I’m finally back to cataloging my purchases for each month. This activity has been on hiatus for some time, and I’m way behind. June 2014 was a busy month in terms of TFs purchased, partially because of BotCon 2014 that took place this month. The convention was in Pasadena, California, and I always go if the event is at this location. I may make a separate post for my BotCon 2014 pics. But that’s getting off topic. Time to showcase the figures for this month. This is a long list. Prepare yourselves.
- Generations Thrilling 30 Swerve and Flanker, Target, $9.49
- Age of Extinction Drift, Walmart, $9.97
- Age of Extinction Hound, Toys R Us, $24.99
- Age of Extinction Slash, Toys R Us, $7.49
- Age of Extinction Strafe, Walmart, $9.97
- Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Bulkhead and Prowl, Walmart, $12
- Transformers Prime Dark Energon Wheeljack, BBTS (at BotCon), $15
- BotCon Exclusive Depth Charge and Rampage, Hasbro (at BotCon), $62.71
- MakeToys Mobine MB01-SP2 Missile Launcher Marine Type, CapturedPrey.com, $48
- Mastermind Creations Hexatron, CapturedPrey.com, $130
- MakeToys Mobine Paladin/Chaos, CapturedPrey.com, $79
- Renderform Gold Scout Upgrade Kit, CapturedPrey.com, $25
There are a lot of TFs here. 12 purchases in all, for a total of 13 figures and 2 upgrade kits.
Generations Swerve and Flanker were the first finds of the month. These are cool little figs. I don’t care much about the Mini-Con (Flanker), but Swerve is a real prize. He’s fun to play with. I like both his robot mode and alt mode. There’s a redeco of this fig out there as Gears, though as of this writing he’s kinda hard to find. I plan to get one.
Next up are all the Age of Extinction figs. As a whole, I think the AoE figs are rather disappointing. The Dinobots pictured here (Slash and Strafe) certainly attest to that assertion. I’m not particularly impressed with either of these and I’m looking to sell them. However, Drift and Hound are quality figures. Drift is probably my favorite of the deluxe figs from AoE. Hound is a solid voyager figure with weapons to spare. I have kind of reviewed them back in this post, so I won’t do it again. Just know that Drift and Hound are both solid additions to your AoE line.
All remaining figures featured in this post are either bought or picked up at BotCon. First up are TF Prime Beast Hunters Bulkhead and Prowl. Gemini bought these for me a few months before BotCon, but I did not have a chance to meet up with him til this event. He found this pair at his Walmart for $12 on clearance. I was really only interested in Prowl as I already have Bulkhead. At the time, Prowl was really hard to find (and he is still kinda is as of this writing). So I did not mind spending $12 for both figs.
At the BBTS booth I picked up Dark Energon Wheeljack. This is a BBTS exclusive. I could have gotten this from their website (for cheaper), but at the time I had nothing else I needed to buy from BBTS and I was already there so I went for it. Normally I don’t like buying repaints for the same character, but I really like this Wheeljack mold, and I love the transparent blue, so I splurged.
At every BotCon, Hasbro will sell some of their exclusive figs at their booth where they handle registration for Transformers Collector’s Club. This year was no exception. I mentioned back in the BotCon 2011 post that this was how I got the very rare Reveal the Shield Windcharger. In 2014, one of their exclusive figs caught my eye… Depth Charge! From Beast Wars, Depth Charge is one of my favorite characters. He’s a good guy, but at the same time a total bad-ass! Plus I love this mold. Terradive, the original character of this mold, is probably my favorite deluxe figure from Revenge of the Fallen. They repainted this awesome mold once for Space Case (from Dark of the Moon). I guess one could argue if using this mold for Depth Charge is fitting, but I don’t care. Depth Charge was about $20 if you have a TFCC membership, but without one the figure was about $40. So I decided to get the TFCC membership (about $42), which also comes with an incentive figure of Rampage. Hasbro chose to repaint TF Prime deluxe Megatron for Rampage. So for about $62 total, I got the TFCC membership, and two figures. Depth Charge and Rampage are rivals and nemesis of each other in Beast Wars, so it’s awesome having the both of them. To this day I still have not opened these 2. But I already know the Depth Charge fig will be remarkable. I know nothing of the TF Prime deluxe Megatron fig, so it remains to be seen how I will like Rampage.
