And a response to Yo Go Re’s review over at OAFE.net.
You know, coming up with a fix for a problem that a transformer has is a fun thing for me. If something really bugs me about a toy, even if it’s a small thing, that annoyance grows disproportionately until I grab a sharp thing and have at it till it’s fixed.
It’s like a good version of emo.
Or if Jerry Seinfeld was a psychopath.
(Did I just do a ‘Seinfeld stops dating women because of little things’ joke? Man, I really don’t like that show but somehow I’ve seen more episodes than I’d care to…)
(Was that a subtle way of explaining the above joke? Yes, with my shame exposed as bonus.)
I also like to help people, though. And I know that toy collectors can be picky enough to be bothered by the same little things as me. Combine that with a need to spread a growing sense of ick towards the pineapple, and you have one of the main things behind this blog.
With that in mind, I don’t like to post how to do other people’s fixes, cause that’s taking away some of their thunder. At the risk of sounding too prideful, I like the stuff that I come up with being known as a fix that I came up with, so I don’t want to take that way from somebody else.
With that in mind, the HA Barricade hip mod is apparently simple enough that it’s spread through most of the tf message boards. The earliest posters I’ve seen talking about this were back in January on TFW2005.
I remember when Demonicfirefly posted on it, but practically nobody had the figure, his instructions weren’t exactly clear, and I think it was with blurry cellphone pictures. Still, he’s the earliest that I know of. Congrats Demonicfirefly!
Shortly thereafter, Termn8nu posted a little more explanatory thread.
It seems to be the first one Google gives when searched, but the main problem with it is that he took the pictures after the fact. He explained it with the text, but some people are visual learners, so when they look up at the pictures and don’t see the plastic obstructions, they still get puzzled.
I know this because I’m a regular at TFW2005’s Feedback Forum, where people give their takes on toys, with (usually) one thread per figure. It’s a great place, and when buying a toy you’re not sure about it, OAFE, and a few of the video reviewers (Thew, Peaugh, and Vangelus in particular) are nice ways to gather information.
So where’s all this leading?
On tfw2005, people still ask how to do the Barricade hip mod.
I think it’s because it is something very easy to see in person, but if you don’t have it in hand and a person says ‘just cut the pokey plastic bits off his hips’ there’s a lot of potential for ‘but he’s a movie transformer! He’s MADE of plastic pokey bits!’
So, after a while of this (and seeing no really clear images on how to do it), I posted this in the feedback thread for Barricade. Since I made the image, I figured I’d post it on here as well, though credit (so far as I’m aware) goes to Demonicfirefly and Termn8u. If you know of an earlier poster (sorry that I couldn’t find Demonicfirefly’s post), let me know and I’ll gladly update this post.
So anyway. You want to know how to do the Human Alliance Barricade Hip Mod?
There ya go. This is months after the fact, and only done cause people so far tend to post pictures of it after they’ve already cut off the plastic bits.
You don’t have to take the hips apart, you don’t have to use a dremil, and you don’t have to risk cutting yourself (much.) Just grab a pair of flush cutters and snip off each hip’s plastic pokey bit, allowing the hips to fully rotate up.
As per the MattBooker.info usual, I’ve colored the part you need to cut in red, and shown the dramatic difference between the hip position.
And yes, it’s a dramatic difference. And that’s where we get to Yo Go Re’s review of Human Alliance Barricade at OAFE.
Go on, take a look. It’s an informative review with nice pictures and funny captions.
However, one part does bug me about it. Can you guess which one?
“Another thing fans seem to be complaining about is the hips: when they swing out to the side, plastic lumps keep them from moving more than 45°, and the fanboys wonder why they don’t go all the way out; well, how about “because that’s his design?” The robot has narrow hips, so if they came out the whole way, it would be wrong. Stop trying to fix things that aren’t broken!”
Oh come on, Yo. You say that Barricade has good articulation, but your review neglects to mention that the hips ruin the majority of poses.
For those of you familiar with action figures, it is the difference between a V crotch and a T crotch.
A T crotch lets an action figure have a restricted but natural forward and back movement.
A V crotch (bane of girl super heroes everywhere) lets an action figure… sit indian style?
With his hips fixed, Barricade can pull off damn near any dynamic pose your shelf could ask for. Running! Dodging! Proposing to Sam!
Unmodded, the best pose Barricade can pull off is ‘Standing there!’
If you try to swing his legs back, all you get is ‘Really has to pee!’
Which if you want to count that, he can do that after the fix too. :p
So, with added articulation and a more enjoyable tf, what’s the drawback?
Barricade is shorter. By like, a smidge.
And if height is an issue, when you want him to just stand there move his hips down to the old position.
So I’m calling bullshit on this, Yo.
People fix problems on toys because they are problems, regardless of the intended design.
Maybe articulation ranks above ‘moderately accurate hips’ on my list of happy tf features.
Anyway. Keep up the good reviews, but don’t be upset that the majority of Barricade fans prefer their slighty shorter but much more poseable Barricades. :)
For everyone else, if you didn’t know about the mod before, you do now. Get to fixing, an don’t be afraid to make better what ain’t broken!