Sunday, October 23, 2016

Megatron: a Retrospective

I don't know what it is. Be it my steadfast inability to put down CW Armada Megatron, my admiration of Classics Megatron's lightpiping, or tinkering around with TR "Nucleon," I've got Megatrons - and Galvatrons! - on the brain. 

As such, over the next several weeks (months? Years?) I am going to focus on different Megatron and Galvatron toys, especially those that have especially captured my imagination and managed to stay in my play/display rotation more than most. I'm also really looking forward to TR Voyager Megatron, and am very close to biting the bullet and purchasing the One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall Platinum set with its half-assed Repaint of Classics Optimus but terrific repaint of Classics Megatron. Recently a new Masterpiece Megatron has been revealed by Takara, but I've no real interest in that.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Do the Shuffle (or, NYCC 2016: Hasbro Does it Again)

Well, Hasbro was back at NYCC this year! After last year's great introduction to Titans Return, this year they continued the steady drip of new product info that kind of started at Botcon earlier this year, continued at SDCC and most recently appeared at Cybertron Con.
Let's start with Shuffler, shall we? This Titanmaster was new to me, but his accessory is a fantastic little mammoth/tank, and just look at that head sculpt! It's so evil! What a great addition to the Decepticons, I thought, especially with yet more purple on the shelves. So I looked him up on the wiki last night and discovered a couple of things:
A) Shuffler's mammoth accessory is pretty accurate to the original mammoth mode seen above! The only real difference is the molded tank treads and gun barrels. 

B) His new head mode is way better than the original. Just look at that thing! Big improvement while keeping the tusk/trunk motif.

C) HE'S A FRIGGIN' AUTOBOT! I can't believe it. This dude looks like nothing less than Crashbash's cousin and looks mean as hell and he's an autobot. Well, not in my house. 

Here's Brawn, who now amusingly has both a Titanmaster toy and legends toy in the same line. This mold look good enough, but I'm not a huge fan of the character and I hope we get an Outback remold.
Doublecross, as seen in that one leak at the end of April. Again, looks ok but I don't really care about him.

Triggerhappy got leaked when Doublecross & Co. did, but these pics make him look better than ever. He has a really great jet mode and the bot mode has some cool weapons options. Don't care much about the character, but unless he gets rereleased as a more appealing character/deco, I may get this one for the mold alone.
Perceptor! This one is too good. Pretty sure he's the first TR deluxe triple changer and he's a big improvement over the RTS toy though I wish he had his AHM reticle. Not much else to complain about, and one of my few Autobot must-haves for the line.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Cybertron Con (aka, the other half of SDCC)

So, Hasbro split their late summer presentation content between SDCC last week and now Cybertron Con in China this week. Thankfully, this more recent showing includes stuff we had hoped to see at SDCC but didn't!

Kickback! About time. He'll go great with T30 Shrapnel and CW Bombshell, and now FoC Kickback has been "officially" retconned into a Swarm member/mutated Kickback clone. I particularly appreciate here how well the old diaclone gimmick has been reappropriated for TR. 
Hot Rod! So much better than the Classics mold. I wonder if we can get a MTMTE-style head at some point.
Here we are with Octanimus! Ok, yes, that plane mode is highly iffy, but the truck and robot modes are pretty perfect. Can't wait!
And here's the real deal! It's amazing how much this fulfills my 12-year-long desire for an updated G1-style Sixshot. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

SDCC Y'all

Hey hey hey, it's SDCC again. Hasbro showed a few new and newish toys at their breakfast event and kindly released some official renders to go with them. Let's take a look! Also, thanks to the Allspark and Tformers for the images!

