Earlier this week, Vanderbilt University published an article summarizing the results of a research project undertaken recently. The researchers were studying facial recognition, specifically the ability of people to recognize someone else's face. Challenging the common conclusion that capability in this is based on gender, the researchers brought in some special tools: Transformers. The essential theory being that the childhood associations of facial feature and structure - such as one might get from their toys - inform processing in later life. Find out more below!
I would like to think that all of us can point to at least one example of how the Transformers toy line, shows or comics have improved our lives. Whether it has been through the happiness of meeting like-minded enthusiasts or the ownership of excellent toys, the enjoyment of well-written comics or admiration of tremendous artwork, surely we can all point to some aspect of the brand and hobby which brings us happiness. I would like to think if you’re reading this, it’s because of a choice you have made to give part of your time to the hobby.
A head sculpt can make or break a figure. Some of the nicest overall Transformers figures I have are occasionally let down by a weak head sculpt that is either too vague in its features, unrepresentative of the character it is supposed to be or just plain unpleasant. On the other hand, certain figures of an average nature can be elevated by a superb head sculpt which scores highly on the aforementioned criteria and exudes charm and character. This week I asked a few of my esteemed Transformers collecting peers to contribute their favourite official Transformers head sculpt across any era or sub-line, and explain why they chose it above the rest.
With the final issue of Transformers vs GI Joe out in shops this week (and our review of that issue can be found right here), Newsarama spent some time chatting with the book's main writer, artist, colorist, and as we've liked to joke, probably bookbinder and papermaker as well, Tom Scioli. It's a whopper of an interview touching on a great deal of subjects spinning out of the initial subject of issue #13 of Transformers vs GI Joe. We've included some brief excerpts, so click through to read that and find a link to the original article!
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.
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