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 ...
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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.
Back at the beginning of January the official Transformers Collectors Club revealed that part of the BotCon exclusive box set would involve pirates, but left the rest to speculation. Not quite a month later the other half of the set has been revealed to be knights!
The cover for the next issue of the club magazine coming in February shows off the faction symbols. The pirate symbol is that of the Star Seekers, first seen on the Transformers Prime Thundertron figure, rather than the symbol seen in the teaser preview linked above. The other symbol is a more knightly version of the classic Autobot symbol.
Inside the pages the magazine will also preview the first figure in the set: Canonball. His inclusion as captain of the Star Seekers rather than Thundertron indicates that this is a different continuity from what we've previously seen. There has been a lot of speculation as to what the knight figures will be since there aren't a lot of knight themed Transformers. A lot of eyes are looking towards recent Beast Hunters repaints as an obvious source for figures.
I actually like where they're going with this theme. It's nice to have something original to BotCon again rather than rehashing previous toy lines as modern repaints. I probably won't be willing to spend the money on them, but they should be fun to look at.
It's that exciting time of year again for Transformers fans! BotCon 2014 is only about half a year away from opening its doors on June 19 in Pasadena, California and the slow trickle of event news has now begun. But here we are in January and we're already getting our first major break: The theme!
Every year BotCon chooses a theme that takes over the entire event and this year it seems that theme will be pirates. Thanks to D-Drive over at TFW2005 getting an early copy of Transformers Timelines issue #8 (which hits comic shops Wednesday) we get our first hints at the theme from it. The image features a flag with the same symbol on it as that found on the Transformers: Cybertron Cannonball pirate character. The image also features the following text:
They sailed across the inky-black where the heavens can't be found No light could show, no wind could blow, no soul could make a sound Yet each mech aboard, garbed for war, holding a cutlass or a gun And from the spotter above came the sign - We're bound for Cybertron!
So there you have it, BotCon 2014 will be the year of pirates! I can only imagine what figures they intend to repurpose for the new theme. One recent pirate figure we've gotten is Thundertron from the Transformers: Prime line so a repaint seems likely. I'm also thinking the recently released Trailcutter would make a decent Cannonball.
Hardcore fans don't wait for official word apparently. When wondering where BotCon would be held in 2014 some eager members of Seibertron and TFW2005 took it upon themselves to simply call the Pasadena Sheraton that hosted co...
We're halfway through 2013 and Fun Publications is giving us a preview of their 2014 plans for the Transformers Collectors Club and BotCon.
To go along with this year's Depthcharge figure they announced that the 2014 membership figure will be Protoform X (aka Rampage) using the Transformers Prime First Edition Deluxe Megatron figure mold and a new head. They're also planning the first ever transforming Transmutate figure made from a First Edition Deluxe Arcee figure as a club store exclusive. The Transmutate box will even have space to store Rampage and a comic to explain the bot it was supposed to be.
Three figures for the 2014 figure subscription service have been revealed. They'll be adding G1 Headmaster Chromedome using the Prime Wheeljack mold, Action Master Treadshot using the Generations Warpath mold, and Ironfist using the Fall of Cybertron Roadbuster/Swindle mold. Three more figures left to announce, no pictures were shown. Fans asked what story Chromedome would be part of and it was undecided if it would be made for Prime or their own fiction.
For BotCon 2014 they said they're considering a Diaclone set, but also said they have a lot of ideas for sets. If they do Diaclone it might just be as a set sold at the convention. They'll be conducting a survey to see what people want to see next year. Results from that survey may also decide if we get a Seeker Jet drone three-pack in 2014. They also mentioned a Starscream in Action Master colors as well. Doesn't seem like the the Seeker mold will be going away any time soon. It also appears they were hoping to do a Doubledealer figure of their own, but Hasbro beat them to it. They wouldn't say what mold they were hoping to use.
And that wraps up BotCon 2013 coverage. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the Transformers franchise and will likely line up nicely with Transformers 4, that's certainly not a BotCon to be missed!
