#2353: Hot Rod

HOT ROD

TRANSFORMERS (HASBRO)

“Screws fall out all the time, sir.  The world’s an imperfect place.”

In the summer of 1986, Transformers: The Movie arrived in theaters, and brought with it a new cast of characters, and a new cast of celebrities to voice them.  Shermer High’s resident rebel Judd Nelson was brought in to voice the newly introduced Hot Rod, a character meant to take over as the franchise’s lead from the dearly departing Optimus Prime, much like his opposite number Falcon over on the G.I. Joe side of things.  And, just like with Falcon, it didn’t quite endear him to the fans the way Hasbro was hoping it would (I think in the long run the years have been much kinder to Hot Rod than they have to Falcon, though).  Whatever the case, being the proposed central character for the continuation of a popular franchise is pretty good spot to be in from a toy stand point, and Hot Rod was of course added to the toyline to coincide with the movie’s release.  I’ll be taking a look at that first toy today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hot Rod hit shelves in 1986 as part of the heavily movie-inspired line-up for Transformers that year.  Unlike prior entries in the line, Hot Rod was not repurposed from pre-existing Japanese molds, but was instead a new creation specifically for the Transformers line, designed by working in tandem with the proposed animation model character.  The end result is something that sticks pretty close to the animation design, at least when compared to some of the other vintage figures.  In his robot mode, Hot Rod stands about 6 inches tall and he has 8 usable points of articulation.  All of the robot more’s articulation is in the arms, and that actually doesn’t include any sort of up/down motion on the shoulders, making Hot Rod by far the most limited of the four G1 bots I own in terms of poseablility.  He’s good for standing around, but that’s about it.  On the plus side, with a rather faithful to the animation sculpt, he’s got one of the nicest looking robot modes from the original line, and manages to actually nicely walk the line between the two modes a lot better than a good portion of his compatriots.  There is one running change in terms of construction for the figure.  Initial versions had metal feet, the version 2 mold got plastic feet.  Mine is a version 2 figure, though appearance-wise they’re the same.  Hot Rod’s alt-mode is a futuristic sports car from the far off year of 2005, which means he was unlike a lot of the vintage stuff, being a non-existent vehicle.  It’s a pretty sleek design though, and the transformation is a pretty slick and easy mode shift.  Hot Rod was originally packed with a pair of blasters, but mine is just the core figure.  Oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t gonna get any more G1 Transformers.  I thought I was done.  I really did.  Then this guy got traded into All Time, and he was just kinda nifty and I had trade credit to burn through, and Max was not going to talk me out of buying a Transformer, and so here I am.  Poseablity aside, I actually really like him a lot, and he offers a nice balance of both modes, and certainly looks cool!

As I noted above,  I got this guy from my friends at All Time Toys, and a good chunk of the collection he came from is still available here If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2344: Autobot Grapple

AUTOBOT GRAPPLE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

Okay, so I’m at the end of this Transformers week and…well, I’m gonna level with you guys, I’m kinda starting to stretch the limits of what I know off-hand about Transformers.  Take, for instance, today’s guy.  I know he’s an Autobot named Grapple, but, well, that kinda comes from the name, now doesn’t that?  Beyond that?  Not a ton.  He’s not on the list of names I could rattle off if someone asked me to name some transformers on the spot…or at least he wasn’t prior to this figure, and it’s really a 50/50 chance that I’ll accidentally refer to him as Hoist, who is an entirely different guy that’s also available in the initial product launch for Earthrise.  So, with all that said, let’s just see where this review takes us, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grapple is one half of the first Voyager Class assortment for Transformers War For Cybertron: Earthrise, with the other half being an Earth-mode version of Starscream.  Earthrise continues Siege’s trend of very G1-inspired figures, and even takes it a bit further, given that the setting is once again on Earth, meaning most of the characters will be taking more direct replicas of their original alt-modes.  In his robot mode, Grapple stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 20 practical points of articulation.  Grapple is sporting an all-new sculpt, though given the usual lineage of Grapple figures, it won’t be too much of a surprise to see this sculpt turn up again for Inferno.  It’s a very cartoon-inspired sculpt, and represents a much cleaner design than some of the Siege figures were sporting.  There’s a lot more in the way of clean lines and sharp edges.  It makes for a nice figure to look at.  He’s on the boxier side, which is sensible, given his construction-centered alt-mode.  Said alt-mode is an orange crane truck.  The transformation is mostly pretty easy and straight forward, but there is a slight molding error on all copies of the figure (so far, at least), where the two pegs at the base of the crane are just a touch too large for the corresponding peg holes on the feet.  They’ll resist going in during the transformation, and if you force them you’ll risk breaking the figure.  Fortunately, shaving them down just a touch with a knife was all that was needed to get mine into proper working order.  As far as out of the box mods go, that one’s not too bad.  Grapple is packed with a blaster, a claw, and a nozzle piece.  The blaster is your standard sci-fi fare, but is cool nonetheless.  The claw and nozzle are actually compatible with the ports on the insides of Grapple’s wrists, allowing for them to be swapped out for his hands if you so desire…which I did, so hey, look at that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I knew nothing about Grapple before this figure.  I still don’t know a ton about him.  But, I liked his design, and unlike Starscream he didn’t feel like a retread, so I was definitely down for picking one up.  Despite not knowing much about him, I quite like this figure, and am happy to have him as my first proper introduction to Earthrise.

