Tag Archives: Action Figure

SIEGE Sideswipe and Optimus Prime

Trucks combo optimus prime 1

After a fairly long delay, Wave 1 SIEGE Sideswipe and Optimus Prime are finally in my hands. These toys turned up super late at retail in Australia (if at all, some places never got Wave 1) but these were online pre-orders and took even longer to arrive, plus I bundled them with other pre-orders to get better overall value. To put things in context, Wave 2 is in stores by the time I got these in hand.

In hand I am so much more impressed with these two than with Hound. While Hound looks great, his legs being easily broken messes did not win him any favors with me. Having transformed Sideswipe and Prime repeatedly this week no parts popped off, nothing warped or nearly broke like with Hound, so I didn’t swear or scream at my toys, or have a ManTantrum like usual.

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These two toys have a great look and a swell deco. I hate the battle damage oil spray bullshit, but that is easily removed with some isopropyl alcohol and a careful hand.

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They are mostly enjoyable to transform, although Prime is more fiddly. Sideswipe however is genuinely enjoyable to transform over and over.

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Up close and personal, both toys have really nice face sculpts and you can see how they have applied some of the design ideas from the MP line to these smaller toys.

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Not content to just look good, this is the first Generations line in a long fucking time not to have joints all loosey-goosey.  Not only can they stand up and hold their own weight, but you can pose them like a genuine action figure. No blu-tack under the feet trickery here. It’s a really nice improvement, but really THIS SHOULD BE THE STANDARD, not the exception in  modern toys at any price point.

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Sideswipe hanging out with mate old G1 Sideswipe and they do look good together.

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Underneath and things tuck and tab in nicely, quite impressive.

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How does the new SIEGE Prime stack up in his alt mode?

rig parked badly

Well, it’s a fairly solid alt mode – but it does look a bit bit daft. Classics Prime is still the clear winner for me in truck mode.

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Piles of Prime in Voyager scale. SIEGE Prime compares nicely to this lot and has the best articulation of all. The Last Knight Voyager Prime has some great articulation too, but doesn’t balance nearly as well – meaning he falls over if you try to actually get a decent pose out of him. Not so with SIEGE Prime.

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Primes and Grimlocks doing what they do with silly oversized swords.

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You can never have too many good Prime and Dinobot toys in your collection, and these rascals look pretty cool together.

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Striking a pose with some colorful CHUG style toys, and man this Prime fits in great with your Generations collection both official and mixed 3P.

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Mixing it up on the old shelf and this SIEGE Prime goes well  with just about anything you can throw at him.

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Back in space truck mode, he’s a nice size. Here he is with G2 Lazer Prime, Beachcomber and Sideswipe.

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In the fashionable accessory department Optimus comes with his usual Blaster and a big ass Axe for when he has to ‘Axe You a Question. The sword is from a Last Knight Leader Movie Prime, it’s just on loan from the Baybot for silly photos.

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Sideswipe has a gun, and his red missile can peg into the front of it. There is an additional square tab to fit in his top mounted shoulder port, as well as the normal round gun handle. Good to have options.

Additionally there are loads of ports all over the sides of the SIEGE figures, and the bump on Sideswipe’s chest is for attaching the blast effects that come with the small scale weapon toys.

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No matter what other impressive figures we get in the SIEGE line – I’ve pr-ordered around 2/3 of the whole line including Jetfire and Omega – these two remain mightily impressive.

SIEGE Prime and Sideswipe are EXACTLY what I want from a mainline modern  TF toy. I don’t collect MP, I want something I can mess around with that also doesn’t look shit as many modern mainline toys do.

So great deco, classic timeless look, great articulation and the new higher price point actually feels justified in comparison to the quality dive in Combiner Wars and Titans Returns – which were both great lines, but had serious compromises with hollow bits and lack of paint. Yup, enjoying these toys very much. Can’t wait for the Red Alert redeco of Sideswipe and my leader Magnus and voyager Megatron are due sometime soon too.

Brobot fist bump for the finish.

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ALL ABOARD! Titans Return Astro Train and Sentinel Prime Blasting off to Infinity and Beyond

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Titans Return Astro Train and Sentinel Prime are two of my favourite figures from the entire Titans line, along with Fortress Maximus.

The Astro figure has been the subject of a fair amount of scorn from fans for “not being G1”. To which I say fuck off, it’s a lovely toy with a very fun transformation and actually looks good in all three modes – something very few triple changers have ever accomplished. Whining bastards can be thrown out the door on our journey through the Milky Way and chucked overboard without hesitation next to Unicron’s exit hole.

