Friday, 30 January 2009

Hey - That's Not A Transformer...

As the title indicates, this article is a chance to see items of mine that aren't Transformers. Actually, that's a little bit misleading, since most things aren't Transformers. I could easily fill this page up with pictures of sticks and frogs and say "That's not a Transformer." But that would be stupid.

Despite the lure of doing something as stupid as that, I decided to do something sensible. And so I abused my new digital camera that I borrowed for the weekend, running down it's batteries and reducing it to a pile of smouldering plastic. Still, it was worth it.

Searching about in my attic (Which was insanely hot by the way) I found a lot of transforming things that were not Transformers, be they fakes or just "new original concepts, not at all jumping on the bandwagon." A lot of these guys were just interesting, so I thought it'd be good to display them. Plus I've not seen them anywhere else on the net.

Case 1 - Lion Man

 
The only thing I know about this toy is that it came from a supermarket, probably ASDA, after a bout of moaning. Not having any (original) Predacons in the UK, this guy looked a lot like Razorclaw, even down to the chest-mounted lion. That said, it's pretty damn nice. The front legs / arms have several joints, and though he's got no hands to speak of, he's got shovels, so he can probably dig holes. The silver packs on his arms are detachable (ie can get lost easily) and his legs actually move independently! His head's a cool purple and silver too, and the only thing that lets him down is the crap "please-break-me" plastic. Still, it's a lion. Rar!

4/5

Case 2 - "Throttle"
  
Is it a bike.. or a robot? surprisingly heavy, being 90% die-cast metal, it's another very nice toy. His bike mode looks insanely realistic, and though his robot mode can only do the splits, he's another one with poseable arms, and a damn cool retro look. In my games, this chap would either be Wreck-Gar or a bad guy. Because he looks mean. The transformation is nigh-on impossible - you've got to flip his arms about, pull his legs out and flip the wheels around... take a look at his back to see what I mean. Nice.

5/5

Oh, he's a Gobot...

Runs


Case 3 - Mr Crap
 
Just as you thought my collection was perfect, so it gets rubbish. Look, it's a blue and white and red THING. The first mode is an okay hovercraft/spaceship/pancake but the robot mode? Ack. He doesn't even have real hands or a real face. There's no effort! Oh no, the rubbish lump of plastic is going to get me! Better surrender, because those claws look mean!

I remember buying a load of these from a cheapy shop for give-away presents at one of my birthday parties. Yeah, I was the DEALER of shite like this in my childhood. I was responsible for their distribution, and should be locked up and beaten like a common criminal. There were two types, but I doubt anyone would be bothered to know that.

Oh yeah, and it has this walking motion when you pull it backwards. It just makes it look more amazingly retarded than ever.

1/5
Case 4 - The Rock Monster
 
Look, it's your common garden bright purple rock... or is it? Look, it's a MONSTER! How cool is that? Well, not that cool once you realise that Rock Lords are actually Go-Bots, but still...

It's a big lump of plastic. And when I say lump, I mean lump. It gains points just for its ability to kill one of your siblings with one strike, thus allowing you the "but it was only a toy, mum" excuse. Ah, those were the days...

Actual play value (apart from murder) is limited... it's mouth only moves about 1 mm... thus creating the most useless feature EVER. And it has a tail! My friend had the other Rock Lord monster, a Pterodactyl. I was jealous. He had to go...

Good old Rock Monster - he helps me out... and the police will NEVER find who did it.

3/5

 Case 5 - The Cup
 
Look at that... just an average McDonalds cup.. nothing special.. until IT TURNS INTO A ROBOT! I'll never drink at McDonalds again.. who knows if my coke will suddenly transform into a death-dealing robot (with a smile) who will casually break my neck. Saying that, I haven't actually been served 1 inch cups yet, but if I am...

There was also a French Fries robot and a Burger that I know of... but I'm sure there was one more. Probably a dead rat or a dirty chip, to go along with the "Maccy D" theme.

I don't know why he looks so happy though. Perhaps he likes having acidic beverages poured into him. Dirty slut.

