Transformers Energon Ultra Megatron Review

So, I recently did a poll on my twitter of four figures to review. After the results came in, two were tied. I chose one to do…then wrote this one instead.

Could a career in politics be far behind?

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So yeah, it’s another Robot Revolt Retro Review. I got this guy a while ago in an old nerd shop, not realising it was sun-damaged. I tried to paint it but it did not work. After buying a missing accessory on eBay cheap I shoved him at the back of my Megatron shelf…until a junker one was being sold for cheap. One hasty Paypal payment later I own a slightly knackered but non-sun-damaged toy and a knackered Armada Galvatron which I honestly forgot where I put it already. Two hours of careful disassembly and reassembling later, I have one very nice condition Ultra Megatron from Energon!

A show I hate.

Yes, it’s well established I make poor financial decisions.

Anywho, so Energon Megatron then. He’s certainly a weird beast. I’ve previously said I like certain anime-esque features on my TF’s, and you can’t get more anime than this. Strictly speaking, this guy is somewhere around the region of your modern voyager in terms of pricing at the time it was on sale. Though this particular version is a smaller version of the mahoosive leader class and still has all the same features. The main one being the smaller version of his Armada tank mode which works as his fusion cannon, the holder of his sword, houses all the electronics and a spring-loaded missile (which I don’t have because they’ve all been eaten by everyone’s 5-year-old) And yet he pretty much dwarfs any recent Leader toy in terms of mass. And features electronic sounds! Well, two sound anyway, as his sword clangs when plugged into the tank.  Couple that which the bland yet good colour scheme, based on G1 Galvatron’s toy, and you get a very unique Megatron.

Pity he has all the articulation of someone who’s broken at least one bone in every limb.

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Yeah, whereas this guy is made of some damn nice plastic and features ratchet in all of his joints…it has almost zero ability to pose decently. Yeah he has a load of ratchet joints, but they’re quite usless because the guy is so back-heavy it makes posing him a bugger. I think this is something that a lot of people who miss “the good old days” of Transformers, they couldn’t pose for shit. Hell, this guy’s previous incarnation in Armada didn’t even have knees…and he was the only one in that line. Meanwhile, this guy’s knees are almost useless.

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Transforming this guy is pretty fun though, which bits that slide, rotate and click leaving you with either a spaceship or the world’s most pissed off swan.

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Yes, it is daft but I love it for that. It looks like a ship from a shoot-em-up game like R-Type that I’m really bad at. This is only enhanced as it has another feature. HYPER MODE.

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This is daft but I like it, you can do it in robot mode as well but it doesn’t change much except make his backpack take up even more shell space.

So…what do I make of Energon Megatron then? I like it, but I find it hard to put my finger on why. Perhaps it’s just because it’s so different to almost every other Megatron I own. Is it good? By today’s standard, not really. But he seems to have some undefinable quality to him.

Either that or I’m such a Megatron fanboy I’ll buy anything with his name slapped on.

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Transformers Armada Deluxe Thrust Review

So, does anyone remember Transformers Armada fondly? I do, in a way. It’s what made me aware that Transformers was still a thing back when I was a kid, and through it, I got into the fandom. I took a while to really deep dive into it as I was, unfortunately, part of the Sonic fandom back then.

Yes, it is exactly as bad as you think it is.

Anyway, it’s also where I remember why I liked the Decepticons a lot more than the Autobots. Sure, the Decepticons were always fighting each other and a good chunk of them had the combined I.Q. of a blade of grass, but they had personality. OK perhaps not the deepest personalities, but they were still a load better than the Autobots. I find it a shame we haven’t had more revisits to it in the Generations line. I would sell my sister’s soul for a new Demolishor toy (and for them to spell his sodding name right). Man, this has got me all nostalgic. How about we do a Robot Revolt Retro Review of let’s have a look back at one of my favourite toys from the line? Thrust.

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Ah yes, Thrust. Cybertron’s most brilliant tactician…who I don’t think ever won a fight? But he stood out from the cons visually, with his slightly more subdued colours and a unique silhouette, topped off with a head that was more squid than cone. Still, he manages to pull it off, and I keep forgetting this guy has his roots in being Starscream recolour number six.

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He does have some rather…odd design elements though. Yes, the hands are dumb as hell but I like their concept. I imagine him using them as flamethrowers or for using bursts of acceleration to blast around the battlefield in something akin to robot capoeira.  Certainly, more useful than the fiction fire missile launchers in his knees that only point at his own feet and cause problems with pretty much any pose. I guess he’s got his spring-loaded missile launching Min-Con partner Inferno for fire support. I personally wouldn’t like to be backed up by someone that looks like a cross between a toucan and Colonel Klink but there you are.

