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A combination of work, the holiday, and rehearsals for the show I am in have conspired to consume all my free time, but everything seems to have evened out now.
My grand two-part Movie Optimus Prime post has fallen victim to technical difficulties. Err, maybe not “technical” so much as “physical limitations of current photo taking setup”. Basically, the two-parter will go up once I figure out how to make a big enough backdrop to be able to take a photo that can encompass this ridiculous collection of wingspans.
In the meantime, there’s some Insecticons on their way and for now there’s a sorta, kinda podcast.
Here you can find a little Podcast-ish experiment by Paul, the Gassy Autobot (who was not actually gassy in person), and myself:
30 45 minute maiden voyage (yes, we did manage to fail at the time check thing and a little bit at the “focus” thing) you can get an idea of where we were going with it. If you give it a listen and have criticism, suggestions, or just want to say “Never. Do. That. Again.” please leave some comments here on the blog post or over at the Youtube channel.
Smokescreen gets the support he deserves (*snort* HeeHee). Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Smokescreen vs. Ripclaw!
When the possibility began to rear its ugly head that we would not receive a Hasbro release of Prime Smokescreen, the temptation to purchase the TakaraTomy repaint of the Knock Out mold was tremendous.
I sympathize completely with those that went ahead and bought him. There was no guarantee — especially after the Breakdown ordeal — that we would ever see him in Hasbro markets; despite the facts that he remains a major character on the show and really deserved his own mold. Hasbro then unintentionally added fuel to that fire by announcing that a new mold Smokescreen would indeed get a release, but as part of Beast Hunters.
Many were afraid that this meant we would only get a spiky, bulked-up, and weathered-looking Smokescreen out of Hasbro without ever seeing a representation of his standard, second season robot and alt modes. However, Hasbro was on top of it. His newly acquired “Shadow Quill Armor” (a cool, if somewhat non sequitur name) is a heavily-molded piece of flexible plastic and can be removed altogether.
The Shadow Quill Armor piece can also be added to his robot mode. Now, this is the part where my inner-twelve-year-old boy starts to giggle. See, for anyone that doesn’t know; a stretchy, usually vinyl, usually aftermarket piece added to the front of a car is called a car bra. So, to take that piece and then stretch it across Smokescreen’s chest. Heehee.
Apparently the Germans, Swedes, Danes and Dutch all use the acronym “BH” for women’s bras which means, respectively, büstenhalter, bysthållare, brysteholdere and bustehouder. Gives a whole new meaning to BH Smokescreen…
Ok, I’m done, I promise.
As for Smokescreen’s unencumbered robot mode, it suffers only slightly from pieces — or kibble, or whatever you want to call it — hanging from the backs of his lower arms.
Obviously not as visually smooth as his cartoon model, but it definitely doesn’t get in the way of dynamic poses.
The other thing that is not screen accurate is the particularly irksome decision to paint his head details in blue rather than red.
Why go to all the trouble to give us such a screen accurate head and then apply paint mostly in the wrong places and in the wrong colour? He also comes with an Electronet launcher for all that beastly hunting of beasts.
Speaking of beasts (how’s that for a subtle seque?): Ripclaw.
No… really. Just… Ripclaw.
Easily up there with the best Transformer releases in recent history, the new Prime Predacon Ripclaw is an amazing toy. She — yes, SHE – puts her fellow Predacon Lazerback to shame. While both have good detailing and design in alt mode, Ripclaw adds in a goodly amount of articulation. Combined with her segmented tail ending in a clawed stinger and you can get some great shots.
You can remove the claw from the end of her tail and the handle is recessed enough that placing it in her hand make it look like a natural extension of her harm rather than a handheld weapon.
Pivoting the tail down removes the tension on the rubber piece inside by producing enough slack for the segments to move. The end result is that the tail can then lay loose behind her.
From the moment I saw the solicitation images of her, the first thing I thought of was one of my favourite Marvel supervillians, Annihilus.
Errrr, surely we’ve got a better image of him around here somewhere…
Ok, I think this comparison is getting away from me. Let’s try something a little further back in the archives.
Ah! Yes, that Annihilus. Although, with his colouration, he looks a little bit more like Ser-Ket than Ripclaw.
Introduced in the recent Rage of the Dinobots comic book series, Ser-Ket — also female — looks exactly like the toy of Ripclaw. Naturally this has lead to many fans anticipating a repaint of the mold in a later wave. If it happens, I will buy her too, if only to have an excuse to display this mold in both modes.
Not exactly the greatest mystery of Transformers history, but definitely an interesting identity crisis. G1 and Dark of the Moon Spike Witwicky and Backfire
Most humans are not allowed in my display, let alone subjects of blog posts, but with the obvious exception of Minerva and Shūta showing up last week, I feel now is as good a time as any to take a quick look at Spike Witwicky; mostly spurred on by a Human Alliance release from early in the Dark of the Moon line (so there is an actual Transformer involved in this post too).
