Every month, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. 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.
Top 5 Best Ramjet Transformers Toys
Ramjet is the next seeker/conehead we look at in this series of lists. Since many of these molds have already been visited in the past, the blurbs for each will be rather brief. While writing the lists for the coneheads, what I did find interesting was that each of them had at least one toy which is unique to them. Like this first one here...
Interestingly enough, this variant of the G1 seeker mold was first done for Ramjet, with Starscream coming after. It featured new firing missile launchers and a sound effects box, along with a rad G2 deco.
While I am far more lenient on the conehead version of the MP mold, due to all the extra retooling you get for each of the coneheads' unique wing patterns, I have to address the elephant in the room. The initial batch of Masterpiece Ramjet toys were misassembled the the point of not being able to convert the toy. Paying $200 for a dated mold is already not fun but for it to have such bad QC is shameful. But the toy did get corrected and it since retailers were told to keep the bad copies, they could have been obtained for really cheap by any fan willing to try to fix it themselves. So good news for some in a sea of bad news. MP Ramjet being on this list takes none of that QC in consideration and looks at the toy as intended and as I hope he is in your collection. And what he is, is fine. I like the retooling, love that jet mode, love that secret door paneling on the wings that rotates, I like the step of flipping the cockpit chest to be more screen accurate, and I loathe the giant dong it gives him and the other coneheads.
I really like the classics version of the mold for the coneheads over the seekers for the lack of kibble behind the head in robot mode. That's something even the (better) Earthrise mold couldn't do. And, as with the other coneheads, Hasbro does go all out by giving Ramjet the different wings he should have.
This is an absolutely gorgeous looking Transformers toy. That deco is slick. While the white element is part of the G1 deco, this set just kicks it up a notch with adding a lot of blue highlights making this the most unique deco on the list (yeah, even more than that G2 one, purple ain't that rare a colour for bad guys). Plus this mold comes with all the extras we got from the Skywarp retooling of the original Armada Starscream mold. Plus this Toysrus Exclusive boxset came with a bunch of minicons for added fun.
1. Transformers War for Cybertron Earthrise Ramjet
This mold rocks. It took an excellent mold as a basis and made it the right size, and added the necessary articulation. It's the ideal mode to collect now to have the full array of seekers on your shelf, and at the right scale.
Every month now, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor or a guest. These are our 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.
Top 5 Same-Sex Transformers Couples
Happy Pride month, everybody! My name is Tigerhawk7109. I’ve been on the forums for about two years now. And, this week, I’ll be bringing you a special Pride-themed list. Before we begin, though, let me set one major rule: canon pairings only. As much as I stan ships like AlphaRoad, they’re not official. Also, major spoiler warning for More Than Meets the Eye and Lost Light ahead. And please remember that the use of the term "same-sex" is in the generalized sense where sex is used to refer to gender quite often. Now, without further ado, let’s get into it!
5: Knock Out and Breakdown
Knock Out, the slick Decepticon medic, was far and away the breakout character of Transformers: Prime. He was suave, he was extremely vain, and he gave Autobots like Bumblebee and Arcee a real challenge on the roads. His partner-in-crime was Breakdown, a heavy bruiser who filled the role of Bulkhead’s archnemesis. From their interactions in the show, many fans suspected that the two might have been a couple. As fun as it might’ve been, there was no official confirmation- until IDW stepped in and put their own spin on things.
When Knock Out was introduced in Windblade: Volume 2 number 4, he retains everything from his Prime persona except the sadistic streak. He’s a high-ranking racer on Velocitron, but nothing’s really been said that’s new. However, when Moonracer and Windblade have their conversation at Maccadam’s, the Velocitronian alludes to Knock Out having a Conjunx Endura who ‘couldn’t break Mach 1 if his life depended on it.’ Breakdown, with his bulky build, certainly fits this description. In the Holiday Special, we finally get confirmation that the two are a couple.
Because they had less time for their relationship to develop than any of the others on this list, Knock Out and Breakdown are lower in the ranking- but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less precious.
4: Drift and Ratchet
Suffice to say, this is a relationship that not many saw coming. Drift and Ratchet are polar opposites- one is an ex-Decepticon trying to find his place in the world, and the other is a grouchy old medic who’s losing his touch. But, if you look closely, you can see how their relationship developed over the course of More Than Meets The Eye and Drift: Empire of Stone. When Drift is knocked down by a brick after taking the blame for Overlord, Ratchet is the only member of the ship’s crew who helps him up. In issue 28, when Atomizer hands Rodimus a list of those who supposedly didn’t vote for him, Ratchet reveals that it’s a fake- because his name isn’t on it. There are a number of reasons why this could be, but we’re led to believe it’s because of Drift. The turning point in their relationship comes when Ratchet attends Brainstorm’s trial. After the scientist gets away with a slap on the wrist, Ratchet finally snaps at Rodimus for letting Drift take the fall. He leaves the Lost Light in a shuttle, with a figurine of Drift made by Ten on his dashboard. By Lost Light, the two are officially a couple. Their relationship’s buildup was absolutely genius, and is one of many examples as to why James Roberts is a fricking genius.
3: Anode and Lug
Anode and Lug were the first major newbies introduced in Transformers: Lost Light, the sequel to More Than Meets the Eye. They are a couple when we first meet them, but we also meet them when they have a pretty major argument. Anode eventually realizes that the Lug she is seeing isn’t real- she’s a mere hallucination, brought upon after being saved by the Necrobot. Using a protoform and a spark, Anode is able to essentially bring Lug back to life. Now that’s dedication.
However, that’s not the only reason that Anode and Lug are special. The two are the first official transgender couple in Transformers, and have a whole page dedicated to Anode explaining why the two of them didn’t feel right as males. This quality, combined with the real and believable nature of their relationship, makes Anode and Lug a truly special couple.
2: Cyclonus and Tailgate
All I can say is this: James Roberts knows how to write a romance, because God damn. These two get off to an extremely rocky start. Poor Tailgate is looking for somebody to room with, and Cyclonus lets him into his quarters- only because there’s a sparkeater on the loose. When the minibot starts to annoy him, Cyclonus knocks Tailgate out cold. Gradually, the two grow closer, bonding over the fact that they are both from Cybertron’s ancient past. At the end of Season 1, Cyclonus uses his own spark energy to cure Tailgate’s cybercrosis. In Season 2, Getaway plays on Cyclonus’ reluctance to show his feelings, and manipulates Tailgate into almost getting killed. Cyclonus protects him, and is shredded by bullets. When Tailgate is presumed dead after Fangry locks him in a radioactive chamber, Cyclonus’ faith and desire to see him again causes Cyberutopia to manifest itself as the Afterspark. These two have so much development, and have so much love between them- except Cyclonus’ pride keeps him from saying the Big Three Words until Lost Light issue 16. Caught in the middle of this romance is Whirl, who slowly pushes the two into revealing their feelings for each other. That comedic plot point alone is just fantastic.
1: Chromedome and Rewind
You all saw this coming. Chromedome and Rewind have the single-most developed relationship in all of Transformers history. They don’t just top a list of same-sex couples- these two would top a list of all couples. From the very first issue, we see them fight and make up, like a real couple. The two are very obviously lovey-dovey with each other. However, it’s not until after Rewind sacrifices himself to get Overlord off the ship that he finally says ‘I love you.’ Heartbroken, Chromedome locks himself in his quarters and plays his husband’s final message, a composition of footage recorded by Rewind himself, over and over again. However, the two get a second chance when Megatron discovers a quantum duplicate Lost Light, with Rewind the only survivor. Seeing as he is the same, yet different, from Chromedome’s Rewind, the two get off to a less-than perfect start. Their love eventually grows back to what it once was- to the point where Chromedome almost kills himself to bring Dominus Ambus, Rewind’s old Conjunx, back from his lobotomized state as ‘The Pet.’ Instead of bringing Dominus back, Rewind severs Chromedome’s arm, keeping him alive at the cost of his former husband. There are no other words to describe just how deep their relationship runs.
