Wednesday, May 25, 2016


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Look!  Yet another subset of Autobots completed!  I should have completed the Powermasters much, much earlier, but I took my sweet time.  The Powermasters are some of my favorite figures in the G1 line, and it pleases me to no end to finally have them all.  Well, all of the U.S. releases, that is.  Japanese exclusives will have to wait.  For now, let's just celebrate the newest addition to my collection.
I think that one of the reasons I waited so long to get Joyride is that his alt-mode is just a dune buggy, and the only dune buggy that I care about is Beachcomber.  That is, until I found out that Beachcomber isn't a dune buggy.  Geez.  However, once Joyride was in hand, I was duly impressed with this mode.  Garish neon colors aside, the dune buggy mode is much better looking than pictures had me believe.  Maybe it was the joy of getting that last Autobot Powermaster making me love the mode more than I should.
Joyride's robot mode is pretty much what one would expect for a later era G1 figure.  His arms move at the shoulder and elbow...and that's pretty much it.  The legs are fused together because this is what many in the toy industry figured would help them pass safety laws.  In short, Joyride is just a brick.
But what's this?  Joyride is moving at the waist!  How is that even possible?  Could it be because of Joyride's transformation scheme? 
Pictured here we have my childhood Slapdash, Getaway, and Joyride.  Seeing them together like this, I'm a tad surprised at the varying heights of the figures.  I'm not complaining, as this just makes them a little more diverse.  Still, I can't believe that Getaway is taller than Slapdash.  I just realized that I've mentioned completing the Autobot Powermasters quite often in this post, but I haven't included Powermaster Optimus Prime.  He shy.  Or I didn't feel like pulling him out the overly complicated display case that he's in.  You be the judge.
Here we have Rev, Lube, and Hotwire all together in a get together of all of the basic Powermaster engines. 
What I'm most excited about is that getting Joyride allowed me to take this picture - every U.S. released Nebulon in one nice shot.  Eventually, I'll have one of the Decepticon Nebulons.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Triggerbot Dogfight

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I've been putting this guy off for a long, long time.  Dogfight showed up in my collection about the middle of last year, and the pictures have been sitting on my desktop for about the same amount of time.  Guess I better get this over with.
Before last year, this is what I knew about Dogfight.  He showed up in one issue of the old Marvel comic in a flashback.  That red and white truck?  That's Optimus Prime.  The other vehicles are the Triggerbots.  And Dogfight is the jet flying with his landing gear down because of Jose Delbo.  Oh yeah, Dogfight was also in another issue where he fought psychic vampires.  I'll just leave it at that.
So far, we're not off to the best start to endear a character to my heart. 
Much like the Powerdashers, the entire Triggerbot or Triggercon concept just never appealed to me.  While I love the Sparkabots, the trigger concept just didn't make me jump for joy.  When a subgroup does nothing for me, I tend to not spend a lot of time searching for a perfect specimen.  So for $8, this guy felt good enough to come home with me.
I was a bit thrown off with Dogfight when he arrived on my doorstep.  When I pushed the button to activate the gun mechanism, I could hear the sound of gears cranking and turning.  For a minute, I thought I had a Starcom vehicle.  Backstreet and Override feature spring based guns, so that is what I was used to.  The different mechanism that Dogfight features supposedly marks him as being meant for the Triggercons.  What changed, I don't know.
When the trigger action is used in robot mode, Dogfight's arms merely lift up.  I'll be honest, I've played with this feature a lot with Dogfight.  The sound of the gears just makes me giddy for some reason.  Hopefully, this doesn't trigger (Ha!) some sort of trip down a Starcom buying spree.  That would be...unfortunate.
Finally, this subgroup is finished.  The worst conditioned figure in this group is my childhood Backstreet, but I can't bring myself to replace him.  Also, who cares, they're just Triggerbots.  I suppose that I should start on the Triggercons at some point in time.  I'm not in a rush.

