THE REVOLUTION MAY BE OVER--but the future is just beginning! Ripped from the pages of the hottest crossover of the year, the REVOLUTION team of John Barber and Fico Ossio continue the action! KUP is a CYBERTRONIAN literally older than the universe; ACTION MAN is the ultimate special agent trying to live up to an impossible legacy; MAYDAY is a G.I. JOE leader trying to rescue her first command; and BLACKROCK is a CYBERTRONIAN that thinks he’s a human. It takes the mind-bending clash of ROM versus MAJOR BLUDD and the OKTOBER GUARD to bring this unlikely team together... and the secret they learn threatens to unravel the entire universe.
Or just that.
Whatever your thoughts on the IDW Hasbro franchise crossover event, Revolution did happen, and we have now entered the phase titled Reconstruction (but not really). The multiple universes now coexist, and a new book in particular emerged from the rubble: Revolutionaries #1.
featuring ALIENS (apparently)!
John Barber takes the helm of this new venture, which feeds off some of the tracks set in pre-Revolution Transformers comics - and the start of the issue clearly shows that, by having its timeline show more TF lore than any other book so far - alongside otherwise series-less Action Man/Ian Noble, and the full return of GI Joe (in some way or another).
..and ROM the Space Knight!
Blackrock does mostly steal the spotlight, as we have come to know him in his early days, and after his discovery of his Cybertronian origins - no sass was lost in the transition, no ego was too bruised to recover - and he seems to be working mostly for himself once more; even after the events just happened, the various human factions are not particularly keen to collaborate.
Definitely not EDC. Nuh-uh
Then enter Kup, and his partnership with young Action Man operative Ian Noble - if GB is the sass, the duo are the other side of the chemistry that keeps the book together. There are witty exchanges, playing on established TF concepts but not too heavily given the new audience, and the story does not bode badly at all for the future of the ongoing.
My apprehensions about the art, especially when it had to do with non-human characters in the Revolution books, seem to have faded a little here, as Fico Ossio brings out some strong work even in Kup and ROM's designs - though Blackrock's features can still throw me a little off at times.
Though there are some ..moments
Similarly, Sebastien Cheng's colours still have that glossy finish that works really well as an eye-catching piece of art, but can get in the way of fully enjoying - and potentially understanding - the more crowded scenes. I do feel, however, that it works perfectly in sync with the lineart, and there are no problems in the issue itself!
Is that black unfinished? I like it!
Tom B. Long has his hands full with the art, too, as had happened before - and the task of keeping who's who clear in a book as busy as this is not an easy one, but he does manage to make it the least cluttered as possible. As for the covers, there are a slew of them, from Tradd Moore/Felipe Sobreiro's main, via TF veterans Andrew Griffith/Thomas Teyowisonte Deer and Sara Pitre Durocher's variants (thumbnailed), plus the usual Paul Pope/Kindzierski, Sonny Liew, then Tone Rodriguez/Jordi scuin and Ossio and Cheng's own take - and the retailer exclusive Jed Dougherty/Jason Millet variant, too. Phew.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I can't shake the feeling that his book is what Revolution could have been/wanted to be, had it not been dumped into one event, one book, one giant mess of clashing factions within a core story (heavily pivoting on Transformers... and ROM the Space Knight): a monster of the week format with overarching mythology; likeably unlikeable characters; hints and nods to the various fandoms, global scope and scale of casts and settings - though with one major issue...
Other than this guy's soulpatch
...more traditional GI Joe fans may not like this new incarnation of their team. And that is fine, obviously, but I'd be interested to hear the opinion of readers with feet more in that than the robot pool of things to confirm my suspicion. Not the redesigns, or retakes on the characters, but how the new dynamics work, and who they're pitted against in the series as a whole. That said, I enjoyed the read, and would suggest giving the book a try!
From the moment he was revealed, there was some confusion over Sixshot's base mode. Since he is a leader under the Titans Returns line, he should connect with the other leader bases, but he only has six modes, as the name implies, so does he have a base mode? Well, for this line, his tank mode serves also as the base mode. It is where you will find the best way to connect him to the other bases and the mode which offers the most Titan Master connection points (when the wings are extended). The wings allow to position the base/tank in different configurations with the bases, and the images below show that. You will also see how you can also get the 7th mode, the flying wolf, which was seen in the Headmasters series.
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 G1 Transformers toys not designed by Takara
For those who do not know, the initial Transformers toys were actually just toys from Japanese (and Korean) toylines licensed by Hasbro with a few changes. For instance, one of the toylines whose toys became Transformers was called Diaclone and consisted of tiny figures which drove, flew and manned these transforming vehicles. That would explain why the cockpits are so detailed and have seats for small figures in the initial Transformers cars and planes and why the original Dinobots have seemingly random flaps that can pop out to seat tiny figures too.
Hasbro simply sold these toys under a new brand and took away the idea of little figures piloting the vehicles. This is just one example, and Hasbro licensed a bunch of toys from different toylines to be sold under the Transformers brand, which explains its great diversity (like a gun fighting a truck!). However, most toys were licensed from the same Japanese company, Takara, which Hasbro still partners with today to bring us Transformers toys. That explains the semi cohesiveness and similarity in design and transformation among the toys. BUT, there are a few toys from this first generation that came from other companies ... and it shows. Let's take a look at the five I find most interesting.
Roadbuster was first released as Takatoku Toys' "Mugen Calibur" from the Dorvack toyline (where Whirl is also from). Unlike the others on this list, his aesthetic works pretty well with the Takara figures. He is definitely more of a heavy dutytoy (bigger too) with a bunch of bad ass accessories that, while are awesome, do make him quite a pain to collect these days.
This guy is quite interesting since even though he was designed by the toy giant Tomy in theme with their Zoids toyline, he was actually commissioned and owned by Toybox. The really interesting part is that as far as I know (please state otherwise in the comments), the first release of this design is actually by Hasbro through the Transformers brand. So Skylynx was first issued by Hasbro, through a license with Toybox, designed by Tomy. And yes, you can totally tell he is not Takara, as there is not much order to this stupendous toy. He is a bird, a lynx, a space shuttle with a transporter and what looks like a Sauropod. Plus, there is a motor for it to walk (like many Zoids toys). It is such an otherworldy design in the G1 line that even the Marvel comics had a hard time making sense to his transformation, choosing to just make him a straight up triple changer (having shuttle, bird, and lynx modes only).
Like Skylynx, this toy was also from Toybox but designed by Tomy. However, Tomy had designed him inline with their Plarail toyline which dealth with train sets (which is still going strong today). This more than explains why Omega Supreme dissasembles himself transforms into a track system for a tank to move along it. If you ever wondered why Omega Supreme does not transform like regular Transformers do, this should explain it. Unlike Skylynx, he was released by Toybox as Super Change Robo Mechabot-1. This toy had a very different color scheme than how he looked once Hasbro licensed the toy from Toybox.
Shockwave was first released as "4 Changeable Astro Magnum" by toy company, ToyCo. Here is the kicker, ToyCo was Korean and not Japanese making this the very first Transformers toy not designed by Japan. They licensed this toy to several American distributors and toy makers which gave way to similar non-Transformer toys using the same mold being released in 1985, including a RadioShack exclusive called "Galactic Man" (who was dark grey). Because Hasbro was not the only one to use the licensed mold, they started sticking rubsigns on their toys to show that theirs was the official Transformers toy (this was also done to distinguish their transforming toys from the Gobots). Another cool thing to note is that unlike most G1 toys, especially all the ones designed by Takara, this toy has a very nice amount of articulation for his time.
Of course this is #1. It is by far one of the best toys of the G1 era due to its detail and complexity. Also, his robot mode is not at all what one would expect from a Transfomrers toy. He looks more like a Macross figure (for obvious reasons we will further explore) and has a more prototypical Japanese look compared to the other licensed toys (the color scheme doesn't help reinforce this notion). The reason for him being the odd man out in a Transformers line up is because he was from Takatoku Toys. He was part of their Macross VF-1S Super Valkyrie series. Unlike the other toys listed above, this series, like Transformers, lives on to this day. They are now owned by Bandai, the other Japanese toy giant (who made the original Gobots back in the day, through a smaller division called Popy, to compete directly with Takara's Transforming toys) and are the most complex and expensive transforming figures on the market today. Hence why it was such a treat for Hasbro's lawyers to have found a way to keep giving us toys based on this design such as the Generations Jetfire in 2014. Finally an afforable toy based on a Macross design.
Honourable mentions: The Deluxe Insecticons and Whirl.
Fellow Seibertronian Cyberpath has a splendid pictorial review for us of the recently released Takara Transformers Legends LG39 Brainstorm. He compares it to the previous Takara Brainstorm release and we see here how giving the old one's guns to new Brainstorm works out. Enjoy!
LG39 Brainstorm -- Takara's final Autobot Headmaster of the original group. Shipped one month after the last batch and arrived almost at the same time.
Brainstorm looks fantastic! The proportion of the body; the contrast of the colours--!
I've already had a Brainstorm that I liked (LG09) but ordered this one too just because of scale & compatibility; I wasn't enthusiastic about it but it turned out great!
The face sculpt is really well done -- detailed and crisp. But he doesn't look like the Brainstorm that I know as he's got a mouth. There's space between his jaw and "helmet" so I might try to somehow fashion a faceplate for him that would tab there.
