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Jetty's Reviews

Everybody's favourite robots in disguise... GOBOTS! Just kidding.

Jetty's Reviews

Postby Crazy Jetty » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:14 pm

I've been told in the past that I write pretty decent reviews, and have helped a few people form opinions.
That's what I've been told. Not sure if it's true, but I occasionally like expressing my opinions on things. Sometimes short, sometimes long.
I tend to be fair, and separate a toy from it's source material. A bad toy is a bad toy, no matter how much I love the fiction or style, and a good toy is a good toy no matter how much I hate the fiction or style.

So, I'd like to start putting my reviews over here, if anyone would care to read or express their own thoughts.

What I will cover:
Transformers of all eras- Mostly new product, though on request I wouldn't mind digging out something older and throwing a mini-review of it up.
Third Party products.
I will not do photos, as I have no camera. But most people who would read them pretty much knows what I'm talking about anyway.

I would like to start with Generations 2.0 IDW Megatron. However, I'm still formoing my thoughts and opinions on him. So I'll put up my reviews for Springer and Blitzwing for now.

I already have a small bit of history with these two toys, and characters.
When they were first announced and shown off, we were still hot into FoC, which do not impress me in any shape or form. These, especially springer were advertised as FoC (Which we now know are not. Blitz is obviously G1, while Springer is supposedly IDW)

On top of that... Springer just looked... weird. Add to that that Springer is a nobody to me. Never cared for his character or design, and I think he's only popular because he's the only Autobot triplechanger to get any meaningful fiction. I already had the target exclusive "War Within" Springer that was a repaint of Cyb Evac, love that mold, and that was fine with me. And the "Classics" Botcon Springer that was a repaint of Cyb Defense Hotshot didn't look remotely like him, and was just stupid. So... another weird looking Springer was a pass for me.

We got closer and better pictures surfaced... and he didn't look quite so weird.
However... since Generations 1.0, Reveal the Shield, and DotM ended, hasbro's record for toys has been exactly ****, with only two or three toys that were actually worth their price. Only one that's come close to impressing me was Thundertron (I think?), and I only have the Lioconvoy repaint of that. The rest have usually made me regret buying them, the much beloved Shockwave included.
So, while I liked the looks of Blitzwing, and Springer was borderline growing on me, I figured these were still going to be flimsy, poorly engineered, full of copouts, and made of cheap plastic.
So even though I was looking forward to Blitzwing, I didn't have high hopes. They weren't going to compare to the top of Hasbro's game.

I was right... and I was wrong, on all accounts.

I will begin with robot modes, as that's how they are packaged.

Springer
First impressions upon freeing him from his package were low. Springer has a lot to over come. A great character or a great design can overcome a mediocre mold. Springer didn't have any of these going for him, as I always found him extremely boring in both character and his G1 design. But I played with him for a day.
Robot Mode-
Grew on me. A lot. It doesn't com e across well in hasbro official photos, but he is 100% Nick Roche inspired, if not flat out Nick's design. He has Nick's trademark proportions (Which is why it looked so odd at first, before I could see the Nick influences), and his headsculpt is definitely Nick's style.
His sword, made from his chopper blades is actually impressive, which is rare for TF swords. And he has a neat gun. Pressure firing missiles that are in a very spring missile-like gun. I normally do not like firing missiles, but I prefer the pressure styled, so this makes me happy.
Kibble is used creatively and placed with artistic purpose, and the color breakdown is very artistic. After sitting on this for a day, it's very obvious now that an artistic mind, who's used to designing transformers is behind this toy. That's very rare now-a-days.
The only yellow seen on him is exclusively on his chest and behind his shoulders. The rest of his upper body is contrasted with dark, flat, warm gray. Green is added in his hips, thighs, lower arms, and head. A very flat and unremarkable green, of a shade I can't quite identify. I would normally say it's ugly, but here the subtlety works really well. Very pale cool gray is added to his scheme in his upper shins/knees... the only place this color exists on the toy.And finished off with dark warm gray on his lower shins/feet. I would be proud of this colorscheme if it were mine.

