Category Archives: Cartoon

Starscream – Transformers: Generations – Power of the Primes – Voyager Class

Well, hmmm. I think I was expecting more from a big Voyager Class Starscream. What we ended up with was a guy that looks like he is standing on his tiptoes. He has giant Popeye forearms, and a tiny head.

I am not sure what version of Starscream they were trying to go for here. He looks a bit like the small Legends Class figure from the Thrilling 30 line.

Well, as a Power of the Primes Voyager Class figure, Starscream comes with a pair of feet for the eventual transformation into a Combiner that for some reason has no name. It should be made up of all jets. Starscream is the body, while Blackwing and Dreadwind can make up two of the 4 limbs. They only need 2 more jets and we are good to go. I am sure we can pilfer some from the Combiner Wars line if we need to.

Transforming him into jet mode is not a big deal. Pretty straight forward. I am bummed that such a big figure has the arms handing off the sides like it does, and the feel stick down off the engines. This whole thing feels a bit lazy to me. We have seen some great transformations with these combiner type figures, but this is not one of them.

The profile of the jet is really weird. The landing gear at the front is REALLY far forward. And then back end is really fat.

The top profile of the jet is nice. It looks like a European fighter with the extra winglets near the cockpit.

Then there are the feet. What to do with the giant feet. They are supposed to hang off of the wing. Yuck! That looks horrible. But if he ever wants to combine, he needs to bring some feet with him.

As a combiner, he transforms into the torso. The cockpit opens and allows the Seeker Enigma to be placed in his…stomach. The new head that flips out is better suited for the larger figure, and way better than the pinhead he comes with in his regular robot mode. People seem to always be on opposite sides of the argument when it comes to Starscream having a crown.

I think it is much better that Grimlock has the feet than Starscream. For Grimlock, they work pretty well. They are too bulky for Starscream. I think the pieces made to be either hands or feet worked better for the Combiner Wars line, where a figure was either given a hand or a foot. This time around, they are able to color coordinate the hands to the figures, but to what end? Is it better this way with giant armor?

The journey continues. I have been getting some of the bigger figures, and a few smaller figures. We will see what is what, and finally put together a combiner in this crazy Power of the Primes line.

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Grimlock – Transformers: Generations – Power of the Primes (Voyager Class)

Moving up to the bigger figures, we are going to look at the Voyager Class Grimlock. For those who were on the ride for the Combiner Wars, you will remember that the Voyager Class figures were the main torso of the Combiner teams. They were bigger, and the leader of the given team.

This is a really nice representation of the G1 version of Grimlock. He is missing his T-Rex torso, splayed out behind him like a pair of wings, but I like this a lot better. As the Voyager Class figure of the team, he comes with the feet that will eventually be used with Volcanicus…but not until we get to wave 2, and the rest of the DInobot team. He also comes with the Enigma of Combination, which allows him to form Volcanicus with his team.

As with his brethren, he comes with a clear portion painted gold on the inside. This is a great look, and nice to have it flow through the whole team.

Leave it to Grimlock to have a power that would make him smaller so he could test his mettle.

With the team thus far. I am still bummed that Swoop has a blue torso. I know it fits in with the cartoon, but boy does it make him look like an outsider with the rest of the team in red.

Transformation of Grimlock is not too tricky, just tricky enough to be fun. He has that WIDE stance that we know and love from that silly T-Rex.

He has all of the important parts that are needed to be a good Grimlock. The face really sells the look overall.

From the top, things are a bit sketchy. There is a LOT of extra stuff stuck on back there. Since Grimmy turns into a torso as well, there are a few extra pieces that need to go someplace. It isn’t the worse, but not as clean as previous releases of Grimlock.

And once again with his team, this time in dino-mode. They look great together. I can’t wait to get the other two and have a full team for the first time in my life. It is going to be epic.

Also a full team means Volcanicus. And to make him, Grimlock needs to form the torso. And what a nice torso he makes. I love his T-Rex head becomes the chest with an Autobot logo right in the middle. The hips swing around and form circles on the front of the shoulders, which looks outstanding. His Volcanicus head even has a sort of crown, which of course we know Grimlock is.

