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.
It is that time again my friends! Halloween is upon us. Do Tranformers celebrate Halloween? Probably not, since they can transcan and transform, it’s like everyday is Halloween.
Here is another pic where I take my orange plush pumpkin with some orange Transformers.
Click here for the 2012 version. Scroll to the bottom for the pic.
Honestly, there just ain’t that many orange TFs. I tried to find some other than ones I already used in 2012. What you see in the pic is all I can come up with: Generations Scoop, Generations Sandstorm, G1 Wideload, and Prime Voyager Predaking. Some of these are even questionable as orange. Sandstorm is actually mostly yellow, but with enough orange bits. Predaking is probably about half orange and half black.
And of course I gotta mention that the San Francisco Giants is once again world champs! The Angry Bird plush with the Giants cap is to help celebrate that fact. In the last 5 years, Giants win the whole thing every time on the even number years. So are they gonna be champs again in 2016? And it’s always so fitting they win it around Halloween. The Orange and Black is oh so fitting!
Happy Halloween! Transform and Roll Out!
The next Transformers TV show is Transformers: Robots in Disguise. If memory serves, Transformers Animated first came out in 2008, and Transformers Prime was released in late 2011. So a new show now follows this trend where Hasbro presents a TF reboot once every three or so years.
The season 1 trailer appears below.
At first glance the character designs look awfully close to TF Animated. Though looking at it closer, you also see hints of TF Prime. The appearance of Optimus and Bumblebee always seem to include a few designs from the immediate past. At this point, I don’t know if I like these designs. But I know I’ve said that about both TF Animated and TF Prime, and over time they kinda grew on me. Maybe I just need time to digest this new look.
The animation style appears to be cel shading. So I guess the animators are using 3D models, but rendered to have a more cartoony look. Kind of a mix between 2D and 3D. This could work. Another example of a fusion between Animated (2D) and Prime (3D).
Hasbro seems to be continuing the trend of having a small team for the Autobots, like in Animated and Prime. There’s Optimus, who acts like his usual Peter Cullen self. No surprises here. Then there’s Bumblebee. This Bee is back to being able to talk, which I like. The movie blips Bee never really did it for me. His characterization is also reminiscent of G1, but physically he appears tougher. Next in the group is Sideswipe (the red one). His persona reminds me of Hot Rod. I guess he’s the bad boy of the group. Strongarm is the tough and no non-sense fembot of the bunch. She acts like Arcee but has the looks of a female Wheeljack. The Dino muscle on the team is Grimlock, though his colors and behavior more closely resembles Bulkhead. Rounding out the team is Fixit, the small and spunky orange bot who appears to handle medic duties. I dunno, right now I feel like this cast is ripped straight out of a stock character manual. Hopefully I’ll find them more interesting once the show gets going.
Of course with every new show, Hasbro will be making more toys. I’m not aware of any toy info at the moment, but you can bet your boron compressor they will be making their way to store shelves in 2015.
Robots in Disguise… Transform and Roll Out!