Sunday, 19 October 2014

Kinder TransFormers: Prime Toys - Optimus Prime & Arcee

This wouldn't be a proper TransFormers collection blog if I didn't occasionally write about some of the awful junk that Hasbro grants a license for. I have a friend who went through a phase of buying me gifts of anything featuring the TransFormers logo (several volumes of Armada, then at least one DVD of random episodes of Robots In Disguise, as well as a sticker set based around TF Animated, just for starters), some of which may eventually turn up here.

To start with, here's a new Kinder Egg promotion, tying into TransFormers: Prime, and featuring 'articulated' figures of various characters from the TV show...

Classics Jetfire

Generation 1 Jetfire was among a group of toys which Hasbro appropriated from a company other than Takara to add to their early TransFormers range. Bizarrely, he was licensed from Bandai's Macross line (which Bandai picked up from another company which had gone bankrupt) which, in retrospect, seems completely insane given the longevity and popularity of Macross.

In any event, what the TransFormers toyline got out of the deal was a nice - and very large - model VF-1S Super Valkyrie along with armour and booster pack, all of which made it very difficult to bring Jetfire into the TV show (he was redesigned entirely and renamed 'Skyfire') due to someone else already holding the necessary licensing for showing the Valkyrie in animation. In recent years, the current license holders in the US have thrown legal action at Hasbro every time they tried to create a Jetfire toy, most notably - yet weirdly - the non-transforming GIJoe/SDCC2013 exclusive Skystriker repaint.

However, back in 2006, Hasbro decided to try their hand at a new Jetfire toy for the Classics range - something entirely new in both jet and robot modes...

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Generations (30th Anniversary) Tailgate & Groundbuster

I can't remember the last time I actually bought something in Forbidden Planet other than the occasional book or DVD. I fondly remember visiting that shop, back in its earlier days, and finding some amazing TransFormers stuff, from Robots in Disguise Megatron and Ultra Magnus, to my very first Binaltech model, Smokescreen. When they moved the Shaftesbury Avenue, the premises were slicker and more spacious (it was all too easy to trip over stock in the shockingly crowded old place!), but the quality and variety of stock interested me far less over time. For many years, they haven't stocked any TransFormers toys that weren't available - cheaper - at Toys'R'Us, and most of it wasn't even imported stock.

I do still visit occasionally and yesterday, being my wonderfully geeky girlfriend's birthday, was one of those occasions. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found something new and interesting... A Generations toy that isn't (yet?) available in the UK elsewhere... and which came in US packaging. The pricing was fair, too - approximately what I'd expect to pay for something in this size class these days - so I decided to part with £11.99 for an update to a G1 toy that I never owned and his 'TargetMaster' partner...