#2243: Megatron

CLASSIC ANIMATION MEGATRON

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

See, we’re kind of doing this one and one deal with me and Super Awesome Wife reviewing the Transformers now.  Why?  Well, because as she’s pointed out to me, legally the site is half hers now, so there’s not a lot I can do to stop it.  Guess this is just my life now.

At the beginning of me falling down the Transformers rabbit-hole, there was one major obstacle to overcome to get me really into that Transformers mind-set: owning an Optimus Prime.  Well now I have four of those.  You know who I still didn’t own a single figure of, though?  Optimus’s opposite number from the Decepticon side, Megatron.  Well, that changes today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like yesterday’s Optimus figure, plus the Soundblaster and Silverstreak  Bluestreak from last week, this guy is part of the Walmart exclusive “35th Anniversary Commemorative Series” sub-line of Siege figures, which started showing up on shelves towards the end of October.  While Silversteak Bluestreak and Soundblaster were more conventional re-decos, Prime and Megatron are based on the cel-animated appearances from the G1 cartoon, which gives them a fairly distinctive flair.  Like Prime, Megatron is a re-deco of his Voyager Series 1 release from the beginning of the year.  Unlike Prime, that makes him totally new to me, since that’s one of the few Siege items I never got around to picking up.  In robot mode, the figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 26 practical points of articulation.  Much like his counterpart Optimus, Megatron’s sculpt aims to be an idealized version of the G1 toy…more or less.  As with any modern update of Megatron, there are some needed changes, which I’ll touch on more when I get to his alt-mode.  The robot mode is pretty posable, though compared to Prime, it’s a little more restricted.  Not terribly so, and a lot of it owes more to his actual character design than to any design choices on the toy itself.  Compared to Prime, Megatron doesn’t have quite a clean and polished look, with slightly more deviation from that G1 animation design.  All of the important notes, are there, of course, but he’s more prone to some creative liberties, such as the far more obtrusive “backpack” that houses the alt-mode parts when he a robot.  It’s not a terrible way of handling things, but it’s also not as clean as the way Optimus does things.  Additionally, there are a couple of hollow spots on this figure, which Optimus mostly avoided.  That being said, Megatron still makes for a pretty solid robot.  The new paint scheme here is a major departure from the standard.  As a whole, he’s brighter, more eye-catching, and cleaner than the prior release.  He’s also got a cool, very artistic look, which simulates the cel-shading of animation.  While I felt that both Optimus figures were of a similar quality, seeing the updated Megatron really did a lot to salvage this particular figure in my eyes.  Now, about that alt-mode.  Megatron joins many others in losing his original G1 alt-mode, which was an accurate recreation of a Walther P-38 pistol.  With current safety laws, there’s absolutely no way that would fly, so this figure’s alt-mode is a tank, which has more or less become his accepted modern-day alt-mode.  The shift to tank from gun obviously requires some changing of the robot mode, but the figure manages to balance both alright.  The tank transformation is actually pretty straight forward, and I was able to get it most of the way without the instructions, so that’s good.  It’s a fairly cool looking design, and feels imposing enough to associate with a character like Megatron.  Megatron is packed with his usual arm cannon, as well as a large sword that calls back to the original Takara release, both of which are worked into the transformation.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As much as Optimus impressed me, I just never could bring myself to drop the money for the standard Siege Megatron.  I wasn’t trying to avoid the character on purpose, though, and I wanted a good one for my collection, so I was looking at other options.  I even considered picking up the Combat Megatron, but that seemed too drastrically different for me.  When I first spotted the 35th Anniversary figures, I did think this guy looked pretty slick, but ultimately held off.  But guess who didn’t.  Did you guess Max?  Yeah.  He bought one, and brought it into the store and let me mess around with it, at which point I pretty much knew I wanted one for myself.  And here we are.  Honestly, he’s a lot better than I’d expected, and he feels like he sort of completes a very important piece of my collection, so I’m glad I decided to give Megatron another try.

#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.

