Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Original Robot Animation

The Transformers as a TV show technically lasted 5 seasons. Three full seasons with The Rebirth counting as season 4 and season 5 being repackaged reruns. Of course it feels like cheating to classify a bunch of reruns as a season... but the Generation 2 series was just repackaged reruns. Which admittedly also feels like cheating. However, if you've ever been curious about season 5, you'll of course remember the live action bumper sequences with Optimus Prime and possibly the intro. Considering the show was repackaged reruns, you'd figure they'd just reused existing intros... but no. To the untrained eye, it appears to be all new animation featuring current toys. In fact, however, the new intro is all animation from toy commercials being used.

I like watching older commercials and post enough of them here to make that very well known. So of course I enjoy watching these and taking in all the cool little animated bits. In many cases the quality of the animation is a little better than the cartoon itself or makes me wish they were scenes from unmade episodes. It's hard not to watch little bits like Micromasters running amuck and wish it were from an actual cartoon. The animated Action Masters present a solid case for an Action Master season. Sure, the Takara series exist... but I had no clue about them when I was 11. Thankfully these days it's easy to watch these little spots whenever you want. They wouldn't do it, but a collection of these animated segments would make a great special to air on the Transformers Channel.

Monday, May 27, 2024

It's Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day! I'm currently enjoying the holiday weekend, but don't worry, regular content will resume tomorrow! Thank you all for reading Zone Base. Please share the site with your friends and Mutual High Fives everyone!

Friday, May 24, 2024

Silverbolt (Legacy United/Voyager Class)

I've been really looking forward to an update of Silverbolt for some time now. He was a favorite from Beast Wars who seemingly had been forgotten when it came to updates. Silverbolt is a Fuzor, a Transformer who transforms into a mixture of two different animals. He turns into a wolf/eagle hybrid that's pretty fantastic. I've always enjoyed his robot mode's appearance as well. He's very unique looking combined with great characterization of the show making for a lovable character. This new figure is larger Voyager Class compared to the Deluxe Class original. The extra room fits him and allows for a more show accurate toy.

Honestly, this toy isn't a big departure from the original. It's very similar to the with some improvements like placement of the wings in robot mode. Speaking off those wings, they no longer have the 'flapping' gimmick or shoot missiles. Instead the feather swords attach via pegs and are smaller, which looks better. Silverbolt is fairly articulated in robot mode and has a VERY show accurate sculpt. Like other recent updates, he looks like walked out of my TV screen. Transformation is fairly easy and similar to his original figure. I transformed my original one a million times while watching the show and found my hands automatically arranging parts from muscle memory. It's not completely the same, but somehow he was transformed in a few seconds without much effort. I should have been watching Beast Wars while doing it for old times sake.

In beast mode, Silverbolt is a winged wolf that looks like something out of mythology. Articulation remains pretty good here with he wings able to be put in a variety of poses. The way his rear end comes together is a bit messy. The back legs kinda just rest against each other leaving a big gap. You can look past it, but it's not really avoidable. Really though, that's the only negative thing I've got to say about the toy. Your going to have a messy area here and there in a Transformer and that's not the worst I've ever seen on one. Other than that, Silverbolt is a great toy and I'm happy for the update. I'm sure there'll be a Windrazor version as Generations Selects, but I really hope for a 2003 Universe version. Always loved those colors. The ongoing love Beast Wars is finally getting in Generations is exciting for me and I'm definitely glad to see more characters than just the original season cast. Silverbolt's a good toy of a great character. It's awesome that they made this.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

BIOS: Hellscream

Function: General Chief of Staff
This is Starscream's evolved form, created when he was dropped into the Angolmois energy by Gigastorm. His hatred reacted with the evil Angolmois energy. Now he is even more cruel and savage than before, attacking his opponents colorfully with such weapons as his sharkwinders and Terrorstorm. In fact, he is biding his time for a chance to force Gigastorm from power.

Strength: 8 Intelligence: 10 Speed: 10 Endurance: 8
Rank: 8 Courage: 5 Firepower: 8 Skill: 8

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Predacon Scorponok (Studio Series/Deluxe Class)

I don't know if it's obvious, but I liked the Scorponok named soldiers from Rise of the Beasts. Considering this is the third toy of one I'm covering on this site, I feel like it might be noticeable. This time we'll be looking at the Studio Series edition of Scorponok, a toy that is a complete upgrade from the prior figures. Scorponok is screen accurate aside from deco, which is a black and purple color scheme more akin to a classic Insection. While that doesn't adhere to the screen accuracy idea of Studio Series... it looks great. It actually looks so good that I wish that these were the onscreen colors.  Scorponok looks extra villainous in this toy. While I enjoyed his Beast Alliance figures... this is clearly the better of his toys. It's just really impressive and I'm very happy with it.

