Tag Archives: Smokescreen

Sky Lynx – Transformers: Combiner Wars

Sky Lynx was a hard guy to track down. Lots of parts to Sky Reign, but it was hard to find the main body, and cool dino bird that turns into a space shuttle.

Now if you are one who hates extra parts hanging off of their plane modes, Sky Lynx is going to make you blow your top.  He is one part futuristic space shuttle, and one part legs folded up. Now this is pretty much the way he was in the G1 show as well as the toy. It is hard to make a guy like this and have him fold up all that well.

What Hasbro did do was make him fold up well within the confines of what he is. The legs virtually disappear, with the claws hiding inside of what looks to be a very large cargo bay on the bottom of the shuttle.

Once you transform him, he is really a sight to behold. A Transformer that does not have a robot mode is something a bit rare. Sky Lynx turns into a dino bird type creature. He has great movement in the head and neck area. Don’t forget about his opening mouth. His four legs also pose very well. Lastly, his tail can also be posed to some extent, raising up and down.

The directions show hims with his wings folded back, but the wings can also be posed out straight for a wider wingspan.

 

As the team leader of Sky Reign he is the biggest member of the team. He is also the only member of team Sky Reign that is a flyer, which is a good advantage over other teams that are made up of all land based vehicles.

Once together, the Sky Reign team creates an impressive Combiner. Sky Reign has a lion’s head instead of a giant robot’s head. This is just one more difference that let’s Sky Lynx stand apart from the other Combiners.

When side by side, Sky Reign has taller shoulders but a shorter head, which puts him at about the same size as other Combiners.

Sky Lynx comes with two bladed weapons that are identical. They are not of a whole lot of use to Sky Lynx since he doesn’t have hands. They are used as a tail for Sky Lynx’s dino mode, and lasers in shuttle mode. There were no directions for what to do with them in the instructions, so I put them side by side and made a double sword. I found elsewhere online that you can double up the blades and make a really long blade that is more becoming of a giant Combiner.


Hound – Combiner Wars – Sky Reign

Another G1 character re-imagined in the Combiner Wars line. This time around Hound is a bit more robust than a Jeep. He shares the same body, and everything but the head with Swindle. It is a funny pairing since they are both coming out at the same time, each in their own Combiner series.

In robot mode, it doesn’t take a lot to pay homage to the G1 version. Green all over with a touch of grey and some black.

He comes with two weapons. The hand/foot piece for Sky Reign, and a triple barrel blaster. The blaster has an additional plus of being able to be mounted to Hound’s shoulder via pegs at the back of the gun. This is one of the few Combiners that actually has a shoulder mounted weapon like their G1 counterpart.

The face-off of who wore it better.  Really, they are exactly the same with a new head and major paint changes.

I think Hound wins on this one since his G1 version was a stand-alone figure that was of some size, while Swindle was a part of Bruticus and on the small size.

In vehicle mode, Hound looks like a green version of Swindle. Not a lot you can do here for a redeco, as opposed to the original retool from Rook that had MAJOR changes to the body.

 

This is in no way the best vehicle mode we have seen in the Combiner Wars line, but it is okay, and it is somewhat militaristic, like we are used to seeing from Hound.

As with most of the Combiner Wars figures, most people won’t keep their robots in vehicle mode.  That is a good thing, since this one fails at getting the hand/foot anywhere near integrated into the design of the vehicle.   It works a lot better when the giant weapon is left off entirely.

It is sad to see figures all ready to go, but no Combiner leader.  I have finally found all 4 of this set’s Deluxe figures.  Where oh where is Sky Lynx?  Oh well, I am sure he will show up sooner or later.

“Come on boys.  We have captured Swindle.  Time for a photo!”


Smokescreen – Combiner Wars – Sky Reign

I am continuing to slog my way through the two newest sets of Combiner Wars. I found Smokescreen last night at Target, and I think someone really is out there to slow things down. There was one Smokescreen and two Wheeljacks. What I really need are some of the Voyager class figures. It is going to be hard to build a Combiner without a leader.

Smokescreen looks great. We most recently saw Smokescreen in the Prime TV show, and he was a great character. We also saw him earlier in the Generations line when he went back to his Datsun G1 roots by becoming a Nissan 350Z, a definite nod to the G1 car that was a Datsun 280ZX Turbo.

This version of Smokescreen went with the same paint scheme as all of the previous versions with red, white, and blue. Probably less a nod to the USA, and more of a really contrasting color combo that will pop on the shelf. And boy does he! The red and blue are so vibrant.

He is a retool of Dead End, from way back at the beginning of the line. It was heavily retooled into Streetwise. From there it was given a new head and repainted into Prowl, and Smokescreen. In the G1 line, Smokescreen was retooled into Prowl too. Guess we are going to have to hope for a Bluestreak somewhere in the near future.

