Wednesday, July 13th 2011 5:19pm CDT
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With the Dark Of The Moon toy line
in full swing and many new Transformers collectors asking questions such as "Which movie characters should I buy?", I think it’s fitting that I take a look back at the toy line that started it all.
In May 2007, the first toys to accompany Michael Bay’s first live-action film were released. The movie aesthetic was not to the liking of veteran fans, but that certainly did not dismay the new wave of collectors from causing the great Transformers drought that year. While many of the characters featured in the 2007 film have superior figures from the Revenge of the Fallen or Dark Of The Moon lines, much credit is not given to many of the hidden gems released in 2007 and 2008. Yet despite the popularity of the 2007 Movie toy line, many new movie collectors have seemed to link "ROTF Leader Optimus Prime
> 2007 Leader Prime
" with "ROTF
", and the latter, I assure you is not something I’ll agree with it.
It’s more than just 2007 being Skidsless and Mudflapless, it’s the fact that the 2007 toy line was able to take that CGI on screen and turn that into plastic form. It set the foundation for ROTF and DOTM to build on. The revenue produced from the toy line is one of the reasons why we’ve had 3 toy lines per annum for the past few years. But no, to me, the 2007 toy line is more than just a revenue or precursor success, there are actually some fine figures in the line that many collectors have overlooked and should have in their collection. Let’s begin, shall we?
The femme fatale was a shoe-in to be in the 2007 film, but was replaced by Ironhide in early production. Thank goodness, I had enough problem getting the fembot in the drought and it would not have helped if she was an on-screen character! Out of all the movie-verse bikes, this is the best figure. Scale, a category that I don’t care about, can be thrown out of the window. Many complained about her inability to stand straight, but she is no ROTF Sideswipe
, and unlike the bike fembots of the ROTF line, at least she has feet. She has the body dimensions that is categorical of females of any sentient species, and that is also a part that the ROTF fembots lack. Think the face lacks feminity? Well the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree when looking at her ROTF brethren.
All the power to those who have the ROTF bike sisters in their collection, because I understand those who wish to have what’s on the silver screen transplanted on to their shelves for ‘movie-accuracy’. But this is the superior Arcee. Already have a movie-verse Arcee? Call it another name then! There’s enough fembot names to go around; Lancer, Greenlight, Flareup, and Flamewar are examples. Whether it’s pink (original
, battle damaged
), black (Takara retail exclusive
), or generation one themed (Wonderfest ’08 convention exclusive
), I think this is a mold that every movie fan can appreciate.
Well this guy totally isn’t in here because his biography
is freaking hilarious, as he is the first movie-verse Transformer to be portrayed as emo(tional). No, his figure is rather enjoyable. The mold might not be very high in regards to collectors following the popular trends, but I’m not one to conform. Dropkick has a tad bit of kibble in the backpack area, and suffers from the dreaded ‘chicken legs’. It is more of the little things that make Dropkick one of my favorites of the 2007 line. In vehicle mode, the flatbed cover can be removed to reveal the back of the truck, which has ample space for you to fit in a scout figure. (Hardtop
sniping while riding on Dropkick is legit). While having a Decepticon logo on your vehicle is hardly a robot in disguise, Dropkick seems to have put some thought into it. Ingenious to have the symbol tattooed on the top of your hood and roof – Mr. Antisocial went to Decepticon school and realized that there aren’t too many Autobots that can fly in the Bayverse.
The robot mode is an aspect that I like from my Transformers, a sturdy, well-engineered figure that isn’t going to fall down after being placed. There’s just a lot to Dropkick in robot mode that I like, parts that fold in and out, weaponry, and just that feel that you’re holding a Transformer, not an action figure. His main weapon is rather clumsy, but that is more or less forgotten by the two double-barrel guns he has under his forearms. A quality figure that is a great addition to your Decepticon ranks, or Autobot ranks with his 2007 repaint, Salvage
, who is also a piece that I’d highly suggest. The figure was also released in the ROTF toy line under the name of Blowpipe
(Really Hasbro?), for those into blue Transformers. But who’d buy that Tupac for a near identical version of Sideways?
