Galaxy Force toy GD-10 is called Terra Shaver - surely that should end up as Terrorsaur in cybertron ? No, the name used is Brimstone, which to me belongs better on the GX-01 Noisemaze toy (which ended up as Sideways).
Brimstone is a sleek thin pterodactyl with a techno edge to it. Grey body, with yellow limbs, purple highlights and dark translucent wings. His green Jungle Planet (Animatros) Key #d0h3 pops 2 blades out the front of the wings.
To TF unhook the underside of his body leading into the tail, straighten under the nose of the dinobird to form a leg, and then fold the nose (other leg) back with it to fold down the waist. Rotate the waist do it's facing the front, fold the legs down into arms and pop the head up.
Someone has a tinsy tiny delicate little waist ! Knee, thigh swivel, ball jointed hip, waist, neck, ball shoulders, ball elbows and 2 joints in the clawed hands. Nice. Thin elegant robot looks great although the pop out blades pointing forward may give the toy safety people cause for concern - could have both eyes out at once !
Nice toy, you want one. Brimstone was never recoloured. What about a nice Grey/Red Swoop recolour ? Or a Red/Black Terrorsaur ? Or Purple/Red Lazorbeak ?
Snarl's name in mainly associated with the Dinobot stegosaurus. During Beast Wars it was transferred to a Tasmanian Devil and in Beast Machines it became a Lion for the first time. It later became a Minicon lion and was used twice as a Dinobot Triceratops - which as we all know should be Slag. Here he's a wolf.
The wolf mode is mainly White, with pale blue feet, hind hips & tail and dark blue fur and legs. Lots of mechanical detail is visible on the toy - it's a similar look to Beast Machines. His Beast Planet Key (#d43j on the Cybertron version) has a little holster on one of the rear legs, or slots into the back of the neck to reveal the wolf's clear yellow teeth.
To TF Fold the rear legs behind the wolf and twist at the knees. Remove the tail, and then bend the front of the Wolf up 90 degrees. Fold up the panel with the robot head on, then fold the panels with the front legs on in on themselves so the shoulders lock together - this sort of foldy in bit is very reminiscent of BM Skydive. Level the arms up via sliders in the shoulders.
You're left with a very nice looking robot mode - lovely detail on the chest reminds me of something though I can't think what ! One arm is admittedly the Wolf's head but..... Mrs Toys did not think this as silly as some bits of cars and animals hanging off robots she has seen ! The other arm is formed from the fur underneath the wolf and has a hand - this can be used to hold the tail as a sword or a missile launcher - nice clear yellow missile which also features in the lightpipe in the head.
Overall: Dlx beast, nice job, good balance between robotic and organic.
Snarl was released in Japan as Galaxy Force toy GC-14 Fang Wolf. Snarl *was* released in the UK as one of the first Cybertron deluxes found. He was case paired with Sideways and available through Tescos and a small number of other outlets - it had a much more limited release than other Cybertron toys.
Fangwolf - or more accurately Fangwolf Black Version as it's a recolour of Galaxy Force Fangwolf - was a Toy's Dream Project exclusive in Japan. The white & the dark blue are swapped for black, the light blue for grey and colourless clear for clear yellow. It's a sensible use of a black repaint as you can conceive of a wolf being this colour. Sadly it didn't materialise in the Cybertron line. Like his predecessor he comes with a Jungle Planet key.
Botcon 2007 is famous for serving up the remaining three jets that weren't issued in the Classics line. They also took other Classics and Cybertron toys making them into Generation One characters. One of the chosen moulds was Cybertron Snarl who became Weirdwolf - albeit without the Headmaster feature. White and light blue are swapped for yellow with the dark blue becoming a different shade and clear yellow becoming clear orange. The Jungle Planet key is recast in clear orange with a blue green border.
Sideways is the Cybertron release of Galaxy Force toy GX-01 Noisemaze.
Sideways is a black space shuttle esque vehicle with lots of silver and bronze highlights. He's got an Autobot symbol but the GX designation applied to the Japanese version should indicate that not all is as it would seen - insert the unique spiked orange Decpeticon force chip (Cybertron #dj51)to reveal a Decepticon symbol. Armada Sideways all over again.....
To TF pop the wings and the connected pieces out to the sides, and origami the waist together. Pop the arms out - his right arm first, then fold up the mechanism that holds the symbol changer and fold out the left arm with that attached. Clip the waist into the lower body and fold the wings out to the sides of the legs. Open the cockpit, fold out the head and close the cockpit. Position the shield on his arm, turn the wrists and pop the wings off to form weapons.
This is one evil looking bot - lots of horns and spikes - almost Devil like, he's have deserved the name Brimstone which was held by one of the other Galaxy Force toys. More spikes - this time in clear orange - pop out of the shield when the key is inserted for the gimmick change. There's a very pointy horn helmet with a transparent orange lightpipe for a face plate. As well as the black a whole lot of orange is revealed in this mode. This just looks sinister and nasty. You want one of these.
Sideways *was* released in the UK as one of the first Cybertron deluxes found. He was case paired with Snarl and available through Tescos and a small number of other outlets - it had a much more limited release than other Cybertron toys.
The Noisemaze production version was the third Cybertron toy packed with a DVD following recolours of Exillion and Chromia. Essentially this is a colour swap - grey for black, black for orange and clear blue for clear orange.
A nice looking repaint - shame it's so expensive and hard to get.
Ratbat was available exclusively at Target stores with Transformers: Universe Springer (a repaint of Cybertron Evac) in the Standoff beneath the Streets set.
As the name implies most of the black becomes purple here, with the shield & upper limb remaining black, the orange becoming grey and the clear orange becomes clear yellow. It's not an exact match of name to mould but there are elements of the Sideways mould that say Ratbat - the ears on the robot for example. In fact this is the first time Ratbat has had a robot mode ! Ratbat comes with a clear purple version of the Sideways key with a silver Decepticon symbol painted on it which looks very similar to the key issued with the Decepticon Movie Deluxe repaints exclusive to Wal*Mart and ASDA.
If you went to Botcon 2009 you came away with at least one new Sideways mould (possibly four - see bellow) with the Scourge presented in the Wings of Honour set. Scourge swaps black for blue, orange for white and clear orange for clear red - also used on the Sideways mould planet key with a blue border. He gets a new head shaped like the cartoon appearance of G1 Scourge and some red highlight on both toy modes.
A good use of name and mould matching here produces a good updated version of Scourge.
An additional bonus set of Sweeps - Scourge's near identical troops - was also issued at Botcon 2009. They seem nearly identical to Scourge bar the changing of the red highlights to yellow and the replacement of clear red with clear yellow on both key and vehicle.
Been looking forward to this. Having seen the pictures online I decided I would quite like to have this boy in my collection.
Cybertron Defence Hotshot (Galaxy Force's Exigeyser) is an upgrade of Hot Shot (Excillon) and maintains a lot of the colour scheme from the previous toy but this time on a new form. I think this is the first time a character has had 2 new shapes in a toy line since Smokescreen/Hoist in Armada,
CD Hotshot is an armoured car with a gun turret. The turret itself turns - instant plus points - and the gun barrels raise as well. The turret has 2 positions, one near the back of the toy, one near the front - moved by an arm underneath. Inserting his Autobot Cybertron planet key (#d1o4 on the Cybertron version of the toy) into the back of the gun turret flipping up a missile pod inside each gun barrel. The bumper at the front opens out to the side to become 2 gun barrels revealing another missile array. The vehicle itself has lots of moulded in surface detail which adds to the overall appearance. Mounted on each side of the vehicle are 2 Minicon posts - rejoice ! They are quite low down on the vehicles frame, but because there's nice large wheels there is sufficient clearance for virtually any Minicon to be mounted on it. Destruction Minicons add something of a nasty edge to the toy, while Military ones add to Hotshot's firepower. Later he'd almost receive his own team in the form of the SWAT team (repaints of the Emergency team scattered through the Cybertron Minicon vs packs) which are perfectly matched in form & colour and give him extra firepower to boot ! There's a Vanguard team - The Galaxy Force name for Cybertron Defence - symbol on the cab of the toy - an Autobot face on top of a letter V.
TF is almost the same as Hotshot - Pull the legs out at the back, fold the feet down and pull the shoulders and arms out to the sides from the front. The hips need folding forward, hip plates fold down, pull the forearms out and the head fold forward. His sword unclips from the inside of the lower leg.
Robot - fairly similar to the original Hotshot but in an odd way crossed with Armada Megatron - it's the large shoulders. Lots of articulation - head, universal shoulders, elbow, knee and ankle. There's a holder for the sword on his left leg. The sword can be held in either hand, and it's slightly flattened handle can be fit into a slot at the end of his forearm to project out in front of him. Sadly this hole is squeezed at the side to take the swords slightly odd handle so that these slots won't take any peg on a Minicon weapon. The Minicon pegs I was so keen on earlier have ended up on each wrist which is a HUGE plus point for me. This means that any of the weapon Minicons can be mounted there to good effect.
The gun turret ends up mounted on the robot's back. Again there's a higher and lower position which basically means do you have the entire gun barrel or just the silver tips protruding over the shoulders. These silver tips do have a little habit of popping off which can be slightly annoying ! The turret can also be rotated downwards to do a passable jetpack impersonation. From the higher position on the back the turret can be bent up behind the robot's head passing the gun barrels over his shoulders. From here the missile pods can be deployed using the planet key. The bumper guns can also be flipped up exposing missiles along the top of his shoulders. He has additional missile pods in robot mode - panels fold down on each shoulder, and the panels on each lower leg rotate as well.
Overall - nice articulation, nice upgrade, Minicon pegs mounted in the right places, lots of additional features with hidden weapons - in fact this must be the heaviest armed Autobot in proportion to it's size ever. Great toy, a must have especially if you're a Minicon fan and want something to work with them. Possible future repaints could include a Rodimus Prime version with red from the blue and orange for the red - or something involving black and/or green in a military colour scheme - possibly as a Decepticon.
Cybertron Defence Hotshot was sold in Japan as Galaxy Force toy GC-19 Exigeyser.
As we all know G1 Springer is a tripplechanger. But if you were asked to commit yourself to one mode for Springer I'd imagine you'd say helicopter. So it was somewhat of a surprise when Botcon elected to make their Springer out of an armoured car - which is sort of what the original's third mode was. Very sort of.
Springer swaps light blue for grey and red for pale green while keeping the black and altering the paint ops. While the vehicle mode is a bit of a stretch the robot mode seems much more appropriate with the head looking close to the G1 version and the figure bearing a sword.
Not the worst repaint the world has ever seen - but if you want a helicopter Springer you'll need to get the one of two Target exclusive Universe VS packs: Standoff Beneath the Streets pack with pairs a repainted Cybertron Evac as Springer vs Cybertron Sideways repainted as Ratbat. For the other VS pack see bellow.
