"To celebrate the anniversary with fans, Hasbro is introducing thirty numbered toys in the “Thrilling 30” line representing the remarkable heritage of the brand with characters and expressions from throughout its history." This is a direct quote taken from an official press release by Hasbro. Okay, sounds pretty awesome right? My initial reaction when I first heard about this campaign at Botcon 2013 was "Cool, they are going to pick 30 figures over the years to re-issue in some new updated form or fashion even though I probably already own 2 or 3 iterations (aka repaints) of it." If you were like me and attended the Hasbro Panel in San Diego Comic Con 2013, there were already moans and groans after the reveal of what the #5 and #6 figures of this poor marketing strategy which they have titled "Thrilling 30". Let us first review a list of the first 11 figures revealed.
#1 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS TITAN CLASS METROPLEX SDCC EDITION
#2 TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS SHOCKWAVE’S LABORATORY
#3 PLATINUM EDITION ULTRA MAGNUS
#4 TRANSFORMERS PLATINUM EDITION GRIMLOCK VS. BRUTICUS
#5 TRANSFORMERS METROPLEX Ani-Con & Game Convention Edition
#6 TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS SHOCKWAVE’S LAB
#7 TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS OPTIMUS PRIME
#8 TRANSFORMERS MASTERPIECE ACID STORM Action
#9 TRANSFORMERS MASTERPIECE SOUNDWAVE
#10 TRANSFORMERS PLATINUM EDITION PREDAKING
#11 TRANSFORMERS CONSTRUCT-BOTS PREDACONS RISING PREDAKING
By the time you hit #4, #5, #6, and #7 you already see the figures of choice become less thrilling. Let us start off with #1 and #5 which are convention exclusive versions of Metroplex for SDCC (NA Market) and AGC (Asia Market) which are almost exactly the same except the 12 PVC figurines aka Decoys, that are included only in these sets were molded in different colors. There was already an initial backlash when fans found out that the Hasbro retail version that will be widely available from retailers will only include a single orange blaster rifle while the convention sets and TakaraTomy version will include two. And after you inspect the SDCC version's packaging, the "01 of 30" marking to show that this figure is part of the "30" is just a sticker slapped onto the box which lead me to believe this was just an after thought and they needed to fill in the "30" along the way. And if you were not lucky enough to obtain the SDCC version at SDCC or through HasbroToyShop.com at retail price, which is currently sold out, and no signs or information if more will be available later on, your quest, if you wanted to complete this campaign, has already ended, unless you plan to pay obscene mark-ups through other means.
Then you get to #2 and #6 Shockwave's Lab, which are again the same figure with a repainted $10 Commander Legends Predaking, a repainted $20 Voyager Shockwave with a nice diorama packaging which still doesn't justify the $50 price tag and since it's still available for purchase on HTS and doesn't seem to be a hot seller because of that price. Why it this is even included in the "30" boggles the mind. And again, the "30" is just a sticker on the box leading me to believe this was just another after thought.
#3 Ultra Magnus is a repaint and slight remold of Weaponizers Optimus Prime with the Hammer of Solace Prime accessory. I am okay with this one but still not that thrilling.
#4 Grimlock vs Bruticus is a slight repaint of Generations Grimlock which is a mediocre figure at best and SDCC 2012 Bruticus set which I already have. This set would not make any sense for me but for someone who wanted the SDCC 2012 Bruticus, gets another chance at getting it.
#7 This one has to be one of the most boring one of all. It is just the Beast Hunters Ultra Prime in the normal packaging with just a "special" sleeve that covers the box. The toy itself feels very cheap and the way they depict how it will be part of the "30" just cheapens the campaign even more.
#8 MP Acid Storm a repaint using the MP-11 Starscream mold is just boring and most hardcore collectors already own multiple iterations of this mold or the original MP-03. Again, not thrilling at all.
#9 MP Soundwave is probably the most thrilling if not the only thrilling one of the first 11. Again, if you were like me, I have already imported the TakaraTomy version. It is a solid figure and I am happy to see that Hasbro took very little time to get this here and as an added bonus included all the accessories that the import has plus all the MP cassette tapes. Win!
#10 Predaking, is a re-issue of the G1 Predacons which was re-issued twice by TakaraTomy a few years ago. It is not so thrilling to me since I did get the re-issued imports and looking at the display it did not seem to contain any die-cast parts and looked like it was completely plastic but according to the Amazon descriptions it will have die-cast parts. The only other difference is it looks like it will include one extra accessory not in the G1 set which is a repainted version of Beast Hunters Voyager Optimus Prime Star Saber. For those who did not get the imports this is a welcome addition to fans who love G1 BUT with a few 3rd Party Manufacturers who are developing a more updated and more articulated versions that give an homage to Predaking, collectors may rather want to invest their money in 3rd parties instead.
#11 Construct-Bots Predaking has no business to be in the "30". The only reason why this would be included is so the Construct-Bots line sales can be pushed. I have very little interest in this line. If you do, more power to you. No thrills for me for this one.
I can go on and on but to keep this brief the first "Thrilling 11" are more like the "Thrilling 7" at best, suffering from numerous duplicate entries, new and old. In my humble opinion, they should have taken example from the "Fan Built Poll" campaign and let the fans vote on what the "Thrilling 30" should have been. In the end, this is a business Hasbro has to run and they were probably told that 99% of the figures had to be something accessible in the past 2 years or so. Do they really listen to the fans?
The following would be my "Thrilling 30" in no particular order. What's yours?
1 - G1 Optimus Prime
2 - Fortress Maximus
3 - Victory Saber
4 - Dai Atlas
5 - Transmetal 2 Optimus Primal
6 - Lio Convoy
7 - Big Convoy
8 - God Fire Convoy
9 - Armada Unicron 2010 Version
10 - Superlink Wing Convoy
11 - Galaxy Force Convoy/Sonic Convoy
12 - Primus
13 - Animated Prowl (Would have loved a Animate Omega Supreme Toy)
14 - Beast Wars Metal X-9 Ravage
15 - MP-10 Masterpiece G1 Convoy/Optimus Prime
16 - Masterpiece Grimlock
17 - ROTF Leader Class Optimus Prime
18 - Prime 1st Edition Optimus Prime
19 - Prime 1st Edition Arcee
20 - THS-02 Hybrid Style G1 Convoy
21 - Henkei Skyfire
22 - Henkei Megatron
23 - Henkei Convoy
24 - MP-13 Soundwave
25 - United Jazz
26 - Henkei Prowl
27 - Kiss Players Hot Rodimus
28 - Binaltech Hound
29 - Binaltech Grimlock
30 - Generations Metropex
Let's hope the next Thrilling 19 will kick it into high gear with MP Sideswipe, MP Prowl, MP Bluestreak, MP Smokescreen in the pipeline, and those mysterious classics Jetfire that have shown up. One can hope...
How would you celebrate the Transformers 30th Anniversary? Share your Thrilling 30 with us in the comments below.