Thursday, October 31, 2013

Toy Review: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Abominus

Review:  #154
Name:  Abominus
Brand:  Transformers
Allegiance:  Predacon
Line:  Prime - Beast Hunters
Year of Release:  2013
Size Class:  Legends
Variations:  a clear Target exclusive version and a Japanese version


Abominus is a combiner (in Legion class no less!), made from five components:  Twinstrike, Windrazor, Blight, Rippersnapper and their leader, Hun-Gurrr.

The common theme of this set is that they all transform into dragons/monsters.  They look nice as a set and each individual toy in their own right are great figures.

They don't share as many similar elements in robot mode though.

One of the things that could be improved upon is that if they could all have unique weapons.  Since Blight and Twinstrike share the hammer mold and Windrazor and Rippersnapper share the gun mold.  Different weapons with give them some more character.

While I would consider Rippersnapper to be the weakest individual in the team, they are all amazing.  On a side note, I keep referring them to Terrorcons but they're never officially stated as such.


Being such small figures, don't expect for there to be a lot of manipulation of parts.  Windrazor and Twinstrike, who form the arms, are basically their beast modes.  Both of them have pegs to attach to Hun-Gurrr, who form the torso.  Hun-Gurrr is basically in robot mode with his back to you, his arms up, dragon feet down to expose clips joint and combiner head flipped up.  While Blight and Rippersnapper are in robot mode, legs clipped together, arms tucked behind (using dedicated joints) and in Blight's case, the arms peg into the chestplate and the monster head flips down and pegs to his legs.  I'm really impressed with Blight's leg mode because of all the dedicated pegs and holes.  It is interesting to see how the thought that went through the designer's mind when they created this.  It is a decent concept.


You're either going to love or hate Abominus.  On the one hand, he's more of a your typical five-robot combiner.  On the other, his proportions are the biggest thing that's going against him.

He's actually quite well formed and not a major mess of parts.  Okay, maybe he does get a bit busy, especially the arms but I think for this size, this is forgiveable.

Basically, the legs are well formed, the only problems are the arms.  Since all five components are Legion sized, this naturally means that like Generations Bruticus, his arms are disproportionally huge.  It doesn't help that Abominus doesn't have proper hands/fists.  Instead, using Windrazor's head as a hand and Twinstrike's beasts heads and legs as the other.

The head sculpt is great, although it doesn't scream Predacon/Decepticon to me, it seems more heroic although I think you can just make up the spiked teeth or it could just be my imagination.

As mentioned, there are no kibble that sticks out his back but he feels a little bit flat from the torso up in this aspect.

Don't let pictures deceive you, Abominus is only roughly Deluxe height.  This is what makes him awesome though and once you hold him in hand, he looks a little bit... cute.

So, in comparison with the other Legends sized combiner, Devastator.  Abominus is not as cleverly engineered as Devastator, but Abominus' component figures are lightyears better.  Also note that Devastator has two figures (or three, if you count Mixmaster, but he only really forms the head) forming the torso.

The official weapon (taken from the Target exclusive, as the individual releases make no mention of the combined form) is this huge axe-like weapon.  This is also the reason why Windrazor's and Twinstrike's heads have a 3mm peghole.

This weapon feels too long and unwieldy for Abominus though and doesn't suit him much at all.

A better weapon set is if you split them into three, forming two axes and use Hun-Gurrr's weapon as a shoulder gun.  This also gives you the benefit of 'balancing' the figure, since Twinstrike's feet cover up most of the right shoulder, while Windrazor doesn't, which looks odd.  What's also interesting is that all the weapons are the same shade... except Twinstrike's hammer, which is a lighter grey, very odd that they went for this.

Articulation is limited to the balljointed hips and swivelling shoulders.  While it is possible to lift the shoulders out, due to the weight, it just sags down again.  You can make the Windrazor arm outwards thanks to Windrazor's hip.  You can also position Windrazor's wings as a shield, and fiddle about with Twinstrike's limbs for different finger positions.  Abominus lacks knee joints and sometimes, Blight's and Rippersnapper's arms can get in the way.

Still, this is a fabulous combiner mode, but truth be told, it does feel like an afterthought, especially in regards to the arms.  The way you use Hun-Gurrr's back as the torso is a neat aspect and Abominus will look impressive on your shelf.


More combiners are always welcome.  Abominus is basically icing on top of the cake considering the cleverly engineered component figures.  Sure, there are some aspects where it feels like the combining gimmick was an afterthought but on the whole, it was executed well.  You can't expect toys as small as these to have the complexity of a Deluxe combiner.  In a nutshell, highly recommended, even if you have to search high and low for some of these figures.


