Monday, April 29, 2013


Box scan from Botch the Crab

I'm going to just start this post by stating that I feel as though I've found a Holy Grail. The moment from when I started searching for one until he actually arrived at my doorstep took an exhausting two years. Why so long? Finding one without tons of cracking on the hose, decent price without overpaying and fear of buying a potential knockoff all contributed to the delay.

Shockwave has always been one of my favorite Decepticons thanks in large part to the comics.  Sure, his cartoon appearances were great, but the cartoon never gave us anything like this:

Come on!  That's awesome!
 I've never actually owned that issue, as I didn't start reading the comics until issue 30.  But at the time, you could go to stores like Ames, Zarye, or Roses and buy multipacks of old comics for cheap.  It was here that I discovered just how awesome Shockwave was, for in the first multipack was issue 8, featuring the Dinobots!  Shockwave had defeated Prime and kept his head?  And defeated Megatron?  And the Dinobots?  That cemented my love of the mono-optic one.

Really, seeing the issue cover to issue 5 drove home the key differences in Shockwave's depiction in the comic versus the cartoon.  Remember how menacing Shockwave looked on the cover for issue 5?  Well, contrast it with this:


Granted, Shockwave wasn't this silly looking in the cartoon, but he was basically relegated to a background character on Cybertron.  Shockwave was really nothing more than a loyal soldier in Megatron's army.  Corey Burton did a wonderful job providing his voice, but the character as a whole just fell flat for me.

I could go on about Shockwave's comic incarnation, but this is a blog about toys, by Primus, so let's get to it.

Shockwave is one of those figures that I always wanted as a kid, but was never able to get.  I remember having friends who had him, or Shackwave the RadioShack version, or some flea market knockoff.  For some reason, the only Shockwave I was able to get my hands on was the Action Master version, which I sadly don't have anymore.

I got this for a really good price, but he's kind of dirty, which is fine since it isn't that hard to clean.  The hose has almost no cracking and not dry rot that I can find, so I'm extremely happy.  What impresses me most about Shockwave is how tall he is.  Then again, he isn't a Takara or Hasbro designed figure, so it's not that surprising.

Another great thing about Shockwave?  The articulation!  There isn't much articulation with the shoulders, but his head moves side to side, he has knee and thigh articulation, and his forearms move up and down and swivel side to side.  All of this allows for poses such as this:

The laser gun mode is pretty standard fare with nothing really special or noteworthy about it.

 Who am I kidding?  When the house is empty and my wife and kids aren't around to make fun of me, I've been walking around the house shooting at the cat with Shockwave.  I love the gun mode!  There are two different sound effects that you can switch between.  This mode is just sweet.

Well, that's it for now.  Please don't forget to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter (@optimalomega).  More posts coming soon!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Finally! It's about time I got over my fear of knockoffs and bought Mirage. After a long personal nightmare, I finally have the Transformer I've been pining after for many years. Mirage was well worth the wait.

For those of you who are unaware, Mirage is one of the most counterfeited Transformers on the secondary market. More than likely if you see a Mirage MISB or MIB on eBay, it's a knockoff. Thankfully I've been studying HIGHENDTFS and their comprehensive ID guide to weed out any potential KOs I've run across. I actually did run across an auction for a MIB Mirage that was a fake on eBay and reported it and an hour later it was back up for 1/10 the price claiming that the box was a reproduction. Lucky for me there are a couple of sellers I trust implicitly, so I went to them.

Mirage has always been a favorite figure of mine, but I've never really cared for his fiction or character bio. He's old Cybertronian money, he's high society, he's not so trusted due to his unsure attitude about the war. Yeah, I don't care. Which is weird because I usually care a lot about G1 fiction.

What I do seem to care about is Mirage's gun. According to his tech spec and bio, Mirage comes with a hunting rifle. And not just a plain bolt action .243 or 30-06 hunting rifle. Mirage comes with a rocket-dart hunting rifle for hunting turbo foxes. I'm not sure how effective that is on the battlefield, but it must work. Then again, he never appeared again after the movie...

This is actually my second Mirage. I still have the first one and he's in the same condition as when I got him - terrible. I traded an older kid I knew for him around 1988. In the deal I have up a Masters of The Universe Stratos figure that was missing everything. In return I got this:

Who needs feet?

I still think I got the better part of the deal. Sure he didn't have feet or transform, but he was Mirage, dammit. Besides, he was one more Autobot for the cause.

This Mirage is in pretty good shape, not perfect, but still good overall. I'll need to replace some decals, but my fear of perfect Mirages necessitated one that wasn't. At least this one has feet and can transform!

Here's his vehicle mode. I just love it and I think it's the main reason I love Mirage so much.

It's just so sleek and sexy.

His robot mode is sweet as well. As with a lot of G1 figures, there isn't any leg articulation, but his arms swivel at both the shoulder and elbow. I had trouble figuring out where the middle launcher went, but it's pretty cool having it clip to the wheel axle.

