Tuesday, July 10, 2012

State of the Fandom

Yes, it has been a little bit and I apoligize.  Firstly I want to apoligize for the long lag between posts, but I will try to post a little bit more frequently, but it will become a bit harder because since my last post my wife and I found out that she is pregnant.  That is the main reason for the lack of posts as of late because I am just working away at the house and getting it ready for my daugher to enter the world. 
Now I wll start with the nerdy stuff.  As of late I feel like the fandom has somewhat taken a turn for the negative.  There has a been a whole buch of finger pointing and I feel that I just wanted to voice my opinion and possibly air some dirty laundry, but let it go. 
Firstly this is a hobby.  Transformers should be a passion, an escape.  It should bring enjoyment, lately I feel like people have forgotten about this.  For me it seems like the passion has somewhat dwindled from time to time, but I feel the vigor has returned. 
Thefirst thing that I feel has been a major bitching point since December has been the Transformers Collectors Club.  Personally I agree with many of the fan feelings.  I was one of the people who were affected by the security breaches, and I agree it was assinine.  In todays day and age companies should protect our info and keep us happy customers.  I feel that as of late the club has forgotten that we keep them in business.  They are here because we exist.  They are the COLLECTORS' Club.... if we didn't exist they wouldn't.  One thing that is easeier said than done is simply stop the continued support of them.... I am just as guilty as anyone... but Ive said it.
On the other hand the Hasbro bashing HAS TO STOP PEOPLE.  I think we have completely gotten things mixed up here people.  We allow the Club to do whatever they want and then bitch wine and moan because Hasbro doesn't do everything we want.  People keep screaming... you want to fight the third party comanines... then produce product that can!  People Hasbo has multiple lines and as much as we like to think Transformers is their end all be all, its not... they have to cater to a broader audience... and not everyone wants a 100$ Devestator... that is why Hercules and Giant exist... the compaines focus on us... and limit their runs... thats why they sell us a 3-6 hundred dollar devy.... and we praise them.
Right now I think we fail to notice just how innundated with formers product we are.  I realize that a few years ago everything was great becasue we had a collector centric product line... and what happened?  We bitched about repaints... now we scream when a repaint is only in Japan?  Why do you think these things happen. 
Folks, the states have been in a recession.  Most budgets cant handle the Cybertron/Classics product overhaul, and simply most kids can't talk their mommies and daddies into a 40-60 dollar Optimus Prime actoin figure.  Lately I have been recollecting my boyhood years with my action figure habit... in those days my main line was Xmen by Toybiz.  I remember with 7 bucks I could get  a figure, comic and a coke... now with 7 bucks I am lucky to walk out with a candy bar and a 2 liter.  This has affected everyone and if you look at the prices of everything else versus transformers, formers has been amazinly consistant.  Now a marvel legend figure or a DCU fig is close to 20 bucks... thats 400% greater than my boyhood price.  Star Wars figures have doubled in price, even joes have been affected by the times.  Unlike Formers.... Joe and Wars really take a hit when scale is concerned... that is why our sizes have started to shrink.  Hasbro have raised our price point 50% and sclaed down the amount of plastic used, but that is to be expected these days. 
Also as far a the product line, they now launced the Cyberverse scale to increase the amout of product that partents can by their kiddies.  I feel like poeple dont respect this as much.  I dont collect the Cyberverse line, I do pick up some ships and stuff for my displays, but I feel that they have been dummed down transformations, but that is what they are for.. younger kids to get into transformers!
Im sorry I am on my soap box guys but I really am getting tired of all the bashing.  Hasbro is doing thier best for us... and they are doing a great job.  Right now we have 3 monthly comics, an amazing series on TV with Prime, TF4 and even a great video game on the way.  Thanks Hasbro... I am in total support (but please dont try to take away my hercules).

Monday, March 26, 2012

Yes... the Blog is still ALIVE

I'm sorry that there has been a bit but I promise that I have something cool in store.  My time as of late has been eaten up by classes, as well as work, and my big project... the constuction of the MANCAVE.  I am currently in the process of setting up my office as my man cave, and I am currently sorting through all of my Transformers bins... getting ready to fill my new shelving units.  I will have pictures posted as soon as I have them ready and the room is finished.  So I am sorry that I have not been updating the site as frequently for the past couple and as soon as I finish this up I will be back on track with the updates. 

Till All Are One

Monday, February 27, 2012

Transformers: Robots In Disguise 2

Transformers Robots in Disguise 2 seems to be the highlight of this month's comics.  It takes up where number 1 left off and continues the Formers political intrigue that RID 1 set forth.  This  time you finally get to see Ratbat's plan in action.  Ratbat's plan is simple.  Using the memorial for the "lost" bots that just  blasted off he is going to deactivate a Decepticon in front of everyone and therefore make the NAILS believe it is Bumblebee's doing...  This sets the Autobots as the bad guys, and places the Decepticons as the compassionate. 
However Ratbat's ploy was upset by that treatorous Starscream.  Starscream ratted his plan and surprisingly saved the day.
I have to say that this issue was finally well paced.  It actually is slowing picking up pace and becomming and incredibly well rounded interesting read.  It is awesome to see the dynamics playing out and just waiting to see each sides next move.  I highly recommend picing up and readnig these books.... even though they are shaping up to be a different kind of formers story... its well worth the cover price!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Robots in Disguise Prime Bumblebee

Firstly sorry about the naked post without pictures but I really couldn't come to do it for this post (yet).  My wife and I went to the local TRU today (because Target refuses to sell me product), and I was looking forward to getting a new Prime figure.  Since last weekend I have been on a Prime high... and couldn't wait to get some more of the Prime cast.  Wheeljack is still an amazing figure.  I rationalize that because I still find myself tinkering and transforming Wheeljack each time I pass him.  I enjoy him even more that I did the two First Editions that I purchased.
I had heard warnings that Bumblebee was subpar, however I didn't believe it.  Well TRU only offered me a Bumblebee for purchase to feed my plastic crack addiction, so here I am.
This figure is surreal.  the car mode looks so so, but the plastics are completely mismatched.  They took bumblebee to a two tone paint scheme like Bee had a door replaced with a better clear coat.  Additionally Bee is a let down in his bot mode.
Needless to say I am going to still be on the hunt for a First Edition Bumblebee.  Please let me know if one of them seems to surface.

