Thursday, August 21, 2014

SDCC Alternator Rodimus

Another entry from the old TFW2005 days, a review of SDCC exclusive altrernator rodimus:

1st impressions, the finish from what you can see of the alt mode is really nice. No cheap looking red plastic as per alt sideswipe (released early on in the line). Also, the gold flame blends surprising well, despite my preference for the kiss play version's white stripes. Love the TOO HOT vanity plates. Very G1 hot rod.

Bot mode: nobody pulls off the 2 guns stance better than this guy - "there's a hole in the shuttle!" PEW PEW PEW. He's got a bit of darker red parts with the yellow accents as highlights. To be honest, i only like this colour scheme because its hot rod, its so loud.

Head sculpt: the visor gimmick is very nice, in itself, worthy of admission fee. A recall to the G1 movie - again from the scene at lookout mountain - where hot rod drops visors to scope the incoming decepticons.

In summary, the F40, to me, is the most gorgeous alt mode amongst the alternator molds. The 1st release, mirage, looked good, but this cartoon based color scheme - alternators at that point had been authentic to decos that the actual cars were released in - is actually even better. The color scheme just pops, the mold works surprisingly well on hot rod, despite being a remold/repaint - as if it was always intended to make hot rod out of this mold. And the visor gimmick is really neat too, to my recollection, the 1st instance of this feature.

Zazzle's POTC Black Pearl

Back when POTC3 came out, Zazzle put out a bunch of 3-3/4" scaled toys, which, evident from my dust collecting Star Wars figures, I am a sucker for. I posted these over at TFW2005, here's a retro review:

1st impressions: it's a huge biyatch!

"This is your last chance Jabba..."

The diving board is removable, the steering wheel is, uh, steerable.

The centre mast has a retractable zipline so the pirates can play Sky Commander: Defenders of the High Frontier.

Close up of the main deck:

The main deck slides open to reveal more play area underneath. There's a prison cell with a trap door above it - that's the brown hatch Orlando Bloom's character's dad is standing on. The cannons deploy in unison with a switch - the cannons can be moved around and your heart's desires.

Under the bridge is the captain's quarters...

...oops, apologies Lord Vader.

*force choke*

"Apology accepted, Captain Needa."

So besides the openable panel to access the captain's quarters, the ship also has a break apart portion of the hull (towards the front of the ship, for when you want to crash the ship into furniture or something) and working anchors when the ship moors itself at the kitchen table and what not.

All in all it's fun playset with lots of play value. It's cheap and at a scale that's compatible with a lot of other lines (GI Joes, Star Wars, etc.). Keep in mind it takes up a lot of space so you might want to keep the box handy for when you want to store it away.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

G1 Hardhead, Lego Mini MOCs


Got this from TFW2005-now-Facebook friend: thanks Llamatron! Hardhead has always been one of the better looking one amongst the original autobot headmasters - Chromedome and Brainstorm have that wide legged stance that make them look goofy, Highbrow can considered the 2nd best looking depending your preference for choppers or tanks. The 1987 (1988?) lineup represented a discernible change in the design aesthetics with futuristic alt modes (a continuation from the 1986 movie toys) and simpler transformation. The size is necessitated by the inclusion of the headmaster-as-pilot and the interaction between pilot in either modes is the selling point of the headmaster toys. I've already got Chromedome and Brainstorm - just need Highbrow to complete original autobot headmasters!


Variation on roof design and the front and rear windshields made symmetrical, much happier with how this looks in profile. Inserted plate at the rear wheel: hot rod version!


My 3rd take on the classic 918 design - got a few more small wing plates in red compared to grey, this looks more accurate to the, in form if not in colors. Consider this the bad guy version.

Monday, August 18, 2014

TF Generations and Lego MOCs


Meant to do this ever since making rocket raccoon a few post back. Initially thought this was going to be easy - not too different than making chewbacca some time back - but the crown took a bit of messing around before coming up with something i liked. Quite pleased with how the hands and feet turned out, at that point i was just messing with parts and sometimes solutions just come out naturally.


Seems i forgot to post this earlier: actually got these prior to my Raya Haul post. Tailgate is very well done, not unlike Swerve before him. Looks very close to his MTMTE version and nice recall to his G1 alt mode. Shrapnel was a nice surprise, a bit more complex than i expected and certainly makes me wish that more insecticons were made at this scale. But most of all, this wave gives us camera mode Reflector!


Previous take on the mini cooper wasn't fully develop - i omitted the rear details entirely. This should make up for it - i like how the yellow license plate gives a bit of variety in colors. Still kept the posting for the original version tho, just feel the proportion on that is better, but i like this one since its better fleshed out.


I got Benny loose from my usual guy (Legoland of, and was inspired to do some old school lego space design. My first design i was just messing with parts and came up with this, purely based on the grey and blue color scheme alone:

After looking back at the originals, i tried to create a mini version of the one man spaceship 918, and came up with this - restricted due to available wing parts in my inventory, i had to do a bit of improvisation:

But eventually i settled on this. The wings are still off but the overall proportions are closer to being accurate. But now it seems i have a vintage/classic space itch to scratch, gah.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Hari Raya Haul


For the uninitiated, Death's Head is a Simon Furman creation from the pages of Marvel UK. He's a bounty hunter, oops, freelancing law enforcement operative, and while he usually starts stories by going against the Autobots, he usually ends up (grudgingly) helping them towards a common cause. Despite his allegiance to whoever's the highest bidder, he maintains a (dubious) moral code, and more times than not hint of a good side. As an anti-heroic character painted in shades of grey - the transformers universe is remarkedly black and white with its core story of good versus evil - Death's Head is likely Furman's best contribution to the lore, yes?


Way back in 2011 Hasbro put out a 'playskool' Optimus Prime after the G1 design. Now we get an Optimus Primal, but taking cue from the current movie featuring dinobots, he turns into a t-rex. I've always had a thing for their pre-school stuff (I also have that plushie Softimus Prime from when the 2007 movie came out) and I think this looks pretty good for a baby's toy. Also, dinos!

Megatron here takes after the IDW design based on his early years as a worker/gladiator. In pics the pinkish grey looks almost palatable but its terribly mismatched in person. But we get G1 based Chop Shop!..but now I gotta track down that Energon Insecticon as a substitute for G1 Barrage.


Been looking forward to this guy ever since getting his partner, Whirl - they're a pair from when they were released as Deluxe Autobots in G1. And like Whirl, Roadbuster's been given a generous helping of weapons and a sticker sheet to give him custom decals. While not as spot on as Whirl in terms of being faithful to the G1 design, his alt mode looks better in person and robot mode isn't as lanky as in preview pics - his clown shoes feet can also be adjusted to tuck in better at the ankles. Also, the modular weapons is a great play feature. On to the bad:

His leg joints don't lend to fun posing because the sculpt hinders clear movement in favor of looks - they're intended to give him a bulky look, which the G1 version achieved by implementing add-on armor. Also, there's a bit of copping out with the omission of waist and wrist joints - even if you don't really need them to come up with interesting poses. Paint apps could be improved too, evident by some paint bleeding at a few obvious spots.

It's still a really good toy overall, if not perfect. Plus, its been a waited on fan fave, with Hasbro's several takes on the character's name sake. But he's finally received the full on G1 treatment and, while not as good as Whirl, still a commendable effort.