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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Familial October - Arcee, Chromia and Elita One

The Sisters

The Bike Trio are an interesting set of characters, and here they are:

"Arcee jumped at the chance to join up with Ironhide and the other Decepticon hunters on Earth. She proved such an effective warrior that she was quickly given command of her own strike team, made up of robots similar to her in attitude and design. Together with the Autobots she leads, she stalks the Decepticons in silence, creeping close enough to look them in the optics before she strikes.

Toyline: Revenge of the Fallen
Generation: Live Action Movies
Size Class: Deluxe
Faction: Autobot
Strength: 8
Intelligence: 6
Speed: 8
Endurance: 5
Rank: 5
Courage: 7
Fireblast: 7
Skill: 9

Robot Mode

Arcee's alternate mode is odd, she has a serpentine-style design where her upper and lower bodies are connected by a segmented connector similar to a snake's body.
Arcee's body is mostly pink with black added for the limbs, wheels and connectors. Arcee's body also features some silver detailing such as on her arms, upper body and face.

Arcee's torso is designed to emulate a woman's bosy with noticable abdominal areas and a feminine chest (if you mistook her for a male character then I feel sorry for you). Arcee's head is connected to the torso by a combination of a gear-based hinge and a ball joint that allows it to rotate to either side and nod up and down. Her face is silver and surrounded by a pink helmet and uses a lot of angular shapes, like triangles to create cheekbones, a chin, nose and chevrons, giving her a very feminine look (better than some other attempts). Her face features a light-piping effect that gives her pale blue lit up eyes.

Arcee's arms are connected to her torso at the left side by a ball joint connector that gives it great freedom of movement, which leads to an elbow joint created from another ball joint, again giving it a great amount of movement. Arcee's left hand to sculpted with dainty fingers, and the hand is able to fold in on itself, thanks to the transformation sequence she uses. This arm also features a black weapon created from her licence plate area from vehicle mode, which is flipped around by 180 degrees, and has a button that releases her translucent blue blade weapon.

Arcee's right arm is connected by a hinge connector that is hidden by her vehicle mode windscreen and surrounding area, creating a shoulder. Arcee's actual arm is connected to that by a ball joint that again gives it great mobility, and again leading to an elbow created by a ball joint connecting to the lower arm. Arcee's lower arm is surrounded by a chunk of her vehicle mode's shell that could be used as a shield or a make-shift bladed weapon if desired.

Arcee's snake-like connector is created by three black pieces that are connected to the upper torso by a ball joint and to the lower body by another ball joint and hinge combination. The inner piece of the connector is connected by a pivot joint and a hinge joint respectively. As can be assumed here, the number of joints in this section allows Arcee to be very flexible in this mode, allowing you to pose her in pretty much any pose you need, however, due to the excessive usage of the ball-joints, they do wear out pretty fast, so you may want to use some nail varnish to make them thicker and restrengthen them after a while.

Arcee's lower body is essentially her vehicle mode wheels and their gears etc folded in on themselves, creating a pair of wheel-based limbs for her (like what Sideswipe and Demolishor also have in this continuity) however, unlike those two,Arcee can use a stand in this mode to keep her standing upright (as seen in my pictures). However if you have a surface with indents made especially for her, or that has a malleable texture and can be reshaped as needed, then you can gte her to stand without it.

Vehicle Mode

Arcee's vehicle mode is a pink and black motorcycle with a set of Cyberglyphics on either side, and features some sculpted features like her windshield, translucent headlights, handlebars with brakes, twine exhaust pipes, wheel spokes, plastic tyres, licence Plate, gears, chains and seat, along with other smaller features.
Arcee's wheels are each capable of rotating on their axis' and she also features a working kickstand for her to being to stand upright (or as upright as possible for a two-wheeler).

Arcee's stand, which enables her to stand upright in robot mode is also used in vehicle mode in one of two ways, with as a pair of non-firing side-cannons, which clicks into the right side of his rear wheel, or as a side car that clips into the left side of his rear wheel. You can place a Mini-Con or a small Human figure from another toyline in there to enjoy the ride as well. In either of these configurations, Arcee doesn't need her kickstand deployed.

"Chromia is as tough as nails, and always spoiling for a fight. She's been friends with Ironhide for centuries, and their reunion on Earth was one of the high points of the war for both of them. Now they work side by side, hunting and destroying Decepticons. Neither of them has ever been happier. The two robots make great partners, and she, along with her sisters are an invaluable part of the team."

Toyline: Revenge of the Fallen
Generation: Live Action Movies
Size Class: Deluxe
Faction: Autobot
Strength: 7
Intelligence: 7
Speed: 8
Endurance: 5
Rank: 5
Courage: 9
Fireblast: 8
Skill: 4

Robot Mode

Chromia's robot mode is very different to Arcee's but in concept is actually very similar, her upper and lower bodies are separated by a snake-like connector (though this one is much more simpler than Arcee's)

Chromia's body is a combination of blue, black, grey and silver for her detailings. Her torso is very similar in design to Arcee's, but in a slightly different set up. Her head is connected to a hinge and ball joint combination like Arcee's and her face in general has the same basic design as Arcee (suitable for a triplet character) Chromia features a pair of blue painted eyes, but she also has a light piping feature, but due to the eyes being painted it's been neutered.

