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Old 2012-04-05, 04:32 AM   #3081
Firestrider57
Headmaster
 
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Default DOTM Specialist Ratchet

Ratchet
Faction:Autobot
Function:Medic
Alt Mode: H2 Hummer Ambulance

G1 Bio:Ratchet was the best tool-and-die man on Cybertron. In his workbay he can make anything from a pin to a missile. Repairs injured Autobots, given the right parts. Likes to party, give backtalk, but does any job as well as anyone. Has laser scalpels, arc-welders, electron microscopes, circuit sensors, fluid dispensers at his disposal. Sometimes his having a good time interferes with his effectiveness.


Ratchet is one of the most skilled Autobots anywhere. He doesn't shy away from a battle, but rather goes straight to the injured to repair them as quickly as possible. Peace is his goal, but too often, the lingering war presents challenges that only the use of weaponry can answer.
This version of Ratchet has one of my favorite color schemes. With the resizing in the DOTM line to a Deluxe version, Ratchet is a very collectible and storable version. I have waited a very long time to collect one of these deluxe versions , so I jumped at the chance to get one of these figures. He might not be White and Red, but he is a very convincing Red and White. Awesome to pose. He's well worth the wait.
I hated the G1 version , yeah , the headless version that looked nothing like the cartoon version of the same year. The one I liked the best would have been the Classics 2.0 repaint of Ironhide. Unfortunately, in Canada, we never saw him. This version, if you didn't get the Rescue Ratchet green paint version, is still every bit as good , and maybe even better.

Transformation: Ratchet is rated at a 2 for intermediate difficulty. Although on the surface, he is challenging from the torso up. Twisting a few fenders here and there. Switching a windshield panel and swinging doors outward seems to be the big challenge here. The legs are a bit easier, and very intuitive. Usually, I wince at the difficulty of the deluxe DOTM (or any movieverse) figures. Voyager Ratchets have a major weak spot in the front cab sections, so the windshields break off a little too easily. Otherwise, they're bricks.

Aesthetics: This one is great to stand next to G2 Prime, HFTD Ironhide and Classics 2.0 Roadbuster. The rest are grossly out of scale. If you compare these together against others in the deluxe size class , you will be slightly disappointed. Bumblebee, Prowl, Jazz, Wheeljack, Sunstreaker are all bigger, or too close to the size of Ratchet to justify the Hummer size comparison to say, Camaros or Lamborghinis. I watched the movies, and Ratchet is every bit as tall as Prime in vehicle mode. Again, side by side with Ironhide and Prime, he fits in nicely. My own personal opinion, for this, they could have easily made Ratchet a Chevrolet Express , Ford Econoline, or Dodge Sprinter and it wouldn't have hurt my feelings. To me, the Hummer is vehicular overkill, but nice overkill at that.

Transformation: Ratchet transforms much like the Voyager with some very good exceptions. In the Voyager, the nose of the Hummer doubled back onto itself , leaving the windshield under the chest, exposing it to eventual damage. In the Deluxe, only a portion of the same section is reversable, nearly avoiding the damage. To start, the legs fold out intuitively from the back of the ambulance. The arms also unfold nearly effortlessly. He is in no wise a hard one to transform. The hardest thing about this guy is working around the brush guard.

Robot Mode: This is a very nice robot mode. He has a strong look about him , of course without much strength to match in tech specs. He has a lot going for him, especially with that new color scheme. This is possibly the best color scheme for this bot. With everything transformed, he has great articulation-- one of the best for this size class. Everything bends. He has amazing posability. The thing I don't understand is the weapon. Ratchet is a medic, not a soldier. Of course, the fighting in DOTM made it a little hard for Ratchet to stay a pacifist. The weapon is also a little bit of a headache. Because of the spring action of the MechTech weaponry, there is no slide-in-place weaponry. Therefore the retract makes the weapon somewhat difficult to display in full weapon mode.

Alt Mode: This is a great mode indeed. The Hummer H2 Ambulance is accurate down to the cross-hatching and metal dimples. Incredible detail. It looks like it can have hidden panels and it also has a sharp cab interior. When in this mode , I team it up with my Whirl figure, giving him a honkin' huge weapon with rockets and a large cannon, something totally antithetical to an ambulance. He holds together very well and transforms much cleaner than Smoulder, the next best transformer of this type. This is one of the smartest designed transformers that there is.

Marks out of 10 for the following:
Transformation: 6 Not very difficult, yet not too easy. Pleasantly challenging.
Articulation:8 Very posable. Can't really complain about this one too much.
Durability: 8 Windshield, though not as bad as Voyager, still concerns me. Everything is sturdy otherwise. Paint is excellent.
Price:7 I got mine for $11. There's been better deals , but when this is at first release, really, there isn't much to complain about.
Aesthetics: 9 Hummer 10/Robot 8. I've never been one to like Ratchet's face. He looks too much like Richard Nixon to take him seriously. The Red and White color scheme is a brilliant touch.
Fun:10 Being that this character has been the one major hole in my collection, I'd say finally acquiring him made it worth the wait. He's so posable and with his weapon and Scout possibilities, makes this one of the most versatile TF's ever.
Overall: 10 This is one of the best TF Deluxes ever. He doesn't take an inordinate amount of time to transform, and once you figure out the front end, it's all downhill from there. I could imagine a kid would have lots of fun over him. He looks great in your collector's case as well.
 

