Transformers Universe Hound

Remember 1984? Sure you do. You were 8 years old. You got one of those Autobot cars. "WOW!" you thought. "This is cool! An awesome sportscar/jeep/van!" Maybe not a van. "And it even turns into a ROBOT!" Yeah, that robot didn't look JUST like the one on the cartoon. (Well, the one on the package because you didn't get to watch the cartoon.) That robot was only able to move at the shoulders. That robot had some really funky "futuristic-for-the-80's" stickers you had to put on. That didn't matter, though, because Transformers were just about the most awesome thing ever.

Remember later, when you took that Transformer out of the attic and you realized that awesome robot that you thought was so awesomely awesome was just a fancy brick with shoulder joints? Remember when you fell to your knees and cried "WHYYYYYYYYY?" Guess what? Hasbro has steadily been answering your prayers with Classics and Universe figures. These toys are the toys you THOUGHT you were getting when you were 8 years old and retarded.

I have been saying for a while that Classics Mirage is THE BEST ® deluxe TF released in a looooooong time. Well, Hound just kicked him down a notch. BAM!

Universe Hound 1

If you buy Hound and end up not liking him, you have no soul. No, really. You are literally a soulless bastard. Just look at that star on the fender, look at that missile launcher thingy. Look at that sweet 1980's helmet-head.

Universe Hound 2

My only complaint is that Ravage doesn't fit in G1 Soundwave, only in the newer versions of Soundwave that fit two cassettes.


Transformers Universe Hasbro Toy Shop Exclusive Drag Strip

Not going to give a review of the Classics Mirage mold. I've already had my say on that. There are damn few Decepticons in the Classics/Universe G1 Series lines, even fewer appealing molds (I'm lookin' at you, Galvatron.)

Universe Drag Strip 1

Drag Strip is a combination of Decepticon and what I still think is the best Deluxe-size Transformer mold released in the past decade, so Drag Strip is a winner. The only problem is that it is a Hasbrotoyshop.com exclusive, and it is 16 bucks for a ten dollar figure.

Universe Drag Strip 2

If you aren't worried about paying more than you normally would for a deluxe figure, you can't miss with Drag Strip. (If you don't want to pay that much, you could always use the coupon code HOLIDAY25 and knock 25% off the price. I'm just sayin'.)

Universe Drag Strip 3

The paint job isn't as nice as I would like and you can probably see some of the yellow plastic peeking through the purple paint on the head. And when transforming him the first time, I'm almost positive I noticed some of that dreaded "tacky paint." But on the whole, I'm not disappointed with Drag Strip.

Universe Drag Strip 4

Don't really know what else to say. Again, the positives is that Drag Strip can bolster your probably anemic Decepticon ranks, and you get a great figure. The negative is pretty much the cost and possible availability issues.

Universe Drag Strip 5

Them damn Stunticons have to stick together.


GI Joe 25th Anniversary Arctic Snake Eyes and Snow Job

Thanks to Al Gore and ManBearPig we actually got some snow down here in Sportsman's Paradise so I yanked out some snow-themed Joes and took a couple of pictures. I don't really have a review or anything other than to say these two figures are pretty cool.

Snow Day 1

Snow Day 2

I would have gotten some pictures of my Snow Serpents or maybe an AT-AT and some Snowtroopers cavorting about in the snow. But, you know, it was snow so it was cold and wet so screw that.


Maschinen Krieger S.A.F.S. Mercenary Corps

Back during the internet's infancy I discovered a little thing called Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000(Ma.K.). Ma.K. was a bit of a mystery to me (it still sort of is, I guess) because there wasn't a whole lot of information to be found except for a lot of pictures and a lot of poorly translated information. Since there was a lack of information and resources, Ma.K. held my interest mainly because of the pictures I saw.

Ma.K. began life as SF3D, the creation of artist Kow Yokoyama as a kind of photo comic (sounds familiar, no?) back in the 1980's in the pages of HobbyJAPAN. SF3D's story was set about 900 years in the future...there was a nuclear war, Earth rendered uninhabitable, humanity moves to space, Earth restores itself...pretty standard fare. The story was enhanced by pictures of kit bashes by Kow, drawing inspiration from WWI and WWII German aircraft and armor. The result was something very different from the "super robot" stuff in vogue in Japan at the time.

There were some licensed Ma.K. model kits during the story's run but there was a dispute between Kow and HobbyJAPAN in the mid-80's, and as a result HobbyJAPAN ended up dropping SF3D. The dispute wasn't resolved until the 1990's, and this is when Kow began releasing products from his story reintroduced as Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000. Since Ma.K. was not overly popular, there have been relatively few "affordable" options for collectors, at least until recently. As a result, while I have been a fan of Ma.K. for close to 15 years, it was just a few months ago I decided to add anything Ma.K. to my collection.

