mecha

Reissue Trypticon photo
That isn't long enough to save for this!
It's really happening! A few months back there was a rumble coming out of Asia that a number of G1 reissues were on their way from Hasbro and we've finally gotten confirmation of the biggest one yet: Trypticon! Neither Hasbro...

Top sales 5/11 to 5/17 photo
Top sales 5/11 to 5/17

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 5/11 to 5/17


Go, go Super Sentai
May 26
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Not sure why, but apparently during this period there was a surge in toy sales from Shuriken Sentai Ninninger. Japan's current big Super Sentai series claimed the bottom four overall slots. Meanwhile all of the hobby slo...
SDCC 2015 Transformers photo
Not-so-jolly green giant gets repainted
As people suspected, one of this year's San Diego Comic Con exclusives from Hasbro is Titan class Devastator. Like with the 2013 SDCC Titan Metroplex, Titan Devastator is pretty similar to the retail version, but features add...

Top sales 5/4 to 5/10 photo
Top sales 5/4 to 5/10

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 5/4 to 5/10


Well this looks familiar
May 18
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Well this is a little odd. For the first time since we started reporting these Japanese sales ranking we've got absolutely nothing new for the overall and hobby lists. In fact none of the rankings reported by Toynes.jp h...
Schick Evangelion photo
Schick Evangelion

Achieve "Shave Impact" with Schick and Evangelion


Yes, this is figure related
May 13
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Japan gets the best stuff. In the west Gillette doesn't make Batman shaving accessories for adults, but in Japan Schick makes Evangelion razor holders and a bunch of other cool stuff. Schick once again brings back clean shave...
Transformers D-Style photo
Transformers D-Style

Pre-orders start for Transformers D-Style Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker


These are some great photos!
May 12
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Kotobukiya continues to trudge along with their D-Style SD model kit line of Transformers characters. What started with Optimus Prime and Megatron along with an upcoming Nemesis Prime kit continues in the skies with new ...
Top sales 4/27 to 5/3 photo
Top sales 4/27 to 5/3

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 4/27 to 5/3


Is that a drone I see?
May 11
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Well this is interesting. For the first time since we've been following these top lists we're absent one Shuriken Sentai Ninninjer DX Shurikenjin. It and the Ninja Ichibantou have been something of a staple on the list for th...
Masterpiece Road Rage photo
Masterpiece gets its first fembot
Back in January the ol' Transformers rumor mill claimed to know the next three Masterpiece figures coming to Japan. The first was said to be MP-25 Tracks which turned out to be true. The second was long shot MP-26 Road Rage w...

Seele Danboard photo
Seele Danboard

Revoltech Mini Danboard gets new life as an Evangelion Seele monolith


Amazon Japan exclusive bundle
May 09
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
This fall will mark the 20th anniversary of the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV anime series which first premiered in October of 1995. In celebration of this major milestone the original TV series and movies are being remastered i...

Take a look at BotCon 2015's complete box set

May 05 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
BotCon 2015 photo
Cybertron: Most Wanted
BotCon 2015 is a little over a month away so let's see what's in store for their box set, Cybertron: Most Wanted. The story takes place on Axiom Nexus, a Cybertronian hub city at the  center of the Transformers multivers...

Top sales 4/20 to 4/26 photo
Top sales 4/20 to 4/26

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 4/20 to 4/26


Lots of new arrivals
May 04
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
By now we should be used to Bandai owning these top lists so I won't harp on that any more. Instead we'll focus on what's actually made the lists rather than who made them. Like last week the overall list matches the boys lis...
Transformers May Mayhem photo
Transformers May Mayhem

Hasbro, IDW, and retailers team up for Transformers May Mayhem


Month long event features comics, figure reveals, and more!
Apr 30
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
May might be the month of flowers and warming weather, but Hasbro wants to make sure it's known for something else: Transformers! Through the entire month of May Hasbro will be combining fans with retailers and various events...

