Monthly Archives: August 2012

Transformers Generations: Fall of Cybertron Shockwave

The war is on!   It took a lot of persistence on my part to finally find a Shockwave.  It seemed that everyone had Optimus and Jazz, but Shockwave was a hard find.  But boy was he worth it. Design and function.  Could not ask for more.

Other than the addition of some wings, Shockwave looks very similar to his G1 counterpart.  Other than his tight joints, he looks amazingly similar to the 1985 version.  It is fun to look back.  This version of Shockwave does come with two hands though.  HAHA!!   That is a good thing… I think.

Calm, calculating, and emotionless, this is the real deal.  He would drop an Autobot just because he is supposed to.   The big gun is a massive beast that fits well into his hand.  The end comes off to reveal three barrels underneath.  I don’t know if there is a reason for that or not, but they do have sights on the end.

Fear not, he has a hole in his back to allow for hands free holding of his gun.  Finally we get some guys that can do stuff and still keep their guns with them.

With his Decepticon brethren, Soundwave and Megatron from the War for Cybertron.  Megatron seems to have a few good soldiers to rely on.  Too bad he ends up with a bunch of lug heads.  I mean bad for his sake, not the sake of humanity.

In vehicle mode, he becomes a weapons platform.  Put a handle on it, and you would have yourself something similar to the G1 gun that he became.  The transformation is nice.  There are a few tricky pins that have to fall into place just right, but once they are in, this is one solid vehicle.

The Fall of Cybertron team so far.  Two good guys and one bad guy.   I am sure we will see more of them here in the future.  Overall good figures and transformations.

Now for some fun.   Playing is the point, right?   I was talking pictures of Shockwave, and I had the HALO Micro Ops figures nearby.  It was too good to pass up.

I started with a face-off.  The scale looked to be pretty good.  Then I had a second thought.   This picture is too static with the white background.  A little computer magic, and here we go:

A little desert action.  It has been a whole bunch of years since I used Photoshop, and I am really looking to get back into it.  So, for a first shot, here it is.  Enjoy.

Advertisements

Halo: Micro Ops – Wave 1

Halo is getting a smaller release, Which is great for people like me who love the vehicles as much as the figures.  Of course getting a Warthog or a Falcon in the size of the standard Halo figures would eat up a lot of cash as well as a ton of room… though a giant Falcon could be really cool hanging from the ceiling.

There are three sizes of packaging and what they come with is equivalent to that size (highlighted sets are featured here today):

Small Blister:
-Banshee
-ODST Drop Pods (2)
*Ghost vs. Wolf Spider Turret
*Warthog and Mongoose

Large Blister:
*Falcon
-High Ground Bunker

Small Box:
*High Ground Gate
-High Ground Tower (October 2012 release date)

All of the sets, except for the High Ground Tower are out now.  I have found them at Target, and a few at Toys R Us.  It looks like lots of online retailers are carrying them as well.  I have also seen some info about the upcoming Wave 2, which have some more great looking vehicles.
The first four sets I bought have really great vehicles.   The details are outstanding, as we would expect from McFarlane.  The High Ground Gate comes with two soldiers, a gatling gun and a Warthog.  The only problem is that the Warthog does not come with a driver.   So, it is more of a static vehicle unless we get more drivers in future sets.  The second Warthog comes from a small blister pack.  It comes with a driver as well as someone to fire the anti-aircraft gun.   The two Warthogs have slightly different paint patterns so they do not look like a copy of one another.
Along with the Warthog in the small blister pack, it comes with a Mongoose.

The Mongoose has a driver as well.  All three vehicles have rotating tires for a little bit more fun.  I like how sturdy the vehicles are made.

In the other small blister pack I bought, it contains a Ghost with an Elite Spec Ops pilot.   There are some really great moving parts on that to allow the pilot to fit into the vehicle.

The set also comes with a Wolf Spider Turret.

It rotates, and it can also close down when the gun is removed.

Then we come to the large blister.  The first I bought was the one that made me decide I needed some of the Micro Ops sets.  It contains the Falcon.