Roadbuster features in the second Target exclusive Universe VS pack Autobot Ambush with a repainted Galaxy Force Voyager Starscream as Dirge.
My first problem with this pack is when I think Roadbuster green is one of the colours to come to mind which is also Springer's main colour. Roadbuster swaps the red of the cannons & forearms and the black of the panels & chest for an army drab green. The light blue becomes an olive green and the rest of the red becomes a yellow giving us a good military looking repaint. Unfortunately the original Roadbuster uses the olive green with orange and brown resulting in a recolour which misses the target it's aiming at. It's a very decent repaint that I'd buy if they came out here but for a G1 repaint I expect them to get the colours dead on rather than evoke the original toy.
Thunderblast is a speed boat - Lets take a look at what you could have won, ooh it's the speedboat, Lovely, super, smashing, great ! Again, memory may be failing me, but I don't remember another dlx boat for a long while, perhaps even back to Broadside. And certainly not a speedboat. She's a purple 2 seater job with a little gun on the prow that rotates from side to side and a HUGE off white missile launcher with 4 moulded missiles mounted on a rotating and elevating base to the rear. Pop her Earth Planet key (Cybertron #dh62) into the back of this missile launcher and the front pops off and top pops out to allow you to use the actual working missile launcher inside - missiles - clear orange like her windscreen - are stored just to the left and right side of the hull.
To TF split the hull down the middle, fold out to the sides and straighten out the robot within. Remove the freaking huge missile launcher and attach to her arm. And that's it.
Robot mode looks kinda like TM2 Blackarachnia with a folded out boat stuck to her back. Lots more purple with the off white used for head & forearms and black for the upper arms with the upper legs painted gold - later versions suggest these are moulded in the off white plastic. Knee, Hip, Waist, Shoulder, Bicep, Double Elbow and neck articulation. She hasn't got standard size holes in her hand - they're a kind of open grasp - but she has got standard holes in her forearms - into which the missile launcher plus, there's a mock handle for her to hold.
As a toy she's quite fun, works as a vehicle, works as a robot albeit one with the largest piece of kibble ever.
Thunderblast was sold in Japan as Galaxy Force toy GD-11 Chromia and was not sold in the UK (another skipped deluxe wave)
Chromia was the second toy to be offered in recoloured form with a Galaxy Force video. As the name suggests the purple and off white are swapped for white with red paint on the both top, upper legs and chest. The clear orange becomes clear blue and the Planet Key remains the same.
The toy looks female already so adding the right colours makes the toy look like the Japanese G1 Character Minerva (their repaint of Headmaster Nightbeat). For another Cybertron Minevra alike see Override.
At the time of writing Thunderblast has just been reused again as the Botcon 2009 toy Elita-1. Here we swap purple for bright pink, almost lilac and the off white for a pale pink with clear blue once again replacing the orange. She now comes with a clear dark blue Cybertron Autobot planet key which has a red Autobot symbol and pink painted border.
I don't get this Elita-1 nonsense. Another toy which appeared in the cartoon for five seconds and she's ended up with two toy versions and an appearance in T:Animated. I dunno.....
Ordered late Thursday night off eBay. Arrived Tuesday morning.
This new incarnation of the chaos bringer is a sci fi style tank. Looking at it - with the claws at the front and the off centre cannon I'm put in mind of the original (and very good) Mega Tankorr. I'll cover the action features - he's got a cannon which can swivel to the sides - somewhat limited in tank mode - and raise via a pivot above it's connection to the tank. Effective range is about 2m. There's a key slot at his rear - key is a Planet X key identical to Sideways with the number #dgt3- which opens a "Unicron planet mouth" like detail on the chest to reveal a tri barrelled cannon. One of the halves of the covering is a little reluctant to move to the sides on mine. There's an additional smaller non functioning weapon that's ball jointed into the tank on the opposite side to the missile launching cannon - between them is set a radar dish behind which is the robot head - not terribly well hidden, yes you can flip the robot head up in tank mode. 2 spikes are mounted on each of the sides of the tank - these pop off and are attached by a very shallow standard width post - so yes you could replace them with Requiem Blasters to really tool him up. 2 Claws are at the front of the tank but all they do is rotate - not open and close but it's a reasonable simulation that varies the distance between the tips. Big wheels at the back, small wheels at the front under some tank treads.. Absolutely minimal clearance from the ground though. The entire arrangement is dependant on several very small pegs towards the front of the vehicle and can come apart during handling.
Before transformation turn him over and take note of the arrangement underneath. There's a pic at Remy's should you forget ! Remove the side spikes - they'll fall off at some pt, save the toy the trouble and save you the trouble of having to find them. Pull the side of the tank away and then fold them back with the entire pelvis assembly under the tank. Unpeg the tank tracks at the front and fold back so the long piece of grey plastic they're attached to is flat against the base of the tank - the peg sticking down has a groove for it to fit in. Pull the treads out to the sides and lock the shoulders in place. Fold the claws back and flip the hands out. Fold the tank sides back, concertina the connecting bits of plastic over the bit connecting the arms and rotate at the waist ! Fold tank front down to cover the lower chest and pelvis. Fold the feet out. Fold the head down and rotate at neck. Replace spikes on leg shields or use as hand weapons.
Posability is excellent - ankle, knee, ball joint at hip with bicep swivel beneath it, waist - somewhat limited by pelvis armour, neck, shoulder fore & aft, and to the sides, bicep just above the elbow and forewords at the elbow. Cannon is freed up in this mode a little, key gimmick still works. Robot looks like Unicron - head, shoulders, lots of orange, spikes, which is the point of the toy, the only addition I could have made would have been holes for the spikes on his back so they stuck over his shoulders. Lovely orange lightpipe eyes ! The robot somewhat puts me in mind of Cybertron Megatron which makes me think how much better he'd have been as a deluxe toy.
With the exception of the clearance and the potential to separate a bit if you hold him wrong this is a very good toy - a sci-fi tank - and they've done they're sci fi toys well in GF/Cybertron and an update to a classic character. Doesn't matter what I say as you'll get him cos he's Unicron.
The deluxe Unicron toy hasn't been repainted to date - potentially the black & green Energon colour scheme could be used or alternately the clear green version seen at the end of Armada. I'm sure it'll show up with a new head as a Botcon repaint at some point.
A quick break to do the last of Movie dlx repaint updates.
Oh and Breakaway (Hotshot) is a hommage to PM Getaway
I'm going to have to redo bits of some of these. At the end of the Movie exclusive repaints section in TF Generations 2009v2 there's a table (p45) I'd already worked out that down the side was a list of the dlx & larger repaints (missing out Divebomb) The list on the left looked like a list of G1 toys -> the years were the clue and the occasional ref to 2010 next to them made me think of series names. So I dug out Generations v1 and using the years as clues hunted for the matching toys. The results were somewhat surprising .... Included are page referance to the original version of TF Generations so you can check my matching of the Kanji
Wingblade - Springer (TF Generations p15) Inferno - MM Tote (Japanese Version, p66)* Big Daddy - MM Big Daddy (Japanese Version, p72, look under the text for MT2) Grindcor - MM Crush Bull (from Six Builder, p75) Breakaway - Getaway (Japanese Version p42) Jetstorm - Octane (p19) Mudflap - Erector (Japanese Version, p67) Jolt - Jolt (p83) Crankcase - Crankcase (p38)
Divebomb isn't listed.
Fracture is listed but it points to some text which has a comment pointing to something in 1980. Ralph reckoned it reminded him of a Gobot.
* interestingly the same kanji is beside the western version of Flak on p50
The Galaxy Force Starscream toy was released as Galaxy Force toy GD-03, which was how I reviewed it in 2005.
I've never seen the appeal of Starscream as much as some have - don't think much of the original toy, in fact the Energon one is the only original Starscream toy I've really been wild about - I'm now thinking the Armada one is a bit of a brick superseded somewhat by it's Skywarp repaint and remold that looks pure evil. But I digress.
Apparently the design for this is taken from the War Within comics. Well shows how much notice I've been taking of the Dreamwave stuff - I had to go and check. Yes I suppose I can see it. Jet is futuristic in style - mainly grey with red and black highlights - but feels rather squat in my hands. The cannons either side of the cockpit don't move - boo. The key gimmick - see bellow - could be used in this mode but only while you lift the toy off the ground. There's a missile launcher under the nose with a clear purple missile matching the canopy.
TF is astounding simple - remove the missile launcher from under the nose which then separates and most of the front folds out from under the cockpit to form the legs - some folding in and out of bits TFs the nosecone to the feet. The back folds down to reveal the head and the arms fold up from the wings.
The robot has good posability, though the shoulders are obviously limited by their design they still have a wide range of movement to the sides and the elbows only move in one plane. Starscream's Planet Key - A Decepticon Cybertron one which is the same design as Jetfire's but with a different symbol - causes a pair of blades do drop from under each wing. On comparison these blades look a lot like a scaled down Cruellock blade - and in a similar colour to the one with Galvatron G. Standard size peg holes for holding a missile launcher gun.
So what you get on this toy has been implemented well, and it's nice and solid but I'm left with a bit of a feeling that this is a deluxe toy scaled and bulked up slightly. They'll have to put some more features into it if the rumoured Supreme size shows up.
The unusual thing about this toy is that of all the main line Galaxy Force toys it alone did not get a release in Cybertron - there exists no Cybertron Voyager Starscream, just the Supreme and Legends sized versions. The shrinking down to legends size so succesfully speaks volumes about the levels of articulation on the toy and supports my initial assertion that it would work better as a deluxe toy.
Although the original Voyager Starscream paint job never made it to the west, the toy did in an exclusive 2 pack for Toys R Us coupled withy Vector Prime. For this release grey becomes a really dark red, the red paint highlights become silver anbd the clear plastic becomes clear purple. It's almost an inverse version of the original Starscream colours. I played with a friends one a few years back and actually thought the colours worked really well on it. His key - otherwise identical to the Galaxy Force toy is numbered s5a3
The Shattered Glass set for Botcon 2008 has the concept of Bad Autobot/Good Decepticons. The colours used for Starscream are those for Jetfire with the toy being cast in white with red and black highlights. The clear pieces are moulded in the smoked colour used as a clear black.
The cartoon series depicts a relationship between Jetfire and Starscream on Cybertron so when doing a good version of Starscream these are an obvious choice of colours.
Universe Dirge was available in the Autobot Ambush 2-pack with Roadbuster (a Cyvbertron Defence Hotshot repaint). This pack was exclusive to Target in the USA. The colours on this toy swap the grey of Starscream for blue and then highlight it with black and beige producing a decent attempt at the G1 Dirge colours.
Unreleased Legends versions
It comes as a surprise to me that more of the G1 jets haven't been done using this mould. The Legends mould however gives us versions of Ramjet & Thrust (both from the Universe Air Rivals set) and Sunstorm, along with Skywarp as a Comicon 2005 exclusive and another version of Ramjet (The Universe colours which were used on the Armada Starscream mould)
Putting together the released Voyagers and the Legends versions leaves us a few Decepticon Jet colour options that haven't been tried yet on either size - Thundercracker, G2 Ramjet, Universe Acid Storm and the E-Hobby black (inspired by Machine Wars) & clear Starscreams come to mind.
