by, 13th June 2009 at 12:14 AM (640 Views)
Please note that the following blog entry should be read at high speeds.
A very interesting thing happened to me during my lunch break. Despite knowing I was going to have a lunch break, for which one traditionally packs a lunch (to be eaten during the lunch break, you see), I did not prepare a lunch ahead of time, and thus was deprived of any of the joy usually related to turkey sandwiches, or string cheese, or cranberry juice, the three components which primarily compose most of my lunches. It's probably not a very healthy combination, of course. String cheese provides calcium, of course, but even the low-fat varieties are high in lipids. The turkey sandwich provides protein, and probably a few other nutrients if made with lettuce and tomatoes, which are vital components to such a sandwich in my humble opinion. But even that is high in fat. And the juice provides a good amount of fructose. Perhaps it's not as unhealthy as I thought, but it still seems that a small salad with light dressing would be better.
At any rate, my lack of a lunch prompted me to go to Fred Meyer's, the closest general store to the place where I work. Upon arriving, I was instantly deflected to the toy section, as a transfan like myself is wont to do. I easily passed up the Revenge of the Fallen displays, which do not yet have anything I find interesting. Although Sideswipe has been recommended by multiple sources, I believe I will hold off in favor of Human Alliance Barricade, and possibly Stratosphere.
So I continued on posthaste to the Animated display, where I did not expect to find anything of interest to me. For weeks, those pegs have been full of little more than Swoops, Snarls, Sentinel Primes, Soundwaves, Ratchets, and Elite Guard Bumblebees. All of which are fine toys, I'm sure, but I have discerning tastes, not to mention limited monetary resources, and was only interested in a few. Soundwave is probably my favorite toy so far, but I already own him, and was waiting on the Electrostatic redeco with Ratbat, to recreate the minion-surrounded Soundwave of the Generation One cartoon. I was also interested in Jazz, but my chance for him has passed, and I will wait for the Freeway redeco.
But today, when I came to the toy section, I noticed something odd; they had new toys! Which is to say, very old ones, which the rest of the nation had long before ROTF was even released. In Alaska, you expect everything to be a few weeks late, but I had given up hope of seeing Blurr, Swindle, and Blazing Lockdown at all. Yet here they were! I instantly set about deciding which one to choose. Lockdown, I was interested in, but I decided against; I was interested in getting Cybertron Mode Ratchet to go with my Oil Slick, because of their scene together in Bots of Science, one of the IDW Animated comics. But if I got Ratchet, I'd have to get Lockdown so he'd have his EMP generator, and that was a little more money than I was willing to spend. Although if he's available now, and on sale for about $11... hmm... I may make a return trip to Fred Meyer's later tonight.
The other Decepticon, Swindle, I also chose to pass on. I had read a good review about him, but upon seeing him in person, he was... small. I mean, he was frikkin' tiny, compared to other Deluxe-class Transformers. It probably has to do with the huge-ass cannon he comes with; it must take up a good amount of the plastic that would normally go into the figure itself.
That left Blurr, and I am quite glad that I picked him. I had read a review (David Willis's) that said his toy was sub-par. I believe now I should probably stop listening to David Willis's reviews. There are a few I agree with, but for the most part, he and I seem to have very different tastes. Blurr is a great figure. His alt-mode is quite aesthetically pleasing, and definitely has the look of a sleek, fast racer. I noticed a few lines of detail on the top of his car that remind me of Soundwave's gold paint. That, alone, is awesome. The one complaint I would have about this mode is the hubless wheels. They were inspired by TransTech Cheetor, a version of the Beast Wars Cheetor developed in a techno-organic car mode for a sequel to Beast Machines. Hopefully, this sequel series would have gotten his character back on track, because in Beast Machines he was honestly kind of a prick. I can't count how many times he overthrew Optimus. This design was scrapped, although some aspects of it were later incorporated into Blurr's design. It lends well to the aesthetics of the toy, but they roll like crap. The fastest Transformer in the universe rolls about as well as Oil Slick, who has a similar wheel design (although certainly not as cool-looking, just in terms of engineering). Aside from that, a very cool and wicked-looking vehicle mode.
Blurr's transformation is nice as well. It's not too complicated; you can see that his shoulders are his headlights, for example. But about midway through his transformation, you realize they're one the wrong side of his vehicle mode. Psyche! You need to fold them around to the top of the robot. This also leads to an interesting visual cheat; the chest, which resembles the top of the car, is actually its bottom. This is kind of obvious, but it's still a little surprising. Actually, now that I think of it, his design is similar to Sentinel Prime's, but it works much better for several reasons. For one, he has more traditional joints rather than those awkward ratchets. And for another, only about 30% of his robot mode is visible on the car's undercarriage, as opposed to the 75% on Sentinel's. He's also much taller than I expected. The saw blade thing looks kind of silly, but still works, although it's better as a simple shield. The spring-loaded mechanism is a nice touch, but the joints are a bit loose, leading the device to just flop around and look weird.
One minor complaint about his robot mode is the articulation. It's quite good, of course, but his enormous shoulders get in the way of some good arm movements. He does have light-piping, which I believe makes him the first Animated toy I have to actually use light-piping rather than having painted eyes. Sentinel Prime goes an extra step; he has opaque plastic where his light-pipe should be, AND his eyes are painted over. Is that really necessary? Actually, I think Oil Slick does have light-piping as well. Yet another similarity between him and Blurr. Coincidence? Perhaps. This is something Autobot Intelligence will have to look into! But on Blurr, the light-pipes are shaped quite oddly. His eyes are lower in his head than the two input points for the light. I've gotten it to work, once, but I'm still not sure how. Perhaps one needs to hold him at an odd angle? At any rate, it's frustrating. But the translucent blue plastic does still look cool, especially since it's right next to his headlights, which are cast from the same plastic.
I think there's a lot more confidence in Blurr than others in the Animated line. His joints are tight, his appearance is sleek, and overall, he's awesome. I would highly recommend this to any fan of that long-running franchise centering around a line of childrens' action figures representing robots that can turn into vehicles, animals, and occasionally other devices.
And in case you are interested, I'm sorry to say I never got around to actually getting any food. I was so busy trying to pick out one of the toys, by the time I settled on Blurr, my half-hour lunch had ended and I needed to head back. Also, I left my sunglasses on the U-scan, so by the time I got to my car, I needed to turn aroudn, find them, and return once more. It was quite an ordeal, let me tell you.
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