Showing posts with label Cyclonus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cyclonus. Show all posts

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Tier Zero Point Five


Transformers - The Movie 1986 Toy Collection Classics Universe Generations

It's the little milestones that make it worthwhile.

With this week's arrival of FOC Grimlock, Tier One of the Transformers: The Movie collection is halfway complete. The Iron Factory upgrade kit is yet to arrive for the King, but then the base figure is the most important bit.

Unlike in the case of Rodimus. The CHMS Protector kit arrived shortly before Christmas, and along with Springer and Grimlock it's utterly transformed my Autobot collection, turning them from a ragtag group of deluxe cars and one towering triple changer into a small combat unit with a clear leader. 

Transformers - The Movie 1986 Toy Collection Classics Universe Generations Rodimus Grimlock Springer Prime
Not the clear leader I was thinking of, but who's gonna argue?
After getting Springer and realising how excellent he is (and I'm clicking those satisfying ratchet joints as I write this) I was tempted to get the Transformers Cloud Rodimus from the same mould; however the idea of having two all-but identical robots in the same small lineup put me off. If it were a case of having Bumblebee and Cliffjumper or Frenzy and Rumble it would be acceptable as they've always shared a mould. For two characters as unique as Rodimus Prime and Springer however the Protector armour was the best way to go.

So now it's on to the expensive part of the wave ("why hello there contract extension and bonus scheme, please do acquiant yourself with my bank account"). If you can find Mania King (not-Galvatron) in stock you're looking at anything from £65-100, whilst a quick sweep of eBay indicates paying about £25 each for Kup and Scourge at BIN. Wheelie is proving the most elusive of the lot however, with the GDO Jazz repaint being in far more plentiful supply than the Universe release that I'm after.

As much as I enjoy buying the plastic crack and rattling through these wishlists, patience will keep both my bank balance and my girlfriend happy...

***

So anyway, how are you doing? You may have noticed I took a couple of months off of the blog to focus on other things, like getting better at my job, a huge amount of film editing and a general steadying of the ship during what was a pretty calamitous end to 2014. It was strange to look back on a post from December 2013 where I stated my collecting ambitions then, and comparing it to where I'm actually at now. I've learned a lot in the interim.

Once again I'm making no grand promises about the future of the blog. I have plenty of figures (robotic and otherwise) awaiting their turn in the spotlight, and at some point I'll actually get around to putting them up here. In the meantime, feel free to hit me up on Instagram, where I do my best to ensure I don't mix lighting temperatures as much as I have with the picture on this post. Youch.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 8 September 2014

On Topic: Hello Again!


It's been a little bit too long since I've been able to break out the plastic crack, but then I never consider being busy a problem. Regardless, I have been neglecting the world of robots (at least as far as this blog goes, anyway), and that's something I've needed to rectify!

Generations Springer and Fansproject Quadruple U are the latest additions to the collection, but despite having had them for a few months I've not yet had the time to review either; a situation I'm hoping to change in the next few weeks. Short form is that they're both great, but we'd all like to see more pictures of them in action, right? Watch this space, true believers...

Current Eye Feasts.

Other than Transformers I've been enjoying Gundam Wing, and also getting quite heavily into the Halo mythos (been playing X-Box a bit more recently, which has been a bit of long overdue irresponsible fun). I'm hoping that both of these franchises will make an appearance up here in plastic form at some point in the near future.

Finally there's the small matter of the Film Northants contest... A massive thank you to everyone who supported us; click here to find out how we did.

I'll be back with some proper action figure goodness soon. Until then, thanks for reading!

JB

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The Habit


CHUG Autobots Jazz Bumblebee Transformers

I’ve been fighting the urge again today.

Time and again I’ll get that uncontrollable desire to put down some money for some fine plastic crack, whatever line I’m into at the time, and much like Decepticons dogging an Autobot shuttle (which sounds kinda weird when typed out like that), the need doesn’t abate until I’m ripping plastic from cardback and welcoming a new soldier to the collection. That’s how so many of the figures I own have come into my possession, and quite tidily explains how I always veer so wildly off of any kind of focus.

