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#6091 blandstalker   I am Irrelevant Bitching CAGiversary!   2462 Posts   Joined 10.0 Years Ago  

blandstalker

Posted 04 April 2015 - 11:16 PM

Really long post, since I've saved stuff that I haven't been able to complete until now. 

Reviews of Motormaster, Huffer, Blackjack, the Stunticons, and Menasor

 

^  As is Blackjack!

 

Stunticons haven't shipped for me, but Motormaster is very diasppointing, Warrior Class Prime (RID2015) is good but feels like an upscaled legends commander figure, and I really like Warrior Class Drift (RID2015) even though he has almost the exact same transformation as BB he's a completely new mold.

I got my Stunticons from HasbroToyShop.  More on them later.  You were right about Motormaster, sadly

Huffer: 

In short : Ugh, don't bother

Huffer had a pretty terrible G1 toy that was only redeemed by its transformation being pretty much unique.  But it was stumpy, with smokestack arms and a plate head.

Combiner Wars Huffer is an immediate improvement, and I was impressed with the figure in the packaging.

Then I took it out.  And a leg fell off.

Transforming Huffer is an exercise in frustration as both legs popped off, the tabs refused to lock together, and the whole thing just feels like it doesn't want to lock in.  Eventually it does.

You are rewarded with a strange looking truck.  The legs are pretty much undisguised and the wind shields don't look right in either mode.

It's better than G1 Huffer, but what wouldn't be?  I didn't realize this was a recolored Prime.  It kind of works as Huffer, but you'd think with this being a recycled mold, they'd get the legs right.

Verdict: Not worth $10, and I will probably keep it in robot mode.

 

Blackjack

In short: Now that's more like it!  Awesome!

 

Blackjack has a design that's more ambitious than some Deluxes.  Also, even with its small scale, it has painted details in both modes, less panels hanging off the arms, and a backpack that doesn't hamper.

 

Slightly disappointing that the wheel rims aren't painted, which would really complete the look of the toy.  I guess that's just not part of this scale. 

 

Apart from that, I really like it.  Elegant but simple transformation, great proportions, and fun to transform and pose.  I like it even better than RiD2015 Drift

 

Verdict: Better than some Deluxes.  Worth getting, and the Combiner Wars integration is a bonus.  Or it would be if it worked.

Motormaster :

In short: See what I said for Voyager Prime, with added disappointment

On the one hand, Motormaster is a fantastic update.  Vehicle mode looks great, and substantially different than Prime.  Same for robot mode.  There is enough difference in paint and resculpting that they look and feel completely different.  I am not ashamed to own both.

Motormaster also had an unfortunate G1 toy.  It was an ambitious design that just really didn't work, although -- like Huffer -- it was something that hadn't been seen before.  But it had board-like arms, ridiculous 'feet', and the head was just part of an unmoveable rectangular brick.

Combiner Wars gives us a Motormaster that looks so much better by ditching the trailer.  I'll take that, especially since the robot mode is so good looking.

Combined mode, before you strap the other limbs to it, also looks fantastic.  Better than Prime, even, because the colors are coordinated and it looks more finished.  The black, silver, and grey looks unified and it doesn't feel quite so unpainted as Prime.

So what happened?  Well, when you put the limbs on, you have a severe case of old man pants.  This, if anything, looks worse than Prime.

Technically, it's the same flavor of bad and the same problem.  The 'waist' is jacked up so high that it looks pretty bad, and you can only compensate by repositioning the legs so much.  The best 'fix' still looks pretty ridiculous.

This looked bad on Prime, but we really didn't have an Ultra Prime before.  There were no expectations to disappoint and we all knew it was recolored Motormaster.  Motormaster and Menasor are a different matter.

We know what Menasor is supposed to look like, and while Motormaster looked pretty terrible in G1, Menasor looked decent.  And Combiner Wars Menasor looks so much worse than Superion.

 

But more on Menasor later.

