The UK Toy Discussion

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Boardwise, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Max Tower

    Max Tower Well-Known Member

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    You know Doctor Wu made a mace for Studio Series Grimlock - is it just a mace or does it unfold to make a neck cover too?
    ---
    That Wipeout sled reminds me of a Star Wars T-wing a bit.
    ---
    I have a couple of Budgeons one seem to be fine the other has treads that have set rock hard and to transform him I have to hold his treads over a boiling kettle to soften them enough to transform. I also have a couple of Convention Overlords both of them are fine too as is my Green Megatron and Banzaitron, I don't have a cloud Megatron yet to check - he kinda alluded me.
     
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  2. Avon

    Avon Well-Known Member

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    Cute as - glad they're getting on!

    :O I was just wondering what he's up to! That's great, and sounds like a great fit for him too.

    I need a like multiplier button.
     
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  3. Imperator

    Imperator The last, best hope for humanity

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    Hnnng. Trying my best to bite my tongue and not lay into the pedants who have decided to "Um... actually" an innocuous comment in my Galvatron review in the TR thread about how the Autobots basically only had two leaders while the Decepticons went through a whole bunch.

    "Um... actually there was Fortress Maximus and Star Saber and God Ginrai and Grimlock and Sentinel Prime and Bloopitron and Vegetabot and Donkeydickorr and"
    Holy shit thanks for educating me on that point, is it possible you are completely wilfully misunderstanding the whole point of the comment just so you can score points in an argument we're not having?
     
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  4. barry

    barry Like a Kind of Matador

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    Ha! I should give that a go.

    Charmer! And thank you!

    Yeah, beware any use of rhetorical devices when you're posting one of your pieces outside of here. There's some...very literal minded souls out there. Unless it's a very pointed comment about yourself and your posting, I'd recommend not engaging. Emotional intelligence can be quite low out there in badlands. It is disheartening when you put a lot of thought and time into what you're writing and someone's only response is 'actually, Red Alert was a member of the Ark crew' but getting into it with them just prolongs the nonsense. And to be fair, most people are rolling their eyes just the same as you are.

    [​IMG]
    Holy shit! Impactor!

    I mean...Impactor

    Like, actually Impactor.

    This is massive for me. I honestly don't think there's a more significant character created for the TF:UK comics, save for maybe Primus himself - and Impactor is, quite frankly, a more interesting character.

    So, anyone that's invested a little time in those UK comics knows that things ratcheted up several notches with Target:2006. Sure, Furman had been getting increasingly more ambitious and the story preceding Target:2006, 'In the National Interest' was a new high water mark for the comic, but with Target:2006 everything just became that more panoramic. Suddenly we were dealing with a story unfolding over two timelines and two planets that culminated with...well, let's just say Kieron Gillen hit the nail on the head when he called Impactor "Our Jean Gray". Impactor came into that story at full throttle and left it a total hero. And then came back to be just as much of a hero as before! Of course we fucking loved him.

    But he was just a character from the ghetto of UK comics and, unlike Primus or Xaaron, he didn't graduate to the American comics when Furman took over. I seriously never, ever, thought I'd see this guy get a proper, faithful, mainline release.

    Of course, a generation of fans my age then start contributing to the IDW comics and suddenly Impactor is brought to life again for these more sophisticated times we live in, and he's one of the main characters in Nick Roche's 'Last Stand of the Wreckers'. Still the one time leader of the Wreckers, but a much more morally grey character than before.

    And it was this guy, the more complex and arguably less heroic Impactor that I first held a toy of.

    Eventually.

    I'd been resisting delving into the 3rd Party Generations stuff. Mainly just because I wasn't sure the bang to buck ratio really worked, and two because it seemed like one hell of a slippery slope. But then you start buying the DJD and the next thing you know...

    So, wishing to have a high degree of fidelity on one's IDW shelf I dutifully got MMC Spartan. And man, is it faithful to Roche's design.

