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  1. #4731
    I still like him... I'll definitely be buying the SDCC giftset.
    All Hail Darth Schmitsky!

  2. #4732
    I'm not saying I don't like him.

    I'm saying he'll be at least $60, based on current prices. And he's not the only figure out there.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  3. #4733
    Found Legion Breakdown at Target, bought him as my "last chance for Legion to shine" and he isn't that great. Decent vehicle mode, weak bot mode that's hampered by transformation issues and lack of sculpt and articulation.


    Quote Originally Posted by figrin bran View Post
    I don't really need a one episode wonder like Terrorcon Zombie Cliffjumper in my TFP collection but since that seems to be the best way to land the FE CJ mold, I guess I'm down for one.
    You do realize that Cliffjumper himself is a one-episode wonder, right?

    I bought TFP Knock Out, Bulkhead and Starscream (Voyagers) over the weekend. Originally was going to pass on SS but he looked pretty good in the TFP toy diorama that's in Universal's Transformers ride, which btw is soooooo awesome! The most egregiously unbearable elements of the Bayformer films are not in the ride. The 3-D works so much better than on Star Tours and the action never lets up. Without giving up too much away, when the Megatron projection punches your Evac vehicle, you really feel it!
    Glad to hear the ride is good.

    I look forward to hearing your notes on those figures.

    Btw JT, there's no sign of the Evac toys but I'll let you know when I finally have one for you. They're going to be around $20 before discount as that's what their deluxes are priced at. The scary thing is I just saw TFP deluxes at TRU at $16.49 so twenty isn't that much of a markup.
    Thanks for letting me know, I very much appreciate it.

    Which TRU had deluxes that high? That's insane!


    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    I'm not saying I don't like him.

    I'm saying he'll be at least $60, based on current prices. And he's not the only figure out there.
    Yeah, he will be. And he'll still be compromised, he should cost MORE because Onslaught should have been a frickin' Voyager-class figure, and there shouldn't have been so many compromises in Blast Off and Vortex.
    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. #4734
    Reading some of yall's finds is making me jealous.

    I haven't found anything new in the last little while. I am currently trying to find the new legion figures (Evac, Breakdown, and Mirage) plus the new voyagers (that Figrin got) and of course the new deluxes like Knock Out and Vehicon.

    Speaking of Vehicon, I did pick up another legion figure of him. That makes 3 I have now. My goal is to have 5.
    "You know I love the guy but I swear he writes like freaking Yoda."-Dean Winchester
    R12:2-Be Transformed

  5. #4735
    Spotted more remnants of the TFPrime Cyb Legion Evac wave at Target, these seem to be hitting hard, that's your best bet right now J&H.

    Here's my reviews on Legion Breakdown and Cyb Commander Bulkhead...


    Legion Breakdown - I figured I'd give Legion one last chance, it was new and I haven't found figures in a while.

    Alt Mode: Alright, but not outstanding. Size is a hair taller than other Legion vehicles I have but a hair shorter nose-to-tailpipe so it evens out. Ground clearance is measurable only in microns and not just from one part but nearly the whole thing. Almost no paint in vehicle mode, just silver on the grille and bumper (a little sloppy) and black for the windows and spare tire. Front half of the vehicle has a nice sculpt, back half loses focus a bit so that the notes are there but they're not crisp enough to sell themselves; rear end has a big spare tire and then a look at the underside of robo-feet. Seams aren't too bad and no gaps except a few small ones at the top and the robot feet. Three 3mm ports in alt mode, although only 2 can be used at one time: center of spare tire, 2 holes over the drivers and passengers part of the cabin, very close together. Quite solid, if you forget where to start the transformation you'll have a hard time finding anything to move. The figure's accessory plugs into any hole, is a clear purple enlarged version of the alt mode blaster seen in his first episode, it's nearly as long as the truck so it's about double-scale.

    Transformation: Instructions printed sideways and small, not the best angles chosen for the concept. Basically, lower rear half drops down to become legs, front half unfolds up and around to become shoulders and arms, upper rear half folds down to become torso. Part of the time it feels clever, the other part it feels lazy, objectively it's probably closer to clever but the shoulders and torso using only friction to stay in place makes it feel less than it is. Both to and from requires a specific order to things. I suspect this transformation could be too much for a younger consumer, like under 8, but nothing feels like it's going to break.

    Bot Mode: Maybe 40% wider than other Legion figures, but around 15% shorter than them too, so he's way underscaled to Cyb Cmdr Bulkhead unfortunately. Robot mode looks ok if not spectacular right up until you get to the shoulders, then it's a lesson in too much compromise since the shoulders stick way out and the arms are almost to the floor, and neither really look like anything -- the shoulders are silver with wheels in the back and the broadest of strokes for detail, the arms are hollowed out kibble with fists 3/4s of the way up, and the detail styling between the upper and lower arms don't match for crap. Actually, the upper legs and tiny waist really aren't character-accurate either and keep him from being the more brutish character he should be. Deco is blue plastic, silver paint at the waist, a small purple Decepticon faction logo at the chest, black thighs, silver head crest, orange face, and yellow eyes. The face paint is ok, but missing silver around the sides; the face sculpt is only so-so even for a Legion figure. The hands are standard 3mm C-fists, somewhat deep for a Legion figure, with extra kibble jutting out ahead of them. Breakdown has the three 3mm ports from alt mode (tire is on his back, roof holes are outside each forearm just ahead of the fist), plus 2 more at the top of each shoulder, and each hand is one obviously. He's not as fragile as other Legion figures I own, though.

    Articulation: Shoulders are limited-range ball-joints that can shrug up/down maybe a total of 20 degrees and can swing back thanks to transformation (it looks better, but causes balance issues); sideways-hinged elbows from transformation; and ball-hinged hips. He has transformation-hinged knees but they only go in the wrong direction. Watch for chest and shoulder-panel detransformations during posing as they're only friction-held in bot mode.

