Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor (and this week a whole bunch of special guests!). These are our 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. Now let's get to it!
Top 10 Best Optimus Prime / Convoy toys
This is the 20th biweekly Top TF list Seibertron has published and to celebrate, the whole staff got together to discuss the top 10 Optimus Prime toys (we will go back to regular top 5 lists in two weeks). Optimus being arguably the most popular character in the Transformers franchise has a truckload of toys to his name (as does his Japanese counterpart Convoy). This list will dive into all sorts of eras and aesthetics to give a global view of the great toys this iconic character has to offer. While we can get bogged down by specifics till the cows come home, this list tries to be as straightforward as possible where any toy called Convoy/Optimus Prime counts (Optimus Primal (Beast Convoy) will be for another list since he has his own legacy of toys).
Burn- "A big shift for Prime as he took on a fire engine. In a way he set the precedent for his successor, Cybertron Prime. He had one advantage though, he could combine with Ultra Magnus to form an even more impressive figure."
William-James88- "This is a beast of a bot and I adore that super mode headsculpt. I really feel this is the point in time where Japan decided to let loose and see how far they could go in terms of complex transformations at that point in time."
While the Reveal the Shield Deluxe Optimus Prime toy was also discussed to be included on this list, it was soon agreed that there was no need with the original toy it is homaging already on the list.
Counterpuch- "Original Lazer Prime is so much better than the RTS version, in my opinion."
Burn- "This is the guy that for years could be regarded as one, if not the best, Optimus Prime. Gone are the days of little articulation. Instead we got a big hulking Prime who embraced the 80's era shoulder pads (he was a bit late to the party though) and also became one of the first toys to come with melee weapons. And he also had a nice trailer that could transform and shoot little round discs that little Johnny would no doubt injure his eyes on!"
William-James88- "This toy is ambitious for trying to merge a totally different take on the character's design with G1. It obviously isn't as accurate or the most faithful "movie prime" but that is what I like about it. Instead, it is a fusion of two distinct styles coming together in a perfect marriage. This design to me is not movie Prime but instead G1 Prime in movie form with a full on G1 alt mode and smooth panels where there would have instead been multilayered armour, were this to indulge more in the movie aesthetic. I also adore the total lack of any kibble in either mode, the engineering is top notch here and this was my favourite toy of the entire AOE line."
Instead of a quote, one of our staff members, Shajaki, showed how fond he was of this mold by attempting to buy them all and take pictures of the varied decos. Sometimes a picture (or a few more) is truly worth a thousand words.
William-James88- "While Optimus Primal is great in his own right, this toy is more what the (G1) Optimus Prime / Convoy character would be as a beast. He has an amazing classic Optimus headsculpt which is coupled with reflective eyes and viking horns honing in on the more barbaric theme this toy is going for. It is also a great example of how fun a shellformer could be, using the shell to fully disguise the robot. While the abundance of new robot detail does mean the shell can be found all over the robot, it looks like G1 Optimus awoke from his slumber during those millions of years on earth and ventured out in the ice age, battling mammoths and skinning them to wear their pelts (it's one of my favourite TF images, it will probably come up again). This is by far one of the most badass molds Convoy ever had and it contains the very first Matrix accessory. If this toy wasn't awesome enough, he has an even more badass deco provided by Hasbro when it was issued as Nemesis Prime"
William-James88- "I have never seen this level of complexity at the Deluxe class. Instead of making this just a shellformer and calling it a day, the smooth alt mode is a mosaic of smaller panels which merge together from various parts of the robot, such as the legs, shoulder pads, arms, chest and cod piece. It is also my favourite take on what Optimus looked like before coming to earth and it works very well for the character."
Va'al- "Animated Voyager Optimus Prime is a wonder of engineering"
William-James88- "What works so well with this figure is how it is practically a straight up G1 update with the head, arms and legs basically being at the exact same spot they are in the G1 toy. And yet, it feels completely fresh and refined. It is amazing how the toy replicates the hyperstylized look of the show."
