Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving From Zone Base!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for everything you have and appreciate the ones in your life. Thank each and everyone of you for reading and sharing Zone Base. I appreciate all of you putting up with all my nonsense and encouraging it. Now let's all get some turkey and enjoy that parade!

 

 

 

 

I will be spending the rest of the week enjoying the holiday with my family and getting some much needed rest. Check out my Instagram, I'll be updating it throughout the week. Regular posting will resume next week as will the annual Christmas on Zone Base fun!

 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Immortal Bumblebee Toy

The Legends/Legion Bumblebee mold from Reveal The Shield has been re-released so many times over the past decade that I'm amazed it's still in use. I think it's run as a discount store toy has been going for a steady 6 years straight with no end in sight. I don't know who's counting, but this is probably the longest running Transformers toy of all time.

The figure gets random changes as time goes. From different releases or just whatever random reason, they'll be something different about it occasionally. That was the reason I got it again recently. In October actually, my wife was at Five Below and sent me a picture of the toys asking if I wanted anything. I spotted the Bumblebee and asked her to grab me one. It'd been a while since I'd gotten a version of it (maybe the Cliffjumper from 2015) and I was curious to see what was different this time.

If you've never had the figure, it's still a good one to get. Classic Bumblebee as you expect him updated to transform into a sporty hatchback. The toy predates the current return to VW Bug Bumblebee toys and was released during the time VW wasn't ok with their car being used.


The sporty hatchback has always been a good replacement to me and kinda looks pretty similar to a Bug. This figure is pretty close in size to the original Microman toy and it's always felt like a natural evolution of it to me. 

The toy itself it pretty good. He's got the basic level of articulation you'd expect from a Legion Class toy. In robot mode it looks like Bumblebee got a new alt mode on some episode and it walked off the screen.

His transformation is pretty similar to the original as well. Pull them legs up and fold those feet down. Push those arms in and fold the back over to cover the head. Classic Bumblebee. They were clearly updating the original toy.


He wasn't too different from what I can remember of the last time I got this toy. Same stripes and Autobot symbol placement. The grey on his robot parts looks darker and I swear the yellow is a little too. Not enough to qualify as a new variation, but it's darker than I remember. I'm sure.

The plastic felt a little flimsy this time. Not sure if that's from mold degradation or maybe just a cheaper plastic used. Considering the toy only costs $5, I'm sure they've needed to adjust the recipe a little over the years.

They downsized the bubble on his card and MADE the figure fit inside. Bumblebee is crammed inside the packaging half transformed. At first I thought I had gotten a broken one. Apparently all of them at the store were that way... in 10 years a fan who was a kid in 2020 will make a custom Bumblebee based on this. I really look forward to it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Dropping Bombs On Ghosts

One thing I can never love enough about The Real Ghostbusters is just how insane things got. It's a far fetched idea to begin with. A group of guys who shoot lasers at ghosts. As a service, it's a solid idea. Your house is haunted? Call an exterminator. As the line went on though, lasers just weren't enough.

In the above commercial we're treated to Ray and Louis busting ghosts at the Statue of Liberty. Not only does it advertise the cool color changing Slimed Heroes figures, but also the Ecto-Bomber. Which is literally an early 20th century bomber plane outfitted to fight ghosts. How in the hell did they even get that?

The Ghostbusters outright bombed ghosts to bust them. Let's think of the implications of that one. In the commercial alone, Nasty Neck is terrorizing Ray on Liberty Island when the Ecto-Bomber drops a bomb from the sky...

It's safe to assume sometimes the Ghostbusters generated future business.

Monday, November 23, 2020

New Week SHARP

It's the beginning of another new week here on Planet Zone! Not just any other week, it's a holiday week! Thanksgiving is this Thursday which does mean a little less content this week. The lead up to holidays are generally pretty hectic at work for me. Not to mention the holiday activities! I'll be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with my family (don't worry, it's a small group this year), putting up Christmas decorations, crazy shopping, and getting some much needed rest. I'm a big fan of Thanksgiving. Not just because of the food and the fun, but there's always a generally pleasant vibe to the air that just makes me happy. Thank you for continuing to read Zone Base! As always please share, it's all I ask!

Friday, November 20, 2020

You Can't Walk All Over Doublecrosser

While out doing some Christmas shopping, the wife picked me up Doublecrosser from Earthrise at Target. Doublecrosser is a Battle Master and seemingly the last new mold Battle Master (as of now anyway). It was pretty surprising that she found him as the only Battle Master I've seen has been Soundbarrier after finding exactly one Slitherfang. 

The quest for Shawn's tiny snake Transformer continues. I know he already has one, but I'm still getting him one. I was about to say my word is my bond, but I hated that line. Good movie though... where was I? 

Doublecrosser is a double headed robot like Doubleheader, but since he's a Decepticon... get it? I really appreciate the variety and the symmetry on the helmets is a nice touch. He looks great. Or they look great. Whatever.


I love the way Doublecrosser looks in robot mode. The purple against the gunmetal with that red face has that classic late G1 Decepticon look. Add in the red kibble and it almost looks like a red cape. He almost looks like a Pretender inner robot, so I'm hoping for a Doubleheader repaint that will likely never happen. 

Like other Earthrise Battle Masters, Doublecrosser turns into a shield and a dock plate/connector piece for Micromaster bases. It's done pretty basically by arranging his robot parts under the shield/plate parts which swivel in place. 

