Blog Review: TCC Exclusive Seacons (Piranacon)

 

            TCC Exclusive Seacon Piranacon Superwarrior Gift SetTCC Exclusive Piranacon SetTCC_Piranacon_box2

Preface

I have always loved the Seacons, even as a kid, Piranacon was one of my favorite combiners.  Even though he was sorta short and wide in his combined mode, and had a lot of pink on him, he always maintained some semblance of charm to me.  When this first was first released back in 2008 by the Transformers Collector’s Club as an exclusive, the new color scheme really turned me off from it.  At the time, the G1 color scheme of Piranacon had not yet been re-released by Takara Tomy, and although this set came in a really nice package (and with a $100+ price tag) it just didn’t have the allure to me, that “gotta get it now” factor.   Seeing as how this set was being released, I imagined it wouldn’t be but a matter of time before we’d see a wider re-release in

sea monster mode group shot

sea monster mode group shot

original or close-to-original coloring put out.  Turns out, BBTS (and I think Amazon for a while) came to my rescue, and released a near-original color gift set for less than $50 (after markdown).

I did like the color scheme on the TCC set, but it just wasn’t the original.  However, now with my reissue original color in hand, my interest in obtaining the TCC set piqued, but it just wasn’t available anymore, that is, within my price range.  Rumored to be in the 1500 production range (I can find no official confirmation of this), prices had went up quite a bit on evil-Bay and other places older releases can be found.

Fast forward to Slagacon 2013 in Florence, KY where TFYLP had its first convention appearance and Insane Galvatron and I were there covering the show, as well as unloading some of our own wares.   Transformers Club (and former Hasbro) employee Pete Sinclair was there, and had a booth of his own, buying, selling, and trading.  He had a small number of these sets from his own personal collection, and across the way from his table was MegaToyfan’s booth ran by megamus (who at the time was not yet part of the TFYLP cast) and he had obtained the sets

individual robot mode group shot

individual robot mode group shot

through a deal he had made with Pete.  Megamus actually had a little less in the sets compared to their worth, and I was able to get one for quite a deal.  This set is complete, although it had been opened and combined/transformed at least once, but still fine condition.

The Review.

This set is a gorgeous set in my own personal opinion, with a largely different deco and attention to detail that generally isn’t seen in the original Generation 1 and re-release of the Piranacon character.  A largely black, orange, yellow, teal, and silver motif is a stark contrast to the overall sea foam green/teal, black and pink color scheme of the G1 release.

TCC Skalor

Skalor fish monster mode

Off hand, I notice not obvious changes to the molding of any of the figures in this set, and the only changes appear to be in color scheme only.  Out of the six Seacons in the set, I think the two that got the best treatment as far as deco is concerned is Skalor & Seawing.

Since in my opinion, they look the nicest out of the set, I’ll talk briefly about them first.

Skalor

The color scheme for this version of Skalor, who turns into a fish monster, is mostly teal, with

robot mode

Skalor robot mode

green, orange, gold, and black accents.  Most notably, his scales are outlined on the fish’s back in black, something not seen in his G1 and reissue versions, as they were just simply molded detail in those releases.   Since none of the robots in any mode seem to have any significant changes done to the molding, I will spare you the repeat of saying that with each bot, so I’ll just say it here.   In fish monster mode, he has decent articulation for a G1 mold , with movable legs, knees, shoulders, and mouth.  In robot mode, his articulation is considerably less, with just shoulders and elbows.  My biggest complaint with him, and I don’t seem to have this issue on the G1 reissue or my vintage one when I had it, is the fact his guns won’t fit properly in his fists.  The posts on the guns are slightly too big for the peg holes in his fists, and his left hand barely holds them when you put them together.  In the shot to the right above, it was a pain in the ass to get it to stay in his fist long enough to take that pic.  What makes it worse, is that not only are the holes/pegs too small/big but the fin on his wrist is

Seawing manta ray monster mode

Seawing manta ray monster mode

slightly off during assembly, pushing the back of the guns forward and not allowing straight penetration (that’s what she said) into the peg hole of his fists by his guns.  Other than this small factory defect, there are no other issues with Skalor.

Seawing

Seawing is really nice with his deco, a good blend of a yellow-to-orange gradient on the ray’s

Seawing robot mode

Seawing robot mode

wings, and grey/black body.  Seawing has movable legs, feet, and mouth in manta ray monster mode.  However unfortunate is his rather stumpy robot mode with this teeny tiny little robot head.  Okay, I understand why his head is so small (that’s NOT what she said) for the Scramble City style combination, but it just looks goofy on him with his body-to-head proportions.  He still has a nice color scheme in bot mode, predominantly orange, great, and black.  Deco wise, he’s a bit boring with no tampo graphics or stickers to liven him up at all, let alone cover his “screw nipples”.

Overbite

Overbite turns into a shark monster, and is one of the cooler alt modes out of the Seacons

Overbite shark monster mode

Overbite shark monster mode

(again, IMHO).  His legs, knees, ankles, and crab-like shoulders move, and his shark tail has minimal movement up and down. While his mostly black and teal-green color scheme works in shark monster mode, it still comes off as rather bland and boring as well.  No tamp graphic detail at all outside of his Decepticon insignia on the shark’s head.

Robot mode is a bit better proportioned, somewhat, compared to some of the other Seacons, and has a bit of a ‘body builder’ look with beefy arms and smaller legs.  His feet tend to look a little better if you remove the crab arms, but I’m lazy, so I usually just leave them on.  Would really be nice to have some stickers or some kind of graphics in bot mode, but alas, only a ‘Con symbol on his chest.  Two big screws,

Overbite robot mode

Overbite robot mode

one in his crotch and on where his knees would be, if he actually had them.  Rather boring continue of his color scheme carries over from monster mode into robot mode.

