Combiner Wars Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Shin Densetsu, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. barry

    barry Well worn member

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    Undoubtedly one of the top five iconic Transformers of all time (cue someone doubting it) but I wonder how many people in Hasbro regret making someone that turns into a handgun such an important character. I mean, it was obvious why. Sure Soundwave is in the same size class as Megatron but he doesn't come with as much plastic as ol' Megs and his stock and barrel 'weapons emplacement'. But since, I guess, the early 90's we've had so many get around for this guy being a handgun. Tanks, jets, dragons, dinosaurs, friggin nerf guns. Anything that we couldn't possibly mistake for a replica handgun. I find it hard to cast any blame. In many ways, we live in edgier times than the 1980's, and even then I remember having to throw my plasticene away at the airport back then because it looked like plastic explosives to airport security.

    Click for the full review
    In some ways, Megatron was the most boring of all the Decepticon leaders I remember. When I think back to the comics he seemed so much less effective than Shockwave, his future self, or even Soundwave. He was your kind of standard issue cackling bad guy in the cartoon but an unarguably awesome and brutal bastard Transformers the Movie. Nevertheless, when it came time to go pick out a toy for my seventh birthday he was the guy I had to have. I knew my gran had got me Optimus Prime so the prospect of having the two leaders, one in each hand, duking it out was pretty much totally thrilling. I pointed him out to my Dad who took him to the counter and paid what must have been around forty pounds in today's money. All excited I got him out the box and straight away went to transform him into robot mode...only for him to snap at the waist straight away. My Dad took me straight back to the shop and will have eloquently argued until I was able to go back to the Transformers aisle and pick another toy. I didn't want to just get another Megatron because that had gone really badly. I think I spent a long time looking. Maybe too long. I was tired. It had been a long day after all. I picked Staks. The Gobot Staks. Not the big one that came with the car carrying trailer. Just your regular, bog standard, doesn't even have a head, Staks. To this day I will never understand what was going on in my head.

    If i was being generous I'd say Megatron was a quirky, yet distinctive looking figure. There's not a single detail of his robot mode that looks 'right' to me. From the big trigger sticking out from his crotch, his spindly legs, his stubby arms, the scope that's an absurd and unmanageably sized cannon to that headsculpt. It's almost like he's been put through a fish eye lens; tiny chin, massive forehead. Nothing about him even whispers 'leader', never mind screams it. Of course he comes from a time when the robot was the secondary consideration. The Microchange designers never had to anticipate the dissonance many of us felt in having the iconic leader of the Decepticons be such a ganky looking figure. For them it was rolpelay mode first, robot second. And there is no doubt that Megatron's pistol mode is totally excellent. I used to own a few replica guns when I was a kid, mainly presents from my odder uncle, and Megatron was almost as convincing a replica as any of these.

    Combiner Wars Megatron was probably the first Generations Megatron that looked right to my eyes. Maybe I'm an old fart that wants my Megatron to look like the character I remember from Geoff Senior's drawings. Yeah maybe, but I love Beast Wars and Transformers Animated Megatron. It's just that my CHUG shelf is my my IDW shelf, and IDW Megatron is in serious debt to yer old 80's UK Megs. Plus I hate nerf. The robot mode is imposing, robust and fairly well proportioned. I'd say maybe the legs were still a bit skinny, but not so much that it frustrates. Having such a lot of G1-esque detail in the chest is a smart move as it distracts from the less satisfying deviations, like the legs. To be fair, they've tried to represent the black handle grip, but it's not a unqualified success. I love his headsculpt. My Megatron was never the cackling guy from the cartoon. It was the sneering, superior warlord from the comics, and the sculpt captures the imperious aloofness of that character.

    The tank mode is a wonder. Easily one of the best tank modes of the modern era. A 360 degree rotating turret that has a believable looking cannon, two sets of moving tracks each side, solving the perennial problem of 'how do we make the tracks work when the inevitably have to split in half. It's even amazing how little robot kibble jumps out at you as look underneath it. The transformation is a smooth one too. My only substantial complaint is a worthless one; this guy is too tall for my Lost Light crew display. But hey, that's what the inferior TR Megatron is here for, right?

