Transformers “Power of the Primes:” Prime Masters (Wave 1) by Hasbro

If you’ve been reading my Power of the Primes reviews, you may have noticed that I’ve been peppering them with a general lack of interest in the whole Prime Armor and Prime Master gimmick. But don’t take that as a personal attack on the Prime Masters themselves, because I actually love these little guys and plan on buying every goddamn one of them. Why?

Well just look at them! They’re like a cross between Pretenders and Targetmasters. These little buggers replace the individual packaged Titan Masters assortments from the last line. I only picked up a few of those, and I don’t think I ever reviewed any of them, because they didn’t interest me a lot and I didn’t think they made for interesting reviews. Oh, I loved the Headmaster gimmick in Titans Return, but I was never big on buying different heads to swap out with the ones that came with the figures. But these? These are some tiny bots that I can really get behind. Each package features three components: The Prime Master figure, the Decoy Armor, and a weapon that attaches to the armor. The result is that there’s a lot of playability packed into these five dollar packets. Let’s start with Vector Prime…

Vector Prime’s Decoy Armor is based on G1 Metalhawk. I should at this point declare that I was already out of Transformers by the time The Pretenders hit the market, and while I’ve admired them and learned a lot about them since, I’m not all that familiar with Metalhawk. I want to say that’s because he didn’t get a US release, but I’m treading on unfamiliar territory there. Anywho, just check out the awesome paint and sculpting that went into this Pretender Shell! Keep in mind these aren’t all that much bigger than the Titan/Prime Masters. The blue plastic is quite brilliant and looks great with the silver, red, and yellow paint apps. I also dig how the helmet has an open face so you can make out the Prime Master’s face inside it. Have there ever been toy suits of armor for figures as small as these? I doubt it. The legs are static, but the arms can rotate.

From the back, we can see his weapon attached on a hinge for storage. It can be removed and Vector Prime can hold it while he’s in his Decoy Armor. Granted, it’s really big for him, but that’s because it also doubles as part of a the Decoy Armor’s Targetmaster gimmick. But before we get to that, let’s open up the armor and have a look at Vector Prime. Damn, these tiny guys are complicated!

The armor hinges open at the feet to reveal the little fella inside. The Prime Masters are basically the same as the Titan Masters in scale and articulation. You still get ball joints in the head and shoulders, and hinges at the hips and knees, but with the legs fused together. Vector Prime’s black and blue plastic matches that of his Decoy Armor, and you actually get a little silver paint on his teeny little face. These Prime Masters transform exactly like the Titan Masters, only instead of changing into heads, they change into little box-like chips that can be inserted into the Prime Armor that comes with the larger figures. Now you can transform the Decoy Armor into a gun and place Vector Prime in it. And since he didn’t come with any weapons, I’m going to use Grimlock to showcase the Targetmaster Gimmicks today.

“ME GRIMLOCK SAY HASBRO MARKETING GENIUS. NOT GIVE WEAPONS IN PACKAGE. MAKE YOU BUY TINY BOTS FOR WEAPONS!”

I think Grimlock may have a point. He might have been light on weapons as an incentive to pick up these packs. But even if that’s so, damn I love this! The Decoy Armors’ weapon modes are a tad large for Deluxes, but they’re very well suited for Voyagers or Leaders. Vector Prime’s armor makes a pretty good looking single-barrel gun, and you can stick him on top in his chip mode, or keep him in the armor. Brilliant! Moving on to Micronus…

Micronus’ Decoy Armor is based off of G1 Cloudburst, and here’s one that I actually remember. The shell is a little less rounded than the original release, but the resemblance is certainly there. Again, it’s a really nice sculpt for such a little toy and the coloring consists of some bright red plastic, black plastic, and some white and blue paint apps. Like Vector Prime, Micronus can be seen peeking out through the face hole in the armor and his gun hangs off the back for storage or can be equipped in either of the Pretender Shell’s hands.

Open up the Armor and out comes Micronus. His deco shares that of the Decoy Armor’s red and black plastic, and his little face is painted blue. How about the Targetmaster mode?

Micronus’ Armor changes into a double-barreled gun, which looks pretty damn good in Grimlock’s hand. And if you’d rather have Micronus plugged into Grimlock’s Prime Armor… go for it. Moving on to the final figure of the trio… Liege Maximo.

