Let's begin with Scattershot, all... three of them? That's right, there was an anomolyous Voyager Scattershot released separately the Combiner Wars line that really wasn't suitable for, well, anything. It has a decent enough alt mode and sporting some remolding, but the uninspiring deco making him seem like a dry run for the real thing. The version we see with the Hasbro Collection Pack might be the same remold (torso mode being a complete repaint of Superion) but he at least has much better color choices, and I love the sticker inspired tampographs. Enter Takara's rendition, the color choices are superb and the retooling extends beyond what Hasbro did, plus having some new unique guns. Have a look at the three in both modes, and as torso's. And just for fun, also see Betatron in all his... glory?
Afterburner really bugs me. Both of them. In my opinion not enough was changed from the previous user of the mold (Groove) and that windshield kibble could be made a ton better with a simple swivel joint. My gripes aside, both Hasbro and Takara do a commendable job in in their color schemes. With Takara stereotypically going all out on cartoon accuracy with the red, and Hasbro going toy/Marvel Comics accurate. you can't go wrong with either. Fun side note: these two are completely the same mold wise, making them the only shared figures between the two sets.
Lightspeed isn't as cut and dry as you might think. I'd say Hasbro 'Speed is the weakest of both sets, but he's not terrible. It's my favorite car mold from the line, and a repaint of my favorite iteration (Streetwise). And while Takara's Wheeljackremold is more suiting, it just happens to be least favorite CW car. That said, his sharp reds and brilliant new head sculpt elevates this hated mold to loving new heights.
Strafe is a great addition on both sides of the fence. Hasbro's Strafe is a simpler retool when compared to Takara's, but that shouldn't take away from the experience. Hasbro Strafe steals his duds from Air Raid, which again, is a a favorite of mine. So right off the bat, I like the figure and his remolding/new head impress me. Two negatives though, he has no gun (but can borrow one of Afterburners) and he's off-white. Takara's snow white is simply stunning, but I have issues with the Blast-Off mold (QC wise). They aren't as bad, but still present. Namely the head popping off, but he is oh so pretty *bats eyelashes*.
The Nosecones are vastly set apart by using completely different molds, and color schemes. Hasbro's uses the Brawl mold with tooling from the Botcon 2016 Ramhorn (namely the drill, as he keeps Brawl's head). If you haven't made peace with this mold by now, then you never will (and you''l have a rough time with Liokaiser). But I honestly don't mind him, and prefer the darker brown coloring ala G1 toy. On the flip side, Takara decided to go with the Rook mold by slapping some treads on him, along with a drill and new noggin. He looks great and comes with a small arsenal, making his play options plentiful. One thing I don't like however, is the stick on his back. It reminds me of a flagpole, and he should be flying some kind of banner. I just wish it had been more collapsible is all.
UW Computron scores big points for something people might dislike or not even think twice about: the combined gun. I really appreciate Takara's efforts there and wish they had done the same for Bruticus. The new head and chest plate, along with the beautiful streamlined color choices make him absolutely awe inspiring.
CW Computron hit's me the same way the G2 Combiners do. He's just funky and fun! If you want your Computron to be colored like the ones you had as a kid, this is the set for you. Even with no alteration, I love the torso. The pinkish chest and tampographs I mentioned earlier look fantastic. Not to mention the brand new hands a feet, they look and work brilliantly.
Also, there's lots of scramblin' drill hand'ing fun to be had with both sets!
Scrounge and Cybaxx, talk about niche! A tragic story from the G1 Marvel glory days, and present once again in IDW, this is the first time he's been immortalized in plastic. The mold choice (Legends Class Cosmos) is about as fitting as can be, and a new proper new head to boot. And his pal Cybaxx is supposed to represent his "special arm". The 7 Scrounge diehards out there ought to be pretty happy with this!
So how do they compare? Takara put a great deal of effort into their Computron, and the sheer amount of retooling, remolding, and repainting certainly give it the edge. If you value cartoon accuracy and don't mind paying a few extra bucks, then he's your bot. But Hasbro's Collection Pack is great in his own regards. Unique Strafe, a seemingly more crowd pleasing orange Afterburner, awesome new hands and feet, and not to mention Scrounge(!), something so obscure you'd only expect to find it in an expensive Botcon set. If I had to choose, I would go Unite Warriors, but only for combined mode. As separate figures, I actually prefer the Combiner Wars Collection Pack. Good thing I don't have to choose, because I'm quite happy having both! Also, MVP's of the two sets for me are: UW Lightspeed, and CW Strafe.
Were you on the fence? did you decide months ago before the release of either? What are your thoughts with the set you chose? Join us in the Pub and let us know!
There are more rumblings in the Transformers rumour network, as fellow fansite TFW2005's Mr Chaos finds more listings for potential upcoming figures. Today's offering are two leader class figures for the Titans Return line, supposedly to arrive after Six Shot: Overlord and Sky Shadow!