It’s all good fun, don’t get me wrong – new toys can be exciting photography subjects, or companions on adventures around the house, but after a while the thrill wears off and in most cases the figures end up in a box waiting for the day they no longer fit the trim of my collection, gathering dust whilst destined for eBay. What’s more, impulse purchases never feel as good as ticking something off of ‘the list’ – finding Battle in Space Rodimus second-hand for £6 has been one of my best finds since starting collecting because a) he’s one of my favourite characters, and b) it scratched that G1 Movie itch. Beast Hunters Deluxe Smokescreen, currently on sale for £6.50 at the supermarket down the road doesn’t have the same pros going for it, however much I liked the character in the show. But still, despite these rationalisations, the temptation is there to nip out and buy it anyway. It could be in my hands in ten minutes.

CHUG Decepticons Galvatron Nightstick Cyclonus Transformers

Further propagating the insatiable urge has been the recent launch of the AOE toys, which I scouted out just this morning at another supermarket slightly further down the road. My willpower took an easy victory there though as those toys (the one-step changers and battlers) look terrible, completely and utterly devoid of the skill and invention that continues to make Transformers an evergreen line. Hasbro’s continued cheapening out will come home to roost (if it’s not already), but that’s a subject for another post…

So then, a thought suggests, maybe I should just go and buy the substantially better (and cheaper) Beast Hunters figures whilst I still can?

No. That way lies madness, and an inevitable financial loss when the toy ends up at a car boot sale one year hence. Furthermore it could also mean the difference between making all my bills this month or not, which means buying the figure would be both a serious lapse of responsibility and indicate a failure to contextualise my dilemma. They’re just toys man, just toys. 

Still got that urge though. What to do?

CHUG Autobots Rodimus Hot Rod Jazz Bumblebee Transformers

Here’s a novel suggestion, amidst the wave of purchase enabling which goes on online - how about appreciating the plastic I’ve already got?

My CHUG collection (Classics/Henkei/Universe/Generations, the standard Transformers lines of recent years) is small but pretty, and contains several of my favourite characters – the aforementioned Rodimus (Hot Rod in all but copyright-concerned name), Jazz, Galvatron, Cyclonus and Bumblebee. All G1, all Movie, all fun… Well, with the unfortunate exception of the small, fiddly and frustrating Galvatron, but I’m not here to focus on the negatives. The glorious weather we’ve had so far this week was a big motivating factor in taking them all out to photograph, and in doing so I remembered why I collect these figures in the first place.

So much of collecting is about the next big thing, the upcoming releases, the new third-party or Masterpiece pre-orders, with the result being that the current releases tend to get forgotten, celebrated wildly upon receipt but then left to stand on a shelf; at least, that’s something I’ve been guilty of anyway. What I think I’d be better off remembering is that I’ve got a great little collection of toy robots already, and in future I should perhaps try to associate my urge with appreciating what I have, rather than with spending what I don’t.

All that said though… One Kapow! sale, and I’m anybody’s…

Staying on target then, does anyone reading have any particular method for avoiding the temptation of sales and keeping focused with their collecting? Or is it just an intrinsic part of the collector mentality to move from one purchase to the next? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Review: Transformers Generations Orion Pax

It's Prime Time! Oh, uh, wait - nope, not yet...
OK, full disclosure - I don't think I've been very good at reviewing Transformers toys. Not only because I've very rarely done it, but also because when I do, I'm probably not the best person to make a judgement call - look at this glowing review of Transformers Prime Bumblebee to see what I mean... Anyway, from here on in I intend to make ammends - and who better to start with than Mr. Pre-Prime himself, Orion Pax!

I guess 'Thrilling 29' doesn't have quite the same ring to it...
Firstly, I'm a big fan of the cardback. Whilst the pack-in IDW Spotlight comic would've been a welcome addition, I'm not going to complain - I have stacks of comics sitting in boxes not being read as it is, and tfwiki  tells me everything I need to know about the story. The red grid design is reminiscent of the original G1 packaging, and I love me some big portrait artwork showing the character off. You can see both his weapons and both his modes - this is a card that does everything you need it to do, and looks snazzy doing it.

