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Monday, 29 October 2012

Prime - Starscream

"Starscream hasn't survived this long simply by running away every time he might lose a fight. Every retreat is a calculated risk, designed to fulfill a greater purpose. It is often when his enemies believe they are winning that Starscream turns and finishes them off."
Name: Starscream
Faction: Decepticon
Toy Line: Prime - Robots in Disguise
Continuity: Aligned
Size Class: Voyager Powerizers

Strength: 8
Intelligence: 7
Speed: 9
Endurance: 6
Rank: 9
Courage: 3
Fireblast: 9
Skill: 10
Robot Mode
Starscream utilizes a very slender, but still masculine robot mode with mostly grey-scale, silver and black paint applied. His body also features some smaller details in different colours, such as the red eyes on his chest, translucent purple lower arms and blue detailings. 

Starscream's torso is mostly formed from parts hidden in the vehicle mode, so it has sculpted details for his abdominal area etc. His chest is formed from a part of the very top of his jet mode which is reconfigured to (oddly) resemble his Movie incarnation's face (somewhat). This groin area is formed at a hinge that is always slightly open, which gives him a bit of a haunched, submissive look (perfect for Starscream).
The bulk of his jet mode is found of his back, which of course includes his wings, which are now a custom for Starscream to wear as wings in robot mode.
Starscream's head is connected on a small connector with a ball joint, allowing the head to move as needed )and so you can give him a creepy expression if desired). The head itself is mostly Starscream's angular face with prolonged chin, a sinister smirk and a pair of red optics (which are not able to light up). The upper part of his head is a skull-cap of sorts with ridges and side horns protruding from the sides. The helmet has a horn that pokes out the front, giving him some unicorn goodness as well.

Starscream's arms are connected to the upper torso by a connector-ball joint combination that allows them to move as needed. The shoulder's are covered by a larger piece to give them some decoration, rather than just being rounded shoulders. His upper arms feature a pivoting joint just under the shoulder piece that rotates fully, his elbows are formed by a hinge between the upper and lower arms that allows them to fold inwards fully. His hands are connected by a pivoting joint, so they can rotate 360 degrees, but can also fold inwards very slightly on a ball joint, but not much, the hands are also sculpted with long, sharp fingers that form around a hidden peg hole (but the weapon supplied seems too heavy for him to really hold anyway). His lower arms also feature a peg hole for his missiles to be held in (unless you'd rather keep them on his wings like I usually do).
Starscream's legs are connected to his groin by a pair of pivoting ball joints that allow them to move as much as needed. His knees are formed by a hinge joint that allows them to bend backwards by about 90 degrees, and are fronted by a long grey thin knee cap each too. The lower legs are very pointy, as they're made of most of the rear of his vehicle mode (the part with the tail fins etc). His feet are just folded out from the vehicle mode and are able to support the weight of the whole body, especially when supported by the rotating thruster, now used as a support strut of sorts (this can be positioned as needed, or desired by the owner)
Alternate Mode
Starscream's vehicle mode is a mostly grey-scale fighter jet with a purple canopy cover and several other smaller colours on some of the sculpted details (ie silver, red, blue, black etc). This mode features several pieces of sculpted detailing, such as a single thruster, paneling, nose cone and other pieces you'd expect from a jet mode.
Starscream comes with a pair of small plastic missiles that can be clipped under his wings to act as make-believe weapons for him
Now, I shouldn't HAVE to say this, but this toy does NOT actually fly! Do not throw it in the air, you will hurt someone (even with the softer plastic on the nose cone)
Starscream comes with a large weapon that can be clipped into either the pegs on the undersides of his wings (next to the missiles) or into the peg hole at the back of the canopy, either way you can pull on the built in "trigger" and turn into into a bladed weapon. This weapon requires you to hold onto it to keep it deployed, and as such it isn't that great (it's certainly terrible in robot mode, which is why I haven't even shown it in this review here).
My Final Thoughts
Starscream's a nice little figure, he looks good in both modes and is well articulated in both forms as well. On top of this he looks fairly screen accurate compared to most other toys in the line. 
The only real issue with Starscream though, is that his limbs feel a bit fragile, especially since you need to manipulate them in transformation. The only other (small) issue is that Starscream essentially towers over most other figures, even Megatron, which in itself seems a bit odd.
This figure is definitely worth getting, I personally got mine in a contest, thus it was free, but I would have been very willing to spend money on this guy :)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Prime - NYCC 2011 Arcee and Bumblebee

