Transformers “Power of the Primes” Cutthroat by Hasbro

It seems like all I’ve been doing this week is working and sleeping, but the weekend is here and I’m going to ease into it by taking some time to enjoy myself and open up a brand new Transformer! It’s been a while again since my last Transformers reviews, but I had some other things I wanted to get caught up on. That’s all done and now I’m ready to continue my look at the Power of the Primes Terrorcons. I should be able to stick with Transformers on Fridays at least for the next few weeks. A while back I reviewed Rippernsapper and today I’m opening up Cutthroat!

I don’t have much new to say about the packaging, except that I really dig the character art on the card. Cutthroat is shown in his beast mode and looking mighty fine. I’ll also toss out there how surprised and pleased I am that Hasbro can still get away with using the name Cutthroat on a children’s toy. Yeah, it has other, less violent, meanings, but it’s still a word that conjures up a pretty grisly imagine in my mind. I’d like to think this Terrorcon got his name not because he drives a hard bargain, but rather because he literally slices people’s throats with the sharpened edges of his metal wings. When I looked at Rippersnapper, I started with his robot mode, so let’s keep that trend going for the rest of the Terrorcons…

When I first glanced at pictures of Cutthroat I wrote him off as a quick-and-dirty recycling of Swoop. Getting him in hand tells a whole different story. There are certainly similarities, but so much of this guy has been completely reworked that the resemblances are fleeting. The arms and upper legs are the same, the torso has a similar shape, the combiner port is still buried in the back, and both bots wear their beast heads on their chest and their wings on behind their shoulders. But what impresses me is how much re-sculpting Hasbro did here. The wings are completely redone, as is the detail work on the torso. The lower legs are completely new as well. His profile may be similar, but Cutthroat is bulkier and decidedly less sleek.

He’s a damn clean looking robot from behind too, and you have a few different options on how you can position his wings. The deco on this figure is pretty out there, but it’s certainly faithful to the original toy. You get some dark green in the torso and lower legs, some purple in the wings, hands, and around the neck and chest, and yellow in the arms, upper legs, bird legs, and “helmet.” These are not colors that I would think to put together, but I can’t say as I hate it. Little extras like the silver and blue paint hits on the legs and silver up near the shoulders make for a nice touch.

I like the head design a lot, but it doesn’t scream Cutthroat to me. With that having been said, the yellow “helmet” looks great and the silver face and red eyes are both sharp and snappy. He’s got a bit of a grim expression, maybe a little pissed off, but he’s not quite selling me on being a vicious Terrorcon.

Cutthroat comes with two accessories, but only one of them really matters to me and that’s his gun. It’s a compact double-barreled rifle, which is a pretty good update to his original G1 weapon and he can hold it in either hand.

The other piece is his Prime Armor, which attaches to each side of the bird head on his chest and has a compartment to put a Prime Master figure in there if you like your robots with ridiculously beefy chests. I’d toss it away, but it doubles as a hand for Abominus, so I guess I’ll need it when I eventually combine these guys.

Cutthroat transforms into some kind of monster bird and once again I’m pleased by the way he sets himself apart from the Swoop mold. The beast head still folds up over the robot head and the arms still fold in at the sides, but instead of folding up onto the back, the legs just collapse to make a longer body. From the front he’s got mostly bird stuff going on, but the stubby tail in the back looks decidedly more reptilian. He has a notch on his back where you can stow his gun between his wings and it looks like it could still serve as a functional weapon for his beast mode.

The colors here are more or less the same as in his robot mode. As for articulation, you get ball joints where the legs meet the body and hinges about halfway down. The wings are hinged at the body so they can flap and hinged again about a third of the way in so they can close up or spread out. The mouth is hinged, but the neck can only look up so far, which isn’t always the best for flying poses, but it works fine for when he’s just standing around.

I mentioned in my Rippersnapper review that these will be the first versions of the Terrorcons that I’ve ever owned and so far I’m enjoying the hell out of them. Cutthroat is a great looking figure and he’s loads of fun to play around with. I love when Hasbro takes the old basic-sized G1 toys and beefs them up to Deluxes. It really fleshes out all new possibilities for these characters. Next week, I’ll tear open another of the Deluxes, because I’m anxious to get through these guys and combine them to form Abominus!

