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  1. #1121
    Howdy, things have been crazy lately.


    Okay, before the review, two things...


    Adam was being charitable in his Titaniums review.


    Is the Costco set going to be recolors? And, what does a Costco membership cost?




    Here are several short reviews of recent acquisitions.
    Cybertron:
    Menasor
    Unicron
    Gigalonian Minicon team
    various Legends of Cybertron
    Titaniums:
    Optimus Prime
    Megatron

    Menasor:
    This toy is pretty well impossible to review. The quality control problems are many, varied, and frequent. Anything I say could easily be contradicted by somebody with another copy of the toy. In general, this is a great idea, completely ruined by inconsistent execution. If you are feeling brave, your copy of Menasor is likely to have plastic tolerance problems with the hips, the chest, and with the drill mechanism in the right arm. These problems seem to manifest if exclusive combinations. For example, I have not heard any accounts of Menasor toys with both the hip and chest problems. But, I have not heard of any copies that lack both. In theory, one could buy multiple copies, and swap parts around, but that is a great deal of effort for what is supposed to be a hobby.
    Grade: n/a If you pick one up, be wary.

    Unicron:
    Woohoo! The X-Planet faction is complete. And, this is one more US exclusive mold that I have! Huzzah. This toy definitely appeals more that I initially thought it would. If one can seperate this toy from the context it is associated with (a truly awful set of convention exclusive comics), it is not half bad. The transform is similar enough to the Sideways toy (another X-Planet faction member) to be evocative, but different enough to be redundant. The tank is evocative of something one might see in Games Workshop (such as an Eldar tank), and the bot form displays well, albeit with somewhat odd proportions.
    Grade: B Do not go crazy looking for this toy, but pick one up if you see it.

    Legends of Cybertron toys:
    These things have turned up at KMart. While the early runs of the line are still difficult to find (owing to lousy distribution), the current toys are better distributed. The most notable of the several I have is Thundercracker, which is arguably better than the full-sized version. Starscream (recolored as Sunstorm) is also worth a look. The worst is Redalert, which feels cheap, even for the price-point.
    Grade: varies Do not go nuts looking for these. Grab Thundercracker if you find one. Buy the rest as your fancy warrants.

    Gigalonian Minicon team:
    Yeeehaw! More exclusive US molds, and one step closer to finishing the Gigalonian faction. All told, this is not a bad set. As with all of the Minicon 3-packs, the set has a unified gimmick. In this case, the gimmick is rooted in aesthetics, with each of the Minicons transforming into small versions of what would normally be large vehicles, a sub, a transport plane, and a crane. There is also a land/sea/air theme here. The best is the crane, which is designed around a concept that makes some larger toys look primitive by comparison. As with the first set of Cybertron Minicons (the soon to be recolored Recon Team), choosing the worst is difficult as all 3 pieces in the set are excellent.
    Grade: A Stuff like this justifies the hobby.

    Titanims:
    Oddly, I found these things derned cheap. For whatever reason (likely owing to a store remodel gone awry) I found the larger Megatron and Optimus toys marked for $5 each, and the smaller toys marked for $15. (The prices and product codes seem to have been transposed in one of the inventory control systems.) I tried to inform a clerk of this (as the guy tried to help me find Gigalonian Minicons.), and he simply checked his scanner for the price. (This makes no sense, as his scanner is rooted into the same system that produced the incorrect pricing in the first place.......) So, after attempting to be moral, I still wound up with two cheap Titaniums figures, and payed less for both than either should have cost alone.
    And, believe you me, did I ger ripped off. While poor quality control may play a role here, many of the problems seem rooted in the basic design of the toys. They break while being transformed. They break while being fiddled with. They even break while being removed from the packaging. (Megatron came apart like a shoddily connected merge-team.) The packaging is not just tedious to open, is is actually difficult, with the twist ties actually cutting into one's fingers while being opened. What follows is a review of the two that I got. But, the grade is for the line thus far.
    Grade: F Avoid this line. Some good ideas, but poorly planned and badly executed.
    Optimus:
    As this toy is based on the character as shown in "The War Within", I really wanted to like this toy. But, a combination of flimsy jointes, and lost engineering opportunities conspire to reduce what could have been a great toy to the level of boot-leg. One of the more troublesome examples of this is the fact that the (plastic) hands have sloppier molding than some toys that are 20 years old. The transform is straight forward, but hindered by the construction of the toy.
    One bright spot is the character profile on the back. The character stats are not a straight line of "10s", which presumably reflects Prime's status as a novice during "The War Within" arc.
    Megatron:
    This is possibly the worst Transformer I have ever purchased. Even Generation 1 Ironhide stayed together, aside from where parts where made to detach. Cybertron Backstop, while failing in terms of aesthetics, is a good sturdy toy. Megatron's right arm does not even stay attached when the toy is being transformed. If the tank form is jostled, the arm (half of the turret) falls out. The only thing to say about this toy that is now wholly negative is that it is an odd evocation of 2 obscure arcs. The tank form is a nod to Marvel''s "Generation 2" arc, and the write-up on the back references the Dreamwave cross-over from '03. (Never mind that the '03 story was terrible.)


