Transformers: Generations – Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the Legends Class figures in the Combiner Wars line.   We have been getting quite a few, and with the exception of Power Glide (turning into a gun), these figures don’t really have a lot to do with the Combiners.  Blackjack is changing all of that.  If you looked at my earlier review, I took a look at Menasor.  Built using 5 figures, he turned out pretty good.  He did have a giant glaring hole in his chest.   Well, Blackjack is here to fill that hole.  But more on that later.

Blackjack comes with pretty good articulation.  Overall, what we expect from these Legends Class figures.   The only thing that seems funny to me are the holes in his toes.  That just seems a bit out there, but necessary in vehicle mode.   He shows a whole lot of purple in robot mode.  And as we know, purple means Decepticon.  He takes a lot of his look from his G1 counterpart, but with a lot more detail and articulation than the tiny Micromaster version.  They did a nice job of highlighting him with a bit of gold here and there.

His vehicle mode is a nice upgrade from the Ford Probe that we last saw him wearing back in 1989.  He has a bit of purple here and there to give some good accent to an otherwise black car.  The ports on the back are for the axe (coming next), and there are two ports on the roof for when he becomes the chest of Menasor.

First time I looked at him finally all together wearing the axe, I thought, “Gee, he looks a lot like a Dark Hot Rod.”  Well, guess what?  He is going to be repainted as Hot Rod, or Rodimus.  If Menasor gets a special chest vehicle, it is only fitting that Ultra Prime gets a chest piece too.

In place, Blackjack gets lost in there.   He is black on a black body behind.  It doesn’t really do a lot for Menasor other than filling out his chest some more.    I have a problem that others have mentioned too.  The posts on Menasor’s chest don’t fit well into the ports on the bottom of Blackjack.  The posts are too small, so Blackjack just falls off.   That’s too bad.   Well, it is nice to have a little more to add onto Menasor anyway.

Overall, I like this little guy.  As a robot and as a vehicle.  He is a bit boring as a chest piece, but what are ya’ gonna’ do?


Iron Man Mark 43 (Thanos Wave, Marvel Legends)

I was almost able to pass on the Thanos Wave.  Then Tony went and made a new suit of armor in Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Well, then I went and found it in the store.  It had to be bought at that point.   So here he is in all of his red and gold glory.

This guy has all of the articulation we have come to love from the Marvel Legends line by Hasbro.  He has the double joints in the elbows and knees that actually give him a bit too much movement, but that is up to the owner’s discretion as to how folded up they want their Iron Man.  This version has a lot more red then what we saw with with Mark 42 during Iron Man 3. And thankfully the gold is actually gold and not some sand color.    He has just a bit of silver on parts of the body to make the suit a bit more interesting.

I always find one of the trickiest parts of working with a new Marvel Legends figure is the painted joint.  Some of them are really hard to get loose, and I really don’t want to break off an arm.   I had him out of the box for a couple of days before heading out into the sun for some photographs.  I was all set to bash on the ankles that didn’t appear to have more than a back and forth movement.   A little time in the sun, and the joint loosened up and freed up the side to side movement.

The only complaint I have about the figure is the head’s movement up.  He can look down with his head touching his chest, but he cannot look up as he would do when he is flying.  We have had others that could do it.

Overall, he is a nice figure.  I don’t think I can get behind the Build a Figure idea when the figures are running $20 a piece now.  I would really need to have that figure in order to continue shelling out that kind of cash for five or six figures.  In the Thanos Wave, both Spider-Woman and Hellcat come with the same parts for Thanos.  At least they could have gone the Allfather route and given us some alternate BAF parts.  Happy Thanos and Angry Thanos.  Something different.  But it comes down to…”Do I need Thanos?”  We have definitely moved away from the days of the Sentinel Series.   Remember that one way back in 2005 when the boxes weighed 5 pounds because of such massive parts?   I do have to say the second wave coming out later this year is a lot more tempting with the Build a Figure being Hulkbuster Armor.  That one I could get behind.  Of course, there are a bunch of no-name characters to get with it.  Why wouldn’t we get Hulkbuster with this wave? You know, a BAF of someone who was actually in the movie for more than 7 seconds.