    Accessory: Character-specific, nice sculpt with a lot of details, fairly accurate, has a 3mm peg for the grip and another at the back end so he can hold it like a sword or just beat people down with his gun. The middle of the gun has a 3mm port just behind the grip from side to side. Purple color is right between the red and blue zones, fairly muted and not too see-through. Isn't too long for bot mode, although his apish arms need to be posed as high as possible to keep it from hitting the ground when holding it down.

    Overall: D for the overall brand, C plus if gauged by other Legion. This is a figure with too many compromises, which is the norm for Legion, but I think it's the last time I bother giving Legion a chance. Vehicle mode looks alright but not outstanding and can't roll at all. Transformation is ok but ends with friction stops. Robot mode is let down by giant arms, weak articulation, and so-so sculpting. The best thing about this figure is its accessory. But nothing about this purchase has convinced me that Legion is a worthwhile expression for the brand, and it's not the figure's fault, but the very design philosophy behind the entire expression which ultimately makes this guy a mild let-down.


    ----


    Cyberverse Commanders Bulkhead

    After getting shrimpo disappointo the other day (see prev review), I realized I better make up my mind about what I wanted to do about Bulkhead. I really like the way the First Edition looks, but I don't like the character enough to pour that much fundage into getting one. I liked the look of the Cyb Cmdr, but saw that its back was horribly hollow. Then the images of the RID Voyager Bulkhead came out, and yucko! Unpainted windows, horrible chest design, gigantic ugly weapon, and smaller than the FE. After some consideration, I went with the Cyb Cmdr yesterday.

    Alt Mode: Decent size, a good size for a basic, about on-par with the mass of DOTM Cyb Cmdrs, taller and wider but a little shorter. Sculpt looks really good except below the vehicle where bot kibble pokes out the front and rear almost to the ground. The sides are a little seam-y, and the rear wheel wells aren't well-defined, but otherwise good detail. Deco is mostly good, silver and off-black for the grille and bumper and headlights; off-black for the windshield and front windows, although the rear side windows are painted in pine green like the areas around the windows, so those rear side windows are essentially unpainted; red for the taillights; most of the truck is cast in green plastic except for lower half of the doors which is painted in a non-matching olive green, and just above that on the back doors is unpainted dark gray plastic; and oddly the roof and hood have clear-blue plastic insert panels in their details, but it looks alright. The deco looks alright, but the further back it goes the worse it gets. Vehicle mode sports 3 of the 3mm ports, one dead center on the roof and one on either rear fender; the figure's accessory - a mix between the flail ball and the blaster barrel - can be plugged onto the roof so it acts as a blaster mounted on the windshield.

    Transformation: Pretty satisfying, so long as you remember that the hood and waist are on a single strut that have to move together. The legs fold out, feet rotate up, waist drops down to pull the hood up which pegs into the chest, wheels fold down while arms fold out, rear half splits. It's got a good amount going on for a Cyb Cmdr, not the best and not the worst, but good without being fiddly - you feel like something has happened. The instructions make the transformation frustrating in one way, they don't mention the hood has to be unpegged from the chest and the strut the waist is on has enough flex to make it that much more confusing. A nice thing about going back to alt mode is that the forearms lock into the biceps, and then the rear wheels lock onto the forearms.

    Bot Mode: Height is slightly taller than Cyb Cmdr DOTM Optimus Prime and considerably wider, but Cmdr TFP Starscream is taller than Bulkhead. What you gain in height and width though you lose in the back as the figure is indeed tragically hollow for the entirety of the back of the torso - for me, this is not a deal-breaker as the figure looks good from the front and sides, but the sculpted details inside the torso don't hide such a huge empty cavity either; it's odd, the shoulders have a pair of big kibble shoulderpads not present on the character design, those shoulderpads have their own kibble panels folded up on them, and one has to wonder why the designers didn't simply use any of that stuff to cover the figure's back. The underside of each forearm is a tad gappy as well. Speaking of character accuracy, while this Bulkhead has a big torso, it's not as big and round as the show character, and his legs aren't as short in comparison to the torso either; the figure looks really good, more of a believable bot in fact and yet still a brute, but as intended the figure does stray quite a bit from the show. There are some steps to alleviating that however, folding the wheels back one click, folding the shoulderpads down a click, and folding the thighs back with the knees folded forward changes the proportions considerably closer towards the show layout - you can also hinge the shoulder struts up a click if the arms are too gorilla-like that way. I'll upload 3 quick shots to explain, as well as compare to Cyb Legion Breakdown:
    Full height:
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images...mag0070sq.jpg/
    Redistributed down:
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images...mag0071tb.jpg/
    Same with shoulders up:
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images...mag0072vl.jpg/
    Not great, but if you gotta have Bulkhead shaped like the show, it's something you could do. I actually prefer the figure like picture 2 except with the legs straight, the shoulder armor looks more like the show and the wheels are closer to their proper height without sticking out the back too far.

    Anyway, deco is good, silver face with blue eyes on a green head hits the mark, and the blue panels on the chest break up the area to feel more like the show even though the sculpt really doesn't have much in common. An off-black Autobot faction symbol is tampo'ed onto the side of either forearm. The translucent parts are the "back" (mainly the back of the collar area; the stops for the wheels over the shoulders; and the chest panels inside and outside the hood - all cast in light blue translucent plastic that does an ok job catching light but doesn't really look exciting when lit with natural light because it's just a bland light blue color, not electric blue or purple or red or anything good. The arms under the shoulders are well-sculpted and under the shoulder armor actually have the show's shape; the feet are a decent sculpt with a big fake wheel inside that looks really nice (oddly, this is the opposite of the RID figure which has a real wheel inside and a faux wheel outside); the legs are alright but the faux kneecaps are way too low (they're accurate to the character, but the length of the rest of the legs aren't). The figure overall has a lot of personality in his sculpt and deco, he hits the right notes.

    Cmdr Bulkhead towers over Legion Breakdown, nearly twice as tall. They're almost the same width at the shoulders, but that's more due to Breakdown's crummy design since the rest of him doesn't scale to that. Vehicle modes are similarly out of scale.

