Sunday, 25 February 2018

TransFormers Adventure VS05 Drift Origin Mode & Jazz Battle Mode

There are two main reasons I picked up this two-pack of Takara Tomy's repainted RID2015 toys. Firstly, I bought my niece Jazz as a birthday present a few years ago, in a failed attempt to get her interested in TransFormers and was actually reasonably impressed with the model, just not with the paint job. Secondly, this package also comes with new head sculpts for both characters - Drift's being more like the original Shane McCarthy/Guido Guidi design, the toy featuring a colourscheme to match, Jazz's new head simply features his traditional visor.

I was able to pick these up at a reasonable cost at TFNation 2017, so let's see if a new paint job and a new head sculpt makes all the difference to these two toys...

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Combiner Wars Groove (Deluxe class)

For whatever reason, Hasbro's take on remaking the G1 gestalts in Combiner Wars invariably ended up with a new and previously unknown member for each team replacing one of the original characters and stealing their colourscheme. Thus, the Aerialbots got Alpha Bravo in Slingshot's colours, the Stunticons got Offroad in Wildrider's colours... the Combaticons got Blast Off as a jet rather than a shuttle... and the Protectobots got Rook (notable mainly for being the first who wasn't an obvious 'pretooling' of another character) instead of Groove as a limb, with the motorcycle 'bot initially turning up as a Legends class breastplate.

Takara Tomy, meanwhile, released boxed sets with the full and original G1 teams, forcing Hasbro to later release the 'missing' members of each team, leading to the Protectobots having two versions of the same character. It's disappointing - though, with me, utterly unsurprising - that it's taken me about two years to get around to this, because I picked up Deluxe class Groove at the earliest opportunity, and yet didn't immediately complete my write-up of the complete, G1 homage Defensor.

So, without further ado, let's get our Groove on... Again...

Friday, 16 February 2018

Movie Developments

It has been reported on the fan sites that, following the upcoming Bumblebee movie, the Hasbro/Paramount partnership is calling time on the TransFormers series for the forseeable future... and I couldn't be happier. Not least because of the suggestion that Hasbro will be taking greater creative control of any subsequent movies... which is exactly what I wanted from the beginning. I could harp on about how irresponsible it was for them to (seemingly) let the movie studio do as they please with their toy brand (admittedly, the awesome aesthetics of the movies indirectly contributed immensely to advances in the toys themselves) but, really, all I want/need to say at this point is:
Hasbro, thank you. I don't know if you've been paying any attention to my rantings particularly, or if you've just been getting an overall impression of dissatisfaction from enough of the fandom, but I personally appreciate this news, and it gives me some hope for the future of TransFormers in cinema.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Power of the Primes Evolution Optimus Prime

...And so it begins...

There's no point trying to say that I didn't expect to buy any Power of the Primes figures - as soon as they announced just the Prime Masters, simple variations on the Titan Masters, which would represent the 12 (or 13) Primes, I started debating whether or not to pick them up because I have a shelf in my collection that already has interpretations of several Primes. But when the 'Evolution' figures of Optimus and Rodimus Prime were revealed, I was instantly hooked.

Rodimus was going to be the less likely prospect as I already have a perfectly good Hot Rod from the Titans Return line, and the partsforming required by the new one - not to mention the floppiness of his joints, as experienced by several YouTubers - did not appeal, but a Leader class Optimus Prime figure that's also a Deluxe/Voyager-ish class, G1 cartoon-accurate Orion Pax? That has to be worth having... right?

Well... Once you answer the question "Do I really need another Optimus Prime in a trilogy that's only recently given us Titans Return Powermaster Optimus Prime/Legends Super Ginrai?" Come on, need I refer you to the Unicron Trilogy and its three unique versions of the Autobots' leader..? I'm not averse to skipping an Optimus Prime figure if it seems superfluous, and honestly feel that the character has been done to death (literally, in the case of Takara Tomy's Masterpiece 'Sleep Mode' repaint), but some versions are obvious must-haves.

Let's take a look, and see if Evolution Optimus Prime is one of those...

Sunday, 28 January 2018

AM32 Arms Micron (TFPrime) Stunt Wildrider

And there was me, thinking I was done with the TFPrime Wheeljack mold after picking up the TFCC's Subscription Service 2.0 Chromedome. Frankly, most of the other reuses - and particularly the Beast Hunters remolds - were of no interest to me, but Takara Tomy's Arms Micron Stunt Wildrider and its amazingly cute Micron, Ozu, were definitely appealing... just harder to obtain.

Thankfully, sooner or later, almost everything ends up on eBay... occasionally even at a reasonable price... and so, I came to order Wildrider, a repaint based on the eponymous G1 Stunticon.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Robots in Disguise (2015) Bisk

From the start, I was all set to completely ignore the new Robots in Disguise TV show and its toyline. Despite being a follow-on from the amazing TFPrime, it was watered down and kid-friendly, the robot designs looked awful and the first few waves of toys looked poorly designed, shoddily made and generally cheap.

Then I saw photos of the adorable Deluxe class Bisk toy, and the ice around my snobby heart just melted... I still don't know quite what to make of a load of Decepticons who, for no clearly defined reason, all look like weird animal hybrids in robot mode, but a lobster robot is always a win in my books. So, without further ado...