Tags: animated



 Joyce and Walky!: Gonna get that talk again.

SPECIAL NOTE: Did you ever read Dinosaur Comics but wish that not only were the dinosaurs replaced by Shortpacked! characters, but also that Robin would think she's more important to be seen than the dialog?  Well it is a lucky day for you my friends. 

It's my birthday!  (Walky's, in-fiction, was two days ago.)  Watch this:

This is the opening for Japan's dub of Transformers Animated, which began airing this morning.  It is in the center of a Venn Diagram for "awesome," "oh my god what the fuck," and "over-the-top ridiculous."

Poor Blurr.

Shortpacked!: Hope springs eternal.

I have a pile of new toys yet, but I thought I'd keep the Animated theme going. 

Recently I got a batch of Reprolabels in the mail, and "upgrade" stickers for "Real Colors" Animated Shockwave.  Y'know, the purple one.  Target exclusive.  Within a glorious two-day window, could have been scored for like $5.  That one.

Detail-painting the original gray version was a bit easier for me, since it involved adding black.  Black is easy!  It covers up colored plastic real nice, since it's dark.  But what Purple Shockwave was missing was red detailing, for the most part.  That's a bit rougher.  And so I put it off.

And put it off.

And then Reprolabels swooped down and saved me.  Hooray! 

So now Shockwave has red marks on his knees and abdomen.  Oh, and the red inside his barrel.  There were some purple stickers to line the inside of his shoulder-tread-tower-things.  There's some small circular stickers that go on his ankles and the canisters at his hips.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.   I'm just listing the stuff you see in this one mode of his, out of four.

Anyway, woo.

EDIT:  As Maggie was reading this blog post just now, she turned to me.  "Four modes?"  Y'know, like I'd made a mistake.  No, I assured her.  Four modes.  Two robots, two vehicles.

Her jaw dropped.

Now, she's familiar with the Animated cartoon.  But the toys not so much.  So I handed her Graywave, and she was absolutely beside herself.  "Oh my god, the engineering..."



The young old guy.

Shortpacked!: Quick!  Watch sports and drink beer!

Animated Arcee shipped with Cybertron Mode Ratchet.  Now, Ratchet toys aren't exactly scarce, so he arrives with much smaller fanfare from most.  But you know me and my Ratchets.

This toy represents Ratchet when he was younger, in his pre-Earth body.  His forehead crest is still intact and he hasn't quite grown his gut yet.  There's no lines under his eyes or dents in his jaw. 

People are much less excited about this mold as Ratchet as they are for what this mold was intended to be later down the line.  With a new head and a new paintjob, he's a good Animated Ironhide, who never got an Earth mode on the show.  At last year's BotCon, they showed us a graycopy prototype of the Ironhide version of this tooling, and they maintained that he'll still come out, somehow.  I hope he does!  It'd kinda suck if he didn't.  

This Ratchet still has the "wound" where his EMP weapon should store.  Chronologically, he wouldn't have lost it to Lockdown yet, so to "complete" this toy you need to borrow Lockdown's accessory.  Unfortunately, same as the Earth Mode Ratchet toy, the EMP weapon doesn't really stay put on his arm.  I may have to dremel into the hole later to fix this.  

That's admittedly a downside to the mold.  Another is that the vehicle mode is kind of unsatisfying to me.  It's very accurate to what it looked like on the show, and it technically doesn't do anything more than the Earth vehicle does, but my feelings exist anyway.  I think part of the reason is that it doesn't look very nice from the side.  You can plainly see Ratchet's crotch and thighs doing their required contortions.

He comes with a pair of accessories, and unlike the Earth Mode toy, he can actually store them all in both modes.  Earth Ratchet came with a large assortment of tools.  You could shove them down his back in robot mode, but had to put them aside for vehicle mode.  They wouldn't fit inside, nor could they attach to his outside.  Meanwhile, Cybertron Ratchet only comes with two defibrillator pads. You can either lock them into place over his fists or hang them off the back of his vehicle/robot.    He also has an action feature built into his right forearm.  If you push a tab on his elbow, his fist is geared to push forward.  "Clear!"  Or "Punch!" maybe, who knows.  

(My Earth Mode Ratchet is, if you remember, heavily modified.  I painted extra detail, added Reprolabels, and he's sporting accessories from a Unicron.com Animated accessory pack.  I figger this is an important disclaimer.)

Girl with wings captivates Willis, film at 11

Shortpacked!@TNI: It's the Man again.
Shortpacked!: Pet peeves.