    And that'd be really awesome if I liked Nick Roche's design. SPOILERS! I don't. Infact, I don't really like many of Nick Roche's designs, despite loving those comics. Impactor's design is particularly annoying, with that wanky 'Spartan' style helmet. Bit much, likes, but enh! Whatcha gonna do?

    So, looking at it objectively, this is a very impressive figure. Even in the most passive pose he still manages to look pensive and ready for war; shoulders hunched, feet planted wide and firmly, just waiting for some Decepticon scum to do something...reckless. And it's wonderful how good he looks with the likes of T:30 Springer. The two figures just look so...right together. Kudos to MMC here.

    Now, I didn't really notice how muted the colours were until I stood him side by side with the Siege version, and man...that's kinda washed out. This has always been one of my problems with MMC; they're so beholden to matching colours to scenes from comics that you wind up with these very dull, murky decos on thier IDW-verse figures. Seriously, the lighting in Last Stand of the Wreckers was meant to be moody, and not the baseline representation of every featured character.

    Confession time; I've owned Spartan for years and this is the first time I've transformed him. Maybe it's a little sinful, maybe even disrespectful to the designers, but I just never felt compelled to change modes for the guy. But hey ho, man's gotta do some comparison shots, right?

    And Christ, I wish I hadn't bothered.

    The alt mode of 'Spartan' is a nightmare and sums up the anxiety filled horrors of buying 3P stuff. At several points during the transformation I thought something was going to break and that this bit here couldn't possibly bend in the ways that the instructions seemed to be directing. And the instructions!

    As a kid in the '80's who was dependant on his unreliable newsagent for his American comics, there was no garuntee you'd get the next issue of the comic you were reading. Maybe you'd miss as many as three issues of any given title and you'd have to figure out the gaps for yourself. Which is what reading the instructions on 3P often feels like. Except with the risk that you'll destroy your expensive, hard to obtain toy.

    So hey, it's all ok if the alt mode looks smooth, right? Right!

    This does not look smooth. Even accounting for me not getting it right and there being some hideous gaps, it's a pretty squat and ugly little thing. Like Herbie the love bug with a plow on the front and a dalek's head that's replaced the plunger with a duck's beak on the top. For all the fiddling to get there, it's even more disappointing when the vehicle looks like an afterthought.

    So, IDW shelf taken care of. Now I could just dream of the day when I'd get something more in line with the G1 comic design. I mean, if I can get Generations Darkmount to stand next to the G1 Insecticons and Coneheads, then there shouldn't be any great issue with a halfway decent Impactor standing with my G1 Triple Changers and Jumpstarters.

    I was kinda sceptical when I saw the first pictures of Impactor. He looked a bit blocky, a bit gappy, and the head was weird looking. That's not what yer old TF:UK Impactor's head was shaped like. It was much longer and slender. Hrrm.

    But the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. It really did a marvelous job of evoking the old design from those beloved comics. Sure, it isn't as painfully faithful as the MMC version, but it gets so much of the details right. And I'm way more of a fan of that sort of 'platonic ideal'. But yes, it's all there. The blocky chest with the two yellow 'boobs', the hexagonal shoulder cannon, and the harpoon hand. Actually, it's the harpoon hand that I think works least well. I mean, it's a smart solution, but the fanboy in me wishes it wasn't just an optional plug in.

    But yes, the big point of divergence is the face. Well kind of. Leafing back through the comics I noticed the head sculpt has a lot more in common with Impactor as rendered by Robin Smith in TF:UK#82 (introduction of the Wreckers, for the uninitiated), rather the the Jeff Anderson or Geoff Senior versions. In the latter Impactor looked permanently pissed off and cynical, a deep scowl on his furrowed brow. In the former he looked like a gruff, yet impassive drill sergeant. And that's that's the look WfC Impactor has. His jaw clenched and eyes narrowed. It looks pretty fucking great, but I kinda wish they'd leant towards the other look.

