Friday, July 19, 2013

Botcon/SDCC Roundup 2013

Well, despite my last post, I can still be bothered to do a run-down on the new TFs shown at Botcon and SDCC this year. Interestingly, while Hasbro's SDCC panel was just yesterday, Botcon was only about two weeks ago. Normally, there's a lot more time between the two events. Because of this (I think), Hasbro's SDCC showings weren't a whole lot greater than what they had at Botcon. Already, that brings an air of disappointment to the proceedings, but let's forget that for now and move onto the toys themselves:

-Ok, one more thing first - I'm not covering every single release here like I might've in the past. A lot of what Hasbro had to show were non-traditional TF toys (like the huge showing for the new Construct-bots). I'm really trying to focus on the mainline releases.

Start with Beast Hunters? Sure.

Cyberverse Legion:

-Bluestreak - this is a repaint of BH Legion Smokrescreen (surprise!). For some reason, he has neon green headlights and a neon green repaint of the now-omnipresent chainsaw gun. I pretty much have to get this, being that I already own Smokescreen and Prowl from this mold. Oh, and he's actually blue, for once.

-Rot Gut - a neon green/blue/yellow/repaint of BH Legion Blight (the G1 Blot homage). Pretty sure he's a reference to Blip from IDW's MTMTE, which is enough to spark interest, but unless the repaint every single one of the legion Predacons, I probably won't pick up any of these "extras."

- Windrazor (? I think that's his name) - This is a repaint of BH Legion Cutthroat (or whatever his new name turned out to be). Apparently this one is an Autobot defector, and it's hard not to draw comparisons to Swoop. Still, no draw unless all 5 get repainted.

- Ace Vehicon - repaint of the Air/Jet Vehicon that has normal colors, now in Starscream's "Armada" colors. Thought what is silver in the show is white on the toy. I'll probably get this, just because I'm surprised that this mold got made at all (I'll get the original too). Another damn chainsaw gun, though. Ugh.

Cyberverse Commanders:

- Unicron Megatron - well, it's just a repaint of TFP CV Megatron, but apparently it represents him after he's SPOILERS possessed by Unicron in the BH DVD movie. So, while the colors didn't really grab me, I may have to get this just for it's plot significance (especially since Unicron criminally never got his own domestic release).

- Bludgeon - a remold of BH CV Shockwave, this one is pretty impressive. New skull chest, new skull samurai head, plus an orange version of Optimus' Star Saber. Looks pretty good; I'll probably get it.

- Ultra Magnus - yep, UM gets another CV toy! I kind of called this one, after Um began with his own voyager mold, and then got one remolded from Optimus; now the same has happened here. In other words, this is a remold of TFP CV Optimus. And a pretty good one, too - it even includes a new-mold Forge of Solus Prime. This one's a lock.

Deluxe: Ok, this is where I convert to rant mode.

- Bumblebee repaint - shocker. This is a repaint of the BH BB remold into "Stealth" colors. Admittedly, this was a fun remold and now has even better colors, so there's a lot to like here, but it's still Yet Another Bumblebee.

- Prowl - this is pretty cool. It's obviously a Smokescreen repaint, but they did go out of there way to give him a new head based on the Prowl design from the as-yet-unreleased TFP-based Universe game. So that's pretty danged cool. I want to get this, if only to give my Universe 2.0 Prowl a multiversal buddy, but the mold is pretty iffy and I'd feel like I'd need to get Smokescreen, whom I've avoided until now. Not sure here.

- Bumblebee, Cutthroat, Twinstrike, and Smokescreen - Oh! Deluxe versions of some of the legion Predacons? Smokescreen gets a second shot at having a decent deluxe mold? A newer, better Bumblebee? NO. Shitty upsized legion class toys. That's really it. This is the most embarrassing thing Hasbro has done since I've been an adult collector. Sucktown. At least these are $60 less toy that I have to worry about.


- Optimus Prime - like the new deluxes, this is just an upsized version of the BH CV Commander. It seems to fare a bit better from the upsizing process, and his weapons looks good, but it's still unecessary.

- Predaking - Conceptually, this is another "upsize", but is really more of just a simplified new mold. It does takes some cues from the CV Commander, but not too many. Honestly, this one looks pretty good, maybe even better than the original voyager, my opinion of which has really dropped over the past few months.

I won't say anything about the larger toys except that it was a smart move to make the Weaponizer BB's deco match his look in the show (it originally was going to be some kind of stupid yellow/brown camo).