Two new product listings from my friend. While his work doesn't carry Leader figures for Titans return yet (they are still stuck with Combiner Wars stuff) I was able to get him a UPC for Titans Return and he got me two listings: Leader Class Overlord (C2388) and Leader Class Sky Shadow (C1104)
Overlord was pretty much expected but Sky Shadow was a surprise. As always I have no clue what the figures look like, only that they are listed to come after Sixshot.
We had been teased something of the Overlord kind at BotCon, as you can see from the images below, and we may have heard something about the other Phase Sixer in the past, but what do you make of this new info? Speculate and discuss away in the Energon Pub!
You won't believe the things we can do now, as Seibertron.com has been fidgeting behind the scenes to bring you more exclusive content from the creators of one of the longest running brands of fiction about giant transforming robots out there. You all bring so much to the community and fandom... can we do any less for you?
You may be asking what we're playing at, with these odd turns of phrase, but the more perspicacious among you may have noted the pattern. We planted the seeds a long time ago, Seibertronians, it is now time to reap the whirlwind: please welcome to our interview series... Simon Furman!
Va'al - Simon, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, we really appreciate it! As you probably know, you're considered one of the cornerstones for the fictional world of the Transformers - but how did it all start for you? What does Simon Furman: Origins look like?
Simon Furman - Lots of lucky breaks and neat coincidences, not that much actual talent (at that stage). After a bit of aimless I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-my-life I lucked into a journalist job at IPC Magazines, in their competitions department (writing editorial copy and judging etc). That in turn put me squarely in the sphere of IPC’s comics group, which included 2000 AD, Battle, Eagle, and many others. In time, I was head-hunted to join the team on Scream! A new ‘horror’ comic for kids in the style of 2000 AD. I became assistant editor to Ian Rimmer, who was the editor.
Sadly short-lived, Scream gave me my first comics scriptwriting gigs, on Library of Death, Terror of the Cats and The Dracula File. But, even more invaluably, it put in contact with Ian, who became a friend as well as just an editor, and when Ian subsequently moved to Marvel UK to edit Captain Britain Monthly he (first) put me in touch with Sheila Cranna (editor of TF:UK at the time), who was looking for writers to continue the UK-originated comic strip begun by Steve Parkhouse (Man of Iron), and (second) put me forward for the position of assistant editor on CBM. The rest, as they say, is history.
Va'al - A history we have more or less come to know, true, but fascinating nonetheless! Were you interested in the Transformers brand and franchise at all, even in its fledgling state at the time, or was this literally just another job that grew into what it eventually became?
Simon - Completely unaware of Transformers. I was 23 in 1984, and – as a rule – not watching a whole lot of Saturday am cartoons. I was a big comics (mostly Marvel) reader at the time (having been so in my youth and come back to it with a vengeance), and might well have seen the ads for the original TF mini-series in other Marvel titles, but largely the advent of Transformers passed me by. So I crash-coursed – VHS tapes of the cartoon, tech specs, toys and the Marvel comic series itself, then was kind of let loose. Then, as now, I focused on character(s) first and foremost, and kind of opted for a big name (Starscream), a smaller one (Brawn) and a middle one (Ravage) and threw them together. The Enemy Within was the result.
But even then, I had no thoughts of this being other than a one or two-off gig, and certainly never thought TF would last as long as it did, or be as big as it was. It was just work, and I was pleased to have it. I'd kind of thought Scream might be the end, so I was delighted to doing more script work… on anything… and be working Marvel (albeit Marvel UK). Unknown (to me) toy title it might be, but but this was Marvel… MARVEL!
Va'al - Marvel indeed, and old school Marvel at that! Was there a specific moment where you clicked, and realised you were in for the long haul - both work-wise and concerning personal commitment and investment? Or did it just all keep growing, slowly creeping up to what we know it to be?
Simon - It was definitely cumulative. I was never meant to be ‘the’ Transformers writer, but rather one of many. But after Crisis of Command (by which time I was assistant editor on Transformers UK, under Ian Rimmer) my familiarity with the brand and the general ease with which Ian and I could shoot ideas back and forth meant it was all round easier just to use me on a regular basis. Especially when it came to Target: 2006 and the Animated Movie, and tying our comic story in with that and the launch in the UK of Galvatron & Ultra Magnus, ‘the new leaders’, as toys.
That saga was formed in-house, and tailored to fit our editorial (and advertorial) needs – the UK comic was cross-promoted with the UK TV advertising for the toys, so it was a big deal for us and we needed to get it right. As it happened, the movie (undeservedly) kind of bombed in cinemas and our story soared to new heights. But if there was a specific moment, and I’m not sure there was, that was it.
