Saturday, 17 June 2017

Because I'm Nothing If Not Capricious...

...I'm going to be heading to TFNation again this year.

Except I'm not just being capricious - despite my misgivings about last year's event, I did enjoy some of it and said at the time that I would go again if there was a particularly interesting guest. Unfortunately, by the time Venus Terzo (the voice of Blackarachnia in Beast Wars/Beast Machines) was announced, there didn't seem to be any rooms available at the convention hotel. Well, it was either that, or I spent a few more weeks procrastinating before trying to book... Probably the latter, now I think about it.

I spent a short while trying to find an alternative hotel nearby and, at that point, failed miserably... But a second attempt, more recently, netted a better result. So, I'll not be staying at the convention hotel, but I will be staying nearby. The short walk between venues shouldn't pose a problem... and hopefully my hotel this year will be easier to locate in the dark..?

To be honest, I'm not expecting much improvement on the setup of last year's - the MCM London Comic Con has been going on for over ten years now, and getting in is no better (just different) each time, so I've no reason to expect a much smaller event like this will develop any better - but there's no Roll Out Roll Call this year, so I figured I may as well give it a second try.

I'll be going on my own again, as my girlfriend wasn't keen to come, so I may end up giving the evening's entertainment a miss, or just go for the script reading... I'll probably make up my mind on the day.

In other news, my birthday netted me only one new TransFormer - RiD2015 Fracture, from my sister - because I'd asked my folks to steer clear of my 'Plastic Crack' wish list due to lack of space. I'm getting very much behind in my write-ups of new stuff while I try to plough through some of my existing drafts (less than 60 to go)... and, unfortunately, won't have much time for photography this weekend, or anything next weekend, as we're having a short holiday over the last week of June. Bit of a shame, as I actually did quite a few posts in May, but there we go. There's more to life than toy blogging.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Last Knight - Trailer Reactions (and Further Toy Musings)

I'll put my cards on the table and preface this opinion piece by saying that I'd made up my mind - quite some time ago - to avoid seeing TransFormers: The Last Knight. It was evident from the earliest trailers that it had taken the franchise's ongoing retconning game way too far, linking the story of these shapeshifting alien robots with Arthurian legend pushed things into the realms of the utterly ridiculous... and that's coming from someone who read the UK Marvel comics circa Man of Iron. That said, a glut of trailers - some almost character-specific - have been released (and there may well be more to come, even now), and I've been watching them for a reason to change my mind.

I haven't seen one yet.

Friday, 26 May 2017

TransFormers Collectors' Club 2017/Generations Lifeline

(Femme-Bot Friday #41)
With Fun Publications' loss of the TransFormers Collectors' Club license at the end of 2016, the fifth and final year of their Subscription Service hit the kinds of delays that members hadn't seen since the first couple of years, back in 2005-6. This didn't really bother me a great deal, as there was only one figure that interested me in the whole set - the almost inevitable green repaint of Generations/Legends Arcee as a Paradron medic, seen briefly in the G1 cartoon - so I hadn't subscribed. It's often a huge risk to not grab a Club exclusive at the earliest opportunity as their prices tend to skyrocket very quickly... but, given the cost of year five of the Subscription Service, it was a gamble I was willing to take.

Of course, the other gamble is, will the figure actually be worth even the first, very slightly inflated secondary market price?

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Last Knight/Premier Edition Optimus Prime

I'll be honest: I didn't bother picking up any version of Age of Extinction Optimus Prime. I was vaguely interested by the improved CGI accuracy, remolded parts and superior paint job of Takara Tomy's Movie Advanced Armour Knight Optimus Prime, but the model itself still looked like a trainwreck. The entire robot was folded up inside the cab, most of nose of the truck ended up on the backs of his legs and the entire rear section hung off his back, untransformed in any way. Compared to the previous Leader class figures, it was a disaster of reduced budget and oversimplified transformation, mitigated only by the extra attention Takara Tomy lavished upon its appearance but, even so, the £150+ pricetag is way more than I'd ever be willing to pay.

Cut to the run-up to The Last Knight, when images of a smaller, yet more impressively designed reworking of the new Optimus Prime character model showed up, actually looking pretty decent. Despite my misgivings about the character's redesign, the toy certainly looked as though it would be worth a look, and so became something of an impulse buy...

...But was it worthwhile after all?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

TransFormers Collectors' Club 2016/Combiner Wars Bludgeon

Out of all the TFSS4.0 figures announced, I'd say I was least enthused by Bludgeon. Not that the Photoshop-recoloured images and the new head sculpt didn't impress me, just that the Hot Spot mold seems to have had more use than just about any other Combiner Wars torso Voyager figure (bearing in mind that I don't own a single iteration of the Optimus Prime/Motormaster truck mold). Also, by the time this package arrived in the post, I'd already planned to acquire Unite Warriors Bruticus, eventually giving me three very similar gestalts on my shelves.

But, this is the final part of the Collectors' Club's very own, 'unique' gestalt, Thunder Mayhem, along with the other members of the Mayhem Attack Squad: Needlenose, Grabuge/Ruckus, Spinister and Windsweeper. Let's first see how Bludgeon fares in his own, individual form...

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Revenge of the Fallen Dirt Boss

Ever have one of those times when you look at a figure in your collection and wonder why you bothered buying it? I don't often have moments of introspection of that particular kind, but I suspect the extended toylines of the live action movies - that is, the toys made of character not actually featured in the films, but developed as concept art or for the licensed videogames - probably account for the greatest proportion of those few I have.

Probably the finest example of this very specific breed of buyers' remorse would be Dirt Boss - one of the toys based on a drone from the videogame of the first movie. Some of those drones took on cool alternate modes, like jets and cars... Dirt Boss became a small forklift...

Oh well, let's get on with it...

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Last Knight/Premier Edition Barricade

Despite an astonishing lack of character, Barricade was one of the more interesting Decepticons in the first live action movie, if only because he was the first one sent to track down the AllSpark's location, and he chose to disguise himself as a police car. His fate was uncertain at the end of that movie, and he didn't appear in Revenge of the Fallen, only to resurface - briefly, and without explanation - in Dark of the Moon which, again, left his fate uncertain.

Now, having been absent for Age of Extinction, the Bad Cop is back... with a new vehicle mode and a whole new look... So, what's the 411?

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