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About Me and Transformers

Transformers (TF for short) has already become one of popular cultures that I love. But I have a very long long history dealing with this franchise. I admit, TF wasn’t a significant part of my childhood at all. Back then, it was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (before understanding the existence of Super Sentai) that amazed me most. Beside that MMPR, I mostly enjoyed Kamen Rider Black (and RX), several tokusatsu series, anime, and several cartoons that aired on my local TV stations.

I have heard the name “Transformers”, but I didn’t know what it was other than an expensive toyline. My first encounter to TF franchise was when TF Generation 2 aired on both my local and Malaysian TV stations (complete with toy commercials) in 1995-1997. At that time, I thought G2 is the continuation and G1 existed as prequel and had different story. Although I did like the commercial, but I had no intention to buy the toys because that wasn’t my ideal type of toys since I was (and still is) influenced by Super Sentai. Still, TF is considered as super robot or mecha and I am myself is a mecha-fetish. Yeah, I never own original TF toys at all.

Speaking of G2 cartoon, I watched it every Sunday at 9 AM as part of Sunday morning cartoon marathon (I missed those days) in almost every TV stations here. At that time I was introduced to Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Rodimus Prime, Jazz, Prowl, Wheeljack and many more characters. Funny to thing back then that Rodimus Prime is Optimus’ successor and stayed somewhere else (I had no idea about TF Movie where Optimus died) while Optimus was in charge in another part of Earth. Silly childhood’s interpretation. I didn’t care about which episodes which, continuations, or anything, except watching another episode of TF and that’s about it.

Then, came Beast Wars Transformers and Beast Machines during my teenage days. I watched both series but I was too busy with my study. The only thing that I remember is Optimus Primal changed into Optimal Optimus. Several years passed and I heard live-action movie, I heard and watched TF Galaxy Force (Japanese original version of TF Cybertron), I knew there was TF Animated. Years passed but I just cared less about TF.

2011, my friends from Multiply decided to have gathering in Pondok Indah Mall and without a doubt I joined it. That was a fun experience because beside that gathering, I watched TF Dark of the Moon in 3D together with them. That was my first time watching 3D movie. After I watched it I ran into nearest toy store and bought Cyberverse DOTM Optimus Prime. Still, my interest in TF stayed the same. Cyberverse lineup did impressed me, but I still thought that TF toys were expensive for my budget.

DOTM also gave me a lot of impressions and I tried to respect the whole live-action movies, but failed. In my opinion, live action movie trilogy are nothing but explosion-vaganza. Characterizations are cheesy, lack of attentions to Transformers lifeform themselves, and overall designs are not that good compared to the past incarnations. For DOTM itself, missing Megan Fox from the story proved to be a major blow. And yes, I hate that Sam Witwicky (particularly Shia LeBouf) for every stupidities he had done.

And so, came TF Prime, a new television series in 2011. At first I cynically thought that TF Prime was Bayformers in form of TV series. I was wrong, TF is actually a good series, probably the best TF series ever made. It’s darker, serious, sarcastically humorous, and takes different approach from previous series. Not only TF Prime series that caught my attention, but the game Fall of Cybertron also hooked me to finally started collecting the toys. It was FoC Deluxe Optimus Prime that sparked my interest and shifting it from Gundam and particularly plastic model kit in general. Since then, lots and lots TF figures I bought and some of them are reviewed here.

After that, I read dozens of articles related to Transformers universes ranging from toylines (I got headache to realize about deco, redeco, repaints, etc), past movies and series, everything about Hasbro and Takara Tomy, and many more.

So, my favorite character from TF? It’s obviously the charismatic leader himself, Optimus Prime. I love this character since I watched him from G2 cartoon. Whatever Optimus Prime’s incarnations are, I just love them all. Most of my TF collections are Optimus Prime, from G1 until Beast Hunters. I guess I understand why I love this character. While my favorite characters from other pop cultures are mainly antagonist (Darth Vader, Gouki/Akuma, Evil Green Ranger, Raphael Sorel, etc), Optimus Prime is a very different case. He is in fact he is not only a role model for his integrity, passion, leadership, honor, or compassion. He is some kind of father figure to me. A figure I need to be. I understand I love this character even more today. I am not married yet but soon to, and somehow I repress my desire to be a “father” by channeling it to fictional characters, which is Optimus himself. A father figure is something that not only you idolize, but also you want yourself to be him by eliminating him (similar case to Macbeth from William Shakespeare eponymous play towards King Duncan). Maybe my love to Optimus Prime is my fear of not getting married yet. Who knows, this is just my speculative analysis though.