Honourable mention: If there was one other couple I need to make mention of, it’s Tigatron and Airazor- specifically from the Japanese dub of Beast Wars. Airazor was male in Japan, which was all well and good for the most part. But when the obvious affection between the two blossomed into romance, they inadvertently became the first gay couple in Transformers history.
What do you guys think of this list? Got a couple you think should be on it? Sound off in the Energon Pub forums. For now, this is Tigerhawk7109, signing off.
2019 was a very good year for Transformers fans. While it wasn't as insane as last year (where we had 4 main lines on shelves at the same time!) it delivered as much for collectors as any other years. More even with the advent of the Generations Selects line which feel like the old collector's Club but more affordable and more accessible. I mean, think about it, what other year did we get seven seekers? So yeah, for both G1 and movie fans, it was a very fun year. And Beast Wars fans got 2 Masterpiece figures, so drinks all around! Below are what we here at Seibertron each thought were some of the best toys to come out, grouped up within categories.
A Year in Review - Transformers 2019
To go along with your Year in Review, you can enjoy a nice little sidedish of the Twincast Podcast Episode #237, itself is a 3 and a half hour year in review, which you can download HERE! As for the folks who are joining you here today, check them out in their Avatar glory below:
the News Hounds
The News Mongrels
Best Cyberverse Figure
William-James88: This has to go to Ultimate Grimlock. He was the shining beacon of awesome in a toyline that I felt was something I wouldn't even recommend to parents for their kids. This toy though made it feel like the Cybertron era was back. With an imposing physique and a fun yet not too tough transformation that just feels right and chunky to play with. I even wrote an article about how this is the toy I recommend to any parent who wants to get their kids into Transformers without wanting to break the bank or worry of fragile pieces. I do recomend him to everyone though, just to relive toys of a bygone era that were for all ages and just fun.
Bounti76: Gnaw, by a mile. The simple transformation is familiar if you had Titans Return Gnaw, and though this is a gimmick oriented line, his spinning torso gimmick is unobtrusive and easy to pull off, plus, it makes sense. He's a solid figure for the price point, and could easily be displayed with the aforementioned Gnaw(s) as their leader.
ScottyP: Lil Ratchet. He even has a sled! The Spark Armor "Battle Class" has been excellent, outclassing everything else in Cyberverse by a decent margin, with Ratchet being the best of this size class to date. A simple but still fun transformation, sculpting with a lot of personality and smart articulation points made this an easy choice. I'm looking forward to the Deluxe Class which will hopefully carry over some of the potential in these designs that's been held back by the stingy choice to just put out the bare minimum for Cyberverse toys over its first two years.
D-Maximal_Primal: Spark Armor Sky Byte - This little figure is just wonderful. For one thing, he is a totally competent little legends sized figure that has a really good robot mode and a cool shark mode. The only real weakness to the whole thing is he doesn't have a head swivel. But that is a minor point. The armor drone is a sweet little drill tank that looks pretty neat, and the spark armor combination with the Sky Byte figure is really cool. I love having a drill hand and claw hand on the same Shark figure. He is really fun.
Nathaniel Prime: The line from Season 2 has been pretty fun and good for the most part, but if I had to pick the best, it would probably be a tie between Ultimate Grimlock and Spark Armor Shockwave. Ultimate Grimlock just has some sort of charm to him, and his gimmick, transformation, and looks all scream "fun for everyone!". As for my other tie, isn't it logical? In all seriousness, he's a fun little figure, and the armor gimmick once against knocks out of the park what it means to have a fun gimmick.
ZeroWolf: I'm torn between two, Spark Armour Sky-Byte and Ultimate Grimlock. I'm going to give it to everyone's favourite Dinobot for the pure reason that it does best what I like to see in a toy. It's fun to play with, to pose and stomp around in T-Rex mode. Sorry Skye-Byte, as fun as you were, you'll have to appreciate being runner up this time.
Stargrave: I had to pass on Cyberverse as a whole in favor of collecting the main Siege line but like all fans I've kept pretty good track. I'd have to say the clear winner has got to be Cheetor. A welcomed call back to the Beast Era who not only has a super slick bot and beast mode but comes with a battleship for battle armor. That made me stop and check it out every time I saw in in the stores.
Best Studio Series Figure
William-James88: While last year's Studio Series toys for the Bumblebee movie were some of the worst, this year there were some of the line's best. Like that voyager Optimus Prime and Car Mode Dropkick which I liked even more. What I love most about it is how it shows that after years of doing cars that turn into robots, Hasbro and Takara still have some new tricks to show us. I especially like how the arms are formed so that the wheels are placed to be accurate to the film. I finally have a good looking Dropkick to add to my collection and it's a pretty awesome car mode to have as well.
Bounti76: For me, it's a tie between BumblebeeVoyager Class Optimus Prime and.... Deluxe Class Hightower?? Let me explain. First this particular Optimus Prime figure hits ALL the marks for me. Faithful movie design (though I know it's not 100% accurate), and it looks like G1 Optimus stepped into the movieverse. He's got a fun transformation, looks great in altmode. Combine my kid in the 80s nostalgia with my enjoyment of the live action movies, and it's a no-brainer. So how does he tie with Hightower? Well, given that the live action movies brought me back into the hobby after 20 years, I have a fondness for most movie designs. Though he never transformed on screen, Hightower is a great movie design, and a freaking WEIRD one at that. He's appropriately creepy looking and then some, like a mutant construction vehicle came to life and wanted to kill you. We rarely see any bot mode that isn't humanoid, so his incredibly unique design combined with the movieverse aesthetic puts him right up there, in my opinion.
ScottyP: The full set of Constructicons didn't quite make it out in the whole of this year but they got close, with each figure being a standout so far. I'm giving this to Hightower for being one of those really bizarre Movie-verse Decepticon designs that you'd think would translate into a terrible toy who then ends up being really charming in not only just the goofy design, but also in how surprisingly well it ended up translating into a real consumer product made of plastic. Honorable mention goes to the rest of the Constructicons and car Dropkick. Outside of a couple notable warts, Studio Series has been delightful and I wish more Transformers continuities would receive (and sell enough to deserve) a similar ongoing, consistent and high-quality toy line.
D-Maximal_Primal: Rampage. It was a tough choice between Rampage and car Dropkick, but ultimately, Rampage for me wins out. For one thing, he has presence, being pretty dense and heavy for a voyager figure. He feels really good in your hands. The paint work is also very well done, making him look really good and imposing. He also forms 3 solid modes (robot, bulldozer, leg). He may not have elbows, but he is still a very solid figure that looks and acts the part. I also love how poseable his jackhammer lower body is. He is so unique in body style and he can move it too. He's just really cool.
Wolfman Jake: SS-38 Optimus Prime Bumblebee Movie. The Studio Series has been knocking it out of the park, with a few foul balls here and there. The best of this year, though, has to go to the Bumblebee Movie version of Optimus Prime. THIS is the live-action movie version of Optimus Prime we should have gotten back in 2007. He's the perfect blend of intricate mechanical detailing with an almost pristine, realistic vehicle mode, all with so many more of the classic G1 Optimus Prime visual cues to make for a character that strikes all the right cords with both longtime fans and newcomers to the franchise. The vehicle mode, though unlicensed, certainly looks the part. The robot mode is detailed, beefy, and unmistakably Optimus Prime. The transformation is interesting, with a few neat surprises. There may be a bit of a design issue, particularly with parts of the leg assemblies, but it doesn't detract from the overall fun of this figure. He look great paired up with SS-18 Bumblebee
Nathaniel Prime: Studio Series is a line I entered with moderate expectations, and came out overjoyed with such cool and awesome figures! There was something for everybody, and while none were perfect, most of them were great enough to enjoy. As for my favorite, it was simply too hard to pick just one favorite. Between Car Mode Dropkick, the Constructicons, and so many others, it would too much for me to write (and too much for you to read!). In the end, I settled with SS38 Bumblebee movie Optimus Prime. A figure that hits all the marks for what it means to be an Optimus Prime, while having a flawless robot mode, altmode, and a transformation that makes me drool.
