Thursday, November 19, 2015

Linkfest - Christmas Time Is Here

Hopefully just in time for Christmas wish lists and gift giving (to fellow TF fans or yourself), here is a ton of reveals on Hasbro's Combiner Wars figures, Takara Masterpiece figures and a bunch of 3rd party figures with the year long emphasis on combiners. The 3rd party output remains painfully high for wallets with the combiners contining unabated (and most looking amazing) but now there is a more heathly mix of other, often Masterpiece scaled, figures. In addition to the reviews there are galleries to upcoming 3rd party toys, licensed statues, and action figures. To start though is some fan-art including a custom paint job, transforming Lego, and more. On a side note for Transformers: Robots in Disguise fans it has been confirmed the second season is also the final season with only 16 episodes and will end with a "movie" that is equal to 3 episodes. Exactly when it will start airing has not been revealed. On to the info dump.

Fan Art
Custom IDW Optimus Prime and Shockwave - Sadly this version of Optimus Prime and Shockwave isn't available. This custom paint job from LEK Custom Toys was inspired by the artwook from Transformers: Devastation IDW comic book from a few years ago that added a shiny sheen to all the TFs as a kind of hybrid of metal and cartoon look. The result is pretty fantastic looking. Even more images can be found at their Facebook page.

Lego Transformable Optimus Prime - Hit the link for the 2007 movie Prime that is built by Ralph Savelsberg from Legos that can successfully transform to robot mode. (via Bricknerd)

Transforming Prime Birthday Cake - Hit the link for pictures and video of a child's Optimus Prime cake transforming into Prime. And yep most of it was editable.

Life Size 3 Ton Bumblebee - From China is a look at this heavy 16.5 foot tall yellow statue that was built by shipyard welder Wang Liansheng for his son. Apparently it has become popular enough that he is trying to start a business building these for others.

Prime vs Menasor Stop Motion - A well done motion capture that uses Voyager AoE Prime vs Combiner Wars Stunticons.

Official TF Product Galleries
Ori Toy Hero of Steel Optimus Prime - A non-transforming action figure that stands 9"(23cm) tall with 40 points of articulation. Set for release in Spring 2016 for around $125

3A Starscream Action Figure - An upcoming non-transformable action figure based on the movie version of the character. 16" (40.64cm) tall, 75 points of articulation, detailed paint job and LED eyes. Price is $430 but no release date.

Masterpiece: MP-11T Thundercracker | MP-21R Cliffjumper | MP-27 Ironhide | MP-28 Rodimus | MP-29 Shockwave | MP-30 Ratchet - This basically is the slate of MP releases from December through to March for Takara. While a decent number of repaints you also have 3 new molds with Hot Rod, Shockwave and Ironhide getting their official MP take (vs the 3rd party versions that have or about to be released).

Hasbro TFs in 2016 RID Battle Packs | RID Deployers | Mini-Con | Alt Modes | G2 Bruticus | Powermaster Optimus Prime | Titan Fortress Maximus Tease | Titan Fan Vote | Hasbro Q&A - Hasbro released images of new products that are coming out sometime in 2016. Most of it is really just repaints but a few are interesting. Powermaster Optimus Prime is really a heavy remold of Ultra Magnus. The tease of Fortress Maximus indicates he will remains the traditional big robot with city alt mode while the Titan Fan Vote gives you the ability to vote for the next city bot between Scorponok, Trypticon and Omega Supreme.

Prime 1 Studio: AoE Optimus Prime | AoE Galvatron | Ironhide - Nice look at their upcoming slate of high end statues that cost around $1800 each.

Transformers: The Movie Soundtrack on Vinyl - If you are a fan of vinyl you might want to hit the link to see if you can score a copy of the 1986 movie's soundtrack on 12" 2LP with Autobot and Decepticon etched sides. It is one of 13 records being released by Legacy Recordings for Black Friday (11/27/15).

