Sunday, November 14, 2010

G1 Predaking

Hi guys, been a while I know, but life has had me busy. Anyway today im going to be looking at.....
G1 Predaking!!

Now the Predacons were the 4th Decepticon combiner group shown in the Transformers TV series, first featured in season 3s "The Five Faces of Darkness". They have made many apperances throughout season 3 almost always as a group so I never really got a feel for all thier individual natures. The set is is actually the biggest gestalt in the G1 toy line and still one of the largest Transformers out there. Now lets have a look at these guys.

Razorclaw, the leader of the group transforms into fearsome lion who's claws can slice through solid steel. I really like his lion mode and his overall color scheme. The articulation is a little more than what you would expect from a G1 figure. He has arm, waist, leg and knee joints. Most of these are for his transformations but they are still very nice to have. For weapons he has his sword and double barrel cannon that mounts on his arm aswell as on his back in lion mode.

Rampage forms the right arm of Predaking and transforms into a tiger capable of leaping great distances. Being a big cat fan, he and Razorclaw are easily my favorites of this set. Much like Razorclaw, he has articulation in his arms, waist, legs and knees. His weapons include a sword and 2 guns, which can be mounted on the shoulders of his tiger mode.

Divebomb forms the left arm of Predaking, as well as provides his wings. He transforms into a falcon, or maybe an eagle its kind of hard to tell, but he is a very scary looking bird of prey. Again he has articulation in his arms, waist, legs and knees and even some in his tail and wings. Divebomb also has a nice Voltron like head as the mouth opens up to reveal his face. His weapons are the standard 2 guns that mount on his wings, and a sword.

Tantrum forms the right leg of Predaking and transforms into a buffalo, although I think he looks more like a bull. Either way, I dont want to be in his path while he is stampeding. His articulation is quite different from the other Predacons. He has moving head, arm and elbow joints, but his elbows move in and out rather than up and down. He has the standard 2 guns and a swoed for weapons, but he also has a giant twin barrel canon mounted on his back in buffalo mode. He also seems to have blasters molded onto his arms for more firepower.
Last but not least we have Headstrong, the stubborn old rino who becomes the left leg of Predaking. Even his toy is stubborn in the fact that he is the most brick like of the group. He only has articulation in his arms and elbows. He has the same set of weapons as the others, and like Tantrum he has a big double barrel cannon to put on his rino mode's back.

Now the 5 Predacons look great together. I just love thier warm color scheme. They look like a blazing inferno of beastial fury. They all stand about the size of a modern deluxe, which means they can fit in nicely with the Classics figures if you wish to put them there. It's worth noting that while these guys all have the same weapon sets, each figures weapons are molded differently which helps tell the weapons apart. They also all feature some level of diecast metal in their bodies which is always a cool thing. So lets get to the big guy himself.

As i mentioned earlier, Predaking is the biggest G1 gestalt out there, and even by today's standards he is pretty big. He's roughly as tall as a modern leader class figure and due to his diecast, twice as heavy. His look is awsome, and he is definatly as mejestic as his name implies. Aside from the usual lack of articulation, he does have a couple flaws. His wings dont hold on very stable and basically rest on Razorclaws front paws while a long peg sticks into his back. Also, Razorclaws sword looks like a dinky pocket knife in Predakings mighty hand, a bigger sword made specially for combined mode would have made this set so much better. But even with these flaws, Predaking is well worth getting and is a wonderful addition to any Transformers collection.

A new reissue for Predaking will be available soon and can be preordered now at many toy sites. This set will replace the yellow plastic seen in this review with a more golden type, and will also feature new decales. Personally I'm sticking with my current set, but if you dont have Predaking yet, your chance to get him is here and it would be worth while to take it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

FansProject Crossfire 02 Combat Unit (with Energon Bruticus Maximus)

Hi guys, sorry I haven't posted in a while. I got back from my vacation a week ago and have been very busy ever since. Anyway today we are going to be looking at a compilation of figures and sets that will total out to...........

Energon Bruticus Maximus with Fansproject Crossfire 02 upgrades. Yep I'm using the Fansproject add on kits with the Energon version of Bruticus instead of the ROTF version. Why you ask? Well, I like the Energon color scheme a little bit better. I think they are closer to their G1 counterparts then the ROTF set, and I got this crew cheaper to lol.  Anyway, lets take a look at the individual Combaticons before we get into the awesomeness that is Bruticus.

Ok, I'm gonna start with the FansProject figures. Explorer here is meant to be the Classics Blast Off, but due to the fact that this is a 3rd party toy, not an official Hasbro product, they can name him Blast Off. I will be calling him Blast Off and the Munitioner will be called Swindle for the rest of this review just cause it makes things easier to understand.

