Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wei Jiang Alcee - Arcee

This was definitely an impulse purchase born out of curiosity. As a Voyager-scaled stand-in on a CHUG display, Wei Jiang Alcee is more than adequate.

She definitely does not hold together as well in vehicle mode when compared to Generations Arcee. I think some tabs are missing when compared to her official counterpart. The console and steering wheel has some detail though. Her plastic tires don't spin very well and parts of her undercarriage touch the ground. There is storage for her weapons.

Yes, there is some parts-forming with the top portion of her car, but it's entirely optional. My biggest complaint with Generations Arcee was that her backpack makes her look like she's carrying a car around. With Alcee, it can be removed. Transforming between both modes is pretty easy and straightforward.

Alcee is basically an upscaled version of Generations Arcee. There is plenty of paint applications to break up all that pink and white. It looks pretty clean too. She has nice light-piping that works very well. I wished they had included her eye visor gimmick, but the official version didn't have that either. The pink of her face is more peach than pink and she could have used some line work in her face. My copy has some paint splotches on her thighs and flashing on her shoulder pylons.

Her head is on a ball joint. She can look up but not down. Her shoulders are also on ball joints. She can only raise her arms up and outward to about 45 degrees. She only has swivels at her biceps and lower thighs. Her hands are fixed in an open grasp. She has single-jointed elbows and knees, with ratchets in the elbows. Both joints can curl a little past 90 degrees. I'm not sure how to describe her hip joints. They are almost like universals with ratchets along the frontal axis, but you have to engage a separate hinge at her thighs to get her to do a side splits because her thigh sculpt gets in the way. Van Damme would not approve of her range of motion. Although she is capable of doing a full front splits, her abdomen gets untabbed. She has ankle tilts but no rockers.

Her accessories include her rifles and her swords. She has one pink rifle with gunmetal highlights and one smaller black rifle with silver highlights. The pair of transparent swords are identical. Gunmetal paint combined with the line work on the blade make for a visually interesting design. All her weapons use rectangular handles that fit very securely in her hands. They can also peg onto her thighs, but the guns make more sense visually.

I'm not quite sure she is suited for a Masterpiece shelf, but I think she'll look okay standing next to Masterpiece Hot Rod. I'll probably put her on my CHUG shelf next to Generations Springer, especially since there are options coming from Fans Toys and Toyworld.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ocular Max Artifex - Hoist

Ocular Max figures usually don't disappoint, and Artifex is no exception. However, I find myself overcoming my OCD and and being willing to split up a pair. Despite his great engineering, I simply prefer Badcube Lorry as my Hoist.

For some reason, my copy of Artifex holds together in vehicle mode so much better than my copy of Terraegis did and looks much cleaner than Lorry. Unfortunately, his rear tires also have a habit of splaying out. The undercarriage is very clean. He rolls quite well on large rubber tires. His trailer hitch is hinged in three positions with a swivel for the crossbars. I don't think you can mount any of his accessories in vehicle mode.

Transformation is pretty similar to Terraegis. I was careful with the leg panels this time so nothing broke, but those legs still caused me some frustration. The rest of the process was easy enough. I wished that the backpack would tab into place. Coming back to vehicle mode was a little fiddly, but nothing too bad.

I like his head sculpt and am fine with the color. He has Die-cast in his spine, calves, and feet. No new paint applications are revealed in robot mode. What is there is clean and well-applied.

I only have a couple of nitpicky complaints. I find his leg sculpt is more suitable for Trailbreaker; Hoist has more rounded knees. This was something that Lorry didn't get right either, but Badcube definitely made more of an effort to differentiate the two figures with completely different legs and feet. I also find Artifex to be too svelte. Trailbreaker was the tall one with the flat tummy while Hoist was the shorter tubby one. In that aspect, I find Lorry to be more true to how I remember this character.

Like Terraegis but unlike Lorry and Speedbump, Artifex has solid knees. It's not that Lorry or Speedbump will just fall over like KFC Ditka. I just find those knees to be sort of wonky because the ratchets aren't very strong. Maybe it's also because they bend in the reverse direction. I never understood why that is necessary in knee design.

