Saturday, January 7, 2017

Micromaster Tanker Truck Combiner Transport

Picture from www.botchthecrab.com
Micromasters, the tiny Transformers that nearly drove me to stop buying Transformers.  Good thing that the line ended not long after this.  I was never fond of Micromasters because they just reminded me of Micro Machines, which I hated.  Tiny cars that get lost easily?  No thanks.  My stance on Micromasters has softened over the years, and now I have to complete them to finish out my G1 collection.  My latest acquisition is the Micromaster Tanker Truck Combiner Transport.

The Tanker Truck Transport turned out to be much better than I thought it would be.  The Combiner Transports never really appealed to me.  Bases like Countdown and Groundshaker, sure.  The transports just looked weird.  A tanker with a small cab pulling it?  With a shovel on the back?  Sure, thing, kid.  Gah.
Gusher and Pipeline are redcos of Knockout and Grit from the Decepticon Construction Squad.  As a Construction vehicle, it's pretty spot on.  I think that the colors are even better on these guys than on Knockout and Grit.  But, again, as part of am oil tanker, not so much.
The tanker splits into two battle platforms.  Each one has a gun that reminds me of one of those water cannons that they use on rioters.  I'm highly doubtful that water cannons would actually be of use against a Decepticon, but I'm not an expert.  Maybe it would work on Micromasters since they're smaller?  It's all for naught, since they aren't actually water cannons.  The instructions just call them "canons".  Super imaginative.

The other half of the tanker is much better looking, what with the missile launcher on the side.  There's still the issue of the water cannon, that isn't a water cannon.
Both platforms are able to combine into some sort of...thing.  It's a battle station?  That you can drive right through the middle of?  I can't imagine it being very practical during battle.  However, I'm sure that those water cannons will help.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

MP-33 Inferno

Why are running poses so hard?
The latest Masterpiece figure arrived at my personal mailbox weeks ago, and I just got around to opening him up.  I have to say that I regret waiting as long as a I did, since Inferno is perhaps my favorite figure of the year.
Let me start this off by stating that there will not be a lot of pictures showing off the accessories or animated versions of the face or anything like that.  I prefer my Inferno like the toy I had in 1985, minus that missile for a hand.  There will only be a few shots with the missile hand.

Once I got Inferno out of the box, I was struck by how large Inferno is.  I mean, the G1 figure was larger than the rest of the cars, but I really wasn't expecting this.  He's hefty, to boot.  The ladder is a much more improved version of the G1 figure's.  The G1 figure's ladder always felt like it would separate at any moment.
This is a ladder that I would not be afraid to climb.
As a kid, I always wondered what the little white knobs on the side of the fire truck were for, and Takara gave me an answer.  I suppose I could have just Googled it or asked a fire fighter, but that would've been too easy.  I prefer to wait 30 years for an answer.  This is a nifty feature that doesn't really do anything, but it's a nice thing.
Transformation into robot mode was fluid and surprisingly easy.  I figured that there would be some step that would frustrate me or make me afraid that I would break something, but I was incorrect.  Transformation is almost exactly like the G1 version.  My only quibble would be the things on Inferno's shoulders.  As a kid, I always folded them back, and on the Masterpiece version, that option isn't available.  This is a problem of personal aesthetics, and I'm sure I'm in the very tiny minority on this.
Hey, that's mighty fine looking Inferno, that is, what with his two fists.  I've never been a fan of bots missing a fist; it's a symmetry thing, I think.  Man, this is one pretty figure.  The legs and feet look great and proportionate.  The more I look at Inferno, the more I fall for him.
Thanks to the way Inferno transforms, his head features what I call two-step articulation for his head.  The box housing his head moves left, right, and up and down.  Inferno's head moves as well, which gives many possibilities for some sweet poses.  Sadly, I'm not much at posing.
The amounts of articulation on Inferno are insane.  Just in the upper legs/hips, I think I counted four points of articulation.
A tried and true way for me to tell if I really like a figure is by the amount of pictures I take.  With Inferno, I took quite a few.  Inferno really lends himself to a lot of poses.  I just love everything about him, really.
Every picture that I took featured the G1 toy accurate trimmings.  I never even bothered trying out any of the 'toon inspired stuff.  Just not my cup of tea.  Especially not the attachment to allow Inferno to carry Red Alert.  They're neat and all, but just not what I need.
This is the first time that I've ever been able to get this pose right with a figure.  I've seen it done with all sorts of Masterpiece figures over the years, but I've never been able to do it.  Just another reason Inferno has endeared himself to me.
Be sure to click on the pictures for full size images.
I did try out the yelling face.  I'm a big fan of the old man yelling pose.
Grapple should release in a couple of months, and I can't wait.  Even more exciting? Artfire.  I'm sure that they'll be just as incredible as Inferno.  Seriously, this is a great figure.  Certainly best this year, and top -5 for all time in the Masterpiece history.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Targetmaster Scourge

