You talk TV?

It’s been pretty easy not buying new Transformers lately. I’d like to say that it was an example of willpower, or a flexing of my massive self-control. Or, maybe, I’d diverted my desire to buy toys into a selfless focus on my children. Yeah, I’d like to say all that.

I can’t, though. There simply haven’t been any interesting ones on the shelves lately. Like everything else, it’s likely been impacted by the supply chain difficulties and labor shortage across the board. (And when I say labor shortage, what I mean is that as of today, 718,681 Americans have died of COVID-19 in the past two years. This isn’t politics, this is a fact.) So, when I saw a whole new shipment of toys in my local Meijer, I let myself get a little bit hopeful.

Studio Series Wreck-Gar in box

Lo and behold, there were racks of new Transformers on the shelves! Now, we’ve already established that I am pretty picky when it comes to which bits of plastic and die-cast metal I’ll spend my greenbacks on. But when I saw three Studio Series 1986 boxes on the top shelf, I may have startled my kids with and excited squee. MAY HAVE. You can’t prove anything. Meijer had two Sweeps… and a Wreck-Gar.

Cue a second startling of the kids, and an intense debate on whether or not I should spend money on the ONE copy of the figure that I was most excited for in the entire Studio Series line. So, yes, I bought it.

Studio Series Wreck Gar vehicle mode

This toy does not disappoint. Its transformation is intuitive enough that I was able to transform from vehicle to robot modes and back without using the instructions the second time around. The detail is amazing. The tires are slightly different sizes, there is a speedometer and tachometer, the handlebars look like handlebars, the gas tank and saddlebags are convincing enough. His spinny axe has a place to stow in vehicle mode, and he’s even got a kickstand that is hidden away perfectly in robot mode. To quote my youngest son, “Dad, there’s no kibble. Like, NONE.”

Studio Series Wreck Gar robot mode

Joints are plentiful and tight, except for one of the 360 degree waist joints, which is a little too loose. The wheels and the axe fit snugly in all of the places that they’re supposed to. Transformation is smooth, and there are no moments when I feel like I need to break the toy just to get it to do the thing. The wheels roll over carpet and upholstery just fine, though don’t on wood floors and desks. (I, mean, c’mon, off-roading nubs!) Best of all, it’s designed so that if you have two of them, one in robot mode can ride one in motorcycle mode, just like the movie!

I have always been in awe of the Junkions‘ ability to repair themselves and others with nothing but the junk on their planet. As an adult, I’ve definitely come to prefer used things to new, and prefer repairing to replacing. I can’t say that it was directly inspired by Wreck-Gar and his friends, but with the number of times I’ve re-watched that movie, I can’t rule it out, either.

So, right down to the nipple guns, this figure hits all of the nostalgia points, in alphabetical order. It’s a toy of good make and significantly more detail than I’m used to for its price point. I highly recommend it!

Soundwave superior, Constructicons inferior.

Remember that post, a little bit ago, where I said it’s been forever since I bought a Transformer? Well… I found one that not only satisfied my pickiness, but also brought me joy to buy.

Soundwave bot mode

I’ve been a fan of Soundwave since there’s been a Soundwave. 1984 to present, cassette deck to futuristic jet to lowered SUV to communications satellite, I have been a fan. Don’t even get me started on his depiction in Transformers Prime. Just amazing. They even once made a Soundwave MP3 player, and if I had had the cash at the time, I guarantee that I would have owned it.

I’m not trying to establish my nerd cred here. This is not an assertion of my Transformers Fan Superiority. If it has that effect, fine, I won’t complain. What I’m trying to do here is communicate my ages-old fan status of the Decepticon that was always just a little bit different from his fellow Cybertronians.

Soundwave car mode

This toy, the Cyberverse Deluxe Class Soundwave, met all my nit-picks. It’s well articulated. It’s not top heavy or picky about how the feet are aligned or posed. It looks good in both robot and vehicle modes. There is no overwhelming kibble when in robot mode, and there’s no obvious robot bits in vehicle mode. Laserbeak is not only included, but can still transform into a cartridge (engine?) and fit into Soundwave’s chest. Both modes can be played with!

