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Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Date: Saturday, October 29th 2016 5:14pm CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: megatronus | Credit(s): megatronus

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Views: 26,738

WELCOME!

It's your friendly neighborhood megatronus here, and I'm honored to bring you a momentous, subjective, and totally non-scientific Top 5 'Black Convoy' toys list!

Before we get into the nitty gritty, a few disclaimers. First, many modern 'Black Convoy' toys are overseas or convention exclusives (or both!), and I apologize if some of my selections are inaccessible as a result. Second, the brief history below represents my own limited knowledge - if I'm wrong on the facts, I welcome your corrections. Finally, as with all Top 5 lists, this list is solely representative of the author's opinions and sensibilities. I invite you to disagree with my choices and post your own personal favorites in the thread below.


BACKGROUND

Let's dive into a brief history and taxonomy of black Optimus Prime repaints. From my amateur perspective, the platonic ideal of 'Black Convoy' draws from 3 main sources:

History Lesson 1: 2001 C-307X Nucleon Quest Optimus Prime

Released as a TRU exclusive in Japan circa 2001, this redeco of Takara's 1988 Super Ginrai was later recolored into Fire Guts Super Ginrai (2002) and Commemorative Series II Powermaster Optimus Prime (2003). Like his brethren, Nucleon Quest Optimus Prime is a good guy; his tech spec states he's merely Convoy in sexy black undergarments:

Tech Spec wrote:Abilities: In order for him to extract the super-energy "Nucleon" that exists in black holes, his entire structure is now protected by a phase modulation shield. He can now carry out activity in super-gravitic environments.

Despite remaining the same Prime we all know and love, this impressive 'Black Convoy' introduces details that would become hallmarks of 'Black Convoy' toys to come, notably the red chest and chrome/silver accents.

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Nucleon Quest? Would could possibly go wrong???


History Lesson 2: 2001 Robots in Disguise Scourge

This character is a titan in the minds of many 'Black Convoy' collectors. He's not a Prime at all, however, but rather an entirely separate character in the vaulted Robots In Disguise cartoon of the early aughts. A protoform corrupted with Decepticon programming scanned Optimus Prime, and thusly the no-good copy cat doppelgänger Scourge emerged, to great fan fare.

Despite his grim if unoriginal (gasp! evil clone!) backstory and distinct character model (in other words, he's not a straight redeco of RID Optimus figure), Scourge is notable for his use of the G2 Optimus Prime mold - a figure ahead of its time. Plus, Scourge introduces prominent teals to the 'Black Convoy' equation.

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Stand tall, not-quite-Prime. Stand tall.


History Lesson 3: 2003 Armada Nemesis Prime

Nemesis Prime marries the simple black redeco concept a la Nucleon Quest Convoy and the evil doppelgänger aspects of Scourge (in fact, his Japanese name is 'Scourge'). Throw in a Unicronian origin (this is Transformers Armada after all) and behold! You have the makings of an epic destroyer.

Unlike RID Scourge, Armada Nemesis Prime is entity of Unicron. But, like RID Scourge, Nemesis takes form by scanning Optimus Prime, the most respected of the Transformers, and becoming his duplicate. Plus, Nemesis can reconstruct himself - he's one bad mama jama.

Nemesis blends design cues from both Nucleon Convoy AND Scourge - we now have the teals and red chest in a single glorious repaint. Well, actually, multiple repaints; the Nemesis Prime character would see other black, red, and teal incarnations within his native Unicron Trilogy continuity (*cough* Universe Nemesis Prime *cough* (2003) *cough*), grounding the Nemesis character into the fandom's collective consciousness.

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Will you be my Nemesis?


The rest... is history!

Did I say history? What I meant was complicated. The rest is complicated.

Post-Armada, a gaggle of 'Black Convoy' toys took on a muted teal and blue deco reminiscent of Scourge's infamous RID cartoon appearance. That's right, I'm looking at you, Nightwatch Optimus Prime (2008), Binaltech Nemesis Prime (2007) and SDCC Nemesis Prime (2008). Interestingly, the two Nemesis bios introduced non-Unicronian origins by way of Dr. Arkeville and Straxus, respectively, further muddling the difference between the formerly distinctive Scourge and Nemesis Prime characters.

After this blue period, out came MP1B Masterpiece Optimus Prime Black Version (2009). This figure dons the Nemesis deco, but, like Nightwatch Prime, it's not evil. It's an, err, Eldedroid. Or something.

Since MP1B, Nemesis-decoed Optimi have cropped up every now and then, including TA-01 Optimus Prime Black Ver. (2010), DOTM Jetwing Optimus Prime Black Ver. (2011), and AoE Black Knight Optimus Prime (2015). Good black Optimus Primes also occasionally assume a black, gold, and blue deco, as per ROTF Optimus Prime Black Ver. (2009) and the more recent Elite Guard Optimus Prime (from the TF:Prime first edition voyager).


Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Nope. Not evil.