Some of my Grimlocks. There have been a lot, but these are the closest representation we had leading up to Power of the Primes. In the back is the Masterpiece Grimlock. Giant in size, he is a fantastic piece. Then there are the two outside Grimlocks. On the left is the Fall of Cybertron version with the redecoed Gold Chrome version from Target on the right. I was actually quite amazed that the Fall of Cybertron version was larger than the Voyager Class here in Power of the Primes. It was also a Voyager Class, but It just didn’t feel as big until they were side by side.

As with any figures, there are likes and dislikes, but in recent years with the Prime Wars Trilogy, Hasbro has been making some absolutely fantastic G1 remodeled figures. Grimlock is in amongst those figures. I can’t wait to get the rest of the team!


Sigma 6 Vehicles in scale with MiniMates

If only I could time-travel back to 2006, I would have stocked up on the small scale Sigma 6 G.I. Joe vehicles. I loved that line, and I have most of the larger 8 inch figures, but I skipped most of the smaller vehicles. I am kicking myself now that I can see that there is not a lot of difference between the 3 inch Sigma 6 figures, and the 2 inch MiniMates.

Not only were there a number of vehicles that came out that would work for pretty close scale, but there were also a couple of Mechas. And, since Mechas are a made-up vehicle, the size can be off for the scale to still work. In this case, the Iron Hammer is a great example. It is a big vehicle that can fit into the scenes with the MiniMates. Better yet, it has a cockpit that can fit a MiniMate. That can’t always happen with the strange dimensions of MiniMates, but when it works, you do NOT want to pass it up.

Interestingly, there were a lot of vehicles from Sigma 6 that were repurposed into the standard 3 3/4 inch G.I. Joe line. So, if they can go up in scale, I can go down in scale. That means, keep your eyes out for other vehicles that fit the bill. If they are not a standard vehicle, they may very well fit into scale.

Aside: I was having fun today, since I made 6 more explosions, I wanted to see if I could make it look like the windows were being blown out of the building. I also made a smoke trail for a missile. I think they are very convincing, and I am looking forward to my next project. What that is, I don’t know yet, but I am sure it will be fun.


Dreadnaut and Overlord – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return – Leader Class

Getting the last few Transformers in a series are nearly always tricky. In this case, there were three released at the end of the Titans Returns series if figures: Overlord, Slugslinger, and Ramhorn. One Leader Class, one Deluxe Class, and one Titan Master. I had good luck with the first two, but I am still having trouble getting my hands on Ramhorn. And that little guy will continue to evade me for a while I am sure.

Overlord is free with a little help from Sky Shadow. Generally as we move through waves of Transformers, we start to see redecos (paint) and retools (body work). These two share some similar components, so let’s take a look at them side by side.

Well, the lower body is the same. The legs up to the torso are just repainted. The torsos are not the same. They both have the wheel, but even that is not in the same place. It is clear moving up the body that there are some very big changes that took place to make Overlord.
The entire top part of the body is all new. I think they share hands, and the internal workings of the elbow section of the arms.

From the back, the differences are even more apparent. They do share a few similarities back there, like the folding out of the jets at the bottom of the back, but the entire nose section of the jet has been redone. Where Sky Shadow’s jet folded back, Overlord can wear nearly all of the cockpit on his shoulder. That is very much how he worked as his G1 Transformer as well.

Overlord still has the great articulation that we have seen in the Titans Returns line. Even more so with these two, since their feet roll at the ankles, to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground.

The directions did not mention that there are two doors in Overlord’s chest. These open to reveal two slots for Titan Masters or Prime Masters (can you imagine this guy running around with the power of two Prime Masters? Yikes!!). The fit of the heads is SUPER tight, and the doors don’t close.

Overlord is teamed up with Dreadnaut. He is a retool of Sky Shadow’s Titan Master, Ominus. He has a new head, arms and legs, based on the G1 box art.

Transforming these Leaders into vehicle mode is a lot of fun. We get a 2-for-1 deal with a jet and a tank. Unlike Sky Shadow that is red and black with a touch of other colors, Overlord does not match both vehicles very well. There is a lot of black on the jet, but almost none on the tank, instead going for the blue, teal, white and purple of the jet’s engines.

Comparing Sky Shadow and Overlord, you can really see where the similarities (tanks) and differences (jets) lie.

Back in the G1 cartoon, Overlord had a super long jet mode. This was apparently designed when the production staff was playing around with the toy and figured out the tank can transform and stay on the jet. Well, it has happened again. There are no directions for the long jet mode, but it is possible. There are some big gaps in the leg areas toward the back.

