Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Figures, collectables, customs and collecting.
User avatar
zigzagger
Articles: 0
Posts: 3453
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:40 am

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by zigzagger » Sun May 23, 2021 7:03 pm

Clay wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 5:18 am

I dunno... when you think of the type of animal Skysaur is, the first play feature you'd think of is flappy-flap, which it can do. Same for Seasaur... the first thing you'd think of is... necky-neck(?), which it can also do... and now that I think of it, Landsaur can do bitey-bite, so he's three for three, really. They've not got a great degree of versatility, but the most basic and foremost features are there.
Okay, okay.... look, I had Magmatron for about a day or two when I initially posted that. Probably not nearly enough time to stew things over, and my opinion of the individual dinosaurs has softened a little--and you're right, they each do have a some basic, actiony features--but, I dunno, I still don't find them all that interesting.

And thinking on it, my small quibbles have more to do with--okay yeah, personal preference--but also the overall set's "complexity", and not the individual dinos lacking smaller robot modes or extra features. I have Legends Overlord and Siege Skytread, who are both made up of component parts that lack extra features and don't transform into smaller figures, and I think they're a blast! So much so, that they often find their way out of storage and onto my work station. Pulling them apart, switching them into separate vehicle modes, and then rebuilding them is a lot of fun. I don't think I can say that about Magmatron. Not yet, anyway.

I really, really do like the figure. I do! He looks amazing, and, for its' time, he is an impressive feat of toy engineering. Hell, it's impressive even by modern standards---the way things fit together, the clever use of some of the kibble, the way three dinosaurs can form into a such coherent humanoid form, it's all pretty fantastic. But, to me (sorry for the excessive qualifiers), Magmatron feels more like a display piece.

Guess I should've tempered my expectations, and that's on me, but it's just not as fun as I was hoping it would be. That's all. :)

Anyway, here's BW Metals Jaguar/Ravage. No chrome wear in sight. (This is less of a "look at my toy!" and more of a "look at my pretty, well-lit picture!" post.)

Liar!!! You're showing it off too--and that's okay. You should, because Ravage is totally an enviable piece.

I do like that grey and black plastic, though. I don't know if it's just how it is photographing, but those colors look to have a kind of aged, antique-ish sheen about it.

User avatar
Clay
Articles: 0
Posts: 7128
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Location: Murray, KY

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Sun May 23, 2021 10:03 pm

zigzagger wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 7:03 pm
And thinking on it, my small quibbles have more to do with--okay yeah, personal preference--but also the overall set's "complexity", and not the individual dinos lacking smaller robot modes or extra features.
It's not just you and Magmatron. That's a common observation about the BWNeo line generally, and among other factors usually figured as part of the line's failure at retail. Basically they were too complicated for a toy line that, at the time, was squarely aimed at five year olds. Nowadays, they'd probably slot them into Generations and it'd be fine as that targets older kids and up, but even then the complexity wasn't really necessary for most figures.

Like, Longrack has the same transformation layout as the t-rex Megatron from 1996, but the former has twice as many panels making up the giraffe. It's a bit necessary as a giraffe has normal forelegs unlike a t-rex, so just shunting body shells to the back of the robot wouldn't work for Longrack the way it does for Megatron, but it's still a lot of extra little parts to line up that also pop off if you move them the wrong way. Even with all that said, the counterpoint is... giraffe. So it's fine.

Magmatron is a [ahem] different animal, though. You can tell from the robot mode that they gave a lot of consideration as to how it would work conceptually by the way the three heads all end up next to each other, kind of like a thematic coalescing of the different parts (air, land, water) into one form. It's fancy and it works well on that level, even if it comes up well short in other areas like casual fiddliness. But all that is just more explanation of the above statement that BWNeo was too big for its britches and lost sight of where the design emphasis should be.
I have Legends Overlord and Siege Skytread, who are both made up of component parts that lack extra features and don't transform into smaller figures, and I think they're a blast! So much so, that they often find their way out of storage and onto my work station. Pulling them apart, switching them into separate vehicle modes, and then rebuilding them is a lot of fun. I don't think I can say that about Magmatron. Not yet, anyway.
Yeah, they certainly could have (and to an extant, probably should have) made Magmatron the type to click together quickly on big connectors like Overlord or Flywheels, but I think the "animals building/blending into each other" mechanic is what makes him so neat even after all these years. He's kind of a... successful failure*, if that makes sense.

*EDIT: I figured out what I meant! While Magmatron is kind of emblematic of what not-to-do, at the same time he basically pulls it off, so it's good.
Liar!!! You're showing it off too--and that's okay. You should, because Ravage is totally an enviable piece.
No, honestly! He's been my go-to for testing photography setups for a while now because of his size and how dark he is, and because I need to re-photograph him for that Blackout review that I work on on-and-off. If I get clear pics of him, most other figures are easy by comparison. I think I've finally got the lighting right to minimize shadows, but the feet are out of focus on the big monitor. But I'm getting there.
I do like that grey and black plastic, though. I don't know if it's just how it is photographing, but those colors look to have a kind of aged, antique-ish sheen about it.
He should look like an antique. He was a Decepticon prowling around in the age of Predacons, after all.

User avatar
Warcry
Articles: 0
Posts: 13732
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 4:10 am
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Mon May 24, 2021 5:01 am

Clay wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:10 pm
I spent way too long getting this set up.
My main takeaway from this is that Rampage is huge.
ganon578 wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:47 pm
Sky Shadow is equally great! Boxy, simple to transform, and good articulation. He's a jet, a tank, a jettank, and a city. Add in the cross-play with Headmasters and the little drone ship, and you have a winner!
Sky Shadow is great! If memory serves, my local Toys'R'Us wound up with a wall of them back in the middle of Titans Return and I bought one out of pity when it was on sale for around half off. It wound up being one of my favourite figures from the line, and whenever I handle them side by side I'm surprised by how much cooler he is than Overlord. I think it took me a while to admit that since Overlord was the figure I'd been super excited about and Black Shadow had just been an afterthought.
zigzagger wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 6:47 am
Beast Machines/Dinobots Magmatron
Always been curious about this guy, but never quite enough to pull the trigger. I think you identify most of the reasons why!
zigzagger wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 6:47 am
And now that I mention it, Magmatron doesn't really look like a Transformer at all! Even by Beast-era standards he's almost too... organic, I want to say...??
I feel like this is a common thread with the Neo designs. In robot mode, a lot of them don't look all that Cybertronian. Sometimes it's because of odd proportions and sometimes it's because (like Magmatron) there just aren't very many inner robot bits to add hard edges to their robot silhouette.

In Magmatron's case, I think he looks more like a demon than a Transformer. It's a cool look, but not really what I think of when I think "Beast Wars".
zigzagger wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 6:47 am
Secondly, and I knew this coming in, but aside from a few minor gimmicks--like "Landsaur" being able to launch tongue missiles--the separate dinosaur components don't have a whole lot going on, including individual, smaller robots to fiddle around with.
This is the other thing that puts me off of him. Not that the beast modes look bad per se, but in pictures they just look a bit...perfunctory? Kind of like how Optimal Optimus technically has four modes but the toys never really give you any reason to want to transform them out of robot mode, Magmatron has always looked like he's supposed to be in his chimeric robot mode and the dino modes are just sort of there because they have to be.

