Friday, August 24, 2012

Shocking Developments!

Well, the second wave of Bot Shots 3-packs has finally emerged at retail, and I got the "ground vehicle" set. And, honestly, I did it all for the Shocker (I have other plans for Blue Brawls and Ghost of Ironhide). So that was awesome.

Was that it?

Of course not.

On the Hub tonight, we see this:
G1? Never heard of it. Why?

That's Transformers:Prime Shockwave! In NEXT WEEK'S episode!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kre-2: The Sequel!

Once in a generation, comes the...Retail Surprise!
So. That G2 (yellow) Devastator Kreon from a few posts back? Well, it's coming out, all right, and it's even still included with the Devastator building set!

Well, that'd be cool, variants and all that kind of thing. But no. This is better.

Much better.

As you can see to the left, Devastator ain't the only thing going on with this, the biggest and baddest of Kre-O sets! Weighing in at ninety four dollars, this Toys R Us exclusive also includes a Kre-O Ironhide kit! And man, he looks pretty danged good. Mostly G1 inspired, with a bit of Movie/Animated/Prime influence thrown in for good measure, this is a rare Total Retail Surprise that has sneaked up on us, appearing out of nowhere at a US TRU.

More than just Ironhide, the set also includes a port-o-potty "brick house" and an extra human dude Kreon for kicks. I mean, I was all about getting the Devastator set when it eventually clearanced down some (keep in mind I got Kre-O Ratchet for four bucks this summer), but now I'm kind of screwed. See, TRU pretty much never clearances their exclusives, so my hopes of paying $40, $50 tops for Devastator are now quashed. Of course, even though this set is $15 over the MSRP for Normalstator, the Ironhide & Bits more than makes up for this difference. Luckily, this thing will mostly like sit on shelves forever, so even if I can't finagle my way into getting one for my birthday or Christmas, I should still be able to pick one up, oh, let's say, next April.

Of course, waiting that long will be hard. Ironhide! Devastator! G2 Kreonstator! In box! It's too great. The only thing I can think of to complain about is the fact that among the 7 (!) Kreons it includes, only two are robots. But that just means more dudes for Devastator to kill, I guess.

Thanks to Triceraton 1 of the Allspark for the photo!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hitting the Jackpot?

Ok - back in May, I alluded to FunPub's announcement of their new Subscription Service when I discussed my favorite of the set, Ultra Mammoth. Well, now it's August 18th, and the site for ordering the set already went live just last night!

First, that's a lot quicker than most anticipated. Also, the deadline if you want the set is September 10th, just a couple of weeks. Not a whole lot of time, but at least it's not like the online club exclusives of the past (or even botcon sets) - the orders they are taking until the 10th are the numbers they are going to use to place their own orders from the factories. So, if you order, say, 3 subscriptions, that's three sets of toys that FP now has to get made. So that's nice, even if there's no way I'd get more than one set; at least I don't have to worry about them selling out tomorrow.

You can pay for the whole set at once or in three installments. The whole shebang is $282 plus $3 processing and then shipping ($10? I don't know). If you go with the installments, then you just pay $6 more since you are doing two more card processing charges. The club also says that after the orders are filled, anything "extra" will be on sale on the club store site, but those could be limited amounts and will cost much more a la carte than with the subscription price.

So, who's in the lineup? Well, this isn't news, but we know have access to the actual images that we had seen photos of at Botcon. In order of personal importance:

Global warming? Bullsh!t.
Ultra Mammoth - I've covered him already, but he's the biggest toy in the set, and the only one that's truly a "gotta have it". A BW version of Ultra Magnus is something I've wanted for a long time (see Ursa Magnus of the Allspark boards), and this is one of the most imposing BW molds. I like the G2 Magnus-inspired deco, too. Now I have to figure out how to fit it on my Magnus shelf, which could barely handle the inclusion of SG Magnus...

