I totally agree with your and Barry's sentiments. I think that's what Hasui-san was going for at the start; not slavish to the toy or the toon, but a nice marriage of the better aspects of each, as well as bringing the real world alt mode aspects over to the bot mode as well. I thought it was a good design philosophy. And yeah, since Takara's move towards slavish devotion to the over-simplistic wildly varying cartoon look for the MP line, the more ideal versions of the characters with detailed bot modes that carry over the better aspects of toon/toy/comic are represented in the Generations line. I'm happy for the latter, as Earthrise is what I wanted from my toys when I was thirteen and watching each new ep of the toon; it took them 35 long years to finally represent those characters in the mainline, but I'm glad they finally did. However, it saddens me that the MP line, which should be the ideal representation of these characters, has been marred by Takara's devotion to toon accuracy, an oxymoron if ever there was one.