Monthly Archives: July 2013

Transformers: Generations – Ruination

A while back in the Fall of Cybertron Line we got Bruticus.  A bit of a change to a way back idea of being able to buy a multitude of figures and have then form one giant figure.  Well, Bruticus was a Decepticon, so this time around we get an Autobot, Ruination.  Not exactly the name I would have picked for an Autobot, but definitely a name for a team of Wreckers.

Made up of a team of five, torso, two arms and two legs, these guys have to work together to accomplish a lofty goal.  In reality, the toys have to work together as well in order to become such a massive figure.  If you were thinking you were going to get something akin to the Power Core Combiners, you would be very wrong.  Each bot is a full size Deluxe figure that fits together.

The fun is how the figure goes together in a way that is not a direct copy of Bruticus.  Some bots in new places, and a new color scheme.  A different head, and it works well to create a whole new look.

Let’s take a look at the five:

Impactor:

The leader of the Wreckers.  He looks like a construction bot more than anything with this paint job of mostly bright orange.  Each of the Wreckers come with the same weapon as the figures that made up Bruticus, but they all come with a large secondary weapon as well.  Impactor’s gun launches a harpoon.

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do with this vehicle that looks like it should tow around airplanes.  It did not look great when it was Onslaught, and it looks even less appealing in orange.  Maybe the gun will improve it.  I could not get the gun to point straight.  I know I could do it with Onslaught, but Impactor is giving me a hard time.

Topspin:

From the black and purple of Blast Off to the white of Topspin, he still have that knight feel about him. Maybe it is his chest.  There were color changes throughout this line, but I have to say, it is the head swaps that really give these guys the feel of Autobots.

Topspin’s gun has a saw blade that flips out.  If you are going to be a Wrecker, guess it would help to have a saw handy to help you dismantle stuff.

Topspin folds up in to a fairly solid block of spaceship.  I am not a huge fan of the giant gun attached to the top. I do like the two smaller blasters he comes with that were the standard weapons for Blast Off.  I wish they were a different color so they would stand out a bit more in vehicle mode.

Autobot Whirl:

Are you starting to see the color similarities here in the line?  Yup, it’s orange.  Whirl is a stout guy.  He is what you want in a transformer robot.  Moves well, and poses well.  If you slide the top lever forward on his gun, the front end slides forward and spins, like a Gatling gun.

Unfortunately, as I was getting ready to transform Whirl, I came upon a problem with his left arm (arm with helicopter blades).  His forearm is supposed to fold into the upper part of his arm, but there was a problem with the joint at the elbow:

If you look closely at the elbow joint, you can see the hole where the pin should have gone through.  This means the pin went through the plastic, and not through the hole.  That is a HUGE oops.  It was time for the doctor.   I worked on it for quite a while.  The pin came out part way, but it was really wedged in the grey plastic.  Finally I was able to get it out.  Part of the arm broke off along with the rest of the pin.  I glued it back together and inserted a new pin.  It worked.  Phew!  There is a scar on the inside of his arm, and it is not too noticeable in robot mode, and it it totally hidden in vehicle mode.

Once together and working, Whirl becomes a Cybertronian helicopter.  His two swords can be mounted on the skis, but there is no place for his Wrecker gun.

Roadbuster:

Roadbuster might be my favorite this time around.   He is a solid figure.  He looks good, and he has two good guns.   His Wrecker gun opens and closes at the front where the three parts are sticking up.  They close down to make one barrel.   In his other hand is the standard gun that came with Swindle.   I think there are more details painted on Roadbuster that make him that much better than his Decepticon counterpart.

He makes a tough off-road vehicle.  He has the exhaust on the sides as well as more running along the roof line.  That tells me that Roadbuster means business.

Twintwist:

Named for the dual cannons of the tank mode I guess.  He is an okay figure.  He has tiny little feet that bend up for transformation. Unfortunately that means when he falls forward, his feet don’t help, and his toes fold in.

He has a much stronger tank mode.  He becomes quite a force with his standard cannons, plus his Wrecker gun that has two more guns mounted on that.  That is a LOT of firepower for him to carry around.

Two flying and three driving vehicles.  This is a good group of warriors that I know will live up to the name Wreckers.  Wreckers on their own, but they still combine to form Ruination:

Arms became legs, and legs became arms to change Bruticus into Ruination.  New colors and a great new head, and he is complete.  I was thinking it was going to take me quite a while to hunt down all 5 figures.  I actually didn’t know they hit the stores until I went to Walmart this morning.  I found Whirl.  My second stop was Toys R Us, and I found the other four.   One day,  all five figures.  I will take that kind of luck any day.