Well, another great armor for my Hall of Armor.  There have been a lot in this scale, and I am sure we will see more to come.


Transformers Generations – Menasor

Dragstip was in Wave 1 of the Combiner Wars, while the other four figures came out in Wave 2.  So now, 4 Deluxe Class figures, and one Voyager Class figure called the Stunticons, make the next Combiner in the series, Menasor.  Now we have one Autobot and one Decepticon!  Let the Combiner Wars begin!!!

Menasor:

Menasor is an interesting change for the Decepticon line-up.  For the parts of Menasor, all five figures are driving vehicles.  Most of the time, Decepticons go for flight.  In an effort to beat the Autobots at their own game, Megatron created the Stunticons as road bound vehicles.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Autobots went for flight vehicles when they created their own combiner,  Superion to battle the power of Menasor.  Let’s take a look at each figure to see who makes up the Stunticon team.

#1 Dragstrip:

Dragstrip is the #1 part of Menasor.  He was a part of the last wave with Superion Figures.  He comes with a purple sword and a hand/foot for Menasor.  The Stunticons seem to go for melee weapons, Dragstrip using a sword.

An issue that goes through most all of the figures in the Menasor wave, is the lack of storage for the weapons.  They have to hang off the the vehicle, and usually quite unsightly.  He is slightly changed from his G1 vehicle, choosing a much more current Formula 1 design.  The color scheme adds on a bit of pink to pull in the girl collectors.  Haha!  Just kidding Dragstrip.  Don’t hunt me down.

#2 Dead End:

Dead end is one of the most detailed of the five Stunticons.  He is primarily the burgundy color seen in vehicle mode, with extra highlights that mimic the orange stripe on the hood.  He comes with his melee weapon, a side pipe.  I feel that they should have given us two, so when they were attached to the car, both sides would match.  Alas, we get one, and it seems rather pointless in vehicle mode.

Dead End was once a Porsche 928, but now he gets to be a Ferrari 458 Italia.  I think that is a pretty good upgrade. He has a great color match to his G1 counterpart, right down to the orange rally stripe.  This is a very sturdy and well designed vehicle.

#3 Motormaster:

Motormaster is the Voyager Class figure and main body of Menasor.  He is a retool of Optimus Prime released in the Voyager Wave 1.  There are a lot of differences between Optimus and Motormaster.  He comes with a giant sword that breaks apart into one smaller sword, and a gun.

In truck mode, he looks VERY much like Age of Extinction Galvatron.  Although Motormaster’s G1 color scheme is a mostly grey robot, he was mostly black in truck mode.   I am surprised Hasbro didn’t try to get a little further away from the Galvatron look and go for more the G1 Motormaster color.   Of course he also doesn’t have the entire trailer that stays attached to him.

I was not expecting so much retooling from Optimus to make Motormaster.  The main structure is the same, but there are so many parts that have been redone to make quite a different looking truck.  They look similar, but they are not the same.

The variation in truck mode is significant as well.  Nicely done Hasbro.

#4 Breakdown:

Breakdown is the only figure that can hold his hand/foot piece on his person, and not use it as a gun.  In the packaging, Breakdown’s back is set high on his body, to fit him into the flat packaging.  It is an easy flip down and the purple hand can be mounted there.  It does not show in the directions, but it is in the cover of the comic book that comes with Breakdown.  As with the other figures in this wave, he comes with a melee weapon, a sword that can also be used as a gun.

Some think this is a Lamborghini, but I can’t tell which one.  Originally, breakdown was a Lamborghini Countach which we saw a lot of in the Autobots.  This is definitely not a Countach, but it is also a lot more squared off then the current run of Lambos.  I think it looks a lot like a Vector W8 Twin Turbo.