Tomopop Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Brake-Neck

Apr 30 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Figure Name: Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe Brake-NeckFigure Maker: HasbroRetail Price: TBAAvailable at: Coming soon! To start things off we'll take a quick look at the packaging. It's pretty much the same as the other Combiner Wars figures. He's in the North American packaging so it should be interesting to see if there are any sales limits for countries that would normally get their figures in international packaging. He comes with a copy of IDW's Combiner Wars #8 comic, the same as Dead End.  The back of the package has a strange little oversight on it. Even though it's supposed to feature all five G1 characters they accidentally replaced Dead End with Brake-Neck instead of Offroad. Oops.  Bot mode is pretty imposing. He's big and bulky and has one neat feature not found on any of the Aerialbots. The molds used for Breakdown and Dead End (and of course Brake-Neck) have an extra part making up the chest that covers the combining peg. It's something unique that really changes up their look compared to other Combiner Wars figures. I do wish he had something that resembled feet, not having feet might be a little too G1. For the most part the Stunticons feature new bot modes while their vehicle modes, heads, and color pallet are the only things that carry over.  Yeah, he has a bit of a backpack, but it sits in such a way that it doesn't really effect the look of the figure that much I think. It's also light enough that it doesn't throw off his balance at all. His legs open with a hinge on the side to fold them over when transforming. It's not entirely unlike the way these figure would transform in G1. I'm not sure what the story is with the orange paint, it should be dark red. It doesn't even match the red plastic it's supposed to blend in with.   The head sculpt is like what we used to see in the G1 cartoon and comics with the barbs sticking out of the side of his head rather than the the square head the original figure had. This is a very, very good thing. I'm glad Hasbro stopped using light pipes for the eyes on these figures, but for some reason they've been given really tiny eyes. They're painted, but they're so small it can be hard to tell. Speaking of the eye paint, if you have a choice of figure try to pay attention to the condition of the eyes. I've found a lot of them have chipped paint, probably from their assembly. It seems to be a pretty common problem so I hope they get this fixed for later releases.  Articulation is good, consisting of a mix of ball and clicking joints. Of all the strange places to put one of those clicking joints is the wrists where they fold in for the transformation. No idea what purpose that serves, maybe they're worried about them becoming floppy? Each figure comes with two weapons. For the Stunticons their primary is a melee weapon of some sort. In Brake-Neck's (and Dead End's) case it's a pipe. Not sure why they went with a pipe when the others got swords and axes, but it is what it is. The secondary weapon is like the multi tool of Combiner Wars. For the Deluxe class figures it's a gun, but for the combined mode it's either a foot or hand, while some of the Stunticons also have them acting as external engines for their vehicle modes.  I've got a few complaints about car mode. First, as mentioned before, the orange paint is just strange. It's not a case of them not being able to match the red plastic because the windows are painted red. Also not crazy about the out of place red block under the window, really should have slapped some gray paint on that. On the bright side the tire rims are painted, that's always good.  I do like the silver patch, the offset Decepticon symbol and that they painted the headlights properly, I have to give them credit on this, he looks very good from the front.  Unfortunately that's where they stopped. There isn't even the smallest bit of paint on the back so no rear window and no taillights. I suppose not all cars have rear windows, but they could have at least stuck some of that red window paint on the lights.  See, Dead End got a window. To be fair there isn't a window molded in there and the original Wildrider figure didn't have a rear window while the original Dead End did. Like with Quickslinger and Firefly it's likely this mold was designed with both figures in mind from the start.  As the story goes, after Wildrider (or Brake-Neck) parts ways with the Stunticons this new guy named Offroad shows up and takes his place. They're uneasy about replacing their departing teammate, and even more so when Offroad appears in Wildrider's colors. When Offroad was first announced and we had only seen his truck mode people thought he was the same character as Wildrider.  But the similarities end with their vehicle colors. Bot mode shows them with entirely different pallets. In reality Hasbro had intended for Offroad to be an update of Triggercon Ruckus, but that guy is dead in the comics and Hasbro couldn't really justify making him a Stunticon so they turned him into a new character. The head mold is still very much Ruckus'.  I guess this is why they gave him a pipe for a weapon. If it weren't bent on the end you could say it doubles as a gun, but no, it's just a pipe. The other weapon doesn't serve any other purpose than a gun in car mode.  Here's the entire team. What was once five is now seven. Five Deluxe class, one Legends class (Blackjack), and one Voyager class. They make for a pretty imposing troop. But it wouldn't be Combiner Wars if they didn't have one more function.  Menasor is one big bundle of hate and looks the part! Like the individual Stunticons his primary weapon is a giant sword rather than a gun, made by combining Motormaster's weapons. Like Superion he's an action figure in his own right with a full range of articulation. Unfortunately the part of Motormaster that the cars connect to is pretty weak and comes apart easily when you move his arms. Also his hip joints, which are already awkwardly designed, are very stiff and hard to manipulate. Blackjack can just barely stay in his chest as the pegs holding him in are too short and thin. Some people have come up with an alternate method of configuring him in there, but you may just want to keep the chest doors closed, it looks more G1 that way anyway.  I do love that head sculpt! The horns are new, they weren't quite like bull horns on the original figure or the cartoon, but they kinda work. What I love is the face sculpt. A lot of photos don't really capture the details adequately, but there's a lot of depth and layers to the sculpting. Plus I think the expression is perfect! Leg mode is a simple matter of folding over the front of the car and adding a foot. It's basically the same idea as the G1 figure, but I wish the front could be folded up to hide the joint the same way the Aerialbots can. Unfortunately this is the only way the front will fold in this form.  As an arm the transformation is a bit more involved, but it's basically the robot mode with some modifications. I like that Hasbro tried to make Brake-Neck's arms do something different rather than just sitting at his side. So there you have it. Brake-Neck isn't a bad figure by any means, but I think there are just a couple areas that could have made him a great figure. His transformation is as complex or more-so than some of the other Generations figures we've gotten in recent years and his sculpt is really great. However it's hard to overlook that orange stripe and I rally wish they had put some paint on the back end so it isn't just a blob of gray plastic. As limbs he's very functional, though I wish he could hide the knee joint in leg mode. Weapon could have been better, but it's not that far different from the rest of the Stunticons. In the end only people who will be buying Brake-Neck are people who already own the other members. If you're already that committed you probably already know what to expect and will get Brake-Neck to complete the team regardless anyway.  [Giant-sized thanks to Hasbro for providing the review samples!]
Transformers Brake-Neck photo
Prepare for a wild ride(r)
Brake-Neck is an interesting name. It's a dual play on words using brake in place of break since he's a car and making it part of a phrase meaning to drive recklessly at high speeds. It isn't a terrible new name for a guy onc...

