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11:00 PM on 04.19.2014

Check out Mega Drive Megatron being transformed in this video

It's been a little over two months since we first saw the Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. Transformers Mega Drive Megatron and it doesn't look like there's been a whole lot of progress. But don't let that get you down! More new de...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker


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Optimus Prime and Grimlock TF4 Platinum Edition figures are underwhelming photo
Optimus Prime and Grimlock TF4 Platinum Edition figures are underwhelming
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

This is how toy companies 'phone it in'. Back in February Hasbro laid many of their planned figures for the the fourth live-action movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, out on display at New York International Toy Fair 2014 for all to see. That included Voyager class Invasion Mode Optimus Prime and Grimlock. Thanks to The Ragin Nation on Facebook  we're getting our first look at these same two figures in a Platinum Edition two-pack. The problem? Chrome, and lots of it. 

There's a few layers to the problem here. The chrome on Optimus is extremely random and used in all the wrong places. You would think that a Prime done in the G1 style would have the chrome in the same exact places: Stacks, grill, bumper, upper legs, wheels, and tanks. For some reason Hasbro decided to put the chrome on PE Prime in almost exactly the opposite places: Upper arms, hands, crotch, knees, and behind the wheels. Even the shiny silver plastic, which would have matched the chrome nicely, was swapped out for light gray. I just can't wrap my brain around how this is supposed to be good. And Grimlock isn't much better, removing all of the silver paint and randomly choosing formerly painted and bare gray plastic parts to chrome.

Worst part is they totally missed the opportunity to give fans movie-accurate versions of the figures. In the movie when Optimus is seen in this form it's as a rusty white truck with flames, not G1 red and blue. Grimlock is a mostly black and tarnished silver t-rex, no bronze at all. This would have been the ideal Platinum Edition and there's no telling if Hasbro will ever get around to these characters in movie colors. Black and white figures in a box would have looked cool I think.

So how would I have done the chrome if it was a must? Let me just say that I think the best use of chrome was in Beast Wars Transmetals figures. The reason why they worked so well was because they would pick one color and then chrome every use of it. Cheetor had all of his robotic yellow pieces chromed, Megatron had all of his purple pieces chromed, and so on. For me it's a figure sin to pair silver chrome with gray plastic and gold chrome with gold-ish plastic. Either chrome it all or none at all. What I would have liked to have seen is either the red or blue on Prime chromed and the bronze on Grimlock chromed. in their respective colors. Chrome does have a tendency of chipping on joints, but it can be done. 

It's unfortunate that this is Hasbro's idea of a collector's grade box set. It looks lazy and feels like it was made for kids. Back towards the end of the first movie's toy run in 2008 Hasbro did Premium Series editions of many series one figures using metallic paint and better painted details. If they could do it at retail then they can do it as an exclusive now. I know some people do like the way this set turned out, and that's fine, but it really isn't for me. 

[via Seibertron]

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9:00 PM on 04.05.2014

Sideshow opens orders for Prime 1's colossal Optimus Prime statue

Almost exactly a year ago to the day we first talked about Prime 1 Studio's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Megatron statue (which Sideshow is currently offering for May). The big guy towered at nearly three feet tal...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker

BotCon 2014 goes all out with Headmaster Scorponok photo
BotCon 2014 goes all out with Headmaster Scorponok
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

BotCon 2014 is right around the corner and they're lining up one of the best convention exclusive box sets ever. Using the them of Pirates versus Knights they started with announcing Cannonball, a predictable figure based on Transformers: Prime Ratchet. They then announced Pirate Ferak with Targetmaster Tornado based on Universe Cyclonus and Nightstick which represent a super obscure Marvel Comics character and almost as obscure IDW Comics character. The third announcement was for Devcon, a character that made only one appearance in the original cartoon and instantly became a fan favorite. This Autobot Knight will be Devcon's first figure ever despite appearing multiple times in BotCon fiction and uses Generations Scourge for a base with a new head. . 

So the set starts to look kinda bland with only one true fan favorite out of three obscure choice. And then comes Scorponok! Out of nowhere they reveal perhaps the best BotCon exclusive ever. They went well above just repainting Energon Scorponok (like they did for BotCon 2010's Double Punch) with a new head. This head is nothing less than a remold of Encore Fortress Maximus' Spike Witwicky Headmaster with a cartoon-accurate Scorponok face. Of course the Scorponok body has been remolded to accept the Headmaster head. 

Story-wise the new Headmaster is named Olin Zarak, the son of the original Scorponok Headmaster Lord Zarak. Rather than take over the rule of the Nebulan Hive, Olin appears to have chosen to take on the life of a pirate, presumably as the captain. In one figure BotCon has both made a great homage to the original figure and forever raised the bar on what people will expect from BotCon. They said the figures would barely fit in the standard box used for the five-figure sets and it's obvious why. They have one more figure to announce and it's anyone's guess who they'll choose as the second Autobot Knight. 

BotCon runs from June 19 to 22 and just like in past years the box set will be available for both con-goers and non-attendees. Prices for 2014 haven't been announced yet, but both went for US$365 for Transformers Club members and US$450 for non-members in 2013. Wasn't all that interested before, but for Scorponok it's pretty tempting. 

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Masterpiece Bumblebee proves to be the smallest of the cars photo
Masterpiece Bumblebee proves to be the smallest of the cars
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

A new update from Shogo Hasui of the Takara Tomy Transformers design team shows how Bumblebee stacks up against fellow Masterpiece, Prowl. If the MP Autobot cars up until now are considered the equivalent to a Voyager class figure then Bumblebee looks to be about the same size as a Deluxe figure. Of course despite his size he'll have a much more complex transformation and the articulated hands that are a standard of the line. While the bot mode is in scale the car mode certainly wont be, but the MP line is no stranger to scale issues just like most Transformers lines.

