Sunday, February 12, 2012

Toy Fair 2012: The Good

Ok, I'm keeping this one positive. You'll see why in the next post.

Anyhow, this is just a rundown of my take on all of the new stuff shown at yesterday's Toyfair 2012, broken down by line and size class/price point. Also, some of this stuff has been seen in some form before (protos, crappy unofficial images, etc), so I'll mark those with an asterisk. Also, some stuff that's really old I won't comment on.

For starters, TF: Prime:

Cyberverse Legion:

-Breakdown - finally, we see a toy of this guy. If I'm not wrong, he's also got an upcoming Voyager (not shown), but this toy does pretty well at conveying the dude's bulk while not being a CV Commander. He has a pretty cool gun. I'm not sure if it's a weapon specific to him from the show (I'm only familiar with his hammer), but it's cool. Truck mode is a bit on the cutesy side, but what can you do?

- Mirage* - actually supposed to be DotM Mirage, this is really just a remold of RotF Sidways in red. Of course, they didn't bother to remold the head, just the hands so he can hold CV weapons, of which he comes with the same gun/blade that was designed for Ratchet and also included with Cliffjumper. Weak, but of course I'm going to buy it if onyl to have the only transforming toy of this character.

- Evac* - the vehicle character from the Transformers Ride, this is also a movie character. Cool, futuristic (Cybertronian?) alt mode, and decent take on the robot mode (the deluxe is obviously more detailed). Comes with Bumblebee's weapon.

- Soundwave - not the TFP, design, unfortunately, but a repaint of the DotM mold. In a darker scheme that's a bit like TFP Soundwave's, he comes with the Eradicon's weapon.

Cyberverse Commanders:

- Dreadwing - a (p)repaint of Skyquake in blue and yellow (he really does look like a desaturated Blue Angel). Not sure why he's coming out before Skyquake, or if he'll really have the same body/head as him in the show, but it's a nice looking toy. His clear parts are yellow, for some reason, and his two weapons are the sword that we've seen the voyager Skyquake proto with and a gun that (I guess) approximates Skyquake's chaingun from the show. While I like Skyquake's green color better, I may get this guy instead, seeing as how I actually have other Dreadwing toys he could go with, whereas I have zero Skyquakes (he only has two other toys, besides).

- Ironhide* - Really like this guy. Kind of like how Animated Ironhide's earth mode toy was supposed to look, it combines elements of both G1 (Head, windshield chest, red color) and Movie (Pickup mode, lots of black, arm cannons) Ironhides. The result is pretty awesome. I like how the shoulders use the front of the truck, a variation on how movie 'Hide does it. It's good that he's a commander, too, both for his size and so he can have both cannons. If there's one thing I can say against him, it's that in a world without robotic noses, one bot stands alone...

Cyberverse Vehicle class:

- Wheeljack w/Star Hammer* - Seen most of this before, but it now seems pretty sure that the only way to get the legion class Wheeljack is with the Star Hammer. One nice thing about that is that, unlike most legion class toys, Wheeljack gets two weapons, so he has both is swords. The Star Hammer itself isn't really something I have room for (don't really care for the ship mode, either), but the base mode is cool and it's the only way to take advantage of the chest light-piping gimmick on the commander toys. Likely purchase.

- Knock Out with Energon Driller* - This set looks a bit more fun than the Star Hammer. The drill is obviously based on those used in the show, and while I would have liked for it to have come with a Miner Drone and have Knock Out as a separate release, at least (like Wheeljack) this way Knock Out gets 2 weapons - both his energon prod like the deluxe and also his buzz-saw. Knock Out himself looks pretty good for a legion class toy, and may be the only version of this guy I get, since I've given myself a carte blanche for buying any character, no matter how non-legacy, at this size class. Of course, the drill itself looks very fun, both in regular drill mode and the "base" mode, which is really just the drill with more weapons.

