Posts Tagged Maximal
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.
Torca, the Beast Wars Fuzor is notorious for two things: his wondrously ugly mug and the deadly Gold Plastic Syndrome. If you don’t know what GPS is, just check out the TFWiki entry for why I stated in a previous post:
“My favourite of the Fuzor toys, I am actually terrified to bring him out of his plastic container now”
Torca was my favourite Fuzor even before I saw his massively powerful appearance in the Beast Wars: The Gathering comic books series.
Therefore it was with one metric ton of nervous trepidation that I inspected him during my recent catologuing efforts. Torca wouldn’t be my first brush with GPS. My Beast Wars Transmetal Megatron, another notorious crumbling toy, already suffered a cracked side in robot mode.
Nothing. I have gone over and over (and over and over and over) him and not the slightest crack or stress is showing. Of course, that didn’t stop me from twitching from every creak as I transformed him from that incredible alt mode and back again.
Look at the crazy amount of detailing. If anyone wants to know why Beast Wars rocks, for me it’s the truly insane amount of minutiae they included in almost every single mold.
Now, I know the instructions themselves tell you to have him hold his gun with the blowhole for his water-squirting gimmick facing forward.
However, this removes any articulation from his arm, because of the awkward positioning necessary. If you look at the gun, you can clearly see the molded detail makes holding it with the other way around look more like an actual gun and retains all that wonderful Beast Wars era articulation.
Now that I have confirmed that he has yet to suffer the effects of GPS, I will gingerly put him back in his packaging and back into a storage bin. I’m still going to try to get my hands on the non-GPS suffering Beast Wars II repaint, Elphorca, just in case the next time I pull him out, he goes to pieces on me.
Primal Prime has a special place in my heart. I know I say that a lot, but hey, what can I say? I have a big heart.
For this guy in particular it was my purchasing victory of Botcon 2002. Unfortunately he had been a rather limited run (the TFWiki states that he was limited to only 10,000) and I never saw hide nor hair of him at retail. As I hit the dealer floor for the first time at Botcon 2002, I made a beeline for the Big Bad Toy Store tables and there he was, for a very, very reasonable price; the only one. I waited patiently for my turn and while I was doing so a pushy, grubby kid elbowed his way up, followed by his parents. “There! Him! Therrrrrrrrre!” You guessed it, he was pointing right at the one and only Primal Prime. His father began to elbow me out of the way to see better, just as the BBTS rep walked up. “I want-”, the rude little child started. I interjected, “Actually, I was here first,”
The adult hidden somewhere in me should let him have the toy.
“I’ll take that Primal Prime.”
I didn’t look back as I strode triumphantly away with my wonderful new Primal Prime. I think the kid may have started crying. Like I said, I have a big heart.
A remold of Beast Wars Transmetal Optimal Optimus Primal, he is essentially the same toy done in Optimus Prime-like colours. The remold part is actually his missile launcher functionality. Optimal Optimus had one trigger to both launch his missiles as well as light up his cannon’s light gimmick. Naturally this lead to people shooting themselves directly in the eyeball at close range while trying to see him light up. Primal Prime uses a different trigger for the lights than the missiles.
Optimal Optimus was already one of my favourite toys from Beast Wars, so painting him up like Optimus Prime and tossing in some random translucent pieces just makes the toy that much more awesome.
Even better is giving him a justifiable backstory that includes being an amalgamation of Primes of the past through the use of the Matrix. He combines Vok, Maximal, and Autobot technology “forged from the remnants of a control suit used to manipulate Optimal Optimus during the Beast Wars”. The control suit, of course, being the one from the Beast Wars episode “Master Blaster”, that Quickstrike pilots as a remote control for Optimal Optimus.
The only annoying part is that we never get to see his Primal Prime’s beast mode in any of the fiction. This is one seriously tough-looking techno-ape.
Thanks to his light piping being enhanced to take advantage of his light-up electronics, his light-piping is wonderful in beast mode.
He has what is charitably referred to as two vehicular alt modes. One a wheeled ground vehicle and the other a flying jet mode, neither manages anything too spectacular thanks to his giant fists protruding in both.
But the mold does at least have the excuse of not having to base either alt mode on earthen vehicles, seeing as it was created on Earth millions of year before the vehicle.
Much like my statement regarding Double Punch before, I liked the first version of this toy, but this was the toy this mold was meant to be.
Silverbolt, as voiced by the talented Scott McNeil, was a very welcome addition to the Beast Wars Maximals. The gimmick of a show can get boring rather fast and shouldn’t be used for more than one season; for examples of this see the “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” Minicons pursuit of Armada, or the Combining-for-no-apparent-tactical-advantage of Energon. With Beast Wars, the power-that-be were apparently very aware of this. Hence, we start the second season with the Transmetals. Then, before the shock of mechanical animal alt modes with vehicle sub-modes mixed with techno-organic robot modes can even wear off, we are given this,
The Fuzors introduced us to a robot with a freakish mix of two animals for an alt mode. They also gave us some of the most fun toys of the entire line, like the splendid Elephant/Orca hybrid, Torca, or the so-astoundingly-hideous-he’s-beautiful Lionfish/Hornet combination of Injector.
The polar opposite of Quickstrike, the only other Fuzor with an appearance in the show, Silverbolt was given to bouts of righteous indignation, usually accompanied by a flourish of gallantly-themed trumpets. With a somewhat overdeveloped sense of heroism, Silverbolt finds it nearly impossible to determine a grey area between right and wrong. This just adds to the complexity of an already character-rich show when he falls head over heels in love with the villainous (villainess?) Blackarachnia.
As with a lot of later Beast Wars toys, the toy-to-show accuracy was absolutely unprecedented in both robot and alt modes.
Just like in the show, when he is not brandishing those
giant writing quills deadly clubs, they form missiles that fire from the tips of his wings. Unfortunately, the huge triggers for these missile launchers jutting out from the leading edge of his wings is a little unsightly. Though you can fire them manually with the buttons, pulling out his alt mode’s tail feathers cause the wings to push forward and automatically fire his missiles.
From one of the most awesome Beast Wars toys, Silverbolt would move on to have the single worst toy of the Beast Machines line; and we’re talking about the toyline that had the monstrously large and ugly Nightscream toy in it.
That’s not a real thing. I am not even pretending that that is even an attempt at a real thing. I hope the designer that made this toy was summarily escorted from the building by security, or at least was administered a drug test. You know it’s a bad toy when it makes the cartoon version look better by comparison.
Of course, then it becomes this,
Ok, fine. Sleek purple, samurai-ish robot. Not too bad. Maybe there’s a glimmer of hope for the toy in robot mode?
I constantly want to defend this toy based purely on robot mode, but then I see those hands. Those needlessly humongous hands. Also, the completely show inaccurate colour scheme. How freaking hard would it have been to at least make this stupidly ugly toy in show accurate colours?!? Takara managed it!!
Sorry. Let me just breathe for a moment.
Luckily Silverbolt was not to be trapped with this malformed alt mode. In 2003, the Universe line brought him back to his original form, stating that “in his newly reformatted Fuzor body, Silverbolt has reverted to the powerful form he started out with in the beast wars.” His Universe comic book appearance, however, was not so friendly about this “reformatting”.
Also, he is now apparently an Autobot rather than a Maximal. Along with his new tampographed Autobot symbol in robot mode, his alt mode has added “Energon Surge” paint applications that were prevalent in the Universe toyline. Also, pupils on his wolf head, I guess.
All-in-all a pretty, if not somewhat jarring, repaint for our flying doggy-bot.