And now for something completely different...sort of.
NYCC 2012 is going on and today was the Hasbro panel. The new big thing for transformers? Beasts!
Transformers: Prime season 3 is subtitled Beast Hunters, introducing a new faction of monstrous beasts, the Predacons. Their leader is Predaking, somehow procured by Shockwave (who better damned get a toy). Anyhow, the toyline is seeing some appropriate changes, and here's what they had to show us today:
-Bumblebee: extensive remold. Car mode is covered in spikes, guns, and armor panels. Bot mode is remolded, too, with a new horned "helmet" (I don't mean removable), abdominal region, etc. I especially like how his twin blaster is molded onto his hood, but the barrels end up as shoulder cannons - that's a nice touch. He comes with a crossbow weapon. While I wasn't impressed enough with the base mold to buy the (admittedly nice) shadowblade repaint, I may get this since I most likely won't buy the deluxe version.
- Smokescreen: the newest Autobot on the show debuts in toy form! This is a "normal" representation of the character, without "beast hunting" modifications. This version has the show deco, and his weapon is a pretty neat gun with chainsaw bayonet that manages to fit in with the line's theme. I love that they've finally figured out how to do real door wings on a deluxe (though I admit I don't know enough about the character's show design to know if he has those door wings in fiction). A bit like Knock Out in overall appearance, and no knees (I think), but overall I like it quite a bit.
-Airachnid: Well, I hate that it still has only three blades, and I don't like that they are already reusing weapons in wave 1, but this toy definitely looks better than the deluxe. The rotor blades look decent enough as a rotary shield on the arm, and at least the crossbow (BB's) is already strongly associated with fembots to make a lot of sense. Both modes look uncompromised.
- Twinstrike: Ok, this is actually Sinnertwin, an update of one of the G1 Terrorcons. This honestly looks like one of the best legion molds yet (impressive, considering they've been making them for about 7 years now), and certainly the best beast mode legion (short list, but whatever). I love the transformation - while the G1 toy wastefully turned the twin dragon heads into a backpack, here they become the arms. I also like how the beast thighs flip back to bulk up the robot lower legs. The weapon is a hammer/cannon. I really like this one, enough to make me regret having just sold my G1 Sinnertwin. I do like the name update, by the way.
- Bulkhead: again, a heavy remold like BB. He has Roadbuster's colors, a bunch or armor plating detail, a "cowcatcher", and a new "viking helmet" horned head. The new weapon is a hammer/axe/cannon, the design of which is directly taken from some other property I can't identify. This is pretty neat, and different enough from Bulkhead proper to serve as Roadbuster himself (barring he gets his own design down the road). I might get this one, though it makes the likelihood of me purchasing the pretty nice current blue redeco go down.
- Predaking: Not bad. I prefer his larger toys and don't care much for how the dragon head/neck split to form...well, kibble, but it'll work for this size class. The bot mode pic with the weapon is obscured, but it appears to be the tail and to have a firing missile, which would be a first for this size class.
- Sky Claw with Smokescreen: A nearly wingless jet in Blue Angels colors with a similarly-painted Smokescreen (same mold as the single Legion release). Has a capture claw at the front to grab predacons, and has deployable side turrets a la the Star Hammer. Not bad, and it actually kind of reminds me of Dreadwing's ship from the show. I do like how the Smokescreen toy has a number (7) and deco that homages the Alternators/BT version, which I kind of prefer to the original G1 deco. Not sure if I'll get this in addition to the single release version, but I do like it overall.
- Apex Armor with Breakdown: The armor is a remold of Bumblebee's armor that just got released. Breakdown himself is a repaint of his legion toy, and both are done up in a deco that reminds me of some micromaster that I can't put my finger on. I think that this is supposed to represent the Silas-controlled Breakdown, but I could be wrong. The armor is heavily remolded, by the way, and definitely is a more "feral" way that looks like it could take out a few predacons.
- Bumblebee: Ok, this is the remold of the deluxe class "PRiD" BB mold. Same idea as the legion remold, but the "hawk" crossbow is a totally different design and comes with six (!!!) missiles. I like that he still has his two blasters. Most likely won't get this, and for the same reason that I won't keep Dark Energon BB: I prefer the FE mold to represent the character. The mold suits Hot Shot a lot better, I think. Still, here's another great opportunity to make a Wasp, Hasbro...
- Soundwave: another heavy remold, this time with more G1 colors and a new-mold Ravage instead of Laserbeak. The weapon is a larger claw-launcher, with the claw attached by a string.
I really like this one and will definitely get it, even if Ravage looks a bit silly in armor mode.
- Wheeljack: heavy remold, lots of spikes. The green is more "lime" this time, and the translucent plastic is red. Weapon is a weird "spear" with a circular head, sort of like Sparkdrinker. Probably won't get this, having already owned the mold twice over.
- Laserback: finally, a new mold. This is another Predacon, apparently another dragon. It's quadrapedal, no wings. The name is funny, but descriptive - his back elevates and opens to reveal a missile launcher. In bot mode, the tail also functions as a whip weapon. Fairly perfunctory, but kind of neat. A bit of a toss up. Could make a good Repugnus.
- Predaking: better than the commander toy. This is the Predacon leader, named for the G1 Predacon combiner, but having conceptually more to do with Cybertron Scourge, it seems. Black, orange, yellow dragon. Unlike Scourge, he has wings, and they're pretty decently sized. He has two missile launchers that either flip out or attach at either side of the main dragon head, another similarity to Cyb Scourge. Again, bot mode pic is obscured. I might get this instead of the larger one, but we'll see.