Seibertron's very own Japan corespondent, Matt, has sent us the very first video review of Takara Transformers Legends LG-55 Slugslinger. He does a great job at comparing it to the original toy and showing where some deco choices come from. It is interesting to note that while the Hasbro version (which we also included a review of or those interested in comparing) is usually meant to be more toy accurate, this Takara version does have very important features that the G1 toy had which the Hasbro version does not include such as the silver paint on the chest and the inclusion of a Target Master.
This review covers everything regarding this toy like the comic and the box, which states that the toy is for and audience of 15 and over (something your fellow news editor had not realized until now).
Welcome back, Seibertronians! If you celebrate it, I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, you had a good time with your friends and loved ones, and that Santa left many robots under your tree. But let's forget about all the happy feelings we've acquired over the past few days and immediately throw them into a pit of despair and agony, because it's time again for Machinima's Titans Return!
Okay, I'm being overdramatic, because this series on the whole is still leagues better than any Transformer content we've gotten out of Machinima previously. It's when you start breaking it down and looking into the individual episodes when things start to fall apart. Let's do exactly that with the new installment, Episode 8: In Good Hands! This Episode of Titans Return sponsored by Allstate
We again find Super Combiner Victorion fighting Trypticon, and it's very Sentai/Classic Mecha inspired, and it's actually pretty cool. The one thing that detracts from this is Victorion's grunts. There's little variation to them, so they end up sounding like a video game character they only recorded one "Pain" sound for. It gets grating and annoying, but the scene changes fast enough so it doesn't get too much. That's really a nitpick, though, on an otherwise fun scene. AGH. AGH. AGH. AGH. AGH. AGH. AGH.
We cut back to Windblade and Fortress Maximus, who are both floating through the sky in a truly Studio Ghibli fashion. They analyse the situation before they arrive, and again it's a very nice scene. Michael Dorn is great as Fort Max, and even with his robotic lines, he packs in a lot of emotion. Some of Windblade's lines here are feel a bit disconnected from the scene, but, like I said a couple reviews ago, it's obvious that not all of these actors recorded at the same time, which makes it hard to match the emotion of a scene and make a conversation sound natural.
At the same time, the Chorus of Banes from the Dark Knight Rises-Sorry, the Chorus of Primes talks to Optimus about the threats currently gripping the city, and he decides to join the fight. The Combiners split from their super-combiner mode, and decide to attack Trypticon individually. There's some scale discrepancies here, but it's not that big of a deal. Energon Mains UNDER the city? They seem to be pretty on the surface to me, hence why your friend just fell in one.
Victorion finds some random energon shard (??) and decides to hurl it at Trypticon to make him fall into an Energon main behind him. Again, we get a weirdly long establishing shot to get across this idea. The shot lasts 9 seconds, when it could have easily been done in 3 and still have done it's job. It's the Cybertronian Olympics! All the way from Caminus comes Victorion, competing for the Gold in Javelin!
The lack of visible damage in this show is really bothering me, as well. Prime is just wailing on Trypticon's neck with his axe, and it's clearly hurting him, as Trypticon recoils and gets angry while he's doing it, but there's no visible damage or wear from the attacks. This is the same case as Metroplex back in the beginning of this show. He was apparently so damaged he couldn't continue to fight, but we didn't see any damage until his entire arm got blown off. Does about the same amount of damage as the actual toys would do to each other.
Victorion throws her spear at Trypticon but - shock! - she misses, instead hitting the Energon line behind him, causing a huge explosion, engulfing everyone around it. I would have loved to have been in the Metroplex City Planning meeting where they just decided to put extremely volatile rivers that explode at the slightest touch flowing through the middle of the city.
Trypticon actually transforms into base mode, and starts using his defense systems to hold his attackers back. He fires directly at Optimus, launching him across the city. Just as he's about to crash into the street, Fort Max comes down from the heavens to save him at the last second. Not sure how that landing was any softer, considering Fort Max is also made out of metal, just like the ground, but what are you going to do? Windblade comes to him and tells him to relax, because he's "In good hands". Roll cred-Hey! they actually did!
