Saturday, January 10, 2015

Lego MOC: MOTU Good Guys

Continuing my run of MOTU MOCs from couple'o weeks back, here's my take on the good guys.

PRINCE ADAM


I guess i shoulda done He-Man, but i really wanted to do a take of Adam going I SAID HEY! WHAT'S GOING ON! Plus, i get to use palette from my kid's pink tub set.

ROBOTO


Roboto is my fave, no, wait, 2nd fave MOTU character design, largely in part to the clear plastic torso with rotating gears - which is the main inspiration of this build. The robot beak was fun to figure out, and i like the way how the robot visors turn out too, thanks to baby blue curved 4x1 plate from my kid's friends set. Purple crotch and lower legs? Again, courtesy of my kid's pink tub set.

THE SORCERESS


I had actually set out to do my fave MOTU character: Rio Blast - he's a handlebar mustachioed wild west lawman who's a walking arsenal, thanks to a buttload of pop out weapons. But i thought this was a chance to do a female build (yay, boobies!) and while Teela 1st came to mind (goat horn rimmed bras!), i chose Sorceress for her nicer color scheme and for her wings, which would make the build more distinctive. The headdress was fun to do, and while i didn't have enough orange coloured curved slopes to do the wings in the correct color, i happen to have the curved arches in orange to do the headdress' bird, uh, mustache thingies.


BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL!

Edit: Found 2x2 domes in my kid's friends set, so made some, uh, "enhancements" to Sorceress, teehee.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

2015 Lego Star Wars Microfighters & Stikfas Retrospective

Lego's 2015 sets are out and these are the ones I've been looking forward to: Micro Fighters At-At, Snow Speeder and Republic Gunship - I started collecting new Lego since they put out the Planet Series mini vehicles and I think the Micro Fighters are a great way of extending the concept while avoiding rehashing previous versions of mini SW releases.


Quality in Series 2 is no different from the 1st - tho this time there are more prequel vehicles. They even include some parts that I've not come across - 4x1 plate with 2 hinge points, 2 4x2 plates connected by a 2x2 brick - tho these were prolly included to lessen brick count. I still find these fun to build and I like fact you can put em together in under 10 minutes.

My pick for this batch would be the Snow Speeder. Looks great with nice details (the wing mounted cannon, rear exhaust grille) and its flick missiles placement is the least obstrusive. My only complaint would be for the At-At, which legs i think could've been more detailed or even extended to include the knee joints for that matter.


Been cleaning my display shelves and I totally forgot I had these: Stikfas kit figures.


Brick/designer figures were the rage back in the early 00's (Kubricks for instance) and some manufacturers tried to tap into that market by making their own variations. While Diamond Select came up with Minimates - brick figure designs, but with poseable articulation, a little outfit based in Singapore - Bany J. came up with the concept of combining brick figures with model kits. So Stikfas figures came unassembled on sprues and you put em together yourself and if you're inclined you can even paint em up. The kits came with accessories and stickers, and the whole thing is to encourage you to customize your own characters.

They put out a decent run, but these are the ones that I liked: the fireman, the samurai, the robot and the clear version. I guess they're pretty good in quality since in its been 10 years and the stickers are still in good condition and their joints are all still tight. The Stikfas concept would later be brought over into the Xevoz line by Hasbro (Hasbro also distributed for Stikfas), with more detailed designs and sculpts. But I still prefer the original for its minimalist look and designer's aesthetics.

Transformers: Combiner Wars

...G1 style! Still waiting for the new line to be released here. So in the meantime, let's take a look at the original Scramble City combiners: Superion, Menasor, Defensor and Bruticus.


The G1 Japanese name for the combining gimmick was Scramble City - you had a torso robit as the leader of each team and the other 4 smaller members would form interchangeable limbs - I had a few of the figures back in the day, but didn't have enough to complete a full gestalt (combined) mode. But even as an adult collector I'm not that crazy about em - the smaller robits were worse bricks compared to the regular, non-combining figures and when you put em together the result is just a bigger brick robit.


Still, I guess the appeal is not just the combining gimmick itself - but the fact you can change the limbs amongst the different teams so you can make up your own unique combinations. But the OCD in me just wouldn't have that - I'd have Menasor short of one limb, but even when I had Swindle or Vortex that could've taken Wildrider's place, 11-year old just wouldn't have that mix and match nonsense.


My fave combiner is still the original: Devastator. He may be lacking the Scramble City gimmick, which is in fact the reason I prefer him for his unique combination. And the unified color scheme is pretty cool too. This dude has been knocked off so many times, he even comes in varying scales.


Another guy with a unique combination is Predaking. Similar to the Constructicons all the members are similar sized, but the Predacons are individually larger and heavier - if you have the version with the die cast. He's a fan fave amongst combining robits but I'm not big on this mold for whatever reason. But he is significantly huge and heavy, so he's definitely unique in that aspect.



The Scramble City guys have also been KO'd as mini versions. Not that great in quality but they look great scaled to the Metroplex and Trypticon (who were in fact designed to work with the Scramble City combiners).

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Masterpiece Seekers: A Retrospective

I've been putting off getting the new MP seeker mold (based on MP-11 Starscream) but with Takatomy's Asia Exclusive Skywarp coming out (Hasbro released Thundercracker in the mold some time back), I'm getting the itch to dump the old MP seekers and start collecting the new ones, ugh. Typing this out to see if it'll help me change my mind...stupid jet robits.

Anyways, the seeker design was the second new mold to come out in the then new Masterpiece line with MP-3 Starscream (the 1st being Convoy - MP-2 was a white repaint of Magnus). It was a somewhat departure from the approach to Optimus' mold: where MP-1's priority was the robot mode - the truck mode wasn't actually perfect in terms of capturing the look and details of a real life truck - MP-3 designers opted to do the reverse. They designed an alt mode that would fit proudly on a modellers shelf - but the robot mode was compromised: the MP-3 mold featured kibble/plane bits hanging off at the shoulders (not so bad) and the hip (more blatantly). Sure the mold still looked good and was fun to pose - you could angle the hip kibble so that they looked less visually offensive by hiding it in profile - but nobody would mistake the mold as cartoon accurate.


Takara released Skywarp as the 2nd repaint and Hasbro got in on the action when they released their version of Starscream in colors that were more cartoon accurate - with the theme of going realistic for MP-3, Takara had opted for a greenish-grey color scheme for their version of Starscream.


MP-3 was a good stand in for Thundercracker, at least until Takara finally released the 3rd repaint. The color scheme for both Skywarp and Thundercracker were both not exactly cartoon accurate either, but true to Takara's rep the colors were deep and lush - the glossy finish really helped in making them look high end.


But y'know, it's not like I don't have enough Decepticon Seekers. Besides the Classics version (I got suckered for the Botcon version of Thundercracker, too), I still have the Robotmasters version (which pre-dated the Classics line), WST versions (Skywarp and Thundercracker are originals and since they were shortpacked I had to spend a bit extra) and of course, the G1 Reissues.


Me being a pack rat though, I'll probably collect the new molds AND keep the old ones. STUPID JET ROBITS.