ZeroWolf: I've been debating this a lot, and it comes down to either Rampage or (this will shock everyone) Bumblebee Movie Optimus Prime. Rampage is bounds of fun though, so in this case, he takes it, though for me, none of the constructicons have disappointed.
Stargrave: Rampage. I didn't get a ton of Studio figures this year but man, Rampage won me over. And the only reason I think he beats out Hightower is that he came first. It's an amazing feat of pulling off that strange monstrous robot mode out of that vehicle mode, and he still turns into a foot for Devastator. No he doesn't have elbows, poor guy doesn't even have two feet to stand on, but despite these set backs, the paint, sculpting, the grotesque face, and articulated claws and treads all added up to make me go, so, I guess I'm getting a movie Devastator in the collection now.
Best War for Cybertron Siege Figure
William-James88: I have been doing this end of year list for a few years now and you may notice the trend that I am ecstatic when Ratchet and Ironhide are not given the short straw. MP Ironhide was a godsend not just because it was a decent representation of Ironhide in the G1 show but because we finally got a decent Ironhide toy, period. And this year we got that again with the Siege mold. Now we finally have a good Ironhide and Ratchet toy for our non MP collections. I pick Ratchet specifically for this list because I was really impressed by how dedicated Hasbro was to make him sculpted as differently from Ironhide as possible while retaining the same overall look and transformation. A lot of care went into the distinction between two characters that are very unique from one another from a character perspective. plus I like the asymmetrical arm details and the extra accessories (which didn't make him more expensive than a regular deluxe, yay).
Bounti76: If I'm being forced to pick, I can't help but pick Voyager Optimus Prime. Fun, unique transformation (though I do worry about the sturdiness of some moving parts). He is a fantastic CHUG style figure in robot mode, which is how I display him most of the time anyway.
ScottyP: Rung, because it happened at all. Now bring on a larger, more articulated version!
D-Maximal_Primal: Galaxy Upgrade Optimus Prime. This figure is a load of fun. The base figure is pretty dang good, minus the visible hands in truck mode. And then you get to the larger figure, and it is spectacular. The truck mode is pretty imposing, and then the robot mode is pure joy. The battle damage paint looks pretty good on him, and adds to his strong imposing robot mode look. The head is also spectacular, and rounds out a pretty dang good package as far as Siege figures go.
Wolfman Jake: WFC-S43 Mirage. One of the winners of the Siege Fan Poll last year was also one of the best Deluxe class figures to come out in the line! Mirage looks great in robot mode and is tons of fun to transform, customize, and display. The vehicle mode certainly looks the part of the G1 toy and cartoon model for the most part, but a few things like the large engine block made out of the robot arms shoved under the spoiler and the faux back end that is blatantly the robot mode chest, keep that alternate mode from being perfect. Still, this is easily the best representation we've had for G1 Mirage in a modern toyline since the 2006 Classics mold. While it was great at the time and featured no faux parts, the proportions were a little wonky and he was missing some trademark accessories, like his shoulder cannon. The Combiner Wars version of Mirage was fun as combiner fodder, but didn't quite sit right as a true Mirage update, what with being a repaint of Dragstrip. The Siege version of Mirage fixes all of that and gives us a transformation scheme just as good, if not better, than the Classics version. The way the rear wheels tuck up into the back torso of the robot mode is just pure magic! The translucent blue plastic parts also help Mirage really pop on a display shelf. He's just so satisfying, and I didn't even blink at the idea of double dipping on him to get the all clear blue version as well from the "Fan Vote Battle 3-Pack." (It helps that it also contained the exclusive Powerdasher Aragon figure as well as the also superb Impactor figure with new paint details and his IDW inspired helmet.)
Nathaniel Prime: Like Studio Series, there was simply too much for me to love, and it's hard to talk about just one. To settle the internal war over a favorite, I'll just go with Titan Omega Supreme. The only Titan class figure that has no flaws to me, it has such a presence in anyone's collection. It helps that he comes with my favorite Micromaster too!
ZeroWolf: A clear winner here, as despite the fact that I'm not a G1 guy, this toyline has delivered quality and fun figures, and that's nothing to sniff at. There was a figure that stands tall against all overs, and that is Jetfire. The designers went all out on him and it shows, lots of play value, and looks great in the crowd.
Stargrave: I haven't been disappointed by a single figure from the Siege line. I honestly love each of them for reasons from aesthetics to construction to fan service to nostalgia. I've thought about this for days and it keeps not making sense, but, I've gotta give it to Voyager Megatron. Many people have had problems with Megatron and I get all of them. He's got some flaws, but he's also undeniably Megatron. Outside of turning into a gun this is the most G1 accurate version of Megatron we've gotten in ages. Now that can be G1 nostalgic for the toys and then there's G1 nostalgic for the cartoon. This hits both notes for me. He's broad, he's beefy, the colors are all there and in the correct places. The countenance is perfect, the fusion cannon is PERFECT. Totally subjective here, but to me, I haven't been so pleased with a version of Megatron since Classics. These bots are all darlings to me though, thank you and hats off to the Siege line.
Cobotron: I want to put Optimus here. He is fantastic in every regard. But, when I look at Siege as a whole and think about which figures struck the strongest chord, I keep coming back to Sideswipe. Wave 1 Deluxes were the first Siege toys I received, and Sideswipe was the first I opened. Coming out of the Prime Wars Trilogy, my mind was blown by the precedent he set. The bar had risen. The elegant simplicity and intuitiveness of his transformation, the attention to his classic character design, and the tightness and solidity of his build quality were a fantastic introduction to the line to come. Almost the entire line continued to live up to the standard he had set in my mind. I actually prefer Red Alert's deco and details, always have, but I give it to Swipe since he was the first.
Best Masterpiece Figure
William: My favourite Transformers character and figure is Beast Wars Megatron. This is in no way objective, it's just what I grew up with and what made me fall in love with Transformers. So to have him be given such grand Masterpiece treatment was exhilarating. My copy had no problems and he is just sublime. I really like how he is an homage to the original toy,s transformation with many more tricks up his sleeve, like how that whole back section just folds away and how they give him a left arm. Plus that paint work is stellar.
ScottyP: Beast Wars Megatron but have to note that with one exception this was a phenomenal year for Masterpiece and this was a difficult choice to make. Megatron accomplishes something that I wouldn't have thought possible by delivering an outrageously detailed and complex incarnation of the Predacon leader that doesn't compromise in either mode. Parts of the accordion-ish folding when compacting the dinosaur mode's scales aren't what you would ever call intuitive, but the fact that it can do what it does at all is such a feat it's tough for me to hold that against it. Assuming the pelvis on yours didn't explode into purple glitter, nothing else from 2019 delivers the presence and personality that this toy brings to the table.
D-Maximal_Primal: MPM-8 Megatron. This is the movie 1 Megatron that we have all deserved and needed, and they delivered in an epic way. This figure is huge and heavy. The robot mode itself is as tall as a Prime Wars combiner! And it is super detailed and super well painted. He is really strong and stable, and the light piping and super attention to details just finishes off a fantastic robot. The jet mode is also really big and cool, and casts a heck of a shadow. The transformation is also pretty dang good, and I would argue it is the best of the Movie Masterpiece figures.