Burn- "Say what you want about the movie, but it gave us one of the most complex and highly detailed Optimus Primes."
William-James88 "I cannot believe they were able to pull off this toy. The great disparity between the first movie Optimus and the CG model made us think that it would not be possible to showcase the many moving parts of the CG model in toy form, and even less have him transform into a truck. This toy proved that the impossible was not out of reach and that Hasbro was ready to evolve with the brand by making toys for a far more mature audience than before. Along with the engineering wizards at Takara, they did their best to imitate an already conceived character design made for a different medium. And once again, this hyper detailed and hulking Optimus toy transforms into a tight truck which shows barely any sign at any angle that it can transform "
Seibertron- "The original Optimus Prime toy is one of the best toys ever. It's a classic toy that will be remembered for decades to come. It is such an iconic toy that it has been reissued or recolored at least a dozen times"
Burn- "It's iconic, he's in a league of his own."
Autobot 032- "G1 wins, hands down. I'm not even a big fan of G1, either, so that should tell you something."
Burn- "Top Prime is Cybertron Prime! To me this was a great figure in both robot and vehicle mode. You could transform the cab into its own robot and use the trailer as a base platform, or you could combine him with his trailer to make one big dangerous looking Prime."
William-James88- "This to me is a true update of G1 Prime for a brave new world. He is just as simple and transforms practically the same way. However, he has a bold new look, excellent proportions, is very sturdy as well as jammed pack with new playability features making this both a favourite of young kids and older collectors. The supermode is easy to convert to and can be configured as you wish. I love how unobtrusive all the gimmicks are and how everything fits together perfectly such as the literal back pack (with straps!) and his battle mask."
William-James88- "These are undoubtedly the best Optimus Prime toys available for Transformers fans. I adore that arm and chest transformation, it's like the G1 animation come to life. These are both complex toys made very intuitive. While MP 10 may be the better of the two, I really feel both deserve this top spot since all MP 10 did was slightly improve over MP 1 (still didn't fix the cod piece being visible in alt mode though). It was the first Masterpiece Optimus which really revolutionized Transformers toys as we know them, giving them a whole new depth and showing us the possibility of reverse engineering a design from a cartoon model and turning that into a toy. This figure paved the way for the masterpiece line and MP 10 breathed new life into the line, turning it into what it is today. Also, you just gotta love that die cast on MP 1, he feels so solid. This was a toy people had been wanting for 20 years and it is still amazing today! "
Mindmaster- "If we're talking top Optimus toys, I'm throwing my hat in the ring for MP10"
Burn- "It's Masterpiece. The title by default says best."
Honorable mentions: Here are some others the staff brought up but that were cut in favor of the others present on this list.
Every month, Takara's youtube channel uploads videos showcasing the transformation for their upcoming monthly releases (loaded with sound effects). This month is no exception and features a the long awaited release of a voyager figure of Grimlock. Check it out below and let us know if you spot any differences in its transformation from the original FOC mold. The videos found on the channel this month are:
There's a long history of Transformers video games, and with the upcoming release of Transformers: Devastation from Activision and development team Platinum Games, we wanted to take a look back at some of the games you should play if you're wanting a Transformers fix on your console right now. The rankings here are mostly just my own opinion, of course, but there is some extra input from other members of the staff here as well. If your favorite didn't make the list, let us know by replying to this topic and chatting with your fellow Seibertronians!
Without further ado, let's get to the list.
#5: Transformers: Dark of the Moon Platforms: XBox 360, Playstation 3
Some folks may be surprised to see a movie tie-in title on this list at all. With the first two movie tie-in games for 2007's Transformers and 2009's Revenge of the Fallen being not terrible, but also not great, it made sense that not a lot of fans gave this game much of a look. While it was certainly a bit of a let down after War for Cybertron, this effort from High Moon Studios still retained a lot of the fun gameplay elements found in WFC.
Transformation remained important in this game, as characters' vehicle modes were given special "Stealth Force" modes to tie in with the weaponized designs in the movie, as well as with the almost M.A.S.K. like toy sub-line of the same name.