Though to be fair, I also have no concept of how big Magmatron actually is. Maybe he's smaller than I think and the dinos are just simple because they had to be?
Clay wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 5:18 am
Funny thing about Magmatron, I think I took mine off the shelf to play around with a couple of years ago, and it was him that gave me the realization that articulation is overrated. I don't mean that in the sense that no attempt at it should be made, but with something like Magmatron, the idea is neat and different enough that it's largely irrelevant to me if his range of motion isn't the most it that it could be.
I agree! But it's also dependant on the toy doing something cool, you know? A lot of older toys aren't very well articulated (or they're articulated but not poseable because of bad range of motion) but they're still fun. With modern toys...well, they don't do anything, for the most part, so poseability becomes the main selling point by default. The original tyrannosaurus Megatron had a pile of gimmicks. Kingdom Megatron doesn't. The original is kind of clunky, but it can fire missiles, shoot water, has a spring-loaded pincher and a mutant head you can flip open and shut. Kingdom Megatron does exactly none of that, so if it had the same limited poseability as the original it would simply be a bad toy.
Clay wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 5:18 am
Anyway, here's BW Metals Jaguar/Ravage. No chrome wear in sight. (This is less of a "look at my toy!" and more of a "look at my pretty, well-lit picture!" post.)
Jealous. :o

I've always been curious about this toy since it's so unattainable, but looking at it, it would be hard not to say that it's a step back from the original TM Cheetor body. Even so, it looks really sharp and you did a great job capturing it. It's really too bad that they lost the molds after producing BotCon Tigatron. I'm sure it'd have gotten a reissue by now if they still had it.

I took a couple pictures of some old toys...with some new ones!

Image

Image

I really like how well the last few batches of Generations BW toys mesh with each other. It sounds like Hasbro is remaking most of the designs that they've taken a crack at previously (with Cheetor, Dinobot and Rattrap already on shelves, Rhinox upcoming and Waspinator being heavily rumoured), but I'm not super inclined to replace any of the old ones.

Yes, I know, I said that right after I posted a picture with the new Rattrap in it. I don't think of Kingdom Rattrap as a replacement at all, though. It's definitely a better than Generations Rattrap in some respects -- robot mode articulation being one, and "not feeling like it's going to explode when you transform it" being the other. But the Generations toy has it beat in other facets. It looks nicer, especially in a group shot with other BW characters, and it has a much more expressive beast mode. And it also has a pretty good likeness in beast mode, which is something I feel like Hasbro has completely disregarded in the Kingdom line -- the characters' beast mode faces are at least as memorable as their robot mode ones, for me, and almost none of the Kingdom figures capture their likeness at all.

Generations Rhinox is...flawed, I guess? I like the design, and it looks pretty slick in both modes. I remember having to paint the guns because they were unpainted brown plastic on the Hasbro figure, but I like how they look now! The whole waist and hip area is a mess of loose joints, though. The pictures of the Kingdom figure that have come out recently just don't impress at all in comparison, though...doesn't bring anything new to the table really, and it just looks like a lower-budget redo of this one.

I didn't really appreciate Generations Waspinator much at the time, but the longer I have it, the more I like it. The restricted knees and lack of a waist hurt the robot mode, but I really enjoy the transformation and I'm a big fan of the wing-flapping gimmick. In fact, this is a good example of a toy with hampered articulation that still manages to be a lot of fun because it can do something other than just pose!

I don't think I've ever seen a toy that made Beast Wars fans as angry as POTP Optimal Optimus did. Actually, before this toy came out I didn't realize that Beast Wars had its own version of GEEWUNNERS who would viciously rail against anything that violates the sanctity of their sacred nostalgia. The explosions of "How DARE this not just be the 90s toy with a few things smoothed out?" were pretty educational. For my part, well...I think I made my opinions on Op Op's alt modes pretty clear already, but in case I hadn't: they suck. A lot. They sucked on the original, they sucked on the TV show and they suck here too. He barely transforms to turn into a monkey, his flight mode looks like he's taking a nap and I didn't even remember the car mode existed until angry fans reminded me. I've owned this toy for four years now and I've probably transformed it a grand total of three times.

The rage was also utterly boiling over for the inclusion of the "Leader Evolution" gimmick. I feel like the gimmick was a neat concept and Optimus Primal was a good fit for it, but I don't think they implemented it well on any of the toys in the line. The small Primal in this set was just utterly inconsequential, so much so that I excised it from the Optimal body entirely by removing a single pin. Since I never want to transform the thing, small Primal wound up in a box, uh...somewhere? And the rest of the toy makes a nice Optimal Optimus Action Master.

I'm curious to see of they ever decide to give him a more "faithful" update, since that seems to be the direction of the line these days. If they do, it would pretty much have to be at the Commander price point and honestly, even that would probably not result in a figure that towers over the other BW characters to the degree that Optimal Optimus did in the show. For my part, I'm pretty happy with the version I've got now. Sometimes I suspect I'm the only Beast Wars fan in the world who feels that way, though.

I do have a Universe Dinobot kicking around somewhere as well, but I try not to post toys in this thread if I don't have anything good to say about them. :)

User avatar
Skyquake87
Protoform
Articles: 0
Posts: 3887
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:34 am

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Skyquake87 » Mon May 24, 2021 6:53 pm

...I didn't mind Optimal Optimus feeble alt modes. The size and bling were enough for me, and I liked the light up laser guns. The 'blast shields' are annoying though and I see the POTP figure loses those, which are no great loss. I was just indifferent to the POTP version, I didn't care about it one way or the other. Did cross my mind that having an update to the original Transmetal Optimus turning into Optimal Optimus might have been a 'better' choice, but I thought the general concept with all those Autobot leaders was sound enough that it didn't really matter.

As for Kingdoms Beast Wars figures...I like the beast modes! I like that they're sticking with the intent of the original line - organic beast modes. I prefer these characters looking like actual animals, and not the smoothed out cartoons the limitations of CGI gave us at the time.

Magmatron is roughly Mega scaled (or Voyager in today's money). Seasaur (Seesaw) and Landsaur are Deluxe scale in beast mode and Skysaur is Basic sized. He's not that complicated to squish together - certainly easier than, say, Tripredacus/ Tripledacus. I like him. He's not the greatest Beast Wars figure, but certainly makes an impression.

User avatar
Clay
Articles: 0
Posts: 7128
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Location: Murray, KY

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Mon May 24, 2021 7:20 pm

Warcry wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 5:01 am
My main takeaway from this is that Rampage is huge.
Not as big as you'd think. He takes up a large area on account of the legs, but those are actually pretty spindly. Most of the mass is in the claws and body, which is roughly the same as Depth Charge.

Image
Though to be fair, I also have no concept of how big Magmatron actually is. Maybe he's smaller than I think and the dinos are just simple because they had to be?
He's the same size as the Megatrons:
Image

I'd say the dinos are about as small as they could be. Aside from the bits on Landsaur, all the (scant) robot parts are completely hidden away, so there's that to consider plus all the spring-loaded mechanisms each animal has.
I've always been curious about this toy since it's so unattainable, but looking at it, it would be hard not to say that it's a step back from the original TM Cheetor body. Even so, it looks really sharp and you did a great job capturing it. It's really too bad that they lost the molds after producing BotCon Tigatron. I'm sure it'd have gotten a reissue by now if they still had it.
Yeah, unfortunately Ravage/Tigatron was the first in a series of molds that conventions would either lose or absolutely run into the ground to the point of being unusable (like the classics Starscream mold). I wonder how much that fit into the calculus of Hasbro taking away the convention rights from funpub (even though the 2000/2001 botcon was a different company).

I'm not actually sure what mine would trade for. The only examples I can on ebay are still sealed in boxes of various conditions, which mine isn't. It is, however, in very good condition, still has the box, and the stickers are un-applied, so I guess it'd trend toward the higher end of the range, but it's a moot point. It's not like he's going anywhere.

And I also noticed while on ebay that any Beast Wars figure related to a show character is getting ridiculous in price. I remember buying up all my Beast Wars stuff around 2005-2007, so I still think of Inferno and TM2 Blackarachnia being around $15 boxed. Good grief, have they gone up in trade!
Generations Rhinox is...flawed, I guess? I like the design, and it looks pretty slick in both modes.
Still one of my favorite animal transformers to date. The rhino mode is a statue, but it's so good, I don't care. I think the old one is clearly better, but the new one is... new? Of course, I try not to be too dismissive about it since there are a lot of fans active now that weren't in 2013 when the previous Rhinox came out, so I have to remind myself that the new figure costs half what the old one trades for if still in the box.

