Friday, September 25, 2020

Trick Or Treating With The Beetleborgs

Beetleborgs and Halloween seem like a pretty natural fit right? I mean, half of the cast is a haunted house full of monsters led by some cocaine fueled Jay Leno ghost. It's only natural Fox Kids would run a contest to go trick or treating with the Beetleborgs right? Unfortunately they instead ran a contest where you'd win a chance to go trick or treating with the Beetleborgs and said cocaine Jay Leno ghost. 

 

Cold Slitherfang

One of the neat things about the smaller 'master' figures in recent Generations lines is their revisiting older Transformers ideas. Slitherfang his an unused concept for the Autobot Master Warriors from Headmasters. Like Titanmaster Sawback and Ramhorn, Slitherfang here found himself reborn. 

The Titanmasters were based on released toys though. This is Slitherfang's first time being an official Transformer toy after being conceived over 30 years ago. Better late than never huh?

Despite being originally designed as a Headmaster, Slitherfang now is a Battle Master. As an Earthrise Battle Master he can turn into a shield or a connector piece/dock plate for Micromaster bases.  His robot mode as you can tell is a snake. There's bound to be some generic 'beast crap' complaints about this, but animals was a somewhat regular design choice for bot mode back in G1.


I always liked it for the variety and thought it went well with the monster themed Decepticons post movie. Add in the purples and teals of that time and you've got some sharp looking robots.

Slitherfang is mostly translucent purple with a gray tail. There's some black and red detail paint in there that really makes the simple colors look great. Small touches can make a big difference. 

Speaking of little touches, the tank treads on his tail. I love those little old school robot toy details. He almost looks like a little Starriors toy and that's a good thing. Tomy and Takara merged in 2005. Even if coincidental, it seems intended. Did that make sense? 

His shield mode looks pretty good thanks to the cobra's hood carrying over to it's general shape. Included is one of those little blast mark things that has one place to be plugged on. If you're display minded, that's exactly where somebody should be aiming at. 

There's not much fictionally for Slitherfang as of this writing. I'm assuming he'll get worked into Takara's ongoing web manga at some point. I'd like to think it would be more related to Headmasters, but you never know. He'd make a good Selector too.

In Earthrise he's aligned with the Quintessons, which is a pretty good fit. I could see him slithering up during an attack and being used by one of the bailiffs to guard a judge when all hell eventually breaks loose. 

What if he was a Selector that aligned himself with the Quintessons? 

That'd be a neat parallel.

There's not much to say about the connector/dock plate mode. It's a ramp or connector for Micromaster bases. You can plug that blasty thing into this though for dramatic dock plate action.

In all, Slitherfang is a pretty good Battle Master. With these little guys the best part is the bot mode. The shield and dock plate are all pretty similar with small cosmetic differences. But a little purple snake sells itself.


Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Goofy Samhain

Disney is well regarded as the de-facto source for family friendly entertainment. It's because of this that many spooky urban legends revolve around the company. You just can't have something that pure without a dark secret or two. Thing is, Micky and the gang are no strangers to spooky shit. They do Halloween every year and they do it right. Celebrations, merchandise, TV specials, you name it. At the parks they even have a spooky summer celebration of their own before starting Halloween stuff in August. Just like here! It really is the happiest place on earth! 

This is Haunted Halloween, a Disney educational short that teaches a mix of Halloween history and safety. It's a clip show from various Disney cartoons with footage from Disney's Halloween Treat. Speaking of Disney's Halloween Treat, the pumpkin from one of the various editions narrates this with Goofy. It truly is a special pairing.

When I was a kid, about a week before Halloween, either the VCR cart or projector got rolled into classrooms and we'd be shown one of a few different safety videos. I've posted the most common ones before several times (here and here for example). I watch those one a week all year long for my own benefit. Never can be too careful. 

Haunted Halloween? Once. I saw it once and never again until finding it on YouTube a few years back. For the longest I couldn't get anyone to believe me about this awesome Disney education short with druids. I wondered for awhile if it was some sort of Mandela Effect thing. Now I can show people this wonderful thing without sounding like some crazy person talking about Goofy being taught Celtic superstitions. Now I just sound crazy. If this was a Facebook post, I would have typed LOL there. Maybe LMAO. 

A Squad Intended For Battle

Among the newer Micromasters I found recently was the Earthrise release of the Battle Squad. I wasn't able to get these guys when they were released in Siege, so of course I jumped on them. Then I got the pack I didn't jump on. Whoops.

Now I just hope I can find the Rumble/Ratbat pack at Ross or something. Then I'll successfully gotten all the new Micromasters from Generations. Go me.

Direct-Hit (right) and Power Punch (left) are both members of the G1 Battle Squad faithfully updated in Siege. The Earthrise version is a straight repack of that. So there.