"Arcee is an accomplished, street smart and powerful fighter with little patience for those who don't know their way around a battlefield. Luckily, Bumblebee is as skilled as any other warrior in the Autobot army. Set loose on the streets of the big city with their human partners Raf and Jack, they're an unstoppable team in the defense of the planet."

Names: Arcee and Bumblebee (with Jack Darby and Raf Esquivel)
Faction: Autobot
Toy Line: Prime - First Edition (NYCC)
Continuity: Aligned
Robot Mode
Arcee's robot mode is a mostly pink and white female form with some silver, black, grey and blue added to break up those colours.
Arcee's torso is made up mostly of her vehicle mode's bulk which includes having her seat as her abdomen, her headlights as her chest and even having the back of her seat as her tail/ass piece. Her windscreen, front wheel and handlebars are set up to just hang from her back behind her neck. Arcee's head is connected by a white neck piece that is connected by a ball joint, giving her the ability to rotate it up-down and side to side as needed. The actual head is made up mostly of a pink decorated helmet, featuring a frame around her face and a forehead chevron, her face is silver with sculpted feminine features like a mouth and thin chin. Her eyes are able to light up a bright blue thanks to her light-piping gimmick activated from the back of her head.

Arcee's arms are connected to the torso by a connector and ball joint combination, at the shoulder, which is hidden by a pink plate made from a side-piece from her vehicle mode. Her arms are very thin and white and features a pivoting joint under the shoulder guard, a pair of hinges to form her elbows as well as having a hinge on her wrist to allow her hands to be bent inwards or out. Her lower arms feature a small hole designed for her blade weapons, her hands are sculpted with thin fingers, but aren't able to hold anything.

Her legs are connected to her groin area by a ball joint that enables them to move as needed. Her knees are made of a hinge joint that is hidden behind a silver knee-plate leading to her lower leg, which is made of quite a large piece of her motorcycle mode's body, which also includes her split-apart rear wheel. Her feet are made up of small pieces of plastic that can only support her weight with the supports behind them (from the wheels)
Vehicle Mode
Arcee's vehicle mode is a pink and white motorcycle with some silver and black pieces and blue translucent windscreen and headlights. Her wheels are fully rotating (as you'd expect from modern toys) and she features several smaller pieces of detailing to make her more convincing.
If you don't have her blades attached like I have above she is able to stay upright by deploying her kickstand.
Arcee comes with two pink and silver blades that clip into the round holes on her lower arms giving her an over-sized version of the blades she has in the cartoon. These blades are clipped onto the sides of her vehicle mode through a couple of smaller clips on the underside of the blades.
Robot Mode
Bumblebee's robot mode is a mostly yellow and black masculine form with some silver, grey and blue pieces for detailing.
His torso is made of his car hood slit open and rotated to reveal his head, and also featuring several previously hiddenpieces from his vehicle mode (such as his abdomin piece and groin). His car doors and roof are reformed as his now iconic wings in this mode. His head is connected to his torso by a small ball jointed neck piece that allows him to move his head as needed. the head itself is made up mostly of his yellow helmet with chin-strap. This helmet features several ridges and the chin strap covers his mouth (as needed due to his lack of speech), his face is silver and features a sculpted nose and a pair of light-up eyes, which activate thanks to his light piping gimmick.

His arms are connected by a connector and pivot joint combination that uses the front wheels as shoulder pieces, covered by some more previously hiddenpieces. The upper and lower arms are connected by a ball joint each, creating an elbow as well. His lower arms feature holes for his blaster (or any other similar weapon), and the hands themselves are sculpted with fingers and a hidden peg hole for more weapons to be held if needed between the glasping hand, these hands are also able to bend inwards by about 90 degrees if desired.

