Monday, February 16, 2015

Toyfair 2015 assessment! MERGE FOR THE KILL

OK! I had a pretty fun weekend - took Friday off from work, got (finally) Combiner Wars Powerglide and Bombshell to hang out with Dragstrip, Evac (Alpha Bravo) and Optimus, took my son on a 2-night "campout" on the USS Yorktown (got him Fireflight and his own Powerglide for Valentine's) and then got to have a belated date night with my wife last night. 

However, Toyfair 2015 also came and went, and some pretty cool stuff was shown!

My main interest here was, as expected, Combiner Wars. I'll go by size class:


- Warpath: a remold of T30 Megatron (the miner-based one with Chopshop), this one unfortunately doesn't interact with the larger combiner toys. It looks ok, but doesn't have the signature chest cannon, and other than being te same size as most other neo-minibots doesn't have much over the really nice deluxe from 2011. 

- Viper: this is a remold of Powerglide. The new part is the head, which is apparently like some kind of Cobra pilot helmet. The whole thing is a Cobra Rattler homage, even down to having a special symbol on the wings/chest. I normally wouldn't care much about this (the rattler deco doesn't exactly "wow" me), but it does give us another Decepticon target master, specifically one that can combine with Cyclonus's gun (see below)!

- Groove: downsized ostensibly for scale reasons, this is a pretty interesting take on the character. He's very lanky, such that he is reminiscent of HFTD Brimstone. He forms Defensor's chest armor. I like him pretty well, and may get him whether or not I go in for the whole Protectobot team. 

Deluxe: just the Protectobots were shown, sadly (I'm really looking forward to seeing the '84 team, plus anyone that gets designed to go with Cyclonus):

- Blades: Alpha Bravo with a new head, to no one's surprise. I was kind of hoping he'd at least get some new forearms, since we will will very likely get Vortex from this mold (and I'm sure he will keep the missile arms too). I also don't care for the fact that the first real Modern Blades toy can't do anything useful with his blades in bot mode, but I guess I'll just think of him as a gun fanatic. Looks good overall, particularly as part of Defensor, but already having Alpha Bravo has cooled me to Blades a bit.

- First Aid: pretty heavy retool of Off-Road, he's a small ambulance truck. Still, he's undeniably First Aid, the only somewhat weird thing being that he keeps Off-Road's axe. Love the head mold.

- Streetwise: another heavy retool, this time of Dead End. He's probably the team member I care about least, but he does look way more like the character than my Botcon 2010 G2 Redux version. Makes me wonder how they'll do Prowl.

- Rook: ok, the new guy! A white and blue SWAT APC. He looks pretty cool and has a neat Jaws of Life-type kind of weapon. He also has some molded-in arm cannon-things with 5mm port barrels, kind of like Cybertron Defense Hot Shot. However, he doesn't have actual fist holes, for whatever reason...not sure why he couldn't have both. Still pretty neat overall, and a good new addition (amusingly the ONLY new mold limb of the group!).


- Hot Spot: not bad! We already saw the basic look of the alt mode a few weeks back on the Fan Built Combiner app, and it's a longer airport kind of fire truck, giving Hot Spot an almost lanky, tall athletic look. The ladder is massive and has two detachable cannons, and it's pretty clear that he'll make a good Onslaught some day. Defensor himself looks pretty boss, especially considering that only 50% of him is made of new molds (and one of those is Groove). He looks very chunky in a good way, like he is heavily armored, which is pretty appropriate for a "Defensor."

- Cyclonus: aww, yeah! I was really looking forward to seeing this guy and it turns out that he's my most anticipated toy AFTER toyfair too! Cyclonus is a Silverbolt remold, and while I thought Silverbolt looked a little less than stellar, Cyclonus looks great. They did enough remolding to very nearly make it look like the mold was made for the character (the "robot chunks under airplane" engineering from Silverbolt is still there, though it matters less to me with Cyclonus's sci-fi alt mode). No new weapon, but that does allow Viper to connect with the combined mega-rifle, enabling Cyclonus to still serve as a targetmaster-wielder. The torso mode, which we have sadly not seen pictures of yet, is some version of Galvatron allegedly called "Galvatronus!" I did see that the torso armor is remolded to look less like Superion's and more like G1 Galvatron's, but the head remains a complete mystery. I can't wait to see if this toy actually shows up in the fiction, what with Galvatron hunting for the Enigma of Combination and all. Also, here's hoping we get a dedicated set of limbs to go with him, as we so far only have the Stunticons (and potential Combaticpns) in the normal Combiner Wars range for the bad guy's side. But that would be to ignore...

Titan Class:
- DEVASTATOR! A boxed set of all six Constructicons, each one a voyager-sized robot that all combine into a nearly G1-accurate behemoth of a combiner! I was pretty pumped for this, having seen the Nuremberg pics and my wife having agreed to by it for me for my birthday/Christmas. However, all is not perfect in Constructicon-land: the individual robots a very simple, probably more so than the deluxe combiner limbs, and Scrapper doesn't have any elbows! Long Haul only gets lateral elbow movement (not to mention having weird, but interesting proportions; he's reminiscent of Energon Demolisher in some ways). Everyone else looks pretty much like a bigger version of their G1 toy. Devastator's forearms turn into multi-missile launching guns for both Scavenger and Bonecrusher, and the jet wing chestplate separates into three different weapons as well (I understand that all the extra pieces can be carried in Long Haul's bed in altmode). Overall, though, we get a giant Devastator that has no real compromises outside of some engineering choices; that is, we get all six members (rather than just five, had they used the normal Combiner Wars layout), combining in the traditional way, and all in one fell $150 swoop. Which is about $30 cheaper than I thought it would be. Since I missed out on Metroplex, I'm still pretty excited about the prospect of getting this guy, especially since the Combiner Wars Clns seem a little outnumbered by the Autobots this year otherwise. Oh, and there is no Prowl interaction, but I'm pretty sure prowl being written off of the Constructicons and onto Team Optimus will be a big plot point for the comics, which will also necessitate Scrapper's resurrection, which they've kind of laid the ground work for.

Leader: oh, yeah - in all my excitement, I skipped over someone else:
- Ultra Magnus/Minimus Ambus: ok, I'll just go ahead and say that, like I kind of expected, I'm not totally thrilled with this. I really wanted the cab to transform into a smaller robot, whether that be Minimus Ambus or, you know, Magnus himself. Instead, what we get is a non-detaching cab that serves as a cockpit of sorts for a very small (maybe minicon sized) Minimus Ambus, who gets a hover car alt mode for himself. That said, here are the good things: IDW styling, weapons combine to make a hammer, the cab does at least end up in the right place in bot mode, we get another IDW-original character/Lost Light crew member, new G1 Magnus, etc. I do hope we can one day get a platinum edition or something where the cab has been replaced by one that changes into a small robot, but this is an ok try. I might get it, but I'm way more interested in the Combiner Wars stuff proper.