Monday, 26 February 2018

Generations Power of the Primes Alpha Trion with Landmine and Alchemist Prime with Submarauder

Prime Masters

The Prime Master size is the successor to Titans Returns Titanmaster. Both sizes use identical figures, down to footpeg holes, ankle spur, articulation, size and transformation. Gone is the Head on their back, replaced by one of the symbols of the twelve Primes, which leads us to believe there will be twelve Prime Masters. The Prime Masters bear the names of the Prime whose symbol is on their backs. The Prime Masters have replaced the chest screw with a pin which makes customising them much harder: several were intending to replace the Prime symbols with the faces of the Pretender robots that their Decoy Suit represented.

The Transforming accessory is now replaced by a Decoy Suit, about 5cm high x 3.5cm wide x 1.5cm deep, based on the shell of a 1988/1989 Pretenders Character. This opens up, via a hinge on the feet, to accommodate a Prime Master inside. Since Prime Masters & Titan Masters are the same size your old Titan Masters can also fit inside the Pretender Shell. The shell has holes in it's feet the same size as the Titanmaster footpeg holes, but the spacing varies from toy to toy. The shell's arms are articulated at the shoulders allowing them to raise. The hands are a 3mm peg hole which it can use to hold it's weapon. The weapon can also be attached to the Pretender's back via studs on the side of the weapon which fit dimples either side of a gap on the back. The gap size varies between the different shells so a shell can only store it's own weapon like this. The Pretender shell itself can transform into a weapon: the weapon on the back folds up so it's pointing out from the head and a 5mm handle folds out between the shell's feet enabling it to be held with the plainer back of the Pretender shell facing up. The transformed Prime Master can attach to the top of the weapon via two footpegs, forming a cube that powers the weapon, or the Prime Master can sit in it and act as a gunner. The weapons are perhaps a little large for a deluxe, suiting the Voyager and Leaders toys better.

The shell & Prime Master are seemingly constructed with just two frames of plastic: One contains the back of the shell, the weapons mode handle and the chest & lower legs of the Prime Master. The other contains the weapon, the arms of the shell and the arms, upper legs, head & backpack of the Prime Master.

There is something of a discontinuity having a different character inside the shell instead of who the shell originally belongs to!

Alpha Trion with Landmine

Landmine was missed out from the retail range in Japan, with Metalhawk taking his place in the Wave 1 Pretenders. So it's kind of funny that Alpha Trion with Landmine is a repaint of Vector Prime with Metalhawk. Blue becomes off white, Dark Grey becomes yellow and the chest of the Pretender is a new piece moulded in grey plastic, then painted yellow, resembling Landmine's original shell. The gun is unpainted here and does a better job than on Metalhawk, resembling Landmine's original gun

The inner robot is a little way off for Landmine: they've got the grey arms & head, with it's yellow painted face, right but everything else is all over the place. As for being Alpha Trion, well yellow & grey are not Alpha Trion's colours!

Landmine's release, opposite Skullgrin, completes the ground based Pretenders from the 1988 Wave 1.

Alchemist Prime with Submarauder

Submarauder was the seagoing Decepticon in 1988's Wave 1. He has a pale blue Decoy Suit, with white arms and a front moulded in the same colour but heavily painted to match the back of the Decoy Suit: for both Landmine and Submarauder you wonder if Hasbro might have been better breaking the "front moulded in the same colour as the arms" pattern! Suiting his nautical status he's armed with a trident which sadly he can only hold in front of him and not upright! However if you're a Diaclone Reboot fan you might have DA-12 Gyroseptor or DA-13 Dartloader both of which contain a piece for turning a 3mm peg through 90°

The Alchemist Prime Primemaster is white, with blue chest & lower legs and looks nothing like Submarauder's inner robot!