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Transformers: Prime – Predacons Rising – Target Exclusive 2-Pack

There have been a few special decos showing up at Target stores as of late.  The newest is a special 2-pack featuring Optimus Prime and Predaking with new colors.  The box features “Predacons Rising”, the movie that is coming up soon.  Will we see yet another change in Optimus before this series is over?

The two figures are the same as in the Beast Hunters line, featuring the same weapons and body styles.   The change is in the paint.   I don’t know if I would have gone for this pack other than the fact that Optimus is sporting quite a good paint job that looks like he is a part of the Elite Guard.   There has not been a mention of the Elite Guard in this series so far, but we did hear quite a bit about it in Transformers: Animated.

Predaking is sporting more purple.  Ah, purple.  The go-to color for Transformers bad guys.  What is up with all of the purple Decepticons (and now Predacons)?  Anyway, he looks good with the purple.  These are the Commander Class figures, so a little bigger than the tiny Legion Class guys.  It is a nice scale since you get the small size, but you also get a lot more articulation.

These two are nearly the same size in robot mode.  Pretty close to the show’s proportions.

In beast mode, almost all of the orange Predaking sports all but disappears.  That is a nice touch.   I am not a huge fan of this mode for Predaking.  He has tiny back legs which makes him look like a bodybuilder that only works on his upper body.    His cannon also becomes his tail, so it just sticks out back there.

I like Optimus’ alternate mode a lot more.  This is one mean looking truck.  In this color scheme, it looks even better.

All in all, a couple of good figures.  Nothing too special here that would make you need to go on the hunt for them, unless you are a collector that is trying to get them all.  Target can really be hit or miss.  Finding some of the exclusive items can be quite difficult at times.  A little bit frustrating at times, but that is the fun of the hunt.


Transformers Generations – Autobot Springer (Triple Changer)

Our second Springer in the Generations line.  This time around, Springer is a Triple Changer.  It has been a while, but we are getting triple changers, and not just that, but they are Voyager Class, which means bigger.  And when we are talking triple changers, bigger IS better.

Springer, sporting the green and yellow, is looking good.  He has a whole lot of extra stuff all over him.  In robot mode, you can tell he can change into more than just one vehicle.  He has wheels on his arms and legs, wings on his legs and forearms.  I am really happy with the way all of the parts fold up, but still create a robot more that has amazing articulation.

His first vehicle mode is a helicopter… just as Springer should be.   He is an interesting helicopter.  Kind of futuristic in a way.  This is what I would expect to see in an anime, maybe Appleseed.

From the back.  Very well done.  They did such a good job of trying to hide the wheels.

Vehicle mode 2, off road vehicle.  Again with a bit of a strange design.  Also kind of futuristic.  The front end is really weird with the nose being in three parts, but it has been growing on me.  Those big wheels roll really well.

From the back.    Could those be rockets to boost the speed?

Springer is a very well done figure.  His robot mode is by far the best.  Articulation is key with this guy.


Transformers Generations – Optimus Prime and Autobot Roller

Optimus Prime and Roller together again.  Too bad there is no trailer for Roller to hide in, but at least he is an actual vehicle this time around.   Not only does he sport the 6×6 look of the G1 Roller, but this time around he also carries Optimus’ gun while not in use.  Optimus looks similar to his G1 counterpart, with the addition of the air foil on the roof.  You can tell this is a mix between a Commander  and Legion Class figure.  He has solid stick-up feet in the back.  It sure would have been nice if those folded in.

Optimus transforms into his fairly iconic robot self.  There is no denying who this is.   The top of the cab becomes big shoulders, kinda Prime-esque.  He has a neat gimmick where his chest is supposed to be open a bit to show his Autobot symbol.  Unfortunately there is nothing holding it open, so it would rather stay closed when posing him.

His main gun is similar to his G1 gun without the big stock on the back.  It is a good size for the figure.  But what happens when there is a real problem that arises?…

Roller becomes a twin cannon, that can combine with Optimus’ gun to make quite a weapon.  I am not terribly fond of the back section.  Still looks like a truck, and you can see through it.  I think they did a better job with Bumblebee’s gun.

This is just the beginning of the 30th Anniversary stuff coming out from Transformers, as the year does not even start until 2014, they are giving us a wee-little taste of what is to come.  I am pretty excited about some of the newer figures that will be coming out in the very near future.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Stealth Tech

Away I went on a camping trip.  Of course, I thought of a photo shoot while I was away, so I took my newest acquisitions, the Stealth Tech Turtles with me to see what I could do with them.

The four Turtles this time around get a little bit of Stealth Tech.  I skipped the last four, where they were flinging ooze.  I was much more interested in this set.

