than each other). His legs are big boots with even larger kibble panels up above his knees. Although like most Minicons, Longarm has a tiny head, if you look close he actually has a good head details and even well-sculpted eyes, a nose, and a mouth that suggest he's about business - luckily the paint lets this show rather than covering it up. He's got some detail all around, but the light color covers it up. I like his bulky robot look more than I expected, he almost got a "4" here. He's also solid, his torso locks into place so no flopping like in alt mode.

    Properly transformed, Overcast reminds one a lot of Cybertron's Jetfire, both are cargo jets that have the heads flip up from the top, and use the front fuselage as a chest and the wings as shoulders, only Overcast has a solid middle. His head is a simple affair, square, notched, with a wrap-around visor at the eyes and little else. Overcast's tail turns into his legs, they make good boots with long heels from the jet tail, so the tail is oversized for no reason at all really. The missiles don't overwhelm bot mode as much as alt mode, they kinda seem like melee weapons this way, but he's far better without 'em; the elbows are fixed at 90-degrees, without the missiles his hands are large immobile claws. I really like this guy, maybe more than he deserves. Again, another solid bot mode.

    Articulation: 2.5/5 (Deepdive); 3.5/5 (Longarm); 3.5/5 (Overcast)
    Deepdive has hinged elbows and hips, ball-jointed knees and limited ball-jointed shoulders, plus a little side-hinge action for the shoulders in the chest, and you can point the feet down from transformation. There's really not all that much he can do with his articulation though, the kibble gets in the way a lot, the elbows are worthless thanks to the stubby forearms, and the legs are limited by the boot size. At least he can stand like a champ.

    Longarm has rotating and hinged shoulders, rotating waist, and hinged knees. As I mentioned before, the shoulders look a little odd in action but they get the job done. The waist articulation adds a lot of pose potential as usual. The knee articulation would look better if not for the kibble in front. Even with hollow-back feet, he stands fine too.

    Overcast has ball-jointed shoulders and hips, and hinged knees, plus you can point his toes from transformation. Although not that much articulation, he has the most range of motion and is the only one I can leave in a dynamic pose without him falling over. There are limitations, but he does more with less which impresses me. Despite the small feet and distant heels, he stands well even with his missiles.

    Overall: A-
    This is another good new Minicon set, all 3 molds are satisfying and none have awful colors or anything I'd call a deal-breaker. Deepdive's shoulders are weird, but he has charm to make up for it. At the Basic pricepoint, this set is pretty nifty and I think worth picking up if you like Minicons at all.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  10. #1070

    Transformers Unleashed

    Somebody explain to me why Hasbro hasnt come out with a Transformers Unleashed series. Think of the posibilities... Grimlock unleashed... Devastator unleashed... Wreck-Gar unleahsed.... I think it would be a great idea.
    Sigh... For once in my life i have nothing to say...

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