Posts Tagged Prime
So, it looks like the last of my blog post publishing problems has been wrapped up and things should start appearing every Thursday like they’re meant to. For anyone that missed it because of the two Gizmodo posts, I did finally get my Insecticons post to show up. Enjoy!
In the Beast Hunters line there were three toys I was looking forward to the most and one I was looking forward to the least. The first of the three was Smokescreen, the last of the three will be Beast Fire Predaking, the Ultimate Class dragon expected later this year. In the middle are the remaining two: one I was eagerly anticipating and one not-so-much.
What I found was that the one I wasn’t looking forward to at all is actually quite good and the one I was looking forward to is indeed fantastic.
I actually feel a little bad for Bumblebee at this point. He’s been done so many times that you would think that he could get a good long break from that same yellow and black look, but no. Sure, he’s gotten a couple “stealth” releases here and there, but the vast, overwhelming majority have stuck steadfast to the very strict homage. This wouldn’t be too bad by itself, but once you mix it with the sheer number of toys he received on the shelves since his front-and-center role in the 2007 movie; a tinge of animosity can begin to grow.
His Beast Hunters release had it even worse, being a retool of a previous toy. Granted he is heavily, heavily retooled. In Beast Hunters style, he is festooned with the requisite stabby spikes, but he also has new hood detailing, missile carrying racks added to both car doors, and a 5mm hole added to the car roof for mounting weapons.
More specifically — though he comes with the Robots in Disguise release’s arm guns — it’s for mounting his new “Eagleshot Bow” (not to be confused with the weapon of Beast Hunters Optimus, the “Eaglefire Missile Launchers”) for which he comes with six missiles.
He has a new “armored up” headsculpt which basically adds a cool crested helmet to his previous head and giving him a birdlike visage.
One more major retool he received is that the hinge that lets his roof fold up and tuck away better is removed. The end result is that part of the roof sticks up further in the back on the Beast Hunters release. However, this takes away from the awkwardness of the one part of his Arms Micron and Robots in Disguise releases I didn’t like; the thin panel that juts up behind his head.
So, I am glad to report that even with his yawn-inspiring yellow and black paintjob, the rest of him is surprisingly good.
Not surprisingly good: Shockwave. He is decidedly not surprising in the fact that he is beyond good, he is amazing. What is surprising, is that somehow he accomplishes this while overcoming a very serious handicap. No, not his lack of depth perception or the huge cannon where his left hand should be; those particular “handicaps” are an intrinsic part of Shockwave.
No, his problem is his alt mode. While it’s very reminiscent of Animated Shockwave, it’s a strange half-tracked, spindly suggestion of a tank rather than an actual tank.
For a voyager, I definitely don’t expect to see his arm and hand mostly dangling from the bottom of his alt mode — a problem he shares with fellow Prime Voyager-class release, Dreadwing. At least Dreadwing’s hands stick out in the back, Shockwave’s is right there in front. He definitely isn’t doing the “H-Tank” category any favours.
The other thing he shares with Dreadwing: his robot mode more than makes up for any alt mode deficiencies.
Furthering the Shockwave homage in a very clever way, one of his tank treads unwraps and attaches to this gun arm to mimic his G1 release’s cannon tube.
Also, this mode is impressively large, fitting for his character in the show, but as he towers over Megatron, not fitting for the actual scale of the show.
Though some didn’t like the Deluxe size release for War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron Shockwave, I always thought it was appropriate for his smaller “Scientist Class” size in the game itself. The difference between these two is almost like before and after shots of some sort of augmentation or upgrade.
Shockwave’s gimmick is a gun feature that expands while it spins. There is no built-in way to lock it open.
Shockwave shared Smokescreen‘s Beast Hunter feature, having his extra armor pieces as flexible, removal add-ons.
Though, like Beast Hunters Soundwave, I’m not sure why one of the Decepticons needs the Beast-y armoring, but his will go somewhere in a bin like Smokescreens as it doesn’t really add much to either mode.
Really, though, what could they have possibly done to improve on this monstrous presence?
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.
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?
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 don’t need this toy… I really don’t need this toy… Wait? Data discs? Ok, I need this toy. Fall of Cybertron Soundblaster, Frenzy, Rumble, Ravage, Ratbat, Buzzsaw, and Laserbeak.
There have recently been a couple glaring contradictions in my usual rules surrounding toy-centric versus fiction-centric names. To recap, this is Frenzy:
Despite the fact that this is Rumble:
Of course, in that same episode of the original series, this was also Rumble,
We’ll all be better off if we just pretend that never happened. As I pointed out at length in my “Rumble is red, Frenzy is blue” post, I adopted a toy-centric view mostly because I was exposed to the toys well before I was exposed to the cartoon. So, in my world RiRFiB (Rumble is Red, Frenzy is Blue) because that’s what the toys told me.
