Halo: Series 2 Mini Figures by Mega Bloks

It’s bad enough that I’ve resolved to buy more Lego sets next year, but it’s hard for me to walk down the toy aisles without hearing Megabloks’ Halo sets calling to me too. Now, I’m not a big Halo fanatic. I loved the original game and spent a ridiculous amount of time playing it, but I was really put off by Halo 2, so much so that I haven’t been back to the franchise since. Still, these sets seem to capture the vehicles and weapons really well and they look like they’d be a hell of a lot of fun to build. But this week is all about stocking stuffers, so I grabbed a couple of these little Mini Figures to check them out.

Like the Lego Mini Figures, these guys come in little printed cellophane style baggies. They’re blind packed, which means you have no idea what you’re getting until you tear it open and dump it out. I think that prospect is a little less vexing here, since you can build armies of these guys, and it doesn’t matter so much if you get a lot of any particular figure. Unlike the Lego mini-figures, though, the Megabloks guys come assembled and ready for action. Of course, their arms, legs and head are all attached by ball joints so you can feel free to pull them apart. Each figure comes with a black block/stand and a weapon. They also come with a sheet showing you the different figures available and which ones are common, rare, or ultra-rare.

I was really hoping for the green UMSC pilot, but I had no such luck. Instead I wound up with a purple Covenant Brute and a pink Hayabusa Spartan. The Spartan is supposed to be rare (or is that TEH RAREZZZ!!!11?) so good on me, I guess? The Brute is listed as common. I know the Brute from the game, but I have no idea what the Spartan is supposed to be. It is indeed pink and it comes with a katana style sword. The sculpting on these figures is surprisingly good for their size and their paint apps are pretty good.

The articulation is pretty solid for such tiny figures. You get the aforementioned ball joints in the neck, shoulders and hips and you get hinged elbows and knees.

I don’t have much more to say about this pair. For some reason, these don’t seem like as solid a deal as the Lego minifigs, but then we’re only talking fitty cents more, and these are mostly army builders. It’s tough for me to really judge them without having some of the vehicles for them to interact with. Still, not a bad thing to find in one’s stocking and overall I’d say they’re really well done.

Transformers: Legends Class Sandstorm by Hasbro

So, I don’t buy many of these Legends figures, but I stumbled upon Sandstorm on the pegs this weekend and I learned my lesson last time about not picking up the G1-styled Legends as soon as I see them. Which is, coincidently, why I don’t have this mold from when it was originally released as Beachcomber. But I absolutely love the idea of Hasbro releasing the vintage G1 Minibots as reimagined Legendsfigures and if they did this more often, I’d probably buy them all. I don’t need to be spending five bucks for a smaller version of a figure I just payed ten bucks to have as a Deluxe, but give me original figures in this class and I’m all over them. I also just think that the Legends size fits better with the simpler G1 stylings.

Sandstorm comes on a simple Hunt for the Decepticons style card and a bubble cluttered with Hasbro’s annoying stickered advertising for The Hub and their website. I honestly don’t remember if there was a bio on the back of the package, as I tore it open and threw it out pretty quick and I’m pretty sure it’s at the bottom of the can with coffee grinds all over it. Like all these new fangled Legends Class figures nowadays, Sandstorm comes packaged in his robot mode. he package lists him as a Level 1 conversion, which is Very Easy.

As a repaint of Beachcomber, Sandstorm is still a nice little dune buggy. His buggy mode is certainly simple, but it works well for this size and it even has a little removable gun and a spare tire too. Not a lot else to say here, except I think it was pretty clever for Hasbro to repaint this guy as Sandstorm. I never would have thought of it in a million years, and yet seeing the toy in person it seems to make perfect sense. Even though he obviously isn’t a Triplechanger, the homage is a solid one.

Obviously, Sandstorm’s transformation is pretty simple, although it does have a snazzy little torso-slide-head-reveal that is very impressive on a toy this small. Admittedly, in robot form the homage to Sandstorm falls apart, as Beachcomber and Sandstorm looked nothing alike and this figure clearly just looks like a beige Beachcomber. Even still, this is a great little figure, and I’m glad to see Hasbro getting a second use out of the mold. Especially considering I wouldn’t have owned it otherwise. I think it would have been cool if his gun could have been held in his hand, but I think that might be expecting too much from this sized toy.

