Friday, September 25, 2015

Masterpiece Bluestreak! MP-18B!

Guess who's been playing with Photoshop?
Finally!  I can't say that I haven't been looking forward to this review.  This review completes a very tough month for me.  You see, I actually received my MP-18B a few weeks ago, but he sat in his box, unopened, until I took these pictures last week.  After suffering a severe sinus infection, twisting my ankle, my laptop dying, and my car exploding, the opportunity to just play around with a toy and my camera was extremely welcome.  Enough about personal things - what's it like actually having a blue Bluestreak?
Look, everyone is familiar with the story behind this deco of Bluestreak from the 1984 packaging.  If not, click here to brush yourself up on it.  It's okay, I'll wait...Back?  Good.  Where was I?  Ah yes, the enchanting blue and silver of the Datsun.  Just look at those lines!  I don't think I've been shy about my dislike of the Masterpiece Streak's colors.  Yes, the black and grey were prominent on the animation model, but I've never taken to it.  The silver of the Silvertreak exclusive was much welcomed addition to my collection based solely on the color.  Silverstreak was my favorite Masterpiece deco.  That is until this guy showed up.  Now it's like I'm back in 1984 looking at the box to my G1 Bluestreak!
Here's a comparison shot of MP-18 with MP-18B.  As you can see, there are a few differences.
Yet another comparison shot, but this time with MP-18S.  Man, they look good.
Transforming this guy, I forgot how frustrating he can be.  I was so excited to see this guy out of the box that I immediately transformed him.  When it came time to actually snap some pictures, I had to out him back into car mode.  That's were I remembered about that freaking little tab that holds the torso to the chest.  I kept thinking that I was going to break him!  With the way that my luck has been going lately, I wouldn't have been surprised if it had broken.  Thankfully, that did not happen.
Jeez, just look at how majestic Bluestreak is.  Those missile launchers just look wonderful.  My only complaint, and it isn't really a complaint, is that I wouldn't mind it if the legs were white, like the Diaclone version.  It's a small quibble, really.  I swear, this is just hog heaven.  There seems to be a lot of negativity out there these days with each Transformer release, but when I look at Bluestreak, and hold him in my hands, I just don't see how anyone could be negative about the brand.
Poor man's running pose.  Shamelessly ripped off from Square One.  Just not as good as his.
I, uh, I tried to do a running pose, like Maz does.  I'm not very good at it.  Still, every so often, I think I can pull it off.  Let this stand as a reminder that I can not.  At any rate, this shot gives a pretty decent showing that MP-18B is not just a straight redeco of MP-18.  MP-18B features Prowl's waist and head.  It really does look great.  The longer crests, painted yellow, really stand out.  The waist looks more sophisticated, if that makes sense, than the one that Streak came with.  Really, just a stunning figure.
I spent almost two hours in one night taking pictures, so let's just take a look at what I have left to show.  First is a shot of all of the Datsuns in car mode.  Since we have five versions of this mold, I'm wondering what's left to do with it repaint-wise.  I'm sure Takara will think of something.  To be honest, I wouldn't mind something done with the Prowl version.
This is a shot of the Datsuns doing...something.  Prowl is pointing at something, but everyone else is looking in another direction.  Because forget Prowl.
Finally, a shot of the guys just hanging out in an arrow formation.  Everyone is in black and white with the exception of the focus of the review - Bluestreak.
Here's another angle of that shot.  I really need to invest in a tripod.  Well, that's one figure opened and reviewed.  Let's see if I can get around to freeing Legends Arcee from her prison.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Classic Pretender Jazz

Hey, look, another Pretender.  This is the second Pretender Jazz that I've owned.  I somehow lost the shell to my first one, and the helmet was chewed to smithereens by a dog lo many years ago.  I've decided to transition that one to the Legends Jazz since I kept just the inner bot and weapon.  This instance of Jazz represents a first for me as this is the first figure that I purchased from a seller on Facebook.  The transaction was smooth, and I think I'll buy more figures from different groups there now.

