The Cruel Cy-Kill Begins A Seibertron.com Review of IDW Go-Bots #1
Go-Bots have changed our way of life. Leader-1 is a self-aware fighter jet on a hostage rescue mission with his partner, Commander Nick Burns. Scooter is the personal transport and best friend to undergrad A.J. Foster. Turbo is Matt Hunter's transforming race car in the hottest sport in America, Go-Bot Racing. Cy-Kill is the champion of the illegal, underground Go-Bot Fighting League. A sophisticated sci-fi epic from the visionary creator that brought you Transformers vs. G.I. JOE. They say they're here to help us, but are they here to replace us?
They see me rollin'
I will be up front and honest with all of you right now: I know practically nothing of Go-Bots. This is an entirely new experience for me with characters I know absolutely nothing about. If this comic series is not true to the Go-Bots lore, I don't know it. This is my introduction to the world of Go-Bots, so lets see how the premiere issue turned out.
I didn't know what to expect from the series. Tom Scioli did some fantastic stuff with Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, albeit some very strange and unique stuff. So coming into a series about Go-Bots, and basically reinventing the franchise, there were a lot of different ways this could play out, good and bad.
And having read issue 1, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that Scioli really seems to have hit something good.
Do your thing Leader-1
The issue itself was not lacking in character introductions that flowed well and action outlining this world of Go-Bots that will last for 5 issues. We start right off with action missions starring Leader-1, Go-Bot world building with Scooter that also provides us some necessary background, a pretty cool introduction to Turbo (who became a favorite of mine in the course of this issue), and a totally metal introduction to Cy-Kill, who certainly lives up to his name and reputation.
A short little history lesson!
The Go-Bots world is built up so fast in just 1 issue, and not in a rushed way. It flows, it feels natural, it gives someone like me who knows nothing of the franchise some background into this strange world. We get to see the line between partners and superiors/inferiors, and how it sets up the big conflict the story is set to tell. Cy-Kill is awesome too, I loved his intro and his characterization so far.
METAL (in context)
As was the case with TF vs G.I. Joe, Scioli does his own art and lettering, and he keeps up the same art styles that he did with the previous series. And it works really well with the Go-Bots universe. The art has an old-fashioned look to it that really lends itself to packing in action in each page with some pretty spectacular coloring. The scenes that are from Leader-1's view are really cool to see, and the human characters are drawn pretty well too. I appreciate how plain yet still so full the art on the pages can be. And the opening introduction to Cy-Kill was masterfully done as well. Everything about that section of the book was amazing.
This too is awesome in context
So for an introduction to the Go-Bots, this series was pretty spectacular. The writing was pretty tight and packed with information that doesn't feel rushed in any particular way and gives a lot of necessary information to understand this Go-Bot land. The writing of the characters was convincing and the Go-Bots themselves were pretty fun in their varying personalities. The art was a pretty neat retro style that made me feel like I was reading an 80's era comic and enjoying it for the fun that it is meant to be.
So good job to Tom Scioli, you gave us a great introduction, and I'm really looking forward to what you have to give us next.
I Need a Hero (to Save Me Now) A Seibertron.com semi-spoilerish review of IDW Tranformers: Unicron #6
EARTH WAR! With Unicron's ultimate goal revealed, the shaky alliance of Autobots and Decepticons is all that stands between Earth and the planet-eater. Heroes will rise-and fall-as Optimus Prime journeys into the dark heart of Unicron for the final confrontation with evil. At stake: the soul of a universe.
I'm just a step away
I'm just a breath away
Losin' my faith today
Fallin' off the edge today
And so the story ends. The finale comes, and the universe shakes, rocks, rattles, and rolls. But the question is, did the conclusion finally bring the show to justice?
Well, let's discuss this shall we?
I am just a man
For starters, let's talk about our main cast. Aileron is here, and she does her part, but there is nothing really spectacular. Arcee is her typical badass self, but really doesn't need to do much to be a part of the action. She's there, and she does what she does best. Windblade and Bumblebee are also sort of just here, not really doing too much to the overall story despite previous prominence. Which is OK, all of the named characters have had some moments to shine, so their lack of doing much is forgivable.
Especially when you consider our big 3: Soundwave, Starscream, and Optimus Prime. To me, this story finally got Starscream back in line with what Till All Are One had set him up to be, and finally seems to shake loose from the later Barber runs and revert back to what IDW appears to have wanted him to be, and that is a good thing. He and his seekers got some really nice moments together and individually, so I appreciate this. Soundwave continues to pull the heart apart, and I love his part in the conclusion of this story, very well done. And Optimus is not quite Optimus. His retraction of the faceplate and the fact that he never wears it again after he gets ready to go to orbit to fight Unicron is very telling, as is the (near) conclusion of his storyline. He is Orion once more, the masks, as he puts it, are gone. He is who is he is, and he helps smooth a few of his bumpy points.
It's just another war
Just another family torn
Just a step from the edge
Just another day in the world we live
We also had some other nice character moments, from all corners of the Transformers and the Hasbro Universe in general. Action Man gets in a good shot, the seekers are great, the Dinobots do a nice part, the return of a fan favorite character by Mount Rushmore was awesome to see, Prowl, Stardrive, and Rhinox with their moments of light, and even some Sharkticons and Junkions. The wind down pages in particular, with several important character interactions, was done very nicely as well, a good bookend to the series.