#2216: Barricade

BARRICADE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

While I have mostly left the discussion of Transformers that are really just re-decos to other reviewers, I did touch on it a little bit back when I reviewed Red Alert.  Of course, the difference between the likes of Red Alert and the Seekers and today’s re-deco is that while the former grouping is all characters who are classically re-decos, the latter isn’t even a classic character at all.  The Decepticon Barricade was first introduced into the lore in the 2007 live-action film, in a role that was originally meant to go to Soundwave (which is why he interacts with Frenzy), and was designed as a subversion of good-guy Prowl’s usual role as the police car.  In 2012, fan artist Guido Guidi did a G1-styled illustration of Barricade patterned after Prowl (sensible, what with them having the same alt-mode and all), which Hasbro liked enough to make it an official thing. And here we are with a G1-style Barricade figure, a re-deco of a Prowl figure.  Yay?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Barricade is the third and final unique figure in the fourth deluxe class assortment of Siege figures, with the Weaponizer Six-Gun figure getting a re-pack in the final slot.  In his robot mode, the figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 workable points of articulation.  For the most part, Barricade is sculpturally identical to the Prowl figure from Deluxe Wave 2.  Prowl was my surprise favorite from that line-up, and a lot of that has to do with how the body was implemented, so it means that Barricade’s already starting from a strong point.  He does get a new head, which he will be sharing with the Generation Selects Smokescreen figure.  It’s suitably different from Prowl’s head, while still hitting a lot of the same notes.  Whatever the case, it injects a little bit more variety into the Prowl mold, which is probably a good thing, since we’re getting four figures out of it.  Barricade’s main change-up is the colors, which for his robot mode are quite different, since he’s got a lot of purple, which is admittedly a very Decepticon color to have. He’s almost an inverted color scheme to Prowl, who was predominately light with dark, where as Barricade is dark with light.  Barricade’s alt-mode is pretty much the same as Prowl’s, as it should be, but again the colors are changed up, and the inverting is even more noticeable here.  Also, unlike Prowl, who was clean of damage, Barricade has wear right on either side of the front of the car, indicating he likes to run other vehicles off the road a lot.  That’s a nifty touch, and far more character-specific than the other damage we’ve seen.  Barricade does change things up a bit on the armaments front.  Rather than getting the same blaster as Prowl, he gets a pair of shoulder-mountable cannons, which can be combined into a handheld weapon.  Classically, the cannons are actually a Prowl thing, but they were missing from the last figure.  Fear not, though, as they will be coming in white with Smokescreen, meaning Prowl will be able to have them again.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I liked Prowl a lot, and so that was enough to sway me on Barricade I guess.  Well, that and Max setting the whole assortment aside for me.  That helped too.  I don’t have a ton to say about this guy.  He didn’t surprise me, because I knew what I was getting.  What I was getting was a solid toy, though, so that’s always a plus.

Barricade came 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.

#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.

#2167: Mikey as Batman

MIKEY AS BATMAN

BATMAN VS. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (DC COLLECTIBLES)

Apparently, it’s about time for somebody *else* to get into the business of making Ninja Turtles toys, because Playmates, NECA, and Mondo having the license just wasn’t quite enough.  DC Collectibles, who, you know, usually make, um, DC collectibles, have gotten in on this thing, but in their defense, they’ve got a good reason.  That reason is Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an animated film based on a comic that goes for the rather straight forward premise in the title.  To be fair, it’s a marketer’s dream, so toys seem natural.  DCC is planning on offering up a selection of five two-packs as Gamestop exclusives over the next few months, but to kick things off they offered up a true crossover figure: Michelangelo dressed as the caped crusader!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mikey as Batman was a summer con exclusive item, with follow-up distribution through Gamestop, who will be carrying the rest of the Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line.  He’s inspired by the animated designs of the movie, which are yet another new stylization of the turtles.  Oh, and he’s also wearing a Batman cowl and cape, of course.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  His sculpt is an all-new one, though no doubt he’ll be sharing most of his parts with the standard Mikey that’s coming packed with Alfred later down the line.  It’s a pretty solid piece of work.  It’s very clean and animation friendly, and I definitely dig the huge smile on his face. What I like most of all about it his how well the articulation works.  It’s not perfect, but given that it’s DCC we’re dealing with, it’s actually suprisingly good.  The range is solid, the movement is relatively smooth, the joints do okay holding the poses, and there aren’t any obviously missing joints.  The plastic’s a little harder than I might like, but that comes with the DCC territory.  The cape is a cloth piece, and while I’m iffy on cloth capes, I actually really, really like this one.  It’s about on par with the cape on the Mezco DKR Batman in terms of quality, and that’s a very big compliment.  Mikey’s paintwork is fairly reasonable; I like how they’ve simulated the linework of the animation style in a way that looks good from pretty much any angle.  That’s quite hard to do properly.  Mikey is a fairly decently accessorized figure.  While he has nothing to go in the empty holsters on his belt (I’m confident the standard release will be keeping his nunchucks there), he does include three sets of hands (in griping, flat palm, and thumbs up), a slice of pizza, and a NYC manhole cover painted up like a whole pizza.  It’s kind of an eclectic collection of parts, but a pretty fun set of extras nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is Max’s fault.  I know, what are the odds?  It’s not even a Transformers thing.  So how’d it work out that way?  Well, he found this figure and asked if I wanted it, and here we are.  I know, I fought so valiantly against getting it.  Honestly, I was curious about the quality of the line, and wasn’t sure I wanted to drop a whole $50 to find out.  This figure ended up being a very pleasant surprise for me, and in fact convinced me I probably wanted to pick up at least the main four Turtles and their counterparts.  Not a bad figure at all.