Watch out for the Transformers reviews found on this page here!  Thank you for your continued support!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Dark Knight

The thing this movie has gotten going for it more than the other two films in the trilogy is the fact that there's a lot more Batman here.  As a byproduct, the movie is a lot more exciting and more action sequences.  It's pretty awesome that the Joker is immediately introduced at the beginning of the film.  It starts off with a bang and it never drops off afterwards.  The story is deep and immerses you.  You can't tear your eyes away and you're always kept anticipating what is going to happen next in the twisting plot.  Batman's gadgets seem less gimmicky, looking and feeling more practical.  The music suits the movie well, creating a dark atmosphere that never gets too heavy (though I prefer the first film's score more).  Joker was a great villain and the appearance of Two-Face as the other villain was unexpected.  Once Joker's plans were put into motion, it never releases it's grip on you, as one thing after another happens (and all of them surprises you).  That said, re-watching the movie isn't as good since you know what to expect.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Book Review: Cage of Eden Volume 7

Review:  #383
Title:  Cage of Eden Volume 7
Series:  Cage of Eden - 7th volume
Author:  Yoshinobu Yamada
Read Before:  no
My Comments:  Okay, prepare yourself for a massive cringe-worthy moment in the opening scene of the first chapter.  Sengoku pretty much heroically aims to sacrifice himself for the rest of the group, it was such a cliché moment that you just want to look away.  I was wondering how the story was going to develop afterwards though with such a huge group now, but they’re forced on the move again which is pretty good.  The demonic mountain aspect isn’t the most original thing around but it does a good job of setting a mildly scary atmosphere.  The author just does it again and again, when you finally thought that the group was out and that they might encounter something less bad next thing, something even more scary (both to the characters and the reader) pops up.  I was also wondering how Mariya’s could still use his laptop after weeks of being stranded (would have ran out of battery), but the author explained it here.  There were also a few unfortunate deaths but that’s to be expected at this point in the story.
Rating:  6/10

Friday, October 25, 2013

Batman Begins

An excellent film depicting it's version of the origin of Batman and his rise.  While the beginning might seem a little bit boring (especially compared to the tense sections near the end of the film), it has done a great job at showing us how Wayne came to become Batman.  The training he received in the mountains does tend to suspend your belief a little bit but it's minor.  Once the film passes the one hour mark, it picks up really fast and before you know it, you've been watching scene after scene without noticing the time going by.  The story was captivating and every time Batman appears, you can't help but get excited.  The vehicle chase scene seemed a little bit gimmicky and eager to show off the explosions and features of the Tumbler.  The film depicted Batman's abilities and his skills at using fear and deception against his enemies really well, and it makes Batman seem much more realistic and plausible.  It would be nice if Scarecrow could have had a larger role in the climax of the film, instead of slowly dropping off into the background.  If you think about it, the climax of the film doesn't have much action in it but the atmosphere was so well done that it was amazing.  There are some great dialogue and great performances in this film.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Toy Review: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Hun-Gurrr (Legion)

Review:  #153
Name:  Hun-Gurrr
Brand:  Transformers
Allegiance:  Predacon
Line:  Prime - Beast Hunters
Year of Release:  2013
Size Class:  Legion (Wave 2)
Variations:  there is a clear version which was part of a Target exclusive giftset and repainted in the Japanese line as Dorara


Hun-Gurrr, just like the rest of his team, transforms into a dragon.  Like Twinstrike, Hun-Gurrr is a twin-headed dragon.

This is a beautifully formed dragon.  The red and white colour works well and Hun-Gurrr looks formidable.

He has great sculpted detailing.  Most of the paint is on his back (since it doubles as the robot's chest), apart from the hands visible as his heels, there isn't any concessions from being a Transformer.

The red has some glitter in it, giving it a slight metallic feel.  The dragon heads have some nice sculpting with painted yellow eyes.

You can store the robot weapon on the side of either of his legs.

Or you can have him hold it in his mouth, whichever you prefer...

Hun-Gurrr is quite wide in this mode.  He is a good size.

There are some good articulation too.  You can mode the heads around as the neck is attached to a balljoint, and due to transformation, the dragon heads can tilt up and down.  The arms move as one piece and the hips are balljointed.

This is a brilliant dragon mode, and probably my favourite alternate mode out of the Terrorcons.


It's very simple but clever in how well it works.  The dragon heads become the feet, and the dragon feet become the arms.  You fold down the tail to reveal the head.  Elegant and satisfying.


Hun-Gurrr has a stocky robot, and granted, the dragon head feet looks like he's wearing slippers.  It isn't helped by the angle of his legs.  On a side note, the claws on the outside of his arms are supposed to fold up and be less conspicuous but on mine at least, they don't go back that far and I got stress marks trying to force it.