You might think that if Overlord can have a long jet mode, than Sky Shadow can too. Well, I wondered about that and found that it cannot work. Sky Shadow actually has longer arms that do not allow the hips to fold the thighs into a horizontal position.

Then there is the connection between the jet and the tank. Sky Shadow had a door that opened in the bottom of the jet (his chest) that revealed a clip to allow the jet to pick up the tank and fly around as a pair. There is no such port on Overlord. Instead the two chest doors of Overlord open and the two door latches act as hooks on either side of the tank’s turret to lift the tank off the ground.

The problem is that they do not lock into place. So, it does not really work as well as it does with Sky Shadow, where you can zoom the pait around without the tank falling off.

But since the two tanks are the same, the two jets can switch places and pick up either tank. They both have the clip for Sky Shadow, as well as the two indents for Overlord’s doors.

On to the base mode. All Leader Class figures can turn into a base. And as we have seen with the rest of Overlord, the transformations look a little similar, but there are some big differences. Overlord folds at the hips, so his torso is sticking up in the air. With Sky Shadow, the fold for the tower is the nose section of the jet, so he is pretty much laying down with a tower over his head. Overlord’s arms are a part of the tower, while Sky Shadow’s arms are an extension of the ground portion of the base.

I knew Overlord was a retool of Sky Shadow, but I am hugely impressed by how much of a retool he really was. These are two very different robots with a couple of similarities. It seems that Hasbro really did release these figures in the order of how good they are. We got one that was great, like Sky Shadow. Then they release one in a later wave that is just a little bit better. These are a couple of really great figures. A few more to go in the Titans Returns line. I have Slugslinger, and then it is the hunt for Ramhorn. And of course we are knee deep in the first Wave of Power of the Primes. I have some Voyager Class figures to look at while I am hunting down the first of the Leader Class figures. Lots more to come.


Dinobot Swoop – Transformers: Generations – Power of the Primes (Deluxe Wave 1)

Well, if there is one thing we can be happy about with Swoop, is that he is once again Swoop. He was Ptero and Strafe for a while, but now he has his name back, just in time for his remodel into all of his glorious G1 homage.

The original G1 toy used red heavily in the chest, making him a red and silver bot. But in the show, he had a blue chest. They went with TV accuracy this time around and gave him a blue chest. He is a good looking robot. There are so many small details added to the body and the wings. And his face has a great expression on it.

He comes with a sword that is very reminiscent of his G1 weapon. He is missing the twin missile launchers, but instead comes with Prime Armor. Clearly a hand for the upcoming Volcanicus Combiner, the fists have spikes on the knuckles. This is a matching fist to Slug. He comes with a card where he can team up with Alpha Trion to be able to find the weak point of any enemy. That is a good power to have.

Together with the team so far, he looks really different from the rest of the team with the blue chest. I like that Hasbro went with the cartoon theme, but I think I would have liked it a bit better if the team would have matched. Unfortunately the rest of the team wears red, so Swoop really is the odd man out.

Transforming him into Pteranodon mode is pretty fun. The Pteranodon really reminds me of the G1 figure. I heavy backpack and some nice long wings. The head really makes it, with the clear plastic painted gold on the inside.

His wingspan really is quite something for a Deluxe Class figure. The shape is well done.

The Prime Armor can fit on Swoop’s back. Now the backpack is REALLY tall. Not the best aerodynamics for poor Swoop. He is going to have to work hard to fly around like that.

And the sword can be attached to the chin for a nice menacing attack.

Like all of the Deluxe Class figures, Swoop turns into an arm or a leg. I think it is much trickier to be able to make beast-formers turn into body parts. But this is done well.

I set up Wave 1 with Battle Core Optimus Prime. He was standing around without a team to combine with, so I figured he would be a good stand in while we wait for some Power of the Primes Voyager Class figures. It is exciting to see Swoop and Slug in their Combiner mode body parts. It is a nice sneak peek at what we will get when we finally get to combine all of the Dinobots and form Volcanicus.


Voltron 84 figures- Playmates (NetFlix)

Back in 1984 the Japanese super robots came to the United States. Beast King GoLion was adapted into Voltron: Defender of the Universe. It lasted for 2 seasons and 72 episodes. The US was enamored with robot lions that combined to make a giant robot to protect the universe. There were other iterations of the show, and other attempts to breath life into the series once again. Then in 2016 NetFlix teamed up with Dreamworks to bring us Voltron: Legendary Defender. This was an update of the original show with the same base characters and an updated, but recognizable version of Voltron. NetFlix teamed up with Playmates to bring us an awesome collection of lions that could combine in conjunction with some really good articulation for the lions as well as for the fully formed Voltron. We even got lights and sounds.

