#2144: Seekers Acid Storm, Ion Storm, & Nova Storm

SEEKERS ACID STORM, ION STORM, & NOVA STORM

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

You know, it’s actually been a surprising amount of time since I’ve written a Transformers review.  I mean, like not a lot of time, but notable time. I sure have added a lot to my collection since then! And now, apparently, I’m letting Jess write this one, because that’s just how I do.  It’s just repaints, so I guess we’ll see how this goes….

These bois are the storm seekers, like the guys that chase the storms. They the storm roadies of the Transformers, maybe they actually decepticons but idk yo…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

One is blue. One is green. And one is yellR. They all look the same though, except for the colors of course! They shouldv’e done red instead of green though because then they would’e had all their prime colors! But yea, they all look the same though. So like the same molding and even have the same mud stains on their shins. Do robots have shins? Or are they like lower leg plates? Anyways, they’re about 6 inches tall. They’ve got 12 points of articulation, so in total they’ve got 36 points of articulation. Really it’s just one mold painted in three different colors. Obviously, green is Acid Storm, blue is Ion Storm (I guess, though I think blue is better for Ice Storm), and yellow is Nova Storm. They’re kinda bulky looking, but that’s okay because they turn into vehiculars, planes or something. I wonder if they’re like the Flying Angels or whatever. The paint is okay, kinda bright but i like that because they probably look cool in blacklight. The mud stains are kinda genwric though and only on the legs. I wonder why they only have mud stains on their legs, I’ll let you guys think about that one! Anyways, I guess these figures are decent because I haven’t heard Ethan complain about them. I thought they looked really cool, the bright colors are nice accessories to any room, like the bedroom, dining room.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ethan got this acton figure set from Target. He was gonna leave it cuz he thought he didn’t need it, but I convinced him that he should get it and here we are!

Advertisements

#2116: Optimus Prime

OPTIMUS PRIME

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

Okay, so I usually do a better job of spacing out the Transformers reviews, but…well, I have a lot of Transformers these days, and they’re piling up ever so slightly.  I know, what a terrible problem I have.  How can I free myself of the terrible shackles that are this problem?  And how in god’s name do I now own three separate Optimus Prime figures?  That’s the realest question right there.  For today’s review, I’m going back to the thing that broke me into Transformers in the first place: Bumblebee.  I picked up the title character in his movie form, but had as of yet not gotten anyone else, preferring to stick with the Siege stuff for the most part.  Nevertheless, here I am looking at another Optimus Prime figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Optimus Prime is a Voyager Class release, as part of the Transformers: Studio Series line-up, where he’s figure 38.  He started hitting shelves right around April/March, arriving with the comparatively far less in-demand Constructicon Rampage.  In his robot mode, the figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 22 practical points of articulation.  Optimus is an all-new sculpt and is certainly heavily inspired by his G1-based design from the film’s opening battle on Cybertron.  He’s not a pitch-perfect recreation of the final film design, generally being a little boxier than the one seen on the screen, but he’s not too far removed, and it’s certainly clear which version they’re going for, especially in the robot mode.  Where the Siege Optimus was going for an animation accurate model, this one instead serves more to upgrade the original toy, albeit with some more movie-ized details, making him look a fair bit more “real-world.”  He’s not as clean or sleek as the Siege Optimus, and he has a few more spots of kibble, with the back and forearms being the most prominent.  The back doesn’t bug me quite so much, but the forearms are a little frustrating, especially since they aren’t as clean as the corresponding kibble on the Siege figure, and they have a tendency to start unfolding during posing.  That being said, the overall appearance of the robot mode is pretty cool, and he makes for a solid action figure.  Optimus’ alt-mode is the source of even more inaccuracy compared to the film because while Bumblebee turned into an officially-licensed VW Beetle, Optimus instead settles for an unlicensed equivalent to the Freightliner he turns into in the film.  It’s not quite accurate, but it’s admittedly not a bad design all things considered.  Additionally, while it’s definitely very fiddly and packed with false shell pieces for the final mode, the transformation’s not too bad on this one, making transforming back and forth pretty easy going.  Optimus is packed with his Ion Blaster he’s seen using in the opening battle, which is a nicely scaled piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, this Optimus is officially my “patience is a virtue” Optimus.  As one of the most demanded and sought after Studio Series releases, this guy came and went pretty quickly at All Time Toys, my usual spot for Transformers.  As such, I didn’t get one at the time of release, and in fact gave up the chance to grab a re-stock later down the line so that another customer could have him.  When a loose figure was traded into the store a few weeks back, the owner handed him over and said “your patience paid off.  Happy Birthday,” and just like that, I had an Optimus.  Like I noted when I reviewed Galaxy Force Optimus, the Siege Voyager remains my go-to, but there’s a lot I like about this figure.