Monday, April 18, 2016


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Let's try an exercise, shall we?  I want you to rank all of the Autobot Headmasters in order of best to worst.  Which one was your favorite?  Odds are it was Nightbeat.  Who do you have listed as your least favorite?  For me, the answer is obvious: Nightbeat.  Hey, I'm being a contrarian! 
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I get why everyone loves Nightbeat so much.  He's pretty much Simon Furman's masterpiece, along with Scorponok.  Awesome detective solving mysteries?  Yes, please.  Drawn the best by British artists in the early 1990's?  Check.  Then why is it I don't like Nightbeat?  Man, that could be an entire article.  Let's just boil it down to this: all he does is solve "mysteries".  Nightbeat is one giant MacGuffin.  I know that the minute he shows up, he's there to solve some dilemma that's stumping everyone else.  There really isn't any depth to the guy, and I don't get why everyone loves him so much.  I mean, Needlenose has been given more depth than Nightbeat.  Needlenose!  Also, Nightbeat is the worst looking of all of the Autobot Headmasters.  There, I said it.
I remember when I first saw Nightbeat in the catalogs in 1988, right after I got Hosehead.  I took one look at him and just said "Nope."  Over twenty years later, and I still have that feeling.  I've put off getting Nightbeat in my collection for so long, that I entertained thoughts of just not ever getting him.  My collection would have been missing a very important piece, but I think I may have been okay with that.  That isn't to say that this figure is completely crap.  Now that I've spent some time with him, I've come to the realization that what makes him look so rough are those arms.  They don't look like they belong on him.  They're too long.  Everything else about Nightbeat?  The bee's knees.

I really like the Porsche mode, flame decals and all.  I don't know what they were thinking when designing the deco on poor Nightbeat.  "You know what would make this Porsche look great?  Flames!"  Even though I'm not a huge fan of the simplistic yellow/blue color scheme, it somehow works here.  You can definitely tell that Hasbro were gearing up for 1990's color trends here.
Nightbeat's Nebulon partner goes by Muzzle.  He's super yellow.  I really lucked out on this Nightbeat, now that I think about it.  I paid a lot less than what he normally goes for, and he's in such great condition.  I know that a lot of Nightbeats out there tend to get a bit of discoloration on the blues, but I have yet to run across any on mine.  Stickers are in amazing shape as well.
Like all of the small Headmasters, what Nightbeat and Muzzle lack in size, they make up for in accessories.  Unlike Siren, to open the cockpit in attack mode necessitates removing the gun on the roof.  It isn't a big deal.
This is one of those special edition Porsche's that only seat one.  And have a yellow interior.  And guns.
The gang's all here!  All of the small Autobot Headmasters together in one place!  It took awhile, but it was definitely worth it!  Sadly, I could have sworn that I had taken a picture of all of the Autobot Headmasters together, but I can't find it.  Which isn't surprising since I took these pics nearly five months ago.  What I'll show you is a picture of all of the Autobot Nebulons together.

So nice to see, and have, all of these guys.  One day, I'll have all of the Decepticon Nebulons.  Then the Japanese ones.  Guess that means I'll have to keep collecting...

