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Limited Appeal, Keeping It Real

Thew Adams is a Youtube reviewer who reviews Transformers toys. The series began in 2007 as his response to the dry, matter-of-fact, informative-based types of toy reviews at the time. His reviews are quickly-paced, brimming with humor, and pointing out the positives of the toy being reviewed, (regardless of its quality,) and grind. Lots and lots of grind.

He also created Toygrind, a series for talking about non-Transformers toys, and Dammit, Open!, which is a PO box unboxing series, named for an infamous line spoken by Ultra Magnus in The Transformers: The Movie. He also has a let's play channel called Playgrind, which has, of course, featured multiple Transformers games.

Thew's Awesome Transformers Reviews contains examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Thew does this from time to time. His review of Generations Skywarp provides an especially excellent example.
  • Always Someone Better: Thew is no slouch when it comes to obscure Transformers knowledge, but he readily acknowledges that it pales in comparison to the knowledge of Nicholas of Toy-Fu.
  • Author Appeal:
    • A prominent display of his is a shelving unit dedicated exclusively to various incarnations of Skywarp, nicknamed the Skywarp Shrine.
    • A running gag in his TFNation 2017 Q&A is that, whenever asked what he thinks he'd be as a Transformer, the phrase "best mates with Skywarp" keeps popping up.
    • Decepticons in dark colours, especially black and purple, count in general.
  • As You Know: The history of the early Generation One toyline and Gold Plastic Syndrome get lampshaded as things Thew tends to assume his audience already knows, before he provides a rundown of the basic concepts.
    • When reviewing the original G1 Megatron toy, he admits that the story of the franchise's beginnings are so commonly retold that he simply shouts related buzzwords after two sentences.
  • Binge Montage:
    • Played with in 10 Shots, 10 Bots (and its sequel, The Re-Wreckoning), where Thew takes on a community challenge of ten improvised toy reviews, with each one preceded by a shot of liquor. The deeper in the bottle he gets, the more smashed and less coherent he becomes.
    • Taken up to thirteen in Threevenge, complete with a touch of Alcohol Hic.
    • Done again in 10 Shots, 10 Botbots, where the simpler transformations made it a bit easier. He also switched both to a smaller shot glass and a lower proof whiskey, since Threevenge was a bit too rough on him.
  • Born Unlucky: His interpretation of Skids's role in life: Skids was stuck somewhere between 1984 and 1985, which led to him being persistently Out of Focus in the fiction of the era, didn't get a new toy until Alternators (which looked suspiciously like a recolored Ironhide), his name was passed around to various unrelated characters, the most prominent of which was the massively unpopular movieverse Skids, and when he finally got a new Generations toy and started appearing in comics again, the Generations toy was seriously flawed and heavily redesigned, while the fiction had him perish in a Senseless Sacrifice and be literally forgotten by everyone. The whole thing makes Thew borderline depressed.
  • Brown Note: Thew reacts rather poorly to loud creaking noises. A squeaky swivel on the M.A.S.K. Detonator causes him to visibly cringe. He suffers a similar reaction to a vintage Masterforce Overlord being removed from its polystyrene packaging in the Toy-Fu Treasure Trove video, and even has to duck out for a moment when one of three Victory Star Sabers comes out of its own.
  • Butt-Monkey: Captain Planet. Whenever a missile is fired, there is roughly a 100% chance that its target is the Captain Planet action figure. Several fans actually donated extra Captain Planet figures when Thew's original one broke during a move.
    • Bumblebee also took his share of abuse earlier in the series, occasionally being smacked around by another toy's melee weapons. Unlike Captain Planet however, Thew genuinely wasn't fond of Bumblebee as a character, explicitly refusing to review any of his toys after his "Bumblebee Brouhaha". Thew seems to have softened on the little yellow guy in recent years, though.
    • As of Knockoff Beatdown: Christmassacre, the Galaxy Shifter line of bootleg Transformers. They get drafted in to take the bullet whenever Thew likes the actual knockoff figure he's reviewing too much to destroy it, because they're painfully generic, offer nothing interesting for him to talk about, and he has far too many of them just lying around because of how common they are to find.