    Articulation: Pretty good, especially for a brute type. Head swivels maybe 30 degrees either way; shoulders are ball joints that are restricted by kibble but since all the kibble is articulated you can easily move it out of the way to increase range of motion; shoulders are on struts that can hinge up to shrug, there's even a stop to keep them at 45 degrees up; elbows and hips are unrestricted ball joints; knees are hinged; and due to transformation the toes can point down. The feet are sculpted for a slightly spread-leg pose rather than dead flat which is nice. The right shoulder ball joint on mine pops out occasionally although cleaning the ball joint did lessen that.

    Accessory: Bulk comes with a translucent light blue version of his flail-hand that's sculpted at the front to also be his blaster-barrel-hand. The accessory is sculpted like the show version of his forearm, it plugs into the outer side of either wrist to slip over the top of the fist but not around it - the fist is still totally visible from the top, but the outside and front the accessory covers around that, and looks alright. The accessory also has a 3mm peg at the rear to be held like a hammer, and one on either side of the flail end itself (these pegs are a little thinner than other 3mm pegs) as well as a 3mm hole at the emitter end and 2 more holes on the opposite sides of the flail. It's cast in the same clear plastic as Bulk's body, but not being surrounded by green plastic helps it look more exciting and alive than the rest. Bulkhead loses the roof 3mm hole, keeps the 2 on the sides of the rear fenders, and gains 2 more holes on the side of each forearm - one mid forearm and the other at the wrist; he's also got 3mm C-fists; and his back sports a 3mm peg which the accessory can peg onto to help fill out the hollowness of the back a little (even though it's much too narrow to fill all that gap, it actually does help a bit).

    Overall: B minus. That is a generous score for a smaller figure with a $8-$10 pricetag sporting a big flaw in the form of a wide open back, but the figure gains a lot on personality, sculpting, transformation, and his accessory and articulation ain't too bad neither. The back is a problem that has no real solution so not all collectors will be able to accept this, but I guess I don't look at figures that much from the angle because I find it's still a very fun figure even knowing its limitations; more importantly, it seems like this Bulkhead figure's issues aren't as much a drag on the figure as the RID Voyager one's look to be. I suspect if the FE had been available, I wouldn't have bothered buying this Cyb version at all, but alas and alack... it seems to me the only reason to get RID Voyager Bulkhead is so that when RID Voyager Breakdown comes out they can party.


    PS - Problem solved!

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images...mag0073xm.jpg/

    Not actually, it's super loose on that peg, but c'mon, it looks pretty badass and is exactly and the right size and peg clamp location to cover that gap, perfect. I am thinking this may have to be a permanent thing, it fixes Bulkhead's back and it gives him a wicked jetpack, while sad-sack DOTM Optimus never looked good using it, what's not to love?
    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.

  6. #4736
    First, I have a quandry and could use more opinions. I found Legion Evac today and bought, but when I got him home, 2 metal pins were rusty (naturally the ones not showing in package) and one of them is an axle pin which makes that wheel immobile and ugly at the hub. Should I just keep it, keep it and wait to find another, or return it now?

    Anyway, Legion Evac...

    Alt Mode: Nice design, very good lines, good color layout even if there's almost no paint. Big black windshield looks quite cool, but leaving the side windshields unpainted is not a good call; a pair of orange rectangles flank the spilers, and the jet nozzle towards the back is silver. The grille of the vehicle has a number of gun barrels painted dark silver, just above that on the nose off-center is a dark red Autobot faction logo. Has a pair of 3mm holes on either side. Vehicle is very wide and has a long wheelbase since wheels are at the outer corners. Ground clearance is minimal. Weapon doesn't look good pegged to the either side, no top hole for once despite space on the rear. The side's further-back peghole at least allows the weapon to clear the wheels though.

    Transformation: Very basic stuff - pull out arms, fold down hood, unfold back half of vehicle - only clever bit is how the rear skidplates lock into the spoilers when they become knees together. Hood-as-chest doesn't lock at all.

    Bot Mode: Decent-looking for a legion, but still small and spindly and suffering from not enough transformation. Evac is a movie-based design and this figure tries to get there, but loses points for having simpler legs, a tiny head, kibble above and behind the arms, and a narrower chest - the chest actually looks good, just not accurate. There's nothing awful about the design, the kibble over the shoulders isn't outrageous for a movie-style TF, the stuff behind the arms is barely noticeable, and the rest of the kibble layout seems to jive with the ride character, but overall it's not terribly accurate to the character. The figure's proportions are very classic for TF from arm length to boot length and torso size, there's no craziness. Matte gray paint coats the lower torso and pelvis, as well as the actual face inside the "helmet", and the face gets tiny blue painted eyes; added to the colors is red on the biceps. Fine details are here and there, no blank or generic spots even inside cavities, it's not as detailed as a movie-style figure should be, and the lip service paid to the numerous gunbarrels is laughable here, but there isn't a feeling of laziness to it, just again not as much going on as the character actually has, and there's even a nice use of cut-aways for the grille-as-chest. Evac sports the same 3mm holes from alt mode, although a pair ends up outside the boots while the other is at the side of the bicep; no new pegholes are revealed in bot mode, aside from the very small C-fists. The tiny head holds it back from having any personality, and it's odd, they clearly could have made a bigger head without any trouble, there's enough room between the shoulder struts' articulation to clear a wider head. The figure doesn't feel brittle or fragile like other movie-based Legion designs at least.

    Articulation: Standard Legion poverty - ball-jointed hips and shoulders, hinged knees, swivel-front/back shoulder-struts. The shoulder struts give more expressive range to the upper body. The knees are a slightly unusual design, with the hinge low and almost entirely behind the boot/leg - on a deluxe or larger, this might not be forgivable, but at Legion scale it's easy to overlook. There's a little restriction to the ball-joints, but nothing too bad. The joints are all tight, you'll find the chest de-transforming while trying to move the stiff shoulder joints. The feet are sculpted to a slight spread-leg pose which is nice - flat footed Legion figures don't work well due to their light weight.

