Feb 6, 2013

[Transformers] Generations Deluxe Class Wave 5

I've actually purchased a number of newer Transformers as of late and thus haven't had as much time to revisit my older figures and getting around to documenting them in a formal review. I expect that within a few months I'll have covered all my older figures and will be in a good position to post newer reviews potentially on an individual-figure basis, or I could continue to discuss them along with the rest of their wave mates. It's really hard to tell at this point.

But for now, we're back to celebrating the various Deluxe-class figures from the Transformers Generations line, which is pretty much dedicated to the old-school Transformers geek like me. Yes, we're the ones who don't totally go for the figures that were inspired by the Michael Bay movies but are willing to get the redecoed versions of those same toys as long as you associate them with a G1 character.

We're kinda crazy that way.

The fifth wave of Transformers Generations figures mostly consists of redecos - these being Cliffjumper and Skullgrin, but also one completely new mold in the form of Thunderwing. Originally I had only purchased Thunderwing and only got around to getting the rest of these figures after quite some time, only to satisfy my OCD-like tendencies for collecting.

First up is Cliffjumper, whose toy mold is based on Cybertronian Bumblebee, who had been released in the first wave of Generations figures. What I don't understand is why they didn't bother with the "Cybertronian" tag as was used for all other figures inspired by War for Cybertron game. Is it because he wasn't featured in the in-game universe until Fall of Cybertron or something?

Regardless, he is still a fairly decent figure in robot mold, who is greater stability if you pose him (like what I did here) as opposed if you make him stand up straight. He's a tad top-heavy in terms of weight distribution with some really skinny legs. But it's not like his chest section is full of plastic - he's actually rather hollow.

The head sculpt for the figure is decent but is in no way remarkable. But least he makes a bit more sense with the blades and all versus Bumblebee. Cliffjumper has always been the rather tough Autobot.

As a redeco, he has the same annoying Cybertronian car mode that made me hate Bumblebee to some degree. I had already described my complaints about the transformation in my review of Bumblebee, and clearly no effort was made in correcting those issues. Thus you will be constantly adjusting your alignment of his limbs and other kibble bits until you get everything in the correct alignment to only somewhat reduce the amount of breaks in his seams. He just never seems to become a fully compact car! If anything, I did enjoy the overall paint scheme with the orange translucent accents. That at least worked for me.

You can view more photos of Cliffjumper in this album.

Skullgrin is a redeco of Darkmount, who was part of the second wave of Deluxe-class Generations figures. He's actually based on a character from the Pretender sub-line of toys released in 1988. Of course now he no longer has the semi-cool Pretender shell gimmick. Instead he is now a weird marriage between his monstrous Pretender shell and his core Transformer unit.

Of course by "marriage" I mean "they gave him a new head" that is sort of like his Pretender shell but not quite there either. I wish the horns have been somewhat longer or stuck out more, but of course that would get in the way of his transformation. The color scheme is pretty interesting with the bone white parts contrasting against the weird maroon-ish segments, which isn't quite as close to his original white-gray-purple color scheme in the 80's.

He has both the pros and cons of the original Darkmount figure, which means a silly third fortress mode, fun c-joiny mounted weapons and questionable stability in robot mode. They did their best with his feet but he lacks solid ankles and he's rather top heavy because of the exterior shell of his tank becoming a weird backpack.

He shares the same artillery tank vehicle mode with Darkmount with little differences. My one issue, all things considering, is the resulting overall paint scheme of white + bone white. Unless he's a tank that only operates in the snow, there seems to be little overall impact his the paint job. Sure, there is no way to camouflage a blue tank like Darkmount, but at least he was aligned with his character. Skullgrin only follows his Pretender forefather through the use of a silly head and not much else.

You can view more photos of Skullgrin in this album.

The only new figure in this wave is the infamous Thunderwing, the Mega Pretender from 1989 who seemed a tad silly as a toy but took on a new life in the various Transformers comics. his original Pretender form earned the "Mega" tag because both the Pretender shell and his inner robot could transform into vehicles.

While this figure still isn't a Pretender, there were efforts to copy the visual aesthetic as best as possible. He has the same weird chest design with green details and the added benefit of goldish paint to accent the design on his legs. In the original toy they were only a solid color.

While the actual robot seems a bit short for a Deluxe, he still looks imposing enough when you factor in his wings and the cockpit sticking out above his head. He has two massive guns with the required missile launcher gimmick and a really fun head sculpt.

Oh and the feet - fantastic! they're pretty kickass to look at, give great stability and the random option to make it look like he's wearing heels.

His jet mode looks nothing like his original Pretender version, but that's not really an issue when you think about it. I like his more conventional design with the cool option to pop his wings out to give it a quirky reverse wing look.

The real fun in his jet form is the fact that he has a detachable "recon drone" under the cockpit, which sort of emulates how the original Mega Pretender could merge with the inner robot in the same configuration. Of course on the Generations figure it looks pretty seamless. On the original Pretender it looked like a weird scenario of the smaller jet appearing to be like a tugboat for the larger jet.

You can view more photos of Thunderwing in this album.

This fifth wave wasn't my favorite and I think Thunderwing is the only real figure worth investing in. Cliffjumper is really only a 3/5 because his paint job does not outweigh his frustrating transformation issues. Skullgrin is also a 3.5 because he's sort of a pointless redeco. But Thunderwing is a well deserved 5/5, because we all want this Matrix-hungry monster on our side instead of out there in the universe.

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