Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

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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Onslaught Six
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Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by Onslaught Six »

Seems I like starting these.

Anyway. I got Prowl. Expect a review on Monday while I goof off at work!
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: Classics Review Thread

Post by Dominic »

Tankor:
This is an update of Octane from Generation 1. It is assumed that Hasbro lost the copyright to the name "Octane", and has recycled "Tankor" to fill the void. "Tankor" is not an inherently bad name for this character, but I cannot help but associate it with the old Vehicon general that originally used the name. I have actually taken to calling this thing either "Octankor" or "piece of useless, ugly garbage".

Normally, when an old character is revised, there is some discussion among long-time fans about which variant they prefer. Usually, the preferences are based on aesthetics, as judging an old toy against a new one in terms of engineering is hardly fair. This is one of the few times that the old toy has an advantage over the new one in terms of engineering. Put simply, Octankor (aka PoUUG) is a disaster. The robot mode is passable, but encumbered with a chunk of air-craft and/or truck that the designers could not find a better use for in this form. And, it is all down hill from there. The plan form has some really awkward and blocky bits to it. The truck mode is a disaster. The rear wheels are molded to the truck itself. Given that I display my toys rather than play with them, it may sound odd for me to complain about this. But, the wheels do not even touch the ground, and the back of the truck is suspended in the air by the plane's propellers. to make matters worse, even with that awkward chunk of kibble they call a weapon for the robot, the truck looks incomplete. I guarantee, inside of 3 years, you will see loose Oktankors at conventions, and peopkle will be wondering if they toy is missing parts.

I am tempted to get it for the sake of a nasty laugh, but that is it.

Grade: F Even Lewis "A World Transformed" Brooks is not a fan of this one.


What makes Tankor all the worse is that the other two toys in this wave are so good. Neither is perfect, but both are ambitious.


Sunstreaker:
Considering how iconic this character is, it is amazing that there have been so few Sunstreaker toys made, and one of those was a convention exclusive from 5 years back. Despite the character's "thing" about being sleek and stylish, the original toy was clunky and blocky looking. The updated Sunstreaker is a vast improvement. Despite some weakness in the arm joints, (the arms are prone to popping off), this toys is very graceful. The exhaust pipe can become a handgun that is very close to the original's gun. The head reveal is an automorph activated by turning the back of the car/robot's chest around on a pivot.

While the car mode is nearly identical to the original, the robot mode has some visible differences. The most obvious is how the legs transform. The original Sunstreaker's legs transformed into the front of the car, while the modern Sunstreaker's legs are formed from the back of the car.

At first, this toys seems to be based on a prosaic design. But, it is actually designed to be re-released with a new head as Sideswipe. In the original series, Sunstreaker and Sideswipe were written as "brothers", (yeah, I know, dumb idea), despite not being cast from the same mold. In the "Alternators" line, both were cast from the Dodge Viper mold. (This is one of the worst toys from that over-hyped line.) What sets this mold above and beyond "normal" is that fact that it was designed to have two possible robot modes. Swapping out the (easily removed) fists and changing a few steps in the transform process yields a completely different robot mode, one that closely resembles the original Sideswipe. The design work here is subtle, but worthy of attention.

As an added bonus, Sunstreaker's character profile describes an Autobot who is morally dubious. It is not quite as well written as the sourcebook entry from 5 years back, but it accurately describes a sociopathic Autobot.

Grade: A Buy multiple copies, as this is not only a good toy, but the prospects for conversions are nearly endless.


Prowl:
While not even close to as good as Sunstreaker, Prowl is an ambitious design that some may overlook because the character and alternate mode are both so familiar. While the concept is simple, the attempted execution is worth noticing if not praising.

Both the robot and police car mode closely resemble the current IDW "Transformers" comic. In terms of engineering, this toy harkens back to "Alternators", with parts clumsily knocking into each other during the transform and often popping off. (Much of this could have been solved with better plastic tolerances.) The gun is designed to stow in the vehicle's front, but does not fasten well.

There are some nice touches though. The robot form features optional and integrated rocket launchers. The missiles do not fire, but considering that the launchers are not only integrated with the rest of the toy, (not evening coming off during the transform), but optional, there is enough going on to keep most anyone happy.

The character profile nicely defines Prowls' fuction and utility as a strategist, showing more sophistication than the usual "this guy is a bad-ass SOB" type profiles that have been popular of late.

Grade: B Worth getting for the idea, if not execution.

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Re: Classics Review Thread

Post by Dominic »

Here are some notes from a recent visit to aworldtransformed.com's physical premise.

Dom
-beating the pants off of O6 in this thread.


-------------------

Classics/Universe: As its name implies, this line combines the "Classics" and "Universe" lines, shipping new molds and recolors/repacks in the same cases. I have seen a few of these toys. The results are mixed.

Tankor: This is the only deluxed I am reviewing right now. I am not getting one of these, so I figured it was best to take notes when I had the chance. Tankor is a renamed old character, Octane. (Hasbro lost the copyright to "Octane", hence the name change.) Given that this is a triple-changer, (robot, tanker truck, cargo plane), correct scaling is nearly impossible. Considering how bad the over-all toy is, it is just as well that it is sold at the Deluxe ($10) price-point rather than a larger (and sitll out of scale) price-point. The robot mode is not bad. I am a bit fuzzy on the plane. The truck is awful. It fails mechanically and aesthetically. The fact that some of the truck form's wheels do not even turn is over-shadowed by the fact that the underside of the truck has plane bits that touch the ground before the wheels do. The truck does not even display well, even with a shell-piece fit over the back. Grade: F (Even Lewis Brooks, an uber-completist, finds fault with this toy.