2/5
Case 6 - Army-Man
 
I don't know what this is.. but I WANT to. All I can remember is that it came from somewhere stupid like Debenhams. And I wanted more. I haven't a clue why - it looks stupid - but it's small and dinky. Whilst the back is plastic, the bonnet section is metal, giving quite a nice effect. Or just being cheap. He also doesn't have hands, just a bumper. But he DOES have shades, which negates the negative effects. Another guy, as with Mr Crap, who has a pull back and go motion, but in this case we have a detachable engine that can be reattached in robot mode to make him zoom everywhere. And slam into walls.

2/5

Case 7 - Frankenstein ('s monster)
 
Is it an egg? No, it's Frankenstein! ('s monster). There's really not much that can be said about this guy. He's an egg-man. The transformation is complex though, and the plastic is good quality. I was going to test this out by repeatedly dropping it from a first floor window onto people's heads, but then I thought that this might not be such a good idea.

There's not much you can do with him... his arms move up and down, and his feet swivel.. but that's about it. And lets face it, what COULD you do with an egg-man? Boil him?

2/5 (Mainly for it's stupidity)


Case 8 - The HORROR


The last example in our menagerie is by far the most terrifying. For years this creature has been locked up in a secure vault.. but it has escaped! Now witness.. the HORROR
 
A strange vehicle is discovered in a deserted location. Finding Transformer life signs emanating from it, Optimus Prime decided to investigate... on his own. This fateful action was to spell doom for mankind, however.

Prime: I'll just see if this poor fellow is okay.. wait.. what's that noise?
[Transformation sound]
 
Prime: [Falling to his knees] Nooo! For the love of god, NO! A fake Optmus Prime Jumpstarter that doesn't jumpstart! It's the end of the world!

Indeed, the appearance of the fake Optimus Prime Jumpstarter that doesn't jumpstart was foretold in the book of Revelations:

And lo the serpent shall come to devour the Earth,
And the serpent shall have three eyes,
And each eye will see a new evil,
And a star shall crash from the skies,
And the name of that star shall be Wormwood.
This shall be the foretelling of the final end,
When The Four Horsemen doth rise from the flames.
And when the land is reduced to dust,
The fake Optimus Prime Jumpstarter that doesn't jumpstart will consume the world and his will shall reign eternal


Scary stuff, no?
I actually remember when I got this guy. I was dead chuffed... for some reason.

It was when I was incredibly young. I had my party round at my house and probably gave all the guests a Mr Crap toy... no wonder I don't have any friends any longer. Still, my dad had told me NOT to let all my friends into my room because stuff would get broken. So I let everyone into my room, and duly showed off my fake Optmus Prime Jumpstarter that doesn't jumpstart... and duly broke it. I was devastated. That was how messed up I was back then.

0/5

Destroy it! Destroy the evil NOW

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Usborne Puzzle Adventures

In the mid 1980s, books had become boring. All the kids wanted were either robots that turned into cars, computer games that CORRUPTED (such as Trapdoor) and drugs. The booksellers were desperate - how could they combine robots, corruption and drugs?

Well, they couldn't, so Usborne instead ripped off those Fighting Fantasy books and created...
USBORNE PUZZLE ADVENTURES!

These things were the greatest - 44 pages of glory in which little kids had adventures where you had to help them! On every page was a puzzle, which you had to solve before you could turn the page. Failure to do so would render the story unreadable and useless, unless it explained what happened of course. Only problem was, was that the puzzles they gave were usually insanely difficult - and then they released an 'advanced' series that was even harder. I'm not sure what age they were aimed at, probably graduate students come to think of it, the bright, colourful drawings would appeal to their drug-addled minds.

In the back of each book before the answers, would come clues, cunningly written in mirror writing to fool anyone stupid enough to think "put yourself in Agent Arthur's shoes" would help solve a cunning logic problem. In World War 2, it took many years and lives to crack the Enigma code. Here, they're asking little kids to work it out from first principles. And I thought education standards were declining...
 
It's not that they didn't try though. Above are images of the first book in the story, Escape From Blood Castle in which a small boy is sent on his own to a place called BLOOD castle (did his parents have no morals. Or just wanted to knock him off?); and one of the latter books in the series, featuring Agent Arthur, who features in many of these books for the sole reason that he's so inept that he needs the reader to solve the puzzles for him.