So Arcee was introduced in the 1986 animated movie as a pink and white female Transformer who transformed into a car.  They planned a toy but scrapped it.  No Arcee toy for anyone!  But everyone wants an Arcee toy. 

In 2001, Arcee was a BotCon exclusive.  She was a redeco of Transmetal 2 Blackarachnia, and transformed into a spider.  Hey, it's the right colors!

In 2004, the first mainline Arcee toy was introduced.  She transformed into a motorcycle.  That's closer!  She's a vehicle!  (In 2007, she'd be a motorcycle again.  In 2009 she'd be three motorcycles.)

In 2008, the first Arcee toy that transformed into a car was released.  In Japan.  Hooray!  The right alternate mode!  .... and she's just a redeco of Decepticharge, so she looks nothing like herself.  But almost there!  So close!  So very very close!

And now, in 2010, there's a toy that looks like Arcee and transforms into a car for the Animated toy line.  Mission accomplished?  (Well, not if you wanted one that wasn't in an Animated style.  Ah-heh.)  But hey, look how far we've come.  Step by step.  Budge by budge.  This toy is like 99% the toy you wanted when you were a kid.  (Or, well, if you're a boy, probably the toy you wanted once you stopped hating girls.  And started loving toys again.) 

I'm not disappointed, actually.  You think I would, after the hype.  But in fact, I like this toy a lot.  And I don't even like Arcee that much!  And it's not like she, uh, did a lot in the Animated cartoon.  She was more of a MacGuffin than a character.  She was a prop.  And yet I'm pretty damn satisfied with her.  She's pleasing.  I like her pair of swords that she can stow in her shoulders.  I like how she looks when she holds her swords.  I like her clip-on wings.  I like her transformation. 

I don't like the lack of paint on her face, but I fixed that easily enough.   Put some black around the eyes and colored in her lips.  No big effort there.

Something I noticed while examining this toy is that between her first and third season appearances, Arcee suddenly sprouted some vehicle kibble.  Hasbro didn't expect to make a toy at first, and neither did Cartoon Network, so she wasn't even designed with an alt-mode in mind.  She was just a Derrick Wyatted version of the original Arcee.  But when she showed up in the third season (and suddenly became very important, if not really a character) she suddenly had wheels shoved into her shoulderblades and her vehicle mode cockpit hanging off her tush.  Hmmm!  Crafty.

Still voiced by Lance Henriksen? We hope so.

Shortpacked!: Left behind.

Dude, totally check out Daelin's LEGO Shortpacked! store.  It is fantastic.

Yay, Animated!  I love being reminded that this show existed.  I mean, I know it was only like a year ago, but it seems so long ago.  There was this movie with robotesticles in it, I think, and everything else in that time frame has been a blurr.

But Hasbro's making sure Animated isn't forgotten in their own ways.  Sure, there's still Animated toys trickling out (like the Ratchet and Arcee shown, which I found at Toys"R"Us this morning), but they've also begun introducing its characters into other toylines in different styles.  Like Lockdown!  He was a character introduced to Animated, and was absolutely exclusive to it... until this toy came along.

It's movie-style Lockdown!  And he's friggin' awesome.

Not much was lost in the translation from cartoony-to-realism, either.  He actually transforms sort of... flipped backwards from the original toy, with the car roof on his chest instead of his back, but it still gives the same effect.  He is a little shorter.  Not by much, since he has a similar "fold-in-half-to-become-the-vehicle"-type transformation, but he doesn't stretch out quite as much as a robot.

Awesomer still is that he's still compatible with the new Deluxe-mold movie Ratchet.  The engine block weapon can unplug from his arm and be replaced by movie Ratchet's cannon.  It's a special plug-shape that only works between them, vaguely shaped like Animated Ratchet's war wound.  Sadly, the engine block weapon can't likewise plug into Ratchet's arm.  But it can plug into his, uh, roof, if you really want. 

His hook and hand are very rubbery.

To help Lockdown sync with the movie style, he has new digitigrade legs, open leg panels, and a more skeletal and hyper-detailed look overall.  This actually works pretty damn well for Lockdown.  He was always a skinny, weird-lookin' spikey dude.  And he still is.  Though since he's accepted as looking so weird, the toy would work pretty well as a Classics/Universe version of Lockdown as well, I believe.  I could probably slip him into my Classics Decepticons shelf without causing too many doubletakes. 

I hope Hasbro does a Bulkhead or Lugnut in an upcoming line.  I'd love to see more Animated-original characters done in other styles.
too!, Frenzy wants to read

He has a little brother.

