Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Figures, collectables, customs and collecting.
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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:44 pm

Sades wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:23 pm
All right, this is the excuse I needed to go dig out the BW toys I've been talking about digging out for months.

Time to WEIRD OUT THE NEIGHBOURS BY PLAYING WITH TOYS ON THE FRONT LAWN \o/
Do it! If the neighbours don't think you're weird you're not trying hard enough.

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:38 pm
The brilliant graphic design work that accenutated 'Beast Wars' over Transformers - it felt new.
True story: the Transformers branding was so subtle that I didn't even realize they WERE Transformers at first, until I looked at the cross-sells and saw characters named Optimus and Megatron. But tricking kids younger than me into not realizing the line was related to the definitely unpopular G2 probably helped a lot with those younger kids giving it a chance.

Re: Beast Machines, I feel like the fandom's burning, collective hate for the line has faded a lot as time went on but it's amazing how loathed this toyline was in its day. I missed out on seeing the line first-hand since it fell squarely in the timeframe where my parents were embarrassed that I still liked toys, but before I could drive by myself to a store to look at them. I wound up picking up a few at the now-sadly-defunct local toy clearance outlet circa 2003, though. And I hated them! I like them a lot more now though. I think the diversity of the Movie designs helped me retroactively appreciate these toys...albeit not until after I got rid of some of them. :(

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:38 pm
The Maximals
For a line that almost no one seems to like, it's amazing how much some of the toys go for! Hammerstrike is a figure I mean to pick up one day but he's rare and expensive for a non-show nobody. Battle Unicorn too, IIRC.

Longhorn is my boy! And also a great example of what I didn't "get" about BM originally. Most Transformers are designed with a cool robot in mind and the other mode is their secondary mode. But these guys? Their beast modes are their "real" selves and the robots are the alt-mode. Once that clicked for me, all of the line's design choices suddenly made sense. Longhorn is a fun bull. Way more dynamic in beast mode than most Beast Wars quadrupeds. In robot mode...less so, but still neat.
Thanks to the Universe toy that came out a few years later, he's also a member of the exclusive "non-show toys who got new bodies" club along with Cybershark, Spittor and Iguanus, and that earns him a special place in my heart as well. I love the idea that these random dudes are off having life-altering adventures of their own (and of course, me being me I'm also trying to write said adventures...)

Buzzsaw is neat. The spring is an odd choice but he cuts a mean silouhette in both modes and he has a real novel tansformation. He's maybe also a member of the same club as Longhorn and co. too, if you go with the assumption that he's the same guy as BW Buzz Saw and they just called him a Maximal because they didn't want a third faction hanging around.

I don't think I see Geckobot in your crew but there's another good example of how much they prioritized the beast modes. Lots and lots of colour in a very interesting beast mode, but a robot mode that's almost monochrome.

I own the Universe version of Night Slash Cheetor. He's super neat. I enjoy the gimmicks and I like how tall and lanky the robot is, but what I enjoy the most is the vicous-looking cat mode.

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:38 pm
The Vehicons
I used to have Mirage and Scavenger. I HATED them. Don't have them anymore and actually really wish I did. Actually I bought a replacement Scavenger last week and should be getting it in a week or two. Never owned Spy Streak but I do have Universe Fireflight and I really like how the one arm can either be a huge shield or a nasty, intimidating claw. Obsidian is probably my favourite of the Basics I've owned, because the helicopter mode is so lively and colourful.

I'd love to pick up the RiD repaints of those four one day too.

I'm pretty sure the only bigger Vehicons I own are the Universe versions of Skywarp and Strika. Skywarp is still my preferred version of the character after all these years (and Deluxe Jetstorm was basically the "Seeker" of the early 2000s, yeah?), but Strika is probably my least-favourite Vehicon. The gimmick is nice but both modes are kinda ugly.

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:38 pm
The Dinobots
This group was such a weird mishmash of designs! You had a couple first-year BW toys, a few Transmetals, a few BW Neo toys...They don't really feel like a group that "belongs" together at all but I still like a lot of them as individuals. Dinotron is charming. Terranotron is shiny (and I love the mold, as I said before).Airraptor is super eye-catching and colourful. Striker is really unique but that's mostly because he's shamelessly parading around in a stereotypical Indigenous dressup that would get Hasbro in super hot water if they released it today. He's not a great toy though I do like the stegosaurus mode.

I honestly think Triceratron is the worst Transformer I've ever owned. Mine is the ugly as sin grey Universe version, which doesn't help, but the mold isn't much fun in general, IMO. Having half a triceratops on one shoulder wasn't a great design choice.

I'd love to track down Rapticon and Magmatron one day!

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:19 am

Lines like Beast Machines that don't do well at retail frequently become sort after down the line. I suspect why prices have crept up recently. I'll have to take a punt on Geckobot, next time one pops up. I've resisted so far, as he's always a bit pricey now for a basic, but I think constant mentions of him within this thread are wearing down my resistance..!

It's funny, at one point, I was going to sell on all my Beast Machines figures (I go through routine prunings to stop things getting out of hand), but every time I pick them up I'm reminded how great they are. The designs, the mix of translucent plastics and chrome, the fit and finish... all incredible. They've got the sort of level of detail that makes modern toylines weep and still feel fresh to this day.

When I go back through my collection, it is the stuff from 1996 - 2006 that I most like. Beast Wars, Beast Machines, RiD, the original Universe line, Armada (for the BW repaints!), Energon, Alternators/ Binaltech, the early reissues, Cybertron... that's when Transformers to me felt at it's most creative and vibrant. Whilst I do enjoy the Classics ethos that has taken root, it has lead to perpetual navel-gazing on the part of the brand. I guess that kind of taps into what Sades and Clay were discussing. The movies were a huge shot in the arm (vaccine reference there; topical) and lead to another burst of interesting designs and ideas, but even that is now getting recycled (although I really do appreciate Studio Series' consistent design / scaling). I love the stuff from the '80s... but I do wish we could move on from it and do something new again. I kind of liked the days when G1 stuff was drip fed as an addition to whatever mainline was about, rather than the flood it's become since Combiner Wars.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:51 pm

Universe 2008 (or 2.0)!
Last year (or possibly the year before), I was curious about some of the more unloved denizens of the Universe line. These figures had been cluttering up eBay in triple figures for a very long time indeed, having been obvious filler to meet demand created by the 2007 movie. So it was that I housed these daft chunky buggers:

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I've probably had more fun with these than 10 years worth of Generations figures. I've babbled on about Countdown for a while on this forum, but he is a brilliant, brilliant toy. A huge ICBM launcher (I think - looks like one of those things gets Kim Jong Un all sweaty, anyway) , he transforms into this hench looking dude with interchangeable weapons (a claw and a hammer) and does noises (although what, I don't know as I've never put batteries in him). Colours are ace and I like him so much, he's replaced the Micromaster version in my collection.

