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Old 2015-08-25, 10:03 AM   #241
inflatable dalek
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First of two 3P items I picked up at AA:


Not-Chromedome!

I've always weirdly liked the original Chromedome (wierdly as he never really did anything in the West and doesn't look that amazing objectively), so getting a super duper version was rather fun.

The toy itself doesn't disappoint, it has a nice chunky robot mode with those glorious big guns and the car is as Chromedomey as you could hope.

The Transformation is something I think I'm going to need to play with a bit more to get a good idea of how satisfying it is. On paper the way it basically folds out and then over into the car is inventive (I love how the arms slot into the feet), but it did feel frustrating in places, especially trying to get all the tabs in properly at the end. Practise will either make it easier or more frustrating.

Annoyingly the one wheel wasn't screwed in properly, but I think I've fixed that now.
 
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Old 2015-08-26, 12:23 PM   #242
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And my other 3p Toy:

Catilla!

It's actually a good thing everyone who buys this will be buying it specifically to treat it as Catilla, because if I wanted a toy of whatever character it's pretending to be, reading the pack-in comic would have been depressing. He tries to combine with Feral Rex but fails due to something Not-Jhiaxus has done to him and is then promptly killed and thrown out the airlock for being shit. Who wouldn't be excited about owning this guy after that?

Still, as Catilla he's mostly very nice, helped by the original having a generic enough robot and cat mode that it doesn't take much to turn Rampage into a good facsimile (the red replacement head and feet--presumably if you want him to match the other Predacons?--are especially pointless on that score because who wants Catilla in non-Catilla colours?).

As the instructions aren't hugely helpful and both the pack pics and those on the internet (though one of the first images to come up on a search for "Third Party Catilla is a busty woman in her underwear*. I certainly can't get the toy to look like that. And I've tried) seem to chose the angle carefully I'm not sure if I've transformed him right. It feels as if the robot mode head should be better hidden, the cat head only really covers it if it's looking straight on.

Still, I can see why people rave on these guys, he's probably the most solid 3P toy I own (at least out of the bigger ones), certainly being weightier and sturdier than Chromedome. He's also got good articulation and (thankfully for the aforementioned instructions) 98% easy to transform without help beyond the potential head mistake. A very nice toy.

Someone turn one of the others into Carnivac now!


EDIT: *Though having just double checked (for research) it's a lot lower down today for some reason. Yesterday she was up by the random map image. Turns out it's from a random collection of wank bank images one transformers website put out under the name "Before Carly", hence the tenuous connection. Oh dear.
 
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Old 2015-08-26, 03:32 PM   #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
(the red replacement head and feet--presumably if you want him to match the other Predacons?--are especially pointless on that score because who wants Catilla in non-Catilla colours?).
I think those are meant for their Rampage, rather than Catilla. IIRC this company has a habit of shipping replacement/upgrade parts for old figures in with new ones when there are QC issues or people complain the colours weren't G1 enough.
 
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Old 2015-08-26, 05:39 PM   #244
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Ah, well, if anyone wants those.

Which toy comes with the parts that turn him into a busty woman in her underwear?
 
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Old 2015-08-26, 07:07 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Someone turn one of the others into Carnivac now!
Wouldn't surprise me if MMC did a Carnivac in the future. It's no less bizarre than them doing Catilla, which itself proves they're aware of the lunatic comic fan market, even if they did try to market him as one of the Predacons in an attempt to... I'm not really sure... justify his inclusion in the line? Up sales by convincing... people who don't know(?)... that he's part of that subgroup? It's all a bit peculiar, but hey, we got a Catilla out of it so what the hell.
 
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Old 2015-08-26, 08:31 PM   #246
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I hope so, the nice thing about Catilla and Chromedome is they're exactly the sort of characters 3P should be doing, obscure but with a degree of mad fan love and unlikely to get a Generations toy (well, I suppose Chromedome is an inevitability but that will be the quite different Roche/Milne design, one that looks like the original is less likely than a Catilla). More of that, less Devastators!

On the promotion as a Predacon (whatever they're called), I guess they thought as they have to advertise him as something other than Catilla and they also have to promote the Predacons as something other than the Predacons, why not take advantage of the fact the reuse of Rampage means he can combine with them? I bet there are folks who wouldn't have otherwise bothered with Catilla but who did love their Feral Rex enough to pimp for the added super mode thingey add on extra even if it's not the G1 homage they originally went in for.
 
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Old 2015-08-27, 08:04 PM   #247
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I really like MMC Felisabre / Catilla. I have a soft spot for the G1 toy and after finding the Feralcons to be awesome I went for him as a standalone.