Overall, I think this episode is a solid "Okay". I mean, it's certainly not as laughably bad as the previous couple of episodes, but that's a pretty low bar. It is very nice to look at, though. I think they nailed the character models and set pieces. Surprisingly, the art style and animation are quickly becoming my favorite part about this series, when they were one of my biggest issues in Combiner Wars. The subtle improvements they made really did make a difference. Like I said in the previous review, the colors are really aesthetically pleasing, too. Most of the voice acting's okay, at least, if not better. Peter Cullen and Michael Dorn are particular highlights. It just feels like there's no weight to anything that's happening. No consequence. Maybe that's because of that damage issue I touched on above; no one is shown to physically get injured through all of these battles, so there doesn't feel like there's any desperate issues, even though there's a giant robot dinosaur attacking the city.
It'll be interesting to see how all of this wraps up in the coming weeks. Thanks for tuning in once again, and please keep the discussion going in the energon pub forums below. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Please tell me why. See you next week!
NO TURNING BACK! Getaway has crossed one too many lines and made one too many enemies. Hunted down on his own ship, the master manipulator has one last trick of his sleeve—something so shocking, so audacious, that it would put the most evil Decepticon to shame. No one is safe as the Mutineers Trilogy reaches its jaw-dropping climax.
Self-awareness is good, I guess..?
This week, we return to the Lost Light, and look at the ever-eventful continuations of the horrors contained within the mind, actions and direct respondents of one ship's new self-appointed captain. Welcome back to Getaway, Atomizer, and the Plotters' Club in the conclusion to the Mutineers' Trilogy - Lost Light #12. And, I feel the need to proceed with caution here, as I have yet to make my mind up about the issue. Bear with me.
I'm getting there
Looking at the things that work, then: the interlude and the main story, taken as their own beasts, are good frames within which the two threads operate, with a connection (or several, but one in particular) that is as obvious as it is likely to miss with everything else happening. They also both nicely set-up some more world-work that we are bound to see soon. Also, First Aid continues to delight, and the action sequences are, on the whole, placed down nicely.
well paced; painful, but well paced
Which leads me to the main concern: pacing. I've discussed this with staff, and there are wildly differing views, of no help at all, that the sequences are running to fast, too disconnected, and trying to gather together too many yarns and making a big knot out of them than a tapestry. There is undoubtedly a lot going on in the issue, and I feel like you can take that one way or another entirely, without necessarily discrediting the opposite view.
The better comments to reconcile the two parts of my appreciation for the book do not find their place in this review, for the simple reason that they are entirely based on the latter part of the book, and I do not wish to simply discuss plot. My concerns with pacing remain, however, and I will add a couple of extra, more potentially spoilery notes in the section at the end of this piece.
The art on the issue is in the hands of two different artists, for a very specific in-plot reason too: Jack Lawrence on the main frame, and Andrew Griffith on the interlude section featuring the return of a fair number of characters. And where the first has no real criticisms from me, the latter's linework felt oddly out of place, compared to track record: it may have been just an issue of time, it may be the contrast between two very different styles, but it stood out in not the most positive of ways - that said, the layouts are excellent, and the scenes do play out well, the issue is almost entirely with the details.