His head is on a swivel and hinge. He can't really look down, but up is not a problem. His shoulders are on hinges and swivels that let him raise his arms out and upward to 90 degrees. The wings are attached to his arms by swivels and hinges. Although you get some flexibility on how to pose the wings, they are always in relation to the arms. He swivels at his biceps, wrists, waist, and thighs. His thumbs are on ball joints. The rest of his other fingers are single pinned and articulate individually. His pointing fingers have two articulating knuckles. His elbows and knees are single-jointed and only curl to 90 degrees. His thighs are on universals with ratchets along the transverse axis. He can achieve a full Van Damne for both front and side splits. He has ankle rockers but only toe tilts. The armature behind his head connects to his back by a peg, but has a ball joint connection to the weapon. The alternate shoulder armature pegs directly into a socket and only has the ball joint connection to the weapon for articulation.

His accessories include a pair of hand cannons and mounting claws, a pair of hammers, his over the head weapon and mounting options, two alternate heads, an extra pair of sideview mirrors, and an alternate head for Sphinx. Like Terraegis, the hand cannons are chrome with a hinged tab for mounting on his shoulders. The back halves can be removed to reveal mounting pegs. I couldn't find anywhere to attach the mounting claws. The hammers are two pieces of white plastic. One piece is clipped into the arm, providing a port for the rest of the hammer or a hand cannon to peg onto. The mechanic is entirely too fiddly. His over the head weapon is chrome and can also be positioned over the shoulder instead. He also comes with one green head with a visor, one green head with separate eyes, and one grey head. Initially, the heads were very difficult to split in half to perform a swap. The alternate head for Sphinx looks like a different shade of blue than the one that came with Terraegis. The hand cannons, over the head weapon, and mounting options look identical to what came with Terraegis.

I've temporarily moved Terraegis to my Masterpiece shelf next to Lorry. Artifex will stand on my Ocular Max shelf. I definitely prefer his vehicle mode over Lorry. In robot mode, I enjoy playing with Artifex more because of his solid knees. I just like Lorry's tubby robot look more. Overall Artifex is a great figure. I can't wait for the next entry from Ocular Max.

Parting question - is it possible that the conflicting origins of the Constructicons, as shown on the cartoon series, can be resolved by including Hoist, Grapple, and Hauler in a larger collective group of Constructicons, with the eventual six robot team being the only ones having been reprogrammed by Megatron?

Monday, April 24, 2017

MAAS Toys Cybertech Series CT001 Skiff and CT002 Gold Set, is now up for pre-order!

MAAS Toys Cybertech Series CT001 Skiff and CT002 Gold Set

We have the MAAS Toys CT001 Skiff & CT002 Gold Set. We've given a discount if you get the set. So, make sure to avail it. Just follow the links to order yours. Thank you for your continued support of The Chosen Prime!

MAAS Toys Cybertech Series CT002 Gold, is now up for pre-order!

MAAS Toys Cybertech Series CT002 Gold

MAAS Toys second figure in their CyberTech Series line. Here's CT002 Gold. Based off of Goldbug. This is a limited release figure. Reserve yours today by following the links. Thank you for choosing The Chosen Prime!

MAAS Toys Cybertech Series CT001 Skiff, is now up for pre-order!

MAAS Toys Cybertech Series CT001 Skiff

New 3rd Party company MAAS Toys, is showing off their first figure for their Cybertech Series. Here's CT-001 Skiff. Based on Bumblebee's first appearance in the toon. Get yours pre-ordered by following the links. Shop Smart with The Chosen Prime!

Fans Hobby MB04 Gunfighter II is now up for pre-order!

Fans Hobby MB04 Gunfighter II

Fans Hobby MB04 Gunfighter II is now up for pre-order. ETA of June 2017 release. Reserve yours today by following the links. Shop Smart with The Chosen Prime!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Generation Toy GT-1GS Gravity Builder Green Shadow is now in-stock!

Generation Toy GT-1GS Gravity Builder Green Shadow

Newly arrived and in-stock comes Generation Toy GT-1GS Gravity Builder Green Shadow. Pre-orders are currently being processed. Get yours by following the links. Shop Smart with The Chosen Prime!

FansToys G1 Dino Head for FT-08 Grinder is now up for pre-order!