Articulation in shoulders, elbows, up /down in his wrists, and you have the gist of his movement as a robot.

Tentakil

Tentakil has in my opinion both one of the cooler, and one of the more disappointing monster

Tentakil squid monster mode

Tentakil squid monster mode

modes out of the Seacons.  His alt mode of a squid-like monster looks rather menacing.  Makes me think of what it would look like if Cthulu and MOTU’s Mer-Man were to have a love child and also was robotic.  Yeah.  Anyway, he’s got semi gloss grey/silver tentacles on each side of his body, and he wants to probe your holes with them just like on your favorite japanese hentai.  His two rear/bottom tentacles are brownish orange in color.  The rest of him is a teal with black accents.  His menacing scowl in beast mode just looks… menacing.  I like it. Even as a kid on my original G1 I loved

Tentakil robot mode

Tentakil robot mode

this guy, and he looks less girly with no pink this time around.

In robot mode, again he has the same teeny tiny head syndrome that Seawing suffers from proportionally, but overall looks good otherwise.  Arms move at shoulders, that’s it.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that his movement range in beast mode is limited to monster hips and where the tentacles meet the body (ooh baby!) only.  Would be a little more exciting of a figure if you could open and close his monster mouth, but no.  Depending on the surface you have him standing on, he is quite back heavy as the ass of the monster turns into a backpack.  Fortunately his arms with rifles attached offers a bit of balance to him.   Desperately in need of some tampo graphics or stickers in robot mode as he looks totally naked.

Nautilator

Nautilator lobster monster mode

Nautilator lobster monster mode

Next to last, we have one of the neatest names in the bunch, Nautilator.  He also is kinda fierce looking, and not meaning fierce with a lisp.  Lobster monster mode has a movable mouth, (where you shove his gun in his ridiculous gun turret mode that I won’t talk about in this review for any of them.  Not entirely sold on the “Targetmaster” aspect of

Nautilator robot mode

Nautilator robot mode

the combiner like this.)  Nautilator is predominantly grayish and orange with black accents, and the lobster legs have bit of a purple hue depending on what light you get them in.  Rather blah color scheme for an otherwise ok looking monster mode.

Robot mode is mostly orange with a little grey and black accent, and a touch of yellow.  Molding breaks of the necessity of stickers or graphics, but a little more would be nice.  His gun is a bit oversized for him, and his leg(s) is way too small for his feet, which are still too small really to make up for his gigantic back kibble he has in robot mode.  The huge monster head, claws, and all of the monster legs fold up as back kibble, and like Tentakil, makes for an off-balance bot.  Although for me, he tends to stand a bit better than Tentakil in this regard, possibly because his bot leg(s) are more centered under his body.

Snap Trap

The ol’ “Butcher of the boggs” as his G1 Tech Spec refers to him, Snap Trap is quite an awesome figure for the leader figure of the bunch, the largest of the group that forms the center body

Snap Trap turtle monster mode

Snap Trap turtle monster mode

and head of the combiner Piranacon.  He has the most yellow on him besides Seawing as his reciprocating turrets and dual turtle tails are molded yellow plastic.  Purple, teal, and a touch of black round out his monster colors.  Again, for a G1 mold, he’s got ok posability in beast mode with up-down head action (just the way you like it), a wide-opening mouth (now it’s just getting downright dirty in here), and movable legs.  The little switch on the turtle’s back slides left and right in an arc to make the turrets have that ‘pow pow’

Snap Trap robot mode

Snap Trap robot mode

reciprocating action.  Let’s face it, we all like it when it is reciprocated.   Very menacing looking, the monster mode is one of the more (and arguably the most) ferocious looking of the bunch.

In bot mode, his rifle is yellow, and the yellow carried over from monster mode breaks up a mostly boring black color scheme, with some teal and purple here and there.  As with a lot in this set, could use more than just a tampo graphic Decepticon symbol to make him more interesting.  Arms, elbows, and a weird hip/knee side-motion is the extent of his articulation in this mode.

Combined mode & Final thoughts

What really makes this set pop and worth it, is the combined mode.  All those colors come together in this short but bulky behemoth and make for a very nice and interesting looking combiner robot.  If I could add anything to him, a

TCC Piranacon combined form

TCC Piranacon combined form

few more tampo graphics or stickers to break up the rainbow of color coming from him, as well as some chrome that is seen in the G1 and reissue versions of the team.  He just looks like a badass, and the silver painted claws on his feet are a nice touch.  Piranacon like a lot of other combiners, incorporates a way to attach all the members’ individual weapons onto the combined form somewhere.  Snap Trap’s big rifle can either be held in the combiner fist, or be clipped behind him using the turtle feet.  One feature this guy has that other G1 gestalts didn’t is that one of the members (any of the 5 smaller bots) can become the weapon of the combined form, thus essentially making him a “Targetmaster”, although I think that’s a bit of the stretch as I think of Targetmasters as much smaller guys making the guns.  But oh well.

I know I complained a lot about this figure, but it really is nice.  As usual with any toy, it could be better, but as it is, it is well worth at least what it’s been going for lately.  If you don’t care for the original G1 color scheme, or the God Neptune scheme from Japanese BW, then this set might appeal to you, especially with the overall darker tones and slightly more menacing look of the toy.  Let’s face it, the green and pink did look rather effeminate on the original, though for me I prefer it as that’s how it always was until this set came out.  Nostalgia wins out again in that aspect.  Well played, TCC for one of the first (iirc) offerings from the club store.  I just wish we got more like this instead of tons of redecos of current gen figures.

BBTS (L) reissue Piranacon compared to TCC (R) Piranacon

BBTS (L) reissue Piranacon compared to TCC (R) Piranacon

—-Review by Weirdwolf

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