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Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Transformers News: Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy
Date: Sunday, January 27th 2013 11:06am CST
Category: Toy News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Kapow! Toys

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Views: 30,198

Site sponsor Kapow! Toys has provided us with a pictorial review of Takara Tomy's Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy. Enjoy the review below.

Transformers Arms Micron AM31 Frenzy

I dismissed this guy when the delivery arrived assuming I already had the RID version of Rumble but after picking up the box today it appears I was sadly mistaken. The darker blue plastic immediately makes him look better and more like Takara Frenzy, couple this with the far superior head sculpt and its already head and shoulder above the RID version apart from the lack of pile drivers, I know he comes with his sentry Micron but in this case like Wildrider he could have done with both however that might just be me being a greedy git

The stickers are easy to apply, its like Takara have been on a learning curve since the first few AM releases in that they've worked out the kinks in applying the stickers to curved sections or large complicated surface areas. The Micron is the bog standard snap kit which again has a great little slide gimmick built into it and a decent set of stickers.

Card mode is fairly bland, you don't have to put the Team Soundwave on the door or the Frenzy stickers I just fancied making a boy racer.

Over all AM Frenzy scores 7.5/10

If your in the UK or Europe you can purchase Frenzy from Kapow Toys via the following link - http://www.kapowtoys.co.uk/tfam-arms-mi ... 84e0r8vsu6


Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-31 Frenzy

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Transformers News: Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble
Date: Friday, January 25th 2013 8:14pm CST
Categories: Toy News, Sponsor News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Kapow! Toys

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Views: 33,686

Site sponsor Kapow! Toys has provided us with a pictorial review of Takara Tomy's Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble. Enjoy the review below.

Arms Micron AM30 Rumble

Not just a repaint but a slight remold in the fact he has a new head which in fairness knocks spots off the Hasbro Ultron style head which never really hit the spot for me. There isn't anything else different apart from the sticker sheet, Micron and the omission of the pile drivers which is slightly annoying but not the end of the world. He is a nice toy but does have the problems of shoulder clearance where the massive roof sections clip the guns / side door panels which sit over the shoulder but it does not ruin him, he has a lot of poseability and a nice neat transformation. Micron wise it looks a lot like a grappling gun in weapon mode and an evil kitchen appliance in robot mode, neither of which is a bad thing but is it a good thing ? I don't know because I have run out of words so check out the pics and decide for yourself.

Overall Rumble scores 7.5 / 10


Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

Pictorial Review: Takara Tomy Transformers Prime Arms Micron AM-30 Rumble

UK Toy Fair: First Looks at Dragon Disc Optimus Prime and Ultimate Predaking and More

Transformers News: UK Toy Fair: First Looks at Dragon Disc Optimus Prime and Ultimate Predaking  and More
Date: Wednesday, January 23rd 2013 2:04pm CST
Category: Toy News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Full Metal Hero, daimchoc

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Views: 41,507

The UK Toy Fair is underway, and with it comes our first, albeit blurry, looks at Transformers Prime "Beast Hunters" Dragon Disc Optimus Prime and the Ultimate Predaking. Both are said to be larger than Leader Class figures and feature light, sound, and automorph gimmicks. Expect to see a lot more of these guys and more at next months Toy Fair in New York. For now check out the images below mirrored from UK fansite Full Metal Hero.

Additional new from the UK Toy Fair:

  • Transformers Prime "Beast Hunters" will see a May release in the UK
  • A five-pack of Cyberverse Class Legion Predicons is on the way
  • Hasbro is aware of the issues surrounding Masterpiece Optimus Prime's UK release, it now rests in the hands of Toys"R"Us
  • They are treating Ultimate Predaking and Dragon Disc Optimus Prime as separate from the rest of the "Beast Hunters" line

First Looks at Transformers Prime "Beast Hunters" Dragon Disc OP and Predaking

First Looks at Transformers Prime "Beast Hunters" Dragon Disc OP and Predaking

Rumor: Transformers Prime "Beast Hunters" Voyager Shockwave and Ultra Magnus Listings Found

Transformers News: Rumor: Transformers Prime "Beast Hunters" Voyager Shockwave and Ultra Magnus Listings Found
Date: Monday, January 14th 2013 12:36pm CST
Categories: Toy News, Rumors
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Ominous Prime-Evil

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Views: 74,873

New Transformers Prime "Beast Hunters" Voyager listings found? That's what the latest rumor making it's way around the internet would have us to believe. These listings are said to have come from Wal-Mart's computer system, and appear to reveal three previously unknown upcoming Voyager Class figures.

The first two listings seem to match up with Voyager Wave 1, Optimus Prime and Predaking.

TRA PRM BST OP - Optimus Prime, pretty straight forward.

TRA PRM BST DR - Predaing, the DR likely meaning dragon.

Things get more interesting when we examine the next three listings.

TRA PRM BST SHKW - Shockwave would make sense. He's a popular character, we know he will appear in Season 3 "Beast Hunters", and Hasbro has yet to release him in toy form. Could be a situation similar to the recently revealed "Beast Hunters" Deluxe Smokescreen.

TRA PRM BST UM - Ultra Magnus also seems likely. He's already received two figures in the previous "Robots in Disguise" line, he's currently appearing in the Transformers Prime: Rage of the Dinobots miniseries which leads into Season 3, we already know he's going to get a Weaponizer class figure in the "Beast Hunters" line. The question being would this figure be a new mold, or a spiky retool of his existing Voyager Class figure.

TRA PRM KNT TL - ?, speculate away on this one.

Keep in mind Toy Fair is less than a month away, so we won't have to wait too long to see if these listing are accurate.

Here are the listings as reported by Seibertron.com Ominous Prime-Evil

TRA PRM BST OP

TRA PRM BST DR

TRA PRM BST SHKW

TRA PRM KNT TL

TRA PRM BST UM

New Generations G1 Optimus Prime Planned?

Transformers News: New Generations G1 Optimus Prime Planned?
Date: Sunday, January 13th 2013 10:14am CST
Category: Toy News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Ozformers

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Views: 30,993

Does Hasbro have plans to release a new updated G1 Optimus Prime mold in the Generations line? It seems possible based on a piece of art from the latest issue of Toy Hobby Retailer magazine. The Australian fansite Ozformers has shared an image from the magazine's Hasbro 90 years collage that features a redesigned G1 Optimus Prime holding what appears to be a Targetmaster type weapon with a Generations label. The weapon has a blue cab and windshield section, so it definitely transformers into something. Take it with the normal grain of salt, we should know more about the 2013 Generations lineup after next month's Toy Fair. Check out the images mirrored below.

New Generations G1 Optimus Prime Planned?

New Generations G1 Optimus Prime Planned?

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight / Interview - Razorclaw0000

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight / Interview - Razorclaw0000
Date: Monday, November 26th 2012 3:12am CST
Categories: Site Articles, Interviews
Posted by: Anonymous.

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Views: 131,725

"Just a normal interview," they said. "Everything will be alright," they said. Well as this innocent Autobot reporter found out, his assigned interview subject happened to live in a no-so-alright star system controlled by Unicron. It also turned out that my interviewee was not-so-normal either. Among the list of his many credentials is some sort of secret 'Agent of Unicron', so I was not entirely sure if we were going to play Casino Royale, or there was going to be some Skyfall. Luckily I found my subject in his natural habitat, and coincidentally, he happens to Twincast/Podcast and Seibertron.com staff member, Razorclaw0000!


[START TRANSMISSION]


Blurrz: Every Transformers fan has a different origin. When and how did it begin for you?

Razorclaw0000: In my Universe, the Vok also created something greater from the sparks of Air Razor and Tigatron, but here, the Vok meant business. Instead of that sniveling Tigerhawk trying to stop Megatron from interfering with time, I just disposed of him. Tigerhawk is not me and I am not he. However, the Vok are not kind to their creations, and cast me adrift. Then, millennia later the Dark God Unicron found me and bestowed the mantle of General upon me. To feed the Chaos Bringer's thirst, I oversaw the Cauldron - a great Arena which put the ancient gladiatorial games at Kaon to shame. At that time, I also began amassing a vast collection of Microns and Minicons to please Unicron.

Alternatively, I've always been fond of Transformers, since I was very small. I was just a few years too late to catch G1 at its pinnacle, and ended up seeing reruns in syndication. My first few toys were Minibots, Perceptor, Blitzwing, Groundshaker, and Iguanus. We were not a financially stable family though, and toys that weren't from a dollar store were a sparse luxury, so I ended up with many anonymous robots from various low cost Chinese lines.

I stayed a fan for a long time, and saw some of Beast Wars as a teenager. Rampage was a fantastic character and the toy always excited me. It was a few years later, in my senior year of high school when I finally had a small job and a bit of money that I stumbled on a Rampage in a Boscov's Department Store, covered in dust, and had to buy it. I was hooked, but money was still tight. I ended up finding some good deals on clearance in Kay-Bee, a Scarem and Sonar, and a Transmetals Scavenger, which were my only toys for a few years.

By 2002, I had a fairly stable job, ironically at a Boscov's, while I was putting myself through undergrad. One day, I happened to stroll over to the toy area, and saw Armada Starscream. The design was interesting. There's a presence to that figure, with the stocky lower legs, smirk, and sword that mean business. I ended up buying it, but I felt slightly disappointed by the slightly less complex transformation. Within months, I ended up buying nearly every domestic Armada figure, skipping some repaints. I was hooked. There were some stinkers, like Scavenger, and some real winners, like Jetfire and Tidalwave that looked great, even if articulation was weak. I also started backfilling with clearance RID figures, and even a few Beast Machines figures hiding out here and there.