But, yes! Even after all that mishigas, evil 'Black Convoy' toys since 2009 have generally rolled up a Scourge-type evil clone backstory in a straight Nemesis-style repaint. There are exceptions (i.e. Lawson exclusives), but black, red, and teal dominate the 'Black Convoy' scene - be it a Nemesis, Scourge, Dark Side, or even just a boring (but beautiful), run-of-the-mill black version of Optimus Prime.


THE LIST

Finally, dear readers, we arrive at the main event - the list of Top 5 'Black Convoy' toys!

Behold! That long slog did not go to waste; it makes my explanation of inclusion criteria that much simpler. You see, for the purposes of this list, I will only consider 'Black Convoys' that check the following two boxes:

***Predominantly black, teal, and red color scheme
***Wicked... looking - that is to say, they may be Autobot aligned, but I could reasonably fudge them for inclusion on a Nemesis shelf for their sheer bad-ass-ery.

To the list!


#5: AD-31B Movie Advanced Black Knight Optimus Prime

The simplified style of AOE (a conversation best left for another day) gave us an underwhelming Leader Class Optimus Prime: smaller, lighter, and less complex. Takara jumped on the opportunity, and remolded Optimus's chest, gave him articulated wrists & hands, and bequeathed him a brand new head sculpt with an interchangeable face. In so doing, Takara saved this figure in the hearts and minds of many collectors.

Then, they painted him black.

Still an Autobot, sure. But now this is an Optimus worthy of "GIVE ME YOUR FACE!" Between the Takara upgrades, sharp deco, translucent red weapons, and a mean looking face, this figure quickly became one of my favorite 'Black Convoy' toys.

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys


#4: Universe Nemesis Prime

A lot has been written about Beast Wars Neo Big Convoy - such is the fate of kibble-tastic shell-formers. But that does not change the fact that this Big Convoy redeco is a beast! Also, he plays an important in the fiction: Nemesis Prime from Armada underwent several iterations within the Unicron Trilogy continuity, and this, boys and girls, is one of them.

Not to mention that this Nemesis Prime - one of the first - is an incredibly fun toy. Between the viking-esque horns, massive gun, and blood red matrix, this surprisingly well articulated recycle of the older Beast Wares Neo figure is the perfect vessel for a bad as bones Nemesis.

Speaking of which, he gets major points for the PG13 blood on those horns, which look evil as all heck. You don't want to be caught out alone on the icy tundra, that's for sure.

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys


#3: Transformers GO! Hunter Nemesis Prime

When Optimus received his life-saving upgrade at the outset of Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters, I knew we'd get a big beefy toy to match Prime's new on-screen chassis. What I didn't realize at the time was how awesome a Nemesis Optimus's new beefy template would make.

In this age of 'big-bads' being physically bigger (and badder), having a brute of a Nemesis is wonderful. He looks tough, a look accentuated by his jagged chest spikes and Megatron-esque pylon shoulders. Nemesis's sword, which in his hands resembles more of a hatchet or machette, only enhances and rounds out this characterization. Then you have the great battle mask, a significant improvement over the original toy's Optimus face, which I can only describe, generously, as derpy. All together, this Nemesis just kills it, in the best way possible.

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys


#2: Tokyo Toy Show United Black Optimus Prime

This one's a Classic. Literally.

Coming some years off the heals of the previous reigning black Classics Prime, SDCC Nemesis Prime (see Blue Period, above), this figure updates this 'Black Convoy' with the more modern, distinctly Nemesis deco. The teals and reds pop, and the greys add some dimension to Prime's black palette.

One of the reasons I selected this figure is just how well the Classics Prime mold has held up all these years. Especially in an environment where so many current lines (Combiner Wars, Titans Return) hark back to G1, the Classics sensibility of updating characters in new ways gives this 'Black Convoy' a sense of being more a Prime look-a-like than the genuine article, which suits this sinister, Decepticon-branded evil Prime just fine on my shelf.

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys


#1: Tokyo Toy Show United Darkside Optimus Prime

Welcome to the dark side! For me, it was really no contest - I love this 'Black Convoy', a lovely and fantastically well done redeco of the War For Cybertron deluxe Optimus Prime figure.

The perennially-popular War For Cybertron design grants this Prime a uniquely organic look. From the panel lines on his battle mask, to the contours of his chest cavity, all the way down to his leg panels, this Prime exudes elegance. His flared out shoulders blend naturally with back wheel kibble that fills out his form and complements his rather graceful stature. All this, combined with a sharp-as-a-knife metallic paint job, and this Darkside 'Black Convoy' packs an out-sized punch for a relatively small deluxe figure.

And yet, with all of these wonderful design cues, we still have a mean, dark, or perhaps downright evil expression. Through the prism of his organic lines, his glare screams of a singular focus and unbridled rage. Of all of the 'Black Convoys' on my list, I consider this one to be the most dangerous. #1, all the way.

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Photo Credit: ThunderCougar @ DeviantArt


Runners Up

Yes, there were several 'Black Convoy' figures that didn't make the cut - they were lean, they were mean, but the each had something that made me say,'ehhh...' They are:

-Jetwing Optimus Prime, Black Version: this mold is awesome, this figure is awesome. You know what's not awesome? His lack of battle mask. Had to deduct some badass points for that.

