Monday, October 12, 2015

Takara Legends Arcee

This is one of those figures that I kicked myself for not getting, but fortunately, Takara did another run of these figures and I was able to snag one.  When I got the Generations version, I was pretty impressed, but then Flywheels, from the Random Toy Review blog, pointed out all of the black that was on the figure and that the Takara version had a color scheme that was dead on to the animated model.  I can't believe that I didn't pick up on that, but I'm not the most observant person.  Well. at least I got my hands on the Legends version.  Spoiler warning: If you're looking for cheesecake style poses and pictures of a toy, you've come to the wrong place.
I was going to do this whole thing about how great the packaging on the figure was and all of the paperwork, but Random Toy Reviews does a much better job of it.  Check out his review here.  Instead, I'll just get into the figure itself.  There is so much pink on this figure!  I was really expecting the pink on the Takara version to be different shade than the Hasbro, but they're the exact same.  The grey wheels caught me off guard, for some reason.  It never dawned on me that the wheels are cartoon accurate.  It's still a bit jarring, however.  I mean, when was the last time that you saw a 2005 model pink car with grey tires?  Tires should be black!
Here's a shot of both the Legends and Generations version side by side in vehicle mode.  The differences are pretty striking.  The Generations version features blue headlights  and black trim whereas the Legends model has silver headlights and all of the blacks have been replaced with either pink or white.  Some of the pink highlights have been changed to pink for the Takara release as well.
The color palettes of the weapons have been changed as well.  Takara went with a pink large pistol, and a grey small gun.  Small changes, but pretty potent.
One final comparison shot of the two different figures.  Can you guess which one is which?  I have to say that not having the black on the joints for Arcee's hips seems to make a world of difference.  There's a subtle shade of pink on Arcee's hair buns on the Takara version, and a grayish color on the Hasbro one.  Other differences on the Legends Arcee include : grey instead of white on the torso, light pink forearms and hands, red on the torso that is otherwise left completely white on Hasbro's, pink kneecaps, grey ankles, white feet, an insignia on the chest, and redder lips.  The Takara version is a much better looking figure.
Like the Generations figure, Takara's Arcee cannot fit the handles for her weapons completely.  There was apparently a running change with the figure starting with Hasbro where Arcee's thumbs were shortened for unknown reasons.  The Legends figure is based of this version.  I completely forgot about the swivels in Arcee's thighs until I was taking pictures.  They really allow for some good poses.
Man, those guns sticking out of her hands are really off-putting.
I've never been a huge fan of figures wielding two guns at the same time.  Ever see someone in real life dual-wield a weapon and be effective with both of them?  Didn't think so.
I suppose a sword is a weapon that you can duel-wield, but Inigo Montoya only ever used one sword, and that's good enough for me.  Besides, I like the look of one sword in this pose.
Finally, a shot of the Genertions/Legends version of the Transformers: The Movie main cast.  There should really be new Deluxe versions of Hot Rod and Kup.  Just not based on Combiner Wars molds.  If you don't have a Legends Arcee, run, don't walk, to your nearest computer and order one.  What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

G1 Blurr And What He Means For My Future

Please, bear with me.  I'm going to break this post down into three sections: past, present, and future.  I have quite a bit to discuss with this figure, and I figured that this would be the best way to do it.  There really won't be a lot of pictures until you get to the "Present" portion of the post, so I apolgize for that.  Enjoy the post!

The Past

The year 1986 was a momentous year, not just for me, but for Transformers om general.  That was the year that The Transformers moved away from Takara's Diaclone figures and began their transition to new molds that were designed by both Hasbro and Takara.  For me, 1986 meant that I finally got Sunstreaker!  What does this have to do with Blurr?  You'll see.

Picture from
I turned 9 in May of that year, and I collected enough money from my party to earn a trip to Toys R Us directly after the party was over.  Browsing the aisles, I noticed Hot Rod, Scourge, and other figures from the upcoming movie.  Sunstreaker was the figure that caught my eye, and he came home with me.  Fast forward a few months, and I was at the movies watching Optimus Prime die.  During the movie, I was enthralled with Blurr, and I had to have him.  Luckily, the movie was released just as I found out that the Navy had transferred my father from Long Beach, California to Norfolk, Virginia, the state of my birth.  Moving meant one thing - a trip to Toys R Us for crayons, coloring books, and a toy to keep me, and my brother, busy on the cross country ride.  I realized my opportunity and grabbed Blurr as soon as we walked to the Action Figure aisle.  Happy, I made the cross country trip to my Aunt's house in Norfolk where we stayed until we could get a house of our own.  It was here that I made a grave mistake.

