Monthly Archives: April 2017

Sawback (Lione) – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return – Titan Master

Sawback… wait a minute, Sawback is a blue wolf mini-con from the Robots in Disguise line. This guy is not blue, he is definitely not a wolf, and… he doesn’t even have anything to do with saws. This my friends is Lione from the Headmasters. He will from now on be called Lione. I do not care about copyright, and whatever Hasbro did to lose the right to “Lione,” but I am going to call him Lione. Is that enough references to Lione in two sentences?

So, here we go. Lione here is a Titan Master. Therefore he can transform from a head to a tiny little robot. The original Lione transformed from a head to a lion. This time around, he is a robot, but his robot mode has a lion’s head. Pretty neat in all of it’s tiny glory.

As a Titan Master without a body, he comes with a vehicle, as do all of the figures in this series. It is clearly some sort of lion. The first mode I got it into was a ship. Some sort of upside down lion with legs sticking up. No the best in designs. This feels like the designers held the lion and said, “Let’s see if we can get a third mode out of this somehow. If we turn it over, we can force it into the very loose form of a flying vehicle of some sort.”

It is not a terrible mode, and really useful for Lione to get around. It has cannons all over it, so he could be helpful in a fight.

A Lion! Now we are talking. The second mode of the vehicle is a lion. Hence the name Sawback. Gah! Nope, can’t do it. Sticking with Lione. Lione folds up and becomes the mane behind the lion’s head. This is probably the best representation of blend between vehicle and Titan Master that we have ever seen.

There is quite a cartoony feel to the face of the lion. It even has a bit of a head spike that is a nice nod to the original Lione that had a really tall spike. This time around the spike was traded in for a pair of wings. Another flying mammal. The Japanese sure do love putting wings on animals that don’t have wings. And I love buying them.

Then there is the “weapon” mode. This time we see the first defensive weapon. A shield. That is a great change. Now a Transformer can use two weapons and really have an advantage.

Finally there is the head. Lione has such an interesting face. In the original version, he had a really long face, and we see it again here. Looking at the rest of the head, the orange part around the face, it looks like a tiny head on top of his head, with legs coming down the sides of his face. This is a direct take from the original, where the lion body folds in around the head. The continued homage paid to the original figures is fantastic and so welcome.

This is another great figure in the tiny Titan Master line. I am always excited to get my hands on these little guys, and I am glad we have more to go.


Dragonzord – Legacy Collection 2017 Reissue

I went to a Toys R Us a little ways away today. Out and about and looking for some Hot Wheels, or maybe some new 6.5 inch Legacy Power Rangers. And then I came upon this guy, the Dragonzord from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The Green Ranger’s angry Godzilla inspired Zord in all of his plastic and mostly diecast glory.

“Where are you Dragonzord?”

I am really excited to be finally getting my hands on this guy. It was issued initially back in 2014, but I could not find one. I was definitely not going to pay scalper prices, and I figured I would be missing out. Not great, since I have the rest of the Legacy Collection (save for Titanus), and Dragonzord would really round out that part of my collection.

“I shall set you free!”

The box art is really well done and fits in with the rest of the Zords we have seen so far.

Inside we see the nice packaging usually reserved for the Japanese Super Sentai Zords with the nice tight packaging and each part wrapped in plastic. We do not need window boxes with these figures. The quality control is really up there and nicely done.

Dragonzord comes with two sets of hands, one straight and one with curved fingers. Generally we saw the curved hands in the show when Dragonzord was fighting hand-to-hand combat, and the flat hands when it was shooting or when transforming.

This is a great looking Zord. It has Godzilla written all over it. The color scheme is so nicely done. Decades later, and it is still a great overall design. The standouts are the gold and green paint apps. So bright and shiny.

There are a lot of details all over the zord. His head is fantastic. The red eyes are great, and the top head spike is so long.

And then there is the 11 inch tail. It is huge!!! And it is articulated. Now, it is not as articulated as the show makes the tail seem, but I am guessing the tail on the show’s Dragonzord was not quite that articulated either.

Dragonzord and Megazord had a few good battles. Usually the MMPR team trying to get Tommy to not beat them up.

They were no match for Dragonzord, and thankfully they were able to help Tommy to kick the bad guy chip on his shoulder and use the Dragonzord for good, not evil.

I was surprised by how much taller Megazord is over Dragonzord. It is nearly half a head.