Liege Maximo is the lone Decepticon of the bunch and his Decoy Armor is also the most familiar to me as Skullgrin. Wait, he’s a Prime, but he’s a Decepticon? I gotta be honest, I don’t understand all the hows and whys of this whole Prime Master thing. I just know that Pretenders make me happy and this little Skullgrin doubly so. The blend of gray and neon mauve plastic is outrageously beautiful, with some white paint added to pick out his belt and skull. The sculpting on this guy is also fantastic.

A peek at the back reveals Maximo has a rather unconventional weapon stored there. Pop it off and put it in the Armor’s hand and it becomes… I dunno, a big slashing claw? Sure, why not!

Pop open the Decoy Armor and you can see that Liege Maximo shares the Pretender Shell’s amazing deco. I think he’s my favorite of the bunch because the sculpt on him just looks so crisp and the face paint is especially well done.

I’ll be honest, Maximo’s weapon mode doesn’t do a lot for me. It kind of just looks like a rake or something. Grimlock is not terribly impressed either, but the silver paint is sure nice. Besides, you didn’t come with jack-squat, Grimlock. Beggers can’t be choosers, so take the hot-pink claw thingie and like it!

Holy shit, these are some fun little toys! I know that the Titan Masters came with little vehicles, but in the end they were just Headmasters without proper bodies and were kind of lost on me. But here, Hasbro went in an entirely new direction and it pays off for me big time. When you consider that a big part of the Prime Master gimmick consists of big ugly armor pieces and pretend powers written down on the backs of cards, I really dig that Hasbro packed so much more playability into these little guys. The Pretender Shells are an impossible homage… Something I never thought Hasbro would ever revisit again in a million years, and yet here they are alive and well and swinging on the pegs down at my local Target. And if tiny action figures in armor isn’t enough, incorporating the Targetmaster gimmick into it as well just goes above and beyond. Keep making these little buggers, Hasbro, and I promise I will buy them all!

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Transformers Generations: Legends Class Skrapnel by Hasbro

It’s Transformers Thursday again, and I’m still pressing on with my look at the Generations Legends Class figures. Today’s feature has a place near and dear to my heart because it’s Skrapnel. Who? Just consider him copyright-challenged Shrapnel. Yes, that’s Shrapnel as in the leader of the Insecticons. Man, do I love the G1 Insecticons and the fact that Hasbro brought them back in this size assortment is really one of the main reasons I decided to start collecting the Generations Legends in the first place. The only way this release could be any better is if Hasbro did something crazy like… oh, I dunno, maybe bundle a totally random tiny homage to Reflector in there too. Oh wait… THEY DID!!!

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The figure comes on the now familiar and extremely cool G1-inspired cardback, complete with that retro grid pattern and some great character art. Damn, that’s some purdy presentation! The only way Hasbro could have possibly improved these cards is if they made the Decepticon grid deco purple like back in the old days. Skrapnel is packaged in his robot mode and so is his buddy Reflector. That’s a first, because all the other Targetmasters were carded in their alt modes. I’m guessing Hasbro didn’t think a camera would be that exciting. Fools! Learn to cater to your fanbase, Hasbro! Who cares if kids don’t like it… they don’t got no monies and they can only beg so much from their parents. I’m an adult with a great paying job. Give me a Deluxe Class Reflector and I’ll buy it!  Alright, enough of that… let’s start with Skrapnel’s bug mode…

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Just like the original G1 character, this Skrapnel’s alt mode is a cyber-stag-beetle. I don’t usually start out by talking about the deco, but a huge part of the appeal of the original Insecticons has always been their awesome colors. The black, purple and yellow looks so striking and Hasbro recreated it here for this homage quite beautifully. Sure it’s missing the translucent yellow chest plate and the chromed out pincers, but it still looks amazing. These will always be my favorite Decepticon colors, which is probably why I also love Skywarp so much.

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As far as robotic beetles go, this version of Skrapnel is a bit sleeker than the G1 original design, and that ain’t a bad thing. I also dig how high he stands on his legs. There’s quite a bit of clearance between his body and the ground and I think that gives this mode a lot of credibility. There isn’t really a head on this critter, but seeing as how he’s a cyber bug, I guess he doesn’t really need one. There’s really no articulation in the insect legs, but you can open and close his giant pincers, which is certainly cool. One of the pincers on mine is a little droopy, but not too bad.

