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  1. #261

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    Adam, I didn't mean the term didn't mean anything, I meant the concept means little to Hasbro.


    Tycho, there's no plastic on the outside window, you can see where the box dips under the "window" level. The shine is probably from the inner plastic tray shell hugging the car.
    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.

  2. #262

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    Oh, I know. I just don't think its fair to blame Hasbro for Wal-Marts and Targets not shipping out waves when they estimate they will hit shelves.

  3. #263

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    Hasbro used to be able to announce on the net months in advance when a SW wave would be hitting stores and be accurate to within 3 days. Their system USED to work and their schedules meant something, now when they say "October" it could mean anywhere from August to December. I'll grant you that the burden is not entirely on their shoulders, but they do share in the blame I think. But I still think the accessory-free Dinobots will be hitting late this month.


    Speaking of finding stuff, I picked up Downshift and Tow-Line tonight at Target! Yay yay yay! No replacement for my defective Bulkhead, but these were much joy to find, and I almost didn't see Downshift hidden way back there. I also saw Command Ravage & Doomlock but don't want them. Seeing a bunch of basic and deluxe figures on these new red cards, I definitely don't like them as much as the original cards.

    Tow Line is pretty neat, I'll get into him more later on, but the only complaint I have so far is that the ball joint on the long antenna of his weapon cracked when I looked at it funny, it's not broken but those fractures look like potential trouble. The concept here really works quite well, there's a lot to like here if you're into this, but I can see where some folks won't dig it too because like everybody's saying about him, Tow Line is very different from other deluxes.

    Wheelshift... Downjack... whats-his-name is pretty darn cool indeed. I don't know why Hasbro bothered to call him "Downshift", he's clearly "Wheeljack" and he even has gull-wing doors like the Armada figure of that name. The weapons are a little odd but not terrible, and the location of the spark crystal leaves much to be desired, but all in all this figure is a winner.

    Both of these deluxes are good enough that if Hasbro made good repaints of 'em, I'd buy.
    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. #264

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    As you may or may not know, and probably don't care, I just collect Alternators (well, Autobot ones).

    Anyway, I saw Ramjet in TRU today and thought he looked really cool. Just thought I'd let you know.

    He was packaged with 4 other mini-Decepticon jets (this was not the vintage Ramjet like some commemorative one), but probably a Transformers Universe Ramjet or something.

    One of the few I've seen that I really like from the new line that's not an Alternator.

  5. #265

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    You probably wouldn't like him Tycho. Pretty poor in the articulation department. That's a repaint of Armada Skywarp, and its a pretty lazy one at that. They didn't even paint the Decepticon symbols. And the minicons are just the same ones they sold seperately. What's really frustrating about that aspect, is that on the back of the package, they show that minicon team repainted. I was looking forward to that part, but since the final product was just the same things I had already bought, I left it on the shelf.

    JT, I just really doubt it about the Dinobots. The repaint Ironhide, and Dreadwing are supposed to hit before them, so I just don't see it happening.

    And yeah, I found the new PLX Battles wave of deluxe figures.. but someone had already bought all the new ones.

    BUT my friend is going to Japan next week and I'm sending him with pictures of SL Wing Saber and Wheeljack along with some robotmasters, so I might finally get some new stuff next week! Yay!

  6. #266

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    YES! The drought is over! I picked up Towline at Target just now. Wheelshift was no where to be seen

  7. #267

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    Tycho, you'd definitely be disappointed with that TFU figure, trust Adam's advice on that.

    Nice find Adam, congrats! I hear Sharkticon is out on shelves too now.


    Back to TowLine & Downshift...

    TowLine's alt mode is a slightly-futuristic van, it has opening doors, gull-wing style (no interior though) and ladders sculpted into the sides. The colors are odd but not garish, I wish Hasbro had painted the sculpted windows dark red to match the clear ones though. The van only becomes a newsvan when you attach the Energon accessory to the top, it has a pair of transmission-style dishes (both on ball-joints) and the larger one is on a stalk which swings up to simulate an extended antenna boom like real newsvans have - I kinda wish this had been opaque plastic rather than translucent, but oh well.

    The coolest thing about Towline is that because of the set's design, there are a lot of unofficial modes that can be made here. I like the MASK-like big guns that appear from the roof if you follow the official transformation process a few steps, the bot legs while still in van mode raise up and have guns that swing out of the toes. The front wheels on the base can also swing into other positions and bring a pair of small tracks into play for a more MASK-style altered look, and the van walls drop down to reveal guns sculpted into the inside and peg holes for Energon accessories to attach.

    Transformation is fairly intuitive and not too simple, I only had a little trouble when sliding the head into position.

