Fellow Seibertronians, on the heels of the other video reviews, we now bring you a Chinese video review of Titans Return Deluxe Class Hardhead. The video can be viewed HERE, and may take a little bit of time to buffer. The video shows off the transformation, as well as various features of the figure, as well as how the Titan Masters can interact with Hardhead. Excited for this figure? Check out the video and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Since Transformers partly come from the Japanese Diaclone line, the Diaclone reboot featuring a new Masterpiece-style Dia-Battles was followed by many Transformers fans. Seibertron's own Cobotron has gotten himself a copy and offers a pictorial review below which gives the best idea yet on what to expect from this set and the myriad of ways you can play with its modular system.
Take it away Cobotron:
I'm huge fan of what I recently learned is called Takara SF Land. This is a collectors term that encompasses the rich history of all the science fiction toys Takara has designed over the last 40 plus years. The turn of the century was an awesome era of re-issues, and reboots from Takara. The reboots included Henshin Cyborg, Microman, and we could even consider Car Robots(RID) a reboot, as it was Transformers return to Earth based vehicle alt modes. It was a great time to be a TSF Land fan.
Well the ol' boys at Takara are at the reboot biz again, and they haven't missed a beat.
Diaclone Dia-Battles V2 is a fresh breath of old air. This figure captures everything that was great about the original Diaclone toys, but in a seriously updated Masterpiece level package. What we now refer to as "parts forming" had it's origins back in the Microman line. Modular vehicles that could be combined to form bigger ones, or even robots to some extent. They stepped it up a notch with the Diaclone line. By re-adjusting the scale to be smaller they could take that same modularity, but focus more on the detail of the combined forms.
This new Dia-Battles does that to a T, but with all the bells, whistles, grace, and style, We've come to expect in the modern engineering, sculpting, and articulation from our contemporary robot toys. Dia-Battles V2 is the ultimate parts former, and the bar has been raised.
Let's have a look.
The three main vehicle components that make up Dia-Battles.
Let's make a robot!
Hello you handsome devil.
The robot mode is absolutely fantastic! The articulation is top notch, and the connectors are amazingly well engineered, as some even double as articulation points. His pose-ability and balance are off the charts. Indeed making him a Masterpiece of a new kind.
The small ship is called Bullet Fighter.
But WAIT! There's more modes!
Both these modes can be achieved by transforming directly from robot mode.
More modular modes.
This beautiful star cruiser leaves no unused parts.
This mode is one of my favorites. What? You need a flying-monkey-dragonman mode with Gatling gun fingers? Sure! We can do that.
Last, but certainly not least.
And of course what would Diaclone be without the pilots?
These guys are amazing. For mini-figures an inch tall, they are articulated to the nines. They're rocking ball socket shoulders and hips, elbows and knees, and even have an ab crunch!
This initial release of the toy is a limited edition, and includes a fourth Dia-Naut.
Meet and greet.
One last shot just to give a sense of the scale of Dia-Battles.
The Transformers Robots in Disguise One-Step Changers Advanced Optimus Prime and Strongarm have been popping up in stores in the US. If any of you are mildly interested in knowing what is new or different about this One Step Optimus Prime toy, compared to the previous Target Exclusive one, we have a review for you below courtesy of Chuckdawg1999. To compare and contrast, we also have the review for last year's Optimus Prime One Step toy which is still only obtainable by buying the target exclusive set of Robots in Disguise One Step figures.
Please note that the reviewer does mistaken the two figures, which are indeed different molds entirely, but these videos still serve as a great way to see the toys and how they may compare.
Fellow Seibertron Twincast Podcast frontman Scotty P has acquired the Transformers Generations Platinum Edition One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall set available from Amazon and he took the Frustration Free package which saves you 20$. People were wondering what that packaging meant since Amazon showed that this new packaging meant you would only get the toys with no outer box:
However, for this set, you actually do get the coveted Platinum Edition window pane box with gorgeous new art. Scotty P took these photos to show you how the packaging looks like when you take the Frustration Free option for this set on Amazon:
He even gave us a quick written review of what to expect from this set and if it's worth getting or not:
ScottyP wrote:Yeah I really don't understand how that was "frustration free" packaging. Maybe for Amazon in regards to shipping it?