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Skrapnel’s transformation has some cool things going for it. The way the panels on his back shift to the sides to become his legs and the flip that the torso does are both pretty surprising for such a small figure. The result is a fantastic little representation of the Insecticon we all know and love. Sure, he’s got some insect leg kibble hanging off his arms and more on his back, but I actually think it works for the aesthetic rather than against it. Skrapnel is a bug bot and he’s proud of it. Unlike a lot of Transformers, Scrapnel’s deco is identical in robot mode to the alt mode, and in this case that’s not a bad thing at all. He’s gorgeous!

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He’s also lots of fun to play with thanks to his copious amount of ball joints. You get ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. His articulation is actually so good it kind of stands out that his head doesn’t turn. That’s been the case for me wtih most of these Legends Class figures.

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And then there’s Reflector. I want to love Reflector, I really do. I appreciate Hasbro trying here. I mean, what other chance do we have of getting a camera Transformer from Hasbro? None! And yet, he’s really not that impressive. His camera mode just barely passes as a camera. I mean, it’s obvious if you know what it it’s supposed to be, but maybe not so much otherwise. As for his transformation… let’s face it none of these Targetmasters are terribly complex, but Reflector’s bot mode is literally just the camera standing up on his lens. But what the hell, it’s fine.

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The gun mode is a bit better. You can plug it into Skrapnel’s alt mode for a pretty cool looking cyber-beetle-tank. It’s also not too oversized for Skrapnel to wield in his robot mode. Still, like most of these Targetmaster guns, I think they work best in the hands of a Deluxe or Voyager Class figure.

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Last time, when I looked at Swerve, I went on about his scale and that he was clearly intended to interact with the regular Classics/Generations figures over his own Legends Class. Skrapnel actually falls awkwardly inbetween classes. If you stand him up next to Legends Megatron he’s taller because of his antenna, but otherwise stands shoulder to shoulder to him, which makes him a tad too big. Now, if you stand him with some Generations Deluxes, he’s pretty small, but I actually think this pairing works better. Hey, they’re Insecticons, why not have them be a little smaller? In the end, it’s a compromise either way, but I think I’ll be displaying Skrapnel with my regular Generations figures and not with the Legends. Oh yeah, so long as we’re on about scale, it’s worth pointing out this…

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Legends Skrapnel is almost the exact same size as the original G1 Shrapnel. Cool!

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It’s probably a given that my first choice would still have been to get a set of G1 inspired Insecticons as Deluxe Class figures. And sometimes I burn my arms on the stove as punishment for not picking up Fansprojects’ Not-Insecticons when I had the chance. So in a sense, Skrapnel here is a consolation prize. The fact that he’s a Legends Class figure is not ideal, but Hasbro still did a beautiful job on him and I love him all the same. What’s even better is that Hasbro recently showed off Legends Class Bombshell and confirmed that Kickback will be following not long after and it’s going to be mighty cool to have a complete set of updated Insecticons, even if they are little guys.

Transformers Generations: Legends Class Megatron by Hasbro

Wow, it’s Thursday again. The week just flew by and it’s time for more Transformers goodness. We’re in the fourth week of my infatuation with the Generations Legends line and so far everything about these little toys has been nothing but kittens and rainbows. Well, sadly that trend is going to end today with Megatron because I’m just not digging this guy as much as the others. Let’s take a look…

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Here’s the packaging. Well, the deco is still awesome, but I can’t say the same for the character art. Oh, the artwork is just fine, but when you get down to it, I just don’t like this design for Megatron. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Megsy comes packaged in his robot mode with his Targetmaster, Chop Shop beside him in his bug mode. There isn’t much new to say here, so let’s start out with Megatron in his vehicle mode.

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Megatron is a tank, and honestly if he isn’t going to be a gun, this is my preferred Megatron alt mode. If you can’t be a gun, be a tank! Interestingly enough, Hasbro actually used the Legends Class assortment a few years back to get us a new G1-style gun mode Megatron, but I was ignoring the Legends line at the time so I never picked him up. Anyway, I don’t have a lot of quibbles with this Megatron’s alt mode. Sure, you can see his hands on each side of the cannon, but even though they’re right there, I don’t think it looks too bad. It’s a rather f’ugly mode, but it still works well enough for what it is. Overall, there’s some nice detail in the sculpt, particularly in the tiny faux treads, and I appreciate the fact that the turret can rotate. I’m not a fan of the plastic they used for the two parts on the back of the turret, which becomes Megatron’s shoulders. It looks cheap. I think it’s the weakest of the Legends alt modes I’ve looked at so far, but for a toy this size, I’m willing to give it a pass.