Other books in the series (or should that be novels - Dickens, watch out!) were on such adult, mature subjects as Time Trains to Ancient Rome, and woo, spooky ghosts. A generation of children grew up believing that books were hard to read for the sole reason that they required a mental effort to turn every two pages and solve the cunning riddle. Books shouldn't be fun, they should incur stress!

The puzzles were in two categories:
a) Insanely difficult
b) Easier than a 19 year old cheerleader on drugs and up to her eyeballs in cheap vodka
Let's have a look at some examples…

1 - Pathetic
Agent Arthur has been tied up and trapped! In an attempt to be lazy, the writer has left it up to the reader to devise a believable way for him to escape by the next page. There are three main ways in which he could have made his break for freedom

1 - Arthur was pretending to have been beaten and tied up, and was just kidding with the reader. He walks out the open door / the cut-away section.

2 - Arthur takes the jug and wears it on his head as a helmet. Carefully he smashes his head against the crate until he wears away a jagged rectangle. He melts down the chain by breathing on it to create molten metal, which he applies to the wood to create a makeshift circuitboard. Hooking up the broken bottle, he makes a Boolian Vibration Device, to phase reality and smash down the door. He thusly escapes.

3 - Talking on his mobile phone, he orders a pizza, to be delivered by a crack whore (the elite of prostitution). Desperate for money to feed her habit, the delivery girl breaks into the hut, taking care of the door. Pretending his chains are simply for bondage purposes, Arthur is able to trick the girl into releasing him, before smashing her over the head with the jug and using her as a human shield to dodge the guard's bullets.

Now what does the book say he did?

I see.. I still believe my solutions to be the real ways - after all the book itself makes no reference to his escape, so you never know.

2 - Impossible…
Annie's adventure was over - but can you guess the identity of the bloke. Go on, that's as much information as was in the actual book. No, you can't? Well, you see it was actually a boy who was a schoolfriend of Annie and was in the same class! Well, thanks for telling us, because that was easy to guess using MAGIC.

3 - F*ing stupid

We're back to our old friend Arthur again. After his adventure with the crack whore, he escapes, only to be faced with another impossible problem! Can you solve it?
Well NO SHIT SHERLOCK, there are suspicious men with guns!

See how violently this thing swings?

4 - Hello, I have a PHD in nuclear physics.. this is too hard!
The scene - Intrepid Ivor is trapped in a room with a spotty teenager, who won't let him leave his messy room unless Ivor gets a score of 208,361 on the pinball machine. Firstly this is a pretty lame threat, but secondly it's a pretty lame puzzle too. Let's see if you can do this and trace the movement of the ball without breaking the laws of physics
Done it? No, well let's see what the book says:

Note how the ball curves at points, as well as bouncing almost 180 degrees off a non-bouncy wall. What a stupid, stupid puzzle. Obviously Ivor thought so too, since he failed to do the task as well, and instead poisoned the teen. Yes, the puzzle didn't matter. This goes against what these books stand for, and as such I am sickened and disgusted. Good-bye!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

[Comic] Duel

The Transformers: Mosaic project is a fan-based project to get artists and writers working together to create fancomics. 

Below is my piece, entitled 'Duel' featuring Slugslinger! Written, drawn and coloured by... me! I can write, but I never said I could draw (and this proves it!), however most fan artists are more interested in drawing the more classic characters, whilst I'm more interested in writing about the obscure guys. Hey, everyone was obscure once, you've got to give them a chance!

Click the image for the big version!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

[Turtlewind] Diamonds Smell Of Wee. Discuss



As many of my readers and creditors will happily testify, the mysterious Mr Turtlewind is a most enthusiastic young natural philosopher. Having promised a nice man in a long wig that I would never again seek to determine the tensile strength of grey cats, however, these last three or four months have seen me take a bit of a sabbatical from my scientific trail-blazing.

Imagine my delight, then, when I happened to surf back on to my old turf of review site Ciao to be greeted with the perfect hypothesis for an eager scamp to test - and only the barest minimum of cruelty to animals required.

