Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by NotRamjet97, Dec 8, 2014.
I knew I should have bought that white Drift redeco when it was in store.
Not as nice as the TAV one, but still damn nice. Now both go for extremely silly aftermarket prices.
Nice repaint of that minicon. I have the orange one. Never seen that version before.
Still working through my various toylines for blog photos. Been siege, generations, pokemon and TF 86 Movie articles lately (articles in my sig) . Will take some RID ones soon, even though still missing some key figures.
I've rewatched the show again, up to the final season. Also rewatched most of headmasters and TF Prime over last couple months.
Man, was RID so much better than Cyberverse. Even Rescue Bots is better than Cyberverse toyline.
I've been enjoying the Crash Combiners Skyhammer and Shocknado. Only Crash Combiners I have, but I wish I had gotten more. I should have got Dragbreak, Primelock, and Saberclaw. And Lunar Force Primestrong. Sigh.
(If I fuck up the focus maybe they won't notice the awful paint job I did? hm)
Two out of three. The RID mould got to be two out of the three seekers. And then they just moved on. Starscream, Skywarp and no-one else? That's hardly fair. It's hardly kind. Come on now. Leaving me to smear great big globs of paint over a cheapo Starscream just so I could have him in blue? Come. On. Now.
And to be honest, Thundercracker has become a surprise favourite for me. Not the overexposed schemery of Starscream, nor the minimum-effort cool guy status of Skywarp, Thundercracker is the layered, interesting character. The one who has his doubts about the Decepticons, but doesn't want to leap into bed with the Autobots (Drift!). The one who's addicted to cheesy earth TV and writes self-insert fanfic about beating up Santa. The one with a cute little doggy. In a nutshell, the fun one.
Not that any of that counted 10 years ago. T-Cracks was practically a non-entity until Mike Costa and John Barber got their hands on him. In both the Marvel comic and the G1 Cartoon Thundercracker was just there to fill the ranks, to back up Starscream and not even get a cool superpower like Skywarp. The potential was always there, with his original 1984 bio already having the seeds for his anti-Decepticon doubt laid out, but never realised. I'm sure there were plenty of kids owning the original toy that deep down knew, just knew that he was always better than Starscream. So I feel bad for overlooking him for so many years, and just wish there was a better toy of him out there for me.
The RID seeker mould is great, don't get me wrong. Slender, sinister, and with a killer sexy space jet alt mode, it's probably the best of the line. But it was never made into a Thundercracker, and for that Hasbro have managed to leave me to do a rather chunky custom job of my own. I'm satisfied that I got him looking as good as I was ever going to manage, but even so, I'm no @Rotorstorm. Oh well.
Listen bud, for a first custom yours looks a hell of a lot better than my first one did (it was an Armada Tracks made from Blurr if wondering) and it takes time. It took me at least 5 years to learn how to be happy with what I was making. (And even then I tend to see the imperfections and little bits I’m not happy with)
Bludgeon isn't necessarily the first name you might turn to as an example of a Decepticon leader. For the longest time I had to keep reminding myself that he ever had held a position of command, but yes, Bludgeon does get to keep his place in the Deceptileader hall of fame thanks to a late-game power-grab in the G1 Marvel comic, just a short time before it folded for good. Despite this, Bludgeon's time in charge was followed up by Simon Furman twice, first in the ill-fated G2 comic and then later in the ill-judged Regeneration One, both of which had him very much put in his place by the bigger kids in the playground. He only really became leader in the first place by virtue of all those bigger kids being off elsewhere at the time, and a distinct power vacuum left back on Cybertron which he was eager to fill. Just think, if Furman was more into moustaches and wrestlers than samurai, we could have had Stranglehold on the Deceptithrone.
Yeah, Bludgeon's one of the staple favourites of Simon Furman, and has the honour of appearing in almost every series that he has penned. Marvel G1 and G2 (despite his toy being long gone from shelves at the time), Dreamwave G1 and Armada (yes, really), Titan's movieverse comics and of course, IDW. That's an even more impressive spread than even Grimlock or Swoop. And yet... it's taken until this year for Bludgeon to appear on the screen in any way, with a couple of minor cameos in season two of Cyberverse. That's a pretty massive disparity between being a comic book mainstay and a TV nobody.
It gets worse, as this Bludgeon is (mostly) the RID 2015 version, who got a substantial retool from the Megatronus toy and still didn't appear in the show, only for his own Autobot repaint, Blastwave to get an episode of his own instead. The ignominy! The affront! The bare-skulled cheek! Just because Blastwave's colour scheme was secretly way cooler... ahem.
So you probably noticed that my Bludgeon is looking somewhat different to his regular self. The toy was based on Megatronus, whose arms become the single cannon for vehicle mode, but Bludgeon's arms just end up hanging around on the back looking a bit daft, while his cannons are a new piece. So it didn't take much thought to simply Frankenstein the two together, and have Bludgeon's body with Megatronus's arms. And then an alt mode with three guns, because three guns is two more than one gun, and that's just good maths. Murder-maths!