#2118: Captain Rex – Jet Propulsion Pack

CAPTAIN REX — JET PROPULSION PACK

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Captain Rex takes the battle to new heights. When the clone captain needs to reach high elevations, he boosts his rocket pack with a space combat propulsion pack. With this additional gear, Rex can take on battle droids even in space, increasing his chances of stopping even more of the droid army.”

Star Wars: The Clone Wars had the good fortune of hitting pretty much at the height of the 3 3/4 inch line’s quality and popularity, but even with a strong start, Hasbro wasn’t content to sit back and just tread water.  This meant that there were improvements to how they were making the figures with each successive year of the line.  In order to keep things relatively balanced, the show’s main characters all found themselves getting an update every so often.  Given “Clone” was in the title, it’s no surprise that the series’ main clone, Captain Rex, found himself with some of the most figures of any one in the line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jet Propulsion Pack Rex was released in 2011, as figure 62 in that year’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars Basic Series line-up.  He was the line’s third version of the character, following the initial release and his cold-weather variant.  This one used a fancy new accessory as an excuse to give us an all-new take on the character’s already in the toyline design, lest he be the only main character not to get an update following the Season 3 model changes.  Rex’s model didn’t change, but the upgrades to the way the figures were made meant his 2008 figure looked a bit out of place with Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka’s new figures.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation.  Despite most of the clones being built from a common pool of parts, Rex was instead an all-new sculpt.  With that all-new sculpt was a new articulation scheme, which has a bit of give and take.  While he lost the hinges at the wrists, as well as the entire joint at the ankles and mid-torso, the figure gains a set of ball-jointed hips, which were quite a bit deal.  For the longest time, it didn’t matter how well-articulated a Star Wars figure may be, they’d always be saddled with a t-crotch.  This line’s ARF Trooper had experimented in a slightly different style of hips, which had some side to side, but again there was some give and take, and a definite learning curve on how those joints worked.  This Rex just had pretty straight forward ball-jointed hips, giving him the best possible range of movement.  It’s too bad that other joints had to be cut to facilitate this, but I think they managed a reasonable balance given the circumstances.  Rex’s sculpt is certainly the most show-accurate version of the character we got in the line, and probably one of the most show-accurate clone sculpts that the line produced period.  The armor’s details are for the most part very crisp, the removeable helmet manages to retain its accuracy even when being made from a softer plastic, and the underlying unmasked head isn’t as undersized as others in the line.  It also doesn’t have that issue of looking far older than it should, which a lot of the earlier clones (including the prior Rex) did.  His kama is cloth this time, aiding in the articulation, and also more appropriately simulating the improved movement among the show’s models from the same time.  Lastly, it’s a minor thing, but this Rex has both of his hands sculpted with trigger fingers, meaning for one of the very few times, he is able to properly dual wield.  That’s kind of amazing.  Rex’s paintwork is pretty solid.  The line went back and forth on if they wanted to do weathering on the clones, and Rex sort of catches some of that.  He lacks the dark wash of his earliest figures, but still has wavy edges to the colored sections of his armor, showing that he painted those sections on himself, and that they’re starting to wear a bit.  About the only thing that really bugs me on this guy’s paint is that his viewfinder was left all-white, but that’s pretty minor.  Rex has a pretty extensive selection of extras.  There’s the removable helmet, of course, as well as his dual blaster pistols, so that you can have a proper basic Rex.  On top of that, he also gets a larger blaster pistol and the titular Jet Propulsion pack.  The pack has a little removable Mandolorian-styled jetpack attached to the back as well, which can be directly plugged into Rex’s back.  Rex was seen sporting just the smaller pack from time to time on the show, so it’s nice that they included that option.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this figure was released, I was still very much collecting this line, but I was sort of in and out on it.  I don’t know if I saw this guy in the wild, but I may have assumed he wasn’t all that different from the original release, which I was pretty happy with.  It wasn’t until years later that I actually found out how different he was, and at that point tracking one down was more of an endeavor.  My chance at getting one arrived a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of All Time Toys, who just got in a Clone Wars collection.  While piecing them together, I picked out a few for myself, which did *not* include Rex here.  However, in addition to yesterday’s Minimate set, Max had also given me $20 in store credit, which was just enough to net me this guy.  For the record?  That makes this his fault again.