And let’s not forget, this is a Deluxe class. That’s a $20 USD price point. Not sixty bucks, or even forty. Twenty bucks. It’s pretty dang small, but it’s better than most Soundwave toys that have come out in the last thirty years.

If you find this one in your local store, or online, I highly recommend it. Especially if you’re a Soundwave fan.

I find your argument logical.

I haven’t bought any Transformers for about four years. Ultra Magnus was the last, four or so years ago. I’ve resisted, even with some REALLY good figures that have come out. My enthusiasm has been dampened ever since I sold off my entire collection for rent and utility money.

And then this Christmas happened.

This is Shockwave from the Transformers Cyberverse – Battle for Cybertron toy line. It also came with the left leg and foot of a Build-a-Figure for Maccadam, a mysterious bar owner on Cybertron, who features heavily. My kids and their mom bought Shockwave for me for XMas and Yule; they saw it, and immediately thought of how much I’d like it. And I do! The robot mode is definitely my favorite. For such a small figure, it has many points of articulation, and poses very well. The Shockwave look that’s been developed from G1 to now is present, especially in his robot mode. Also, the gun arm is removable, so you can play before the injury, or after, or on whichever arm you want. Also a laser blast that you can attach onto the end of either gun! I’ve never had that before!

If I remember correctly, Transformers Animated was the first Shockwave to turn into a tank. Of course, he also turned into an Autobot, so all bets were off. He’s made an excellent tank since then, culminating, in my opinion, in the Tranformers Prime animated series.

I was uncertain about this spider-tank (quad-tank?) mode at first, but it is definitely growing on me. Once the knees and elbows are bent properly, it looks less like a robot doing the crab walk, and more like an actual futuristic walker. And, to be perfectly honest, the laser last looks even better in this mode.

Overall, I’m impressed with the detail, articulation points and angles, paint job, and detail molded right into the plastic. This small USD $20 toy beats out so many past attempts, many of them a lot more expensive, with ease. I am thoroughly impressed.

Thank you to my kids and their mom for this thoughtful and fantastic gift!

Growing Up.

Nikki: So you only have a few more Transformers until you’re done eBaying.

Dave: Well, no, because I have Matt’s stuff to put up, and the stuff that gave to me forever ago…

Nikki: I mean, you’re almost done with your stuff.

Dave: OH!  It’s an accomplishment, that’s what you mean!

Nikki: Yes.  Does it feel like growing up?

Dave: I dunno.  Does growing up feel like half painful and half I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-is-going-on?

Nikki: Yup.

Dave: Then yeah, it feels like growing up.

Life keeps on happening. In all senses.

My apologies for dropping off of the radar for a bit.  In no particular order, here’s some updates:

Kids: Infections.  I’m not going to go into specific, but both Aidan and Cian are on more than one antibiotic each.

Job: What job?  That’s right, I’ve joined the ranks of the unemployed.  At least this time they told me that I didn’t do anything wrong. Working on finding another job, and launching a start-up.  Yes, small businesses can be called that in Michigan.  There’s no rule against it.

More kids: I’m going to be a Dad again.  I feel like making some sort of comment bragging about my virility, fertility, and general awesomeness of my loin area.  *gestures to groin*  But I won’t, because if nothing else, I’m classy.

Transformers: So, this game looks like it’s got all of the awesomeness of every Transformers universe ever written about, filmed, cartoonified, or published in comic book form.  In fact, this looks a lot like what Mosier and myself had envisioned a while back.  I WANT THIS NOW PLEASE.  Enjoy the trailer. :)


EVE Online:
Spent another hour and a half online the other night, and ended up out of Minmatar space, in a Gallante Federation station.  I had clicked the wrong bookmark in People & Places, set it as my destination, and let the autopilot do the work.  I saw some nifty jump gate designs that I hadn’t witnessed before.  Totally worth the trip.

