Monday, February 18, 2013

My God. It's full of stars.

edit: Ok, I meant to get this up last Sunday. But here you go anyway:

I thought Hasbro really outdid themselves at SDCC last year. You may recall my "How Hasbro Got Their Groove Back" post. This was in the context of last year's Botcon and Toyfair, both of which (Toyfair specifically) were rather underwhelming, new-wise. So SDCC (and later NYCC with Beast Hunters) was a breath of fresh air.

I...I had no idea...

All the stuff I raved about during SDCC last year? It's small potatoes. Today, Hasbro has put on one of their greatest showings in a long, long time. Probably since I joined the fandom a decade ago. I mean, I'm sure plenty of other Toy Fairs/Botcons/SDCCs/NYCCS have had some great gems - MP-01 Optimus Prime, Armada Unicron, Alternators Smokescreen, and Classics come to mind. But I really don't think Hasbro's ever been able to cram so much awesome into one toy show. I'll try to do justice to everything, but forgive me if I leave something out. So, by toyline:

Transformers: Prime: Beast Hunters

-Legion class: No one that we didn't already know of as of this week. Still, I'm excited about that Soundwave.

-Commander class: 2 new guys:

  - Shockwave: very nice; maybe nicer than the voyager. Definitely looks better than the DotM Commander.

  - Starscream: remold of the existing CV Commander Starscream. Looks a bit like the new BH deluxe, but the deco is almost flame-themed, to the point that it looks like it'd be a different Seeker. Not sure I'll go for this one, not being a fan of the original mold.

  - Skystalker: gracile, blue ice dragon with discs that fire from the wings. Not bad looking, and I like how the dragon mouth opens Divebomb-style to reveal the robot head. Not sold on it, but I've got no major objections, either, other than the fact that it's an ice dragon and isn't named Cryotek.

  - Ratchet: ugh. Probably the only toy shown here that I actively dislike. Of all the BH weapons, Ratchet's is the most toy-looking, and that's largely due to the color. Also, like BH BB and Wheeljack, Ratchet is a remold of the original TFP toy, which was never my favorite mold. Oh, and he looks evil as hell, so that works well for him, right? Very low likelihood that I'll get this one.

  - Dreadwing: Apparently not too dead, Dreadwing gets a deluxe mold that is full-on Beast Hunters. The jet mode gets beefier, almost AV-8B style intakes, and the bot mode has wings that open as feathers and has an overall avian look. Weird weapon, though. Not sure about this one.

-Voyager class: Cool stuff here!

  - SHOCKWAVE: I posted about him earlier today, but I'm pretty happy about this guy. We get a better look at the "tank" mode, which take more cues from the Energon and Animated versions than the DotM one. Still digging this.

  - Grimwing: green Predacon, he looks pretty good! Dragon mode was described as a cross between a bear and falcon, which is pretty accurate, but his weapon also doubles as his little monster-parrot buddy thing, as noted in the Guidebook. Strange. Good chance I'll get this guy.

  - Ultra Magnus: I had pics of the prototype up about three posts ago, and here's the real thing! Already knew it was a remold of PRiD Optimus, but it's still great and looks honestly more enjoyable than PRiD Magnus himself. Love the Forge of Solus Prime and add-on armor. Really excited about this one.

-Ultimate class: I guess these are like Supremes? Not sure on the price.

  - Predaking: Apparently a Target exclusive, this guy does look really nice. Instead of the two extra "hydra" head/launchers, he gets two crossbow-type guns, and of course his tail sword. Crazy 21" wingspan. I like it, but may not need it. Price is a big determining factor here.

  - Optimus Prime: OK, so this is really called Dragon Laser OP or something ridiculous, but it's basically the voyager design, but larger and with the wings replaced by this crazy five-headed dragon cannon ring thing. He also has his meat cleaver sword (not the Star Saber) and a dragon head-styled shield that other toys of him lack. The variety makes him more appealing than Predaking in a certain sense, but again, necessity vs. price will play a big role here.

