Tags: revenge of the fallen

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Super-de-Scooper

Shortpacked!@TNI: The jets and the bees. 
Shortpacked!: Euphemism.

I had so much fun (nooooo) redrawing probably 30 strips last week on Maggie's Cintiq that I tried drawing some new strips on it for this week, now that I'm back in the Drawing New Comics business.  Today's and tomorrow's are completely digital.  We'll see if I stick to it or go back to the ol' tried and true smushed tree parts.

Oh, and, hey, don't forget about that Mike statue, which is still for preorder.  Chinese New Year popped up, which meant the sculptors took a two-week vacation, but progress is happening!  I think he's almost done, and hopefully the website can have a painted version on the page for you to look at soon.

This is WRECKERS AWARENESS WEEK, not Revenge of the Fallen Awareness Week, so I won't go into to much detail about Mindwipe and his humpbuddy Skystalker.  Basically, have a photo.  That's about it.   There's two pegs underneath Skystalker, and two corresponding pegholes on top of Mindwipe.  The only reason we even knew this was gonna be possible ahead of time was that Hasbro mentioned the functionality at last year's BotCon.  It's not like this is in either of their instructions or anything.  Nor do either of their bios mention the other.  Weird.

But back to Wreckers.  I told you I'd have to dig deep, so here is, uh, Scoop.  Look how... vintage he is.  Yeah.  Um.  He's not in the best shape.  He could definitely benefit from some Reprolabels.  Or maybe his two Targetmaster partners that I lost 20 years ago. 

Scoop's not often with the Wreckers.  In fact, he was only part of their gang during IDW's "Stormbringer" miniseries.  His job seemed to be helping Twin Twist pave the way for the heavier hitters to make their move, mostly by plowing through obstacles or digging a path or tunnel.  

And then we never saw him again.

Which isn't too surprising, as long as you're willing to assume he's probably dead.   As Last Stand of the Wreckers reminds us, the Wreckers blow through their ranks frighteningly fast.  Springer, who's no stranger to sending wave after wave of mechs to die, is beginning to grow weary of assembling teams just to see 'em mowed down.  Considering the comparative longevity of other Wreckers members, somebody's gotta be the dude who's among those who get picked off.  Or maybe Scoop is retired from the Wreckers like Roadbuster and Sandstorm, who knows. 

But what we do know is that this Scoop needs some new damn stickers.
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More like BREAKdown, mirite? Wait, that's his actual name?

Shortpacked!: Five years later I married her.

Lookit me, skipping to the very last Shortpacked v1.0 strip on a Thursday.  Huh.

I almost totally forgot I had Brakedown!  See, I bought him shortly before going on our trip to Toy Fair, and I kept him in my coat pocket.  And, uh, since then whenever I felt him in there I assumed he was my phone.

So, hey.  Here he is.

Yeah, I kinda bought him to be G1 Breakdown.  I woulda SUPERbought him if he were decoed like G2 Breakdown, but that's probably not gonna happen.  Damn.  As is, I only bought him.  (There's a distinct difference between buying something and SUPERbuying.  And SUPERbuying is not quite as extreme as buying the FUCK outta something.  There's a hierarchy.)

Anyway, that's why he's hanging out with Drag Strip in the photo on the right.

Brakedown himself (spelled differently now probably for trademark reasons or possibly because "breakdown" isn't terribly flattering) transforms into an adorable little car.  Really adorable.  You want to cuddle it like a hamster.  And then it unfolds backwards-like into a robot, with the hood becoming the feet and the ass of the car becoming the chest.  The entire roof of the car doubles over on itself and hangs off his back. 

And he ends up as this gorilla-armed robot.  Definitely the movie-influence creeping in there, but he's not weird enough that he'll stand out too much hanging out with Drag Strip.  The normalish head helps.
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Look out for Snoopy!

Shortpacked!: Twofer!

The very horizontal shapes of my prototypical Shortpacked! strips are not terribly well-suited to the layout of my current website, so today I've stacked two on top of each other for your viewing pleasure. 

Meanwhile, in Book Three Progress Land, I managed to crank out eight redrawn strips today, with nine and a half left to go.  (One's inked but not colored or dialogued.)  I am a tracing machine.  A tracing machine with a wrist brace, currently.  I don't need it quite yet, but it's there as a preventative measure.  I know my limits, and I'm about to reach them.

But I'm on such a roll!

A few days ago I mentioned the awesome alternate modes of Revenge of the Fallen's Scout Class toys, the forklift and bi-plane in particular.  Well, hot damn, the bi-plane has been redecoed.  And I generally don't go for redecoes for redecoes-sake, but now this toy is the goddamn Red Baron.  