Maschinen Krieger

There are TONS of vehicles and armor and bits of weapons to admire from Ma.K., from hovercraft, to flying machines, to space-based weaponry, but for me it is the powered armor that is the biggest draw. My two favorite books, Heinlein's Starship Trooper and Joe Haldeman's Forever War are "hard sci-fi" stories that deal with powered armor wearing soldiers, and I think that's where I get my interest in Ma.K.'s Super Armored Fighting Suits. This is S.A.F.S set is a 1/35 scale set from Yellow Submarine.


Review Updates. Now with Pictures!

So, can you believe, when I first started this thing I posted reviews of toys and yet, didn't post pictures. Retarded, no?

Well, I'm going back and addressing some of these errors. First up, my review of Transformers Classics Optimus Prime.

UPDATE: added pictures to Classics Starscream

UPDATE 2: pictures for Transf Formers Classics: Battle for Autobot City added. Mmmmmm, Ultra Magnus-y and Skywarp-y goodness.

UPDATE 3: added pics for Classics Ramjet

THE UPDATES KEEP A-COMIN' or UPDATE 4: Added pictures to my Star Wars Transformers Crossover Millennium Falcon


Transformers Animated Jazz

Jazz is really snazzy. I think he's the most GEEWUN of the Animated figures, and that's just all right with me.

Animated Jazz-alt

What can I say? This is a great figure. Probably my favorite Animated deluxe.

Animated Jazz-bot


Animated Jazz-bot 2


"Vintage" Star Wars Figures

Star Wars toys represent a toy zenith of sorts from my childhood. Sure, I had other toys from my childhood that maybe got more play, and if you ask me "what is the best toy you ever had?" I might not pick a Star Wars toy at first (Cobra Rattler, in case you're wondering.) However, when I look back at all the toys I had when I was little, I get quite a bit nostalgic and maybe even a little euphoric when I think about Star Wars toys.

Vintage SW 2

I didn't really have very many of the larger vehicles. No A-Wings, B-Wings, X- or Y-Wings. No Millennium Falcon, no Imperial Shuttle. I had Darth Vader's TIE Fighter and one Christmas I got my prized AT-AT and an AT-ST. But that was it as far as the more popular vehicles went. I also had a Bespin Cloud Car, but since it didn't really do much in the films I never really used it for much except maybe Princess Leia's personal ship (she let C-3PO ride shotgun.) I DID have quite a few of the Mini-Rig figures, like the CAP-2, MLC-3, INT-4 (which was my personal favorite because it looked like a flying AT-ST cockpit), MVT-7, and PDT-8, but they really gave off more of a Ralph McQuarrie vibe than a Star Wars vibe.

Vintage SW 1

No, the figures where were it was at for me. I loved them. There was a period there for a year or so where I got a new figure every Friday from my dad. Sadly, most of my Star Wars toys (as well as most of my other stuff) didn't survive what I like to call "The Great Garage Sales Purges." But a few did make it, the examples pictured here.

Vintage SW 3

I'm aware that there are endless possibilities for acquiring figures in better condition, replacement weapons and accessories, etc. but for some reason the idea never really appealed to me. I guess part of it is the fact that I can probably buy a better figure (one with elbows and knees and even ankles sometimes) for a cheaper price at retail, and part of it is that I'm not the same seven year old little boy that gleefully ripped open a Biker Scout in 1983 and felt like he'd just been given a million dollars. Yeah, maybe it would be nice to get some newer, cleaner figures that look like I just got them yesterday, but they wouldn't be MINE. They'd be some other kid's. Some jerkwad that kept all his toys in the package and wouldn't let his friends play with them when they came over. Oh, I've bought a couple more AT-AT Drivers to fill out my AT-AT's crew, but they're outranked by the one I got back in '81.

Vintage SW 4

So, here are the last vestiges of my "vintage" Star Wars action figure collection. They live in a zip-loc bag in the cargo hold of my POTF2 Millennium Falcon when I'm not trying to get them to stand up for a picture.


Transformers Universe - Acid Storm, Galvatron

I've been sitting on these for a while. I love the Classics Seekers mold. I'm a big Starscream fan, but not so much the rest of the so-called "Seekers." I think its really funny that there is much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth amongst the fandom because the only way you can complete the original seekers by buying really ultra-expensive Botcon Exclusives or really ultra-expensive Japanese something-or-others. Me, I'd prefer Hasbro release these homages to bots that only appeared in a single frame in the original cartoon, if just to piss off the whiners.

