Sunday, 29 November 2015

TransFormers Animated Jazz

TransFormers Animated was a curious event in the history of the toyline. Taking its style from the exaggerated proportions of youth-oriented American cartoons of the time, it created designs that shouldn't have worked as toys, and yet the designers managed to pull off quite a few miracles. It also took its character cues - largely - from Generation 1, albeit re-imagining the core team to quite a degree. When it finally started introducing secondary characters, such as the Elite Guard lead by Ultra Magnus, a few more G1 favourites came along for the ride and, unlike Prowl, they weren't that different in appearance from their original selves...

Friday, 27 November 2015

DotM Mechtech Shockwave

When the movie series introduced characters with familiar names, it was a fair bet that the character would either look or behave nothing like the traditional bearer of that name, which accounts for a lot of the fan anger directed toward the franchise. However, when a character as iconic as Shockwave appears, surely he'd have to be the logic-fixated cyclopic scientist we all so fondly remember... Right?

Sunday, 22 November 2015

TransFormers Legends (Takara Tomy 30th Anniversary) LG14 Ultra Magnus

Back in Generation 1, Ultra Magnus was a white repaint of Optimus Prime with a red and blue car carrier trailer into which the cab robot could be plugged (so, originating as Diaclone's Powered Convoy, he was basically a piloted mech piloting a larger mech suit). That seems, for many years, to have given both Hasbro and, to a slightly lesser extent, Takara Tomy a license to repaint any and all Optimus Prime figures white and call them 'Ultra Magnus'. Until recently, the only variations to this rule have been in the original Robots in Disguise/Car Robots line, TF Animated and TF Prime (although the earlier, unique toy was quickly replaced with a remold/repaint of Optimus Prime). The only way one could obtain a true G1 homage Ultra Magnus was to buy FansProjects' City Commander trailer set.

Then came KFC Toys' Masterpiece-scaled Citizen Stack and, soon after, Takara Tomy's offical Masterpiece model, which proved that, not only could Takara Tomy create a unique Ultra Magnus mold, but they could give him a cab that looked almost exactly like MP Optimus Prime v2, yet which transformed entirely differently, along with its car carrier trailer, to create a figure that was reasonably accurate to the TV series.

Then Hasbro announced Combiner Wars Ultra Magus - a trimmed down, IDW-inspired mainstream toy based on approximately the same principles, but with a distinctly underwhelming paint job lifted from the comics.

Leave it to Takara Tomy to repurpose the mold into its 30th Anniversary Legends toyline, with a more G1 toy-accurate colourscheme... But it is really that much better..?

Saturday, 21 November 2015

I've found a new use for Smallest Transforming TransFormers...

I just wish I had a better background for this kind of thing...
(Edit: Now with colour version of the image!)

Given that the gestalts in Combiner Wars appear to be depicted as far larger than the scale of their toys would suggest, it seems that Takara's 2003 blind-packed novelties are the perfect size to be posed with them.

Though, obviously, that ain't STT Convoy poking out from behind Superion's right foot - it's actually Hybrid Style G1 Convoy, who's a better scale to all the Autobots in vehicle mode.

Friday, 20 November 2015

San Diego Comic Con 2015 Combiner Hunters boxed set

(Femme-Bot Friday #32)
One of these days, I hope to get myself to either the San Diego Comic Con or the New York Comic Con (or both), but I fully expect that the TransFormers exclusives available at whichever event I manage to attend will not be my cup of tea. They tend to be rather 'hit-and-miss' (moreso than BotCon, even) with only a few - since I've been aware of the phenomenon - really catching my attention.

With Combiner Wars in full swing, though, the SDCC exclusives were something special: a premium Devastator (with a positively obnoxious amount of purple chrome) and the all femme-bot team of Combiner Hunters - Windblade, Chromia and Arcee all in one box, with new oversized weapons! I considered spreading this out over three Femme-Bot Fridays but, since they come as a set, I may as well cover them as a set...

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Second Not An Unboxing Post

A package arrived for me at work while I was away from the office sorting out personal matters. A package from Japan...

I can't deal with that now, but I figured I should at least give you another taste of things to come...
Yep, I can be a G1 Snob sometimes... but, seriously, Hasbro's version looked terrible
even if it is more IDW accurate.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Revenge of the Fallen Sideways

One of the most objectively interesting things about the TransFormers movie franchise - for me, that is - is the way it has introduced lots of new characters without ever giving them any characterisation. One fine example of this is Sideways, who appeared in Revenge of the Fallen for less than a minute, largely to introduce a bunch of new Autobots by having them chase him down and murder him horrifically. He's parked near Demolishor for reasons never explored, flees the scene when discovered, and spends his few remaining seconds of screen time trying to escape, never uttering a single line of dialogue. We never learn anything about him, least of all why a Decepticon who never actually tries to defend himself short of running away, actually deserves to be literally cleaved it two by Sideswipe (another newly introduced character who transforms into a silver car, just to make things easy to follow).

And yet Hasbro made a toy of him, meaning some poor bugger had to develop some sort of character for him in the associated comics and the novelisation because, let's face it, who'd actually buy a toy for a character who gets offed in the first few minutes of a story and is only seen in robot mode for a few seconds..?

Sunday, 8 November 2015

TransFormers Collectors' Club BotCon 2008 (Timelines) Shattered Glass Jazz

There have been times when the Collectors' Club have produced a figure of a character as yet unavailable in Hasbro's mass-produced output. They generally come in for some flak whenever they do, normally because no-one can understand why a particular figure hadn't been produced by Hasbro (such as Classics Thundercracker, who remained exclusive to 2007's BotCon set, Games of Deception, until 2008, when he appeared in Takara Tomy's Henkei! Henkei! line, and then 2011, when he finally appeared in the Generations line). The only times they tend to get away with it is when the character is in some way not an interpretation of the hallowed G1 original, such as their take on Jazz for 2008's Botcon set, Shattered Glass...

Friday, 6 November 2015

Not An Unboxing Post

Nor a Femme-Bot Friday post, simply a post on a Friday that just happens to be about Femme-Bots.
'Nuff Said
Preordered pretty much the day they were announced, another trio of Takara Tomy-flavour Femme-Bots, in the form of Generations/Legends Arcee repurposed as Nightbird, Generations/Legends Windblade repurposed as Slipstream (featuring a cool Legends/TF Animated fusion vibe) and TF Animated Blackarachnia repurposed as... Beast Wars Blackarachnia.

I'll try not to keep you all waiting too long for these fine ladies...
(Links added retrospectively... at long last...)
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