Legendary Defender

Flash ahead to the end of 2017, and the fans love the show. NetFlix and Playmates surprised us with a second round of lions. This time around the line is called Voltron ’84. Netflix brought back 12 episodes of the original show with the current cast talking about an episode that are memorable and important to them and the creation of the new show. It is fun to look back at the old episodes and see the hand drawn work of 1981 (remember it was released in Japan years before it came to the US).

 

 

Red Lion:

The red lion comes with Voltron’s sword. He also comes with a jaw blade, a laser cannon, and a missile launcher. As you will see, the four smaller lions come with a jaw blade, a secondary weapon, and then a bigger spring-loaded firing weapon.

It is fun to look at the two side by side. Since they come with Voltron’s sword, it is an interesting look at the past and modern times. The original sword was so flashy and ornate with so many extra shapes thrown on. The modern one looks more sleek as a chopping energy sword.

The 84 version is a lot more boxy, and has a stiffer overall appearance. They actually have similar points of articulation, but the modern lion has a lot more range than the 84 version.

I really enjoyed looking at the two side by side and seeing how changes were made to make them sleeker and rounder, but keep the overall feel.

One of the most striking differences is in the face of the modern lion compared to the 84 lion. The 84 lions all have such wide faces and giant ears. Well, Red and Green lions anyway. The others have different designs around the sides of the heads to simulate ears with a robot twist.

And of course, they form body parts. The first thing you will notice right away is how well the legs are hidden in the modern arms as opposed to the 84 lions that have them folded up on the outside of the body. Simplicity of visual design versus simplicity of transformation.

 

Yellow Lion:

The Yellow Lion is my favorite of the 5 in Legendary Defender. When I was growing up, I only had one Lion. Yup, the Yellow Lion. I am sure that has something to do with it, but I love the overall bulk of the lion. It is more robust than the others, and tends to use it’s mass as a weapon. The 84 Yellow Lion is pretty neat too. It has fins on it’s back like a fighter jet, and it is the only lion to have a weapon directly on it’s body.

Side by side, the Legendary Yellow Lion is a lot more robust than the 84 Yellow Lion. The extra weapon was turned into an extra shield for the Legendary Lion.

The colors on the lions are so important. Of course there is a main color on all of the lions. The Legendary Lions have the addition of black to help break up the solid color. When you look at the Yellow lion, it had a lot of red mixed in. The Legendary Lion has a touch of red, but not too much.

Transformation of the two are very similar. Both use their forelegs to help support Voltron in the back. Their hind legs fold up, with Legendary Lion’s legs folding behind engines. Legendary’s tail slides in the body, while 84’s tail folds down the back. And the shield again to help protect the head and the Paladin when Voltron needs to kick something.

 

Blue Lion:

Blue comes in with a mouth full of blade, a beam emitter on one joint, and a missile launcher on the other. There is a line of yellow that runs down the back of the lion and all the way to the tip of the tail. For the Legendary line, they stayed consistent with the tails. All are silver with a blue tip for one of their weapons.

As a juxtaposition, in the design of the Legendary Lion, they omitted all of the yellow, save for the eyes. They put the yellow on Legendary Green’s butt.

They did leave a bit of the red on the Legendary Lion, though they moved it up. In an effort to help equal out with the bulky Yellow Lion, Blue Lion’s red area is a shield for it’s head.

And when they are transformed, they look very similar. I don’t think there is a lot they could have done with the legs to change the overall look. The front legs come in really handy when posing Voltron (either version).

 

Green Lion:

Green Lion is the other arm of Voltron. Red Lion came with a sword, Green Lion comes with a shield. And all of the other stuff.

Where the Legendary Green Lion wears the shield all of the time, the 84 Green Lion cannot carry that shield. This time around the two are much closer in color. The 84 version only had one rectangle of green, and that was omitted, since you can’t see that part anyway.

 

And in case anyone was wondering, yes, the Legendary Lions can borrow the 84 Lion’s Jaw Blades. They do not tab into place like they do with the 84 Lions, but they have spring loaded jaws, so I don’t think they needed to peg into the 84 versions either.

