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SDCC: Diamond Select Toys panel

Aug 03 // Scarecroodle
DST photo
Yes, we were there
Diamond Select Toys' non-Minimate SDCC panel included a few announcements, a loot at some upcoming items, and a lot of excitement. Major highlights included the news that the DC Animated Universe Huntress is going to be added...

Sonic photo
Faster & bluer than the average hedgehog
Tomopop (or, more specifically, our ace reporter Tian) wasn't able to make it to every booth at SDCC and, as such, we (again, Tian) weren't able to see Kidrobot's Sonic at the event in person. However, we were assured that it...

Square Enix photo
Square Enix

SDCC 2016: Square Enix

Batman's going crazy
Aug 01
// Tianxiao Ma
You can count on the Play Arts Kai brand to bring some unique (if not overly busy) interpretations of some of your favorite comic book characters. I found a couple such figures at the Square Enix booth at SDCC. They were part...
Shiflett Bros. photo
Shiflett Bros.

SDCC 2016: Shiflett Bros.

Imaginative, original art
Jul 28
// Tianxiao Ma
The Shiflett Brothers have made a name for themselves with their fantastical, steampunk-y sculptures. What first struck me about them was the level of detail in each sculpt. But over the years their designs have gotten more e...

Beefy & Co. photo
Beefy & Co.

SDCC 2016: Beefy & Co.

I love magnets in toys
Jul 28
// Tianxiao Ma
Strange and adorable animal toys are the domain of Beefy & Co. Artist Menh Voong brought some new plushies to SDCC, as well as a preview for NYCC. NYCC will be seeing the release of the plush turtle and penguin (I think i...
Weta photo

SDCC 2016: Weta

More robots, please
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I kicked off my tour of Weta's exhibit with their 2017 Ghost in the Shell display. It contained a life-sized replica of an android that I'm assuming will appear in the film. It was reminiscent of the robots featured in Ghost ...
3A photo

SDCC 2016: 3A

Grungy mecha and original creations
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
When I asked the 3A rep what was new for this year, he basically introduced me to every single thing on display. You can see that their artistic vision is still intact, but they've tackled more and more licensed properties ov...

SDCC: Diamond Select Toys

Jul 27 // Scarecroodle
DST photo
DST's booth never fails to leave me with a smile. The company always has a good variety of great-looking collectibles on display. Case-in-point this year includes a very unexpected Iron Giant Vinimate, some new Batman busts, ...

Gecco photo

SDCC 2016: Gecco

Video game figures and zombie models
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I wasn't expecting to see many Japanese manufacturers at SDCC due to WonFes, but Gecco was able to attend the show. They had flown under my radar until last year when they announced the Venom Snake and Quiet statues for Metal...
Yamato USA photo
Yamato USA

[NSFW] SDCC 2016: Yamato USA

Reimagining Greek mythology
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
Yamato has long collaborated with fantasy artists and illustrators for their PVC and resin Fantasy Figure Gallery line. Since the last year they've been working on a series of figures inspired by Greek mythology, based on the...
Tamashii Nations photo
Tamashii Nations

SDCC 2016: Tamashii Nations

Debuting a bizarre new Toy Story set
Jul 24
// Tianxiao Ma
Have you ever wished your Toy Story figures could also be Transformers? Well Tamashii Nations has you covered with a line they're calling Cho Gattai Toy Story. These figures can transform and even combine together to form a s...
Bluefin photo

SDCC 2016: Bluefin

I think I found my favorite thing
Jul 24
// Tianxiao Ma
Bluefin distributes figures from a variety of Japanese companies, so their booth featured toys catering to all corners of fandom. Their most elaborate display was for the classic Ghostbusters, featuring two scenes from the en...


Jul 24 // Scarecroodle
NECA photo
Action, action, and more action!
NECA's display featured the expected slew of movie collectibles as well as some more surprising items (like a Superman vs Muhammad Ali 2-pack!). Highlights included the amazing-looking 1/4-scale Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...

SDCC Mezco photo
SDCC Mezco

SDCC 2016: Mezco

Superheroes everywhere!
Jul 24
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Want Hot Toys or Sideshow quality in a smaller, easier to display size? If so then Mezco has got you covered with their One:12 Collective line. These are high quality action figures with cloth outfits and life-like detailing ...
Kotobukiya Kylo Ren photo
He stabbed first
Kotobukiya announced a new Kylo Ren figure at Friday's Star Wars collectibles panel, and shortly after it appeared in their booth. Although Koto has taken on Kylo Ren in the past, this one's the most dynamic yet. The figure i...