    Accessory: Bright pink translucent twin barrel flat wide blaster as long as Evac's arm. The grip is a straight 3mm peg, the back sports another 3mm peg to be beat people over the head with, each barrel is a 3mm peg, and just ahead of the grip is a 3mm hole clear through. Has a decent amount of detail and it's not entirely symmetrical, but it's still not particularly great looking (hideous color and large size hold it way back). Grip peg barely is deep enough for the hands, and the figure doesn't look better for holding it, it's better pegged to the side of an arm.

    Overall: C minus for the main line, A minus for Legion. I like this figure, the first Legion figure I can say that about. I still think the format is no friend to the brand in general, but this figure is alright on its own - it's a nice-looking vehicle, transformation gets the job done turning a wide, squat car into a classic TF robot. There isn't much holding the figure back aside from Legion-standard issues, there's a few missed paint opportunities, the accessory ain't great; but largely this is a pretty decent figure, and even has good personality for a guy we haven't really met yet.
    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.

  7. #4737
    JT, on the real Evac ride vehicle, those side windshields aren't painted at all and so in this instance, it's accurate I'm pretty sure that's done to restrict your vision so that you don't see all the hydraulics and elevator lifts and all that.

    Alright, TFP deluxe Knock Out, I don't recommend except for TFP completionists, which I still maintain I'm trying not to be. He is off model in both car and robot mode...rims should be yellow or golden, for instance. Paint apps aren't great on him and the maroon parts have almost a matte like texture...Knock Out himself would be so appalled!


    There are two gaping holes above the rear wheels for attachment of the spear he comes with, a concept that would have been better served leaving on the drawing board as it just looks too ridiculous with the spear running along the length of the car or else if you choose not to put the spear in, you have the two gaping holes on either side. And then the spear itself is poorly designed..while it can be separated into two sections, the pin that holds them together is so small that it falls apart with great ease.

    I'm not even sure if I transformed him correctly thanks to those nebulous and often misleading instructions.

    With the SW line, there has often been that one figure in a wave where Hasbro has lowballed us with inferior paint apps or sculpt or articulation. Well, unfortunately, Knock Out is the equivalent of that for wave 3 of the Transformer Prime deluxes.
    Red 6 or Bust - 2005 SSG Fantasy Football Champion
    bith tannen - 2006 SSG Fantasy Football Champion
    red 6 - 2008 SSG Fantasy Football Champion

  8. #4738
    Quote Originally Posted by figrin bran View Post
    JT, on the real Evac ride vehicle, those side windshields aren't painted at all and so in this instance, it's accurate I'm pretty sure that's done to restrict your vision so that you don't see all the hydraulics and elevator lifts and all that.
    Ah, I see. I thought they were real windows because the prototype for the Deluxe has them as windows.

    Alright, TFP deluxe Knock Out, I don't recommend except for TFP completionists, which I still maintain I'm trying not to be. He is off model in both car and robot mode...rims should be yellow or golden, for instance. Paint apps aren't great on him and the maroon parts have almost a matte like texture...Knock Out himself would be so appalled!


    There are two gaping holes above the rear wheels for attachment of the spear he comes with, a concept that would have been better served leaving on the drawing board as it just looks too ridiculous with the spear running along the length of the car or else if you choose not to put the spear in, you have the two gaping holes on either side. And then the spear itself is poorly designed..while it can be separated into two sections, the pin that holds them together is so small that it falls apart with great ease.

    I'm not even sure if I transformed him correctly thanks to those nebulous and often misleading instructions.

    With the SW line, there has often been that one figure in a wave where Hasbro has lowballed us with inferior paint apps or sculpt or articulation. Well, unfortunately, Knock Out is the equivalent of that for wave 3 of the Transformer Prime deluxes.
    Ouch, sounds bad. Thanks for the warning. That plus the awful photos out there of the sculpt and paint have me passing on this figure. I so badly need that Vehicon though.
    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. #4739
    More TFP reviews...

    Dlx Ratchet
    - I like this character on the show mainly due to his voice actor, Jeffery Combs. The legion looked meh, so I held out and finally got the dlx when I saw it.

    Alt Mode: Vehicle mode looks good, although nonsense since it's got this wedge in the back making it a support vehicle rather than an ambulance. Lack of color on white plastic hurts bad. Sculpting is decent, plenty of little details, although seams are a bit heavy - Ratchet's just cursed I guess. The robot shoulders bulge out the top and sides a little, it's an oddity, but it mainly gets away with that by simply not admitting to it, just sculpting around like it's not happening. Deco is pretty sparse, the front half gets all the color and that color is red, and apparently the message is "screw you if you don't like red" (silver is slapped onto the front grille and bumpers almost as an afterthought, and there's some pointless gray parts in the rear half). The middle gets white paint over translucent, it doesn't match for crap to the plastic. The windows are a nice light believable trans blue, but the back seat side windows are unpainted (this isn't uncommon on real ambulances, but is not show-model-accurate) and there's a thick red border around that non-window highlighting it's supposed to be SOMETHING. There's also 2 lines of red trim on the sides, the upper one clearly just stops without reason - because this is the abandoned lifeline logo that's missing and leaving the rear halves' sides so barren; the rear halves also are missing their thick red borders at the top and back edges. Other missing deco that just feels painfully absent is detail on the siren lights (it gets 2 red panels of nothingness), grille lights, silver awning things over the windshield, silver for the side mirrors, and TAIL LIGHTS - TAIL LIGHTS ARE RED AND THEY'RE STILL MISSING EVEN THOUGH RED IS THIS GUY'S ONLY COLOR!!!Alt mode sports 4 standard pegholes, a pair on the roof just behind midpoint, and a pair in the front bumper. The ultra-rubbery blades can be plugged into either, but are also designed to be hidden fully away by beinge pegged into small square tabs on the underside of the doors, it leaves the blade tips a few millimeters above the ground, but the robot legs at the front are the same distance and it's enough to clear fine. The truck rolls fine, feels solid although the seams never want to line up quite as nicely as they should.

    Transformation: is interesting, it feels somewhat movie-derived, lots of shell stuff moving into places that don't feel too much like kibble, the arms are almost clever, and the head pops up when the backpack is dropped down. The alt mode midsection really doesn't like moving though, it's locked by angled tabs and then has a section forced under the rear half, and there's clearance issues on the front half at the same time, it's a bit much the first time. The instructions aren't really clear on the shell parts becoming the lower legs' rear half, there are 2 tabs and the lower one locks into a cut-out on the boot but it's quite easy to miss or mistake another cut-out or tab.

