Blog #1275: Toy Review: Botcon 2016 Club Subscription Service 5.0 Shipment 3 (Counterpunch, Toxitron, Shattered Glass Starscream)

Botcon 2016 Club Subscription Service 5.0 Shipment 3 (Counterpunch, Toxitron, Shattered Glass Starscream)

“…all good things must come to an end.” – Q, Star Trek: The Next Generation, All Good Things

It’s over!  It’s all over!  Fun Publications has now proven that all bad things must come to an end too.  The final toys from Fun Publications are here.  Our long national nightmare is at an end.  Like Voldemort, Sauron, Khan Singh, The White Witch, and Emperor Palpatine, all villains must eventually meet their end (or at least banishment from Transformers fandom).  The fall of few villains are as satisfying as this.

“Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.” – Margaret Atwood, Surfacing

I have speculated that the freebie toy, the final toy from Fun Publications, would be Nightbird based on the mold from the Victorion set, I can’t recall which one it is.  I thought they might want to go out with a bang.  I suppose they didn’t because of the Takara Legends Nightbird, but it would have been nice to have an official one in the USA, even if it was not a retail release.  Instead of going out with a bang, they decided to go out with a whimper.  I knew the set would be bad based on the two toys we knew about, but somehow they managed to release three toys containing exactly zero new ideas.  Par for the course.

Counterpunch

Previous Mold Reviews: Botcon Ravage, Botcon TigatronGenerations Breakdown, Generations Sunstreaker, Generations Wheeljack, Generations G2 Breakdown, Generations Jumpstream, Unite Warriors Lightspeed, Unite Warriors Wheeljack

At the risk of stating the obvious, there is no such character as Counterpunch.  Perhaps Counterintuitive would have been a better name for him.  Punch is an Autobot spy who can turn into the Decepticon robot Counterpunch.  Counterpunch does not exist as a separate character from Punch.  Therefore, there is no logic or reason behind this toy.  (Knowing Fun Publications they came up with something in one of their comics or stories to justify them being split up.  It’s still stupid.)  Having said that, The mold does look great in blue and black with the silver windows, and I appreciate the red hubcaps.  I hate the all black wheels.  In robot mode, he sports a head not seen before, but this is not a new head created by Fun Publications.  This is the extra head that was part of the Wheeljack mold.  It looks the part of Counterpunch, and may have been intended for Counterpunch by Hasbro.  That doesn’t make it any less stupid.  He looks fine in robot mode.  I wasn’t sure when I first saw it why they made his hand/foot/gun yellow, until I remembered that the G1 toy’s gun was a double barrel yellow laser.  Points for that.  It’s funny that they get little details like that right in support of a completely failed concept.  As good as the car looks, it can’t overcome the fact that the toy makes no sense.  And let’s not forget, they actually did a Punch/Counterpunch before.  That was a much better toy, though his head was a little small.

Grade: C

Toxitron

Previous Mold Reviews: Generations G2 Motormaster, Motormaster, Optimus Prime, Battle Core Optimus Prime

Toxitron was a planned Universe toy.  He would have been a repaint of G2 Laser Optimus Prime.  I love the idea of doing toys that were never released.  Unfortunately, they already did this once.  They did a Transformers: Animated version of Toxitron.  I hated that because it was done as an Transformers: Animated toy, when the original was not an Animated toy.  Had they never done that, I would really like this toy.  The paint job is pretty good, though they failed to paint his door side windows, which makes it look really odd.  But as with Counterpunch, it’s just another recycled idea.

Grade: C

Shattered Glass Starscream

Previous Mold Reviews: Botcon Cicadacon, Generations Skydive, Generations G2 Skydive, Unite Warriors Ghost Starscream, Botcon Windsweeper, Generations Fellbat

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  This is the second time they have done Shattered Glass Starscream.  Why did we need another one?  Who cares?  He’s got a nice paintjob, though I don’t like the light gray canopy.  It would have looked better with a black (or almost any other color) canopy.  I don’t like the Starscream head in white.  They would have done better to use a different head and just call this toy Jetfire.  This is not as good a toy as the Botcon 2008 SG Starscream, and a great disappointment as the last Fun Publications Transformer.

Grade: F

But as they say on TV, wait, there’s more!  (Or in this case, less.)

A mishmash of toys is supposed to make up Combiner wreckage.  There are no official photographs of the toy (official as in coming from Fun Publications).  There is art that show’s him built in two different ways.  Both versions have of Toxitron as the main figure, but that’s where the similarities end.  The entire idea of substituting combiner limbs is silly.  This was never shown in the G1 cartoon or comic.  As a play feature of the toys, it works great, but there can not be multiple official ways to build a combiner.  I blame Hasbro and IDW for starting this.  Leave it to Fun Publications to run with a bad idea.  Essentially this is more of a faux-combiner or faux-biner if you prefer.

Wreckage Version 1

The first version (pictured above) uses a mistransformed Fractyl as his right leg, a retail Alpha Bravo as his left leg, Counterpunch as his right arm, and a retail Off Road as his left arm.  That is not the correct way to transform the Fractyl mode into a leg, but how he is shown in the art.  I am also assuming he should use Toxitron’s weapon, but that was not shown in the art.  To quote John Oliver, “Cool.”  (That is sarcasm, just to be clear.)  Using retail toys as part of their combiner is lazy, just as it was when they did Magnaboss.  I don’t like the Toxitron mold with the chest closed.  They should have done a repaint of Blackjack instead of the Scorponok to be his chest.  His right leg looks ridiculous like this.  This toy is just a mess.

Grade: D (as in Disaster)

Wreckage Version 2

The second version of the toy uses a slightly mistransformed Bluestreak as the right leg (I will explain that later), Fractyl, now correctly transformed, as the left leg, Impactor as the right arm, and Counterpunch as his left arm.  While there is no official photo from Fun Publications of this toy and it’s weapons configuration, Pete’s Robot Convention has released an unofficial photo based on the second version of the art.  Since there is no official source for how to build this, that’s what I used.  Bluestreak was shown mistransformed.  The front of the car should be flipped down to properly make the leg, but it is shown up and pointing forward.  The photo also shows Arcee’s repainted swords that came with Impactor connected to the sword in Wreckage’s left hand.  The rectangular tabs on the swords are too large to fit into the opening on Toxitron’s sword.  Without forcing it so hard that it damages or breaks Toxitron’s sword, or without modifying the pegs, there is no way to configure it as in the photo.  He looks ridiculous with the sword hand.  Having said that, the worst thing about this build is that all the toys aren’t in the same series.  If they wanted to do this combiner, then all the toys should have been in this last Subscription Service, and not using parts from the last one.

Grade: F (As in, fuck you, Fun Publications.)

So it goes.

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About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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