Sunday, 19 May 2019

War For Cybertron: Siege Soundwave + Spy Patrol

Long-time readers of this blog may be aware that G1 Soundwave (& Buzzsaw) was the very first Decepticon toy I ever owned so, while I don't end up buying every iteration of the character, I do have a strong nostalgic connection to that particular physical form. Thus, when a Soundwave toy enters my collection, it tends to happen very much with reference to how it makes me feel versus the original. For example, Music Label Soundwave - who has been my Classics Soundwave for over a decade - was a decent reworking of the original, albeit on a smaller scale and with a poorly executed MP3 player gimmick installed. TF Prime Soundwave took an entirely different tack, and put the original character into a sinister, spindly new form. I didn't bother with the Titans Return version as it lost too much of what makes Soundwave Soundwave in service of the line's HeadMaster and base mode gimmicks...

...But here we have a new Soundwave for the latest chapter of Generations, taking the character back to his pre-G1 state, but not taking any cues from the War for Cybertron videogame and instead focussing on his G1 appearance, but with what passes for 'a fresh spin' at Hasbro these days.

I knew going in that I wasn't going to like this toy, but I'd had £30 of Forbidden Planet vouchers in my wallet since last year, and no clue what to do with them, so I took the opportunity to pick up this toy - and the 'Soundwave Spy Patrol' set of Ravage and Laserbeak - for next to nothing... And since I don't feel that one has much value without the other, I'm going to write about them together.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Iron Factory IF EX-16A Alleria (aka The Lady Commander)

(Femme-Bot Friday #67)
There comes a point in my collecting where I realise that my OCD about certain things - particularly Femme-Bots in recent years - has led me to buy essentially the same damned thing over and over again, and I'm hit by a wave of buyers' remorse. It started to happen as I bought Mastermind Creations' original Azalea and several of the repaints (though I do find that I still rather want Eupatorium), so I really should have seen it coming with Iron Factory's Pink Assassin repaints... But when I saw that their take on Elita-1 would be a pack-in with their Ultimate Commander (a sort of combination of a Cybertronian Optimus Prime and the Godbomber accessory minus its own individual robot mode), I found myself mesmerised into ordering it, despite having no interest in the main figure in the box.

So far, I've fought off the urge to buy their Combaticon leader Onslaught-analogue just for its extremely tempting 'Pink Assassin Combiner Hunter' pack-in, so let's have a quick look at this one to see if any buyers' remorse is justified...

Sunday, 5 May 2019

TransFormers: Prime Dreadwing

Arriving later in the TV show than his brother, Dreadwing at least managed to last a little longer into the series, though never quite became a series regular. He'd be absent for ages before suddenly popping up briefly to further his quest for revenge against the Autobots, ultimately discovering they weren't even really responsible for Skyquake's death.

Dreadwing had the screentime to display generally more character than his brother, and turned out to be one of the more ambiguous Decepticons - loyal to his leader, but willing to fight alongside the Autobots if the situation demanded it. For me, though, the most outstanding thing about him was that he was voiced by the awesome and unmistakable Tony Todd, whose gravelly tones lent the character a sense of power and authority.

Skyquake's toy turned out to be the sort of ambitious yet flawed figure that characterised the TFPrime line, so let's have a look at his repaint...

Sunday, 28 April 2019

TransFormers Collectors' Club 2016/Combiner Wars Bluestreak

Starting in its second year, the Figure Subscription Service offered by the TransFormers Collectors' Club started to include a bonus figure which would only be available to those who bought into that year's full subscription. Any overs of the other six figures might end up in the Club store eventually, but the seventh was the true exclusive, and its nature tended to be kept secret until the final boxes arrived with subscribers and their photos started turning up online. Due to this, the bonus figure attained an almost mythical status which was, unfortunately, responsible for a certain amount of disappointment throughout my experience of the Subscription Service.

Series 4 was largely a disappointment generally... but this - the supposed bonus figure, packaged with Impactor - feels to me like the Club's worst output in all their 12 years. So, as something of a compare-and-contrast with the previous post, about the Binaltech version of the character, let's have a closer look to see what rubbed me up the wrong way...

Monday, 22 April 2019

Binaltech BT03 Streak

While Smokescreen had been a surprising way to debut the Binaltech line, BT03 was far more predictable. It seems Streak was actually planned to be the first, but switched out in favour of the more eye-catching Subaru Rally coloured Smokescreen. The downside to this, of course, is that the third figure in the Binaltech line is basically a repaint... Though, based on the street version of the Subaru Impreza from 2003, he does have a few unique features.

And a whole new colourscheme, of course...

Friday, 12 April 2019

Cybertron Ransack

While the majority of my Galaxy Force/Cybertron collection is made up of Takara's version, there were a few toys that, to begin with at least, didn't exactly light my candle. I wasn't even watching the TV show (I don't know if it actually aired in the UK - probably only on satellite TV if it did), there was no investment in the characters, as such, so my purchases were entirely based on how I felt about the toys.

One such toy was Gasket, who just looked weird... But, having decided against importing him, I ended up buying his cheaper Hasbro analogue after acquiring the BotCon 2006 boxed set, 'Dawn of Futures Past', in which the mold had been repainted as a pre-Beast Wars Rattrap.