I am considering actually getting Prowl and Sunstreaker. If I do not, I will review them the next time I visit Lewis. The character profiles along on these are enough to justify getting them.

Legends scale: This is the sub-basic price-point that started up a few years back. All of these molds have been recolored several times at mass retail and/or at conventions. Despite being designed to look like characters from the "Cybertron" series, these molds are suprisingly fersatile.

Starscream: This is probably the only time that Starscream is going to be a recolor of Thundercracker. In "Generation 1", Starscream shared molding with several other toys. Over the years, Thundercracker and Skywarp have been commonly recolored from Starscream molding. This is the only time I can think of where a mold designed for Thundercracker has been recolored to be Starscream. The mold works well enough for Starscream. It is really not worth going crazy to find. But, if you see it, it is worth considering.

RedAlert: Recolored from the Hotshot mold. This mold works suprisingly well for the character. It is arguably better than the other uses of the mold. Not worth going crazy to find unless you do not have any other uses of the mold.

Onslaught: This is a recolor of the Cybertron Defense Red Alert mold. This is probably one of the weakest "Legends" molds. Buy it only if you are a completist.

Robot Heroes: Apparently, these are now being sold on "Universe" packaging. While the characters are mostly G1 with a few Beast Wars mixed in, the general idea is the same as it has always been, cutesy little kid toys based on established characters.

Megatron/Rattrap: The Megatron is an out of proportion redition of the season 1 form. It is most noteworthy for the fact it has a cartoon accurate black helmet, rather than the silver helmet usually seen on toys. The Rattrap figure represents the season 1 form of the character. The toy actually looks good enough to almost pass as a legitimate PVC figure. This set might be worth picking up for the Rattrap.

Cheetor/Blackarachnia: Again, both are in their season 1 forms. The Cheetor is molded in a running pose that evokes The Flash. The Blackarachnia figure is, similar to Rattrap, close enough to looking legit that some people might grab this set just to get a good Blackarachnia figure.

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Re: Classics Review Thread

Post by Onslaught Six »

Dominic wrote:-beating the pants off of O6 in this thread.
I'm a busy man! I've got the band practice tonight and such, and more girlfriendy fun on Tuesday. Plus it's hard to review toys when you're at work and forgot them.
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: Classics Review Thread

Post by Dominic »

I usually take notes, and write my reviews from those. Then, I tap stuff out between clients. (And, man, is it ever slow now. I am probably going to be looking for more work in the next comple of weeks.)

Dom
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Re: Classics Review Thread

Post by onslaught86 »

Starscream: This is probably the only time that Starscream is going to be a recolor of Thundercracker.
Titanium. They originally intended two Titanium War Within Seeker moulds, one for Thundercracker/Skywarp, and one for Starscream/Sunstorm. Never produced the second, so we got Thundercracker for all four. Heh.

Universe is not properly out here yet. The Legends are, nothing else. I will buy that Legends Onslaught for the sake of it being an Onslaught, but not upfront for full price.
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Re: Classics Review Thread

Post by Dominic »

i will buy it contingent on scale. I find that when I display stuff, I tend to go for consistent scales. So, skipping larger toys taht are out of scale is a good way to stay in budget, and save space.

Dom
=still tempted by Powerglide though.....

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Re: Classics Review Thread

Post by onslaught86 »

Er, Legends Onslaught, not Ultra Onslaught. The Ultra, I'm buying several on sight. Glorious toy, rave reviews from people whose opinions are worth paying attention to.
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Re: Classics Review Thread

Post by 138 Scourge »

As far as the Ultra Onslaught goes...I'm considering repainting one into War Within Snaptrap. The robot mode would kinda fit, even if the vehicle mode wouldn't even be remotely close. (Armoured Fanboat, obviously).

Faceplate? Check. Shield? Check. Two cannons on back? Check.

Of course, I won't, because that would take effort...and I like Snaptrap too much to see one made with my weak repaint skills.

Now, Sunstreaker. He's getting on my nerves. I cannot make his back/Sideswipe chest click into place, so he keeps flopping around. He looks okay, though. I've never been wild about the character, and passed on the Alts. version even if he was yellow and black. I'm way looking forward to Sideswipe, though. Sideswipe's about nine million times cooler than his dumb ol' brother any day of the week. I do love the fact that some work went into giving this toy two robot modes, because Sideswipe and Sunstreaker having identical robot modes always seems wrong to me.
Dominic wrote: too many people likely would have enjoyed it as....well a house-elf gang-bang.

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Re: Classics Review Thread

Post by BWprowl »

Scourge, did you remember to flip up that little vent on the front of Sunstreaker's back/Sideswipe's chest? That gives it the clearance it needs to click in. And be sure to pull the hood and it's hinges out aaaaaallllll the way. Like, the clear parts have to be fully exposed. I wasn't sure at first, and it took me a while to get it too.
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