Thanks to the color and shape, he almost looks energy generated in in these modes. That's pretty neat. He comes with that gun shot thingy that the others came with and can connect in both modes. This shows him being shot at. Probably because all that double crossing.

That'll get you shot.


Fictionally, Doublecrosser's a Decepticon... and that's about it. On the Hasbro end anyway. He could pop up in later fiction maybe. On the Takara side of things though, like other Battle Masters he's a Selector in the Generations web comics. These take place in Japanese cartoon continuity.

Selectors are a race/faction of Transformers created on Earth who serve menial tasks who ultimately rebel against their human creators. As a Selector, a Doublecrosser units were used as walls and ceilings. Which is absolutely ridiculous. Do you really need a robot to turn into a wall?

No wonder they rebelled.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Replay: Not For The Faint Of Heart

 

Replay

King Hiss Will Punch You With A Snake Bite

I've made several jokes about He-Man fighting living Halloween decorations and Eternia being a constant freak show. Here's King Hiss. King Hiss is the leader of the Snakemen and pure nightmare fuel. One moment he's standing before you, a dude in weird armor. The next... A GIANT PILE OF FUCKING SNAKES... WITH LEGS.

King Hiss and the Snakemen came around later in the line. Clearly intended to take Hordak's place as the new badass other faction for He-Man to deal with. He wasn't featured on the cartoon until the 2002 series, but got a healthy amount of coverage in the mini comics and other media. Mattel was clearly putting their eggs in the Snakemen basket. I guess none of them were from farms.

As a toy, King Hiss was similar to a Transformers Pretender in that he had a removable outer shell. It encased the upper body of the figure with the arms snapping on separately. When it was time to kick the battle into full gear, King Hiss could transform into his true reptilian form by taking off said shell parts to expose his weird body of giant snakes... with legs. In human form he carried a snake staff (which most Snakemen had) and a shield. In snake mode he could hypnotize his foes and attack him with a GIANT BODY OF SNAKES... WITH LEGS. Know what's worse than getting punched? A snake bite. Think about getting punched by a snake bite. Damn. Why does he have snake heads for fists? Because fuck you, that's why.

King Hiss is from a race of space snake people who came to conquer Eternia. Because Masters of the Universe. He-Ro and Eldor defeated him and then trapped him in a limbo like dimension. Around a thousand years later, Skeletor freed him and the two teamed up to defeat He-Man. Of course once this was done, the alliance would be over and then one would kill the other. This is all assumption because He-Man just kicked their asses as usual. In the 2002 cartoon he's not to dissimilar, just falls under that shows general vibe. However he does take over as the main villain, which is what Mattel was clearly aiming for in the 80's. When the line was shifting to the 'Powers of Grayskull' spin-off/hail mary, it was taking place on prehistoric Eternia where King Hiss was the central villain. I guess it does make sense that the guy who lives in Snake Mountain be a GIANT PILE OF FUCKING SNAKES... WITH LEGS.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Bios- Hurricane

Brilliant analyst. Super intelligent. Pins his defence plans down to the minutest detail. Almost clairvoyant in his forward thinking. As vehicle, rear facing turbine elevates for all round defence power. As robot, an imposing turbo-armed figure on the battlefield.
  •  STRENGTH 10
  • INTELLIGENCE 5
  • SPEED 9
  • ENDURANCE 9
  • RANK 5
  • COURAGE 9
  • FIREPOWER 8
  • SKILL 6

Dinosaur Death Trap In Flordia

Anticipation of my trip to Universal Studios next December is murder. Know what else will murder you? Dinosaurs. One of the things I'm looking forward to is spending some time in Jurassic Park. By the time we go, the new ride will be open and there's gonna be some cool new stuff to check out.

Last time we were there, while eating lunch at one of the JP restaurants, this kid randomly yelled "WWE SUPERSTARS!" and slammed down his soda. There we were, an entire theme park restaurant staring at this kid like a freak. 

 

The main focus of the area is the Discovery Center and River Adventure. They manage to recreate the look and feel of the original movie really well. The River Adventure is the second version of the Jurassic Park ride that originally opened at the Hollywood Park in 1996. 

The ride was in works before the movie believe it or not. If you look at the images behind John Hammond during the dinner meeting scene in the original movie, you'll see conceptual art from the ride. It's in the 'future attractions' slide. Pretty cool huh? The version in Florida opened in 1999 and is clearly version 2.0 as there's a few differences. 

There's another version in Japan, which is a little different as well. The Singapore ride follows a similar idea, but is a river rapid style ride instead of a boat ride with a flume drop. Recently they upgraded the Hollywood Park ride into a Jurassic World version with new scenes and upgraded effects. It looks great... but I still think I like the original better. It just has a charm, you know?

 


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Meng Picks The Toppings

I could go for a slice right now.

Optimus's Chocolate Surprise

Candy with a surprise toy is a tried and true delivery system for blind bag toys. Hershey's has recently entered the arena with their new Hershey's Treasure Surprise line. For $2 (what I've been paying anyway) you get a tiny blue treasure chest with a blind packed mini figure and four Hershey's Kisses.

While a bag of Kisses at the same Walmart is about $2, it's still a candy I've always liked in the little box. Usually with these surprise things you either get some generic sugar candy that's maybe shaped like the characters or that stuff inside Kinder Surprise Eggs. It tastes great usually, but that's not the issue. If you get one of these occasionally, you'll probably eat the candy not long after. If you buy up a bunch... you're going to have a small stockpile. That will eventually get thrown away. 