Va'al - If Target: 2006 and the Movie were your turning point - after a fashion - what would you say to the various turning points for the Cybertronians that you created? You were there for the end of Bast Wars, for the various Dreamwave series, for the new beginning with IDW, after all...
Simon - I suppose the next biggest event was my taking over on the US comic (as of #56), after a strangely casual lunch with Bob Budiansky in a restaurant in Covent Garden. Bob handed the reins over to me on a visit to London, qualifying it slightly by saying the book had maybe four or five issues left in it before the powers-that-be cancelled it (in those days sales of under 100,000 qualified you for the unkindest cut). But it was my door-opener for Marvel US and I was delighted to have it. I didn’t exactly set out to prove Bob wrong, but it felt like there was nothing to lose if I just threw everything but kitchen sink at it, including a lot of the characters and mythos I’d introduced into a UK comic. I’m still hugely proud that we got twenty-five issues out of it, and that some of those issues remain people’s firm favourites.
Then I guess it was being invited to Botcon in 1997, which introduced me not only to Beast Wars but the wonderful Bob Forward and Larry DiTillio (script editors on the show), who it turned out liked my G2 stuff well enough to have considered binding some of the ideas therein with their concept for the Vok. Anyway, that in turn, via some twists and turns, led to Nemesis pt2, my first animation work (and solidly took my career in that direction). Then, I guess you’d have to count Dreamwave and The War Within as the next big turning point. My first real shot at doing the pre-history of the Transformers, and – whatever the ...niggles of how badly Dreamwave ended – the era that really rebooted the franchise as a whole for the 21st century, cueing up IDW’s tenure and maybe even making the live action movies a solid proposition.
But possibly the biggest, for me, is starting up the whole IDW-verse up (with IDW EiC Chris Ryall), my first ‘from scratch’ bit of Transformers storytelling, a continuity that ten years later continues apace (and shows no sign of flagging), outstripping Marvel — certainly in terms of volume. If there’s a pinnacle, it’s that.
Va'al - You did initiate the Infiltration protocol, didn't you - and it kind of escalated from there. If you'll allow me a fairly specific question at this point: what did you make of, and how did you (do you) feel about what has happened to the stories you started once they were out of your control? All Hail Megatron springs to mind, in this case, for example.
Simon - I can completely see all the rationale for All Hail Megatron, to create that kind of jumping on point after five or so years of story, but I think (initially at least) it was a misstep to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ when readers had invested so heavily in the –ations, Stormbringer, Spotlights et al.
But the latter half of AHM and the Codas did their level best to rectify that, and now what you have are all these initial threads still being picked up and expanded upon/taken in bold new directions, by the likes of James Roberts and John Barber (to great effect). So overall I think the IDW-verse is in great shape these days, and in very safe hands, but AHM could have been a bit of a disaster.
Va'al - We are indeed still seeing elements of AHM show up, even in the upcoming Revolution event! I could ask you your thoughts on that, but would rather retread another path briefly: ReGeneration One. How did you feel it went, are you satisfied with closing off the story, and would you go back to that universe again?
Simon - I’m really pleased with RG1. We accomplished everything we set out to do, I feel, in a way that was both faithful to the original 80 issues and yet not knowingly retro in look or feel (while still drawing on 30 years’ worth of TF lore and disparate universes along the way), and so could stand alongside other modern comic books. It pulled together a massive amount of threads and had a proper, no-nonsense (no sequels) ending. We set out to finish that continuity/story and we did so (I have no wish to do more in that universe - it really is, “over, finished.”).
What kind of amuses me is some of the instant/knee-jerk feedback we had from people who just said, “no, that’s not how it would have happened/should be,” or words to that effect. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is – the creative and editorial team say so. You don’t have to like it, but those are the decisions we made and the paths taken (it’s not storytelling by committee). Can you imagine back in 1991, someone writing into the US or UK comic and saying – I’m sorry, I completely disagree with that ending – change it?
Va'al - I'm sure there were fans who would've done that, though, they just didn't get printed in the backmatter! Having more or less concluded all of your stories, in one way or another, I'm curious though: a lot of your early work fleshed out characters without affecting the main story necessarily (I'm thinking Marvel UK here); now that all is done, is there anything you'd like to revisit in a similar fashion? And I mean that in any of the fiction you have or have not worked with.
Simon - While I was glad to do RG1, I’m more for looking forwards. I’d always do more Death’s Head, that’s a given, but largely my focus is elsewhere now, on stuff I have a proper vested interest in. Apart from Matt Hatter Chronicles, the animated TV show I write and show-run for, I’m involved with a trio of creator-owned projects: The Chimeran (the brainchild of Paul Goodenough, Gary Kurtz and Richard Bazley), Spirit of The Pharaoh (Terry Jervis) and mine and Geoff Senior’s To The Death. That trio of projects is where my focus is right now, as well as writing movie scripts with co-writer Mark Salisbury. I have such a nice variety of projects (for different media) on the bubble right now, and I’m enjoying myself enormously. Add to that the Transformers: Earth Wars (game) for Space Ape, Marvel Fact-Files, and a few things I can’t talk about yet – and every day is a new treat and challenge.