...

Was there much complaining about POTP Optimal Optimus because it was different from the original? I vaguely remember the contention being that, given that the "leader evolution" or whatever gimmick was mandated for whatever character won the poll, Star Saber would have been a better fit anyway besides the idea that the original Optimal toy was/is still available and basically pretty good (maybe give it ankle tilts? I can't think of any other obvious things to do to upgrade it). So the complaining boiled down to the leader slot not being used for a character never released in the west that actually a better fit for the gimmick. But all that said, I think I was shying away from the big boards even by that point, so who knows what they had stuck in their craw at the time.

Of course, the next line (Siege) debuted the "Commander" class, which honestly seems like a much better place to put someone like Star Saber (or even a Victory Saber set), so that was ultimately a bunch of complaining about nothing. And besides that, I never saw Optimal Optimus in a physical store ever (that was when the walmarts around me dropped the leader size class for about a year or 18 months while Kmart and Toys R Us closed altogether: the store nearest me has since started carrying them again, but the others in the area haven't), so Hasbro not making Star Saber in that slot is just as well.

User avatar
Clay
Articles: 0
Posts: 7128
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Location: Murray, KY

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Sun May 30, 2021 2:55 am

Warcry wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 5:01 am

I agree! But it's also dependant on the toy doing something cool, you know? A lot of older toys aren't very well articulated (or they're articulated but not poseable because of bad range of motion) but they're still fun. With modern toys...well, they don't do anything, for the most part, so poseability becomes the main selling point by default. The original tyrannosaurus Megatron had a pile of gimmicks. Kingdom Megatron doesn't. The original is kind of clunky, but it can fire missiles, shoot water, has a spring-loaded pincher and a mutant head you can flip open and shut. Kingdom Megatron does exactly none of that, so if it had the same limited poseability as the original it would simply be a bad toy.
Hmm. I thought about this a bit, and I think you skirted around the elephant in the room: the transformers toys always do something, which is transform from a robot into something else. Given that that's the fundamental draw, I wouldn't say that the new trex Megatron would be a bad toy at all even if it had the limited articulation of the 1996 version and none of the extra stuff. It would still, regardless of everything else, change from a dinosaur to a robot. Now whether or not that, at its core, is enough of an appeal to justify to us the thing existing is more of a measure how good they've gotten at designing the things and how spoiled we are for choice, but not that this hypothetical version of kingdom Megatron would be bad on its own terms.

Also, compare the new Cheetor with the one from 2008. The Universe Cheetor does stuff, like have a lever-controlled cat jaw and little gear-operated shurikens, but... no. The new one is way better.

Coincidentally, you've articulated (heh) my feelings of apathy towards 3 3/4" figures of all flavors (Marvel, Star Wars, GI Joe, etc.) pretty well. They might be neat to look at, but in my mind they don't do anything to justify having a physical representation of a character. I fully understand that I'm in the minority about that as far as collecting little plastic baubles go, but that is how I approach it.

User avatar
Warcry
Articles: 0
Posts: 13732
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 4:10 am
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Sun May 30, 2021 6:20 am

Skyquake87 wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 6:53 pm
As for Kingdoms Beast Wars figures...I like the beast modes! I like that they're sticking with the intent of the original line - organic beast modes. I prefer these characters looking like actual animals, and not the smoothed out cartoons the limitations of CGI gave us at the time.
I understand where you're coming from, but at the same time Megatron is still purple and Dinobot still doesn't have any feathers, so the realism already seems to be a bit...selective, I guess? I just wish it was differently selective. :) For me at least, when I think of what these characters look like, their animal faces come to mind as quickly as (or quicker than!) their robot faces. I mean...this is just what Dinobot looks like to me.

Image

Giving his toy such a starkly different beast face rubs me the wrong way, just like it would if I transformed him to robot mode and found that he had G1 Sideswipe's noggin for some reason. I'd love to see a line of realistic animal-mode Transformers but the Beast Wars cast seem like an odd bunch to do it with. But maybe I'm in the minority, identifying with the beast looks as much as the robot ones?
Clay wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 7:20 pm
Not as big as you'd think. He takes up a large area on account of the legs, but those are actually pretty spindly. Most of the mass is in the claws and body, which is roughly the same as Depth Charge.
Depth Charge is huge too, though! It's one of my favourite things about him.
Clay wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 7:20 pm
And I also noticed while on ebay that any Beast Wars figure related to a show character is getting ridiculous in price. I remember buying up all my Beast Wars stuff around 2005-2007, so I still think of Inferno and TM2 Blackarachnia being around $15 boxed. Good grief, have they gone up in trade!
Even the non-show toys are starting to see steep price increases! When I started getting really into Beast Wars stuff about a decade ago, the show characters would sell for a pretty penny already but you could still get someone like Cybershark or Torca or Manterror mint and complete for $10 or $15, max. Nowadays I see people listing anything Beast Wars on eBay for double or triple what I paid for it, though I don't know if anyone is actually paying that much for it.

Apparently this sort of price inflation is hitting all across the collectibles spectrum, and it's accelerated quite a bit over the last year and a bit as people stayed home and had to find new hobbies, while also (if they were lucky enough to still have a job) suddenly having more spending money since they weren't going to movies, concerts, sporting events, restaurants, etc. I'm curious if we'll see prices drop over the next year as people's attention drifts back to old interests. And also if there's going to be a mass sell-off or if a decent number of those new collectors are here to stay.
Clay wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 7:20 pm
Still one of my favorite animal transformers to date. The rhino mode is a statue, but it's so good, I don't care. I think the old one is clearly better, but the new one is... new? Of course, I try not to be too dismissive about it since there are a lot of fans active now that weren't in 2013 when the previous Rhinox came out, so I have to remind myself that the new figure costs half what the old one trades for if still in the box.
That's about my feelings as well. It's nice that it exists for folks who don't already own any Rhinox toy but it's a shame that seven or eight years' worth of engineering advances haven't allowed them to improve on anything the last one did.
Clay wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 7:20 pm
Was there much complaining about POTP Optimal Optimus because it was different from the original?
Oh, very much so, yes. A lot of Beast Wars fans were POed that we were getting our first new toy in half a decade and it was being compromised by a gimmick that none of them asked for (and, indeed, weren't aware of when they voted on the thing). The vote itself was also littered with art of season 1 Primal and while he was a component of the final product, it clearly wasn't what anyone was expecting. Myself...I'd more been hoping that Deathsaurus would come away with the win. And apparently Hasbro was too, but I think they shot themselves in the foot being all coy with their "unknown evil" sobriquet.