Vector Prime is an odd space ship TF - I've heard it compared to both a Vorlon ship from Babylon 5 and Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator. What we have is a wedge shape with 2 clear green/blue triangular wings at the rear. Very odd looking. The ship is covered with detailing - lots of cogs - and the colours - mainly grey with some brown - work well to present an image of something that is very old..... He has Minicon plugs on either side of him plus a plug on the top which is recessed into the body in the shape of his Minicon. A trigger in front of the cabin windows - same colour as the wings - fires a missile out the nose of the toy - same colour as the wings again. The Planet Key gimmick in this mode produces a sound - I've played it but don't remember what it is ! Vector Prime possesses a unique Planet Key - the same clear green/blue as the wings & missile. It's shaped like a cog and sprayed silver on the front with a brown back. The front has five circular holes unpainted showing the planet key symbols painted on the rear of the key. In descending order of size they are Earth, Speed Planet, Beast Planet, Giant Planet and Cybertron.
He comes with Roots - a big Minicon jet/gun. See the separate Roots/Safeguard review.
An easy Transformation - the legs fold out the back from under him, the nose cone fold under his back, the arm pull away from the sides. Pose shoulder pads, and wings, and slide the wrist panels back, then turn the head round. Easy.
The robot mode is very imposing - together with his sword which is hidden in one side of his nose cone - it makes him look like a medieval knight. Throw in the wings posed at the right angle and he starts to look a bit angelic too ! Then on top of that we get what looks like the Death Star's main cannon embedded in his chest above the Planet Key socket which means the Key can be inserted and used as body armour. More of the brown is revealed - head, forearms, upper legs and feet. Lots of posability, no complaints there (apart from the lack of a waist) The Minicon ports have ended up mounted on the outside of the forearms so top marks there - good for mounting any Minicon - but especially Roots - as a weapon. Planet Key gimmick produces a noise when attached in this mode, you get a noise when moving his arm up and down, and a different noise moving the arm up and down with the force chip attached. Can you tell that sound gimmicks aren't a favourite of mine ?
As looks go this is *very* different. But it works in both modes, you get a great robot and a good Minicon. And there's so much more to this toy than the Starscream which released with him that comes at the same price point. Well worth having, very recommended.
Vector Prime and Roots were released as Galaxy Force toy GC-03
When Vector Prime arrived in the west accompanied by the renamed Safeguard (to this day I think they missed a trick not renaming Roots as Over-Run) he'd had some changes. The grey plastic had become a fresher looking white, the brown was darker and the green plastic was made from a much less rigid material than that used on the Japanese version. The key - numbered v38g lacks the silver paint application on it's front face (if you haven't twigged by now the first letter of the Key Code denotes size - S for Scout, D for Deluxe, V for Voyager, U for Ultra, L for Leader and S again for Supreme)
Vector Prime was also available in a VS pack exclusive to Toys R Us in both the US and the UK. While painted the same this version uses a slightly more rigid form of the green/blue clear plastic.
I'd have thought Vector Prime would prove difficult to recolour - but Hasbro's had a go a few times.
In case the name has confused you - and it might - this is the repainted version of Vector Prime that appeared in the Cybertron range. Brown becomes a little darker, white/grey becomes gold and clear green/blue becomes clear orange - including the key which regains the silver paint from the original version.
This colour scheme doesn't do it for me, and like any Transformer fan I'm wary of a toy moulded in gold coloured plastic as they can suffer from Gold Plastic Syndrome and break.
Vector Prime materialises as a Botcon exclusive in the infamous Classic Jets year. He takes the roll of the ancient Autobot mentor from the cartoon - Alpha Trion - who fulfils a similar function to Vector Prime. He gets a new head for this part, with the white/grey becoming lilac covered with red/purple paint, the brown becoming white and the clear blue being done in clear purple. The face of the purple planet key on this version is completely covered in gold paint obscuring the planet symbols. He comes with Minicon Beta Maxx - a repaint of Roots/Safeguard.
Good name and mould marriage here produces a decent toy,
Vector Prime's final use to date has been in Transformers Universe - memory escapes me as to whether this toy reached the UK or not. Brown becomes olive green, and white/grey becomes what looks like black with painted silver edging. Previously unnoticed the internal cogs in the shoulder, the trigger and the feet are now cast separately in bright blue ! The clear parts are once again orange, with an unpainted key but this time the sword and the wing panels are painted.
It's sort of a dark, stealth version of Vector Prime. It works for me, especially in vehicle mode.
A legends version of vector Prime was released which has had one repaint not issued on the larger toy. Scattorshot is meant to be the same character as the G1 Technobot leader. essentially the same colours as Cybertron Vector Prime his arms and upper legs are now red. It's a minor recolour and I think some work would be needed for it to be used on the full size version.
Crumplezone looks like a dark green futuristic 3 wheeled racing car with 2 huge engines sticking out the back.... Or perhaps he's the 2nd incarnation of the Batmobile in this line ! His Speedia/Speed Planet key - same design as Exillion's though the Cybertron version has the number #vj40 - causes the white engine tubes to flick over onto the front of the car revealing them to be missile launchers - pale green missiles, also used for the flaps on the engines - and making an electronic firing noise. The canopy for the car and the wheels are moulded in clear dark blue plastic.
To transform pull the sides at the back down slightly - his hand are holding pegs at the rear - and then out to the sides, and then back down towards the back pulling out his shoulders from within the car. Pull the sides of the front down - the waist is attached to a pivot inside the car - and fiddle to form the legs. The head folds out under the cockpit, the front wheel folds in in it's place, and then the cockpit folds down to become the robot chest.
Robot mode..... well he looks big and stupid. Huge long forearms and little legs, produce an almost ape like feel. The head is a near exact likeness for Cruellock complete with moving jagged jaw, but this, and the green on the robot put me in the mind of both Rhinox and Tankorr. Engines can hang down his back as a rocket pack or flip over the shoulders as missile launchers.
In a year when there are so many excellent toys around Crumplezone is going to get overlooked as being merely OK, but he's a good fun toy
Crumplezone was originally issued as Galaxy Force toy GD-04 Land Bullet.
Dark Crumplezone is a *MAJOR* remould of Crumplezone with nearly every exposed surface being changed in some way. Green is basically swapped for black and white becoming a rich brown with the car gaining a new front, new solid cab, new forward facing exhausts/laser blasters (clear orange, replacing the blue). He also gains a Minicon port on his roof. Transform and articulation remains the same as the earlier version. His key number now is v2r2.
You don't see remoulds like this too often and I'd have quite liked to get my hands on it. The new colour balance is at the darker end of the spectrum though the orange is a little jarring !
Dark Crumplezone appeared in a Voyager wave with Cybertron Defence Scattorshot. Although featured in the toy catalogs neither toy made it to the UK. Interesting Dark Crumplezone (Dark Landbullet ?) never came out in Japan either.
Botcon 2006 presents us with pre-Beast Wars forms for the Beast Wars characters. Ultra Ape Optimus Primal's robot mode has cannons that swing from his back over his shoulders so Crumplezone's mould made a good candidate for use here. You might think a ground vehicle is an odd mode for a flying character but when you look closely you'll realise that an added benefit of using this mould is that the vehicle mode isn't too far removed from the ground vehicle mode on Optimal Optimus - Optimus Primal's form at the end of Beast Wars.
Reverting to the original version of the Crumplezone mould we set the bulk of the vehicle to a black colour with white for the engines, clear red for the cab & wheels and blue for the missiles & engine flaps. Transformation gives us something that looks astonishingly like Ultra Ape Optimus Primal - the new head moulded with a mouth like his cartoon appearance does help. He comes with a solid grey version of the Sideways/Unicron Planet Key with a gold circuitary pattern on the front.
Mudflap was released in Japan as Galaxy Force toy GD-09 Demolishor, which was how I first encountered the toy. To me Demolishor is a better name, and a good continuation of the name use from Armada through to Energon.
No sooner did I finish writing about this morning's repaint arrivals than a card dropped through the letter box demanding money with menaces. So off I troop to the post office to collect GF Demolishor and a Zoids Genesis Hound Soldier
Demolishor is a baby blue/pale lilac crane. Long, block and quite solid it reminds me somewhat of the famous GaoGaiGar crane toy, and indeed would look better in that colour blue. Insert the blue Earth Planet Key (#v6t7 on the Cybertron version) into the side of the cab and up pops a missile launcher. The crane arm extends to twice it's length and the support arm extends to give the crane arm an angle of about 45 degrees. The crane turret can turn 360 degrees. The panels in the middle with wheels attached seem a little too easy to raise on mine - could do with some securing.
TF is interesting, roll him onto the side of the cab missile launcher, so the crane side is pointing up. The body is in the middle, the arms run along the top (crane arm side) and the legs run down the bottom side. Fold out the middle flaps mentioned earlier and unpeg the legs, fold em down, fold the arms down, rotate 90 degrees on the flaps now attached to the robot's back, fold the head out and fold the cabs on the under side of the arms sideways so they centre better.
A nice solid chunky robot, with a green light pipe head. Although the annoying blue is still present on the ends of the limbs most of the robot is now made up of a nice Barricade esque teal blue. And it looks great. Missile gimmick still works under his right arm - though the launcher flops a bit when deployed. If you flip the crane arm out, extend it and insert a force chip the out pops a sword blade. This makes for a rather large weapon which can thankfully be shortened by retracting the crane extension. Full range of articulation, all present and correct that you'd expect. Feet look a little odd being little more than fold out panels though.
Overall - good solid toy, realistic alt mode, nice chunky robot. Almost back to basics, someone's made a good simple large toy. That might be the root of my one tinsy gripe - it does almost feel like a scaled up deluxe toy in place.
Erector is obviously far to rude a name to use now - especially with that extending crane arm ! ! ! - so this TRU exclusive keeps the name of the Cybertron version. But we all know it's a homage to Erector - even before it was confirmed by Generations 2009 v2 - Micromaster references are all over the Movie repaint exclusives and the colours here paired with the vehicle mode make it obvious. He is a straight colour swap - yellow for light blue, white for black and a slightly smoked clear for clear orange.
Just as I start to clear out some toys another arrives. It's a Galaxy Force beast and it combines !
Leo Breaker is a Lion - the toy is known in Japan as Liger Jack and numbered GC-16. Somehow I associate the word Liger with Zoids lions via Shield Liger, Blade Liger, Liger Zero and all it's variants. This is the first time I've seen the word appear on a TF release where up until now we've favoured Leo for our lions - Victory Leo, Leozack, LioConvoy. Character wise Liger Jack is meant to be a rebuild of Jackshot (Overhaul) who is the first of this year's toys to get a new body. In common with most of them he's getting a new toy rather than a repaint.