And now for the figures I got from CapturedPrey. I bought all these earlier, some of them as early as the beginning of 2013. However, they don’t ship anything until your entire order comes in, at least that’s how it was at the time. I don’t know if they have developed some kind of stacking mechanism since then, like TF Source. Anyway, I still had several items outstanding at the time of BotCon, but I really wanted the figures that had already arrived. So I emailed CP and told them I like to pick them up at the booth. They were very accommodating. I picked up the four 3rd party items pictured above.
The Mobine Marine Missile Launcher kit by MakeToys is pure awesomeness! These kits really improve upon the crap that are PCCs. I featured this kit a little in this post. I tried this kit with Heavytread, Steelshot, and Undertow. Out of these 3, Heavytread looks the best, but it’s not bad with the other 2. My only regret is I should have also got the Jungle version. Apparently there were a shortage of the Jungle version, and most of the stock went to BBTS. MakeToys Mobine Paladin/Chaos is a similar toy, but with another smaller figure added in that will combine with the armor. This figure is a tribute to The Fallen (from the comics, not Revenge of the Fallen). The armor portion is more or less the same as the Mobine kits, but having a smaller figure combine with the armor to form The Fallen is an excellent idea. A pic of this figure appears here. This is way better than the piece of crap that Galoob tried to do with The Fallen that was featured in the Titanium line. I highly recommend the Mobine line from MakeToys.
Mastermind Creations Hexatron! What can I say about this piece that hasn’t already been said by others?! In case you can’t already tell, Hexatron is a modern interpretation of Sixshot by MMC. Way back in this post, when I first started this blog, I said I would love it if someone made a modern Sixshot. Well, to this day Hasbro still has not made this a reality, so MMC stepped up to the plate! What they delivered here is nothing short of spectacular. Hexatron is transformation engineering genius brought to life. I still have not transformed this figure to all its modes (I only did the robot mode and tank mode so far), but I have seen enough reviews of the other modes to know that all 6 modes are great. Construction of the figure is extremely solid. MMC cares about it’s products and it shows. And at only $130, this is actually not a bad value for 3rd party products of this size. Speaking of size, Hexatron is probably a better fit for the MP-verse than the CHUG-verse, but I’ll take it anyway I can. Of all the figs featured in this post, if you can only get one, this is it. In fact, if you wanted to nominate figs for Figure of the Year and 3rd party products can be included, then Hexatron would without a doublt be nominated. Many may even argue he would win.
That only leaves the Gold Scout Upgrade Kit, which I have yet to open. This set upgrades Classics Bumblebee to Goldbug. I’ll check this out when I have some time.
Whew… that was a lot. So much so that I didn’t even open them all yet as of this writing, like I mentioned above. But having a deluge of TFs is better than being in a drought. And BotCon 2014 was pretty special. I may report on it in a separate post. Til then… Transform and Roll Out!
Welcome to another edition of my St Patrick’s Day green Transformers! Last time I did one of these was back in 2013. There has been many green TFs since then, and I try to include every single green fig that I acquired in this time span. However, I don’t have the time to dig through them all. So for this posting I only grabbed what was handy, either currently on my shelf or easily reached into a box. Here are the lucky green figs for 2015.
Clockwise from top: MakeToys Giant, Generations Hoist, Age of Extinction Snarl, Generations Cosmos, Generations Legend Waspinator, Generations Deluxe Waspinator
I obviously missed some green TFs between 2013 and now. Some obvious ones that come to mind are Generations Springer and Age of Extinction Hound. I should have got them out too. I’ll include them next year for sure.
Happy St Patrick’s Day… Transform and Roll Out!
Quick follow up to my last post. There are now official pics to Titan Class Devastator. I am way more interested in this than I was before!
Constructicons… Transform and Roll Out!
OMG! I did not see this coming from Hasbro! After two modern updates of Devastator by third party companies, Hasbro is finally releasing their own. Check out this pic below, from what I think is a toy fair in Germany.
Supposedly each individual fig is gonna be Voyager size, and the Devastator combined will be Titan class! That’s Metroplex size! Though early rumors seem to indicate that the engineering will be quite basic. I speculate Hasbro has finally decided to do something about 3rd Parties making money off their property.
I’m debating if I want more Constructicons in my collection. After wonderful interpretations by both TFC Toys and MakeToys, I’m not sure I need another Devastator. Knowing me, I will get this if the price is right.
