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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

    A safe and happy holiday to all of you and yours, and a prosperous new year

from Me, Tango, and the Hoard

Transformers Prime Part the Second

Continued from part 1

    We continue on with the toys, hitting the autobots we have not yet gotten to. Only one First Edition Autobot left to go, but he is a doozy

First Edition Optimus Prime voiced by the one and only Peter Cullen
the engineering on this one is not quite as crazy as bulkheads but still
quite innovative. The small "backpack" of his grill just winds up looking
 like heavier armor rather than looking cluttered

Wheeljack, voiced by James Horan...not your fathers Wheeljack.
Cynical, tough, and a lone wolf, he was one of the wreckers in this particular
storyline, and shows up in the episode "Con Job", returns in "Loose Cannons"
but doesn't actually join Team Prime until Season 3; His toy is not FE, but it could be.
Excellent engineering, good show likeness and nothing wasted; he comes with a pair of vicious
swords in terms of weapons, and he rarely needs more, but loves grenades

Later in season 2, in the episode "Recruit" we get to meet Smoke Rod Hot Screen
Screenimus Prime Smokescreen voiced by Nolan North. I Would really like to like his
 toy more than I do, but I have some issues with it. the same "false chest" problem as we see
with Ratchet, a completely "bare frame" back where the pieces that fold onto the bottom of his arms
might have been used instead, and shoulder joints that as often as not pop out
rather than fall into his rather fiddly transformation. He's a good looking figure from the front, but
a living nightmare to move from one mode to another

Early in season 3, we get Ultra Magnus, Voiced by Michael
Ironside, and he is by the books and follow the regs all the way.
his toy is based not on the FE version of Optimus Prime, but on the RID
 version instead, with a new head, chest, and shoulders. the weapon he comes with is
the forge of Solus Prime. Almost every toy of Ultra Magnus has been a re-mold
or a repaint of Optimus Prime, but this one is by far my favorite (until he gets a good
mold of his own)

And coming up in part 3-a season 1 overview

Monday, December 23, 2013

Transformers Prime part the first

     Re-watching Transformers Prime from season 1 before I watch the final DVD: Predacons Rising that wraps the series. I thought I would put up some thoughts on the franchise as a whole as I go through. I am midway through season 1 right now, so I don't feel like I have a fresh perpective to throw out on that season yet but...

    What is the show there for? To sell toys, and keep the franchise fresh between big screen movies. Let me state clearly: when I say "to sell toys" that is not neccessarily a bad thing. It is in the very best traditions of a storyline based upon a toy line to sell those toys and to make them appealing.

    That being the case, I thought I would give my thoughts on those toys, starting with the Autobots who got screen time on the show. The toys came in two waves- the First Edition toys and the Robots in Disguise toys. in most cases the First Edition toys are nicer, and more screen accurate, so I have used them here wherever possible

The First Autobot we see in the series is Cliffjumper, Voiced by
Dwayne(The Rock)Johnson. his time on the series is short but he makes
a big impression. The FE Cliffjumper toy has some marvelous engineering
including flip-out cannons in his arms

The Second Autobot to get screentime is Arcee voiced by Sumalee
 Montano and featuring almost no pink whatsoever. On the FE toy her rear wheel splits
in two and folds into her legs, which is a remarkable way to get it out of the way.
She does have a fair amount of "backpack" including her front wheel and handlebars

Bumblebee (voiced by random sound effects and eventually by Will Friedle
(more about that later) is an extremely nice toy(first edition again). All of his vehicle parts
nicely become his robot body with not much left over. if I have one complaint about this figure,
it was the fact that he only came with one cannon(I had to "borrow" the other)

FE Bulkhead(Aptly voiced on the show by Kevin Michael Richardson)
has engineering that goes beyond good and approaches "Crazy-Ass"
his vehicle sides sort of accordion out and wrap from his chest to his back. my
intial figure of him was the RID version, since FE bulkhead was not released in the states
until about a year after the initial FE release. The difference is measurable 

Ratchet is the characterization I actually find the freshest and funnest
on the show. Voiced by Jeffrey Combs he is grouchy, bad tempered,
and somewhat of a mad scientist. He did not get a first edition release,
and his toy, while having a lot of innovative features has one serious
aesthetic downside for me. His animation model indicates that his doors'
become part of his chest, and it appears they were unable to make this happen
on the toy, but instead had to give him sort of a "false chest" by molding the
doors onto it

This is sort of take two on this post, I managed to delete all my pictures and captions trying to remove one
Coming Soon: Part 2 with more toys!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ghost Mine

so I am a little over halfway through the season finale, they have found the masonic symbols on the big stone bulkhead(not HIM), and all I can think is

"You fear to go into those mines. The Masons delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of the crescent mine... shadow and flame."


could be a dragon tho, too

Update: neither Balrog nor dragon...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Almost Human...Almost Skipped it

     So I have to eat a little Cybernetic Crow. I expected Almost Human to be just sort of... I, Robot the TV series sans Will Smith

     and so the pilot was- you have a disgraced cop, struggling with his no longer quite human body, with a disdain for his required android partner, who is a non-standard Android of the DRN series(one of the crazy ones)

     and then it gets better

          and better still...