And this is Fall of Cybertron Rumble,
Which means so is this,
It remains to be seen if this is a decision to officially reverse RiRFiB for toys moving forward, but Hasbro at least ok’ed the FiR part as far back as 2011 with the eventually cancelled “Demolition Rumble” release of United Frenzy.
Though the Fall of Cybertron and Prime releases have continued making Rumble blue, it might just be because the game itself went that direction and as far as I know Hasbro is still pretending that Prime and Fall of Cybertron are all the same continuity (despite glaring evidence to the contrary).
This does nothing to change the fact that, despite what the packaging may read, I will never be able to think of this guy as Frenzy,
Ugh. RiRFiB/RiBFiR. Derailing conversations/threads/posts since 1984. Back to the only reason there’s new Frenzy and Rumble toys to fret about in the first place: Fall of Cybertron Soundwave.
At Botcon 2012, we got our first look at the return of voyager class toys to the Generations line. Quite a surprise — and to many, a disappointment – was the announcement of Fall of Cybertron Soundwave. Disappointment because rather than getting a new toy, we were getting a supersized version of a toy we already got once. War for Cybertron Soundwave, even at deluxe scale, was an awesome toy. As great as Fall of Cybertron Soundwave looked, he was effectively surplus to requirements. Left at that, this would have seemed a very bad idea on Hasbro’s part, no matter how popular Soundwave was. So, why release him?
The return of Soundwave’s army of Decepticon Mini-Cassette minions? Wonderful. Laserbeak comes with Soundwave, Buzzsaw with Soundblaster.
Of course, there’s the aforementioned misnamed Rumble and Frenzy.
Each comes packaged in a two-pack. We couldn’t have a set of deployers without loyal Ravage.
My favourite of the set just so happens to be my favourite original Decepticon Mini-Cassette, Ratbat.
And not just because his box art is absolutely adorable.
Of course, we can’t have a bunch of random little dudes running around pre-Earth Cybertron as cassettes. The answer? Cybertronian data discs complete with disc cases for the two-pack sets.
The return of Soundwave’s army of Decepticon Mini-Cassette minions as Data-Disc minions? Genius!
What started as an apparently risky proposition for Hasbro turned out to be quite the opposite. At this point I knew I was going to need this mold for the ”deployers” alone, an annoying proposition when I already had a Soundwave I was quite happy with (and who fit in better scale-wise with the rest of the War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron display shelf). Then Hasbro announced that we were getting a repaint as Soundblaster and my annoyance levels dropped considerably. Though the amount of work I had to go through to secure a Fall of Cybertron Laserbeak without buying Soundwave was tremendous, it worked out monetarily quite in my favour and I even ended up with Soundwave’s weapon out of the deal. Fall of Cybertron Soundblaster is actually a wonderful homage.
And Soundwave didn’t even have to die this time around to get upgraded… or did he? An oddity from Soundblaster’s toy bio gives the impression that Soundwave doesn’t really fare too well after the end of Fall of Cybertron:
Restored to a fully functioning state by the loyalty of his minions and
the arcane science of an alien world, Soundwave takes a new name to
reflect his new lease on life.
Alien world? Arcane science? I am intrigued. What happened? Will we ever know what the bio writer was talking about?
Beyond the inclusion of his chest being able to contain and eject up to 3 of his deployers at a time, there’s really no overall difference — other than size, naturally — in either mode from the original deluxe release. Originally described as just “Armored Vehicle Mode”, he is now labelled as transforming into a “Communications Truck”.
The ejection of the deployers can also be done in Alt mode, which is a nice addition.
The aforementioned “Operation: Ejection” gimmick is rather hit-or-miss. First and most important: the instructions show the data discs going into his chest with their little auto-transformation buttons facing out. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER DO THIS. EVER. They are meant to go the other way around and will almost certainly get jammed in there if put in backwards. That is not to say that putting them in the correct way is entirely pain-free. The tolerances on these things are razor thin, meaning… well, I can’t put it any better than David Willis over at Shortpacked did,
“Mostly these guys get stuck and then you push and push and push and use excessive force and then when finally one of them gives they all explode out of his chest at the same time, usually hitting you in the face no matter where your face is and then you have a scattering of half-transformed things everywhere.”
