Andy Hunsaker at Craveonline.com has posted an energetic and informative interview with James Roberts of MTMTE and many other iterations of the Transformers comic universes.
The scribe talks to CraveOnline in-depth about how he's made Transformers more new-reader friendly than ever, and his big plans for the future. I could fill you in on his opinion and thoughts of the new parallel story arcs in More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise..... Or, perhaps this excerpted quote will suffice: Roberts refers to TF:MTMTE as "an unholy hybrid of Dark Star, Justice League International, Doctor Who and Arrested Development. Heck, you can throw in Magnolia and X-Files in there too. And Community, for that matter. Essentially, MTMTE is what happens when a superhero team book collides with a space opera sitcom."
This conversation covers topics from Last Stand of the Wreckers up the next issue of More Than Meets the Eye. With some good inside info and some nice artwork taken from multiple issues, this is an interview worth checking out. Click here to view it click the picture of Mr. Roberts below!
I would like to start this review by addressing the artwork. Nick Roche and Josh Burcham have a wonderful and dynamic style. It brings glimmers of the gritty style from LSOTW which is, personally, a good thing. I'm sure people will be divided on some of the character designs which seem to mesh several iterations together. A more animated styled Rodimus and War for Cybertron Bumblebee look better together than I would have envisioned. With that being said:
I have recently had the privilege of reading IDW's More Than Meets the Eye issue 1, and I have to say WOW. The plot continues from the stand alone issue: The Death of Optimus Prime. The story so far: the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons is over, and after the matrix is used to purge its polluted core, the planet Cybertron reverts to a primordial state and sends a message to thousands of non-affiliated transformers: “come home”. The planet is once again teeming with life and chaos. As the newly appointed leader of the Autobots, Bumblebee must manage a populace that not only despise the Great War, but its warriors, Autobot and Decepticon alike. The planet is now inhabited by former enemies and civil unrest over an "illegal occupation of Cybertron" by the Autobots, and the political scene is set.
The ranks of the surviving Autobots has been tremulously split by the decision to stake out into the galaxy in search of The Knights of Cybertron. The brash revolutionary Rodimus, has convinced 208 Autobots that their time as warriors is over. That their sacrifice has been made and that it is time to seek out glory that has been lost. Promises of Cyberutopia and the ancient Knights of Cybertron are enough to convince many former Autobot warriors to join the crew of The Lost Light.
Included in this exodus are familiar faces, like Ratchet, the Autobots Chief Medical Officer. Finding no fit time to inform Bumblebee of his decision to leave, it is during the autopsy of a "Burning-Monk" protestor that Ratchet confides in Bumblebee the truth of his aging. Bearing witness to a being who transformed himself for weeks, constantly, until it killed itself, Ratchet admits he, like so many warriors, are aged, and tired. Being war torn for countless cycles, Ratchet has decided to join the Lost Light in hopes of not only repairing lost Cybertronians, but in hopes of finding his replacement - a new medic to take up his title.
One by one, Autobots board the Lost Light. Bumblebee and Prowl find themselves bitterly watching the launch. The crew includes Ultra Magnus, Drift, Chromedome Brainstorm and many more Cybertronian patriots. This ill fated ship, The Lost Light, takes on their first three injured 'bots even before launch, when Chromedome, Ratchet and Rewind stumble across an encounter between Whirl and Cyclonus! Unbeknownst to them, the brawl between ancient enemies erupted from a case of mistaken identity. Cyclonus, who appears to embrace the peace between the two factions, detects a very familiar energy signature, belonging to Scourge. As he pauses from his flight, he discovers something very strange. Twisted in the style that Roche and Roberts established in Last Stand of the Wreckers, Whirl, the exiled Wrecker, is found talking sweetly and openly to the spark fragment of one of the Sweeps. In a demented desecration, Cyclonus finds himself invading Whirls private world. Enraged, the former Wrecker pursues Cyclonus, all the while ignoring his pleads for peace. Shortly after Cyclonus attempts to defends himself, he his slammed to the ground, offline, with his aggressor ready to finish him off. This is where Ratchet and the others discover the brutally one sided conflict and attempt to step in. Whirl has lost his connection to reality. He is mad and aims to confront those who intervene, when up from the ground, comes an explosion. Poor little Tailgate had fallen through unstable ground trying to reach the Lost Light before take off. The fall disabled him from moving, so he decided that an energon explosion might help his chances of rescue.
In a behavior I would not have expected, Prowl and Bumblebee have plotted some sort of interference for the crew of the adventure ship. An explosion immediately after take-off hurtles the doomed ship through space and time, tearing the ship open. Many Autobots are hurled into space. A nearby remote planet is chosen to set down onto to make repairs and to begin retrieving the lost crew members. Rodimus is only in the very beginnings of his great quest and he faces the hardships of leadership and loss once again.
At the end of the book, is a series of cryptic, and static filled messages. Warning of future shortcomings and wrong decisions made by the leader and crew of the Lost Light. With no indication that the message was received, it may not have mattered at all.
