The G1 figure review thread

The originals... ok, not exactly, but the original named "The TransFormers" anyway. Take THAT, Diaclone!
Generation 1, Generation 2 - Removable fists? Check. Unlicensed vehicle modes? Check. Kickass tape deck robot with transforming cassette minions? DOUBLE CHECK!!!
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andersonh1
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The G1 figure review thread

Post by andersonh1 »

Since we're getting remakes of G1 these days in the form of Classics and now Universe, why not go back and review some of the originals? I've often got them out for comparison with the new figures anyway, and it'll be fun to go through the collection. Since I just got TFU Powerglide, I'll start the thread with this original mini-bot.

Powerglide

Vehicle mode
: An A-10, though a very 'cutified' version. Solid red plastic with grey 'pontoon' looking pods under the wings. For details there are a few panel lines on the wings, and 3 stickers, an Autobot insignia, a detail strip, and the heat-sensitive rubsign. And that's about it. The cockpit is molded, but unpainted. There's a tiny little gun protruding from the front of the plane, off-center. Flip it over, and there's no kibble, but Powerglide's face is clearly visible at the front of the plane. Landing gear exists in the form of three struts, two on the back and one in the center front.

It's a very simple vehicle mode, as were most of the mini-bots, all of which had their origins as some sort of superdeformed penny racers, or something like that. It's honestly not a bad little airplane, and I remember having tremendous fun with it as a kid. The small size is a plus. It's not as tiny as a mini-con, but it's large enough to interact with the regular scale Autobot cars.

Transformation: a step above Spychangers in simplicity. The nose of the plane rotates to expose the face, and the rear of the plane pulls back to make the feet. The wings rotate and fold up on either side, and the pontoons fold out and down to make the arms.

Robot mode: as you can imagine, there's not a lot of articulation here, though the transformation scheme provides three points of motion in the arms. The overall red is broken up by the light grey of the arms, face and upper legs. The sticker with the tech details makes more sense now on PG's chest than it did on the airplane. The head can turn. On my 20+ year old original, the wing joints are loose, so the wings keep falling away from the sides of the bot, but that wasn't a problem when PG was new.

Overall: Powerglide stood out from the other mini-bots with his airplane alt mode. This was at a time when just about all the Autobots were land-based, with a few exceptions. Powerglide is a very simple and basic transformer, but a nice piece of work regardless.

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Re: The G1 figure review thread

Post by 138 Scourge »

Having just gotten me a new G1 toy, I figure, why not?

"Pretender" (sorta) Grimlock!: Right, well, I got no shell to throw in here, but this is saved from being a review of an incomplete toy by the K-Mart Exclusive release of this guy, who just came with the inner robot. So that's what I'm calling this. Hooray!

Dino Mode: Tiny! I'm sure smaller Grimlocks have come out since, but probably not all that many. Somehow, that adds to the charm. "Me Grimlock kick kneecaps!" Grimlock's body here is basically one rectangle, with a lil' dino head, dino limbs, and a rudimentary tail. The arms don't have that shoulder/joint/forearm structure of the original's, they just sorta sit on the torso and look funny. The legs just have the articulation at the hip, and only the one color. Actually, this whole mode is basically one color. A very light gray, with just the waist section being gold, and most of that covered with a sticker. Still, this dino's not visually boring. Ridiculous, yes, but not boring. For one thing, there's a ton of molded techy details all over this guy. My very favorite part of this guy, though, is his expression. The eyes are just sorta ovals (with techy detailing), and the mouth, the mouth just teeth clenched together, in an expression that's kinda..."bored ninja turtle" is the best I can describe it. Grrr! Good effort on this mode, Hasbro. It's interesting, because it's kinda simultaneously a simplified and more visually complex version of ol' Grimmy.

Transformation: 'Bout the same as 90% of G1. Fold a couple bits down, pull a couple more up so they point forward, and Yahtzee, you got you a robot!. This guy works in "remove tail, and then place tail into fist" for a little novelty...and I think this may be the earliest known incidence of the BW "tailgun". Also, the dino head, instead of just taking the whole upper body and folding back, just kinda folds in on a lil' black strip that's done up to look a little like a spine. That's kinda nifty.

Robot Mode: Not half bad, really. Still tiny, and still kinda simple, but there's interesting things going on with this design. A little more color is revealed in this mode, sorta. The figure has more black on him, and you can see more of the gold waist/chestplate. An odd move was to make the faceplate/eyes orange instead of the usual black, or the occasionally-shown silver. I also like the black front of the chest, it makes his chest shield stand out well. The robot mode doesn't look as "complex" as the dino, most of the techy bits are on the sides of the robot's limbs, and just not as prominent. Articulation's limited to "well, pretty good for G1 level: Shoulders, knees, and that's it. The tailgun, now, that's kinda silly as a weapon, here. The gun's barrel slopes upwards sharply right past the segment that contains the peg, so when Grimlock's got his arm out straight to hold it, he's pointing skyward (I guess most Decepticons would be in the air, so that almost makes sense).