Rotating blades, rotating engines, rotating front gun, and highly moveable side guns, this thing is ready for action.  Don’t forget the opening canopy with a place for the pilot.   There are 4 seats in the back of the Falcon.  Unfortunately, we don’t get anyone who can sit in there.   We do get two soldiers to go along with the pilot, Carter and a UNSC Trooper.

I am really amazed at the amount of detail put into these small figures and vehicles.  This is really a vehicle driven line, with collectors getting toys they would never get otherwise.  Nobody would make them since nobody could afford them.   The large scale Mongoose seemed to sell well, in fact I have two of them.   The Warthog did not seem to sell as fast, many sitting for a long time.  I guess they sold well enough since there are sets out now to change the gun to another weapon platform.

I guess the only thing to do now is start on a base to display these.  I can’t leave them in my backyard all of the time, and they are too well detailed and weathered to leave on a shelf.  I know I will have to get the tower when it comes out.  That will add an extra level of height that will make this really stand out.   Off to the hobby shop for so supplies.


Disney’s California Adventure, Cars Land

As a fan of Cars, I have been waiting for years and years for this land to be ready.  I remember back to when the parking lot was closed back there, so they could start creating the land.  Seeing the metal frames going up, and finally getting covered in the rock formations, before finally being so artfully painted to match the beauty of the Southwest.   Then came the building of the town of Radiator Springs.  Now it is all done, in every detail you would want to see, and it did not disappoint.  I could not stop smiling the entire time I was in that land.  Amazing.

You might think, “There are characters walking around in the rest of Disneyland, they cannot do it in Cars land.  Ah, but they can.  They bring out Lightning and Mater to sit in the driveway of the Cozy Cone Motel for photo shoots with the kids.  They actually drive down the street.   I also got a glimpse of DJ, who apparently comes out and brings the music for impromptu dance parties.

The colors and details are the best.  Disney outdid anything they have ever come up with before.   California Adventure underwent an estimated $1.1 billion makeover, and boy did it payoff.

The daytime is amazing, but it is at night when the buildings of Radiator Springs comes alive.   Neon everywhere, and it flashes and moves just like the movie.

There were no details left unfinished.   From making the town accurate, to making sure everything looked just as old as it needed to.

All of the rides in Cars Land are great.  The big draw is the Radiator Springs Racers.  Strap in and hold on while you get a ride through Cars land, and then a race lap to finish off your run.

The Fastpasses sold out by 9:30, and the line was 150 minutes long, but for the people who just had to wait in line all that time were treated to great signs and details, like Stanley’s original spring.  It looks just like it did in Time Travel Mater.

When you finally get up to the front, you get treated to a seat on one of the cars.  So cute and ready for fun.

If you get in the car, and you do not feel as giddy as I did, then you do not belong on the Racers.  It was SO exciting.

When you start your adventure, you get to go through some great areas with some of the best animatronics that Disney has ever created.

Let’s not forget about the other rides that are there too.  The Racers have taken the spotlight, but the other two rides are really fun as well.   Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree features a square dance in a wagon pulled by a baby Tractor.

Fear not if you are stuck in line here.  You will want to take some time to look around.  The fences around the line are lined with great mementos of Mater’s Tall Tales, from Mater The Greater all the way to badges from his flight into space.

And then there is Luigi’s Flying Tires:

There are some people who were complaining that they don’t work all that well.  My wife and I went on it, and we were able to really get going.  All you have to do is lean, and hold it.  The cushion of air makes for a fun atmosphere.  I felt like an air-hockey puck.  It was a lot of fun.

All in all, I could not think of a way to make Cars Land any better.   The lines are long, but that is to be expected when it just opened.   With time, I am sure the lines will get better.  Don’t forget the rest of California Adventure has been greatly improved as well.  The Little Mermaid has great animatronics as well as the best music, the main street has been redone and looks beautiful.   They even have a very fun (and loud) night club vibe going on at the Mad T Party.  Dance the night away with a mixed drink containing a glowing ice cube.