Tomopop Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Quickslinger

Apr 30 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Figure Name: Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe QuickslingerFigure Maker: HasbroRetail Price: TBAAvailable at: Coming soon! And here we are! Nothing really different about the packaging compared to the other figures in the line. He's in the North American packaging rather than the international packaging so it should be interesting to see what this means for availability in other countries. He comes with IDW's Combiner Wars comic #3, likely the same comic that Firefly (Fireflight) comes with.  From the back of the box. An error was made in the diagram for Superion showing Quickslinger as the same mold as Skydive instead of Firefly. At least the G1 team members are correct, unlike on Brake-Neck's package. But that's enough about the package, let's get to the figure. And here's Quickslinger! People who already own Firefly will know what to expect from Quickslinger, but there are still some things worth pointing out. The colors come from a couple difference influences. For the most part the figure is based on the colors from the original G1 figure. However the black hands and feet make their way from the G1 cartoon. The blue visor is likely IDW's doing or maybe just Hasbro wanting to break things up a bit. If you want him with the orange visor you'll have to get the Takara Tomy version. The use of black really helps to separate the two even though they're basically the exact same figure. The gold paint is also nice, it's very shiny. Firefly's silver on white treatment doesn't really do it for me. Don't get me wrong, Firefly isn't a bad looking figure, I just don't find it as interesting despite all the red.  From the side you can get an idea of how massive his lower legs are. I actually don't mid that since it gives him some great stability. People complain about the legs being hollow, but really, they kinda have to be for the transformation process. He's actually a pretty sturdy figure and the hollow legs help with the combined mode.  He does have a lot of stuff on his back, all of the Aerialbots do, but it's a far cry from the original G1 figure that had what amounted to tiny jets on their backs. His transformation isn't quite as straightforward as it looks.  A closer look at his face reveals something interesting. I don't know if it's intentional or just a flaw in the mold, but there's this 'crack' going across his forehead. He was killed in the comics (though expected to return somehow eventually) hence him being left out of the team originally, so I'll take it as battle damage. Typically he's viewed as a little guy and something of a braggart, but that face is all business. Dying sure does change a bot.   His articulation pretty good, a nice combination of ball joints and clicky ones. I'm especially happy with the bicep swivel that all Combiner Wars figures have. Every now and then Hasbro leaves them out so I'm always happy to see them used. Wrist articulation would have been nice, but this is what's normal for Deluxe class figures these days.  He does have the added benefit of being able to look up. His head is sculpted in such a way to give enough clearance for him to do this. Not all of the figures in the line can do this and it's not a part of the transformation so it's a nice little extra.  He's also pretty well armed. All CW figures have two weapons. The first is their primary which varies from figure to figure. Some have guns and others have melee arms. Then there's the secondary weapon, capable of  taking multiple forms. Aside from being a weapon it can also turn into a foot or articulated hand for the combined form. In vehicle mode some even turn into engines. Some say they're too small as feet and too big as hands, but I think they're fine as is. I feel like this jet mode suits him better than it does Firefly. On the G1 figure his wings run even with the top of the jet where the original Firefly (or Fireflight) had his wings run even with the bottom of the jet. In all likelihood this mold was designed with both figures in mind from the start, but I definitely see more G1 in this figure than in the Firefly version. Usually all white would make a figure blander, but for some reason I like him more than the red. Maybe it's the orange cockpit, I was never a fan of the silver one.  