 

Verdict: Worth owning, especially if you didn't get Combiner Wars Prime.  But, sadly, it's better as a single figure than a combiner.

 

And now, on to the new stuff:

 

Dead End

In short: Best Combiner Wars figure yet.  I wish all Generations/Combiner Wars were this good

 

Dead End is seriously awesome.  Someone went the extra mile and made sure that Dead End had a killer paint job, a terrific car mode, and a nicely decorated robot mode that is different than the other Stunticons.

 

Where do I even start?  Car mode is beautiful.  The car is sleek and elegant.  It has a metallic bronze racing stripe, a decepticon emblem on the hood, silver accents on the hood, gunmetal accents on the doors, and silver wheel rims.  The plastic is swirly red, which gives the figure interest even where it is largely one color.  It is gorgeous in a way that I am unused to seeing on Hasbro products.

 

Transformation is elegant.  The rear parts of the car open up (which also helps to lock the car mode together), then fold back to create the lower legs.  Fists fold out, shoulders rise, and the hood becomes a backpack.  It is similar to Breakdown, Offroad, and Dragstrip, but different.

 

Robot mode has metallic bronze and gunmetal accents and a variety of color.  Not quite as much paint as car mode, but I am not complaining.

 

Dead End is similar to RiD2015 Drift, but better in every conceivable way, from the clearance to the variety of paint and color.  Hell, Dead End actually looks like one of Hasbro's photoshop jobs, but it's real.

 

Dead End makes a serviceable limb for Menasor, but there are some limitations, which I'll save for talking about Menasor.

 

Verdict: Buy this even if you hate Menasor, Stunticons, and Dead End.  It's that good.  Encourage Hasbro to do this more often.  I may even buy another one, just so I can have the figure separate from Menasor.  It's going into my list of favorites.

 

Breakdown

In short: Not quite as awesome or elegant as Dead End, but also really good.

 

Like Dead End, Breakdown's car mode is beautiful.  The car a nice off-white, which I really appreciate since I think many of the bright white Transformers look cheap.  There's the expected red accent, blue trim along the bottom, silver accents and a decepticon symbol on the hood, and painted wheel rims.  The rear half of the vehicle is missing some love, being largely unpainted.  It needs something.  Overall, though, it looks great. 

 

Transformation is a little more fiddly.  It's different than the other Stunticons and it involves an extra hinge inside the legs.  It's not impossible, but it's a little less elegant and difficult.  Breakdown also seems to be hard to completely tab together in the sense that the tabs and locks are very tight.  I'll take that over not having enough of them or them being inadequate, though.  Breakdown has swivels on his legs that kind of baffle me -- they make the legs less stable for no reason I can really figure out. 

 

Robot mode has silver accents and some sections painted blue.  It's a bit more plain than Dead End.  Breakdown has molded fists that don't fold out and are monocolor, like his arms.  Breakdown has better feet, but everything else is just a little less nice.

 

Like Breakdown, Dead End makes a serviceable limb for Menasor with some limitations. 

 

In short: Not a home run like Dead End, but by no means bad.  Not a fan of the swivel legs, but apart from that, a solid and large-feeling toy.

 

Off Road

In short: Well, two out of three isn't bad.  After Breakdown and Dead End, this is a serious miss and Hasbro is 0 for 2 for non-original team members.

 

Off Road has a nice truck mode and some interesting transformation bits.  However, it also has a seriously ugly backpack and the paint isn't nearly as good as the other two.  This is more like a RiD2015 figure, and I don't mean that in a good way.

 

Vehicle mode is good.  There are red speckled windows and lightning stripes on the sides.  There's a small decepticon logo on the hood, on top of some gunmetal.  There's also a lot of flat gray.  A lot.  And the gunmetal doesn't really stand out.  The vehicle is hampered by the robot feet, which don't fold out of the way and have little clearance.  Wheel rims are painted (yay!), but the vehicle is an uninteresting sea of gray.

 

Transformation is simple, with elements of the other Stunticons.  Nothing terribly good or bad here.  I really like the way the upper feet join with the cab.