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God, Armada was fucking weird, wasn’t it? I mean the toys were all essentially squares with horrible articulation. They sacrificed pretty much everything for the Mini-Con gimmicks and it wasn’t always worth it.  With guys like Megatron who had loads of electronic sounds and other bits, you could forgive the fact his legs didn’t move. Then you have guys like Hotshot who sacrificed everything to get a shitty missile launching gimmick. Thrust kinda falls somewhere between the two, he has plenty of useful articulation and a terrible gimmick. Behold his assault mode!

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Yeah, this is a stupid gimmick. The “shield” keeps getting stuck on the none removable missiles launchers.

Why did I like this toy again?

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Oh yeah that’s the good shit.r

Thrust becomes a stylised F-35 and I love it. It’s a very smooth jet mode from a toyline where most of the jets were bricks with tiny wings on. He even has a nice little platform for Inferno to sit on. The transformation is fairly fun too, tucking the legs away neatly and a rather unique way of hiding the head. No clearly visible robot head for this guy.

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So yeah, I like this toy. It’s holds up a lot better better than most of his contemporaries. Be nice if he got a new version of this Seeker that wasn’t exclusive to Japan with a bunch of toys I didn’t want.

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War for Cybertron: Siege Deluxe Spinister

There was just something about the first volume of IDW comics wasn’t there? Sure, it took a while to get going, but when it did it made us look at established characters in a new way, introduced some wonderful relationships, and in the case of the Scavengers, introduced people to some characters for the first time. OK yes I mean you may have known Krok existed, but aside from the fact he was an Action Master could you tell me anything else about him pre IDW? Thought not.

For me, the Scavengers were a breath of fresh air. They weren’t big-name Decepticons trying to murder their way to peace, they were a bunch of nobodies who were just trying to survive and bumbling their way through life. I think a lot of first-generation millennials can identify with that. And then we got toys of the buggers to boot! First, we got Misfire and Krok in Titans Return and in Siege we got Skytread/Flywheels and the subject of today’s review, Spinister, the idiot savant (emphasis on the idiot) surgeon of the Scavengers. Able to repair brain damage that would give Ratchet chance to pause, and yet able to be distracted by a laser pointer.

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Spinister’s robot mode is gorgeous. Yeah, the colours are not your typical dark Con colours but the pink purple and blue make him pop. And that face sculpt is sublime, the eyes and blue-green faceplate really stand out against the black helmet. I’m glad they went with a yellow for the eyes as it makes them stand out more than his original toys blue and gives him another colour to the mix of beautiful bullshit this scheme is. That combined with Siege’s wonderful articulation make this one of my favourite deluxe toys of the line, and an improvement on this still rather good Botcon version he got of the TF2010 Tomahawk mould.

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He doesn’t have much in the way of accessories, coming with two guns that resemble his G1 target masters, which I prefer to double up. But he could have come with nothing and still be my fave. Before I get into the transformation, I gotta say I love the way they handled his rotors here. Most chopper-formers have them either hanging off an arm or just kinda there on their back. Using a bit of the alt-modes vehicle detail and a small hole in his back allows Spinister’s robot to stand proud and strong as Primus intended.

And that transformation, wow. Honestly, I feel Spinister’s conversion is to chopper-formers what Triggerhappy’s was to jets. There’s a lot more to it thank you think but it’s weirdly simple and effective at the same time. The funny thing about it was that when he was first revealed and everyone saw the double cockpit legs (a throwback to his original G1 toy) everyone, myself included, was like “Oh how the hell does that work? Where does the other cockpit go?”,

It goes underneath. Yeah, we should have figured that out.

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OK so since I was a kid, I have fucking LOVED the Apache attack helicopter. It’s an ugly piece of shit but that doesn’t matter. It is designed to do a job and that job is to blow things up. It’s why I also love the A-10 Warthog. I mean sure I like your hi-tech fighters like your Raptors and Typhoons, but there’s just something about military vehicles that look like blunt instruments that do it for me. So, for Spinister to give us my favourite brick of a helicopter and give it such wonderfully horrible colours is a weirdly specific dream. And it’s not actually that bad of a representation of an Apache either, with the arms becoming the turbines and the decently accurate back end, and the cockpit of course.  It’s just wonderful and brilliant and other positive adjectives.

I’m having a hard time thinking of negatives for this guy, aside from some minor issues getting the hidden cockpit tabbed in chopper mode, and how I’m fairly certain his left bot mode foot sits slightly higher than his right, but that could just me how I have him stood…multiple times. I suppose you could count how his hands are just kinda there in copter mode as well, but aside from that, there’s really nothing.

I suppose the worst part is that we still haven’t got a new official Crankcase yet and I doubt we’re gonna get a Fulcrum, so I fear my Scavengers crew will never be properly complete. But then again, I never thought we’d get Spinister to begin with so fingers crossed. I’m happy with Spinister and I’m sure his fellow losers will too.

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War for Cybertron Siege Leader Astrotrain.