The two combine to form a cannon transport vehicle. I've always liked this type of Micromaster combiner and was pretty happy to see them make a return here. The two are pretty faithful to the G1 versions aside from the black chest on Direct-Hit and that's great. I always really liked the more interesting colors of late G1 and often they're either muted or exaggerated in newer versions of the characters. They got it just right with some extra detailing color. The guys look pretty great.

Newer Micromasters have slightly improved articulation from the originals. You can't really expect a ton from a tiny toy that comes in a two pack for $10. It's just not going to happen. The newer Micromasters are on pare with most Mini-Cons and that's a pretty good amount of movement for a toy this size. The cannon from vehicle mode or Power Punch's back can be held or mounted on compatible Transformers. Really, these newer Micromasters are almost Mini-Cons by another name, which the reverse of that is how many of us saw Mini-Cons during their introduction. I liked those too.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Arctic Circle's Amazing Square Pumpkin

I live in Georgia, which means I've never had an Arctic Circle restaurant near me. I've never been to Utah or any of the other states in which Arctic Circle has locations in. Which means I've never had a Square Pumpkin meal. One of the greatest disappointments of my life. Have you seen it? You get the Square Pumpkin box, with haunted house game on the back. I will not mince words, that is fucking bad ass.

Of course you also get food, but dude, square pumpkin with haunted house game. A Google search shown me years of amazing Halloween kids meals from Arctic Circle. I can't believe just how much I've missed out. I didn't I even know about this place until I found this commercial. I'll be honest, I kinda forgot Utah existed too. Working the graveyard shift for 10 years has have altered my world view a bit. I'm not kidding, the first time I see the sunrise in spring scares the shit out of me every year.

I'm pretty sure if Arctic Circle was available to me the Square Pumpkin meal would be a hotly anticipated item each year. It's pretty badass. McDonald's can't decide if they want to do Halloween pails regularly or not. Starbucks kinda shit the bed with the Halloween drinks after 2018. It'd be nice to have something like a Square Pumpkin to look forward to each year. I crave annual fast food spooky shit. I don't even want the food, just the haunted house game.


A Barrier For Sound

I picked up Soundbarrier in June shortly after moving. Like other toys bought during that time, I've just gotten around to opening him up. Soundbarrier is a Battle Master from Earthrise which makes him a tiny bit different than the ones from Siege. Instead of a weapon, he turns into a shield and a connector for Micromaster bases. 

I had been looking forward to this guy as he just looks neat. The shield kibble on his back looks like wings giving him a much cooler look than somebody who turns into a dock plate should look.

The bright blues with the grey robot parts with accenting red makes for a sharp looking little robot. I'm sure this mold would look good in almost any color you throw on it. He looks like he turns into a jet almost.

Almost.

I mentioned he turns into a shield right? Two things, he does in fact turn into a shield and I've had to right click on shield every time I've typed it. Clearly cannot spell that right. Considering it's basically just a dock plate that doubles as a shield, it doesn't look too bad. 

He comes with one of those blast mark thingys and two places to connect it. So you can have him being a barrier for blasts as well as sound. 

There's some silver paint here that's pretty nice looking and dresses it up a bit. It mainly dresses up dock plate mode and adds to the appearance when connected to Micromaster bases. 

Not to mention is helps hide the robot hanging off the other side in clear view. You think Micromasters flip him the bird when they drive over? You know they do. 

Jerks.

In dock plate mode, he can connect to any Earthrise Micromaster base or so they say. He can serve as a connector to provide a road from one to another or a ramp for driving up or off. You can still plug the little blast effect thingy on here to make it look like somebody is shooting at Big Daddy. 

He's Autobot in Hasbro releases or on the Japanese side a Selector like Smashdown. Considering his alt mode, it's a good fit for the new group. I could imagine a dock plate having enough of others bull crap and revolting.

He's pretty great. I'd love to see recolors in blind packaging. 

I say that about everything.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Unfortunately Peter Cullen Was A Werewolf

There's probably more forgotten Halloween specials than fondly remembered ones. While that's mostly a tragedy, in the Case of 'Boo!', it's for the best. It's not a bad idea. Take the classic monsters and put them in a silly variety show together during the formats heyday. Couple of musical numbers, a bunch of silly skits. Sure fire idea right? Unfortunately it's probably the worst thing ever made. I would say it's arguably worse than the Star Wars Holiday Special... but I've been able to watch that in it's entirety. I can't get through the first 15 minutes of this. Sure I've skipped around and watched a bit here and there. But straight forward? No way. It's fucking horrible.

If you can make it to minute marker 9:16... or just skip forward... you'll notice who gets top billing. Peter Cullen as the werewolf. The Peter Cullen? Maybe there is another? Possibly. But I can't find any other with a Google search. I also can't find this credit on any of his profiles either. Would you put this on your resume? It's fucking horrible.

