“NEW CYBERTRON”—CONCLUSION! As the Junkions reveal their ultimate plan, Optimus Prime makes a decision that will define the relationship between Earth and Cybertron for all time... but will Arcee be able to live with the fallout?
Good memory, kids
The first arc of Optimus Prime, the big core book at the heart of the Hasbro Universe (take that, Crown Jewel), comes to a close in this sixth issue, and we get some closure indeed on the multiple threads dangling through the story - and some more are left to unravel for the future...
We know John Barber's propensity for the caption technique, to aid with the narration and provide some 'behind the scenes' commentary for what is actually happening in the gutters between panels - but this time, despite the very good writing, it's perhaps the very first time I've found it clash a little with the story itself. Having Optimus Prime narrate his own arc just felt ..off, at times.
The other stories, the other faces, the other characters around which the issue and the arc revolve, on the other hand, are still really quite pleasing. There is a lot happening all in one place (if you want a hand in catching up on the roles, our database entry might help!), both in the past and in the present, and it's all satisfyingly tantalising for more story threads from here.
token human panel
The way in which Optimus is perceived on the many sides of the issues, from the colonist recruits to Aileron and Pyra Magna, to Soundwave and Jetfire's past and present outlook and opinions, to how Earth sees him as coloniser and invader - the story is in no way at its end, if anything we have a new fraught beginning of a much bigger story to be told. And then there's that last page...
Kei Zama is still so much joy to follow through the pages, be it for organic, Cybertronian, Cybertrorganic, landscapes, battles, dialogue or face-offs - be they blasting or verbal, in the present or past - and I'm extremely pleased to see the variations across the Sharkticon ranks as well and variety in humans, who do not obviously have designs as distinctive as the robot protagonists.
The issue also relies a lot on heavy visual cues for resolutions - as well as the trademark time shifts and parallels - allowing for more of Josh Burcham's effective colouring to blend with Zama's linework. The lighter moments, not necessarily in tone, are impressive where the writing may not reach, and any lingering shadow is that much darker for it.
FLASH (aahhaaa saviouroftheuniverse)
As for the lettering, I am still in awe at how Tom B. Long manages to juggle so many things at once in pages that can be extremely busy, between visuals and text. Never mind some of the fight scenes, the ink work and dynamism - we still follow narration; top marks. And cover wise, while the veteran roster of Zama/Burcham (SkyLynx rider), Coller/Bove (face-off), Griffith/Perez (Sharkpile) is a wonder to behold, I'd like to congratulate Jin Kim on some really solid output with IDW covers this month - see thumbnail for proof.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I was somehow expecting more from a conclusion, at this stage. Not that what we got wasn't a good one, mind you, but something felt a little underplayed - which might be beneficial for the wider game in the long run, and future stories, but leaves a little anticlimactic here. Soundwave's role, the explanation of his presence by Megatron's side, Jetfire's role in particular, feel well rounded enough to allow it, sure, but Optimus' actions are a bit.. whelming.
Things I am looking forwards to, nonetheless: Jazz and the exploration of his 'getting to know Earth' storyline, so very much. More Thundercracker in an active role. More challenges to Optimus, even - in spite of - apparent changes of heart/mind. Ramifications of his role in the eye of the new recruits. THAT ENDING PAGE.
The Transformers: The Last Knight toyline is being released worldwide this week and if you are curious to know what is in store if you pick up one of the only two new deluxe molds, Berserker, then I wrote a review with pictures. He is not great, but definitely a step up from Barricade, who was just too small, simple and kibble heavy for my taste. You can read that review here.
Now onto Berserker!
As I said, a definite step up from Barricade in terms of several problems I had. Firstly, he is literally a step up by being a tad bit taller and more in line with what I expect from a deluxe.
