Time for the beginning of a new Transformers main line, that is. Strangely, the Dark of the Moon franchise doesn't seem to have the commitment behind it that Revenge of the Fallen or even Transformers 2007) did, and the line is starting to peter out and give way to the Transformers: Prime mainline (sort of subtitled "Robots in Disguise"). The first wave of the Prime deluxes and voyagers have begun to show up at Toys R Us stores, though when I checked out on the closest ones to me the other night, it was a bust. Still, it's a good thing these toys are hitting shelves; we'll finally be getting a toyline for a franchise that began way back in October 2010 (if you count the Prime comic and ignore WFC, that is).
Unfortunately, this has been coupled with the very unfortunate news that the Transformers: Prime: First Edition mini-line has been cancelled. So, while I was lucky enough to get Arcee, Bumblebee, and Starscream, the remaining toys - Cliffjumper, Terrorcon Cliffjumper, the Eradicon, voyagers Optimus and Bulkhead, and the deluxe Optimus/Megatron Entertainment Pack - will apparently never reach US retail, at least in the forms we knew them. This wouldn't be a huge deal, since Optimus, the Eradicon, Cliffjumper, and Megatron are all getting more new molds in the TFP:RiD line, but Cliffjumper's new mold is worse in at least two major ways - he no longer has the converting hand cannons (now he's stuck with a gimpy "hammer"/gun) and his car-roof chest is now a fake part, with the real car roof ending up somewhere redundant. Also, Megatron's deluxe mold looked great and somewhat better than the new voyager in terms of back kibble. A lot of fans also dislike the new voyager Optimus at the expense of the FE version, but I believe I feel the opposite way, though I wouldn't have minded owning the older mold at least for the weapons. I will say that the newer deluxe Eradicon looks much better than the old one, but I wasn't really planning on buying that character outside of his legion class toy. The newer Bumblebee mold is a fair bit worse than the original, though I'll get it in its Hot Shot form. Bulkhead? He's getting a new CV Commander mold, which looks good, but we've not heard anything about him getting a new voyager, though I suppose it's inevitable. Deluxe Optimus is still available in his SDCC form on HTS, I think, though I may not want him at that higher price.
All hope is not lost, thankfully. One of the upcoming releases is a 2-pack of Starscream and Bumblebee (using the FE molds) along with some MECH human figurines. I guess we can only hope that the other toys (which, again, never saw US retail) get reissued somehow.