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Transforming Megatron is pretty simple and apart from maybe the way the lower legs pack in there’s nothing terribly clever here. The result is a fairly decent representation of a version of Megatron that I just don’t happen to enjoy all that much. Honestly, I think a big part of my problem with this design is the coloring. It’s that black chest and head with the yellow hazard striping effect. The Megatron I know wouldn’t walk around looking like that. That’s not to say that the quality of the paintwork here isn’t excellent. The yellow hits are crisp and the little touches of red around his midsection and elbows are welcome. I still maintain that there’s better and more complex paint on these little guys than a lot of the Deluxes I’ve seen in the past few years. Either way, with a more G1-style deco I could probably be more accepting of this figure.

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Megs features decent articulation for this size class. You get ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, and hips, and hinges in the knees. Some of his transforming parts don’t lock in as well as I would like, but he’s still a fun figure to play with.  The tank cannon works OK as his arm blaster. It’s a little thin to drive the homage home, but at least it’s there. It’s also ball jointed, so you can shift it between the outside of his arm or have it like he’s holding it like a gun.

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And then there’s Chop Shop! I was unusually excited to see this guy because the old Deluxe Insecticons don’t tend to get any love these days. I never owned any of the originals as a kid, but I was certainly curious about them, mainly because they didn’t look anything like the rest of the official Insecticons, who were official in my eyes because they were actually in the cartoon. I like Chop Shop’s beetle mode a lot and while his robot mode just consists of standing him up, I still think it’s pretty cool. Again, the sculpt and paint on these teeny little figures is impressive to me.

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I guess it’s a misnomer to call Chop Shop a Targetmaster, since his weapon mode isn’t a gun, but rather a giant pincer claw. It’s also not really an independent mode at all. You’re just sticking his beetle mode on Megs’ arm and you can work the claw by opening and closing the back half of the beetle. Personally, I think it works better as a shield. Man, that would suck being the Transformer that turns into a shield for another Transformer! I was kind of hoping I could stick Chop Shop onto Megs’ back because positioning the pincers behind his head would give him a cool Armada Megatron look. Sadly, the socket on Megatron’s back is too big for the peg. It seems like either a wasted opportunity or a tease. You can also stick Chop Shop on top of Megsy’s tank mode, but it just looks like exactly what it is, a giant beetle riding on top of a tank.

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So, Megatron is not one of my favorites in this line, but that doesn’t make him a terrible figure. Most of what’s here works just fine and my real issue with him is just my personal disinterest in the design. I’m certainly not sorry I added him to my collection. At $10 a pop, these little figures aren’t exactly a high risk gamble. Next Thursday, the Legends Class train will roll on with a look at a very highly anticipated figure… Swerve!

Transformers Generations: Legends Class Starscream by Hasbro

In case you hadn’t noticed, Transformers Thursday has a Legends Class thang going on right now. I consider it a soothing balm to counteract the irritating diaper rash of that Bayformer marathon that I did. I’m also using these guys as a cleansing enema to wash out all the memory of Age of Extinction that remains like the red meat rotting away in my colon. Hey, this intro has gone to a scary and disgusting place, let’s check out Starscream and Waspinator!

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Packaging! Seen it already! Starscream comes carded in his robot mode and Waspinator in his little buggy mode. Love the character art. This is how to design packaging, Hasbro! Notice it doesn’t look like that minimalist crap you’ve got on the shelves now! Let’s start with Starscream’s alt mode

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I’m not sure if Hasbro was going for a specific model of jet here. It kind of looks like a cross between his original F-15 Eagle and more recent F-22 Raptor modes. Either way, it works for me. The sculpt isn’t overly encumbered with detail, but it gets by particularly thanks to the snappy red and white deco and the Decepticon insignia printed on his wings. The hole in his back is kind of ugly, but it’s obviously there so that Waspinator can ride on his back either in bug or blaster mode. I dig the way Starscream’s null ray cannons mount under his wings and he actually has a folding landing gear under his nose. Nice!

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Transforming Starscream is very quick and easy but it still manages to pull off some impressive things. For starters, the wings position nicely on his back so that the Decepticon emblems are facing out and it’s pretty cool how his arm cannons don’t have to be detached for the transformation. I also like how nothing on his robot mode is faked out.