Wolfman Jake: MP-46 Blackwidow/Blackarachnia. This was not a banner year for the Masterpiece line. We're only (just barely) getting 5 figure in total by the very end of the year (if Hound isn't delayed again). Beast Wars Megatron and MP-44 Convoy/Optimus Prime version 3.0 are just too expensive for me to invest in right now. MP-45 Bumblebee version 2.0 is very flawed with unsightly kibble. Hound isn't even out yet, so I can't rightly pick that, no matter how amazing it looks to me right now. That leaves us with...Blackarachnia. That's not to say that she isn't a great Masterpiece figure in her own right. She's got a killer robot mode that evokes perfectly the character model of the Beast Wars femme fatal. She's got lots of fun accessories to reference the original cartoon, like the goggles, and the original toy, like the alternate missile launcher with a "spider silk" cord, and even includes a stand with a thematically appropriate energon web with which to pose her. The spider mode has been divisive, thanks to some mistransformed examples at trade shows and in official photography, but it's not at all terrible. It's just not perfect, but then again, none of the Beast Wars Masterpiece figures have perfectly "organic" alt modes. Each one has a bit of robot detail or kibble that isn't hidden. Blackarachnia is not an exception in that regard. Still, she's also not the best Masterpiece figure I've ever had, but she's not anywhere near the worst either.
Cobotron: Even though technically released in 2018, I didn't receive MP-36+ (toy version) Megatron until January of '19. Can we count it? I have to say, I waited out the 1st release of this toy in hopes of a plus version, and it was for me, the most major Masterpiece event of the year. What an amazing figure! I finally got to experience all the grandeur of this figure no matter the version, but in the deco, details, and head sculpt I had wanted from the start. He is with out exception the crowning jewel of my MP Decepticons.
Nathaniel Prime: This year truly was a feast on our optics with the Masterpiece line (unless you were a yellow Beetle ). For me, the best Masterpiece figures that were released this year are a tie between MP44 Optimus Prime and MP43 Beast Wars Megatron. Both figures scream the essence of the MP line; to be the best versions of the characters they represent, and I feel those figures do that job quite nicely.
Stargrave: No reveals just releases? Sorry Lio Convoy, next year my multi-maned friend. As an old Beast Wars fan I'm between Megatron and Blackarachnia on this. But, if I ask myself who I truly love more it's Black Arachnia all the way. One of thee best characters from that show and has kept coming back in the games and the cartoons year after year because she's got too many awesome qualities you just can't deny her. The quality of the Megatron toy may be better, but if I had to pick one, it'd be Black Arachnia. Ah we can all moan about that spider mode all day but come on how many of you display your MP's in alt mode, really?
Best Exclusive Figure (anything goes as long as it was an exclusive in some way)
William-James88: The Refraktor 3 pack is just good fun. While Reflector looking the same is show accurate, I am not much of an army builder. Most of my toys aren't on display anyway so getting three of the same toy is not too appealing and this is the kind of toy where if you only get 1 then you are denied the alt mode he was designed to turn into. So, lucky for me, we had this three pack to honour the toy deco with more accessories. So not only do I now have 3 different looking toys (which I can customize with accessories) but they turn into an even better looking camera. And I could grab this exclusive at my local TRU as easy as any other figure, which was icing on the cake.
Bounti76: Siege Greenlight and Dazzlestrike. From a background character with no lines, Greenlight getting a toy is nothing short of astounding, considering this was the kind of thing only Botcon used to do. Her headsculpt is plucked directly from the 1985 cartoon episode she appeared in, and her paint applications, deco, and colors do a lot in distinguishing her from her mold mates. Add a Battlemaster with the best action effect piece in Siege, and Greenlight easily wins.
ScottyP: Gurafi and Noizu/Decibel for giving me continuing hope that the era of "not reissuing toys so that a handful of collectors that bought import G1 stuff 20 years ago can still feel special" is over. Also because more cassettes are always welcome, they're pretty fun toys, the presentation with vintage style packaging plus new Tech Specs is fun (ignoring the nonsense Frenzy attached for some reason) and it provided another entry to my collection of Lost Light characters that I thought would never be attainable.
D-Maximal_Primal: Ectotron. Oh man was this one an interesting one. For one thing, just the reveal and release was super cool, and then they actually went ahead and made a full transforming and fully functional Ecto-1 Transformer, and the made it really well. He is tall, he has an awesome alt mode, the transformation is really good, and the paint work is really good. He is such a spectacular figure, and it is a blast to have a Transformers with a proton pack. He looks good no matter what you do with him, and he was such a joy to get.
Wolfman Jake: Refraktor Reconnaissance Team 3-Pack. Let's start with the mass-retail version of Siege Refraktor (née Reflector). We've been waiting a LONG time for a good update of the G1 cartoon character. There have been a few attempts along the way, like the "Targetmaster" version that came with Thrilling 30 Skrapnel, or the BotCon exclusive retool/repaints of Combiner Wars Shockwave, but neither came close to capturing the cartoon character model of Reflector so well, and in just the right scale. Siege Reflector has an amazing head sculpt, just the perfect amount of techno greeble detailing, and is painted to perfection. Although the singular "space cruiser" alt mode is nothing interesting, the combination of three Reflector toys makes for a great, classic camera alt mode. The special edition 3-Pack builds on that by including even more accessories to give the camera mode an even more convincing look, complete with flash cube, grip and shutter button, and a viewfinder. The figures themselves have been meticulously repainted to represent their original toy versions, rather than the cartoon versions, and are made even more distinct by their new accessories listed above. It's just too bad the heads weren't resculpted to match the original toys as well. The fun doesn't stop there with this set either. We also get an adorable little Kremzeek figure to cause mischief and mayhem among the Transformers. Finally, the whole set is packaged in a nifty box, styled after real 1980's camera releases. It even comes with a VERY tongue-in-cheek instruction manual meant to mimic those of the era with tips and tricks to get great photographs...in the service of the Decepticon war machine. You'll learn how to spy on your enemies, blackmail your colleagues, and make the perfect propaganda poster. A LOT of love went into making this exclusive box set, and it shows. Every bit of it is appreciated. Just like Mirage above, this was an easy choice to double dip on Reflector. I've got a trio of the cartoon versions on the shelf and the toy versions in camera mode displayed elsewhere. The extra accessories are still compatible with the mass-retail version of Reflector too, so you can beef up the cartoon camera mode if you want as well. Bravo, Hasbro!
Nathaniel Prime: While the main line has been awesome enough this year, the exclusives were the cherry on top to me. There were so many nice exclusives to choose from, and they were all really nice, from the Ghostbusters Crossover, to the Siege exclusives. My favorite one this year might just go to Ectotron, who just barely beats the Refraktor 3 Pack.
ZeroWolf: Tempted to say Siege Ratchet but I'm going to go with the Refraktor 3 pack. I liked Siege Refraktor well enough, great army builder and a fun way to build the camera mode. This set though was amazing, even down to the packing. These are the kind of exclusives we need more of.
Stargrave: Cromar. When I was a kid (many thousands of years ago) I actually had Cromar. And he was an outlier then, and an exclusive, just like he is now. So when I saw that strange clown face on Sixgun's body I figured we'd be getting the rest, and then there were the Rainmakers, and the Refraktor 3 pack, and more. But with Cromar's reveal my hair was blown back and I realized just how deep down the rabbit hole the Hasbro team was willing to take us. Take the rules, grab your expectations too, and throw 'em in that trash can right there. Buckle up and get your nerd on, this is going to be one heck of a ride.
Cobotron: Out of all the awesome exclusives that were offered this past year, the one I was most excited for was the Refraktor 3-pack. If you've ever read (or cared about) anything I've ever said, you'll know that this kind of thing is precisely my jam. A fantastic modern update to an old classic. It oozes with all the toy detail of their original release. Not to mention that it is a fantastic call back to the Takara of old. No surprise that this Microchanger has found a happy home with my Microman collection.
