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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Girls Gone Wild Cybertron Edition

     For such a diverse Mythology as Transformers has, there is a serious Dearth of one body type in the fiction. Fembots.

     The Transformers Episode "the Search for Alpha Trion" introduced a resistance group of female autobots, (although it appears Cybertronians do not require sexual dimorphism to reproduce). These were Elita-One, Chromia, Firestar, Moonracer, Flareup, Greenlight and Lancer. No toys, and they were never seen again on the series, but Transformers the movie introduced Arcee, who would be the most famous female autobot and the most recognizable for many series to follow. for all the others... see here: 

Underrepresented in fiction, they are even less represented as toys, probably due to two factors:

  1. Engineering and appearance in both modes
  2. Boys don't buy girl toys(tho this is not really true)
Actually, I am going to expand upon that second point from experience- when the kenner 12" star wars line came out, I had Han, Luke, Threepio, Artoo, Chewie, and wanted, nay begged for Leia. My parents felt that would be weird, so they talked me into Boba Fett instead- I never ended up with Leia, from that line. not saying it's universal, but maybe not uncommon either. 

Tango wants me to get to the pics, and stop fooling around

Because he worked hard on helping me 
     Anyway- not really what I wanted to talk about. That is over 30 years in the past. What I am here about today is what I have for Female Transformer toys now. I'm sticking with official Hasbro releases for now, will touch upon the MMC Arcee later. I'm also skipping the ones that, in my opinion, suck. (ROTF Elita 1 and TF Prime Airachnid, I am talking to you)

it only took 30 years to get an official release...

I think  like this use of the mold more than the original use(RID Arcee)

Windblade is the new big thing from IDW Comics
Strongarm is the Female lead of the new Transformers Cartoon
Just like TF Prime Arcee was the strong female lead of Transformers Prime
I thought I was above this, but it turns out there is nothing beneath me...
Two Girls, One Kup

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pushing the Limits

     We are Semi-snowed in here. I mean, we could get out if we needed to, but my need for warm, comfortable burrow trumps my need to go needlessly hunt toys that are not yet released. The doom-report of 21" of snow appears to be a non-thing tho, which pleases me,

     Preceeding the storm here, from my friends at BBTS and the excellent folks at Toyworld was the train I had to catch.

     Despite my immediate enthusiasm when I heard about "Devilstar" then "Evila Star", having him in hand is a mixed blessing. I have wanted a classics styled Astrotrain for a long time. he looks great in all modes. On the (deceptive) con side, however, he is a migraine made plastic to transform. I love intricate engineering, but in the case of this figure as a triplechanger, I think Toyworld hit, and pushed the limits of what could be done with a toy. Mine also had a slight assembly error(which I corrected) which had the panels which hold his nosecone and feet on the wrong legs. A careful swap by easing the pins out of their holes set him to rights.

Astrotrain and Blitzwing are the two classic Triplechangers of the Decepticons(Octane came later on), and I am happy to have him, but there are those Toys that I look at and think..."things I would rather do than transform him..." and the list is big. so Astrotrain will be spending most of his time in robot mode for display. Just like Toywolds Orion(Optimus)

Astrotrain does not use the same gauge track as HOS Optimus

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Terrible, Terrible Lies About Cockatoos

     The Name "Cockatoo" comes from the name french explorers gave to the bird, "Coq Au Deux" or "Second Chicken"

     Taxonomy: they generally do not file returns(this is actually true)

     The female Cockatoo is more properly termed a "Henatoo" not a Hentai- that is waaay different and involves tentacles and schoolgirls

     The Coloration of the Cockatoo indicates that it is originally an arctic creature. Like the polar bear, they have black skin with a white coat. My carefully researched information indicates that the Cockatoo migrated south in prehistoric times because A) it was cold up there and B) they were looking for humans to provide snuggles.