Friday, April 15, 2016

MP-11NR Ramjet

Ugh, another Seeker mold.  It's funny that I would have that type of reaction to the reuse of a mold after all of the reuses of the Lamborghini mold that I eagerly snatch up without hesitation.  Then again, I've never really been a fan of the Masterpiece Seeker mold.  The lack of waist articulation, the fact that every time I pick up a Seeker in my case, the freaking torso lifts up all add up to a figure that just doesn't appeal to me for the most part.  Why do I keep buying Seeker mold figures?  Because they look so damn nice.
Out of the box, Ramjet is a stunner.  Many people prefer the iGear versions of the Coneheads, but, in my opinion, their heads are way too small.  MP-11NR's head is in just the right proportion.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by the transformation sequence with the cockpit - it actually twists during transformation. 
Poseability isn't something that Seeker's are known for, but I think I did the best I could with these pics.  Then again, I'm sure there will be tons of better poses out there.  I don't put a lot of time in trying to achieve poses with the Seekers.  They're just too fiddly for me.  The large wings actually helped with some of the poses that I tried.  They offered a bit of stability.
I will say that I got fascinated with how Ramjet is able to turn his head.  I mean, that's just a standard feature now, but I really got into it.  Possibly 95% of the pictures I initially took were just of Ramjet turning his head.  Part of me wants to say that I'm joking, but I'm not.  After decades of having a Ramjet that couldn't turn his head, I got stuck on it with this guy.  Sure, every Ramjet released after 1995 is capable of doing such a simple thing, but they don't have the right stupid look on their face.
Yeah, I love the stupid look on Ramjet's face.  It's perhaps the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time.  Ramjet was always a bit of a dullard thug on the show, and the Masterpiece sculpt just really nails it.  I've seen a fair bit of outrage online over the sculpt, and it usually boils down to "He looks stupid!"  That's the point.  Ramjet looks stupid because he is stupid.  Great job, Takara on capturing the look.
Ramjet transforms into a jet.  I know that this is shocking to most, since Seekers are usually known for transforming into recliners, but Ramjet breaks from tradition.  At any rate, I really like the balance Takara found with the missiles.  Ramjet still sports the skinnier rays while in robot mode, but shells can be placed over them while in jet mode to give Ramjet the fat missiles.  They can also be added while in robot mode if you're looking for a more toy accurate look.
Ramjet seems to beset with quality control issues.  Just recently, Takara issued a recall on the figure to fix an issues where the left and right shoulders were swapped.  I've also read reports of landing gears falling off and just over poor quality.  Luckily, mine arrived in pretty good shape.  The shoulders are fine, as is the landing gear.  There is a spot where the left wing tabs in where the paint flaked off a bit, but it isn't major.
Here's a horrible shot of all of the Seekers together.  I didn't feel like pulling out the Wal-Mart MP-03 deco, or the original MP-03.  I do have the Skywarp MP-03 figure in this shot, however.  Sadly, Skywarp is the great miss in my collection.  I passed on him for unknown reasons, and I've been kicking myself over it ever since.
The rest of my MP-11 mold figures seem to feel the same way as they've turned their backs on him. 
Bring on Dirge and Thrust!  Or else Ironhide gets it...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Triple Takeover Part III - Octane!

