Sunday, January 29, 2017

Slugslinger

Pic from www.botchthecrab.com
If there's one Targetmaster out of the three original mold Decepticon Targetmasters that gave me pause before purchasing, it was Slugslinger.  It's very hard and very expensive to find one in decent condition. Most of the ones that I ran across were yellowed and Caliburst just seems destined to have as many possible.  After what seemed like an eternity, I finally tracked one down to replace the super yellowed and weaponless version that I had somehow acquired as a kid.
Slugslinger was always one of my favorite looking Decepticons, at least in vehicle mode.  Slugslinger looks like be belongs in Star Wars to me.  Twin cockpits?  That is just so damn cool!  I mean, it leads to a ton of questions, but those questions can just wait.  Who wouldn't want to pilot this thing?
Caliburst gets to pilot him, I guess.  I mean, he could if he wasn't mounted to the Slugslinger's top in jet mode.
Maybe I'm just a sucker for figures that have a lot of blues.  This light blue and off-white combo just really pops.
The blue carries over to Caliburst, and it meshes well with the gray on his legs and the red on his face.  You have no idea how glad I am to finally be done photographing all of the large Decepticon Targetmasters.  Every time I even think about going from gun to Nebulon or the other way, I get a nervous twitch.
Robot mode for Slugslinger isn't great.  Toy safety and articulation being what they were in 1987 means that Slugslinger won't be running any marathons.  Or will he?
Well, no, Slugslinger won't.  While he won't be mistaken for a Masterpiece Transformer anytime soon, Slugslinger can be made to look like he's sulking off to his room.  I kind of wish that Slugslinger's wings would fold back a tad because he kind of looks like a robot with a jet on his back.
I'm so happy to be finished with the large Targetmasters.  Looks like I just need to get those pesky small Targetmasters to complete the set...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Autobot Air Patrol

Image from www.botchthecrab.com
I used to get the Air Patrol confused with the Decepticon Air Strike Patrol all of the time.  For some reason I believed that the Air Strike Patrol were just the Air Patrol. Up until I started typing this post did I realize the error of my thinking.  I can be an idiot.
The Air Patrol is, in case you couldn't guess, is made up of aircraft.  They were released in 1990 as part of the last wave of US Generation One figures.  According to the group's tech spec, they're the best aerial fighters that the Autobots have.  That doesn't really seem right to me.  What about the Aerialbots?  Surely Fireflight is a great flyer.  Certainly better than a Micromaster.
Tread Bolt is the mysterious member of the Air Patrol.  His bio states that he likes sneak around scaring the energon out of his fellow Autobots.  So I guess he's like Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids on The Block.
Tread Bolt transforms into one of the many variations of what people thought a stealth bomber would look like before it was actually revealed to the public.  It was kind of close.  Tread Bolt looks much better than the G.I. Joe bomber with the name that I can't remember.   The blue is a little much, however.
Yeah, that's it.  Now I can sleep at night.  Photo from www.lelu-berlu.com
Next up, we have Blaze Master, and he's a military chopper, and the team's resident psychopath.  See, it's hard to have a truly 90's team without a psycho.  You're Wolverine's, Chapel's and whatnot are important to the team dynamic according to Liefeldian Law.  Look it up.  What makes Blaze Master a psycho?  Pouring napalm on everyone until they melt away, which brings in a whole host of issues for me, none of which have to do with his psychotic nature.  Are we to believe that a Transformer that underwent a change to make himself smaller to conserve fuel is able to carry enough napalm to douse and liquefy a full size Decepticon?  Or are the Micromasters small in toy form and not in the fiction?The Marvel comics sure seemed to depict them as small.  Then again, this is a toyline from the 80's and trying to make sense of any of it is a fool's errand.
Toy-wise, Blaze Master is my favorite of the Air Patrol.  I have an affinity for the Micromasters that have extra parts,  Figures like Growl, Tracer, and the aforementioned Blaze Master just seem that much cooler because of a little piece that can come off.
Hey, it's that guy that is constantly showing up in my saved eBay search for Pretender Sky High!  I mean, he's always gonna show up in that search because I just cannot seem to find a decent looking Pretender Sky High, but I'm not bitter.  It's hard to be bitter when you have such a bright optimist like Sky High to hang out with.

Sky High transforms into a Concorde jet, just like Silverbolt!  Really, I wouldn't have realized it unless it was stated in his TFWiki entry.  I think of Concorde jets, I think of Silverbolt, but I guess Sky High is a super deformed version of a Concorde?  Maybe micro-sized?  I see what they did there.
Lastly, we have Eagle Eye, the leader of the group.  It seems that the only reason that Eagle Eye is the leader is because Dreamwave declared that in the More Than Meets The Eye bio series that they produced in the early 2000's.  Even then, they couldn't be bothered to draw the correct jet for his vehicle mode.  One of the things that I liked about the Micromasters that I owned at release was the fact that there weren't listed leaders or any kind of hierarchy for the groups.  If I had received this set when I was 12, I probably would've made Tread Bolt the leader, just based on looks.
The molded missiles on Eagle Eye's jet mode are an odd touch.  I don't know that I would've made that call as a designer.  Guess that's the one reason why I don't work for Hasbro.  Of course, the missiles do add to the effect of the jet as a Hornet fighter.
Here's how I would position the team, with Tread Bolt as commander, and Eagle Eye in support.  The way it should be.  Just ask my 12 year old self.

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?