I'm borderline on the weapons mode: the stabbing trident works much better than Skullgrin's claw, but it still has a big blocky base. However it can be held upright. If there was a Power of the Primes version of a certain seagoing Combiner, he'd make a good weapon for it.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Generations Power of the Primes Tailgate

Generations Power of the Primes Tailgate

In 1986 five of the 1984 Mini Autobots, inherited from the Microchange toyline, were remoulded and redcoed to become new characters: Brawn, Cliffjumper, Gears, Huffer & Windcharger became respectively Outback, Hubcap, Swerve, Pipes & Tailgate. Of the 1984 Minibots only Bumblebee missed out on a redeco primarily because he was still available in the 1986 cases. This makes the decision to paint the similarly moulded Cliffjumper yellow as Hubcap look even more odd but evidence exists that Hubcap should be white and Tailgate yellow which is how things have remained. We missed out on a white repaint of RTS Windcharger, he instead gets coloured black as Wipe-Out during Transformers United. So when Tailgate gained in popularity after the launch of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye it was no surprise to see Tailgate released first during Generations Thrilling 30 and Windcharger become the redeco during Combiner Wars. The problem here is the T30 Tailgate is strongly modelled on his More Than Meets The Eye appearance, and not his 1986 toy or briefly seen cartoon appearance and Windcharger inherited those characteristics leading to a toy many were not satisfied with. That lead to Power of the Primes Windcharger in Legends Wave 1 and since a toy/cartoon style Tailgate is an easy redeco it quickly followed in Wave 2 to avoid any possibility of money being left on the table rather than in Hasbro's bank account.

So this is nearly a straight colour swap: red plastic and paint turn white, grey turns a greeny blue. A new head appears to mimic Tailgate's original. It's cast in the blue green plastic with white paint on the head surround and silver on the face plate. Silver is also used on the chest to make it look more like the original Tailgate's. I had thought from the photos that it was a new chest but something looked a little odd about it. In hand I can see it's the same and I can also see why it looks odd on him and Windcharger: It's an amalgam of their chest designs with paint and decals used to bring out different details here, but ultimately it doesn't look 100% right on either toy.

Transformation and articulation is the same, there isn't a lot you can say to describe it other than this is a repainted Windcharger with a new head. Ultimately if you want the MTMTE character, this isn't the toy for you and you should track down the T30 version. But if you don't care which Tailgate, or specifically want the toy/cartoon version than this is the toy for you.

Future Repaints

Repaint Tailgate in black as Wipe-Out from Transformers US #27 please!

Generations Power of the Primes Battleslash, Roadtrap & Battletrap

Generations Power of the Primes Battleslash

When Battleslash was first leaked to Transformers fans he appeared to be called Battleclash. Somewhere along the line that's become Battleslash which looks a little odd when there's already a Dinobot Slash in the previous wave of Legends toys.

Battleslash is a new character appearing for the first time in Power of the Primes. He's mainly white robot with a slightly odd looking stance thanks to his wide waist and legs. The chest is pushing big buttons for me reminding me of SOMETHING, with a Decepticon symbol in the middle and two barrel ends set into purple panels to the sides. His right arm has a helicopter blade on it, reminding me a little of Power Core Searchlight. He's got 5mm Fists but no weapon, a rotating head and ball joint knees, hips, elbows & shoulders. The shoulders are very odd: the base of the ball joint points back rather than into the body so you'll be pushed to get a full range of movement from them: they'll raise from by the side to pointing forward but no further, bu swing them out to the sides and he can raise his arms above his head.

Transformation: fold the chest forward, fold the head into it and fold the chest back up. Fold the back down, releasing the tabs into the shoulder hinges, and fold each shoulder hinge 90° out to the sides. Fold the sides of the lower leg down under the feet and rotate each lower leg 180° at the knee. Separate the waist and fold each waist half up through where the arms were so the legs meets and tab together above the robot's neck, where the head was. Swing each arm round on the shoulder hinge so they're pointing out to the sides. Fold the arms down so they point the same way as the legs.Swing each lower arm in 90° at the elbow. Bend the elbow 180°, a motion it couldn't manage in robot mode, so the front of the lower arm lies along the inner face of the upper arm and tabs into place. Fold the arm halves up over the robot's thighs and tab together, then tab into the robot's knees. Close the back of the chest, the helicopter's cockpit and fold the helicopter's nose into place.

Yes.... those arms weren't fun to Transform. You can see what's meant to happen but the series of steps you need to go through is somewhat complicated.

As helicopters go Battleslash feels quite chunky. It's also got a massive square hole in the front of the nose which looks rather unsightly. A weapon that fitted into the gap might have been nice. There's accommodation for a Titanmaster on the tail against the tail fin but, like Slash, he needs to bet sat with the knees bent the wrong way. He looks like he'll be decapitated but incredibly he blades will spin and miss him ..... but it's close.