Transformation to either mode is pleasantly complex, without being difficult. Unlike most of Hasbro's recent offerings which can be transformed in a few steps, Springer feels closer to the previous Generations in terms of complexity. But this is where the toy also show's it's flaws. The tab system is horrible. Pieces do not line up well, and tabs and matching slots are extremely shallow, and barely fold, if they hold at all.The only tab that holds well is the shoulder clips in robot mode.
Also the head and chest during transformation are dangerously close to occupying negative space. Everything has to line up absolutely flawlessly in order to get it through.

Helicopter Mode-
Like the original springer, it does not represent any real helicopter, though it bares a strong resemblance to most traditional attack choppers. It has a very heavy hardcore Sci-fi feel to it, and would not look out of place in a James Cameron movie, such as ALIENS or Avatar.
The colorscheme is kinda all over the place in this mode and is a bit messy here, but still really strong and stays fairly balanced. Yellow becomes more prominent on the front and sides, but still does not overwhelm.
As I said earlier, this is where the tab system fails completely. Fortunately there's only one tab in this mode that won't hold at all, and it's not really a "load baring" tab.
Rotor blades are cleverly designed. Missile launcher is tricky to connect in this mode, and instructions do not explain how to do it at all. Kind of a dumb design choice how it clips in.

Car mode-
To be honest, my favorite mode, but the most structurally flawed.
The over all design is still extremely sci-fi, and still feels like it's fresh off the set of a Cameron movie. Again, it'd be right at home in ALIENS or Avatar.
I love a great fantasy vehicle that feels like it could work and be driven/flown in real life, and this one really hits home in a way the original Springer never did. The colorscheme is the most solid and well balanced in this mode over all others. Yellow is found exclusively on the grill and hood, while green is on the roof, and rims. dark gray makes up the rest. It sounds like a very ugly colorscheme but it works so well. Which is surprising because the yellow hood was one of the biggest turnoffs in early images. There is also absolutely no sign of there ever being a helicopter mode in this (or robot) form.
Unfortunately, this is the mode that the engineering fails the hardest. No tab at all connects and holds together in this mode, except the two that lock the shoulder joints in place to the pectoral pieces. Fortunately, the robot mode joints are pretty much solid enough to keep it almost completely stable. The only parts that really suffer from floppiness and instability are the tailfins.
Also, the way the sword/props stow under the car is dodgy at best, but still manages to be stable (at least on mine)

Fun thing to do- Connect the helicopter prop to the top of the car. It's hella funny.

Final Thoughts-
I came into Springer with extremely low expectations. And while he failed to impress me at first, over the course of constantly fiddling with him, my initial opinion has changed dramatically, and grown a lot. The mold is extremely enjoyable, despite it's sizable flaws (Engineering/tab issues, being Springer).
Something to note though... besides the head, it really does not scream "Springer." As an example, Generations Kup does not really look a whole lot like G1 Kup. Different alt mode, lots of different robot mode design elements, but it still screams "Kup" to me. Springer, for better or worse does not. Put a different head and colors, and never mention the helicopter mode (You wouldn't realize it exists without being told it does), and there's nothing about it at all that's remotely Springer-ish. Take that as you will. I've never been a Springer fan, so likeness is a non-issue for me, really.
But, I've come to love this toy. It's not as good as Generations 1.0, or RtS... plastic quality is modern Prime/FoC era, and his engineering is flawed (But at least attempted! Complex pieces are way too rare now!), but it reminds me strongly of some of Hasbro's best.
Highly Recommended.

Also... I would do *anything* to have this toy repainted, with a new head, and released as pre-beast Dinobot. It could not be more perfect.


Blitzwing
As I said earlier, Blitzy was the one of the two I was looking forward to the most. He had some things Springer didn't have. Like I said, a good character, or a fun looking design could overcome a mediocre mold. And while G1 Blitzwing may have been a nobody character, much like Springer... he at least had an awesome design, and pulled off all three modes exceptionally well. And when Animated came about, that version of Blitz got one of the most awesome characters in the franchise. So even if Blitz turned out to be mediocre, he had two out of three over Springer.
First impressions once having him were that he felt and looked a little awkward. But he still had all the hallmarks of G1 Blitzwing.