And To The Death is especially exciting, as I get to work with longtime friend and collaborator Geoff Senior (his first substantial body of comics work for nearly 20 years), who is just one of the most exciting artists out there. I love writing for him, because I know he just wants to cut loose with that amazing kinetic full bore style of his, and my scripts do their level best to give him exactly what he wants. And just to make it even more interesting than regular comics, I’m writing the episodes as loose screenplays, which Geoff is turning into these meaty batches of full colour (landscape format/widescreen) frames, like a movie shooting board (he’s mostly in advertising these days, so this approach really suited him). Then, like the old Marvel plot-style approach to script, I go back in and reformat and readdress the dialogue, adding or subtracting as best suits the frames. Some I just leave well alone, because the art totally speaks for itself.
Va'al - You are definitely busy, I'll give you that - makes me appreciate even more you talking to us! I have two questions coming out of that last point, though: first, your experience is varied, but has had a lot of robots in it; is the approach to writing organics (humans, even) different, do you find yourself having to find a different gear, or does one inform and influence the other?
Simon - I’ve never treated the Transformers as anything other than sentient lifeforms, albeit alien lifeforms of a completely different order of life. So my approach is pretty much, bar the (um) mechanics, the same whether I’m writing Transformers or To The Death, Death’s Head or, say, Alpha Flight. Boil it right down, and the core of any story is the characters of the protagonists and antagonists, whether it involves human, aliens or alien robots characters, and how they bounce off each other given a set of circumstances, extreme or otherwise. Beyond the sci-fi trappings and the high concepts, I always ask myself: what is this story about? What resonance will it have with the audience? All sci-fi really is a disguised social commentary on the here and now. Just look at something like 2000 AD. When the powers-that-be at IPC Magazines told the writers of Action to cease and desist doing socially relevant stories in a “kid’s” comic, they just fed the same two-fingers-at-the-establishment [V - note for US readers: two fingers = middle finger] ideas into a sci-fi setting and made it allegorical – and no one noticed.
So beyond the future war, alien "soldiers-of-fortune" and kick-ass mechs, To The Death is about one man who refuses to be crushed or rendered insensate by the all-consuming greed of a powerful elite who have ceased to care, to the point where they’re prepared to ‘sacrifice’ billions of lives in the name of feathering their own nests. The gulf now between the haves and have-nots is wider than it’s ever been, and governments are now merely pandering to big business (allowing them to get away with monstrous tax dodges and the like), while letting the wider world/populace to go to hell in a hand basket, ever more reliant on charity as the government purse strings get tighter. To The Death has simply gone to the next level and removed governments entirely, so that Earth is now ruled by the all-powerful Tri-Corp, who have carte blanche to do whatever they want, without heed to morality, humanity or accountability. Our ‘hero’ is the one who says “enough”, even though it’s a battle he can’t possibly win.
Va'al - Whew. One does hope that someone will notice the commentary, in this as in any other book or piece of entertainment, really. The other question I had was: you talk about working with a number of creators, and how you're happy to be collaborating with Senior again; is there anyone else you'd like to partner up with again? Someone you've never had the chance to?
Simon - There are of course people like Andrew Wildman and Geoff [Senior] who I love working with, and have worked with enough times that I kind of know how to tailor what I write for them (and to get the best out of them), but I also love working with new artists or established ones I’ve never had the pleasure of working with. I really enjoyed working with Nick Roche, he brings such (youthful) energy and passion to what he does, and would happily do so again.
In fact, I’ve worked with a whole lot of amazing artists, from Don Figueroa to Alex Milne, from EJ Su to Guido Guidi, all of whom I’d be happy to work with again. I’ve been very lucky. They all made me look good (or at least competent). Biggest thrill for me, on a fanboy level, was getting John Byrne (I’m a big fan) to draw a cover for one of the direct market Titan hardback variants of Transformers collections we put out a while back (Dark Designs, above). That was very cool.
Va'al - And after so many collaborations, so many stories, so many projects, is it now over? Finished? Or are we to see more Furmanisms show up in the TFverse in the future?
Simon - Ha. That’s a cue to trot out a Furmanism right there. I have a feeling I’ll always be involved in Transformers, in some shape, way or form. I love it, and I love the passion of the fans (mostly). It’s pretty much defined my career, so there’ll always be room for TF in my schedule, no matter how busy I get. Earth Wars is keeping me pretty busy and there’s something else TF-related that I can’t talk about yet. So yeah, short answer: "it never ends."