    And, of course, one of the biggest challenges the Siege designers had to face was coming up with an alt mode for Impactor. MMC had it easy, at least in the IDW-verse his alt mode was shown. No such luck in yer ol' '80's UK comics. So everyone involved deserves a big round of applause for coming up with something that feels so right I almost went back and checked it didn't appear in the comics.

    In tank mode Impactor is a stunning, gaudy, little engine of destruction. I'm almost lost for words in trying to describe how neatly it all works. so, we have a nice compact little tank with two sets of tracks. some plows at the front and an actual, honest to goodness, rotating turret. They didn't even manage that on a TR Leader class figure like Overlord, so I'm amazed that they pulled it off with a Deluxe figure. Clever use of the waist swivel! You can even get some upwards elevation, which is fine if you can tolerate it exposing some gappage.

    I swear I feel like such an old fuddyduddy saying this, but I'm really appreciating how well alt modes tab together these days. And Impactor's tank mode tabs together superbly and discretely. The whole transformation sequence is a joy. I was particularly enamoured with the way the legs flip to form the hind tracks. Like seriously, this alt mode shouldn't be this good!

    So there we go. Our definitive CHUG Impactor. I honestly never thought I'd see this day and now that it's arrived I'm a very happy man. I can't help but swivel in my chair and look first at my G1 collection, then over at my CHUG collection, and wonder how much more I actually need. It really feels like they're giving me all the things I need to have a 'complete' collection. Sure, maybe we'll never ever get round to those Euro G1.5 updates, or maybe even someone further along the 'obscure' queue like Starsaber, but how much is there really left to do? There's even a bloody Rung figure coming down the line.

    Swear to god, if they make Emirate Xaaron then I know they're telling me to move on.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Napalm

    Napalm BOASTFUL MANFISH!!! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Umm, actually..


    ...
    lovely stuff.
     
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  6. Imperator

    Imperator The last, best hope for humanity

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    Yeah, I have no desire to get into an argument about something so irrelevant. Just felt the need to vent a little.

    Fantastic review as always, Bazza! Always enjoy reading your thoughts.

    While I’ve got you, a question you may be able to answer. Did Jhiaxus ever identify as a Decepticon in the G2 comic? I always assumed that he did, but I’m suddenly having doubts.
     
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  7. Napalm

    Napalm BOASTFUL MANFISH!!! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't think he does. He claims that the idea of faction - Autobot and Decepticon - is an outmoded concept in his big ass lording it over Prime speech. After he goes nuts on the planet that reduces him to his raging former self, he also muses (wrongly) that it's fortunate that there are no more Decepticons left to further remind him of his past.

    That didn't stop him using the G2 insignia all over his ships if I remember rightly, but that may well have been mandated by Hasbro.
     
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  8. mark_h

    mark_h Well-Known Member

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    F2E799BF-FB23-4092-BC33-930129397318.jpeg
    great review, but I know it’s a cliche to say but the MMC transformation gets a lot easier over time as you work out how the leg panels have to be positioned to fold in. Although I appreciate it probably shouldn’t be that convoluted in the first place...

    Whilst the alt mode is a bit clunky I have a bit of a soft spot for it, as I take it as a neo geo universe crossover - it’s got to be based on the vehicles from metal slug surely?

    EDIT: check my awful posting skills with that image at the top - I blame my mobile...
     
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  9. Napalm

    Napalm BOASTFUL MANFISH!!! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Aye, deffo a Metal Slug homage. It's even more pronounced with the Commotus retool.

    (That you sold me?)
     
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  10. Imperator

    Imperator The last, best hope for humanity

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    Eh, good enough. He's been on my Decepticon leader shelf since forever, I just figured I might get some more pushback about the particulars when I come to review him. Probably going to do Shockwave or Ratbat today though.

    Huh, yeah, that's definitely not coincidence.
     
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  11. barry

    barry Like a Kind of Matador

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    "Not my words Michael. The words of Shakin' Stevens!"

    Cheers! I enjoyed writing that one, because...well, it's fucking Impactor, innit?