This series is set to run parallel with fast approaching, Robots in Disguise. MTMTE will continue to follow Rodimus and the crew of the Lost Light. While RID will transcribe the on-goings of Cybertron and the civil unrest and intrigue that besets the remaining Autobots and their new leader, Bumblebee. Both series are years in the making as they continue the story of Generation One by bringing us to the end of the war. The return to Cybertron. And it is not the golden paradise one might have imagined. Rather, it is an unstable place with a new government and a mass of inhabitants that know very little of the struggle. The stage is set for political blowout in a post war world full of former enemies and new threats!
In conclusion: awesome. I have come to expect nothing less. This series my not be for everyone, however, I found it appropriately politically charged. Given the election and the US troop draw down, the book seems to emulate much of our current society. It also had several references for you G1 fans.
With the Dark Of The Moon toy line in full swing and many new Transformers collectors asking questions such as "Which movie characters should I buy?", I think it’s fitting that I take a look back at the toy line that started it all.
In May 2007, the first toys to accompany Michael Bay’s first live-action film were released. The movie aesthetic was not to the liking of veteran fans, but that certainly did not dismay the new wave of collectors from causing the great Transformers drought that year. While many of the characters featured in the 2007 film have superior figures from the Revenge of the Fallen or Dark Of The Moon lines, much credit is not given to many of the hidden gems released in 2007 and 2008. Yet despite the popularity of the 2007 Movie toy line, many new movie collectors have seemed to link "ROTF Leader Optimus Prime > 2007 Leader Prime" with "ROTF> 2007", and the latter, I assure you is not something I’ll agree with it.
It’s more than just 2007 being Skidsless and Mudflapless, it’s the fact that the 2007 toy line was able to take that CGI on screen and turn that into plastic form. It set the foundation for ROTF and DOTM to build on. The revenue produced from the toy line is one of the reasons why we’ve had 3 toy lines per annum for the past few years. But no, to me, the 2007 toy line is more than just a revenue or precursor success, there are actually some fine figures in the line that many collectors have overlooked and should have in their collection. Let’s begin, shall we?
The femme fatale was a shoe-in to be in the 2007 film, but was replaced by Ironhide in early production. Thank goodness, I had enough problem getting the fembot in the drought and it would not have helped if she was an on-screen character! Out of all the movie-verse bikes, this is the best figure. Scale, a category that I don’t care about, can be thrown out of the window. Many complained about her inability to stand straight, but she is no ROTF Sideswipe, and unlike the bike fembots of the ROTF line, at least she has feet. She has the body dimensions that is categorical of females of any sentient species, and that is also a part that the ROTF fembots lack. Think the face lacks feminity? Well the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree when looking at her ROTF brethren.
All the power to those who have the ROTF bike sisters in their collection, because I understand those who wish to have what’s on the silver screen transplanted on to their shelves for ‘movie-accuracy’. But this is the superior Arcee. Already have a movie-verse Arcee? Call it another name then! There’s enough fembot names to go around; Lancer, Greenlight, Flareup, and Flamewar are examples. Whether it’s pink (original, battle damaged), black (Takara retail exclusive), or generation one themed (Wonderfest ’08 convention exclusive), I think this is a mold that every movie fan can appreciate.
Well this guy totally isn’t in here because his biography is freaking hilarious, as he is the first movie-verse Transformer to be portrayed as emo(tional). No, his figure is rather enjoyable. The mold might not be very high in regards to collectors following the popular trends, but I’m not one to conform. Dropkick has a tad bit of kibble in the backpack area, and suffers from the dreaded ‘chicken legs’. It is more of the little things that make Dropkick one of my favorites of the 2007 line. In vehicle mode, the flatbed cover can be removed to reveal the back of the truck, which has ample space for you to fit in a scout figure. (Hardtop sniping while riding on Dropkick is legit). While having a Decepticon logo on your vehicle is hardly a robot in disguise, Dropkick seems to have put some thought into it. Ingenious to have the symbol tattooed on the top of your hood and roof – Mr. Antisocial went to Decepticon school and realized that there aren’t too many Autobots that can fly in the Bayverse.
The robot mode is an aspect that I like from my Transformers, a sturdy, well-engineered figure that isn’t going to fall down after being placed. There’s just a lot to Dropkick in robot mode that I like, parts that fold in and out, weaponry, and just that feel that you’re holding a Transformer, not an action figure. His main weapon is rather clumsy, but that is more or less forgotten by the two double-barrel guns he has under his forearms. A quality figure that is a great addition to your Decepticon ranks, or Autobot ranks with his 2007 repaint, Salvage, who is also a piece that I’d highly suggest. The figure was also released in the ROTF toy line under the name of Blowpipe (Really Hasbro?), for those into blue Transformers. But who’d buy that Tupac for a near identical version of Sideways?