Fear me, Scourge, bearer of backwards swords and inverted logos!
Scourge - oh boy, he's back! Scourge was the original "Nemesis Prime" form the Robots in Disguise show. The original toy, which I have, is a repaint of G2 Laser Optimus, and this toy is a repaint of the newer, smaller RtS version of that G2 design, so this was a no-brainer. He even retains the Japanese upside-down G2 Autobot logo. This and other things suggest he may be intended to be part of the "Wings" G2 continuity. I don't really care; he just looks great. I'm also one of the somewhat few that actively enjoy this mold, owning all three American releases so far (and I still want a skull-headed Nemesis Prime and a G2 Magnus from it!). I wouldn't die without it, but it'll be really nice to have.

They tell me that humpbacked girls are dumpy. Then I shoot them.

Slipstream - the female Seeker introduced in the Animated cartoon, and then in War for Cybertron, finally gets her own toy. Technically, this would be the same character as WfC Slipstream, but as I consider WfC/FoC and Prime to be different continuities, this toy will simply be Prime Slipstream for me. It uses the excellent FE Starscream deluxe mold, which is suitably feminine, and it has a wonderful new headsculpt that is certainly Prime-styled (I feared that FP would shoehorn an Animated style head on here). I'll be happy to have her; she can stand at the lead of my non-Starscream Seeker display.

That was Tomahawk! Did you see him? DID YOU?!
Breakdown - I got the G2 version of this mold at Botcon 2010, and now we have the G1 deco! It's nice to see this finally come to fruition. I'm sure there are plenty of fun tales to be told with this guy and his future self; the paranoia will be off the charts. Makes me wonder/hope for Streetwise with his "G1" deco from the Botcon '10 comic.

Third mode: LSD tablet
Circuit - ok, here's where we get to the clunkers. I didn't know who this guy was when he was announced. Apparently his G1/G2 toy was a European repaint of the actionmaster Axor. So, this toy is a repaint of HftD Axor. In an insane deco. But there you go. I actually already have someone who expressed interest in buying this should I purchase the whole set, so I guess that's a plus.

Looks like Kick-off, but don't jumble their names together
Jackpot - this guy is another actionmaster, albeit a somewhat more recognizable American one. A repaint of Animated Jazz, arguably the most pedestrian Animated mold, this doesn't really grab me at all. I'm well past the point of wanting Animated for the sake of it being Animated (how much botcon 2011 stuff did I go for? That's right; none). Apparently he's supposed to get his own Wyatt-designed head mold, but it's pretty similar to the Jazz mold's head; it was hard for me to tell that it was new. I really hope he's not the first one to arrive in the mail, though at least that means I could sell him first and begin to recoup some money.

So, there you have it - the line up for the inaugural TFCC Subscription Service. Not too bad - I really like 4/6 figures, which is 2 out of 3. Overall, assuming this all works, this is a much better plan than the how the club has handled their non-botcon exclusives for the past 5 years. Yeah, it may not be easy to buy a certain single toy, but if they're going to inflate the a la carte price and you can make money buy selling the other 5 toys, why not get the whole deal anyway? Honestly, that's kind of ideal, as you'd mostly likely make more than you paid for, giving you funds for other TF ventures. Also, this kind of puts another "botcon set" out there for those of us who can't/don't want to deal with the hassle of all that. Sure, it's not a true "set", but you'll be guaranteed that all of these will likely show up in club fiction at some point (or are established characters, like Mammoth/Magnus and Scourge).

Oh, and I want a Botcon Skyquake now. If you've got one you want to get rid of (especially if you'll trade it for a Botcon Banzai Tron), let me know.

All images courtesy of Fun Publications

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time to Bot Some Decepti'Shots

I don't know who in the hell I am, Praahm!
I have way more Bot Shots than I need. Granted, a good portion of the total Bot Shots in our home belong to my son, but I still have a lot of my own. And I managed to grab a few more this week.

I had to make a run to the store Thursday night, and ended up picking up Jazz. Nothing really special about him; he's a straight-up replication of G1 Jazz, #4 on the hood and all. I transformed him about twice and then put him next to the other Jazzes on the shelf.

