Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Review: The Lost Hero



Review: #77
Title: The Lost Hero
Series: Heroes of Olympus - 1st book
Author: Rick Riordan
Read Before: yes
My Comments: Weirdly enough, it was really enjoyable on the second time reading, the beginning didn't bore me like the last time. I think this was because I already knew the whole thing that was happening, and am not getting frustrated at the apparent lack of information in the first few chapters, and I’m picking up some little tidbits of subtle information here and there that actually hints at what is happening, and appreciating it more. This happens a lot as the story progresses, and especially when it gets to the meaty bits, already knowing everything, you can see how the author has subtly built up the backbone and plot of the story. This is something you won’t understand on the first read, and is only something I am picking up right now. Although the first time I had I read it I commented that there weren’t as many monsters they the main characters encounter so it wasn't as great, I still think that to a certain extent, but the ones that they do meet, the famous characters from the Greek myths, I think is unique in it’s own way and sets this series out apart from the Percy Jackson series. The story really do play out right through to the end, I can imagine the frustration and annoyance the suspense can make you, but I picked up all that was hinted throughout the whole book and what it was trying to say, I thought it was quite clever. The end is particularly nice, with the whole clinch and cliffhanger that just makes me don't want to wait for the next book, I want to read it now! Although the relationship between two of the main characters, Piper (such a unique name…) and Jason, was quite sweet, still like Percy and Annabeth’s relationship better (although it only really started to blossom in book 4). One thing that might annoy people a little bit (I know it annoys me), is that I’m so used to Percy being the most powerful hero in recent times through the previous series, that when Jason’s feats are expressed, I feel that he shouldn't be as great as Percy. Overall though, I think it is very very much worth rereading and I had a great time reading it.
Rating: N/A
Rereadability Factor: N/A

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian



Review: #76
Title: Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians - 5th and last book
Author: Rick Riordan
Read Before: yes
My Comments: Really love this last book which wraps up the series very nicely. The thought and the plot that went into this is outstanding, with an ending that was really unexpected. I realise that this book is one of those that you must reread to get the full experience, and understand everything, and it shows in this fourth reread. Also good if you can read it all in one go as you think, wow, a lot has happened in three hundred odd pages, and what’s more, it doesn't leave any loose ends and gives you that very satisfying feeling of finishing an adventure. It is so easy to lose yourself into the world the author has created, and everything fits so perfectly, it’s amazing. The ending is really sweet and I guess one of the sad things about it is that in the continuing series, you pretty much start over again, and you lose the networks that main character has already built, and I miss that. Definitely a great book, and one that impacts as much as Titan’s Curse.
Rating: N/A
Rereadability Factor: N/A

Friday, July 29, 2011

Motto To Love-Ru (Episodes 7, 8)


07 – Yami’s Clinic; Hostile Feelings; A Strange Haruna
Yami’s Clinic isn’t bad, it’s just that it should have been done earlier than this, it shows that Yami isn’t as invulnerable as we were lead to believe. Of course, she falls victim to Rito’s kindness and probably starts to realize her own feelings. It’s more apparent here those random rays of sunshine that covers some parts, I mean, earlier than this, it wasn't as obvious, but I guess there’s more things to censor here (and I did laugh when how awkward some of them was). We do see how mischievous Mikado is, playing around with Rito when she knew he couldn't take it, funny though.
Hostile Feelings would probably be one of the first parts that I thought would probably have been best left in manga form, it was just a bit awkward in some scenes, particularly the one involving Kyoko accidentally projecting flames and showing she was an alien. Then again, at least Kyoko makes an appearance that wasn't just limited to a television screen or that hideous episode from the first anime, that still left a sour taste in my mind. It was a bit boring and there was pretty much no humor in this part, however, it does make you wonder why they have those outfits in a kids show… really, that is just a bit… concerning.
The last part, naturally, had to go through quite a bit of changes (as it had happened in the manga way before Oshizu had gotten a body), so I do think they shouldn't have adapted this one, as it lost most of it’s mystery and credibility, although they did make up a plausible excuse. The confession wasn't as fun as it should have been, and they skipped out the whole second part altogether where Oshizu would have had trouble getting out of Haruna’s body. The beginning with Rito’s reaction to what was going on was actually quite funny, although I guess it is a bit perverted (the sunshine thing was really obvious too). Overall, this episode’s a bit of a lower quality so far, but it is still good and fun to watch.