Why not Bumblebee, you ask? Toy wise, there are much better Movie Bumblebees released after the 2007 toy line, and discussion about the other two movie lines are for another day. And If I get my way, editorial discussion on Bumblebee will be avoided entirely. But despite there being other Bumblebee figures out there, the 2007 Camaro Concept figure is actually a masterpiece in its own right. It also happens to be the only Movie Deluxe Cliffjumper we have up to now. For those wondering what’s up with the teal on Cliffjumper, Salvage, and Black Arcee, that would be the Allspark Battles sub-line of the 2007 line. Cool name. Terrible execution, as many repaints were slaughtered with copious, unadulterated, and ridiculous amounts of teal. (Check out Target Exclusives - All Spark-Enhanced Bumblebee, Brawl, Barricade and Jazz for good laughs). Luckily for Cliffjumper, his vehicle mode was left untouched from the teal, and what we get is a beautiful Red Camaro Concept. What I generally like from vehicle modes of Transformers I collect, especially the movie-verse, is for them to be spot on. And at the time, the Camaro Concept had one of the best looking vehicle modes, losing out to that sleek Corvette Stingray when ROTF rolled in.
Robot mode has alot of articulation for a movie figure, and while it may feel like a caveman compared to the future incarnations of Bee, it is still a stand up figure. The Gun/Blade that Cliffjumper wields almost makes Mechtech look like it’s ancestor. The gaudy teal of the Allspark Battles looks far from tacky on Cliffjumper, instead highlighting some of his aesthetics and adding a bit more flare to his colour scheme. The only beef (New York cut, Medium Rare please) I have with the figure is his shoulder pads, which have fallen off as many times as I’ve said eh. Bottom line, it's the movie-verse. There are explosions, big guns, and Decepticons flying everywhere as plot-armor Autobots blow them into pieces. And this is Cliffjumper. The bot who has got enough weaponry to make explosions and blow up plot-armor Decepticons to bits. Get him!
The vehicle modes of Autobots seem to be losing their flair in recent years. It`s a lost art for many under Optimus Prime`s command, as their vehicle mode’s function appears only to look sleek, stylish and appeal to the newer wave of Transformers fans. For Movie Longarm, it’s different. Yes, he’s in this line because he’s the tow truck that Mikaela drove in the movie. But it’s his design, his working tow, and robot mode of the figure that makes this a brute, blue-collar working Autobot. Yeah, he’s a bit chunky, and he probably walks slow, but who said all walking robots of destruction need to be agile?
If Transformers played Hockey or Football, Longarm would be the grinder or hard hitter of the team. His face looks like he’s wearing a helmet, and the way his chest is stylized makes it look like he’s wearing armor. In a Transformers universe catering to Michael Bay’s explosions, Longarm’s got the gun to rule all guns. Eye light piping is magical, and the transparent back lights on the tow are well placed. Many Classics-verse fans delving into the movie-verse toys for good ‘homages’ would have likely picked up Longarm’s ROTF repaint, Hoist. But from a personal standpoint, a two-pack with G1 deco Mixmaster is not worth the trouble as Longarm is the better use of the mold.
What I like the best of Evac, and his mold predecessor Blackout, are that they are great representations of their respective movie-verse forces. Blackout the Decepticon, who like most Decepticons, looks mysterious, has a dark color scheme, and takes the form of a militaristic vehicle. Evac the Autobot, who like most Autobots, has a chivalrous, flamboyant bright color scheme, has a nonchalant Autobot symbol screaming "come at me bro", and has the face of something that would protect mankind, not destroy it. This is more about Evac being a gem, mainly because Blackout is a popular character that everyone likely owns already in the original, Premium, or Grindor versions. Plus there’s always that little little, completely unlikely smidgen of hope that Hasbro will make a Leader Class Pave Low Heli.
Don’t get me wrong. 2007 Evac is no DOTM Skyhammer(because Skyhammer is very good), and it’s also no ROTF Evac (because that mold is avoid avoid avoid) but this is still one mean Helicopter. The Allspark Battles teal is very heavy on the Voyager class figure, but that is contrasted by the figure’s vibrant orange. What was once Scorponok included with Blackout, is a lifeboat for Evac. And unlike Scorponok, the lifeboat can be wielded by Evac as a blaster. Evac shows that despite whatever mold you start off with, a vibrant paint job and different head sculpt can turn your evil helicopter full of death into a lifesaving, search and rescue vehicle. Movie-collectors, help your Autobots out, they are especially low in air force.
Stockade gave me a lot of trouble because he was competing with 2007 Landmine for a spot in this editorial. Both figures have great alternate modes, and both figures have robot modes that are somewhat ruined by the gaudy teal. Luckily for Stockade, I feel that his ROTF repaint Gears is inferior to the original, and unluckily for Landmine, try ROTF Armorhide instead. I have said many times that vehicle modes of figures in the movie-verse need to be spot on. Stockade is phenomenal. Painted grill, painted wheels, clear windows everywhere, headlights, backlights, an actual sunroof, and painted door handles. Girl, it looks real. His Decepticon symbol is painted in normal purple, and not silver like the majority of movie-verse Transformers.