Who's gonna fight for what's right
Who's gonna help us survive
We're in the fight of our lives
And we're not ready to die
But for every good moment we had, there seemed to be a dim bulb preventing the light from fully shining. Slide is without a doubt the worst part of the book, and the worst part of IDW's Optimus Prime run if I'm honest. She ended up as such an unlikable character that I feel didn't deserve the storyline she ended up getting. The continued random cameos of Maximals that don't really do anything and don't really get any development besides Rhinox in any way was disappointing. Unicron himself and how he relates to his creator, and indeed his creator in general were lacking. The way Bludgeon, Monstructor, and the Dinobots resolved felt like a bit of a mess.
But most importantly, several moments in the book that were supposed to be huge just didn't ring. They sort of thudded. Starscream, the Maximal's victims, and Unicron's creator fall heavy in this category. They needed some more oomph. And the climatic finale itself needed some extra bits in the final resolution, as I feel the true climatic moment was with Soundwave, not with Unicron or Orion.
Who's gonna fight for the weak
Who's gonna make 'em believe
I've got a hero (I've got a hero)
Livin' in me
Art duties were very heavily scattered with this book, bringing in artists from almost all the main IDW ongoings over the past few years, including Alex Milne, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Kei Zama, and Andrew Griffith. While there were noticeable shifts between most of the artist changes, with Zama using her more monstrous features, Milne his pointy-ness and detailings, and Griffith's and Pitre-Durocher's smoother and less complicated look, there was never a feeling of real disconnect, thanks to the efforts of David Garcia Cruz and Joana Lafuente. While they did give some coloring liberties to pages with certain artists, calling back to said artist's previous books and color stylings, such as Zama's pages having a more dark, metal look while Pitre-Durocher's was more clean, smooth, and bright, They did a pretty good job of keeping the look and feel of the book consistent while still giving each artist that special spice of uniqueness. Tom B. Long also continues his work of letting the art be enjoyed to its fullest extent while giving us the important dialogue needed for the story.
A hero's not afraid to give his life
A hero's gonna save me just in time
I need a hero to save me now
I need a hero, save me now
I need a hero to save my life
A hero'll save me just in time
So in conclusion, this story fell somewhere in the middle ground. The story wasn't particularly bad overall, but it certainly felt like it lacked the excitement factor, the big push, that big wow moment that it really needed to be spectacular. The characters in the book and their screen time were handled pretty well, we just needed some characters to shine more in their moments (Starscream) and others who really needed to be given fewer pages and didn't feel like they got more than they deserved (Slide). Soundwave for me was the shining point of the book, which says a lot seeing as what role others played in the grand scheme of things. We also needed more of that expanded universe, the little shots were nice, but I feel we could have used a bit more of the Hasbro Universe itself, especially seeing as how ROM has played such a small role in this issue considering he started out the book as one of the seemingly more important characters.
But most importantly, we got a new take on Unicron, but it didn't quite live up to expectations. The destruction he caused and the look were impressive, but what he ended up being was a bit disappointing. I feel like we could have gotten a lot more from this badass villain who was the end. I feel like the moments inside him would have done very well for a personality of his own to shine through, but we did not get that. And considering how big of a deal he was, I wish we could have gotten a bit more from him.
And the series itself feels like that overall. It had potential, but for some reason, the big moments just never got quite the flare they needed. It needed something more, a bit more life to it, and maybe a bit less of the Main Cast and a bit more of the small moments, like Blurr's moment, but for others. It also needed a bit more of Unicron, and maybe a bit better executed finale. But overall, again not bad, just not quite up where I wish this book could overall have been.
1/2 out of
This final Review of Unicron #6 features the Skillet song Hero, a personal favorite of mine, and the fitting end to this book.
As I tried but ended up not being able to work it into a single issue review, I decided to make my personal favorite song of all time the theme song for the series itself, and I feel this song in a way encapsulates how several characters felt in the series, never giving up in spite of overwhelming odds, and keep their faith. The theme song for the Unicron series is: Feel Invincible, also by Skillet. As it is the theme, I have also linked the video below for listening without leaving this page:
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by a Seibertron staff member, in this case me, Tyrannacon. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.
This figure is a hit for me simply for the voice clip alone, which I feel bad saying because the entire figure is not that accurate to his big screen incarnation in both modes. The Vehicle mode is where that likeness isn't even captured at all in the slightest though. Unfortunately that is the only plus I can think of for this figure would be that voice clip. Frankly it massively helped it and made it a definably Megatron figure for me as he proclaims loudly that he is Megatron and basically here to destroy stuff. The mold was later repainted into numerous TakaraTomy exclusives and even Hasbro did the hard-to-find Shadow Command version. That one exchanged the audio clip from "I am Megatron!" to "There is no command, but mine!" which is also awesome as well. Sure you can buy some add-ons to help the figure have better arms, but for the purposes of this list I am not comparing those add-ons for it and I am only comparing the figures as they are released to be. This Megatron is quite the Frankenstein monster and while I said the voice clip helps immensely, you may not find it all that satisfying in the end.