So, Astrotrain then? He’s a weird guy. He’s one of those legacy characters who are popular despite not really doing much in the original pieces of media from the ’80s.  Yeah, he had an episode of the cartoon where he managed to convince a bunch of aliens he was a god, but I think I put that more down to their isolation and gullibility rather than his intelligence. I mean he also tried to take over the Decepticons with a bunch of trains. Not transforming trains. Just regular trains. So yeah, intelligence isn’t his strong suit.

After that his most notable accomplishment was Galvatron getting his name wrong in the IDW comics. But we love him regardless. Because he’s a Decepticon triple changer with the coolest alt-modes out of the lot of ‘em. A space shuttle AND a steam train? Yes please!

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For the longest time though he always seemed to get kinda shafted in toy form after his original toy. The concept was always compromised by size or design. The Classics mould had a decent shuttle mode but was happened by kibble in other modes. The Titans Return toy has a great robot mode…but the alt-modes suffered from weird design choices such as quashing the shuttle mode and stretching what you could convince people a train was. But it was decent enough in bot mode that people were mostly happy to say “Yeah that’ll do as my main Astrotrain even if the colours aren’t right unless I wanna fork out for the Japanese release.” Mainly cos he was a decent size.

But then along comes Siege with the best goddamn Astrotrain in years! In the right colours! And in the leader size class! And there is nothing wrong with him!

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So yeah, let’s get it out the way. Siege Astrotrain is another one of these “leaders” like Shockwave and Ultra Magnus where’s the main toy is a voyager and he gets extra bits. Ultra Magnus had his normal armour, Shockwave got a surfboard that became some actually cool armour in robot mode and turned his “totally not and laser-gun” alt-mode into a damn good-looking battleship.

Astrotrain gets a box that turns into boots and a backpack. Oh, and LOT of guns, that can also combine into one mean BFG.

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Yeah, this is where all that extra plastic went. You could have gotten a bigger one if say they only gave him one gun instead, but honestly, I don’t mind him at his normal size. He frankly looks so good, and as hinted at in the second image, due to how he’s constructed there’s almost no hollowness to him, making him solid as hell. He also has far more articulation than any other Astrotrain toy, including a waist swivel and ankle-tilts.  Plus, the box has other uses, but more on that later.

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I like the shuttle mode. It looks like his G1 toy/cartoon self, boxy fuselage and all, but beefier and mode robust.  Yeah, the back end is a little skeletal but you always gotta sacrifice something in a triple changer. And honestly, the transformation is pretty fun, with some nice intricacies like how the arms become the rear and connect to the boosters and keep the tail fin in place. It’s fun and looks like it’s cartoons elf, which I’m not usually needing but I’ll take it here. Like the bot mode, it features a whole load of ports so you can stick the guns all over him and make the world’s deadliest shuttle. Or you can store them in the box, which can also become a makeshift launchpad, but it looks a bit doofy so I didn’t bother taking any pics.

But honestly? The best mode is the train mode.

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I love the train mode. I love the detailing; I also love how this makes no goddamn sense as his Cybetronian mode. But it’s big, purple, and girthy. Yes, I know how that sounds and I don’t care. It just works so goddamn well. Plus, you know that box of his? It can be used as a goddamn tender!

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I have no idea why this excites me so much, but it just does. It looks fantastic. Plus, since this mode doesn’t feature as many weapon ports as the shuttle mode adding the tender means you have enough to make the DEATH TRAIN.

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So yeah, he’s short because he has a box, but I love this guy. He’s easily made it into my top ten figures of 2019 right at the buzzer. It’d be nice if he wasn’t so short but what we get in lieu of his size makes up for it. Buy him.

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Mastermind Creations Kultur, aka Big Tarn.

So, a while ago I did a review of Iron Factory’s Dubhe, their take on IDW’s Tarn. In it I mentioned that despite its flaws I was happy with it and satisfied I had an alternative to Mastermind Creations Kultur that didn’t cost the earth.

Then someone decided to sell their Kultur for £65, so here we are!

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So MMC Tarn then? Not gonna lie, he’s made my top five 3rd party figures already, though his final placing is still in flux at the moment. See, MMC tend to go their own way in terms of aesthetics for a lot of their figures. In theory, a lot of them tend to lean towards IDW Alex Milne era of comics, but I’ve not found that to be 100% the case. They tend to add a lot of detail that doesn’t always work. My Sixshot is nice, but their Cyclonus doesn’t carry it as well. However, with Tarn, they seem to have really toned it down. To the point where this guy doesn’t seem that out of place next to CHUG figures.

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It’s not that he’s lacking detail, it just seems to be used more effectively. I especially like the chest piece. With that said, he doesn’t quite match the design of the comics. It seems flatter, and less of a “living machine” aesthetic than Alex Milne managed to get across with his art. In that regard, Iron Factory does get that across a little better with its less blocky proportions and more dynamic colour palette. Though in fairness neither’s colour scheme is exactly spot one to the comics. MMC’s is more muted, but IF’S is a little too bright to be as accurate. One way to compare them is to compare the masks. While MMC’s is good, IF’s has the more angular and comic accurate sculpt. He’s perhaps not as dynamic as IF, but in fairness you had to swap Dubhe’s hands out to get him at his most expressive, so I can deal.