3rd Party Product Galleries
TFC Toys Iron Will - A look at their take on Ironhide (with probably a Ratchet to follow at a lter date). The figure looks good and is a faithful version of the G1 one figure with 80s van alt mode. Just odd timing considering Takara has announced their Masterpiece take on Ironhide and Ratchet coming early next year). Goal is release by year end.

Warbotron not Computron - A look at their soon to be complete combiner (the first 3 of 5 have been released). This is the second 3rd party version of Computron but I was really impressed by Warbotron's not Bruticus (review below) so very interested in the final version.

DX9 Hulkie - A look at a 3rd party legends scale version of the Combaticon's that merge to form a tiny Devastator. The detail looks great but the price for the tiny size is not at $160 for maybe release by end of the year.

Hasbro and Takara Video Reviews
Combiner Wars Legends: Viper | Groove | Rodimus | Skywarp | Warpath | Thunderhoof

Combiner Wars Deluxe: Arielbot Quickslinger | Stunticon Break-Neck | Protectobot Streetwise | Protectobot Hot Spot | Sunstreaker | Ironhide | Mirage | Prowl | Combaticon Blast-Off | Combaticon Brawl | Combaticon Vortex

Combiner Wars Voyager: Battle Core Optimus Prime | Cyclonus | Technobot Scattershot | Combaticon Onslaught

Combiner Wars Leader: Thundercracker

Metal Earth 3D Metal Model Kit - A look at these kits that result in a mini metal statue of the character. From what I can tell basically someone who likes model building would appreciate this but anyone else would want to pull their hair out.

Robots in Disguise Legion: Fixit | Sideswipe | Underbite

Robots in Disguise Warrior: Night Ops Bumblebee | Grimlock | Gold Armor Grimlock | Megatronus

Robots in Disguise Deployer: Drift with Jetstorm | Mini-Cons

Takara Q Transformers - A kind of Matchbox scaled take on Transformers that puts this in malformed vehicle mode and a robot mode with a large head.

Takara Unite Warriors: Superion | Menasor - Unite Warriors is the Takara name for Combiner Wars. Almost the same figures but Takara tends to tweak the details and colors to closer match their G1 counterparts. In general you almost always want the Takara version of a toy over the Hasbro version but the import costs makes it impractical for what is mostly cosmetic tweaks.

Combiner Wars Devastator - Review of all six voyager scaled Constructions and G1 cartoon mirror Devastator. Available now on sale at Walmart and Amazon for $40 off at $110.

Hot Toys Optimus Prime Starscream Version - This is an officially sanctioned take on Optimus Prime that presents a highly detailed, articulated and expensive version of Prime with Starscream parts from the guys that have mastered high end action figures. Sometime in 2016 a Optimus Prime Megatron Version will be released.

G1 Trypticon - A re-release of the classic G1 toy. Available now via

Masterpiece: Bluestreak | Bumble/Goldbug | Tracks - All three out now with Bluestreak being a repaint of all the other streaks, Bumble also a repaint while Tracks is a new mold release.

3rd Party Video Reviews
Bad Cube: Claymore | Hypno | Kickbutt - One of several upcoming 3rd party versions of the Insecticons

Fans Toys: Tesla | Grenadier | Spotter - Tesla is a Masterpiece scaled version of Perceptor that is well done. Grenadier is the first of three Masterpiece scaled Insecticons. Basically both, like their G1 counter parts, have great robot modes, meh alt modes and probably solid adds for anyone collecting MP scaled figures. Spotter is the second MP-scale take on Reflector. On the fence between this one and Maketoys Visualizer, still not sure which way may go.

X-Transbots: Andras - MP scaled Scourge. On the fence with this one. Pretty solid figure but G1 character was not that great to begin with so not sure how you update him in an effective manner.

Fansproject Saurus: Dinosan | Dinoichi | Dinoni | Tricerabot Shell - This is the first three robots from the 3rd party take on Dinoking which was a Decepticon combiner from Transformers Victory in Japan that was never released stateside. As for the Tricerabot he is a Pretender Shell for the Saurus members. The combiner looks solid, the shell probably isn't worth the price tag.

