Thanks to regular YouTube reviewer PrimeVsPrime, we have a highly anticipated video review to bring to you today! While we've seen all the Constructicons in individual reviews, and he teased their fully combined form in his review of Overload, we can at long last see Devastator in all his towering, terrifying glory! He does focus on each different part of the combined figure and goes over the articulation and also does some fun size comparisons.
While Mixmaster and Scavenger are the most recent figures to be released (and we've already seen Hightower, Scrapmetal, Rampage and Long Haul), most of us will have to wait a bit longer- Scrapper isn't due for several more weeks, and Overload isn't due to be released until the 4th quarter of this year.
So what do you all think? Are you excited to finally see this figure come to life? Let us know what you think below, and stay tuned to Seibertron for all your Transformers news!
Thanks to regular reviewer and Seibertronian PrimeVsPrime, we have two video reviews to bring to you today, those of Studio Series Voyager Class figures Sentinel Prime and Scrapper! These two are due in the next wave of Studio Series figures, and PrimeVsPrime takes a look at them both in detail. While we did post video reviews of these a few days ago, today's reviews are in English. On with the show(s)!
What do you all think? Are you looking forward to these two figures? Do these reviews along with the Chinese-language reviews from a couple of days ago whet your appetite for some more Studio Series goodness? Let us know what you think below!
Fellow Seibertronian Actar found Transformers Studio Series Sentinel Prime and Scrapper at the BHG Bugis outlet in Singapore. He was even kind enough to take some images and make a write a review for us, which you can find right here:
Here's my review for Sentinel in the event anyone's interested!
Ooh boy. This one's going to be a tough review! To preface it, I'm going to come clean and say that I'm absolutely in love with the DOTM Leader Class figure from way, way back. It's one of the last few great Transformers toys with a transformation scheme that rivals the now-legendary ROTF Leader Prime. The way the windshield just collapses into his chest? That's a slice of fried gold right there.
That's not to say that it didn't have its fair share of issues. As biased as I am, I'm not delusional. For one, it suffered from a rather severe backpack thanks to the batteries that were required for his electronic lights and sounds, there were a ton more panels hanging off his back than just his cape, and his non-faux chest is way too large.
All these years later, we finally have a new Sentinel figure in the SS line. Can the SS figure topple the Leader and take its place as the definitive Sentinel figure? Let's find out.
Since we're here, let's start off with robot mode. The SS figure does indeed address and fix a number of the problems with the Leader Class figure. Without a battery box, the backpack is drastically reduced. However, the other fixes do come with their own compromises. Firstly, the chest. Yes, it is far, far more accurate and proportional, but you lose the amazing bit of transformation engineering and all of that kibble gets relegated to his butt. Credit where credit is due, it's worthy to note that they at least placed the real windows behind the faux ones ala the Beast Wars MPs and their animal heads. Secondly, they were able to minimize the number of superfluous panels by turning a couple of them into his swords. Rather ingenious idea, but the swords end up really wonky looking from one side and they cannot be stored in robot mode.
All in all, however, bot mode is great. Proportion-wise, it's spot on. (Boxy chest from some angles aside) he looks far more accurate than any Sentinel Prime figure before him with the only real, obvious kibble being the butt windshield the ladders on the side of the legs. The amount of molded detail is also insane. While paint would have gone a long, long way in bringing out all of that detail, it's also rather unfortunate that he's mainly cast in a all black plastic. It's not as dark as what most pictures will have you believe, the black plastic does mask a ton of that detail. It's also really unfortunate that while the Studio Series line excels in terms of molded detail, it lacks in terms of transformation detail. In my opinion, there are way too few transformation steps that are purely for the sake of maintaining accuracy. One obvious example would be the two wheels on the insides of Sentinel's legs instead of just the one.
In terms of articulation, there are problems. His head articulation is horrendous with minimal ability to look even left and right. The ankles don't move side to side either. The waist joint can indeed rotate somewhat, but it can come undone way too easily. At least the transformation joint at the waist can be used as a means to achieve a crazy waist twist. The only other thing that gets in the way of the posing is the fact that his chest is angled downwards due to the transformation. What this means is that if you want him to stand straight with his chest held high, he'll be constantly looking upwards at an awkward angle.
