Power of the Primes Tailgate

Repaint or no, I’ve been looking forward to Tailgate and now he’s here!

The Card

Tailgate card front

My version of Tailgate came with a card for the Solus Prime combination – Solus Tailgate which, ironically, seems to give him Windcharger‘s special magnetic power.

Tailgate card back

The Car

Tailgate vehicle mode

The black and white is very striking on this mold and the large Autobot symbol gives it a G1 Sideswipe feel.

Unfortunately, the color-matching (or at least gloss level) between the painted parts and the white plastic is very poor giving the car a bright white stripe across the middle.

The Robot

Tailgate robot mode

I really like how the painted chest details makes this figure look  dramatically different from Windcharger. I also like how the new head has the little panel on the back to invoke the feel of the G1 toy.

Fortunately, the color-matching issue that is so obvious in vehicle mode is barely noticeable in robot mode.

Prime Master Integration

Tailgate Prime MasterOf course there’s a Prime Master inside, can’t you see the empty armor?

As I mentioned in my Windcharger review, getting a Prime Master into the cockpit is a very awkward process which requires you to transform the entire back half of the car. The Prime Master fits in well but the windows are so dark that you cannot tell that it’s there.

The Comparisons

Tailgagte with Cliffjumper

The only physical difference between the two is the head but, as mentioned above, the deco on Tailgate does a great job of differentiating the two.

Tailgagte with Cliffjumper vehicle mode

Although the Thrilling 30 version captures the IDW look extremely well, it looks spindly next to this one which is equally good at capturing the G1 feel. PotP Tailgate will definitely replace the T30 version on my display.

Tailgate with T30 robot mode

It’s more of a draw when it comes to vehicle mode. The T30 version, despite the busy hood deco (which was omitted in the Legends release), is a good looking muscle car and holds up well with the PotP version.

Tailgate with T30 vehicle mode

Impossible Toys MC-07 Tapper

Today’s post is a retro-review: Impossible Toys MC-07 Tapper.

Tapper box

The History

Back in mid-2013, Impossible Toys announced a series of updated mini-bots. These were an updated “remold” of the original G1 Machine Man Penny-Racer inspired robot. The transformation scheme was retained but with some tweaks allowed by modern manufacturing techniques.

Tapper is a version of Tap-Out (who was a repaint of the Fun4All Cliffjumper key-chain release that was originally available at BotCon 2002) and retains the look and feel of a G1 mini-bot.

The Penny-Racer

Tapper vehicle mode(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Unlike most modern versions of the mini-bots these retained the super deformed look in vehicle mode.

The Robot

Tapper robot mode(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Again, the robot mode very reminiscent of the G1 mini-bots.

The Variations

Originally there were three molds with three versions each. Three additional heads were created to add some some more variety.

  1. MC-01 Bumble-Bug
    Their version of Bumblebee with a face based on the cartoon and The Transformers Collection Minibot Team Set re-release.
  2. MC-02 Hill Jumper
    Their version of Cliffjumper.
  3. MC-03 Bump
    Their version of Bumper (aka Bumblejumper).
    MC-03 Bump
  4. MC-04 Hub
    Their version of Hubcap which reused the MC-02 mold with a new head.
  5. MC-05 Gold-Bee
    Their version of Goldbug which reused the MC-01 mold in gold and dark purple with a new head based on the G1 Bumblebee toy.
  6. MC-06 Glypher
    Their version of Glyph (also originally available at BotCon 2002) which was a blue repaint of MC-05.
  7. MC-07 Tapper
    As mentioned above, their version of Tap-Out which reused the MC-02 mold in aqua.
  8. MC-08 Bee Bite
    Their version of Bug Bite (based on a Go-Bot who first became a Transformer when Takara re-released the Minibot Team Set repainted as Go-B0ts characters) which reused the MC-01 mold in white and light purple.
  9. MC-09 Wasper
    Their version of Wasp, from Transformers Animated, which reused the MC-03 mold in green with a black stripe and a new head.

As a final gift to their fans, Impossible Toys released individually numbered black and red repaints of their first three figures:

  1. Night-Bee
    Night-Bee
  2. Night-Jumper
    Night-Jumper
  3. Night-Bump

The Comparison

I didn’t have my Tap-Out handy so I’ve used the Bumblebee key-chain for these comparisons.

Tapper vehicle mode with Bumblebee

As you can see, aside from the size, there isn’t much difference between the two in vehicle mode.

Tapper with Bumblebee

Here you can see some of the upgrades added to this mold. The shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball-jointed. There is also a hip swivel.

Tapper side view with Bumblebee

From the side you can see another of the upgrades – the head-flap slides forward so that the face is more centered on the shoulders.

Tapper dynamic pose with Bumblebee

And a dynamic pose-off between the generations.