I feel like the entire "Leader Evolution" idea was mishandled, though. The fact that Hasbro burned Powermaster Prime on a clunky Magnus retool Headmaster the year before really set them back, since that should have been the gimmick's flagship toy. Not to mention...what the heck would they have done if Hound or Arcee or someone had won that poll? Optimus Primal was implemented a bit awkwardly but at least the end result made a lot of sense.
Clay wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 7:20 pm
I vaguely remember the contention being that, given that the "leader evolution" or whatever gimmick was mandated for whatever character won the poll, Star Saber would have been a better fit anyway
I feel like he or Thunderwing would have buried all the other contenders if Hasbro had told the voters what they were actually voting on. Much like Scorponok probably would have walked away with the "choose the next Titan" poll if Hasbro had told people the toy they were voting on was going to be a Headmaster. But when you don't have all the information, it becomes a straight popularity contest. And Hasbro should never underestimate Beast Wars fans' ability to influence those!
Clay wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 7:20 pm
Of course, the next line (Siege) debuted the "Commander" class, which honestly seems like a much better place to put someone like Star Saber (or even a Victory Saber set), so that was ultimately a bunch of complaining about nothing.
A Commander Star Saber would be nice. Looking at Jetfire and Sky Lynx, I feel like it would be tough to do the combined form justice even at that price point, though that could just be my own indifference to Victory Leo talking. Of course, that also depends on how much they'd commit to Star Saber being a nesting doll of increasingly smaller robots...
Clay wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 2:55 am
Hmm. I thought about this a bit, and I think you skirted around the elephant in the room: the transformers toys always do something, which is transform from a robot into something else. Given that that's the fundamental draw
Is it, though? I get the impression that a lot of our fellow fans don't care about their toys' alt-modes very much. I've even seen a sizable number of fans who say they've never transformed their toys at all! I think there's a large contingent of buyers who only care about the characters and look on the transformation as a necessary evil. Which is fine, everyone enjoys these things differently.
Clay wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 2:55 am
Coincidentally, you've articulated (heh) my feelings of apathy towards 3 3/4" figures of all flavors (Marvel, Star Wars, GI Joe, etc.) pretty well. They might be neat to look at, but in my mind they don't do anything to justify having a physical representation of a character. I fully understand that I'm in the minority about that as far as collecting little plastic baubles go, but that is how I approach it.
I feel like you bring up an interesting point. I enjoy superhero action figures a fair bit myself, but I enjoy them in a much different way than I enjoy my Transformers. I have a selection of Transformers on my desk all the time to fiddle with, but if I get a new X-Men figure it'll get played with for five minutes, put in a cool pose and then added to a shelf and not touched again for six months until I decide to re-pose all of them en masse. Transformers are (for me at least) a lot more fun as toys.

I feel like there's been a big switch towards emphasizing poseability and points of articulation over good transformations or action features lately in the fandom. And I think a lot of that is due to the movies drawing in a lot of people who were "toy collectors" first and "Transformers collectors" second, and who maybe don't appreciate all the things that make a Transformer different from a Marvel Legends or G.I. Joe figure.

And speaking of segues, another thing that today's breed of fan seems to really value is having all their toys match the same aesthetic standard. And then there's weirdos like me!

Image

Image

I watched the movie the other day after I got SS86 Hot Rod, and I decided to get my toys of the movie's "new" Autobots and Decepticons out for a play. It's an eclectic bunch but I like it. Leaving aside Hot Rod, who I ranted about in the new toys thread...

I feel like most of the '86 movie designs really don't make for great toys. They were designed as cartoon models first and when Hasbro tries to translate them into plastic, that really starts to show. Most of them don't even really look like they transform into anything! I think that's why I liked Generations Kup, but was left completely cold by the TR, Legends and SS86 takes on the character. This toy has a lot of important touchstones that make it "feel" like Kup (to me anyway), but the designers also did a great job of making sure you could see what it turns into. The horrifying face sculpt makes this feel more like a Movieverse take on the character than G1 Kup, though. It's no surprise third parties made themselves a pile of cash selling replacement heads.

I like Legends Blurr mostly for the colours, but I also like that the "design language" of this body owes as much to Brainstorm as it does to Blurr. Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr always felt like odd ducks among the Steelhaven crew and the other late-run Autobots they hung out with in the later Marvel run. This toy makes Blurr, at least, finally look like he belongs with those guys. I wouldn't call this a "definitive" Blurr, if that's something you care about, but I love the way it "Nebulosifies" his design.

I actually did want to get a Siege Springer, not because I don't like Generations Springer but because I thought it would add some nice diversity to my Wreckers set if I had a version of the guy that didn't share a body with Sandstorm. This is a great toy, though. Still probably the best Triplechanger they've ever engineered.

Titans Return Wheelie is one of a whole pile of great Legends figures that got released during the Prime Wars lines. One of the things I really liked about the TR and POTP figures in this size class is how they doubled as vehicles for Titan Master figures. Some did that better than others but I think Wheelie pulls off the gimmick quite well. He's also a really nice, small robot action figure.

I am stunned -- absolutely gobsmacked -- that there have been three different takes on the character since Universe Galvatron and none of them have enticed me to move on from this mess of a figure. He was in tank mode when I pulled him out of the bin and parts fell off at least five times as I tried to remember how to transform it. I think the rumour was that this was designed as an Ultra and demoted at the last minute because they already had a bunch of tanks in that size class. I don't think it would have made a very good Ultra either.

Universe Cyclonus is good stuff, though. I do have to say that there's something weird about giving a toy-inspired deco to a figure that's so clearly taking inspiration from the TV show, but he wears the dark purple well. His Kingdom toy is really popular but it seems more like a lateral step than anything.

Generations Scourge is one of the few characters where I feel like reinventing the alt-mode was unequivocally a good choice. He still turns into a pretty vague geometric shape but at least now it's recognizable as a flying machine. More than anything, I like the more angular look to the demon wings that it gives this body.

Also, am I the only one who's absolutely adamant that Cyclonus and Scourge need to be Targetmasters, but don't care at all if Hot Rod, Kup or Blurr have their partners? It's extra weird because I actually owned Targetmaster versions of Hot Rod and Kup as a kid. The only thing I can think of is that it's because the UK comics made a fairly big deal of how much more powerful these two 'Cons were thanks to their gun buddies.

I tend to forget that Ratbat was also a Movie debut. In fact, I tend to forget he was in the cartoon at all. But he was and he did. so here's a MP Ratbat KO in all it's fuel auditing glory!

Hasbro seems to be averaging roughly one new Sharkticon mold a year since TR Gnaw came out, but I feel like this guy is the only one that finds the sweet spot between being a functional action figure, but still being small enough to be cute.

I'm not surprised to find that I don't have any toys of G1 Arcee, but I am pretty stunned to realize that I don't own a single modern toy of Ultra Magnus. I used to have the Titanium figure, but I don't anymore and I've yet to replace it.

User avatar
Denyer
Articles: 3
Posts: 32490
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2000 4:00 am
Contact:

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Denyer » Sun May 30, 2021 1:43 pm

Warcry wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 6:20 am
I've even seen a sizable number of fans who say they've never transformed their toys at all! I think there's a large contingent of buyers who only care about the characters and look on the transformation as a necessary evil. Which is fine, everyone enjoys these things differently.
Long since got to a point where a lot of TFs don't get transformed, as the only entries that don't get displayed in robot mode are things like the Horrorcons, but I woudn't be satisfied with RED or Super7 for characters that are supposed to have alt-modes. The alt-mode kibble, engineering and knowing what parts go where are all fundamental to the characters as well as the toys.

I suspect people with aphantasia (who are unable to visualise as a deliberate action) don't tend to get into Transformers.
Warcry wrote:another thing that today's breed of fan seems to really value is having all their toys match the same aesthetic standard.
I find that with a varied collection, everything has the same aesthetic. You can stick Hero Masher Slag next to Toyworld Roar, hunted by an assorted of deluxe class Autobots from a few lines and it doesn't feel out of place. But then I've never like simplified cartoon designs, and never considered most of the Filmation designs with MOTU to trump the toy designs either.

It is nice to have some sort of scale -- eg WST, original MMs, POTP pretenders and a few smaller Legends and similar go with Titan class. MP, voyagers and similarly scaled 3P generally work together. Etc.

Same reason I got that upscaled MP Grimlock KO to go with the FT Dinobots. The actual MP with boots just looked increasingly silly, and I didn't like the 3P Grimlocks.

User avatar
StoneCold Skywarp
Articles: 3
Posts: 6284
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 4:00 am
Custom Title: Best Served Chilled
Location: UK

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by StoneCold Skywarp » Sun May 30, 2021 10:09 pm

Denyer wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 1:43 pm
I suspect people with aphantasia (who are unable to visualise as a deliberate action) don't tend to get into Transformers.


Oh, I don't know, I manage pretty well!

I appreciate a good set of instructions but do struggle with point a to point b in hypothesis rather than practical actions.

I appreciate the puzzle of them as much as something say, like a rubiks cube (as I am sure many people do) without necessarily being able to 'see' how the parts are going to end up.

I honestly was unaware of Aphantasia until about 2 years ago and I listened to a podcast on the subject; little realising that people were actually able to visualise things in their mind. It was quite the revelation to me that people were actually able to do that.