One of the many writers on this fine site who are not as esteemed or attractive as I am had advanced the bold theory that diamonds smell of urine. Quite a few people had found this suggestion controversial and irksome. But I found my curiosity had been somewhat piqued.

‘If I can demonstrate that diamonds smell like wee,’ I thought, ‘then not only will I have vindicated this nice lady’s crusade so convincingly that she’ll want to have sex with me, with boobies and EVERYTHING, but I can found another multi-billion business empire selling my bodily fluids fraudulently. Sweet!’

With a girly giggle of manly delight, I whisked Barry away to the Turtle lab. But it was full of people injecting themselves with talcum powder and doing things to each others’ bottoms. So I left the car park toilets and went to Turtle Grange’s garden shed instead.

After several hours of doodling on huge sheets of paper, pausing just once to steal some noodles from the convalescent home next door, I had formulated my foolproof experimental method. You see, my arch-nemesis Mr Matt Cheeseboy had once told me that our sense of smell constitutes about 80% of our sense of taste. In other words, to find out if diamonds smell of wee, I just had to find out if they tasted like wee! A blind tasting challenge would resolve this dilemma once and for all.

I was scrupulous in my methods. For an experiment to be considered valid by my exacting friends within the scientific community, it must be conducted with rigorous fairness. So, whilst the process of freezing some wee was simple enough, I had to make sure that the little icy crystals were exactly the same size and shape as the diamonds.

Obviously, finding some diamonds was easier said than done. Luckily, my deceitful old witch of a mother was taking her bath when I broke into her house. I was able to prise several gems from her discarded earrings, and gave the thoroughly convincing excuse that ‘wolves did it’.

Once the materials had been secured, I used the diamonds to make plasticene moulds, in which I froze the wee like tiny ice cubes. Cunningly sculpted gravel was to act as my control batch.

It was around this time that I contacted the writer who is not as esteemed or attractive as I am, in order to tell her that soon she would be proved a genius, and intimating that she should be expecting a delivery of HUGE WANG in return for this vindication. Strangely, she never replied. Joyful anticipation does strange things to people.

In order to gain the widest possible demographic sample, and in order to be inhumane to as many people that I don’t like as possible, I gathered together some grey cats, some hobos, Matt Cheeseboy, Jamie Oliver and the boys who throw stones in the woods behind my village. I also put a purple rope outside Turtle Grange and soon had my survey group bolstered by Big Brother and Fame Academy rejects, thinking they were at a premiere.

Quivering with excitement and malice, I blindfolded all my guests and brought out the Tray of Judgement! Barry was on hand to flex his sting pointedly at any tramps or Z-list celebrities tempted to loosen their blindfolds and everyone took a diamond-shaped nugget of wee.

‘Now, fellow inferiors,’ I cackled. ‘Once you have tasted this first product, please indicate on your clipboard whether you think it is a diamond, a... really new variety of Calippo Shotz, or a tasteless inert lump.’

At this last option, Jamie Oliver assumed I was talking about him and started blubbing over the carpet, until all the people who get paid to be his friends in adverts came in to hug him.

This first round was inconclusive. All the hobos and most of the Big Brother rejects had made a secret pact to swallow all three products ‘just in case’. One of the cats clawed Jade’s face and Jamie asked for the recipe of what he was convinced was an ice cream product.

Next I brought out the control batch. Most people correctly identified this as common gravel, but that might have been because of all the moss and ants they had to pull out from between their teeth.

Finally we came to the diamonds themselves. The amount of grimacing due to severe internal lacerations suggested that several people had correctly identified my mother’s priceless heirlooms. However, I of course had to wait until I had collected in the survey response forms to be sure...

Having consulted with some statistical experts in a bus queue, I had decided that if half the people questioned displayed any signs of confusion between the diamonds and the wee, then the less-esteemed than me writer’s hypothesis would be upheld. Trembling with anticipation, I perused the thick and slightly pungent sheaf of papers.

Hmm. Yes, readers, hmm. It appears that my lonely existence is not going to be pierced by a brief bout of gratitude-fuelled sex just yet. In spite of my cunning ‘ice cream’ deception, all the respondents apart from two of the hobos correctly identified the surreptitious wee pellet.