Hasbro photo

SDCC 2016: Hasbro

Joes, Ponies, and lots of Star Wars.
Jul 23
// Soul Tsukino
Hasbro once again came to the SDCC to show off their new wares for the coming year or some and they had quite a bit to offer. Our roving reporter Tian was there to grab all the pictures so that we can bring them here to you. Since Jeremy covered the Transformers already, here is what else Hasbro had to show off.
Mattel photo

SDCC 2016: Mattel

WWE, DC, She-Ra, Monster High, and more!
Jul 23
// Soul Tsukino
Our friends over at Mattel always try to do big at these conventions and this time around is no different. They had a lot to show off at SDCC, and our own tian was there to get all the picture. So let's dive right in.
Qmx photo

SDCC 2016: Quantum Mechanix

Bringing in all of the cuties
Jul 22
// Kristina Pino
I generally think of prop replicas and Firefly/Serenity when Quantum Mechanix comes up, but their SDCC showing was almost anything but. They've got loads of cool Marvel and DC Comics figures, like this flippin' precious Adam ...
Gentle Giant photo
Gentle Giant

SDCC 2016: Gentle Giant

The most adorable little holiday BB-8
Jul 22
// Kristina Pino
Gentle Giant's booth at SDCC has some pretty cool stuff on display this year, including a super cute Spider-Gwen, some cool busts of various characters (omg, there's a Maz Kanata!), and even a baller BB-8 wrapped in colorful ...
Hot Toys photo
Hot Toys

SDCC 2016: Hot Toys

Shocker: lots of Star Wars
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
Without looking you can probably get the gist of what Hot Toys had on display: Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Civil War, and Star Wars. That's not due to a lack of originality on their part; that's simply the zeitgeist of ...
Sideshow Collectibles photo
Sideshow Collectibles

SDCC 2016: Sideshow Collectibles

Another grand spectacle
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
To give you an idea of the expanse of Sideshow's exhibit, I spent about an hour rushing through the photo coverage and still only managed to get half of it. The other half was dedicated to Hot Toys, which we'll cover in a sep...
Kotobukiya photo

[Updated] SDCC 2016: Kotobukiya

Ikemen collection announced!
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
[Update: Added photos of the Fine Art Statue Vision] I always love seeing what Kotobukiya brings to SDCC. This year we had a few major announcements, so let's kick off with the biggest: they'll be starting a line called "Ikem...
DC Collectibles photo
DC Collectibles

SDCC 2016: DC Collectibles

Con of Justice
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
With movie and TV universes to build, it's no surprise that DC featured Suicide Squad and their TV shows heavily in their merchandising. They'll be adding to their selection of articulated figures with characters from Arrow, ...

SDCC 2016: Transformers from Hasbro

Jul 22 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
SDCC Transformers photo
Looking forward to New York Comic Con...
When you have to display at multiple toy shows a year it's hard to keep things fresh and exciting. Hasbro did a pretty good job last year between Toy Fair, BotCon, San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con, and in 2016 they ...

SDCC 2016 GSC photo

SDCC 2016: Good Smile Company

Nice figures tucked into a tiny booth
Jul 21
// Tianxiao Ma
Good Smile Company doesn't usually do Comic Con as WonFes is usually the same weekend. However it seems like they're starting to stake out some territory at SDCC. Their booth was pretty small and tucked away - not what you'd ...
Exclusives photo
GSC has got serious game (figures)
Good Smile Company recently announced 3 exclusive figures which will first appear at Anime Expo 2016 (July 1-4) before also appearing at SDCC and, after that, being sold GSC's official site. This includes a "Metal Blade" Mega...

SDCC 2015 photo
SDCC 2015

SDCC 2015: Mattel - WWE

Giving a look to the future
Jul 15
// Soul Tsukino
During Comic-Con International: San Diego, the WWE and Mattel gave us a look at what to expect from them in the near future. They showed off stars from the WWE's past, present, and future, and even tossed is a few more interesting figures into the mix.
SDCC 2015: Gary Ham photo
SDCC 2015: Gary Ham

SDCC 2015: Gary Ham

Jul 13
// Brian Szabelski
If you couldn't get to SDCC to see Gary Ham's new creations, don't worry: he also posted a photo of the trio on his Instagram for you. One of the three is actually vinyl -- the Find Your Ohana variant of his Wooper Looper, co...
SDCC 2015 Transformers photo
Repaints, retools, and reissues
Hasbro didn't play all of their cards last month at BotCon, but they certainly played their best ones. Hasbro's display and presentation at San Diego Comic Con 2015 was a little lacking compared to years past. We did finally ...

