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TFCon USA's Third Party Panel just finished earlier this afternoon. We can't show you any of the slides that were displayed since the TFCon organizers do not release them to the majority of sites that might be interested in carrying them afterward, but we can sum up the presentation pretty quickly: Lots of things that have already been shown off, and more of the same things everyone is doing or has done already. Few new reveals, and most were only shown as concept art or renders. At least one report from the event noted booing from the audience at the end of the presentation. It seems not to have been a good day for unlicensed products. Keep reading to find out more...





After the awesome Transmetals II treatment. Anything less was going to look puny, spindly, and pretty much boring. The BM Deluxe Optimus Primal offered in Wave 1 was just that. Nicely articulated with cool light-piping. BUT, it didn't look much like the show character. Overly blue, and both of the head sculpts missed the mark on show accuracy. Which, is what makes this week' feature an interesting specimen as it was a Knockoff (KO) that managed get the faces right.




So we've looked at the three basic forms that toy articulation takes: hinges, swivels, and ball joints. But there's one last feature that pops up frequently on Transformers: ratchets. That pleasant clicking sound. The satisfying resistance when you tug on a hip or an elbow. The ability to hold the weight of a weapon or for larger toys to hold poses. How is that accomplished? And what are the pros and cons for the ratchets on our `Bots and `Cons? Keep reading to find out!




Today RAC rounds out the basic forms of toy articulation with a look at ball joints! (Pun entirely intended, and offered with no apologies.) Ball joints were, in the 1990s, the salvation of the Transformers brand to a certain degree, as they allowed more complex and articulated Transformers figures to be made while passing US toy safety tests. But beyond that, they're just a really great and versatile part of modern toy design. Keep reading to find out why!




We continue our look at the basic workings of action figures today with swivels! A basic bore at the neck, shoulder, and hip but a welcome helper at the bicep, waist, and thigh, swivels are everywhere on a Transformer. How do they work and what can go wrong? Keep reading to find out!




Today RAC takes a look at the first of the three primary forms that toy articulation can take: the hinge. Probably the most-used joint on Transformers figures due to their utility in transformation mechanisms, hinges still do a lot of heavy lifting for the humanoid form as well - especially if you do it properly and lift from the knees. Keep reading for more!




With MakeToys, TakaraTomy and Ocular Max all seemingly employing a slightly different philosophy in terms of aesthetics, it would seem that we are completely spoiled for choice and that everyone’s specific preference will be catered for across the many Masterpiece-style fire truck releases. Ocular Max have incorporated what seems to be a very real-world accurate vehicle mode and tried to appease both toy and toon crowds...




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.




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?




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.




Is it better than MakeToys Visualizers? No matter what else gets covered in this review of FansToys FT-11 Spotter - their stab at a Masterpiece version of a well known transforming evil 3-guy camera - that first question is one I have been asked non-stop since teasing my first image of the review last week, and one that a number of purchases depend on for people.




We have recently floated the possibility that we are experiencing another golden age of Transformers collecting, and a majority seemed to agree with us that the live action Transformers movies have been good for the health of the brand. With so much choice available, the topic of choosing my purchases has never been far from this blog and the articles seen in the last year.




Surely about 5 years ago, something like this would have been completely inconceivable? A high quality transformers product created by a new company, completely unaffiliated with the official manufacturers and based entirely on an original character created for an official Transformers comic by a fanfic writer who made it and illustrated by a fan artist who made it.




So, after a lengthy buildup and a month of actual fundraising, the Play With This Too Kickstarter was, sadly, a close miss. Coming within $8400 of the goal with 406 backers, the Lost Protectors will, for the moment, remain lost. So what happened, and what could be done about it if - hopefully when - they try again?



Next Page >>











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