Monday, April 27, 2009


To say it wasn't a good day for Wonder Woman would be an extreme understatement.

After all, she was found dead yesterday.

Her body? Torn in two.

So the obvious question is: who did it?

Was it the jealous teammate in a cat fight gone wrong?

After all, it was Hawkgirl who found her at the crime scene in this state.

Or was it the crazed big-brained ape, arch-enemny of the Justice League and convicted criminal?

Yes, the evidence against the Ultra-Humanite seems overwhelming. Some would even say highly incriminating.

But sometimes the truth is simpler, and sadder than fiction.

Yep, I confess. It was I who tore Wonder Woman in half. But I swear it was an accident. Who knew that the mushroom cap in her waist joint was already partially torn?

Who knew she couldn't rotate at the waist? Ah well, 4 out of 5 working joints ain't bad. Or is it?

I guess the moral of the story here is this: When buying loose figures, always check that everything is working right. Even something as simple as a usually sturdy hip joint can sometimes be, well, unreliable.

Oh well. I just superglued her back. It's not like these Justice League figures are gonna be posing themselves to the top of America's Next Top Model.

The sad thing is, Wonder Woman was meant as a gift.

The great thing is, the gift is still greatly appreciated. ;)

Show Accuracy: 9/10 - WW's face and hair look exactly like the animated version of her.

Aesthetic: 7/10 - She's great to look at, but her paint apps could've been way better. There's even a spot on her chest that looks like i had be touched before the paint was dry. But somehow the face is paintd beautifully, especially the eyes. Go figure.

Poseability: 1/10 - Yeah, and this is before she got torn in two. Lol.

Overall: 6/10 - Buy it. Only if you're a die-hard Justiice League Animated/Unlimited fan.

Or you just have to complete your animated Magnificent Seven.

Or both, like me.

Go for the 7" DC Universe figures instead. :-s

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Prime Replacement

Well, not quite. At least not this version.

The original Ultra Magnus was the ultimate soldier as well, but he was not supreme commander material. Oh no, not him. We all know who became the "new" Prime.

Well, during the Transformers Animated Movie when Optimus Prime died, Magnus was the ready made replacement for our fave Autobot leader. Heck, Prime even gave him the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.

But it was not to be. Not even with a cool design and colour scheme, and a seriously "Ultra" name to match.

The original Magnus did go on to "guide" Rodimus Prime as a mentor-like figure. And I suppose he got his revenge on Rodimus for opening his Matrix by lecturing him many a time in the post-movie episodes.

This Magnus, though, is perhaps the most fearsome warrior in the Animated continuity (even fiercer then Megatron, I think).

I mean, check out all his guns (And I don't mean biceps):

Dual shoulder launchers with retractable lasers on top of them, coupled with twin triple shoulder machine guns (Which hide nicely in the front of his shoulders. When he wants to play nice).

And that hammer of his? Controls local weather. Yep. So he's like Thor on Earth. Except he could also make it hot and sunny if he felt like a barbecue or something.

But if he were on a planet that, oh say, rained cats and dogs literally, there'd be a whole bunch of stray animals left around after a big Decepticon servo-kinking. (The SPCA wouldn't be too thrilled either. For non-Singaporeans, SPCA = Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

Oh yeah. And that hammer of his also pops out to expand into a great(er) hammer when you push the head up. Nice.

One thing I like about these leader figures: They have really cool sound features. From the voice in robot mode to the laser sfx in vehicle mode. And they light up brilliantly too. But I mainly like the sfx done by the original voice actors. It really serves as a reminder of Magnus' character as well as brings you back to certain pivotal points in the series.

"Don't be a hero, Optimus, It's not in your programming."

Ouch, burn.

Gotta love how he owns Optimus, in fact all of the Autobots, in Transformers Animated. (In fact most of the Decepticons as well. Except Shockwave, perhaps.)

But I suspect his character in the series has (if you'll pardon the pun) more to him than meets the eye.

He's relatively cold and aloof, and is suppose to kick ass and take names for breakfast. Yet he's somehow ambushed and almost destroyed by Shockwave. I suspect he might end up a turncoat as well. Not like Shockwave though, but rather more in a "too righteous" sense, and it'll be up to Optimus and Sentinel to take him down together. Oh well, we'll just have to wait and see.