The articulation consists of arms that rotate at the shoulders and have some lateral movement, and legs that rotate at the hips and bend at the knees as part of the transformation. It’s certainly decent enough poseability for a toy this size.

Sandstorm was a total surprise to me. In this age of the Interwebs, I’m seldom aware of all the Transformers that are coming down the pipe, and by the time they get into my hands, I usually know everything about them. Still, I had no idea that Hasbro was planning this Legendsrepaint, and every now and then surprises like this are really nice.

Christmas is almost here… and it couldn’t come any sooner!

It’s Christmas week and I’ll be very happy to see the backside of the holidays. I’m not a scrooge, but this really is a crazy busy time for me and by the time Christmas finally gets here, I’ve pretty much had all I can take. I am looking forward to spending the day with friends and family and seeing the new Doctor Who special, but this week and the week after will still be insane, aggrevating and exhausting, and I’ll be spending as much of my downtime as drunk as I possibly can and probably re-reading my old Deadpool comics, which is something I tend to do every year around this time… don’t ask!

I do hope to keep things rolling along here with business as usual. I do have some new Transformers to look at, and some cool stuff coming in by way of Post, assuming the deludge of holiday mail doesn’t slow things down too much. I’ve got a case of DC Universe Classics figures coming in soon, so get ready for another DC Universe Week and I was actually on board for this month’s MOTU Classics figure over at Matty, so hopefully I’ll have a look at Buzz Off very shortly. I’m also anxiously awaiting word that my pre-order of The Real Ghostbusters Mego-style figures has shipped, as these have been showing at some Ebayers this past weekend.

I wanted to do something cool for Christmas Day and I decided that the coolest memory I have of Christmas was opening up some huge and awesome playset, putting it together, stickering it and having fun. The toy companies seldom make anything like this anymore, but I’ll see what I can do to have something like that to post on the 25th and 26th.

On that note, some of this week may be populated with some quick-and-dirty posts, depending on exactly how much time I have each day. Pretty much everything I look at this week leading up to Christmas Day will be based on a sort of Stocking Stuffer theme. Tomorrow, I’ll be back with a little look at Transformers Legends Sandstorm. And as the week rolls on, I’d like to tackle my last remaining Transformers Animated Deluxe figure, at least one Star Wars Vintage Style figure, and some random stuff thrown in too.

GI JOE 25th Anniversary Comic Pack: Beachhead and Data Frame by Hasbro

Time to round out the Hasbro Comic Pack Weekend with a look at one more and this time it’s from GI JOE. Marshall’s is still flooded with these things. They’re all over the pegs and now they’re even further marked down to $5.00 a pop. You can’t beat that, folks! Even still, this Beachhead and Mainframe Data Frame comic pack is probably the last one I will pick up, as none of the others really interest me. Ninja’s? Pfft. Ninjas were the whole reason GI JOE started to go to shit in the 90s. Well, that and a half dozen other things that were so weird it made 80s GI JOE look like straight non-fiction by comparison. Anyway, this was a no-brainer pick up for me, as I didn’t have either of these figures in my 25th Anni. Collection, and to be honest, this may be the first time I ever owned a Mainframe Data Frame figure, period.

So before we get to the figures, let’s look at the funny book, which amazingly enough has our heroes getting attacked by… a flying roach. To make matters worse they look like a couple of terrified schoolgirls. Once again, this is not a classic Marvel reprint, but rather a brand new book by Larry Hama and this one was much better than the last one I looked at (Scrap-Iron and Wild Bill). Granted, not a lot happens. It’s got Beachhead and Data Frame crawling through the sewers under the Cobra base looking to hack their computer, while Baroness and Zaranna hang out on the surface and try to thwart them with Battle Andriod Troopers. I don’t have a lot to say about the Joe portions, but there is some really fun interplay between The Baroness and Zaranna and the art is pretty solid. By the way… Zaranna. Thanks, Hasbro, for prominantly featuring a character in the comic that we never got in the 25th Anni. Collection. Why don’t you just kick us in the balls while you’re at it. Anyway, it was overall an enjoyable little read.

