Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Linkfest - Combiner Wars

The news on the Transformers 5 front remains dead and probably will for a while but that doesn't mean the toys stop coming. In a few cons Hasbro and 3rd party vendors teased about the next six months or so of releases. For Hasbro that means Angry Birds, Combiner Wars and Robots in Disguise toys.

For third party companies, the theme remains combiners with upcoming releases of combiners but it seems the theme for 2015 is Dinbots with at least three separate sets coming one of which will be an actual combiner. Other galleries include a look at Optimus Prime turning into a Playstation 1 console, a look at Ultimetel Prime, and more. On the video review front we have looks at the next wave of Generations Deluxe and Voyager toys, look at two versions of Swoop, reviews of the not Technobots, more Masterpiece figures including Wheeljack, and bunch more.

Licensed Galleries
NYCC 2014: Angry Birds | Combiner Wars | Kre-O | Legion RID | Warrior RID | One-Step RID - A few weeks ago Hasbro provided a sneak peak and official images for some, but not all, of their 2015 lines of toys that isn't Age of Extinction related (which looks like was DOA judging by toy shelves). For the Generations line, the main theme will be "Combiner Wars" which the IDW comics have been hinting towards for the last six months or so. The first wave, which will be Scramble City style (as in any limb piece can act as any other limb for any combiner), will include the Arielbots and the Stunticons. Optimus Prime is also going to be a combiner as he can act as a core piece for either. Robots in Disguise is the toy line based on the upcoming cartoon that will start airing on the Cartoon Network early next year. It also seems Hasbro is retiring the "Deluxe" class in favor of "Warrior" class but the scaling appears to be the same.

Playstation Optimus Prime - A look at the official licensed product that transformers from Optimus Prime into the first Playstation complete controller. This is the second release with the Sega Megatron due sometime in the next month. Both cost a hefty $120 for what is essentially a deluxe sized figure. I am interested but waiting on others to review it before making a decision.

Prime 1 Grimlock and Optimus Prime Statue - Hit the links for official images and details on this statue based on Transformers: Age of Extinction. No price yet but if I recall correctly the other Prime 1 statues cost in the neighborhood of $2000 dollars so suspect this one will be even higher.

Masterpiece: Bumblebee | Ultra Magnus | Exhaust | Star Saber - A look at the slate of upcoming Masterpiece figures from Takara. 'Bee is next, out sometime by the end of the year. The rest are due next year with Ultra Magnus followed by Exhaust which is just repaint of Wheeljack. Star Saber was the result of a context for fans to choose a Masterpiece figure.

Ultimetal Optimus Prime - This is a gallery for the $800 non-transformable but detailed licensed G1 Optimus Prime. It actually does look very cool but that price makes it a non-starter.

3rd Party Galleries
TFCon 2014: Dealer Room | Panel Slides | Early Reveals - The third party market continues to grow as more companies enter the business of un-official collectibles. Seems a lot of good stuff is on the horizon include more Dinobots, Combiners, Astrotrain, Swerve and a bunch more. Hit the links to view about 6+ early to near complete concepts that all the different companies are planning. All it tells me is I need to start get very very specific on which areas I am going to collect because "that looks cool" is way to broad away to eliminate choices.

KFC Transistor - Basically a third party MP Blaster that is really an upscaled version that they released earlier this year. The $140 figure is due sometime in November.

Unique Toys Alberich - This is the second of five combiners that will form Ordin aka Abominus. The first release, Troll, is in the review section below. His cost is $95 for release sometime in December.

Warbotron Whirlwind - The fourth figure of five for the Warbotron (not Bruticus) combiner. Reviews of the first three figures are below. This Vortex homage looks excellent and despite the average cost of $90, I am really tempted to get them.

Video Reviews
Generations Deluxe: Arcee | Chromia | Windblade | Rattrap | Tankor - This line continues to impress with a great homage to Transformers past while taking full advantage of greater detail and articulation of modern TFs. The ladies especially look like great additions to any collection. The dudes are on shelves now, no idea when the ladies are due to hit.

Generations Voyager - Sky-Byte | Roadbuster | Brainstorm - I have never been a fan of Sky-Byte's mold of any iteration but Roadbuster and Brainstorm look pretty sweet. So far have yet to see either on store shelves.

Ark Studio Disguiser Z Set 1 - A new 3rd party company, these Matchbox sized homages to Smokescreen, Silverstreak and Prowl that are not bad but really hard to justify the $70 price for all three, especially since I already have the larger sized Masterpiece versions.

BadCube Brawny and Backland - Another 3rd party newbie, these are their take on G1's Brawn and Outback that seems scaled to the Masterpiece line. Both look very solid and something G1 fans might be interested in. Backland is remold (rather than just a repaint) as some parts are specific to him. However the $80 each price tag makes it a pass for me.