We start at the most recent release that actually represents the beginning of the cycle; last year’s Toys R Us exclusive Masterpiece Optimus Prime. Hasbro’s release of TakaraTomy’s MP-10 mold included the tiny Spike figure.
He represents the beginning because first there was Spike from the original G1 cartoon.
Followed by Spike from later in the G1 cartoon by way of the 1986 movie (or “Sparkle” in the hilariously bad Omni Productions dub of Headmasters.)
Which leads to the amusing little sidetrack homage of Spike from Animated.
Separately from the cartoons, we have Spike from the original G1 comics.
Who was caused by Spike from the G1 toys. By “caused” I mean he was inserted in the comic at the time pretty much to sell the new Fortress Maximus toy.
Previous to Spike’s appearance in the comic, there was just his younger brother, Buster.
Another amusing sidetrack, either Spike or Buster may or may not also be Butch from the Forest Rescue Mission coloring book.
None of them is – or perhaps all of them are – necessarily analogous to Sam from the recent movies.
Sam is given the nickname of “Spike” in the credits of the Latin American Spanish dub of the movie (presumably from an earlier draft of the script) but Sam Witwitcky can’t be Spike Witwicky. Mostly because this guy already is.
Packaged in with Human Alliance Backfire, Spike Witwicky is definitely not Sam. Just to add a little confusion, Sam Witwicky was later packaged in the Autobot Daredevil Squad, which also includes a repaint of Backfire. How do I know Sam is not Spike? Sam can be described as a number of things (“twitchy” comes to mind) but Spike Witwicky is described as a “specialist in urban warfare”.
Sorry, Sam, I’m not buying it, I don’t think you have a place in the Spike Witwicky group.
So, how did I end up on this ultimately fruitless path of trying to figure out where “Spike Witwicky” fits within the movie-verse’s Witwicky family? To make a long story short (too late!),
Initially there were a couple things that really caught my attention with this guy. First, he has great light piping in his head. Second, the two guns that he comes with are really freakin’ cool.
Third, his Can-Am Spyder Roadster alt mode is great. Just like Human Alliance Icepick‘s snowmobile, I don’t have any particular attachment to the vehicle itself, just that the sculpt is really well done.
The best part about him, though, is his third mode.
Speaking of Human Alliance Icepick, before I get to Backfire’s third mode, I need to clear up a moment of extreme stupidity on my part in my Icepick post. I derided him for his third mode, something I declared to be a “Hoverbike with a chainsaw”; which, as awesome as it sounds like it should be, doesn’t really make any sense.
Now I’m not saying I’m the smartest person on the planet, but normally I’m not this obtuse. Somehow, despite showing the shield mode of Drag Strip in the very same post, I managed to miss the post at the back of Icepick’s third mode. As in: the handle. The handle meant to be held by larger Transformers.
And not just a Targetmaster weapon, a freaking chainsaw with guns. That is awesome. Seriously.
It finally dawned on me what the best point of the Human Alliance basics line really was when I saw Backfire’s third mode.
I knew I had seen this before and a quick search of the Dark of the Moon concept art proved me right.
I think I’m actually going to go back, revisit this line a little more closely, and see what other awesomeness I might have accidentally glazed over.
The biggest conclusion I have come to, though, is that I would have cared so much more (or at all, I guess) for the “Human” part of Human Alliance if they had used humans I cared about at all. By this, of course, I mean: why is there no G.I. Joe Human Alliance Transformers?
Some oddities and downright mistakes from the earlier years of Transformers have understandably perpetuated. The easiest example of this would be the accidental swap of Rumble and Frenzy’s colours. Those of us that knew them first as toys are used to Rumble being red and Frenzy being blue. Those that saw them first through the cartoon tend to expect the reverse. It makes sense that such a big discrepancy would still live on with the G1 cartoon being such a formative piece of fiction for a lot of fans.
The perpetuation of other mistakes makes far less sense. ”Minelba” is one. Minerva, an actual name that makes actual sense, has been consistently incorrectly transliterated or “romanized“ from Japanese into English on her packaging and bio card. The reasons for this are blatantly obvious to anyone with even a passing familiarity with Japanese, but the original intent of the name is clearly Minerva, named after the Roman goddess of (among many other things) medicine.
And so the error lives on. You’ll even find fans that insist the name is truly Minelba, despite all evidence to the contrary. Of course, this is the same fandom that can sometimes exhibit… inappropriate reactions to the fifteen-year-old girl.
Minerva only appeared as a Takara release in the Masterforce line and her lack of a Hasbro release leads to her commanding excessive sums of money on the secondary market. The most recent Ebay auction as of this writing closed at $570 for a toy with heavy sticker wear and missing her seat/helmet and two smaller blasters. The end result being that just short of a reissue, a Minerva would not be gracing my display any time soon. This made me sad as I had just recently watched Masterforce and liked it a lot.