Secondly, the deco and paint apps don't leave me wanting that much more. It's not like there are places which badly need paint and nothing seems cheap. I especially like the asymetrical "X" on his chest. It looks like war paint, lending to his more barbarian and predatory design. All his claws (feet and hands) are painted too to distinguish them from the rest of his hands and feet. The silver highlights on his face give him a nice premium feel as well.
Lastly, there is a major improvement over barricade (and other shellformers) in how well the shell folds away. This isn't anything close to the genius of Prime Vehicon, but it is better than TLK Barricade, the AOE Leader Optimus Primes and the movie Sideswipe toys we have gotten in the past. There is a lot of compressing and folding to have as little car parts showing as possible.
Personally though, while it's an improvement over other shellformers, it also becomes the figure's downfall. Since the ROTF line, Takara has improved on its engineering for robots which don't show much of their alt mode. Instead of creating a back pack, the found new techniques that involve either turning the figure inside out (AOE Voyager Hound and Optimus Prime) or fully compressing a backpack (Voyagers AOE Galvatron and TLK Optimus Prime) and minimizing alt mode kibble on the robot. However, here they went the old way which means you have all these overlapping panels all across his back (and protruding above his head) plus some really random looking car details along his arms, like movie Leader Ironhide. Also, the car panels that rest on the back of his legs dont fold flush, which is a bit of a bummer, since it brings further attention to kibble that shouldn't be there.
Oh, speaking of those arm car parts, here's a new complaint: glue is missing. They are "stuck" to the arms due to friction but can drop to the floor at any given instant and will be sure to come off during transformation. Then again, I did complain about them looking random in robot mode so them not being glued means you could remove them no problem for him to look more like the Dreadwind character model. But he probably isn't in the movie anyway (at least not looking like this) so what is the point either way? Moving on, these are not the only parts to come off, the head is really loose and will also come off easily.
Aside from the car parts clashing with the rest of the figure, the robot mode isn't bad at all. Nice articulation and very expressive.
The shellforming nature of the figure does come to bite it in the butt when you start transforming it. He is actually quite simple but because he has more seperate panels than need connecting than any transformer I can remember (even more than Leader Sentinel Prime), it becomes a very frustrating transformation. There is a lot of panel massaging and multiple panels clipping onto one another at once from different parts. So clipping another panel can undo the previous ones. One odd thing I noticed while transforming was that he has a hole under his crotch and it doesn't serve for anything (maybe a stand? but it looks too small). A little distracting.
The shellforming nature means almost none of the robot is visible in car mode and they do succeed here (some robot parts show in the back). You have some panel lines but nothing egregious and if it is transformed correctly, it will all stay together tightly with no gaps. The vehicle appears to look puny at first but it is as long as any other deluxe vehicle. It just looks small because the type of car is usually bigger than a car for a deluxe Transformer. One really cool thing no one has mentioned is how this brings back the pins for the wheels rather than the pressure pegs. He rolls nicely.
In the end, if you were ok with shellformers from the ROTF era, this is pretty much the same thing with a more finicky transformation and parts that fall off. Still, you get a nice looking robot mode and vehicle mode that look nothing like eachother. I personally preffer it to his other new mold wavemate, Barricade, simply because they do a better job with the back pack, deco and don't overly simplify the transformation. However, I still remain unimpressed with this line so far due to its lack of anything new or smart in terms of engineering.
Barricade is a fun character to get again in a movie toyline since he is movie original and has had decent-very good toys ever since the first film. Below are my thoughts on the new figure in a pictorial review followed by fellow Seibertronian Chuckdawg's thoughts in a video review. Our opinions could not be more different.
I will start by being very blunt: I think this figure sucks. If this is the best this line has to offer with its deluxes, which is what I am hearing from other reviewers, then we are in for a rough ride. Simply said, he is a basic and lazy shell-former. The transformation is nothing new, it's very similar to deluxe Drift from Age of Extinction but without any ingenuity that figure had like the folding doors to reveal new robot detail.