He's relatively kibble free, he wears the tail and dragon arms on his back but they're tight and close so it doesn't present much of a problem (both visually and practically).

The headsculpt is good but it can be hard to make out his mouth in the unpainted red plastic.

He wears the Predacon insignia with pride on the right of his chest.

Hun-Gurrr's weapon is the "dragontooth saw", a bayonet type weapon.  At least it's a different mold to the ones wielded by the other Terrorcons.

There are multiple posts on the weapon which adds some versatility to it.  Hun-Gurrr can hold the post at the end as a sword type weapon but it doesn't really work here.

He can also hold it as a gun which is probably what it was intended for.

Hun-Gurrr is slightly shorter than you'd expect since he's so stock, he also has those oddly bent elbows, but it's not as much of a problem for Legion class figures.

Articulation is what you would expect, he has balljoints hips and shoulders, as well as up and down movement for his feet.  Balancing can be an issue in certain poses since his heelspurs aren't that long.

A great looking robot mode that's also fun to fiddle around with and pose.


Hun-Gurrr is a great toy.  He has impressive engineering for a Legion class figure with two great modes, I can't find any flaws for this guy.  This is not even considering that he combines with his fellow Terrorcons.  Even if you don't want to form Abominus, consider adding Hun-Gurrr to your ranks.


Reviews of other Transformers toys can be found on this page.  Thanks.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Iron Man

Ironman's origin done on the big screen.  The way Tony Stark created Ironman was plausible.  While it takes around half of the movie before we get the final version of Ironman we all know and love, the process it takes to get there was interesting.  Maybe they could have cut down some of the things that happened while Tony was kidnapped and starting to build the first version from scraps.  Ironman's screen time isn't much in the movie but the screens that he was in are so awesome that you forget that.  The climax of the film was okay, while it isn't boring it's not that spectacular either.  You would wish that the fight between Ironman and the Iron Monger could be longer and more action.  It sucks that Ironman was not as in his prime and at a disadvantage.  The special effects were great and never overdone.  Stark was charming and likable.  A great film.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review: Cage of Eden Volume 6

Review:  #382
Title:  Cage of Eden Volume 6
Series:  Cage of Eden - 6th volume
Author:  Yoshinobu Yamada
Read Before:  no
My Comments:  A LOT has happened in this book, which is unbelievable.  We got from the introduction of three more characters (which makes up the first half) to the start of the next challenge Sengoku’s group will face.  It was noticeable that there was a lot more fan service in this volume, which doesn’t always work.  Some of the character’s motivations and actions are strange and irrational (and not just coz they were out in the wilderness for a few weeks now).  Sometimes, the squabbles are so petty you can’t help but roll your eyes at the idiocy of what’s happening.  There are a lot of supposedly heart-warming elements where everyone supports Sengoku but it feels contrived.  The author and illustrator have done it again with the freakiness of some of the events.  I found the first half, with the appearances of the long-limbed bears to be freaky, playing on your worst nightmare.  They way their faces are drawn too (lacking any warm emotion, only showing a hollowness that scares you), it really evokes the desperateness of the situation.  The ending of the volume (a cliffhanger) leads you want to read the next one straight away.  This is probably the best volume in the series so far.
Rating:  6/10

Thursday, October 17, 2013

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

A good time-waster if you don't expect a serious movie with a deep plot.  The movie's got a lot of action scenes, that's for sure, so it can be a blast to watch if that is your thing.  It's enjoyable and there aren't many events that annoy you.  One thing to note is that there are many cheesy moments (whether intentional or not), which can be weird at times.  The most memorable scene to me (and it just stuck in my mind for some reason) would be the Eiffel Tower scene where Duke and Ripcord crash through a train.  That was also the best action scene in the whole movie.  There's also all these high tech vehicles and weapons that in the end, feels gimmicky and not as well utilized as they could be.  It's because everything else is still present-day stuff and then the Cobra's and Joe's stuff being so aesthetically different that it doesn't fit in well.  The backstory of Ana that was slowly revealed was good, since you know that something happened there and want to know what it was.  There were a few elements that you could guess quite easily but overall, a fun film.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Review: Cage of Eden Volume 5

Review:  #381
Title:  Cage of Eden Volume 5
Series:  Cage of Eden - 5th volume
Author:  Yoshinobu Yamada
Read Before:  no
My Comments:  A few important events happen in this volume, it seems that each chapter pushes the characters into different environments so that by the time you’ve finished the volume, it feels as if it has they have experience a lot since the beginning.  There were some questionable actions by characters; it’s hard to decide whether Ko-Chan’s actions were justifiable or rational.  He was an odd character who isn’t likable, yet isn’t bad either, just weird.  Then there’s the idea of building a ‘country’, not sure if it could have been a translation problem but they way they put forward the concept and everyone so readily accepting it, was strange.  More and more extinct animals keep showing up, you can start to see a pattern.  The characters meet up with another group, something happens (for example, the other group dies), and then they part ways again.  I wish that the mystery of the island was dwelled on more as it would be really interesting to find why this island existed in the first place.
Rating:  6/10

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Super Mario Bros.

