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Transtopia Newsletter - March

Transformers News: Transtopia Newsletter - March
Date: Wednesday, March 18th 2009 4:17am CDT
Categories: Interviews, People News, Reviews, Site Articles, Toy News
Posted by: Stormrider | Credit(s): Seibertron

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Views: 158,674

Transtopia Newsletter - March

Welcome to the March edition of the Transtopia newsletter. This month features Repaints, Customs, Scratchbuilds, Featured Art, and an Artist Interview. Shattered Glass characters are very popular this edition. Remember, to check out the Transtopia forum for the latest action.


How to Showcase Your Work
The newsletter is your opportunity to show off your work and talent. We rely on your articles, artwork, and customs to make it interesting. Entries will be reviewed on a monthly basis. You can submit your work here:
Repaints, Kitbashes, Scratchbuilds
Fan Art
Fan Fiction
Guides


Make a Difference, Join the Newsletter Team!
Want to contribute to help out with the Transtopia newsletter? Join our team. We have a couple roles to fill. Duties require a few hours each month. PM Dead Metal if interested.


Newsletter Credits:
Design - Flix
Formatting - Stormrider
Fan Art - Mykltron
Editing - Stormrider


Transtopia Newsletter - March

Click on the links to see more:

TFA G1 Prowl grimlockprime108
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Universe Cyclonus Omega666
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Shattered Glass Wheeljack Trikeboy
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Shattered Glass Trailbreaker Trikeboy
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Crystal Widow Grimlockprime108
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Evilyn Omega666
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Universe Starscream Omega666
Transtopia Newsletter - March


TFA Kup Brychanus
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Scorponoks Mylktron
Transtopia Newsletter - March


War Within Ironhide Zero-Kaiser
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Movie Megatron – Flix
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Blackout Flix
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Brawl Leobreaker1977
Transtopia Newsletter - March



Transtopia Newsletter - March

Classics G1 Waspinator grimlockprime108
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Shattered Glass Kup - Trikeboy
Transtopia Newsletter - March



Transtopia Newsletter - March

Kneximus Prime glitched9700
Transtopia Newsletter - March


TFA Optimus Prime Trailer Brychanus
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Headmaster Horibull and Kreb bellboy
Transtopia Newsletter - March


Supreme Saber Prime Transtopias Rodimus Prime
Transtopia Newsletter - March



Transtopia Newsletter - March

Do you have modeling or art tips to share with other members? Why not write a guide? Feature tips from - repainting, kitbashing, drawing, sculpting, and even computer graphics: Send an email to Transtopia.Guide@gmx.de for details.



Transtopia Newsletter - March

This month I would like to draw your attention (pun not intended) to sketch by HOWEE74 of TFA Prowl flying TFA Prowl Transforming through the air as he transforms from bike to bot.


Transtopia Newsletter - March


This picture impressed me as soon as I saw it due to the skill involved in drawing it so accurately and the effectiveness of the shading. Originally it was drawn in pencil then overdrawn with a fine pen before being darkened in Photoshop. If you look closely you'll see that some parts (like the windshield) have been edited using Illustrator to create a smooth and shiny effect. You may also notice that the beginning and end pictures are darker than the mid-stages of the transformation.

He seems to have caught these stages beautifully and really conveys a sense of motion. Although each image is so clear and lacking motion, blurring it suggests a slow-motion scene.

It probably took many hours of fiddling and experimenting to find the right poses for each individual picture so please leave him your comments and praise here, I am sure h will appreciate it. Also take some time to look at his other works on his Deviant Art page, there are other great thingsthere.


A round of applause goes out to all of our other art entries from February.


Movie Shockwave


Siren Prime's Femme Fancharacter


TFA Style Alpha Trion


TFA/Movie X-Over Prime


Send us your artwork!
Art entries are reviewed on a monthly basis for the newsletter. Send your entries here.



Transtopia Newsletter - March

Do you often think up Transformers stories in your head? It is time you put it to paper and submit it to the Fan Fiction page. Entries will be reviewed monthly.

Remember we have a theme for the month - "Transformers Go To The Movies." What does that mean? Whatever you want. Transformers starring in films, TFs watching films, TFs covered in a pile of DVDs, whatever that topic suggests to you is what I want to see. Funny, serious, romantic, tragic, anything. If that topic immediately makes you think "Oh, that would be a story about..." start writing it down.

A quick recap of the rules (don't worry, there's not many):
1) 10,000 word limit. Rough guideline to start with, I won't be automatically disqualifying anything that comes in over.
2) Decent spelling, grammar and punctuation. Run a spell check over your story, and maybe get a friend to read it before submitting.
3) Be specific as to where/when the story is set. So what continuity is it in (G1 comic, G1 cartoon, Armada comic, etc) and where is it set? Before the events of the show/comic, after, during? If during, where does it fit?
4) Fan characters are fine, but please avoid making them those annoying "I am more powerful than any other Transformer!!!" types. Also, consider if there's an under-used existing TF who'd fit the needs of the story just as well as someone new. Existing characters are almost always more interesting to everyone else.


Send your entries here.


Transtopia Newsletter - March

This month's Artist Interview comes from our friends at TF.SG, who recently interviewed the Transformers artist, Altitron. Many of you know Altitron because he is an active member in Transtopia. Altitron has won several Transformers art contests in the past, including some on Seibertron. One of his current projects has been the box art for Hearts of Steel Optimus Prime, which was presented last month, here.

1. Ok dude, tell us more about yourself like which country are you from, your age and occupation, and maybe attached a photo of you too! Give us more info, the more the merrier!

Well, lets start off with a proper introduction. My name is Brett Wolff, I am 25 years of age, married to one beautiful woman, Lisa, and we are expecting our first child in April, Blake.
I am an American, but do not claim any state in particular as I was a Navy brat, and moved around quite a bit. I myself have been in the Navy going on eight years now, and currently serve my country on a military installation in the prefecture of Kanagawa, on the mainland of Japan.



2. We all know about your fan art and how you have the uncanny ability to mesmerize us. Care to share you how did you get started?
I started drawing when I was about three years old, with crayons and any surface I could get my hands on, be it paper, walls, tables, whatever.

The thing is, my parents never punished me for what I was attempting to do, they just wanted me to keep it on the paper. Once they got that message across (with maybe a spanking or two), they never did anything but help to promote my imagination and desire to create something.

They always encouraged my artwork from the very beginning, even when it was only artwork to them. Twenty years later, and here we are today.



3. So which are your favourite works?

My favorite work of all time is The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine, by Jacques-Louis David, seen below:

Transtopia Newsletter - March

I have been fortunate enough to have seen this masterpiece in person, at the Louvre in Paris. It is a massive painting, spanning 30 feet high and 50 feet long. It is a truly awe-inspiring work that leaves you breathless.

I am also a fan of anything painted or sculpted by Michaelangelo, and Raphael School of Athens is another of my favorites.
Some of my more modern favorites are the works of the legendary Frank Frazetta. He is best known for Death Dealer, a Black Knight-esque character whose depictions have been used by many bands for their album covers. Frazetta also did many illustrations of Tarzan, from Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. He is the father of modern day pop-sci/fantasy artwork, and I have always drawn inspiration from him.

On the other side of the world, Sesshu Toyo is a favorite Japanese master of mine. His suibokuga, or ink paintings, are beautiful. 6 of his works are regarded as national treasures in Japan.

Growing up with comic books, I always imitated Joe Kubert, Chris Bacchalo, Joe Madureira, and more recently, Adam Hughes.

My first taste of Japanese art came when Chrono Trigger landed on American shores, and I fell in love with Akira Toriyamas character designs. My interest grew in the art I could not find at my local comic shop, and when I was old enough to afford my own comics, I started importing the masters of Japanese manga.