 

Robot mode has silver and red paint accents, and teal plastic parts not visible in vehicle mode.  The colors are good and the teal and green add interest to the figure.  Unfortunately, we've got monocolor, non moving fists with panels on the other side and shoulder/upper arm panels that really need another folding joint.

 

All of that pales next to the backpack from hell.  Seriously -- this is Pontiac Aztek bad in the sense that it's there by design and nobody bothered to fix or mitigate it.  There's room, and with  a little extra engineering, it could have folded more out of the way.  Sadly, it is big and ugly and obvious.  I have no idea what they were thinking with this.  Terrible.

 

Offroad is a good limb in both modes, and better as an arm since it can be posed more than Breakdown/Dead End.  Hasbro's toy show pictures have him as a leg, so I'll have to see if doing so leads to additional poseability.

 

In short: Not a total loss, but a total letdown from the other three.  Where's my Wildrider?

 

Menasor

In short: King of Mild Disappointment

 

I really don't want to hate on Menasor.  It does a lot of things right.  Menasor is imposing and large, stocky and brutal looking.  If you look at it straight on, it doesn't look so bad.

 

Then you notice the old man pants.  Menasor's waist is so high that it looks ridiculous.  There are some things you can do, but they all come with serious drawbacks.

 

This would not be enough to sink Menasor.  Unfortunately, many of the things that went right on Silverbolt and Superion also go wrong here.

 

1.  Menasor is not nearly as poseable.  The cars, especially as feet, do not bend as well as the planes.  With Superion, you could unhook the mid parts and get extra articulation and flexibility.  It doesn't really work with the cars.  As arms, you can get a little more flex, but not as legs.  This makes it much more difficult to give Menasor dynamic poses.

 

With Breakdown and Dead End, you can half-transform them and get articulation mid leg.  However, the internal joints are not stiff enough to hold Menasor's weight, and unlike the Aerialbots, you can't really put them in a way to support the weight.  Additionally, it makes Menasor's legs even longer and more ridiculous.

 

2.  Blackjack doesn't stay put.  Blackjack was designed to work with Menasor, and he falls out all the time.  I had a much easier time attaching Thundercracker to Ultra Prime and that one isn't even official.

 

3. Worst of all:  Menasor's shoulders don't lock in.  Oh, there are tabs.  Two of them on each shoulder.  But they're weaker than the ratchet joints in the arms, meaning that any time you attach or move a limb, they are likely to dislodge.  This is a serious design flaw and it really hinders enjoyment of the gestalt.

 

All these together produce:

 

4. An unstable, difficult to pose gestalt.  Menasor often ends up in uncomfortable looking positions, pitched forward or backward.  If you correct, he looks like a brick.  When you correct, something else moves out of place.  Then Blackjack falls out.  The whole upper body is a mess, and if the shoulders or Blackjack don't come out, the head assembly moves.

 

I tried a number of different combinations.  You can compensate a bit for the old man pants, but then you get less stable legs and a Menasor that is extremely difficult to pose.  Or you can have a more stable Menasor with old man pants.  In any case, whenever you move the arms, the shoulders typically dislodge, leading to more posing, leading to more fiddling, leading to Blackjack on the floor, leading to Blackjack being thrown across the room...

 

It's not terrible, but it's much more uncomfortably close to Energon Superion than Combiner Wars Superion.  This makes Menasor a figure that misses the mark in some very substantial ways that make it a lot less fun to play with and pose.

 

That's a shame.

 

Unfortunately, this is not the Menasor of your dreams, and the hopes of getting something roughly equivalent to a third party figure will remain unfulfilled.  You can kind of pretend, if you find a good position and never move him again or leave him in default brick mode.


Now playing: Some Game I Last Played Months Ago (DS), Ancient Game I Tried Once (PS3), Why Do I Never Update My Signature? (360), Backlog Assassins (iPad)

#6092 tokerblue   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   328 Posts   Joined 10.8 Years Ago  

tokerblue

Posted 05 April 2015 - 01:56 PM

Really long post, since I've saved stuff that I haven't been able to complete until now. 