Kre-O didn't have a very big presence at BotCon this year and there wasn't much said at the industry panel compared to at Toy Fair 2013. Hasbro seems to be putting a lot of stock into their Construct-Bots building system inst...
Despite mixed reactions from fans Hasbro is still trudging along with new figures and repaints for Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters. They've also started a questionable practice that we're going to discuss shortly.
Day 3 of BotCon was yesterday and Hasbro wasted little time in getting official images of all of their big panel reveals out onto the web. For now we're going to talk about what appeared in the Generations portion of their presentation since that's had some of the most exciting unveiling. Hasbro doesn't allow photography at these panels so we have to rely on people at the scene for info on the figures that Hasbro hasn't released images of.
Generations Legends two-packs has added Swerve with Flanker and Cosmos with Payload to the series. Swerve and Cosmos were both minibots from G1 with Swerve turning into a red and white truck and Cosmos turning into a UFO. Cosmos is probably more exciting for fans, but Swerve was one of my first Transformers as a kid so I've got a certain attachment tot the character. Flanker is a member of the Sixwing Autobot Micromaster combiner team while Payload seems to be based on Blast Master of the Astro Squad Autobot Micromaster combiner team.
Also announced, but not shown are Tailgate (another minibot homage) with Groundpounder, based on an Autobot Minicon orange bucket loader from the Construction Patrol. Along with Insecticon Sharpshot (renaming of Shrapnel) with camera-bot Reflector.
Moving up the figure scale we find ourselves in Deluxe territory. Goldfire (Goldbug) is a pretty straight repaint of IDW Bumblebee featuring a new head and a blue and gold color scheme. Dreadwing is a repaint of IDW Megatron in mostly blue with a new head. All new mold Skids is based on a G1 character and looks pretty great in bot mode, but I'm not too crazy about his new car mode.
Then comes one of the first surprises in the line: Beast Wars Waspinator! This amazing figure looks great in both bot and beast mode, entirely cartoon accurate, and features flapping wings! Seeing a figure like this makes me wonder what happened to previous remakes of Cheetor and Dinobot, they were both pretty awful.
Announced, but not shown in these pictures is Fall of Cybertron Skywarp to round out the three Cybertronian Seeker jets. Targetmaster Scoop, an orange bucket loader will be remade for the line and come with his two gun partners. Finally, big surprise number 2 comes in the form of a remake of Armada Starscream! Get ready to start collecting Seeker jets again.
Voyager scale had yet another big surprise in store in form of an amazingly cartoon accurate version of Rhinox from Beast Wars! He looks perfect with most of his robot bits hidden in rhino made and much of his rhino plates tucking away nicely to prevent excessive kibble. He also includes both of his guns and his rhino mouth appears to have movement.
On the other hand, Decepticon Doubledealer is probably the biggest disappointment. The original G1 figure is such a favorite of mine I own two. It featured a Decepticon vulture mode, an Autobot robot mode, and an ICBM truck vehicle mode. The new figure is a pretty straight repaint of Blitzwing with a new head which really confuses the whole 'one vehicle mode' thing. And it's so strange for them to use a shark face on the jet mode when a bird face would have been so much more fitting. Plus the original version was a double Powermaster so he's missing his two partners. Real shame, Doubledealer deserves his own figure mold in my opinion or at least a heavy dose of remolding like Sandstorm got.
Not shown is Voyager Whirl, a remake of the Autobot mono-eye blue helicopter from G1. People who saw it at the presentation said it was capable of a gerwalk mode and even comes with a sticker sheet. The one shown at the panel hadn't been painted yet so it's probably some time off.
On a side note Beast Wars Megatron got the fan vote for the Transformers Hall of Fame. Hasbro said they'll likely be making a new figure similar to what they've done with Rhinox and Waspinator.
That's it for new Generations figures at BotCon. Beast Hunters will be up next.
