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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

TFNation - Day 2 & Toy Haul

Sunday got off to a better start despite not sleeping especially well again, but at least I didn't have another anxiety dream to ruin my day. I didn't bother with breakfast that day as I wasn't feeling at all hungry, but equally didn't make a beeline for the day's only purchase - the two-pack of DX9's War In Pocket G1/TransFormers: The Movie homages Leah and Toufold (aka mini-Arcee and mini-Kup). In fact, I ended up taking a walk around the hotel grounds and the nearby lake before even heading in to the main hall. After that, and having checked the day's scheduled panels, I decided to deal with checking out of teh hotel straight away, rather than risk missing the noon deadline sitting in one of the halls or wandering around the retail area.

Monday, 29 August 2016

TFNation - Day 1 & Toy Haul

The first indication I had that there was such a thing as TFNation was a somewhat cryptic business card-sized card on a table at Roll Out Roll Call. At first, I didn't even look into it and, had I known it was a convention rather than, say, a webstore selling TransFormers toys (which had been my initial assumption) I probably wouldn't have bothered with it. If I'd been told it was happening in Birmingham, specifically at one of the hotels in the NEC complex, I wouldn't have been keen because getting there would involved a train journey (I have terrible luck on trains - the first time I go anywhere is invariably a disaster) and paying for accommodation (albeit simplified as TFNation had made a deal for much-reduced rates with the hotel that was hosting the event).

In the end, I only properly found out about TFNation because of a posting on DaimChoc Reports' Facebook timeline, about Mastermind Creations' event-exclusive boxed set release of what had previously been an April Fool in their Reformatted line, Feral Queen, and its partner figure/repaint Nero Queen. It was created for a Canadian TransFormers convention but was also being brought to the UK - and TFNation - by Kapow Toys.

Monday, 22 August 2016

TFNation Waffle

This is not the full and proper summing up post (which will likely be split into two days again, as with Roll Out Roll Call) for a whole collection of reasons. I got back from TFNation yesterday evening after my train was cancelled and I had to take a later one. I'd slept very poorly over the weekend due - somewhat embarrassingly - to some very bad dreams, so I was basically exhausted the whole time anyway (Saturday in particular was a Very Bad Day for me) and, even now, feel in need of a weekend to recover (and not in the good way). Basically, I'm not yet in a frame of mind where I can look at my notes objectively and come up with a decent post.

Briefly, though, I bought some stuff, I enjoyed some stuff, and I'll write about it soon. Maybe even this coming Bank Holiday weekend...

In the meantime:
The Day 1 Haul in its meagre entirety.
Day 2 added only the DX9 War In Pocket Leah/Toufold set

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

DotM Mechtech Crankcase

The giant alien robots in the TransFormers movie series have, so far, been pretty light on character, and there haven't been any of the traditional teams so far (Starscream but no Seekers, Devastator but no properly individual Constructicons) and, when a proper team was introduced - the ground-based 'Dreads' in Dark of the Moon - they were all unceremoniously offed by the Autobots before we learned anything interesting about them.

While all three appeared on screen as large black SUVs, in a strangely uneconomical move, they were reimagined for the toyline, with two becoming Legends class cars, another being a Cyberverse Commander class jet, and only one becoming a Deluxe class toy that vaguely resembled the character's on-screen appearance. That lucky fellow was Crankcase...

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Generations (30th Anniversary) Doubledealer

As far as I can recall (and without popping back to my parents' house to raid the cupboard in which most of my G1 toys remain to this day) I only ever bought two Powermasters: Optimus Prime and Doubledealer. The former was a no-brainer (albeit quite disappointing in-hand, as it turned out) simply because it was the latest incarnation of Optimus Prime (and was accompanied, in the Marvel comics of the day, by a very strange story). The latter was rather more unusual, in that it was a Dual-Powermaster Triple-Changer with an Autobot mode and a Decepticon mode.

Sure, it wasn't unprecedented - Punch/Counterpunch came out the year before - but this was the first time a faction-switching Triple-Changer made it over to this sceptred isle. The idea of an effectively neutral character, willing to work for either side, tickled me, as did the fact that the humanoid robot was an Autobot and the bird-like robot was a Decepticon, with the vehicle mode bearing no visible insignia. This 'Thrilling 30' update, based on the Blitzwing mold, plays things a little differently...

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Device Label Broad Blast (aka Blaster)

Music Label and Device Label were two very short-lived offshoots from the TransFormers brand, created by Takara Tomy, which featured functional memory sticks (2Gb - paltry by today's standards) and optical mice which transformed into robots. They were so short-lived, in fact, that they seem in retrospect to have been created to facilitate one particular model in each case (Soundwave, under the Music Label banner, for example).

The last two releases in the Device Label line were a third repaint of the memory stick (as Cheetor, supposedly, Takara Tomy having used the same mold first as Ravage, then as Tigatron) and a the only model never to be repurposed: a functioning 4-port USB hub made to look like a Toshiba laptop. How does Blaster fare with such a strange alternate mode? Let's find out...

Monday, 25 July 2016

TransFormers Collectors' Club 2016 Members Incentive (Timelines) Ramjet

(Members Incentive Monday #12)
This is very likely to be the last ever Members Incentive Monday on this blog, unless Hasbro license a new Collectors' Club or, y'know, set up one of their own. These 'free' figures, given away since the very first year of Fun Publications' tenure at the helm of the Club, have been a welcome benefit of international membership to a club which is, awkwardly, based in the States and primarily geared toward the domestic market there. They haven't always been awesome figures, but they frequently exceeded my expectations.

Ramjet arrived a few days before Roll Out Roll Call, and was one of those Membership Incentive figures I had very low expectations of - I quite like the Armada Seeker mold, despite the massive protrusion from the back of its shoulders, but the Generations remake seemed pretty pointless. Based on a 2003 Toys'R'Us exclusive Universe repaint of Armada Skywarp, this is probably one of the more obscure homages the Club have released. Is it as dull as I was expecting?

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