I have a very love/hate relationship with this figure. Let me explain why here and that reason is the scaling here. I know, I know. Scaling is one of the things we Transformer fans have to pretend doesn't exist and not talk about, but I am more annoyed with the tiny proportions for the figure altogether. Take the tiny head here, it's the tiniest Megatron head around unless you snag a Legends/Legion scale figure. The cape is also cumbersome at times and don't even get me started on the lack of his "Fusion Shotgun" that is instead subbed by a part of his tanker that extends with a mech-tech gimmick. Frankly I feel that tanker piece works better like a jet pack. I mean Megatron retained a flight mode when it came to his tank mode in the second film from his original jet mode in the first film. Why couldn't that tanker piece work as some sort of jet pack for our Decepticon lord and master? I mean he'd have to go into robot mode to fly around, but it would still be a more appropriate use of it instead of a gun that it looks nothing like whatsoever. So that's what I use mine for in this case even though it doesn't leave him with a gun to use.
Okay I got to be honest here, in 2007 when this figure came out I was ecstatic and the nostalgia reason alone is because it was my first TF figure for the first time since Beast Machines. It was at the time I was starting my Megatron collection up and adding to it piece by piece very slowly. Now if you're going to go with this figure I have to recommend the Movie Premium figure not just because the colors are BETTER than the initial release, but the sound clip for transformation uses that lovable G1 transformation we are so familiar with in place of the metallic screeching of the initial release.
Sculpt and details are about what you would expect from a 2007 figure given how things in the post-Generations era when it comes to the Prime Wars lines look. I really would love to see a more streamlined version of this figure released eventually, but the problem is hiding the jet parts appropriately enough. To be honest it would probably be more of a partsformer in that sense if that approach was taken now. While I love how the initial jet mode looks and really, I love how the robot mode looks, It's just...well... too bulky for the figure. Megatron in the film is a bit more lithe and sleek, and while this figure holds onto those alien design elements it is weighed down by it not transferring well enough to the figure itself. I would say it paved the way for better figures though. It definitely is an under-appreciated figure.
I held off writing this list until I got my hands on this figure and honestly, the reason I rate it so highly is because of the fact it is a direct 1:1 of the likeness of the robot mode for the figure. It kicks the original RotF Voyager Megatron out of this spot. The thing I dislike most though is the hollow torso and how easily some of the pieces come off. Thankfully to me that really doesn’t diminish my liking of this figure too much. I am happy with the sculpt of the figure and I think the transformation is not only intuitive but satisfying to do once you figure it all out and how to do it. Though this figure needs a lot of work and I know there are some 3rd party add-ons for it on the way to hopefully enhance it. I think in this case the 3rd party stuff is almost a mandatory at this point to help it.
1. Transformers: The Last Knight Leader Megatron
I rated this as number one because of the fact the scale is impressive and the features are nice. I know with mine I had to loosen the screw in the back of the head to make the mask easier to close and open. If I didn’t do that it wouldn’t stay open unfortunately. I think everything about this figure screams Megatron, much like the RotF Studio Series Megatron in a lot of ways. The sculpts of the figure in ‘bot and vehicle mode is great, transformation is satisfying and intuitive. The flame effects are kind of a little nice add-on for displaying the figure in a cool pose. I don’t mind these and often it’s like a little extra thing they (Hasbro and co) tossed in to compliment the figure. It really doesn’t need them one way or another though. I think this one is one of the best of capturing his likeness.
Honorable Mentions: Age of Extinction Galvatron is an insane shell-former and not really that good in my personal opinion, it is getting mentioned because Age of Extinction is the one movie with no representation on the list. It’s not a great figure, but it’s not a completely horrible figure. The biggest issue aside from being a shellformer is the fact the paint apps pretty much are minimal. Also the TLK Voyager Megatron is appropriately a nice, smaller scale as well to mess with too. I personally find the TLK Voyager Megatron to be easier to transform than his Leader version.
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are our opinions so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.
Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got at Retail: Characters/Decos
Last time, we looked at molds which never got released in Japan. This time, we are looking at specific decos/redecos that never saw a release there. I am not talking about instances where the Hasbro deco is better than the Takara deco, we already have a list on that. I'm referring to a release that never made it there, like when they redeco a toy to sell it as a different character (which is mainly the case for most of these). It will make more sense as we go through the list, enjoy!
This may not be the best mold from the Prime line but it is still an original mold for a new toy only character, with one hell of an original Pirate design. Well only in the Hasbro toyline. While the mold was released in Japan, it was not released as its intended new character but instead as not one but two Primes (Lio Prime and Go Prime). The decos are nice, but they aren’t that of the original character this mold is supposed to be and that head really does not work for Leo Prime.
This list wasn't easy for some reason. I really had to think it through. There are lots of redecos only Hasbro has but which ones actually made sense, which ones mattered? Prime Kup? No, that mold wasn’t even made with him in mind. Titans Return Krok? Eh, he seems to really love warming those shelves. But a Guardian robot redeco of Energon Omega Supreme ? Hell yes! It of course works with the idea that these drone type robots share the same body as Omega Supreme in blue, and here we have a new Omega Supreme toy so why not give it that colour scheme. And for those who have space, this is a far more affordable army builder than the one based on the G1 mold (and isn't this mold better? Come on, you know it's true).
Japan got most of the G1 (or G1.5) Predators but not this one. Which is a pity because it is the most fun of them all. Most of the Predators are jets and then you get this awesome missile tank that can do more damage than all the others combined. He is a great design and while Japan got the mold through its later redecos, it never got the original which was for an original character (and not Soundwave). It is to this day the only rendition of Stalker we have.