08 – Grow Bigger; Wan-derful Life; The Trance of Feelings
Despite what the content was about (and the rays of sunshine is pretty numerous here), Grow Bigger wasn't as bad (or as ecchi, ok, it was pretty ecchi, but considering everything, it could have been worse) as I had thought. A lot of comedic scenes, and Mikan and Nana are pretty good here (Nana’s actually just a bit less annoying in the anime than the manga), at the very least, I didn't get bored at this section.
Wan-derful Life isn’t that bad either, they did have to shorten it a bit due to time constraints, and I’m actually glad they cut out most of the shower scene, as it wouldn't have worked as well in animation. Rito as a dog was pretty hilarious, and who knew Marron could be so scary and formidable?! The explanation of how Rito got turned into a dog was a bit rushed and they had to cut out the last part where all these angry people were chasing Rito, which was one of the funniest scenes in the chapter, so that's a shame. It does get a bit too far what with the dog activities, but overall, not a bad adaptation.
The stellar section of this episode would have to be The Trance of Feelings, a great chapter that’s been adapted perfectly into anime. Yami switches bodies with Mikan, and the unsuspecting Rito gets a taste of what it’s like to have Yami for a sister (who doesn't really know how to do anything, no experience you see). My favourite part would have to be the dinner she cooks and then at the ending scene where the real Mikan gets a shock and Rito’s like, you cooked it didn't you… Pure awesomeness, Yami shows she’s a bit envious of Mikan and sees the stronger and better qualities of Rito, just a really great part. I was wondering earlier too if they would have adapted this episode and I’m so happy that they did. The episode is really good, with three solid stories, I’m really liking the short takes on these, makes for a really fun watch, this episode is definitely better than the last one too.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Motto To Love-Ru (Episodes 5, 6)


05 – Queens of Love?!; Let’s Play; Sweet Feelings are a Taste of Chocolate
Queen of Love is a funny little part to watch, I had my doubts, and apart from the slightly boring bit where Rito gets tied up and how they decided to focus on something… it was pretty good. The gag with Lala making lunch for Rito is good, and of course, Zastin is quite awesome here too (albeit a bit clueless on what is happening). This also finally explains why in two of the previous episodes we see Saki saying she loves Zastin, before it was kinda weird and out of the blue.
Despite what I keep thinking when I watch each part that they adapted some of the worse chapters, they keep turning out fun and awesome to watch. Let’s Play is no exception, and most of the cast turning back into kids was so cute, and it was hilarious when the old teacher turned back into his youth, and becoming so handsome that even Rito cannot recognise him. The ecchi is not as prevalent but it’s still there, another fun little section to watch.
The third and last part of this episode is an AWESOME adaptation of an awesome chapter. Motto To Love-Ru has really given a lot more limelight to Kotegawa, and it’s done really well here, with Kotegawa making and giving Rito Valentine’s chocolate in this part. I really liked it, it was comical to watch the difficulties of Kotegawa trying to give the chocolates, and a little bit touching when she finally does. A lot of great scenes, and Saruyama was great in this part too, with his outburst of jealousy against Rito. I guess the only thing that they could have improved on (and this goes for the manga as well) could be that they included Yami or the twins as one of the girls that gives chocolate to Rito, to fully complete the cast. Either way, a really really good episode, every single part has been a hit, no misses, and even the WORST of the parts so far is way better than the BEST of the first To Love-Ru anime!

06 – Beach Girls; Night Tutor; Master of Love
I want to stop saying this, but it’s another good adaptation, I loved the way that Ren makes an appearance after being absent for so long, and to play on this, even Saruyama asks who he was, that was classic. Then he shows potential to defeat the watermelon monster to prove how manly he is but just gets smashed so easy, very funny. The first part was fairly fast paced and it’s got a lot of humour, very good to watch.
Night Tutor is more of a sentimental part of the episode, where Rito finds out truly how smart Lala is, and she ends up helping him in maths for a retest. The encounter with Yami was pretty funny and different to how it normally was (which makes it that much better), and of course, there’s always that misunderstanding that happens when someone enters the room while Rito just happened to have made a blunder. Still, it was quite a good adaptation, and it was nice to see the chemistry between the two protagonists.
The last part, Master of Love, could be one of the best part in the anime so far, I was looking forward to this, as it’s based on one of my favourite (and one of the most funny) chapters in the manga. It doesn't disappoint, they played it out really nicely and it was near perfect, all the gags are done flawlessly, they got all the key points, and it doesn't bore you. Just the right mix of humour and seriousness, with the pacing not too fast or slow. I am a big fan of this part, and the way Lala misunderstands and tries out the different methods of seducing Rito was hilarious (especially the ‘push and pull’ part, I laughed so hard). A great episode, with three solid parts, the third one is the jewel of the trio, and deserves at the very least, a chance for it to be viewed, definitely should not miss this one. I also like how so far in the episodes, they’ve been showcasing the Magical Kyouko on the tv in a pan, its just these little touches that make it so good.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Madagascar


