December 30, 2009

Between Christmas and New Year’s, Beyond Your Wildest Imagination

Filed under: Uncategorized — fairplaythings @ 11:29 am

Remember how I said I was back on track with the Transformers of the Day? I lied. Yes, I got some of the work caught up and then completely fell behind again. I am trying to imagine a solution now, and should have some help in the form of a proper Photoshop package from familiar friends in Rhodes Island (waves!) I can either retroactively establish the characters for December, or write them off altogether and make January the new December. Thoughts?

Also, because Mr. Willis’ laments about Hawkgirl today dovetailed nicely into my thoughts on DCUC (DC Universe Collection) versus MOTUC (Masters of the Universe Classics), I thought maybe I’d write a few words about the two lines here.

Let’s start with DCUC. While I don’t want to discount the phenomenal success of DC Direct at filling out the collection of comic collectors everywhere with common and uncommon figures, DCUC is satisfying in that it (mostly) appears at retail and has a similar scale and poseability ratio across the line. Who knew that the humble beginnings of the line, with Batman, Penguin and Orion, that we would move to our current status quo, a range approaching 100 figures that is simply the natural successor to the late, great Super Powers collection of the mid 1980s. I am mostly loving this line and the figures that come with it.

However, even with these positives, I can’t help but wish it was as great as the MOTUC.

I was never a He-Man fan. Other than a few figures (Battle Damage anything, Hordak, Mekaneck), I never really ooowed and awwwed over the line until NECA turned its attention to producing the Four Horseman-sculpted figures that rounded out the He-Man collection of the early part of the 2000nds. But serious, ignoring the complications of the line being a direct-to-market release, Mattel has got it going on with MOTUC. The figures are gorgeous, and the attention to detail is stunning, and it makes you want to be a fan. Heck, I couldn’t even resist the allure of He-Ro and Hordak, and am certainly going to fall victim to the Battle Damaged figures (even if they don’t have the swivel functions), Battle Cat and Adora.

And here is where the comparison comes in. Put He-Man and Superman together and you can notice the difference in terms of the scale of the figure and how it looks. It’s even more striking when you compare a Teela with a DCUC female like Hawkgirl (who is certainly my vote for DCUC figure with the most shortcomings already given the waist articulation issues and the absence of a belt loop to stow her third weapon). Though I’ve not held one out of the box, she looks like she can hold her weapons well and has more… er… meat on her plastic bones than the DCUC woman.

She also looks like she can properly stand up. Always a plus as a action figure.

So I am happy for both lines. But kind of wishing the DCUC was more He-Man than He-Man, if you know what I mean.

December 16, 2009

Getting Back on Track

Filed under: Uncategorized — fairplaythings @ 2:01 am

Back on December 6, I vaguely referenced “technical difficulties” that were keeping me from regular updates to the ongoing Transformer of the Day challenge. Actually, what has happened is the changeover to the new computer has left me without access to a Windows 7 compatible version of Photoshop. My unfamiliarity with Gimp and the limits posed by Paint has meant I’ve not been able to provide the great pictures to showcase these characters. And without the pictures, I’ve kind of backed away from the project.

But no longer! Given that I will surely get Photoshop sometime soon, I figured the least I could do is put up the characters and text in the meantime, and come back to finish out the details at some later point. So this is what I will endevour to do in the coming days. Catch up. As we enter the home stretch…

December 13, 2009

Octopunch (12-13-09)

Filed under: 01 generation one, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:13 am

Transformer of the Day for December 13, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon (Pretender)
Generation One (1984-1992)
-Function: Salvage
“Anything that Can Sink is Worth Sinking“
-Notable Toy: Deluxe (Hasbro, 1989)

Notes: Yes, Octopunch is another monstrous Pretender. But he hides his monster head within a primative divers helmet, making him this odd amalgam of both the fish and the fisherman. While I am not necessarily a fan of the colours, I am a fan of the mould. Oh Octopunch, you are nothing if not unique.

December 12, 2009

Meanstreak (12-10-09)

Filed under: 03 generation two, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:12 am

Transformer of the Day for December 10, 2009


-Faction: Autobot (Powermaster II)
Generation Two (1993-1995)
-Function: Street Fighter
“Leave Nothing But a Blurr”
-Notable Toy: Powermaster (Hasbro, 1995)

Notes: I’ve always wondered the origins of European exclusives like Meanstreak. Were they a throwback to the days when Hasbro relied on other companies like Palitoy to distribute their wares, or someone getting creative in head office with tailenders? Even stranger, just as Generation Two was moving forward into something approaching the articulation of what we would see in Beast Wars, these Powermasters have battle charger levels of mobility. Still, can you complain when you get a rare toy racing across the floor?

