If only there was a link in the video explaining…
They tried a lot of things in the 90s to make him stick
Bunch of stuff in here about the Avengers: Endgame toys - but, Beware!
I went to the London toy fair yesterday. It’s a trade show I blagged my way into but to be honest it says bit meh. I couldn’t get into either the Lego or Hasbro galleries as they were by appointment for trade customers only.
Did get a free Warhammer 40k goodie bag though.
Wow, that’s a lot of 40k stuff. I thought you were going to have like one mini.
Who wants one of these?
And for the really special fans they’ve released this upgrade this year.
Comes in a choice of chassis sizes.
For the sake of my sanity, I’m going to pretend I have no idea what that is or why anybody would want it.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Third Party Transformers.
It’s the best argument I’ve ever seen in favour of the two-party system.
Except that Hasbro bought out Tonka, and they own the Gobots as well as Transformers.
…and they are planning to rename it Ba-Tonka-Donk.
Some folks really want their Arcees to have a soft chest with nipples on it.
But people like different sizes.
This is what peak civilization looks like.
I’m just grateful there’s not a Starscream Add-on.
I barely resisted the Love pillows.
I mean just look at that Chassis.
I’ve been in your house.
There has been a cascade of robots the last week and a bit!
Thanks to Mark, I got a couple of old figures I’d been looking out for:
Generations Wheeljack is a fantastic figure, he looks impressively like the original toy and the cartoon design, while also being a minor recedo of an impressive likeness of Tracks. I initially found Tracks very fiddly to transform, but I’ve got the knack of the toy at this stage so he’s been easy to move from one mode to another. The wrenches are a fun little touch as well. The one I got has very loose joints, and I can see that the prior owner did try stiffening the shoulders with glue or nail varnish and it doesn’t seem to have taken long-term, so I might have to try something else.
Generations Trailcutter is a decent, if odd interpretation of the character. Neither the truck or robot mode have the kind of bulk my brain associates with the character (never had Trailbreaker but did have Hoist as a kid), but he’s an impressive piece of engineering. The face is suitably MTME, which is a nice touch. He also suffers from loose joints. He can hold a post OK, but if I put his shield on either arm it droops down immediately.
Combiner Wars Groove (Deluxe) was a nice to have, and he was going cheap on BBTS so a friend tacked him onto an order. The mold held no surprises as I already had Lightspeed, but he’s still an impressive figure. It was very difficult to clip his legs together and line up his bike mode wheels, and the first time I tried to move the front axle it felt like the plastic was going to snap, so I’m wondering if this is a later production run than Lightspeed’s, or did they fiddle with the mold between the two?
And I got most of the Power of the Primes figures I wanted, which are all redecoes of toys I already had!
Wreck-Gar is, of course another incarnation of the Groove/Lightspeed mold, so I was playing around with two versions of him in the last couple of days. The colours and head work really well, and he feels more like a genuine Wreck-Gar toy than some of the other Combiner incarnations of classic characters. And it was easier to clip his legs together than Groove’s. The big thing here is the choice of weapon. He comes with the same axe as Reveal the Shield Wreck-Gar did, but because the axe has a thicker width just above the bottom of the shaft, you can only just get it onto the closed fist of this toy (the RtS version had an open hand and you could clip the axe in above the ridge), or use the c-clip to attach it to the kick stand on his left arm.
But the axe works really well as a weapon with him. I got some nice dynamic poses from it, and he’ll likely look good posed in a fight with another bot.
Novastar is a straightforward redeco of Moonracer, just a new head, red and orange colour scheme and a different gun. She’s pretty good. While I’m gonna skip STE GE Chromia, I might still get Greenlight if she shows up for fewer than 30 quid.
Outback is Brawn, but tan and with a different head. Still a good figure, but I feel he really needs a weapon. I might see what third-party options there are out there
Cindersaur is a straight redeco of Slash, and remains a great figure. She’s mostly purple, with the parts either cast in purple plastic or painted same (the back plate on her dino mode is clear plastic that’s been painted, frex), and the yellow parts are all painted over purple, and it shows. Yellow has a very odd pigment saturation with most paints and it’s very hard to successfully put it over a dark colour. And while it’s clear there’s been no interim colour used here, the purple-tinged yellow works. She’s an odd-looking figure as a result, but not in a bad way.
And finally, more STE GE bits started showing up at retail!
