Diac and Optimus Prime – Transformers Generations – Titans Return (Voyager Class)

So, we already got a really good looking Leader Class Optimus Prime in the Titans Return line, so why did we get a second one? Well, that is probably because Hasbro decided to make Megatron a Voyager Class figure this time around. It is not very Autobot-like to be the bigger guy and pick a fight. So, they gave us Optimus in the smaller scale so he can fight Megatron with Doomshot.

Optimus is a triple changer this time around. Robot, fuel tanker truck, and jet. This is a case where a triple changer cannot work well three times. You can get one good mode, or maybe two good modes, but you are going to be hard pressed to get all three modes that work really well. Especially when the modes are distinct, and not a battle station of some sort like we have found with a lot of the Leader Class figures. Just like how Megatron was made using what will become Blitzwing, They used Octane to make Optimus Prime. It makes a lot more sense if you look at who is coming second in this line to understand that Hasbro is trying to cut costs by using the same base body a couple of times. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Optimus Prime starts in his robot mode. He has some mighty big shoulders. He is feeling his inner Ultra Magnus on this one. This design is based on the Laser Optimus Prime from the 1995 Generation 2 line, where he also had some big shoulders.


He comes with a blaster (that can of course hold a Titan Master) as well as a neon green sword.

It is hard to not compare this version of Optimus to the Powermaster version, since they are coming out in the same series, and they came out pretty close together. Even with the big shoulders, this version of Prime is a LOT shorter than the Powermaster, and a whole lot less robust to boot.

This Optimus comes with Diac. Diac is named for the Diaclone, which were the predecessors to the Transformers. I love that Hasbro is paying homage to the pre-Transformers line that eventually created the world of Transformers we know today. Back then there were some mish-mashed figures that were out of scale from one another since they were from different lines, brought together. But here we are so many years later under one umbrella of greatness.

Looking at Optimus’ back, it is clear this is no robot to truck transformation we are going to see. There is something more going on, and it looks like it is going to be a plane.

Yup, it was a plane. Not a great plane, but a plane nonetheless. What we end up with is a strange concoction of parts that do form a plane of some sort. Is it supposed to be a fighter jet, a passenger jet, or something inbetween? It is hard to tell.

The wings are extremely short on this plane. That is where we start to get into the trouble areas of having triple changers. The wings have to fold away in another mode, so they have to stay within a certain size, causing some visual troubles. On top of that, there is a ton of greeble on the back half of the plane, making it look extremely heavy back there, and not very aerodynamic.

Moving to the back of the plane, it is powered by just one little jet. It would be hard to move a brick like this, much less with such a small engine. Oh well, can’t win them all.

There is a cockpit way back there that allows Diac to fly the plane. It is too bad the cockpit at the front doesn’t work for that purpose, but with the way the nose is made, there is no room.

There are two ways the weapons can be attached, First is near the nose of the plane. The gun fits in one side, and the sword on the other. Yet more ways to kill the aerodynamics of the plane.

The other option is to mount the two weapons together on the top of the plane and allow Diac to get a little air as well. This looks a bit better, than the side mounting alternative.

Onto the truck. Optimus has been a lot of trucks in his time. Back in 1995, Laser Optimus Prime was reimagined as a tanker truck, and this became one of the fan favorite designs of all time. In that version, the robot and the trailer were detachable, so Optimus could be a robot and have a battle station. This time around, it is all one unit. Unfortunately that means there is no bending between the truck and the trailer, so he is one solid unit.

The truck features a chrome tanker, a very nice nod to the Laser version. No flame throwing Prime on the side though. Fear not, if you want the flaming Prime version, it is coming out in a Toys R Us Exclusive 5-pack with Optimus being black and listed as Laser Optimus Prime. Once again, Diac rides in the same cockpit, this time flipping around in the seat to face the other direction.

The weapons mount on the sides in this mode as well.

 

Overall, not the greatest triple changer we have. When we look at Megatron, you will see a triple changer that works well, and looks right. There were just too many differences shoved into this guy to work properly. They were making Megatron a triple changer, and they wanted to do the same for Optimus. They found a figure they could use (Octane) to create Laser Optimus as well as Octane, and have at least 3 versions of the figure being used (Optimus, Laser Optimus, and Octane), to help cut costs. This is not my favorite Optimus, and he will probably live life on the shelf as a robot. Powermaster Optimus Prime will be my main Titans Return guy.


Scarif Trooper – Star Wars The Black Series – Rogue One (Walmart Exclusive)

I got done with my look at the new Target Exclusive AT-ACT Driver, and realized that I had never looked at the Scarif Trooper. What an oversight on my part. I had looked at the initial release of the Squad Leader that saw general release, but the troop builder figure only saw release at Walmart. That is a pretty strange way to go about selling toys, but whatever. I don’t make the rules.