So here's how I rate the toy:

Show Accuracy: 10/10 - Wonderful! Right from his face sculpt to his moving brow ridge when he talks, the great Elite Guard symbol on his chest and his alt mode, his sheer bulk and his hammer(!) - holding this guy in your hand will always make you forget the shortcomings of the G1 character and think of his badass Animated self.

Poseability: 8/10 - Here's where the figure suffers--and I think all of the Leader Class figures have the same problem as well, at least the Animated ones do.

Magnus is pretty flexible, except that he's got no waist rotation. His knees also don't bend all that far, but the leg does rotate below the knee.

But then again, this is Ultra Magnus. And he looks very dignified and stoic in the series, so he doesn't really need to bend like Prowl. ;P

Aesthetic: 9/10 - I have to be honest, I kinda like more red in him, like the G1 colour scheme. But this way he does look more like he's wearing a uniform, which works out fine 'cos he is Supreme Commander of the Elite Guard. ;)

Love his shoulder molds, which form the front of his alt mode. His face too is suitably distinguished and stern looking. Very in-line with his character!

And Magnus always seems to have the best overall face design anyhow.

Overall: 9/10 - Gotta love the Magnus! And I think besides the exclusive City Commander (G1) molds, which are, well, exclusive, this is the best one out there in retail. So what if one of his famous lines (when his fellow Autobots are being blown to shreds) is not the super funny, "I can't deal with that right now..."? This version is Ultra! And has the rank of Magnus! And can eat Sentinel Prime for breakfast!

Also not forgetting to mention, I got this guy as a Valentine's Day present! :) So that makes him Ultra Special as well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

No Bee? No Problem. :)

Especially when you can get Classics Universe Cliff Jumper for S$19.90!

Yup, I snagged him off a seller clearing his collection on, so thanks, dude!

I know he's not as popular as his yellow twin Bumblebee, but I what's one without the other? They make such a lovely tag-team couple.

Now I'll have to step up efforts to get Bumblebee (For a reasonable price, of course. Heh.)

Here's how I rate Cliff Jumper.

Show Accuaracy: 9/10 - When it comes down to Bumblebees and Cliff Jumpers, the head sculpt is the most important for me. And this one has it down pat.

Poseability: 9/10 - One of the main things about poseability is the feet. If they are large then the figure has a nice stable base to be posed on. And this guy has it in droves. The feet also point and flex, the knees bend about 70 degrees, but the bottom half of the legs rotate 360 degrees below the knee.

Oh and a note about his little jetski that transforms into his jetpack: he looks awesome with it on, but it prevents his head from rotating or looking up. It's a pity, cos his head poses real well!

Check out Clif Jumper taking big bad Megatron to the cleaners! :)

Aesthetic: 8.5/10 - Don't really dig his molded plastic the red. It's a little more orange than Henkei Prime's red, so I guess it helps differentiate them. His silver paint apps are ok in robot mode, but make him look like he's had paint majorly scratched off in vehicle mode. I'd rather they gave him some nice clean silver lines. But I still like that they tried to make him diffrent to Bumblebee, though. :)

Oh and he's also got an awesome Autobot rub symbol! Just like the good ol' G1 toys. :)

Overall: 8.8/10 - Great figure. Just wish he came with a weapon of some sort! But meanwhile, he'll just have to resort to beating up Decepti-baddies with his fists! (And feet, of course. ;])

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

7 Faces of Optimus Prime (Part 5)

You just gotta love re-boots. And in this case, the re-booting and re-adaptation of G1 Transformers (and most of the Transformers continuity) into Transformers Animated.

So here he is, the 7th Optimus Prime I own: TFA Voyager Class Prime!

I wasn't initially planning on getting this guy, let alone any other of the Animated line. I had my 2 Deluxe Class Prime figures (from Part 3 below) and I was more than happy. But I had to turn 30 and whaddaya know? My girlfriend, Melissa, surprises me with everyone's favourite Autobot leader.

