Saturday, November 26, 2016

Transformers Adventures: Sideswipe TAV22

One of the main cast members in the 2015 animated Robots in Disguise series is the juvenile, show off Autobot Sideswipe. I'll admit it, he's pretty annoying in the show when he's bickering back and forth with Strongarm; however he's got some good combat moves when in battle against the Decepticons.

Hasbro was first to release a Warrior class (deluxe) version of the character and it really annoyed me that the red tones of the plastic didn't match. I figured that Takara would eventually correct this with their release so I waited. 


In typical Takara fashion even the packaging is an upgrade over what Hasbro offers. Sideswipe comes packaged in a blister card, but the bubble can be easily removed without damaging the backing card. The back features his tech spec and lets you know about the mobile app and how you can scan the Autobot symbol on the toy.

Tech Spec

The designers did a pretty good job at capturing Sideswipe's show counterpart, however the toy has a lot of kibble. From the windows that hang off the undersides of his arms to the car's hood and windshield on his back. The kibble isn't that bad however; I'm more annoyed by his un-usually large clown feet. I also don't care for the two pieces that sit on each side of his head. They don't lock into place and I found it hard to get them to me symmetrical. His headsculpt is pretty spot on and even includes that smug smirk he wore at times in the animated show. Sideswipe comes packaged with black sword.

In vehicle mode this is where this toy really shines. I absolutely love the overall, sleek look of this red sports car. It also helps that the different red panels match better than the Hasbro version. The hood and the rear of the car has what appears to be some Japanese characters (is it Kanji?), but at least to me it doesn't detract from the overall look. Sometimes it's just the subtle differences that help complete the look such as the thin blue paint app to the tires.

I still find that the Decepticons have the more interesting character designs, although I really like Sideswipe's alt mode. I chose to compare him here against Thunderhoof since the two characters had a pretty cool one on one confrontation in the animated series.


Is Sideswipe worth importing? It's hard to say. I'm not a huge fan of the mold, though the changes Takara made do make the toy look much better. I ended up importing pretty much the entire Adventures line as I preferred to have a more show accurate display on my shelves, but I'll let you make that final call.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Spider-Man (2010): Power Charge Rhino

I've been reading comics now for over 20 years and Spider-Man and his rogue gallery have been some of my favorite characters. For the most part I have avoided buying Spider-Man action figures, however when Hasbro started a new trend in 3 3/4" Marvel action figures with the Universe series back in 2009, I found myself picking up Spider-Man and many of his villains. 

Some characters however didn't make it into the Universe series, but did end up in a different Spider-Man series of 3 3/4" figures. The line was simply called Spider-Man (released in 2010) and it featured some truly great sculpts of some classic Spider-Man characters. This is the series that one of my favorite villains, Rhino, was included in.

First of all if you have a keen eye then you may notice the figure in the packaging that I lifted off the 'net looks a little different compared to mine. That's because this toy came packaged with spiked armor bits you could put on the figure. I never cared for them so I opted to leave them off. Rhino has a thick rhino hide as-is so why would he need additional armor? Plus just look at this sculpt. This is a beefy 3 3/4" figure and is quite beautiful. Next to the current Marvel Legends Build-A-Figure version of Rhino, this is my favorite.

The designers did a marvelous job at capturing the realism of the rhino hide on this figure. The paint applications really help to bring out the detail all around. The figure is quite poseable too for a beefy, stout figure. His shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles are all articulated.

If you look closely on the back you'll see holes on each side. These are for those aforementioned armor bits.

Overall this is a fantastic action figure of this classic Spidey villain. It can be had for under $10 on the secondary market if you are looking for a loose version. He scales perfectly with the various Marvel Universe (or now called Marvel Legends Universe) figures.

Alongside his fellow villain, the Lizard from the same line

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rock Lords: Narlielion

Rock Lords, a spin-off of GoBots, was a series of transforming rocks. Yes, you read that correctly. If that wasn't odd enough Tonka decided to create companions for them, Narlies. These odd creatures were prominently featured in the animated Rock Lords movie.

Unlike the rest of the Rock Lord toys that were basically created by Bandai / Popy and imported from the Machine Robo series in Japan, the Narlies were wholly unique and created by Tonka themselves. This wasn't an unusual move as they previous released new characters and toys in the GoBots series as well.

The toys were unique. Covered in different colored "fur", their mouths, tail and feet were all made of plastic. Underneath the toy was a large wheel. When you would push the toy across a smooth hard surface, the mouth would open and close and the tail would essentially "wag". Add to this that the toy wasn't full of stuffing underneath all that fur. As you would move it along the ground, you could feel the mechanism working inside. This would give it a feeling as if it were alive! There was also a noise the wheel would make when turned...almost a cranking sound.

The Narlies were released in two series', with the first being the more common. The second series contained four more Narlies, all being evil this time around. I'm guessing the toy line was starting to die out around this time and due to poor sales or distribution, this second series of Narlies is really difficult to come across now on the secondary market. It's a real shame too as the designs are much more interesting in my opinion than the ones in the first series.

Narlielion is based on, well, a lion. The toy surprisingly has a good bit of detail. Just look at his snout, chin and those sharp teeth! He even is sculpted in a way that it looks like he is about to pounce. While most of the detail is in the molding, his teeth and nails are highlighted with some pink paint applications. Being that this toy is over 20 years old and most likely played with by a kid at some point, the paint on mine does show some wear. However it's been a cool conversation piece in my collection for years.

I understand that not every Rock Lord fan likes the Narlies. At first I didn't care for them myself either, but as I started to round out my Rock Lords collection I found that the Narlies were some of the only toys that I didn't own. I only picked up a few, including Narliebat, before I stopped due to space restrictions. However they are fun little toys and the non-educated Rock Lord fans will most certainly ask you about them when they see them on display in your collection.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Shameless Plug

As I've been tearing apart my toy room / office at home I've found that I just simply don't have space to display everything that I own. I'm not one for packing things away as I'd rather be able to see and enjoy what I own. That said it figured it was just time to let some things go. Time that with the holidays coming up it was the right time to load up my eBay store.

So far I've put some new Transformers, GI Joe and Marvel related items in the store. You'll also find some retro video games, baseball cards and other toys such as Visionaries. I'm not done adding items either, it's just late and I'm feeling a little under the weather at the moment.

Once I'm able to clear some of this clutter I've made for myself, I hope to get back to posting some reviews. I guess the good thing here is I've got lots of the new photos/content to just have to find the time.