    Robot Mode: Well, this is clearly Ratchet in sculpt, no doubt there. There are some liberties, like the lack of wheel-feet (that's fine, the wheels are on the insides of the feet, close enough) and the shoulderpads are smaller than the show (the show has kibble on his shoulderpads that seems to be from a wholly different alt mode), and the doors on the chest are clear facades, but the only one that bugs me is that they really copped out on his backpack by having it just a facade plate at the back of a central core. Aside from the backpack, viewing the forearms from the back shows how very hollow and shell-part they really are, so don't look that way; the back of the lower legs are hollow because they're kibble but it's not a visual problem since there's still a whole leg in there. The figure is rock solid in bot mode aside from the backpack facade which easily dislocates a bit. The head is pretty good, the panel lines and mouth sculpt are a little broad so his frown looks like he's bearing his teeth a little which isn't what they were going for but it gets a pass, the only real boo-boo in sculpt is the chin which juts out past the sides when it shouldn't. The pupils are sculpted into the eyes. No sculpted autobot logos tho'. There are little jet nozzles sculpted into the feet, what's that about? All the sculpting is soft, but that seems to be the case for all these mainline TFP figures; and like other TFP deluxes, he's small for the general pricepoint.

    Robot mode deco is enough of a thing that it gets its own paragraph. Here's what works without flaw: the silver for the stomach panel and face, the blue light-piped eyes which are absolutely perfect, ... and I'll say the black plastic hands, it's close enough. But everything else is either incomplete, wrong, or missing. The head sports red for the crest and chin, but lacks the ears and the inner part of the crest. Shoulderpads and torso are white with just the fronts painted red instead of being all-white, and there's just no excuse for this as none of these areas would show in vehicle mode - this means the backpack is all white instead of red as well. Pelvis is white instead of gray, but at least has the red detail at the top. There's missing paint on the feet, and the upper legs lack the paint for the sculpted lights. Even the facade doors at the chest have painted blue windows but are missing the thinner red line. And the forearms... the forearms should sport the lifeline on the side and red on top, instead they feature nothing but a vast blank white expanse. Oh, and of course no Autobot logo anywhere - apparently faction logos are out again. Overall, the deco is like the barest excuse for passable, there's just enough red to make him recognizable from the front, but he still looks painfully cheap. The worst part is that the biggest missing paint elements are all RED - this figure's chief paint color, so it's just that someone didn't feel the budget could afford cutting those shapes into the copper paint masks, they were hitting it with that paint either way!

    Articulation: Head is on a restricted ball-joint that acts as a swivel about 30 degrees (moving it up and down about 10 degrees is possible, but the "down" part often dislodges the spring panel neck which locks out movement until you sort it back into place); shoulders are on ball-joints that can raise out through cutouts in the shoulderpads; biceps swivel and have a hinge; elbow hinges; wrists can pivot down from transformation; waist swivels about 45 degrees; hips are ball-joints, upper thighs swivels; each knee is 2 hinge joints but only the upper one has range, the lower one is more anatomically-accurate but almost no range of motion; and the toes and heels can be hinged down from transformation. The feet are nice and big, the torso has good bulk, so there's a decent balance point to be had - provided you don't mind the feet are permanently sculpted to a spread-leg angled pose which makes 1-footers impossible, although even the lightest touch of the other foot makes a great balance so walking and running poses are easy as pie. Using the lower knee hinge actively blocks the upper knee hinge, but without that in the way the upper knee can move about 80 degrees.

    Accessories: A mirror-twin pair of silver rubbery blades with offset pegs, they're mirror-twins to accommodate a close fit over the fists. In bot mode, they don't have a nice place to store - the back pegs are covered by the backpack facade - but they can be hand-held (obviously), plugged into the shins to act as nasty leg weapons that stick out about 30 degrees and since he already has knee spikes, it seems the good doctor has plans to ruin the midsection of many a Decepticon. The weapons are sculpted accurately to the ones that spawn from his forearms, to replicate that here you just fold the hands down and plug the corresponding blade over that so they sit flush at the end of the wrist, it looks pretty good from the top and outside, from the inside you can still see the hand but it's not a bad thing since it still looks like a natural way to hold them. The blades can be easily wedged into the backpack area and stick out as the makeshift antennae the figure missed out on, but that's not terribly stable; I prefer wedging them into the back of the forearms, there's a catch so it's a little more stable, it fills the ugly gap from the rear, and you get elbow blades. Unfortunately, the alt-mode storage tabs aren't usable here as they stop right on the lower leg.

    Overall: B-minus but with reservations - I want to give this Ratchet figure more credit, it does have a lot of personality in bot mode, but the lack of paint in so many areas just makes no sense when you realize they were using that color either way. Making it so the front of the bot gets all the color makes him Ratchet from that one angle and Frosty the Snowman from the sides and rear. The sculpting compromises are all fairly in range, although I continue to lament the loss of the backpack design. It just seems like the sculpt, accessories, and articulation are all let down by a budget-slashing of the deco.


    Legion Arcee - I liked the idea of a Legion that scaled to the Deluxes I owned, so I bought Arcee.