Shortpacked!: To make up for yesterday's cheesecake you're gonna hafta get a week of naked dudes.

The first half of this year in Transformers is basically an off-time for me.  The Revenge of the Fallen toyline has given me 95% of the characters I wanted, that being guys who showed up in the film, and I'm not big on the repeats.  ... with exceptions.  Long-time readers know I'm a sucker for a Dinobot, Ratchet, or a Ravage.  These personal favorites will still grab my attention.  

With that in mind, hey, it's a new Ratchet!  I love me some Ratchet, who's probably my first favorite Transformers character from my childhood.  And I glomp onto the live-action film versions as well.  I spent an inordinate amount of time adding finishing touches of paint and stickers to my Movie Ratchet from the first film.  And yet I was still disappointed when the ROTF re-release of that mold didn't give him a new head like his buddy Ironhide.  Like most of the first movie's toys, the sculpting was done off of unfinished concept art.  So, well, I was kinda hoping for a new Ratchet that is based on the actual finished model, put together by Hasbro/Tomy now that its folks have seen Ratchet in a movie or two. 

This new Deluxe Class figure is close to what I was hoping for.  Close enough, anyway, for now.  He's not, uh, quite big enough to truly replace my current favorite version of Ratchet.  But he certainly is a huge step in the right direction in other facets!  He has a much more accurate head, for starters.  When I painted up my first Ratchet's head, I had to fudge some details since it didn't quite line up with what he really looks like.  But on this guy, the correct ridges and nooks and crannies are all sculpted in.  That makes me a happy Walky.

Even neater are the three headlights nestled into the front of his vehicle.  When you push his tummy down into place during transformation, gearing reconfigures those three headlights into a triangle formation, which is exactly what happens during his movie model's transformation.  That is a long, geeky-but-awesome way to go for screen accuracy.  

He has more accurate a lot of other things, as well, but they come with some compromises.  The legs are obviously more screen-accurate than the original's, since they were basically carved half-assedly out of large blocky vehicle chunks.  But what you trade these legs for on the new Deluxe is the pair of hip kibble.  See them folded out behind him?  Yeah, the back half of Deluxe Ratchet is basically a shellformer.  Past his torso, everything tucks up underneath a cascade of interlocking panels.  On the plus side, these panels do fold up very compactly.  The entire roof and rear bumper of the vehicle piles up inconspicuously on his back.  The sides of the vehicle, as stated, fold up on his hips.  It's definitely a trade-off. 

Another trade-off is his altered vehicle mode.  It's not exactly the model seen in the film.  There's a big diagonal chunk taken out of the back end, presumably to reduce the amount of kibble that would hang off him in robot mode.  He's closer to an actual H2 Hummer, rather than a Hummer poking its head out of an ambulance-shaped box. 

But all this nitty-gritty aside, there's another huge reason why I wanted him.  There's a new Lockdown, a character created for Transformers Animated, redone in this movie style and shipping in the same case assortment as this Ratchet.  And not only do their respective bios pimp their Animated-inspired rivalry, but the new Lockdown can still steal Ratchet's weapon, just like their Animated toys.  Ratchet's gun plugs into his arm and his roof with a peg shaped identically to his Animated self's war wound, and new Lockdown has that same unique peghole shape.  That is fangasmic. 

If only Big Bad Toy Store had sent me Lockdown too.  I preordered both!  But just sent me Ratchet.  That's kind of infuriating.  

(And don't forget to preorder your Mike statue!)

And he can talk, dammit. He just chooses not to.

Shortpacked!: Faz can always be counted on to deliver a punchline.

Damn you, Revenge of the Fallen! You put my beloved Transformers Animated toys on hiatus. But they're finally trickling back! Happy days are here again!

Case in point: Electrostatic Soundwave, seen on the right. So it's a Soundwave redeco, big deal. I wouldn't have bought it either, but... see, this Soundwave does not come with Laserbeak, but instead he comes with Ratbat. Ratbat the friggin' keytar.

So this purchase was happening. Soundwave himself is going in a bin, but Ratbat is one of the items in this world I have most coveted. (This version of Soundwave did show up in the cartoon, but as one of several digital duplicates within a virtual world.)

Ratbat is a very thick keytar. He's thick enough that it's a problem for Soundwave to hold him in some poses. The culprit is Ratbat's transformation. From bat to keytar mode, he accordions apart in the middle and doubles up on himself. He looks the same from the back as he does from the front, short the bat head. The head is on a shallow ball joint that you have to rotate for transformation, and this also allows you to cock his head to one side in bat mode if you wish. I thought at first that he could swap the side that his head was on, looking at the jointing there, but I don't believe this is so. Sorry, you can only face him one direction, same as Laserbeak.