My favorite work from Japan is the 6-tome Akira masterpiece by Katsuhiro Otomo. I am also a huge fan of anything done by Masamune Shirow, like Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed. Kaneda, the Major, and Briareos are some of my favorite characters.

I will also admit that I am a huge fan of the Dinotopia books by James Gurney. The first things that I drew that someone else could identify when I was young were dinosaurs, so when these books came out back when I was 12 or so, they were the greatest things I had ever seen. I still read and flip through them today, and they still bring out that child-like wonder.



4. Any works in progress from your side? If you allow us a little sneak preview that is!

Well, by now I am sure you have all seen the Hearts of Steel Optimus Prime box art that I am working on for Griffiths custom-made resin kit. And if you have not, here it is

Transtopia Newsletter - March

I plan to have that finished shortly, so you can expect to see color teasers rolling out very soon.

I have been working on a series of Transformers pinups that I have titled Civil War.

This is a collection of works depicting desperate battles between some of the brands most notorious rivals. The first of these planned pieces was Shockwave VS Grimlock, which I believe I have shared on the forums, and is included in my artwork collection on the sites photo gallery. I am currently working on Soundwave VS Blaster, so expect to see a teaser of that on the boards pretty soon.



5. We all know you as a TF fan-artist, any plans to cross over to say, fan fiction or customs?

I have been doing customs work for quite some time now. My website has a small section dedicated to it. I got into customizing by way of wanting to repair some of my old and busted G1-era figures. The first of these were Shockwave and Sky Lynx. They were bought in a non-functioning status, and I did what I had to do to get all the electronics and sounds working as they were intended. It only got worse from there.

I've done a Dawn of Future Past Terrorsaur, made from a Beast Machines Obsidian, and I am currently working on what I call Predaking 2.0. I believe that monster has his own thread in the customs forums. I do what I can, off and on in between work, the wife, my addiction to Warcrack, and commissioned artwork, so it is much more slow going than anything else that I get to work on.
I do have the rest of the Decepticon combiners planned for my 2.0 series. I just got my hands on the Classics Special Edition Dragstrip, so I can finally begin my Menasor project. Look out for it!

As for fan fiction, I never really wrote any myself, outside of MU roleplaying back in the day, but if I were to read something that really inspired me, I would not hesitate to bring it to visual life (I am looking at you, TwilightStorm).



6. So do you see yourself as a fan or a collector?

How can you not be both? I love Transformers. I collect Transformers. Everyone in my family knows it. They look out for me. I have toys sprawled all over my room, from G1 to movie,
I am into about anything and everything Transformers-related. My in-laws have been buying our baby silly little Transformers items, so they have not only accepted the madness, they are contributing to it.



7. Having interacted with the folks of TF.SG in the forum section, in your opinion, are there any differences between us and other members in the international TF community?

Everyone seems extremely nice and well-intentioned. I have yet to read through a single thread that devolved into a mud-slinging argument, or any post that contained less than complimentary remarks. There are arguments, but they have always been kept civil and respectable. That is something that is extremely rare these days.

Things sometimes get out of hand on the OTFCCs boards, and I have to pay to post there.

The folks at TF.SG are extremely friendly, and it is very refreshing. Everyone seems much more tight-knit and familiar, as well. I suppose that comes from the majority of the members being able to meet one another in Singapore. Maybe one of these days I will drop by.



8. Oh, by the way, do you have a blog or a website? Care to tell us how they come about?

I have no blog, but I do have a website. Well, two - sort of.
My personal, professional website can be found at the following address: [url">http://www.thepimpsled.com/

I also run a gallery through Deviant Art, simply because it is just so easy to update and keep that way. It is often more up to date than my own website, which takes a bit of time and effort to maintain the polished, business look.

You can check it out by following this link: [url">http://altitron.deviantart.com/



9. Have you won any awards or accolades for your masterpieces?

I won a sweet polo shirt from TF.SG for one of the contest!

I won a monthly art contest at Seibertron.com with my Shockwave VS Grimlock piece.

I won Most Outstanding Student¢ in my 7th grade art class. And at BotCon, I won a Participant ribbon!

In high school, I won a design contest for my towns annual founders Day Parade, a weekend celebration they hold every year to celebrate the towns founding. I got my picture in the paper, alongside my art teacher and the sponsor of the event. I think that is when my parents first realized that my artwork may actually be worth a damn.

A few years later in high school, when I was a Junior, I entered a few of my watercolor paintings that I had done as a Freshman into a very large competition in central Texas. There were something like 250+ schools represented, and over 3,000 works were entered from all over the state. The gallery only had room for about 500 works, so just to have your art shown was an accomplishment in itself.
Of the three that I entered, all three were shown. One of my works won Honorable Mention honors in a small field of 25 or so, and another placed in the top 6. So I feel I did fairly well in such a large field of competing artists, and with works that were at that time two years old. It was something to be proud of, to say the least.



10. What do you wish to see most eagerly in ROTF?

Transformer dialogue! After the euphoria and wonder of seeing a new Transformers movie in the theatre wore off, I was very disappointed in the first movies lack of character development and screen time for the guys the movie was named after.

All collected, the Transformers had about 5 lines of meaningful dialogue, and 90% of it came from Prime. I really want to see the movie focused on the Transformers. They have eons of history, and each of them has no doubt lived for centuries. I would like the movie to get down and show you who these guys really are.



11. Yes, we know it a cliched type of question, but we would like to know who is your favourite TF character of all time!

Shockwave! I just love the guy, his personality (or lack thereof).
I am a very rational person myself, as my wife would attest. I do not do anything without there being an explicit reason for it. I do not enjoy being wasteful, and I am very prudent in what I do. I see a lot of myself in Shockwave, although I have to admit that I am not /that/ dedicated.



12. What is your favourite TF series by the way? Do you have any favourite toy?

My favorite series to watch would be Beast Wars. G1, while I adore the toys more than any other, had a very kiddy, campy show. Now that I am 25, I laugh at what I see.

Beast Wars, while degrading to slapstick humor at times, still manages to be very gritty towards the later seasons. It gets SERIUS Beast Wars Megatron is probably the best-written villain of any Transformers series we have had. I mean, the guy conquered Cybertron. Who else has done that? Nuff said.

My favorite toy (thus far) is Masterpiece Megatron. I've broken him in two spots (inner lower leg red hinge clip on the first day I owned him, and about a year or so later I cracked some small black piece attached to the die cast 'spine' trying to remember how to transform him, LOL), but I'm still awe-struck today when I look at him.

The only thing wrong with him is that not everything really sits flush and perfect as it is depicted in images on the box and instructions in gun mode.

But it is still a marvelous piece of engineering. Although I do wish that he was packaged with the extended scope and stock as found in the add-on set from... TFSource? Not sure, but I wish he came with that stuff anyway. Mine's got a bit of cosmic rust on the feet, but I actually like it. Gives him some shit-stompin' character, in my opinion. I just think he's the best looking figure in my entire collection. G1 had a great alternate mode - the pistol fit in your hand perfectly - but the robot mode looked nothing like the cartoon.

The Masterpiece version... especially when stood next to Prime... it's like /finally/, everything you imagined as a kid, and in the flesh - or plastic and die cast, as it were. :> I could have stopped collecting Transformers entirely after purchasing MP-05, and I would still be happy today.



13. Given a choice of a massive project which is rather ambitious, what would you chose to do? Any person or people whom you want to work with in particular?

I have a few graphic novels that I would like to write and illustrate in the future, when I finally get around to putting all of my ideas on paper. I sketch characters and locations from time to time, but nothing more than what I would call R&D work for the moment.