The lion mode is good - mainly pale brown with black shoulders & claws and white lower limbs. There's articulation at paws, knees and hips on each of the 4 legs...... Are the joints on the front legs knees and hips too ? Dunno. He's got a green Animal Planet chip (Cybertron number VG08) - which operates a key slot in each shoulder which flicks a pale brown claw down over his paw on each foot - very Lio Convoy (see the Legends section bellow). Each claw is separately controlled. Pressing on top of the head makes his mouth open - again very LioConvoy - and causes a roaring sound to go off. Why this wasn't done with a Key Gimmick instead of a button I don't know and the 2 x AAA batteries that power it seem a little excessive when a pair of little watch cells should have been sufficient. His tail is a solid unit, with no flexibility but can be plugged in either way up.
To TF Pull down on the Lion's head and the body separates in 2 linked only by 2 connecting rods. Fold the section above the waist down - it turns into 3 flaps - then fold the lion head back up so the lion head is 90 degrees lower than before - a catch on the lion's underside (the battery hatch) will lock into the waist - this reveals a connector on his back which is of no use at the moment...... Remove tail. Straighten legs and pose feet including heel spurs. Pull arms out to the sides at shoulders and pose. Pull flap at the back of mane up and forward, then pull backwards to reveal robot head. Pose hand, and insert Tail - via peg in the side of the tail and small socket in hand - as a sword.
Final robot is about 20cm high. He's got joints at the Ankles - mainly from TF - knees, ball joints at hips, joints at shoulders, an odd pointy to the side one below the shoulders, elbows, a swivel below the elbows and very posable hands. The sideways joint below the shoulder is one of the oddest I've seen in a few years - it allows the arms to flex up to 90 degrees out to the sides to clear the hips. However it also makes him look a little like the arms are bent in the wrong place ! Something more like what's found on Armada Hoist would be in order I feel. The head also turns but is very limited by the mane up it's sides. The mane panel hanging down behind the head works well as a sort of crest/pony tail. Force Chip claw gimmicks work still - and look good in a Wolverine style way that just didn't work on Jackshot - perhaps a foreshadowing of his 2nd mode ? Hands are great - fingers are moulded together but hinged at the knuckle and he has an opposable thumb ! The socket on his hand is small - so no plugging in of Minicon or Energon weapons - but it is the same size as the one on Convoy's hand so he can hold Prime's gun.
Liger Jack has a third mode however - he serves as a "power up" arm for both Prime and Megatron. Instructions are included for Transforming Prime and Megs to take the arms - Prime's is easiest - fold one of his arms behind his back like it's the front of the truck. Megs is more of a challenge and has some arm origami involved which leaves an orange spike sticking up out his shoulder. So we'll stick to using Prime.
To TF to arm mode start from robot mode. Fold the head down, fold the arms to the sides and straighten and straighten the legs. Unplug the arms just below the shoulders - yes they do unplug though EXTREME FORCE may be necessary. Peg them onto the front of the leg. Remove Prime's backpack, and clip on using the connector on his back. Fiddle the connector about depending on which side you're mounted - it moves slightly to allow the arm to be forward slightly when mounted - and then lock the backpack up.
Arm looks a little odd at first - the organics don't meld with Prime's angular look. But it's a decent enough arm. Claw gimmick still works. He can hold Prime's gun (if he's a right arm) or the tail sword using the peg holes on the robot hands. And on the lion/robot knee joint there's a std size hole, so you can use that to gift him wonders like the Star Sabre or Requiem Blaster. In fact there's a 2nd hole - one for a screw - slightly lower down that fulfils the same purpose :-) He's got an elbow that turns in courtesy of the hip joints. A waist joint on the larger robot would have given him a bicep but that's not a huge loss.
So: Good Lion, Good robot, with a slightly quibble about the shoulders. Odd but passable arm mode with a big tick for having a standard size hole. Yeah I liked this one, but have chilled on it rather over the years.
One of the main problems I have with Cybertron is the wasted replacement arm mode feature on Prime & Megatron - he's the only Cybertron toy that can form an arm. Surely other Voyagers - Mudflap, Quickmix and Cybertron Defence Scattorshot - or even deluxe toys could have made useful limb modes ?
In Japan Nemesis Breaker was sold as EX-01 Dark liger Jack, where it was sold as a Toys 'R' Us exclusive having been originally listed as a normal retail release with the ID number GD-14.
Yes it's an evil black repaint just for Megatron. White becomes a glossy black with the previously black pieces moulded in the same plastic. Claws, the mid section flaps folded in the TF and the tail become grey. Upper rear legs and body becomes a darker grey with the mane picked out in silver and Scourge like metallic cyan highlights are over the toy.
This is one black repaint that doesn't work for me, no idea why. It just doesn't.
Usually I end up talking about repaints of a Legends version of a toy at the end. But here I need to do it before we get to the last two full size versions. Leo Prime takes the Legends Leobreaker and gives it the white & gold Lio Convoy treatment. Looks superb. Razorclaw is all yellow and black, inspired in part by a Botcon comic featuring a Razorclaw in this mode.
The Leo Prime name then materialises in Universe - but the colour scheme is completely different to the Legends version. Red for the brown & the black of the shoulders, blue for white and the feet. Silver paint for the mane. The idea here I think is that it's meant to give Prime colours for the arm mode - and egged on by that he's acquired a new head modelled on the Classic Prime head. The problem is the red and blue both miss the mark of what you should use for Prime and that used on Cybertron Optimus Prime/Galaxy Force Convoy in particular. His planet key is a clear blue version of the Beast Planet key with silver painted rim.
Avoid. Pray the version with the new head gets a white and gold repaint !
Razorclaw on the other hand is a whole world of love. Again we get a new robot head matching the G1 version. Most of the brown becomes yellow, with black shoulders & feet, yellow fold down claws & tail, and red built in claws and lower legs. He gains some BW Predacon symbols and a clear planet key based on the Unicron/Sideways design with a gold circuit pattern on it. As mentioned above this design was inspired by a previous Botcon comic. It looks great and is probably the best version of the larger mould available.
Evac is the European release of Live Convoy - the Transformer leader on Earth and the keeper of the Earth leader planet key - a standard Earth key with gold edging. The other Planet Leader keys are in the hands of Override (Nitro Convoy, Speed Planet), Scourge (Flame Convoy, Jungle Planet) and Metroplex (Megalo Convoy, Giant Planet). You'll note that there's one planet leader toy for every size between Deluxe & Leader !
Evac's a mainly yellow rescue helicopter with a light blue top half. He's got retractable dark blue landing gear at the front. The main rotor - again dark blue - has a spin mechanism (with a trigger moulded in red) similar to Bulkhead's last year. There's a winch on one side of the helicopter with an extending line that retracts at a button press. However since the thread is just 3 inches long and retracts instantly you press the button it isn't a lot of use. Inserting the key behind the rotor blades causes his 2 jet boosters to swing forward as missile launchers (red triggers again). So not bad for a vehicle mode at all - and it looks realistic which is what we're asking of the Earth vehicles and is generally what has been delivered.
Transformation: Remove the blades so they're out of the way. Fold up the front landing gear, and fold the rear landing gear to the sides. Pull up on the winch to separate the undercarriage from the rest of the body, and fold the undercarriage back under the tail locking it in place at the base of the tail. Fold the undercarriage back under this locking point by it's robot hips, and then rotate 90 degrees so the cockpit is pointing rear and the landing gear forwards. Split the undercarriage to form the legs and fold the cockpit halves to the side. Fold out the feet & heel spurs, and fold down the landing gear to the sides of the hips. Pull down slightly on the winch mechanism to separate the piece it's mounted on from the rotor. Fold both rotor mechanism and winch to the sides and back - a little twisting will move them out the way so the pieces they're attach to lock into place to form the shoulders - excessive force will be required. A little twisting will get the red plates on the shoulders facing forward and allow the arms to fold down. Then flip up the panel at the end of each arm to swing the fists out. The tail then separates in 2 and folds out so it's flat on his back - like an Acroyear's wings - and then can be folded downwards. Pull the missile unit up 90 degrees onto his back, pull up on it revealing his head, and then fold flat onto the back. Reattach rotors to form blade spinning attack weapon.
The finished robot in an odd way reminds me of the design aesthetic of Energon Mirage. Fortunately Evac want to stay together. He's a dark blue robot mainly covered in yellow/orange armour with some grey/blue armour on the head. There's a blue lightpipe - hurrah, we love lightpipes ! His legs look hugely out of proportion with the armour stretching up to only reveal a small amount of blue hip, but the knee is much lower down and there's a significant amount of armour rising up from the lower leg to cover the upper leg. He's got knees that bend in the direction knees should, a swivel above them, universal joint hips, a waist, neck, shoulders that go back & forth and to the sides, a low bicep and an elbow. The winch is slung under his right arm and can be used as a grappling hook. The rotor is mounted on the right arm and when the tail halves are folded down the mechanism can spin it as a blade attack. By default his boosters point down as a rocket pack, but inserting the force key causes them to spring upwards. Sadly you can't get them from there to shoulder cannons :-(. As I mentioned before the tail halves can be swung up to form an Acroyear type flight pack and this looks rather good.
So overall: V good vehicle, nice robot, just minor quibbles about the gimmick. Another good Voyager (Mega) They're doing well this year, 5 good megas and one not so bad.
The Evac mould slept for a few years without a recolour - though it's Legends version had one, see bellow. In late 2008 it was returned in the Universe toyline as Blades. At roughly the same time a Legends Blades was done using the Legends version of the mould - the two versions are slightly different. The yellow and light blue both become red on this version, with the dark blue as black and the red as white with some white paint highlighting details. The Legends version *essentially* swaps the black for white. The Voyager looks great - big red robot theory, but the Legend is closer the red & white colour balance of the Protectorbot.
When I talked about Cybertron Defence Red Alert I mentioned the recolour that he got to produce Botcon Springer - a solely land based Springer. Well this is it's counterpart - a Springer with only a sky mode. The recolour helps us with identifying moulding sprues - most of the yellow & light blue becomes green and most of the dark blue becomes grey. The robot legs/helicopter under carriage (were yellow) are now grey too The rotor's centre and the upper limbs become a lighter grey.
The colours are right, the basic form is good and even the head is a good match. But somehow it lacks something Springer like - his wide helicopter form is pretty distinctive (Energon Bulkhead did that better) and I always picture Springer with a sword - which this mould lacks.
