Me Grimlock say this not happen in these stapled picture squares!
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat when it comes to this final Revolution tie-in one-shot: it's of extreme importance to both the Transformers as well as the shared Hasbro universe being created by IDW. There are stakes, meaningful actions with meaningful consequences, and more snooker references than you can fit in your pocket.
As deadly serious a book as a game of Shoot Shoot Bang Bang
With Prowl hanging out with Cerebros, Fortress Maximus, and Red Alert, that leaves the Scavengers to pick up the plot and go to Earth. Crankcase is getting set to meet up with an online chat room friend, and the Energon Goodies are chalked and ready.
Nothing can ever go wrong when you've got Energon Goodies!
What they find waiting for them ends up being more than they bargained for, closing back in on a plot from the Furman-era of IDW that was long thought to be over, finished. Right on cue, things ricochet in completely unanticipated ways.
Oh, well, I suppose it can.
It can't be understated how significant the main reveal of this Revolution edition of More Than Meets The Eye is. Not only does it bring back a popular but fearsome character, it neatly ties together every aspect of the crossover, closing up plot-holes and nicely calling its shot for the last ball that clears the rack and readies this universe for what's to come.
I guess maybe things never go well with Energon Goodies.
There are more amazingly well placed references to other franchises than you can shake a stick at, with immediate fan favorite G.I. Joe character MP3 being assigned one of the most famous and ubiquitous of Action Force gadgets. It's moments like this one that show how well studied both authors, Nick Roche and James Roberts, are when it comes to the franchises involved in this incredibly well received event series.
One of my college buddies claims to have invented the slang "obvs". To date, he has not been proven wrong since I cannot go back in time to see who else may have said it first.
The tremendous pacing of the issue allows the story time to work, with the scope of events being illustrated effectively in a way that brings some genuine emotion. For the people of Earth, things may never be the same again, especially since this is the first time any city in the United States has ever been destroyed in any way in the IDW Transformers fiction.
This is probably Spike's fault.
Just when things can't seem to get any worse, the power of the crossover comes full force. The organic yet infinitely complex details of the years long build to Revolution pay off in a big way, and in one masterstroke of plotting, the entire purpose of this three month long, 13 issue event becomes as clear as the right angle for a corner shot.
There's a reason this writing team is held in such high regard, and this issue again makes it clear exactly why that is. They'll always be held to the gold standard of their own creation, but will they ever come close to capturing that magic again?
Private messages about this review will be promptly ignored.
I think they did, and they may have even surpassed their past achievements. We won't soon forget this one. Hold on to your butts and call your loved ones - Transformers, nay, comics themselves just changed forever.
. out of
(Actual review: this issue is a fantastic work of comic relief that manages to move along one major Transformers character's story line in a meaningful way. Be prepared going in to have a good time and you certainly will. Readers should also know that this issue stands alone in a way where no prior reading of other Revolution books is required. The paragraph about the art above is genuine, it's really good. 5 out of 5 is also the real score.)
While we're still letting the flavour of the teaser trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight settle, and opinions are being formed, we have another sidelook at a corollary piece of news from the footage shown. First of all, here's the trailer again, in High Definition:
You see that stadium, that destroyed, mangled, contorted piece of metal and field and concrete? Let me show you closer, with a screencap from our gallery (which you can find here):
As the local Detroit and Michigan press have also noticed, and are buzzing about, that is none other than old NFL Detroit Lions football stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome! Opened in 1975, home to the Lions until 2001 and host for a number of events, from WrestleMania to FIFA cups, to SuperBowls to NBA matches; it closed down, permanently, in 2014, and is still waiting to find new tenants. Must be nice for the stadium and the area to feature in the latest Paramount production, if anything, even if ravaged by Cybertronian battles - check it out in its former glory and current state below!
Don't mind us, we're riding the train of the hype that the Transformers: The Last Knight teaser trailer set off. Seibertronians Seibertron and ScottyP bring us a small round-up of tidbits concerning the song used in the trailer: a cover of "Do You Realise?" by The Flaming Lips.
The cover used in the trailer is by Ursine Vulpine, and slows it down considerably, while adding elements of previous tracks used for the Michael Bay projects - as worked on by Steve Aoki and Steve Jablonsky, with bands Imagine Dragons and Linkin Park. We know that the latter composer is part of the movie once more, and none of the others are (for now), so he may have had his hands somewhere around the cover.