I also want to make a full conversion mod for Warcraft 3, turning it into a Transformers RTS. I do not have any experience with 3D modeling at present, but that will change when I get my collegiate schooling nailed down.

As for my most ambitious goal, I have wanted to do a retelling of Dantes Divine Comedy as a series of graphic novels for quite sometime now. I even went so far as to call Penguin Publishing in New York and ask them about rights licensing. Someday, I will get it done.


Transtopia Newsletter - March

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Transformers News: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss
Date: Wednesday, March 11th 2009 8:55pm CDT
Categories: Reviews, Site Articles, Site News, Toy News
Posted by: Skowl | Credit(s): Skowl

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 63,222

After a temporary hiatus, the Buried Treasure feature on Seibertron.com has now returned!

The year 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Transformers franchise. To celebrate this incredible milestone, Seibertron.com will look back at a quarter-century of great Transformers toys, bringing back into the limelight some brilliant figures that have fallen through the cracks over the years. Once a week, a fan (be it a member of the staff or a user on the site) will have the opportunity to write about one of their favourite "hidden gems" of the Transformers Universe, and have their review posted on the site's front page.

We hope this feature will be a great success, and that many of you will be encouraged to look back at the last 25 years of Transformers and perhaps take a worthwhile second-look at some real unsung classics of the Transformers universe.

___________________________________________________________________

Buried Treasure - Dirt Boss (Cybertron series - 2005)

By Skowl

For me, one of the best post-Beast Wars Transformers toylines was the Cybertron series, and one of the best figures of the line (or any line for that matter) was the deluxe-class Decepticon Dirt Boss, a futuristic monster-truck from the Planet Speedia (or was it Velocitron?).

Originally released under the ackward name "Inch Up" (stop giggling!) in the Japanese Galaxy Force series, Dirt Boss was released as part of the first wave of Cybertron figures to hit stores - but as the line gained in popularity, the mold fell behind. Dirt Boss was never re-released in any subsequent wave of figures and as of today has never been repainted or remolded, though anyone who owns this toy will surely agree that the mold has great potential.

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

As I mentioned in the inaugural review of Cybertron Cannonball, one of the greatest things about the Cybertron line was its brilliant package design. As you can see, the card backing takes the shape of the Decepticon insignia and Dirt Boss's mainly purple colour scheme meshes very well with the packaging, creating a great look overall. The boxart features an angry-looking Dirt Boss, and it's a great interpretation of the character - better than in the cartoon anyway.

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

The back of the card gives us a glimpse at Dirt Boss's gimmicks (I'll get to those in a minute), as well as his bio and tech specs. Everything is very crisp, clear & uncluttered. A very nice piece for MOC collectors.

But leaving Dirt Boss in his plastic prison isn't doing this great figure justice, let's take him out and see what he can do!

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Dirt Boss's vehicle mode is a wicked-looking futuristic monster truck. As far as TF vehicles go, this one is really unique and is unlike any monster truck you'll see on this planet (and I'm assuming your reading this from planet Earth). His colours here are mainly purple with green as a strong secondary colour and nice silver detailing on the hood, on the roof (with molded spotlights) and on the side of the truck. There are also some green exhaust pipes in the back and some green tubes on the hood, next to the truck's exposed engine-thing, while four green headlights decorate the grey bumper in the front. The colours are very reminiscent of classic G1 Decepticons, making this cool TF even better for having a sense of history.

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

The wheels and suspension take up about half of the entire truck mode. Everything here is mostly green and while the wheels may look black, they are actually a slightly transluscent dark red. What is most bizarre is how the wheels are attached to the truck - instead of having each wheel attached to the vehicle's main body, the wheels are attached to each other on each side with a connection to the truck's main body in the middle of the wheel segment. Those big wheels of his roll very nicely on carpeted surfaces, giving him great play value for the kiddies. It really looks like he's driving on two giant lollipops, but I think it looks hardcore awesome.

Just sayin'.

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

So there, soak it in - this really is an awesome looking truck. It looks aggressive, dangerous and it just screams "King of the Road" - oh, and while you're at it, pop in that Cyber Key, and see how Dirt Boss is "King of the Offroad" as well...

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

One great thing about Dirt Boss is how his Cyber Key gimmick works in vehicle mode. The line was full of hit-or-miss key gimmicks, but Dirt Boss's really shines and is possibly the most unique (and the most fun) of the entire series! Pop in the key and the suspension of the truck buckles and lowers, giving Dirt Boss a sleeker "race car" look. The play value in the vehicle mode is amazing, all it takes is a Cyber Key up the rear-end and you've got a whole different vehicle!

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Transforming Dirt Boss to robot mode is easy, and great fun as well. The truck's hood unfolds into two halves, revealing both his legs. Fold out the headlights and bumper to make the feet and pull down the sides for his arms. The back end of the truck folds down and a compartment opens to reveal his head - but this can't be done if the wheels are up in "monster truck" mode as there isn't enough room to fold the piece down. Not to worry, as the designers found an ingenious way to solve this problem - simply rotate the hips around (which needs to be done anyway) and the wheels will automatically spread out as if the Cyber Key was inserted! No key needed! An Automorph gimmick years ahead of the '07 Movie line! Very clever engineering - another thing to love about this toy!

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

There's too much to say about how great a toy Dirt Boss is in robot mode. His truck mode is brilliant, but his bot mode is one of the coolest-looking Decepticons I've ever seen. The green and purple colour scheme continues in bot mode, with some added purple on the legs and black on the arms. My only complaint is that there is no paint detailing on the inside of his legs, and the purple panel for his head rests on green plastic, not purple, which looks rather strange. It is worth noting that this is not the case with his Galaxy Force counterpart Inch-Up (I said stop giggling!), who has solid purple throughout the robot's body and detaling on both sides of his legs, making for a much more unified look in bot mode. Dirt Boss is also very tall for a Deluxe-class figure, so that's great as well.

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

In this mode, the truck's giant wheels stick out on both sides - not only do they look cool, but they also have a practical use as they help balance out the toy, allowing for many great poses. And as far as poseability goes, Dirt Boss has it made. His head can swivel almost 360 degrees and his arms can move up or down, swivel at the elbows and even rotate complete around where the arms meets the shoulders.

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

His lower body is even more flexible (stop giggling! I didn't even say "Inch-Up" that time!) as his waist can rotate 360 degrees, his legs can rotate completely at the hip-joint and his knees can bend up or down and rotate 360 degrees as well. His long feet and "bell-bottom" legs give him just the support he needs. Getting this guy in awesome action-poses is a breeze, and there is no struggling and random toppling-over like with many other modern TF figures.

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

One of my favourite things about Dirt Boss is his head sculpt. The designers created a head as unique as the rest of the toy, abandoning the old symmetrical faces and giving Dirt Boss a targeting rectacle eye-patch (with three different lenses! Check out the attention to detail!) as well as an asymmetrical head crest. The silver on his face really brings out the "don't mess with me" expression, and I love the little green goatee thing.

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Something else that sets Dirt Boss apart from the rest is how his Cyber Key gimmick works in robot mode. Instead of unlocking the same mechanism in both modes, Dirt Boss's gimmick is entirely different in his robot form. Instead of lowering the truck's wheels, the Cyber Key flips out two shoulder-mounted cannons - which is great since Dirt Boss, sadly, does not come packaged with any weapons.

All in all, Dirt Boss is one hell of a great toy - and one of my all time personal favourites. He is a one-of-a-kind figure with great play value all around, great looking vehicle mode with a unique gimmick, an awesome robot with amazing poseability and great engineering. All that at the Deluxe-class price-point - you really get your money's worth, and then some! I would personally recommend Galaxy Force "Inch-Up" (ha! I get it now!) if only for the better paint application, but if you can get your hands on any version of Dirt Boss, do it! This is one amazing figure that every fan should own, and love as much as I do! Thanks for reading!


