Transformers Report: Universe (1.0) Inferno

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I think I’m done with team reviews for this line. Inferno came alone. He was intended to be a Universe incarnation of the G1 character Red Alert but someone screwed up the name with his old pal Inferno, who was a fire truck while Red Alert was a fire chief’s car. (I thought the chief went with the other firefighters but I only know firefighters, I wasn’t one myself.) The good was caught too late and so the Red Alert homage got Inferno’s name. The Universe 2.0 line would bring about a proper update for Inferno.

However, the 1.0 line was all reissues and recolors and redecos, and this Inferno is no different. The original mold was the Prowl of Robots In Disguise (the one based on Mach Alert from the Car Robots toyline and TV show). Prowl’s brother, X-Brawn, received a Ratchet recolor and both figures were give a subline name, Machine Robot Rescue, which was a jerk move on Hasbro’s part. For the initiated Tonka, the company that produced the 80s rival transforming robot line GoBots, got most of their figures from a line in Japan called Machine Robo. Hasbro later bought Tonka but by then the company that created Machine Robo, BanDai, had started releasing toys in the US, and had brought some of their Machine Robo characters into a new line called Machine Robo Rescue, so we’re all pretty sure this was just another attempt by Hasbro to keep their old rivals from ever returning to the US toy shelves, although there was no evidence BanDai planned to anyway. DinoZaurs didn’t do very well for them after all. But enough history, let’s get into Inferno.

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Comic Book Report: Star Trek–The Mirror Universe Saga

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Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Saga trade paperback

DC Comics (June 1991)

collects Star Trek issues #9-19 (December 1984-July, 1985)

WRITER: Mike W. Barr

PENCILER: Tom Sutton

INKER; Ricardo Villagran

COLORIST: Michele Wolfman

LETTERER: John Costanza

These issues of DC’s first series of Star Trek comics ran into a slight problem. They came out around the time of Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, in which the ending would lead right into the beginning of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, a whole two years to wait to resolve the events of the previous movie. And yet somehow the writers of the comic, Mike Barr for this story (he was also one of the editors according to comics.org), had to keep the adventures of the crew going without interfering with the next movie. Admittedly they may not have been as successful in hindsight, but these are the only comics I have from this period so I could be wrong. Crafting a good story on the other hand was a success so take the victory you can on this one.

The “Mirror Universe” dates back to the classic Star Trek episode “Mirror Mirror”, in which a transporter accident switches Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura with their counterparts in a reverse dimension, where things are similar but not exact. In this universe the Federation is replaced with an Empire and are very cruel. This allowed the other actors (although Spock is still mostly Spock, just with a nasty streak) a chance to do something a bit different and the episode is a favorite among fans. There’s also a running gag in sci-fi fan circles that Mirror Spock’s goatee has become a symbol for evil universe counterparts.

I don’t have the individual issues but I did get this trade collection for the entire eight chapter story, originally subtitled “New Frontiers”. At the end of the article I’ll link to the individual reviews I did of each issue for my other site. This is an overview of the arc and a review of the trade collection.

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Transformers Report: Universe Stockade & Magna Stampede (with Mini-Cons)

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Sorry for the washed out images. Sadly I goofed in editing.

Our next set of Transformers Universe figures were sold together so that’s how I’ll be reviewing them, if only to move things along. They share an instruction sheet, which is how I know they came together. And yes, it’s another set including Mini-Cons with figures who can’t use Mini-Cons. As you’ll see it’s worse this time though.

I’m not sure why these four were sold together. There’s no connecting theme. At least Whirl’s Mini-Con pals were some kind of aircraft. Magna Stampede and Stockade are original characters based on molds from the Beast Machines line while Terradive and Prowl weren’t even on the same Mini-Con team, yet share a feature their friends are unable to use. I get the feeling the Mini-Cons of this group are pretending to be Micromasters to not be used as power boosters in the Universe arena, like it’s their chance to just be seen as any other Transformer. At least that’s the canon in my head since Universe is about dragging Transformers from across the multiverse. I’m going to limit photos to robot and alt mode and will give my thoughts individually. Of course we know the Mini-Cons are safe but what about the other two?

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Quick Report: Moving A Pile

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I had a lot of time-swiping events happen this week so I didn’t get to do a full project. I did however manage to do something with this pile left over from the manga and software projects as well as the most recent non-fiction book sorting project. I still need to go over that software but I’ve had this stuff in a rather inconvenient pile in the studio. A few things I actually managed to find a place for, like the video game books. Other stuff I still need to go over, mostly the manga and software. I still plan to but getting close to Christmas and having another project I want to get to after next week’s Transformers Universe review I at least made things a bit easier on myself.

There are times I wonder if once a week is enough but I tend to have a lot of different kinds of projects and a poor job managing it all.

Transformers Report: Universe Micromaster Constructicons

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There were only four teams in the Universe Micromaster Combiners, but I would have loved to have gotten other Japan-exclusive molds in a US line. The “Multiforce” (which actually had been released with Japan’s counterparts to the Universe Micromasters around this time and could themselves combine into a larger robot of all six members) had two robots that combined into one, similar to the Autobot gimmick of the Energon line. They could have also released the G1 US Micromasters where the vehicles could combine to form more vehicles. By the time Micromasters came out in the original like I was too old for my parents to buy me Transformer toys and I didn’t have a job because…let’s just say I had bullies and leave it at that for this site. These four teams are as of this writing the only Micromasters I own. I still think Mini-Cons are cooler but my love of Mini-Cons does at least allow me to enjoy these predecessors even if they can’t combine with the larger robots.