Robot mode does not offer as much as the vehicle mode in terms of looks. Stockade has the foot soldier demeanour. Short, stocky and built. He’s got this extending arm gimmick, like Barricade and Bonecrusher, but it’s pretty lame. The teal is a bit too much for a Decepticon transforming from a Black SUV, but blame it on the dark, got you off the mark, blame it on the a a a a a allspark. The photo below makes him look like kibble city, don’t worry, it’s not that bad.
It’s a figure of your favourite character before he gets ripped in half by Megatron. Not as grimm as the mold’s fate. Don’t get me wrong, the Human Alliance Jazz with Lennox figure is fantastic and if you haven’t already, get it. *Gets back the scale that I threw out the window in regards to Arcee.* I just don’t think Jazz was that large in the movie (not going to actually check), so the Deluxe size is where it’s at. The reason this dude is on this list is not because Jazz is unpopular, but I feel that this variant is obscure. For this version to come out only for it to be snubbed a handful of times with Premium, ROTF Smokescreen and DOTM, is just not right.
Not much to see in vehicle mode, as it’s nearly the same. Robot mode on the other hand is pretty cool. You’ve got detailed battle damage on his head and legs. It’s like energon is gushing out of those areas. Really slick paint apps, and it’s a shame that future "Battle-Damaged" figures ended up failing in comparison to FB Jazz. The best part of the toy, is the weapon. The trans-crapper sword that all the other versions have is a joke to this ‘Crescent Cannon’. Heck, buy this toy just for the weapon, and then put it on Premium Jazz. That’s what all the cool kids are doing.
It’s rather odd for me to put a Leader Class figure on a ‘Hidden Treasures’ list, but Leader Brawl seems to be forgotten under the pile of other Leaders released in ROTF and DOTM. For those new collectors out there, Brawl is a figure that you really can’t miss. The 2007 Leader Graduating Class includes Optimus, who was done better in ROTF, and Megatron, who’s probably the worst Leader figure of all three movie-lines. If you want this character in your collection, it’s Leader or bust. The Deluxe class was a travesty and pales in comparison to this behemoth. Sure the figure is not at the Masterpiece level, since there’s no working treads, but it has a lot of articulation for a Transformer with a tank mode.
When Transformed, it’s not all there either. The figure’s not as crisp as 2007 Leader Prime, but it’s still not as chunky as 2007 Leader Megatron. There’s a lot going on in the weaponry department, and what’s underrated about the figure is that it takes the CGI to heart. Sure, kibble is there, but it’s not like it wasn’t there in the movie either. This beauty is a steal right now on the secondary market, and is certainly worth it in either his original colors, or his ‘Deep Desert’ version if you dig them Tusken Raiders or Jawas.
Who? Incinerator’s rather obscure and completely forgotten in some cases by the ongoing movie fanbase. He’s got a full-time membership to the 'no hands club' along with Voyager Starscream, but don’t let that mere flaw deter the credibility of this Decepticon. If I can recall correctly, he is the first big Osprey helicopter since Beast Machines. The vehicle mode just feels compact, solid and it almost seems like he can fly! (He won’t. No matter how much Energon you drink, he actually won’t!)
The teal is awful on this figure, but I can't complain, I'm a Blurr fan after all! The fin hands are actually pretty cool if you think that he's wielding them. Robot mode is stocky, and I really dig how his chest is formed. He's got clown feet, but he won't fall over because of the back stand that he is. The figure just look so funky, and yet one look at the spinning blades of death reminds you that this is a ruthless killing machine made out of a mountain of metal. The Takara domestic black version of this figure contrasts the Hasbro's grey, and both are great additions to your Decepticon arsenal.
With that, you have my bias opinion on the 2007 line figures that did not get as much limelight compared to other toys of more popular characters. Some honorary mentions here, and I’ll start off with Rescue Ratchet, as he has the best colors of all the Voyager Hummer repaints. Try to complete your movie-verse seekers in the Voyager Class size with 2007 G1 Starscream, 2007 Thundercracker, and ROTF Skywarp. The DOTM Deluxe idea is just way too small for movie seekers.
Agree to disagree with me? Who are your favorites of the 2007 line, and do you feel any figures have been overlooked by the popular eye? Leave your opinions by commenting below!
2Fast 2Blurrious is an editorial series written by Seibertron.com staff member Blurrz, and is not responsible for the amount of money you will spend on Transformers in the next few hours. Nor is it responsible for your partner's shopping spree with your card because it's his/her turn after you spent an absurd amount of money on 'kid's toys'.
The Premiere of Transformers Dark of the Moon in Moscow has ended and thanks to Paramount we have loads of material of the event to share with you!
Firstly we'll start off with a video, a video of the Premiere and the Linking Park concert.
We'll be bringing you more of this event, so stay tuned.
