Showing posts with label transformers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transformers. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pop Culture League Assignment: Shelfie

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers is dead. Long live the League! The Pop Culture League has risen from the pile of cast out toys, comics, and movies to take its place. So, what's this week's assignment?

Shelfie! Snap a picture or two of your favorite shelf.

I'm sure I've posted photos of my display case before, and I'm sure that things haven't changed much since then. Some pieces have gone on to other homes, while I've welcomed a few new additions. How about we get a closer look of dem shelves?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Transformers G1 Triggerbots Override

I only ever saw the Transformers cartoon on a couple of occasions, so all my knowledge of them was based on TV commercials and the bio cards on the back of the toys. Of course, I rarely read or kept the bio cards, meaning most of the story lines I came up with were decidedly non-canon. Still, I like to think I did pretty well by the characters. I certainly knew Optimus Prime was a good guy and the Autobot leader, and it was pretty easy to see Soundwave was his enemy. So what if they sometimes worked together? It's not like Hasbro was going to come take the toys back from me.

So, my lack of knowledge of the backstory wasn't a problem. No, my main issue with the toys was that they were damn expensive compared to other action figures. Sure, I could get a car that turns into a robot and comes with a dozen weapons for $10.99, but I could also buy three different G.I. Joe figures for the same price. Thankfully, Hasbro realized this and released several smaller figures for those of us with a limited allowance.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Micromaster Rescue Patrol is here to save the day

I was a little late to get on the Transformers bandwagon. My first exposure to the shape shifting machinations was the Soundwave figure I received one year on Christmas. We lived in an area where I was more likely to see Bigfoot than actually pick up the television station that played most of the cool cartoons, like Transformers and Masters of the Universe. Still, Soundwave was like nothing I had ever seen before. He may seem simple and archaic to the toy buying youth of today, but my 5 year old mind was blown by this cassette player that turned into a bad ass robot.

Over the years, the Transformers would occasionally catch my eye during our almost weekly shopping trips. Even the smaller figures were hard to ignore, with the large G.I. Joe style paintings of the figures on the cardbacks. Every now and then, one of them would would interest me enough to cause me to spend my hard earned allowance money. That was the main problem with Transformers those days, they were damn expensive if you were the one buying them. A boxed figure would run anywhere from $10 on up, depending on how big it was. I certainly wasn't rich in those days, so I would usually gravitate toward the smaller, more value priced figures.

Supposedly influenced by Galoob's success with Micro Machines, the Micromasters were perfect for the more shallow pocketed youth such as myself. These cost between $4 and $5, and you got four, that's right FOUR, different figures. Sure, they were a lot simpler than larger Transformers, but in my mind, quantity won over complexity. There were half a dozen different Micromaster Patrols to choose from, ranging from one entirely made up of jets, to one group composed of sports cars. I wish I could tell you why I chose this group over all the others, but it's hard to remember my reasoning. In my mind, I just picture seeing these guys hanging on the peg, and immediately being drawn to them.

As good as they look in their alternate modes, the Rescue Patrol looks even better transformed. In most cases, changing the Micromasters from one form to another was simply a matter of folding down the legs, flipping up a hood, and standing the figure up. Like I said, pretty simple. Articulation was pretty basic, with most of them having moveable arms. They came with no accessories, because they were pretty much accessories themselves. If you had one of the giant Transformers that could turn into a small city, like Metroplex or Scorponok, you could populate them with your Micromasters. They also had the advantage of being able to fit in your pockets, something I'd be reluctant to do with the slightly larger toys. Even Bumblebee would have been an uncomfortable lump in my pants.

Fixit was probably my least favorite out of the bunch. No matter how you look at it, a plain white ambulance will never be as cool as a fire truck. His robot mode improved on things a little bit, but it still bothered me that there was so much of the front of the ambulance hanging off his back.  That's not to say that I disliked him, but if I could only choose one out of the group, it wouldn't be him.

Stakeout's alternate mode is an improvement over Fixit's, but just barely. There's nothing particularly exciting about a police car, but he is much, much sleeker when transformed. I like that his goggles and color scheme kinda give him that Highway Patrol vibe. All they needed was a little dab of yellow for a badge, and the image would have been complete.