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  2. vvvTheONEvvv

    vvvTheONEvvv \/ He Thinks He's Smart.

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    Don't forget, you can do this with CW megs as well. :thumb 

    20160512_195021.jpg
     
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  3. barry

    barry Well worn member

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    I did not know that! Top tip!
     
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  4. WheelWave140

    WheelWave140 Hate's not cool, dudes!

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    "I thought we told you not to come around here wearing... those... anymore, Defensor."
    "No! I swear! They're just temporary! Mine are on the way!"
    "We don't take kindly to HFG's around here, boy."
    IMG_3691.JPG
    God, I love these PE hands and feet. I wish I had a set for Defensor but I'm balancing my spending and they just don't fit in the budget right now. I gotta actually finish my Superion (damned $70 quickslingers!)
     
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  5. deruberhanyok

    deruberhanyok Likes the G2 neon lights

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    The KOs are just as good quality as the actual PE ones, available in more colors, and about half the price, if that helps you out.
     
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  6. WheelWave140

    WheelWave140 Hate's not cool, dudes!

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    I am buying the KOs. I got the Bruticus and Computron sets for about $30 shipped.

    I'm just cheap and have a lot of other things to spend money on.
     
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  7. stprime

    stprime THE Prime that the Matrix refused.

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    Does anyone remember who made the UM arm fillers on shapeways?
     
  8. smf2045

    smf2045 Aficionado of Combiners

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    Finally got CW Sky Lynx off of Amazon today.

    [​IMG]

    He looks great, but his hips are super loose.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. barry

    barry Well worn member

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    Poor old Ultra Magnus. Poor old doomed Ultra Magnus. What is it about this guy that makes writers want to put him through the ringer so badly. Now, I don't follow every single continuity but in the uk comics, the G1 cartoon (specifically the movie), the Japanese cartoon, Transformers:Animated, the IDW comics, and Transformers: Prime the writers have just brutalised the guy. Maybe he just provides a dramatic opportunity that old Optimus Prime doesn't? Either way it endeared a lot of us to him. Well, apart from that "I can't deal with that right now" line. Big sigh.

    Click the spoiler for the full review
    Of course as the 100% completely and utterly obsessed TF:UK comics fan, I got to know Ultra Magnus through his appearances in Target:2006. This was pretty much the peak of my devotion as a childhood fan. He seemed like such a fresh Character at the time, that mix of incredible power, determination and self doubt. Of course through adult eyes I recognise him as being very much in the Stan Lee/Chris Claremont tradition. But maybe that was part of the genius of Furman, just taking a lot of stuff us wee kids had never seen before, mixing it all up and then throwing in a crazy pile of his own ideas. It certainly gave his Transformers comics a depth that other stuff TV tie in comics lacked.

    So much of what we now know so well and recognise as quintessentially Ultra Magnus was there in that story. The scene where he chews out the comparatively tiny little Hound for not understanding that he's been sent to do a specific job and can't go on wild goose chases for scary Decepticons from the future resonates with the modern, uptight and officious Magnus we've seen in James Roberts' MTMTE comics and the Transformers: Prime cartoon. Likewise the iconic battle with Galvatron, where Magnus commits utterly and gives his all, only to get his arse totally and utterly kicked. We always loved the characters that Furman did, from Grimlock, to Nightbeat. And man, did he ever love Ultra Magnus.

    So when Christmas '86 came around and a friend got Ultra Magnus it was kind of disappointing to see that he was a white Optimus Prime wearing dungarees and a hat. As benighted little parasitic consumers, dependant on our adult units for purchasing power, we knew nothing of Diaclone Powered Convoy. Would it have mattered much if we did? Who knows? We just had this weird toy that had the classic, well articulated Optimus attach to a flimsy car carrier trailer to become this big goofy looking robot with crazy long arms and a weird, weird face. I know I wanted to love this toy, but it wasn't an easy job. The truck/car carrier mode was great, after all that's what Takara designed as the priority mode, but the alt mode's were never the main draw for me as a kid.