Being that finding the exclusives for Walmart are super hard to do, I had ordered them online, since I knew it would be way better to just go that route and not have to travel around to see if I could find any (which I never did).

So my box showed up with 3 troopers (best deal to get free shipping). They are very similar to the Squad leader, but with a different belt that does not have the long blue skirt, but instead has a shorter off-white skirt.

I really like these troopers overall. Their paint apps are random, so they don’t all seem to have the same dirt and scuff marks in the same place. Troop building with these guys is fun.

As of the time of this photo shoot, I had 5 Scarif Troopers, 4 Death Troopers, a Hovertank Driver, and a Stormtrooper. That is a goodly number of troopers, but more than that, it is an interesting looking bunch. If for no other reason, Rogue One expanded the universe of the Troopers, and we have more to look at than just a bunch of shiny white dudes, and an occasional Speeder Bike driver (who I have, but somehow didn’t make it to the shoot. That is definitely my bad on that one).


Imperial AT-ACT Driver – Star Wars The Black Series Target Exclusive

Today we are going to take a look at the newly minted Target Exclusive figure AT-ACT Driver. Now, I am not sure we even saw these guys in Rogue One, since we barely saw the AT-ACT, so this could be totally made up for the toy line. That being said, I am a sucker for action figures in the 6 inch line, and The Black Series figures never disappoint (except for the head sculpts of the women, but Hasbro is working on it).

This guy looks very familiar, and he should. He is made up of the two previously introduced new Troopers to the Star Wars Universe for the Rogue One movie. Most of the parts are Scariff Trooper parts with a bit of Hovertank Pilot thrown in. Since those two figures share most of the parts anyway, it is not too big of a surprise to see them being used again.

What I am surprised about is that Rogue One takes place basically right at the beginning of A New Hope. The time runs quickly in A New Hope, and both movies are considered year 0 B.B.Y. (Before the Battle of Yavin). Therefore, it is 3 years before we see the first of the AT-AT Imperial Walkers. Along with that, in the Rebels series, we see AT-ATs in Season 1, Episode 10 (A Princess on Lothal), which takes place 3 years BBY, and we actually see the drivers. They are wearing the suit and helmet of the later AT-AT drivers. It seems unlikely that the AT-AT and the AT-ACT would be different enough to constitute a completely different outfit and helmet. More likely, they would wear the same outfit.

But, you know how it goes. There are 40th anniversary figures coming out, and everybody wants a piece of the giant Star Wars pie. So, Target gets their special exclusive, and it happens to be a driver we never saw. That isn’t totally a bad thing. The figure is well made. He is another Trooper that fits in with the rest of the Rogue One line, and deepens the ranks for the collectors and photographers.

He is similar to the Scariff Trooper and the Hovertank Pilot, but not similar enough that he should be skipped. The coloring is really well done with white armor, that neither of the other two have. He has red markings that are unique to him.

Overall, this is not going to be a figure I think a lot of people will want to army build. We will probably never have a 6 inch scale AT-ACT, as the 3 3/4 inch version did not sell well. I am looking forward to see what all we get with the 40th Anniversary line. It will be a fun summer.a


Decepticon Revolver and Six Shot – Transformers: Generation – Titans Return – Leader Class

I went to the Target near work, where I tend to go every Thursday. It is not close to home, so I frequent there once a week after work. Generally, they do not have anything terribly good. Most of the time the Marvel Legends aisle is warming some pegs with old waves of figures. The Star Wars 6 inch figures are generally a bunch of Rogue One figures we all already have. And on the Transformers aisle, I would be surprised if I could find Robots in Disguise one-step changers, which I have zero interest in collecting.

To my amazement, they had some of the older Titan Master single packs. And then I saw him on the bottom shelf. In all of his giant glory was Six Shot. I knew he was coming, but the bright teal and purple was a sight to behold. I was half excited. I knew he was a needed figure for the collection, but at the same time, I was a little apprehensive about a six-changer, or a sextuple-changer. Generally the triple changers do not do terribly well. You get one mode that is good, and a few modes that are so-so. So, what comes of a guy that is made up of one robot, one wolf, and four vehicles?

First off, robot mode. This is Six Shot. 1987 could stand with 2017 and feel like they were looking in an updated mirror. It is clear that Hasbro went to great lengths to make this Six Shot reflect the Six Shot from 30 years ago, and not in an homage kind of way. They went to a lot of work to recreate the original with so much attention to detail.