Springer comes in a Target exclusive VS Pack with Universe Ratbat (a Cybertron Sideways repaint)
Cybertron Defence Scattorshot is an upgrade of the basic sized toy (GF Backpack) inheriting his colours but gaining a new design and growing 2 size classes. He's now a missile array tank - basic tank body in Scattorshot's blue with a 22 missile array moulded in grey and mounted on his back. The missile array turns 360 degree, and raises and lowers. There's a pair of Minicon pegs, one on each side towards the back. There's 2 other pegs at the front but neither of them are quite Minicon size and shape - but there's no reason why they shouldn't be - we'll come back to these in the transformation later. The pegs at the back can be used to mount the robot's hand gun in vehicle mode via a hole in the back. There's a black grill/excavator shovel at the front, presumably for mine clearing.
CD Scattorshot comes with a Cybertron Autobot planet key numbered v4kt. There's 2 key sockets on the back of the missile launcher - basically one on each half - one deploys a gun and sight out of one side, while the other side has a double barrelled missile launcher. You end up with a very heavily armed tank.
To TF fold the excavator shovel down to form his feet, and the supports for this up to form the heel spurs. Unclip the back halves of the sides & treads, pull forward half way, turn and lock onto those small pegs I mentioned earlier. The sockets these rest in could quite easily have been big enough for a Minicon port ! I'd describe the next bit as clever and innovative except it's already been done on a Minicon ! You place the missile array pointing forwards and then split it down the middle and pull to the sides to form the arms. It's good, and clever but we've seen it on Oceanglide before ! Flip the hands out from the arms, and flip the head up.
You end up with a nice big chunky well proportioned robot, with a huge missile array on each arm ! Nice..... Revealed on the arms is the missing beige/bronze colour from basic Scattorshot's colour scheme as well as some more black on the elbows. Good articulation, every joint you'd expect including a waist, and an interesting head - on a bit of plastic from behind that then becomes he neck, his head can swing side to side in normal human range. The missile pods extra weapons gimmick work in this mode - the gun arm's pod can slide forward too - and they have handles which pop into his hands. There's holes and studs one the missile launchers to lock the gun onto when his hands are busy - again why not make these pegs Minicon ports ?
Overall: Very good, lots to him. Good articulation, lots of weapons. And yet..... Somehow Cybertron Defence Hotshot is the better toy by doing so much more with his size of toy than you expect. There's less of the flip out panels here than on Cybertron Defence Hotshot and you feel all his gimmick is tied up in the one place - the weapons hidden in the missile launchers. Minicon pegs are a personal bugbear of mine so I'm always going to want more - 1 size up from Cybertron Defence Hotshot and he has the same number of ports where I'd expect at least 2 more. You also feel with a little work he'd have made a great add on arm for Optimus Prime and Megatron with the shovel forming the hands and the missile array a shoulder cannon.
But I don't want to be too down, this is a *really* good toy, one of the 3 top Voyagers in a year where the Voyager class had some great toys.
So naturally when the wave containing this and his cosell Dark Crumplezone came up it was skipped for UK release, which is partially due to the previous wave having only one toy in it !
Cybertron Defence Scattorshot was released in Japan as Galaxy Force toy GC-20 Backgild where he comes with a little Rumble drone target
The CD Scattorshot mould went unrepainted for quite some time until it returned in Transformers Universe late in 2008. Cast as a Decepticon he uses the name of a Micromaster wheeled vehicle from the Micromaster Military patrol but takes the colours of Flak, an Autobot from the Micromaster Battle Patrol who'd a similar form of tank (Incidentally Flak has a Japanese repaint Powerbomb who's mainly blue like CD Scattorshot !) So most CD Scattorshot's blue and the grey of the launchers become a pale yellow/beige, the bronze/beige become green, the black becomes grey and the blue of the chest & weapons plus the elbow joints become brown. His planet key becomes an unpainted Earth key moulded in smoked brown clear colour.
A decent military repaint, though if they were going for a desert repaint - and I suspect the were given the colours - I'd have used a more sandy yellow.
Dropshot was a wave 2 Universe toy. I mention this because ....
.... in wave 5 we get *another* CD Scattorshot repaint, this time renamed Overload. Now Overload to me says big red combining robot (with blue truck Micromaster with grey Ultra Magnus style trailer a close second) The bio note makes it clear it's the first I should be thinking but doesn't go with the red colours. Instead we get a green repaint probably more suited to the Flak name. Most CD Scattorshot's blue and the grey of the launchers become green, the bronze/beige become an almost neon green, the black becomes dark grey and the blue of the chest & weapons plus the elbow joints become dark green. His planet key is once again an unpainted Earth key moulded in clear dark green colour.
Finally at Botcon 2009 CD Scattorshot got the Flak name. Shame the colours had been used already ! However those for this recolour are rather good: Most CD Scattorshot's blue, all of the black and the grey of the launchers become white, the bronze/beige becomes black, and the blue of weapons plus the elbow joints become red. The chest may be moulded red as well - the other repaints have it coloured the same as the previous parts - but here the main colour on display is grey. His planet key becomes a Cybertron Autobot key with a black border and red painted logo.
I've loved toys in this camouflage scheme ever since the GI Joe Urban Camo Stormshadow figure in 1988. It work great on this tank, and I'd love to have one.
You may recall that I didn't have a good encounter with the smaller Legends of Cybertron version of this toy and foreswore the larger version. Well 5 quid off in Woolworths made me have a rethink.
Soundwave is a dark blue futuristic jet with a black midsection between the wings containing the cockpit and grey rear. Lots of angles to the body. He's got tiny wheels on the tips of his wings and under the body. Purple clear plastic forms the canopy, and moulded into the cockpit - though you probably won't spot it till it TFs is a tiny pilot's seat. His key socket - towards the rear of the jet - opens a gold painted door underneath which releases a box with Hexagonal ends which they label as a bomb. There's room to clip 2 of these under each wing, and 3 in total with the toy. Each transforms into something different.
The transformation of the toy is easy but you need everything to line up and remember where certain bits go. The legs run either side of the cockpit, which is itself both arms on top of each other. The top of the waist is the top of the rear of the jet with the pelvis underneath it. I'd start with raising the cockpit canopy slightly and pulling away the legs at the sides of the cockpit. Pull the flap at the back of the jet down. Fold the entire leg section back - noting that the back of the base of the pelvis is recessed down a gap - and lock onto the back of the jet. Straighten legs, feet and heel spurs, fold down waist panels and lock centre one into place. Pull the arm with the cockpit roof on out to one side - the shoulder connections for both arms are on a series of hinged panels - and swing the underside of the cockpit and it's arm the other way. Fold the body of the robot - what's between the legs and the wings - into this gap, and lock into place with the arms by folding the shoulder panels into place. Fold the panels - whether underside of cockpit canopy - back on each arm.
Soundwave's 3 bombs are very different in colours - one is almost all clear purple, another is purple and grey with black end and the third is black with red ends. All TF differently:
The purple one fold a gun barrel out, then the purple casing swings through 180 degrees allowing a 2nd gun barrel and a handle to fold out. The instructions designate this his hand weapon.
The purple and grey one had 3 purple gun barrels fold out of one end, and a handle out of the other. There's a hole beside his head for this to act as a shoulder cannon.
The black one unfolds to form Laserbeak - separate review.
The final robot can best be described as a thinned down G1 Soundwave with a big wing back pack. The colours end up in the right places - dark blue for the body, head, shoulders & lower limbs and grey for the upper limbs. Like certain other Voyagers - I'm thinking Energon Mirage in particular here the limbs tend to be a little on the spindly side. His articulation consists of knees, a swivel above the knees and universal * jointed hips on the legs - along with an odd bend the legs sideways and out just below the knee joint which is part of the TF. His shoulders are restricted Universal joints with a bicep swivel and elbow joint. The arms are limited a little by having canopy and cockpit kibble hanging from them.
* I'm using the term Universal Joint to describe a joint that moves in all conceivable directions. To my mind it's not a ball and socket joint unless there's a ball and socket involved - see BW Waspinator's hips and shoulders amongst many others. Strictly speaking I don't think they are Universal Joints - see Wikpedia - but I can't think of a better phrase to describe them. Here ends the lecture.
The jet's bomb bay door is now on Soundwave's chest so the insertion of the Planet X key (Cybertron# vmj8) into the small of his back is similar to the opening of G1 Soundwave's tape compartment. He has standard size peg holes in his hands to match his weapons, a hole on his shoulder for one of the weapons. There's 2 other post holes on the wing tip which can be used as perching posts for Laserbeak without having to fold him up so much as to get him hand held. Soundwave's face is reminiscent of the original while not being an exact copy and his visor is cast in transparent purple plastic which is part of a lightpipe through the head. The purple used is slightly darker than on the Japanese version - as is the grey on the upper legs and arms - so the light effect doesn't work as well as in the pictures.
Well..... It's not a bad reinvention of Soundwave, and as I say in Classics Megatron's review I'm all for Decepticons who aren't jets being done as jets. Soundwave's problem is that the original is both distinctive and done very well - there's little you could want a newer version to do that the original doesn't. And as such no-one has really had a go at redoing Soundwave before now - save as a recolour with greater tape capacity and an Actionmaster.
And no I still can't TF the LoC version. Though I can TF this one reasonably easily thank you very much.
Soundwave was available in Japan as Galaxy Force toy GX-02 Soundwave.
So just as the original Soundwave got repainted (and slightly remoulded) into Soundblaster so does the Galaxy Force version. Blue becomes black, grey gets darker, and clear purple becomes clear red. Soundblaster's Minicon now has gold details so and is called Hell Buzzsaw.
Soundblaster was numbered GX-03 and was a Toy's Dream project exclusive.
At the end of my 2005 Soundwave review I wrote: "Repaints - well Cybertron's done, but Japan got a limited black Soundblaster repaint - surely the obvious way to go. Though doing it in red as Blaster is a possibility......."
Blow me they went and did it. His vehicle mode is mainly black and grey with a smattering of red, but the robot mode is much better with red body, head, shoulders and lower arms and grey legs. The head however is completely the wrong shape ! The clear purple is swapped for a clear blue. The Minicon becomes a red eagle with black feet called Blockrock - I look forward to an inverse repaint of G1 Laserbeak under that name.
Unused Legends Repaints
The Legends Soundwave has a repaint Skydive that's not been used on the larger toy. However the black with blue isn't too far away from the black with grey needed for a Legends Soundblaster
Another buy off eBay, with approximately a fortnight's turnaround this time. Mine was one of the first Singapore release up for auction - the price inc shipping was the same as what BBTS wanted so I ordered. Since then he's hit the states in larger quantities. To date I can't find a decent gallery to link to.
Quickmix comes with Minicon Stripmine - see separate review.
Quickmix is the fifth Transformer Cement Mixer to be released. The first was Mixmaster - and all his subsequent repaints, then Dual Targetmaster Quickmix, then Takedown the MM and finally back in the early 90s the Micromaster Sixbuild cement mixer which I can't find the name for - but it has in turn been repainted as the Micromaster Devastator Mixmaster. Compared to Cement Mixers, Bikes have got a good deal ! In addition there is a Brave Gao Gai Gar Cement mixer which ends up as a robot with a cannon for an arm.
