"I know! let's make 'em shiny and sell em as a 'premium' line! oh, crap... did that... I know! Re-color the bots and sell them as different characters? did it... G1 inspired paint! did it... can't we make up some new bots weren't in the movie! did that, too and not enough money to make any more molds...
"Shucks! but we've got another two years till the sequel? What are we gonna do?"
Then some up and coming dude in a smart suit and tie goes, "Why don't we re-paint the toys from the old Transformers lines and sell 'em like they were brand new?"
And they all stare at him and whisper, "my, god. that's genius..."
That's basically what the Ultra Class Movie figures Jetstorm and Wingblade are; re-painted Cybertron figures Jetfire and Wingsaber respectively.
They were released here locally without much fanfare. I remember seeing them in stores before at the suggested retail price of Ultra Class figures (P2500.00). I had no real desire to get them then because they aren't the best Transformers around and their price was prohibitive to put it mildly.
But with the new movie on the way, Toy stores and distributors really need to move old product out of their warehouses to make way for new toys. For the past few months, consumers have been treated to almost constant 50% off deals on various Transformers the Movie figures. These two are even better; a Transformer this size, with working lights and sound, for only P500.00?
Can you say Black Friday, folks?
At this price, Toy Kingdom and all the other toy stores were predictably flooded with collectors and kids all trying to find these and other items at sale prices, only to be foiled by scalpers buying them in bulk before they hit the shelf. Thanks to some nice thinking by the Playkit gang (the local Hasbro distributor), their diabolical plan to rid the world of cheap toys was thwarted. By shelving product gradually, people were able to find what they needed eventually.
What I really like about the figures are the vehicle modes. They're both a good size (not really in scale to a Deluxe Class Autobot car, but still big) and look relatively kibble-less. both have launching rockets, lights and sounds (limited mainly to gun sounds) and a "cybertron key" gimmick.
The Cybertron key thing is pretty pointless. You pop it into a certain part of their anatomy and out pops some guns or panels pop out to reveal guns, or etc, etc, etc. I threw mine in the bits box as soon as I tried it once.
The Sounds are also pretty forgettable. Electronics are a nice play feature for kids, but for adults, it gets old really fast, expecially if it's a one liner like these two. I left both of them without the batteries.
The robot modes are alot more fun than the jets though. Both bots are big, about half again as tall as Deluxe figures, and a little taller than Voyagers. Jetstorm has two rifles, but Wingsaber is armed to the teeth. Even his arms are gatling guns, and he comes with swords!
Articulation wise, Wingblade tops his Decepticon counterpart. despite his odd shoulder placement, he's got more useful arm movement than Jetstorm, who needs to move the whole wing assembly to bring up his arm. Both are pretty stable, though Jetstorm is built so oddly that he can't really do much of anything.
While they're both innovative designs, you can really see how far toy engineering has come when you compare these two to the Universe or Animated lines. Though there's racheted joints galore, there is a TON of kibble in their robot modes. Jetstorms scheme looks downright lazy when you look at it from the side. Nothing fits anywhere and there's a HUGE hole at his core.
Still, At P500 apiece, you really can't complain about these two toys that much. Would I have bought them at SRP? No, no I wouldn't have. But at 80% off, these two are worth it.
Now all I have to do is find a Cybertron Optimus Prime...