Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An inkling of things to come

We now have a look at what next year's non-ROTF line will be like:

Pretty interesting stuff, if only because we know so little about it.

What we do know:

1. The line is at least somewhat G1-based. These could be the G1 characters Huffer and Caliburst, or they could be UT-style close homage versions (like how Armada Optimus looks like G1 Optimus, but isn't him)

2. The line is simply going to be called "Transformers." No subtitle. Last time they did this was with the 2006/2007 "Classics" line and the 2007 Movie line.

3. The "Power Core Combiners" gimmick to some extent features small, minicon/targetmaster-like partners attaching to larger robots in vehicle mode as a weapon.

Ok, speculation:

1. Not sure if Huffer here is a scout/basic or a deluxe. I'd like to think small deluxe, since this looks like it could possibly be a deluxe-sized package (think RiD, Armada, or Energon deluxe packaging - very horizontal), but it's certainly not beyond Hasbro these day to try and sell a basic and 1 small accessory TF for the cost of a deluxe, when we only payed 10 dollars for a real deluxe and a minicon back in 2002-2003 with Armada.

2. Caliburt appears to be a minicon - look at the feet. Those posts going out to the side really look like powerlinx ports. In fact, his overall appearance is kinda similar to Cybertron Shadow Recon Sixspeed - the clear blue race car minicon. Not that has much to do with Caliburst being a minicon, but still. THis has important fictional ramifications - I guess - basically, if Caliburst is indeed a minicon, that means either A) this is the first time Hasbro has designed a mincon toy to go witha G1-universe toy or B) that this is in fact UT Huffer (much like how Universe Hot Shot was the same guy as the Armada toy). Now, the TF Club has used Minicons in their G1 fiction/comics, but they have never been designed as toys before to be part of a G1 toy set. That has always been the role of Target-, Power-, Head-, and Micro-masters, which are just small normal TFs or other species, not Unicron's children (as the mincons are).

3. I'm guessing the line is going to be Universe/Classics 3.0, the one that Hasbro has been promising. The lack of a specific line subtitle is bothersome for collectors (we like to be able to say, for example, "ROTF Optimus" vs. "Energon Optimus"), but it also keeps the general public less confused. As much as I like having 3 or 4 lines at once (as we have had, even in the recent past), I'm sure it boggles the average parent shopping for a birthday or Christmas present.

4. Some are still thinking that Huffer here may actually form a Scramble City/Energon-style combiner limb, leg or arm. You know, what with the whole "Power Core Combiner" thing. I can see it happening, as Caliburst could (like the Energon combiners' energon weapons) form the hand/foot. However, Huffer's design looks pretty straightforward; it doesn't look like there's anything else going one that could turn him into a limb. That said, Energon Sledge/Bonecrusher did nothing more that add an energon weapon to vehicle mode to become a limb, so who knows.
It would be cool if these two did form a larger combiner.

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