This post was added at December 22, 2013, 12:10 am .. copy this [ link ] to point here or goto [ page ]
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters, an unexpectedly enjoyable end to an otherwise crappy toy line and and show!
In 2010 Hasbro began their Hub Network with a new iteration of The Transformers called Transformers Prime. While the show did start with an awesome toy line and an equally fantastic first five episodes, it only degenerated from there. This was a time when the economy was having a heavy impact on what was doable in toys, especially at the low price point Transformers have traditionally sat at.
What grieved fans the most was a perceived bait and switch when Hasbro halted production of the First Edition toys and replaced them with inferior versions.
To compound this somewhat loud outrage, the cartoons second season became a treasure hunt with no long lasting character development. Even huge arcs like the Unicron in Earth or Prime amnesia plot were thrown to the gutter. The end result for me was that I abandoned all things TF Prime and doubled down on third party toys.
Into this mess came the third and final season known as Beast Hunters. Judging by the glut of figures that would not move from shelves a lot of kids felt bad about the toys too. So one day I found that KMart had clearanced Ultimate Beastfire Predaking to $39 down from $99. I chewed on the idea for a while and then bought it. It is a pretty average toy but for that cheap price I was pleasantly surprised.
Based on this I downloaded the season and found it to be really entertaining and a lot better than season two. I then had to buy the other figures. I got this guy, Sharkticon Megatron. I also got Smokecreen, Shockwave, Grimwing, Darksteal, Ultramagnus and Optimus Prime.
So what I want to say is that Beast Hunters turned out OK. It seems like at the end the creative team did not have to drag out the show to just fill episodes so instead they used each episode to it fullest. Characters learned lessons without the reset button being hit each episode. The end was pretty satisfying too, but I will not spoil it here. Out of all the figures Shockwave is the stand out piece. I would feel comfortable putting him in with a more classics oriented collection.
Find some video reviews of these figure on my youTube channel: Shockwave here Smokescreen here Sharkticon Megatron here Beastfire Predaking here
This post was added at December 7, 2013, 11:47 pm .. copy this [ link ] to point here or goto [ page ]
Patlabor is both old and new at the same time. A show that has been delighting me since the 90s that I have only just now completed.
One of my first acts after moving into my own unit about 20 years ago was to go and buy Patlabor the movie on VHS cassette. I watched that thing many times, always enjoying it. Back then the idea of a semi giant human controlled robot seemed new and cutting edge to me. This was before I was aware of the whole spectrum of Japanese robots and super robots.
Looking back at the show now it seems much less plausible. As an adult I can find many better solutions to problems than hitting them with a police robot.
What gets me going about the show today is the character driven story lines. In many ways the TV show and then even more so the OVA series is not about the mecha at all. Patlabor is more about a girl Izumi and here journey to be able to act apart from fear in the wide world. Other characters like Captain Goto also intrigue me but get less treatment than I would like.
Sadly the show did not last as long as I wanted, so I had to looks to toys to fill my sadness. To that end I have bought these great diescast figures from CMs Corporation. Part of the Brave Gokin line of metal figures.
They are both nice and heavy with internal metal skeletons and diescat panels all over the place. The first is the AV98 Ingram, specifically the design used in the OVA. It can have its shoulder swapped out to use a normal TV series style piece.
The second is the Griffon. Shown in both the TV series and the OVA series, it look wicked. The Griffon is one of the ultimate incarnations of the black badass robot from anime. While not entirely practical it looks fantastic. Its cool stylings do get in the way of its own articulation quite a bit though.
CMs do make a range of other Patlabor figures but sadly they all suck in comparison to these. The others are mainly plastic and of much lowere quality. As a rule with CMs and Patlabor, only buy the diecast versions. Revoltech also make a range of plastic figures that I do not want. There is an ultimate version of the AV98 Ingram made by the former Yamato but unless you have a hue wallet dont even bother. I am too late to the game for the Yamato unless there is a new release, and that is not likely because Yamato when belly up.
This post was added at December 7, 2013, 10:54 pm .. copy this [ link ] to point here or goto [ page ]
Space Pirate Cobra is an anime about an intergalactic tough guy part time playboy. The titular hero flies around the galaxy in his pirate space cruiser that has it own built in hottie android - Lady Armaroid.
