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The plastic manifestations of our our geekiest fantasies.

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KilljoyBob
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Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:12 pm

Nice! I didn't order Nemesis Prime, since I still have the SDCC version from 2008. But I think this mold works better for him than it does for Optimus.
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Ryokuro
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Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:51 am

Yeah, the Optimus just looks like some half-baked Powermaster interpretation.
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Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:40 am

Prime Wars Special Edition Blast Off

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Blast Off is an Amazon exclusive, along with Repugnus and Punch/Counterpunch, that celebrate the Prime Wars Trilogy (Combiner Wars, Titans Return, and Power of the Primes). Blast Off is a repaint of the Takara version that turns into a shuttle (the previous Hasbro version was a repaint of an Aerialbot mold and became a jet).

Robot Mode:
Blast Off is a brown robot with a purple chest and glossy black boots. There is a pattern tampographed on his chest that matches the G1 toy's sticker. The colors match the original much better than the Takara toy, which was more orange, and also had the torso reserved so the cockpit sat on his chest. His boots are the thrusters, and look kind of silly. The head is more accurate than the Hasbro version; this one has a faceplate instead of a mouth. Blast Off comes with a small black gun and brand new silver Combiner Wars hand/foot/gun. Strangely, he doesn't have a Decepticon logo on his robot mode. Mine has a small paint erroron the eyes, which is a bummer.

Vehicle Mode:
Blast Off transforms into a brown and black shuttle (finally!), with a few purple highlights and light purple cockpit windows. If the robot doesn't have any Deception logo, the shuttle makes up for it. There's one on each wing, two on the tail, and one on the cockpit. The robot arms awkwardly sit on the sides of the shuttle, but at least they tried to hide the hands with smaller thrusters. His smaller gun pegs under the cockpit to act as landing gear, but the silver gun can peg on top of the shuttle. And there are holes on the arms and under each wing to peg more weapons if you choose.

Blast Off also comes with a unique Megatronus Prime Master cast in translucent red plastic with grey paint. It's the only way to get this version of Megatronus.

When it comes to using him as a combiner limb, I actually use the jet Blast Off's gun/hand/foot, since it matches the others in the set better than the new silver painted one.

So, is the Special Edition Blast Off worth it? He is $25 (as are the other two Special Edition toys), which is a lot for Deluxe, even with a bonus Prime Master. It really depends on how important it is to you that he's a shuttle like his G1 self. When the only two options were a jet or the even more expensive Takara shuttle, I was happy with the jet (and let's be honest, the jet does make more sense with the other combat vehicles). But as someone that likes my modern Transformers to be as close to their original toys as possible, I'm willing to pay for the new one. If you're a more casual collector, you may be happier spending your money on Repugnus or Punch/Counterpunch.
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:39 am

Prime Wars Special Edition Repugnus

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Repugnus is the second Amazon exclusive toy to celebrate the Prime Wars lines. In his case, he represents Titans Return. He shares some engineering with his fellow Monsterbots, Doublecross and Grotesque, but appears to use mostly original parts.

Robot Mode:
Rupugnus is a yellow, red, and white robot with some maroon details. He has big red pecs that become his monster arms. Unlike his partners, he lacks a crotch plate, so he has rather narrow hips. His legs look like they're the same as the other bots, but they're actually newly molded parts. His head is a Titan Master, so it becomes its own smaller robot; like Doublecross and Grotesque, his is also an homage to a Battle Beasts character. His face is molded to look like his G1 toy's, so it's rather bland and has tiny green eyes. It sucks, honestly. Fortunately, a Titan Master version of him was released at retail, featuring just a head bot and a vehicle that looks like his monster mode. That face reflects how he looked in the Headmasters cartoon, with big goggle like eyes. Most people I've seen online, and myself, simply traded the two heads. He comes with two clear green swords for weapons. Unfortunately, they peg together, so they have several pegs and slots in the backs, and only look like swords from one side. They can attach to his forearm like a bladed gauntlet, and peg onto his back like he's carrying them, so that kind of makes up for it. He can also use the Titan Master version of himself as a weapon.

Monster Mode:
He transforms into a squat insect monster. The monster's brown head just sits on the robot's back, and flips up and over. It has big clear green eyes, grey painted pinchers on the side, and a fragile moving jaw. His pecs unfold into insect arms, like those of a praying mantis, with grey blades that open out from them. His swords attach to his back to look like wings or a carapace. His Titan Master head bot can sit in his chest, just like those of his teammates, and he has a clear green window in his chest. His bug monster mode is my favorite of the three Monsterbots; it's just so goofy and cute. The colors really shouldn't work together, but somehow they look good together.