I still remember finding that forgotten zip lock of bubble twist gum that had went bad and melted into a weird goo. Gross. A Hershey's Kiss however tends to vanish almost instantly. If you end up with a stockpile of Hershey's Kisses, they'll get eaten. It's one of the world's most popular candies. At worst the little packs will end up in your lunch for a work time snack. I had a few from these this weekend while watching TV.

 

The actual reason you buy the chest is the toy. Right now these chests have Transformers and My Little Pony surprise toys. I'm trying to collect all the Transformers. You may have guessed. I was waiting to get them all before I did a post, but doing so has been a challenge. I'll probably do a post on them all once I do so. Right now I just kind of want to talk about the hunt. 

 

Which is a mother fucker. 

 

So far I cannot physically find the packs. What I can do is add them to my grocery order and wait for it to be delivered to see if the employee pulling said order could find them. Which half the time they can. I've tried using the Walmart app to find them in the store. So far it's taking me to everything aside from these. I do know where the motor oil is now though. I'll just have to be patient for more to show up at other stores at this rate since they haven't sent any in about two weeks. 

So far I've got Optimus Prime, Starscream and Grimlock. The only other two left is Bumblebee and Megatron. At this rate it's probably going to be until they show up at Five Below before I find anymore. I must have cleared out the shelf box mine were picked from. Which resulted in a bunch of Primes, a bunch of Starscreams, and two Grimlocks. I can't tell if there's a code system or not, which would be useless right now anyway. Usually the random nature of a blind bag toy is fun... but not when you're waiting for a delivery and see that item wasn't in stock when you get your receipt email. 

Dammit. 


Monday, November 16, 2020

More Alive Than Ever Before With New Week 64

It's Monday and you know what that means? A brand new week here on Planet Zone! I have a fun week of posts planned that I hope you all enjoy. Thanks again for reading Zone Base and don't forget to share!

I hope that kid knew all those people.

 

Friday, November 13, 2020

New Movie Star Transformers

It's neat getting press releases from Hasbro. The newest one is related to their latest Fans First Friday with some new Studio Series figures and a new Afterlife version of Ectotron. Since Studio Series is seemingly shifting focus to the 1986 movie, it's nice to see attention to the live action movies is still part of the line. Those movies are Transformers for a generation and they deserve nice things too. I like them also. I was surprised to see Ectotron make a return, but happy for it. I already have one... but may be (very) tempted to pick up another tied into the new movie.

 

Transformers: Studio Series 71 Deluxe Transformers: Dark of the Moon Autobot Dino (Available for Pre-Order on HasbroPulse.com)

Dino was a new Autobot debuting in Dark of the Moon (one of my favorites of the live action movies). He had a super cool design, but due to licensing issues, didn't get a proper toy. Instead we got a legend/legion class Revenge of the Fallen Sideways recolor named Mirage intended to represent him.

I always thought he had a cool design and dug his accent. I'm sure he's going to be a popular toy, especially for live action fans wanting to build a perfect version of the cast.



Transformers: Studio Series 70 Deluxe Transformers: Bumblebee B-127 (Available for Pre-Order on HasbroPulse.com)

This one is pretty exciting for me. As readers know, I was a big fan of the Bumblebee movie. While I didn't get every single toy, I sure have gotten a lot. I really liked Bumblebee's Cybertronian design and will jump all over a toy of it.

I know it's a recolor of the already existing Cliffjumper toy with some new parts, but that's not taking away from my excitement. I'm definitely getting that one. It just looks cool!



Transformers: Generations – Transformers Collaborative: Ghostbusters: Afterlife Ecto-1 Ectotron (Target Exclusive and available for Pre-Order on Target.com)

To coincide with Ghostbusters Afterlife, Hasbro is releasing a new version of Ectotron. Now with rusty paint to represent the Ecto-1 in the new movie as it's been sitting in a barn for decades. A nice extra touch is his new headsculpt, which looks pretty good.  Included with the toy is a comic, Slimer (who came with the original toy), and Muncher.

Muncher is a new ghost in Afterlife who you can see in the trailer. He's that blue guy the kids are chasing in the Ecto-1 through town. Just like the upcoming new Frights Features Ghostbuster figures, I particularly enjoy how Ectotron comes with ghosts to bust. It's a nice throwback to The Real Ghostbusters while also just being fun.


As always, thanks to Rogers & Cowan for sending these press releases so Zone Base readers can enjoy the news.

Replay: Friday The 13th


It's Friday the 13th! The second one of 2020, which considering how this year has went since the last one...

I've been a life long horror fan, but that doesn't mean I like all horror. I have the stuff I prefer and the stuff I could care less about. In college I discovered The Ring a few years before the US remake came out. This lead into me learning more about J-Horror and discovering Japanese ghost videos. 

I like to watch various paranormal TV and regularly watch ghost videos as is. These Japanese ones normally come from paranormal TV shows playing spooky clips. They'll display the message 'Replay' before repeating the clip giving you a chance to spot the scary ghost. It's pretty fun to watch these and try to spot the scary stuff. Like all ghost videos, I don't believe everything I'm seeing, but I'm entertained.

Unlike my younger days, I'm no longer getting bootlegged copies of these videos on VHS/VCD. Between Youtube and a few other choice places (dude, Facebook video is awesome) I can watch them whenever, wherever. Since I regularly post paranormal videos here anyway, I thought it was time for a new tag. So if you see 'Replay' in the post tags, follow that rabbit hole.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Shake Machine Works At Jollibee

I've been pretty forgiving of kids meal toys generally being not so great. However that's because I don't have access to a Jollibee where they gave Legend/Legion Class Transformers away in kids meals. Sometimes the grass is really is greener on the other side of the fence you know. I bet you can order a 'number one' and they already know you're talking about a combo meal.

