Tag Archives: Arcee

Protectobots 2 and 3 Packs (Evac Squad and Emergency Response)

I got these on Amazon for a super low price.  I am glad is was so low, because most of them are terrible.

Protectobots 3-Pack – Emergency Response

First Aid, Groove and Streetsmart.  These three Protecobots are repaints of Prime Series Figures.

 

First Aid: A repaint of Ratchet (Prime), he is no where near as dynamic a character as the original.  I was really excited to be getting a first version of Ratchet, as the original has some great transformations.  He looks okay in vehicle mode.  A little bit white.

Here is where things really fall apart for First Aid. Firstly, he is very white. He has the same detail paints as Ratchet, but with them all being blue, he is a very stark white color.

The real problem comes with his legs. For some reason, when they made First Aid, they remade the knees in rubber instead of the hard plastic. What we end up with is a very drunk First Aid. He cannot stand up straight, or he starts to sag under his own weight. Ugh!


Even his knives are wonky. They were shoved in a section of the box that was too small, so the tips are bent.

Nothing beats the original.  He is better in all aspects.

Streetsmart:

This was the guy I was really after in this set.  I love Smokescreen, and I was so happy when we finally got him under the Beast Hunters subgroup.  And then we got another version of him as Prowl with a new head.

Well, following the police theme, Streetsmart has Prowl’s head.  Just like with First Aid, Streetsmart is awfully white.  He has just a few touches of blue here and there.  Some red really would have helped him out a lot.

Boy is Streetsmart white.  Even compared to the mostly white Smokescreen, it is apparent that even a few touches of color here and there would have helped a lot.  I mean come on! Even the G1(1986) version of Streetsmart had red on him.

Groove:

The worse of the 3-pack.  A repaint of Arcee, this is basically just Arcee with some white paint here and there.  When “He” is transformed, it is really just Arcee.  The Legion Class figures are the smallest and generally the lightest on detail, but there were parts on this one that were falling off.

The entire cowling of the motorcycle on Groove’s back fell off.  It was missing something to hold it in place.   No wonder I passed on the Legion Arcee the first time around.

There you have it.  Streetsmart is pretty good, if not a little too white, First Aid is a drunk with wobbly knees, and Groove is a lady-bot. Even with all of the problems, you can’t beat the $12 on Amazon for these three.

Protectobots 2-Pack – Evac Squad

Hot Spot and Blades.  These two could not be more different from one another.  Hot Spot (Repaint of Grappel) is a big burly crane truck.  Meanwhile, Blades (ROF Blazemaster) is a skinny little helicopter.   I think the problem with this 2-pack that was better in the 3-pack is that these two are not from the same Transformers lines.  One was from the Generations line, while the other is a movie figure.  It starts to really show a difference when they are in robot modes.

Hot Spot:

I am a huge fan of the Solar Storm Grappel. He sits on my nightstand in my bedroom. The only Transformer with that prestige.

I was excited to get my hands on another version of him, as the Generations blue Hot Spot is still eluding me.

This version of Hot Spot is really close to the original except for the crane instead of a water cannon. I think a guy named Hot Spot should be a fire truck, not a crane, but oh well.

Blades:

We had a great version of Blades back in the 2008 Universe series. This is not that Blades. This is a horrendous attempt to get a helicopter, and they reused Blazemaster, who was a horrible robot too.

Just look at this guy. Top heavy, with a sunken head, arms with no hands (though he does have thumbs), and chicken legs with little toes. Not even the blades on his arms would decide which direction they should face. This is NOT a quality piece. He is being transformed back into the helicopter where he will probably remain for the rest of his days.

Hot Spot, win.  Blades, lose.  At least this set only cost about $13 on Amazon, and it looks like the price is going down.  So $13 for a Voyager Class Hot Spot is pretty good all things considered.

 

So, if you see something you need, head over to Amazon.  They are both being sold for less than half the price, and it makes for good deals if there is one you really want in each set.  Just be warned, they are not great sets, and there are some real stinkers in here.

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Beast Hunters: Arcee

I think it got down to making a “Beast” Figure out of everyone, and the last few were stretching it.  I think they should have gone more with the “Hunter” theme and less “Beast.”  We had a great Optimus, who looked like he was ready to go hunting.  Bumblebee and Smokescreen where weaponed up, and looking for a fight.  Even Bulkhead (albeit a bit on the small side in the Deluxe line) had armor.   Then we had a the few that were a little more “Beast.”   Arcee here is one of those.