Still, the figure is articulated enough to pretty much pull of almost any pose you want him in.
The last major complaint relating to his poses is that, yes, his shield is missing. One of the most iconic aspects of his character... gone. Urgh. Perhaps they wanted to reduce the cost or perhaps they weren't able to find a way for him to store it in vehicle mode, like how the Leader could. Regardless, this severely limits his posing potential.
Speaking of vehicle mode, the transformation process to it borrows heavily from the Leader but is streamlined to make it more simple but yet almost just as satisfying. The only really annoying part is the fact that the back of the vehicle mode takes a ton of effort to stay pegged together. I'm not sure if it's because the pegs lack friction or that the tolerances aren't as precise as they should have been, but it takes a ton of massaging on my copy to get those back panels to stay together.
As for the vehicle mode itself, it's a boxy firetruck. The only nitpick that I have is the fact that, compared to the Leader figure, it appears to be way too long and thin. I'm not 100% sure which figure is more accurate, but the Leader figure's vehicle mode does seem to be better proportioned.
If you're a fan of Sentinel Prime and want a version of him to scale with your other SS figures and are okay with all the (admittedly relatively minor) issues I noted, there's really no reason not to pick this guy up. There're no deal-breaking QC or design flaws and they genuinely did a really decent job of representing the character in the SS line even with all the constraints that come with it. Of course, that might be due to his inherently shellformerish design, but he fairs far better than some of the Deluxes with their entire roofs hanging off their back.
Coming back to the question that I posed at the beginning of the review. Is he a replacement for the DOTM Leader figure?
...not by a long shot! (^o^)
No review (yet), but some images of Scrapper as well!
The Walmart exclusive Netflix Series voyager three packs are out in Canada and your fellow news editor found them while getting some milk today. Since these are all simply redecos, I felt in hand images would be all that was needed for a review since all of these molds have already been released multiple times.
This review will be for Megatron with Battlemasters Captive Lionizer & Captive Pinpointer (yes, that is their names, Megatron has imprisoned these guys).
Firstly, as a multipack, I much preferred this one over Hotlink's simply due to wanting all these toys. Lionizer is the orange redeco we always wanted. It is a perfect G1 homage to the bot that came with action master Rad. And while Pinpointer does feels cheap, with the barrel detaching rather easily, I do like that we are getting the targetmaster that goes with Crosshairs.
Now onto Megatron, while I still don't fully get what Hasbro is going for with the spray paint effect, I do prefer him much more than the other versions of this mold. For one, they fixed something with the ankles. I can't tell for sure what it is mechanically, since it does still look the same, but there's no longer the idea of locking and unlocking his ankles. And once unlocked, they don't feel loose. It results in a more satisfying time posing him with ankle pivot.
While the paint seemed to be the biggest difference at first glance (especially due to cameras picking up that silver in an oddly lighted room), I find the change in plastic itself to be more significant to the overall look. It is leagues better than on the original, now that I have them to compare. The "black" plastic on the original had a rust/brown tinge to it but here, it is actually black. It looks especially great on his legs since it created the perfect contrasting look to that spray painted silver on the front, which gives it a G1 toy homage. This adds to the G1 homage that was already on the original toy, with those red highlights in the joint areas and sword, and of course that silver paint and darker grey plastic all add to that theme.
This makes this particular version of Megatron truly shine (ha!) as a more specific homage compared to the original version which was more of an amalgamation. Also, he fact that the inner tank treads are unpainted on this new version makes them less obvious and easier to ignore. You instead get a more Megatron-like silhouette created through the colour contrast of the two different plastic colours.
The spray paint scheme is purposefully uneven, though I don't really know why (this is the case for all these Netflix series redecos). You end up with half his helmet painted. It actually reminds me a lot of that Friends episode where Ross gets a spray tan and through some mishap only gets the spray done on one side of his body. But as you can tell from the images, it still makes for a decent look. It actually ends up emphasizing effectiveness more so creating a cell shaded effect naturally.