Hey this kind of works, no?
Yet another Autobot Headmaster that's supposed to have twin-guns but doesn't. Instead he was packed with the generic gun that Chromedome came with. He can however wield LG09's guns! The colour is not exactly the same, but it works.
I was glad to find out that you can transform him without removing the nosecone, but you can remove it if you want a less prominent back.
The articulation is very good, he's even got waist rotation that's not related to transformation; so far only the Decepticons have had it.
He's got the exact same thighs as Chromedome and the shin-transformation is similar.
The transformation is cool and impressive, love the fin storage, the way the back-rest changes into his abs; the windshield, it's all pretty great for a deluxe.
And the jet mode is just as nice as the robot! Though I'm surprised there is no peg hole for a stand.
Brainstorm's drone buddy is a little more interesting than Chromedome's. And it's got this motorbike type mode.
Didn't think I'd have a Headmaster, much less all of them (and two Brainstorms!) but here we are..
NEW CYBERTRON! A massive corkscrew-shaped space ship has drilled into Earth, bringing with it a surprising disruption to OPTIMUS PRIME’s plans. Meanwhile—ARCEE fields a dangerous offer that may be too good to resist!
also, cameos and digs
A giant corkscrew spaceship lands in the Alps. Robots with apparently, arguably, perhaps not some screws loose pop out of it. Hilarity and hijinks (your mileage may vary) ensue. And we bring back a lot of loose threads from a long, long, long time ago in this new issue of Optimus Prime. Resolutions? No, just dangling. Like bait.
What I really enjoy about the two new characters we encounter - Junkions Rum-Maj and Wreck-Gar - is that while the latter carries across a lot of his canonical characterisation, they both also sport some sinister undertones to their easily dismissed comedy relief. Much like charming cannibalistic psychologists, perhaps, but with Eric Idle's voice stuck in your head.
A point of contention, elsewhere at least, is the inclusion of GI Joe teams in the book. But this is the status of the universe, and the book does some more steps towards acknowledging the wider status of it all. Not just American settings, not just American teams, not just Americans. This feels part of that pseudo-post-colonial shift that started way back when with the colonies being rediscovered.
only took about 15 years
John Barber is doing pretty much what he wants, now that he no longer has the editorial shackles, and he can delve into older Transformers universe, both within and outside of IDW's. This is some entertaining, and successfully so, storytelling with good characters.
I'll admit, I echoed some sentiments I've seen around about Kei Zama's art in this starting to look a bit more cluttered than the first issue, covers or fan art. My initial worries, however, did not last long. There may be a couple of panels which sport heavier inks (or feel that way) but they never jar with the spot-on designs and backgrounds.
That is also thanks to Josh Burcham's colour wizardry, marrying the dark linework of Zama's layouts with his muted (yet somehow still vibrant - see? wizard) palette; I could not have thought of a better choice of team for any selection of Junkions. Where there might've been the risk of too dark, colours light it up. Done.
or don't, but still works
The fears I had about the art were also a little in the lettering, as lots of dialogue means lots of ballooning, means a lot of stuff in the same panel - but I should've trusted Tom B. Long, of course. Both dialogue and sound effects work, and Wreck-Gar's speech pattern is well conveyed visually too. As for covers, we've seen the main Zama/Burcham one, and I spotlighted the Casey Coller/Joana Lafuente variant in the preview. We also have another Zoner piece, featuring Arcee, and thumbnailed with this review, the Andrew Griffith/Josh Perez Rum-Maj centrepiece. Admire them all.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
The issue is, overall, thoroughly enjoyable, much more than I initially feared I would feel about the book, from the preview. My biggest misgivings were not about the story as much as the art - as I explain above - but they were easily assuaged once you take in the whole story. There is no clutter. There is no lasting distraction.
What else does it bring, as well as ensuring that the mythos goes forward? Re-evaluation of both Primacy and Monstrosity, old Spotlights and -ations, Budiansky references, G1 references, early days of IDW's Robots in Disguise, i.e. Barber's best output. Until now. This is a series worth keeping at hand and in mind, and it does an excellent job of using those references as complementary, not essential.
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are the opinions of just a few people, since I am joined by several other contributors today, 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 Years of the Transformers Brand / Franchise
With one of the best years of all time to be a Transformers collector wrapped up, I thought it would be high time we got a list of the best years ever for the franchise. This will be predominantly toy focused and western focused when it comes to accompanying media and toy availability. The community had a say in this list, especially fellow Seibertronian Amelie who first suggested it. Many contributed to this list and you can read all our opinions below!
1996, because after the waning years of G2 and the Japanese series after the ending of season 3, Transformers faded from pop culture. In comes Beast Wars kicking down the door, which an actual awesome story and some pretty cool toys, and the franchise is back in business. - Rodimus Prime
While G1 started it all, the reason we are all still here today able to collect toys is because of Beast Wars. This rejuvination of the brand with a totally new direction is what saved the brand and Hasbro has said so a few times themselves. It is how I personally got into the brand and it is a staple of all 90s boys and girls just as G1 was for kids growing in the 80s. There are also two very important factors that should not get overlooked. Beast Wars brought about the articulation we still use today in toys. Due to the innovations of this era, several have aged very well. The other factor is the strong sense of storytelling in the show. To this day, Beast Wars is still the best written Transformers show we ever got in the west and the idea of emphasis on characterization in the Transfomers brand that people love so much in today's comics originates from here. Remember, this is the year we got the very best character in all of Transformers fiction, Dinobot. - William-James88
This is where it all started. Hasbro brought over some amazing toys from Asia (predominantly Japan) over to the west and with the help of the geniuses at Marvel, they created this world of Transforming sentient robots to go along with the toys. You could follow their adventures on television or in comics and both highlighted the toys you could buy in different ways. The toys themselves were gems on their own and a dream come true for many of us. This is the only brans where you can really get two toys for the price of one. You could have a vehicle that looked just like your other toy cars, but it could also become a robot. And not only did you have the playability that came with a robot AND a vehicle, but you also had the added puzzle of getting it from one shape to the next. This was special and it is still special today, especially when you see that a deluxe toy that has all this playability next to a similarly priced Star Wars action figure that can simply be posed in a few different ways. While technology and storytelling has evolved from those days, we must always remember 1984, the year which gave us Transformers. - William-James88
Recency bias be damned, it was a damn good year. The generations line on Hasbro's end kept giving us these amazing updates to the G1 era, bringing back the golden age of Transformers for a whole new generation with their most ambitious combiners and the return of Headmasters with more playability than ever before. We got objectively the best combiners ever with Takara especially going all out to give us unique molds and updates for Bruticus and Computron, two combiners with very diversified limbs, as well as both Hasbro and Takara having fun with the combiner system with Victorion, Sky Lynx as a torso and Grand Galvatron, the later being one of the most beautifully toys I ever had. We also finally got an update to Fortress Maximus, the aforementioned Sky Lynx and Powermaster Optimus Prime (along with Liokaiser, a character we would have never thought Hasbro to bring us). We also got the first MP Beast Wars figure with Optimus Primal, along with MP Shockwave (like Skylynx this was Takara's first crack ever at designing that transformation ever, since neither were originally Takara toys), Ironhide, Ratchet, 2 coneheads, Inferno and Hot Rod. Plus, Robots in Disguise pulled a 180 and became an amazing line to collect with the most original transformations around. We had 4 lines pulling out all the stops!
The movie had come out and Hasbro had pretty much exhausted the Diaclone line and finally in 1986 we start seeing what I would call the first 'proper' Transformers toys - Hot Rod, Galvatron, Blurr, Kupp, Scourge, Cyclonus, Gnaw, Wreck-Gar. They were bigger than their Diaclone cousins and arguably less detailed and in many cases less 'involved' when it came to transformation. However - these toys looked much more like their show counter-parts and were generally more robust.
We also saw the introduction of the (cancelled Diaclone) figures that made up the scramble combiners alongside Metroplex, Typticon and Predaking. With Metroplex being the first titan-class figure to be released and Trypticon being the first fan-voted titan-class figure - to me it speaks volumes about how loved 1986 really was. Aside from the usual Prime, Megs, 'Scream - characters like Predaking, Hotrod, Galvatron are often among the first called out for with excitement when a new line starts.
City-bots, Combiners and Trailer-Armour - the gimmicks had come full-force, but it wasn't until 87's ~Masters lines that we would go into full wack-out territory.
Aside from the toys - we had Transformers: The Movie and Season3 out which introduced lots of our favorite (or not so favorite) recurring themes - The Matrix, Optimus-Prime-Must-Die, Megatron transforms into Galvatron, Unicron and Optimus-Must-Live-Again (as the season finale). Fint Dille had created a monster which Simon Furman and every other Transformers writer was going to run with for the next 3 decades - with varying levels of success.