#2113: Jetfire

JETFIRE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE

I’m getting the urge to start this review off with a comment about how this site could do with some more Robotech reviews, but…that’s not entirely the right call for this particular review.  And, if you’re wondering to yourself “Ethan, why are you bringing up Robotech in a Transformers review?”, then allow me to explain.  Today’s focus is the latest iteration of Jetfire, a 1985 addition to Transformers, who was notable for being a repurposed Macross VF-1S toy for his original release.  Though repurposing pre-existing toys was the vintage Transformers line’s jam, Jetfire was the odd man out in that his original toy wasn’t produced by Takara, and therefore Takara, as Hasbro’s Japanese equivalent, were less inclined to support this particular release.  For the purposes of the cartoon, Jetfire had to go through a pretty rigorous set of design changes, and even got a new name, Skyfire.  Since then, every subsequent release has somewhat walked the thin line between vintage toy accuracy and cartoon accuracy.  This one just continues that trend, albeit with some caveats.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jetfire is the debut of a new size-class of Transformers in the Siege line, dubbed the Commander Class.  Classically, Jetfire’s been a Leader Class release, but with the slight change-up of the gimmick behind the Leader Class figures, Jetfire needed to be a larger-scale figure, necessitating a new size-point, between the Leaders and the Titans.  In robot mode, the figure stands about 11 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 practical points of articulation.  Jetfire is a big, solid figure.  Definitely the most solid of the Siege figures so far.  Like a good number of the figures in the line, Jetfire has more than just the two looks.  Right out of the box, he’s in his stripped down robot form which is designed as a fairly straight adaptation of the Skyfire design from the show.  It’s a pretty solid recreation of that design, and thereby more of a departure from his Verictech roots.  He has an actual face, as he does in the show, which isn’t so much my speed, but it’s accurate, and a nice option for the figure.  The hands are posable, but unlike prior figures to use such hands, where issues holding weapons can be a problem, this figure is designed with a folding 5mm port.  Thanks to this, when his hands are open, the port is gone, but when they’re closed, he can properly hold his accessories.  It’s a great feature, and I hope they get more use out of it.  Speaking of the hands, they’re also the source of my only real issue with the figure, namely how his hands connect to the forearms.  To facilitate transformation, they fold out, and they have a tendency to pop out when trying to pull of routine posing with the hands, which can be slightly annoying.  Jetfire has another sort of new feature has to do with his insignia.  Though an Autobot by all official counts, Jetfire’s backstory frequently paints him as a reformed or at least otherwise former Decepticon, and this figure has a flippable insignia to note this change.  Again, I don’t ever see myself displaying that Decepticon symbol, but the option being there is really great.  Jetfire’s second mode serves to homage his vintage counterpart, via some additional armored parts.  He gets a faceplate, chestplate, and some wrist mounted guns.  While they don’t perfectly recreate the Veritech design (because there’s likely all sorts of potential legal issues regarding such a thing), it keeps enough common elements to get the point across.  While I can take or leave the chest piece, the faceplate’s definitely my preferred appearance for him, and I love how seamlessly it fits into place on the figure.