Freedom is the right of whoever has the biggest gun!
The Prime

In robot mode, Pax looks great. At first I thought the legs looked a little long, but as soon as I got him into a pose that doubt disappeared. With 16 points of articulation (outside of transforming) he can be put into a wide variety of fighting positions, and with both a solid centre of gravity and ball jointed feet he can hold those poses too.

Party Prime!
It's not just the posability though, as the sculpt and paint apps help sell this figure for me. As strange as it is to write this about a completely fictional character, this Orion Pax really captures the essence of a youthful Optimus Prime. A big part of that is IDW's character design for sure, but then you get little details - the yellow on Pax's forearms and pelvis for example, which Hasbro didn't have to include. Orion Pax succeeds as both a homage to the G1 character and as an entity in his own right, which I would imagine is a difficult thing to pull off. Of course, the weapons help a lot in this respect - his gun is like a slightly smaller version of Prime's famous mega firearm, and he also comes with a translucent orange axe. I do like a Transformer with a good melee weapon - very War for Cybertron, and a very cool look when standing on the toy shelf. 

Orion Pax and his Backpack Axe!
My favourite feature of Orion's robot mode is this nifty weapons storage, however - his battle axe slots firmly between his alt-mode's wheels, meaning he can keep a hand free rather than looking permanantly tooled up. The protruding axe head also helps him look a little taller as well, which really isn't a bad thing, as we'll find out. My final 'Prime' point is the Autobot faction symbol on the plastic behind the translucent windshield - it looks great, and shows that Pax is Autobot to the core. Was there ever any doubt?

The Pax

From getting him out of the packaging I realised that Orion Pax is small, and much smaller than the Deluxe class figures of the past. Since he's not Optimus Prime (and I'm assuming that OP went through the same Matrix-acquiring growth spurt Hot Rod does in the movie) I don't really mind the smaller size; however for people with large CHUG (Classics/Henkei/United/Generations) collections already I can understand the frustration that this shortening might bring.

Actually, Cyclonus is used to short faction Commanders...
The paint apps on mine aren't perfect, but they do a more than good enough job of conveying all the detailing that's required. It's mainly some of the yellow highlights that are a bit sloppy, but they're barely noticable in robot form anyway. It's when we get to Pax's alt-mode that things take a slight downturn...

The World's Fightingest Pickup Truck
Firstly, I love that there's weapon storage/armament points on Pax's vehicle mode. It would've been undoubtedly easier for Hasbro to leave Pax's car a car, and I appreciate the ingenuity used to keep the firepower present. It looks a bit goofy for me but that's OK, because I can take them off. That is, if I even displayed these guys in their alt-modes anyway...

Definitely not hands.
As I've been writing this review I've realised the similarity between Pax's transformation and that of G1 Kup, which may be more than coincidental considering that Orion Pax's first figure was a repaint of the 1986 Autobot. Whether it's an intentional homage or just the nature of his physical appearance, I have no idea. Anyway, it's the vehicle mode that lets Pax down. It's not bad but it feels very small and lightweight. From the front it still looks great (although the paint does look a bit plain), but from the back it loses its form a bit. It's not terrible in any way at all though, and you'd have to be an idiot to display him with the rear of the alt-mode sticking out anyway - it's just it does feel a bit less substantial than you'd expect. Still, this is nitpicking - it does the job of being a vaugely-relateable-whilst-still-Cybertronian vehicle and does it well.

So... Prime time yet?
The Verdict

As I only have a fledgling Transformer collection the size isn't a dealbreaker for me, and as I said above, I think that because it's Orion Pax and not Optimus Prime it doesn't matter so much that he's a little bit smaller. The thing is, other than the diminutive size and slight alt-mode, it's actually an excellent figure. If you're so inclined, buy this, get it into some kickass robot poses, and put it with the rest of your WFC/FOC 'bots. I honestly think you'll be glad you did.

