January 7th, 2009

Smile

Krunix! Woooooo!

Shortpacked!: Something wicked this way comes. Wicked SWEET.

Advance warning: Dizzyingly complicated geekery ahead.

A particular trope of this blog is the occasional tangent towards the obscure. For example, you may see those two Cyclonuses to the left, and think, "Hey, Willis is gonna talk about Cyclonus!" Nah. I'm zeroing in on Nightstick, his gun. Cyclonus, though an excellent toy, can go hang!

Though I'm waffling on whether I'm actually calling this new Targetmaster gun dude "Nightstick." This new Nightstick is not black and gray, but in new Cyclonus's colors. If you know your Marvel UK comics, you know that Nightstick-in-Cyclonus-colors is technically Krunix. The old Headmasters comic from Marvel made all sorts of art errors, and so to cover up for terrible mistakes, a Nightstick-colored-like-Cyclonus was renamed "Krunix" in the UK printing. His only appearance!

So one could easily argue that this is a better Krunix toy than Nightstick, though Krunix is depicted as "normal"-sized. Eh! Transformers has no adherence to scale ever, so why now?

Another tangent, just to complicate things: Krunix was actually Fracas (Scourge's gun) colored like Cyclonus, because the animation models for Nightstick and Fracas were swapped for no particular reason. This new Nightstick takes that into account, and so his sculpt adheres more to his cartoon appearance, based on Fracas, than the original toy's appearance. It's not an exact match, and some details were changed for the new toy, but his head is definitely Fracas, considering the big swooping mohawk. (In turn, Krunix was actually Fracas, but Nightstick's model, colored as Cylonus. Told you this was complicated.)

Oh, you want to hear about the actual toy? Well, it's got pretty good articulation for a toy its size. There's rotational joints at the shoulders, hinge joints at the elbows, and his legs can swing up at the hips. Considering the original Nightstick could do no more than fold in half at the waist, that's not bad at all. The new toy is more complicated all around. I like how the peg buries itself inside the body of the robot mode, rather than hanging off the back of the feet.

And in the Japanese-exclusive Headmasters cartoon, the Targetmasters in that show attached their guns at the wrists, replacing their hands. Nightstick can do that too, using a slot on his ass which pegs into a slot-hole on Cyclonus's arm stump when you fold his hand in. Not that Targetmaster Cyclonus was in Headmasters, but it's a neat trick anyway.

See, in Japan, since they didn't use Cyclonus and Scourge as Targetmasters, they gave their guns to redecoes of Jazz and Inferno and made them new characters. Japan's Stepper, known here in America as Ricochet, is pictured to the left. Artfire's partner was known as Nightstick there, too, and when Stepper/Ricochet was reissued in America, his Targetmaster was named Nightstick. Are there two Nightsticks? Three Nightsticks? Does one work for both sides? Have a change of heart? Who knows how that works out!

Anyway, I haven't seen anybody take a picture of new Nightstick with Ricochet, so I have done the deed myself. His 5mm peg won't fit into Ricochet's fist hole, but he fits fine into the shoulder mount.

So that's Nightstick. Or Krunix.

David Brauer of MinnPost.com liked Monday's strip, and so it has been reprinted there by permission! Give him some traffic.