He also posted some updated images of Spike in his Exo Suit. He promises that Spike will be fully transformable without needing to replace parts; a true part of the Masterpiece line. Spike will be one of the smallest MP figures alongside Soundwave's tapes.

Colored pictures, please!

[via Seibertron]

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[UPDATED] First look at what the 2015 Transformers toy line will be based on photo
[UPDATED] First look at what the 2015 Transformers toy line will be based on
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

[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. 

[via Seibertron]

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High quality shots of Masterpiece Wheeljack hit Amazon photo
High quality shots of Masterpiece Wheeljack hit Amazon
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

After some fuzzy magazine scans last week we're now getting some nice high quality images for Transformers Masterpiece Wheeljack from Amazon.co.jp! I've been kinda hard on the guy since we first saw him and while I'm still not entirely sold on his Transformation he's definitely winning me over with his details. 

I've mentioned before that the car, based on the Italian Lancia Stratos, is perfect in every way and they did a great job of getting back some of the original logos. While I'm not crazy about the robot mode's construction they did do a great job of getting tons of little details sculpted into him. His head sculpt is especially nice with its cartoon look and I like the way they did his 'wings' in the style of the toy. I wish they could have found a way to make his 'ears' light up, but I'll forgive them. 

Wheeljack will role out in August for ¥6,500. There's been a lot of speculation on how they'll reuse this mold later. The front runners is Sunstreaker so hopefully we'll get news of what's coming next soon enough. 

[via TFormers]


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Mag scans give first in-color look at Masterpiece Wheeljack  photo
Mag scans give first in-color look at Masterpiece Wheeljack
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

Thanks to scans from Figure Oh magazine we're getting our first look at the upcoming Transformers Masterpiece Wheeljack now in full color. There's been a lot of speculation on just how this figure would turn out thanks to its many logos and fears that most of them would be either removed or replaced by new made up ones. Thankfully that wasn't the case and they appear to be keeping all of the logos used on the original figure and even corrected their positions. Overall his car mode looks as close to perfect as possible and I'm sure someone is bound to make a sticker sheet for any missing logos from the original real-life car. 

The bot mode I'm still rather iffy about. He's very thin and still has a number of gaps in his body. It's strange because an equally streamline car in Sideswipe made for a very solid and pleasingly bulky bot. They have entirely different transformations, but you would still expect similar build quality. I can only hope he looks better in person. 

Also in these scans is a new look at Kabaya's candy toy versions of Star Convoy, Hydra (Darkwing), and Buster (Dreadwind), the same shots of MP Bumblebee we've seen already, and another took at TF Cloud Starscream and Brawn. They also took several photos of the Japanese version of the upcoming Leader class Optimus Prime for Transformers 4: Age of Extinction (not the one that is out now). It looks like the Takara Tomy version will have a different paint pattern on the chest and more detailed paint on the face. 

The scans end with a reminder that MP Star Saber is still in development and Ultra Magnus really is happening. Nothing new to look at on either of those, but I'm thinking we'll get a preview at Tokyo Toy Show in June. At this point it's probably safe to say neither will be released in 2014, not like there'll be a Transformers shortage this year or anything.

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8:00 AM on 03.15.2014

Tomopop LinkUP: Remakeover

Sometimes our favorite characters are too good to fall off into obscurity over the years. Often they'll get a new outfit and and just continue their adventures like Sideshow's upcoming 1/6 scale Catwoman. Sometimes they trans...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker

7:00 AM on 03.15.2014

TAG Hobby catches our first look at Action Toys' Ultimetal Megatron

Thanks to TAG Hobby spending some time at Hong Kong's C3 Festival we're getting our first look at Action Toys' and Fewture Model's  UM-03 Ultimetal Megatron! There aren't any details to go by beyond the prototype, but we...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker

8:00 AM on 03.14.2014

Grandfather builds giant Gundam out of wood

Once again a guy in Japan proves just how cool old people are. Wanting to craft something that would impress his grandchildren, 66-year-old Kenichi Okada built this huge version of Zeta Gundam that stands two meters tall (6.5...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker

New clear images of Masterpiece Bumblebee are finally here photo
New clear images of Masterpiece Bumblebee are finally here
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

Forget the silhouettes and toss aside the tiny product sheet images, we now have large, clear images of the upcoming Transformers Masterpiece Bumblebee. Thanks images gathered from various online stores (seen below) we now have our clearest look at the new MP's details. With the clearer look we now see that the two expressions are a happy face and a serious face.

He looks so great, but what I really want is a look at his feet from the outside instead of the inside. His front wheels fold up underneath and I want to know what is in their place. Also really want a shot from his back, I really want to know just how well the back of the car mode folds up on his back. Could also use a good look at Spike's head, they really haven't given us a good look at that yet. 

Pre-orders are now open and like with other MPs he's selling very quickly. There's also an Amazon.co.jp exclusive that features a battle mask based on the original 1984 figure's face. I imagine some third party group will make their own version of the mask so while I want it I doubt I'll miss it. No way I'm missing out on bumblebee, he belongs in my collection. He'll be out in November for ¥6,000. 

[ Pre-order at HobbyLink Japan | Hobby Search | AmiAmi | Play Asia | Big in Japan | TF Source | Big Bad Toy Store ]


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