Grapple was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and is still available here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2241: Hot Shot

HOT SHOT

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Though Siege has overall been something of a G1 love-fest, that’s not all there is to the line.  Figures like the Galaxy Upgrade Prime give showcase to some of the franchise’s other incarnation, in that figure, and in turn today’s figure’s case, the incarnation being the “Unicron Trilogy”, a somewhat loosely connected set of shows that ran from 2002 to 2005 and that really brought the more classic vehicular Transformers back into the spotlight after Beast Wars and Beast Machines had shifted the focus for a bit.  One of the central characters within the Unicron Trilogy was Hot Shot, a character who was essentially a new creation, and who is one of the better remembered parts of that incarnation.  It’s fitting that he would make his way into some piece of War For Cybertron, especially when the Optimus he goes with was already there.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hot Shot is one of nine Transformers Generations: Selects figures designed to augment the Siege line at regular retail.  All of the included figures are slight re-workings of pre-existing molds, shipped in a brown cardboard box, and only initially available through online retailers. Like the Galaxy Upgrade Prime, Hot Shot is based on his appearance from Transformers: Cybertron, the last entry in the Unicron Trilogy.  While it might not be my first choice of Hot Shot designs, at least it’s not Energon.  It’s also a sensible choice given the parts catalogue they’re working with right now.  In robot mode, the figure is 5 inches tall and has 20 workable points of articulation.  Hot Shot’s largely a re-paint of Hound.  While the transition to Jeep instead of sports car is a little weird for the Armada fan in me, but it’s a respectable match for the Cybertron Defense Hot Shot figure from the Cybertron line.  In order to differentiate him a bit, he does get a new head sculpt (which was erroneously used as the basis of the illustration on Hound’s packaging…whoops), which is a nice recreation of the CD figure’s noggin.  Aside from that, it’s the same figure as Hound, which isn’t a bad thing.  I liked the sculpt the first time around, and I still like it now, especially with that new head.  Since the figure is more or less unchanged, so is his alt-mode, which is the same Cybertronian-styled Jeep.  Again, I thought it was pretty cool the first time, and it’s still cool here.  The transformation is still pretty simple, and fun to go back and forth through, so I’m down for it.  The whole figure is changed up by switching the colors from Hound’s muted green to a red, blue, and yellow palette, which evokes Hot Shot’s design nicely, and honestly hides the re-used molds pretty darn well.  I’m down for the drastic change in color scheme!  Hot Shot includes the same accessory compliment as Hound, but with the colors tweaked to match the new scheme of the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Beast Wars was on the air when I started to get into cartoons, and I was certainly familiar with it and how it connected to this whole Transformers thing.  I even had a few of the toys, but it never quite clicked with me.  What did click for me was Transformers: Armada, which I actually watched pretty darn faithfully when it was airing on Cartoon Network.  I had a small number of the toys, with Hot Shot being a personal favorite.  While Cybertron wasn’t quite so much my jaam as Armada, I’ll take pretty much any excuse to get a good Hot Shot toy.  And that’s what I’d classify this as: a good Hot Shot toy.  Of course, now I’m seriously contemplating third party pieces to make him more accurate, and that’s a very dangerous and scary road to go down.