Mekaneck Can See You Read This

Mekaneck is one of the more fun Heroic Warriors that's generally well loved by fans. It's hard not too. He's this funky bionic dude who's a living periscope. If you ever need to understand the charm of He-Man, remember, robots and cyborgs are mixed in with all the swords and sorcery. It's weird and absurd, what's not to love? It doesn't hurt that he looks awesome. 

In the cartoon, Mekaneck was given his bionic neck by Man-At-Arms (who must have needed a Man-At-Neck) after his normal one was badly injured. This injury occurred during a storm in which he also lost his son. Later he found his son held captive by Count Marzo. 

Mekaneck also had issues with Count Marzo in the 2002 cartoon who takes advantage of our heroes insecurities. In that cartoon Mekaneck's bionic neck can seemingly stretch forever and bend all sorts of ways kinda like Plastic Man. He generally carries a big yellow club that I often used as the Cosmic Key when I was a kid. You'd think a guy who specializes in seeing things far away would be a sniper, but once again Eternia is a weird place. 

On his original toy you twisted his waist to extend Mekanecks bionic neck. He's had a bunch of toys since then and they've often used snap in extension pieces for the neck. I'm really looking forward to his upcoming Mega Contrux figure. I don't know if it's just my general favoritism to him and the line, but it just seems perfect. He'll come with the Battle Ram set that also includes Tri-Klops who also seems like a perfect fit in the mini figure line.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Stainless Night


Kakuryu's Victory

One of the neat things about Transformers is that it isn't cut and dry. Thirty six years of toys and cartoons has lead to restarts and reboots, but somehow there's usually a thread of connectivity in the oddest places. Powercore Combiners (PCC) was this weird offshoot line that hung around for a little while. It had the usual mix of fans and haters. 

One of the more cool aspects of PCC (or frustrating depending on your viewpoint) was that the line wasn't rooted in one singular continuity. One character might appear in a movie universe story, the other in an IDW G1 comic. They were a varied set of characters that just happened to share a play gimmick. 

Which brings us to Kakuryu.

Kakuryu was a Decepticon in Tranformers Victory. A member of Dinoforce to be exact. The group were a team of Pretenders with dinosaur shells that merged to form Dinoking. The Dinoforce served under the lead of Deathsarus who eventually abandoned them. This lead to the team helping out the Autobots. After all was said and done, Kakuryu ended up working at an amusement park. I hope it was Universal Studios.

If you didn't care about Powercore Combiners, that's a shame, because you probably didn't care about the Takara versions of the toys either. During PCC one of the more popular figures was Grimstone. Grimstone was a Dinobot who's combiner drones were other dinosaurs. He was pretty neat and generally well liked by Transformers fans. 

Unlike the Hasbro releases, Takara's version of PCC got a specific story line setting. Taking place around the same time as Operation Combination, various Autobots and Decepticons used the new Power Core Combination technology developed on Earth. 

Kakuryu by this time had joined the Autobots and became one of the Dinobots. He took part in the Power Core Combination program and became Grimmaster! Grimmaster being the Japanese version of the Grimstone toy. Grimmaster had several more adventures which lead to his part in helping the Dinobots become Volcanicus most recently. It's not a matter of G1 or Beast Wars. It's all Transformers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Something In The Sanctuary

The Rangers at the Mahananda Sanctuary Siliguri never know what they'll find.

He Ratchet

While running a few errands this weekend I stopped by Walgreen's hoping to find the exclusive Bluestreak. While they still didn't have him, I didn't walk out empty handed either. Walgreen's had begun their Christmas set up and as usual the Authentics Bravo figures were with the extra stock. I quick look through them and I found the newer Ratchet figure. 

I'd been looking for this guy for a little while now, so it was good to finally find him. That's the thing with these discount store figures, they're made for stores that don't heavily restock their toy sections throughout the year. Unless you hit up a random Walgreen's or Five Below, the discount stores might not get any for a while. 

Ratchet is a Bravo class in the Authentics discount line. That means he's the smaller 3" toy as opposed to the 7" Alpha class. These run around 5-6 dollars. I got Ratchet for $6.50, which is pretty fair for a toy bought at a drug store. I almost didn't recognize him at first. I'd gotten so used to never seeing him that upon seeing him... I just stared at it for a minute.

 

At this point I shouldn't need to point out that these little discount toys are not going to be the caliber of a Cyberverse or Generations toy. If they were a little smaller in Legion size, maybe. But they were making a larger toy toy and with a lower price so there's going to be some concessions. Ratchet is a budget toy through and through. He's pretty basic.I know what I was buying and like oddball things like this. These are a quirky side item to the normal Transformers toys I buy. A fun and weird diversion. Ratchet is hollow, flimsy, and a little funky looking and that's ok. I know a 35 cent cup of noodles isn't the same as a hibachi restaurant.

Honestly Ratchet isn't terrible looking. Maybe a little sharper head sculpt and a little more mass in those arms and he'd be a much nicer looking toy. With these proportions he reminds me a little of Armada Hot Shot. As is, he's fine. His head is made from a different material than the rest of the toy. Several of the Ratchets in the little shelf box at Walgreen's had yellowed already. I picked out one that was in better shape and I suggest you do the same. I don't know if it's a lighting thing or just discolored cheap plastic. It was pretty weird though. 

