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Combiner Wars is the Transformers line I didn't know I wanted. In 2012 I found myself very excited at the notion of Fall of Cybertron Bruticus, and at the time thought the toys were an interesting exercise in the then-current form of Transformers engineering. But it didn't take long for me to lose the illusion and see, "these aren't very good toys." Combiners seemed beyond the reach of retail, official Transformers. So, what changed?

Very early this morning we brought you the latest IDW solicitations, and we received an unexpected bonus in the process. The two covers for issue two of Windblade's new series give us our first look at Defensor up close and in some detail. After a series of smaller information leaks gave us clues to their existence, we finally have our proof of the Protectobots, and we know what toys some of them are. Keep reading to find out!

Just in from Previews World are the latest teasers for upcoming IDW comics this April. The Combiner Wars continue in The Transformers #40 and Windblade #2, More Than Meets The Eye #40 goes in to recovery from Elegant Chaos, and Transformers vs GI Joe #8 is kind of vague, plus we've got the next trade paperback, Combiner Wars First Strike featuring issues 33-38 of The Transformers. Keep reading for the summaries and covers!

A Hasbro (and apparently Takara) product meeting took place, and a member of the ACToys community was on hand to take notes. Subsequently, other fans have translated this quick report in to English, and we've got the highlights on upcoming G1 reissues, Generations Devastator and Defensor, and the next Masterpiece figure! Keep reading!

Rounding out the Wave 1 combiners is Ultra Prime! In terms of proportions and articulation, Ultra Prime suffers a bit in comparison to Superion, but is still a stable, articulated combiner of massive proportions. The mold won't see its full potential until it becomes Menasor in the coming months, but it's not bad. Continue to full review

Blackrock explains the unknown origin of civilization, while Prowl tries to put the past aside and work with Spike to achieve the goal they vaguely share. Meanwhile, Galvatron tries to convince Arcee that Prowl may not have anyone's best interests at heart other than his own. "The Onyx Interface Part Two: ONOFFON" written by John Barber, with art by Andrew Griffith, and colors by Josh Perez and Thomas Deer. Keep reading

Optimus Prime's Cybertronian vacation is interrupted before it begins as a string of violent murders strikes the ghettos outside Metroplex, and only he cares enough to see justice served for the dead Decepticons. Transformers: Punishment, written by John Barber, illustrated by Livio Ramondelli. Read the full review

THE ONYX PROTOCOL! As PROWL confronts SPIKE over the human's betrayal, the mystery of G.B. Blackrock and the Onyx Interface deepens. Meanwhile, Tokyo becomes a battleground as Arcee faces the Constructicons... and Galvatron!

OPTIMUS PRIME RETURNS TO CYBERTON! And someone is killing Decepticons. PRIME teams with WINDBLADE to uncover the identity of the vigilante... but the answers will uncover darker secrets than anyone expected!

As we reported recently, Combiner Wars wave 2 will see a packaging revision bringing pack-in comics back to Generations figures. Today we've learned that the first wave may be offered once again with its own comic pack-ins! Retailer Entertainment Earth has updated its listing with new product images featuring clearly visible redesigned packaging with comic books. They have an estimated arrival in June, but we don't know if that will be the first time these will reship with their comics. Click through to check out the images!

Now that we've looked at all the Deluxes, there's only one thing left to do: break out the Voyagers and combine everything! Superion is specactular. A big, solid figure with good articulation and a massive gun. Which would be cause for a high rating if he weren't full of tinier men. Continue to full review

Amazon has just listed the preorder page for the collected volume of Drift: Empire of Stone, the in-progress side story following Drift after his separation from the Autobots early in the second year of More Than Meets The Eye. Written by Shane McCarthy and featuring ReGeneration One's art team of Guido Guidi, Stephen Baskerville, and John-Paul Bove, Drift: Empire of Stone is listed at 132 pages, and is due for release on June 16th, 2015.

They sure make some weird looking jets nowadays. RAC concludes the Combiner Wars Wave 1 Deluxe reviews with an even odder man out than Alpha Bravo: the displaced Stunticon Dragstrip! If this is an indicator of the quality of the remaining Stunticons, we're in for a treat. Continue to full review

From an anonymous source we have a collection of character art samples consistent with Combiner Wars packaging that's giving us a first look at some of what the line has in store for us this year. One surprise is new art of Classics Bumblebee, whose presence with Combiner Wars branding is confusing to say the least! We also see an additional Autobot combiner with a white Optimus recolor at its core, and what may hint at the 1984 Autobot Car team from earlier store listings. Keep reading for more!

And now, the new guy! Alpha Bravo is subbing for Slingshot to make the Aerialbots less boring, and he largely succeeds. His chopper mode and arm mode have a few light hangups, but by no means is he a bad toy. Continue to full review

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