And now I am looking forward to each episode with the excitement I used to have for Fringe (before I kind of got lost in it)

Cybernetic Crow is not bad. It's a little crunchy. If you haven't tried Almost Human, I recommend it

note- this is my historic 200th post!

.....and now I'm on the Skids

     I have extremely cool memories about the character. I had no idea who he was, I was looking for Tracks, I did some calling around, and my sister took me to some rinky-dink hardware/general store in some little town outside Denver to find him, but it was not Tracks- it was Skids (both blue...see?). I decided to get him anyway, and he turned out to be a very cool little toy. he never got much love on the TV series, did better in the comics, got thoroughly abused in ROTF

I have not read the IDW comics- I probably should- from what I have seen, they have good story

and they are giving us some really good toys right now

from G1 to Alternator, to ROTF, to DOTM to IDW Generations overview
the very same toy bought in that little store. I remember the store as gray.
My sisters husband actually got me Tracks from a place called
Service Merchandise. that store is gone, he has passed away,
and my G1 tracks disappeared, leaving...Skids

the Alternator line had good and bad-they went for high car accuracy

Which Sometimes left the robot mode a little flat

Michael Bay may have Abused my childhood a little here.
Actually, hand to Primus, I love the transformation on ROTF Skids,
but I just wish he had a less comical head

IDW Skids looks a little less than amused.
He may in fact be about to shoot bayformer Skids in the face
the face on IDW Skids is Hawk-nosed and lean, ascetic looking. he is supposed to be
a master tactician, and his tactic appears to be not to bring a huge fist to a gunfight

Where I began and where I am going....until Takara puts out Masterpiece Skids


Sting operation at Toys R' Us

     the date was Sunday-12/15/13-ten days to Christmas... and I was walking the aisles at Toys R' Us, minding my business when it bit me...I got the bug

and I picked it up

and I put it down

and I picked it up

and I put it down

and I picked it up and couldn't put it down

I never watched the show, not really...and I don't have any real feeling for the character

but he's very, very cool, and even better in the hand-he is a mass of colors and textures and gosh-darned fun to transform

the movie rights to "Stung-the Waspinator Story" are negotiable-see my agent...who by the way, deeply distrusts the toy

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The March of Prime

     Continuing my Themes, here is Evolution, Cybertron Style, Courtesy of Darwi-Trion the theorist

Whatever your feelings about the theory of evolution in humans, Cybertronian evolution is provable, demonstrable, and constant to overcome new environments or challenges

The theory goes that Evolution was forced on the quiet, non-aggressive
Cybertroni Orionpaxi
He developed a thicker Skin, an extra axle for greater traction and stability,
and increased offensive capabilities as Optimus Primus Bellum Cybertroni

renowned for his toughness and his ability to turn water into energon,
the steam-powered Optimus Primus Equitesferreis is also known for his shuffling madness

in order to adapt to a huge budget live action movie, he became
Optimus Primus Bayformi Peterbilti

and shortly thereafter evolved into the slightly more graceful and faster
Optimus Primus Freightliner Primeanimati

but when near fatal injuries forced him to evolve again,
he evolved into a much thicker and stronger form,
Optimus Primus Impetumdolori

Finally, what may be close to the ultimate form for me
(at least in terms of voyager sized)
is Optimus Primus Ideedublucomoedumlibro Figueroa

a good size comparison between Orion Pax and Optimus Prime
no steroids were involved , just the matrix of leadership

Saturday, December 7, 2013

League Assignment: Christmas Wish List

     I would have to divide my list into the impractically practical, the straight impractical, and the probably impossible so lets get the prosaic and practical out of the way and speak of it no more.

  • a windfall, in the form of lottery or something else to set me up comfortably for the rest of my life, so I can work for the fun, without feeling the fear
  • Body Rejuvenation by mechanical, scientific, or magical means-knock me back about 15 years with what I know now...
  • the Hasbro Big Millennium Falcon-it's out of my price range(in that there are other things I need or prefer to spend that money on), and I have nowhere to keep it, but it sure would be nice to have the larger one over my old Kenner version.
  • Project Uranos- I would love to have an update to Superion, but can't justify over $500 in cost on my current budget
  • IGear's Conair Forward and Rear Guard- love the look, can't justify them in the budget with other things I want more
  • Dispensor- pretty sure no one will ever make him, which is a damn shame. I would buy the hell out of that one, at deluxe or scout size
  • the Transformation Cog for my Honda
  • The sense of anticipation and disappointment from the Christmases of my youth- Sam is still appalled and amused at my tale of having asked for an item from the catalog(probably J C Penney) which was a boxed set of "dogs of the world"-dog action figures with 6 points of articulation(legs, head, tail) and weighing and measuring the package under the tree, and cross-matching it scientifically against the catalog description. In my defense, I was sick as hell with strep throat at the time, and wanted a quick high feeling. I doubt I will ever feel the same kind of anticipation again for any gift as I did when I was nine or ten and waiting for my own personal incarnation of the Red Ryder BB Gun

And with wishes that my cohorts get what they wish for...