-RID Scourge: yes, he's a progenitor of the 'Black Convoy' genre, and he has aged well - but still, he's a tad too old school for my tastes. I know he would easily make others' lists, just not mine.

-TFCC TFSS 1.0 -OR- LG EX Scourge: the black versions of RTS Laser Prime figure are fierce, but in a scrappy way. I have a harder time finding this mold menacing, even if he checks off several boxes.

-TA01 Animated Optimus Prime, Black Version: this figure is very nearly the complete package, but his huge Autobot symbol really throws me off. His giant axe alone made this figure the hardest call.

-MP10B Black Convoy: this mold is a benchmark in design, and he even has the molded Decepticon symbol. My issue is his head sculpt; it's too neutral, too gentle. Not evil enough - my puppy dog looks meaner than MP10B.

Transformers News: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys
Don't give me that look.



THANK YOU!

That's my list! I hope you enjoyed it.

Did I miss your favorite 'Black Convoy'? Share it with us below, and stay tuned to Seibertron.com for all the latest Transformers news, and the best galleries around!

TFSS 5.0 'Foundation and Wreckage Part 2: Lively Pursuit' Prose Story Now Online

Transformers News: TFSS 5.0 'Foundation and Wreckage Part 2: Lively Pursuit' Prose Story Now Online
Date: Monday, October 10th 2016 10:31am CDT
Categories: Digital Media News, Collector's Club News
Posted by: D-Maximus_Prime | Credit(s): TFCC

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Views: 16,775

We now have the latest prose story from the Transformers Collectors' Club, featuring a new Survivor, the Wreckers of this very interesting universe, their combined form of Wreckage (sorry, no Fall of Cybertron Ruination here; not even a Rotorstorm), and new cover art done by AK Cyrway and Erika L. Galan! You can check out the new story HERE or below.

Nexus Knight wrote:Next TCC story up! "Lively Pursuit" featuring the new Bluestreak figure- synopsis and link as follows: Wreckage gets a second lease on life after Impactor discovers an unexpected survivor.

http://www.transformersclub.com/prose/bluestreak.pdf

Transformers News: TFSS 5.0 'Foundation and Wreckage Part 2: Lively Pursuit' Prose Story Now Online

Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues
Date: Friday, October 7th 2016 2:15am CDT
Category: Toy News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): TFSource

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Views: 42,312

Can you believe it's almost been 10 years since the first Michael Bay Transformers live-action movie made its way onto the big screen, bringing the Cybertronians squarely back into the public light? It looks like Takara Tomy has definitely noticed, and is celebrating the occasion by bringing back some of the molds from the live-action toy lines, from Revenge of the Fallen, to Dark of the Moon, to Age of Extinction, with eleven figures confirmed so far in the MB line, starting with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and running through Megatron, Shockwave, Ironhide, Ratchet, Soundwave, Starscream (all at $49.99, with some discounts already), Grimlock ($59.99), Strafe ($44.99), and another Optimus Prime at the $109.99 pricepoint for good measure! Check out the images below, courtesy of site sponsor TFSource.

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers 10th Anniversary Movie Reissues

Seibertron.com Transformers Photo Challenge #16: Fan Modes

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Transformers Photo Challenge #16: Fan Modes
Date: Sunday, October 2nd 2016 2:25am CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Contests
Posted by: carytheone

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Views: 30,710

Howdy fellow Seibertronians and welcome to another round of the Seibertron.com Transformers Photo Challenge. Every challenge has a theme and suggested guidelines to follow. To participate, just post your pictures in the discussion below. The TFPC is just about having fun and is for all skill levels. Previous challenges can be found here.

It's time to put down your instructions and get creative, the theme for this challenge is fan modes. Fan modes are basically transformations created by fans (fanformations?) that can range anywhere from simple modifications of the official transformation to full blown new modes that were never intended. While other fan modes can be crazy mashups that defy faction alliance logic. Below are a few examples to stimulate the grey matter.

Generations Nightbeat has several fan modes in both bot and alt mode.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Transformers Photo Challenge #16: Fan Modes

Fall of Cybertron Blaster can be configured to resemble a Cybertronian Boombox.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Transformers Photo Challenge #16: Fan Modes

Reveal the Shield Strafe and Hunt for the Decepticons Sunspot can be combined to give Strafe a powered up almost samurai appearance.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Transformers Photo Challenge #16: Fan Modes

These are just the tip of the fan mode iceberg. It's time to put on your thinking caps because, we challenge you to setup your bots and show us what you got ;)^

IDW Publishing Revolution Reviews - The Other Titles, pt. 1

Transformers News: IDW Publishing Revolution Reviews - The Other Titles, pt. 1
Date: Friday, September 30th 2016 10:17am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Dr Va'al

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Views: 20,767

The new IDW Publishing cross-franchise event REVOLUTION is not limited to ROM the Spaceknight, the Transformers and G.I. Joe, though the latter two are probably the biggest players so far and the foundation of the setting, and the former was reintroduced into the IDW universe almost explicitly for and due to the event. Other licensed properties are part of the mix, with M.A.S.K., Micronauts and Action Man taking a little slice of the action for themselves too!