I grabbed my Hot Shot figrue from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2332: Ultra Magnus

ULTRA MAGNUS

THE TRANSFORMERS: COMMEMORATIVE SERIES (HASBRO)

“Ultra Magnus is all soldier. He is most comfortable when he is carrying out Optimus Prime’s orders – giving it all of his magnificent fighting skills, courage and gift for battlefield improvisation. And he is uncomfortable when the mantle of leadership is placed over his broad shoulders. He sees himself as a follower, not a commander, and is reluctant to assume authority until it is clear that he has no choice but to lead. And when he does finally lead, he is resolute, fair and courageous beyond reproach. He is ever-ready to sacrifice himself for the good of his companions and mission, and unstinting in his preparedness so that his “people” will be as protected as possible.”

Last March, after firmly jumping aboard the Transformers train, I decided to take a look at the very first figure of my favorite Decepticon, Soundwave.  Well, as I’ve touched on at least once before in the last year, my favorite character on the Autobots side is Ultra Magnus, so it’s only appropriate that I take a look at his beginnings…more or less.  See, in 2002, Hasbro partnered with Toys R Us (in the US, at least) to put out reissues of some of the vintage Transformers.  Among these reissues was not-Optimus himself, Ultra Magnus, who I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultra Magnus was released in Series 1 of The Transformers Commemorative series, alongside Optimus and Rodimus.  He uses the original G1 molds, meaning like his original 1986 figure, Magnus is a re-deco of Diaclone‘s Powered Convoy figure.  Unlike the relatively unchanged Soundwave/Cassette Man, Magnus was granted a wholly original color scheme from Powered Convoy (though early animation for Transformers: The Movie showed him in the Powered Convoy colors, and they would later see use as the separate Delta Magnus).  In his “Super Robot” mode, Magnus stands 8 1/2 inches tall and he has 8 points of practical articulation.  As with Soundwave, the vintage Magnus sculpt is definitely more rudimentary and basic than later versions would be, perhaps even a little less advanced than Soundwave.  Comparatively, Magnus is rather stiff and limited in his poseablity, with his only actual articulation in the super robot mode being limited to the arms.  It’s a fair bit of movement, in his defense, but you’re kind of limited by what you can do with him.  The sculpt proper is certainly a product of its time, but if you’re a fan of old robots (which I am), he’s certainly got a sort of charm about him.

Since Powered Convoy was an ugrade for the figure that would become Optimus Prime, that means that his super robot mode was really a sort of armor for a smaller figure, as we saw replicated on the Siege figure.  That said, the transition from super robot to standard robot is a whole lot simpler on this guy than the Siege release; you just take off the helmet, pop him out of the back of the armor, and put his hands in place.  And boom, white Optimus–I mean Magnus, who stands 6 inches tall and has 10 practical points of articulation.  He’s a minor retool of the same figure that would become Optimus, and like the larger figure, is kind of rudimentary in design.  He’s a little more poseable, with some joints on his legs, but they don’t amount to a whole lot.  He’s not quite as nifty as the fully suited up version, but it’s hard to compete with the chonk that is fully armored Magnus.  Magnus’s core alt-mode is a Freightliner, much like Optimus, but in white, with his armor transforming into a car carrier (which is sized to carry 4 normal Autobot cars).  The transformation is sort of a mid-way point between the Combiner Wars and Siege Magnus’, with more of an actual transformation like the CW, but still a touch of Siege’s parts-forming.  Magnus is packed with a blaster rifle (designed to work with both of the robot modes), plus two missile launchers and four missiles (which have been lengthened for this release so as to meet safety standards).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

A few weeks back, All Time Toys got the first piece of a rather sizable Transformers collection, which was heavy on the G1.  I didn’t think there’d be much for me in there, but I did think in the back of my mind that if there were a G1 Magnus in there, I’d probably have to buy him.  Well, you’ve probably pieced together what happened, haven’t you?  Yeah, I bought me a Magnus.  He’s pretty darn nifty, too, and he pairs well with my vintage Soundwave.  Plus, another Magnus for my Magnus collection.  Yay!

