Transformers Kingdom (Golden Disk Collection): Jackpot and Sights by Hasbro

I had planned on skipping these Amazon Exclusive Golden Disk Collection repaints, but one night when some of them were presented to my drunken self by Amazon, I guess I must have slammed that BUY IT button, because they later showed up at my door. That’s fine. I am, however, a little embarrassed by the fact that I still haven’t reviewed some of the original figures that these are repaints of. Indeed, I actually did an entire photo shoot with Jackpot here, while under the impression that I had reviewed Studio Series Jazz. But nope. Had I known that, I probably would have gone with more of a joint review, but let’s just press on anyway.

Well, this is a pleasant surprise! I was expecting the crappy brown box that the past Amazon Exclusives came in, but this is colorful and pretty nice, even if the artwork is kind of bland. The figures inside come tied to a corrugate tray, so it’s nothing fancy, but at least the box is collector friendly should you decide to keep it. I was already out of playing with Transformers by the time Jackpot and the Action Masters arrived, so I didn’t have the original figure, but I love that we’re getting modern transforming toys out of them. Let’s start with Jackpot’s alt mode.

The car is a straight repaint of Studio Series Jazz, and this is an excellent little recreation of the Porsche 935 Turbo. All the familiar beats are here from the semi-squared off front bumper, the down sloping hood, to the beautiful rounded swells over the wheel wells, and the prominent spoiler. This mold made for an excellent Jazz and it certainly cuts a different look with this wild new black and yellow deco. It very nearly makes it look like the mold has had some tweaks, even though that’s not the case. The added silver to the front bumper looks great, as does the orange on the headlamps and rear bumpers. Jackpot sports some snappy translucent orange on his windows, and an Autobot emblem on the front middle of the hood. Considering the G1 Jackpot had no alt mode, I think this turned out pretty cool.

I don’t have a lot to complain about here, except maybe the clips holding on the front wheels look a tad cheap. There’s a slight difference in yellow where the painted plastic meets the colored plastic, but neither nitpick is a big deal. I don’t know how collectors unfamiliar with the original character will take to this paint scheme, but I dig it.

Jackpot comes with a repaint of Jazz’s gun, which can be plugged into the socket on the roof to weaponize him. He also comes with a blast effect part for the gun. Cool!

As with Jazz, transforming Jackpot holds no surprises. It’s not all that dissimilar from the recent Datsuns. He’s pretty quick going to and from either mode, and the panels lock together fairly well in the auto mode. Like the Datsuns, he’s a bit broad shouldered, but otherwise the proportions are just fine and he makes for a great and very classic looking robot. Yeah, his lower legs are hollow, but I’ve come to expect that. His roof and doors fold up neatly on his back, although I would have preferred he kept the G1-style door-wings, but that’s something I miss more on the Jazz version than this one. As for the deco, it doesn’t really change much from his auto mode, other than adding some orange to his feet and lower legs. It’s not a perfect match for the original figure, but certainly close enough for me.

The only new sculpting here is found in Jackpot’s head, and it’s a great update to the Action Master portrait. I’m not a big fan of the super obvious seam running down the top center of his “helmet,” but otherwise I like the head just fine. The orange visor matches his deco nicely, and the styling of the sides of his head look really cool.

In addition to the repaint of Jazz’s gun, Jackpot comes with his buddy Sights. Yeah, the homage here is a tad off. Sights is still a robotic bird (and a great one at that!), but he transforms into a battle axe instead of a photon cannon, which makes his name rather curious, but it’s fine. You can still work him into a gun of sorts, but I think I prefer him as an axe.

In the end, I’m glad i picked up this figure! I love updates to some of the more obscure G1 toys, and it’s cool to get a transforming version of Jackpot into this collection. Going with the Jazz mold was a no-brainer, and it’s nice to see such an excellent figure get repainted into another character. Sure, Jazz is still my favorite of the two, so don’t take the fact that he got passed over for a review as meaning otherwise, but Jackpot turned out to be a fantastic re-release of an already fantastic mold!

Transformers (Netflix Series): Bumblebee by Hasbro

For decades, Hasbro has skirted their obligations to Bumblebee’s true heritage by not making his alt mode into a VW Bug again. Sure, some of that came from his change into a Camaro in those shitty movies, but even before that, it seemed like Volkswagen wasn’t interested in licensing to them, or maybe Hasbro wasn’t interested in paying out. Either way, we had to wait for the Takara Masterpiece figure to see Bumblebee once again strut his stuff as a Classic VW Bug. But all that’s behind us, as the last movie made him a VW Bug again, and I guess that’s something good to come out of that mess of a film franchise. Maybe that paved the way back to the figure I’m opening today. Jeez, when did Transformers toys become so complicated? Anywho, I can hardly believe that it was all the way back in June of last year when I reviewed Earthrise Cliffjumper. Damn, it feels like it was only a few weeks ago. I remember doing a lot of nitpicking, but ultimately being pleased with that figure. I also remember imagining how they were going to rework him into Bumblebee. Well, they did. And we’re going to look at it. Today. Let’s go!