Links:

Visit the Cybertron Dirt Boss gallery by clicking here
...Or find your own buried treasures by visiting all the toy galleries here!

* If you would like to write a review for our "Buried Treasures" feature, please send a private message to Skowl on the Seibertron.com forums!

Previous Buried Treasure Reviews:

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Cannonball by Skowl

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Snapdragon by Jeep

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Cybertron Downshift by Chuckdawg1999

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Frostbite by Duke of Luns

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Octopunch by Jeep

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Dirt Boss

Emergency Mini-Con Team by Nekoman

iGear TF-002 AutoScout video

Transformers News: iGear TF-002 AutoScout video
Date: Saturday, February 21st 2009 10:16am CST
Categories: Collectables, Reviews
Posted by: Down_Shift | Credit(s): s250

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 14,437

Thanks to s250 for pointing us in the direction of a new video of iGears Auto-Scout tape. In the video we see a small display of the simplistic, albeit fun, transformation accompanied by the contemporary rock style of Coldplay in the back ground.

Check out the video here

Toy Fair Video Review

Transformers News: Toy Fair Video Review
Date: Thursday, February 19th 2009 7:16pm CST
Categories: Company News, Event News, Media, Movie News, Reviews, Toy News
Posted by: Stormrider | Credit(s): EOnline

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 38,223

E Online has posted a video review from the recent Toy Fair. The review gives a more in depth look at Movie Devastator and Bumblebee Blaster as well as two GI Joe toys.


Click Seibertron.com to see the video.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Transformers News: Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team
Date: Thursday, February 19th 2009 3:58pm CST
Categories: Reviews, Site News, Toy News
Posted by: Skowl | Credit(s): Nekoman

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 36,620

The year 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Transformers franchise. To celebrate this incredible milestone, Seibertron.com will look back at a quarter-century of great Transformers toys, bringing back into the limelight some brilliant figures that have fallen through the cracks over the years. Once a week, a fan (be it a member of the staff or a user on the site) will have the opportunity to write about one of their favourite "hidden gems" of the Transformers Universe, and have their review posted on the site's front page.

We hope this feature will be a great success, and that many of you will be encouraged to look back at the last 25 years of Transformers and perhaps take a worthwhile second-look at some real unsung classics of the Transformers universe.

___________________________________________________________________

Buried Treasure - Emergency Mini-Con Team (Armada series - 2003)

By Nekoman

The Mini-cons are something that are starting to be forgotten in the Transformers franchise. The current Universe line has updated Jolt, and offered a set of Mini-cons exclusively to K-Mart stores, but that would be about it. Mini-cons are really cool, and in some cases probably the closest things to Transformers accessory sets this fandom may see for a long time (well, as far as official products go anyway). So that’s why I’m looking at the Emergency Mini-con team, a set that is truly more than meets the eye.

Each of the three figures included in this set have three modes. Firebot Transforms into a fire engine, a robot (surprised?) and a missile pod. Prowl the police car has the third mode of an blaster/gun, and Makeshift transforms into a V-22 Osprey and a twin barrel gatling gun. Out of the three, Firebot is definitely my favorite, so I‘ll start with him.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Let’s look at his fire engine mode. It’s pretty simple, but detailed. There’s even a small translucent hose in the front of the truck. He has two Mini-con ports to combine with a larger figure on top of him. Unfortunately their positioning is a little poor, and he is not as flattering when combined in this mode.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

His robot mode is nice, it's well detailed and articulation is good for a figure of its size. He doesn’t have any hands, but what appear to be guns in their place. Thus, he has a little more firepower than the average Mini-con or small-sized Transformer. A creative touch if you ask me.

There’s lots of little mechanical details that garnish this mode. There’s also good use of different colored plastics and paint applications. Little things like his visor, and chest details get painted, which makes him look less bland.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Now in missile pod mode he’s truly a gem. Transforming him into this mode is rather simple. You push his arms down, which also moves the position of his Mini-con ports, then fold him in half. Now the positioning is much better for his Mini-con ports. He looks just like how a missile pod should, and not much like a fire engine. Simply plug him onto any Mini-con port and voilà, extra firepower for any Transformer (with the Mini-con ports, of course). He’s pretty much an accessory like this, but I think that’s exactly what makes him so interesting.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Onto to Prowl, he has the vehicle mode of a police car. Again, he’s detailed, but the translucent blue doesn’t blend well. It works, but I would have preferred a solid color instead. Regardless, the color scheme goes together pretty well, and the blue plastic is dark enough to not be that noticeable.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

In robot mode he’s pretty good. Not as interesting as the other figures included in this set, but nice none the less. He has ball joints in his shoulders, and hinge joints in his legs, so he can pose pretty well. I somewhat dislike that his head is one piece with his upper body, but he does plenty to make up for it.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

His third mode is a gun, and this is how I like the figure best. He can be held by any Transformer with 5mm holes in their hands, so he’s not limited to just figures with Mini-con ports. He looks better as a gun than he does as a robot, and I find him most useful in this mode. His head is as stated above, one piece with the part of him that becomes the barrel of the gun. This makes his face somewhat less noticeable, which is nice.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Then last but certainly not least is Makeshift. He transforms into an Osprey helicopter in vehicle mode. It’s well detailed and the propellers even spin. The cockpit is painted silver, and there’s even this neat little emblem on his rear wing. There’s not really any kibble in this mode and he looks clean.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

In robot mode he almost looks imposing, which is a little uncommon for an Mini-con. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the little things, but it’s sort of the same with the Generation 1 Mini-bots. Bumblebee for example isn’t the least bit imposing, but this guy is different. He’s real bulky in some aspects and the fingers he has adds to his badass-look. He’s just not that “innocent little guy” most Mini-cons/Mini-bots come off as.

His articulation in this robot mode is decent, with joints in his fingers/claws, shoulders, and kind of in his legs. Unfortunately, his legs are pin joints that only bend to the sides, meaning he can’t strike too many poses. But he looks good enough in static poses to make up for it anyway.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

He also transforms into a gatling gun as stated at the beginning of this review. While not quite as recognizable as say, Firebot, it’s still an imaginative and detailed alternate mode. There’s many little orange details that can be seen here, it’s nice that they went trough the trouble of making him so detailed in this mode. As a weapon, he works as that nice little bit of added firepower, perfect for an larger figure.

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team
(Armada Emergency Mini-Con team with 2004 Universe repaints)

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

All in all, this is a set Mini-con collectors should pick up, and more casual collectors should carefully consider. These three Mini-cons are loads of fun that compliment very well the larger figures you might find in you collection.

Links:

Visit the Makeshift gallery by clicking here.
Visit the Firebot gallery by clicking here.
Visit the Prowl gallery by clicking here.
Visit the Universe Makeshift repaint gallery by clicking here.
Visit the Universe Firebot repaint gallery by clicking here.
Visit the Universe Prowl repaint gallery by clicking here.
...Or find your own buried treasures by visiting all the toy galleries here!

* If you would like to write a review for our "Buried Treasures" feature, please send a private message to Skowl on the Seibertron.com forums!

Previous Buried Treasure Reviews:

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Cannonball by Skowl

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Snapdragon by Jeep

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Cybertron Downshift by Chuckdawg1999

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Frostbite by Duke of Luns

Buried Treasure Review - Emergency Mini-Con Team

Octopunch by Jeep

Transformers Generations vol 1 - Review

Transformers News: Transformers Generations vol 1 - Review
Date: Tuesday, February 17th 2009 1:53am CST
Categories: Media, Reviews, Site Articles, Toy News
Posted by: Stormrider | Credit(s): Stormrider

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 75,568

Transformers Generations 2009 Vol. 1 got released in Japan. I snagged a copy yesterday and I'm glad that I did. It is a feast for Japanese Transformers fans.