Ok, so I kinda guessed she'd gotten it for me--she's not very good at hiding her surprise when I guess her gifts correctly. :P But tell me I'm not the luckiest guy on the planet. First the Henkei Prime, now the TFA Voyager! Woohoo!

I have to confess, I didn't think I'd like Voyager Prime as much as Deluxe Cybertron mode. But here's the thing: the Voyager Class TFA figures have nice tight alt modes and pretty show accurate robot modes, on top of being pretty darn poseable.

Granted, this guy maybe a little chunkier (in the chest) than how he appears in the show, but we like our Primes buff!

He's got great paint apps all over, especially the red, and light piping for his eyes. Now he doesn't come with the axe in the pic. That weapon belongs to Battle Begins Deluxe Prime. But it fits his hands perfectly and makes him show accurate.

One of the simple but most fun features he has is his sliding chin guard--Slide up for battle mode, slide down for his face in regular mode. He's the only TFA Prime so far that can do this. :)

The other feature involves his transformation:

Ok I lied, nothing there but fancy pictures :P However, when he transforms back from truck mode, there's a little switch located on his back that lets Prime's legs and waist spin down into place under his upper torso. That's quite a feature--you sorta get to see your Prime transform at least partly by himself. Awesome. :)

Now the axe that comes with him may seem a little big. It also seems a weird colour for an axe, and completely not show accurate. Also if you remove the water cannon from it, there's a big hole in the weapon.

But the beauty of it is that it transforms to Prime's "trailer" and fits nicely on the back in truck mode. And it can also double up as Optimus' backpack/jetpack when he's in robot mode--it fits snugly on his back.

His final feature is sort of an Easter Egg. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered it. It's not on the back of the box or in the instructions.

Prime's cannon that can also be held in his hand can shoot water by depressing the nozzle. Just fill 'er up via the rubber stopper at the bottom of the cannon and then fire away!

And size-wise, this guy fits perfectly with the other TFA Voyagers. Check it out:

So here's how I rate TFA Optimus Prime:

Show Accuaracy: 9/10 - Spot on in robot mode, right down to the moveable chin guard. Less sleek than in the show, but Prime can be as buff as he wants as leader of the Autobots. ;) His axe is way too big, but swapping in with the Battle Begins Prime's axe works.

Poseability: 9/10 - His waist and head rotate 360 degrees as do his knees. His shoulders too, but they have 2 more hinge joints there (primarily for transformation) that give him even more flexibility with the arms. Elbows can bend up to 90 degrees but wrists are fixed. His lower body, though, is a little disappointing. Legs bend less than 90 deg at the knees, but hyper extend. His feet can point and "flex." The upper thigh can move forward and back less than 180 deg but they move out to the side pretty much all the way.

But I was still surprised how poseable he was! :)

Aesthetic: 9.5/10 - Great looking robot mode. Nice clear blue windows with circuitry. Vehicle mode is nice and seamless, and pieces snap together to make the truck mode tight. Paint apps are applied realy well, and his red is a smooth matte. He doesn't have an Autobot sign in any mode though!

Overall: 9.2/10 - It's a must have for any TFA or Optimus Prime fan! :) (You can now get him for $29.90 at any of the major department stores--if you can find him. ;])

Monday, April 13, 2009

7 Faces of Optimus Prime (Part 4)

Face 5!

Face 6!

Ok, ok. So these guys don't transform. But they are Optimus Prime. And they're cute.

As far as articulation goes, Mighty Mugg Prime is like all MMs--head rotates, arms rotate. The Robot Heroes Prime, probably only the head. But they're cute!

Muggs Prime comes with his laser rifle, and as with all Muggs, the paint is very well done. I wasn't planning to get him, though. But my brother had and extra from a set of wave 2, so he sold it to me. Check out what is says on the back of his box at the bottom! :)

And as for the Robot Heroes Prime, I got him in the US, at Target I think, for under S$10 while attending a wedding last year. He comes in a 2-pack with Unicron, and he's opening The Matrix, so how could I resist? And at about 2 inches tall, he's just too cute. :P

I won't rate these guys, cuz they're technically not action figures. But if you're a fan of Prime like me, then it's worth getting. Don't pay more than $30 for the Muggs Prime--there should be more than enough to go around from 2 waves. For the Robot Heroes Prime, it's harder to find nowadays, but don't pay more than $10 for the pack of 2 on Ebay.