Compared to recent vehicle Legends Battleslash feels a little sub par: the vehicle isn't quite right and there's nowhere to sit the Titanmaster inside him. However Battleslash has one more role to play .....

Generations Power of the Primes Roadtrap

Roadtrap is a squat chunky blue robot with some yellow, pink and silver detailing. Like Roadtrap his chest design, panels on the upper chest slanted in towards each other reminds me of someone but I'm not sure who. He's got ball joints at the knees, hips, elbows and shoulders.

Transformation: Pull the black struts the wheels are attached to down under his feet. Fold the pink painted upper portion of the lower leg back 90°, taking the upper leg with it, and fold the pink bits forward again so they're sitting further back than they were previously. Fold the chest down so it covers the lower legs. Fold the shoulders out to the sides and back so the arms are under the vehicle and tab the arms into the top of the vehicle. Fold the wheel struts back so they rest against the hands. Fold the robot head & neck down under the rear of the vehicle.

The slightly odd shaped chest now produces a slightly odd shaped load on the back of the van/pickup (I'm pretty sure it should be a van but I'm being generous here) which tries to help disguise what a mess the rear of the vehicle is. It fails completely, it is a huge mess and not helped by being one of those Transformer modes that wants to undo itself and needs regular massaging back together.

Once again, like Battleslash, there's nowhere for a Titanmaster to sit inside the vehicle so he's perched on the back, either with his knees bent the wrong way, or hanging off the back of the load, or awkwardly sloped backwards.

The robot is OK, the transformation is novel and clever but the alternate mode looks a load of rubbish. Fortunately there's a bit more too it.

Generations Power of the Primes Battletrap

A long long time ago there was a Transformers Van and Helicopter who had no alternate modes but combined to form the robot Battletrap. Personally I think Battletrap had the wrong name and that name should have gone to the tank & fighter jet combination known as Flywheels whose name I think is more appropriate to the car & van. Your mileage may vary on this theory. In both cases the air vehicle was placed onto the land vehicle and they would autotransform into the robot.

The general thought on how to update these characters was to turn them into Triplechangers as was done with Botcon Battletrap & Titans Return Skytread (Flywheels). However when two toys named BATTLEclash and RoadTRAP were leaked, emphasis intentional, fans mediately spotted what the names were suggesting that each individual mode had been given a robot and they combined, a bit like Multiforce or Energon Powerlinx toys.

So to combine the toys start from robot modes:

Fold Roadtrap's chest down over his upper legs, folding the arms back behind the legs and tabbing in place: simple.

Battleslash on the other hand.... fold Battleslash's chest forward, fold his robot head into his chest and fold he chest back into place. Straighten the arms to the sides, pull the back down releasing the shoulder hinges and fold the arms across the chest. Separate the hips and fold them up onto the sides of the body to form Battletrap's shoulders with Battleslash's legs as Battletrap's arms. Fold Battletrap's head out of Battleslash's back and fold Battleslash's back closed to form Battletrap's chest. Fold the helicopter nose down under Battletrap's chest and put Roadtrap's head into the hole in the helicopter nose.

The combined robot is around deluxe size: Titans Return Perceptor is on my desk and they're a very similar height. The connection between the two halves is surprisingly good, pick him up by the upper body and there's no hint of he legs wanting to come away. The connection is so good that you're happy using his waist, formed from Roadtrap's neck, to turn the upper body to the sides. He looks very similar to the original Battletrap, blue legs & head and white body, just the arms have changed colour now being white.

Articulation: head turns as does the waist, which we've already said. Ball joints at the shoulders, elbows and hips. All of Roadtrap's leg articulation is within Battletrap's legs but effectively it's all been immobilised by the small robot's arms. Folding the small arms out would give you more place the legs could bend but I imagine without the they WOULD bend and it's better to settle for less articulation but a robot that will stand straight and stably.

Battletrap has 5mm peg holes in his hands but these are obscured by Battleslash's heel spurs sticking out the front of the hand: you'll have trouble getting a lot of weapons into those holes in a way the Battletrap will be able to hold them pointing straight in front of him. The point is rather moot in that neither he or his components have any weapons for you to use.