I don’t recall ever seeing a single carded 25th Anni. Beachhead ouside those Hall of Heroes figures, so I didn’t have him in my collection. One thing I did not expect was his swappable head. You can have him completely maskless, or put his mask on him so that it’s covering his nose and mouth, which really makes no sense, since there’s no way he could do that with his balaclava, unless he pulled it down over his head through the eyeholes. I guess it’s just some other face covering, but it’s kind of weird because it makes him look like a Cobra agent. The rest of the figure is outstanding and just brimming with wonderful detail, including his beret under his shoulder strap.


Beachhead comes with some pretty outstanding gear. He’s got a sub machine gun that actually has a removable clip, which might be a first for me in the 3 3/4″ scale. You can pull the one out of the gun and replace it with the one he carries in his ammo satchel. He also comes with an automatic pistol, which isn’t pictured because I dropped it during the shoot and it disappeared into oblivion. It does fit into his sculpted holster, but not terribly well. I’ll probably dip into my box-o-loose-weapons and find him a better one. As if all that isn’t enough, he also comes with a personalized figure stand. Nice.

And then there’s Data Frame, who as I’ve been hinting at throughout is actually Mainframe with his copyright revoked. Like I said, I never owned his figure before, so this was a nice treat, as I recall him being pretty prominantly featured in the 80’s cartoon. Being a computer specialist, that probably meant that GI JOE was a little ahead of his time in that regard. I’m a bit surprised at the head sculpt on this guy as the character always struck me as a bit of a mild mannered technogeek guy, but the figure’s expression looks like he’s going to tear off someone’s head and spit down their neck. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU TOOK DOWN THE FIREWALL?????” Yeah. The helmet is sculpted onto the head, which surprised me, since most of the 25th Anni. Joes have removable helmets, but it’s no biggie. The rest of the figure is nicely detailed. I like the markings on his uniform and the sculpted holstered gun he has on his chest.


Data Frame comes with some pretty cool extras. In addition to his gun and personalized figure stand, he also comes with a portable computer system, which he can carry like a suitcase and comes complete with with fold out legs, a small black device… I have no idea what it is, and a pair of cardboard computer discs, which was a neat idea, but I still just threw them out with the packaging. He also has a dagger, which fits into the sheath on his leg.

Hasbro undoubtedly did a really nice job on this pack. It had an enjoyable comic, two figures I really needed in my collection, and a load of cool accessories and extras. Compared to what I got saddled with in the last JOE comic pack just so I could get Scrap-Iron (I’m looking at you, shitty blue Wild Bill!!!), this one was just a pleasant surprise all around and highly recommended. If you can pick it up at Marshall’s for just five bucks, well that’s just gravy.

Marvel Secret Wars Comic Pack #10: Dr. Doom, Absorbing Man and The Wasp by Hasbro

Welcome back, folks. Up today is part two of Hasbro Comic Pack Weekend, and yes, another Secret Wars pack. Last time I bitched and moaned about the relevance of the figures included with #6. This time around, the selection is a little less befuddling, mainly because Hasbro could have included Doom with pretty much any issue and he would have been appropriate. The Wasp would have been better packed in #6 and as for Absorbing Man, well, I think he appears in one frame of #10, which is more than I could say about Ultron in #6. But I’m done with all that, so let’s just look at the figures.

Doom is as iconic to me as just about any other character in the Marvel verse. I’m not saying that just because I have a bizarre and unnatural affection for the character, but… yeah, actually I probably am. And it goes along with the fact that I’ve been reading The Fantastic Four’s funny books almost consistantly since I was a wee lad. So, how I waited this long to add Doctor Doom to my MU collection is beyond me. Let’s face it, these comic packs were not tough to find, and yet somehow I passed these up on the pegs over and over again until now. Sure, Doom really, really deserves a single carded release, but then Hasbro could hardly have not included him as a figure in the Secret Wars series. Plus,they’ve done such a great job with this figure, I hardly see much need in hurrying to get another version out on the pegs.


Before I say anything about the Doom figure, let’s point out the obvious. Yes, he shares Ultron’s arms and legs, but it’s a natural fit and a really smart cost-saving move on Hasbro’s part. I have no problem with it. The head sculpt is about the only other place where Hasbro had some room for interpretation and I like where they went with it. It’s not necessarily the most traditional form of Doom’s mask, but I do love it and the finer details on the sculpt is exceptionally good, considering many of the comic pack figures tend to be “softer” than the single carded figures. The rest of Doom hits al the iconic points with his green, brown belted tunic, and hooded cape with gold clasp. Doom’s hood is part of his head sculpt, but the cape is removable. Doom comes with his trademark broom-handled Mauser, but his sculpted holster is just for show.