Picture from www.botchthecrab.com
Man, these Decepticon Targetmasters just keep coming fast and furious, don't they?  I'm on a quest to knock these out as quickly as possible.  My goal is to have every US Master figure in the next couple of months.  Since I'm so behind on posts, I'm only actually missing two of the small Headmasters.  At any rate, lets get on to the abomination that is Scourge.
I'm not really sure which I like the least - Cyclonus or Scourge.  In terms of being "Decepticon Jets", they're both major letdowns compared to the Seeker's that came before them.  I'm tempted to declare Scourge my favorite of the two just because Cyclonus looks so frakking hideous.  Scourge does have more articulation than Cyclonus, and seems to have better proportions.  The Targetmaster version features widened fist holes to allow Scourge to hold Fracas.  These widened fist holes also allow the rocket booster on Scourge's head to be held as well, but it looks funny.

Speaking of Fracas, here he is.  He looks just like Nightstick.  Kind of.  Since we're talking about Decepticon Nebulons, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much the clip holding him together frightens me.  I've only transformed him a couple of times, and I was sweating bullets each time.
This is how Scourge normally looks without the addition of Fracas.  The regular Scourge that I own is a painted top, so seeing the stickered top is a bit of a treat.  Ugly, but a treat.  The painted top is so much better looking.
Attack mode Scourge!  All I had to do was remove the rocket and replace it with Fracas.  It's almost like they planned it!  Those guys are smart.  I don't know if I really like the look of it, frankly; it looks shoehorned on.  And yeah, I know that Scourge wasn't originally designed to accommodate the Targetmaster.  It just doesn't look right.
Here's a shot of my painted top Scourge with Targetmaster Scourge.  Man, I really need to get some new decals for Targetmaster Scourge.  But now I'm having a crisis of faith over this, however.  Should I try to track down an unused sticker sheet or just go with some Reprolabels?  Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Targetmaster Cyclonus

Photo from www.botchthecrab.com
This guy.  This freaking guy.  I just really don't like Cyclonus.  Well, let me backtrack that statement a bit.  I love Cyclonus the stalwart second-in-command of the Decepticons as shown in season 3 of the series.  I love the honor bound non affiliated warrior as depicted in IDW's More Than Meets The Eye
series.  The figure designed by Floro Dery?  I can't stand it.  It's so freaking ugly and it just epitomizes the horrible designs from that year.  However, I have to get the Targetmaster version so I can say that I completed the Targetmasters.

The thing that I do like about Cyclonus is his vehicle mode.  Dery did a really good job with this.  By adding Nightstick to this mode, Cyclonus looks incredibly formidable.  Very nice looking.

I just wish that Nightstick could pilot Cyclonus.  That would be so freaking nice.  Nightstick is the best part of Cyclonus, even if he sports the oh-so-boring black/grey scheme that a lot of the large Nebulons for the Targetmasters had.  I mean, that color scheme was only used for the existing characters that were drafted into becoming Targetmasters, but you get what I mean.
Here's a shot of Nightstick all by his lonesome.  Or is it Haywire?  Maybe it's Fracas?  Perhaps I like beating a dead horse?
Robot mode is where Cyclonus has always left a bitter taste in my mouth.  Look, I appreciate all that Floro Dery has done for the Transformers and their designs.  Without him, the Coneheads wouldn't have their distinctive look, but damn do the 1986 guys look horrible.  Gah.
Here's Targetmaster Cyclonus with my blue-eared variant.  It's hard to tell from this picture (because I'm a horrible photographer), but aside from the new port on the spaceship mode, Cyclonus had his fist holes widened to accommodate Nightstick.
 Seriously, I can't think of a better looking jet.  Hey, that's another Decepticon Targetmaster down!  I just need...a lot of them to finish off the crew!  Huh, I wonder if I can do that?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Misfire!