More people than I had suspected confused the diamonds with the gravel. Regrettably, the New Scientist has failed to accept my article proposal: ‘Do things that are sort of made of stone all taste the same?’

Once I had made a cursory examination of the findings, however, I was forced to depart on one of my occasional midnight getaways. I used the time profitably enough, on another gun-running trip to the Isle of Wight, but even so this report has been delayed tremendously, and I hope you can all find it in your hearts to forgive me. I am sorry, less-attractive writer, that you can still not prove your theory concerning the urinary qualities of compressed carbon. And I’m sorry, Matt Cheeseboy, that I slipped such powerful laxatives in with your wee. But it was a magical time that I shall always treasure in any case.

Oh, someone suggested the writer might have been talking about the little prizes that the aforementioned website Ciao gives out. Well, that's stupid. They don't smell of wee because you can use them to buy crack whores and toffees.

You may even be wondering what occasioned my sudden and hasty departure. Well, in truth, I thought that my deception might have been uncovered when, at the bottom of the survey, in response to the question I included from a chewing gum survey (I find the questions very taxing, all right?), one of the boys who throw stones had written, ‘Are you taking the piss?’

Turtlewind Index

Monday, 26 January 2009

You've Played The Game...

...Now watch the film? For ages Hollywood has turned it's nose up at such foolish concepts as "original screenplays" and instead has been systematically raiding everywhere for ideas. I dare you to name a recent major film that isn't a sequel or ripped off of - sorry, a homage to - an old TV series or comic book. Or one that doesn't suck (and no, the Matrix doesn't count). But Hollywood were faced with a dilemma - they had run out of things to steal. Should they go down the road of Police Adacemy, and create many hilarious films.. well, films anyway. Or just find more weird and obscure shows, such as a film version of Knightmare, or Bagpuss - The Movie.

No, today is the day of computer games. Remember watching your friends play their computer games and sharing in the excitement as you leaned over their shoulder? Well now you can get the same effect at the cinema, as film producers have hired 12 year old kids to play games with a film camera pointed at them. Okay, that's a lie, it just sounds more exciting than adapting a game.

But why would anyone want to see the film of a game? For the amazing plots taken faithfully from such entertainment (collect all the coins. Woo)? Or just as a filthy, corrupt trick? Today I shall be looking at ten different films based on computer games, and deciding whether they are any good or not.
Super Mario Brothers
Based on: Super Mario. Surprisingly. Although you kinda guessed that, no?

Super Mario Bros is a film that is mocked by many, citing the... well I'm not sure really, since I am actually a fan of this film - I have it on video, and for me, buying something that doesn't have either time travellers or giant robots in is a big step

I never had a Nintendo, so I wasn't a MASSIVE Mario fan (though I did have the Gameboy version). To me then, the plot wasn't blasphemy just.. different. Of course being released in the summer of Jurassic Park didn't do it any favours, the film being full of non-rip-off dinosaurs. To my knowledge Mario wasn't one to be famous for beating up dinosaurs, but it sure beats tortoise-kings or whatever. Mock it all you want then - but tell me this - what other film features Bob Hoskins versus Dennis Hopper from a parallel dimension, complete with his army of kazoo-playing pinhead dinosaurs? We're looking at a classic, people.

Pokemon The Movie
Based on: Uh.... the Pokemon Gameboy game! Yeah!
I... don't know anything about Pokemon, so I'm going to MAKE THINGS UP.
There's this little yellow guy, right, who shoots electricity (that wasn't a racist joke, btw). And there's this cat but is not a cat and it's called MEW-TWO because they're not allowed real names. So this kid Ash, who imprisons Pokemon and forces them to fight in his twisted little games must... stop Mew-Two from living a decent, normal life and getting kitty-litter...
For heavens sake, what CAN I write about Pokemon that hasn't been covered before? Except Pokemon Porn of course. Now that's an idea I can identify with...
I watched Digimon the other day. It had an egg with legs in it. It was funny.

Street Fighter & Mortal Kombat
Based on: Street Fighter & Mortal Combat respectively. Obvious, really.
Why have I lumped these two movies together? Well for a start there's their similar theme, the fact that their games are alike, and more importantly, the knowledge that I haven't seen either of them. Ever. I used to play Street Fighter round at a friend's house. For some reason the only character I ever had any success with playing was the girl in a blue frilly dress. This disturbed me greatly.