The only thing I actually have against this deco is that they just could not resist putting that battle damage splatter somewhere. It has been greatly reduced from the original toy, but it's all focused on his crotch. It would be nice to go one year without attention being given to Meg's crotch (for a recap: MP 36 and 36+ had octo crotch, and last year we got several shots of Beast Wars Meg's broken crotch).
On that fine note, I give you all these images, enjoy!
The Walmart exclusive Netflix Series voyager three packs are out in Canada and your fellow news editor found them while getting some milk today. Since these are all simply redecos, I felt in hand images would be all that was needed for a review since all of these molds have already been released multiple times.
This review will be for Hotlink with Battlemasters Heatstroke & Heartburn. Now first, there is indeed a difference between the two targetmasters. Heatstroke has a red visor while Heartburn has a yellow visor. And that's it.
Now as for Hotlink, while the mold is the same as all other Tetrajet Siege seekers, his deco and it's application is the most different so far. Unlike the other toys, he is spray painted to offer some purple highlights throughout the toy, to the point where he ends up being more purple than dark grey/black, which is the plastic colour he is mostly made of. Some joints and smaller parts are made of purple plastic, but it's mostly black and that black is spray painted in gradient patterns. The purple goes from lilac on his chest and pelvis to bright grape on the forearms to a more muted purple on most of the figure. It is more even in jet mode, where we see him mostly in that same muted purple. This does mean he has more paint than any other seeker so far, they even paint the inside of his wings to keep that purple theme. And since he ends up being more purple than black, fans wanting to turn him into Skywarp will have to remove a lot of the paint.
The really cool part of this new spray painted deco is that you no longer have the same kind of battle damage seen on the other seekers, which was always in the same place. I don't really know what the gradient is going for though, if it's meant to represent it's own battle damage or not, but it makes for a unique look. Enjoy the photos and let us know if you'll be getting this guy when he comes out.
And one of them happens to be Transformers Vs Terminator, a book that intrigued quite a few. I know it intrigued me. The fact that the now legendary Transformers artist Alex Milne was attached to it, made it even more of a must check out. And now it's here and while I am still just as intrigued to see where it goes, the first issue didn't really do it for me.
My main issue here is that the first issue is very derivative, on purpose. It's basically just a retelling of the terminator lore, filled with the typical lines so that someone can say "oh, he said the thing!". It didn't make for the most engaging read.
I much prefer the first few pages which were already shown to all in the preview which show the future all out war of Transformers vs Terminators, featuring new Transformers designs by Alex Milne.
Speaking of the art, that opening is also where we see the most bots and thus where Alex Milne shines most. Now don't get me wrong, Alex Milne is as fine an artist as they come, but he has this amazing skill for depicting Transformers which really make him stand out compared to everyone else. However, when it comes to humans, there isn't as much in the style that makes him stand out.
Also, while he does aim for Sarah Connor to look like Linda Hamilton, I did not realize that the terminator was supposed to be of the Arnold variety. It could be Michael Beihn as much as it could be Arnold (which is actually what I thought they were going for at first, like some sort of switcheroo) or Duke from GI Joe. So that iconic Terminator aspect, which the script is clearly going for, is lost in the art too. When I read the panel you'll see below, I realized the author was hoping we'd been reading the Terminator's dialogue with Arnold's accent but the art never gave us indication of that so it took me out of it. It's like the nuts and bolts of the comic suddenly appeared and I saw a writer inserting some dialogue to make up for them not being able to get the rights to an actor's likeness.
Just a side note, I did find it interesting that the Terminator drives an Optimus Prime looking truck in this issue, smashing into cops, when the T-1000 drove a "nemesis prime" deco of a similar looking truck in Terminator 2, while dressed as a cop.
The final splash page is enough to have any fan want more, I just wish the first issue as a whole felt more meaty rather than just going through the motions to get to that final page. It was an average issue overall so I'll give it an average score.