This film doesn't take much from it's video game inspiration other than some names.  If not for the title, you probably can't tell that it's actually based off one of the most recognizable video game franchise in the world. In short, this isn't a good movie.  It runs for too long and the plot is all over the place.  It's one of those movies where the plot basically boils down to a simple concept, but takes a detour to get there.  We get heaps of these weird things happening.  The special effects were hit and miss, and the jumping boots that were frequently used were just cringe-worthy.  It's not so much the idea as it is the execution, whenever someone uses those and jumps, it looks stupid.  Overall, this film doesn't have any draws and you lose attention on what's happening onscreen too quickly.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Book Review: Cage of Eden Volume 4

Review:  #380
Title:  Cage of Eden Volume 4
Series:  Cage of Eden - 4th volume
Author:  Yoshinobu Yamada
Read Before:  no
My Comments:  More deaths happen here, so much in fact that you’d expect a death every time you turn the page.  It seems like everyone apart from the main cast has gone crazy and started killing everyone, which is a bit of a shame (need some variety ya know).  The deaths are no less shocking though and the various subplots of each group are slowly starting to converge by the end of this volume.
Rating:  6/10

Friday, October 11, 2013

Toy Review: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Twinstrike (Legion)

Review:  #152
Name:  Twinstrike
Brand:  Transformers
Allegiance:  Predacon
Line:  Prime - Beast Hunters
Year of Release:  2013
Size Class:  Legion (Wave 1)
Variations:  there is a clear version that was a Target exclusive and also a Japanese version (coloured green)


Once again, like the other Terrorcons, Twinstrike officially transforms into a dragon, albeit a twin-headed dragon, with two tails to match.

It is a striking beast mode that looks great and has a lot of sculpted details.

He is bigger than you would expect.  Much bigger than the other quadrupled Legion toy off the top of my head, Twinstrike feels quite substantial.

There are a few places where you can plug the robot weapon, I found the best way was to plug it onto his back since it kinda blends in more there.

There are a decent amount of paint applications highlighting the mold.  Each individual head looks great from the eyes to the menacing teeth.

I feel this is more like a twin-headed beast/monster than a traditional dragon.  He's also not completely organic, having a lot of sharp angles.

Articulation is okay, but it's quite limited in the limbs.  They're perpetually bent and the dragon heads only move in one piece at the end of the neck so it can look a bit awkward in some poses.

The colour scheme is nice, and it suits the mold very well.


Very complex for a Legion sized toy, made more clumsy with it's small size.  It's clever and makes the toy very interesting.  Although it does somewhat feel more complex than it needs to find.  I find that when rotating the robot shin pads, there is not enough clearance to do it and you have to use excessive force to warp the plastic a little bit.  I found because there were so many joints that move and he's a small size, he feels flimsy.  Overall, Twinstrike contains some impressive engineering.


Twinstrike's robot mode is equally as striking as his dragon mode.  Perhaps the first thing you'd notice is his dragon head hands.  We haven't had a robot that has the beast mode for hands for a while now.

The only kibble is the forelegs which ends up on his back, this reminds me of Cheetor.

The Predacon insignia is prominently on his chest.  I really like the metallic paint used here.

The head sculpt can be a bit messy but the red eyes, surrounded by the metallic green and silver face looks wicked.

Twinstrike's weapon is the "Piston Hammer", it's the same mode as Blight's weapon and also used for BH Legion Prowl.

Obviously, Twinstrike can hold the hammer on either hand.

He shrinks a bit when in robot mode but is still a decent size.  I love the fact that the shin pads to hide the bent legs from dragon mode.

Articulation is what you would expect of a toy this size.  He only features balljoints for his shoulders, hips and ankles.  You can still pull off some nice poses though.

A stunning robot mode, like the rest of the Terrorcon group, the colours work well together.


An amazing toy.  It seems that the Legion class are the stand outs of the Prime line.  I love the fact that Twinstrike doesn't go the lazy route and have the robot just the beast mode on it's hind legs.  The dragon head hands are unique and he's well detailed, a definite must, even if you do not plan on making Abominus.


Other toy reviews can be found here.

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