This book is very similar in style and presentation to the Japanese Transformers Collection 2007 book. In fact, this book begins where Transformers Collection 2007 left off.

There are 100 pages of photographs, captions (in Japanese), drawings, and a mini comic. The purpose of the book is to showcase all of the TakaraTomy Transformers from the past two years, which was executed very well. You'll find lots of detailed pictures showing numerous angles and gimmicks for each figure. In some cases, may be too much. Everything is printed on high quality paper, which allows magnificent detail to be shown. Each figure gets 1-4 pages. The book covers Henkei, Alternity, Binaltech, Masterpiece, Encore, Marvel Crossover, and miscellaneous figures like exclusives and branded labels, like Music Label.

Alternity Convoy is the first thing you'll encounter when you open the book. A whopping 10 pages are devoted to him. Takara isn't pulling any stops with this little guy's promotion. Too bad his release date couldn't be as determined. Alternity Megatron is not featured in this book.

The Henkei figures cover all of them from Optimus Prime to Dinobot. Japanese exclusives are also shown. Each figure is displayed in 2-5 shots. A frame with the Hasbro version is included for comparison. The only Henkei figures not included were Red Alert, Smokescreen, and the Minibots (they'll probably be in volume 2).

For the Binaltech & Masterpiece section, expect to see: Arcee, Blue Streak, Argent Meister, Convoy, MP US Edition Starscream, MP Thundercracker, and Grimlock. The details of Grimlock include the transformation process. Sorry...can't give away secrets...

The Encore section is another worthwhile feature. The book covers the figures from Ironhide through Hoist. (Optimus, Megatron, Starscream, and Soundwave were covered in Transformers Collection 2007). The cassettes and Bruticus were not included, but they will probably be in the next volume.

The miscellaneous figures include: Disney Label, Music Label, Marvel Crossovers, and Encore exclusives. Chrono Label is not included.

Now for the fun part! The reason why this book is called "Generations" is because it connects all 25 years (And if you’ve been paying attention - you'll also know that is the campaign theme on Takara Transformers website). http://www.takaratomy.co.jp/products/TF/25th/25th.html

So, where the first half of the book focuses on the present; the second half focuses on the past. The entertainment begins with G1 Optimus Prime. Have you ever imagined attending an Optimus Prime party? Take every G1 Optimus Prime ever made (legitimately by Takara & Hasbro) and let them strut around on twelve pages. There are over two dozen Primes, and they all want their picture taken. It's like a Prime convention. What is particularly cool about having all the Primes together for a family reunion is that you can see all the big and small variations between each figure, trailer, andor box. Attendees at this party include Diaclone Prime; 1984&85 Prime (first, second, and third runs); Pepsi exclusives, Goodbye Convoy, Lucky Draw, G2, New Year Specials, Commemorative Series, etc?Eunning all the way up to the present. Prime fans might want to get the book just for this alone.

The other cool feature of this book is the concept art. Some very intriguing, old, and outlandish drawings have been pulled from some dusty archive hidden below Takara's HQ. There are drawings of Powered Convoy (Ultra Magnus) with armor resembling Go-Bot power suits; motorcycles for instance, are used for his arms and legs. Other cool drawings include a Robotech looking Prime featuring a different transformation and a trailer that transforms into a combat vehicle; Mirage, Inferno, and Sludge are also included, in addition to a slew of others you wouldn't recognize.

I highly recommend this book if you are into concept art and like referencing Japanese figures from numerous angles.

Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition

Transformers News: Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition
Date: Saturday, February 14th 2009 8:06am CST
Categories: Reviews, Site Articles, Transtopia
Posted by: Stormrider | Credit(s): Seibertron

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 91,510

Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition

The excitement continues to build in Transtopia. Lots and lots of repaints, kitbashes, and scratchbuilds. New members and veterans have posted many awe inspiring figures. If you are interested in doing customs but don’t know where to begin, then check out the Transtopia forums for tips from the experts: Transtopia

The newsletter has undergone a face lift, thanks to Seibertron member, Flix for his creative design work. We also have a winner to announce from our banner contest featured last month: Technically Weird gets the bragging rights to show off his artwork as one of our subheaders.
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/Angelic_Prince/seibcontest.jpg

We thank everyone for their participation. You can check out the other entries here

And remember, to check out the Transtopia forum for the latest action.

-Stormrider


How to Showcase Your Work...
The newsletter is your opportunity to show off your work and talent. We rely on your articles, artwork, and customs to make it interesting. Entries will be reviewed on a monthly basis. You can submit your work here:
Repaints, Kitbashes, Scratchbuilds
Fan Art
Fan Fiction
Guides


Newsletter Credits:
Design - Flix
Formatting – Mattyc1007
Fan Art - Mykltron
Fan Fiction – Sledge
Editing – Stormrider



Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition

Shattered Glass Aerialbots – Trikeboy
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Cyndicate/GESTAULT OPPRESSOR - sentinal supreme
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Alternator Dinobots (with special guest) - Broadblasts short shorts
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Shattered Glass Cyclonus - Trikeboy
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


BW Animated Blackarachnia – Psyke
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Animated MotorMaster - sentinal supreme
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


G1 Unicron – Trikeboy
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


WST G1 Waspinator - grimlockprime108
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Rain Makers - sentinal supreme
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Premium Barricade – flix
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Shattered Glass Prowl – Trikeboy
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Hoodswipe – Grimpoo


MovieRepaints - Hakka
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Hearts Of Steel Optimus Prime - Sabsabby85
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Starscream – Mykltron
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


WIP Ironhide - Zero-Kaiser
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Revoltech Skywarp & Thundercracker - Chris-morada
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Abominus Prime/ Medic Prime - Sentinal supreme
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Legends G2 Beachcomber - grimlockprime108
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Legends Electrum Beachcomber - grimlockprime108
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Mercenary Driveshaft – Grimpoo


WIP Shattered Glass Wheeljack - Trikeboy
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Universe Dinobot - Softimus Prime
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


WIP Cybertron Classics Sideswipe – Shadowstream
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


TFA G1 Prowl- grimlockprime108
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Arcee WIP - ServO
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition



Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition

WST Shattered Glass Sideswipe - grimlockprime108
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Universe Runabout - grimlockprime108
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Classics Hydrostorm - Spurt Reynolds
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Animated Starscream – Spurt Reynolds
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Animated Snarl - Spurt Reynolds
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Animated Slag - Spurt Reynolds
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Animated Sludge - Spurt Reynolds
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Animated Swoop - Spurt Reynolds
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Reflector - wan_de_real
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Movie Optimus Prime – Sabsabby85
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


BT Bumblebee - wan_de_real
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Custom alternator Perceptor - Customtoysandmore
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Jetfire - Transtopias Rodimus Prime
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition

Classics Special Ops Shockwave - Asepticon
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Movie Custom Starscream – Crefigz
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition


Alternator Ratbat and Overkill - Broadblasts short shorts
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition



Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition

Plush Trailer - mattyc1007
Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition



Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition
- by Mykltron

This month’s featured artist is Kyrie with his computer design Valkyrie, a female quadrochanger.

Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition
(click the link to see larger pictures)

Not only has Kyrie designed a fully transforming character, but he also has presented it beautifully as if it were a photo gallery of an actual figure. The transformation process between modes gives us an indication of how much thought and planning must have gone into it, while touches of realism are included - such as light glinting off the corners, shadows and reflections.