Quickmix is a mainly Orange cement mixer with some grey and yellow detail, and a light grey and cream mixer drum. Broadly the colours are similar to Dual Targetmaster Quickmix. Stripmine's Blue & Yellow does also match TM Quickmix's Targetmasters - nice touch. The drum does rotate, but only if disconnected from it's feeder mechanism first. There's a grey lump with a curved front sticking from the front of the vehicle. It looks a little odd but I can conceive that it might be a winch so we'll let it pass for now. There's a Minicon port on the cab - the engine exhaust detail here puts me in mind of either Energon or Cybertron Landmine - and another on the rear of the vehicle mounted on what look like a pair of exhaust pipes. The front of the mixer drum rest in a groove at the behind the cab - can pop out if you lift the vehicle by the mixer drum. The back of the drum is pegged into a feeder arrangement for the drum - a box with a chute behind it., and both are connected to an arm the goes to the side of the toy.
If you fold up the top of back of the feeder bucket up and over the front, there's a hole exposed that the peg at the back of Stripmine fits into, enabling him to act as a weapon on the cement mixer. This will expose 2 small pegs. From here if you then fold the entire feeder bucket back you'll get a control panel that Stripmine's robot can stand at - the pegs fit the holes in Stripmine's arms, so it's quite possible that Armada Thrust's Minicon, Inferno, might also be able to operate it. Folding the console back has in turn exposed the key socket - but to use it you'll need to pull the mixer drum free from it's mount at the back of the cab and straighten the rear arm. If you then insert the Giant Planet Key (Cybertron #ve37) the 2 halves of the mixer drum pop apart revealing a missile launcher - a blue shaft ending in a yellow tip surrounded by clear plastic. The missile launcher is fired from a trigger in front of the key socket. The cannon can raise about 45 degrees and turn through 180 degrees - an excellent second vehicle mode.
To Tf to Robot Work Mode - and I'm guessing here somewhat as it's not on the instructions or box but given that the 2 other work modes are shorter forms of the main robot I think we can work it out - start with the cannon mode and fold down the rear wheels under the vehicle like Cybertron Mudflap. Unpeg the rear of the vehicle and fold out behind him. Bend that out to the side of the vehicle from on top, and bend the cannon to the other side unclipping the feeder mechanism/control console. Fold down the orange panel that is revealed. Then rotate the head that was under it. Separate the 2 halves of the front of the vehicle - the front of the cab is attached to one half, and the rear to the other. This will now rotate to form the robot's knees. Fold out the grey structure that might be a winch to form the feet - there's much more of this running inside the cab legs - but the red spots want to be at the rear. Position the arm and the cannon.
To TF from there to Robot Battle Mode pull down on the legs. Wasn't much difference was there ? So little that I'll skip talking about the work mode as all comments relate to the battle mode.
The robot mode is reminiscent of the cannon for the arm Gao Gai Gar toy I mentioned earlier so you're loosing an arm straight away. The body of the toy is grey with an orange chest plate, shoulders, left forearm and lower legs. His head is orange, with silver and grey detailing and a yellow ear piece and mike headset. He's got a lightpipe visor but it's the same clear plastic as the rest of the toy and not as effective as many other lightpipes.
We need to talk about the articulation. Obviously the cannon arm is going to be odd, but it's only limit is that it can't 100% straighten at the elbow, and that the control console hangs behind it - if you remove the key though you can fold & swing the control console under the cannon. The other arm is more of a worry. For not the first time recently the elbow bends oddly. For effectiveness arms should be able to bend so the arm forms an L shape with the fist upright. Here the arm bends and the fist is on the side of the L - for the fist to still be upright the arm would be folded over the front of the chest. A wrist or forearm swivel would have fixed that. Both arms have biceps swivels, swing out to the sides at the shoulders, and have shoulders that move forward and back. The neck turns. The hips bend to the sides, there's a swivel at the bottom of each thigh just above the knee, knees bend back and ankles fold to sides and swivel. Spot what was missing ? That's right the hips don't bend to the front or back*. If you don't have that you can effectively forget about the knee joints being useful as well. The panels the hips are connected to are sloped to the sides but there's no reason at all the hips couldn't have been connected to a central piece that moved down through body like these sloped panels do. My only thought is they tried it with hips and the cannon proved too heavy for balance. But we'll not know unless someone asks the design team at Botcon.
* The dept of corrections would like the following to be registered: The hips _do_ move forwards and back in a walking motion. Excessive force is needed to get them to move. If RID Ultra Magnus had had hip joints this tight then Omega Prime would have had a chance of standing up. If I hadn't been told I wouldn't have had a clue that they did move the joint is that tight.
The feet are by necessity very big at the front to support the robot with the cannon. However I can't see why they couldn't have made the feet fold up like Mudflap's thus eliminating the sting out bit at the front of the vehicle.
Minicon posts - the one from the top of the front of the cab is now on his right knee, and the one from the back of the vehicle is now on his left forearm. In addition there's now 2 on the chest plate - not a lot of use to anything other than maybe Ransack, or for a Madonna impersonation involving 2 Skyblasts ! (someone needs to take a photo of this)
So overall - Excellent Minicon with a small problem with it's socket. OK but limited main vehicle mode - I want my mixer drums to turn ! Very good 2nd vehicle mode. Stunning integration of the Minicon into both vehicle modes. Attractive robot mode. I like the toy, it's good, but a couple of tweaks here and there would have made it really quite excellent. Worth while getting.
Quickmix & Stripmine return in the first wave of Universe Voyagers as Heavy Load & Drill Bit. The orange of the cab and the rear mudflaps becomes bright yellow while the rest of the orange (including the mould for the drum which is mostly painted over) and the grey winch thing becomes green while the yellow becomes brown. This gives the robot a more military green feel, but it's Transformers Universe, we're looking for toys that are evocative of past glories here. If you're going to make a Decepticon cement mixer then *please* go the whole hog, colour it completely green and call it Mixmaster rather than a mishmash of colours under a name used for Autobot and Minicon trucks !
That's the Cybertron Voyagers done, also completing the Universe Voyagers - a measure of how good the C Voyagers were is what percentage of the Universe Voyager line were Cybertron and how many times they've been back as Botcon exclusives - The Cybertron line in general is remarkably well repainted.
The last of my Cybertron Defence/Vanguard Team toys are here !
Cybertron Defence Red Alert is a large 8 wheeled armoured personnel carrier with a *HUGE* missile on top of him. Think Euro Stalker or MW/TFU Soundwave here. His vehicle form very closely resembles the minicon Knockout. Colour is mainly an off white - Armada Galvatron - with some deep blue which you'll recognise from the deluxe Red Alert. The missile launcher is mounted on a launcher arm that pivots upwards at the back of the vehicle. Mounted at the rear of this arm is a gantry that a minicon with thin legs - Cybertron Jolt for example - can stand in. This is great - minicon robot involvement in vehicle mode is far too rare - Armada Cyclonus' gunner chair, Rollbar driving Scavenger, and the Sea team sat in Tidal Wave are the only obvious examples I can think of. More of this please - in fact a vehicle/base toy for Minicons wouldn't go amiss. Micromasters came 17 years too early for me ! ;-)
Moving the missile up the launcher arm - yes it's completely detachable like Stalker's - engages a launching sound. When the missile is resting on the launching arm recessed to the very back his Autobot Cybertron planet key (Cybertron #up0t) can be inserted to sound an electronic noise and split the nose of the rocket in 2 to reveal a missile launcher. The crane arm can be slid to one side - mainly as part of the TF but that also helps reveal the cannon on the right side of the vehicle mode, which can pivot upwards. 2 of his minicon hardpoints are visible in this mode about halfway along the vehicle. There's a cannon that can be popped out from under front of the vehicle, but this really aught to be set this way from robot mode rather than triggered using a finger nail in this one. So big, chunky and nice in this mode.
To TF: Slide the missile launcher to one side, and fold down the side panels above the rear wheels - they'll only move slightly. Then fold the panels containing the 2 rear wheels over the 2 front wheels - this will reveal 2 more minicon ports. Open the top of the front of the vehicle out to the sides, and then part the front halves of the vehicle from the blue strip running down the centre and open the legs out about 30 degrees. You can then fold the front half of the vehicle down under the back to form the legs. The tips of the front form feet by folding them forwards which in the process reveals 2 heel spurs to be folded back. You're left with 2 arms pointing forward attached to the central strip from earlier. Detach one arm from this strip - both are pegged and it doesn't really matter which - and fold the arms back along the sides of the rear of the vehicle - loosing the 2 vehicle mode minicon ports. Fold the arms down beneath the shoulders - there's a joint within the shoulders for this, the barrel moulding should be on top of the shoulders, and fold the bit of blue plastic between the shoulders down to reveal the head.
The first thing that strikes me about the robot mode is the HUGE missile launcher acting as a cannon on his shoulder, It's UK Stalker again ! But actually the cannon is a homage back to the original Armada Red Alert toy that had a flip out cannon fold over his shoulder. The robot head sits very low in the body barely rising above the tops of the shoulders. That, and the way the arms folded back earlier put me in mind of a favourite toy of mine: Armada Overload. The head is a stylised version of Red Alert's with a red lightpipe visor. The head turns from side to side, the shoulders move up and down, he has bicep, elbow and wrist joints in his arms, universal hips, a swivel joint above the knees and the knees themselves. If you like your large robots articulated then this is for you. He'll happily kneel on one knee as if to aim the missile ! Standard size fist holes so have your minicon and energon weapons ready. No hand gun as such but if you remember the lump of plastic now attached to one arm ? Well insert a planet key in the rear of it and out springs a gun barrel. This weapon can only be pegged on the side of the arms though, and not held. But there's more to it - under the fold out panels on the legs there are 2 attachments for this weapon which match those for Cybertron Red Alert - one is a claw and the other is a hammer head. The hammer head compresses at one end and springs out again. Nice - another TF wielding De Happy Shtick !
So it's a nice big and good upgrade on First Aid. Of all the Cybertron Defence/Vanguard team I feel Hot Shot does most for his size class but Cybertron Defence Red Alert's an excellent buy !
Cybertron Defence Red Alert was sold in Japan as Galaxy Force toy GC21 First Gunner - Red Alert was First Air in Japan and the name was developed from there. He came with a cardboard Rumble drone target.
Cybertron Defence Red Alert has his mould reused as Megatron's pre Beast Wars form at Botcon 2006. I suppose the thinking here likens the shoulder missile to G1 Megatron's Fusion Cannon. Dark blue becomes a purpley blue, white becomes lilac and clear red becomes clear green. He gains a new head modeled on Megatron's and swaps the existing planet key for a solid grey version of the Planet X Sideways/Unicron key which has a gold curcuit diagram on it.
Somehow not quite as inspired as some of the Botcon exclusives this year, it's almost as if the mould doesn't really fit Megatron.