California Adventure changed from a place I wanted to go to ride a few rides, to a place I like to hang out.   I cannot wait to go back again later in they year.  🙂


Transformers: Generations – Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime and Autobot Jazz

 

I was hoping to have all three of the Fall of Cybertron figures to look at in the same review.  Alas, Shockwave is proving to be a little hard to get a hold of.  At least I was able to get my hands on Optimus Prime and Autobot Jazz (whom I will now refer to as Jazz).Prime is what you would expect from a Transformer figure.  Red and blue.   He is a Cybertronian version of his truck, which we have seen a few times.   This time around he is a little small.  He does have really good articulation, and a slight variant of his signature rifle from the G1 cartoon.

 

I know, not many reviews look at the backs of figures, but I really like it when a figure is complete all the way around.   This Prime is folded up well, to not create that horrible backpack effect we get sometimes.  Gotta love the triple exhaust ports on each shoulder.

When he gets into truck mode, he looks like a truck.  Albeit a Cybertronian truck, but what do they know, right?  They don’t have trucks on Cybertron.  The gun mounts on the bottom of either foot.  It would have been better, had it been center on the vehicle, but at least it is in a usable place.

This is where I get a little bummed.   As with the back of the robot mode, I like to see a finished figure at the back of the vehicle mode as well.  There should have been some fold down piece or something that would cover the back end of the truck to give it some sense of solidity.

The inevitable comparison to the two video game versions of Optimus.  On the right is the War for Cyberton figure.  Much taller, more filled out, and a WAY bigger gun.  Points to the WFC Optimus on this one.

Now, onto Jazz:

Not always the top-most used character in the Transformers Universe, but he seems to always be there when he is needed.  This is a pretty good version of him.  Lots of extra pieces and bumps that give him that Fall of Cybertron look.  He has his tell tale white and blue color scheme, as well as his horns and sunglasses on his head.  He is a bit bulky in the torso, giving him a bit of a skinny leg look, but he does look powerful and fast.

It is apparent that they went with a size savings on Optimus, which is sad sine he is actually shorter, head to head, with Jazz.   That should never happen.

Much better, teaming Jazz with WFC Optimus.

Jazz’s vehicle mode is really nice.  He has a bit of the Porsche look, still going with the Cybertronian car theme.  He also has the triple exhaust ports on each side to match Optimus.

I really like the position of the gun mounted on the car.  It is right in the middle, but does not take a lot away from the car.  It looks like it was planned from the start, and not an afterthought of “where should we drill a hole to attach the weapon?”

In vehicle mode, the two cars look really good together.  They have a much better size relation in this mode.

Overall, two very nice figures.  Jazz is definitely a good buy.  As for Optimus, if you have WFC Optimus, this is not going to impress you as much.  Hopefully I will be able to get my hands on Shockwave, so I can have all three.  It even looks like there will be more figures this time around than when we got the five War for Cybertron figures (Optimus, Megatron, Shockwave, Bumblebee and Cliffjumper).

Up next, we take a detour from the norm.  I accidentally found something at Target today that really grabbed my interest while I was looking for Shockwave.  The only hint I am going to give is that it is 1/64 scale.  And no, it is not a Hot Wheels.  Stay Tuned, these look to be impressive little toys.


Transformers: Prime – Commander Class, Dreadwing, Ironhide, Ultra Magnus

The Commander Class of the Prime series figures has been going on for a while now.  They started at with a little DVD way back when the series of toys came out.  Generally reserved for the bigger of the characters, these smaller figures still have really good detail and articulation.   They allow for a much closer sizing between the larger and smaller figures in the show.

This is being called”Series 2″ as it is the second series under the Cyberverse line.  The first line of Commander Class figures came out under the Dark of the Moon movie line.  We started with Optimus Prime, Bulkhead, Megatron and Starscream.  Now we are adding on the next 3, Dreadwing, Ironhide, and Ultra Magnus.

Let’s go in order.  Number 005 of the series is Dreadwing:

As soon as I saw Dreadwing on the show, I knew I needed to see him in toy form. The unfortunate thing is that Dreadwing is a gigantic robot in the TV show, and he is about the same size as the other figures in the Commander Class.  What Hasbro needs to do is make him in the Deluxe line, and then he would be just about perfect in proportion to the Commander and Legion Class sizes of figures.