Seawatch is one of my favorite Transformers, period. I know his alternate form is a boat, but he's a damn cool boat. Besides, who knows what being a boat means on Cybertron. For all we know, Cybertronian boats can fly just as easily as their jets. Seawatch also has one of the better looking robot modes. The helmet and face mask he's wearing give him the appearance of a cyber samurai. As you know, you can't spell awesome without "cyber ninja that turns into a hydrofoil".

Redhot is easily my favorite out of the whole bunch. His alternate mode is that of a heavy duty firetruck. He looks like another vehicle that would be more at home on Cybertron. The robot form is easily the best of them all. Redhot has the most heroic appearance, and if I had to guess, I'd say he was the leader of the Rescue Patrol. He is the tallest of the group, just barely edging out Stakeout. Redhot kinda comes with an accessory if you count his often missing ladder. I consider it more of a decoration, since all it can really do is twist around and fold up. That would be the only thing that would keep me from carting Redhot around in my pocket all the time. I would be too worried I would snap off his ladder. He frequently stood in for Optimus Prime during my mini adventures, since he had the big and beefy leader look to him.

Besides,a fire truck will always be more heroic vehicle than a semi-truck.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Transformers Universe Silverstreak

This Silverstreak is a replacement for the one I broke and ultimately traded off a couple years ago. He was such a cool figure, if a bit fragile, and I felt bad for trading off what was a very thoughtful gift. So, I scoured the internet for a few months until I came across one on eBay for a price that wasn't as ridiculous as all the others. A few days later, and Silverstreak was back in my possession.

He is a really cool figure, even if he does have some trouble standing on his own. Much like vintage Star Wars figures, it takes a little finesse to get Silverstreak to stay up on his own. I'm also happy to report that I was able to transform him without any parts breakage this time. Sadly, he'll never be changed back to his Sports Car Mode, because I just don't want to take any chances.  I'm sure if I had to go looking for him again, he'd probably cost me a couple hundred dollars. Thankfully, he doesn't come with much in the way of accessories, just one blaster and that's it. There's less to lose that way. Most of the newer figures have much better articulation than their G1 counterparts, and Silverstreak is no exception. He may even be more articulated than the newer G.I. Joe figures. When you consider that most G1Transformers only had one or two POA's, it's rather impressive.

Silverstreak's card gives us a short biography on the character, as well as his tech specs. Apparently, he's the blabber mouth of the Autobots, since he never shuts up and will talk even while he's charging. That's right, Silverstreak even talks in his sleep. We also get a good view of his alt mode. I think he changes into a Nissan 350Z, which is fitting since the figure he's based on originally turned into a Datsun Fairlady Z. It's a sharp looking car, and I'm actually a little tempted to find a real used one that I can repaint and rebadge with an Autobot symbol. I'd probably be the only person that got it, but that's really nothing new for me.

Who knows, maybe they'll figure out how to make real cars and trucks transform by then..

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Transformers Pretenders Waverider

It's 1988. I have allowance money burning a hole in my pocket, and it's one of the rare instances I didn't find a toy I wanted at Roses. We've made one last stop at People's Drug, and I realize, if I don't get something now, it will be a whole week before I can get back up here again. I scan the toy aisle for something, anything that might catch my attention, when my gaze settles on a box with a familiar font. "Transformers", it reads, "Robots in Disguise". I already have a large box full of the form shifting robots, but it's a rare occasion that I get to pick one up brand new. I look up and down the aisle again, and decide to go home with this guy:

Waverider, from the Pretenders line. I got inside the car, opened him up, and was immediately disappointed.
I'm not sure why, since I was more than capable of reading, and I'm sure I knew what I was getting. Still, the drab colors, and lack of articulation ended up being a let down once I got the figure in hand. He still got played with over the years, and I actually picked up a couple more Pretenders, but they were never my favorite Transformers. You see, the Pretenders were an oddity among a toy line that had a train that turned into a space shuttle that changed into a robot. The premise still confounds me even today. As I understand it, the Pretender shells were developed as a way for the Autobots and Decepticons to blend in on different planets. I'm not sure how well 25 ft tall monsters and humans would blend in on Earth, but this is also the toyline that had a 20 ft tall robot with the alternate form of a regular sized Walkman.

Honestly, I kind of like the way the human form looks, and I would have loved to see a more articulated version. He's big and brawny, and looks like he could throw down with the toughest of the Decepticons. Waverider was well equipped too, coming with a blaster rifle,

and a large axe.

So, I'm sure you're wondering what the gimmick is with these guys. Well, I'll tell you. You take off Waverider's belt and helmet, then split him in two to reveal...

