Friday, 30 January 2015

Superlink (Toy's Dream Project) Ariel Paradron Type

(Femme-Bot Friday #3)
Energon/Superlink is where it all started to change, both for motorcycle TransFormers generally and for femme-bots. Arcee/Ariel was a well designed character with an excellent toy for her diminutive size class. While Hasbro didn't get round to repainting this model until the live action movie toyline started recycling figures from older continuities, Takara - via Toys Dream Project - released a repaint inspired by the Paradron Medic who made a brief appearance in the G1 cartoon series.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Beast Wars Airazor

(Femme-Bot Friday #2)
After Arcee in the 1986 animate movie, the TransFormers franchise suffered something of a dearth of Femme-Bots until Beast Wars, when suddenly we had two in one continuity (though admittedly Airazor was... shall we say 'gender-fluid' in the Japanese version, appearing as both male and female across the various sub-continuities). Airazor was one of my favourite characters in the TV series, being a strong female character who developed an understated romance with Tigatron. Blackarachnia was cool and all, but rather more of a Femme Fatale stereotype.

Since, as I've mentioned, I was rather late to the game with Beast Wars, finding some of the toys became an epic quest and, for absolutely ages, Airazor was ridiculously expensive for what would amount to a Scout class figure these days. Aside from the recent Generations reboots, I suspect Airazor was one of my final Beast Wars purchases... So was she worth the wait?

Thursday, 22 January 2015

TransFormers (Movie) Rescue Ratchet

Sometimes, dear reader, I suspect I let my repaint-purchasing OCD carry me a little too far. I noted in my write-up of the standard movie Ratchet that I hadn't felt the need to replace it with any of the repaints or Deluxe class remakes, but this wasn't - strictly speaking - a replacement. It was... supplementing the original? Complementing it?

Whatever, Hasbro decided to release a G1-inspired repaint of movie Ratchet as an actual ambulance, rather than a Fire Rescue vehicle, without remolding anything. Can that even work? And why is he 'Rescue Ratchet' as an ambulance, when he was originally a Fire Rescue vehicle?

All these questions, and more (maybe) are answered within...

Saturday, 17 January 2015

TransFormers (Movie) Wreckage

It's strange to say, but one of the best things about the first live action movie was the extended cast of characters in the toy range. Based on concept art that never made it into the movie or characters from the videogame based on the movie, they bulked up the toyline in a way that Hasbro has increasingly failed to do with subsequent movie toylines.

That said, creating toys for characters who did not appear in the movie is a fairly significant gamble... Without having seen a character on screen, there's no connection, no instant grab, no 'must have' value, so the toy risks being a shelfwarmer. Yet not having to mimmick something from a movie or TV series frees the designer to be as creative as possible, potentially creating a more impressive toy.

Which category does Wreckage fall into..?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Mastermind Creations Reformatted: R-08 Azalea (Avenger)

(Femme-Bot Friday #1)
What better way to kick off a new feature than with a transforming female robot that wasn't even made by Hasbro/Takara Tomy?

As a general rule, I can be quite late to the game when it comes to third party products. Loads of them look interesting but, with my financial circumstances being what they were over the last few years, I was rarely able to preorder anything and, by the time I had some spare cash, many were either sold out or being sold on eBay for multiples of their original price. Such is life, since third party models tend to be short-run.

Mastermind Creations' Azalea wasn't even really on my radar - I saw it publicised, sure, but its alternate mode just seemed to be a folded up action figure with a few bits of chassis attached... and it wasn't even a 'proper' vehicle mode. Not being a regular reader of the IDW comics, I was equally not sold on the robot mode - it looked like a decent enough figure, but a bit too angular and boxy compared to the lithe, curvy likes of Energon Arcee, TF Prime Arcee, TF Animated Blackarachnia, or even the first live-action movie interpretation.

I confess that it was actually a video review by Vangelus that got me interested, not only because he showed off the figure well - both the good and the bad - but because he explained the whys and wherefores of the colourscheme and the repaints. I still had some reservations, not least that there were many other femme-bots I'm more keen to get my hands on (Perfect Effect's Motobot, TF Animated Arcee and the new Generations Arcee, to name but three), but I found this available on eBay at a reasonable price, so I took a chance.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

TransFormers: Prime Knock Out

TransFormers: Prime may not have had the most extensive cast, but it certainly had its fair share of characters, from old favourites reimagined, to entirely new creations. One fan favourite (at least going by the copious fan art out there) was the suave Decepticon 'medic', Knock Out. His enthusiasm for his work would have been endearing if it weren't for the fact that his work was invariably quite nasty, his dialogue - delivered with relish by Darren Norris - is among the best in the series, and his 'bromance' with Breakdown was fun while it lasted.

Sadly, TF Prime's toyline was plagued with poor realisations of the CGI and obvious signs that Hasbro were cutting corners in both construction and paintwork... so how does a fan favourite like Knock Out fare against economic downturn?

Friday, 9 January 2015

A Possibility

At some point - hopefully soon - I'll get back to writing about toys, rather than randomly wittering on or writing about writing about toys, as I'm about to do here... This weekend would be good, but we'll have to see.

In the meantime, I have a small idea, kind of off the back of my TFCC 'Members Incentive Monday' posts (which, let's face it, are likely to be once-a-year events), but mostly due to the fact that I have about a dozen toys of a particular form in my Want List.

So, here's the idea: 'Femme-Bot Friday'.

I have a few draft posts which could start the ball rolling, then I have one new model (Mastermind Creations' R08 Azalea (Avenger)) and five (5!) others currently on order or in transit. This gives me a total of about twenty that I could be writing about in the near future... and making 'Femme-Bot Friday' a thing should, in theory, encourage me to write semi-regularly. That can only be a good thing.

Let's see how this works out...

It ain't starting this week, though. Sorry.