This occasional feature on Seibertron.com is a one-off (three-off?) write-up on those other titles that don't fall under the robots categories, so you may go find more comics if you like what you see. The reviews are brief, with an eye to connecting them to the wider story and what readers might enjoy coming from a Transformers perspective, so please keep that in mind. [For an alternate and more systematic look at how Revolution is currently working out, see ScottyP's comics FAQ here!]

With order then...

Micronauts #1-#6, Revolution #1


Transformers News: IDW Publishing Revolution Reviews - The Other Titles, pt. 1


Cullen Bunn, whom regular comics readers will undoubtedly recognise from several Marvel and other titles, dives deep into the Microverse, reigniting a spark in a very very old and dormant fire that not many may have remembered. However, he does so with such gusto and charm, even in the obnoxiously 80s patina that most of these properties have, that you can't help but chuckle at the interactions and overt cheese of some of the scenes. The Biounits, Acroyears, names - they just made me giggle so much, reading them in 2016. At the same time, Baron Karza is beautifully nuanced as a villain, and actually has a good characterisation through the Revolution book itself.

Bonus: Direct and unexpectedly good link to Cybertronian lore. Ties up with Transformers franchise in general, with things discussed in Titans Return, and with the covers teasing

Malus (but not really): The cheese. The name Shazraella.


M.A.S.K. Revolution #1


Transformers News: IDW Publishing Revolution Reviews - The Other Titles, pt. 1


As it hasn't had enough time to go anywhere significant, there's not really too much to say about this one-shot comic - if not that it's probably the most played down and yet the most direct in terms of how G.I. Joe and Earth in general are planning to respond to the Cybertronian contingent and the perceived threat that Optimus's annexation of the planet to the Council of Worlds constitutes for, well, us. Written by Brandon Easton, with visuals from Tony Vargas and Jordi Esquin, the book is a crisp if slightly by the numbers origin story of the Kommand at the hands of Miles Mayhem, building to some interesting dynamics with the Joe envoy Scarlett. And then, it just... stops. Which is a shame. (But will start/continue in November as its own series!)

Bonus: Ego trips all over the place.

Malus: Ego trips all over the place.

and ROM the Spaceknight #1-#3, Revolution #1
(takes place in between issues. maybe. possibly. or before.


Transformers News: IDW Publishing Revolution Reviews - The Other Titles, pt. 1


Currently running through three issues of its new ongoing series, with Chris Ryall and Christos Gage at the helm, the return of the Solstar order knight had a very promising beginning, with a bit of a plateau after the second issue hit. With a giant team taking control of the art, there are some really sweet spots visually too, but sometimes the story just doesn't hit the right beats enough to hold it all together.

Bonus: The designs (Wraiths and Rom in particular) are fantastic, and the book is the one that will providing the biggest cohesive for the various threads and titles so far, with its planet/universe wide conspiracies.

Malus: May not be one to follow too closely if it doesn't catch you immediately, and it does have a lot of Ryallisms (compare: Onyx), but that may be your thing!

Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 7 REVIEW

Transformers News: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 7 REVIEW
Date: Wednesday, September 21st 2016 5:44pm CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Reviews, Site Articles, Editorials
Posted by: Bronzewolf | Credit(s): Machinima, Go90

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Views: 30,502

Welcome, Seibrtronians, to the Combiner Wars Review Extravaganza! In a celebration of the Machinima Combiner Wars series and it's conclusion, I'll be posting episode 7's reivew and then, later today (or potentially tomorrow), I'll share my review of the finale (along with some final final thoughts) as well! It'll be one big day of celebration and thanking primus it's over. Let's look at Episode 7.


We open on Cybertron once again, and see Starscream has finally formed into his "Combiner Combiner" mode. Megatron takes a shot at him, but is thrown across the city, smashing into a building.

While Optimus runs to Megatron, Starscream deals with the amount of power he posses. He envelops him, and he explodes. Bits of the various combiners are thrown across the landscape, and a piece of Computron tries to take out Prime.
Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
Ah, Geez, Rick, what are we gonna do now?

Starscream emerges from the rubble, now only a ball of Galactic Glitter Glue with a head, and launches some missiles(?) from his shoulders(?) at the city below. Optimus and Co. dodge the incoming debris, as Starscream starts making a black hole, sucking all of his loose parts in.
Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
Pictured: Starscream

He "throws" the black hole at Optimus and Megatron, but here comes Windblade, saving the day again with her Turbine Attack, which can apparently stop the force of an inverted star.

Huh.

