Happy Idul Fitri

Happy Ied Mubarak or Idul Fitri for those who celebrate it.


BIMA the Garuda Warrior Episode 3 Review

The story started with Ray had a terrible nightmare regarding his family. Something I have forgotten about this series because the backstory of this series is not exposed much (maybe saved for later plot development). Ray still in confusion whether to accept the task as Earth protector or not. Now the series introduced monster of the week called Lizarion monster and also we heard some informal speech (Apa lo? Rese’ lo!) to my surprise. The monster attacked one basketball athlete and then invade the sport hall to make Ray appeared on the scene “less than a minute”.

After some untransformed fighting scene, Rey transformed and we got a pretty dang good and impressive fighting scene between Bima versus the combatant and Lizarion monster in busway stop. I realized that the pace is still fast (retaining from previous episodes) but this series improved it a little bit. The Lizarion escaped and we got a scene where Ray scolded Rena for not helping her (a scene that will make Ray has more enemies called “JKT48 wota”). Luckily he apologized in the later scene. Still questioning himself about being Bima, he finally made up his mind, he will fight Vudo no matter what it costs. That’s cliche but I think the kids who watched this series will be happy.

Ray then learned from mere random internet page (more like Google search result page) that lizard weakness is the sun. Lizarion only attacked when the sun is covered by the cloud. Some may seen this ridiculous, but considering this series aimed for children, that scene makes the kids think about how to solve difficult problems. Well, that’s the formula of showa Kamen Rider exactly. And for me that means good.

As usual the fighting scenes (for the third time, that’s rare for a 20 minutes duration tokusatsu series) looks very good. Except, there’s one scene where a car suddenly passed both Bima and Lizarion and then gone without explanation. Ah, the last 1/4 portion of the series is edited badly. Also, I don’t see any differences between Bima Blue Storm and Bima Red Fire as finishers. Well, I hope they will explain it later.

Overall, the episode is good on its own. Still we have troubles such as lazy audio editing, stiff acting (but it’s getting better), unresolved scenes, or fast pace of plot. But I see the sign of improvement here and there and I expect more for the next episode.

Legend Class TF Generations Optimus Prime & Roller

Hasbro releases this set as a part of Thrilling 30 Transformers. This Optimus Prime has a design taken from IDW comics of their own G1. This set not only gives Optimus but also Roller, in form of a SUV, which is a triple-changer. I have to say this is a sweet deal although Roller is not a mobile drone anymore. I don’t mind as long as the playability of this set is great. Also, while the box said this set (especially for Optimus Prime) is legend class, but the size is actually for commander class (a little bit bigger than common scout / legend class we used to know). For me, that’s a good decision because now I can pose him together with other Cyberverse Prime’s figures.

Optimus Prime in vehicle mode is quite good, but I am really curious about why no smokestacks there. I feel a big truck without smokestacks is a minus point for me. It looks good but feels unrealistic for me.

Transforming Optimus from vehicle into robot mode is pretty generic but solid as those who are familiar with Optimus Prime conversion mechanism will have little to zero problem. And unlike previous legend class G1 Optimus Prime, we have no fake grills anymore (hurray!!!). And here we have IDW’s incarnation of G1 Optimus Prime.

Optimus in robot mode feels like an update version of old-good G1 Optimus Prime with modern touch. The chest part reveals Autobots logo and the shoulder parts can be expanded. It’s trivial but cool anyway.

This Optimus has good-range of articulations for its size. It has joints on vital points (head, shoulders, elbows, waist, knees) which are very satisfying, even better than Cyberverses’ counterpart.

As for Roller itself in vehicle mode, a good-in scale SUV to be compared with Optimus in size. Optimus’ ion blaster can also be attached here. Well, I like this Roller, looks cute but deadly at the same time. Robot mode? Hmmm, not too shabby but I feel vehicle mode is better (contrary to Optimus Prime now). How about blaster mode? It sucks, seriously. I’m not convinced enough that Roller in blaster mode is actually a kind of weapon. But there’s no room for me to complain regarding the size of this toy.

Roller as blaster makes Optimus top-heavy. No, it’s not teribble, but not that great either. Still, having a big blaster makes this set worth the value. I like it so much, the playability of this set is great.