In 2003, I ordered my first Japanese figure: the reissue God Ginrai with God Bomber, on clearance at HLJ, along with a color set of Micromaster Six Wing. My fiancee (and currently my wife) was relatively annoyed but didn't complain too much. For years, I ended up picking up most of the domestic products, through Energon, Alternators, and Cybertron, along with a few pieces here and there from older or foreign lines, like a Sonokong Big Convoy. Right as Classics began to hit store shelves, we bought a house, and I took a large pause for nearly a year.

When the 2007 movie came up, on Memorial Day weekend, I found the movie prequel book "Ghost of Yesterday" and Protoform Prime and Starscream, and decided to pick them up. I was excited by the fiction, and intrigued by the molds. My collecting desires rekindled and I was on a mad dash to grab the Classics I'd missed.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
Unicron's glory reigns supreme in Razorclaw0000's collection!


Q: Sounds like Unicron will have Bards singing your tale! So let's get more into the little guys. What does collecting mini-cons mean to you?

A: When I was growing up, and we were poor, I did end up with a handful of Minibots, namely Powerglide, Brawn, Outback, Huffer, and two poor Seasprays that never managed to keep all the propellers. I think there's something about Minicons and Microns that pulls me back to those points, and there's some gleeful irony in the stupid prices a few of them are worth. I'm also borderline OCD, so the "gotta catch 'em all" aspect tickles my fancy. Finally, I think a few of them are so outright gorgeous and unique, like the DVD Sonic Attack team (girly planes!), Micron Booster Green Emergency team (minty fresh team!) , the Platinum team, and the US Giant Planet Team. They're fun to fiddle with, and don't take up much space, unlike other parts of my collection...

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
A mere glimpse into his collection - Razorclaw0000's work in progress Mini-con shelf!


Q: Like myself, you are an avid video game enthusiast. How are you feeling about Fall Of Cybertron the game, itself?

A: I think it looks good. I got chills when I heard the original trailer, featuring "The Humbling River" by Puscifer. I'm a huge Maynard James Keenan fan, so that was a nice treat. The visuals look great, and I'm intrigued by some of the characters, like the Combaticons. However, I was somewhat unimpressed with WFC. I'm a big fan of real cover shooters, like Mass Effect and Gears of War, with nice clean snap in cover mechanics. Standing behind a pillar isn't quite the same, and I'm a bit spoiled. I'm sure I'll pick it up, though, just to support High Moon and the property.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000


Q: Leaning more towards the Fall Of Cybertron toyline. How does it fit within your collection? Do you feel that WFC/FOC has done justice on the Pre-Earth Transformers? Do you think FOC toyline is a step backwards or forwards for the Transformers toy franchise?

A: I built up a shelf last year with Welcome to 2010 Primus, the War for Cybertron Generations Deluxes, BotCon Alpha Trion, and Universe 2.0 Blaster with Renderform's DJ Rockblast head. I'm pretty happy with it, and I have no problems adding a *few* more figures to it, particularly Shockwave, Starscream, and Bruticus. I'm not crazy that the mainline Bruticus has the inferior, pseudo-G2 color scheme, because I'd rather keep the SDCC MISB. The big thing that irritates me, though, is that large Soundwave with the annoying disk gimmick we saw at BotCon. I like the concept, but the execution is poor, and I can't help but think of all those development dollars that could have gone to more Neo-G1 figures, or Prime figures, or anything. Too much, too late?

Q: As we all know you have a nose for completion in regards to collecting toys. What made you lean towards this way of collecting? What was the most arguably painful and frustrating purchase you had to go through because of this mentality?

A: Completionism is a special kind of hell that only a dedicated few can put themselves through. It takes an understanding spouse, a dash of luck, and a whole heap of obsessive-compulsion. There's a special kind of yearning that enforces the "Gotta Catch 'Em All" feeling of toys, and makes you ignore the common sense that tells you one Backstop was enough, and you don't need two others in even worse decos.

Some of the hardest things to find in my collection are obscure non-Micron figures and items from the Micron Trilogy (the Japanese equivalent of the Unicron Trilogy here). I've been working for a long time on finding the last Force Chip (Cyber-key) that was not paired with a larger figure during Galaxy Force. If you know anyone looking to part with "Ignition Prize", send 'em my way! The Superlink Energon Weapons are also a bear to track down. Many of the hardest items are difficult to search for, and were often overlooked by sites like Seibertron when they were first released. Even getting photos is extremely difficult...

One of my happiest moments was tracking down the three rarest US Minicons, though. At the start of Cybertron, Wal-Mart released the Wave One deluxes in special tiny boxes, paired with a palette-flipped set of the Armada Road Destruction Team, along with "Tiny Tin" storage boxes. Each Minicon in the team was paired with two different deluxes. I've managed to complete a full set of the six deluxes, sealed, along with a loose set of the Minicons for display. Yes, that does mean I own the team three times...

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
Razorclaw0000's specials. Prototype Razorclaw and BotCon 2010 Customizing Class G2 Sideswipe


Q: Mini-cons certainly perpetuate happiness among certain members of the Seibertron.com staff! So among your massive collection, which one is your holy grail?

A: Shining Unicron is certainly the top of the "grail" list. Dragoyell is another Lucky Draw that tickles my fancy. For non-Micron Trilogy, I'd certainly love a Black Fire Convoy or the gorgeous Lucky Draw Micron Legends Megatron.

However, if we're looking for 'attainable' grails, it would probably be the Space Galaxy Team. They're still one of the most elusive sets of Microns ever produced that weren't Lucky Draws, and command absurd dollars in the after market, if they even show up at all.

If we step down from that, I'll be very happy when I wrap up the last three DVD Microns, Impulsor, Quench, and Freeboot, that I need.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
I don't want to die! Plot shield please?


Q: What is your opinion of Shattered Glass? Are you a devoted fan or strongly opposing it? What do you think of the upcoming e-hobby/TFCC crossover?

A: I'm not a fan at this point. It was clever at the beginning, especially since I'm a big fan of Star Trek, where the idea really blossomed from. However, I think it's been taken a bit too far by now, and is stunting the creativity of the club. To be fair, though, it's a nice avenue to get repaints we may not otherwise, like Road Rage. I'd just like to see some other property developed by the club already. Wings was promising, but seems to have petered out. I didn't join the Shattered Glass Collector's Club.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000


Q: On the topic of the club, which figure is your favorite of the upcoming 2012 Subscription service, and why?

A: I'm the odd man out, and I'm really digging Circuit. I enjoy that mold immensely; it's one of my favorites out of the amazing NEST Global Alliance/Hunt for the Decepticons/Reveal the Shield era. I'm also really enjoying the trend of giving us Action Masters. I love Double Punch, Slicer, Kick Off, and Thundercracker, and I'm really looking forward to more homages to that era.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000


Blurrz: Whelp, looks like Unicron calls. Thanks for stopping by Razorclaw0000!

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
Razorclaw0000 left this here.. What is this? I don't even..


[END TRANSMISSION]

Auto Assembly 2013 - August 9th-11th

Transformers News: Auto Assembly 2013  - August 9th-11th
Date: Thursday, November 22nd 2012 10:17am CST
Category: Event News
Posted by: LOST Cybertronian | Credit(s): Auto Assembly

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Views: 40,498

Auto Assembly 2013 Major Updates


We've been quiet for a little while here at Auto Assembly. We've spent the last few months trying to recover from Auto Assembly 2012 and making plenty of plans for next year's convention, and taking a look back at some of the things we did this year so we can make 2013 the best convention we have ever organised.

Anyway, onto Auto Assembly 2013 and we have some fantastic things lined up for all of you. As you may know, back in August we confirmed our three voice actors who are joining us - Dan Gilvezan (G1 Bumblebee), Neil Kaplan (RiD Prime) and Steve Blum (TF: Prime Starscream), but since then we've been fairly quiet. Until now...

Over on our website, we've been busy making a lot of announcements about the convention and this is going to continue for the next few months with something new coming from us every few days!

One Day Passes
Until now, we have only been selling full weekend tickets for Auto Assembly 2013, but as of 22nd November 2012 we have now made one day passes available for the convention. However, these are limited so if you are interested, you'll need to book these sooner rather than later!

Guests

Starting things off are our guests. We deliberately held back on announcing our comic guests for 2013 so we still had guests to announce after our voice actors! Anyway, our first two confirmed comic guests are Simon Furman and James Roberts with more to come over the next few days.

Convention Exclusives

We've just unveiled the artwork for the first of our convention exclusive postcards for Auto Assembly 2013 and you can find this on our website. It's already been extremely well received and we'll be showing you the artwork for the rest of the cards over the coming months. That's not all though - we have more convention exclusive merchandise that we'll be announcing, starting tomorrow...


Full details on all of these stories and many more are on the Auto Assembly website, as well as more news to come over the next few days!

Auto Assembly 2013 is Europe's largest EVER Transformers convention and is taking place over the weekend of 9th - 11th August 2013 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel. To book your tickets, to enquire about dealers tables or sponsorship / advertising opportunities or to find out more including details of all the dealers attending, all of our guests and a full schedule for the weekend, visit the website at http://www.autoassembly.org.uk

If you can't make it to the convention, we'll be offering a Non-Attendee Package early in the new year and running other online activities that you'll be able to get involved with!

Hope to see you all next year!