The Classic Pretender Jazz was the first version of Jazz that I owned as a kid.  The original 1984 version eluded me for reasons that I can't fathom, so when I saw this guy in a Children's Palace in 1989, I was pretty quick to pounce on him.  The version that I got from Facebook needed some help in the decal department, which was fine by me since I wanted to try out the upgrade labels from Reprolabels anyway.  Still, for what I paid for the figure, I really can't complain about anything.  Finding a good looking Pretender Jazz on eBay is next to impossible.  The light blues and whites always seem to be scratched and faded.
Decals were really important for this guy thanks to some creative coloring on that someone did on the helmet.  The decal on the crest is covering a splash of red marker and there's red marker on the back of the helmet.
Sadly, I can't seem to get the red to come off.  Perhaps I'll look for a new helmet, but it isn't really a priority.
Pretenders are famous for having scratched up heads, thanks to the helmets.  This one isn't that bad, and I'm glad for that.  Enough of that, let's look at the inner robot!

The upgraded decals give the inner robot a look closer to the 1984 model.  There are tons of extra details like the Martinii details.  Reprolabels really knocked it out of the park with this set.
Here's a closer look at the front of the car.  Again, this is really sharp.

Here's the back end.  Notice the Martinii on the license plate.

Attack mode for Jazz consists of just popping the rifle on the hood.  It looks like a Porsche with a gun on top.
Man, so many pictures of the car mode, and just one of the robot mode?  What kind of gyp is that?  At any rate, one picture is enough to show off what's new with the upgrade set.  For starters, there are the two decals on the hips.  They add a bit more color to the overall figure.  Then there are decals on the legs to drive home the 1984 vision.  I was really impressed by the two decals for the feet more than anything else with the set.  It's amazing how a couple of stickers can really make a difference.

Monday, September 7, 2015


Man, I've been sitting on these pictures for six freaking months.  I got Iguanus all the way back in March at a good price.  Thanks to all of the new releases that have come out, this guy just kept getting pushed back, but no longer! 

I really like Pretenders, and I know that a large segment of the fandom don't really care for them, but thanks to the Marvel Comics, they're always going to be must haves in my collection.  Iguanus is especially important to me thanks to this cover:
Pic courtesy of
If memory serves, this is the issue that introduced the Micromasters to the comics, and included some Jose Delbo art.  More importantly, this issue included Iguanus as the main antagonist, as evidenced by the cover.  Whenever I think of Iguanus, this is what always pops into my head.
I don't know why, but it seems like every Pretender that I buy from someone is sticky, especially on the arms.  I don't why that it, but it always seems to amaze me.  The arms are also where a lot of spotting seems to occur.  The arms on this Iguanus were sticky, but they lacked the spotting.  I'd really like to know what the source of the stickiness is, but ignorance can sometimes be bliss, I'm told.
Iguanus comes with two weapons, like all Pretenders.  The two weapons in question are a Hurricane Blaster, and what I'm guessing is some sort of sideways mounted chainsaw.  In all actuality, the "spinning" thing are used by the inner robot's alt-mode.  Overall, I really like to look of the outer shell.  It's very reptilian and if it were green, I'd say it was a Gorn.  Where articulation in the Pretender is generally restricted to the arms, Iguanus does feature a third point -- his tail.
The tail swivels, and is where I did discover the infamous Pretender spotting that I'm accustomed to.  It's a neat feature, I suppose.  Really, the tail just swings where it meets the body.  It can swing left or right, and that's about it.  Articulation is articulation, I guess.
Here's the inner robot.  You can't really tell thanks to the awfulness of the photos, but the headis rather snake like.  Think of Serpentor's helmet, or any of the members of the Serpent Society from the Captain America comics.  It's not a bad figure, and I like that his arms are curved a bit slightly, unlike the straight arms of the rest of the Pretenders.
Thanks to his transformation scheme, Iguanus' inner 'bot is capable of some leg articulation.  Here he is taking a leisurely stroll.  Where's he going?  To another tall building?  Iguanus also features a permanent wound in his torso that will get used later. 
Iguanus transforms into a motorcycle of some sort.  The spinning thing that the shell holds becomes the "wheels" of the bike.  I say "wheels", but they don't spin, so any kind of burnouts or movement are all going to be in your head.
Here's a side view of the motorcycle.  As you can see, it looks less like a motorcycle and more like Iguanus is just doing some fancy yoga. 

Finally, a shot of shell and robot together.  Not a lot to say about this shot.  At the very least, I'm down to one less Pretender to add to my collection.  Now just a ton more left to get.  Next week - more reviews!