The green tank lad Overload has the best colours on this mould, all vibrant greens like a violent forest. He has so many guns! The two huge slabs on his arms pop open for more guns and he's so shooty I'm surprised he's an Autobot.

Tread Bolt (such a boring generic name it's no wonder it's been slapped on a bunch of nobodies over the years) is a nice repaint of the old Classics Jetfire mould, which even by the standards of the time looks very creaky indeed. He makes up for it by having loads of guns (again - what is it with the Autobots, they're always armed to the teeth and we're meant to believe they're the good guys?!) and looking a bit like Dirge.

The two smaller fellas are from the 'Warriors From Three Worlds' box set. Scattorshot is great. Repugnus looks silly in robot mode and has an unfortunate gimmick which makes him into a knobhead. Sadly, mine has a busted jaw. The plastics just disintegrated on me one day. Boo.

On the Decepticon front, we've got Darkwing looking like a flying Dairy Milk chocolate bar (and does the transformation noise!). He's a pretty basic bot in terms of design and transformation, but I really like him. Certainly better than the POTP toy in my view anyway, even if this is very obviously evil Silverbolt. I'd love to check out Sky Jack is it? The red and black G2 styled repaint of this mould. That also looks cool.

Storm Cloud is a surprisingly effective repaint of Universe Powerglide. The figure's a bit of a mess. The skinny, too-short arms, tiny waist and thighs are ill-matched to his huge fat head and enormous engine boobs. It's a shame, because I can see that some real thought was put into making this more than the usual Seeker affair (or, indeed, the usual barely concealed robot on the underside of a jet - see above). The alt-mode does make up for the disappointing robot mode. It looks brilliant, all heavy and evil looking. What an absolute tank of a plane this is.

Onslaught is great, but looks like he's dressed for cricket and American Football all at the same time. I like him, but he looks a bit awkward and constantly crouched in robot mode. Or like he's got the Cybertronian equivalent of rickets. The SWAT vehicle alt mode is great, but I don't like the thin and reedy cannons, which easily detach. Could also have used some silver paint for the wheel hubs.

Heavy Load and Drill Bit are fun. The colours are a bit murky and off - the orangeish yellow is great, but the weird mix of olive and pale green saps some of the life from the mould. Excellent headsculpt though. Like a lot of toys of this era, he's sadled with an arm that can't pose well, thanks to the lack of wrist swivel. Although his right arm looks daft, the left one just looks awkward, no matter what you do with it. I wish Drill Bit's colours complimented Heavy Load's a bit more. I'm so bored of seeing searing apple green on Decepticon construction vehicles.

Ransak GTS has an awesome set of colours on the go and turns into a funny looking bike. The robot mode is a bit uncomfortable looking, but he's great to play with. Weapon is rubbish though. It looks like a tuning fork gone wrong.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:53 pm

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:19 am
Lines like Beast Machines that don't do well at retail frequently become sort after down the line. I suspect why prices have crept up recently.
I think you're right. No one wants to buy them, so no one bothers selling them, and eventually the very limited supply sinks to a level where it meets the very limited demand and the prices go up a bit.

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:19 am
When I go back through my collection, it is the stuff from 1996 - 2006 that I most like. Beast Wars, Beast Machines, RiD, the original Universe line, Armada (for the BW repaints!), Energon, Alternators/ Binaltech, the early reissues, Cybertron... that's when Transformers to me felt at it's most creative and vibrant.
I passed on most of my UT toys a few years ago to my sister's kids when they were young, and I'm definitely starting to miss a few of them. Not all of them by any stretch, but there are definitely a few molds that I wish I still had. Mostly Basic-sized stuff, come to think of it. Omnicons and Terrorcons from Energon in particular but also some little guys from Cybertron too. Happily, all those molds got redecoed and re-released so many times that I should be able to get something both fresh and familiar at the same time.

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:51 pm
Universe 2008 (or 2.0)!
The only one of these that I own is Onslaught. He's one of my favourite toys and even though I frequently shuffle out the contents of my shelves, he's pretty much lived there for 13 years. I love the ridiculously over-armoured look personally, and this is how I visualize the character in my head now. However, you're entirely right about the cannons. Mine fell out so often, so I eventually had to drill 'em, put in a pin and glue them in place. Somehow, I managed to do that without destroying the electronics!

Powerglide is so, so bland and boring. Silverbolt is big and simple but I liked him when I had him. Storm Cloud and Dreadwing look SO much cooler, though.

Repugnus (or one of his mold-mates) have been on my to-find list for a long time now! And your past proselytization of Countdown has landed him on that list as well. He looks great! I bet it would be fun to team him up with the Micromaster Countdown that came with Omega Supreme, too.

Longhorn and Buzzsaw were in your Beast Machines pic, but here they are in robot mode too! I can never decide if Buzzsaw has a weird right hand made out of bug legs, or if he's supposed to have a really short right arm and be carrying a weapon of some sort. The "weapon" doesn't come out of the "hand" very easily, but then Longhorn is molded to be permanently holding his little clubs, so that doesn't necessarily prove anything with this line.

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Spittor's colours appear to have given my camera fits. I love this toy though. Or more so, I love how much of an evolution it was on the original. The first Spittor was a short, squat, kinda non-threatening little dork. A charming toy, but one that no Maximal was going to be intimidated by. But this guy...he keeps the same proportions, but the twisted, nasty deformities that come along with his Transmetallization takes him from "non-threatening" to "horrible mutated orc". Just absolutely monstrous in the best way possible.

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Surf Monkey! Out of all the Optimus Primals I own this one probably transforms the least, but paradoxically he looks the most different in his two modes. This guy came cheap from a collectors' shop with only one mace, but he's in surprisingly good shape considering it was only $20 or something. It is super tough taking a good picture of a Transmetal outside on a sunny day, BTW.