That said I love the idea that he may have been a Predacon when he was a Decepticon, and the yellow of his arm mode really balances out Feral Rex / Predaking. The battlemask even hides the Autobot insignia I added. I really didn't expect to like him on Predaking but he has ended up doing arm-duty on display about 50% of the time (he's standalone and in robot mode just now though).

All of the Feralcons are amazingly well designed, solid and great fun in every mode. Feral Rex is something else (best combiner ever - and I really don't think Combiner Wars Menasor stands a chance of competing when I get round to building him tomorrow).
 


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Old 2015-09-01, 07:52 PM   #248
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Having had a further fiddle with Catilla, I've discovered he has a secret compartment with a tiny penguin in it.

Apparently it's the companies mascot, though maybe they could have put the time and effort spent on designing that into hiding the robot mode head better?

I've decided he's the official mastermind behind Feral Rex anyway. Makes as much sense as the pack-in comic does.

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Old 2015-09-01, 08:48 PM   #249
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Yeah, in my head I have this weird analogy that the first seven Reformatted figures (Sixshot, the five Predacons, and Catilla) are really the cast of Predator. Sixshot is Schwarzenegger, Catilla is Carl Weathers the CIA operative who can't be fully trusted, Razorclaw is Blaine with the heavy weapons, Rampage is Duke, Divebomb is Billy, and Tantrum and Headstrong are the two white guys nobody remembers.

And the penguin is the predator.
 
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Old 2015-09-01, 08:56 PM   #250
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Razorclaw is Blaine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHAQvZCQcXU

Yeah I can buy that.
 
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Old 2015-09-04, 12:57 AM   #251
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Here are some Ordin and Seacon pics. First, the ensembles.



The seacons are small, but I think that they're actually a bit larger than the original Kabaya kits from G1. They can almost transform without taking parts off, but not quite. It's none too big a deal, though. I do like that they included their original weapons and modified them to all peg together for the combined mode, giving a place to put them.

The terrorcons are a great ensemble. Hunger actually comes with the weapons for all five of them, and most of the gestalt armor breaks up into smaller shields.



Combined modes!


I do find it oddly funny that, in the current market of third party, collector oriented combiner sets, the seacons have only model kits sold with gum to their credit. Seems apropos.

As for the Ordin set, I'm really super pleased. The group as just a group is wonderful, but the combined mode is really well done. Only real word of caution is that Sigfried comes with three sets of springs in his legs that are too long and cause lots of problems. Fixing them requires just a screwdriver and some wire cutters, but I find it really odd for Unique Toys to have screwed that up after they've put out so many other figures without problems.

Also, the combiner's hips are supposed to be ratcheted, but the teeth on the gears are too weak and break (and actually come broken as the figure seems to be transformed somewhat after assembly). HOWEVER, the friction in the joint is crazy strong and enough to hold up the weight of the entire leg, so it's a non issue.


Finally, here he is with Quantron. WHEEEEEEEE it's like I'm five again!!

 
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Old 2015-09-04, 01:35 AM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
Catilla is Carl Weathers the CIA operative who can't be fully trusted
Just fill your Pretender shell with leftovers from the craft services table, bring it back to your hotel, and you got a stew goin'. You won't have to touch your per diem.

Do the 3P combiners usually allow for Scramble City limb swapping? I don't think I've ever seen a review showing off different configurations, but I haven't been looking. If they only allow each limb bot to form one type of limb to make the toys easier to deisgn and less expensive, that might explain why none of them have done the Seacons.

They wouldn't be nearly as much fun without the ability to swap out which one was the weapon. That means each limb has to be a quintuple changer (arm, leg, bot, beast, and gun) instead of the triple-changers they've been doing. The combined form would also have to support the weight of the added member with one arm.
 

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Old 2015-09-04, 08:00 AM   #253
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Do the 3P combiners usually allow for Scramble City limb swapping? I don't think I've ever seen a review showing off different configurations, but I haven't been looking. If they only allow each limb bot to form one type of limb to make the toys easier to deisgn and less expensive, that might explain why none of them have done the Seacons.

[...]

The combined form would also have to support the weight of the added member with one arm.
I get where you're coming from on that, but I really don't buy it.

Sacrificing the ability to do Scramble style (as appears to have been done in each instance so far), means picking a configuration and tailoring each toy to become that limb. Unique Toys' Abominus being a good example, as they've ignored the animation model, comic model and toys instructions and chosen to make Cutthroat an arm.