3rd Party Not Swoop: Bullsfire Air Strike | FanToys Soar - Here are two different takes on a unofficial Masterpiece Swoop that are both pretty sweet and both very expensive with each costing $200 and do sometime this month. I tend to lean to FansToys version just because experience with their previous toys has been solid.

FansProject: Sigma | Columpio - Sigma (aka Ratbat) is the next addition to their headmasters homage line and is a not bad addition. It isn't my favorite of the line and would recommend one of the others over it if are not going the completist route. Its out now for $80. Columpio is their take on the Dinobot Sludge and is about Voyager sized for $102 and out now. It is an excellent (if expensive) toy. The plan is to release all five over the next year.

Toyworld OrionVil - A repaint of their Orion Pax release from a few years ago that is more or less a Nemesis Orion Pax. The previous mold was excellent so see little reason why this one wouldn't be the same if you missed out the first time. The cost is around $105.

MakeToys Quantron: Blindfire | Celeritas | Overheat | Sonic Drill | Metalstorm | Quantron - Out now is this combiner that is an fantastic homage to G1 Computron. The 5-figure box set is available now for $430 or $86 per figure which is the norm for the average combiner piece. It broke my wallet but I do highly recommend it, especially for any combiner fan.

Mastermind Creations Feral Rex: Tigris | Felisaber - Two more additions to MMC's Feral Rex (aka Predaking). Tigris completes Feral Rex while Felisaber is just an extra figure. The average cost of each is around $95 with Tigres out now. No idea when Felisaber is coming. I keep hoping for a set will be released at some point since its a bit difficult to get the older members and I tend to wait until all of them are out before buying since the cost is high and I don't like buying blind for something that takes over a year to complete its release cycle. But now that the whole thing is done, Feral Rex seems like a very solid combiner.

Masterpiece: Grimlock with Throne | MP-20 Wheeljack | Gold Megatron - MP Grimlock is the same figure that has been re-released about 6 times between Asia and the US. The gimmick this time is a cardboard throne that as the review shows is definitely not worth seeking. While I do recommend the MP Grimlock mold, there are cheaper solutions than this $280 version. Masterpiece Wheeljack, out now for around $80, is another solid addition to the MP line and one I highly recommend getting. Gold Megatron is the same MP mold from about 7 or so years ago but now gold colored plastic that comes with a non-transforming Reflector in camera the size of his hand that I think is to mimic a Marvel comic from the 80s. It is a figidity mess but that any version of a gun alt mode Megatron is a rare thing so fans take what they can get. However at least two 3rd party companies are now planning their own MP take that is more in scale with the current scale that started with MP-10 Optimus Prime so might want to save the $200 for the unofficial version.

Warbotron: Air Burst | Heavy Noisy | Sly Strike - Three of the five 3rd party Combaticons that will form Warbotron aka Bruticus. The average cost of each is in the $90 range and all seem like solid additions to any 3rd party collection.

ToyWorld Roar - Yep its another 3rd party Dinobot but with an important difference. This is the first part of a five piece Dinobot combiner that will be coming out over the course of a year or so. While I could do without the chrome the idea of a Dinobot combiner is hard to ignore despite what appears to be one of the most expensive combiners ever with an average figure price of around $115.

Loyal Subjects Transformers Shoes - A look at Optimus Prime and Megatron officially licensed shows from Osiris that cost around $78 each. You can find them here.

Optimus Prime Pen - A look at a $55 officially licensed pen that works. Not worth the cost but the robot mode is solid and the transformation is unique.

Unique Toys Troll - This is the first of five combiners that will form Ordin aka Abominus. Overall not bad but I need to see a few more of em before decide if something I want to add to my growing, wallet emptying combiner collection. Out now for around $105. A gallery of images with a early look at Ordin's combined mode is here.

ToyWorld Grant - An interesting new 3rd party toy that was a TFCon 2014 exclusive. Grand is a much smaller version (about voyager sized) homage to Grand Maximus which is a rather odd repaint of G1 Fortress Maximus, the largest G1 TF ever made. As the review shows, if not for scale, you could easily confuse him for the original mold but multiple tweaks have been made to increase the robot mode's articulation. A more direct homage to Fortress Maximus called Infinitor is coming out sometime in November for $115.

Mastermind Creations Azalea - This non-Arcee homage is based on the IDW design of the character which in robot mode retained touches of her G1 look but with a completely different Cybertronian mode (do not remember what her IDW alt mode is). It's a pretty cool figure and something that fembot fans may enjoy and for 3rd party products is relatively cheap at $60.

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