Transformers More Than Meets the Eye #2

Finishing up this weeks new release is More than Meets the Eye #2.  If I can say anything about the issues this week it seems that everything was rushed.  Last issue we were told that there were so many Autobots lost in space due to the crash.  By the end of this issue, all but two are accounted for.  I remember Beast Wars set up this same scenario.  They very deliberately used this plot point and introduced characters into the series up into the third season.  However they had this great ploy to introduce more of our favorite characters and instead of peppering new old friends, they already packed that whole mess into a tight little box. 
They also have really had Cyclonus start to mimic his 3H Enterprises persona.  Cyclonus is found aboard and asked which side he has taken.  He explains he is on his own now, but will stay on until he sees fit.  Its interesting to see this come back into the forefront... especially for Cyclonus. 
They did introduce an old friend  Skids has now reentered the picture and looks like he will become a large part of the picture, a whole lot like Swerve has become.  I do have to say I am interested to see who else will become a major player in this quest. 
The story ended on a cliffhanger as we see Red Alert stumble on the mysterious creatures that attacked Skids when he was reintroduced.  I think there could have been a bit more involved over a couple of issues, however they still have me caught into this story and I hope to see the originators of Cybertron!

Transformers Infestation 2 Number 2

To continue with this month's comic book releases here is Infestation 2 number 2!  I have to say that what I assumed from the original post still seems to stand true.  Well they really didn't continue to name drop from everyone 1800's but still this issue stood up to my small expectations. 
The story continues from where the last issue left off.  Tesla has agreed to create a Tesla coil to revive Optimus prime as the zombie apocalypse approaches.  The complete mechanism was built perfectly by the Autobots and then to revive Prime, the Autobots one by one sacrifice every amp in their internal circuits to revive Optimus Prime.  Prime then stands up and decides he needs to revie his fallen comrades.  Long story short, the zombies show up, prime battles them all, saves a recently infected Ironhide and Tesla is questioned by authorities as to what happened.  Jokingly he says I honestly cannot tell you as I still am not sure!  Cheers for the cheesy eighties sitcom ending.
Don't get me wrong I love the idea of Infestation.  I am a huge Formers fan... as you can tell hopefully, and I am surrounded by friends preparing for the zombie apocalypse (both jokingly and seriously).  I even like how IDW is handling it by not forcing all of the story lines correspond entirely but allow a Formers fan to only pick up two books and not be completely lost.  However I feel that both volumes have just taken way to much to tackle in two monthly books.  Both stories seem to finally set up the problem with only two pages left in the story.  I also would have rathered to just have a whole new universe to have the zombies attack... instead they try to write these into the main story line.  The format of the books just don't allow enough time to try to unravel a story and by the end of the story it is just rushed.  If Infestation 3 happens I hope they expand the format a couple of issues, or just make it a mindless zombie assault.  Hell just give us a GI Joe/Formers crossover with a full battalion of the new Cobra Zombie Vipers... that would be great!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Autocracy 3

Today Transformers: Autocracy 3 was released.  Even though my iPhone tried to mess up, after a reset I was able to finally sit and read it.
I have to say that this issue would have been an amazing short animation.  It is completely action filled.  This time the focus is the Autobot pursuit of Soundwave.  Any fan of the original series would be in love with issue.  Soundwave pulls out all of his stops.  He runs until he get a break and when cornered he continues to open his chest and break out cassette after cassette.  You get to see him release Ravage and then see Ravage ravage a couple of  bots.  He also unleashes Rumble, Ratbat, and Frenzy to aid in his escape.  When all is seemed to be lost he finally reaches his safe place just as Orion corners him.  Orion orders Soundwave to stop, but at that point all of his backup is there with Orion's backup under their control.  Soundwave is rescued, and we are left for two more weeks until the story can continue.
I have to say that I am happy that all i spent was a dollar on this book.  Really it was a cool read, but would have worked much better for a short animation.  Really nothing happened in this issue.  The plot of the story really didn't go anywhere you basically were told what you already knew.  The Autobots are trying to crush a Decepticon uprising, Decepticons are rebelling.  That is all that happens.  There is just a small Spotlight Soundwave issue.  I did enjoy this issue.... I was just expecting more.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Prime RID Wheeljack

Its that time again.  A new Transformers line has been released and now its the mad rush to get your first wave.  Even after the First Editions cancellation fiasco that just happened when I heard that the first wave of Robots in Disguise was in stock I was on my mission.  I have been trying to sweet talk Target personnel to no avail, and then this weekend there they were.  Hanging on the pegs at my local Toys R' Us was the first wave of Prime RID figures (minus the Soundwave).  I immediately snatched Wheeljack and went on my merry way. 
Wheeljack is one of my favorite G1 characters.  Firstly he is an engineer by trade, so that is a plus in my book.  In Transformers:  Prime Wheeljack is a survivor of the Wreckers crew, and one of Bulkhead's best friends.  To add to his amazing resume, he is a total badass as far a combat is concerned.  All these things are why he has been the figure I have been looking for since they have been showing up.