Both components have their downsides, especially in vehicle mode, but I rather like Battletrap himself. My enjoyment will be improved later on if they do Flywheels using the same combination system allowing you to connect Battletrap's top half to Flywheel's lower half and vice versa.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Generations Power of the Primes Slash

Generations Power of the Primes Slash

There have been several attempts to add new characters and dinosaur forms to Transformers Holy Quintet of Dinobots Grimlock (Tyrannosaurus Rex), Slag (Triceratops), Sludge (Brachiosaurus), Snarl (Stegosaurus) and Swoop Pteranodon. Notable additions are found in Beast Machines, RiD/Armada, Power Core Combiners and Age of Extinction.

However in the Classics/Genertions line there's only been one real Dinobot previously, the 2006 Classics Grimlock toy. 11 years later all the Dinobots are being redone and they've got a new friend, the female Velociraptor Slash.

Slash's robot mode has got the Dinobot look of silver, black and red dead on but something doesn't feel right: the figure is far too slight for a Legends class toy with a thin body and limbs that feel more like an old Best Wars basic. This is most obvious in the hands, a thin strip of plastic round what looks like a huge 5mm hole. They look oversized and I'm worried that a few years down the line we'll see quite a few of these broken.

Articulation: ball joints at hips & shoulders. Bending knees & elbows. A turning head. Thigh swivels, which are used mainly for the Transformation. I'm wondering why we don't see ball joints at the elbows and knees, would have saved the need for those thigh swivels.

Transformation: fold the tail up off her back over her head. Swing each thigh round 180° then Tab the lower legs together. Bend both knee & hip forward 90° bringing the legs up over the chest where they tab in place. Fold the robot feet back. Bend the arms 90° at the elbow then swing each arm forward about 45°. Fold the dino feet out under the hands. Open the flap on her back folding out the dino head nd bringing the dino arms forward with it. Position both and close the hatch on her back.

No real complaints here about the dinosaur mode: it's a velociraptor done in the original Dinobot style. The small arms move up & down at the shoulder, the mouth opens and the head leans back as well as the arm articulation for the robot being carried over to the dinosaur legs.

My problem here is the Titanmaster compatibility: the Titanmaster is supposed to sit in the compartment on her back the dinosaur head is stored in during robot mode. The problem is it's not long enough to accommodate a Titanmaster with it's legs bent at the hips and stretched out in front. To seat a Titanmaster in there and secure it's ankle spur you need to bend the knees forward and keep the hips straight which looks wrong. There's no footpegs in the compartment so standing the Titanmaster in there isn't an option and it's difficult to seat it naturally on the back of the dinosaur with the legs inside the compartment.

It's nice but you feel she could do with being a bit bigger and bulkier. It almost feels downsized from a normal Legend by 10%-20% to make it clear she is a she rather than a he. Slightly larger would make her feel more appropriate for her size class and fix the problem with the Titanmaster not being able to sit in her properly.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Generations Power of the Primes Leader Optimus Prime

Power of the Primes Leader Optimus Prime

There's not been a Leader Class original Optimus Prime toy in Generations before: the cab only Classics, Combiner Wars & Titans Return toys were all Voyagers while the Classics 2 Pack, Reveal The Shield and Thrilling 30 Orion Pax were deluxe. The only Optimus with a trailer in the Generations line is Titans Return Powermaster Optimus Prime, clearly modelled on the original 1988 Powermaster Optimus Prime but missing the original's cab turns into a robot gimmick going straight from cab & trailer to Super Robot. This irked some people at the time and has led to at least one third party solution.

Straight out the box Optimus Prime is a leader sized version of the familiar 1984 robot. But even here there's bits that don't feel right: grey panels on the outer side of the arms and legs mar the appearance and indeed turning the toy side and to the rear on you discover he's nearly entirely grey on the side & reverse of the arms & legs as's photos show. So straight off the bat this is a toy whose robot can only really be front on. The arms are especially annoying as there's a grey portion on the upper arm above the shoulder joint. Worse still the fists are grey: they've always been the same colour as the legs, usually a variant on blue, for 1984 Optimus Primes. The fists are grey because they're part of the lower arms which are painted red on the exposed surfaces: why not make them a separate piece in blue, on the same sprue as the legs & head and in the bargain give us a rotating wrist, sadly missing on this toy?