Did I mention how cute they were? Ok. Shutting. Up. Now.

Look Who's Joined in the Fight!

It's ol' Stars 'n' Stripes himself!

Look at him distract our favourite Big Green Monster as Wolvie attempts some facial reconstruction surgery.

Tsk, tsk. Hulk will simply smash puny men in tights. They should know better. Especially our favourite Super Soldier.

Or should he? I mean, he's got all sorts of fancy articulation in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, chest, legs, knees, just below the knees (360 degrees there too BTW), ankles, and head!!! By the time he's done with Hulkiepoo, our Green Goliath will be twisted like a veggie pretzel.

And let's not forget that fancy-schmancy accessory of a shield. As you can see from the pic, the paint apps on it are simply briliant. The inside of the shield has a plastic clip on a hinge which fits nicely on the good Captain's wrist. But that's not all--the shield also has two elastic bands that allow you to let Cap hold his shield firmer. You'll just have to twist it around his forearm and hand a couple times. The bands also allow him to hold the shield in his left hand--even with an open palm! He can then hold a gun or a rifle in his right and go ahead and let Hulk make his day. ;)

The best part about the elastic--he can wear the shield on his back for those situations where he needs to execute some high-risk acrobatics! Yay Cap!

The detailing on the figure is also awesome, and like the rest of the series, the eyes have been painted on accurately. Now this is Ultimate Cap, so he's got the awesome belt on him, as well as some nicely painted scales on his upper body. The star on his chest has been molded onto the fig and then painted. Looks really great too. The only problem is that of those figures I've seen, the area of his cowl under his eyes have not been painted well and need touching up. Oh well, better under than overpainted.

Oh and I got this guy from one of the stores at CSC for a mere $15 bucks. Oh yeah!!

He flies off the shelves fast, so if you can get him for under $20, it'd be a good deal. I recently saw a couple at Novena Toys 'R' Us and picked one up for my cousin at $18--So hurry down to get 'em from there cos they've just restocked a small amount.

I realized I didn't give ratings for the toys I've previewed before my last post, so I'll give Cap's here, as well as Hulk's and Wolvie's:

Marvel Universe 3 3/4" action figures

Captain America

Comicbook Accuaracy: 9/10 - You can tell right away from the belt and lack of wings on his cowl that's he's Ultimate Cap. Looks perfectly like the character from the Ultimates 2. And the shield? Perfect size for him. :)

Poseability: 10/10 - Is there nothing he can't do? This line of 3 3/4 figs from Marvel are a dream to play with. I just love the flexibility of his torso at the hips and the chest. Makes posing him to throw the shield look too cool! ;)

Aesthetic: 9/10 - Looks great on his own, looks great fighting the Hulk, will look excellent leading a squad of G.I. Joes! (I can't the the idea out of my head now, Bro! ;P)

Overall: 9.33/10


Comicbook Accuaracy: 9/10 - There's just been so much of him in so many costumes/get ups. I mean there's even a naked figure of him in the movie 3 3/4" line! (Ok so he has metal wires and equipment covering "strategic parts." But he's STILL butt naked! :P) They could put him in a white singlet and jeans and people will still buy him. Oh wait. They've done that.

Poseability: 9/10 - Like I mentioned with Cap, this line of 3 3/4 figs from Marvel is a winner. But I do have to say there's a small difference in articualtion--Cap has 360 degree rotation just below the knee. This Wolverine doesn't.

Aesthetic: 8/10 - I have to say--Wolverine with his mask on just looks silly. But this brown and yellow is my favourite silly costume of his! And it definitely looks better than the butt naked version :P (Oh and he comes with a red samurai sword. What's up with that? Ha.)

Overall: 8.66/10


Comicbook Accuaracy: 9/10 - Green? Check. Purple Pants? Check. Muscle-bound? Check. Angry face? Check.

