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....
Another new year fast approaches and Hasbro is preparing their latest set of exclusive Transformers designed to represent the animals of the Chinese zodiac. 2015 marks the year of the goat and they're doing something a little different this year, going with a transparent and metallic color scheme. I'm no fan of translucent plastic and gold plastic tends to become very brittle over time so I'm not all that excited about these releases, but at least they picked some great figure molds to use.
First up is the surprising return of the G2 Laser Optimus Prime. The last time we saw this mold in North America it was repurposed as Scourge for the Robots in Disguise cartoon in 2000. Nothing has changed in the mold, but now comes in translucent, gold, silver, and black. Oddly enough he's lacking all of the stickers and paint that would have been on the previous uses of the mold except for his head which has a silver mouth plate and yellow eyes. His fuel tanker trailer still has a chrome tank, but in battle station mode they've made some of his parts inexplicably pink and light blue.
Second is as similarly colored version of Masterpiece Soundwave. He doesn't have quite as many colors as Optimus has, almost entirely made from clear and copper plastic save for a section of light gray plastic. Would have been better if they had used Prime's silver and some black to break things up. Only spot on his head with color is his red eye visor, opting to not paint his mouth plate like Optimus. What he does have going for him is that being a Hasbro release he does come with five tapes (Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage, Rumble, and Frenzy) in translucent plastic and all of his weapons including a mini brass and silver Megatron gun.
Both of these figures use good molds, but my dislike for the clear plastic kills my interest entirely. Had they replaced the clear parts with the proper respective red or blue opaque plastic, similar to the 2014 Optimus Prime, I would definitely want these. They've also once again missed a chance at using a Beast Wars mold, this time they could have used Ramulus. Either way, expect these to hit Toys R Us and Big Bad Toy Store by the end of this year.
Looks like golden Masterpiece Megatron isn't the only new thing coming exclusively to Transformers Asia. Announced today Asia will soon be getting the new MP-11SW Skywarp. This is Skywarp's third Masterpiece, previously released by Takara Tomy as MP-06 in 2007 and a Walmart exclusive from Hasbro in 2008, but this is the first time he's been released using the revised MP-11 Starscream mold. In fact he's only Takara Tomy's third figure to use the mold, the other being MP-11S Sunstorm, while Hasbro has used the mold three times to make the Toys R Us exclusive Thundercracker, Acid Storm, and Sunstorm once again. The figure looks great, very cartoon accurate and I'm actually glad Takara Tomy left out the coronation cape and crown on this release. If this wasn't an Asia release (and I didn't already have MP-06) I might want one, but not for the US$199.99 that some stores like Big Bad Toy Store and TFSource are asking.
But that's not all, Transformers Asia also has something big in store for movie fans. They'll be offering a special Human Alliance two pack featuring Barricade and the Dark of the Moon Soundwave figure that was never released in the US. As part of the HA series Barricade will also come with a mini Frenzy as he did in the original movie while Soundwave comes with little Laserbeak and Mr. Gould figures. Pretty fitting set considering Barricade was basically the prototype Soundwave character in the first movie while both off them have the distinction of getting their butts handed to them by Bumblebee. By the looks of it these are identical to their individual releases which can be a hassle to find now, especially Soundwave. At the US$144.99 that BBTS and TFSource are asking for them, working out to about US$72.50 each, they're a great deal when compared to most ebay auctions asking upwards of US$200 for Soundwave alone.
Since Figuarts figures can't actually be fused together, Dragon Ball Z's most powerful character will have to get its own Figuarts treatment. This S.H. Figuarts Vegetto looks, well, pretty much like you'd expect.
Thanks to Big Bad Toy Store we now have more details on the upcoming Asia Exclusive Masterpiece Megatron release. Previous information was pretty cryptic, especially the reference to the "Destron leader repaint". Originally I...
At this point Transformers fans have come to learn one constant when it comes movie figures: never by the launch releases. I mean, we buy them anyway, we can't help ourselves, but we do so knowing that at some point an even b...