As I noted above,  I got this guy from my friends at All Time Toys, and a good chunk of the collection he came from is still available here.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2266: Omega Supreme

OMEGA SUPREME

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

For Day 2 of the post-Christmas reviews, I transition from very familiar territory to very unfamiliar territory.  For one thing, I got into this whole Transformers thing after Christmas last year, so this is the first time I’m reviewing one under this whole giftly heading.  Secondly, this particular Transformer marks my first experience with a scale I have as of yet left untouched: Titan Class.  They’re the big boys of the Transformers ‘verse and today I’m looking at Omega Supreme, a Titan Class offering with a name that sounds not unlike something you’d order from a pizza place.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Omega Supreme is the Titan Class offering for Siege, hitting shelves in the fall of 2019.  Omega was previously one of the possible options for the Power of The Primes Titan, but he and Scorponok were beaten out by Trypticon in the fan poll.  Omega is the sixth unique Titan Class figure since the scale was introduced with Metroplex in 2013.  Much like Jetfire, Omega’s vintage figures is one of the non-Takara based molds, instead being based on a toy made by the company Toybox.  This resulted in his classic toy and his animation model being more divergent than others, since Takara was involved in production of the cartoon and wasn’t interested in promoting another company’s toy.  That being said, his changes weren’t quite as drastic as Jetfire’s.  Whatever the case, this figure follows the general Siege trend of sticking pretty closely to the G1 animation models.  In his robot mode, this Omega Supreme stands 24 inches tall, roughly twice the size of his vintage counterpart, though in keeping with the rough size as he was portrayed in the cartoon…sometimes.  His size was variable.  If Jetfire was a big, solid figure, then Omega is his bigger, solider cousin.  Admittedly, he’s not quite as heavy as I was expecting given the size, but he’s still got some very serious heft to him.  His movement is somewhat impeded by this, as the joints need some pretty hefty ratcheting in order to hold up this pretty hefty boy.  He’s still fairly mobile, given the size and all, but you’re really only getting standing poses out of him in his robot mode.  Very sturdy standing poses, but standing poses nevertheless.  Omega’s sculpt is certainly impressive.  It’s unique to him, and is really a whole different beast than the sculpts on the smaller figures, just because there’s so much to him.  His head’s probably the standout part, thanks to the nifty looking face beneath the visor.  It’s a really solid look, following the animation model in a way that the vintage figure didn’t…you know, what with the vintage figure not having a face and all.  The rest of the body maintains the line’s general attention to the smaller “real world” details, while still maintaining an overall clean look like the animation.

Omega’s alt-mode is actually a multi-part thing.  He turns into a city, a tank, and a rocket.  Like the figure himself, Omega’s transformation is quite an involved endeavor.  It’s not overly complicated (in fact it’s actually rather straight forward), but the sheer size of him means that you really need to sit down in a nice open space and devote some time to completing the transformation.  The arms pop out and turn into the rocket, the front of the torso and the head become the tank, and the rest of the body becomes the city.  Of note: the tracks of the city are actually meant to go all the way around, but there was no way to fit the whole build in my photo set-up.  So, you’ll just have to imagine it goes all the way around there.  I know, shame on me.  As noted, the transformation works pretty well, and he’s a solid addition in base mode.

Like Jetfire, Omega includes a sizeable effects piece, which can actually separate into four individual effects, allowing for a bunch of different set ups.  Also included with Omega is his little micromaster buddy, Autobot Countdown.  Countdown is pretty much like all the other micromasters in terms of construction, and can alternate between robot and moon rover modes.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Have you ever felt really good about gift-giving, only to be totally outclassed?  Because I have, and it’s all centered on Omega here.  See, I had done the nice thing, and picked out some gifts for Jason and Max at All Time, which I was pretty darn proud of.  They both opened them, and they both liked them, and boy did I feel good about the gift giving.  Then I got outclassed, because Jason then asked me: “Do you want an Omega”?  So, now I have an Omega, having passed on him when he was new.  Ultimately, I wasn’t planning to pick him up, and I stand by that after getting one of my own.  However, he’s very definitely one of those things that I don’t mind owning in the slightest, even if I might not have gotten one for myself.  Now I have to figure out where the heck I’m putting him.