This set has two undocumented features which surprised me a lot. Roller can be attached at the back of Optimus’ truck mode and (this one is sweet sweet sweet feature) Roller can be attached to Optimus in robot mode to become its jetpack, complete with long blaster. What a feature! Yes, maybe it’s just my imagination, but this small feature makes me appreciate this set a lot. Does it make Roller a quadruple-changer?

This set is a must have. I have nothing to complain, has great features, solid transformations, lots of playabilities, and satisfying gimmick. Get it!

Deluxe Class TF Generations Fall of Cybertron Starscream

Starscream in his Cybertronian form is very cool, especially in his alt jet mode. And his appearances in both War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron impressed me a lot. Judging from the design, I suspected that Macross’s design of VF Valkyrie influenced this, and I was right.

And yes, the reason I bought this one is that I really love VF Valkyrie. The jet mode is very reminiscence of Valkyrie with Cybertronian touch. I love the design a lot. It’s more menacing when the weapon called scrapmakers are attached to the wings. Just beautiful. Speaking about scrapmakers, this gattling gun is bada**! You can combine it to create double gattling guns that actually appeared in the game. Though originally not for Starscream, but I’m fine with it. The jet mode is in fact incomplete without that scrapmakers.

Before transforming it into robot mode, I can even relive gearwalk mode that is famous from VF Valkyrie. Somehow I feel this figure is actually a triple-changer. But I have expected this so nothing much to surprise.

In his robot mode, I do admit that it’s not as good as the jet mode. But it’s still good in some ways. I like it although I prefer more on jet mode. Still, he is the infamous Starscream with his cunning tricks.

It’s a VF Valkyrie in Transformers style (no pun intended as original G1 Jetfire is actually the Valkyrie itself). This is my first Starscream figure, and I am satisfied with it.

This figure deserves to be added on your display cabinet. It has some issues such as hollowness and not so proportional body (even I think it’s quite bulky), but it’s still a good figure nonetheless.

Revoltech 019 Convoy / Optimus Prime

Transformers figure without transforming gimmick is a strange case. Without it, what is the best thing to offer? The answer is rather simple: good-range articulations!

In the past, G1 Optimus Prime or Convoy toys merely about conversion between truck mode and robot mode. While the truck is somehow accurate, the robot mode suffered poor articulations. The figure is not poseable, even almost a brick. Fortunately, toys mechanism developed greatly as we have Masterpiece Optimus Prime with great looking truck and poseable robot.

But, in a strange twist, previously there was a non-transforming Optimus Prime with satisfying articulations. It wasn’t Hasbro or Takara that created such great figure. Kaiyodo produced this as the 19th entry of their Revoltech figure, licensed by Takara, called Cybertron Commander Convoy.

This figure is amazing. Convoy is sculpted in a very good proportion. Convoy or Optimus Prime looks very very cool. Kaiyodo translated the greatness of Optimus Prime commanding Autobots with great details. There are so many possibilities posing this figure as it has Revoltech joints to accommodate the poseabilities.

This figure gives hand replacements for specific poses, ion blaster, and Matrix of Leadership. My only complain? It’s too bad they didn’t include energon axe as the accessory. Instead we have a useless Matrix of Leadership for no purposes at all. Also, it didn’t include any stand base which is actually necessary for such figure. Other than that, I am so happy to finally get this rare item. It was released in 2007 and I didn’t this figure back at that time when it was still cheap.

On a funny note, although this figure is very poseable, I love to pose him standing without much articulated movements there. I don’t know, I just love posing him this simple.

This figure is a must for Optimi collectors. Kaiyodo done the job well!

BIMA The Garuda Warrior Episode 2 Review

Continuing what was left from previous episode, the enemy, now called Topeng Besi (or Iron Mask) as Vudo’s chief commander, attacked Bima with his own blue power stone. Bima escaped and this commander returned to his flying ship. Now we have serious problem with this series. Whoever responsible for this matter, I have to say audio editing of this series sucks. At least they should have quality control before. I can’t catch up with several conversations, notably between Rasputin and Topeng Besi.

This episode slowly showed character developments such as Ray’s denial of the responsibility becoming Bima. Very typical archetypal pattern of superheroes narration. I really feel this series follows the pattern of Showa Kamen Rider. This is predictable because Indonesian audience is mostly familiar with Kamen Rider Black. Even I start to predict that there will be tensions and conflict between Ray and Randy just like mirroring Minami Kotaro and Akuzuki Nobuhiko. As a series heavily emphasized on fighting scenes, that kind of plot is acceptable.