2. Generations G2 Combiners
Japan never got the original G2 combiners back in the day. That might have been a blessing in disguise and avoided a lot of young Japanese tears. However, that did not mean there was no excitement from this part of the world when the G2 redecos of the Combiner Wars combiners were announced. Everyone was excited, Hasbro really went all out on the redecos making them as slavish as possible. It was a beautiful love letter to an era that is often ignored (and even looked down upon sometimes by some very uncool dudes). Sadly, those were never released by Takara so Japanese fans had to go to their local import shops and pay double. And they sold out very quickly even at those high prices. This really put a lot of my collecting woes into perspective.
It seems obvious now, but the idea of Jetfre did not come to me immediately. Macross is deeply associated to Japan so to think that they would not have access to Jetfire was almost unthinkable. But it's true. Because Macross is Japanese, the classic Valkyrie mold could only be released as a Macross toy in Japan. Hasbro, on the other hand, was able to import that figure and incorporate it within the Transformers line as Jetfire, one of the best toys of the entire G1 toyline. Japan never saw that Macross toy in the glorious red and white deco as Jetfire, and most likely never will.
For all you fangirls/boys out there, I will give him a mention here: Alpha Bravo. Though designed by Takara Tomy, it never made it onto the Japanese market directly.
And man, this list was HARD to write. Unlike Hasbro, Takara released most redecos thought to be exclusive through E-Hobby or other toy initiatives. And here is a great one that I thought Japan never got, but indeed they did.
This toy has always been a fan favourite and I ca see why. That G1 Optimus colour scheme works really well with it, and they go all out with it too. It's not just red and blue paint, you have parts that are translucent, chromed and some cool gradient effect on the chest and feet. Just take a look at the images below, they speak for themselves.
Round Table Review for Transformers Cyberverse Episodes 9 and 10
Episode 9 Shadowstriker
Synopsis: Bumblebee revisits memories of his archnemesis Shadowstriker and learns there's more to being a hero than just knowing how to fight.
What you liked best about episode 9
I like how this show cements the fun premise that this show will be told out of order and that questions will be answered. We had seen Shadowstriker before for a very short time and she was acting like Frankenstein's monster, presumably with no reason given. And now we see why. I like that. Plus it's a good origin story to the rivalry between Bumblebee and his new nemesis. I also love whenever Shockwave is used properly and we see how important he was to the war effort here, being the mad scientist he is. There is also some great Transformers imagery here involving Optimus in a similar pose to the famous Wolverine cover by Mark Silvestri. - William-James88
I liked the fact that this episode gave depth to one of the completely new characters for the franchise, Shadow Striker. Up to now we didn't know a lot about her or why she looked the way she did. By shining the spotlight on her, we got to see her a lot better. -ZeroWolf
The episode, once again, is very serious and considerably darker than other episodes. The episode has a great overall mood and well-written story. This episode explains the story behind Shadow Striker, the bounty hunter lad. I don't want to get into spoilers, let’s just say, she's a bit traumatized, eh? There is a funny scene, where her Seeker guards' were having a conversation about nothing. Literally nothing. It's actually pretty funny. -notirishman
Fleshing out Shadowstriker the way they did. They kind of took a more original path with her, making her one of the best Decepticons who is ruthless and really good. And then they have the main character accidentally blow her up, and the end result is she is the core spark of her former self, but with a freakish appearance from the reconnected body parts of her subordinates, who can no longer physically do what she used to and must make do, and as make do in a very angry way. They made her scary, but with reason. Used to be good, but now struggling to make do and fueled by vengeance. They made her a good character, and this was basically her spotlight. -D-Maximal_Primal
What you liked least about episode 9
It was a tad bit confusing at times and I do not know how Windblade knows certain things if she is not part of those memories we are seeing. - William-James88
Honestly, they could have just left out the wrap around with Windblade sparring with Bee. The time could be used better to add to Shadow Striker's parts. -ZeroWolf
When Shadow Striker blames Bumblebee for her life, he seems very angry at Shadow Striker trying to shoot him, despite she clearly losing a lot more? Also, how exactly did Shadow Striker get Optimus? -notirishman
I would not have minded if Shadowstriker looked a little more Frankenstein like. I feel she could have done with a little bit more in the patchwork department, especially since she's a car and her subordinates were seeker jets (that we saw). This could have provided some fun moments too, if she had jets in her boots from the other's parts and she could jump really high or even fly. -D-Maximal_Primal
Your overall thoughts on episode 9
I love rivalries in fiction and it's fun to see a new one within the Transformers lore involving Bumblebee. Plus more Shockwave experiments are always fun and this show further proves that it can handle darker subject matters (though not as dark as destroying Bumblebee's voice box). - William-James88
This was a strong episode, showing what Shockwave won't hesitate to do, and what's motivating Shadow Striker. I can see more encounters with Bee and friends. Will she remember his act to spare her? Or is she going to take any chance to take him out.-ZeroWolf
A very entertaining, well-written episode! Definitely the best after episode, or well... second. -notirishman
Great episode, this one feels like a great origin story, and as a whole the series feels like it's getting some good legs in under it. I enjoyed the banter between Bee and Shadowstriker, and I enjoyed the pity Bee feels while also still finding her an enemy. They have a pretty decent dynamic, and it can set up for some great moments to be explored later on. -D-Maximal_Primal
Episode 10 MacCadam's
Synopsis: Bumblebee remembers MacCadam's, his favorite hangout on Cybertron, at three different points in its storied history.
