Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Masterpiece Bumblebee (2016)

In just another couple of weeks, the Bumblebee live-action movie will hit theaters. While I'm going to wait for reviews before committing to see it, myself, now seems an appropriate time to feature the definitive version of the original Bumblebee character, in the form of Masterpiece Bumble (as the character is called in Japan, and I do indeed have the Japanese version).

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

BotCon 2010 Slicer

It has been established that Fun Publications enjoyed creating homages to Action Master-original characters. It has also been established that the "Shattered Glass" concept they created was generally successful, if admittedly controversial. We've even seen an exclusive that managed to bridge these concepts. Slicer, the attendee-freebie from BotCon 2010, does so as well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Titans Return Six Shot (2016)

At first glance, the Titans Return line is a revisitation of the Headmasters concept, first introduced in 1987. Robots with detachable heads, with the heads themselves transforming into little robots. Also like the Headmasters of old, Titans Return's transforming head partners were compatible with every other toy with the same feature in the line. But while the Titans Return line did indeed feature new toys for each of the classic 1987 Headmasters characters (except for Scorponok, [grumble, grumble...]), they went way beyond those characters, making many classic characters "Headmasters" (although they called them "Titan Masters," now) for the first time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

United Stepper (2011)

It's Halloween, but the most I'm going to make of any connection to this toy and that holiday is this fairly dark and ominous bit of packaging art. Let's face it. I've been doing this for a long time now, and there's really only so many ways to connect a new Transformer with each given holiday every year. Most years, I don't even try.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

BotCon 2016 Reflector

It is well-known in the Transformers fandom that Hasbro likes to get as much use out of each new mold they create as possible. This not only means that molds are redecoed and retooled as different characters, but that Hasbro, in fact, plans some of the different characters into the molds even as they are being created. This is sometimes done on a "just in case" basis, without a firm commitment to releasing this pre-planned character as a toy, and absent the occasional clue (an "incorrect" head being used in line art for instructions, for example), those of us who do not work within the industry itself often never know what toys had been so considered, but which were never actually produced.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Combiner Wars Shockwave (2016)

It is well-understood by now that the current team at Hasbro really enjoys paying homage to characters from the early days of Transformers history. The recently-completed "Prime Wars" trilogy was chock-full of classic characters, many of whom were given the most faithful updates to their original "Generation One" selves ever seen to-date. While this was definitely a welcome development (at least to me), I have no doubt that it also posed some challenges.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fun with Kreons

Doing something a bit different this time around. I took these pictures several years ago, thinking to do a feature on Kreons for the blog, but I found that I never really had much to say about them, and before too long, the "Kreon moment" had passed (I'm told you can still buy them some places, but I still think it's safe to say that the glory days of the Kreon are behind us). Instead, I offer these pictures here without additional comment. A look into Hasbro's attempt to do "LEGO" (in all but name) with Transformers.*

*Special appearances by Super Mario Bros. characters from the K'NEX line and Barriss Offee from the LEGO Star Wars line.

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