They gave her bat wings all over the place.   I think they could have done with a little less of that and we would have been just fine.

The double bow was a  good idea, it was just executed a little too big for my taste.  It is bigger than her, and probably weighs about as much.

Ah well, at least we have everyone from the show in a beast deco now.  One more Beast Hunter to go. And this one is not even a Beast Hunter.  At least we got him. 😉


Transformers: Prime – Airachnid

From Turtles to Spiders… wait a minute.  What do you mean she is named Aracnid, but she transforms into a helicopter.  Well, poo.  There goes that intro.   Oh well, at one point she was a giant spider.  Now she has taken the form of a helicopter, since apparently Earth does not have any giant spiders… not THAT big anyway.

Looking something like a stealth helicopter, Airachnid retains her trademark black and purple color scheme.   I could tell, while she was still packaged, she was going to be on the small size.  Getting her out only confirmed that.

With her weapons mounted, it gives her a bit more bulk, but she is still pretty thin.  I was getting worried about this time that we were going to get quite a thin figure.  But I was thinking they did SUCH a good job with the design of Soundwave, in his skinny little plane mode, that we might get that here too.

Once in robot mode, it is apparent that all of the fears are true.  She is skinny, back heavy, and has poor articulation.  Her arms are extremely robot (no pun intended).  With the blades on her back, it makes her hunchback stick out even further and makes her want to fall over backwards.   She does not have foot articulation, so she does not get any help standing there.

Once her weapons are attached, it only gets worse.  Not much else to say about that.   She is not my favorite figure.   There are too many things wrong with her to be right.  I am having a hard time trying to decide with mode to put her in for display.  I don’t particularly like either mode, and that is sad since there is usually at least one mode that is tolerable in a Transformer.   I generally don’t dislike figures, so this one has to rank pretty low.

Ah, what half an inch would have done for Airachnid.  She looks so tiny compared to her arch nemesis Arcee.

Up next, I look at another figure from this wave of three that is a repaint, but what a good repaint he is.


Transformers: Prime, Deluxe Class Series 1, Arcee and Bumblebee

The Series 1 figures have been coming in slowly but surely.  Generally a ton of Bumblebees, and a few other figures thrown in there. Generally Cliffjumper seems to be second most prevalent.  I was excited to get my hands on Arcee to see if she was as great as the First Edition version. And, not thinking Bee could be better, I waited a long time before I picked one up.  Today I am going to look at the two figures, look at how they hold up on their own, and how the compare to the First Editions.

Arcee:

Arcee comes in a blue color with some silver details.  She comes with a gun and a blade that can be attached together or used separately.  Her wheels spin freely, something cycles have trouble doing, especially when the wheels come apart, as the back one does.

She is much lighter in color than the First Edition, to the left.   Her basic design is pretty similar, with only a few minor modifications.  It is interesting that they were able to keep the two motorcycles so close, being that they have few to no parts that transform the same.

In robot mode, she is very much Arcee.  Her transformation is really straight forward, with a lot fewer parts to change to get her to robot mode than the design of the First Edition.  Her “wings” stick out quite a bit further than her cartoon version.

That is quite a gun they gave her.  Nice to see her trademark blade this time around too.

Version 2 is almost a head shorter than the First Edition.  She does not have anywhere near the articulation either.   There are a lot more details on FE Arcee as well.

If you were not lucky enough to get your hands on the First Edition of Arcee, the newest Arcee will be fine.  She is a good design and a solid robot.   If you already have FE, you will probably not be nearly as happy with the new version.

Bumblebee:

I HATE this version of Bumblebee.  And this is coming from someone who LOVES Bumblebee.  Look at that picture.  They used a blue-clear piece of plastic to make the roof and door sections, and then painted it.  It does not even kind of match the rest of the car.  At least the stripe is in the right place.  And those wheels.  AHHHHH!!!!  Black with metal posts holding them on.  Really?  You guys couldn’t go with silver paint for the rims?

The only redeeming quality of the robot mode is that most of the horrible paint is hidden on his back.  There are so many things visually wrong with this figure that it is not even funny.  He has giant gaps at his shoulders so you can see to the inside of his body.  His head just sits up there on top, out of place (at least it swivels).  His feet look like they were added on later and don’t really connect with his legs.  And I love me some big feet to make a sturdy robot, but come on!  That is ridiculous.