FansToys G1 Dino Head for FT-08 Grinder

ETA of July 2017 release, comes the G1 Dino Head for FansToys FT-08 Grinder. Reserve yours by following the links. Shop Smart with The Chosen Prime!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Toyworld Combustor - Ramjet

The one thing I have always enjoyed about Toyworld is that their figures are usually playable. They may not always have my favorite aesthetic amongst the various offerings, but I don't worry about breaking them either. Except for one thing, Toyworld Combustor could easily replace Masterpiece Ramjet in my Masterpiece collection.

His jet mode looks really good. I remember having a little trouble keeping the wings on Ramjet leveled and tabbed together; I have no issues with Combustor. The red paint on his wings has metallic flakes, giving it a higher end look. Unfortunately, the paint stripes on his air intakes and wings are a bit sloppy and the white of his body is a little dirty with stray paint in places. His canopy can open to reveal a two seater cockpit with a hint of a control panel. Like on Masterpiece Seekers, the air brake flap can be deployed. He has three landing gears. The rear ones are easy to pull out, but I had to use tweezers to pluck out the front one. One nice touch is that all the landing gears have shock absorbers. He rolls about very easily. His null rays can peg under his wings in one of two positions. His rear thrusters are on ball joints.

I found the transformation to be pretty easy and more satisfying than the Masterpiece Coneheads. The legs unfold like Combiner War figures instead of that yanking mechanism found on Masterpiece Seekers. The chest conversion mechanic is also done very well. There is no fuss and everything fits neatly into place. Yes, there is a bit of parts-forming with the null rays, but I'll take that over the problems of the official Coneheads and Seakers. Reversing the process back to jet mode was pretty easy too.

Unlike Ramjet, Combustor only has a single cone in the right place. He doesn't have flappy panel along his backside. His torso feels solid. The propellors on his chest can spin and the panels can open to reveal missile pods. Too bad there is no paint on the missiles. I like the metallic paint on his face. He has light-piping, but it doesn't work because of the cone. He has Die-cast in his feet and his knee covers. If not for the scale, I would happily use the entire trio of Toyworld Coneheads in place of the Masterpiece versions. I do have issues with balance though. His feet tend to collapse on their ball joints. Despite his jet thrusters acting as heel spurs, they can't be angled sufficiently or placed far back enough to keep him from falling over backward. His wings don't touch the ground so can't be used to prop him up. I find that if you don't slide the wings up all the way, the red pointy parts can help with his balance.

His head is on a ball joint. He can look up but not down. His shoulders are on swivels and hinges. He can raise his arms outward and upward to 90 degrees. His null rays peg onto the shoulder flaps and can swivel about. He swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, and knees. His double-jointed elbows can almost achieve full curls while his double-jointed knees can only curl a little past 90 degrees. His thumbs are on ball joints and his fingers are single-pinned. They also hinge at the second knuckles, but lack third knuckles. His hips are on universal joints that allow him to achieve full side and front splits. He also has inexplicable and unnecessary hinges at the upper thighs. His feet are on ball joints that don't do anything for his stability. His thruster heel spurs don't really help too much either.

His accessories include his null rays, a gadget, two flight stands, and some screw covers. His null rays also serve as spring-loaded missile launchers. One launcher had a bent spring so the missile wouldn't even stay in place. Fortunately, the null rays are easy to disassemble by removing the caps on both ends. The bent spring was easy to straighten out, but then I found both launchers have overly sensitive triggers. I stuffed some museum putty into the barrel to keep the missiles from inevitably disappearing behind the shelf. Putty is a bit messy but less permanent than superglue. The included gadget is two pieces joined at a hinge, like a flip phone. I think it's a device of his from the comics. It has some line work and dabs of paint. The two flight stands are black and can be connected. The screw covers go on the side of the cockpit. Make sure to line up the contours and panel lines to the appropriate holes. One piece kept falling out during transformation because of where I was holding the nosecone. Museum putty kept it from falling out again.

Combustor will stand on my Toyworld shelf alongside his slightly too large brethren. I can't say I'm all that enthused about this new scale Toyworld has introduced. Although Megatron 2.0 and some of the car bots probably don't look too far out of scale, he's way too tall next to a Seeker. This figure does highlight how crappy the Masterpiece Coneheads are. Combustor has a few flaws, but he gets so much else right. Now I can't wait to open up the other two Coneheads. Hopefully, Toyworld will give us the first season Seekers as well, but after fixing those feet.