Bumblebee's legs are connected to his groin by a a pair of pivoting ball joints that allow them to move as needed. His knees are created by a hinge joint, as like Arcee are hidden by a knee pad. The lower legs are mostly made up of the rear of his vehicle mode, including his rear wheels and windows. This of course makes Bumblebee very sound-standing and (shouldn't) fall over that much.
Vehicle Mode
Bumblebee's vehicle mode is a yellow and black sports car designed with a NYC Taxi motif, besides the taxi details this mode differs from the regular Bumblebee in a few ways, such as having a darker yellow and the black stripes being in different locations. His windows and headlights are made of a translucent blue plastic.
This mode also of course features several detailings common on car alternate modes now, such as wheels with hubcaps, eshaust pipes, side mirrors and more.
Bumblebee comes with a single blaster that can clip onto his forearm, this seems a bit odd considering that the RID version comes with 2 blasters, one for each arm. This blaster can be stored in vehicle mode on a couple of clips found on the rear of his undercarriage.
My Final Thoughts
Arcee's colourscheme is of course meant to evoke the colours of G1 Arcee as well, whilst Bumblebee is just himself, but with an NYC Taxi design.
It's likely that this toy set influenced an episode in the Prime TV series which was set in New York city and involved Arcee and Bumblebee as well. The only differences though are that the Autobots stay in their normal colourschemes rather than taking on these new ones, Raf didn't go and was replaced by Miko, and they don't wear these different T-Shirts.
I personally really love this set, the alternate colourschemes used can make it very easy to recast these characters as ones other than Arcee and Bumblebee (so people who hate have doubles on characters can be happy too). The only problem you might have with these figures however is managing to find them, due to them being exclusives they're harder to find at a reasonable price on the after-market (I was lucky to find these guys at Auto Assembly 2012 for just £20 for the set though)
So in short, if you can find these guys for a reasonable price, then I'd suggest you buy them, but don't bankrupt yourself getting them, they aren't THAT great.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Prime - Knock Out

"Knock Out is oily slick; the ultimate salesman. Everyone knows his weapons are dangerous and prone to malfunction, and his installation methods often leave Decepticons scarred or crippled. But who can resist having quantum disintegration at his fingertips?"
Name: Knock Out
Continuity: Aligned
Toy Line: Prime - RID
Faction: Decepticon
Size Class: Deluxe - Revealer

Strength: 6
Intelligence: 8
Speed: 8
Endurance: 5
Rank: 7
Courage: 4
Fireblast: 5
Skill: 4
Robot Mode
Knock Out employs a masculine robot mode in mostly red, purple and grey, like most (if not all) Deluxe sized Prime figures, Knock Out is missing his insignia, but it's clear he's a Decepticon even without it.
Knock Out's torso is mostly made of his vehicle mode car hood with it being folded ina  way to form a chest-design (with headlights as nipples) and even an abdominal area, his lower torso and groin area are formed from hisfront grill and a piece of his undercarriage. His front wheels hang off his back, to resemble the look of his character model (but not quite right).
Knock Out's head is connected to his upper torso by a small ball-joint based connector that allows his to nod and shake his head by a small amount. His face is silver and is surrounded by a red helmet featuring a spiked design on top, the middle spike also leads onto his face a bit creating a nose for himself. His face features a sculpted smirk for a mouth and features a pair of red painted, sculpted eyes.

Knock Out's arms are created mostly from his vehicle mode doors, roof and windows folded in on themselves creating quite a convincing(ish) solid arm, and also featuring what I call (jokingly) Knock Out's wrist mirrors. His hands are connected by a ball joint that allows them to rotate as needed. The hands are sculpted with sharp fingers that surround a hidden peg-hole for his (or someone else's) weapon to be held in.
Thespiked shoulders are connected to his upper torso by a ball joint connector, which leads to a pivot joint and a hinge creating his elbow, all of this gives his arms quite a lot of articulation, which is prefect for an articulate character like Knock Out.