It's a bit strange, but these Deluxe class figures don't have proper landing gear. This mold does have a front wheel, but the others don't. So he basically just props himself up on his feet. I wish they would have sculpted fake wheels into his feet at least. I guess he's lucky to have feet at all, some of the others don't.  He does a fair enough job of hiding his bot parts. Surprisingly they didn't take the simple method of having his lower legs slide up over his thighs. Instead the legs split and fold up and over the thighs. It seems more complicated, I'm not entirely sure what the benefit is, except that in the long run you don't have to worry about the sliding parts wearing out and the figure not properly standing. Nearly all of the CW figures use a variation on this leg transformation.  Of course you can also mount the weapons under the wings if you want. These figures all have multiple 5mm ports you can plug weapons into so you can stick weapons into different places. Each figure has ports in different places so placement is up to you. The complete team is pretty impressive, made up of five Deluxe class, one Legends class, and one Voyager class. A lot of people thought Alpha Bravo looked too much like Quickslinger, but side by side they couldn't be any more different. Of course we still have to cover their main purpose, to combine! Superion is nothing short of impressive towering at a foot tall. Here I have Quickslinger acting as a leg. Back in the G1 days the jet side of the leg was always in the back. I was never a big fan of that. If a giant robot is made of a bunch of vehicles I want to see vehicle parts. I'm happy with the way these are configured. I've seen a lot of people display these with the lower legs backwards, but you lose the knee joint in the process so I don't really see the point.  Superion is an action figure just like any other and has all of the articulation you'd expect from a large figure. He's also very solid and well balanced, possibly the best combiner that Hasbro has ever made.  Here's Quickslinger as an arm. Where the leg configuration isn't all that much different from his jet mode, the arm configuration is more like his bot mode. There's a lot of clearance here thanks to the jets being fairly thin characters so you get a lot of ROM from the arms. The bot thighs acting as an elbow joint lets him flex a little bit more and the bot pelvis works like a bicep swivel. The shoulder joint is the leg mode's knee so there's a lot of movement there as well.   Hey, remember a couple years ago when Hasbro tried to make a combining Fall of Cybertron Bruticus? That figure was something of an abomination, but it had the right idea using a universal combination joint allowing for components to act as both arms and legs. It wasn't very well executed, but I like to think that Hasbro learned a lot from that experiment and Combiner Wars turned out all the better for it. I do wish they made  a way for the weapons to combine as well, but with all of the ports on the figures you can probably find a way to make the most of them all the same.   So there you have it. Now that Quickslinger is here we have a genuine complete G1 Aerialbot team for the first time in nearly 30 years! It's been a massive undertaking for Hasbro and it has paid off in a big way. It's a modern approach to a vintage character without doing a massive overhaul of the character design. This is just the tip of the iceberg in Hasbro's two year plan for Combiner Wars. The Protectobots are starting show at the time of this writing, a massive Devastator will be here later in the year, the Fan Built Combiner is in the works, and rumors have been running wild over many other additions among other things. Hasbro has been putting so much work into this it might very well be another 30 years before we see them take on another project like this.  [Huge thanks to Hasbro for providing the product samples used in this review!]
Transformers Quickslinge photo
He may have a new name, but Slingshot is back!
When Hasbro did their year-long reveal of the Combiner Wars theme for the Transformers Generations line last year fans were simultaneously excited and confused. On one hand we're getting proper updates to popular G1 combiner ...