As his name suggests, Jetfire’s primary alt-mode is a fighter jet.  It’s easily the most complex transformation sequence I’ve encountered on one of these guys (which makes sense, since the one transforming Veritech I encountered was quite similar), and it’s the sort of thing that you’ll probably need to actually sit down and dedicate some time to doing properly.  He is definitely not a “swap back and forth on a whim” sort of figure.  That being said, as involved as the process may be, I didn’t find it frustrating or particularly difficult, which is a definite plus in my book.  The final product is a pretty straight recreation of his alt-mode from the cartoon, which works out pretty well, at least with the whole Cybertron setting. Perhaps the coolest aspect of the alt-mode is that the cockpit is properly scaled to hold a Titan Master as its pilot, as Doombox has so kindly illustrated here.  Jetfire is packed with a large rifle, which can split into two, as well as two sizable effects pieces, which can each split into three.  There’s a lot of multipurposing with the accessories here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Robotech and Transformers are both rather new additions to my cultural lexicon, but I was still quite excited to find out about Jetfire being added to this line.  While larger scale Veritechs are a little outside of my price range, Jetfire offered me a similar experience at a much more bearable price point.  Jetfire came in alongside a whole slew of other stuff, but was still the very first figure I pulled out of the box after getting home.  There’s a lot going on with this figure, and it’s pretty much all awesome.  He’s got little minor flaws here and there (the hands being the only prominent one for me), but boy is he a lot of fun, and boy is he a great presence on the shelf.  I like him a lot.

Jetfire was purchased 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.

#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.

#2105: Refraktor

REFRAKTOR

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

It wasn’t entirely uncommon for characters to debut in toy-based-media tie-ins before actually getting their toys.  A good number of major G.I. Joe characters showed up in the comics and the cartoons first, as did Shockwave from the Transformers.  However, it usually means that the toy isn’t far behind.  Not so much the case with the Decepticon three-man camera team, Reflector.  Despite early appearances in the cartoon, the set didn’t get a US release until 1986, and only as a mail-in offer at that.  Further confusing matters was that the three unique bots featured on the toy didn’t so much match-up with the three identical bots from the show.  Now, Hasbro’s further muddying the water, and selling a single-packed Reflector (now dubbed “Refraktor”), and leaving it up to fans to decide how many they want…or at least they were until they confirmed that three-pack at SDCC.  See, it keeps getting confusing.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Refraktor is the last new figure in the Series 3 Deluxe Class line-up for Siege.  There’s a fourth figure in the assortment, but it’s just a re-pack of the Series 1 Hound figure.  Refraktor is just a single figure, based on the singular animated design, which was in turn based on Viewfinder, the central component to Reflector.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 functioning points of articulation.  The sculpt is kind of rudimentary and basic, which, to be fair, is pretty accurate to the animation model.  It’s well suited to the army-building purposes the show suggests, and the more rudimentary nature of the sculpt allows for more of a focus on the articulation and how it’s implemented.  Refraktor’s one of the most posable figures in the line, especially when it comes to the arms and shoulders.  It definitely makes for a very playable figure.  The solo Refraktor’s alt-mode is an “artillery hovercraft”…and that’s really all I can say about it.  It’s not particularly inventive or all that exciting.  It’s just kind of a brick with a blaster on the end.  It’s clearly not supposed to be the main alt-mode.  What is the main alt-mode?  Well, if you’ve got three Refraktors on hand, you can follow the original toy’s lead and combine the three into a full-scale camera mode, with a tripod and everything.  It’s quite convincing, and even without actual instructions, it’s a pretty easy conversion.  More so than any of the other hidden alt-modes we’ve seen in Siege, this one feels like the one the figure was actually designed for, with the second being something that could be achieved in order to give the solo figure something to do without the other two.  Each Refraktor is packed with a blaster and a shield, which combine with the same pieces from the other two to form the tripod and lens of the camera, respectively.  Additionally, the circle on the front of the torso can be removed to denote whether the Refraktor shown is Viewfinder or one of the other two.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Refraktor was certainly not initially on my list of Siege figures I was intending to get.  He’s just outside the realm of Transformers I knew off-hand, and the whole “you have to buy three of them” thing seemed like a bit much to me.  But I was already grabbing Brunt and Red Alert (as well as quite a few other Hasbro items that hit at the same time) and I had the opportunity to get three right off the bat, so I decided to go for it.  As a single figure, he’s kind of pointless.  With three in play, he makes a lot more sense and is a far more satisfying offering.  It’s not really surprising that Hasbro’s already got a three-pack release on the books.

