Best and Worst of "Armada":

Acronyms and abbreviations are fun. That, or these lines don't deserve quite enough respect for full names.
Robots In Disguise, Armada, Energon, Cybertron - there, that's their names, happy now???

Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby Dominic » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:13 pm

O6 suggested it, but never posted this thread.

"Armada" was one of those things I liked despite my better inclinations. I was actively trying to get out of toys post-RiD. One day, I was bored, and in a bit of a funk.

So, I took a walk to the local, (now gone), TrU. I had already flipped through a few issues of the comics, and had some familiarity with the characters. The first wave of every price-point was sitting on the shelves.

On a whim, I picked up the bikes and the saber jets. I went back the next day and picked up Hotshot and Demolishor. A week later, the tank team. And, dammit if they were not all so much fun. I still get a chuckle about putting the bikes on Hotshot and Demolishor. It looks like Jolt and Blackout are going to take a ride to the mountains and go off-roading.

In the end, the only wave 1 toy I never bought was Optimus Prime.

"Armada" was a very unevenly mixed bag. I put this down as being rhe result of the sheer creativity that Hasbro put into the line. There was not a single toy, even among those that I did not like, that made me say "Hasbro is slacking". The worst thing I could say about most of the toys was "nice try, but needs a bit or work to be fully realized". I actually wished Hasbro pushed back the release date to polish things a wee bit more. The worst toys were still ambitious designs.

While many of the later toys, (mostly in the "Powerlinx" and "Unicron Battles" waves), were needlessly scarce, I (somehow) managed to get most of them with little effort. (Just do not ask my why I traded away my PLX Hotshot. I have no excuse for that.) This was, a *fun* line to collect.


Best: Demolishor. There is so much to like about this toy. The two-stage Minicon activated launcher more than makes up for the 3 other dead hard-points. The tank mode stikes a balance between "contemporary Earth" and "alien robot". The Minicon is one of the more versatile for the time it came out, and fits in with the Bulk figure in 2 ways. That mould is nearly 8 years old, and held the position of "Dom's favorite" for almost 6 years, finally being knocked out by Sunstreaker.

I have had at least one pressing of that mould, [url=http://www.myspace.com/dominionhub/photos/44993191] if only one I customized {/url], on display since the mould was released.

A very near second would be the bike team/Perceptor.


I would say one of the weakest figures in the line was Optimus Prime. There was some really ambitious design work put into that toy. But, the results were weak.


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-still managed to get both US Sparkplugs in trades though.
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Re: Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby andersonh1 » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:53 pm

It took me a while to warm up to Armada, but once I got into the line I really enjoyed collecting it. I look back on it now with a great deal of fondness.

Best - Dom's already covered Demolishor, so I'll speak up for the virtues of Smokescreen and Liftor. I love this set, though it's ironic that the mini-con has more articulation than the deluxe figure. I love the simple but enjoyable transformation scheme for Smokescreen, the winch and hook gimmick and the imposing gun emplacement mode. This is just a fun figure in both modes.

I'm also really fond of deluxe Prime, but the mini-con gimmick is weak. That's about the only flaw, but in a line where mini-con interaction is the primary focus, it's not good to have the mini-con gimmick as an afterthought. But then the figure is meant to be a scaled down version of a pre-existing design, so I suppose that came first rather than building it around the mini-con.

Worst: I sold the only version of Cyclonus that I owned. Both modes are just ugly, but the helicopter in particular barely even passes as anything other than a pile of robot parts. The interaction with the destruction team is held up as a plus for the figure, but I'm not sure how buzzsaws and drills on the bottom of a helicopter is all that practical. And it makes the copter look even more ungainly, if that's possible.
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Re: Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby Dominic » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:15 pm

Cyclonus was actually on my short list for favorite. (4 live hard-points is hard to beat.) I always read Prime's Minicon gimmick as a power-punch, not unlike a jack-hammer.

Smokescreen and Liftor are pretty good though.


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Re: Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby 138 Scourge » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:42 pm

andersonh1 wrote:
Worst: I sold the only version of Cyclonus that I owned. Both modes are just ugly, but the helicopter in particular barely even passes as anything other than a pile of robot parts. The interaction with the destruction team is held up as a plus for the figure, but I'm not sure how buzzsaws and drills on the bottom of a helicopter is all that practical. And it makes the copter look even more ungainly, if that's possible.


Aw, dude. Now I gotta make the case for this toy.