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Oh, speaking of Optimus Primals...has he ever gotten a bad toy? I own five Primals and they're all among the best toys in the lines they came from. The Universe one was my first, though, and the wild colours make a good argument for it still being my favourite even if the engineering is obviously a whole lot more primitive than even the Transmetal mold that's only a couple years newer.

(And yes, I know I'm supposed to flip the monkey head around in robot mode but they didn't paint the chest plate on this version of the toy, and I really like how different this makes him look from the other toys I own based on the season one design.)

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by zigzagger » Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:23 am

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:38 pm

The Dinobots
You meanie, you have a Rapticon! :( I'm one of those odd ones that actually likes the original use of the mold, even if the arms are admittedly a confusing mess. But I agree, the TM2 Dinobot mold wears these colors so much better. That shiny cobalt blue is doing something for me, and the detailing on the face is picked out much better on Rapticon over Dinobot The Sequel.

And I dig Magmatron, in all his cod-pieced magnificence. He looks impressive, and imposing, and... okay, now I can't stop focusing on the cod piece. Kidding aside, this is one I've been eyeing for some time now, but I'm debating whether or not it would be worthwhile purchase. Can't say it'd be a practical one; Magmatron ain't cheap.
Warcry wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:12 am

I don't think I've ever successfully transformed it without having something pop off.
That's because it's impossible! I suspect transforming Transmetal 2 Cybershark correctly is analogous to solving the puzzle box from Hellraiser; get it right and you'll be whisked off to some hellish dimension.

You said you had a Sky-Byte, so you go first*. ;)

* - Do I really need to provide a qualifier that this is all in good fun?

Warcry wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:12 am
I also only own the redeco of this guy. And also courtesy of Clay, ironically. The Boba Fett-coloured Universe toy has so much personality of its own that I always forget how pretty the original was. I cannot imagine any universe where I have room for two of them though, especially in the manta ray mode (which, as you say, is super swooshable).
You mentioned earlier in this thread that your son has it now, and I betcha he thinks it's super swooshable too! The pizza-shooter aside, Hasbro/Kenner were definitely onto to something for sure. You look at that big ass, shiny manta ray, and you are overcome with a compulsive urge to just swoosh around it.

I do like the airbrushed detailing on Universe Depth Charge's wings. Might even prefer them over the original.
Warcry wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:12 am

Ironically I think Frostbite looks a lot less evil than his Maximal counterpart did. If you told me one was a good guy and one was a bad guy and I didn't know, I'm sure I'd get it wrong.

'Eeeeey, thanks again for the segue! :p


Transmetal 2 Jawbreaker

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But, yes, I would've gotten it wrong, if not for the whole Maximals being mammals thing. Jawbreaker certainly isn't doing a good job convincing us otherwise with that bloodied saw-blade protruding from his back, either (seriously, why else is it red?!).

And I love it! The hyena is another personal favorite beast mode. It's gruesomely sculpted, and detailed to the gods. Like TM2 Scourge, Jawbreaker's has the kind of sculpting that tells a tale; he's a mean, vicious, and villainous-looking puppers. This thing looks like it is about to maul someone just for shits and giggles.

The robot mode is the comparatively weaker mode, but I am also of the mind that it's okay to enjoy things--some things, dammit--while being aware of its very notable flaws. The hyper-detailing and sculpting from Jawbreaker's hyena mode does not translate quite as well in robot mode, somewhat to the detriment of it.

I'm just not able to pull off too many dynamic poses, and while the spinny saw-blade gimmick is fun, it is a slight hindrance (though not at Cybershark levels). That said, plenty of the hyena's mode's gnarliness is present; Jawbreaker clearly has seen or done some heinous shit in his life, and that sword is super frickin' metal.


Transmetal 2 Tripredacus Agent -- Uh huh, whatever, for simplicity's sake, it's Ravage. You know it's Ravage, and I know it's Ravage.

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In any case, why I find this deco more appealing over Transmetal 2 Cheetor's, is that Ravage's monochromatic palette has this kind of, for lack of a better description, noir chic quality to it. It's stylish in a way, yes, but it creates a mood and theme that just wasn't captured when Cheetor wore this mold.

The color combination is kind of posh, which is so uncharacteristic, but it vibes with me so much. And that deliberate splash of gold on Ravage's right (or left in monster kitty mode) arm ties it all together. It draws the attention, as if to say, "watch out for the right arm". This is a very good look.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Sades » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:46 am

I didn't go outside yesterday because it was like -16, or today because I was busy, BUT I did take a pic or two a little bit ago of one of the toys that does still live on my shelf- RiD Cryotek. :swirly:


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I don't have a lot to write- he's big, he's blue, he purty.


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The cat agrees.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:08 pm

@ Warcry

I've always thought of Buzzsaws right arm as a freakish claw, a bit like Fuzor Quickstrike. I also have Universe Optimus Primal and he is great. I like the murky mixed up paint colours going on. And I like that you have him monkey face out. Nice.

I don't have Spittor anymore, but do have Slapper from RiD. I liked the red better.

@ Zigzagger
I was very lucky with Rapticon. He was tucked up in a bag at the bottom of a huge bin of movie toys no one wanted at TFNation. Same year I found my beloved Fox Kids TM Cheetor. Think they cost me about a tenner each, which was pleasing.

...I had not noticed Magmatron's crotch. I can't stop noticing it now. Thanks for that!

@Sades
More love for Cryotek! Kind of wish I'd kept mine... but then I had only picked him up because I couldn't find a TM2 Megatron. I also like that the cat agrees he's pretty.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Denyer » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:46 am

They're mostly newer figures and this is probably geo-blocked apart from UK viewers, but Metalhead on Ranganation (basically an audience participation comedy/news show) has a bunch of TFs out as lockdown therapy in this episode --

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m ... -episode-4

-- which is a nice bit of normalisation for collecting and actually playing with stuff. He says, having just bought Battle Armour He-Man as a desk toy because the rest of the Origins figures are calcifying into displays on various shelves already and there's no way that BA He-Man fits into any of them.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:33 pm

BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues. In the UK? Here's some advice.
Ah well.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:35 am

zigzagger wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:23 am
You meanie, you have a Rapticon! :( I'm one of those odd ones that actually likes the original use of the mold, even if the arms are admittedly a confusing mess. But I agree, the TM2 Dinobot mold wears these colors so much better. That shiny cobalt blue is doing something for me, and the detailing on the face is picked out much better on Rapticon over Dinobot The Sequel.
I've always liked the look of Rapticon too, but knowing how much of a mess the mold is (and I do like TM2 Dinobot, but it's a total mess) it's hard to justify paying the prices I've seen him going for. Is Beast Machines the first Transformers line where the last waves were so badly distributed that they wound up being worth a mint on the secondary market?
zigzagger wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:23 am
Transmetal 2 Jawbreaker
This guy just looks like a half-pint mental case. If he'd been on the TV show they would have needed to get Joe Pesci to voice him.