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Overall, I think the robot mode here is fantastic. Yes, the shoulder intakes are rather underdeveloped and he’s a tad chunky in the middle, but I’m really nitpicking on what is an otherwise great looking figure. The tiny head sculpts in this line have been surprisingly detailed and Starscream’s may be the best I’ve seen yet. How did they pack that much personality and detail into such a teeny tiny noggin? The articulation is a tad more limited than the other Legends I’ve looked at, but he’s still got plenty of playability. You get ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, and hips, and hinges in the knees. Not bad for such a little guy. He can also wield his arm cannons as guns.

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Starscream’s Targetmaster buddy is Waspinator and he is hands down my favorite of these little guys so far. The bug mode is excellent and Hasbro crammed a ridiculous amount of detail into this tiny sculpt. I particularly love the cybernetic elements on the wings. I think his robot mode is a little better than what I’ve seen with Roller and Blazemaster, mainly because the wasp head actually folds down to form his chest and his arms are quite well defined. And again, look at that tiny head… that’s certainly a good likeness to the Beast Wars character packed into something smaller than the head of a nail.

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Waspinator’s blaster mode is OK. It’s basically a wasp with his back morphed into a gun barrel. It’s probably on par with Blazemaster’s gun mode but it’s quite large for the Legends Class figures. Starscream can wield it OK, but I think it works better if you give it to a Deluxe or Voyager Class figure.

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Hot damn, I’m still loving this Legends line! Everything about these guys feels like they’re made with extra love. Starscream is an excellent little figure and I’m certainly going to go all in when Hasbro finally gets the Thundercracker and Skywarp repaints onto the pegs. I’m so glad I came to these little figures so late in the game because right now they’re giving me a port in the storm while the shelves are full of AoE toys that I don’t want to get involved in. Next Thursday… Megatron!

Transformers Generations: Legends Class Bumblebee by Hasbro

It’s Transformers Thursday again and today I’m looking at my second Legends Class figure from the Generations line. Prime and Bumblebee were my first two forays into these little guys and it’s safe to say that I am now I’m hooked.

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The packaging is similar to what we saw last Thursday. Again, I’ll say that I love the G1-style grid pattern and the great character artwork. This kind of deco grabs my attention when passing through the toy aisles every single time, even if I know I’m all caught up on the figures that are out. It just kindles that warm and fuzzy feeling down in my nethers. Bumblebee comes packaged in his robot mode and his Targetmaster buddy, Blazemaster comes in his tiny helicopter mode. Let’s start with Bumblebee in his alt mode.

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Bee’s vehicle mode is a compact yellow sports car, which I think is supposed to be his IDW mode before he became the generic Camero knock-off. Or is that after? In case you can’t tell, I tend to read the Transformers comics that don’t prominently feature Bumblebee. Either way this is a perfectly fine “we don’t have the VW Beetle license or the Chevy Camero license for this toy so let’s just make him a generic car” alt mode. It’s still totally in character with how I think of Bumblebee and maybe even a little reminiscent of the Classics alt mode.

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I’m usually not a fan of this yellow swirly plastic, but when used in small quantities like this, I don’t have a big problem with it. The black painted windows look good and there are even some red stripes on the hood and silver paint hits for the bumper and lights. It’s crazy, but this tiny car mode actually has more varied paint apps than Deluxe Bumblebee from the TF: Prime line. Why does it seem like Hasbro gives these little guys so much more love?

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Bumblebee’s transformation is pretty fascinating for such a little figure and even manages to pull off a head reveal that works better than half that MechTech shit Hasbro used to use on the bigger figures. I’m particularly impressed by the way the sides of the car pack into his forearms and auto-morph his hands. The head sculpt is fantastic, right down to his iconic little horns, and the face is very neatly painted. I also dig the way his spoiler lands behind his head.

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The end result is a remarkably well proportioned and great little homage to the War for Cybertron Bumblebee. Seriously, just look at this little guy! He’s definitely one of my favorite Bumblebee figures to come out in a long time. Even the articulation on this guy is great. You get ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, and hips and hinges in the knees. The only thing missing is head articulation, but his noggin is so tiny, I can easily forgive that.

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Bumblebee’s Targetmaster unfortunately bears the name of one of the worst Deluxe Transformers I’ve ever had the displeasure of owning: Blazemaster. He’s a little blue helicopter and not a great one at that. In this case it feels as if Hasbro sacrificed the alt mode for a better gun mode, which makes him the opposite of Optimus Prime’s Roller. His robot mode is pretty piss-poor too, but maybe I’m expecting just a little too much from these tiny guys. Either way, I think it would have been so much cooler if they went for the Armada Hot Rod reference and painted this guy red and called him Jolt.