Well, I decided to watch Madagascar again, and might I say, I pretty much enjoyed it as much as I had the first time, that is, not so much. It is a movie that doesn't have a good plot, right until the very end I was thinking, so… what’s happened so far, usually once the climax has happened you’re like wow, but I just didn't get that feeling at all. It was a very boring movie, the humour was not well done, and everything was just so stupid and lame. It tries to be sentimental but it doesn't work, it tries to be funny but no, that didn't work either, and it tries to be exciting but it was boring me for 90% of the movie. Everything’s been done before, they had some good ideas, like the penguins and the lemur king, but they haven’t done it to their full potential. I’m hesitant to watch this for a third time, as I fell into the mistake of watching it twice. I would only recommend watching Madagascar once just to see what it is about, the sequel is a lot better.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Toy Review: Transformers ROTF Soundwave (Legends)



Review: #32
Name: Soundwave
Brand: Transformers
Allegiance: Decepticon
Line: Revenge of the Fallen
Year of Release: 2009
Size Class: Legends (Wave 5)
Variations: repainted for a black coloured Japanese exclusive and also repainted in the DOTM packaged with a Legends Bumblebee and Rodimus

SATELLITE MODE:



Soundwave transforms into a satellite that is fairly accurate to the onscreen representation, with the two solar panels, and three 'sections' underneath. He has a brightly painted blue head (like the one in the movie) that sticks out like a sore thumb, they shouldn't have used such a glaring bright colour...



You can see the head on the panel at the bottom which is somewhat disappointing. Soundwave is just able to stand upright, a bit precariously as the slightest knock will send him over, but not a bad satellite overall, better than the Deluxe version.

TRANSFORMATION:

Not as simple as you would expect, and fairly satisfying. Some good bits and I like how the arms fold out from the top of the satellite and the solar panels forming 'shoulder armour'.

ROBOT MODE:



Soundwave's robot mode is great, not as stocky as the Deluxe version, this is a good representation as well. He has a really decent amount of paint. He also has molded fists, they're just not that obvious being black plastic.




Sadly, his knees are permanently bent, so he has somewhat of a 'squatting' stance. His legs are also attached to far out in front, looking from the side makes him look a bit weird, and his body is very tubular.



An excellent head sculpt and design though, and evokes Soundwave quite well. Very detailed, too detailed in fact as the silver bits seem a bit messy.



Very poseable, he features elbow joints too!!! A balljointed head, the only thing he is missing is knee joints, otherwise he is about as poseable as a large sized toy!!. All in all, a great robot mode that is a lot of fun to play with.

OVERALL:

An excellent toy and the best representation of Soundwave as a satellite in the ROTF toyline. Being cheap and easy to find, there is no excuse if you are thinking of getting him, just do it.

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Detailed photos can be found somewhere else like here.

Credit: pictures and text is all mine, but I've linked a few pages to TFwiki.net

Reviews of other figures can be selected from here.

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FAN MODE:



I don't usually do something like this but fiddling around with Soundwave and wanting a jet mode like on the deluxe I created this mode, and is just plausible enough to be a jet.



The circular sculpting now at the back can be assumed to be thrusters, it's just the front that is a bit messy and clunky.



So yeah, just thought I'll share this as Soundwave is a great little toy to fiddle around with.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Transformers: Robots in Disguise


Reliving a part of my childhood, I watched Robots in Disguise again. This series is quite significant to me for the fact that it was the first time I watched a Transformers cartoon knowing it was Transformers (I've watched Beast Wars before but I didn't know they were 'transformers' due to them changing into animals). I was surprised that it was only thirty-nine episodes long, I had expected around fifty-two, similar in vein to the also-Japanese originated Armada Trilogy. I enjoyed it, and it's up there as one of my favourite Transformers show, after Cybertron. I mean, it is nothing special when compared to other popular Anime but for what it is, I thought it was great. The show has a lot of typical Japanese Anime moments, something which I enjoy very much, and the stock footage isn't as enduring or boring as the latter series.