Robot Mode-
He is a complete "Classics" update of G1 Blitz. Kibble is placed where it should go. It's been years since I had my G1 toy, so I can only guess off memory, but he's pretty accurate. Though I think he's probably akin to Universe Prowl accurate to G1 Prowl, as opposed to G1 Jazz and RtS Jazz (Which I consider a pretty exact update)
Now, onto what everyone is most interested in: Head. He has a very similar tripleface feature to Animated Blitz. Yellow G1 helmet, and G1 face is preset in package. With your fingernail, you can "scroll" the chin up to reveal the Animated "Crazyface." Pretty exact version. Scroll one more time to reveal a "G1-ish" version of the "cold" face. And back to G1 face.
Personally... as much as I loved Animated Blitz, the feature doesn't really work for me being retconned onto a G1 version of the character. I would have thought I'd love it... but... I dunno. When I heard about it it didn't appeal to me, and seeing the other faces in hand, it really doesn't. Great for everyone who loves it, and it's really well hidden, so it's not distracting. It can be ignored for those who don't like it.
The other Animated call out, comes in his legs, which are the tank treads. In G1 his legs were made with the jet engines, similar to Starscream, while the tank treads were hidden by folding yo into his arms.
His weapons are pretty exact updates of G1's, which is neat. But compared to Springer, his sword is really underwhelming. Great design, great sculpting, though. His pistol is also a bit undersized, but interestingly designed. I like TF guns that are not missile launchers.
He also has one missile launcher in his cannon. Push the cannon barrel in and it launches the spring missile. Interesting also.And designed in a way you can't accidentally shoot yourself in the forehead as I've done so very many times.
His colors are pretty accurate to G1... purple chest, purple nosecone, yellow head, khaki all over. Lot of purple on the legs. Only where Springer feels like a work of art, even though accurate... Blitz just feels... messy. Not really sure why

Now... flaws. And this is where the figure falls apart. Just like Springer, he has a very poorly engineered tab system. Only what is the fatal flaw is in the shoulder assembly. The tabs do not hold at all. At all. Anytime you touch his arms, it all comes flying apart. The last time I encountered critical tabs designed so poorly was in the torso bot for Energon Superion Maximus (Storm Jet was his name? Can't remember). It's that level of bad.
Also... the amount of paint on him is mind boggling. And this is a terrible thing, despite what you'd think.
Most "critical" areas are painted, instead of molded in that color.The pieces on his legs that are tan, inside and out are completely painted tan. The gray pieces that are part of his knees are painted gray. His bicep pieces are painted gray, his helmet is only painted yellow His nosecone is made of cheap rubber, and painted purple..
Most of the paint used on him is for essential colors, instead of an intelligent mold layout. And worse yet, it's extremely cheap paint. I've barely touched him and paint is chipped off all over the place.

Transformation: Surprisingly complex for modern Hasbro. There are no cheats here. Every part has a purpose.
However, the tab system absolutely kills it. There is almost no stability at all. Everything has to line up perfectly, but almost nothing does. And nothing really wants to stay in place.

Jet Mode-
Has a fairly Macross feel to it, honestly. Don't really have much to say, as it feels like a hot mess. Full of gaps and unallignable bits, and tabs that won't connect.
Both G1 and Animated had much better jets. This is his weakest mode by far.

Tank Mode-
This mode is a lot stronger. The colorsceme feels sloppy, but works mostly. The turret is fairly cleverly designed from his arms, and the treads are somewhat clever. It's a passable tank.
Not really much else to say. It's not overly impressive.

Final Thoughts:
This was a huge letdown. The vehicle modes themselves are not so bad they cannot be overlooked or enjoyed, the engineering and bad paint/poor mold breakdown absolutely kills this toy. With the worst part being the shoulder assembly.
I find the shoulders to be so bad that if Hasbro or Takara do not reengineer and remold them for the repaints, I think the mold should never be used again.