What is particularly interesting is the Transformers-related connection of the original song: IDW writer of More Than Meets the Eye James Roberts chooses a couple of songs for each new issue in the series, as a "reading soundtrack"; the original 'Do You Realise?' was chosen for More Than Meets The Eye issue 8: 'Scavengers Part 2 - Who's Afraid of the DJD?'.
This isn't news, of course, but an interesting way to revisit the old and the new, and throw another rumour log on the fire of the speculation engines. What do you make of it? Intrigued by the song, the connection, the cover, the lyrics? Join us in the Energon Pub for the discussion!
You Want a Revolution? I Want a Revelation (Spoiler free-ish)
LAST STAND IN AUTOBOT CITY! It’s all come to this—TRANSFORMERS vs. ROM vs. MICRONAUTS vs. G.I. JOE vs. M.A.S.K. vs. the ultimate evil! The futures of Earth, Cybertron, and the Microverse will all be changed forever by the decisions made this day.
..or fall together?
Here we are, the final issue of the core storyline for IDW's Revolution. The end of this stretch of the road. The final chance to prove that this could lead somewhere, and do so well. By the timing of this review, you can probably guess how much it lived up to that, really. But let's proceed with order, and constructively, shall we?
First, a recap. Karza has allied himself with the Dire Wraiths to save his universe, then merged with them, and realised that he's about to destroy two universes for the price of one. Everyone else decides to stop him. Humans (G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K.) are still not happy that aliens are doing things on their territory. Miles Mayhem keeps being evil but maybe not but maybe yes.
The good things, writing wise: there are some good interactions, especially when it comes to established group dynamics like between the Transformers or between the Joes, and the Micronauts still have a better edge. Windblade digging at Optimus is always a treat. There is some sort of organic fitting in of the different factions at play, and yes as a crossover it does create a common starting point for stories from here.
On the other hand, personally, ROM has brought nothing to this whole event (sure, it started because of him, but the character is nothing much at all compared to others), both MASK and GI Joe are used very oddly given their potential, and fans of the latter in particular may feel a little under-catered for. Where not having a fixed villain could've been good ground for interesting stories, it fell short of using the various 'antagonists'. But more below on the follow-up.
From the visual side of things, I have defended Fico Ossio's work previously, as there are some good ways of depicting humans, and giving that more organic feel to some robotic designs - more appropriate for MASK and ROM than Transformers, I felt, and better executed overall - but in this issue in particular, a lot of flash covered the undermining problems of the 'too much together' elements of the series.
Tyler, is that you?
And if that was true for the layouts and linework, the colours did not help make things clearer either. Mind you, I am not saying that Sebastian Cheng did not do a good job, but rather that the colours do not clarify what the art is trying to do, opting instead for a DC or Marvel-style visually punchy style with shaky substance beneath the technicolor smoke.
Offered without comment
Similarly, and unfortunately, the lettering could only do so much: with this still being an event trying to draw in new readers, Tom B. Long was asked to fit in name tags and Budiansky pretty much the entire issue, making the most of the space available - not an enviable task, and not one that leads to a result that makes things any clearer either.
The covers, I have to say, are excellent: Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro with the cartoon classic, Ken Christiansen with a part of his composite patchwork, Adam Riches and James Biggie with their signature toy and promo art respectively, Brandon Peterson's take on superenergised Karza, Art Baltazar suggesting the Aw Yeah! issue coming in the new year, Guido Guidi's excellent G2/I Joe mashup (thumbnailed) - and the oddly chosen John Byrne art, with Len O'Grady on colours.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Really, all in all? It was a bit of a mess. The suggested schedule was not helpful, nor accurate, to follow the event in a linear fashion - and the tie-ins were decidedly much better, to varying degrees, than the core story itself - and the events happening within the issues were either too stretched out to begin with, or too condensed towards the end as was the case for this last book, visually and script-wise. It was confusing, or negligible, and just ..sort of happened. And looked inconsistent while happening.
And it only took us 5 issues to remember!
As we've said in previous reviews, it's really a shame: all the series going into this were written by people who actually believed in the books and their characters, from Ryall to Easton to Barber to Bunn, but somewhere along the line, the idea of making a comic book EVENT proves one of IDW's missing achievements, especially one acting as a shared universe catalyst as Revolution was meant to be.
That said, it does not detract from the stories that come out of this, with Revolutionaries sounding like Revolution done right (now that it's out of the way), Till All Are One and Micronauts working on a wider scale, MASK, ROM, and GI Joe continuing the Earth-based sides of the plot, and Optimus Prime sort of shoving people around to sneak in between everyone.