Ghostbusters photo
I ain't afraid of no conventions!
Diamond Select Toys has posted a booth photo showing off new Ghostbusters Select figures. The line, which will consist of more than 12 figures, is now known to include Gozer the Gozerian, Janine, rooftop Dana, Walter Peck, Pe...

SDCC 2015: Hasbro - Star Wars

Jul 11 // Scarecroodle
Star Wars photo
Bigger than ever?
Hasbro discussed a lot of big things during the Star Wars part of the panel and none was bigger than the 6-inch Black Series First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter! Based on its appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (a.k...

DC Collectibles photo
Too much?
DC Collectibles released a video showing off an array of upcoming figures, along with a massive image gallery. While the gallery looks like a mix of new and old reveals, the video highlights newer offerings including more Bat...

SDCC 2015: Koto Bishoujo photo
SDCC 2015: Koto Bishoujo

[Update] SDCC 2015: Kotobukiya's Bishoujo sketches reveal Metal Gear Bishoujo line, more

Here's your ladies from Koto
Jul 08
// Andres Cerrato
[Update 9:00 AM EST] Added overnight are Marvel Bishoujo Spider-Gwen and DC Bishoujo Harley Quinn version 2! Stay tuned for more updates as the weekend goes on! Comic-Con is here, which means Kotobukiya is bringing out the bi...

Tomopop Review: Chief Beifong Pre-Painted PVC Kit (Convention Exclusive Edition)

Jul 08 // Rio McCarthy
Figure Name: The Legend of Korra - Chief Beifong Pre-Painted PVC Kit (Convention Exclusive Edition)Figure Maker: Zwyer IndustriesPrice: $99 SRP for the original versionAvailable at: SDCC (Nickelodeon's booth) / Zwyer Industries Starting out, the box itself is actually pretty cool. It clearly shows a photo of the figure that resides within said box, as well as some landscape artwork from Korra. For those who may not know, Lin Beifong is the Chief of Police for Republic City and is pretty much a badass. As the sticker plainly tells you, this is the convention exclusive edition. Saying that, that means that this figure will have the glossy armor, as well as the gold colored nameplate on the base. She comes packaged in a few pieces that are nicely wrapped in their own individual pieces of plastic for extra protection. Everything arrived in great condition, and there wasn't a single piece of out place. Looking a bit more closely, she arrives in five pieces. Her two arms, body, head and the base of the figure are all easy to put together with pegs that hold quite well with one another, and aren't a pain to get put into place. Once she's back together we have quite the strong looking Chief Beifong. I was so excited that she was their first character to release a figure of, as she was one of my favorites in the series from the very beginning. I loved her tough attitude, and her Earthbending skills are just awesome. Taking a closer look at some of the finer details, I think she'd be pretty pleased with this figure of herself. It makes her look a bit younger in the face, which I feel most of us would take a liking to if it was us. (At least I know I would!) At first I was a little bummed you couldn't always see her cheek scars in the light, but I went back and looked at her in the show, and the colors are actually quite accurate. They weren't nearly as bold as I remembered, so they did very well. Funny enough, you wouldn't think having a gold nameplate would make that much of a difference, but I actually really prefer it to the silver. In some of the photos shown on Zwyer Industries' website it seems the original is a bit hard to read in certain lights, the gold was beautiful and easy to read. I, personally, really like the glossy armor as well, so I'm very excited to have been able to review the convention exclusive version. Though I'm sure the original version looks very nice in person as well. One small gripe I have is that I wish there were a bit more shading on her hands to make the details in the figures pop a little more. Mine seemed to suffer just slightly from PVC glob hands, but it's not a huge distraction by any means, just a little bit of whining on my end. Funny enough, when shown against the picture of the figure on the box, I actually like the way she looks in person much better. It could just be the angle, or perhaps the actual real life colors, as opposed to those in the printing, but I think she looks a good deal better in person. All in all, I'd say we have a winner! Zwyer Industries did a great job taking this 2D butt kicker and bringing her to a 3D format. Even if you can't get your hands on the convention exclusive version, the original matte version will be arriving around August, and will retail at US$99. Though if you find yourself at SDCC this weekend, I would definitely swing by the Nickelodeon booth and see if you can get your hands on this little lady. I shouldn't say little, she actually stands around 11 inches tall! You know what I mean though, go check her out! [ A huge thank you to Zwyer Industries for sending along this review sample! ]
Legend of Korra photo
Pick up this glossy version at SDCC
I bring good news your way this morning! Zwyer Industries is the new company bringing Avatar and The Legend of Korra figures our way, and it all starts at SDCC. The first figure (which is actually a pre-painted PVC kit) ...