Now Blast Off is a very well made figure, boasting a complex, yet fluid feeling transformation. He transforms into an unmanned scout plane that is capable of space flight. It looks like the G1 figure's vehicle mode minus the windshield. Robot mode is a beautiful homage to the old cartoon. His weapon is a hatchet that folds out into a sword. Unusual but with all the extra weapons these guys come with it isn't bad. One thing to note is that Blast Off is very light weight so don't let that catch you off guard.
Compared to his G1 figure, Blast Off is longer and more slender in vehicle mode. In robot mode he is taller and obviously better articulated. I'm working with the RID Ruination set subbing for the G1 toys I dont have so the color differences will be obvious in these pics. Also i should mention that the Decepticon logos on Blast Off and Swindle are extras I happen to have available and are not included with either Crossfire set.

Swindle is a bit more different from his G1 self than Blast Off. He is more of a beige color than the yellow that he normally sports. His vehicle mode is a military armored Hummer which homages his character in Transformers Animated. Robot mode is highly articulated and looks like an updated version of the G1 figure. The canon on his vehicle mode becomes a pistol in robot mode. I would have liked it better if the pistol was a bit longer and mounted on his arm like the G1 cartoon. Purple eyes would have been better as well, but this guy does work nicely.

G1 Swindle (or RID Rollbar in this case) looks like a midget compared to Munitioner. about all he's got going for him is having the bigger gun. Vehicle mode shows Swindle's transition from an army jeep to military Hummer which actually helps further differentiate him from Autobot jeep, Hound.

On to the more Officail figures and how the FP set improves them starting with Brawl. Brawl (aka Energon Kickback) is a twin barrel tank that transforms into a robot with wings, or a cape made out of his treads. All and all he is a solid figure. His Color is very nice, resembles the G1 even if it's a bit on the bright side. The guns on his arms can pop off rather easily though. Articulation is pretty good and even without the FP add-ons, he looks armed to the teeth. The Crossfire sets included a large assortment of weapons that any of the Combaticons can use, and I'll let the pics speak for themselves as far as how I armed my guys.

Once again, the G1 is a bit smaller than the newer version. The Energon mold is a little more alien in design for vehicle mode, but you can tell it's a tank. Robot modes look nothing like each other.

Vortex is a nice lil helicopter that really benefits from the FP upgrades. His grey and purple color scheme work well for him though I can see people preferring the pale blue of the ROTF version. The missile launchers from FP look really good on him in either robot or vehicle mode, and I dig using the guns as the chopper's feet. Robot mode is well articulated and although you can move the blades together, I prefer to keep them out. They just look good to me out.

The new Vortex has a far more menacing chopper mode than his G1 counterpart. Robot mode has a lot closer resemblance to his G1 self than Brawl, the head sculpt in particular. While it is a little rounder, it does feel like Vortex.

Last but not least we have Onslaught. FP truly went all out loading this guy up, which makes since considering Energon Barricade didn't come with a single weapon. The upgrades change his vehicle mode from a mobile missile launcher to cargo truck armed with a G1esk twin barrel canon. A couple quick shifts and he becomes a mobile launch pad for Blast Off. Now in robot mode, Onslaught is expected to carry the Bruticus feet on the backs of his shoulders, but I'm now fond of that so I don't bother. Sadly he cant put the twin barrel canon on his back, but he can hold it under slung on his arm. It is worth noting that the ball joint for Bruticus's head is on a peg that goes in and out of head panel very easily, and also there is a missing slot that keeps the backpack from closing all the way.

Our newly Upgraded Onslaught has a nice size advantage on his old G1 self in vehicle and base mode, but looses it in robot mode. Mega Octane here is about a head taller than Barricade. The blue on Barricade are a lot closer to g1 than the black on ROTF Onslaught. If you have the ROTF set, you may want to get Energon Barricade just to have that G1 feel. Now lets have a couple shots of the guys together before we get to the big man himself.

Now that we got Bruticus together I think it shows why I like the Energon set for this better than the ROTF version. The silver on Barricade's cab works very well and matches the silver wing on G1 Bruticus's chest nicely. Part of me still wants to paint it brown, black and purple to match the cartoon better though. The rest of the set looks nice and while the Energon limbs do stand out a little with how bright they are, they don't look one bit out of place. Articulation is astounding, a drastic improvement over What Energon Bruticus Maximus could do before. Blast Off's legs seem a little loose and it becomes apparent is it gets weighed down by the large gun.  Bruticus is armed with two shotguns made from the smaller guns the combat unit had, a sniper rifle and a combat knife which was Blast Off's sword. His back canons can rotate forward to become shoulder canons much like the ones Predaking had in the G1 series.

Bruticus Maximus towers over his G1 self with ease, and is also taller than G1 Devestator with the Crazy Devy upgrades. He is even taller than Predaking. Bruticus looks good next to Classics Ultra Magnus and I only wish I had ROTF Superion and his Crossfire Upgrades. In the end, Bruticus Maximus is a very hard and expensive figure to come by, but if you can, get him ASAP. This guy is well worth the money. Take care all.