2010.01.17-012010.01.17-02

In the interest of writing every day…

Today has been a -good- day.

I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I haven’t felt my spirit this light, the smile on my face, the outlook happy…. I just haven’t had as -good- of a day in a long time. Not even work has brought me down.

I pulled myself out of bed after only hitting the snooze bar once. Only once! I was motivated, let me tell you. After a couple of successful Great Zero runs last night, I had gone to bed a little late, but I still got out of bed without caffeine. I got showered and ready for the day, spent some time with the dog, and ate a cup of Jello. Always room for it, you know.

swung by and picked me up, and we headed to Eastwood Towne Center to meet up with and Scott. What were we doing there? Going to NCG to see the TRANSFORMERS MOVIE. That’s right. Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg did NOT eviscerate my childhood. This is an AMAZING movie. Go and see it. Seriously. If you’re a kid at any age, you will enjoy it. It is so very difficult to refrain from spoilers, but I will return the kindness that has been paid to me. :)

I’ll be selling ‘s last 21″ monitor tomorrow, and will be getting rid of one of our 17″ ones on Friday. I have four packages of gaming books ready to ship out to eBay customers. The Stuff Exodus begins again! :)

So, yeah. This has been a really good day. Also, go see the movie. For serious.

I had a witty subject line earlier, honest.

I’ve got my old 30 gig HD installed into my shiny new external hard drive enclosure. I have found out that with 3.5″ drives (which is what I happen to have), neither USB nor Firewire has enough power to operate the drive. So, it works, but it has to be plugged in to a power cord, which makes it only a little more irritating when carrying it around for data mobility. However, I now have the data mobility that I was looking for, and am already chock-full of ideas on how to use it.

Also, for the last two mornings, I have had good showers. Not exceedingly long showers, and not showers with water pressure that could blast me across the tub, but -good- showers. What do I mean by that? I mean that, with the new shower head that got me, the hot water doesn’t run out at the end of my shower. Not only that, but I’m using quite a bit less water to shower than I ever have before.

Also, I have a new Transformer on my desk at work, thanks to Will. It’s amazed me how the subtle differences in this repaint’s mold, as well as the obvious differences in color, have created a totally different personality. Despite the nearly-identical body to Smokescreen, Ricochet comes off completely differently. This kind of thing -almost- makes up for what they did to Prowl and Optimus Prime. I also have an Optimus Primal statue for my desk at home, thanks to .

Some brilliance from about us and our food:

The other problem is squimishness. And this is, in my opinion the thornier of the issues. It does’t just involve completely restructuring our infrastructure, but something much more difficult: changing people’s opinion. Time and time again, I have been talking about food and meat comes up. I mention that the animal that I ate was known on a personal basis by someone, maybe had a name, maybe lead a good life before I was lucky enough to eat it. The reaction I think I’m going to get is. “Wow! I didn’t know meat animals could be someone other than a number. I think it’s really wonderful that you can eat meat that doesn’t come from immense cruelty and pain, but from animals that lived peaceful decently happy lives. Good for you.” The reaction I get is “Oh. Ummm. Ewww. I don’t think I could eat that. Why would you name it if you were going to eat it?” Why? Because by naming it I respect it. I honor it as a being worthy of being named and hopefully treat it both as an animal and as food with a great deal more respect than he or she would get in a factory farm or on the shelf at Kroger. I honor the animals I eat. I use every bit, I am grateful for their sacrifice, and I know that their lives enrich mine in a mulititude of ways. I thank the animals I eat as well as the plants, as well as the earth and the sun that have provided the sustanance for them to grow and eat. By being afraid to name your food, you distance yourself from that food. You categorize it as the Other as surely as a nazi footsoldier did with the Jew he shot. It’s easier to see the distancing with people harder with animals and plants. Our whole society is made up of ways to distance us from stuff. From meat animals, from ecosystems, from various subdivisions of other people, from pain, from reality. I think it inadvertantly distances us from life, from joy, from esctacy as well. We are numb and in pain from it.