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IDW The Transformers #52 Review

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
Date: Wednesday, April 20th 2016 9:57am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): IDW, Dr Va'al

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Views: 22,194

More Like Optimus Prick
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
ALL HAIL OPTIMUS part 3! OPTIMUS PRIME has declared the Earth to be his territory… but even he can’t go it alone. Now he reaches out across the galaxy to form a coalition—of old friends and older enemies.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
:D


Story

We continue the ride of All Hail Optimus, in the third chapter of this fairly long arc, as positions and setting start shifting around, after the immediate fall out - in last month's issue - of the annexation of unwilling Earth to the Council of Worlds. And that means Starscream gets to do some things too, and he does them with words.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
And others listen


What is particularly pleasing in the issue, is how John Barber uses the actions of Starscream - from whom we've come to expect manipulative behaviour - to comment upon those of Optimus himself, as he just sort of casually wanders over to other potential allies and audiences. Being all complex-y and stuff.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
*tiny violins playing*


There is another fairly intense narrative strand running alongside Optimus' manipulations - one that we might expect from the main cover, and that sees once precarious collaborators Arcee and Galvatron ..er, airing some concerns with each other. Think of it as a very heated (heh) conversation, with some more excellent writing for the former.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
Well done, Barber


The scene above is also the main source of action for the book, so enjoy it if that is your dish. For the more politics and sleight of hand and tongue inclined readers, this is a full course meal, with weaving, waving, twining and a bit of a kick to the side - and some intriguing seeding happening in between.

Art

Art duties are brought back to Livio Ramondelli, after a long break, and I have to admit I had some difficulties this time round. The linework is what we have come to expect, and I am aware some readers are not fans. We do get some interesting cinematic layouts though, and clarity in more dynamic sequences - never a bad thing.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
And Buster!


Where I had some issues was in the colouring, which, while lightening the usually fairly heavy look of Ramondelli's pages, has somewhat reduced my enjoyment of the art overall. This is not the case across the board, though, as there are some scenes that still work really quite well even in the lighter hues - but something struck me as different from the usual.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
Mustafar?


While there is little of prominent display for the lettering of Tom B. Long, sometimes that is just the mark of skill you need as a reminder of the craft. The covers, on the other hand, do something flashier, with Andrew Griffith and Josh Burcham covering Galvatron vs Arcee, Burcham all alone playing around with Age of Extinction and Skylynx, Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente homaging 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living' for Art History month, and the thumbnailed Phase6 exclusive sees a collaboration between Griffith and Naoto Tsushima, with Josh Perez on colours, as a tribute to Drift.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

If the visual side of things had me distancing myself, on first read, from appreciating the story as such, but going back to it there are some really good advancements from both a contextual and world-building perspective, and for the narrative at hand itself, too. The political intrigue of early RID is back once again, though a lot more is clearly at stake at this point in the game.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
That's just... Primes


In fact, think less Game of Thrones and more House of Cards, in how the various parts move around on the table, with some of the best Starscream and Arcee around (you know what I mean) and, I reluctantly say this, given his character, even some of the best Optimus writing for a while. To me, he never held any appeal as a leader - now, this new layer of whatever is going on with him? Yes, I want to see how far he'll go.

. :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: out of :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN:

Seibertron.com Review - Hasbro and Sony Transformers 'ROLL OUT' Album

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Review - Hasbro and Sony Transformers 'ROLL OUT' Album
Date: Tuesday, April 19th 2016 4:04am CDT
Categories: Reviews, Site Articles, Media
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): DecepticonFinishline, carytheone

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Views: 18,323

Seibertronians! Lend us your listening devices - as fellow Energon Pub dwellers carytheone and DecepticonFinishline bring us a review of the Hasbro/Sony Transformers 'Roll Out' album, released just last week. Have you been listening yet? Read our reviews - two for the price of one - and head here for iTunes or here to stream on Spotify!

DecepticonFinishline wrote:The new “Transformers: Roll Out” album exemplifies what the last year of Transformers has been all about. With the inclusion of up-and-coming artists Born Cages and Crash Kings; well-established rock acts like Mew and Bush; and fresh musicians like Elle Rae this compilation album parallels one grand theme: Giving the veteran fans what they’ve been asking for (i.e. Combiners) while making it accessible to new fans of the franchise.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Review - Hasbro and Sony Transformers 'ROLL OUT' Album


Allow me to explain. Devoting an entire year to Combiners seems to be Hasbro/Takara’s way of giving the veteran fans what we’ve desperately wanted. However, to the dismay of many veteran fans, this year has seen many repaints and remolds. I see this as a way to cut costs, making it easier for younger fans to join the franchise with the characters the older fans know and love.

In a similar fashion, “Transformers: Roll Out” is a compilation of music meant to appeal to older fans while at the same time not taking too many risks; making it accessible to as many fans as possible. By sandwiching the most unique tracks like “Count to Ten,” “Modern Man” and “Into the Fire” in between the likes of the more general rock songs “Roll Out” and “Our Revolution” you allow for a listening experience that draws you in and allows you to leave satisfied while also being exposed to uncommon sub-genres of music in the middle that you may not have pursued otherwise.



You’ll notice that the lyrics of these songs can be clearly linked to the Transformers franchise, but are also general enough to be played in other situations without sounding out of place. The one exception, or course, is “Exiles” which drops the name Cybertron. Some may be disappointed in the absence of specific Transformers lyrics but I would point to the famous songs already a part of the Transformers franchise such as “The Touch” and “Dare to be Stupid” which follow the more universal lyrical composition.

So what’s the point? The missing part of the aforementioned parallel is that no one really asked for “Transformers inspired music.” Maybe it’s to provide a voice for artists like Darby! whose song “Modern Man” uses a unique mix of the vocal singing style of glam-rock stars like the late David Bowie infused with a Sgt. Pepper-composition style. Cynics will say it’s a typical cash-grab. Maybe there was just an ambitious Transformers fan at Sony. Who’s to say?



I personally recommend using “Transformers: Roll Out” as hunting music. We all know that this is a full-time hobby, and so it’s appropriate that it has an official soundtrack. Starting with Mount Holly’s (formerly Nick Perri) “Roll Out,” the song says it all. Roll Out for a successful hunt. Then, depending where you live, Mew’s “Count to Ten” times out well with leaving your first stop empty-handed; “Close your eyes. Count to ten,” cool down and then get revved up for your next stop! The compilation is largely a high-energy experience with two mild cooldowns.

Coming from someone who listens to and judges music for a living, it’s easy to say “Transformers: Roll Out” played it a little too safe resulting in some tracks that sound a little too homogenous. Metal and E.D.M. fans will probably be disappointed. But, with compilation albums like this it is important to try your best to appeal to as many people as possible, and this album does that very well. Alternative rock fans, like me, are provided with music by Born Cages and alternative Danish superstars Mew. There are songs that I don’t much care for, but I’ve already seen praise for those songs, here, on Seibertron. That is the point. This album is for all of us to enjoy the songs we will like and still appreciate the musicians that contributed their art to the Transformers franchise we all love.

Most importantly, it’s not “21 Guns” four times in 2 hours…


carytheone wrote:Roll Out is a fun, cheesy and seemingly random album. The overall feel is that of a movie soundtrack and is a little awkward without one.

The album opens with the titular song Roll Out; an appropriately cheesy, driving rock track. A hard hitting, get your blood pumping, kick some Decepticon butt rock song. The song that seems the most out of place, This House Is On Fire by Bush is a serviceable song, but feels like it was pulled off the B side of another album (and in fact, it is, and just repurposed -- Va'al). Gigantik is our first deviation from the more contemporary rock vibe the album started on. This track is more in line with my tastes in the indie rock genre. A fun bouncy track that would feel right at home on a road trip playlist. Count to Ten is a perfectly placed cool-down track. A light airy uplifting track that makes a lovely ascent to one of the albums best bangers.



Into The Fire by Elle Rae is definitely the strongest track on the album and worth a stand-alone purchase. If the last track brought us to the apex of the roller coaster; this track takes us on a fast ride to the loop-the-loop. After the excitement of Into the Fire and a couple repeats we coast into our next cool-down, Exiled. My first listen gave me a Nickleback vibe, but then I came to appreciate the lead singer's later career Chris Cornell voice. This song is clearly written with Transformers in mind and makes a few fiction name drops. This is probably one of the cheesier tracks, but has easily become one of my favorites.

Just a Spark seems like a weak follow up to Exiled, almost feels pandering and is just screaming to be used during a montage. Stronger starts slow but really vamps up very quickly. Another driving modern rock track, Muse fans will be pleased. All this leads to the album's weirdest track, Modern Man. A trippy indie-rock Bowie-esque track that wouldn't be out of place on "Space Oddity". Totally up my alley and a great palate cleanser that ends with a little synth-funk. And that leads us to our closer, Our Revolution. A celebratory driving rock track. Again, I feel like all these emotionally charged tracks are missing the scenes to motivate me to feel attached. I can honestly see the credits of a movie scrolling by while I listen to this track.



Roll Out is a perfectly serviceable album and depending on your tastes is worth the asking price of $10. I can't help but feel that I should be picking this album up on my way out of the theater after watching Transformers 5. I feel that this is one of the biggest challenges for this album; it just doesn't have a real good reason to exist. It's a good collection of music and is a fun ride.

I fired up Transformers: War for Cybertron after my first listen. The album fit the on-screen action perfectly and all the cheesy rock tracks paired great with my WfC wine. I'd recommend giving the album a listen to and cherry picking the tracks that speak to you, especially Into The Fire!

Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys
Date: Saturday, April 16th 2016 8:08am CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 41,254

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 Water Themed Transformers Toys


5. Transformers Energon Sharkticon

This is a perfect little guy which marks a start to the golden era of quality deluxe class figures from Hasbro for vehicle Transformers (which lead into Classics, Cybertron and Animated). This is an inventive design combining the beast like elements of a shark and a submarine vehicle, making it beautifully Cybertronian. The Transformation is simple but effective, making both the robot and vehicle mode quite distinct, with different shapes and details. The articulation is as good as today's toys but the plastic is better and the pop out firing missiles in vehicle mode is a nice touch on this awesome figure which rocks one of the sweetest decos I have ever seen on a Transformers toy.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys


4. PCC Undertow and Waterlog

Every one of this toy's three modes is fun. It is hard not to like a speed boat with gattling guns. The green clear plastic cockpit (and robot-mode visor) is a nice touch which adds to the water theme and the light blue combiner ports dont take that much away from this figure as it does others since they end up looking like cybertronian breathing tubes in robot mode. What seals the deal though is the combiner torso which has a steam punk diving bell helmet, going all out on the water theme. And if that wasnt enough, you get the most distinctive minicon partner in the entire line with Waterlog. His more humanoid look makes him a cross homage to both the Centurion toy series, from Kenner, as well as Microman thanks to that clear turquoise plastic he is partly made of. He also doubles as a clear turquoise chest shield, making this really resemble some Microman toys. To have all this awesomeness crammed into a scout class Transformer is quite a rare thing these days.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys


3. Transformers Hunt For The Decepticons Sea Spray

Who would have thought little old G1 Seaspray would one day be the hulking bad ass he became with this toy. While the alt mode pays homage to the small G1 toy, the robot mode goes for a more streamlined movie look crosed with more traditional and smooth robot designs. I especially like how smooth the alt mode is, it looks so clean with every part connecting together flush that you wouldn't expect it to turn into a robot. But it does and you wouldn't want to mess with it due to the wide upper chest and shoulders and face plated robotic scuba helmet. But just to show you he also has a fun loving side, you can flip flippers from the underside of his feet and he has a fold down ramp in vehicle mode for him to accommodate any scout class Autobot who would need a ride across the pond. In the end I just love the look of this figure and how accomplished it is as a transforming toy which has no unnecessary kibble in either mode.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys


2. Transformers Beast Wars Metals Depth Charge

There is just so much win with this toy from the headsculpt to the metal manta ray alt mode with a deco that just pops. I like how beefy he is as a toy and I really like the opposite sides of the manta ray face becoming the legs, along with the how glorious he looks with his wings in robot mode. He also has a very fun central disc launching gimmick which works in all modes. If that wasn't enough, his tail becomes a harpoon and he has a shark drone which can fire missiles. Definitely one of the most fun toys of the Beast Wars era.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys


1. Transformers Beast Wars Cybershark

An extremely efficient transformer whose body length shell serves as a great disguise to a very poseable robot. The shark mode has beautiful deco which looks as good as any plastic shark toy found in toy stores in the 90s. What is amazing is that, despite it being a shellformer, it has great alt mode integration that is very reminiscent of traditional transformers with having the head of the alt mode as the chest. A main aspect of the original toys that make up what we call G1 was the disguise component and how they could infiltrate other toylines which didn’t transform. With its phenomenal alt mode, this sharkformer is a perfect example of this legacy. The deco on this toy is as masterful as that headsculpt and he comes armed to the teeth with extra shark themed projectiles (that can be stored within his back) and his pincertail. Of course, that is aside from his hammerhead shark head which he can shoot from his body!

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Honourable mentions: Revenge of the Fallen Depthcharge, Energon Mirage, G1 Octopunch (he was the first with the deep dive helmet), and Legends Gelshark.

And of course, a water themed list wouldn't be complete without a mention of Transformers Armada Tidal Wave!!!!!!! The main reason he didn't make it is because while his name was very much "Check me out, I am water themed!", I found the toy far too Cybertronian looking that it didn't fit the water theme the creators were probably going for, aside from the aircraft carrier component. The Battleship mode looks more meant for space travel than going across the sea.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

Water theme fight!

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Water Themed Transformers Toys

That awesome photo was brought to us by Daniel Cole!

Review - #BotCon16 FunPub / IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic

Transformers News: Review - #BotCon16 FunPub / IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
Date: Wednesday, April 6th 2016 9:58pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Event News, Site Articles, Collector's Club News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): Dr Va'al, IDW, FunPub

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Views: 21,968

Live from a hotel room in Louisville, Kentucky, this slightly jetlagged reviewer brings you a fresh update frome the 2016 BotCon event, in addition to the stellar work the news crew are doing in updating on the ground situation: a review of the event exclusive 'Dawn of the Predacus' comic - read on below!

YYYYEEEeeeeeeEEESSSSSssss...
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
In the last 48 hours of the Great War between Decepticons and Autobots, new measures are taken, paths chosen, fates decided, and acts of sacrifice kickstart a whole new saga...

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
4-10


Story

A comic which is clearly, undoubtedly, obviously, a pack-in story with a set of toys. A big toy advert. A narrative tying together toys that share a theme. Easy to get wrong. And yet, John-Paul Bove in his first official IDW Transformers writing gig, delivers a story that works on a number of levels.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
..precisely


Much as anticipated in the interview we conducted with him, the comic contains a very good balance of fictional universes, setting up threads between G1 and Beast Wars which we both know the developments of, and others that could still yield something very very different - time will tell if we'll get an exploration of the latter, I suppose.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
I laughed for a good minute, here


What works particularly well is the blend of lighter-hearted humour to what is, effectively, a fairly dark chapter in the history of the two narratives, and the end of a war in general - once again as a testimony to the two universes, with the G1 gravitas (resulting silly at times) and the BW intentional silliness.

Art

Corin Howell fits this melange excellently, too, with artwork focusing on the fraught, tired, elated - and wonderfully skeptical and sarcastic - emotions that are running amok across the different factions, not just two as we might think. The simpler, cartoony style fits the tone set by the script, and still delivers some great pages with a grim undercurrent.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
(Wanted: rubber ducky!)


Both of which are undoubtedly helped by Bove returning in his role as colourist on the book, injecting his own authorial perspective of tonalities and emotive hues to the visual side of things, helped out by letterer Chris Mowry from the IDW stables. The lighting definitely heightens that contrast pointed out above, with contrasting, but not jarring, results.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
What maniacal laughter?


Visual and verbal together, you might ask? Read some thoughts below, and make sure to look closer at the two covers available for the comic at the event, variant by Sara Pitre Durocher and string pulling, and 'regular' cover with all the souvenir characters by Robby Musso (both in thumbnail).

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Having read this in-hand, on-site, as soon as I possibly could, I feel odd giving a review and a mark to the book but you know what? It's good, and not just as a 'let's featured all the new toys and some old ones and sorta mash them together' way. Compared to previous releases from the BotCon team, we are several notches higher here, even with the full reveal of the souvenir figures in its pages - and even the main cover.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
The Knights of Ren Prime


That may very well be Bove's writing, and the control he has over the art with colouring Howell's work, but the synergy between the two is palpable, as the overall tone of the book is set well by mixing light and heavy, positives and negatives, humour and gravitas, past and future. If you get a chance to read the issue, please do. It's truly enjoyable.. in fact, it's just Prime.

. :MAXIMAL: :PREDACON: :MAXIMAL: :PREDACON: out of :MAXIMAL: :PREDACON: :MAXIMAL: :PREDACON: :MAXIMAL:

Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes
Date: Saturday, April 2nd 2016 11:25am CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 39,265

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 Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (Air Vehicles)

As we previously witnessed, cybertronian alt modes can be a very lazy excuse for a subpar alt mode that looks like a mishmash of robot parts. To counter that, I wanted to showcase the amazing designs that Takara and Hasbro came up with when exploring the cybertronian aesthetic and how an amazing cybertronian alt mode could result in an equally impressive robot mode. After all, these are the default looks of these characters on their home planet by definition, so it's interesting to see when designers go all out to give the best representation of said character. Since there are so many great toys out there, I divided this between land vehicle alt modes, which we discussed last time, and this week's list which focuses on cybertronian air vehicle alt modes.


5. Transformers Energon Megatron

While Megatron has turned into cybertronian spaceships quite a few times to the point where it is now one of his staple alt modes, next to a tank and gun, this was the very first time he had one and the best so far. It is such a departure for the character. I love how utterly alien it is, like an 80s Lego Spaceship (SPACESHIPS!) set, especially with the wings split open, which is also reminiscent of the X-Wing. I also love how massive and chunky this toy is in robot mode which plays a nice contrast to the sleek and narrow nosecone while preserving the impression of Megatron’s power. The homages to Galvatron are outstanding and have been brought up in another list. They even have a purple redeco which is one of the most faithful and best Galvatron toy made so far.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes


4. Transformers Cybertron Sideways (Galaxy Force Noise Maze)

This guy’s design is literally out of this world. That robot mode looks like nothing Hasbro/Takara has ever done or will ever do; he’s like a demonic Gundam figure from hell. He is also an amazing example at showing how you can make a cool looking spaceship which integrates its entire alt mode into the robot, and his alt mode doesn’t look like a jet on a robot’s back. The way the abdomen transforms is unique and he accomplishes a long tried gimmick of having wings become swords. What I like best about him is how his robot and alt mode depend on one another to function and yet both have their own unique accomplished look.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes


3. Transformers Cybertron Vector Prime

While the robot mode is really great and gives him the appearance of a wise and powerful wizard, the alt mode is simply a knockout. This toy was initially supposed to be based on the Star Wars Sith Infiltrator but that was just a starting point and the design evolved over time to give us this magnificent ship. There are a few other possible homages maybe at play with this ship. I spot tiny similarities between him and the “Last Autobot” from Marvel’s G1 comics, which was also a guardian appointed by Primus. I also love how this alt mode is just covered in intricate sculpting. There are piles and piles of gears interconnected all over the surface of the vehicle. These are joined by a series of curved and intricate cut lines that look like the mysterious characters found on Beast Machines Optimus Primal's chest (from the RID line). All these details help sell Vector Prime's ancient appearance and link with Primus. These details also look like a clock’s gears which refer to both his age and his position as guardian of time. Aside from all this beauty, he also has the best and least intrusive minicon integration, along with brilliant weapon storage (more on that in another list) and a quick but fun transformation. At this point, ranking these picks from 1-3 was almost arbitrary since he is a superb transformer toy and has a cybertronian vehicle mode which is really hard to beat.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes


2. Transformers Universe - Classics 2.0 Cyclonus

This toy is so slick. It accomplishes the sleek robot mode and cybertronian jet mode with minimal kibble present in either. It is usually hard to engineer a nosecone out of a robot mode which is why it is usually part of the robot mode design or brought to the back, as is the case with Energon Megatron. However, for this toy, the engineers were clever enough to have the nosecone fold into the robot chest as well as an extra telescoping mechanism. You end up with a toy that looks like Cyclonus just jumped right out of a G1 episode and onto your desk.
Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes

1. Transformers Galaxy Force Starscream

This is such a smart and stellar cybertronian alt mode that I just could not place it any lower than number 1. The vehicle mode is a great homage to both the cybertronian tetra-jet of G1 and Don Figueroa's design for Generation 1 Starscream in Dreamwave's The War Within, while being it’s own unique design at the same time. I even feel it has a semblance to the Star Wars Star Destroyer due to how it is more flat than the two other source points, and that look is power incarnate. What I love so much about this toy is how both the vehicle and robot mode share the same cybertronian body and yet look totally accomplished and unique from one another. This results in a very simple transformation that yields amazing results. There is no jet on top of the robot, the robot IS the Jet. While his vehicle mode evokes power, that same notion is incorporated in the robot mode giving him a very regal appearance with a lot of bulk, especially around the shoulder area. Of all the bodies Starscream has had, this is one where I could totally see take Megatron head on and lead the Decepticons. He also has the least bothering exposed head which is not conspicuous or evident and works well with the highly detailed alt mode, as well as an equally unobtrusive cyberkey gimmick which gives him energon swords which always flip out unobstructed. It’s too bad the initial version of this toy never made it outside Japan, but luckily Hasbro saw the potential of this mold and used it for a few other decos, making it a phenomenal seeker mold. I wish they didn’t stop at just Dirge though.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes


Honorable Mentions: The main one I struggled to keep on the list was Beast Machines Jetstorm.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes
Transformers Beast Machines Jetstorm Gallery

The Transformers era with the most of these cybertronian air vehicles would have to be G1 and while that is for a very specific audience (and another list), I cannot help but find some designs just outright amazing. The one I would like to point out is Scattershot. He shares a lot of the same points Energon Megatron had. I love how his alt mode has a central cannon that is principle to that mode and distracts from any robot kibble one might notice (like the legs). The fact that the cannon can open up and serve as a cannon for a battle station mode all while this toy is also a torso for a scramble city combiner is just gravy.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Air Vehicle Alt Modes
Transformers G1 1987 Scattershot Gallery

New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting
Date: Friday, April 1st 2016 2:03pm CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 22,782

While we have already covered Wave 3 of the Transformers Robots in Disguise Mini-Cons, we have yet to give you galleries of the Wave 2 offering. This wave consisted of Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting. Collecting all four gave you the necessary pieces to put together a cool energon shark figure. This is the last wave to give such a bonus and it is surprising that this feature was not shown in the instructions when it seems well thought out and well executed. These minicons work with either Deployers Drift or Fracture depending on the shape.

Transformers: Robots In Disguise Ratbat

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting


Transformers: Robots In Disguise Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting


Transformers: Robots In Disguise Velocirazor

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting


Transformers: Robots In Disguise Beastbox

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

Transformers News: New Galleries: Robots In Disguise Mini-Cons Wave 2 Ratbat, Beastbox, Velocirazor, and Sandsting

IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Date: Wednesday, March 30th 2016 12:59am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): IDW, Va'al

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 26,810

Always Two There Are...
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
"If you want to break someone—mentally, physically, emotionally—wait until they're happy. Let them live and love and thrive. Once they recognize the value of a life well lived... THAT'S when you move in for the kill. Because you can't take anything from someone who has nothing to lose." --Tarn

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Promises


Story

There is one big story being told here, and it's quite clear who the main character is - despite what Rodimus may think, what the various pairings have brought, this is now Megatron's tale, and his relationship with the Decepticon credo, its precepts, its inception, its ultimate corruption and downfall, and how all that reflects back onto him through his greatest admirer and follower: Tarn.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Sorry Rodders


If the main story concerns Megatron, his decisions and his past and present colliding, there are so many other spotlights allowed across the entire cast, especially on the Lost Light/Team Rodimus side. Swerve and Ten, in particular (but not just them), get some excellent advancement in their own personal arcs, especially the latter.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Ten, ten ten, Teeen


And then we have the other side, the freakily, scarily, horrifyingly charismatic leader of the DJD, and the expression of what Megatron has been in the eyes, minds and lives of innumerable lives across the galaxy: Tarn. We begin - begin - to see what will be coming soon in the arc, and the tension is really just kept to build and strain.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Ooh, morbid!


The moments are heartfelt, there are tough choices and decisions, and even tougher talks to be had. The tension is still building up, and there is no resolution as yet of course, but this issue takes the story into some heavy territories, while drawing on some narrative beats we have encountered before in James Roberts' writing, and this series in particular.

Art

Alex Milne brings some excellent composition to the table, for the issue. We have several shots of ensembles, but the solo poses are probably some of the best in a while in this run, and not just for the major players in the game. We get magnificent layouts, linework, plus strained cheerfulness for Swerve, some actual affection shown among the crew, and some of the saddest/most mortified Megatrons around.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
All together now!


The emotional turmoil running through Megatron and the Lost Lighters, even with Swerve and Whirl, is particularly highlighted by the impressive colouring and lighting contrasts, deftly deployed by Joana Lafuente. Once again, and yes, I'm falling into repetition, Tarn and Megatron get some nice specular and parallel treatments, in terms of how shadows fall (and who casts them), and the whole book carries the weight of it.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Ominous shadowwwwsss


While a lot of the action is contained to the initial pages, even just the title page is a wonderful example of what Tom B. Long's good lettering can do to a book. I mean, look at the first image of this review. There are a number of instances where the font and letters make or break a panel, again, still, always. As for covers, I am still wondering where the colourist credit for the Andrew Griffith (gorgeous) Tarn variant, but we also get Livio Ramondelli's first venture in DJD territory (thumbnailed) and the regular, terrifying slot with Alex Milne and Josh Perez.



Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

You will have noticed, I have used mostly images from the public preview in this review - there are some many excellent pages and panels that I'd rather readers took time and space to enjoy themselves, I didn't want to ruin the experience. One passage in particular is almost moving, and the writing and visuals are a masterful blend to convey the number of emotions (particularly on one side of the spectrum) in the book.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Still not showing - have an explosion


As fellow critical comics reader ScottyP said to me, as I was preparing the review: The Hype Was Real. This is a truly well done, well thought out, well crafted book, touching on all the major themes that the series has explored so far, and venturing into a new one altogether, with some returning elements that were almost left to one side, and some that have been a long way coming.

. :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: - out of :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN:

Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special
Date: Sunday, March 27th 2016 5:44am CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Transtopia
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): Transtopia

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Views: 26,639

It took several months, a number of server crashes, lost images, chomped posts and loss of patience this side of the screen - but we're back, we're topical, and we have a botload of customs, artwork, comics, fiction, robots, robits, robats for all of you to enjoy this Sunday! No surprises, but plenty of tasty tasty work coming out of Transtopia - make sure to comment if you like what you see!


CUSTOMIZATIONS

Klejpull - MTMTE Nautica Replica

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Noideaforaname - Shockwave 40k

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


wewyllenium - ROTF Shockwave

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


HipHoptimusRhyme - HA Leadfoot

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


ShockBlade501 - CW Shockwave Hose | CW Ironhide G1 Chest

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Cobotron - CW Wheeljack

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


CommanderShadowmus - FoC Optimus

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


VonDoom - Pipes

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Starsaber468 - Customs




ebay - TFA Thundercracker

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Kanrabat - DOTM Shackwave

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


BUILDING BOTS

Zod Convoy - Kreopaloosa

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Hellscream9999 - Lego Combiners

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


alanyap - Lego Breastforce Killbison

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


SHAPEWAYS STUFF

HaVaNa7 - Custom cassette

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Delta Magnus - DM Shapeways

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


FAN ART

Noideaforaname - Skylynx

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


NeonPrime - WWII Galvatron

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special



M3Gr1ml0ck - Regeneration Plus #4 | SoD Metroplex |

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


NightmareHero - Galvatron Warship

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Verno - TransWarp Ravage #1

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


txs-1089 - Fan Art

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Bryan Sevilla - Abominus

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


SillySpringer - TF Art

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


IamRoaM - Fan Art Randoms

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


bdixonarts - Art Folder

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Demonology7789 - Art

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Shinobi Rendar - TFP Crosscut

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


FAN-FICTION

Henry921 - Darklander Matrix Epilogue


TheUltimateBum - Regeneration One Fanfic


DigitalBrave3 - The Windblade Saga


PHOTO BLITZ

leokearon - Digibashes

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


MagnusLabel - TF Albums

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


MadeusPrime - Autobots and Decepticons Living Together

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


Shauyaun - Photos and Comics

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special


keelo1027 - Cooking with Grimlock | Pics

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Mega Round-Up - Easter 2016 Special

Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Land Vehicle Alt Modes

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Land Vehicle Alt Modes
Date: Saturday, March 19th 2016 8:03am CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 49,006

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 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (Land Vehicles)

As we witnessed a few weeks ago, cybertronian alt modes can be a very lazy excuse for a subpar alt mode that looks like a mishmash of robot parts. To counter that, I wanted to showcase the amazing designs that Takara and Hasbro came up with when exploring the cybertronian aesthetic and how an great cybertronian alt mode could result in an equally impressive robot mode (hence why Cybertron Override isn't on the list). After all, these are the default looks of these characters on their home planet by definition, so it's interesting to see when designers go all out to give the best representation of said character. It turns out that there were so many good designs and toys that I had to split this up between two lists, one for the best cybertronian land vehicles (which is what we will start with) and one for the best air vehicles (which will come next).


10. Transformers Animated Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime

Burn said it best for this toy:
"I was never a fan of (Animated) aesthetic, but for the Cybertron forms it worked well and embraced one of the things I love about Transformers. The fact that they're an advanced alien life form. And this guy encompassed that look, sleek, and futuristic."

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


9. Transformers War For Cybertron Cybertronian Megatron

I just love it when a cybertronian tank doesn’t mean a robot spreading his limbs out to form a hap hazard H tank and/or sticking his head out (like so many other Megatron or Shockwave toys). Instead, here, you have a very compact weapon of war with a giant cannon and dual purpose treads that make better thrusters for some light vertical jumps when brought under the vehicle (replicating what was seen in the video game). These treads then have a fun transformation of folding onto one another to make some bad ass forearms (and connect the hand pieces). It’s a great look and a breath of fresh air for all other tank Megatrons.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

8.Transformers Cybertron Crumplezone (Land Bullet)

When it comes to cybertronian alt modes, this guy cannot be ignored. It is a perfect combination of both strength and speed with a sleek alt mode that is also massive and powerful looking, especially with the giant cannons that spring out. The Japanese name for this toy really encompasses that cool combination of power and speed by calling him Land Bullet. That contrast really comes full circle when you realize that the sleek and long vehicle becomes a brawler type robot with huge forearms and a wide chest. I love that rockbiter-like head sculpt (where the jaw moves as his head turns). This toy also has one of the best retools ever with Dark Crumplezone (called Arm Bullet in Japan) which has every single part redone for a totally new look.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


7. Transformers Animated Cybertron Mode Ratchet

It is so fun when designers have a field day with cybertronian modes. This mold is one of those fun occasions where we can see what these alien robots actually looked like back on their planet. As you might guess, it is unlike anything you would find on Earth. I really like how removed this quadrupedal vehicle is from Ratchet’s Earth mode while still giving you an idea of why he would pick a van as an alt mode on Earth. This has more of a tortoise design which indicates a greater importance on maneuverability than speed, which works very well for a rescue mission. In the end, I just love how this is a really heartfelt attempt at designing an otherworldly ground vehicle that isn’t simply the robot mode in some funny position. What’s great is that you still end up with a robot mode that is very similar to the one found on Earth mode Ratchet. This subtly adds an extra layer to the mechanics of Transformers where the scanning mechanism results in a greater change to the alt mode than the robot mode. That’s amazing!

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)



6. Transformers Cybertron Megatron (Master Megatron) Gallery

This guy is all about the alt mode. Sure, the robot mode is fine aside from balancing issues with his monstrous shins, but seriously, you get this guy for the alt mode. This gives us the answer to the ultimate question "What would the Batmobile look like on Cybertron?" It would look awesome, that's what! And like I said, Megatron is no slouch in robot mode either. For one, the intricate detailing makes it seem like he is wearing Unicron's armour. Look at the circuity and circular details on his shoulders, for instance, which are also found on Unicron. He also shares that spike motif along his arms. In short this is just a great beefy Transformer who's bigger size just means more detail, with a very satisfying and intuitive transformation and loads of articulation.

Also, just a heads up: the "Just us geeks" website named this as one of the top 5 Transformer toys of all time in 2012.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


5. Beast Machines Tankor

This is quite the underrated toy with loads of non intrusive gimmicks (like hidden saw blades) and the very best light piping ever. Firstly, they actually went out of their way to make the toy better and more fun than the intended cartoon model by giving it two separate and different looking heads when they could have been boring and just have the tank stand up with the same head (as was done later in the Generations line, sometimes cartoon accurate means more dull). In the show though, this head is (sadly) the same and thus it scans the environment in both modes which is shown as a red dot going from side to side on his visor. Well, this toy replicates that by having a nob which turns so that a slit in the light piping moves from side to side, making it look like he is scanning. This works for both the tank head and the robot head, and better yet, they are interconnected so that both gimmicks are activated at the same time. It’s also a solid and bulky toy with a fun transformation that is more complex and satisfying than the more show accurate toy.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


4. Transformers Animated Arcee

We often get sleeker versions of earth based cars (like Cybertron Hotshot) that don't capitalize on the potential of designing vehicles from other worlds. This one totally fits the bill though. Unlike so many other alt modes, it bravely crosses the line between being a futuristic design to a full blown cybertronian one. It is a great homage to G1 Arcee which is followed through in robot mode and I like the added massive spoilers in the back. That detail gives it enough variation from the traditional Arcee model. Too bad it has exposed hands in vehicle mode though. Props go for it having that signature Arcee backpack without going the easy route and making this a shellformer.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


3. Transformers Generations / Legends Arcee

Animated Arcee might be great but this one tops it. This cybertronian cruiser is very sleek and definitely otherworldly. I love how compact it is and perfectly aero dynamic yet not necessarily designed for speed. It’s just a summer loving convertible from a different world. It rolls super well too and there isn’t any extraneous robot kibble. However, that is due to it being a shellformer but the shell does fold in onto itself at the midsection recreating the G1 look very well. It is great to see a deluxe come with so many accessories and different places to store them in both robot mode and vehicle mode (the vehicle mode storage where Arcee’s robot hands hold a gun into place is really clever). While this is not a masterpiece, it looks exactly like the G1 cartoon model. Especially with the softer Takara deco which looks like it is made of delicious candy. For those who don’t know, this is the only toy from this line (Thrilling 30) to be designed partly by Takara instead of simply Hasbro. Since this is the very first toy of G1 Arcee, Takara felt it would be a disservice for it to be an update to her G1 self, which is the theme of the Generations line (and all the other “classics” lines.) So they stepped in and made her design reflect her G1 self as much as they could. That dedication and passion makes this toy extra special.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


2. Transformers Generations War For Cybertron Cybertronian Optimus Prime

I LOVE this toy. This is one of the last great stand alone deluxes we have gotten. It’s massive in size, as intricate/complex as any Transformer toy can get (regardless of size class) without being frustrating, has plenty of smart paint apps, looks really close to the game model, has great plastic with a really fun shine to it, and was sold at a deluxe price point. It also sports an awesome looking cybertronian alt mode. I find this design so smart. Optimus wouldn’t be a truck with a trailer on Cybertron but the designers found a way to still give him an alt mode that screams Optimus yet also scream Cybertron at the same time. I love how smooth the front half of this armoured vehicle is. It is very alien and original. What I am most impressed with is how the smooth surface is actually made up of a bunch of smaller segments which fasten to one another very well to give the illusion that his armour is one uninterrupted shell. It could have been so easy for Takara’s engineers to just make him a shellformer but they instead opted to find places along his limbs to integrate his alt mode’s smooth panels. I find that incredible.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


1. Transformers Animated Rodimus Minor

This is a perfect toy, especially for a deluxe scale. Unlike the G1 and classics toy, the designers really go out of their way to give this that extra cybertronian flare, which works since the character was on Cybertron in the show. So instead of the alt mode being a futuristic Countach, it has more of an alien look with a lot of curves and undulations replacing the sharp edges. I especially like the dashboard area which looks more like a dome atop a vehicle, thanks to the clear plastic found on every side. I really hear John Hammond saying “no expenses spared” when looking at this toy, especially from the side where I see the designers went out of their way to have details on separate pieces line up to make it seem like the exhaust pipes are running all across the back portion. That is of course in addition to the excellent paint apps, use of clear plastic, double projectile weapon, as well as ball jointed wrists and feet providing maximum articulation (a far cry from most deluxes since). The transformation is also quite ingenious, especially the bit where they store the front wheels into his chest piece to make him look just like his cartoon model (which was designed before the toy). In fact, this toy was actually used as the starting point for MP Rodimus, just to give you an idea at how highly this toy is regarded by designers.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)


Honourable Mentions: So many cybertronian Tanks!!!!!!!

This is a top 10 so there was enough space to mention everyone that had a simultaneously great cybertronian land vehicle mode and robot mode without resorting to any transformer doing yoga and calling that a mode. The ones that get lost in the crack are those who have great robot modes but subpar alt modes where being "cybertronian" is more of an excuse for an alt mode being the secondary focus and for some reason, it's usually tanks. The two I included are to me, the best cybertronian tanks, because they do something different and original, in their transformation and their look. The rest follow a similar formula. The legs spread out to become the treads, the arm(s) becomes the cannon(s) and the head floats around somewhere, always visible. While Revenge of the Fallen Megatron is a great example of this, there are way better toys to honour here that arent as lazily designed such as Titanium Fallen, Robots in Disguise Megatronus, Prime Shockwave and Animated Shockwave. That later toy is an engineering marvel since it has two identities where each distinct robot mode has a "distinct" alt mode. While the change from one robot mode to the next is amazing (as can be seen below), the alt modes had to remain simple. So not the greatest alt mode(s), but great robot mode(s) and a great toy to own.

Same with The Fallen. He does something pretty cool where that extra kibble in the back (with painted flames to represent the fire burning in him at all times) helps make an easy transformation where most of the robot limbs are reused but to fill in the tank with the treads adding alt mode specific detail in the outside. Both the sculpt detail and stellar deco work hand in hand giving you an impression of the Fallen burning like a furnace from within himself.

As for Prime Shockwave and Robots in Disguise Megatronus, the fact that these two tanks pretty much use the exact same parts for both modes means the tanks are super sleek while there is very little extraneous kibble in robot mode. However, it does mean that there is a lack of new detail in either mode and robot parts (especially the heads) can be seen in tank mode.

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers News: Top 10 Best Transformers Toys with Cybertronian Alt Modes (land vehicles)

Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment
Date: Thursday, March 17th 2016 8:16am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles, Editorials
Posted by: ScottyP | Credit(s): ScottyP

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 30,229

Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment
(Or: I Swear This Isn't a Site Article)
(Unless Va'al swoops in on Alpha Bravo and makes it so...)
(Which just happened.)


Note: This article is an editorial, and as such, it reflects the views of the authors and the author alone. Much like our reviews, top lists and other articles, it is not indicative of Seibertron.com, the site owner, or the staff.

The Transformers: Deviations one-shot came out this week and I was extremely excited about this book. I love the 1986 The Transformers: The Movie with a passion, and any addition to its lore, imagery, and self-contained universe is something I jump at with fervor.

There's a reason this movie has withstood the test of time. It's likely most accurate to say that there are a multitude of extremely good reasons this has happened and not just one on its own. From the iconic music (whether or not you enjoy it ironically being outside the scope of things here) to the sublime voice cast to animation that put the weekly TV series to shame, this movie's lasting appeal is one of a hundred factors responsible for the brand's sustained success. Success which, it should be noted, has far surpassed a majority (though not all) of the 80s and 90s nostalgia act properties that have gone away for a time then re-emerged into current pop-culture awareness. TF:TM as I'll call it a lot from here on out was the first time the brand evolved, and it did so in the most amazing way for me.

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment


I should really elaborate on some of those points in regards to TF:TM a bit more. First, to get it out of the way since I've already brought it up perhaps somewhat pointlessly, the music in TF:TM is a time capsule of everything 80s movie soundtracks did, for better or worse. This helps give the movie some lasting appeal. Since the ultimate point of this article is about a comic book which inherently doesn't get a musical element, that's all that will be said about that.

The voice cast for the original movie was comprised of a great mix of the talents from the Sunbow cartoon, interspersed with Hollywood stars such as Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Idle, Orson Welles, and even the pop-culture star John Moschitta - the "Micro Machines Guy". Some could say it's odd to bring this up when setting the frame for why a comic disappointed me, and there's some merit to that. This said, the "voice" of a comic is found through elements such as the art, coloring, scripting, and even the letters. More on this later.

Same goes for the animation of TF:TM and the merits of bringing that up as a comparison element in this writing. While a comic is by the very nature of its own medium a static entity in visual presentation, recent works have set the bar extremely high for pencil, ink, flat, and coloring work, with outliers in quality usually relating more to stylistic choice rather than, well, any perceived quality.

Hopefully this has so far established the level on which I revere 1986's Transformers movie. If it didn't, hopefully that "revere" word tells you what the last few paragraphs may not have. I really, truly consider TF:TM to be that era's magnum opus for Transformers material, as it hits almost every beat in perfect harmony with what you'd expect out of Transformers while being simultaneously fun, scary, tragic, celebratory, uplifting, depressing, piquing, and imaginative.

Given this, works that have come out over the years which have expanded on or had fun with TF:TM have been both welcome and fantastic. We've had DVD commentaries expand greatly on the production and decisions made through out it. We've had the amazing material unearthed and preserved by Paul Hitchens, whose YouTube channel is the gift that keeps on giving. Then there was the 20th Anniversary's retelling of the movie from IDW Publishing. While more or less faithful to the original work, this gave us something extremely cool: a two-page spread showing Omega Supreme, Superion, and Defensor defending The Ark from a Decepticon attack staged by Menasor and Bruticus. Retcons can be dubious, but this one was quick, effective, and satisfying.

It hasn't all been perfect either. Let's not forget the "Battle in Space" toy pack-in comic from 6 years ago, which had additional canonical material involving Tracks, Grapple, and Warpath, and while that wasn't the best in production either it's also not something anyone wanted me to spend extra money on. The set cost the same as two deluxe toys did at the time anyway, and now I can imagine that those guys had something going on during all that. Autocracy also did some fun stuff with the iconic Optimus v. Megatron battle, though that was more homage (in fact) and Flint Dille apologizing (in tone) than anything else. Even then, that was also only dedicated to a few pages of a work that was setting out to accomplish something completely different.

I could keep listing examples of works inspired in ways good and bad by TF:TM for eons, but that's not what this is for. Suffice it to say that if you need any objective measure of its impact, look no further than the amount of times Transformers fiction will trot out lines such as "One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall."

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment


This all leads us to the announcement of Transformers: Deviations. Part of a series of one-shot comics for various properties for which IDW has licensing rights, the Transformers iteration of this little side non-canon "What If?" series was going to deal with The Transformers: The Movie and the pivotal battle between eternal rivals Optimus Prime and Megatron. As anyone reading this site is surely aware, Megatron not only defeats Optimus Prime, but kills him, albeit not right there on the spot. Optimus survives on an operating table long enough to pass the Autobot Matrix of Leadership on to Ultra Magnus. All the while, Hot Rod, the Autobot that many Transformers fans "blame" for Optimus' death just because he failed at run-in interference during that fateful battle, stands by observing.

The rest, is silence. Er, the rest is history. Sorry, Beast Wars Anniversary and all that on the brain.

Deviations' premise is set to have fun with history and imagine what would have happened had Optimus Prime lived through this encounter. This is immediately where disappointment started to creep in upon publication of the book's standard preview pages released online in advance of its print publication today. The most predictable thing to do is to say "well, guess Optimus would have killed Megatron if he hadn't died himself, right?" That's ok though, predictable stories can still be entertaining and there's still a whole world of interesting paths to take beyond that with the rest of the movie's material. Still, from the outset the book pigeonholes itself into path B leading to path C, when instead path B could have lead to paths D, E, F, G, 42, Z, Primax 1023.1 Alpha - really anything at all.

If you can't tell, my biggest gripe with this book is the story. I'll come back to it to wrap things up, but let's get the production elements out of the way.

The colors, letters, and in fact most all of the art is fantastically done and lives up to the legacy of TFTM to which it will be compared. These parts of the book's "voice" are, generally, very good. The disappointment sets in with a handful of pages/panels where the pencils and inks are just not the quality one would expect from a real talent like Tramontano. The inconsistency is even more glaring when I think about how really, truly beautifully done some other parts of this comic are. If this is due to deadlines happening then I can forgive.

Let's pause to consider some of the worst offenders in inconsistent style such as:
  1. Leaving off Astrotrain's wing upon takeoff on Page 6
  2. Ultra Magnus' downright weird looking glare on Page 7
  3. The entirety of pages 20 and 21
  4. The downright goofy looking Rodimus Prime in the last two panels of the book
If these were stylistic choices, then in my opinion they were poor ones. I could find more, but again, the production of the book outside of plot/story and dialogue really aren't the big issues that led to my disappointment.

It's the story. It's the characterization. Deviations stopped being a fun "what if" and turned into the worst kind of parody, and it did so in one glaring moment: the first time Ultra Magnus speaks. This is where the voice of the comic got overridden despite many of its other elements being sound. The message behind the voice wasn't of reverence, it wasn't of disregard for one factor (big as it may be) of the original story, it was one of bitter disregard for what had otherwise followed Optimus' death in TF:TM.

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment


If you're going to change an existing story based on one element, in this case Optimus Prime and Megatron's fates being swapped, and then choose to start things out en medias res then you better approach the setting of the rest ceteris paribus. Or at the very least, honor the little bit that came before that was not re-written. Magnus' first words to Hot Rod felt wrong. Off. They just weren't a thing this Ultra Magnus would say. Would Kup? Yes, so why didn't he?

Changing gears to paint my disappointment another way, I'll admit, I really did enjoy Megascream. I really wanted to like this book and I really tried to have fun with it. I kept trying to have fun with it when the Dinobots pre-emptively attacked the Sharkticons, or when the Decepticons combined just like Trailcutter told us they would for no reason, or when Unicron just sort of snacked on dead Decepticons such as Thundercracker and Skywarp instead of reformatting them.

Yet this is where the disappointment mounted and the book started to spiral into a bad place for me. For every Megascream there was cringeworthy dialogue meant to evoke TF:TM that instead bastardized the original intent of the words. For every Dinobot attack there was the underlying pointlessness of their presence on Quintessa and a potentially super fascinating storyline with Kranix of Lithone (which couldn't even get spelled correctly - and it was done twice so tell the wiki folks to put that one under "errors") that was dropped like a hot potato. For every Decepticon combiner there was confusing scene building accompanied with overly busy layouts. What Moon Base got eaten? One? I think? For every Unicron snack, there was the realization that this "What if" was not a well-informed, "pick up the ball and run with it" dream engagement for the author, it was an indictment on the movie I love so dearly.

"Indictment" is a rather strong word, and maybe it isn't the right one since I don't think there was any ill intent, but that's really how it came across to me emotionally. Clever dialogue turned shallow. Alien worlds humming with the otherworldly imaginings of Floro Dery instead used as mere set pieces for your Action To Come After These Messages. Fascinating, fun new characters like Springer and Arcee thrown into the Planet Junkion in a flaming, doomed Autobot shuttle, barely to be mourned. At least they got to show up at all, and at least then without having their characters assassinated.

That's the other part where I felt like this book was an indictment of its forebear: the complete and gratuitous character assassination of Hot Rod.

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment


If you didn't like Hot Rod as a kid, I understand. If you don't like him now, I understand. Hell, my wife doesn't like Hot Rod. "Hot Rod's a punk bitch" is probably what she'd tell you, or something to that effect. All the same, the best versions of Hot Rod through the years all make you "love him or hate him" but they keep one factor pretty consistent: he's competent and brave. While Deviations hits the brave factor, it does so while putting Hot Rod into the part of The Fool. The Hot Rod one should expect here is the one that yes, indeed, shot at the attacked shuttle carrying the Decepticons into Autobot City, but that Hot Rod knew what he was shooting at. That Hot Rod had a plan when trying to help Optimus while he fought Megatron, even if it backfired. That Hot Rod had a semblance of leadership skills, and could bank a shuttle into a safe crash onto Quintessa then regroup and find his friends, "And then save Cybertron!"

This Hot Rod insults fallen comrades, makes shuttle damage worse to the point where the thing explodes, has to be told to get Daniel to safety, then runs in and saves the day at the last minute by a stroke of luck and not of guts and will like the Hot Rod that defeats Galvatron within Unicron's innards. Then he dies so he can personally redeem his earlier failure, because he's so incompetent this time that he can't escape? What even happened there?

At the end of my reading of the book, I felt the tinge that every geek like me into any Sci-Fi property does from time to time of what's colloquially known as "nerd rage". I had to take a few hours to calm down from this to collect my thoughts on what exactly I didn't like, because I could certainly "nerd rage" for hours and not do anyone any good in the process.

But after some days of processing it and then re-reading my paper copy today, I was able to distill my disappointment and find its source. The author of this book was well intended, and was clearly just trying to have fun, but ultimately penned an indictment on one of the Transformers franchise's most important works. If you're going to just have fun, go hire Tom Scioli to do the art and go absolutely crazy, then I can follow the intention. The accompanying poor dialogue choices, inconsistent art, and sometimes positively confusing scene building makes this a book I won't look back fondly on, rebuy three times, and pine for years for more like Last Stand of the Wreckers, it makes it something I'll file away and never read again like Continuum.

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment


There's a certain subset of Transformers fans that will love this book. Some of them are on this site, hell even in this very thread. Enjoy it. This is your G1, the version that basically doesn't exist after early 1986. This book is for you and this post is my last word on it, because no one likes a hater.

But for me? I enjoy the rich history of all soon-to-be 32 years of The Transformers. Ups and downs alike, I can find something to enjoy. I found some things to enjoy in this book that I never want to read again! While I can appreciate the idea of Deviations, the execution of the book left me so bitterly disappointed that it led to a realization. That is this: the creative team behind The Transformers: The Movie all those years ago realized that the brand had to evolve or die. Optimus dying wasn't a choice, it was a necessity. Since it's NCAA Tournament season, we'll say the franchise had to "Survive and Advance". IDW has helped some of our favorite Generation One characters survive, by advancing and evolving the narrative scope and quality of their ongoing books. Deviations is an indictment on this progress as well, and looking on social media, the loud corner that wants "G1 back", despite it being here all along, often twice a month for the past decade, wants you to go buy this book in triplicate so you can vote with your dollars.

Do that if you want, but also realize the subtle indictment it implies.

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