Va'al - Well played. And thank you again for finding words to give to us, rather than an actual word-related project, Simon. It was an honour and a pleasure! Before the time comes for us not to be here... any final words to the readers?
Simon - Hey, just go give To The Death a spin. The first episode is free to download on the site (http://www.to-the-death.com) from Sept 10th, and our exclusive print graphic novel, To The Death: Forged By Fire, is (only) available via our Kickstarter campaign that launches on the same day. These Furman-Senior collaborations are not likely to be ten a penny, so grab that goodness while you can. And thanks supporting us in our venture!
You heard the Furminator, give a new comic by a tried and tested partnership a looksie, find more of his words in the Transformers: Earth Wars game, or just patiently wait for this new Transformers related project he keeps hinting at. More interviews coming soon here at Seibertron.com, keep your receivers tuned - until then, be excellent to each other!
Seibertronians, excitement has been building for Combiner Wars Computron ever since a listing for him was found The Toys R Us system back in January. Then it continued to build when we saw his gallery from Botcon a few months ago. Well, you don't have to wait any longer, as the Technobot team is now available on most major 3rd party websites!
Welcome to the latest episode of the Seibertron.com Twincast / Podcast! This very special LIVE, video-recorded episode features your host ScottyP along with cast members Counterpunch, RodimusConvoy13, xRotorstormx, TigerTrack24, Megatronus, and for a few fleeting moments, Seibertron himself, live from San Diego! Listen in as we discuss the latest news and reveals coming out of the vaulted halls of SDCC.
As a special bonus in the audio version of the show, join Seibertron at SDCC 2016 as he talks with members of the Transformers brand team! Transformers Generations Product Designer John Warden and Assistant Brand Manager, Transformers Luis de Armas answer questions about Titans Return, Fortress Maximus, Trypticon, and more.
Thanks as always to our amazing friends at Hasbro and the Transformers Brand Team!
The remainder of the show kicks things off with a lively discussion dissecting one of the biggest reveals of the show: triple-changing Titans Return Voyager Megatron. The cast has both high hopes for and reservations about this figure - but bigger news awaits.
Do you see what I see? (No, it's not a Triggerhappy Optimus.)
We move right along to some exciting Legends reveals: an all-new Bumblebee (yawn) and Gnaw, the Sharkticon (yay). As we bemoan the inevitable shortage of these nifty little troop-builders in the making, one question rules all: does Gnaw have a fat head? Watch or listen to find out.
Catch 'em all!
Titans Return Legends Lione (Sawback) and Overload (Overkill) are on the block - as are their strange and wondrous alt modes. Before the Twincast can get too deep into the weeds, a question emerges: what missed opportunities do we see with this line of Headmasters?
Free cookie to whoever can tell me how that alt mode works.
Ever since he was leaked at Botcon, Liokaiser (video here) has been generating considerable excitement - but not everyone is pleased. Tune in to find out what's bugging the crew, and why some might be passing on this Platinum Edition set.
The boys are back in town... minus one.
RID gets some much needed love with Super Ginrai, a showdown set with stasis pod, and... Starscream? That's right, one of the Decepticons most conniving players makes an entry into both the cartoon AND toy line. Tune in to find out which version we prefer.
A face only a mother could love.
Viva La Revolucion! That's right, the Revolution is upon us as we discuss the latest and greatest in comics - for those looking to avoid spoilers, this section occurs from one hour and fifty one minutes to approximately two hours and sixteen minutes.
ROM ROM ROM ROM ROM.
BREAKING NEWS: straight out of Wonderfest, we have color pictures of the highly anticipated Masterpiece Cheetor. The crew is pumped as we parlay this topic into a listener question: what does the crew think the next 5 MPs will be?
We wrap up our video live show with everyone's favorite segment: bragging rights. Some of us are still waiting on Titans Return to hit shelves; others have some shiny new toys (literally) that steal the show.
Bringing the bling.
Don't forget, the show only gets better if you tell us how. Drop us a review on iTunes and be sure to tell us what you love, what you hate, and what you want to hear!
Not on the show to give your take? Probably not, so don't forget to keep the discussion going on the Seibertron.com Energon Pub Forums by simply replying to this post!
Got a question for the Twincast? We take all of them, we just don't take them all seriously! Leave a question in the Ask the Twincast thread and, if it makes the cut, it may get read and answered on the show.
Several fans have wanted to remind us, and we would love to remind the whole Seibertron.com and Transformers community, that today - July 28th - is the 75th birthday of one of the staples of the Transformers franchise in its fictional incarnations: Mr Optimus Prime himself, Peter Cullen!
Canadian-born, Cullen grew up not far from news staffer william-james88 in Montreal, and joined the ranks of the numerous voice acting talents on the 1980s via Voltron, Knight Rider, Winnie the Pooh, G.I. Joe and many more series - but really rose to prominence as the leader of the Autobots in The Transformers. Returning to this role in 2007 with the Michael Bay/Paramount live-action series based on the Cybetronians, he fully took up the character again in Transformers Prime, Robots in Disguise, and the various videogames of the franchise, including the latest mobile incarnation, Transformers: Earth Wars.
