I was asked to write a piece for Maz in his most recent article, check it out if you get the chance: Ambassadors Part 1
Now we return to our regularly scheduled program.
First up, Crossblades. I got him on the G1 bst group on Facebook. One of the few US pieces that I have MIB with the inserts.
The bot/shell human modes are pretty decent, basic shoulder articulation only, the inner bot can do the splits or bend his knees.
The inner robot turns into a "dragster" according to the instructions, I call bs. He's clearly some sort of small jet, even if the wings are tiny. The box art even backs up my theory.
The shell turns into a helicopter. It's not perfect by any means, but it's pretty cool for what they had to accomplish with the shell being a human. The boots at the back are the only thing that really sticks out to me on it.
The shell and inner bot can combine in alt mode as well. Making a much bigger helicopter. You can tell there was a lot of thought put into them.
The second Autobot in the set is Vroom. He's a strange one, I think the facial expression on the shell and roundness of everything is what makes him so strange. He was also MIB, no insert though.
I like how they gave the little bot a shield with the small wheel.
The inner bot turns into a fairly believable Cybertronian car. making use of the small wheel as a cockpit of sorts.
The shell turns into a motorbike. Not a lot to say about this mode, I think it would have benefited from the wheelbase being a lot longer.
For the combined mode, the small bot makes a sidecar with the part that used to be behind the seat in the other mode. I really like this mode a lot more than the singular bike mode.
The final bot in the set is Thunderwing. Thanks to Furman's characterization, this figure isn't cheap. Thankfully I picked him and Vroom up in auction for much less than they usually go for. I wasn't looking forward to buying either of them. In bot mode, Thunderwing has a much more monstrous look to him than the human shells of the other two.
The small bot turns into a small jet, I like that they made the wings move in tandem. the little vertical stabilizers are a nice addition as well.
The shell turns into a jet of some sort. It has a very bird like front end I think.
The combined mode of him is very cool looking I think. it alleviates the bird look too.
The small bots have no real set size, but they are all pretty decent. The face sculpts are definitely classic G1.
The three of them make a nice set. Worth the eBay price tag? I can't say, that highly depends on how much you like Pretenders or G1 in general.
I also picked up this knock off of Victory Black Shadow. I had never seen it before. Other than some different paint apps on the chest piece, and missing paint on the inner bot's face, he's pretty accurate.
Compared with Thunderwing, he does have the remolded parts. I'm pleased with him, plastic is good, molding is a little rough, kinda like the Metamorphs kos of Liokaiser, but good nonetheless.
So for my introduction to these figures, I am pretty happy with them. Definitely a few shining gems in the Pretender line.