Good Smile Company is awesome for getting us right up close with their latest display pieces at New York Comic Con! You can practically smell the fresh paint on the figures! This is as close as you can get without being there...
Statues aren't supposed to move, but don't tell FREEing that. Their new figma based on Rodin's 1902 masterpiece is all about the ROM (range of motion). Being essentially a naked figma (and I do mean naked), and of the 2.0 var...
Big Bad Toy Store is reporting that a new release of Transformers MP-05 Megatron is on the way. They're listing it as a 30th Anniversary exclusive, but stop short of saying where exactly it's intended to be sold. While it certainly isn't a North American release it's hard to guess what store or event it is being produced for. It also wouldn't surprise me if it turned out to not be a Japanese release at all, but yet another "Asia Exclusive" like the upcoming Masterpiece Optimus Prime reissue instead. Others think this might be one final run for the mold similar to the final use of the original Masterpiece Optimus Prime mold MP-01L which had the word "Last Shot" molded into his back and perhaps signals an all new Megatron in the modern scale on the horizon.
Whatever the case we don't get a very clear idea of what this will look like and the photos where in black and white. We know it'll have chromed parts, but it also is listed as a "Destron leader repaint". Destrons are the Japanese equivalent to Decepticons so that's not a lot to go on. However, when the original G1 figure was first released to Japan around 1985 one of the biggest changes to the figure (aside from removing the chrome) was using blue where the American figure used red. I wouldn't at all be surprised if this new figure featured blue parts instead of the red of the original Masterpiece.
BBTS has the figure listed at US$199.99 and a December release, same month as Ultra Magnus gets released which gives more credit to the theory of this being an exclusive to Asia. And let's face it, for most people this is the absolutely worst TF MP figure there is with lots of floppy joints, skinny legs, and overall poor design. Hopefully we'll get a proper new MP Megatron in the coming years, but for now it looks like Starscream is still leading the Decepticons.
New York Comic Con, the first major convention of the fall, kicked off with Hasbro showing off a number of new figures spanning multiple Transformers lines. We've got official images for new figures from Generations, new anim...
You've probably already heard by now, but the Naruto manga is now in it's final weeks, set to end at the beginning of November. Seems like bad timing for Bandai to be releasing Naruto figures, that might have a little something to do with Sasuke here being a Tamashii Web exclusive. But don't fret, Bluefin has us covered.
Over at the S.H.Figuarts blog they've posted a few more photos of Sasuke that, let's be honest, aren't incredibly flattering. Compared to the early photos his face and hair have lost some details. His hair isn't as pointy and now hangs over his eyes more. His facial features have gotten softer and in some shots almost translucent when compared to what was certainly a hand-painted prototype. Body sculpting still looks nice and despite the challenging legs they appear to be very well articulated so that's a big plus.
He won't be out for a few more months, late January/early February depending on where you go. Tamashii Web prices him at ¥5,184, but you won't be able to get it without some help if you aren't in Japan. On the other hand Bluefin has him priced at US$52.99 and if you go with, say, Amazon you might be able to get free shipping so that may be one of the better routs to take.
Takara Tomy's hotly anticipated Playstation Optimus Prime is now available for pre-order. The Autobot leader looks even better than the first color images had suggested and even features painted connection ports on his back.
While I'm not sure that I necessarily like Optimus more than the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) Megatron, I find the design quite a bit more impressive the more we see of it. Like many of my colleagues, I also would have preferred that Optimus Prime's alt mode be a Super Nintendo (thus evoking the 16-bit console wars) although I suppose a SNES might work nicer with Soundwave from a logistical standpoint as Laserbeak, Rampage, and so forth could be used as cartridges.
At a ¥10,000 list price, I doubt that I'll bother picking up the Playstation Optimus Prime but I imagine that more eager (and less frugal) fans may jump on these pre-orders
So, are you ready for season 5 of The Walking Dead to start? I know I am! Still, we’ll never be completely zombie deprived at the rate McFarlane churns out figures from this series.
We’re already getting preview...