Cullen has also had a small cameo as Optimus' holomatter driver in Alex Milne's artwork in the comics, and as narrator for a NASA clip and one of the first humans to be introduced to the Hasbro/BotCon Hall of Fame in 2010.
The staff of Seibertron.com would like to send its best wishes to Mr Cullen, and hope the celebrations are fitting a man of his impact upon popular culture since the 1980s. Have a good one, sir!
The Legends and Legion Class are often viewed as cheapo simplified versions of more complicated and interesting toys. Well, that is exactly what they are! But in my eyes, no less fun then the larger classes.
As a kid my minis (Bummblebee, Windcharger, Gears, etc.) went everywhere with me. In my backpack to school, the grocery store with Mom, the back seat of Dad's Oldsmobile, and off to Grama and Grampa's house we go.
Legions/Legends, and all the smaller classes of past and present have become just as important a part of my collection as the bigger bots. So much so that they have earned their own shelf. Which I have dubbed Micronopolis.
This size class has had many names over the last 30 years. When asked to work on this list, WilliamJames made a wise choice in narrowing it down to Legends class, which started in 2005 until 2010 and then changed its name to Legion class. We covered the Scouts/Legends last time and this list differs from that one since it limits it to only molds which are made to represent a smaller scale of larger figures and found in the current Legion Class (which was once called Legends class). It made the job a little less daunting, but also made for a little more diversity, as I may have been tempted to just list all the G2 Gobots and their Car Robots/R.I.D. repaints.
Whether populating your pocket, or your Trypticons and Metroplexs, they may be small in stature, but these guys are BIG on fun!
Let's dig in.
10. Transformers Reveal the Shield Legends Class Optimus Prime
Dare I say, this Prime's transformation is the original toys done a little better? For such a little toy he has great detailing and his proportions are more fitting to what we've come to expect from our favorite fearless leader. It was a nice touch to include that ankle tilted stance with out any articulation, and it doesn't hinder the transformation at all. It is also always a nice thing whenever a Prime toy's truck windshield becomes his actual robot chest, and on such a small scale too. He has great arm articulation. Could he have used some knees? Sure! But, we're talking about Legends here.
9. Transformers Cybertron Legends Class Hot Shot
The thing I love about all the Cybertron Legends, is that the larger toys had such nicely simplified transformations, that they even translate well when shrunk down to pocket size. Hot Shot may not be the most articulated figure but he is a fantastic representation of his larger self. They even included his Cyber Key gimmick of flip up wings/spoiler. Of course without the key.
8. Transformers: Robots In disguise Legion Class Strongarm
Let's give the new guys a shout! Strongarm has quickly become one of my new favorite characters. Her Legion toy does a few things better than her warrior toy. Most notable, you can see her hands. This is achieved by deviating a tad from her show appearance, but she makes up for that with elbows and knees! She has a nice little color layout for such a petite thing. She sports a great sculpt and enough detail to take nothing away from this fantastic new character, and toughest little rookie on the force.
7. Transformers Cybertron Legends Class Vector Prime
Because I'll take my favorite dimension hopping Cybertronian mystic knight in any size! He's cast in a nice metallic swirl white, and his color layout is just enough to keep him interesting. Again the transformation is just a micron version of his great Voyager toy. What I like best is that, even when scaled down, he retains all the sculpted clockwork detailing that makes this character so cool to look at. Especially in his alt mode.
6. Robots In Disguise Legion Class Thunderhoof
Another new comer that has really captured my imagination lately and seems to have become a fan favorite out of the R.I.D. Decepticons is Thunderhoof. The longer this lil buck hangs out on my desk the more I come to enjoy him. He has really prodded me to rethink this list a bit. His transformation is ultra simple, but really gets the point across with a great little alt mode. But, robot mode is where he really shines. Although his elbows are fixed in a 90 degree bend, it barely hinders the pose-ability and expressiveness you can get out of him. You don't often see head swivel on a Legions toy, but when you cock his head just a little off center it really adds some 'tude to this dude. He also has a fantastic paint job with just enough in the right places, that he may even out shine his Warrior class counter part in this department.
5. Transformers Cyberverse Legion Class Evac
I'm not a huge fan of the Movie aesthetic, but I am a huge fan of a fun toy. I love it when a Movie era toy catches my fancy. Evac is a great example where a Movie design can be unique but still hit all the classical design marks. Hood chest, shoulder wheels, silver face, but in a really neat futuristic Cybertronian look. He has a great intuitive transformation and some decent articulation for his class. It also helps that his alt mode looks like my Honda Fit... if it were from outer space... and had a turbine propulsion system... and guns.