Wheeljack's mold is perfect.  His head mold is a great nod to the original Wheeljack. Additionally the transformation is seamless.  It all snaps into place and presents a perfect figure in every way.  Wheeljack is incredibly articulated and stable in most circumstances.  His accessories are dual swords that when in car mode either store under the carriage or stick out from the head light portions for a ram and stab effect.

Again the vehicle mode is a great nod to the original down to the pin striping.  I love how this figure turned out.  Even with the new trend of an alternate mode that seems a bit dwarfed by previous lines, this figure really unfurls out and becomes incredibly impressive. 
Wheeljack has given me hope for the remainder of the Prime RID line.  I have not been able to put him down since I released him from his blister prison.  I highly recommend that anyone pick him up.  He is one of my favorite figures that I have gotten from the main line in quite a while!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

War For Cybertron Bruticus

This weekend is a huge weekend for any toy collector.  Toyfair is in the air... and I would personally like to thank Game Informer for giving us a taste of what is going to be consuming our wallets for the next twelve months.
There have been a few previews of things to come from the UK Toyfair but no great pics or information.  There is the large scale Cyberverse playset that we have seen blurry images of as well as small scans of the upcoming Cyberverse line but no real looks... that my friends will start on Saturday so stay tuned to your computers.
Enough about what we don't know about lets talk about what we DO know. Game Informer has released pictures of the new Combaticons for the War for Cybertron videogame due out in December of 2012.  When I heard about them being released I was excited.  I have always loved gestalts, and have about four copies of  Bruticus alone.  I know that I have yet to review a single combiner, but I am just saving that until I know that I can do them right.  I have to warn you that any combiner will have a rave review from this guy because Gestalts are my favorite part of the lines. 
Well I had seen individual pics of Swindle, Brawl, and Onslaught.  Just as I have come to expect they have Cybertroninan modes that resemble an earthen counter part.  They look great.  I just recently saw that they released pictures of Vortex and Blastoff.  Again they are Cybertronian makeovers of their earthen counterparts.  The one thing that grabs me though is a Cybertronian helicopter... that one caught me but it looks awesome.  These figures are all Deluxe class from what I have heard.  They look AMAZING in each form.
Now onto the exciting part.  The most recent picture that has been released I have shown above.  Finally after waiting so long (well since Energon) we are getting a new combiner.  To make it better its a Cybertronian mode combiner and it definitely hearkens to his G1 counterpart.  As I said I LOVE combiners and if this has anything related to this years releases I can't wait!  Just stock the shelves and cut me loose!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Allspark Almanac I/II

Transformers:  The Allspark Almanac (I/II)
When Transformers Animated was announced it really split the fandom.  The style of the show and toys was such a departure from where the line had been headed that you either hated, or loved what was going to be coming up next.  I can vividly remember arguing with my cousin about the ascetics.  I would always argue that this is what we always wanted.  The toys were perfect in each form.  My cousin's argument was stead fast... "yeah that's great and all but Bulkhead looks like a damned Duplo truck... I want real vehicles."  The show then hit airwaves and blew us off our feet.  We finally both agreed that these toys were the Transformers we had been waiting on.  We even reached an agreement when the leader class Bulkhead was released and Josh finally opened and displayed the jolly green giant.
Its funny to see how Animated evolved from a scary thing to such a loved show.  Granted to this day it still segregates the fans.  Some love it, others hate it.  For those who loved it it ended too soon.  As you watch the show there is so much hidden in the backgrounds and foregrounds.  So many episodes give a nod to the G-Onner in each of us... as well as the Beast Wars fan, and Beast Machines Fan, hell even the Bayformers fans have a bit of surprises.  Some require some study, such as noticing Grandus, but others are completely out there like a brown haired man and blonde woman in Ratchet with the woman giving birth in Garbage in Garbage out.
I know this looks line a review for Tranformers Animated! but the blog is about the Allspark Almanacs.  That is because the Almanacs are basically a print version of the Tranformers Animated show bibles.  Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster do an amazing job capturing all the bits and pieces for the show.  I have to say that typically when I buy a book like this I flip the pages and read this or that, but when I got these I didn't put them down.  I read them cover to cover, and then went back to the beginning to make sure that I didn't miss anything. 
The books are filled with information.  Firstly they give the basic character designs and personalitys, basically a show tech spec reference.  They don't stop there though!  They also include all of the additional human cast as well as designs and bios for background characters that were inspired by all the different Former universes.  They then go into summarizing each episode in the series and not just in a basic Megatron did this or that.  They took a rather unique view and wrote many of the show synopsis in diary form from the decapitated Megatron head or another character.  They even include character designs for background machines from Sumdac Systems, and a map of the solar system. 
These books made me a bigger fan of Tranformers Animated.  They make me revisit the series and notice more of what was going on.  These two books are perfect for any Transfan, and I think the price of Allspark Almanac II shows for itself its wealth of knowledge (with a price of over $200 on Amazon right now).  These books made me see just how much the Animated series was geared toward fans, and i am happy that so many people have noticed this themselves.  If you don't have these books or haven't perused them in person yet please do! I promise you won't regret it.  
(Author), Bill Forster (Author

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Recently I have been happily searching for Junkheaps for my collection.  I have something in story for them for the upcoming display, but that will have to wait until my unveiling.  Junkheap's bio on the card informs that he was built on the Planet of Junk, and became the resident medic.  When the Autobots met up with the Junkions, Junkheap continued his training under the supervision of Ratchet.  So that is what the bio says, but lets be honest... Junkheap is nothing more than a nameless Junkion for troop building, and that is most assuredly not a bad thing, but rather a quite amazing thing.