    Napalm's got it. The implication is that he was a Decepticon early on in his life, which I believe started after the Ark and Nemesis crews left Cybertron, but abandoned the idea of factions as kinda quaint and parochial. In the first issues of the G2 comics he does talk about 'expansion being the Decepticon way', but then has to explain the mere concept of factions to his colleague.

    Ha! I didn't know that. There goes my credentials as a Transformers researcher.I'll not be passing my PhD viva anytime soon! Top trivia! Cheers!
     
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  12. mark_h

    mark_h Well-Known Member

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    Ha, I might well have done! To be honest, I’d buy another one at a decent price. That arm cannon!
     
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  13. CZ Hazard

    CZ Hazard Sons of Unicron PTT

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    There was a third repaint planned by the designer which was even more Metal Slug, the honage was fully intended as he had to make MMC Spartan different to the unreleased design he did for iGear. Can't remember which character it was based on though. The designer isn't a big video game chap, essentially stopping when games evolved from 2d to 3d, but Metal Slug was a favourite of his. He's the only chap I know who owned a Neo Geo pocket.
     
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  14. Seeaich

    Seeaich Inaction Master

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    @barry Stonking write-up as usual, I still blame that particularly squeaky wheel with a Pantone chart obsession for borking Spartan's colours - though perhaps now I should be thanking him instead!
    I'm even over Comicpactor sharing the IDW earmuffs as in-hand his Professionally pugnacious pout doesn't half remind me of Lewis Collins as Bodie's...
    [​IMG]
    ...that's too deep a UK cut to be intentional though, right? Could there be a secret Professionals fan on the design team, Bodie was the Ex-SAS one, yeah? Nah, can't be!
    Buuuut....
     
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  15. Imperator

    Imperator The last, best hope for humanity

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    Ah yes, I think Barry's hit the nail on the head with why obsessive screen/page accuracy isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's the same thing with Takara's obsession with G1 cartoon colours, conveniently forgetting that a lot of the colours on screen were lightened to make characters clearer and stand out better against busy or dark backgrounds. Galvatron started off with about as dark a purple as you could manage on-screen because the higher-budget movie could get away with it. Then as the cartoon wore on into Headmasters they just gave up and lightened him and Cyclonus to make them more visible. Fast forward to 2016 and Takara makes a Galvatron with the prettiest lilac jim-jams in the dormitory.
     
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  16. Ratchet2007

    Ratchet2007 Well-Known Member

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    Balance request from Indemand for Omega!!

    MP Soundwave re-release is just about to be released as well.

    Help my wallet
     
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  17. Soundwavelover2004

    Soundwavelover2004 Well-Known Member

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  18. barry

    barry Like a Kind of Matador

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    Cheers Chris. It's always nice when rambles that I've put a lot of myself into, like this and the Ratchet one, go down well.
    I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a pointed dig at said wheel.
    Fuck it, that's my sort of head cannon (does that count as head cannon? It does now). I'm sure I can imagine yer younger G1 Impactor being a skirt chasing, mod, hooligan. Xaaron's George Cowley, but who's Doyle? It can't be Springer or Magnus, because they're both young bots in Target:2006. The rest of the Wreckers are all double acts in some way, so I'd be loathe to break them up. Howabout Blaster? Yes, I like that. Let's go with that. They used to be Cybertron's pre-war MI:5 and then split up to run different cells in post war Cybertron. NOW THAT'S HEADCANNON!

    I love the Professionals. I considered getting two kittens and calling them Bodie and Doyle, and an old ginger rescue cat and calling him Cowley. And if there was any money left over, I'd get them a Ford Capri to share.

    Hard agree. This is exactly why I rarely got the old Takara Legends stuff.

    Cheers dude!
     
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  19. Decepticreeps100

    Decepticreeps100 Bite your face

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    Nice review Bazza, now you've stopped antagonising the rabble in the spec page.
     
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  20. barry

    barry Like a Kind of Matador

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    Dinnae you worry Boabie, I'll be back stirring it up in no time!
     
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