I'm not sure why
Lending fuel to the idea that there may have been a time-constraint element to the issue's production, there are three colourists to look at for the art: Joana Lafuente, Priscilla Tramontano, JP Bove. The major contrast is only really to be found in the interlude vs main story, but even there something wasn't entirely in sync between lines and colours, and perhaps a darker palette on the Lost Light scenes may have helped consolidate some of the moments we're witnessing - though the hangar scenes looked really quite apt.
it's the little things
The lettering by Tom B. Long has some really nice moments, scattered through the book, that play with the more humorous moments (dark humour, at that) and the more action-heavy scenes, and never feel out of place - the dialogue is heavy, not helping with the density of the script, but placing flows well in the panels. The cover I thought most worked for this review is the Alex Milne/Josh Perez moment of frustrated anger (nicely cut at the thigh, too), but the other two main variants are definitely worth their presence, and the Ramondelli Megatron companion to the Optimus Prime one in a previous comic is nice enough as an RI. You can, of course, see them all in our database entry here.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I haven't shied away in previous reviews and general comments on the series (and this arc specifically) from expressing my dislike of how plots are created and made to work - especially with some of the character build-ups (except for First Aid and Atomizer), and the over-the-top rounding off of Getaway after issue #10. That said, and as ScottyP reminded me in the email discussion we had, liking or disliking the story valid criticism is not.
Sums it up for me
I, personally, cannot say I enjoyed the issue that much at all, but I recognise that point as extremely valid. So here is my critical thought on the issue: it is dense, definitely so, and the pacing is very very rushed but that may be exactly what it is supposed to do - except.. the problems with the visual side of things drag this down further for me, and I really want to know what happened.
The action-packed sequences on the Lost Light mirror the action of the interlude, with two different feelings of horror and frustration, seen from two very different perspectives, but not well executed enough to fully land, for me. As a whole, where this is most definitely not a book for an entry level reader, longtime followers may equally react very well or very poorly to the story, depending on your interest in the wider picture versus the more immediate character and plot work of the arc. Your Mileage May (Very Much) Vary.
Several fans have been able to get MP-39 Masterpiece Sunstreaker from online retailers before his release in official Japan, December 29th. That means we have some in hand images and our first video review. Both are from TF fan Dinobot Grimlock. He has split his video review into 4 parts, and all can be found below. They deal with the transformation, the car mode, the robot mode as well as a look at comparisons and the accessories.
Dinobot Grimlock also has several in hand images comparing this masterpiece toy to his brother, Sideswipe. It is impressive to see how similar in look and size both cars are and yet they are completely different toys. Does this toy seem worth his higher price point than the previous autobot cars? Let us know if you will be getting this toy and what your thoughts on him are in the discussion.
Thanks to a heads up from Seibertronian Terrsolpix, we now have a new video review of the au x Transformers Mobile Phone Optimus Prime, or a bit more simply, Infobar Optimus Prime. As you may remember, these Infobar figures were revealed a good ways back, almost a year ago now, and back in February we posted a story about what these figures are and what they do. Basically, the Infobar is based on a popular phone type in Japan, and these phones were designed to Transform into Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Bumblebee, not unlike that San Diego Comic Con Soundwave that turned into a tablet.
In the video review found below, reviewer Tef Tef takes a good long look at the figure, which includes the ability to hook up to your mobile device and make the alert sounds for your device. It also contains LED lights to go with the notification sounds. The figure also comes with a funny little phone accessory, making this thing even more goofy.
Check out the video review below, and let us know what you think of it in the comments section below!
Twas the Night Before Unicron A Seibertron.com Spoilerish review of IDW's Optimus Prime #14
OK, so to start things off with, this was a difficult story for me to get my head around. When I first read this issue, I had to take a step back, wonder what I just read, take a few more moments, and reread. And even then, I still wasn't sure of what I read.
Take a few moments to read some other staff inputs, and some more sense it made.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Goldbug
Now, that is not to say that this is an issue that is very confusing. It's not an issue where we are jumping around time, not one where things are jumbled, not one where the writing is bad. The story itself is a really good read and another great installment for the Optimus Prime run. It's just an issue where, much like last issue, there is a lot of stuff going on. It is dense in its content. And most of that is saved for the final few pages, where a reveal throws all kinds of continuity dense implications to us.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St Prowl would soon be there
Now that we got that out of the way, here are some actual thoughts. The opening pages with Prowl and crew, it felt cool and yet unique. Here we have a crew of misfits essentially, those who have not been accounted for over the past few years, mostly. Wheelie and Garnak once again make a triumphant return, the Throttlebots, and Stardrive, not to mention all of Prowl's tech. The one oddball thing about this whole section: what on Earth is Prowl gathering everything for? And why this crew of characters? It does make me smile some to see Prowl is still up to his old ways, even if it does feel a bit weird following the ending of Titans Return.