Toy of the Year
William-James88: Siege Optimus Prime was my toy of the year early on and it stayed that way the whole way through. I keep picking him up, transforming him, posing him. He is a really solid toy with a nice spin on the Optimus transformation. Being familiar and new at the same time. I really like the back detail too and that Hasbro went the extra mile not to have hollow looking legs. His is now the main Optimus of my classics scaled collection.
Bounti76: Orthia. She wasn't supposed to exist, and collecting her components took two years and three toy lines, but having the Female Autobots all together (and able to combine, to boot)n in toy form is amazing. The limbs all coming from the same mold does a lot to eliminate the somewhat awkward proportions of Elita One's torso mode but she looks great in her combined form.
ScottyP: MP-44 Optimus Prime version 3. One day, I'll be banned from choosing two different MP figures then putting one here and another in the "Best Masterpiece" category, but that hasn't happened so here we are. See, this category doesn't say "best" explicitly, so my interpretation becomes "Transformers toy of the year is the one that most represents the year 2019 that is also still a good toy." In several ways, MP-44 is indicative of almost every piece of the brand as we know it this year:
Repeated and continued reliance on 1984 and 1985 as the basis for stories and products instead of creating something truly new.
Multiple iterations of the same 'A' and 'B' tier characters in every form with new design refinements on each pass.
Masterpiece toys that utilize increased part count and an insane amount of paint to create figures that, sometimes to a fault, are oddly adherent to specific frames of the Sunbow cartoon while totally missing the mark when compared to others - and I don't mean in-betweens.
Pricing that is sometimes prohibitively expensive to the point of being exclusionary.
Lose-able effect parts.
Optimus Prime being awesome and driving you to spend lots of money on his toys anyway even if you're a little tired of him.
Anyway, more about this actual toy follows. I was extremely lukewarm on it when it was announced and still think the shoulders are too small unless the goal actually was "Headmasters" Convoy, but nearly everything else about my initial bah-humbugging was very wrong. The transformation feels really complicated and impossible to memorize at first, but by the third instance of exploding this toy from truck to robot and back I found myself barely needing the instructions and even then, it was mostly for recalling the precise order of when to transform a sub-assembly before integrating it with others. While the legs are still a little needlessly complicated in spots, the magic of moving pieces near the wheel well up into the torso while still retaining all of the expected articulation can't be denied. There are certainly more little quirks and annoyances I could mention, but the overall experience of this toy coupled with what is indubitably the nicest trailer ever given to a G1 Optimus Prime makes this the capstone that most collectors will remember when looking back on the brand's 35th Anniversary.
Let's just not talk about the similar attempt in MP-45 Bumblebee, who is the butt fumble to MP-44 Optimus' miracle game ending "Statue of Liberty" play that ends in a touchdown.
D-Maximal_Primal: Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege Smashdown - Who would have thought that a $6 Battlemaster could be the best figure of the year. Well, I can tell you confidently that Smashdown is the best of the best. For one thing, the very idea of Smashdown - a Minotaur that turns into a War Hammer - is a truly inspired and unique idea, and I have loved it from the reveal. For another, the paint work covers what it needs to, both modes are really good with a fun little transformation. and Smashdown just goes with anyone and everyone. I personally bought 5, and I have enjoyed placing Smashdown with everyone and anyone with 5mm hands. Everyone needs a Smashdown.
Wolfman Jake: WFC-S28 Jetfire. This figure is an absolute dream come true! We've had a few other modern updates to Jetfire in the past 13 years, one of them being a Voyager sized figure from Classics in 2006, based more on the original toy than the animation model, another being the Leader sized figure from Thrilling 30 about five years ago, which gave us a toy accurate alt mode and a very stylized cartoon-homaging robot mode. (I'm not going to count the Legends figures or the "Cyber Series" figures here.) Siege, though, has given us a nearly perfect cartoon Jetfire (or is it Skyfire?) at long last! He's BIG, a brand new size class, in fact: "Commander Class!" He's fun to transform, with quite a few nifty little tricks. He comes with a ton of accessories, so you can armor him up a la the original toy if you really want to. But, most of all, he looks like he stepped right out of the TV screen and into our figure collections! This figure is gorgeous, hefty, and has a real presence among the rest of the War for Cybertron Trilogy cast. Hasbro and Takara even built in an insignia changing gimmick, so you can have him as a Decepticon scientist/explorer from before the war, or as a new ally to the Autobot forces on Earth, just like in his debut episode in the G1 cartoon, "Fire in the Sky!" If all of that wasn't enough, Jetfire can interact with other Siege figures, acting as an areal transport of sorts for Deluxe class figures. He even has a secret compartment in the cockpit to fit a Titan Master or Prime Master figure! Jetfire has everything you could want in a Transformers figure, in terms of on screen fidelity, solid engineering, quality control, and playability.
Nathaniel Prime: Honestly, while the majority of people would only list one toy that defined this year, I have three, all of which were critical and are equally important to what 2019 meant to a Transformers fan. Those 3 toys are Studio Series Bumblebee Movie Optimus Prime, WFC Siege Omega Supreme, and Masterpiece Beast Wars Megatron. These toys are the utmost best 2019 had to offer, and there is nothing to be disappointed with any of them.
ZeroWolf: There can be only one winner here, and that is War for Cybertron Siege Titan Class Omega Supreme. An fantastic update, oozing with play value and features, sturdy and all around fun.
Stargrave: Rung. Of all the reveals and toys that came as shocks this year, nothing beats Rung. I honestly cheered out loud. I probably teared up like Kirk giving the Spock Eulogy when I saw that reveal, and it's all resonance from the amazing character he was in the comics. Some could say there've been better characters, stronger, better armed, but I can't think of a whole ton that have touched my heart like Rung did towards the end of Lost Light.
Cobotron: WfC - Siege Leader Class Ultra Magnus. This choice has nothing to do with fact or science. It's not based on engineering wonders or innovation in Transformers design. It's all based on feelings. Squishy gooshy nostalgia covered feels from the heart. Second only to Bluestreak, Ultra Magnus is my favorite Autobot. While Combiner Wars Magnus was also an awesome toy and a neat alternate take on the character. I was over joyed to get a traditional City Commander with all the modern articulation and design. The inner figure is great on his own, and only gets better armored up. He is the one figure I have played with the most all year long.
Best comic book issue
Bounti76: Given the glacial pace of the first several issues of the ongoing, I haven't read many comics this year, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the Galaxies series.
ScottyP: Transformers: Galaxies #2 was everything I want in establishing fiction for a new continuity, while the one-shot Transformers '84 #0 actually felt like a heartfelt apology for Regeneration One that showed veteran Transformers writer Simon Furman still has it after all. Unable to pick between the two, I choose both. If you don't like it, petition the other admins to make more rules for these sorts of things
Hats off to Tyler Blesinski, Simon Furman, Livio Ramondelli, Guido Guidi, Jean-Paul Bove, Tom B. Long, Tom Waltz and David Mariotte for these two excellent entries into the Transformers comic book library.
D-Maximal_Primal: Transformers Galaxies #2 - Galaxies has proven to be a very enjoyable series, and my favorite so far was issue 2. For one thing, we got our introduction to the Insecticons, and for the first time ever, this comic made me care for the Insecticons. They are creepy as heck, and their story was both frightening and cool. And then you have the progression of the Constructicon story, and both of them intertwine for form a very good and enjoyable story. I hope Galaxies continues to shine, and I hope the ongoing can take notes from Galaxies as well.
Shout out to the Ghostbusters/Transformers crossover too, that was a fantastic crossover series!
Nathaniel Prime: From what I've read in 2019, I'm not really impressed with alot of what I read. I'm hoping IDW picks up the pace and returns to their former glory with their comic book series. That being said, I would say the Transformers Ghostbusters Crossover comic, particularly the first issue, is what I would say was my favorite comic book issue of the year.
ZeroWolf: While not an issue persay, the Transformers X Ghostbusters crossover was the best TF fiction we've had all year. It treat both franchises with respect and was a joy to read. Ectotron is a great new addition to tf lore.