Never knew.
Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
I...I hate this episode

Windblade follows this up by rushing the literal Screaming Star, while he shoots what sounds to be lasers trying to connect to dial-up internet out of his mouth.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
If they lasted any longer, you would have started to hear the Windows XP boot-up noise, too

Windblade is somehow able to block the large, continuous beams of pure energy with her thin sword, but is finally taken down by a lightning blast from Starscream. She falls, many stories, and lands on the ground. Optimus and Megatron have a moment to mourn her before Starscream jumps at them, Screaming and laughing.
Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
I...I really hate this episode

Okay, Final thought time:

Why? Why? You had potential here, those couple of episodes in the middle of the series were great, compared to what has come before and after them. Why make Starscream's plot a cliche Starscream plot? You already had one of the most interesting Megatrons we've ever gotten, why couldn't you have left Starscream be and have one of the most interesting Starscreams we've ever gotten? I want you to challenge my perception of what I already know about these characters, or I want to be pleasantly surprised with a interesting continuation of what I know and love. This series can't decide which of those it wants to be, so it fails miserably at both. It's not a good new idea, or perhaps just poorly executed, and it's not a good continuation of the same old same old. What is it trying to be?
Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
-gasp- Father! Please! Help!

I think this series could have been good, (heck, it could have been great) if it would have picked a lane. As it sits, it comes across as a slapped together mess, with 0 pacing and no cohesive, understandable plot until halfway through act 4. And even then it makes no sense.

If your going to go back on your set idea of different, more civil, changed Starscream, give him a viable motive. He is literally already one of the rulers of Cybertron. He couldn't climb the latter more if he tried. He even said how he convinced the public to trust him. He's where he wants to be! Where he's always wanted to be. Why would he ruin that? Why?
Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
To be continued

Tune in later today/tomorrow when we continue our celebration and conclude the series with the review of episode eight!

And, as always, I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember it so you don-wait, wait, no. Wrong thing.

Ahem

And, as always, keep it right here, on seibertron.com for all your latest Transformers news (and reviews!).

Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Date: Saturday, September 17th 2016 9:25am CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 40,765

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 Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

We now live in a world of heavy mold reuse where at the very planning of an entire line, designers look at how they can make the most of a design and reuse elements to the point where we now even Hasbro has switched from using the word "retool" to "pretool". It sometimes brings about a negative connotation since toys may not feel as unique, even though the output of new molds remains constant. So in light of this, I would like to look back at some amazing retools we have gotten in the past showing how amazing toys have been the product of retools.


5. Transformers Adventure TAV30 Battle Grimlock

This is a perfect example of a well realized extensive retool that I would be more than happy to drop money on (and even import, in this case). Let's get one thing straight first, that initial Fall of Cybertron Grimlock mold was not great. This retool ameliorates it by reapropriating it as the definitive Grimlock for one's Robots in Disguise collection. While the paint scheme is definitely different, the mold itself is mostly completely new, changing the initial mold while keeping all the tabbing and transformation intact. Just look at the tail in this shot below:

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

There are of course totally new parts like the Dinosaur head, which really make him different looking in dino mode, but that is impressive is how they retooled the original mold to have spikes all throughout to merge the completely new parts with those that were retooled, making him seem like a totally different toy. Not only a different toy, but a toy that was made for this line, and that is the biggest credit I could give to this toy. It doesn't look out of place, and is instead more than welcome in the line up even though the base toy has nothing to do with this line or aesthetic.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys


4. Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Ultra Magnus and the Cyberverse version

This one is best explained through pictures. These toys will always amaze me for the simple reason that there were two main Ultra Magnus designs in the Prime toyline at two different scales (Voyager and Commander). In each scale, one mold was an original mold (YAY!) and one was an Optimus retool (Boo!). And yet, in both cases, the Optimus retool surpassed the original mold, both in complexity, G1 homage, toon accuracy and poseability. It was this toy that made me rethink my entire philosophy on retools and where they have a place. Below you will find Ultra Magnus next to the original mold in both alt mode and robot mode as well as the retool next to the original mold just to show you how significant it was.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys


3. Classics Conehead Seekers

These are by far the best rendition of the coneheads in terms of show accuracy, both in looks and when it comes to replicating how they transformed on the show, and it's handled in such a smart way as a retool of the classics seeker mold. The original mold was very good but it had that extra nosecone kibble in the back of the head which looked off. The conehead retool reworks that entire nosecone area to make the nosecone actually be the top of the robot's head ala G1 but with way better proportions. This is a feat even the MP couldn't pull off, relying on the illusion of a nosecone head leaving the actual nosecone in the back. What is awesome about this retool is that by reworking that nosecone area, there is no more extraneous kibble. It ends up being a perfect robot mode and a perfect rendition of the G1 chracters with no fake parts.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Henkei Dirge Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Classics Ramjet Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Henkei Thrust Gallery


2. Killer Punch


The original mold was pretty cool in an odd kind of way with the very kibble heavy bot mode and third mode which consisted of a dead Triceratops. Killer punch takes it up an extra step. A triceratops head for a hand is pretty cool, but you know what's cooler? Being able to fire it into a bot's face! Yeah, Takara retooled the mold so that the triceratops head could actually be spring launched from the robot's arm. They also took the opportunity of this remold to change the Dinosaur's head to give us a Styracosaurus instead, making the mold even more original, along with giving us a better hand weapon in the form of a big curved blade hidden as his tail.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys


1. Transformers Generations Sandstorm


Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

I feel this is the last great hurrah for what we knew as retools, meaning a mold based on another one with modifications, and the start of something new with toys toys based on another coming out quickly showing a certain amount of planning. I say this because after this toy, the idea of a retool, as we know it changed. Hasbro brought in pretools like the Combiner Wars line which was all designed at the same time, regardless of when toys got released, and that was followed by trend of reusing parts or egineering amongst different toys. In this case though, I feel confident calling this a retool, and a beautiful one at that, since it is clear what the basis for Springer was as opposed to Sandstorm. Springer's look comes right from Nick Roche's last stand of the Wreckers and both his alt modes are modernized versions of what they were in G1. Sandstorm though feels more in line with the Neo G1 look of the Universe line with his alt modes being more homages to the ones he had in the past, springboarding off the Springer design and making the most of it. What is fascinating is that amongst the differently shaped parts are totally new parts that change the transformation. As with TAV Battle Grimlock above, it is such a miraculous moment when you transform a toy that is said to be a retool and you discover something new. The reason this guy gets the top spot is because not only is the retooling extensive, but it brings in fixes to the mold. It tabs in together better and I am really impressed at how he can still stand with all that back kibble, which adds to his striking and dynamic look. It's just amazing to have a retool that feels like having a new toy that kicks ass all on his own.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Honourable Mentions: I am using this spot for something that we wouldnt think of right away but that really needs to be mentioned: Masterpiece Starscream. The reason he wasn't obvious to me is because usually a retool means a different version of the character or more likely a different character all together. In Starscream's case, the retool doesnt change anything about his identity or personality, it just makes the toy more G1 accurate and overall better (at least in theory). At first it might seem like the big difference is how the long pieces of jet kibble are integrated into his legs rather than be left hanging there, or that he now has heels that pop out of flaps, but there is more. In truth there are more changed parts than unchanged parts in this figure and the retool becomes one of the more extensive retools in Transformers history. But since the situation is different from the rest of the characters on this list, I preffered mentionning him here (I wouldn't have known where to place him, how about you?). Just look at the undercarriage a bit to see that almost every facet is different. And in robot mode, it is literally from head to toe.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Masterpiece Starscream Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Masterpiece Starscream (MP-11) Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Masterpiece Starscream (MP-11) Gallery

Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)
Date: Saturday, September 3rd 2016 9:26am CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 34,636

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 Movie Toys for Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)


Last time, we looked at the top 5 best Transformers movie toys of on screen characters, so this week we are looking at the toys of characters who didn't show up. My only rule is that the molds must be original for the movies. While Big Daddy is an awesome looking TF (dont have him, but wish I did), I can't count him since he is just a redeco of a pre-existing mold. I also won't count the toys that fell in the cracks of the 2010 Transformers line and werent clearly identified as being linked to the movie line. In the end, the lines that were looked at for this list are: Dark of the Moon (DOTM), Revenge of the Fallen (ROTF), Hunt for the Decepticons (HFTD), Human Alliance, and the initial 2007 movie line.


5. Hunt For The Decepticons Breacher

One of the best Scout class toys of all time. He is beautifully sculpted and more complex than any deluxe that has come out in the past two years. I love that meaty satisfying transformation that is intuitive and not annoying. The articulation is superb and he can even interact with others, like Seaspray, or use other toys' c-clip weapons. What really seals the deal though is the look. You will see this theme repeated often in this list but he feels like the perfect marriage between the clean and traditional autobot aesthetic and the more detailed movie designs. He still has the pistons and layered armour, but there are also smooth panels and alt mode integrations and a beutiful little autobot headsculpt. Just writing about him, I feel like replacing my number one entry with this guy.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

4. Hunt For The Decepticons Terradive

Sometimes, Hasbro and Takara will just decide to revolutionize the way to transform a typical alt mode. Jets usually go with the seeker design where the nosecone folds down and he wings are in the back. Even weird movie designs like Breawakay still go with that outline. Then you get Terradive, who just changes it all. Firstly, the nosecone chest is totally inverted and made as a more protruding design rearranging the jet pannels. Then the wings are brought down to the legs, making him look far more sleek than most other jet Transformers out there. And unlike other attempts at revolutionizing the jet transformer, Teradive keeps a nice traditional symmetric robot mode with alt mode integration all throughout. Plus he has a trident making him a sea and air double threat!

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

3. Dark of the Moon Skyhammer

This is the greatest helicopter Transformers toy of all time, no contest. The detail in both modes is asgood as it gets with two gorgeous molds that have little to no extraneous kibble of the other mode showing thanks to lovely alt mode integrationg in robot mode. That gives you a sleek yet powerful looking robot which merges both the detailed multiarmoured theme of the films with some sleek and smooth surfaces of more traditional designs, including a nice modernized G1 style headsculpt.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

2. Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon

What could beat the greatest Helicopter mold of all time? The greatest tank mold of all time, that's what! I will never stop marvelling at the beauty that is ROTF Bludgeon. Hasbro and Takara really went all out here, making this an amazing G1 homage in a movie line, of all places. They finally give us a robot samurai that transforms, and use the alt mode of a tank to make it work perfectly. The tank treads becoming the leather samurai armour is genius, and so is the tank roof and cannon providing weapon storage for his two swords. This is one of the most innovative designs ever done and easily the best Bludgeon toy out there.