Why not Bumblebee, you ask? Toy wise, there are much better Movie Bumblebees released after the 2007 toy line, and discussion about the other two movie lines are for another day. And If I get my way, editorial discussion on Bumblebee will be avoided entirely. But despite there being other Bumblebee figures out there, the 2007 Camaro Concept figure is actually a masterpiece in its own right. It also happens to be the only Movie Deluxe Cliffjumper we have up to now. For those wondering what’s up with the teal on Cliffjumper, Salvage, and Black Arcee, that would be the Allspark Battles sub-line of the 2007 line. Cool name. Terrible execution, as many repaints were slaughtered with copious, unadulterated, and ridiculous amounts of teal. (Check out Target Exclusives - All Spark-Enhanced Bumblebee
, Brawl, Barricade
for good laughs). Luckily for Cliffjumper, his vehicle mode was left untouched from the teal, and what we get is a beautiful Red Camaro Concept. What I generally like from vehicle modes of Transformers I collect, especially the movie-verse, is for them to be spot on. And at the time, the Camaro Concept had one of the best looking vehicle modes, losing out to that sleek Corvette Stingray when ROTF rolled in.
Robot mode has alot of articulation for a movie figure, and while it may feel like a caveman compared to the future incarnations of Bee, it is still a stand up figure. The Gun/Blade that Cliffjumper wields almost makes Mechtech look like it’s ancestor. The gaudy teal of the Allspark Battles looks far from tacky on Cliffjumper, instead highlighting some of his aesthetics and adding a bit more flare to his colour scheme. The only beef (New York cut, Medium Rare please) I have with the figure is his shoulder pads, which have fallen off as many times as I’ve said eh. Bottom line, it's the movie-verse. There are explosions, big guns, and Decepticons flying everywhere as plot-armor Autobots blow them into pieces. And this is Cliffjumper. The bot who has got enough weaponry to make explosions and blow up plot-armor Decepticons to bits. Get him!
The vehicle modes of Autobots seem to be losing their flair in recent years. It`s a lost art for many under Optimus Prime`s command, as their vehicle mode’s function appears only to look sleek, stylish and appeal to the newer wave of Transformers fans. For Movie Longarm, it’s different. Yes, he’s in this line because he’s the tow truck that Mikaela drove in the movie. But it’s his design, his working tow, and robot mode of the figure that makes this a brute, blue-collar working Autobot. Yeah, he’s a bit chunky, and he probably walks slow, but who said all walking robots of destruction need to be agile?
If Transformers played Hockey or Football, Longarm would be the grinder or hard hitter of the team. His face looks like he’s wearing a helmet, and the way his chest is stylized makes it look like he’s wearing armor. In a Transformers universe catering to Michael Bay’s explosions, Longarm’s got the gun to rule all guns. Eye light piping is magical, and the transparent back lights on the tow are well placed. Many Classics-verse fans delving into the movie-verse toys for good ‘homages’ would have likely picked up Longarm’s ROTF repaint, Hoist
. But from a personal standpoint, a two-pack with G1 deco Mixmaster
is not worth the trouble as Longarm is the better use of the mold.
What I like the best of Evac, and his mold predecessor Blackout
, are that they are great representations of their respective movie-verse forces. Blackout the Decepticon, who like most Decepticons, looks mysterious, has a dark color scheme, and takes the form of a militaristic vehicle. Evac the Autobot, who like most Autobots, has a chivalrous, flamboyant bright color scheme, has a nonchalant Autobot symbol screaming "come at me bro", and has the face of something that would protect mankind, not destroy it. This is more about Evac being a gem, mainly because Blackout is a popular character that everyone likely owns already in the original
, or Grindor versions
. Plus there’s always that little little, completely unlikely smidgen of hope that Hasbro will make a Leader Class Pave Low Heli.
Don’t get me wrong. 2007 Evac is no DOTM Skyhammer
(because Skyhammer is very good), and it’s also no ROTF Evac
(because that mold is avoid avoid avoid) but this is still one mean Helicopter. The Allspark Battles teal is very heavy on the Voyager class figure, but that is contrasted by the figure’s vibrant orange. What was once Scorponok included with Blackout, is a lifeboat for Evac. And unlike Scorponok, the lifeboat can be wielded by Evac as a blaster. Evac shows that despite whatever mold you start off with, a vibrant paint job and different head sculpt can turn your evil helicopter full of death into a lifesaving, search and rescue vehicle. Movie-collectors, help your Autobots out, they are especially low in air force.
Stockade gave me a lot of trouble because he was competing with 2007 Landmine
for a spot in this editorial. Both figures have great alternate modes, and both figures have robot modes that are somewhat ruined by the gaudy teal. Luckily for Stockade, I feel that his ROTF repaint Gears
is inferior to the original, and unluckily for Landmine, try ROTF Armorhide
instead. I have said many times that vehicle modes of figures in the movie-verse need to be spot on. Stockade is phenomenal. Painted grill, painted wheels, clear windows everywhere, headlights, backlights, an actual sunroof, and painted door handles. Girl, it looks real. His Decepticon symbol is painted in normal purple, and not silver like the majority of movie-verse Transformers.