Cut back to Cybertron: the whole section feels just a bit wonky, but it still works out for me. This is the first part that gave me some pause. The way the characters fight each other feels a bit weird, but bringing together characters developed in different stories for this section will do that to you. I did enjoy the Trypticon "reveal" part though, and jokes about Dinobot child resemblance made me smirk several times. The writing with the Dino-crew is a great story in and of itself to follow.
The protoforms were nestled all snug in Trypticon, with visions of Dino jokes in their heads
Arcee had some good moments in there, as did Prime. With Till All Are One coming out with some big new story developments, it was fun to see Starscream interact with both Bumblebee and Bludgeon. I'm interested to see where the Dinobots go from here too, along with Sandstorm.
As for the final 2 pages, that is a reveal I didn't see coming, but one where things make all kinds of sense, and they make me worry about what is about to happen next. Taking 2 of the biggest... pricks/pains-in-the-back characters and now showing them to be in cahoots with each other is interesting and a take that is setting up even more tension prior to the Unicron story to come. Barber is probably the only one who could handle this whole set up, and as far as I am concerned, he is nailing it, and he is setting us up for some truly fun stuff to come.
When out in Iacon there arose such a clatter
The story was helped a lot by Livio Ramondelli and his art, and as I and others have said, his art has improved greatly. I really enjoyed the scenes he was drawing, and there are distinct close ups that he nails perfectly, such as Arcee and Prowl. Everything Trypticon is awesome in this story too. I give props to Livio for continued improvement, his art has become something that is quire enjoyable to follow.
With a little old driver, so tiny and quick, I knew it must be Centuri-nick
And Tom B. Long continues to do great work with the lettering. I am especially appreciative of the inverted speech bubble colors. He helps add that mysticism that Bludgeon is helping to set up.
As a close friend of mine likes to say: "long story short": this is a great book, and one that nicely compliments issue 13 as a 2 part continuity-heavy saga leading up to the Primes and Unicron. Things are being done, they are being done right, and they are being done enjoyably, with no major complaints on story, art, or otherwise.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight: Great comics to all, and to all a new Sideswipe!
The story has moved, old continuity points are being sewed up, and we are getting set for a big year next year with comics. And I am glad this crew continues to be a flagship for the comic run.
Elita One, Windblade, and Starscream fight to gain ultimate control of Cybertron! Dark secrets will be revealed in this series finale!
The Galadriel effect in full force
I gushed a lot of my appreciation for a story and a series like Till All Are One once already, in my final review of the ongoing series a couple of months back - you can read that review here, if so inclined, but I want to quote myself to make a major point about this annual:
Till All Are One #12 gave us the best story it could probably and possibly ever deliver; it gave us a resolution between Starscream and Windblade that is not a conclusion; it brought elements together that no other book had really done so far; it redeemed characters without offering them salvation.
Look at where we started..
In my original conclusion to that line of thought, I said that I wished we'd had more time to appreciate, encounter, and explore what lies ahead of all of them much sooner than we actually would. And in that respect, the Annual delivers on changing my mind entirely, just as it revolutionises the stage and status quo of the series' setting - I actually want to see it even more, now.