Then at the end of 2011, Reprolabels announced it would be doing a free giveaway project of stickers for both Minerva and another Headmaster Junior, Goshooter. To remove the inevitable flood of these sets showing up on Ebay, they stipulated that you must own either of the toys to qualify for the free project. Due to the somewhat rare nature of the two, they also allowed those that owned the Korean knock-off versions to be eligible. To prove ownership, you just needed to take a photo of you holding one or both and e-mail it in. As the closest I would reasonably come to owning these two, I ordered the knock-offs and had my wife snap a quick phone picture and I was in.
The KO versions are certainly not without their flaws. Minerva has a black torso rather than white, a gold face with black eyes rather than yellow with blue eyes, and the guns on the side of the head have the handle at the wrong angle.
The difference in the face didn’t really bother me at all, in fact I especially like the gold, but the black chest had to go. So I tried my hand at a little painting and I don’t think it came out too bad.
One place that was difficult to lay an even coat was on the robot’s chest, due to the smaller details. It doesn’t really make too much difference, as the other thing the KO lacks is the tech spec mechanism in the chest altogether so there’s not really a reason to open it. Not that it stopped me from putting the SPD/STR/INT sticker in place.
Another difference with the KO is the lack of the tiny paint application on the face of the Headmaster figure itself.
A cool detail about the Headmaster Juniors, as well as their Hasbro counterparts, is that even though the smaller size of their robots didn’t allow for three separate tumblers for the tech spec reader, the heads still had the proper tooling. This means plugging Minerva into Brainstorm’s body will give you Minerva’s tech specs of SPD: 7, STR: 5, and INT: 8.
The Reprolabels sticker set really gets a chance to shine in alt mode.
Minerva’s alt mode would be considered an emergency rapid response vehicle — the smaller, faster vehicles used either along with an ambulance or in place of an ambulance in cases were transporting patients isn’t necessary. The KO has black windows in place of the original’s blue painted windows, but retains the hole placements necessary to weaponize this otherwise unsuspecting emergency vehicle.
Also still there is the opening roof to allow Minerva to ride along in alt mode.
Minerva’s fellow Headmaster Junior Shūta Gō has a little bit of naming confusions but only to those not familiar with the convention of using the surname before the given name. In Japan, his last name of Gō would come first; thus Gō Shūta gives way to his Transformer’s name of Goshooter. The KO of Goshooter has a much darker blue and he has a silver rather than light blue face.
In alt mode, Goshooter now sports a red and blue light bar, the original only had light blue on both ends.
Shūta rides along in alt mode.
He also has holes for weaponizing his alt mode.
Just like Minerva, Shūta is missing the paint application from his face.
If the KOs are any indication, Minerva and Goshooter are quite solid pieces. They are both very well proportioned and reasonably well articulated for Generation 1 era toys.
I just need to find Cab to complete the trio. Luckily there was no difference between the Hasbro and Takara releases of the Cab/Hosehead mold. Unlike Minerva and Goshooter, tracking him down actually seems reasonably possible.
Ok, now I’m just confused. Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Soundwave and Ravage! Arms Micron Soundwave, Laserbeak, and Zori!
Beast: a term for a Transformer with an alt mode resembling an organic creature.
Hunter: a term for one who hunts.
Ergo, Beast Hunters:
a.) a Transformer with an alt mode resembling an organic creatures who hunts.
- or -
b.) a Transformer who hunts other Transformers with alt modes resembling organic creatures.
When the concept for Transformers Prime Beaster Hunters first started to show, we knew that the Decepticons had employed the help of the Predacons, an ancient race of Transformers with dragon alt modes, to find and destroy the already beleaguered Autobots. Basically, a.) beasts who hunt.
Then the Beast Hunters toys started to show up. A good portion of whom were Autobots covered in spikes and equipped with pursuit and capture weapons. Basically, b.) hunters of beasts.
Alrighty, either this season is about Decepticon-aligned beasts that hunt Autobots; or Autobots that hunt Decepticon-aligned beasts. Or both.
Wait. Soundwave is quite decidely a Decepticon-aligned Decepticon. Why is he geared out in beast hunting equipment when the beasts are on the same side as he is?
WHAT IN THE NAME OF PRIMUS IS THIS SHOW ACTUALLY ABOUT?!?
Ok, kidding aside, yes, I realize this look for Soundwave as well as the recently released Beast Hunters Starscream probably won’t actually make it into the show. This goes double, given his current status on the show, for the upcoming Beast Hunters release of a season two favourite, Dreadwing.
With his wild colours and oversized, spring-loaded launcher, Soundwave is a prime example (see what I did there?) of how Beast Hunters is turning out to be something of the “G2” phase of Transformers Prime. Especially his paintjob.
Far more than Beast Hunters Wheeljack, and definitely more than any of the Beast Hunters Autobots out now, Soundwave and the other Beast Hunters Decepticons are just a mostly incoherent riot of colours. It’s even more stark a contrast when compared to their original forms.
Also like Wheeljack, slight changes have been made to Soundwave’s headsculpt to add more angles and protrusions, an unnecessary but very appreciated addition.