Last edited by Firestrider57; 2012-04-17 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Finishing Review.
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Old 2012-04-07, 03:07 PM   #3082
Rookwise
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Finished at last
 
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Old 2012-04-10, 06:09 PM   #3083
The Reverend
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Default Headrobots Centurion (Fortress/Cerebros upgrade)

Name: "Centurion"
Function: Headmaster Leader
Size Class: Upgrade set for Fortress Maximus' "Cerebro"/"Fortress".

As most fans know, Fortress Maximus's head transforms into a smaller robot whose name and personality (if any) varies by the continuity. In the Euro-US comics and cartoon-ender "The Rebirth", the smaller robot is named "Cerebros" and its own head is formed by a binary-bonded humanoid (initially Galen the Nebulan in the Marvel Comics stories, succeeded by Spike Witwicky, who was also Cerebros' head in "The Rebirth"). In the Japanese "Headmasters" stories, the robot is the smaller Transtector for the Autobot "Fortress", who forms its head.

Interestingly, while the Japanese continuity's head looks fairly close to the 1980s toy version, the Euro-US comics and cartoon had a very different head for Cerebros that looks nothing at all like it. I don't know precisely why this is; they may have been working from a very early prototype or concept drawing. And the original toy tends to look a bit oversized in head mode - Cerebros' body is not very wide, and the head looks like a large plastic block on top.

Headrobots' "Centurion" kit is an attempt to rectify the aesthetic issues in both camps, consisting of two Headmasters (a "Cerebros" head and a Japanese "Fortress" head). Also included is a new design of the sword that was supplied with the smaller Fortress robot in Japan, which I'll discuss later in this review. By the way, the set comes packaged with an insert card that depicts both Cerebros and Fortress in their animation looks. Also, it appears Headrobots is putting out a red version of the same set for use with Grand Maximus, this one is being released as "Courageous".

Alternate (Head) Mode: Fortress (Japan)
In the Headmasters' series, Fortress' head resembles its toy counterpart at least passingly, as I stated before. The animation typically depicts him with a dark gray helmet and a white face, bearing a close similarity to the larger Fortress Maximus' noggin. The original toy head was slightly oversized in proportion to the body, and the whole front of it - helmet and face together - was colored a dark grey with yellow eyes. Headrobots' offering is a notable rendition of the character's visage, sharing many similar sculpted details of the helmet. However, instead of being a plastic square with the face details sculpted in, the Fortress head is a better shaped version with beveling on the upper and lower parts of the helmet to allow for a more three-dimensional look, and the helmet details overlap each other instead of simply protruding out of the plastic square base. While the helmet color isn't as dark as the cartoon's version, it comes close to matching its body color scheme. The face is white and well sculpted and features dark blue eyes. Overall, while I don't think the face really looks that much like Fortress, the rest of the head details are quite good. Each head is supplied with a small "connecter" piece consisting of the insertion tabs to connect it to a Headmaster body and a ball joint at the top that gives the head freedom to rotate, although the robot body's shoulder pads (which connect it to the large Fortress Maximus in head mode) severely limit its rotation. And by the way, the connecter does accurately trigger the Tech Spec's meter in the robot body's chest.

Alternate (Head) Mode: Cerebros (Europe/US)
Cerebros's head, as depicted in the earlier cartoons and comics, was extremely different from what was packaged with the toy. He is depicted as having a cylindrical head with a fully masked face, and in "The Rebirth", his primary color appeared to be black instead of gray. Obviously, Headrobots could do little about Cerebros' body color, but they did go ahead and color the Cerebros head black, leaving his faceplate white and giving him a dark blue visor. While this head still looks a little large as compared to the typical depiction, it's definitely not as oversized as the original. Again, Cerebros' connectors on his shoulders prohibit a lot of head movement on the supplied joint, but at least he can turn his face a little to each side of center. Detailing is a little sparser here than on the Fortress head (though not really to Headrobots' fault, the customary "Cerebros" head as depicted in the media was not full of interesting nooks and crannies either), but you still get a good three-dimensional look instead of just some incised etching.

Robot (Transformed Head) Mode:
Despite their very different looking head modes, both the Fortress and Cerebros heads transform identically and very similar to the original Headmasters once the connecters are removed from the heads' neck joints. Each one unfolds into a humanoid form. The "robot" modes feature swiveling joints at the hips, shoulders and knees - while they don't have the ball joints at the knees like Junkion Blacksmith's releases, they can still bend both forward and backwards at the knees independently on each leg. They do have humorously large, projecting feet, I'm assuming this was to aid stability. Interestingly, they also have open, claw-like hands, akin to Lego figures. Fortress is colored in white and grey, while Cerebros' Spike/Galen is black and grey. Because their heads are not the connection points for a Headmaster-less body, they are a little shorter than the original Hasbro/Takara Headmaster partners.

Here's where this release stumbles a bit - neither one of the transformed "Headmasters" looks anything like their cartoon or comic counterparts! The colors are passably close on Cerebros, at least to Spike's armored appearance in "The Rebirth", but that's about it. Fortress lacks the blue limbs of his animated appearance, and neither one has a head sculpt that resembles either animated/drawn continuity - if anything, they kind of remind me of the sentry robots from "The Black Hole" film. I guess since they're more likely to be displayed as an upgraded head for the Cerebros/Fortress robot, Headrobots didn't sweat these details as much. I can't totally fault them if that was the case, but it's a glaring deficit to the set in my opinion.