Bumblebee is part of the Netflix Series tie-in, which is calling itself the War For Cybertron Trilogy and these figures come in white boxes. Yeah, it’s kind of weird to get Bumblebee in this mongrel off-shot, sub-series, but whatever. Once I throw out the package, this figure will fit right into the Earthrise or Kingdom series. And after a few generous pours of my friend Jameson, I won’t even know (or care about) the difference. Speaking of alcohol… I’ve tried watching the Netflix series, but I couldn’t make it through the first season, despite really wanting to like it. I decided to embark on the second season armed with a bottle of liquid courage, but all it did was make extra sad and depressed. The animated models look great, but the grimdark atmosphere is kind of stifling and I’m not a big fan of how they choose to portray some of the characters. But none of that makes this figure any less welcome and I’ve ranted on long enough. Let’s look at the damn toy! Like Cliffjumper, Bumblebee is packaged in the Deluxe assortment class, but he is much smaller than your average Deluxe. We’ll start with his alt mode!

OH, MY BEAUTIFUL DIESEL-POWERED DEUTCH BEAUTY!!! With no practice in a long while, I was worried Hasbro might not be able to pull off a VW Bug as an alt mode again. I mean, even the G1 original toy wasn’t a proper Beetle, but rather a Super-Deformed version. This Bug looks like it might be a little longer in the hood area than is accurate, but I’m no expert and either way it’s not bad looking at all. Indeed, I absolutely love it! The car mode locks together quite nicely and while there are some unsightly seams where the panels link up, it’s nothing that I’m not used to by now. The chonky curves are gorgeous and it is indeed licensed as there’s a Volkswagen insignia sculpted onto the hood right in front of the windshield. There are lots of great little details in the scul;t, like the vents over the engine compartment in the rear, as well as additional air vents behind the rear side windows. I can even make out the handle on the front of the hood. Great Primus, it’s so awesome to see the little guy’s alt mode return to his roots.

The Bug makes use of a rather deep yellow in terms of plastic and paint. The painted areas match the plastic quite well, and even has a bit of a metallic sheen to it. I love that, because sometimes the yellow plastic Hasbro uses tends to look cheap, but not here! The yellow also looks great next to the blue-tinted transparent windows. Some other paint flourishes include silver paint on the wheels, the headlamps, and even the windshield wipers and door pulls. The tires are black and so are the front and rear bumpers. And finally, you get a little red on the tail lights and an Autobot insignia stamped offset on the hood. What? You want me to complain about something? Fine! I wish they had detailed his license plate instead of just leaving it blank. Happy?

Bumblebee comes with the exact same giant bazooka as Cliffjumper, which means it can be broken down into parts to convert Bumblebee for water travel. This entails using the bipod for skis under the front wheels, using the tubes as pontoons, and the back piece as a stabilizer on the undercarriage. I liked this feature on Cliffjumper a lot, and I still like it here. On the other hand, Bumblebee lacks the port on top that Cliffjumper had to properly weaponize his alt mode, but that’s not a big deal for me. So, the alt mode gets a big thumbs up, let’s see how the robot mode turned out.

Not bad at all! Bumblebee transforms the same as Cliffjumper, which means you do have to take the back part of the car off in order to convert him. If that bothered you with Cliffjumper, it’ll likely do the same here. I’m not a huge fan of it, as I think it’s a cheat, but I’m willing to let it slide here because I really do love the resulting bot mode. Bumblebee sports a rather broad slab of chest, but I don’t think it works against the figure. His feet are still kind of big, but they don’t feel as bad as the giant clodhoppers that we saw on Cliffjumper. I remember calling out those cylindrical parts of the arms on Cliffjumper and saying how they look out of place on him, and that’s because they were always meant for Bumblebee here. Sure, he wears the back half of the car mode on his back, but as far as backpacks go, it’s not that bad at all. Indeed, I think it fills him out nicely.

