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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Mini November - Cyberverse Legion Flak


"The Battle tactics Flak invented might be unusual, but he know they'd work - if only he could get them tested out on the battlefield."

Generation: Live Action Movies
Toy Line: Dark of the Moon
Size Class: Cyberverse Legion
Faction: Autobot

Strength: 6
Intelligence: 6
Speed: 7
Endurance: 9
Rank: 4
Courage: 9
Fireblast: 6
Skill: 3

Robot Mode
Flak's robot mode uses a green and brown camouflage deco and has black chest windows and a silver Autobot insignia on his stomach.
Flak's face is silver and features sculpted blue eyes and a sculpted face mask. His helmet is brown and features a swept back design on it and a small chevron on top as well. Flak has a backpack on his back that holds his gun turret and allows it to hang over his right shoulder. Though the gun is unable to actually fire, though it can move up and down, like in vehicle mode.

Flak's legs are connected to his lower legs at the groin by a set of ball joint connectors, which allows them to be raised forwards and back as far as possible without hitting other body parts. His legs have otherwise got no articulation and are just solid. His feet are just forward protrusions, which enable him to stand freely in robot mode.

Flak's arms are connected to his upper body by a hinge and ball joint combination that allows them to move at quite a surprising amount of articulation for such a small figure. the hinge allows them to be lowered and raised at a range of about 90 degrees, and his ball joint allows the actual arm to rotate on the axis fully. Flak's elbow is created by a pin joint that allows him to bend the lower arm inwards by about 90 degrees. His right hand features a sculpted grip that allows him to interact with the Cyberverse playsets and other accessories, whilst his left hand is just sculpted with an open hand.

Vehicle Mode
Flak turns into a gun mounted personnel carrier in a green and brown camouflage deco. It's sculpted with detailing such as side windows, ladders and ports across his form. His Autobot insignia is located on his very front, but is coloured in a silver that is hard to see unless the light is shining on it.
Flak's wheels are fully capable of moving, allowing him to roll along a smooth surface if desired. Flak's gun turret is also able to move up and down at a 180 degree point from the pin joint, although you can also rotate the turret, it looks off as it's only really meant to be for the transformation sequence.

My Thoughts

Flak is one of my favourite new figures, despite his small size he is actually a very good toy, he has reasonable articulation for a toy of his size, his vehicle mode looks good and actually has some special features! Not only that, but Flak actually seems to be in scale with some of his fellow Cyberverse toys like Guzzle (not to mention having similar colour schemes as well)

Something that strikes me about this figure is that it could make a very nice Movie continuity Ironfist/Fisitron toy as well (repainted obviously, possibly with a new head) or even a Hardhead toy (based on his IDW continuity Earth Mode)

In my very honest opinion, if you see this toy you should grab him, whether it means you have to cut down on about £4 of your shopping or not., he is well worth it, especially if you have any of the playsets or additional Cyberverse figures (Guzzle in particular)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Mini November - Mini-Con Recon Team

Mini-Con Recon Team

"Jolt -- the leader of the team, and the only one able to speak a human language - is a great lover of human culture, addicted to television and the internet. On more than one occasion he has caused difficulty for the Autobots by forgetting he's not a human being. Six-Speed and Reverb, though sometimes frustrated by their leader's tendency to become distracted by cartoons and web-comics, love the excitement of missions with their human partners, working as a fast response strike and rescue team on away missions on the Lost Planets."

Generation: Unicron Trilogy
Toyline: Cybertron
Faction: Mini-con (Autobot Allied)

Strength: 5
Intelligence: 7
Speed: 9
Endurance: 6
Rank: 4.5
Courage: 6
Fireblast: 6
Skill: 7

Jolt's robot mode features a red and silver torso, black arms and upper legs, green and gold lower legs and a white and clear dome above his head, and also features his black rotors on his back. His Mini-Con port is located on his left arm in this mode.