Instead we just get a plain figure where kibble just hangs out. He is far from being as sleek as any character model has shown us and in fact looks nothing like his character model.
I was going to say maybe the head looks similar but they do something super odd where the head is made of two pieces and the piece in the back is a dull beige plastic. I have no clue why they couldn't use the same plastic colour as the front of the head. It looks odd and cheap.
A lot of the problems stem from the simplicity of the figure which results in a terrible looking back, which totally invades the front. There is almost no transformation or deco to the legs, which have the outline of the wheels showing in robot mode, making it look like he has super weird calves.
The backpack is as bad as it gets with shell-formers, taking up the height of the figure, basically, but what bothers me is that it doesn't peg into anything at the top.
Another thing, this figure is puny. Here he is next to Kup.
That Kup cost me $15 USD while Baricade cost me $22 USD (current MSRP for both lines in Canada). This figure just makes me appreciate my Kup even more now.
I do like his knuckles though.
The weapons are ok and I do like that they can be stored in alt mode.
Another thing to note, this toy is not based on any specific car since there is no licensing. Here is a shot of the back of the box where you can see the amount of steps it should take.
So that was my opinion with the photos showing you what I am talking about. Chuckdawg had a very different opinion and here it is below!
chuckdawg1999 wrote:While Barricade's transformation is not perfect, it's not as fiddly as it could be. The best part is the wide assortment of accessories, I especially like the Autobot beating stick. If you're going to buy one figure from the first wave of The Last Knight Deluxe Class, make it Barricade.
Something different for the new week, as fellow Seibertronian FracturedKoi returns to the Energon Pub with a comparison between the latest Transformers Masterpiece figure from Takara Tomy - MP-36 Megatron - and the original of the alt-mode it's trying to represent: a Walther P-38 gun (or a P-1, as they have done).
Whatever your opinion on firearms, the comparison is detailed and thoughtful - and you can check it out below complete with commentary and opinions from our fellow user. Then join the conversation in the Energon Pub!
FracturedKoi wrote:Good evening, friends! It's been far too long and I apologize for my absence from the forums. Facebook has just made connecting so much easier that I've neglected any presence on here, forgive me. It's okay though, because MP-36 just came out and I thought what a better way to come back to the forums than to shoot another set of comparison images.
I will admit that while I love the animation accurate look of his robot mode I honestly do not like his gun mode at all. Instead of seeking a license and reproducing a Walther P-38, they chose (possibly wisely?) to instead model his gun mode after his cartoon appearance. Now, I can understand why they'd do this. Less fees for licensing, slightly fewer headaches with firearm realism and the legal ramifications thereof, and perhaps even a little bit more creative freedom. In my mind, though, his alt-mode just suffers for it. Both his G1 iteration and the first MP version have a much more accurate gun mode.
But enough of that, on with the images. Following each image, I'll try to comment as to what I'm attempting to compare.
Notice the size difference. While nowhere near as oversized as his first MP release, 36 is still far oversized.
Another angle showing size differences. The plate on top of the gun (which contains the firing pin and safety mechanism) is much thicker. The only reason I can see for this is to allow for how they're attaching Megatron's scope (which is STILL a horrible idea and now it's even less feasible than it was on the G1 toy. That toy has a black bracket which is supposed to imply that it's attached to the frame and goes around the slide to prevent it from moving with the slide.) Interestingly enough, the sights on 36 are identical to those found on a Walther...but more on that later.
Detail showing the grips. 36 still uses the WWII Bakelite grips and keeps many of the details spot on. Notice the safety is switched on for both guns. I've seen so many images of 36's safety flipped way out of alignment and it's bugged me to no end. Glad to know it does go where intended. The screw detail is still present on 36 as is the details for the takedown lever (out of frame) and slide lock (horizontal lever above trigger). Things really start to fall apart with the grips, though, as Takara has zero detail at the bottom for any sort of magazine functionality; they replaced it with the cartoon accurate bracket...thing. Ung. They also have no detail for the lanyard strap either.
