Very rarely do I want the same character in varying sizes/molds (Legends class being completely exempt, as they go to work with me). There are a couple of exceptions outside the Legends class, such as Deluxe “gunslinger” Sideswipe, but for the most part, if there is a better version of the character, I feel no need to keep the lesser version. That’s why with Movie-verse Bumblebee, Barricade, Sideswipe, and Jazz I got rid of their regular Deluxe molds the moment I got their Human Alliance molds. The Human Alliance figures just offer so much more articulation¹ and detailing due to their larger size. With Skids and Mudflap, however, I just skipped the Deluxe toys altogether (and the 27 subsequent repaints.) This lead to extreme aggravation, as Hasbro did a horrible job of distribution for Human Alliance Mudflap. Luckily a fellow forum member at TFW2005 found a couple extra and offered them up, first come first serve, at cost + shipping charges rather than the $50+ they were going for on ebay.
So, as cute as Skids’ and Mudflap’s Legends toys are and as fun as their Ice Cream truck toys are, the real toy awesomeness comes with these guy’s Human Alliance figures.
Since I was a kid I have loved toys with functioning grappling hooks or winches. (Anyone remember Sky Commanders? I don’t remember a single thing about the T.V. show, but holy crap did I love those toys.) Granted, the Transformers toy designers got their wires crossed (ha! no pun intended) and have given Mudflap’s Human Alliance and Fast Action Battlers toys the “retractable string gimmick” despite the fact that it is Skids in the movie that actually uses one. Either way, it adds a lot to the playability, and can even make for fun displaying options.
Of course, the “Human” contributes to the one complaint I have about all of the Human Alliance toys. To emphasize their coalition with the human forces, each Human Alliance toy, except the Decepticon Barricade, comes with one actual human figure and a bunch of seats for the humans to… ride the Transformer in robot mode? First: the human’ toys are uniformly hideous looking. Second: all these stupid seats and handles are just completely pointless pieces hanging off an otherwise wonderfully detailed toy. Apparently Mudflap needs help winding his grappling hook. It looks less like he has “allies” and more like he has some kind of infestation.
These things are so bad that I have gotten rid of all of the rest of the humans that came with the other Human Alliance toys. The only reason these two haven’t been pitched is because — after driving a tow truck backwards with a wounded Bumblebee attached — Mikaela goes on my wife’s “girls that kick tailpipe” shelf and Simmons is a John Turturro action figure. I mean, who wouldn’t want a John Turturro action figure?
On the flip side of what their affiliation with humans do to the toy’s robot modes, it is actually a benefit in alt-mode. The toys are engineered to give them opening doors and realistic interiors in car mode, which is pretty cool.
Thanks to the Human Alliance line’s larger size, Mudflap and Skids can get their revenge on against Devastator. Well, Legends Devastator, at least.
¹ Would someone just put either the word “posability” or “poseability” into a dictionary already so I can use it without feeling guilty that’s it’s not a real word? I mean, “awesomeness” is a word, but “poseability” isn’t?