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!