The goddamned Red Baron, people.

His name is Divebomb, and he's a new body for the Divebomb character from the first film, who was a yellow and brown Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet. Divebomb wanted to honor Ransack, the previous use of this mold, so he rescanned himself as a bi-plane.  But, uh oh, he learns pretty quick that this wasn't the greatest idea once he entered combat. 

Despite my joy at owning this awesome transforming Red Baron, there are some downpoints.  Objectively, I think I might prefer Ransack's colors on this toy, since they made him look all old and worn out.  Divebomb's bright red and black is simpler in comparison, and the red plastic shows through the white paint.  White paint's like that on dark colors.  But the big thing is that this toy really falls apart.  Everything pops off way too easily.  It's not fun. 

But Red Baron! 
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Three Renegades, no Guardians.

Shortpacked!: As per reader request.

The first few waves of ROTF Scout Class dudes had two really interesting alt-modes.  There was Ransack the bi-plane (holy cow) and Dirt Boss the forklift.  Neither had been done in Transformers before, but a forklift was done in Go-Bots.  I had that Go-Bot!  His name was Spoons!  And so I almost bought Dirt Boss because I miss Spoons, who was awesome.

was blessed for waiting, 'cuz Hasbro done up and redecoed Dirt Boss as Spoons.  Ha ha ha ha, awesome.  His name is "Deadlift," because, well, "Spoons" is not only a dippy name, but it's probably not an easy trademark to defend.  It's just a plural common noun.  Also, "Deadlift" is a pretty awesome name, so I'm okay with it.  Deadlift's job is carrying corpses off the battlefield to the Smelting Pool.  (He probably sees Straxus ever so often, not that that's a good idea if one wants to remain living.)

Plus, hey, bonus orange!  Spoons was orange, so that's expected, but I still appreciate a good orange toy.  And "MR-34" is tampoed on the side of his vehicle mode, which references Spoons' Machine Robo number.  

As far as I'm concerned, Deadlift only has one downside.  He's packaged with Beachcomber, who I was ambivalent about.  Anybody want a Beachcomber?
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Add him to my Voiced By Tom Kenny collection

Shortpacked!: Don't draw much of Ethan from the front, for whatever reason.

I think I may do another filler week next week.  I really need to get Book 3 done in time for conventions this summer, but considering the number of old strips I have to redraw to complete it, that's not gonna happen as long as I have all these other strips to draw.  I get enough hand cramps as it is.  So I'll find something to run next week.  Probably some Shortpacked! V1.0 stuff, since that hasn't been on the Net for years.  We'll see.  

Deluxe Wheelie just wasn't gonna happen for me.  He's taller robot than most of the other Deluxes in the Revenge of the Fallen line, and he's supposed to be tiny!  So I ended up with this Legends Class version of him.  This almost didn't happen, because most stores everywhere seemed to have skipped his wave entirely.  No him, no Soundwave, no nothing.  

But I noticed there were some sightings of him at Kmart, and so I checked there, and hey, there he was.  Congratulations.  I now own a toy of a character that is most known for his leg-humping proclivities.  Yeah, I'm stoked.

He's a simple toy, of course.  And if you look at him from the back in RC truck mode, that just destroys the whole illusion.  He's a wall of robot parts back there.  His face just peers straight out the back.  

Sure am glad I went out of my way to get him.  Hrn.

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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.
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Is Bumblebee gonna have to choke a bitch?

Shortpacked!: Is it safe?

I wasn't sure whether I was gonna pick up this Target-exclusive Legends two-pack.  Bumblebee would end up immediately in a bin somewhere, for example.  And I wasn't sure I if I needed Shadow Striker.  Sure, she uses the name of an old BotCon character, but is that enough?

On the other hand, the profile written for these two is... interesting.  To sum up, Shadow Striker is really sarcastic.  So Bumblebee is going to kill her. 

Yeah, um.  There's not quite enough information in the bio to suggest whether Bumblebee is actually justified in giving this lady a beatdown.  He's frustrated and he feels insulted, and apparently nobody likes her, but it's still kind of devoid of real justification for Bumblebee's intended retaliation.  Hell, half the words to describe Shadow Striker make her sound like potentially a fun person to be around!  Is sarcasm so wrong?  Is it because it's unladylike?

Basically, I feel like Bumblebee's painted here as kind of a misogynist, whether that was intended or not.  (Prooooobably not.)

Anyway, the tipping point is that the pair was just $6.99.  One Legend is just $5, so that's a great deal.  And if I eventually decide I don't care about our gal Shadow Striker here, I can pretend she's Shattered Glass Wheelie
too!, Frenzy wants to read

Up from the depths, thirty stories high!

