Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Titans Return Ravage & Legends LG-37 Jaguar


Titans Return Ravage

Although expected as a Stripes repaint, our first look at Ravage came at a Toyfair Australia event. There was immediately some confusion as Ravage's Official Images showed him with Stripes' head but, as pictures from Botcon confirm, and you can see it in close up here, Ravage does indeed have a new, thinner head without the mane that closely resembles his original.

The same thing happened with Rumble: his official images showed Rumble with same head as Rewind but later images showed the correct head.

While Titans Return Laserbeak is too black, Ravage ISN'T BLACK ENOUGH! He is, bar the new head, a simple colour swap of Stripes: Orange and yellow become black, black becomes an off white grey. Unfortunately that makes a large portion of his body grey and that just doesn't look right in the pictures. I hadn't intended to buy it but in the plastic in looks considerably better, an almost metallic grey, but I still think the body needs to be black.

Ravage was sold in Titans Returns Legends Wave 2 where he was packed at 3 per case alongside 3 of Laserbeak and just 2 of Rumble. Rumble's the only one with a robot mode, so I find it odd he's the least packed one, all three are tapes and all three have similar black colour schemes. I didn't think this wave looked terrible good and, like the first wave, was likely to shelf warm so I'm quite grateful that, at time of writing, it's only showed up in small numbers in the UK which makes it more likely we'll get the desirable Wave 3.


Legends LG-37 Jaguar

Fortunately Takara comes to our rescue with an all black Ravage which looks much more like what I want! If you were being picky then you'd say to look more like original Ravage then the lower limbs & feet need to be grey or better silver, but making the legs grey is what led to the grey body on the western Ravage.

Ravage comes with Bullhorn, a repaint of the Terri-bull who was previously called Horri-bull. Terri-Bull's grey chest & lower legs and blue everything else becomes a black chest & lower legs with grey arms & upper legs. The shoulders are painted black with a blue large robot head and the portion of his face not covered by his faceplate done in silver as is his forehead. Every time I see the Titanmaster from the rear I keep thinking the face is on the wrong way up and the silver forehead should be the faceplate! Apart from that the only problem I have with Bullhorn is I just don't see his connection to Ravage!


Future Repaints

I fully expect to see the Stripes version of the toy released in Japan under the name Steeljaw with the correct yellow colour and paired with the Sawback (Lione) head due to the lion connection between the two toys.

Titans Return Laserbeak & Legends LG-38 Condor


Titans Return Laserbeak

Where there's Buzzsaw there's usually Laserbeak and vice verse. Laserbeak was revealed at Toyfair 2016, but wasn't one of the toys even rumoured in advance though it was obvious there would be one! At first I thought he was just in the official images because he's not easy to spot in the display shots but you can find him in tape and eagle mode perched on Soundwave.

It's an odd colour scheme for Laserbeak, mainly black with not enough red. The only red really is the tails to each wings. Most odd. Have they coloured him this way to differentiate him from Rumble? It won't work, with a mainly black tablet mode he'll look the same as any Ravage they do!


Legends LG-38 Condor

The Legends versions of Ravage and Laserbeak attempt to fix some of the problems of the western versions. While Legends LG-37 Jaguar turns Ravage all black, Condor goes more colourful. The major problem I had with Laserbeak was there wasn't enough red and they've sorted that by painting the main body red which helps a lot. The choice to make 2/3 of the edging of the tape grey plastic is an interesting one. On the wing pieces the front edge is painted black, the bottom contains a black plastic insert and the top is mostly stickered so that the grey plastic is hardly noticeable but it is much more obvious on the two tail pieces so I'm guessing that the recolouring choice is all to do with making these pieces look like the original Laserbeak lasers.

Legends Condor comes with the long awaited Japanese release of the Japanese version of Titanmaster Apeface: his Ape/jet/gun accessory was released with LG-30 Weirdwolf in September, 3 months previous to the Titanmaster's release. In fact the accessory has been released a second time since then with LG-EX Convobat!