In robot mode, he is able to utilize the purple hand.  He also has extra tabs that allows mounting of the hand where it does not stand too far off the body of the vehicle as they do with other vehicles using the 5mm ports.  This is very reminiscent of the Universe Lamborghinis and G1 Sunstreaker that has Super Chargers mounted on the back.

#5 Offroad:

Offroad is a new recruit to the Stunticon team.  Looking like a mean ol’ Con, he also has a melee weapon, this one being an axe.   His backpack sticks out a lot more than the other figures in this wave of characters.

The rest of the Deluxe team is a race car, and two sports cars.  Offroad is quite different as an off road truck.  He replaces what was Windrider, another Ferrari in the G1 series.  Look for a repainted Dead End to come out later this year as a replacement for Windrider renamed Break-Neck.

The Stunticons:

5 parts together to make one crazy robot.  Their minds cannot work together, and that is their downfall.

The directions show Breakdown and Offroad set backwards when completed.  The large diagram that shows all five parts, shows the legs turned the right direction.

Optimus feels like a nice big Voyager figure, until he goes toe to toe with Menasor.

The Aerialbots have a much better color match that shows how they can blend together mentally as well as physically.  Menasor uses a lot less color similarities.

The party continues in the near future as the Aerialbot team is joined by the Protectobots who form Defensor for the Autobot cause.  Let’s not forget another Voyager Class figure on the horizon in the form of Cyclonus, as well as two more Leader Class figures of Ultra Magnus and Thundercracker.  Can’t wait to get Thundercracker who will put a whole lot of hurt on Starscream with a new Jetfire sized body.  Why did they choose Thundercracker?  Probably because he is my favorite Con… but probably not. Then of course there is the Titan Class Devastator that will put the hurt on everyone with 6 Voyager Class figures.  Looking forward to the future of the Combiner Wars line.

 


Jurassic World – Matchbox vehicles

It is just about time to start seeing Jurassic World toys pour into the stores. We are a little over one month away from a hotly anticipated summer blockbuster.

The first to start rolling onto shelves are the Matchbox vehicles. This is a line of vehicles that have been specially painted with Jurassic World markings.

Of course we are going to see lots of 4×4 vehicles in the single sets. We also have one boat.

There are also two 2-packs each with a flying vehicle.

This is a no-brainer to bring out in the Matchbox line. Mattel already had a deal in place with Universal for the Fast and Furious franchise, so it is only natural to strike again with the same company. It looks to be all reuses in the line. Matchbox has way more 4×4 vehicles than Hot Wheels, as well as medical vehicles and larger scale flying vehicles.

There are rows of seats in the back of this one.

 

The back of Mauler Hauler opens, and there are dinosaur bones back there.

 

Yes, this is a VTOL plane, and the wings do rotate.

 

It looks to be 15 single packed cars, and two 2-pack sets.  The Mauler Hauler and MBX 4×4 are the same in the 2-pack and single set, so you can skip 2 of the 15.  When you are looking at $1.49 per car at Toys R Us, this is a great way to get some movie merchandise for a good price.  The 2-packs are a little more, at $4.99, but you get the flying vehicle which usually run $3.99 on their own.


A Superior Superion for the Generations Line

I took a look at Alpha Bravo a while back, just to see if these Combiner Wars figures were going to be any good.  Alpha Bravo made me think, ‘yes they will be quite awesome.’   So, the journey continued to find the other four.   Of course there was the hiccup with Air Raid not being released in Wave 1, and sticking a stinkin’ Con in there instead.   Well, the wait is over.  During a trip last week, I came across Air Raid, and now I can finally put the Aerialbots together and form Superion.

The big guy of the five aerialbots.  Silverbolt is a robust looking robot.  He needs a bit of extra room in there to make way for all of the combiner parts.  They are hidden so well in here.  Bet you couldn’t see there is an extra head hiding in there.

Silverbolt:

The big guy of the five aerialbots.  Silverbolt is a robust looking robot.  He needs a bit of extra room in there to make way for all of the combiner parts.  They are hidden so well in here.  Bet you couldn’t see there is an extra head hiding in there.