The Auto Assembly Team

Web: http://www.autoassembly.org.uk / http://www.transformersvideogames.co.uk / http://www.ct-alpha.com
Auto Assembly Europe: http://www.autoassemblyeurope.eu
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/autoassembly
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/auto_assembly
Forum: http://www.autoassembly.org.uk/forum
Email: contact@autoassembly.org.uk
Tel: +44 (0)7860 948296

Auto Assembly is sponsored by

Calloway Custom Designs - http://www.shapeways.com/shops/callowaycustomdesigns
Big Ds Toy Chest - http://www.bigdstoychest.co.uk
Toyz And Gamez - http://www.toyzandgamez.co.uk
Kapow Toys - http://www.kapowtoys.co.uk
TF Source - http://www.tfsource.com
Robot Kingdom - http://www.robotkingdom.com
Transformers @ The Moon - http://www.transformertoys.co.uk
TransformersAnimated.com - http://www.transformersanimated.com
Titan Books - http://www.titanbooks.com
Big Bad Toy Store - http://www.bbts.com

John Barber Transformers: Robots in Disguise Interview

Transformers News: John Barber Transformers: Robots in Disguise Interview
Date: Wednesday, November 21st 2012 11:34pm CST
Categories: Comic Book News, People News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Transformers facebook page

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Views: 49,479

The official Transformers facebook page has posted an interview with Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing writer and IDW Senior Editor John Barber. We've mirrored the interview below for those without facebook access:

Q: Hi John. Robots in Disguise is almost a year old now. Has everything panned out as smoothly as you had hoped in the story you are telling?

JOHN BARBER: Hi! Well, we’ve stuck pretty close to the original ideas. New things have definitely cropped up, new ideas pop in all the time, but the essential story Andrew Griffith and I set out to tell over the first year or so has gone according to plan. Along the way there’ve been some nice synchronicities, some characters have asserted themselves in ways that either made them bigger characters or that changed the way the story unfolded, but overall, yeah.


Q: You’ve been trying to make sense of some continuity issues that have cropped up. Is this something you really wanted to try in fix from past TF comics?

JOHN BARBER: It’s not really that I set out to fix things as much as sometimes little continuity things suggest interesting stories or directions. Like, with Metalhawk—when More Than Meets The Eye writer James Roberts and I were working on The Death of Optimus Prime, James had come up with the notion of having a character be the de facto leader of the neutral Cybertronians who were returning home. I thought it’d be cool to use an existing Transformers character that we hadn’t seen yet—somebody that would have resonance with some fans, but it wouldn’t be essential that anybody know who he is.
We bounced some ideas between us and Andy Schmidt, who was the editor then, and to Michael Kelly at Hasbro. Eventually, James suggested Metalhawk. A quick internet search showed that Metalhawk had appeared in one panel in the Drift limited series. Or, anyway, somebody that looked an awful lot like Metalhawk was there. Alex Milne had drawn him in as, basically, a random ’bot. Nobody called him Metalhawk, he didn’t do anything particularly important. And it would have been pretty easy to just ignore that. And, honestly—and I know some fans vehemently disagree with what I’m about to say—I think it would have been fair to just write that off as “somebody that looks like Metalhawk” if it got in the way of the story.
But it got me thinking, and I thought it could be kind of cool if that were Metalhawk, and even though he’s only got that one panel in the Drift comic, that battle had actually been a key part of Metalhawk’s life. And that created an opportunity to bring Turmoil (who I think is an awesome character who deserved more of an on-panel life) back and have it mean something personal to somebody that Turmoil was around. So that panel just suggested some depth to the then-just-being-developed-in-current-continuity Metalhawk.
Hopefully, in practice, it doesn’t matter to the RID reader if they ever see that panel, but I think it’s fun that that panel is there. It creates a wider, more coherent tapestry of stories, without being obtrusive or stopping us from moving forward.


Q: After seeing all of the previous TF work, how hard did you find it get into the characters heads and come up with their voices and point of views?

JOHN BARBER: Well, over my life I’ve spent a fair amount of time with these characters—reading the comics, watching the cartoons and movies, playing with the toys when I was young—so I had some thoughts about the characters. There were some that, over the years, had been portrayed in ways that didn’t exactly match up all the way, which is just the reality of what happens when you have an ongoing comic book universe with different writers and artists playing in the same sandbox.
But, again, that was an opportunity. Real people do contradictory things, real people change their approaches over the years. We react differently to different situations. So I tried to use those different reactions and figure out what might make these particular iterations of these guys tick.
I tried to give the characters distinct points of view and voices based on what we’d seen them do over the course of all the IDW-published comics, and also what the sort-of “classic” versions of the characters are. I like using the big characters, and some of them have developed really interesting backstories, but that’s mostly how I view the previous stories, in practical storytelling terms. I mean, not that my stories are better, I just mean that as a writer, you have to focus on the story you’re telling, not a previous story. As a reader, you shouldn’t need to know the details of the character’s lives to follow what they’re doing now, or to enjoy them as characters… but if you do want to know about their life stories—a lot of it’s been published!


Q: Can you say much about your grand plan when you started writing RID? Did you have this time of peace on the re-born Cybertron well plotted out?

JOHN BARBER: Yeah, the big arc of the first year or so, definitely. It’s really about 16 issues that will get you a big climax to the story begun in issue 1. But not an end to the RID saga, I should add. That definitely keeps going!
Like I said, some of it changed a little, but the broad strokes are the same.
There were certain stories I wanted to hit—RID was never meant to be only about the political struggle. I wanted to have a story about somebody coming home trying to fit in on this world; a wilderness story; a story about the city surviving the changed environment of the planet. I feel like we did pretty well hitting those stories and still moving forward with a big, macro story about the power struggle in Iacon.


Q: Have you had to change or adapt how you write the stories, maybe based on something you’ve seen coming up in maybe an issue of More Than Meets the Eye (RID’s sister title)?

JOHN BARBER: We toss ideas back and forth all the time, James and I. So yeah, we’re constantly affecting what each other are doing. We’ve managed to not screw each other up, though, with our stories. If that’s what you mean.


Q: Have you found it difficult to keep a track of events in RID, especially with issues such as the time travelling space ship causing chaos (at least for the characters)?

JOHN BARBER: Yeah… it’s funny. I really intentionally focused in on five key players—Bumblebee, Ironhide, Prowl, Wheeljack, and Starscream—with Metalhawk playing a huge outsider role for most of the series. But as the series went on, a lot of other characters became important, too. So keeping track of where everybody is and where they wind up by issue 16 has been constantly on my mind.
Issue 10, with the time-traveling space-ship… that was it’s own beast. That was hard to keep track of on a totally different level. And I’m happy people came along for that ride.


Q: Is there any one stand-out moment from the first year of RID that you are most proud of over the others?

JOHN BARBER: Yes, but I can’t say what it is yet without giving things away.


Q: A certain character re-appears in issue 11 of RID. Had the return of this character been in your mind right from the very start?

JOHN BARBER: Yes, absolutely. Don’t miss today’s issue! Everything changes here.


Q: Between writing RID and editing the books across the TF license, would you say its one of the most challenging jobs you’ve done in comics?

JOHN BARBER: Sure, yeah. I mean, I edit more than just the Transformers comics, too—I work on G.I. Joe with Carlos Guzman, and on Dungeons & Dragons, and on a few other comics, too. So it’s a lot of good stuff to get to do. There’s definitely a lot of Transformers comics across a lot of timelines, but it’s a good challenge.

Q: Anything you can say about season 2 of RID? Can you say about possible happenings or characters that may reappear?

JOHN BARBER: Two words: purple reign.

BBTS Sponsor News: G2 Bruticus Arrives, Star Wars, Sideshow, Hobbit, Play Arts Kai

Transformers News: BBTS Sponsor News: G2 Bruticus Arrives, Star Wars, Sideshow, Hobbit, Play Arts Kai
Date: Wednesday, October 24th 2012 3:29pm CDT
Category: Sponsor News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): BBTS

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 31,298

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NEW ARRIVALS
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G2 BRUTICUS - BBTS SHARED EXCLUSIVE
This exclusive set includes Onslaught, Brawl, Swindle, Vortex and Blast off in their G2 colors. Leave them in vehicle or robot mode, or merge them to create the mighty Bruticus!
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


TRANSFORMERS PRIME ORION PAX
This figure of Optimus before he became the leader of the Autobots has Decepticon symbols and comes with a gold chromed version of Ratchet's Arms Micron. This figure is listed at $54.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


TRANSFORMERS COMMEMORATIVE G1 SOUNDWAVE
We have received a small restock shipment of this popular set. This version of Soundwave has Soundblaster's double-deep cassette bay, and comes with Laserbeak and Ravage as well. We have this set listed at $64.99
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


MASS EFFECT 3 PLAY ARTS KAI FIGURES
The first wave of Mass Effect 3 Play Arts Kai figures has arrived. These figures include Garrus, Ashley and Commander Shepard, and they each come with an assortment of weapons. We have these figures listed at $64.99 each.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/sear ... Effect+Kai


STAR WARS 12" COMMANDER NEYO
The first of three 12" Star Wars figures from Sideshow this week is Commander Neyo. His armor is detailed with maroon and he includes multiple weapons, hands and more. This figure is listed at $129.99, $5 off the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


STAR WARS 12" TUSKEN RAIDER
The second 12" figure is the Tusken Raider from Tatooine. He includes his Gaffi stick, multiple hands, multi-layer robes and more, and is listed at $129.99, $5 off the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


STAR WARS STAP & 12" BATTLE DROID
This 12" Battle Droid figure comes complete with his ride, a Single Trooper Aerial Platform or STAP. The complete package measures 13.5" tall and is listed at $169.99, $5 off the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


INVINCIBLE IRON MAN 1:1 SCALE BUST
This large-scale bust measures 26" tall by 27" wide and 10" deep, and shows Iron Man in a classic red and gold armor suit. It has limited articulation and LED-lit eyes and Unibeam emitter and is priced at $699.99, saving you $50 off of the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


STAR WARS ASAJJ VENTRESS 1:1 SCALE BUST
This bust of the mysterious and angry Sith apprentice stands 21.5" tall and includes a removable fabric cowl. It is listed at $494.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