The head sculpt is certainly on point! It would have been a shame to come all this way and not get the portrait right, but Bumblebee’s noggin turned out great. I would have liked the eye paint to be a little more blue and vibrant, but otherwise, I’ve got nothing but praise. From the horns on his rounded “helmet” to the silver paint on his face, Hasbro captured the character exactly as I always picture him.

I already pointed out that Bumblebee comes with Cliffjumper’s bazooka, and while it’s a damn cool weapon it feels out of place for this little guy. Fortunately, it can be broken down into smaller bite sized chunks. As smaller pistols, I think they work much better for Bumblebee. And if you absolutely don’t like the backpack and still want to use all the parts, it can be removed and turned into a shield, but I’ve never been a fan of that sort of thing.

Maybe it’s the booze making me all emotional, but this tiny scrapper posing as a Deluxe Class figure has made me so damn happy. It feels like such a momentous release, finally returning Bumblebee to his roots and doing it with style. Both the alt and robot modes kick ass, and it’s doubly impressive that Bumblebee and Cliffjumper manage to be so distinctive while still sharing all the same engineering and internal parts. Even in the context of mammoth releases like Scorponok and Omega Supreme, this little fella stands out as one of my favorite Transformers releases of late. And holy shit, that’s saying a lot because Hasbro has been successfully beating the Transformers drum consistently and without fail. And by Primus, it’s a great time to be a Transformers fan!

Transformers Siege: Sideswipe by Hasbro

Slowly but surely I’m working my way through the first wave of Deluxe figures from the new Siege: War for Cybertron. So far this assortment has delivered on the best Hound figure we’ve had in ages, and a pretty sweet update to the Duocon, Flywheels so at this point, the wave can do no wrong. Can they work the same magic for the classic Class of 84 Autobot Sideswipe? Well if opinion on the social medias is any indication, I think they can!

Here’s another look at the packaging as Hasbro does away with the card and bubble in favor of a collector friendly window box. I love these boxes and the character art looks fantastic. It’s just too bad that I don’t have the space to keep them. Sideswipe comes packaged in his robot mode, but we’re going to jump in to his alt mode first!

Whereas Hound’s felt like a bulked up version of his G1 Jeep mode, Sideswipe’s is more of a futuristic version of his G1 Lamborghini mode, and I dig that a lot. It’s like Siege is taking the underlying characteristics of these alt modes and buffing them. So Hound gets more military and brutish and Sideswipe just gets sexier. Indeed, what we get here feels like a Lamborghini concept car, although I suppose it could still pass for a Cybertronian vehicle. I like the contouring on this car and the intakes behind each side of the driver compartment. The ribbing on the hood is nice, but the sides of the car are pretty f’ugly thanks to some seams and hinges. I also wish the black parts, just above and behind the front wheel wells, were painted red to match the rest of the car.

And speaking of paint, the deco is pretty simple and gets by with very little of it. The red plastic looks great with the tinted, smoked windows and you get some silver on the head lamps and the wheels. It’s all capped off with a crisp Autobot emblem stamped right in the middle of the hood.

If you like to weaponize your vehicles, there are three peg holes available, one on top and one on each side. Sideswipe’s weapon can also split so you have some additional options. If you’ve picked up some of the Battle Masters, you can also plug them on him.

Transformation here is super simple, and that makes the resulting robot mode all the more amazing. It’s clean, it’s fairly well proportioned, and it’s the spitting image of Sidesweipe’s old G1 robot mode. I particularly love the way his front wheels lock inside his shoulders and the way his legs fill out. But beyond how faithful his is to his roots, he’s also so tight and sturdy. Everything locks together so well that he feels more like a regular action figure than a Transformer.

Even from the back, Sideswipe’s design is super clean. Sure he has a big slab of car canopy for a back, but it’s rare that you get a Transformer that isn’t showing off some ugly bits from behind. As for the deco, it retains that nice red plastic, while adding a fair amount of off-white plastic in the arms, legs, and the frame around his neck. Some paint hits include the silver on his feet and waist, and some dry-brushing on his lower legs that look like wear and tear in the metal.

The head sculpt is terrific and also very evocative of the G1 character, complete with horns. If I were to nitpick anything about this figure, I’d say that I wished his head sat a little higher. If you look at him straight on, his chest plate covers a bit of his chin. But that’s only if I’m really looking for stuff to complain about.

Sideswipe’s weapon can be a rifle to hold in his hands, or it can be attached to his shoulder to simulate the G1 toy’s missile launcher. You can also pull it apart and mix things up a bit. I do kind of wish he had come with a proper rifle so he could have it and his shoulder launcher, but I think Hasbro’s really banking on people buying the smaller Battle Master packs for weapons.