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Triple Takeover finishes up with Octane!  Of the Decepticon Triple Changers, Octane is far and away my favorite.  Yeah, he isn't some super aggro tank or fighter jet.  Sure, one of his modes isn't as awesome as a space shuttle.  You know what?  I could care less.  An evil passenger jet is just as good, maybe even better.
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Really, one of the main reasons Octane is so near and dear to me has to do with the above picture.  While Blitzwing had the nerve to stand up to Galvatron and work with the Autobots to stop the Quintessons, Blitzwing was merely banished.  Octane had brass ones the size of Cybertron's moons and he displayed them by defecting from the Decepticons and started hanging around the Autobots.  What's more?  He was hanging out with a freaking pacifist.  I wonder how Galvatron liked them apples?  At least on the show.  In the comics, he was pretty much background fodder.  So sad.
So here's an embarrassment from the past.  This picture was actually taken about three years ago when I thought I had decent equipment.  I did not then, and I do not now.  Fortunately, my photo taking knowledge and skill has progressed to the point where I'm not completely making a fool of my myself when displaying my pictures.  Low self esteem aside, this photo does point out just how ugly my childhood Octane had gotten.  As a kid, I had a habit of taking things apart to see how they worked - telephones, bikes, the occasional VCR, and toys.  Especially toys.  Especially Transformers.  My god did I love taking apart poor Transformers to see how they were engineered.  For the most part, when I put them together, the only evidence that anything had happened to them would be a decal with a hole in it, if it covered a screw hole, or a torn one if it was on a part that separated.  But Octane seemed to have fared worse than all of the others combined.  I think it had to do with the fact that there was something freaky going on with his midsection, but I could never figure out what I was looking for or even how to fix it.  I would later find out that I was correct on the waist, after reading TFWiki, but when I was 12, I didn't know.  As a result of all of the tinkering, I wound up with one crappy looking Octane.  Look closely at the above picture, and you'll notice that the wheels are missing on Octane's chest.  Thankfully, I lost the cover for the tanker mode, so I was able to quickly get over the agitation of replacing a childhood toy.  
Hey, look!  It's an Octane with wheels on his chest!  And paint left on the hood!  And decals on the shield!  Is he a K.O. reissue?  I hope not, because he cost me like $30 M.I.S.B., and I'd hate to think I spent that money on a cheap piece of plastic.  I kid, of course, but the fear of winding up with a K.O. kept me from purchasing a replacement Octane for a few years.  Thankfully, this one has enough wear to him to make me feel more than comfortable with the purchase.  Like any self respecting G1 figure, articulation is limited to the arms, but Octane is able to move both his shoulders and elbows in an up and down motion!  Jealous?
I don't know why I love the tanker mode so much, but I just do.  Could it be that I dreamed of becoming a truck driver one day?  No, I can't even imagine I'd last a day as a truck driver.  I used Octane's tanker mode like everyone probably did - refueling.  That's right, Octane drove the battlefield refueling Decepticons - and later, Autobots - with laser fire gonig off all around him.  That's a sign of bravery.  Keeping his fellow bots fueled is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
Airplanes are sexy, and everyone knows it.  The thing is, it doesn't even need to be a fighter jet to be sexy.  Just tell someone at that you're trying to impress that you're a pilot, and they'll swoon almost immediately.  Flying a commercial jet is much more impressive to the ladies, I think, because it's hard flying a jet that large with that many people on board safely.  All of this is conjecture, of course, since I've only ever flown paper airplanes and an Airhog X-Wing Fighter that I hated.  The point that I'm trying to make is that Octane's jet mode is just as impressive as Blitzwing's.  Heck, Octane is even bigger than Blitzwing in jet mode.
Here's a picture that I could have easily taken years ago, but I was embarrassed.  Not because of my perceived lack of skills, but because of Octane's sorry state.  Man, it sure feels nice to have the gang all together again.  Six Triple Changers?  Check.  Still no clue on what to do with the old Octane, however.  He's too sorry looking to sell, even as a junker.  Maybe I'll just keep him in jet mode.  Man, now that I'm looking at this picture, maybe I should look at replacing my childhood Astrotrain...dammit.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Pretender Bugly

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I originally purchased Bugly last year, but I haven't talked about him due to worry that I had dominated last year with a lot of Pretenders.  You know, for a sub-line that claim to love, I seem to be in need of quite a few of them.  Bugly represents a bit of a transition point for me with Pretenders; I'm at the point where all that's left to get are the ones that aren't cheap.  Thankfully, I didn't have to pay a ton for him.  Not because I don't like him, but because he usually isn't cheap.
Photo from
This is my only real recollection of Bugly as a kid.  I remember him vaguely from the catalog, but this is what sticks in my mind: the old product (Skywarp) getting the best of the new product (Bugly) before the new product wins out.  What really got to me was Skywarp using the word "nor", which is something I had never encountered outside of English classes.  It just hit my hear wrong.  It certainly isn't something that a robot from another planet would say, I'm assuming.
Did you know that Bugly is a practitioner of the deadly art of Circuit-Su?  Did you know that there was more to Cybertronian martial arts than Metallikato?  I sure as hell didn't.  Circuit-Su apparently deals with the mind.  I guess that's how Bugly was able to predict where Skywarp would teleport to next in the above issue.  Neat.  At any rate, Bugly certainly has one of the better looking shells.  I love how pointy it is.  Yes, Iguanus has a lot of points on his shell, but I think the colors and wings just make Bugly stand out more.  Sadly, with a great price come a couple of blemishes.  There is a nick on the paint on Bugly's mandible, but I can live with that.

