Tag Archives: Tomy Takara

Protectobot Groove – Transformers: Generations – Combiner Wars

We are going to go back in time a little bit today. Back to the days before the Titans Returned. Back in the days of the Combiner Wars. One G1 figure that was left out of the lineup was Groove. What a shame it was too. It seems like Hasbro made the choice of not creating the gigantic motorcycle for the Protectobots, instead going with the new character Rook. Instead, they made Groove a much smaller, more inscale Legends class figure. That did not sit right with a lot of people, since Groove was one of Defensor’s legs way back in 1986 when the Combiners first appeared.

While we were getting a tiny version of Groove here in the US in 2015, in Japan, they were getting a really great version of Groove. Finally in 2016 the US got their Groove with some strange release methods. I ended up getting him online for a killer price. One day he was $45, and then I saw him for $16.99. He has stayed that price on Amazon for a while now, and I can tell you he is worth it!

In a strange turn of events, the back of the packaging says Protectobot Groove is a part of the Sky Reign team. Umm, his name is “Protectobot” Groove. What are they thinking? Of course he is a part of Defensor and the Protectobot team. Crazy I tell you. At least they show him as the correct appendage.

Straight off, Groove looks great. He is well detailed, and has lots of good paint apps. White, gold and silver make up most of his coloring with touches of black here and there.

He comes with THREE guns. He has two blasters, equipped with police lights on the top. He also comes with the hand/foot gun that has the dual gatling guns.

From the back, you can see he is definitely a motorcycle. There is a bit of a backpack back there. As we have seen many times before, there is not really a great place to hide a motorcycle’s front wheel.

Transforming him is about as easy as the rest of the Combiner Wars figures. They are all pretty straight forward. Groove looks great in bike mode. He is about the same size as Wreck-Gar, so while he is out of scale with the rest of the vehicles, it allows another robot to ride him.

I cannot get over how cool the guns are. The red lights are the best. At the bottom, the gun handles are clear, so they are probably not supposed to be there when in bike mode. They would have blended in better with the bike without the handles sticking down there. I think that is a Tomy touch that carried back to the US and the Hasbro team.

There is a lot going on here at the front of the bike. This could have just been a sticker or a splash of silver paint, but this is a Tomy motorcycle, so there is a painted light, with clear plastic over it. He has a blue windshield, and clear red lights on the side. These are such fantastic fine details.

I am skipping Sky Reign, who they claim he belongs to, and going right to Defensor, who I know he actually belongs to.

As with most of the appendages for the Combiners, there is not a lot of parts to move to go from vehicle to body part. The legs are generally the easiest of all. As with the others, Groove can become either an arm or a leg. He was a leg back in the day, so a leg he will be again.

Finally Defensor can be put together the right way. Rook has been omitted from the line-up. First Aid moved from the right leg, to the left arm, and Groove took his rightful place as the right leg. All is right with the world.

Except for poor Rook. He is now a Combiner without a team. He is a good guy, so he will be able to stay on the team as backup.

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Transformers: Animated – Jetpack Bumblebee

I know there are people who did not like the Animated version of Transformers.  Well, I was one of them, and really, it was the show that really got me back into collecting Transformers.  I think what I like the best about Animated was that the toys looked exactly like the show.

Apparently people in Japan really liked the show too…or at least the toys since they have way more over there than we ever got here.   Having to go second-market on these does drive up the price for those of us in the United States, but sometimes it is worth a bit extra.  Especially now that we will probably never see any more come over here.

So, the one that caught my eye: Jetpack Bumblebee by Tomy Takara

Bumblebee is painted in a really nice, shiny gold paint.  His interior parts are still basic yellow.  He also comes with his jetpack and two of the missiles that the regular version comes with.

All fitted with the jetpack, everything attaches well, allowing him to hold onto the guns mounted on the front.  The guns can swivel up and down, but do not come off.  The two missiles mount on the wings.  None of the jet “fire” is removable from the pack.

Back to Bee, you can see he is slightly smaller than the standard Deluxe version.  The transformation is different too, but he comes out looking pretty close to the other version.

In vehicle mode, he is is sporty little hatchback from the show.  The gold paint is really shiny.  The fit of the pieces have a lot larger gaps than the regular version.

Transformed, the Jetpack is again able to attach to Bumblebee.  It actually uses the same attachment clips that were on Bumblebee’s back, but are now on undercarriage of the car.  The guns are the only part that look out of place in this mode.

For comparison sake, with the standard Deluxe version of Bumblebee, the Jetpack version looks a lot smaller in this mode, and has a much more angular design.

And fear not, for the fans who loved it when Bumblebee attached the missiles to his back in the show, you can still do it with this version.


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