The story at the beginning was very episodic and it seemed to pick up an ongoing plot in the end, but I felt it was underused. They didn't use the full potential, they had a great opportunity for a good back story and create a lot of suspense and excitement, but they only did a half-baked job. In the end it felt lacking, and I get the feeling of getting ripped off. Nonetheless, I swear this show brought some of the best combiners ever to the franchise, from Rail Racer to Omega Prime and even Landfill, man, I cannot express my liking for Rail Racer and Omega Prime, I just love the 'handshake' combination sequence of Optimus and Ultra Magnus.

Anyway, enough ranting, I liked this series and that's final. Robots in Disguise seems one of the least talked about series in the Transformers franchise and that is understandable since it was originally intended as a filler line. I think this is worth watching at least once to get a feel, they had some really good plot moments and events, some of the most clever I had seen (in a Transformers series), and the way it worked was brilliant.

Mayoi Neko Overrun! Anime

Finishing this twelve episode Anime recently, I really liked it, I just felt that it ended all too soon. It was just getting to a very interesting section of the story before it ended, disappointing I guess. The biggest thing though was that even though it was a short Anime, they've filled it with quite a lot of filler material, making a bit of a bore once you got to around the middle. The start was strong and promising, and it picked up right at the end, nevertheless, I still enjoyed the Anime. There were quite a few ecchi moments but nothing major, and there was a lot of humour. The characters were portrayed a lot more favourably than the manga did (I have not read the light novel... yet), pretty much the whole main cast was more likeable, from Nozomi to Fumino to Chise (especially her... didn't really like her that much before) to Takumi. The animation was good and quite pleasing to the eye, if only they didn't waste as much time as they did it would have been an outstanding Anime...

Toy Review: Transformers ROTF Stealth Bumblebee (Legends)



Review: #31
Name: Stealth Bumblebee
Brand: Transformers
Allegiance: Autobot
Line: Revenge of the Fallen
Year of Release: 2010
Size Class: Legends (Wave 6)
Variations: repainted from the normal ROTF Legends Bumblebee mold, it has been repainted numerous times in Autobot Alliance and Dark of the Moon lines.

VEHICLE MODE:



A primarily black Chevy Concept Camaro with yellow stripes, Stealth Bumblebee has an inverted colour scheme when compared to his normal one. The one difference from the production model is the grill.



This is a really neat car mode, you can clearly see the feet at the back but it is not a big problem, although they do tend to scrap the ground while you're trying to roll him. There are enough painted details, I'm impressed that all the windows are painted. If only they could paint the headlights silver and the backlights red, that would round it out very nicely. Alas, it is still a great Legends vehicle.

TRANSFORMATION:

Very simple and straightforward, you can do it in less than one minute. Most of the joints are nice and tight and the design is great, you get a sense of achievement after you've finished, something which you rarely get from a Legends classed toy. Although it's by no means ingenious, it works and that's what counts.

ROBOT MODE:



Aside from the colours, the robot mode invoke Bumblebee's design really well. If only there were joints for the windows to face the sides instead of straight out the back, otherwise there are hardly anything else to improve.



It is very clean looking from all angles, and I just love the blocky lower legs. The hood as his chest looks very natural and there are a few silver elements. The yellow strips on his shins do look out of place.




The wheels on the outside of his 'fists' works better here, due to it all being black. He only has a thin 'panel' with his fist sculpted on it, on closer inspection it doesn't look that good.



He might look like he has knee joints but he doesn't, due to the sliding mechanism for the transformation.



The head sculpt is great, and there is a tiny Autobot symbol on his forehead, some great detailing there, they even used blue paint for his eyes, wow. A beautifully designed robot, one of the best robot mods I've seen here.

OVERALL:

One of the best Legends toys to date, it has amazingly transferred a complex design into such a small scale. I definitely recommend at least one of this mold, he's fairly blocky in stature as well, so it's not at all obvious he is from the movie line.

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A couple of more photos can be found at this other site.

Credit: pictures and text is all mine, but I've linked a few pages to TFwiki.net

Reviews of other figures can be selected from here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers



Continuing on with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers is better than The Fellowship of the Ring in terms of the action and fight scenes, as the war for Middle Earth escalates. Since I watched the extended version, it was around 3.5 hours long, making it a bit of a drag to watch, and I lost interest a few times in the movie. For some reason, I have some difficulty in understanding the story of LOTR, I get the general gist of it, but a few scenes I just didn't know what was happening. It was an enjoyable movie though, and I liked a couple of the story elements, particularly how Gandalf reappears as Gandalf the White, I fell for it, thinking it was Saruman. Anyway, I think I enjoyed the first one better as I understood everything more, but The Two Towers had things happening right from the start, so it was easier to get into it. The battle scenes were well done and great to watch, although I found some of the dialogue spoken by the actors a bit hard to hear and understand