 

Ratchet folds naturally into his ambulance mode. It's a nice little ambulance that's naturally bare on details as paint tends to cost a little higher than a shoe string budget. What painted details he has though looks pretty good. Noticeably lighter in this mode, but still rolls fairly well. Or he did on the TV table I took this picture on. I had just eaten some leftover pizza. It was pretty good.

As far as these little discount Transformers go, Ratchet isn't too bad. It wasn't that long ago that a Transformer from a discount store was a bootleg that often broke in your hands upon opening it. An official toy for the same price is a good trade off. The line itself is a fun little side quest and a fun occasional diversion. Just neat enough for the price and simple to fiddle with while watching TV after eating leftover pizza. Which I did.


Monday, November 9, 2020

Load Up A New Week On Zone Base!


It's Monday and that means another new week here on Planet Zone! I've got some great posts in mind that I hope you all enjoy. Thanks again for reading Zone Base and please share with your friends!


Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Combatribes Are Good Enough

I love a good old school beat 'em up. These kind of games were the best part of an arcade back in the day. Fighting your way through hordes of bad guys before meeting the levels usually insane boss with flashy graphics and loud music blaring.

The theming of the games usually varied from post apocalyptic gang warfare to medieval fantasy. Often popular licenses would show up in the genre and those games would usually have the biggest crowds. Trust me, there's nothing better than Homer Simpson beating the shit out of a zombie.

 

The Combatribes by Technos Japan Corp was a pretty popular game that's gotten a little obscure these days. Most people see it as the spiritual follow up to Double Dragon. That's not unfair as it's got the same look and vibe of the Double Dragon games. Beserker, the leader of The Combatribes even looks like a beefier Billy Lee.

The level layout is a little more like Renegade which Techno made before Double Dragon. Instead of a ongoing scrolling level, you generally have one large area to fight the hordes of enemies before taking on the boss. Building on the Renegade play style, some levels have more than one area of bad guys to clear out before facing the boss. 

Unlike the prior Technos games, Combatribes turns the craziness all the way up. Each level you face a different street gang who matches a theme. For example, you face The Demon Clowns in a amusement park. All of the street gangs are all working under the big crime boss. However when you finally reach the final battle, he is killed by the true main villain. A cyborg named Martha Splatterhead whom you then have to defeat.

Did that sound a little crazy? That's because it is. The enemies range from bikers to cyborg army men with some roller blade punks and clowns thrown in for good measure. Facing this freak show is The Combatribes. A group former military soldiers turned street vigilantes who are also cyborgs on the SNES version. Because why not? The three members range from strong but slow, fast but weak, and the balanced leader. You have a range of martial arts moves to fight in the neon futuristic streets and can even pick up some items to use as weapons.

Some of those characters, moves and abilities are absent in the home version of the game. Another difference between versions is in the arcade your life meter is in numbers while on SNES it's a standard life bar. When you die in the arcade you're forced to continue with another quarter, but if you insert one while playing that number value on your life meter keeps going up. It's pretty fun to pump a ton of quarters in and watch those numbers rise. Technos had a great habit of putting extra effort their arcade to home conversions. Instead of simply porting it over, they'd make it fit the medium better. The original Double Dragon had a leveling up system and an additional versus mode. The Combatribes has cinema scenes to explain the story better and a versus mode as well. 

The game was fairly violent as you can imagine and featured edgier characters. The Slaughter Troops gang of cyborg army men was lead by a boss named Swastika for example. That was tuned down for the North American SNES version. Blood replaced with sweat and saliva, now the Demolition Troops are lead by Master Blaster. Probably a good idea as your younger brother was more likely to play this than in the more mature arcade scene. It's still a really good game regardless of where and how you play it.


Friday, November 6, 2020

R.E.D Soundwave Can Push His Own Eject Button

After waiting for quite some time, Transformers R.E.D (Robot Enhanced Design) figures finally started showing up at my local Walmart stores. The wife picked me up the Soundwave on a recent stop for a few things and it's nice to finally have one of these guys in hand. I've mentioned a few times in prior posts about my looking forward to them, so I won't go much into that intentionally in this post. When she handed me the box I had gotten so used to them not being at the store that actually having one I was truly surprised. 

For the last time, these toys do not Transform. I don't want that to be the focus whenever I talk about these. That's not the point. These are show accurate versions of the characters that have the features nicer action figures intended for adult collectors generally have. I get it. The lines name is Transformers. I know. It is what it is and these are what the are.

Ok then.


Out of the box, Soundwave is a solid feeling figure with quite a bit of articulation. You can put him in a variety of poses, no shit. Included in the box is his signature shoulder cannon and laser gun as well as alternate hands and Laserbeak in cassette form. Soundwave has four different hands. Two fists and two that allow for holding his laser gun and pointing to mimic the famous pushing eject pose. 

The hands can be swapped out with a simple peg system that locks the hand into place. I did have a little trouble keeping his shoulder cannon in place. Not sure if that's a plastic issue or maybe mine was a little tighter fit. Hell, it could have been just me. Same with getting that gun in his hands, that took a little more work than I thought it would. Either the plastic was to rigid or my fingers were too big. I can't do anything right. Shut up.

I said recreate the eject button pose right? You totally can and the eject button even works! Just push that mofo and the chest door opens! 

I'm totally serious, it fucking does!