He has a different head than his G1 counterpart, but that is to be expected. This version is a Titan Master, so Revolver is hiding under that helmet. This is one of the more fun Titan Master helmets with the big Leader Class figures. With the others, they have a full helmet that folds out of the way to allow the Titan Master to be removed. In Six Shot’s case, the top of the helmet folds back and allows Revolver to be removed straight out of the top, like removing a brain. This makes for a more solid looking larger scale head, which hasn’t always worked so effectively with the other Leader Class figures.

As you circle Six Shot, you can start to see all of the different parts hanging off, around his body. There are wheels, treads, wings, nose cones, claws, a head, a couple of different cockpits, the list goes on.

Revolver, the Titan Master looks like a little ninja of his own. He is modeled after Jack, a Headmaster from the show of the same name, who was actually killed by Six Shot. That is some interesting irony, that those two would be teamed up.

Now, onto the modes. We are following the directions in a linear transformation. Each of the directions builds off of the last mode, finishing back with the robot.

First up is the tank mode. The treads are rotated around, and the legs form the cannons of the tank. There are four cannons on the legs that are black, and Six Shot’s 2 hand cannons become additional cannons for this mode. It is a stubby little vehicle, but it is well armored. There are a few parts that are a bit out of place, like the wings on the top, and the wheels hanging off the front end. I like this mode. I would have liked to see the turret actually rotate, but that is a lot to ask from a pair of legs. They already have a LOT of engineering for all of the jobs they have to do.

The next transformation is into the jet. It looks very similar to the space ship that Astrotrain and Sentinel Prime turn into. I like seeing the design cues carrying through the series.

He is quite big as the jet, with his hand blasters becoming the main weapons for the ship. One problem with this mode is the back part, where the arms hang off the back. They do not peg into place in this mode, so they flop around a bit.

Next up is the car mode. This is quite the armored vehicle. Very different from the tank we saw before, this vehicle is longer and looks like it has a front end capable of crashing through any wall.

This time around, Revolver gets to sit in an open-top cockpit. And look at that, he gets a shotgun seat for a sidekick. We sure do have enough Titan Master running around now.

The 5th mode is the beast mode. Back in the day, the wings were folded in, but in this version, Six Shot lets his wild side out, and the wings are wide and free. A flying giant wolf. Nope, no Autobots will have nightmares about that one.

The wolf has a moving front jaw. The head cannot move further down that straight out. There is a giant hole in the back of his head that a folded up Revolver drops into. It is a great touch to allow Revolver to control the wolf in the head too. There is some good articulation from the legs, with the back legs moving forward and back. There is more movement up front. The two blasters become a tail when attached together.

The final mode is a “submarine“. Back in the day (1987), there were not so many worries about kids getting shot for running around with weapons. Toy manufacturers have to be way more careful about that today. Hasbro is a bit more gunshy than they were back in the 80s, and with good reason. For that reason, Six Shot lost his gun mode, and gained a submarine mode. Really though, it is the gun, looking really close to the G1 version, but flipped upside down. So really you do get the gun mode, it is just not built that way in the directions. Then Hasbro cannot be blamed for a kid running around pretending to shoot people with a giant teal/purple/black gun.

Another quick change and Six Shot is back to his robot self. Overall I am really impressed with this setup. I was not sure they were going to be able to pull off a sextuple-changer, but he works really well. There are not obvious extras that detract from each of the modes. There are some parts that don’t belong, like the wheels in nearly every mode, but that is part of the charm of his many transformations. He is definitely a good addition to the Leader Class. He does have capabilities to attach to the other base modes, though he does not have a base mode of his own. The directions show the tank joining up. I will have to go back and see how easy or difficult that is to do.


Soundblaster and Soundwave – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return (Leader Class)

Soundwave, is one of the closest soldiers by Megatron. He is by far the most loyal, and potentially the most important to the Decepticon cause. He is one of the few that commands his own troops, in this case an army of spies that are, in this version, different types of computer tablets. Think of the world being taken over by iPhones, and there is an old school boombox pulling the strings.

When I got Blaster, I knew Soundwave was going to be just as good. Using the same base body, they changed out a bunch of the parts to create a similar, but not too similar robot and boombox. In robot mode, he has his telltale yellow visor and extra silver helmet extensions on the sides of his head. Was it a helmet before? I think not. It sure is this time around.

Looking at his stats, he is not fast, but he is smart, and pretty darn strong to boot.

His chest opens, in much the same way as his G1 counterpart did. He has the same “tablet” that Blaster had, that has a trio of blasters of it’s own to help with some firepower in

another mode.