There's no reason the Seacons would be any different. You just pick which one you want to make the gun* and go from there. There's no rule that says they all need to be capable of it, any more than there is that they all need to be able to form the left leg.

* the correct answer is Nautilator, as that allows for my God Neptune redeco.
 
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Old 2015-09-04, 12:44 PM   #254
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Do the 3P combiners usually allow for Scramble City limb swapping? I don't think I've ever seen a review showing off different configurations, but I haven't been looking.
Actually, several can. I know that the TFC Superion and Defensor (Uranos and Prometheus) can swap legs for arms and vice versa, and the Fansjproject Menasor (Intimidator) can as well. TFC's Devastator and Predaking are also cross compatible, but I know Devastator can't swap arms for legs; not sure about their Predaking.

From my understanding, everything can at least do left/right swaps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendocon 2.0 View Post
Sacrificing the ability to do Scramble style (as appears to have been done in each instance so far), means picking a configuration and tailoring each toy to become that limb. Unique Toys' Abominus being a good example, as they've ignored the animation model, comic model and toys instructions and chosen to make Cutthroat an arm.
Apparently they went by the Dreamwave profile artwork. So Cutthroat was an arm that one time... not in fiction... in a book by a company that went bankrupt shortly thereafter...

But, it's more than just an obscure reference. It may have been rooted in how they engineered Blot. He's great (easily the best figure of the set), but the nifty way that his troll arms fold into a backpack doesn't lend itself to having a combiner port back there. If you're very keen on accuracy to the fiction, it's a trade off, but I wasn't too sussed about it. I think this configuration looks cool in its own way.


Quote:
There's no reason the Seacons would be any different. You just pick which one you want to make the gun* and go from there. There's no rule that says they all need to be capable of it, any more than there is that they all need to be able to form the left leg.

* the correct answer is Nautilator, as that allows for my God Neptune redeco.
Yeah, that's something that gets lost in translation, I think. The original scramble city toys were, basically, little blocks all the same size, so it was easier to switch them around. Combiner Wars I think is the happy medium between playfulness and looking good.
 
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Old 2015-09-04, 01:05 PM   #255
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Actually, several can. I know that the TFC Superion and Defensor (Uranos and Prometheus) can swap legs for arms and vice versa, and the Fansjproject Menasor (Intimidator) can as well.
Aren't Intimidator's legs are basically just a separate piece that the car mode clips onto the front of? That certainly makes it easier from a design perspective, as it just means making them able to turn into arms. Does look a bit like cheating to me, though. If I'm interpreting it right, anyway.

Quote:
Apparently they went by the Dreamwave profile artwork. So Cutthroat was an arm that one time... not in fiction... in a book by a company that went bankrupt shortly thereafter...

But, it's more than just an obscure reference. It may have been rooted in how they engineered Blot. He's great (easily the best figure of the set), but the nifty way that his troll arms fold into a backpack doesn't lend itself to having a combiner port back there. If you're very keen on accuracy to the fiction, it's a trade off, but I wasn't too sussed about it. I think this configuration looks cool in its own way.
Yeah, I have to be honest, I think it makes sense. It's a good aesthetic choice to have the wings on the arm (also the fact that Vortex, Blades and Divebomb all form arms, so it's kind of the default that a flyer goes up high). It may only have one precedent, but it's really grown on me and I can see why they went that route.

And can you imagine trying to walk with those things hanging off the back of your calf?

Quote:
Yeah, that's something that gets lost in translation, I think. The original scramble city toys were, basically, little blocks all the same size, so it was easier to switch them around.
There's not even any real variety or inventiveness in the designs. Arm mode is the robot mode with the head peg pulled forward. Leg mode is the robot mode with the legs slid up. Okay, sure, they all have four modes (five for the Seacons), but it really is only on a technicality.

As far as a 3P Piranacon goes, how many people are going to look at it and go "sorry, Skalor can't turn into a gun / Nautilator can't become the leg - I'm out"?
 
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Old 2015-09-04, 03:30 PM   #256
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Just fill your Pretender shell with leftovers from the craft services table, bring it back to your hotel, and you got a stew goin'. You won't have to touch your per diem.


I really need to watch Arrested Development again one day...

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Apparently they went by the Dreamwave profile artwork. So Cutthroat was an arm that one time... not in fiction... in a book by a company that went bankrupt shortly thereafter...
I've never understood why anyone would use Cutthroat as a leg to begin with. The original has a tilt joint in his midsection that's essentially useless other than as an elbow for Abominus, and having wings on one arm just makes him that much more monstrous.