Speaking of original forms, since I put up my original Transformers Prime Soundwave post a little over a year ago, I have traded in my Hasbro release for the TakaraTomy Arms Micron Soundwave. As is common with the Arms Micron releases, he has additional pods with Mini-con ports on his wings/shoulders.
He also comes equipped with his Mini-con, the scorpion, Zori.
Like the other Arms Micron Mini-cons, Zori transforms into a form that comes from the animation. In this case it’s the tentacles Soundwave uses to interface with computers and occasionally to harass small children.
Because what the silent, creepy Decepticon needs is some tentacles to make himself seem even more creepy.
In addition to Zori, Soundwave still comes with Laserbeak, like his Hasbro Robots in Disguise release. Beast Hunters Soundwave surprised everyone by trading Laserbeak for a tiny Ravage.
Both are configured to fit into the chests of either Soundwave release.
Both can also be transformed into a sort of bladed weapon that can be attached using the holes in Soundwave’s hands.
There’s something to be said for the simplicity of Soundwave’s original form. Nowhere is this more evident than the sleek lines of his alt mode, even with the Arms Micron addition of the Mini-con ports.
That being said, I am really liking that an already menacing-looking Decepticon has managed to appear even more dangerous thanks to the application of some spikes and extensions. Not too coincidentally, this intimidating upgrade is also most apparent in alt mode.
Soundwave couldn’t be a proper Beast Hunter (or whatever it is he’s hunting) without a hunting weapon. While Wheeljack has his new Falcon Spear, Soundwave has a “Talon Grapple Cannon”, a decidedly passive device for the otherwise vicious Decepticon.
With the claw being attached to the launcher on a string, this toy is a lot of fun to play with, especially for messing with the cat (the real one, not Ravage).
Though I guess it could be fun to torment Ravage with it as well.
The launcher has posts on either side as well as a handle underneath that is specially designed to fit in the specifically shaped hole on Soundwave’s chest. This allows the cannon to be carried on the bottom in alt mode when no deployer is currently taking up residence there.
It can also be attached on the top but logistically, it doesn’t seem to make as much sense up there.
Toy-only or cartoon as well, I guess we’ll find out on March 22nd when Transformers Prime Season 3 makes its premier — or sooner if the rumor of a March 15th release in Singapore is true (well, for some of us, if it is broadcast in English). One big, happy possibly beast hunting family?
Horse jokes are easy, Archaeopteryx jokes, not so much. Beast Wars Neo Mach Kick and Archadis! Beast Machines Airraptor!
Why did the Archaeopteryx catch the worm?
Because it was an early bird.
Sorry, as far as Archaeopteryx humor goes, that’s all I got. Prior to the second Japan-only Beast Wars sequel, Beast Wars Neo, (of which, to this day, neither sequel has been subtitled in English — a complete travesty) I would never have thought Archaeopteryx humor to be needed in a Transformers blog. However, there he is, the “stylish snob”.
Archadis is actually a relatively recent addition to my collection, but only because I already had this guy.
The Dinobot Airraptor from Beast Machines represented something we hadn’t seen too much of yet. While Beast Wars II introduced new characters using almost entirely pre-existing molds, Beast Wars Neo had a slew of new molds. Among these were many new Dinosaur-based molds for the Destrons and happily almost all of them were brought over as the Dinobots subline within Beast Machines, among these were Airraptor and the Target exclusive Magmatron. Though I like Airraptor’s bright paintjob, I can also appreciate Archadis’ more subtle coloration.
Hidden under the wing on their chests are their spark crystals. Naturally Archadis sports a Predacon symbol.
While Airraptor has the Beast Machines Dinobots faction symbol.
Unfortunately, someone on Takara’s side of things seems to have missed this change. When they re-released Archadis in their Beast Wars Telemocha series it was with a Dinobot spark crystal rather than the original Predacon one.
The mold itself is just chock full of mostly non-annoying gimmicks. Turning the arm shield on the right arm — made of the alt mode’s feathered tail — causes a pistol to rotate into the hand.
In alt mode, both wings have spring-loaded mechanisms that allow them to release “feather-bombs”.
The “mostly” in “mostly non-annoying” is that on Airraptor, these wings seem to have a hair-trigger and pop out at the slightest provocation. I think it may have something to do with the fact that the piece that makes up the actual trigger is shaped differently on Airraptor, forming more of a wedge, making the button more easy to brush against and set off the gimmick by accident.
Once the wings are ejected, they can be folded out to blasters.
Archadis being a Destron (basically a Predacon) and Airraptor being a Dinobot (basically a Maximal) means they can be mortal enemies. How much fun would it be to have a battle between “the most meticulous member of the Dinobot team” and the Destron who “worries over how many feathers he loses in battle”?
Of course, a fight between these two in alt mode might just end up looking like a Pokemon battle.
The only reason I own Archadis is because I was looking for the Maximal, Mach Kick, another of the new Beast Wars Neo molds. Strangely enough, I found that the “Showdown of the Favorites” two-pack of Mach Kick and Archadis was the same price as trying to get Mach Kick by himself.