Side-by-side profile showing frame and grip details, safety now moved to fire position. Here you can clearly see the takedown lever (front of frame, close to Megatron's head). Of note, while G1 had "serial numbers" and even one of Walther's proof marks "stamped" on it, 36 has no such details anywhere. There isn't one place where a proof mark, serial number, or even the Walther banner were put on the toy. This isn't a Walther but it's mimicking one closely. Many of the gun details are so broken up by panels that it's difficult to tell what you're looking at. The takedown lever, for example, is split in half and has a pin running right through it on the toy.
Here's a pretty awesome detail, though: the front sights are dovetailed into position (well, not really, but kudos for the sculpting!)
More awesome detail work replicating the extractor. This little bar inlaid into the top of the slide grabs the casing of the spend round and flings it out and to the left of the shooter! On the toy, it too is split by seams and in two places no less! It's difficult to make a gun transform.
Sight picture on 36 is hindered greatly by the scope mount. However, by flipping that mounting point out 90 degrees, you're able to get a clear sight picture.
Now, with the sight mount twisted to the side, you actually get a clear sight picture. Blam! Take that Lego castle! (I just noticed that some of these images aren't straight...sorry about that.)
Here's another great detail, that small plate you see on the real gun rides against the frame. That's your trigger mechanism and they replicated it on the toy! Awesome?
From the rear with the hammer's cocked. Aside from 36 being horribly too thick, there's also nothing for his hammer to actually strike. The firing pin is that metallic circle you see on the actual firearm. The small circle above it is the loaded-chamber indicator. If a round is chambered, a small rod protrudes through that to let you know that yes, it is indeed ready to be fired.
A Walther P-38 (or a P1, which is what I have) is chambered in 9mm. The barrel will nearly fit inside the toy's barrel! A 9mm would fall through that barrel like a penny through a well. I haven't measured the inside diameter of the toy's barrel to try and figure out what caliber it is.
One last detail image: they've outlined the shape of the barrel as it's inserted into the slide. As the gun functions, the slide will, well...slide around the barrel, kinda like this:
Shown is the slide locked back as it would be on an empty magazine.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this brief look at 36 and how he compares to a real firearm. He really does try, but that cartoon detailing just gets in his way from nailing it 100%. Whatever the case, this figure truly is a masterpiece. Thanks for your time, guys and gals, and have a great night!
In other Transformers: The Last Knight toy news, we have a video review for two one-step figures, or Turbo Changers as they're known now, via fellow Seibertronian chuckdawg1999. You can check out the embedded video below, including some thoughts on the figures, and join the conversation in the Energon Pub!
The One Step changers are back as Turbo Changers. Hound and Barricade are the only new molds in wave 1 and they're fun. Barricade is the shining star and features a rotating wrist gun, gotta love the extra play value. Definitely fun and make great desk toys, worth a pickup.
We have a video review of Knight Armor Turbo Changer Optimus from Transformers: The Last Knight. We now know this will be available as part of the first wave of toys hitting everywhere the 24th of April. The video shows you the transformation and the helmet gimmick at work.
After last week's sighting of two of the Voyagers from the first wave of Transformers: The Last Knight toys - Premier Edition Optimus Prime and Grimlock, as reported here - we now have some video review of the two figures too, courtesy of peaugh on YouTube and via fellow Seibertronian Madeus Prime. (Edit: We do have previousreviews of Optimus too, enjoy the double feature!)
Optimus is a new mold, reflecting the similar look of the Autobot leader in Age of Extinction and the new upcoming movie, while Grimlock is a silver and grey repaint of the previous movie's same toy, which you can compare in our gallery here. Check them out embedded below!