Chromia features a pair of shoulder pads above her arms that come from the bulk of her vehicle mode. Her arms themselves are connected to the torso by a ball joint each, giving them some movement. Her lower arms are connected by an elbow joint created from a pair of hinges on each arm that allows them to bend inwards and upwards about 90 degrees each way. Chromia's right arm also features a large cannon created from the bulk of the rear of her vehicle mode that features a firing missile, with the trigger on the underside of the weapon. Chromia features an immobile sculpted hand on her left arm, but not on her right.

Chromia's lower body is connected to the upper by a pair of grey connectors that form her snake-like inner body that can be reposed to allow her to bend forwards, lean back and much more. The lower body iself is made up of her rear vehicle mode wheel that can be folded inwards (along with the opening hatch on her vehicle mode) to create a wheeled limb, like her sister has. Again, like Arcee she comes with a stand that can be used to keep her from falling over.

Now in my case I position Chromia's movable kibble pieces differently from Elita's so as to differentiate between them easier. In my Chromia's case I keep the wheel found behind her head upright, as she is most commonly seen in this manner in fiction. For my version I also rotate her headlights to point forwards with her handlebars folded inwards. I also fold in her hatch opening and wheel so that the hatch is basically unseen and it looks like it isn't even there, but the wheel is fully visible. Her stand is positioned so it fully encases her wheel and the pair of guns are pointed forwards (the same direction as her large gun and headlights).

Vehicle Mode

Chromia's vehicle mode is a blue, black and silver motorcycle with white Cyberglyphics across her form. Arcee features working wheels and kickstand like Arcee does, but also features a moving handlebar, brakes and light segment, that allows it to rotate either way (as if you were veering to the left or right) and also has a hatch in the center that can open upwards for you to pretend to put things in there (like your helmet when leaving it or your lunch, like on a real bike). Chromia also has a firing missile between her exhaust pipes, although the actual trigger is hidden in this mode.
Chromia's extra sculpted features include a gas intake valve, gears, chains, twin exhaust pipes, licence plate that can be lowered to act as a wheel guard for the rear wheel too, sculpted wheels and other smaller pieces of detail.
Chromia's stand from robot mode can be reused here, like Arcee's could as well, but in a different way. In Chromia's case you can clip it onto the ports just in front of the rear wheels that allows her to stand there straight, with cannons beneath her, and due to the positioning of it, can also be made to look like she's performing a wheelie by just pushing down on the rear point of the motorcycle.
This stand can otherwise be inserted into the slots found on the two exhaust pipes and be used as a pair of extra weapons, including a pair of gatling guns. In this mode you need the kickstand open or hold her up manually, otherwise she'll fall over.


"Though she is a sister to Arcee, Elita-1 has more in common with Sideswipe. She and the swordsman team up whenever possible - especially if it means they can get away somewhere nice to do a little Decepticon hunting. This time, the two Autobots have found themselves up against Axor, who should present just enough of a challenge to make things interesting."

Toyline: Transformers 2010 line/Hunt for the Decepticons
Generation: Live Action Movies
Size Class: Deluxe
Faction: Autobot
Strength: 4
Intelligence: 9
Speed: 8
Endurance: 5
Rank: 6
Courage: 8
Fireblast: 6
Skill: 6

Robot Mode

Elita One's body is the same as Chromia's (SHOCKING!) but of course features her own colour-scheme or black, metallic purple, grey and silver. Her eyes feature a blue light piping effect.

As she shares the same design as Chromia, there's no point in me just repeating the previous review's robot mode section, I'll just mention my own changes in how I pose her kibble.
Mostly Elita is the same as Chromia, but I fold back the wheel from behind her head fully, mostly hiding it from forward view, and I also leave the lights and handlebars as they were in vehicle mode, with the lights pointing upwards (towards her face) and the handlebars outwards. I also leave her storage hatch opened up and kept in front of her wheel, and rests on the front of it.
An additional change I make is with the stand. I connect it in the opposite fashion to how I do with Chromia, so the guns are pointing out backwards, and could be missed when seen from the front. Remember, optical illusions are your friends when it comes to repaints!!!

Vehicle Mode

Elita-1's alternate mode is the same as Chromia's except for the colour applications. Elita's colouration is a combination of silver, black and metallic/chome purple that works very well, even if I do say so myself.
Elita comes with more Cyberglyphics across her form (same as Chromia's but in different places) and features all the same sculpting details and working features as Chromia.
Elita's major difference in terms of details is her Licence Plate, which features a "leet/1337" version of her name "3L 174" (ELITA).
Elita of course features the same stand as Chromia, and it can be used in exactly the same ways again, there's nothing new to add here.

Combined Mode

As I'm sure is very well know, the combined form of the sisters was abandoned officially by Hasbro before Elita-1 was created, and thus Elita was made into a pure repaint of Chromia meaning that any combined form you make from them will look just wrong. But the one I pictures above seems to work well (enough) and is pretty easy to make, you just fold out their connector pieces (found on their backs) and slide them into each other creating a small triangle between them, and then repose Arcee into a laid-back position and have the two mold mates standing up.

