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?

Monday, 8 May 2017

Dark Portents

Every so often, a fairly random thought - that is to say, unrelated to whatever I'm actually doing at the time - will pop into my head and nag at me persistently until I do something about it... This morning, for example...

It occurred to me, while I was getting ready for work, that it was pretty much right after the HeadMasters , Targetmasters and Powermasters of Generation 1 that I lost interest in TransFormers toys and that, not quite thirty years later, TransFormers toys have basically come full circle with Titans Return. "What does this mean?" I wondered, "Does it have any significance?"

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Revenge of the Fallen Swerve

Back when I wrote about the original Deluxe RotF Sideswipe, very nearly eight full years ago and less than a year into this blog, I noted that the Corvette Stingray would look awesome in red, since that would have been a far more fitting colour for Sideswipe. It didn't take too long for Hasbro to release a red repaint, albeit as a difference character... Though, in a lot of ways, it looks more like a cheeky way of producing a more G1-referential version of movie Sideswipe considering Swerve had traditionally been a truck rather than a sports car...

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

iGear Con Air Raptor Squadron IG-C03 Thunder-Wrath

It's been over a year since I picked up the three members of iGear's Raptor Squadron and, while I'd intended to get through them all in fairly quick succession, things haven't worked out that way... I guess part of the problem is that they are basically identical bar their colourschemes, making the exercise seem like a bit of a chore at times.

Nevertheless, let's have have a closer look, to see if there's anything special about iGear's vaguely IDW-style take on Thundercracker

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Last Knight/Premier Edition Berserker (AKA Crankcase v2)

The toyline from Dark of the Moon was extremely variable. Much of it was remakes and fine-tuning of existing figures (most notably those Autobots who actually survived the first two movies) and a whole lot of the random Decepticon background 'characters' never made it into toy form. The Dreads - an indentikit set of spike monsters that transformed into identical SUVs - didn't all make it onto the shelves in the same size class, and the only one of them to come out as a Deluxe, Crankcase, was a hopeless mess of car panels and fragility.

Cut to the fifth movie in the increasingly ridiculous live action movie franchise, and we're introduced to a Decepticon supposedly known only as 'Berserker'... who looks remarkably similar to Crankcase. Berserker somehow managed to be part of the first wave of The Last Knight's toys, and early photos suggested that Crankcase's character model has finally been done justice... So let's take a closer look...

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