It's Transformersmas, Seibertronians! To celebrate the season, we've come up with a challenge: every day from now until Christmas, post a holiday-themed Transformers photo.
Similar to our past photo challenges, your entry can consist of anything! Any TF Figure from any line, doing any winter or holiday activity! Post what you come up with below, and you can also share your creations on Instagram using the hashtag #Transformersmas. Happy holidays!
Seibertronian ScottyP has received his Platinum Edition Autobot Heroes set and has been kind enough to share some images with us, focusing not on the figures, but on a neat little Easter Egg that involved the packaging. The inner part of the packaging can actually be taken out and re-folded into a backdrop that you can display your Autobot Heroes in front of, mimicking the 1986 movie poster! This little feature has gone pretty much unnoticed until ScottyP got his hands on it, and funny enough, the instructions are posted on one of the inner flaps on the outside of the packaging!
The way this ends up working is: you take the inner packaging out, intact, and then fold out some flaps to make the backdrop deeper so your Autobots can all stand within the depth of the backdrop. Scotty was kind enough to send us some pictures as well, so you can check out the directions as well as the finished product below!
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 Most Difficult Transformers Toys
Last time, we looked at toys that were annoying to transform regardless of whether they were complex or not. But now we are looking at difficulty all around and not just annoyance at a step. For this list, I tried to pick toys that had a good balance of difficulty in terms of complexity (number of steps) and difficulty in terms of frustration (like panels not fitting properly or parts being either too tight or fiddly). It has to be a combination though. In the end these are the toys that take me a while to transform without instructions after a few months of not playing with them.
RID gave us some very interesting designs for car transformers we had not seen yet. Especially for the three brother Prowl, X-Brawn and Sideburn who were asymmetrical and wore their car shells on one their arm. Of the three, Sideburn was by far the most difficult. The fact that the design is asymmetric makes it hard to visualize how he should fold onto himself and transform. It is also a very tight fit getting everything into the car. Magnificent car mode though.
This guy is symmetrical and though he has a ton of steps, the next move from truck to robot can be anticipated. It is actually a great joy to undo panels and have this figure totally morph in front of your eyes. The big problem is getting him back into truck mode. The nose segment gets infinitely tricky since several panels have to come together at once including two chest panels that just won't stay put. And at the same time you have his swinging swords that keep popping up, it gets really involved. And if you forget to fold down those pieces above his shoulders, then you will have to fiddle for another 10 minutes to redo what you just did.
Transforming MP Megatron is a long and arduous process. He isn't as complicated as others say because his transformation is logical and you can tell what goes where. However some pieces and panels are very small and his waist is extremely fragile that you have to take your time transforming him. And all the while, other sections can require an enormous amount of force which is quite counterintuitive and frightening considering the cost of this toy. I do absolutely love him though, since both modes look awesome to me and give me a very rewarding feeling. Also, he wins the award for being the only TF I know who is as difficult and takes as long when transforming from alt mode to robot as robot to alt mode (which is usually far more difficult in comparison).
This is such a complicated toy. Getting the arms oriented the right way for either mode can take a while and the feet pieces won’t stop popping off every time you touch them. The robot doesn’t have logical proportions so there’s no rhyme or reason helping you figure out if what you are doing is correct of if you’ll have to double back to swivel the waist the other way. And getting him back to truck mode is super tricky since everything ends up being really tight and flush. That’s great news for the truck mode but it means that certain steps must be done in parallel and all come together at the same time. It’s ROTF Leader Optimus all over again but in a smaller scale and with a lot more parts at stake (oh and with the top of the cab popping off at the same time).
This is the one TF that I can never remember how to transform correctly. Especially back to alt mode. Almost all alternators were complicated and complex and featured some unintuitive transformation steps, usually with their waists or arms. Like all the alternators, forgetting a step or doing it wrong can cause severe misalignment in alt mode. And the instructions don’t help. It’s sometimes just a matter of positioning and that can’t be conveyed precisely in the instructions. Since the day I got Alternators Grimlock (I actually got the Binaltech version), I would transform him to robot, then back to car but not completely. I would have the hood section still lingering unfinished due to arms seemingly impossible to position correctly for everything to fit. Then comes the trial and error, flipping the arms inside out, turning them the other way making them face another direction. It really feels like a Rubiks cube, and takes as long if not longer (for me at least). And then after a fever dream, I just happen to have the arms in the only possible way they can fit and everything locks together flush. I never know how I do it. This is by far the TF that takes me longest to transform, instructions or not.