I picked up my three Refraktors 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.

#2104: Red Alert

RED ALERT

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Pretty much since the very beginning, Transformers and re-decos have gone hand-in-hand.  Sometimes just for variants of the same character, but surprisingly frequently for all-new characters.  Such was the case with Red Alert, the Autobots’ paranoid chief of security who began his life as a Sideswipe re-deco.  His latest figure follows his original’s lead, surprising pretty much no one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Red Alert is the second figure in the third Deluxe Class series of Siege figures.  He actually was first shown off not on his own, but as the model figure in Brunt’s renders, showing off Brunt’s weaponizer capabilities.  Prior to that, he was in a few pieces of promotional art, so most people figured he’d be coming sooner than later.  In robot mode, Red Alert stands 5 inches tall and has 20 points of articulation.  As I touched on in the intro, Red Alert is a Sideswipe re-deco. Sideswipe is probably my favorite figure from the first round of Deluxe figures, and one of the sleekest sculpts in the line, so it’s a very strong starting point.  Despite the initial renders showing him being a straight repaint, he does get a new head.  It’s only moderately different from Sideswipe; the horns on the helmet are shorter. Still, change is change, right?  Red Alert keeps the same basic alt-mode as Sideswipe, with the only change being the addition of the lightbar from Prowl, denoting Red Alert’s status as a rescue services vehicle.  The change between the two modes is still very intuitive, and remains one of my favorite transformations I’ve encountered.  Red Alert is packed with the previously mentioned lightbar, as well as a blaster rifle.  The two can be combined into the “RT-10 Particle Beam Circuit Welder”, which I guess is supposed to look like an axe or something?  I don’t know.  I like it more with just the basic blaster set-up.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I liked Sideswipe a whole lot, but I wasn’t really intending to pick up Red Alert, given his status as a pretty straightforward repaint.  That said, I was already grabbing the other two in the set, and I *did* like Sideswipe a whole lot, so I caved a little bit on this one.  He’s a good figure.  Maybe not an overly new figure, but a good one.  Now, of course, I’m debating whether I really need to pick up the G2 Sideswipe and just go nuts with the re-decos.

I picked this guy up from my friends at All Time Toys, where he is still currently in stock here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2103: Brunt

