Combiner Wars

The IDW Comics universe has had such a different take on G1, one that's now significantly represented by the Generations toys, so they share a forum. A modern take on a Real Cybertronian Hero. Currently starring Generations toys, IDW "The Transformers" comics, MTMTE, TF vs GI Joe, and Windblade.
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JediTricks
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Re: Combiner Wars

Post by JediTricks »

Dominic wrote:Now, here is my "question that will lead to 3 pages of discussion":

Why all the hate for Devastator? Yes, the figures have obvious (and easily avoided) flaws. But, that has been a problem for TF figures for the last 2 or 3 years now. "Scrapper needs elbows." Yes, and plenty of other toys have less articulation than they should have. This is less a robust defense of the Constructicons/Devastator than it is a question of me not getting why the complaints seem to focused on those figures rather than so many others.
I dunno if it's hate or just "this isn't remotely worth $150" disappointment. Reasonable issues:
- not much paint
- overall individual bot designs look like upscaled basics
- looks dependent on very big merge parts

Honestly, it's #2 that really gets me. The bot designs are underwhelming for this day and age, and the articulation looks dubious. This looks like a significant step backwards to achieve something "big".

And Scrapper can have elbows, they just need to change the designs around that. Don't give Hasbro the benefit of the doubt, they have solved plenty of more complex problems than this - everyone here could come up with one idea or another that would fix it.
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Dominic
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Re: Combiner Wars

Post by Dominic »

Maybe I am noticing it more because I am paying more attention to Devastator.

-not much paint
- overall individual bot designs look like upscaled basics
- looks dependent on very big merge parts
On the other hand, none of this is news. Simple designs? Lack of paint? Merge groups needing external parts?

Sounds like "Transformers".



At this point, distribution (and the fact that looking for toys in the snow sucks) is killing my interest. If I cannot find Silverbolt or Powerglide, I am not going to make the effort to order them. I am done chasing Hasbro with my money.

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BWprowl
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Re: Combiner Wars

Post by BWprowl »

JediTricks wrote: - looks dependent on very big merge parts
The only ones I'm seeing are the guns/arms on Bonecrusher and Scavenger. Everything else looks self-contained.
Dominic wrote:On the other hand, none of this is news. Simple designs? Lack of paint? Merge groups needing external parts? Sounds like "Transformers".
Just because someone's complained about an issue once doesn't mean they can't complain about it when it comes up again to continue bothering them. The amount of paint on TFs is, for one reason or another, a major point of contention for JT, so he's going to address it whenever it makes itself apparent. Kinda the same way you gripe about distribution and announce your intention to be done with the brand, for real, this time I mean it, I'm walkin' out, in like every other post.
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Re: Combiner Wars

Post by Shockwave »

Motormaster: Motormaster is a pretty decent figure by himself (more on that when I review "Menasor"). Decent articulation, paint and weapons. My only complaint is with the ratchets in the thighs. The ones on Silverbolt seem to allow for a much broader range of movement than Motormaster. This seems to be a problem with the mold in general as I had the same problem with Optimus. My main complaint on this stems largely from the fact that both Prime and MM have feet that are molded at a certain angle but since the hips can't stay at that angle they will never be standing on their full feet. In spite of this, I am actually able to get decent poses out of MM, at the very least, I can mimick what's on the card he comes with. I also like the weapons, the split sword/gun combo is awesome. I would definitely recommend MM if you like the Stunticons and want a decent updated version of the character.

Menasor: Bare in mind that I'm reviewing this with only 2/5 of the ACTUAL Menasor, filling in the rest with aerialbots. So what I'm really reviewing here is how well MM integrates into a combiner. The short answer is not well. The problems with the leg ratchets are amplified tenfold when merged. At least in bot mode, Motormaster doesn't just fall over if posed. Menasor cannot boast that. I can get him merged, I can make him stand in a static pose just fine, but if I want to move his legs into any sort of action, the whole thing winds up top heavy and just falls the fuck over. It can get a little better if the flaps that attach the lower legs to the upper legs aren't pegged in place, but then it loses stability (which is an issue anyway). The torso is to wide and looks a little squat compared to Superion. Also, in addition to the leg thing, mine has a thing where if you move Menasor's arms, Motormaster's arms come loose from where they're supposed to and this also happens when disassembling the merge form. This doesn't seem to be an issue on Prime, so it may just be one more QC issue with the particular copy I have. On the upside, Blackjack fills in that enormous gap that is on Ultra Prime's chest so at least Menasor has something there... for the two fucking seconds it will stay there. Seriously, this falls out if you look at it funny. I think this is because the pegs that BJ is supposed to peg onto aren't actually round standard pegs, but some weird ass, triangularly shaped things and as such, I don't think they're actually wide enough to provide enough grab to keep BJ where he's supposed to be. Also, the bottom of the car mode doesn't actually fit all the way into the chest so the pegs only have like 2mm worth of clearance to try to keep him on there and it's just not enough. If the underside of the car were molded appropriately to fit there, or if Motormaster were molded to be able to exactly fit Blackjack, then it would work better. I'm really trying and wanting to like Menasor. I believe some of the QC issues are unique to my copy and I've tried to take that into account with my review, but mostly I'm just finding Menasor to be a big, poorly designed floppy mess. This really just makes me wanna buy the 3rd party one instead. I do think I will try to replace the one I have and see if that resolves some of the issues. I will say, that even in a static pose, Menasor does look impressive but he should be able to successfully do something more than just stand there. So far, Superion is Superior.