Junkheap is a remold of the Wrek-Gar with a new head mold.  I feel that the mold works perfectly for the Junkions.  I feel that it really works.  The head is just different enough from the Wrek-Gar mold that he really makes a statement.  I love the way the mold looks and the dynamics of the transformation is perfect. 

The alt mode is a great looking motorcycle with an amalgamated dirt bike/sports bike.  The mold hides most of the robotic elements quite well,  I really enjoy the way the bike gives the feel of the Junkion look. 

The articulation on the figure is superb as well.  As you can see he can actually double wield his axe.  Also the mold is stable enough to support a variety of poses without any help. 

My favorite part of this figure is its "action feature."  The engineering on this figure is great in that the vehicle mode is perfectly scaled so that the deluxe Junkions can ride it.  The bike seat has two peg holes that are made so that the crotch of the other Junkions can snap into them and be held on the bike with ease.  Its a bit difficult to have both hands on the handlegrips, but it is great for the poses as shown above.  Junkheap looks great on himself (sounds dirty doesn't it?), but he also gives an amazing contrast with Wrek-Gar on the controls. 
This is one figure that I have been happy to pick up, time and time again.  I feel a bit of dejavu from my 25th Anniversary Joe collecting with the troop building.   I am happy that this wave is a bit more prominent than the Wrek-Gar mold was, because I am stuck with 2 lonely Wrek-Gars. 
The only reason I would tell you to not pick up Junkheap is entirely selfish... because I want to add them to my collection!  I can't wait to update this entry when I finally setup what I have i mind, but until then, good luck getting to this guy before I do!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Transformers Infestation 2 Number 1

The first time that I learned about Infestation I was really excited.  I have never been a huge zombie freak but I do enjoy a different angle.  The first run of Infestation tied Transformers, Ghostbusters, G.I.Joe and Star Trek.  To make the task even more difficult they announced that to understand the story all you need to read is your perspective titles i.e. since I read Transformers the story will be self contained in the the Transformers 2 zombified issues.  Needless to say I was skeptical.  I ended up really enjoying the issues without having to read everything else. 
The first Infestation for Transformers took advantage of the books that were already written with the inclusion of the Heart of Darkness and Galvatron's master plan.  The story line really came together including the use of the story in the main line.
Infestaion 2 has started and unlike Infestation This however is a different story.  Instead of continuing a G1 universe, they decided to infest the Alternate Universe of Hearts of Steel.  I personally did not enjoy the Hearts of Steel story line.  Hearts of Steel is a TF universe that takes place in the 1800's.  The original story placed Bumbleebee in the assistance of John Henry as the railways paved into the west.  This was one story line that I struggled through and hoped would be left at the miniseries.  The only real part that I found interesting was the character designs taking alternate forms of steam engines or blimps.  I really enjoyed the designs and was happy to see the care it took to keep the alt modes and robot modes feasible.  For example the 3rd party Knight Morpher Prime was based off of the Optimus Prime of this timeline and it looked quite interesting.
This story takes up where the last ended.  Bumbleebee has stayed in touch with his human friends.  Additionally the Autobots are fighting all of the Decepticons in 1800's designs.  Long story short, the infestation begins, and the Autobots are forced to seek their only hope... Optimus Prime who sadly has been deactivated.  They need enough energy to activate his circuits and in 1800's so they turn to Thomas Edison.  When Edison says that it is crazy to say that you need a million Watts, luckily Nicholle Tesla shows up out of the wood work.  This is one reason that I don't find the Hearts of Steel timeline... its just a ploy to name drop 1800's celebrities.  Well Tesla says that he can create a great amount of electrical energy using his design and off they go to the body of Prime to build this magnificent device and save the day.
My bet is that in the next issue Prime is reactivated and once again uses the Matrix to stop the threat.  I just see this story line being and exact same as the previous Transformers Infestation. 
There really weren't any surprises in this issue.  I feel like this is once again the same story that I have read.  I will pick up the second issue, but I feel that this story will fall flat for me just like to original Hearts of Steel story, sadly.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Transformers Autocracy #2