    Vehicle Mode: Scales great with Wheeljack and Hot Shot (I'll review him next), ok with Ratchet, a bit big for SDCC Dlx Optimus. Sculpt is pretty good, only places I'd complain are the hinges for the sides, the hinges are thick and the sides stick out a bit, it's minor and really just a Legion scaling issue to simple mechanics; otherwise, the notes all seem to be there, although both front and rear wheels are single-side forks which is a little odd-looking on its own and I'm pretty sure not design-accurate to the character, though hardly a dealbreaker or even an impossibility to see on the streets. Oh, and she has no actual handlebars or grips, only side mirrors, it took me a long time to notice that. Mechanically, there are some Legion issues at play, most notably the rear fork only stays below the frame-line through friction from the opposing frame-half's peg, this peg is very shallow and easy to knock out of place leaving the fork unable to bear the weight of the bike on its own (though it doesn't become floppy, at least); the other issues are even more minor and basically just that the lower portions of the frame don't have alignment pegs so they can get a tiny bit out of true which also causes the front wheel to go out of true, but it's very small. The bike itself doesn't come apart too badly considering how little is actually pegged into anything else; the wheels don't wobble too badly for monofork design on a little figure like this. Not much bot kibble to speak of. Colors are very dark blue, black plastic, and blueish silver accents, looks nice although not quite as flashy as I'd like for a superbike. The robot toes are a permanent stand just ahead of the rear wheel, you can drop the rear wheel down like another millimeter to get free clearance but it's better to just accept the bike standing on its own. Alt mode has 4 3mm pegholes - one on either side of the faring about where the rider's knees would be, and a pair just behind the seat that are so close together that they're connected at the middle.

    Transformation: Interesting stuff, would have been satisfying for a bike at Deluxe scale with a few more steps added to bear out the pricepoint. Fold out the side faring and then the whole faring back to make the backpack, fold out the seat as arms, unfold the lower frame to make legs while rotating the wheels around to fit inside the legs. The way the front wheel folds around is clever in real life and confusing in instructions, basically it doesn't move while the lower leg hinges around that. Order isn't terribly important going to bot, but transformation back to vehicle really should start with the arms and backpack to help align the legs. The only thing to watch for is the backpack's hinge, it likes to float out of position which makes it easy to miss slipping into the right place in bike mode - the key there is to remember that the gastank ends up flush, that hinge doesn't sit up high. If you think about it too much, the generic motorcycle transformation aspect becomes pretty blatant, but it feels fresher and more satisfying in the moment, and when you've got it down it's fairly fluid as well.

    Bot Mode: This is the show's Arcee, there may be thicker boots, wider shoulders, and more kibble (although her kibble backpack/wings can be easily cast off entirely which makes her that much more show-accurate) but her lines are quite recognizable, and even the lines that aren't there around the waist are sculpted into the hips/thighs. While the vehicle mode scales well to deluxes, the show cheats so incredibly badly in bot mode (she has to mass-shift like 300% to get from bike to bot) that this robot ends up quite under-scaled to the deluxe robots, the only one coming close is dlx SDCC Optimus; you can tell how badly the show cheats because the character model's motorcycle wheels don't scale up with the rest, so the robot has tiny wheels in her feet and in her back. She's a bit shorter than Legion Evac, but a bit taller than Breakdown. Arcee's sculpt is quite good, her head and torso are a bit underscaled to her limbs but it gets a pass; the legs keep most of the knee-spikes (the inner quarter of the right knee being cut out), the smaller thighs and upper arms, the wheels inside the feet, the small waist, even the lines around her upper body; I like how the wider pelvis to small waist works here, they sculpted the lines into the ball-jointed thighs, unfortunately it's left unpainted. One area they cheated at was the wings, she has tiny wings on the show and here they're quite big since they're the entire side-farings of the bike and connected to a big backpack which is just the front faring, windshield, and headlight - I sort of give this a pass because it's clear they could have left more of it on the arms or the legs but chose to keep show-accuracy, also it does a fair job offsetting the wheels in the feet which thanks to real-world physics cannot be as small as the show suggests, the wings actually look fairly decent on their own as wings and are even hinged, and of course the whole backpack can be tossed aside. One of the reasons I chose Legion Arcee over either deluxe is that I like the show's use of the wheel sticking out her back, and both dlx toys use that cheaty folding the wheel flat against the back instead, while this one leaves both wheels in the feet and the backpack leaves a vertical slit in the back reminiscent of the show-model's wheel-in-the-back - not probably something they did on purpose, but it's what I was looking for and achieved for $5. Bot mode doesn't really have much to go wrong, the backpack, shoulder struts and wheels can get a little dislodged but nothing can get terribly out of place or fall off. The shoulders have the rivet details seen on the character which is a good touch, the shoulders end up a tiny bit low on the figure because they're spaced away from the torso and the neck is a little high, but it's not bad at all to look at. A nice touch is the use of the rear faring (the panel behind the seat, I dunno what it's actually called on these bikes but it's generally not a second seat, nor a fender, it holds the tail light and license plate usually) past the hands, they're sculpted to be her forearm blades which is a nice touch since the outer arm took liberties to look better in bike mode, each blade is in line with the side of her arm instead of the bottom and quite a bit ahead of the hand but they're blades so why the hell not have them out there doing some work instead of entirely underslung? Bot mode has a 3mm peghole on either wing, and each hand is a 3mm C-fist, all 4 holes end up having full passthrough so she can undersling weapons as well as hold them upright.

    Deco in bot mode is pretty good, they stuck with the colors from the show but left out the pink, to which I can only say THANK GOD! I hate the pink they use on the show, it A) doesn't work with any of her other colors and is only there as a nod to G1; and B) isn't even consistent from ep to ep. So mostly blue plastic with some black accents like the biceps, a strip down the front of her torso gets more blueish silver even at the roboobs (which is black on the show with a clear [or pink] panel over the cybercleavage, that panel gets the pass for the incorrect paint here), her face and crest gets that too and it stays within the lines, her eyes are both a vivid light blue that highlights the sculpted pupils, and then they painted a red Autobot logo on the lower half of her right roboob... so she's one of those gals. Overall, it's a good deco, very reminiscent, well-balanced, restrained; I do still think the blue they chose is too dark though.

    Articulation: They chose the right joints for a Legion - ball-jointed shoulders and hips, hinge knees; also some kibble hinges for the wings and backpack. Moving the arms often shrugs down the shoulder strut hinges, and the wheels in the feet often can get moved a bit out of alignment. But the range of motion on the shoulders and hips is excellent, and the knees even with the big wheels in the back bend to 90-degrees. I would have liked a higher shrug to the shoulder struts, but I am glad they didn't try to shoehorn in elbow joints. She's such a light figure that it'll be difficult to find extreme poses she can hold without even a light breeze knocking her down, but a little practice can find a few. The left foot has a hinge on the instep which can either hinder or help extreme poses depending on what you're looking for. Her shoulders let her arms go in front of her so the fists just barely touch and her blades cross. I would have liked to have seen a rotating head though, but probably too risky as a choking hazard (actually a "my kid ate it and didn't choke on it, passed the head and now has a headless toy since I'm not going through their poop for Arcee's head!" hazard).