If I were grading it, it'd end up at a C-, to D. And mostly only for acknowledging the ambitious concepts behind it, and an attempt to do a level of toy they used to do really well.
But cheap plastic, cheap paint, poor decisions, and terrible engineering. 3Ps do better than this.
Unlike some bad toys recently though, I don't regret buying it.
Mildly recommended, and only if you're a Blitzwing fan, or if you feel your classics display will never be complete without him.
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Re: Jetty's Reviews

Postby Crazy Jetty » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:34 pm

The next few installments will cover Generations 2.0 comic series, IDW Bumblebee, and Orion Pax, Trailcutter, Hoist, and Stealth Megatron.
But since DotM ended, hasbro has really dropped the ball with the quality of their toys. Prime, FoC Generations, and Beast Hunters have all largely had terrible plastic quality, and very poor engineering.
So my expectations were really low for this IDW series.
Also, like previous, I will start with robot mode, as that's how the toy is packaged.

Generations 2.0 IDW Bumblebee
I'm no fan of Bumblebee as a musclecar. Especially G1. It does not fit the character's personality, and it makes his name lose any sense it ever had. it's not that I'm above change, but said change should make sense. And randomly changing him to a musclecar as part of IDW's failed and now abandoned Bayification of G1 movement made zero sense.
To be honest, the only reason I picked him up was because I found him (and Pax) on sale.

Robot Mode
Seeing him in person, and having him in hand, he's actually nowhere near as bad as he looked in images.
First, he is not at all accurate to the IDW design, which is a good thing. They made some really pointless and questionable design choices. Though that could also be coupled with really bad art (This was when Figuroa randomly changed his style to be shrapnely like bayformers, and no other artist that drew it seemed to be comfortable or decent with it)
So, Hasbro's take on the design is much improved, IMO. The sculpting is much better than it has been with the FoC series before it. His head has to be my favorite Bumblebee head Hasbro's ever made.
He's got a great range of movement, when it comes to posability. And best of all, aside from the fake split chest, he's not at all shrapnely.
Though, that ends the good. There are some really odd choices Hasbro made in sculpt, and cost cutting measures as well. First, he has an additional set of wheels sculpted into his feet, which makes no sense for the rest of his design. All four wheels are prominently visible in robot mode. I get they're trying to replicate the IDW design, but doing that would only make sense if the wheels on his legs were folded away and hidden.
Second, they've completely sculpted over the car headlights, giving them a very techy and metal look, and absolutely no hint of headlights at all. Not even in a "These retract at night" vibe.
And for cost cutting measures, he's under-engineered. His chest entirely fakes the hood of the car, which could have been made with the real hood that stows currently on his back. It wouldn't have taken that much more design work.
His Elbows and Knees are done with standard ratcheting joints, that hasbro left the pins out of to save a few pennies. So they rely entirely on the pressure of the plastic to stay in place. This is a fatal flaw. What's even more puzzling is there's no reason either of these joints couldn't have been designed with BW style balljoint sockets.
The Paint is also very subpar. The yellow that's painted onto his arms does not match the yellow of his plastic even remotely. Instead taking on almost a neon green hue, and showing a massive amount of bleed-through from the black plastic.
He also comes with a combining "cannon" that again suffers from very bad paint that doesn't remotely match anything else on him. Added to that, there's no way for Bumblebee to hold this cannon without it feeling and looking very awkward. Had they made plug holes in the sides of his forearms instead of the bottom, this would have helped a lot, and giving him a nice nod to Animated 'Bee's "Stingers."

Vehicle mode
Like the fleet of musclecar 'bees, this is something hasbro does really well now. It's pretty much impossible for them now not to nail the look of a musclecar.
However, the fake chest cannot clear the ground, and his front wheels do not touch the ground at all.

This is where the joint system fails and kills the toy. Holding it together in vehicle mode warps the plastic of the knees terribly. Transforming him twice (Once originally, and once for this review), has severely damaged the knees on mine, leaving them with very little tension left.
Ultimately, this toy is not a very good update for Bumblebee. Especially when the much more appropriate Classics 'bee exists. But, I like the toy itself. I like the overall design, though the joints and failed car mode keeps my rating fairly low.
IMO, the strength of this mold will be in the repaints, not in Bumblebee himself.
I give him a C. Again, mostly from the flaws of his joints, and the fake chest preventing his vehicle mode from being what it could be.
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