And before wrapping up, here’s a quick comparison of Siege Sideswipe with the old Universe version. Honestly, I think I still prefer the Universe version’s auto mode over this one. It’s just cleaner and shows a lot less seams. As for the robot modes, I’m going to give the nod this new figure. I still love the Universe version, I think it’s a great looking figure with some neat engineering, but there’s something about how simple and elegant Siege Sideswipe that I just love. He’s also more fun to play with.

With three figures down in this Deluxe assortment, I have nothing but high praise for Siege. The figures look great, have some refreshingly simple transformations, and I’m digging the unabashed fanwanks back to the halcyon days of Generation One. Indeed, I would be thrilled if all of the Class of 84 Autobots got the Siege treatment! I’ve got one more Deluxe to look at, in a couple of weeks, and then I’ll start in on the big boys.

Transformers Siege: Hound by Hasbro

Power of the Primes is dead… Long live Siege! Yes, it’s that time again, folks, for Hasbro to shake things up with a new line of their irresistible RoboConvertobots, and this time the new series is named Siege: The War for Cybertron Trilogy. That’s a mouthful, so I’ll just be referring to it as Siege. It’s a line that looks like it will be extra heavily influenced by the G1 goodness that I love so much. It’s also a line that will be giving us some badly needed re-dos of some old friends. And today’s review is a great example of just that, because it’s Hound!

Hound has always been among my favorites of the G1 Autobots. I really loved his original toy, and I adored him in the original Sunbow Mini-Series. The last time he got a Deluxe Class update was way back in 2009 as part of the Classics line. I loved that figure when it came out, but it’s definitely aged a bit, so I’m anxious to see if this new Hound can replace him. And check out that packaging! The cards and bubbles have been replaced with these collector friendly window boxes. The deco still features the Transformers logo running up the front, right side in bold red lettering, but now we get some totally bitchin’ character art on the slanted left side panel. Everything about these boxes feels premium, and I may actually try to keep these. Anyway, Hound comes packaged in his robot mode, but we’ll start with his alt mode.

OK, so there’s definitely some stuff to love here, but I’ll confess I would have liked something more akin to Hound’s traditional Jeep alt-mode. The front actually looks fine, but the rest of it is ugly as sin. It looks like a Jeep bumped uglies with a Hummer and this is what resulted in that union. I don’t hate it, but overall I’m not digging it all that much either. That’s not to say that there isn’t some good stuff going on here. The sculpt does feature some nice attention to detail, they even managed to get something that looks like seats in the driver area, and there are peg holes all over this thing, so you can load it up with weapons. Hmm… I wonder if that’s some kind of running theme for Siege?

Yup! Apparently, interchangeable weapons are going to be a big deal in this line and that should make for some good times. Hound comes with a rifle and his familiar G1 rocket launcher and there are loads of places you can put them on his alt mode and still leave room for about a half-dozen additional weapons.

But it’s the coloring and the paint that impresses me the most here and makes this feel like a premium toy. The olive green they used for most of the base plastic is a pretty close fit for the original G1 toy and the gold trim, as well as the star and Autobot emblem on the hood really drives the homage home. Additional paint hits include some yellow and white for the array of lights on the front of the vehicle, red for the taillights, and some dry-brushing on the front bumper to add some wonderful looking weathering. I can’t remember the last time we’ve seen something like that on a Deluxe Transformer. All in all, I think this new vehicle mode works great as a toy, but as far as the design goes, it loses points for having a case of the uglies. Then again, it’s a military vehicle, so I guess it doesn’t have to look that pretty. Let’s get Hound transformed and see how his robot mode makes out.

Holy hell! Suddenly I’m willing to forgive all the sins of the alt mode for this amazing robot mode. While the design certainly takes some liberties, it’s faithful in all the right places. It’s pretty cool how all four of the wheels wind up on his lower legs, leaving a clean upper half. The chest is beautifully boxy and appropriately Jeepy and I love that all the extra paint hits from the vehicle mode are prominently displayed here. Not to mention you get some more of that lovely dry-brushing on his lower legs. The proportions here are excellent as well, and I particularly dig the lateral rockers in his ankles.

From the back, Hound looks pretty clean and tidy. The roll-cage from his alt mode folds up into a pretty neat backpack and from back here we can see the four wheels, all attached to the vehicle’s side panels, wrap neatly around his lower legs. Hound has a little hollow-leg syndrome going on back here, but I’m usually willing to forgive that. All in all, Hound features a great robot mode and it’s achieved with a fairly simple transformation.

