Thursday, 30 September 2010

Alternity A-04 Skywarp (Witch Purple Pearl)

There are times when I actually hate Takara Tomy. Only, not really. They have produced another excellent collectors' line of TransFormers... and then triggered my OCD regarding the G1 Seekers. Not content with releasing the Mitsuoka Orochi as Starscream, they have repainted it twice now... and Skywarp, release alongside Starscream, is the first of these.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Alternity A-04 Starscream (White Pearl)

If the Binaltech/Alternators line had a significant flaw, it was that all of the cars were fairly normal, everyday cars (OK, the Ford GT isn't something you'd typically see on the streets, but even the Dodge Viper was actually quite pedestrian, and certainly not in the same league as the Lamborghini Countach that appeared way back in Generation 1). At first, it seemed that Alternity might be heading down the same motorway, with the Nissan GT-R and Fairlady Z followed by the Suzuki Swift... but then A-04 was announced... Starscream and Skywarp (soon to be followed by Thundercracker, to complete the original G1 Seeker trinity) disguised as the incredible Mitsuoka Orochi

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Alternity A-03 Cliffjumper (Supreme Red Pearl)

A common thread in TransFormers toys in recent years is that any model used as Bumblebee would soon be repainted as Cliffjumper. While the two were G1 Mini Autobots with identical methods of transformation, their vehicle modes couldn't have been more different. Bumblebee was a VW Beetle, Cliffjumper was a Porsche. The use of common molds, therefore, is due more to changes in the perception of Bumblebee than in Cliffjumper.

Alternity A-03 Bumblebee (Champion Yellow)

And so, Alternity continues... Initial impressions suggest this line is going for popular characters rather than just going through the roster of G1 characters and applying them to the most likely licensed vehicle (Alternators Honda Civic Rumble? Really, Hasbro?). Takara had tried to get a license to make a Bumblebee out of the new Volkswagen Beetle, but this was denied - VW, without any intentional irony, did not wish to associate themselves with 'war toys'.

Plans were sadly abandoned and, outside the Movie continuity, Bumblebee was updated in the Classics line as a sporty 2-door hatchback, and then in Animated as... a sporty 2-door hatchback. Somehow, this form suited Bumblebee more than adequately, so this update is only surprising because it happened in the first place - one wonders if Takara Tomy were motivated by the popularity of Movie Bumblebee, or by their own desire to finally produce a modern, part die-cast incarnation of the character.

Alternity A-02 Megatron (Silver)

If the Nissan GT-R was an unlikely vehicle mode for Optimus Prime, then the same must be even more true of the Nissan Fairlady Z and Megatron, particularly considering that this, the updated Fairlady, is the rightful form of an Alternity Prowl or Bluestreak... and the two colourschemes initially available - Silver and Monterey Blue - further echo Bluestreak in particular. His G1 form was originally due to be blue, like the Diaclone model from which it was derived, but the only models released under the TransFormers banner were silver, occasionally with a black bonnet.

Adding to the wierdness of Megatron taking the form of an Autobot car is the fact that the updated Fairlady is significantly smaller than the GT-R, so Takara Tomy had to use some quite impressive engineering to make its robot mode of comparible height to the Autobot leader.

Alternity A-01 Convoy (Vibrant Red)

Alternity is, in many ways, the model line Takara had in mind when they first dreamt up Binaltech. It was, after all, Hasbro's insistance that turned that line into 1:24 scale cars. Now safely back in the realms of 1:32 scale, the Alternity line isn't just more of the same, only smaller, it's equally detailed and far more intricate... and, just for a change, the line begins with Optimus Prime.