Sadly, I din't get the Pretender shell, but unlike characters like Octopunch, Stranglehold, or Bludgeon, Grimlock's Pretender shell isn't a particularly important part of the character. Still, would have been nice to have, and I may yet pick it up if I catch a good price on it.

Overall: I wouldn't go nuts trying to get this guy, it's an entertaining and fun lil' toy, but at it's size and goofiness, I'wouldn't pay more than, say, eight bucks shipped for him (which worked out well). Not what you'd call a definitive interpretation of one of Transformers' most popular (and yeah, overrated, even I admit that) characters, but an interesting take on him. I dunno what letter grade to go with, so I'll go with a grade of: Cool 'nuff.
Dominic wrote: too many people likely would have enjoyed it as....well a house-elf gang-bang.

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Re: The G1 figure review thread

Post by andersonh1 »

I seem to remember Lil' Grimlock. My brother must have had the Pretender version at one point or something. I've got the K-Mart version of Starscream that had originally been a part of the Pretender SS figure, and I think they were marketed as "Legends" or something like that.

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Re: The G1 figure review thread

Post by Onslaught Six »

Yep, they were the initial Legends. Then there's the Euro Classics, which were the first reissues. Ah, fun with line name reuses.
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People spend so much time worrying about whether a figure is "mint" or not that they never stop to consider other flavours.
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Re: The G1 figure review thread

Post by Gomess »

Euro Classics had the ugliest brown striped boxes. I loved them.
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Re: The G1 figure review thread

Post by onslaught86 »

70s-retro reissues of 80s-retro toys. Good times. That'd make us about due for something along the lines of Dr. Archeville's Patented Form-Changing Automated Wonder.
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Re: The G1 figure review thread

Post by andersonh1 »

Since I just got Universe Onslaught, I dug the original out for comparison and review as well.

G1 Combaticon Leader Onslaught

Originally, Onslaught was the head of the Combaticon sub unit, one of the Decepticon combiner or gestalts. Like just about all of the G1 combiners, the group consisted of four 'limbs' and a larger central figure, which is Onslaught's place in the Combaticons.

Vehicle mode: A very long flatbed truck, with ten wheels, a cab in the front, and what appears to be an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the top. The gun can elevate slightly, but does not rotate. It's removable, and is fastened to the back of the truck via two small pegs. All ten wheels roll, none are fake molded wheels just for appearance. The overall color is a rich dark almost navy blue. The secondary color on the AA gun and in various sticker details is a dark olive green. There is a black camoflage pattern on the truck cab. Both doors have a Decepticon insignia, and the heat-sensitive rubsign is on the cab behind the driver's door.

Transformation: nothing too complicated. The cab splits in the middle and folds to either side to become the arms, while the fists slide out. The head is revealed when this is done. The rear quarter of the truck bed folds onto the middle section, and that section splits and pulls out to form the legs. A small blue 'shield' piece plugs into the upper chest. Stand him up and you're done.

Robot Mode: Still dark blue and olive green, with a silver midsection and black head and hands. The twin cannon barrels stick up from his back. Various stickers provide some detail, though on my original they're all worn. The overall visual effect is a dark bot with no real bright contrasting colors, though the midsection and red optic visor probably stand out the most.

Articulation is limited. The head rotates, and the legs can swing out to the sides, and bend sideways at the knees due to the transformation joints needed for Bruticus. The arms rotate at the shoulder and have nearly 180 degrees of up and down motion, since the fold straight up over the head to form the truck cab, and fold down to the sides to form the arms. Probably middle of the road, or slightly above average articulation for a G1 figure.

I didn't include anything about Bruticus in this review, but as part of a combiner, Onslaught has extra play value beyond his use as an individual figure.

Overall: A sedate and effective color scheme, simple but effective transformation and two good modes add up to a strong G1 figure. It's clearly lacking in detail and articulation by today's standards, but that's the case for a good many older figures. Still a worthwhile addition to anyone's collection.

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Re: The G1 figure review thread

Post by 138 Scourge »

The G1 reviews need more love. Well, since we've just been shown a ridiculously over-complicated re-imagining of Devastator in the recent movie, I'm gonna take another look at a toy that's the polar opposite of the movie Devastator.

Why, no, not the original. I'm talkin' even smaller, simpler, and stripped-down than that, my friends. I'm talkin' Action Master Devastator! I know, I have the dumbest G1 toys, really I do.

ROBOT MODE!: There's some characters that debuted in the Action Masters format, and they have an interesting aesthetic to 'em. Krok, Jackpot, Gutcruncher, Banzai-Tron. There's some that were remade as Action Masters with varying degrees of success (Optimus, Grimlock, Shockwave, and the greatest success, Thundercracker), but Devastator, ah, Devastator. So, he's six robots that got ahold of the Nucleon and shrunk down into one average-sized robot? Man, good thing that won't happen anymore.