Most of mine fit pretty well, but the birds and bat are the ones that stick the worst. Speaking of the ejection gimmick, the homage does go a step further on the Fall of Cybertron figure than the original War for Cybertron. He has an ejection button on his shoulder that opens his chest compartment, exactly like the placement of original’s tape door eject button. A splendid step further, there’s molded detail in his right hand that I initially mistook for a trigger finger. Nope, just like in the G1 cartoon, he can reach up and push his own eject button.
Another oddity from both Soundwave and Soundblaster’s box, also shown in their instructions, is a second gun. Though no second gun was included, the gun depicted is actually G1 Optimus Prime’s.
So yeah, other than packaging photo strangeness and the mostly-not-working main gimmick, it’s an excellent mold. Had I not already owned the deluxe version, I would have happily bought both Soundwave and Soundblaster. Besides, even if it weren’t a good mold by itself, the new mold Deployer army alone would make it more than worth it.
Thanks to the Soundblaster repaint, no need to buy Soundwave again, I pretty much figured I had Hasbro beat on this one. Then they announced Fall of Cybertron Blaster. Oh, screw you Hasbro.
If Wheeljack survived season two, why is he dressed like an angel now? Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Wheeljack vs. Lazerback!
You know what the internet is just jam-packed with?
Luckily there’s still some room left, because here’s one more: I ♥ Beast Hunters. A lot.
Not the “Beast Hunters” which was the original working title of Beast Machines.
Now, this opinion, much like most of the opinions across the internet, is not equally shared. (A division among the Transformer fandom?!?! How shocking!) I am eagerly awaiting season three of Transformers Prime, perhaps more than I have anticipated either of the first two seasons. Now don’t get me wrong, I have quite enjoyed seasons one and two of Transformers Prime. I even own them both on Blu-ray (sooo pretty in HD). However, with a cast size limited by CGI budget, things can get stale rather quickly. This was something that Beast Wars fully embraced. By introducing Transmetal, then Fuzors, then Transmetal 2, they managed to keep the show moving and changing throughout all three seasons. In fact, in a great interview for the LATimes “Hero Complex” Pop Culture blog, executive producer Jeff Kline admits,
“What we discovered early on, especially in Season 2, because we kept getting bigger and bigger, we wanted it to get more epic and the idea of having every episode be self-contained became impossible. And we burned through our three years of story early in Season 2.”
The full interview can be found here. The end result is that they needed to toss things up and where it all landed was on the concept of Beasts. And I couldn’t be happier. How do you keep things interesting? Throw this into the mix.
Dragons!!! I love me some dragons and as I said in my Cybertron Scourge post, I freaking love transforming dragons. A new, ruthless faction of ancient Transformers called the Predacons all with dragon alt modes is the kind of game changer the series needs right now. Lazerback himself comes with some great personality straight off his portion of the “Tales of the Beast Hunters”:
LAZERBACK refuses to serve under anyone, not an OVERLORD like MEGATRON, or a conqueror like PREDAKING. Instead, he is determined to see CHAOS made king by the destruction of two tyrants who stand in his way.
It’ll be nice if that particular detail makes it into the cartoon. Though it took some initial getting used to (and there isn’t much imagination in the transformation from alt to robot mode), I definitely like that his robot mode really is a completely different aesthetic than we’ve see so far from both the Decepticons and the Autobots of Prime. Sidenote, his packaging and a majority of his online postings declare “Includes 2 missiles” and “Fires 2 missiles!”, however, this appears to be a simple case of mistakenly thinking his Toxic Strike Blaster’s “Acid Missile” is actually two separate missiles.
Not that it matters too much, as he’s a member of what may be the first entire faction that will be displayed in alt mode.
As far as Beast Hunters as a whole, thanks to the promos we know at least the leader of Predacons will be showing up on screen, however the one thing I seriously hope makes it into the cartoon is at least some of the new armored forms of the Autobots.
The biggest division in the fandom over Beast Hunters appears to be the new spiky Mad Max-inspired changes to their alt modes. Once again, I fall firmly on the side of that division that has big, giant smiles. Wheeljack’s new design makes his first Transformers Prime release look almost prosaic.
The added weathered details are remarkable and intricate. Now, I can’t say I actually understand Wheeljack’s new winged robot mode — from lone wolf Wrecker to avenging angel? — but I can say that I am loving it.
The argument that so many have tossed around; “I can’t believe it’s a line made up of mostly repaints of toys we already bought!” is invalid. Unlike lines such as Transformers Armada‘s “The Unicron Battles”, Beast Hunters isn’t comprised of simple repaints. Least noticeable, but most significant for the subtlety, are the mold changes to his headsculpt.