However, after saying all that I like both versions for different reasons, and they weirdly look good together.

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Honestly, though I think I prefer Big Tarn overall. Yes, a lot of this is due to his size. But he just works so well at this scale. He’s bigger than a Hasbro Voyager, so he can suitably loom over a lot of bots, but he doesn’t look half bad next to pretty much any design aesthetic, even the bigger Masterpiece bots. A favourite of mine to pose him with is Maketoys Rioter Despotron. Even though Tarn’s sculpting is more muted I think it works well with Despotron’s anime-inspired design.

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As above, Tarn’s “real” head is Roller. The guy everyone thought he was going to be because James Roberts likes to troll his fans. Is this MMC betting on the result early (as the toy was released before the reveal of his actual identity) or just using it because Tarn shares a lot of parts and engineering with their Roller. And their Thunderclash. And…you get the point.  That is still a minor bugbear since my review of their Cyclonus, making a mould that gets used a lot rather than being suitable for the character. But hey, this works well for Tarn. Plus, Hasbro has made an entire franchise that so it’s fair game.

Aside from the mask Tarn comes with his double fusion cannons, which can peg on the tank mode turret piece to rest on his farm or come apart to be handheld. They even swivel on their axis so you can position them to be more comic accurate.

He also has missiles in his feet.

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Articulation wise it’s what you would expect of a £90 3rd party toy, including a good ab crunch and toe bends. This means you can get some really good poses, though his shoulder does get in the way of his cannons and vice versa so it can be a bit of a faff to pose those right. Also, because of how solidly built he is, which surprised me due to how MMC’s Cyclonus is well known for breaking, he holds all of them well without much support. That’s another plus for him against Dubhe, who had a LOT of QC issues on his first release, still has others that hope up. I ended up having to get new arms from Iron Factory directed because the socket straight-up snapped making them loose as hell. I don’t see that happening with Kultur at all.

Another plus is the transformation, which is a lot simpler than I’ve come to expect from this level of 3rd party. Hell, it’s actually easier than Dubhe! And the results are good.

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So, this is not really that accurate to Tarn’s tank mode in the comic, again due to the fact that this mode is three other guys as well. If you want a more accurate tank mode, we gotta go to Iron factory again. But that said, Kultur doesn’t have his hands sticking out the back.

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As you can see, he also has some extra features. Those toe missiles make a lot more sense with how his feet end up in vehicle mode (and aren’t glued in so be careful when the hatches are open), and he also has some sculpted grenade/rocket launchers just under where you peg the fusion cannon/turret. If you want him to be a bit more comic accurate, you can angle the chest piece downwards but it makes the thing seem less cohesive. I mean, he’s a tank he should be a big solid block of steel and this gets that across.

So yeah, MMC Kultur is brilliant and definitely worth getting. I was very lucky to get him for the price I did, as unless MMC do another reissue, you’re not gonna get him for less than £100 on the secondary market, most likely more. Does he replace Iron Factory? To a degree, but I still like the Lil’ guy too. And frankly, it’s a lot easier to get the entire DJD from them instead of MMC. Plus they combine. However, if like me, you just wanted Tarn either is a good choice, but I’d have to go with the big guy overall.

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Magic Square Space Skimming Review

So, after reviewing a 3rd Party Cyclonus, what should I review next? I ask twitter.

They said a different 3rd party Cyclonus so here we are.

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So as previously mentioned in my Iron Factory Dubhe/Tarn review, the Legends size class has become another battleground for companies to fight in, as people start running out of room for multiple versions of a Masterpiece Megatron. The main two I am aware of are, of course, Iron Factory, who dabble almost exclusively in the size class, and DX9 who are mainly known for their Masterpiece scale stuff. Magic Square is a relative newcomer on the scene, starting in the Legends before recently going in for the Masterpiece scale with their cartoon accurate Optimus Prime mould and making an impression. I wasn’t really aware of them previously, but then I saw their Cyclonus, or rather their “Space Skimming,” I jumped at it. And for his size, he (mostly) doesn’t disappoint. Especially in robot mode.

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Honestly, this guy has no business look as good as he does in bot mode. He seems to get the cartoon proportions right. His main purple plastic is a little bluer than I’d like, but it does seem fairly close to the movie and animation model they were going for. I like the face with its little painted goatee. In fact, most of the paint is done really well, and I can’t find a single smudge or buggered up bit anywhere.  In addition, he has some gorgeous red light piping for his eyes. Honestly, there’s not a lot to say apart from “he looks good.”