    Bot mode is nifty, closer to a deluxe than a basic which is good, and plenty of articulation to keep things nifty; the shoulders being rods is my only complaint. I like the accessory closed up, it looks even meaner than fully extended, and luckily, Hasbro put pegs on it so it could be held this way (it's backwards from the official mode of the weapon so without the extra peg it wouldn't have been possible).

    The base is mostly flat and not that exciting, but you can plug the main weapon into the center covering the powerlink connectors a little and it looks more interesting. The concept is definitely from the G1 Ratchet/Ironhide base thing.

    The combined modes aren't great, but they can be interesting. The base becomes the "pants" (but I suspect someone very clever could get pants out of the bot too), and are done in a centaur type design with the treads even coming apart to make a pair of scrawny legs - the base as pants works best for Inferno as "shirt" I think, the others don't look quite as neat on it (although Towline's bot mode as the shirt works well here, of course). Towline as the shirt works best I think with Inferno again, and I suspect by their similar widths that Towline's powerlinking was designed specifically with Inferno in mind.

    All in all, a lot of fun with a lot of room for tons of unofficial stuff to be done, this fig works well.

    ---

    Downshift is clearly supposed to be Wheeljack, I can barely keep from typing "Wheeljack" every time I mention the fig's name. The alt mode is an homage to the G1 Wheeljack's Lancia racecar design and looks slick yet beefy. The white plastic calls for a paint wash to bring out the sculpted details, but it doesn't look cheap unlike a lot of white parts on Transformers. The doors open gull-wing style, it's a little tempermental because of some clips at the bottom of the doors that don't want to let go and the roof being connected only to the front of the car and not the back. The spark crystal on the wheel is the only thing I really don't like. The translucent red plastic used for the accessories, doors, roof panels, headlights, and eye/ear lightpipe is the same strawberry color as Energon Arcee, it's a little grating but not at all a dealbreaker.

    Downshift's accessories aren't terrible, but they're not great either and I don't like them connected to alt mode at all. One is a twin-barrel rifle and the other is an oversized pistol with a spring-loaded projectile, they both attach to the car as side-mounted exhaust pipes. I would like them a lot more if they had bottom-mounted handle pegs, but they only have side-mounted pegs which means they have to be held sideways. The car's spoiler can be removed and the guns can be pegged sideways into it with the figure holding this arrangement from the spoiler's middle peg, I like having the guns come in and back a little when in regular bot mode and out and forward in powerlinked modes, gives a little extra contrast.

    Transformation reminds me a little of Armada Hot Shot, except here it's more satisfying and there's more going on. There's no pulling down of the legs or folding out of the head, it's more of a reveal design, but there's plenty to do. Like his case-mate Towline, Downshift's transformation is fairly intuitive, but using the instructions actually hurts this some because they tried to show the transformation from the side of the car in every frame and it just ends up confusing matters.

    Bot mode is very nifty, some wonky articulation at the hips but the overall effect is neat and not a brick or badly-restricted. Downshift's head is so G1 Wheeljack that it's impossible not to think of him that way. Downshift can hold his weapons individually or together leaving him quite well-armed, and the small exhaust pipes on the shoulders even fold down to become guns.

    The pants mode is very basic, just fold the uppermost part of the body backwards and if you want it to look a little less like a very long torso you can split the waist slightly similar to Hot Shot's pants mode. Downshift's pants mode looks very cool with Hot Shot as the shirt, and works ok with Rodimus too, though I don't like Prowl that much here and Inferno looks really bad because of how much difference there is between the sizes of the torsos. Shirt mode is interesting, the uppermost part of the body swivels around and places itself between the figure's now-split-apart waist which become shoulders. As shirt, I like Downshift best with Prowl as the legs, yet Hot Shot and Rodimus both work here too - once again, Inferno is just left in the dust.

    Overall, this is a can't-miss figure and very recognizable homage too.
    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.

  8. #268

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    Yeah Sharkticon's out. BBTS had Slugslinger for like.. an hour. He might show up on shelves pretty soon.

  9. #269

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    Looks like my dry spell really is over. I found Dead End at the same Target I found Towline earlier, and then EE Hot Shot at a Wal-Mart. HS was in PLX Battles packings, so Downshift and Sharkticon were there..

    Anywho, I thinks I like EE Hot Shot a tad more than the first version. The red yellow and black in bot mode just really works for me.

    Dead End is slick. I don't like how the winshield doesn't really connect to anything like Sideswipes though.

    Towline is great. I don't like the obviously G1 inspired left over though. Also his shoulder flaps prevent his arms from raising up which is annoying. But not a deal breaker. I too would also buy a good repaint of this one.

  10. #270

    Re: Transformers: Energon & Beyond

    I came home tonight and the kid's grandparents had dropped off a treat for him. It was Downshift... I barely had a chance to check it out, but it looks cool. This one I may need to grab for myself.
    plasticfetish.net

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