     In the Olympics from 1896-1924 Australian Gymnasts would toss a Cockatoo from hand to hand rather than using chalk to improve their grip.

this post is dedicated to Sid, roommate of my roommate who dances wildly to "Crazy Loop" and loves it when I sing "For Those About to Flock (We Salute 'Too)" and "I Know It's Only Cockatoo But I Like It"

Feel My FURY!

     I watched a movie last week, called Fury. I had wanted to see it for some time, and I am happy I saw it...once.

     Don't get me wrong at all. This was a good movie, but hard to watch

     What this movie is not:

  • it is not a Marvel Studios Prequel about the father/grandfather of Nicholas J. Fury in WWII
  • a charming goofball comedy about a group of anthropomorphic animals who drive a tank in WWII(that would be "Furry")
     What this movie is: 
  • a gritty, dirty, brutal movie about tank warfare
  • A reason to look at Saints and Soldiers as being positively cheery by comparison (and you know I never ever exaggerate)(hardly ever) (OK, I do)
     I'm not going to go into the plot. you can read that via the link, or see the movie, if you like. What the movie made me feel was... tired...weary. No elation, just sadness at all the deaths. There is a scene(spoiler alert) where the crew takes a town and you see them pass murdered and displayed German townspeople, killed because they were "cowards" or refused to let their children fight for the Nazi cause. In the town, most of the "soldiers" are young boys and girls in half assembled uniforms, pressed into service. (End Spoiler)

     What I learned...
     Well, Tank Warfare was brutal and strategic. The German forces had more powerful, more advanced tanks, but based upon what I saw here, it looks like the US was able to manufacture and field more of their own. Or maybe just Germany was at the end of it's resources in 1945. Tank Crews had to be a completely cohesive unit with no dissension, and no hesitation. The front lines are no place for moral objections to killing.

Oh, and tracers look like lasers, and are very cool on screen. 

     If you see it, you may have a completely different reaction than I did. 

     Side note- I mentioned the movie to my father, a WWII vet from the US navy. He pointed out that the war ended, and the world just kept on fighting everywhere. He's not wrong. 


Saturday, February 7, 2015

New Shelf Improved

 I stopped in at IKEA today, and picked this up to add to my Vittsjo shelf

It may not look like much right out of the box

But Let it light our darkest hour...

Update: hide our cords better in our darkest hour...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Christmas Wishes Coming True in Odd Ways

     A while back, I did a League post about Christmas wishes, and I wished for Project Uranos, a third party Superion figure

     Well, really what I wished for was a new Superion, with modern engineering.

     Hasbro's theme for 2015 is "Combiner Wars". And the first Combiner they gave us all the pieces to (sort of-more on that later) is Superion, formed out of the Aerialbots

Silverbolt-Voyager Sized Leader of the Aerialbots

Acrophobia is not a good trait in an

Skydive-Deluxe sized arm or leg

Anything you can fly, I can fly better

Firefly- Deluxe sized arm or leg

Take him out to the black
tell them he ain't comin' back

You can't take the sky from him

Alpha Bravo(...?where did he come from?)- Deluxe sized arm or leg

Get to da' choppah!

Dragstr...what the...?

yep, Dragstrip the stunticon- Deluxe sized arm or leg

My belief is that Hasbro was making a point that these combiners could be recombined in a large number of combinations, and would not rely on the original teams. Aerialbots Air Raid and Slingshot will follow in later waves to finish up the classic G1 team.

      So on to the development of the 2015 Combiners, or my theory of it. Some time ago, Hasbro came up with a line they called "power Core Combiners. they were not well received, given their size, and the fact that the limbs were not individual robots but vehicles haplessly drawn in and worn by the robot as limbs in a terrible run-on sentence. I bought one or two in this line but they never really drew me in. When I look at the new Combiner Wars, though , I can see their genesis in the power core combiners, with the same sturdy connecting port. Now however, we have five full-fledged robots with back-story and personalities behind them.

Impressive, huh?

but he's tiny....