Stargrave: Hmmm. I'm going to just say Galaxies as a general offshoot. As an idea really. It was just what fans wanted, maybe needed to keep their Transformers comic book fires burning when the mainstream title had them dimming down. For all that Galaxies has brought and intends to bring, my hat's off.
Best Cyberverse Episode
ScottyP: S2 E15, "Wiped Out". Hot Rod, Bumblebee and Cheetor accidentally get involved in a turf war between three rival gangs of surfer bro Sharkticons, each led by a Sharkticon that looks like a Street Shark. I made none of that up. It's totally amazing. Watch this show!
D-Maximal_Primal: Parley - This episode was fun, giving us a look at peace talks between the Bots and Cons, and gave us some fun character moments. It reminded me some of Maccadams from Season 1, with how enjoyable it was and how fun it was to see Bots and Cons actually enjoying each other somewhat. It also ended kinda dark, in contrast to the tone of the rest of the episode, setting up the stuff to come in a pretty memorable way.
Stargrave: Although the series as a whole is not my personal cup of tea, there's Transformers cartoons on the air! And kids like it! That's good news any way you cut it. Cartoons, comics, toys for old, and toys for young; those are all branches of our hobby and when one does well, they all do well. I love that there's an aspect of the brand to appeal to younger fans.
What are you most excited for next year?
William-James88: The Cyberverse deluxe figures. It's really the most novel line of next year when you think about it since the other lines (Generations War for Cybertron and Studio Series) are simply continuing the good work we saw this year. But Cyberverse is getting an overhaul with toys closer to what collectors expect. And since the show designs are based on those G1 evergreen designs, this means we will finally get good toys of those designs. Really looking forward to Megatron most since it's a great take on the G1 design turned tank-former. Plus I feel we are getting really good value with the additional BAF. I usually hate BAF since it has become less of an extra and more of an actual part of the value (meaning a bigger BAF piece will mean a smaller individually packaged figure and vice versa) but here we are getting toys that all have as much to offer in complexity and accessories as the Generations line and yet also come with a bonus piece which you can turn into an extra figure if you get the whole set.
Bounti76: Piranacon. He's expensive to complete, and I don't care for the Japanese names of the figures, but we're getting the last G1 Scramble City style combiner, and he looks great.
ScottyP: I'd like to say Earthrise's modular base play-pattern concept but can't be sure if it will live up to its potential until we see more products. Instead, would like to mention how excited I am for the first official English release of the 1980s Transformers manga. Even if it ends up being terrible it's always fun to see older parts of the brand's fiction recollected and made more accessible to a wider audience.
D-Maximal_Primal: The completion of Studio Series Devastator. This is a figure that I have been eagerly looking forward to, and with 4 of the 8 components in my hands and 2 more to arrive soon, I could not be more excited. I am ready to see this hulking behemoth rise up and fully form up. Bring him on!
Wolfman Jake: One word: Earthrise. I was a bit incredulous when the War for Cybertron Trilogy Siege line was first introduced back in 2018. Figures appeared to get smaller. Some had questionable greebling sculpted in. They had "battle damage" paint apps. But once I got the first wave of Siege in hand, I knew I was in deep. This was the new standard for Transformers toys, and I was excited about getting updates to many of the Classics, Universe, and early Generations toys in my collection. These things look like mini-Masterpieces. Earthrise looks poised to take this new standard and run with it. There isn't a single figure from the first wave of Earthrise that I don't want, and I'm anticipating more reveals in the coming weeks. The sky is the limit right now for Transformers collectors, and I couldn't be happier!
Nathaniel Prime: 2020 will be the turn of the decade, and I'm excited for it to come! As for what's coming, there's just so much to love! To keep it short, I'm super excited for Piranacon, The War for Cybertron Earthrise line, and Studio Series Devastator. And as of this morning, I'm super excited for the Transformers Terminator crossover!
ZeroWolf: Honestly, Earthrise. Siege proved it wasn't just a G1 pretty boy, with new additions and great little surprises (like Smashdown) so I'm hoping Earthrise does the same. Iron Works is a great preview of this and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest. Of course Fortress Maximus also gets his rival next year, which should be a sight to see!
Stargrave: Earthrise most of all but honestly, I can't remember a time where I saw more fan dreams come true. Thrilling 30 was pretty close, but with Powerdashers and Rainmakers and Rung and primo Cyberverse figures hitting the shelves, I'm looking forward to another year of surprises and dreams coming true. Here's to another year of collecting and feeling joy from this awesome hobby.
Cobotron: Earthrise, of course! Most notably, Hoist. Just glad to finally get a neat representation of this figure. Beer belly,weird long legs, and all. And I'm sure we can all anticipate a Trailbreaker from the mold too. Also really looking forward to Cliffjumper and the fact that he finally got his very own mold. And I am excited to see how the A.I.R. Lock system plays out.
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor, or a guest like this week's DecepticonFinishline. These are personal 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.
Top 5 Multiverse Characters We Want to See in the Generations Line
This list continues our theme of toys we would like to see in the generations line, you can find the previous list here.
Multiverse Transformers Characters: It’s hard to define exactly what we’re going for here. I was inspired by figures like Reveal the Shield Lugnut, Revenge of the Fallen Lockdown and Animated Blackout. We were going to exclude G1 characters (because you can’t be “NEO”-G1 if you’re already G1); then we weren’t sure because the original G1 continuity includes Beast Wars/Beast Machines, and I kinda wanted to put Beast Machines Thrust on the list. But including BW/BM on the list mucks it up even more. SO. We decided on characters that appear in universes apart from the original G1 continuity. -Basically, anything except 1980s-G1-Cartoon, Beast Wars, and Beast Machines.
5. Robots in Disguise (2015) Thunderhoof
RiD (2015): The sequel series to my favorite Transformers cartoon (Transformers Prime). When the designs started to show up, I was a bit disappointed- but I understood. It took the Aligned Continuity and altered to appeal to a younger audience. I was going to skip on the whole line, but then I watched a video review for Thunderhoof
What a COOL FREAKING toy! There were a ton of cool Decepticons. Many of which didn’t even get the toy that they deserved (*cough cough but-actually-speaks-loudly-and-clearly* SABERHORN AND GLOWSTRIKE cough*). Thunderhoof stands above the rest, though. Not only for having a satisfying transformation, but because of his altmode. The fact that there hasn’t been a tractor Transformer to this point is absolutely daft. I’d even love to see him in the make-everyone-a-combiner craze. I’ll give you his team later in the list.
4. Armada Sideways
Armada Sideways is kinda like the Darkrai or Beelzemon of Transformers: Super overrated and edgy, but still objectively kinda cool. There have been some unique opportunities, recently, to bring Sideways into the Neo-G1 fold, too.
In Transformers Armada, he operates similar to a Headmaster. We could have gotten a Special Edition (similar to the likes of Arcee/Grotusque) that uses the Groove mold with a remolded chest capable of Titan Masters. AND he would have come with two Titan Masters. Motorbike alt modes aren’t SUPER rare, and there have been some decent opportunities to introduce this important character to the greater part of the Transformers multiverse. I love the Cybertron version of Sideways, as well; while I would settle for
3. Armada Demolisher
There are a lot of Armada characters that I’d love to see in the Neo-G1 fold. ESPECIALLY characters that have specific-full minicon teams attached to them. For example: I’d love to see Armada Jetfire as a Voyager combiner with Comettor and the Space Mini-con team as the gestalt named Requiem. Same with Starscream and the Race Mini-cons as the gestalt Skyboom.
Something similar could have happened with Demolisher. There is a mockup that exists with Demolisher’s head on the Onslaught mold. While the idea of Deluxe-limb-versions of Wreckage and Knockout excite me a little bit more than Demolisher-with-an-Onslaught-body, I would love to see Demolisher crossover into Neo-G1 toys. I would just prefer to see him in an alt-mode a little more true to his strange-and-stubby Armada-proportions.