This combined mode isn't great, but it's something at least. She isn't able to move any easier or release any new weapons in this mode, but it'll do for it's might want to just ignore this mode and just look at the pretty motorcycles below....

there! Wasn't that a much nicer picture to look at that Abomination Gal? Yeah...just try to forget the previous picture..'kay?

My Thoughts?

The bike Trio are quite unique in that their toys were released across two toy lines (ROTF and HFTD) and on top of that, the third member, Elita-1 was merely made a repaint of the earlier Chromia toy (which led me to positioning her vehicle mode parts in different ways between the two to help differentiate between them). Also, because Elita-1 was hanged from an individual mold to a repaint, the combined form ISN'T what it was originally meant to be, but rather what I decided looks best, considering what I had available to me.

And interesting point I should make here is that all three of these girls actually had a counterpart in the first Movie's toy line as well. Arcee of course had her Deluxe class toy which was based on the concept created for her when she was intended to be in the movie originally, but the two Scout class Energon Arcee repaints in that line are actually very similar to the paint schemes on the other two toys (the blue Arcee toy as Chromia, and the black and chrome-like purple Elita One as he new counterpart, which ironically means that Elita was a repaint of Chromia AGAIN!).

The three sisters have been used in the comics and novels for the movies since the start and have been around for several key events (the launching of the Allspark, Starscream's Reign etc) but in the recent, pre-DOTM comics the Elita-1 character was killed off, and her sister's fates have been left unclear as of yet.

Arcee has been in the Transformers franchise since the G1 Cartoon Movie, where she was introduced as a female Autobot who could turn into a futuristic sports car. Very unusually for a main character in the series, Arcee never received a toy. However in 2001, Arcee received a Botcon toy of herself for the Universe line, and was a repaint of Transmetal II Black Arachnia, and later also received a Binaltech toy, which was a repaint of Decepticharge (who was also meant to have a repaint as Black Arachnia as well coincidentally). Arcee has also gone on to appear in the Energon TV series and Animated series, where she received a new toy in each (Motorcycle and Sports Car respectively). As well as the aforementioned Movie 1 Arcee toys, this version of Arcee has also been repainted as additional versions of herself, as well as receiving some smaller toys as well, in the Legends and Fast Action Battler sizes.

Chromia has actually been in the franchise longer than Arcee, though she has been used a lot less that the former female, she was introduced in the G1 TV series during Season 2 along with Elita One's G1 Counterpart as well. However unlike Arcee, Chromia has only ever received a toy in one other continuity. She received a toy in the Botcon 2005 set, which was a repaint of Energon Arcee (see some repetition here yet?). She has also received a Legends class toy, and the aforementioned re-purposing of Arcee's Movie 1 Scout toy.

Elita-1 premièred in the Transformers franchise at the same time as Chromia and was revealed to be the female counterpart/sister of Optimus Prime, both being rebuilt by Alpha Trion after being "killed" by Megatron. Elita's G1 counterpart received her first toy at Botcon 2009, where she was a mostly pink repaint of the Cybertron Thunderblast toy (at least she's not yet another bike!), and the aforementioned Movie 1 Scout toy of course.

Elita-1 was originally announced to be called Flareup, named for the Botcon 2005 character who shared a mold with Chromia, but this was soon changed when the toy was announced. Also, the toy itself looks completely different to the character seen in the movie and comics, in terms of colour and body type (not shockingly considering that she's a repaint). The colour change was most likely done to make her look more similar to her Movie 1 counterpart.

Over all, I really like this batch of toys, it was fun to collect all three over time, and despite the third member being just a repaint, I still think it was well worth it in the end. Their snake-like designs have been well translated from the character models to toy-form (within reason of course, it would be impossible to have made them look exactly screen accurate).

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Familial October - Jetfire and Jetstorm

"Created using the most advanced techniques known to Autobot science, Jetstorm and Jetfire were clones tech recovered from Starscream. Brought online in a secret laboratory deep beneath Cybertron, they are the first Autobots created specifically to battle the Decepticons. Though they are young, they are extremely intelligent, working their way through the Elite Guard boot camp in record time. Together they are potentially the most powerful Autobots of all time, especially when they combine into their Safeguard form.
* The only Autobots that can fly.
*Youngest Elite Guard members of all time.
*The first robots with the ability to combine."

Toyline: Animated US
Generation: Animated
Size Class: Voyager (Deluxe each)
Faction: Autobot


Jetfire is the orange ad white Twin, and he goes a little something like this....

Jetfire has a yellow Translucent panel on his chest with a sculpted pattern inside it (like an expanding stylized T shape). That panel is surrounded by a white border and a pair of brown markings on bottom (maybe they're light indicators?) and his lower torso is a slender black form that leads to his groin and legs. A little fun thing in that part of the body is that his chest panel can open up, so you can make pretend that Ratchet or someone is doing open-spark surgery on him, or that the Matrix can be hidden there.