Blaster and Soundwave are very similar, but the color difference, and the subtle parts changes, especially around the legs, really change the robot mode.

Soundwave gets two birds this time around. Blaster gets none. Poor Blaster.

Soundblaster, not to get confused with Blaster the big robot, is the Titan Master for Soundwave. In the G1 continuity, Soundwave was killed by Blaster, and later reborn into Soundblaster. In the IDW continuity, Soundblaster was a clone of Soundwave. Now we have the two as separate robots, but teaming up together to wreak havoc on the Autobots. He is a remodel of Twin Cast, who was teamed up with Blaster. That is why, if you look closely, most of him looks like Soundwave, but his legs have the speakers of Blaster.

Change Soundwave into his alternate mode, and you have a giant, for the scale, boombox.

Soundwave looks so different than Blaster. The whole front has been redone, including the speakers, cassette door, and the buttons under the door. It is quite amazing how much work Hasbro went to in order to separate these two figures. Great job!

From the back, you can see the shoulder launcher becomes a sort of battery pack, and the gun is an antenna, like it was for Blaster.

But wait, there’s more. Transform him again, and he becomes a battle station. Not a great battle station but one that fits lots of little guys. Now Blaster and Soundwave can have the smallest war ever. From a plethora of Titan Masters with their little vehicles, to the tablets each has, to the other small Legends scale figures.

It is all just too cute. I can hear the little ‘pew pew pew’ from here.


Alpine Strike Autobot Drift – Transformers: Robots in Disguise

Autobot Drift. How many Drifts can we possibly have in the Robots in Disguise series? Well, three in the Warrior class, one in the Legion Class, and one Mini-Con Deployer. That is so far. Might we see more? Who knows.

We started off with the orange version. That was standard for the show. Then we got Blizzard Strike. Paint him two-tone blue. Gotcha. I can get behind clear wheels. Now we have Alpine Strike. Basically repainted to be in his IDW comics red and white version. But why “Alpine Strike”? Maybe because he is white.

Anyway, this is the same figure we have seen twice before. He is one of the best of the Robots in Disguise series of figures. He has two swords, and features a really good transformation.

The paint is well done and does pay homage to the IDW origin of Drift. Each iteration of the figure has paint apps highlighting different aspects of the character. There is a lot of good molded features for them to touch upon.


Rey – Star Wars Elite Series (Disney Exclusive)

The Force Awakens came out about a year and a half ago. Since it is the first part of the new trilogy, there is more attention being paid to it than there was to Rogue One, which was a one off movie. One place they are being equally represented is at the Disney Store. They get to have their own exclusive editions of figures and clothing. One of the best representations of this is in the Star Wars Elite figures. They are larger figures with real cloth clothing. Some of the figures are taller, around 12 inches while others, like Rey stand shorter, around 10 inches.

I was able to get Rey on a sale, as well as having a 25% off coupon for the Disney Store for my birthday. She ended up costing about $13. That is a great deal for a The Black Series figure, much less a larger figure with cloth clothing.

Taking her out of the box, the first thing I notices was the rooted hair. I was expecting sculpted hair at best. I was not expecting it to be rooted. And it is in her tell-tale triple buns.

Her outfit is the standard outfit she wore through most of TFA. She has a nice mix of cloth and plastic goods. Her outfit is layered, including the arm coverings, tunic and short pants. She comes with her belt pouch attached, as well as a leather strap around her left forearm.

Her boots are molded on, but they have good movement around the ankle. There is a separation there that allows a ball joint. She also has toe articulation.

She comes with plenty of accessories. She has her backpack that is molded in plastic. There are a lot of mechanical doodads that are well painted, along with weathering and straps. She also comes with her staff. It is nice and tall, as it should be. The strap of the staff is molded in place. It would have been really nice to see that staff in fabric, I may go back and build my own staff for her, and give her a proper staff, so she can wear it on her body. She comes with a gripping hand for her right hand that will grip the staff.

There are two weapons as well. First off is the blaster that Han gave her. It seems like it is out of scale for her. It is very larger in her hand. She comes with a special gun hand that can be swapped out for a relaxed hand.

She also comes with Luke’s blue lightsaber. This one seems REALLY out of scale. It is almost as long as Rey is tall. The blade is really thick, and the hilt seems to be really fat and long too. They even gave Rey a lightsaber hand, since the hand for the staff is closed too small for the hilt of the saber. The blade is not removable. So you cannot re enact the end of the movie.

Overall, I really like this figure. It makes me want to get more of these well done figures. I am bummed about the lightsaber and the gun being too big, but it is a minor problem with the overall well done figure.


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