What you liked best about episode 10
DEADLOCK!!!!!!! Not that Drift/Deadlock is that much of a favourite of mine, but more that this show (both the show Cyberverse and this particular episode) is the most steeped example of new IDW Transformers lore put on screen. There is a lot more that reminds me of James Robert's G1 here, such as seeing Megatron in the Macadams bar before the war, plus the story not being told linearly and that becoming a plot point in and of itself. And we get to see Soundwave show off some great dance moves. - William-James88
Everything, well not quite everything (see below) but this was the best episode I've seen yet. I loved the first memory, showing again how everyone got along before the war, seeing Wheeljack and Shockwave being friendly was hilarious. I want to see more of that time period, what other friendships were destroyed? -ZeroWolf
This episode is just... really crammed with Transformers lore! While I won't delve into it too much, I will say that this is in fact, the first time Maccadam appeared in an animated cartoon! He sneakily appears in the title sequence for the whole season! One thing in the episode I liked was that you could see the effect of the war on the bar and its customers. It was something you didn't really see in Transformers cartoons, and was very nice to see! Also am a fan of the IDW universe references, namely Chromia pleading Windblade to return to their world Caminus, and Deadlock (Drift), finding safe passage in Maccadam's. -notirishman
The entire Maccadam's setting. It is so cool to see this public fun location over the course of 3 very different time periods, and what this place means to those assembled and present. It is cool to see how the characters all interacted before they became mortal enemies, with the Shockwave and Wheeljack friendship, and the dancing Soundwave and seekers as examples. It was fun! It was enjoyable! And no matter if it was in peace or in war, the place was nice to view, and it was also great because we got moments where fighting wasn't allowed, so everyone had to interact peacefully. -D-Maximal_Primal
What you liked least about episode 10
I guess the only thing I would like at this point is for them to drop the Bumblebee radio voice gimmick in the present, but that's old news. There wasn't much to complain about here aside from that it was too short and I want more pre/early war stories. - William-James88
We didn't get any longer in the pre-war memory. Even this us a minor quibble. -ZeroWolf
Deadlock didn't talk at all, which is fine, so, I mean, this episode really had little wrong in my eyes! -notirishman
I feel like this episode really didn't have a weak spot. It was all around strong in so many ways, and between the characters, the setting, and the jump around in time, it was paced well and enjoyable! So there really isn't something I did not like, or at least liked the least, in this episode. -D-Maximal_Primal
Your overall thoughts on episode 10
Best episode in the series so far and a nice deep cut within Transfomers lore for fans of all ages to enjoy. - William-James88
More like this please. The nods to other continuities was great, and it was nice to see macadams finally animated and to get a look at this version of the character, whose face looks a little like a ships psychiatrist from an IDW series that's ending. I think it's because of the eyes. It was also a fun cameo from Deadlock, from the point where he's trying to join the Autobots, so maybe Drift is in Cyberverses future? So far this is the high point of the show for me, let's wait and see now what the next batch bring. -ZeroWolf
This was my favorite episode in the show; it was well written, was jammed full of lore, and was very entertaining. -notirishman
Excellent episode, probably one of the best we have gotten over the course of the past few years in Transformers cartoons. It's certainly up there in terms of quality, has lots of good Easter Eggs, has a lot of fun, and shows us a great look at Cybertron through time. It even finally gives characterization to its longtime bartender and owner, and I like this version of Maccadam. It's really cool and it's 11 minutes of your life you really need to watch and enjoy. -D-Maximal_Primal
Transformers BOTBOTS are the newest craze Hasbro has brought us and we're excited to share a video about the subject with Seibertron as he sits down with his daughters (Madelyn and Katelyn) to discuss the upcoming line and their excitement for it. We recently revealed the product makeup of the series on Monday and so today we're having a discussion about the toyline coming this holiday season to retailers. Transformers BOTBOTS are really invoking and channeling the same energy from the Shopkins brand of toy lines of the past, but with a Transformers twist to it. Check out the video below, as it is extremely adorable, regarding this new line and our excitement for it here at Seibertron!
Unless you have been living under a rock, the theme right now with all things Transformers is G1 (referring to the first generation of Transformers Toys/Characters/Show), now more than ever. I mean, everywhere you look you see callbacks to
So basically, right now the theme is G1, G1 and more G1 with the biggest toy output since the brand's inception (4 simultaneous toylines on the same shelf space, not counting retailer exclusive lines).
And I think this is all great and that it's about time we get all this product. The G1 reissues are selling like hot cakes (even at inflated prices for some) so no need to convince anyone that those are wanted and since I will be sticking to toys, I will be looking at my excitement for the heavy G1 theme of both the Generations and Cyberverse lines. While we are getting G1 characters with scales and looks matching the old cartoon for older kids and collectors in the Generations Siege line, Cyberverse provides an entire line of simpler toys at all price ranges and sizes all based on prominent G1 characters with their G1 inspired looks. And those toys are not by the same design team, meaning that the influence is not just the choice of a particular team (or manager) but company wide instead.
Just so you know, I was born in 1988, so my childhood was all Beast Wars and so is all my nostalgia. However, when learning of the brand's history, it is crazy to discount the importance of that first show and those early toys. Especially looking at this all in a retrospective fashion and as a collector, I find that my collection of G1 characters is lacking, especially when it comes to Decepticons at the right scale.
