Archive for December, 2010

Optimus Prime – Legends Class

This week ToyGallery is dedicated to Optimus Prime – the iconic leader of the Autobots in the Transformer series.

Name: Optimus Prime (Autobot)
Series: Transformers ROTF (Legend class)
Company: Hasbro
Price: Rs 175

Legends Class Optimus Prime stands out for a number of reasons (or probably I’m a bit too biased ;))

Optimus Prime Legend TRUCK FRONT BACK

In the vehicle mode (a Peterbilt truck/semi), a lot of attention has been given to detail.

Optimus Prime Legend TRUCK SIDE

Optimus Prime Legend TRUCK GRILLE

The compact truck cab with the step up to the doors and sideview mirrors, the imposing grille with raised circles on the lower portion,  and the part I love the most, the legendary flames on the hood and the front wheels.

The rear too has many interesting details including the circle in the center where a trailer would hitch onto the vehicle and the cylindrical tanks on the sides.

Optimus Prime Legend TRUCK LONG VIEW

Optimus Prime Legend STANDING

Transforming from vehicle to robot mode has a unique charm (unlike other legends), that of a 180 degrees swivel around the waist.

Optimus Prime Legend INSIGNIA

Optimus Prime Legend CHEST

The iconic mouthplate/crest is well sculpted in this figure.

Optimus Prime Legend VICTORY

The best characteristic of this legend figure is that every single robot part is so well concealed. The fists could be seen on the rear but they could pass as tail lights.

Optimus Prime Legend CANNONS


Sideways – Transformers ROTF Legend

Name: Sideways (Decepticon)
Series: Transformers ROTF (Legend class)
Company: Hasbro
Price: Rs 175

Legend Sideways CAR

Sideways in the vehicle mode is a modification of the sleek Audi R8. However because of licensing issues, the front grille sculpted differently–a rectangular shaped box and angled headlights instead of the honeycomb patterned grille of the Audi.

Legend Sideways GRILLE

What I find noticeably missing though is the distinctive 4 ring logo on the hood 😦 (which is something I love in the Audi). Here instead you will find the ominous Decepticon symbol.

Legend Sideways SIDE

The metallic pink of the window lends some respite to the otherwise monotonous gray shade all over the car. This, alongwith the L-shaped detail running along the side of the vehicle (which I only noticed after the photoshoot!)

Legend Sideways CAR FRONT BACK

The rear of the car has the best detail and the most distinctive feature – the metallic silver engine (inspired from the real Audi R8)!

Legend Sideways ROBOT

In the robot mode the front of the car transforms into the chest while the sides of the vehicle become his arms.  Being a Legends Class figure, Sideways is quite tiny, so many of his details are approximated.

Legend Sideways FRONT

Legend Sideways EYES

Among the nicer robot mode details are his head, which have several of the line details sweeping upwards, with the pair of angled eyes set in a rather evil stare. Keeping to the tradition, the eyes of this decepticon are painted red.

Legend Sideways ROBOT FRONT BACK

While his lower legs can indeed swing forward as part of the transformation, his feet are not articulated so you can’t really stand him in various poses. A plus point though are the elaborate machine details especially on the upper legs.

Legend Sideways ARM

Though Sideways does suffer from the “Chicken walker” syndrome 😉 I like this character for its gray shades and of course the Audi look!

And here is a link to the Deluxe Class SIDEWAYS that Ludo reviewed earlier

Transformers ROTF Deluxe Soundwave

Name: Soundwave (Decepticon)
Series: Transformers ROTF (Deluxe class)
Company: Hasbro
Price: Rs 499

Soundwave was packaged in his bot form if I recall correctly. He was tagged a ‘triple changer’, a Cybertronian jet, satellite mode, and of course, the bot mod. The Cybertronian jet mode looked enticing enough for me to get Soundwave, but what about his other forms?

Alt mode

Soundwave alt mode

Soundwave alt mode view

Soundwave alt mode top view

Soundwave spends most of his time in his jet form with I love. The sleek lines and sufficient detailing is quite good and there’s even minor paint details added to the otherwise gray look.