Ok, onto Generations!

-Legends class: firstly, let me say that after the 2 sets of Autbot data discs, it looks like those little automorphing guys are done for. Wave 3 and beyond are (apparently) 2 packs that seem to feature a CV Commander-sized figure with a sub-legends (mini-con-ish?) partner that is a bot/vehicle/targetmaster triplechanger. Pretty ambitious! Also very happy that these are inteded to specifically interact with the Titan class, discussed below...

  - Optimus Prime w/Roller: This is the G1 Optimus design from the IDW Ongoing series, which is pretty cool. The chest windows even pivot open to reveal more mechanical sternum detail. Roller is a little armored truck with a decent bot mode and forms an impressive cannon that Optimus's gun can attach to. Definitely cool.

  - Bumblebee w/Blazemaster: This is interesting. Bumblebee's bot mode is clearly based on his WfC/FoC/IDWRiD body, but has am alt mode that is more of an Earth car. Weird, but it looks good. Blazemaster doesn't look too much like the G1 micromaster, but still has a detachable rotor blade that can attach to BB's arm wheels. He also forms a gun. Pretty neat; I'll be getting it.

-Deluxe class: Ok, here's where I really start to get excited. Starting with wave 5 (the post-Wreckers wave), we're getting new-mold toys based on IDW designs with pack-in (full-sized) comics! Too great.

  - Trailcutter (Trailbreaker): His packaging/comic wasn't shown, but this guy looks great. I think the bot mode is meant to be a bit MTMTE-ish, but it definitely has an Earth truck mode. The camper shell detaches to become the weapon. I'll be happy to finally get a decent-sized G1 version of this guy. And between this, his Kreon, and the BH Ironhide remold, Trailbreaker's finally getting a break this year.

  - Orion Pax: yup! Not Optimus, this toy is based (at least the bot mode) on Optimus's pre-Prime body that first showed up in Spotlight: Blurr many years ago. The cybertronian trcuk mode is new (and featured in the included SL: Orion Pax comic) as are the energon axe and signature ion cannon. It's great that we're getting a dedicated Orion Pax mold; that's something I never saw happening. Really want this.

  - Megatron: this is B-2 Megatron from the IDW Ongoing! Don's design actually surfaced sometime earlier than it did in the comic a couple of years ago, so this is a toy I've wanted for a while. Awesome.

  - Bumblebee: again from the IDW Ongoing, this is BB's "leader" body. Having ditched the VW alt mode, he now transforms into a sports car and has door wings, taking cues from the Movie version. The design is a bit different, with the headlights/fenders forming the shoulders rather than the windshield doing so. Most anticipated BB toy in a while, that's for sure.

-Voyager class: triple changers!

  - Springer: it's pretty much perfect. This is Springer as we see him in Last Stand of the Wreckers, and yes, he actually has two alt modes that are decent and don't suffer and the benefit of the other. Looks to be one of the greatest voyagers ever.

  - Blitzwing: While I would have liked him to be a deluxe to go with the other two 'Con triple changers, this guy does look great. Both jet and tank mode are fantastic and distinct, and the head apparently changes faces Animated-style while otherwise being a G1 homage. Very cool.

-TITAN class: the piece de resistance.

  - Metroplex: I was convinced that we'd never get stuff like this from Hasbro ever again. Metroplex gets a tried-and-true Classics-style G1 update, but, oh yeah, he's also TWO FEET TALL!!!! Apparently someone at Hasbro figured we needed another giant transformer, one for the modern era, and we're getting it. The "Titan" class will cost about $125, but when the toy's this big, it's fine. He comes with a legends class Scamper toy (which hasn't been seen yet, I don't believe) and is still a triple changer in the same vein as the G1 toy. This is really incredible. Makes me feel ok for not dropping the same amount of cash on the newer MP Optimus at TRU!

