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.
TakaraTomy have just announced their latest Masterpiece Transformers addition, MP-14+ Alert Anime Color Edition.
Instead of a straight up reissue of Masterpiece Red Alert, TakaraTomy have repainted MP-14 to closer match its on-screen representation in what has been a quite divisive strategy.
While some are pleased to be able to get Masterpiece Alert at what they hope will be less than second hand market prices, others are concerned about the implications of this new Anime colour initiative by TakaraTomy.
Third Party company BadCube (formerly Cubex) had previously mainly tackled Generation 1 minibots such as Huffer (Huff), Brawn (Brawny), Outback (Backland) and Warpath (Wardog). Evil Bug Corps (Insecticons) aside, they took an enormous step towards being a headline event with OTS-08 Sunsurge, their take on Autobot car Sunstreaker in the Masterpiece style and scale.
Forager makes three! The Masterpiece-styled evil insect robot team is finished and man alive, they look complete together. This pre-release review sample, FT-14 Forager test shot to be precise, rounds out the team of three bugs within 8 months of Grenadier first introducing us to FansToys take on this popular set. By the time it sees release in June, it will still have been less than a year since FT-12 hit the market. Grenadier was a real hit with me, but Mercenary took longer to love thanks to a total pain of a transformation, so where does Forager sit?
Ive often said that simply buying, amassing and displaying toys is not enough to sustain my interest and passion for Transformers as a hobby. Ive 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.
The voting has ended, and we have your results. Hasbro asked us to help nominate Transformers characters and real world music groups and performers to be inducted to the Hall of Fame this year, and thanks to all of you we have our list to send on. Some of the results were pretty surprising! Nine names are on their way to Hasbro who'll pick the finalists to be included in their polls happening soon for the final selection, and you can keep reading right now to find out who the TFormers winners were!
Headmasters, Targetmasters, Powermasters. The Transformers gimmick juggernaut powered on through 1987 to 1988, bringing us the first reincarnation of Optimus Prime, a smaller range of Headmasters and Targetmasters (smaller toys, too) and introducing us to the concept of Powermaster-activated transformations.
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, its time to focus.
Masterpiece MP-28 Hot Rodimus is almost upon us. A new Masterpiece Hot Rod. The build up to this figures release has been a mix of anticipation and divided opinion. As with most new Masterpiece moulds, as a fandom we have pored over the prototype and promotional images from every angle, analysed every possible flaw and possibly already decided which side of the fence we stand on.
Has there ever been a greater case of pre-release doubts being so comprehensively crushed by in-hand production toy as with TakaraTomys MP-27 Masterpiece Ironhide? Actually yes, look at Ultra Magnus, Bumblebee etc, so its not uncommon for us to get the wrong impression from TakaraTomys stock Masterpiece photography. Ironhides a very interesting case.
Saturday night, following the Hasbro fan media event at Toy Fair, we posted an article addressing concerns raised about Titans Return Chromedome. Its similarity to Combiner Wars Dead End led to thoughts it might be that very toy remolded, but we explained it wasn't so, and talked about a prior example of similar repeated engineering. Ben Yee also felt the need to debunk this rumor, and in a post on his site even offers a new tidbit of information on this subject! Keep reading to find out what else we've learned and get a link to the article.
Chromedome was leaked a few weeks ago showing only a head, leading to a fear that this popular character would fall in the Titan Master pricepoint as just a head. Relief abounds with the showroom reveal that it indeed does have a body and will be a Deluxe. But if you look close you might notice something else: The shapes of the body parts, the layout of vehicle anatomy on the robot... it looks more than a little like Combiner Wars Dead End! Did we get just a remolded Combiner Wars toy in Titans Return? Keep reading.
we posted yet another incremental leak from that same guy, this one purporting to be a rumored Titans Return Brainstorm. RAC decided to take a closer look, and he found something important. Keep reading for the capper on the Brainstorm leak.
14C Clampdown is the latest in that sub-line. This police car version of the Lamborghini New Countach LP500S Autobot Sideswipe was originally a Takara Diaclone figure from 1983, the original inspiration for what would later become the Autobot Fire Chief "Red Alert". Coming full circle after all this time, Clampdown is in fact designated MP-14C, meaning it is a direct repaint of MP-14 Red Alert. The first time the Diaclone New Countach was given Transformers form as "Clampdown" was the E-Hobby exclusive reissue repaint, alongside "Deep Cover".
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 Omnigonixs Spinout (dont 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.
Well, 2016 is off to an excellent start! FansToys, 3rd Party makers of toys that aim to unofficially complete your Masterpiece Transformers collection, bring us the fourth in their series of Iron Dibots, transforming dinosaurs not completely unlike those Dinobot fellows you may have heard of. FT-07 is Stomp, the brontosaurus of the five-member team, following Scoria, Soar and Sever.
Of course no look back at the year in fandom would be complete without the news. Through 2015 we did our best to keep you up to date with the latest news items, and we've tried to select a few that most stood out to us. As a toy-based fandom, it's not surprising most of what we picked relates to toy news, but that certainly isn't everything that caught our attention this year. Keep reading to see our picks, and stay tuned for one more important announcement as part of our Year In Review!
We move past the toys now, because there is surely more to fandom than obtaining merchandise. For another year, IDW's Trransformers comics have delivered us some of the best Transformers fictions that fans have had the opportunity to enjoy in the course of the Transformers brand's more than thirty year history, accompanied by fantastic art to help bring it to life. Below you'll find our picks for the year's highlights, as well as some thoughts on things that turned out not quite the best this past year. Keep reading to see! And of course there is still more to come in our 2015 Year in Review!