Friday, 30 November 2018

Iron Factory IF EX-16N Night Assassin

(Femme-Bot Friday #61)
Cleverly taking a leaf out of Takara Tomy's books, Iron Factory took their 'Pink Assassin' small-scale Arcee-analogue mold and very quickly turned it into their very own take on the G1 cartoon character, Nightbird. It seems like a rather niche move, and certainly strange as a standalone release when their Elita-1 analogue was packaged with another figure (irritating as it is to my OCD, their Combiner Hunters Arcee, IF EX-16H, being packaged with IF EX-24 War Giant Commander made much more sense), but it's another Third Party Femme-Bot, so it was on my want list as soon as I became aware of its existance.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Power of the Primes Blackwing Darkwing

Also (as in originally) known as 'Darkwing', Blackwing is the second Combiner Wars Aerialbot retooling to be turned into a G1 Powermaster homage following Power of the Primes Dreadwind. While both have lost their Powermaster gimmick in favour of the somewhat shoehorned Prime Armour gimmick, their other unique and defining feature - the ability to combine their vehicle modes into the giant 'Dreadwing' superjet - was announced as having been retained. Having missed out on the cumbersome, clunky G1 figures, I was keen to see what contemporary toymaking techniques could do with such an interesting concept.

I was reasonably impressed with Dreadwind on his own, but acquiring this figure made both seem more disappointing than either in isolation... so let's find out why...

Sunday, 25 November 2018

TransFormers: Prime Beast Hunters Knock Out

One of the biggest frustrations with TransFormers: Prime season three - aka 'Beast Hunters' - is that virtually all the regular characters remain the same bar a few isolated changes to their paint jobs, while the toyline just went bonkers, growing spikes and other protrusions all over the place... And yet, where Hasbro had the perfect opportunity to do a straight repaint of a new character, Smokescreen, they dropped the ball. By and large, the 'tooled up' versions of the regular show characters weren't at all appealing to me, but the remake of Knock Out - affectionately known as 'Croc Out' - certainly has its appeal.

Monday, 19 November 2018

TransFormers Collectors' Club BotCon 2007 (Timelines) Hologram Mirage

There are times in every collector's life, I'm sure, where they look at an exclusive figure in their collection, and wonder why they bought it. As I started writing this, I couldn't remember if this figure had been part of a set I'd bought on eBay or something I bought on its own and, after a little research, it seems more likely the latter. Hologram Mirage was one of those figures given away to those who collected their top-tier BotCon 2007 set in person, at the show. I guess that makes it kind of interesting...

But, still, it was another version of the Classics Mirage mold which, at the time, was fantastic - stable and poseable to an extent matched by few other Classics figures then or since. I have to confess that a hologram version is a bit of a novelty - there was a similar Binaltech version, described as the "Electro-Disrupter" version, released by e-HOBBY the same year, and Takara Tomy produced their own take using this very mold in 2009 - so clearly there's a market for this sort of thing... but it does seem more than a little bit niche...

Monday, 12 November 2018

Masterpiece Movie Series MPM-7 Bumblebee

Considering the prevalence of Bumblebee figures in all the live action movies' toylines, I made a decision very early on - after Age of Extinction, in fact - to be very selective of my Bumblebee purchases. Thus, I bought the original Studio Series Bumblebee because I felt it was a good way to close of my collection of Michael Bay-era Bumblebees (until the WWII version was announced, at least), and decided to preorder the gold, 'Retro Pop Highway' version of the Studio Series Bumblebee movie figure simply because it was something different and special.

Around the same time, though, I caved in and decided that I did rather want a 'proper' version of the new yellow VW Beetle figure, and so ordered the Masterpiece version in the hope that it would serve as the definitive figure of the new CGI character, so I won't feel compelled to buy any others.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Black Mamba Deformation LS-01 Ares Nitrogen

Hasbro's Nitro (Zeus) figure, despite having a typically poor paint job, turned out to be one of my top figures of 2017, so when I learned that KO merchants/upscalers/upgraders Black Mamba were producing their own oversized version of the character, my interest was immediately piqued. A better paint job alone would make the figure worth a look, but the promise of making him larger, tweaking the engineering and adding a few die cast parts put 'Ares Nitrogen' firmly on my radar, and the first photos of the fully-painted figure rocketed him right to the top of my want list...

...But with Studio Series Thundercracker - based on the same mold - now available, is it worth tracking down an oversized upgrade on the original?

Friday, 9 November 2018

TransFormers Adventure TAV03 Strongarm

(Femme-Bot Friday #60)
When I wrote about the Prime of Micron version of Strongarm, last year, I noted that I didn't think Hasbro's Deluxe was worth considering and that the cost of importing Takara Tomy's was prohibitive given that it's the same toy, just with a slightly improved paint job. Of course, that was before I realised that PoM version was smaller than a Deluxe and so not really the Strongarm figure I wanted either.

So, you know what that means, right..?