#2377: Hoist

HOIST

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

Hey, remember when I reviewed Grapple and I was all like “I don’t really have much to say for the intro”?  Well, apart from this witty and self-referential bit I’ve got going right now, the very same is true for Hoist.  <checking wiki> Apparently the two of them are buddies?  Well, cool, that means that they fit together in a nice little pair of characters I know pretty much nothing about.  So, let’s again watch me try to review a character I don’t know!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hoist is the third of the three first Deluxe Class assortment figures I’ve picked up from Earthrise, and he seems to be designed to pair off with the Voyager Grapple who hit right around the same time.  It’s actually nice of Hasbro to actually finish off a pair like that so quickly; usually there’s a wait involved between such figures.  In robot mode, Hoist stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 24 usable points of articulation.  I complained in yesterday’s review about how Wheeljack’s robot mode felt a little less refined than some of the others from Siege and Earthrise, and I feel that’s even more of an issue with Hoist.  He doesn’t feel like he’s on the same engineering level of, say, Cliffjumper, or even the likes of Grapple.  There’s far more hollow sections left exposed (the entire back side of the legs for one, and the torso for another), and he keeps the side panels of the vehicle mode just stuck behind the arms rather rigidly.  Additionally, he just doesn’t feel as sturdy as other figures of the same style, so he feels literally half-formed.  I’m also not a huge fan of the colorscheme, but that’s not really specifically this toy’s issue, as much as it is just part of the character.  So, the robot mode doesn’t impress me so much, how’s the other mode?  Honestly, not bad.  He turns into a pickup truck with a towing hook.  Getting him transformed isn’t the easiest thing, but the final product is actually quite nice, and one of the most convincing alt-modes in this set.  Hoist is packed with an arm cannon, which he can use in robot mode, or stow on his side when in truck mode.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Hoist at the same time as the other two Earthrise deluxes, mostly because I knew I wasn’t likely to have a chance to get much new stuff, and I was buying everyone else.  I’m not really a huge fan of him, at least in his robot mode.  He just feels really removed from the rest of the line in terms of quality, and doesn’t really fit in.  On the other hand, I actually really like that alt-mode, and as a first, I might end up displaying this guy in his vehicle mode full-time.

Hoist 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.

#2376: Wheeljack

WHEELJACK

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

Okay, let’s continue our merry trek into this Transformers theme-week with the second of the three Earthrise reviews I’ll be doing this week.  We again go back to the beginnings of the brand with another of the original core line-up, Wheeljack, the Autobot’s crazy inventor.  Unless you were first really introduced to the character via Prime like I was, in which case his more of a war-torn bruiser.  Those two things are really close, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wheeljack is part of the first Deluxe Class assortment of the Earthrise line.  He’s a figure people have been expecting to see since Siege started, since he was included in the fan-poll that added Mirage and Impactor into the line, his poll-mate Spinister showed up in Siege‘s final deluxe assortment, and he was also seen on Springer’s box art.  It’s okay everyone, he’s finally here.  In his robot mode, Wheeljack stands just shy of 5 inches tall and he has 26 workable points of articulation.  His sculpt is an all-new affair, based on his G1 cartoon design.  For some reason, this sculpt feels a little less advanced, at least in terms of what it does with the remaining parts of the alt-mode when he’s a robot.  Obviously, you expect there to be some remnants there, but in this case, especially on the arms, where the backsides really showcase the car remnants.  It’s not like it’s bad, but it makes him a little clunkier, and it means the range of motion on the articulation isn’t as great as it could be.  On the plus side, the range on the legs is actually really good, especially on the ankles, which go two different ways, unlike most of the modern ‘formers.  Wheeljack’s alt-mode is a race car, much like his vintage counterpart.  Like Cliffjumper, however, it’s not a specific model, and is more of an averaged design.  It still has a real world feel.  The transformation process is pretty simple and straightforward, provided you don’t have parts spontaneously pop off in the midst of it, like I did.  It’s okay, everything went back the way it was supposed to.  Wheeljack is packed with his shoulder launcher, which the box art and the product shots show him holding in his hand, which I believe Max would like me to point out is an affront to God, or Primus, or something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t have any major attachment to Wheeljack as a character, mostly due to him being just shy of being a core enough character to wind up in the various incarnations of the franchise I got to know growing up.  That said, it’s a neat design, and I’m getting versed enough in the franchise now to appreciate the need for him in my collection.  He’s an okay figure, and I certainly like his transformation scheme, but I do wish he was a little more polished.

Wheeljack 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.

#2375: Cliffjumper

CLIFFJUMPER

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

Okay, well, my options for reviewing new things are more on the limited side these days, so I kinda just have to make due with what I picked up before things shut down.  Luckily, I did manage to pick up enough new Transformers to qualify for a theme-week, so that’s just what I’m gonna do.  Today, I’m beginning a three-part look into the main line’s theme for this year, Earhrise, the second entry in the War for Cybertron trilogy, and also taking a look at one of the franchise’s oldest, and quite frequently most overlooked characters, Cliffjumper!  He’s not just red Bumblebee!  I swear!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cliffjumper is part of the first Deluxe Class assortment of the Earthrise line.  As we saw in Siege these figures are continuing the trend of trying to stick as closely to G1 animation models as possible, and in that regard I’d say Cliffjumper hits pretty darn close.  In his robot mode, Cliffjumper stands 4 inches tall and he has 22 workable points of articulation.  Cliffjumper is, for once, an all-new sculpt.  The expectation is that at least some of this figure will be turning up later as a toon-accurate Bumblebee, but exactly how much of this exact sculpt they’re going to re-use is a bit up in the air, mostly depending on whether or not they’re going to try for the VW Beetle.  But, that’s all a discussion for when we actually get a Bumblebee!  We’re not looking at Bumblebee, we’re looking at Cliffjumper!  He’s different, I swear!  As I noted on Grapple, Cliffjumper (and Earthrise as a whole) has a slightly cleaner sculpt than a lot of the Siege figures did.  He’ll still fit in with them, of course, but he’s not quite as battle torn.  He’s a pretty sleek, and honestly pretty small sculpt, especially given he’s a deluxe, but ultimately it works for him, and I think there’s enough going on with the figure that it doesn’t feel like you’re getting gipped.  Cliffjumper’s original alt-mode was a Porsche 924 Turbo, which isn’t technically what this guy turns into; he’s instead a more generic ’80s-style sports car.  That being said, he’s clearly designed to be reminiscent of the original mode, and it’s certainly a plausible car for the real word.  The transformation process is pretty simple.  It does require some minor parts forming where you remove the back of the car and plug it in as a backpack in robot mode.  This apparently ruins the figure.  Ruins it, I tell you.  Okay, not ruin.  Or hinder at all, really, at least in my book.  In fact, I quite like how the transformation works on this figure, and I’m happy with both modes.  Cliffjumper is packed with a very large blaster, which he can break up into several much smaller components.  For the robot mode, it can be split into two smaller blasters, and for the car mode, it can be turned into a set of skis and a propulsion system, which I think is a lot of fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have a soft-spot for Cliffjumper.  He’s kinda like the Ultra Magnus to Bumblebee’s Optimus.  Also, when I was younger, I had a handful of the Robot Heroes line, and while I never had a Bumblebee, I did have the Cliffjumper repaint.  I’ve been hoping to see him show up in the modern line, and I was actually kind of happy he got added before Bee.  He was my most wanted of the initial Earthrise offerings, and he’s definitely my favorite of the batch I’ve picked up so far.

Cliffjumper 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.

#2344: Autobot Grapple

AUTOBOT GRAPPLE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

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