Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

So, the Valentine's dinner last night was a success. Seasoned steak, lobster tail, baby portabella mushrooms, asparagus, and salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette. It was delicious, plus chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert. Yum. Oh, and my wife got me a 20 dollar gift card to be used toward a TF, so that means between that card and my remaining Christmas card, Legendstator will be free when I find him!

As for Toy Fair, where to begin? 2010 clearly looks like the real 25th anniversary, with so much great stuff coming down the pipe.

I guess I'll start with the Movie toys. As noted before, the current Revenge of the Fallen toyline is being "canceled" - but not really. It's getting a name and packaging change later in the year (maybe soon, like late spring?) and will now be called Hunt for the Decepticons. Which I'm grateful for, as all of the previously seen package images didn't have the little sticker with that name, leading me without a proper handle for the toyline. But no matter, it's now Transformers: HFTD, or maybe even just Transformers: HD. As in, HFTD Deluxe Ironhide or HD Leader Starscream.

Beginning with HFTD Legends:

-Ravage: Awesome. I was really hoping they'd do this, if onyl so we could have a transforming Ravage toy that could be displayed alongside ROTF Soundwave. Is it sad that this was one of the toys I was most excited about seeing yesterday afternoon?

-Rampage - totally new mold - as in, not the Rampage legends toy that comes with Legendstator - and in red. Also, his jackhammer leg can split in two, just like the deluxe. His tread/claw arms are really reminiscent of Energon Landmine's "brute" mode.

- Long Haul - again, another totally new, non-Legendstator mold. Looks good enough, although not necessarily as better than the original as Rampage's new mold does. I find it interesting that two total non-characters in the movie are also the first to get 2 separate legends toys in the same toyline (well, if you count ROTF and HFTD to be the same line, which they really are).

- Sandstorm - repaint of Universe Beachcomber in G1 Sandstorm colors. Not bad, but I don't know if I need it.

- Fireburst Optimus Prime - another not-totally-different repaint of ROTF Legends Prime, but a heck of a lot better looking than the Power Armor version I'm currently saddled with. I might get him.

- Cyberfire Bumblebee - ROTF Legends 'Bee with one stripe instead of two. Lame.

- I think that's it.

HFTD Scouts:

- Brimstone: Awesome Decepticon chopper bike with blue and green flames and a terrifying (if hilarious) bot mode. Basically, Cybertron Lugnutz done right. In one of the better uses of bike wheel kibble ever, the front wheel splits to form circular blades (with little clawed hands!).

- Hubcap: A red, Autobot, 30s-style hot rod. Absolutely great, and makes up a bit for the fact that Crankstart is just a Dune Runner repaint and not the Ransack/Model-T design we saw last year. This was the one toy yesterday that my wife desrcibed as "pretty cool," even saying that her dad would like it.

- Insecticon: looks just like the robotic fly Sam kills in the ROTF movie, but with a sick bot mode. Lovely. Wonder how long it will take to get the G1-color repaint?

- Breacher: Blue, Autbot armored vehicle (APC?), along the lines of Movie Wreckage. Between the name and colors, it honestly seems more like an upgraded form for ROTF Beachcomber.

- Backfire - ROTF Knock Out in what looks like G1 Ramjet's colors. Autobot. Pass.

-Crankstart - ROTF Dune Runner in black with yellow stripes. This toy should die solely for not being the Ransack Model-T mentioned above.

HFTD Deluxes:

- Elita-1: Disappointingly, just a repaint of Chromia. Still, at least she exists.

- Hailstorm: Awesome, awesome Decepticon multi-missle launching tank (think CD Scattorshot). All 8 (!) missiles actually launch, though. Green camo deco.

- Ironhide: Looks pretty damn great when correctly transformed. Still has the familiar multi-barreled right-arm cannon, but the left arm cannon has been replaced by some kind of different-looking cannon emplacement thing that's a "drone" somehow. It can also attach to his truck bed. Pretty damn cool overall; Ironhide has adjusted to this smaller size even better than Ratchet.

- Sidearm Sideswipe: SASS, in other words. A totally new ROTF Sideswipe mold. Mostly silver car mode with red flames at the front (looks a bit like Drift, actually), completely new (sort of backwards) transformation, and a bot mode with guns rather than swords. Neat.

- Jetblade: White/light blue repaint of ROTF Dirge. For some people, that automatically makes this a new ROTF Ramjet toy, but I'm pretty satisfied with my current ROTF Ramjet, and this guy, along with his new name and sufficiently new color scheme, would serve as a new Seeker character for me. Not sure if I'll get him, though.