Tapper sore winner with BumblebeeSadly, Tapper is a sore winner.

Still in Stores

I actually purchased this figure just recently and plan to put it on my desk at work. If you’re interested in picking one up, they’re still available from Big Bad Toy Store at clearance prices:

Power of the Primes Duocons

Power of the Primes Duocons

Power of the Primes, like Titans Return before it, has given us some unexpected releases in the form of Pretenders and now – the Duocons.

Duocons robot mode

Duocons vehicle mode

Roadtrap – The Card

Roadtrap card front

My version of Roadtrap came with a card for the Quintus Prime combination.

Roadtrap card back

Roadtrap – The Truck

Roadtrap vehicle mode

The front half of the truck is convincing, the rest – considerably less so being made up entirely of Roadtrap’s chest.

Roadtrap – The Robot

Roadtrap robot mode

Although the robot mode looks more convincing than the truck mode it has a few issues. The upper arms are not capable of moving backwards since they hit up against the hinge that they’re attached to. Also, the chest does not lock together as solidly as I would like and is prone to splitting.

Battleslash – The Card

Battleslash card front

My version of Battleslash came with a card for the Liege Maximo combination.

Battleslash card back

Battleslash – The Helicopter

Battleslash vehicle mode

Unfortunately, Battleslash’s helicopter mode is a bit awkward with a tiny rotor and a big gap in the nose where the two figures connect.

Battleslash – The Robot

Battleslash robot mode

Fortunately, the robot mode is much better, although it has a similar problem to Roadtrap where the shoulder joints cannot move backwards.

Battletrap

Battletrap

This is where these two Legends shine. The one flaw is the unfortunately placed rotor in the combined mode which hangs down behind the robot.

Battletrap rear view

The Conclusion

Although the individual robots were not entirely successful, I’m glad that the designers put in the extra effort to create them. A big improvement on the original G1 figure with a very solid combined mode.

360 Degree Turnaround Videos

Roadtrap

In this video, you can see Roadtrap’s dirty little secret – his very hollow back.

Battleslash

Battletrap

TFC Toys Trinity Force Wildhunter

Wildhunter, the final member of TFC Toys’ Trinity Force not-Road Caesar, has arrived at Junkion HQ.

Trinity Force Robot Mode(Autobot symbols sold separately)

The Box

Wildhunter Box

Like both previous releases, Wildhunter comes in the same fantastic retro box inspired by the original Road Caesar packaging.

Wildhunter Box ContentsThe fully pose-able hands can celebrate victory and wish you long life and prosperity. (Autobot symbol sold separately)

Wildhunter comes with all of the combiner parts required to assemble the team, including the hands and feet.

The Brain

Wildhunter Brainmaster

Just like the previous releases, the Brainmaster is still absurdly small. And, just like the previous releases, I immediately installed the spare head.

The Robot

Wildhunter Robot Mode(Autobot symbol sold separately)

It’s quite a relief to get a release in this team with no twisty pipes! Although the backpack can be tricky to get into place, there is nothing in this release that generates anywhere near the frustration level generated by the legs of the previous team members.

On that note, one thing this review reminded me of is how much I dislike the heels on Red Knight which, on mine at least, pop off whenever they’re touched or come in contact with any other surface.  Kind of an annoying feature for a foot.

The Dune Buggy

Wildhunter Dune Buggy (Autobot symbol sold separately)

Huge! That was my first impression when taking at this beast out of the box.

Trinity Force Alt ModeYes, this is a totally normal size for a dune buggy. (Autobot symbols sold separately)

The Combiner

Finally we can put together the Trinity Force combiner!

Trinity Force with SwordA properly located chest logo for Wildhunter ends up in an unfortunate position on the combiner. (Autobot symbols sold separately)

Although I’m not thrilled that they had to include separate parts-forming ankle pieces, I have to admit that they work well. However, the hip joints are the weak point of the combiner and are not strong enough for the robot to stand on one foot.

Trinity Force(Autobot symbols sold separately)

One issue that you’re going to run into with putting the combiner together is the clarity of the printed instructions. Someone at TFC must have realized that since there are QR codes that you can scan with your phone that will bring up videos of the process; Part 1 covers robot mode and Part 2 covers the combiner mode. Unfortunately, the video assumes that you’ve already transformed the other two members so you’ll still need the printed instructions for those.

The most difficult step is the connection between the leg bots which involves folding down an extremely stiff connector (as seen below). The video instructions show this piece already folded out which is reassuring since it really does not feel like it should move.

Raging Bull Leg Mode
Another thing to be aware of, there are two panels that snap into place on the bottom of the feet that appear to help lock the weapons from Raging Bull and Red Knight in place on the sides. I found that if I tried to remove the weapons with them in place they had a tendency to pop off dramatically and fly across the room.