Finally, once the team was a group of six, Zordon taught Tommy how to use the Dragon Dagger to summon Dragonzord to join with Megazord to form Dragonzord Battle Mode. The transformation is pretty much like it was in the show, using the Mastodon, Sabertooth Tiger and Triceratops to form a bigger, badder Zord. That left the tail and center of Dragonzord’s body to form a really big staff. It is about half again as tall as Dragonzord. Interestingly, the Power Staff on this figure is more accurate than the staff in the show. That staff had only three tail parts and then the drill, as opposed to 5, which Dragonzord’s tail actually had.

When the spike on top of his head is pressed up to full height, it releases the bottom jaw, and allows the face to show. It is a cool face, with a really big red eye mask.

Then there is the secondary transformation. The even more powerful Mega Dragonzord. This uses all of Megazord, except for Mastodon’s head. This mode does not use the parts to form the Power Staff, so Mega Dragonzord could foreseeably use the Power Staff in this mode, though I don’t know if the team would need to since the finishing move is very powerful.

Since Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers ran longer than Zyuranger and went into the footage of Dairanger, they wanted to continue to use the Dragonzord for a bit while Tommy made the transition from Green Ranger to White Ranger. The evil clone of Tommy as the Green Ranger took over the Dragonzord, while Tommy took control of the White TigerZord. Now these two Zords were from different shows, so they were not ever in scenes together. The editing team had to edit a fight together using footage of each Zord. They fought against one another, but never were on screen together.

Seasons 1-3 in Zords. This Dragonzord is really fun to play around with. It is a bit finicky at times, where the parts don’t want to stay together. I guess there really is too much diecast in these guys. Dragonzord is the only Zord of the three to not be destroyed. Maybe we will see it again someday.


Clobber and Skytread – Conclusion of Wave 2 of Titans Return Titan Masters

It was strangely hard to get my hands on the last two figures in wave 2 of the Titan Masters in the Titans Return series.   I did however find them, and then they slipped through the cracks and hid away for a while.  But they are out and they are ready to join their wave.

Clobber:

Clobber’s vehicle/weapon is a repaint of Crashbash’s, as well as Clobber’s robot body.

The T-Rex is a new color scheme going with yellow and grey. Hey, do you know of another gold and grey T-Rex? I bet you do. Just wait, the surprise is coming.

First we have to look at the rest of the modes. The vehicle transforms into a dragon. Ugh! Not this guy again! That is not a great mode for this guy. It is a bit forced. Especially to have Clobber stand on his back like this. Last time for this mode.

Then there is the weapon. Basically the T-Rex laying down with a handle on his back. It works fine, and I do not suspect you would make a much better weapon from a robot T-Rex.

Now for the surprise:

Yup, that is in fact Grimlock. Now, why did they call him “Clobber” rather than Grimlock? The running theory is that Grimlock is already working hard in the Robots in Disguise show and toy line, so Hasbro went with a different named character. I don’t get it, but whatever. His head looks great!!!

 

Skytread:

Skytread is a retool of Terri-Bull that we saw back in wave 1. He is a rename of the figure Flywheels from way back in 1987. Flywheels was able to separate into a tank and a jet, so that makes sense with this figure and vehicle combo. Plus the color scheme matches fairly well, though Flywheel was more burgundy, and not so much pink.

In tank mode, Skytread gets to ride up top and control the 4 cannons that can move in their separate pairs.

Flip it over and spin it around, open some wings, and Skytread is flying high in jet mode.

The colors on Skytread are a bit off. It was really hard to try and photograph, but the pinks do not match up well at all.

The jet is the basis for the gun mode, where basically the wings fold in and you have a gun, 4 barrels underneath and the nose of the plane for a 5th barrel.

I don’t know if I would say this is Flywheel’s head. It looks a bit on the generic side to me. I am definitely not an expert on Flywheel, and most of the pictures I have seen are not really that great.

A couple of retools for the second part of this wave.   They are good figures and fine heads.   They are welcome to my team.


Scatterspike – Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Warrior Class

“Get me out of here!”

Quillfire has a brother now. Scatterspike is repainted version of Quillfire, and he turned out great. In the RiD line, there are generally straight repaints, as opposed to the Generations line that at least gives a new head sculpt.