My face at multiple times in the issue, all in one panel
As it is an issue that I think is best experienced in its entirety and lack of information, I do not want to go into any detail about the plot or the characters here, but I will say that there is a culmination of an incredible number of plots - from the very start of the series way back when it was just Windblade - and one of the best developments in the Hasbro shared universe, as a consequence of First Strike's effect on Cybertron and Cybertronians.
plus, more Combatico-- ok, Vortex
I can't really speak of a 'happy ending', not in the strictest sense of the term, and there are some very heartfelt joyful moments, but (and I'm pretty sure I'm tapping into my thoughts of other media that has come out this month) this long, utterly enjoyable and satisfying read has gone from the 'best ending' TAAO could've had (issue #12) to A Good Ending. A good ground to build a much positive, much wider, much better universe.
There was no other way to conclude the story without artist Sara Pitre-Durocher, who has been involved in the franchise for so long people tend to forget just how much material she's covered in her work, be it comics or packaging art. And what we have here is a testimony to that proximity, with nods to the first Windblade series in opening sequences, revisitations of the glorious Starscream of issue #12, and perhaps the happiest, tiredest, positively relieved Windblade, but also several Cybertronians that have populated the stage this far.
Remind you of anything?
And the feeling of light, the legeresse and relief that come with some of the aspects that are not to be understated - can never be underestimated - throughout the story, among the different inhabitants of the story and the city, could not be possible without the amazing lighting work that Joana Lafuente brings in her colours. The symbolism of dawns and dusks is one that runs all through the TFverse, but we see it here as a full revolution - and you may take that however you want.
Embrace the dawn
In Scott's letter in the backmatter of the issue, the writer acknowledges Tom B. Long's excellent contribution to the issue and the work on the series as a whole, something I was glad to see as a fan of the letterer's work across the board - no less in this annual, where some of the more poignant moments are silent, and handled with extreme masterful care. There is only one variant cover - by artist JN Wiedle - to the main Pitre-Durocher one (which is so full of callbacks that I cannot even), and I've used it to spotlight the thumbnail. Both are glorious. Both deserve visibility. Look at them, and enjoy.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
This is a story of leadership. We have three potential leaders, all of whom are actually, surprisingly, fitting possibilities for this new Cybertron. All three are potential stories to be told about a city, a planet, a civilisation - and by extent, an entire universe that involves more than just the Transformers. One of these is the winner, one of these is the loser, one of these wins something else entirely, and we have the immense pleasure and privilege of being along for the ride with at least two out of three. Pay attention to the dialogue. Pay attention to the words, including the author's letter in the back of the issue. It's all there, all along.
The creative team, probably
I've had comments on the pacing of the book, that it feels a little rushed in parts - and while I can recognise that, I do not think it detrimental to the story, at all. If anything, it heightens the sense of frenzied anticipation for the events taking place, the urgency of it all, and the buzz of a build-up with finally a resolution that can lead to a different future from the pasts and presents we have known in the stories of Transformers so far. And for that, I have to thank the writer, the artists, the colourists, the letterers, the editors.
So, we've finally reached the seventh episode of Machinima's Titans Return animated series. Last week was miles away from the best episode we've gotten thus far, so does this week's fare any better? Let's find out and dive deep into Episode 8 of Titans Return.
Before we get into the episode we're greeted with a title card that presents the name of this episode. You heard it. We really should.
After that we get a 30 second long establishing shot of the Basilica shooting its laser at Trypticon. 30 seconds for a shot like this wouldn't be awful, except the whole episode is only around 11 minutes long. Take out the intro and title card, you get closer to 10. On top of that, the shot is of something we already know is happening, thanks to it being established in the last episode. This could have easily been cut to half the time at least.
Anyway, moving on. The reason we have this big of an establishing shot is because we're just in time for the arrival of Victorion (or, the super combiner version of her), and the following string of sequences completely baffles me. So first, Victorion materializes right in front of Trypticon, with the basilica's laser passing right over her head. She randomly calls for Overlord, even though there's nothing saying he's even remotely close to her, and somehow doesn't notice the giant robot dinosaur behind her, or the giant laser beam firing at it, and gets launched across the city by Trypticon's fire breath. I didn't think is was possible to get ambushed by a 150-story kaiju, but here we are. He's right behind me, isn't he.