ThunderCats photo
Or will you just meow? has snagged a sneak peek at an unpainted prototype for Mezco's upcoming Mega Scale Tygra. A paint version will allegedly be on display at Mezco's booth (#3445) during SDCC next week. ThunderCat lovers will rec...

Tomopop Review: SDCC Exclusive Transformers Combiner Hunters

Jul 05 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Figure Name: Transformers Generations Combiner Wars: Combiner HuntersFigure Maker: HasbroRetail Price: US$74.99Available at: San Diego Comic-Con - booth #3329 I love this box art; it'll likely be my favorite of the year (though the Transformers D-Style model kits have really cool art). The girls are all upfront and angry, and if you look closely at Arcee's sword you see Devastator's reflection. Strangely, the weapons are much smaller in the art than the figures. And for some reason, Wingblade is holding her regular sword instead of her special Spectrospear. The art is a slip cover and there's a window box underneath. Note that it just says Transformers and Generations on the front: no mention of Combiner Wars or Combiner Hunters.  Back of the slip cover. For some reason, this is where they stuck the Combiner Hunters logo, right on the back; rather strange place to put it. While the back of the box looks like glossy black if you hold it under the right light, it's got the faint texture of a star chart with coordinates and a huge Transformers logo scrawled across it. The star chart is a running theme in this set: I'll be pointing it out a few more times. Hunting combiners means a lot of traveling apparently.  The Combiner Wars logo finally makes an appearance on one side. Again, a strange place to put it.  I really don't like this logo. They started using it with Age of Extinction I believe and it usually appears on all of the major collectibles. But what is it? A fireball? A meteor? I really don't get what they were going for and I'm kinda tired of seeing it. It's also on the top of the slipcover. Joy... Here's the set with the slip cover off. It's a nice, large window so if you don't want to open the box but still want to enjoy looking at the figures, it's a great alternative way to display them. One couldn't do that with a box flap, but you'll be stuck with a homeless slip cover. The Combiner Hunters logo finally appears on the front, but you'd already have to own and open it to see it and by that point you already know what it is so, yeah, strange to not put it on the outside front of the box. OK, fine, you probably wouldn't buy these blindly anyway, but it still seems strange. Also, inside the box as the backdrop is line art for the three girls and Devastator. You'll also find more of those star charts from the back of the slip cover.  The back of the box features the same art from the front of the slip cover, just not zoomed in and layered up. I'm still not sure why Windblade isn't shown with her new weapon. Devastator is still present in Arcee's sword. Of course, that's supposed to be the SDCC Devastator since Hasbro is trying to cross-promote their Transformers exclusives this year.  Inside the box you're greeted by this. What is it? It's a poster! On one side you've got the instructions for all three figures, on the other is a poster of the three with the fully realized star chart. On it is information for each of the special weapons, various planets with listings of which combiner is found on them, their threat level, and the story for where the weapons came from. Interestingly one of the planets is Unicron and the combiner found there is listed as "unidentified". No doubt it's Galvatronus. I'm not sure why they didn't just come out and say it as the figure has been out for a little while now. Still, it's a neat, unexpected little bonus.  OK, enough with the packaging. We've got a lot of figure stuff to talk about. Since I don't own a regular Arcee thanks to short supply, we're going to give her the first look. I'm pretty happy with the way the colors turned out. They could have easily just used the same paint pattern as the regular figure, just in black. Thankfully they didn't so we get some neat applications here. The paint is also much more extensive than on normal retail figures with a ton of special patterning. Expect nothing less from an SDCC exclusive.  Her head is really interesting with the bright blue eyes, face paint, and the Autobot faction symbol. This might have been a little bit over ambitious though, as they were only able to get the line down one side of her face instead of both to make room for the symbol. The symbol already throws off the symmetry so I don't really mind. The problem is her actual face: it's too cute! She's supposed to be angry and hunting giant robots, but she's so bright-eyed it's hard to picture her being mad at anyone.  The condensed version of the figure mold's story is that one of Takara Tomy's designers really wanted to see a proper Arcee figure made so they made one on their own. Hasbro liked it and ran with it. The problem is she was sculpted to look like her G1 cartoon self: she's got that cute, kinda happy face. Meanwhile, Hasbro is basing all of their figures off of the IDW comics where Arcee is tough as nails and always angry, so her figure doesn't quite fit with the actually angry looking Chromia and Windblade figures. She's also modeled differently from the other two by having ratcheting elbows that the other two (or most Generations figures for that matter) don't have, and lacks the wrist articulation that the other two do have. The figure mold also originally had her fingers connected to her thumb in an O, but a running change opened the hands up to look more like the other figures. Good stuff, the elbow ratcheting comes in very handy for her huge weapon.  