Yesterday, I had to go back, so caved on the Old Duo - Ratchet and Ironhide. I hadn't really planned on getting either of them, but you know how it goes....I knew that Ironhide was getting a clear black Super Bot release in the upcoming three-pack with Shockwave (yay!) and Blue Brawls (eh...), so I initially just figured on that being my BS Ironhide. However, I gave my son the latest in a series of Super Bots Friday afternoon ("matrix blue" Optimus, as I call him. Oh, didn't I mention that I got him, too? No? Oops). He loves the clear sh!t, and I had been pretty impressed with how normal Ironhide looked in the store the other day when I got Jazz, so I concluded that whenever the ShockHideBrawls set came out, my boy would get the clear Ironhide and I would go ahead and get the "real deal". And, naturally, if I'm going to get AHHNHAAHD, I've got to get his doctor buddy that I've avoided since May, right? I mean, Kup's not around, so it just felt right.

Anyhow, turns out that Ironhide is pretty great. The truck mode manages to look both badass and adorable at the same time, and the robot mode feels like the Ironhide we all know and love (GEEWUN, amirite?) without being exactly that. In fact, he's sort of a 4-way homage. For starters, we all can tell that the truck is based on movie Ironhide (yeah, yeah, RiD, Energon, and Prime Ironhide are all trucks, but the movies are the reason this toy is a black truck). The chest design and color scheme (duh) are both also call-outs to the movies. Or are they? Turns out, black was the original color for Ironhide's G1 mold back when it was a pre-Transformers Diaclone toy. And guess what? It's the same color used for Ironhide's evil Shattered Glass incarnation, which is based on his Universe toy's design. Topping all of this off, of course, is the clearly G1 (or is it SG? We'll never know) head sculpt. The official Hasbro pic up there shows him with the blue "blaster" symbol, but I rotated it to the red "sword" one so that it recalled his G1 colors at least a little. Not that Ironhide is known for using swords, but what're you gonna do? At least he can go GDTR with the "fist" symbol, what what!!

Ratchet is a bit more pedestrian. He looks pretty G1, like Jazz, but closer inspection reveals a movie-inspired chest and ambulance mode clearly (most obvously in the grille) taken from Transformers: Prime. Also, his red is a bit more maroon, something Ratchet has never had. Not sure why; maybe the 'Bro was worried about him being on shelves while another red & white Autobot - Jetfire - would show up just a few weeks later? I use the blue "blaster" for him; it gives him a sort of emergency light effect.

Anyhow, this is all just more evidence that I'm easily hooked by the "cute mini-TFs" thing Hasbro's been doing for years now. Robot Heroes, Kreons, and Bot Shots? I don't stand a chance.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


The 80s? Whatever, man.

Well, it was bound to happen. Generation 2 has officially infected Kre-O - and not a moment too soon. While mostly populated by G1 homages, the Kre-O universe has also recently gotten refugees from the world of Transformers: Prime (Optimus, Bumblebee, Megatron, Airachnid, Knock Out, Eradicons) and Beast Wars (Waspinator). But now, another segment of the franchise's history is represented, that most quintessentially 90s part.

Ok, sure. Yes, G2 is really just G1: More, and Devastator here isn't terribly different from the original (even still possessing a G1 Decepticon symbol), but I think it's great. Partially because the only version of G1 Devastator I own is the G2 version, which I collected piece-by-piece over the course of my 3rd grade year. Actually, there were two versions of G2 Devastator - the more common yellow deco (which I have) and then the very orange version. I think this Kreon - assuming the color in the image is correct - strikes a good balance between the two colors, being a fairly yellow orange.

However, I also like this version just for the "dark energon" purple version of the gun - which is G1 Megatron in alt mode. The original version of the kreon, which comes with the larger Kre-O Devastator set, has the same gun, but it's molded in a less exciting flat black plastic.

Edit: I should add that this image showed up on the Hasbro site overnight, and while it is listed for a price of $3.99, there's no indication of how this Devastator will be sold. It's too expensive to be a blind-packed Microchanger, nor does it have any parts to make an alt mode with (indeed, Devastator doesn't have an alt mode). It's too cheap to be part of any building set, so my guess is that this will be an HTS or NYCC exclusive. Maybe.