Trinity Force Feet

The Free Gift

Display Stand

The first production run includes a stack-able rotating display with LED lighting. Unfortunately, it is a bit too small to use with the team combiner but should work well for smaller figures.

Display Stand with Posts

Here it is with the support posts in place. They’re extremely wobbly which makes me wonder how stable this would be with another stand on top.

MP-15E/16E Cassettebot vs. Cassettron

MP-15E/16E Cassettebot vs. Cassettron

The exclusive Cassettebot vs. Cassettron set has finally arrived at JunkionHQ!

Cassettebot vs. Cassettron Cassette Mode

It’s not an original thought, but if there is a logic to TakaraTomy’s Masterpiece numbering system I have yet to decipher it. For a release containing a straight repaint and a remold from MP-15, a straight repaint from MP-13B and an unreleased pre-mold, the 15/16 release number seems odd to say the least. I would think that a new number or a Legends inspired MP-EX would be far more fitting.

Cassettebot vs. Cassettron Beast Mode

One thing that surprised me is that everything in the box is in a little plastic baggy. I don’t remember the previous Takara cassette sets being packaged like that.

Enemy

Enemy Cassette Mode

Enemy is a repaint of the Rumble/Frenzy mold inspired by the G1 radio and voice changer accessories. As you can see, Enemy is a deep burgundy and navy blue which looks very good on this mold.

Enemy Robot Mode

He does come with pile-drivers but, even though he’s red, he’s not Rumble so isn’t allowed to use them.

Stripes

Stripes Cassette Mode

Stripes is a slight remold and repaint of Ravage inspired by a character in an early draft of the original Transformers movie. The original Encore cassette was Ravage with Steeljaw’s weapons so, in this version, Ravage’s rockets have been dramatically reduced in size and vertical wings have been added to the sides. Unfortunately, since the wings and rockets are part of the hip they can end up in odd locations when posing the figure.

Stripes Beast Mode

I know this is due to how parts line up in cassette mode but, for a character called Stripes, he has very few actual stripes.

Wingthing

Wingthing Cassette Mode

Wingthing is a Ratbat repaint based on G1 Soundwave’s Action Master companion. Like Stripes, this is another orange repaint, but it is a slightly darker shade which helps it stand on its own.

Wingthing Beast Mode

I do like the Ratbat mold, for anyone who doesn’t have it yet this is probably the least expensive way to get an official version.

Nightstalker

Nightstalker Cassette Mode

Nightstalker is the only new mold in this set and is clearly a pre-mold of Steeljaw, which will hopefully see a release soon along with a Masterpiece Blaster. According to TF Wiki, Nightstalker is most likely inspired by a G1 Marvel UK “design-a-decepticon” contest winner. The original Encore cassette was Steeljaw with Ravage’s weapons so, this version has rockets with flip out side wings to mimic those on G1 Ravage. Unfortunately the missile pods do not lock in place when in cassette mode.

Nightstalker Beast Mode

Due to the mechanics of the transformation he turns out to be about 2/3 the size of Stripes or Ravage. Despite the size however, Nightstalker is very pose-able and fun.

Nightstalker and Jaguar

Power of the Primes Grimlock

Power of the Primes Grimlock

The Dinobot leader has arrived at Junkion HQ!

The Card

My version of Grimlock came with a card for the Liege Maximo combination.

Grimlock card back

I suspect that those “truths” are all the same – “Me Grimlock smash”.

The Dinosaur

The weakest mode is the dinosaur who has far more “junk in the trunk” than previous releases. The top half is extremely accurate and has a great look and feel that screams Grimlock. The lower half however looks like he stomped through some poison ivy and is a bit swollen. Still a fun figure but the proportions seem a little off.

The Robot

Grimlock robot mode

The robot mode is a lot of fun and is, without question, G1 Grimlock. The weakest element is probably the chest which, due to the transformation, is split down the front which can leave a gap if you’re not careful.

The Combiner

In this line Grimlock is not only the leader of the Dinobots but also the torso of their combined form Volcanicus. I can’t wait until the last two Dinobots are released so that I can fully build this out.

Armless VolcanicusSadly, my Volcanicus is totally armless.

Dinobots

Grimlock joins Slash, Swoop and Slug in my PotP Dinobot collection.

Dinobots to date

The Dinobot swarm continues to grow.

Power of the Primes Starscream

Voyager Starscream has arrived at Junkion HQ!

The Card

Starscream card front

My version of Starsream came with a card for the Onyx Prime combination. The power of “the patience of a vulture” seems incredibly appropriate for Starscream.

Starscream card back

The Jet

Starscream jet mode

Sadly the jet is disappointing and easily the weakest mode. The decals on the wings are as poor as expected and give it a cheap feel. Also, there is no good way to get the feet out of the way so it tilts forward awkwardly.

