Sunday, 28 September 2014

Galaxy Force (Toy's Dream Project) Soundblaster

There's something about a black repaint that lends a model a new sense of style and refinement... not to mention the sense that the character just became ten times more sinister, powerful and dangerous just because of his paint job. At least, that's how it frequently goes with TransFormers, because the black repaint is almost invariably the Nemesis version of an Autobot, and evil clones are cool.

But what happens when the character is already a Decepticon, and just gets a darker repaint? Well, G1 Soundwave was rebuilt into Soundblaster and (in toy form) gained a 100% increase in minion capacity in his chest. But what of the Galaxy Force version..? Is it another upgraded Soundwave?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sixth Anniversary

Weirdly, it seems like only yesterday that I was struggling to sort out a Fifth Anniversary Special for this blog but it was, in fact, a full year ago that I set up four whole posts to go live on 21st September to mark the occasion. The first three each covered a first in my TransFormers collection, the last one was a bit random, but gave me an excuse to chuck in a video illustrating that, while I may like to complain about battery-operated features in contemporary TransFormers toys, they were even worse back in the 80s.

Naturally, being a twit (and, perhaps more pertinently, gainfully employed during the week, so lacking the time), I haven't arranged anything similar this year, though I do have a couple of really cool posts I could get to if I feel like it...

What I should have done was nab by G1 Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus from storage at my folks' place, so I could sort-of follow up on last year's special, or perhaps put the effort in to write a grand piece about Cybertron Primus...

What I've been thinking about this morning is writing about the 2006 Classics Voyager class Jetfire, in light of the upcoming 30th Anniversary Leader class figure... Or, perhaps I should leave that till I've got my old, yellowed G1 Jetfire to hand for comparison...

Monday, 8 September 2014

Cybertron Unicron

Following the animated TransFormers movie back in 1986, Hasbro made a couple of abortive attempts to create a Unicron toy, but it wasn't until Armada/Micron Legend - sixteen years later - that the first proper, transforming Unicron planetoid turned up. That got repainted for Energon/Superlink to represent Unicron his is dormant/deactivated state. However, for Cybertron/Galaxy Force, he got a whole new mold.

Don't get too excited, though... it's not a whole new planetoid...

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Age of Extinction/Generations Bumblebee Evolution 2-Pack

One of these days, I'm going to make the decision to never, ever buy another Bumblebee toy. In the meantime, I may just dial it down and try to be discerning in my purchases, perhaps limiting it to one per movie/toyline, and waiting to see which one is best. Today is clearly not that day, as I have picked up the Age of Extinction version of Bumblebee in its 'Evolution' 2-pack, which purports to give us a 'classic' Bumblebee along with this super-new 2014 Concept Camaro update.

As you might expect from the TransFormers brand, all is not as it seems... But is that always a good thing?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

TransFormers: Prime Sergeant Kup

Having seen all three seasons of TransFormers: Prime/Beast Hunters and the feature-length finale, Predacons Rising, I'd  have to say my biggest complaint was the lack of characters in the show. Whereas Generation 1 had masses of characters but very little in the way of decent narrative, TF Prime essentially had the opposite problem. I guess there's a balance to be made between number of characters available for story and overall coherence of story, and TF Prime certainly didn't have any filler episodes (that I can recall). The problem with a small roster of characters is that Hasbro has to make its money on toys... and while it seems happy to repaint Bumblebee every five minutes, it's always done better when it creates new characters with unique molds - or even repaints.

Thus, we get a unique toy of a character who never appeared in the TV show and, arguably, isn't even quite the right style, modelled as it was on concept artwork by Ken Christiansen, created before TF Prime was even called "TF Prime". Oddly the Cyberverse model came before this, in its intended colourscheme, as Ironhide, but I don't recall seeing that on the shelves in the UK. Kup seems like a strange choice for the Deluxe class 'repaint' - not least because he's now lumbered with the 'Sergeant' prefix just so they can use the name - but it was left up to Takara Tomy to release a Deluxe class G1-referencing Ironhide. Of course, if it's a good enough model, I might be tempted to pick that up, if I can...

When the character of Kup was first introduced to TransFormers fans, he was a curmudgeonly old-timer, full of tall tales and scorn for anyone younger than himself (but particularly Hot Rod). He was also a futuristic/Cybertronian pickup truck which, so the story goes, is the source of his name: picKUP truck. Tenuous... but I guess they were running out of cool names by that point.