Prepare for Extermination! Transform and Roll Out!
Here is a pic of some random Autobots, mostly from unrelated continuities.
Included in the pic are Transformers Prime Ultra Magnus, Age of Extinction Hound, Age of Extinction Drift, and Robots in Disguise Grimlock. With the exception of Drift and Hound, these Autobots don’t have anything to do with each other. Why am I putting them in one pic? No good reason. I had some Autobots lying around the house in various places. I was about to put these away, but thought I feature them in a group shot before they go in the closet.
Drift and Hound I sort of featured in my last post. Drift is by far my favorite deluxe mold from Age of Extinction. As a whole, AoE toys are disappointing. But Drift is one rare example of a good figure from this crappy line. He looks good in both molds. His transformation is just the right difficulty, not overly simple and not overly complex. Construction of the figure is solid, and while the transforming mechanism is nothing new, in this case it works by following a tried and true formula. Some have complained that Drift falls apart in alt mode. I sincerely believe those with this complaint did not transform him right. Hound is another good one from AoE. He has… count this… 8 weapons included! This has gotta be a record, for a official Hasbro release anyway. The weapons can be combined in many different configurations. Hound can use them all separately, have some of them combine for more firepower, or have them all merge into a giant rifle. The figure itself is also not too shabby. Hound’s alt mode is fairly solid, and the robot mode does a good job of capturing Hound’s big and round appearance from the movie. The transformation of the figure is also fairly unique.
TF Prime Ultra Magnus is a repaint of the Robots in Disguise voyager Optimus of the same line. I think this mold works much better as Magnus. In fact, I feel like this mold was always designed to be Magnus, and for whatever weird reason Hasbro decided to release this mold first as Optimus. The First Edition mold of Optimus is superior anyway for that character, so it works that this mold is used for Magnus. I like how the toy comes with his hammer (I think in the show they called it the Forge of Souls). Too bad the color is not right.. in the show it’s supposed to be gold.
Robots in Disguise Grimlock is the only figure I have from this new line. I don’t know much about the show, but so far I’m not liking the designs. I had the get this figure though, since it’s Grimlock. He’s a fun figure. Among the figs in thie pic, I transformed him the most. Mostly because he’s easy to transform. I like him. I know a lot of hardcore TransFans would probably bash this figure. I see him as something you can just pick up and play. And I feel he does look good in both modes. Articulation is limited however.
Autobots… Transform and Roll Out.
Happy New Year! I usually do these new year’s posts right around the turn of the year, either on New Years Eve or New Years Day. But of course life gets in the way, and so here is the annual New Years post delayed til the end of January. Better late than never I always say.
I’m conflicted as to how I feel about 2014. For starters, we had another TF movie. Age of Extinction was quite the paradox in movie history. It was the highest grossing film worldwide for 2014, yet that the same time Rotten Tomatoes report a lowly rating of only 18%. And compared to previous movies, I would say that the AoE toys as a whole are rather disappointing. I think Hasbro recognized that most mainstream fans may be sick of another Michael Bay full-length feature, and in response did not make as many toys. Personally I don’t think I can take anymore “Bayhems”. I sincerely wish another director would take over the franchise. Asking for popular and proven sci-fi action directors, such as J.J.Abrams, Joss Whedon, or Christopher Nolan, is probably out of the question. And the movie studio would not want someone who would take a dramatic departure from what Bay has laid out. Though a little outdated, this article suggests 6 directors who could potentially take over the TF movie franchise. I would add Justin Lin (of Fast and Furious fame) and Brad Bird (Mission Impossible 4) to this list.
2014 also saw a record number of 3rd party transforming robots offered. If you’re only into official Hasbro and Takara products, this wouldn’t matter to you. But if you’re reading this blog, chances are you are at least familiar with what I’m talking about. Just a few years back, all you had to know as far as the 3rd party scene was FansProject and TFC Toys. Those days are long gone. There are probably about 50 3rd parties out there, all doing its own thing and wanting a piece of your hard-earned TF dollars. And there appears to be no slow down. I sometimes fear that the market for 3rd party products are near saturation. Let’s face it: this is a niche market. Third party figs are expensive. Having so many companies vying for a piece of the pie… I don’t know how sustainable this is.