    I love him now. Completely. As an adult, knowing all about your pre-transformer lore, he makes fine sense to me and I appreciate all his quirks. Part of me wonders if he'd come out in '84, or even '85 he'd have been easier for me eight year old self to get his head round. Having such an 'old fashioned' come out at the point where the design aesthetic was changing does seem like an odd choice, with it's various fists and wot not that have to be taken off and reattached. But like I say, I look at it now and think 'how utterly cool and quite, quite charming'. I love how the complete lack of articulation in the legs doesn't matter because WHEELS IN FEET! Those super, super long arms just make him look like the super strong bugger he was meant to be. I even love the face sculpt in the helmet. It has a look of alien wonder to it.

    Ultra Magnus/Minimus Ambus may well be my favourite character in James Roberts MTMTE. So many of my favourite issues have Magnus at the centre and I loved the mystery and revelations surrounding him in season 1 and his friendship with Megatron in season 2 has been a real highlight. So naturally I was overjoyed when I found out that not only were we getting an Ultra Magnus based on the comic designs, but that he'd come with a Minimus Ambus. And that what we got was one of the best leader class toys was about as satisfying as it got.

    I played with CW Ultra Magnus so much. He took pride of place in my collection and when my hand would reach out for a toy to fiddle around with, he was the one that hand would land on more often than not. First of all he looks magnificent in his robot mode. He looks massive and imposing, with a smallish head and massive limbs that make him look like a serious body builder. It's apt for such a powerhouse. The detail on the mold, particularly around his chest, is great and I love the head sculpt. It's almost Judge Dredd like in it's stern-ness. The shoulder rockets are nice, if perhaps a slightly clunky attachment. The only bit that ever bothers me is the legs. Or rather the feet. There's a graceless chunkiness to them and the gap between foot and shin really grates. But it's a minor complaint. He looks brilliant in my Lost Light crew display.

    I'm just as satisfied by the transformation to alt mode. How to make a Magnus that works as a truck with a car carrier trailer but without an Optimus component seems to have been an obstacle for some time, but this works round it well. The cab swivels round and make up mass of his chest. It really is quite evocative of the old G1 figure. The truck itself is great. I know a lot of people were irritated by the scaling of the vehicle details, with the tiny ladder and door indicating that this was about the cab was about the size of a house. If i thought about it too much it'd probably wind me up, but it's an easy detail to ignore. I'm Just able to look at him along side other CW land vehicles, like your Stunticons or Protectobots, and think "yeah, that works.". Of course, the real value added treat is Minimus. They took some pretty broad liberties with his design, but it's so good to see the comics influence the toyline so overtly that grumbling about something like that would be hideously petty. He's simple, but charming (my girlfriend says the same thing about me), and they've squeezed a lot into such a small toy. He's got a decent and engaging little transformation sequence and has more articulation than something this tiny should have. Even just sitting him in his little pilot seat in the 'Magnus armour'bring a smile to my face. It's the details that make this toy such fun and there's so much of them that I can't help but think the designer loved Ultra Magnus as a kid just as much as the rest of us.

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  10. vvvTheONEvvv

    vvvTheONEvvv \/ He Thinks He's Smart.

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    Another bangin' read, @barry

    Loving the format... Almost forget I am on TFW reading a post from you, as it feels more of a mainline blog on some upscale TF devotion fan site. :thumb 

    Keep it up, or create your own thread while your at it with these posts... Just remember, I followed first, :lol 
     
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  11. barry

    barry Well worn member

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    haha, cheers man. After quite a bit of encouragement on the UK thread I am planning to put up a proper blog to archive all these rambles. Probably going to try and get a decent camera too and take some better quality pictures. Should be a laugh.
     
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  12. vvvTheONEvvv

    vvvTheONEvvv \/ He Thinks He's Smart.

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    The TFUK'ers thread has over 3k posts for me to catch up on, so I am already wincing at the attempt to dive in.

    Such great folks.
     