Using the extremely sleek car mode as the starting point, Kyrie used engineering drawing techniques to design the robot, followed by the other two modes. Once those stages were complete, Maya 8.0 was used to create the 3D work of art presented here.

The first thing that struck me about this figure was the amount of blue that was used. Beautiful as this colour is, a little more variety of colour may make it easier to understand, although gold and dark grey have been used for some internal parts.

What I particularly like about the robot’s design is how femininity is suggested through slenderness of build rather than actually giving her breasts like Blackarachnia. Another noteworthy feature is what appear to be gun holsters on her hips in robot mode, although we can’t see any guns. If that’s what they truly are then it’s very cool and this should be used on some real TF toys. Perhaps the only thing missing would be fold-out claws for the front feet to match the rear in tiger mode making her more ferocious.

I’m sure Kyrie would appreciate your feedback on this stunning creation, so please leave your comments on the Valkyrie thread here.

Honorable mentions this month go to Nench for his eye appealing Unicron creation. Click here.


Send us your artwork!
Art entries are reviewed on a monthly basis for the newsletter. Send your entries here by February 28th for the March newsletter.



Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition

Do you have modeling or art tips to share with other members? Why not write a guide? Feature tips from - repainting, kitbashing, drawing, sculpting, and even computer graphics. Send an email to Transtopia.Guide@gmx.de for details.



Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition
- by Sledge

Hello, fellow Seibertronians, and welcome to the Fan Fiction section. First things first, last month's winner. Sabrblade takes it with the first installment in his "Machine Wars: Transformers – The Fanfic Series." In his own words, it's "within both the U.S. and Japanese G1 animated continuities without interfering with each other." I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty ambitious, and I'll be interested to see how it pans out. Chapter 1 can be read here, with chapter 2 here. If you enjoy those, start pestering Saberblade to write more. Well done, Saberblade, and I hope to see more writing from you soon.

This month is going to be slightly different, as we're setting two contests:

The first is for the end of February. As that's only two weeks away, and that doesn't leave much time to come up with an idea AND get the final version written, February's competion is open to any TF fiction you've got ready for judging at the end of the month. So if you've got something already written, or have a great idea ready to go, this is for you.

The second is for March. For this one, I've decided to mix things up a little by setting a theme. What I'd like to see is something on the topic of "Transformers Go To The Movies." What does that mean? Whatever you want. Transformers starring in films, TFs watching films, TFs covered in a pile of DVDs, whatever that topic suggests to you is what I want to see. Funny, serious, romantic, tragic, anything. If that topic immediately makes you think "Oh, that would be a story about..." start writing it down.

A quick recap of the rules (don't worry, there's not many):
1) 10,000 word limit. Rough guideline to start with, I won't be automatically disqualifying anything that comes in over.
2) Decent spelling, grammar and punctuation. Run a spell check over your story, and maybe get a friend to read it before submitting.
3) Be specific as to where/when the story is set. So what continuity is it in (G1 comic, G1 cartoon, Armada comic, etc) and where is it set? Before the events of the show/comic, after, during? If during, where does it fit?
4) Fan characters are fine, but please avoid making them those annoying "I am more powerful than any other Transformer!!!" types. Also, consider if there's an under-used existing TF who'd fit the needs of the story just as well as someone new. Existing characters are almost always more interesting to everyone else.


And that's all there is to it. Now you have the easy bit of writing it, which involves (if I may paraphrase Douglas Adams) staring at a blank screen until blood appears on your forehead. Please don't bleed on your keyboards, just have fun.

Send your entries here.



Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition

Hey Transtopia folks - Burn wants to interview you. How did you get into Transformers? Why are you addicted to kitbashing? What was your first repaint like? What do you do with your spare time?

Don’t keep Burn waiting any longer – he’s getting bored at work. Send him a PM here.

Transtopia Newsletter - February Edition

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Transformers News: Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch
Date: Saturday, February 7th 2009 8:46am CST
Categories: Reviews, Site Articles, Toy News
Posted by: Skowl | Credit(s): Jeep

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 33,264

The year 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Transformers franchise. To celebrate this incredible milestone, Seibertron.com will look back at a quarter-century of great Transformers toys, bringing back into the limelight some brilliant figures that have fallen through the cracks over the years. Once a week, a fan (be it a member of the staff or a user on the site) will have the opportunity to write about one of their favourite "hidden gems" of the Transformers Universe, and have their review posted on the site's front page.

We hope this feature will be a great success, and that many of you will be encouraged to look back at the last 25 years of Transformers and perhaps take a worthwhile second-look at some real unsung classics of the Transformers universe.

___________________________________________________________________

Buried Treasure - Octopunch (Generation 1 series - 1989)

By Jeep

Octopunch. The man who shot Primus right in the bloody face. What’s not to like about this guy already? As far as the character goes, he’s got a pretty impressive CV going on. He was a pretty important Decepticon in the Marvel Comics series of the late 80s, even being a member of the prestigious Mayhem Attack Squad. And he’s a Pretender, which is probably one of the most interesting of all the gimmicks Hasbro has ever tried on Transformers, but there’ll be more of that later. He’s also a noted treasure hunter, so perhaps he should be doing these Buried Treasure reviews instead of me. But most importantly, he shot Primus in the FACE. What have you done lately that’s so manly?

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Picking up Octopunch’s robot toy, you’d be forgiven for being a little sceptical. Standing a paltry two inches tall, he can see eye to eye with most of today’s minicons and is positively dwarfed by the legends size class. But he manages to pack quite a lot of awesome into that little stature.

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Being slightly more articulated than most toys of his size at the time, he’s capable of quite a few interesting positions, and that arm-mounted gun of his just seems to ooze authority, with his raised-fist, menacing-look appearance.

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Flip him over, slap in his beast mode legs and gear up those pincers, and you’re presented with probably the best-looking crab in the Transformers range, complete with back-mounted rifle for extra kick. The pincers are nicely articulated, too, and clever use of the shoulder joints can achieve a few nifty ‘scuttling’ poses. This is not the kind of crab you want to wake up with after a shifty encounter. But wait – he’s a crab? Well, that’s just the worst naming disaster since the wheel-free Flywheels. Or… is it?

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

The true beauty of Octopunch comes not from his neat, but titchy, inner robot, but from his being two toys at once. And, since the Transformers are technically two toys at once anyway, I guess we’re looking at three ways to have your Octopunch and eat it. One look at the Pretender Shell and you’ll know exactly why the lad’s named what he is.

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

But first, a note on Pretenders. Originally, the Pretender line was created to market simple action figures and Transformers at the same time, with the robotic transformer being stored inside the organic shell, which opened in two pieces. The first range of Pretenders featured tall, lanky, incredibly simple Transformer toys, whose alternate modes tended to look a bit less like planes, trains and automobiles and a lot more like a robot doing some very, very simple yoga. However, by the time Octopunch and his Mayhem Attack Squad buddies came around, the overall toy had been reduced in size, but the quality of the robots increased dramatically, albeit at the cost of a bit of ‘parts-former’ additional piece interplay. Go ahead, compare Octopunch or his contemporaries, such as Pincher or Bludgeon, to the earlier efforts such as Submarauder, Bomb-Burst or Skullgrin, and the improvements should be clear. Of course, this game of one-upmanship just went too far when the pinnacle of the line appeared, with the shells transforming into alternate modes of their own and fitting inside even larger shells which transformed too. Yes, my head hurts as well.

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Anyway, let’s get back to specifics. One look at Octopunch’s Pretender shell, with its gruesome Scooby-Doo villain appearance, and you’ll see where his name stems from. Each of his arms is accompanied by two additional tentacles, although each three-limbed cluster moves at the shoulder as one piece. The olden-days deep-sea diving helmet is removable, but please, for the love of God, don’t do it. Under its enticing mystery, there’s a whole world of frighteningly terrifying in there. Octopunch’s face can probably be best described by imagining the following words all at once – tusks, brains, bolts and plates, and that episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog with the space-dudes with foreheads supported by sticks on wheels.

