#2775: B-127

B-127

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

While the majority of this year’s Studio Series offerings are based on Transformers: The Movie, there are still a few of the live-action film designs worked in.  For the most part, that’s not so much for me, but my one exception to that rule comes in the form of Bumblebee, the only one of the live-action Transformers movies I actually liked and would want own any real product from.  The film’s smaller cast means there aren’t a *ton* of potential figures, but the main robots from the film all have a few different looks to choose from.  Specifically, our titular ‘bot gets four notable looks.  So far, we’ve gotten his VW Bug look and his Jeep look, and the Camaro look’s been covered by other films, so the one notable one missing was his Cybertronian appearance.  So, without further ado, let’s look at B-127!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

B-127 is figure 70 in the Studio Series line-up, and is one of two figures in the latest Deluxe Class assortment of the line (the other one being Dino from Dark of the Moon).  He’s the line’s eighth figure based on Bumblebee, and will be shortly joined by the Cybertronian Starscream.  In his robot mode, B-127 stands 4 1/2 inches tall and has 16 workable points of articulation.  Structurally, B-127 is almost entirely re-use, as was sort of expected.  He’s a new head on Ciffjumper’s body.  Since Cliffjumper’s body was based on Bee’s Cybertronian appearance, it was something we all knew was coming, and also something that’s totally warranted.  It helps that it’s also just a rather nice mold.  The head gives us Bee’s armored up attack mode look, which pairs off nicely with the standard robot-faced Bee head we got on Offroad Bumblebee.  While for more of a screen accurate set-up, they should probably be reversed for the two modes, I’m personally pretty happy with how they’re set-up.  Also, they can be swapped, if you’re interested in such a thing. Bee’s alt-mode is the exact same Cybertronian car mode that Cliffjumper had, which again makes sense, since it was technically Bee’s first.  It’s not a bad design, and the transformation’s pretty easy to work with.  Like the other two derivations of this mold, B-127 includes a blaster attachment for his arm.  Nothing fancy, but it’s certainly useful.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to get this guy when he was first shown off.  I already had Cliffjumper and Jeep Bumblebee, so he’s a little bit on the redundant side, I suppose.  However, once I saw him in hand, I was pleasantly surprised by how nicely he’d turned out, and I especially like that new head.  Sure, he doesn’t turn into a Jeep, but I suppose I can’t hold that against every non-Jeep Bumblebee, can I?

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2699: Grimlock & Autobot Wheelie

GRIMLOCK & AUTOBOT WHEELIE

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

“Grimlock, Wheelie, and the Dinobots storm the Quintesson Courtroom to save Hot Rod and Kup from Quintesson judgement”

2021’s line-up for the core Transformers product lines is split between Beast Wars and Transformers: The Movie.  How about something that’s a nice transitional ground between the two?  Yes, it’s Grimlock, leader of the Dinobots.  They’re notable for being a group of G1 bots that *aren’t* vehicles in their alt-modes, which was a bit of a switch, huh?  They proved to be rather popular, I guess.  I mean, I think people like robots, and people like dinosaurs, so I suppose robots that turn into dinosaurs are a safe enough bet.  Well, it got me in the door for at least one toy, so let’s look at this here Grimlock figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grimlock is the entire Leader Class component of the ’86-branch of Transformers: Studio Series.  He’s officially numbeded 86-06, making him the last of the Transformers: The Movie figures….so far.  That won’t be sticking, though.  Whatever the case, he’s the last of the first batch, and is likewise the last of them to arrive on shelves, getting in a few weeks behind the rest.  In his robot mode, Grimlock stands a whopping 8 1/2 inches tall and he has 22 workable points of articulation.  Grimlock is the largest of the post-War For Cybertron Leader Class figures, going back to almost Prime Wars scaling for the Leaders, which works well for Grimlock’s typically much larger size.  And, despite being much larger scale, his construction is still pretty solid, with minimal hollowed out points, which I’m always glad to see.  The smaller-scale ’86 Studio Series figures are generally lifted pretty directly from the movie’s animation models, which were generally a little more detailed than the corresponding cartoon models.  Grimlock’s was a little more simplified, especially given how little of the film he actually spent in his robot mode.  This figure’s robot mode is very definitely G1-animation inspired, but it gains some additional smaller details which bring his design more in line with the Siege/Earthrise figures.  That, coupled with the presence of the 5mm ports that the Studio Series figures have by-and-large dropped, points to Grimlock being a figure that was possibly meant for the main trilogy line, before moved over into Studio Series.  Regardless of its original intended placement, the sculpt is a very nice piece of work.  It’s a nice, solid, chunky sculpt, and a great fit for the character’s design.  Like I said when I reviewed Optimus, this isn’t the toy you had as a kid, but it’s as cool as you remember that toy being as a kid.  Grimlock’s color scheme was subject to a few changes over the course of production.  Originally, he was shown with flat yellow and a clear window piece on the chest.  We then saw him with that same set-up, but changing the neck of his beast mode to a transparent yellow.  For the final product, however, the neck was back to opaque, the window on the chest is a smokey color, and the yellow was shifted to a metallic gold.  The final product’s honestly the best set-up in my mind.  Grimlock is packed with a rifle weapon, as well as an articulated figurine of Wheelie, whom he spends a good deal of time with in the movie.  Wheelie is a non-transforming figure, but he does get articulation at the neck, shoulders, waist, and hips, can peg into Grimlock’s shoulder, and has his own included slingshot accessory.

