At the time of this post, it's only 15 days until San Diego Comic Con. With time ticking down, you know that there'd be a ton of exclusive announcements and let me tell you, companies have definitely unleashed the floodgates....
Shapeways can't catch a break, or maybe it can? Shapeways has a tendency to be a bit controversial, what with its place as a 3D printing hub making use of user-created 3D renders, many of which are based on licensed character...
It's hard to believe that with so many new Transformers yet to be released from Toy Fair in February and BotCon back in June that there would be anything left to show at San Diego Comic Con. Well, believe it, they've got more!
At Hasbro's Transformers Breakfast Thursday morning they've given us a very early first look at the first figures in their new Transformers: Combiner Wars sub-line with Aerialbots Superion and Stunticons Menasor! Both teams feature Voyager class figures as their central leader with Deluxe figures making up the limbs. It appears that all eight Deluxe figures are new molds or at lest slight variations on multiple molds. However, as suspected, Stunticon leader Motormaster is a remold of the Optimus Prime figure revealed back at BotCon. Even more interesting is that both teams also make use of a surprise sixth member. Superion is shown using Legends Powerglide (also shown at BotCon) as a gun, while Menasor's chest shield is a yet unrevealed legends car. Keep in mind that these are very early hand painted prototypes, they're even being held together with glue, but they appear to have learned from every mistake they made with the Fall of Cybertron Combaticons.
Then came Hasbro's Transformers panel were there were more reveals and some general clarification on some of the things said back at BotCon. Starting with Kre-O they revealed new figures of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. This time around they finally caught on and made it so you can build and transform them without having to take them apart again (as it should have been from the start). For Age of Extinction Generations figures they pointed out that the Platinum Edition Optimus Prime and Grimlock set will actually be a Kmart exclusive while Silver Knight Optimus Prime is a Target exclusive. This is the first time Platinum Edition figures have been sold in a physical store other than Toys R Us. They also revealed that Amazon will be getting a G1 repaint of Slog to go with the SDCC exclusive set. There was also mention that Masterpiece Grimlock might be making a return trip to Toys R Us soon.
They then went into more detail on the Combiner Wars series explaining that the title will be used as the central theme for all Generations figures (aside from the movie figures) for 2015. The Deluxe figures will include comics that reveal the origins of the teams. Like with the original G1 figures the Deluxe figures are interchangeable and all use the same connection piece to form either arms or legs. They also pointed out that the new Voyager Optimus Prime can indeed combine with either team as well! Art shown for combined Optimus appears to have Combaticon Blastoff as his right arm so take that as you will.
Unfortunately there have been a few name changes thanks to copyright losses over the years. Fireflight is now Firefly and Slingshot is now Alpha Bravo (I really hope that's temporary, he's also a helicopter now), while Wildrider is completely replaced by truck Offroad. Here's what release waves for Generations look like in 2015. Of course there will likely be much more released later.
Deluxe Wave 2: Air Raid, Dead End, Breakdown, Offroad
Voyager Wave 1: Silverbolt, Optimus
Voyager Wave 2: Motormaster
Only a small amount of time was spent talking about next year's Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series. They revealed One-Step Changers for Sideswipe and Decepticon Underbite, Legends figures for fembot Strongarm and Optimus Prime, and what they're calling Warrior class Bumblebee.
That appears to be it for reveals from SDCC. It's a little lighter than years past and surprisingly there was nothing new revealed for the movie which could mean they might be putting that line to rest pretty quickly. Enjoy the gallery!
[Update: We're now getting our first look at Optimus Prime thanks to an image in TV Kids magazine. Optimus looks a lot like his Animated incarnation crossed with the Cybertron series version. If this truly is a continuation of Prime then it should be interesting to see how they bring back Optimus. The new image also includes a new look at Bumblebee, check it out in the gallery]
Today Hasbro announced the next Transformers cartoon series to come along in 2015 for the HUB Network, but they're so early into this they haven't even given it a proper name yet. What we do know is that it's a sequel to Transformers Prime and takes place years after that series ended and stars Bumblebee as a new Autobot team leader. If you've seen the Prime finale in Predacons Rising then you know (spoilers ahead) Megatron has given up his pursuits of conquest, the Decepticons are disbanded with some joining the Autobots (Knock Out), and the Predacons were left to themselves on Cybertron. Most likely the series will involve the Autobots going ofter Decepticon resistance groups, but it's anyone's guess.
