#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.

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#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.

#2070: Optimus Prime – Galaxy Upgrade

OPTIMUS PRIME — GALAXY UPGRADE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

A major selling point of War For Cybertron: Siege is its throwbacks to the franchise’s older incarnations.  The vast majority of the line is very definitely very G1-inspired (sensible, since that’s the incarnation most people know and for which they have the greatest nostalgia), but there are some throwbacks to more modern incarnations.  Perhaps one of the most modern is the latest incarnation of Autobot Leader Optimus Prime.  The first Optimus went back to the original design, where as the latest, dubbed “Galaxy Upgrade,” is pattered after Optimus from 2005’s Transformers: Cybertron (Galaxy Force in Japan).  That’s the figure I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Galaxy Upgrade Optimus Prime is one half of the second wave of Leader Class figures from Siege, with the other half being a re-issue of last wave’s Shockwave.  Its our second (and as far as we know last) Optimus for Siege, serving as something of a mid-season-upgrade (or “Magical Girl Power-up” according to Super Awesome Fiancee, and then she said “Auto-Girls, roll out!” accompanied by an assortment of whooshing sounds).  In his initial robot mode, he stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  As pretty much everyone had expected as soon as Ultra Magnus showed up with an all-new mold, this Optimus is built on the same base body.  For the purposes of his fully armored up mode, there aren’t quite as many shared parts, with the only truly lifted parts being the “boots”, and even then they’re slightly modified, in order to streamline them a bit more from what Magnus was sporting.  As a whole, streamlined is a good description for the armored up appearance.  It’s fitting, seeing as it’s clearly meant for flight, what with the wings and all.  The wings have been scaled down a bit from their prior appearance, likely in an effort to keep him within the new Leader Class scaling, but they’re still sizable enough to make the proper impression.  The large cannons are permanently affixed to the wing pack, and I was initially expecting them to be a little bit restricting, but they actually have a decent range and fold up rather nicely on his back when they’re not in use.

In terms of alt modes, Optimus follows the trend set by Ultra Magnus, with three distinct ones.  The first is the core bot mode, and this is the one where the Magnus re-use becomes the most evident, as they’re virtually the same.  The only sculptural (but not functional) difference is the tooling on the front of his torso, as well as a swapped out front to is pelvis piece.  Neither are overly different; the pelvis in particular is easily missed, but the new torso is slightly more pointed and, following the trend of the outer armor, more streamlined when compared to Magnus.  It’s a subtle change, but one that really sells the differences between the characters.  A less subtle change is the color scheme, which swaps out the monochromatic look of Magnus for something more in line with Optimus’ usual primary colors.  This, coupled with the change in sculpt, makes the figure undeniably Optimus Prime, rather than Prime-inspired like it was before.

The next mode is the basic truck mode.  Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty similar to Magnus, but with the expected changes to the front of the cab.  There’s some slight partsforming that goes on for this mode, with the forearm pieces from the armored up mode becoming the front grill of the truck, which I actually think works out a little better than the permanently attached piece from Magnus.  This base mode is the starting point for his final mode, which adds back in his armor from his super mode, to make a more involved truck.  There’s even more partsforming going on here, moreso than we saw on Magnus, and by and large I found this transformation a little more complicated, though it certainly picked up as I moved through the process.  Like Magnus, Prime is packed with two “W-30 Magnetic Inducer Launchers” (the pistols), and also gets a “JF-15 Gravity Force Laser” (the rifle).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After becoming thoroughly hooked on the line and starting to survey the upcoming releases, there was one figure I felt I could pass with utmost certainty: this guy.  I already had the Voyager Optimus, I already had the Leader Ultra Magnus, so why would I need this?  To add to that, I’m really not *that* much of an Optimus fan, so I’d rationalized that this guy was definitely non-essential.  And then I saw him in-person, and well, I kind of caved.  Yeah.  I’m weak.  I’ve got no excuse.  Ultimately, Voyager Optimus is still going to be my go-to Optimus, and Magnus is still my favorite Leader, but I can’t deny that this guy is a lot of fun.