The black and the cool blue contrast super well with each other, and against the red as well. I do think I like Frostbite more than the original deco, but I think that's mostly "I've owned it forever and that's what I'm used to the mold looking like" bias talking. I have to admit that Jawbreaker's colours make the robot mode look a lot better, though. Frostbite has a lot of contrast in beast mode that sort of disappears when you transform him.

I'm not a big fan of the sword if I'm being honest, but this mold has a ton of style.

zigzagger wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:23 am
The color combination is kind of posh, which is so uncharacteristic, but it vibes with me so much. And that deliberate splash of gold on Ravage's right (or left in monster kitty mode) arm ties it all together. It draws the attention, as if to say, "watch out for the right arm". This is a very good look.
I'm actually really surprised that they went with gold chrome and not silver to fit in with the rest of the figure's deco. That would have been the natural choice, right? Especially since G1 Ravage had silver chromed parts. I'm so glad they didn't do that. The gold absolutely makes this figure, IMO.

I'll have to track this guy down one day.

Sades wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:46 am
I didn't go outside yesterday because it was like -16, or today because I was busy, BUT I did take a pic or two a little bit ago of one of the toys that does still live on my shelf- RiD Cryotek. :swirly:
*dragon envy intensifies*

Am I the only one here who doesn't own a Cryotek? :(

I suppose that's what I get for not following the franchise during RiD.

Skyquake87 wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:08 pm
I don't have Spittor anymore, but do have Slapper from RiD. I liked the red better.
As of yesterday I have both! I think Spittor maybe wins out for me by a hair but they contrast each other really nicely. I'm glad I've got both of them.


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Power Pinch here doesn't get enough love. The bug head always looks like a cartoon villain with big angry eyes and a twirly orange moustache to me. My camera doesn't capture it very well but the "black" is actually a smokey translucent plastic, and the colours really pop in person. Love the "scissors" weapon too.

Snarl on the other hand is a bit clunky. The robot mode has lots of kibble that gets in the way, and the beast mode's "lunging" gimmick really doesn't work at all for me. Firing the entire toy as a missile was a neat idea but making it work would have required a spring a whole lot stronger than what safety laws would allow, I think.

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One day I'll stop spamming pics of Transmetal Terrorsaurs, but that day is not today. Armada "Pumpkin Patch" Terrorsaur is my favourite of the bunch. The colours go together super well, which is part of it, but I'm pretty sure my preference is 90% because he has no chrome to worry about chipping.

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Original Flavour is also pretty darn cool.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by zigzagger » Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:20 am

Warcry wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:35 am
Is Beast Machines the first Transformers line where the last waves were so badly distributed that they wound up being worth a mint on the secondary market?
Seems that way, doesn't it. For a time I really wanted that Beast Wars Returns Blackarachnia (Beast Machines in Japan), but holy f*** is that thing ludicrously (and frankly, arbitrarily) priced on the secondary market.

Yes, Blackarachnia is a popular character, but ~400 dollars? For that ****ing mold?! I nabbed the orange and purple Universe deco back in the day, and it's fine, but it's not that fine.
Warcry wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:35 am
Power Pinch and Snarl
Huh. Having the two photographed together like this kind of illustrates my earlier point; the designers had an easier time with those first and second year insectoids over the mammalians. At a glance, Powerpinch just appears to have a "smarter" construction, overall.

But forget that--that orange is fantastic. He's so Halloweeny. And d'awwww, look at that buggy little face! You know what, I think I like Powerpinch. He's really neat!


Okay then, here's some early Beast-era bug love for you:


Tripredacus
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I took all of these pictures at the same time a week or whenever ago, by they way.

Tripredacus looks like it's ALL of the bugs. Just, all of them.

Aesthetically, it's not going to be to everyone's liking; the combined form of Tripredacus is a monstrous, jumbled mishmash of insect parts. From what I've gathered over the years, folks typically get hung up on the bugly-looking arms and the spindly legs.

To me, he looks like some Lovecraftian horror, and those aforementioned quibbles add to the impression that something looks stylistic "off"--but, you know, in a good "this is kinda freaky" sorta way. I love everything about it (pfft, of course I do).

Plus, the three individual figures--Ramhorn, Sea Clamp, and Cicadacon--are pretty solid little dudes. Ramhorn is probably the most compromised of the three--and even then, I adore the rhinoceros beetle form--but Sea Clamp and Cicadacon are a ton of fun.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:32 pm

zigzagger wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:20 am
Tripredacus
Tripredacus gets my vote for one of the most coherent combiners ever. The individual bugs all look like... well, they look like the bugs that they're supposed to look like. The individual robots are all great too. All that sort of ball-jointed, weird looking Beast Wars-sy goodness, and they blend in perfectly with the rest of the contemporary toys. Even Sea Clamp isn't out of place with the likes of Manterror hanging around. I guess what I'm getting at is that the three components have no real 'tells' or compromises for the combined mode. So you'd think that the gestalt would suffer, but no!

As you say, the combined mode is a nightmarish mass of bug parts, and it works. It's not just nicely proportional, but mechanically it's great too. It still has as much articulation as the smaller figures (remember that this was the first TF combiner since, what, the seacons? monstructor?), and the connections are solid - nothing gets loose or falls off. And on top of that, everything's built in. If you've got the individual weapons, those combine together to make a bigger claw, but if not, Ramhorm's arms are still quite functional. Hell, it was even sold as a boxed set so you didn't have to go hunting for individual components.

And all of the above compounds on itself to just make Magnaboss look that much worse by comparison. The contrast is amazing.