Master Sword:
Without going into way too much expository detail, this is the small sword wielded by Fortress in the Japanese continuity, which was omitted from the Cerebros version. The sword provided with the Fortress toy was a solid black, almost feather-shaped accessory, while this one has been made much closer to the cartoon appearance with its clear red faceted blade. It looks very good and can be held by the robot, although since the arms can only rotate 360-degrees at the shoulder - or in essence, eight positions within a 360-degree radius and without any elbow joints, Fortress/Cerebros can't really make dynamic poses with it, but he can at least spar with the G1 Dinobots and whack smaller robots over the head with it.

So is the Centurion set worth it? Well, it's a nice little add-on, and I do like the looks of both heads. The generic, we-didn't-try-very-hard robot modes are a disappointment, and I don't know if the Master Sword's inclusion is enough to balance that out. Another problem is that if you don't already have a Cerebros/Fortress body... they're expensive on the secondary market! I really think Headrobots might have gotten a bigger take of the market if they'd released two sets - one of the Fortress head with the Master Sword and one of the Cerebros head with a sleeker sidearm than the one (and now outrageously expensive one) that he got in the original release. But for what it is, if the just-a-little-too-big and blocky Hasbro/Takara "Spike" head looks odd to you, the Centurion set is a nice replacement. If you really value the original head's robot mode, though, you might be better off getting the Chinese "Planet Master Warriors" set and using the "Fortress Maximus Spike" from that.



Transformation Design: 3. They're Headmasters. Outside of that, though, the better joints are a plus...
Durability: 3. Because they're not as blocky as the original Headmasters, they're probably easier to chip and bang up.
Fun: 4... well, they do look better in most respects than the original, especially if you liked the look of Cerebros' head in the media.
Aesthetics: 6. The head modes really do look nice. Transformed, they're rather generic and uninteresting - sure, they're not little statues like the original HMs, but their bland appearance is not particularly eyecatching.
Articulation: 4. The improved joints in the robot modes do help, although they feel loose and lightweight.
Value/Price: 4. I think the Centurion set, at apx $65 USD, is a little pricey for what you get, but isn't really a wallet-breaker.
Overall: 4. They do look nice attached to the robot body. If the original head isn't quite to your liking, the set is a nice upgrade. But the play value might be lacking and frankly irrelevant to the market they were aiming for.
 
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Old 2012-04-11, 10:46 PM   #3084
Cal
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Default [split from review claims]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Have you had a chance to look after this one yet? I wouldn't mind taking care of it, if you're too busy.

I'm also going to review Prime Arcee.
Yes, thank you for replacing ganon578's non-existent Black Shadow review with your non-existent Black Shadow review. And what the hell happened to Arcee?


While I'm on the subject of reviews, it seems the Trailcutter review in the archive appears to be a dead link. Fix plz?


Anyway, I just got my hands on Henkei Silverbolt, so I'll try and write a review of him over the weekend.
 

Last edited by Cal; 2012-04-11 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 2012-04-12, 01:19 AM   #3085
Warcry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal View Post
Yes, thank you for replacing ganon578's non-existent Black Shadow review with your non-existent Black Shadow review. And what the hell happened to Arcee?
You know, your rudeness is wearing thin. I've had enough of you antagonizing people and bossing them around in this forum, and I'm not the only one. You're more than welcome to write reviews, but drop the attitude.

You've been asked more than once to knock it off, by several people, and you haven't. Consider this your last warning on the subject.
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 04:53 PM   #3086
Heinrad
Ironmod
 
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Riskin' it all on my Russian Roulette!
Default Kabaya Wave 4: Hot Rod, Victory Leo, and Inferno(WIP)

Kabaya Candy Wave 4: Hot Rod/Rodimus, Victory Leo, and Inferno


Uh.... I'm guessing that on the boxes are brief profiles of the characters. Or possibly pun filled jokes. I can't tell.

I've always been curious about the Kabaya kits. I've seen pictures of the old ones from way back in the 80s(Although it has to be said that a neon green, though completely accurate, Rodimus Prime isn't something I've ever wanted), but a few years ago, I'm guessing Kabaya discovered more than one color for their little kits and went nuts. Although the only other set I know of is the Convoy/God Ginrai/Star Saber set. In pictures, they look amazing.

In person..... Well, in person is another matter.

The thing that really drew me to wave 4 is that they decided to do a miniature version of the Japanese release of Masterpiece Rodimus Prime. I've got the American release, and I think it's an amazing figure(as a bonus, Roddy was even intact out of packaging. He was fine until the cat knocked him over a couple of times and the spoiler mount broke), but the thing that made me really curious was the trailer. I'd seen reviews, but I couldn't talk myself into spending Primus knows how much on a figure that seems to disintegrate almost as soon as you opened the package.
Then, lo and behold, Kabaya makes this kit. Although I do find it interesting that if you want to make the "full Roddy", you have to get Victory Leo and Inferno as well. And thanks to these guys in the Phillipines, I've done just that.

So let's start with kit #1 in this set, Hot Rod.(At least, I think it says Hot Rod.)

Hot Rod! That laughing young daredevil, full of vigor, excitement and.... uh..... no elbows?
Assembling him wasn't that hard. I barely even need the instructions. And when you have him all together, he looks pretty cool, if a bit stiff. His head can turn from side to side, he's got pivot points on his shoulders. Articulation drops off a bit at this point. While there are pivot points at his hips and knees, they only go to the side and are there because of the transformation. Height wise, he's head and shoulders taller than DOTM Legion class Sideswipe, and while far more colorful, doesn't look nearly as sturdy.
Transformation is fairly simple: Take the backpack(formed by the trunk/back of the car) off, flip the chest up, flip the arms down and take the exhaust pipes off, line up the hood of the car with the roof(the hinge is a bit fiddly), pivot around at the waist, fold the legs to the side at the knees, then again at the hips, locking the hands in at the sides, put the exhaust pipes back on so the connect to the ones on the back of the car, put the trunk/backpack with spoiler on into position, and there you have it, a tiny Hot Rod.