Moving on to Absorbing Man, another character that I’m really glad to have on hand for when my Modern Thor gets tired of kicking the shit out of Wrecker. [Yeah, I only have the Modern Thor figure, but I’m working on rectifying that as we speak. -FF]. Like Doom, Creel here seems to be a much better quality figure than I’m used to getting in these comic packs. The sculpt is really outstanding, particularly the head which captured his malicious smirk and his pointy dome. The detail in his muscles is excellent and even the sculpted treads on the bottom of his boots is worth remarking on.

Hasbro used paint apps to show off Creel’s absorbing abilities as the left side of him is gradually morphing into what looks like metal, mostly on the side of his face and his arm. The effect works well, but I do have an issue with his wrecking ball accessory. Shouldn’t he be able to hold the wrecking ball in his metal-morphing hand? It is supposed to be part of him, isn’t it? As it is, he can only hold it in his flesh-toned hand, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. It would have been really cool if Hasbro had made it socket into his hand like Mattel did with their DCUC Iron and Gold figures from the Metal Men. Either way, Creel is still a great figure.

And then there’s The Wasp. Be careful opening the package or you could easily lose her. She really is that small. I made it pretty clear when discussing SW#6 that I would really like a full-sized figure of Janet, but I appreciate what Hasbro did here as well. Considering how small she is, the sculpt and paint apps are pretty good and the wings are also nicely executed. Mine does have an unsightly stray black mark on her face, though. It’s not really a figure, but a nice little bonus accessory and something Hasbro might want to repaint and include with a single carded Ant Man later on in the MU lineup, because I would surely buy that.

Any way you cut it, the Secret Wars #10 pack is a homerun. The comic is one of the more interesting issues in the series and the figures are outstanding. Doom and Absorbing Man are easily two of the best executed figures in this whole series of packs, probably with The Hulk fromSW#4 running a close third since I actually vastly prefer the comic pack version to the one Hasbro issued as a single carded release. I’ve only got two more of these packs to hunt down before my set is finally complete, so you’ll be seeing more Secret Wars again in the near future.

Marvel Secret Wars Comic Pack #6: Mr. Fantastic and Ultron by Hasbro

[I’m unofficially dubbing this Hasbro Comic Pack Weekend, since I happen to have a couple of Secret Wars packs and a GI JOE pack to look at over the course of the next three days. Today, we’ll kick it off with Secret Wars #6, tomorrow Secret Wars #10, and on Sunday, GI JOE’s Beachhead and Main Frame. -FF]

Two action figures and a comic book and life doesn’t get much better then that. I love the comic pack in all it’s many forms and franchises and Hasbro has come to do it so well. They’ve certainly come a long way since releasing those shitty repainted figures in the original Star Wars repacks. Remember those stormtroopers with the blue highlights? Yuck! Of course, now the Secret Wars packs are long done and Hasbro closed up shop on the GI JOE and Star Wars ones. Yeah, they seem to still be doing some of the Marvel Universe packs, but it just hasn’t been quite the same.

Before getting to the figures, let me just say a few things about the included funny book. It was a nice treat to re-read Secret Wars #6, as it has been to revisit all of these issues. I’ve been through these books enough times way back when, and when I open these packs, I always plan on just thumbing the comic, and every time I wind up reading it through from cover to cover. It’s great stuff, but why Hasbro decided to include these particular figures with #6 is beyond me. Don’t get me wrong, as you’ll soon see, I’m thrilled to have these figures, but there are so many more obvious choices that will probably never get single carded releases in the Marvel Universe line, whereas nobody would think twice about seeing Ultron or Richards carded in Universe. Case in point: The Wasp dominates the first handful pages all by herself. Yeah, we get her later in her miniature form in the Secret Wars #10 pack (as we’ll see tomorrow), but there’s no reason why we couldn’t have had a full sized Janet figure. Hell, Ultron isn’t even in this issue, but he’s in the pack. See, now I sound like I’m bitching about the figures I got, and I’m not meaning to do that, so I’ll just shut up and move on…
Mr. Fantastic, aka Reed Richards is a solid figure. The sculpt and plastic is a tad softer than what we get in a Marvel Universe single carded release, but I’ve come to expect that in these comic packs. Otherwise, the sculpt is excellent, with the exception of the way his neck comes up from his shoulders, which looks a tad awkward. It works on Reed, however, as I can just write it off to his rubbery manipulations. The paint apps are ok, although his uniform is notably darker than the blue used on the single carded Johnny Storm or Ben Grimm figures. The skin tones on his face are a little dark, like his face is dirty, but I think that’s just a failed attempt to give a bit of wash to the face sculpt.