  • Chirping Crickets: Generations Scoop attracts these in his alt-mode.
    "'s a digger, innit... ?"
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Thew does the voice of just about every toy incarnation of Arcee with a scratchy high-pitched voice reminiscent of Teen Girl Squad.
  • Curse Cut Short: Played for Laughs in the Punch-Counterpunch review, where the end-slide cuts off his acknowledgement that he got through the video without mispronuncing it as a certain swear.
  • Don't Try This at Home: After attacking a knock-off Mirage with a hedge trimmer, we get this sage advice:
    Please don't try this at home!
    Thew is incredibly irresponsible.
    Don't be like him.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first four episodes are compilations of quick-fire commentary on several different toys, instead of being focused on a single toy each as future episodes would be.
  • Eye Scream: Disregarding the safety instructions of the Black Convoy Pen leads to this.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: One of his videos invokes this, featuring a lengthy rant about the brazen nature of illegal knockoff manufacturers and how they've stopped even pretending they aren't stealing their work, which he concludes with "'Who cares?' I'll tell you who cares - nobody." Because as it turns out, even he can't really bring himself to get angry at what results.
  • Franchise Original Sininvoked: He freely admits that many later toy flaws can be traced back to the iconic G1 toyline, but he usually gives the G1 figures a pass because they were the first of the line and built with a much more limited understanding of toys which many of the later figures don't have as an excuse. He also criticizes modern updates of G1 toys for slavish devotion to the old figure to the point that they replicate garish color schemes and adhere to silhouettes/designs that ultimately limit the figure.
  • Freudian Slip: His review of G1 Spinister involves making a joke about the fact that the toy's name includes the phrase "spinster", to which he replies "Same." Later on, he claims that Spinister transforms into "a bitter old failure, rotting all alone, gradually getting older and fatter and sicker until he dies of angina and is eaten by his cats. I mean, a helicopter." and proceeds to sulk.
  • Glowing Mechanical Eyes: "Light-piping!" Easily one of Thew's favourite gimmicks, he'll point it out whenever a toy has it (especially if it's particularly impressive or underwhelming), and has lamented its absence in more recent toylines.
    • He also points out whenever a toy was clearly designed and made to have it, but ended up having painted eyes anyway, much to his chagrin.
    • Once the light-piping returned, Thew noted that it had been gone for so long some fans had mistaken it for a brand new gimmick.
  • Grandfather Clause: Usually pointed out in reviews of G1 toys, where he gives them a lot of leeway because... well, they're G1 toys, they were about as good as they got at the time, and they're important to him more because of what they invoke than their actual quality. Subverted in the first "10 Shots 10 Bots", where he goes on a somewhat drunken rant about how the G1 Seeker mold is an iconic classic, but it's also "a piece of shcrap" - though he follows it up by giving the clunky and limited Robotmasters Skywarp a pass because it was the first time they'd ever done a Seeker since the G1 toy, and it came out at the same time as the much worse Transformers: Armada toys.
  • Gushing About Shows You Like: His reviews tend to be quite positive, and though he's got no problem with pointing out the places a figure goes wrong, he still usually ends up liking it. As his schedule was fairly infrequent before opening his Patreon, he usually only had time to talk about figures he either likes or finds interesting in some way. (That being said, he has no problem with absolutely panning a figure when it does go wrong.)
  • Hard Truth Aesop: The Skids retrospective ends on one of these: sometimes, people slip through the cracks, never succeed, and end up being forgotten by history, no matter how hard they work at it, and it's not because they screwed up, it's because... that's life, and life isn't fair to people.
  • Ignored Epiphany: The end of his Skids retrospective video has him coming to a realization about the character: Skids has been Out of Focus for over thirty years, and at this point, he's probably never going to truly break into the mainstream and get that perfect showing—and that's okay, because sometimes not everyone makes it. Then he immediately declares that's stupid, and starts loudly demanding Hasbro to make a new Generations Skids toy.
  • Important Haircut: Downplayed, but as of the Universe Treadshot review he's taken to keeping his head shaved. And he reveals this in rather dramatic fashion right at the end:
    *pulling off the hat he's been wearing all review* "Also, I'm bald now. BYE!!"