Legends Apeface swaps the black on the arms & head for purple and the purple in the body for an off white to give a different interpretation of the original Apeface Headmaster Spasma. The larger robot head looks very very similar except for the addition of some red eyes.

A nice package and a main toy superior to the Hasbro version but, like Legends LG-37 Jaguar & Bullhorn, I can't see any connection between the main toy and the Headmaster.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Legends LG-39 Brainstorm & Synapse


Legends Brainstorm

Many people were hoping that the Legends version of Brainstorm would solve the problem of both version of the Titans Return toy being hard to get. What they hadn't counted on was that Legends Brainstorm would have a new face, missing the traditional faceplate that western fans are used to but matching his appearance in the Japanese Headmasters cartoon. This also leads to some colour tweaks: the wings, air intakes and tail fins are now black in vehicle mode as are the hands, feet, shoulder wings and body rear in robot mode. This Tweet from Alfes2010 shows all 3 Brainstorms together in robot mode allowing you to compare them while Alfes Blog-entry-2739

compares all three with the previous Voyager Brainstorm. Interestingly as yet I've not see a set of pictures of all four of those with the original.

For his Japanese release Brainstorm is paired with Synapse, the jeep/gun accessory from Titanmaster Brawn, which is repainted to match the deluxe toy with green plastic becoming pale blue and the yellow pieces being done in grey. It's not the first blue jeep in Transformers and unfortunately it has brought the disturbing image of Energon Strongarm back to mind!

The darker colours on the toy's wings and the different head are something of a non started for many fans but I quite like it. The face matches his unmasked look in More Than Meets The Eye and the accessory is a nice little bonus. The news that the alternate toy accurate head is coming in Japan completes this set.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Unite Warriors UW-EX Megatronia


Unite Warriors Lunaclub

One of the big problems with the Torchbearer helicopters, Stormclash and Skyburst, is that they are very very similar toys. Yes I know there's something clever going on with mirror image colour schemes on the vehicles and robots, plus different heads, but they are basically the same underlined by Hasbro themselves not being able to tell the difference and mucking up the labelling for their official photos! Unite Warriors has hone a different route.

Lunaclub is the repaint of Torchbearer Stormclash and has the head with the eyes. She swaps Stormclash's institutional green for the black used on all of Megatronia's components while her red becomes a peach/pale neon orange. The faction symbol on the right of her chest becomes a Decepticon one while the square on the left, painted red on Stormclash, becomes a pale blue which will become significant later. He bladed weapon is still transparent blue but has the blade painted pint and the edging, previously silver, turned gold. See this tweet for a comparison between the two versions of the toy.

I'm not 100% keen on the peachy orange but it goes OK with the black and is a HUGE improvement over the previous colour scheme.


Unite Warriors Moonheart

Moonheart is the repaint of Torchbearer Skyburst and has the head with the visor. Her colours have taken a very similar approach to that used on her sister Lunaclub. Again Institutional Green becomes black but this time the red becomes pale blue producing a colour scheme that's sympathetic to the moon part of her name. All the other changes to Lunaclub apply here too but interestingly the square on her right chest, again previously red, is now blue. Their fictional biographies depict them as twins and it's nice to see that, although different, a piece of each other's colour schemes shows up on the opposing toy. Here's a tweet showing a comparison between Moonheart & Skyburst while this tweet shows the Four Guards Helicopter sisters together.

The better of the two helicopter colour schemes used in the Megatronia box, but the use of the colour on the chest helps tie her in with her sister and is a nice touch.


Unite Warriors Trickdiamond

Four Guards Lunaclub & Moonheart were direct repaints of Torchbearers Stormclash & Skyburst. Trickdiamond is broadly the same with black replacing green and yellow replacing red. However the frame for the top of the body, shoulder joints, elbow joints, waist & knees is now black instead of yellow with the yellow paint apps down the side of the body and on the robot reduced in size somewhat. Like the helicopters her shield weapon is still moulded in clear blue plastic but has it's paint applications changed to gold. You can see the difference between the two toys in this tweet.