Between Blast Off and Repugnus, I definitely like Repugnus more. Blast Off was a new mold to me, but he's going to spend most of his time as Bruticus' arm. I like how the Monsterbots all share engineering, but all have enough differences to each feel unique. It helps them feel like a team without just being repaints (like Starscream and his Seekers). Repugnus may be one of the more obscure Autobots, but he has one of the most unique alternate modes. He's definitely worth the money, especially if you have Doublecross and Grotesque and you want to complete the set.
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:18 pm

Transformers Studio Series Megatron
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Yep, another Studio Series toy. This one is the Voyager class Megatron. The interesting thing about Megatron is that he has vastly different designs in each movie. This toy is based on the version of him from the second movie, Revenge of the Fallen, and so transforms into a Cybertonian tank. Now, I have several movie Megatron toys, but not this particular one, so that's how I justify it to myself.

Robot Mode:
The robot mode is amazing, which is to be expected with the Studio Series line. There is a lot of intricate molded detail all over this toy, from his face, to the tank treads and gears, to the weird uneven fingers in his left hand. The fingers are jointed and posable, and his right "hand," which is his fusion cannon, also has a jointed thumb. His sword is on a hinge, so it can be displayed or stowed. He has two guns on his shoulders, which weren't in the movie but were in some of the early designs; I assume they were added for more play value. The movie design may not be your cup of tea, but you have to admit that they captured it perfectly. I've heard some people complain that he's a flat grey instead of a more metallic silver, but that doesn't bother me.

Vehicle Mode:
This Megatron transforms into a Cybertonian tank. Or at least, he's supposed to. In reality, on mine anyway, I wasn't able to connect the legs/treads to the main body. The instructions are not helpful, since they're printed in purple and grey, and you can't see the fine details. I even watched a YouTube review to see how to connect them, and I still couldn't get it correct. The other disappointing thing about his tank mode is that his head sits between the tracks, completely exposed. There are little panels on the tracks which are supposed to hide part of it, but I can't get them in the right position either. After the other great Studio Series vehicles, it's definitely a big disappointment.

This toy is definitely a tale of two modes. Thankfully, I display my Transformers in robot mode. The vehicle mode has made me doubt whether to buy another Studio Series Voyager. I was going to buy Brawl, but left him on the shelf.
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Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:59 am

So, a follow-up on Megatron. Apparently, the first time transformed him, I missed a step that put his legs at the right width and angle to tab in. I blame the instructions.

Also, in describing the robot mode, I neglected to mention that he only looks great from the front. He has huge gaps in his torso on the sides.

You know what? This isn't a great toy.
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Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:15 pm

I just recently bought Moonracer and "Novastar" (Firestar) on an impulse, and I pretty much have to agree with KJB's review of the mold from earlier this year. They're just not great Transformers in either mode. As robots, the full backpack (windshield flipped up) is simply too heavy for anything but awkward poses, but with the windshield flipped down (as the figures are packaged), you have trouble posing the legs anyway and it looks like a bizarre robo-skirt with no front. I have the robo-skirt down on them now, because I had too hard a time keeping them standing with the big backpack.

And the car mode really is a joke. I feel like these are the worst-engineered TFs Hasbro's put out in quite some time. It's especially disappointing considering how cool the 2014 Arcee and Chromia figures were.

I find it incredible that they're retooling this mold again for another Chromia figure next year...
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KilljoyBob
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Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:16 pm

Agreed. And to me, the really dumb part about the new Chomia is that they're supposedly taking out the combiner peg. So the only possible reason for buying her, to give Elita-1 another limb, is completely negated.

I still want to find Novastar, just to get a new female Transformer, and a new character. I'm worried that she'll be hard to find, since she's the only new figure in the last wave of a line. The last waves have always been harder to find because stores typically order less of them. At least she's reported to be two to a case, so she's not also shortpacked.
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Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:59 pm

I cheated and bought Novastar on Amazon. Other than Elita-1, I think I might have at least one of all of the female Transformers, including Victorion and Slipstream. Well, I'm missing Nautica, but she's in some huge collector's box with a bunch of crap and she doesn't look like Nautica at all really.