OK, now let’s look at some statistics for 2014. Here is the break down:
- 21 figures from Age of Extinction
- 8 figures from Transformers Prime
- 4 Masterpiece figs
- 1 figure from Fall of Cybertron
- 32 figures from Generations Thrilling 30
- 2 TFCC or convention exclusive figures
- 25 Third Party products
That’s a grand total of 93 figures for the year. It comes to 7.75 figures a month. Just slightly more than 2013. Notice there are 25 3rd party products! 25! That’s gotta be a record for me. I wonder if this trend will continue in 2015.
I’ll end this post with a few collection pics of some of my favorites from 2014.
Happy 2015! Transform and Roll Out!
Quick post today. I didn’t do that much shopping this past Black Friday, not that I ever do that much. I think the most I spent on this shopping tradition is around $200 in 2011, when I finally bought a Xbox360 (250GB model, no Kinect), years after its initial launch. I usually just buy some movies and games. Perhaps some TFs. I have documented my Black Friday purchases before on this blog, in 2010 and 2013.
So yeah, this year was also fairly light in terms of Black Friday spending. Out of all the items I got, only 2 are Transformers related. They appear below.
The Age of Extinction Blu-ray is the Target Exclusive version with the metal case. I saw this starting on the Monday leading up to Black Fri, but at that time it was $13. At this price it was still a good deal, but I really didn’t like the movie that much so I hesitated. I’m glad I did, because on Black Fri it was only $9. At this price it was a no brainer for me.
The figure here is the Japanese version of Generations Fall of Cybertron Air Raid. I have the US version, and I have written a post on the figure. This Japanese version is the exact same mold, but different color. Many fans feel this is a more G1 accurate rendition of Air Raid in his famous black base color. I bought this for $17.80 on Amazon with free shipping. I’m not sure if this was a Black Fri deal, but I got him over the weekend so it counts. Air Raid has become the most famous Aerialbot, or at least the most re-made. There’s an Air Raid in almost every TF continuity. Sometimes you see Silverbolt. I’ve never seen Sky Dive, Slingshot, or Fireflight outside of G1. Hasbro, how about giving these guys some love?
That’s it for now. Transform and Roll Out.
It has been more than 3 years since the last edition of Before Carly! So here we go with this long overdue installment of Before Carly 5! On Thanksgiving no less! As always, I will start with what I think was the official description given by Seibertron:
“Spike is quite the ladies man. He eventually married Carly, but she was not the only one to have fun in the backseat of Bumblebee.”
The fictitious name of each girl is made to sound like various characters in the TF universe, and each part of every name is based on real names I’ve seen. See how many TFs you can identify. If a douche like Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) can score with babes like Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) and Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), then Spike hooking up with all these cuties below is not so far-fetched.
Hover the mouse over each girl’s name to see the name of the TF. You win nothing by correctly identifying them all, but you can take pride in the fact you know so many Transformer names.
Enjoy the pics!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Transform and Roll Out!
This past summer, me and the GF took a trip to Asia. First we went to Japan. We hit several cities while in Japan, including Tokyo, Koyto, Nara, and Kobe. Then we went to Shanghai, China (where the GF is from). After that I went to Taipei, Taiwan by myself (where I’m from). The entire trip was a little over 2 weeks. I had the time of my life! This was the best trip I have taken in quite some time.
While we were in Shanghai, the GF had to show me Jing’an Temple. Actually, we stayed pretty close to the Temple, within walking distance. Jing’an Temple is right in the heart of the city, and it is a must visit if you are in Shanghai.
I was there around June 1st, and wouldn’t you know it, they were doing a Transformers Age of Extinction promotion right next to the Temple! They had a booth set up right beside the Temple. It’s like they knew I was coming! Look at the first pic below and you will see the booth, and parts of the Temple right behind it. In the booth were many TF figures, not limited to AoE toys. I was seeing many of the AoE figs for the first time. Prices weren’t that good though. TFs in Asia are typically double the cost, and this particular location is a total tourist trap. So I didn’t buy anything til I got back to the States. But seeing the AoE booth with a large Grimlock display was still quite cool. Check out pics below.
After seeing Age of Extinction, it becomes obvious why promotion in China is absolutely necessary. I won’t explain it. See TF4 for yourself. And after seeing the movie, check out this Honest Trailer for TF4.
Shanghai is so cool! Transform and Roll Out!
Around May of this year was when Age of Extinction toys started to appear. I started to see them in early May, but I wasn’t able to purchase any until late May. More on this later in the post. Here are my acquisitions for May.