#2117: Mutagen Leonardo & Foot Soldier

MUTAGEN LEONARDO & FOOT SOLDIER

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MINIMATES

Well, the line has wrapped, but there was a time when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates were some pretty hot stuff.  They were also some slightly confusing stuff, since depending on where you were purchasing them, the product was a bit different.  While the whole line was originally supposed to be blind-bagged, Toys R Us ended up not being so interested in that dynamic, and instead got theirs as two-packs, largely made up of the same basic figures showing up everywhere else, but now paired off and with one exclusive offering.  Today, I’m looking at that one, Mutagen Leonardo and his pack-mate the Foot Soldier.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Mutagen Leonardo and the Foot Soldier were released in TRU’s first series of TMNT Minimates two-packs.  The Foot Ninja was packed with the regular Leonardo as well, with Mutagen Leo swapping out for the regular in the one per case chase set.

MUTAGEN LEONARDO

Each of the primary retailers for this line got one Mutagen Turtle variant.  Mikey was at Kmart, Raphael at specialty, and Leo went to TRU (yes, they really did just the three of them at the start; Donatello had to wait for Series 2).  All of them were the same basic concept: take the standard release, mold him in translucent green plastic, and paint up just the bandanna in the proper color.  It’s not a bad look, and has the benefit of having the strong starting point with all the sculpted add-ons.  The lack of paint actually highlighted how nice the sculpts were on these guys, and the blank white eyes on the mask gave a nice change-up from the regular release.  Mutagen Leo was packed with the same accessories as his regular counterpart, so two katanas (in green to match him), a display stand painted like a manhole cover, and a keychain attachment to go around his neck.

FOOT SOLDIER

The Foot Soldier was available through all three venues, and I actually looked at his single-bagged release from Kmart back when these were new.  It’s the same figure, and I certainly don’t mind at all, since it and the Footbot were my favorites from the original line-up.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t in a huge hurry to pick this up when it was new, and never got around to tracking it down.  One was traded into All Time a couple of weekends ago, and I had initially surrendered this set to Max.  However, he ended up buying it for me for my birthday instead, which was quite nice of him.  Of course, it does make this his fault, but it’s a lighter sort of “this is your fault” this time around.

