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1:00 AM on 03.28.2015

Top selling Japanese toys for week of 3/16 to 3/22

  Curious about what's the Japanese are actually buying and how they lineup with your own collecting habit? Toynes.jp has you covered with a weekly and monthly sales round up. Last week was a good week for robot fans as ...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker



We finally get a blue Bluestreak, so of course he's a hard to get exclusive photo
We finally get a blue Bluestreak, so of course he's a hard to get exclusive
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

Takara Tomy pulls another one out of the Transformers obscurity bag, but this time it's one a lot of fans have wanted. Quick history lesson: way back before Hasbro began the Transformers franchise, Takara was deep into the Diaclone line which included three cars based on the Nissan Fairlady Z. One was a race type that would later become Smokescreen; one was a police type that would become Prowl. The third was a blue version that Hasbro would remake in all silver and name, ironically, Bluestreak. Why they would turn the figure silver and still call him Bluestreak is something of a mystery, it happened late enough in production that the character art on the box even portrays him as the blue figure. To confuse things even more the character on the cartoon had a black streak/strip running across the top of his car mode not found on the silver figure, but found on a variant of the Diaclone figure. Basically Hasbro modeled the box art off of one figure, the cartoon design off another figure, and then made their own figure to sell to kids.

So after a few years of reissues of the original figure in all silver or silver and black and even the occasional name change to Silverstreak, Takara Tomy is finally giving us a look at what might have been with MP-18B Bluestreak. Funny thing is, this is actually the MP-17 Prowl figure without the light bar. His color scheme is based entirely on the blue Fairlady Z Diaclone figure and looks fantastic. I'm not entirely sure why the extended the good color to his windows though, the original figure wasn't like that and I don't think it looks as good since it's only on the doors and not across the top like the original figure's black stripe. Maybe the real life car was like that? The missiles are a more than welcome return.

This is the third Bluestreak streak figure as Takara Tomy has don't versions in silver with and without the black strip. Unfortunately it's going to be a bit of a challenge to get your hands on him as he's exclusive to the Takara Tomy Mall and limited to only 2000. They were excepting orders under April 10 with him shipping August first for ¥7,992. But none of that matters because he sold out in his first day! I guess that's what happens when you have a major exclusive and the limit per order is 10. It's also not the first time Bluestreak has been an exclusive as the version without the stripe was an exclusive at the 2014 Tokyo Toy Show.

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Hasbro adds Brake-Neck and Quickslinger to Combiner Wars photo
Hasbro adds Brake-Neck and Quickslinger to Combiner Wars
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

As Hasbro put it so simply, "the rumors are true". Some fans felt a little blindsided when Hasbro announced their Transformers Generations Combiners Wars series only to find Slingshot and Wildrider replaced by new members Alpha Bravo and Offroad respectively. There had been a rumor circulating that the pair would be returning to their associated teams later in the year, further supported by Takara Tomy's own announced release of the Aerialbots featuring a Slingshot figure for their Unite Warriors line.

Jump to last Friday and Takara Tomy announces their take on the Stunticons featuring a Wildrider figure and Hasbro seems to have decided to let the con out of the bag. Of course they weren't going to make the big reveal easy. First came a shadowy image of two figures in package on Facebook Tuesday afternoon with only the new names visible and the text quoted above. Then, only about an hour and half later they did a full reveal of the packages showing the exact figures we expected and the text "coming in May". They then topped off their reveal Wednesday with shots of the figures out of the package.

Like the Takara Tomy versions, Quickslinger is a remold of Firefly/Fireflight with a new head while Brake-Neck is based on the Dead End figure, also with a new head. The Takara Tomy versions will be heavily inspired by the cartoon, but the Hasbro take looks to be decidedly more on the IDW comic side like the rest of the team members.

I'm digging the cartoon accurate versions, but this might be a line of figures worth the occasional double dip.

[via Seibertron]

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Awesome Armarauders Bellerophon custom at NJCC photo
Awesome Armarauders Bellerophon custom at NJCC
by Scarecroodle

While it may take a lot to convince me to cross the border into New Jersey (such as a cousin's wedding), the state certainly isn't without its attractions. Recently this came in the form of the New Jersey Comic Con (NJCC) where Mecha Workshop worked with Encline Designs to produce an incredible Bellerophon custom (and custom pilot!).

ToyArk was on the scene and grabbed some fantastic photos of the amazing collaboration. The color scheme is vaguely reminiscent of Acid Storm (Transformers) between the awesomely obnoxious lime green paint and corroded brown rust marks. If nothing else, this shows the sheer custom potential offered by these figures.