Articulation: ball jointed head, rotating shoulders that raise out & up to the sides, bicep swivels, bending elbows, universal hip joints with high thigh swivel beneath them, bending knees and ankles that bend forward at the bottom of the leg and forward, back & to the sides at the foot. As well as the lack of wrist swivels there no waist swivel either.

Optimus has two accessories: his gun and a matrix.

The gun is nice, possibly my favourite bit of the toy. Looks a lot like the original Optimus gun with an extra 5mm handle half way down. The barrel is a 5mm hole so you can plug extra weapons into the end and there's a pair of 5mm holes either side of the rear of the gun. It can be held in his hands or plugged into 5mm ports on the outside of his forearms. Personally I'd have put these on his upper arms so the super robot could use the Powermaster shoulder cannons!

The matrix is modelled after the movie matrix with a silver surround that unfortunately he can't hold, and a clear blue core, painted orange over the outside that glows when held up to the light. The core has the same proportions as as a Titanmaster head, Primemaster or Combination enigma so lots of odd swapping can be achieved as shown in these tweets: one, two & three. The Matrix fits into Prime's chest: open his cab windows and you find underneath..... another set of cab windows? Right ..... Open those too and there's a slot in there for the matrix. Manoeuvring it in is somewhat tricky though and is somewhat easier when the cab is removed and in vehicle mode without the second set of cab doors and rim of the body obscuring it.

Prime's cab is released by pushing down on a button on the rear of his waist and pulling the cab out. Once removed it's obvious that the cab has it's own arms and the blue flatbed forming the rear of the body is also a pair of legs: Leader Optimus Prime has Powermaster Optimus Prime's power up gimmick. Fold the legs down off the back of the cab: they're tabbed into the sides of the yellow rectangle. This reveals the smaller robot's chest. Rotate each leg 180° at the thigh and fold the feet out. Fold the chest down, fold the super robot head in and fold the smaller robot head out. Fold the chest back and fold the head onto the body. Unfold the arms and fold the hands out. Pull the gun apart and place one in each hand.

Oh dear, it's Orion Pax, Optimus' form pre Optimus Prime as seen in the Transformers Cartoon episode War Dawn. Cards on the table: I'm a Marvel Comics fan, in particular the UK version, where there's no Orion Pax so I'm not particularly fond of this aspect of the character. But Cartoon fans are equally entitled to their toys as are Comics fans, more so as it's arguably better known in most markets, so I'm not opposed to Orion Pax toys existing. I can see what they're getting at here: Orion Pax is remade in the cartoon to become Optimus Prime, in a similar way to how Hot Rod becomes Rodimus Prime or Megatron becomes Galvatron. But I'm not really liking the figure. They've done his curved form some justice here but that's going to cause trouble in a minute. Articulation isn't bad: head leans forward & back and turns, but isn't ball jointed. Arms are ball jointed at shoulders and bend double at the elbows. Ball jointed hips, thigh swivels and bending knees.

I think one of my big problems with this mode is the rest of the super robot, the vehicle's trailer, just sits there doing nothing. No base mode, no weapons platform, it's either the trailer or the empty chested super robot. Titans Return Powermaster Prime might have had a poor base mode but at least he had one!

Orion Pax becomes the cab of the vehicle mode. Unhitch the head from the body and fold it and the chest forward. Fold the arms up at both elbow joints and fold the fists in. Swing each arm back 180° at the bicep and fold the arms over where Orion Pax's chest was. Fold the feet down under the legs, turn each leg in 90° at the thigh swivel and tab the bottom of each leg together. Fold the super robot fake chest halves out to the sides and back to form the sides of the vehicle with the window parts then folding down to become the lower sides with their attached wheels.

From the front, great, and as I've hinted it's much easier with less obstruction to get the matrix in and out in this mode. From the sides and the back, a complete mess with the arms and Orion Pax chest & head hanging out the back of the cab. It feels like no effort has been made to conceal them. There's some indication the forearms for Orion Pax should tab onto the back of the chest: slots on the forearms match tabs on the back of the chest. However this does nothing to improve the look of the vehicle. Hopefully the trailer will:

Start by folding the exhaust pipes back into his shoulders.

Fold the knees forward about 20° and the hips back by about the same amount. Fold each foot forward 90° at the top ankle joint and back 90° at the rear ankle joint. Fold the sides & rear of the legs, made up of grey panels, out to the sides of the leg. At the first joint fold that up 90° so the second third of the folded up panel is level with the first. The third third is pointing down: fold the side of that forward 180° then fold the entire panel towards you 180°. Then fold the entire panel assembly forward & in 90°, meeting over the front of the legs to form the roof of the trailer.