I grabbed my Galaxy Upgrade Optimus 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.

#2034: Micromasters Wave 2

SOUNDWAVE SPY PATROL & RESCUE PATROL

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

What, you didn’t think the Transformers reviews were over, did you?  No, of course not.  I’ve got one more set of them that needs reviewing.  I’ve looked at Voyager Class, Deluxe Class, and Battlemasters.  Barring Leader Class (which I’ve reviewed in the past, just not this week), there’s one more release type left to look at: Micromasters!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Micromasters are sold in two-packs, and the packs I’m looking at today make up the second Micromasters assortment.  There’s the Soundwave Spy Patrol pack, which features Ravage and Laserbeak, and the Rescue Patrol, which features Red Heat and Stakeout.

SOUNDWAVE SPY PATROL

By far the most pivotal pairing in this assortment is the Spy Patrol, designed to augment the Voyager Class Soundwave released, since he lacked his usual little buddies.  The chosen ones are Ravage and Laserbeak, who I’d say are probably his most recognizable companions.  However, this style of release does lend itself to the possibility of seeing some of his other guys released down the line.  The two of them are roughly the same size as the Battle Masters, and compare fairly similarly to the likes of Pteraxadon in particular.  Of the two, I think Laserbeak’s standard mode is the superior offering, being generally more posable and more convincingly a bird.  His feet are also properly sized to match the grooves on Soundwave’s forearm, making it a little easier to keep him standing.  Ravage is slightly less convincing, because a panther’s just not quite as naturally linked to the alt-mode, and he’s also not as easily posed.  Both of them transform into the same alt-mode, which is a small rectangle that’s definitely not a cassette.  Why would it be that?  The small rectangle is well-sized to Soundwave’s chest cavity, which makes for easy storage.

RESCUE PATROL

For the Autobot portion of this assortment, we have the Rescue Patrol, originally a four man team, now cut down to two.  They aren’t designed to specifically work with anyone in the main assortments, so they more follow in the footsteps of the first assortment of Micromasters.  These two also stand pretty much the same height as the Battle Masters, and are more straight forward robots.  They’re more posable, with knee movement on both, as well as a waist joint on Red Heat, and a neck joint on Stakeout.  Of the two, Stakeout is the more solid figure, with better posability and a more natural sculpt.  Red Heat is a little more compromised by his alt-mode, so he’s got this weird head covering thing.  He’s also just a lot blockier and stiffer.  For their alt-modes, both of them turn into rescue vehicles: a cop car for Stakeout, and a fire engine for Red Heat.  Stakeout again makes out the best, given his more natural looking car state.  There’s another mode for the two of them, where they combine into a gun mode to be held by one of the bigger guys.  It’s not the most convincing thing, but it’s a nifty gimmick.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, I wanted the Spy Patrol to complete my Soundwave figure, so I was down for that set from the start.  When they came in, the Rescue Patrol was there as well, and I kind of felt a little sorry for them, and liked them enough in person to want to give them a try.  While both sets have their definite strong figure and weak figure, the whole package deal works nicely.  I’m definitely glad I grabbed both of them.

Both of these sets came from my friends at All Time Toys.  Right now the Spy Patrol is sold out, but the Rescue Patrol are still 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.

#2033: Battle Masters Wave 2

AIMLESS & PTERRAXADON

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Remember back on Thursday when I was talking about gimmicks in the Transformers line?  Well, let’s explore that some more, shall we?  Cross-compatibility being the big thing for Siege, there’s a lot of work being put into accenting the main figures.  I already looked at one of the Weaponizers, but today I’m moving onto another form of alternate armaments for the big guys, Battle Masters!  In order to keep prices down during the Titans Return line, the Targetmaster characters lost their, uh, Target Masters.  When it came time for Siege, Hasbro was looking for a good way to sell the effects pieces they were showing off on con displays.  Put those together with the scrapped Target Masters and boom: Battle Masters!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Aimless and Pteraxadon make up Battle Masters Wave 2 in the Siege line, alongside a repack of the first assortment’s Lionizer.