I have done a little research into the 'condition' if you will, many people say they are unable to dream for example. I am quite able to dream and often do, vividly but I can't close my eyes and visualise a red circle or picture optimus prime. I can sort of visualise things by way of in depth verbal description rather than imagery.

In terms of aesthetics, I had this conversation with Clay a couple nights back, I have picked up Iron Trans Star Blade which is a stylised take on Star Saber - very Gundam-esque in its design and I think it's amazing. Its not slavishly g1 but it evokes the character.
I have also gone in on Cang Toys Predacons. Again, highly stylised but evocative enough of the characters to appeal.

Most of my MP figures I see as highly engineered statues. I do try and make sure I transform them through at least once so I have done it but usually that's out of necessity rather than desire and figures like Fans Toys Hydra will never see an alt mode by my hand!

User avatar
Warcry
Articles: 0
Posts: 13732
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 4:10 am
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Mon May 31, 2021 11:40 pm

Denyer wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 1:43 pm
Long since got to a point where a lot of TFs don't get transformed, as the only entries that don't get displayed in robot mode are things like the Horrorcons, but I woudn't be satisfied with RED or Super7 for characters that are supposed to have alt-modes. The alt-mode kibble, engineering and knowing what parts go where are all fundamental to the characters as well as the toys.
I tend to display figures in robot mode for the most part as well, for vehicular Transformers anyway. Characters with beast modes look to be around a 60/40 split. But I still transform the things a lot. Stuff tends to rotate off the shelves onto my desk pretty regularly, especially now that I'm working from home and I need something to keep myself busy while big data sets process or programs get simulated. And if something isn't interesting enough for at least occasional desktop distraction duty that usually means it's going to wind up going into storage when something new needs a spot on the shelf.
Denyer wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 1:43 pm
I find that with a varied collection, everything has the same aesthetic.
That's a great way to put it! Classics Grimlock would look funny if he was on a shelf with nothing but toys from the last couple years. But if you mix up a few Masterpieces, some older Classics/Universe toys, some 2010-era toys and a couple of the newer WFC things all one one shelf, everything is different so nothing is.
Denyer wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 1:43 pm
It is nice to have some sort of scale -- eg WST, original MMs, POTP pretenders and a few smaller Legends and similar go with Titan class. MP, voyagers and similarly scaled 3P generally work together. Etc.
I agree that it's nice to have scale in a sense -- that Magnus is bigger than Prime who's bigger than Jazz who's bigger than Bumblebee. But I'd much rather have my figures in the sort of vague, compressed scale that you saw in the old Marvel comics than have a collection that has the really wide size spread that a lot of cartoon fans seem to favour. I feel like there's a certain spread outside of which it's really tough to make a good Transformer. Once you start getting bigger than an (old) Leader-class figure, I think the figure's weight really begins to work against it. And anything smaller than a scout/basic figure can easily wind up being a bit finicky to handle with modern engineering.

That's a big part of why I don't own more third-party stuff...so much of the stuff that I would be interested in is scaled significantly bigger or smaller than standard retail stuff, outside of the sweet spot for what I consider an idea toy, and it's really tough to sift through the huge amount of product to find what I'd be after.
StoneCold Skywarp wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 10:09 pm
I honestly was unaware of Aphantasia until about 2 years ago and I listened to a podcast on the subject; little realising that people were actually able to visualise things in their mind. It was quite the revelation to me that people were actually able to do that.
This is a super interesting topic that I didn't even realize was a thing! I wonder if this has anything to do with why (as you say below) you don't feel a need to transform your figures very much.

For me, it's actually the opposite...I'm almost compelled to transform a figure when I pick it up for the first time in a while, even if it's already in the mode I wanted it in for the shelf/pictures/whatnot that I grabbed it for!
StoneCold Skywarp wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 10:09 pm
In terms of aesthetics, I had this conversation with Clay a couple nights back, I have picked up Iron Trans Star Blade which is a stylised take on Star Saber - very Gundam-esque in its design and I think it's amazing. Its not slavishly g1 but it evokes the character.
This looks really cool!

User avatar
StoneCold Skywarp
Articles: 3
Posts: 6284
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 4:00 am
Custom Title: Best Served Chilled
Location: UK

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by StoneCold Skywarp » Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:43 pm

Warcry wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 11:40 pm
This is a super interesting topic that I didn't even realize was a thing! I wonder if this has anything to do with why (as you say below) you don't feel a need to transform your figures very much.

For me, it's actually the opposite...I'm almost compelled to transform a figure when I pick it up for the first time in a while, even if it's already in the mode I wanted it in for the shelf/pictures/whatnot that I grabbed it for!
It's not that I don't feel a need per se, more that I only collect Masterpiece style figures since I got back into Transformers and some of the transformations are pretty daunting so I'd rather not potentially break something I've spent anywhere from $100-$300+ on!

I've got a couple of WFC figures (Prime, Sky Lynx & Impactor) and I love flipping those backwards and forwards. I just would struggle to 'see' some of the moves without instructions which only gets worse the more potential moves there are.

That being said, once I've flipped a figure back and forth I can generally remember moves more through muscle memory than anything else.

It's kinda hard to explain to someone that can visualise things, but then I have no idea how people can 'see' things or to what degree of clarity!
Warcry wrote: This looks really cool!
It is VERY cool! I was on the fence for it for quite some time before I took the plunge, really glad that I did. It's incredibly gundam-esque as I said but looks enough like Star Saber without being slavish to it. The thing is infinitely poseable too, covered in paint and loaded with diecast to boot.

User avatar
Denyer
Articles: 3
Posts: 32490
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2000 4:00 am
Contact:

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Denyer » Wed Jun 02, 2021 6:37 pm

Skywarp wrote:I appreciate the puzzle of them as much as something say, like a rubiks cube (as I am sure many people do) without necessarily being able to 'see' how the parts are going to end up.
Before and after photos have certainly gotten handier as designs have gotten more complex -- too much lining up panels in a lot of transformations.

I assume "phantasia" is a sliding scale, and people who are really good at visualising stuff have more of a shot at being particularly good artists or architects, if they learn the related skills. It definitely seems to be something that benefits from use/training and having enough data to work with -- eg I find it easier, having seen more drone photography, to fill in blanks such as the opposite sides of buildings after walking around them, you sort of get more used to seeing things from a 360 degree perspective. And it seems to be closely connected with spatial awareness, judging fit, etc. and seems to be a factor in learning database and filesystem schemas.

I'm not good with picturing faces long enough to describe detail, though. Likewise documents. It falls far short of what people describe as true eidetic recall, although can work like that at times. Speech and sounds are easier.
Warcry wrote:But I still transform the things a lot.
I find things calcify pretty quickly -- find a decent pose, and things become part of a display scene, even if that's just groupings of characters.
Warcry wrote:the sort of vague, compressed scale
Definitely. CW combiners don't look out of place behind voyagers, or even behind (old) leader class figures, despite only standing twice as tall.

User avatar
Clay
Articles: 0
Posts: 7128
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Location: Murray, KY

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:15 am

Waruders! (or War Riders!)

https://imgur.com/a/lQ3v2N8 (3 pics + 3 cat pics)

Image


I picked these up a few years ago fairly cheaply from BBTS. It was $160 for the set of four, or $40 a piece, which is the same as the Seacon limbs later or even the Legends versions of the Decepticon Targetmasters I had already picked up, which isn't bad at all for convention exclusives.

I dug them out of the cabinet again a few weeks ago when I got another couple of the new BW figures (Airrazor and Ractonite, I think). It helps that I really like the Generations Waspinator mold a great deal to begin with, but gosh they're pretty. Apparently they're all homages to some diaclone figures, but I figured they were based on the various redecos Waspinator had during Beast Wars proper. Either works, honestly.