Grimlock’s alt-mode is, as it usually is, a robotic (and historically inaccurate) T-Rex.  It’s got a pretty nice transformation sequence, and one that’s pretty intuitive and doesn’t have any notable issues or misalignments on my copy.  The final product is just as bulky and solid as the robot mode, and features a similar styling to the detailing, going heavy on the G1-look, but with a little bit of extra detailing.  He’s fairly posable in this mode as well, with the smaller arms in particular having quite an impressive range on them.  In this mode, Wheelie can again be placed atop Grimlock, though he doesn’t plug in quite as securely this way.  Still, I doubt he’s really going anywhere in either mode, and Grimlock is certainly impressive in either of his two modes.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Grimlock is one of those G1 designs that has always kind of stuck in my head, even though my direct experienced with him have generally been pretty limited.  He’s certainly got a distinctive visual in both of his modes, and I’d definitely been hoping for some version of him to be included in the “modern” lines.  This guy’s really quite nice.  He’s just a really solidly put together figure, and I’m not sure they’ll be able to top him.  Definitely another fantastic addition to the line.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2670: Autobot Hot Rod

AUTOBOT HOT ROD

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

“Hot Rod embraces his destiny, becoming Rodimus Prime and defeating Unicron.”

Whoa, spoilers there guys.  We just picked up this Hot Rod figure and you’re already telling me he’s irrelevant?

Transformers: The Movie introduced a whole new slate of characters, and at the center of this new cast was the new planned lead for the franchise, Hot Rod, who would become Rodimus Prime before the film’s end.  Obviously, this didn’t stick, but that sure was the plan.  Even without being the franchise’s lead, Hot Rod’s made out pretty well on the toy front.  That being said, he has, as of yet, been absent from the latest incarnation of the line with all of its centralized scaling and such.  But, with it being the 35th anniversary of the movie where he’s definitely the lead, it’s hard to say that it was truly a shock that he was included in some sort of capacity this year, now was it?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Hot Rod makes up one half of the Voyager Class component for the ’86-inspired Studio Series line-up. He’s figure 86-04 (because 86-03 is the last of the Deluxes, which is Blurrr, and I didn’t wind up grabbing him…yet…).  In his robot mode, Hot Rod stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 28 practical points of articulation.  Given he’s a Voyager Class figure, Hot Rod does seem a little bit on the smaller side, being more in line with Deluxe scaling.  This is, however accurate for Hot Rod from a scaling standpoint, and more over, the higher price point of the figure comes less from sheer sizing of the figure, and more from the complexity of the tooling and engineering.  In particular, Hot Rod winds up with an articulation scheme far improved compared to his Deluxe Class companions.  He’s not only got more functioning joints when in his robot mode, but also has generally a greater range of motion on those joints.  Unlike the last pair of Hot Rods I looked at, he doesn’t suffer from any major points of restriction, which is a real plus.  He’s even got hinged hands, meaning it’s a Hot Rod that can finally hold a Matrix.  What a crazy concept.  The sculpt proper is a pretty spot-on recreation of the animation design, and is just a generally clean looking piece of work.  It’s got a nice, sleek feel to it that seems really right for Hot Rod.  Even his vehicle mode kibble has been streamlined further than prior releases, meaning he’s a Hot Rod that doesn’t have the whole top of his car mode hanging off his back for once.  In addition to the basic robot mode, Hot Rod also has a few cool built-in features, including a visor that drops down from the top of his head (in the same fashion as the Masterpiece version), as well as hands that flip out for his welder and a 5mm peg allowing the mounting of the saw hand for his right and left hands respectively.  It helps to really give him that all-encompassing feel.  Aiding in the all-encompassing feel are the aforementioned alternate saw hand, his two blasters, the Matrix of Leadership (borrowed from Earthrise Optimus, and capable of actually being held this time around), an effects piece for the Matrix, and two effects for his forearm blasters.