Top sales 4/13 to 4/19 photo
Top sales 4/13 to 4/19

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 4/13 to 4/19


Welp, Bandai wins
Apr 25
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
I guess this is what we've been building up to. It started to look like they were losing their grip, but a steady gain in rankings lead to this point: total domination. I'll comment more down below. Overall (→) Yo-...
Top sales 4/6 to 4/12 photo
Top sales 4/6 to 4/12

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 4/6 to 4/12


Also known as the top 5 Gundam of the week
Apr 19
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
This week supported two known facts: trading card games and Gundam are insanely popular in Japan. To say it was a great week for either, especially Gundam, might be an understatement. There are only three new items this week,...

Tomopop Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Powerglide

Apr 11 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Figure Name: Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Legends PowerglideFigure Maker: HasbroRetail Price: US$9.99Available at: Entertainment Earth | Big Bad Toy Store | TFSource | Hasbro Toy Shop Packaging is pretty good and does a nice job catching the eye despite being so dark and gritty. It's also fairly small, especially when compared to the Legends figures from the previous wave and earlier. The figures used to come with small robot partners that could turn into weapons and armor, but for some unknown reason Hasbro dropped them without dropping the price. I'm sure it was to save money, but it left most of these guys weaponless. Here's a closer look at the card art. It's nice art, it comes from the Transformers Legends mobile game, but the card... not so much. If you look closely you'll see the edges are frayed, that's because it's not card stock like a trading card, but rather a thin piece of cardboard. Pretty cheap and doesn't exactly makeup for the loss of the partner figure. The back of the card is basically just advertising the series.Would have been an ideal place to put a bio, even it were multilingual.  Let's take a closer look at the figure. The first thing that really stands out for me is the color. Hasbro for a while seemed to struggle with red plastic, often coming out more pink than anything (you'll see what I mean later). Powerglide here is colored perfectly! This is probably the best likeness we'll ever get since a Masterpiece will probably never happen. For the most part this figure is spot on.  Hasbro just keeps getting better and better with their face sculpts! Only his eyes are visible, yet he appears to be very expressive. I've mentioned this before, but I really hate light piped eyes. Thankfully Powerglide is sporting painted eyes and they look great! Not a lot of kibble hanging off which is always a welcome sight. He also has great proportions with good shoulder alignment. When figures have arms that don't connect to the body directly they occasionally aren't aligned properly, but that's not an issue here.  From the back; Sure, you can see the cockpit, but this isn't a case of the jet parts hanging off his back, this is his back.. I like his broad shoulders, he looks like he's ready for a fight. With the flap hanging off the bottom this reminds me of those images of old martial arts masters from behind. Articulation isn't bad at all. Most of his joints are ball jointed which is the ideal jointing method I think. His shoulders even feature reinforced balls with a pin to keep them from breaking. I do wish he had slightly better arm articulation, but more on that in a bit.  There was something in the sculpting that really caught my eye. Typically to save on plastic they'll make parts hollow as an easy way to cut costs. Usually the hollow parts are pretty bland with only enough sculpting inside to keep them structurally sound, but they're mainly just empty space. This is one of the rare times I've seen actual detailed sculpting inside the part. You can see what looks like a hydraulic for the thigh in there. Someone really put a lot of love into this figure.  