Sunday, 28 April 2013

TransFormers (Movie) Payload

While the live action TransFormers movie had a limited cast of robot characters (and far too many humans, but that's another post altogether), the videogame based on the movie allowed for an extended line of new toys based on characters developed specifically for the game. Problem was, all the new robot designs were basically drones... Hasbro had to turn them into something else.

Payload is one just one such example but, while some of the other characters created from videogame artwork had their monocular drone heads replaced, Payload was one of those who did not. So, how does a videogame TransFormer translate into plastic?

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Dark of the Moon Mechtech Megatron

There were few characters in Michael Bay's TransFormers movies more contentious than Megatron. The fans had a very strong idea of what he should be, and Bay's production team singularly failed to deliver on all counts. In the first movie, he was a spindly Cybertronian attack jet that transformed into a ridiculously large, bulky and Shrike-like robot. In the second, rebuilt using parts from his minions, he became a spiny tank which transformed into a robot no less Shrike-like, but for the addition of what's known widely as the Murder Arm. Both had toys in Leader, Voyager and Legends classes and all were pretty terrible. Considering that, in many ways, Megatron played second fiddle in all three movies, would it be reasonable to expect his third incarnation would be any better?

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A Public Service Announcement

A few weeks back, I happened to be in a branch of Toys'R'Us (you'd be surprised how easily I find myself in toyshops... it's quite uncanny) and picked up TransFormers: Prime Robots In Disguise Voyager Skyquake. I'll do a review eventually, so I won't go into too much detail about the model here... Suffice it to say there was something a little odd about the feet - they didn't sit flush with the 'ankles', and so he looked a little less stable than he should. Believing initially that the feet had been transposed when the model was first put together, I opened up his lower legs and switched them around... yet they still looked wrong.

Looking more closely, I realised that only one foot was wrong... regardless of which way round they were.

Skyquake had been assembled with two right feet.

It doesn't actually affect his stability (not as much as having a completely fixed footprint, pretty dramatically limiting the posing options outside of 'standing up straight'), but it's one of those things that preys on my mind (no, really, I'm that anal about toy assembly faults sometimes).

This weekend, while out browsing the shops before a movie, I happened to be in a branch of The Entertainer (see, it really is easy!) which was stocking TF:Prime Voyagers at the knockdown (or should that be Knock Out?) price of £15 and saw that the selection included the second colouring of that mold, Dreadwing. I hadn't really intended to buy Dreadwing, despite the fact that he's the version who appears in the show in a non-Zombie state - and voiced by Tony Todd, no less - but an eight pound saving swung the balance... and surely I wouldn't pick up another misassembled version of this mold?

Well... Yes and no. Pretty much the first thing I did, having liberating Dreadwing from his packaging, was check the feet.

He had two left feet.

I couldn't believe how lucky I was, as this meant I could disassemble one leg of each, swap the feet, and have two perfect models.

The it hit me - maybe it wasn't luck, maybe it was a larger factory error: had Skyquake got all the right feet, and Dreadwing all the left? Stranger things have happened (remember e-Hobby's Cobalt Sentry Howlback, with two of the same missile launcher?).

So, here's the Public Service Announcement:
"Skyquake and Dreadwing... On their own, they'll never be dancers...
...but together, they're unstoppable!

No, hang on, that's not it...
"If you pick up either Skyquake or Dreadwing, and one of their feet doesn't sit flush with the bottom of the lower leg, it would be worth checking out the other to see if it has two of the opposite foot, allowing you to make a trade."