So when does Hallmark think it's time to start decking the halls? July the 9th apparently. Not only that, they think we should be doing so with robot dinosaurs! Mark that date, because that's when this G1 Grimlock ornament is slated for release with a price tag of $15.95. Some might say "why not a tree topper?" while others might say "whoa, slow news day". Either way, see the listing below and stay tuned to Seibertron.com: home for the best Galleries and Conversation around!
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.
Top 5 Best Seeker Molds
The seekers have always been the best example of Takara and Hasbro maximizing profits while keeping the bottom line down. To sell identical jet toys painted in different patterns, they simply incorporated that in the fiction, making them different characters. These would be the ideal characters to keep bringing back since you could always score several characters while not having to make new original molds for each one and no one would mind. It would instead be anticipated and wanted. This practice has given us a lot of seeker molds throughout the years, there is a new one in practically each line, especially in the past 15 years. And now we look at the best examples of seeker molds. Before we begin, just so we are all on the same page, a seeker mold is defined by ONE big important rule: two or more characters which share the exact same flight themed mold/character, kind of like a clone concept where they just wear different coloured shirts to identify them. It is not always used for Starscream and his fellow seeker acolytes but those are usually more exceptions to confirm the rule and it doesn't need to have all come out at the same time either (now that's really maximizing profits). The intention is that they have the same look. Since we are now accustomed to get a seeker mold in every line, originality and style goes a long way on this list, as you can see with the first entry...
Believe it or not, but within the Transformers Prime show (not the Aligned continuity proper, if that is even a thing), the true seeker mold shown is actually shared by Dreadwing and Skyquake. These two are brothers which share the very same jet mode in different colors, which is the actual definition of seekers. While Starscream's awesome mold was redeco'd multiple times in the toys, they never appeared on the show, making Dreadwing and Skyquake Prime's true seekers. And they don't disappoint. I totally get behind the negative points to this toy (I will now refer to this mold as a singular entity) like the heavy robot kibble underneath, the exposed hands in the back ala ROTF Starscream, and the weapon it comes with (but that's a negative with almost all the Powerizer toys). BUT style can go a looooooooong way and this guy has boatloads of it. Firstly, it is an impressive and imposing robot mode which is perfectly show accurate. The legs may be big under the jet but they fill it out and add a lot of weight and volume to the robot mode along with the broad shoulders. While the light-up weapon is forgettable, the sword is great and you can pull off some great poses showcasing the great and noble swordsman Dreadwing is. Also, the transformation is both refreshingly involved for a seeker and yet intuitive at the same time. The torso transformation is far more intricate than even the Masterpiece seeker mold and unlike every other toy on this list, it actually hides the nosecone completely in robot mode, without it becoming extra kibble, and leaving a nice tapered look to the cockpit as the chest. Also, that headsculpt is amazing and probably my favourite headsculpt ever found on a seeker.
I was not a fan of the first attempt at a Masterpiece Starscream. The aim for a perfect jet mode really sacrificed a lot and made the robot mode quite goofy (no proper heels, weird jet kibble on both sides of his face and insane kibble hanging off his hips). I also disliked the chest transformation which was overly fiddly. My toy ended up breaking and it soured me over the idea of an MP Starscream. So hearing that the new one was just a retool of the old did not make me bounce up and down for joy. However, I evetually did get a taste of this new and improved mold and it was definitely a step in the right direction. The fiddly and awkward chest transformation is still there, with the odd design choice of the cockpit tapering the opposite way than in the cartoon, but it is still a great improvement to the cartoon likeness in general. He has heels now too and no extraneous kibble aside from the nosecone forming a backpack of sorts. He retains that wonderful articulation and that amazing jet mode and in general the transformation is extremely satisfying (especially the leg area). My only issue is that your mileage with this mold will really vary depending on which version you get and for what price. I wouldn't pay 200$ for what is essentially 10 year old engineering (beautifully refurbished though). However, many people have had the chance to get some at only 10-20$ more than the Generations Leader Seeker mold, which is an amazing value when looking at it that way, especially if the chest is solid and stays in place in robot mode.