It is easy to take Hasbro toys for granted sometimes when they aren't as out of reach or prestigious as importing the Takara versions. But the recent reveal of Takara's take on Kup has left the community lukewarm due to it's odd colour reference. Many fans are now torn on which version of Kup to get for their collection so we are now showing you the Hasbro version side by side with what is being referenced, his G1 toy. These images from our fellow moderator Cobotron will give people a chance to see how close (or not) the homage is. This might not be the homage some fans are looking for, but what do you think of Hasbro's effort? Which is closer to its source between Hasbro and Takara? We also have comparisons between Titans Return Perceptor and his G1 toy, for you to see how close that homage is. Those pictures also include a close shot of the Titan Master for you to see how compares to the G1 toy head it is referencing. There are also other fun pictures of these two Titans Return toys, including comparison to their previous Classics releases.
Have you been eyeing the new Rescue Bots Brushfire figure and aren't quite sure whether it would fit in your collection? Well, we might have the perfect thing for you, thanks to Scottimus Prime and his Toy Hunter Productions! Check out his video review below, and tell us if it changed your opinion of the figure!
With all the differing opinions on the new Masterpiece Megatron ranging from a perfection to yet another waste of plastic and sliver of die-cast, along with the concern for breakage and paint chipping, it certainly can prove difficult for someone to actually make up their minds about buying Megatron now that is his widely in stock and shipping. Well, we bring to you today a Seibertronian review of MP-36 Megatron, written by our own Ironhidensh, that may be able to help some of you figure that out once and for all.
Now for those of you who may know, Ironhidensh has not been a big fan of the figure based on pictures and reviews and reports, but still ended up one as a gift. And based on his review, it seems it became the gift that has kept on giving. Read up below as Ironhidensh takes us through is experiences with the mold and shares with us his thoughts on the complaints of paint chipping, parts count, and breakage issues.
Was this review that made you say "I would have waited an eternity for this!" or did it only help convince you that this figure is nothing more than heroic nonsense? Check out the review, and let us know if this help sway your mind in an way!
Ironhidensh wrote:Okay, so as promised, whether you want them or not, here are my thoughts on MP-36 Megatron, enjoy! Also, I will be comparing 36 very heavily to Maketoys Despotron, my current Masterpiece style Megatron. A word of transparency before we go further. Up until getting 36 in hand, I have not been a huge fan, and have in fact been a fairly vocal critic. That said, I still feel I can be pretty objective in this. While I might like other figures better, I can step back, and still see what is good in the figure at hand. Remember as well, liking one thing more, doesn’t make the other thing bad.
Also, I can admit when I’m wrong.
Mistake me not, 36 has his flaws, and we will talk about them, but I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t really starting to like this figure. He was a gift, so I’m stuck with him either way, but he is slowly winning me over. I still love Despotron, but 36 is no slouch. So, lets get to it, shall we?
Lets go over the two glaring issues that keep cropping up first: paint chips and breakage. As I said in an above post, the paint chipping is bad. Like, really bad. I am hereby listing it as the number one flaw on this toy. Out of the box, he had a nick on his leg, and a couple around the left shoulder inner workings. Just posing him in a couple of different poses, he acquired a couple more. Once I got around to transforming him, well, yeah. I’m no newb to transformers. I understand that some paint chipping will occur. Over time. After many transformations. This is happening, literally, out of the box. There is no way around it, if you buy this figure, and take him out of package, you will get paint chips. Anyone who says different is either straight up lying, or simply refusing to see it.
As for breakage, I’m going to drop all cases of that on user error. I’ve gone through the transformation several times now, and not one case of breakage. No, its not as sturdy as a mainline figure, but its no piece of glass either. Yes, many parts are small, but as long as you take it easy, you can avoid breaking parts. Speaking of the transformation itself, it is NOT as bad as has been made out. Sure, its involved, but I’ve already got it down. Use the instructions the first time, or at least watch one of the many youtube videos, and you will be fine. I didn’t even need to do that hip adjustment thing.