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He also trumps pretty much any non-Masterpiece Cyclonus (official or not) in terms of articulation as well. While his head is on a simple swivel, all the essential stuff is here. Arm swivel, (slightly loose) waist swivel, shoulders, elbows, thigh rotation etc. But he also manages to throw in slight ankle title and an ab crunch. What this means is that he can out-dab his contemporaries quite easily.

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He is rather lacking in accessories, only coming with a single gun, but you can tell the budget was well spent elsewhere for this guy.

Not really on the vehicle mode though…

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Well in fairness at this size there’s only so much you can do with a non-standard jet mode, but he does seem to have sacrificed a lot for the bot mode. DX9’s smaller legends class Cyclonus is technically a worse toy because it has less articulation, a less involved transformation and doesn’t look as close to the G1 character as this guy does, but the jet mode feels far better because it’s a lot more cohesive. I mean, look at these two and tell me which one is the more convincing jet?

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The weirdest thing for me though Is that the cockpit seems rather large and out of proportion with the rest of him. Aside from that, it’s a half-decent effort. Just unfortunate that there’s nowhere to store his gun. The transformation itself is fairly good, though his shoulders can be a bit of a fiddle sometimes if you’re not careful. But then again considering the range of motion they allow him in bot mode, I think it’s more than worth the extra one second of attention you might need to pay to them.

Overall if you want a good Legends sized Decepticon, Space Skimming is a good choice that won’t break the bank. I got him for £22 on eBay and I think he was very much worth it.

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Mastermind Creations Boreas Review

The last few reviews I’ve done have been focusing on characters I’ve liked since I first discovered the Transformers franchise, aka Megatron, Shockwave, Soundwave, and Starscream. Cyclonus is a somewhat more recent favourite. I’ve always like his design, but something about the James Roberts More Than Meets the Eye version of the character made me start going out of my way for Cyclonus toys. Even going so far as to order a 3rd party version of the character. As one of the breakout characters from the series, it’s great to have a representation of this version of Cyclonus.

Pity the toy ain’t that great of a representation.

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Boreas comes from Mastermind Creations and is there quasi-sorta Masterpiece interpretation of the character. And well, he’s kind of a weird one. See Mastermind Creations, instead of strictly adhering to a specific G1 aesthetic tries to put their own spin on characters. It sometimes works and doesn’t. Case in point, their Terminus Hexatron, aka Masterpiece-esque Sixshot, is a great figure. The over the top details works really well for that guy and he is one of my favourite figures.

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ANY WAY, here on Boreas…well it doesn’t really work with his normal head. See I modded figure because the default head has a very G1 head which also has two horns. And quite frankly it looks kinda plain and just doesn’t go with this arguably over-designed body. On the other hand, the alternative IDW V1 head looks better, but only comes with one horn, which makes it look just off. I know this was the look Cyclonus sported for a good while in the comics, but neither “normal” head looked right to me. Please see these images by Starcream’s Toast over at Gear4Geeks for his review on behalf of Kapow Toys for what I mean, cos I couldn’t be bothered digging out the normal head from the box.

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Essentially I had to disassemble the heads, cut some plastic away to allow me to replace the faces, and it works so much better like this for me. The samurai/daemon head works far better and should have been the default version if you ask me. Hell, his hands are even sculpted as claws like in the comics! Considering the amount of detailing and the bloody comics sword he comes with, I honestly feel this was designed to be an IDW Cyclonus and then they bunged the G1 head on for…reasons? He just looks so much better when modded.

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Now that we have his face sorted out, let’s talk about the rest of the figure. From the front, he looks good. He’s tall, lanky and slightly alien. I know the sci-fi greebles and detail won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it works for him. I just wish he was a deeper shade of purple. While the light blue/purple he has going on here is fine, I just prefer a slightly darker breed of resurrected Seeker/Insecticon corpse.

However, problems start at his shoulders, which are just badly designed. They move down the body during transformation, but they don’t actually lock in for robot mode, meaning they feel loose and can make posing a pain. They do have some nubs and recesses to help this, but they don’t work very well. The shoulders also have a tendency to be blocked by his head and backpack, depending on the angle. Speaking of which, I’m also not a fan of his back, mainly because there’s no way to have his wings folded outwards and not make it look kinda daft. The closest I can get is to have them like I do here, set out flat and pointing up. Meanwhile, the “official” way is to have them pointing down. You can also store the sword on his back thanks to magnets, which is nice.

To be blunt, the backpack reminds me of every single version of Silverbolt, aka a robot that wears a jet on his back. But without the excuse of being a combiner torso.

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Articulation wise he is very good, featuring everything from rotating wrist, double bends at his knees and elbows, (slight) ankle tilts, bicep swivels etc. Throw his included Sword int the mix and you can get some good sword fighting/fencing poses. Perfect for dated jokes.

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There is ONE big pitfall of one point of articulation, but we’ll get to that after we have a look at the jet mode which is beautiful but fraught with danger.

