Dark Energon

Takara United Rumble & Frenzy

Introducing... Rumble & Frenzy!

These two were wonderful Xmas gifts from my buddy who is about just as crazy about toys as I am!

They look pretty good next to the Deluxe-class War for Cybertron Soundwave...

And look even better when posed next to the Voyager-class Fall of Cybertron Soundblaster!

Team Soundblaster says "Put your hands in the air!"

Cybertronian Optimus Prime

Cybertronian Optimus Prime is one of the nicest looking figures from the War for Cybertron series.

I like how his armor design bulks him up and the headsculpt is terrific.

Here he was, imprisoned in his plastic cell, but he is not Magneto... A mere plastic prison will not hold him!

Free from his captivity, Optimus Prime strikes out a few cool poses for his fans.

The cybertronian vehicle mode looks out of this world, a worthy alternate form for Optimus.

Seen from the rear, most of his robot mode parts are well concealed.

I find that the front of the vehicle looks pretty much like a face.

Autobots rally!

Optimus vs Soundwave!


Takara AM-26 Smokescreen

Team Prime is now at full strength with the latest member: Smokescreen!

Only the Takara version is available currently and Hasbro seems to have no plans to release an American version of this toy.

Fortunately, the Deluxe-class Takara Transformers Prime figures are available at pretty decent prices in Singapore. I got this guy for SGD$30.

Straight out of the box, Smokescreen comes in his vehicle form. He is a plain boring white. I was pretty disappointed that the white parts are not painted.

In my opinion, the plastic seems to be of a pretty low quality as compared to the Takara United line of figures.

Smokescreen is based on the mold used for Knockout. I do think that the mold is more suitable for Smokescreen in terms of cartoon accuracy.

This is primarily due to the shoulder area. In the cartoon, Knockout has multiple layers of shoulder plating, whereas Smokescreen has a simpler shoulder design, which is similar to the structure of this particular mold.

However, this mold is not without its problems. The back is hollow like how it was with Knockout.

I could fit the arms micron into the back socket to give Smokescreen some bulk but it would have been good to have some sort of plating as part of the design to cover the back.

I went ahead to sticker up Smokescreen and his arms micron but decidedly dislike the process.

Took me an hour or so to assemble the arms micron from the sprue it came on, and to sticker both the arms micro and Smokescreen.

I still prefer how Takara did it with the United line where the figures were nicely prepainted.

The sticker on the side doors were especially challenging to align correctly. This is because the stickers for each door are 2 separate pieces in order to accommodate the indentation on the door.

Fortunately, I managed to get the stickers right with the minimal number of re-attempts.

Frankly, I had expected the rims to be painted, being a Takara figure, but they weren't.

I am pretty sure that he has silver rims in the cartoon.

The sticker alignment from the front looks great. Glad I got this part spot on.

Once stickered up, the once plain vehicle looks so much cooler!

Smokscreen in his robot form, holding his arms micron, which looks like some sort of bird. (I think that's weird...)

Someone please give the dude a sandwich.
Well, at least no one can accuse Smokescreen of not having a backbone...

Despite the flaws, I still like this figure for what it represents. Always felt that Smokescreen is a pretty interesting character in the cartoon series.

I will likely display him in his vehicle mode as I have a thing for transformers toys with sporty looking car forms.

Smokescreen signs off.

Til the next post!


Soundblaster - Fall of Cybertron

Soundblaster has just graced the shelves of the Toys R Us Stores in Singapore and I was quick enough to grab the second last piece at one of the TRU stores!

Case assortment is such that there is only one Soundblaster figure for every three Soundwaves. Hence, I believe that this guy is going to be pretty hard to find soon, while Soundwave will eventually hit the bargain bins.

I have gotta say that this is a very nice figure with great paint application.

Even Buzzsaw, the cassette (or perhaps disc) that come with the figure, has nice gold paint detailing. Great stuff.

Soundblaster's chest opens up and has an adjustable interior cavity that allows the storage of multiple cassettes.

And here, I stuffed the cassette into his chest socket.

The figure has pretty good articulation on the legs and forearms, allowing Soundblaster to maintain pretty dynamic poses.

The range of movement of the articulation points at the shoulders is much more restricted but I find that to be a relatively minor issue.

In vehicle mode, all robot parts are well concealed, truly a robot in disguise.

From the back view, everything is still neatly tucked away.

Pretty cool vehicle mode all said and done.

For a size comparison, I have placed the voyager-class Soundblaster beside the previously released deluxe-class Soundwave.

Twice the size and twice the fun!

Would definitely highly recommend this figure to all Soundwave fans!
Edited on 1st December 2012:

Added more fun pics... Gangnam Style!

Op.. Op.. Op.. Op..

Oppa Gangnam Style!


Takara United Wheeljack

The Takara United Wheeljack has a very nice vehicle mode. Very clean lines that are well concealed and not very noticeable.

I compared the paint job & general quality of this Takara figure against the Hasbro Generations version and there is no contest. The paintjob by Takara is definitely superior.

The plastic quality for the Takara version is much better too.

Instead of the flat red and green paint used by Hasbro, this version here has metallic red & green, which makes the car look very striking.

The side exhaust pipes are pretty cool too. They can become separate tonfa-like weapons or be clipped onto the vehicle's underside like I have done in the picture.

Now... meet Stubbie (a.k.a Wheeljack in robot mode).

Here I see that Wheeljack paid the ultimate price of having a gorgeous vehicle mode... and that is to have an epic fail robot mode.

He actually has a decent number of articulation points but I still couldn't pose him in a stylish manner because he looks so squat.

From the back view, you can see that the entire rear third of the vehicle forms his backpack.

I am definitely going to be displaying Wheeljack in the vehicle mode.
TFP RiD Wheeljack vs United Wheeljack.

Definitely loses out to TFP RiD version in posability and coolness factor.

All said and done, I don't regret getting the United Wheeljack because I like Transformers toys with great vehicle forms.



War For Cybertron Soundwave

An awesome figure from the Generations War for Cybertron line. I thought I would have to pass this one up because I was 2 years late in finding out about this figure.

It was sheer luck that I spotted this guy at a local flea market (at China Sq. Central on Sundays) and I bought him & a Takara United Wheeljack (check out my post on Wheeljack) at a surprisingly low price of SGD$50.

The card for the Soundwave figure was pretty beat-up though but it didn't matter to me as I fully intended to liberate him from the packaging.

As you can see, he has a pretty cool cybertronian vehicle mode. I love the way the weapons peg into the sides of the vehicle.

And here is Soundwave transformed into his robot mode. The steps to do so are pretty simple and can almost be done without referring to the instructions.

Simply dig the headsculpt and his iconic shoulder-cannon.

"L-o-r-d   M-e-g-a-t-r-o-n,   S-o-u-n-d-w-a-v-e    r-e-p-o-r-t-i-n-g."

"L-a-s-e-r-b-e-a-k,   R-a-v-a-g-e,   R-u-m-b-l-e,   a-t-t-a-c-k..." 

"D-e-s-t-r-o-y   t-h-e   A-u-t-o-b-o-t-s..."

Yes, I totally admit that I used to speak into the fan when I was a kid so that I sounded like Soundwave.

If you are a fan of the G1 cartoons, chances are you probably did too.

: p

Size comparison shot of the WFC Deluxe Soundwave vs a First Edition Voyager TFP Optimus.

Peace out.