Honourable Mentions: I hear MP 09 Rodimus was pretty hard but I never got a chance to transform him.
We return, once more, to the IDW ever-shifting stables and rosters of creatives, for another interview in the Seibertron.com folder of 'the minds behind the hands behind the robots' that we read and love and hate and hate to love and love to hate. This time round? It's an entirely new addition, for an entirely new title, riding the wave of an established story...
Readers, please welcome the co-artist on new title Transformers: Lost Light, the newly renamed brainchild of James Roberts and Alex Milne - Jack Lawrence!
Va'al - Jack, we are ever so grateful to have you find some time for us, with all the new workload you undoubtedly have! You are the latest victim collaborator of James Roberts after all... but, first things first: where does the Lawrence story begin? How did you first encounter Transformers?
Jack Lawrence - Right at the start. I want to say 1984 now of course, but I can't be sure whether it was end of '84 or early '85. My brother was into them first; the only ones available locally at first were the mini Autobots.
He got Bumblebee and Brawn, and not being interested in cars, I got a Skeletor to replace my broken one. Very soon after that I saw the TV show and it all snowballed from there!
Va'al - So you started from the toys, and went into the show - but it sounds like they didn't grab you immediately: do you remember what the actual turning point was for you? Was it a later toy? An episode, a comic issue, or magazine?
Jack - I remember the actual turning point exactly. It was a couple of weeks later, and we were on holiday here in the UK. My brother had Bumblebee and Brawn with him, and another kid here had Optimus Prime.
I was still pretty unimpressed, until I saw the leaflet that came with Prime and there were the Decepticons. I'd had no idea they existed until that point. Megatron, Soundwave and the Seekers just grabbed me and the obsession began!
Va'al - Another one for the bad boys, huh? So the toys have caught young Jack's eye - which was one was your favourite as a kid? Are there any you still kind of miss or would go back to obtain if you could?
Jack - I was 100% Decepticon until the Prime TV series. That show changed the whole thing for me and I've defected to the Autobots (even got the symbol tattooed on my leg to prove it!). As far as the toys go, Soundwave was the one I wanted the most, but didn't actually get him until I bought a second hand one when I was 13 or 14. He was SO hard to find.
But it was the characters and their personalities that kept me hooked rather than the toys themselves. Back during G1, I inevitably tended to be disappointed when I got a new toy. They never seemed to live up to their box art or the Bio card. Powermaster Optimus Prime really stands out for that; the illustration of him on the back of the packaging made him look just absolutely incredible and I was so excited to get him for my birthday. Of course, we all know he's kind of a brick, and kid me was hugely disappointed with his two points of articulation!
So there aren't really any toys I want to go back and get. I tend to look ahead rather than to the past. I absolutely love what Hasbro are doing with the toys now. I'm on the lookout for Weirdwolf, sorry, Wolfwire, at the moment, and I do want a really good Ratchet. He's one of my favourites, but the only version I have is the Prime toy. None of the others have really done it for me. I'm hoping Hasbro will do a nice, chunky one soon.
Va'al - That's fascinating, I can see some of my own thoughts about toys in there, too! If the toys could leave you a little disappointed, then, when did the art and fiction love start? Was it all with the G1 cartoon back in the day, or did something later really stoke the fire (before we reach Prime, as you just said)?
Jack - It was always the bio cards that fired my imagination and kept my love for them going. The mottos alone often gave such incredible insights to these complicated characters. I loved the show, but it was hard to catch over here, so I had all the videos they released and watched them over and over. The Movie still stands as one of my favourite films; I just love it.
I got the Marvel UK comic every week from about issue 23 I think, until it ended. It kept my interest because it was Transformers, but again, it never really lived up to the seeds that were planted in those bio cards. It actually wasn't until the entire Prime universe that it finally clicked into what it had always been in my head. The two video games and the TV series are absolutely perfect as far as I'm concerned.
As a matter of fact, Transformers did lose me in 2009 after Revenge of the Fallen. I did not enjoy the film, and the toys for that and the main line left me cold. The whole landscape of Transformers seemed to lack any of what I originally fell in love with. Not long after that decision, I started to see previews of Prime and a little fire reignited in me. Again, it was tough to catch over here, so as soon as the complete season DVD was released, I grabbed a copy and fell in love again.
Then, a couple of years later, MTMTE came out and was the book I'd always wanted to read, and the book I always knew James was capable of. It very quickly became my favourite comic; I actually stopped buying comics except that one because what was the point? It had everything I needed!