As this episode itself, it’s full of actions scenes. We only have one melodramatic scene where Rena questioned Ray about Randy’s whereabouts. I don’t need to discuss the detail as the acting is very very stiff.

This episode fixes some problems we previously had in previous one. The pace is still fast but now plausible (unlike in episode 1 where everything seemed in rush mode). The actions scenes are very well choreographed without unnecessary jumps (common trick in most Indonesian silat series). But I am disappointed with Helios. As a dual-wielded sword, it came too fast (without explanation) and just appeared less than one minute. It was cool but felt underwhelmed.

Why I didn’t discuss much of the plot? It’s very simple and predictable, nothing much to complain yet nothing also to praise.

BIMA The Garuda Warrior Episode 1 Review

The story started when certain scientists recorded a message about parallel world when suddenly a VUDO monster with his foot soldiers attacked and blew the house. Fast forward 21 years later, we see our hero named Ray Bramasakti worked in a workshop or garage to repair some motorcycles. Gee, this series is sponsored by Suzuki Satria (hence the name, Satria Garuda), what a way to promote a product here.

Then we are introduced to other characters as well, Iskandar siblings (Randy and Rena). Rena is starred by Stella from JKT48 and we got eyes candy (hurray) for this series. Move on, we then see Ray and Rena went on a date in National Monument (Ind: Monas) when Ray saw a light struck on a building. Being irresponsible by leaving a cute girl behind, he went there to find that a warrior fought several monsters (or foot soldiers or whatever) with cool design. Ray and this warrior named Mikhail fought as best as they could which unfortunately brought us to the typical scene of Mikhail fell from building. Ray catch his hand but the foot soldiers strike Ray brutally with their weapons until Mikhail decided to choose Ray as a warrior based on bravery he saw in front of his eyes.

Then Mikhail gave Ray red power stone that has the ability to transform Ray into BIMA the Garuda Warrior. Just then other foot soldiers attacked people at Monas. They really know who to catch, the cutest girl there without apparent reason. And finally we saw a good fighting scene where BIMA kicked that foot soldiers’ butt until a new monster appeared and attacked BIMA. Yes, this episode ended with cliffhanger.

Okay, that’s the synopsis I can tell because honestly I am confused with the pace of the plot. It runs way too fast as most of the scenes jumped without enough explanation. I think duration is the problem here. I realize that 20+ minutes for a series in Indonesia is not enough. We are accustomed to 1 hour format like other series. I feel strange though, I have to see it as superhero series which usually runs only for half-hour format (with commercial included), but the way most of the stories being told here is mostly in 1 hour (even 2 hours if they want to).

The acting? I have to say it’s passable but could be better. Yes, acting is the weakest feature we have from this series. It’s okay but I wish they act more natural, not as stiff as we saw. Luckily this is just the first episode and the chance of improvements are there to come. I feel like I am watching a usual sinetron (sinema elektronik or common drama series) when watching and listening their conversations. As of the tone, this series is surprisingly serious and dark as I couldn’t remember any humorous scene or dialogues here.

The actions here is pretty dang cool. By far, the fighting scenes here is one of the best if not the best in Indonesian series. Yes, it’s not as good as usual Kamen Rider or Super Sentai level, but at least it’s better than I have expected. As a series targeted for kids, the action scenes are the main selling point, and they made a good job delivering it.

Overall, the first episode has a good start. Having a cliffhanger ending is a good decision to attract people to watch this series. I hope there will be improvements as the story progress further.

By the way, I really want Bandai to make SHFiguarts of this BIMA!

Titanium Die-Cast War Within Optimus Prime

This figure is a “hit and miss”.

Having die-cast as material for a figure is not always something good. While die-cast indicates a “premium”, expensive, or anything that is considered more than just a usual figure, this War Within Optimus Prime feels the same, if not worse.

┬áThe idea is good, but the implementation is yet to be expected. There are lots of improvement could be done yet Hasbro seems didn’t give enough love for this release.