Transformers fans have no shortage of choices when it comes to exclusives in 2013. We've already seen a number of them released between Amazon.com and what was made available at BotCon on day one.
Speaking of Amazon, some new additions are coming to the Platinum Edition line. The online store will be bringing back their shiny metallic repaint and reissue of the G1 Predacon set. It'll be a great second shot for fans who missed it the first time around or the Japanese release version when it comes out in September. Also joining the line will be repaints of Fall of Cybertron Grimlock vs. Bruticus. Grimlock is a repaint of the mass retail version while Bruticus looks to be a repackaging of the SDCC 2012 exclusive. The six figure set will be released in August.
Meanwhile Toys R Us is back with more Masterpiece exclusives. We've known about their release of Acid Storm and Soundwave for a while now so they aren't really news in themselves, but we do get a good look at the new packaging. Traditionally Masterpiece figures have come in clear plastic boxes, but now Hasbro has shifted to art boxes with window flaps that can be opened to reveal the contents and purple bars on the sides (I assume Autobot figures will be red on the sides). It's an interesting change and the boxes look sharp, but this may not be good news for fans looking for consistency in MIB collections. Both figures will be available shortly in July.
The Target exclusive Predacons Rising series of Beast Hunters figures also made an appearance, but there's nothing more to say other than that some of these are looking pretty good. We've also got confirmation that Beast Fire Predaking will indeed be a Target exclusive as well thanks to a sticker on his box.
Finally we're seeing the return of Linkin Park Soundwave. It's been nearly a year since this set was first seen last July at SDCC 2012. It appears it might have been delayed in that time, but it should be nearing release soon. Still no release date given.
That's it for retail exclusives and also wraps up figure coverage for day two!
Day 2 of BotCon came and went on Friday with a number of exclusives announced, but the biggest among them will be coming to San Diego Comic Con in mid-July!
Let's just cut to it: The rumors are true, Metroplex is coming to SDCC! He'll be similar to the Japanese version and features a chromed face and markings similar to those found on the original '80s release. He'll also include two guns rather than one. Unlike the Japanese or more Cybertronian looking Hasbro retail version, this version will also include 12 mini Autobot and Decepticon figures to his scale plus the Legends class Scamper figure. He'll be available for US$149.99.
Second G1 style offereing is a set of five six-inch non-transforming Titan Guardian figures of Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Megatron, Starscream, and Soundwave. They're fairly simple looking figures with very limited articulation, but look as though they'd display nicely. The set of five will run for US$39.99.
Exclusive number three is a sort of diorama from Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters showing Shockwave growing Predaking in his lab. It's a neat set featuring a Voyager Shockwave in what Hasbro describes as G1-inspired paint scheme and a translucent Cyberverse Commander Predaking. The pair will be sold for US$49.99.
The last exclusive is one that doesn't appear to have been on display at BotCon. A third G.I.Joe vs Transformers set featuring G.I.Joe vehicles and characters done up to look like Transformers will be on sale at SDCC. This year's set features representations of Transformers characters Jetfire, Hound, Blaster (with tapes), Bludgeon, and Ravage with G.I.Joe characters Snake-Eyes and Baroness. The set will be sold right beside the rest of the Hasbro exclusive despite being a no-show at Bot Con and still not having having a price.
Good stuff, but nothing I'll be angry about if it all sells out.
Just like with a lot of conventions these days BotCon has that one little window of time before the official opening where attendees can get their registration swag and pickup a few souvenirs. Of course this year is no different with Thursday night seeing the con open just long enough to get many fans an early start on what is sure to be a very packed weekend schedule. As with past years there's a number of different figures that fans will be able to pickup only at the con. 14 to be exact, most hailing from the short lived Machine Wars line while others come from G1, G2, and Beast Machines. Plus there's a special Machine Wars Kre-O Kreon figure set. There's also one more exclusive that has some non-attending club membership subscribers (myself included) a little fired up.
Follow the jump to see and read about all of them.