Tags: revenge of the fallen

too!, Frenzy wants to read

Nooo! Too many sonic booms!

Shortpacked!: No one is spared dysfunction.

Hey, it's new toys!  For real!  Well, "new."  They are both redecoes.  Two redecoes that I wasn't really interested in.  You're probably wondering, what aspect of my OCD compelled me to purchase these guys?  Well.

The Battlefield Bumblebee vs Infiltration Soundwave two-pack is part of this spring's "NEST Global Alliance" campaign.  Inside this two-pack is an order form for an exclusive mail-in Ravage toy.  You affix the included sticker from this two-pack to the order form, plus two additional stickers from other specially-marked packages, throw in $5 for shipping, and in 6-8 weeks you get a "free" Recon Ravage.  Well, you know me and Ravages.  I'm all heck yeah.

Unfortunately, this set is required.  It comes with the order form, y'see, plus the "starter sticker" which I was surprised to learn is identical to the one I got with Bludgeon.  I thought maybe it would be visually distinguishable, but naw.  So I plunked down $20 for these two so I could get my Ravage.  

Now, it's not all frowns.  Sure, the Bumblebee is totally unneeded.  The deco is practically identical to the original version of this mold, Cannon Bumblebee except for the orange dabs on his weaponry.  Oh, and he has his battle mask head.  I guess that's pretty neat.  I suppose I could swap the heads if I ever wanted to.  But Soundwave, on the other hand, is very pretty.  The original use of the mold barely had any deco, at least in my mind's eye.  I'm sure it had as many paint applications as any other toy its size, but I think of it as pretty bare.  Infiltration Soundwave, on the other hand, is great.  I especially love the red gradients on his solar panels that the packaging bio claims represent the heat of reentry.  I'm grateful for the spots of orange, too.  It's a drastic improvement on the mold.

And as a super bonus, the turnaround time from "get toy" to "toy appear in story" was a personal best.  Just this evening, the Hasbro website put up the first of a series of online webisodes, titled "Cyber Missions #1."  It's stupid-yet-cute, but more importantly to me right now it features Soundwave in this deco.  (We also learn that his secret weakness is automatic weaponry.  Or maybe multitasking.)  So, yeah.  I was kind of happy with that.  Impeccable timing, Hasbro, and kudos.  (Oh, and Bludgeon's there, too, in the character's first animated appearance.)

Since apparently Maggie dang threw my ROTF Dirge packaging away while I wasn't paying attention, I guess I have to wait for Ratchet to arrive from BigBadToyStore before I can complete my Recon Ravage order form.  I just need the one sticker!  And a check made out for $4.95.  And an envelope.  And postage.  And 6-8 weeks.

And a life, probably.
too!, Frenzy wants to read

They'll all probably die soon.

Shortpacked!@TNI: A pertinent question for the new year.
Shortpacked!: Because FONT, dammit.

I kinda threw today's main comic together for a really superficial reason.  On the first day of the year. Comicraft.com put all their fonts on a really great sale.  ($20.10 each.  Get it?)  I've been eying a few of them for a while, but they were previously a little too costly to justify.  

I was after some very specific fonts, because, you see, Richard Starkings, the guy who founded Comicraft, was the letterer for the Transformers: Generation 2 comic book.  He created special fonts for the Transformers to talk in, such as one used in BotCon's "Universe" comics, sold on the site as "Resistance."  The Predacon/Maximal font used in BotCon's earlier Beast Wars comics is also available on the site as "Bithead."  So, like, yeah, I'm totally gonna want to own those.  And use them!  Immediately!  Hence the Transformers comic today.  

To the right is Revenge of the Fallen Dirge!  You know, I picked him up on a whim.  I don't need a movie-style Dirge.  I've been keeping myself to only the movie-guys who were actually in the film, and only buying extra movie guys who I could use as their Generation 1 counterparts, like Bludgeon.  I already have Classics Dirge, so ROTF Dirge is kind of superfluous.  But, man, I dunno, he looked really neat.  Do I buy him, knowing that he'll inevitably end up in a bin somewhere forever when his time quickly comes? 

Apparently I do. 

And I have to say, I don't have many regrets.  The photos of him didn't lie.  He's a neat little dude.  I especially enjoy how he transforms, with his right arm becoming the nose of the jet and the other arm forming the spine of the plane, with the legs folding underneath to form the engines and wings.  The torso basically transforms sideways from most Dirges.  It's an interesting way to do his design, though it requires them to make all his Dirgey robot parts vestigial. 