DEAD SPACE ISAAC CLARKE 16" STATUE
This new polystone statue is decked out in armor and wields a plasma cutter. The helmet contains a light-up component, and we have the statue listed at $274.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


MARVEL MINIMATES SERIES 47 SET
This assortment is from the Brood storyline from Uncanny X-Men 232-234 and includes Colossus, Longshot, Dazzler Rogue, Wolverine, variant Brood Wolverine and two Brood. We have this set listed at $29.99, $6 off the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


WALKING DEAD MINIMATES SERIES 01 SET
The first assortment includes Rick Grime with Roamer Zombie, a Herd Zombie 2-pack, Dale with Roamer Zombie, and a short-packed Dale in Winter Coat with Roamer Zombie. This Set is listed at $29.99, saving you $6 off of the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


MUNSTERS BLACK & WHITE FIGURE SET
This box set collects the whole family, just as you remember them from the original black & white TV show. Herman, Lily, Marilyn, Eddie and Grandpa 7" figures are all included, and the whole set is listed at $64.99, $10 off of the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


MUNSTERS EDDIE & MARILYN TWO-PACK
If you are collecting the 7" color versions instead, now you can finish up the family with this two-pack. It includes Marilyn in a yellow dress plus Eddie in his black and white outfit, along with Eddie's doll and more. This set is listed at $21.99, $3 off the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


MEGAMAN BOBBLE BUDDS - SET, SINGLES
This new assortment includes MegaMan, ProtoMan, ElecMan and GutsMan. They are available singly at $11.99 each, or as a set of four at $44.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/sear ... bble+Budds


MONSTER SCALE FRANKENSTEIN
Mezco has just released a new 18" Frankenstein figure, the first in their Monster Scale line of Universal Studios monsters. He is done in a new super deformed style and is listed at $79.99, $10 off the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


MARS ATTACKS MARTIAN FIGURE
Mezco has also done a new 6" figure of a Martian from "Mars Attacks!". He includes his helmet and space gun, and is listed at $19.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


DC SPUDS - CLASSIC BATMAN, SUPERMAN, WONDER WOMAN
These new Mr. Potato Head figures are sure to bring a smile to DC fans. We have Classic Batman, Classic Superman and Classic Wonder Woman in stock now, priced at $19.99 each. If you missed him the first time around, be sure to take a look at the Joker Spud as well, so that your super heroes have someone to battle.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/sear ... h=DC+Spuds


UNIVERSAL MONSTERS HUNCHBACK MINIMATES SET
This quarter includes the Quasimodo, Phoebus, Esmerelda and King of Fools Quasimodo. It is listed at $15.99, $2 off the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail



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NEW PREORDERS
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TRANSFORMERS ALTERNITY X SUPER GT 01, 02
The first two figures from this new line have been announced. We are waiting for confirmation on their identities right now, but it appears that 01 will be Optimus Prime and 02 will be Star Saber, and each will come with their own transforming weapon/accessory. We have each figure listed at $114.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/sear ... y+Super+GT


STAR WARS SCOUT TROOPER EWOK ATTACK EXCLUSIVE MAQUETTE
This new animated-style piece shows a Scout Trooper being taken down by three angry Ewoks. It stands about 10" tall, is limited to 1200 pieces and is listed at $99.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


NOBLE COLLECTION HOBBIT REPLICAS
The folks at the Noble Collection have announced six new replicas from the upcoming Hobbit movie. We have Glamdring and Orcrist at $188.99 each, Sting at $108.99, Bilbo's Deed of Contract ay $39.99, Thorin's Miniature Key and Map Replica at $29.99 and a Map of Middle Earth Replica at $39.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/menu ... ompany=964


DIAMOND SELECT NOVEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS
Three new items are on their way from Diamond. We have the Alice: Madness Returns 7" Royal Guard Alice figure at $21.99, along with a Knight Rider Select Michael Knight 8" Cloth Action Figure at $37.99. There is also a new Best Of Minimates Wave, which includes Loki, Daredevil, Punisher, Mr. Fantastic, Deadpool, Dr. Doom, Venom and the Hulk (rumored to have Bruce Banner Swap parts as well), and this set is listed at $34.99, $5 off the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/list.aspx?list=11003


KOTOBUKIYA NOVEMBER ITEMS
Kotobukiya has also announced a trio of new items. We have the Commander Shepard 1/6 Scale ArtFX Statue at $114.99 (15 off the MSRP), a Batman: The Killing Joke Joker 1/6 Scale ArtFX Statue at $109.99 ($20 off the MSRP) and a New 52 Version Aquaman 1/10 Scale ArtFX+ Statue at $35.99 ($4 off the MSRP).
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/list.aspx?list=11010


NEW EAGLEMOSS ITEMS - BATMOBILES, DC CHESS, MARVEL
Eaglemoss debuts a new line this month, the Batman Automobilia Collection. The first offerings are 1:43 scale versions of the 1989 "Batman" Batmobile and the 1966 TV Series Batmobile; each comes with an acrylic case and includes a magazine, and each is priced at $19.99. In addition to these, the DC Chess Collection adds the #026 Alfred White Pawn and the #027 Batwoman White Rook at $15.99 each, and Marvel adds #193 Stingray and #194 Moonstone at $14.99 each.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/list.aspx?list=11024


BEAST SAGA - NEW LISTINGS
A veritable horde of new Beast Saga listings is up for pre-order. We have BS-27 through BS-51 listed, including singles, Beast Sofubi Collection figures, Random Cases and Singles, and a number of items for which we are awaiting translations. You can take a look at all of the new items at the link.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/menu ... 955&page=2


DARKSIDERS II DEATH & DUST PREMIER SCALE STATUE
This large-scale piece shows Death with his scythes and his raven, Dust; it measures 32" tall, is limited to 500 pieces worldwide and even has LED lighting effects. We have this statue listed at $599.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


FULL MOON TOYS 1:1 SCALE REPLICAS - STEALTH PINHEAD, GINGERDEAD MAN
A second wave of life-size puppet replicas has been announced by Full Moon Toys. from the Puppet Master series comes Stealth Pinhead, while the Gingerdead Man movies give us the title character. They are limited to 500 and 250 pieces respectively, and each figure is listed at $199.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/sear ... =Full+Moon


NEW DOCTOR WHO ITEMS
Three new items have been listed under the Doctor Who Novelties & Electronics Menu. We have the Red Dalek Talking Money Bank at $34.99 ($5 off the MSRP), the TARDIS Projection Alarm Clock at $41.99 ($8 off the MSRP) and the TARDIS Topper Alarm Clock at $29.99 ($5 off the MSRP).
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/sear ... +novelties


GRIMM FAIRY TALES CALIE ACTION FIGURE
Following up on their Alice release, CS Moore is releasing a figure of her daughter Calie. She comes dressed in a French Maid outfit and includes a number of accessories; we have her listed at $19.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


RON ENGLISH - 8" TEMPER TOT
This new vinyl collectible combines the strength of a super strong creature with the uncontrolled nature of a tiny child. It is listed at $64.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


NYCC 2012 EXCLUSIVE HARLEY QUINN PULLIP DOLL
The Pullip line continues to make inroads in American culture with this figure of the Joker's main squeeze Harley Quinn. She comes with her hammer and either has a removable mask or else an alternate unmasked head; We have this exclusive figure listed at $144.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/prod ... ode=retail


JAPANESE EXCLUSIVES
Four new import exclusive items are now listed for pre-orders. Space Sheriff Gavan gets an S.H. Figuarts Exclusive at $99.99 as well as a Action Works Metal Finish Version at $174.99. We also have a Gintama Mask Premium Collection Limited Edition Exclusive at $124.99 and a 1/100 Scale Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Anniversary Space Panorama Version Exclusive with special display stand at $118.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/list.aspx?list=10989


STAR WARS T-SHIRTS FROM MAD ENGINE
Mad Engine has announced a number of new Star Wars T-Shirts. These include WWVD (What Would Vader Do?), Bit Wars, Snow Scouts, Revolution and more, and they are listed at $15.99 - $19.99 each.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/sear ... ine&page=2


NEW TINTIN FIGURINES, PLUSH
This new wave of figures and figurines includes Tintin in a variety of single colors, Haddock, Rackham, Knight of Hadoque, Thomson, Snowy, Calculus and more. There is also a new plush of Snowy & a Crocodile, which is listed at $35.99, plush much more.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/sear ... rch=TINTIN


THROBBLEHEADS
This punk and rock bobblehead line continues with figures such as Jeff Clayton, Jello Biafra, Johnny Winter, Mike Watt and more. These are listed at $19.99 - $24.99 each with the exception of the Lee Scratch Perry Vinyl Figure, which is listed at $69.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/menu ... egory=7438


CUT THE ROPE PLUSHES
Round 5 has announced a number of new plushes from the hit game. There are 3" Plush Backpack Clips available as single, set and case; we also have 5 Pose-N-Play, 6" Reversible Plushes and an 8" DJ Box - take a look at all the new items and grab your favorites!
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/sear ... t+The+Rope


HOBBIT ACCESSORIES
Ataboy is producing a number of accessories from the upcoming Hobbit movie. These include Mouse Pads at $9.99 each, Photo Magnet Sets at $14.99 - $17.99 each, a Key Chain Set at $14.99, Night Lights at $9.99 each and a 3" Button Set at $12.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/menu ... ompany=948

Seibertron.com Treasures: The Armada Anniversary Article

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Treasures: The Armada Anniversary Article
Date: Saturday, October 13th 2012 4:26pm CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Toy News, Site Articles, Editorials
Posted by: Anonymous.