Much like Longrack and most of the other new mold Beast Wars Neo Maximals, Mach Kick never made it to the US market. Also, like his fellow Beast Wars Neo Maximals, he has a third, completely superfluous mode. Mach Kick’s is particularly bad; officially called “Protect Mode”, but known by many as The Unhorse.
That is gonna give me nightmares. Let us never speak of it again.
No… seriously… never speak of it again.
Back to ponies! For having a horse alt mode, he has a serious amount of articulation.
His rooted hair tail is actually attached to his robot mode weapon, his “Tail Tomahawk” “a combination axe/whip” which “can slice an enemy in two”.
They sought fit to also give him a rooted hair ponytail in robot mode.
Never having seen the show, I can’t say if it is intentional based on his character, but the headsculpt really reminds me of a Lucha libre mask. Keeping the “disturbing added gimmicks” tradition alive (for a previous example, see Longrack’s “Choking on his tongue” mode) Mach Kick has a “Elastic Hand attack”, where he thrusts his horse head right hand out.
Though he is all panels and pieces, they can mostly be folded out of the way to create a relatively clean looking robot mode from the front.
As two of three designs that were settled upon by a contest, it’s easy to see why these were considered “The Showdown of the Favorites”. Both molds are great in alt and robot modes.
And as a change of pace, you can partner Airraptor up with Mach Kick instead since they’re both good guys — well, “good” for the most part.
The Year of the Really Big Autobots: Part One. G1 and Platinum Edition Year of the Snake Omega Supreme!
2013 brings three of the most surprising, most glee-inducing releases in recent Transformers history. Releasing in ascending height we have:
- Omega Supreme -”Year of the Snake” and second of the Platinum Edition exclusives (the first being last year’s “Year of the Dragon” Dark of the Moon Ultimate Optimus Prime), a retool of Energon Omega Supreme done in the style of Omega’s War for Cybertron incarnation with just enough G1 about him to make him at home in a Generations display.
- Fortress Maximus – the holy grail for many Transformers and now Encore Release #23 coming in March/April.
- Metroplex – An unexpected Toyfair 2013 reveal, the giant city-bot gets an update via the Generations line, with a somewhat Fall of Cybertron feel to him. At 24 inches tall, he will ever-so-slightly surpass Fortress Maximus as the tallest Transformer toy ever made. His release has been declared as “Fall 2013″.
Just one of these would make for a pretty awesome lead-in to the Transformers “Thrilling Thirty” 30th Anniversary celebration, but to get all three is as awesome as it is literally huge.
Part 1: The Last Line of Defense.
Omega Supreme has, hands down, one of the best retorts of the entirety of the Generation 1 cartoon. In The God Gambit, after crash landing onto a cliff edge on an alien world and finding himself stuck in place due to low energy, Jazz tells him that they will be back to help him, adding cheerfully,
“Just don’t move!”
The ever-pragmatic Omega Supreme responds with,
“Sarcasm: not appreciated.”
Along with being just a genuinely funny moment, this whole scene highlights the biggest (no pun intended) problem inherent with using Omega Supreme — or any of the Titans for that matter.
He’s simply too big and too powerful to be used regularly. He is relegated to the “last line of defense” because he could smash the Decepticon army almost single-handedly; which would make for a very short cartoon series. Granted, in a war for energy, keeping an energon-guzzler like Omega Supreme fully functional isn’t realistic, which helps mitigate the first part but that doesn’t really factor in when you are talking about the toys. It’s no fun taking your Skywarp into battle when the other kid has an Autobot that can solidly trounce you in one hit.
Due to their cost, most of the people I know only ever had one of the titans growing up. I am no exception; mine was Metroplex. I never even got him in-hand until he was reissued in the Encore line in 2008. Originally sold as “Super Change Robot Mechabot-1″ by Toybox — the same people that sold Sky Lynx — his reissue became possible when Takara merged with then-rival Tomy in 2006. It turned out that Toybox had licensed both of them from designs created by Tomy. Because Hasbro had licensed them from another company, Takara never released either of them in Japan until their somewhat-inaccurately-named Encore releases. The Encore attempts to give Omega Supreme a face in the previously vacant area under his visor.
Though the sculpt doesn’t really make it look any more like the cartoon head, I like it. He can also turn his head around to bring his cannon to bear.
Though, it wasn’t entirely necessary, as shown in many of his fiction appearances, he could still blast enemies without turning his head.
Also, as shown in many of his fiction appearances, he has really, really, reeeeeeeally cheesy dialogue. I guess you have a lot of time on your hands when you spend a good portion of the time as a base. Omega Supreme apparently chooses to use that spare time to come up with imposing one liners?
Due the nature of his “Tank with track around rocket base” alt mode, he is the very definition of a partsformer.
I’m sure this lead to a lot of Omega Supreme toys with missing pieces, especially the little yellow clips that keep his legs together. I like his alt mode mainly for the motorized tank that patrols the base’s perimeter.