4. Transformers Generations (or GDO) Legends Class Bluestreak
I'm usually pretty loud about my affection for the Datsun Brothers, so darn tootin' one is going to end up on my list. I had originally put Prowl in this spot, but after a trip to this year's BotCon, I was finally able to land a Bluestreak, whom I had been chasing for a good while now. This Legends toy does a great job of capturing the visual cues of the OG toy in a nicely updated design. The engineering also pulls a lot of good things from the transformations of previous Datsun toys. Ending up with a nice little design that's a hoot to play with. What makes this version of the mold even more special, is that he was retooled with gripping hands, in which he can hold the awesomely G1 styled blaster that was added to the figure. It's too bad Smokescreen didn't get this mold to complete the trio. I'm looking at you Hasbro! (wink, wink)
3. Transformers Prime Cyberverse Legion Class Wheeljack
Where to start? One of the best articulated Legions toys on the planet. An absolute joy to pose. Especially wielding those Energon Scimitars! He has a nice detailed deco, and who doesn't love that alt mode? His transformation is fun, with his legs almost more G1 Jack than Prime. With those big wide feet he is one of the most stable and versatile Legion size action figures out there.
2. Transformers Reveal the Shield Legends Class Megatron
The best updated G1 gun Megatron we've ever gotten? A lofty claim, but he is an amazing toy. He has a transformation that is completely unique to him alone. Again aesthetically, a fresh update to the classic look, with a great head sculpt and a menacing little maw. He can hold some impressive poses with his great leg articulation. The gun barrel folding down is a neat solution to the arm cannon. The safety orange is a tad off putting, but laws is laws. William-James would have my head if I didn't mention the fact that this Megatron can be wielded by the MP-11 Seeker mold. A pretty great bit of fore site in design, but on my shelves you're more apt find him in the grip of Armada Unicron!
This toy was made to rule from atop a G1 Trypticon, and with an iron fist no less.
I think many Legion/Legends aficionados would agree that this mold takes the cake. A bitchin' muscle car alt mode, a mind blowing transformation, and the best articulated robot mode there is in this size class. The way the arms fold up into the hood, using the arms points of articulation is a stroke of micro-engineering genius. Then there are the feet. Not only do they have forward and back rocking motion, but the have ANKLE TILT! If this figure had hip and head swivel the world of Transformers might just implode on itself. He comes with my personal favorite Cyberverse energon weapon, and looks absolutely bad ass wielding that sword in front of those viking horns. This figure should be the measuring stick for all Legions to come.
As great as the Cliff version is, I personally prefer the Tailgate repaint a little more. The flames just give him a little extra heat. The fact that those flames end up as his tribal forearm tats is too cool.
Fellow Seibertronian Cyberpath has found some great new images of Takara's Transformers Legends LG30 Weirdwolf, courtesy of Dengeki Hobby.
We also included some photos of Hasbro's Wolfwire (yes, they are named differently) taken at Botcon for you to compare with. You will see that there are very few differences in the robot mode aside from the Titan Masters. Most differences are in wold mode with different colours found on the back, the head and the tail. Enjoy and let us know which version you plan on getting!
A new week, a new guest for the upcoming TFNation 2016 event, the first in this incarnation, taking place next month in Birmingham, UK! And the guest joining the already impressive roster is MTMTE and Legends comics-famed artist Hayato Sakamoto - check out more info below, and get ready for some spaghetti Energon!
With a flurry of new announcements waiting in the wings, TFNation moves ever closer to August by welcoming IDW artist Hayato Sakamoto to our inaugural event, on his first ever visit to the UK.
Sakamoto-sensei is best known in the West for his contributions to More Than Meets The Eye - particularly for his work in designing the fan-fave character Nickel (who so easily holds the terrifying DJD in the palm of her hand). He has also worked on recent Botcon strips on both covers and interiors.
Sakamoto-sensei’s widest body of work is mostly seen in Japan, where he has leant his talents to pack-in and tie-in comics exclusive to TakaraTomy's releases of TF toys, from Kre-O through to the current Combiner Wars line. These comics (which he often also writes) have given us some of the lighter, more humorous interpretations of the franchise in recent years, such as die-hard G1 fan Rhinox, and Sentinel Prime being depicted as a frustrated head on wheels.
He has also provided box art for a number of TakaraTomy's domestic releases of figures, and is a keen contributor to fan projects.
Sakamoto-sensei is excited to be a part of TFNation because he has heard such great things about the UK convention community (largely from his wonderful friend and fellow TFN guest, Miss Kei Zama) however, we have been asked to explain to our attendees that he is presently still learning English and thus, will need some help from time to time. Though he was a little embarrassed about this at first, we've been happy to put measures in place to ensure translators are standing by to assist guest and attendees alike. We felt this was important as we want to ensure TFNation is inclusive and reaches out to all parts of the community.