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

I warned you.

Upon regaining composure after than initial shock, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that not a single piece of Octopunch should ever go missing if you pay attention – those beast mode legs that didn’t store inside his shell actually attach to the back of the shell’s backpack, while the smaller red gun affixes to the inside of the rear half of the right leg.

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

When holed up inside his Pretender shell, Octopunch is armed with a bizarre gun-like contraption, which I have to admit is a huge disappointment for anyone who was expecting the brutal-looking trident he often carried in the comic series – for some reason, the Decepticon Pretenders (Octopunch, Stranglehold and Bludgeon) were all illustrated with mêlée weapons, but came packaged with ranged weaponry. Ah, Hasbro, how you mocked our childish enthusiasm.

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Unfortunately for the shell, it features another let-down, but one that was ubiquitous to the entire Pretenders line – it displays a range of motion similar to that of myself with a hangover: little more than flailing arms and a blank stare. Due to the position of the shell’s halves, only the (oddly rubbery) shoulders feature any articulation, with everything else being solid hard plastic.

Overall, however, there’s something deliciously charming about Octopunch, and I don’t mean as a fried entrée. The Pretender line, with its novel approach and delightfully different appearance, means that any of its components are a welcome addition to any collection, but it’s truly the smaller, later Pretenders who show off the best of the range – and if you’re going to go looking for a real ‘buried treasure’, you really can’t go wrong with a man who shot his own god right in between the eyes. So what if it was by accident...

Links:

Visit the Octopunch gallery by clicking here
Visit the Bludgeon gallery by clicking here
Visit the Stranglehold gallery by clicking here
...Or find your own buried treasures by visiting all the toy galleries here!

* If you would like to write a review for our "Buried Treasures" feature, please send a private message to Skowl on the Seibertron.com forums!

Previous Buried Treasure Reviews:

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Cannonball by Skowl

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Snapdragon by Jeep

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Cybertron Downshift by Chuckdawg1999

Buried Treasure Review - Octopunch

Frostbite by Duke of Luns

Buried Treasure Review - Frostbite

Transformers News: Buried Treasure Review - Frostbite
Date: Friday, January 30th 2009 8:19pm CST
Categories: Reviews, Site News, Toy News
Posted by: Skowl | Credit(s): Duke of Luns

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 46,739

The year 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Transformers franchise. To celebrate this incredible milestone, Seibertron.com will look back at a quarter-century of great Transformers toys, bringing back into the limelight some brilliant figures that have fallen through the cracks over the years. Once a week, a fan (be it a member of the staff or a user on the site) will have the opportunity to write about one of their favourite "hidden gems" of the Transformers Universe, and have their review posted on the site's front page.

We hope this feature will be a great success, and that many of you will be encouraged to look back at the last 25 years of Transformers and perhaps take a worthwhile second-look at some real unsung classics of the Transformers universe.

___________________________________________________________________

Buried Treasure - Frostbite (Universe series - 2005)

By Duke of Luns

In the early part of 2003, the Transformers Universe Line was born. The intent of this line was to give collectors and kids a second chance to buy molds of previously released figures, occasionally paying homage to a past character in Transformer lore. Unfortunately, the Transformers Universe line was plagued by a dearth of uninteresting repaints in hideous or gaudy colors that sometimes hampered an otherwise great figure, and the line met its demise in late 2005. Because of the lines early end, several interesting figures and redecos were left on the manufacturing room floor. Many of these figures would either not see release for several years, if at all, but fortunately for us Frostbite was not among them.

Before I begin my review, I think a little back-story is in order. Firstly, Frostbite is a Decepticon repaint of Transmetal II Jawbreaker, a Maximal. Jawbreaker was one of the final molds from the Beast Wars line, and since he never appeared in the show or any comic (barring the Beat Wars Sourcebook) as of yet, he‘s often forgotten. Frostbite was part of the final general retail release Universe figures alongside Longhorn and Night Slash Cheetor, and he‘s now showing up in a review about forgotten Transformers. It’s probably just a coincidence, but you never know. Anyway, speaking of back-story, Frostbite actually doesn’t have any, other than he’s an agent of Unicron. Considering just how cool the figure looks it’s a shame, because after all Transformers are living, functioning aliens from outer space, and it’s nice to put a personality to a face. But since this is a review of a toy and not a character, I suppose it really is a moot point. So in that respect, let’s start by examining Frostbite MOC shall we?

{L_IMAGE}

Frostbite comes in normal Universe packaging, with original character at on the front of the bubble insert. In short, pretty lame packaging. However, it would be in err to judge a book by its cover, since what’s inside is more than meets the eye….

Upon opening the package, we are presented with a Transmetal II hyena….with white, purple, black and light blue fur. I guess that he’d be some kind of artic hyena, if one existed. Not exactly realistic or even “disguisable”, but considering some of the color schemes that adorned other figures in the line, it’s pretty pleasing to the eye. Anyway, the color scheme is completely original and isn’t really meant to homage any past characters, but if you squint real hard you might catch a passing resemblance to G1 Carnivac.

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Molding and detail wise, it’s everything you would expect from a Transmetal II, and that’s a good thing. Almost every part on the figure is unique, with few if any “mirrored” pieces. Robotic and fleshy parts flow in and out each other very well, and this figure demonstrates very well just how much the Beast Wars line had changed up to that point. I particularly love the robotic right eye.

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Moving on, I think now would be a good time to “point” out just how evil and dangerous Frostbite looks. From his toothy buck toothed mouth right to the bladed tip of his tail, this guy just screams “Beware of Dog“. Also of note the spinning saw blade located on his back. It functions perfectly in this mode, and doesn’t scrape against the back of the head or anything. Hard to believe this guy was redecod from a Maximal huh? Oh yeah, and no need to worry scratching or cutting yourself, since this is a children’s toy most of the bladed areas are molded in soft plastic and all have rounded tips, and this factor only enhances how cool his beast mode is. After all, do you really want to have a first aid kit on hand every time you play with him?

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Articulation is pretty decent for a Beast Wars era figure. He has some slight head articulation with full 360 degree movement, and can even tilt up, down, and side to side slightly. His front legs can’t move side to side, the but can rotate a full 360 degrees, though they will hit the hind legs in the process. These legs also articulated at the knee, and slightly at the foot as well. The hind quarters fare both better and worse than the front. They have some slight side outward movement due to being on a ball joint, but I personally don’t think they look right when jutted out. Also due to molding issues the legs can’t rotate a full 360 degrees like the front legs can, but this doesn’t affect posing much. The legs are also articulated at the knee and at the back of the calf to simulate the “backwards knees” that most four legged animals possess. Like the front legs, his feet have some minor articulation. Finally, his tail has some slight up and down movement. Not much to write home about, but more than some earlier Beast Wars figures.

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Unfortunately, this great and original beast mode is marred by a couple of technical difficulties. First of all, his head is not very well hidden, and can easily be seen underneath of him in this form. The second problem is that the front quarter of the figure doesn’t hold together very tightly. The front legs have a habit of becoming un-pegged, and the connection behind the saw blade area isn’t very secure either. However, these are very minor issues, and do little to spoil the awesomeness of his beast mode.

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But hey, despite how awesome Frostbite’s beast mode is, this is a Transformers review, so now would be a good time to settle into the metal.