"I'll be back after a 28 episode commercial break, guys"
To summarize - 1986 is the year Hasbro and Takara finally gives us a line that isn't simply a reboxing of other toys and branches out new. Transformers itself was transformed and strong themes were developed that would be retold series across series. To me G1 starts its gradual decline from this point - making it the high point of the 80s, even if arguably being the root cause of its decline. - Amelie
2010 is definitely the year I would pick to show the true hayday of the brand because it is the apex of value and quality. 86 is a fun year but it is a start while I would link a heyday to a summit. People unknowing of all these toys would find a certain charm to the 86 toys but any wow factor would be coming from 2010 or the years surrounding that (from 2006 to then). What I mean is that while the toys from 86 are in this time capsule, and wanted for rarity and nostalgia, toys from 2010 are wanted for the amount of toy you are getting. The engineering, the design. Design is a big deal here. While the G1 toys had a problem recreating what you saw on the screen, 2010 has so far not been beaten, when you look at the Human Alliance Line and the Leader Starscream figure we got. There has never ever been (and sadly never will be) a better toy for your money than that literally Masterpiece level leader sized figure. Compare it to what toys are costing today and you had this advanced figure, with electronics and all, for $40 US MSRP. That will never happen again.
But it is not just movie toys, 2010 also has 2 very specific series all about design innovation: Reveal the Shield and Animated. That year gave us Reveal the Shield Jazz and Wreck Gar, two toys which had great engineering, giving you a phenomenal toy that leaps off the G1 screen but without needing to dish out the money for a Masterpiece. There was also RTS Lugnut which is the apex of the entire Transformers line in its originality. Both in its origins (bringing an animated toy to a Classics line, merging both aesthetics perfectly) and in it's engineering, by having his wings become his arms. That reduces his plane kibble significantly and unlike almost all planes, he has a super smooth undercarriage with minimal robot kibble, and everything is stored neatly.
We also got the best animated toys of the entire line that year. Firstly, Takara finally had their crack at them and gave them some awesome decos and fixed the qc errors that plagued a bunch. Paint and quality control was the only problem with that line and Takara fixed it, leaving us with nothing else to do but to enjoy the beauty of these well engineered toys. I believe, the animated line has the best designs ever done for a tf toyline, it's insane they were able to replicate a radical style into a toyline and make them fully transformable. But regardless of takara's take (which wasnt always the best), we got Cybertron Ratchet/Ironhide, Arcee and Rodimus, which are 3 of the best designs ever. These are all small masterpieces in their own right, leaping from the screen with some amazing cycbertronian designs. That Rodimus is to this day still the best Rodimus toy out there and handles his kibble better than any other version.
So yeah, we get the apex of the 3 most distinctive TF styles, Movie, Classics and Animated with the best quality and engineering ever seen for toys of that price point, from the beginning to today. And that's not even looking at the wider Transformers landscape which included Last Stand of the Wreckers, War for Cybertron, and the first five episodes of Prime. - William-james88
Honourable mentions: This honourable mention comes to us from Scotty P
2006. No debate here for me, just a quick and easy answer: 2006.
One more day is left, and this year will be over. If you look at 2016, there have been too high a number of dark moments outside of the life on the boards. But when you look at what our hobby, our fandom, our world of robots have produced, we actually struck some very good chords this year, wouldn't you agree? It has been a year of anniversaries, a year of milestones, a year of beasts and movies and comics, a year of toys, a year of endings and beginnings -- I suppose it's only right that we take some time now to make it...
A Year in Review - Transformers 2016
Art: Kei Zama
That's right: we're back! We'll be taking a look at what happened since the end of 2015, a few categories at a time, as usual. Also, this dish is best served accompanied by a nice 2016 podcast episode. Trés joli.
Let's meet our hosts for the ride, then, shall we..? Introducing:
Our Gracious Over Boards
We've rejigged the categories a little, to include more topics to cover outside of just the toys:
Cobotron - At first I thought Grand Galvatron. That whole set did a real number for my imagination, and the decos come close to the very best of the line. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there was one other toy from the line that I spent more time playing with and building my own stories around. I spent hours "scrambling" to find the perfect team to accompany him, and in doing so discovered that there isn't really a single limb that doesn't look good on him. I think he is the very best torso bot of the line, and he goes by Voyager Sky Lynx. The proportions in torso mode are near perfect, and although some seemed to have issues with loose joints, mine does not. His dino-bird mode is equally as fun, especially serving as a mount for another warrior. And while he looks smashing combined with the G2 Aerial Bots, his best looking feature is still that amazing high collared lynx head sculpt. MEOW!
Bronzewolf - While most would regard the CW era as wave after wave of retools and repaints, it did give us, most importantly, a combiner system that not only worked but worked well, and looked good at the same time. The likes of this we had never seen before, whether in G1 or those awful Movie "Combiners". It also gave us some updated versions of our favorite G1 characters, my favorite of which is Sky Lynx. While it, like almost all other figures from CW, has its faults (namely the inability to separate into lion/bird modes individually). It's a gorgeous looking representation of a character that has gone under-appreciated since the G1 days.
megatronus - Coming at the tail end of Combiner Wars, Sky Lynx is, in this staff member's opinion, the most superbly engineered voyager of the line. He encapsulates all of his G1 wackiness while making for a no-hassle combiner torso - what's not to like? What put him over the top - and this is a perversely personal point - was the devilish difficulty finding him at retail. That made finally finding him that much more delightful.
ScottyP - Grand Galvatron came in late and saved Unite Warriors, as well as all of G1. Let me tell you why...
Editor's Note - Redacted Content: ScottyP wrote about 12,000 words of fan fiction about Grand Galvatron here. It was, well, not very good. In fact, were we to publish it, the whole of civilization may be set back about 12,000 years. That's right - one year for every word. There was this mess about how to properly extinguish a campfire, a romance plot involving time travel and Jennifer Love-Hewitt, a continuation of Budiansky's Skullgrin story arc for some reason, and all the while it just never got anywhere in terms of plot or character development. I think Thundercracker's Josh Boyfriend screenplays are likely infinitely better than every last sentence of this junk that was written by a usually upstanding Site Admin. For the potential entertainment of readers, the last dreadfully melodramatic line is left intact below.
And so it was that Curse Armada Thrust looked wistfully into the deep vacuum of time and thought the only thought that mattered any more: "It was all just a matter of... time."
william-james88 - Part of me wishes this year’s combiners came out last year. I say this because there is no doubt in my mind that this year’s combiner wars toys were better than last year’s by a fair margin. The teams were more diverse in terms of molds and transformations and several had that extra premium feel in terms of paint apps. Yet, there was that mold fatigue that was hard to go against. I remember looking at my G2 Menasor and while I was marveling at the paint apps and tampographs (especially on G2 Wildrider), I didn’t really have this urge to transform the components or put them together simply because any mystery was already uncovered when I transformed the original. While maybe beautiful, redecos rarely have that same special feeling of discovering a new puzzle and with a combiner you get that for several toys all at once. But Grand Galvatron found a way to go against all that. The decos, and especially the two new heads, really went a long way into making this the stand out set of the entire line. To the point where I still felt I was experiencing something new even though they were all redecos (especially the jets). So, while I really like Unite Warriors Computron, I think the best combiner of the year would go to Grand Galvatron.
Burn - Geez where does one start with this? Such a big line to choose from.
But for me, if there was one that really stood out it would be Computron. Not Hasbro or Takara though, a combination of them. (Something I did). While Takara went the extra mile with Nosecone, both did a fantastic job with Strafe (though Takara won there too).
Of course Hasbro gave us the plucky little wheel that could (melt) ... Scrounge!
Counterpunch - I could have turned my attention to the larger teams, particularly UW Computron, but Nosecone was such a delightful tooling that I felt he should get a nod all his own. It’s as if this base body was designed for our scientific drilling expert from the outset. The color choices, the blocky nature of the limbs, and the Japanese exclusive drill all pull together to make what is in my opinion, the nicest limb of the year in the CW/UW line.
D-Maximus_Prime - Hmm, kind of a difficult one for me really. I'm gonna have to say... Strafe. I love the Air Raid mold a lot and it really works for Strafe. Plus, he is the one Combiner Wars Technobot that got a good makeover and he can combine with Scrounge! Both Unite Warriors and Combiner Wars delivered good looking Strafe's, and I love this one. He is awesome. And considering the fact that I consider Computron to be the best Combiner we got from Combiner wars, Strafe is just so sweet.
Kurona - It's a really difficult choice for me, but I've really gotta go with Victorion. When I got her I couldn't stop being amazed with her; the remolding on each figure to make them more feminine was fantastic, it had my favourite CW Voyager, my favourite CW limb twice, Dustup really stood out from the rest of the Dead End mold uses as her own unique thing, the colours are great in person, the sword is absolutely phenomenal, the new feet and hands work so well... I can't stop going on about her. She's absolutely perfect, I'd say the only real disappointment is Jumpstream - I just don't like that Breakdown mold. But hey, car and leg mode are great so can't complain too much.
Va'al - Much like previous years, my toy habits are limited to very select figures at specific times. But I had been eyeing Victorion since her announcement, and the entire Hasbro team knew of my definitely-not-an-obsession with the set at BotCon, Earth Wars meetings, online... It uses one of the best torso molds in the line, it has the adorable motorbike that could, the sword is magnificent, and the Helitwins arrived to kick some sense into Alpha Bravo! Gotta love siblings...
Burn - While the end of Combiner Wars saw more and more repaints that I just wasn't interested in, it was off-set by the introduction of Titans Return. My initial stance was to ignore the likes of Blurr and Scourge who were already represented in my "Neo-G1" collection. But I grabbed them anyway. While not blow my mind impressive, they were okay.