2. Movie Blackout
This character is one the characters that inspired this list to start with. Blackout, a movie character, crossed over into Transformers Animated fiction AND managed to get a toy out of the deal. How. Freaking. Cool. Is. That?
Blackout is the (second-)most iconic Decepticon in the whole movieverse. Fans love seeing new Blackout toys because his altmode is badass. The craziest part of this is that it could have been done relatively easily already. Let me explain: The most underutilized and underrated mold of the last ten years is the Reveal the Shield Lugnut mold. Not only could you replace the arms and shoulders to make a Neo-G1 Blackout, but that Blackout remold could have been taken to make a Movie(2007-Videogame)+Animated+G1-inspired version of Shockwave. Instead, the Lugnut mold was used once.
I’d love to see all three of the aforementioned characters as remolds of each other in a Voyager-combiner form (could you tell that I like combiners?). Shockwave w/ Deluxe Insecticon limbs; Lugnut w/ Lockdown, Thunderhoof, Oil Slick and Knock Out; and, most importantly, Blackout w/ Barricade, Stinger, Stockade and fourth member. (Or maybe Barricade + the Dreads? Definitely Barricade, though.)
Or just a new, non-combiner, badass assault helicopter. Whatever. I just want a Generations Blackout.
1. Knock Out
I mentioned on this list, already, that Transformers Prime is my favorite of the cartoons. A lot of the characters DO already of G1 counterparts. And, there IS a G1 toy with the name “Knockout;” one word. But, he’s no Knock Out, so who cares.
While, if I had met someone like Knock Out in real life, I would straight-up hate that person, something about the character in Transformers Prime is still relatable. I know that he has been appearing in some of the comics recently. You’ll notice exactly zero Comic-characters on my list. I have nothing against the comics, but I just don’t know anything about them. So I don’t really understand Knock Out’s role in the comics in relation to being Neo-G1.
What I do know is that his TFPrime incarnation is not quite close enough to the G1 aesthetic for me consider it Neo-G1. It’s close. Just not quite there. That is the main reason Knock Out is here as my number 1. It would be an easy transition to Neo-G1; he has a role in the comics; he is a fan-favorite; he isn’t directly battling any existing G1 character for naming rights.
Honorable Mention: Bulkhead:
You’ll notice my whole list is Decepticons. And a lot of the characters on my list have requests built-in for even more Decepticons. That is because a lot of “Multiverse” characters re-use G1 character names. Which is a result of TOO MANY DAMN AUTOBOTS. However, Prime/Animated Bulkhead is worthy of a Neo-G1 incarnation. He was a main player in Animated AND Transformers Prime. He is also (obviously) the inspiration for the movie version of Hound. It took me a while to warm up to his character. But I have, now, and I want to see a Generations release of this character. He has earned it.
Welcome to 2018, Seibertronians! You know what time of the year this is, and you've been patient long enough now. We tickled your appetite with our #Transformersmas challenge round-up just the other day of course, but we have even bigger treats ahead. I'll start by citing our site founder, creator, owner, and gallery supplier (more on that later!) Seibertron when he wrote, in our end of year message here, that...
...2018 will mark the 34th anniversary of the Transformers brand, the 22nd anniversary of Beast Wars, the 13th anniversary of Armada, the 11th anniversary of Bayverse, and the 18th anniversary of Seibertron.com.
Before we reach the ticking of legal voting age (in some places) for our very own community, I think it's definitely time to look back at what has just gone past in 2017, a year with a movie and a series, and a year with endings and continuations, be it movies, shows, comics or toylines, and a year of late beginnings for toys, as Power of the Primes snuck in towards the last two months.
So it's time, once more, to make it...
A Year in Review - Transformers 2017
The best accompaniment to this several course meal, of course, is a glass of Energon Champagne, as provided by the Twincast Podcast episode 191 - which you can download and read about here. For an appetizer, you may want to look back at what we were discussing this time last year, too. As for the courageous plotters joining us on this sidequest through time, loop or not loop, here they are, in all their avatar-esque glory:
The Pedigree Podcasters
The Mature Mutts
The categories, as you might remember, are as follows:
Favorite 2017 Transformers: Robots in Disguise/Adventure/Rescue Bots
Favorite 2017 Transformers: None of the Above Figure
Favorite 2017 Transformers Masterpiece Figure
...and now: Figure of the Year 2017
Favorite 2017 Transformers Comics-moment
Favorite 2017 Transformers Show-moment
Favorite 2017 Transformers Game-moment
Favourite 2017 fan creation: art, custom, video, comic, fiction
...and now: Moment of the Year 2017
What are you looking forward to in 2018 for Transformers?
And with all that groundwork out of the way, it's about time we got into the meatier stuff. Ready? Let's go!
Favorite 2017 Transformers: The Last Knight / TLK
Bronzewolf - The Last Knight Toyline's terrible, terrible distribution has been complained about by many people (including myself) the world over, and not without reason. I along with many STILL have wave 1 clogging up the shelves of every major retailer, so TLK purchases for me have been few and far between. I did, however, get the two Deluxes I most wanted out of the line for Christmas: Cogman and Wave 3 Bumblebee. To be completely honest, I can't pick a favorite. They are both so extremely good in their own way that it's really hard to pick a favorite. Cogman is immaculately detailed, in some cases unnecessarily so, with paint apps that make his raised price point completely worth it, and the fact he can actually be a car and hold two Titan Masters in his (completely stunning and spotless) Aston mode is just icing on the cake.
Bumblebee, on the other hand, just rocks both his robot and vehicle mode, and truly looks like you peeled him off the screen. The quintessential Deluxe Movie 'Bee in my opinion. If I had to nitpick, my two issues with Bee are that his feet can unpeg and become floppy easily, and his doors pop off their sockets often and are starting to become just a little stressed.
william-james88 - Cogman. While the new voyager molds were all really solid, it was Cogman which showed how advanced the movie toys had gotten. He does the best job at showing totally new robot mode detail while hiding as much alt mode kibble in an elegant fashion. And he even gets to have a whole cockpit area in vehicle mode where 2 Titan Master figures can ride. I also want to give major props to deluxe Hot Rod which turned that lackluster Lockdown mold into something I would highly recommend owning.
Seibertron - My favorite figure from The Last Knight is none other than Deluxe Cogman. I loved that the figure served multiple purposes. On the surface, he was a pretty decent representation of a Transformers character, who never actually transformed in the movie. It represented the strengths and the flaws of the movies. I found the character both intriguing and annoying, entertaining and boring. My opinions about Cogman were much like The Last Knight ... all ... over ... the ... board. Yet, the toy won me over because of it's multi-faceted roles as an appropriate looking representation of Cogman, then as a Titans Return crossover figure, then as an interesting side-note for the movie franchise since Cogman was supposed to have a big scene as a Headmaster where he ripped off a Decepticon's head and transformed into the head of that body (so said Michael Bay to a group of us), and then the fact that his head transformed basically gave us an in-scale version of Cogman that was more-or-less Human sized. Toss in the fact that he could ride in himself, the only thing that was missing was some electronics that enabled us to play Cogman's favorite song by Ludacris.
D-Maximus_Prime - The Last Knight was definitely a mixed bag when it came to the figures it put out. The deluxes on the whole were generally lackluster, the leaders were a very mixed bag, the new legions were actually very cool and well done, and some of the simpler guys were not bad either (I picked up almost every Megatron toy!). But to me the best class of TLK was the voayger assortment. 5 new molds, and each one was very good in its own right. And I had a tough time narrowing it down. One of them was bound to be figure of the year, but that meant that 4 others had to fight for TLK figure of the year. and after careful thought and seeing what others are saying...
