Christmas and birthdays do not often bring me Transformers, that area of my life has always been left to me to attend to. This year, after ordering Hasbro's MP Sunstorm during a crazy TRU UK sale, it was promptly taken off me in the shipping box, wrapped and stuck under the tree. I'm glad, it added to the anticipation and appreciation. Generations Arcee was for my wife as a giggle but she loves it, Continuum Hexatron and Unique Toys Alberich are review samples that arrived yesterday or the day before, but I saved Hexatron for Christmas day. MP Bumblebee is here because he was a recent arrival and, frankly, absolutely sublime.
Online, this looked like arse. Not a hair on the MP-11S Sunstorm that Takara Tomy had already released, and possibly even more ridiculous than Acid Storm.
In-hand, he's beautiful and intoxicating. The flame decoration across his wings and such is beautiful and subtle, the brown plastic on the head gives him lovely distinguishing character, and certain moulding changes appear to have made the transformation and hold in robot mode more solid. The panels either side of the canopy seem new and you have to remember to separate the 'breasts' or the canopy will not slide down during transformation. Box shows the MP-3 mould and you can't view the toy at all, but on the plus side Sunstorm still comes with the very nice MP-3 detachable missiles. More on Sunstorm soon!
Hexatron is magical, I already knew that. Continuum Hexatron loses the sword and shurikens (no biggie for me at all), but gains more G1-styled guns in chrome, G1-styled wings and paint apps to mimic the stickers, and a wonderfully accurate G1 head sculpt. There are color differences too that I'll elaborate on in the new year on Source Blog. Believe me when I say what you lose in playability through accessories, you gain in jaw-dropping looks and improvements aesthetically over the first Hexatron mould. The packaging is divine as well, so much care, thought and cheeky I.P infringement. This is a quality product, totally fitting of the last present I opened for Christmas.
I like Generations Arcee, it looks more like the 1986 character than MMC Azalea does. It's fun to interact with and can do the same lovely kneeling/sitting pose that Azalea rocks so heavily, and it certainly beats the pants off Azalea's transformation in terms of ease. My wife figured out Arcee pretty damn fast, but then she's a natural, making short work of Evasion Prime, Animated Lockdown and a vintage Macross Valkyrie. However, with no ankle articulation and the enormous backpack and butt-flap, she doesn't have the range of posability that Azalea does, plus her alt mode doesn't quite suit my own tastes, although my wife loves it. Bizarre that Arcee doesn't have a visible Autobot symbol in robot mode either. So very close to being absolutely right yet not quite for me, but for the price and restrictions they face, Takara Tomy/ Hasbro have created something lovely to represent Arcee in an official way which we've needed for decades.
All the best