But then there were the others. Hardhead was a fun figure. As was Chromedome. But the two stand out figures for me, and these only recently joined the collection, were Brainstorm and Triggerhappy. These guys look fantastic in both modes. Not to mention how great they are at different poses. If you have the chance, grab these guys. Totally worth it!
megatronus - Deluxe Brainstorm. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. While TR voyagers thus far have been fairly clunky with the occasional inspired touch, the deluxe figures have stolen the show. Of these, Walgreens-exclusive Brainstorm is best in show. Between the original mold, color scheme, streamlined transformation/alt mode, and remarkable poseability, Brainstorm checks off all my boxes. I remain amazed that I could be so sullen over mold-mate Blurr, but so ecstatic over Brainstorm... do you believe in magic?
Bronzewolf - So many excellent figures to choose from. Mindwipe is pretty good, with an engaging transformation with a great looking robot and bat mode. Takara PowerMaster Convoy looks stunning in robot mode and in truck mode, with a cab that looks just spectacular.
But my favorite had to be the Blurr/Brainstorm mold. Walgreens Brainstorm has amazing tampos and color scheme. They look slightly faded and yellowed, making it look like a vintage toy, which, for me, is awesome. The proportions of the mold are really good, and it just looks incredible on a shelf. Really a highlight so far of the TR line.
Kurona - The Titans finally returned! ... with bad UK distribution. And a ridiculous price hike in the UK. And while my own personal funds are declining. I'm poor, guys.
Anyway, this meant I was only able to get Chromedome, Weirdwolf Wolfwire and Buzzsaw (totally counts). I love them all, the Titan Master integration works really well, and I'm glad I finally have a Chromedome for my Lost Lighter shelf. Buuuut, much as I like Domey and much as I'm surprised at how much I've been liking Buzzsaw, it has to go to Wolfwire. Absolutely incredible figure, especially in wolf mode - that's what really sells him. They really went to town on that because there's no molding or paint app choices (Titan Master notwithstanding) I'd change, and standing on his own or among a bunch of other random 'cons he just looks really cool and unique. Oh, uh, the robot mode is cool too. But the wolf is amazing!
Cobotron - My absolute favorite gets a spot further down the line here, so I'll put my #2 in this one. The honor goes to Wolfwire Weirdwolf. I love it when a toy can achieve a nice deco simply by using it's plastic colors to do the work. Wolfy here does that. He also hits a few of my other Transformers sweet spots like, beast mode, and a sword. He is a well made figure with an awesome robot mode, an even better alt mode, and a pretty fun and interesting route to get from one to the other. The Headmaster gimmick goes a long way for me on all the figures from this line, but the idea of a little bot driving a giant robotic dire wolf just really turns a key for me.
D-Maximus_Prime - Cerebros. No, really. That dude has so much character in him despite the fact that he turns into a head. He really does look awesome, poses really good, and he is the middle guy in the double Titanmaster gimmick. Plus, his head mode and his individual head sculpt are both amazing.
Shout out to Blurr. He will the favorite of many, but Cerebros wins for me.
ScottyP - This pick was almost Cerebros because that toy/Reflector Pre-tool is great, but I'm giving the nod to Highbrow. I'll go with the Takara Legends version for the superior paint/color scheme and bonus Titan Master car. Plus, that version includes a comic where Highbrow saves Papika from Weirdwolf, who is slowly cutting off all of her clothes but ultimately does not succeed thanks to Highbrow's actions. Anime may not be real, but the fun you can have with Highbrow definitely is.
william-james88 - While all Titans Return toys were fun, I found them rather simple. Legends Blurr was different though. He was quite complex for a deluxe and extremely satisfying. There was a great attention to detail, like how one leg stores the tail fin and how the tiny well rolling wheels are hidden flush in robot mode thanks to perfectly shaped holes. Plus the Takara paint job just makes him such a standout. To me, the only need for an MP Blurr is for the scale, but I am really curious as to how it could have a better look or transformation.
Counterpunch - In a world where so many great figures are coming on line week after week, I have to acknowledge the one that I expected to be my biggest disappointment when he turned out to be one of my simplest joys: Hot Rod is excellent. Transformation, detailing, cherry red candy color, weaponry… he’s the total package for $15.99 or whatever. I love getting surprises like this and lately, they’ve felt few and far between with the predictability of the Combiner Wars line. Hot Rod may not have been a classic Headmaster, but this toy leaves me thinking… maybe he should have been.
Favorite 2016 Transformers: Robots in Disguise/Adventure
Cobotron - Ahhhhh RID. The little line that could. Battle Packs were a hoot. Love that size class. It seems to be unanimous though, that the Warrior Class Decepticons were where it was at in 2016. I'm in. Heck, even Ratchet was better than I had expected, but the clear winner for me is Warrior Thunderhoof. In my book, he could have scrapped by on character design alone, but with everything else this figure has to offer added, he is the clear favorite.
D-Maximus_Prime - Warrior Thunderhoof. That guy is so awesome. He perfectly reflects his show model, which I love, and how many farm-formers have there ever been? Plus, he has antlers and hooves. His Transformation is fun and intuitive, and his robot mode is perfect looks-wise. Yes, he lacks some beef on his back, but he is literally awesome, so it matters not.
Va'al - I'll let this image speak for itself. And never talk to him or his son ever again.
ScottyP - You're making me choose? From all this awesome stuff? Hrm. Warrior Thunderhoof by a nose. In fact, probably by a very small nose, like a reindeer nose. Now I'm disappointed that there was no special Holiday Edition Thunderhoof again, but I digress. Thunderhoof is all the best parts of the stellar design and engineering work that accompanied most of this year's Warrior Class Decepticon releases from Robots in Disguise. Distilled within this blue and black antlered mobster is wonderful articulation and even the occasionally hard to find alt-mode weapon storage. Of course, then there's the transformation itself, which has multiple wild steps that truly involve him folding up and over himself in a way that must be experienced to be understood. The Adventure deco is a thing of beauty, so if you can track that down for a reasonable amount it's the recommended version here.
william-james88 - This line kicked so much ass this year. It was easily the most fun I had in terms of looking at each figure individually. Hasbro told us we wold get Decepticons in 2016 and they delivered. Probably more than either of us would have expected with Megatronus, Quillfire, Thunderhoof, Fracture, Bisk, Scorponok and Starscream. All of them were winners, truly. All are very good toys, with fun designs and new tansformations. Picking my favourite is insanely hard so it will be a tie between Hasbro’s Warrior Fracture and Takara’s Warrior Thunderhoof. Both are ingenious designs and very satisfying. They also look amazing in both modes.
Bronzewolf - The minicons. I know, I know, but hear me out. These collectible little guys are super cool, and one of the closest things the US has to Arms Micron. There's a great array of different characters that take different forms, from beasts to bots and everything in between.
Kurona - Uhhhh, Dragonus. He's kinda cute but I don't like him that much BUT he's the only RiD figure I have. congrats u win
Counterpunch - I mention TAV Windblade here because of the stark contrast in detail and care that Takara is taking with their version of Robots in Disguise. The mold itself is adequate and is in many ways just not as interesting as some of the Decepticon troops who have been 2016's star performers for RiD. What is special though is how Windblade looks like she stepped of the screen. Takara remains the go-to source for those of us who like our figures to actually look like their fictional depictions.
Favorite 2016 Transformers: None of the Above Figure
megatronus - Botcon Predacus. I love this set, and not just because of the cartoon homaging headsculpts/deco or the expertly executed paint job. Nor just because that combined mode is a beast to behold. And certainly, it's not because of the shortcomings of basically all of the individual members. Rather, Tripredacus was my first Beast Wars toy (or set) I ever got (from my parents; Happy Hanukkah!). It's amazing to have a vicious-looking modern rendition on my shelf that can hark back to watching episodes of Beast Wars while holding my Tripredacus. Nearly everything about him harks back to either the original toy or Beast Wars cartoon while adding that modern, Generations-style twist with a combiner face that is spot on 90s ridiculousness. Love at first reveal.
D-Maximus_Prime - Botcon Magnaboss. Yes, he may be mostly stickers with 3 figures that already came out, but I managed to snag the stickers and he is awesome. Yeah, I customized him the other 2 limbs instead of finding Unit-3 and Tigatron, but those 2 figures use the same molds, so it is a good representation. He looks so awesome, and the stickers do some wonderful work. Really awesome addition to my collection!
Bronzewolf - Club exclusive Bluestreak! It might be another CW redeco, but I really appreciate the paint and Tampos, plus it's one of my favorite characters of all time. (Going for the Blue bluestreak deco gets bonus points, too.)
ScottyP - Takara Legends Skids. The extra paint detail makes this figure look like it just escaped an exploding shuttle, magnetized a car, then blew it up after throwing it at a Legislator. Sleep tight, soldier.
william-james88 - Kabaya Fortress Maximus. This was my first time with Kabaya and it was quite enjoyable. This is a great set which actually has paint. And there is no parts forming during transformation from city to bot. Plus it comes with the most adorable little Powerglide ever.
Cobotron - A pop fly to left field! Takara's Diaclone Reboot Dia-Battles V2. I know, I know, it's not a Transformer, but here me out. He is Transformer's Grandpa, and you wouldn't not invite Grandpa to the family New Year's Eve party, would you?
This figure is amazing. If you are a fan of Transformers, a fan of the art of Japanese robot toys, and more specifically a fan of the art of Takara, I can't recommend this toy enough. Over the years Takara has done some really wonderful work rebooting some of their older lines and Dia-Battles follows suit. This toy is impeccably engineered with off the charts articulation and functionality, has beautiful detailing and paint,and is just an absolute joy to behold.