The story presented in the game is a bit of a departure from standard movie game re-telling fare. Rather than give you a plot you already know, this serves as a very serviceable official prologue to the events of the movie. In fact, some elements of the movie itself manage to come off making more sense after playing the game.
While this one isn't going to garner a lot of replay, it's worth taking a look at if you're a fan of the movies. It's certainly the game on this list that likely least deserves inclusion, but hey, that's why it's number five!
#4: Transformers Prime: The Game Platforms: Wii U, Wii
Another easy to overlook media tie in comes in at number 4. Transformers: Prime has a pretty vast extended universe, and this game only adds more layers to it. Featuring a story that runs (supposedly) concurrent to the events of Season 2 of the show, the game has Team Prime battling Decepticons across the globe, trying to stop the ever-present menace of Dark Energon.
The gameplay itself isn't on any elite level, but it's a pretty fun romp with some clever combat mechanisms hiding just under the surface. The game isn't a graphical powerhouse, but the Wii U version offers up some delightful visuals regardless and quite honestly, the backgrounds in this game are often more interesting and alive than many of those found in the TV show itself.
To be honest, this one really adds one killer thing to the Prime universe: Thunderwing.
Just as with television leaving out the great characters and events in the Prime comics, it also leaves out any mention of this guy, and that's a real shame. Prime fans everywhere should give this one a run through, though with a pretty short story mode and only limited multi-player, just don't expect it to last long.
#3: War for Cybertron Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
2010's War for Cybertron was High Moon Studios' first effort with the Transformers brand license, and what a debut it was! Kicking off the new "Aligned Continuity" with a story set at the beginning of the Autobot vs. Decepticon war was this robust cover shooter. Incredible visuals, great voice acting, and a rich story awaited players everywhere.
Possibly the most notable contribution the game gave to the brand was a re-kindling of credibility for Transformers, as a franchise/brand, to produce an environment for great gaming experiences. The sprawling landscapes of Cybertron really come to life in the game, and for the first time I felt some real scope in regards to just how darn big this planet would have to be. The tone hits perfectly, lending great immersion into the games world.
It's hard to come up with much negative to say about this one, but since that feels necessary to only place it third on our list, I will say that there are times the difficulty felt a bit high. That's not a bad thing necessarily, it just felt like there were a few too many ambushes by a few too many enemies once in a while. The sequel took a few steps to correct this, but not entirely.
That said, this is one that not only Transformers fans, but most gamers, should give a go at if it has not been experienced.
#2: Transformers Platforms: Playstation 2
It'd have to take a pretty special game to unseat one of High Moon's more recent two headlining efforts on this list, and there is one game that not only myself, but much of the staff, remember quite fondly. 2004's simply named Transformers is based in the Armada franchise, though it doesn't canonically tie in with either the TV show or comic series. From publisher Atari and developers Melbourne House, this third person shooter let gamers control their favorite Armada Autobots in a quest to collect Mini-cons and stop the Decepticons.
This game was hard, didn't have a lot of playable characters, and while the graphics were phenomenal for the time, they certainly look dated today. It was, however, extremely fun, and gave fans some moments where our toys suddenly seemed even more out of scale than they already were.
There's another very important reason to praise this game. At the time, Transformers videogames were considered to be among the very worst examples of franchise tie-in games ever. The positive reception and sales of this game made it possible for more to follow later on, and that's probably the biggest accomplishment of the game. Too bad the Cybertron inspired sequel got canceled.
#1: Fall of Cybertron Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
This one's pretty much automatic.
The sequel to the already great War for Cybertron was followed up two years later by another stellar effort from High Moon Studios with 2012's Fall of Cybertron. Picking up some time after the events of the first game, this one follows the end of the war all the way to the departure of the Autobots on the Ark.
With improved graphics, stellar gameplay, and a multiplayer mode that remains active to this day, Fall of Cybertron is hands down the best Transformers videogame ever created, and should be on any fans "must-play" list. I can watch the E3 trailer from before this games' release and still get hyped to this day.