He sets the design for the team.  They have generally boxy heads, and the color scheme of white, red, orange, and black carries through the whole team.

Air Raid:

Finally Air Raid came out with wave 2 of the Deluxe Combiner Wars figures, so I could build Superion. I was NOT about to put him together with Deragstrip there as one of the arms. Just wasn’t going to happen. Couldn’t have a Con hanging out with the rest of the Aerialbots.

I don’t know if he was pushed off to the second wave since he is a retool of Skydive, and they try not to put retools together in the same wave. Probably more likely that you will need to get all of the parts to each of the Combiners over a longer period of time. Just take my money.

Probably one of the characters that gets what it means to be a flier. Have fun. He is a bit reckless at times.

Firefly:

One of the most interesting things about the Aerialbots is how for many of them, their robot colors are quite different from their jet colors.

Firefly is no different. A mostly white and blue bot becomes a mostly red jet.

Skydive:

Skydive does not have that typical Autobot face.  In the original G1 history, Skydive is a bit of a bookworm.  With this face, he looks more ready to attack than anything else.

Alpha Bravo:

My first Combiner Wars figure, Alpha Bravo looks great in his white and orange color scheme.  He fits in so well with the others in robot mode.   Slight and ready to fight.

The five Aerialbots.  Large Silverbolt  with a collection of ready to go bots, just looking for a fight.

Jet Mode:

The four jets are some of the most recognizable jets of the 80s.  Just another nod to the G1 Transformers as we go further into the Generations line.

Air Raid (F-14 Tomcat):

Skydive (F-18 Hornet):

Silverbolt (Concorde):

Firefly (Harrier Jump Jet):

and then there is the helicopter…

Alpha Bravo: 

The non-jet of the group.  I have to assume he is a bit like Airwolf, with some boosters to get him into action more quickly.  I am sure the rest of the Aerialbots would not want to wait around for him to get there before becoming Superion.

This could have very easily become a repeat of planes, but each his unique and they have a great look sitting together.

Superion:

Of course, the joy of the Combiner Wars line is to have something that combines.   Individually, each of the Transformers are good Deluxe Class figures.  They are taken to the new level this time around by combining to form Superion.

Big, bad, full of fire power, and strong.    He is a great figure with lots of motion.   So much care was put into these figures to allow for good articulation, as well as good stability.  He is not nearly as shaky as the Power Core Combiners we saw back in the day.

I love, love, love the fact that they got elbow articulation on this massive combiner figure.   So cool!

Well, I am hooked on these figures.  I have already found Motormaster, Dragstrip (from wave 1), and Dead End, so I am half a body on my way to build Menasor.  Boy is this going to be a good battle when I get these two forces facing off.   Can’t wait.


Power Rangers Mixx N’ Morph 2-Pack – Migthy Morphin White Ranger and TigerZord

They put White Ranger in there almost built, but with enough to show that he comes apart.   TigerZord is in all kinds of pieces, and hidden by the morphed monstrosity on the right edge of the box.

A closer look at the monstrosity. There is a lot going on there. Red Dino Charge Ranger, with Rexy’s head and shoulder, White Ranger’s waist, Claw BattleZord’s claw. It looks to be a mix of the parts from the 2-packs. Not that there is a lot else, out right now, but the colors are from these 2-packs.

Back of the box.  1/2 dedicated to White Ranger/TigerZord, and the other half showing what you can do with all of the sets.  Along the bottom, they have listed single sets 01-05, and 2-packs 09-11.  So far, sets 06-08 are missing.  Can’t wait to see what those will be.

I figured I would pick up the first set, in terms of show order.  White Ranger (Tommy) along with his smaller sidekick TigerZord.  Wasn’t that Zord bigger in the show?

TigerZord:

TigerZord doesn’t have a whole lot going on for him in Tiger Mode.  He is a bit stiff, with limited movement in his legs.  Of course in the show, we pretty much just saw him flailing his legs around as if he was running.  I am really saddened by the back legs.  It is as if he should have come with some feet that were left off.