Transformers Autocracy #2
SPOILER WARNING.  I am going to explain what happened, if you want to be surprised... please check out another one of myblogs... I would hate to ruin anything for you!
Today marked the release of the second issue for Transformers Autocracy.  I have to say that this series is starting to shape up.  This issue's main focus happens in the Autobot governmental chambers as the Zeta Prime and the leaders discuss how the Decepticon threat should be dealt with.  Zeta Prime has developed a "vampiric" braid that is used to control and eventually eliminate the spark of the upstarts, with the expense of much energon.  The story continues as Zeta shows the power of his weapon and eliminates Swindle.  Zeta then reveals that he has a large scale version of his weapon and suggests that they should use it to eliminate the uprising.  This continues with talks from the coucil (including a late arrival Starscream) about how it would be impossible to even acquire that much energon in this time of need.  Zeta assures the group that he has already began to siphon the energon from needy cities and they have no clue it is happening. 
On a second front, they return to the story of Orion Pax, who is training with his crew and Ultra Magnus.  They continue to explore Orion's thoughts and motivations as he explores his options. 
The issue finishes as Starscream notices a spy in the inner chamber and Soundwave is seen running over Pax to a possible escape.  Luckily Soundwave has escaped with the needed information of the council stealing energon from the citizens and will give Megatron the needed ammo to increase his numbers for his Decepticon cause.
I really like how the series is starting to come together.  I have always enjoyed the Cybertronian pre-war comics.  I loved the Orgin of Megatron, and couldn't wait for any new issues of War Within (sadly still waiting for the finale of the third installment).  I think this series has been great in showing another side of the story.  Like the Megatron Origin story this is showing another very little told story.
This series is really setting up Robots in Disguise.  It is giving an amazing amount of insight as to why there may be NAILs in the society after the war.  It also gives insight into why some chose to allign themselves on the Decepticon cause, or why some just up and left unaligned entirely. 
I like how they are setting up Megatron to be the hero that he was to Orion Pax.  Additionally it would be nice to see a Decepticon uprising as being heroic or righteous, and not in a Shattered Glass manner.  This series is fleshing out the sides.  It really makes you start to rethink whatever faction you feel you most support. 
I like to see how the Autobots were not necessarily in the right at all times.  It may just be a sign of growing up (NO NEVER), but I am enjoying both the political and the backgrounds that are being introduced. 
I will be picking up my final new issues for this month so check  back this weekend for my thoughts on Infestation II #1. 
I can’t believe that I am saying this after the Mike Costa series but I am really looking forward to and enjoying the the ongoing Transformers serieS!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mickimouse Prime

Mickimouse Prime (AKA Disney Label  Mickey M.O.U.S.E and you know you sang it)
Okay so when I first saw pictures and heard about this figure coming out I want exactly excited or cared too much... boy was I wrong.  The thing that made me second guess my rash decisions on this amazing figure was a Transformers: Mosaic, and when I saw the one featuring him forced my hand. 
I find it ironic that I have never picked up a single Star Wars Transformer or Marvel Transformer.  I just never got into the crossovers... they never appealed to me.  Somehow though I have both the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Disney Label figures.  I think the reason that I picked both of these guys up (and passed on the Buzz Lightyear) is that they are a culmination of Formers and Disney, not just a robotic version of Aniken or Hulk as some partsformer.

 This figure looks amazing.  It is a perfect combination of Optimus and Mickey.  They even added a small mickey climbing on top of he head that flips out during transformation.  Additionally the clear visor is hinged so you can flip it up for Mickimouse can see see clearly. Also there may not be much articulation but really how much is needed for this figure.  You never really display it in some ginormous battle, but still it holds its own if for the simple reason of hearing people say... is that Mickey Mouse!?! Who doesn't love a surprise on the collection shelves.   
The other nice thing about this figure is that the transformation is simple and to the point.  Also it does a great job of concealing the robot hidden within.  I love the way this completely captures G1 Prime in a manner that really reflects how he would look like if he were drawn by the Disney people. 

He even has a little trailer that becomes his cape in robot mode.  When I look at this figure, I just always think about how great it would be to see a mini series of Disney Label..

No detail was left out.  Even when you transform into truck mode here is your buddy Mickey again.  I was completely blown away at the amount of detail they included and left no stones unturned. 
I love how they even updated the Autobot logo and Mousified it.  I completely love how this figure came together and hope that the Disney Label will return with more beloved characters.  I am just trying to figure out who else could be Transformed.  If you haven't gotten your own Disney Label Prime I highly recommend that you do.  It is well worth it and you won't regret!

Monday, January 30, 2012

20th Anniversary Transformers Lithograph

This was one of the last releases of Transformers swag from Dreamwave before they went bottoms up, and I have to say I am incredibly happy this got released.  This is the 20th Anniversary Lithograph drawn by Don Figuoera.  I have this lito hanging in my office and have had this litho hanging since I brought it home.  I have to say that I still find myself losing myself in the image.  It seems like every time I look at the picture I see something else, or another great image enters my mind.
Don really outdid himself in this epic piece of art.  It is by far the most populated Transformers artwork that has ever been attempted.  There is no real scale between the bots but it reallly doesn't need one.  Instead each and every Generation one bot is present and accounted for (no exceptions have been found yet).  But there is probabally Devastator, but that means that Screapper and Mixmaster are only present in limbs right?  INCORRECT.  Every gestalt in present in combined form, and still redrawn in bot mode to complete the image.  But what about Moonracer and the Fembots... or even a more important character with no toy love Elita -1.  Yup they are all there... every Fembot, and definately Elita-1.  I am a HUGE Devcon fan... but he isnt't there... yes he is!  There isn't a possibilty that Nightbird in present... she wasn't ever an Transfomer just  a background character... Sorry to disappoint... Nightbird is there.  Even eveyone's favorite Energetic electro charged buddy Kremzeek is there. 
I have purchaed a whole bunch of posters and lithos throught all of my years collecting, but this by far has been the most rewarding.  If you ever get a chance to own a copy I highly recommend it... it will bring hours of daydreaming and inspection.  You'll find yourself inspcting it as I had... forever tryting to figure out who Don forgot to draw... and as always being satisfyingly wrong when he beats your time and time again. 
Thanks for the great work Don... This is why you are and will always be my favorite Transformers Artist!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Runamuck and Runabout