It's a pretty cool set. The deco on OP is nicer than I realized, the blue on the legs has a bit of a dark metallic sheen to it. The clear blue windows look bad, but from talking to Mark Weber at Botcon at least I know what the intention was there, with that being a representation of when he's got part of his abdominal area busted open during that battle.
The red Megatron is actually a neat take, and while I'm sure it's the only way legal would let the toy get out, the touches of yellow make this a fun way to pretend that Transmetal 2 Megatron and G1 Megatron had a child or did the fusion dance or something and out came this guy. This mold has held up extremely well, though I think this is only about the fourth version of it in a decade, yes? Anyway, it's very well put together. OP is surprisingly nice too, especially considering how floppy the AOE release was.
If you don't have these molds, this is a good way to experience them at a decent price point. They're not very definitive versions of Optimus or Megatron, but if you're like me and can live with that you won't be disappointed. I'm going to look at these as a "last shot" version of the molds. While they may not truly be as time progresses, if they are the last time these get brought out then it's a fun stylized way to go out.
Our German friend from the Titan Returns Optimus video review seems to have hit some motherload because he is now reviewing the wave one titan masters. Below you will find a review of Loudmouth and while the words can't be understood by non German speakers, this gives us a good look at the transformation of the little vehicle and the possible play-ability. Enjoy!
Fellow Seibertronians, courtesy of fellow user Stuartmaximus, rounding out the reviews of the upcoming Titans Return figures, we bring you a video review of Titans Return Leader Class Powermaster Optimus Prime. While the review may be in German, it still gives you a great look at this new, extensive remold of Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus. So, check out the video, and let us know what you think of him in the comments below.
Do you remember of E-HOBBY Deadlock, the redeco of Generations Drift. While some of you have already gotten him, fellow Seibertronian reviewer Shockwave514 has made a quick video review for everyone to see what this guy is all about. This may help those who are still on the fence, which is quite understandable for a redeco which may cost you $ 70 USD. Enjoy!
Shockwave514 wrote:It's time for another short review of Transformers Takara Ehobby Deadlock, This review is less then 14 Minutes and I hope you enjoy the informative and crazy review.
Spoiler Warning! The contents of this review may, and likely will, spoil significant parts of this book, and possibly others in the IDW Transformers meta-series. "Trade paperback only" readers should wander away now! This is your one and only warning.
Synopsis and Credits
ALL HAIL OPTIMUS part 4! It's all-out war as OPTIMUS PRIME's forces move on GALVATRON's DECEPTICONS—with Earth caught in the middle! Unusual alliances have formed… and secrets will be revealed.
The story of All Hail Optimus continues with this week's release of The Transformers #53 from IDW Publishing, otherwise known as the book just about every Transformers fan is still calling Robots in Disguise. We join our heroes, I guess, back on Earth where they just did a thing and got attacked by humans and Prime lost an arm or something. Oh, and then he blackmailed some peace seeking Decepticons into joining what amounts to an Optimus Prime led invasion force using some wicked, cunning, downright messed up appeal to Soundwave's more logical side. That part of issue number 52 last month was really good, so I was excited to dive into this next chapter.
Still a fascinating pivot.
The story of Optimus Prime's descent to the dark side of The Force has been really fascinating to witness. While I still foresee some shenanigans on the horizon with a certain police car, if I go with the benefit of the doubt and Prime's head isn't being messed with (this book hasn't earned this benefit over the years, but I'm feeling generous) the subtlety of the character work has been pulled off pretty brilliantly. The normally consistent Optimus has become quite unpredictable, with each new move feeling more desperate even if the end goal is probably as ambiguously defined to this character as it is to readers.
A far less interesting pivot.
On the other hand, we have the leader of our "bad guys" for this arc in Galvatron. Galvatron has been a character in IDW that has been all over the place literally and figuratively. Right now, he feels about as inconsistent as ever. The wise, cunning, eugenics-endorsing guardian of Primus' will (albeit a possibly twisted version of it) has, for reasons I honestly cannot figure out, become an "80's Cartoon Supervillain" to borrow the words of your regular comics reviewer, Dr. Va'al.