  • Improv: The review of MP-21 Bumblebee with Freddery was mostly improvised, as revealed by the behind-the-scenes video.
  • Innocent Innuendo: In one review, he recounts an incident when he was a kid at a birthday party and asked if he could have his face painted to look like Stalker. This caused quite a stir among the adults, who thought he meant "a stalker", and caused his parents to tell him that Stalker was now named "Radar-Bot."
  • Lame Pun Reaction: When he makes a lackluster pun he calls himself on it saying he used to be better at puns.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: When asked about a hypothetical Decepticon he could come up with, Thew gave the name as "Carpet-door." Then he got fanart of Carpet-door, a seeker with a carpet cape and a shield made out of a door.
    • Similarly, during a Q&A he offered the name "Datashred"... because he'd seen it written on a data-recovery company's van earlier that week and thought it sounded cool.
  • Loophole Abuse: After his declaration that he was "never going to review Bumblebee ever again!", he still managed to sneak a few in, either as knockoffs, repaints, or being reviewed by someone else. Eventually, he just dropped the pretense and did a second brouhaha, having grown out of his dislike for the character.
  • Made Myself Sad: When reviewing Combiner Wars Sky Lynx (whose torso mode is dubbed "Sky Reign"), he suggests a repaint based on the Giant Purple Griffin from the G1 cartoon, and offers the moniker "Purple Reign"... just over a week after Prince's passing.
  • Metalhead: Thew is an avowed fan of the genre, and such music often crops up in each episode.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: When talking about the War for Cybertron Siege line-up.
    "Bustin' out the gate with an all star line-up. Featuring some of the franchises biggest names and best known faces, and Flywheels."
  • Made of Indestructium: The Funtastic Wolf Beasty Convertor. Literally the brick used to smash it broke before the toy did. The tail was the only bit of actual damage that he managed to do to it.
  • Mondegreen: Played for Laughs in the Tank Megatron special, where he repeatedly mishears G2 Megatron's garbled "Megatron attack!" soundclip as "Make a ton of cack!"
  • The Nicknamer: Prone to doing this whenever a figure has No Name Given, especially knockoffs. Most of them are a portmanteau of the name of a celebrity or well known fictional character and the figure it resembles. ("Mega-OctAinsley Harriott", "RollbArnold Rimmer.")
  • No Brows: Thew's eyebrows are just the right color to blend in with the rest of his face. He even pokes fun at his "invisible eyebrows" in his Titans Return Highbrow review.
  • No Kill like Overkill: What does Thew do with a crappy knockoff of an allegedly officially licensed Ford Mustang non-Transformers robot toy? Has it ran over by an actual car.
  • Portmanteau: A staple of Thew's humor (Thewmor?). He'll frequently coin an impromptu portmanteau whenever the opportunity presents itself.
  • Pungeon Master: Thew himself can't go through an entire episode without making some kind of pun, good or bad.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He's a metalhead with a love for dark colors and screaming, but he also loves female Transformers and is quick to call toys cute. He's joked quite a few times about the apparent contradiction.
  • Running Gag:
    • Being very impressed by light-piping.
    • '''Good band name!'''
    • I'm a cockney, I'm a cockney!"
    • Why?: When talking about a strange design choice or a gimmick that doesn't fit.
    • The portmanteaus.
    • In Dammit, Open, it's become a running gag for letters to address Thew as Thiouis XIV.
    • Videos involving Bumblebee will often include a call back to Thew declaring that he would "never review another Bumblebee figure ever again", followed by Thew wondering why he said it so weirdly.
    • Sideways Elbow Action: First mentioned in one of his older videos, due to a lack of lateral arm movement in a relatively modern figure. It became a joke in the comments because of how ridiculous viewers thought it sounded (even as a valid point) and occasionally got brought up again, eventually switching to Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness versions, like "lateral ulna activity".
    • I dunno, I don't know guns: When remarking upon features of firearms that he cannot properly identify. Often comes up when dealing with Megatron's classic handgun altmode.