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Blazemaster’s gun mode actually works pretty well with Bumblebee. It’s still pretty big, but it looks like he can actually wield it, unlike Prime with Roller. I dig the way you can detach the blades and put them on Bee’s other arm or even mount them on his back.

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Legends Bumblebee is the kind of toy that I want to stuff in my pocket and take with me to play with on my downtime throughout the day. If I owned this as a kid, it would have been taken away from me at school. Hell, I’ll probably end up bringing it to work and it’ll get taken away from me at a Financials Meeting because I won’t stop playing with it. I never would have guessed that I’d be so impressed with these little Legends toys, but so far Optimus and Bumblebee have really scratched my itch. Next week, we’ll keep the Legends ball rolling and maybe check out a Decepticon!

Transformers Generations: Scoop (IDW Comic Pack) by Hasbro

I love the idea of Targetmasters. Who wouldn’t want a couple of friends that turn into guns? But I was already getting out of Transformers when this new breed of Transformers was arriving on the scene. I did, however, somehow manage to get Scoop and his two little buddies. I think he was my only one, but it’s possible I had Targetmaster Blurr as well. I don’t know if it was because I finally had an Autobot construction vehicle or because of the whole Targetmaster gimmick, but I really dug that G1 Scoop figure a lot and thanks to the character’s appearance in the IDW comic, this unlikely figure has gotten a long overdue update in the Generations line.

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Yes, as unlikely as it is to see an update to Scoop, it’s even more incredible that he comes with a comic book spotlighting the character. But that’s what I always liked about the IDW comics, they draw their character roster from a deep well of Transformers lore. We’ve seen this packaging many times before, so I don’t have anything new to say about it, except it’s still among my favorite of all the Transformers packages. You get the figure in robot form with his two Targetmasters, Tracer and Holepunch, beside him and a bonus reprint comic book in the background. How can you go wrong? You can’t! Let’s start with Scoop in his alt mode.

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Obviously, that alt mode is an orange payloader vehicle and in that sense it definitely pays respect to the original G1 toy. It’s a fairly simple sculpt with some articulation in the front scoop and it holds together and rolls along great. There are some notable details, like the molded ladders on the sides of the driver’s cabin, but that’s about it. There’s also not a lot of paintwork to speak of. You get a lot of orange plastic and black wheels. I’ve been known to jump all over Hasbro for how much they’ve scaled back on paint operations on recent toys, but in the case of Scoop’s alt mode, I don’t think it hurts the toy any. Construction vehicles aren’t meant to be flashy, and besides, Hasbro saved most of the color for Scoop’s robot mode, which I think was a rather good choice.

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There are three sets of peg holes on Scoop’s alt mode that can fit the Targetmaster guns. The two above his rear wheels don’t work so well because the guns bump up against the fenders. The ports between the two wheels work Ok, but I prefer to stick them onto the two top holes.

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Transforming Scoop doesn’t feel all that much different from the original toy. It’s extremely simple when going to robot mode. It was only when going back into vehicle mode that I had to ponder what exactly to do with the arms. Either way, the end result is a very clean and wonderfully proportioned robot. Scoop wears his scoop on his back and two of his wheels fall proudly on his shoulders. Some blue paint apps nicely recreate the chest stickers from the original toy and he’s got a crisp Autobot insignia stamped on his chest.

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Scoop sports some simple but effective articulation, which compliments his clean robot mode. With ball joints and hinges in the shoulders, ball joints in the hips, and hinges in the elbows and knees, Scoop feels very action figure-y, making him a lot of fun to play with and pose. If I have one complaint about Scoop it would be that he feels very hollow. The legs are hollowed out, the arms are hollowed out, and he’s rather light even for a Deluxe. But, maybe that’s more of an observation than a complaint, because it really doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the figure at all.

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The Targetmasters, Tracer and Holepunch, are simple, but oh so awesome. They represent some fantastic sculpting and paintwork for such little figures. These guys are a lot more stylized than the Nightstick figure that Hasbro released with Classics Cyclonus and I really dig that. Their articulation and transformation is simple, but that’s to be expected, and in the end you get a nice pair of little figures and a decent pair of guns. You can even combine the two into one ridiculous and unwieldy weapon just like you could with the original G1 figures.