Since I have no particular attachment to a particular representation of a G1 character, what I seek is something of a uniformity. For instance, my season 3 cast is pretty solid, so thanks for that Hasbro and Takara
But when I comes to bringing out the earlier season bots to do a battle scene, I realize how much of a hodge podge it is. Here are my Decepticons with a placeholder Soundwave and Shockwave (you know, the brand's MAIN DECEPTIONC CHARACTERS!!) and of course no Starscream in sight (due to the very odd looking take of the POTP Voyager Starscream).
So that is three characters at the voyager scale fans have wanted for a long time and them missing is obvious. Now, thanks to the Siege line I will have a Soundwave, Shockwave and Seekers that fit to have a more cohesive Decepticon team. And you will notice I did not add Blitzwing in Megatron's triple changer army. I could have but it would have looked a bit weird since he has the same body as that voyager Megatron. It's actually the reverse really, Megatron has Blitzwing's body. It is kind of nuts when you think about it though, but the last time we ever had a G1 styled Megatron toy designed to be principally Megatron in the voyager scale, was 12 years ago, and that one turned into a Nerf gun. So it really is about time that we get the following:
I mean here we are after having had amazing updates to combiners, headmasters and season 3 characters and yet the main G1 cast only ever had placeholders. We are finally getting good toys of the main G1 cast at the scale where most characters are available and affordable. How could I not be excited?! And that goes true for the main character of the entire franchise, Optimus Prime.
As you can see above, the choice for Autobot representation in a classics collection is pretty good at the moment but the one character I am missing is, oddly enough, a good Optimus Prime. That character keeps getting released time and time again, for every line but it always misses the mark in some way (and always seems to be opportunistic release due to his common mold sharing). Seriously, we have not had an original G1 styled voyager Optimus Prime mold since the classics version from over a decade ago. And that one was purposefully meant not to be full on G1 themed (with the new alt mode). This Optimus is a manifesto of this line itself. No more fooling around, just a straight up gimmick free toy of a character made uncompromisingly with that character in mind, in a line everyone young or old can access.
Before I move on to Cyberverse, I will leave you with a comment from a friend in our community:
Wolfman Jake wrote:I don't understand how some people could be unimpressed by Siege Optimus Prime and Megatron. They are figures of beauty, and representations of these iconic characters that have been a long time coming. They're the right scale, look right, and aren't mold shares with classically unrelated characters. I remember a lot of people being tired of Bumblebee toys in Generations when the Titans Return Legends Bumblebee came out, despite it being the best Bumblebee toy we've ever gotten in Generations, in terms of scale, sculpt, and G1 likeness. My reaction is "at last," not "oh well, too little, too late."
I am a young father and my kids will always be curious of the toys I have. While it will be fun to have Generations toys of characters they recognize (simply from the brand's general marketing, or the Animated film) that I don't mind showing them (unlike my MP representations), the real fun will come with toys they can actually transform. There is a major aspect that is downright ignored when looking at G1, and that is how accessible the toys were for kids who had no clue what a Transformer was. Technical limitations made that the initial Transformers toys were rather simple, mostly rearranging limbs and extending parts with telescoping. We never really stop and think that this simplicity in design may have contributed greatly to the brand's success.
This was, after all, the first time toys of this sort were ever given to kids (in this part of the world) and if they were overly complex (ie, high amount of steps) and frustrating (ie. lots of panels), it might have resulted in a far more niche toyline that is only supported by one or two high end collectibles today. It wasn't the case though, these were simple toys that 80s kids could understand without their parents helping them. Sure, proportions were off and maybe some parts were not very articulated but you could do it on your own. Why can't today's kids be given the same chance 80s kids had when discovering Trasformers toys for the first time?
That is what Cyberverse is all about. It is basically G1 all over again for a new generation. Their designs are a slightly more animated/streamlined version of the evergreen designs Hasbro had developed as an update to G1 designs that can be used across different initiatives for the years to come. While there are some changes to incorporate more recent changes to characters (Bumblebee as a muscle car and Megatron as a tank), the main G1 essence is still very present and instantly recognizable to anyone. And especially recognizable to my three year old who watches the Optimus vs Megatron movie fight on a loop.
So thanks to Cyberverse I now have a full array of toys made just with young kids in mind that I can give to my 3 year old so that she can have a pretty good representation of what she sees on screen, whether she watches the new Cyberverse show or the 80s cartoon/film, and which she can transform by herself. The Hot Rod one step even has a sawblade action gimmick like in the 86 film, so she can recreate that action herself instead of me showing her my masterpiece toy from 5 feet away behind an impenetrable glass window.
So basically, Hasbro has finally given us a full blown reboot of G1 in toy for, something that was always teetering at the seams, through two lines. In a few months, I will be able to have a great representation many main g1 cast members at the voyager scale with them looking as they should. And I will have my three year old next to me with her own G1 cast Transforming them back and forth as she watches those same characters onscreen (be it the G1 show or Cyberverse). About time!
Round Table Review for Transformers Cyberverse Episodes 7 and 8
Episode 7 Cube
Synopsis: Bumblebee learns how he first met Windblade and relives a Golden Age encounter with a young Starscream and his Seekers.