Dreadwing does not disappoint in the Commander size.  He came with a transformation page that is the size of some of the gigantic Voyager size figures.  He has good articulation in his arms and legs.  The color scheme is really well done, with only minor paint misses here and there.   He comes with two weapons, a big gun and a sword.  The two can combine to make a really good weapon as well.

Here you can see him relative in size to other figures, Commander Class Megatron, and Legion Class Vehicon.  He is not anywhere as tall as Megatron, but at least he has a lot going for him.

In plane mode, he looks pretty close to his TV couterpart.  Looking like a Blue Angel on steroids.   It is hard to hide all of the body parts when we are looking at this small scale, but they did a pretty good job there.

Ironhide:

To me, Ironhide is one of the weaker Commander Class figures.  He has an overall appealing look, but there are some things that stand out.  Most notably are the truck parts around his forearm.  They really did not have any place to go, so they kind of hang there off the back of the arms.

He does have great feet and legs that give him a good stance.  he also has a face that is really close to the original G1 Ironhide.  He comes with two cannons, which is what you would want to see wit a “Heavy Weapons Specialist.”

His truck mode is pretty tough, with lots of great details, and big tires.  His transformation is really easy, and looks good.

Ultra Magnus:

Sometimes hero of the Autobots, and sometimes jerk (Animated verions).  He is usually seen with a big hammer, broad shoulders, and longer ears than Optimus.  Check, check, and check.   Visually, Ultra Magnus looks great.  Red, blue, and silver make for some great details.

Mine has a huge problem with the shoulder joints.  He cannot hold up his own arms, much less the hammer.

What happens when a Decepticon is too far away to smash with your hammer?

That’s right.  Attach it to your arm, and blow him out of the sky with your cannon.

His truck mode is fine.  Nothing special here.   A flatbed truck which can accommodate the cannon or a Legion Class vehicle.  His transformation from robot to vehicle is extremely simple.

So, here is Series 2 in all of it’s Commander Class glory:

Standout favorites?  Optimus has some of the best transformation from robot to vehicle.  Bulkhead has a great robot and vehicle mode.  Dreadwing is really nice too.  Megatron has a vehicle mode I don’t like in any class, so that is a hard one to get behind.  Starscream needs to eat a little more.  He is too skinny and falls over too much.   Ironhide and Ultra Magnus make nice robots.  Not quite as good in vehicle form, so they will probably exist in robot form.

 

Next time, we will talk about the return of the Generations line of TransformersFall of Cybertron anybody?


Transformers: Prime – Dead End

We have come far enough into the Prime toy line that we are seeing quite a few recolors now.   This one is a standout among the repaints that does not disappoint.  Dead End is his name, and he is a part of the Decepticons.   Not the most evil of color schemes, looking more like the Jamaican flag than anything else.  Don’t let the paint trick you, he is NOT a nice guy.

In vehicle mode, we get the same model car that we saw with Wheeljack.  The little Lancia Stratos is a fantastic body style, it worked in the 80s, and it still works today.  Just a few line changes to make the car look a little futuristic.   He comes with two blades which can be mounted on the front of the vehicle, on the side, or they can be hidden underneath.  Look at my Flickr page to the right and you will be able to see him with the blades in each configuration.

Change him over to robot mode, with some really fun and inventive folds, and we have Dead End.  His colors take on a more sinister look in robot mode.  The same colors we saw in the car, but they are somehow separated out to really standout.  He is about as perfect as you can get on proportions.

Thankfully we usually get a new head sculpt to go along with a new character.  This one is no different.   He has a wonderfully horrific face which makes him look like he wants to bite off your face.   We went from Wheeljack with large protrusions on his head and no mouth, to a round head with almost all mouth.   Great change in design there.

And here we get to the part you are thinking about.  “Is it worth getting a second figure of the same body?”  Here they are side by side.   They are the same.  All but the head and the paint.   But they are so different.  Good vs Evil.  Even if they did not have the emblems, you could tell who is on what side.   I think with the great posability of the body type, Dead End is definitely worth the money.


%d bloggers like this: