PANIC ON THE STREETS OF CYBERTRON! As STARSCREAM’S secret police continue on their rampage, IRONHIDE is caught between the BADGLESS and a population looking for retribution!
We're back on Cybertron once more, as the second issue of the new Transformers: Till All Are One ongoing series from IDW Publishing hits the stands (be they digital or physical) - and there is little time lost since last month's issue, as the streets boil, the 'law' is questioned, and Starscream looks on, apprehensive.
In his own way
We had already seen Ironhide as being one of the major players in the first issue, but it feels like he's more of an instrument of the new orders trying to establish themselves than anything fully agent - though time will tell on this front. He is charismatic, and his dialogue works better now that emotion runs a little higher, too.
Who really gets the spotlight this time round though, are the Combaticons, with Onslaught and Blastoff in particular hogging all of the spotlight. Mairghread Scott has not only tapped into their 'original' writing, but has given them an extra spin in the new post-colonial, post-war, post-combiner, and the interactions all show their individual voices, in both clash and rapport.
While Starscream is a pleasure to read in this new take on his dry approach to life, the weariness and edge to his voice is palpable, and an interesting way to see where it might all go. Add that to the fact that Obsidian is obviously planning things with Elita One, and you got yourself the political intrigue we were (/I was) looking for. More thoughts below.
In how many ways can one Starscream be depicted as bored, despondent, scheming and trying to feign superiority? Sara Pitre-Durocher manages quite a few, with a truly entertaining and impressive array of facial expressions. That, and some really effectively used cinematographic techniques in the more fraught discussion and scenes, create a palpable sense of underlying tension across the whole book - as there should well be.
Much like last issue, again, Priscilla Tramontano bring some clean, crisp colouring to the linework, and gives some nice depth to the larger crowd scenes, picking out details where needed, and making the mob more mob-like on the other side of the coin. The glow of the various optics is a nice touch, too, and one I keep going back to admire.
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Tom B. Long, despite not having the space to have too much fun with the fonts, does a great job, and my quibbles with last month's issue are nowhere to be found this time. I have also tried showing off the multiple covers in previous stories, with the regular, and powerful Pitre-Durocher Windblade taking the main stage, followed by her collaboration with Thomas Teyowisonte Deer on the ROM variant, and finally, this review's thumbnail variant, by Carlos Valenzuela.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Allow me an excursus: I have some ideological concerns with the direction that some of the story is taking, especially in terms of handling powers and justice systems - trying not to spoil anything here - but am also willing to see how it's employed in the larger picture. The political drama being set up (the multiple stages, even) are promising something fairly big, and I don't just mean another combiner.
While a little slower than the previous issue, this month's TAAO brings the set-up that the new status quo on Cybertron probably needs, from a fictional standpoint, and it does it well; it also manages to sneak in a number of issues that can easily be found in our own reality, and that is where I am really interested in their handling and development, hoping for a critical evaluation of sorts, really. Plus, it all looks So Good.
Seibertron himself has been hard at work preparing for us some massive and awesome Titans Return Galleries. One thing he was kind enough to do for us was demonstrate just how cool the new Titan Master gimmick is by taking some shots of the Wave 1 Deluxes playing head swaparoo with the wave 1 Titan Masters. In the process of playing musical bodies, he also turned the Titan Master vehicles into weapons and the extra cockpit guns into Targetmasters, using the actual heads for the deluxes. The fun never ends with the heads bouncing all over the place!
Check out this fun game of partner dancing below and stay tuned for Seibertron.com's full Titans Return Galleries!
THIS IS THE END! Will PROWL get his comeuppance? Will TARANTULAS conquer all? Will any of the WRECKERS survive? It’s wreck and rule one last time, with everything on the line!
Quite the hook
Remember when we last talked about Sins of the Wreckers? Remember how I mentioned that issue #4 felt very much like an ending, and hoped that the actual end would live up to it? Even if you don't, I say it here, again: issue #5 is the ending that the series built to, prepared for, and ultimately, deserves. Let me tell you why.
This guy, mostly
I will not spoil the book, there will be plenty of time for that in the discussion that will follow, I will point out, though, some of the highest notes that Nick Roche has achieved in this brief but in-depth plunge back into the world of one of more messed up teams in the IDWverse. Above all, the scheming and betrayal that runs deep and leads back to Prowl, always Prowl, and his machinations, and his creations - Tarantulas, Kup, Verity, the secret police, is everything his fault?
We found out some of the dirty secrets last issue, but even more comes out this time: feelings of hurt, revenge, coping mechanisms, catharsis, and violence. A lot of violence, and characters forged through that violence and *bad stuff*. What we obtain is the strange mix of strength and weakness, as the two sides of the same coin - with emotion running all along the thin edge, the gut-wrenching type that comes with *bad stuff*.
If you're looking for Overlord levels of manipulation, but with an even stronger psychological connection between characters themselves, and creator and readers, this is the book you should pick up. It's raw, and still edited. It's hard to swallow, but it flow smoothly. It's good. You should read it.
Roche is still very good at the storytelling happening in visual form too, though it should come as no surprise by now. Where the dialogue might risk to overpower the scene, the quieter frames actually allow for a wider scope, and a much deafening, visually speaking, effect. Towards the end, at the climax of the Tarantulas confrontation, you will explicitly see how words are not always needed.
Josh Burcham needs a lot of credit here, as the issue and the series look like nothing before in the IDWverse - even considering previous Roche projects, and Spotlight: Kup, of which we see many references in the series - as his colours are exquisitely apt and decisive for the full spectrum of greys (metaphor) used in the strands of the book. And some of the wider pages would lose a lot of their power without the colours.
And of course, the Noisemaze
The lettering is fantastic, as it has been for the series so far, combining the visual power of size and colour with the fontwork that Tom B. Long can bring to a Transformers book. The silences become clearer, the beastly fonts give voices extra layers, and you can see-hear everything, even in the mess of the Noisemaze. As for covers, not only do we get another Roche/Burcham piece mirroring the first issue, we have the return of two Transformers favourites in E.J. Su (see preview thumbnail) and Guido Guidi (this thumbnail), with their takes on Wreckers past and present.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
There have been delays, and they were fully justified - read more by Roche himself here - but even before knowing anything about the author's personal life, the issue, and the series as a result, is a strong, emotional, intense, heartfelt, harrowing, powerful, and most of all human piece of art. It deals with the horrors of emotions, of war, of betrayal, of anguish. It reaches, hard, for hearts and sparks alike. It wrecks.
The conclusion is satisfying without being exhaustive, it keeps threads closed where they should and others open where they can. This was never one story, but a knot in a web of stories: there is no one single thread that would allow for a neat resolution. So it gives many, and does so in words, it does so in pictures, it does so in in ways that only this medium allows. It rules.
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 Gimmicks on Transformers Toys
While they aren't universally loved, gimmicks are one of the main components of Transformers toys. The fact that they transform itself can be seen as a gimmick of the toyline as a whole and that is what distinguishes it. However, many lines within this brand have had a line-wide gimmick to set it apart from previous toys and to give a different level of playability. However, gimmicks can sometimes limit a toy instead of adding to it, like when articulation is sacrificed.
Since gimmicks have been intertwined with this line since the inception, they can mean something rather different depending on the individual. So this week, we go the extra mile and have two lists. One, written by me which focuses on gimmicks on individual toys and another, written by fellow staff member Shajaki, which focuses on broader gimmicks found through the Transformers' hisotry. Enjoy!
In the Cybertron line, every toy had a gimmick where something would be activated (usually weaponry) when a plastic key was inserted into a slot. It was a decent gimmick and had some fun results throughout the line but none were as dramatic or fun as Crumplezone. Almost half the plastic on this toy is consecrated to giant shoulder mounted guns which flip out 270 degrees in robot mode. That comes with sounds of course and you can then fire missiles from them. This can also be done in vehicle mode where these cannons totally change the vehicle from being built for speed, with the cannons serving as mega boosters in the back, to a much more offensive stance with the cannons flipped towards the front.
Headmasters are awesome. At the very dawn of the Transformers brand, you had these beautiful vehicle modes with cockpits and drivers seats,due to the line being derived from Diaclone which had little figures to insert in the vehicles and dinosaurs. But the Transformers toys didn't come with little guys of their own, until Headmasters came along. You finally had a tiny robot to put in the cockpit of your spaceship or car. And here was the cool part, this little robot transformed into the head of the larger robot. And it was compatible for all other robots of the sort so you could switch out the faces of your larger robots. Also, when inserting the transformed head onto the body of the larger robot, you would trigger another gimmick below the head that showed the stats the head brought to the robot (like intelligence and speed).
Here is the best example of a non intrusive gimmick. Firstly, it was great that the ultimate G1 Optimus toy at the time had a matrix chamber with a removable Matrix of Leadership. And it could light up! It simulated that glow we had seen in the 1986 movie. It's just that perfect little bonus that just made this first Masterpiece toy even more deserving of its title.
Lightpiping is one of the best subtle gimmicks ever added to the Transformers toys. When it is well implemented it can make a pretty big difference and it adds that extra spark. The toy with the best light piping gimmick ever though is Beast Machines Tankor (one of the earlier toys to have the gimmick). You see, in the show, he and his fellow tank drones would scan their surroundings for signs of the Maximals. It would be shown as a dot sliding across his Geordi La Forge-like visor (you can see it below in the video featuring his character's introduction). While his toy was not show accurate in deco or transformation (which I argue makes it better), it did have this very feature. Thanks to a smart mechanism, you could actually replicate his visor scanning for some lifeforms. And you could do it in both modes, which is pretty nuts because unlike other Tankor toys, this one had a different head for its vehicle mode and robot mode.
This guy has it all. Not only did we get a toy that finally looked like the show model (though released in the Robots in Disguise line), but it did all the things you saw on the show. Firstly, it talked and while that may not seem too cool now, this was the very first time in Transformers history that a toy was voiced by the actual voice actor. It didn't just say his name either, or some random lines. It actually said the characters main revelation and theme of the entire show: "The seeds of the future are buried in the past". It also had a jetpack that unfolded from his back and it would change its sound depending on how you were posing him. If he was posed reaching for the sky, the sound would keep revving up, but the sound would then change if you handled him flying horizontally. This showed that less power was needed for maintaining the same altitude. That is pretty fascinating and none of that was ever repeated since. Plus, he had a punching gimmick (which came with sound) and he could fire missiles from his abdomen. That's actually my favourite gimmick since even if you only have one missile, you will still hear that satisfying blaster noise whenever you press the button. So you can simulate him blasting every vehicon to kingdom come. Also, unlike any other toy with sound gimmicks, you had to first activate the gimmick's central system to then activate all the other gimmicks. Which means that if it wasn't activated, you would not be hearing the sound gimmicks go off when you didn't want to. That makes things far less annoying when transforming him, unlike ROTF Prime where you hear him say his name a dozen times whenever you transform him. In short, this guy rocks and while he is gimmick heavy, the gimmicks are fun and he is still a solid show accurate toy with a great transformation.
General Gimmicks Found Throughout the Brand
So much fun, and these two are the best I can think of.
I think I only had a couple as a kid, but modern renditions like G/L Brainstorm (and 3P takes) have been awesome and really makes me look forward to Titans Return.
The only bad part about them is instability, but newer renditions are stable and posable!
So many cassettes, so many colors, it's like trying to catch Pokemon
Device Label. So awesome. We need more things like this. For such a small line it had a lot of winners. Also, real world functionality has been around since G1 with Perceptor's working microscope.
MASSACRE! The battle between the DECEPTICON Justice Division and MEGATRON's AUTOBOTS reaches its nerve-shredding climax. Pray for your favorites—because not everyone makes it out of this issue alive.
Like I said: Rage, Rage
To anyone who hopes to read this review and not have some spoilers, whether they be major or minor, I would highly suggest reading the comic before this review.
You have been warned. And for space for you to stop, have a battle scene featuring Nautica:
Spoiler Alert: Milne can draw a badass Nautica. And I bet you thought intellectuals couldn't look that awesome
Enough time to stop reading for spoiler fears? Good, cause here we go.
Well, we have come to the end of the road. The Dying of the Light really is meant to be read as a TPB, in the same way Shadowplay was meant to be read as a 3-parter in complete sequence. But in the same way Shadowplay had different parts that were each unique in storytelling and action sequences, so too does Dying shape up that way. 50 was the catalyst, 51 was the hopelessness setting in, 52 was the attempt to stop the inevitable, 53 was the final countdown, and 54 is the war. And a war that is held. But that part was always expected. Just maybe not in the manner that it was played out.
All credit to James Roberts: he can spin an outlandish storyline that can make even the smallest, random act become the all-powerful MacGuffin and it all still make sense. And sure enough, he uses one to give the Autobots that fighting chance they needed. But it is here that I really became fuzzy with everything. It has been really hard to articulate my thoughts regarding the MacGuffin, and honestly, I'm not sure this is what the story deserves. It gave the Autobots the boost they needed to stand a chance, but it really didn't feel like the boost that the story deserved. Now, that is not saying I didn't like it, but it still felt... off a bit.
A similar thing happens with "MacGuffin #2" (term used loosely here), which brings salvation to the now MacGuffin-deprived Autobots in the form of Megatron. But again, it doesn't feel completely right, but at the same time it is good and likable. Both of the above comments lower the storyline a bit for me, but lets face it: the main part of the story this issue is the action:
He really can't deal with your jokes right now
This is where the story truly shines. Action! Excitement! Death! Terrible Swerve jokes mid-battle! This issue excels in the combat. It really did turn into the all out war that was promised, and it did not disappoint. Now, some readers might be a bit disappointed in the pacing, seeing as how quickly the issue seems to go by with all the fighting, but at the same time: "Times flies when you're having fun!" In the moments leading up to the battle, the timing was a bit slow and cumbersome, but after that whole scene inside the Fortress, things picked up. This was what Dying needed, and it provided in spades. Heck, we even got some 1986 movie references and some 2009 movie references (betchya didn't see that coming huh?).
Overall story-wise: I was impressed and adored it. This was a great issue to read and it provided the action needed for the thrilling next-to-last issue in the volume. The only complaints I have would be the slight pacing issue and the Power of being in control all along/super boost, but those are hardly enough to deter the main focus, which leads us right into the next (and for this issue most important) section:
Alex Milne takes this issue entirely by himself, and boy does himself deliver. It is one thing to actually right a whole issue that is a giant battle, but it's a whole other thing to have to draw it. And Milne takes it all in stride. In all honesty, I would love to show off some panels here that show Milne at his absolute best (looking at you Megatron) but alas, you need to get the comic to fully comprehend and enjoy the art. But, for point of reference, have a panel:
Now I will say 2 things about the art: Megatron, Deathsaurus and Skids show off all that can be good with this comic. Those 3 make the art great and show off just how good Milne is. But there is a tiny point of "eh" though: Nickel. This is just the one character the Milne and Sakamoto can't seem to sync up on. Nickel is just a teensy bit weird art-wise, but other than that the art is flawless.
This guy has become my favorite for facial expressions. Easily
Joana Lafuente has once again provided excellent colors to compliment Milne's artwork. Just look at the lighting on some of the images above. And also don't forget those 3 characters I said nicely showed off the art for the story. The colors just shine with those 3 (more or less).
Tom B. Long is joined by Christa Miesner for the lettering duty, and they did not disappoint. Every word appears as you would expect, every scream, every whimper, every howl in pain, every bit of it all. It not only makes the lines gorgeous to admire and the colors gleam with eye-catching visuals with its articulation the of action performed, but it so perfectly articulates the scenes that are taking place, from fighting for your life to letting it slip away.
Pretty much my face for not only several panels, but also just trying to write this
This series truly is best read as a whole, all 6 issues lined back to back for a good couples hours of read time. But this has proven to be an issue worth standing out by itself. If you wanted action, you got it. Easily and a thousand times over (which I admittedly did). If you wanted characters facing hard choices and realizing who they all were and never realized, it was provided. If you wanted characters to see the end of their arcs and finally face then end of their time, you got that as well.
But in addition to those comments, I have a few more to make. The first would be Overlord. Can we please just look at how dark and emotionless he is? There can be no one that likes him. He is cold, his is insane, he is the definition of dark. And all that understandably upsets some people, not that I blame them, but at the same time, having that character who is devoid of any weakness in those regards makes thing all the harder, and it makes him that much more hate-able and only makes me wish harder that he had stayed dead.
The second comment would be the References to previous material. Someone, SOMEONE finally allowed Magnus to say his line in a manner that makes complete sense and is truly befitting the character. Now, no one is allowed to say that phrase for awhile again. The 86 movie and Revenge of the Fallen get some callbacks, as does the Marvel comic run (Megatron and Ratchet make a great pair). Well done on the callbacks. I can respect a book so much when it does stuff like that.
Finally, I long for next issue. I want to finally see the end of the lights' dying. We are at 5 of 6, and we need 6 so the final bookend can be placed. And we are left with such huge questions: the fate of some Autobots, both not shown and very clearly shown, the final panels, the wide eyes, the sense of insanity and loss of respect creeping in. And where the Hell are Nightbeat and Rung???
This issue was a great one, but once again I am left longing for the next. But at least I have some very good material to read over and admire in all its battle glory for the next month.
Seibertron.com is proud to bring to you today our latest Galleries, that of Robots in Disguise Legion Class Bisk, Groundbuster, and Blizzard Strike Drift! Blizzard Strike Drift is a redeco of his previous legion toy while Groundbuster and Bisk are all new molds. All 3 are to be widespread available very soon as the summer lull is coming to a close and the toy distribution is about to speed right back up again. Check out the galleries and let us know what you think in the comment section, and as always stay tuned to Seibertron.com for all your latest Transformers News and Galleries!
On this Thursday evening, we are proud to bring to you Seibertron.com's latest galleries: Robots in Disguise Deployer Crazybolt and Minicon Hammer! Crazybolt is a new mold that shoots cyclone minicons from his mouth and transforms into a sweet and sexy muscle car. Hammer is a cyclone minicon that turns into a dragon. Hammer comes with his armor pieces and is a redeco of his individual release toy as well as his 4-pack toy. These guys come packed together and will be showing up on stores shelves very soon. So check out the galleries and let us know what you think of this new deployer, and as always stay tuned to Seibertron.com for all your latest Transformers News and Galleries!
PEACE IN OUR TIME! STARSCREAM and WINDBLADE have given everything to bring together CYBERTRON’s Lost Colonies into a Council Of Worlds. But when the increasingly brutal tactics of STARSCREAM’s secret police increase tension among the former DECEPTICONS… how long can the Council maintain this fragile peace?
By sitting in circles!
We've seen the actions and influence that Windblade, as a character, has brought to the Transformers universe in recent years, from her introduction in Dark Cybertron, the first story arc in the mini, the creation of the Council of Worlds in the second - let's get back to where it started, then and see what the new Starscream-led Cybertron is up to.
Ironhide, actually, is the character getting the most page-time in this first issue, and a fitting choice it is: he's been a constant in the IDW verse, and he's gone through a lot of weird things, and as we know, is now at times a little lost in this new, wider world. Mairghread Scott uses Ironhide's almost neutral status as the pivot for a lot of the story, though sometimes misses his voice, as if unsure what he should be sounding like - which may, saying that now, be intentional given the above.
One of the points I'd question concerns the Combaticon crew, Brawl in particular - whom we've seen up until recent as being a big player for the new Decepticons (both Soundwave and Galvatron's sides), and is now suddenly not really doing much. But with the team being so crucial to the story, there may be more for him to shine again.
Windblade is prominent, of course, though not more than necessary, as the streets of Iacon and their inhabitants are really what's at the fore. The Badgeless, the ex-factions, the factionless, the newcomers from the ex-colonies - something is bound to happen, and something does, and Starscream may or may not know what is what, and who is where. And we get a reference to the big unsolved Chromia moment from the first trade, as a result, too.
Sara Pitre Durocher is on the full art duties for the book (except for Revolution) and we ok - it's phenomenal work. Moving between body language, panel layouts, facial expressions, we get a very unsure Ironhide, a determined Windblade, a nasty Starscream and a truly ominous Obsidian. Each character has their own demeanour again, which is just. great.
Variations on a theme of 'I want to murderkill you'
Priscilla Tramontano comes in with the mastery of colours, perfectly in sync with the linework, and playing wonderfully with tone and lighting, giving different hues and shades to the different locations. They're crisp, they're clean, they're clear, they're wonderfully appropriate. And the glow of the various optics - especially the Badgeless visors - is just great.
And we get some great backgrounds, too
This is probably the first time I will say something negative about the lettering, once more by Tom B. Long: the order of some of the dialogues seems a little off on certain pages (e.g. the first Council session), which through me a little. That said, the rest of the work is its usual excellency! Let's look at the covers, then - not only is Pitre Durocher's main cast piece lusciously triumphant, we also have the more tone-appropriate Tramontano Batman Ironhide one, and Teyowisonte Thomas Deer bring his skills to another Pitre Durocher Metroplex/Windblade (thumbnail); plus, more exclusives from Alex Milne and Josh Perez than you can shake a piston at!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Scott has always had a penchant for the more horrorific storylines, and the start to this new chapter is nothing different: yes, it's a political crime thriller, touching on authoritarian brutality, perceptions of differences and discrimination, the turmoils of an increasingly populated planet - but we're going to chop people's heads on the way too. It's a hook, and it got me.
There, tied in
Pair that, and the rising tension between all the major players, with some excellent art - both in composition and in expression - from Pitre Durocher, and of course Tramontano's colours, and you have a very strong start to a new Cybertronian chapter, and one that I am extremely intrigued and invested in already. Just look at my signature on here. Someone lives.
Fellow Seibertronians, we bring you 6 new galleries today, including: Robots In Disguise 1-Step Bisk, Ratchet, Optimus Prime, Strongarm, Sideswipe and Bumblebee. One Step Ratchet's gallery is the very first time we are seeing images of One Step Ratchet's robot mode since, until a few days ago, none of us had realized this toy even existed. It turns out that it shares similar molding with the new Strongarm, also released in this wave and seen below, but several parts have been remolded such as the chest, head, legs and top of the alt mode. These are all part of the 9th and 10th wave of the Robots in Disguise One Steps and many are new molds and new transformations with the exception of the Bumblebees and Sideswipe which share the common switchblade transformation first seen in Age of Extinction's Drift toy. As you will notice in the images below, all of these One-Steps have 5mm holes in their hands making them able to use weapons such as the upcoming new Weapon Minicons. These should all be appearing at retail soon.
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. This week, we have a nice collaboration by other staff members which were quite passionate about several of these toys. These are our opinions 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 Motorcycle (Motorbike) Transformers Toys
This is a very simple list. I looked at all Transformers who turned into motorcycles from Armada Nightbeat to G1 Override (who both didn't make the list). There are a ton of motorcycles out there, especially in the movie lines so while the standouts were easy to find (number 1 will surprise no one), it got very tough to distinguish the best amongst many decent toys. So I sought advice from colleagues and fans who seemed to have passion for these very specific toys and rounded them up.
This little dude is one of the examples of the truly excellent Scout class back in the peaks of the movieverse lines and sub-lines - Hunt for the Decepticons, in Brimstone's case. An attempt to capture the spiky nature of the aesthetics of Bay's production, the general added evil looks to otherwise adorable little figures, some good complex transformations for toys this size - and you get a great blend of colours, stable feet, a precursor to TF Prime's Soundwave's sinister silhouette, plus the potential for Spinning Triblades of Death and Doom, if it takes you a couple of weeks to figure out that, yes, there are indeed hands in there too. One of my first paint touch-ups, too, so clearly it struck a chord!
The PRiD Arcee mold is a top-tier contender for this list. Tight construction, a believable alt mode, a bot mode that doesn't suffer for the small vehicle, and generally good detailing; not only is this a nice toy, but it's generally accurate to the challenging designs of the TF Prime show.
The engineering of this figure takes its marks from the best motorcycle designs and puts them together in a convincing package, while implementing an auto-morph gimmick that is unobtrusive. It does all of these things while keeping numerous and more importantly, meaningful points of articulation. If there are any failings to speak of, it should be noted that the weapons are not really show accurate, which was more of a problem with the PRiD line than with the figure.
There are a variety of delightful, high quality redecos like Chromia and the Queen of the Racing World, Flareup to choose from. So find a biker lady to ride with before someone ships them out from under you.
This guy. Shows up for the entirety of not-that-much in the fiction (from Animated cartoon to its corollary stories), causes enough damage - WITH SCIENCE - then disappears into the folds of officially sanctioned fan-fiction. The tracks, however, run deep. The most menacingly metal mucus motorbike out there, with an actual ram skull visible in both modes, full asymmetry, cactus limbs, chains, and cheating wheel transformation, this is the Ghost Rider figure that (almost, shhhh) never was - if Ghost Rider had the powers of snot. Brütal Snøt.
Anyone who thinks Hasbro did not take the Robots in Disguise (2015) line seriously will change their mind if they give Fracture a chance. While the material and the way he is built up doesn't scream solid quality à la Galaxy Force, he shows how Takara is at the height of their engineering prowess. His transformation is perfect and more unique and elegant than any generations toy he shared shelf space with. Everything is just so thought out and meticulous. Every piece clips in perfectly and both modes are dynamite with minimal extraneous kibble. There is no way to tell this turns into a robot in vehicle mode and at the same time, the robot mode is so damn sleek with nothing getting in the way of the articulation! This is by far the best toy to come out of the Robots in Disguise line (at the moment of writing) and any fan of Transformers toys would be doing themselves a disservice by not experiencing this toy.
The motorcycle mode is almost completely free of kibble from every angle, only the fingertips are visible from the rear, that's it. Robot mode is also extremely free of kibble, where the usual motorcycle bots have nose blocks that become hunchback growths or wheels that become extra appendages, all of those elements have been integrated cleanly and beautifully into robot mode. The only thing that can even be construed as kibble are the back fins, and even those flow nicely.
This flows right into the posability, this being one of the most posable bots ever made. Not only is he all ball joints, but the side effect of the wheel integration is that his knees are double-jointed, making him one of the few transformers that can crouch.
With perks like show accuracy and little extras like his ninja star hubcaps, I would qualify Animated Prowl as not just the best motorcycle Transformer ever designed, but one of the best transformer designs ever.
-- Trigaba (This wonderful review of the toy was found on our forums)
Honourable mentions: First Edition Prime Arcee is a good toy, but I preferred including other toys on the list rather than two similar Arcees and the Robots in Disguise is usually preferred simply due to the fact that it is more accurate. The First Edition is still a worthwhile toy and I recommend anyone to check this great pictorial review from fellow Seibertronian Carytheone. RTS Wreckgar should also get a mention because he is an amazing effort with a kickass robot mode. However, the breakage issue cannot be forgiven enough to be considered one of the best.
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