AIMLESS

Originally the Target Master packed with Misfire, Aimless is a Decepticon Battle Master.  He starts as a fairly straightforward robot, standing 2 inches tall and having 4 practical points of articulation.  Aimless’s sculpt uses Wave 1’s Blowpipe as a starting point, though the only pieces actually shared between the two are the torso and pelvis.  The arms and legs are new, more technically detailed pieces, though you would be forgiven for not noticing at first glance, since they give the same basic silhouette.  He also flops the colorscheme, being blue with grey limbs, instead of grey with blue limbs.  Aimless transforms into a gun, which is a fairly simple process, since there really aren’t that many moving parts.  There’s a 5mm peg at the front of his torso which acts as a handle, and makes him compatible with all of the basic Transformers, Decepticon and Autobot alike.  Aimless has two included effects pieces, which look like energy trails of some sort.  They can be plugged onto the two barrels of his gun, or plugged onto the corresponding pegs on other Siege figures.

PTERAXADON

Pteraxadon is actually an all new character in the mythos, which I suppose is reasonable.  They can’t all be re-releases, right?  He’s apparently an Autobot, but with all of the Battle Masters, I really have to question exactly how the affiliations work.  I might be overthinking it, though.  Unlike Aimless, Pteraxadon doesn’t have a humanoid robot mode, and is instead a robotic pterodactyl.  I know, who could have foreseen that? This one’s a unique sculpt, but the more inhuman design doesn’t lend itself quite as well to this more simplistic style.  This puts extra weight on the alt-mode, which, as you may have gathered from the name, is an ax.  It’s actually a pretty decent piece, though the coloring doesn’t really match up with anyone right now.  Also included is an impact effect piece, which plugs into either side of the blade.  It’s not quite as all-purpose as the rest of the effects, but I still kinda dig it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had no major intentions of grabbing either of these guys, but when they came in with the rest of the Wave 2 stuff, I felt compelled to get them as well.  They’re goofy and gimmicky, but in a good way, and I find them to be a lot of fun, especially in conjunction with the main figures.  They were even cool enough to compel me to go back and grab some of Wave 1, and I’m definitely on-board for Wave 3!

Both of these came from All Time Toys.  Right now they’re both sold out, but the others are still in stock.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2032: Starscream