Hot Rod’s alt-mode remains consistent with the other G1-inspired versions of the character, being based on the futuristic sports car mode from the movie.  It’s sleek and, like Kup, presumably pretty easy to animate.  In the case of Hot Rod, it’s also pretty distinctive, since it’s stuck with the character over the years.  The transformation process is a fairly involved set up with a lot of moving parts, but even so I found it to be a little more intuitive than other, more fiddly Studio Series figures.  I guess it still counts as a little fiddly, but it just feels less so to me.  Also of note about this transformation is that it involves the arms flipping sides, replicating the one notable transformation pattern not done by the toys.  The final transformed product looks not unlike the car modes on the other two Hot Rods I have, with the caveat of, of course, still having that more posable robot mode.  In car mode, the two blasters can be mounted to the front, and the effects for the forearms now work as exhaust effects.  The saw attachment can *technically* go on top of the guns, but due to how the clearance on the parts works, it’s going to cause some paint chipping on the guns, so I didn’t push it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted early last year when I reviewed the Power of the Primes Rodimus, I have definitely been wanting a Hot Rod to go with the rest of my updated cast.  The inner figure from that set was a decent place holder, in fact more than decent, so when this guy got announced I was intrigued but not certain how essential he’d be.  The short of it is that he’s *very* essential.  He’s undoubtedly the centerpiece of this particular set, and the most impressive Hot Rod figure I can think of.  He just does a lot and he does pretty much all of it very well.  He exemplifies the mini-Masterpiece thing that these figures have been doing since Siege in the best possible way.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2669: Kup

KUP

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

“Kup fights for his spark as a giant robot squid tears him apart.”

One of the main focuses of Transformers: The Movie was introducing a new cast of characters, and by extension, a new selection of toys for the audience to buy.  After disposing of the original cast in relatively quick fashion, the movie shifts its focus to the new cast, generally made up of younger ‘bots, but not entirely, as is the case with good ol’ Kup here, the cast’s perpetual old guy, defined equally by his old-ness and his guy-ness.  The split between the cast for the two plot-lines places Kup with Hot Rod for most of the film’s mid-section, so he certainly gets a decent chunk of screen time, and that makes him decently memorable.  It also makes him a good choice for inclusion in the Studio Series assortment, which I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kup is the another part of the Deluxe-class assortment for the ’86 tie-in Studio Series stuff.  He’s officially numbered 86-02, placing him just after Jazz.  Kup previously got figure treatment in the Titans Return line-up, but this one is more animation accurate, as is expected for this line.  In robot mode, he stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 20 workable points of articulation.  What’s rather curiously missing from the articulation are any sort of wrist joints; he looks like he’s got them, but it’s all a fabrication, I’m afraid.  Kup’s sculpt is all-new, and while it certainly aims for screen accuracy, it doesn’t *quite* get as close as some of the others in this assortment.  There are definitely parts that are really good, and I’m particularly a fan of that head sculpt.  However, the body seems to be a bit too broad across the shoulders for Kup, and the limbs are comparatively kind of scrawny.  On the whole, not atrocious, but not quite on the same level as the rest of the line.  Given that did seem to be some shuffling as to what was going in EarthriseKingdom, or Studio Series, I’d say it’s a definite possibility that Kup may have been intended for one of the other two lines, and just wound up in this line instead.  Whatever the case, the sculpt’s still pretty decent, and there are some pretty fun touches.  Most notably, the limbs are all mounted on 5mm ports, so Kup can be dismantled and put back together, just like in the movie.