Spoiler Free-ish The entirety of issues 5 and 6, distilled into a panel
A flurry of recent releases culminates just in time for a partial shut-down of the comics world* with the conclusion to Transformers: Galaxies' second short arc featuring Cliffjumper. Issue five provided mostly one joke to carry the proceedings and readers of the preview for this sixth issue will know that it carries the torch of this same humorous case of misidentified Autobots. Can that carry the story somewhere meaningful? Read on.
*Transformers: Galaxies #6 is still being released today, this only impacts books scheduled for release from 4/1 onwards
Pictured: the reveal of every new Studio Series Deluxe Class wave
The same writing team of Kate Leth and Cohen Edenfield continue on for this issue and pack in much of the same humor as before, but it manages to work throughout and not approach a level of overkill. Transformers fans are certainly familiar with the concept of slight variations on the same thing and while a critical eye could pierce the humor for that reason, I find the creativity that it took to come up with said variations remarkable enough to give the repetition a pass. If you're just looking to this one for the jokes, there are a few less of them here but you'll Bee happy to know they continue aplenty.
Did we need this?
In a slight narrative turn to prevent the entire story from becoming a joke, Cliffjumper does team up with one of the alien inhabitants to accomplish his goals. While this part of the structure made sense for carrying the plot where it needed to go, there was a bit of lingering that made the issue feel ever-so-slightly, and I really mean slightly stretched out. Maybe it was the nine-panel page repeating a sequence of narrative captions from issue five that caused me to feel this way, as they extended the length of reading time for what should have been a fast-flowing sequential action scene without adding anything to the story's themes that most readers couldn't have figured out on their own already.
Deathsaurus knows to practice good hygiene
Despite the Spotlight: Cliffjumper vibes which didn't work for me, the character building here for Deathsaurus was well done. This is definitely not the "Victory" incarnation or is it the More Than Meets The Eye war general. While that could have been said after issue five, Galaxies #6 makes this continuity's version of the character much more clear. Alex Milne's contribution to this via his line art can't be denied, as the facial expressions he gives to the character in both modes helps convey his tone quite effectively.
Underrated series, I agree
Milne is joined this time by David Garcia-Cruz on colors, and while the quality doesn't take a dip there's also just enough inconsistency between the two issues to be noticeable. Cliffjumper is more red in issue 6 than in 5, the landscapes and interiors aren't the same grays and in something only noticed by putting the files side by side, Deathsaurus' alt mode's "eyebrows" are colored in by Garcia-Cruz whereas Perez left them white. I'll concede that last point is a bit picky, but hopefully the other things aren't as noteworthy on a printed copy. Jake M. Wood and Val Lopez combine for a "letters and design" credit and do well navigating a script that varies between too busy and just right. Tom Waltz and David Mariotte's touch here seems to have kept most things in order and progressing in a tidy way throughout, but the nine-panel page mentioned earlier in this review really should have leaned in more to the high-level of skill Alex Milne delivers with visual storytelling rather than rely on the amount of words that it had.
The three cover options provide an "A" cover by Milne and Perez, which serves as this review's news story's thumbnail image. Another readily order-able "B" cover by Bethany McGuire-Smith is also available though in a rare turn given her usual quality work this cover frankly looks unfinished, to me. George Caltsoudas shows that at least someone understood the "horns and guns" nature of Cliffjumper with the ten-copy retailer incentive cover for this issue. As always, you can also find all the cover images, full credits for the issue and a list of all the characters that appear in the book through our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers: Galaxies #6.
Verdict Deathsaurus sums up the first dozen or so issues of the ongoing
Transformers: Galaxies #6 is still a very good comic but not quite as fun as the first half of the story from issue 5. The continued fantastic humor and art are held back to a small degree by an attempt at adding emotional gravity that felt somewhat superfluous, though it did take the story where it needed so it's tough to call it any super serious detriment.
Put together, this short two-issue story arc provides an ample dose of entertainment featuring robots and levity at a time when at least the latter is sorely appreciated. Cliffjumper lives up to the jokes about him to some degree but shows a little of his mischievous streak by the end and Deathsaurus gets enough characterization to know he'd probably call me a peon for giving the score below, so the strong production and characters leave me feeling this is a job well done.