Poseability: 9/10 - I have to say, this is probably the most poseable Hulk I've ever seen or played with. He doesn't have 360 degree rotation of the lower leg, and his thighs suffer from being too chunky as do most hulks, but the upper body can rotate at the chest and waist like the 2 guys he's fighting. Plus, his arms can do pretty much anything you'd want a hulk to do, including hold another (smaller) 3 3/4" figure in its palm to smash. :)

Aesthetic: 10/10 - Just look at those gren eyes! Looks angry on his own, looks angry smashing, will look angry smashing a squad of G.I. Joes led by Captain America. What can I say? I'm a fan! ;)

Overall: 9.33/10

Thursday, April 9, 2009

7 Faces of Optimus Prime (Part 3)

When I first started watching the Transformers Animated series, I wasn't too taken in by the style of the art. After all, they gave my favourite Optimus Prime a face, and made him flunk out of Autobot Academy!

But slowly, upon realizing that the story and plot was like nothing I'd ever seen in a Transformers series, Animated started to grow on me. The characters were rich and diverse, and the universe made sense. And Opimus Prime also did have a mouth guard like in the original series from the '80s--but only in combat mode. How cool was that?

So now I had to get a toy of Animated Prime. And since I wanted the earth mode version, my choices were between The Battle Begins 2-pack (with DVD and Megatron), the Voyager Class, and the Supreme Rollout Command too-big-and-clunky-but-with-too-cool-features Optimus Primes.
So Supreme was out, and Voyager was too large and had too big of a chest to be show accurate (He's much slimmer in Animated). And if I were to buy some Voyager Class Decepti-baddies, they'd be in-scale with my deluxe sized Prime. So Battle Begins it was. I found a 2-pack for a good deal at OG, where they had a huge stock.

I was thrilled at the amount of effort put into the engineering of the toy, and the tightness of its vehicle mode. In short, It was better than the G1 Optimus Prime that looked too square in robot mode. The truck looked like a truck, and the robot mode, well, was just too awesome and poseasble!

And then my wonderful gal, seeing how much I love Transformers Animated and especially Prime, goes out and gets me a Cybertron Mode deluxe Prime! Now I could re-enact scenes on Earth and do flashbacks on Cybertron! Woot!
Now despite being from the same mould mostly, there were so many tiny details on them that made them distinct.

In robot mode:

Cybertron Prime is a lighter red and blue and has a clear blue chest.

Earth mode is darker red with a dark blue and has a "truck wind shields" chest

Earth mode has battle armour mouth piece on and has smoke-stacks, while the Cybertron mode doesn't. And of course the battle damage and the little detail paint apps.

In vehicle mode:
Here they differ slightly in their transformation. Cybertron mode uses the shield as a roof (while giving him a taller, more angular vehicle mode), while Earth mode uses the little backpack flap to cover up.

Both roll wonderfully, and have great eye light piping. (Double click on pics for better view! :] )

So while these two figures were the 3rd and 4th Primes I had acquired over the past few months, they were also the beginning of my Transformers Animated collection, which will appear here in later posts (hopefully, I might add, lol.)

Well, I highly recommend these guys. Cybertron mode can be found for S$17 dollars in nice new cylindrical packaging at Toys 'R' Us (Along with Bumblebee and Ratchet, sold separately--I sound like an ad).

Here's how I rate them.

Earth Mode Prime

Show Accuaracy: 8/10 - He's more a tribute to '80s G1 Prime with smoke stacks and colour. Axe is too big (more suited for Voyager Prime. But it's all good. :)

Poseability: 9/10 - these deluxes bend like no Transformers should have a right to bend! :P

Aesthetic: 8/10 - A very great looking truck mode, but robot mode's wheels are a bit prominent on shoulders, while his chest almost falls to his belly! :P

Overall: 8.33/10

Cybertron Mode Prime

Show Accuaracy: 10/10 - Slim, sharp, colour is spot on. So is his face and paint apps. Axe is the right size, but what up with the shield?? Ah well, it makes for one more accesory. :)

Poseability: 9/10 - these deluxes bend like no Transformers should have a right to bend! :P

Aesthetic: 8/10 - A very great looking robot mode with great lines and overall form. But vehicle mode is an acquired taste--it's Cybertronian, after all. ;)

Overall: 9/10
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