I was looking through my old posts... and I noticed that I have really blasted Fun Publications for what they have done with the Transformers Collectors Club and Botcon.  Its not that I don't enjoy my membership but often it seems like they just do things that to this fan do not make sense.  However I am happy to report that I am incredibly excited for a TF Club upcoming Release!
Runamuck and Runabout are going to be amazing.  I cannot wait.  They utilize a minor remold off the Wheeljack/Tracks Classics mold and both sport a new head mold.  One of my minor complaints about the Cybertron line was the release of Runamuck without his counter part... TFC has not made this mistake.  I absolute love how they have captured the characters.  They even have a club shirt that is recreating their infamous grafitti on the Statue of Liberty from the vintage comic. 
I am incredibly stoked and cannot wait to review these two and add them to my classics collection.  The rumor is that Runabout will be available for ordering early next week so be sure to be ready with credit card in hand.  All I hope is that the club is ready for this set.  Unlike the Punch/Counterpuch I hope that I will be able to reserve my set.  I am even excited for the SG Drift... sorry but this reviewer is a Drift fan.
TFC.... keep doing stuff like this for the fans... and you will keep my club status in tact!
EDIT!!  OK so I haven't gotten my order in yet... I finally saw the email telling me they were available right after I saw the email telling me they closed the ordering... glad to see I am not the only one excited for this year.  However some pictures were released for the set that is amazing... and I hate to say this but the packaging.  Runabout is packaged in convention style with the artwork box as well as a nice foam packaging for storage when not on display but this one has changed it up a little bit.  Runabout has an open spot with another foam insert with a cutout for non other than Runamuck!  Finally there is a way to keep club figs safe and sound!  Again I am blown away by this set... I just hope I can get my greedy paws on a set to review for the site ASAP.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise 1

The second ongoing title for the IDW Transformers saga started this week.  I have to say that it is a little bit of a home coming for comic books for me right now...  As a child from the early nineties its nothing to try and keep track of multiple issues of the same story line (I was an X-Men fan after all).  Lets just say that I am a bit excited to see what will be in store for the future.
This issues takes place from More than Meets the Eye #1.  This story stays on Cybertron, with Bumblebee leading the Autobots there.  Also the Autobots on Cybertron believe that the explision on Rodumus' ship was fatal. 
The story plots the Cybertron based Autobots in a catch 22.  They have to deal with the NAILs (non-allied Cybertroninas returning home) as well as a large group of Decepticons.  The Autobots have taken a ruling role that a majority of the population is not happy with (the NAILs).  All of the non allied Cybertronians see any bot who took up an insignia as the reason for the war that has destroyed and displaced them from their home.  However the Autobots have the correct items in place to be a good ruling body.  Metalhawk is the only NAIL that seems to want to deal with the Autobots, but he is no-holds-barred while doing it.  Bumblebee definitely gets the full amount of hatred and dislike of what the Autobots are doing, and as more and more Cybertroninas return home Metalhawk greets them with Bumblebee... most of them following with Metalhawk away from the Autobots. 
On the second Bot front is the Decepticon problem.  This is not your typical bash em battling that you are used to... they have taken a bit more of a political look at the situation at hand.  The Decepticons are actually "under control." By that I mean that they each have an inhibitor chip installed, that under Autobot command will erase their ID... killing them.  A majority of the Decepticons have taken this to heart and just stay in Decepticon camp and keep their distance.  A small group (in this issues is Horribull and Dreadwing) have actually started to work for Prowl as a military police... but much more militaristic than policing. 
Political action as well as deceit are definitely in the air as Ratbat has returned to be the head Decepticon.  He addresses Prowl about his harsh treatment of Decepticons, both those working for Prowl, and those who have decided to stay distant.  This issues sets a Ratbat plan into action as Ratbat forces Bumblebee's hand in the final pages as he erases Horribull's ID chip.  Lucky for Ratbat Skywarp was there recording the whole event, and then Teleporting away... an abilty stripped by his inhibitor chip... maybe Ratbat has a little more going for him after all!
This issue has returned characters back to their roots.  Prowl is only using Decepticons as brute for man power reasons... he doesn't want to hesitate to erase their ID's.  Ratbat is the Carwash of Doom Ratbat of days past.  Bumblebee is a more aged character, but this is called for.  He is still loysl to his lost comrades and feels the need for grieving and public eulogies, no matter the public opinion.
I am happy to see the comics making such a strong turn this month.  I was so worried while struggling through the ongoing, but I think things have turned back to how they were.  I am finally looking to the back and foregrounds for hidden jewels, like the Skylinx appearance this issue.  
Needless to say I can't wait for the next issue for Audocracy on Wednesday... not to mention my next installment of both More than Meets the Eye in two weeks, then Robots in Disguise 2 in another month.  Great work IDW... you have completely brought me back to my favorite comic books!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Botcon 2012: Shattered Dreams

To be completely honest, every year, some how I find myself looking forward to Botcon.  Also every year I find myself becoming more and more disappointed.  I felt that this year held more possibilities than ever... especially considering their trailer... and the possibility of Scourge, instead we get this... so lets get into the meat!
 Gigatron (AKA Overlord)
First off... this is a collectors convention... can't we just let him have his name back?  Do we get Overlord stateside? NO! We get Gigatron.  I know that this is a play off of the fact that Overlord was a dual Powermaster... with Giga and Mega.... but seriously?  I want an Overlord... I have wanted an Overlord for years... and this is given after Overlord... complete disappointment for me.  I understand that there was some inspiration from from the fact that Giga was a samurai... but still I don't think this was a good mold choice for Overlord.  This is for two reasons... 1) Overlord is a major overwhelming villain... HUGE... he fought Grand Max.... hes not some tiny voyager... I know botcon cannot make a ginormous behemoth, but still.  2) The new head mold destroyed the look for me... Overlord does not smirk like that... I understand you took the look from last stand of the Wreckers, but still  for me and EPIC FAIL.