Jetfire's head is connected onto the torso by a connector that is held in place by his collar. the head is connected to the neck-connector by a hinge that allows him to bob up and down and also turn to either side. Jetfire's head is sculpted with a pair of air-men's goggles, a pair of side ear muffs, and a flame effect on top as hair (which can be lit up along with his orange eyes by his light-piping effect. Jetfire's face features a sculpted smirking smile and stubby nose and of course the TFA trademark...a large chin (in the shape of a chin strap). Jetfire's face itself is white, and his helmet is orange, whilst his goggles and chin strap are brown.

Jetfire's arms are connected to his upper torso by an orange folding part that slots into place at the shoulder point. The upper arms are connected to that piece by a ball joint that allows it to move pretty much freely. His elbow joints are created by a hinge and a pivot that alloows it to rotate fully and bend forwards by 90 degrees. Jetfire's lower arms are just solid blocks that feature a flaming blade on the outside. Jetfire's wrists are articulated to rotate fully, but his hands themselves are just sculpted there and cannot hold any real weapons (but what does he care? he can make fire happen!!)

Jetfire's legs are connected to the groin area by a couple of messy hinges, but luckily they're covered up by his hip-guards (which feature his Elite Guard insignias). The actual legs are articulated up the top to move forwards and back as much as needed by a set of pivots and to rotate at the top due to another pivot , so he can be posed in a more stable manor. The lower legs are connected by a knee joint created by some hinges that allows them to bend backwards by about 90 degrees and inwards on itself by a small amount as well. Jetfire's feet are simply sculpted and made to look like boots, complete with grips on the bottom, arch and a heels. The lower legs themselves are shaped to look like a well sculpted runner's legs.

Jetfire's alternate mode is a Cybertronian jet of some sort with a thin nose-cone and a pair of boosters at the back, backed up with a pair of fold out wings at the back and a pair of smaller non-moving wings at the front (possibly meant to show his powers activating rather than actually being wings)

He also features a non-opening cockpit in the center as well and several speed enhancing parts, like slimlined parts and extra wings for aerodynamic reasons etc.


Jetstorm, being Jetfire's twin, is understandably very similar to his brother, so rather than making you read the exact same review AGAIN I've decided to go for the lazy option, and just list what parts of him are different to his brother!

Jetstorm's body is of course most noticeably different in terms of his colours, Jetstorm uses a dark and light blue colour-scheme, with gold highlights instead of brown
Jetstorm's flame decos are also different as these ones are meant to emulate ice or wind currents, so they are much sharper and more jagged looking that Jetfire's smooth lines, and of course they are blue instead of orange.

Jetstorm's head looks more streamlined that Jetfire's and features sharper lines and more points to it. His chin guard is a light blue with two bolts up the top, connecting it to the rest of the helmet. His helmet itself is the dark blue of his body with a pair of gold stripes down the middle. His eyes are in a visor format (akin to Jazz) unlike his brother's individual eyes and can be lit up using his light piping feature. Jetstorm's face is silver with a sculpted, sloping mouth (doing a :/ face) and a small nose under the visor.

His alternate mode is exactly the same as his brother, with the only exceptions being the colour-scheme and the wings/flames being made to resemble his ice/wind motif.


Safeguard is the combined form the the Jet Twins, but not in the usual manner for a combiner...

As you can see from the picture above, the Jet Twins actually fold themselves inwards, hang their arms off their backs, convert one arm and one leg each into an arm or a leg for Safeguard, fold their individual head inwards and flip out a half-head for Safeguard, then both sides are slotted together thanks to some clips in his groin, chest and head halves.

Safeguard is able to bend his arms and legs at knee and elbow joins thanks to some hinges and picots which gives him some limited articulation. The connectors for his legs and arms that lead to his torso are unable to move forwards, but can allow them to move upwards to the sides as far as you can. Safeguard also features a rotating pivot at the tops of his limbs that allows them to rotate fully to whatever pose you need them to be in.

Safeguard's feet are the same as they are on his smaller components, but his arms are different (since they were the "other" leg in each case and feature a sculpted fist and a stinger weapon on his knuckles. His hands are obviously unable to hold any other weapons, but they can flip out the flame/ice blades that were from his individual part's legs (and as such there are another set on his legs as well).

The Twin's chest plates are reused in this form as chest plates again, but in a different configuration (having a mirror-image format here) and the Twin's arms are folded back to act as a set of wings for Safeguard to help him with flying.

Safeguard;s face is half orange and half blue with a silver stubble surrounding a sculpted mouth and yellow and dark purple markings on the top of his head (purple on the orange half and yellow on the other. Safeguard features a lightpiping effect for his eyes, which glow yellow and blue (depending on the side) when a light it shone through the back.

Safeguard's alternate mode is just a combination of his two individual halve's jets. You just clip them together using the clips found on the underside of their nose-cones and the middle-parts on their main body (that was a part of their torso in robot mode) as can be seen in the second image above.

This "Mega Jet" shares the same features as the smaller ones, but just doubled up!

