Reviews You Can Use

The plastic manifestations of our our geekiest fantasies.

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Ryokuro
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Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:41 pm

Nice! The only semi-original Dinobot I have is the red G2 Snarl, and he stands in dino mode on my shelf near Masterpiece Grimlock. I might pick this up to finally have a more cartoon-accurate version, but I do miss the shiny metallized bits.

I hope you're able to find Grimlock! I imagine The Hunt is only going to get harder now that TRU is a dying beast.
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Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:18 pm

Ryokuro wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:41 pm
I hope you're able to find Grimlock! I imagine The Hunt is only going to get harder now that TRU is a dying beast.
I've bought most of my recent toys from a local toy and collectable store called Hero Haven. It's a little more expensive, but they tend to be more reliable than the Walmarts and Targets around here. They said they're hoping Hasbro does a whole case of Grimlock, because that's what everyone is looking for while his case mate Starscream is a shelf warmer.
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Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:23 am

Transformers Studio Series Stinger
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Hasbro has a new sub-line of Transformers toys, called Studio Series. They are supposed to be super-detailed versions of the movie characters, with accurate vehicle modes, and the robots are all in scale with each other. So Bumblebee and Ratchet are both Deluxes, but Bumblebee is smaller than Ratchet. They also come with cardboard backdrops featuring movie scenes. The Studio Series toys are kind of hard to find, at least around here. The only place I can find them is at my grocery store, strangely enough.

Since I already have most of the movie characters, I wasn't planning on getting any of these new toys. But there was one character that never got a toy when his movie came out and was getting one in Wave 1: Stinger, the evil Bumblebee clone from Age of Extinction.

Robot Mode:
Stinger is a red and black robot that takes a lot of design cues from Bumblebee, which makes sense because in the movie he's designed based on Bee's specs. On his back, he sports four spiked wheels. He has the roof of his car folded up on one of his forearms as a "weapon." He has a lot of molded details on his arms, chest, and legs, but I do wish his hands were better defined. Other than the red and black, the only other colors on him are his lime green eyes and the silver tips of his toes.

Vehicle Mode:
Stinger transforms into a Pagani Huayra sports car. The joints to transform him are really tight, and there are 21 steps to his transformation, which is a lot for a Deluxe (they're usually 10 or 11 steps). These figures are basically smaller Masterpiece figures. Getting all his parts into place is a bit of a struggle, it'll probably take me a couple more times to get it down. His spikey wheels don't actually connect to his wheels, they store under the car. He has a Decepticon logo on the hood, there isn't one on his robot mode.
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Ryokuro
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Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:14 pm

Wow, I'm really out of the loop. Hadn't even heard they're doing a Studio Series.
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Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:51 pm

The other Studio Series figure I might be interested in is the Leader class Blackout.
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Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:22 pm

Transformers Generations PotP Grimlock
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I finally managed to track down Grimlock, the Voyager size Dinobot leader. And I have to admit, he's a little disappointing. See, for years I've had the Masterpiece Grimlock standing on my shelf in my Classics collection. MP Grimlock is huge, standing as tall as a Leader class toy, both his robot and dinosaur mode are cartoon accurate, he's got multiple colors of chrome, and he comes with a crown and a light-up sword and gun. PotP Grimlock has...none of that.

Robot Mode:
Of his two "main" modes, the robot mode is the strongest. It definitely has all the marks of Grimlock: a broad gold chest, red "shorts" and wings made from the dino torso. But it is definitely lacking in other areas. For one, it is short. He's short compared to the other PotP Voyagers I have, Hun-Gurr and Elita-1. He's a head shorter than the War For Cybertron Grimlock that came out several years ago. I kept looking to see if there were thigh extenders or something to make him taller, but there aren't. Also, he doesn't come with any real weapons, he only has the combiner feet that can attach to his forearms, but that's a problem with all the PotP Voyagers.