Jolt's arms are connected to the torso by a simple ball joint that allows them to rotate fully, and can also fold inwards by about 90 degrees (thanks to his transformation). The arms feature sculpted details, including his hands (which couldn't hold anything due to their size anyway).

Jolt's upper legs are connected to the lower torso by a pin joint that allows them to bend forwards and back by about 90 degrees either way. His lower legs are connected to the upper part by pin joints can allows them to bend backwards by just over 90 degrees (you can make them go further by folding back his feet, as if you were transforming him).

Jolt's head is encased in a white and clear dome, however his actual head is fully visible, and we can see that it features a green helmet with a forehead chevron and "ears". His face is silver and features a sculpted set of eyes, a nose, mouth and cheek details. The head itself cannot move, but the dome surrounding it can be rotated around fully, giving the illusion that it's moving if needed.
His rotors are stuck mostly in place by his tail piece on his back, but by simply lowering his tail piece you can allow him to rotate his rotors, as if he was about to use a wind based attack.

Jolt's vehicle mode is a small red, green and white helicopter with black landing struts, a three bladed rotor, and a tail piece with a sculpted rear rotor on the end.
The rotor blades are fully capable of rotating freely, just blow on them or flick them with your finger and watch them go!.
Inside the dome of his cockpit Jolt has a sculpted seating area for the driver and passenger, it doesn't do anything, it just looks pretty :)
His Mini-Con port is located on one of his landing struts in this mode.

Reverb's robot mode is mostly blue, but with an orange chest plate and inner lower arms and also features some silver and yellow detailing on his lower legs. His upper arms and upper legs are black. His Mini-Con port is found on his right arm. His head is a blue helmet with antennae ears and a forehead chevron. His face is silver with sculpted eyes, nose, mouth and cheek detailings.

Reverb's arms are connected to his torso by a hinge and pin joint combination that allows them to move outwards by about 90 degrees, and (unlike his team mates) he also features an elbow joint that allows his lower arms to bend forwards by about 90 degrees. The lower arms feature sculpted hands that, despite having tiny holes in the middle, cannot hold a normal weapon (unless you count plugging in another Mini-Con with a gun mode in his Mini-Con port).

Reverb's legs are connected to the lower torso at his groin area. the legs can be bent forwards and back by about 90 degrees either way at this connection and he also features a knee joint connecting it to the lower legs (which is just the front of his vehicle mode).

Jolt's vehicle mode is a blue pick up truck with some orange lining in his holding area. He also features silver windows and front grill, plus yellow lights for his headlights and roof mounted lights.
His wheels are green (shared with Jolt's legs etc) and are fully capable of rolling freely, just put him on a slanted table and watch him go!
His Mini-Con port is located under his vehicle mode, beneath the holding area.

Six-Speed is a mostly green robot with blue inner lower arms, and clear and black deatilings on his chest. He has black upper legs and knees, as well as his stripes on his back. His Mini-Con port is located under his chest plate, but isn't accessible in this mode easily. His head features a green helmet with small horns and a forehead chevron. His face is silver with sculpted eyes, nose and mouth plate (one similar to G1 Wheeljack's, which is coincidental considering that Wheeljack also turned into a race car).

His arms are connected to the upper torso by a pin joint that allows it to rotate fully, however it does catch on his chest plate every so often, but you can still get past it. Six-Speed features a sculpted hand on each arm, but of course, it cannot hold a weapon of any sort.

Six-Speed's legs are connected to his lower torso by a pin-joint through his groin area that allows it to bend forwards either way by about 90 degrees each. There is a pin in each leg that creates a knee joint with the lower legs, which are created from the rear of his vehicle mode.

Six-Speed's vehicle mode is a mostly green LeMans Race Car, with dark green at the front, leading for a clear cockpit, where Six-Speed's head can be seen as his driver. His rear spoiler is painted with black details, along with a couple of black arrows just behind the cockpit.
Six-Speed's green wheels (same as Reverb's) can allow him to roll along the ground freely as needed (handy for a race car) and has a large enough ground clearance zone so he doesn't catch on anything.
Six-Speed's Mini-Con port is located in the middle of his undercarriage.

