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.