The RID review thread

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The RID review thread

Postby andersonh1 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:52 am

I spent some time this weekend digging out my off-air tapes of Robots in Disguise and copying them to DVD, since as far as I know the series hasn't been released on Region 1 DVD. I love the show... it's just plain goofy fun, and the humor just about always works. It got me to pull out some of the old RID figures and see what I think of them now, so maybe I'll put up a few reviews.

First up: our favorite Predacon poet, Sky-Byte.

Shark mode: the figure is a repaint of Beast Wars Cybershark. I remember seeing Cybershark shelf-warming in the local KB Toys, back when the place still existed, and I was never tempted by the figure. Clearly I wasn't the only one. But Sky-Byte vastly improves on Cybershark's color scheme by making good use of all the detail molded into the shark's skin. Blue, white and yellow are the primary colors, but there's plenty of other color mixed in on the small detail. The shark mode looks great, but it has some flaws. The lower fins tend to fall out rather easily, because they're just round pegs fitted to the shark sides. And the molded shape of the shark has the tail arched off to one side, which I think is a mistake, since it takes away from the aerodynamic look that the shark ought to have. The jaw moves a bit but doesn't close, and the missile launcher inside the mouth is a nice touch. The whole figure holds together fairly well, though some panels are easy to dislodge.

Transformation: Alright, you're never going to be able to transform the figure without one or both of the panels that form the shark tail popping off. The figure is a total shellformer, which can work but doesn't quite work in Sky-Byte's case. The robots feet form the jaw of the shark and swing down. The arms are tucked up in the shark tail, with one arm having a normal fist and the other using the tail fins as a claw. The tail panels end up as huge shoulder pads, while the chest slots into the waist component. The shark fin is on the robot head. The shellformery-ness of the figure becomes very apparent from the back, where half the shark sits on the back with the shark head as Sky-Byte's rear end.

Robot mode: Standard asymetrical TM2 design, with a great color scheme. Lots of blue, white and dark yellow, with various highlight colors. There's a purple Predacon spark crystal dead center in the chest, and the chest itself is molded in two different colors, while the mold looks a bit like a head with sharp teeth, referecing the shark head. Sky-byte's eyes are not quite the same, and he sports a lopsided toothy grin. One hand is normal, one is a huge claw. Even the molded detail on the legs isn't quite the same once you get in close and look. Articulation is pretty good, though the backpack/shoulderpads have to be taken into account when it comes to balance.

Overall: This figure is a bit of a mess when it comes to transformation, even if both modes look pretty good. It's proof that a good color scheme can really alter the look of what is actually a repainted figure, even though I'd bet most people are far more aware of Sky-Byte than Cybershark. I love the character based on the TV show, but that's probably my primary reason for enjoying the figure. Otherwise, it's far from the most 'playable' or posable Transformer ever. Worth owning because it at least looks great, especially in shark mode. But the transformation is more frustrating than fun.
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Re: The RID review thread

Postby andersonh1 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:13 am

Scourge

When I first bought this figure, I was surprised by how relatively heavy it was. Scourge was a TRU exclusive as I recall, and it took me some time to find one. It was worth the hunt though. Despite the fact that this toy began the 'black Optimus Prime repaint' trend, it remains an aesthetically strong repaint of G2 Laser Prime.

Vehicle mode: A long-nose tractor trailer with a huge chrome tanker. The wheels are plastic rather than rubber, which disappoints, but otherwise it's a great vehicle. The color scheme is really strong, since black and chrome are a winning combination. The truck looks like a real-world vehicle, though I couldn't pin it down to a real-world model.

Transformation: the trailer detaches and is set aside, like G1 Prime. Scourge's transformation is simple but effective. The back of the truck pulls down to become legs and the feet flip up. The nose of the trailer splits in two and swing down, forming shoulders while the arms pull out from the lower half of the truck. An abdomen panel opens and the head is pulled out and rotated up to sit on top of the torso. And that's about it. It's basic level transformation or less by today's standards, but it gets the job done nicely. The change in orientation and breaking up of various truck components mean that the only portion of the robot that is still overtly a truck component is the cab which sits as a backpack.

The tank splits to form a battle platform with launching disks. It really looks sizeable once it's unfolded and deployed. Like my G1 Prime's trailer, I suspect it got a lot less use than the main robot figure for most who bought it. It's essentially a really big accessory, but a nice one.