-Generations: Platinum Series: We already knew about Platinum Optimus and Omega Supreme (neither of which really impresses me for the price), but know we know about two new releases:

  - Ultra Magnus: This is TFP/BH Ultra Magnus, using the same basic design as the BH voyager toy. That said, it's also a remold of Optimus, this time Weaponizer Optimus. This version also has a larger Forge of Solus Prime, which looks a little better than the voyager's, as you'd guess. I've never been too keen on Weaponizer Optimus, but this remold looks good overall, and I love the kind of attention Magnus has been getting this year. Like the BH Ultimates, price is a big determining factor here.

  -  Grimlock vs. Bruticus: no pics of this so far, but this is apparently FoC Voyager Grimlock packaged with the FoC Combaticons with more metallic paint apps. Sounds kind of neat, and I don't have Grimlock yet, and if Bruticus looks good enough, I'd be fine with handing my retail version off to my son. However, it's pretty crazy that there's yet another Combaticon redeco set. Maybe Hasbro saw how many people missed out on the SDCC version. I'd really love to see the pics so I can know if I need to pass on retail Grimlock or not.

-Generations: Masterpiece: Yep, more money-draining releases. No pics yet, though.

  - Acid Storm: Apparently a repaint of the remolded MP Seeker, like Thundercracker was last year. Not sure if it's a more cartoon/Bot Shots-like deco or more like the camo of the Universe deluxe. I'm interested, but I don't know that I need to spend ~$75 on Acid Storm. Sunstorm would have been a no-brainer, but I guess Hasbro was trying to avoid copying Takara. We'll see.

  - Soundwave: Comes with all 5 tapes in package! I'm assuming "all 5 tapes" means Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Rumble, Frenzy, and Ravage. The Japanese version just got released and looks fantastic, so I'm very happy this is being released here. Hopefully the price is reasonable. Some people are worried about the deco in reference to the Takara version, but I'm not. 

Ok, what about Kre-O?

-Microchangers: Oh man, they have went into over drive with these guys. Both waves 2 and 3 were shown. Here's the list:

  1. Arcee: Nice! A good G1 version, but still a nice Airrachnid counterpoint
  2. Acid Wing (Acid Storm): Looks good. Same as Sunstorm.
  3. Blot (Blight?): To go with Abominus (below)
  4. Bombshell (Hardshell?): A G1 version - very creepy!
  5. Bulkhead: The Animated version. I'm digging it.
  6. Groove: First Kreon motorcycle! Not a bad attempt, either.
  7. Hoist: Serviceable, but not too exciting.
  8. Scourge: G1 version; good alt mode, but bot mode suffers for lack of wings.
  9. Vehicon: A lot more blue than the multi-pack ones. Looks better, though.
  10. Lugnut: Seriously? This is awesome.
  11. Perceptor: Good bot mode, fun microscope mode that is close to the G1 toy's.
  12. Powerglide: Not bad. Plane mode is similar to Lugnut's.
  13. Beachcomber: Pretty good, but again, not too exciting.
  14. Cheetor: Fun; we need even more BW Kreons, though!
  15. Guzzle: very LSotW, looks great.
  16. Huffer: Don't care for the character, but pretty spot-on.
  17. Kickback: Neat, though not as spot-on as Bombshell.
  18. Long Haul: All right! The Constructicons are completely rounded out.
  19. Nemesis Prime: Decent truck mode, but overall more a Black Convoy.
  20. Nosecone: Looks really goo; evidence of Technobots down the road?
  21. Ramjet: Yes, please! Same as Dirge.
  22. Seawing: To complete the Seacons! Not bad.
  23. Sharkticon: Really fun. I like it; the mace is ace.
  24. Thrust: Again, same as Dirge, but now all the normal Seekers are complete.
-Microchangers Combiners:

  - Abominus

  - Piranacon

  - Defensor

-Random stuff:

  - Autobot Base

  - Special Edition Kreons
  1. Starscream
  2. Optimus Prime
  3. Ironhide
  4. Soundwave
  5. Megatron
  6. Bumblebee     

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