Universe Acid Storm-Galvatron 1

But for those of you that just insist on whining, consider Acid Storm to be REALLY just an homage to Machine Wars Thundercracker. There ya go, camper, feel better?

Universe Acid Storm-Galvatron 2

You'll notice I haven't said anything about Galvatron. That's because I just don't care one way or the other for him. I bought it for two reasons. One, it was on sale for $7.77 at Wal-Mart and I'm a sucker for a good deal. Two, I wanted him to go with the Universe Cyclonus coming out. But now that pictures of the final product have been shown, I'm kind of disappointed in it, too. So, yeah. Galvatron. He was pretty cool in the movie, I guess.


Transformers Universe Ironhide, Sideswipe, and Silverstreak

We'll just get this out of the way. Universe Ironhide's vehicle mode is a great big steaming pile of fail. I hate it. The only reason why I'm keeping this figure in my collection is because it is the only G1 incarnation of Ironhide I have and it doesn't feel like my Classics Autobots would be complete without him.

Universe Ironhide-alt

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum are Sideswipe and Silverstreak. The Sideswipe/Sunstreaker mold's alt-mode is arguably the best in the Classics/Classics 2.0/Classiverse line. At least of the deluxes. While I really do like Prowl and on paper his alt-mode might sound more exciting, Silverstreak "pops" just a bit more when I compare them together. You can't go wrong with either, though. (But I am considering getting a set Reprolabels stickers for Prowl to up his curb appeal.) Sideswipe is perfect in every way.

Universe Silverstreak-Sideswipe-alt copy

Going to robot mode, Ironhide moves from a GBSPOF to just a disappointment. The head's range of motion is limited to side-to-side and because of the toy's design, will always be looking down. As in "at his belly-button." His face was also painted the same light blue color as the windows. (I fixed this with some Testor's aluminum paint.) His transformation is much more akin to the movie toy designs than other Universe figures. I appreciate the effort, but the execution is just lacking. The only complaint I have about Silverstreak is that his face was painted white, but that didn't bother me enough to fix it (yet.) Sideswipe, again, is perfect.

Universe Ironhide-Sideswipe-Silverstreak

I've got all the Universe "Classics Series" deluxes except Tankor, and Sideswipe is far and away the best. You can't miss with Prowl, either. If you're a complete G1 phagg like me you'll want to pick up Ironhide, but if you're on the fence I don't mind telling you that you'll be okay skipping him.

P.S. Ironhide DOES have one neat little feature. His rear window actually becomes his chest. During transformation, you fold his rear bumper up and doing this slides a panel in to place behind the rear window. This is the little silver piece with his faction symbol you can see in the picture. That is a nice touch.


Transformers Animated Grimlock, Snarl, Swoop

I never got the Dinobot thing when I was a kid. I liked them okay, I guess, but I didn't have the G1 toys and they weren't really something I ever thought about pestering my parents to get. All the other kids thought that they were just the greatest things ever. There was even a club of Transformers fans in my 4th grade class that assigned everyone Transformers names. The coolest five kids got the names of the Dinobots.

I got to be Thrust.

Animated Dinobots-alt

I never really understood this phenomenon until recently. Why didn't I freak out over the Dinobots like all the other kids? Why didn't I think Grimlock was the greatest Autobot ever created? Next to Optimus Prime, of course. Well, as it turns out, the internet is good for a lot more than just Youtube and porn. There are also legions of disaffected fans everywhere that gather around and complain about little plastic robots, and the various retard-osities of their associated media. These places are otherwise known as message boards.

It was here I finally learned the reason for my apathy of the Dinobots. They are idiots. Retards. Comics and back stories be damned, the Grimlock I saw in the G1 cartoon and in the movie was a moron. This is also the reason the Dinobots appealed to 9 year old boys. Most of them were morons, too.

Animated Dinobots

That said, I actually did have a Dinobot I liked better than all the others. Slag. I always liked Triceratops, and I guess since Slag was one, I liked him, too. So in my house Animated Snarl's real name is Slag.


Transformers Animated Soundwave

There's a lot of bitching and complaining that Soundwave isn't big enough. I think he's fine.

Animated Soundwave - alt

I didn't get a good picture of Laserbeak's robot mode. But he's got a Dimebag Darrell-ish alt-mode, which is cool.

Animated Soundwave - alt2

I like his bot-mode and I think his Animated "stylized" design translates well to plastic form. I really like the G1 homage this figure is packed with. Like the "tape player buttons" on the vehicle's grill, and the G1-inspired chest.