I've always liked that Bludgeon becomes a tank. It's been suggested that, as a martial arts master, something a bit quicker and more agile might be a better fit as an alt mode, but Bludge is having none of it. Real Japanese samurai armour made them into big hulking powerhouses of the battlefield, built to take punishment as well as give it out, and that's what tanking is all about. Sure, Bluncheon-meat has some sexy moves, but he's still the party tank, not a DPS rogue. He's probably put some skill points in evasion and parry though, so he can tank with style.
Is this the best Bludgeon? Not really. ROTF Bludge is still the superior version, even after a whole decade. But while his erstwhile boss Thunderwing continues to languish in deluxe size, the thought of Skeletor here towering over the greatest leader the Decepticons ever had just couldn't stand. His RID version can certainly hold a pose or two, but his sword's a little on the stubby side, and there's no way he could ever hold it in two hands. And there's a strangely scattergun approach to a colour scheme (which admittedly I made worse by giving him new arms) with green, purple, orange and red all in the mix. And, let's be real here, he's totally overdone it on the skull motif. Not just his face this time, but torso and bum-flap all are made to look like skele-men. He's trying a little too hard, bless.
Still for now, RID hybrid Bludgeon can take the spot on the shelf. For now.
Wish we'd gotten more figures out of this line, especially the Femcons. Glowstrike was a leader and never got a figure. Zizza would have been an interesting change of pace. Cyberwarp ended up playing a significant role near the end of the series and we only got a simple figure as part of the Galvatronus set.
I'm having a bit of fun with both Legion class Clampdown and Groundpounder lately.
Legion Clampdown is such an odd-ball of a figure, even for NuRID toy standards. Despite this, I can't help but like this figure for how bizarre it is; It's definitely a unique figure, and unlike any other figures I have in my collection:
Legion Groundpounder is also quite a bizarre little toy (Although less bizarre than Clampdown), and for what it is it's a neat little figure. I may like Clampdown more for how bizarre of a figure it is, but Groundpounder is the better of the two:
I know NuRID is a pretty contested show, but these little figures are still pretty neat for what they are; It's a bit of a shame that most never talked about these little figures.
Agreed. There were some great and inventive designs that weren't followed through on. My favourite is Saberhorn, who did get a toy, but only a crash combiner which doesn't really do his design justice. And he has the most gorgeous colour scheme.
Aye, Groundpounder definitely deserved a Warrior-class figure. the titchy legs and massive gorilla arms give him a great silhouette.
I never thought I'd say this i miss RID
Totally needs a Beast Saga/ Battle Beast Upgrade kit.
I love this bot design. I would love to see one replicate the show model.
Two of my fav bots.. er cons, from this series. Two of the most unique TFs as well.
It shouldn't be all that controversial to state that Transformers is ever in need of more female characters. It shouldn't be, but such is the sad state of affairs we live in, that to some people it is. More female characters than Arcee, at least. As we've previously discussed (refer to your notes, boys and girls), Arcee was inevitably characterised by her gender, making it her most defining attribute. Because that's what being a girl is like, eh fellas? Obsessing over the fact you're a girl. Probably.
2015's Robots in Disguise, in general an uneasy retrograde step from previous series Prime, was nonetheless far more comfortable with having female characters along for the ride than any of its predecessors. It was still largely male-dominated, but female characters didn't feel quite a tokenistic as they had been in the past, and Strongarm's a good example of this. No G1 Arcee she, oh no. Rather she was mostly shown to be a fussy swotty type, sort of like Hermione without the competence. It's a bit by-the-numbers, especially in her role as a counterpoint to the more slapdash Sideswipe. Yeah, get two opposing personalities, stick them on the same team, stick in a monster of the week, lather, rinse, repeat. RID's formulaic nature was it's biggest weakness.
But then Strongarm is one of those characters that really deserves another go, to break free of the constraints of the procedural nature of the original show. What would she be like alongside the G1 Autobots, part of a larger force? How different would she be as part of an ongoing war than a police operation? What happens when you take RID Sideswipe away and replace him with a different partner? There's potential there.
The toy then. Other than her remould Ratchet there's few examples of RID's shortcomings as a toy line than Strongarm. Without the Toyhax upgrade stickers she has one of the most disappointingly plain and dreary decos I've ever seen. It lets her down immensely, especially when compared to her cartoon model. No translucent plastic, very little moulded detail, and only the barest splashes of paint. She looks unfinished.
BUT THEN! Slap them stickers down and the toy just springs to life. Strongarm finally looks worthy to stand alongside a CHUG collection, even with that noseless face. A few stripes here and there, highlights for the moulded details... it simply shows up just how lacking her paint job was beforehand. The lack of translucent windows is still an annoyance, but it can't be helped. Most of Combiner Wars had the same issue, and we forgave them for it. Sadly, this problem extends to her rifle, which for some reason has a blast effect moulded right in... but of course it has to be painted, so just looks terrible. Good news is that Strongarm looks pretty great carrying Smashdown, an appropriately hefty weapon for her oh-so-strong arm.