Metalhawk was the Cybertron leader in Masterforce.  To tell you the truth I feel that this is the solitary shining light from this set.  I have wanted a Metalhawk figure since I first watched Masterforce, and seeing that he is a Japanese exclusive his price tag has always haltered me.  I feel that the choice for using Thunderwing was perfect and I am really looking forward to this figure.  I think it does a good job of capturing Metalhawk's human appearance, however I would have rather seen him in robotic form to have him blend in a bit better with my classics shelf.

Shattered Glass Soundwave
Again... EPIC FAIL here.  I can't believe that they used this mold for a SG Soundwave.  The look is horrible.  I can't believe how the face basically fades into nothingness.  I can't believe they just didn't use a War for Cybertron Soundwave... at least the head would be PERFECT instead of a let down.  Also why did they choose a mold that is so temper mental.  I mean I am half tempted to use my Botcon 04 Ironhide and Ratchet... at least they can look straight.  I was happy to see the nod to Cold Slither but other than that... this figure is a pass in my book.

Shattered Glass Tracks
This is one of the exclusives that I am not craving, yet it really doesn't inspire me to purchase a set.  SG Tracks is a nod to his original deco in Diaclone.  I appreciate this, but really its not something that I HAVE to have... rather just something I have no real feelings one way or the other.

 Shattered Glass Treadobolt
OK... so again another figure that I could take or leave.  I understand that everything cannot be a home run, but Seriously Fun Pub?  Treadobolt here is a nod not to a G1 counter part, but rather an Armada/Universe repaint from the Battle in a Box days... yup a figure that I bought during a new figure draught and just so I could have an Armada Ultra Magnus!
Shattered Glass Ultra Magnus
This is probably the Ugliest Botcon figure I have EVER seen.  I am actually happy that I am not going to be getting this one.  For me the head mold makes or breaks a figure... and SG Ultra Magnus DOESNT HAVE ONE!  What were they doing?  The head mold looks like they just shoved some extra light piping in backwards and hoped for the best.  I like the nod to Diaclone colors again... but so much more is left to be desired.  If I had this figure I would but a Battle Tankor deco just to hide his ugly mug.  And ironically again he is packaged with Treadobolt... amazing.

Shattered Glass Octopunch
SG Octopunch here is a leaked image of the rumored attendee exclusive.  Again this is a figure that i am not bothered about not adding to my collection.  I am going to have some fun here.... Ductopuch here has an affinity for the Flying V.... just stare into his chest and tell me you don't see two ducks.  To be honest, I will keep my Donald Duck/Bumblebee as my only Quackster. 
I really wonder what they were thinking this year for the con exclusives.  I loved the Shattered Glass in Cincy... its actually one of my favorite sets.  Even last year I was crushed to find out that I missed more to my SG universe... but this year I couldn't give a Sharkticon tooth.  SG was great in a shorth burst or one shot.  I mean look at Star Trek... if they had continued to give us Mirror Mirror we would have been sick of it by now.  Fun Pub basically use SG as a safety net, but this time its not working... you should have just let me be with my mustached Roddy...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

PE-11: Scouting Force X-- Not-Reflector

Right now I am in process of finally setting up my office "Man Cave" so I am not really able to take pictures, but I honestly HAD to post a review of this awesome set, so for the time being I have borrowed a picture from BBTS.com.
I know that they have been out for a while now but one of my best Christmas presents was an Amazon gift card that I used to order my PE11 Scouting Force X (Not Reflector) set.  Typically I shy away from third party figures, except for those that add to my Classics, but this time I just had to jump at it.  I had seen a YouTube Review and knew that I had to have it.  Firstly these guys capture the look perfectly.  The also let you decide how to display either stripped down (looking like a perfect G1 Reflector) or all armored up! I love the look either way.
Not only is it a looks winner, but also the articulation is insane for these little guys.  They are able to hold about any pose.  They even articulated the feet so that you can spread their legs out but still have them standing flat footed.
Another amazing feat of engineering is that this set is accessory packed, but as much as there is, three rifles, one sniper rifle, Gatling gun, shield, and three daggers are all self contained in both modes.  I was afraid of losing accessories, but I was incredibly elated that everything had its own little place for storage. 
I have to say that this set was more than worth the money that I paid to it.  I am incredibly happy that I purchased this amazing set and can't wait to see what else Perfect Effect has in store!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Transformers Autocracy #1

Transformers Autocracy #1
The second new release for IDW's Transformers Series is Transformers Autocracy.  If you are looking to read it don't bother visit your local brick and morter stores because this one is only available for download through comixology. 
This story is being released in a bi weekly format and will continue for twelve eight page issues for $0.99 a piece, 
The story is set in Cybertron at the outbreak of the war.  It starts with Orion Pax, (not Optimus Prime) hunting for an illegal arms dealer.  Again I am not too happy that Orion Pax is not shown as the Optimus Prime that we all know and love, but instead he is a ruthless criminal hunter.  He seems to have no remorse of morals in his actions.  I feel that the whole setup for these issues is to give the Decepitcons a cause to actually rise up and attack the Autobots, however it really doesn't show the real morals of the bots.  The only one who is showing the correct action plan that screams Autobot is Bumblebee who is demoralized for his moral by Orion Pax.  Right now it just doesn't seem to fit the bill. 
The issue was jam packed with action though.  Orion Pax was on the ball and went after Swindle.  The chase scene was acton packed and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. 
I feel that this series is going to be an exciting one.  I am not ready to completely make my mind up and judge it after eight issues, but I am looking forward to the next eleven parts.  If you have the time, and an extra buck to drop I highly recommend the book... I just hope that it can culminate into something special when all is said and done... who knows, if they print it I may find myself picking up a new copy is Graphic Novel Form. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #1