    Dom
    -taking some comfort in the fact that the Gigalonian Minicons were good.

  2. #1122
    The Costco set is not repaints, it comes with a DVD ep of the show and side-by-side packaging, but otherwise appears to be the same damn figures.

    Charitable, really? And then I saw your review... wow. Care to sell me your Titanium 6"ers for $5 a pop Dom?
    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.

  3. #1123
    It's likely you can find them at Target for 5 bucks, its happening all over the place.

    I should have known Megatron was trouble when I saw his arms are not connected to the main body in the package. And its not just the one I bought.. they are all like that.

  4. #1124
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    The Alt line's sales are down, Japan's interest in them has dried up which means each mold is now twice as pricey for Hasbro since they're not sharing the load with Takara, and the line is going to be on hiatus throughout the movie line's run which means we're looking at a year or more without Alternators, I think this is the end.
    That would be an affront to God!
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

  5. #1125
    and to think that i nearly bought that titanium megatron!!! thank you for saving me $15 Dom!

  6. #1126
    The Titaniums prices are correct at some stores. But, given that Adam and I live in different regions, the confusion must be pretty far up the chain.

    Anyone have any insights about Target's management structure?


    And, JT, the shipping would likely eradicate any savings for you. When I say pay no more than $5, I am being nice. I figure shipping will push the pair up to about 25 dollars at least. Do you really want to take that ride?

  7. #1127
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    It's likely you can find them at Target for 5 bucks, its happening all over the place.

    I should have known Megatron was trouble when I saw his arms are not connected to the main body in the package. And its not just the one I bought.. they are all like that.
    I live in scalper heaven, these things never survive 5 minutes.

    Arms not connected in package, that's a bad sign.

    And, JT, the shipping would likely eradicate any savings for you. When I say pay no more than $5, I am being nice. I figure shipping will push the pair up to about 25 dollars at least. Do you really want to take that ride?
    I guess that's a good question, I'll need to see them in person before deciding.
    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. #1128
    This is by no means final, but we think from the possible movie toys there will be:

    Optimus Prime = semi-truck, long nose style
    Ironhide = black pickup truck
    BumbleBee = yellow Camarro
    Ratchet = white ambulance or red fire truck??
    Jazz = white Mazda or Acura sports car

    Megatron = Abrams Tank
    Starscream = black F111 stealth fighter jet
    Vortex = dark green Apache helicopter
    Soundwave = (color?) miniature boombox
    Brawl = Black Mustang Highway Patrol Car
    Scorponok = giant robotic Scorpion - possibly transforms into transport plane (Beast Machine?)
    Devastator = orange or yellow steam shovel like Constructicon Scrapper
    BoneCrusher = orange or yellow landmine clearing vehicle

    What price point is affordable for the kids to get a movie collection?

    $20 per Transformer seems to be the going Alternator rate, and it would cost $260 total (plus tax) to assemble this collection at that price. However, characters like Starscream would be way off scale.

    At the $10 price range, they'd be worse for scale.

    In fact, it would be better if you had at $20:

    BumbleBee
    Jazz
    Ironhide
    Ratchet (possibly)
    Brawl
    Devastator
    Bonecrusher (possibly)

    and at $30 (at least) you had:

    Optimus Prime
    Megatron
    Starscream
    Vortex
    Scorponok

    Then maybe you could have $10:

    Soundwave if he's so small
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

  9. #1129
    I thought Soundwave had been cut from the movie?

  10. #1130
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    I thought Soundwave had been cut from the movie?
    We don't know. If he is still in it as a boombox though, he's definitely been cut - down to 1/16 of his former size or something!

    I hope Ironhide steps on him. Hehe.
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

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