Kup’s alt-mode, like many of the main characters in Transformers: The Movie, doesn’t have an actual real-world equivalent.  It’s instead a sci-fi, future-esque pick-up truck sort of thing.  It’s never been one of the more visually interesting vehicles, but I bet it sure was easy to animate!  The transformation to get him into the truck is a little bit on the fiddly side, and if you have a tendency to actually follow the directions (which I still do), they might slightly mislead you on a few spots.  I definitely had a little bit of back tracking.  That said, it still isn’t too much, and the end result ends up being pretty faithful both to what’s on screen and to his original toy’s alt-mode.  Kup is packed with a rifle and the little Energon dispenser he and Hot Rod use to calm the Quintessons.  Points for the very scene specific extra!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Transformers: The Movie is kind of my go-to G1 representation for Transformers, owing a lot to its very distinctive visuals and soundtrack.  As such, my collecting now that I’m actually into Transformers tends to center around stuff from that movie.  I’ve been hoping for a nice Kup to help round out the film’s cast for a while.  Prior versions aren’t terrible, but I’m not much for the headmasters gimmick, and was definitely looking for one of him without.  This one has his own set of things going on, and I can’t say he’s the particular stand-out of the set or anything, but he’s a solid rendition of the character, and I’m glad to have him for the shelf.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2668: Autobot Jazz

AUTOBOT JAZZ

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

“Autobot Jazz tries to escape Moonbase One before Unicron devours it, but he doesn’t make it and is swallowed up by the Planet Eater.”

2021 marks the 35th anniversary of Transformers: The Movie hitting theaters, and in an effort to celebrate it, Hasbro’s going totally crazy and releasing….cartoon based figures in their Studio Series line?  What!?!  Okay, it’s not really that crazy of a concept when you get right down to it.  Studio Series is a line of figures dedicated to getting as close to screen-accurate recreations of the characters from the Transformers movies as possible; it’s honestly not that crazy a concept that they might want to devote at least a little bit of the line to the actual first theatrical Transformers movie, especially in a year where the main line, Kingdom, isn’t looking to be *quite* as G1 heavy as the main line for the last two years.  So, Studio Series is effectively picking up where Earthrise left off, and giving us some more updates of classic G1 characters in this new cohesive style that Hasbro’s been working on crafting the last few years.  Kicking things off is perhaps the most prominent of the original ‘bots still missing from this new style, that guy with the oh-so-hard-to-copyright-name, Jazz!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Jazz is part of the Deluxe-class component for the Transformers: The Movie-inspired selection of Studio Series figures.  He is officially the first of the set, numbered 86-01 (they have re-started the numbering for these guys, and are using 86, the year the movie was released, as their prefix).  Though officially slated for a March 2021 release, these guys have hit a few places on the earlier side.  Of all of the figures in this 86-inspired line-up, Jazz is notable for being the only of the original Autobots present.  It’s fitting, since he’s one of three of the originals to make it through the film alive, though his role is certainly not as plot relevant as some of the others included here.  Of course, I’m hardly going to argue with getting a new Jazz.  We haven’t gotten one since Power of the Primes, and I’d honestly rather not talk about that one.  In his robot mode, this guy stands just shy of 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 20 practical points of articulation.  Jazz is an all-new mold, patterned on his G1 animation design, of course.  The most notable thing about that is that it means he lacks the door wing kibble that most G1-inspired Jazzes have included.  I’m not really that major one way or the other on whether or not he’s got them, but it’s cool that they went specifically animation-styled for this one.  Beyond that little detail, he’s just a generally nice recreation of the design on the cartoon.  It’s a clean looking design to be sure, which certainly fits the character.  No Siege greebliness to be found here.  I wasn’t quite as bothered by that as some people, but I will admit I do really like the clean lines on this guy.  In particular, I’m very fond of the head sculpt, which does quite a respectable job of getting Jazz’s signature design down.  He doesn’t really get many of the 5mm ports that the main lines have been getting, which means he’s not quite as customizable, but on the flip side, it continues his overall cleaner appearance.