Va'al - So this is talking about the aesthetics and appeal that Transformers had and has on you - what about the interest in actually creating material (art, fiction, anything else), rather than just consuming it? When did that start?
Jack - Well, before I owned any of the toys, I was drawing them based on the photos in that first leaflet. I knew seriously that I wanted to be a comic artist from about the age of 12; Up until then it hadn't occurred to me that it was a job that I could aim for. At that point, it seemed only right that Transformers be one of the comics properties I was aiming to work on.
I got involved with TMUK, the UK-based fan club, in 1995 and started contributing to fanzines. I illustrated "Atonement", a Christmas Optimus Prime story written by James Roberts in 1997, and it's also how I met and became friends with Nick Roche all those years ago.
I've been working as a pro creator since 2003, mainly on UK books. The pay is good, and I sort of fell into a comfortable, but unsatisfying rut. Once IDW got the TF license, I planned on getting some samples together, but work was plentiful and I just couldn't find the time. I worked on Skylanders with them last year and loved every second of it. I knew then that I had to at least try for Transformers. So towards the end of last year, I decided to gamble; stop taking jobs on, work through what I had, then put something together to show IDW. The gamble paid off and, though I can't quite believe it, I'm working on my favourite comic book!
Va'al - For someone working in the robot field for so long, that's actually the first time I've heard that version of the story! We've established that you've been following the fiction for really quite some time - but why become part of its creative team? What really drew you towards making Transformers comics?
Jack - I enjoy drawing them and I have a burning need to create, so I've never really analysed why I want to work on Transformers; I just do. I can tell you I was hesitant to go for it for a long time for two reasons. Firstly, I was nervous that working on something I love would somehow taint it and I was NOT prepared to lose my love for them, and secondly, I wasn't confident that I could do them justice. I started to find, for some reason, that I was getting Transformers commission requests at conventions and as that became more common I realised that not only was it increasing my love for them, I was making people happy with what I was doing. People keep telling me I'm overly critical of my own work and that was obviously what I'd been doing.
The real turning point came when I'd become frustrated and dissatisfied with the stuff I was working on because it all seemed to lack emotional depth. I'm an emotional person, and respond to highly emotive storylines, passionate characters. James has brought a level of that to MTMTE that I rarely see in other comics and I just thought, "That. That's what I want." I'm honestly enjoying my job now more than I have at any time over the last 13 years.
Va'al - That's heartening to hear, as the More Than Meets The Eye fandom has been very vocal in both its appreciation and criticisms of the series! How does it feel to join the ranks alongside Alex Milne? Do the two of you cross paths at all?
Jack - So far, Alex and I haven't really crossed paths at all, other than some brief greetings on Twitter. I've been a fan of his work since the Dreamwave days though, and just love his MTMTE work. Love it.
I'm most excited to be playing in the same sandbox as James and Nick though; we've all known one another for so long, created stuff together as fans. I've rabidly consumed everything they've done at IDW and now the three of us have just been invited to a signing together in Manchester this December. It's really exciting.
Va'al - Yes! You're all TMUK alumni too, right? How are you finding working with James Roberts' scripts, now that you get to not only read them, but materialise them? Do you have any input in the creative process?
Jack - Before I got the script to issue 1, I had people warning me about the length of James's scripts and I had to really hold back from saying, "Look, I've worked in comics since 2003. I've worked to countless scripts; long, short, good, bad. Sometimes terrible! MTMTE, to me, has been the best comic on the shelves since day 1, bar none. Maybe, just MAYBE, part of that can be attributed to James's scripts?"
Nevertheless, I was prepared to settle in for a day and wade through a potentially unwieldy script. That's not the case at all. What I sat down to was 45 minutes of pure entertainment that I couldn't wait to get drawing and I told him as much as soon as I'd finished. And again, working on Lost Light is the most fun I've had in my career to date.
As for input in the creative process, I'm not interested in co-scripting with him; I am a writer, but in this I want to leave James to do what he does. The stuff I'm most interested in exploring creatively is body language and character work. In that I'm given tons of creative freedom.
Va'al - That last part is also very good to hear, but now I'm curious: how do you approach those elements? Do you use references (toys or models or other), do you do rough layouts and drafts, do you jot it all down and go back to it? And, I suppose relatedly, are you a digital or paper kind of artist when it comes to comics pages?