The head sculpt is spot-on beautiful! He’s got that great boxy “helmet” that I’ve always loved, flawless silver paint on his face, and a pair of pale blue eyes that are so bright, I’d almost swear there was light-piping involved. His distinctive G1-inspired missile launcher can mount on either his left or right shoulder, and while it doesn’t actually have a missile, the design is unmistakable from the original’s. The stars on the shoulders are a great touch too!

In addition to his shoulder cannon, Hound comes with two other accessories, a round canister and a rifle. The canister pegs onto the back of the vehicle mode, and I’m thinking it’s meant to be an homage to the spare tire on the original toy. But it can also plug into the back of the gun to form a drum. I like the gun design a lot, even if it isn’t very reminiscent of Hound’s G1 rifle, and it has some nice silver paint apps.

With new boxes and snazzy new paint jobs, comes a price and in this case Hasbro has raised the rent considerably. The Deluxe Class figures of the Siege line are running $20 at the local Target and that seems to be the going price around the neighborhood. It’s a big jump from the $16.99 of the Power of the Primes Deluxes and it’ll be interesting to see if the higher price tag means Siege is intended more for collectors over the kiddies. As for me? Well, it’s easy for me to see where the money went. Everything about the quality here feels like Hasbro is upping their game, and I have to say Hound is one of my favorite Deluxe Class figures to come out in a while. That’s saying a lot, because we got some incredibly solid figures out of Titans Return and Power of the Primes. For now, I’m anxious to check out the rest of the Deluxes in this wave, as well as some of the smaller bots.

Transformers Generations: War For Cybertron Cliffjumper by Hasbro

Even before Hasbro leaked the pictures, we all knew it was coming. The inevitable repaint of War For Cybertron Bumblebee as Cliffjumper. I found this guy on the pegs last week and hesitated for a bit as to whether I really needed to own a second version of this mold. Ultimately, it was the resculpted head and the fact that this mold nicely fits the Tron vibe that’s all the rage right now. Plus, I can’t help it, I love me some Cliffjumper, he was such a little prick in the G1 cartoon and he wasn’t afraid to try to kick Megatron’s ass all by himself.

Cliffjumper comes in the standard Generations packaging, but like all the War For Cybertron figures, he comes packed in his robot mode. It’s a doubly good idea here since it allows hesitant buyers like me to see the new head sculpt. The bubble has the now familiar sticker advertising Hasbro’s new network, The Hub, where you can go watch another version of Cliffjumper get shot, resurrected as a slobbering zombie, get cut in half, and then blown up at the center of a hundred megaton Energon explosion. If the ridculous rumor floating around the Intertubes aboutWar for Cybertron and TF: Prime being of the same continuity, then Cliffjumper here is better off staying on Cybertron. [BTW, Hasbro, if I don’t eventually get a Cliffjumper figure with steer horns on the hood of his alt mode, I’m going to be one unhappy little TransFan. -FF]

If you go back and read my review of WFC Bumblebee, you’ll find that I really dig this vehicle mode. I already mentioned it has that great Tron look to it, and it still looks great here, painted over in red. I definitely dig Cliffjumper’s translucent headlights over Bumblebees, and the yellow stripes on his windows really stand out nicely. Apart from those little touches, I’d rate the two versions pretty close together in terms of their aesthetic quality. As with Bumblebee, Cliffjumper’s blaster can be stowed away behind his rear bumper when he’s in vehicle mode.

One of my biggest complaints about Bumblebee was his fidgity and unforgiving transformation. Now that I’ve owned the mold for a little while, that isn’t really as big an issue with Cliffjumper. As with al shell formers, you still need to get everything just right to get him into his alt mode, but the pegs and tabs are all there to hold him together, so long as you know what you’re doing.  

In robot mode, Cliffjumper still has that Dr. Robotnix look to him on account of his somewhat spindly legs and bulbous torso. I’ve found that it’s not so bad looking when you’re viewing him from the side or an angle, but from straight on, he just looks kind of silly. Apart from that I really dig this robot mode, particularly how most of his shell just folds away neatly into a backpack, which isn’t at all obtrusive or an eyesore. The new headsculpt is excellent and very faithful to the G1 animated character design. It is, however a little on the small side, especially when he’s standing next to Bumblebee.

In addition to his little blaster, Cliffjumper has Energon blades that snap out from his wrists. I loved these things on Bumblebee and I love them here too.

Cliffjumper has good articulation, save for his shoulders, which while they are ball jointed, they hang off his torso at an angle, which really makes posing his arms a little off. Aside from that, he has a ball jointed neck, hinged elbows and swivel wrists. His legs are ball jointed at the hips and he has hinged knees.