The design is taken from Dreamwave comic’s incarnation of Optimus Prime entitled “War Within” with Optimus Prime in his Cybertronian form. To be honest, I like this vehicle mode better than FoC version, but still, WfC version is the best for me when discussing Cybertronian form of him. In vehicle mode, everything is done right.

Transforming this figure is relatively easy as I don’t need to show how. In fact, I want to point out why this figure is a failure. Having die-cast for his body while plastic for the joint is a terrible decision. It wobbles badly.

The design in robot mode looks freaking cool. But again, this figure suffers a lot from die-cast material that makes it very difficult to pose. To make it worse, it has limited articulation for such deluxe class size.

In the end, my opinion in this figure is very simple. It’s very very good to be displayed but very very bad to be played. Which is why I feel this figure is a hit and miss. Now I know why people prefer to keep this figure intact on the box.

TFX-04 Protector (KO)

Henkei Hot Rodimus needs upgrade!

When Hotrod activates Matrix of Leadership to destroy Unicron, he is upgraded into Rodimus Prime, complete with trailer / carrier / command base just like his predecessor. FansProject relives that experience by creating this set called TFX Protector. The set that I have here is actually knocked off version as I can’t buy the original release due to skyrocketing price. I won’t discuss KO issues that commonly happen in this set.

TFX Protector is compatible with Classic Hotrod and Henkei Hot Rodimus (and other redeco releases of this mold) though actually for Henkei there is slight color differences. It’s pretty obvious but not too much, I find it okay. This is successor to previous City Commander upgrade set for Classic Optimus / Henkei Convoy and major improvement over it by having simple design, simple attachment, yet solid modifications to Henkei Hot Rodimus I have. It literally upgrades Henkei Rodimus into it’s own incarnation of Classic / Henkei Rodimus Prime.

Vehicle mode, it looks decent. I have no problem at all, now it feels like Rodimus Prime in his alt mode.

This is the carrier detached from Henkei Hot Rodimus.

Disassemble the carrier and transform Hot Rod to be attached with this set to create Rodimus Prime, or FansProject called it Protector due to copyright issue. The progress is complicated but fun to do. The only complain I have is that attaching chest part is really-really pain in the a**.

Rodimus Prime is here!

This set upgrades Hot Rodimus into the next level. It helps to fix some major issues I found in original figure. A real improvement I really need. It looks bada**, tough, and charismatic.

This is Rodimus Prime we want. Yes he is not as good as Optimus Prime in term of leadership, he is still a Prime. I really like this appearance. From hating Henkei Hot Rodimus, now it got redemption by having serious upgrade and improvement to add some values that makes it worth to be collected.

This set also gives you “Guardian”. It’s similar to Roller for Optimus Prime, and it is better. It reminds me of mini 4WD car, and that means great. You can attach Hot Rod’s blaster at the top of this Guardian.

The trailer or carrier can be transformed into a sentry gun base. It looks menacing! I like this kind of upgrade. Not only Rodimus transforms into a Prime, but he is provided with deadly arsenal to help him facing enemies.

In the end, if you hate Hot Rod figure from Classic / Henkei line but still you need him to be collected, then this set is a must. Not only it helps this figure from “bad” to even “better”, this set fixes some issues and improves them for more replay values. If you can afford, buy the original set.

PS: Actually this KO set also gives you a scythe which is originally for Shattered Glass version of Hot Rodimus+Protector. I didn’t document it though.

Henkei Hot Rodimus

This figure is not impressive at all.

Unlike that Henkei Convoy which is superior in all aspect, Henkei Hot Rodimus is plainly a lazy attempt though I do admit that it’s way better than Hasbro’s Classic Hot Rod version. That gold coating plate is a sweet deal.

Vehicle mode, this Hot Rodimus is a cool supercar called Dome Zero. Yes, I like this kind of car. Very sporty, looks tough and cool. It also has alternate mode with blaster attached at the top by folding the spoiler part of it.

Transforming this figure is easy, but seriously, annoying.

Robot mode, Rodimus doesn’t look good at all. Head sculpt is boring and some joints are difficult to move due to transformation. I have to say, this is a fail sculpt. It’s ridiculous, uninspiring, dull, and lame.

This design needs an upgrade, and luckily TFX Protector answers it all.

*yes, I am so lazy reviewing this figure, to think that this is actually Henkei version really made me sad until TFX protector saved my day.