Unlike the all CG visuals of the previous series, the new series will feature CG characters on hand painted (not digitally painted?) backgrounds. This will likely look similar to what we saw in the Transforemrs Energon and Cybertron series some 10 years ago. So far the only transformer confirmed for the new series is Bumblebee who looks like a cross between his Prime design and the Transformers Animated style of art.
We can probably expect the toys to be debuted at Toy Fair 2015 next February, though maybe they'll throw us a bone at BotCon in a couple months. Bumblebee will certainly turn into a car of some sort, but judging from the art it's hard to tell if he'll even have wheels, which may be the case depending on how far into the future we're talking. One of the goals they're aiming for with this series is to make something that both kids and adults (particularly parents) will enjoy so it's very likely they'll follow the same method they're using for Transformers 4: Age of Extinction. Expect them to do several very simple toys for the kids along side more complex figures suitable for collectors.
Follow the jump to see the pull press release including some of the new and returning staff and cast members.
It was just a week ago when BotCon revealed their theme for 2014 to be Pirates vs Knights while promising to debut Star Seekers captain Cannonball within the pages of the club magazine. Well, not content to make people wait for the mag to trickle out they've put an image of the figure up on Twitter. The figure uses the Transformers Prime Ratchet figure as a base and includes a new head based on the original Transformers: Cybertron figure which itself was a repaint of TFC Red Alert. Fitting that the new figure is a repaint of a rescue vehicle just like the original.
As far as how well they did, it's a pretty nice job. The BotCon and Transformers Collectors Club figures usually do a good job trying to match paint markings the best they can to the source and it's no different here. The swords are a really nice fit for a pirate. He also retains his skull and skeleton graphics from the original figure. Well done.
They also added some other tidbits to their Twitter feed. In one tweet they wrote, "So the question is... Who is Squirm?" along with a picture of a trollish looking humanoid. In the followup tweet that revealed Cannonball they wrote, "Before we ask who is the Navigator" which may indicate Squirm is the ship's navigator. They also said this would be the only Prime mold used in the set, though it's not known if that includes Beast Hunters. I'm thinking no, it makes too much sense to use them in a set like this. They also stressed that they were only talking about the box set which may mean we'll see Cannonball repainted into Red Alert as one of the additional convention exclusives. Talk about full circle.
Thanks to a Tweet from the Transformers Collector's Club we're getting our first look at the figures from the 2014 membership drive. These are separate figures from the BotCon exclusives that will be revealed later this year.
First up is Protoform X, the character that would be known later as Rampage in Beast Wars. He's using the Transformers: Prime First Edition Deluxe Megatron figure as his base, presumably with a new head. The mold looks great in red, but I'm not so sure about giving a flight mode to a character that in Beast Wars turned into a crab and tank. He'll be exclusive with TFCC yearly memberships.
The other figure, Transmutate, uses Transformers: Prime First Edition Arcee as her(?) base. In Beast Wars the character was a damaged and disfigured protoform that awakened from a broken stasis pod. Rampage finds and relates to her as a fellow mutant outcast (as does Silverbolt). It's never revealed just who Transmutate's spark was meant to be in the show had she not been damaged, but supposedly this figure will finally solve that puzzle. The Arcee figure looks really good in the Transmutate colors and the bot mode should be a good fit. Probably wont have a new head, but doesn't really need one. She'll be sold in the TFCC store later this year.
I'll be getting Protoform X for sure, but hopefully they let us know a bit before Transmutate goes up for sale as those store exclusives often sell out fast.
You might have noticed last week things got a little bit quiet around these parts. Thanks to the New Year being a much bigger deal in the east than in the west, news coming out of Japan was pretty light. You might even call it nonexistent as Japan basically took all of last week off. Seeing as how this article thrives on covering the greatest news from the previous week that came in under the radar you might see why this installment came up a little starved for news.