Transform! Once again Powerglide retains his A-10 Thunderbolt II mode though some liberties have been taken to the design. Not quite as cartoon accurate as his bot mode, but still a great looking flight mode. The one issue I have with the transformation itself is that the legs don't stick together very well and tend to come apart a little too easily. The hands are quite a bit more visible than I would like, too; it's hard to see them as anything but. I guess if there's a benefit it's this: They do give you a place to stick additional weapons, in this case it's Legends Swerve's Micromaster partner Flanker (in blue) and Legends Cosmos' Micromaster partner Payload (in white) in their weapon modes. Can you see why I wish Powerglide and the other later Legends figures included partners or at least weapons? He doesn't look all that bad from the underside. Where a lot of figures at this size just look like a robot with vehicle parts hanging off it, but the bot bits hide pretty nicely in the transformation. Couldn't help but notice his feet transform the same way the feet on the old G1 Seeker jets (Starscream and the like) did. Kinda funny because the Legends Starscream figure doesn't have feet like that himself.  And finally, here he is in gun mode. As a member of the Aerialbots he acts as Superion's second gun (or only gun since they can be combined). He's pretty effective in this form, equipped with three barrels and a pair of missile pods, maybe even more depending on how you look at him. The front landing gear doubles as a 5mm handle and is stiff enough to support him. Overall he's a deadly looking weapon is enough removed from his flight and bot modes to be convincing. That's basically it for Powerglide so let's compare him to some his past selves. Unfortunately I don't currently own an original G1 Powerglide figure, that's been lost to the ages.  This little guy came with Kabaya's Fortress Maximus DX gum toy and is one of the smallest Transformers I own. He does Transform, but you have to pull the arms out and put them back in to do it.  This here is Cyberverse Commander Powerglide from the Dark of the Moon movie line. For four years or so this was the stand in G1 Powerglide for many people. It may only loosely resemble the guy, but he's quite the transforming marvel. He's a little smaller than Legends Powerglide, but has a lot more articulation and probably twice as many moving parts to his transformation. He's also armed to the teeth (or mouth plate) with missiles. He may not be accurate, but he's one heck of a cool figure.  Finally we'll add in the pair of Transformers Universe Ultra class Powerglide figures. The guy on the left was sold at regular retail and while an OK figure people hated him in those colors. A Powerglide that isn't red isn't Powerglide. Hasbro listened and Walmart stores got the exclusive repaint on the right. Well, he isn't quite red, more of a pink, but it was a step in the right direction. Incidentally this figure ended up being more accurate than the Takara Tomy version which was very red. Too bad these two have funky leg ratchets that either keep them too close together or too far apart which makes him look very rigid standing and hard to pose. The figure would later be repainted based on the even smaller Micromaster Stormcloud.  All have the same basic A-10 form. And while the movie figure might be the most slavishly realistic one, Legends Powerglide is the funnest.  Let's end this by looking at scale. He's roughly the same size as his fellow Legends figures, but there's been a noticeable increase in quality when compared to the Bumblebee figure from 2013 with some pretty thin yellow plastic. Behind him we've got a fairly average size Generations Voyager class figure in Springer, a taller Deluxe Reveal the Shield Jazz, and smaller Deluxe Generations Rattrap. In front are some of the Micromaster partners as seen earlier in bot mode. It's been a while since Hasbro has given us a proper Basic/Scout class size line and this is pretty much what we're getting from Legends. It would have been nice if they had dropped the price when they stopped including Micromaster partners, especially when they're still using molds that used to include partners. Still, as long as they keep remaking G1 Mini Vehicles in this way I'll keep buying them. 
Combiner Wars Powerglide photo
And away we go!
When Hasbro first announced the Combiner Wars theme for 2015 the possibilities seemed endless. And when fans began coming up with different ways to incorporate Legends figures into the combinations the doors were blown wide o...

