Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Linkfest - Prime Masterpieces

This week’s linkfest is about little odds and ends to play catch up on after last week’s SDCC. To start, we have a cool fan creation that mixes Optimus with Warhammer, news that Hasbro’s mini-war with 3rd party toys continues, another 3rd party toy gallery, a new G1 reissue, new TF Prime themes, Masterpiece Prime US vs Takara comparison, and video reviews of Wave 1 Fall of Cybertron toys, SDCC Exclusive toys, and more. If interested in the SDCC panels, click here for links to videos of more then 100 panels that where held that week.

Orktimus Prime
Hit the link with a gallery of images for Orkitums Prime and interview with its creator madscuzzy. This version of Prime is based on Ork Truckk used for Warhammer game products only with that Transformers touch. It took two months to create using 3rd party Gundum parts and 1.5 ork trukk kits. The paint job proved to be especially difficult but as the images show, the final result was pretty darn cool.

Hasbro Bails on TFCon
Hasbro has announced that they have cancelled their New Product Preview and Q&A panels at TFcon this coming weekend because of the allowed sale of 3rd party TF toys at the Con. The Canada's Annual Transformers Convention is being held from July 27th to 29th in Mississauga, Ontario. They will still have a product display. The 3rd party market is not violating any law or copyright which is why Hasbro is applying pressure in ways like this (they also tried to get online stores to ban the products). If legal is an issue I am sure Lego would love to have words about the Kre-O line. Hasbro has chosen to ignore the collector's market as not having enough mass market appeal to reach the profit margins they desire (see Breakdown below as example). Takara has attempted to meet the need with their Masterpiece line (and BinalTech in the past). The 3rd party market (and Hasbro's SDCC exclusives) has clearly demonstrated that collectors are willing to pay a premium for new and unique products. Transformers' Collectors Club of repaints does not count as a meaningful effort to fill that niche. Nothing wrong with Hasbro's choice, from a business perspective I get it. I just can't agree with Hasbro's attempt to punish fans and conventions when others decide to fill a market area they chose to ignore using the same tactics Hasbro uses to their own benefit (see Kre-O). I applaud any convention (like TFCon) that refuses to bend to their unreasonable demands. Note: Botcon, being officially attached to Hasbro, as no choice but to comply.

MakeToys Green Giant - Gallery 1 | Gallery 2
Speaking of 3rd party toys, here is a perfect example of what I mean. Collector's want a new Devastator. Not just a reissue of the 25+ year old mold. Or Hasbro's cheap solution with Powercore Combiners. Giant is MakeToys' not Devastator toy that combines six almost voyager sized figures into one massive robot. A G2 yellow version was released earlier this year and by the end of August the more classic green version is coming out as a boxed set. The set costs around $360 so basically only a diehard collector is willing to buy it (and I am so tempted). Definitely not priced for mass market appeal.

TF: Prime Breakdown Mold Not Coming Stateside
Hasbro VP has revealed that the Takara mold for Transformers: Prime Breakdown toy is not coming to the States. The reason is the mold is in "no man's land" cost wise and not being "what people want in the U.S. and global market." The cost and fan familiarity places it in the collector's niche which Hasbro has no interest in and perfectly illustrates why Hasbro's dislike of 3rd party toys is pointless. Given perfect example of something collector's want, they went with not enough money to be made to bother. Fair and reasonable choice but again don't complain when others fill in void for them.

Japanese Themes for Transformers: Prime
Hit the link for an alternative take on the opening and ending themes for Transformers: Prime that was created for the Japanese airing of the show. The decision baffles me as it just comes across as over the top, cluttered and unnecessary.

Sixshot Reissue Gallery
Hit the link to see Takara lasted G1 reissue. Sixshot is the only six mode Transformers that has been created. It came out as the Generation One line was waning in popularity. I think this is the 3rd issue of this figure but it does come in some very nice packaging with chromed weapons and metallic chest. For now it is a Japan only release. Hasbro might pick it up as a stateside exclusive at some point next year but who knows for sure.

