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It took me a while to develop trust with IDW's Transformers titles. After all, Transformers hadn't had the most consistent run of quality in its first six or so years. But it turned out that the splitting of the Transformers ongoing in to two new books at the start of 2012 resulted in not only two titles that brought a strong game to their debuts, but were able to maintain that level of quality month after month. They made me a fan of the Transformers comics. And now, more than four years later, I fear this era is about to see its end.



Unique Toys and their alter ego DX9 are developing a solid reputation for getting triplechanging transforming characters right for the most part. While they don’t always nail all modes, chances are you’ll get a very high quality, enjoyable figure which displays beautifully in at least 2 modes out of 3. Their Provider, Chigurh and Gewalt are all superb figures that we have reviewed here and thoroughly enjoyed. Now they’ve taken a shot at one of the heroic variety, with Y-03 Sworder representing the 1986 triplechanger hero whose orange, yellow and black colours have become his identity.



DX9 have developed a reputation for producing very good-looking, high quality and enjoyable Masterpiece-scale transforming figures that bring them more fans with every subsequent release. Having grabbed attention with their Invisible car robot figure as first to market at MP scale, they followed it up with the brilliant Chigurh, exceptional Carry and popular Tyrant.



For some time now I’ve wanted to introduce more diversity into our collector interviews, but of course that depends on the responses we get, and seeing the many high end vintage collections in our features so far can deter some from contributing. Not so Marian Hilditch. It’s with great pleasure that this month we feature someone whose path into the hobby does not follow the oft-described vintage route.



Remember back when if you wanted a character in the Transformers universe as a toy in your collection, chances were that you had a single choice for that toy? You either made do with what you were given for Broadside, or you went without. Or you made your own. Nowadays, with multiple aesthetics, scales and companies in the mix, one can be decidedly more picky about which representation of a Transformers character they settle on for their collection.



One of the dangers of becoming very involved in a hobby or pastime, for those who invest in it more than just casually and dedicate a lot of their free (or not!) time to such a pursuit, is burnout. The source of such feelings can vary from financial constraints to over-indulgence, or from letting lines of reality become blurred. Someone who collects, discusses, participates and enjoys Transformers is every bit as susceptible to these feelings as a stamp collector or car enthusiast.



A video clip has been going around Facebook today, and despite what the April 1st date here might lead you to think, this one isn't a silly prank. The video is a demonstration of what the builder called "The Transformer", a remote control car that turns in to a walking, moving robot all under its own power. The video demonstrates all of these functions, plus gives a general overview. Sound familiar? This video is from March 2015, and a few weeks after this was posted, we reported on Grant Imahara tweeting about a robot of the same design at the RoboGames. We have the new clip embedded below, so go take a look!



I’ve often said that simply buying, amassing and displaying toys is not enough to sustain my interest and passion for Transformers as a hobby. I’ve spent many years researching variants, writing articles, photographing toys and trying to unearth unknown facets of the global Transformers and pre-Transformers history since joining the community.



Imagine a relatively complete collection of Generation 1 Transformers from about 1984 to 1988. An impressive sight and a wonderful achievement. Now imagine that same collection in the form of prototypes, test shots, first shots, packaging samples, hand-painted mock-ups and pre-release box/catalogue/Toyfair photo subjects.



I have already written articles on the importance of discipline, occasional sacrifice and priorities in Transformers collecting on this blog, but I feel things have changed enough recently to warrant a second look at how I collect. Before it was a case of maybe choosing the toy lines and styles I liked, collecting those and cutting back on impulse or peripheral, tangential toy purchases. Now, it is becoming hard to even collect all the moulds – never mind repaints – of the same line. So, it’s time to focus.



Bloomberg Business is reporting that insiders close to the matter have come forward indicating that for some months now Hasbro and Mattel have been having talks about merging the two companies. According to the sources, Hasbro has initiated the discussion, perhaps hoping to capitalize on the fact that they've recently won certain Disney licenses previously held by Mattel to pursue the deal while the other company is slightly weakened. So far there's no indication of any formal deals taking place. Could the deal even move forward if agreements were struck? And what would it mean for Transformers? Keep reading.



The battle has been joined proper, with 3rd party companies left, right and centre putting out figures to fill gaps in Masterpiece collections. BadCube had already released Huff, Brawny, Backland, Wardog and the Evil Bug Corps, but Sunsurge is arguably their most ambitious stab at a slice of the MP market so far. For some time competing with Omnigonix’s Spinout (don’t get me started on that name), Sunsurge has comprehensively won the race to be the first MP-style release to homage the unforgettably yellow, self-adoring, other half of the most famous set of Cybertronian twins, Lamborghini Countach LP500S Super Tuning.


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