Friday, 18 February 2011

Alternators Ravage (Jaguar XK)

Here's an oddity for the Alternators line - a British car... with a British number plate... but the steering wheel on the wrong side. Actually, that's not much of an oddity, is it? It would have been an oddity if the steering wheel had been on the right side.

And so, after the fan outcry over Alternators Battle Ravage being a biped, and therefor clearly based on X-9/Ravage from Beast Wars Metals, rather than the 'true' Ravage... One could argue back and forth for years as to whether or not they are actually one and the same, but from different parts of their timeline... but the net result would probably be a headache and a huge increase in Geek Points.

Some folks actually managed to get a passable quadruped out of Battle Ravage... but everyone wanted a proper one just the same...

Beast Machines Megatron Megabolt

This toy was released as part of the Robots in Disguise line, but it's perfectly obvious to anyone that it doesn't fit that line. The closest it comes to RiD, supposedly, is that it fits into the HeadMaster space on Fortress/Brave Maximus but, with no actual connector piece, it seems unlikely that this was intentional.

The design is actually based upon Megatron's battleship from the final few episodes of Beast Machines, and the overall aesthetic - not to mention the rather garish colourscheme - suits that range far more closely. Scale is a bit of an issue... Considering the battleship was huge - almost a city in itself - and this thing is the equivalent of a Deluxe toy. Had it been made to fit its original scale, its robot mode would be colossal... but Megatron's battleship never actually transformed in Beast Machines, nor was there any real indication that it could. Nevertheless, robot mode's head design most closely resembles Megatron's Beast Machines appearance, particularly when the mask - attached to the missile launcher - is engaged.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Classics Cyclonus

One of the best things about the Classics line is when it takes a character from Generation 1 which had a really terrible toy back in the 80s, and creates something that is both an excellent homage and a vast improvement. Cyclonus is one such toy. The 1986/87 version of Cyclonus could, theoretically, have been more poseable than it was - it had articulated knees, hips, shoulders and elbows, more than most TransFormers back then - but the joints were designed for transformation, rather than for movement.

This update, using the very best of current toymaking nous, manages to look better than both the G1 toy and animation model, while retaining all the design cues that make it Cyclonus... and even manages to improve on the old TargetMaster gimmick quite significantly.

Classics Grimlock

By and large, I really do not like the Dinobots. Not the concept (robots that transform into... robotic dinosaurs?), not the characters. I didn't bother picking up any of the G1 Dinobots, and only bought the third-party-manufactured World's Smallest Dinobots because they were limited editions and incredibly cool at the time. I'm really not sure why I bought Classics Grimlock... but the reuses of the mold - TFCC's Shattered Glass Grimlock and Takara Tomy's Classics Overkill - were pretty good. Shame I don't own either of them... Yet...

Henkei Lambor

Nowadays, when folks refer to 'The Twins', they're invariably speaking of the much-maligned Skids and Mudflap from Revenge of the Fallen. Back in the days of Generation 1, however, 'The Twins' were Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, the brutally effective fighting team who somehow managed to be Autobots, despite their obvious penchant for violence. I don't recall anything being made of their status as 'brothers' in either the G1 TV series or the Marvel comics... and in the IDW series where Sunstreaker seems to get blown up, Sideswipe isn't even around to see it, let alone offer any kind of reaction... Still, better that than street-talkin' stupidity and slapstick 'humor'...

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Revenge of the Fallen Demolishor

One of the (few) things I actually liked about Revenge of the Fallen was the variety in robot designs. While the original stuck to bipedal robots on both sides (other than Scorponok), the sequel took an 'anything goes' attitude - these were alien robots, after all... they didn't have to conform to any physical standard, let alone that of humans... And Demolishor is one of my favourite designs from the movie. Rampaging through Shanghai on a pair of massive wheels, he was improbably deadly to soldiers and civilians alike, until his joyride was dramatically curtailed by Optimus Prime blasting a bloody great hole in his head:
Demolishor (ominously, portentiously): "The Fallen shall rise again..."
Optimus Prime (obdurately): "Not today."
Blam.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Beast Wars II Lio Convoy

Strange how things change... When I first saw this thing, I thought it looked pretty daft. Then again, I thought most if not all of Beast Wars looked daft. Once I'd warmed to the idea, and started collecting Beast Wars toys (mainly through eBay or the re-releases), I really wanted Lio Convoy... That same lion's head on one shoulder that I'd ridiculed a few years before suddenly looked awesome. The first version I managed to find, however, was the downsized Robot Masters version and its black repaint... Though it wasn't long till I found the original...

Human Alliance Sideswipe

It's a very strange thing... First, you have the announcement that Sideswipe would be appearing in Revenge of the Fallen (good news), then that he would take the form of the Corvette Stingray (interesting news, since that car would be more appropriate for Tracks) and that it would be silver, rather than Sideswipe's trademark red (messing with the character)... Then the design appeared... and it looked pretty awesome, then the film happened, and many people wondered what the point had been - he had maybe two lines in the whole film and, while his assault upon poor Sideways was no doubt impressive, it served as evidence that the Autobots were little more than a bunch of vicious killers.

Toy-wise, Sideswipe has been a mixed bag. The original Deluxe - already repainted several times - was a bit of a let-down in terms of poseability and stability, then the Sidearm version was a huge improvement, but still not great... So how does the larger-format Human Alliance version stack up?

Monday, 14 February 2011

Armada Unicron

In the wake of the 1986 Animated TransFormers movie, numerous attempts were made to create a toy of the Dark God, the Planet Eater, the Chaos Bringer, the Multiversal Singularity known as Unicron. Most never saw the light of day, except as either resin prototypes or display pieces at toy shows. In the case of the first attempts, this can only be a good thing... but, having seen the grey resin prototype of Beast Wars Neo Unicron, many fans - myself included - hoped that would get a full production release. Sadly, it was not to be... but TransFormers: Armada, which later became chapter one in the so-called Unicron Trilogy, brought the Planet Eater to centre stage and, finally, a toy was released. No surprises, it took the largest size class - Supreme - to do the character justice... but is this the toy fans had been waiting for..?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Glaring Omission

I've just realised/noticed that I don't appear to have taken any photos of Armada Unicron... Not that I've done a great deal on the Armada/Micron Legend line so far in this blog... but I could have sworn I'd at least done the photos. Strange, considering I've done almost everything else - and I'm pretty sure that includes Primus.

Still, first opportunity I get, when there's some decent light, I'll whip him out of his cabinet and take some photos... Which might just encourage me to actually post a halfway decent update.

The trouble with having almost everything photographed is that I need to find the inclination to write about all these darned toys. Inclination which just hasn't been there recently. Oh well.
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