Raise each arm up 180° to the sides: there's a grey flap at the top of the shoulder that will lift up to allow you to do this. Rotate each shoulder 180° so the grey rear of the shoulder and the truck strip panels faces forward. Fold the bottom of the truck strip panel down to cover the hands. Raise each arm 90° out to the sides and fold out a panel from the side of the arms to sit along the side of the fist. Fold the panel on the bottom of the arm down 90° so it's flush with the panels on th side of the arms. Fold the body panels the shoulders are connected to forward 90°: the arms now point forwards. Fold the arms down to the sides as best you can before folding the body shoulder panels in a further 90° so the shoulders are in front of the chest. Tab the panels folded out from the rear & sides of the arms, now both on the sides of the vehicle, into slots on the panels from the legs. Peg the gun halves into the roof. Fold down the trailer hitch from the front of the vehicle and hook into the back of Orion Pax's head.

That was a nightmare. A whole load of panels that need to be folded in the right order or you'll stress something trying to do the next step. But was it worth it? In one word: no!

To be fair the basics of the trailer is right with the silver sides complete with stripes and Autobot symbols. But there's far far too much red on the front, the top of the super robot's chest, and the top, the front of the robot's arms. This last part is particularly vexing as the robot's arms were spoiled by having trailer panels hanging off two sides of them and now the trailer is spoilt by the arms being exposed. Neither mode is right, compromised by the other. The original Powermaster Optimus Prime had the super robot arms exposed at the front of the trailer but that kind of word, more so on the Japanese version with the retracted fists. Functionally it's poor as well. There's holes in the rear of the roof showing a compartment inside but the trailer door, formed from the super robot feet, don't want to fold down to form a ramp and when you do get them open what looks like a big space is irritatingly too small to get a Legends sized car in. Trailer does have a pair of 5mm holes on the roof, for mounting guns on, and four Titanmaster pegs.

This toy is a mess. It works if you want a large Optimus to look at front on or possibly an Orion Pax. The Pax compromises the vehicle's cab and the super robot and trailer compromise each other. The grey on the super robot arms stands out a mile and the grey fists is unforgivable on a toy of this size.

Effectively this is half of the gimmick they didn't stick in Titans Return Powermaster Prime done with a 1984 Optimus Prime and it hasn't worked at all. It almost feels like Powermaster Prime has been split between two toys, one in Titans Return and one in Power of the Primes with neither quite working properly.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Generations Power of the Primes Beachcomber

Generations Power of the Primes Beachcomber

The original Beachcomber was a 1985 Mini Autobot alongside Cosmos, Powerglide, Seaspray & Warpath. All 5 have a slight mystery to them they're the only 1985 toys that don't seem to be sourced from a previous toyline. Beachcomber stands apart from the rest as he's the only one that fits the Autobot car pattern established in 1984. When I first saw these I question what some of them, notably Warpath's Tank and Powerglide's plane, were doing amongst the Autobots.

Beachcomber's most recent remake was as a 2008 Universe 2 Legend which was generally held to be OK, but since then all four of his colleagues have been done, to varying degrees of success Combiner Wars Warpath I'm looking at you, in the larger Legends size which has been running since 2013. So Beachcomber was very due for an update.

Robot mode looks fab, just like a chunkier version of his original toy, more in line with his comic & cartoon depiction. My only real nitpick is the hands which are inexplicably painted grey. If they'd have left them moulded in blue plastic they'd have been fine!

Articulation: ball jointed shoulders, elbows & hips, bending knees and a turning head. Top stuff.

Transformation: Slide the body up round the head. Straighten the arms and tab into the sides of the body. Fold the heel spurs down under the feet and tab them & the lower legs together. Fold the lower legs back 180° at the knee, pegging the front of the roll cage into the rear.

As a replica of the original Beachcomber's vehicle mode, job done. No complaints.

My problems come when I try to get it to interact with the Primemasters.