Since the Breakdown mould, adapted for Torchbearer Jumpstream & this toy, has already been used to make Combiner Wars Sunstreaker seeing the car mode in mainly black, with yellow highlights, puts me in mind of the Generation 2 version on Sunstreaker's brother Sideswipe who, at the time of writing in February 2017, still hasn't received a Combiner Wars version presumably due to his presence in Robots in Disguise.

You can't really go wrong with a black Lamborghini. Well unless you stick the Botcon 2016 Ravage head on it. Looks great!


Unite Warriors Flowspade

Flowspade is almost a direct plastic colour swap for Torchbearer Dustup with institutional green becoming black and red becoming what my wife described as violet. The waist, knee, combiner wars & Hand/Foot/Gun frame breaks this pattern by going from red to black. The reason the colour swap doesn't look so simple is that the paint apps for vehicle mode have been dramatically changed as you can see in this tweet comparing the two. With Dustup the car, which would have been mainly that nasty green, was liberally painted red over the sides helping the red plastic elbow blend in. For Flowspade this has gone and the elbow sticks out like a sore thumb as it has done on most versions of Combiner Wars Dead End! Paint is kept to a minimum: the front bumper, centre of the bonnet, one of the few places that was the native plastic colour on Dustup, and the centre of the rear. The weapon is significantly improved here: like Megaempress the moulded plastic colour has gone from grey to black and coupled with the gold paint used on all the weapons in the Like the other deluxes in the Megatronia boxset it looks significantly better!

Big improvement over Dustup. But it's the 12th use of Dead End so I'm finding it hard to get really excited about.


Megaempress

When Megaempress was first hinted at in this Unite Warriors comic strip there was an assumption that she was Esmeral the wife of Deathsaurus in the Victory Manga. The reality when revealed turns out to be even stranger as the online comic introducing her reveals: She is effectively a female version of Megatron constructed from his spare parts! The idea here is to make the robot mode as close to Megatron as possible and they've done a pretty good job as this tweet showing Megaempress with the Legends Version of Combiner Wars Megatron shows. Even the female Prowl head works with the crest aping the details on the top of Megatron's head within his helmet. In fact the detailing is so close I'd argue that this Voyager robot should be called Megatronia instead of the combined robot which looks nothing like Megatron! The only downside to the detailing is that it does make the face hidden in the remoulded Pyra Magna chest panel more obvious than ever with the eyes, one red and one blue to match the panel on Megatron's chest, really standing out! For those upset at the lack of a traditional arm mounted fusion cannon the now black ladder can be folded over her shoulder as what's described on TFWiki as a Rail Fusion Cannon.

The colours result in a fire engine that has swapped it's orangey red for silver which, together with the black ladder, almost convinces me that this isn't a fire engine any more. I can almost believe it some sort of military vehicle with a big gun mounted on the back if. It looks totally different to the previous Pyra Magna version of the toy as this Comparison Tweet shows.

Love this toy. Fabulous repaint. If I could afford it I'd buy another just so I could display the Voyager in robot mode because I know combineritus will strike and she will spend the rest of her life as Megatronia's torso!


Megatronia

TakaraTomy loves it's Fembots even more than Hasbro do. The Legends line got Windblade, Arcee & Chromia like the Generations line did but in addition the first two were repainted in the Legends line as Slipstream & Nightbird Shadow alongside Blackarachnia, a remould of the animated toy. So it was rather likely that Takara would do a Japanese version of Victorion.

The existence of Unite Warriors "Victorion" was hinted at was first hinted at in a comic strip released on 28th June 2016 with official images following on 24th August and a revised set on the 31st of the same month which reveals the names used for the set. I've not found an official name for the team but TFWiki refer to the deluxes as The 4 Guards.

Essentially the Unite Warriors Megatronia Boxset is a repaint of the previous Combiner Wars Victorion Gift Set. The only change to the toy moulds used is that Torchbearer Rust Dust, a repaint of Combiner Wars Protetobot Groove, is omitted as have all the Legends companions for the Combiners issued in Unite Warriors.

All the deluxe in the set are predominantly black while the Voyager, Megaempress, is mainly silver with some black. I've listed bellow the toys in the set, with what they're repaints of and which colour in addition to black they toy has on it.