Good day Transformers fans! How’s everything going? I happen to be Seibertron.com staff member Blurrz, and I'm with my fellow colleague robofreak. Funny story short, we are the Gunpla (Gundam kit) enthusiasts on the staff, and therefore that makes us qualified to help you out with Takara Tomy's upcoming Dual Model Kit series. For those who don’t know, Takara is going to release kits for Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. The buyer will receive a package with a robot skeleton, and will have multiple sprues and instructions to put their robot masterpieces together. The duo of Autobots are set for release in Japan on June 25th.
Since these are expensive products and this is the first time many of you here will be exposed to building kits, we thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the likely questions many of you will ask. Hopefully all of you will know what you’ll be getting into with your purchase, or perhaps our words of wisdom will lean you into the direction of these kits not being for you. So without further ado, shall we?
Q: Will I need paint for the Model Kits?
Blurrz: Straight up answer, no. These sets are a bit different from your regular kits. Some of the pieces are pre-painted (i.e. Optimus Prime’s flames). Maybe you’ll need paint to highlight some features of Optimus Prime or Bumblebee, but if you don’t paint or customize Transformers, then no need to start now.
Robofreak: You don’t need paint, but if you want to add some extra flare, then paint away! From what I’ve seen, the kits do come pre-painted, but where’s the fun in that? If you’re up for the challenge I’d recommend hitting the hobby shop and buying some paints, primer, and masking tape. I’m a Tamiya paint fan myself because of how easy it is to fix mistakes if they occur. I could go on for a while about different paints and mixing, but I think that would be an article in itself. If you need to know more about paint then feel free to stop by Transtopia and some other art sites to learn about paint. You can even PM me. I love these kind of questions.
Q: Do I need glue to assemble them?
Blurrz: No. It’s nice to have handy, but it’s not necessary. For example, if Bumblebee’s armor on his arm keeps coming loose, etc.
Robofreak: As Blurrz said, you don’t really need it, but I would heavily recommend it. It will help reduce the risk of losing parts.
Q: What tools should I have on hand while building the kits?
Blurrz: (Nail)clipper and file. Since the snap-on parts are off sprues, you’re going to need force to pull them off. And since you might be left off with some plastic residue after pulling your parts off sprues, a file is good to even out the figure’s surface. For those wishing to have more of a nicer look on their kits, I suggest a Gundam marker, to help bring out the features.
Robofreak: If I catch anyone using their hands to twist these pieces out, I will smack you. Now that that’s over with, a nail clipper and file will work fine for removing the parts and sanding off the sprue nubs. However, I would like to encourage anyone taking these kits on, to go to the hobby shop and buy a set of nippers. They are specially designed with a flat edge to reduce the amount of sprue sticking out of the cut piece. I would also recommend some jewellers files that you can get at any hardware store. They’re thin and you won’t risk sanding more than you want as much with them.
Q: How good will the instructions be?
Blurrz: Well I’m glad someone wants to use instructions! If you don’t, you’re going to be lost. Gunpla instructions are a lot different from let’s say ‘Lego’. They tell you where each piece goes exactly and sometimes gives you the sequence in which pieces need to be placed. Keep your eyes on those instructions at all times! One silly mistake and you might be spending half an hour trying to pry off a piece that shouldn’t be there.
Robotfreak: Robofreak: Instructions are great, but I’m going to doubt that the instructions for these kits will be as refined as the Gunpla instructions. I’m basing this off how vague most of the TF instructions have been as of late. One thing that I will encourage is to lay all the parts out on a desk or something so that you can see exactly where everything goes. Basically make an expanded view of what goes where. Here’s a picture of a Gundam Astray Red Frame I built a couple years ago and the first thing I did was trim all the parts and lay them out exactly where they should go on the mech. It helped me get familiar enough with the parts to where I didn’t need the instructions to identify the many little pieces. As you can see in the picture, everything is layed out and not a jumbled mess of parts.
Q: Will there be stickers with these kits?
Blurrz: We haven’t seen anything yet, but I’m guessing we’ll get a little sticker pad. Maybe for the eyes, license plates and GMC/Chevy logos. Not good with applying stickers? Trust me, it’s better than trying to paint eyes…
Robofreak: You want to talk about painting eyes Blurrz? Take on an anime figure and that will make a robot eye look easy. So far, nothing on the Prime and Bumblebee kits shows stickers, but I’m going to guess that we might see a couple. If there are any, I think the only one that would be worth anything would be the license plate.
Q: Any other tips in regards to building these kits?
Blurrz: Make sure everything flushes well. If some piece is sticking out, it’s because you didn’t file down the plastic, or didn’t push the piece in far enough. These pieces are engineered to stick together, so it’s all up to the builder!
Robofreak: Test fit! Test fit! Test fit! I cannot stress that enough. Always doublecheck the instructions and make sure you know what’s going where. For those feeling slightly brave, the parts do use pegs. If it’s anything like a Gunpla kit, you’ll be able to cut the pegs at a slight angle on the tip which will allow you to fit the parts properly. However, this method will require that you use glue afterwards to ensure everything stays where you want it.