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The jet mode looks sleek and dangerous and is one of my favourite things about the toy. He takes the tall lanky nature of Boreas and kinda squashes it out to give him an impressive wingspan. The colours work and then you get stuff like his knees becoming jet boosters and it’s lovely.

However, despite it being one of my favourite things about the toy, I always have a knot in my stomach when transforming him, because THIS is where the fairly well-known problem with this toy and its other versions (Death’s Head and Lockdown) comes up.

His waist snaps like a Kit Kat.

This is actually my second toy. As the waist on mine broke within a day of owning it. The guys at Kapow swapped it with no hassle but this is where I found out this is a known issue with the toy. Basically, when you transform him the legs end up on top and tab into the fuselage. HOWEVER, if you don’t do it 100% correct you cause an issue where the legs pull on the tiny fucking waist joint and after maybe 5 transformations it’s just gonna snap the waist and then you have two halves of a Cyclonus and a dent in your bank account.

So, you have a few choices. Practice getting it 100% right, only for the thing to break anyway, never transform him, or miss-transform him slightly so that the legs don’t fold fully and don’t sit 100% flush with the fuselage and cause the boosters on his knee to point down slightly. The latter is the least bad option as seen in the pics.

This guy actually turned me off Mastermind Creations other stuff, as I don’t want to pay a large amount of cash for something to just break. He’s also kind of indicative of criticism of MMC I’ve seen pop up every now and then. They seem to focus on making a mould then making it into as many characters as possible, rather than making a good mould itself. That kind of philosophy can lead to things like missing these big problems with the waist. I mean, repaints are fine and all, but you gotta make sure the thing works.

Still, despite all the issues and having to do some work to get him looking “right,” I do find myself liking Boreas. But I must stress you gotta be careful with this bugger. That said he’s still easier to get a hold of than the Maketoys Tailgate that came with a kit that made your deluxe Generations Cyclonus an IDW one. And you can get him for roughly the same price. I got mine from Kapow Toys for less than £60 in a sale, but I wouldn’t say he’s worth more than that.  For those that have the extra cash you’ve also got FansToys Quietus with its accessories to make him the comics version if you so choose, but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far this guy could probably fill that space in your collection.

Basically, Boreas is for people who like Porsches but buy the Boxster cos they can’t afford or don’t want to put the money down for the 911.

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War For Cybertron Siege Starscream Review

Everyone loves a bastard. There’s just something so fun about watching an absolute manipulative git either winning or getting his comeuppance. It’s part of why Starscream is one of the many Decepticons who has permeated the cultural zeitgeist…

OK, I’m sorry for using that term. Let me rephrase it.

Do you think of a conniving little prick who’d sell his own mother for a new job title? If so there’s a good chance you’ll have an image of Starscream in your head.

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Way back in 2002 Transformers Armada got me back into the franchise, and Starscream was one of the standout characters and became one of my favourite Cons. Looking back at his depiction in said show, it’s a very atypical portrayal, what with the whole honour and dying in battle thing. Has a bit more in common with Beast Wars Dinobot than you’d think. After that, it seems most versions of him went back to his G1 roots. And I gotta say I prefer him that way.

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And for the longest time, we’ve never had a good voyager G1 Starscream toy. The old Generations/Classics deluxe is still a decent toy, if starting to show its age, and the recent Studio Series voyager is good, but the only G1 styled voyager we ever got was the Power of the Primes version, which …well I sold it on within a month of buying it so I really can’t be arsed going on about how bad thought it was. It appealed to some and the torso mode for the combiner mode was cool, but everything else was just garbage.

In lieu of being able to have the much better Siege Starscream beating up his POTP variant since I don’t own it anymore, here’s Grimlock singing part of “I Am” from the Shadow the Hedgehog game.

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In a lot of ways, Siegescream looks like he could have jumped off an animation cel. His colours are bright and vibrant, he has the classic seeker chest and the null rays which for the first time since Masterpiece MP11, if I am remembering correctly, can stay attached during transformation (more on that later) He does have a good amount of battle damage with silver and grey paint and I think it works better than on most of the other cons, along with the sci-fi greebles and has a total of eight weapons words. Two on each arm, though most likely one will be permanently fitted with his null rays one, one each leg and one on each wing. I don’t think filling up with guns works as well as say, Megatron, but he does look quite good with the Micromaster Sky Patrol’s combined sword form.

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His articulation is really good, having loads of swivels and tilts to pull off very nice poses. Hell, even his wings have articulation allowing you to angle them. The only place he is let down in comparison to other Siege guys is his waist, as the backpack only allows it to move about 20-25 degrees left or right at a maximum. Still better than we got on pretty much every other G1 Starscream, which have precisely zero (including the bleeding Masterpiece). And he looks fantastic in the air because of it.