Speaking of her huge weapon, here it is on the right. It's called Combiner Slayer which feels a bit generic. It's a repaint of the sword that came with the massive Beast Hunter Optimus Prime. Maybe repaint isn't the word for it since the original wasn't painted. The new one is molded in a more rigid plastic, probably to take the paint. I don't know if it was intentional, but the new plastic actually feels lighter than the old one, which is great for being held by a figure that was never meant to hold it. The pink gradient is really nicely done and the black parts are covered with sparkles so there's a nice contrast there.  Can you spot the difference? On the new version the peg has a grooves facing towards the front and back of the blade while the old one has a groove facing the tip and handle. No idea why it was changed since the peg doesn't have any use to Arcee. Later this year Takara Tomy and e-Hobby are releasing Unite Warriors Grand Scourge which also comes with this same sword in all red called the Matrix Breaker. Not sure what the story is with exclusives and this sword. Incidentally the original version of the sword was called the Dragon Hunting Sword, though that could just have been a description. A lot of people were wondering if she could actually hold a pose with the sword and the answer is yes she can, even free standing like this. That's partially thanks to tight joints, but also those elbow ratchets. Nicely done.  She also comes with her swords from the standard figure. I would have rather she came with her guns since she already has that giant sword, but these are basically her default weapons from the comics so I guess it's fine. You can also stick them into the slots on her arms near her elbows.  Car mode is just like from the original cartoon and movie, just, you know, black. They really put a lot of extra work into the paint that makes it stand out against most other Transformers figures. There aren't very many black Autobots, so it's a nice change. Lots of really cool details inside like seats and a steering wheel.  There are a bunch of places you can store her swords and even turning them in different directions make them look like something different.  Time to move on to the repaint of Fan Built Bot 2014 Windblade! Combiner Hunters Windblade now features an entirely new color scheme of bright red, blue, gold, and dark gray. It's a really nice look, like a variation on the primary colors so they all compliment each other nicely.  Like with Arcee, the paint pattern is entirely new for this figure. Her chest has been painted to look like ribbed armor which I didn't care for at first, but up close it looks pretty good. The paint is excessive in a very good way on her torso between the red, black, gold, blue, and dark gray.  The face paint is a lot less kabuki/geisha this time around. Where the original was mainly white, black, and red, the new one is in stark contrast with silver, red, and blue. Plus her more traditional "hair" has gone from black with blue and gold "hair pins" to a very nontraditional red, gold, and blue, looking more like the helmet it really is. Plus her big hairpiece/fan in back has gone from gold(-ish) to translucent orange. I really like this look. Am I the only one who sees a little bit of inspiration here? The same shade of gray and gold, a different shade of red, but red nonetheless. No? just me? We'll come back to this.  Here's her special weapon, the one that's missing from the box art: the Spectrospear. The spear is repurposed from a weapon that comes with the Robots in Disguise 2015 12-inch electronic Titan Heroes Bumblebee. It's not bad, though I think it would have been better without the gradient: it looks a little cheap this way. The real problem with spears is that they're hard to make look cool on Transformers without the proper wrist articulation. They just sort of hold them out and wave them around like a giant baton.  You might actually be better off going with her sword. Here's something people often miss: there are two different places to mount her sheath. This is the first and most obvious spot on the side of her leg like a proper samurai. It looks good there, but is a little in the way if you're doing a lot of posing.  This is the less obvious spot, on the side of the cockpit at her back like a ninja. It's out of the way and easily blends in. This is my preferred spot, mainly because I'm constantly knocking it off her leg.  The new figure features a translucent blue blade its entire length while the old blade was purple and fades at the end. I like the the purple sword more to be entirely honest. We'll also take a moment to compare the two figures in bot mode. I like the red and black of the original, but the new figure is definitely more ornate and interesting.  Jet mode is not quite as interesting as bot mode. No special paint apps or anything, just red, gray, and gold. It has a little problem with the tail fin splitting, but that's a mold issue since it does the same thing on the original retail figure. I wish they would have found a way to clip the halves together, but it is what it is.  I didn't bother doing this with Arcee since you don't usually see the bottom of cars, but jets are a different story. This is what you're getting yourself into. I've certainly seen worse and aside from the arms the rest changes intricately enough.  