Although the ones who form arms and legs can fake it thanks to the connectors being the same size as the Powerlink ports on the “Unicron Trilogy” figures and the rifles of these last three teams can be used by the Mini-Cons by connecting them to the plugs on the Mini-Cons. (The Railbots have other ways of interacting with Mini-Cons since they’re a different design, but the Aerialbot and Protectobot Micromasters share this and they all can swap an arm of their combined forms out with a Mini-Con who would be rather unuseful). Today we’re looking at the last of the Combiner team in the Universe line, the Constructicons. Named after and inspired by the G1 characters they’re the only Decepticons of the Micromasters in this line. Their parent characters, Sixbuilder and the Build Team, were actually Autobots who had a Decepticon clone. Don’t ask me how. I don’t think their story made a lot of sense. Luckily we’re here to talk about the toys, and I can see why they went with the G1 homage, although they didn’t keep all the names. Considering how many I change anyway I can live with that.

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Fixing My Hat Rack

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Hanging near the Bumblebee Shelf are my hats. My mom had come up with the idea of using…I think it’s some kind of pan rack or something not designed for hats, but given all the hats I own (I went through some weird and long collecting phases) it seemed like the best option. Even after this project I don’t think they hang right but I’m not going to waste money on who knows how many racks and while I could build my own I have more important projects right now.

Yes, I collected hats until I had too many, although I might still get one in the future if I really like it. (For one thing I want a good Superman hat to go along with my Batman hat.) Many are based on my favorite shows, places I’ve been, or just have some personal tie to. I did have an outstretched headband I tossed out but otherwise nothing is going in this one. I just have to make it easier to find the hat I want. I have a bad habit of just putting the hat I wore last on a coat rack with the intention of putting it back on the rack later and then failing to do so. I think that’s how clutter starts for all of us. So when I want a particular hat I have to hunt to find it while knocking other hats behind the couch piece or I have a big stack of hats on top of my coat rack. I know I’m going to be doing this again in the future, so here’s how I did it this time.

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Transformers Report: Universe Micromaster Protectobots

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Since I’m going back and forth between further going through the Transformers Universe (1.0) figures and other clutter organizing project I’m going to zip through the Micromaster Combiners. This is the last of our Autobots, originally seeing life in Japan as Sixturbo before ending up at KB in America as the Protectobots, an homage to my favorite G1 Combiner team. However, this version really only has three rescue vehicles, the other three being a race car, a sports car, and a cruising motorcycle. It makes for an odd choice for an homage but since the others were homages or namesakes I guess it fits. It’s really just a reason to use names for copyright purposes when you get down to it.

I’m going to be a bit off with the usual renames in the captions. This was the first released set in the Universe line and I only wrote the names on the card back I kept rather than the instructions. Over time the ink has faded a bit. However, some of the names were such odd choices for an homage that they may be the most justified name changes I did for these little guys. Apparently Sears was also carrying them for their Christmas only toy shelves (remember when they did that for Christmas and had barely anything the rest of the year?) while being available in Europe under the Energon banner. So how does this set fare?

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The Non-Fiction Book Stack

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old picture

Last week I cleaned up one of the bottom shelves, but I was hoping to get two of them done. It turned out the one shelf was more work than planned. It might be because of my condition lately or that there was more stuff there than I realized but regardless it meant doing the other shelf this week. I stacked this well enough the last time I went over all my books but somehow it ended up in a mess. I don’t even remember how. They were decent enough stacks. Maybe they fell over while I was doing something else? At any rate this week I wanted to turn this…

new picture

…into something closer to the first picture. No, I can’t figure out how it got all messed up. The point is it did and I want to do it over.

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Cleaning To Find A Particular Case

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The Transformer reviews will resume in a few weeks but I had an actual project this week. My dad was doing a little clutter organizing of his own this week and came across a bunch of photos. I was sure I had taken a similar picture of one photo in particular but I can’t find that photo album. I thought I would check old Clutter Reports to see if I could find it, but I found something else instead, the case in the lower right of this photo. It’s one I’ve been trying to find recently so now I knew where it was. The problem is that area looked like this.

For reasons I can’t explain trying to do one project led to clutter ending up in another area and there are times I remember just how big a project this is. So this week I decided to clean this area up not only to find my case but because it looked like crap. Thus was my mission this week.

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Transformers Report: Universe Night Slash Cheetor

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Cheetor didn’t fare too well in the Beast Machines series. His original toy has standing issues but many fans complained that he didn’t quite look like he did on the show. Of course the toys are usually designed first (except for maybe the Michael Bay movies and Transformers Animated) so that didn’t bother me and I could work around a lot of the legs issues so I actually like him. Still Hasbro decided to try again in the Battle For The Spark subline, where pressing the spark crystal activated certain gimmicks with each figure. For this subline Cheetor got his “Night Slash” version, a ground-up redesign in a smaller size class. (The original was a “Mega”, with a terrible “Supreme” size made that I never got and I hear I’m better off for it. The thing was as big as a house cat. Now that would take up a lot of space.)

For the Universe line Night Slash Cheetor was brought back and given a less nighttime color scheme, something closer to the colors of an actual cheetah. This is the version I own since I already had a Beast Machines Cheetor and even then I was starting to scale back slightly in my collecting. So how does this version fare?

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