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The plastic manifestations of our our geekiest fantasies.

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Ryokuro
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:18 pm

I got WfC Hound!

He's pretty cool. One of the weirder leg transformations I've seen. And he's a fine replacement for Classics Hound, which I always thought was a bit cheesy looking (and not in a good way).
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Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:43 pm

Lucky!

Hound is definitely on my list to get from wave 1, as well as Cog and Skytread. I'll probably skip Sideswipe, since I still like the Universe version, and I like that he shares a mold with Sunstreaker and Red Alert. No subsequent set of Lamborghinis have shared a mold.
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Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:42 pm

Transformers WfC: Siege Storm Cloud and Visper

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Storm Cloud and Visper are members of the Decepticon Air Strike Patrol, and are the third and final set of Micromasters in wave 1 of Siege. Both are black and purple robots that turn into tiny jets.

Poor Whisper is now renamed Visper for trademark reasons, but I'll continue to call him Whisper, because Visper isn't a real word. He's the one with the purple torso and silver face. Like the G1 toy, his new mold retains the distinctive pods on the sides of his head, similar to Starscream and the Seekers. He even has new details, like red paint on his wings, that the G1 version lacked.

Storm Cloud has his unique lime green face that really stands out among all the black and purple. And due to his transformation, he's the only Micromasters with elbows! But he's lacking hands, instead he has pegs that can hold the Targetmasters' "fire effects." In jet mode, they become the engines. He has a few silver paint details that his G1 toy never had.

The sword that they make when combined is okay, though it's two jets with their tail ends stuck together. At least on one side, there's no obvious robot parts. It would look good in the hands of a Voyager like Megatron.

This set is probably my favorite of the first wave of Micromasters. The robots are nice upgrades to the originals, and both have nice tight joints. The pictures above don't show it, but their wings can fold back to give them better humanoid robots. They have big heel spurs to balance their big backpacks. Their jet modes peg together tightly, and each has a distinct shape. The transformations are simple, and the parts don't get in each other's way. Even the plastic feels like better quality than the Race Car Patrol.
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Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:06 pm

Transformers Power of the Primes Predaking

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Each year since 2013, Hasbro has released a Titan class figure. This year it was the combiner, Predaking. He's made up of five Predacon figures, each one Voyager sized (similar to the Devastator combiner from 2015).

The Predacons each transform into a rather boxy animal, with some combination of black, red, orange and yellow color schemes. Tantrum (now called Torox) the bull and Headstrong the rhino both have large combiner thighs stuck under their animal modes, which I thought would suck, but in person they don't look too bad. Those two share a lot of engineering and the same transformation sequence, but all of their parts are uniquely molded. Divebomb the bird is absolutely massive, since he separates into two parts: one becomes an arm while the other part becomes Predaking's lower torso and wings. And he has an impressive wingspan. Razorclaw the lion has probably the weakest animal mode; his back half is made up of panels. It makes sense though, since he houses Predaking's head. Rampage the tiger is just kind of there as the other big cat, but kind of an average animal mode.

Their robot modes are mostly average too, nothing too complicated in their transformations. Several of them have really simple heads and faces that, when upsized to a Voyager, look downright generic. At least they have better engineering than the Constructicons, all of them have elbows. They are stand well, except when Tantrum and Headstrong hold their big guns (which are Predaking's feet), they tend to make them top-heavy.

Of course, the individual robots are secondary to the combiner. He is huge, standing at 18" tall, twice the height of the regular combiners. He's just a smidge shorter than Devastator, but makes up for it with the two cannons on his shoulders and his big wings. All of his joints are tight ratchet joints, which is another bonus over Devastator, who tends to have loose elbows so he can't lift his gun. His giant feet (with ankle tilts!) allow him to hold lots of cool poses. Razorclaw and Rampage's gun combine to form a big gun that pegs into Predaking's forearm, but unfortunately he doesn't come with his trademark giant gold sword. He also doesn't have his big knuckle spikes. I'm sure there's a third-party company out there that's already making them. One accessory he does come with is a Matrix and an exclusive Onyx Prime Primemaster that locks behind Razorclaw's lion head. There's also a huge sticker sheet that improves his look even more. Divebomb easily has the most stickers, with two for each wing.

Predaking, like the other Titan class toys, are expensive, but in my mind they're worth it. Especially the combiners like Predaking and Devastator. They may not have the sound and light gimmicks like the citybots, but the many individual figures provide plenty of play value. Hasbro has already teased that the next Titan figure will be Omega Supreme, so look for that review after next Christmas.
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Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:00 pm

Transformers Power of the Primes Optimal Optimus

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Every year, Habro holds a fan poll. Last year, it was to pick the next Prime, with no information as to what that would entail. Turns out, it was a poll to determine who would be made into a Leader class toy in PotP. And the winner was Optimus Primal from Beast Wars.

The Leader class gimmick for PotP was an "evolution" from a smaller, Deluxe size toy, to a powered up version by combining with armor. The only other Leader class toys were Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime, and their black "evil" repaints.