    Accessory: So this is the generic Legion Bumblebee blaster, I detailed it for Evac's review but the short version is that it's a pistol with a wide flat body and a barrel on either outer side of that, some asymmetrical tech detailing, a 3mm peg as the grip, a 3mm hole ahead of the grip, and a 3mm peg out the back, it's cast in hot pink translucent plastic. Aside from being pink, it's really not Arcee's style whatsoever, so I gave it to Evac to give him a matching pair on either side of vehicle mode. The packaging pose causes the grip to be bent in her hand and the barrels to be bent in. It looks barely passable on the side of the bike, incredibly stupid on the back of the bike, fairly pointless on the wings, ok under the hands and problematic over the hands because not only is it too big for her in general but it hits a small cuff that leads up over the forearm (hence the bending of the grip in packaging). Other Cyberverse weapons that I have - she can hold Bulkhead's flail-gun, Starscream's sword works in her hand better than his but it's nearly as tall as she is (looks alright underslung as a gunsword tho'), and it sucks to be Breakdown yet again because his gun works quite nicely with Arcee both as a rifle and as an underslung weapon and the peg is long enough to get past that forearm tab and so far forward that the size isn't a problem for her; in bike mode, all them other guys' weapons look stupid except yet again Breakdown's which looks boss on the side and passable on the back. I'd totally YOINK that gun for Arcee, but it'd leave Legion Breakdown even more worthless, while Arcee has built-in hand blades and looks fine without accessories.

    Overall: C+plus for the overall brand, A-minus for Legion. I still don't like Legion much, but I do like this Arcee figure, it doesn't do that much but it does a good job with the things it does. It looks good and character-accurate in both modes, both sculpt and paint hold up nicely. Vehicle scales great to the deluxes while bot is saddled with that whole "mass shifting isn't real" thing so it ends pretty short cmpared to those guys. Transformation is satisfying for a Legion despite being somewhat similar to other bike-bots in general. The accessory is a waste but not a huge loss for the figure. If you can get past her being so very short in bot mode, she makes a good addition to the overall TFPrime crew.


    Deluxe Hot Shot - after seeing how mediocre the RID Bumblebee figure looked, I knew I'd be avoiding it, but the Hot Shot repaint with a new head looked like a better taste of that mold, despite the weird silver slit eyes, so when I saw it in the store and the silver was actually his eyebrows, I gave it a shot.

    Vehicle Mode: The show calls this car an Urbana 500, it's basically a cartoony version of the new Camaro, and the RID toy of it is a more real-world expression in a way - the wheelbase is shorter, the lines a little softer, and the cabin taller - but not in a bad way. The toy is a fun muscle/pony car, the shorter wheelbase highlights the wide stance, and while there's minimal ground clearance it actually rolls nicely. Seams aren't too bad, only the front fenders and the middle of the grille have anything noticeable; the middle of the grille and center of the hood are a panel that can lift out of position fairly easily, otherwise the car is quite solid. The doors open, although that requires untabbing them from the back end. Like many great muscle/pony cars, the snout is wide and angry yet angular and sleek, the lines taper to a smaller waist, and that leads into higher, wider haunches at the back. This sculpt leaves nothing out despite being cartoon-based which has been an excuse for less detail in the past, the door handles and tail pipes and brake calipers are all present if a bit cartoon-simple in design; the broadest stroke is the engine top sculpted slightly out of the hood. The cabin is mostly empty from the window sill line up, but no cabin interior was sculpted.

    Hot Shot's vehicle mode's biggest draw is the deco, unlike the mismatched yellows of Bumblebee, Hot Shot gets done up in a metallic darker blue sporting yellow tribal flames on the hood coming off the engine and on the first 2/3rds coming off the wheels where they quickly turn to red, it's not a bad look if you can't do yellow again the way Armada/Energon Hot Shot was, but it's not an iconic color for Hot Shot either since he only used blue with hints of yellow and red in Cybertron, so this makes TFP Hot Shot an homage that's more his own man in a way. The car sports red paint for the tail lights - something the RID Bumblebee mold-brother didn't. Dark matte gray for the grille, silver for the engine, translucent blue for the headlights and windows, black for the frames around the windshield and side windows. The rear window frame gets no black paint, despite the B-pillar windows (the tiny ones behind the main side windows) being painted over in black which is a waste of paint. The paint does a very good job matching the blue plastic to the blue on the doors, and the tribal flames on the hood and the sides lines up across its seams quite well. It's a nice-looking deco overall, and my only issue would be the use of darkish blue for the car against the darkish blue translucent plastic for the windows. Oh, and there's a small dark gray hinge square in the front fender, it's barely noticeable though.

    Accessories, Hot Shot has Bumblebee's mirror-twin dual blasters, and in vehicle mode they stack to plug into the engine top - the look does nothing for me, it's not enginey enough, so it just looks like they were dumped there. There's no other official storage in alt mode, but you can stuff the blasters into the cabin stacked on top of each other if you don't mind that they cause the side windows and roof to each bulge out a millimeter or so; you can also stuff them individually in another orientation, but you get the same results. There seems like enough gaps underneath that these should have had an official place somewhere, but no.