I thought I might end up with buyer’s remorse on this figure, but I’m really glad I picked him up. I still wish the mold wasn’t so big, as Bumblebee and Cliffjumper look pretty beefy when compared to other WFC figures like Prime, Megatron and Soundwave, but I wouldn’t want to have seen these guys shrunken down to Scout sized figures, so I guess it’s all good. Honestly, though, if you already have Bumblebee, you know exactly what you’re getting with this figure, so you probably already know whether or not you need him in your collection or if he’s an easy pass.

Transformers Generations: War For Cybertron Soundwave by Hasbro

If you aren’t a Transformers fan and you still managed to muscle through the last week here, I’m afraid I don’t have any good news for you. While I’m going to specify another theme for this week, it’s still going to be mostly about Transformers. I’ve still got a few on my shelf that I need to get to and through the course of this week I’m going to have a whole bunch more rolling in. I’ll try to break things up midweek with something different, but I won’t make any promises. -FF

So, I got sick and tired of waiting for Soundwave to show up on the pegs so I broke down and ordered him online. I seriously had a nightmare that I missed him at retail and the only way he could be had was on Ebay for $50. No joke. These are the things I have angst about. I actually got him quite a few days ago, but every time I sit down to start writing up a post on him I wind up staring slackjawed in wonder at what an amazingly gorgeous figure he is. And just when I think I can’t love him any more, I stand him up next to Universe 2.0 Ravage or some of the Seekers or Galvatron and Cyclonus, and I just fall in love all over again. If you don’t feel like reading a lot of sappy gushing over a little piece of plastic, you can quit now, because that’s all you’re going to get here today.

Awww yeah, War For Cybetron Soundwave even makes the mediocre Generations card look awesome. Amazingly, this is one of the few times I’ve ordered a carded Transformer from Walmart’s website and it didn’t arrive with the card all beat to hell. He comes packaged in robot mode, so you can see him in all his Soundwave glory. If ever I was going to buy an extra Transformer to keep carded, this would be that figure. The reverse panel shows off photos of the toy in both forms and has a little blurb about the character, but he’s Soundwave, what more do you need to know about him?

Even though he comes in robot form, I’m going to start with Soundwave’s vehicle mode. Yep, if you haven’t played War For Cybertron yet, you may be surprised to see that Soundwave now transforms into a vehicle even though his robot form is pretty close to the original G1 version. I don’t know what you would compare his vehicle form to on Earth, because it sort of looks like an angular blob on wheels. I guess it’s like a little van, but with huge ramming teeth on the front and weapons mounted on the sides. The “tape door” has been reworked into his front windscreen, which can be opened and used to store his two weapons. And yep, they still look like a pair of batteries. The alt mode works beautifully. It’s more fun than a tape deck and it sure beats that stupid Cybertron “tower” mode shown in the More than Meets the Eye miniseries.

Moving on to Soundwave’s robot mode. Ahhh. Let me take a minute. Mmmm. Oh yeah. That’s good robot. He’s so damn amazing. The headsculpt is pure G1 Soundwave. It looks great, although I’m puzzled as to why Hasbro dropped a lightpiping plug into his head when his visor is painted. That’s ok, though. His angular shoulders are dead sexy and his chest opens up just like old Soundwave. His blue and grey deco is exactly what you would expect, although I love the only added gold is around his tape door as if to really rub our faces into the fanwank “tape door.” Simply awesome. As with the original G1 toy, you can plug one of his guns into his shoulder and the other can be held in either hand.

Soundwave is a solid figure with excellent articulation. His head is ball jointed. His arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists and hinged elbows. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ball jointed again at the ankles. He stands great and he’s tons of fun to play around with and pose.

Ok, I do have one criticism to lay on Soundwave’s door. Hasbro should have found some way to incorporate Universe 2.0 Ravage into his design. I guess he’s too small for that, but that’s ok, Ravage still looks great standing next to him. I suppose I could have asked that he be a bigger figure, but then I love having all of my Classic themed Transformers figures in one size, and Deluxe just works fine. Soundwave here just reminds me that it’s such a sweet time to be a Transformers fan and collector. And with awesome forthcoming figures like Kup, Wreck Gar and Scourge and Laser Rod Optimus, we’ve got some great months ahead of us, that is until the new movie line comes along and… well… you know.