My Thoughts

If you know me from the fandom or in real life, then you will (or should) know one important thing about me...I LOVE MINI-CONS!!! The Recon Team is one of my favourites for a few reasons, the most important being that they are fun to play with and to have interact with one another.
Something about this team that I find very interesting is that all three members are totally different types of vehicles, when normally a three member Mini-Con team will have a common theme between them, such as the Sea Team are all aquatic military vehicles, the Predator Team are all wild animals and so on. This team however are all unconnected vehicles, a helicopter, a pick up truck and a race car, they don't even share a common colour scheme, which some teams do.
I got my Recon Team off of Ebay for about £2 (loose) and I've felt that it was a great deal, of course that may be me just being biased due to my love for all things Mini-Con, but I still think it's a justified position as well. The Recon Team have been repainted various times, either as a set or as individuals sometimes as the same characters, but also as new characters, with the most recent repaints being from the 2010 Transformers line as new characters (Drivetrain, Swashplate and Brake-Neck). So if you don't like the colours or characters of these guys, then you can always just buy one of the many repaints, but either way I think it's well worth buying at least one version of each of these molds.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Mini November - Micromaster Hot Rods

The Autobot Hot Rod Patrol

"Each possesses 16 cylinders of carbonic Autobot muscle! High-performance avengers have more rubber-burning speed that the fastest squad of Decepticons. Usually seem cruising up and down Earth beaches and boardwalks. Highly mischievous and adventurous, sometimes mistaken for Decepticon punks. Though preoccupied with fun, still able to quickly respond to emergency roadway situations. Able to spot dangerous Decepticon highway marauders using telescopic, kelvar-energized, localizer radar. Each car is protected by a geometric shield which deflects Decepticon photon disintegration beams. Courage and tenacity are the patrol's finest attributes."

Generation: Generation One
Toyline: Transformers Micromaster Patrols
Faction: Autobot
Function: Highway Reconnaissance
Team Motto: "The essence of speed relies on our power to perform!"
Strength: 6
Intelligence: 8
Speed: 8
Endurance: 10
Teamwork: 9
Courage: 9
Firepower: 8
Skill: 9

Big Daddy

Quote: "We can take Decepticons any time, anywhere!"

Big Daddy is a black and orange robot with red flame deco on his arms. His head is encased in a protective area (like Huffer and some others are). His actual head features a follow shevron on his orange helmet. He has a dark blue face that features a sculpted set of eyes, nose and mouth.
Big Daddy's arms are able to rotate on a pin joint fully and features a sculpted pair of hands on the insides as well.
His legs are connected to the torso by a pin through the groin that allows them to bend forwards and back somewhat. His lower legs are connected to the upper legs by a pin that creates a knee joint (though both legs are stuck together) the two lower legs can be moved separately, but only up to the point where the knee pin is found (meaning he can lift his leg up daintily if needed). He is kept upright by his feet, created from some outward plastic, stopping him from toppling over.

Big Daddy turns into a black Modified Chevrolet Bel Air Hot Rod Convertible with red flame deco on the sides and white-grey windows. His rear wheels are much larger than his front ones, so he is forced to dip down, but this doesn't hinder his driving on a smooth surface.
Big Daddy features all the expected sculptings for a car mode of his model, such as doors, rear lights, headlights, grills and other such things. Big Daddy also features some fins on the back that really over-accents his dipping appearance, making him look like he's dipping further than what he actually is.


Quote: "If you're not driving to win, don't drive at all!"