Q: How tall are Optimus Prime and Bumblebee?
Blurrz: They’re going to be huge! Okay, you’ve got a better answer, right robofreak?
Robofreak: I may have an answer, but I could be wrong. From what I’ve seen of the kits and have gathered on pics, they appear to be 1/35 scale. (Shout hooray all you military modelers) That should put Prime at about 10-11 inches and Bumblebee should be about 6-7 inches. We’ll know more once we see the official release.
Q: How much time will it take to build these?
Blurrz: For a first time kit maker, I wouldn’t even put a time limit in hours, but I’d give a good afternoon or evenings work. Bumblebee should be smooth sailing, while Optimus Prime might be a bit tricky as he has more than a handful of sprues to deal with.
Robofreak: Time is relative to how much effort you’re going to put into it. If you want something you can fiddle with think it cool, then probably an afternoon. If you want to take it the extra mile and do all the painting, weathering, and awesome detail work (maybe even do a diorama?) then the project can take a lot longer. I’ve been known to spend weeks on a single kit so your results may vary depending on what you want out of the project.
Q: Do these transform? If not, how come?
Blurrz: Does yellow snow taste like lemons?
Robofreak: You have 2 options. It can either transform or it can look good. If you want something that transforms, the kit may not be for you. Generally, transforming kits can be a pain to deal with and sometimes don’t look as good as you want. If you want something that looks great, then go for the kit and have an awesome display piece.
Q: Why are these so expensive compared to regular Transformers toys?
Blurrz: That’s a really good question, and I can’t say because they are imports. These are a little bit more expensive than their Gundam brethren that are the same size. But still, for what we’re getting here, pre-painted plastic, and sprues with multiple colors on them, I just have to admit that we’re getting a steal with these kits.
Robofreak: Considering the amount of money, I’ve dropped on model kits over the years, I think these are rather cheap. Especially after dropping $150 on a anime resin figure that requires a whole lot more than just snap assembly.
Q: Is Dual Model Kit better than Robot Replicas? Trans-Scanning Series?
Blurrz: These are a 100 times better than Robot Replicas because these figures have articulation. Bumblebee and Optimus Prime are different sizes, and not the same! I could see comparisons with the 2007 Trans-scanning series, but even then, those were pretty awful. Both BB and Optimus Prime were the same size, and their alternate modes were garbage. I have to give credit to these Model Kits, because despite having no alternate mode/transformation, they are going all out in how the robot mode looks and feels.
Robofreak: I don’t own any of the Robot Replicas or Trans-Scanning figures if that answers the question. The difference between these kits and the Trans-Scanning is that the focus went into the robot mode instead of worrying about it transforming. For that, I’m much more interested in them and will be buying them.
Q: Will the Dual Model Kit series survive? Who do you think will be in the next installment?
Blurrz: To see Transformers finally take that extra step into Gunpla territory is very impressive. Perhaps the Kabaya Candy toys were a little test in the water for Takara. I honestly think that if you’re a Transformers fan, and you enjoy building Lego, you’ll have a lot of fun with these. Sure, they’re nothing compared to a Deluxe Class Bumblebee and ROTF Leader Prime, but they are far from being gimmicky and useless compared to their previous non-transformable predecessors. In terms of future kits, I think Takara Tomy will go with the opposite side of the spectrum, perhaps countering with Megatron and Starscream. Or perhaps they’ll follow up with more of the Autobot cast, in Ratchet and Ironhide. All I know is that I’ll have something different to fix, rather than just the odd broken spark of a fembot on Cybertron.
Robofreak: It’s going to depend on sales. If the kits don’t sell, then we won’t see the line expand. Sadly, economics plays a huge role in this. All I can say is that if you like the way they look, then buy them. The sales will really help determine what Takara does with the line.
Robofreak's Astray Gold Frame
So there you have it toy collecting Bots and Fembots. We hope our insight was informative and helpful, and that you enjoy the Dual Model Kit series! If you have any more questions along your path to build these kits, reply to the topic, or shoot a PM to me or Robofreak.
Blurrz's Exia - Terminate all unnecessary Autobots!
It's been a long day. You're sipping a cold beverage at BotCon 2011 in Pasadena, California. It's one of your favorite times of the year. Not only are you in Transformers heaven, but you've made your trip to the dealer room and unleashed your wallet to buy your holy grail. Now you're hanging with all your buddies from Seibertron.com. You make sure everyone's listening, when you ask the question 'What do you think of the Power Core Combiners? I love those guys!" Everyone around you halts what they're doing. Half of your friends start to scream, while the other half shake their heads in shame. Peter Cullen is even facepalming. The bartender kicks you out for causing the mess, and then... Woah. Let's hold on for a minute here. I'm here to make sure than none of this happens at BotCon 2011, to the person who asked the question, to the friends of that person. and especially Peter Cullen.