Reviews of Motormaster, Huffer, Blackjack, the Stunticons, and Menasor...

Thanks for the reviews. I was on the fence on Menasor (with the Perfect Effect Upgrade), but I think I'll wait for a Bruticus announcement. It's too bad that the hip area looks the way it does. Even with the Perfect Effect Upgrade, it looks awkwardly posed.

 

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#6093 demonchylde   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   182 Posts   Joined 6.2 Years Ago  

demonchylde

Posted 08 April 2015 - 10:29 PM

Thank you for your review, Blandstalker. You not only beat me to it, but did it better. ;)

 

I found that swapping out Off-Road and Dead End, my Menasor became more stable. On mine, at least, I can't seem to get the hips to line up correctly for Off-Road and Breakdown to even out at legs. Off-Road appears to be a tad bit longer so it looks like Menasor is wearing lifts on one foot.

 

Tokerblue, I had totally forgotten about the Perfect Effect upgrades. I'm a bit confused by the various listings though. Can anyone tell if the first black colored set, for example, is just hands and feet or does it also include the new weapons? Same goes for the one listed as red and the purple ones. They all seem to be multiple separate item listings for either all the same thing or more than what's indicated since the parts noted don't match everything in the listing images. Since they're all the same price, I don't want to end up with several sets of hands and feet but no waist bits. Maybe I'll just wait for more detailed listings hopefully coming soon.


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#6094 tokerblue   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   328 Posts   Joined 10.8 Years Ago  

tokerblue

Posted 09 April 2015 - 12:23 AM

Tokerblue, I had totally forgotten about the Perfect Effect upgrades. I'm a bit confused by the various listings though. Can anyone tell if the first black colored set, for example, is just hands and feet or does it also include the new weapons? Same goes for the one listed as red and the purple ones.

There should be two upgrades for Menasor.

 

Perfect Effect PC-04 (Head, Breastplate, Weapon)

http://www.robotking...com/pepc04.html

 

Perfect Effect PC-02 (Purple Hands, Feet)

http://www.robotking...com/pepc02.html

 

There are also two for Superion.



#6095 demonchylde   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   182 Posts   Joined 6.2 Years Ago  

demonchylde

Posted 09 April 2015 - 04:58 PM

Thank you for clearing that up! The product photos didn't seem to be matching up with the product names in my head.


katy-perry-elmo-bounce-o.gif


#6096 Zmonkay   Awesome in Small Doses CAGiversary!   4564 Posts   Joined 11.5 Years Ago   Has been playing Pillars of Eternity
PC

Posted 10 April 2015 - 12:18 PM

Great reviews as usual blandstalker!  Thanks!

 

Agree on all fronts.  Dead End is fantastic, and overall the Stunticons are very nice bot/alt modes with questionable combined mode (primarily due to the poor Motormaster).  Wish I could figure out how to use Dead End's pipe like a tonfa/billy club though (it's even pictured in the instructions, but is too loose.).  Might through some future on the underside of his hand to tighten that up.

 

Also, if like mine your Motormaster has some jacked up leg ratchets that will only go in the "gotta pee" knees too close or "dropping a deuce in the woods" legs too far, I found if you don't tab in the flaps that come up from the lower legs in combined mode, you can finangle the other joints a bit more to compensate.  Still not perfect, still has old man pants, but at least you can get a more natural stance.

 

The Arealbots have a brilliant combined mode with good robot modes and OK alt modes. 


For Sale: Like New/Opened Once Japanese Transformer 2010 Reissue Predaking http://www.cheapassg...291#post2498291

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#6097 demonchylde   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   182 Posts   Joined 6.2 Years Ago  

demonchylde

Posted 14 April 2015 - 05:33 PM

I didn't see this elsewhere in this thread: Target Cartwheel app has 15% off all Transformers toys this week.