I have not watched the whole anime but I have enjoyed the movie in both an English dub and the original Japanese subs. There was even a version that featured a soundtrack by the awesome band Yellow from the 80s. Unfortunately I have not been able to get a copy of that version yet.
My first figures from this show are the new Figma toys. So far we have Cobra himself and also Lady. Some time next year we will be getting the Crystal Boy bad guy who has a transparent body with golden internal skeleton. I dont usually buy figmas but for these I made an exception.
While not cheap by any standard these are highly articulated figures with an accurate likeness. The quality of materials is great and the finish is appropriate to each character. Cobra is matte and flesh like while Lady is almost glossy, but not quite so as to make her more photogenic.
Lady Armaroid also comes with a swappable lower body attachment. This can allow her to hit a cartoon accurate sexy crouch.
Cobra comes with a swappable arm attachment, the Psycho Gun. He can channel the energy of his soul through the gun and fire a blast of unimaginable power. Because so few people have this he keeps it hidden. Once the psycho gun is in the open everyone would recognize him as the wanted criminal Cobra. The figure has a third part that emulates his removable arm in the process of coming off.
Cobra has many other lovely ladies in his adventures. Until Figma make them as well he will have to stick to having Friends with Benefits aka Lady Armaroid.
I love these two figures and am now open to the idea of more Figma in my collection. If you have any love for Cobra then it is probably best to get these ASAP because they are bound to get really expensive really quick on the secondary market.
This post was added at August 9, 2013, 11:01 pm .. copy this [ link ] to point here or goto [ page ]
In December of 2012 Bandai Japan released their ultimate figure, the Soul of Chogokin DX Mazinger Z. I have never been a fan of Mazinger. I really dont like the anime and the aesthetics of the character design are not my thing. So for me it took more than half a year to decide to actually buy this hugely expensive figure. The set comes with a large hanger containing light effects that also adds a lot to the cost and shipping.
Each time I considered buying this ultimate Chogokin I ended up diverting my funds into things that I know are more to my taste. A good example being the many S.H.Monsterarts I have acquired this year. No matter how I tried to forget this DX set my daydreams kept coming back to it and the good things I was hearing.
The Mazinger Z figure features a diecast metal skin that can be removed to reveal an intricate internal mechanism. It looks super real and detailed. Most of the panels that come off are heavy in metal content yet are made to a very fine tolerance with exquisite workmanship. It feels as if the creators wanted to prove a point while at the same time set a new high bar in robot design.
It is not until you start comparing this masterpiece to other current figures that you notice just how perfect it is. I recently bought the Miracle Productions Vehicle Voltron, a figure that I like in a lot of ways. But in comparison to MZ this figure looks like a kindergarten student was in charge of the process. There is none of that sloppiness coming from Bandai in this figure.
The hanger turns out to be so versatile that it can be used with almost all your other figures. Most SOC figures can fit in it. Here it is shown doubling as a tower for my King Kong to climb.
Ultimately I made the leap and bought this set because it is more than just another Mazinger toy. I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of robot figure. I have a lot, and over the years my appreciation of them has moved from the realms of toy collecting to now viewing them more as their own art form.
I wanted to experience the DX Mazinger Z. I was not sure if I would like it. Because it is the high bar in this generation of figures, I felt I should at least give it a chance. As it turned out DX Mazinger Z has been one of the best items in my collection and stands on its own merit aside from anime or other iterations in the characters history.
Click on the picture below to watch my video review on youTube.
This post was added at July 25, 2013, 12:35 am .. copy this [ link ] to point here or goto [ page ]
I recently watched a few episodes of the Ninja Senshi Tobikage anime. It is OK for its time but a bit boring for me as an adult.
This is Bakuryu, the main component of the Bandai Soul of Chogokin GX-56 set. An awesome robot dragon who can fit the Zerokage figure inside. It makes a great companion piece for the GX-54 set that I also have.
Bakuryu can also transform into a robot mode. There is a reasonable amount of diecast in the figure, but nothing like the heaviest SOCs like Godmars etc.
Click on the picture above to go to YouTube for the video review.