Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Animated Swindle (2008)

When I learned the sad news that legendary comedian Fred Willard passed away a couple of weeks ago at the age of 86, my immediate thought was to do a re-post of his contribution to the Transformers franchise, Animated Swindle, believing that I had featured the toy when I did a spate of Animated toys in the lead-up to BotCon 2011 (if not elsewhere). Of course, I quickly learned that I had not done a feature on Swindle at that time, so I've pulled the toy out to rectify that error now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

BotCon 2007 Dreadwind

BotCon 2007 is well-remembered among Transformers fans for the boxed set of exclusive toys that came with it. While these toys were extremely popular, they were also extremely controversial. As I've written regarding Thundercracker (and elsewhere), most of the controversy surrounds the use of the "Seeker" jets in the set, thus consigning them to exclusivity rather than allowing them to be regular retail releases. I don't agree with this interpretation for a whole host of reasons, but this article isn't about the Seekers. Rather I'm looking to discuss a figure that has largely been ignored in this debate for over a decade now: Dreadwind.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Timelines Side Burn (2011)

While it is certainly true that most of the most well-known characters in the Transformers franchise originate from what is now known as the "Generation One" continuity family, every once in a while a character in a new continuity captures the attention of the fandom. In fact, some of these newer characters sometimes end up with new toys that actually import them into more modern Generation One stories! Such was the case with Side Burn.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Lifeline with Quickslinger (2017)

As everyone continues to spend more time at home, I have a couple more non-Ratchet medics to feature. Both are Transformers Collectors' Club exclusive toys that were the first official toys for their characters, but (as TCC toys tended to do) have histories that go back further.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dueling Micromaster Medics - Fixit (1989) and Sireen (1992/2002)

As I said last time, since pretty much everyone has matters related to health and medicine on their mind at the moment, it has seemed a good opportunity to feature some Medix medics here on the blog. This week, I'm doing two at once, since they're really pretty similar to each other: Fixit and Sireen.

Before I say anything else, allow me to extend my apologies for the black-and-white art of Sireen seen here. The only other art I had access to for Sireen had him obscured either by text or by another character. At least this version was unobstructed. Clearly there's real, unobstructed, Sireen color art out there somewhere, but I've never seen it. If anyone's able to point me in the direction of better packaging art, I'd be grateful.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Medix the Doc-Bot "Rescan" (2016)

It's no secret that people everywhere are thinking about things related to the medical profession these days. I'm no exception, and so have decided to focus on a few medical-profession Transformers characters that I haven't featured before for the next couple of weeks. For this entry, I'm focusing on the "Rescan" version of Rescue Bots Medix.

Over the years, there have been several attempts to bring the Transformers franchise to preschool-aged children. Of these, the Rescue Bots line has inarguably been the most successful. Beginning toward the end of 2011, toys related to the line have been available ever since, and the original Rescue Bots cartoon (which started at about the same time) actually holds the franchise record for the longest-running cartoon, both in terms of episode count (104 episodes) and in number of seasons run (the only series to be produced for a full fourth season).

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Tactical Officer (Hyper Mode) from Junkion Blacksmith (2010)

While it would certainly be a stretch to suggest that all transformable robots not made by either Hasbro or Takara try to take advantage of the popularity of the Transformers franchise, specifically, there are numerous examples of such toys that unmistakably attempt to either homage or replicate (some might say "steal") Transformers-specific characters and concepts. The "Tactical Officer" from Junkion Blacksmith is a toy that actually manages to homage two Transformers-specific concepts simultaneously.
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