Overall I am happy with Smokescreen. We get the articulation that we see in most of the Generations line. The colors are right on. We don’t get shoulder mounted missiles as we did in the G1 figure, but that is to be expected. I am not loving the car mode, as we have seen it a bunch of times before. I do wish the blue paint matched the blue plastic a bit better since there is a giant mis-colored patch down the door on both sides of the car, and the only real distraction from the fan favorite #38.

Up next, the last of the Deluxe Class figures for Sky Reign.


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.


Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters – Prowl

Happy New Year!

 

I am going to kick off the new year, saying good bye.  It has been a lot of fun collecting Transformers over the run of the Prime TV show.   We have had great figures, okay figures, and a few duds, but that is to be expected.  From the beginning, I liked the show, and it make collecting the toys all the sweeter.   As we can to an end for the show, the writing was on the wall, that the toy line would end too.   We will probably see the figures hang out for a little while longer.

I think they did a pretty good job bringing in most of the important characters.  I would really like to have seen a few of the Japanese released Takara figures brought over here for a much more reasonable price.  A few army builders like the Air Vehicons would have probably made a lot of money.  Besides, it would have been better to see a bunch of standard Vehicons rather than a box full of Bumblebees.  Sure, the kids want the Bees, but what are you going to do with the extras?  If there were extras of figures that there are multiples of in the show, collectors would scoop up those leftovers… especially as we are getting to the end of the line, and the figures will become more scarce in the stores.

On to the final review for Prime.  Prowl.

A classic figure from the G1 show, I was really happy to hear we would be getting a new Prowl in the Prime style.

He is a redeco of Smokescreen.  A new paint job, a new head, and police lights, and we have quite a nice Prowl.   He looks fast, he looks mean, and he does not look like a direct copy of Smokescreen.

Standing side by side, they don’t look the same.  They look like they are related in some way, but with the color changes in really good places, they look quite different from one another.  Prowl comes with the same gun that Smokescreen came with, except without all of the Beast Hunters garbage that didn’t look very good.

In his vehicle mode, he looks like one fast police car.  Bad news though.  All you have to do is go over a speed bump, and you have evaded the police.  That is one low car.

He fits in just fine with the other Autobot speedsters.   A good group of fast cars.

And with that, we say goodbye.   Not to Transformers, but to the Prime line.  I could be surprised and have something else sneak up on me, but I won’t hold my breath.  We have more Generations stuff coming down the line, and we will be making our way to Transformers 4.  Dinobots anyone?  That should be fun to look forward to here in the far future.

 


Abominus – Predacons Rising

You could spend a fortune to buy the 5-pack from Target that allows you to build Abominus. All you would get is this guy with clear pieces. I don’t think he is worth all the money he costs, and after building my own from the single Legion class figures that were released, I am glad I didn’t spend the money.


He was fun to try and build, but once again, when you try to make a figure that can do more than two things (robot, beast) you begin to degrade the quality of one or both forms.


In this case, Windrazor looks great.

Twinstrike fared well.

 

Hun-Gurrr is a pretty good character.

The two legs, Blight and Cindersaur, were the weakest of the bunch.  Especially Cindersaur.  That beast mode is terrible!!!


Wanna build your own, look here: http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Abominus_(Prime)

 

 

 


Beast Hunters Deluxe Series 2, Wave 2: Starscream, Ripclaw, Bulkhead, Smokescreen

Wave 2 of the second series of Prime has begun to hit the stores.  It is an interesting wave.  Some good, one bad, and a couple just plain awesome.

005: Starscream

The Beast Hunters version of Starscream is pretty nice looking.  We get lots of colors out of this one.  He has a lot more of an angular design, and a pretty good transformation.  First look, you know this is the Prime Starscream.  You can see it in his face, and general build.  Take a closer look and you can see that this is an all new design for Starscream.  PS, don’t ask about the giant antenna sticking out of the back of Starscream.  I don’t know what it is, or what its purpose is.  Hopefully we will find out when the new season starts.

Compared to the first version of Starscream, he is a bit smaller.  You can see he has everything from the wings, to the knee points, to the shoulder shields.  All of it has been updated and changed.   He stands a lot better than his Prime counterpart.

And here you are thinking “My that is an awfully big weapon Starscream has there.”  Then you remember, “Oh, that’s right.  Starscream often gets himself into trouble with weapons that are way to big for him.”  Somehow, Starscream always manages to get a hold of big weapons, thinks highly of himself, and then gets them taken away.

Fear not!  He can carry it Giant-Anime-Sword-Style.