Maketoys Cross Dimension MTCD-01SP Striker Noir Video Preview

Here's our Video Preview for Maketoys Cross Dimension MTCD-01SP Striker Noir. Check it out and make sure that you've reserved yours. Thank you for choosing The Chosen Prime!

PerfectEffect DX08 Origin Leonidas is now up for pre-order!

PerfectEffect DX08 Origin Leonidas

Now up for pre-order is Perfect Effect DX08 Origin Leonidas. This version will come with some updates and will be released by June 2017. Reserve yours today by following the links. Shop Smart with The Chosen Prime!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dr Wu DW-P32 Lover, now ready for pre-order!

Dr Wu DW-P32 Lover

Next in line from Dr Wu is DW-P32 Lover. This is their non articulated figure of Carly. ETA of May 2017 release. Reserve yours today. Thank you for choosing The Chosen Prime!

Wei Jiang Robot Force Alcee is now in-stock and ready to ship!

Wei Jiang Robot Force Alcee

We just received our stock for Wei Jiang Robot Force Alcee. Get yours by following the links. Ready to ship. Shop Smart with The Chosen Prime!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Titans Return Leader Sky Shadow, now in-stock!

Titans Return Leader Sky Shadow

Just arrived today, Titans Return Leader Sky Shadow is now in-stock! Pre-orders are currently being processed. Get yours by following the links. Shop Smart with The Chosen Prime!

Unique Toys R-01 Peru Kill is now up for pre-order!

Unique Toys R-01 Peru Kill

We've got the latest from Unique Toys' new line: R-01 Peru Kill. Now up for pre-order. Coming out in July 2017. Reserve yours today. Shop Smart with the Chosen Prime!

X-Transbots toys MM-XII Neptune is now up for pre-order!

X-Transbots toys MM-XII Neptune

Now up for pre-order is X-Transbots Toys MM-XII Neptune. This is their version of Seaspray in MP Scale. Coming out by 3rd Quarter of 2017. Reserve yours today. Shop Smart with The Chosen Prime!

Friday, April 14, 2017

KFC Ditka - Blitzwing

Although I only have a few KFC figures, I was really looking forward to KFC Ditka based on my experiences with Transistor and Crash Hog. Despite liking the aesthetic of the figure, I can't get over the issues with posability.

Tank mode looks pretty nice. Sure, there is some kibble - jet thrusters hang off the back and landing gears are visible near the front. At least unlike DX9 Gewalt, there's no visible head syndrome and the wings are hidden away underneath. There are a lot of panel details and some cleanly applied silver and grey paint applications. The turret can rotate a full 360 degrees on a ratcheted swivel. With a sickening snap each time, the barrel can raise about 45 degrees. The little square detail at the base of the cannon is prone to coming off, as are a couple of the slotted pieces along either side of the turret. There are a pair of slots toward the rear for two sets of missiles. The miniature guns on the turret are on hinges, with each barrel articulating individually. The hatches on top can flip open, but there is no tank detail to reveal. The treads are merely decorative and he doesn't roll all that well on tiny little wheels. Not that I would want to, but I don't see a way to mount the sword or rifle.

Transformation to jet mode is mostly easy. I had a bit of trouble with the nosecone though. The brown piece, which needs to slide up to make room for the nosecone to rotate out, was stuck on my copy. I had to slide a spludger in between it and the cockpit to force it to move. I also don't like how the top panel of the jet pegs into the clear plastic of the canopy.

Although I prefer his proportions over Gewalt, I like Gewalt more in this mode. His overall shape is certainly reminiscent of the G1 toy, but it doesn't make for a very sleek or sexy looking jet. From the top, he looks okay, but from the sides, it's a different story. He is very back heavy. Despite having a pair of rear landing gears, I also needed to flip down the panel on the back of the turret to keep him from tilting backward. For some reason, I can't get the panels at the top to lock into place. Although it may be considered parts-forming, the turret is removable. With the front landing gears folded away, he can sit flush on his belly once the turret is removed. The canopy can open, but you have to unpeg a panel from the canopy first. Besides the seat, there is no other detail inside the cockpit. A pair of missile launchers can be pegged under the wings. The gun can be folded up and pegged under the wings as well, but not the sword.