#2106: Autobot Springer

AUTOBOT SPRINGER

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Hey, who’s up for watching me further dive into the depths of all this crazy Transformers stuff?  Yeah, I figured as much.  So, as I’ve been trekking through all of the various Transfromers concepts, there’s one I haven’t looked at.  While I’ve looked at figures with multiple alt-modes, but I’ve not yet looked at a proper triple-changer.  The best known triple-changers are Decepticons, but the Autobots weren’t without their own, including today’s focus and Transformers: The Movie star, Springer!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Springer is the new portion of the third Voyager Class assortment of Siege figures, alongside a re-issue of the Starscream figure from Series 2.  He’s only our second Voyager Class Autobot, and going by the upcoming announcements, it appears he might be the last one for the rest of the Siege branding.  In his robot mode, Springer stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 22 workable points of articulation.  Springer’s sculpt goes back to his vintage design that, to be fair, he never really strayed too far from in the first place.  Like a number of other figures in the line, he’s more clearly modeled on his animated counterpart, specifically his appearance in Transformers: The Movie.  Springer is on the blockier side of things, but like the Voyager Optimus, there’s a very clean sort of construction to him.  He’s definitely lighter on the “greebles” than some of the other figures in the line-up, which I suppose makes sense given his slightly newer nature in the canon.  He cuts a nice silhouette, and definitely holds his figure form well.  His articulation is a little more restricted than some of the others in the line, but it’s hardly bad.  The most of the restriction’s in the upper arms, which can be slightly tricky to work with those big honking shoulders.  Additionally, though the mobility on the ankles is decent, the stability isn’t the greatest, meaning Springer has a tendency to fall over if you don’t get him posed just right.  It’s not as bad as I was expecting given some of the reports I’d heard, but it’s enough to be a little bit annoying.  The first of Springer’s two alt-modes is a sci-fi car, following in the footsteps of his original figure.  It’s a decent enough design, and believe me, I’m always happy to see an alt mode that doesn’t translate to “brick with stuff stuck on it”, but the transformation process was rather difficult.  Even in the shots here I only felt like I was getting it “close enough,” not actually properly clicking things into place.  His second alt-mode is a helicopter, and again I found getting him through the transformation quite difficult.  I don’t know if I was doing something wrong on these, but this was probably the most frustrating transformation experience I’ve run into since jumping on-board with the line.  Springer is packed with 2 “W-10 Airslice Chopper Blades” (swords),  a “JF-10 Warp Blaster” (gun #1), and a  “C-10 EM Void Blast Capacitor” (gun #2), which can be used in robot mode or serve as accents to the two vehicle modes.  While the swords are certainly fun, I actually found myself liking the two blasters the most.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s Max’s fault again.  He’s been getting off the hook a lot recently, but I’m pulling him back in.  See, when Springer was first shown off, I was still very new to the whole Transformers thing, and therefore had nothing to go on for the character, and had no reason to pay any mind to the figure.  Max, however, just *had* to show me the photos and point out how cool this figure looked, and even showed me Transformers: The Movie to boot.  This guy very quickly made his way onto my list of most anticipated releases, so I was pretty pumped when he finally came in.  Truth be told, I wasn’t quite as wowed by this figure as I’d expected to be.  Don’t get me wrong, I love his robot mode; it’s a solid figure.  It’s the other two modes and the very frustrating process of getting to them that holds him back.  Fortunately, I’m more a robot guy than I am a vehicle guy, so it only holds him back so much.

Springer came from my friends 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.

#2064: Infamous Iron Man

INFAMOUS IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Once one of the world’s most evil villains, Infamous Iron Man Victor Von Doom has a change of allegience and assumes a new identity as the tech-powered hero, Iron Man.”

Victor Von Doom (not to be confused with Victor *con* Doom, which is Victor with Doom, and is what my computer wanted to put there), better known as Doctor Doom, is perhaps the Marvel Universe’s greatest villain.  And, of course, being the top villain means also getting a story evry so often where you stop being a villain and try to be a hero.  Doctor Doom’s actually been there a couple of times, but was there most recently after the fallout of 2015’s Secret Wars, which eventually led to him taking over the role of Iron Man for a bit.  That’s the source of Doom’s latest figure, dubbed the “Infamous Iron Man.”

THE FIGURE ITESELF

Infamous Iron Man is the latest Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends release, and he started hitting stores in early May.  As a Doctor Doom-variant, he’s well at home with the Fantastic Four-theme that’s persisted through the last few years of Walgreens exclusives.  Like his team of nemeses, Victor’s been away from Legends for a little while, with this being his first figure in seven years.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  In the comics, Victor’s Infamous Iron Man suit was a re-working of Tony’s most recent ANAD armor, and the figure follows true to that, re-using the molds of the Okoye Series Iron Man.  It’s honestly my favorite Iron Man sculpt in recent years, so I don’t mind seeing it crop up again, especially since it’s accurate to the source material.  The base figure is mostly identical between the two of them, with only the head getting a slight tweak to the back to allow for the hood to be attached.  Speaking of the hood, both it and the cape are new parts.  The appearance is nice, and I certainly dig the sculpted texture, but I don’t know how crazy I am about the implementation.  The hood is permanently affixed to the head, but the cape isn’t actually attached in any way; it just rests there.  And while the hood can hold it in place in most poses, it still slides off more often than I’d like.  The paint on Victor is the main change-up, since it transitions him into his more classic “Doom” colors, being predominately grey and silver.  The application’s mostly pretty good, but there’s something about the outlining on the face plate that looks a little goofy to me.  Doom is packed with two repulsor blast hands, and matching repulsor blasts, as well as the lightning effects in a matching purple, and an unmasked Victor Von Doom head.  The unmasked head is definitely my favorite piece, and I only wish it was easier to use it in conjunction with the cape.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This one is technically Max’s fault, but he gets a bit of a pass, since it’s mostly circumstantial.  I fully intended to buy this figure on my own, but he happened to find one before me, and was nice enough to pick it up for me.  There are a few notable issues with this figure, however they mostly get a pass from this guy being undeniably a placeholder for the inevitable classic Doom figure down the road.  As it stands, he’s more fun than frustration, which I can get behind.