Combine into Bruticus, stomp around as Grimlock, or scorch the earth with Metroplex - this game has it all. If you're reading this article and you haven't played this game, do yourself a favor and go do so. Right freaking now.
We hope you enjoyed this look back. Don't forget that Activision's Transformers: Devastation comes out soon on October 6th for virtually every platform on the planet, and you can pre-order your copy today. Where will that game fit in with the other Transformers gaming efforts of the past? We'll know very soon, and it certainly looks quite promising!
Seibertron.com is proud to present the hottest, most anticipated release in the Transformers toy line... of 2009! It was still movie time, as Revenge of the Fallen was en route, and the 25th anniversary of the brand was hitting. So The Universe line re-presented some older Titanium Cybertron Heroes transforming figures under new names and decos, taking two Optimus Prime toys, and repurposing them as Hot Zone (definitely not Hot Spot) and a movie paintjob of War Within Optimus Prime. And the third gallery sees a Thundercracker body shared by a conehead, as Thrust takes over.
Check all of these Target exclusive releases from the past below, and click on any of the images to reach the full galleries!
TakaraTomy designer Shogo Hasui just tweeted out some new in-hand images of Transformers Adventure Battle Grimlock. Battle Grimlock is an extensive retool of the Fall Of Cybertron mold released a few years back. Check out the images of Battle Grimlock with the rest of the RID cast we've mirrored below and remember keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest in news and updates!
Enjoy the great pictures. We finally get a confirmation that Stepper has a visor, we get our first look at Supreme mode Bumblebee and we finally see the deco on the Voyager Grimlock who is a retool of FOC Grimlock.
ROAD RAGE! While a DECEPTICON called TRANSIT wreaks havoc on afternoon commutes, Team Bee gets an unexpected visit… but will these new rivals combine forces without trusting each other?
Can they even deal?
With only a couple of weeks left until the end of season one of the animated series, the second issue of Robots in Disguise still falls a little behind plot-wise, but Georgia Ball delivers an entertaining, intriguing and suspenseful enough script to keep interest even in older readers.
After my own heart, the humour - a Cybertronian perspective on Earthling behaviour, media and general popular culture - allows for a number of puns, plays on concepts, wordplay via Fixit's pixlexia (yes yes yes I know that's not it but bear with me). All within a frame that does not jar with the silliness, at all.
Additionally, it keeps the light side in the running mystery we had been made aware of since the FCBD issue #0. While team Prime does make its appearance, and that is not spoiling anything, something else is definitely afoot with the various cast members, and Ultra Magnus in particular. Plus another special cameo, too...
Priscilla Tramontano delivers an excellent arrangement of panels - though I might have some comments at a later stage on the fluidity of the layouts - with some fan-tastic cameos from across the multiple incarnations of the Transformers fictions, not only Prime. Plus, we get some magnificent expressivity across the entire board, from background to main cast.
Oh hey Spike and Carly
You wanted a colourist? Well, you get three, as Tramontano is joined by the Joshes, Perez and Burcham, in colouring in her own linework. And as much as they usually have their own identifiable styles, the transitions and collaboration here are strikingly fluid. Which is never a bad thing, and leads to some excellently vibrant pages, in tone with the series.
Also, a title such as this one allow, nay, calls for some fun on the fonts and letters side of things, and Tom B. Long does not disappoint. Enjoying the multiple opportunities to play with soundwords and squiggles, Long adds the finishing touches of lightness even where scenes may get more serious. Cover-wise, Burcham returns from interior colours to overall cover work in the Subscription variant (thumbnailed), while Tramontano still has the great main cover we've seen for a while now.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Again, as for last month and the first issue, the target audience of the book is obvious, and may deter some of the older readers (who do have three other series at least, to be fair) - but what Ball brings to the table is the same good blend of lighthearted humour with enough of a twist to keep the mind intrigued and willing to go along for the (bus)ride.
But no DINOPILE?