The collectors' club/convention circuit maiming of molds continues with this set, however. On Waspinator proper, the hinge in the middle of his foot is super tight and has no problem holding its weight, but this joint is a bit loose on the four recolors and makes standing them up a bit of a chore. I'm not sure if the Takara Legends convention exclusive version, which maybe came after these, has the same problem, though.

Also, I have three lights going in the photo setup and I'm still getting shadows. Do I need more lights, or stronger lights, or both? The black/purple one is hard to photograph in an ensemble, too.

User avatar
Warcry
Articles: 0
Posts: 13732
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 4:10 am
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Sun Jun 20, 2021 4:55 am

Gib Paralyzer plz.

*grabby hands*

My admittedly foggy recollection is that those guys were briefly clearanced for blowout prices when FubPub lost the license, but by the time I heard that was a thing they were already gone. I'm hoping that the new Kingdom Waspinator mold gets tarted up as some of these guys in Selects sets eventually. I really don't know what's going on with the red/silver/blue one, but Paralyzer, Skywasp? and Literally Just Put Bumblebee's Head On Me Already are all very eye-catching.

The other day I was looking at my shelves and started thinking about colours. I think what kicked it off was me scratching my head and wondering why Hasbro seems to struggle so much with purples, both with colour-matching to a character design and even simply choosing a shade that looks decent. The other one they really seem to struggle with is yellow, always trying to colour-match paint to the plastic and seemingly never succeeding.

But blue? For whatever reason, blue seems to be right in their wheelhouse! So I grabbed some of my most eye-catching blue figures down off the shelf to snap a few pictures.

Image

Okay, so this first one is definitely cheating re: the thread subject because Rotorstorm came out last summer or something. But he's also got four distinct shades of blue so there was no way I was leaving him out. The light blue on his upper body is what catches my eye the most. I won't talk too much about him since, again, not an "old toy", but he's definitely a top-notch figure.

It's shocking to me that Tracks here is a decade old at this point. It's a timeless mold in my books...I like it as both Tracks and Wheekjack, and in fact I like it so much that I have several extras downstairs somewhere that I never managed to finish customizing (and one that I think I've ruined in failed plastic-dying experiments). It gets looked down on a lot lately for not being Sunbow enough, and I definitely get why folks might prefer a slimmer Tracks, but this is just a well-engineered toy regardless of what character you want it to be. The car mode is so much nicer than most of what we get nowadays (I really miss pinned wheels). The robot mode features all the articulation that you could ask for, including a waist swivel, wrist swivels and ankle tilts, in spite of how a sizable proportion of the fandom likes to pretend that those didn't exist before Siege came around. The only thing that feels dated about him is the ugly "faux-tribal tattoo" flame deco they gave him.

Image

Hot Shot, again, isn't really old but he's super fetching. Actually, he tends to hang around with Rotorstorm on my shelf because their light blues really complement each other, while Hot Shot's dark red contrasts Rotorstorm's pink really well.

Beast Hunters Skystalker really isn't a very good toy, or at least my copy isn't. When I handle him, I can see how everything was supposed to work, but pretty much everything from the waist back is a floppy mess. And it's really a shame, because...well, just look at him! It's really rare you see two light blues contrasted against each other like this, but on Skystalker, combined with all the white and silver, it just looks great. The little white flecks marblized into the light blue wings are a great touch. He really looks like the legendary ice monster that he was meant to be.

Image

The colour scheme that Hasbro used for Titans Return Blurr just baffled me. Not that it was ugly, just super boring and monochrome. Takara went in exactly the opposite direction and made this super high-contrast beauty. The funny thing is that just a few years earlier the two companies had done the exact opposite, with Hasbro making a very bright, high-contrast Blurr as a repaint of the Drift mold and Takara going for a super sedate cartoony palate. I ran into this thing at a convention and paid...decidedly more than I should have for it, probably, but I'm a big fan. The robot mode is nice and dynamic, the vehicle is very retro-futuristic and the semi-open cockpit makes for one of the line's best uses of the Headmaster gimmick.

Beast Wars Spittor is such a squat little weirdo. Barrel-chested, with short legs and ridiculous, double-elbowed arms, and that face...he feels like even more of a creepy-crawly swamp creature in robot mode than in beast mode! The beast mode is a real winner too, mind you. Great sculpting, though it gets lost a bit in the trans-blue. He's a pretty darn poseable little guy, and even in beast mode he can do a lot of "jumping around" poses. But the long arms and big hands in robot mode are my favourite part...super expressive. He's definitely one of the best BW toys that no one remembers because he wasn't in the show.

(As much as this breaks from the theme of this post, I'd love to track down the green Diver or the red with gold barcode tattoos "Transmetal" Euro release one day.)

Dark Scream, on the other hand, rescued another BW unknown from the "destined to be forgotten" pile by reusing his body for one of RiD's man cast. Though honestly, Nightglider's got nothing on this guy. The light blue and grey with gold chrome is a much better combination than the original's overwhelming mess of blaze orange. And he's a really good example of why Beast Wars' philosophy of "just use ball joints everywhere!" made for some of the most dynamic little figures the franchise has ever seen.

Image

Generations Scourge! I remember this toy being super hard to come by. I imported this one from the US, and don't think I ever saw one on shelves. I'm glad I did because I basically don't even remember what G1 Scourge looked like anymore unless I really stop to think about it -- this design has totally supplanted it in my memory. Scourge's animation model is silly and not especially threatening, and it turns into a slipper. But this guy, with his much more geometric robot mode and the flying wing jet mode? This guy, I can get behind. And also, shocker, it comes with fully modern articulation.

Viper's just a fairly solid little toy. Nothing remarkable about it really, fairly middle of the road as far as the Legends from that era go. The colours really elevate the mold for me, though. I own Powerglide but I can't even remember the last time I handled him other than to dust...mostly he just stands on a shelf with the rest of the Cybertron Seven, looking vaguely sad as he gets outshone by the other six. Viper, though? Viper I pick up, pose and transform regularly. But sadly, he's a lot "stiffer" than the guy standing beside him or the two Beast-era guys above.

I've loved the Cyberjets since the 90s, and G2 Skyjack was my favourite toy for a while when I was a kid, until over-used ball joints turned him into a ragdoll that couldn't stand. Now that I own versions of all three, I feel comfortable saying that the F-117 is the weakest of the three Cyberjets by a pretty wide margin, but I'm still a fan of the mold and I think Universe Air Raid here has the best colours of the bunch. Sadly, the maroon bits are made from what is probably the softest plastic I've ever encountered on a Transformer, and every time I transform it, I feel like I'm going to tear the toy in half. :(

Image

Basics (or Scouts or Legends or Cores or whatever they decide to call them two years from now in the next rename) are probably my favourite size class. Cute and super fun to mess around with.

Image

BOOM.

User avatar
Clay
Articles: 0
Posts: 7128
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Location: Murray, KY

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:13 pm

Warcry wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 4:55 am
Gib Paralyzer plz.

*grabby hands*

My admittedly foggy recollection is that those guys were briefly clearanced for blowout prices when FubPub lost the license, but by the time I heard that was a thing they were already gone. I'm hoping that the new Kingdom Waspinator mold gets tarted up as some of these guys in Selects sets eventually. I really don't know what's going on with the red/silver/blue one, but Paralyzer, Skywasp? and Literally Just Put Bumblebee's Head On Me Already are all very eye-catching.
Out of curiosity, I had a look on ebay for them, and they seem to still be readily available for about the price I paid for them (along with some comically over-priced listings), and even divvied up individually instead of having to buy all four in one go (though I can recommend all four easily, aside from the aforementioned foot tolerances). They are still a better value than what I paid for Siege Ratbat. Have a look:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?campid= ... olid=20004
The other day I was looking at my shelves and started thinking about colours.
I've been thinking about colors and color complements lately as well, but in a different way. I'll try to get pics taken and articulate my thoughts in a few days.

Have you tried clear nail polish on Skyjack's ball joints? It usually takes less than you would think to tighten things back up.