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 308,211

It was roughly 10 years ago that a series called Transformers Armada was released. Join Seibertron.com staff members Blurrz, Counterpunch and Razorclaw0000, as they journey back a decade. They celebrate Armada in all of its fashion, as the trio critique the successful toy line, domestically as well as internationally, and show their passion (or disdain) for each figure.

Seibertron.com Treasures: The Armada Anniversary Article


The calm before…

Blurrz: It’s hard for me to imagine that it was a decade ago when a cartoon captivated me like none other. While some find that this series was a grotesque shame on the Transformers brand, it shares a special place in my toy collecting heart for eternity. Transformers Armada entered into my life at the exact time - any younger and I’d really have no funds to tackle a competent collection, any older and I’d be trapped in the stigma of adolescent youth. I ask myself time and time again, if Armada had switched places with Energon or Robots In Disguise, wouldn’t I be as attached to it as with Armada? The answer is simply no, there’s this feel to Armada that I personally can’t fixate with in contrast to any other series.

Counterpunch: Oddly enough, I didn't much like Armada at first glance. I was buying RiD toys at the time. I jumped back into the hobby after several years of absence. RiD was where I expected the toys to be. Armada was...not exactly what I expected. I bought the toys way before I even watched the show. There were enough interesting molds going into wave two that my curiosity was piqued.

Razorclaw0000: I was working in a deli in the basement of my local Boscov's Department Store during my Junior year of college. I was just starting back into collecting, and had maybe a half-dozen figures, when I stumbled across Armada Starscream. There was something about the look, maybe the Anime-esque look, maybe the distinctive plane mode, and maybe the little Minicon that pushed all the right buttons.

Seibertron.com Treasures: The Armada Anniversary Article


..the storm

Blurrz: When Armada hit, it was a bit of a frenzy and a rumble. I had to get the figures when they came out. When a new character came up open the screen, I just had to pick him up. That’s really no longer possible, as evidenced by Transformers Animated, whose character cast was too large to be put into a toyline, and Transformers Prime, in which their toys had a comparable delay time to any Blizzard product. There were relatively no store exclusives, and if there were, they wouldn’t be a show character. Despite how many antagonize the toys, one cannot question Armada’s unwavering availability and unlimited playability.

Counterpunch: Jetfire, Starscream, and Megatron were awesome enough that I began to wonder what the other figures were like. I ended up liking the line/concept/show before I even realized it. I began finding reasons to buy new and different figures. Even toys that were problems at the time, like Hot Shot and Sideswipe I found ways to justify purchasing, even if it was out of curiosity. I'm glad I did though, the figures were large and detailed. Though I couldn't put my finger on the issue at the time, in retrospect, what I really liked about these toys was how they reminded me of the late G1 figures that I grew up with.

Razorclaw0000: Blurrz brought up a great point. I vividly remember the releases of figures coinciding very closely with their on-screen appearances. It was so close, that I remember driving 20+ miles to pick up Side Swipe just to have him in time for that episode, that night. What a surprise that was...

Mischievous Mini-cons

Seibertron.com Treasures: The Armada Anniversary Article

Blurrz: The small guys were the stars of the cartoon show, and equally, the stars of the Armada toyline. Each bulk (bigger figure) came with a mini-con, and more importantly as we discuss, there was the release of the individual mini-con teams. 10 different teams, composed of 3, were released domestically alongside their variants.

For the Autobots and Decepticons in the Armadaverse, it was paramount that they control the three most powerful weapons, the Star Saber, the Skyboom Shield, and the Requiem Blaster. In toy form, that was the Air Defense Team, the Race Team and the Space Team, respectively, all capable of being wielded by any bulk with 5 mm peg hands. The Star Saber is combined from the parts of Jetstorm, Runway, and Sonar, all planes in some form or the other. While in fiction the Star Saber would be comparable to the Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, the planes don’t flush well together in toy form. Still they are aesthetically pleasing with their whites, bold blues and translucent plastic. They were repainted into their evil variants, the Air Assault team. However grey plastic replaced clear plastic, leaving much to be desired.

The impenetrable Skyboom Shield was composed of Mirage, Downshift and Dirt Boss. Speedsters and a SUV, the cars were colored with whites, yellows and greys, and featured pleasant articulation. Structurally the team makes a rather large shield, and is imposing on the likes of Jetfire, Megatron and Hoist, while laughable in the hands of Hot Shot or Side Swipe. They were repainted in imposing red and black colors, however their predecessor has much better character.

Lastly we have the Requiem Blaster, or in team names, the Space Team. Payload, Sky Blast and Astroscope all have individual colors, and aren’t exactly a trio of mini-con’s you’d normally expect to combine. The colors are not exactly the problem either, as the combined gun form is oddly flimsy, especially if your Astroscope is loose. All in all, out of the power weapon mini-con teams in Armada, the original Star Saber – the Air Defense team is my favorite and the superior!

Seibertron.com Treasures: The Armada Anniversary Article

Counterpunch: The Land Military Team was the first set of Mini-cons I purchased. Bonecrusher, Knock-out, and Wreckage were all various forms of military style missile trucks. In many ways, they were the easiest for collectors to come to terms with as legitimate transformers. They look like the Micromasters of yesteryear and somehow avoid the goofiness other Mini-cons gained when attached to larger figures. You could almost view them as Targetmasters but they were actually decent figures in their own right both in robot mode and vehicle mode. I'd even recommend them today for someone looking at a place to start with Mini-cons. Honorable mentions go out to their uniform color scheme cousins in the Night Attack team, who in addition to having cool colors, have an awesome sinister name.

Then there's the unfortunate but somewhat necessary Street Action team. Ever wanted a bicycle Transformer, a skateboard Transformer? how about a moped Transformer? Me neither, but Highwire, Grindor, and Sureshock were core characters to the show. Now, Grindor is great. The others? Not so much... That being said, their ability to combine into Perceptor (in name only) was AWESOME. Perceptor, despite his limited articulation is legit. He's a cool concept and character I would not mind seeing a return of.

The Sea team is almost a continuation of the Street Speed team's advances in engineering. Waterlog, Oceanglide, and Stormcloud are all great little Transformers with solid transformations, great amounts of detail for Mini-cons, and useful joints. Their variety of colors across all releases will inevitably make it so that there is some version out there you like. Additionally, because of their missile launchers, they make for decent Targetmaster style figures just like the Land Military team did.

I keep talking about these pseudo Targetmasters but the Emergency team was the real deal. These were the guys everyone was waiting for, legitimate three-mode Mini-cons. Prowl, Firebot, and Makeshift were also interesting in that they were some of the few Mini-cons to make purposeful use of clear plastic. Even among those who hated Armada and Mini-cons, this team was almost universally loved for its versatility and ability to mix in with almost any line.

As for me, my recommendations on these would be the Japanese TRU exclusives for the Land Military team, the Universe 2003 versions of the Street Action team, the Powerlinx version of the Sea team, and the Micron Booster 2 versions of the Emergency team. I think I just like the color selection of those, not so much for any particular matching with larger figures.

Seibertron.com Treasures: The Armada Anniversary Article

Razorclaw0000: The Air Military team is another Targetmaster homage, with each member transforming into some type of weapon, all the emphasis here is decidedly more melee. Thunderwing transforms from robot to SR-71 style stealth jet, to a three pronged claw weapon. Terradive is the second member of the team, transforming from robot, to "flying wing" stealth bomber, to a "ninja star" or shield. Interestingly Terradive's port is actually on a swivel, allowing him to spin freely when powerlinked to a bulk. Finally, Gunbarrel rounds out the team, transforming from robot to cargo plane to six barreled gattling gun.

The Street Speed team has the dubious distinction of being the most articulated Mini-con teams produced, as well as toying with several copyright and trademark violations. Backtrack is almost completely a Cadillac XLR in a rather unrealistic shade of green. Oval continues the trend of mimicking real vehicles by transforming into a Saleen S7 in a muddy orange color. Finally, Spiral takes a stab at ripping off the Germans, with a deep blue Mercedes C-Class alternate mode. While the articulation was impressive for the time, all three figures can suffer from loose, floppy joints, and may have difficulty not falling apart completely. This is a team that is either loved or hated.

Next, the Destruction Team makes up for limited articulation by packing in some interesting play features, particularly with Cyclonus. Each figure featured a center roller which would activate some action feature when rolling along, and there was a small gear and clip mechanism which allowed them to dock to the underside of Cyclonus. Spinning the rotors would trigger the gear and cause the action to occur. Dualor is the most straightforward, transforming into a dual-barrelled reciprocating tank. His gimmick works well and he's impressively bulky for a Mini-con. Next, Drill Bit transforms into a giant, well, drill. There are some small issues to his design, however, as the body of the drill is blocked by his legs, which transform into the wheels and bed of the vehicle. The drill does spin quite well. Lastly, Buzzsaw does not actually transform into a saw. Instead, the vehicle is technically a "Bucket Wheel Excavator", and his rotating bucket/blade works extremely well.

Finally, the Adventure Team uses the same gimmicks as the Destruction Team, but unfortunately suffers from having gimmicks that don't make as much sense docked to Cyclonus. Dune Runner starts off the set as a dune buggy with roof mounted machine gun. This feature works well both in rolling and attached to Cyclonus, in theory, but minor tolerance issues prevent the gun from turning smoothly. Iceberg is the next figure in the team, transforming into a snow plow tank with opening and closing plow jaws. Again, minor tolerance issues prevent this gimmick from triggering on Cyclonus, but the vehicle mode is a lot of fun. Finally, Ransack is a green jeep with a real working winch. Unfortunately, the winch aspect doesn't work very well at all with Cyclonus, as a few short turns will have the length of string fully retracted.