The Robot

Starscream robot mode

My initial impression of Starscream was that it was a Popeye version but in hand I get a more Robot Heroes feel. All it needs is an oversized head to complete the impression. Passable but certainly not a replacement for the original Classics update.

The Combiner

This Starscream can also form the torso of a combiner and this is where this mold shines.. He has no official team that we’ve been informed of but pairing him with the Combaticons and Liokaiser are popular.

Starscream combined modeJust to be different – Menascream

I like the torso mode which has a strong movie-Starscream vibe. The biggest flaw here being the doors for the Enigma of Combination chamber which are very thin and easy to accidentally push into the body during transformation.

Bringing the Unexpected: Part Six – The Final Clones

Bringing the Unexpected: Part Six – The Final Clones

The clone two pack has finally arrived at Junkion HQ and they saved the best for last. (If, like me, you are not lucky enough to have found one in your local Walgreens store, you can order your own on their site.)

Clones in package

Wingspan

The second Decepticon beast is just as fun as the first.

The Robot

Not surprisingly, the new clones look pretty much the same in robot mode.

Wingspan robot mode

The Bird

The transformation on these are more satisfying than the first two clones since they include a few more steps. Wingspan’s arms have an extra little piece attached to the shoulder that links the wings to the body and locks everything into place. We can also finally see the reason for the second hinge int he robot hips since it is required for the transformation of the final two clones.

Wingspan beast mode

Comparison

Here is Wingspan with his G1 self: shorter but better articulation.

Wingspan with G1 robot mode

Sadly, my G1 Wingspan can only be called “span” since he no longer has any wings but here they are together in beast mode anyways.

Wingspan with G1 beast modeEvil Decepticon Span transforms into a vicious cyber-turkey

And with his updated pal Pounce, he’s the one on the… he’s one of these two.

Decepticon Clones robot mode

They’re easier to tell apart in beast mode.

Decepticon Clones beast mode

Titan/Prime Master Integration

You can put a Titan or Prime Master onto his back and finally recreate those Lord of the Rings scenes with Transformers like you know you’ve always wanted to.

Wingspan with Prime Master

Cloudraker

Although his jet mode is no more convincing than the original, I still enjoy the air-based Autobot clone.

The Robot

Again, not a radical new look for the robot mode, as expected.

Cloudraker robot mode

The Plane

Here is where all of the new comes in.

Cloudraker vehicle mode

Titan/Prime Master Integration

Like Fastclash before him, Cloudraker includes a flip up panel on his chest that becomes a cockpit in alt mode.

Cloudraker with Prime MasterThis is a totally natural way to ride a jet

Comparison

Sadly, my G1 Cloudraker has gone missing so here he is in robot mode with G1 Fastlane.

Cloudraker with G1 robot mode

The clone look is really broken by the large spoiler and wheels on Fastclash’s shoulders.

Autobot Clones robot mode

Air and Land attack!

Autobot Clones vehicle modeThese are totally real vehicles!

Extra: Weapons

Thanks to ToyHax’s Black Friday sale I picked up several of their label and parts sets including the missing weapons for the Autobot clones. Fastclash’s weapons are included in ToyHax’s Chaos on Velocitron set and Cloudraker’s are in their own set.

Autobot Clones with weapons robot mode

Cloudraker’s weapons really work well with the jet mode and help give the “arms pointed backwards” fuselage a bit more purpose.

Autobot Clones with weapons vehicle mode

360 Degree Turnaround Videos

Along with the new year, I’m introducing a new feature 360 degree turnaround videos. With these you’ll be able to see front, back and side views of each figure in each mode.

Cloudraker

Wingspan

Power of the Primes Slash

Power of the Primes Slash

Power of the Primes introduces us to the sixth Dinobot (no, not Paddles, he’s non-cannon!), Slash.

Slash in package

The Card

Slash card front

My version of Slash came with a card for her Vector Prime combination.

Slash card back

The Robot

The robot mode is clearly in the Dinobot family with big Grimlock-style shoulders and the red chest that all of the other wave 1 Dinobots should have.

Slash robot mode

One thing that is obvious when you put Slash with any of the other wave one Legends is that she’s tiny – with legs and a torso only half the size of her wave-mates.

Power of the Primes Legends wave 1

The Dinosaur

The Dino mode is a surprisingly fun little velociraptor!

Slash dino mode

Prime Master Integration

The same spot that hides the dino head in robot mode doubles as a Prime Master cockpit.

Vector SlashVector Slash – finally a combination that matches one of my cards!

Dinobots

Slash joins Swoop and Slug in my PotP Dinobot collection.

Slash with Dinobots robot modeClearly the “little sister” of the group. I imagine she follows them on missions even when she’s told to stay home.

Here they are together in dino mode.

Slash with Dinobots

Half way there…