The thing about this figure is the modularity. Out of the box it can be configured into 12 different modes, but with the connection system they've employed Takara has also left it open to improvisation for hours of endless play. It's this modular play pattern that makes this toy so much fun. A great call back to old play patterns of the Diaclone and Microman toy lines. Maybe you need a breather from Transformers but still in the form of a robot toy. Please, give this guy a try. Besides, like I said, he's family. And BTW, he and his Dia-nauts roll tight right along side the Titan Masters.
Counterpunch - Victorion. Here's the thing, Victorion was kind of a flat release. What I mean by that is, for something that should have been more hyped and celebrated, her set kind of came and went without much notice. Victorion is really the first Combiner Wars gift set to offer something truly new and unique. She helps plan the seeds of new thought and characters in the franchise. In a way I wish it had been a more general release and that the whole Torchbearer set was priced cheaper to get more people into the idea. I really look forward to the day when we're adding more characters and ideas to the mythos in a more routine way.
Favorite 2016 Transformers Masterpiece Figure (Hasbro or Takara)
ScottyP - I'm saving MP-32 for a later topic, so I'm going to write about my second favorite Masterpiece figure for 2016 and beg to the good Dr. Va'al that this doesn't get cut. If it does, at least leave this sentence and let me feel the sting of having words murdered by a technicality.
This is an unbelievably tough choice to make, and might even vary depending on mood, but I'm going to stick with MP-29 Shockwave here just in case the MP-33 Inferno feelings I'm having are because of his novelty. In other words, logic dictates this choice. Shockwave is an expressive and gorgeous piece in both form and function. The robot and gun modes are slick and clean. The total package of the figure, accessories (including a clever double-use for the gun stand where it helps hide the gun's back kibble in robot mode), and even some alternate stickers made the long wait for an updated version of G1 Shockwave worth it.
Also, as someone nearly thirty years behind the curve on one corner of Transformers fiction, this Decepticon's heroics/antics in Time Wars were "new to me" this year and made me love this cold purple evildoer even more.
megatronus - MP29 Shockwave. Besides for marking the shift to slavish cartoon accuracy - a key inflection point in the history of this line - Shockwave is simply an amazing specimen. Have you see that light piping? That hose? The parts integration? The smaller gun of himself - that he can hold! More than his features, which more or less speaks for themselves, the release of Shockwave marks the completion of Megatron's lieutenants in MP form - leading up to the big bad himself in 2017.
Burn - This one surprised me. While I was looking forward to him, I was looking forward to Inferno more. But as great as Inferno is, he just doesn't quite reach the level of awesomeness that is Ironhide.
I had my reservations about him from the pictures. But once I had him in hand, I was quickly won over. A boxy little van twists, turns, and folds into a stocky damn good looking robot. While Inferno gave us "ladder magic", I feel it was Ironhide that helped lead the engineering that gave us "ladder magic". Unfortunately his mold brother Ratchet just didn't match up due to his primarily white look.
william-james88 - Masterpiece Ironhide. I am so impressed with how they were able to incorporate the cartoon vibe in robot mode while also delivering a very realistic alt-mode. Ironhide is one of those character that never had a good figure (even the movie versions had trouble getting it right and giving us good toys). And for such an iconic character, that is just so odd but it makes this release that much sweeter. Takara went all out. Gorgeous alt-mode (well, for what it is), great robot mode which has the alt-mode disappear away aside from the perfect alt-mode integration (from the front). this is probably the purchase I was most hesitant of this year that surprised me most.
Counterpunch - Optimus Primal: 1. He's not made of boxes. 2. He's not strictly G1, though that's kind of the same thing as #1. 3. MP Optimus Primal is one of the best designed, best decoed toys in recent history. We should all be excited for what may come to pass with engineering like this for Beast Wars characters. I am eagerly anticipating a BW Megatron just on my experience with this. It shows that the MP line is more than a one trick monkey.
D-Maximus_Prime - Masterpiece Shattered Glass Optimus Prime. He is my first masterpiece, and as a result wins by default, though I'm not sure anyone could top him. He is a joy to behold, with marvelous paint work, a great evil feel to him, and a black badass trailer! The green Energon axe does it for me too, and the amount of detail put into him shows the love that he got. For even more articulated thoughts, you can see my review with plenty of pictures and all the love I can give this guy there.
Cobotron - The Masterpiece toy I had the most fun with this year was Loudpedal. YA! I know! He's a stinkin' repaint, AND of a figure that's maybe not the best in the line. I'm a huge sucker to call backs to ye olden days of pre-TF history. The deco is phenomenal, and I've always loved that almost knight's helmet head sculpt. He re-energized my MP Decepticon ranks in a way I didn't see coming. He and Exhaust are a terrible twosome of trouble making turds who's misadventures have been a treat to watch unfold on my Masterpiece shelves.
...and now: Figure of the Year
Burn - You know what? I'm not falling into this trap Va'al. This has been a fantastic year for figures. I'm not picking one that stands above all for the year. Far too many to choose from!
Va'al - Everyone else fell for it...
Counterpunch - Fort Max was a really significant part of my childhood and one of my best Christmas memories. I remember seeing him on the shelf as a child and being shocked by the size of such a toy. Well, I had intended to wait for the Takara version on Max, but seeing one for myself in Toys R Us changed my mind. Some may gripe (at great length, while no one cares to listen) about how this is a Metroplex re-tool, but to me, this is the figure of the year because it is a really high quality piece and it did a great job of reminding me of the simple joy of spending $115 after coupons and discounts.
megatronus - Titan Fortress Maximus. He's a headmaster with a headmaster - inception in a nutshell. Fort Max borrows just enough tooling from Metroplex to be familiar, but shakes it up enough to effectively differentiate itself from the first 2 foot Titan and, more importantly, to be exciting. Now that he's gone on sale practically everywhere, you owe it to yourself to own a Transformer that could convincingly stand in for your toddler.
Bronzewolf - Since I didn't buy any MP's this year, I'll have to stick with mainline figures, and, with that in mind, Walgreen's Brainstorm would be my pick. I can write a book about how perfect he is in my opinion, and I'm sure others that were lucky enough to find him can, too. His stance and proportions are just amazing, he reminds me of a simpler Generations Springer in a way, where he feels and looks like a premium figure, but for a regular retail price. Just great.
Oh, and also Fort Max. He's cool too.
D-Maximus_Prime - Eesh, toughy right there. We had several really good ones this year. But, I'm gonna have to go out on a limb here and probably differentiate from all the others here: Titans Return Alpha Trion.
Despite its shortcomings, this toy finally gave us all a retail release of the wise old sage from Transformers lore, and to me, there was a lot of love put into him. The 2 alt modes, despite not being completely perfect, homaged so much of this guys past it's crazy. I love the lion mode. It is to die for, the spaceship isn't that bad either guys, come on!
But what wins this one for me is the robot mode. It is beautifully detailed and painted, possibly with more paint then I have ever seen on a Hasbro figure. He has a majestic sword and literally no kibble. Plus, his warrior styled armor is so awesome and it makes him stand out. He is a figure that cannot disappear from your vision no matter how far back on the shelf he is. He is my favorite figure of 2016.
Cobotron - Transformers for me has never been about adhering to any one story line or fiction, but more about cherry picking bits and pieces to build my own imaginary world of robots at war. And the figures that really do it for me are the ones that most inspire me to play out my own stories. This past year the one figure that did that, and did it hard, was Titans Return Alpha Trion. The character design that went into his robot mode is absolutely fantastic! He pushed so many of my fantasy buttons, Transformers or other. The moment I laid eyes and mitts on this ancient, time tested, magic sword wielding, lion adorned, mustachioed robotic mystical knight, triangulated with his mythical beast and mighty battle cruiser alt modes, my head was reeling with ideas of magnificent adventure. And if that wasn't enough, he has the Headmasters gimmick thrown in the mix.
For me Alpha Trion was pure rocket fuel for my imaginary play time. He and Vector Prime have been drumming up some heavy adventures across my shelves for some time now, and those old goats show no signs of stopping until every last Con is made to pay!
william-james88 - While I am not a hardcore G1 fan (I was born in 88 and only learnt in 2014 that the G1 Ironhide toy had no head), I have become something of a purist in my adult life. As a kid, I actually did have a few Transformers toys (G2 Dreadwing) and I had Beast Wars toys and not only did I see them as different lines, but different things entirely. So while I generally do not care if a toy is its own thing and not show accurate, holding that Masterpiece Optimus Primal in my hand in beast mode brought a very new feeling in me as a collector. And the conversion is phenomenal. He truly morphs, the entire shape of the figure is redefined. It's genius, especially how it does it in so little space. Instead of having a vehicle turn into a mechanical robot, you have what is essentially an action figure morphing entirely from one form to the next. To finally have a toy that looks like the Optimus on the show (especially in beast mode) and to have him on the 20th anniversary of said show is truly magical and I cannot think of any other toy that should warrant the title of Figure of the Year.