But yeah, I love my Tripredacus. It's a testament to what can be done when designers aren't hamstrung by backward-looking pandering and given free space to come up with something new.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:28 am

zigzagger wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:20 am
Seems that way, doesn't it. For a time I really wanted that Beast Wars Returns Blackarachnia (Beast Machines in Japan), but holy f*** is that thing ludicrously (and frankly, arbitrarily) priced on the secondary market.
I'm not sure it's that arbitrary, really. They're not just your bog-standard Takara exclusives, they were store exclusives in Japan with a limited production run. The Wiki claims that only 3,000 BWR Blackarachnias were made, and when you consider that most of those are never going to find their way to North America...I can see why the prices get as high as they do. I certainly would never spend that much on any of them, but I can understand why the folks who enjoy chasing rarities would.

Ironically, our old pal Blackjack scored a couple BWR toys recently for basically nothing. Apparently they're relatively plentiful on the Asian secondary market and no one really wants them except for him.

zigzagger wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:20 am
Huh. Having the two photographed together like this kind of illustrates my earlier point; the designers had an easier time with those first and second year insectoids over the mammalians. At a glance, Powerpinch just appears to have a "smarter" construction, overall.
I hadn't even thought of that when I grabbed that old pic, but you're 100% right. Powerpinch is basically just jointed where a bug would be jointed, while Snarl needs to split and bend in all sorts of unnatural places.

zigzagger wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:20 am
Tripredacus
This guy's up towards the top of my most wanted list. He seems to be one of those guys that everyone is selling but rarely in good shape with no missing parts. I feel like half the people that owned him when they were kids wound up snapping Cicadacon's wing-swords.

Clay wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:32 pm
Tripredacus gets my vote for one of the most coherent combiners ever.
I don't even think he looks like a combiner. If you showed me the robot mode and told me that it turned into a single giant bug Fuzor monster I'd believe it. Cicadacon looks like an absolute winner as an individual figure too, and Sea Clamp also looks really solid. Just excellent design all around. And yeah, all that makes the absolute hot mess that is Magnaboss even funnier by comparison.

And then there's these guys.

Image

Slapper just got here and I'm super happy to be able to finally snap a shot of the RiD Preds that doesn't use Spittor as a stand-in. It's funny, really. I've never even been able to sit through an entire episode of RiD, it's the blandest TF show I've ever tried to watch...but I absolutely love this collection of doofuses.

A lot of that can probably be put down to coolness by association, since they're Gigatron's troops and Gigatron is one of the most creative, well-done Transformers I've ever had the pleasure of handling. Both versions of him are, in fact. I grabbed the white one for this picture because he's in much better condition than my purple one, but they're both super eye catching. And the alt-modes are...well, they're something. It's pretty obvious that only like three of them were real, intentional alt-modes and the rest were the result of the designers sitting down with the thing, playing with it and saying "how many more modes can we cram out of this to make it sound cooler?" But that's a part of the charm: you too can sit down and invent a dozen random nonsense new modes in an afternoon! I vaguely recall there was a fansite devoted to them all back in the early 2000s.

Slapper is great...basically sub in all the nice things I said about Spittor a few posts ago and add on the fact that the deco is so different that he feels fresh in spite of being a straight redeco. Gas Skunk is not bad at all but he's practically a reissued BW toy -- when I bought him I needed to check the Spark Crystal to see whether I'd just bought Gas Skunk or Stinkbomb! So he's definitely the least memorable of the group. And Dark Scream is an absolute winner. The mold is fun and dynamic and this is one of the most eye-pleasing colour schemes I've seen on a Predacon.

Sky-Byte, as covered earlier, is kind of flawed and he's certainly not helped by palling around with such a collection of great toys. But he completes the set and he looks cool while doing it. And I always forget until I actually handle him, but the "blender" action feature for his left hand is just genius.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Skyquake87 » Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:20 pm

...I should get my RiD toys out at some point. The Preds are awesome, and easily the best thing in the show, to boot. I really like Sky Byte. I think it's the colours. They just seem that much more ...sharky, I guess. I think I just like that he's more colourful than Cybershark was using the same mould. Gave me a new appreciation for it anyway. Megatron/ Gigatron is excellent. I love that figure too. I think the only modes I bother with are the dragon, jet and batmobile. I did have a go doing all 10 of Gigatron's modes once. I think my favourite is the elephant. It's so silly.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:20 pm

I opened my RiD trunk and what were the first things I came across? Only the 2003 Dinobots!

https://imgur.com/gallery/LqM9UxJ

Grimlock, Terranotron, Snarl, Sludge, Triceradon and Slapper. I like the Dinobotty colours on these and instantly got them out to fiddle with. Yes, my collection probably is made up of repaints!

Great bunch of figures. Still a bit puzzled by the slight neutering of the sword for Grimlock - it's no longer long enough to form the tip of the Velociraptor's tail, leaving a weird hole in it. Snarl is my favourite out of this lot - I like the black, white, grey, red and bronze on his beast mode. Looks so cool.

I also had to have a play about with the Armada Beast Wars recolours I have. Now with Mini-Con ports so they can wear assorted vehicles.

https://imgur.com/a/PFJMwrf

I like that the recolours are all pretty restrained and then you've got Terrorsaur looking like he's running an exercise class in 1989. The Mini-Cons are all pretty neat, but do look a bit dumpy next to the swish looking larger robots. Shame they couldn't have worked in some sort of way for the Powerlinx ports to do something. Or even have some sort of Powerlinx activated missile launchers chucked in. Still, I like that these were like playsets with a some interaction - even if you did have to use your imagination.

...still want an Armada Cheetor at some point.
Last edited by Skyquake87 on Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by zigzagger » Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:40 am

Clay wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:32 pm

And all of the above compounds on itself to just make Magnaboss look that much worse by comparison. The contrast is amazing.
Warcry wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:28 am
And yeah, all that makes the absolute hot mess that is Magnaboss even funnier by comparison.
Well, errrr, Magnaboss has a neat sword...??? A sword that is fashioned from a cat's butt...??

My brother nabbed a Magnaboss a while back, and I somehow managed to break two Silverbolts. Gold plastic syndrome is definitely a thing, folks, to all you disbelievers out there.

The bits just snapped and crumbled off like... like Randy!

'Eeeeey, you see what I did there, Clay? It's a callback. Get it? GET IT?!