    • Testing a wheeled vehicle mode by rolling it back and forth, while making a "doot-de-doot-de-doot" noise. Often followed by "The [overly specific to the toy's design] doot-de-doo!"
    • Thew remarking on a figure or character in a slighty deprecating way, then bluntly sighing "Same."
    • Thew making a comment about a toy's design following it up with "Much like your mother"
    • With the introduction of the Random Patron Shoutout during the ending credits, Thew always introduces it by half-singing, half-shouting to a short melody. Or sometimes just sings noises that vaguely sound like the phrase.
    • Lampshading yet another Take That! at the Michael Bay movies by singing.
    "Dunking on the movies, so original!"
    • Figures from and references to Cyberverse will often bring up Thew's uncanny resemblence to the show's depiction of Maccaddam.
    "Is that me? That is me! At least tag us next time!"
    • Monthly Megatron videos that don't actually come out monthly feature a "May Not Actually Be Monthly" disclaimer on the title card. With one exception.
    "Monthly Megatron! Is it? Is it, though...?"
    • Modern-day Megatron toys that attempt to give him a "Cybertronian" alternate mode instead being given creative descriptions of how they're just masses of kibble as if that's what Megatron's alternate mode actually is. Or sometimes simply "...that."
    • If a Seeker toy's alternate mode has the chest-cockpit appear in the wrong place, its not kibble, its "his portable keg of Fanta."
    • Jokingly handwaving obvious robot parts in "Cybertronian" alternate modes with "Have you actually been to Cybertron, mate? That's just what they look like."
    • Should Skywarp be mentioned in any way, Thew will draw attention to the shrine.
    "Good, innit?"
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Even KO Transformers have their own specials called "Knockoff Beatdown". And the "Beatdown" isn't just a catchy title - many of the shoddier knockoffs will end up being smashed to pieces, attacked with garden tools, and otherwise destroyed in humorous fashion (assuming they don't just break on their own). Or at least he did back when he still had a backyard to do so in.
  • Shout-Out: Many. In particular, it's obvious he's a fan of a ton of music, Homestar Runner, Final Fantasy, and Steven Universe.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Invoked frequently, especially in his reviews of particularly silly or bizarre knockoffs or obscure toys. In particular, "Steel Hetman" (a Ruination that had no fitting parts and broke to pieces in his hands), Roadbot Warriors Lamborghini Murcielago (a bizarrely-proportioned figure that managed to look both fat and flat), and Big Motorvator (a poorly-imported combiner team that was missing all the parts that made the combiner work) have all provoked glee from him, and he's expressed disappointment a few times when a knockoff ends up being simply mediocre.
    • Partially subverted with the Bloodthirsty War Dolphin - the figure itself is incredibly boring, the most entertaining thing about it is the bit of cardboard with the name.
  • So Okay, It's Average:
  • Strongly Worded Letter: He ponders writing one of these when he discovers that knockoff purveyors Funtastic have put a money-back guarantee on their "Beasty Convertors":
    Dear Funtastic,
    I recently purchased one of your "Beasty Convertors" with the intention of smashing it with a brick for comedic effect in an internet video.
    However, the item failed to shatter with an appropriate amount of hilarity, and also destroyed my brick in the process.
    I was thus unable to use the item for its intended purpose, and am therefore dissatisfied with its quality.
    I also now believe that you are a witch.
    All the best,
    Thiouis XIV
    • He later attempts to write a friendship letter with the Black Convoy pen.
  • Suddenly Shouting: SMOKE GRENADE LAUNCHER
  • Synthetic Voice Actor: Skywarp occasionally chimes in to offer comment on a review (usually Skywarp ones), and is voiced thus. With no animation.
    "Shut up, guy. You don't even animate my mouth anyway. It's like watching Robots In Disguise".
  • They Killed Kenny Again: The aforementioned treatment of Captain Planet.
  • Transformation Sequence: It is a show about Transformers, after all. Specifically, sped-up sequences of the toy(s) in question being transformed set to metal music (or something humourously appropriate).
    • For example, the Megatronia combiner review has a metal cover of Giant Woman from Steven Universe.