So we've got two movies that feature characters in senseless fights kicking the crap out of each other. Why they needed to poach a game for that winning formula I don't know. But Street Fighter ruled over Mortal Kombat on account of it having not just one action hero (Jean-Claude Van Damme) but two (Kylie Minogue).

Wing Commander
Based on: Gee, guess
If any game was to be made into a film, it would be Wing Commander - this was a game that thought it was a film, having cut scenes so exciting that it would hold up the shooting spaceships to deliver video clips to you. The opportunities (for leaving the room and making a cup of tea) were endless!
The cruel irony was when it was turned into a film though - Mark "I Was In Star Wars You Know" Hamill's part from the game was given to someone else. I bet he consoled himself with his extra special guest appearance on The Outer Limits. Ah Mark, whatever happened?
The film itself was slightly... odd...

SCRIPTWRITER#1: Hi, now we've got to make this film about... spaceships!
SCRIPTWRITER#2: Eh?
SCRIPTWRITER#1: They fly in space
SCRIPTWRITER#2: Space eh, what's that?
SCRIPTWRITER#1: Hmm... dunno. Shall I look in this book about physics?
SCRIPTWRITER#2:  What's physics? Nah, let's just file the barcode off this World War 2 movie
SCRIPTWRITER#1: YEAH! BANG, Neeeeeeeeeeeang, look at the plane DROPPING off the ship. I bet that happens in space
SCRIPTWRITER#2: Cor...

Final Fantasy
Based on: Look, this bit is stupid. I'm not going to fill it in anymore.
Wow, you made a computer animation that looks like a real person. Well done. Now you can do things like never before, like film a scene of a person walking along a street for £400,000 instead of five quid. The other problem with CGI 'actors' is that they aren't - actors, that is. Looking good doesn't mean you can act like a professional. From what I've seen, this film may look good, but has as much drama as a film about two lampshades.
Hmm, come to think about it, that film with the two lampshades WAS good. Oh, that little hoppy one made me giggle...

Tomb Raider
Why this game is popular - it's not so much that the fanboy can ogle Lara Croft, it's that he can BE Lara Croft, the dream of all... or just me. Ah well. Still I haven't seen this film (a recurrent thread in this article) and can't be bothered, really. Ooh, Tomb Raider, a game I have never played nor wish to. The 'plot' or what there is of one I'm told is utter rubbish- see, it's a faithful adaptation, although Lara Croft's breasts should be bigger. They are the two biggest and most important plot points after all.

Tron
"Eh, Tron wasn't a game first," I hear you cry. Well stuff you, I've just realised I can't think of any more and am getting desperate. Anyway it's like a game, and in the end, isn't that all that matters?
No.

Bet you didn't know that Tron was filmed in black and white and then coloured, eh? To get that computery feel. Originally the whole thing was to be made using CGI, entirely with computers. It was greenlighted, about to enter production... and then the team saw the weeks latest high-tech computer game, Pong, and cried. So instead they dressed the characters up in cardboard. So this classic film is actually a black and white movie about people wearing cardboard, although it did have magic water, and no film with magic water can be bad.

And now we come to the end of this waste of time, with only 8/10 films actually done... and one of those doesn't really count. But are films based on computer games any good?
Dunno.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Transformer Knock-Offs - The Best Of Poundland

Like a moth to a flame, I am constantly burnt on the searing, deadly heat of Poundland. Thankfully everything there costs exactly a pound (except for the things that don't) so I won't be sacrificing my wallet on the altar of poverty just yet.

I am however addicted to buying hilariously awful knockoff toys. Most of them go straight in the bin after a few minutes of curious fiddling since they break so easily, but its a nice, inexpensive way to broaden your toy-collecting horizons (to include even more plastic crap).

Anyway I have no willpower, so the last time I was near a cheap shop, I wandered in there to see what I could find. Sometimes they have end-of-line quality official goods. But not this time. This time they had more awful knock-off tat!

So lets see what the latest the bargain bins of the UK can offer...