#2242: Optimus Prime

CLASSIC ANIMATION OPTIMUS PRIME

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

What up my diddly dudes, it’s Chey’s and Jess’s ultimate toy review part 2 with optimus prime. This ones for you Jasonn , i dont know who you are, but here go my dude. congrats! So here we are back it again with the transformers, that series the two of us know so much about. This week is Optisium prime, leader of the…. oh god… not decepticons…. just ask ethan autobot vibes, cool. The truthamal about this figures is that is cool, ish. I don’t know this history of optismus prime

Bur I do, i think. So optimusy comes from planet Cybertoner. He’s the leader of the the autobot vibers and i think he dies a few time. he also has a brother, that might not be his brother, but by nming conventions it makes sense. his brother is ultra magnus, totally the brother of optimus primus. is transformia actually a thing? who da figly knows.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This figgu comes from this line that did the transformers as cartoons (Ethan: that would be the 35th anniversay line). He has the same body as the live colored Optimpusy  but he’s colored like the original cartoon, which is why we get to review him becaus he jus a repaint of a figga that Ethan already reviewed some times ago. Octopus Slime is bigger than my hand by a quaterish of an inch…so maybe six some inches. He’s got 420 points of articulation. HA blaze. idk hoq mNY HE ACTUALLY HAS. He’s fourth in line to the throne of Cybertoner, and his bitty brother who is also possible multiple people passed thru a family thru generations is after him in line to the throne. He’s got these flappy dos that you find when trying to transform him that Tim says protects the royal nuts and bolts. What else about this figure?

While CChey’s trying to race tim in trying to turn the autobot viber into a semitruck without a load, I talk about the truck. SURPRISE HE TURNS INTO A SEMI TRUCK WITHOUT A PAYLOAD. the bed is the blue bit and the cab where a trucker would normally drive, sleep and play is reeeeeed. If yous drunk then it probably gonna be hard to turn him inta a semi uck. if ya sober yee still may have trouba getting this figure to turn into a duck truck. Chey says IT’S NOT USER FRIENDLY. WARNING Must use magick and sacrifice an atual caaarl to get it to transform properly. Hey, show runners that have no more ideas, you should do a show based purely on drunk peple trying to turn transformeders into cars and visversa.

The colors are meant to mimic the tv show which is the 80s which the colors are flat as hell. boom i said  it. the kia optima from this line is you and the one from the transformers line is the guy she told not worry about. before i get into the color i just want say that this stuff, i cant say bad words, is not user friendly, its a rubiks cube that makes zero sense, so read the instructions friends, because that what every kid wants to do on christmas morning, follow rules. alright, so the cell shading gets nicer the more i look at it, but its too light to notice on first glance, bear with me im actually trying to write a review worth reading even drunk. the red WHACK the bleu WHACK the white WHACK, it doesnt got much demension compared to transformers line toy. Though like i said last time the silver “battle damage” as ethan calls it looks like a last minute disicion and i am not a fan. however, the more i look at the cartoon toy, the more i enjoy, so maybe get over the first glance and youll feel the same. Optima Prius is a cool cat.

Theres a lot of points of articulation, I lost count and gave up… so if youre interested, im sure ehtan did a better job because it took me 15 minutes and maybe more to figure out how it actually worked so yeah.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you like kia optima, buy ittttt that what matter treat yourself and maybe you can figure out HOW IT WORKS because if im honest, tim had to finish it for me

I, Jessho, have no real connection to Octopussy Primussy. i didn;t really watch the cartoons. i think i watched a movie once at the drive thru threther in my bummby duck no where town . i rememember we couldn;t use the radio for movie audio becuase the car was too old or something and we had to try and follow aong to the outside audio which was really bad. i dunno what happned. i thin there wasa  pyramid and a reallt old transformer with weird gonad chins. I almost transformed this duck hinter into a truck all by myself, without instructiosn, but ethan had to help me in the end. I got to review this firgure cuz it’s a repaint of one that ethan already review, which is where you cn find more accurate infor BTDubes. But ultimately i get to review these guys because Jason gave Ethan a job at All Time, which exposed him to all dem transformers that he started buying when he started working at your cool store! It’s been a great spark in Ethan’s week and imma so happy that he’s found you and this store. So in summation, it’s you’re fault we now have so many transformers and I get to write drunk reviews on them and that Ethan ets to end hs week on a high note.

PS ETHAN YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO FIX YOUR PHOTOS or imma be real sad like baby yoda without his MAndo Dad.