My Thoughts

The Jet Twins are an odd batch, bar their head sculpts, wing decos and colour schemes, they are identical (as twins should be) ans yet they look different enough that it's pretty much impossible to mix them up, and also, despite them having identical transformation schemes and alternate modes, they actually have to combine in a set order (Jetfire is the right, Jetstorm is the left). Also weird, is that the combined form of Safeguard features his own alternate mode, which is pretty much unheard of anywhere else. Their combined form could be seen as an abstract version of the old Multi-force from G1 or the Energon combiners from Energon, but that they combine vertically rather than horizontally.

Both twins are made up of a lot of clear plastic that allows them to glow in the light, giving him a powerful look (and luckily it seems to be strong plastic, as mine hasn't snapped yet!)

In the TV series the twins feature a broken English-Russian accent for reasons unknown but was most likely just decided on by the voice actors on the day, they can generate wind and fire each (Jetstorm and Jetfire respectively) and can use both in their combined Safeguard mode. Also, the Twins have the distinction in the TV series are being two of the only toy-based characters in the series to deviate from their toy transformation schemes when on screen (when they combine it looks different to how it does in toy form). In the IDW comics it showed that the Twins were both in buggy-modes before an accident that led to them being used to create these guys in the Safeguard project.

The Twins are the only characters to have been officially introduced through the comic book, before they appeared in the TV series who were intended to have toys and be main characters (so Perceptor and Wheeljack don't count)

Jetfire's name has been used several times by various jet-based Autobots in the franchise, but doesn't resemble any of them (in fact the designers have said that if they decided to make a character based on the classical Jetfire character model, then they'd name him Skyfire, after his own rename in G1)

Jetstorm however is a character who has had his name used by Decepticons and Predacons, rather than an Autobot like he is here. Also though his name has "Jet" in it, at least one of his name-sakes actually had a car mode instead!!

Safeguard's name of course was taken from Vector Prime's Mini-Con partner.

The concept for the Jet Twins was actually around from the beginning of planning, even when the series was going to be "Heroes" and had a different aesthetic, with even resin versions of the toys being created for them as well (turning into jets who combine as well, but in a different design style.)

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Familial October - Skids and Mudflap

"Autobot Skids and Mudflap have always been close, but this is a little ridiculous. Equipped with experimental combination technology, they use their newfound ability to help the other Autobots hunt rogue Decepticons wherever they hide. Unfortunately, they have so much difficulty hanging onto each other in vehicle mode that they spend more time struggling to stay on the road then they do fighting."

Toyline: Revenge of the Fallen
Generation: Live Action Movies
Size Class: Deluxe (About Scout each)
Faction: Autobot
Strength: 4
Intelligence: 6
Speed: 7
Endurance: 4
Rank: 2
Courage: 8
Fireblast: 5
Skill: 3


Skids is a mostly pink robot with some white on parts of his limbs and on his back kibble. His chest is made up mostly of his vehicle mode front grill and leads to his head, which is connected to it by a ball joint connection. The head itself is sculpted with blue eyes with silver mascara, ears, nose, mouth, some hair tufts and two silver bucked teeth.
Almost the entirety of Skids' vehicle mode's front is folded up onto his back, including his front bumper and windows etc.

Skids' shoulders are made from his front wheel wells and therefore also feature his headlights as well. These shoulders are connected to the torso by a hinge connector, which leads to the upper arms connected by a pivot joint at the wheels. The lower arms are connected by a ball joint and hinge combination that allows the elbow created to move in all different directions. Skids' left hand is sculpted with four fingers and a thumb, whilst the right arm features a larger hand that features a pivot that allows it to fold inwards of itself by about 90 degrees, but is otherwise aesthetically the same as the other hand.

Skids' waist is connected to the torso by a pivot that allows it to rotate as far as needed (barring any obstructions). His upper legs are connected to the groin area by ball joints that allows them to move around as needed. His lower legs are connected to the upper ones by a knee joint created by a hinge and rotating pivot joint that allows him to sit down and rotate the lower legs somewhat. Skids' feet are connected to the bottom of the lower legs by a ball joint and hinge combination that allows them to e repositioned as needed. The feet themselves are pretty basic and look more like shoes than Mudflap's toed ones. Due to his smaller legs and larger upper body, Skids does have a tendency to topple over with the slightest aware of that when posing him.


Mudflap's colour scheme is almost the inversion of Skids' colours, he has a white head compared to Mudflap's pink, his shoulders and white, unlike Skids' and so on, though it's not always the case.

Mudflap's torso is sculpted, very oddly with what looks like the headlights from his Deluxe Smart car toy, despite him playing the rear of the vehicle, and not even from a part visible from the outside. His Autobot insignia is found on the left side of his chest from a panel that originated from the back of his vehicle mode. His head is connected on a pivot joint which also forms his neck and collar area. This enables that part to bop forward and back as well. His head itself is connected to the collar area by a ball joint, allowing him to rotate his head to the side and nod forwards as well.
The head itself is white and silver with sculpted "ears", mouth, nose and blue eyes. His face has been given a demented look for some reason, along with Skids. Mudflap features a cape on his back created from a large chunk of his vehicle mode that can be rearranged by a ball joint connection up the top, behind the shoulders.