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Transformers “Power of the Primes:” Rippersnapper by Hasbro

Holy shit, it’s a new Transformers review! Before jumping in, I want to make mention of how frustrating the Power of the Primes line has been for me. Distribution is never great in my area, but I was still able to pick up maybe half of my Titans Return figures in either the local Walmarts or Targets. And what I couldn’t find local, I was able to get off of Amazon at, or at least pretty close to, MSRP.

PotP has changed all that. The big box stores here either have empty pegs or the pegs are busting with Robots in Disguise figures where PotP should be. Even those newer Bayformer Studio figures are moving in on PotP’s turf. When the Walmart finally restocked, they restocked with two cases of the first wave. Amazon has been no help either because the Deluxe Class figures have been running in the $25-35 range. So, while it’s true I have not been as impressed with PotP as I was with Titans Return, I haven’t been intentionally snubbing this line. Indeed, I was actually thrilled to finally find a couple Deluxes at regular retail, because I still love getting new Transformers. OK, enough of my bitchin’… on with the review of the Terrorcon Rippersnapper!

Just look at that bitchin’ character art! By the time the G1 Terrorcons hit in 1987, I was 15 years old and more obsessed with Star Trek than I was Transformers. I was aware they existed because I was still watching the cartoon, but I never owned any of the Terrorcon figures. As a result, I was super excited to see them coming out as part of the Power of the Primes and allowing me to finally own these characters in brand new versions. Rippersnapper is the first of these to cross my path, so let’s get rip him open and snap some pictures! I’m going to start with his robot mode…

The original Rippersnapper was one of the smaller, basic sized combiner limbs, so getting him up-scaled to a Deluxe is pretty damn cool. The robot design takes some cues from the original toy, but is obviously much better proportioned and with serviceable articulation! I don’t know that I would recognize who he’s supposed to be from the front, but being in the know, I think it’s a great update. Some of my favorite things include, the chest plate that covers his combiner port, the guns that rise up over his shoulders and the way the claws on his forearms work with the articulation in his wrists. In fact, my only quibble about this robot mode is that his right beast leg doesn’t secure the way it should. There’s a peg there to hold it in place, and it works fine on the left leg, but this one just keeps popping out.

From the back, Rippersnapper still sports a pretty clean profile. The beast mode’s head forms a curved backpack and hood of sorts, while the tail fins function as heel spurs. The robot mode’s deco is predominantly a mix of cream and dark blue plastics with some lighter blue accents, as well as some red, silver, and yellow paint apps, giving him a much more diverse color palate than some of the Titans Return figures. All in all, I have to say that I love this robot mode. It looks great, the colors are beautiful, and really fits the G1 cartoon aesthetic that I treasure so dearly.

I don’t have any special attachment to Rippersnapper’s portrait from the good old days, but the head they went with here looks pretty similar to what I remember from the cartoon. He has a rather complex and squared-off “helmet” that frames his yellow face and large red peepers. It’s been so long since I had a new Transformer that my initial instinct was to pop the head off and then I remembered that was the last line’s gimmick. What was this line’s gimmick again?

Ooooh yeah. These stupid Prime Armor pieces.  I don’t like these at all, but I suppose Rippersnapper still looks passable with it on, even if it does bulk him out like crazy. As always, the piece on the front of the armor can be removed and you can stick one of the Prime Masters in there to give him imaginary powers. Yeah, I still don’t like this gimmick, but I do love the Pretender homage that’s included with the tiny Prime Masters, so I’ll definitely be picking up more of those when I find them.

Rippersnapper’s guns can be removed from behind his shoulders and held in his hands. These are a cool matching set of blasters, and I like them a lot better than the ones that came in the last line and had seats for the Titan Masters. Between these and his claws, Rippersnapper definitely has all the bases covered for combat. So let’s see how he looks in his Terrorcon beast mode…

The transformation here is pretty simple and it feels familiar, particularly in the way the legs expand and retract and that’s basically 90% of the transformation. The result is a… what? Some kind of land shark demon thing? Oddly enough, Rippersnapper’s alt mode has always stuck with me, despite never owning the original toy, and I think this is a pretty slick update, even if there isn’t a whole hell of a lot to it. His little legs are strong enough to support his body, but he can also rest it on his tail fin when he wants to. Also, his forearms are a lot more menacing than I remember from the original toy. He has some decent reach with those claws.