Knock Out's legs are connected to his groin area by a pair of ball join connectors, his upper legs feature pivot joins near the top, so you can rotate them if needed for poses. His knees are created by simple hinge joints which allow them to bend back enough for the backs of his legs to scrape his bum. The lower legs are formed mostly of the rear of his vehicle mode, with his feet created from this rear bumper section creating the heels whilst he has a small trinagle as the front of the feet, connected to the main part of the leg by a small connector-ball joint combo.
Vehicle Mode
Knock Out's vehicle mode is a red and purple sports car with clear plastic windows, headlights, side windows and four working black wheels. This vehicle mode features several aesthetic details like side mirrors, front grill, license plate area, lights etc.
Knock Out's paint job is fairly flat, but the purple parts seem to feature a faded effect from a silver part at the front, which whilst Knock Out probably wouldn't allow such a defacement of his perfect body in the fiction, for the toy line it looks quite nice.
Knock Out features 2 peg holes on his sides that his Battle Spear (or other weapons) can be slotted into.
Knock Out comes with a black "Battle Spear" which can be split into two smaller weapons (it doesn't really work well that way though). This weapon doesn't really like to be placed into Knock Out's hands, except with the small tab on the lower part (see picture at bottom of page).
One positive part of this weapon though is that it can be stored in robot mode very easily on either of the two peg holes on his back. To make it look neater, I tend to have the spear bent at the connecting joint for the two halves and pose it that way.
My Thoughts
Knock Out is a hard one, I personally like him, but I've heard a lot of people say he's not a good figure, this is mostly because of his paint job however, but as you all must know, personal tastes for colourschemes are very subjective to the viewer (much like with artwork in a comic). Another problem people might have with him is that his toy instructions are basically useless, meaning you have to work out how to transform him for yourselves (and the chest formation isn't very clear as to how it's meant to be either), however once you figure it out for yourself, he's a fairly easy figure to deal with though.
My only real issue with this toy is his weapon as it's not that well designed and is very difficult to insert into his hands in an effective pose, and his split spear just looks stupid (so in that case it may be worth getting his Takara version just for the Micron, but nothing else, thanks to that version having lots of hideous holes mounted on him). Another mild issue is that the purple paint job is very sudden, it looks like it was added late in the process, rather than being blended into the red to make it more "natural" looking.
Like I said earlier, the decision to buy this figure depends solely on your own aesthetic standards, if you personally like the look of him with his purple and red paint job, and don't mind spending a while working out the transformation, then go ahead and buy him, otherwise, you might just be happy with skipping over him, or just buying him for the shelf and nothing else.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Generations - Swerve

"Swerve is a genius, but you wouldn't know it to watch him drive. He's often so preoccupied by the analysis of whatever material he's been given that he completely loses track of where he is or where he's going. When he's working on a tough problem, it's not uncommon for him to wander aimlessly into the middle of a battle."
Name: Swerve
Continuity: Generation One
Toy Line: Generations - Asian Exclusive
Size Class: Deluxe
Faction: Autobot

Strength: 6
Intelligence: 8
Speed: 6
Endurance: 8
Rank: 6
Courage: 7
Fireblast: 2
Skill: 7
Robot Mode
Swerve's robot mode is red and white, with some black and silver pieces spliced in to save it from being too bright throughout.
His torso is made from most of the front of his vehicle mode and features a grill design on his abdominal area, a raised chest (kept over from the Kup version of this mold who used a similar design in his War Within designs), and features some shoulder-pad pieces on the sides, which are topped by his vehicle mode headlights, and are also connected to his front wheels which are connected by a pair of connector pieces to add more decoration. His back-pack is made from his cab-area, including windscreen, hood and the clips to hold his rifle on.
His head is connected to the top of his torso by a small connector that allows it to rotate side-to-side as needed, and also nod a bit as well (plus he can fold his head back fully, but that's just for his transformation really). The head is formed from a round-ish red helmet with a silver face (sculpted with nose, chin, mouth and other small pieces). His eyes are sculpted and fitted with a light piping effect (activated from the back of his head), but it's been negated by painting the back piece black, and the actual eyes blue.