      I know you want to see this bad-boy put together...

     Here we go. A La Voltron, hold the lions

Form Feet and Legs

Form Arms...

And Torso!

And I'll form the head!

 Each of the hands can become feet, and vice versa. and each have a different weapon built in. I'm highly impressed with the engineering

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Seeker

     The TF Wiki defines the term Seeker as follows:

The term Seeker refers to Decepticon jet troopers who share Starscream's body-type but with different colors or minor variations in wing and head shapes. This is most clearly and commonly known from Generation 1, but any franchise with a Starscream is almost inevitably going to feature a similar "family" of redecoed jet-formers.
The word "Seeker" hovered a long time in a strange gray area between official and fan-coined terms. It seems to have originated in extremely obscure official or semi-official writing, but somehow became widely used among fans. In 2002, the term appeared in dialog from the first issue of The War Within from Dreamwave Productions, making it truly official after years of controversy. It has subsequently appeared in many other places such as on toy packaging, books, and in other stories.

     I have quite a few Seekers, and in my own particular parlance, I include other jet-formers as well among the decepticons. Seekers have usually been characterized by a lot of redecos, but I don't mind that because they were the first redecos, and fun to collect

StarScream and Jhiaxus

Scourge and Cyclonus

Lugnut-Great figure

Thrust and Dirge

Thundercracker and Skywarp

Sky Shadow and Dreadwing

Terradive-another excellent figure

"The Seeker"by The Who

I looked under chairs
I looked under tables

Dreadwing- A redeco of IDW Megatron

I'm tryin to find the key
To fifty million fables
Terradive-not a redeco, but redecoes have been made of him

They call me the seeker
I been searchin low and high
I wont get to get what I'm after
Till the day I die

I asked bobby dylan
I asked the beatles
I asked timothy leary

Jhiaxus copied Starscreams body using "reactive armor"
he was mentor to Shockwave...what a nutcase

But he couldn't help me either

They call me the seeker
I been searchin low and high
I wont get to get what I'm after
Till the day I die

People tend to hate me
Cuz I never smile

Whether Good guy or Bad guy, Cyclonus
is never accused of being a "Nice Guy"

As I ransack their homes
They wanna shake my hand

Scourge along with Wreck-Gar were proof positive that
Cybertronians could grow wicked beards-he plays second banana
to Cyclonus in the G1 era

Focusing on nowhere
Investigating miles
Skyshadow is a redeco/retool of Thunderwing
they both apparently scare Megatron

I'm a seeker I'm a really desperate man

Lugnut is Megatrons number one fan in TF Animated, but
always loyal to him anyway. His fists can generate pinpoint singularities to
ruin the best of days- no redecoes on this one, and that is both good, and a shame

I wont get to get what I'm after
Till the day I die

I learned to raise my voice in anger

Skywarp epitomizes the phrase "if he had brains he would be
dangerous" - given the power of teleportation, he uses it for fratboy pranks instead of
as the powerful weapon it could be.

Yeah but look at my face ain't this a smile

Starscream is the right hand of Megatron,-if the right hand is the
one that can reach around to stab you in the back. He is smirking,
snarky, sarcastic, and scheming. if you search "treacherous second in
command" on google, his name is top of the list

I'm happy when life's good and when its bad I cry
I got values but I don't know how or why

Thundercracker was once a bully, with contempt for those
 who could not fly, but he has mellowed over time, into a far more
sympathetic soul, thanks to the power of puppies-really

I'm lookin for me
You're lookin for you
Thrust is a loudmouthed braggart with no pretensions to stealth at all.
Cool wings, though.

Dirge is Gloomy and Morose and uses the sound of his engines to strike
fear into the hearts of his enemies(a cowardly, superstious lot).
He has never been known to dress like a bat though
Were lookin at each other and we don't know what to do

They call me the seeker
I been searchin low and high
I wont get to get what I'm after
Till the day I die