For Rodimus pieces, Hot Rod comes with the sides of the trailer, the big exhausts, and the rifle.

On to kit #2: Victory Leo. The poor sod.
The more I see of poor ol' Victory Leo, the less I want him. The full sized version might have been wonderous, but the Kabaya version suffers from the same problem that my KO RM version does. The figure is designed to be little more than a bunch of booster parts for Star Saber, so the whole togetherness of the figure is lacking. Which basically means that Victory Leo isn't so much of a brick as a small pile of rocks held together by mutual consensus. The fact that's he's a peg together model kit doesn't help him any, either. Posability is very limited, with articulation at the shoulders and sort-of elbows(only reason he's got them is because of the lion mode feet), and hip articulation like Hot Rod's. You can pose him doing a side kick or a rather painful looking split, but that's about it.

Transformation isn't too difficult. Flip the arms up into a lion-like pose, flip the hands around so it's the feet. Then it gets a little tricky. You have to pull the legs out of their hip joints, pull these two side panels down(one on each leg), pull the thigh sections out of each leg, and move the thigh sections down one peg hole. Put them back in, flip the panels back up, plug the legs back into the hip joints, flip the hind lion legs down(after cursing them for having come off several times during all of this), and there you have him, Victory Leo. Looking a bit wobbly.

Leo's Rodimus pieces are the Combat Deck Gun and mount.

And, saving what might be the best for last, or at least as good as Roddy, we have kit #3: Inferno. Or whatever they call him. Must learn to read kanji at some point.......

Inferno! That raging firebrand of recklessness! And he has elbows!!!!! No knees or hips, but elbows! Eh. Can't win them all, I guess......

Of the three figures, you can tell Roddy was a labor of love for somebody(or a cause of mental breakdown because they had to miniaturize a complex figure and still have it come out right), Leo was a by-the-numbers redo of a 20 year old design, and Inferno had some thought put into him. I missed the original Generations Inferno release, and this one matches the pictures I saw. He's bulky and looks like a fire engine. And to Kabaya's credit, he's got the most complex(in terms of annoyance) transformation of all of them.

We'll start with him in fire engine mode. He looks like a fire engine, one with a water cannon on the rear deck. Doors, panels, and windows are picked out in the molding.

Transformation.... is different. While I'm guessing he matches the regular version by having his waist swing back on a hinge, I don't think the regular version has to have the legs pulled out and swapped around. The arms pull out of the peg holes in the back, and out of the big shoulder panels. They then get pegged back into the big shoulder panels at an angle which will make you worry that you're about to break something. They then peg into the sides of the cab. Flip the panel that the head is on up, put the head back on, and there you have him, Inferno.

In robot mode, he's got articulation at the neck, shoulders, and elbows. If you want to be really picky, his fire engine mode deck gun can swivel on it's underarm mount through 180 degrees.

For Rodimus parts, Inferno comes with the deck and cab for Rodimus' trailer.

Bonus Figure!Rodimus Prime!!!!! That still kind of stiff young daredevil, but with an older face and a rifle that's almost as big as he is!

I have to give the guys at Kabaya credit. They came up with a simple solution to the Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime face problem. It's not a terribly good one, in my opinion(more on why later), but it works. Pop Roddy's helmet off, spin his head around to reveal the Rodimus face, and slide the helmet on. Then fold the sides of the combat deck down, swing the gun up, and peg Roddy onto the pegs on the back.

To transform him to vehicle mode, repeat most of the steps to turn him into car mode. When you're done, leave his spoiler off and just put the trunk lid back on. On the trailer, flip the cab section out from under the trailer. Fold the deck gun down, leaving the photonic eliminator rifle plugged into the top of the cannon, flip the sides of the trailer up so it closes around the peg on the rifle. Put the spoiler in place on the cab, take the exhausts off of the Hot Rod, and plug him into the trailer under the cab, facing backwards. And there you have him, Rodimus Prime in vehicle mode. Whatever he's supposed to be.

And now I come to the part about these kits that really made me scratch my head. Stickers. Lots of stickers. And not terribly durable stickers, either.

All three of these figures are masterworks of fine detail. Hot Rod's youthful face. Rodimus' older face, Victory Leo's face. Inferno's face. Windshield wipers are sculpted onto Inferno's windshields. His grill and headlights are detailed. The reason I figured Hot Rod was a labor of love for somebody was that his tires and rims are molded in, unlike Inferno's circles for sticking the stickers onto. And yet, there's no paint. Little Hot Rod will never facially be little Rodimus because I figure putting the helmet on probably destroyed the sticker that's on the back of his head. The windshield and hood stickers on Hot Rod are already showing damage, and I've transformed him twice. Victory Leo's face sticker keeps trying to peel off.

I really like these figures. They're neat, and, especially in Hot Rod's case, fairly well thought out for something that complex. They'd be perfect to put in your cubicle at work. Just hide Leo behind your paper clip dispenser.

Should you go out and buy these? Well, it depends. I got them out of curiosity. The stickers are frustrating, as are Inferno's shoulders, and Victory Leo's just uninspired. Do I regret getting them? No, but again, I was curious.