ScottyP - MP-32 Optimus Primal transforms from gorilla to Maximal Commander, evolving the Masterpiece line in a way where both truck and monkey feel like they belong. This toy is as close as it gets to perfection for a beloved and iconic Transformers character. It was easy to imagine a Masterpiece Beast Wars figure falling flat in form and execution. Toys based on mid-90s CG models that would be impossible to scale to Generation One based MP figures in any practical sense, that also must have beast modes that show as little robot kibble as possible? The recipe for disaster was there, and yet factored in so minutely that it makes me wonder why I was ever worried in the first place. A slick transformation, shockingly clean design, clever accessories, superbly expressive pose-ability, and a genuinely cool light up gimmick make this the clear cut Transformers toy of the year. While picking a runner-up or two would be extraordinarily difficult, the top of the mountain is ruled by a gorilla. Send all complaints to the banana box for disposal.
Made it so far? Here's a break for you all, featuring a relatively recent discovery round these parts!
And now, back to the list, as we move away from toy talk; starting with...
Favorite 2016 Transformers Comics-moment
ScottyP - In a total cop-out to prevent me from making a choice (again) between Sins of the Wreckers and Dying of the Light, which I waffle between on the hour every seven to eight hours, here's a short personal anecdote instead.
I flew to New Orleans last month and took my recently acquired trade paperback of Dying of the Light along with me. As readers of the book will know (hopefully, that's all of you), as the issues progress time edges ever closer to sunset on Necroworld. For anyone not following, that refers to a literal sunset used as a narrative device and not a purely figurative one. Anyhow, as the second leg of my flight took off, sunset was a bit more than 30 minutes away so the skies were still mostly blue in Charlotte and I settled in to take the chance to relax and read. Geography will tell you that when flying west at sunset, you are chasing said sunset.
Despite having a window seat with a perfect view of the extra long and slow sunset, I didn't really grasp this until looking at this panel:
At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me and/or there had been some unknown drop in cabin pressure and a lack of oxygen was driving my brain to view the page as much larger than it should be, but this was thankfully incorrect. What was really going on was that the color of the sky on the page more or less matched the exact color of the sky out the window. I had to keep reading, and did so at a slow, thoughtful pace (it was a re-read, after all) to find that the look of the world outside kept closely matching the world depicted on the page, getting gradually darker as the journey and the story progressed. The flight landed around twilight, with the book only marginally outpacing reality by the end. The last page I got to during that step of the journey? 'Thanks for traveling with me.'
Kurona - Dying of the Light. ALL of it. This probably shouldn't be surprising; if you know my Transformers opinions at all you'd know I adore MTMTE and consider it leagues above every other Transformers fiction (though a lot of the stuff filed under 'everything else' is still great, gimme Beast Wars and Animated any day)... and for that reason I don't actually want to say anything specific about it. I don't want to spoil what I consider to be top-notch fiction. I'll just say that Dying of the Light was an absolute thrillride from start to finish with everything I could want out of a series. except Nightbeat. Needed more Nightbeat
william-james88 - Definitely the end of More Than Meets the Eye. I liked seeing Megatron take down the DJD and how a lot of threads were wrapped up. I also really enjoyed Overlord’s reaction to the idea of finally taking down Megatron which shows how much the character has matured (I also finally read Last Stand of the Wreckers this year for the first time so the contrast was interesting). I am very curious of what is happening next. I love Blaster and can’t believe he would be such a $%!* to cooperate with Getaway. Something’s up.
Va'al has serious thoughts he has already expressed regarding that last point. More for the discussion, perhaps?
D-Maximus_Prime - More Than Meets The Eye #54, when Megatron walks onto the field of battle and silently blasts his enemies away, saving his comrades and sending them to safety. That page gives me goosebumps it's so beautiful. Alex Milne has never given us bad art, but that page alone is a masterpiece in its own right.
Counterpunch - All Hail Optimus and the reaction panels: The reactions of the major story players in the face of Optimus' annexation of Earth was my favorite moment. I loved having a progressively heroic Megatron in one book with a progressively authoritarian Prime in another. The script was flipped, so to speak, for a time. I hope that these two characters slide further into a morally questionable gray zone.
Cobotron - With what little time adulthood/parenthood allows for the hobby these days I don't get around to reading many comics. Most my time is spent with the toys. But, for my birthday this year my brother gave me the full run in trades of Transformers VS G.I. Joe, and I have to say it was one of the most strange and wonderful comic book experiences I've ever had. The art is so out there and, the story telling is tongue-in-cheek. It blew my mind. I told my bro I loved that the art looks like a Funkadelic album cover, and he replied with a laugh, "Yeah! Prison art!".
At first glance the art looks so amateur, but the more I pored over every detail, I came to understand the genius of Tom Scioli. I felt like present day me was standing in eleven-year-old me's childhood bedroom doorway watching myself play one of my many TF/Joe mash ups. Or was I standing in the doorway of Scioli's childhood? Either way it was a great ride, and reminded me of the innocence and intricacies of a child's imagination. This series is not for for everyone, and I understand why. If you get it, GREAT! If you don't, you probably won't. And, that's OK. I would recommend these books to anyone, as long as they come at them with an open mind.
Va'al - Issue #5 of the slow-burning gem that is Till All Are One. This book has gone through so many repolishes, renamings, rebrandings, and even though Windblade is still mostly the titular character, the latest iteration is the best fitting to the ensemble, in terms of cast, story, scope and repercussions. May follow Transformers/ex RID/Optimus Prime for the core mythos and politics, several follow More Than Meets the Eye/Lost Light for the sad gay robots (get over it, it's a compliment) and the inevitable feelings and convoluted plots. I stick with TAAO, like the two Windblades before it, as it brings cosmic action, cosmic mythos, post-colonial themes, religious vs secular debates, still one of the best Starscreams around - visually and in writing. And the best collection of biting one-liners not reliant on continuity nerdery.
Va'al splurted out tea while reading this line, and had to take a break from editing.
Favorite 2016 Transformers Show-moment
Kurona - A few things to get out of the way first. I don't watch Rescue Bots but from what I've seen, it's a pretty neat show. And while I've been enjoying RiD, I haven't found anything about it that I really like and really thrills me. So I can't point to any one thing about it and say "that's amazing" or "this is easily my favourite part". It's just kinda decent and meh.
And while it is arguably the worst Transformers show since Energon - I actually liked it less than Energon - yes, my favourite Show thing this year is from Machinima's Combiner Wars. Though if you've taken part in that board discussion, I think you all know what it is - it's Megs. It's friggin' Megs. It feels like every single amount of effort, originality and unique ideas went into this single solitary character because he is great. Maybe it's because CW was such a bad show that the one good thing seemed so much better, maybe it's because I haven't enjoyed a lot of cartoon Megatrons (aside from BW who is arguably a different archetype), but this guy freaking rocks. He's always enjoyable to watch, he's always got a quick quip, he has some character resolution... oh, yeah, and he turns into a super space gun in addition to having an actual vehicle mode. If you have to watch CW, just wait until you get to Megatron. He's the one good part, I swear.
william-james88 - This was a weak spot for Transformers this year. I really liked the interpretation of Megatron in Machinima’s Combiner Wars. He was so jovial, daring, untouchable and yet relentless all at once it was a joy to watch. It also showed me that the fandom was not bitter about change in the least. We will always be up for something new if it is done well.
D-Maximus_Prime - Bumblebee v. Bisk from "Bumblebee's Night Off" in Robots in Disguise. That is now ranked up there as my favorite fight scene from RiD, and second in the aligned continuity behind only the Predaking/Magnus/Wheeljack fight from Prime. The music, the lights, the whole thing was a great fight scene. I loved every second of it and I constantly rewatch that scene.
Shout out to the return of Starscream though. When he walks through that Space Bridge... Ooooooooooh maaaaaaaaaaan
Bronzewolf - Ratchet returning to the Aligned continuity. It's been a long time coming for the doc, and I'm glad to see him back on the screen. One piece of what made Prime such a great show has made a comeback to maybe make RID a bit better.
ScottyP - Steeljaw's first stroll through Glowstrike and Saberhorn's ship full of Decepticons in Robots in Disguise Season 2 Episode 3. Crazy colored Vehicons, Chompazoids, and even Crystal Widow!? It was a short but really fun scene that began to inform the ultimate direction Steeljaw took during the season. Honorable mention here to Grimlock making pretzels.
Counterpunch - My 2 year old decided that watching RiD with me was the way to spend good quality time. I particularly enjoyed when he told me definitively that Optimus was "red and black." I almost corrected him when I looked up at the screen to realize that he was right.
megatronus - Anytime Grimlock gets screen-time on RID. Grimlock has gone from one of the most annoying/perplexing characters on the show to one of the most entertaining. Pretzel, anyone?
Favorite Transformers Game-moment
Va'al - Cheating a little again here, but... Being part of the actual Earth Wars consultant/contributor/influencer group, my thoughts and face and voice and all! (My body will only and forever belong to Burn - though he never takes me up on the offer. ScottyP might...) I got to chat to the developers, finally meet Seibertron himself, and bring Alpha Bravo along for the ride to Space Ape Games.
megatronus - As a lifelong Transformers fan and long-term collector, I've struggled to share my hobby with those I love, particularly my wife. Well - love finds a way. Ever since I started playing Earth Wars beta back in February, I've been hooked. Once the game hit wide release in June, my wife decided to see what all the fuss is about - and now she's hooked. Say what you will about Earth Wars and mobile gaming, but I'm grateful to have found a channel through which to share this hobby.
