Friday, 16 March 2018

HasCon 2017/Titans Return Arcee, Leinad & Ultra Magnus

(Femme-Bot Friday #46)
Hasbro clearly understood that, by ending Fun Publications' license to act as the TransFormers Collectors' Club, they'd have to come up with some sort of replacement for BotCon but, for the inaugural HasCon, at least, TransFormers were only one small facet of the event, given no special consideration.

The absence of BotCon naturally meant the absence of BotCon exclusives, which rubbed a lot of fans up the wrong way (probably those same fans who were regularly rubbed up the wrong way by some aspect - present or lacking - in the BotCon boxed sets, let's face it). That's not to say there weren't any HasCon Exclusives - by the looks of it, there was one for each of Hasbro's major product lines - just that they weren't really 'exclusive' so much as they were 'early access'... And their TransFormers boxed set was contentious for a laundry list of reasons.

But I tend not to let that stop me, particularly when Femme-Bots are involved...

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Toys'R'Us - A Farewell Tour

I've said before that I rarely visit bricks-and-mortar toy shops these days - maybe a quick visit to the (usually poorly stocked) TRU and Entertainer branches in Uxbridge if I'm seeing a movie there at the weekend - and my nearest 'warehouse-style' TRU is a tedious journey away - accessible by several different routes, but all almost equally lengthy. I'd pretty much given up on the latter a few years ago, because (a) I can get almost everything I want online, at Forbidden Planet or Orbital Comics, or at shows like the MCM London Comic Con and, of course, TFNation, and (b) it had got to the point where I virtually never saw anything new there anyway.

However, when I saw the announcement that Toys'R'Us were shutting down across the UK, I decided that deserved a trip not only the the Uxbridge branch, but to the long-neglected Brent Cross branch as well, to see what bargains were there to be had as they attempted to divest themselves of stock before closing their doors for the last time...

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Titans Return Broadside & Blunderbuss

There's a very good reason Hasbro decided to steer clear of triple-changers for many years. Those in Generation 1 were, let's face it, pretty crappy bricks that turned into other-shaped bricks that turned into brick-like robots. The only one that really convinced in any mode was Astrotrain, and that was largely because both his vehicle modes were supposed to just look like cylinders.

When Titans Return rolled around, they decided to reboot all three of the Decepticon triple-changers, Astrotrain first, then Blitzwing, and finally Octane... but on the Autobots' side, they wisely chose not to attempt a new Springer, because the version we got for the 30th Anniversary of the brand was damned near perfect. Sandstorm was therefore unlikely also, as the existing version was derived from the same mold. Broadside, though, hadn't appeared again in the toyline since the barely-transforming triple-brick from Generation 1, and so seemed fair game.

Of course, a robot that turns into an aircraft and an aircraft carrier was never going to be a simple propostion - for one thing, how do you solve the issue of scale between the three modes? - and, somewhat predictably, the toy started to attract scorn from the very beginning... But is it really that bad?