Jazz’s alt-mode is pretty much the same as his original G1 counterpart, where he turned into a Porsche 935 racing car.  This one is essentially that, though he’s specifically based on the animation version of that car, meaning it’s not *quite* a Porshe.  Presumably, this means that he didn’t require licensing, which is a slight shift for Studio Series, but not entirely unheard of, especially given that the rest of Jazz’s compatriots in this line-up have completely made up alt-modes.  This one looks pretty good, and his transformation’s not quite as fiddly as Studio Series stuff tends to be, so I on the whole rather preferred it to a lot of the others I’ve messed with.  I did find it a little tricky to get his chest and head properly oriented upon returning him to robot mode, but it’s not too rough.  It holds together pretty well, and generally looks pretty good, too.  Jazz is packed with is usual Photon Rifle, which he can either hand-wield in his robot mode, or mount to the top of of his car mode.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Jazz is definitely on my short list of favorite Transformers.  He’s not quite at Soundwave or Ultra Magnus levels, or anything, but I definitely like him, and was very much waiting for him to get some sort of update in this modern era of Transformers figures.  It’s been a long wait, but I was very happy to hear he’d be in this assortment, and he’s certainly the one I was most looking forward to personally.  He’s a strong release, and certainly the best Jazz I own, though perhaps that’s not saying a lot.  Still, he’s really cool, and that works for me.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2544: Soundwave

SOUNDWAVE

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

“Soundwave latches onto an orbiting satellite in his own satellite mode to listen in on communications about the location of a shard of the Allspark.”

The Michael Bay Transformers movies and I have a tenuous relationship at best.  I’ve only actually seen two of them in theaters, those being the first one and Dark of the Moon.  I have notably never seen Revenge of the Fallen, and I can’t say I regret that fact.  With the exception of a single Jazz figure from the first movie, I tend to avoid the Bay-themed figures.  That said, today I’m looking at a Bay figure, from Revenge of the Fallen no less.  I know.  It’s okay, lest you think I’ve completely lost all sanity, it’s Soundwave.  So, you know, I’m not totally losing my sense of self.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Soundwave is figure 62 in the Studio Series line-up.  He’s another offering from the 10th wave of Deluxe Class figures, right alongside Cliffjumper.  This is Soundwave’s second Studio Series figure, following the Dark of the Moon version from earlier in the year.  In his robot mode, Soundwave stands bout 5 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  Of all the Studio figures I’ve picked up, Soundwave’s definitely the least posable.  A lot of that comes from the nature of the design, which is kind of clunky, spikey, and restrictive.  Also, speaking of the design, Soundwave’s has an interesting quirk: it’s not seen at all in the movie.  In RotF, Soundwave remains in his alt-mode the whole time, with no proper robot mode.  This figure is based on one that went un-used for the film proper.  It’s honestly not a terrible design, and winds up looking less generic and bland compared to other Bay designs. It’s certainly preferable to his DotM design.  Soundwave’s alt-mode, which is really his main mode when you get right down to it, is a satellite.  As far as updated alt-modes for Soundwave go, it’s not a bad one.  Certainly, it’s a far more sensible choice for him than a Mercades, right?  Doing that to him would just be silly, right?  Right, Michael?  The transformation on Sounwave is really pretty simple, with just 10 steps.  It’s pretty intuitive, mostly because it’s so basic.  You fold his legs back behind his head and clip a few things into new spots.  Not exactly rocket science…because it’s actually satellite science, so a-ha!  Soundwave is packed with a stand to keep him aloft while he’s in his satellite mode, which is certainly handy.  Sadly, he does *not* come with Ravage, despite his DotM release getting Laserbeak.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t like the Bay films so much, but I do like Soundwave.  This led to me being very tempted by his earlier figure this year, despite my dislike of that figure’s alt-mode.  However, once I knew that this version was coming, I had an easier time passing on that release, and just letting this one be my movie Soundwave.  He’s not quite as impressive as either of the other two I looked at this week, but he looks nifty enough on the shelf, and I can’t say I regret buying him.  Great, now I have two Bayformers…