I liked this issue. It is actually my favourite issue of the ones I have reviewed for the site. Of course that doesn't mean much, all I needed was an issue with less stairs and talking. And funny enough, I don't recall any prominent stairs here, instead it was more star wars type walkways and ramps. Now that i think of it, for a species that turns into cars, don't ramps make more sense than stairs? Why even have stairs? Eh, moving on.
This issue feels like a breath of fresh air compared to previous ones in the sense that it feels more like a spotlight issue. There is definitely still some world building, like the logic behind new bots being created, but no one is sitting around talking about it. Instead we see it through actions and other fun interactions. While she isn't spotlit on this issue's two main covers, the spotlight is really on Arcee. I do like how the idea of her being a hardened warrior is kept from the previous continuity, without being too world weary either. And we get more Greenlight here than we've ever gotten in G1 so hurray for that too.
It is a very simple story, just getting from point A to point B while kicking ass and taking names, ala Escape from New York, which works very well for these other characters born of the 80s. I did like the action, it was very well framed by the artists, though I did wonder the effectiveness of some moves. There is a really prominent shot of an antagonist throwing energon cubes at Arcee and you get the sense that he is skilled at this, but the next shot is just them bumping off her like they were empty cardboard boxes. It would have been more impressive to see her dodge them acrobatically, unless I was supposed to know that Arcee now has wonder woman gauntlets. It just felt a tad underwhelming after the emphasis on the battle.
Speaking of the artists, this issue had 2, Bethany McGuire-Smith and Umi Miyao, and I felt both their styles worked well with this issue. The change in artist never felt jarring, I wouldn't even have known if I wasn't told. It is of course helped a lot by Josh Burcham being the only colourist on this issue and giving it a very even feel. The art itself was fine, a bit reminiscent of Nick Roche (especially when coloured by Josh Burcham) but I did have some issue with the faces. Arcee especially is given a Jay leno chin and there are some shots in the issue where her Lea bunns helmet is cut off from the frame and it was not obvious it was her. Also, I never thought of Transformers sweating, but the artists give it a shot in this issue and it instead comes off as Arcee having a bad case of acnee.
The covers available feature Umi Miyao as the main cover artist and Beth Mcguire-Smith as the artist for cover B. I will say none really do it for me, especially the main cover where I couldn't even tell that was Greenlight. My favourite cover of the bunch is Kei Zama's retailer incentive which looks incredible, and does have Arcee in the spotlight. Regardless of my personal tastes, I do find it incredible that we all these covers are by talented women. It's a nice touch for international women's day, whether intentional or not, and it's nice to highlight diversity in this field which has been dominated by men since inception.
As always, you can also find images of all of the book's covers along with full credits for the issue in our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers #18.
Straight and to the point, just like I like em. Nothing too fancy, but it hit the spot for some Transformers fiction and I definitely wouldn't mind reading more from these characters, which is something I thought I would never say about this series.
For many years, the Transformers G1 Manga from Japan eluded Transformers fans. It was once the stuff of much desire and wild speculation. Around October 2002, Million Publishing (currently known as Hero-X), publishers of the popular Transformers Generations series of books, released the first ever compilation of the Generation One manga alongside a Lucky Draw Black Tracks. The manga compilation was titled "Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: The Comics".
This amazing book came into my personal collection courtesy of a purchase I made at OTFCC 2003. Within its many pages were some of the most incredible artwork of the Autobots and Decepticons drawn in such a unique style for someone used to the styles of the Marvel Transformers comic books and the original Sunbow Transformers cartoons. I have enjoyed looking at the beautiful renditions of the Transformers characters who were drawn in a familiar manga or anime style by the very talented Ban Magami, yet very distinct from other popular artistic renderings to which most Hasbro-market Transformers fans are accustomed.
However, as sensational as the images of our favorite "robots in disguise" were to my eyes and my imagination, I had no damn idea what the heck was happening in the book. Well, other than what was actually shown, and even then it was sometimes challenging to understand what I was looking at due to the small black and white artwork. Needless to say, as much as I enjoyed looking at the back initially, it has spent the better part of the last 16 or so years in storage alongside my original Marvel Transformers comics and my prized (embarrassingly) KISS Players Manga collection.