(Nautica's in IDW's Lost Light comics. She actually has something of a "marriage of convenience" to Nova/Firestar even though they don't really like each other a whole lot. Also, in the IDW Universe, Arcee was originally Galvatron's twin brother and was converted to a "female" through mad science that drove her insane for several thousand years. Wild stuff!)
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KilljoyBob
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Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:44 am

I have Elita-1, Arcee, Chromia, Moonracer, and Nightbird. I'd really like the Victorion set, and Blackarachnia and Slipstream.
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Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:46 pm

Transformers Studio Series Brawl
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After my disappointment with Megatron, I was hesitant to buy his case mate Brawl. But Brawl is a far superior toy.

Robot Mode:
Brawl is a solid, stocky robot. He's shorter than Megatron, but wider. He's mostly a matte olive green with silver robot parts, like his face, arms, and legs. The stock photo shows him with redder eyes than the actual toy has, I wish he had more red paint on them. He is heavily armed, with a missile launcher on one arm, a claw weapon with a minigun on the other, and a set of missile pods over each shoulder. The weapons on his arms are detachable, and the minigun can detach from the claw; he can hold them in his hands as well. My biggest complaint is that his hands are molded onto the panels that make up the turret. But there is a lot of molded details that feel real, even on the underside of panels. For instance, the hatch on top of the tank is molded on both sides of the arm panel.

Vehicle Mode:
Brawl transforms into an incredibly realistic modified M1 Abrams tank. He is even more armed up in tank mode, as all his robot weapons attach to the top of the tank, plus he has the main cannon and two anti-aircraft cannons. Unfortunately, due to the transformation, the turret can't rotate. The upper turret isn't supposed to rotate, but it can be unpegged and spin. The molded detail is amazing, his tank mode looks like a model that would be owned by a military enthusiast, rather than a transforming toy. It doesn't have a lot of paint details, mostly dark green camouflage patches across the armor and glossy black paint on the treads, but it's accurate to the movie model.

Brawl is what I expect from Studio Series Voyager toy. It absolutely nails the likeness and the details in both modes. It's stable and posable in robot mode. The transformation is complicated, but not frustrating. It looks great standing next to the other Studio Series (and other movie) figures.
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Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:03 pm

Prime Wars Special Edition Punch/Counterpunch
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The final Amazon exclusive finally arrived at my house: Punch/Counterpunch, the Autobot spy.

Like the original, he has two robot modes, the Autobot Punch and the Decepticon Counterpunch, and a single car mode with no insignia on it. Each robot mode is basically on the back of the other, the biggest difference is in the placement of the car parts in the shoulders. The head features a helmet that tilts to hide the face on the back. The toy also uses the little flaps from the Power of the Primes toys; when it's on the back, the flap can be flipped down to hide the opposite team insignia. It also reveals a port where you can plug in the hand/armor he comes with, but due to Punch's shoulder kibble, it really only works in yhe Counterpunch mode.

Speaking of shoulders, there seems to be a misassembly issue with the shoulder joints. They were put in upside-down, making it hard to transform him into car mode. It's simple to fix and only takes a couple minutes, but it's a pain all the same. Some people have reported not needed to fix it, but I did on mine and he does transform easier.

The car mode does fit together really tightly. It helps to flip down the Decepticon flap while in car mode, it gives the large panels that make up his legs some space when wrapped around the torso.

Even though Punch/Counterpunch comes with a Power of the Primes hand armor piece, he doesn't have a combiner peg, and so can't become a limb for a combiner. This doesn't bother me, as I wasn't planning on using him for one anyway. Like the other two Amazon exclusives, he also comes with a Prime Master, Prima Prime.

Really, the only question I have now is, which robot mode do I display him as?
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Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:07 pm

Yep, assembly issue aside, he is a well-engineered bot. Really like how the legs fold out into the car hood and the relative simplicity of changing him from Autobot to Decepticon.

I currently have him on display as Counterpunch to help fill out my 'Con shelf a bit more.
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KilljoyBob
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Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:58 am

I decided to display him as Counterpunch as well, since he's in disguise. Plus, his legs and shoulders are more G1 accurate. But I do enjoy the color contrasts of yellow and red against the blue on Punch more.
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Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:54 pm

So here's an incredibly nerdy question that we may not have an answer for, but I found it odd:

I was looking through all my cards that came packed-in with the PotP figures I've bought and noticing all the "Prime Masters" that are paired with the characters, and all three of the characters paired with Prima (the Prime Master that was included with Punch/Counterpunch) are female-identifying Transformers, Moonracer, Novastar, and Slash. Not even Rodimus Prime...a literal Prime...is paired with Prima. And yet, Punch is? Why?
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