D-Maximus_Prime - I only got the Earth Wars game recently, but I love using Vortex. His attack is fun and can be used so many times in one battle. Plus, he looks really cool in the game. He may be on my C-team, but he does not lose fights.
Kurona - Hm. Earth Wars can be very frustrating, and really stretches the limits of the free-to-play genre... but the one upside this brings is that it makes it VERY nice when you get a particular unit you want. I just got a 3-star Soundwave over a weekend, that was wicked.
But the real good thing is how good it feels to co-operate. Oh, sure, it's just contributing points towards an event or a war, but it feels good to have all that build up and feel like you're really helping out everyone else in addition to just yourself. That's what I love about this game. Co-operation.
Bronzewolf - That RID Augmented Reality game that I reviewed! I know it's random and not really a "game" perse, but man, it's a fun little thing to mess with for a bit. Check it out, it went underrated. (The game, not my review. Well, you can check that out too if you want. )
Favourite 2016 fan creation: art, custom, video, comic, fiction
Kurona - Thew. Just... just Thew. His reviews are just the most fun out there. I love him.
D-Maximus_Prime - Thew's Knockoff Beatdown: Ruination. I always enjoy his reviews, but I love a good beatdown of knockoffs. The fact that this one focused almost solely on Bruticus/Ruination KO's made it lots of fun, as well as the fact you can see how poorly made some of those guys are. Plus, I love a good pun or 50.
Bronzewolf - Cobotron's Bluestreak. Man, I'm a sucker for Streak, and when getting a combiner wars version was a pipe dream (which it still kind of is, if you don't count the club version), one herobro rose from the ashes: Cobotron. His Bluestreak is just great, very clean, and well-executed.
Cobotron - There is so much good fun stuff out there. Even in our own Transtopia. So I'm going to keep this one here in the Seibertron family. The wonderful photos of our friend and forum mate, Cyberpath. If you haven't seen his pics, you haven't been to the 'Awesome Pictures And Poses Thread'. His pictures are amazing, and I always look forward to seeing what eye candy he will post next.
I've poked and prodded him to start his own thread to showcase his work, but I've now become accustomed to seeing his pics scattered across the many threads that weave the tapestry of our Seibertron.com forums. Thanks for sprucing up the joint CP!
ScottyP - With apologies to the amazing effort and creativity shown during October's #LostLightFest on the same platform - My pick goes to something from the amazing Twitter account of Inkybauds, longtime Transformers fan known for his involvement in the (now becoming legendary if I daresay) Transmasters fan club in the UK. Earlier this year, he created this series of three tweets (one, two, three) containing a list of fake, but hilarious and timely "Modern Transformers Names". Go laugh, then come back. This Kroktease article will be here when you get back.
Va'al - Not because I was behind the initial input of a couple of them - Burn was there with me at least all the times, just quiet about it - but I really enjoy the terrible threads that we create on Seibertron, from Civil War to Braingate, to the acronyms one, even my one-person campaign for Alpha Bravo to become the New Prime of Cybertron. Alpha Prime - It Just Sounds Right.
...and now: Moment of the Year
D-Maximus_Prime - Hard one to pin down... but I gotta say pre-ordering my first Masterpiece. I have yet to attend a Transformers convention but nothing felt quite like when TFSource opened their MP SG Prime pre-order. As soon as he was even teased, I wanted him, and as he is my first Masterpiece, he is incredibly special. First Masterpiece, and it is one of my favorite comics characters. Shattered Glass was an amazing comic, and I want more Shattered Glass stuff. I like it when the good guy is suddenly the bad and viceversa. Probably why I love Autobot Megatron in IDW so much...
ScottyP - Keeping it short: Masterpiece Ironhide was the first toy I got after having to cut Transformers purchasing off completely for six weeks towards the start of this year for reasons dictated by life. For some of you, this immediately has no impact, but please bear with me. For a serial buyer such as myself, who's bought literally hundreds of Transformers each year for the past 12 years, six weeks is an eternity. Getting Ironhide in and getting to experience a really great toy of a character I've always loved in a truly meaningful, focused way was one of several events in that stretch that helped me reflect on the reasons I collect these toys and follow these unconventional characters. Steady, brave, and shining in that beautiful red, Ironhide showed up in the mail one afternoon in late February and had to be savored. Would the impact have been the same if it had been, say, Black Tracks? Why did the character of Ironhide mean so much in that moment? Finding the answers to those questions led to a few new and exciting paths down untread trails of the hobby. Life can beat you up or threaten to destroy Autobot City in your own shuttle by slipping by the early warning system, sure. But when you feel like giving up, think about what Ironhide would do. Maybe second guess it a little because of the potential consequences. Ultimately, the answer remains the same - when life asks you to give up, look down that fusion cannon pointed at you and say 'No'.
Cobotron - Oh! You mean like the time I was 100% ready to just slagging hate Masterpiece Hot Rod for his cursed cartoon accuracy, then I got him, transformed him, and he held me in is arms sweetly, and showed me the error of my ways? 'Cause that was an awesome moment! (cont'd)
william-james88 - It was that week of those slow reveals from Takara of all the components for Computron. This was the Combiner with the biggest question mark throughout the first year of the line and it is so crazy how much of an adventure it turned out with Hasbro and Takara going in completely different paths. Takara knew theirs was a big deal and they let us savour it. First by slowly showing each figure in grey scale and then showing them to us in colour. I remember marveling at each one, especially when there was a time I thought I either would not get Computron or have him be made the cheapest way possible. I was so damn happy when I saw that giant drill in the silhouette. It turned out to be one of the best toys of the year and what I like was the fanfare that came with his reveal. It was a fun adventure from the Takara announcement to getting him in my hands.
megatronus - Back to Earth Wars - one of the things my wife loved about the game was the inclusion of the Torch Bearers on the Autobot side. That's right, the component members of Victorion, Pyra Magna and the rest, have representation in the game. Well, when Amazon had the Victorion box set on sale for $40 a few weeks back, I pounced. Now my wife has her very first Transformers - a lady combiner, no less!
Cobotron - (cont'd) Or the time the Wife not only agreed that I should go to BotCon, but said "you need to go to BotCon". It was my very first, and very sadly the last. I've never seen a dealer room dedicated to just Transformers, and I took full advantage of Candyland. Knocking out a few grails along the way. The whole thing was really great though. Just the vibe and camaraderie of the whole community. It was a real treat getting to meet folks, make friends, and talk the talk during a whole weekend dedicated to the thing we like. And, Va'al even swam all the way from France! That was AMAZING!
Counterpunch - A few people will acknowledge Botcon's closing hours as their moment of the year, but I think for me, it was arriving at Botcon 2016 and watching everything fall into place one last time. We were so chill and well behaved. There were only three of us in a room, instead of twelve. No one puked. No one got stuck in a tire swing at the hotel's fake beach. No one passed out in a hallway. We've come a long way baby.
Va'al - You kidding? I loved arriving at the second day of BotCon, with only a couple of people I'd actually already met, and finally get to see everyone in the flesh! From carytheone to Cobotron, to Sabrblade to the entire Twincast crew, the Audio Knights crew, some of the COMPETITION, the artists, the Hasbro team again... and just roll the entire weekend trolling the event with custom Alpha Bravo fanboi tshirts.
Bronzewolf - Joining Seibertron.com. Seriously, I've been reading this site religiously for at least 5 years now (it became part of my daily routine) and I wouldn't trade the opportunity to write for it for anything. Love it, love the people, love the subject matter. Can't get better. Va'al: Awww.
Kurona - Dying of the Light for all reasons mentioned above. Again, don't want to spoil anything; but it's got everything I could want and just keeps going without ever hitting the brakes. An absolute Masterpiece.
Here comes the finale!
What are you looking forward to in 2017 for Transformers? With no real order...
-Titan Trypticon: more kaiju, please!
-More Titans Returns: my quantity of fun is directly correlated to my quantity of headmasters.
-Next Gimmick: Powermasters? Pretenders? Beast Wars? I'm excited to see what's in store for Transformers.
-HasCon: As a Marvel Legends and Star Wars collector, I hope HasCon is a success.
-MP36 Megatron: No words. Just silent tears of joy.
The continuation of Titans Return figures, Trypticon is coming. Will be interesting to see how he turns out. Oh and then there's the movie. I won't be getting my hopes up for it, so here's hoping it surprises me, and here's hoping some of our readers surprise me and tone down the anti-Bay rhetoric that generates so many reported posts!
The reveal of the next Beast Wars Masterpiece toy. I am hoping it is Megatron. Well, I wish it to be Dinobot but I really cannot imagine how that toy would ever work. How can he be such a slim dinosaur and turn into such a tall dark and handsome bot. The full reveal of Titan Class Trypticon is also something I look forward to but the fact that we can all picture how it will look like roughly and knowing that available space for more toys in my home is quickly diminishing kind of dampens my anticipation for the reveal, in comparison to my hopes for the next Masterpiece Beast Wars announcement.
The possibility that the next line of Transformers may give us toys of the original 13 Primes.
Classics UK Volume 6, and dare I dream Classics UK Volume 7 might also come out? I'm also looking forward to basically everyone being wrong about Power of the Primes, including me.
Oh, and finally finding out if that note Mr. Roberts left me at the end of MTMTE #38's script was a joke or a scolding (and no, I won't tell you what it said ) Va'al knows. Va'al was there. Va'al was kinda responsible for it.