Transformed, she makes for an impressively hefty 4x4 police car, but of course that extra size belies a hollow interior. So long as you don't flip her over it's not a problem, but you can't help but feel that there's space in the empty cavity for some accessory storage. Somewhere to stash her weapon other than on top in the most conspicuous way possible. You're not a very good Robot In Disguise if your disguise includes a giant gun on top.
So yeah. Give us more Strongarm. Put her in Cyberverse, increase her role in IDW, make her hang out with Bumblebee in the next live action film. Give her a nose while you're at it. Oh, oh! I've got one! Oh!
"My police car's got no nose."
"How does it smell?"
"Like bacon. Get him, lads."
*sounds of undercover cop being beaten up*
Spoiler: Standard Disclaimer
Standard disclaimer: The theme of this week's reviews is the worst toys in my collection. If you enjoy these toys, great! It is not a personal attack on you or your tastes. Not everything you love has to be good, and you are not defined by the quality of the things you like. Essentially, you don't need to defend your honour on someone else's view of plastic robot men.
I try to live my life by the golden rule of satire: only ever punch upwards. So I can't help but feel a little mean to be picking on Robots in Disguise Crash Combiners Bisk and Saberhorn, aka Saberclaw. They're not meant for the likes of us, the poncey collectors with our noses stuck firmly in the air. They're cheap, cheerful nonsense for the young's, all function and very little form.
But they are shit.
It's a problem as, while there's plenty of different ways to get a Bisk, including a rather delicious Warrior-class toy that's a right chuckle, this is the only toy of Saberhorn ever made. That's an outrage! He has the single best design out of the entire RID line-up, and the best we got in plastic was Zoidberg's old trousers? Rubbish.
Annoyingly though, Saberhorn is the best of the two. He wears a delightfully regal shell suit in purple and pink, and viewed from the front cuts a decent enough dash in robot form, though there's nary a bit of real articulation to be had, just the ability to move his arms outwards to separate them from the rest of his body. But then, from the back he's just a giant pair of legs. There's no getting away from it. Beetle mode is easy to get to, just close everything up and flip a few bits down here and there. Again, it looks fine, and it's refreshing to be able to get between moulds so quickly. But... not this quickly, eh? Even the wee kiddies appreciate some complexity so that they feel like they've mastered something challenging.
Bisk is just plain rubbish. he's barely a robot, more a car with a few robot details sculpted into the underside. The only thing that separates him from those godawful RPMs from years ago is the fact that his lower arms technically move outwards. There's a kind of claw moulded in there, but there's no escaping the knowledge that the entire claw for this mode is made up of the lower part of the claw in combined mode. In his Warrior-class toy the claws are his main feature, a pair of mighty clamp-clamp-ca-bamps that eschew any need to carry other weapons. Here there's like a pair of butter knives. And then you turn him over and he's a rubbish car. Snooze.
Now, I know what you're saying. "But that's not the point, is it? They combine into a bigger dude, so it doesn't really matter if their individual modes are a bit wank!" To which I have to say: then why bother with the individual modes at all? The thing about a good gimmick is that it should add to the enjoyment of a toy, not take it away. Look at Combiner Wars for instance. Each one of that line (well, maybe not Sunstreaker) is a good toy in its own right, and then can combine as an awesome bonus. They are not made worse by the addition of combining. Saberclaw is worse because of the gimmick.
So anyway, smush the butts of the car and the beetle together and suddenly Bisk splits apart into an upper torso with some surprisingly effective engineering. This isn't like Energon's powerlinxing where arms become arms and legs become legs, Bisk sprouts an entirely new set of joints, and reveals a magnificent space-pope hat on his new bonce. He's got his fancy disco trousers on as well, thanks to Saberhorn's more fun-loving colour scheme. It's a good look, but it doesn't get any more articulation than they had in individual robot modes. You can open and close the clamps this time, I guess. But they still only move at the elbow, not the shoulder.
All the same, while I moan about this not-very-good toy I can imagine some kid somewhere getting a kick out of it. Say what you will about RID, it didn't make things difficult to get a good roster of characters if you didn't mind that their size classes and gimmicks didn't match up. You might have Legends-class Bumblebee mixed in with Warrior Windblade up against Crash Combiner Stunticons and these two clowns. Kids aren't going to fuss over that. They're having fun, and it's a dick move for someone like me to sit on his settee with one eye on the impeachment hearings and the other on his laptop bitching into eternity to try and get in the way of that.
But then, there's still good toys and bad toys. As a kid I had G1 Wheelie, who was crap, and G1 Thunderwing, who was an absolute delight. I knew which one I loved and which I only tolerated, and I know I was heartbroken when I lost the outer shell of one and didn't give much of a toss when I lost the visor of the other. Even less so when the visor turned up and the shell didn't. There are better Bisks. By rights there ought to be better Saberhorns. And deep down, the ability to transform into someone else's long johns isn't really that great a gimmick.
Separate names with a comma.