Monday, July 21, 2014

Transformers AOE Strafe

Presenting the Deluxe edition Dinobot Strafe from the Transformers Age of Extinction (AOE) toyline.

No he's not Swoop. Let's not pretend he is.

Let's get the great white-elephant out of the way, we hated the movie. And before some people get their panties in a bind, it's simply because the movie cannot stand as entertainment on it's own - regardless of the fact that Michael Bay likes to trample on G1 (Our opinion on that matter is that G1 and Bay are two different genres that should not be compared).

It's a long list of complaints. Anti-alien (to the point of hatred) secret government alien forms alliance with, you guessed it, an alien; Hound gives up the fight not because he's wounded, but because he's fat; Advertisements galore; no way is anybody going to believe that Marky Mark is an inventor; Marky Mark never runs out of ammo, why did Hound? his daughter - who falls for a useless coward - is the worst slut of a daughter we've ever seen. If only she was of legal agethen  we can imagine her getting the spanking she deserves;

Optimus Prime can fly? Apparently the best and fastest way to get this "seed" away from the bad guys was never considered from the guy who likes to just roll; The Dinobots are soooo mighty it takes one punch from Optimus to tame the great Grimlock; Speaking of which, what's with Prime getting his ass kicked throughout the movie? The only time he wins is when he's backed by giant Dinobots or when he stabs someone from behind. Speaking of which, a while back the new Decepticons were shrugging off anything the Autobots through at them, then when the Dinobots come a bite or a sword slash is all it takes?  And Optimus Prime is perfectly fine with his Autobots acting more like Decepticons than the Decepticons. Really? They have a fist fight in front of him and a sword is at Bumblebee's throat and he's "Meh"?

What extinction event are we looking at? At best if the seed went off HongKong would be gone. Not that it's any safer there now that Optimus Prime let four giant prehistoric semi-intelligent creatures roam the countryside.

And Strafe keeps crashing. He didn't really do anything. We went in with low expectations, just expecting a nice adventure. This was not worth what it cost to have it made, or the price of admission.

We didn't really get why people were calling the Bayformers "Gayformers" till someone pointed out that the Dinobots formed a "Rainbow coalition" thanks to their colors. Personally we don't think that people need stoop that low and Gayformers is a derogatory word that should not be used at all. It is okay, after all, to be gay. Bayformers is insulting enough and I think that Hasbro does feel the pinch of disappointment from the collectors who refuse to buy toys made for children being sold at the price-point of collectors.

Strafe's blister card simply reads: "This flying Dinobot strikes fear in his enemies when he swoops down on them from above! Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This Strafe figure is a high-powered fighter whether he's in robot mode or dino mode. With a sword in each hand, he'll be a match for any enemy in robot mode. And when he converts to vicious pteranodon mode, no enemy can hope to outrun him! "

Which actually sparks a debate that we saw recently on one of the boards: "Who would win in a battle? The DOTM Starscream or AOE Strafe?" Naturally we favored the Dinobot, till we stopped to think about the fact that a) Starscream's alternate mode flies faster than Strafe's alt mode, and; b) Starscream's weapons in alternate mode offer greater range than Strafe's. In fact Starscream's alt mode is built around the concept of Fire-and-Forget weaponry. He doesn't even have to physically see Strafe to knock him out of the sky (Which was, by the way, quite easy to do in the movie).

What's to like about the TF Age of Extinction Deluxe Edition Strafe?

We are soooo freakin in love with those wings! We can't get enough of them!

We may not agree with his paint-job, but we love the blending from sky-blue to silver.

We love their articulation that comes with them!

But most of all we love the saw blade edges which is a fantastic addition/break-away from the traditional "Archangel" wings popularized by Warren Worthington III of the X-Men and the many incarnations of Gundams with wings that have come and gone.

Now if only he moved on his own! Strafe also comes with pair of deadly pinion like swords, and we're sure those wing "Claws" still come into play in hand-to-hand-combat, making Strafe a very effective and deadly close-ranged fighter. But you can more or less see AOE Strafe's combat abilities with his wings here.  AOE Strafe looks sooo graceful in combat.

Yes the Age of Extinction Deluxe Edition Strafe can kneel - all part of his battle dance anyway. We should probably mention that how Strafe fights in the Bay Movie and how we think something this beautiful should fight are two different things. Our version is far more graceful deadly.

We initially were going to cite Strafe for being unable to see at certain angles thanks to the two heads on his torso. then we realized that those were two heads on his torso with two pairs of working eyes and two separate working brains. Strafe can actually see more than most Transformers can which should help him as a scout - which we think he really is in the Dinobot Hierarchy - or in fighting:

The Deluxe Edition Age of Extinction Strafe also comes with a push-activated crossbow, but we don't really like it and prefer that he just stick with his swords - not how the swords can be mounted on his wings:

What's NOT to like about the TF Age of Extinction Deluxe Edition Strafe?

We really, really hate his alt mode. A two-headed two-tailed Pteranodon? We're torn actually. We enjoy something with two heads, and he is a scout, so he can see more with two heads - and the dual tail is inspiring, especially in combat.

But how does he not do this:

What's the control? Is this a matter of one identity with two heads, or two heads with one identity? If it's the latter, this would definitely happen. So let's just assume Strafe doesn't have a dual personality and that it's two heads operated by one consciousness.

But  bottom line, we don't think the Pteranodo look is working. We think that the grace and sleekness that Strafe has in robot mode disappears when you transform him into a dinosaur. It's just not as.... sexy. Especially after you add those cumbersome swords and the crossbow on his back.

This particular Transformers Age of Extinction Deluxe Edtion Strafe was purchased from Toy Kingdom Megamall here in Manila, Philippines for PhP 899.75 (Roughly US$ 20). He is available on Amazon for US$ 23 (Roughly PhP 1,012 plus shipping).

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