Once again, the arms of the Legendary Voltron are a lot cleaner. Hiding pieces. I am sure it took a LOT of design work to pull it off, but boy does it look nice.

 

Black Lion:

And then there is the Black Lion. The leader of the team, and the most super boxiest looking lion of all. This Lion’s articulation is less than the other lions, but that is to be expected from this guy. He comes with lights and sounds. Over 60 phrases. Like with the Legendary Lion, this one is the only one that can keep it’s mouth open. And the face of Voltron hides nicely on the roof of the mouth.

Comparing the two face to face, the first glaring difference is in the wings. Legendary Voltron’s wings are HUGE! 84’s wings are flat and folded into place. One interesting thing is the comparison of the back legs. There are minor changes, but the main design is the same. There is a REALLY important reason for that.

And the transformation beings. The Black Lions form the torso and head of Voltron. They went for a more simplistic look for the Legendary Voltron’s torso. Gone is the giant crest and gold star belt buckle.

 

Transformed into Voltron:

These are tall figures. Lights and sounds in the chest. Articulation for days. You cannot go wrong with these robots. Side by side they look great. There are some design cues I love about the Legendary Voltron, like the silver collar around the head. It gives the look of more power.

When it is time to go, it is time to open the wings. Um, a little embarrassing for 84. His wings are pretty small. Not bad, just different.

The posability of these two is remarkable. They are virtually identical. There are some subtle differences between the two with the bulks of the lions.

From the side you can see how important the front legs of the Yellow and Blue Lions are for support. You can move those legs all over the place to get the right pose. The 84 Voltron actually has a bit of a better stance than Legendary. The Legendary Voltron is a bit back heavy. See, bigger is not always better. But in space, who cares?

 

Voltrons combined:

The burning question I was thinking when I saw these were coming out was: “Can you switch out the lions on either team?” Why yes you can. That was the importance of the back legs of the two Black Lions being nearly identical. They are needed to hold the pieces in place.

As I was finishing up, and playing around with switching lions, I noticed that I had mistransformed Voltron 84. I had the shoulders rotated so the red buttons were facing up. They should have been turned so the red line goes across the entire chest of Voltron. Oops. Fixed and ready for action.


Dreadwing – Transformers: Generations – Power of the Primes (Deluxe Class Wave 1)

 

This is probably my least favorite figure of the wave… on first inspection. There is not a lot that is really exciting. A heavy retool of Skydive from the Combiner Wars line, so you know the drill. He can become an arm or a leg for any Combiner. Other than that, just another brightly colored Decepticon?

Well, yes and no. The teal and purple and two-toned greys are really reminiscent of the Powermaster figure from 1988 who was named Dreadwind. He looks like he has a wrestling mask on. Guess what? He did back in 1988 too. But this time around, his head is front and center and not placed over his back. So, yay for that.

He comes with a single teal blaster. Back in 1988 he came with two, which is SO much better for a jet, as he could have one gun on each side. Instead of a Powermaster Unit, he comes with Prime Armor. This is the first Prime Armor we have seen that is colored to match the wielder. It is purple with teal insert that covers the Prime Master port, but can also be used as a gun.

Now if you are bot in a perpetual bad mood, it is good to be able to combine with Nexus and spread gloom to all of the bots you are combined with. Well, is it really? I don’t know about that. I can see making everyone as angry as you are, but spreading gloom? Seems like you would want to be able to spread gloom to the enemy. But whatever. I am sure Dreadwing has it covered.

Onto the jet mode. He fits right in with the other small jets we saw back in Combiner Wars. He has some added firepower along the sides just like he has back in G1.

He looks fairly F-16 Falcon like in his overall appearance, as he did back in G1. Nice choice. The thing besides being a Powermaster that Dreadwind could do was combine with Darkwing to become Dreadwing, a really powerful jet. Apparently that will be able to happen again this time but with Darkwing being renamed to Blackwing.

So, since Dreadwind took the name Dreadwing, we will have to come up with a new combined name. Blackdread. Ooh, that sounds menacing.

And the directions show him transforming into a leg. Imagine him becoming a Combiner with the likes of Starscream. That could be quite something.

So, I didn’t love the figure right of, but after some time I liked him fine. Then finding out that he will be able to make a super jet, I am really excited to see what these two can do together.


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