What we liked best
I find it super cool how this show really just embraces all of what may be called G1 into one big package. In this episode we saw that Windblade retained everything we know of her through the IDW comics,like her being a city speaker, comes from caminus - William-James88
I love the idea of Cube, a sport that could be the cybertronian equivalent of football (soccer for US readers!) and a nice introduction for how Windblade met Bee. - ZeroWolf
We got to see Starscream shine, not as a backstabbing weasel, but as an impatient and devious rascal! It was also nice seeing more of the culture aspect of Transformers, since we saw a game of Cube (a mix between rugby and, funnily enough, the fictional Quidditch). Here, we get to see how Autobots and Decepticons used to act like together before the war, something that is more apparent in the later episode "Maccadam's." Something else nice was the appearance of two of the Coneheads (besides a cameo in "Allspark"). And hey, Windblade is from Caminus in this continuity too! And there was this bot that looked like Trailbreaker. I can go on... - notirishman
What we liked least
The main confrontation here is Bumblebee and Windblade vs Starscream, Ramjet and Dirge. Now that sounds like par for the course for a Transformers cartoon, but my problem with taht is that it was a flashback sequence from before the war. After the previous episode, Megatron is my Hero, went out of its way to show that it was not always the same old story and that villains were not always villains, we get this episode here that just discards all that. Starscream and his goons were always villains, which is pretty dull. - William-James88
That not much thought was actually put into Cube past the concept. This would have been a perfect chance to put some cameos into the teams. You could have had future Decepticons and Autobots on the same team, enhancing the idea that the war really separated everyone into two sides. - ZeroWolf
While it was cool seeing the Coneheads, they didn't speak at all... like at all. Also, Bumblebee is totally jet-cist. - notirishman
Our overall thoughts
I found this episode rather dull in general since I did not care much for the backdrop being a Cybertronian Quittish game. I did like seeing Dirge and Ramjet, despite of course making them act just as goons in an era where we could have seen something more interesting. - William-james88
A fun but flawed episode, while the whole subplot with Starscream could have been done away with, it had its moments, I'll echo Williams comments here about Windblades integration with a lot of her IDW backstory appearing, I love it. I also like how it is just not even going to attempt to answer the question about why there is fembots, it just accepts it and moves on. While in terms of the on-going narrative, this episode adds nothing but it is a good character episode - Zerowolf
It was a good, well balanced, fun, episode! It was generally pretty entertaining!- notirishman
Episode 8 Terminal Velocity
Synopsis: Bumblebee explores a nightmarish memory of his visit to Velocitron while Windblade pilots the shuttle in a relentless dogfight with the Decepticon Seekers.
What we liked best
It is always fun when any kids cartoon gives you some semblance of inner machinations, lie the writers really thought something through. I felt that here in a great scene where a group of Seekers, headed by Slipstream, go after Windblade who is piloting a Decepticon ship. The way Windblade looses them is by heading out into space where Slipstream cannot chase her, and I found that super cool since it revealed to me that in this rendition of the franchise, when you take on an earth based alt mode, you take on all its components, including its mechanical limitations. That was a great example of showing and not telling. I also loved everything with Blurr but I won't spoil anything. - William-james88
I liked the dual nature of the episode. We had a creepy showing at what cosmic rust was capable in one half, while in the other there was a frantic dogfight between Windblade and the Seekers. Also Hot Rod! There was also more use of the colony idea. - Zerowolf
Ooh, this episode took a dark turn. Pretty much, this episode introduces the "Plague of Rust" which you can think as Cosmic Rust, but on steroids. It is shown reducing planets to nothing! Blurr was a nice bonus to see, and so was Hot Rod, who are both well personalized in this episode. Back to what I was saying, this is a drastic dark turn for the show, as there is some major death. Also hey, Acid Storm and Thrust were in this episode! - notirishman
What we liked least
It's odd but for a show where the designs are very fun, they settled on the least exciting design for Hot Rod's alt mode. The character has always had a flashier and unique car mode that easily sets him apart from others. But here it is just a box. - William-james88
The dual nature is also a bit of a double edged sword as we could have done with seeing more about Velocitron. There was also a mystery hinted with the worker (who is a reuse of Wheeljacks animation model) but is never played upon. - Zerowolf
It was a bit anticlimactic. Since we didn't get attached to those who end up dieing within 10 minutes, their deaths didn't have much of an impact. We also only saw Blurr use his fast speed once, which I'm indifferent about, actually. But seriously, how did Bumblebee forget/ignore that there was a guy obviously holding a plague that kills planets?- notirishman
Our overall thoughts
Much better than Episode 7 with nice nods to cosmic rust and some fun action set pieces. - William-james88
This is another filler episode or at least it seems it on the surface. Nothing is really advanced but we know a little bit more about the universe this series inhabits. Will we see more about the rust in future episodes? Was Hot Rod aboard the Ark? I can't wait to see what this show has in store. The dramatic shift between this episode and the last cannot be understated, ep 7 was bee and Windblade fighting to stop Starscream being a jerk, ep 8 was about bee and Windblade fighting to stay alive. - Zerowolf
It was a dark episode, but I liked it! But, I mean, Mr. Bee, I don't wanna go... - notirishman
Whether you like it or not, the Holidays are upon us, Seibertronians. If you still think you need something TF-related to spruce up your tree, drop into a Hallmark store, as their new Transformers Ornaments are now available. We've previously reported on Starscream a couple times, (this year's entry in a series of non-transforming ornaments based on the original G1 toys that included Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave, and Grimlock in year's past), and now we have in-hand images courtesy of yours truly. We also have in-hands of a Transformers "Customizable" stocking ornament that we hadn't seen before, featuring an image of Optimus Prime on the front. Check them all out below!