#2238: Bluestreak

BLUESTREAK

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Whad up my diddly-does and my homefries. Tonight, today, this afternoon this whateva is another special treat brought to you by the drunken mind of Ethan’s wondaful wifu! On this occasiona we’re gonna talk about Bluestreak, who will no longer be refered to by that name because HE’S NOT BLUE.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bluesteak is made by the brothers of Has. He’s from wave #, along with Well-done and Raw. He has 42 points of articulation or something–it’s hard to count when drunk, also Ethan is too busy working on models to help so that’s okay. Do you know what’s a good show so far? Mandalorian on Disney+. I never knew I wanted a show about a bounty hunter babysitter. Anyways, Medium-rare isn’t from Star Wars because he’s a transformer, but he’s technically in the same universe as Doctor WHo and Marvel because of Death’s Head. According to the wiki he talks a lot, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never seen hhimk  in a transformer show. I deviate a lot, don’t I? On with the figure!

Bluesteak is about 5-51/2 inches tall, but we tell him he’s 6 inches so that he doesn’t feel inferior ito the other transformers. *Whispers* he’s very sensitive about his size! He’s a repaint of somebody, at least I think because theat’s the only reason why I can review some of these metal bois. Actually, yes, he’s a repaint of Prowl *gggrrrrrrr*. 

Speaking of paint. Let’s talk about his paint! Do you know what this boi ain’t? He ain’t blue that’s fo shore. He’s like a red-based grey with red and black accents. BUT NO BLUE! So the main colors though are red and this weird grey, and they look rather nice together. Then it’s accented with black, and there’s hints of silver on his faces and the rims of the wheels. He also has some clear plasstoc bits, specifically on his shins and on his back behind his head between his door wings. The clear plastic is kinda cool, like leeting you see the inner workings of the transformer-car guy. You ever want to see the inside of a steak? Well now you can with this figure! Thw detaling of the fihure is pretty cool too; I like the detailing on the inside of the doors and legs the best. I also really like waht ever joint piece the hips are because of the ratcheting, there’s something satisfying about it.

Medium-rare can turn into a car, but not just any car, a cool sports car for sleek see through flim-flam. It’s actually pretty easy to turn him into his car state, even when intoxicated. The trick, for me is turning him back intp his non-car self.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have no personal attachment to this figure. I got to review him because he was the first transformer I was able to trasnform into their alteernate self by myself. ETHAN DIDN’T HELP ME AND HE WAS PROUD. Also I made a stink about him not being blue and how it was false advertising, and I wanted to wirte a review dedicated to making fun of him BECAUSE HE’S NOT BLUE. But yea, that’s aout it. Thanks for coming to my TED talk and I hipe we can drinkg and review again to your entertainent.

PS: Because I promised Max…Silversteak would’ve been a better name because this mofo is SILVER AND NOT BLUE. But I like Medium-Rare better because it has nothing to do with the figure, like his original name. There now I’m done.