Four Guards Colour Torchbearers Comparison Combiner Wars
Lunaclub Peach Stormclash Comparison Aerialbot Alpha Bravo
Moonheart Blue Skyburst Comparison
Flowspade Violet Dustup Comparison Stunticon Dead End
Trickdiamond Yellow Jumpstream Comparison Stunticon Breakdown
Megaempress Silver Pyra Magna Comparison Protectobot Hot Spot
Megatronia Pink Victorion Comparison Protectobot Defensor

The pink on Megatronia is provided by the chest plate and stripes on the upper legs, both of which are hidden away when Megaempress is in robot mode. Her black from the ladder/rail fusion cannon becomes the chest and head of the combined robot. Black continues onto the individual robot weapons which combine to form Megatronia's sword and the hands & feet which are repaints of those used on Victorion which hadn't previously appeared on a Japanese toy.

Given this new colour scheme with the elements united by the black Megatronia is a far more attractive toy than Victorion with her clashing institution green and red. Yes, she does tend to lean forward but that's a problem common to all combiners using variants of the Hotspot mould. And Yes, the chest panels tend to pop off when you turn the arms, another fault common to Hotspot and Pyra Magna. My real problem with the new version of the toy is the name. I feel Megatronia is a much more suitable name for the Voyager, who looks like a female Megatron than the combiner which doesn't. I'm led to wonder if this is another case of names being mixed up so the Voyager should be Megatronia and the larger combiner Megaempress.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Legends Convobat


Convobat

I like repaints. Every review I write I include a section at the bottom entitled "Future Repaints" where I try and guess what the toy I'm writing about will be turned into with a few splashes of paint and maybe a couple of new/remoulded parts. I frequently include Beast Wars characters for anything animal related but very seldom get rewarded. As soon as we saw Mindwipe I thought "you might get a decent Bat Optimus Primal out of that" but seeing as the basic bat is Optimus Primal's lesser well known form the suggestion was more a shot in the dark.

Blow me if E-Hobby only went and took us up on the idea! The toy was announced on 5th August 2016 and during the period the toy was available to order from E-Hobby a number of promotional comic pages were issued :

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
In addition more promotional images were released via Twitter but it wasn't until promotional images of the next E-Hobby exclusive were released that people noticed that Convobat was missing his tail element, which is included with the forthcoming Magna Convoy.

To make up a new version of the Optimus Primal bat TakaraTomy have taken the Titans Return Mindwipe body and repainterd it a grey & blue. Blue is used for the upper arms, hands, waist and upper legs. The body is blue too but doesn't look it due to a large amount of grey paint on the chest to make it resemble the original basic toy's bat head. It's squared off but I can see what they are doing. All the rest of the toy is now moulded in grey with the exception of the clear bat chest door which is now clear orange. Red highlights on the knees, forearms and body remind you that the Optimus Primal bat was originally meant to be a new beast version of 1984's original Optimus Prime.

In order to give the toy an Optimus Primal style head, the repainted Mindwipe body has been paired with a blue version of Sentinel Prime's Titanmaster Infinitus. I'd been wanting to see this part in blue since I first same it on Sentinel Prime and it works very well as an Optimus Prime head, albeit a slightly angular one. The same Titanmaster will serve a similar purpose as the head of Legends Lio Convoy, the Japanese repaint of Alpha Trion.

The package contains a second Titanmaster head, Megalligator which is a green version of Galvatron's Titanmaster Nucleon. This is meant to to act as the head of Alligator Megatron, the toy which was originally packed in a VS Pack with Bat Optimus Primal. However here's no body for Megalligator included but his green does perfectly match Legends LG-22 Skull and his Titans Return version Skullsmasher.

The original Optimus Primal was armed with a pair of swords and in order to mimic this Convobat is paired with the swords from Transformers Prime Wheeljack which, when not in use, can peg into the holes on the wings.