Bot Mode

Soundwave bot mode

Soundwave bot mode

I’m really undecided about the bot mode… While the stable feet are a plus, by and large, Soundwave seems hollow. His legs are just ‘shells’ and this torso has an entire chunk of it missing. His jet mode is more appropriately ‘filled’ in. For all the size of the jet mode (thanks to the movable panels), he’s much shorter than the regular deluxe class. There’s a decent amount of paint application and the pose-able panels too, but in the end, the shortness and the hollowness somehow does him in (not to mention the diaper look).

Aand Action!

Soundwave action

Despite the ‘wrist blades’ and the stable legs (plus the added ‘tail’ stabiliser’), I found it difficult to put Soundwave in a decent action pose. If the kibble is not in the way, the movable panels are, and if you do get it all out of the way and get a pose going, there’s enough kibble to make it difficult at first glance to try and figure out what he’s trying to do. In my copy, the thigh rotation joints pop out easily, adding to his woes. His arms (and legs to some extent) have scrawny parts which distract from the overall look, but I’m guessing are vital for the transformation.

Triple changer: Satellite mode

Soundwave satellite mode

And finally, the satellite mode; the form in which Soundwave is seen in the movie. While it does look … accurate, there’s no way for him to actually stand like that (The MG Gundam Astray Red Frame lent his action base to get Soundwave ‘airborne’). The ‘chest’ panel popped open a bit as I struggled to get him on the stand for this shot.

In Conclusion: I love his more solid Cybertronian jet form over the bot mode and the satellite mode. Recommended if you love the alien jet mode enough to overlook the bot mode. Would have loved to get a stand with this guy, but oh well, Transformers don’t come with stands 😦

’69 Corvette Stingray

Name: ’69 Corvette ZL1
Designer: General Motors
Born: 1969
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Scale: 1:64
Manufacturer: Hot Wheels
Price: Rs 89

The ’69 Corvette Stingray is the latest addition to my scale model collection.

Corvette Stingray Box

Corvette is an automobile produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. . Also known as the Shark for the distinct body styling and additional “gill slit” exhausts, it is one of the United States’ most storied sports cars. The Corvette has a history dating back over 50 years. According to Motor Trend in a late 1968 road test, the Corvette ZL1 was the fastest production car ever produced (up to that time).

1969 Corvette Stingray ZL1

The Chevrolet Corvette Coupe (The C3) adopted the “sugar scoop” roof treatment with vertical back window. It was intended from the beginning that the rear window and that portion of the roof above the seats–be removable to get the Coupe feel.

1969 Corvette Stingray ZL1 Gills

The white stripe around rear, with Silver “Stingray” behind front wheelwell and the interior chrome finish lends a touch of finesse to this elegant machine.

1969 Corvette Stingray ZL1 SIDE

Hot Wheels has made many different Corvette models. This ’69 Corvette ZL1 was released in 2009, in the Dream Garage Series (which featured 10 Hot Wheels Castings that you can only dream about having in your garage). This is how it is described: “With classic Corvette® styling, lighter body, and beefy all-aluminum engine block, the elusive ZL-1 raced its way into history and mystery books.”

Transformers ROTF Deluxe Sideways

Name: Sideways (Decepticon)
Series: Transformers ROTF (Deluxe class)
Company: Hasbro
Price: Rs 499

I picked up Sideways along with Sideswipe, both being silver cars and on opposite sides, I thought they’d be good fun to pose together…

Alt Mode

sideways front and rear

The mode is designed to look like a ‘modified’ Audi  R8 so as to avoid copyright problems (Since the transformers feature only GM cars). While the car does look good, it doesn’t look as good as Sideswipe, probably because the front grille and bumper doesn’t look anything like how real cars would look (it looks like its pointing upwards as against pointing downwards as most production cars would have it). I lost one of the window panels during an outdoor shoot in failing light and couldn’t locate the missing part once it got dark. I was tempted to replace sideways, but then I changed my mind.