(wait... that is you in that old video, isn't it?)

At any rate, I don't intend to pull out mine from storage for the purposes of this thread, but I do agree that Magnaboss comes up rather short, especially when compared to the chimera-like and visually more interesting Tripredacus and Magmatron (in all his codpieced glory).

I do appreciate the hunter-warrior stylings of the combined form; its comes together nicely and I buy what the designers were shooting for. And I suppose Prowl is solid enough.. but man, that color scheme is kinda icky, though.

That's kind of where to pros stop for me; everything else about Magnaboss feels awkward, and things don't quite hold together. On top of that, Ironhide and Silverbolt are severely compromised, to the point where I suspect that the individual robots modes for that set were an afterthought.

Clay wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:32 pm
It's a testament to what can be done when designers aren't hamstrung by backward-looking pandering and given free space to come up with something new.
Yep, that's pretty spot on. Truly, what made Beast Wars so special is that the designers had freer reign to experiment, to be a little weird, and, as you say, not be held back by legacy--or at least not lean too heavily on it.

Beast Wars kind of arose out of a perfect storm, didn't it? I'm really, really glad it did, but tangentially speaking, I do sometimes wonder if concepts and characters like, well, Tripredacus, or Fuzors, or even the funkier Transmetals designs would've even been considered if Transformers as a brand was not faltering at the time.
Warcry wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:28 am
I'm not sure it's that arbitrary, really. They're not just your bog-standard Takara exclusives, they were store exclusives in Japan with a limited production run. The Wiki claims that only 3,000 BWR Blackarachnias were made

Oh suuuuuure, take all the wind out of my sails, you meanie! :p

No, no, you are 100% correct, and I honestly had no idea that Beast Wars Returns Blackarachnia was that rare or produced in such limited numbers. Guess I never got the impression those figures were back then.

While we're sort of on the subject, though....

Transmetal 2 Blackarachnia
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I adore this piece, though having an appreciation for the character I'm sure plays some part in that. It's Blackarachnia! She's cool!

Awesome Shelob-esque beast mode, loaded with all that hyper asymmetrical detailing and "imperfections" that I've been bleating on and on about. It's alien, it's nightmarish, and it's kind of ugly in spite of it being decked out in magenta-chrome and sparkly periwinkle plastic.

This mold isn't without it's short-comings, for sure. Namely, in robot mode, Blackarachnia wears her entire beast mode on her back and shoulders. This wouldn't be an issue for me if her teeny, tiny heels were able to manage all that weight--but I suspect this was more than likely due to the designers wanting to keep her physique "feminine". I'm not the target demographic when it comes this type of fan-service, but there is still some quality sculpting and coloration in robot mode that I genuinely do like.

Those claws and boots rock, first of all. So cool, and they let you know that she means business. The yellow-to-magenta gradients are lovely too, and remind me of pink lemonade. Really, her overall color palette is rich and striking. Very complementary.

The spider mode's asymmetry and creepiness does carry over to bot mode... a little. It is a transition that is a lot more smoother and subtle in contrast to other Transmetal 2 designs. Probably can work out why, but while Blackarachnia's is not as aesthetically "gruesome" in robot mode as her Transmetal 2 pals, she is still pretty imposing and makes a hell of an impression.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:20 am

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:20 pm
I opened my RiD trunk and what were the first things I came across? Only the 2003 Dinobots!
Your links aren't working on mobile for me, for whatever reason. They're fine on my laptop though.

The only one of these that I have is Terranotron...picked him up in a trade with a fellow Archiver a few years back. I absolutely love him. The orange and purple in robot mode are super eye-catching.

I don't think I've ever looked very closely at any of the others. These were Walmart exclusives back in the day, right? I don't think they got released here, or at least my local stores didn't stock them. I was gobbling up Armada beasts and Universe repaints in 2003 so I totally would have snapped up some of these if I'd seen them.

Is Sludge the Dimetrodon? Those are pretty appealing colours even though the Sling mold isn't particularly great.

I've never owned the Ankylosaurus (Slapper?) in any form but he looks like one of the more solid Japanese molds. This was the mold's only Western release, right?
Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:20 pm
I also had to have a play about with the Armada Beast Wars recolours I have. Now with Mini-Con ports so they can wear assorted vehicles.
You know, I have absolutely no idea where the associated Minicons for my Armada beasts have gotten to.

I've got a lot of time for this subset. I feel like they're the obvious forerunners to Universe, which I also loved, but I think the people who did the decos on the Armada toys were actively trying to make them as much of a contrast as possible with the originals and they did a great job of it.

Predacon is an absolute legend. The mold is one of the best from the Beast era and the bone-white, earthy brown and brushed steel colours set him so far apart from Transmetal Megatron. I remember being really taken by the personality that Dreamwave gave him in his bio back in the day, too. IIRC he was basically the opposite of Beast Machines Megatron, an outspoken and enthusiastic proponent of adopting organic components into Transformer bodies.

Terrorsaur has one of my favourite colour schemes ever, and actually this is one of my favourite toys full stop. The orange and the greens contrast each other really nicely and work well on the skeletal body.

I've never owned a Transmetal Rhinox of any flavor. He seems like the least impressive of the bunch but I'd still like to get one and judge for myself. Airazor on the other hand is super eye-catching and I really like that mold even though it barely stands without using the wings as support.
Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:20 pm
...still want an Armada Cheetor at some point.
Armada Cheetor is great. The mold looks great in traditional bad guy colours, and the desaturated blue and searing orange highlights are a nice touch. The green eyes too. In fact, I forget how much detail and contrast the guy has until I pick him up and play with him. On a shelf, he sort of just looks like a dark smudge.
zigzagger wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:40 am
My brother nabbed a Magnaboss a while back, and I somehow managed to break two Silverbolts. Gold plastic syndrome is definitely a thing, folks, to all you disbelievers out there.
My G2 Slingshot knows that it's no joke! So does my Torca, who will never see robot mode again because the last time I transformed him I could hear the plastic beginning to stress-fracture.
zigzagger wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:40 am
Beast Wars kind of arose out of a perfect storm, didn't it? I'm really, really glad it did, but tangentially speaking, I do sometimes wonder if concepts and characters like, well, Tripredacus, or Fuzors, or even the funkier Transmetals designs would've even been considered if Transformers as a brand was not faltering at the time.
Oh, for sure they wouldn't have been. If the brand hadn't been faltering we wouldn't have seen Beast Wars at all, but rather several more years of toys like Laser Prime or the Cyberjets or Dreadwing. Great stuff to be sure, but way more traditional and inside the box.
zigzagger wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:40 am
No, no, you are 100% correct, and I honestly had no idea that Beast Wars Returns Blackarachnia was that rare or produced in such limited numbers. Guess I never got the impression those figures were back then.
Did BWR even get that much attention when it came out? I was only vaguely aware that it existed, probably because it didn't get released in Japan until some time around when Energon or Cybertron were going.
zigzagger wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:40 am
Transmetal 2 Blackarachnia
This figure always seemed like a big miss for me from afar, not going to lie. In retrospect I think that's more because of how awful she looked on the show and how much I disliked what this change of bodies represented (that Blackarachnia can't really be one of our heroes until she gives up her Predacon racial identity and assimilates).