Though either way Ordin and his component parts look so little like the characters they're supposed to be that honestly, I don't see the attraction. They're just so generic. I mean, I get that it's hard to make modernized toys of the Terrorcons because the originals (Hun-grrr aside) were just so awful and don't give you much to work off of, but colours aside those robot modes could be almost anybody.

At least the Beast Hunters Terrorcons had some personality to them. And beast modes that weren't dreadful.

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As far as a 3P Piranacon goes, how many people are going to look at it and go "sorry, Skalor can't turn into a gun / Nautilator can't become the leg - I'm out"?
To be honest, it would really sap some of the fun out of it. Especially since there's been multiple "official" configurations -- Marvel IIRC used Nautilator as a limb but the box art and Dreamwave profiles used Overbite and had Nautilator as the gun -- so some people wouldn't be able to make their preferred Piranacon at all.

Though for my part I'd only want to buy Seawing anyway, so m'eh.
 
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Old 2015-09-04, 03:44 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Though either way Ordin and his component parts look so little like the characters they're supposed to be that honestly, I don't see the attraction. They're just so generic. I mean, I get that it's hard to make modernized toys of the Terrorcons because the originals (Hun-grrr aside) were just so awful and don't give you much to work off of, but colours aside those robot modes could be almost anybody.
http://s50.photobucket.com/user/clay...82538.jpg.html
Haven't studied the original ones in much depth recently, but they look alright to me. Well, to the degree that I'd happily have 'em in individual robot modes. Big fan of the way Cutthroat and Rippersnapper look, provided that Clay hasn't kitbashed them into that shape, of course...

Quote:
To be honest, it would really sap some of the fun out of it. Especially since there's been multiple "official" configurations -- Marvel IIRC used Nautilator as a limb but the box art and Dreamwave profiles used Overbite and had Nautilator as the gun -- so some people wouldn't be able to make their preferred Piranacon at all.
This is fair enough. They should sack off the Piranacon idea and jump straight to my God Neptune.
 
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Old 2015-09-04, 04:19 PM   #258
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Haven't studied the original ones in much depth recently, but they look alright to me. Well, to the degree that I'd happily have 'em in individual robot modes. Big fan of the way Cutthroat and Rippersnapper look, provided that Clay hasn't kitbashed them into that shape, of course...
Cutthroat and Rippersnapper are probably my favourite of the set too, but they all suffer from only grabbing a couple details from the originals and then improvising the rest. Which isn't bad in and of itself, but the bits you improvise need to look cool and here, they don't.

It works okay for Cutthroat, because the beast head and wings are all you really need to make a toy look like Cutthroat (or Swoop or Wildfly) -- he's probably got the most distinctive design of the bunch originally. The small details and colour layouts aren't quite right but it's still a good fit for the character.

Rippersnapper is the opposite. I think he was originally the most generic, and as long as he's got the landshark head for a hood he's about as Rippersnappery as you're going to get. It looks like he's got the same small chest vents as well.

Blot is the most popular of the bunch I think, and he looks like a good toy on his own merit, but flipping between Clay's pic and his box art I can't spot a single bit of molded or painted detail that winds up in the same spot. He doesn't even have his beast head sticking out of his chest! Just about the only thing they got right was leaving his beast legs on the outside of his robot legs, which was a signature of the whole team back in the day.

Sinnertwin has the same issues as Blot, doesn't have the throwback beast legs in robot mode and doesn't even look good on his own merits. And on top of it all his beast mode is probably the worst of the lot.

And then there's Hun-grrr, who just looks bad on his own without even making G1 comparisons. (If you do, his whole shape is wrong, the reduced amount of pink on his chest makes him super-bland and the only parts that look right are his head-feet).

Now admittedly, the Terrorcons (and Technobots -- I'd tear apart the 3P versions of them too if they were the subject of discussion) are Serious Business to me because I loved them as a kid, so I've got super-high standards. But Ordin just doesn't work for me. TBH most of the 3P combiners don't, and for the same reasons. The designers just don't put enough effort into getting the individual robots right.

The only one so far that's got it right is Feral Rex...which was based on the one G1 combiner group that I actively dislike.
 
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Old 2015-09-04, 07:52 PM   #259
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TBH most of the 3P combiners don't, and for the same reasons. The designers just don't put enough effort into getting the individual robots right.
Yeah, I'm not really sold on any of them at all (beyond Feral Rex and Ordin, despite legitimate points observed). Warbotron's Brawl and Swindle really do it for me, but the other three Combaticons and the combined mode make me recoil. And again for all the other groups - there might be an individual figure or two for each set that I look at and think they've nailed it, but by the time I've seen the entire set and combined mode I've lost all enthusiasm.

