Friday, September 14, 2007
Welcome to the first update of this blog. You're possibly in for a good time. You'll also notice that a fair amoutn of time has passed since the first post - a whole lot has happened in that time, too. First off, I got married! No honeymoon, but hey, that's what happens when you've already got a kid and you're commuting an hour to your full-time job which is 2 hours away from where you actually live. SO, no big ceremony or anything, but I have to say it was fantastic. Second - that whole job thing. Being a teacher takes a lot of your time. Third - moving. I finally got into my new house about 2 weeks ago. Man, it's nice to finally have a place with some room. But of course, getting here took a lot of effort and time.
So, on with what you're probably here for: Transformers talk!
Ok, I'll say that eBay has been a TF haven for me lately. It feels a bit liek the good ol' days of 2003 when I started collecting and was rabidly gobbling up Robots in Disguise and Japanese Beast Wars toys. So, I've been filling in some gaps in the collection, mostly with stuff from the Transformers: Universe line.
For those of you who aren't familiar, Transformers: Universe (TFU or Universe from here on out) is a line that Hasbro debuted in August 2003 that released only previously existing molds - this twist was that they were in brand new paint schemes. Early on, the line was a bit weird, consisting mostly of outlandishly repainted Beast Wars and Beast Machines figures. But as the line matured, more than a few excellent repaints were released over the years. One of these was released only last year, in spring of 2006. Actually, I shouldn't say one, because I mean four. That is, four that become one. What? Anyway, he's a combiner, meaning a set of transformer that can be put together to form a larger robot or vehicle. The first and most famous of these were the G1 Constructicons, a group of six Decepticons that merged (for the kill) to become the colossal Devastator. Now, almost any transformer that turns into a constructin machine is fair game for the Constructicon color scheme - some kind of outlandish green (usually neon lime) and purple with black and silver for detailing. One of the more appropriate latter-day "victims" of this serial paint scheme is Universe Devastator - the same set of four repaints that I'm speaking of. The individual bots are named Scavenger (backhoe), Bonecrusher (bulldozer), Long Haul (dump truck) and Hightower (crane). The original releases of these toys were released in America in 2001 under the Robots in Disguise series, where they were known as the Build Team - Grimlock (Universe Scavenger), Wedge (Universe Bonecrusher), Heavy Load (Universe Long Haul) and Hightower (Universe Hightower). These versions were all Autobots rather than Decepticons and the name of the combined robot was Landfill, not Devastator. Landfill is an appropriate name, as Cody attessed: the Build Team versions of the molds are all different colors, making for a incohesive (is that a word?) combined color scheme. The Universe repaints fixes this, as they all have that classic G1 Constructicon color scheme. The only one that really deviates is Universe Scavenger, who is more purple than green. Which for me isn't a bad thing, as it makes him (visually, at least) a shoe-in to be the RiD continuity's version of Scorponok, what with the claws and shovel/stinger thing he has going on.
Anyway, the Universe Devastator set is great. He looks awesome fighting his mold-brother, RiD Landfill. So let's move on. Last weekend the family made our first trip to the big ol' town of Macon, and in their Target I saw and bought the two larger Target exclusives, Jazz and Starscream. I originally wasn't sure if I was going to buy either of these, especially Jazz, but the pics I'd seen online looked good and they also impressed on the shelf. In hand they're even better.
I'll start with Jazz. Ok, this is the same toy of Jazz that was released as part of the regular Transformers Movie line in June, but the difference here is that the paint job is done up to resemble G1 Jazz's colors. BWTF has some good comparison pics. But compared to the normal, silver-colored Movie Jazz, this one has a lot more "pop" to it, as someone on the Allspark said. The stripe accentuates the car mode's curves and the blue on white looks really good. In bot mode, the visor still has some of the best light-piping ever done, and the black paint on the head is nice and shiny. the legs are a little bland, being mostly white, but the overall effect is really nice. Also of note is a remold of the forearms - they now are less fidly and hold their shape much better in bot mode. So, does Target Exclusive Movie Jazz (with exclusive G1 Deco!) make normal Movie Jazz obselete? Not in my book. But he is an excellent figure. Heck, it's increased my enjoyment of the modl so much that I may now pick up a Final Battle Jazz (a version remold to have battle damage in bot mode an brandishing a new , movie-accurate weapon).
So, Starscream: this guy is a repaint of a repaint/remold. Huh? Well, when the movie line was initially released at the beginning of the summer, they put out a version of this mold that is movie accurate (or close enough): insectoid head, fairly realistic color scheme, etc. It was then revealed that Starscream would be repainted and remold into Movie Thundercracker, who turned out looing a LOT more G1 than Starscream did. For Thundercracker, Hasbro dropped any pretensions of a realistic color scheme - he's blue with bright red stripes, just liek in G1. He even has a new head mold which is cleasrly based on the G1/UT Seeker head design, even while being pretty much in step with the monstrous movie aesthetic for the decepticons. Later, we would learn that Thundercracker himself would be repainted into - no, not Skywarp - Starscream! But wait, didn't they already release this mold as Starscream? Yes, indeed. But this time around, it's Starscream in G1 colors, and with Thundercracker's more G1-style head. SO, yeah, I got it. What can I say? I'm a sucker for Starscream, and my Starscream collection is bulding quickly. And plus, Thundercracker and G1-style screamer have really helped me appreciate the mold in way sthe original release didn't. They're just more exciting, I guess. Now all I need is for Wal-mart to hurry up and release Masterpiece Starscream and I'll be set. Until Transformers: Animated Starscream is released, that is.
Ok, so what am I looking forward to now?
1. Botcon Megazarak. Presuming I win it, of course. It's just a very nice repaint of Armada Megatron in colors pretty close to Black Zarak/DarkScorponok. It's a fun mold in sharp colors, and it's a relatively affordable Botcon exclusive. What can I say?
2. Target exclusive Movie Armorhide. I love the mold, which was originally released in Cybertron about 2 years ago, and the black/gold color scheme for this one looks very sharp. I'm not a fan of the Sector 7 Cyber key, though.
3. Desert Attack Brawl. A long ways off, I know, but I keep seeing Leader class Brawl in stores but I just can't get into that olive green color. The desert camo is where it's at - and the Autobot kill marks don't hurt.
4. Best buy exclusive Voyager Movie Megatron. REally sharp metallic silver and white ice colors. I got the regualr release about a month ago, and while I still like that version, the Best Buy one looks spectacular. I just hope they don't do a similar repaint on the Leader class version - I'm not a fan of dropping $40 on repaints.