Marks out of ten for the following:


Transformation Design:
Hot Rodimus - 7, Victory Leo - 3, Inferno - 5 While Roddy's the most complex and Inferno is marred by the whole dismantling thing, Leo falling apart because you're transforming him is no fun.

Durability: 8.5 None have broken yet, and unless I step on them, they probably won't. The only one with signifigant wear/stress damage so far is Roddy, and that's down to all the stickers and the waist pivot.

Fun: Oh, sure. Ask me a hard one..... If you like putting transformable robot kits together, 9(I got spoiled by Gundam kits). After that, Roddy's a 7, Inferno's a 4, and Leo's a 2.

Aesthetics: The only one the stickers really do anything for is Roddy, and even then it's a mixed blessing. His chest looks great. His legs, not so much. Combined total of 3.

Articulation: 2. Again, spoiled by Gundam kits. But then, I get the impression these are aimed at a different market.

Gum: 2.5 Well, it's chewing gum. Practically flavorless, but you can chew it. You may wish you hadn't later, but you can chew it.

Value/Price: Well, I paid $30 for this set. Which is probably the most anybody should pay, and that includes shipping. I really like the Hot Rod kit, but the other two are.... ehhh. If you can find Roddy and all his trailer bits for less, just go with those.

Overall: 5. If I had it to do over again, I'd probably just get Roddy and the trailer bits. Inferno's kind of cool, but the stickers make him look tatty. And Leo..... poor ol' Victory Leo. You'd think they could have tweaked his design a little.
 

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Last edited by Heinrad; 2012-04-18 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Added more stuff
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Old 2012-04-12, 07:00 PM   #3087
Cal
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What, you mean like pointing out that The Reverend copy and pasted a significant portion of one DOTM Legion figure into another? Or that a review is far too short for archiving? Or that another review of Universe Dinobot is redundant when it's been covered twice already? Warcry, that's called "criticism". And just so we're clear: Criticism = saying something negative about someone else's work. Call it rude if you want, but it's a perfectly acceptable form of post, and I'm tired of it being constantly undermined.

You condemn my attitude, but from my perspective, I am the MOST ethical person here, because I'm the only one who has the guts to point out flaws that need improving, instead of going along with all the yesmen posting thoughtless praise. You probably couldn't find another member who criticises reviews like I do, and that pisses me off. Do you really think I'm saying this to be spiteful? Seriously? Hell, no. I stick around because I admire the TFarchive reviews for their insight, and I've long since given up watching reviews on YouTube because they're little more than showcases of people's new toys. I don't resent the people I criticise any more than I resent you. You've written your fair share of reviews and I can appreciate that, but I criticised you earlier because I was annoyed that you claimed two reviews in February without doing anything about it. If you're too busy or have other priorities to deal with in life, fine, I can accept that. But the considerate thing to do would be to notify people here that you're unavailable so that others who would be eager to write a review on Black Shadow and Arcee know that they're free to do so. Isn't that the whole point of establishing the claims thread in the first place? To let people know which figures are available to review? In all my reviews, I only once retracted my claim to review MP-09 because Allthecoolstuff failed to deliver him, and I made sure to mention that here. I wish you'd shown the same courtesy.

Anyway, I hope you'll re-evaluate your stance on criticism. Know that I am not being unfair towards other reviews. If someone writes a good review, I tell them that - and I'm sure you must have seen me show approval - but if someone writes a poor review, I say as much. When you stop to think about it, doesn't that make my praise more meaningful that someone who praises everything?
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 07:02 PM   #3088
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I've never reviewed a DOTM figure, much less copy-pasted part of one's review. Just saying.
 

Last edited by The Reverend; 2012-04-12 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 2012-04-12, 07:08 PM   #3089
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EDIT: At the world's Last Honest Man...

There's such a thing as constructive criticism, which you seem to use sparingly. Though to me the big problem isn't your criticism of reviews per se, even if that does tend to be couched in rude and arrogant language.

More importantly to me, the board has a rough demographic of 25-35. Many posters here have full-time jobs, families and various other responsibilities (including other areas of the site). Sniping at people for not having the time to review figures they've claimed (as you did up-thread, something that doesn't really gel with your self-appointed "MOST ethical person here" status) or upload reviews that have been written is not on. The first rule of Robot Review Club is "real life comes first", and the first sentence of your post yesterday is an unacceptable way to talk to voluntary contributors of this site.
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 07:23 PM   #3090
inflatable dalek
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Yup, it's first and foremost fun. I don't do toy reviews, but I know I'd be annoyed if someone bemoaned me for taking six months to get onto the Titan Prime reviews, or that most of my AHM review make the same point over and over.

We want to cultivate an atmosphere where people enjoy contributing, not one where they feel like they're still at work.

Now, if someone else had come forward and said "I'd love to do a Black Shadow review, are you still on track for this or would it be OK if I had a crack?" (which is how Warcry made his claim in the first place) that would be a more than fair question and very helpful to the site if he felt that outside constraints are going to keep it from him.

Plus, February was only two months ago. No one is writing to deadline here and it's not as if he's sat on his claim for years cackling madly at denying anyone else the Black Shadow joy.
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 07:42 PM   #3091
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reverend View Post
I've never reviewed a DOTM figure, much less copy-pasted part of one's review. Just saying.
Mea culpa, I confused you with Numbat. Soz.


Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Plus, February was only two months ago. No one is writing to deadline here and it's not as if he's sat on his claim for years cackling madly at denying anyone else the Black Shadow joy.
Actually, we are writing to a deadline. Read the first post. It specifically says "The standard deadline for reviews is TWO WEEKS", and furthermore "please get in touch if you run into problems". I agree with Cliffjumper that most reviewers are adults -like me - and that the work is voluntary, but that didn't stop me from notifying of my retraction on MP-09 as per Denyer's instructions. If I can follow the conditions of the claims thread, why can't a member of staff? That's hardly setting an example, wouldn't you say?
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 07:52 PM   #3092
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I don't think we've ever held anyone desperately to that (indeed, we can't. What would we do, stop paying people the money we don't pay them if they're late?), though yes, after two weeks would be a fair amount of time for someone else to come forward and offer to do the review, not demand to know why it hasn't been done.

Plus, even if we were to be hard task masters on this, keeping track of who has and hasn't done their reviews would not be your job. indeed, one of the people who would be responsible for this is Warcry, who presumably did keep in touch with himself over why the review was taking longer than expected.
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 08:07 PM   #3093
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There's also a "You snooze, you lose" principle. If you miss your two week 'deadline' (and this is mainly to stop some idiot saying they'll review all 12 G2 Go-Bots, doing about four and wandering off) and someone else submits a review instead, we go with that someone else.

But the bottom line is you are not staff on this site or this forum. You do not get to hassle, berate or speak on behalf of staff in here.

Constructive criticism of reviews is, of course, a good thing but it will not do any harm to chose your words better - avoid speaking in absolutes, give novice reviewers tips as well as negativity, and leave the forum staff to handle 'deadlines' and uploading as they see fit. We appoint them for a reason. Now, as far as I'm concerned that's the end of the matter. This is the line.
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 08:16 PM   #3094
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I always caveat my review claims with the fact it can take me a while to get them done, and anyone else is welcome to pinch them from me.

As I've said before Cal, if there's one you want to do go for it man.

In the meantime, I'm afraid I'm having to deal with real life issues such as my wife's chronic illness, my impending departure from my job next Wednesday, and trying to ensure my company can carry my finances forward (e.g. rent, food, medical bills to ensure my wife is treated properly as the NHS does not cover her illness correctly unlike every other European country...) in the absence of said job.

If you feel writing a review of a toy is more important than these things, I don't think you're an adult yet - and you're more than welcome to cover any of my reviews in the interim.

As to my reusing (with specific modifications to character) some intro text setting the scene for DOTM Legion Wreckers (the actual toy review sections were entirely original, and the intros themselves were by no means identical - and paraphrasing for the sake of it seems a bit daft, as many people will only be interested in a single review, and I'm not a fan of cross-referencing to other reviews, but that's a personal preference I don't push on other reviewers), we've been through this already, had other people's views, so it's time to move on dude. Chill out and life will go much more easily - heavens knows what mental state I'd be in if I got so worked up over nothing given the life issues I (and most adults!) have to deal with.

It's a shame you're such a prickly character Cal - I really enjoy your reviews.
 


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Old 2012-04-12, 08:20 PM   #3095
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Default KOToys' Gurafi & Noizu

As I noted in my previous review of KOToys' Dairu and Zauru, the Autobot "W Cassettes" (pun on "double"), or "Dino-Cassettes", are relatively obscure entries in the line, having only been for sale in Japan after the Hasbro-backed line had folded in the US and not making it into the "in-between" years leading up to G2 in Europe. Due to the popularity of the cassette Transformers in general and the relatively low number of existing toys produced in that single market, they've also fetched stupid-high prices on the secondary market. However, what I'm reviewing here are the recent reproductions of these toys made by KOToys in early 2012.

As of this writing, only the labeled cassette versions are for sale - no tampographing. The reproductions come in the same colors as the originals, and as an aside, also come in very nice reproduction packaging. Unfortunately, this same reproduction packaging is a little too close to the original, causing some unscrupulous traders on the secondary market to put these reproductions up for absurdly high prices of their own, passing them off as the originals. It also appears that in KOToys' first release of Gurafi and Noizu, the back of the package is printed upside down.

Name: Gurafi (sometimes anglicized as "Graphy")
Allegiance: Cybertron (Autobot)
Function: Aerial Reconnaissance

(Translated) "Flies through the sky at speeds up to 250km/h, and his beak can bore big holes in almost anything. He is very at ease with his companions. His aerial vision is incredible, and can spot a baseball from heights of 300m. Carries laser guns."

Alternate Mode:
As I mentioned above, the KOToys' cassette releases to date have not been tampographed - the cassette markings are labels. And you have to put them on yourself, which is a a serious pain with some of them. The problem is compounded by the fact that the labels really aren't cut exactly right. In Gurafi's case, there's only three labels to put on, and those three cover most of the cassette side well, so its not as frustrating a job as labeling his brethren. Cassette mode itself is also not quite as bad as some of his fellows, being largely solid to the heft and not possessing too many obvious joint lines. Primarily red, with molded teeth and white lines on a black background for most of his labels. Doesn't look too bad on his own, although he practically disappears behind Twincast's red-colored chest window.

Robot Mode: Gurafi is intended to be some member of the pterosaur family. His transformation is similar to Ratbat - pull out the wings from the sides, flip out the head from its moorings on top, and fold down his big triangular feet from the back. He has two joints in his neck and two at each shoulder, plus each wing can rotate somewhat. The wings themselves are big and blocky - akin to Squawktalk, as opposed to the thinner wings of Laserbeak, Buzzsaw and Ratbat. He does have a nice pointed head and beak resembling Pteranodon, complete with crest and golden slit eyes. Small chrome weapon pods attach to the end of each wing; these are his "laser guns". The laser guns themselves have no discernible barrels - they're really just endcaps for the wings, which don't add much that I can see. Notably, the shape of his torso isn't too far a cry from a pterosaur's either - where Ratbat had sort of a "fat-bat" look, Gurafi has a tapered (if flat) chest that's far more aesthetically pleasing.