Yesterday I finally got to my comic shop (Fairfield's Queen City Comics) and picked up the first of the two new ongoing Transformers comic books: More Than Meets the Eye.  Let's just say that this will be a more positive post than the previous. 
For the first time in a long time I found myself looking a little more closely to the panels, and trying to spy my favorite Formers in the background.  I feel like this is the first time since the Dreamwave days that I got a chance to really peer at the pages and look for hidden gems in the backgrounds. 
They also seem to be trying to correct some characterizations that have been destroyed by the previous books.... Prowl is a little more dickish and he is overly critical and "I'm always right" about the whole situation.  Also you get to see the whole dynamic starting to change.  Bumblebee is really shown as representing the old faction, and Hotrod is shown as becoming the new... but luckily the cast is not split Pre-movie formers and Post-movie formers. 
For example the cast was set to  a modest 210(?) Autobots on the shuttle.  These are not just the later additions the the 80's ranks but actually include Ratchet... who decided he was much more needed if they were to encounter their elder Autobots that needed repairing.  Also I was happy to see that Chromedome and Rewind were added in a more permanent manner.  It is nice to more of the later Autobot cast to take a more prominent role. 
This issues also included a nice little multiple page bout between Cyclonus and Whirl... which unlike the battles that were written in the previous ongoing, lasted more than two panels and hopefully shows what is to come.
Of course the story has to start with some sort of hitch.  This showed up when under Prowl's direction the ship had an internal explosion setting them off course from day one.  The ship was landed and some Autobots were lost, but hopefully this gives us some plot points for rescuing the lost crew in issues to come...  It was enough to make me look forward the the next 30 when I get my next issue!
My solitary gripe about this book is the same that I have had with IDW for a while now.  I was just completely caught off guard when I found five separate covers sitting in my file.  That doesn't include inventive covers or anything.  I understand this is a "new" #1 but they need to tone it down a little bit with the multiple covers, its just a bit too much, so I wait for two weeks for another 5 issues! 
I am finally looking forward to my Transformers comic books to come into the store!  I am more than curious to see what directions that Robots in Disguise has in store next week!  I will let you all know if the Cybertron story line can keep me entertained as much as the space explorer story line.  I am sure that with the inclusion of Metalhawk I am sure i will be kept to my books!  Now if we could just get some more Wreckers my comic store visit may make the jump to Wednesdays!

Friday, January 20, 2012

IDW Transformers Ongoing

After being behind for two years, I finally sat down and read my pile of comics.  I am using this a a chance to make my voice heard and spread my opinion on what I thought about Mike Costa's Transformers Ongoing. 
This series takes place following IDW's maxi series All Hail Megatron, and starts off with an earth that has been just ravaged by the brutal enslavement by the Decepticons. 
The first thing that I noticed was that Don Figuroa's art drastically changed its styling.  He adopted a very Bayformer type of look to the bots.  On this same topic... I feel that the IDW universe has allowed something that they never had... style sheets.  When you read the IDW books, there are often books that run in parallel, and as you read these books the character designs are so drastic its unbelievable.  For example for the first few issues of the ongoing series each time an Autobot or Decepticon was shown, there was  narrator bubble to inform you who they were.  Also I found it strange to see the differences between Bumblebee in his miniseries and then his movieverse inspired look from Ongoing #1.  Don't get me wrong, I really do enjoy different artist renditions of my favorite characters, but there has to be some simple aspects that remain the same.  I mean if you look at the Animated Hotrod, you know its Hotrod!  Some of the IDW artist interpretations are so far off you are thankful for the narration so you know who is who!
Not only were the character designs lost to artist interpretations, but the characters themselves seemed to be lost in the story line.  A major example was Prowl, who quite honestly seems to not be Prowl!  I mean the characterizations were completely off... it even seemed rare that Optimus Prime was himself.  I agree Prime would turn himself over to the humans, but if Prime gave the leadership role to Bumblebee he would have respected Bees leadership... even though Bee would always be giving the mantle back to Prime instead of fighting Prime for the role.  There were a couple of issues, in perticular the issue where Prime was questioning Megatron about how he should be tried that I really saw Prime shine through.  Just like in the Bay movies, they are trying to make Prime a bigger badass than leader.  They are trying to turn him into something he is not, and for me that loses its place.
I really feel that the ongoing just seems to have tried to tackle way too much.  Furman with some help laid out this amazing setup for a universe, and I feel that if you look at Mike Costa's road map it was an amazing story. However, I feel that he tried to cram way to much into this story that was condensed.  Consistently there was so much build up for little or no payoff.  The Last Story on Earth was one proof of this.  They spent four issues digging deeper and deeper just to release that Swindle was selling arms to human and bot alike... I could have figured that when I first saw the human weapon... no payoff.  Same thing happened with Chaos.  There was so much around it... Heart of Darkness and all, for what three pages barely chronicling the battle and then ohh yeah Prime inserts the Matrix and resets the world yay. 
I did enjoy how they setup the next two series in the "death" of Optimus Prime.  I am just happy that Costa's run has completed and am looking forward to the future of Transformers comics... especially TF80.5.