Saturday, 30 January 2016

Hunt for the Decepticons Battle Blade Bumblebee

One would think that, eventually, Hasbro would stop making Bumblebee toys. Sure, he's the 'Kid Appeal' character, but he ended up with dozens of toys in all the size classes for each movie, totalling several billion variations of the yellow Camaro on the shelves and pegs.

OK, maybe a slight exaggeration, but surely they'd eventually be satisfied enough with one particular model in each size class (especially the Deluxe class) be be able to say "that's it, we've done all we can"..? At least until the next movie and the next model of Camaro, right?

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Mastermind Creations Cyber Engine Knight Morpher KM-05 Screecher

IDW's Hearts of Steel is on the list of comics series that I'm vaguely interested in investigating. Its central conceit is that the Cybertronians who crash landed on Earth were awoken not in the 1980s or 2000s, but instead at the time of the American Industrial Revolution. Designed by the implausibly talented Guido Guidi, the giant alien robots took on a unique and original appearance. The Autobots appear to have been largely locomotives, but the Decepticons were, as usual, rather more varied - Shockwave became an ironclad paddle-steamer battleship, for example.

When I first saw images of a model based on Hearts of Steel Optimus Prime, it was an independent fan project... but after a while, it seems Mastermind Creations picked it up and turned it into the first of their 'Cyber Engine Knight Morpher' series, following up with an interpretation of Shockwave and, eventually, the anachronistic HoS Seekers.

Friday, 22 January 2016

TransFormers Legends (Takara Tomy 30th Anniversary) LG17 Blackarachnia

(Femme-Bot Friday #35)
Completing Takara Tomy's second triumvirate of Legends femme-bots, Blackarachnia may seem like a strange late addition to a 30th Anniversary line, considering Beast Wars turns 20 years old in 2016, but I'm certainly not going to hold it against them.

Blackarachnia has always had rather weird-looking toys simply because getting a robot to transform into a spider is a tricky thing to achieve. To date, the best is (arguably) the TransFormers Animated mold, not least because the animation model drew so much influence from the Beast Wars TV show rather than the toys. No surprises, then, that Takara Tomy chose that mold from which to create a new Beast Wars Blackarachnia figure.

Monday, 18 January 2016

TransFormers Animated Optimus Prime (Earth Mode)

While TransFormers Animated looked to both Generation 1 and the more stylised American cartoons of the period for its general appearance, it took one significant story cue from Beast Wars: Its Optimus Prime wasn't the venerated leader of the Autobots. For TF Animated, he was merely the assigned Prime (team leader, effectively) for a group of maintenance 'bots. Of course, any 'bot named Optimus Prime eventually finds himself tackling all the nearby Decepticons, generally led by one calling himself Megatron, but it was a refreshing take on the character and the development of his story.

But - by and large - this is a blog about the toys, not the fiction... so let's see how the plastic version turned out, shall we?

Saturday, 16 January 2016

TransFormers: Prime Beast Hunters Soundwave

Very few of the Beast Hunters toys were of any interest to me - it was good that Smokescreen got released (even if it was only a poor representation of his original colourscheme), but the remolds - in all their gaudy, marble-plastic glory - seemed superfluous because the characters in the TV show didn't change to match. In total, I picked up three: Arcee (because, duh), Knock Out (aka Croc Out, because he did look awesome) and Soundwave.

The original version was eerie enough, being very well executed in plastic despite being so slender and oddly-proportioned. How does a Predator-style drone TransFormer fare once it's had the Beast Hunters wackiness treatment?

Sunday, 10 January 2016

TransFormers Animated (Takara Tomy) TA-33 Rodimus

I've not seen any of the episodes that Rodimus appeared in since season three of TransFormers Animated never made it over to the UK... But, then, neither did this toy. As a Toys'R'Us exclusive in the US, 'Rodimus Minor' wasn't even easy to come by over there. Weirdly, Takara Tomy's version became available via Amazon in the UK, though, and thereby made it onto my wish list...

...And, for the second Christmas in a row, my girlfriend's family have enabled by addiction to the plastic crack that is TransFormers very generously added to my TransFormers collection. Last year it was TransFormers Go! Hunter Shockwave, this year they bought me one TransFormers Go! figure and this, the last missing figure in my TransFormers Animated collection.

Friday, 8 January 2016

TransFormers Legends (Takara Tomy 30th Anniversary) LG16 Slipstream

(Femme-Bot Friday #34)
Whenever a new mold is introduced, it's pretty much guaranteed to be reused in new colours at some point down the road. The 'Fan-Made Bot' Windblade had already been repainted as part of a San Diego Comic Con exclusive set not long after its initial release, but it fell to Takara Tomy to provide it with a new head and weapons to create a whole new character.

Except that Slipstream isn't a new character, having been sort-of introduced by TransFormers Animated as some kind of unexplained feminine aspect of Starscream and, while the Collectors' Club created a Slipstream for the TransFormers Prime subsection of their Timelines continuity, Takara Tomy apparently consider this to be TF Animated Slipstream appearing in their Legends continuity.

Weird enough for you?

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Perfect Effect Perfect Combiner PC-01 Combiner Upgrade Set Black Version

When Perfect Effect first introduced their Combiner Wars upgrade sets, they came in only two colours - black and purple, the latter being tailored toward Hasbro's Menasor. Black would seem to be aimed at Defensor but, at the time, the only CW gestalts available were Superion and Menasor (the latter never completed in Europe), and it was only later that Perfect Effect released the white version, specifically coloured for Superion. I ordered both versions of the set at the same time, so now I can reveal how awesome it looks on Defensor...

Monday, 4 January 2016

Combiner Wars Defensor

Well, it's taken me long enough! I think Defensor was actually the first Combiner Wars gestalt I managed to complete, thanks to that whole issue of Wave 2 not getting a European release but, since I'd already started writing up Superion and his constituent parts, it felt as though Defensor sort of had to wait until I got my hands on Air Raid.

I'd originally thought that Superion was a little lacking and that Defensor seemed, on balance, to be the better prospect... But, with both complete and Superion being so good, has my opinion changed at all?

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Christmas Haul/Experiments in Photography

Since my girlfriend's family got me a couple of new TransFormers for Christmas, I figured I should take the opportunity to snap a couple of shots using another Christmas present: the large and spiffy light tent. I'm thinking that part of the problem I had with my photos of Trypticon were due to the choice of background colour - the blue fabric - even pre-adjusting the camera for the new environment, the colours came out a bit odd and needed some Photoshop work. As an experiment, I've switched to the white background (the other options are black (much the same as the tent's casing, only with a velvety finish) and red, which probably won't be much use for anything.

Bear in mind also that I've used my old, fairly low-res (3.3 megapixel!) camera as I couldn't quickly find my girlfriend's newer, better one. This camera has real trouble in low-light conditions, introducing multi-colour graininess to everything... So if these are the results that camera can manage, I'm feeling very positive about any photos I take with the newer camera. The only downside to that one is that its Macro function isn't anywhere near as good...