Swerve's arms are connected to his upper torso by a double-hinge-pivot connector that allows them to bend pretty much in any way desired. His upper arms are split in half by a pivot joint (where the black and white pieces meet) that allows them to rotate fully. His elbows are created by a double hinge again, allowing them to bend inwards at two near-locations. His lower arms are "guarded" by some panels of his vehicle mode (parts of his doors) and can be rotated as some shield weapons if needed. His hands are connected by a pivoting joint that allows them to rotate fully once again. The hands are also sculpted with fingers and a thumb, and are positioned to form a "hidden" peg hole for his weapons.

Swerve's legs are connected to his groin area by a set of ball joints, giving them a lot of kicking action, the upper legs feature a half-way pivot (like the upper arms do too). His knees are formed with a hinge point that allows them to bend either way by about 90 degrees each, he also features some knee-pads (just UNDER the knees however). The lower legs are formed from his holding area at the rear of the vehicle mode, with the feet formed by folding them out, giving him giant feet and some sprawled out heels at the back, allowing him to stand stable on most surfaces.
Vehicle Mode
Swerve's vehicle mode is a mostly red pick up truck with a silver bumper and grill, black headlights, engine hood, side mirrors, wheels and semi-translucent windows. The floor of the holding area at the back is white with a grilled effect as well.
Swerve features a large black Autobot insignia on his roof (sort of makes it obvious he's a robot in disguise of course). He is sculpted with a lot of decorative details (licence late area, door handles, doors etc) and also features a set of fully rotating wheels, and despite his gun being found on his undercarriage, isn't obstructed when rolling out. He also has an opening door at the back of the holding area so you can pretend you're loading it up for holiday or something.
Swerve's gun is dark grey, with a white clip connected by a ball joint. The clip can be used to attach the gun to Swerve's back by a pair of clips (or in the same place in vehicle mode). The gun can also be clipped in the undercarriage to become a second exhaust pipe (albeit a different colour to the other one). The gun can also be inserted into Swerve's hands by the peg hole's by the handle, seen above.
My Final Thoughts
This figure is great.

I really enjoyed this mold when it was used for Kup originally, but with his new head and colour scheme, I'd say it's been improved greatly, and works very well for G1 Swerve. I think a major point why I like this figure is because of Swerve's new role in the More Than Meets The Eye comic series (of course it's not the same character model or anything, but he's still lovely). The only way to make this figure better would have been to have him come with a drinks tray accessory and maybe a back-drop of his bar from the series too.

If you can find this figure (IF) then I really do suggest you pick him up, he's so worth it. I got mine for £20 (which is cheaper than if I imported him from a website or something btw) so I'd say that'd be a reasonable maximum price for him (and his wave-mates).
A little side story though, I find it quite off that I got this figure, and his mold mate Kup both at different Auto Assembly conventions...strange....

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Universe - Prowl

"As the right hand man to Optimus Prime, Prowl is right at home in the thick of the battle against the new Decepticon armies. Confused Autobots are scattered across the universe, easy pickings for the gangs of more organized Decepticons. As a dedicated administrator and logician, Prowl feels it is his duty to whip them into shape, and get them ready for a fight. It's only a matter of time until the Decepticons get themselves a real leader, and the Autobots need to be ready."
Name: Prowl
Continuity: Generation One
Toy Line: Universe 2.0
Size Class: Deluxe
Faction: Autobot

Strength: 7
Speed: 7
Rank: 9
Firepower: 4
Intelligence: 9
Endurance: 9
Courage: 9
Skill: 9
Robot Mode
Prowl uses a mostly white masculine robot mode with black lowlights in some areas such as on the lower half of his torso, his lower "wings", knees, feet, lower arms and "collar". He also has some small red markings as highlights, such as on his legs, groin, chest and head chevron horns.
His torso is made up of most of the front of his vehicle mode, and with his windshield and front half of his roof on his back as some minor-kibble. He features a pair of shoulder missiles, homaging those he has in his G1 toy, and can be folded back if needed into his "back pack" depending on your personal preferences on his looks. His vehicle mode doors and sides of his front wheel's arch form his wing-kibble (which is much rounder than his G1 counterpart's was)
Prowl's head is connected to the torso by a pivoting joint on his "collar" that allows it to rotate on a full axis (exorcist style). The head itself consists of a white helmet with red forehead horns surrounding his white chevron, the helmet also features some sculpted details that are purely fro decoration, such as ridges and panels. His face is silver with sculpted mouth, nose and cheek-lines. His eyes are formed from a blue light-piping effect that is activated from a port on the back of his head.