In robot mode, the motor gives him an awkward, slow, shuffling walk which is pretty much the full extent of any leg articulation. His arms have very good articulation, though.
There’s a little bit of disagreement about his robot mode, namely his “wings”. In his instructions, he has the center pieces attached to his back.
However, most of his fictional appearances show him with the side pieces instead, a look that can be duplicated on the toy.
This attention to how the wings are placed becomes more apparent when you put the G1 Omega Supreme up against the new Platinum Edition release. If any true deficiency can be pointed out on this wonderful new update/homage, it’s that he has no wings at all.
Setting this aside is very easy to do when so much else about the new Omega Supreme is so very right. Whomever decided to take Energon Omega Supreme, give him a G1 paintjob, replace the Headmaster feature with a new headsculpt, and replace the crane arm with a proper claw arm is a genius.
I originally had Energon Omega Supreme but got rid of him when I became so very disappointed in a good portion of the Energon toyline. It was just too hard to look past his bad paintjob, gimmicky crane hand, and strange train engine with crane arm part of his alt mode. Unfortunately, the only part of it that makes me regret giving him up is the Headmaster part, which was removed in the Platinum Edition release. Happily the new War for Cybertron headsculpt is amazing.
Seeing pre-release pictures of him, I was concerned that the new headsculpt seemed too small, but once I saw him in person, I find I like it. It actually helps to give his body more of a sense of size. Of course, his actual sheer size also helps. The visor part of his headsculpt can be raised and a cannon flips out from the back of his head.
My major complaint with Energon Omega Supreme in both robot and alt mode, the crane arm, has been replaced by the articulated spinning claw hand/cannon from the game. This also fixes that half of his alt mode, as it is now a train engine pulling a massive cannon.
The battleship half of his alt mode is the same, but I never had any problems with it, it’s actually pretty cool.
The combined version of his alt mode, the “Cybertronian Armored Supertrain” is still complete nonsense.
For the most part, so is the “crane” transformation.
Ditto on the “artillery cannon” transformation.
None of it matter, though, when there’s already a decent alt mode made of the two vehicles and an absolutely wonderful, massive robot mode.
Hunter. Hunted. I’m the guy with the guns and sword. Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Optimus Prime!
SPOILER ALERT for the very last moment of the last episode of Season 2 of Transformers Prime.
At the end of the final episode of Season 2 — appropriately named “Darkest Hour” — we are left with a stark image.
The damaged, lifeless hand of Optimus Prime jutting from the ruins of the Autobot base would have much more impact if it weren’t for the fact that:
- Optimus Prime “deaths” are somewhat commonplace in Transformers series. At this point, I’m starting to believe that when Hasbro hires a studio to produce a new series, the contract ends with “Oh, yes, one more thing: make sure to kill Optimus Prime at least once.”
- We’ve seen toys of Season 3 Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Optimus Prime. Not only does he survive his impromptu burying, but it actually seems to have done him some good.
Beast Hunters Optimus Prime is the bulked up, menacing looking version of Optimus that presumably somehow claws his way out of the literal mountain of rubble dropped on his head by the Decepticons. I was initially concerned that the armored versions of the Autobots might not make it into the cartoon itself, but going by the promotional material, it looks like at least Optimus will get his upgrade in cartoon form.
Speaking of Season 2, many fans have eagerly awaited the Star Saber in toy form ever since it made an appearance in Transformers Prime.
“Eagerly awaited” became “OMGGimmeThatSwordNow” when Optimus did this,
Some of us even got weak in the knees when he followed that up with,
This lead to many fans simply taking it on themselves to equip their Optimus with his blade including the talented 3rd party accessory maker, Dr. Wu.
Some fans were… less interested in the subtle details.
We did get a smaller, less impressive version of the Star Saber with the Robots in Disguise Optimus release.
However, the smaller size puts it more on par with the Star Saber that comes with the Cyberverse release of Beast Hunters Optimus Prime.
It didn’t quite meet expectations for the mighty Star Saber, and happily Hasbro didn’t leave us hanging for long, though they have traded the blue glow of the cartoon version for translucent green.
The green tint is reflected in the promotional material, but we will see if that detail makes it into the cartoon.
Despite the upcoming Ultimate class “Dragon Disc” Optimus Prime, you know some will buy the Voyager release as well just to get the sword. For me, the sword was appealing, but the bigger draw was the built-in “Jet Wing” mode.
His backpack has places to put his weapons, both of his guns — which form jet engines for his flight mode — as well as the Star Saber.
Optimus’ “Eaglefire Missile Launchers” are detailed in his instructions as:
- Compact size masks devastating power.
- Missile impact powerful enough to cause earthquakes.
- Double as rocket engines for limited flight.
Augmenting this powerful new Optimus is a powerful looking new alt mode.
This is your Robot in Disguise.
This is your Robot in no mood to deal with anyone’s crap any more, disguise be damned, thank you very much.
Disguise is officially gone from Optimus’ alt mode. Apparently now it’s all about brute force.