    Transformation: This is a very movie-inspired transformation. Unpegging the rear end from the roof and doors lets you swing down the lower torso and legs as a single unit, then unfolding the feet from that; it also frees the arms to drop down and the doors to open out; then you can dump the entire roof as a backpack, folding the rear window area in. With the arms dropped, you unpeg the front fenders and hinge them out which causes a very sloppy automorph to lift up the center of the hood while tilting the outer sides of the hood up. That automorph feels like it stops prematurely, the shoulders tilted forward and the head panel not fully-seated, like it's supposed to go further to get it looking right, and indeed it seems like that was the intention judging by the rack & pinion head reveal not fully filling the front, the head panel only fully seating when the shoulders are further back by pushing the torso further into the hood - I think there's a clearance issue at play here. Anyway, the chief issues with the transformation are the head often catching on the hood halves causing the head panel to stay closed, and the windshield/roof/back window backpack being value and not locking into place (there's a notch in the back which lines up to a tab in the back window but it doesn't grip at all). Transforming back to car mode is the inverse, with the caveat that the head panel/hood center will remain out of alignment enough that you'll want to hold its gear in place and push it the last little way to get as much force trying to hold it closed as you can muster (it won't be much).

    Bot Mode: Assuming Hot Shot is meant to look like Bumblebee's body with a new head, this is a mess - the upper torso is WAY too wide and tilts down when it shouldn't, the shoulders are too low, the door-wings are in the wrong place, the forearms are too small, the lower torso is way too small, the boots are too bulky and big, and both the torso and boots are way too gappy. If you can accept that this isn't meant to look like Bumblebee at all, all those things are still true - the proportions on Hot Shot are all over the map - but it's not as hard a pill to swallow. The real problem Hot Shot suffers is gappiness, from almost any angle his torso is virtually non-existent, worse than most Human Alliance figures even, his head and shoulers both sit over a cave - the gap there can be mitigated by folding the rear window up as far as you can get it, which fills in just enough to get passable from most angles, although side-on it's still pretty bad, and it's a shabby thing to have in the core of a robot; I'm also bothered by the low, odd shoulders which are connected to almost nothing. The boots are very gappy just above the feet, but it only shows if you're viewing the figure from a low angle. The sculpt is ok for a TF Prime character, a little soft in the lines, and finer details are low, and it doesn't quite hit the TFP aesthetic (almost none of the figures in the line so far do though). The head is the only new tooling on the figure, and it's a TFP homage to the Armada character with its round helmet head, fold-down goggles with wide "ears", square eyes and vented cheeks - this Hot Shot is pretty miffed though, his eyebrows are in a frowny position and his mouth has an angry, slightly open and slightly sneering sculpt. The folded-down goggles give Hot Shot a buggy face since the goggle lenses are wide, the head looks short, and the mouth is hidden leaving an unusual shaped gap between the goggles and the chinstrap chin.

    The head seems like a good place to move onto deco, as it's cast in blue with silver eyebrows, a silver face (but blue cheeks), a dark gray chin, orange stripes on top, black paint on the goggles, and translucent blue for the light-piped eyes and the goggle lenses. At first blush it's very easy to mistake the strong silver eyebrows for narrow eyes as they are a striking feature while the actual eyes are translucent blue plastic set inside blue plastic cheeks, it's only when you see the face in good lighting that you really notice the eyes that make it a much better face. Unfortunately for Hot Shot, his light-pipe is cut off by a kibble panel behind his head, once you turn the head clear of that though he's got a striking light-pipe showing the eyes, including their sculpted pupils - it's too bad that the edges of the raised goggles also light-pipe easily which distracts; the lowered goggles barely show the light-piping through the eyes and lenses unless you're using a very close flashlight. The body adds dark gray plastic and a number of bold red panels at the shoulders, forearms, and shins which becomes very reminiscent of Cybertron Hot Shot's robot deco. There's also a little dark gray paint and black plastic in the arms. The flames remain heavily in play with the yellow ones flanking the head, and the orange-to-red ones on the doors facing forward.

    The bot overall looks alright, I definitely prefer this look to the Bumblebee figure. I like the head although the goggles are a mixed bag, the body looks ok from the front but in action less so, and the upper torso is pretty big. It's not horribly fragile, but nor is it strong - the back panel moves quite easily, the lower torso moves too much, the upper body doesn't move but feels like it's all barely connected so it wouldn't take much to break it. The flame paint seems thin, like it'll wear quickly. Not enough kibble locks into place, moving an arm often moves the inner shoulder detail thing, moving the head often pulls the panel it's sitting on up, moving the legs can detransform the boots a little. The body promotions seem off from a HUGE upper body to a TINY waist, narrow forearms, and then big boots, but it's not a disaster.

    Articulation: The head is on a ball-joint that can rotate and also tilt up/down and side/side a little (although most of that "up" gets eaten by compensating for its panel not seating fully); the shoulders rotate in high, far-back, tiny joints; the upper arms hinge outwards/inwards; the elbow is friction-ratchet hinged and rotates at the top but not bottom; the hips are ball-joints with swivels above the thighs; knees are hinged to 90 degrees; the feet are on a midpoint rotation so you can point them up or down due to transformation. The range is mostly unencumbered, the arms are a bit challenging due to the unusual jointing and wide chest but it's easy to think around them. I'd like to have seen rotation joints below the elbow so the forearms could rotate to bring the cannons to bear without straightening the elbow entirely, but other than that it's an ok set of articulation choices otherwise. Kibble is mostly articulated and not in a terribly helpful manner.

    Accessories: So, Bumblebee's mirror-twin dual-barrel blasters, they're dark gray plastic, flat, plenty of tech detailing, a single 5mm peg for a grip on the bottom and a 5mm peghole at the rear. They look good pegged into the side of each forearm, individually mediocre as a pistol since they're so flat, but halfway passable stacked together to make a pistol. No official storage aside from the sides of the forearms.

    Overall: C+plus, the original mold I'd call a (generous) C-minus and the character a B, it's not the character's fault but the original mold's. Hot Shot tries to make the best of a troubled RID Bumblebee mold with a snappy paint job in both modes and a nice new head sculpt that pays homage to the character without feeling kiddified or smilie, although that homage is a little lost in the Cybertron coloring. The vehicle mode looks nice on its own, the transformation on its own is fair, but the robot mode has a lot of little issues that hold the figure back from being better. I don't dislike the figure, but I couldn't recommend it easily either.
    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. #4740
    I'm not trying to be a smartarse, but I'm really not sure if you typed it wrong or not: did they rename the Legends line as "Legion"?
    Tommy, close your eyes.

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