If you have the chance. Get the First Edition.  He will be worth it.  Everything is better.  Details, filled gaps, stance, wingspan.   He is so much closer to the cartoon version.

 

Coming up next, a look at a guy that seems to really be keeping a low profile in the toy market, figure 004, Soundwave.  He does not disappoint.


Transformers: Prime Commander Class Part 2: Bulkhead and Starscream

Today we are going to take a look at the rest of the Commander Class wave 2 figures: Bulkhead and Starscream.  Last time we took a look at the two leaders of the teams.  This time we are looking at a couple of the soldiers.  They could not be more different.  Bulkhead is loyal, strong, and straightforward.  While Starscream is skinny (to a fault), more mentally fit, and a backstabber.  He definitely gives a bad name to being a Decepticon.

Starscream:

We will start with a look at that back stabbing Starscream.  In the Commander Class version, he is pretty straight forward as far as tranformations go.  He does not have anything that stands out that makes him fantastic.  His hands are sculpted into the nose of his jet mode, and does detract from the appearance a bit.  I do like how his wings and tail fold up, and out of the way.

It is interesting how, mounting the weapons on his arms, is the storage method of the weapons, as all of the Commander figures have.  The weapons can also be held in the hands, which make quite a menacing weapon to be sure.

Much like his boss, Starscream has a lot of funny bits that hang off of his jet mode that hinder the “disguise” part of the toy.  Most notably are the feet that are right in the middle of the jet’s body.  There is also quite a gap down the middle of the nose.   Overall, he looks quite a bit like his Deluxe class version, an looks like his cartoon version in both modes, but not my favorite.

Bulkhead:

Speaking of my favorites…  Bulkhead is done just right. He is a well designed robot and vehicle.  I think both are pulled off well.

Starting in robot mode, he is really well done, representing his tough self that we know and love.  The design follows closely with the Animated style, going for the top-heavy, big jaw that has made him a fan favorite.   The sculpt is fantastic, as Hasbro really handles the design and gets it sized down to the Commander Scale.

As per usual, Bulkhead comes with a storage hole for his weapon, a big fat mace for smashing the Cons.  From the back, there are a lot of hopes and gaps in the body, but that is to be expected in the smaller scale… and who wants to look at them from the back anyway?

And then there is the vehicle mode.  I think this is by far the best Commander Class design.  Not only does it look right compared to the show, but the design does a really good job of hiding all the robot parts.  The front end is low, but not necessarily recognizable as body parts, as we saw with the Decepticons from the same series.

Bulkhead and Optimus vs. Megatron and Starscream.   Good pairings to face off in the Commander Series.  I do like this larger scale compared to the much smaller Legion Class.  The figures have much better articulation and transformation.

Drive vs. Flight.  Generally the way the lines are drawn for Transformers.   They do get a bit blurred here in the Prime version.  I am hoping to see some of those driving Decepticons here in the near future.

Big vs. Small.  My only two Legion Class figures to give a comparison in size between them and the Commander Class.  I think Arcee looks okay in that scale compared, but I think Ratchet is too small. He should be much closer to Bulkhead’s size.  I do understand why Bulkhead was chosen though.

Coming up next, it is comparison time.  I have the new versions of Arcee and Bumblebee in hand and photos taken.  I am going to compare them with the premiere versions and see if the new figures are an improvement, or a dud.   I have side by side looks at both.


Transformers: Prime – Optimus Prime

Today we are looking at THE MAN!  Or I guess to be more correct, The Robot.   But none the less, he is the guy who leads all, and wins always.  How any iterations have we had of Transformers?  Every one of them has Optimus Prime in charge of the Autobots.  Generally out maned, out gunned, and often with some human tag-alongs that are really more trouble than they are worth.  But their worth is what keeps Prime going.

Looking very much like his cartoon counterpart, he is still his iconic self.  When they originally designed this guy, I bet they did not know he would go through so many variations over the years.

He has great range of motion, being articulated everywhere you could want.  He even has the great shoulder articulation we are getting with all of the Prime figures.