And of course, the visual result of Tramontano, Perez, Burcham and Long are a feast for the optic sensors, too. The vibrancy, cameos, hints, slapstick and more subtle humour are excellently enjoyable, and work well as a parallel reflection of the animated series - obviously with its own take, and all the better for it.
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.
Top 5 best cases of Visible Head Syndrome
Two weeks ago, we saw the worst cases of Transformers toys where their robot head was visible in alt mode. Well this week, we look at the flip side and I present a list of awesome Tansformers toys who happen to also show their heads in alt mode. The reasons for inclusions vary. Sometimes it is because the toy is made more fun because of it, and others, it's because the head being present doesn't detract at all, to the point of you now knowing it is there.
The original RID toyline from 2001 was pretty damn cool since it was a mix of a molds from previous lines like G2 molds (Scourge), Beast Wars (Slapper), G1 (Ruination), as well as taking inspiration from the Brave line (Rail Racer) and, most importantly, marking the triumphant return of transforming cars and trucks featuring new Japanese designs. Three of these new car Transformers were brothers and the one I want to point out is X-Brawn for the fun notion that when transforming him in suv mode, his head ends up in the passenger seat. In reality, since Takara designed this line (another return to form after Hasbro was the main designer for Beast Wars), he should appear to be in the driver's seat, in Japan, driving himself!
Aside from this fun factoid, the difference between this toy and the other Transformers who seem to drive themselves, like ROTF deluxe Breakaway and Armada Sideswipe, is simple : This one's better. It has rubber tires, projectiles, clear plastic, chrome in the right places, and is fully painted too, while being designed by Takara. It was the heydey of Transformers.
A good way to disguise a clearly visible head is by not attracting too much attention. This toy completely fails at this because your eyes go straight to the big bold red disk on top of the vehicle mode, and yet you wouldn't think it's the head. I was once witness to a transaction where someone was buying this toy and I asked if he minded that you could see the head in vehicle mode, to which the buyer replied "Why? Where is it?". He couldn't see it no mater how much he looked. You wouldn't think to find it there, when it's base becomes such an important element of the vehicle mode. Hiding in plain sight will be a recurring theme on this list.
A visible head no distracting you from the alt mode is great but what is even better is when that head adds to toy. For G1 Jetfire, it adds FIREPOWER! While the head is perfectly visible in the jet's undercarriage, it acts as a turret and plays its role quite well.
Speaking of adding to the alt mode, these three do something very similar. Their heads are all in the back adding a really cool detail to the alt mode. With Jetstorm, it is back fins blending in and culminating in a triangular sci fi design. With the two Scourges, it's a far more obvious alt mode detail, the Disintegrator Ray, which totally changes the look of each alt mode, making them offensive vehicles. Very fitting for a Decepticon.
While these heads are part of the alt mode, their full integration with it makes them just as disguised as if they were not visible at all. I see it less as a robot head visible on the alt mode and more as part of the vehicle visible on the robot head. But it is still more robot head than alt mode in robot mode, which is more than I can say for any Swoop mold who's head is at last 75% alt mode (hence why he isn't on this list).
This mold is one of the most beloved and praised molds from the movie era, and that's quite a feat considering how much the movie line is generally disliked. He doesnt just have the movie aesthetic against him, but he also has one of the biggest cases of visible head syndrome. His head is right there staring at you front and center with his cold cyclopean stare, in his alt mode. Not only is that accepted by me and fans, but it is also pretty damn cool. While it is very much his head and G1 Shockwave style eye front and centre on the plane, it acts as the plane's eye. This isn't Prime Megatron with his head sticking out of his flight mode, it is actually the head of the plane. Like the tip of a droid scouting the environment, and it totally works. The toys itself is great, one of the best Scout class toys of all time (another list for another time), but what really makes him number one is how he has a very obvious case of visible head syndrome but makes it work like no other.
Honourable Mentions: Cybertron Override but it was like a cross between Jetstorm's and X Brawn's case to be included and doesn't work as well as either of those.