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  13. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Sadly, like a number of Furman characters (Professor Morris says hi), he got forgotten about and shunted to one side as Furman found new favourite characters to play with (Bludgeon, Thunderwing, Krok, Nightbeat, the bloody Neo-Knights).

    The promised 'final battle' between Magnus and Galvatron never happened (despite a lot of build up), and our last sight of the poor bugger was his future self being unceremoniously mauled to death in Time Wars.

    Magnus' debut appearance in T:2006 was great, but after that I always associate him with some of the weaker stories in the UK run (such as the Mount Verona arc that was at least four issues too long, plus that two-parter where he fights aliens in an arena). I always preferred his appearances in the cartoon myself.

    Besides which, Robert Stack is an absolute legend.
     
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  14. saucesmithco

    saucesmithco Well-Known Member

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    I still have that lasting image of Ultra Magnus in truck mode, tearing down a highway with Galvatron surfing on top and holding on for dear life. I wonder if anyone has recreated that using the CW/TR toys?
     
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  15. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    No, but it's been done with the MP...

    Transformers GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
     
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  16. saucesmithco

    saucesmithco Well-Known Member

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  17. stprime

    stprime THE Prime that the Matrix refused.

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    In anticipation of both my X2 kits, the future release of PE's Core Magnus, and your awesome part swap I decided to get out my versions and do a little work on them. I have to paint on both the waists and I will have to paint the forearms on the US kit blue but otherwise I am ready for everything to get here! Core Magnus will be going to the toy ispired deco.
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. flik68

    flik68 Well-Known Member

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    Ebay:
    yes he is :thumb 
     
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  19. barry

    barry Well worn member

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    A crying shame, right? So much unfulfilled potential!

    Scrapnel was the one I owned. Kickback was the one I turned my nose up at. Bombshell was the one I thought just to be the coolest. He had that crazy looking medieval looking mouthplate and a gun mounted on his head. To any rational kid this was as cool as fuck. Now, I just want to be clear here. Scrapnel is and always will be my favourite. We have a thing called loyalty here, you know! But Bombshell was cool. Very cool. And it always looked like he was the boss of the team. in the comics he had that amazing scene where he makes the mind controlled human lick his foot clean. What a filthy little sadist! How utterly wonderful!

    Click for the full review!
    The G1 Insecticons are such good designs. Real Classics. And, for a low price point figure, immensely satisfying. Like the Dinobts they manage to balance a homogenous colour scheme with enough distinct character. There's a reason I don't need to give a moments thought to the name of each Dinobot or Insecticon but struggle to name more than one Constructicon or Aerialbot. Each robot has some super distinct feature that makes them stand out. I could probably identify any of those two teams just by their silhouette. With Bombshell it's that beetle horn. Even without it he's a menacing little bot, especially with that sinister, grinning facesculpt. He looks like he's having a right chuckle while you lick his boot. Classic torso too! The transformation to beetle mode is pure simplicity. Legs round, arms back, cover the face and adjust the horn. Bingo! The chromed horn and the amber cockpit look fantastic and the fact that it has little wheels to tootle along with is a great touch. It's such a perfect toy for it's time and still great fun today.

    The slow drip feed of Generations Insecticons continued from Thrilling 30 into Combiner Wars with this Legends class Bombshell. He's a great little update of his G1 self. All the key details are there; horn antenna on the top of the head, purple chest with amber canopy(non functional) black arms, silver thighs (well, grey) and purple boots. The two detail on this update that really stick out for me are the cannons at the end of his fists and those little, sisnsiter red eyes on that face sculpt. It's such a good update that only a pedant could find things to pick on. Good news! I am that pedant. I wish the face was a little wider, the chest tapered in more and the arms were just that little bit skinnier. I'm never bloody satisfied. the bug mode is tremendously well executed, with it's fold out legs and genuine creepy crawly proportions. Even the underside kibble looks good, if you like your beetles rocket powered. And I most certainly do!

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  20. PrinceOfSweden

    PrinceOfSweden Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to and try not to be a compulsive horder, mindless consumer or a materialistic person in general.
    These guys have no sympathy for such virtues...
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