Monday, December 31, 2012

MP-14 Alert

When it was announced that Takara would be releasing Masterpiece Sideswipe, I was excited.  When it was announced that they would then follow that up with a retooled release as Red Alert, I was ecstatic.   Sideswipe is nice and all, but it's great to see some second season characters getting Masterpiece love.  Man, Masterpiece Inferno would be great.  Anyway, I've always loved Red Alert.  He's a paranoid security expert.  His paranoia almost enabled Megatron to defeat the Autobots once.  It's been used to great effect in the comics.  All in all, he's a great character.

There isn't anything to really say about this figure that hasn't been said about Sideswipe.  The transformation is the same, but there are some nice differences with some of the tooling.  Red Alert features a new head which is modeled after his animated appearances.  It's about time that a Red Alert wasn't just a pure repaint of Sideswipe with a light bar attached to the roof. This is as close as I could get with my camera without it getting blurry.  I think it's time for a new camera.  As you can see, the head is beautiful.

See, different heads.
Another difference, as you can tell in the above photo, are the shoulders.  Keeping with the animated model, Red Alert has tires molded onto his shoulders.  Yet another difference is the size of the Autobot insignia.  Thanks to the Fire Department symbol, Red Alert gets a re-sized insignia.  It's a good size.  Sideswipe's should be that smaller size as well.

The last new detail is the light bar.  It's a light bar.  Nothing much to say about that.

Fan service?
Red Alert also comes with an accessory that attaches to his head to recreate his paranoid state from the cartoon.  I don't really care about that, just like Sideswipe's pile drivers.  As a final note, I know a lot of people have had issues with paint or parts that don't fit together quite right.  I can honestly say that I haven't had that problem with either release.  Enjoy the rest of the pictures.

"Bump it, bro!"

Friday, December 28, 2012

Generations Wheelie

I'm going to be totally honest: I think I'm one of the few people on Earth who actually likes Wheelie. Seriously, I don't understand what all of the hate is about. Sure, he rhymes. Sure, he's a kid. Sure, liked riding Dinobots. But all of that was in the G1 cartoon. And his tech spec. And the comics. Wait, I'm going somewhere with this.

The reason I've always been fond of the little rhymer was his tech spec. Yeah, the five sentence blurb on the back of his package. His function is survivalist. He's the lone survivor of his party. My nine year old self always wondered what Wheelie did to survive before he ran across the Autobots. Where'd he get Energon? Why couldn't he get a communique out to someone who could rescue him? These were very pertinent questions to me at the time. All of the rhyming didn't matter. I had to have answers!

Thankfully, the wonderful Klaus Scherwinski came up with a great story that answered most of my questions. Why this man isn't doing more Transformers stuff for IDW, I'll never understand. The man made Wheelie palatable for many fans. He's awesome.

For whatever reason, Wheelie finally gets some plastic love in the form of this wonderful GDO Generations figure. Yeah, there's the Legend series figure which is probably more appropriate based on size, but this is the RTS Jazz body we're talking about!  Man, the whole Reveal The Shield line was just awesome.  It's depressing comparing RTS and Generations to the newer Generations figures. 

Anyway, there are many things to love about about Wheelie.  Let's start with his colors.  The use of oranges really stands out evokes his G1 toy.  He's not the futuristic car that he once was, but I still really like it.  The yellow headlights are a nice touch.  Really nice work there.

Once in robot mode, Wheelie really shines.  The head sculpt is freaking awesome.  He even has a visor!  I love the visor.  As a weapon, Wheelie comes equipped with his trusty slingshot.  I'm not too keen on the extra peg on the side.  You can apparently use the slingshot as a gun as well, but forget that noise.  Just like Jazz, Wheelie has speakers that can be deployed in both car and robot mode.  Those are staying tucked away.  I just don't like the idea of Wheelie having speakers.  It's nice having a Wheelie that's so tall, if a little different.  Still, I guess he's in scale with former minibots Cliffjumper, Bumblebee and Warpath.

If you haven't picked up the GDO Wheelie, then I highly suggest that you run out and get him.  He's just a great, fun figure.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Masterpiece Thundercracker

My mind is funny. When this guy was released, I naturally couldn't find him at the original $49.99 he was released at. Sometime in October, I finally found him, but his price had jumped to $74.99, a price I thought to be outrageous. The $140 I paid for Masterpiece Starscream? That was reasonable for some reason. Why is it unreasonable for me to pay half that price for a figure that comes with a stand? Is it because Thundercracker isn't a Takara product? Am I a brand snob? I'll be honest, when there's a Hasbro Masterpiece release, I generally don't like the color choices. I was extremely disappointed in the MP Starscream Walmart exclusive a few years ago, and the MP Grimlock and Hot Rod colors weren't great. But Thundercracker? Well, he's just Prime.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail with this review since he's just a reprint of the awesome new Starscream retool and I'm apparently the last person on Earth to get him. Enjoy!  Next up should be Generations Wheelie and MP Red Alert!

"Where's your cape?"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Toys R Us Exclusive Springer

Living on the Gulf Coast in Alabama has many nice features.  It's never freezing during the winter, there are lots of beaches, and everyone is stereotypically nice.  It's one of the better places I've lived in my life.  The only downside, besides the humidity, is the lateness with which new figures show up.  I believe that the GDO Exclusives were released in late September.  I just found them at the local Toys R Us on the day before Thanksgiving.  I would've posted sooner, but I've been super pressed for time.  All of the figures were there, but I only grabbed Springer and Wheelie as Swerve just didn't do anything for me.

Springer is apparently is a retool of a movie line figure named Tomahawk.  I'm not familiar with that figure or the line as a whole, but this is a pretty good figure.  The helicopter mode is pretty boss.  I like the fact that the wings move up and down, and the missile launchers that can be placed in the rear via "C" clips is a nice touch.  The helicopter also features a movable camera on the nose of the chopper.

When Springer is in robot mode, you can definitely tell that he originated as a movie line toy.  The feet are a dead giveaway.  His head is reminiscent of the Nick Roche IDW version of Springer.  I like it a lot.  While the original Springer came with a gun and a sword that was made from his helicopter rotor blades, this version comes with just the sword, he does, however get to keep is rotor blades in robot mode and he has the two aforementioned missile launchers.  He's pretty pose able, to boot.

Overall, this Springer is a great addition to the Classics universe and line.  It would be awesome if he was a triple changer, but I really can't complain.  Hopefully, I'll make my next post soon.  Dunno, holidays and all, so we'll see.