Mudflap's arms are connected to the torso by a ball joint that allows it to rotate as needed. His lower arm is connected to the upper arm by a rotating joint and a hinge that creates an elbow, and allows it to rotate fully. His right hand is simply sculpted with three small fingers and a thumb that is surrounded by a panel of his vehicle mode. His left hand is larger and features a small amount of articulation as it is able to fold inwards by about 90 degrees on a hinge.

Mudflap's upper legs are connected to his groin area by a ball joint that allows them to rotate as much as needed. His lower legs are connected by a hinge and rotating pivot joint that creates a knee and allows him to move them as needed. His toes are able to bend forwards and back as needed depending on the surface and are sculpted with four toes on each foot (I tend to make them bend downwards as far as possible to create an arch, but it's up to you how you do it honestly.)

Combined Alternate Mode

Skids forms the front of the Ice Cream Truck mode and features the front wheels, the headlights, front grill, translucent front and side windows, engine hood and blow-horn speaker on top. This part also features some sculpted features like door handles, some side vents on the engine area, his front bumper, left hand side mirror and his brand emblem on the very front as well.
The wheel areas hold the words "MADE FRESH FOR YOU" above the wheels themselves, and the wheels feature a pink stripe around the hubcaps (which fits the colour scheme of the vehicle too). If you look closely enough as well, behind the wheel wells on the doors you can see some sculpted rust marks that are sadly not painted, so it doesn't come up that well.

Mudflap forms the rear of the Ice Cream Truck mode, which actually forms the majority of it. This part features some rear sculpted doors and the side windows (where the kiddies would go to to get their ice creams etc), some sculpted rear lights and bumpers and also features a large ice cream façade on the top. The wheels feature the same pink strip along the hubcaps and he has some unpainted sculpted rust marks across his vehicle mode, but other than that there's not much else to talk about the features.
This half of the vehicle mode features a picture of an whipped ice cream in a cone with a 99 Flake in it on both sides. On the top of either side he has the words "Creamy ICE CREAM" written in red and blue (with Creamy being in red cursive). And finally he has an upside down Autobot insignia just above his left hand rear door.

The combined alternate mode is of an old rusted white and pink ice cream truck. It features all the parts mentioned before, but in a combined format.
He can roll across a smooth surface with no issues or undercarriage issues.

My Thoughts

Over all I think this toy is quite good. The two individual robots look nice and relatively screen accurate, my only real issue with them is that they are much smaller than the rest of the on screen characters from the ROTF lines compared to how they look on screen (though then again they do have the Smart Car versions for that instead). Of course due to this toy being Deluxe Class, it's about the same size as Bumblebee in vehicle mode, when the actual Ice Cream Truck should be much larger than a car.

One rather odd thing about this toy is that the Skids part uses translucent plastic for the windows, but the Mudflap uses painted plastic, rather than translucent plastic like his brother.

This toy seems to be an evolution of the Micromaster Combiners where they can form the front or back of a combined vehicle mode, which seems perfect for a Twin set, especially one where the Twins are so insanely close like these two are shown to be.

Skids and Mudflap retain a gimmick from his earlier toys where they each have a larger hand than the other on opposite sides to one another. Mudflap's mega-hand is on his left arm, whilst Skids' one is on the right.

An interesting difference in these toys to their Deluxe counterparts is that in this set Skids is much shorter than Mudflap, whilst everywhere else (including the other toys) has them pretty much evenly sized, this is obviously needed for this toy, but it still sticks out a bit as odd.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Z is a Wild Card!!!!

The Winning Toy

Name: Cyclonus

"Cyclonus is so reckless that even his own Decepticon allies are afraid of him. While performing aerial attacks, he may suddenly fly off to attack a lone Autobot, leaving his companions unprotected. Megatron likes to let him loose because he's so dangerous in battle, but he has trouble stopping him once he gets started. Will Cyclonus ever learn to control his savage recklessness?"

Toyline: Armada

Generation: Unicron Trilogy

Size Class: Deluxe

Faction: Decepticon

Quote: "Out of my way! Attack!"

Strength: 8

Intelligence: 5

Speed: 8

Endurance: 7

Rank: 5

Courage: 8

Fireblast: 7

Skill: 5

Robot Mode

Cyclonus' robot mode is a combination of blues, white, purple and gold-brown. His robot mode is quite basic looking and with somewhat limited articulation, and features a large rotot on his back as well.

Cyclonus' torso is made up of the bulk of his vehicle mode and therefore features his cockpit, and the gimmick of inserting his Mini-Con into his chest to give him a new weapon. His head is connected by a simple pivot joint that works when he flips the head outwards, and allows him to nod his head a bit in this mode. His face is a bright orange with green eyes inside a dark blue helmet. His face features a sculpted nose, eyes, jaw and sneer for a mouth.

Cyclonus' vehicle mode wings are doubled as his shoulders in this mode which lead to hinges on each one that connect to his upper arms, allowing them to bend forwards and back as far as needed. His lower arms are connected by another hinge that forms an elbow which allows him to bend the lower arms inwards about 180 degrees. His hands are sculpted with fingers, but feature no articulation or pegs for additional weapons. His arm cannons are activated by inserting a Mini-Con to launch the missiles.