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After a relatively simple transformation we now have a very cool, very posable robot. Articulation wise, he has fifteen points, sixteen if you move the back piece backwards a tad, giving him waist rotation. His head can rotate a full 360 degrees, and his arms are ball jointed. His right forarm is on a hinge at the elbow, and can rotate a full 360 degrees here as well. The left arm has a ball joint on the forearm. His arm kibble/beast front legs still rotate in this mode was well, but I don’t count them on his articulation tally. The legs are ball jointed, with hinges on the knees, calves , and feet. Stability wise, I’ve found no problem with my figure. The ball joints have held pretty tightly over the years, and his feet are large enough to accommodate him in almost any position. He also has pretty even weight distribution, so he’s not heavy anywhere.

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Sculpt wise, Frostbite is one vicious looking Decepticon. His head sculpt is pretty standard Transformers fare, though I find it interesting that his cyborg looking eye is on the left side, whereas his beast mode cyborg eye is on the right. Maybe he has different vision depending on what mode he’s in? You’ll also notice that like his beast mode, the robot mode is not symmetrical, and there is a mish-mash of organic and cybernetic parts going on everywhere. Also, Frostbite looks good from practically any position, with the only kibble being on his arms, but this doesn’t detract from the figure in the least, and enhances his look slightly.

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Yep, Frostbite certainly looks ready willing to rip any opposing Autobots to shreds! Obviously to do this he would require a weapon, and as I’m sure you’ve noticed, Frostbite not only has one built in, but very capable handheld weapon as well.

Let’s examine his right arm first. Like several Beast Wars era figures, his beast mode head has become one of his hands. Since the head is on a joint, it can be positioned to look very natural, in nearly any position. Behind his head we come to the main gimmick of the figure, namely his spinning saw blade. Often times whenever an action figure has any kind of spinning action figure, it almost always inhibits the posabilty or look that said figure could have if that feature wasn’t present. Frostbite actually bucks this trend, because not only does the saw blade look good in almost any position, it doesn’t affect posability or functionality in the least! The only trade off is that the forearm is a tad bulky, but it’s light enough that it doesn’t weigh the arm down, and the exposed lever and un-detailed areas doesn’t look too ghastly.

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Now then. let’s talk about Frostbite’s only accessory. What was once his tail has now become a very deadly and sharp looking sword, excellently molded and painted. It’s molded in soft plastic, so there won’t be any poked fingers, and is light enough to be held high over his head should you wish to pose him that way. The sword is also very….big. Gee, with a weapon that size, ya think he might be compensating for something? Juvenile jokes aside, Frostbite is actually a head or so shorter than most deluxe sized Transformers, but that doesn’t make him any less deadly in this reviewer’s opinion.

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So in closing, Frostbite is one excellent looking and often overlooked Transformer, and was certainly a great figure that came at end the original ill-fated Universe line, despite not paying direct homage to any particular past character. Hopefully when the Universe 2.0 line returns after the Movie we’ll see some more interesting original characters that can make their own legacy.

Links:

Visit the Frostbite gallery by clicking here
Visit the Transmetal II Jawbreaker gallery by clicking here
...Or find your own buried treasures by visiting all the toy galleries here!

* If you would like to write a review for our "Buried Treasures" feature, please send a private message to Skowl on the Seibertron.com forums!

Previous Buried Treasure Reviews:

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Cannonball by Skowl

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Snapdragon by Jeep

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Cybertron Downshift by Chuckdawg1999

Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift

Transformers News: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift
Date: Friday, January 23rd 2009 5:39pm CST
Categories: Reviews, Site Articles, Toy News
Posted by: Skowl | Credit(s): Chuckdawg1999

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 32,469

The year 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Transformers franchise. To celebrate this incredible milestone, Seibertron.com will look back at a quarter-century of great Transformers toys, bringing back into the limelight some brilliant figures that have fallen through the cracks over the years. Once a week, a fan (be it a member of the staff or a user on the site) will have the opportunity to write about one of their favourite "hidden gems" of the Transformers Universe, and have their review posted on the site's front page.

We hope this feature will be a great success, and that many of you will be encouraged to look back at the last 25 years of Transformers and perhaps take a worthwhile second-look at some real unsung classics of the Transformers universe.

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Buried Treasure - Downshift (Cybertron series - 2006)

by Chuckdawg1999

Thinking back to the period of time before Cybertron hit I remember being quite anxious. Having been generally disappointed by the lackluster Energon line and accompanying cartoon I was starting to believe that perhaps the newer lines of Transformers were best left to those younger than I. Thankfully I was wrong and the first prototype shots of the new figures assured me that I was in store for something worthwhile. At the time I was co-writing the Cybertronian Enquirer with “Professor” Mike Kaye, he and I were on different sides of the debate of streamlined vs. boxy robot design. While he liked what he saw of Cybertron he wasn’t as excited as I was. As the line progressed Cybertron became my favorite line of the Unicron Trilogy while the good professor lamented the lack of articulation. I would constantly recommend figures to Mike saying this one or that one was quite good or had a great Cyber-key gimmick, but it took a exceptionally special figure to bring the professor and I to a common ground. That figure was Downshift.

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Downshift’s vehicle mode looks like it was taken directly from a 60’s Steve McQueen movie. I can picture in my mind some hard-nosed PI flying over a hill on the streets of San Francisco his muscle car wearing the scars of hard use. I was slightly disappointed that Downshift’s bio revealed that he wasn’t some sort of Cybertronian PI. Sure we have Nightbeat but besides Jim Rockford we had Thomas Magnum so a second TF PI would’ve been ok with me. While green and black are the predominant colors for Downshift, and look quite nice I must say, there is some silver used for his bumpers, grill, and engine. Smoked orange plastic is used for the windows and headlights. This car just looks cool.

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Downshift comes with two spring-loaded rocket launchers that can be mounted on the figure in a few ways; in vehicle mode they can be pegged into each door giving the car an armored vehicle look. Imagine driving through rush hour traffic with those babies by your side. I would’ve liked it if Hasbro found a way to incorporate the launchers into the design of the car giving it a more streamlined look but that’s small potatoes and doesn’t hurt the figure at all.

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Thinking back if there was one universal complaint about the Cybertron figures it was that sometimes the slots for the cyber-keys didn’t blend in as well as one would’ve liked into the vehicle or robot mode. Downshift is one of if not the only figure where that isn’t a problem. There is a small hatch that when closed is flush with the rear window. Once the key is inserted Downshift’s front grill springs open becoming some sort of capture claw. In this mode Downshift begins to remind me of a MASK era vehicle.

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Transformation is intuitive and a joy for your hands. In robot mode you’ll notice that like his Energon counterpart Downshift’s head is a nod to G1 Wheeljack. Another nod to the old ‘jack is the ability to attach the rocket launchers onto Downshift’s shoulders as well as being able to hold them as traditional guns. I prefer the one on, one off look as it gives him a real rugged badass look.


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While the professor thought Downshift was going to be another brick-fest Transformer even he was pleasantly surprised by Downshift’s extensive articulation. While I don’t look to be able to put my figures in various yoga poses I do enjoy the occasional run-and-gun stance.

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When first released Downshift was a touch under the radar due to his brief appearance in the cartoon which is a shame since I feel his character, with the proper development, could’ve been a significant part of the series. While I can’t comment on any other use of the mold I can tell you that Cybertron Downshift is a solid investment and a great figure to fool around with. Grab him now before the Cybertron figures really shoot up in value. Thanks for reading.

Links:

Visit the Downshift gallery by clicking here
...Or find your own buried treasures by visiting all the toy galleries here!

* If you would like to write a review for our "Buried Treasures" feature, please send a private message to Skowl on the Seibertron.com forums!

Previous Buried Treasure Reviews:

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Cannonball by Skowl

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Snapdragon by Jeep

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