The shuttle  made has the canopy for the Titan Master to sit in (as does the entire line) and I like how it’s a space shuttle that looks similar to The Ark the Autobots fell to earth in.

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Underneath is one of those tiny bike kickstands that I never actually ever used on my old pushbike, preferring to lean it up against things. I do the same with toys and only flicked it down this first ever time for the photo. Sadly there is no peg underneath for a flight stand, a missed opportunity there.

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Flip Astro over and while half his body is quite tidy, the other half is clearly the chest and arms of a robot tucking his head in while doing a Ballerina toe pointy twirl of some sort.

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Changing to space gangstar Choo Choo mode, and he’s ready to blow some shit up in style.

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Turrets out the wazoo and a big old cow catcher that will no doubt wreck anything it runs into.

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The train mode I am really a fan of. It’s like those old war time weapon cannons / big ass weapons on rails.

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The train mode is so long it barely fits on the shelf, it’s inspiration with the guns etc seems rather obvious. People complaining “wahhh, this astro doesn’t look like a train” should I don’t know… try looking at pictures of things from the real world now and then and not just fucking cartoons.

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Side on, the shuttle wings fold down, which I like. The fin at the top can’t go anywhere else except horizontal which also looks kind of dorky. It’s kind of stylish, but I would like the option for that fin to fold right down flat and be a bit more sleek and stand out less.

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The side panels have some very nice detailing on them. Quite a few fans have used fine tipped paint pens or paint brushes to fill in those little highlights and they do come up great. I’ve been tempted to do the same to my one, but I’d only make a mess of it.

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Those panel lines and little details are sweet and carry right along both sides of the train.

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From above and you can see those cool turret cannons and how the toy basically does ‘de splits like Van Damme in every movie for no good reason to achieve this impressively long train mode.

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The ends can also be rotated so you can have the smooth foot end, the cow catcher front/end  or one of each giving a nice bit of variety to how he can be displayed.

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Changing things up to robot mode and Astro lives up to being a thug /  Space Chug, who never chose the life. He was born into it. With those kind of prison tatts, you don’t mess with this guy.

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The face sculpt is decent, if lacking a bit of paint. The pop up collar gimmick that is on all the Voyager figures in the Titans line looks okay here, as it makes sense on Astro.

On other figures I really can’t stand it. I have no idea why they put it on EVERY Voyager figure in the line, just nonsensical. His chest looks cool and his trademark color ribbon is there. This Hasbro version uses the color scheme from the old G1 toy, while the Takara version uses the darker grey for the main body of the cartoon deco. Both look great.

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Other than where his feet fold up, Astro is not too gappy. In robot mode you have his wings out as is the fashion or have them angled back, as they have a double hinge that is used as part of the transformation. If you like the outer wings with the faction logo on the other side, it’s easy enough to pop them off and reverse them also.

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The figure has some good articulation, and gives you a chance to show off those dancing shoes.

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Moving on to Sentinel Prime and man I just love this guy.

The main complaint was well…. how ORANGE he is.

But I like it.

Yes he could have used a bit more or a subtle color scheme, but now and then you’ve gotta have some freakish colors in there to change things up. A bit of Generation Two freak style never killed anybody. I just imagine it’s Scoops bigger more evil brother (yep he’s a bad guy, despite being an Autobot). His yellow highlights and unpainted off white parts contrast nicely with the orange, and he has a classic Prime inspired head sculpt to die for. Literally if you read any of the related modern fiction.

This version of Sentinel Prime is a stone cold bastard, unlike the friendlier one in the old TFUK comics – the Sentinel in that story was a good guy and held the matrix before Optimus Prime and went on to inspire this toy/comics version, as well as the Leonard Nimoy turncoat live action Sentinel who turned into a fire truck.

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The big ass orange sword is a KO of the FOC Grimlock sword I pinched from another toy, and it looks great with Sentinel.

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I prefer the collar gimmick down on Sentinel. Check out that face man, it’s so good. It could have used maybe some silver highlights or something as everything sort of blends together until you take a close look and notice how much is going on there.

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Never afraid to audition for “So you think your Bot Can Dance” Sentinel is well up for the challenge.

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Changing over to Contra Boss Mode, Sentinel Train Pants shows off his side bits with a bit more flair than Astro.

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The little silver wheels are a nice touch, and the rivets all the way along look sweet. His turret cannons however just blend in and could have used a lick of paint.

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The canopy has a clear yellow tint, so you can see the tiny Titan Master inside. You can spot Astro behind him here and see the contrast in the two decos.

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I really dig both toys and their train modes. I also came up with an additional Walker fan mode where the canopy sits on top, and the two legs extend downward making it look like a two legged mech thing, but forgot to take a picture. I might add one in later.

