Wednesday, 21 March 2012

On Size & Quality

Now that TransFormers: Prime toys are available in the UK (even turning up - slightly overpriced - at the toyshop just down the road from my home), I have a slightly better idea of their size. Haven't bought any yet (certainly not at £2 above average price on each one!), but seeing them in package, in person gives me some idea of what all the fuss is about.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Still being rubbish

A couple of months ago, I was considering the idea of posting a message to the effect that I'm on a deliberate haitus from this blog. Here's the situation:

Thursday, 8 March 2012

TransFormers (Movie) Arcee

If I remember correctly, in the early stages of planning for the first TransFormers live action movie, Arcee was intended to appear, but ended up getting replaced by Ironhide. Considering what a botch-job they made of him, it's almost tempting to wonder what the movie would have been like with Arcee instead... Would there have been a love triangle between Sam, Mikaela and Arcee? Would Revenge of the Fallen have included a scene with Mikaela languishing upon Arcee, spraypainting sexily? Oh, hang on, RotF did actually feature a trio of female biker-bots, so probably not.

In any event, designs for Arcee were made, and she actually looked pretty darned good... And since Hasbro occasionally gets things right (and may have picked up on the fans constant clamouring for a new Arcee toy, based solely on her appearance in the 1986 animated movie!), these designs were not entirely wasted...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Armada Powerlinx Red Alert

Personal friends and long-time readers of this blog will no doubt be aware that I am no stranger to impulse buys. Pretty much every Armada purchase I made was an impulse buy, because I already knew that they were all a bit rubbish. Powerlinx Red Alert was an impulse buy on two levels - first, I was on a business trip and just happened to see it in a small, independent toy shop; second, while I was vaguely interested in the original, I wasn't remotely interested in this recolour until I saw it on that fateful day... So, do I regret this purchase?

TransFormers (Movie) Barricade

No-one can deny that the live action TransFormers movies have played with expectations. Sadly, most expectations ended up getting cruelly dashed by a series of movies that cared more about its human characters than the titular giant alien robots... and cared less for them than it did the potential for big explosions. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Michael Bay...

But I digress.

When photos first surfaced of a police car - a Saleen-remixed Ford Mustang police car, no less - the obvious expectation was that Prowl was going to be one of the Autobots. He would have been a good choice, too, considering his logical, tactical brain would be thrown for a loop by anything unexpected... and what could be more unexpected for a sentient alien robot than organic life? Oh, the possibilities!

On the other hand, casting a Decepticon as a police car was a rather neat way of playing on the expectations of the characters within the movie, which is surely more important... And so, we have Barricade.

TransFormers Collectors' Club OTFCC 2003 Sunstreaker & Sideswipe

It's funny to think that there was an annual BotCon before the current license-holders, Fun Publications, took it on, developing it into the bonanza of boxed-set toys it is now. Originally a small-scale affair with no real star guests, it led to the formation of a company whose raison d'etre was to run BotCon and which, in 2002, became Hasbro's officially licensed TransFormers convention operator (albeit operating under the less catchy name "The Official TransFormers Collectors' Convention" because the company split and the guys who owned the name 'BotCon' were no longer involved. Shortly thereafter, the company lost its license, and Fun Publications jumped in.

I only have a few of the pre-FunPub exclusives - these two and 2002's Tap Out - and it seems they're neither highly regarded or much sought-after. I have to confess that I probably only bought these because of one of my strange OCD issues: When it comes to TransFormers Lamborghinis, I've gotta catch 'em all...

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

TransFormers (Movie) Ironhide

It's kind of bizarre, if you think about it, what aspects of a particular character fans will get hung up on. Take Ironhide, for example. Back in G1, he was one of the awful 'Cherry Vanette' models whose cartoon representation was nothing like the toy. He was essentially the same as G1 Ratchet, but in red and without the lightbar. When he was announced as one of the characters picked for the Michael Bay movie, most fans were OK with him being a GMC Topkick C4500 pickup truck... but complained that he was black rather than his trademark red.