Bot Mode

sideways bot mode

sideways bot mode front and back

sideways side view

sideways light piping

As soon as I transformed Sideways for the first time, I spotted an uncanny resemblance with Johnny Bravo (barrel torso, beefy arms… and tiny legs) [trust that explains Johnny Bravo’s pic in the middle of this post 😀 which I got from here:]. For the pros, his light piping effect works a lot better than Sideswipe’s, but the ‘backpack’ kibble comes in the way and so you’ve got to shine the light at a particular angle to get it to work. (in fact, I’ve used it for all his bot photos). There are plenty of complains about his bot mode. First of all… that red… its so out of place with the look IMHO. Secondly, his diaper look (which another decepticon has too, whom I will review later this week). And last but not least… his feet. For the longest time, I thought those piddly little black things at the end of his leg are his feet and had hell trying to get him to stand, let alone pose. Then after much fidgeting, I arrived at the conclusion that that part is just meant to be his ‘toes’ and not his foot. If you actually use this wheels as his heels, you can get him to stand more stably, but posing is still out of the question (for me at least). Overall, the bot mode is skinny in some places and bulked in others, kinda like Johnny Bravo IMO.

Aand Action!

sideways action pose

sideways action pose

That’s about it. Despite having a buzzsaw on the arm for a weapon, there’s only so many poses you can put him in. His legs and feet don’t help much…

With Sideswipe

sideways with sideswipe alt mode

sideways with sideswipe alt mode

sideways with sideswipe bot mode

sideways with sideswipe bot mode

In conclusion, Sideways and Sideswipe make a good if not a tongue-twisting pair. Good alt modes but the terrible leg / feet design kill the bot mode quite a bit, especially if you’re struggling to get them to stand, and even then, they can be a bit unstable compared to more ‘stable-footed’ transformers. They usually spend their time in alt mode.

Visa Chrono Vintage Car

Name: Citroen Visa Chrono
Scale: 1:52
Company: Majorette
Birthplace: France

The Visa Chrono is the Companion car to the Racer that featured earlier on this blog.

Citroen Visa Chrono

If the Racer was the Bad Guy, the Chrono was the Chosen One… the Hero! Sometimes, it would be the police car which would arrive on the scene to drive off the trouble makers, while at others times it would be double up as the Hero’s drive to teach a lesson to all those up to no good.

Citroen Visa Chrono FRONT n BACK

Most plots in my childhood fantasies involved an elaborate car chase (around table edges and chair arms), culminating in a slow motion drop over a “cliff” edge and a grand explosion!  (which is reason enough for the sorry state these scale models are in!)

The Visa Chrono was a popular rally car in the early 80’s as it was lightweight and four wheel driven. But I have always wondered how that huge luggage boot belongs to a rally car? 😉

Citroen Visa Chrono SIDES

Thanks to Zappadong on Flickr, I found what this car would have looked like in its younger days.

Visa Chrono Original

Transformers ROTF Scout Depthcharge

Name: Deptcharge (Autobot)
Series: Transformers Revenge of the Fallen (ROTF) (Scout class)
Company: Hasbro
Price: Rs 325

Depthcharge has a really cool looking alt mode… a battleship! But what about his bot mode?

Alt mode

depthcharge alt mode

depthcharge front and back view

depthcharge side view

Depthcharge’s alt mode has good camo colours and plenty of detail on the ship, as long as you don’t look at the rear. Since he has no wheels, the alt mode is ‘stationary’. On to the bot mode..

Bot Mode

depthcharge bot mode

depthcharge bot close-up

depthcharge bot mode rear and side view


Aand Action!

depthcharge action pose


There’s decent paint aps for the bot mode and that breaks the monotony of the blue/grey/black colour combination. Thanks to the wierd leg design, its tough to think of poses for depthcharge 😦 unfortunately, the ball joints in the shoulders and hips pop out too easily in my copy which just adds to the woes. Though he does have posable missile banks over both shoulders and in the bot mode as well, but I still can’t come up with good action poses that satisfy me. Recommended for ship fans 🙂