The line itself has caused a lot of anguish among Transformers fans the past few months. I've watched forum topics pass by and by. I've tried my best to get a grasp of the situation, and understand the opinions of my fellow collectors. Ultimately I land at the question - How has it come to this? We're in the 21st century, and we've got an entire toyline that's seemingly worse than Armada Side Swipe.
While I originally planned to do a review of the first wave of Power Core Combiners for Seibertron.com, that's something that no collector needs. An essay formed from my single opinion is nothing compared to you going around Seibertron.com, looking at photos of the figures or asking the general community of their opinion on a figure. It's really simple, toys are attractive to people because of their aesthetics. No one should be detered from buying a toy that they like from photos, because of one person's opinion. Especially not from a guy with hairy hands, playing around with a Transformers figure for 10:00 on Youtube with a low quality camera.
So what am I here to do? I'm here to convey the idea of Power Core Combiners. To let you know that it's more than just the toy, but also a movement. If you're not liking the sentence you just read, you probably might not want to read the rest of this article. You likely know me well already - I'm a crazed collector of Transformers: Armada, a Blurr fan, and I'm not exactly one to go along with popular trends. But no, this is not blind love for Power Core Combiners, it's a bit more like tough love. Whether you're laying the smackdown on these toys, or you love them to death, they're still just toys. And that brings us to the start of my discussion.
Toy. Toys. [toi]. Looking it up in the dictionary, obviously you'll find a definition. A bunch of English nonsense, but there's a key phrase - "for children or others to play with". I'm sure you've heard of this all before, but for those who haven't, Hasbro's target audiences are within the definition. The children, and others, which are us Transformers fans. While I wish that us Transformers fans were pushing Transformers in the direction we wanted to, it's just not there. Even if Jon Doe dishes out one grand on Transformers every month, a kid and their ever affectionate parents outnumber us. We humans just can't stop making babies. Then there's Live Action. The 2007 Transformers Movie did not only include explosions from Michael Bay, no, it exploded the Transformers into the stratosphere, and it's a fair guess to assume that alot of kids jumped on the bandwagon.
To the movie toyline in particular. Leading up to the years before it, Transformers was always a singular toy line. Everyone had to go through the disco colors of Generation 2, the clashy colors of Universe, and the cool to me, but probably not very cool to you, Transformers Armada. Now in recent years we've had collective lines sharing the Transformers name under Hasbro's brand. In 2008, there were Movie toys, Universe/Classics 2.0 and Transformers Animated. Respectively we designated the figures under the different sections of the Transformers fanbase, for the movie fans, for the faithful Generation One fans, and for the kids. But there's a big problem here. In no way should Transformers Animated should have been designated towards the children population. Yes, it was a morning cartoon, but the toys were intricate puzzles. They require a force and memory, things that some young children have yet to develop sufficiently. To top it all off, Transformers Animated probably had the worst quality control in the history of Transformers. Loose hands, sloppy paint application, basically the works. Not only is that a huge turn off for us Transformers collectors, but when a kid doesn't like, or can't even play with the Transformers toy, that opens a huge can of warms. The parent's likely going to deem Transformers for being too difficult for their son or daughter. And while the majority of some Animated figures were completely shoddy, it still was successful because of it being part of a cartoon! Fans had to complete the 'cast' or get the toy of their favorite characters. Even to this day, people are demanding figures for Animated characters that have yet to receive one!
Fast forward to 2010. It's the same as 2008 - Hunt for the Decepticons for movie fans, Generations for the G1 fans, and Power Core Combiners for the kids. I ultimately feel that Hasbro deemed that the Animated toyline was a failure, and in order for a 'kid toyline' to be successful, Power Core Combiners had to simplified. There's alot of playability, the line is really aimed for children...
..And just like Transformers: Animated and everything before it, the line has it's own cartoon! Hasbro's got the business down pact, a kid watches Huffer and his best buddy Caliburst blast down Smolder and Chopster. Then after the show's over, the young boy kindly asks his mother to take him to the toy store. Both figures are purchased so he can re-enact their battles all over the carpet floor. Wait.. something's not right there. Ah yes, I got it wrong. The kid buys a comic book, and sees Bombshock with the Combaticons, shooting down Skyburst and the Aerialbots.. Wait that's not right either.
Utterly Dumbfounded. It's been 3 months and I still can't get over the fact that Power Core Combiners has no connecting media. Not only is having no related cartoon for a major toy line breaking the trend, but having a toyline by itself is just silly to me. A single appearance in in Cyber Missions doesn't count either. Even reading Transformers Ongoing #11 got me interested in buying Generations Red Alert, Movie Firetrap (Brawn) and 2010 Takara Predaking. But for the PCCs - No toyline, no comics, no nothing. There's nothing to save this line if it's ratings fall. Compound this entire situation with the fact that the year 2010 yields no Transformers movie and no Transformers cartoon till Quarter 4 - I just see it's more likely for a child to be interested in Star Wars, Ben 10, or Iron Man. Even if a kid is a Transformers fan, I personally believe that the Movie line and Generations are alot more appealing than PCCs.