As an aside, the other Bludgeon using a movie mold is also pretty great.


Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

1. Revenge of the Fallen Mindwipe and Skystalker

This duo is the cream of the crop. Firstly, the alt modes are perfect. It is amazing how unintrusive their combining gimmick is. More of a fun option than something crammed down our throats. Both are phenominal toys with both of them being stellar examples of the most recent golden age of Transformers and kings in their size classes. I love how these toys use the best aspect of the movie lines to give us new designs that can be appreciated independently of the movie line. They merge the complexity and intricate panelling of the movie lines but make it more streamlined, making the transformation pleasant rather than frustrating. Mindwipe especially. He feels great with nice big chuncks that fit perfectly together, like a refined version of a Cybertron toy made using all that was learnt since. And there is even a slight G1 homage with his winged robot mode along with the theme of stealth, radars, blindness and bats all coming together. He is also just striking as a figure with a sleek and kibble free robot mode filled with personality and unique features, like those folded automorph wings and energon daggers he is holding ala X-men's Warpath. To me, a perfect Transformer is very hard to do since it must have a striking robot mode with new robot mode detail and no extraneous vehicle kibble, and a clean vehicle mode, all while haiving a fun transformation. To achieve this, they usually have to repurpose parts from one mode to the next and this toy does it like no other with having his cockpit/nosecone seperate into his two feet and daggers. Him being turned into "classics" Strafe is a testament to how his design crosses that gap in easthetics which would be futher expanded upon in the Prime line. All these toys in this list do that in a way, but I really feel Midwipe does it best.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)


Honourable Mentions: Transformers Hunt For The Decepticons Sea Spray and Revenge of the Fallen Lockdown. Both of these are awesome, I just thought the others were a tad bit better and more linked to the movies while these two seem to be more in line with the "classics" theme, especially Lockdown which works more as a companion to Reveal the Shield Lugnut as a classics reinterpretation of the animated aesthetic (and plus there is a new movie Lockdown which is far more linked to the movie-verse).

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Movie Toys of Off Screen Characters (first trilogy)

Review of Machinima's Transformers Combiner Wars Episode 5 "Homecoming"

Transformers News: Review of Machinima's Transformers Combiner Wars Episode 5 "Homecoming"
Date: Tuesday, August 30th 2016 6:01pm CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Reviews, Site Articles, Editorials
Posted by: Bronzewolf | Credit(s): Machinima, Go90

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Views: 26,237

Guess what day it is! It's Tuesday, and that means one more installment of the new Machinima Combiner Wars Series. Spoiler Alert: It's good, again. I know, I know, two good episodes in a row? What is this? Have the pigs finally taken flight? I'm serious. I actually enjoyed this one. I really liked it. It worked with the 5 minute time slot perfectly.

But we're jumping the Ion cannon here, let's take a few steps back, start looking to the skies for aerial swine, and break the new episode down.

We open with Starscream reflecting on the death of Menasor and Computron, as the remains of both combiners have been delivered to the Council's tower from Caminus. The former decepticon feels directly responsible for the death of Computron, as he was the one who sent the combiner to take Menasor down, when he should have just done it himself. This is the kind of exposition I want. Something that challenges our previous perceptions of these familiar characters. By doing this, we subconsciously realize how different this world or continuity is, and how much those characters have changed. The Starscream we know would never mourn or regret the loss of an Autobot. This is not to say that some of the more random mood swings of other characters (ahem, Windblade) fall into the same category. Challenge our perception, but have it make sense in context.

Rodimus argues it wasn't Starscream's fault, and that he did the right thing.


Meanwhile, we see Optimus sneaking around the council's building, and Windblade is jumping from the rooftops. Megatron seems to just waltz in, which is kind of one of my favorite moments from the episode. I love the "Don't Care" attitude that Megatron has in the series. It seems he, Windblade and Optimus are all ready to mobilize. He suggests that they just go in and kill the entire concil, destroy the enigma. Windblade's on board, but Optimus naturally won't allow that to happen.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
You just know he's humming the Mission Impossible theme
The council watches them approach through security cameras. The Mistress is afraid they've come to finish the job and kill them all, and it seems Starscream agrees. Rodimus knows Prime wouldn't do that, but Starscream argues Megatron would. Here's one of two main problems I have with this episode (I know, I know, "Only two?" Hold on, we'll get there): Rodimus says that they "have no forces that can stand in their way". What? Why? Why does the council, the leaders of all of Cybertron and Caminus have no security force? At a time of war, no less!!! They're the leaders of multiple planets! There should be tons of guards there normally, but in a time of civil unrest, you shouldn't even be able to sneeze without a dozen guns being pointed at you.