Out of all the Mini-con three packs, the Sea Team is probably still my favorite, particularly with Waterlog's elegant transformation and real knees.

Sly Super-cons

Seibertron.com Treasures: The Armada Anniversary Article

Blurrz: With hindsight, the Armada super-con figures, or in modern terms - Deluxe class figures - aren’t exactly a breakthrough in Transformers toy technology. They aren’t going to hold much against the modern figures, such as the Classics or the Generations, but they have their own uniqueness to them. What they lacked in articulation due to their gimmick-based interactions with their mini-con partners, they made up in playability and overall ‘fun’.

Tackling the Autobot super-cons, we have the first wave release, Hot Shot. Hindered by the axle-bazooka system, Hot Shot still offers movement in the important areas, however he won’t be moving his head anytime soon. Being in the year 2012, we expect our Transformers to offer both great alternate modes, as well as robot modes. Hot Shot isn’t exactly endearing to that philosophy, but his mini-con partner Jolt interacts well with Hot Shot’s vehicle mode. Not the best figure on the Armada market and not one you’ll have a struggle with when trying to obtain it on the secondary market. Much like a handful of figures at the end of the Armada toyline, Hot Shot was repainted as Powerlink Hot Shot, homaging Generation Hot Rod. While this repaint doesn’t exactly increase the mold’s stock, it’s certainly a nice change for those who were tired of seeing yellow (get out of here Cheetor)

Armada Blurr also fits in to the same category as Hot Shot, as in he has a great vehicle mode, but his robot mode is still a few years behind. The Lamborghini-Ferrari-something can grow wings thanks to Red Bull and Blurr’s mini-con partner, Incinerator. In robot mode, the majority of his car bits are a massive backpack, and Blurr has limited arm movement and no knee joints. The colors are aesthetically pleasing, but alas, hindered by the mold’s interaction with Incinerator.

Next up to bat is what some claim to be the worst Transformer of all time. It’s funny that this figure also fits into the same category as Blurr and Hot Shot. Despite the lack of suitors for Armada Side Swipe (Not Sideswipe, please don't mix the two!), the young Autobot warrior features a rather sleek vehicle mode, and up to its release date in 2002, offered one of the most realistic alternate modes the Transformers fanbase had ever seen. Side Swipe even featured a fun and interactive powerlinking gimmick with his mini-con partner, Nightstick. However folding the car’s pieces and parts into robot mode yields a nightmare. Side Swipe has the chunkiest limbs, kibble, and clumsy articulation. The figure has a tendency to just not stay still. It surprises me that this figure has as many repaints as it does, and its character was even homaged in this year’s BotCon set. Well….. there are cults for worse things I suppose.

Smokescreen isn't a very popular toy, and I can’t wonder why. Yes, he does not exactly have the best articulation, and he’s a bit chunky, but isn't that what should be expected for the tough guy of the group? His gimmick is a large crane on his shoulder; it’s the saving grace and also the downfall of Smokescreen. Its size will likely topple the figure in robot mode unless you position it properly, but its interaction with the mini-con Liftor turns the crane into a massive sniper rifle! Smokescreen even has a working winch, which fits with the rescue vehicle theme. While Smokescreen is full of fun, his min-con Liftor is also worth a shot, the little guy is sturdy and is solid in both modes.

Next up is another underrated figure, Armada Hoist. Smokescreen’s character in Armada kicked the can, but he was then resurrected as Hoist. Hoist is a construction vehicle with a giant crane-claw, and his mini-con Refute is one of the tallest in the scale. Despite Hoist’s massive crane-claw, he has the best articulation of all of the deluxe figures, as he can actually bend his legs 90 degrees!

Rounding up the batch is Armada Optimus Prime. He’s got quite the hype as being a great figure, and yet I think it’s more because the bigger Optimus Prime had a lot of follies to it. To me, he’s not that great, but I get my panties in a bunch when it comes to scale and Armada figures. Optimus Prime, also known as Bendy Prime features good, all around articulation, and a fighter/gun mini-con partner in Over-Run. (No, not this Over-Run!) I’d recommend this figure, but you probably already have it, and if you don’t, there’s the Nemesis version which Razor will allude to. Out of the figures we have here, the best Armada Autobot Super-con would have to be Hoist. He’s all around dynamic and you’ll always love that sound when you hear his gear-joints bend! The mold is also worth it in his Cybertron Longrack remold or the rather lucrative BotCon Dinobot version.

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Counterpunch: It seems that the Decepticon Supercons (deluxe figures) are up to me. These toys all feature an interesting if largely unnoticed design point: They are all asymetrical. It's not that obvious and it's not that big a deal but it's there. The idea was to show the Cons as being edgier in this manner. It kind of worked and if you examine the toys you'll pick up on the little cues that show it off.

The first wave of figures gave us Demolisher and Cyclonus. Now neither of these guys are going to go down in the annals of TF history as being marvels of engineering but they are interesting never the less.

Demolisher is perhaps the best Decepticon Supercon. His transformation is clean, he locks together, and while he doesn't have modern articulation, he still has a great number of useful joints. His...head doesn't rotate, so there's that. -_- To make up for it, Demolisher has perhaps the best integration of Mini-con to Bulk out of the entire line. His Mini-con Blackout is useful no matter what mode Demolisher is in and there is even a third mode to compliment all this. Demolisher even has a nifty and fully functioning gimmick to shoot Blackout across a table in vehicle mode.

To make this $10 marvel (yes, deluxes used to be huge and 30% less expensive) even better, he has several Macross-style bot configurations where his arms can fold up into artillery formations. It's a nice touch that really makes use of his missile firing gimmick.

Cyclonus is less awesome but perhaps equally interesting. He has the same articulation range as Demolisher and even as good a Mini-con integration but that's where the similarities end. Cyclonus seems to have been the starting point for an abandoned Mini-con gimmick that would pair geared Minicons up with Bulks who could implement those mechanics. (You can see on Hoist where this might have been implemented had it continued) So there are a whole host of Mini-cons who work only with Cyclonus. (Spoiler: They don't work well with him)

In vehicle mode, Cyclonus is kind of awesome. The helicopter is well done, the blades spin properly, and kids can hold it in a gun-style way for pretending he flies. All and all, a nice figure. His robot mode...not so much. His missile firing gimmick is hampered by the need for a Mini-con and he has what are in all honesty, stupid guns in his knees. Despite his joints, he is virtually impossible to pose in any meaningful way and his head looks like he's hiding in a turtle shell. So...yea. When people point at Armada with an accusatory finger, it's because of figures like this. You should still track one down though. He has a little gun that goes back and forth when his blades rotate and that...is very cool.

Late line Decepticons included Thrust and Wheeljack.

Thrust typifies all that was wrong with Armada. He has another, though this time criminally bad, abandoned mechanic. He has no real hands. He has a fake transformation. But...his vehicle mode is rather nice and his Mini-con is quite good actually. Thrust is even somewhat posable in robot mode if you can maneuver around his giant hanging cockpit.

I went there.

What happened with this figure is that he was essentially ruined by his gimmick. Though it is unobtrusive, all the engineering went towards its integration so several important things like...hands were factored out. Thrust is a loss and I would never recommend him to someone. But he's not a complete loss despite what I just said. The figure is very well detailed and the transformation is good if not a bit cheat-y. If you are completing an Armada cast, you could do worse than paying the $8 it would take to get this guy and have him standing majestically behind Galvatron with betrayal in his squid-eyes.

On the other hand, we have Wheeljack, who still holds up to today's standards in many ways. Wheeljack has simple and straightforward articulation and a simple but mechanically interesting transformation. He's large, detailed, and honestly quite well done. His Mini-con Wind Sheer is even pretty decent as Mini-cons go in design and shape.

Wheeljack turns into a slick black (or gray depending on your hemisphere) car. He has a M.A.S.K. style gimmick when you apply his Mini-con and God knows why we never got a red redeco of him. Some people might be turned away by his insignia, which shows off his faction change but I suspect more will be endeared by it. I only wish he had a larger and more pronounced Decepticon symbol.

For those who really like this figure, I suggest you track down the Japanese or Korean versions. The black and blue deco is easily nicer and more show accurate than the gray and yellow North American version.

Out of all these guys, I would recommend Demolisher. He's everything an Armada figure should be and I feel that he holds up very well after all these years, even if he has to turn his entire torso to look to the left. (but he can! He has a waist joint...)

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Razorclaw0000: Lastly, we have Unicron's Agents from both the cartoon and comics. Sideways is one of the two Mini-Con Headmasters in the line, but actually features two different heads. A futuristic, if chunky, motorcycle, Sideways transformed into an oddly articulated "ninja", but lacks traditional fist holes, knees, a waist, and features some odd arm articulation. Despite that, Sideways has a special place in my heart. His Minicons, Rook and Crosswise also exhibit the ability to merge into a single, surprisingly articulated, robot rider for Sideways' bike mode. This, combined with the campy Headmaster gimmick, grant Sideways a pass, from being a forgettable mess, to maintaining a place, to this day, on my shelves. An odd variant exists, with the factions swapped between both Mini-cons.

Next, Nemesis Prime is a sinister redeco of the Super-con Optimus Prime mold, which Blurrz has so elegantly described. Hot off their successes with RID Scourge, Hasbro and Takara wished to cement the idea of a "Black Prime" as more than just hyper-exclusive repaints in Japan. A monstrous beast in the show, Nemesis Prime sported a strange dark gray, teal, and dusty brown color scheme, punctuated by intense red highlights. In a twist of a pun, his Minicon is slyly named "Run Over", a corruption of Super-con Prime's Over Run. Because of Nemesis Prime's show nature, and a rare case ratio, this figure still commands a comparatively high price on secondary market, easily outpacing other Super-cons by two to three times. Micron Legend Scourge at first glance appears to be similar to Nemesis Prime, but virtually every color has been replaced. The main body is different. The reds are different. The details are different. Scourge is virtually impossible to track down at this point, and frankly the domestic version is heading there as well.