Overall, while Gurafi gets some nice box art and some nice joint design, I'm a little puzzled by him in general. Shouldn't his wings extend more? Why those silly little weapon-pods at the wingtips, rather than longer guns on his back? Why did (whoever) even opt for the "standing upright" design (again, see Ratbat) when he probably would have looked better in the "flight" pose (as in Buzzsaw/Laserbeak, which incidentally would have given him thinner, better looking wings)? The answer probably has more to do with needing him to be part of the combined Decibel more than anything - Gurafi's wings have to become Decibel's legs, and that likely eliminated a lot of options within the budget allotted for the figure. Still, all that aside, Gurafi goes well with the other Autobot cassettes, sharing the air only with Raindance. Bear in mind, as well, out of all the dinosaur and pseudo-dinosaur forms in the G1 line, Gurafi only shares his look with Swoop (I don't count Sky Lynx as a pterosaur). His rather large feet also allow him to sit on Twincast's shoulder. So, to sum it up, while the design of the wings and the weapons are a little iffy, Gurafi's still a fairly good cassette-bot - maybe worth the price of the set on his own.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 4. Intuition, and previous G1 experience, will get you a fully transformed Gurafi with little effort. The "wingtips" that rotate out of his blocky wings might elude you the first time until you try to figure out where to plug the weapons in.
Durability: 3. Because of Gurafi's multiple joints, and my experience with KOToys' Dauru and Zauru, I'm very careful with him. I suggest you be careful as well.
Fun: 6. My concerns about his appearance aside, I think he goes well with the other Autobot cassettes. His red coloring fits in with Ramhorn and Grandslam, and out of all the Dino-Cassettes I think he blends in the best in a crowd of Autobots.
Aesthetics: 3. Argh. On one hand, this is a decent little toy, given the size and other limitations they were working with. On the other, they sacrificed a lot to make him be a combiner part, and I don't that offsets the drawbacks in this case.
Articulation: 5. Having two joints in each shoulder and the neck gains Gurafi more points than he probably should get here, because the "upright" position he stands in limits what those shoulders can do. But still, for a G1 cassette, he's doing well in this department.
Value/Price: 7. KOtoys' price was $39.99 for the Gurafi/Noizu set. I'm okay with that, even if I only got Gurafi out of the deal.
Overall: 7. The Dino-cassettes' actual worth in play and display value is seriously debatable, but I think Gurafi is among the better of the four.

###

Name: Noizu (often anglicized to "Noise")
Allegiance: Cybertron (Autobot)
Function: "Forest Inquiry"?? (Might be better translated as "Jungle Warrior", akin to Sludge? Or maybe it's an overspecialized form of espionage - "Wooded Area Spy"? I'm not sure.)

(Translated) "He moves freely and takes it easily. The claws in both hands and the power of his fangs are the strongest out of the Dino Cassettes. His strength is weaker than Zauru's, but possesses the strongest kick. Idolizes the Dinobot Grimlock. Equipped with flamethrowers."

Alternate Mode:
Noizu is kind of a messy looking cassette. He's colored a pastel blue, with labels bearing mainly orange, and so many hilariously obvious joint lines (not to mention the dinosaur head on one side, along with the massive tail along the bottom) that he's not fooling anyone anywhere at any time. If you're going to hide any of these cassettes out of sight inside Twincast, Noizu should be the one. Just plain ugly, almost hilariously so. He also sports molded teeth, but thats about all he has going for him.

Robot Mode:
The first few times I saw pictures of Noizu in dinosaur mode, I thought "Oh, he's a retool of Overkill." That is not exactly the case. While Noizu does share some similarities in transformation, one half of the cassette actually pivots up and folds above the other half, instead of arms and legs simply flipping out of the cassette body. Noizu is also pastel, maybe plague blue here, with red eyes and molded teeth lines (the jaw doesn't open) within a small saurian head. He has little tiny forelimbs (with downward pointing claws), sprawling hindlimbs that open outwards below the hips, and a long tail. There's a minor bit of detailing above the base of his tail with some pistons or other appropriately mechanical devices. Most notably, Noizu comes with some seriously large chrome weapons ("flamethrowers", as I understand them), which attach at his shoulders and hang down to just above his hips. His teeny tiny forelimbs are too short to do much with, and his hindlimbs are required to keep him standing. Interestingly (and because of the combiner gimmick, again), the tail is not separate from the hindlimbs. Spreading the hindlimbs for stability also means spreading his tail halves. Outside of the limited movement of his limited forelimbs, the only useful articulation Noizu possesses is in his neck, which has two joints. But since he's quite shortnecked, he can really only look forward or up.

I have read that Noizu is supposed to be an Allosaurus. Admittedly, he still looks more like a weighty tyrannosaurid than the sleeker Allosaurus - the oldest artwork of an Allosaurus I can recall came from the early 1980s, and they were not depicted there as upright carnosaurs balancing partly on their tails in the pose that Noizu assumes in dinosaur mode. So I'm not convinced that Noizu isn't actually intended to be a tyrannosaurid like Overkill and Grimlock. Whatever he's supposed to be, probably his best attributes are his relatively tall height and his large weaponry. I don't think he looks that great - frankly, I think he's probably the most drab of the entire group, the Hasbro Autobots included. Makes pretty good dino-filler, I guess, alongside his fellows?