The special is only an hour long, which you probably won't watch the entirety of. If I haven't been clear enough, it's fucking horrible. I first ran across it last summer while digging for material for the site. You guys think old Pop Secret commercials just fall out of the sky? I sat through 10 minutes before passing out thanks to that way Dracula kept singing 'do' rendering my brain incapable of thought for a full 10 minutes. Know what can happen in 10 minutes? You can hit the back button on your Roku remote, that's what.

It's fucking horrible.


Patrol Of The Race Car

Micromasters are a wonderful thing. Purple Robots are a wonderful thing. Bright yellow on robots... These guys are wonderful. In fact, you could call them majestic. I do. 

The Earthrise Race Car Patrol is an update of Roller Force (purple guy) and Ground Hog (blue guy) who were members of the Race Track Patrol in G1. Things change, names change, sometimes colors change. Ground Hog was purple in G1 for instance. They also change into robots, it's the gimmick of the toy line. I'm ok when things change.

I got these dudes last week and was pretty happy to do so. I'm gobbling up all the Micromasters and Battlemasters I can until the seeming end of tiny robots in mainline TF for the time being. Assuming the individual Titanmasters don't get re-released in that upcoming Headmasters thing. If that happens, then game on. Either way, I'm enjoying them while I got them. Surely there will be new tiny robots in TF sooner or later. Humor me.


These two turn into, you'd never guess, race cars. Weirdest thing right? The two can combine to form what's supposed to be a gun, like other newer Micromasters. I didn't take a picture of that. Sorry. I kinda forget they can do this as it just looks like two robots stuck together. Like the designers were told by higher ups to do something like that and they did whatever they did out of spite. "Fine, here's a fucking gun."

The two are pretty faithful recreations of the original toys (aside from colors) with improved articulation. I really can't find anything bad to say about these toys. If this was an email, I'd end it with a bunch of hearts. Like this. <3 <3 <3 <3



Saturday, September 19, 2020

Bios- Sgt. Hound

Watchful attentiveness launches triumph.
Sgt. Hound, as a scout for Optimus Prime throughout the third Cybertronian war, was instrumental in the victory of the Autobots over the brutal Decepticons. Along with Special Operations Officer Autobot Jazz, Sgt. Hound presented the General with precise intelligence that allowed the newly-reconstituted Autobot Firestormers to route Megatron's expansion of the Decepticon Star Empire before it could attack any other worlds. The battle ended when the experimental energon refinery that Sgt. Hound had forewarned about was struck by a Decepticon missile. The Decepticons destroyed themselves, but the explosion also cast Sgt. Hound and General Optimus Prime through a rupture in reality.

 

With the war over in his own universe, Sgt. Hound attempted to find peace in his new home. Unfortunately millions of years of conflict, honed military skills and alertness prevented him from finding it. When General Optimus Prime joined Security Administration Officer Cheetor's task force, Sgt. Hound once again enlisted under his commanding officer. Even with war and military service being all that he can remember, Sgt. Hound is still as friendly and compassionate as the day he came online. He befriended many Low-Techs, including fellow former soldiers Dia and Cline.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Hasbro PulseCon Ghostbusters Programming!

GHOSTBUSTERS PANEL!

Join us as we celebrate the Ghostbusters franchise in a three-part panel filled with HUGE surprises and reveals!

Part 1: Classic Ghostbusters Panelists: Ernie Hudson, Hasbro Ghostbusters Brand Team We’ll begin by celebrating the iconic 1984 film. Tune in for ghostly surprises, classic toy news, and a visit from a very special guest: Ernie Hudson, otherwise known as Winston Zeddemore from Ghostbusters! Get ready to hear him answer your fan questions! 

Part 2: The Making of Kenner The Real Ghostbusters Toys Panelists: Mark Boudreax, Hasbro Ghostbusters Brand Team We’ll continue our journey through the 80’s with an inside look at the making of The Real Ghostbusters toys from original Kenner toy designer, Mark Boudreaux. Next, you’ll see behind the scenes of sculpting with Dave. Finally, meet the Hasbro team that relaunched the Kenner Real Ghostbusters toys in 2020. Hear about how they answered the call to bring this beloved toy line back for the fans and be the first to see the next Kenner Real Ghostbusters toy to hit shelves! 

Part 3: Ghostbusters Afterlife Panelists: Jason Reitman, Hasbro Ghostbusters Brand Team We’ll end our celebration with a nod to the future… the new Ghostbusters Afterlife feature film, coming to theatres in March 2021. Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe-winning filmmaker Jason Reitman, director of Ghostbusters Afterlife, will take you on a tour of the Ecto-1 that was used in the new film. He’ll end his tour with an exciting reveal! You’ll then hear from the Hasbro team about the next toy inspired by the Ghostbusters Afterlife film to hit shelves!


Thanks to Rogers & Cowan for providing Zone Base Readers with this awesome news!