Photo from www.botchthecrab.com
I've been putting off getting the Decepticon Targetmasters for a long time.  Unlike their Autobot counterparts, the Decepticons are far more expensive.  From what people tell me, it all has to do with the Nebulon.  As far as the Nebulons go, the Autobot ones have a pin connecting their torsos to the legs and the Decepticons have pegs.  The pegs on the Decepticon Nebulons tend to break the clips on the legs.  Broken Nebulons means higher prices.  Hence my hesitation.
After a ton of deliberation, I decided that it was time for me to pull the trigger on Mifire.  Misfire has one of my favorite box art poses in the history of G1.  Every time I see it, I'm instantly reminded of Nick Roche art for some reason.
Misfire's vehicle mode is some sort of Cybertonian jet.  Spaceship maybe?  Some sort of super-duper bumper car?  Whatever it is, it's kind of magenta in color.  Not a fan of magenta.  Still, it looks cool.
Misfire is one of the most articulated late period G1 figures.  He has movement in his shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.  The specimen that I got is in really great shape.
I don't know why, but every time I look at Misfire, I can't help but notice just how much he looks like Nick Roche had a hand in designing him.  I don't know him, but I think that maybe Nick Roche is a time traveler.  Or perhaps he felt that the design for Misfire was so great that it didn't need to be changed.  I'm good either way.
I decided to transform Aimless because I like to live dangerously.  There's a fix that can be done to the Decepticon Targetmasters where the protrusions on the body are shaved off using an X-acto knife, but I can't bring myself to do that.  I'll need to at some point if I want to transform him more often.
Aimless is perhaps my second favorite of the Decepticon Nebulon Targetmasters.  He looks bulky and mean.  The light blue and gray work well together.
As nice as the figure was, the box that came with Misfire could use a little upgrading.  There's a large stain on the lower corner, and I'm not sure if it's oil or wood stain.  Still, it's a box.  I've never been a fan of keeping or collecting G1 boxes, but it just seemed right to keep this one.  I even bought a reproduction bubble and insert to display Misfire and Aimless.  It looks great sitting on top of my Detolf shelves.  Now I see why MIB and MISB collectors get out of collecting that way.  Still, I'm a take-it-out-of-the-box kinda guy, so I don't think this will become a habit for me.

Monday, November 28, 2016

eHobby Ghost Starscream

Stupid eHobby.  Here I am, getting close to my goal of finishing the US G1 run, and my mind gets stuck on eHobby releases.  The solution?  Why, getting Ghost Starscream, of course.  Besides, it's a Seeker mold, and I love those.
There really isn't much to know about this version of Starscream.  He was released in 2001, over 15 freaking years ago,  I remember seeing him on BigBadToyStore's site for what seemed like the longest time and I just kept passing on him.  There was a point in time where I didn't believe that eHobby figures were real Transformers.  Even though they were released by Takara, I just felt like they were non-entities.  Time and experience eroded that view, so I've some catching up to do.
I really like this iteration of Starscream.  He's just so cool looking, and he reminds me of one of those fabled "Lunchtime Specials" that I keep hearing about on the Internets.  And that nosecone!  The color is so light, yet it looks perfect next to the translucent plastic.  Look at those tail fins!
Look!  You can see through Starscream's wings!  So sexy.
Know the great thing about Takara Seekers?  Working missile launchers!  Know what's great about Ghost Starscream?  Everything! Man, check out those translucent fists!  Check out the translucent...everything!  This is a true piece of beauty.
Here's a profile shot. Starscream is so ghost-like.  I love how that orange canopy just stands out.  If you have to chance to grab one of these, pick one up.  Prices are all over the place on eBay.  I've seen these posted at prices ranging from $100-$200, all MISB.  I've also seen loose or MIB specimens going for $100.  With enough patience and luck, you should be able to get one at a decent price.  I got mine for $100, which I felt was a decent price.
Finally here's a shot of some Seekers, but not all that I own.  Don't pay any attention to the other eHobby Starscream.  We'll talk about him later...
Here they are in alt-mode.  I like Seekers, and I cannot lie.