December 11, 2009

Swindle (12-11-09)

Filed under: 14 animated, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:11 am

Transformer of the Day for December 11, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
-Era: Animated (2008-2009)

-Function: Weapons Specialist
“Hey, Man, Wanna Buy A Plasma Cannon Cheap?”
-Notable Toy: Deluxe (Hasbro, 1989)

Notes: The original Swindle was the sole Combaticon besides Onslaught to get decent face time in the cartoon. Somehow Animated Swindle gets even more, and a better transformation to boot. Given his personality, he seems much more appropriate operating on his own, with his own ghost zone for supplies. He certainly makes for a terrific toy.

December 7, 2009

Soundwave (12-07-09)

Filed under: 10 arm-eng-cyb, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:07 am

Transformer of the Day for November 15, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
Armada-Energon-Cyberton (2002-2006)
-Function: Communications
“Leave No Trace but Your Reputation“
-Notable Toy: Voyager (Hasbro, 2006)

Notes: The hardest thing to do with a revision of Soundwave is to turn him into something other than a cassette player. Since his Generation One days, he’s been a Gobot (G2), a missile truck (Machine Wars) a mutant bat/crocodile fusion (Beast Wars), a satellite (movie) and an SUV (animated). Turning him into a space ship is just par for the course. Where Hasbro showed a little love and care is to give him his own mini-con, in the form of a depth charge-changing Laserbeak. This one touch made the rest worthwhile.

December 6, 2009

Technical difficulties

Filed under: Uncategorized — fairplaythings @ 11:49 pm

We’re having some software difficulties, preventing the upload of new information.

As soon as we can get the proper software fix, we’ll be back. Keep watching.

Wing Saber (12-06-09)

Filed under: 10 arm-eng-cyb, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:56 am

Transformer of the Day for December 6, 2009


-Faction: Autobot
Armada-Energon-Cyberton (2002-2006)
-Function: Transport
Courage and Fortitude are the Foundations of a True warrior”
-Notable Toy: Two-Pack Exclusive (Hasbro, 2006)

Notes: Wing Saber is somewhat notable for having been introduced in Energon and then continuing to have a role in Cybertron. In both cases, he is capable of merging with Optimus Prime to do battle, and you wonder if this transformation wasn’t the basis for the Movie’s partnering of Optimus Prime and Jetfire. While the Energon toy is somewhat unique in that it was not subsequently redecoed for sale, you really can’t go wrong with a two-pack of this calibre, which originally offered a hundred dollars of action for less than $40 at Costco.

December 5, 2009

Calcar (12-05-09)

Filed under: 02 generation one plus, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:05 am

Transformer of the Day for December 5, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon (Trakkon)
Generation One Plus
-Function: Battle Analyst
“It Doesn’t Matter Who Suffers, It Only Matters That Evil Wins the Day“
-Notable Toy: European Exclusive (Hasbro, 1993)

Notes: While Calcar reminds me a bit of the Autobot Vehicle Pretender Gunrunner in vehicle mode, they are quite clearly not the same guy. Given he was part of the second wave of non-U.S. exclusive, the wave that didn’t make it to Canada, he’s harder to find than some of his contemporaries. And he’s certainly worth the chase, even if he has a face only a mother could love.

December 4, 2009

Fire-Bot (12-04-09)

Filed under: 12 1-2-3 gobots, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:04 am

Transformer of the Day for December 4, 2009


-Faction: Go-Bots
-Era: Playskool Gobots (2002-2005)
-Function: Rescue
-Motto: “With Me Around, Danger’s All Wet”
Notable Toy: Gobots (Playskool, 2003)

Notes: Part of Firebot’s charm is that you can almost see him as a Gobot Red Alert. Even his toy face is red, which practically screams cartoon reference. For yet another repaint of the original Speedbot body, the paint applications really do him justice. Even better, Firebot features the kiddy autobot logo, as the toy came out before the formal shift to the Go-Go-Gobot line, where the logo was replaced with a stylized G.

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