BRUNT

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

The gimmick of Hasbro’s latest iteration of the Transformers brand is cross-compatibility, and this is manifested no more succinctly than in the Weaponizers, figures whose primary purpose is to augment other figures.  So far, we’ve had two Autobot Weaponizers, and I guess the Decepticons were getting a little jealous.  The latest is finally one of theirs, Brunt, who I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Brunt is part of the third series of Deluxe Class figures from Siege.  As will all of the Weaponizers so far, Brunt began his life as an accessory to a larger Transformer, specifically Trypticon, whose 2018 update Brunt was absent from.  Interestingly, the original Brunt didn’t actually have a robot mode, switching between tank and towers.  This figure introduces a robot mode, based on the Centurion droid from the Stormbringer miniseries.  In said robot mode, Brunt stands 5 1/4 inches tall and has 22 points of articulation.  The sculpt is small, but quite stocky, and he’s certainly on the blockier side of things.  Fitting enough, what with him being a literal tank and all. After being slightly disappointed by Cog’s notable hollowness in a few spots, I was happy to see that Brunt is a much more solidly constructed figure.  It means he’s a little on the shorter side, but I prefer things this way, truth be told. Brunt continues the somewhat inhuman trend among the Weaponizers, but for a Decepticon it feels a little bit less out of place.  Like his original “figure,” Brunt’s vehicle-mode is a tank, and like the other Weaponizers, it’s achieved not so much through actual transforming, but rather disassembling and reassembling in a different configuration.  It’s a little more intuitive with Brunt, largely due to there being less little tiny pieces to move around, and possibly due to my own familiarity with the style of Transformer increasing.  There’s one notable issue in transforming him, though; the way his arms work, it’s very easy to accidentally pop them off at the wrong peg when swapping him back and forth, and once you’ve done it once, it’s very easy to do it again, and a little difficult to get the arm back together again.  Brunt also has the ability to turn into additional weaponry and armor for his fellow Decepticons.  There are two shown configurations, and I myself quite like the one with the big claw arms.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting on board the whole Weaponizer train with Six Gun, I was definitely intrigued by Brunt, especially his robot mode’s design.  Of all the Series 3 Deluxes, he was definitely the one I was most excited for, and after getting them in-hand, he remains my favorite of the bunch.  There’s quite a bit to like about this guy, and I look forward to seeing other possible options for Weaponizers.

I picked up Brunt 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.

 

#2090: Ultra Magnus

ULTRA MAGNUS

TRANSFORMERS: COMBINER WARS (HASBRO)

The legend of Ultra Magnus is exceeded only by the legend of Optimus Prime. When Ultra Magnus was lost, the forces of justice would not let a warrior of his caliber fall. Minimus Ambus, using the power of his rare loadbearer spark, enables Ultra Magnus to fight on.”

As I am doing my very best to become a respectable Transformers fan, I’m working on doing what a respectable fan must do: picking out favorites.  There was no denying that Soundwave was my undisputed favorite Decepticon, because, I mean, look at him.  I mean, that dude’s just pretty cool, right?  But what of the Autobots?  There were a few potential choices, but I just can’t help but really dig Ultra Magnus.  He appeals to my ingrained dislike of main characters by checking off a lot of the boxes that Optimus does, while at the same time *not* being the actual main character.  He also has a tendency to get some pretty darn cool toys, even if they often start off as Optimus reworks.  Additionally, his Siege figure was really the one that sold me on the line as a whole, so I’m definitely developing a somewhat sentimental beat for the guy.  And what does Ethan do with characters he likes?  That’s right, he buys all of the toys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultra Magnus was the Wave 3 Leader Class release from Tranformers: Combiner Wars.  Combiner Wars, the first part of the “Prime Wars” trilogy, was unsurprisingly built around a combining gimmick.  That said, the Leader Class figures actually weren’t designed around said gimmick, so Magnus is really a stand-alone release.  Though clearly G1-inspired, Magnus takes more direct inspiration from his design from IDW’s retelling of the G1-verse.  In his robot mode, Magnus stands about 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  He’s got more points of articulation than his Siege counterpart, but I ultimately found him to be slightly stiffer than that figure, largely due to his lack of movement at the waist and wrists.  Additionally, while the articulated fingers are cool, they don’t work out quite as well as you’d hope; getting them to grip his included weapons is rather difficult, and definitely not going to be a long-term thing, unless you find some way to affix them.  At the very least, some pegs on the insides of the hands to hold things in place would have been a nice fix.  While Magnus’s original figure (and his Siege update) had his main look as the result of armor clipped overtop of an all white Optimus-style bot, this figure instead just streamlines it into a single bot-mode…mostly.  I’ll get to that in a second.  The bot mode is a little sleeker than the Siege figure, mostly because it’s not the result of a lot of clip on parts.  Though not as boxy, he’s still quite boxy, though, as you would expect for the character.  He’s directly based on Nick Roche’s design for the character, which is itself drawing more directly from Magnus’s animated appearance.  For instance, his “eyes” are lenses, something not present on the Siege figure.  It’s a different look, and I definitely can dig it.  This figure ends up being about an inch taller than the Siege figure, but in order to facilitate this, he has to cheat some plastic use, resulting in some hollow spots.  The most notable ones are in the legs.  The backs are exposed, but otherwise not a huge issue.  The lower legs fold up to hide the hollowness, but have a tendency to pop apart, which can be a little frustrating.  I definitely prefer Siege‘s solid construction.  That being said, there’s one area where this figure’s hollow nature plays to his favor.  In the IDW series, they referenced Magnus’s inner-robot mode by revealing that the real Magnus had died some time back, and his name was subsequently carried on by a number of other bots, wearing Magnus armor.  The longest-serving replacement was Minimus Ambus, and this figure rounds out the IDW-reference by including a small Minimus Ambus figure, who stands 2 1/2 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  He can be placed in the empty chest cavity of the figure for the full effect, which is actually pretty cool.