Getaway
As a kid, I loved Getaway. He had a cool transformation, looked sleek and unique, was a racecar, and a Powermaster. You name it, he had it. So I was rather excited to get this cheap knockoff to relive past victories.

Unfortunately Getaway is probably the worst knockoff I've seen. He is even worse than Giant Neon Orange Ratchet. This is mostly because he's as floppy as hell. Now, I expect some floppyness but Getaway takes it to the extreme. His chest is supposed to turn round - but it has absolutely no friction at all and just flops back down.

The above picture is the very best I could get him. See how is arm is backwards? That is its natural resting position. I couldn't make this stuff up, it just wants to fail!

The original Getaway had a head that sprang up. The knock-off tries to repeat this gimmick, but as you might imagine it sucks totally, and the very weak spring barely pushes the badly-fitted head to poke out slightly through the hole like a giant robot turtle.

This might sound bad, but the worst is to come. The original Getaway was a Powermaster. This meant that he came with a little figure who turned into his engine. He couldn't transform normally, only when you plugged the engine in.

Yes, you've guessed it. For this knockoff they bothered to keep the actual gimmick of the locked transformation, but didn't include the engine!  The pointlessness of the exercise boggles me - why leave in the fiddly engineering on the locking mechanism on the bonnet, but leave out a simple engine. Even a solid block would have worked!

Bin.
Police Armada Optimus Prime. 
There's a few awful toys I have to own just for the sake of it, and this guy is one of them. A company has taken the Armada Optimus Prime mold and made him into a whole squad! A whole squad of police trucks!

The only one left on the shelf when I got there was a Police Bucket Lift. I imagine this is for when Optimus Prime wants to catch criminals but they are really far up. Mine also came with a free extra screw which I pretended was a little man! My life is so magical and fun.

The back of the card shows the wild variety of other Police Primes you can get, from a police crane to a police shovel to a police dumptruck. Since none of them are actually police vehicles, you really have to wonder why they bothered to mold on some sirens.

My favourite however is owned by one of my friends, Catechism@2k5. She bought a Police Cement Mixer. Obviously this is for when Prime needs to give a criminal concrete boots.

 
It begs the question though, what are these knock-off makers thinking? Do they really not know what a cement truck is for? Am I supposed to think that they truly believe that in America the police drive around in huge cement trucks, throwing criminals in the drum to make them dizzy?

Bin

Actionmaster Movie Optimus Prime
For just a single pound this figure sprang out at me. Luxuriously lounging in his own box, Optimus Prime tempted me into buying him. But I was tricked!

One of the laziest bootlegs I got this time, the budget seems to have been spent entirely on the boring box, since the figure doesn't actually transform. it seems that someone just slapped a Movie Voyager Prime into a mold and made a crudely articulated toy out of him.

Here's a confession for you - I like Actionmasters (the late G1 line of non-transforming Transformers) but this guy doesn't do it for me. He is a very ugly Prime with all the fun sucked out of him. He barely resembles Prime, instead looking like a freakish Frankenstein of a robot.

He sports a gun, a shield that cleverly says 'Shield' on it for those who might not understand, and an LED in his chest. Pressing the button on his back makes it flare into life in an optic-blinding fashion, before quickly burning out.

Bin (once I regain my eyesight).

Witchcraft
Lastly we come to my favourite of the bunch. To be honest I'm not even sure it is a knockoff. Its certainly not a knockoff of a Transformer, but perhaps of another line that I've never heard of.

He's a dinosaur, which is a plus point (dinosaurs are awesome). More awesome though is the card he's on proudly states that you can 'Paly with enhanced intelligence'. You really can't make this stuff up.

Amazingly his name is actually 'Witchcraft' thus proving that all toys are evil and the work of the devil. Also it highlights the longstanding relationship between witches and dinosaurs.

Sadly he isn't perfect. He doesn't have the awesome gun the packaging shows, and his fists are the wrong way round. The plastic is a bit cheap, and...

...and he has a head for his crotch.

His head is a crotch. His lovespuds are a dinosaur head. When he pees he opens his mouth. There is no good way to put this, and I imagine he would run home in shame if ever confronted about this.
Actually, all his friends seem to be Crotchmasters which just makes it that more magical!

Keep!