Erik Johnson Illustrator
Pop Rewind
Cool and Collected
D.I. Treasures
The Nerd Nook

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Time of Tanksgiving

    Beginning a series of Themes amongst my collection- this is me, saying

as always- watch out for hidden easter egg links 
and that's all, right?
Missed Brawl...Dammit

HailStorm and Bludgeon from the movie line- Hailstorm has a special memory for me-
 My father picked him for me two christmases ago when he bought toys for "his boys"
My brother, brother in law and nieces husband were baffled by theirs...

Megatron and Megatron
it is said that when a man with a katana meets a man with a fusion cannon, the man with the katana is a dead man...
from "A Fistful of Energon"

Blam! Zowie!
Blew my Smoke on a sunny day, when the first Black Powder came my way...


Skullgrin and Blitzwing
good god, Y'all
What is it good for?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Post Thanksgiving Sales Tally

     My shopping on what is commonly known as Black Friday (which apparently has bizarre origins) tends to be pretty surgical- in that I pick specific items I can budget for and go specific places to get those items. This year was no exception, and it is usually a solid and workable strategy for me. It doesn't save me from the maddening throngs of Consumer Zombies, but it does allow me to navigate through them fast, and with Purpose

     So this year, I had a list of goals, and a list of locations. With a series of carefully planned surgical strikes, I set out for my goals. Let this stand as the Record of my heroic journey.

SURGICAL(Planned and executed)
  • Supernatural Season 8- Walmart for $9.96 or BestBuy for $9.99- tried walmart thursday night, and it was a MESS- best buy this morning yielded the prize plus $15 discarded cash in the parking lot
  • Arrow Season 1 -Walmart for $9.96 or BestBuy for $9.99-walmart, thursday night- and for some inexplicable reason they had their movies in the deli section, by the freezer cases-weird
  • Jetwing Optimus Prime- ToysR'Us $49.99- I didn't have much hope on this one, for a very good reason: I have been to ToysR'Us for these types of sales before, and DID NOT have a good experience. I was pleasantly surprised to find him on the shelf this morning, and put him on Layaway
  • The Incredible Hulk- Walmart $4.96 thursday night- saw it, wanted it, bought it
  • Wrath of the Titans-Walmart $1.96 this morning-I bought the first one on a promo for like $3.96 some time back, and wanted the I just need Remember the Titans- that's part 3, right? RIGHT???
  • Sausage McMuffins and Oatmeal Cookies- McDonalds, $1 /$1 for three respectively

Saturday, November 23, 2013

League Assignment: What Am I Thankful For This Year?

     I thought long and hard about this question. On the surface, a lot of folks might think I don't have a lot to be thankful for. Job wise, I'm just kind of skating by. I'm just divorced from my occasional guest blogger Sam. I have the Diabeetus and high blood pressure, and I'm afraid I'm going to lose another tooth soon...

     But I am thankful. For lots. 

  •      I'm thankful for my Bird, Tango, and his mischievous nature. If I do anything with turkey this Thursday, he will probably be digging his beak into it right alongside me. He will be all of two years old this week.
He's Batman

  • I'm thankful for my family and my friends. I'm thankful for more time to spend with my mom and dad. I'm thankful my divorce is final, and that Sam and I are amicable most of the time when we are not waving cutlery at each other(chopsticks in her case). I'm thankful I have a job which is steady, a car, an apartment, Internet access and food

  • I'm thankful they have learned how to make a superhero movie(thanks Marvel)

  • I'm thankful for Michael Bay and Hasbro and Steven Spielberg breathing new life into my Transformers, and the great things to come in my collection. I'm thankful for the great people who share my hobbies, like Seibertron and the great community there, and my good friends at Pax Cybertron

  • I'm thankful-very thankful-for the folks who kept visiting my blog, hoping (while I was moping) for a new post. thank you for sticking by me until pulled my head out and started writing again

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Authors in Science Fiction

and it's GOD.....

was in my local thrift store and found this...not sure whether they were indicating they thought the bible was fiction, or trying to cast out the evil of Twilight...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Totally Biased: Hari Kondabolu Reports on Sikh Captain America

He's right: if we can't accept a half black president we're not ready for a non-white Captain America.  But the worst of it was the guy who kept calling the Sikh Captain Amercia an Arab Captain America.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sleepy Hollow- The Midnight Ride

warning- Spoilers!!!

the newest episode of Sleepy Hollow is out, and it's about Paul Revere, who was carrying a document on his midnight ride with secrets to defeating the horsemen...

     I have not finished the episode but I suspect that when the document is opened it will say...

Pot! Stew! Saturday!

Update...I still have no damn idea what that Geico Paul Revere commercial is about

Monday, November 11, 2013

Late Swarming Bees

Bees Generally Swarm in spring, but these were swarming in november...

I may need to invest in a hive and see if they make honey...

RTS, Generations Cybertron and the highly unlicensed Art Feather

TF Movie, Battle Blade, and Nitro
DOTM and CyberFire

TF Prime FE, RID and IDW Generations

These are not all of my Bumblebee...they are all the ones I have downstairs, and that is a lot of Bee