To add some sort of insult to injury, she then comes back with the line that they "almost forgot about" Trypticon. What?! You almost forgot about Trypticon rampaging through the city?! Sure. I don't know if this is just a poorly-executed taunt, but the line isn't delivered that way. It's just confusing. In fact, on my first watch, I couldn't believe this was actually the plot they chose to go with. I'm still in total disbelief.
Victorion then tries to fight Trypticon, taking a huge swing with her sword, slicing through a building, just to find Trypticon casually walking to the complete other side of her. Seriously, in one shot he's directly in front of her, and then in the next he's just waltzing around on her left.
What the f*** is HAPPENING?!?
Also, I'm completely glossing over the fact that somehow a combiner made of combiners just looks like a giant Victorion, because we have bigger fish to fry. She's just a cosmic girl, from another galaxy...
Moving on from the Victorion fight for a moment, we also have Windblade still strapped up to Fort Max. Something is obviously going wrong, as Emissary tries to talk to her, and keeps telling her to disconnect from the system. It doesn't make a lot of sense, as he's the one at the freakin' controls! Seems like he'd be more in a position to help her disconnect. Meanwhile, on the outside she seems to be in pain, she is actually making contact with the titan city. In the brief discussion, he asks, very appropriately, why he should trust her. Why she wouldn't at least mention that Emissary sent her is beyond me, but she apparently convinces him anyway. We interrupt Titans Return to bring you "Contact"
A very sudden transition cut later, we return to the Chorus of Prime's chamber, where Optimus decides to hand the Matrix of leadership over to Perceptor for safe keeping, as he believes that's what Trypticon is there for. He tells Perceptor to just run, and takes him to the outskirts of the city. He accepts, and promises he won't let Prime and Cybertron down. "That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of Metroplex City. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across all of Cybertron."
Back with Windblade and Emissary, the ground starts shaking, and they realize their attempts have worked, and Fort Max is finally waking up again. She transforms and they take off. Fort Max finishes his transformation as well, and they take off, headed to stop Trypticon. He'll save Windblade in a second, first Emissary needs to do his daily aerobics workout.
This episode severely dipped into "So bad it's good" territory. Like, at least I enjoyed myself watching it. I laughed more at the ridiculousness of the entire thing then I have the entire past two shows. I do have to say, though, I'm really enjoying the color palette they chose for this show. The mix of glowing purples, oranges, and then the bright neon blue is very ascetically pleasing. They really did capture that 80's feel. If you slowed these episodes down and replaced the audio with some Vaporwave, it would work 100 times better.
I look forward to seeing Trypticon and Fort Max fight, as it seems the Titan V Titan fighting is when this series is at it's best, at least in the earlier episodes.
As the next episode won't be out until just after Christmas, happy holidays to all of you, and thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts on the episode down below, and your thoughts on the review/my opinion. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Let me know! See you next week!
While many are enjoying their deluxe and legends class toys from Power of the Primes, which have been fine for the most part, the voyagers are definitely the most divisive toys from the line. For a reason that still boggles the mind, Hasbro never did reveal that Voyager Starscream could turn into a torso, nor is that torso mode found in any promotional or stock images. This simply added more mystery to a toy that many were lukewarm about. So below is a pictorial review to help you see what the toy is all about.
The Jet mode is as serviceable as Silverbolt's was. It is still a robot hiding under a jet (even more so than Silberbolt). Unlike Silverbolt though, we are treated to a staggering amount of foil stickers. While they don't look anywhere near as good as paint, I did not find this to be the main flaw with the toy. It does give more of a sense that this is a toy for an audience much younger than me (which is exactly what it is), but none of it was peeling and the application was fine, with lines meeting up.
I remember Hasbro stating that they really tried to have that exact shade of off white plastic fans associated with Starscream back when they released the Combiner War leader figure. However, I always found the end result rather dull. The plastic is a tad bit lighter/brighter here but not by much. The red and blue are much brighter though and make me realize how the colours on the leader figure look faded.