The Super-con line was filled out by four Beast Wars redecos, featuring dead Minicon ports molded in key places. All four sport decos significantly different from their Beast Wars personas, with darker tones. Cheetor is paired with Cliffjumper, a redeco of Ransack. Rhinox is also paired with another Adventure Team redeco, Armorhide, from the Iceberg mold. Terrorsaur completes the Adventure Team pairings, joining Ironhide, a redeco of Dune Runner. Lastly, Airazor gets her partner Nightscream from the Street Speed Team, a redeco of Oval. While absent from the cartoon, these characters feature prominently in the defunct Dreamwave Armada and Energon comics, making them a must for any fan of those series.

Out of all the Super-cons, my favorite is probably Nemesis Prime, because he was from a time when the idea was still relatively fresh, and I have a soft spot for figures that have puns in their name. Run Over is a great little guy.

Mighty Max-cons

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Blurrz: Max-cons, or in today’s terms – Voyager Class – were bold, big, and sometimes were just annoying all together. If you were max-con or bigger, it was likely that you’d have light and sounds.p RED ALERT RED ALERT RED ALERT WEEWOOWEEWOO

Armada Scavenger, a character who homages the Decepticon G1 Scavenger, was first acknowledged as a Decepticon in the cartoon, but then switched sides to the Autobots. Everyone wants to be Counterpunch, eh? Just because Scavenger is bigger, doesn’t mean he deviates from the Armada super-con formula. At the heart of the figure, there is just a giant brick. It makes for a great truck, as Scavenger has a solid alternate mode – his mini-con Rollbar, if in robot mode, fits right into the canopy of Scavenger acting as the truck driver. You also have rolling treads and a moving scooper. This doesn’t exactly yield the brightest robot mode, as Scavenger doesn’t exactly have what we’d call ‘legs’. Still, as an Armada figure, it went big on the gimmick factor and is still a fun figure to toy around with.

Next up we have Red Alert, taking the form of a rescue vehicle. The mode is rather bland until you perch the mini-con Longarm on to the back of Red Alert, and thus begins the electronics: RED ALERT RED ALERT WEE WOO WEE WOO. Transformed, Red Alert offers a bunch of fancy gadgets and moderate articulation. He has interchangeable hand weapons, a chest disc-launcher, a giant shoulder gun/handheld gun, and RED ALERT RED ALERT WEE WOO WEE WOO. The mold’s repaint is Powerlinx Red Alert, exchanging the medic red and white with vibrant blue and orange. Still, the same old RED ALERT WEE WOO WEE WOO. Out of these two, I’d have to give it to Mr. Wee Woo for actually having legs and the best……. or annoying electronics in the line.

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Counterpunch: I can't believe I didn't get to write on Red Alert...

More Decepticons for me. Seekers. Starscream, other Starscream, and Skywarp. Yes, yes...the package for Thundercracker says Thundercracker but by the show it was Super Mode Starscream.

These guys are the same so I'm not going to split the discussion up too much. This mold is very G1-esq to me. It's big, bulky, and has limited or fake articulation. The legs have a full range of front to back movement but no side to side movement. All versions of this guy will be standing at attention. Likewise, his arms have several points of articulation, none of which help to show that Starscream is a master swordsman in Armada.

This mold is a brick, but that's ok.

Jet mode is interesting. It's large and well detailed. It's perhaps one of the best Cybertronian jet designs we've seen. Mini-con integration on this figure is well done with two distinct ways to actively engage it's workings.

The primary gimmick on this figure is the flip out Null Ray cannons. As far as gimmicks go, this one is quite screen accurate but also one of the drawbacks the mold suffers from. Where as on-screen, Starscream has a flat back, the toy is forced to have a large backpack to accommodate the cannons. Were there a simple hinge back there to fold the whole thing down further, the toy would have been near perfect.

Now, this Starscream is a swordsman. His blade is quite interestingly stored in his left wing. Removing the wing arms him and gives that asymmetrical look once again that was discussed before. Now, the show plays off the whole sword thing much better than the toy but the gimmick is quite clever and truly unique. I wish his articulation gave him a bit more use of the blade or that the handle was placed differently but this is a very fun alteration to Starscream's usual character portrayal.

Let's talk interesting toy history here. The US and Japanese versions have two distinct differences. The US versions have a slanted nosecone. It's pointed down in the way that some supersonic jets have an angled nosecone. This was ultimately a safety thing. The angle allows the nosecone to collapse if your kid brother charges at you with Starscream pointed straight out as to avoid impaling you. The Japanese (and Korean) versions are straight and more accurate to the show.

The other significant difference is in the paint details and masking. The US versions of Starscream and Thundercracker do a really ugly version of masking on the symbols to just plop purple on there. The Japanese versions are painted, detailed, and lined. The difference is staggering. Further, the US version of Starscream is gray and the Japanese version is white(ish). YMMV depending on what you're willing to pay. Oddly enough, Skywarp, who got a US release and a very limited Japanese release in US packaging has the properly done and painted symbols.

Out of the the three US versions of this, go for Skywarp. He has the best paint decos, a unique, different, and quality Mini-con, and an interesting head sculpt that makes him anyone you might want him to be. If we're talking the best version overall in my opinion, I would say that the Japanese Super Mode (Thundercracker) Starscream is the best. The colors and deco just shine and the toy looks brilliant.

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Razorclaw0000: Did someone order a brick? Featuring almost G1 levels of articulation, Overload was the last original mold Voyager for the toyline. With only shoulder, hip, and head swivels, Overload still managed to be thoroughly impressive with his shoulder mounted missile batteries and giant fists ready to pummel any Decepticon into scrap. The toy’s articulation was scrapped to allow him to become a pair of giant shoulder mounted cannons for Superbase Prime. His third mode is a large launchpad/trailer, which can carry Jetfire and be towed behind Prime’s trailer, creating a massive convoy of Autobot might. Overload was also one of the first modern toys to include the iconic transformation noise we’ve all come to know, love, and subsequently despise as it’s included in dozens of figures over the years. Finally, Overload featured a unique interaction with his Mini-con, Rollout. Instead of having a typical transformation, with Rollout activating some feature, Rollout became the head and chest of Overload, unveiling a proportionate head and slotting into a giant cavity in the main body.

As with the Super-Cons, the Gigacon range also feature a Beast Wars remold and redeco, in the form of “Predacon”, a repaint and slight retool of the Transmetal Megatron mold, with added Powerlinx hard points. The figure features arguably the best deco of that mold, in rich greens, browns, and grays, with a dash of orange for visual pop. Predacon is also notable for coming with two Mini-cons, Side Burn and Skid-Z, which round out a full team of Street Speed redecos with Air Razor’s Nightscream partner.

Out of all the Max-Cons, the Starscream mold still has a soft spot for me, as it’s the figure I originally discovered in that dark Boscov’s basement and set me on the path to the raving lunatic completionist I am today.

Gallant Giga-cons

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Blurrz: Space shuttle Transformers are few and far between and yet for their lack of numbers, Armada Jetfire certainly makes up for it. Jetfire epitomizes the ‘White Knight’ character, as he gallants in with his wings, engines and massive blaster. His mini-con Comettor is specific as it acts as Jetfire’s landing gear in alternate mode. Combined with his shield and Comettor, Jetfire can roll out on the ground, as well as fly without it. Jetfire also has droppable missiles, but they are rather bland. Amidst transformation, you’ll find that Jetfire’s blaster/rifle has been blessed or cursed with electronics, a countdown sound, the G1-Autobot blaster sound, and if a mini-con is attached, a blaster sound. Now fully transformed, Jetfire has a bunch of nice hawk-like aesthetics, and is full of character. My personal favorite with Jetfire is his ability to yield all of the power weapons (Blaster, Saber, & Shield) at the same time, with two of the weapons in his hands and the last of the trio perched on his wings. Jetfire also has the ability to bolster the power of Optimus Prime by combining with him, but we’ll leave the question of ‘who wears the pants in the relationship’ for later on. Jetfire was repainted under the Powerlinx Banner into a combination of blue and grey, homaging Jetfire’s pre-Transformers origin (Macross/Robotech). Overall you can’t really go wrong with a Jetfire figure, whether it’s in Armada, Energon or Cybertron.

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Counterpunch: I'm lucky in that I get to talk about my favorite Armada figure, Megatron.

Imagine Megatron taken to a samurai extreme. He'd be a ruthless killer, willing to do anything or step on anyone to get to his ends, and all of this would be bent around a form of honor that somehow, only he and his rival understand. That's Armada Megatron. Now, the cartoon version is a bit hammy but the comic version...now there is a villain.

I dream of a TF comic where Armada Megatron goes around to different multiverses killing off the Megatron in that world Highlander style. I digress.

Megatron actually has a good range of movement in his top half. He even has bicep swivels that most people don't know about due to how tight the joint is. His lower half is another thing entirely. He is essentially immobile below the waist. Now he can combine with Tidal Wave but...honestly, that's a mess.

His tank mode is perhaps the best H-tank this side of Generations Warpath. The transformation is clean and there's not really any kibble in either mode. He can hold, store, or capture Mini-cons in virtually any part of his alt mode. Additionally, there are two different ways to fire missiles out of this mode, both of which work well.

Robot mode has several gimmicks but coolest of all his his hidden shiv in his hand. Even if this Megatron is close to losing a fight, there's always a chance you'll get shanked. Megatron has perhaps the most useful Mini-con ports for attaching extra Mini-cons and not looking ridiculous. Spots on his arms and legs as well as his back allow him to hold 4-5 of the little guys and look perfectly balanced.