Shortpacked!@TNI: Well, it was a crappy playset anyway.
Shortpacked!: FIX'D!

About tonight's strips:  Yeah, I guess Playmates is shelving both TMNT and Star Trek so that they can make Shrek IV and Michael Jackson stuff.  Alrighty.  Oh, and I saw some Revenge of the Fallen Valentine's Day cards in stores and was really disappointed by them.  So you're welcome, I guess.

Ha ha ha, I remember a few days ago I was talking about this year being a Transformers lull.  It's funny, because the next day everything that was sort of hovering off in the distance that I kinda really wanted started to drop into stores simultaneously.  That 5% of toys I was after all came out at once. 

The Legends-scale Devastator is one of them.  I think we caught wind of this guy long before Revenge of the Fallen even came out in theatres.  He's been a long time coming.  And after what feels like a million years, here he finally is.  This Devastator's unique in that he's the only version of ROTF Devastator whose components can transform into robots as well as vehicles. 

The reason for this is understandable, after playing with this guy.  Legends Class Devastator is the perfect size for this kind of undertaking.  He's about the size of a Deluxe; any bigger, and I think he'd basically be unmanageable.  The $100 sized one is probably smart to keep him playable when combined.  You should be able to bash him around.  He shouldn't be a two-foot tangle of balljoints. 

Legends Devastator has just enough articulation in combined mode to be interesting.  His legs don't do much besides rotate at the thigh, but his arms and head do get some movement.  He's got elbows, for what it's worth, and some limited shoulder rotation.  His head is on a balljoint and can look around as well.  The toy is most pleasing to me when he's in this form. 

Devastator is also unique in that he's made up of seven guys.  The $100 version omits Overload, the red hauler that forms the super robot's crotch.  He also has the only toys of Overload, Scrapper, and Hightower that transform into robots.  Those three have no individually-sold toys.  Now, technically, this still isn't a full roster of the guy we see form Devastator in the film.  Two mysterious dudes show up for a few seconds to make small parts of Devastator, in addition to the seven we see here - one guy forms his left hand and the other forms half of a leg.  But other than those guys (which Hasbro ignores in its marketing), this Devastator is complete.

And he holds together pretty well!  Lots of tabs and slots.  The whole thing is pretty ingenius, engineering-wise, and not at the expense of his component parts.  Other than Mixmaster, they're all solid toys even when you ignore that they're combiner parts. 

A Walmart exclusive, Devastator's $32, which is about $3 less than the $5-per-component you'd have to spend on his pieces individually.  (Not that you can.)  With that in mind he's not a bad value, but he's only about the size of a deluxe, so he doesn't seem as good a deal when out on the store shelves next to other toys.

But I love him. 
too!, Frenzy wants to read

Girls on wheels!

Shortpacked!: Can't touch this.

Well, I went out this morning hoping to find Animated Arcee.  I didn't!  I guess I'll have to enjoy this live-action Arcee in the meantime.  Drat.

(Please excuse the asymmetrical paintjob on Deluxe Ratchet's shoulders.  I've been absent-mindedly paint detailing one side of his vehicle mode in my free time.)

Legends Class Arcee here is the first transforming toy I've owned of any of the three Arcee bikes from the film.  I was sorta waiting for this one, since it was small.  I don't need toys of them that large, really.  They're motorcycles!  They're tiny!  And I'm actually pretty okay with life if Hasbro never makes the other two in this size.  In fact, I'm counting on it at this point in the toyline, even though there's a mysterious connector peg behind Legends Arcee's rear wheel.  Hmmm.

Waiting wasn't so bad, either!  I like this little toy.  It's pretty damn complicated for a Legends Class toy.  Maybe it's partly because she only has one leg to give pieces to, but she is dense with hinges and balljoints. 

Thank God there's some ridges alongside her two wheel-halves which allow her to stand.  It's not terribly easy to do so, since she has a precarious center-of-balance, but it's doable.  The Deluxe versions of her kinda cheat, giving her a little stand that folds out of other parts of the vehicle.  Those are probably more stable, but ruin the visual effect.  S'pose that's the tradeoff.  She's much less visibly held up by something, but she's much more easily knocked over.  Y'know how it is. 

I really like her shade of pink.  

Y'know, I'm pretty sure Columbus area stores completely skipped over the previous wave of Legends Class figures.  I never ever saw a Wheelie or Soundwave, and I was kinda wanting the former.  And neither of them is in this new assortment.  D'oh. 
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!)