Waverider robot version. There isn't much to the figure, as they had to keep it pretty basic so it would fit within the Pretender shell. The arms are articulated at the shoulders, so he can hold and point his blaster at you,

but that's about it. The leg are articulated at the hips and the knees, but they only allow side to side movement. Basically, they're only articulated to allow Waverider to transform. And what does he transform into?

An attack sub, or a boat. I'm not sure. It never really mattered to me, because I used to pretend he was a starfighter. His design reminds me of some of the ships from the NES and SNES shoot'em up games. As you can see, his gun fits nicely on top of his alternate form, though that's not the only thing that fits...

Yep, the battle ax will go in there too. I'm not sure how effective it would be, since he'd have to get close enough to ram the Decepticons for it to be effective. Of course, just the sight of the thing might be enough to discourage any attackers. If I saw that thing slicing through the water, I'd have to believe I just witnessed what has to be the most badass shark in existence. I doubt I'd ever go in the water again if I thought sharks were arming themselves with battle axes.

You kind of got two toys in one with the Pretenders. After you take the robot out, you can put the shell back together, instantly doubling your fighting force. I know the shell is mostly a statue, but I have to admit he's still pretty cool looking. Both the shell and the robot are rather robust compared to some of the other Transformers offerings of the same period. The blaster and ax are large and pretty tough, so they're less likely to get lost or broken. The same goes with the helmet and belt.

My perception of the Pretenders line has certainly changed over the years. Rather than disappointment, I've come to appreciate the simplicity and robustness of the designs. Trying to transform some of the new figures is an exercise in frustration, so it's nice to have one that only requires a couple twists to change forms. I know it's a long shot, but I'd love to see Hasbro release a line of modern Pretenders. I see they are releasing newer figures closer to the G1 style, so who knows, it could happen.

Either way, just keep pretendin' Waverider.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Man Cave 2.0

So this doesn't really have much to do with Halloween, but I think I'm going to consider the countdown officially over for this year. I missed out on too much, and it's too late to catch up. I still have several things to post about before the month is over though. It'll certainly be more than enough to fill the next 7 days before All Hallow's Eve. I was hoping Chelsea would be able to keep up the posts while I was gone, but she was occupied by a little project over the past few days.

I'm sure you've all seen photos of my well worn desk, and remember me mentioning that I didn't really display my meager collection. Well, Chelsea took care of both of those problems while I was gone.

This used to be a knife display case from a hardware store, but Chelsea took the inserts out, and left the shelves. Then she used some adhesive backed LED lights, and stuck them to the bottoms of the top two shelves. She managed to get all my stuff in here, and I think it looks great.

Next, she made some awesome little shadow boxes. I'm not sure why Chewie is using a lightsaber though. I guess he decided to become a Jedi too.

All of my carry knives are easily accessible now. I've had that magnetic knife strip for a couple years now, so it's great she finally put it to some use. The table will work great for when I need to set up my sharpening stones, which are held in the tool box sitting on that shelf there. It'll also work well for my Halloween mood table next year.

There were a couple of unnecessary doors that we took down and stored out in the garage. We had been talking about turning them into tables or desks, but never got around to it. It seems Chelsea was feeling extra crafty, and built me a new desk top. It works great, and actually gives me more room for the random stuff I manage to accumulate. I think it looks better than that old, worn out desktop that was on there before.

Here's my classic gaming corner. Unfortunately, I don't have any classic systems hooked up at the moment, but that's easily remedied. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I even own any classic systems..hmm. The bean bag looking thing is a Big Joe chair from Wal-Mart. It is one of the most comfortable bean filled pieces of furniture I've ever seen. I could see myself falling asleep in the middle of a round of Super Mario Bros.

Heh..get it?

Chelsea decorated all of the outlets like this. I'm amazed at all the different kinds of duct tape they're coming out with these days. This one appears to portray some urban squid creatures spraying graffiti all over the place. Damn squids, they're getting more rowdy every day.

The last little touch was a set of Transformers curtains. It may not be old school Transformers, but I think they still help bring the room together. I'm not sure if you noticed, but Chelsea also repainted the entire room, so it doesn't look like I'm sitting in a dungeon anymore. It should make it a little easier to light my next video, which will be coming up soon.

So there you have it. Several more reasons why I think I have the greatest girlfriend in the world. Sorry guys, but I've got you beat.

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