Ok, Generations!

Legends class (this is really now a 2-pack class, containing a CV Commander-ish toy along with a Micromaster-ish partner)

- Swerve w/Flanker - This is MTMTE Swerve with an Earth mode. Despite getting a G1 Swerve truck toy last fall thanks to the China Generations stuff, this is pretty hard to not want. Flanker looks like a Micromaster and probably homages one.

- Cosmos w/Payload - Cosmos, who last appeared as an impossible to find legends toy for the 25th anniversary line, gets a size upgrade. Payload is a pretty cool looking space shuttle guy. I'll probably skip this. At least it'll maybe drive the aftermarket price of the 25th anny one down?

- Tailgate w/Groundpounder - Like Swerve, this is IDW Tailgate with an Earth mode. He has flames on the hood, a la Prime Tailgate. Looks great. Groundpounder is an interesting little bulldozer with an attack claw weapon mode. If I get Swerve, I have to get Tailgate.

- Shrapnel w/Reflector - Forget that "Sharpshot" nonsense, this is Shrapnel. It's honestly a pretty perfect G1 Shrapnel update, too, in size and appearance. What's funny is that I wanted them to make some legends-ish sized G1 Insecticons many years ago, but we are finally getting them. Reflector has the gun mode, but transforms into the entire camera (with a very long zoom lens). He's probably the weakest of the partner toys, unfortunately. Unless they make the other two Insecticons like this, I'm not sure I'll go for this.


- Dreadwing - this is a remold of the upcoming Stealth Megatron into G2 Dreadwing. New head. Makes a lot of sense. Not sure if I'll go for it.

- Skids - this is straight-up a MTMTE Skids. Even has the cybertonian car mode. I like that in concept, but the toy looks a bit off. Probably skip.

- Goldbug - remold of the IDW-style new BB mold. He gets a new head. Where I will probably skip the BB version, I may go for this one, as it would look like a real upgrade compared to Classics BB. Still don't like that weapon, though.

- Waspinator! - looks really great. Getting it.

- Scoop - Eh. It's certainly a G1 Scoop, and even includes both of his targetmasters. No real interest here.

- Skywarp - repaint of FoC Starscream, this one's a lock. There's a bit more grey on the chest rather than the black I'd prefer, but I can deal. Glad that we're getting all three core seekers from this mold.

- Armada Starscream - that's right! The toy that got me into adult collecting gets a deluxe redo. He looks great. He now gets two swords (energon, not "metal) that detatch from the bottom of his wings so he doesn't lose the wings in bot mode. The missiles come from the front of the intakes this time, and the whole engine apparatus can fold flat on his back like it should be able to. Too friggin' great.

- Unknown minicon trio - these might be my favorite thing from both Botcon and SDCC. New character minicons, military alt modes, integrated, removable hand-held weapons, one is a fembot, they combine Armada Perceptor-style, and they're flippin' black and green! It's like a love letter to me and my fondness for UT. Have to get, and then give to the new Starscream (he has four minicon hardpoints!). Heck, even the jet one is vaguely Seeker-like.


- Rhinox - this is the one for me. Looks pretty much just like he did in the show. He'll go well with Waspinator.

- Doubledealer - remold of Blitzwing. Neat idea, as I've always like Doubledealer, but I'm not sure this was the best choice. He does get a new "face" (the helmet is the same), but I'm not sure if he has multiple faces like BW does. Nice looking, at least.

- Whirl - A very, very G1-looking Whirl. The head is sort of MTMTE, but I would have preferred the whole thing to be more MTMTE. Gerwalk mode was intentional, so that's neat, and I do like his weapons. I'm probably the only person who will skip him in favor of the FoC deluxe version (Vortex remold).

Fan-built bot: Ok, no toy images, but this one is the result of online polling from Hasbro that I participated in. It turns out that the bot will be Windblade, a female Autobot jet (called a "Seeker" by the Hasbro staff). She has a Kabuki/samurai motif, red/black color scheme, and VTOL fans in jet mode a la Thrust. I'll get her, but she won't be out until late 2014 as the capstone in the Thrilling 30 celebration. I really hope we get a G1 Slipstream remold out of her, as we've never had a deluxe female jet before.

And that's it. I guess there's about the right amount of stuff for me to be interested in in regards to me wanting to spend less, but I can't help but think that, outside of Generations, the offerings here were a bit weak. Oh well, there's still some very solid stuff coming around the corner.

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