And yeah, for some reason there are lot of folk in the fandom that seem to think that ankle tilts were only invented in 2019 or something. I don't understand that.

2010 Scourge is still one of the best transformers they've ever made, is my honest opinion. Top ten, easily.

User avatar
Warcry
Articles: 0
Posts: 13732
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 4:10 am
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:00 am

Clay wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:13 pm
Out of curiosity, I had a look on ebay for them, and they seem to still be readily available for about the price I paid for them (along with some comically over-priced listings), and even divvied up individually instead of having to buy all four in one go (though I can recommend all four easily, aside from the aforementioned foot tolerances). They are still a better value than what I paid for Siege Ratbat. Have a look:
Huh. You know what? That's totally reasonable for sealed convention exclusives. I don't think I've ever even bothered to look because every other BotCon exclusive I've ever looked up was 300% more expensive than I'd be willing to pay for it. Thanks for the tip!

I have no desire to own five of the things no matter how good they all look, but I definitely just bought myself a Paralyzer.
Clay wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:13 pm
Have you tried clear nail polish on Skyjack's ball joints? It usually takes less than you would think to tighten things back up.
Oh, he's long gone at this point. I've fixed a lot of loose joints in my day but Skyjack was in another league...I seem to remember the knee joints were so worn that his lower legs literally couldn't attach at all anymore by the end. This was over 20 years ago now, though.

An MOSC Skyjack is one of the things I'm going to be looking to pick up this year, I think.
Clay wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:13 pm
And yeah, for some reason there are lot of folk in the fandom that seem to think that ankle tilts were only invented in 2019 or something. I don't understand that.
I could understand it if a fan only started collecting around Thrilling 30 or Combiner Wars, when cost-cutting really hit hard and a lot of "nice to have" joints started to become rare. But ankle, waist and wrist joints were the rule for most of the Universe and Generations 2010 figures, weren't they? I don't have all of mine out right now to compare but my memory is that the figures had those joints unless their transformation prevented it, which is about the same standard as today's figures follow.
Clay wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:13 pm
2010 Scourge is still one of the best transformers they've ever made, is my honest opinion. Top ten, easily.
I don't like Scourge quite that much but he's a comfortably above average figure for sure. He's definitely one of the better full-on reimaginings that they've done.


And it's fitting that I just bought a Waspy redeco because I snapped some pictures of green figures a few days ago and guess who's up first?

Image

If I'm being honest, I do still prefer the original mold over the Generations one. The robot mode is super poseable (in a 'mess of ball joints' sort of way), the stockier proportions are nice and the missile launcher is a fun feature. The swappable heads are probably my favourite feature. I have to admit that 10th Anniversary Waspinator doesn't see much daylight, though, because Buzz Saw just blows him out of the water in every way possible. The Thrilling 30 toy is a bit of a brick in comparison, though it looks absolutely amazing and does a much better job of filling that Waspinator-shaped spot on a shelf. And the wing-flapping gimmick makes it feel like it belongs with the 90s Beast Wars stuff in a way that the Kingdom toys, in spite of being very cool in their own right, just don't.

Image

Insecticon was my first Beast Wars toy and also one of the last Transformers I bought as a kid. I loved him in about the same way as I loved Skyjack, because ball joints were just mind-blowing when your previous point of reference is something like Powermaster Prime. He was a Transformer, but with joints like a G.I. Joe! Of course, none of that was this Insecticon...the one in this picture, I picked up MOSC at a convention five or six years ago. My childhood one fared better than Skyjack though, and eventually wound up as custom fodder. Because why have one Insecticon when you can have two in different colours? I know it's a simple toy but it's one of my favourites from the 90s.

...that leaves poor Obsidian with a tough act to follow, doesn't it? He's actually pretty great, though. I know that fans of the show aren't super happy with it because it looks very little like the CGI model, but this is a creative little figure. The automorph is more satisfying than most, the rotor-missiles are fun and I love how his cockpit is jointed to move around like a head. It's a toy with lots of personality! Just, uh, not quite the personality that fans of the character might want.

So it actually turns out that Hoist has two tough acts to follow, and even though he's both wonderfully poseable and gloriously chunky, I think the two Basics beat him out. Not so much because there's anything wrong with him (there's not, he's great!) but because he is super difficult to photograph. It really does look like he's three different shades of green in every shot I've ever taken of the guy, when in real life he definitely isn't.

Image

It wouldn't be "green day" without Acid Storm, would it? Albeit this one is a bit more ambitious than the Siege version of the character. I suspect the Siege one is a lot more fun though, since "pointing his guns out at 45 degrees" is about the limit of that old Classics Seeker's poseability. I know some people point at the Earthrise mold and say "it's just an OSKO of Classics LOL", but I keep this guy beside ER Starscream on a shelf and the difference is just mind-blowing considering they really do look like the same toy.

I think Sky Shadow manages to simultaneously have one of the most attractive-looking beast modes in the line, while also being the least-impressive Fuzor of the bunch. To be honest, if he wasn't marketed as a Fuzor I would have just assumed he was some obscure species of winged lizard that I didn't know about. There's basically nothing "buggy" about him aside from the wings. But he's a badass winged lizard so I don't care. The transformation is pretty darn creative too, but the best thing about him is actually his tech spec bio.

Oh, and then there's that other guy. Don't mind him, he's just hanging out in the back, quietly being the best Triplechanger mold Hasbro has ever made. I like how Sandstorm wears the mold just a bit better, but Springer is amazing in his own right (and both of these guys go on the "best reinventions" list with Scourge).

Image

You know what? Universe Hound is honestly pretty meh. But the soft-kid-friendly lines of the figure suit Hound so much more than the heavily-armoured HALO-adjacent vehicles that the last couple have turned into. I really can't imagine ever wanting to replace this guy. But that's at least partly because I just don't care much about Hound at all.

Snapper is another of my childhood BW toys but he made much less of an impression than Insecticon did. Probably because Insecticon is a dynamic little action figure and Snapper is a dork who can barely stand with hands that are only suited to playing the piano. Turtle mode is definitely his strong suit. The painted shell looks great.

Manterror is a hidden gem. He looks like a horror movie bug monster, has the same "ball joints everywhere" super poseability as the best of the Beasties, and he has giant scythes for hands. What more could you want? I find myself compulsively posing him climbing stuff because the claws make him so good at it.

Image

Cosmos! I think Clay brought him up up a few pages back. Turning from a frisbee into a functional humanoid robot is impressive enough. The fact that they managed to give this guy fairly normal proportions (as opposed to the obesity of the original or the monkey arms of the 2008 attempt) is even more impressive.

I actually like Little Brawn more than I like Big Brawn. I really like the bigger toy as Outback, so I'm not quite sure why Brawn doesn't do it for me. Maybe I just don't connect with the colours? The little one wins me over with its transformation, and I'll definitely catch myself mindlessly flipping it back and forth from robot to truck ten times a minute when I'm distracted.

User avatar
Clay
Articles: 0
Posts: 7128
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Location: Murray, KY

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Wed Jul 21, 2021 4:00 am

Spent a good chunk of the weekend completely emptying a cabinet to redo everything that was in it. The catalyst was the Master Made chibi devastator finally arriving in the mail Friday. The Combiner Wars Devvy and its undersized knockoff, the knockoff Gravity Builder, and Toyworld Constructor had been hiding in a tote for the last six months or a year, depending.

It's not all Devastators, though. I put in a few guests with complementary colors. This is what I was alluding to earlier when I was talking about color palettes, albeit on a much larger scale. It's kind of like a "wall of sound" type of song, but visually.

https://imgur.com/a/120Pkzd (8 pics)

Image

User avatar
Warcry
Articles: 0
Posts: 13732
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 4:10 am
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:40 am

I didn't even know there were that many Devastators. And I don't think I own a single (green) Constructicon, but that's an impressive display. A "wall of colour", really eye-catching. The display case actually catches my eye just as much as the Constructicons and friends, though. I feel like it compliments the colour of the figures nicely. It wouldn't be half as neat on a metal/glass shelf.

