Saturday, 11 February 2012

First items for February

After a few weeks of no purchases (and no new TFs toys released in Australia since the first week of December), a new batch arrived at my postbox.

Disney Label Donald (Halloween colours)
EZ Chronicle series 2 (Gen2 Optimus, Gen2 Megatron, Silverstreak, Prowl, Hound, Starscream, Skywarp, Rodimus)

Transformers Trilogy Bluray Ultimate set

And from Ebay, from two different sources
DotM Dragon Ultimate Optimus
United Stepper

The smaller figures in robot mode.

That brings the total up to 3,497... Another 3 and I'll be counting down the next major milestone of four thousand.

A closer look...

United Stepper - a nice redeco of the United/Classicverse Jazz, packed with a bonus Targetmaster gun... homaging the original Gen1 Stepper (which was a targetmaster redeco of Gen1 Jazz). The only difference this time, which is a bit of a shame, is that Stepper wasn't remoulded to accommodate the Targetmaster gun in car mode.
The Gen1 reissue on the left, is without the shoulder cannon/launcher.
The Japanese ebay seller who sent it, included these...

Biscuit snacks with a chocolaty cream filling, with Koalas printed on the front.
It's kinda funny that a Japanese seller is sending to an Australian customer, a packet of Koala bikkies...
But they need to understand that customs could have confiscated this expensive toy or fined me for having food sent in a package that didn't have food declared on the Customs form on the front.
(and they weren't very tasty either... but at least they were from Osaka, which is half a country away from the radiation zone in the north)

 The Halloween edition Donald Duck, next to the Halloween edition Mickey Mouse from a year earlier.
I didn't even think this one was released, until I found it on BBTS (musta been the only one they had left), because the Christmas Edition Buzz Lightyear was cancelled and it was listed for release at about the same time as this version of Donald Duck.
And with the first two versions of Donald - Halloween, regular, monochrome.

The second series of the JP Chronicle EZ toys, next to the equivalent Hasbro versions.
Left of each is the JP version, right of each is the Hasbro version - Hound, Prowl, Megatron, Rodimus.
Hound is darker, making it look more toy-coloured, while Prowl is virtually unchanged (aside from the rubsigh/symbol). Rodimus is pretty much an entirely new colour scheme, but both versions work well. Megatron is the interesting one though. Hasbro released him in the green deco of the bigger Gen2 toy (just not a bright green & purple though), while TakaraTomy did theirs in the purple/black deco of the smaller Gen2 toy.  Even though Megatron only appeared in the comic in the green form, the purple toy ends up being more accurate colouring to at least one of the Gen2 Megatron toys. Hasbro is unlikely to redeco it, so I'm glad I got this version.

The three different Optimus figures (JP Gen1 from first Chronicle series, Hasbro version, JP Gen2 from second Chronicle series), and the two different Starscreams to show the one significant difference - the head is entirely black, not just painted on the face (so it spoils the jet mode by having that black bit on the nose).
That's really weird for TakaraTomy to do that to Starscream, making the Hasbro version look better, despite their lack of painted Decepticon symbols. TakaraTomy didn't do that to their Thundercracker figure in Series 1, so I don't see why they needed to make the whole head black on Starscream in this second series.

And the three JP Seekers.

Finally, the Year of the Dragon edition Ultimate Optimus Prime.
This was an expensive purchase of a toy, that is a redeco of another toy that I hadn't yet played with. As with most of the larger DotM toys, I still haven't gotten around to converting them after buying many of them 7-8 months ago.
But since starting this blog, I've been having more time and inspiration to explore my toys as I get them. And I'm finding that these toys aren't as much of a chore to figure out as they used to be... I'm actually wanting to work out the toys more now, rather than "needing to convert them" just because they need to be displayed in robot mode.
As such, as soon as I took the photo of the new arrivals, I grabbed the regular one off my shelves, and converted both at the same time, to get a good look at the differences.
First, the Dragon version robot, next to its box to show how different the robot is to what was planned (red plastic for the front of the truck, which become the wrists). It also shows the feet being grey, but the actual toy has the same gold feet of the regular version.
But next to the regular Optimus, the red wrists are the only colour difference I could find between them. The trailer was the main featured recolouring of this special edition toy.

The trailer is indeed a brightly mix of colours, contrasting the almost-boring grey of the regular (screen-accurate) version. This is both in their trailer/exosuit armour.
(click on any image to bring up the full-size version)

And with some other Movie Primes for size comparison.

I was a bit surprised at how easily I was able to transform them into their full/combined robot modes, as I've been put off by Movie-toy engineering in recent years... as the larger figures are usually too complicated to be fun enough to want to convert them.
I had expected the individual robot component to be out on its proportions (to compensate for the combined mode), but seeing the way the arms and legs are completely contained within the exosuit, it couldn't understand why the arms were so odd-looking. In the end, the lack of a secondary separate robot head for the combined mode, you end up with a "pin head" leader... or an immoveable brick when the targeting helmet is put in place.
The concept is good, mostly because it allows us to get a full trailered version of Optimus as a toy, without it being a large hollow box... but some may prefer that though, as it would be a better homage to Gen1 Optimus, without spoiling it by trying to incorporate a gimmick like this one.
Fortunately, or even surprisingly, the trailer manages to hold together quite well, despite all the panels. But the compromise of having big panels for stability is ending up with a giant butterfly effect in robot mode... a mode that isn't really in the movie, so makes it difficult to warrant such a hefty expense on the original, let alone this limited version.
Actually, the red dragon deco is probably a better reason for buying this mould than the regular version, because if you're going to spend a lot of money on a toy that is only half accurate to its Movie form, then there isn't much of a point of having a movie-accurate colour scheme. Save the accurate colour scheme on one of the smaller, cheaper versions, and splash out on something that at least looks different enough and impressive with its colours to be worth showing off in either mode.
The tough choice then is deciding which mode to display it in... (or buy two)

1 comment:

  1. Those koala biscuits (Koala no March) are all over the place over here as well. Japanese have no idea about how stringent our customs are and I suspect that the seller probably does it to fellow Japanese, so is unlikely to realise how pear shaped it could go over here.

    I would display the Dragon Prime in truck mode. Due to the dragon. However, the red trailer really adds to the 'Butterfly attack' mode.