Beyond just the subtle changes, the more noticeable remolding done to Wheeljack is seriously amazing. This time out, Wheeljack has ditched the swords in favour of a mean looking new blade, the Falcon Spear.
Contained within the Falcon Spear is a “capture disc” for him to (presumably) hunt some beasts.
If the cartoon incorporates half of the stuff coming out of the toyline, this is going to be one intense season.
Abort! Abort! Abort! Retreeeeeat! (I told you this was a very bad idea.) Transformers Prime First Edition Optimus Prime!
Here’s what my Transformers Prime First Edition Optimus Prime looks like now in alt mode.
If you’re thinking it looks a lot like the last time I posted an image of his alt mode, you’d be right.
Ok. Yeah. I should just learn to trust myself. After painstakingly taping off the parts of Optimus I didn’t want painted, I began slowly — ever so slowly — applying Model Masters Insignia Red Enamel paint. The only part of this debacle I am glad about is that I was all of four paint strokes in when I envisioned the disasterous and inevitable end result. Literally sprinting to find a q-tip and the alcohol (the technique for paint removal I learned with my G2 Jazz project), I removed what little I had painted (while being very careful as to not remove any of his original paint applications) and admitted defeat. For now.
I have stated before I am not a modder or kitbasher. I don’t have any painting skills to speak of. Fundamentally this means I don’t actually know how to paint an even enough coat that is both thick enough to cover the plastic colour underneath as well as thin enough to not obliterate molded details. With just a few strokes I was able to see that I would need a number of coats to cover the brown colour and I was already starting to lose the details of the tiny rivets molded into the edge of the brown piece.
So that’s that. Until I acquire the skill necessary to paint him, get a second for backup just in case my painting doesn’t go so well, or otherwise swap him out for a fully painted version, he will remain in robot mode.
As a consolation prize, however, robot mode isn’t exactly shabby. In fact, what a beautiful robot mode that is.
Despite the missing paint application, I find it nearly impossible to be unhappy with Hasbro about him. They promised before to get limited release and/or unreleased figures out there to us and pretty much haven’t made good on those promises. Until now, until the First Edition and GDO toys. Therefore I consider it something of a minor miracle that I own the Voyager class First Edition Optimus Prime at all. Unlike Bulkhead, I had resigned myself to the Robots in Disguise Optimus release. Just like Bulkhead, this was a sad state of affairs as the Robots in Disguise release, an otherwise acceptable toy, just doesn’t measure up because of the existence of the First Edition release.
First, the annoyingly hollow legs. Second, the silhouette. Transformers Prime Optimus Prime has a very distinct silhouette that both the Robots in Disguise release and the previous Deluxe-class First Edition release do not do justice to. While not totally eliminating the issue completely, the Voyager-class First Edition release greatly minimizes the back panels that ruin the outline of both the Deluxe and Robots in Disguise robot modes. His Deluxe release has the back panel problem but doesn’t compound it, like the Robots in Disguise release does, by having misplaced smokestacks in robot mode.
Then there is the size issue. The Robots in Disguise release is smaller to accommodate two weapons: a ridiculous unfolding, gimmicky gun that is far too large and a sword that is far too small and insubstantial. I have gutted the gun in an attempt to make it somewhat more passable.
The First Edition release remedies this.
Although, for all the pointing out of flaws I might do about the Robots in Disguise release, at least that one doesn’t have a big, ugly brown section on either side in alt mode.
Granted, the First Edition one doesn’t have an obviously hollow cab when viewed from the back.
Oh, Robots in Disguise release, so close, yet so far away.
My favourite character in Transformers Animated, Bulkhead, would prove to be the inspiration for my favourite character in Transformers Prime, Bulkhead. Unfortunately, Bulkhead would be one of the ‘bots to fall victim to Hasbro’s mangled mismanagement of the Transformers Prime First Edition line of toys. Hasbro has since made good on their screw-up and thanks to the magic of BigBadToyStore.com, I didn’t even have to set foot in a Toys R Us to finally get my hands on one.
Not having hope of seeing one of those for anything short of a kajillion dollars on Ebay, I settled for the Robots in Disguise full retail release when I found him somewhere in Texas on our post-Botcon roadtrip earlier this year.