Scatterspike is sporting a darker color scheme with burgundy and purple. The bottom of his mouth is colored with a darker shade of grey more like a gunmetal. It is the only place that the color shows up. With Quillfire, his quills were the same color, so the color matches front to back. With Scatterspike, Hasbro focused on the secondary color of purple a lot more. You know purple is the color of Decepticons, so you know he is a bad guy.

From there, things continue to be the same. He has a blaster, which is still really cool, and fits his hand very well. It is the primary color of burgundy. He also has a removable spike that is in the purple color.

Choose your flavor: Raspberry or Mocha.

Side by side in vehicle mode, I think Scatterspike has a much better disguise. He is nearly fully burgundy in vehicle mode. The paint apps are pretty much identical except for a change of color. I do like that Hasbro went so far as to change the color of the band around the wheels.

Overall, Quillfire was a good figure. He is fun to transform, and he is a lot of fun to play with including good articulation, two weapons, and a moving mouth. So to get a second character based on the first was just fine with me. They can be a couple of grumpy Decepticons together forever.

 


U-Wing – Star Wars: Rogue One – 3 3/4 inch scale ship

Let’s take a look at something from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

The U-Wing. A starfighter that doubles as a troop transport. It saw a good piece of action in Rogue One. It is too bad it was created so recently, as it could have been very useful in the original trilogy that followed Rogue One. There are a bunch of cool things we saw in Rogue One that didn’t carry over to the original trilogy, but that is to be expected. Today we are going to look at the ship.

It comes in a good sized box. I was surprised to see so much room left in the box. The biggest complaint I saw was how relatively small the body actually is. It seems that they could have gone 10-20% larger and still stayed inside the box.

There are a lot of parts in the box. The body, Cassian with a gun, two super long wings, four engines, and 2 NERF darts. If you read my A-Wing review, you will know I have no love of the NERF gimmick. At least this time around, the blaster can be tucked up in the body, so it isn’t so blatantly annoying, like it is with the A-Wing.

First let’s look at Cassian. It is a typical figure we see in this modern, but not Golden Age of Star Wars. It should be the Golden Age, with figures that have good articulation. But no, somewhere along the line, Hasbro went backwards from the Clone Era where we got super articulation, to going back to 5 points. Ugh.

Well, he is very static with such a small amount of articulation, but I am not terribly worried about it, since I am really only interested in the ship. My figure focus is in The Black Series with the 6 inch figures. He comes with his blaster, and a holster on his hip for carrying his gun.

He comes with a seatbelt. HAHA!!!

Onto the ship. Let’s put Cassian in the…wait a minute. What is this cockpit they have him going into? The cockpit in the movie is big enough for two people and extra space for moving around. This one has room for one pilot and that is about it. This is where the smaller size comes into play, and there are plenty of people bummed about it.

Moving on to the outside of the ship. It has those great engines that connect the U-Wing to the X-Wing in design and function. That was a great touch. It has the fat belly, but it is a bit on the slim side for allowing soldiers to jump out of the door that is way too small.

Other than the size problem, this is a really nice ship. The details are really well done, from the mold lines, to the paint. It does look a little too clean, and could go a long way with a bit of weathering, which I will probably get around to one of these days. There are four landing struts that are moved down by hand. Two are under the body, and two are in the bottom engines. Having four struts really makes a strong platform for the ship to settle onto terra firma.

The biggest excitement for this vehicle when it was premiered in the trailers was the swept wing that stick out way in front, and then sweep back to make the ship very long. It totally changes the look of the ship. If you look at the bottom, you can see the NERF blaster sticking out. It is dark in color, and slides up and down easily. Thankfully it is out of the way for the most part.

Taking a look at the top of the ship, you can see the lever that gets pulled to make the wings sweep back.

Overall, this is a really nice ship. There are issues with size, and adding an unnecessary NERF blaster to the bottom, but those are fairly minor, and the design of the ship is very appealing, and fun to play with. It is big and has moving parts. Can’t ask for much more than that.


Power Rangers Legacy 6.5 inch figures – Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Team Compete (White and Yellow Rangers)

Today we are taking a look at the last and final two figures to complete the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in the 6.5 inch Legacy line.

This is wave 3, but technically the 4th wave due to the Toys R Us exclusive set of movie figures that came out a little while ago. This wave is again split between two teams. 2 figures are to complete the MMPR team, while the other three figures will complete the Power Rangers In Space team. I grabbed the MMPR figures first since I know there is a whole lot of love for both the White and Yellow Rangers. It is not a big surprise that Bandai would wait until the end of the line to give us these two figures.

