Sunday, 14 February 2016

New York Toy Fair 2016 Thoughts

Well, Titans Return looks suitably amazing, doesn't it?

Not necessarily a toyline I'll be delving into a great deal (though I may end up adding a couple of new entries to my Want List over the next few weeks, as more images and details come to light), but it all seems very impressive.

Also - and this is where it gets a bit dubious, for me - very familiar.

I get that this line is aimed at the 'older collector' (which broad demographic, going by Hasbro's recently published marketing slideshow, covers an age range from about 10 to 40-something), but I have concerns about the swanky new toyline basically recycling Generation 1's entire HeadMasters and PowerMasters lines. I mean, OK, recycling Generation 1 is what Classics/Universe/Generations has been doing for the last ten years (wow... Titans Return is, like, the 10th Anniversary toyline for the 20th Anniversary G1 Redux toyline?! I feel really old now!), but I really like it when the new toylines offer something truly new and innovative, as opposed to upgrading toys I've got sitting in a cupboard in my parents' home until I move somewhere with the space to display them all.

I dunno... On the one hand, it really looks as though my wallet can take a bit of a rest this year - Fortress Maximus looks amazing, but I don't have room for it and, to be honest, I'm not that interested in figures that large and expensive anyway; most of the HeadMasters have been done to death by the third parties by now, and I wasn't that into HeadMasters 30 years ago (but if they do a new Nightbeat, I may have to buy it); the whole thing of being able to buy 'spare' heads (with triple-changing robot/weapon things) seems like a rather poor follow-up to Armada; Blaster and the Soundwave retool look pretty poor, and the new 'databrick' feature and base modes do nothing for me - but on the other, there's some quite cool stuff on offer.

With a Combiner Wars Cyclonus available (and I have the Unite Warriors version on preorder as part of the awesome Grand Galvatron boxed set), it's good to see that there's an equivalent-sized Scourge and Galvatron on the way... Universe Cyclonus and Generations Scourge were pretty definitive as Deluxe class figures, though, and fit well with my other Classics/Universe/Generations TF Animated Movie characters, so it's really only the lack of a decent Galvatron from those days that's a problem in my collection. I'm not entirely convinced that the Titans Return version is the one for me but, hell, it's going to be cheaper and more easily accessible than any of the third party versions. The new Astrotrain (a remold/repaint of the super-orange Sentinel Prime triple-changer) is likely to be just as flawed as the Classics version, just different and larger (and how sad is it that we've yet to have a version with vehicle modes as good as the 30 year old G1 toy?). Mindwipe looks to be cleverly designed (avoiding the horrible, redundant wing-slabs of the G1 version by having the wings fold up to form the robot's lower legs), yet still stashes the bat head on the robot's back and now has bat feet on the robot's elbows. PowerMaster Prime looks like everything I wanted the G1 toy to be, but I'll probably have to wait for the Japanese version to be properly satisfied with the way it looks, just like I did with the new Ultra Magnus.

The upcoming Platinum Edition sets based around the 1986 animated movie look OK, but I'm perfectly happy with Classics Rodimus and the original releases of the Cyclonus and Scourge molds used, so the translucent plastic, the slightly dodgy use of the Club's Devcon head sculpt and a 'new' Junkion aren't going to encourage me to pay a premium for figures I already have.

But, seriously, who the hell thought we needed a new Wheelie?

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