Transformation to robot mode is pretty easy and straightforward. Just like Masterpiece Seekers, you have to yank out his legs. I didn't run into any problems or clearance issues. Even that brown piece moved out of the way easily this time. I didn't transform him back to either vehicle mode so am not sure how finicky that process may be.

I definitely like the way he looks in robot mode. Gewalt looks great, but just like every other DX9 figure (except maybe Tyrant), there is something off in terms of its Masterpiece aesthetic. Ditka, on the other hand, doesn't have that problem. He has some nice metallic paint applications on his chest. I'm really liking the head sculpt. For the most part, he looks to be pretty close to the G1 cartoon. He has Die-cast feet, but I'm not sure if there is more to be found in his body.

He is extremely back heavy. His wonky knees certainly are not helping with his balance. If not for his very inelegant heel spurs and bending his knees in the wrong direction, Dikta would not be able to stand at attention. Even then, it looks awkward and weird and he still looks in danger of falling over. I never understood why designers create knees that can bend in the opposite direction. In this case, it only exacerbates his balance issues. The ratchets are either too far apart or are extremely loose. If you hold the figure and give a shake, his lower legs will flap about. Badcube Speedbump and Lorry have tighter knees in comparison.

His head is on a tilt and swivel. He can look upwards, to the point of breaking the sculpt, but his downward articulation is limited and very easily undoes his entire chest. He also can't turn his head side to side because of the sliding mechanism just behind it. His shoulders are on ratcheted swivels and hinges. Although he can raise his arms outward and upward to 90 degrees, you have to fold out a flap to do so. His upper arms also tend to hit his backpack, causing it to start coming undone. On my copy, his left shoulder swivel is so ridiculously tight that I'm afraid to use it too much. He swivels at his biceps, wrists, and ratcheted waist. His waist swivel gets obstructed by the backpack. On my copy, it also has a tendency to settle off-centered when trying to have him face straight forward. He has the typical posable KFC fingers that I'm not a big fan of. Every digit is on a tiny ball joint with those easy to pop off second and third knuckles. His thumbs only have one posable knuckle. His double-jointed elbows can achieve full curls. His double-jointed and ratcheted knees can only curl to about 90 degrees. He has ratcheted universals for hips which allow for almost a full side splits, but not much of a front splits. For ankle rockers, he has ratcheted swivels in his toes, but not for the swivels of his heel spurs. Strangely, turning his heel spurs too much will force his toes to start turning too. He has ratcheted toe tilts and separate hinges for his heel spurs to tilt. Technically, he has ankle tilts that engage the whole foot, but I think that is mainly for transformation; it's certainly not strong enough to keep him upright.

He comes with a rifle, a sword, a pair of missile launchers, a football, an alternate head, a flight stand, a large sprue of bonus weapons, and a screw driver. His rifle seems to be purple plastic with some line work. The barrel, stock, and handle are on separate swiveling hinges so that the whole rifle can be folded up. His sword is a large piece of transparent plastic with almost no line work on the blade or handle. It does feature a light-up gimmick. It could also have used some glue on the blade as it separates very easily. Both weapons and the football use Masterpiece-styled tabs that do not work very well. The missile launchers have spring-loaded launchers so I'll probably keep them in the box to avoid losing the missiles. Too bad the football isn't a single piece of rubber or soft plastic. It has screw holes on one side and a large tab for fitting in his hands. I prefer his default head over the alternate with its monocle and chin beard that references the Animated series. The flight stand comes in two pieces of clear plastic. It works. A bunch of plastic missiles, bombs, and mounts come still on their sprues. I'm not sure I'm going to take the effort to pop them all out and mount them since he'll be staying in robot mode. The screw driver is for opening the sword to replace its batteries.

I'll be displaying Ditka on my secondary Masterpiece shelf. I do like his aesthetic a little more than Gewalt's, who is on my DX9 shelf with Chigurh. Ultimately, I'm just not that satisfied with this figure due to the posability issues. I'm curious to see how FansToys upcoming Beserk will compare. I don't have as many KFC figures as I do some of the others, but this one certainly seems like a step backward when compared to their Transistor and Crash Hog. I hope their next figure doesn't disappoint as well.