STARSCREAM

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Ever the usurper, Starscream is quite a culturally relevant entry in the Transformers franchise.  Not only is he himself well-known, even to more moderate fans, but the role he fulfills has become a fixture of virtually every incarnation, even when he himself isn’t included.  And, after just getting a classically inspired release during last year’s Power of the Primes, Starscream’s back again for Siege.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Starscream is the other half of the second wave of Voyager Class War For Cybertron: Siege figures.  He joins Soundwave in making this particular assortment a completely Decepticon one, which seems reasonable enough, given the Deluxe assortment was all Autobots.  In his robot mode, Starscream stands  6 1/4 inches tall and he has 28 workable points of articulation.  This figure sports perhaps the best posability I’ve seen yet on one of these guys, allowing for a lot of real expressiveness with him.  Honestly, that’s probably the greatest thing you can offer in a Starscream figure, given just how over-the-top the character is usually portrayed as being.  Moving past that, Starscream is sporting a new sculpt, which is already slated for re-use as Thundercracker in Voyager Wave 3, as well as a Skywarp figure somewhere along the way.  If you’re going to re-use a sculpt, you’d hope it would at least be a good one, and fortunately, that’s very definitely the case.  This new Starscream has a sharp, angular, and very modern-looking take on his classic design.  Like Soundwave, he maintains all of the most important elements of his classic appearance, but injects some more modern day levels of detailing into it.  Also like Soundwave, he keeps some left-over elements of his old alt-mode, specifically the old cockpit on his torso, which doesn’t actually have anywhere to go on his new figure.  To be fair, though, he’d hardly look like a proper Starscream without it.  Unlike a lot of Transformers, Starscream and his fellow Seekers actually have established Cybertronian alt-modes in the old cartoon, which means that this figure doesn’t have to do quite as much as some of the others in the line to come up with one.  He turns into a Tetrajet, as he did in the Cybertron sections of the cartoon, though this particular design appears to be heavily influenced by the Colonial Vipers from Battlestar Galactica.  It’s a cool ship design, so I definitely can’t complain.  Heck, I’m not even going to to complain about the fact that his legs are just hanging off the bottom when he’s transformed, because, quite frankly, that’s not uncommon for Starscream figures, and it’s not overly visible when the ship is just sitting there.  What I *can* complain about, though, is the process by which you arrive at the alt-mode.  Quite frankly, it’s the most frustrating transformation process I’ve dealt with since I started collecting.  Essentially, the actual Tetrajet appearance is just a shell that drops over the figure proper, who has to be folded up just right in order to fit in that shell.  The trouble is, that getting him folded up to fit within the shell is really not easy, and my figure seemed to be fighting me every step of the way, and I’m still not actually sure I got him transformed completely correctly.  Additionally, while going through the transformation process, there’s a running flaw in the figure’s design that reveals itself.  The front of his torso is designed to swing upward during transformation, but it is only held in place by tension pegs.  This means that the first time you go to transform him, the plate’s going to pop out of place, and it’s pretty much never going to stay properly seated again after that point.  There really should have been metal pins holding that piece in place.  Starscream includes two “HPI Null-Ray Laser Launchers,” which are the arm mounted guns he’s sporting.  While they’re officially supposed to plug into the upper arms, the 5mm pegs allow you to also plug them into the forearms, which I think looks a lot better.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I knew I wanted Soundwave from the get-go, but wasn’t immediately sold on Starscream.  It’s not that I don’t like the character (quite the contrary), but I just wasn’t sure how far into this line I wanted to go.  By the time he actually started showing up, any pretense of skipping this line had been dropped, and there was no way I was missing a Starscream.  In hand, the figure perplexes me.  The robot mode is absolutely fantastic, and one of the best in the line.  The posablility and general appearance of the character just really work.  However, the transformation is frustrating, and the end result was ultimately unsatisfying.  And then, even if you just leave him in robot mode, there’s that chest plate issue, which will continue to plague him in both forms.  There have been rumors of a running change to add a pin, but so far there’s no evidence that they’re anything but rumors.  Of course, none of that’s going to help those of us that already have him.

Starscream was picked up from my friends at All Time Toys, and can be purchased here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2031: Soundwave