I should think about something wood when I finally move to a place with more room for shelves.

Meanwhile, I feel obliged to do some more Cyberjetposting today.
Warcry wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:00 am
An MOSC Skyjack is one of the things I'm going to be looking to pick up this year, I think.
That didn't take long. :) I'd actually been looking for a while, but finally spied one in Canada for a reasonable price.

(If only I'd had the foresight to pick them up on clearance in the 90s for 2 for $5...)

Image

I feel like there's a really narrow cross-section of fans who have a genuine affection for the G2 toyline. There used to be a lot of hipstery "ironic" appreciation for the colour schemes, and I still see a lot of people who only enjoy the different spins on G1 characters. But how many people actually enjoy G2 on its own merits? Judging by the small-to-nonexistent number of people I see pining for new versions of Rotor Force or the Laser Rods, probably not that many.

But I grew up with this stuff. That green wire-frame (or the gold 'explosion' on earlier toys) on the black background? Those 90s badges that Hasbro never want to use on anything anymore? Those scream "Transformers!" to me, at least as loudly as the gold/silver late-G1 boxes, the Beast Wars "eye" or the grid pattern that this site has always borrowed for its background. It's a thing of beauty.

(Maybe less so on the bigger carded figures like the combiner team leaders, Seekers, Dinobots, etc., which you practically need a chainsaw to open. I still have nightmares about those.)

Image

I had a Skyjack as a kid, but that one's long gone now. He's who got this whole thing started, though.

I've had Universe Air Raid and Wind Sheer since they came out. I clearly remember buying them in a Zellers back when I was in university. They're both very nice-looking, but compared to the G2 originals, there's some clear sacrifices. They only came with one missile each instead of the two each that the original toys had (the wiki says the pack came with three, but mine definitely didn't and all the MOSC pictures I can find on Google show only two in the bubble). And comparing them to the originals, it feels like some parts have moved onto different sprues...the landing gear is the same colour as the missiles now, and parts of Air Raid that were hard black plastic on Skyjack are now cast in the softer plastic. And the soft plastic is really soft on these guys, so while they look great, Air Raid in particular feels like a bootleg in hand.

I think I found Space Case at a convention a five or six years back. He was loose but he's in great shape, except for the giant paint chip on his forehead that seems like it's probably inevitable on this toy because of how little clearance there is between the head and the rotating jet cockpit when you transform it.

(And it just goes to show how fluid a thing memory is, because I barely remember getting Space Case five years ago. But I distinctly remember walking out of the store with Air Raid and Wind Sheer eighteen years ago, stopping at a mall bench and packing them in my backpack. I also very clearly remember the two or three pegs' worth of Cyberjets that my Toys'R'Us had for what seemed like forever, 26 years ago in 1995...looking at them every time I went into the store and thinking about getting Space Case and Hooligan to go with Skyjack, but always having something else I wanted to buy more.)

I was very happy to find that Strafe's head was unpainted when I opened him up. Which is to say that I actually had no idea what Strafe's robot mode even looked like when I bought him. In spite of, yes, buying an MOSC toy that had a picture of said robot mode on both sides of the packaging. I was also pleasantly surprised by the shade of blue he uses, and how well it contrasts the green. This is probably my favourite of the three different body types. In robot mode anyway...

Image

...because all three bodies have wicked jet modes.

I have the occasional bout of madness in which I think about going full Cyberjet completest and buying all thirteen different decos, but I think I'd have a hard time convincing myself to pay for Delta Seeker, X-Gunner, G2 Air Raid or BotCon Ricochet. I'll probably find a Hooligan to complete the original set one day, though.

User avatar
Skyquake87
Protoform
Articles: 0
Posts: 3887
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:34 am

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Skyquake87 » Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:33 pm

I think I have Delta Seeker and X-Gunner - the Robot Masters two pack lads? Horrible clashing colours, but strangely appealing. I agree, the Cyberjets are pretty awesome. Although I think the toys had their sides switched as Strafe (the Camo one?) had Decepticon symbols on his tailfins. Or at least the one I did had. You could tell they came out at a time Hasbro wasn't really paying attention; sales on Generation 2 had clearly been bad enough to drop the subtitle in the last year. I do really like that swirly grid pattern and the dynamic logo though!

It's funny to think that Generation 2 was a bit a flop because it didn't bring anything new to the table until late in the day, when you've a later line like RiD that is a bit of a similar beast.

Although I no longer own him, that Laser Prime toy is still killer after all these years. And here's why I no longer own him: Car Robots Black Convoy.

Image
Image

Laser Prime was awesome, but the colours on this are just fantastic. I do kind of miss the electronics, but at least I don't have to worry about battery corrosion, so there's that. Packs in pretty much every G2 gimmick and is just so much fun to play with. Love that battle platform with all the sh*t you can shoot. Brilliant!

User avatar
Clay
Articles: 0
Posts: 7128
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Location: Murray, KY

Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Sun Aug 01, 2021 5:48 am

Warcry wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:40 am
The display case actually catches my eye just as much as the Constructicons and friends, though. I feel like it compliments the colour of the figures nicely. It wouldn't be half as neat on a metal/glass shelf.
It wasn't too expensive, I don't think... but I've had it for ten years or so. I got it more for the utility of keeping dust off, and it does very well in that role.
I have the occasional bout of madness in which I think about going full Cyberjet completest and buying all thirteen different decos, but I think I'd have a hard time convincing myself to pay for Delta Seeker, X-Gunner, G2 Air Raid or BotCon Ricochet. I'll probably find a Hooligan to complete the original set one day, though.
I didn't even know there was a 13th Cyberjet! I thought I was 9 for 12, but I guess I'm 9 for 13. I know I'm missing a couple of second wave G2 redecos, and the Space Case that came with Universe Soundwave, which I would have placed as the rarest before I learned about the Botcon one.

Part of the reason I've never hunted that Space Case two pack is that the Universe bundle is, as you say, not the best quality, but the Robotmasters two pack isn't a whole lot better. Those were the last uses of the molds too, come to think of it.
Skyquake87 wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:33 pm
It's funny to think that Generation 2 was a bit a flop because it didn't bring anything new to the table until late in the day, when you've a later line like RiD that is a bit of a similar beast.
I tend to think of Car Robots as the inverse of Beast Wars 2, really. More G2 redecos, and the Cybertrons are vehicles and the Destrons are animals, reversed from BW2. In both cases though, and something G2 didn't do, they lead with both a new show and new toys spearheading the line (although Car Robots has more new-mold figures than BW2 by a fair bit). So, yeah... leading with new figures and backing them up with a media presence seems to work better than what G2 proper did, which was to back load the new stuff.

Anyway, here are more walls of color. None of these are permanent displays like the Devastator cabinet, but more just to show the effect I've been thinking of.

Red, white, and black. Metroplex, Six Gun, 2007 movie Wreckage, and a couple of the Aerialbots and Technobots would fit here too, but I didn't dig them out. This is probably the most common color palette for TF figures, given all the combinations that could be used:
Image

Yellow and black:
Image

Blue and white. Battletrap, Overlord, and some others could have gone here, but I didn't think of them until I was putting things up:
Image

Red and black:
Image

Tans and browns. I should have put ROTF Breakaway and the 2004 walmart Ruination here, but ah well. Lots of movie toys here on account of "desert" redecos being a theme of repaints at the time:
Image


These are all common color selections for Transformers, it seems. I think it's a different effect than a shelf of different toys of the same character, probably because of the variance of outlines, or with a shelf full of black repaints since everything's so dark all the details get lost. If I had the Armada recolor of transmetal Terrorsaur in green and yellow/orange, I could make a shelf with him, Roadbusters, Hoists, and Bludgeons as well.

I like it, though. It makes a stronger visual impact that just having a mosaic of colors with characters grouped by series or teams.

Post Reply