Transformers: Rescue Bots Coming to DVD
Hasbro and Shout Factory have announced their intentions of releasing Rescue Bots to DVD. Not specifics yet, basically an FYI that is coming. The first season of Rescue Bots just ended on The Hub so I wouldn't be surprised if out by Christmas.

Hasbro's Q2 Earnings Report
Hasbro reported its 2nd quarter earnings Monday. For the three month period the company net earnings was $43.4M, -25.2% from same period last year. Most of the difference is the lack of a movie related boost for Transformers. The Hub's earnings were up 59% with a $8.2M profit. I don't understand the ends and outs but basically Transformers sales are down (to be expected), boy toys in general are down (not so much) and The Hub continues to improve each quarter.

Masterpiece Prime Comparison Gallery
Hit the link to view a comparison of Takara's release of Masterpiece Optimus Prime and the Toys R Us exclusive version that is coming out in a few months. Construction wise there is little difference but the pictures suggest that Hasbro might have corrected the minor problem of the legs not staying connected in truck mode. Color wise the Hasbro version is a brighter red and blue with a blue Roller instead of Takara's black one. The current rumor is the price will be $99.99 but considering the Takara version costs $250, it is a good deal for one of the best TFs released yet.

Fall of Cybertron Wave 1 Video Reviews - Jazz | Optimus Prime | Shockwave
Hit the link for Peaugh's review of wave 1 Fall of Cybertron that seems to have hit online retailers but not store shelves just yet. Of the group, Jazz strikes me as the best with Shockwave falling under might get and Prime just being a pass.

SDCC Exclusives Video Reviews - Rust in Peace Cliffjumper | HISS Tank Shockwave
Bruticus review is below. Rust in Peace is a repaint of the first edition Cliffjumper mold in cool packaging. The G.I Joe HISS tank is repainted in Shockwave colors with TF specific touches added to what results in a cool set. Sadly all this stuff did sell out almost instantly when Hasbro posted it briefly on HasbroToyShop.

SDCC Exclusive Bruticus Video Review
Below is optibotimus' review of Hasbro's SDCC exclusive Fall of Cybertron Bruticus set. This $100 toy was briefly available to buy on HasbroToyShop for all of five minutes (yep I missed out too). No worries though for those that want this toy to play with or display as the Amazon Exclusive G2 inspired repaint is still available for pre-order here and in a few months the five individual toys will be hitting toy shelves. The only difference between the five and the SDCC exclusive is the cool packaging. Any case, considering this is Hasbro's first true combiner in years, the result is not bad at all. I am looking forward to my Amazon one at least. While it doesn't work well, Hasbro even designed it so each limb can be interchangeable. If interested in Peaugh's take on the toy, click here.

Mastermind Creations Cyclops Video Review
Below is a video review of $160 3rd party toy Cyclops based on IDW's Hearts of Steel Shockwave that turns into an Industrial Revolution era gunship. The toy is leader class in size and pretty good looking. Not sure worth the price but since Hasbro is never going to make Hearts of Steel type toys, this is about the only way to buy any toys based on that mini-series that was just full of fantastic designs of favorite TFs.

MP-11 Masterpiece Starscream Review
Another Peaugh review, this time for Masterpiece Starscream. The main reason posting is by Christmas, the Toys R Us exclusive Thundercracker will be out and since that is a repaint of this Takara release (minus cape/crown), might inform your decision to pick up the toy. I really enjoyed mine so highly recommend.

The Making of Transformers: The Ride 3D
Below is a NBC 22 minute special commercial that I assume aired in California to promote the opening of Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios. While most of the video is the usual sales pitch you expect from these extras, it does provide some cool information on how the created the attraction.

1 comment:

  1. When is Transformers: Prime coming back on?


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