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2543: Blitzwing

BLITZWING

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

“Blitzwing interrogates Bumblebee about the whereabouts of the Autobots”

Bumblebee fell into the same sort of territory as X-Men: First Class and Batman Begins, as a film that was really a reboot, but was pitched as prequel of sorts to a prior series of movies, just in case it didn’t quite work out in its own right.  Since it was designed as a prequel, most of its characters needed to be characters not already used in the pre-existing franchise films, resulting in a slightly more eclectic selection.  Rather than one of the more prominent jet Decepticons, like, say, Starscream, the film instead made use of the slightly less prominent Blitzwing, a former triple-changer repurposed into Bumblebee’s first foe, who bears an uncanny resemblance to another robot with a real history of being all back-stabby.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Blitzwing is figure 65 in the Studio Series line-up.  He’s a Voyager Class release, part of Wave 10, alongside Constructicon Skipjack and a re-pack of Scrapper.  He’s the second of the Bumblebee figures at this size, following Optimus.  Blitzwing is specifically designed to pair off with the previously released Offroad Bumblebee, as they both feature in the same sequence of the movie.  In his robot mode, Blitzwing stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 24 workable points of articulation.  He’s got a slightly higher articulation count than Cliffjumper, befitting his larger size.  He’s a touch more limited on range on the neck, torso, and legs, but the arms are pretty decent.  Notably, he’s got a joint in the middle of his right hand, but *not* his left.  This facilitates him being able to pick up Bumblebee as in the movie, but it’s kind of odd it’s only on one hand.  Presumably, it didn’t cost out for both hands.  Blitzwing’s mold is an all-new affair, and it’s honestly not quite as solid a recreation of his film design as some of the other more recent Bumblebee figures.  He’s not *majorly* off, but his general robot mode appearance is a little more clunky and rudimentary than the film’s design. The torso in particular is a fair bit boxier than the movie appeance.  Probably not aiding in his accuracy in robot mode is his alt-mode.  In the film, Blitzwing turns into an F-4 Phantom II, but much like Shatter, Blitzwing’s alt-mode isn’t an officially licensed recreation.  So, he’s a bit of an approximation of things…sort of.  It looks about the same if you squint, I guess.  At the very least, it has a pretty good, generic “fighter jet” sort of feel about it.  To the untrained eye, it’s really not bad.  The transformation process is also a pretty intuitive one again, making it a pretty easy, and not too fiddly transformation.  Also, no really obvious undercarriages either, which is always a plus.  Blitzwing is packed with both a gun arm attachment and a spike blade to swap out for his hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Much like Cliffjumper, Blitzwing is one of those figures I’ve been hoping to get since pretty much as soon as I saw the film.  Then began the waiting game until he was actually released, which only ramped up after I’d gotten the Jeep Bumblebee.  Ultimately, he’s not quite as sleek or polished as some of the others I’ve picked up recently, but he’s still pretty strong, and certainly a fun figure in his own right.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2542: Cliffjumper

CLIFFJUMPER

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

 