Once we arrived at my Aunt's house, I proceeded to show off some of my Transformers to my cousin.  Among the treasures that I proudly displayed were Sunstreaker and Blurr.  My cousin immediately remarked that it would awesome if I could somehow combine Sunstreaker and Blurr together to create a really fast car.  That's all I needed to hear.  I quickly disassembled the two bots and tried...something.  All I really remember is that Blurr's torso was glued onto Sunstreaker's car body, minus Suntreaker's roof.  It was, it was a nightmare.  In one fell swoop, I had managed to destroy two incredible figures, and create a monstrosity.  Sunstreak and Blurr were over, finished!

The Present

I've been searching for a replacement for Blurr for a couple of years now, but I just haven't forced myself to pull the trigger.  Sunstreaker was replaced a few years ago, but Blurr was always a hard proposition for me.  I wanted Blurr, but I didn't want to pay that much for him.  I'm sure that everyone has had this problem before.  It's isn't that Blurr is an expensive figure, really, but the prices still seemed silly to me.  Besides, most of the specimens that I managed to run across had fading, loose arms (not a big deal breaker thanks to nail polish), and shields with broken tabs.  After much moaning and complaining on the Internet about it, I finally managed to find what I was looking for - Blurr, in great condition, and at a price I was comfortable with.
 Thanks to the TFWiki, I discovered that there were two versions of Blurr, which I kind of suspected because there were two versions of most of the 1986 figures.  Thankfully, I managed to snag the first release version, with the "V" cut stickers.  When I picked up Blurr from my mailbox, I opened up the package immediately and began playing with him, while I was driving home.
My Blurr came with a misplaced decal.  The sticker that should go on his antenna was instead placed on his forehead, giving Blurr a Bindi, I suppose.  I could move it, or I could just get a new set of decals from Reprolabels, but I kind of like this look.
Thanks to his transformation scheme, Blurr features a bit of leg articulation.  Only his knees bend, so a running pose is not possible.  Still, it looks like Blurr is taking a bit of a stroll, or possibly limping. 

Blurr transforms into a Cybertronian race car, which, I'm told, is very fast.  Also in this picture, you can see the "V" cut out decals on the arms.  Later runs of Blurr do not have this cut and instead the "V" section is filled in.  Amazingly, Blurr's arms are very tight, and there isn't any real fading on the figure.  I really lucked out on this guy.  Thankfully, I was able to right a mistake that I made 29 years ago for a decent price.

The Future

It's funny how just getting one figure can induce a sense of euphoria.  And it isn't always what one would consider a "holy grail" - your Overlords, Black Zaraks and what have you.  Sometimes, it's just a common, everyday figure that can do the trick.  In a way, it was 1986 all over again.

The sense of calm that washed over me was a bit astounding as well.  I actually think that if I never got another vintage figure, I'd be okay with that.  My appetite for new G1 figures is so sated, that I haven't even really looked for any other figures.  Getting some Decepticon Targetmasters has certainly crossed my mind over the last couple of weeks, but I'm in no rush.  This creates a bit of a problem for this space since this is the last G1 figure that I have in reserve to review.  I have a Takara Arcee to still open and write about, but that's it until Nightbird and the Masterpiece figures for the year release.  Don't worry, I still have other things that I can put up here, like pictorials or something.

You know, when I first started doing this, it was with the intent to just get myself to do something creative and possibly interact with the fandom.  This is certainly a lot easier than getting on the boards.  After awhile, I somehow got a big head and thought that one day my collection would be featured on some site, and maybe I'd answer some questions.  That lasted about a week.  Over the last couple of months, I've come to realize that the size of my collection isn't important, but enjoying it really is.  I've even started trying to offload the vast majority of my CHUG, Binaltech, and Alternator figures.  The realization that there's just so much out there has necessitated a laser-like focus in my head.  The only reason I still have figures like Nightbird or the Takara Devastator coming is that I've already paid for them, so why not enjoy them?

Life can bring all sorts of headaches and tribulations, there isn't any need to add to them.  Just have fun and pass that joy along.  Next week - Legends Arcee!  For real.