Trip-Up is a white and green robot with blue flames on his arms and gold and black detailings on his body. Trip-Up's head is surrounded by a protective barrier of sorts (sort of like Huffer and Pipes'). His head has a green helmet with a large Mohawk type chevron on top (sort of like Ironhide's from the Cartoon). His face is painted white and has sculpted eyes, a nose and mouth.
Trip-Up's arms are connected by a pin on each side that allows them to rotate fully on that point. He features a sculpted hand on each arm on the inside.
His legs are able to be moved forwards by 90 degrees and back by 45 degrees by a pivot joint that connects it to the lower torso. His lower legs are connected to the upper ones by a pin on the knee area, which stitches the two legs together as well, meaning they have to move together, unless you fancy some mod work. The two lower legs can be moved separately, but only up to the point where the knee pin is found (meaning he can lift his leg up daintily if needed)

Trip-Up's vehicle mode is a white Ford Mustang Hot Rod car with gold windows and blue flame door deco. His rear wheels are larger than the front ones, meaning that he dips forwards somewhat, but despite that he doesn't obstruct himself whilst driving on a smooth surface.
Trip-Up also features several sculpted details like air vents, headlights, front grill, bumpers and much more. Trip-up also has the newest make of car out of the four members of this set, so he seems a bit out of place in this sense.


Quote: "I dig watching Decepticons crack up after I cross the finish line first!"

Greaser's robot mode is an orange and black stubby robot with yellow flames on his arms and sides. Greaser's head is all black, except for his silver optical visor. He features a pair of horn-like ears, a noticeable helmet and sculpted nose and mouth..honestly his face reminds me of G1 Jazz's, maybe he's a fan?

Greaser's arms are connected to his torso by a pair of small pins that allows them to be rotated a little under 90 degrees downwards and they feature some lightly sculpted fingers. Greaser's legs are connected by a pivot joint that allows them to move forwards and back as needed. His lower legs are connected by a pin that allows his knees to bend forwards by about 90 degrees (thye are connected together though). He's able to stand stably due to the extension from the rear of his legs. The two lower legs can be moved separately, but only up to the point where the knee pin is found (meaning he can kick you in the shin at an awkward angle if wanted)

Greaser's looks like he was originally supposed to transform in the opposite direction but was changed pretty much last minute. His arms are very gimpy, his legs are clearly backwards, and the majority of his decoration is hanging off his back. It just seems to me that they must have originally planned for him to transform more similarly to Hubs, but was changed for some reason and this was what they were left with.

Greaser transforms into an orange Ford Deuce Coupe Hot Rod complete with larger than life engine block (which in fact ends up being higher than his actual roof).
He features a set of blue windows, yellow flame deco on his sides, sculpted doors, sun roof panel, headlights, wheel hubs, front grill, bumpers and all other expected car detailings for this model of vehicle. His wheels are able to fully rotate and he features a larger pair at the back, but unlike the rest of his team, this doesn't make his dip forwards that much.


Quote: "I enjoy burnin' rubber over Decepticon metal."

Hubs is a green and white robot with orange flames on his arms. His face is red and is sculpted with a just visible mouth and eyes, and also has a sculpted forehead chevron and horns. His stubby arms are able to move on a pivot joint fully and feature a sculpted hand on the inside of each one.
Hubs' legs are connected to his lower torso by a pivot that allows them to move forwards by about 90 degrees (in 45 degree increments) and backwards by 45 degrees. His lower legs can fold back 180 degrees (for his transformation) but are stuck together by a pin which means they can't be split apart (unless you're willing to do some modifications). His feet are just some poking out plastic from the front that stops him from toppling over. The two lower legs can be moved separately, but only up to the point where the knee pin is found (meaning he can lift his leg up daintily if needed)

Hubs turns into a green Willys Coupe Hot Rod. He has larger wheels at the back of his vehicle mode that makes him slope forwards slightly.
His wheels are working and allow him to roll along a smooth surface with ease. He features a sculpted car boot on the back, a large hot rod engine at the front, blue windows, orange flames on his sculpted door panels, sculpted headlights, front grill, bumpers and other such expected things.

My Thoughts

Ah the Hot Rod patrol, a colourful, yet random collection of vehicles, whose only connection is that all four have exposed hot rod engines. Like most transformers sold in pairs/groups these guys have been gang molded in pairs (to save on production costs and plastic usage) Big Daddy and Greaser are one pair, with Trip-Up and Hubs beings the second one.