Now, on that note, I did have one issue that needed some “modification”. The part that his gun barrel folds down on had some raised ridges molded on. I assume it is too provide friction to help hold the barrel in place. These ridges stuck out too far and completely prevented the movement of the barrel. I had to take an knife and shave them down a bit.
Other than that, I have had zero issues with breakage, and I caught that before breakage occurred. His joints are all nice and tight, but not too tight. The ratchets feel just right. He can really hold some dynamic poses.
So, on to some fun stuff. Any review has to have some box pictures. Being a starndard Takara Masterpiece, the box is nothing that we haven’t seen before.
He looks good with other bots.
36 does one thing very well, one thing I don’t think any other version of Megatron has captured quite so well: his lower chest.
Sadly, this picture also shows one of his flaws, the infamous “robovagina”. The waist piece is functional, but just not pretty. That chest though, it is amazing, and one of my favorite parts of this figure.
As far as accessories go, 36 comes with many. This is one of the areas Despotron fails in, he came with only a couple of faces and the energy mace. The accessories have already been touched on many times by others, so I’ll just talk about my favorites: the optional faces. First pic are what comes with 36, second pic are what comes with Despotron.
Personally, Despotron offers the best facial expression with his laughing face, but the ones offered by Takara are great as well. I really love this gimmick. It’s a great and simple way to bring a little fun and variety to your collection display. I’m also a huge fan of the laser sword that 36 comes with. I must also mention that the energy mace on 36 not only comes with a standard chain, but a posable one as well. You can really create some dynamic battle scenes with that. I kinda wish I had taken some pics like that. Maybe next time.
Another thing that must be mentioned is the “mass shifting” this figure does. Obviously, I don’t mean it can shrink, but it does do an incredible job of taking a rather large robot and shrinking it to a not to far off from real life pistol. Seriously, Takara did an amazing job at compacting parts, and then expanding them out again. I made a lot of noise about how many panel lines 36 had, and how messy his back is, but once you’ve transformed him, you get it. It takes a lot of moving parts to do what they did. It still might be a little too much, but respect where respect is due.
The next few pictures will be side by side comparison of 36 and Despotron. I’ve chosen Despotron for the comparison, because obviously, I have him. I also had X-Transbots Apollyon, but sold him for Despotron. Apollyon was a great figure, but I feel 36 is a better toy. We will talk more after.
As you can see, while 36 is of a very similar size to Despotron, he transforms into a smaller gun. I find that impressive, but not necessary. 36 could do with a bit of a similar transformation. Despotron is challenging, but doesn’t take to terribly long. 36 is gonna take you a few minutes. Then again, it isn’t the way too simple transformation that severely hurt MP Shockwave and MP Inferno, so you take what you can. 36 does leave you feeling satisfied when you are done, so we will go on and count it as a win.
Despotron takes a more comic (specifically Dreamwave era) inspired look, while 36 really nails the cartoon look. This is a negative for me, but that is a matter of personal taste. Also, it could be worse. Inferno just looks silly in its cartoon accuracy, while 36 still looks badass. He looks like a Masterpiece.
In closing, while 36 is growing on me greatly, and may end up replacing Despotron (I’m not ready to let go yet, but its hard to justify having two MP style Megatrons), he has one nagging issue that simply cannot be let go of: the paint chipping. Some people maybe able to look past this, but folks, on a $200 toy, this is simply not acceptable. There is no excuse, and is a huge fail on the part of Takara. I won’t say don’t get this figure because of it, but buyer beware. Like I said earlier, if you take 36 out of the clamshell, you WILL have paint chips.
Something else on 36 that I really enjoy is his fusion cannon. The barrel is adjustable for cannon and scope modes. Its a small thing that really stands out as that extra little bit that we should expect from a Masterpiece toy. Very nifty.
This went on for a bit, sorry for that, but I hope some of you enjoy it. Let us end in true Ironhidensh tradition, with a dash pic.
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