- Sea Attack Ravage: Looks more movie-accurate than either regular Ravage or Recon Ravage. And honestly, I would have preferred this to be the mail-away version. But whatever. I probably won't be getting it.

- Battle Blade Bumblebee: Apparently a totally new deluxe ROTF BB mold. To keep myself from being branded a "Energon Starscream is totally a remold of G2 Smokescreen!" kind of guy, I'll just say that the lower legs/calfs/shins don't look very different from the previous deluxe movie BBs. However, everything else (even the toes and heels attached to those lower legs) does appear to be brand new, and fairly ambitious at that. His right actually manages to transform between hand and plasma cannon, and his left arm houses a pretty cool flip-out energon axe. He also has a new battle mask head (don't know if it retracts). I'll be getting him (and even then, I'll still have only 4 total deluxe Movie BBs).

HFTD Voyagers:

- Battle Blades Optimus Prime - Optimus finally gets a new voyager mold, after having his 2007 voyager mold languish in Unending Crappy Repaint Hell for 3 years. This mold, like the ROTF leader mold, is very movie accurate, has both arm swords, but also has a chest cavity with removable Matrix of Leadership. Awesome! Here's hoping HA Sam can hold it.

- Sea Spray - kind of talked about him a few posts back. At any rate, he's a keeper. He's also one of only two new-mold, new-character Voyager Autobots in the ROTF/HFTD line, the other being Stratosphere from last summer!

- Night Ops Ratchet - mostly black Ratchet repaint that looks like he could be a good Toxitron toy. Won't get it.

- Payload: Yellow Long Haul repaint seen before. Pass.

HFTD Human Alliance:

- Jazz w/ Lennox: Oh yes. It's about time he got a decent mold (yes, I do own his deluxe mold 4 times over, shut up). His transformation scheme takes some liberties with the chest and arms, but otherwise he appear perfect. And yes, he finally has the real crescent-shield gun, which, by the way, transforms into a motorcycle for Lennox. Too friggin' awesome.

HFTD Leaders:

- Starscream: Duh. A no-brainer.

- Optimus Prime: don't know if he has a new name/modifer. I mean, I knew Hasbro was going to release some kind of sort-of-changed Leader Optimus repaint, but I was really hoping for them to bring the Buster Prime remold over. And they sort-of have done that - this remold has a mask-less face (dont' know if it's the same as the Buster version, but it's close enough), and also articulated hooks instead of swords, and he's covered in battle damaged paint. Basically, it's ROTF Forest Battle Prime. I'll probably get it. That way, I can leave the normal version combined with Jetfire.

HFTD Activators - Bumblebee, Prime and Megatron - I knew the activators design model would not work well with the movie aesthetic. What a sad race of cybertronians.

HFTD Battle Ops Bumblebee - if it was a Leader class toy, I would've gotten it. For now, it's still too big and expensive (like Ultimate BB was), and the new Battle Blade BB is sating my desire for a BB with transformable arm cannon.

Next up are the Transformers: Power Core Combiners (PCCs). This is a pretty interesting and somewhat innovative line. The core (heh) of the line are a series of scout-sized robots that each have robot, vehicle, and combiner torso (complete with second head) modes. Some of these guys only come with a energon-clear minicon, which in itself has 4 modes - robot, weapon for the larger robot, weapon for the vehicle, and armor for the larger robot (this last mode is the one that I have yet to see any pics of). Other Power Core guys come not with a minicon, but with four Legends-sized vehicle drones, each of which automorphs into an arm or leg, depending on the vehicle. However, any of the scout-sized guys can use any of the limbs or minicons, and the minicons can additionally attach to the limbs. In other words, there's a lot of room for customizaiton here. Overall, the 2-pack sets seem a bit stronger than the 5-packs, and Bombshock (so far) seems to be the best of the 5-packs.

PCC Scout/Minicon sets:

- Huffer with Caliburst: seen in an earlier blog posting, this guy is a pretty clear update to G1 Huffer, at least in visuals. Not much new to report about him.

- Smolder with Chopster: A Decepticon firetruck with a Minicon axe. Doesn't get much more unconventional than this! Not news, as it was revealed online a few weeks ago, but still neat.

- Searchlight with Backwind: Great, great update. The original G1 Searchlight was a white Throttlebot car with a ridiculous six headlights. Now, he's a Chinook-style helicopter whose (unfortunately-named) Minicon serves as a search light/rescue hook/minigun emplacement in vehicle mode. The colors and minicon gimmick indicate this is, in face, intended to at least be an homage to the G1 original. Oh, and he has an awesome bot mode, with each hand armed with his rotors. I love the whole deal.