One advantage over the other Leaders is that the larger armor can stand on its own as a seperate figure. There's actually several different configurations that are possible with the two figures. The smaller toy doesn't turn into a gorilla, but a spaceship. The larger gorilla can be posed on it like a surfboard, a reference to Optimus Primal's Transmetal mode. They can combine to the larger robot mode, or even a gorilla mode with cannons on the back. He also has a jet mode that is unconvincing, but accurate to the cartoon. It is missing an armored car mode that the original toy had.

Like the other Leader class toys, Primal comes with a Matrix. His sits in the cockpit, just like in the Beast Wars episode "Optimal Situation." He also comes with two guns that can be pegged on to several spots, or held by either robot. They look a little weird in the armor's hands because the peg hole is on the thumbs. The guns can also be connected to make a larger rifle.

I had skipped the other Legends toys, but Optimus Primal was the one I was most excited for. Unfortunately, he was only in stores for a couple weeks at the beginning of December. He might be hard to find now.
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Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:54 pm

Transformers WFC-Siege Blowpipe

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It feels odd to go from reviewing a Titan class toy and a Leader Class toy, the two largest in the brand, to reviewing a Battle Master toy that's less than two inches tall. But here goes.

Blowpipe is the Targetmaster partner of the Decepticon Triggerhappy (who got a new toy in Titans Return). He has one of those names that sounds weird when translated from the original Cybertronian...you know, like Erector.

This new Blowpipe is a pretty simple toy. He's got a grey torso with light blue limbs all on ball joints, and a light blue gun barrel that can peg onto his shoulders or his arm. He has a dark green face and yellow visor painted on his tiny head, and a little Decepticon logo on his chest. His colors don't quite match Triggerhappy's, the blue is lighter and the grey is darker, but that's actually pretty accurate to the G1 toy.

Blowpipe is essentially engineered the same as fellow Battle Master Firedrive, only in the opposite direction. Firedrive has his pistol grip on his back, and his legs fold up onto his chest, which provides a nice smooth robot mode. Blowpipe, on the other hand, has his pistol grip right in the middle of his chest, and everything folds up across his back. This, again, is accurate to the G1 toy. With these two molding styles, I could see these being used as the basis for remaking all the humanoid Targetmaster partners, just by changing the gun barrels and the colors. Blowpipe is already confirmed to be getting a retool as Aimless in the second wave of Siege.

Blowpipe also comes with a pretty cool fire effect, a bright yellow starburst explosion that can peg onto the end of his gun barrel. It can also be separated into two parts, the longer "burst" that connects to 3mm pegs (like his barrel) and the outer ring that can fit over a 5mm peg (like his grip). It's probably the best of the fire effects, and I've seen several fans stating they wish they could get more of them without having to buy a bunch of Blowpipes.

While fiddling with his toy right now while writing this review, I just realized that underneath his barrel is a 5mm port, which can hold the grip of another Battle Master. That means there's a possibility for Double Targetmaster partners, like those of Quake, that combine to make a bigger gun. Neat!

It seems silly that Hasbro recently made new versions of several Targetmasters, and is now going back and selling their partners separately. But if that's what it takes to get these unique little bots, I hope they stick with it. At least until we get the partners for Targetmasters they released. There's still plenty that haven't seen an update yet.
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Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:56 pm

Transformers WFC-Siege Lionizer

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Lionizer is the third and final Battle Master in wave one of Siege. He's something of an anomaly, in that he's not humanoid, and not a G1 Targetmaster partner, but was originally an Action Master partner. If you don't remember, Action Masters were the the Transformers that didn't transform, but some of the new characters came with partners that could turn into weapons. One such Action Master was Rad, and his partner was Lionizer. Now, strangely, Rad hasn't gotten a new update, but Lionizer has.

Lionizer changes from a black and grey lion with a big gun mounted on his back to a sword for larger toys to hold. I think he actually looks more like a wolf, with his skinny head, but I think his mane is completed with the molded detail on his torso. While Firedrive and Blowpipe make a point of looking accurate to their G1 versions, Lionizer is way off. His G1 toy had a bright orange body with a grey head and limbs, this new toy is has a black torso and limbs and only a grey head and blade. Nobody knows why Hasbro made this change, it's not like either color combo is accurate to a real lion. He has painted red eyes and an itty-bitty Autobot logo on his forehead.

His sword mode has a very chunky hilt with a very short blade. It would probably look best in the hand of a Deluxe figure; any bigger and he's going to look like a dagger. The blade has a gun barrel molded in it, and his head/handgrip is on a swivel joint, so can also be held like a rifle or mounted onto a vehicle.

Like the other Battle Masters, he comes with a fire effect accessory. His is a clear blue "swoosh" thing, meant to simulate the movement of a sword being swung. It's not that great. It can also be mounted on the back of the lion to simulate a pounce.

The weird thing is, who to display Lionizer with? As I said, Rad hasn't received a new toy recently, but maybe this is a hint that he will (other Action Masters, like Krok and Banzai-Tron, have gotten recent updates). Until then, one option is to use Smokescreen from the Cybertron toyline (if you have him) as a stand-in Rad. His designer has said he was intended to be an homage to Rad. But that toy is over 10 years old itself and may be harder to find than an actual Rad toy. For my collection, I put him with my Blaster, since he's already managing a small zoo of cassette animals.
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