Titans Return and Lost Light. Quite possibly the most generic response I could have given... but can't really think of much else. MTMTE is my favourite Transformers fiction (and overall fiction at the moment), while Titans Return has really hit the ground running. The rest of IDW too, actually - TAAO is REALLY getting good, and Optimus Prime... looks decent.
I gotta say hopefully going to my first convention. Botcon may be no more, but I will still get out there go someplace. I gotta get to one of these and live it out. There is so much potential there that I need to experience.
Figure wise, I'm really looking forward to the Titans Return Leader Decepticons. The 2 we have revealed so far look amazing, and I really look forward to some lesser known guys getting some great attention from this line. (Please Nautica!!!)
Toys, toys, toys, and more toys. Titans, Powery Primes, Liony Convoys, MP Artfire, RID's Combiner Pants Force. I'm sure 2017 will be a breakneck switchback mountain road of reveals, that will make for a great ride. I also always look forward to the hunt, and swapping campfire stories with all here in Seibertown. To a better year than the last!
Perceptor. Bring it on, man. I've been kicking around grabbing a fanstoys Tesla, but waited because of the rumors of a mainline release. I'm so glad I did. I could not be happier with how he looks, and can't wait to pick him up.
I'm also looking forward to Trypticon's reveal and potential release, and The Last Knight. I'm being cautiously optimistic (perhaps more optimistic than I should be) about it. I'm very optimistic about the toys, though. Some of my favorite real-life cars finally embodied as transformers. I'm stoked, and I'm waiting with baited breath until they get revealed.
I'm also looking forward to continuing involvement with this great community and writing for Seibertron. I know it's sappy but talking transformers with you all is the highlight of my day, and always enjoyable. To 2017 and beyond!
On those words, we come to a close on a retrospective glimpse at a busy year in Transformers, Seibertronians, toys, comics, community and more... Now it's up to you! What made your 2016 special in Transformers? What do you hope our Gracious Robots Overlords [there's more than one?!] will bring in 2017, the next Movie Year? The Energon Pub is open at all hours - just grab a seat, and let it out.
May we all surrender our Intellectual Property, and achieve Total Brand Awareness.
The Titan Masters for Wave 3 of Titans Return are being found at retail slowly but surely. Personally, I believe this wave has the very best Titan Master so far: Sawback. This is a figure inspired from the G1 headmaster figure Lione and here you can see how the two compare. Of all Titan Masters so far, Sawback/Lione is the perfect G1 toy to be represented since he was only just a head in G1 so being just a head now works.
Also, of all Titan Masters so far, Sawback has the very best integration with the Titan Master vehicle by filling out the mane of the lion. Here is a comparison between the lion mode on the G1 figure and its homage:
More comparisons with g1 we have Sawback on Hardhead and Skullcruncher and the G1 counterparts of the same combinations.
And here is Sawback with the other new molds from his wave:
Notice how well that Titan Master works to make up the mane.
Since Lione never had a robot mode (he was just a head), Sawback's robot mode is completely new and actually refers to the alt mode of his G1 counterpart by having a beast face:
The lion turns into a single pilot aircraft of some sort. What I find great is how there is painted detailing in the wings to give this form detailing not found in the other modes, with silver painted guns on the wings. While the instructions say to keep the legs up, I prefer them down.
Here is an alternate transformation for each new mold from this wave:
And here is Sawback in his shield mode, along with the other new Titan Masters in their respective weapons modes.
Let us know what you think of Sawback and the others.
A wave of undead TITANS has touched down on CYBERTRON! Even with the help of the massive METROPLEX, WINDBLADE and STARSCREAM can only hold them off for so long. They need help from Elita-1—and they’re going to get it whether she agrees or not. The fate of CYBERTRON depends on it!
Now, where were we?
With the weird time shifts of IDW's release schedules - seriously, even continuity has nothing on them - we're still working in the aftermath of Titans Return, and really quite heavily so. Said aftermath continues to provide an excellent backdrop to the evolving dynamics of the Council, and the whatonearthisgoingon-ness of Elita-1 and her Titan Carcer. How? Read on...
What Sparkstalker said!
An issue which rolls much faster than the previous one, which was more focused on build-up than resolution, we start to see the direct consequence of having called all major players into play, and Elita One still unwilling to lend a hand - because something is up with Carcer, as everyone knows by now.
Though there is plenty of character building in the various scenes across the issue, and Windblade, Ironhide, Starscream, and even Metroplex get a good dose, the one that stood out the most was Obsidian, this time round. We've seen him loving his tiny 'gotcha' screens, being imposing and menacing and lurking and looming - we get to see a very different side of him, now that he's next to his First. She's probably worse things than him.
concerned creepy puppy
Mairghread Scott has also been able to do some subtle characterisation of the various names and faces that appear in group shots - keep an eye out for all of them as you dodge lasers, blasters, missiles. I have some further thoughts on the issue in terms of plot, but more on that below, of course.
There is a lot happening all at once. It's a giant battle with giant Titans, occurring both in space and on Cybertron. It's a big canvas. Sara Pitre Durocher fills it masterfully, using panels, action layouts, character interactions and page breaks to convey the sheer scale of the event and of its impact upon Starscream's current rule, along with the Council.
And if crowd and battle scenes weren't hard enough for lineart, colourist Joana Lafuente blends her skill with equal mastery, and makes individuals in a crowd stand out, from the guards around Ironhide, to the Titans attacking, to the faces appearing between convicts, citizens, dwellers and ex-colonists. That, and we still have some excellent space scenes, too.
And this shot
Tom B. Long, still on letters as we've come to expect, still delivers (as we've also come to expect) in fonts, captions, and interplaying the two and more into a coherent part of the visual storytelling. Metroplex's speech-style is still one of the highlights of this book, and so very nice to look at. We also then have Pitre Durocher on main cover, with a similar, echoing variant by Priscilla Tramontano (thumbnailed), plus a continuation of fan artist spotlights with Zoner taking a turn on RI.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Diplomacy also means strategy. Leadership also means compromise. Both definitely mean tough choices, and the unique mix of Windblade and Starscream's takes on the current situation at hand brings out a definitely intriguing and potentially incredibly consequential storyline revolving yes around Carcer, but also Metroplex, but even more also - and particularly - Elita-1.
One Scary Lady
As I said above, I like Obsidian's 'new' side, I like his interaction with Elita, I like that Windblade and Starscream are collaborating on a difficult task, I like that we have a side-support from Chromia, I like that we have everyone - and I mean everyone - in the issue (Check out ScottyP's spoilery character roster in our database!). I like that I have no idea where this is going. I can only think of other Titans, past storylines, speculate, and mostly, just wait for the evil to unfold. Join me?
Hello, Seibertronians, I hope you all had a good holiday!
I just happened to receive Titans Return Hot Rod for one of my gifts, and thought I'd throw together a little pictorial review for you all! So let's dive in and klook at one of the most anticipated figures of wave three!
Let's start with the figure himself: he is just great looking. He totally encapsulates the aesthetic Hot Rod is supposed to have. That sleek, young look is just perfectly represented. While his robot mode might not have the most accurate colors, (namely on his legs), he is undeniably the Roddy we all know and love.
Although yes, I agree, you can't see his wing enough over his shoulders.
Hot Rod comes with two large rifles, so he can go full Rambo mode
These guns can combine to make another seat for a Titan(head)Master, per the norm with most wave 2/3 figures.
This seems like a cool additional feature until until you realise that, because of the placement of the handles and Hot Rod's articulation, there's no way that I've found for Rod to hold the gun in a fashion so the Titan master sits upright, unless you make him go street gang style.
The other gun-related issue (with mine at least) is the gun's pegs are just slightly too big for his hands (or vice versa), so when you put the guns in his hands, it requires a good bit of force, and with nothing directly under his hands to support that force, it all goes to the little pin keeping his hands on. I could easily see these breaking if not done correctly. Then again, it could just be an issue mine alone has, and others will have nothing to worry about.
Next up: size comparisons. Roddy is actually a bit tall for a deluxe, and not just because of his massive shoulders.
With some other Movie mates of all sizes:
Class of '86
Next, let's cover what is easily the best part of this figure: His vehicle mode, and Good Lord. Perfection. It really is. It feels solid, the transformation is great, everything clips together so well it's almost unbelievable. As many others have pointed out, he also has some cues to the TF: Animated incarnation of this character, which is awesome by itself.
Cruising with some more Cybertronian cars. Hasbro again knocking it out of the park with these.
Before we wrap things up, I wanted to touch on his Titan master: he's unpainted. Yes, continuing with the trend wave 2 started, he doesn't have a lick of paint on him, other than Hot Rod's face. But not only this: He's completely one color. Something even the Wave two figures did was mold the arms and legs in a different color than the rest of the body, just to give it some variety. I'll probably end up custom painting him, but it really is a blemish on an otherwise really good figure.
Other than that (and the limited articulation I didn't really touch on) he's a really, really good figure, and easily the best representation of this character we've ever gotten in a mainline release. I highly encourage picking him up!
Goto Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 102, 103, 104>> 1,034 total news articles in this section, 10 per page.
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.
20,828 pages were recently viewed by 680 unique visitors. This page loaded in 0.06416 seconds and was viewed 1 times on Thursday, January 19th 2017 12:00pm CST