Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Generation Two Hubcap (1993)

When Hasbro launched the Generation Two line in 1993, the Transformers franchise had been lying dormant in the US for a couple of years. With steep competition from other toylines and the resurging video game industry, Hasbro had doubts as to whether a new Transformers line could possibly be successful, and they apparently hedged their bets by starting out almost entirely on reused molds and a recycled 1980s cartoon for publicity. Hubcap is one of four "Mini-Vehicles" whose molds had originally been used between 1984 and 1986. Of these four, Hubcap was the most recent, being a 1986 remold of 1984's Cliffjumper.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Micromaster Constructicon Devastator (2003)

In the early part of the 21st century, a lot of old molds from the Generation One era were beginning to be reused, often for the first time, to create new toys for a new generation of collectors. The usual pattern for such mold reuse was almost always the same; Takara, the makers of Transformers in Japan, would find and refurbish a mold for their market, and Hasbro would then use that mold again for the American market (and possibly elsewhere). Many of these molds had never been used for American toys originally, such as with the Japanese Micromaster six-teams.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BotCon 2014 Scorponok

Not all exclusives are created equal. Some are good. Others are... well... not so good. Still others transcend these simple labels, having risen to a level all their own.

At first glance, BotCon 2014 Scorponok is a fairly obvious choice using a decade-old mold that had already been used for a previous convention. Double Punch, from BotCon 2010, used this mold, also from a toy called "Scorponok," from the Energon line (itself from 2004) to positive effect by giving fans an opportunity to own a character most would otherwise never own (I myself do own an original Action Master Elite Double Punch, but it's incomplete, and given that the claws cost more on eBay than I'm willing to pay, it will likely remain so for the foreseeable future). Compared to Double Punch, to attempt such an obvious G1 homage might seem to some as lacking in creativity. But look closer....

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Retirement and Rebranding

Today is the 10th anniversary of the start of "Transforming Seminarian," and I am celebrating this occasion by officially retiring it. If you've read my most recent post back in February, this probably comes as no surprise (indeed, that's really what that post was all about. The only difference between then and now is that "a rest" now has become "retirement").

The surprise is that, after a period of reflection, and some behind-the-scenes work, I'll definitely not be giving up blogging. Instead, I'm rebranding and moving to a new URL. Welcome to "Blackrock's Toybox."
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