 

Since it does that we might as well have a tape for commanding to eject. In this case we get Laserbeak, who's usually the first for Soundwave to deploy. It could have just been a little plastic cassette tape painted in his colors, but instead they sculpted the underside of the tape so his birdy robot parts can be seen. They literally didn't have to do that, but it adds a little more niceness to the toy. Laserbeak can be stored inside Soundwave's chest and ejected. Hell yeah.

I doubt these new R.E.D figures will take SCF's place in my heart. They're on the way to being a proper replacement for a line that's been over for a pretty long time though. So far from what I've seen and with Soundwave here in hand the sculpting is pretty similar. It feels like a natural evolution of that Mega SCF I keep comparing these too. 

Maybe unfairly as I've taken other similar ideas separately as their own thing and not compared them to something I've held in high regards as a fan. The mind works as it's going to work I suppose. It's that SCF mindset though that's been kicking in since the introduction of these guys and the one I can't shake. I don't think I want to either. Even though I'm not hunting down blind boxes and ordering figures from Hobby link Japan... it's a similar kind of fun with the figure. I know that probably doesn't make sense to anybody but me, but this is a blog and a not a review. Y'all just reading my thoughts and the occasional bad joke. It's hardly an expose. You think Laserbeak shits in Soundwave's chest?

I like my R.E.D Soundwave toy. It would be pretty cool to have a shelf of these guys representing the classic cast. I generally don't do the big displays, I kinda just stick them on a shelf where they fit. With these guys though... I'm kinda tempted. I don't know if it'll fade later, but right now my enthusiasm is pretty high for the R.E.D line. Soundwave is a pretty good representation of how he appeared in the classic cartoon and a nice figure in general. Which is what I wanted, so yay me.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Dark Side Of Ronald's Ass

Even on the moon, the shake machine is down.


Fisto Will Knock Your Teeth Down Your Fucking Throat

Eternia is a weird place. You've got nightmarish evil freak shows all over the place being defended by muscle bound weirdos. One of the Heroic Warriors has a very special power, he will punch the dog piss out of your ass. Fisto (don't be weird) is a rough and tumble outdoors guy who has a GIANT FUCKING FIST FOR PUNCHING.

In the original cartoon he was originally a member of the Evil Warriors who changed his ways and joined the Heroic Warriors. In the mini comics he was a dude with a big ass fist and was matched up against Jitsu. During the 2002 cartoon he was Man-At-Arms brother. That family has no patience for feet. None.

Everyone loves Ron Swanson, so imagining Ron Swanson as a knight with a GIANT FUCKING FIST FOR PUNCHING THE SHIT OUT OF YOU is even harder not to like. He has a giant purple sword just to piss you off.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Lost World On R-Zone


Kreon Optimus Thinks He's A Microman

Remember that Soundwave I talked about yesterday? While at the Dollar General that day, the Mrs. saw the kreons and grabbed me a neat looking Optimus Prime. I was a big fan of Kre-O during it's run but slowed down during it's last years as a discount chain line. She saw these more deluxe Kreons with the add on parts on the pegs and grabbed me one. The Optimus Prime was differently colored than what his art depicted and she thought he looked neat. She was right, he does look neat.

While I have admittedly slowed down on the Kre-O stuff, it was fun revisiting it and frankly this Optimus was pretty cool. The toy is mostly in translucent blue and clear plastic with some solid white colored pieces. He's pretty dang sharp looking.

I had a hard time finding this version on the TFWiki, so I have no clue what they're actually called. They've had them at Dollar General for a while and I've just now gotten this one. Basically you get a Kreon with the parts to add on to make a more 'deluxe' figure. With all the parts added the figure has knees and elbows and stands a little taller. It's a neat little thing and I'm pretty tempted to get more now.


The funny thing about this figure is the base kreon. Without any of his extra parts, you pretty much have a Kreon Microman/Micronaut.When Kre-O was more of a thing, I thought Hasbro should have made Micronaut Kre-O sets. It seemed like the perfect fit to me. Years later, Kre-O technically still exists with a small amount of product available and I guess they just wanted the Micronauts name. Hopefully something will eventually come of it.

He could be a Henshin Cyborg as well I suppose, but my mind goes to Microman first. I've taken to calling him Microman Orion. A different helmet for the more 'deluxe' figure and he'd make a fine Acroyear. Now that I have essentially that Kre-O Micronaut I wished I had all those years ago, I really wish they would have made that line. The proportions are just right as is the sculpting.  Oh well, at least I have a cool Optimus Prime.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

66 Years Of Godzilla

1954-2020


Soundwave Is A Discount Store Alpha

They call these larger 7 inch Authentics 'Alpha' class. I don't know why. They do the naming, I do the buying. Call it taco class for all I care. Recently my wife picked me up the Authentics Alpha Class Soundwave from the Dollar General near her work. Thankfully so as I've been looking for him. As far as the Authentics figures have gone, I've been getting the Alpha (7 inch) and Bravo (5 inch) class figures happily. For a low price they're just the thing. I haven't bothers with the Titan Changers or that big ass Bumblebee. I may later, just right now I don't feel compelled to. 

Like other Authentics, Soundwave uses the 'Evergreen' design. Evergreen is a newer Transformers design aesthetic used for oddball things like gift cards and random toys without being attached to a current cartoon. It's basically traditional Transformers, just a little modernized. Safe to throw on that party balloon or discount toy that may be on a shelf for a few years without looking dated. I think it's a pretty good idea. You've got generic Spider-Man, Generic Batman... why not generic Transformers? 