Transformers Generations: Cybertronian Megatron by Hasbro

The War For Cybertron figures have been an awesome part of the new Generations line. I’ve already looked at Optimus Prime and Bumblebee and now it’s time to see how the other half lives with the first Decepticon in this sub-line of figures, Megatron! I’ve got to say it’s pretty bizarre having a Megatron figure as a Deluxe. I know it’s been done before, but it’s certainly a rarety. Still, he fits in fine with WFCOptimus Prime and while that Prime figure felt like a Voyager shrunk down to a Deluxe sized figure, Megatron here is way too simple to have been a Voyager. Is that a bad thing? Let’s find out…

Megsy comes packaged on the now typical Generations style card. As with the other War For Cybertron inspired figures, he is packaged in his robot form. The card is attractive and serviceable enough, but nothing special. It’s also a damn liar, because it says the figure’s difficulty is Level 3 Intermediate, whereas it should be Level -1 Too Easy. The back panel shows off photos of the toy in both modes and has a little bio blurb on the Decepticon leader himself.

Despite the way he was packaged, I’m going to start out with Megsy’s alternate form, because going the other way just feels wrong. Also, because the alt mode here is definitely the weaker this figure’s two modes. Megatron’s alt mode is a Cybertronian tank with a tracked mode and a hover mode, although the hover mode is the same as the tracked mode, only with the treads folded up underneith. The fact is you can barely tell the difference since the sculpted treads are so puny and insubstantial to begin with.

Make no mistake, Megatron’s alt mode is pretty faithful to the one depicted in the video game, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great design. I can appreciate that we’re dealing with completely fictional “vehicles” here, but the fact is that Prime and Bumblebee in their Cybertron alt modes still featured a strong foreshadowing of their Earth alt modes and so Prime basically looked like a futuristic truck and Bumblebee like a futuristic car. Megatron doesn’t so much look like a tank as he does just a giant cannon on a platform. It’s not a terrible mode by any means, but it’s not all that creative either, and I’d have to say it’s one of the weakest alt modes Megatron has ever had.

Transforming this figure is ridiculously simple, but the good news is that despite the simple conversion, it’s the robot mode where this figure really shines. He reminds me a lot of the Transformers Animated Cybertron Megs, but either way he’s readily recognizeable as Megatron. In fact, the only thing I don’t like about his robot mode is that thing hanging off the top of his left shoulder. Considering his alt mode is entirely fictional, you’d think they could have designed him without that annoying piece of alt mode kibble. The headsculpt is particularly worthy of the Megatron and I really like what Hasbro did with the color scheme, as the black and grey and red is all faithful to his G1 original.

I absolutely love the way Hasbro handled his fusion cannon on this figure. It’s positioned on his arm just like his G1 counterpart and it’s also removable, which is really cool. The sculpted detail on it is impressive and it also fires off a missile. It really doesn’t impair Megs’ articulation either, so you can get some great poses of him blasting Autobot fools with it.

Speaking of articulation, Megatron is a highly poseable figure. He has a ball jointed neck. His arms rotate at the shoulders and have some lateral movement as well. His elbows are hinged and also swivel. His legs rotate at the hips and have lateral movement in those joints, just like his shoulders. He has hinged knees and hinged ankles.

Even with the weak alt mode, I absolutely love this figure. His robot mode looks awesome and really does the character proud. He’s also a really solid figure, without any of the popping ball joints and flippy pieces that we’ve seen in some of the modern figures. But above all, he’s just fun to play around with and pose and he looks fantastic on the shelf.

Transformers Generations: Cybertronian Bumblebee by Hasbro

The first wave of Generations figures included two figures from the Transformers video game, The War for Cybertron. These are heavily G1-based reinventions of the characters we all know and love, only in their Cybertronian (ie. Pre-Earth) forms. We already looked at one of these two figures, Optimus Prime, now it’s time to look at the spunky little Autobot warrior, Bumblebee.


The War for Cybertron figures come on the same cards as the regular Generations figures. Unlike the other Generations Transformers, however, Prime and Bumblebee are both carded in their robot forms. I’m still loving the artwork on these cards. The back features a cool little bio blurb about Bumblebee being a courier on Cybertron. Oh yeah, my card is bent to shit because it was shipped by Walmart Online in an unprotected mailer bag. That’s not a complaint mind you. At 97 cents for shipping, I’ll happily accept a mangled card.

Bumblebee’s Cybertron from is an egg-like car. It’s a really cool design that looks like something straight out of Tron. The windows are clear, tinted plastic and the car rolls along really nicely. There’s not a lot else to say about this alt form. It’s obviously not the design from the original cartoon series, as that Bumblebee was more like a hovercraft with stubby wings. Still, this is a nice, original design that suits the character really well. Unfortunately converting him into his alt mode is a real bastard. Bumblebee is primarily a shell-former, and even when all his parts are folded in perfectly, I still can’t seem to eliminate all the gaps on his various plates. At least he does lock together pretty well.