Enough with psychoanalysis, I appreciate TF toys not only as toys. They are pieces of art. A lineup of mechas that can be transformed into certain vehicles or animals? And also I love these toys better than Gundam because of less accessories given there. I hate hand compartment, weapons that can’t be stored, or needed stand base to be posed. But that doesn’t mean TF Toys are without problems. Several also has storage problems, poseability problems, and most of all, very very fragile. Luckily I just display all of them through my toys cabinet and that’s about it. I don’t play them much even I have problems now that not enough space left to store them all.

If there is one toy left for me to collect, that would be Masterpiece Optimus Prime. I hope I get this ridiculously expensive toy soon. Yes, this is the ultimate toy for TF fans. Maybe if finally I buy this toy, my journey in collecting TF will be completed.

That’s my story of me and Transformers, thank you for reading it.


Cyberverse Beast Hunters Smokescreen

The final addition to Autobot Team in TF Prime (wait, what about Ultra Magnus?), and he is so lovable by messing up with others while he  is actually the ace that crucial to team itself.

Unlike others in team, Smokescreen actually falls into Beast Hunters line-up, and he is technically very different from previous releases. No more translucent plastic in his body and the weapon. Speaking of his weapon, he got this gun-chainsaw-blade thingy. Although it looks plain without color, but the design is very cool. Uhuk *Gears of War* uhuk uhuk.

His vehicle mode is a sport car that supposed to be in a circuit, but Smokescreen doesn’t care. His vehicle mode looks cool. I like it.  Very Le Mans-racing car type.

His transformation is easy but requires more steps than other Cyberverse legion figures. Still, a self-explanatory transformation.

His robot mode is okay. No joints on his elbow and his knee that disappoint me just like Bumblebee, so this figure has limited articulations.

The reason I bought this figure is, indeed, to complete my Autobot team from TF Prime series. As I follow Beast Hunters currently, I have to say that this series attracts me to Cyberverse even more. I don’t really care about deluxe or voyager or other gigantic sizes, but Cyberverse with all limitations still gives me this charm. And it looks real nice when they are together. Smokescreen is actually a good figure for this size, and not much I can complain. Indeed for a Cyberverse legion class figure, I think this figure is flawless.

Cyberverse TF Prime Ultra Magnus & Quickblade Bumblebee

Excuse me for my laziness here. I feel this review lacks a lot of things.

So, the reason I bought both figures came from the fact that Bumblebee spotted having new paintjob and *spoiler alert* Ultra Magnus appears in the third episode of Beast Hunters. How did I know? I can’t be patient and watched bad quality of the first three episodes of TF Prime season 3 that uploaded on YouTube. Before being premiered in USA (March 22nd), Okto channel Singapore already aired them in form of movie (episodic compilation).

When I saw Ultra Magnus I can’t help but wondering he will be a jerk (just like Sentinel Prime from Animated version), but it turns out that Ultra Magnus is just a mere soldier and speaks in military code. He is temporary in command to replace Optimus Prime whose body is in a very bad shape (please, please, give new body or the toys will be useless).

Also Bumblebee has new paintjob and I find it’s perfectly suited him. So, in order to complete my TF Prime Autobot collection, I have to take both Cyberverse versions and somehow I am quite disappointed.

Ultra Magnus’ vehicle mode is a fire truck. Wait, a blue fire truck? That’s ridiculous. And also this figure is really out of scale. It’s okay if compared to legion class figures, but with the same commander class size? Oh my, Ultra Magnus in vehicle mode is gigantic, not to mention the truck is not that inspiring.

Transformation-wise is ridiculously easy. Less than 5 steps I think. I will not discuss much considering Cyberverse figures are made with easier transformation.

Oh my, the robot mode is fragile. It is not show-accurate and to my surprise, the joint is not as tight as other Cyberverse figures. Maybe it’s only my own UM, but I saw other reviews claiming the same problem. And that problem itself contributed to why my photos here are lacking something. I don’t know how to pose him. Also, the hammer cannot be held by the figure tightly because it has strange opened-hand peg. Did I say, I hate translucent weapon?

Oh my, although I do like the design, but this is not what I have expected. This figure should be better. Not to count the articulation is decent and as I said earlier, I can’t pose him at all. I don’t know how to take pictures because he is way too inferior compared to Beast Hunters Optimus Prime.