There has already been a red repaint of the Legends version of CD Red Alert as Perceptor. This new version isn't very different, just not the same name. Countdown was a red Micromater that came with a rocket, so you can see the attratcion of using the name on this toy with it's large shoulder mounted rocket. All the white becomes red as does the blue of the shoulders and forearms. The rest of the dark blue becomes white. The planet key becomes a solid grey Earth key with a painted red symbol.
Decent exclusive for TRU in 2009.
The Legends version of the toy was repainted as Perceptor which as I've said forms the basis of the full size Countdown repaint. It was also repainted as Onslaught in grey and purple.
Possible Future Repaints
Above I mention how this toy reminds me of the Euro Stalker toy - why not use those colours ? Or those of either Machine Wars or Universe Soundwave which was repainted for the Stalker mould. This toy also probably aught to be done in a military green colour scheme at some point.
Jetfire is a jet - a B52 bomber/transport plane in style. If they've done a TF version of this before it's only been a Micromaster so I believe this is the first full size version. It's a nice big chunky toy, mainly green in colour with some silver highlights on the body & dark green wings, 2 silver jet engines and a missile launcher hanging under each wing. The underside of the toy has 2 rollers built into it for it to move along the floor. These and the green colour used on the body put me in mind of the old Dinky Thunderbird 2 toy. The engines on the tail fin section of the jet can be pressed to make an engine noise and for the clear red plastic on the ends to light up - watch type batteries included.
He comes with a Cybertron Planet Key/Force Chip- clear plastic with an Autobot symbol, and a notch at one end to activate the gimmick - the Cybertron version is numbered #uk97. Basically this is doing a "key" gimmick on TFs without the fag of making a smaller toy (EG Minicon or Powermaster). However there are Minicons elsewhere in the line...... I find that slightly odd. Jetfire has no Minicon hardpoints either while we're on the subject. Back to the force chip - insert it into his tail section and a gun unit extends below and to the back of the jet. Something of nothing in jet mode really.....
... but it becomes a little more useful in his second mode: the entire tail section swings up onto his back - the rear of the engines and the guns now point forward giving him a set of cannons on his back. The noise now changes to shooting, and a cannon noise when you attach the force chip.
From there we can start to transform to robot mode: pull down on the underside of the undercarriage- the legs will fold out, one from the front to the middle and the other from the middle to the back. Sharp eyes will detect the undercarriage is the same on both sides and symmetrical if you ignore the nosecone and the tail. Flip feet and stabilisers down. The upper legs are folded inside the lower legs and the waist is in the centre of the plane, attached to a piece of plastic which folds out. The nosecone locks into the end of the piece of plastic (automatically extending some missile pods) to form the chest. The outer engines detach from the wings, are pulled forward via the connection to the inner engine and folded down to form the arms. Fists come out of the end of the engine pods - I may be missing a trick but these are the hardest fists to extend I've seen in a while. Head flips up from the top of the body.
It's a big chunky robot which is what you're looking for in an Ultra. He's got Armada Jetfire's head which is a nice piece of continuity between two toylines. :-) He's very posable with lots of arm and leg joints on the newly exposed silver arms and upper legs - but a bit back heavy especially when standing straight, sort of has a sloped back (reminds me of something but can't think what). Fists hold the missile launchers, and although I haven't checked yet should be good for Minicon and Energon weapons. Ummmm, can't think of a lot else to say about it...... It did strike me looking at the pictures before I got it that the toy was basically a big transformer with little action features and that is basically what it is. But it's a decent toy in both forms and good in a back to basics type way - however it should be noted that since it's initial release it's been very successfully downsized into a Legends version. Nonetheless it's still recommended.
Jetfire was available in Japan as Galaxy Force toy GC-04 Dreadrock.
I like the idea behind Skyshadow more than I like the toy itself. The Decepticon Jetfire repaint is in fact Jetfire gone undercover to infiltrate the Decepticon ranks. Green becomes a sandy bronze, dark green becomes a burgundy purple, silver/grey becomes black and clear red becomes clear yellow. He's still got an Earth Planet Key this time numbered u06h.
Jetstorm was a Toys R Us Movie exclusive repaint in 2008. As with most of the other Movie toys there's some form of Generation 1 influence being exerted here. This time it's not 100% obvious until you think about it, but Generations 2009 v2 reveals that Jetstorm is inspired by the G1 Triplechanger Octane who has a similar plane mode.
Green becomes white and most of the silver & dark green become grey with the missile pods, upper arms and feet becoming a purple/blue and his planet key becoming clear blue Planet X key with silver Decepticon Logo.
The plane mode looks a realistic commercial transport plane now, good job done there, but the blue needs to be more purple and in greater quantity for it to be a decent G1 Octane robot.
As mentioned above Jetfire had a Legends version made which has led a pretty independent life when it comes to being repainted. First green became an brick red and silver became beige (all the dark green is lost or reduced to paint on the Legends version) to form Fireflight who looks like to me that the name was used because there was a rights problem with the name Powerglide. Later he becomes a second Aerialbot Air Raid with light grey replacing green, dark grey replacing silver and lots of blue paint highlights. This looks like they've used Air Raid's G2 colours for inspiration.
Scourge was available in Japan as Cybertron toy GD-07 Flame Convoy. It's the original Flame Convoy toy I'm basing this review on: Ah, after a huge repaint binge, finally some new Transformers. Readers may be aware that my Galaxy Force wave 2 was lost by Swindon GPO between them putting the card through the front door to say they'd tried to deliver it and me going into the sorting office to claim it 36 hours later. Replacements are in the post.....
Flame Convoy comes in a large square fronted box in robot modes as seems to be the style for leaders this year - I believe Nitro Convoy is too - while the western version is packaged in Beast mode. He comes packaged with his axe and a gold rimmed Leader version of the Animatros (Beast) Planet Key which in Cybertron is numbered u2m8.
Spikes and claws - mainly in yellow - are very much the theme of the day with the robot mode, with lots of oranges - forearms & inner legs - and metallic black - chest, robot shoulders & head - which - together with the dragon head on the chest (topped with clear purple forehead) - makes me think that using the Scourge name for this wasn't such a good idea and maybe Predaking would have been better. Three of the four "Convoy" planet leaders have Primesque elements in their head, but Fire Convoy is the closest looking like Prime with the Faceplate removed. There's also a hint of Beast Wars Dinobot and Armada Hoist in there too. He's got a loin cloth but instead of hanging straight down it protrudes forward slightly. Button on the back causes a beast roar sound effect. Inserting a force chip at the base of his spine causes heads 2 and 3 to pop up - both moulded in orange plastic - accompanied by the TF ing noise. Pressing the sound effect button again gives a blast noise when the force chip is in. We've got articulation at the ankle, knees, hip, shoulders and elbow. Unfortunately for the hand's peg hole to be facing out the elbow points outwards too - so no bent arm poses while holding the weapon straight. The weight of the shoulder spikes does occasionally cause the shoulders to sag back a little in robot mode which can lead to the toy overbalancing.
TF is quite simple - turn the head round and fold it down, and then pull the dragon head up from the chest to extend the dragon's neck. Fold the shoulders back and the loin cloth up to close up the gap in the chest, fold the hands in and place on all fours. Rear legs can be posed extended to the back or - as the instructions suggest - folded up. Pull the rear legs at the back - they'll extend an inch or so - and attach the tail. I had trouble with mine, and reckon it's best to sort of slide it in sideways so the peg is pressing on one of the tabs.
The beast mode is pretty impressive - it's a more eastern style wingless dragon. Sound is still present, as is the flip up head gimmick which can be used to TF him from a single headed dragon to a 3 headed hydra dragon - I am reminded of the Beast Machine Cerberus. Tail can move up and down a bit and all robot limb articulation is still there in beast mode.
Overall: Wasn't impressed with the photos, like it lots better in the plastic. Good toy.
It's believed that only Argos stores in the UK received the case containing Scourge and Jetfire.
Cryo Scourge plays on the idea that Scourge is a dragon and adds a name element & colour scheme associated with another Transformers Dragon - Cryotek being a Robots In Disguise recolour of Transmetal II Ultra Dragon Megatron. So Cryo Scourge takes on a blue colour scheme with light blue replacing the yellow & the orange of the secondary heads, purple replacing the black & the orange on the forearms while the hands & inner legs become dark blue. He retains the Beast Planet Leader key which is now numbered u3fl.
We mentioned the unreleased Beast Machine Cerberus earlier as being similar to the Scourge mould - the three headedness for starters. Well this mould did see the light of day for a very limited period as Robots in Disguise Bruticus and I would suggest the RID toy inspired the name for this recolour, although Bruticus' colours are very similar to those of the original Scourge. Head, body and arms become orange, legs are mainly black while the spikes are purple and painted gold and he comes with a purple beast planet key with a silver border.
Not the best recolour on the planet.
Scourge has a Legends version - albeit with awful forearms/hands in robot mode - that's rendered in yellow and black plastic. Trypticon plays on the name and turns him from a Triplechanging dinosaur to a three headed dragon in grey and purple. Hun-Grrr meanwhile gets an extra third head by using the Legends Scourge mould for his Universe form and is rendered in off white & grey with purple paint. Either would make a nice full scale repaint.
Possible Future Repaints
Given that the toy is called Scourge there's two routes you could take - an all blue one like the G1 character or an all black one playing on the Decepticon Optimus Prime = Black Optimus Prime theme.
Ahhh, a nice big toy with Minicon compatibility and a new Minicon.
Menasor is - like the other Giant Planet vehicles - a bit of construction machinery. Like Metroplex he in no way resembles any earth construction vehicle. The vehicle is vaguely symmetrical - there are two large treads at the rear connected to the main body of the vehicle. These extend forward into 2 pieces of drilling machinery - each supported by their own tread and connected to the main body. His right drill is smaller and is surrounded by a claw while the left drill is much larger. When the vehicle rolls along the floor the left drill spins. The centre of the vehicle is a large cab like structure - there's something on the top of it to looking like the bridge of a Star Destroyer - and the front of the centre is covered by a shovel arrangement. There are 2 Minicon posts on the rear treads and supporting structure, and another near the front. On the right arm the post releases the claws and extends & turns the drill. The left arm has a slot for a key - purple giant planet with lots of cogs on it - which activates a drilling noise.
The toy is coloured mainly in sea green which looks rather nice. The rear treads are sort of beige plastic, some detail and the right drill is Olive Green and the claw & left drill are clear blue. A rather spiffy colour scheme. Now while the Vehicle is similar to Cybertron Metroplex's in that it's a futuristic giant construction vehicle here it feel more realistic as every bit of the vehicle is doing something - both front arms do different things. All of Metroplex's gimmickry was concentrated in his staff.
He comes with Minicon Heavy Load - see separate review.