- Icepick with Chainclaw: A monstrous snowmobile (akin to the Armada Minicon Iceberg), but one with a Minicon on top that serves as a MLRS! Very cool, with an awesome Polar boy-style head sculpt (icesicle hair, for the uninitiated). Very similar colors to the aforementioned Jetblade.

- Leadfoot with Pinpoint: Orange & white Indy-style race car whose Minicon becomes a twin-barreled cannon. Homage to his G1 namesake. Pretty cool; car mode is a bit on the futuristic side.

- Sledge with Throttler: Sledge is some kind of construction machine; Throttler might turn into a drill bit (he's pretty clear purple!). Sledge's bot mode has legs and arms that are somewhat reminiscent of Energon Scorponok.

PCC 5 packs:

- Skyburst with Aerialbots: Skyburst is some kind of made-up stealth fighter/bomber whose alt mode and bot mode are pretty reminiscent of Energon Storm Jet. His drones include a white E-2/A-10 hybrid (arm), a yellow Coast Guard-ish generic rescue copter (arm), a blue Hind-ish gunship (leg) and a made-up delta-winged fighter whose colors bring G1 Skydive to mind (leg). Combined mode (name?) is pretty monstrous - especially the insectoid, clawed helicopter hand. I'll probably get it.

- Bombshock with Combaticons: Bombshock is an Onslaught clone, although he derives his name and green main color from a G1 Micromaster (who I for one am glad to see get resurrected/homaged). His drones include a tankish twin missile carrier (arm), an Energon Kickback-ish twin-barreled tank (arm), a halftrack APC (leg), and an armored HWMVEE/Jeep thing (leg). Combined mode (apparently just called "Bombshock Power-Up Mode") looks pretty awesome.

- Double Clutch with Rallybots: Double Clutch is a light blue sports car (no bot images yet). His limbs include 4 other sports cars - black, red, blue/white, and orange.

- Mudslinger with Destructicons: Mudslinger is a monster truck. His limbs are a rather Mad Max collection of modified cars and trucks.

The last main toyline is Transformers: Generations. This is a great name, and the toyline itself is the 4th line in a great tradition of "catch-all"/G1-focused lines, beginning with Universe (2003), going to Classics, and more recently the 2nd Universe line that ended last year. So far, this is a pretty small line, but (for now) consists of proportionally many more new molds than repaints, which is a great thing. Some of the toys are specifically designed to accompany the upcomign War for Cybertron (WFC) video game, featuring only Cybertronian alt-modes. Also, all the toys so far in this line are deluxes.

- WFC Optimus Prime: What can I say? It's G1 Optimus, in a Cybertronian form, and the toy is actually playable, unlike the Titanium War Within toy. Apparently doesn't have his energon axe, though.

-WFC Bumblebee: Great cybertronian car mode, has an actual (futuristic) pistol, and also "stinger" blade on his forearms. And maybe some really nice shiny paint.

- WFC Megatron: Cool fusion of Animated Voyager Megatron's alt mode, Classics Voyager Megatron's bot mode, and some Movie-esque shattered metal aesthetic. Alt mode is a hover-tank.

- Drift: the first IDW-original character get his own toy! I'm so happy that this exists - it's going to make so many who hate the character have fits. Car mode is kind of boring, but the bot mode is great (unique transformation for a sports car TF), and he has 3 swords!

- Thrust: An American release/repaint of the Japanese Henkei Thrust! This is actually still based on Classics Ramjet, but I'll certainly take it. Both the Japanese and Botcon versions are stupidly expensive. Plus, this opens the door of possibility that Dirge and Thundercracker will be released.

- Darkmount: Really Strxus from the G1 comics, this guy turns into a tank and also has a pretty good-looking cannon-emplacement mode. Has his characteristic "icepick" weapon. This greases a lot of fanboys' gear, but I'd buy it for the mold design alone (I have no love for the Marvel G1 comics, let alone their lazily-designed exclusive characters).

Expensive Exclusives:

- Masterpiece Grimlock: This thing is finally getting a US release, as a Toys R Us exclusive. It has the deco of the first Japanese release, but includes the crown accessory of the repaint. Christmas present?

-Commemorative Series Blaster with Eject, Steeljaw, and Ramhorn. San Diego Comic Con exclusive, meaning I'll have to get it off of I hope it's not too expensive, but the Soundwave + 4 tapes from last year was 50 dollars, and Blaster is much bigger than Soundwave. Still, I'll try to get it.

Whew. Comments on over 40 Transformers toys, and that's not even all that was shown!

Just when I thought I was out...

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