Jack - Usually, when I'm working on a toy line-based property, I buy all the toys and have them constantly at hand for reference. That's how I did it when I was working on Skylanders. But with Lost Light, the character designs are too far removed from the toys, so you can't really do that. I used Alex's designs as reference, kind of finding my own voice in them while keeping continuity with what came before in MTMTE. We'll find out if I was successful in December!
In terms of the process, I do thumbnail layouts which I scan and print out in blue line, then pencil over them. Then I scan the pencils and print those out in blue line and ink them. And yeah, always paper and ink! I love the physical relationship between artist and materials too much to ever go fully digital.
Va'al - That sounds like a very long, and careful process, actually - must come in handy for shows and events where paper sketching is only option available though. I'm curious about your work though: in building your own voice, do you look at any other artistic influence, in robot-designs or anything else in the comics or art world at large?
Jack - My influences for Transformers come mainly from the old box art, back during G1. But it's more an ingrained sort of thing, rather than constantly using it as reference now. As for my comics style, I'm pretty much set in my ways at this point. Besides, deadlines tend to necessitate a "get up and get on with it" attitude!
There are a few artists who have inspired or influenced me over the years; Ed McGuinness, Humberto Ramos, Ryan Ottley, Sean Galloway to name a few contemporary guys. John Romita Jr was THE guy who made me want to be a comic artist, so I have a deep love of clear, uncomplicated storytelling from him. I think, in some ways, my comic style is quite old-fashioned in terms of layout, etc. I like things to be clear. I did get a very simple piece of visual advice from Didier Crisse, ooh, about 10 years ago that I won't bore you with, but that echoes in my mind and I use every single day.
Va'al - I won't pry, but you have definitely piqued my curiosity even further... and I do think this is a good note to end on, actually! Is there anything you want to add to what we've discussed so far, any last words before we see your work in the comics next month?
Jack - No, I think we’ve covered just about everything. I don’t do blogs and stuff, but if you could add my Twitter account, that’d be great!
Va'al - In that case.. thank you for your time, Jack, and we'll see you soon aboard the Lost Light!
You can find Jack on Twitter, and can meet him and James Roberts at the Lost Light #1 signing in London, in December - more details on that event here.
From reading the comments it has come to our attention that buying our dear toys online is not the simplest endeavour, especially when the price range can be so wide along with all the differences between each online vendor. With Masterpiece toys, there is also the issue of having it imported for you or importing it yourself. Added to that, with a Masterpiece Megatron toy, you also have to deal with it turning into a gun and what that might entail. So here is a rundown of a range of online vendors (not an exhaustive list, I just picked those of which I know best) showing you what your options are, how you can get him for much cheaper than it seemed at first, but also what you are giving up with the cheaper price. I hope this helps.
Importing from Japan
We will now be looking at 4 Japanese sites where you can import the figure yourself. This means that you are to deal with possible customs fees (applicable to Canadians, Europeans, ect) and will be paying a hefty fee to ship the product from Japan. However, these sites get their products from Takara and thus will have the best prices online. None of these Japanese vendors will be opening the package to insert an orange plug into the barrel.
Nippon Yassan: We are starting with them because unlike every other Japanese vendor, they actually give you an estimate on the shipping, which you must pay up front. This gives us our best idea at what other places will charge for shipping. Here are the shipping quotes given for Masterpiece Megatron to ship to North America (or a similar distance from Japan).
Keep in mind, these are all estimates and they may fluctuate depending on vendor and the conversion rate. We can see that for 2-3 week shipping without a tracking number, it is 24.90 Yen ($22.82 USD), with 3$ more for tracking, and the 3-4 days shipping, called EMS, is 4500 Yen ($41.24). These estimated shipping prices will be used for the other sites as we go through the list.
The price of their Megatron is 16580 Yen ($151.94 USD). They have both a pay up front option (where you pay for both the figure and estimated shipping up front) and a pay later option. I have only ever used the pay upfront option (in fear that the yen would rise).
Here is a quote from them regarding this payment option:
"You will receive a notification for the deadline of the payment few weeks or few days before the release of the product, if it reaches the deadline without the payment, this pre-order will be automatically cancelled."
Since they do not have the item in hand to weigh, it can be that their shipping estimate is wrong and they are at liberty to ask you to pay more for shipping if it's more than expected. However, this rarely happens and is more an exception. For instance, it happened with Fortress Maximus, who is very in his own league. You cannot cancel an order with them. They will mark a low amount in the customs form to help the package get through customs quicker and avoid the buyer to pay extra duty upon arrival. I suggest you write to them to confirm you want them to do that. This comes in very handy for people living in countries that have strict duty laws and a heavy taxation.