What's a writer to do?
I probably could have just taken a week off, but instead I decided to fall back on my one true love: Transformers. I was only four-years-old when the franchise launched in 1984 and I've been a fan non-stop ever since. For 30 years I've been spending money on it, letting it take over my house and my life, sticking with it through the good times and the bad. If that doesn't sound like marriage then I don't know what it sounds like. Well, an obsession, I guess, but that doesn't sound nearly as nice.
Whatever. Welcome to the Tomopop LinkUP Transformers special!
Took a while, but after a two month wait from what little we saw back in October we're finally getting our first clear look at the new Japanese Transformers Go! Optimus Prime figure thanks to a listing at Amazon Japan. I'm still really loving his bot mode and the train mode is still looking great, but that dragon mode takes a lot of imagination to believe.
The big selling point remains the combined modes which we're getting our best look at yet. The plan was to make the leaders of the Samurai and Ninja teams combinable with Optimus at their center. This half works. The tops of both combined forms look pretty good I think, but the bottom halves are really scrawny looking. Big robots with chicken legs aren't very appealing, but they're also not unheard of in the Transformers universe.
He won't likely make new fans for the Transformers Go! line, but existing fans or serious Optimus Prime fans will certainly want him. He'll be out in January for ¥5,250. Still no idea on how to officially translate his name, though.
Earlier in the month retailer eToysJapan posted a pictureless listing for what they called "G26 Optimus EX Prime" with a release for sometime in January 2014. They described it as a triple-changing figure with both train...
Gotta love the left field, some really interesting things come out of there. A year ago Takara Tomy started quietly releasing Hasbro's BotShots line in Japan under the new name BeCool with the bulk of the offerings coming out...
After weeks of talking about it the Official Transformers Collectors Club 2014 Transformers Subscription Service 2.0 has finally begun. They're only leaving membership open for three weeks ending October 17 so you haven't got much time to get in. Price this year is US$279 which can be payed in full or in three payments of US$93. Of course they won't ship for free so if you pay the lump sum you'll be charged for the six shipments at the same time; if you pay in the three installments you'll be charged two shipments per payment. Plus they're charging a US$4 service charge for each payment, either once in full or with each installment, which seems kinda bogus when you're already paying US$46.50 plus shipping per figure. On the bright side there's that unannounced seventh bonus figure so it's not a total ripoff. On the other hand you'll need an active membership to subscribe, but at least you'll get another figure with that as well.
Just to recap if you haven't been following along the sub includes the following six figures: Chromedome with Stylor, Thrustinator, Rewind, Fisitron, Barricade with Frenzy, and Treadshot with Catgut. A random figure will be shipped out every two months next year. They're "build to order" as they're calling it so there's no limit on how many you order if you've got the cash.
Once again Amazon comes through with a new official look at a number of Transformers. Unlike the previous batch of official images for this group seen back at BotCon in June for Generations and Beast Hunters, this batch is ta...
Took a while, but the sixth figure, Chromedome, for the 2014 Transformers Subscription Service 2.0 has finally been revealed. He was among the first group of figures to be announced, but the last to be fully revealed. He's a blend of both the original G1 toy's color scheme and the IDW comic version's design key features. He's trading in his original square head for something much more angular. He'll also include his partner, Stylor, in Micron form. The figure use the Transformers Prime Wheeljack mold with a new head, yet doesn't quite match his TFSS comic self, especially the misstransformed shoulders and the missing windows on the chest, which is kinda odd. Considering this is mostly a cobbled together photoshop they'll likely make a few changes. What probably wont change is the strangely elongated face, but you never know.
And that brings us to the last of the TFSS 2.0 six-piece set. Chromedome will be joined by Thrustinator, Rewind, Fisitron, Barricade, and Treadshot along with the three Microns and comic. And that's not all, there's still the seventh incentive being added this year and only available to subscribers as opposed to on the club store where other sub figures have been found.
Still no details like price and sub periods have been announced, but I'll keep you posted when more is known.