The last nine paragraphs have led to my conclusion of this situation - Transformers Power Core Combiners have purely been marketed out for children. Personally I believe that Hasbro is using this to test out if a kid-only toy line can suffice. I just don't see that this project is going to work well. An entire toyline made out of Activators wouldn't work either. Yes, maybe Power Core Combiners could work, but not at this time. Maybe in December, when it's Christmas time and toys are bought up more than fast food. Maybe next year, when Transformers 3 comes out and the Transformers buzz is back. But in the Summer of 2010, competing externally against Star Wars, Iron Man, GIJoe, and internally against Generations and Hunt For the Decepticons - PCC's at the bottom of the league, and they traded away their first round draft pick. I just don't see that there's any hope for this line.
Power Core Combiners have been engineered for younger fans, I just don't see how 21st Transformers Technology can make PCC 5-Packs look like antiques compared to their superior Generation One brothers. Is that wrong? Certainly not, I'm sure younger fans and children will enjoy these toys due to their low cost and for the reasons stated above. But to us, to the older fans, to the experienced, Seriously Hasbro? I can't even consider myself as old, but this line is a complete turn off to me - an Armada collector. These Mini-cons are a shadow compared to Targetmasters, Headmasters, and Armada Mini-cons. My fellow Seibertron.com staff member Counterpunch, a man who collects almost everything, is flabbergasted at this line.
I can put words as to why this line was created, to how we got to this point, but I've got nothing in the English dictionary to describe these toys. So, Mamma Mia! I did say that with this article, I would make sure that no one would talk bad about Power Core Combiners at BotCon 2011. I'm sorry if I came off with the intention of making your opinion of these guys to be positive. No, just let your anger and hate out now.
Not that this candy looked that appetizing to begin with, but if you have "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Crunchy Candies in your house, get rid of it.
The California Department of Public Health discovered that one lot of the candy had excessive levels of lead, which can be harmful to the brain development of children. Pregnant women (not the target demographic of the movie or the candy, surely) who have eaten the candy, or parents of children who have, should consult a physician immediately, CDPH said in a statement Friday.
So yes if you do have these, don't eat them or give them to anybody, especially not children and throw them away!
Jim Sorenson has updated his blog Disciples of Boltax with a triple page special of the Ark Addendum. This time it is the laboratory of none other than the infamous Dr. Mark Morgan! What you don't know him? Well that was the angry little flash bag that weaponized the Hate plague in the Return of Optimus Prime!
Spoiler warning: Optimus Prime returns.
Just click the preview image to see the full sized version!
Stay tuned to seibertron.com for all your Transformers related news!
Auto Assembly 2010 Announces Massive Hasbro Giveaway!
Auto Assembly is teaming up with Hasbro again this year for some fantastic competitions this year that will blow everyone away!!
In the past couple of years we have had displays that have included displays of some of the curent toy ranges on offer in the UK and the unveiling the UK's first lucky draw toy that was produced in 2008. But for Auto Assembly 2010, it's going to be awesome...
This year, Hasbro have generously supplied us with no less than THIRTY sets Of the eagerly anticipated Challenge At Cybertron boxed set featuring Universe Cyclonus, Galvatron and Rodimus! This set is not being released in the UK and at the moment, it's not even released in the US and when it is, it will be a Target exclusive!!
To be in with a chance of winning one of these, you MUST be pre-registered for the convention. We will then be holding a random prize draw and 30 lucky winners will be chosen, and winning tickets will be inserted into the attendee packs that you will collect when you arrive at the convention. If you find one, bring it to the Registration Desk to claim your prize!!
If you haven't already booked, there's still time to be in with a chance to win one of these great sets of toys and be entered into some of our other draws that we will be announcing soon...!
To find out more about Hasbro's involvement and some other things they are doing, watch the official announcement video here:-
Tickets are selling fast for the convention and if you want to be a part of this and the prize draw you need to book quickly! Every day we are setting a new attendance record so why not hurry and be a part of Europe's biggest Transformers convention.
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The convention is taking place over the weekend of Friday 13th - Sunday 15th August 2010 at the Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre, Birmingham, England. There will be Friday and Saturday evening programmes that are exclusive for weekend attendees and the Saturday evening will play host to a massive musical party, costume competition, and the script and disco / karaoke.
We have frozen the ticket prices for the convention from Auto Assembly 2009 and full weekend tickets are £45 for adults and £35 for children, students and senior citizens, with under 5s admitted free. Family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) are available for £145. One day tickets for Saturday have sold out, but one day tickets for Sunday are still available and cost £25 for adults, £18 for children, students or senior citizens and under 5's as always are free. However as they are limited, if you want to come along for just the day then you need to book NOW!
For more details on the convention, to see a full list of all the guests and activities taking place over the weekend, or to book your tickets, visit the website at www.autoassembly.org.uk