Cyclonus' upper legs are connected to his groin area by a pivot joint that allows him to bend them as far as needed. (if you remove his tail fin then you can make him bend his legs back as well). His legs feature a knee joint that allows him to bend them back as far as possible. His feet are made from a small protrusion at the front and his vehicle mode non-firing guns as his heels. His legs feature a hidden pair of guns that are revealed by inserting a Mini-Con into either of the Hard-Points on his outer legs.

Cyclonus' rotor balde can be removed and inserted into one of his Hard-Points as another weapon (like Cybertron Evac's). But this mode isn't supported by any fiction I can think of.

Alternate Mode

Cyclonus' vehicle mode is a blue, white and purple Cybertronian helicopter with a gold rotor blade, tail fins and side cannons.

This mode features a pair of blue/silver guns on his undercarriage that cannot really fire, and a pair of missiles under his wings that can be fired by inserting a Mini-Con into the Hard Point on either side.

Cyclonus' cockpit can be opened up and his personal Mini-Con Crumplezone can be inserted to extend his cockpit and give him another weapon. His tail fins can be repositioned as needed for your fictional needs. His wings can also be repositioned slightly as needed.

Cyclonus features a trigger on the tail of his vehicle mode which can be pulled back to make his rotors spin, and the gear gimmick below the cockpit activate, which can make any connected and compatible Mini-Cons (Destruction Team, Adventure Team and any repaints) activate their gimmicks.

A problem with this alternate mode is that you can clearly see his robot parts in this mode, it still looks good, but maybe could have been better somewhat.


Crumplezone's robot mode is a combination of blues, blacks and whites with a golden brown cannon on his back and some orange detailings on his shoulders and face. His Mini-Con port is located on his chest next to his insignia. His arms are connected at about half-way down his torso and can be moved back and forth as needed. His legs are connected by a hinge that allows it to move forwards and bend at his knees each.

Cyclonus' little buddy is the Mini-Con Crumplezone, he turns into a Cybertronian tank (akin to Cyclonus' Cybertronian helicopter mode) and features a pair of wheels on either tracks allowing him to really roll along a smooth surface. He features a turret on top which can be made to move by moving the rear of it (this can also be activated by pulling on Cyclonus' trigger as well when he is connected to him.

When connected to Cyclonus by the chest/cocpit he looks like a new Cockpit for him and even gives him a gun under the cockpit as well. His arms can be folded backwards as well to make him look more flowing.


Cyclonus appeared as a main character in the Armada TV series and Dreamwave comic series, where in both he acted as one of Megatron's main soldiers. In both series he was a bit manic, but was very loyal to Megatron. Interestingly, in the Dreamwave comic he is shown to scan a normal human made helicopter, but ends up taking on a more alien looking alternate mode.
In the Dreamwave series, Cyclonus was used as a test subject for the Destruction Team, which overloaded him and he ended up attacking Thrust under their power (he was later fixed up however). In the cartoon however he survived until the Energon wars, but was eventually converted into Snowcat by Megatron.

This Cyclonus' toy has been repainted a couple of times as Cyclonus as well from different parts in the TV series or with power ups, and was later repainted as a new character Buzzsaw for the Cybertron line. This new character appeared in some prose stories from Fun Publications, and the same character model, including colours appeared in the Cybertron series as a Velocitronian race announcer (being the only aerial robot other than Skyfall to come from that planet). The character model was also used for the fiction only Predacon character Buzzbomb.

The name Cyclonus has been used in a few series, starting with G1 where he was rebuilt from a dead Decepticon by Unicron, as well as being one of the members of the Expansion in the IDW series. An alternate version of Cyclonus appeared in the Transformers Animated series as a member of Team Chaar, and is hinted as being from the future, possibly as an evolved form of one of Starscream's clones himself. A swell as having a Shattered Glass counterpart (see my review for him) and a character of him in the War for Cybertron game from the Aligned continuity.

Crumplezone's name has been reused a couple of times for the Velocitronian character from Cybertron, and the similar looking character from Animated as well, and as one of the lesser known DOTM figures from the Speed Stars lines.

Is he Cool?

This is a hard one...he is cool to an extent. His toy does look good, but not by today's standard of realistic looking alternate modes, however due to him having a Mini-Con with a very specific connection process to him (one of the few figures to have a very unique gimmick for Mini-Cons)

Although, as I said before by today's standard he's not that great as a figure, he has limited articulation, and a very weak alternate mode (as a disguise I mean) compared to today's standards.

As such, it might be only worth getting him as a way to complete your Armada collection or just to get the Mini-Con really, that's the main reason why I bought him this year. Honestly, if you want a helicopter Transformer then you should probably get one of the others like Bulkhead or Evac.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Y is a Wild Card!!!

The Winning Toy

Name: Terradive

"Terradive loves to dive towards unsuspecting prey with the sun behind him. The light blinds his target, and the scream of his engines terrifies them, leaving them easy pickings for the blades of his trident. With JETBLADE serving as a decoy, TOMAHAWK will never know what hit him."