In looking at this mold, I would recommend Megatron over Galvatron. Megatron's color scheme is classic and well balanced. You can always pay a little bit extra and get the Japanese version for the improved faction symbols too. Galvatron in his US colors is a nice figure but it is still a white and lavender color palette and many people will not have a place for that outside of an Armada shelf. Of note, the Japanese version of Galvatron has a more accurate color scheme but that one is actually white and pink-ish purple. He's considerably more difficult to come by when compared to the US version of Galvatron.

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Razorclaw0000: Tidal Wave rounds out the Giga-Cons, and has the dubious distinction of having even less meaningful articulation than Overload! However, don’t let this brickish brute fool you; Tidal Wave is an imposing addition to anyone’s collection. Comprised of three naval vessels – an aircraft carrier, a hovercraft, and a submarine-ish thing, Tidal Wave combines in a similar fashion to Beast Wars Neo Magamatron. Each vessel lacks an individual robot mode, but instead combines to create either a giant warship, or the robot mode of Tidal Wave. One of the tallest figures in the line, with the exception of Unicron, Tidal Wave can raise his arms, and that’s it. The legs are articulated, but only laterally, so if you’d like to have Tidal Wave doing the splits, you are set.

Tidal Wave also features the ability to combine with the Megatron mold, creating a set of overpowered arm gauntlets and a booster pack to compliment Megatron’s already absurd cannon mode. Paired with the smallest Mini-con, Ramjet, Tidal Wave is large enough to accommodate a fully functional elevator on the deck of the aircraft carrier to deploy Ramjet.

Tidal Wave also features a second, also dubious, distinction. He is the most different in deco from the Armada and Micron Legend releases. While the Armada version looks like a crayon factory accident, with olive green, gray, neon red, purple, gold, and dark gray, the Micron Legend deco simplifies to a lush purple, softer orange, and grays, unifying the decos between the three vessels, and building a beautiful palette of destruction.

If you like big, chunky, feature filled figures, Tidal Wave has should be on your purchase list. A word of caution, however… all the Armada and Micron Legend versions of this figure feature a design defect in the “armpits” that will fire the missiles accidentally and constantly. This flaw is fixed in the sublime Energon deco.

Garry Chalk Optimus Prime

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Blurrz: By itself, the Optimus Prime figure is about the size of an Ultra figure, and I’m sort of lethargic and depraved to say anything good about it. The only thing that this version of Prime has on the deluxe version is his size and how it fits in with the rest of the scale for Armada. Out of all of the Armada figures, Optimus was hit the hardest when it comes to gimmicks, as they force him to not do anything else. Prime is one of the most static modern-day large Transformers. However when he takes the 1+ Mushroom, which Counterpunch is about to talk about, he gets a little better.

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Counterpunch: Optimus has several versions of powered modes and in a way they became the symbol for any kind of Prime combiner mode. First off, Prime has the ability to combine with his trailer. What's really cool about this is the way in which you can have the trailer auto-transform for the merge. There is an infra-red light signal that cues the trailer to mechanically reconfigure for this mode. Prime then forms the upper half. Once combined, there's only limited arm movement and a head turn. It's more about stature and the fact that you can have the trailer reconfigure itself rather than making a bigger more posable prime. There's also a light gimmick that extends into his gun if positioned properly.

On top of this, you can attach Overload as a massive gun battery atop his shoulders. The instructions basically have you cram in on there but there is a series of latches that make it surprisingly secure. I have a hard time imagining who Prime needs this kind of firepower to go up against. Overload as a gun system looks like some kind of mass-murder machine...

Additionally or apart from Overload, Prime can combine with Jetfire who replaces the trailer and becomes a set of winged legs, presumably for flight mode. Don't be fooled, there is no added posability here but he does look damn cool with all of these units combined into one Supreme Optimus.

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Razorclaw0000: Sparkplug is Prime’s Minicon, homaging both the G1 human by name, and very clearly Bumblebee by appearance, complete with the iconic horns on his tiny head. Transforming into a highly generalized Lamborghini, this mold remains one of my favorites today, with its clean lines and surprisingly complex transformation.

Undefeated Unicron

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Blurrz: To this day, I still think of Unicron as a Transformers piece that is unrivaled. He’s menacing, loading with articulation, gimmicks and is a Transformers figure that everyone needs to own in one form or the other (Energon/2010/Amazon Exclusive). I remember getting Unicron for Christmas back in ’03, and it was a thrill to receive. I still remember the agony of having to hack him open from the jumble of twist-ties he was trapped in. He’s also got a really well engineered mini-con named Dead End, in which his mass appearance in the cartoon resulted in an increase in popularity and a penchant for Dead End to be army built.

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Counterpunch: Actually during the time of writing this article, we're in the middle of packing for yet another move. I have my four Unicrons out, ready for packing and my wife comments on them, "I remember when you got that and how impressive it was. I never thought we'd see a Transformer that big again...and you have four of him now." She was right though, Unicron was a big deal when he came out. It's almost a "you had to be there" thing at this point. Funny thing for me is, I'm not sure we'll ever see a Transformer this big again considering how things are going.

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Razorclaw0000: This guy was it for me. He cemented my love for the character and the awful chaos he represents. With the creation of this figure and the accompanying fiction across both the Unicron trilogy and the Universe 2003 line, my quest to collect all things Unicronian began. Years later that awful quest morphed into the disease of completionism, but Unicron was the dark seed that set me off.

The Legend of Micron

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Blurrz: While Takara had their own toy line in with Beast Wars II and Neo, it was never until Armada, or in Japan – Micron Legend - that every Takara figure started to have their own differences in contrast to Hasbro figures. With two piles to pick from, Transformers collectors started to change their collecting habits. Takara’s Micron Legend focused more on show accuracy, and with that I have to say my favorite variant would have to be Blurr, or in Takara terms, Silverbolt. Silverbolt’s deco gives a new feel to the figure, as his yellow-stained windows are now red. Even his micron Incinerator, now called, Turbot, features a new deco. It’s just these little things that made Micron Legend deserve a second glance from me, and now I’m proud to own a majority of the Micron Legend figures.

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Counterpunch: I've spoke a bit about this in my post but for me the most interesting difference between the Hasbro and Takara releases is Tidal Wave. It's a complete change in colors and really manages to give the big guy a color scheme that screams "death bringer". As a dark horse candidate, I'd mention Jetfire who's ML color swaps are simple but brilliant.

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Razorclaw0000: As CP alluded to, Jetfire destroys his domestic counterpart by replacing the “heat scorched” white with the most crisp and pure white ever seen on a toy. The figure gleams in gorgeous brilliance. I’m also a fan of the “crystal” standard/deluxe Optimus Prime mold.

The I In Team

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Blurrz: Blind packs, new decos, exclusives and the sort. Micron Legend went full force with their mini-con friends, and to this day I’m still trying to track down every mini-con that has been released by Takara. My counterparts are jerks. way ahead of me in that race, but I still have a fair share of little guys. Out of all of the Micron Legend variants, I have to say that my favorite would have to be X-Dimension Glide, whos blend of black, white, orange and chrome come together in a beautiful combination. Glide is a part of the X-Dimension Air Military team, and his teammates are gems as well! No don’t mind me as I start to cry myself to sleep as Counterpunch and Razorclaw0000 brag about their favorite micron.

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Counterpunch: I will be forever grateful as a fan of Microns to JRFitzpatrick for setting me up with my Linkage Microns. I remember them when they came out but did not understand their relevance until later. The fiction tied into these guys and their simple but balanced color choices really work for me.

Honorable mentions go to Atlas and Rod who are wonderful vibrant redecos of Sparkplug.

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Razorclaw0000: The Aqua Raider team, a DVD repaint of the Sea Team, is stunning in rich dark bluish grays that compliment Nemesis Prime exceedingly well. Also, the X-Dimension Destruction team gets a nod for the luxurious metallic orange and teal paints that would fit in with any modern United figure. Finally, the Micron Booster Emergency Team repaint, in all of its “Minty Fresh” glory delight me, with emerald transparent plastics.

The Aftermath

Seibertron.com Treasures: The Armada Anniversary Article


Blurrz: When Armada was done, I was taken aback by the fact that it was finished. I went on a Transformers hiatus and skipped Energon -> Cybertron -> Classics, and didn’t get back to the hobby until the 2007 Movie. The fact that there weren’t any mini-cons anymore was a big disappoint on my end. As long as I continue collecting Transformers, Armada/Micron Legend will be my favorite line, and I’ll cherish every little bit. The fact that lines like Power Core Combiners and Takara’s Arm Microns continue to carry the Armada banner thrills me beyond words. Armada begets a lot of distaste, but as I hope we’ve alluded to – there’s diamonds in the rough.

Counterpunch: I didn't like Armada at first but it was the line that got me to try and have everything in hand before making a solid judgement on a figure. I would come to love the large and simple designs as they were a straight call back to the G1 figures I grew up with. It's really the mark of my collection in a way because while I started back with RiD, it was Armada that got me to complete my first line. I still have one piece to grab though. Eventually I will find a Micron Legends Black Convoy to replace my US version. I may be holding out on finding him though so that I still have something fun to hunt for at Botcon. lol, I'm stupid. I know.

Razorclaw0000: I am a Mini-con and Micron collector, through and through, dedicated enough to even collect the minor variants between Armada and Micron Legend. With a count somewhere in the 500 area, I’m swimming in Microns, Scrooge McDuck style.



-END-



(Thanks to tfu.info and the lens of Counterpunch for additional images)

So, we leave the floor to you, the members of Seibertron.com. How does Transformers Armada resonate with you?

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Posted: Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
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