Price Range of total from 2-3 week shipping to 3-4 day shipping: 19070 - 21080 Yen ($174.75 - $199.77 USD)
Anime Export: Their offer expires November 28th 2016. After that, you will not be able to get this toy for 16100 Yen ($147.54 USD). The reason it is lower than other Japanese sites is because they require you to pay up front. And as anyone who took a finance course might know, cash today is always worth more than cash tomorrow and since they can keep a healthy cash flow (and require less credit from their supplier), they can pass their savings onto you.You will only be charged for the figure and you will be charged for shipping later when the figure is in stock. You cannot cancel an order with them. Also, like Nippon Yassan, they will help you with customs but you must write to them to let them know you would like a lower amount written in the customs form for the product's worth.
Price Range of total from 2-3 week shipping to 3-4 day shipping: 18840- 2060 Yen ($172.65 - $188.77 USD)
Amiami: They are an in between as you will see. Their price is a bit higher, at 17280 Yen ($158.43 USD) but you do not need to pay right away. You are only required to pay when the item is in stock. Cancelling an order is ill seen for this company. If you really can't pay by the time an item is in stock, they can relinquish your order but you may not be welcome to buy from them again. They will write the full amount of the toy's worth on the customs form.
Price Range of total from 2-3 week shipping to 3-4 day shipping: 20020- 21780 Yen ($183.46 - $199.59 USD)
HLJ: They are pricier than others, at 18400 Yen ($168.61 USD) and that is because they offer the most perks. Like stateside vendors, you do not need to pay ahead of time and you can cancel your order at any time before it is in stock. They are used to catering to western consumers and are thus currently looking into whether or not an orange plug will be attached to the barrel:
"Specifics of its packaging are still in the planning stage. When more information is available in the New Year, we’ll determine how best to get this item safely to our customers worldwide. If it turns out to require modification, affected customers will be contacted."
They will write out the full amount of the product's worth on the customs form and since this product is above a price treshold, they will only use the pricier (and faster) shipping option.
EDIT: This policy of theirs seems to have changed and thus a cheaper shipping option may be available.
Price of total for 3-4 day shipping: 22900 Yen ($209.85 USD)
Buying from Importers
As you may notice from all that is above, importing from Japan is not the most sraightforward or streamlined way to get your toys, especially if you have to figure out local laws (like taxation or gun replicas). If you don't want the trouble of importing a product yourself, country specific importers can do it all for you, at a cost. That means they will be paying the high shipping fee you saw above and will thus raise their price to pass the cost onto the buyers. Also, since Takara is contractually not allowed to deal with vendors outside Japan, importers usually deal with an extra middleman which also increases their cost and yours. Their price should not be seen as just the worth of the toy but also the fee for their service of importing it. Many countries or areas have their own importers. Canada has Ages 3 and Up, the UK has Kapow, Australia has Premium Collectables, China has Robot Kingdom, ect.
There are quite a few of these importers dedicated for US customers, like BBTS, TFSource, AJ's Toy Chest, Chosen Prime, VNC Toys and others. All these US vendors are currently selling Megatron for $230 USD, and some offer free shipping. They typically allow you to cancel any preorder that isn't in stock yet and you do not have to pay in advance. To conform to the US law, since they are US vendors, they will be adding an orange plug. It is unknown at this time if it will be glued or not.
While some do ship internationally, they write out the full worth of the toy on the customs form, to conform with US law.
If you buy from Japan, make sure to pay in YEN. A few sites have their own currency conversion which is always less favourable than either Paypal or your own credit card exchange (I personally use an Amazon Visa card for these purchases since it charges no fees for conversion).
Australia has very strict laws and thus I would advise any Australians to look into their own country specific options for this toy (Premium Collectibles seems to be the best place for the least hassle, so head over there for more info. Griffin of OzFormers has put together a handy resource detailing the different laws around Australia and how it affects replica firearm Transformers.
USA customers are not charged duty and thus it does not matter if the price stated on the customs form is high. It would actually be advantageous for it to be as close to the worth of the toy so that it is properly insured.
All prices in this article including shipping are estimates
Reflections of a GI Joe comic by a mostly Transformers comics reader - GI JOE Revolution Issue #1 - by **************
G.I. Book Blurb:
Presently: It’s a clandestine mission to our favorite Transformers playwright’s old hideout… BIKINI ATOLL for an extraction that maybe you wouldn’t predict…
Besides BIKINI ATOLL, and the mention of what has been going on with Optimus Prime, Autobots, and Decepticons, there isn’t much here for Transformers fans except a little gem at the end that I want to hint at with a very vague image below. Next issue of REV should be of much more interest to Transformers readers.