Aaaaaanyway, they again consider using the Enigma to control all combiners, this time to stop Optimus and co. The enigma sure has a lot of different powers... I'm bugged that it's sort of becoming a Dues Ex Machina (heh, more like Dues Ex Machinima, amirite? -badumtiss-) device for the series. Got a problem? Any problem at all? Use the enigma! Next comes this week's clunkiest line, delivered by Rodimus. The combiners wouldn't stop "Prime. Nothing stops him once he's set on a course. And that's doubly true for Megatron." This line just suffers from bad writing, plain and simple. There's about 15 better ways that line could have been written, 13 of which excluding the word "Doubly", which just sounds odd anywhere, in any setting.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
The Council

Starscream and Rodimus want to try for a peaceful resolution first, given how they don't know if it would actually control the combiners well enough. They don't have enough time do make a decision, however, as the attackers rush the main building. The Council goes to a ledge to greet them, as Prime explains they're not here to fight, just to destroy the Enigma. The Mistress tells them no, and also gives us problem #2. It's an issue with the sound effects again, as The Mistress tries to be menacing and intimidating by smacking her staff on the ground, but the sound given is so small and quiet, the attackers probably didn't even hear it. It's laughable. It's like a toddler getting all huffy and upset, crossing their arms and saying "It's not funny!" You can't take it seriously! So, just like with the gun in Episode 2, the sound effects fail again.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
KNOW YOUR PLACE, CITY SPEAKER! *tink* *tink*

Megatron tries to pander to Starscream, but doesn't do a very good job of it, telling him he's too stupid to handle the power of the enigma. Starscream accuses Megatron of only helping because he wants the Enigma for himself. Megatron jumps and takes a shot at Starscream. The council runs inside, and Optimus, Windblade, and Megs start taking out the castle's defense cannons. Windblade gets a creepy, ominous warning from a disembodied voice. "Don't let this happen" it says. Who is this? We don't know, but it'll be interesting to find out.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
Use the Force, Luke

Starscream survives the shot from Megatron, and is concerned about the attackers. Rodimus says no one is going to die, but then it's revealed the constructions have made their way to Cybertron, too. They combine to form Devastator and break through the Council room's floor, taking Rodimus with them, tearing his arm off triumphantly.

This moment actually made me gasp. It was so unexpected, and with a character I absolutely didn't expect to die, that it actually evoked some emotion. For once this series achieved not only a satisfying cliffhanger, but it achieved a near-perfect mix of talk and action for it's 5 minute run-time. The characters were good, the writing was a lot better than what we've seen in the past, and the animation seemed to be more accurate and smoother than normal. It had a great, unexpected twist, and it actually has me looking forward to the next episode for once. This is by far the best episode yet, and the template I hope they follow to a T for the rest of the series. I can really sum it up in three words: I enjoyed it. The previous episodes haven't really been "Enjoyable" per se, and I'm not the first person to point that out by any means, but this one was. They struck such a good mixture of all the good things from past episodes, and got rid of almost all the bad things. I wish it had been this good from day one. I think we all would have enjoyed it a lot more.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
The Jolly Green Giant, after tearing another life form in half

Haven't seen the episode yet? Well, then, what da heck are you doin' here, lettin' me spoil the whole thing for ya'? Getchaself over to GO90 to watch it in the U.S., or check out our announcement article here for possible alternate viewing options. And, as always, keep your optics and audio sensors tuned to Seibertron.com for all the latest news and reviews!

Hasbro China Manager Zhang Yuchen Expects Big Success for Transformers

Transformers News: Hasbro China Manager Zhang Yuchen Expects Big Success for Transformers
Date: Tuesday, August 30th 2016 4:34pm CDT
Categories: Toy News, People News, Company News, Digital Media News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): China Daily

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Views: 18,578

It will come as no surprise to people following the news on Transformers - from the Tencent game, to CybertronCon, to the recent Sun Wu Kong rumour, and all the way back to the Age of Extinction collaboration - but China is one of the biggest developing markets and audiences for the robot brand, and the general manager of Hasbro China also believes it to be the case. Speaking to China Daily, Zhang Yuchen had this to say:

The Transformers may have been around for more than three decades, but Zhang Yuchen, general manager of Hasbro China, the parent company of the brand, believes that the popularity of the iconic toy figures are just about to hit its peak, especially with four Transformers films set to hit the silver screens by 2025.

Zhang is optimistic that with the surge in nostalgia for the toys and the growing profitability of selling peripheral products from a movie in China, 2017 could very well be “the year of Transformers”.

“It’s been very exciting because over the last decade, the movie universe has given old fans something new and brought in a whole new generation of Transformers fans. That is probably one of the biggest forces driving Transformers in China,” said Zhang.

“We now expect to see explosive growth in the sale of Transformers products in China with the upcoming series of movies,” he added.


Similar trends have been noticed with the 2007 Paramount live-action movie in Western markets, too, so this is not entirely new. What is new is that the brand is looking to make a big mark in the country through media, movies, games, toys and a themed hotel in Shanghai in 2018. Remember:

The second installment of the movie franchise, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen broke the 12-year box office record set by Titanic to become the most-watched foreign movie in China.

In 2014, the fourth movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, generated 300 million yuan ($45 million) in China, contributing to almost one-third of the global revenue. The upcoming one in the franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight, is scheduled to be released in 2017.


Find out more here, and let us know what you think about this global development for the Transformers!

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #160 - Grappling with Memory
Twincast / Podcast #160:
"Grappling with Memory"
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Posted: Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
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