Tuesday, 22 March 2011

BotCon 2011 - Not In Attendance, but....

Since registration is now available, I have signed up for an Iacon - non-attendee - Package this very afternoon.

One of these days, I really must get my arse over the pond to the convention... For the moment, though, it remains tantalisingly out of reach (unless I wanted to spend a large chunk of my redundancy money on registration, transport and accommodation).

Oh well...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Reveal the Shield Lugnut

Now here's something strange and special... A new character created for the TransFormers Animated aesthetic has jumped continuities into the extended Classics/Universe line. Strange choice, considering how many characters from G1 (and, of course, the many subsequent lines) there are to get through before Animated, which is still only a couple of years old. There were plenty of nods to other continuities within Animated, but this is the only the second time it's happened this way round (the first being Lockdown). Do Animated characters need or deserve such reimagining?

Well, in Lugnut's case, I'd say he probably needed it. The Animated toy, while Voyager Class, was actually surprisingly small in robot mode - almost wider than he is tall - with giant, unwieldy arms on a chunky body held up by spindly legs. OK, fine, that's a basic description of the whole TFA aesthetic, so it's no surprise... but Lugnut in the cartoon is huge, and his proportions look OK when he's towering over everyone. When he's shorter than some of the Deluxe figures, it doesn't work quite so well.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Choro-Q Robo Convoy (TV Version)

Choro-Q, as a toy range, has been going longer than TransFormers, starting two years earlier even than Diaclone, from which TransFormers Generation 1 was derived. Outside of Japan, it was marketed as Penny Racers - a cutesified (similar to 'Super Deform' or 'Chibi' in anime) form of car which, with the insertion of a small coin into a slot in the back, will perform wheelies by use of a pull-back clockwork motor. Just to make things more weird, a couple of G1 Mini Autobots (Cliffjumper and Bumblebee from the first wave) are quite clearly homages to Choro-Q - their vehicle modes are the same style, and their heads are concealed within what would be the penny slot!

Over the years, Choro-Q seems to have widened its scope, so it's no surprise that there was eventually a series of TransFormers. Only three were released - Convoy, Rodimus Convoy and Megatron - but each came in two versions - TV and Metallic for the Autobots, TV and Black for Megatron.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Another Glaring Omission

I've been sticking some photos of my custom/repainted TransFormers up elsewhere on the interwebs, and realised this morning that I've missed another one of them... and it's one of those that I'm particularly proud of, because its one of my customs.

A friend of mine has a habit of getting for my birthday TransFormers that I already have, so it became my tradition, a while back, to repaint them into new characters. One of these was Alternators Skids (I'd got the Binaltech version) who became my Alternators Soundwave after I saw someone create an Alternators Soundblaster from the same model.

To give you a brief, textual preview: robot mode is quite heavily repainted, and features both the head and the weapons from a Cybertron Soundwave I picked up reasonably cheaply. He also makes use of the blue tray thing from G1 Doubledealer and both of his PowerMaster figures - the humanoid one repainted as Rumble (Red/Black - I stick with the toys, not the G1 cartoon) and the bat-like one, conveniently, as Ratbat. The tray was cut up slightly so that it fits under the bonnet in robot mode, and allows the PowerMasters to sit in his chest, waiting to be 'ejected'.

My Soundwave is in my cabinets meaning, theoretically, I have photos of him somewhere... But I'm damned if I know where.

I'll go the easier route, and take some more photos when there's enough light...

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

TransFormers Animated Swindle

One of the greatest things about the much-maligned TransFormers Animated, both in the toys and the cartoon, was the amount of character exhibited by its... erm... characters. Because it was all so heavily stylised, it wasn't just the robot modes that were lavished with attention, and made to look unique... the vehicle modes benefitted as well.

Another great thing - as I'm sure I've mentioned in other posts - is the sheer number (not to mention the quality) of its G1 nods and references... so when an awesome character like Swindle turns up in the Animated continuity, surely you can expect something special..?

Classics Hound with Ravage

It might seem strange to pair an Autobot with a Decepticon in a single Deluxe package but, as any fan of the Generation 1 cartoon will tell you, Hound and Ravage have... history. There's also the small matter of size... much like his Generation 1 self, Classics Hound is a bit on the small side. He compares better to his fellow Deluxe Autobots than G1 Hound did to his, but Hasbro clearly felt that something was lacking so, not only does he have an attachable weapon, but he has his long-time nemesis along for the ride as well.

Monday, 7 March 2011

TransFormers (Movie) Brawl

Wow. Who'd have thought that one of the Decepticons in the first live action movie adaptation of Hasbro/Takara Tomy's long-running toy franchise would turn into a tank?

Just about every continuity has about a dozen tank-formers, many of which have been Megatron, so it was at least nice to have one that (a) wasn't Megatron and (b) made some reference to another Generation 1 character. In this case, Brawl isn't specifically said to be one of the Combaticons, but the form chosen for him - a modified M1 Abrams tank - is close enough to the G1 combiner mold (in spirit, I mean, rather than in design, since it has the additional two-barrelled turret on top of his main turret, referencing G1 Brawl's plug-in cannons) that he could be considered the same character.

Shame, then, that he was toppled so easily by the combined firepower of Bumblebee and a bunch of humans.