Transformers Report: Air Attack Optimus Primal

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It’s the last Transformer in the Universe box and the other one that isn’t from the first Transformers Universe line. It’s not even from the line it was created for. I’ll get into it when I start reviewing actual Beast Machines toys but the short version is fans wanted a show-accurate Optimus Primal and the first two toys they released did not suffice. Air Attack Optimus Primal was the final depiction of Primal from that series and improved on the show accurate depiction. However it was not released in the Beast Machines line but the first Robots In Disguise line, and even then as a Toys R Us exclusive. I do now know why, but that’s how it happened. When my collection was smaller and I had more money I really wanted him, but it didn’t seem a good fit for the other RID figures, or even the Beast Machines figures because this sucker is rather huge. Not as huge as “supreme” Cheetor from Beast Machines (which I do not have and I don’t mind because I hear few good things about it) but a bit larger than he needed to be.

Also the toy has plenty of sound effects, including voice clips from Garry Chalk, the voice of Optimus Primal. This is rather unusual for toys, with the voices provided by cheaper voice actors. You’ll have to look up some video reviews to hear them all. I couldn’t find a video of just the voices and sounds, which is fine because I don’t have the batteries in to review that anyway. Instead this is just about the toy itself.

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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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Transformers Report: Snarl–Beast Machines Versus Universe

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Art of Universe Snarl by Dan Khanna, published in an issue of Universe.

I’m not going to go into the full backstory of the Beast Machines line. I’ll save that for when I get to those actual toys. The short version is the Maximals of the Beast Wars line are now technorganic and fighting Megatron’s drone-like Vehicons on a conquered Cybertron. The technorganic designs were intended to be a mix of organic and technological designs and thanks to the cartoon I see their transformations a bit differently that I do the usual Transformer transformation, but how much of that is due to the design I can’t say.

Snarl was never featured in the cartoon and his part in comics is a bit sparse. However, when I first saw the original Beast Machines version I picked him up and very much enjoyed him. Back when I had more money and room than sense I picked up recolor from the Universe line, also called Snarl, because I liked the mold that much. Since then my collection has gotten huge to the point of not being fun which is why I do these sets of Transformers Reports. The question is whether or not I’ll have two Snarls, just one, or none at all.

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Transformers Dinobots Airraptor (Beast Machines period)

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Now it’s time to get into the few Dinobots I have (from the Beast Machines period) that were originally part of the Beast Wars Neo line. Some of them were altered modes of previous Beast Wars dinosaur modes but there were a few originals and I only picked up a small number of those. Airraptor was based on the Neo figure Archadis. The alternate mode of choice is an archaeopteryx, which is not one of the more well-known dinosaurs but one that was always considered more bird like even when the consensus was still that dinosaurs were reptiles. How do you turn one of these into a robot?

This is also when a few other details were added. As a later Beast Wars toy Archadis and thus Airraptor has a “spark crystal”, which I can’t really show you in these pictures but I’ll show with the next figure. The Dinobot spark crystals replaced the Predacon symbol with an original Dinobots faction symbol, although the Dinobots were referred to as Maximals in the bios and instructions. They never showed up in the television shows but did appear in the convention comics and more recently in the IDW comics where their origins are completely different from the original concept, but that’s another conversation. Let’s take a look at the toy.

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Transformers Report: Dinobots T-Wrecks

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While the Dinobots were a popular team from the original years of the Transformers toyline (referred to by fans as “G1”, short for “Generation One”, as opposed to the later “Generation Two”) they are not the only ones to bear the name. In Beast Wars you had Dinobot, one character, and during the time of Beast Machines another toyline came out called Dinobots. These were also original characters, but using molds from the Beast Wars and Japan-exclusive Beast Wars Neo figures. While not appearing on any of the shows they did appear in convention-exclusive comics, which told of their being formatted into dinosaurs because reasons. Or maybe I’m just forgetting the reason.

The leader of this band of Dinobots was T-Wrecks, a redeco of Beast Wars Megatron’s first dinosaur mode, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Having never had Megatron’s toy in this mold (although I do have the original alligator and his other dinosaur and dragon forms, I was really looking forward to this version. Was it worth the wait?

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