He’s alright. Minus the First Edition release, you might even call him a pretty great toy. However, the First Edition toy is a reality and therefore, his Robots in Disguise toy simply pales in comparison. Those wings that jut up awkwardly over his shoulders (the panels of which pop off with the slightest breeze), the pieces that fit over his actual shoulders (that are separate pieces and therefore don’t stay with his arms as you move them), the panel that his head sits on (that sticks too far out in the front), his fists (that don’t pivot all the way down); I could go on, but won’t. Except for one last thing: his accessories. Piledriver-thing… umm, ok, I guess? Absolutely ludicrous, light-up ”Weaponizer” device with rotating wrecking ball that I had to wedge a toothpick in to keep deployed for the photo? It hurts my head to think about.
Worst of all, this ridiculous looking, stupidly oversized, unwieldy weapon is the main reason that old Bulkie’ is missing a goodly portion of his actual bulk.
Nope. The Robots in Disguise release never stood a chance against the actually bulky First Edition Bulkhead.
Along with having things like hood panels that fold upwards purely to make him more show accurate and wheels (minus awkward extra paneling) angled correctly on his back for his show model, the First Edition release also has correct weaponry. His fists rotate around to peg holes with sculpted details to mimic his show’s deployable arm cannons. You can then plug his mace into the peg hole for Bulkhead’s primary weapon of choice.
This makes for some good scene recreations, like this one of Bulkhead and his rival, Breakdown.
The one thing that can be said for the Robots in Disguise release is that it at least can hold its own in alt mode.
Though slightly smaller than the First Edition alt mode and missing some paint applications, it is as faithful a recreation of Bulkhead’s Humvee/Jeep conglomeration. Still don’t know what I’m going to do with him, he’ll probably just sit in a bin in the closet for now. The one going in the display is definitely the version that Wheeljack would be far less embarassed about hanging out with.
I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to relegate the Robots in Disguise release to the bins in the closet or display him in alt mode next to the beautiful First Edition release.
After having previously declared the Kreon gun arm Steve to be “Other Steve”, I was forced to become even more imaginative when I located a lone First Edition Vehicon re-release at Toys R Us over the weekend.
Meet Other Other Steve.
I must say, I was happy to both get my hands on him and to discover that he’s not really as bad as I was lead to believe. One of the oddities about his robot mode is that the instructions has you pull the rear wheels down from his shoulders to his elbows.
This really doesn’t make sense or add to his transformation and actually decreases his show accuracy. That quirk aside, I still do agree that in this case, the Robots in Disguise release clearly wins over the First Edition release.
There’s not much else to say about this version of the Transformers Prime Vehicon. His alt mode is basically the same Batmobile-esque sports car, now with more and brighter paint applications.
Though they are pretty even in height in robot mode, the First Edition definitely has a bulkier alt mode.
Come to think of it, given the hood, windshield, and roof hanging from his back — the majority of the complaints against the First Edition versus Robots in Disguise versions — he takes on a much bulkier look over all. Maybe this isn’t Other Other Steve. Yeah, I think he’s just Bulky Steve.
First the Kre-O folks have me constructing Transformers, a task I swore I was done with, and now Takara-Tomy has me not only constructing them, but applying stickers as well.
Counterclockwise from the left: Dai, Baru, and Gabu are the first three releases in the Arms Micron Weapon series. Of the three, I was originally only going to get Dai, as his was the only one of the three I felt had a decent robot and alt mode.
After having some issues getting him in the mail to begin with, I had him all of half a day before I broke him. A word to the wise, be very, very, verrrrry careful when assembling the three of them. Their connections are extremely tight; the process of snapping them together can break the connecting pieces easily.
After getting my second order in, I assembled them all much more carefully. His alt mode is a handheld rocket launcher.
After seeing Dai in person, I figured that it would be a pity to never get to form the “Super Combo Weapon” Dark Matter Calibur. The more Mini-cons, the better, so I grabbed the other two.
Baru’s robot mode is ok, looking a little odd because of the placement of the differently sized pegs on either of the wing pieces. His alt mode, pretty much a cleaver, is more awesome the more I think about it.
Transforming cleaver. Just brutal enough of a weapon mode to be fun. Of the three, the weakest robot and alt modes definitely goes to Gabu.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what the heck that’s supposed to be, don’t feel bad. You ready for this? Horseshoe Crab. Transforming Horseshoe Crab Decepticon. Then comes his alt mode.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what the heck that’s supposed to be, don’t feel bad. This time, honestly, I just don’t know. Not being able to read the Japanese of his package, I went to the internet. It had such suggestive ideas, from “flying plane/blade like weapon” to “twin-bladed thing, possibly a crossbow”.
To be ever more honest, I don’t really care. The real fun in both Gabu and Baru are their ability to combine with Dai and form the large, imposing and deadly looking Dark Matter Calibur.
This thing is dangerous, best leave it to the professionals.