Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Fall of Cybertron Wreckers (2013) Part 2: Topspin and Twin Twist (plus Ruination)

Last time, I featured the Fall of Cybertron versions of "the Wreckers," by featuring the toys of Impactor and Roadbuster. Let's continue this time by featuring Topspin (seen in these photos on the left) and Twin Twist (seen on the right).

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Fall of Cybertron Wreckers (2013) Part 1: Impactor and Roadbuster

Throughout the history of the Transformers franchise, there are a handful of special gimmicks (beyond just the ability to transform) that keep coming back again and again. Arguably one of the most popular such gimmicks has been the combiner robot, where three or more individual robots join together to form one, even larger robot (technically, there are two-robot combiners, but I've never heard the term "combiner" used in this way, so I'm going to define the term for the purposes of this discussion). In 2012, a video game called Fall of Cybertron was released, and Hasbro released several toys under the Generations sub-line, based on designs used within the game (this phenomenon is not unique to this game, but it's actually fairly uncommon). Fall of Cybertron rather heavily featured the Combaticons, a classic Generation One combiner team re-imagined in Cybertronian forms, and Hasbro released toys of these designs.

This entry is not about the Combaticons.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Downshift (1985)

Over ten years ago, I did features on Overdrive and Camshaft, the two Omnibots I owned at the time. Omnibots, for those who may not recall, were "double change" Autobots who were available only by mail-order by sending in "robot points" found on retail Transformers. Only recently did I find the third Omnibot, Downshift, available at a reasonable price and pick it up. Now that I have finally completed my collection of G1 Omnibots, it is only right that I do a feature on Downshift here, as well.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Smashdown (2019)

For nearly a decade now, the Generations lines of Transformers toys have more or less explicitly focused on homages to Generation One (the plural suggesting a more expansive view notwithstanding). That doesn't mean that the occasional homage to another part of the Transformers franchise never sneaks in, but these occasions are definitely more the exception than the rule these days. Even more noteworthy, however, are the occasions when a Transformers toy is an entirely new character. Smashdown, from this year's War for Cybertron: Siege line, is such a novelty.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Universe Countdown (2009)

When the Transformers franchise celebrated its 25th anniversary (10 years ago now!), it used the Universe sub-line to feature homages to characters from the franchise's past. Ostensively, characters from all aspects of the franchise were featured, and this may even have been technically the truth, but it's hard to ignore the fact that the bulk of the homages came from the Generation One portion of the franchise. Personally, this suited me fine, but I can certainly understand the concerns of fans who wish that other, now lesser-known, parts of Transformers history might have been revisited more often.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Combiner Wars Optimus Prime (2015)

If Hasbro has learned one thing in the past 35 years, it is that certain Transformers characters consistently sell toys, and that if any one character sells toys more consistently than any other, that character is Optimus Prime. The TFWiki suggests that Generation One Optimus Prime "has received the largest number of toys for any single Transformers character," and I see no reason to contradict that observation. While it perhaps isn't a guarantee that every new Transformers sub-line will contain at least one new Optimus Prime toy, one has to look fairly hard to find the exceptions.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Beast Wars II Powerhug (1998)

While it is true that animal forms have been a part of the Transformers franchise since the very beginning, the transition to the Beast era is marked by a move away from strictly mechanical approximations of animals to more organic forms. A focus exclusively on animals (as was the case when the Beast era began) also meant a wider variety of fauna being represented. It is hard to imagine a Transformer based on a pill bug (called a "roly-poly" when I was growing up) having come out during the "Generation One" era, but by the Beast era, such a mode was by no means unusual.
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