Fansproject Function X: Crox | Positum | Knight | Robin | Code - The latest addition to Fansproject's headmaster line. Crox and Positum are new additions while Knight, Robin and Code are repaints of previous releases.

GCreations: Growl - MP scaled take on Dinobot Snarl. Looks pretty good, I ended up going with FanToys MP versions just because their other releases had been so solid.

Planet X: Quirinus - A deluxe scaled take on the War for Cybertron version of Slag/Slug.

Generation Toys Gravity Builder: Scraper | Mixer - Two of six not Constructicons that appears to be taking advantage of all the lessons of 3rd party combiners over the last 4 years to create what has the potential to be the definitive version of Devastator. Just be aware that ToyWorld is working on their version too.

KFC: Doubledeck - A repaint of their previous not Blaster release with four of their cassettes. The previous model suffered from paint chip problems but that seems to have been corrected with this blue and white paint job.

Master Made: Titan - A mini, big headed version of Metroplex. Pretty unique take on the character.

Perfect Effect: Leonidas | Menasor Upgrade Set | Superion Upgrade Set | Aculeusking - Leonidas is 3rd party take on Convoy Leo which is from the Japanese line of Beast Wars II where Prime has a lion alt mode. The upgrade sets are for the Combiner Wars Menasor and Superion that improves the look and feel of the combiners but at a rather significant cost compared to the cost of the toy itself. Aculeusking is a tiny big headed version of Black Zarak aka the black and gold repaint of Scorponok.

Mega Steel: Granville - The IDW version of Megatron with tank alt mode. It has issues but if a fan of his IDW look might be worth looking into.

MakeToys: Axle | Rover | Cupola | Visualizer | GunDog - Axle and Rover are the first two of five not Protectobots combiner. Cupola is the Masterpiece scaled version of Chromedome complete with headmaster. Visualizer is a take on Reflector but not entirely clear if its MP scaled or not. GunDog (gallery) is a take on MP-scaled Hound. Result looks like a pretty faithful take on the G1 character.

Iron Factory: Evil Lord | Sonictech - Legends scaled versions of Overlord and Blaster but with more details and articulation.

Unique Toys: Provider | Buzzing - Provider is a triple-changer based on Octane that does a good job of capturing each alt mode and I think attempts to be MP scaled. Buzzing is not Blurr and definitely MP scaled.

Unique Toys Ordin: Fenrir | Seigfried | Hagen | Ordin - Ordin is their take on Abominus and the five Terrorcons. The result looks like a really great addition to the 3rd party combiner family.

Mastermind Creations: Nero Rex | Cynicus | Cynicus Asterisk Mode - Nero Rex is a sweet black and purple repaint of their not Predaking combiner Feral Rex. I found it so striking I caved and bought it (my wallet hurts so much). Cynicus is based on Vos, a member of the Decepticon Justice Division from IDW's Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye comic. I think the plan is to eventually release all the members of the DJD which currently have no toy counterparts making this character that rare gem of a 3rd party creation with no G1 counterpart.

ToyWorld: Grimshell | Iron Dreg | Spear | Combiner - With the release of these three, Toyworld completes their Dinobot combiner. The result of this first attempt at a Dino combiner is mostly a success as the robot modes across the board are great, the alt modes solid (except for blocky Spear) and a decent combiner, which doesn't have a name, that mostly gets the job done but needed a little more engineering work. Basically if you are a big Dinobot fan, these are worth looking into.

DX9: Carry | Terror | Tyrant - An excellent version of Rodimus Prime that is scaled to the Masterpiece line and looks like might go along rather nicely with next year's Masterpiece Hot Rod. Terror is a repaint that is based on the Shattered Glass (Transformers' version of Star Trek's Mirror Universe) colors. Tyrant is MP scaled Galvatron that looks like an improvement over last years 3rd party take. I did buy Carry and pleased with the purchase.

Warbotron: Not Bruticus combiner - This is the first combiner from Warbotron and considering the first time out of the gate they knocked it out of the park. I bought this combiner and pretty much immediately he became my favorite combiner released so far. Expensive but if a combiner fan it is worth considering.


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