So what we have here is an extremely stripped-down aesthetic to make Devastator into more of a regular action figure. The torso's mainly merged into one solid piece, but you can make out hints of Bonecrusher and Scavenger on the arms. They have rudimentary treads (extremely rudimentary, it's ovals with a circle on each end), and lil' details that might indicate a cockpit or bulldozer blade, respectively. Mixmaster and Scrapper sorta fare better, Mixmaster in particular is well-represented, with painted wheels, painted winshield and painted grille details. Scrapper's fairly well sculted, and gets painted wheels, and...grey-painted scooper-blade deal. Which is also filled in to give that foot the appearance of a more normal foot. Despite all the simplification of Dev's look, though, you look at him and know just who you're dealing with here. The colors contribute, the green's so bright it's almost yellow, and the purple chestwing and fists still just yell out "Devastator!" The funniest part of this guy is the head, which is so large as to almost be in the "superdeformed" category.

Vehi...ah, Partner!: Devastator's partner is an entertaining lil' thing, a little robot scorpion with the incredible name of "Scorpulator". Scorpulator's kind of great, he's all black and bright green, and done in the same stripped-down style as Devastator. So he ends up being a brief character sketch of a mean-ass scorpion, so, yeah, he looks great. In an even better detail, he's got a double-barreled gun sculpted into the stinger of his tail, which is a great feature for a robot scorpion. Problem is, maybe it's just the age of this toy, but at this point, his claws, which are soft plastic and balljointed in, will pretty much fall out if you look at 'em funny. It's irritating, but fortunately, they're so bright green, they're hard to not find when they pop off. Now, Scorpy here sorta transforms, sorta. What he does, is you press a switch on his back and the scorpion head flips down and a gun barrel flips out. If you pop off the scorpion legs, then you got a weapon for Devastator. Of course, due to joint wear on my toy, he's not in the least capable of holding Scorpulator up. But it's a nice effort. Good job, Devs and Scorpy!

Disclaimer: This toy was originally sold with a boring-looking, generic, black rifle which my Action Master Devastator didn't have when I bought 'em. The total price was two or three dollars, I don't care that it wasn't complete. Anyway, this lil' rifle might increase the enjoyment I get out of the toy, but I most sincerely doubt it.

Overall: Action Masters have to be the most ridiculous things ever come up with. I mean, Transformers that don't Transform? Preposterous! Still, despite, no, because of that, I really enjoy this toy. Admittedly, I'm just the kinda guy that wants goofiest representative of almost anything, so this is right up my alley, but your enjoyment might vary. You almost can't hold such a ridiculous item up to any standard, but I can see what Hasbro did here. You want a more articulated Devastator, that doesn't fall apart when you look at him hard? Here you go! Despite all this, Devs remains a fun toy. In a way. Okay, he's fun as an example of what went wrong in the 90's, but I like him. Besides, he has a pet robot scorpion that turns into his gun, and frankly, I'd kill for something like that.

Grade: Special Olympics A for effort!

Man, I'd wager that's the most words ever written about Action Master Devastator, so there you go. :ugeek:
Dominic wrote: too many people likely would have enjoyed it as....well a house-elf gang-bang.

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Re: The G1 figure review thread

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138 Scourge wrote:The G1 reviews need more love.


They do, and I've let this thread languish for far too long. Glad to see another contribution.

It's interesting to me how Action Masters were once the nadir of the Transformers, spelling the whimpering end of a once great toyline, and now they're a fun curiousity, at least to me. I have one or two Action Masters, and even though 'transformers that don't transform' is still pointless, I like the figures anyway.

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Re: The G1 figure review thread

Post by 138 Scourge »

andersonh1 wrote:
138 Scourge wrote:The G1 reviews need more love.


They do, and I've let this thread languish for far too long. Glad to see another contribution.

It's interesting to me how Action Masters were once the nadir of the Transformers, spelling the whimpering end of a once great toyline, and now they're a fun curiousity, at least to me. I have one or two Action Masters, and even though 'transformers that don't transform' is still pointless, I like the figures anyway.


I remember reading the lettercolumn of one of the later Marvel TF comics, where someone wrote that they were happy to see the Actionmasters were coming, and the editorial response was "Wow, someone's happy about Actionmasters!" So Marvel was making fun of them while they were appearing in the comics. Poor dudes got no respect. Anyhoo, yeah, there's something charming about their doofy kinda aesthetic, and the partners/accessories are sort of fun. I'd love to see Scorpulator make an in-fiction appearance.

So I'll try to throw in some more G1 reviews, too, but unless we can use reissues, too, I'm gonna be a lil' bit limited here. Reissues are close enough, yeah?
Dominic wrote: too many people likely would have enjoyed it as....well a house-elf gang-bang.

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