It’s pretty obvious, it’s a REVOLUTION title so it’s going to be about all the main players and continuing that over-arching story-line. It’s the GI JOE ONESHOT though, so mostly, we get Joes. A handful of them to be precise. And a whole island full of zombie-like Dire Wraiths.
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!! Big Hat, Parrot Guy, Nose Man, Darryl, and The Rock
Joe Colton’s death was not a shock to most people keeping up with the series. The fact that he was a Dire Wraith, also not a shock at all. And indeed like the body snatchers of old, and any number of newer horror, sci-fi related movies and materials; this revelation involving several shape changers has sown the seeds of distrust, nervousness, anxiety, and even panic amongst the humans who have been infiltrated: mainly the government and GI JOE.
Who do you trust? How far? With what? The handful of Joes chosen for the mission by Scarlett meant that she could, hopefully, trust her crew and they could trust each other. Whoops…
The only Joes to go on the mission with Scarlett are Rock ’N’ Roll (machine gunner/infantry), Quick Kick (silent weapons), Road Block (Heavy weapons support), Shipwreck and Polly (naval command infiltration/extraction), and Wild Bill (air combat commander/pilot). Seems like a pretty solid group- but to me it does feel lacking-. Seems we have no Mainframe, who featured previously in REVOLUTION and who had ties to ACTION MAN, and the EDC. I think I might need to do a re-read to see if he got lost somewhere and I missed it, but I think, Myles ‘Mayhem’ Manheim may be the culprit, if my memory is doing its thing correctly.
It's really no surprise, when we find out one of this inadequate group is a traitor, a Dire Wraith in disguise, and this traitor looks to take out the group and end the mission tout suite (Who do you take out of that group as traitor? There’s no ‘C” level member, no red shirt, or green shirt...). The result is a nice little bit of horrorfest, which would have been perfect, if distributed about two weeks ago around Halloween. But now is good too.
Friend, Foe, or alien?
It was a somewhat morbid, despairing story that I thought really read well as a tale of deception by the alien Dire Wraith element and the mind-twisting, gut wrenching consequences, with another decent enough twist at the end that won’t pay off until later. Lots of gun play and action, albeit featuring about 6 Joes that have never been listed amongst my personal favorites, but certainly are popular among lots of the Joe fandom. The story becomes most relevant at the end for TF fans, but may not be worth a purchase for those not into GI JOE, or who aren’t collecting all the individual issues of REVOLUTION. Ask your Joe collecting buddy, or REVOLUTION collecting roommate to see the final page, and then wonder about what happens next…
The art was enjoyable, and while a scratchier, lots-of-line-work, somewhat detail-heavy style, it was still pretty slick and appealing. While Scarlett stuck out as seeming a bit to manga/anime-ish at times, and faces lacked eyes or even entire faces in some panels, I did not find it to be off putting or even bad -somewhat adding to the horror and unsettling storyline-. Action scenes were well-executed and very upbeat, if not unrealistic at times (it's a comic, so...). The lettering and colors played well to create the creepy, overall dark feeling that the story pervaded. The dialogue was pretty clear military jargon when it needed to be, but also was able to help you to understand more about their personalities and relationships. Like Rock 'N' Roll is a bit of a jerk.
The comedian or just a jerk?
What does this face mean?
YOUR TAKE (Recommendations, or not)
Skip and borrow for TF fans.
Joe fans**- worth it- certainly if any of those characters are amongst your favorites.
REVOLUTION readers, of course, BUY IT!
No crossbow for this zombie killer!
**GI JOE toy fans might find new reason to buy those new two-packs of Zombie Troopers at TRU, if you can find them. They could make great stand-ins for the Dire Wraith zombie people that are found on BIKINI ATOLL, standing in the way of our heroes and their goal.**
In order to comply with the FTC's endorsement guidelines, we hereby inform this site's viewers that we occasionally receive sample products, content, or other forms of media from various companies in order for us to provide content of interest to our readers. Some of the content on this site are sponsored posts for which we have been compensated. Some of the links to external sites posted on this site may automatically be converted to an affiliate link for which we may be compensated.
7,132 pages were recently viewed by 532 unique visitors. This page loaded in 0.10671 seconds and was viewed 1 times on Thursday, December 8th 2016 12:05am CST