Dirge's conehead isn't actually the nose of the jet, but a normal part of his head which splits in half to help it fit during transformation.  (I kinda hope they redeco him as Cyclonus because of this, since if you leave the conehead halves unconnected, they look like Cyclonus's ears.)  There's also a fake translucent jet canopy on his chest.  The nipples, which also correspond to similar parts on the original Dirge, rotate as you move his arms up and down.  Buzzsaw nips! 

I also enjoy how everything snaps together well in both modes, particularly how the tail of the jet snaps into his robot mode's back.  The jointing there is stiff enough that you wouldn't need it, but the clips are a nice touch that go the extra mile.  His missile launchers can also be moved from under the wings to his elbows, another attempt to make him look like Dirge.  This creates some problems, though.  It works well enough on his right arm, but the kibble on his left arm gets in the way of the missile launcher.  They want to occupy the same space.  Unfortunate.  

To sum up, I enjoy him.  If you don't have a Dirge, he's probably the best to get, objectively-speaking.  And if you already have a Dirge, this one might be good enough to get anyway.  At any rate, he's an attractive and fun addition to a live-action movie collection.  And he has a pope hat.

A pope hat, folks.

What a blockhead.

Shortpacked!: Obsolete Translation of Scripture Theatre

Yeah, these days they translate "axe" to "carving tool," and the context makes it more apparent they're talking about idols, but does it really matter whether you take a knife to your tree before you take it indoors and put lights on it? 

I don't actually care.  But today's comic strip was too good an idea to pass up. 

So my Winston's already kinda broken.  The hose to his ecto-gun snapped off at the backpack when I wasn't looking.  Well, fuck.  Do I order another one before he sells out?  Or do I save myself $30 and just tuck the end of the tube behind his back? 


But he's caught himself a spooky skeleton guy!  Look!  Sure, he's not actually a ghost, but I won't fault Winston for thinking so.  He's not gonna fit in that trap, though....

Speaking of Bludgeon, he features prominently in a new prose story from the Transformers Collector's Club that was released today!  It's a Classics story, which means it takes place at the end of the Marvel Comics continuity.  If you're a member, log in and check out "At Fight's End."  

There's also Seacons!


Shortpacked!@TNI: Patience.
Shortpacked!: Molestation.

Yeah, Bludgeon's still cutting people in two.  It's been suggested that he go after Animated Jetfire/Jetstorm next, since they also bisect, but we're missing the obvious.  The original Bludgeon splits in half!  

Man, that white paint on the Pretender shell skull sure has gotten bruised.

(I've already told the story about how I was traumatized the first time I realized Bludgeon's hat came off, right?)

Anyway, it's Christmas and all that.  Maggie and I will likely head for Indiana Monday evening.  I've got updates done up through Friday, so we should be all good.  And I'm bringing my laptop and camera and junk, so there should be some updates through the week.  Of course I'm bringing my Bludgeon.  Perhaps he'll get into some Hoosier mischief.

(I bet the Internet will find out where and when BotCon 2010 is while we're on the road.  I just know it.)  

Patch Together finally got the Amber statues out of customs and into their hands last Wednesday.  This week they'll be processing them!  I am stoked.  Stoked, I say!  I even put together a custom sticker for them to put on the packaging so that there's some visual presentation. 

Tomorrow's comic isn't about hamsters. 


"I reckon things should get pretty messy!"

Shortpacked!: Vague genitalia.

Yeah, I guess my honeymoon with Bludgeon isn't over yet.  So here's a photo of Bludgeon cutting the ice cream twins in half, because he can.  Look out, Batman Punching Everybody, 'cuz here comes Bludgeon Cutting Everyone In Half.

I've been getting pretty good at getting everyone's book orders out the business day after they come in, so they should all be arriving very quickly!  I don't really guarantee they'll arrive before Christmas in the days to come, even though they're sent Priority Mail, 'cuz what with Christmas mail volume and everything.  Plus, like, we're going to Indiana early next week, so yeah.   We just ain't gonna be here.  Anyway, enjoy your orders, those who made them!  

So I caved and totally preordered this unofficial Teletraan I playset.  It was the stickers that did it.  Sorta made it all click.  I have no idea where I'm going to put it.  It's a pretty big playset!  But man, it satisfies that tiny little eight-year-old in me that wanted exactly one of these.  Plus, this sort of product is filed firmly under the "Hasbro Will Never Ever Make This" category, so I don't feel too bad throwing money at it, unlike the various unofficial attempts at mass-producing various popular characters.  