You can open the cockpit to place a Prime Master or Titan Master (it's more made for them in their "cube" mode). I don't find it to be a great look. You can place the smaller figures all across his jet mode though.
A big issue I have with this toy is a design flaw with two robot leg panels which fold down so that the legs (which make up the back of the jet) can recede closer to the jet body. These panels each have a peg for them to stay secure to the knees in robot mode. Howver, them being symetrical means they end up protruding at the same spot and hit one another in jet mode so it looks like the jet is permanently split in the back. To me, this is a much bigger mishap than the use of stickers.
The conversion from jet to robot is more complex than I thought and by that I mean that it isn't just 3 steps. There is a nice moment where you have to pivot the wings 180 degrees. I always love when Takara gives us transformation with big movements like that, it makes the transformation feel more dynamic.
The end result isn't great though. This mode is where the biggest flaw with figure comes into play, the proportions. Having his forearms be the same colour as the armour gauntlets was a bad idea. He looks like Popeye. The feet are giant too, plus he has a small head. These proportions have given a false sense of scale in the past (he is smaller than I imagined) so I have several comparison images below to give a sense of scale. I don't know about you, but he really seems to not mesh in style with any of the other toys we would line him up with.
Now a reason for the odd proportions is that his arms hide the combiner ports. And to that I say "so what?!" Silverbolt's did as well but you don't see him with giant gauntlets. And those giant gauntlet flaps dont even cover anything since the combiner hole ends up being in his inner wrist so there is no point to his arms looking this big aside from the designers wanting to do something new and different. While I will always give an A for effort, the result and actual grade is far from spectacular. And plus they expect you to add the combiner feet to make even bigger gauntlets. Thanks, but I will pass. The null rays are nothing to write home about either. They just seem there like it was in their contract and they didn't find a way to get out of it in time.
I really dislike those feet stickers. They definitely make this toy look like something from Imaginext. The head is also very generic. We have had tons of Starscream heads but they always find some way to invigorate them, like the Ghost Starscream head we got in Untie Warriors or the one we got in Robot in Disguise. But here it really is simply generic. And so is the combiner head for that matter. Which leads me to...
Firstly, the transformation into torso mode is stellar. It is by far the most involved transformation we have ever gotten from a combiner torso and it has a unique look which doesnt seem to be just a leftover from other modes (like Volcanicus). Plus it has a fun homage to movie Stasrcream's Doritos body and is incredibly solid. I still stand by the fact that the best torso is Silverbolt's (well, technically for me it's Galvatronus, but you catch my drift) but his chest can become undone. With Starscream, it's rock solid. Plus you can tab in the null rays for storage in an elegant manner. There is the idea that you can also plug in his enigma of combination and well, you will see the results below. The face is quite dull though, as generic as his robot mode face, and the crown seems to have the same contract the null rays got. But it is cool to have the cockpit form the chest, making him look like a bigger version of himself. I think that is very witty and gives a lot of sense to the smaller fake cockpit we see in his robot mode.
There are of course flaws with the combiner mode, but not necessarily the torso. The combiner feet are far too narrow and while I appreciate the ankle tilt, him being so wide at the torso makes me avoid spreading his legs since it looks off and the lack of ratchets at the robot mode elbow makes him harder to pose properly. Adding the extra hands to the back of the feet is something I do not recommend. Firstly, with so much kibble in the front of his torso and most legs having more bulk in the front, he has more of a tendency to fall forwards, so there is no point to enforcing heels. Plus, you have to be really parallel to the feet or else you will just make any stance more unstable. So basically, adding them only raises the possibility of him being unstable while never adding to the stability.
All in all, I don't think I will keep this toy, but there is a lot of potential with the torso mode which is why I am still going to pick up Elita-1.