White Ranger:

White Ranger fairs much better in his initial mode.  He comes sporting claws on his hands and feet.  He comes with a truly large version of Saba.   The head sculpt on Saba is quite fantastic.  There is a very light shade of grey added to the blade, but this looks to be a toy that will have limited extra paint additions.   Rough and tumble toys.

The ball and socket joints are about half and half on this guy.  Some are really loose, and others are really tight.  It seems like the molded sockets are a bit more loose than the sockets with inserts, such as the sockets on the the figure’s backs.

There are plenty of ports all over these figures.  Along with the standard ports, they come with two on the back, as well as an extra low on the waist.

TigerZord Warrior Mode:

Combine TigerZord with parts from White Ranger, and you get Warrior Mode. I wish the two matched colors better. White Ranger is a slightly cream color white, while TigerZord is more of a grey. That being said, he makes for a pretty good Warrior.

He has really big feet that help his stance. They are jointed so he can get into some pretty dynamic poses.

He comes with a sword, made from the tail, so you don’t have to reuse Saba in this mode.

This is a pretty dynamic figure.  I like the Warrior mode a lot.   I wasn’t so sure as I was putting him together, but the more I played with him, the better I liked him.  This is going to be a lot of fun for a lot of kids.  There are some problems with the ball joints either being too loose or too tight, and a few that are just right.  Either kids will be going to a parent to pop these together, or they will fall to the wayside.  Hopefully the tight joints will loosen up over time, and not cause kids to give up on them.

Power Rangers did something that Transformers couldn’t.  And that as to buy a mix-em-up toy.  Transformers and Marvel have had theirs out for a while now, but this ball and joint thing seemed a lot more fun.   I don’t know the staying power of the line.  Technically, they two decades of Rangers and Zords to go back through.  They could foreseeably go on with this for as long as people are buying them.  So far, I see a lot of repetition.  The lineup is Red Dino Charge Ranger, and Rexy, both of which can be found in a 2-pack (Clear Red Ranger).  There is a second black version of Rexy (from Kyoryuger toy line).  There is also a black/green version of TigerZord.  Following that is a OctoZord colored Claw BattleZord which can also be found in a 2-pack with Gold Ranger.  So, there is not a lot out there to get started.  I am sure most will pass on the multiple versions of the same figures like two Red Rangers and Rexys, but other colors like the black version of Rexy could be something to look into.    Of course, there is also the missing numbers 06-08.  Can’t wait to find out what those could be.  Hopefully something from another series.  Three down and what, 20 more shows to choose from.  Choose wisely Bandai, and you can just take my money now.


Power Rangers Dino Chargers Display

I was having some trouble finding a good way to display my Dino Chargers.  A bunch of batteries don’t really make the best display pieces in a shelf, so I needed to find a way to display them on the wall.  First off, how to mount the chargers to something:

dino chagerAfter trying about everything under the sun, I found the easiest thing possible.  1/2 inch pipe holders for the plumbing under a house.  They come with a nail already installed and they do not have to be modified at all.  The hard part was making sure they were nailed down in nice straight rows, spaced apart well.   I know with this many pieces, it could really stand out, if one was out of place.

The next part was to add some firepower.   The Chargers themselves would look okay, but so much better if their weapons were there too.  In came the Deluxe Dino Charge Morpher and Saber:

The hard part was putting these two down and actually get on with my building project.  The sounds are so much fun!

Finally the build is complete:

The board I cut is an elongated version of the Dino Charge emblem background.  Round on the top, with the angular bottom.  I made sure to add plenty of holders for the chargers, including 28.  I am sure that is not enough, but good enough for a start.  We will see what happens as these things really start to roll out.  The Morpher/Saber combination sits on a set of brackets I built from scrap metal.  I had actually mounted the whole thing on the wall, and then went back and remade the brackets a second time once I saw how the gun sat on the wall.

I am happy to have a place to store the Chargers out of the way.  I can take them off easily if I want to play with the gun, or load them into the Zords.

 


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