And for Quickblade Bumblebee, not much to say except I like the vehicle mode (the paint job is perfect) but I hate the robot mode (almost a brick, due to limited articulation).

Oh, that sweet sweet little sport car.

Aw, that ugly ugly brick….

Yes, Bumblebee comes with translucent sword similar to Rachet’s sword, but I am already too lazy to take pictures because he is not poseable at all. 

I bought these only for the sake of completeness. And I know I expected too much.

Cyberverse Beast Hunters Optimus Prime

This is the cyberverse version of Beast Hunters Optimus Prime. As the final season will be premiered on March 22, I still have no idea whether Optimus indeed will have new body or someone takes his place (body) as the trailer leads me to “a new Prime, or Optimus revived by having someone sacrified his/her spark to him? Ah, I am so curious and can’t wait.

This figure is really different from his voyager counterpart, very different. And as I previously stated, somehow this is the show-accurate design of his Beast Hunters incarnation, closer if it is not the same. For me as collector, show-accuracy is essential and this figure gives me that impression, unlike the previous voyager.

His vehicle mode is quite okay. For a beast hunter kind of figure, this Optimus Prime is really spiky, but not my cup of tea actually. Still, it looks real nice and attract attentions when displayed. Simple, spiky, and menacing, that’s my impression on this vehicle. This is Optimus Prime as we are familiar with, retains the glory of red-blue big truck, only this time with “beast” gimmick.

For this small figure, the transformation is complicated. Surprising yet satisfying. I thought the complexity of the transformation would be similar to his previous cyberverse figure, but I was wrong. it’s more….

The robot mode is great, and yes I will pose him as robot rather than as vehicle. Very different from voyager and it has its own charisma. The weapons although made from soft plastic and just plain grey, work perfectly with the figure. Repaint the weapons might do the job. Anyway, the robot mode is the strongest point of this figure. He looks perfect for a cyberverse figure.

While this figure is already that great, I have one complain that hurts this figure a lot. While his articulation somewhat limited, why the hell it doesn’t have head articulation? The previous Cyberverse Prime has satisfying articulation and the head is moveable. Why Hasbro, why? I am okay with limited articulation and the look of his back (yes, it’s horrible), but without head articulation, I will give a lot of minus points on this. It’s sad because his head sculpt is very good and superior than voyager’s head version.

Is it worth? I say, yes! With notes!

There are lots that yet to be desired. This is the point where Hasbro (or Takara) stands between great and horrible, between success and failure. If only they designed it a little bit better. This figure looks great in design but fails in several aspects, and that’s crucial. Still, this Optimus Prime and I am a Optimuses-Fetish collector, so I don’t care. Even, who cares anyway?

Voyager Class Beast Hunters Optimus Prime

A major upgrade, and this one really an upgrade we need. And I think this is the second time I get a figure while the character itself is not yet appeared on the series. TF Prime season 3 will start this spring (oh my, Indonesia has no idea about spring, summer, fall, or winter).

Previously I have reviewed Voyager TF Prime Optimus Prime RiD and that figure is just bad, real bad. Fortunately, his Beast Hunters incarnation proves the other way. This figure is the complete opposite, no more stupid gimmick, no more painful transformation, and no more ridiculous weaponry. This figure answered all complaints from the previous lineup. This figure has soft plastic for the wings and the claw, I don’t mind it at all. It could be better but ah, that safety regulations…..

His vehicle mode is menacing. Actually I don’t like a kind of vehicle that is not based on real vehicle, but this one I can say I like it a lot. Truly a beast in every senses. The weapons can be attached to the vehicle and that’s just great.

This figure has wings, and it makes me wonder. A truck that can fly?

Transforming this figure is easy but I have to say, still impressive.

His robot mode is fantastic with one complain on the head. His head sculpt is not that good but I understand why Hasbro did that.

Other than that, this figure has a lot of play values. The articulations are good, even got ratchet joints on the shoulders and feet. Weapons can be stored on his back or attached to his both hands, and they have lot of options how they will be used. This figure is poseable at his best.

If only my real complain does count, and indeed this is my serious complain, why this figure is not show-accurate? I saw Optimus’ design from the box and he is different than this voyager class design. In fact the design of his cyberverse version is closer, if not the same, to the design of actual Optimus Prime in his Beast Hunters incarnation. Oh well, my complain is useless this time because this figure is already that great. In fact, this is a good decision by Hasbro.

If you can, grab it!

