Saturday, December 22, 2012

Best of: 2012!

Alright, here we are, a few days before Christmas. I honestly don't expect to get much for (or after) Christmas, at least until the new year, so I'm going to go ahead and post this.

Transformers: Prime - the TFP mainline started in earnest earlier this year, and we're now several waves into it. As of this posting, the new Beast Hunters toys are already being released in some states!

-Cyberverse Legion: Breakdown. This is the only toy this character has gotten (so far), and it's the one CV Legion that I keep coming back to to play with over and over. The Outback repaint is great, too. Runner up: Cliffjumper/Tailgate - really impressive transformation and articulation.

-Cyberverse Commander: Tie between Dreadwing and Skyquake. Easily one of the best little jet molds of the past few years (Starscream just can't win in the smaller size classes, can he?), and both come with great, tailor-made weapons. Runner-up: Bulkhead, for having a great weapon, fun transformation, and both modes looking good.

-Cyberverse Vehicles: Energon Driller - damn fun. Doesn't hurt that it comes with Knock Out, who gets his two signature weapons. Runner-up: Star Hammer - pretty fun, but here Wheeljack outshines the spaceship.

-Deluxe: A tough one, but the "PRiD" Vehicon/Eradicon wins out. He's just an amazingly simple design with an almost magical transformation scheme. Easily one of the best car-formers in a while. Runners-up: Tie between Soundwave and Dead End. Soundwave effectively captures the show look for robot mode while having a convincing UAV alt mode. Dead End is just crazy, and sends the already great Wheeljack mold into the rad zone.

-Voyager: Thundertron. A fairly atypical TFP voyager, but he benefits from this. The lion mode suffers, but the bot mode is really great. Makes me nostalgic for the wonderful Cybertron toyline. Runner-up: Dreadwing. Once you get a handle on this guy, he's pretty awesome. Imposing bot mode and chunky, powerful-looking jet mode.

Transformers: Prime: First Edition - yep, we've gotten most of the remaining FE toys at TRU!

-Deluxe: Vehicon! While outshone by its PRiD counterpart in many ways, this version has its own unique charm, and I like having two different toys of a "drone" character that aren't carbon copies of each other. Very fun and interesting transformation, and the arm gun mode for the weapon looks really good. Runner up: I didn't have to buy any others!

Transformers: Prime: Dark Energon - BBTS exclusive repaints.

-Deluxe: Starscream - repainted as Skywarp with clear black parts, he looks like he's teleporting! I've been wanting a Skywarp toy like that since 2004. Runner-up: Knock Out in a violently neon green (also, incidentally, the only one of these deluxes that actually has clear purple plastic).

Transformers: Generations - this part is for the new, revamped Generations line, which is (so far) exclusively populated with Fall of Cybetron toys. The legends and voyages are just now being released, so nothing here for them yet.

-Deluxe: Shockwave. I've been waiting for a deluxe G1-style Shockwave for a long time, now, and Hasbro delivers! Great toy. Runner-up: Vortex - he's the one I keep coming back to to play with over and over, and I like his sword-guns.

Transformers: Generations - these are the toys, under the original Generations banner, that were to be Asia-market exclusives that were also released at TRU!

-Legends: Thundercracker. He looks great, and while he can't "properly" use his null-ray cannons in bot mode, it makes him more heavily armed and "completes" his jet mode appearance. Runner-up: Hoist. Just has a fun vibe about him.

-Scout: I actually didn't buy any of these, thought I thought the Laserbeak repaint of Skystalker looked good.

- Deluxe: Wheelie. He's a great example of what a little remolding can do to make a preexisting mold look like someone else altogether. The weapon really brings it home. Runner-up: Swerve - a classy, nice-looking remold.

-Voyager: Didn't buy any of these, either, but Megatron looks fun, and Hot Spot is tempting.

Masterpiece: Two this year! Crazy!

-Thundecracker. Love remolded MP Seeker design, and he completes the trio. He's also much less expensive than Optimus Prime!

Bot Shots - transforming Robot Heroes! Well, basically.

-Single-packed: Lockdown. Pleased that he showed up again, and he's pretty stand-out compared to many of the others in this (admittedly) homogeneous line. Runner-up: Thundercracker also looks really good.

-Trailers: Optimus Prime. Easily the best OP w/trailer we've gotten since the UT lines. So much fun. Runner-up: didn't buy any others, but if I did, it's probably be Starscream for the character.

-3-packs: Brawl/Shockwave/Ironhide if only for Shockwave, who looks great. The Decepticon 3-pack from wave 1 is a good runner-up, though, with the best version of Megatron, clear Acid Storm, and Nemesis Prime. 

Kre-O: the 2nd year with the Battle for Energon theme and preview wave of Microchangers!

-Microchangers: Waspinator. He has a lot going on, and I like how all of his extra parts can be incorporated into his bot mode (if not the wasp mode). Runner-up: Sunstorm - cool dark energon null-rays and effective jet mode.

-Troop builders: Cliffjumper w/Vehicons. CJ has a nice classic appearance, and the TFP-style Vehicons look great. I love that they are each different from one another.

-Bigger sets: Devastator w/Ironhide. This mammoth set is fantastic. Obviously, you get Devastator from 4 constructicons, Ironhide, and some fun construction site builds. Devastator is great, and Ironhide looks good, even if he's a bit short. Runner-up: Optimus Prime/Megatron. Optimus Prime is a great buildable action figure. and Megatron is right behind him.