The toy itself, though...it's 85% shoulders and very clearly and deliberately decoed to look like a lady running around in her underwear. Those are very strong negatives in my book. The amazing colours and gorgeous spider mode are a couple very strong positives to balance that out.


Here's a couple fun Vehicons. I absolutely adore Skywarp. Purple and black look good on almost any bad guy mold but I feel like it really pops here. And I'm pretty surprised that they never put out the Deluxe Jetstorm mold in Starscream or Thundercracker colours. Almost twenty years later, with multiple Generations efforts in the books, this is still my favourite Skywarp.

Fireflight is a bit more of an acquired taste. He's a vehicle-former but I feel like he shares some of the less-good Beast toys' weaknesses. Half of his alt-mode is just there, hanging out as weapons, and it really hampers the robot mode. Even just making it removable would have helped a lot. His jet mode is super sleek, but it's too bad that he doesn't have a vehicle-mode head like most Vehicons did.

Image

Drill Bit on the other hand is just plain ugly. It's no surprise this thing was one of the biggest shelfwarmers of the Beast Wars line. I found mine at a department store downtown some time in 2003 and they still had something like six of him hanging about. Who thought that lavender and browny-orange were a good combination?

Image

Night Slash Cheetor was a slice of awesome, and one of the few popular figures from a toyline that didn't get much love. The Universe redeco did the smart thing and repainted that in traditional Cheetor colours. This is just about the laziest Transformer ever, if we're being honest. You literally just stand it up and change the head. But it's a really cool action figure in both modes. The arms are full of spring-loaded gimmicks but surprisingly that doesn't hamper his articulation at all. And I love how fast and aggressive and dangerous the cat mode looks. I also love that what looks like spots from a distance are actually more like battle damage hatches up close.

I remember this guy was one of the first toys I had to hunt for. Wavemates Longhorn and Frostbite were easy to find but it took a few months before I was able to track down a Cheetor. He was worth the trouble, thankfully.

Is this toy the only one from Universe that got a proper spark crystal and not just a BM Dinobot one covered up with a tampograph? Wait, no...Nemesis Prime as a proper Maximal one as well I think. I have to say that I adored spark crystals when they did them, and the Universe approach to them was pretty disappointing. They added a lot to a figure's appearance.

Image

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Clay » Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:35 pm

zigzagger wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:40 am
Well, errrr, Magnaboss has a neat sword...??? A sword that is fashioned from a cat's butt...??

My brother nabbed a Magnaboss a while back, and I somehow managed to break two Silverbolts. Gold plastic syndrome is definitely a thing, folks, to all you disbelievers out there.

The bits just snapped and crumbled off like... like Randy!

'Eeeeey, you see what I did there, Clay? It's a callback. Get it? GET IT?!

(wait... that is you in that old video, isn't it?)
Ha! I actually dug out the pieces of Randy a few months after a friend had tagged on FB and reminded me of it:

https://imgur.com/WiF8a8u

He hasn't fixed himself, as you can see.

Fun facts! A few years after I posted that video, I was at a superbowl party and talking with another TF fan who was telling me about this video he just watched showing how brittle gold plastic is. Closest I've gotten to being internet famous, lol.

Beast Wars kind of arose out of a perfect storm, didn't it? I'm really, really glad it did, but tangentially speaking, I do sometimes wonder if concepts and characters like, well, Tripredacus, or Fuzors, or even the funkier Transmetals designs would've even been considered if Transformers as a brand was not faltering at the time.
Yeah, looking back over the list of figures, the first 12 or 18 months of molds are relatively conventional and 'normal' design-wise (reusing animal limbs for robot mode and the like). It's really the BWNeo stuff and Transmetal 2s where they went crazy. Of course, I think they were right to do that... I had written a big spiel about how most of the toys were daring and weird until I checked what came out and when and where, and... nope! Most of the first two years' of figures (regular animals and transmetals) are symmetrical and normal. I guess that just shows how memorable stuff like the trex or dragon Megatron, Longrack, or Lio Convoy really are.

More to the second point, the only other times transformers have had such a reinvention are with Animated (which was more visual style than redesign), and the live action movie stuff, with peak weirdness being the ROTF Constructicons. The gorilla-style Devastator, the wheel-over-wheel Demolishor, the medusa snake-bodied Skipjack/Rampage... all great stuff that would never be attempted unless... well, unless they were designed by an outside group like Dreamworks or whatever that didn't care how they were going to make toys of them.

Come to think of it, Hasbro absorbing Kenner and giving them free reign over transformers beast wars worked pretty well too. Maybe they should let fresh eyes look at this stuff more often?

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:33 pm

^Agreed. I love it when Transformers comes up with something fresh looking.

Speaking of fresh looking, let's have a look at some money for old rope with the Platinum Edition Autobot Heroes and Planet of Junk Clash - or Studio Series 16, as I like to call them -seeing as I have them on some shelves right now.

Image
Image

With amazing timing, I picked these up right before Studio Series 86 was announced. So now I can't be bothered with SS86 :P What I like about these two sets is that not only do they serve to commemorate 30 years of the movie, but also 10 years of the CHUG aesthetic that's come to dominate Transformers.