Soundwave as a robot isn't too bad. He's a discount store toy sold for a low price and there's some cost cutting measures in full view. He's $10 for a 7 inch toy, which is about the size of a Generations Voyager class Transformers. Those sell for $30 for perspective. Soundwave is pretty hollow. Like, know how the buildings in a movie studio are just a facade? The walls you see are the only ones they've built and that's the level of hollowness Soundwave has going on here. It doesn't bother me much. I know for the discount price there's going to be some cost cutting measures. I know a cup of ramen noodles isn't the same as an expensive steak dinner and I'm not going to kid myself about it. At the same time, I still love a good cup of ramen noodles. This cheap Soundwave? Yeah, I dig him. He's cool.

 

They don't make tape players anymore. I'm sorry, it's just a fact and those don't change unfortunately. Modern toys of Soundwave are generally tasked with working around that and a common alt mode for him is a communications truck of sorts. That's what they did here and it works pretty well. It's blocky and works with his role as communications officer. 

This particular communications truck is some kind of armored sports crossover SUV. Considering the low cost of the toy, it's a pretty solid alt mode with hardly any visible lines. You transform Soundwave by arranging his arms and legs much as you normally do car based Transformes and his backpack snaps over to create the hood. All you really have to do extra is arrange his gun and uh... sound receiver dish (?) into place on the roof of the truck. 

I'm kind of not sure what to make of the truck. It looks good, but could use a little extra color that the discount store toy budget isn't going to allow for. Thanks to it's angles I can't get Machine Wars Soundwave out of my head when I look at it. Stalker from Euro G1, Machine Wars or Universe Soundwave. That toy mold. The colors those toys came in are the ones I'd really like to see on this toy. It'll never happen, but it'd be neat. I see this truck and think there's another toy coming that'll use the mold tooling. Blaster or Sounblaster probably.

 

I mentioned his gun and communications thingy right? They can be used in a variety of ways. Either held in hands, on shoulder mounted pegs, or the roof of the truck. The communications dish thingy has a flat peg with specific flat peg holes for it's placement... but still fits just fine in round holes. The gun has a standard round peg and won't fit in the square holes. I shouldn't have to explain that, but there's always that one dude.

If you put the gun in Soundwave's shoulders like I have in the picture up top, you'll get a more classic Soundwave look. It looks right in hand ready to blast somebody too. The plastic used on the toy is different than what's used on normal retail Transformers. It's pretty hard and despite the hollowness of the toy gives it a feeling of solidness. You can probably see the stress lines on the gun in the picture. They were like that right out of the package without any visible reason why. It's not broke and there's no white in the plastic that would lead me to believe the plastic is weakened. I have no clue.

I'm pretty happy with Soundwave overall. He might be hollow, but he's a big chunky robot toy and I do love those. Without any doubt he's Soundwave and he nails the classic look. Like I said, for the low price these Authentics are just the thing and fun to buy. He's got a fair amount of articulation and I had fun playing around with him in my living room. You really can't ask for more than that. Unless you're an asshole.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Transform Squadron 26 - Accidental Micronauts


LISTEN NOW

Rob’s back in a post-Halloween hangover to tell you all about the Transformers. Well, Transformers SCF to be specific. He also talks about various Universal Studios stuff, the hidden Micronauts Kreon he discovered, and how he became a creepypasta by accident on Halloween night. There’s a lot to unpack here and don’t you just hate it when people say that? 


Insert Disk, Start Week

It's Monday and you know what that means? An all new week here on Planet Zone. We've got to adjust back to life after the spooky season, so please excuse the clutter while I re-adjust the sites look. I've got a week of cool posts in mind and a new episode of the podcast coming this week (if all goes to plan). Please share posts with all your friends and as always, thanks for reading Zone Base! 

Man, I wish I had that kids uniform.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween From Zone Base!

Happy Halloween! 

It's hard to believe another spooky season has came and gone here on Planet Zone. It feels like only yesterday that I was lamenting having to wait a whole year for Halloween... and then to top that it's been 2020... So it both feels like only yesterday and 5 years ago at the same time.

Thanks everyone for celebrating the season with me and also for reading Zone Base! I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. If you feel like checking out how my night went, I'll be posting pictures on my Instagram

I guess next week things will return back to normal around the site. I'll put away the pumpkins, and cut out the pumpkin spice mayhem. But don't worry, every day is Halloween on Zone Base!




Friday, October 30, 2020

Halloween Is Not Canceled, Thanks To Dracula

I've been hearing it all year. Halloween is canceled. Yet here we are celebrating the spooky shit out of it. Pandemic be damned, we all flew over the moon and rang in the best season of the year. 

It's not Halloween yet, at least not until we all watch my favorite Halloween Special of all time- The Halloween That Almost Wasn't! Seems a little more fitting this year huh? The video attached above is a pretty good copy of the VHS release (with alternate 'The Night Dracula Saved The World' title).

I'm not ashamed to admit I watch it throughout the year. Just like old Halloween commercials and a few other choice specials, it's some of my favorite things to watch. I love it so. 

The season is winding down, I know. Soon I'll have to pack the pumpkins away and wait another year for... who am I kidding? Everyday is Halloween on Zone Base. They'll be spooky shit all year. It's even in the sites description. It's a site about robots AND monsters. Duh.

If you watch the video from my site, or later on TV, enjoy Dracula and the gang saving Halloween. They had to save it from a fed up Witch. We had to save it from a freaking pandemic. Admittedly he probably had an easier job.