They look pretty similar to me. Of course not perfectly the same, but I really feel like there was some inspiration here.  You can store the sword by plugging it in underneath. I'm not too crazy about this and the way it hangs off the back, but it serves a purpose.  Red, gray, and gold versus red, black, and white. It's hard to say which is better. I do like the translucent turbines. The old figure also has translucent turbines, but they've been painted white. Oh well.   You can also do this, making her a proper VTOL jet. Yay play features! You can spin the turbines too, but there's too much friction for them to do so for any amount of time if you flicked them with your finger.  Moving along, let's see how Arcee's original wave mate from the Generations line turned out.  Chromia has an unusual new color pallet. You don't see silver and white matched together like that very often. It actually works pretty well with the metallic blue. However, this isn't quite as creative as the other two. It's like they did the crazy stuff with Windblade first, followed by a black Arcee with a lot of interesting pink markings, and then lost steam with Chromia so they replaced the light blue with silver and mixed all of the colors around. I think they could have done a bit more here.  By the way, I'm not too crazy about the gun storage here. I wish there was a peg on the side so she could play RoboCop or something.  This is rather strange and interesting. Do you know who the wrestler the Ultimate Warrior is? Tell me that doesn't look like someone on the Transformers design team's strange tribute? I actually like it, it really stands out compared to pretty much every transformer ever made. She's a tough cookie so she's certainly the best fembot for it.  A look from the side. I wanted to show that there are two ways to configure the kibble on her back. The new figure is showing the default positioning with the lower part just hanging off the back. I'm not crazy about this since it prevents the legs from moving properly. With the original Chromia I've moved the piece up and under the clear part on her upper back. This moves it right out of the way, though it also makes it stick out a little bit further from the back. It's all a matter which compromise you're OK with. I prefer it tucked up and out of the way so that's how I'll have it for the rest of the review.  Time to look at her giant sword! This one is the Primeon Blade and it's pretty nice. It's a repaint of the sword that came with the Robots in Disguise 2015 Titan Heroes Optimus Prime. It has a lot of color with only the blade being a gradient at the tip, while there's a sharp division between each section of the sword just like with Arcee's Combiner Slayer (which makes me dislike the Spectrospear all the more). But that's not the best part of this sword. There's a tally of Devastator chest wings on the side. I don't know if it's a tally of how many combiners she's taken out, how many times she's beaten Devastator in battle, or how many of the six Constructicons she's taken out. Doesn't really matter, it's a neat detail.  She can also hold a pose with the sword. Although, I did find she has a bit of trouble with her grip. If it isn't held well and at the right angle, it falls out of her hand sometimes. It's not a big deal for me though, because I actually like her holding it with both hands over her head like in the first shot more.  Here's her primary weapon from the original release. Actually it's her only weapon from the original release. They had initially advertised her as coming with two guns, but they realized the second gun was actually Arcee's so Chromia got left with just the one. Pretty annoying because she gets just one little gun while Windblade has her big sword and bigger sheath and Arcee gets two swords and two guns. Talk about a bum deal.  Alt mode! It's hard to really nail down exactly what it is. In the G1 cartoon she turned into something that looked like a two wheeled van while this is often referred to as a motorcycle. Personally I like to look at it as a two wheeled car considering its size. It's a little more interesting in this mode, unlike Windblade who got a little blander in jet mode. She has some sort of design on the front on both sides, plus she's got some nice translucent red going on. Overall it looks really good.  She can be propped up by a kickstand on her side. Just wanted to point that out.  Removing the light blue makes quite the difference in the overall look. I wouldn't buy a car in that many different colors, but it's definitely interesting to look at. I like them both, but in this mode I'm leaning towards the Combiner Hunters version. I think it's the translucent red that sells me on it.  And that's the end of this very long review of one nifty box set. Normally unusual repaints like these don't get a lot of attention, but between the extensive details, huge weapons, and comic appearances, this is a pretty great way to make characters worth getting a second time.  Now have at it! [A combiner sized thanks to Hasbro for providing Tomopop with this review sample!]
SDCC Combiner Hunters photo
Walk quietly and carry a massive sword
It's July and San Diego Comic-Con is next week! We're taking an early look at Hasbro's exclusive Transformers Generations Combiner Wars: Combiner Hunters Arcee, Windblade, and Chromia. It's a ridiculously long name, but it fe...