Fast forward to March 11th, 2020. This is the day that Transformers: The Manga Volume 1 from Viz Media will be released at book and comic book stores nationwide. Special thanks to Viz Media for providing a sample copy of this book to Seibertron.com for review purposes. What makes this version unique, is that Masumi Kaneda's stories would finally be translated to English at very long last. After so much time, the stories of the Transformers G1 manga would at last be known to Transformers fans outside of Japan.
The book's presentation is top notch. It is a great addition to the collections of those who appreciate Transformers Generation 1 fiction in all of its forms, as well as the collections of those who collect Manga. As exhilarating as Magami's artwork can be to those of us who can't get enough of this style, the stories were slightly more juvenile than for which I was hoping (though highly suspected) after years of looking over these manga pages from the previous compilation.
However, I understand that this manga was intended for kids, as were the Marvel Transformers comics that have such a special place in my heart despite their many flaws. Despite the story's simplicity, I enjoyed the desired nostalgic rush as I plowed effortlessly through this book. Page after page, I sucked in as much eye candy as possible, which seemed to hit so many of the right spots, while finally being able to understand what was happening in the artwork which had been the stuff of wonder for so long.
Surprisingly, Abby Lark's translations were pretty spot on. To be honest, I was expecting various flaws, misspellings, incorrect character names or factions or other problems that are unfortunately common with Transformers translations. However, that wasn't to be the case with this book. Lark seemed to know her Transformers very well. The subgroups and characters were all appropriately named and the translations were all sensical. There were few, if any, errors. I was pleasantly surprised by this and truly appreciated the amount of time and effort it took to get all of these things right. The translations used in this book for Convoy, Bumble, Metroflex, Cybertrons, Destrons, etc, are the more well-known American names such as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Metroplex, Autobots and Decepticons respectively. This might bother some fans but is perfectly acceptable to most. It will be interesting to see how the translations are handled in Volume 2's Masterforce manga for various characters like Super Ginrai versus Powermaster Optimus Prime.
The last 74 pages of the page are dedicated to bringing some additional artwork into an "Illustration Works" gallery for your viewing pleasure. Many images within this gallery include promotional images for various episodes of the Fight Super Robot Lifeform Transformers cartoon through 2010 and the Headmasters series. In addition to this promotional artwork, there are some very detailed drawings of the alt modes for some characters like Jazz, Starscream, Wheelie, Springer, Arcee, Blurr, Scourge, and others. It is a very nice addition that I don't think was available in the original Japanese compilation (at least, not at this printed size) if I recall correctly.
While not as large as the original Japanese version from Million Publishing, it is only volume 1 out of 3 volumes. Volume 2 will be released later in May 2020 and should contain the remaining Headmasters stories along with the Masterforce. Volume 3 will be released later this year which will contain Victory, Zone, and Battle Star stories (Sidenote: who wants a Super Megatron toy after all of these years???). With a $24.99 cover price per book, it still costs less for all 3 volumes from Viz Media than the $80 I spent for the original Japanese compilation at OTFCC 2003 (not to mention inflation), which makes these books from Viz an absolute steal in my opinion, especially with the nice hard covers.
Transformers: The Manga's long sought after story is written by Masumi Kaneda, brought to life with artwork by the very talented Ban Magami, and made readable for those of us who can't read Japanese courtesy of Abby Lark, whose translations were seamlessly lettered and retouched into the original artwork by Brandon Bovia.
I would recommend this book for those of you who enjoy a nostalgic tug from the past and for those of you who enjoy Transformers Generation 1 fiction. If you're a die-hard Michael Bay Transformers Movie buff or only like comics with "deeper" meaning like some of the Transformers comics from IDW, than this might not be for you. If you can enjoy some of the lighter Transformers content intended for kids or just like awesome pics of cool lookin' Japanese styled robots, than this book is absolutely for you.
As for my rating? Well, by Primus, I am extremely biased and enjoy every page. It was a lot of fun to read through this book. I give it a loud and proud 4.5 Rodimus stars out of 5!
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