Toyline: Hunt for the Decepticons/Transformers 2010

Generation: Live Action Movies

Size Class: Deluxe

Faction: Decepticon

Strength: 9

Intelligence: 7

Speed: 8

Endurance: 8

Rank: 6

Courage: 5

Firepower: 5

Skill: 7

Robot Mode

Terradive's robot mode is predominately orange with black on his limbs and wings, and some white and silver added in other random places (such as white feet and silver upper legs). Despite him having an orange colourscheme, he doesn't look too garish, which is often a problem with bright colour toys.

Terradive's torso is made up of his cockpit and front wings folded inwards, giving it an angled triangular patchwork look. The panels that make up his chest can be opened outwards so you can pretend he's using it as a storage area (maybe for a Decepticon Matrix?)

Terradive's head is connected to the torso by a ball joint and connector piece creating a neck, which is surrounded by a collar. His head itself is is designed with a flattened look that is reminiscent of Robots In Disguise Sky-Byte's. The helmet of the head is an orange colour with black markings, such as on his "ears" and his forehead chevron. The back of it features his clear light piping port (which is neutered sadly due to his eyes being painted red). His face is silver and features slits for his cheek bones and one arge nostril. His mouth is painted a gold-brown which is sculpted with a mouth and a short chin beard.

Terradve's shoulder joints are connected to the main toso by a pivot joint that allows the shoulder to move back and forth as much as needed. The upper arm is connected to that by another pivot joint that allows it to be raised outwards by just under 90 degrees. The upper arm also features a pivot joint that allows it to rotate fully (obstructions withstanding). The lower arm is connected via an elbow joint that is connected by a pair of pivots that allow him to bend his arm or flex. The hand is connected to the lower arm by another pivot that enables it to rotate fully at the wrist (unlike a real wrist of course). His hands are sculpted with fingers that are posed to enable him to hold his spear/trident weapon on the larger hand grip parts.

The top of Terradive's upper leg is connected to the groin area by a ball joint-pivot combination that gives it an amazing amount of movement, enabling you to re-pose it for any surface or position you need. His lower leg is connected to the upper leg by a pivot joint acting as a knee, enabling it to bend backwards by about 90 degrees. The feet are connected by another pivot and are able to be repositioned somewhat as well. The back of his feet are connected on a separate pivot joint as well, meaning you can make him have a high-heel look if needed as well or keep him flat footed, again depending on the surface or situation you want to portray him in.

Terradive comes with a spear that can be extended to become a trident. it features two wider parts that act as grips and can be held in Terradive's hands (at the same time if needed). Also due to his good arm articulation he's able to pose his trident in pretty much any way desired. Also, the clip on his left shoulder can be folded back behind his arm and be used as a storage area for the weapon in robot mode if you wanted to.

Alternate Mode

Terradive transforms into an orange, black and white fighter jet based on a Sukhoi Su-47 jet. This mode actually also resembles that of the Animated seekers mold (in particular Sunstorm) due to it's wing-positioning.

In this mode he features three landing wheels (one under the cockpit, and one behind each main wing, the wheel's cannot actually move and are just for decoration. He also has a pair of thrusters on the very rear of the jet mode between a pair of heavily angled tail fins. His cockpit features an opaque red canopy (which in some cases was translucent orange instead) which cannot be opened up (aww).

This jet mode is extremely curvy and angular, and almost looks like it could be an alien jet (until I looked him up for this review). His robot mode trident is kept stored folded up in his undercarriage on a hook and clip system. However if you have the trident inserted then you can't open up the front landing wheel (though you can open it out and then insert the trident instead).


Terradive has so far only appeared in fiction in the Unite for the Universe comic book where he was called in to attack the Autobots along with several other powerful Decepticons (all of whom just happened to have new toys) and was afterwards ordered to retreat with the others once the Unite project was destroyed. He also appeared in the Hunt for the Decepticons game, where he was one of the enemies to defeat.

The name Terradive has been used by the G2 Bomber Plane, the Armada Mini-con Stealth Jet/Trident and the Energon A-10 Thunderbolt part of the Superion Maximus combiner set.

This toy mold has been repainted and remolded with a new head as Space Case for the Dark of the Moon line, an homage to the G2 Cyberjet of the same name. Interestingly Space Case has appeared in the main IDW Movie comic continuity, which even his mold's originator hasn't yet (unless he appeared extremely obscured in a crowd scene)

Is he Cool?

Oh Primus yes!

Terradive is a very cool figure, his design is pretty unique and can easily fit into the Movie toyline or even fit with the Generations figures. His weapon makes a very good gimmick and is extremely fun to play with (especially if you have a couple of him and put them as guards of a high rank character like Straxus or Megatron perhaps?)

The only real issue I have with this figure is that his light-piped eye gimmick has been neutered, but that can be easily remedied if I wanted to, but scraping off the red paint.

All in all, Terradive is a very fun figure and is well worth buying, and what made it even better for me is that I got mine for about half price in a sale!