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Onslaught Six
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Re: Combiner Wars

Post by Onslaught Six »

Okay, here's the thing. I'm going to eschew reviewing Silverbolt as if he were a singular figure. Because that's a disservice to him, and to us as fans. Because what I've realized after getting him, and combining them into Superion is...These things are REALLY designed from the ground up to make FANTASTIC big-ass combined robots. Everything we've been saying about Devastator, about how there are some obvious compromises in the individual robot modes and stuff, applies here to Superion as well...just on a smaller, less intrusive scale, probably owing in part to the Scramble City style of combining.

So much of what some of you are complaining about--the chunkier, less specific designs, the lack of minor robot articulation like wrists, the poor job of hiding some elements of altmodes--seem like they're entirely deliberate choices as soon as you get Superion combined...because all of those things actually contribute to Superion's design and stability. And make no mistake--this fucker is STABLE. One of the first things I did when I got him combined was try to have him hold my Crimson HISS tank over top of him, and if you have any GI Joe vehicles you know they're not typically small or light. And for a little bit, he actually could fucking do it! Then he fell over before I could take the picture. Oh well. Point is, I haven't had ANY problems with him not standing well in most of the cool poses I've put him in. Once he's combined, you almost kinda forget that he's made up of five individuals--which is a goddamn feat. Especially when you compare it to FOC Bruticus, who sucked. (Hey Prowl, how do you feel knowing they're basically going to tell us all to fuck off with the last Bruticus we all got? I'm already preparing to sell my original retail version and actually considering selling the G2 version as well, depending.)

And I dunno, maybe I'm being too easy to please, but I mean...Collectively I think I spent like $60, almost $70 on this? And in the end I got five robots who don't have any major obvious defects, AND they turn into a seriously fuckhuge robot. Like, Superion is seriously huge. I spent about ten minutes just comparing him to other dudes around, like Primus (almost as tall), the original Megazord (about as tall) and FOC Bruticus (nearly eye to eye!). He's a big motherfucker, and when you're just staring at pics online or wondering about it, you don't notice it so much. You just don't. It's only after you get them all together and really hold him in your hands that you realize how cool this is, and how well done it is. I mean, really--you could complain about a lack of wrists here or there, or visible arms on someone's helicopter mode...but giant Superion that actually looks good! I mean, it's not even like FOC Bruty where it was all "Well they had to make sacrifices to get all the modes to work," no, fuck that, they made Superion work and then everything else got sacrificed very slightly.

So, alright. All that said, how is Silverbolt, objectively as a figure? He's not bad, but that's the thing with a lot of the individual Combiner Wars dudes. They're just okay at best. His transformation sucks bad and his altmode is pretty shitty, but I don't know how much of that is a consequence of him being a jet. And that's part of the problem, I think, jet TFs almost always suck ass in terms of transformation and hiding their robot parts, especially when they have to conform to some degree of preconceived character. I mean, Universe 2.0 Silverbolt wasn't exactly a marvel of jet engineering, now was he? That toy sucked so bad I didn't even buy it. (I think I would buy a Darkwind repaint, though. Or a Hydra repaint!) And I don't think enough can be said about how he transforms to torso mode--it's really a completely different thing than you'd be expecting, there's a lot more going on than you'd think.

Superion rules, and it's only going to go up from here, Defensor looks great and I'm into Menasor too. I can't wait for the Bruticus announcements.
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.
People spend so much time worrying about whether a figure is "mint" or not that they never stop to consider other flavours.
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Re: Combiner Wars

Post by BWprowl »

Onslaught Six wrote:(Hey Prowl, how do you feel knowing they're basically going to tell us all to fuck off with the last Bruticus we all got? I'm already preparing to sell my original retail version and actually considering selling the G2 version as well, depending.)
Well, a new Bruticus was basically inevitable as soon as they announced this line. Hasbro, for some reason, LOVES making (and repainting) Bruticus. There's also the fact that they're serving completely different roles. FoC Bruticus was...from FoC, which might not even count as 'G1' depending on where you're coming from. The style and designs and point of them all was so utterly different from what we think of when we come back to 'Classics' that it's hard to argue that we could be bothered by ALSO getting a Classics Geewun version. It'd be like...arguing that TFPrime Kup or Wheeljack was superfluous in the face of Generations Kup or Wheeljack. They really aren't.