SOUNDWAVE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

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

#2030: Autobot Sixgun

AUTOBOT SIXGUN

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

While the Transformers brand as a whole is, admittedly, based on a gimmick from the start, Hasbro likes to introduce additional gimmicks as the line continues.  Each entry in the Prime Wars Trilogy had a gimmick, be it Combiners, Titan Masters, or Prime Cores.  This new War For Cybertron trilogy is starting up with a slightly more relaxed gimmick of accross the board compatibility of parts.  While a lot of this is tied in with effects parts and more accessories, there is also a subset of figures, dubbed “Weaponizers,” designed with interchangeability and cross compatibility in mind.  I’m looking at my first of those, Sixgun, today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Sixgun is the last figure in the second deluxe wave of the War for Cybertron: Siege line.  He’s the second Weaponizer in the line, following Autobot Cog from the first assortment.  Like Cog, Sixgun also began his life as an accessory to a large-scale Transformer, in this case Metroplex.  In his robot mode, the figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 20 points of articulation.  Sixgun’s original figure was rather rudimentary in his bot-mode, so this one starts with that and builds it into something a little more worthy of a proper figure release.  For instance, now he has actual hands! Sixgun’s design is notably more robotic than his assortment-mates, and generally feels a little more inhuman than we tend to see with an Autobot, but it’s a cool design nonetheless.  He’s also got a sturdy build, and lacks any real hollowness like we saw on some of the others in this set. Sixgun’s alt-mode is listed as a tank, but looks a bit more like an aircraft of some sort.  It’s a rather different design than the other alt-modes I’ve looked at, partly because you arrive at it in a rather different fashion.  Instead of a solid transition from one form to the other, Sixgun’s transformation is reliant on actually breaking him down into a number of smaller parts, and then re-assembling them in his vehicle mode.   It’s more akin to building a Lego set than to actually transforming.  It does mean that there’s a lot less guessing and skill to transforming him than the average Transformer, but on the flip side, it means he’s not one that you’ll want to swap back and forth so much, since every transformation is another chance to potentially lose pieces.  As a weaponizer, Sixgun’s sculpt is also pulling triple duty, since he’s not just a robot that transforms into a vehicle, he’s also meant to accent and augment the other figures in the line.  Via the same disassembly process that comes into play for his main transformation, Sixgun can be reconfigured into assorted armor set-ups for his fellow Autobots.  By far, my favorite set-up is the one that results in a giant fighting fist, but hey, I’m easy to please like that.  And, while the colors aren’t exact matches for each other I personally found Sixgun to pair best with his assortment-mate Ironhide.  He actually transitions well to an assortment of accessories for something that works as well as he does as a figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I didn’t quite get pulled in by Cog, something about Sixgun just really spoke to me, especially when I found out about that giant hand configuration (from Max, so this one’s his fault again). He’s definitely a different style of figure than the rest of the assortment, but he’s still very fun.  Now I just have to decide if I want to keep him as a robot or as an accessory.

I picked up Sixgun from 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.

#2029: Prowl

PROWL

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

When I say “horrific,” you say “death!”  Ah, yes, what better way to start out a Prowl review than by putting all of the potential Prowl fans reading up in arms immediately?  You know, by reminding them of the horrifying, fire out of the eye-sockets, death that befalls him in Transformers: The Movie‘s opening minutes?  Man, didn’t that suck?  It’s okay, I think people may have gotten over it.  They’ve had 33 years.  Well, I mean, I haven’t.  I’ve had a few months, because that’s when I finally saw the movie.  Of course, since the movie is also my only real exposure to Prowl in media, I guess it’s a bit of a wash.  Whatever the case, I’m reviewing a Prowl figure today.  So there.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Prowl is the third figure in the second deluxe wave of War for Cybertron: Siege figures, joining fellow ’84-er Ironhide.  Prowl is another classically inspired design, though he does sport the most signs of Cybertronian design work peeking through.  In robot mode, Prowl stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 practical points of articulation.  When I initially saw photos of Prowl’s robot mode, I thought it looked a little bit lacking.  Something about it seemed a little slapdash and unfinished, especially those lower legs.  Certainly he seemed like he’d be a step down from his comrades.  Well, hang on there guys, because I was actually quite wrong.  Prowl’s sculpt is definitely one of those that needs to be seen in motion to truly appreciate.  It’s actually  pretty clean, sleek design, that holds together nicely.  Sure, the legs do seem a little hollow, and if you catch the torso at the wrong angle, it’s not going to look so great, but when this guy is posed well, he looks really, really nice. And speaking of posing?  Yeah, for my money, Prowl is rivaled only by the Voyager Optimus in terms of range of motion.  There’s a lot of poses to be had with Prowl, and they only help to further improve the look of his sculpt.  Prowl’s traditional alt-mode is a police car, and this figure experiments with that.  Like Sideswipe, Prow has to somewhat tweak things and get a more sci-fi influenced version of his classic alt-mode, something that maintains the spirit of his original design, but doesn’t feel out of place with the new setting.  I actually really dig the alt-mode here, and I think it’s really one of the ones to best capture the Cybertronian feel. I particularly dig those translucent wheels! Also, this marks the easiest transformation I’ve dealt with on these guys.  I didn’t need to consult the instructions at all, and it feels nice and smooth the whole way.  He’s definitely one I can see myself swapping back and forth pretty frequently.  Prowl is packed with a W-45 Acid Pellet Strikeblaster…which is a gun with the light bar from his alt-mode strapped to it.  It’s goofy as hell, but a fun piece nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, Max got off the hook yesterday, but he most certainly does *not* today.  See, I was on the fence with Prowl, because of the slightly odd look in the promo shots.  But then Max got his early, and let me mess around with the figure a for a little bit.  It was really, really nice, and I absolutely couldn’t turn him down when I finally had my chance to get one.  I gotta say, I don’t have a huge attachment to the character, nor was I expecting much out of this figure, but he’s kind of my favorite figure from this assortment.  He’s just so much fun.