Robot mode does not offer as much as the vehicle mode in terms of looks. Stockade has the foot soldier demeanour. Short, stocky and built. He’s got this extending arm gimmick, like Barricade
, but it’s pretty lame. The teal is a bit too much for a Decepticon transforming from a Black SUV, but blame it on the dark, got you off the mark, blame it on the a a a a a allspark
. The photo below makes him look like kibble city, don’t worry, it’s not that bad.
Final Battle Jazz (Deluxe)
It’s a figure of your favourite character before he gets ripped in half by Megatron. Not as grimm as the mold’s fate. Don’t get me wrong, the Human Alliance Jazz
with Lennox figure is fantastic and if you haven’t already, get it. *Gets back the scale that I threw out the window in regards to Arcee.* I just don’t think Jazz was that large in the movie (not going to actually check), so the Deluxe size is where it’s at. The reason this dude is on this list is not because Jazz is unpopular, but I feel that this variant is obscure. For this version to come out only for it to be snubbed a handful of times with Premium
, ROTF Smokescreen
, is just not right.
Not much to see in vehicle mode, as it’s nearly the same. Robot mode on the other hand is pretty cool. You’ve got detailed battle damage on his head and legs. It’s like energon is gushing out of those areas. Really slick paint apps, and it’s a shame that future "Battle-Damaged" figures ended up failing in comparison to FB Jazz. The best part of the toy, is the weapon. The trans-crapper sword that all the other versions have is a joke to this ‘Crescent Cannon’. Heck, buy this toy just for the weapon, and then put it on Premium Jazz. That’s what all the cool kids are doing.
It’s rather odd for me to put a Leader Class figure on a ‘Hidden Treasures’ list, but Leader Brawl seems to be forgotten under the pile of other Leaders released in ROTF and DOTM. For those new collectors out there, Brawl is a figure that you really can’t miss. The 2007 Leader Graduating Class includes Optimus
, who was done better in ROTF, and Megatron
, who’s probably the worst Leader figure of all three movie-lines. If you want this character in your collection, it’s Leader or bust. The Deluxe class
was a travesty and pales in comparison to this behemoth. Sure the figure is not at the Masterpiece level, since there’s no working treads, but it has a lot of articulation for a Transformer with a tank mode.
When Transformed, it’s not all there either. The figure’s not as crisp as 2007 Leader Prime, but it’s still not as chunky as 2007 Leader Megatron. There’s a lot going on in the weaponry department, and what’s underrated about the figure is that it takes the CGI to heart. Sure, kibble is there, but it’s not like it wasn’t there in the movie either. This beauty is a steal right now on the secondary market, and is certainly worth it in either his original colors, or his ‘Deep Desert
’ version if you dig them Tusken Raiders or Jawas.
Who? Incinerator’s rather obscure and completely forgotten in some cases by the ongoing movie fanbase. He’s got a full-time membership to the 'no hands club' along with Voyager Starscream
, but don’t let that mere flaw deter the credibility of this Decepticon. If I can recall correctly, he is the first big Osprey helicopter since Beast Machines. The vehicle mode just feels compact, solid and it almost seems like he can fly! (He won’t. No matter how much Energon you drink, he actually won’t!)
The teal is awful on this figure, but I can't complain, I'm a Blurr fan after all! The fin hands are actually pretty cool if you think that he's wielding them. Robot mode is stocky, and I really dig how his chest is formed. He's got clown feet, but he won't fall over because of the back stand that he is. The figure just look so funky, and yet one look at the spinning blades of death reminds you that this is a ruthless killing machine made out of a mountain of metal. The Takara domestic black version
of this figure contrasts the Hasbro's grey, and both are great additions to your Decepticon arsenal.
With that, you have my bias opinion on the 2007 line figures that did not get as much limelight compared to other toys of more popular characters. Some honorary mentions here, and I’ll start off with Rescue Ratchet
, as he has the best colors of all the Voyager Hummer repaints. Try to complete your movie-verse seekers in the Voyager Class size with 2007 G1 Starscream
, 2007 Thundercracker
, and ROTF Skywarp
. The DOTM Deluxe idea is just way too small for movie seekers.
Agree to disagree with me? Who are your favorites of the 2007 line, and do you feel any figures have been overlooked by the popular eye? Leave your opinions by commenting below!
2Fast 2Blurrious is an editorial series written by Seibertron.com staff member Blurrz, and is not responsible for the amount of money you will spend on Transformers in the next few hours. Nor is it responsible for your partner's shopping spree with your card because it's his/her turn after you spent an absurd amount of money on 'kid's toys'.