The Bumblebee movie did a lot to actually get me invested in Transformers movies (and honestly Transformers as a whole).  While the film proper has a pretty streamlined core cast of characters, and we still got a lot of very G1-sequel designs, and a couple a really cool smaller roles for some fan favorites.  I’m a pretty big Cliffjumper fan, and I’ve always been really fascinated by his reputation as a Bumblebee repaint, so seeing him pop up with a small but important role was really nifty.  Him getting a figure out of it?  Even better.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cliffjumper is figure 64 in Hasbro’s Transformers Studio Series line.  He’s a Deluxe Class offering, hitting in the same assortment as RotF Soundwave, Topspin, and refreshes of jet Shatter and Jeep Bumblebee.  He’s also the seventh Bumblebee-based figure to join the line.  In his robot mode, the figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 16 workable points of articulation.  At his core, Cliffjumper is based on the same body as Jeep Bumblebee.  Given the similarities between the film models for the  two of them, it’s not a huge shock, nor is it a bad idea on Hasbro’s part.   It certainly helps that Jeep Bumblebee was a really good figure in his own right, so I really don’t mind seeing those parts again.  He gets a health helping of new parts to differentiate him, the most obvious being the head, of course, which is a good match for his film model.  He also gets a new chest plate, as well as some other tweaked exterior panels.  These are largely to accommodate his new alt model.  Rather than a Jeep or Beetle, Cliff turns into a Cybertronian car of some sort.  We don’t actually see Cliff in his alt mode in the film, so he’s actually using Bumblebee’s from the opening scene.  Given the similarities between their robot modes, the two presumably share a Cybertronian mode in-universe, and this is a good way of getting both the mode and the character in the line.  I’m curious if we’ll see it re-decoed into Bee as well.  Whatever the case, it’s a pretty decent transformation, and like Bumblebee, it’s not too fiddly.   Cliffjumper is packed with the same blaster attachment as Bumblebee, which works out pretty well for him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The oddity that is my ability to fixate on small things I want toys or meant that I pretty much wanted a Cliffjumper as soon as seeing his scene in the film.  I wasn’t really expecting a quick turnaround or anything, and I didn’t really get one, so that’s good.  It’s nice to actually have him in figure form.  Sure, he’s not  exactly innovative or anything, but he’s fun, and I’m glad to have him fill out the cast.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2379: Offroad Bumblebee

OFFROAD BUMBLEBEE

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

“Bumblebee goes toe-to-toe with Blitzwing in a canyon-shaking battle.”

Okay, let’s wrap up this week of Transformers reviews with two things Ethan’s actually got a handle on: Bumblebee and Jeeps.  Over the course of Bumblebee, the title character picks up a few different alt-modes.  While the one that sticks for most of the film’s run time is Bee’s classic VW Beetle mode, his first mode upon arriving on Earth is a Jeep that he scans while evading Agent Burns and Sector 7.  I’m a bit of a Jeep geek, so I was certainly hoping to see this variant pop up in at least one of the toylines.  Given that Bee’s the main character, it’s not a huge shock that one eventually surfaced, and as part of the Studio Series to boot!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Offroad Bumblebee (who I’ve been affectionately referring to as Bumblejeep) is figure 57 in the Studio Series line-up.  Like Dropkick and Shatter, Bee is a Deluxe Class release, and hit shelves alongside the aforementioned Shatter, as well as Roadbuster from Dark of the Moon.  Bumblebee has been one of the most frequent characters in the Studio Series, with this particular version being his seventh unique variation in the line.  As I noted in the intro, he’s based on the scene where Bee arrives on Earth and tries to escape Sector 7, and ultimately ends up battling Blitzwing.  In his robot mode, Bee stands just shy of 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Like Shatter, the overall articulation count’s a bit lower here, but in Bee’s case, the joints all have a pretty impressive range, so he’s got a lot of posing capability.  That said, the hips are a bit loose on mine, so that’s something to keep and eye on.  In my figure’s case, it doesn’t have an impact on his ability to stay standing, though, so I’m not horribly bothered by it.  At a casual glance, you might expect this figure to use a healthy helping of parts from the VW Bee, but Bumblejeep is an all-new, far more film accurate sculpt.  His scaling is a little better relative to at leas the other Bee film figures, and he loses a lot of the extraneous pieces (notably the door wings) which were present on the prior figure.  In general, he’s just a very accurate recreation of Bee’s model from the movie, and is a far more solidly constructed figure in his robot mode.  He includes a blaster attachment for his arm (which works pretty much the same way as Shatter’s, rather than being a whole swapped out thing like the previous Bee), which is cool.  He does *not* include an arm blade or his battle-mask.  The blade’s okay, because he can actually use the one from the VW release, but the mask is a bit of a shame, since that’s not a piece that’s cross-compatible, and he actually made prominent use of the mask during the scenes with this mode.  Bee’s alt-mode for this release is a fully-licensed Jeep (as you can tell by the properly shaped grill and headlights).  It’s a far less fiddly transformation than the VW one, and the final product stays together a bit better.  It was still a little tricky to get everything to tab together just right, but the actual transformation process itself really wasn’t bad.  The only downside to the final product is how obvious those arms are under the vehicle, but the had to go somewhere, I suppose.  They’re on balljoints, so you could remove them if they really bother you.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I said in the intro, this is a design I’ve wanted in toy form since I saw the movie, because I just really like Jeeps.  I was really excited when this guy was shown off, and he was at the top of my list for upcoming Studio Series figures.  I was admittedly a little bummed when All Time only got in Shatter for the time being, but I managed to stumble across this guy while on a supply run to Target, which made me quite happy.  He’s easily my favorite Studio Series release to date, and I may actually be trying to track down a second, because I really want both modes on display.