Booooo.
 
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Old 2015-09-05, 12:13 AM   #260
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Though either way Ordin and his component parts look so little like the characters they're supposed to be that honestly, I don't see the attraction. They're just so generic. I mean, I get that it's hard to make modernized toys of the Terrorcons because the originals (Hun-grrr aside) were just so awful and don't give you much to work off of, but colours aside those robot modes could be almost anybody.
Actually, I've prepared a side by side. Here's Sinnertwin.



As you can see, all of the whopping five or six points of molded or sticker detail from the front side of the original have been incorporated into the Fenrir figure. They've changed the shin ridges from silver to teal, but they're still silver on the inset molding (it's hard to tell in that picture, though).

The big changes are of course in the design revision: the beast forelegs now make the robot arms and the beast hind legs fold away into the legs. The beast heads still dangle behind, though. Aside from that, general color placement is the same and Fenrir includes as many scant details as are extant on the G1 toy.

I can do this for the rest of the group if you want?

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At least the Beast Hunters Terrorcons had some personality to them. And beast modes that weren't dreadful.
And I luuuve them too.

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Blot is the most popular of the bunch I think, and he looks like a good toy on his own merit, but flipping between Clay's pic and his box art I can't spot a single bit of molded or painted detail that winds up in the same spot. He doesn't even have his beast head sticking out of his chest! Just about the only thing they got right was leaving his beast legs on the outside of his robot legs, which was a signature of the whole team back in the day.
Blot's beast head is his chest, yes. It just folds in to fit more flush. He also has his giant arms-backpack.

Quote:
Sinnertwin has the same issues as Blot, doesn't have the throwback beast legs in robot mode and doesn't even look good on his own merits. And on top of it all his beast mode is probably the worst of the lot.
Wait, so you want giant dangly beast legs hanging off robot legs? That's not a part of the originals that you look at and say, "Hmm, if somebody revisits these figures, that's what needs to stay"?

Come to think of it, Fenrir's beast hind legs can be rotated back out to sit on the outside of the leg like Troll's.

Quote:
And then there's Hun-grrr, who just looks bad on his own without even making G1 comparisons. (If you do, his whole shape is wrong, the reduced amount of pink on his chest makes him super-bland and the only parts that look right are his head-feet).
I think they nailed Hunger both in look and function. He's probably the best torso-bot yet in terms of not towering over his team while also making a proportional body for the combined mode (his alt mode being a fictional beast helps).

Quote:
Now admittedly, the Terrorcons (and Technobots -- I'd tear apart the 3P versions of them too if they were the subject of discussion) are Serious Business to me because I loved them as a kid, so I've got super-high standards. But Ordin just doesn't work for me. TBH most of the 3P combiners don't, and for the same reasons. The designers just don't put enough effort into getting the individual robots right.
I actually had the Terrorcons and Technobots as a kid, so my Serious Business trumps your Serious Business!

I will agree that the individual robots for Quantron take varying degrees of liberty, but I love the results so it doesn't bug me. But the Ordin Terrorcons... I don't get it. They look spot on to me.

Now I will say that none of these companies seem interested in producing the complementary weapons for these figures, which to me had just as much or more character than the figures themselves.

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Yeah, I'm not really sold on any of them at all (beyond Feral Rex and Ordin, despite legitimate points observed). Warbotron's Brawl and Swindle really do it for me, but the other three Combaticons and the combined mode make me recoil. And again for all the other groups - there might be an individual figure or two for each set that I look at and think they've nailed it, but by the time I've seen the entire set and combined mode I've lost all enthusiasm.

Booooo.
I've amassed several of them. I'll always have a soft spot for Hercules because it was something of the tidewater project for everything that followed, but I probably wouldn't buy it again if it came out now since I like Green Giant that much more. Uranos I'm lukewarm to now, and Warbotron left me underwhelmed. The Maketoys/Fansproject figures (Green Giant, Quantron, Intimidator) are good stuff to me, even with the liberties they take and their tendency toward fiddliness (Maketoys Guardia is probably the next set I'm looking to put together, but I'm trying to wait for most the figures to be released first).

I kind of hope that Maketoys/Fansproject make a Superion and Bruticus of their own at some point. I like their house style and overall size quite a bit.

It's too soon for me to say anything conclusive about Ordin, but so far I'm placing it toward the top of the list. Ask me again in a month?

And Feral Rex is ****ing awesome. First choice, and can recommend without hesitation.
 
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