- ToyWorld Hardbone, bbts.com, $69.99
- Age of Extinction High Octane Bumblebee, TRU, $14.99
- Age of Extinction Slug, Target, $14.24
- Age of Extinction Scorn, Target, $14.24
- Age of Extinction Evasion Mode Optimus Prime, Target, $23.74
Other than Hardbone, all figures are from Age of Extinction. The release of AoE toys finally ends a long retail TF drought that lasted for much of the year. I was happy to see some new figs on the shelves, but at the same time I knew that Hasbro’s focus on AoE figures would also equate to less attention on the Generations line, my favorite TF line from Hasbro. Still, seeing something I want on the shelf is always better than seeing nothing.
But before I get into AoE, let’s talk about Hardbone, ToyWorld’s homage to G1 Hardhead. I actually bought this figure late last year, around Thanksgiving I believe. BBTS was doing their Black Friday sale. Only thing I wanted from the sale is Hardbone. As a whole, I’m very impressed with figures from ToyWorld as I think they all have solid construction, nice design, good value, and G1-inspired aesthetics. And I saw good reviews of Hardbone on YouTube, so I wasted no time to buy one at the sale. I always use the Loot feature at BBTS, to save on shipping. However, between then and May, I bought nothing else from BBTS. Any item in the loot can only be held for 6 months, so in May I had to ship Hardbone. I was not disappointed when I received the figure. Both modes look nice and the figure is well built. Transformation is not anything revolutionary, but in this case the tried and true formula works. Hardbone has weapons galore. Obviously he’s got his big shoulder cannon, but the twin guns that he had in G1 are here as well. And TW included some extra weapon accessories for good measure. The Headmaster gimmick itself is not really improved upon for G1, but suffice to say that it’s there. Overall I think this figure is an excellent modern update of G1 Hardhead.
OK, now onto the Age of Extinction figures. In early May I first saw them at K-Mart. I found the first 4 deluxe figs from Wave 1, which are High Octane Bumblebee, Crosshairs (not pictured), Slug, and Scorn. I tried to buy Slug and Scorn, but at checkout they would not ring up a price. So they wouldn’t sell them! K-Mart said they were put on the shelves by mistake. Lame! Anyway, less than 2 weeks later I found them elsewhere (and pretty much everywhere).
When I first saw the AoE figs, I definitely wanted the Dinobots. Robots transforming into Dinosaurs are some of the best ideas Takara has came up with, and the G1 creators were smart enough to personify them as the bad asses that they are. So I’m kinda surprised that Hasbro doesn’t milk this more by making Dinobots all the time, in whatever is the active TF continuity. At least for the 4th movie, Michael Bay was smart enough to include them (minor SPOILER ALERT, highlight over the next sentence to see: they only appear at the very end, for about 15 minutes. LAME!). Anyway, as for the figures themselves, I like Scorn. He’s my favorite of all the deluxe Dinos released so far. I like both the dino mode and the robot mode. Slug is ok. He’s obviously a homage to G1 Slag, being a triceratops and having a oh-so-clever name change. These movie dinos sure are colorful, like Power Rangers. In the movie they are more metallic looking, like G1 Dinobots. I bet in the future Hasbro will make limited editions of these guys in movie colors.
I like the Bumblebee figure. At the core, he’s not anything that we haven’t seen before in a movie Bumblebee. But I’m digging the classic muscle car (it could be a classic Camaro, but I could be wrong). The only other time they made a classic car movie Bee was in the first movie (which I have and broke), so it’s good to see him in this form again after all the modern Camaro Bees.
Last but not least, there’s Evasion Mode Optimus Prime. When I first saw preview pics of this figure, I was beyond thrilled. That alt mode is so G1 it would be illegal for me to not get one. The robot mode is still has the signature Michael Bay look, but with more G1 aesthetics and colors (though in the movie he does not appear in these colors). The transformation of this piece is actually very refreshing. The legs are kinda the same as always for Prime figs, but the upper body transformation utilizes quite a interesting twist. It’s as if the cab folds inside out on all sides to form the upper torso. The result is a nice movie-verse figure that mixes well with G1. I recommend this Prime, and with this upcoming aftermarket accessory to make him look like Powermaster Optimus, I say all G1-ers should get this fig.
That’s all for now. Age of Extinction has arrived… Transform and Roll Out.