FoC Bruticus is just SO DIFFERENT. It does pull of integrated hands and feet in figures that can become ANY limb, which is an impressive feat, but it's true the overall figures do suffer from having to incorporate so much (this, primarily, is what contributed most to be not being bent out of shape over the CW stuff using external parts. It's just cleaner all around.), but the real damning part will always be making Onslaught a Deluxe instead of a Voyager (Why?!). I suppose Hasbro COULD have used CW as an opportunity to make a new Voyager Onslaught that could just combine with the old FoC limbs, but that would give everyone the Dom-problem of them not 'matching', and as long as CW is going full-GI Joe and just making EVERYONE using MAXIMUM REMOLDING, they might as well go whole-hog.

So all in all, not bothered, really. I enjoy my FoC Fruiticus for what he is, and I'll be keeping him. But if the inevitable CW Bruty works as well as our first specimen Superion here (I've had mine completely for a couple weeks, and everything you said is right, he's awesomely fuckhuge and just WORKS), then I'll be happy with that as well.
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Dominic
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Re: Combiner Wars

Post by Dominic »

Okay, here's the thing. I'm going to eschew reviewing Silverbolt as if he were a singular figure. Because that's a disservice to him, and to us as fans. Because what I've realized after getting him, and combining them into Superion is...These things are REALLY designed from the ground up to make FANTASTIC big-ass combined robots.
That is the impression I had from seeing two partial Superions and the many pictures of Devastator. The idea is to get a good looking combiner. The problem is that the Combiners are expensive considering that the components are not terribly good on their own.

Collectively I think I spent like $60, almost $70 on this?
How did you pull that off?

The limbs are $15 to $18 each. The core bodies are $25+ and the weapon guy (Powerglide in this case) is another $10+. That is more like ~$100.

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Re: Combiner Wars

Post by Onslaught Six »

I have a 10% employee discount which I used on the limbs. Maybe it came out to more than that, I was only vaguely counting. Also, as much as your OCD like adherence to Hasbro wants you to believe, you do not need Powerglide to form Superion. Hell, you don't even need the, uh, the wave 2 guy, whoever it is. Also, I partially paid for the limbs with my girlfriend's tip money, since I didn't buy lunch that day, so it was basically free money.

The individual limbs really are not terrible, and many of their problems could easily be from having to be jets that adhere to Scramble City designs. The biggest problems are people whining about ankles and wrists and limbs being visible in altmode--the latter of which is a known problem with jets that none of the other limbs we've seen have. As for the articulation...shit, I can point out a dozen dudes in the last few years who didn't hsve these same articulation points. Tankorr didn't have wrists and he doesn't even combine, what's his fucking excuse?
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.
People spend so much time worrying about whether a figure is "mint" or not that they never stop to consider other flavours.
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Re: Combiner Wars

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Onslaught Six wrote:As for the articulation...shit, I can point out a dozen dudes in the last few years who didn't hsve these same articulation points. Tankorr didn't have wrists and he doesn't even combine, what's his fucking excuse?
One, Tankorr literally doesn't have physical wrists, comes with the blocky claw-hand structure. Two, he actually does have a swivel below his elbow hinges that let the arms function as if he did have wrist swivels, so, uh. I seriously have no idea why everyone but me hates that toy so much.

Silverbolt is AT LEAST as good as Universe Silverbolt (who didn't have wrists either, hurr), and he combines. Hell, his transformation's marginally better, with the wings that fold back properly and his legs forming actual parts of the jet mode, so hey! But as we all know, all new TFs totally suck. I daresay it's like the friggin' Zelda Cycle.
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Re: Combiner Wars

Post by Shockwave »

BWprowl wrote:
Onslaught Six wrote:As for the articulation...shit, I can point out a dozen dudes in the last few years who didn't hsve these same articulation points. Tankorr didn't have wrists and he doesn't even combine, what's his fucking excuse?
One, Tankorr literally doesn't have physical wrists, comes with the blocky claw-hand structure. Two, he actually does have a swivel below his elbow hinges that let the arms function as if he did have wrist swivels, so, uh. I seriously have no idea why everyone but me hates that toy so much.

Silverbolt is AT LEAST as good as Universe Silverbolt (who didn't have wrists either, hurr), and he combines. Hell, his transformation's marginally better, with the wings that fold back properly and his legs forming actual parts of the jet mode, so hey! But as we all know, all new TFs totally suck. I daresay it's like the friggin' Zelda Cycle.
I like Tankor! His alt mode looks a little off, but not enough to make me hate the toy. Also, what's the Zelda Cycle?

And the limb bots have the same articulation as Generations Warpath and I think we all agreed that was an awesome figure.

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