This is the “gun” that Optimus comes with.   It is really crappy looking, more of a mix of clear-blue and silver plastic than anything else.   I wish they would just give up on all of the dumb transforming weapons they did back in the Dark of the Moon series.  They were dumb then, and they are feeling even more stupid now.   I just threw mine into the cabinet with the rest of the weapons that don’t work.

If the gun had the ability to be open on its own, I might feel better about it.  But it doesn’t, so I feel Hasbro wasted time, and charged us extra money for something we did not need.  And with Optimus  costing around $26 at Toys R Us, I would have liked to save a few dollars there.

In vehicle mode, Optimus Prime is the big nose truck we see in the movie series.  I know there are a lot of haters out there that wish we could get the classic flat-nosed truck back.   I do think it allows a little more wiggle room for the designers to create better body parts.   The way the arms fold up in here is nothing less than extraordinary.  That is what gives Optimus long arms that look right for how tall he is.

“Robots in Disguise”…except from the back.  🙂  There is actually a really cool transformation here too which allows his shins to fold forward and under the truck cab as you fold the arms down into place.   I am sure that was a tricky piece of design work there.   I was really glad to see the 5th wheel on the back, instead of some post or nothing at all.  The way it closes up, I am thinking they are leaving the option open to make a trailer at a later time.

And then, they say to attach the weapons like this.   Um, I guess if you squint at it, it could be a generator being delivered on the back of a truck.  I don’t know.   Like I said, the gun went into the void of a cabinet with the other stuff I don’t like the figures holding.

And then there were 5….plus Starscream, but he is not an Autobot, so he doesn’t count… this time.   I am sure my Decepticon ranks will grow too.  I am really looking forward to getting my hands on Bulkhead and Ratchet to round out the Autobots.

It seems slow in coming, but I did find some new figures out at Toys R Us last night.  Unfortunately, it was about 14 Bumblebees, one Wheeljack and one Cliffjumper.   Soundwave is supposed to be in Wave 1 too, but he was nowhere to be seen.   The hunt continues.

I did get the new Bumblebee, so I am going to be doing a comparison between the two.  There are definitely tranformation differences, and the new Bee has two arm cannons.   What else?  Guess you will have to come back and find out.


Transformers: Prime – Legion Class Arcee and Ratchet

A few more of the Transformers: Prime figures have started to trickle out there.  And boy do I mean trickle.  I am not a huge fan of the little Legion class figures, but Dark of the Moon had some really nice figures with good tranformations, and well done vehicle modes.   I figured I would give a few of these a try to see how they are.   Um… disappointed is a word that comes to mind.  Mostly in Arcee.

In robot mode, Arcee is okay.  She has some funny wings hanging off the back that don’t look anything like her TV counterpart. The rest of her is okay, with a pretty good face and the paint is pretty well done.   I am probably jaded a bit by her larger Deluxe figure that came out earlier that looks absolutely spot-on, and has some extremely well done transforming.

I start to loose faith in the figure as we get to the vehicle mode.  There is a place over her back tire where the two parts of her legs are supposed to stick together, and they barely do, some of the time.   The sides of the bike just stay in place, with no post or tab of any sort.   You can also see her back tire is off the ground from the bottom of the bike touching.    In all, this is not a very player friendly toy.

And let’s not forget about the horrible rubber weapon she comes with.  It pulls her over with no chance of her being able to stay up.  These weapons are terrible, both coming out of the packaging bent.

Thankfully, Ratchet does much better.

Ratchet’s robot mode looks really good.   They were able to give him all of this chest and head detail, and it is really well done.   His feet were quite a surprise for me.  Usually figures like this don’t have feet that move, but Ratchet’s do.   That helps to give him a nice stance.

In vehicle mode, Ratchet looks pretty good.  I think the wheels are a bit on the small side for how big of a vehicle he is.    The transformation for Ratchet is really well executed.  There are not very many moving parts, which is to be expected, so everything fits together well.

Just like with the previous Legion figures, they do fit in very well with the 1/64 scale vehicles like Hot Wheels and Matchbox.  This is great for kids who want to integrate the figures in with their other toys.

These figures are running about $6 a pop.  That is a pretty high price tag, but you have to pay to get moving parts these days, and we are always paying more for plastic all the time.  They are keeping pretty constant with the trend.

Luckily I also got a larger Voyager Class Transformer of Optimus Prime.  And he is really cool.   Come back tomorrow and see what the Prime of all Primes has in store.


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