Monday, January 14, 2013

Kicking and Screaming

Just wanted to share that the local Walmart actually got in FoC/Generations wave 3 deluxes, so now I'm the proud owner of the new Kickback and Starscream toys!

That's it. Mini-reviews will follow in a few days, I'm sure.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hunting Party

So, over the past week, we've had the entire 2nd wave of Beast Hunters deluxes revealed, either purposely or not, online. They're pretty cool!

First, Ripclaw - pretty different from the Kre-O version, this Predacon has the same body as the other female Predacon, Ser-Ket, from the Rage of the Dinobots comic. Different colors, though. Pretty traditional European dragon mode, with a tri-clawed gun-tail. Bot mode is...interesting, with weird shoulders and head, but the tail claw become a hand-held weapon. Pretty cool, maybe more so than Laserback.

Second - Bulkhead! Yep, a deluxe Bulkhead. Which, honestly, is something some of us wondered would happen back when the only TFPrime toys we knew up were deluxes (FE wave 1, basically). This is a totally new mold, obviously, and is based on the already-known remold/repaint of the Commander class toy, which has the typical BH spikes and a Roadbuster color scheme. This toy keeps the Roadbuster look, but the BH armor "modifications" are not the same, and the robot mode looks pretty different as a result. New transformation means that the hood reveals a robot-armor chest, which a Animated Bulkhead's thin windshield lines (neat!). He also has a pretty cool "dragon grinder" buzzsaw weapon to mount on his forearm(s). Unfortunately, it looks like his has "Scourge-bows" (although I suppose it's appropriate that someone in a dragon-themed line would!). Pretty tempting, but I may just go for the Commander remold.

Third - Smokescreen - finally, confirmation of a new-mold deluxe. There was fear that we would get a Knock Out remold, like Takara made, which not many were interested in. Instead, we get an interesting toy - the base figure is a typical, show-model Smokescreen, but has add-on BH-style armor/weapon. Smart. However, his robot chest is also very blatantly not the car's actual hood, so I'm not happy about that. Honestly, I've got this philosophy for TF engineering that states, basically, that a toy for any given character should have a more accurate/less cheaty transformation scheme than any toy for that character that's in a lower size class. Translation? The upcoming legion class Smokescreen has a real hood-chest; this one should too.

Fourth - Starscream! TFP Screamer gets his second deluxe mold (after the awesome FE). Looks a bit weird, but it's a deluxe Starscream, so I'm pretty certain that I'll cave. Plus, it's not really a bad weird anyway. I'm looking forward to larger, clearer pics.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holy crap, it's 2013

Happy New Year!

If you're reading, I hope you had a great Christmas. It's January 1st, already 2013. Just crazy, isn't it?

Anyhow, my Christmas wrap-up is pretty brief this year:

- TFP Voyager Ultra Magnus (yes!!) from my parents
- TFP Weaponizer Bumblebee (...ok, sure) from my in-laws

....and, that's it. However, a ton of new stuff is hitting stores (of course only post-Christmas), so I have managed to pick up a few things.

First, Walgreens stores have been putting out the new (offically wave 1) Kre-O Microchangers! And even mine had a seemingly full box last night. Using packaging codes posted online, I was able to thwart the blind-packed mass to pick out Bludgeon, Dirge, Airachnid, and the Insecticon. One neat thing about this new set is that they all come with an embossed stand brick (2x4). It adds a touch of class, if something like that is possible with Kre-Os. Also, it makes it possible to stand - something hard to do with them thanks to their ball jointed hips. Anyhow, of the four, I think I like Airachnid the best. Her bot mode is great, and the spider mode is passably good. Since I've skipped the deluxe (hoping for a decent Beast Hunters remold), this is my only toy of her thus far. Dirge has the best alt mode, though he really doesn't do any transforming to achieve it. Bludgeon is fun for his goofiness, and the Insecticon has a pretty good beetle mode, though the bot mode isn't that notable.

Secondly, TRUs seem to be getting most of the other new stuff, including wave 1 Beast Hunters deluxes. I was able to get out to a TRU today, and while they didn't have any Beast Hunters (and refused to check for me; thanks guys!), they did have some stuff. For the first time, I found a TFP First Edition Voyager Optimus Prime. This guy was supposed to be in stores over a year ago, but then the remainder of the line got cancelled  and his aftermarket price went through the roof. I have to say, this is one of the worst examples of a toy being built up by hype. I can get into some problems in a mini-review, but I'll just say if not for the bot mode looking great and having the show-accurate weapons, I might actually be taking this one back to the store.

However, the store also had the new Fall of Cybertron Cassetticons/Recordicons/Datacons/Whatever that are designed to go with the new voyager Soundwave toy (no, they didn't have him). I chose the 2-pac with Ratbat and Frenzy. Well, the packaging says Frenzy, but I'm firmly in the FIBRIR camp, so it's Rumble to me. While initially underwhelmed by the pair, the more that I have fiddled with them over the past hour or two, the more impressed I am with them. While officially legends class toys (a term which is itself outdated thanks to the cyberverse "legion" moniker), they are of course utterly unlike any other legends toys. Dominated by their disc-shaped alt mode and automorph/autotransformation gimmick, they have obvious limitations, but they are quite fun. The robot modes are more fun than I expected, as well, and the little cases are a neat way to add value to the set while also giving you a practical way to independently store the toys without them having their buttons accidentally triggered. I may get to go to the other "local" TRU tomorrow, and if so, it'll be hard to pass up the other set (blue Rumble and Ravage) or Soundwave if they are present.

So, that's my end to 2012 and beginning of 2013 in terms of TFs.

Update: just added my mini-review of Ratbat over on the G1 review page