Ultron is simply awesome. The sculpt gives him a nice powerful look, which I like better than the more lanky version of him we’ve seen more recently. And I was never happy with the FoxKids treatment of him. There aren’t a hell of a lot of paint apps here, but the silver is clean and nicely executed. The head sculpt, though, is where it’s all at. A great job, all around.

Both figures have the same articulation. They have ball jointed necks, their arms have ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows and swivel wrists. Their legs are ball jointed in the hips, have double hinged knees and the ankles have both hinges and swivels. They can also each swivel and bend in the torso. Ultron’s shoulder articulation is a little at odds with his guards, but you can still get a good range of motion out of them, or just take the guards off entirely.

Secret Wars #6 gives us two solid versions of two very important Marvel figures. If the MU line lasts long enough, these guys will undoubtedly get the single carded releases they deserve, but these versions are good enough that Hasbro can put off their re-release indefinitely for all I care. I would probably pick up a lighter blue uniformed Richards, but I don’t see a reason to pick up another Ultron. This one does just fine by me.

GI JOE 25th Anniversary Collection: Mercenary Wraith by Hasbro

Last time, I looked at Mindwipe, a Transformer that was really tough for me to bag at retail. This time, it’s the same story only in the GI JOE lineup. Back when I was hunting the 25th Anni. figures, I never once saw Wraith hanging on the pegs and I came pretty close a couple of times to paying a premium for him online just to get him into my collection. I never did pull the trigger and now, after a few years, I stumble upon a dozen of them on clearance at Marshall’s. Interestingly enough, in my mad excitement over finally finding him, I overlooked one important fact: He sucks. I’ll elaborate a little, but this is still going to be a quickie.

Here we have one of the only figures that can make the 25th Anni. vintage style cards look blah. The artwork is just bland and really not worthy of the packaging style let alone the original comic art for the character. Wraith seems like he should be a slam dunk. He’s a shifty mercenary wearing a high-tech cloaking suit. He’s just the kind of thing that would have been right at home in Metal Gear Solid. I was never a huge fan of him in the comics, but I always thought he would make excellent figure fodder. I still think I was right, but Hasbro just completely choked the chicken on this one.

Aesthetically, the sculpt isn’t bad. The armor is well executed, particularly the way the upper torso armor is layered as a separate piece over the black textured stomach. The helmet is cool enough and the face plate is hinged so that it can lift up to reveal… um, Tony Stark. Yeah. Aesthetics aside, though, this sculpt has all sorts of practical problems that interfere with the articulation, so let’s just talk about that now.

Wraith uses the same basic articulation as all the 25th Anni. Joe bodies, but Hasbro took every opportunity in the sculpt to muck it up. Perhaps the dumbest thing here are the angel hair wires that connect his arm guns to his biceps. If you want to move Wraith’s arms at all, you might as well just snip all of these off because they will not survive. You’ll also have to cut them if you want to remove the cumbersome arm weapons. The shoulder armor and the collar also do their part to inhibit Wraith’s articulation. At least from the waist down things are ok.

Wraith comes with a backpack, a ridiculous assault rifle that he can’t really hold unless you take off his arm guns, and even then he can’t hold it very well. I’ll give Hasbro a pass on the gun, since he didn’t really need to come with one at all, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s one of the worst guns I ever got with a modern Joe figure. Oh yeah, he also comes with a figure stand. This stand would be the only really valuable thing in the package, if only it didn’t have his name on it.

Unless you are absolutely in love with Wraith from his comic appearances, this figure should have been an easy pass. He’s awful in just about every way. I currently keep my Joes baggied and in storage totes, but I don’t think I’m going to even waist a baggie on this piece of crap. But hey, the odds were that at least one figure in the line would be crap, and honestly, I can’t think of any others that were even close to this disappointing.