Filling in for Va'al this week because he's a super-busy, super-desired, and super-successful dude, it's me, reservist-and former news admin, and comic reviewer Tigertrack. (I hope you check this out any way).
“I feel not unlike a small boy, waking from a bad dream to find reality not much of an improvement.” -John Byrne
Story so far:
Okay—Despite what we told you last time, it turns out GI JOE is real…and they’re the last line of defense against the Decepticobra alliance. With battlefronts on Earth and Cybertron, hope seems a a losing proposition—until Optimus Prime returns!.
In our last episode, Scarlett in paradise...lost and then found, and Bumblebee's head is returned!
Spoiler free review:
This issue continues to tell the story of the seemingly mad reality that Earth and Cybertron are in as Koh-Buru-Lah has started to cause havoc on Earth with the Decepticobras battling the Joes, and Cybertron has started to look more and more like a certain planet-eater that is feared from Transformers religion—that is also bearing down on the Earth with conflicts on it, and in it, as well.
Using creative layouts and lettering, and exaggerated characterization often inspired from sources both familiar and those you will have to do a bit of research on, Tom Scioli continues to drum out a very wide mix of feelings for us; from fun and silly, to horrific and mind-boggling, unreal to all too real.
We are now 8 issues in, and if you’re still with this critically-acclaimed series, you’re probably past your personal feelings about art and layout, and just trying to enjoy the ride and appreciate all the work and creativity that has actually gone into this series. And of course...Transformers. You’ll continue to be surprised in this issue in several ways… I won’t spoil them all, but a couple of my favorite moments involve Omega Supreme’s unexpected entrance into the fray, heralding the return of the Astro-train (I love this silly, but cool design ), and the commentary about a love-it or hate-it classic generation one gimmick(most of 'us' dislike it anyway)! Some perfect examples of fun/creative ways to rethink what has been thought before.
Ramifications from Issue #6 are continued as we see GI JOE take full responsibility for the protection of the Earth, violently wrenched from government control in issue #6 by FLAGG! Optimus Prime returns to Cybertron after retrieving Bumblebee's body from GI JOE--Cobra Commander celebrates on Earth with his disciples over a feast of...Snake Eyes? In this issue, we also seemingly learn the fates of favorite sons Billy and Bumblebee...and of course, one shall stand and one shall fall...
There’s plenty of human and robot action in this page turner, although as in previous issues, some of the leaps between chapter breaks are a bit too profound! The changing from Cybertron to Earth in separate sections/chapters can be a little jolting and confusing, unless you have followed along from previous issues and know who is where and use some powers of inference.
There are also a few rad splash pages that just leave you a bit awe-struck…in a good way mostly…and a surprise ending that no one ever saw coming.
Ultimately, if you’re still reading this series, you’ll continue to enjoy it, as I am, probably despite your personal feelings toward what should be done here or there, or how characters are or are not being treated with respect to your understanding of them from other media. The art and layouts are interesting and fun, and the fact that Barber and Scioli take time at the end of each issue to discuss the creative process and inspirations make this an enjoyable series for those who have a real taste for comic book history and wanting to know the inner workings on creating and publishing a book. And of course, there are Transformers too, some re-imagined and re-mixed in ways that were not thought possible before. I’m to the point where I can enjoy this for what it is…and I was very much against this after the very first issues. It’s gotten much less childish and random, and grown much more complex and a bit more dark--and still a bit random though.
TFcon Charlotte have added another guest to their line-up for the USA event in October - none other than the big lump of a dinobot himself, or his voice at least, Gregg Berger! Find out what the organisers have to say about the man behind Grimlock - and many more characters - below, and head here to book your tickets now.
We are happy to welcome the voice of Generation 1 Grimlock Gregg Berger to TFcon Charlotte. He also voiced Skyfire (Jetfire), Long Haul and Outback in the same series. He returned to the character of Grimlock for the Fall of Cybertron video game as well as the upcoming Transformers: Devastation.
Gregg will be taking part in Q&A panels and autograph sessions with the attendees of the world’s largest fan-run Transformers convention all weekend long.
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