Dinosaur Mode:
His T-Rex mode, on the other hand, is a mess. While everything from his chest upwards looks good (although small), everything below is pretty rough. His hips are insanely wide and don't look like they connect to his torso in a realistic way that would let him walk. His tail suffers from having the combiner ports on the side. And his back is a jumble of panels that are clearly meant for his combiner mode, including a big crotch plate. It's clear that this was the mode that was sacrificed for the combiner to look good.

Really, the main reason I got him was so I could make...

VOLCANICUS!
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Ryokuro
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:06 pm

That was basically what I was afraid of with the idea of Dinobots-as-Combiners: all the engineering sacrifices you have to make to get it to work...especially on whoever ends up being the torso. Hopefully Volcanicus is worth it?
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KilljoyBob
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:58 pm

Volcanicus is pretty amazing in hand. The cohesive color scheme of the Dinobots really makes him look like he should have always existed. He works best with the configuration shown in the picture above, since Sludge and Snarl don't work well as arms. There are holes in Grimlock's torso that are specifically to plug the extra combined hands in and fill out Volcanicus' torso. It's a shame he doesn't come with any weapons though. Some people have given him the sword from War for Cybertron, but it's really small in the hand of a combined. I tried it myself, and can confirm that it's too small for him. I guess he's a "fight with his bare hands" kind of bot.
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Ryokuro
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:22 pm

There'll probably be some massive, insane 3rd party sword for Volcanicus to drag behind him.
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KilljoyBob
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:21 pm

Oh, I'm sure someone is already making one.
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KilljoyBob
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Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:57 pm

Not just a new sword. A whole upgrade kit.
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Ryokuro
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Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:29 pm

Sword's not big enough. :D

That, and I bet it costs more than it cost to build Volcanicus in the first place. Looks good, though. Bulks him up appropriately and who doesn't like fully-articulated hands?
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KilljoyBob
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Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:45 am

Yeah, 3rd party sets are not cheap. I bought the FansProject armor sets for Ultra Magnus and Rodimus Prime, as well as their Springer figure. They were each about $80. The iGear Kup head replacement I bought cost about as much as the Generations Kup himself. But it did come with two heads and a screwdriver to make the change.
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Ryokuro
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Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:58 pm

I went CRAZY and bought PotP Rodimus Prime a couple days ago. A year or two ago I might not have bothered, but MTMTE has given me a new appreciation of Rodimus.

My short little review: The Rodimus Prime figure is a beast. Far more intimidating than the cartoon Rodimus Prime ever was. At a glance, he's very cool looking. But the arms - specifically the shoulders - are very strange and limit his articulation somewhat. Also, you can see Hot Rod's hands underneath Rodimus Prime's chest piece. How is that even a thing? Well, because "Rodimus Prime" in this case is just a suit of armor for Hot Rod!

The smaller figure is folded up and nestled within, complete with his own head and everything. I'd argue that Hot Rod (I call him Hot Rod for clarity's and nostalgia's sake) is actually the best mode. He's a very tall deluxe-size figure, maybe even voyager, especially with the way deluxes have been shrinking. And unlike Rodimus Prime, this mode is very sleek with great articulation. The only problem is when you have Hot Rod out and about, there's not much to be done with the exo-armor.

That brings us to the third mode, the car/trailer. It's not great. The armor just gets mashed into a trailer-like shape with plenty of ugly seams. Even the box picture can't make it look good. Nothing really fits together very well, and it's sort of a struggle to get everything just right. Hot Rod transforms into a car and slides underneath exactly like his original G1 toy, but unlike the G1 toy, there is no big cool gun that pops out of the trailer.

So definitely a mixed bag. I will probably just end up displaying this as Rodimus, but I'm sorely tempted to show off Hot Rod and just hide the armor/trailer somewhere.
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KilljoyBob
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Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:43 pm

The Leader class Optimus and Rodimus are too big to be in scale for my collection. But they definitely look cool. I might pick up the Optimus Primal, since I've never had a good version of him. The best one I had was the brown repaint from the Cybertron toyline. Ironically, Optimus Primal is a lot smaller than the original Autobots in the Beast Wars cartoon.
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