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#6098 mickeyp   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1169 Posts   Joined 8.8 Years Ago  

Posted 14 April 2015 - 06:24 PM

Thanks for the review!  I got Superion and Menasor figures for my son-haven't given it to him yet.  I wonder if it will be mean to give each figure one at a time?   LOL  Is there a legion figure for menasor like powerglide  is for superion?


Smile

#6099 tokerblue   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   328 Posts   Joined 10.8 Years Ago  

tokerblue

Posted 14 April 2015 - 11:54 PM

Thanks for the review!  I got Superion and Menasor figures for my son-haven't given it to him yet.  I wonder if it will be mean to give each figure one at a time?   LOL  Is there a legion figure for menasor like powerglide  is for superion?

Blackjack fits into the chest of Menasor.



#6100 mickeyp   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1169 Posts   Joined 8.8 Years Ago  

Posted 15 April 2015 - 11:35 AM

I didn't see this elsewhere in this thread: Target Cartwheel app has 15% off all Transformers toys this week.

thanks for letting us know. I got blackjack and powerglide 15% off.
Smile

#6101 180husher   Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops? CAGiversary!   2083 Posts   Joined 7.9 Years Ago  

Posted 15 April 2015 - 12:05 PM

Found Wave 2 of the Combiners at one Walmart.  Made the boy happy to get Dragstrip off his Superion and put Air Raid on instead. 

 

Also picked this up at TRU yesterday...only one on the shelf compared to the 5 Armada versions.

 

http://www.toysrus.c...rentPage=search



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#6102 demonchylde   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   182 Posts   Joined 6.2 Years Ago  

demonchylde

Posted 15 April 2015 - 04:45 PM

Good for you 180husher, all I've been able to find around the LA area so far are the ugly Armada versions.

 

I'd love to read a few of your impressions of Leader Megatron if you open him up and have time to write a short review.


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#6103 INCyr   Devotee of CAGthulhu CAGiversary!   1104 Posts   Joined 7.8 Years Ago  

Posted 15 April 2015 - 08:24 PM

I didn't see this elsewhere in this thread: Target Cartwheel app has 15% off all Transformers toys this week.

This works great.  Got Leader Megatron (Classic) for ~$40 with it. (My... well, technically my 7th Transformer, but 2nd in hand - the others are shipping.)

 

Just started collecting, so it's a great addition.  Just hoping eventually they release an Optimus Prime in the Leader size to go along with it.  I'd love a Masterpiece Prime, but it'll be a LONG time before i can justify ~$150-$200 on a single figure.  Even $40 for Megatron was pushing my budget quite a bit.



#6104 180husher   Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops? CAGiversary!   2083 Posts   Joined 7.9 Years Ago  

Posted 16 April 2015 - 01:46 AM

Good for you 180husher, all I've been able to find around the LA area so far are the ugly Armada versions.

 

I'd love to read a few of your impressions of Leader Megatron if you open him up and have time to write a short review.

Actually it's for my son's Bday party in a couple of weeks.  I wasn't happy with the $50 price tag, especially now that I've seen that  INCyr got it for less than $40 at Target.  Target.com has both versions on the website but they both share the same DPCI# so you can't use that to narrow down your search.  My local Target shows them in stock but they weren't on the shelves.  I think I'm going to give the DPCI# (087-06-2587) and see if they can find the case in the back.



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#6105 mickeyp   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1169 Posts   Joined 8.8 Years Ago  

Posted 16 April 2015 - 03:33 AM

I got both megs for My son. He opened the g1 looking one and he told me he still wants the armada one. HE said it looks like the megatron in the video game he played on ps2. I will keep an eye out for them at target and see if I can price adjust or return and rebuy. I got them for 44.99 but still I'd save $5 on each.
Smile

#6106 180husher   Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops? CAGiversary!   2083 Posts   Joined 7.9 Years Ago  

Posted 16 April 2015 - 01:09 PM

That Target DCPI# I posted is a generic number for all leader class including the old movie ones they still have a ton of. Sorry.

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