I dunno, maybe I'm warped, but Cyclonus is probably my very favorite figure from Armada. I mean, I got all of four of 'em, excluding mini-cons, but Cyke's without a doubt my favorite. Well, maybe right behind Unicron, but that's hardly fair. Anyway, Cyclonus' helicopter is unconventional, but it looks a lot more like a functioning vehicle with his mini-con added. And that's a pretty good mini-con addition, too, the tank becoming a cockpit? Good stuff. Then the little gimmick where spinning the rotors makes the tank/cockpit gun barrel move like it was recoiling? Great stuff. Okay, from there, you can add Dualor from the Destruction team underneath the cockpit, then you've got three tank barrels going on. Artillery! Adding the other two guys from the Destruction team doesn't do a lot for the helicopter, no, but it does great things for the robot. And then there's even more fun to be had adding more mini-cons or energon weapons to his legs to activate the kneeguns. There is a whole lot going on with this guy, he's a lot of fun. Also, back in the dim, dead days of 2001, after my G1 collection got tossed out by Mom, and the Beast Wars collection disappeared thanks to unscrupulous landlord, Cyclonus was the figure I picked up thinking "Ah, hell, I'll check this out". Which means that he's the first figure in the current collection I've got, and the one that convinced me I needed more toys. Therefore, I'll pretty much never see anything wrong with this mold ever. Or to put it more simply:Image <--This is rad.

And worst for me...I dunno, Sideways? I know he's got his fans hereabouts, and his headmaster gimmick is neat enough. I found this guy during the middle of Energon for five bucks and thougt "Why not?" Then I just never cared for him at all.
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Re: Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby Onslaught Six » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:11 am

Sideways isn't inherently a bad design--the problem is his articulation and some of his details. Plus his headmaster gimmick wasn't really what it was cracked up to be, and it was done terribly on the show. Sideways should've been a flawed character with multiple personality disorders, controlled by his Minicons--a rare case of the tools becoming the toolmaster. (Because that was the major theme of Armada--the Minicons were basically slaves. Then, of course, it all got kind of ruined by just making them Unicron's babies.) The Autobots should've wanted to help try to cure this while the Decepticons would want to use him as a weapon.

Loved: Overload. This is a design that NEEDED to be done better. Plus, he was the one who raised the original big stink about unreleased prototype images--up until him, I don't think we 'ever' saw gray protos before we saw painted photos. (These days, of course, we get guys taking pics of toys from the factory.) He just needed better articulation and a lot more paint. Also, he's designed by Joe Kyde, the guy who does most of the decos for the repaints!

Hated: Blurr. Disappoint. Huge crappy backpack, weird arms with non-standard gun pegs, no decent leg articulation...just bad. Incinerator was a cool little dude though. I always aligned him with the Decepticons (I had a thing for making the Minicons independent of their bulk) and made it so the cockpit of his vehicle mode could shoot forcefields. I was a lot more creative as a kid.
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: Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:42 am

Onslaught Six wrote:Hated: Blurr. Disappoint. Huge crappy backpack, weird arms with non-standard gun pegs, no decent leg articulation...just bad. Incinerator was a cool little dude though. I always aligned him with the Decepticons (I had a thing for making the Minicons independent of their bulk) and made it so the cockpit of his vehicle mode could shoot forcefields. I was a lot more creative as a kid.


I had the opposite view of Blurr. Great vehicle mode, and Incinerator's indy car mode complimented it nicely. I loved the colors used on the figure, and the backpack seems more like a cape, giving Blurr a more regal look. That, or a nice piece of armor that protected him from being shot in the back. True, he's not very posable, but the figure still looks great in both modes. One of my favorites.
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Re: Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby 138 Scourge » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:13 pm

Blurr isn't one of the four or so that I bought, but I always liked the look of him. Meant to get the Cybertron-era retool, but never got around to it. Given the choice these days, I'd probably get Armada Blurr over Cybertron's, because I've already got a better G1 homage in Animated Blurr.

But anyway.

Loved: Unicron. Big old ball of hurt. Great toy, even as a grown man I've had a good time just loading up his ring with weapons and such. Even though he's mostly relegated to just being displayed these days, he just looks damn good. And every so often I get him down to goof around with.

Hated: Um, I dunno. I guess...Jetfire? Didn't actually get him, but sure didn't care for the look of him.
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Re: Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby Dominic » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:49 pm

I prefer "Universe" Swerve to "Armada" Blurr. Either way, I like the mould and have several pressings of it.

Unicron is a good toy as well.


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Re: Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby Onslaught Six » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:39 am

Have a Swerve!

I got Powerlinx Jetfire. He's...alright, I guess? Legs are cruddy, chest armour gets in the way of his arms, I never liked his head, uhh...
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: Best and Worst of "Armada":

Postby andersonh1 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:59 am

138 Scourge wrote:Loved: Unicron. Big old ball of hurt. Great toy, even as a grown man I've had a good time just loading up his ring with weapons and such. Even though he's mostly relegated to just being displayed these days, he just looks damn good. And every so often I get him down to goof around with.


Unicron is a great figure. Yeah, the planet mode isn't entirely round and depends on big shell pieces, but it's still huge and heavy and a great attempt at translating the cartoon design into a toy. And the robot is just huge. The mini-con interaction is a bonus. If I can come up with the money, I'd seriously consider buying the upcoming Takara G1 repaint with the more movie accurate color scheme and head.
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