Friday, September 25, 2015


Ok, I know - crappy pic. So, yes, I caved on one of the leader Megatrons from Combiner Wars. The G1 version never quite looked right to me, thanks to its oversized head, but Armada Megatron was kind of always gnawing at the back of my mind. Y'all gotta know that I was always going to be tempted by such a high-profile UT update, even if the equally high price and somewhat lacking articulation didn't exactly sweeten the deal.

Even so, with my birthday coming up, I decided to spring for this guy. I'm glad I did because he's actually pretty good. Nothing revelatory in terms of transformation technique or anything (though he does have the first working treads in forever), but he's a much better Armada Megatron than I thought he'd be., especially considering that the mold was designed mostly with G1 Megatron in mind. The smaller head sculpt is rockin' and really helps sell him as this huge, towering warlord. I, for one, love that he has an arm cannon rather than shooting from the hip - how many of us kept Leader-1 attached to the original Armada Megatron's right arm in Targetmaster mode in a pale imitation of G1 Megatron's arm cannon? No need for something like that now. The back treads look cool and do a good job of emulating how they used to look on the original toy while also mimicking IDW Megatron's cybertronian mode (amusingly, the G1 version of this mold is intended NOT to transform this way...). The tank mode is pretty good, mostly resembling DOTM Guzzle though obviously channelling the old Armada toy very well (one interesting bit - this toy's tank mode is clearly intended to be an Earth mode, while the 2002 toy's tank mode could easily be seen as Cybertronian. Yet, the cartoon made it clear that the 2002 toy was how Megatron looked after ditching his cybertronian design and presumably scanning an earth mode. Weird stuff).

Again, I don't really feel like this was worth the $45. I'm eager to compare it to Cybertron Galvatron, as unfair of s comparison that may be. It really feels like an old Ultra class toy. Still, it's very good for what it is.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ultra Prime Review

Ok - I've had the 84bots for a couple of weeks now and they are pretty great. I'm really behind on reviews, so I'll probably get to individual reviews for them at some point, but for now I'm just going to throw out some comments on the combined mode. 

Firstly, my Ultra Prime is not technically an official mode. I use the wave 1 Optimus torso, not the coming-soon Battle Core remold. I don't really care, though. I have no plans to buy the Battle Core version; I'm very happy with the configuration I've got.

Second, damn is Hasbro didn't screw up the chest-armor gimmick. How on Earth Hasbro can't manage to get a toy with not one, but two 5mm ports to not stay on in combined mode when they've been using 5mm ports forever is beyond me. I managed to fix the issue with Menasor/Blackjack, but trying the same fix with Optimus/Hot Rod didn't really work; I may have shaved a bit too much off of Optimus's posts. I'm going to try adding a bit of superglue, but damn of the whole deal isn't annoying. Kind of puts a damper on the experience. Still, Hot Rod looks good as the armor and it's a nice call-back to Battlestars (which is one reason, I'm sure, why Battle Core Prime has the new Star Convoy-styled head).

Third - I'm loving the Energon Optimus emulation. Optimus himself has enough Energon-inspired details on his own, but the limbs are almost exactly in the right colors. Only Ironhide is a bit off, being red rather than orange, but then OP-1 was originally going to be red anyway, so whatever. Subbing Alpha Bravo in for Prowl only strengthens the look. 

I love that Prime gets an axe. Yes, it's only because Ironhide is a retool of Off-Road and yes, it's tiny, but still, it makes a lot of sense.

Also, the silver-painted foothandguns looks really nice. I was surprised that all four deluxes got this kind of treatment (I was pretty sure Sunstreaker's would be painted since Breakdown's is too). It really helps set this wave/combiner apart.

Placing the combined rifle in his right shoulder/hand port is a nice nod to Apex PMOP.

Optimus is a lot more stable than Motormaster. Markedly so. I like him to be paired against a Stunticon-wearing Galvatronus, so it doesn't matter much anyway, but it's worth noting.

Overall, it's pretty awesome that I have a legitimate G1 Optimus combiner!