If only it came in light blue, so I could pretend it was the Marvel Comics computer system.  But, well, you know me and orange. This is more than fine.


Bludgeon: The afterglow

Shortpacked!: YOU get a pet! YOU get a pet! EVERYBODY GETS A PET.
I'm super-happy about having my new Bludgeon, and so I immediately threw him in with a bunch of other re-made toys of Decepticons from the late Eighties. So, woo, Bludgeon has his troops. Hasbro, now I need a new Fangry, Horri-bull, and Squeezeplay! And an Octopunch. And a Stranglehold. Well, guys, better get crankin'.

Fools! To a master of Metallikato, your clumsy attack is almost slow motion!

Shortpacked!: Hamspeak.

This is a toy I've wanted for years and years and years and years. And years. And yeeeeeeearrs.

The original Bludgeon was one of the parade of Decepticons who got to be their leader in the old Marvel comics. Megatron never figured too big in them. Instead, we got all these other more interesting guys. And Bludgeon was the last and possibly the most interesting. (It's a tough call, though, 'cuz he's running up against HAL and Vampire Accountant.)

Let me tell you why Bludgeon is awesome. First of all, he's a skeleton samurai. That pretty much does it right there. He's a master of Metallikato, a disciple of the "Ultimate Warrior." He does sweet friggin' jumping kicks. He will cut you into pieces with his sword, over and over and over, all while speaking hilarious words like "reckon" because the writer is English and probably thought that's what Americans say all the time. And he would have singlehandedly led the Decepticons to complete and utter and gruesome victory... if God hadn't shown up to handwave it away at the last minute.

But the thing is, his original toy is a Pretender. That's not a terrible thing for the reasons most might think. I dig Pretenders! And Bludgeon certainly wouldn't be a friggin' skeleton samurai if he weren't a Pretender! But, see, Pretender shells have two points of articulation. The shoulders rotate, and that's it. So Bludgeon can't do awesome flips or Metallikato moves or anything. Heck, the original toy didn't even come with a sword! That's something the comic book gave him. The toy came with a gun. So you can see how that might be lacking.

Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon makes up for that in spades! It's not difficult to outdo the original's articulation, but the new one goes above and beyond the usual call of duty. For example, he can hold his sword in both hands! Not many Transformer toys can do that. Plus that'll look cool when his legs can actually raise and deliver flying kicks. One possibly important point of articulation he's missing, though, is a waist rotational joint. But that just can't happen due to the transformation process, so I guess I'll forgive it a little.

New Bludgeon also makes up for the original toy's lack of a sword by giving him two. He's got the longer katana and a shorter wakizashi. The katana forms the end of his tank mode's barrel, with the blade fitting up through it, into the turret. The wakizashi is stowed inside the turret itself, and is revealed when the turret is split open. The scabbard raises out of the innards via a set of geared arms. Sweeeet. And even cooler, you can stow both of them in a pair of holes on his left hip.

Original Bludgeon was a Pretender, but new Bludgeon sidesteps that whole organic shell thing by basically transforming directly from a tank into a skeleton samurai. There's no more inner robot. Combining the green of the tank with the orange and maroon of the Pretender shell makes for a pretty compelling color scheme. It's also nice how all those colors save the green are almost entirely hidden inside the tank mode, revealing themselves only when you take it apart to become the robot. It's sorta kinda like a Pretender still, in that way.

Now, this is where I really start to fall in love with the toy, though. One thing that bugs me about most transforming tank toys is how they handle the treads. Usually they just split right down the middle, like the tread mechanism is just this solid block of matter that can be split like that. This way of doing things ignores that treads are, well, a bunch of segmented bits strung together that surround a set of wheels. If you cut that in half, the treads would just slide off the whole assembly.

Bludgeon ascends into true greatness by not ignoring this reality. Heck, most of his treads are actually rubber! They disconnect from each other at certain points during transformation, and hang off the robot mode. The wheels stay behind, helping to form parts of the arms and legs. It's so beautiful. It gives me a nerd tummy rub.