FlywheelsSkytread is the least-best of the deluxes I got, but he’s still pretty good! Using the same core mechanism as PotP Battletrap, but giving us a more traditional Duocon means he’s solid and chonky in a way Battletrap isn’t. His plane half is OK, it’s a bit dinky (but cute), and the way the arms fold in underneath is better than a lot of deluxe planes do. But it’s still a bit meh.
Similarly the tank half forms really interestingly - you fold open the calves, fold the thighs and waist in over the feet, and close the calves up again - they now form the turret, but it’s a bit of a mess - there’s open spaces where leg parts are visible, and the panels don’t close up properly (and you can’t mount the gun securely) unless you shave down the tabs the combination port clips into. But even with these problems he’s really charming and a fun counterpart to Roadtrap and Battleslash. That they’re cross-compatible is a really nice touch.
Cog is an interesting experiment that I think mostly succeeds. He’s basically a collection of bits that can form a robot, or a couple of vehicles, or some weapons or armour for another bot. The robot mode is pretty cool, he’s got some nice bulk to him, and a lot of the parts look good hooked up to other bots. It’s a bit meh that you need to physically dismantle and mantle him to make his vehicle components, and the connector between the two parts for vehicle mode is tiny and does more to suggest they stick together rather than keep them connected. This last part is a recurring theme - the legs come loose from the hips, the hips come loose from the torso, and the guns don’t stay put too well either. And some of the suggested configurations are really designed to work with Deluxes and not Voyagers - all the connectors to attach “backpacks” made from Cog parts have a single, central 5mm post, but Prime and Megatron have a pair of equidistant ones on their backs. Similarly trying to mount Cog’s legs as foot pieces for Prime especially is hard as he has two 5mm holes in each foot, while most of the other guys have one.
I’ve been quite negative here, but overall Cog works. I’ve played around with attaching him to different bots in different ways and it’s fun. Compared to the last few lines, the COMBAT system gimmick is less intrusive and means that most of the figures can concentrate on being good transformers instead of having to be part of a combiner, or a headmaster. I’m looking forward to getting a few more Weaponisers and making some horrible Cronenberg robot.
On that note, Hound is the best of the three deluxes I picked up. He’s just a really solid bot, that looks and feels like the original character. Great poseability, wonderful and innovative transformation, and his jeep mode is this little cute thing that looks great. He’s just one of the best updates of a classic character we’ve gotten for years. And his accessories are great, he’s got one weapon that looks like his classic shoulder launcher but without a missile, a rifle, and a removable drum magazine for the rifle. Be still my heart.
Finally, Shockwave is fantastic. Just amazing. another really innovative transformation which shifts from a great reproduction of his classic design to a “submarine” that doesn’t look at all like an upside-down astro-magnum. The way his backpack telescopes out and opens up to cover the arms and form the “submarine prow” that in no way resembles a giant laser cannon is wonderful. That purple hue is amazing as well, and there’s loads of little detail touches that work so well.
The armour bits are fine, if a little goofy. I came to a realisation while playing around with them and Cog that the 50 quid for Shockwave or Magnus is 30 quid for a Voyager, and 20 for a weaponiser that is designed to primarily work with the bot in the box. The boogie board mode of Shockwave’s bits looks great, as does the combined ship mode. The extra arms armour mode is a bit goofy, sure, but if you really don’t like it you can clip the arms in place, and fit the pods onto his shoulders as booster/cannon things.
Overall, STE GE is a success at this point, I think. I’ve not gotten any Battle Masters yet, but Mark got Lioniser and I played around with him, Prime and Megatron over Christmas, so I’ve seen how the weapon effects work - it’s pretty cool and I’m down to get them all. No hands-on with the Micromasters as yet, I’m only down 100% for the Rescue team (to get Stakeout for my Wreckers collection), and the tapes because heck yeah - but the photos and reviews I’ve seen of the first few patrols makes them seem pretty cool. I likely won’t go out of my way to get them, but I might pick them up nonetheless.
For the older lines, I’m pretty sure I’m done with Combiner Wars/Unite Warriors at this stage. I’ve got Devastator coming from Japan, and Victorion/Megatronia and Liokaiser are tempting in a “if I’ve got pots of cash to spare” way. From Titans Return I’m kinda eying Fortress Maximus and Trypticon in a similar way, and wouldn’t say no to Nautica or Metalhawk if I could get them without their boxes, or Grotesque and Repugnus if the price is right. And then the last two Power of the Primes bits I want - Punch/Counterpunch and Ricochet will be with me next month!