Saturday, May 24, 2014

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Torque Gain Micron

I've been on a Mini-Con / Micron tear of late.  One of the last tasks of my great collection room re-organization left to tackle were the many crowded shelves of Mini-Cons and Microns.  I've been delaying working on these shelves because they are packed so tight it's almost impossible for me to display these little guys like I'd like to.  In fact, I've even contemplated getting rid of all of them...but that is entirely another story for another day.

Mini-Cons first made their debut in the Armada series back in 2002.  I never imagined that these little Transformers would be so plentiful and collectible.  They seem to be the Pokemon of Transformers.  While there have been plenty of repaints of the Unicron Trilogy era Mini-Cons & Microns, the new molds introduced in the Classics series wouldn't get multiple repaints until later on.

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As part of a promo in Japan to help launch the Revenge of the Fallen movie toys in 2007, Takara released a few Microns exclusive to different stores.  Torque Gain here was only available at Jusco stores in July of 2007.  He was free with the purchase of ROTF Megatron or Starscream.  I don't know how limited he was, but I couldn't find any active or completed listings for Torque Gain on eBay when I checked earlier today.

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One of the changes I noticed with a lot of the Japanese exclusive campaign Microns is that they have now been aligned with either the Cybertrons / Autobots or Destrons / Decepticons.  The Mini-Con faction seems to be no more.  The mold Torque Gain is based off of was first introduced as part of Classics' Night Rescue Team.  I love the helicopter, but the robot mode leaves a lot to be desired.  At least the new color scheme is unified and looks pretty good.

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For me this particular Micron is a good excuse of how easy it is to get caught up in collecting Mini-Cons & Microns.  I usually only collect toys I actually like, but again that Pokemon "Gotta catch 'em all" mentality grabbed a hold of me and I found myself buying anything and everything Mini-Con related.  While the helicopter mode is fantastic, it simply can't redeem the crappy robot mode.  For that reason I displayed Torque Gain (and subsequent repaints) in helicopter mode while virtually every other Mini-Con was in robot mode.

I can whole heartily say this release is strictly for completionists.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Transformers Generations (Takara Tomy): Rhinox

The good thing about behind a little behind in my posting reviews of new toys is that I don't have to be so elaborate.  What I mean by that is most of you that visit this site have probably already read or watched reviews and have seen tons of pictures of Hasbro's new Generations Rhinox toy.  So I figure why bore you with more of the same.  I'll just post some pretty pictures and give a little commentary.  So are you all set?  Then let's go!

Let's start with the packaging.  This is actually the first Takara Tomy version of any of the current Generations toys that I've imported.  I would have loved to have bought a few of the others in the series, but you know money doesn't exactly grow on trees.

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Packaging for the most part resembles Hasbro's release, minus a few alterations.

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Kudos to the artist that provided this awesome art work.  I'm so glad they decided to wrap the art around the corner of the box as opposed to leaving just half of the art on the box's front.

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I don't remember Rhinox's original Beast Wars tech spec ratings, but I'm a little surprised to see his Intelligence and Fireblast ratings to be less than 8.

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Right out of the package I was impressed with this toy.  I opted for the Takara Tomy version for it's premium paint deco, but man is this mold impressive!  I love it when my figure looks as if it could have walked right out of the show/movie and into my hands.  It's so nice to finally receive a show accurate Rhinox figure after all of these years.  Seriously, wow.

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Even the back of the new mold looks like it did in the Beast Wars television show.  Talk about paying attention to detail on every level.

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Beast Wars was all about the balance of the organic and the techno organic and the designers I feel did an excellent job of capturing this.  In robot mode you can see all sorts of exposed metal, gears and such.

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The money shot.  If the beautiful, show accurate paint apps weren't reason enough to buy this release over Hasbro's, the surely the weapons put you over the top.  Am I right?

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With the exception of the robot bits exposed on the back sides of the legs, the designers did a great job concealing the robot.  Other than the panel lines and the green robot bits, it's hard to tell this is a Transformer.

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Rhinox's ears and horn are cast of a rubbery plastic.  I'm not sure if this was done for safety reasons, or to help keeping those bits from easily breaking off.

If you've haven't already picked up this toy then I have to ask "what are you waiting for?"  It's a fantastic update of a great character and it's a fun toy.  I don't always recommend paying more for the same toy just to have a pretty paint job, however this is one of the first toys in a long time where I highly recommend the Takara Tomy version over the Hasbro version.  All that's left is to get the new upcoming Rattrap figure and pair Rhinox, Rattrap, Cheetor and my TRU exclusive Beast Wars Optimus Primal and the crew of the Axalon will finally be re-united!

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