We start off with a group shot of the 4.  Not an easy thing, to pose these guys on an uneven rock, with a fairly quick moving creek all around.  As you can see, each character comes with a largely black outfit with accents in their colors.   They have attachments on their shells that give them their tech.   They all come with their standard weapons, with a few modifications.  Michelangelo’s nunchucks are black and have a cord instead of chain.  I assume to make it quieter.   Leonardo has two new swords, in a tech style scabbard that attaches into a hole on his back.  It does not stay attached too well.   Raph and Don have black versions of their standard weapons, but there is not change otherwise.

Michelangelo has a listening gun that attaches to his belt, as well as a visor that has a microphone.

Leonardo has a crossbow.  In this picture, he left it behind to begin the attack with a Mission Impossible sort of drop.  All 4 characters come with zip lines.  They have hooks on both ends, that are great for repelling as well as zipping.

Donatello is looking off into the distance.  Maybe for his robot, somewhere, either doing what it is supposed to be doing, or maybe it is broken, like many of Don’s inventions.

Poor Raph.  Growling and scowling as he does so well.  Unfortunately when it came time for his shoot, I pulled him out, and he was missing one of his sais.   I think it must have fallen off when I was doing the first shoot of all 4 guys.

There was an error with my Raph.  He did not have a hole in the second sheath.  I had to drill it out with a pin vise.  Easy to do, and a nice tight fit.  It was the other sai, in the larger hole that had fallen out.  Oh well, this stuff happens.   I am thinking it is time for a little project I have always wanted to do.  Metal weapons for the Turtles.


Marvel Bishoujo Statue – Kitty Pride

Way back in 1989, I was in the 5th grade, and I was looking to get a comic book.  My dad was driving us around, looking at a new place to live when I asked if I could get a comic book.  Saying it was okay, he stopped at a small convenience store and what I saw was Excalibur #16.

detail

There she was, sitting on the back of the lizard, Kitty Pride.   It was an instant love for the character that has lasted until this day.   There are not very many versions of Kitty toys out there.   She is just not that popular to most people.   Yesterday I was catching up on reading some blogs I follow on WordPress, when I came across a statue review by ishokuosero.  It has been so long since I saw Kotobukiya was coming out with Kitty, that I forget when it was she was coming out.  Needless to say, I ran out to get her first thing this morning.

A classic anime pose, with the iconic black and yellow clothes of the early X-Men.   Shoulder pads, gauntlets, and buccaneer boots.  Throw a dragon on her arm, and we have Kitty Pride, or Shadow Cat, as she was sometimes called.

I love the way Kotobukiya uses different paint textures in their statues.  The black and yellow really play off one another, while the gloss in the black really accentuate the overall details of the statue.  Lockheed rests on Kitty’s arm, but he can be removed.  That is a great feature, allowing for Kitty to be alone without holes in her body.

I am really happy with the way Kitty came out.   She has that youthful look that she carries throughout her stories.   She is only the second Marvel Bishoujo Statue I have collected (Ms. Marvel is the other).   I have not had a lot of desire to get the other Marvel ladies, as I have with the DC statues.   Hopefully Kotobukiya will keep up with the great work on the future Marvel women.  Wish I was headed down to Comic Con to see what they are coming up with in the near future.  Guess that is one of the joys of the internet.  Sooner or later I will get to see pictures at the very least.

As always, you can check out my Flickr page (link to the right—>) to see many more pictures of Kitty and all of my reviews.


Transformers: Prime – Beast Hunters – Autobot Ratchet

Has our resident Autobot doctor finally gone mad remaking himself for battle in the Beast Hunters story line?

He sure does try hard, and he has taken upon himself to do the best he can with what he has.   Unfortunately with the rest of the team out in the field on assignments, he tends to experiment on himself.  Maybe you remember when he tried to experiment with the synthetic energon?  He went CRAZY!!!  Time will tell, or more likely episodes will tell, and we will see how Ratchet gets to be so different.

A little comparison of BH Ratchet to the original version.  Not so doctor looking any more.   I am bummed they traded in his scalpels for an arm-mounted gun.  It has something to do with firing a numbing agent and nanobots.  Not the best sounding weapon, but something I think we would see on Ratchet.   His body is quite a change in the torso.  He also has a few changes in the shins and feet.  A lot of the change has to do with coloring.

We are back to some of the marbled plastic we saw with the first few figures.  With Ratchet, we see the most changes around the hood, the rear fenders, and the back.   Unfortunately, the rest of the vehicle finally gets the orange coloring that Ratchet has in the show.  Why didn’t we see this in his first version?

The back end has some great detail.   With the pipes and the big engine that really goes deep with detail, this is my favorite part.    As with the other figures that are either Autobot or Decepticon, there is not a lot that is different.  Certain parts have been switched out to make the character new for Beast Hunters.  Hopefully we will get to see this reflected in the show.


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