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: Deluxe Impactor Review

So originally, I was going to do my next review on Siege Brunt who is definitely my fave of the weaponizers. Then Impactor turned up in the UK and quite frankly my thoughts haven’t been on another toy since then. Part of it is that we finally have a general retail version of one of the most famous characters from the UK Transformers Marvel comic. The other is that he is rather good.

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I was born the year after Transformers started so I was too young to get introduced to him properly in the comics, but being the leader of the legendary Wreckers before Springer meant he left an impact on young UK minds. To the point where Nick Roche and James Roberts brought him back to the public consciousness in the brilliant Last Stand of the Wreckers story. Here Impactor is portrayed as a violent “shoot first don’t bother asking questions” leader of the same group, to the point where he straight up committed war crimes. Since then he’s had a few toy appearances in con exclusive sets and one of the more sought after 3rd Party figures in MasterMind Creations Spartan, but now it feels like Hasbro is like “No give us your money” on a lot of characters 3rd parties have been providing fans for years. Hell, Impactor gets 2 releases, one as a Decepticon in a 3 pack with a clear blue Mirage, and Aragon (a repaint of Cog and not a Lord of the Rings character). That version has a more IDW head, but also costs 3 times as much and includes 2 characters I don’t want, so I went with the standard retail version, and I am not disappointed.

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Impactor looks fantastic in robot mode. The yellow and purple work really well, being complementary colours, and that head sculpt is fantastic. Yeah, I may have preferred the IDW one but this works a little better with the more block proportions of the toy. He’s broad, square, and feels like a wall came to life and wanted to start kicking people’s heads in. Well, several guns. Coming with his main cannon, which becomes his tank turret, and his pistol which doubles as his traditional harpoon.  You can flip either of his hands in and peg it on the stump as I do here, but it’s great to have the option. Combine those with his shoulder cannon and this guy looks ready to break things. Or wreck them, if you will.  His articulation is, as with most Siege toys, fantastic, featuring pretty damn near everything except wrist rotation. His “waist” articulation is technically absent, as he actually rotates at the chest, allowing the same movement, but slightly odd-looking when sued. However, there is a reason for that which I will get in to later.

One thing that put some people off the toy when he was initially revealed was the hollow legs. It’s something that we’ve seen more and more in Hasbro Transformers lately, thought Siege seemed to be doing well there. However, when I put Impactor next to other deluxe, the reasons become clear. Thanks to those gaps, Hasbro used the plastic it leaves over to make him bigger than most over deluxe toys. He’s roughly a head taller than his compatriots and gives some recent voyager sized toys a run for their money. Hell, he even doesn’t look that bad next to Thrilling 30 “Lanky Boy” Springer, appropriately.

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Transforming Impactor is fun and intuitive, and reveals one of the best tank modes for a while from a deluxe. Actually, make that for any size tank guy, as due to that odd chest articulation, he features a fully rotating turret and a gun that can aim up and down.  This is something I don’t think we’ve seen since any size class tank transformer since deluxe Warpath in 2011. Oh wait, no Brunt can do that too! OK yes for Impactor it is mainly because of his gun connects in tank mode, and Brunt is essentially a bunch of weapons and armour stuck together to vaguely resemble something that might be a tank if you squint, but still, good job Siege!

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Overall, I’d definitely recommend Impactor. He’s got a great presence, great articulation and a fun transformation, definitely one of Siege top 5 toys in my opinion.

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