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With distribution on these IDW comic packs being so poor in my area and online prices getting crazy, I all but gave up on getting many more of these. Nonetheless, a little persistence netted me Scoop for just a couple of bucks over regular retail and I’m mighty glad to have found him. He may not have been high on everyone’s list of Transformers that needed an update, but it’s hard to argue with results like this. He’s a fairly simple figure, but he’s easily among the best modern redesigns of a classic figure that Hasbro has done. He’s a great looking figure and super fun to play with… and hey, two Targetmasters! What’s not to like?

Transformers Universe 2.0: Targetmaster Cyclonus with Nightstick by Hasbro

It’s Friday, and that means it’s Transformers Classics week is just about up. I’ve got time to throw in one more figure before calling it quits so let’s take a look at the only Targetmaster to be released in the line so far: Cyclonus with Nightstick. He’s definitely a figure that needed an update badly as the original toy was pretty rough, at least in his robot mode. He was one of those new designs from the 86 movie with a rounder, more organic look that just could not be done justice in the old toy line. I know I had plenty of fun playing with him as a kid, but now it’s tough to look back at his original toy without cringing. How did the Universe 2.0 version treat us? Let’s find out…

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Cyclonus came carded in his space cruiser mode, so let’s start there. The roots of the ship design are certainly on display here, but it’s clear that a lot of sacrifices had to be made in order to help the transformation along. It’s not quite as sleek as the original toy design. You get a lot of disjointed hinging and segmentation and that retracting nose cone is particularly unsightly. The back half of the body doesn’t lock together and when viewed from the back it’s just downright f’ugly. That all having been said, I think they did the best with what they had, and if sacrifices had to be made, I’m glad they did it in the alt mode and not the robot mode. On the upside, Cyclonus has a hinged set of front landing gear and a socket in the top so you can plug in Nightstick and give him some extra firepower.

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The conversion process is pretty simple and yet very clever. I really like the way the entire nosecone assembly folds away into the torso. The engineering in the legs is very cool as well. He’s lots of fun to transform and not at all overly complicated.

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In contrast to the alt mode, Cyclonus’ robot form is excellent and very close to his animated counterpart. He hits all the points of the character’s great design elements. I love that Hasbro managed to remain faithful to the sleeker and more organic contours of the 86 movie look, which is something the G1 toys could never properly replicate. On the downside, I’m not sure what Hasbro was thinking for the colors here. The blue seems way too dark and the bare grey plastic doesn’t look that great. It’s passable enough for the wings, but the unpainted face just looks cheap and unfinished. That’s a shame because the sculpt of the portrait is great and the light piping in the eyes is particularly effective.

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Cyclonus has all the articulation you could want in an action figure. His head rotates. His arms rotate at the shoulder, have some lateral movement in the biceps, as well as hinged and swivel elbows. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ankles and have swivels in the biceps. One of the greatest things about these updates is that we finally get these characters as fully realized action figures and Cyclonus sure is fun to pose and mess around with.

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Nightstick is Cyclonus’ little Nebulon buddy who transforms into a gun/cannon. I loved this idea back in the day and I’m happy to see Hasbro begin including these in the retro-line. It’s a pretty simple transformation, but his robot form looks pretty good for a guy this size. His articulation is actually pretty good too, even if most of it is just there to accomodate his transformation. For some reason, Cyclonus only has a peg hole in his right hand.

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Remember what I said about Astrotrain? Well it applies here too. If you don’t have Cyclonus and are looking to pick him up, spend the extra money and get the Henkei version. The colors are excellent and a toy this good really deserves the better paint job, than the unfinished grey parts on this Hasbro version. He’s not as bad a color variation as Astrotrain, though, so that’s saying something. You could also check out the Rodimus and Cyclonus two-pack that Hasbro did as it’s intended to be more a more cartoon accurate deco. Either way, Cyclonus is one of my favorite of all the Classics inspired figures. He looks amazing, has great articulation and is so much fun to play around with. If you don’t have him, get him.

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And that wraps it up for Transformers Classics week. I didn’t quite get to all the figures I wanted to get to, but I had a pretty good run at it. I was considering extending through to Saturday just to get a few more posts in, but I’ve got other toys piling up, [Some of which are more Transformers… yay! -FF] so I’m going to just move on and revisit the ones I missed at some point in the coming weeks.