Robot: Until this figure came out, I'd never have thought an 'evil Prime' repaint would work. Now we can't get away from them. Regardless, Scourge looks very nice with the black, warm grey and teal, with red optics as a focal point. The figure also has stickers, which surprised me at the time. There's a false chest made to look like the flat-nosed truck cab chest of G1 Prime. The big shoulders add to the figure's bulk, making it look more imposing than it might otherwise be.

Articulation is very good, and the basic transformation is a strong point for this figure since it simplifies it and allows for the articulation as well as solidity. The figure is armed with a bulky gun and the red "sword of fury".

Overall: One of the best repaints in the line, and a conceptually strong figure. If you've ever seen the RID episode where the character is created, there's a good reason for him to look like Prime, something we rarely get with most later evil Prime repaints. I'm glad I persisted in trying to locate the figure back in the day. It's well worth having as part of my collection.
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Re: The RID review thread

Postby 138 Scourge » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:25 pm

Well-done review, Shane. You hadn't done it, I was gonna. As it stands, I'll just have to do the Destructicon Scourge at some point.

I just gotta take issue with the whole "Can't get away from the evil Prime" thing. I mean, you just look at the in-store toys, there've been, what, three, total? This guy, Destructo-Scourge, and Nemesis Prime outta Armada. The rest of 'em aren't hard to avoid, at all, you gotta go out of your way to obtain them from a convention, a website, or, in the case of Alternators Nemesis Prime, you gotta, I dunno, sell your soul or whatever. So I dunno, I don't think we're as bescourged by 'em (hah) as people make out.

All the same, it's clear that RiD Scourge is the best evil Prime repaint ever, and probably one of the best offerings from RiD. Hilarious that it was an exclusive, being a show character and all, but whatevs.

138 "We're almost as flooded by blue Prime repaints as Hot Zone, once more and it's officially a thing" Scourge.
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Re: The RID review thread

Postby Onslaught Six » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:11 pm

There was a time when it seemed as though Scourge wasn't to be released at all. I passed on him in favour of...reissue Hot Rod and the Vehicon threepack. Figured I'd go back and get him later--never happened.

And to be fair, Scourge didn't start the Black Prime Repaint trend. LioConvoy did that--and technically, you might even go back and say the first Optimus Primal did that--except he was already black to begin with, so instead Takara made 'translucent red, blue and clear' versions of him.

And on top of that, Scourge wasn't even a repaint of that line's Prime--he was a repaint of a way previous Prime toy that wasn't particularly iconic. This is actually the best way to do it--the same way as the first Universe's Nemesis Prime, who was a Big Convoy repaint. A repaint of a mould that was never released stateside. That's impressive, and it was stuff like that on the tail-end of the first Universe that made me glad for it. Still sad I missed out on the Hellscream tweak, but I can still go back and get an original one.
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.


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 RID review thread

Postby onslaught86 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:35 pm

I obsessed over Scourge, since NZ was pretty screwed for RID toys - half the line was exclusive to somewhere or other, and we got no exclusives. Also no Megas at all, so no trains/three-packs/Sky-Byte. Fie! Have since tracked down almost everything. Still need Destructicons. And Jhiaxus. Also yellow Landfill and a few Spychangers. Eventually, yeeess.

I had BigMD send me a Scourge, it was my first ever import. Good times.
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Re: The RID review thread

Postby Onslaught Six » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:02 pm

To be fair, the Destructicons and Jhiaxus were late-run guys and it's not unexpected.
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.


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 RID review thread

Postby andersonh1 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:41 pm

Onslaught Six wrote:To be fair, the Destructicons and Jhiaxus were late-run guys and it's not unexpected.


I don't think I ever saw the Destructicons in the stores, and I passed on Jhiaxus because the pumpkin colored plane just didn't appeal.
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Re: The RID review thread

Postby Onslaught Six » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:42 pm

They were KB exclusives, and they were released about the same time as Jhiaxus, Green Megabolt and Dreadwind & Smokejumper.
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.


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 RID review thread

Postby andersonh1 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:49 am

Onslaught Six wrote:They were KB exclusives, and they were released about the same time as Jhiaxus, Green Megabolt and Dreadwind & Smokejumper.


I remember that, and I did find the green Megabolt and Jhiaxus in the local KB, but they never got the Destructicons. I may well have picked one or both up if I had.
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