Tomopop Review: SDCC exclusive Transformers Kreon Class of 1985

Jul 05 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Figure Name: Transformers Kre-O Kreon Class of 1985Figure Maker: HasbroRetail Price: US$59.99Available at: San Diego Comic Con booth #3329 This is a very big box set, I'd say it's roughly the size of an Xbox One, or one of those big coffee table books. It looks a bit blurry because the outside of the box as sort of lenticular wrapping to make it sparkle so it's hard to get a good focus on it. If you haven't guessed by now the box is made to look like a high school yearbook. The front cover features Grimlock, while the back cover features... Devastator! Not surprising since they're also offering the massive Titan class Devastator at SDCC this year as well. The top and spine of the box/book also has yearbook stuff on it.  And there's the inside, 30 figures line the inside of the box, all representing figures released in 1985. There's also a little section on the bottom right full of neat little trinkets that fans of 1980s movies will certainly recognize. This is also a really great way to display the set if you have the space for it. Some of these figures have had Kreons before, but changes have been made to give them a unique look.  Let's take a look at all 30 figures! Yes, all of them, but it'll be brief I promise. First up is Alpha Trion. He didn't have a figure in 1985, but he did make his first appearance in the cartoon that year. The figure isn't bad, but he really needs his long beard, otherwise he's just some guy with a lot of white around his mouth. A cape or something would have been good, too. Personally I find him the weakest of the bunch so it can only get better from here! Astrotrain is looking good in his cartoon colors. When the Triplechanger was released by Hasbro he was mainly in white and looked nothing like his animated self. This is strangely one of the most accurate representations of Astrotrain that Hasbro has released.  Beachcomber is looking really good here, modeled mainly on his original figure. The upside down and split Autobot symbol is a neat touch, though you'll see it soon enough on other figures. Kinda funny giving him a gun when he's a nature loving pacifist.  Blaster is pretty near perfect. My only real complaint is that he doesn't have the gray patch on his forehead. Looks a bit more like the Marvel Comics version this way.  Blitzwing looks just about perfect. Not crazy about the wings wince they were a minor detail on the figure in bot mode. Should have found a way to stick a gun on his back instead. Not entirely sold on Bombshell here. Body looks great and the face is nice, but the helmet is a no-go. Bombshell had a really distinct head with a gun sticking out and this is not it. This is one of those "if you can't do it right, then don't do it at all" moments. Especially when they didn't do Shrapnel in this set and his head would have been easily imitated. Cosmos looks pretty good. I do question the helmet choice since he has a head shaped like a really tall flan pudding. A dome helmet would have been better than this. Otherwise, it's good enough. I'll overlook that he doesn't look like a balloon with arms and legs.  Ah, here's our back cover model, Devastator. Not a bad attempt at trying to make a single Kreon figure look like a combiner. Scavenger and Bonecrusher are only represented by yellow marks on the arms, but still nice.  Dirge looks great, though he's supposed to have brown wings. If they gave him brown wings, he'd be perfect.  Grapple is pretty awesome looking. I can do without the leg wheels and wish they could come up with a smaller gun hand.  Front cover model Grimlock appears! Great representation and glad he comes with his double barreled gun. I do wish you could see his face details a little better with that helmet.  Hoist is really nice, though he does have that gun hand again, and I wish he didn't have something as identifiable and Soundwave's helmet.  Inferno is much like Grapple, just in red. He does have a different face so that's good. The annoying gun hand comes back again as well.  Jetfire is really great. He's based on his figure version and not the cartoon version where he was known as Skyfire. Not sure about the black helmet, since the original had an entirely white head with black antennae. I think I'd have preferred a while helmet instead.  Kickback looks like Kickback. It's one of the best likenesses in the set.  Omega Supreme is a very nice attempt. I don't know if sticking a scuba mask and tank on him is something I would have done, but it works, mostly. The white things are supposed to be tank tracks and they're completely pointless since they weren't on the original figure or any media like this. Instead, he had large quarter circle wings on his back. Claw hand is good enough, but this figure actually gets the gun hand right. I wish the others had this gun.  Powerglide is pretty good. Head's a little tall, but it's a nice attempt.  Ramjet is nice, but he's the only jet missing wings for some reason. I know he had some unusual wings on the original figure, but they could have still faked it.  No complaints here with Red Alert. I do wonder how long they debated giving him a red head like the cartoon or the black head like the figure.  Seaspray turned out nice, though the yellow on the blue legs turned green which is too bad.  Skids is probably my favorite from the set. He's colorful with lots of painted detail, doors on his back, and big guns on his arms. I really have no complaints; I think someone put a lot of care into making him look right.  Here's Dinobot number two, Slog. Actually, it's Sludge the brontosaurus, but Hasbro lost the name rights. Going by this set, it seems they've lost three of the Dinobot names for future figures. We got a hint of that during the fourth movie, and it wasn't just Michael Bay being strange about names.  Most disappointing of the Dinobot renames is Slag now being Slug since slag is now a Transformers curse word. Couldn't they just stop saying it and let poor Slag keep his name? Figure is nice enough anyway. Smokescreen is also a great one; check out the windows on his legs. Like with Skids, it's hard to go wrong with the doors.  Hey, Snarl gets to keep his name! He's got a decent likeness in the head and body. They tried to imitate the plates on his legs with gold lines; it works well enough.  Swoop wasn't as lucky as Snarl and has now been renamed Strafe. That's too bad because we've already got a character named Strafe and now things are getting confusing. Ignoring the name, it's a fair likeness to the original toy rather than the blue cartoon model. What I don't get is why they gave him the bird helmet when this figure doesn't transform. Would have been great with a different helmet.  There's Thrust, the last of our Conehead team. Probably the best of the group since his wings are basically the right color.  Topspin is kinda hard to do wrong since his figure didn't have a ton of details to begin with. I do like the chest art. Too bad his partner Twin Twist is missing from the set. Tracks looks pretty great with really cool body art. He also has wings, so the attention to detail is a good fit.  And the last figure is Warpath! No real complaints here; he even has his chest canon. I do think painting his feet gray like tank treads would have been a good idea. So that's the figures, let's take a look at the little bonus trinkets in the set.  Here's Grimlock in a letterman jacket with the Dinobot team. I figure the Autobot cover model would wear this. Meanwhile the Decepticon cover model gets a denim jacket. The jocks wore letterman jackets while the bad boys wear denim. That's just the way things worked in the '80s. Guess the movie! OK, it's probably not that hard; there aren't a lot of movies where a sports almanac is important. The three Back to the Future references here include the almanac, a Doc Brown wig, and a page of the newspaper featuring the clock tower.  Also a reference to BTTF is this "JetFire be good" album that at first had me wondering why there was a CD in the set until I made the connection.  How about some Goonies references? Here's not-Chunk with the treasure map and not-Sloth with a not-Baby Ruth bar.  I'm going to guess this detention notice is from the Breakfast Club because I can't think of any other movies from 1985 where that would be a thing.  I haven't yet figured out what these coins go with. They're numbered 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50. They might be treasure from Goonies or could be arcade tokens. I have no idea.  Last piece is a box of Unicron Crunch cereal. Probably just a fun '80s prop.  So that's the set of 30 figures with a bunch of fun little parodies of different '80s movies. It's a good set, but great if you're a Kreon collector. US$59.99 is a lot of money for a set of Kreons, but it comes to only US$2 per figure which is a heck of a deal. I think if I was a teacher giving Hasbro's art project here a grade, it would be an easy A-.  [Massive thanks to Hasbro for the review sample!]
SDCC Kreon Class of 1985 photo
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Bluefin lists out its exclusives for SDCC next week