Hayato Sakamoto will be signing autographs over the weekend of Friday 19th until Sunday 21st August 2016 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel at TFNation - we look forward to seeing you there!
THE END IS NIGH! Final battle erupts—the forces of G.I. JOE and the AUTOBOTS head-to-head (or head-to-toe, depending on the size difference) with the DECEPTICOBRA alliance! The fate of the universe hangs on every decision!
Lots of contributors listed for this issue:
Welcome friends and board mates, readers and lurkers. Today we celebrate the series that was Transformers Versus G.I. Joe. With issue number 13, this out-of-the-box, discussion causing series, has come to its final Earthly conclusion.
My name is Tigertack, I’ve read Transformers and G.I. Joe fiction (and a lot of other comic book and narrative book fiction as well) since I was but a young lad, borrowing comic books from my cousin Dan’s vast collections when 4-H had ended, and from the libraries that my mother worked at for one of her many jobs. Many of you know me from Seibertron as a former newsie, news admin, and Botcon attendee, sometime podcaster and reviewer.
After TF #54, this is not what I expected under the mask to look like.
Transformers Versus G.I. Joe was a series assigned to me review, mainly I think because Va’al thought that I needed to be tortured, maybe because no one else would do it…but more likely he wanted to challenge me, and as ‘the-resident-active-staff-member-who-is-also-involved-with-comics-and-enjoys-G.I.Joe-too’ it fell to me to try to relate to anyone reading these reviews about the latest iteration of a series that historically has never been what was really desired, but could be relied upon to be very different from the last version.
White haired and short-buzz cut...Race Bannon?
And so we have this interation, written, drawn, lettered, and colored by Tom Scioli all by himself, with John Barber editing and offering advice here and there. A dream come true for a creator who loves both franchises and their toys and comics… and it shows!
The next Billy figure to need an FSS version. Or maybe they could make a whole Scioli inspired set.
The series though, immediately caused a lot of water cooler talk, tweets and posts, as it looked and read like no previous TFvsGIJOE story ever really had. It was Tom’s universe and he was making it what he wanted, all the while paying homage to the people who came before him like Larry Hama, Simon Furman, and Bob Budiansky, and using other media influences that ranged from comics like Watchmen, Kirby drawn and written materials like New Gods and other works, to movies like Rocky and Firestarter.
And what a world it was: Decepticobra alliances, GI JOE and Autobots fighting then working together, Earth getting eaten by Seibertron (har!), Scarlett and Snake Eyes becoming headmasters, Megatron getting a taste for human flesh, drug addicted Autobots, greenery added to Cybertron, robot invasions and government reactions, a general who never wears his cap straight, Cobra La, the Death of Optimus Prime, and Megatron wishing to dissolve the sun for its energy. ENERGY is a fantastic way to describe the series, as there was always something new thing different, something alive about the series, and it always brought a nervous, excited energy to the reader.
I always found it hard to write about this series because most of the time, I felt as many did…there was this imaginary line drawn and you were usually either on one side or the other of it as far as this series was concerned: you liked the creativity, newness and energy involved with the series, or it had the polar opposite effect on you, and you simply hated it. The side I started on was the side that hated it, the art being the biggest turn off to me as a former artist in training, I knew I could do better and it irked me. But as the series progressed it was not enough to just complain about the art and the ‘weirdness’ that was happening. I had to look for something to appreciate, a way to enjoy it. And I did. I liked it for its differences, its surprises, its always making its own way, and telling its own story while paying homage to so many great influences.
"Always in the eye of the beholder, this series has been."
And so, in conclusion, we celebrate the life of this series, and its final issue…which even though it is the final issue, still manages to pack in surprises and homages as it is ending. It’s a double issue and its packed until the very last page. I know many of you either read it and enjoyed its Lord of the Rings ending, its creative use of G.I. Joe Retaliation and Transformers movie references, the use of previous classic Joe and TF comic panels, and its downright original Atlas (it ain’t Unicron!), the always perfect hair of Billy, the use of Ultra Magnus and his white cab, and the marriage that you just could not have predicted. In all its wild ENERGY laden pages it never-stopped, until it had to stop.
This was one of my favorite pages...ever!
Movie Megs ultimate combiner
With these last words, I say that we celebrate the passing of this iteration of Transformers Versus G.I. Joe, and laud its creator and collaborators, its inspirations and its ENERGY. We can truly say that there never was a series like this, and there most likely will never be a series like this again (except in 2025 when we see ‘Shipwreck Space Pirate’). Kudos Mr. Scioli and Mr. Barber.
For the next installment of Transformers and G.I.Joe action we'll see what the new 'Revolution' has for us. Thanks for reading.
’Til All Are One! Yo Joe!
Some random images I had wanted to use until the review went a different way.
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