Prowl's arms are attached to the main torso by a lever-hinge-pivot combination that leads to his shoulder-upper arm piece, which allows them to move as much as possibly needed (watching out for the wings of course). His front wheels are found on the backs of his shoulder pieces. The elbows are formed by a pivot-hinge combination that connects to the lower arm piece, allowing him to bend his arms inwards a little more than 90 degrees, and rotate on the pivot fully, if needed. His hands are connected to the lower arms by a clip that allows them to rotate fully as well. The hands are sculpted with non-moving fingers and a thumb that form around a peg hole designed to hold his supplied weapon, all ready for battle.

His legs are connected to his groin area by a pair of ball joints that give him a great amount of splits action, if wanted. His knee is created with another hinge-pivot combination that allows him to bend back his lower legs if needed (for when he's running away maybe). This knee-part connects to the larger lower leg parts by another hinge-style joint that can also fold back fully as well (mostly for transformation needs, not actually for posing...unless Prowl has four knees....) The lower legs are made from the rear of his vehicle mode and thus features his spoiler, exhaust pipes, back window etc. His feet are connected by a connector hidden behind the car parts and can be moved slightly by a bar it's connected to and thus can be placed on most surface types.
Alternate Mode
Prowl's alternate mode is a white and black police car based on his G1 incarnation's, but in a more modern style with red sirens, rear lights, front indicators and clear headlights. This mode also features some sculpted details like door handles, exhaust pipes, front grills, spoiler and other small details. The words "Highway Patrol" and "Police" are found on his doors. His windows feature an opaque black plastic that enables you to look inside, but not clearly.
His wheels are black plastic with sculpted tire-marks and a five-point spoke hubcap as well, which can move freely as needed across a smooth surface. His robot mode gun is found lodged in his undercarriage next to his head thanks to some small clips, but it doesn't hinder the wheel movement in any way (unless you place it in wrong)
My Final Thoughts
Prowl is actually quite a fun toy, definitely an improvement over the G1 version of his toy, so I would recommend buying him over the older version, he fits well with the other Classics-style figures (as you'd hope from a figure from that line). Also, despite being a different design, he still evokes the appearance of the older Prowl character model.
He's a little bit difficult to transform, especially if you're a bit young, but then again that's a trait of the figures released in this line, so they can have convincing looks in both modes.
This character model is used for Prowl's design in the All Hail Megatron storyline, and also in the IDW Ongoing series as well (albeit with some movie-like features in some places too) so he could easily be placed on any IDW shelf you might be making as well (if you do that)