Most Transformers Legends cars, bar Brawn, need an element of Transformation to get the driver in. I was somewhat expecting Beachcomber to beat it, thanks to the open driver's compartment. No. If it were the Titanmaster/Primemaster by itself then you could probably get the figure in. Unfortunately his backpack, his face/Prime symbol catches on the bars of the roll cage meaning you have to open it up to get the figure in. Annoying. Then on the back of the vehicle there's a 3mm peg. Presumably this is for mounting the weapon from a Primemaster's Decoy Suit. Unfortunately it can only face backwards! Beachcomber bares a startling resemblance to GI Joe's Awe Striker and they'll be several fans who'll be wanting to properly recreate that with guns projecting forward over the roll cage. Fortunately I have the Diaclone Reboot Powered Suit Dart Loader & Gyroseptor add ons, which both contain the necessary parts to build a 3mm socket riser!

Top stuff as a stand alone toy,

Future Repaints

Beachcomber's Generation 2 repaint is an obvious choice as is the previous Legends' Sandstorm redeco and the Energon Voyager original colour scheme found on Energon Cliffjumper.

I'm sure GI Joe fans won't say no to an Awe Striker repaint to go with 2015's Viper.

Generations Power of the Primes Windcharger

Generations Power of the Primes Windcharger

Windcharger started life as a Microchange MC04 Mini CAR Robo 06 Trans Am and I've been rather fond of him ever since I acquired my first one, a Joustra Trans Am - see for more on Joustra Transformers - from a pop up shop in Kingston in 1986 alongside his fellow minibot Gears. He's appeared more regularly the last few years than most Transformer characters outside of the big names: in 2011 he was a Reveal The Shield basic: this was during Generations "redesign the classics" phase so although he has the right legs his chest is a "fold the car front over the head" job. He's the only minibot done in that size, although which was cancelled just after depriving western fans of the new Demolition Rumble and a couple of repaints, Downshift & Bodyblock. In 2015 Windcharger turned up again as a Combiner Wars Legend repaint of the previous year's Tailgate. The chest is better this time but because Tailgate is modelled on his More than Meets the Eye design, the distinctive legs are now wrong! So you could argue that Windcharger was a Minibot who needed a redo, though perhaps not ahead of Huffer, Pipes & Cliffjumper who've only had one modern Legends sized version so far.

In robot mode the new Windcharger feels a bit of a chunky chap which doesn't rally suit him. Everything is the right colour in the right place, but the proportions are a bit off, too wide arms, too short upper legs, too small a head. The head looks very odd and I think that's down to it missing the rim that's generally surrounding the tops & sides of the face. The head is also set a little bit too far back and once you get high enough to see how far back it is a lot of space between the back and front of the toy is revealed.

Articulation: head turns. Shoulders raise at the body and are ball jointed at the arms. also ball jointed are the elbows & hips and the knees bend. 5mm fist holes, which look too large for him, enable him to hold weapons but the Prime Master Decoy Suits in weapons mode are way, way too big for him.

Transformation: Straighten the arms to the sides. Pull the back panel out of where it's tabbed into his backside. There's two hinges where the neck meets the body: in robot mode the body side is bent and the neck side straight. You want to reverse that by straightening the body hinge and bending the neck hinge, raising the neck up but bringing the head closer the front of the body. Fold the back panel, the car front, up over the head. Swing the top of the arms up, under the bonnet, bringing the arms into the sides of the vehicle. Unfold the heel spurs under the foot to become the car roof & windscreen then swing the lower legs back 180° at the knee to become the rear of the car allowing you to tab the front window into place.

This last step is an ideal point to sit a Titanmaster or Primemaster in the car's driving seat because you'll need to fold back the top of the car to do it later, a bit like how the same feature was accessed on Titans Return Bumblebee. Slightly annoying. Among the Titanmaster compatible Minibots Brawn is still the winner for ease of accessibility for a minifigure driver.

Windcharger's car mode looks decent enough. A little high off the ground, maybe, and yes you can see the chest hanging down under the car from the side, but you could put that down to the car's undercarriage hanging low. I can get the smoked clear panels in the roof are meant to be evoking sunroof but the odd design, with a rim only halfway down he door side, is distracting me. Those pieces might have been better in solid red plastic.

The most cartoon accurate Windcharger yet. Nothing really wrong with it at all and it's only a few subtle tweaks that would make it any better.

Future Repaints

Windcharger returns the favour done to his previous version by producing the as yet officially unrevealed Tailgate in Power of the Primes Legends Wave 2.