Like the Legends deluxe toys which were originally Headmasters Convobat is paired with a Titanmaster accessory. His is Ape-X Arms a new repaint of Titanmaster Apeface's Ape/Jet accessory in the colours of Optimus Primal's final Beast Wars form Optimal Optimus. It's a nice repaint but it is broadly similar to Rarigo, the yellow repaint of Apeface that came with LG-30 Weirdwolf.

This is a top toy package. The deco on the main figure really brings the mould to life in a way that Mindwipe didn't for me. Love it, it's a great toy and I'm very pleased to own one.

Classics Voyager Optimus Prime

So .....

I dug the Classics Voyager Optimus Prime file out to make some notes for Magna Convoy. Once I got the file in front of me it became obvious that I was missing a few versions. So ....

Voyager Op, Magnus and SDCC Nemesis Prime are essentially the original reviews as written with the rest being new additions.


Classics Voyager Optimus Prime

Classic Optimus Prime is a re-imagining of the 1984 original Optimus Prime Cab. The basic body shape is similar, but with an aerodynamic cab top, longer cab and slanted front windows. Other than that in looks very similar to original Op. The cab feels nice and chunky, and as an estimate is a similar size to the Powermaster Optimus cab.

To Transform start by folding back the blue panels under the back of the cab revealing the upper legs. Fold the legs down under the cab, fold the feet out and fold the knee caps up. Remove the smoke stacks. Pull the sides of the cabs out from the side of the front grill and fold out to the sides. Fold the sides of the back of the cab out forward. Straighten, fold and bend the arms out do the blue panels on the shoulders and the yellow strips on the forearms are facing forward. The cab side halves fold under the arms and along the outer edge of the arms. Pull the cab roof back and fold up the head. Fold the front wheels in under the grill and rotate the cab from the windows upward round 180 degrees. Fold the cab top onto his back. Take the smoke stacks, and fold the bits out within the smokestacks. Fold them together, and fold the handle out the back of the gun.

The resultant robot looks very similar to original Optimus Prime, the main difference being sloped windows. His neck can turn, shoulders move forward and back, swing to the sides, rotate at the bicep and bend at the elbow. He swivels at the waist, has universal joints on the hips, a swivel above the knee and bends at the knee. You can pose him well, he's comfortably kneeling on the table beside me. He does look a little small - more the size of an old Mega than the previous Cybertron Voyagers. He's a good inch or so taller than the Armada Optimus.

Op's forearms have the holes that take the smokestacks - these are just large enough to take the small posts from the Robotmaster missile launchers.

The cab roof - now on his back - can be swivelled so the flat edge is at the top. The hand gun can be opened up and clipped into the back pack, which then can fold forward to position twin cannons over the shoulders.

The cab roof can also TF into a hand gun: Fold the sides down till they lock together, fold the top back and fold out the gun barrel. It doesn't look like a typical TF gun but it works as an extra weapon.

Classics Optimus is a nice stylised toy. But for some reason I'm not feeling that it's as special as it could be for it's price point.

In addition to being available at the Voyage price point Optimus Prime was also released in a twin pack with his recolour Ultra Magnus - this set wasn't available in the UK or the US.


Classics Ultra Magnus

Both the toys in the Battle for Autobot City pack - exclusive to Target in the US and Woolworths in the UK - are much as you'd expect - Magnus is mainly white in both forms, Skywarp Black with Purple Highlights.

Magnus Truck mode is something of a departure featuring a pale blue truck base, which was white on all previous Ultra Magnus toys, especially the 1986 original. There's some further blue highlighting, as well as clear blue windows (and lightpipe eyes in robot mode). The exhaust pipes/gun are still black as - when you transform to robot mode - are his hands, both of which are rather odd looking and out of place, should both have been white. His face plate is Silver - blue would have been better - and the head is painted white which jars with the rest of the cast white. Of the Prime repainted white as Magnus figures - Original, Laser Rod, Armada Supercon and Masterpiece - this is probably sort of mid table (my fave's the Supercon version)

Seeing as the original versions of these would have set you back £30, the £20 Woolworths were asking for the set is a good deal.

In addition to being available in this exclusive two pack, Ultra Magnus was also released in a twin pack with Classics Voyager Optimus Prime - this set wasn't available in the UK or the US.