I'm so amazed that I finally have a Mirage that can Transform!  And I'm pretty confident that he's not a K.O.!  Now that I have that fear pretty much conquered, I'm counting down until my next review.  You might find it...shocking.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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Throttlebot Wide Load

I have to confess that Wide Load, and Throttlebots in general, made me lose some faith in Transformers as a kid. Growing up with the G1 cartoon and the comics, I always expected some deviation from fiction or packaging depiction to the actual toy. My Bluestreak wasn't blue and his feet were never separated and couldn't do the pose on the box, but I understood that. Wide Load changed all that for me.

The first Transformers comic, and therefore my first comic ever, I bought was issue 30, titled "The Cure!". The issue featured Ratbat, and the scraplets, but more importantly, it was the first appearance of the Throttlebots! Well, minus Goldbug who had already been on Earth. As a 10-year old, this issue was thrilling. The Throttlebots were kicking tail and taking names. I had to have them.

A few weeks later, my mom had taken my brother and me to a Woolworth's and what did they have? Throttlebots! My brother got Searchlight and I grabbed Wide Load. As soon as we were in the car, I snatched the bubble off the card and transformed him. Disappointment followed. Some would say massive disappointment. I went from thinking I'd have a figure based on the comic that would look like this:

To one that would look like the packaging:

To this:

No. Just no.

As you can tell, Wide Load doesn't have feet. Or legs. His arms are vestigial at best. He's, he's...a Throttlebot.

I'm not sure why I went ahead with this purchase, to be honest. I'm thinking that it was because I was two figures away from completing my group of Throttlebots. Which I have done. The next figure will show up in another post later down the line.

Now that we've all seen what his "robot" mode looks like, let's check out his vehicle mode:

I actually like this mode a lot. It's almost like a Choro-Q figure. As you can see, he has a blue payload. I've always imagined that it was just a blue tarp covering his payload, but I don't see that as much protection as his chest. Still, the vehicle mode is a huge improvement over the robot mode.

Hope you enjoyed this review. Up next I'll be going up in scale as I review another new addition.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Twin Twist

I swear I'm such a sucker for auto-transformation gimmicks. I've spoken before about my love of this gimmick previously when I reviewed Runamuck. My love of this started with Twin Twist.

Twin Twist has a pretty rich history as a character, but it's mostly recent. He was never used in any U.S. fiction that I could find during the Marvel run. He appeared in the Marvel U.K. run, but that was about it. He was a Wrecker back then and eventually fell to Galvatron.

Having some U.K. fiction is nice, but what I've always liked about Twin Twist was his tech spec. Twin Twist's tech spec paints him as something of a bloodthirsty maniac. According to his bio, he has no problem attacking Decepticons or a lamppost. There's even a mention if his uncontrollable nature. That screams berserker rage to me. As a kid I had my Twin Twist attack anything and everything. Fun stuff.

While researching this post, I ran across a few interesting items on the TFWiki. One of those is this animation model for Twin Twist's inclusion in the G1 cartoon:

Imagine how awesome that would have been. I have no idea why the Jumpstarters weren't included, but I have a feeling it may have to do with the constant bootlegging of this figure. Maybe Hasbro didn't want to advertise product that would help the bootleggers' sales.

The other tidbit I found was this concept art for the Pretenders. Apparently Twin Twist's art was used to show off how the Pretenders would work.

Pretender Twin Twist would be awesome

At any rate, Twin Twist certainly got used a lot in the IDW series "Last Stand of the Wreckers", a great mini-series. This series actually made me hate James Roberts and Nick Roche a bit because of the high causality rate. Still, it was a great story and did a lot to add to Twin Twist's status in the larger Transformer mythos. There was even a third party figure released recently.

Due to the sudden fame that Twin Twist was saddled with, I was worried that finding one would prove to be expensive. I didn't realize that Twin Twist was probably owned by every kid in the world and is easily available at cheap prices. One of my biggest losses in the past year was losing out on a MIB version at auction. I felt that $35 was a sufficient amount, but was still beat. Oh well.

As I stated earlier, Twin Twist features an auto transformation gimmick. Simply pull him back in vehicle mode, and he'll move and activate a lever on his chest that will cause him jump (hence the term Jumpstarter) and transform. There's a a lever on the back of his head that will allow you to adjust his balance so he can always land on his feet. It's pure awesome.

Vehicle mode is a Cybertronian twin-drill tank.

This is actually my third Twin Twist. My first one broke from over use, and the second got combined with a spare Topspin for some reason to form this thing:

It feels good to have this guy again. Now to see how long until I break him again.

Friday, April 5, 2013

MP-16 Frenzy and Buzzsaw

Well, there's nothing different about these guys than the original releases of Rumble and Laserbeak other than the decos.  So just enjoy these pics.

