Two words: Dead center. What a month. It's been all out frustration and disaster... but I'm feeling good for some reason, while I'm feeling bad. You know those days where everything you try to pick up falls out of your hands, and your multitasking skills are put to the test? It's like that, only every short while I get a positive reinforcement or some good news. Weird. One good bit of news seems to be that Hasbro and Takara are finally going to venture away from the absolutely shittyness of the Transformers Movie figure designs for a short while in favor of more Gee Wun inspired themes. The new Generations / Universe line combined with the War For Cybertron videogame figures is bound to bring back those early 80's memories in all the late twenty-somethings. Scroll down this Seibertron.com news page to see pics of the new Soundwave, Darkmount, Blurr, Dirge, Thrust, and then click page 2 because that's got all the goods. So yeah, I'm excited about that.
[ I mean, have you seen the figure for Revenge of the Fallen Soundwave? It's SHIT! Absolute shit. I fucking hate it. And they released it three different times in various colors. But this WFC fig that's coming out now is a thing of beauty! ] To the point, I made a few drunken purchases recently from KOToys. Many people are seriously opposed to buying or owning knock-offs for various reasons, but I (like many other instances in my life) am rather apathetic. That being said, I've seen many many cheap knock-offs and have passed them up since they looked like garbage. However, I did a little research and found that this company Zhong Jin does un-fucking-believable high quality and worthy reproductions. So I said why the hell not, since 1) I'm not paying four hundred bucks for an old and used G1 Shockwave with rotted rubber tubing, battery acid damage and worn edges and stickers. Not to mention neither the American nor Japanese makers of Transformers have the rights to that mold anymore. And 2) They have a clear Optimus Prime which I thought would look kinda cool. Being rather buzzed at the time I also threw in a few extra bucks for a clear Frenzy and Buzzsaw. Hell, why not.
Each figure came in deluxe reproduction packaging complete with Rubsigns, Stickers, Instructions, Catalogs for the other G1 figures, and even a little plastic baggy of SARS. Just kidding, China. They have two Shockwaves for sale, one with the standard Grey barrel end and one Purple. I went with purple since I like to get the figures that are a little different. The clear Optimus came with a little unexpected surprise which was noted nowhere: in addition to his clear rifle, he comes with a f'n die cast gold plated metal version as well. Sweetness? You bet your ass. These three clear knock-offs have some very nice special touches that aren't really expected from such a purchase, but I am overall satisfied despite a few parts of the mold being slightly loose or really tight. This isn't the case in Shockwave however who is a solid figure all over. I grabbed myself a C batter and stuck it in... the resulting lazer blasting sounds nearly deafened me, while the lights had me blinking for about a minute since I did it in the dark.
Aside from that I recently pre-ordered a Third Party figure that I brought up in an earlier post. "Third Party" meaning that it's not a "knock-off" but rather a representation of their character with a generic name (say for instance, Nurse Bot) but is quite strikingly reminiscent of a certain 1985 character. More on that one later once I get the sweet thang in my hands. After picking up Lockdown (the beautifully evil and non-symmetrical damage causing armor racing vehicle), I sent out my three Nest stickers and on the same day my KO toys came in I received my Mail-In figure of Deluxe Recon Ravage. This RotF Ravage figure was released domestically in Canada (a for-once, for them) and gave buyers in the US a reason to buy three shitty movie sequel toys to get the little bugger. I'm not really fond of the design and mold (prefer the new legends fig about to be released), but this one's got some special deep reds, vacuumed silver metal pieces and looks pretty damn sexy when you get over how ugly it is. I'm keeping him in package... a package which by the way came in a special box with a "letter from big OP" and a five dollar off coupon for a, you guessed it, Revenge of the Fallen figure.
Unfortunately, the only other RotF toy I've been looking forward to owning was Mindwipe. I already have his little buddy Skystalker, but had not seen this thing anywhere at all. I had actually given up hope, but in one bored swoop, walked into a K-Mart (I never go there) and there were two of him. Ain't that some shit. So I snagged him. The coupon was for a figure over 20$, for some reason it rang up for sixteen and I got it for eleven. If you ever see this at WalMart I guarantee it'll cost 30$, so that was pretty sweet. Mindwipe is a stealth fighter jet, black, perfectly symmetrical, with shades of red and bronze, glowing red eyes and just looks badass as fuck. Mindwipe of course is a non-movie appearing character that Hasbro put out in the movie toyline... which means basically that he's got a 75-80% chance of not completely sucking, since he may not be based on a Michael Bay approved design.
He fortunately, is not, and is rather an example of team Takara and/or Hasbro, or the designer(s) of this figure, that they are capable of downright awesomeness! Damn near everything about Mindwipe is sheer perfection: his sinister colors scheme, amazing stability, interesting transformation, sleek look in both modes, compatibility with smaller drone, minimal but eye-catching use of transparent red plastic, and the fact that he's a rather weak bot who uses his special powers to hypnotize others to do his violent bidding while he hides out and can make a most speedy getaway if needed. Oh, and he's got four bits of landing gear. One minor issue is with his weaponry (which I guess makes sense since he's a "weakling"). His mech-alive mini wing blades, while they look neat in folded bot mode, don't really do anything... and his blades which are hidden under his forearms only flip downward into stabbing position (think Psycho shower scene). I don't mind that last bit much, but there is no option to have him hold the blades any other way unless it's kit-bashed. Which I'm not into.
So things seem to be looking up and hopefully Hasbro will be able to get out some of these new and worthy products before TF3 hits the theaters and it all gets pushed aside for another hundred re-releases of slightly repainted and hardly modified Bumblebees... though, it has been confirmed that the newest Decepticon in the third film is Shockwave(!). Wonder how they'll ruin him. Or for that matter, continue to ruin Soundwave as well. We shall see.