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: Mindwipe by Hasbro

Generally speaking, I don’t have a problem finding Transformers at retail. In fact, it’s probably one of the few toylines I collect that I can actually say that about. Of course, every once and a while there’s an exception. Most recently, it was Highbrow from the Hunt for the Decepticons line, but back when Revenge of the Fallen was out, that one elusive figure was Mindwipe. I’d only seen him once at retail and that was at some Kmart where they were charging like $29.99 for him and so I passed. But just this past week I was finally able to pick him up.

Been a while since I’ve seen this… a Revenge of the Fallen box. Actually this is part of the NEST subline, but the box remains pretty much the same. If I cared about preserving the packaging, I would really hate all these jaggy edges. Mindwipe comes packaged in his stealth fighter jet mode with just two twisty ties standing in the way of his freedom.

As a stealth fighter, Mindwipe is pretty sweet. His overall configuration bears a slight resemblance to Cybertron Soundwave, but don’t hold that against him. As alt modes go, the stealth fighter mode is a nice compromise, since Mindwipe was a robotic vampire bat in the original G1 continuity. The jet mode looks outstanding, although you really need to flanagal it right to make it mesh together perfectly. The jet is mostly green with a few purple paint apps, a red translucent cockpit and some unfortunate silver tattoos on the wings, which I would have rather Hasbro left out.

If you’re into play features, Mindwipe’s jet mode is pretty barren. There isn’t so much as a firing missile launcher to be found. That doesn’t bother me at all, when the toy looks this good, but I realize it may put off some people. Although, there is one cool little feature. If you happen to own the ROTF Scout Class Skystalker figure he can dock with Mindwipe when he’s in his drone jet mode. You just peg him right onto the top. It’s rather nifty to have two such awesome figures interact like this, and it’s also a nice little nod to the Robots in Disguise Dreadwind and Smokejumper figures, or if you prefer, Beast Wars Neo Starscream and BB.

And then there’s Mindwipe’s robot mode, which is like Hasbro mixed the plastic with pure, concentrated awesome. Mindwipe’s transformation isn’t overly complex and yet it is surprisingly satisfying. His mech alive gimmick includes a simple auto-transformation of his wing tips as you move them into place. Overall, his proportions and design are drop dead sexy and his head sculpt is easily my favorite in the entire line. I particularly like how he has two creepy beady eyes peering out from behind the translucent visor. There are also a fair number of tweaks you can do to personalize his robot mode, with regard to the position of the wings on his shoulders and his back. I think the only downside of Mindwipe is that he makes me a little sad inside that this wasn’t more akin to the mold used for Starscream, because it’s superior in every possible way. Seriously, whoever designed this figure was possibly under the influence of divine inspiration.

Mindwipe’s articulation includes a ball jointed head, shoulders that feature double hinges as well as rotating arms, and double hinges again in his elbows. His legs have universal movement at the hips as well as hinged joints in the knees and ankles. He also has retracting energon daggers positioned under each of his forearms.

Even if you aren’t a fan, or don’t even remember much about the original Mindwipe, this figure has all the chops it needs to stand on his own as a marvelous Transformer in any line. He also does a good job of straddling the design elements of the movieverse and something a bit more akin to the Classics scene, which means he should be able to find a home in just about any Transfan’s collection.

Transformers Animated: Oil Slick by Hasbro

Just a couple more TF:A Deluxe figures to look at and I’ll be all caught up. Today is all about the very cool Decepticon motorcycle, Oil Slick. Was he ever in the cartoon? I don’t know. Granted, there are still a lot of episodes I haven’t seen, but I don’t recall ever seeing him in the ones I have watched.

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Oil Slick comes carded in his motorcycle mode with his two barrels mounted off and below the figure. Yep. Not much else to say here.

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His motorcycle mode is a crazy looking evil chopper with a ram skull mounted on the handlebars. I love the design of this thing. The wheels are doubled, which give him added stability to stand. There are spikes running up and down the front and he’s got some cool tattoo-like designs painted on his gas tank. The back portion has removable saddle-bagged barrels, which I assume he can drop off like mines, which is a pretty damn cool idea. It’s a fine looking bike, apart from the colors that just remind me of various shades of barf. It’s not the most attractive toy around, but hey, he’s a Decepticon. The ram horns and handlebars are made of a really soft plastic, which I’m not crazy about, but so far they don’t seem to be real prone to warping.