Galvatron has gone from Beast Machines Megatron mixed with Armada Galvatron, with the full on David Kaye voice accompaniment, to the bizarre, shrill voiced G1 Season 3 version of the character with a higher pitched Frank Welker madman voice. It's been a quick pivot that is hard to follow and it's been one of the most disappointing aspects of this arc thus far. Sometimes there are shades of it all being a ruse, like during the excellent fight scene with Arcee earlier in the arc, but trust me when I say that really goes out the window in this chapter. See: Cobra Commander Level Cheesy Plan.
Please, make it end.
This book is in dire need of a bad guy with motivation, and he's standing right there making me want to punch him in the face. Just by standing there. I legitimately dislike this character. I read every issue of The Transformers rooting for him to die in the worst way possible. That has little to do with this exact issue of the book, but the fact that he's in there taking up space while the plot wanders in odd directions around him reeks of either poor planning or plans changed by someone in an office in Rhode Island.
Seeds of intrigue, perhaps?
There definitely is some planning going on, with characters that we know will be front and center in the Titans Return toyline (and presumably, story arc) getting some choice moments in this issue as well. Barber manages to get these characters in through smart, unobtrusive methods that a non-toy collector reader won't be caught off guard by. Yes, Mindwipe is around and yes, he's getting a toy soon but were he not, I don't think I'd read the book any differently.
While the majority of the Synergon™ is strong in this book, there are some moments towards the end (including the last page) that warrant mention, though I'll stop short of spoiling them. I'll just mention that I was interested in getting some official canon to go behind some more recent Transformers toy releases, this looked like it was going to deliver, but I ended up with disappointment instead.
Stay tuned next time for more Wacky Races!
Just like some members of Optimus' crew, this book alternates between serious and cartoonish, dramatic and funny, and even has a plot that advances forwards and backwards. I honestly can't say that the plot of this arc feels like it's moved forward much at all, and it's really falling victim to the trade paperback format pitfalls that IDW had previously done a tremendous job at avoiding. The glacial pace of progress continues to be just that for this part of the larger story, whether that feeling is intentional or not.
The art is handled in this issue by Priscilla Tramontano with colors by Josh Burcham and letters by series regular Tom B. Long, and it's definitely a highlight of this issue.
Maybe they just want to report about your silver arm?
From wisely used effects like those found in this panel, to purposeful stylistic differences in the pencils/inks based on the environment in which the action takes place (more on this shortly), the book has a style that is sure to please a majority of Transformers fans. It alternates between serious detail and cartoon-like sketchiness freely, and in some cases you may not even notice the jumps.
There was one case where I was first jarred by the changing depiction of certain characters from panel to panel, and that was with the Combiner characters once they go underwater. Initially, I thought this was just a product of deadlines being a thing that exists, with art that just had to get done at some point, and I was disappointed. Later, I thought this may have been a stylistic choice meant to evoke the original Transformers cartoon series. Upon investigating that train of thought further, I noticed that all of the details in the underwater scenes are more "cartoon-like", for better or worse. At least it's consistent with this, even if I'd prefer some more detail. It seems to fit with the back and forth tonal nature of this issue as well, so that's another thing going for it.
One great, moody page
Burcham's colors lend more to the tone of the story than perhaps the words themselves in this issue, with multiple instances where he takes what could be more instances of inconsistency and makes them a harmonious, fun to look at product. Between work here and on Sins of the Wreckers, comics fans continue to get a look at a colorist at the top of his game.
While the plot's overall direction and progress disappointed me, with this issue ending at a point of rising action just like the last countless many issues of this series, the art and many of the character beats pick this issue up from a potentially boring place.
Why not Zoidberg Tidal Whale?