Rebirthing A Seibertron.com Spoilerish Review of IDW Transformers: Unicron #5
THE END IS HERE! The Transformers make one last, desperate stand against Unicron, as Optimus Prime plunges deep into the monster—and into the dark history that spawned them both.
I need a way out
I don't believe that it's gonna be this way
The worst is
In this world I'm suffocating
So here we are once more, with the issue before the end, the final non-final issue. And as a windup to the ultimate climax, did the book deliver? Well, see below.
Feel Your presence
I take You in
So here's the thing about this particular book: the pacing felt much better in this issue and it feels the more cohesive compared to the other issues so far. While it was not particularly full of action, it wasn't supposed to be, as it is the calm after the destruction of Cybertron and before the final confrontation before the universe truly ends. And Jetfire and Prowl even say as much.
It also takes place following the Optimus Prime 24 comic that came out a week later (see the review from earlier today!), so it was spoilerish to review, hence the review waiting to give people time to access and process that book.
It was also cool that this book managed to make itself a Hasbro Universe book, more so than really any other book done so far. And unlike past Hasbro U events, this one finally has a proper team up across the board, even if the events feel a bit rushed, pushed, or forced. But hey, at least we got a large part of this mad universe together in some fashion!
Breathe for the first time now
I came alive somehow
But the main issue I find in the story is the personalities of the people involved at times, as with little action and mainly setup, it feels like we got some big personalities that are clashing with each other more so than in previous issues. And with a grand total of 3 issues left in this Universe period after today with Optimus Prime 24, it feels like some of those characters may not get the ending of the story that they need or deserve. Slide is one that particularly bothers me, Spike is sort of there but not really, Prowl returning with a protege of sorts in Stardrive, and while Stardrive does play off nicely and her wraith moments are good, especially with other wraith-infected members, her taking a sort of Prowl approach doesn't really sit well with me, and it's kind of a bummer.
Shockwave is sort of still doing stuff, and the final standoff between masters of logic are set up, but I can't help but feel that this doesn't feel as rewarding as it should. The same way with the Maximals: we have memorable faces and names, but they have a small amount of lines between them, and nothing really to back them up beyond their mere recognizable appearance.
One thing the book definitely did get right though was Thundercracker, and as his story nears completion, I love the character that was made, and I love how he, Marissa, and Buster are a nice little family that loves and trusts each other. I also appreciated Trypticon and his direction, and the new generation and the protection so many feel over them. Well done there.
I wanna break out
I found a way out
I don't believe that it's gonna be this way
But again, overall I felt there was a little bit more clashing than there could have been with different characters, and the story reads a bit less cohesively as it could, but the pacing here felt good as a pseudo-breath catcher. We got good moments, just maybe not as powerful as they deserved to be.
Art duties fall for the second-to-last time to Alex Milne and David Garcia-Cruz, and once again they do a masterful job. The art for the series has been fantastic, but seeing the different parts of Unicron looming over Earth, and really getting a good idea of the scale of the robot mode Unicron compared to the Earth is pretty awesome. We finally get a good scale done right for Unicron.
Scale does seem to be a good strength of the book too, as we get Titans involved as well, and the background scenery is very well done considering we jump from the US to a destroyed Canadian cityscape to the African jungles to space. I appreciate the level of detail and the coloring that went into each shot as well. The colors are dark and foreboding where they are needed, vibrant and bright when action is intense or Unicron's glow is present, space is beautiful, and it does a good job of mixing together the darkness (figurative and literal) of the end while still bringing some natural beauty and properly expressing the mood of the series.
Tell me when I'm gonna live again
Tell me when I'm gonna breathe you in
Tell me when I'm gonna feel inside
Tell me when I'm gonna feel alive
If there is one complaint I would have, it would be that the Decepticons in Africa almost appear too lightly colored compared to what we see later and are used to, but it's a minor nitpick.
Letters are handled by Tom B. Long, who does his level best (and succeeds) in making sure those previously discussed lines and colors are enjoyed to the fullest extent to give us proper scenery and people on screen while still delivering the dialogue. Kind of a cool thing to note too is Bludgeon and his speech bubbles. He continues the "God of Death" black bubbles for most of the issue, but there is a particular moment where he loses that, and he falls back to regular Bludgeon, and the lettering pulling that off was a neat touch.
When writing up this review, it was hard to give this book a score and proper credit. It's a pretty good book, a decent read, and fun to look at. But while it is a good book, it's not necessarily a good Transformers book. It tries its hardest, but ultimately, I think the overall series needed a little bit better pacing to make it a proper and good Transformers book, especially when this book showed that proper pacing can allow you to better grasp what is happening and allow you to breath for a second and take in what you are reading.
I wanna live my life
Wanna give You everything
Make no mistake though, it's still not bad. It is fun, dark, has some good character moments, some questionable characters, kind of a lot going on to the point of a bit too much, but also clever, and it even managed to make "Titan-Mastering" a verb.
So should you read this? Yes, I think you should. Is this Lost Light 22 good? Not quite. Is it Wreckers Trilogy good? Not by a decent amount. But is it still worth your time and effort? I'd say yes. Unicron himself may not be everything we wanted him to be, but he looks amazing, and his story ultimately fits in with what the Mythos is for this universe.
Take it like that, and you can enjoy this issue as a whole.
As has become the theme for the Unicron reviews, this week's issue anthem is Rebirthing by Skillet!
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