From the sides, Rippersnapper sort of looks like an adorable baby Trypticon. I think that’s mostly because of the dual cannons protruding over his shoulders and the snapping jaws. But no doubt, he’s more shark than dinosaur. The deco is more or less the same as the robot mode, and still very pleasing on the eyes. Oh yeah, and I love the faked out rub sign on the back of his shark head.

Speaking of the shark head, it features a lot of personality, especially in those beady little triangular red eyes and silver teeth. I really dig the vents sculpted into the sides of his head as well. The fact that there’s nothing to hide his robot chest being the same as his alt mode. At least all that great detail doesn’t go to waste.

Man, it feels great to open up a new Transformer again and I think Rippersnapper was a fine figure to come back to. There’s nothing exciting about the transformation engineering, but he is a super fun figure in both robot and alt mode. This kind of creativity that went into the later G1 designs is something that I missed out on back then, and it’s great to be experiencing it now with these modern updates. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find the rest of the Terrorcons before too long, because I’m anxious to get this team together. In the meantime, next week I’ll be back with a look at another figure from this assortment… and it’s a femmebot!

Transformers Energon: Terrorcons Divebomb and Insecticon by Hasbro

Welcome back for more terrific Terrorcons. Last time we looked at Battle Ravage and Cruellock, now it’s time for the last two: Divebomb and Insecticon. Like their Terrorcon bretheren, these guys are Scout Class figures with alt modes based on cybernetic style beasts. Divebomb is a falcon or an eagle or some kind of bird of prey while Insecticon looks like some sort of dung beetle. Let’s take a look…

I have absolutely no idea what kind of cyber-birdy Hasbro was going for with Divebomb’s alt mode, but I do know I love it. I’m particularly fond of all the mechanical details in the sculpt, like the air intakes and the fans on the wings. His wings are ball jointed where they meet the body and are hinged about halfway across, giving him a good deal of poseability in his beast mode. His legs are also ball jointed and hinged at the talons. I can’t believe we’ve gone this long without seeing a Laserbeak style repaint of Divebomb, but I can only hope that one day it may still happen. Maybe when I’m ambitious enough I’ll take one of the five or six of these guys I own and give it a try myself, but my past luck customizing Transformers has been less than stellar.

 

With such a great beast mode, you might expect Divebomb’s robot mode to be really crappy, but it turns out to be my favorite of all the Terrorcons. In fact, it gives off a major Gundam vibe to me, at least in the legs. He’s definitely not what I would consider a conventional looking Transformer. He’s got great poseability and he has an awesome pair of energon blades that attach to his arms. I also like that his robot head has a slight bird motif to it, just to carry the theme along. Divebomb is an amazingly fun figure and very well rounded for being a Scout Class.

 

And last up is Insecticon. I haven’t heard a lot of opinions about this figure, but the few I have heard seem to suggest a real love him or hate him attitude. I’m definitely of the love him version, despite the fact that he’s such a squat little guy in his robot form and definitely lacks the dynamic articulation of his peers, but I’m getting ahead of myself. His cyber-beetle mode is great. I love the sculpting in his legs, complete with hydraulics and the teeth in his mechanical pincer. His legs are all on ball joints and his pincer can move up and down. His energon drill attaches to his head and nearly doubles him in size, although it’s pretty ungainly and I tend to prefer to display him in bug mode without it.

Like I said, he’s pretty squat in his robot mode and a lot of that is due to his interesting transformation. He’s got a crazy looking face sculpt and not much use in his stubby arms, although he can hold that huge drill as a weapon, and it still looks just as ungainly. But in the end, I honestly think that this is a fantastic homage, not so much to the original G1 Insecticons, but rather the three less popular G1 Deluxe Insecticons.