Maximus class:

- Optimus Maximus* - the only toy at this class, Optimus Maximus is basically a power zord. No, not like how people said Energon Optimus was a power zord - this thing really is a big, piloted mecha for CV Commander Optimus and other CV autobots to pilot/man. In concept, it's pretty cool - I especially love the way Commander Optimus ends up helping to form the head while he's in the cockpit - but its lack of a real alt mode hurts it. Its shown alt mode is basically a "tank" mode, where the rifle has been plugged into the chest and the toy sits down so that the treads on the back of the legs can do their thing. Yeah, the head untransforms so that it doesn't look like a "living" transformer anymore, but still, it's a weak effort. I'm not saying I'll never own this, as it does look fun and has some positives going for it, but I'll say that a pretty steep clearance price will help. What doesn't help is that I'm 99% certain that we'll never see this thing in the show.

Deluxe (Revealers):

- Ratchet* - not a bad toy, but they totally didn't try to give the chest doors a go. That is expected at the CV scale, but I thought they'd try it here. Wrong. Also, the toy is overly white, making it look cheap. Plusses - great "scalpel" weapons that can be posed in both "normal" handheld form or in show-accurate "replace the hands" mode. Which makes Ratchet one of the few TFP toys to have this ability. I'm sure I'll get it, because, hey, Ratchet, but it makes me wish Ratchet was one of the character that got a better FE toy to have instead of this one.

- Arcee* - This looks like a RotF Cannon-BB style remold with the FE mold's legs and a new upper body, but after the subtle differences between the two deluxe TFP BBs, I'm not saying so for sure again. The main difference here is the weapons - this Arcee only gets one blade, and instead of the other gets a huge gun. It's pretty cool looking, honestly, and it makes me kind of wish I had skipped the FE blue Arcee and gotten this toy to serve in my collection as the more martial Chromia, but the blue FE Arcee is also a damn gorgeous toy, with a metallic plastic that this release might not have. The upper body transformation looks a bit less complicated in a slightly bad way, but it also appears to have freer arm articulation. Kind of a mixed bag; I likely won't get it.

- Knock Out* - the first truly new character in TFP, Knockout is (like Drift) a new carformer with a different-than-standard transformation. It's definitely an interesting looking toy, but it really has had no flattering, correctly transformed pics yet. I initially did not intend to buy this, as Knock Out isn't a legacy character, but he's actually already proven that that fact won't last long (see below in the Kre-O section). Comes with his energon prod.

- Hot Shot* - We finally get to see that Hot Shot here, a Bumblebee remold, does in fact have Universe 2.0-style moveable visor/goggles. Which is great. Also, kind of like Ironhide, he has a nose. Well, at least a nose plate, much like Drift or TFP CJ. I really like this toy, as it takes a mold that serves as a really second-rate Bumblebee but works really well for Hot Shot, since we don't have preconceived notions of his appearance. Also, I like how it (had to, really) went with Hot Shot's Cybertron deco, with mostly blue. Can't wait for this guy.

Voyagers (Powerizer):

- Bulkhead - another new mold that differs from the FE version, Bulkhead is not quite as show accurate, but he also manages not to cheat with his transformation. His Mechtech weapon has his wrecking ball mounted on it and appears to move it in a smashing motion. He also has some other, weird, static weapon that looks like one half of a vice. Some kind of hammer or something. If I can't get the FE for a decent price, I'll be ok with this version (and I'm actually really enamored with the Commander class toy).

- Starscream* - Like Optimus, Starscream has a mechtech weapon that converts from a light-up approximation of his in-show weapon mode of his arm to a big pile of parts. It even seems to have the same transformation as Optimus' gun. Ah well. The figure itself seems pretty decent, though it's a bit less accurate than the FE deluxe. I kind of like, though, how the jet exhaust halves end up on the angles; it's pretty G1. I also like the "daaaaark energon" clear purple forearms. The way the chest plate pieces are separate, movable sections (now likely due to the new transformation) is pretty cool, too. I only really hesitate about the leg placement in altmode. The deluxe did it pretty simply but did it well, and the pics so far of this new mold's jet mode have me a bit dubious. Also, yay for Mechtech port missiles.