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 3. Aside from the joint in the middle that folds the entire cassette into a new length, nothing to see here, move along. Again, the need to be a combiner piece inhibits what they could do with him.
Durability: 5. Well, the only projecting piece of Noizu is really his tail-halves, and they are thick and held on with a large pin. I suppose the forelimbs could break off if you were too rough. I'd actually give him a higher score in this field if not for the fact that he's a KOToys release and I've already had limbs pop off the previous two KOToys cassettes I reviewed.
Fun: 3. The big weapons are a plus, but that's about it. I don't think Noizu offers anything special to the Autobot cause in terms of play value.
Aesthetics: 3. Bad coloring really hurts him. Surprisingly so - I can usually shrug off a poor color choice, but in Noizu's case he's just bland. The fact that the tail halves separate along with his hindlimbs whenever you want to stand him does not help him as a display piece, since the tail is so long and noticeable.
Articulation: 2. Frankly, once you get him in the typical tyrannosaurid "tripod" position, there's not much else he can do. He can wave his forelimbs up and down slightly, and watch a jet flying overhead.
Value/Price: 5. As noted above, $39.99 for the pair consisting of him and Gurafi. Sure, I think Noizu could have brought more bang to the buck here, but I'm not complaining at the price.
Overall: 3. Nothing new here. Goes okay with the other three, I guess, but that's about all.

###

Combined Mode:

Name: Decibel
Function: Information Soldier

(Translated) "Has the speed of Gurafi and the power of Noizu. The flamethrowers on his shoulders emit heat of up to 9000 degrees which can melt through 10cm steel in 5 seconds. Faithfully follows Twincast's orders, but his companions think he picks and chooses himself what to do. The other combiner warrior Legout is his younger brother."

I really do not like Dairu and Zauru's combined form of Legout at all, and I'm sorry to say that Decibel is even worse. I don't know if I can convey how much I dislike Decibel in Transformers terms. I hated Cosmos' robot mode as a kid, but Decibel could almost make Cosmos look like MP-01 Optimus. Decibel is formed, essentially, by unfolding Noizu's hips all the way and attaching them to an upside-down Gurafi's back. Noizu's long, silly tail halves form his arms, with Gurafi's nether regions making his red chest, and of course theres the offset, near-featureless head (which, due to the commonality, qualifies him as Legout's brother, I'm guessing). While Gurafi's little weapons don't do much for Decibel's appearance - they just clip onto the backs of his legs - Noizu's big flamethrowers point up and over his shoulders. I'd like to say that this does a lot for his appearance, but it doesn't. Decibel is a short, fat (well, overly wide) fool of a combined robot, with ape-ishly long arms that flap uselessly at his sides and lizard-style sprawling hips. I'm not sure what an Information Soldier is, but it makes me think of a bad work meeting with some consultant babbling about "team building" and "self-love" and things like that.


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 1. Pointless and took far too much potential from the component parts.
Durability: 3. Eeehhhhhhh.... I dunno, not as many glaring weak points as Legout, I guess. But I can't bring myself to leave it in the combined mode long enough to tell you.
Fun: 1. Just don't bother. I can't see any play value in this mode, unless he happens to be the only cassette combiner you own - and maybe not even then, because then you won't want to try any of the others.
Aesthetics: 1. Ugly, fat, short, bad colors and misshapen.
Articulation: 2. Well... He can direct traffic, sort of, with those long arms. While he has hip joints and knee rotation, those don't really do anything for him and don't add any real posability. If his hips were actually below his groin instead of splaying out to the sides, it might add a point.
Overall: 1. Waste of time and space and thought.
 

Last edited by The Reverend; 2012-04-12 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 2012-04-12, 08:22 PM   #3096
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By the way, there's an HTML error in my previous Dairu/Zauru review - looks like a <br> got typoed in one of the ratings sections.
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 08:25 PM   #3097
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Off-topic I know, but Reprolabels have just issued their set for Deluxe Leady too. I'm salivating; they made a Hell of a difference to Topspin and Roadbuster, so the effect on the naked Leadfoot should be tremendous. Such a shame the Western release got nobbled, it's a great figure.
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 08:26 PM   #3098
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Off-topic I know, but Reprolabels have just issued their set for Deluxe Leady too. I'm salivating; they made a Hell of a difference to Topspin and Roadbuster, so the effect on the naked Leadfoot should be tremendous. Such a shame the Western release got nobbled, it's a great figure.
Oh... You'll have me drooling over eBay again... No! Must NOT spend silly money on Deluxe Leadfoot!
 


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Old 2012-04-12, 08:31 PM   #3099
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I can honestly see him coming out in either a filler HFTD-style line or as a non-film TF4 toy; I really can't see Hasbro just not using three completed Movieverse Deluxe moulds.
 
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Old 2012-04-12, 08:37 PM   #3100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal View Post
Anyway, I hope you'll re-evaluate your stance on criticism. Know that I am not being unfair towards other reviews.
It's not a matter of being fair or unfair. It's a matter of having some respect for your fellow posters.

You're welcome to be critical of other posters' reviews, and to ask questions, but you need to be polite about it. You take an adversarial tone far too often, addressing other posters mockingly or abrasively and frequently telling them what to do. People would be much more likely to take your critiques to heart if you were a bit nicer about it.

For example, if you'd said to me "You haven't done these reviews yet. Are you still planning to?" I would have told you that I've been short of time and that it anyone else wanted to take them off my hands they were welcome to. But because you were rude about it, you got...well, all of this.
 
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