My Energon Goes To Work, I Hear Thunderhowl

I wasn't concerned with getting the deluxe Cyberverse figures. I get warrior class and Turbochangers then call it a day. Focusing my fancier Transformers buying on Earthrise, Siege, and the sort. Then they went and made a deluxe Thunderhowl and I couldn't say no. New characters are rare these days .

Thunderhowl is a Knight of the Primes, giving him a very neat armored look. His design is a mixture of knight armor, his wolf alt mode, and some good Euro G1 style flourish. He looks awesome. 

Being a knight, Thunderhowl has a sword and shield. The sword has a wolfs head in the hilt for a little extra style. Speaking of style, they really added some to the robot mode with various flourishes. He's got a cape and other adornments that really sell the knight theme. Not just a new character, he has a fresh look as well. It's really appreciated. Like really. 


Transformation to wolf mode is a lot more involved than I thought it would be. Instead of the generic lay down transformation, there's a bit of folding and rearranging the body. That cape in robot mode becomes a tail and his shield is the wolfs back. The arms and legs become wolf legs as you could guess, but the way it gets there wasn't the way I thought I'd go. Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.

As a wolf, Thunderhowl is angular and robotic. His mouth opens and you can arrange him into a few different wolf poses. As far as articulation goes there's a decent amount. More as a robot than a wolf. You can't roll him up into a ball, but maybe a wad. 

Thunderhowl has a few extra parts included in the box. A neato energy effect and Maccadam's head. Because he cut it off. Or if you've been collecting all the Cyberverse deluxe figures, it goes into the build-a-figure Maccadam. I haven't been, so he just has a severed head. Don't fuck with Thunderhowl. The energy effect can be either placed on the sword or on a connector in the wolf's mouth. This gives a fire breathing attack or a cool energy attack. 

 

The  effect came bent on mine, so it kinda looks like the wolf is puking. Which as a pet owner I can promise will happen. All over the damn couch. It does make for a cool energy sword, which frankly a Transformer would need. All the other dudes have guns and he's waiting for them to get close enough to whack with that thing. Needs to be a powerful whack to make it count.

Tunderhowl is a... did you see that, I made a typo. Thunderhowl is a good toy. It's nice to see a new character that's also creative. I like his dark blue and gold colors too. Nice and sharp. I hope more like him are on the way. Not that I don't like what they've been doing, just this knight wolf robot is a breathe of fresh air.

 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Trick Or Treating With Michael Myers

While the bag of Chucky capsule toys was pretty great, the best of NECA's surprise offerings is the Halloween II bag. Not only because Michael Myers is better than Chucky, but also because they made a better set of treats. Literally the perfect bunch of prizes for Halloween. As it should. It's the name of the fucking movie.

This bag is specifically themed after Halloween II from 1981. Considering the 2018 film reset everything after the 1978 movie, it's nice to see the original sequel get some love. It may not be the most critically praised film of all time... but movies people actually like never are. 

As much as I love the original movie, it never quite feels like it takes place on Halloween. Despite a few looks at kids in costume, it could be on any day. They captured that feel of the spooky season much more in all the sequels and I've always really loved them for that. 

The capsules are orange and black again, but this time with the Halloween II logo molded on them. I can't tell you just how much I appreciate that. It's just a little thing, but they could have just did a sticker or nothing at all. Mold toolings are expensive, considering the two different capsule logos when they could have just been plain is impressive. Inside each capsule is an individually wrapped prize.

I got shoelaces, a lanyard, a magnet, an eraser, a pin, a keychain,a patch, and two mini masks. The masks and the patch are the most awesome. Most of the stuff has a general Halloween/Michael Myers theme. The eraser has the Halloween II logo, but the patch takes it a step further. It's the patch an employee of the Hadonfield Memorial Hospital would wear on their uniform. Super cool way to go a little more in depth of the bags theme. But the mini masks? Those are the absolute best part of the whole set.

There's Michael's mask perfectly recreated and the skull Silver Shamrock mask from part III. Despite the set being themed after part II, they threw in a little love for good old Season of the Witch. The little masks are REALLY great considering they're tiny plastic toys based on 40 year old movie props. 

The skull mask looks just like the Don Post mask used in part III. It's hollow, has eye holes, and even the little slit on the back that most masks have so you can fit it over your head. The Michael mask though was the best. The same real mask touches as the skull, but they NAILED they was it looks. 

NAILED IT. 

WITH A HAMMER.

For those who may not know and for those who just like hearing things they already know, I'll go over the history of the Michael Myers mask. When they were making the original movie, the crew had a hard time finding the perfect Halloween. Eventually they took a William Shatner mask, altered it a little and spray painted it white. Voila, scary boogie man mask. 

Nick Castle (The Last Starfighter Nick Castle) played Michael in the original movie (among others) and pretty much just shoved the mask in his back pocket when not wearing it. Afterwards, Debra Hill threw the thing under her bed after filming. There it stayed until the production of part II in which they used it again.

Now after years of being in a heavy smokers house and the rough handling during the first movie it was a little worse for wear. Not to mention, it fit differently on Dick Warlock. That's why it looks a little different in the movie. They captured the way it looks in part II perfectly.

A little more trivia, if you watch part 4, you'll notice a scene in the school where the mask looks weird. They gave Dick Warlock the mask after making part II and recreated it for part 4 with a few new William Shatner masks. Somebody grabbed a non altered one when they filmed that scene and the crew didn't care enough to fix the mistake. Hollywood magic.