Jun 30 // Andres Cerrato
For gunpla, we will have three exclusive models that were previously only available at events in Asia. The three kits are all in 1/144 scale and are the HGUC Zeta Plus Test Type Image Color (Amuro's) for $25.00, the RG Gundam Exia Extra Finish Version for $48.00, and the HGBF Try Burning Gundam PP Clear Version for $22.00. Perhaps the biggest draw will be the S.H. Figuarts Goku Frieza Saga version. It's the Goku you've always wanted, with an actual belt and his symbols. It's almost like the standard Goku release, just now with an extra face and gi symbols! This limited edition of Goku will be available for $45.00 alongside an 18" statue of Goku from X-Plus for $65.00. Also available will be several Action Vinyls from The Loyal Subjects. There will be a set of black/white battle damaged Ninja Turtles, a crystal MMPR Pink Ranger, and a Transformers Construction set. There's one last group of releases for comic and movie fans. Iron Man will have two items, an Iron Man MkIII Magnetic Floating figure with a chrome paint job for $139.99 and a 1/12 Shotgun Iron Man Mark XL for $160.00. In case you're wondering about those prices, they're fully poseable with LEDs throughout. If you'd like another billionaire who fights crime, on hand will be Hero Cross' Hybrid Metal Figuration Batman for $80.00. Oh, there's also an S.H. Figuarts Nise (imposter) Sailor Moon, too. She looks mean and I guess that's kinda cool.  Check out the gallery for what you can buy from Bluefin this San Diego Comic Con.
Bluefin SDCC Exclusives photo
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