Top sales 3/30 to 4/5 photo
Top sales 3/30 to 4/5

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 3/30 to 4/5


Plus monthly results for March
Apr 11
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
So last time I lamented a bit that figma Sinon from Sword Art Online II didn't rank during her release week. Well it seems she received a delayed reaction as she ranked pretty high in the first week of April. And she wasn't e...
Top sales 3/23 to 3/29 photo
Top sales 3/23 to 3/29

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 3/23 to 3/29


Bandai continues to dominate
Apr 09
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Looks like Bandai finished March on a high note by releasing a bunch of new Gundam stuff as well as their continued Sentai domination. Plus game cards keep being big sellers and... Star Wars? Here's the ranking: Overall (&u...
Top sales 3/16 to 3/22 photo
Top sales 3/16 to 3/22

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


Good week for Transformers, Gundam, and Super Sentai
Mar 28
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
  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 ...
Transformers Masterpiece photo
Should have named him Silverstreak
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 Di...

Combiner Wars photo
Different names, but they're still Slingshot and Wildrider to me
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 member...

Armarauders photo
Mean lime green
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) whe...

Transformers photo
Transformers

Hasbro goes large with oversized simplified Transformers


These are actually kinda neat
Mar 18
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
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...

Two original TFs get WTF repaints from Hasbro

Mar 18 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
TF WTF photo
And they aren't even G2 figures
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...

Masterpiece Tracks photo
Masterpiece Tracks

Masterpiece Tracks gets better pictures, price, and date


It's going to be a long six month wait.
Mar 13
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
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 ...
CHAPPiE by Threezero photo
Hope they make a bunch of these
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 ...

Hikari photo
Hey! I remember Gigantor... why do I remember Gigantor?
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...

Masterpiece Tracks photo
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Tomopop Review: Mecha Workshop's Armarauders Bellerophon