Menasor has an alternate vehicle mode - his assault and pacification configuration. Pull the green front sections out of the beige rear ones and raise them up to the sides, rotating the drill housing so the tops with their Minicon posts are still on top. Open up the shovel at the front of Menasor. Take Heavy Load and fold the shovel over his cab so it's level with the truck bed. Slide Heavy load into the gap in Menasor's shovel - there's a slot on either side of Menasor's shovel for 2 bits of plastic sticking out of Heavy Load's truck bed to slip into. Unfortunately getting Heavy load into both of them is a chore as the truck bed is slightly unstable.
To form Menasor's work mode (starting from his vehicle mode) detach the rear treads from the front drill arms and bend them back so the treads are at 90 degrees to the plane the vehicle is in and there's a V shaped bit of leg pointing up from the vehicle. Pull the drill arms to the side, open the shovel up, and bend the halves back to form his wings. Stand him on his rear treads and pose the arm.
Like Metroplex the work mode is essentially a shorter version of the main robot mode - here called the battle mode.
From the work mode unlock the hips from the sides of the waist, fold down under the waist and lock together. Spread the legs apart slightly, rotate at the thigh and straighten at the knee and ankle. Now while this mode gives the robot knees it does present a problem - the Minicon posts from the back of the vehicle are now on the inside of the leg which makes it difficult for him to stand up straight with his legs together. The robot doesn't have hands as such - the arms end in the drill and drill/claw. Maybe wouldn't have taken too much work to make the drills removable with hands underneath ? The robot's articulation is very good: he has joints at the wrists as would be, elbow, bicep, shoulders - fore & aft as well as out to the sides, his neck, hips - as per the shoulders, thigh, knee (reversed on Work mode), and fore & aft at the ankle.
The head for the toy is sort of an arrow pointing down with a crest where the shaft would be. The centre of the crest and the eyes are a blue plastic lightpipe - bonus marks as this is an easy and effective gimmick.
Effectively the only 2 usable hard points on the robot are the wrists since the rear vehicle ones are now inside the legs. This is a bit of a downer but at least the 2 remaining ones are located in a decent position. Right drill and claw can be extended, and there's a wheel on the top of the left arm to spin that drill. The wheel looks like it should power a Minicon cog gimmick when rolling along the floor but sadly it doesn't. Would have been a nice bonus for very little extra work.
The robot's chest is very similar to Energon Skorponok's in that it's shaped like a cab. In vehicle mode this is under the toy but I'm sure they'll be a few ingenious fan modes with the cab on top of the vehicle - I've found a couple today. The chest actually opens up to reveal a cavity which Heavy Load can slip into - is he in fact controlling the larger robot ? The chest is cast from the clear blue plastic - but heavily painted - however Heavy Load can see out. There's a pair of spikes on the chest - these may be guns for Heavy Load to fire.
So..... I sense Menasor may not be everyone's cup of tea, especially those who like their alt modes to be recognisable. In his defence here you can see a purpose to his alt mode. There's a couple of good gimmicks, and his Minicon partner is one of the better integrated ones working with a vehicle mode and the robot modes. I like him, he's appealing to me on a number of levels. Although I can see some room for improvements here and there - removable drills, Minicon points on the outside of the robot legs - the playability of the toy, it's integration with it's partner - especially the robot mode chest cabin - and it's very attractive and detailed colour scheme make me like it a lot. A good fun toy in my opinion.
Menasor was not sold in Galaxy Force in Japan despite appearing in the cartoon.
Possible future repaints
Given the arms, how about an Omega Supreme repaint ?
You're left with a very nice looking robot mode - lovely detail on the chest reminds me of something though I can't think what !
It's based on the Mainframe character model version of BM Jetstorm's head. It goes quite nicely with his BW Silverbolt inspired robot head. Quite a clever design touch really.
I'm stunned that Hasbro haven't released this mould in BW Silverbolt colours yet considering the blatant double homage they worked into it. It would look really nice in Silverbolt-ish grey/silver as well. Ah well, it's something to hope for when the next incarnation of the Classics/Universe line rolls around.
Cybertron Optimus Prime (Galaxy Force Convoy) was retrieved from the loft a few days ago for a comparison with Classics Op (due at Phil's Death Fortress Wednesday morning) I got him out and thought "hmmmm, I'd like to try Wing Saber with him". Well today Wing Saber was £18.74 in Woolworths. So home he came.
My Father-In-Law took one look at him and said "That's an A10 Tankbuster". I'll take him at his word. The jet resembles the Cybertron Jetfire in some ways, with the colour of original Jetfire - I wonder if this was planned as a Cybertron Defence/Vanguard team member upgrade of Jetfire ? He's armed to the teeth - double cannon under the nose, and under each wing a 6 barrelled cannon, a quad missile box, 4 more moulded missiles and a launching missile on the end of the wing.. There are 2 Minicon ports under each wing which are pretty inaccessible - see my various Armada Thrust reviews on how I feel about Minicon ports under wings ! However all the under wing weaponry can be swung out to the sides to extend the wings, which makes these ports top up at that point. 2 more Minicon ports are each side of the cockpit at the front. Speaking of the wings they have what might be a unique feature for a Transformer toy - he has working wing flaps that lift up and down along the rear of the wing. The cockpit is part of the key gimmick - insert the Cybertron Autobot Planet Key (#uya7) and the 2 cockpit halves spring to each side revealing a very different nose cone which is much more Cybertron style sci fi in nature. There may well be some noises here, but I've not tried batteries in it and I don't want to wake Jonathan at 11:45 at night ! There's a button on the cockpit which activates other noises, again I can't say what. The arrangement of the jets and tail at the back is slightly wobbly in jet mode but it works just about. There's a wheel at the back of each cannon, with a fold down front landing gear.
To transform - pullback on the front of the jet exposing the arm connecting it to half hay down the body of the plane. Fold back on this recessing the arm under the nose so the nose is now on the back of the jet rather than in front of it. Detach the jets and tail fins from the rear of the jet. Bend the rear of the jet up, and remove the contents of the underside - these are 2 handles for his swords. Pull the connecting piece for the engines down, straighten the jets and their connecting pieces out to form the robot legs, fold down the feet, turn at what is now the waist and push backwards. Stand on the feet. Fold the 6 gunned cannons down to form the arms, and pull back on the side tab on each cannon to retract some of the gun barrels to form the hands - out of each set of 6 one recesses completely and disappears, the other half way to form a thumb. The head folds up from the top of the body - you may have some difficulty with this as on mine the frame round the back of the neck stopped it folding up the whole way - it will click into place. Unclip the wing flaps - these form sword blades ending in a standard size peg - Classics Grimlock may well be borrowing one ! Clip the swords into the handles and peg into the sides of the wrists.
The resulting robot is a mix of the jet's white and the metallic brown of the undercarriage, with a big yellow crest round an Autobot symbol on his chest. The wings are stretched out over the rear of the shoulder blades with all the weaponry displayed forwards pointing upwards. It's a bit different from many previous robots for plane toys. The robot's articulation consists of a head that turns, The arms raise & swing to the sides at the shoulder, have a bicep joint and a double elbow that allows the hand to rest level with the shoulder. The waist turns, and he can lean forward at the waist as well, universal joint hips with a bicep joint below the hip, forward bending knees, and feet that bend down. Although the hands cant hold anything there's standard size peg holes on the side of the arm for the swords to fit into. The swords can be exchanged for the missile launchers that unpeg and come away as part of a curious S-shaped piece of plastic - they look odd as weapons. For extra firepower fold up the grey frame round the back of his head, pull the plane's nose up from his back, peg into the frame and insert the planet key to form a huge cannon over the head.
Wing Saber's other function is to act as a combiner with Cybertron Optimus Prime: Prime should be in super mode, but remove the wing & gun assembly. remove both swords and missile launchers, and place the nose cone of the jet onto his back. Take the missile launcher and clip onto the sides and back of Prime's feet - the curious S shape of them now adds heel spurs to Optimus. Fold the head in. Raise the arms up at the shoulders and straighten out. Extend all 6 gun barrels. Fold the chest plate up so it's level with his neck, and then further so it's upside down over where his head would be - they'll be 2 grey supporting struts at neck level. Pull the chest panel up so the struts unfold, and then bend down at the top of the chest panel so the panel is pointing forwards. Rotate the waist 180 degrees and fold up the feet. Fold the legs into a kneeling position and swing to the sides. If you so desire fold the wings out to extend the wing span - I prefer them in but you need to decide before combining. There will be a yellow clip visibly in the chest cavity and 2 raised blocks above and to the sides of it. These recess into the head raising lever slot and shoulder blade panels on Optimus. The grey arms fold over his shoulders, and the crest over Prime's chest. The sides of the crest slide apart, and the swords - via posts on the handles - peg into Prime's fists.
The resulting super mode ticks many of the Optimus Super Mode boxes - it adds a pair of over the shoulder cannons - smaller than Overload's, but these are 6 barrelled :-). He gets wings - don't forget original Prime was commander of a flying squadron. There's some extra missiles and armour, and of course some swords.
Now remember I mentioned the standard size pegs on the swords that other toys could hold ? This means the sword handles that attach have standard size peg holes. So you can remove the swords - reattach them to the wings so they don't get lost or loan them to a passing warrior robot. You're left with 2 handles that for an adaptor for Prime's rather odd but articulated hands so Prime can now hold the standard size weapons - Star/Energon sabre, Requiem Blaster, Skyboom shield, Robotmaster missile launchers, Minicons Overrun, Rollout and Prowl and many other weapons are now available for Prime to use. And since the handles aren't needed for Wing Saber's jet mode, and the blades can be stored on Wing Saber the only time Prime need loose them is when Wing Saber wants to hold his swords. A small touch but quite brilliantly enhancing the play value of the Cybertron Op.
So: Excellent jet mode, decent robot mode, good add on for Optimus with a stunningly effective side effect. If you've got Cybertron Op you need this toy, and it's very good without him.
Wing Saber was available in Japan as Galaxy Force toy GC-22 Sonic Bomber. The Sonic Bomber version is notorious for having a moulding fault which I thought was on the jet but my research indicates may be on the figure's helmet. Sonic Bomber was also available in the EX-02 Sonic Convoy Giftset where he has gold chromed wing blades, a red chromed chest panel and metallic red paint. These lack the moulding fault. In the USA an Optimus Prime & Wing Sabre giftset was available at Costco for less than the retail price of Optimus Prime by itself ! This set includes a DVD of the Cybertron episode United.
When I first go the idea that most of the exclusive Movie repaints had some G1 influence on them I found it hard to fit Wingblade into the picture - for there are few G1 planes. Generations 2009 v2 sheds light on the matter - Wing Blade is modelled on Springer ! The aircraft body, robot head & chest (all previously white) and the robot arms & legs become grey, while the weapons pods elbows and waist become a pale green. It's a much more military looking colour scheme and it suits the toy well. Although you don't associate Springer with a jet it does at least have swords for him to use - a major complaint I had with Universe Springer ! Winglade comes with a clear red Autobot Cybertron key like the Wal*Mart movie deluxe repaints.