And that finishes off the Energon Terrorcons. These guys are still fairly easy to find on Ebay and shouldn’t set you back a lot of scratch. If you buy them loose, just make sure you get all the Energon goodies with them, because they make up a huge part of these figures’ overall fun factor. I used to have a bad habit of picking up extra Terrorcons when I was out on toy hunts and couldn’t find anything else to buy, but like I said yesterday, there aren’t many army builders to take advantage of in the Transformers universe, so it was always hard for me to resist.

Transformers Energon: Terrorcons Battle Ravage and Cruellock by Hasbro

[Ugh, it’s been a dicey week for me, what with some long hours at work and a lot of hardcore drinking to fuel me through it. It’s taken its toll on Figurefan in the past few days, but I’m coming out of it and I’m ready to crawl into bed for about twelve hours and emerge refreshed and ready to go. In the meantime, it’s been way too long since I’ve looked at any Transformers, so today I’m going to do the first of a two part look at the four of the Energon series Terrorcons. -FF]

I really loved the Transformers: Energon toys, but don’t ask me to tell you a lot about the Energon cartoon. I’ve tried to watch it many times, but I usually wind up wandering away to do something more meaningful and interesting like scrub out the bottom of my refridgerator or organize my sock drawer. One of the cool things, however, that was introduced in the series was the Terrorcons, a sub-line of drones that were dispatched to hunt down energon and swarm around like a plague of locusts. The Terrorcons were basically the Decepticons answer to the Autobot Omnibots. The toys consisted of four different molds, and a fair number of repaints, and today we’re going to start out by looking at Battle Ravage and Cruellock.

I remember being ridiculously excited about getting Battle Ravage back when he was first released. Besides looking like a really cool figure, he was the first time that the G1 Ravage design had been revisited with any success. Getting a Ravage figure that transformed into an actual robot was a pretty cool idea too and I still like to display him with some of my other lines of Transformers. His beast mode features a really good level of articulation and the design is a great balance between beast and robot. The head sculpt is particularly awesome and I love the spiked ball that forms his tail. Ravage has an energon star that mounts on his back and two energon weapons that mount on his shoulders, one fires a purple missile and the other is a pretty darn good replica of G1 Megatron’s fusion cannon, albeit cast in translucent yellow.

Transforming Battle Ravage is pretty simple, and probably entails exactly what you might expect from a small beastformer. His back legs become is robot legs and his front legs become his arms. It’s not terribly imaginative, but it works and the little flip that the torso does to reveal the head is kind of cool. Ravage can hold his tail as a weapon and his energon weapons can be mounted on his shoulder or held in his hands. Battle Ravage is a really fun little figure and really demonstrates a lot of what I loved about the Energon toys.

Next up is the ridiculously named Cruellock. While you can draw the obvious thread back to Grimlock, Cruellock isn’t quite the clear cut homage that Battle Ravage tries to be. Granted, he is a robot dinosaur that transforms into a robot, so the connection is definitely there. I like Cruellock well enough, but not nearly as much as Battle Ravage. In dinosaur mode, ok let’s call him a raptor, he’s nicely sculpted and I really like the way the energon parts look on him. But his pelvis is loose and wobbly and his head is pretty obviously visible right under the dinosaur’s mouth, even if it is turned around. He’s still a fun figure, but not terribly stable.

Transforming him involves a lot of the pretty basic stuff as Battle Ravage. His raptor feet become his robot feet and his raptor arms his robot arms. The clever part just involves pushing his pelvis together, which pushes his raptor head back and reveals his head. Meanwhile his tail splits apart and the energon piece becomes his sword. I’ll grant that there’s some impressive little mechanics at work here for what is essentially a Scout Class figure, and while his robot mode does look good, it’s pretty obvious that there isn’t much to the transformation, especially with his raptor head and tail hanging off the back.

It’s easy to quibble over little things about both of these figures, but the truth is that I still can’t help but love them both. They’re relatively simple, but loads of fun and look really good in both their cyber-beast and robot modes. They’re energon weapons also give you a little leeway to mess around with trying different combinations. These guys are also fun to army build, something you don’t get to do a whole heck of a lot in Transformers collecting. I found a lot to love in Energon, but if I could bring one element of it back to get more toys, it would definitely be more Terrorcons. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the other two figures in this sub-line: Divebomb and Insecticon.