Animated Soundwave - bot

I'm halfway to starting my new Transformers band. Just need a drummer and a bass player.

Animated Soundwave - rock


Revoltech Regult

I don't have anything to say about this figure other than I really like it.

Revoltech Regult 1

It does suffer from the same thing all Revoltechs suffer from...a little thing I like to call Hard as Hell to Pose-itis.

Revoltech Regult 2

A shot with my Revoltech VF-1S as a size reference.

Revoltech Regult 3


Transformers Universe Silverbolt

A lot of people are complaining that Silverbolt isn't worth the $24.99 you pay for him. "That's too much to pay for a Voyager-sized Transformer with electronics." Well, I got him for $19.99, so my opinion may be a little skewed, but I think he's totally worth it.

Universe Silverbolt - Jet

He's got a very G1-vibe to him; in alt-mode he's an airplane with a folded up robot hanging on the bottom and in bot-mode he's a robot with a folded airplane hanging its the back. Not terribly creative or as "exciting" or Transformically complex as some of the more modern Transformers...

Universe Silverbolt - bot

...but therein lies the figure's charm, I think. The beauty of the Classics line (and the "Classiverse" figures) is that they're all Gee Wun-ish and everything, but they aren't vehicles that unfold in to robot shaped bricks. Or as some people like to say, these figures actually are what we THOUGHT G1 figures were like 25 years ago.

Universe Silverbolt - closeup


Galaxy Defenders Variable Cyberbot - (Bandai Valkyrie knockoff)

I didn't have cable television when I was a kid. I grew up way the hell out in the country so we were basically limited to three over the air channels, NBC, PBS and, when the weather was good, CBS. For this reason I was not able to come home from school and park my lazy ass in front of the television to have my brain wiped daily by 30 minute animated toy commercials like all the other lucky kids. Every now and then I got to go home with a friend (who had cable) and could catch Transformers or GI Joe or MASK, but more often than not when most boys my age were watching the adventures of Robot Jesus and his transforming friends, I was watching the adventures of The Electric Company and 3-2-1 Contact.

This led to an awkward social life for me. Other kids would be saying things like "Wow! Did you see Megatron and Optimus Prime get in that fight?" or "Did you see Duke sneak in to that Cobra base?" and I would say things like "Did you see the Bloodhound Gang use their knowledge of science solve that mystery?" I got picked last for 4-square a lot.

How this impacted me in the world of Transformers was that I wasn't pestering my parents every day for this Autobot and that Decepticon. I saw them on the shelves, I thought they were neat, but I was way more interested in Star Wars and GI Joe figures than in transforming robots. I can count the number of Transformers I had as a kid on one hand, even if I was just a four fingered mutant (Perceptor, Bonecrusher, Seaspray, Blitzwing).

So I missed out on what is possibly the coolest and most sought after G1 Transformer of all time...Jetfire. I never saw a Jetfire in the store. The closest I have ever come to seeing a G1 Jetfire in person was in a store owned by a friend of my brother's a few years ago. It was sitting on the top of a shelf, complete, in the box, with a sticker price of $499. Unfortunately, the douche wouldn't take it down for me to look at it. "I only take it down for people to look at if they're serious about buying it." So I craned my neck for a few minutes trying to get a glimpse of that beautiful red and white plastic through the box window, and went on my way.

For me G1 Jetfire and the Bandai Valkyrie represent the Holy Grail of toydom. Mainly because it is something I can only dream of owning, and I don't have the time, inclination, money or even a cool bullwhip and leather jacket to go looking for one. I'm pretty sure my dad didn't spend half his life compiling a diary of research to locate one, either.

Galaxy Defenders Variable Cyberbot - Fighter

Anyway, when I found this thing on the intarwebs and verified that it was 1) a certified, bona fide, Bandai Valkyrie knock-off and 2) less than $100 (MUCH less), I jumped on it. "Knock-off or not, this is worth a shot" I told myself. I was pleasantly surprised.

Galaxy Defenders Variable Cyberbot - Gerwalk

The plastic is surprisingly sturdy, it doesn't feel like the cheap plastic you get with usual KOs. There's even die-cast metal on it, if that's your sort of thing. Even the landing gear spring out (and bruise your fingers). If you come across one of these, I'd say its worth picking up.

Galaxy Defenders Variable Cyberbot - robot

No, it's not red and white, and it's not Jetfire, but I actually like the way the toy looks. It even comes with a sticker sheet for you to dress him out in custom markings.