Friday, 27 July 2012

TFA - Sentinel Prime

"Graduate of the same class as Optimus Prime at the Autobot Academy, Sentinel Prime is commander of a squad of the best the Autobots have to offer - the Elite Guard. Though he is a powerful warrior and a cunning leader, he is also obsessed with following the rules to the absolute letter. His is unbending in his interpretation of procedure, and dislikes the way Optimus Prime and his crew improvise. If he had his way, that whole group would be sent back to Basic Programming."
Motto:"Without law, all is chaos"
Name: Sentinel Prime
Faction: Autobot
Function: Autobot Elite Commander
Toy Line: Animated (Hasbro)
Size Class: Deluxe
Robot Mode
Sentinel Prime's robot mode is a large chested blue masculine form with an anorexic looking waistline and very angular limbs, He also features several splashes of black, grey, yellow and orange across his form 
Sentinel's chest is made up of a faux-part depicting his vehicle mode hood, but in a much more distorted appearance, which includes his headlights, front grill and insignia, his waist is formed from a separate piece of plastic that can fold inwards (for his transformation, but can also be used for posing). His snow plow blades from his vehicle mode have been split in half and now form decorations for the sides of his wide chest and to hide his shoulder-arm connectors as well. His real truck front is found on his back.
Sentinel's head is connected by a small piece of plastic that can be folded into his torso, which sort of resembles a collar as well. The head itself is connected to that piece by a ball-joint connector so he can shake and nod his head as much as possible. His head is made of a large blue helmet with a chin "dimple" in the form of a flat-head screw. Sentinel's "ears" are in the form of small pipes that can be moved slightly if desired (it doesn't do anything really though) His face is a dark grey colour and features a grumpy set of features including his mouth and eyes (which are painted a bright blue).
His arms are connected by combining the two two wheels on both sides along with a stiff pivoting joint that allows them to rotate as needed, and also connected by a hinge that allows them to bend upwards by about 180 degrees. The upper arms are connected to the shoulders by a small hinge joint that allows them to bend backwards by about 90 degrees. His elbows are connected by another hinging joint that allows it to bend inwards by about 90 degrees again. His hands are sculpted with fingers and feature a peg hole for him to hold his weapons in. The outside of his arms feature a lump of blue plastic with orange markings in the form of two lines and one triangle (as with most Elite Guard figures)
Sentinel's legs are connected to his groin area by a pair of ball joints that enable them to move as needed, his knees are formed by a hinge joint that allows him to bend them back by about 90 degrees, allowing him to sit down in a deluxe sized chair if you want. The lower legs and feet are created from pretty much the entire top of his vehicle mode folded in, this make shim very sturdy, and very stable on most surface types, even despite his otherwise top-heavy form.
Vehicle Mode
Sentinel's vehicle mode is a mostly blue pick up truck with an orange and grey snow plow on the front. His windows are blacked out (to hide the robot parts inside) and also features a small area in the back hold area to hold some small items, if desired.
This mode features several usual pieces of detailing on vehicles, such as headlights, bumpers, working wheels, side mirrors, front grill, doors, spoiler and several other small pieces. His Elite Guard insignia (winged Autobot insignia) is found on the hood of the car, in front of the windscreen.
Sentinel Prime comes with a lance bright blue lance and shield (denoting energy) with grey and blue parts across them. Bath can be held in either hand by the handles
These weapons can be slotted together through a hole on the shield's handle, and can also be held in vehicle mode as a roof-mounted weapon by slotting the sheild's handle into a small square-hole behind Sentinel's cab.
My Final Thoughts
Oh Sentinel, you may be a douchey character on screen, but you are a wonderful toy with so much to offer. His vehicle and robot modes are both very fun, his accessories work well, and can be stored easily in vehicle mode (always a plus side for me). This vehicle mode can even be mistaken for a Generations style toy if you want him to. Also due to a similar character appearing in the TFCC Coming Storm storyline, you could even put him on your Wings of Honour-era G1 shelf in your room if you want, without it looking too out of place.

The only real downside of this toy is that he isn't a larger scale toy (Voyager for instance), but that's a very minor complaint on a very nice toy otherwise.
If you can find Sentinel Prime in a shop somewhere then I do recommend buying him, he's a fun toy, and a main character in the franchise.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Armada - Street Action Team

"Although they look ordinary, these three robots are keys to the Mini mission of all the Mini-Cons. They combine into a robot, showing the strength of teamwork. Their capabilities continue to grow over time, but their real power is in making others discover their true potential. The Autobots and Decepticons see the unlimited power beneath their innocent forms and struggle to possess them."
Name: Street Acton Team
Toy Line: Armada
Continuity: Unicron Trilogy
Size Class: Mini-Con Triple Pack
Faction: Mini-Con (Autobot Allied)
Motto: "Seek Your True Power"