  There is also to the standard bit of spotting on the shell, this time on Bugly's wings.  It isn't as bad as I initially feared, but it's still present.  I wish there was a way to remove that stuff.  The antennae, I think, are what really make Bugly pop to me.  There's movable, so they can be in a variety of positions.  I prefer the down position, but I may put them up from time to time.
When I took these picture, back in freaking December, I didn't realize that I forgot to take a standard picture of Bugly's robot mode.  I have this close-up of his torso, so we'll make it work.  Bugly has one of the better Pretender inner robots.  The colors are very complementary and work well together.  Lavender and purple look nice next to each other, no?  There could be some color on the eyes, but I'm not complaining.  I've decided to leave the jet fins up while in robot mode to give Bugly a deadlier edge.
There really isn't anything to say about Bugly's jet mode.  It literally looks like every other Pretender transformation ever.  And I mean ever.  Still, the colors are nice. 
Finally, a shot of Bugly standing next to his shell.  While I was writing this, I purchased two more Pretenders.  Couple those with what I have in the pipeline, this may very well turn into the Year of the Pretender!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Triple Takeover Part II - Plastic Toe Sandstorm

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Let's get this out of the way: Sandstorm is my favorite Triple Changer.  Ever.  There, I feel much better now that I have that off my chest.  My love of Sandstorm can be traced all the way back to Christmas of 1986 when I received him under the Christmas tree. 
He's behind Matt Trakker's Thunderhawk
I still own that Sandstorm, and he's still complete to boot!  The only issue is that time has not been kind to his legs as they will not stay locked in robot mode, giving him a bit of a lopsided walk, even with the 20 year old masking tape on the legs.  Also, there's old, decayed rubber band on the gun and it will not come off.  Seeing as how I still have so many figures left to get, it may be a bit off to buy another instance of a figure that I already own, but I just felt the need to get a better version.
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One of the reasons that I love Sandstorm so much is that I was always puzzled by his personality.  His tech spec bio mentioned that he loved the heat of battle so much that he could count the rivets on the Decepticons that he was fighting.  Surely Sandstorm is a warrior of great standing.  Then again, on the third season of the show, he was a freaking pacifist.  A pacifist that would pal around with a Decepticon deserter.  They...they tried a few different things that season, and not all of them made sense.  However, this dichotomy of personalities with Sandstorm stuck in my head for a long time as a kid, and the more I thought about, the more I grew to really appreciate the character.  Eventually, I reached the age where I could care less about discrepancies between the show and the figure's bio, especially once I discovered the comic. 
If I had never watched the show, Sandstorm would still be my favorite Triple Changer of all time, especially when compared to the rest of the Triple Changers.  Most especially when compared to the Autobot Triple Changers.  Those guys are hideous.  Look at Sandstorm's dune buggy and then look at Springer's car mode:
God that thing is ugly.  Springer doesn't even look like a wheeled vehicle.  Disgusting.  Most of the helicopter mode kibble is hidden in Sandstorm's dune buggy mode, with the exception of the rear propeller. 
Helicopter is my favorite of the three modes.  I've always been fascinated by helicopters since childhood, and Sandstorm's is a thing of beauty.  I didn't know what kind of helicopter this was when I was a kid, but it looked like it could carry a lot of personnel or cargo.  It turns out that this is a Sikorsky S-62 amphibious transport chopper.  Looks like I was correct in that assumption.  When looking at this mode, I immediately want to start spinning the rotor and make chopper noises, you know the sounds I'm talking about.  Seriously, this is my favorite helicopter mode in all of the Transformers.
There are two versions of Sandstorm out there - metal toe and plastic toe.  Like every other figure in 1986, the metal version was released first and then a running change introduced a plastic version.  My childhood version is a plastic version.  I really wanted to find a metal toe version, but I never could find one that met the criteria that I was looking for.  When one pops up, I'll snatch it up.

In my mind, I had always associated Sandstorm with surf culture.  The part of the chopper that folds up on Sandstorm's back always reminded me of a surfboard.  Couple that with the dune buggy, something that I assumed was used on the beach, and it just stuck.  Now that I've put that out there, I'd like for someone to use that in fiction.  I feel as though Sandstorm should be using surfer slang.
It took me 28 years, but I was able to get the band back together with the addition of Springer.  Thanks to a Sandstorm that can stand without looking like a pimp, I can take a group shot with pride.  Compare Sandstorm to the rest of his Autobot Triple Changer brethren and tell me that he isn't the best.  Is it a contest that he won by default?  Nah.  Sandstorm is just gorgeous.