*****

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Garden War!

Ambush!
Free Comic Book Day 2013 was good to me, as I picked up three IDW Transformers issues amongst many others - an Alex Milne sketchbook, a re-print of Buster Witwicky and the Car Wash of Doom, and best of all, Re-Generation #81. The latter comic is a brilliant read, as it picks up from the end of the old Marvel series, with characters and a status quo that I know and remember fondly. Subsequently, I found myself in a Transformers mood...

Cyclonus
G1 Transformers are mainly where it's at for me. I have some fond memories of Beast Wars, and love the design of Lio-Convoy (amongst others) - I certainly never subscribed to the 'Trukk not Munky' mindset - but the G1 cartoon and movie are what I think of when someone says 'Robots in Disguise'. However great the toys were for the mid-80's though, they don't stand up to today's standards, and that's where the Universe/Generations line does such a great job.

Cyclonus is a faithful interpretation of the G1 character design, the likes of which we didn't get with any Autobot or Decepticon back in the day, down to the colour scheme and the fantastic light-piping that make the eyes burn red. This version is from a Reveal the Shield two-pack that came with Rodimus Prime and a Matrix of Leadership - unfortunately I bought this second hand, so my only Hot Rod is an actual G1 version - but Cyclonus here did come with his firearm, the amazingly updated Targetmaster Nightstick. The amount of articulation, unthinkable in the 80's, coupled with the character likeness and playability (the transformation is sublimly intuitive) make Cyclonus a shining example of how Transformers should be done...

Autobot Jazz
On to the Autobot side of the battle then. I've already blogged before about Jazz and the heartbreak associated with that particular guy at G1; since then though I'm pleased to announce that my Reveal the Shield version has remained in one piece (but excuse me for a moment whilst I knock on some wood!).

What I loved about the old Marvel UK comics, besides the fact it was weekly installments of the Cybertronian War, was that it was my first exposure to a seperate continuity, and to the idea that the stories I could tell with these characters didn't need to be rail-roaded within the confines of the cartoon universe. That seemed like a decent preparation for pop-culture today, with re-boots and Ultimate Comics and live-action movie versus first-generation animated movie factions becoming increasingly normal; and I love it. Sure, we get some stinkers like Revenge of the Fallen, but then we also get the Dark Knight Trilogy. It evens out!


Bringing it back around, I'm glad that a comic like Re-Generation exists, and I'll keep reading. It's Transformers as I remember them, and I'm very happy that it's being continued - Bludgeon, Skorponok and Megatron as the Decepticon heavy-hitters suits me just fine.

Fight!
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A New Breed of Decepticon

As my quest to collect the best modern iterations of the original 12 Star Wars figures draws nearer to conclusion (only one purchase left to make!), I've been teetering on Star Wars burnout - make no bones, I still love the series, and I'm actually listening to the ANH soundtrack as I type this; but after too much of one thing it's always good to flex some different creative muscles... Therefore, I present today's quick snap - Cyclonus!


Post-Movie Second-in-Command to Galvatron, Cyclonus (motto: "Compassion is the Autobots' downfall.") realised the Decepticon cause was all but lost without Galvatron, and led the mission to retrieve him from Chaar. A fierce warrior, he also fought with honour; Ultra Magnus being one Autobot to earn his respect. From the looks of the above scene however, Jazz did not... 

Cyclonus here is from the Reveal the Shield line, whilst Jazz is from Universe. As Transformers (and TMNT as well, but more on that another time) have taken my interest of late, I've also been looking into Third Party products, and today made my first purchase...


The Maketoys MB-01 SP2 Mobine Missile Launcher - Marine Type. Why this obscure bit of kit? Two reasons. Firstly, Third Party products are expensive. Whilst they generally look great, I didn't want to take a £100 plunge on something that my clumsy ham-fists might break out of the box. Secondly:


Oh yeah. Smoulder's getting an upgrade! :D

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