Friday, July 22, 2011

Toy Review: Transformers ROTF Devastator (Legends)



Review: #30
Name: Devastator
Brand: Transformers
Allegiance: Decepticon
Line: Revenge of the Fallen
Year of Release: 2009
Size Class: Legends
Variations: There is a TakaraTomy (i.e. Japanese) version and a Hasbro version, and both companies repainted it into G1 green and purple

CONSTRUCTICONS:



I'll start the review off by showing off the Constructicons together, they are a group after all. Anyway, in vehicle mode they look great, albeit out of scale, but they suit each other very well.



Robot mode is not as good, probably coz in the movie the Constructicons were never all together in robot mode, it just doesn't have the same feel. It doesn't help with the vastly different heights and design of each robot, there is no common robotic theme here.

TRANSFORMATION:

The transformation of each figure into their combined form is an amazing feat of engineering. The way everything fits together so snugly is nice, pulling the pegs out for the limbs needs a bit of a force, this is the only negative thing.

COMBINED MODE:



Devastator looks great here, although he is a mis-mash of colours, somehow, I do think it fits together quite nicely. Surprisingly, he is fairly accurate to the CG design and he has rudimentary digits at the end of his arms.



The right arm is longer than the other, which can be fairly annoying, it sits lower too, almost touching the ground. There are no excessive kibble and everything is pleasing to the eye.



He doesn't look as good from the side, with his head and arms jutting out quite a lot. His face is like a thin panel hanging in the middle of nowhere. A bit visual negative is that his face is in the middle of the body. There is a slight silver paint wash for the face which is a very very nice touch.



Once combined, he is roughly the height of a Deluxe toy, not a bad size considering that he is formed from Legends sized figures.



As you can expect, Devastator isn't really poseable. There are some joints here and there you can use, but it doesn't look that natural. Considering everything though, they have done a bang up job here.

OVERALL:

An excellent combined mode, especially considering this is in the Legends scale. Devastator is very stable and isn't prone to falling to bits when you pick him up, a solid Combiner, and one of the best.

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Additional photos can be found by clicking this link.

Credit: pictures and text is all mine, but I've linked a few pages to TFwiki.net

Reviews of other figures can be selected from here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Toy Review: Transformers ROTF Human Alliance Skids w/ Arcee and Mikaela



Review: #29
Brand: Transformers
Line: Revenge of the Fallen
Year of Release: 2009



Name: Skids
Allegiance: Autobot
Size Class: Human Alliance (Wave 3)
Variations: Repainted in black for the DOTM line

VEHICLE MODE:



Skids transforms into a green concept Chevrolet Beat with some black skid marks on the doors. The shade of green used is really nice, and the colourless transparent plastic is also a nice touch.



The details are great, especially the headlights. The back looks a bit plain due to the bare green plastic, but he has "Beat" sculpted just below the back window (it's really really small though). He has a little bit of kibble, you can see the feet hanging off the bottom from the back and the sides of his arms. However, they don't obstruct the clearance, Skids rolls very well.



Both doors open, and he features a fairly clean interior. The only proper car detailing is the driving wheel, he has a 'wall' blocking in the middle and rudimentary seats, nothing compared to the Alternators.



Being "Human Alliance", Mikaela can sit in the driver's seat and grasp the wheels with her hands. In terms of size and mass, he is a bit smaller than a Voyager but clearly has a bigger mass than Deluxes, kind of halfway (leaning more towards the Voyager side though). A great car that's displays well and has good play value.

TRANSFORMATION:

Skids has a very complex transformation with a lot of pegs and panels. The first time is particularly annoying but there are a few clever aspects, it doesn't save him as I dread it every time I switch between the modes. The one annoying thing it when pulling or attaching the hood in car mode, some bits at the sides get stuck and you're in danger of stressing the plastic at those bits when struggling to pull it off. You'll notice when transforming Skids that he's very spindly, mainly due to the empty area for putting human figures in the vehicle mode.

MIKAELA BANES:



I'll focus on the human figurine in this set first, and we get Mikaela Banes, it doesn't look much alike Megan Fox though...



There is a very obvious hole at the back, this is for plugging her into the seats of Skids and other HA figures. She features the standard articulation, but she feels very rubbery, unlike the plastic on the robots.