Weaponizer Class:

- Optimus Prime - firstly, this class is basically the new leader class. From what I understand, they're still leader sized, but they also only cost $30, so I'm not really sure about that. They do possess electronics, at least. Anyway, Optimus here looks reasonably accurate in both modes, but it looks like yet another TFP Optimus toy with a cheating transformation. The key gimmick, other than the electronics, is the two giant (sort of) "gatling guns" that pop out in both modes, enabling both a robot with this big guns on either shoulder and a stealth force-style truck mode, where the guns deploy from the sides of the nose. Unfortunately, when deployed in bot mode, the guns also require the nose panels to just kind of stick up in the air, which doesn't looks the best. He comes with a fairly dainty rifle, at least compared to either voyager mold. Still, the relatively low cost of this toy may mean that I bite.

- Bumblebee - Ok, whereas Optimus is a maybe, BB is definitely a "no". I can't type any more without posting the most obvious defect - this thing has eight wheels. Not for car mode - but to support the bot mode's kibble. Instead of trying to make a single one of the actual car mode wheels end up in the right place for bot mode (which both deluxe basically manage to do, with a few small quibbles), this thing requires four new wheels to come out of nowhere to be the kibble of the shoulders and ankles. It has some positives, but I'll stick with my FE BB. No thanks.

Generations (deluxe only, still):

- FoC Optimus - I actually really liked the promo art for Optimus's new design for the WfC sequel, but the toy itself looks a bit lacking. The robot is a bit too boxy and the vehicle mode ends up being a bit too wide as a result. The gun is also not so great. Also, there's a decent chance he might be smaller than his WfC predecessor. I'm sure I'll get him, but this is the first time in a long time that I've had to actually think about whether I was going to get a deluxe Optimus toy.

- FoC Jazz - Glad this is getting made, as the only G1 deluxe Jazz I have is the RtS mold, so now I'll have a cybertronian version. I'm not so big on the blue rather than black, and I also don't care for the fake ankle wheels. Luckily, they're futuristic wheels that look non specific enough and too small to be the car's wheels; I'll just think of them as Jazz's normal ankle joints. Car mode is great, though. No complaints there.

- FoC Shockwave (FoCwave?) - Oh yes. FINALLY, we get something non-Alternator that can serve as a neo-G1 Shockwave. And I'm very glad that it's the same design from WfC, as I love the small back wings and the flying cannon mode. It looks great. Love it love it love it. One of the best things to come out of this toyfair.

- FoC Bruticus* - I'll just mention them all here because there's no way I won't buy them all. The only thing I'm really disappointed in is Vortex's colors. The in-game colors were already a bit of a deviation, but the colors shown here have nothing to do with G1 Vortex. It really does look more like a cybertronian Transquito.


- Optimus/Megatron 2-pack - totally new (except for the heads?) sets packed with a bank robbery scene. Optimus is the less changed of the two, still turning into a long-nose semi cab, if with different, less-movie colors. The bot mode is pretty different, seemingly more a mix of G1, TFP, FoC, and Movie Optimus designs, unlike the original Kre-O Optimus that was basically Movie Optimus with a G1 head. Megatron now turns into a tank that's vaguely inspired by RotF's Megatron's alt mode. The bot mode is pretty reminiscent of Animated Megatron's earth mode in proportions. Tank barrel is a fusion cannon. Interesting set, but I'm not sure that I need it or want it now that I have both of their original kits.

- Devastator - Truly amazing. Devastator seems mostly based on his RotF incarnation, though the head (in true Kre-O fashion) is pure G1. This time, he's made from four constructicons, kind of like Landfill, and also like Landfill, each smaller bot is a different color. The most recognizable is a Scrapper-like front-end loader is G2 yellow. Another bot is an orange drill tank (!), while another new recruit is a wrecking ball crane with working treads (like the Megatron tank). Lastly, we have a Bonecrusher-like bulldozer in normal green. In combined mode, Devastator has a drill right hand, a claw left hand that can hold the wrecking ball, and a scorpion-like back mounted claw to pick up stuff too. In G1 fashion, "Scrapper's" front scoop forms the toes of one foot. Overall, this is a fantastic set, and I'm really impressed that the individual bots look as good as they do. Once again, this set shows that Kre-O can sometimes do things better than normal TFs.

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