Here we have Overboard, nee Overkill. I was hoping that, in a line with a leader class Soundwave and legends class device/tapes, Overkill might get his own legends mold. Too bad, but this is the next best thing; maybe better considering how some of the tapes look (yes, I'm talking about you, Stripes). Overkill here is a straight repaint of Crashbash/Squeezeplay, with the theropod mode obviously being what makes it work. On the plus side, Overkill can at least become a new head for Soundwave! In all seriousness, this is a neat repaint that would only be beaten by being done as some of the sparking 'Cons. I'm glad I saw this before finding Crashbash on the pegs because this will be the preferred version for me. And sorry, but Hasbro's only released render is for the head mode!
I'm actually pretty happy about this! I was really impressed that Hasbro refrained from releasing some kind of CW Bumblebee and actually kept him off shelves for a while after his fate in Dark Cybertron (not quite the case for Shockwave, but that's ok). Now he shows up for TR in what appears to be the best G1-based BB mold yet. Seriously, other than not being a VW, I don't see any flaws here and you get to put Titanmasters in him to boot, just like Wheelie. I'm lovin' it!
Gnaw, on the other hand, I'm not totally sold on. I've never totally liked how aggressively unsharklike the G1 Sharkticons are in alt mode, and I don't really think they are supposed to be tiny like a minibot either. Gnaw also had the laziest, if most amusing, means of transporting titanmasters - they seem to sit in his mouth! Still, the toy has a certain charm and I may cave on it as an impulse/rainy day purchase.
Here's retail Brainstorm! Allegedly a Walgreen's exclusive, I enjoy his deco just as much as the SDCC version, so I'll go with this one. 
This little guy is Darkshot - Megatron's Titanmaster! I'm not sure if he is supposed to be someone in particular - he seems to have features of both Megatron and Blitzwing. Anyway...
I really love Megatron's face molding. So much better than the leader class toy.
Tank mode! Well, the fusion cannon connects to complete the barrel. Anyhow, I like how the folded wings look; they serve to sci-fi the mode up a bit. Also, I kind of like that the thrusters can be used as additional firepower.
Ah, what a friggin' nice jet mode. If it's not clear by now, Megatron is a the pretool for a new Blitzwing just as Sentinel is a pretool for Astrotrain. I love how much the jet looks like a MiG-25/31, which is what Blitzwing turned into. Also, double cockpits (one for each mode) for the win!
Bot mode!
On the back of his box, we get confirmation for Optimus, Triggerhappy and Sixshot, not to mention the first news of a Titanmaster Fangry! Firstly, I'm truly amazed that Fangry got to keep his name in a line rife with name changes. Second, Triggerhappy looks neat; I'd kind of like Slugslinger and Misfire to go along with him. Third - Optimus looks really good, and while there isn't any good evidence here, it's hard to believe that he won't be an Octane pretool. Lastly, Sixshot Sixshot SIXSHOT! I both can't and can believe that we're getting a leader class Sixshot. Can't wait to see more of him!
Ok, this thing here is Ion Scythe, and he's pretty much an unaltered Arms Micron. He's being released with Liokaiser to evoke the Breastmaster partners of the original toys. Honestly, he's superfluous for me (and I hate this kind of continuity-mixing anyway). Not totally sure what I'll do with him if I get this set.
Guyhawk! Stupid name, but looks good.
Digging the new head sculpts for these guys!
Hellbat! Awesome name and looking good! I will point out that one reason I'm interested in this set is to get Decepticon versions of this mold (and the Air Raid version).
Again, love the headsculpt. It'll be nice to finally have a toy of this unique character; the downside is that I'm starting to want to buy the Empire of Stone TPB!
Killbison! I had to check - yes, the actual toy does have silver paint on the turret. I also love that both Killbison and Drillhorn get a third weapon - the same double-barreled gun that the arm guys have - so that Liokaiser has four of these things altogether!
Once more, awesome head sculpt. I also like the silver treads!
This will be my only copy of the drill variant of the tank mold. Oh, this is Drillhorn, by the way!
The extra gun really helps this guy out in bot mode.
Ok, this is Deathsaurus! I have to admit, I'm a bit underwhelmed/confused. This mode got the least remolding - just a new piece for the eyes/crest - and other than the front/head, the deco really resembles Leozack more than Deathsaurus. Which is understandable in order for it to work as a Liokaiser torso, but it's still weird. Overall I can't complain much as it looks really good, and is honestly the kind of thing we'd normally only expect to get from the Club.
Nemesis Lynx!
Ah, Liokaiser himself. I didn't realize until we got to see this new pic that it's only the bottom part (face) of the head that is a new part - the cat helmet is straight from Sky Reign, which is an impressive enough bit of parts use to make me think that this remold was planned from the get-go. Not sure why the cat helmet can't be blue, but at least we've know it's black since January. Also, there is a bit of appeal in being able to make Liokaiser extra tall by mistransforming the leg mode of the tanks. I wonder if it's enough for him to top Victorion and her boots.