Welcome to the gun show!

Buzzsaw and Laserbeak

Buzzsaw close-up

Rumble and Frenzy pounding the ground

Bros to the end

Shoot to kill

Soundwave and his minions

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shattered Glass Soundwave VS Blaster

I'm not going to pretend that I'm knowledgable about the Shattered Glass universe, or that I'm a fan. To be frank, I'm not a fan. What I do know about the universe is that it's essentially an alternate universe where the Autobots are evil and the Decepticons are the good guys. It's Marvel's "What If?...." series or "Mirror, Mirror" Star Trek. For this reason, I'm not a fan of the figures that have been released and I've never bothered to get any of them.

So if I care nothing for the fiction or the figures, then what's this post about? Why, the Transformers Collector's Club (TFCC) Shattered Glass Soundwave Vs. Blaster set of course! I'm still not really sure why I went ape over this set since I've never cared about Shattered Glass before.  More than likely, it was the fact that I'd get more Cassetticons.  Man, I love Cassetticons.

The packaging for this set is reminiscent of the older Takara VSE sets.

Front of box
Once you open the front flap of the box, you get this lovely sight.

Inside flap
Inside flap

So far so good.  The art on the front is beautiful and it's done by Hidetsugu Yoshioka.  I'm not exactly sure who he is, but I believe that he's done quite a bit for Takara.  The back of the package features art by Alex Milne, current artist on IDW's More Than Meets the Eye series.

Don't ask me who any of these robots are
As nice as the box is, the figures inside are what I'm interested in.  Let's take a look at Soundwave first.


Shattered Glass Soundwave uses the Soundblaster mold which means that he can hold two cassettes at once.  I actually really like this color scheme.  It looks like he has some sort of arctic camo thing going on.  The blues really mesh well with the overall white.  Then there's the red Decepticon insignia which is going to take some time to get used to.  I'm not sure about the eyes, however.

I wonder if Lo Pan is after him

Soundwave comes with two cassettes, Ratbat and Slugfest.  It's nice to get cassettes that aren't Buzzsaw or Laserbeak for a change.  Ratbat has always been one of my favorite Cassetticons, so getting another one is great.


From what I've read online, Shattered Glass Ratbat is supposed to be Batman.  Yeah.  Like I said, I'm not a fan of the fiction.  The sets comes with stickers to complete the Batman look, but I've decided not to use them.

Next is Slugfest, and he's Robin, from what I've read.  There are decals to add a restraining bolt to his head and one that says "DINOCON".  

Soundwave with his minions

On the evil Autobot side, we get Blaster, who's apparently German. 

Just as Soundwave used the Soundblaster mold, Blaster uses the Twincast mold, again, this allows for the storage of the two cassettes that are aligned with him.  I wasn't too fond of the color choices for this figure at first, but they're growing on me. 

Again, the real draw here are the cassettes.  It seems like Autobot cassette reuse is very rare so I welcome Autobot cassettes when they come available.

It's great to get another use of the Ramhorn mold.  I've always been a big fan of this figure and seeing it used again brings me joy.  The color scheme is based on the live-action movie's version of Rumble.  The included decals complete this look, but I'm not applying decals.

Next up is Rewind and his deco is based on G2 Rumble.  The Rewind/Eject mold is probably my favorite mold.  The colors work well, but I'm kind of wondering where the Eject love has gone.  Is it Eject's love of sports phrases that turns everyone off?  I'm not sure, but I wished he was used more.  It's not that I don't like Rewind, as his presence in "More Than Meets The Eye" has been incredible, but I'd like to see more Eject.  Still, the fact that this mold got used again is a plus.

Blaster with his minions

The final figure to come with this set is Solarbot.  He is perhaps the most obscure reference in all of Transformerdom.  Once upon a time during the G2 run of Transformers figures, there was supposed to be an offer for a free figure named Solarbot.  This never came to pass and no one even knew what the figure looked like.  Fast forward nearly 20 years, and TFCC decided to homage an Eject/Rewind figure with a deco that they figured Solarbot would have looked like.

Again, I love the fact that they've used this mold.  I really dig the translucent plastic.  According to the comic that came with this set, Solarbot decided to join the heroic Decepticons and as such his heat sensitive rub sign reveals a Decepticon insignia. 

While it seems as though the last few reissues have all been Soundwave and Blaster lately, I'm not going to complain as they always come with Cassetticons and Cassetticons are awesome.  I'm still not sure what to do with this set, however.  I don't have any Shattered Glass figures besides these, so there isn't a dedicated shelf for that.  I've been thinking about just simply placing them with their respective molds as I have all of my Communications Officers on one shelf.  I've also toyed with the idea of just leaving them in the box until I get some sort of glass display cabinet to keep them in.  Soundwave's white deco makes me worry about dust and dirt and potential yellowing.  That's actually what I think I'm going to do.