Though not from a completely official source, news has appeared that Season 3 or Beast Hunters will be the end of Transformers Prime with a new series coming (along with the fourth entry in the live action movie franchise) in 2014. If the toys and promos we’ve seen so far are any indication, it looks like Prime is looking to go out with a growling, angry bang, not a whimper.
I have to admit a great deal of disappointment in Fall of Cybertron, and it’s almost all this guy’s fault:
I’d like to be able to simply jump on the bandwagon and say that the toy is the problem; that he’s just too small and his transformation is to simplistic. In reality, he is much less bulky than his previous incarnation.
It’s not that, though, I really don’t have a problem with the recent down-sizing of the toys. No, I have an issue with the overall aesthetic. I have since before setting eyes on the toy itself; since seeing this shot from the Fall of Cybertron trailer.
The design just doesn’t come close to his War for Cybertron body (a change that is never actually explained anywhere.) The toy actually improves on the odd, rounded look his head has, making it less rounded and more angled. However, it pales when put next to the awesome War for Cybertron head. The problem that the toy doesn’t fix is the chunky, blocked torso, though it does a decent job of downplaying it.
Still, that boxy, squared-off, top-heavy chest piece is something I would expect from an Ultra Magnus toy, not Optimus.
Oh. Well there you go. Yes, the mold definitely looks better as Ultra Magnus. In fact, I’m pretty sure he can deal with that (and just about anything else) right now.
I consider this a sort of vindication for poor Ultra Magnus. After suffering as an on again, off again repaint of his much more famous “brother”, it’s good to see him actually doing a mold better. The strange part is just how well the exact same mold still manages to pull off a really good Optimus and Ultra Magnus alt mode at the same time.
Since Ultra Magnus’ appearance in Animated, he’s become somewhat synonymous with hammers, but it looks like earlier on, he chose a… stabbier-slicier weapon. The best part is that the sword splits into pieces and can be combined with his gun — the same as the gun that comes with the Optimus version of the mold — to form an even bigger sword.
Funnily enough, the sword itself is modeled after the sword Optimus uses in the final showdown with Megatron in the game.
A scaled-down version of Megatron’s sword actually comes with Fall of Cybertron Air Raid.
When it comes to a sudden boost in weapon accessories, Ultra Magnus and Air Raid are both indicative of the second and future waves of the Fall of Cybertron toys.
The weapon Optimus’ toy comes with appears in promotional material for the game.
This is a nice inclusion, and speaks to this new move to actually make toy versions of the weapons from the game.
Optimus’ primary weapon of choice in the game is the Path Blaster.
Sideswipe, a fellow wave 2 toy with Ultra Magnus, includes this massive weapon.
After playing through the game and getting all the upgrades for the Path Blaster, there’s a good chance Sideswipe is not getting this weapon back from Optimus. All of this new weapon love isn’t entirely new. Back in War for Cybertron, Megatron came with his fusion cannon, the front half of which resembles a combination of the War for Cybertron Fusion Cannon and Fall of Cybertron‘s Riot Cannon
Unfortunately, it was molded as his alt mode’s primary weapon and includes a huge piece at the end. Also, it attaches in a specific way to Megatron’s arm and really can’t be used by other toys.
Another weapon, which makes an appearance in the game but is really character-specific, it the Sling Shock. Unlike Megatron’s, Shockwave’s weapon has a standard post and can be held by others.
Starscream comes with the game’s Neutron Assault Rifle, a very mean-looking geared six-barreled cannon.
Last but definitely not the least of wave 2 is one of my favourite weapons to use in multiplayer, the Gear Shredder. Used properly — never charge it all the way, it kills the accuracy — it’s a lethal and, more importantly, fun weapon (watching enemies flee with bladed discs sticking out of them from different angles never gets old).
Included with Kickback, the firing mechanism leaves a lot to be desired for a disc weapon, but it still looks very cool.
There are at least two of the next wave that come with game weapons; Whirl with the Subsonic Repeater and Roadbuster with the Energon Harvester. I can’t wait to grow the Fall of Cybertron in-game arsenal a little more.
If you have never seen any of Omni Production’s dub of The Headmasters, Super-God Masterforce, or Victory — sometimes called “The Singapore Dub”, it’s the one referenced in my post about Billy-I mean, Blaster/Twincast – you are doing yourself a disservice. This dub is so horrifically bad, it’s awesome. Now, I’m in no way suggesting you watch all of the Omni dub, that can’t possibly be good for anyone’s sanity, but there’s enough of it up on the Tubes of You to give you a taste of the lunacy. One particularly note-worthy scene involves the translation of Sixshot’s function as “Ninja Officer”.
Now, does this mean he consults about ninjas? Or he is a ninja who also does consultations? On what? Or maybe he consults directly to ninjas? Mysterious. (Or ridiculous. Your choice.)
His single appearance in the U.S. cartoon was pretty much a straight advertisement for his toy and its unprecedented six modes.