#2378: Shatter

SHATTER

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

Shatter uses the powerful satellites of Sector 7 to hunt down Bumblebee.”

Alright, I’ve wrapped up what I’ve got of Earthrise for review.  So, for the last two entries in this Transformers-theme week, I’ll be jumping over to the live-action movie side of things.  As is usually the case when I jump into things related to the live-action Transformers films, I will be focusing on 2018’s soft reboot of the franchise, Bumblebee.  Last month, I took a look at one of the film’s two primary antagonists, Dropkick.  Today, I’ll be looking at his superior officer, Shatter!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shatter is a Deluxe Class-scaled Studio Series release, numbered 59 in the line.  As I discussed in my review of Dropkick, the two villains in Bumblebee are both triple-changers, something that’s not very easily replicated in the Studio Series style, given how much they pride themselves in the accuracy of the alt-modes.  For both Dropkick and Shatter, Hasbro opted to just do two versions of both.  Shatter’s muscle car mode was up first, and was, similar to Dropkick’s first release, based on an earlier version of the robot mode, and therefore not super accurate.  This one replicates her look after she acquires her jet mode, and aims to be a better pairing with the superior second Dropkick.  In her robot mode, Shatter stands just shy of 5 inches tall and has 15 practical points of articulation.  Shatter is definitely on the restricted side when it comes to posability, but that’s overall been the case for the Studio offerings.  That said, what articulation she does have works well, and she wasn’t as restricted as I’d expected at first glance.  It’s worth noting that, unlike most Transformers, Shatter doesn’t come out of the box fully transformed into robot mode.  There’s a few additional steps required to get her there, which can be slightly tricky if you don’t know quite what you’re doing (like me).  Once that’s done, she’s a quite respectable recreation of Shatter’s movie appearance.  Of note is the ability to see her actual face, something that the previous Studio Shatter lacked.  She also works in the remnant car details of the robot mode, which she kept after taking on the third mode, unlike the helicopter Dropkick.  She also includes blaster attachments for both of her arms, which work in a fairly rudimentary fashion (she just holds them like guns), but look good nonetheless.  Shatter’s alt-mode is a Harrier Jet, which this figure more or less turns into.  There are a few details changed on the final design, as I don’t believe this mode is officially licensed like most of the Studio Series releases are.  There are extra fins in a few spots, which is really the only difference.  It’s still a nice alt-mode, and doesn’t end up with any ugly under carriages or anything like some plane transformers end up stuck with.  The transformation isn’t too bad for a Studio figure, and certainly not as fiddly as Shatter’s last release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wanted to have a Shatter and Dropkick in my collection after seeing the movie, but I was ultimately not impressed with either of their initial figures.  Once this figure was shown off, I was definitely far more interested, especially after managing to get ahold of car Dropkick.  She ended up coming into All Time in a shipment on her own, along with the previously reviewed Earthrise stuff, and found her way into my “wait out this lengthy time at home” purchase.

As I noted above,  I got Shatter from my friends at All Time Toys, and she’s still available here If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.