#2230: Autobot Ratchet

AUTOBOT RATCHET

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

As I write this review, I’m feeling a bit under the weather, and definitely have getting better on my mind, so what better time to look at the Autobot’s resident medic, Autobot Ratchet (gotta get that Autobot branding in there, lest the Decepticons, or worse, the Go-Bots, get him)?  I mean, he specializes in robots, not humans, so I don’t know how much help he would be to me personally, but I feel like he could give it a try.  Of course, that could be the sick-brain talking.  Don’t trust the sick-brain.  I’ll probably edit all this out once I’m back in my right mind…or will I?  Eh, I’ll just go with whatever’s more entertaining.  Onto the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Ratchet is a Walgreens-exclusive offering, and is officially a Deluxe Class Siege release.  He’s one of the last Siege items to make its way to retail, though we’ve known about him for most of the year.  In his robot mode, he’s 5 1/2 inches tall and has 22 workable points of articulation.  He’s on the taller side for a Deluxe, and there’s a good reason for that.  Like his original vintage figure, most of Ratchet’s parts are shared with this line’s version of Ironhide.  I was generally a fan of Ironhide, so I’m definitely alright with the re-use.  What’s more, there were a few issues I had with Ironhide (most notably the problems keeping the leg panels properly snapped in place) which this release actually corrects.  I don’t know that there were any actual changes to those parts of the mold, or if it’s just a slightly better pressing of it.  Whatever the case, he’s a slightly more satisfying figure in hand, which makes the re-buying feel really worth it.  He’s not all re-use, though.  Ratchet gets a new head and shoulders to differentiate him from Ironhide.  They work well with the pre-existing parts, and the head in particular is a nice rendition of the G1-animation Ratchet (since the actual G1 figure had no head).  Ratchet’s alt-mode is more or less the same as Ironhide’s, being a sort of a van thing.  The transformation is still pretty simple, and he’s pretty much a brick with wheels again.  There’s also a third mode of sorts, a repair bay, replicating the original toy’s medical sled.  It’s not quite as finalized a transformation, essentially just being a mid-point between the two main modes, but it’s nifty enough.  Ratchet gets a distinct selection of extras, including a shoulder-mounted laser cannon with robotic arm, a gun/welder, and a cool looking wrench.  That’s a fair bit of new parts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Ratchet, especially his Prime incarnation, so I was definitely happy when rumors started flowing of him being added to the line.  I was also pretty happy to hear he would be a re-work of Ironhide, since I really liked that figure.  I was less happy to hear he would be an exclusive, but at least it’s Walgreens, not Walmart.  Max actually found Ratchet first, and was kind enough to grab one for me as well…or is it kindness?  What if this is way of keeping trapped in this Transformers collecting life?  Oh, that’s devious! …Or that could be the sick-brain talking again.  Don’t trust the sick-brain.

#2215: Autobot Impactor

AUTOBOT IMPACTOR

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Region-exclusive characters aren’t much of a thing these days, but they were fairly prevalent in the ’80s, especially when it came to the likes of G.I. Joe and Transformers and their representation in the UK.  G.I. Joe of course had an entirely different name (Action Force), and a resulting shift in a few of the characters, but the Transformers comics in the UK were a thing all to themselves.  Marvel was publishing the comics in the US, and their UK equivalent did the same on their side, but while the US-side had an 88 issue run, over in the UK there were a whopping 332 issues, meaning there was quite a bit of UK-exclusive material, and also some UK-exclusive characters.  The Wreckers were an entire team of UK-exclusive characters, and while some of them (Springer for instance) would find their way into other media, their ill-fated leader Impactor wouldn’t prove quite so lucky, at least not until much later.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Impactor is another figure from the fourth deluxe class assortment of Siege figures.  He’s only the third Impactor figure we’ve gotten, and the first one to be an all-new mold for the character.  Impactor had no G1 figure, but this one is based on his appearance from the Marvel UK comics, meaning that he stylistically fits pretty well with the rest of the G1-styled figures in the line.  Like Mirage, Impactor was granted his spot here thanks to the 2018 fan-poll, which faced the two off against each other (a little odd, what with them both being Autobots and all, but I won’t dwell on it too much), and also like Mirage, there’s a slightly different version of this guy available in an Amazon-exclusive battle-pack.  In his robot mode, the figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall (rivaling Ironhide in terms of height for a deluxe) and he has 19 workable points of articulation.  Impactor’s got a very boxy design to him, which I suppose is fairly sensible for the nature of the character.  His sculpt definitely plays up the utilitarian side of things, and I really gotta say, I kinda dig it.  There are, however, a few things I do not dig.  As impressive as Impactor looks, his larger size means that he’s also not as solidly constructed.  The interiors of his lower legs and forearms are completely hollow, and I’m not really into that.  At least in Ironhide’s case, he had some panels that folded into place to mask this hollowness, but poor Impactor just has these spots open for the world to see.  I guess it’s the placement of them that really bugs me, because finding poses that don’t highlight the issue can be a little tricky.  Fortunately, most of the body is without these hollow spots, allowing for a focus on the cool stuff there.  The color scheme on Impactor is certainly a unique one.  Typically, it’s these sorts or really gawdy color combos that scare me off of a Transformer, but the yellow and purple just feels right for this design.  Impactor’s alt-mode is a battle tank, which just follows with the boxy, utilitarian nature of the character.  The transformation is the most tricky of the three deluxes in this assortment, at least for me, and I needed to break out the instructions to figure it out.  That said, it still wasn’t *too* tricky, and I was able to transform him back and forth a few times for the purposes of this review with relative ease.  It’s also one of the cooler alt-modes to come out of Siege, at least by my count.   Impactor is armed with an “HP Energon Mineblaster” and a “Trilithium Drill,” again both listed in Cybertronian on the instructions.  The drill is particularly cool, because it can be plugged into the underside of Impactor’s hand when it’s folded up, giving him his harpoon replacement that he frequently had in the comics.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Mirage, I wasn’t really all that impressed by Impactor when he was first shown off.  That said, he was the first one I started to come around on, once I saw the convention display versions of him, and how the color scheme looked as more than just render.  By the time the assortment hit, he was the only one I knew for sure I wanted, and he is unsurprisingly my favorite figure of this round.  While the hollow parts do still bug me, and hold him back from being quite as good as he can be, he’s still a really fun toy, both as a figure and a vehicle.