First off, let’s look at the White Ranger. Another Tommy Oliver. Haha! This is not the first line to have multiple Tommy’s in it, and we have at least one more on the way, when we get to Zeo.

Tommy comes with Saba, and a sheath for said beautiful sword. The Saba sword really is a work of art. Saba is so nicely painted, with a base of white, and touches of gold, red and silver. This is probably the most expensively colored single piece that Bandai has ever done in terms of paint apps.

Facing off, Tommy vs Evil Tommy. Actually this works and is show accurate. If you remember, Rita had a second Tommy, an evil Tommy made, and they fought. Of course you know a copy is never quite as good as the original.

Next up, let’s look at Trini. The original TigerRanger from Zyuranger was a male, hence the lack of a skirt. It made the transition to MMPR fairly well, and Trini had her helmet off enough that we just went along with it being her.Of course in the Legacy line, they give their ladies a little more going on up top, so this is definitely a woman this time around. She has one of my favorite helmets in the entire series, with the tiger face and teeth coming down over the visor.

Trini comes with the final part of the Dino Megazord, though back in the day it was just Megazord. She comes with the yellow right leg. It is not quite as nice looking as the blue leg. It is a bit flat around the bottom, and the face of the tiger is a bit cartoonish.

The girls are together and they look great. There are some subtle differences in the two, as to not just be a repainted copy from pink to yellow. For one, Trini is shorter than Kimberly. Now that I say that, in season 2, Trini leaves for a peace conference, and Aisha Campbell takes her place as the new Yellow Ranger along with Rocky and Adam who took over as the Red and Black Rangers respectively.

The core 5 members look great together. The colors are so bright, as they were back in 1993. So many different colors that created a genre of action TV all it’s own.

So, you can go with season 1 and 2, when Tommy broke the power of the Green Ranger and became a part of the team.

Or you can go with Season 2 and 3 with the White Ranger. Whatever your favorite team makeup, you certainly can make it here.

The Megazord is complete. As with other Build-a-Figure lines, these are generally very special parts that are going to end up being one-off parts. There are no other Zords that are like the Megazord, so we will only see these used once. Megazord is really well done. It has open hands that makes me think he should have a sword of some sort. It really is too bad it didn’t come with one.

Now we have 2 complete Zords, not including the Astro Megazord that will be done with the rest of the In Space team at the end of this wave.

I am really, really happy with what they are doing with these figures. Bandai America is really doing a great job of giving the Power Rangers fans what they really want and deserve. From fantastic figures, to nice Build-a-Figures.

The rest of In Space will follow with Zeo on the horizon. There is also the whole metallic MMPR figures debacle that is coming soon, but I won’t get into that. I will just hope for a weapons pack so the core 5 can have their individual weapons at some point.


Springload – Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Legion Class

The Robots in Disguise line has not been fantastic in my eyes. Their Warrior Class is a simplified version of the Deluxe Class we have been seeing in the Generations line. The idea was to make a cheaper line of figures that parents would want to buy their kids. It really hasn’t happened that way. Most of the time, the figures in the RiD line are just as much as the Generations line, and they do not have the detail and precision.

For the most part, the entire line of RiD is simplified, with one-step and three-step changers taking a lot of room on the pegs at the store. And then there is the Legion Class. Tiny versions of figures we have in larger, better looking scales. Occasionally though, a figure comes along that really makes sense.

In this case, Springload. Originally we saw him as a one-step changer. The problem with that one was that the vehicle looked like a dune buggy, not the truck he is in the show. That is pretty terrible. Now we have a more show accurate version in the Legion Class.

Springload looks like a truck, so that is a nice bonus for him. He is not really this small in the show compared to other characters, but as a little frog guy, it works in the toy line.

When he transforms, he really comes alive. I am really impressed with the level of engineering that went into making this little guy. There are a lot of parts that fold up really well to get a square truck to turn into a round frog.

He has a whole lot of articulation to boot, which is both amazing and impressive. He is my new favorite figure in the line. He is a lot of fun to play with, and interacts well with other characters. When I first saw the horrible one-step version, I prepared myself to never see a good version of Springload. And then he suddenly appeared. A welcome sight to be sure.


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