Cyberverse TF Prime Cliffjumper

In order to complete my set of Autobot team, he must be picked.

He was only in action for one episode (other episodes either flashback or he became a zombie), but it’s memorable. Hey, he is voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the most electrifying man in all entertainment. He technically can lay the smackdown on Decepticons, but no, he is defeated and killed by Starscream, sadly.

His vehicle mode is cool, your standard muscle car at its finest.

His robot design stays true to the show. Something rarely happened in cyberverse lineup.

His cyberverse figure is great. He has knee joint and, to my surprise, elbow joint unlike other legion class figures I own. So his articulation is much better than others. And the transformation is simple and satisfying at the same time. The weapon is the same sword given to Rachet, so nothing new here. How ironic to find that the best articulated figure of cyberverse legion of TF Pime is the character who is already dead.

Voyager Class TF Prime RiD Optimus Prime

This figure……… is bad!

The cyberverse version is the best on its league, but his voyager release, dubbed Robot in Disguise (Hasbro is getting and getting more confusing about their toys’ lineup), is bad. Even it could be the worst Optimus Prime figure I have. I know there was “First Edition” came before this, but it’s pretty dang expensive. I purchased this only because there was a discount on my local toy store, and this figure is the only target I had chased there.

One thing that I like from this figure that the window is not fake, it’s the same window from the car for his chest, albeit upside-down. Sometimes having kibbles or fake parts (wheels, windows, or other else) can be frustrating too. And although he does come with trailer port, he is not compatible with my DOTM trailer.

Transforming (or converting according to Hasbro who loves to call their product “converting a transformer”, blow your costumer even more) this figure is difficult. Not because of his transforming mechanism, but rather the feeling of transforming this one. I don’t know, I feel frustrated seeing parts by parts progress. It’s lame and boring, no satisfaction there.

The weapons suck. Rather giving the figure show accurate weapons, they give battle sword and blaster which has light gimmick. Oh my, I hate the blaster. If I feel the figure is okay, the blaster ruins everything. The gimmick is useless and there is no lock mechanism. You have to push and let it in order to unfold the blaster. That’s battery consuming, and screw it, it’s useless. The battle sword is okay but feels cheap, why don’t give us Star Saber instead, or just give the figure the correct weapons he uses in the series.

I am sorry that my review on this one is a little bit harsh. But yeah, the figure is bad. Poor Optimus Prime here, can’t live up the expectation of the character of the series well. Oh my, what a start for this new year.

Cyberverse Commander TF Prime Optimus Prime

This is my second Cyberverse figure, and still on the same character but in different universe.
One thing visible that I can complain that this figure is so plain. Optimus and two translucent blasters are just lazy compared to the previous Optimus Prime DOTM Cyberverses (both Battle Armored and normal).

The vehicle mode is good, as you expected from the series, but there’s a part that shows ball joint on the door, and if only Hasbro or Takara were not too lazy to fix that, we will have a great figure in small size. But other than that, the vehicle mode is acceptable.

To transform him is not that difficult. It’s not as accurate as the in the show, but what can you expect?

Now here comes the gem, Optimus Prime himself. For such small size, Optimus Prime has great show accuracy with appropriate proportions and articulations to sum up the action he can offer. The blasters can be combined and he is so poseable, reliving his action in the series. I’m OK with translucent plastic on his body considering this figure is already worth buying it.

No, this figure doesn’t give you Star Saber, that one in the picture is just taken from my bootleg Jet Icarus sword.

Buying this is a difficult choice considering the price. In Indonesia, this costs around 150-200 thousands rupiah (around US $14-18), and that is pricy. Try consider buying the fullset released by Takara (EZ Collection Transformers Prime SP-Set Team Autobot and Team Decepticon).

Deluxe Class TF Prime Wheeljack

Unlike any other Autobots that exist within Transformers Prime series, this ex-wreckers member is surely a bada** to be noted. Always choose the rough way, tend to work alone, and one heck of a fighter, with sword!

The figure is just as bada** as the character appears in the series. The sculpt is good, truly resembles Lancia Stratos. Little paint-job with white dominant color are effective, I like the details given in it. One feature that I find very useful that the swords can be stored either in vehicle mode or in robot mode. That is very convenient!

Vehicle mode is cool, this is what you have expected from this figure.

The transformation is a little bit painful, but still satisfying in every senses.

This figure is a must have, and I think this is the best deluxe class figure from TF Prime series. No major complain here and this figure is just bada**!