Magnus’s alt-mode is a truck and trailer, a fairly classic choice for the character.  The transformation between the two modes is actually not too complicated, and I didn’t even have to consult any instructions to get him to the end result, so I’d say that’s a pretty good design implementation.  The final product isn’t a bad looking vehicle, though if you want to get into the relative scaling of everything, it’s worth noting that the trailer portion of the vehicle would stand roughly seven stories tall were it a real life vehicle.  I’m not sure how inconspicuous that would be, but then again, he’s a bright red, white, and blue truck with missile pods and two guns mounted on the back.  He may not be the best infiltrator just in general.  Minimus (who can’t remain in the main bot during the transformation) has an alt-mode as well, which is an even simpler transformation than the main bot.  He turns into a small car, which has a definite sci-fi bend to it, and is actually pretty cool.  In addition to the smaller Minimus figure, Magnus includes two blasters and two missile pods, which can also be combined into a pretty sweet looking hammer for Magnus to hold.  Additionally, thanks to the way his armor is implemented on his wrists, he can also hold the hammer a little more securely than he can the guns individually, making it by far the superior weapon choice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m less and less able to blame Max for my Transformers purchases.  I tried with this one, but he’s put in an official bid to reject it, so I guess he gets a pass.  In all of my research when I was reviewing the Siege Magnus, I came across this guy and thought he was pretty cool, and that I might like to track him down eventually.  Well, instead, he tracked me down.  Two large Transformers collections were traded into All Time Toys, and this Magnus was contained in one of them, so home with me he came.  As purely an action figure, the Siege version’s definitely superior, but there’s a lot I dig about this guy, and there’s enough to differentiate the two versions that I don’t feel so bad having them both in my collection.  Of course, now I want even more Ultra Magnuses, so that’s probably going to become my new thing.

As noted above, Magnus was purchased from my sponsors 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.

#2076: Cog

COG

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Siege‘s (admittedly lax) gimmick of cross compatible pieces from one figure to the next is best manifested in the line’s “Weaponizer” figures, who are figures designed to be broken down and used to augment the other figures in the line.  I took a look at the second Weaponizer, Six-Gun, back at the beginning of May, and I’ll be following up with the third, Brunt, soon enough, but in-between the two I’m playing a catch-up and looking at the first of the Weaponizers, Cog!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cog was another piece of the first deluxe assortment of Siege, and is the second to last figure contained therein.  The original Cog was included as an accessory with the large-scale Fortress Maximus figure, but he was absent from Fort Max’s update in 2016.  This one is designed to make up for that.  In his robot mode, Cog stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation.  Cog’s original bot-mode was certainly more refined than Six-Gun’s, meaning that there’s a little bit less reworking necessary to make him into a standalone figure.  So, he’s a more straightforward recreation of the vintage figure.  Like Six-Gun, Cog is more robotic and inhuman than you tend to see for an Autobot, which is certainly a different set-up.  I was a little bit disappointed to find out how much of Cog’s construction was hollowed out, especially when compared to the other Deluxes I’ve looked at from this assortment.  It’s mostly confined to the back of the figure, so it’s not terrible, but I guess after Six-Gun, I just wasn’t expecting it to be that expansive.  The original Cog’s transformation split him into two different vehicles, Grommet and Gasket, and this update follows suit, although it also gives the two separate vehicles one combined form as an option.  As with Six-Gun the transformation is a fair bit different from your average Transformer conversion.  It’s more a reconfiguration, which counts on the figure being disassembled and put back together in a brand new form.  Additionally, in that disassembling, you have the option to use Cog to weaponize his fellow Autobots.  While I didn’t fall in love with any of Cog’s configurations the same way I did Six-Gun’s giant fighting fist, there are still a lot of fun layouts to mess with, and his color scheme pairs well with both Optimus and Ultra Magnus.  Generally, though, I find Cog works best in figure mode.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Hound, Cog is a figure that I passed on a number of times, and didn’t really know I wanted until he was gone.  But, just like Hound, Cog was traded into All Time loose, as part of the same collection, in fact.  Mostly, I picked him up because I had Six-Gun and was already planning to pick up Brunt, so I sort of wanted the full set.  He’s okay, but I don’t like him as much as I thought I would.  He’s still cool, but he’s the weakest Siege figure I’ve picked up to date.