This is one of the best seeker molds of all time. The design choice to have the robot mode be so slim and sleek makes him look creepier than any version of Starscream before. I am so impressed with how they were able to pull off a robot mode as skeletal as the one depicted onscreen and yet still have him perfectly transform into a tight and smooth jet mode where no robot limb protrudes, as is often the case with jets.
The deluxe Classics seeker mold, which kept being used from 2006 up until 2015, is perfectly show accurate even when looking at the jet from below. It is a highly detailed figure with a shockingly pleasing jet mode and a simple transformation that is remeniscent of the G1 show. My only pet peeve with this mold is that it carries over the G1 problem of the nose cone becoming kibble in the back of the head. That makes the conehead seeker retools a bit less flawed.
It only makes sense that the very best seeker mold also happens to be the best Cybertronian design out there. The alt mode alone is full of homages to both the cybertronian tetra-jet of G1 (from the first episode) and Don Figueroa's design for Generation 1 Starscream in Dreamwave's The War Within. There is no point in including the Titanium seeker mold on this list (or the FOC seekers) when you have this bad boy which is better in every way when it comes to cybertronian design. It even has the best and least obtrusive cyberkey gimmick of the line which gives him energon swords which always flip out unobstructed. What I love so much about this mold, and many others in the Cybertron/Galaxy Force line, is how both the vehicle and robot mode share the same body and components and yet both modes are unique from one another. Unlike other seeker molds, like the Dreadwing mold above, the alt mode is not a robot under a jet, the jet IS the robot and vice versa (like the FOC mold done right). While the very first version of this Starscream mold obtained in the US was the oversized version, with Takara releasing the mold at its intentional voyager size, Hasbro saw the potential of the original voyager version and used it for a Thrust coloured Starscream release as well as Dirge, making it a rightful seeker mold.
Honourable mentions: The G1 seekers are fun, though the excessive parts forming feels very dated. I also really like the ROTF Dirge mold which was used for Jetblade as well, but I dont know if you would count that as a seeker mold (you decide). I didn't include any of the movie Starscream toys on this list since the only one that is amazing was Leader Starscream from HFTD and he was never made as any other seeker, unlike what was done with the other classes. And I am fine with that since Starscream was the sole seeker in the films.
Also, while they are very frustrating to transform and handle, I love the style of the Alternity seeker mold. The alternators line lost some steam in the US and when Japan came up with the follow up line featuring a 1:32 scale (rather than 1:24), Hasbro didnt pick it up. That is too bad because it had some very cool ideas, like having the seekers be cars with the car's shell forming the robot wings. Like that they keep their distinctive seeker motif while also having an alt mode that strays from tradition (which would still scale with the rest of the line). It's also interesting how Thundercracker and Skywarp were given a more traditional seeker headsculpt while Starscream's featured insect-like eyes. Oh, and they also feature die cast parts, rubber tires and style money can't buy.
Via a notification from fellow Seibertronian Logan79, we have a TFYuki tease of the Takara Tomy Unite Warriors Grand Galvatron box - but more importantly, of the upcoming Legends LG23 Galvatron, the Takara counterpart to the Titans Return Voyager. Check it out mirrored below!
By way of ebay seller DjFungShing we get a look at a possible new release of the Transformers Generations Cyber Battalion Series Optimus Prime and Starscream. These figures feature the same packaging as the previous release with the addition of a Universal Studios Exclusive Product logo on the front. These figures were never released in the U.S. and there is no word yet on availability or if Megatron, Grimlock or Bumblebee will join them.
Well folks, we have another leak found by the Allspark (supplied by an anonymous source) of the already hinted at Titans Return HotRod! What's surfaced from the darkest depths of the interwebs this time is the Cavaliers design specs and character artwork, but unfortunately no name is attached to his Titan Master pal. See the pics below, and thanks to Seibertronians Autobot N & Powered Convoy for giving us the heads up!