Another Tuesday, another episode of Machinima's Titans Return animated series! We're on to Episode 6 now, which, in complete honesty, is the worst one yet. But let's delve into the new episode and figure out exactly why! Here's Titans Return Episode 6!
We open with a (pretty cool?) shot of Trypticon, who's still raging through the city completely unopposed now with the death of Metroplex in the previous episode. This shot pans out to reveal Optimus Prime returning to the city, driving into the Basilica to meet Perceptor. We very quickly cut to the Combiners back at Fortress Maximus. They've just watched their laser beams disappear in the distance, headed toward "Metroplex City". The redundancy does not escape me. The combiners discuss their next plan, and have I mentioned that I hate Menasor's voice? Yeah, I hate Menasor's voice.
Megatron tells them that Metroplex City is a total loss, and the combiners respond by trying to beat the daylights out of him, calling him a "Betrayer" and a "Vile Traitor", etc. Didn't he help you just a little bit ago? You know, when Starscream took over your bodies? He helped rescue you! All the combiners are just so randomly hostile, it looks really strange. Megatron explains the Mistress of Flame has died, which just aggravates the Combiners more, as they believe he was the one who killed her.
Back at the Basilica, Perceptor and Optimus learn the same macabre fact, stumbling upon the Mistress' body in the Prayer chamber. They don't know who the killer was, as Perceptor gains no new evidence from studying her wounds. They leave her body in the prayer chamber, turning their attention to the more pressing matter of the Titan Dinosaur stomping though the city. They return to the basilica's controls. The dialogue here is clunky, again, as we've come to expect, but it just goes to show that most of the time errors like this aren't the voice actor's fault. A lot of times it's the direction they're given or the editing the tracks receive in post. You can have big celebrities like Wil Wheaton and voice acting legends like Peter Cullen and still have your dialogue be awkward.
Anyway, they finally get the Basilica's defenses up, and they attempt to slow Trypticon down. This is just straight up Godzilla at this point.
They return to the chamber of Primes, where Hot Rod had given up the Matrix of Leadership, and we get more scenes with the Chorus of Primes. Yay. "Asdkfhdlkierjml, jsdkfhguinegnkjfjg, Optimus Prime."
Yes, the Chorus of Primes returns to the series, just as indecipherable and completely non-understandable as the last time. Prime reclaims the Matrix from the chamber, once again truly becoming Optimus Prime.
The Combiners are still fighting with Megatron when Windblade and Emissary come in to save him, breaking up the fight. Brace yourselves, it gets really corny. "What the Headlight are you Junkpiles doing?" Really? Really? You just said damn in the last episode, I don't think Hell is really off limits.
They demand to know who really killed the Mistress, and Megatron pulls up literally just footage from the last episode. Emissary questions why he didn't just show them this footage before, and while he definitely has a point, he and Windblade just arrived seconds ago. There is no way he knew what was happening. Oh, look, Megatron downloaded Go90!
Victorion uses the Enigma of Combination, uniting the combiners again. They disappear, traveling to the city to help stop Trypticon. Then, for whatever reason. Windblade is hooked up to Fort Max. There is nothing mentioned about this leading up to it, if I remember correctly. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this plan comes out of nowhere! She links with Fortress Maximus, and is appears something has gone wrong. Emissary yells for her to disconnect, but she doesn't hear him. On that cliffhanger, the Episode ends. Oh God, she's regenerating! Who's going to be the next Doctor Windblade?!?
This episode really feels boring and drawn out. It made 11 minutes really feel like 20, and really started to look like a bad Godzilla/Kaiju overdub. Between the mostly-inaccurate mouth movements, bad timing and pacing, and, you know, the actual Kaiju. Don't get me wrong, it is still leagues better that Combiner Wars, but it still leaves much to be desired.
Thanks for reading my review of Episode 6. If you want to watch it yourself, you can find it over on Go90. Do you agree with me? Am I completely off base? Please let me know and share your thoughts down below! I'll see you next Tuesday with the release of episode 7!
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