#2075: Autobot Hound

AUTOBOT HOUND

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

It’s possible that most of my readers know this, but in addition to being super into action figures, I’m also quite into Jeeps.  I mean, as much as I can be into any car, really.  It all kind of stems back to my parents getting a Jeep Cheroke back in 1995, a car which was passed onto me when I graduated high school, and which I still drive several times a week.  I have a definite attachment to that car, and I’ve subsequently found myself drawn to all manner of toy Jeeps.  So, it kind of goes without saying that a Transformer that turns into a Jeep is kind of up my alley.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Hound was released in the first deluxe assortment of War For Cybertron: Siege, alongside the previously reviewed Sideswipe.  He follows that figure’s lead of being rather G1-inspired in design, though it’s worth noting that Hound usually tends to be.  In robot mode, the figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 20 workable points of articulation.  In contrast to the sleek and smooth Sideswipe, Hound is comparatively blocky and bricky, as one would expect from a robot that turns into a Jeep.  He’s still a very cleanly sculpted figure, even if he’s not sleek, and his design is well-rendered here.  Despite being a lower-price-point figure, there’s not actually much hollowness in Hound’s construction, which is certainly something that I appreciate.  He’s also pretty decently articulated, and has less of the limitations on his movements that Sideswipe had (and even Sideswipe wasn’t really that bad).  Hound’s got minimal back kibble, likely due to the blocky nature of the design making it easier to hide.  Whatever the case, it works out in his favor.  Hound’s alt-mode, is…well, it’s not strictly a Jeep, but it’s certainly Jeep-inspired.  His original alt-mode was a straight Jeep J59.  As canonically a pre-Earth version of the character, the Jeep takes on a number of more Cybertronian traits.  It’s close enough to the standard Jeep stylings to be identifiable as such, but is removed enough that it makes sense as an alien design.  It’s also, like the figure, really solid.  Like, packed in there. Great for home defense.  The transformation between the two is actually not too bad, and my novice-level understanding was enough to get me through it even without the instructions.  Hound is packed with a “W-5 Holo-Beam Refraction Blaster,” “RT-10 IR Electro-Scope Launcher,” and ammo clip all of which combine to form the “HD Vector-Beam Mega-Blaster.”  It’s a nice assortment of parts, and I definitely like the fully assembled gun, and I really appreciate how well it integrates into the alt-mode.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hound is the figure I just kept passing on.  I’m not really sure why.  I looked at him countless times while at All Time Toys, and just never pulled the trigger.  When I finally decided I wanted one, the last one sold, so I figured he just wasn’t meant for me.  As luck would have it, a loose one was traded into the store, and I was able to grab him for even less than the original retail, which worked out pretty well for me.  I like this guy a lot, and he’s a nice cross-section of two things I like.