Impactor was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and is still available here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2214: Autobot Mirage

AUTOBOT MIRAGE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

It’s been a little while since I did a Transformers review.  I mean, there have been two Transformers reviews on the site since I reviewed the Studio Series Optimus back in August, but they weren’t written by me.  And despite some pleas to the contrary, I haven’t quite relented to letting Super Awesome Wife write *every* Transformers review, as amusing as that may be.  So, I’m diving back in, with a look at one of the franchise’s earliest characters, Autobot Mirage!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Mirage is part of Wave 4 of the Deluxe Class line-up for Siege.  Mirage is one of two figures granted their spot in this line-up by the 2018 fan poll Hasbro ran, although there’s a battle-pack that more officially celebrates this victory.  As with many Siege releases, Mirage is patterned on his very first toy, back during the G1 days.  In his robot mode, the figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 20 workable points of articulation.  Given that he turns into a fancy race car, it’s not a huge shock that Mirage’s design is decidedly sleek and streamlined for the most part.  He’s not quite as svelte as some earlier Mirage figures, but when compared to the rest of the Siege line, he’s definitely a more lithe guy.  Being at a slightly lower price point, the Deluxe figures are a little more prone to the “hollowness” that I don’t like so much, but fortunately for Mirage, it’s pretty restricted here.  The forearms have it where the hands fold in, and the legs are a little bit more skeletal on the lower half, but for the most part, Mirage is fairly solid construction.  In general, I will say that the lower legs are my least favorite part of this figure, though.  Something about the placement of the wheels just feels off.  In terms of coloration, Mirage marks a slight change for the line, being completely clean and without wear.  It’s fairly sensible for the character and his alt-mode, but notable nevertheless.  Speaking of alt-mode, let’s talk about Mirage’s.  His original toy turned into an F-1 racer, and while it’s not as branded and specific as the original, this one does too.  It’s a bit of a surprise, given the Cybertronian bend of the alt-modes up to this point, but at the same time, I suppose an F-1 racer is a fairly sleek, almost sci-fi looking design in real life, and doesn’t necessarily look so out of place with the others.  Somewhat like Starscream, Mirage’s robot mode has some faux pieces that look like they should contribute to his alt, but actually do not, with the chest in particular folding up into the back of the car, rather than making the front like you might expect.  Unlike Starscream, Mirage’s transformation process didn’t prove nearly as frustrating for me, and I was able to figure it out with minimal consultation of the instructions.  Mirage is packed with a couple of armaments, which are named “C-20 Electro-Disruptor Cannon,” “Distortion Missile,” and “W-15 Armor-Piercing Rocket-Dart Launcher”, although I had to actually look those up, since the instructions list the names in Cybertronian.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Looking at the announcements for the line back at the beginning of the year, Deluxe Wave 4 was about where I started to see myself tapping out.  Something about the renders of the figures wasn’t really doing a lot for me, and Mirage was a prime offender.  He just looked, I don’t know, less put together than the other figures?  Not helping things is that Mirage is really on that boarder of characters I was familiar with before getting into the line, and really was stretching my personal attachment to these designs.  So, why did I buy him?  Well, they came in at All Time, and Max (who is always at fault with these things) set the wave aside for me, and honestly they looked a lot better in person than they did in the renders.  Mirage is a solid addition to the collection, and I’d guess a decent preview of how the Earthrise figures will be.

As noted above, Mirage was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and is still available here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.