Mecha Workshop's Armarauders Bellerophon (reviewed) can currently be pre-ordered for around ¥28,800 and is slated for an August release. How (or if) you choose to decorate it is up to you.

[ Pre-order at HobbyLink Japan | AmiAmi | Big Bad Toy Store ]

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8:00 AM on 03.18.2015

Hasbro goes large with oversized simplified Transformers

So, out of no where, we got our first look at some new simplified Transformers from Hasbro. Normally I'd just shrug these off and hope they don't take up too much space, but these are actually pretty interesting. The line app...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker



Two original TFs get WTF repaints from Hasbro photo
Two original TFs get WTF repaints from Hasbro
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

Some things are beyond explanation. Fans of the clunky original Transformers Generation 1 figures have been wanting to see Hasbro give Blitzwing and Astrotrain a proper reissue for years now. We knew the molds were still good because Takara used them back in 2004 and 2005 for their Transformers Collection line of reissues. Hasbro has since released reissues of Astrotrain in 2005 and 2012, but in the original Japanese market black and white figure colors, not the gray and purple cartoon colors (or even Hasbro's original white and purple) like fans have always wanted and Japan eventually got. Hasbro never got around to reissuing Blitzwing making his only release the original 1985 release.

So when rumor first went around of a Blitzwing and Astrotrain reissue coming as a Platinum Edition box set surely we were getting the pair the way fans have always wanted them, right?

Nope.

Instead we're getting garish new colors like something straight out of Generation 2. It's hard to explain how Hasbro came up with these colors when recent box sets featuring the original Insecticons and the Seeker Jet 'coneheads' have been pretty true to the originals. Astrotrain is now in a strange white, orange, and purple color scheme while Blitzwing is red, beige, and purple. One theory is that Astrotrain is inexplicably in the colors of Robots in Disguise 2000 character Movor and Blitzwing is based on G1 Duocon character Flywheels. The colors are close, but they're also off enough that it could just be a coincidence.

Apparently these guys will be showing up at Toys R Us eventually. Unfortunately with this it brings into question what type of release the previously announced reissues of Trypticon, Blaster, and Perceptor will get. Time will tell.

[via Seibertron, Nilo Tozzo & Cia Ltda]

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1:30 AM on 03.13.2015

Masterpiece Tracks gets better pictures, price, and date

More photos bring more excitement as the latest addition to Takara Tomy's Transformers Masterpiece line finally enters the pre-order stage. You might remember the first colored preview we got just last week and we're already ...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker



Threezero prepares two CHAPPiE figures for pre-order next week photo
Threezero prepares two CHAPPiE figures for pre-order next week
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

You know what's a fun movie about a war machine that takes on a life of its own with a child-like innocence? Short Circuit, not CHAPPiE. What CHAPPiE was is a fascinating movie about the moral dilemmas of creating artificial life and how we'll be responsible for how that life turns out. I loved the movie, but I really wish it had gone further to show how Chappie's life impacted society and what the reaction to his existence was. You get a glimps of that in the beginning, but it quickly falls to the wayside of the movie's present without much exploration. If you saw the movie then you know the moral questions it raised went well beyond just creating an artificial life, but I suppose there wasn't enough time to explore everything with a single movie. CHAPPiE 2 perhaps?

Whatever the case at least we're getting great looking figures.

Threezero is no stranger to super cool robot figures, though typically they're of the larger than life variety. Essentially their 1/6 scale, 12 inch tall Chappie figures aren't made any differently from their large scale figures, but it's nice to see that technology used in a human-sized figure for a change. In most cases you would want to hide the joints as much as possible, but for these guys the more exposed the better. I love the looks of the shoulders, the way the body bends and twists, the shifting of his hips, and are those articulated fingers? This is my idea of a beautiful figure! Plus he has LED lights for eyes just like in the movie that you can change the expression of.

The two figures feature some very distinct differences. First you've got the original Chappie with lots of battle damage and weathering. This was Chappie at his most child like in this developmental stage so I don't know if the included AKS-74 was a great fit. I'd rather he came with something a little more fitting like his black sheep book and doll. I wonder Threezero's designers had seen the movie before making this figure? More true to form is the "gangsta" Chappie we get from around the half way point of the story. This version features an orange arm, Die Antwoord graffiti, and lots of bling. The added gold makes me wish the standard Chappie came with the children's stuff all the more, but at least the gun now feels like a better fit.