And with the arrival of the first Transformers Collectors' Club Subscription Service 4.0 figure, we receive news from the Club itself about the final service - now open for Club members to subscribe! Soon to be open for non-current members too, 5.0 will include the figures revealed during BotCon, as seen here. Check out more info below!
The Transformers Figure Subscription Service (TFSS) 5.0 order period is now open. As of now, the TFSS is only open to active Transformers Collectors’ Club members. In the next few weeks we will be offering an option for ANY past member of the Club to order the TFSS 5.0 as well. Stay tuned to TransformersClub.com for information on when that is available.
In the meantime, if you are an active member you can order your TFSS 5.0 now. Please note, there is no limit on the number of subscriptions you can purchase as the TFSS is built to order.
The order period will run until midnight May 26, 2016. In addition, please ignore the Join link on the log in page. It has been disabled.
You can either pay in full or by installment. Also, everyone that completes the full TFSS will also receive a BONUS 7th deluxe figure! This bonus 7th deluxe figure features a head sculpt not yet released at U.S. retail.
Thank you for your support and we hope you are as excited as we are about the TFSS 5.0!
We're receiving reports from fans and users that Needlenose, the first figure of the Transformers Collectors' Club Subscription Service 4.0, is finally arriving to people who joined the scheme - and we even have a video review from regular Seibertronian chuckdawg1999.
Here we are with another FSS, this time with a combiner theme. Needlenose is a double Targetmaster and a great update to the late G1 figure. The paint details pop, I especially like the metallic blue used for the nosecone. There is some tolerance issues with the grips on the Targetmasters, but nothing too bad. I'm excited to see how the other figures turn out.
Preorders now up for MP-32 Masterpiece Optimus Primal/Beast Convoy! With the 20th Anniversary of Beast Wars, TakaraTomy pays homage to the Beast Wars series, with MP-32 Masterpiece Optimus Primal! Preorder now at TFsource:
New preorder up from Fansproject in their Warbot Series - Dai-Z! Figure stands approximately 8.3/21CM tall in robot mode, splits into 3 vehicles, and includes 3 soleron cores! Preorder yours at TFSource here:
Now Instock, X2Toys - Titans Class Devastator Upgrade Kit! Set includes Shoulder parts, Forearms & Articulated Hands, Crotch Plates, Parts for Knees and a Newly Designed cab part for Mixmaster (left foot of Devastator). Get the X2 Toy upgrade set for Titans Class Devastator here:
Check out the next addition to the Japanese feudal-style Meisho Movie Realization line, Teppo Ashigaru Sandtrooper! The Sandtrooper version comes with two gun powder type rifles and a Japanese katana sword ready for battle. Order the artillery packed Sandtopper here at Toy Source:
Have you signed up for Source Points yet? Earn points with every purchase towards Freebies! Accumulated points and want to redeem them? Click the following link to enroll or redeem your points today! Source Points - TF Source
Become a fan of TFsource on Facebook! We've spent years building TFsource into an online resource for TF fans, and now we have created a page on facebook for our fans. We'll keep you updated on new releases and TF info, as well as any contests or promo's we run, some of which will be exclusively through facebook.
The first listing of the Platinum Cyclonus, Scourge and Sweep set is up at Amazon Spain, which will be the exclusive retailer for that region. It is said to come out in two weeks and it is priced at around 100 Euros, which is equivalent to $115 USD. For those wondering who Cyclonus' armada was, this set's title seems to clarify it to simply be the sweeps since it's called Armada of Cyclonus.
Fellow Transformers fan and Facebook user SunSon Son has shared some images of the upcoming Titans Return Leader Class figure Blaster, showing some of the the Titan Master features, such as storage, the head mode and more. Check them out mirrored below!
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