That said, this book needs to resolve some plot threads soon, and find a more consistent voice. Solicits make me think it's going somewhere at long last, but I've been fooled by those plenty of times before. The more cartoon-styled look is not on accident, as the story reads like a Saturday morning show in many parts as well. I don't mind that, and it's a ton of fun, but what happens when this book wants me to take it seriously again? There are points within this issue where that seems to be the case, but it's a difficult, almost jarring shift in mood. That's probably intentional, and while I appreciate the inherent goofy side of Transformers and like the fun ways this issue uses that side, this feels like a weird place in an arc that was almost all serious business up to this point for that to come into the picture.
I'm conflicted by this issue, as there are parts I love and parts my eyes will just wander over when I pick up my physical copy this afternoon. I'll give this two different ones since different readers will likely find very different levels of appreciation of The Transformers #53
For readers looking for drama and serious plot advancement:
. and 1/2 - out of
For readers that like a fun tone interspersed with a looser overall plot:
THE DYING OF THE LIGHT part 4! Twilight’s last gleaming! The end is nigh. No chance of escape. No last-minute reprieve. But nothing loosens the tongue like imminent death, and the crew of the Lost Light use their final hours to say what—until now—was unsayable.
Geddit? lights dying?
The Light keeps dying, slowly, inexorably, irreparably, and we are witnesses to the events as they unfold, as James Roberts allows them to, and we are left without choice (other than not to read the story, of course) - in a manner very similar to the characters in this issue, faced with choices, the illusion of such, and a lot of emotions.
Average MTMTE reader
And with a lot of emotions, come a lot of storylines: we have Nightbeat's intrigue with the hollow planet, and his co-opting of Rung, we have whatever Minimus Ambus and Brainstorm are doing, we have Ratchet and Velocity, Nautica and her group, Chromedome recovering, Megatron being repaired, the DJD just waiting, Whirl and Cyclonus. I could go on.
New mystery; where are Rung's glasses?
Don't get me wrong, though, there are some stellar character moments for pretty much all of the cast members in the book. And it also manages to deal quite nicely, and deeply (and on multiple fronts) with big themes such as addiction, the overwhelming fears running through the whole cast of the issue, friendship and love, and the pain that the latter two can bring as side effects.
Not pictured: your gut
There's ..a lot in here. And not all of it necessarily meshes that well together. We see it in the opening preview, with Nautica's otherwise very touching moment as she sees the end coming - a moment which feels too short taken within the frame of the whole issue, and that is a real shame. But more below.
Alex Milne is the main artist on the book, though the Whirl/Cyclonus sequence is actually the talented hands of Hayato Sakamoto, and it shows. Not just the parallels, but the issues that come across in the script in terms of pacing are visually redeemed (for me at least) by punching the 'meanwhile' technique is a truly spectacular way. And one panel, that one panel, THAT PANEL, is almost painful.
Not showing it of course
Joana Lafuente's gradual transition in colour palettes, from the arrival on the beautifully lit Necroworld to now
Tom B. Long takes the letters and makes sure we know exactly where to look, what to hear, and how loudly (or softly). In a text that so much unsaid finally spoken, the indication is needed, welcome, and part of the emotional package. The covers, on the other hand, do very little to hint at anything happening inside this book, though great they are! Priscilla Tramontano brings a much happier Swerve memory (thumbnail), as Josh Burcham and Sakamoto show off the threat that awaits, and Milne and Josh Perez look at that thread from our side of the fence.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Reader, I cried. Much like the issue in this series that provided the template for the culprit image, I felt the same build up on the page, in the characters, and inside my emotional chamber, as I was led to the resolution of that particular arc. It doesn't end there, of course, but if I have to talk about one moment, that is the one that stuck. The art, as I said above, is mostly to blame.
There are, I repeat here, some severe pacing issues, trying to fit in a number of personal narratives that just do not survive the composition, either coming across as rushed, disjointed or even shoehorned in - which the visuals do wonders with. It's a collection of character moments, beautiful, each unique in their own way, and well-done taken separately. But we need the climax. It is time.
Fellow Seibertronians, courtesy of fellow user Starsaber468, we get a nice look at the upcoming Leader class Blaster figure along with the Legends class figures Rewind and Wheelie in the form of video reviews. While Blaster's is in Chinese, it offers a fairly comprehensive look at the various features. The other two are in English. Check them out and let us know what you think of them in the comments below.
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