Side by side, and these bass ass trains are ready to cause some havoc.

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I almost picked up the Takara version of Astro too, as both look awesome. But I never found one at a reasonable price so gave it a miss. I would really like to be able to put at least three of these trains together and a faux track just for a cool picture. Heck, I don’t even like trains at all, but these toys are so much fun to pose, transform and mess around with.

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The shuttle mode for Sentinel is similar looking to The Ark that crash landed on earth at the beginning of the Transformers show.

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I get why some folks don’t like it, but for me it’s a cool looking Cybertronian space craft. There are heaps of fine little details all over that you can’t really see too well in a photo.

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Both Astrotrain and Sentinel Prime are great fun, and I’ve transformed these two more than any others from the Titans Returns line over the last couple years since picking them up at retail on their initial release – they are so fun to pick up any time and mess around with.

There are a few different fan repaints around, but this one by Cheetimus Primal really shows the potential of the sculpt. He just looks fantastic in this IDW comics inspired deco.

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PLATINUM UNICRON – THE CHAOS BRINGER WILL DEVOUR ALL

Platinum Unicron box front

The Chaos Bringer is here, devourer of worlds and eater of giant metal lunches – Platinum Unicron. I’ve owned two incomplete Unicrons before – one Armada yellow one and the Armada black redeco, this is my first complete one.

The box is a very attractive eye catching display. It comes with some kick ass art on the front you can see above then you open the velcro panel door to reveal……

Platinum Unicron box front open panel both sides

Unicron’s brain, and all the bad brain rotting 80’s Television he’s been watching.

Platinum Unicron box front open panel brain

On the back of the box, are some nice shots showing off his multiple gimmicks and he sure does have a shipload of gimmicks.

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A brief bit of blather, and that mysterious Decepticon symbol – despite old man robot devil Planetformer not being part of any faction or group. He’s in a wolf pack of one.

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Light up fist, glowing eyes – that are damn annoying to get to work properly, might have to adjust the battery panel and he comes with Mini-Con Kranix. Kind of macarbe when you consider that Kranix…

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Kranix is the poor bastard whose home planet of Lithone is devoured at the beginning of the movie. Inexplicably he survives, and later turns up in the scene with the Quintessons who execute him by throwing him to the Sharkticons as Hot Rod and Kup watch in horror. kranix lone survivor lithone unicron

Someone at Hasbro has a dark sense of humor making the mini-con into Kranix.

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More features on the back of the box, I can’t even count he how many gimmicks he has. The evil glowy eyes, the red right hand fist of justice, the pop open chest, the phallic chest cannon thing, and the missile on his leg bits which are entirely un-neccesary and shall remain in their plastic bag along with his planet wings as I have no intention of transforming him.

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The side of a box has some more hyperbole and a giant ass Decepticon symbol that looks real nice, even if it makes no sense at all.

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While the earlier Takara Unicron (the first ever movie version) was retooled from the Armada release and had the most movie accurate deco, for some reason the Platinum release went with weird off colors that still look good, just not great.

If I had to guess, they might not have been allowed to use the same deco as the super pricey Takara one. Whatever the reason, I’m glad to have my first ever complete Unicron and one with a  nice movie face and some decent highlights and stuff. Armada Unicron is a really cool toy, but I’ve wanted a movie version for…….most of my life really.

As a toy Unicron in any version is not great, he’s pretty fiddly to mess around with. Not easy to pose or stand – but he does make a great display piece – which was my intention in getting him. I have Primus around somewhere, so will do some photos with him at some point. It’s just awesome to have ANY version of Unicron, as growing up in the 80s, we thought we would never see a toy of the Devourer. He’s just a cool robot devil, what more can you say.

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The face is really nice, and he has his proper green eyes this time. Even if they do weirdly light up red.

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I’ve had this guy since, well since whenever the heck he was first released as the Platinum edition but had nowhere to put him. He was finally taken out of storage and unboxed today. I gave away my old loose Armada yellow Unicron, but kept my Black deco one that is missing lots of bits but still metal as fuck in all Black.

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I just had no good space for the Platinum boxed one, but I cleared a bunch of stuff today so he can have his own space for now with his Deception minions/heralds.

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The small Cons are the MFT KO’s of the DX9 toys. I don’t collect any of that lot, but bought these guys just to go with Unicron as they were quite cheap and look the part. One final blurry picture that has Unicron, ,Scourge, Galvatron, Cyclonus and my Galvatronus combiner. Can’t never have too much purple in your collection.

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Before you can say “Please don’t eat my world robot devil” we’re done.