Scorponok is a very freaky Monster Gobot looking robot whom turns into a weird scorpion inspired insectoid. I like to presume that Scorponok represents one of the many Predacons that worked with Scourge's Terrorcons in the movie. It's not really defined, so they all could be a drone type names Scorponok. Characterize them as you will, I liked the movie, but these guys were basically cannon fodder soldiers. They transform into a gnarly scorpion themed insectoid with monstrous pincers. Said pincers contain guns. The scorpion tail is articulated and can be used as a weapon in robot mode. There is a small port on the top of the beast mode back. I wonder of another accessory was planned and left out? Bot modes are fairly articulated and specifically cool looking.

Transformation from robot to beast mode is not very complex, but pretty neat. Scorponok essentially lays down and the set of legs on his robot back fold out. His upper robot legs fold inside the main body, while the lower legs unfold into more insect legs. What's interesting is his pincers. The robot arms fold up with the hands going into the shoulders. You then unfold the pincer arms our from the robots upper torso. I found this to be pretty creative and was pretty impressed with the ingenuity of it all. Neatly enough, Scoponok uses the same head in bot modes, but due to positioning, it manages to look different from itself in either configuration.  I've liked all the Scorponok toys from ROTB, but this is definitely the best. It was a great birthday gift from the Mrs and an absolute pleasure to play around with.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Weekly Update-5/20/24

A new week of robots, monsters, and misadventure await you Zone Base readers! It's Monday and I've slept in... sorry. I hope you all had good weekends. Mine was great! Saturday was spent with the Mrs taking her to various stores and shopping. While out I found Transformers Legacy Thundertron and MOTU Lord Gr'Asp. I also picked up Turtles of Greyskull Raphael and Shredder. So far, I just need Man at Arms to complete the first 2 waves. I was hoping to find more Transformers, but there's apparently a new stock slump going on in my area. It happens, but it's not fun.

I've been checking Dollar Tree store for updates to their popular TF figurines that now come with collector cards. I already have two sets of them, but with cards? I need more! Sunday was a great day as well. I woke up early and made us French Toast. The great breakfast was necessary as Sunday was when I was attending the Transformers 40th anniversary event. I plan to talk more about it in the next Transform Squadron episode, but had a great time. Of course I got the popcorn bucket and soda cup! That was a lot of Starry to drink, but out of G1 box art! It was great enjoying the first 4 episodes of the classic cartoon in a theater. I unashamedly bopped around to the music and mouthed along to the script. So cool! 

Well, I've got a busy day ahead of me. Time to get to work, but I've also got a fun week in store for you all! Thank you all for reading Zone Base. We've got one Block Rocking summer ahead of us. Please don't forget to share the site with your friends and Mutual High Fives everyone!

Friday, May 17, 2024

Dinobot Sludge (Legacy Evolution/Core Class)

It's taken me longer than intended, but today we're looking at the final member of the Core Class Dinobots. Sludge comes in forming Volcanicus's lower torso and mirroring Rairyu in the eventual Dinoking version of this set. Sludge is a likable little fellow, though his dino mode kibble is impossible to ignore. There's two rear legs just hanging to the side of his robot mode legs. There is no getting around them and that might be a turn off for a few people. Honestly, the blocky old schoolness of this set that I've mentioned before keeps me from disliking it that much. In a stand alone figure, it'd be annoying. As a small chonky little robot whose part of a combiner team... I can't help but to instantly compare it to older toys and enjoy it for that. 

Part of a combiner team is accepting that there'll be some compromises and Sludge is a big compromise. Forming the lower torso of Volcanicus means some load bearing and this (little) big boy is built for that function. Transformation to brontosaurus is easy and just works. I have no complaints about that and found the entire process likable. As a brontosaurus, Sludge is absolutely adorable. Just a cute little dinosaur. Once again simple, but simple works.

Slugde forms the lower torso and waist of the combiner. The other parts form together fairly easily into a delightfully little version of Volcanicus. Volcanicus has a decent amount of articulation for a combiner and his smaller form makes for an easier time playing around. His fists strongly resemble those of older Micromaster combiners and of course there's the obvious Dinoking resemblance. I'm really happy with how he turned out. I really like Volcanicus despite the initial idea of the Dinobots as a combiner irked me. Thanks to misinformed folks in older days spreading a rumor that the original team could combine, the idea was a bit of a thorn in my side. However, ever since Volcanicu's introduction... I've liked him quite a bit. He's a cool combiner and I'm a sucker for the Dinobots.