Strength: 5
Speed: 5
Rank: 5
Firepower: 3
Intelligence: 9
Endurance: 6
Courage: 7
Skill: 6
High Wire
High Wire's robot mode is a black and pale blue form, his face is made from a sculpted/painted white face plate and red visor optics, the hat on his head is made from his vehicle mode light. His vehicle mode handle bars are found on his back as kibble behind his arms, also as kibble, he has his combiner head hanging off a connector.
On his left side you'll find his Mini-Con insignia, whilst on his right side you'll find his power-link peg hole. His arms are created from the bars leading to his front wheel that are separated, but leaving the wheel on his left hand (guess he's right handed then!) The arms are connected via a ball joint at the shoulders to the torso enabling them to move as much as possible. 
The legs are connected to the torso by another set of ball joints that enable them to move as needed again. The legs are created from the rear bars of the bike mode and wheel split in half, and the pedals folded down into feet. The figure is able to stand up straight by using the rear wheel as a support behind the feet.
High Wire's alternate mode is a black and pale blue BMX bicycle with black wheels and a random head hanging over the rear wheel (I guess you can pretend that's the seat or a storage pack of some sort.
The wheels are fully able to rotate as needed, and the handle bars can rotate on a pivot if needed. The pedals can rotate as needed for play-value or just so he can be upright in this mode.
Grindor's robot mode is mostly dark blue with some yellow patches of paint, and pale blue limbs. His face is sculpted with a face plate and optic visor, but is completely painted yellow. His chest features a black piece of chest decoration which covers the tops of his arms, which is found right above his Mini-Con peg hole. On his back you'll find a pair of wings/shoulder pads. His Mini-Con insignia is found on his back above the hard point.
His arms are connected to he back mounted shoulder pads/wings by a pair of pivots connecting to the upper part of the torso enabling them to fold up and down as required. His legs are connected to the groin area by a pair of ball joints that enable them to be moved as required for posing, whilst his knees are able to be bent inwards fully (as part of his transformation really, but it can be used for posing as well if needed)
Grindor's alternate mode is a dark blue and yellow rocket powered skateboard with bale blue highlights in the middle. You can place a small figure on top of this toy and pretend he's skating as well. The four small wheels enable him to roll along a smooth surface if needed. This mode prominently shows off a Mini-Con hard point that can be slotted into any Mini-Con peg hole as well.
Sureshock's robot mode is an orange block of plastic with some grey parts and a grey face with a pair of creepy yellow eyes coming out of the darkness and a small, almost invisible face plate as well. Her legs are unable to move individually, but as a block connected to the main torso by a pair of hinges that enable her to bend inwards. Her arms are connected to the torso by a ball joint enabling them to move as much as needed. The ends of the hands feature a pivot connecting to the now split front section of her alternate mode giving a potential buzzsaw weapon of some sort. Her Mini-Con insignia is found on her outer right leg, and her peg hole is found on her back, on the right side.
Sureshock's alternate mode is a small orange motorized scooter with a dark grey seat, light grey slightly moving handlebars and some gears etc.
The wheels are able to move fully as is expected. This mode also features some sculpted details like an exhaust pipe, struts, headlights and other smaller details
Perceptor is the combined mode of the three Street Action Team Mini-Cons. Sureshock forms his legs, Grindor forms the main torso, arms and his side skirts, whilst High Wire forms the head and back kibble.
This mode is about the size of an average Scout class toy but of course is lacking in terms of articulation to some degree.
The legs can only be reposed at the groin area and on the knees to bend outwards (crab style). The arms can move at a joint connecting the shoulder to the torso by a pivot, and also by a ball joint found on the shoulder as well. The head can be moved a small amount as well as it's connected on an articulated connector from the back-pack..
Even though he's a Mini-Con combiner and not a single Mini-Con he still features 2 of his peg-holes, so he can be connected to a larger figure still.
My Final Thoughts
This team is very unusual, it was one of the first sets of Mini-Cons (and Armada toys in general) to be released, but not only that, it's made up of a set of unusual alternate modes for Transformers, a batch of kid's vehicles.
This group is worth having, if only so you have them for the Unicron Trilogy shelf in your room, or if you love Mini-Cons like me, but if you're just looking for a good toy with great articulation, then you may want to pass over this set.
If you do want this set, then don't spend too much on it, it's really not worth more than the RRP if I'm totally honest.
Also, be careful with the peg behind Grindor's head, it's easily broken off, and if it does come off then the Perceptor Mode can't stand up properly (This is my second Grindor btw). Also remember, there was a new set of these characters from the Energon toyline which had updated vehicles and robot modes which you may like more.