This team was mostly ignored for a long time, until Dreamwave decided to use them as the main characters in the (painful) Micromasters mini-series, possibly the last fully completed series' from Dreamwave before they went down the pooper.

So far, only Big Daddy has received a new updated toy, in the form of his Movie toy counterpart (a repaint of Cybertron Downshift) which looks very close to the G1 version, so he could easily fit in with the aesthetic of the Classics line if needed. And something of note, the ROTF figure Hubcap looks quite a lot like Greaser (minus the flame deco) but seems to emulate Hubs' name...interesting....

I'd personally say that this team is well worth getting personally, and this is from someone who's not all that fond of the G1 toyline in general! They have fun looking alternate modes, they all look pretty good, and due to them being quite underused, they won't be on any scalping radars, so they shouldn't be too expensive (my complete boxed set was about £5 on ebay)

Friday, 4 November 2011

Mini November - Legends Trailcutter

Name: Trailcutter
Faction: Autobot
Toyline: Reveal the Shield
Generation: Generation One
Size Class: Legends

Strength: 8
Speed: 4
Rank: 7
Firepower: 5
Intelligence: 8
Endurance: 9
Courage: 7
Skill: 6

Robot Mode

Trailcutter's vehicle mode is predominantly black with a blue chest panel and silver and red highlights on his legs.
His torso is very basic in design (very appropriate for a G1 based figure) due to his very small toy size, and has a slightly portly build to him. His head is connected to the top of his torso on a pivot that can rotate upwarps by about 180 degrees. His head is sculpyed with a helmet, forehead chevron, mouth and chin. His visor is also sculpted, but also features some blue paint as well, making it more distinguishable from the rest of the face (his face could really have used some silver paint or something). Above his head is a silver device that is fictionally able to be re-purposed as his force-field generator.

Trailcutter's arms are connected to his upper torso by a hinge joint and a ball joint that allows them to bend backwards by about 90 degrees (if wanted) and rotated on the ball as much as needed. Due to his small toy class he doesn't feature any other joints for an elbow, however he does feature a set of sculpted hands, including fingers and a singular separate thumb.

His legs are connected to the torso at a groin area by a ball joint on either side that allows them to be spread outwards, kick forwards and back as needed. Again, like with the arms, he lacks a knee joint due to his size class, however he does have a pair of feet that are able to fold back on themselves (mostly for the Transformation sequence, but you can repose them slightly if needed to)

Trailcutter is a fairly sturdy figure as well, and despite his basic design and small format, he actually looks quite good as well, in my opinion any way.

Alternate Mode

Trailcutter's vehicle mode is a black camper van with a dark blue windscreen, gold headlights, silver grill and front bumper.
Trailcutter features sculpted windows on the rear section, side view mirrors, doors and other standard features on a van like this. His heat sensitive rub-sign insignia is found on the top of the back of this mode.
His wheels are sculpted with tire tracks and are free spinning, allowing him to roll along a smooth surface (aided by a lack of undercarriage kibble as well of course.

My Thoughts

Trailcutter is a very worthwhile figure to add to your collection, he's a long overdue update for one of the original toys, Trailbreaker (renamed for Trademark reasons). However Trailbreaker has also received some additional attempts at a new toy, such as the Overhaul/Leobreaker character from the Cybertron series (with Leobreaker even retaining the end of his name).
Additional toys that were originally going to be Trailbreaker's but were either repainted/renamed as other characters include Universe Spychanger Ironhide, Universe Deluxe Ratchet, and a remold of Alternators Hound (used instead for Rollbar and Swindle).
Trailbreaker (using his original name) has been appearing steadily in Transformers fiction for G1 media since his creation.

This figure, despite it's limited articulation and basic design is in fact quite a fun figure to play with, especially for young kids, or even just for a G1 fan who wants a new version of Trailbreaker, complete with almost intact name.