#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.

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#2215: Autobot Impactor

AUTOBOT IMPACTOR

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

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

#2214: Autobot Mirage

AUTOBOT MIRAGE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

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

#2175: Thundercracker

THUNDERCRACKER

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

What up my diddly dudes, this is NOT ETHAN reporting for review duty. Today we’re gonna review this bitchin transformer that looks like every other transformer thats not Optimus prime or bumblebee but here we go. I don’t know anything really about this history of transformers other than it was an opportunity for hasbro to make money off robots that they turned into a tv show to get kids to dish out their weekend allowance. BUT here we go, welcome to Chey and Jess’s fun time review. 

Yea, Ethan is feeling under the weather and it worked out sooooooo well when I reviewed transformers last time, right Max? This time we actually have the figure in front of us and we won’t be writing this off just one photo. Don’t worry, I’ve had less to drink this time so it won’t be so awful but still terribly funny! 

Thundercracker is a seeker, or so I’ve been told. This one in particular can turn into a jet so that’s pretty neat. Thundercracker was originally a part of the toy line before being introduced into the show, I’m assuming, at sometime in probably the 90s. Ethan just me no, so, I’m going to google it. OH so apparently he’s a decepti-boi and introduced in the GEN-1 cartoon phase in 1984. Dope, so this has generations like MLP thats cool. So what I learned in boating school is that this is actually one of the important transformers from gen 1, who is on team Decepticon, can turn into a jet, and fights flightless beings for the hell of it. 

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So ThunderBoi™ here is from the 4th series of the Voyager Class series and was released with Big Baddy Megatron, but not with the others from the Storm Brigade. Which is unfortunate because he’d be lonely in those shipments without the rest of the Storm Squad to keep him company! Anyways, he shares the same body as the other Seekers, but he has a different head. Wanna know what’s different about the head? He’s smirking cuz he knows what’s up and that he has cheeks that just won’t stop till they drop! He even has the same silver detailing on his robot shins and wings that I mistook for mud last time. He has like 72 points of articulation or something, I gave up on counting them. Actually, after looking up the Star Cream review that Ethan wrote eons ago, I’ve deduced that ThunderBoi™ has 28 points of articulation and is 6 1/4 inches tall. Also, fun fact he looks exactly like Creamy except for different color choices.  

Let’s talk about color scheme! The boi is a deep cerulean blue, with black, grey, and firetruck red accents. Not brick, not blood, not scarlet, no FIRETRUCK RED. The false cockpit is a translucent orange as well as what I can only assume is the real cockpit. The forearms, hands, and heeled boots are black, and the entire figure is spattered with a metallic silver paint. And last but not least there are two barney purple Deceptiboi logos on the inner most middle portions of his wings. The silver paint is an interesting choice, I can’t tell if its been splattered across the body to give it a vintage look, or to look like wear and tear, or if transformers actually bleed silver and that’s just the blood of his enemies. Either way, in certain lighting it somewhat looks like the paint has come up from the figure instead of being intentionally put on there. However, the other colors that make up the figure are vibrant and consistent so thats pretty neat.

When I reviewed the Stormie Roadies I might’ve complained that they had all the prime colors but blue. But now we have blue and our prime color scheme is complete with a side order of acid green! 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST he transforms into a jet, but ya’ll knew that, I guarantee it. Most importantly he’s a tetrajet (sp?) which is NOT a fighter jet, I learned, but looks like this picture below this, of which will be placed in here by the time the review goes up. The transformation process looks relatively simple when Ethan did it, but could be difficult if done with a migrane, so be weary friends.

I think he looks like one of those jet toys you get in like happy meals. You know, the bulky ones that had the wheels at the bottom of the toy so that when you pulled them back and let it go the toy would roll or ‘fly’ forward? I think they did transformer toys in happy and big kids meals. BUt the ones that I remember stayed as either the firgure or the vehicle, they couldn’t switch between them. So ThunderBoi™ is pretty cool because despite what I think is a goofy looking plane, he has nice articulation and functionality as a jet and a person.

What else is there to talk about? We talked about articulation, paint, color scheme, and the jet. We’ve even covered the cheeks that won’t stop till they drop. Oh! I can talk about his smirking face! As mentioned before, ThunderBoi™ has the same body as the other Storm Chasers but a very different head. His smirk is nice but kinda funny to me because it’s kinda cartoony looking. In fact, his head looks like they were gonna go for the same design as the other Seekers but one of the interns got a little excited with the sculpting knife and his face was the unlikely victim. But since it looked so nice they didn’t fire the intern, gave him a little extra money for coffee, and decided to keep the smirk to make him stand out from the Stormy McDaddies. There, I think that’s everything I can think of!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ethan came home from All Time Toys with ThunderBoi™ a few weeks ago. In fact, it’s been an increasing occurrence of him coming home with transformers, but that’s okay because it makes him really happy! I have no real attachment to transformers because I wasn’t really into robots when I was growing up so they were never really my thing. Instead I had Barbies, but they often met untimely ends like getting stuck in a pine tree for years and getting covered in sap, or getting their heads ripped off when I’d swing them from the ceiling fans. And according to Ethan I’ve been lying, but not to you guys I’d never lie to you! Nah, I told him that I’d put the photos in the review properly, but shhhhhh! I’m not gonna! He’s not gonna be looking at this until after it’s posted and by then it’ll be too late. Mwhahahahahahahahaha! ;-D

Though my knowledge of transformers extends as far as the 2000 something shia lebouf movie, I enjoy taking my time learning about new things so this is PRETTY NEAT. I’d tried to give as honest and entertaining of a review as possible so if you liked this be sure to like and subscribe for more content. This has been FUN TIME REVIEW with Chey and Jess, hope to see you in the future. 

 

 

#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!

#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.