Her face is freaky, with the positions the pupils are painted, and her faces looks very plasticky (well, I guess it is plastic but still, you should know what I meant). Due to her small feet, she's fairly hard to stand. A mediocre little figure, not that anyone will care, I highly doubt someone would buy the set just for the human figure.

ROBOT MODE:



Going back to the robot, Skids is still, at the bare-most level, an ugly robot, albeit looking leaps and bounds better than the Deluxe version. You might not notice straight away, but the grill on his chest is fake, the real one is on the back, but his chest looks so natural.



You don't notice many details looking at the back... this is because he wears most of the vehicle there, completely obstructing the view.



It is more clear from the side how much he is just wearing on his back, pretty much the whole vehicular shell, which is a kind of a disappointment. You'll also notice the thin 'spine', that's it for the body, so Skids doesn't feel very solid when you can see the straight through his body just from looking from the side.



It might be coz they lost the black, or it's better proportioned, but the head, while still ugly, is bearable. He has a gimmick here that when you pressed this middle protruding 'crest', his mouth moves, to simulate him speaking, it's an okay gimmick.



Skids has a gun on his oversized right hand, the sad thing is that the seat can only flip down flat if the gun is situated to the side, a slight annoyance. The gun is also a missile launcher so you can fire the missile if you want.



Skids interact with Mikaela in a few ways, the first is flipping open the seat on his left arm and placing her there. This is where the peg hole on Mikaela's back come in handy, as it prevents her from falling over.



The second place is on the right arm, you can now flip up the gun and handles for Mikaela to control. This position is the best looking out of all the places.




The last is a flip over Gatling cannon over Skids head with Mikaela standing in the space on Skids back (between his head and backpack). I find that the platform at the back isn't high enough for Mikaela to stand so she's situated there a bit loosely (only the grip of her hands is preventing her from falling), fairly unstable.



Poseability is good and what you would expect, only weird thing is that the 'knee' swivel is below the double hinged knee joints (the double hinge makes Skids a bit weak there and more likely to keel over). The backpack is a problem but his feet is big enough to cope with it. A nice solid robot that is screen accurate, the best representation of Skids yet.

OVERALL:

A good robot mode and an excellent vehicle mode, only separated by a painstaking transformation process. Despite the higher price, I would recommend this version of Skids over any other (including the DOTM ones). Once you've got him in one of the modes, he is extremely fun.



Name: Arcee
Allegiance: Autobot
Size Class: Human Alliance (Wave 3)
Variations: repainted in purple as Elita-One and came with the DOTM Skids

VEHICLE MODE:



Arcee transforms into a motorbike that bears some similarities to the one seen in the movie (a Ducati 848). It is a fairly messy bike but not bad considering that she is sized between a Legend and Scout. She can stand upright thanks to a molded kickstand.



I forgot to take a photo but Mikaela can ride on top, although she doesn't peg in or anything, she's just resting there, but it's better than nothing. The bike is pinker than I would like it, a deeper red would be nice. Not a bad bike mode, just that the front is a bit off.

TRANSFORMATION:

A very simplistic transformation that works really well, in bike mode everything plugs in very securely, while robot mode is okay. The transformation is made easy due to the many big blocky pieces of plastic that you move around.

ROBOT MODE:



Must be the set of the uglies, but again, Arcee is better than her other incarnations. A thing you'll notice is that although the colours are Arcee, it is using the model of Chromia, they mixed up the colouring...



She has a huge gun as her left hand, this makes her hard to balance unless it's crossing her chest due to the small 'footprint'. She has a wheel for her foot, with a small panel underneath such that she can actually stand upright.




The head is really ugly for some reason, and doesn't look at all like the character model, I guess being painted weirdly doesn't help. Sadly, her left elbow is fixed in place, making posing a nightmare.



You can actually place Mikaela on top of the gun and it looks okay like that, it gives some interaction in robot mode.

OVERALL:

Not the best Arcee (I think the Legends version is more impressive) but considering everything, I think they've done a bang up job, looking plausible in both modes.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:

A good set, and frankly, better toys than HA Sideswipe. I only got Skids coz I wanted to have the HA version of his brother, Mudflap, together (they do look great together if you want to know). He is an okay toy, I wouldn't say it was outstanding, I definitely wouldn't give it to a kid to play with as they'll more than likely break it while trying to transform the thing.

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Some photo galleries of Skids, Arcee and Mikaela can be found here, here and here.

Credit: pictures and text is all mine, but I've linked a few pages to TFwiki.net and Wikipedia

Thank you for reading this review, more can be found here.
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