Vehicle mode is where I felt Beast Hunters: Soundwave got into a little trouble. Starscream has no such problems.  He kinda looks like his old self in the fact he has wings.  Other than that, he looks nothing the same.  He does borrow the wingtip design from Soundwave, so they have something in common.  I really like his transformation.  It is always hard to get Starscream’s legs tucked in with the skinny jet body, but this one is okay.

Where Soundwave totally failed was attaching the extra Beast Hunters weapon.  At least with Starscream, it tucks up under his body really well, and hangs in tight.  It looks like an external drop tank that actually has some aerodynamics to it.

006: Ripclaw

First off, check those directions.  They have to do some finagling to get him into the packaging.  A few parts are a bit out of whack to tuck him all in there.  He is a really nice sized Deluxe figure.  I do have a couple of worries about him.   Like with Lazerback, there are a few rubber parts.  One is on Ripclaw’s upper head.  The whole piece is rubber.   The other is the center of his tail.  This is the part I really worry about.  Left in the heat, or if kids play with him too much, or are too rough, he will be loosing that tail and everything on it.   Maybe this would be a good one to invest in and hold onto a packaged copy for a few years.   You know people will be searching for “Ripclaw with intact tail.”

He has great coloring, and of course he comes with a gimmick weapon.  Unlike all of the other weapons so far  that are shooting weapons (except for Starscream’s), Ripclaw has a really neat weapon which is a claw that grabs when the middle pin is touched.   It has a pretty good grip, and it is removable from the tail to be held in the hand.

He is not as bulky as Lazerback, but with that tail, it does give him some height.

He has a sweet looking robot mode.  There are some great transformations in his legs, hands and head area.  He looks like he better designed than Lazerback, with equal thought put into his robot mode.  His wing move in this mode, and he still has that tail.  There is no doubt he is a dragon in his other mode, but he is definitely a robot now.

Beware the Claw!  On his tail or in his hand, this is a great weapon.  I think it is a little better as a tail weapon rather than a gun type weapon, but he looks like he is going to kick butt in the new season of the show.

007: Bulkhead

I love Bulkhead.   Always have, always will.  That is probably why I HATE this Bulkhead.  I knew there was going to be a problem when I saw Bulky was going to be released under the Deluxe line.  That means a smaller figure.  NO NO NO!!!!   And he is:

A head and chest shorter than the Series 1 Voyager figure.  That does not bode well for Bulkhead.  He is without his bulk.  The overall design is well and good, giving Bulkhead a knight look.  But he is so small, and he feels so flimsy, that his design does not make up for it.

Vehicle mode?  Not much better.   There are a lot of colors here.  It looks like he was wrecked and put back together with pieces from differently painted cars.   His side windows are not even close to his front window color.   Don’t they make a darker blue?   The front end hangs down almost to the ground.  The front wheels fold in on themselves.   His hands hang out of the bottom of the chassis.   So no, there is not much going on here that works.   I do like the front hood scoop though.  Pretty aggressive and cool.

008: Smokescreen

Out of the box, this is how he looks.  That blue thing around his head is pretty damn stupid looking.  My fingers were crossed when I bought him that this could be fixed.

Apparently it is supposed to be pulled back and hooked into little hooks on his shoulders.  Okay, that is a little better… but not what I REALLY wanted.

AH HA!!!  WOO HOO!!!  That is what I wanted.  A Prime Smokescreen.  Take off all of the Beast Hunters stuff, and you get a base model Smokescreen.  Tomy tried to pass off a repainted Knock Out as Smokescreen back in Japan.  I guess they did not really like it all that much, since it pretty much looked like a white Knock Out.  I was sad we did not get Smoke before the first series of Prime ended.  I am glad I have him now.  No Beast Hunters gear required.

Transform him, and you have his awesome vehicle mode.   By far the best vehicle in the wave, and gives Wheeljack a run for the best race car.   He has wrap-around windows, clear glass over the headlights, and look at the details down along the front bumper.  Outstanding.  He is really tricky to transform at the end.  Mostly getting his arms folded just right since they become the roof and hood of the car.  Kids are going to find this part a bit tricky.

And, because I have it.  With the Beast Hunters accessories.   Pretty nice across the front.  Looks like he is ready for Death Race.   I don’t know if they were thinking of going Bublebee’s way and giving him extra missiles on the side, but he has little ‘c’ clamps on both sides that look like they should be holding something.

There we have Series 2 Deluxe Autobots in all their glory.   3 great cars, and a clunky (tiny) truck.  Sorry Bulk!

I am starting to think they would have been a little more accurate calling the show “Dragon Hunters.”  Ah well, this is starting to look like a tough team of Predacons.  Just wait until I unleash Predaking.  He is on his way soon.

As always, go to my Flickr page to see more pictures.


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