Shattered Glass Optimus Prime

For the Shattered Glass set in Botcon 2008 the theme of alternate universe evil Autobots good Decepticons was taken. The bad Optimus Prime swaps red for purple, the blue & grey for a darker grey and the clear blue for a clear yellow orange. Lots of damage deco is added - like a cracked window transfer - and he includes inscribed on him the motto "Till All Are Gone", a play on words on the motto heard in the original & best Transformers Movie.

It's an interesting and different Prime repaint.


Henkei C-01 Convoy

It took nearly a year and a half but Classics Voyager Optimus Prime was finally released as C-01 Henkei Convoy in Japan in March 2008. This release removes some of the white striping, darkens the red plastic, makes the grey more silver and chromes the front grill.

Henkei Crystal Convoy

In the spirit of 2001's Crystal Rodimus, Crystal Convoy is the Classics Voyager rendered entirely in coloured clear plastic parts.

Looks absolutely gorgeous, I have a weakness for clear repaints so I want one!. Unfortunately the price is very much "HOW MUCH?????" so I suspect this will be an item I will just have to look at the pictures for!

Crystal Convoy was sold at Tokyo Toy Fair 2008 where 1000 units were available and then on the internet through e-Hobby.


SDCC 2008 Nemesis Prime

I think you can guess what this involves ;-) Red becomes black, blue becomes a dark grey blue and the grey becomes a little darker. It's a classic evil Prime repaint which was an exclusive at San Diego Comic Con in July 2008 and later sold through HasbroToyShop.com.

United Ultra Magnus

Six years after the western Classic Voyager Ultra Magnus the Japanese version was issued in 2012. This takes the western toy and looses almost all of the blue, bar the face plate, crest and clear windows, resulting in a toy which is coloured much closer to the colour scheme used on the original 1986 Ultra Magnus.

Although a more monochrome looking toy I much prefer this over the Classics Voyager who'd blue lower legs I always found very distracting!


United Black Optimus Prime

Very similar to SDCC Nemesis Prime this Tokyo Toy Show 2012 Japanese exclusive now has red windows and mint green stripes.

Alfes shows the toy in blog entries 1567, 1568, 1579 & 1580.

Having seen the two compared I think this is the better Evil Optimus toy: the clear red plastic used on the windows brings the toy to life. A quick look on eBay reveals that while expensive this toy can be had for a relatively reasonable price still!


Cloud Convoy

The summer of 2014 proved to be a very busy time for the Classics Voyager Optimus mould with it getting three uses in quick succession. It's first appearance was in Japan where it serves as the launch toy for the Autobot/Cybertron half of the Transformers Cloud line of Generations Voyager repaints. The exclusive line led an odd split life: Optimus Prime and the other Autobots were exclusive to Takara Tomy Mall while Megatron and the Decepticons that followed were exclusive to E-Hobby.

The deco here is dark blue lower legs/flatbed, white upper legs & waist and a dark red body & arms/cab. The cab top is now cast in black, reminiscent of Generation 2 Optimus Prime but is adorned with a white normal Autobot symbol. There's very little extra pant or detailing on the toy making it look simple but effective.

At the time this came out in late May 2014 I didn't own a Classics Voyager Optimus, having sold my original some years previously, and was tempted to pick it up but sadly the Takara Tomy Mall Autobot were harder to obtain overseas, where as the Decepticons were later sold through HLJ, so I missed out.


Botcon Knights of Cybertron Ginrai

Now I get what this Botcon 2014 toys is about: it's the classic Voyager done in the Fire Guts God Ginrai Japanese Exclusive colours. But Fire Guts God Ginrai has never really done it for me, I didn't like the colours and it always annoyed me that there was a God Bomber included with that set and not with the black Nucleon Quest Convoy! I've mellowed on the colours somewhat over time, thanks mainly to the arrival of Sentinel Prime and I could conceive of this being repurposed as another version of the Titans Return character.

I won't be going out of my way to find one though.