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Transforming him to jet mode is fun…to a point. It is fun and fluid…but when you have to move his chest it IS going to pop off, as documented in every other review out there. It’s a widely known issue and has lead to some speculation about it being fixed in a running change, but that turned out to be nought but a rumour. It’s a shame as it’s the only bad bit of a decent transformation. I personally love how his shoulder pauldrons actually end up forming the nosecone of his lovely tetrajet mode.

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I love this mode, despite its…well “flaws” is a strong a word. Perhaps “issues?” Like almost every other jet Transformer ever you essentially fold up the robot underneath the wings. Some people think this guy is a very egregious example, but I don’t really see it. It’s got a much worse problem on the back.

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Yes, that is his chest on his back. I have no idea how else they could have accomplished this look otherwise, but it does look rather silly.

However, this is a very sleek re-imagining of the Cybertronian jet mode. While I do like the other versions that have come before, the Transformers Cybertron and War for Cybertron versions specifically, this looks so much sleeker than those it’s ridiculous.

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Overall Starscream is definitely a great toy and has convinced me to go in for Thundercracker, Skywarp and possibly even Red Wing. He’s got some flaws, but overall he’s another must buy from the Siege line. Lovely robot mode, decent transformation, and an alt-mode that is far better than other versions of the tetrajet

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War for Cybertron Siege Soundwave Review

If you had to push me to select my favourite Transformer of all time, it’d be between four. Megatron, Starscream, Shockwave, and Soundwave. If you really pushed me, I’d be choosing between latter two. Shockwave and Soundwave are those characters that are instantly recognisable in all their appearances. Soundwave, in particular, seems to have one the most enduring characterisations, as outside of some comic issues and the Cybertron anime, he’s one of the most competent and loyal Decepticon soldiers. And you get so few of those it’s no wonder Megatron keeps the guy around and is generally one of the few of his soldiers he won’t smack across the room when they forget his breakfast muffin.

Thus there has been a multitude of Soundwave toys over the years, and they’ve all been quite fun. Adding to this the additional play value of his chest minions, and you get one of the longest-lasting cultural icons in the Transformers franchise.

Which made the wait to get him from Hasbro UK INFURIATING. Especially considering I had his children here for a month waiting for him. But he’s here now, along with Siege Starscream who we’ll get to, but for now, let’s see if he was worth the wait.

The answer is yes.

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Soundwave’s robot mode is probably the best representation of his G1 form at a smaller size class ever. He’s easily recognisable in silly and with his signature square chest and tape deck with gold trim front and centre. There’s not much to dislike here, even if you’re not a fan of the battle damage as it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is Soundwave. The head sculpt is particularly nice, and while I personally like my Soundwaves with red eyes, the light piping here is brilliant. He really does look like an evolution of the original G1 toy, in terms of design if not materials.

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He’s got brilliant articulation as well, but then that does seem to be a staple of the line. As I think should be required of any Soundwave with a chest minions’ gimmick, his arms have enough articulation press his own eject button. And just like the War for Cybertron voyager before him, he has a finger sculpted specifically for this.

Yes, I know this is the War for Cybertron voyager, I meant the voyager from War for Cybertron.

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Accessories wise Soundwave comes with his G1 rifle and his shoulder cannon and as always they look great. But he also comes with a second-hand gun for cool dual-wielding shots. However, it also has another feature. It folds open and you can stick his other weapons on the ends!

It is exactly as stupid as it sounds.

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Speaking of accessories, let’s have a look at the new Micromaster Laserbeak and Ravage, for what is a Soundwave without his minions?

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They’re tiny and fun. Out of the two, Laserbeak is probably the most successful, but then again this is a guy who’s basically transformation hasn’t changed much in 30 years. Legs down, tail up, wings out, head up. The main difference this time around is his more robotic look from the first episode of the G1 cartoon rather than the stylised condor he usually comes as.  As such he’s got precisely four (useful) points of articulation, but as a bird, it works.

Brilliantly, Soundwave has some groves on his arm that allow Laserbeak’s feet to slot right in with a decent grip, allowing him to pose on the arm and this is my default pose for him on my shelf.

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Ravage is…OK. I mean it’s better than a lot of Ravage toys but considering the last couple were the terrible Titan’s Return one and the spring-loaded circular disk thing from the War for Cybertron game Soundwave design that isn’t hard. Due to the budget, he does end up a bit chunkier than your average Ravage, but it works well enough. I get the feeling he’ll end up being the chest filler for Soundwave for a lot of people, myself included

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I’m not going to bother to show their alt-modes because they turn in top rectangles. You can peg them on to Soundwave or other robots use as armour if you are a monster who thinks animals make acceptable meat shields.

Now on to the alt-mode…or the first one. As is well known by now Soundwave has a secret mode, an approximation of his lamp post mode from the first episode of the G1 cartoon. It is daft and I only include it here for this joke:

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Anywho, on to the actual alt-mode.

