Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Legends Blurr (2016)

In recent years, the teams at both Hasbro and Takara have made a concerted effort to release new Transformers toys that homage toys and characters from the early days of the franchise (especially what we now call "Generation One"). This has led to a revisitation of gimmicks not seen in widespread use since the 1980s. The recent Titans Return line (and its counterpart Legends toys in Japan) revisits the classic "Headmasters" gimmick in a major way.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Reflections on Superman's 80th Birthday

Odds are, you know these words by heart:

Faster than a speeding bullet!
More powerful than a locomotive!
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

In case you haven't heard, Superman's celebrating a birthday this year. The character first appeared in Action Comics #1, which had a cover date of June 1938, and which was probably actually released early in May (thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics for this information, which also gives evidence that the April 18th date cited by some is not correct). Whatever one considers the "actual" birthday, I figure that now's a pretty good time to celebrate.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

HasCon 2017 Exclusive Optimus Prime Converting Power Bank

Longtime readers of this blog will be well-familiar with the fact that Fun Publications, the company that ran BotCon for the last decade-plus of its existence, lost the license to run official Transformers conventions after BotCon 2016, when Hasbro decided that they wanted to consolidate their licenses and run fan conventions on their own. The result was the first HasCon in September 2017, more of a trade show or exposition than a convention in the traditional sense, but at any rate devoted to all of Hasbro's properties, not just Transformers. That said, the fact that Transformers is one of Hasbro's most lucrative brands ensured that, when exclusives for HasCon were being planned, there'd be at least one Transformers exclusive in the mix.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Slugfest (1987)

Nearly eight years ago, I did a feature on Overkill, a former dinosaur cassette that had at the time been recently homaged via a Classics Grimlock repaint. I mentioned at the time that the original version of Overkill was packaged alongside another dinosaur cassette named Slugfest (all G1 cassettes were packaged in pairs, at least in the US), but since my intention at that time was to feature the two Overkill toys, Slugfest got very little attention. It's time to fix that.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Machine Wars Optimus Prime (1997)

With Toys R Us still in the process of closing its doors forever (at least in the US. Stores in other countries have found buyers, some of whom even look to be retaining the "Toys R Us" name), I had occasion to recall the closure of KB Toys yet again recently when I discovered Machine Wars Optimus Prime for sale at a local store and decided to add it to my collection. As long-time fans already know, Machine Wars was a short-lived line that was exclusive to KB. I discuss the line in a post I wrote in preparation for BotCon 2013, which featured a Machine Wars theme, so I won't repeat all that here. Instead, I'll focus on what made this version of Optimus Prime distinctive.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

BotCon Europe MMII (2002) Rook

The year 2002 was a significant one in the history of BotCon. It marked the first year that BotCon was truly the official Transformers convention, with full backing by Hasbro beyond the mere inclusion of exclusive toys. It also saw a marked increase in the sheer number of exclusives available that year. I've already featured three of the four exclusives available at BotCon 2002 on this blog (Tap-Out, Glyph, and CatSCAN, I do not... yet?... own the fourth: Cyclonus). Yet BotCon 2002 was only part of the story. There was also a BotCon in Europe that year: BotCon Europe MMII (The TFWiki refers to the convention in more traditional terms: "BotCon Europe 2002." I consider the version with the Roman numerals, found on contemporary advertising and its website, to be correct, because it's less easily explained). BotCon Europe MMII was by no means the first BotCon held outside the US, but it proved to be the last.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Impossible Toys TS-03 Prankstor (not-Skywarp, 2013)

Having won Hasbro's recent fan poll, Impactor (and Mirage) will be given new toys in the upcoming Transformers line, which Hasbro has confusingly decided to call "War for Cybertron." This isn't the first time that Hasbro has re-used an old name for a current toyline (the most famous, if debatably not the first, was the 2015 Robots in Disguise line), but it gets more difficult for those of us who try to keep all this straight with each successive re-use. At the time of this writing, the new line hasn't yet come out, and indeed no molds for it have even been revealed, so all we can do is speculate on the basis of the few fragments of information we currently have. So we'll start with those....
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