The mix of design styles over a series of figures that are all basically doing the same thing (modernising old figures) is interesting to see, from the post UT to the generally ace 2010 Generations take, to T30 and CW. I love this Hot Rod toy. It remains my favourite 'update'. The robot mode is great, if a little hindered by kibble and those shoulders, despite the glum face and that alt mode is still stunning. Absolutely love it. The Junkion lads are great and I still like this design, even if it does look a bit hunched up.

Blur, Kup and Arcee were all new to me. I do like Kup, but he feels very bottom heavy - he's all legs! And yeah, I can see why folk don't like the head. It's not the greatest. Blur uses the Drift mold, which is cool (I own the fancy Legends Deadlock, which uses the same thing and is gorgeous) but I do find all the car parts pulling double duty as armour don't half limit what you can do with him. I love the weapon storage and that he's all shades of blue (even the wheels!) and the general look is great. Alt mode isn't very Blur, and really, it's not a design I'm massively keen on. It looks like a sporty family saloon. Arcee is much better than expected. As with all female Autobots, she's stuck carrying her alt mode around as a camping rucksack, but I like her. Only thing I don't like is the weird hips. They seem very wide and like her legs are trying to get away from her. Nice weapons. Except for the silly pink gun. Sigh.

Springer looks great in his new colours, but the mould doesn't feel as good as the mainline release and the rotor doesn't spin as freely, which is boo. Ultra Magnus I think is flipping great. This mold definitely suits him. I had the Legends God Ginrai retool, and found it a bit messy, not helped by the trailer being a bit flimsy and easy to collapse whilst you were popping it together. This though, everything works and it looks great. A big help is the metallic paint and crisp white plastics. Lovely stuff. I do also like that this makes the IDW version of Magnus part of the old '80s film/cartoon continuity. Nice.

I really like these figures as they're really bright and colourful. Plastics are nice too and the extra paint apps are fab.

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Re: Remembering that our old toys actually exist!

Post by Warcry » Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:38 pm

Clay wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:35 pm
Yeah, looking back over the list of figures, the first 12 or 18 months of molds are relatively conventional and 'normal' design-wise (reusing animal limbs for robot mode and the like). It's really the BWNeo stuff and Transmetal 2s where they went crazy.
I feel like the weirdness scaled up every year. The first year's worth of toys, you can really tell that the Kenner folks were playing it safe and trying to figure out how the whole "Transformers" thing worked. Everything was basic and safe. The second year, everyone was still a normal animal and mostly symmetrical but you started to see more and more elaborate gimmicks that could get plain weird, like Retrax or Spittor or Manterror or Bonecrusher or Inferno. The third year, half the line were fantasy mashup beasts and the other half were the exact opposite of what people expected from Beast Wars -- mechanical animals with organic bits hidden away inside! Then year four rolled around with the TM2s, which were peak 90s cyborg monster chic. And then Beast Machines happened, and that was even weirder and I guess a step too far for most fans' tastes.
Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:33 pm
Speaking of fresh looking, let's have a look at some money for old rope with the Platinum Edition Autobot Heroes and Planet of Junk Clash - or Studio Series 16, as I like to call them -seeing as I have them on some shelves right now.
I don't have these sets but I have most of the molds!

Hot Rod could be called "dated" if you only look at the articulation, but I really like how the figure looks. The alt-mode especially is super slick. I also love that instead of standard 5mm hands, he's got the same sized hand-holes as the original Hot Rod (not the Targetmaster, whose hands were retooled to hold a bigger weapon). He looks great posing with G1 Hot Rod's twin blasters.

I've never cared for that Junkion mold. I think it's because my Wreck-Gar just doesn't peg together well in either mode.

Blurr seems way too clunky to really "feel like" the character to me, but I still really like what it does with the mold. Way more so than Drift. I think a lot of it has to do with the eye-popping blues that the retail Blurr used.

In spite of all the kibble and panels and generally feeling like the 2010s movie-engineering inspired figure that he is, this Kup is the only modern Kup I like. I think it's because it's the only toy that actually incorporates the distinctive angular chest that the toy had. I feel like the Titans Return and Studio Series Kups just turned out super generic because what other distinctive features does the guy even have?

Springer, of course, is one of the best Transformers of all time.

I don't own that Arcee because the later waves of that line were impossible to find in my area, but she looks like a much cooler toy than the Earthrise one.

I have an irrational hatred of that Magnus because it uses those godawful ugly double "launchers" that look so horribly cheap, but again it looks WAY more fun than the modern Siege or Kingdom figures.


I think I mentioned how much I love Armada Cheetor more than once but just in case I haven't, I love Armada Cheetor.

Image

I love all three of my Transmetal Cheetors, but this is actually probably the weakest deco of the three. But it's also the one I can play with without having to be careful of the chrome, so it winds up being my favourite anyway. Whatever the colours this is a super fun figure in both modes, which is really rare for Beast Wars stuff...more often the beast modes are closer to statues. But this guy is almost as articulated as a cat as he is as a robot and he has the cool flight gear as well.


I wish I had a better picture of my boy Obsidian. This is one of the slickest Basic-class figures ever and it singlehandedly convinced me to give Beast Machines a chance. It's really too bad that people are more likely to pooh-pooh it for not looking like the show model or for being "too small" than they are to enjoy it for being a well-engineered little helicopter guy.

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Does anyone else remember the almost comical hatred that the fandom seemed to direct at Optimus Minor circa 2002 or so? My understanding was that he was the shelfwarmer of the Transmetal 2 days, so people were just sick of seeing him around on the shelves four-odd years later. I avoided getting one for ages even though it was one of the cheapest and most common BW figures around to find MOSC, just because of how much people said it sucked at the time. When I actually got around to getting one I just couldn't understand why. It's not a great figure by any stretch of the imagination but it's average at worst and nowhere near us ugly or ungainly as figures like Sonar or Scarem.

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I love how much the two Silverbolts contrast each other. Universe Silverbolt is another toy that I remember being shat upon from a great height by the fandom when it came out and I can't fathom why at all beyond people just not having any taste. This is another shot where I wish I had a better picture of it, but the Beast Wars colours make Silverbolt out to be every bit the noble warrior he was in the show while the Universe ones turn the same mold into a monstrous-looking creature.

A decade or so ago I tried to talk myself into buying a BotCon Windrazor, but even though this is one of my favourite figures from the era I had a really hard time stomaching the asking price for a toy I already owned twice over. I bet the asking price has tripled since then, too!

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