Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Um....MORE ultra gear

Hammer Time

So, someone got a hold of a Transformers: Prime promotional booklet that has pics of the upcoming voyager toys. We had already seen Dreadwing, and now we see that his brother Skyquake is also due for a release and even managed to get his mechtech gun remolded. More interesting, though are the first pretty good pictures of both Thundertron and Ultra Magnus!

I'd already explained a few posts back that this was a good year for Ultra Magnus, as (to date) he's already received a Shattered Glass Botcon (p)remold and TFP Cyberverse Commander toy. We're also still waiting on the club to announce the date for the Ultra Mammoth repaint of Big Convoy, and the Ultra Magnus remold of Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime is forthcoming this fall as well.

Well, it turns out that Magnus is important enough of a TFP character that he's also getting this voyager mold! It's the same design as the commander toy, meaning he very well could be in the show. Also, being a TFP Voyager, he comes with a "powerizer" mechtech weapon, which is kind of like a cannon emplacement that turns into his now-famous hammer. He also has a non-firing(?) missile, kind of like voyager Starscream's missiles.

Thundertron is a horse of a different color. Transformers: Prime has actually been fairly decent at producing some new characters, like Knock Out. Another new face on the transformers scene is this guy. Thundertron first appeared last year in Exiles, the sequel to Exodus, the War for Cybertron tie-in novel. He's the leader of a band of space pirates called the Star Seekers which are their own faction - new symbol and everything. He transforms into a lion for whatever reason, but he looks pretty good. He has a peg leg so he can maintain his pirate cred. I also appreciate him in that he kind of represents a throwback to the Cybertron series, a somewhat more fun era of the franchise. I mean, the whole idea behind him is pretty silly, but he'll also be portrayed in a serious manner, which is funny. Glad to have him coming up.

Pics courtesy of TFW2005.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sibling rivalry

So, as you can see, I managed to get my hands on Botcon 2012 Shattered Glass Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus! I'll do full individual reviews of them later, but I just wanted them to have a bit of a spotlight here.

Firstly, for the uninitiated, these are Shattered Glass transformers, meaning that they hail from a universe where everything is reversed, primarily the morality of the characters, leading to evil Autobots and good Decepticons. In most universes, Optimus and Magnus are two brothers, top-tier autobots who fight for the freedom of all sentient beings and what-not. Here, Optimus is a despot on the level of Hitler, and Magnus is his former right-hand general who (much like most Starscreams) tried to usurp leadership from his brother. Optimus recently upgaded his body in the style of G2 Optimus, and Magnus, who has been plotting his return from exile, has done the same. Oh, and he also has a skull face, since his brother ripped off his actual face.

The toys themselves look great. Optimus already got a toy back in 2008 in the original SG set, which I really should have bought. It was a repaint of the Classics voyager mold, and still goes for $500+ on ebay, also helping to keep the cost of the box set high. Fun Publications decided to throw a bone to all of us who didn't buy '08 SG Prime and wanted to fill the evil hole in our collection by repainting last year's Reveal the Shield "G2" Optimus Prime deluxe mold. It's basically what you'd expect, as it doesn't change any of SG Prime's colors - still purple torso, grey legs, and battle damage everywhere. I like the gaudy, huge SG Autobot logo on the hood. Another neat addition is the new text on the nose of the truck. '08 SG Prime had "'Till All Are Gone" emblazoned on his cab fairing, and this toy has a similar twisted quote: "I shall stand...all shall fall." I do wish the bas-relief Matrix in his chest had been painted like Magnus' is, but I guess they used up all the paint apps on other areas.

As for Ultra Magnus, he didn't have a preexisting toy, so we didn't really know what to expect. Turns out that they decided to use the Diaclone colors of the original G1 Magnus toy (called "Powered Convoy") for the evil version of this character. Also repainted from RtS Optimus Prime, this toy was given a new head mold that was already designed by Hasbro (and has actually not been used by Hasbro yet!) - a very evil, skull-faced take on the traditional Optimus head design. He looks very sharp, and, to be honest, is the best looking version of the mold I own (thus far).