Bumblebee’s robot mode is pretty good, although it has a few sticking points. His torso is a little abbreviated, and at certain angles he seems to have the physique of Dr. Robotnick from Sonic the Hedgehog. If you’re scoping him out from behind he looks particularly bulbous because he’s wearing half his car shell as a backpack. I really love the new head sculpt, though. He’s still got the little G1-inspired horns too. I also love the way parts lock around his wheels to form his feet. It’s very clever. The good definitely outweighs the bad here and I think he makes a fine figure.

Bumblebee has two red, translucent retractable energon blades on his arms and he also comes with a blaster pistol that can be stowed away in either his robot or vehicle forms.

You can pick up Bumblebee for around $11.99 at most toy retailers. These have been pretty easy figures to find, at least in my parts. I’m not quite as fond of him as I am the Optimus Prime figure, but he’s still quite a good figure in both design and execution. Thus far, the Generationsline is batting 4 for 4. Now, bring on Soundwave and Megatron!!


Transformers War for Cybertron: Optimus Prime by Hasbro

I don’t play a lot of video games these days. Well, at least not nearly as much as I used to back in my game junkie days. But I did pick up War for Cybertron and I played it like crack until I was done and then started it all over again. Besides being a great game, it really brought the characters to life and featured some downright fantastic re-designs of some of my favorite childhood characters. Needless to say, when I found out that some of these designs would be transformed into figures for the Generations line, I was mighty excited. The initial assortment features Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and today we’re going to look at Prime.

Hasbro opted to include these in the Generations line so you get the exact same style of package as we saw with Thrust. Prime is mounted in his Cybertron truck form. Its a very appealing presentation, but I would have liked something different about the card to make the War for Cybertron figures stand out a bit more. Even a sticker on the bubble might have been nice. Then again, I just rip these things open, so what do I care?

But wait, what’s this? Optimus Prime’s a Deluxe? Yeah, that doesn’t happen too often, and I don’t think it should have happened here. Granted, in the game, Prime wasn’t much taller than his fellow Autobots, but I still think Hasbro should have made this figure a Voyager Class. Not only because Prime is usually taller, but for reasons of the figure’s complexity that we’ll get to in a minute. With the popularity and press about the game, you’d think some Voyager sized toys wouldn’t have been that big risk. I mean, even Sea Spray is a Voyager so… come on!

I love the design of Prime’s truck mode. Its got a retro look to it, what with the curving shape of the front quarter panels and the grill, and yet it still looks futuristic. Its also got no windows, which makes sense, because, afterall, in his natural Cybertron form, why would he have windows? The truck mode locks together really well and rolls along great. There’s a socket on the top that you can peg his gun into, which is great because in the game, all the Autobots packed quite a bit of firepower in their alternate forms.

Transforming Prime is a daunting task, at least the first couple of times. The package lists him as a Level 4 Advanced conversion, and they’re not kidding around. There’s a lot of moving parts on this guy and more than a few double hinged pieces that need to be moved just right to get everything else to work. I can usually work out my Transformers without instructions, especially Deluxes, but I had to glance at Prime’s a few times to get it right. Still, after a few conversions, he’s not so bad. In fact, this is one of the more clever transformations I’ve seen in a while.

In robot mode, Prime is just a fantastic looking figure. In fact, he’s one of my favorite looking Prime figures in quite a while. His head sculpt is classic Prime, but with a few more stylized features, like the longer ear antenna. I like how this design leaves in the chest “windshields” even though they aren’t part of the truck design. The various bits of the truck’s outer shell fall into line nicely to form pieces of armor for his shoulders and non-obtrusive back plating. Its a really elegant design and a really convincing concept of what a pre-Earth Prime should have looked like.

Prime has great articulation, which includes a rotating head, ball joints in the shoulders and hips and hinged elbows and knees. His joints feel pretty loose right out of the package, but he doesn’t have much trouble standing or holding his positions.

Cybertronian Optimus Prime retails for around $11.99, which is about right for Deluxes these days and actually not bad for a figure of this complexity. Actually, he’s an amazing enough figure that I would have probably paid a lot more for him if I had to. I sincerely hope he sells well, because I’d like to see a lot of figures produced from the War for Cybertron game beyond the handful that we’ve seen so far. The early pictures for Soundwave look great. Now bring on the Seekers, Warpath, Ironhide, Sideswipe, etc. etc.