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Honestly? It’s fine. But it is pretty much a brick with some jet engines on it. I mean, it’s supposed to be a dropship to justify his deploying minion’s thing but I dunno. It’s not bad and certainly fun to swoosh, but it’s just kinda there. I mean the original Soundwave turns into to a rectangle, so I guess it works in that regard. There’s just not much to say about it.

Happily, there are a few fan modes out there that let you turn him into an approximation of a boombox. This is my favourite version.

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So, was he worth it? Honestly, yes. But I am very much a Soundwave fanboy. His robot mode is damn near perfect, he works well with his minions, and despite the alt-mode being rectangle with engines, it’s fun to transform. Worth the wait thanks to horrible distribution? Yes.

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Maketoys Rioter Despotron Review

So, since the second wave of Siege is taking a million years to arrive in Britain because Hasbro UK doesn’t understand the basic concept of Supply and Demand, I’m still waiting on my most anticipated figures of the line. So, as I pine about the future, let’s look at the past.

Yes, that was a shit segue and I honestly don’t care.

Six months ago, I purchased this figure. After topping my 2018 purchases list, he is pretty much my favourite Transformer ever. That being Maketoys Rioter Despotron, their re-imagined Megatron. And by re-imagined I mean “someone vomited anime on him.” In a good way.

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While I appreciate this styling, he may not be to everyone’s taste, I do hold a soft spot in my heart for anime mecha designs. Ever since I saw Gundam Wing on Toonami when I was like, 12I’ve watched a few others and really like the designs. Shame most mecha anime is dogshit in terms of writing. Looking at you Aldnoah Zero. But the long legs, wide chest and beefy shoulders make Megatron look tough and deadly. The sculpted details, including robot-abs, add nicely to this. Honestly, this is how I wanted the live-action guys to look like when the movies first came out. G1 with added mechanical details. Honestly, this guy wouldn’t look out of place in an anime or the Bumblebee movie.

I especially like the head sculpt. Again, this isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I love the sculpted vents and additions to the bucket head. And the purple eyes work really well. Nice, they went with something different. In fact, the colours on this are beautiful. The silver plastic gives him a nice body for the more vibrant colours to pop without being too dull itself. Gold, red, black and purple all look lovely from any angle or pose.

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(If you get this joke, I applaud your understanding of how my brain works.)

Speaking of posing, as you can see this guy has articulation in spades. He’s probably the most articulated transformer I own, including Masterpieces. Ab crunch, waist, wrist, ankle, elbow, knee swivels. Ankle tilt, double knee joints, elbows capable of doing a good 150 degrees if not slightly more and hand articulation. He’s a posing beast. Plus, the joints hold up well enough that he can stand on one on leg and support his own weight easily. The only thing that really hinders his posing is the armour on the front of his thighs, which stop him getting his leg up high enough to do the full “Karate Kid” pose, but you can do a half-arsed version with a bit of creative swivelling.

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He does tend to lean ever so slightly towards his right due to the weight of the cannon arm It’s not noticeable in most poses with both feet planted firmly, but it’s something to consider if you are doing a one-legged pose. I mean…I can’t see why you would? But then again I did just for a throwaway movie reference so what do I know?

Size-wise he’s bigger than a Voyager, but not big enough to be a leader or masterpiece. I find him the perfect size to actually play with. As previously mentioned I have some Masterpiece figures, official and third party, but they’re really meant for display and not for playing with, which is why I’ve gone off them recently. But this guy? Honestly, he’s a masterpiece in all but size and you can play with him. OK yes, there’s no metal but there doesn’t need to be. I find myself constantly playing with him six months after purchase and I honestly don’t see that stopping any time soon.

I suppose one place where Masterpieces do outshine him is accessories, as he only really has two. The first is a purple matrix which sits inside his chest. It’s a nice little thing, but it doesn’t really do much.

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The other is a nicely done sword that has the best weapon storage idea ever. It stores INSIDE his cannon!

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In addition to these two “proper” accessories. You can also do some things with the two grey gun barrels on his back. They can mount on the sliding rails on his arm like his fusion cannon, or you can stick them on either end of the cannon itself. I have no idea why you’d want to do this, as it is rather silly.

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Now to top this gushing off, we also have a really fun transformation, lots of nice twists, a smidge of acceptable parts forming and voila! And you get one of the silliest but still awesome Megatron gun modes. Here he is held by a tiny Legends version of himself because humour.

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Not a lot to say about this except I think it looks good, even if it very obvious that it’s a folded up robot. I meant even Siege Shockwave looks less blatant. It’s very sci-fi so again, not to everyone’s taste even if you are away double barrel handguns exist. The only really odd bit is the matrix handing out at the back there, but forgivable.

Honestly, I love this guy.  You should buy him. If you’re interested and live in the UK, Kapow Toys have him in stock for £65 at the time of writing, which I honestly think is a more than fair price for this guy. Go get him.

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