Friday, 22 September 2017

Top 10 G1 Toys I Don't Own

As a collector who started out with Generation 1 toys back in the mid 1980s, I'm often guilty of comparing each new toyline to G1 and, despite all the engineering improvements the last thirty-odd years have brought, finding them a little wanting... Not least because so many of the more recent figures have had very simplistic - almost G1-level - transformations, with all kinds of detail faked in.

However, what with Combiner Wars, Titans Return and Power of the Primes continuing the reboot of Generation 1 that commenced with Classics back in 2006, it occurred to me that I've more or less decided no longer to pursue a number of the original Generation 1 toys I once coveted, in favour of picking up their contemporary remakes. Not so say there aren't any I still want, just that my list of 'Holy Grail' G1 TransFormers toys is now far shorter than it was only a couple of years ago.

Here, then, is a list of the Top Ten G1 TransFormers toys that I really wanted at the time, but (for the most part) don't anymore, along with why I wanted them at the time, and why I don't want them anymore... Some will be pretty self-explanatory, one way or another...

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Ninth Anniversary

Starting off this post was actually really easy once I actually found the time (in January of this year, I decided to try to take one Friday off work toward the end of every month, just to have a short, regular break and - hopefully - actually take advantage of my full allocation of holiday time this year, and these long weekends turned out to be good blogging opportunities) and I acquired a few very cool toys very soon after the last Anniversary post...

So, without futher ado, here are my top nine purchases since last year, inevitably featuring some figures I haven't yet posted about individually...

Monday, 18 September 2017

Robots in Disguise (2015) Fracture

The funny thing about a lot of TransFormers toy lines is that I start out thinking I'm not going to bother with any of the toys, then end up picking up a couple because they look cool and then, before I know it, I've got another new facet to my ever-growing collection.

Since I'm not actually watching the current Robots in Disguise TV series, the figures I've picked up thusfar haven't really followed any pattern beyond me thinking "Ooh, that one looks cool" and then trying to figure out if it's something I have to import, buy online from a UK retailer, or that I could pick up on a chance visit to Toys'R'Us or The Entertainer when I'm off to the nearby cinema with a friend. Once in a while, something I've put on my Amazon wish list is ordered by a friend or family member, and I get a surprise dose of plastic crack over Christmas or on my birthday... one such dose this year, courtesy of my sister, was Fracture.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Last Knight/Autobots Unite Hot Rod

Hasbro seems to have caught a lot of flack for re-using one of the more disappointing Age of Extinction molds for a new character in The Last Knight. Lockdown wasn't irredeemably bad and, in some respects was actually a lot of fun... And being much the same sort of car as Hot Rod becomes (after being a Citroen DS when first introduced) it makes a certain amount of sense, not least because it saved them some engineering costs.

That said, Hot Rod in the movie seems to have taken much the same role toward one of the new characters as Bumblebee did in the first movie, and his robot mode features suggestions of a Bumblebee-style transformation... Can the Lockdown mold really do him justice?

Saturday, 9 September 2017

The HasCon Reveals - A Few Thoughts...

...Based on the photos that have turned up online because, as usual, I've not managed to visit a show in the States (though, admittedly, I'm somewhat more keen to try to visit a HasCon in future having seen those images).

DotM Mechtech Jolt

Given that Jolt's presence in Revenge of the Fallen appeared to be more an editing error than the intention of the film-makers, and that he didn't appear at all, even briefly, in the background, in Dark of the Moon, it seems like a complete waste of plastic to release him in the DotM toyline... and even more so to find he was given an entirely new mold.

The original toy wasn't remotely accurate to the on-screen CGI, yet managed to be a decent toy all the same. Surely a second attempt will be a significant improvement..?

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Mastermind Creations Cyber Engine Knight Morpher KM-07 Warper

As a Seeker OCD sufferer, the moment I purchase a Starscream these days, I'm instantly compelled to desire - and, with any luck, acquire - the same mold as both Skywarp and Thundercracker... So it's lucky for me that the Third Parties are far more inclined than Hasbro to enable my compulsion. I don't think there's been a single Third Party Starscream that hasn't been swiftly repainted as the other two original Seekers, and many are subsequently retooled into the Coneheads. Hasbro, meanwhile, seems to think that niche characters like Sunstorm and Acid Rain/Storm are the more likely moneyspinners...

When Mastermind Creations started producing the Hearts of Steel Seekers, under their Cyber Engine Knight Morpher banner, they wasted no time in producing the three G1 Seekers, and tracking down all three on the secondary market, thankfully, didn't take me too long, back in 2015.

So let's take a look at the next on the list... the super-sinister black repaint...

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Titans Return Wolfwire Weirdwolf & Monxo

It could be suggested that I have a strange fascination with Weirdwolf. Perhaps because of the BotCon 2007 repaint of Cybertron Snarl/Galaxy Force Fang Wolf (which I only bought because it was half of a 2-part set with that year's Alpha Trion) but, while the robotic beasts that were the 1987 Decepticon HeadMasters didn't appeal to me, and the third party remakes of Skullcruncher and Mindwipe did nothing to endear me to the incongruous concept, Quadruple-U seemed kinda cute and turned out to be a pretty good update of the old HeadMaster concept which, at the time, was not being explored by Hasbro or Takara Tomy.

But then Titans Return happened and, conspicuously, Hasbro's first order of business seemed to be releasing official products of all the characters the third parties had tackled, including the confused lupine Decepticon, sadly coinciding with a somewhat ridiculous price hike for Deluxes. Granted, they were still far cheaper than the third part efforts, but they were also smaller and vastly less complicated models.

No surprise, then, that after several months of not buying Titans Return Wolfwire (his original name now unavailable, it seems) on any of the few occasions I happened to visit my local branch of The Entertainer, I finally caved in an order him online (at a much lower cost) when he was no longer on their shelves.

Friday, 1 September 2017

MAAS Toys/TFNation CT001TFN Rune

(Femme-Bot Friday #43)
One of the best things about BotCon - the TransFormers convention I never managed to attend over its 11 year history of being operated by Fun Publications, let alone its earlier days, when I wasn't even aware of its existance - was the range of exclusives they made available. Starting out with one or two small ones, and developing into their lavish boxed sets. Some have been contentious, some have been mediocre, some have been awesome, but all of them got the attention of the fandom.

As someone who attends conventions for the merchandise more than the panels or the 'community' aspect, event exclusives are especially piquant, so I've made a point of encouraging everything from badges and clothing to toys whenever I've given feedback on a UK show, and I'm clearly not alone... Because TFNation have really delivered, in only their second year, partnering up with MAAS Toys to create an event exclusive version of their first model, Skiff (aka G1 Cybertronian Bumblebee) as a new take on a BotCon exclusive toy from 2002, Glyph (itself a repaint of the G1 Bumblebee toy).

Make sense? OK, let's take a closer look...