Prowl came from 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.

#2028: Chromia

CHROMIA

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Hey, remember how I’m looking at a bunch of Transformers this week?  Yep, well, let’s do some more with that.  For the first two years of Transformers, it was decidedly a masculine-driven line (not exactly uncommon for the time, and, admittedly, none of the Transformers *technically* had genders, at least initially).  It wasn’t until well into the cartoon’s second season that we got our first decidedly female robots in disguise in the episode “Search for Alpha Trion.”  The very first of the fem-bots to appear on screen was today’s focus, Chromia!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Chromia is the second figure in the second deluxe assortment of War for Cybertron: Siege.  Despite her early appearance in the franchise, Chromia didn’t receive any figures for two decades, and this one is only her fifth figure since her creation.  In robot form, the figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and has 21 practical points of articulation.  Chromia is heavily influenced by the various members of Elita-One’s crew released during the Power of the Primes line, though she is actually a distinct sculpt, and notably lacks the combiner feature of those figures.  This has been somewhat to the ire of some longer-term collectors, but for a newbie like me, I don’t mind a fresh start so much.  Of all the Siege figures I’ve looked at so far, this is the one with the most compromised robot mode in the effort to facilitate the transformation.  There’s a lot more kibble this time around, there’s no getting around it.  In Hasbro’s defense, Chromia’s smaller, and curvier design means that there are less opportunities afforded for easy places to hide vehicle elements.  I suppose it’s possible they could have streamlined her a little further, but I don’t think the end result looks *too* bad.  Really, if it weren’t for that huge honking backpack, she wouldn’t look all that bad.  In fact, I’m quite impressed by the movement on some of her joints, particularly the neck joint, which allows for quite a bit of expressiveness with the figure.  Chromia’s alt-mode is sort of a Cybertronian sports car/minivan thing.   The transformation is overall pretty simple, though I did have a few slight hangups with mine that made her more difficult to shift back and forth.  I don’t foresee myself swapping her back and forth all that much, due to these difficulties.  Chromia is packed with an RT-5 Anti-thermo Blaster, SR Hushfuze, and 2 EMP-Grenades, which pretty much translates to a blaster and a whole bunch of attachments that can configure into all sorts of differently shaped guns.  Quite frankly, this is probably my favorite part of this whole figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have a tendency in my Transformers reviews to discuss how they are, very frequently, decidedly Max’s fault.  That’s not the case with Chromia.  In fact, Max even attempted to dissuade me from getting Chromia at all, when I announced my plans to grab the set of Wave 2 Deluxes.  I, however, was not to be deterred, mostly because I kinda wanted a fem-bot of some sort, and also because I don’t hate Chromia’s design.  Ultimately, yes, she’s the weakest of these figures, and there’s a good chance she may well be the weakest of the line.  And while I can’t exactly sing her praises, I do still kinda dig her, and I think she goes well with the rest of the set.

Chromia came from All Time Toys, where she 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.