GI Joe 25th Anniversary: Snow Serpents

When I was a kid, this guy was my absolute favorite Cobra army builder. This is also the best 25th Anniversary GI Joe figure yet. And I'm not saying that because I am hopelessly biased.

25A Snow Serpents

I also admitted that I am a sick puppy and limited myself to only four of these. Well, plus a fifth one that I am using for a custom figure. Any way, COBRAAAAA!!!!!


Transformers Universe: Prowl and Sunstreaker

Yeah, I said, lots of stuff was coming. And I said it was a month ago. Toys I got. Time, I don't.

These are cool and all this G1 goodness is actually kind of weaning me off the Animated high I was on a for a while there. So if Hasbro keeps these coming,especially the "Autobot Cars," I'll be a happy boy.

Universe Prowl - Silverstreak 1

While the bot modes don't quite match the Classics aesthetic, these are just too damn purty for me to care.

Universe Prowl - Silverstreak 2

Huh? What's that? What does Sunstreaker's license plate say?
WE R 84
Hell, yeah!


Working on It

The toys...

My GOD, the toys!

I'm drown-ding under the mountain of toys.

Trying to get caught up.

It will happen.


Transformers Animated

Yeah, this is a crummy picture. My camera allowed me one shot and then the batteries died. Point is...Transformers Animated is In Da Hizzouse!!

TF Animated

They're popping up all over the country. Head out to your local Megalo Mart and check them out!


Beast Wars Quickstrike.

Alright, technically it's a Beast Metals Quickstrike. Bought this from BBTS for about 10 bucks total. My Predacon show cast is nearing completion.

Quickstrike Package

Beast Wars was a great show. It started me back down the dark road of Transformers collecting. However, the only figures I was interested in were show characters. I'm missing Scorponok and Terrorsaur, both of which I passed on because of their show-accuracy. Or LACK of accuracy.

Quickstrike Beast

I'm also missing all of the Transmetal Preds except for Megatron. I'm having problems with the vacuum-metalized paint coming off the few TM figs I have, so I'm probably going to skip out on all of them.

Quickstrike Bot 1

Quickstrike was actually one of my favorite characters. I don't know why, but I always liked him. Well, actually, I liked all of the Beast Wars characters. It was simply a really good show.

Quickstrike Bot 2

I like all the translucent bits. It really helps the figure stand out. The paint job is nice too. I don't know why I skipped out on this figure when Beast Wars first came out. I also just realized this is the first Beast Wars toy I've ever featured here. I should put a few more up.

Quickstrike Keister


Transformers: Car Robots God Magnus

aka Robots In Disguise Ultra Magnus

A few weeks ago I was over at my usual haunt bragging about the fact that I had just bought my RID Optimus Prime and, as usual, no one was paying attention to me. Or so I thought. A day or so later I got a Private Message from a fellow board member saying he had an extra RID Ultra Magnus and he was willing to part with it for 10 bucks or so plus shipping. The only thing wrong with it was the little tab that holds the front of the cab on was broken.

Car Robots God Magnus 1

He assured me that it did not affect transformation. I told him to give a while to mull it over, clear it with the requisite authorities (wife), etc. and to not feel like he had to hold it for me. "Don't worry," he said, "I've bought a replacement and this was just sitting in the closet. It's not going anywhere."

Car Robots God Magnus 2

Well, a few weeks passed, we exchanged a few PMs and how ya doin's. Pictures of the Transformers Animated Ultra Magnus were released. I watched TF: the Movie (the one from the 80's). I had a fever, and the only cure was more cowbell Ultra Magnus, I was leaning more and more between parting with some of my wife's hard earned money.

Car Robots God Magnus 3

It was a Friday. I was off work, my kids and wife were out of school. There was a knock at the door. I looked out the window to see a UPS truck backing out of the driveway. Quickly, my mind raced through the possibilities. (At any given time there are around 30 packages containing various plastic bits en route to my house.) I opened the box that was sitting on my front porch. And there he was, Car Robots God Magnus. I couldn't remember paying for it, but I forget stuff all the time. So I logged on to send the guy a PM to see what was up. I already had a message waiting for me:

"You should be expecting a package from me. I was going to throw it out anyway before I came across you. Consider it a gift!"

If I told this person "Thank you" a hundred times, it wouldn't be enough. Pictures of the combined form of RiD Prime and Ultra Magnus, Omega Prime/God Fire Convoy are forthcoming. (I already took some pics, but they sucked.) Omega Prime is one of my favorite figures in my collection, and not just because its an awesome figure.

Car Robots God Magnus 4

Oh. You know he can't deal with that now!