His bat mode has a lot more articulation than I thought he would, even after transforming him the first time. In addition to his balljointed head, each of his wings can rotate at the middle, and you can point the tips up or down almost a full 90 degrees. Of course, he can't really stand if his wings are pointed down 'cuz his legs are tiny. But still, not bad considering his accordion-like transformation.

Ratbat has the same knobs on the face of his instrument mode that Laserbeak does, allowing him to be pegged into Soundwave's inner forearms. Ratbat also has the same-shaped feet as Laserbeak so that Ratbat can also be perched on Soundwave's back or outer forearms in either mode.

Electrostatic Soundwave's wavemate is a silver Jazz. So no, you can't run out and get Arcee or anything. It looks like she and Cybertron mode Ratchet are gonna be Toys"R"Us exclusives anyhow.

Things you can't buy just yet!

Shortpacked!: It's impossible for me to answer these things without extreme sarcasm.

Though Animated-the-show is over, the toys that would have come out this spring aren't canceled, and will be released eventually.  They were too far along in the design process for them to be just dropped.  Hasbro's gotta get their monetary investment back!  That, and they love us.  We don't know when or where these'll come out, but they definitely will.  Sometime within the next year!



Tried to narrow today's strip down to just two pages.

Shortpacked!: Gayyyyy.

I wired the money for Roomies! Book 1 this morning, which means it's on its way!  We're one boat trip away from total college sweetness.

Here's Dirge.  And Dirge!  The original Dirge has a habit of getting killed whenever he appears, so Animated Dirge one-upped him by never showing up at all! If he had, he'd have been the Greedy Clone, following the established "clones-each-represent-a-different-facet-of-Starscream" schtick.  

Animated Dirge is a weird shade of blue.  It's tinted green enough that it reminds me of my old Nightbeat toy when the blue plastic yellowed due to age.  Basically, every time I look at him I'm reminded of toy mortality.  It's not pleasant! 

I do really like the magenta trim on him, though. 

So into the Animated Decepticon display he goes!  I can just barely wedge him onto the edge of Skywarp and Thundercracker's plastic display riser.  I'd have to take the entire shelf apart to give you an All The Animated Seekers shot, so this'll have to do. 

Ponderous. Slaggin' ponderous.

Shortpacked!@TNI: A welcome reprieve!
Shortpacked!: Buckets of Bl-- heyyyyyyy.... *re-edits comic to include pun*

G.I. Joe: Resolute is here!  Finally, a Joe cartoon where I can be on the edge of my seat wondering which of my favorite, beloved childhood characters is next to meet their gruesome, unceremonious end.  (Link for nonAmericans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmahUDrswxY

Yay, Animated Cliffjumper!  He's scarcer in the United States than a dude who likes France, so I got one sent to me from New Zealand.  New friggin' Zealand!  (Thanks, invisiblemoose from New Zealand!  Have your books arrived yet?)

Animated Cliffjumper hasn't really had an Earth mode, since he's yet to leave Cybertron, so this toy doesn't represent him exactly.  It's close enough, though!  If he ever goes to Earth, this is basically how he's doomed to look.  Wasp had to be a differently-colored version of Bumblebee's car mode, too. 

Being an Activator, Cliffjumper has one of those neat quick-change transformations.  When he's in vehicle mode, press the blue button on his roof, and he's mostly in robot mode in the blink of an eye.  All you have to do is fold his feet up and play with his "elbows."

I put little sarcastic quotes around "elbows" because the jointing there is really the only bothersome thing about this mold.  I'm not sure what they were going for.  His hands sort of hang around his ankles if you let 'em, and there's not really a natural configuration for them.  To appease myself, I cheat them up a bit, as seen in the photo, pretending his "elbow" is his "shoulder," but this results in some very far-forward shoulders.  Oh well!  

Cliffjumper's feet also don't want to peg all the way together in vehicle mode, either.  Activators Bumblebee's do, so it's not a problem with the mold itself, but I also don't know if it's just a problem with my individual Cliffjumper specimen.  He's pretty damn rare, so there's not many people to compare notes with on that issue...

Hasbro rarely retools Bumblebee a new head when they redeco him as Cliffjumper, so this is a special surprise.  For the Animated toyline, Hasbro does seem to place higher priority on characters and show-accuracy, so that may be why they bothered, instead of the usual paint-it-red-and-pretend.  Regardless, it makes me happy!