Mar 01 // Scarecroodle
Figure Name: Armarauders BellerophonFigure Maker: Mecha WorkshopRetail Price:  Roughly ¥28,800Available at: HobbyLink Japan | AmiAmi | Big Bad Toy Store [[Quick editor's note: This review is based on a prototype that I had to return after shooting. Due to various timing issues, I wasn't able to write the review during that period so I wasn't able to go back and take additional photos of things that didn't come out quite as nicely as I had hoped (as well as not having access to some of the photos in my other camera which I wound up misplacing). Additionally, I realize that I may have missed showcasing a few of the features... especially because I had almost forgotten about the docking stand entirely.]] The Bellerophon stands roughly 23-cm tall (about 9-inches), has a lot of die-cast parts, and is billed as featuring more than 70 points of articulation. While I didn't personally count each point, I saw enough that I'd take Mecha Workshop's word for it since the figure is articulated right down to the fingers (that's right, no need for interchangeable hands). More on the articulation later. The basic design, without most of the add-ons, is seen here. The prototype I used for this review came with the shields (?) attached to the calf, but I later realized that they're removable as well. The pilot is tiny. He comes with a translucent flight stand (which I didn't notice until I was packing things back up) as well as a backpack unit. You can apparently pop the figure's head off to remove the backpack (which looks like a combination of a jetpack and weapons system). Apparently it can disassemble to form weapons for the pilot. The pilot features articulation at the head, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. I can't remember if he also had wrist articulation, but he definitely lacks ankle joints. The figure is fully sculpted, fully painted, and designed to fit into a fully detailed cockpit inside the Bellerophon. The cockpit can be opened by pulling out the chest piece (which took more effort than I thought it would the first time, but was easy once I had the process down), as shown in the first image, then opening it up as seen in the second. I suppose that this mechanic may seem like a relatively minor touch, but this makes the mech seem more fully functional and vastly increases the number of display options. Speaking of display options, here's the Bellerophon with all of its accessories attached (minus the Pegasus drone, which I'll discuss later). All of the add-ons are in some way articulate, having a moveable joint where they snap onto the figure and, in some cases, additional joints on the piece itself. The shoulder-shields featured some longer joints so they could be moved quite a bit. The shoulder cannons feature a lot of mobility as well. The shoulder pads (as seen in the earlier photos) are open to reveal additional firepower. That's in addition to what look like nipple-pistols. Two jetpack pieces snap onto the back. These are surprisingly awesome since they feature articulation at the nozzles, allowing for cooler flight mode displays. In addition to the parts, some kind of an energy chakram attaches to the figure's forearm (or technically chakri). The blades are detachable and possibly a little dangerous due to the sharp tips. The whole unit can spin which presumably makes this into either some kind of an energy shield or an energy buzzsaw. Unlike the other accessories, the rifles don't snap onto Bellerophon's body. Instead, they can be held in his hands thanks to those FULLY ARTICULATE FINGERS. Bellerophon comes with two rifles so if you wanted him to go full Robo-Rambo, you totally could. By now you've probably heard me talk about these amazing fingers a dozen or so times and really want to know more. Each finger is attached to the hand with a ball-joint, giving them a wide range of motion. Then there are ANOTHER two joints on each finger. These pin-joints mean that Bellerophon can hold weapons, slap another robot, punch an alien in its face, flash music or gang signs, taunt other robots with the middle finger, and more. The thumb features a larger joint on the side to help make some of the hand poses look more realistic (and was especially useful when trying to make a fist). There's also an alternate, transparent piece. Given that I've never read the accompanying comic, I'm not sure what it's for but it still looks cool. Finally we have the adjustable docking station. This is just "Part A" of the docking station. Part B is described as "a mobile docking stand with rubber wheels that docks the Pegasus Drone which will merge up with the Bellerophon, much like a flight pack." And, of course, the whole thing can also be displayed with the packaging (which, again, wasn't included with the prototype) to form a larger diorama. The station is adjustable... but I was never able to get the pillars back down again. I was told that you're supposed to push the small button in to lock it into place (it automatically locked for me) and you're supposed to use your nails to pull out the button to unlock it again. The only problem is that my nails are usually really short. (There's also an additional piece that can snap in there to hold the Bellerophon in place which I wound up not using. If you to leave the Bellerophon in the display over a long period of time, you should probably use the piece to make sure that the Bellerophon doesn't fall over.) The "wings" of the upper platform can separate and swing apart. The little extension between the two pieces retracts back into the right wing (or stage left wing). Overall, it makes for an incredible display piece. Imagine how cool it would be to have a bunch of these platforms right next to each other... All things considered, the Bellerophon seems pretty cool. Given that this is a prototype, there were some issues with loose joints, etc, which should be corrected in the final product. The copy I received also apparently had some things glued on which should detach. Otherwise, it's a solidly designed figure with tons of accessories and a multitude of display options. You may have noticed that I didn't go into the overall articulation as much as some of my other reviews. That's because I decided to just cover it in an accompanying video. If you have five or six minutes to listen to my completely unscripted ramblings, be sure to check it out: There's a lot to say about this release... in fact, too much to say. As such, expect a follow-up story in the next few days that covers some of the additional items that weren't included with the prototype such as the Pegasus Drone. [Big thanks to Mecha Workshop for lending us this prototype]
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One mean machine
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 fi...

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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 evide...

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