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For a motorcycle Transformer, Oil Slick has an amazingly clean and kibble-free robot mode. He’s very well proportioned and free of unsightly clutter. Most of his bike bits pack well onto his shoulders and lower legs. Even his saddlebag barrels peg onto his feet without really getting in the way. I also love his huge claw-like hands. I’d love to see Oil Slick get the same reworking as Lockdown got and see him with a more realistically styled sculpt for Generations. His design just really is that good.

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His head sculpt is pretty unique, as his head is encased under a translucent sickly-green bubble. It’s odd, but delightfully original and gives him a lot of character.

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Oil Slick’s articulation is solid. His head rotates and can even bob up and down a bit as a result of his transformation. His arms have ball joints in the shoulders and hinged elbows. His legs are ball jointed at the hips and hinged at the knees. He’s a really poseable and fun figure. The back panel of the cards actually shows a real metal chain for the weapon, but in reality it’s just a plastic chain, but it still works fine.

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One of Oil Slick’s barrels open up, so you can put something in it. I recommend lighter fluid so you can set it ablaze and toss it at one of your Autobots. [Kids, please do not fill your toys with lighter fluid and set them on fire. -FF] The other one pulls apart and forms a flail weapon that pegs into his hand. The photo on the back panel of the card shows the chain as being metal, but in reality it’s just made up of plastic links. It’s still really cool, though and adds a lot of fun to the figure.

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It’s crazy how many times I passed on Oil Slick when I saw him on the pegs. He’s one of those figures that never impressed me on the card, but when I got him in hand, I was totally blown away by what a cool figure he actually is. He’s definitely one of the better motorcycle Transformers I’ve seen in a long time and well worth picking up.

Transformers Animated: Soundwave by Hasbro

Slowly I’m chipping away at the pile of TF Animated figures that I’ve picked up over the last few weeks. I’ve commited myself to opening all of these by the end of the week, so I should be caught up soon. Today we’re looking at Soundwave. He’s one of my favorite characters in the G1 continuity and as for Animated… well, he makes an appearance, doesn’t he? Let’s see what we got going on here.

Standard Animated packaging. Soundwave comes packaged in his auto mode. Yes AUTO mode. We haven’t seen a proper Soundwave toy in ages and all of the sudden he gets the auto mode treatment no less than three times (I’m counting War For Cybertron and the Stealth Forces line). He comes with his huge surfboard-sized guitar mounted on his rooftop, because there’s absolutely nothing conspicuous about that, is there? The back of the card has the usual bio blurb. I actually did get to see the episode of TFA that introduced Soundwave. Too bad they turned him into something of a joke. But I try to take the series with a grain of salt.


I do like Soundwave’s SUV mode, mainly because it’s just loaded with homages to his G1 tape deck mode. There’s a power button pattern on his roof and the sides are made to resemble cassettes. He has black painted windows and a gold Decepticon logo on the hood. The gold buttons on his grill are clearly an homage to G1 Soundwave’s cassette mode and the light aqua colored detailing makes him look a bit like a Tron vehicle. The roof has a place to peg the guitar in, although it really does look pretty silly and out of place there. At least we have somewhere to store it, though. Soundwave makes for a solid vehilcle, holds together really well and rolls along great.

Despite his SUV alt mode, Soundwave has a lot of his G1 tape deck features in his robot mode. This stuff is mostly on his chest, complete with an opening tape door and the buttons under it. His head sculpt is also most definitely reminiscent of the Soundwave we all know and love. Unfortunately, Soundwave is pretty tiny and despite his familiar design, it’s hard to take him very seriously with these proportions.

For a little guy, Soundwave has decent articulation. His head turns. His arms rotate and have lateral movement in the shoulders. His elbows are hinged and have ball joints leading into the forearms. His legs have ball joints in the hips and hinges and swivels in the knees.

Soundwave’s huge guitar transforms into Laserbeak. It isn’t much of a transformation, as the back half of him is still just the guitar’s neck. It’s a cool idea, but it could have used just a bit more tweaking in the design to make it really worthwhile. Soundwave has indentations in his arms to allow Laserbeak to peg into.

By all reason I should hate this figure, but I find myself kind of digging him. The homage is decent enough in robot form and it’s nice to see Soundwave with a modern, useful alt mode. It’s a totally silly figure, not at all to be taken seriously. If you can embrace that fact, then you might learn to love him as much as I did.