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.
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