Ginrai was sold as part of the Knight of Cybertron boxset at Botcon 2014 held from June 19 to June 22, 2014 in Pasadena, California,


Age of Extinction Evolution Optimus Prime

The third third Classics Voyager Optimus Prime that year came in a TRU Exclusive Evolution 2 pack with a redeco of Age Of Extinction Evasion Optimus Prime which has blue flames on the side.

This version of Optimus is broadly similar to the original Classics Voyager. The shoulders have lost their blue paint and many of the yellow highlights have gone. The clear blue plastic is now uncoloured clear plastic. Like the Henkei version the cab mode's radiator is now chromed but so are the upper legs and waist giving the toy an appearance close to the 1984 original.

First found in the USA in August 2014, I wasn't willing to pay £40 for the 2 pack when it came out here to get one toy I didn't want! But after the set had sat in my local Toys R Us for over a year through various price reductions I bought it when it was reduced down to £24.95. For that price I think I've got a pretty decently painted classics Voyager.


Platinum One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall Optimus Prime

When images of this toy first appeared on eBay in January 2016 I put this down as an unfinished prototype due to the large panels of clear plastic on the side of the vehicle. "Show it to me when it's finished" I thought "A blue windowed Prime would be nice". But no, the images showed the finished article that would appear in the Platinum One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall set!

Seeing as this was the third western use of this mould as Optimus Prime, and the previous one released two years before was still shelf warming in it's movie two-pack this toy really needed a dynamite deco for it to sell. To tell you the truth it's not bad apart from those unpainted cab sides which just look horrendous! If they're meant to represent Prime's battle damage in the fight with Megatron then they're not doing a good job as we never see his vehicle mode after he's damaged and the robot mode looks OK still. In fact this is a more than passable Prime just left in robot mode.

Unfortunately the set does have other problems too namely a somewhat eccentric deco for Megatron to get him past the gun laws and an astonishing £100 price tag at TRU in the UK! The set has reached as low as £30 at certain online retailers but that still isn't low enough to get me to touch it!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Legends LG-34 Wipe with Servant


Legends LG-34 Wipe with Servant

Takara's been busy with Mindwipe. We'll start with the material colour swaps:

PARTSTITANS RETURNLEGENDS
Feet, tail, gun & Titanmaster lower legsPurpleBlack
Lower arms, hands & shield clawBlackpurple
Head, small bat wings & wing tipsBrown/RedRed
Chest hatchClear PinkClear Red

The head has then had a layer of brown paint added to match the Japanese Headmasters cartoon which unfortunately now limits the movement of the jaw.. The same brown paint now lines the tops of the wings. The fronts of the wings, which really should have been moulded in red, are now painted red.

The overall effect here is slightly too busy colour-wise especially on the wings where you can see red, brown and purple on the same parts.

A new face piece for the Titanmaster has been added which is slightly larger than the Titans Return version hiding the smaller robot's arms better. It's also lot more angular than before, closer matching the appearance in the Japanese cartoon but neither it nor the Titans Return version look much the toy's original head which I much prefer.

Placing a Titans Return Crashbash repaint with Mindwipe is somewhat controversial since it is the second time Crashbash has been used as a pack in having been previously included with LG-22 Skull. However the pack ins with original Headmasters seem to be limited to the first two waves of toys. That means there's six unique toys to be shared amongst 7 Headmasters and since there's only two Beast accessories and Takara are looking to match the accessories to the deluxes as vehicle to vehicle and beast to beast, then the choice is a little limited!

The colours chosen here are great: a metallic dark grey for Crashbash's purple and a dark burgundy red for Crashbash's grey resulting in a colour scheme on the dinosaur very VERY similar to the Tomy Zoids Iguan. It's a shame he has no matching Titanmaster to complete the look, the arms on Wipe's Vorath are purple and stick out a bit in Dinosaur mode.

Neither version of Mindwipe has quite hit the spot for me. Although the wing/leg engineering is clever it creates colour problems either on the wings, which should be red, or the lower legs, which should be purple. Neither head quite works for me either and paint has hampered a feature on the Legends version which has a few too many colours on it.