Monday, January 17, 2022

Transformers Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures: Dinobot Sludge



Cyberverse is a series that I've not really followed, even though I picked up a few toys when the series first debuted a few years ago. However when new Dinobot toys are released do you really need an excuse to pick them up?


Sludge was released in late 2021 as part of the "voyager" assortment which feature the Energon Armor gimmick. Seeing how difficult it was to find select figures at local retail, I put this item on my Christmas list. On Christmas morning my mom laughed when she told me she couldn't remember if she ordered this for me our for either one of my nephews!


We'll take a brief look at his robot mode first since that is how he comes packaged. Growing up in the 80's Sludge is one of two Dinobots that I never owned, however the designers did a great job capturing the character's likeness. Sludge still has his famous "wings" on his back, along with the dino neck/head. With most of the figure being hollow he looks odd from the back, even a bit shorter if that's possible.

I was surprised when it came to how articulated the figure is. The head doesn't move at all, but that's due to the Energon Armor gimmick. The arms however are able to rotate a full 360 degrees and even swing out and rotate on a different joint thanks to the transformation. You've got an articulated waist, again due to the transformation. The legs attach via ball joints and give a good range of motion. Finally, the knees are on hinge joints.


For such a basic figure in terms of sculpt/paint apps, I'm pleasantly surprised with the overall outcome. The headsculpt alone is pretty fantastic. The paint apps are limited, but applied well on my copy.


I'm going to assume since the Cyberverse line is targeted at a younger demographic is why Sludge doesn't come packaged with a gun and rather his tail forms a spear. In the 80's each of the Dinobots came with a red sword alongside their gun, so I guess it's not that far of a stretch for this version to come with a melee type weapon. The dino tail has a handle that unfolds and allows it to be wielded by sludge. It looks a little odd to me, but again I'm not the target demographic here!


Personally I don't understand the Energon Armor gimmick, but I'm sure the 8 year old kid in me would have loved the spring loaded gimmick. Once you slide down the dino head/neck section in the back of the figure, the translucent blue armor pops out and up over the head and chest. The portion that covers the head has a skull like look...I tried to snap a photo that shows this off however it's hard to see.




Now we get to the bread and butter form of this toy...dino mode! As a kid I would have called this a Brontosaurus, but scientists now say that isn't a real dinosaur so we'll just stick with the generic term of "dino". I'm so glad they opted to keep the traditional G1 color scheme intact for this release...I always loved the gold, silver and red all mashed together.

The majority of the body is cast in a dull gray plastic with gold actuating the head and part of the tail. There is a touch of light blue paint applied for the dino eyes. On the sides of the body is a darker gray area with some horizontal red circuitry? lines. The upper portion of the legs feature an embedded cone shape that for no other purpose looks cool.

With many parts of the figure being somewhat hollow, the overall weight of the toy isn't much. If you hadn't bought a modern Transformer figure in some time you may even think this was a KO, but this par for the course these days. That's not to say that this is a bad figure as I think the dino mode looks great and will be how I display him amongst my collection.

Comparison time! To give you a little bit better idea of how this Cyberverse Sludge may scale, I grabbed the nearest two iterations of this character and snapped a few quick pics. Let's start off with the original G1 mold.



With Transformers collectors, scale can be a sensitive topic...after all it's over the place. While the Dinobots should be large, most of their toys, including the G1 molds are not. Here you can see that Cyberverse Sludge is just a hair larger than his G1 version.



I also just happened to have a 3rd party version of Sludge nearby, ToyWorld's Muddy. I recently acquired him to go along w/ Roar (Snarl) and I was surprised at how similar in size both Cyberverse Sludge and Muddy are. They are near identical in overall length, however Muddy is more chunky overall.

I'm not if I'll track down the other Cyberverse Dinobots (only other I have is Snarl), but I am satisified with this figure. While the Energon Armor gimmick isn't for me, it's well concealed in robot mode and doesn't detract from an otherwise solid figure. If you are a fan of the Cyberverse series, or Dinobots in general then I think you'll enjoy the latest official version of Sludge.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Micro Machines Blind Packs

 


As part of the re-launch of the Micro Machines brand, Jazwares released small blind bags to retail stores. While I never saw them until they were on clearance, I did manage to pick up a few bags from Series 1 and 3. I believe the last series issued was series 4, which included several licensed vehicles.

Like with the previously released 5 packs, chase vehicles are randomly packaged in two different tiers - rare chromed silver and ultra rate chromed gold. 





#161 Front End Loader



#148 Quetzal



#009 Hognose



#006 Morab

As a kid growing up in the 80's I loved Micro Machines...but these just don't have the same feel. I like the idea of blind packaged vehicles and at $1.99 retail it makes for a good impulse purchase. I have picked up a few of the new 5 packs lately and now that they are starting to use real, licensed vehicles the appeal is starting to be there. Good luck if you are still looking for these as it seems Target is the only retail store (at least in my area) that is carrying the miniature brand.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Masters of the Universe: Revelation Eternia Minis - Whiplash & Metallic Whiplash

 



Mattel's Eternia Minis line returns for the new Netflix animation show, Revelation. These small PVC figures are based on the new character designs, of which we'll take a quick look at one of Skeletor's henchmen, Whiplash. Also included in this first wave of figures was a chase version of Whiplash, cast in a metallic green. I'm not sure what the significance of this color is, but since I like the character I grabbed it anyway.

The packaging went a darker route for the Revelation series, which is fitting since the show is a little darker, more serious than the old Filmation show. In the background you have Castle Grayskull from a looking up perspective. The darkness is only broken up by a patch of ominous looking red sky with a single lightning bolt coming down. Across the bottom of the blister is silver ribbon with the character name.


Flip the small package around and you'll see the entire wave of figures including Beast Man, Skelegod and Fisto. The latter is the only character that I didn't pick up as I opted for the version packaged with Stridor, but more on that later.



For the Revelation series Whiplash (like a lot of the character) got a make over if you will. Most likely thanks to Tri-Klops, Whiplash now has a techno like eye and sports some more sophisticated armor. The applied paint apps are done well for a figure this size. He still comes packaged with his familiar orange spear weapon.


The Metallic chase version is devoid of any paint apps. The green plastic comes off a little darker in my pictures than the way it looks in hand. I ended up seeing his figure way more often at retail than I should being that it's supposed to be short packed, but I'm guess people just didn't care for it.


I really dig all of the Eternia Minis thus far and find them to be fun little "desk toys" to distract me from my real job. While the regular release of Whiplash is fantastic, I can only recommend the chase version if you're a completionist or just love the character.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Hot Wheels: Experimentors #06/10 - Loopster


In my older years I've gravitated more to picking up Matchbox and other brands due to more real world designs, however there are some Hot Wheels vehicles that grab my attention and Loopster was one of those. Part of the Experimentors subline, Loopster is something you don't see everyday...a roller coaster car.


The vehicle itself is cast in green plastic with a die-cast metal frame that is painted light blue. There are 4 free rolling wheels with another small pair of wheels molded in behind the front wheels. Inside the vehicle are non-descript people molded in purple plastic. What I didn't realize until later on is there is a variant where one of the people have their arms raised in the air!


One the front and rear of the vehicle is a black plastic connector that allows you to link several Loopster vehicles together, ultimately creating your very on Hot Wheels roller coaster. Because of this feature, I was picking up as many of these as I could find. I think as of this post I'm up to 10 or 12 with two of the variants. It's been all I could do to resist buying some track and making more of a coaster for all of these Loopsters to traverse. To me this is the definition of a fun toy, especially when you have multiples to link together. My inner kid has had a blast with these.

Variant with arms raised