He also only made an appearance in one panel of the second issues of the four-part Headmasters comic book mini-series. This meant that for a while, his involvement across Headmasters, the Japanese season 3 cartoon, was pretty much the entirety of Sixshot.
Most of that was being known as the guy that ruthlessly killed folks. First, we find out millions of years ago he killed Chromedome’s little friend Abel (get it? Abel, the biblical first victim of murder? Subtle Takara, real subtle.) Then he shows up in modern times, gets up to some pretty standard Decepticon hijinks and then, oh yeah, murders Ultra Magnus in episode 24, given the accurate-yet-spoiler-filled-title: “Ultra Magnus Dies!!”After he fires the fatal shots, Sixshot lets out one of the best evil, maniacal laughs in the history of Transformers cartoons. Four episodes later, he then murders yet another friend of Chromedome, Jack.
All of this seems to culminate rather unsettlingly in episode 32 “My Friend Sixshot!” in which Daniel befriends “Uncle Sixshot” when he convinces himself that Sixshot isn’t really that bad of a guy. Did I mention this is the guy that killed Ultra Magnus a mere eight episodes prior? Or that killed two friends of Chromedome, who Daniel is supposedly also friends with?
I never had Sixshot as a kid, I honestly don’t recall at what point I even became aware of his existence. Until somewhat recently, the real lack of a presence in US fiction lead to statements by many like,
“I generally like G1 figures but I don’t remember Six Shot at all.“
However, IDW changed that by having him take a very active role in a number of their comics. Unfortunately, at first they poured on the “I’m a super-awesome-uber-cool-tailpipe-kicking ‘bot” a little too thick for me.
Granted, that “unbeatable one ‘bot army” thing has been knocked down a peg. The last we saw of him, he had just been dealt with by Metroplex.
But even that couldn’t keep him down permanently, so I’m sure he’ll be making a comeback.
Hopefully his return will come as an actual character rather than the super-powered stereotype he’s been portrayed as so far. All of these appearances seem to have been enough to garner attention from Mastermind Creations, a 3rd Party group, who are soon releasing their highly articulated and highly expensive “Terminus Hexatron”.
While a very, very nice looking toy, it’s not really something I need in my collection. Though it is infinitely more articulated than the original, it doesn’t really do anything to actually update Sixshot.
While only having a single point of useful articulation (his arms swivel up) Sixshot’s G1 toy has one advantage, he is intimidatingly large.
Mine is the 2002 Takara reissue. There’s recently been a Hasbro Asia reissue, but as it was given a shiny new chromed and metallic paint deco, it’s actually more expensive to get ahold of than the upcoming 3rd party toy.
Hopefully the combination of the 3rd party stuff — there’s also a recent Justitoys “World’s Smaller Transformers” release of Sixshot — and the Hasbro Asia release will drive prices down on the original and the 2002 reissue for those that haven’t had a chance to add this guy to their collections. For those that do finally get him, my first piece of advice regarding the instructions: ignore a good portion of the instructions.
First, don’t fold his chest “fins” in.
I assume whomever made the instructions thought the chest fins should move completely out of the way of his one point of articulation, but his box art shows you how it’s really done.
I usually angle them out somewhat rather than just putting them flat out, but that’s personal preference. Ironically, Sixshot’s instructions came sealed with a sticker and presented the buyer with a challenge:
The reason this is ironic is that both the instructions and the photos on the back of the packaging mis-transform the armored carrier mode.
There’s a step that rotates the arms to move the wheels forward.
Another purported inaccuracy involves his gun mode. There are extra holes inside his legs. Not used in any of his official transformations, his gun mode would make much more sense if this were where his blasters should be put.
Unlike the correct positioning of his wheels in armored carrier mode and of his chest fins in robot mode, the presumably correct gun mode transformation didn’t make it into his fictional appearances either. Instead they all used his instructions’ placement, on the outside.
The two modes that are pretty properly described are his other two vehicle alt modes. First, there’s the tank, which is particularly cool for the command station that’s formed by folding out the wolf’s lower jaw.
Then there’s my favourite of his vehicle alt modes and the most cohesive, the “Attack Jet”.
My favourite of all of his modes is his wolf mode. However, even this mode doesn’t escape without a minor bit of scrutiny. If it is indeed just a wolf, then the instructions’ placement of Sixshot’s wings is fine.
However, his fictional appearances tend to go with a Winged Wolf, angling the wings up and out slightly.
One of the reasons the wolf is my favourite is that it even warrants a special call-out in his Tech Spec.
“Only the wolf creature has no need for Sixshot’s 2 hypersonic concussion blasters; the wolf mode prefers to rip apart enemy Autobots with his razor fangs.”
Of course, “Winged Wolf” isn’t to be confused with “Wingwolf”, the oddity of a “hidden” seventh mode he suddenly displayed in Headmasters.
I wonder if the reason this seventh mode is “hidden” is because he doesn’t want to get kicked out of the Six Clan? (Couldn’t possibly be because it’s completely made up by the producers of Headmasters and not actually a real thing… right?)