Both versions will be available for preorder on March 16 at 9:00am HKT (effectively March 15 at 9:00pm EST). The regular Chappie will be available everywhere, but the gangsta version will only be available only at the Threezero store next week. Both are priced at US$230, but no release date has been given just yet. There's still something like three more uses they could get out of this body type going from the very beginning of the movie to the very end. Will they get to all of them? Time will tell. And what about the Moose, I can't believe Threezero wouldn't make one of those even if it were out of scale?

Check out the gallery because Threezero couldn't restrain themselves in taking pictures of these two!

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Gigantor added to Funko's Hikari line photo
Gigantor added to Funko's Hikari line
by Scarecroodle

Just when you think Funko has done it all, the company surprises you with a sofubi for Gigantor, a '60s anime character who never enjoyed the enduring legacy of his peers like Speed Racer.

Gigantor (known for his iconic theme music which involves repeating his name again and again and again) was, as his name implies, a gigantic robot. He often saved the day with the help of his human master, a small child. It was a different time.

The Hikari "Original" Gigantor depicts the character in a color scheme I'm not familiar with (then again, I remember the series being in b&w), but it's a neat, campy look. The sculpting is both cute and does a great job in capturing the character's look.

Funko's Hikari Gigantor is slated to release in May for US$60. You can win one by going to Funko's Facebook page. And, if you're a Gigantor fan, Funko also has a Pop! on the way (see gallery). At around US$10, it's a bit more affordable.

[ Pre-order at Entertainment Earth ]

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Take a first look at Masterpiece Tracks in color, flight mode, and accessories photo
Take a first look at Masterpiece Tracks in color, flight mode, and accessories
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

It's been less than two weeks since we got our first look at Takara Tomy's Transformers Masterpiece Tracks and things appear to be moving along quickly. Already we're being treated to some full color images of the Ark's resident narcissist thanks to Kapow Toys and he's looking pretty great! He's a perfect package, far exceeding every Tracks figure that has come before. He has his compact robot mode, a super sleek Corvette Stingray mod, and can still take on a flight mode now featuring tail fins from the cartoon! I guess Tracks isn't the only one who thinks he looks beautiful.

And it's not just the figure you're getting, check out the accessories! Stingrays are pretty narrow little cars so they appear to be packing him with some cool stuff instead of dropping the price and I'm fine with that. We're getting a mini figure of Track's breakdancing pal Raoul (where are our Chip Chase and Carly figures?), a tiny, little (ghetto) Blaster, and a flight stand, something we've only ever seen come with the Seeker Jets.

No release dates or prices just yet, but I'm counting on him being one of the big late 2015 releases like Bumblebee and Wheeljack last year. Now that he's gotten this far hopefully we'll have pre-orders and better pictures soon enough!

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Tomopop Review: Mecha Workshop's Armarauders Bellerophon photo
Tomopop Review: Mecha Workshop's Armarauders Bellerophon
by Scarecroodle

A few years back, collectors caught their first glimpse of Mecha Workshop's Armarauders line. While the giant fighting robots were awesome, I was even more excited to see that the line used tiny articulate pilots who could fit into the machines. Sure, it's a display option that probably won't see as much use as battle poses, but it's an incredible extra.

Of course, the pilot isn't alone: also included in this set is a docking station, which apparently connects to the box diorama (not included with the prototype) to create a larger scene. All of which, mind you, is just an extra to a fully-functional battling machine with a huge amount of articulation and a lot of optional accessories.

Full review after the jump.

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What's in a name? Mecha Workshop explains the name origins for its Armarauders line photo
What's in a name? Mecha Workshop explains the name origins for its Armarauders line
by Scarecroodle

Mecha Workshop recently posted an image and an explanation for the names used in its Armarauders line... and it matches what I had originally guessed!

Bellerophon is, indeed, named after the Greek hero (a fact made more evident by the existence of that Pegasus drone, as the hero Bellerophon flew on the winged horse Pegasus to slay the dreaded Chimera -- a beast with the head of a lion, a goat, and a snake (which was its tail) -- which had been terrorizing Lycia. The term "chimera" would later go on to mean a composite creature with the parts of other animals). Much like the Pegasus of lore, the Pegasus Drone apparently connects to Bellerophon to help with him with a flight mode.

Armarauders itself comes from "Armored Marauders" so I was fairly close since my first guess was "Armor Marauders."

This news once again reminds me that I need to check out the comic, perhaps just to see if the mech is used to fight chimeric aliens.

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