#2031: Soundwave

SOUNDWAVE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Now, I don’t want you guys to be getting the impression that just because I’m done reviewing the Wave 2 Deluxe class figures means that I’m done with this here week of Transformers.  No no, I’ve still got plenty of transformers up my sleeves.  Or maybe they *are* my sleeves…hard to tell with Transformers.  Has there ever been a sleeve Transformer?  Probably not, but with Bot Bots, anything’s possible these days…  Sorry, I’m getting distracted.  And this is the worst Transformers review to get distracted from, because it’s a pretty big one.  I mean, it’s another Soundwave.  How often do I review one of those?  What’s that?  Two this year already?  Well, if that’s the case, one more certainly couldn’t hurt.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Soundwave is one of the two figures in the second Voyager Class wave of the War For Cybertron: Siege line.  Soundwave is only the second Decepticon I’ve looked at from this line, after the confusingly similarly named Shockwave, who will join this figure in forever baffling all of my Transformers novice family and friends over which one is which.  In robot mode, the figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 practical points of articulation.  Like pretty much everyone else in this line, Soundwave’s design calls back to his original G1 look, but updated a bit to more modern toy standards.  Soundwave had the coolest look of all the G1 Transformers (I may be slightly biased), and I think that comes across pretty darn well here.  He maintains all of the basic design cues of his classic counterpart (including adopting some of the old figure’s alt-mode elements that no longer contribute to the alt-mode), while adding quite a few smaller details to keep things sharp and interesting.  It also way ups the posablility, which is always a plus in my book.  I’m also really digging the left hand’s extended index finger, allowing for interaction with the latch for his “tape deck”.  It’s not all perfect, mind you.  There are a few things that do bug me.  Primarily, it’s the forearms.  They’re hollow on the insides, which bugs me far more than the hollow backing on Ironhide.  It’s not helped by the fact that he’s got some weird kibble going on on the backs of the forearms as well, which means two sides of the arms are compromised.  It’s not enough to ruin the figure, but it’s definitely annoying.  I’m also not the biggest fan of the back kibble, but that’s at least a more aesthetically pleasing solution.  Soundwave’s typical alt-mode, a cassette player, is outmoded by today’s world.  There’s been a number of attempts at giving him a replacement alt-mode, and this one is yet another.  He turns into a sort of a…drop ship thing?  I’m not big on it.  I mean, the concept’s okay, and, admittedly, I do like how it looks more in person than I’d expected to.  But something about the design just feels…I don’t know…half-formed?  More than a lot of the vehicles in this line, he looks like a brick with stuck on it, but unlike with Ironhide, I don’t really dig it.  It’s also not nearly as easy a transformation as some of the others, meaning the whole thing isn’t really ideal, and I really don’t see myself switching him back and forth at all.  If you don’t like the drop ship, Hasbro’s got a semi-official secondary alt-mode, which turns Soundwave into the lamppost he disguises himself as in the first episode of the ’84 cartoon.  Again, I don’t really feel the transformation myself, but I appreciate what Hasbro’s trying.  What’s that?  Neither of those alt-modes does it for you?  Have no fear, because the fan community is on it, resulting in a fairly widely-accepted third alt-mode, which has a sort of a speaker/boombox appearance.  It’s actually not too difficult to configure, and is by far my favorite potential alt-mode.  The only shame is that the cassette player buttons on his pelvis aren’t visible in this mode, but it’s a minor flaw.  Soundwave is packed with a HI-KEP Concussion Blaster, LR-HD Sonic Cannon, and EMTX Blitz Charge Blaster, all of which can also combine (rather awkwardly) into the “USW HF Sonic Compression Mega-Blaster,” which is really more of a staff sort of thing.  I do like how the charge blaster unfolds into a staff, which will certainly prove useful with other figures in the line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, you ready for this?  This figure?  Max’s fault.  So Max’s fault.  Because I wasn’t doing Transformers, you see?  But then Max was all “check out this cool Soundwave figure.”  And that turned into “you should get a few other figures to try out this line.”  And now I’ve got a whole darn collection.  Great.  On the plus side, slight issues aside, this Soundwave is a very, very good figure.  I’m super happy to have gotten him, and he’s my favorite in the line, mostly by virtue of being Soundwave.  I dig it.  I dig it a lot.

Soundwave, like all of my other Siege figures, came from All Time Toys, and can be purchased here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.