I also like how the new robot mode is styled. He's not really a human skeleton any more, as that wouldn't really make sense if he's not a Pretender. So now he's a skeleton-like robot. You can see his inner gears and greebles, as if he were robo-skinless. He's actually designed to be a skinny, skeletal dude with big bulky samurai parts fashioned to him. It's a nice, suitable effect.

Really, altogether, Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon is everything I'm looking for. He's a character from the latter years of Generation 1 remade in a cool and interesting way that doesn't step on any of my personal pet peeves. He's complicated to transform, but not frustratingly so. He's got weaponry that can stow. He's got a great, non-boring color scheme! Oh, and did I mention that he's a friggin' skeleton samurai?
too!, Frenzy wants to read

Burn at the touch of The Fallen Thing!

Shortpacked!@TNI: Based on a true story!
Shortpacked!: Y'know, maybe that'll actually work.

I knew I wanted all the The Fallens. The Fallen is awesome. And a movie The Fallen decoed as if he's on fire? Oh heck yeah!

But since he was the titular villain, there was actually quite a bit of merchandise, and it starts accumulating space. So do I really need a mere redeco of him, even if it's orangey and orange?

Upon seeing Target's exclusive The Fallen redeco in person today... Oh hell yeah. Oh hell yeah with a spoon.

It's not fair! It's impossible to photograph him in the correct colors. His real-life orange defies your puny RGB monitors. It's a glowy reddish orange. It's not a creamsicle orange like Sunstorm. It's a lava orange. That plus his red translucents and his dark neutral gray... he is beauty. I can't believe how pretty he is.

I have to admit, I tried my best to Photoshop shift him into the correct colors, but I still kinda failed. I don't think it can be done.

And it's not just the color choice itself that's pretty. I love how large parts of him are that orange plastic but sprayed over in black. It really looks like he's a piece of metal overheated.

For the love of God, he's awesome. Go to Target and get him, especially if you don't have a The Fallen yet. If you do, get this one and throw the other one away. Neither are particularly movie-accurate, but Target's is the clear winner.

too!, Frenzy wants to read

Man, when was the last time I blogged Transformers?

Shortpacked!: But who's Robin? That's who I'm stuck at.

Next week is Thanksgiving, which is followed by the serpentine menace of BLACK FRIDAY, so Target's been gearing up their toy section. Part of their lineup of exclusive Transformers products are a Revenge of the Fallen 5-pack of Legends Class toys titled "Straightaway Shootout." Blah blah Ironhide, blah blah Mudflap, blah blah Swerve, blah blah Runamuck, blah blah... Sparkcrusher?

Hrm. Sparkcrusher looks familiar...

Oh, hey, he's actually a trademark-challenged Gutcruncher! And that's why I have this set. See, Gutcruncher was an Action Master. Everyone remembers the Action Masters, the Transformers who couldn't transform? There were some unique characters to the series, such as Gutcruncher, and I've always wished that Hasbro would make transforming versions of those guys. And one by one, they seem to be. Very slowly.

So Sparkcrusher here is a redeco of Warpath. Whoever at Hasbro decoed him did a pretty good job. He's got the colors in mostly all the right places, while compensating for the toy's transformation. And his thighs were painted gray (on top of green plastic) to further cement the Gutcruncher motif.

It's too bad he's so tiny! And, uh, that he comes with yet another Legends Mudflap. I have two of him now, 'cuz they keep putting him in box sets with other guys that I want! I wish he were his twin brother Skids instead or something. Woof. I've owned all of these molds previously with the exception of Ironhide's. Ironhide's Legends toy ain't too bad. It goes from a Topkick truck to his robot form pretty simply and effectively, with the arms coming from the top and the legs on the bottom and the chest out in front. Impressive for his size. I could have lived with not having one, but impressive nonetheless.

Since Sparkcrusher there is a Legend Class guy, he does look pretty dinky next to the other transforming Action Masters I've acquired. It especially hurts 'cuz he's a tank, and so putting him next to Axer the motorcycle is just plain weird-looking. That this year's BotCon-exclusive Banzai-Tron is a friggin' giant compared to both of them helps matters none. But hey, throw in a plain-ol' Action Master Krok, and the median height ain't so far above Sparkcrusher's armspan no more.

The final verdict is, if you love Action Masters, you probably need this guy. And Warpath's toy was always pretty damn solid, so that's in the toy's favor as well. He's still got the interesting transformation and the wide range of articulation uncharacteristic of the smaller Legend Class toys. But he comes in a set with four other dudes for $20. Is that a dealbreaker for just one dude?