Voyager Scorn. Ok look, I love dinobots, and Scorn had the best dinobot figure of Age of Extinction for me. And then, despite not even being in the movie, he got the only new dinobot mold for The Last Knight. and it is a killer. The dino mode is huge and detailed! The transformation is fun and intuitive! The robot mode is a beast! And the paint work is perfect.
Believe me, Megatron, Hound, and Nitro Zeus fought for this spot, but I feel Scorn needed the love he rightfully deserves.
Sigma Magnus - Tough choice, as I didn't pick up much from this line. All I really have are the Voyagers, and each of them after wave one knocked it out of the park! Hound has loads of personality, Megatron is charismatic and intimidating (and surprisingly better than the Leader version), and Nitro Zeus is just as good as people say he is. However, my award has to go to Scorn. He's massive for a Voyager, and both his modes are imposing and badass. Despite an annoying transformation step in the shoulders, he's fun to play with too.
Bounti76 - While I LOVED Voyager Megatron, and his intuitive transformation, along with his excellent altmode kibble integration, I HAVE to go with Voyager Scorn for this one. Just a hulking BRUTE in both modes. A fantastic robot mode- very solid looking and imposing, while being amazingly poseable. Then, you get into (finally) movie-accurate Spinosaurus mode and daaaaaaaamn. HUGE. Solid. Looks like he sailed right off the screen from AOE (though he's a TLK toy). Outclasses and is light years ahead of the other Dinobot Voyager molds we got. He's the best of what the Bayverse Dinobots (and figures in general) should be. While there are a compromise or two in the figure, the rest of what he is just makes them not matter one bit.
megatronus - If there was one thing I was looking forward to after the disaster of The Last Knight, it was a non-awful Leader Megatron, and boy, did Leader Megatron deliver non-awfulness. This, by the way, was no guarantee - movie-style Megatrons have historically been stronger as voyagers and, indeed, the two strongest voyagers in the line, Nitro and Scorn, both came very close to taking the top spot from Megs. But, between his stunning jet mode, involved transformation, and robot mode articulation (ankle tilts!!!), it's hard for me to demur. The interchangeable face plate gimmick and the excellently molded dual-purpose flame accessories put him over the top.
Burn - I dunno, this is a hard one. I felt the bulk of the line was a big disappointment, poor distribution didn't help either.
I guess the two that stood out for me was Voyager and Leader Megatron. When pictures first emerged, I was excited! They both looked fantastic, in-hand, they didn't quite live up to the hype I'd built up in my head.
WreckerJack - To be honest, I have not picked up any figures from this line yet. Though I do have my eye on leader class Megatron and voyager Hound. Megatron for the spooky cool factor, he looks like a total beast. Hound because I have a taste for all things fire and rescue. I know a Mercedes Unimog tactical vehicle isn't exactly an ambulance or firetruck but that will set Hound apart from other figures in my fire and rescue collection.
Qwan - I have no doubt that Deluxe Sqweeks and Voyager Nitro Zeus will receive their share of love in this section, but I find myself instead singing the praises of a slightly greener 'bot - Voyager Hound. With a perfectly-balanced transformation more complex than Sqweeks and more intuitive than Nitro, a fantastic-looking mode at each end (a significant improvement over his hardly-screen-accurate AoE toy), and even a few fun little extras like his removable helmet, is it really any wonder that this characterful little chunk of plastic has won me over this year?
ScottyP - My pick is Deluxe Sqweeks and to be completely frank, I'm picking this just because I know others on the staff will pick Nitro Zeus and give that toy the love it deserves. Sqweeks is one very good Transformers toy, and one that does a lot when you'd think it has no right to be much of anything. Instead of blindly following conventional business wisdom and making a smaller toy in the same package that costs the same as other bigger toys in the same package, Sqweeks includes a "trailer" accessory that not only turns into a mini-battle station/repair bay like base, it also gives ample room to store the other accessories and optional arm configuration pieces that are included. Top this off with plastic that's lovely ABS with the glossy sheen and finish that evokes memories of another time and you get one of the diamonds in the rough of what was overall a pretty lackluster product selection for The Last Knight.
Favorite 2017 Transformers: Titans Return/Takara Legends in which no one agrees and that is great stuff except for the editor
Burn - Triggerhappy. By gawd this is one hell of a figure. I simply cannot fault him.
But, the biggest surprise for me came in the form of Windblade. Character wise, I despise her. But this figure is brilliant. She's solid, unlike her previous toy incarnations. Pulls off some fantastic poses and is just fun all round.
Triggerhappy is still better though.
Sigma Magnus - The Headmaster gimmick is one of my favorites, as there's an odd satisfaction to having little pilots for the vehicles. I liked Quake more than anticipated and I can't wait to get Twin Twist to go with Topspin. Trypticon was one of the figures I was looking forward to the most, and he is an great toy, but he's on the repair table until further notice thanks to a missing ramp and a broken hip. Overall, Titans Return has had a lot of amazing figures, but Triggerhappy still stands out as one of the best Deluxes ever. A great robot mode (with optional gunhands), a fun transformation, and an awesome-looking starfighter altmode all cement it as one of my all-time favorites.
Bronzewolf - So, I'm figuring everyone is going to say Trypticon, and he is an awesome toy, far better than Fort Max, last year's Titan Class offering. So, to vary it up a little, I'll pick somebody smaller: Sky Shadow. He's an awesome package of bad-ass attitude (Bad assitude?) who can just ruthlessly beat down anybody in his way. He's so evil, I just love it. He's probably the TR toy I had the most fun playing with this year, although Windblade and Brawn are close seconds.
WreckerJack - Oh man, that is tough. This has been my favorite line for the fact that it is very consistent and I like to headswap. Naturally, I can't get enough Titan Masters. I must say that Sky Shadow stands out to me the most. He's an amazing looking figure and has many modes. I really wish he got featured more because he just looks so cool! Though I know I can always make up my own stories for fun. Perceptor and Windblade are also favorites of mine because of them being some of my favorite characters and how well detailed they are as figures.
Bounti76 - While I was sorely tempted to go for a figure of a character we hadn't gotten in any form (Kre-O doesn't count to me) for 30+ years (Misfire or Full-Tilt), or one no one ever expected to get at ALL (Arcee and Daniel as her head), I'm instead going with an out-of-nowhere choice of ...Shuffler?? Yes, Shuffler. A VERY obscure figure, but one who I keep picking up, posing, putting on different bodies, transforming from elephant to tank to missile launcher... basically, all the things you do with toys you love. He's got the best integration of all the individual Titan Masters in any mode, and his headsculpt is one that looks great on almost any body. His retool of Ramhorn works just as well.
Counterpunch - Titans Return Topspin - There is a lot of good in this little package. Topspin does just about everything right. The transformation is smooth, the feature integration is spot on, and the character representation is effectively perfect. While Topspin was not a traditional Headmaster, it matters very little here. Hell, the character may as well have been one with as good as this toy is. So good in fact, that it has displaced my third party rendition of the character in my mind and shelves.
While Topspin had some moments in the comics, he was always at best a third-string entry. In many ways, the character was defined by the original G1 toy. This toy takes that task to heart and gives us a newer, better, and more interesting take on Topspin. Bravo.
Seibertron - While I am frustrated by the line-wide gimmicks that I feel destroy the essence and look of some characters that should never have been Headmasters (such as Galvatron), I was oddly surprised by some of my favorites that came out of the line that also should never have been Headmasters. Aside from seeing the main Autobot and Decepticon Headmasters receiving a modern (and appropriate) update after all of this time (thank you Hasbro and Takara Tomy), I have to say that Perceptor is probably my favorite even though I didn't like that he was a Headmaster. The toy just looks great. Plus he transforms into a "working" microscope, and the Titan Master being able to ride in the "tank mode" is a really nice nod back to the Microchange lineage of the Transformers brand.
megatronus - There were so many highlights amongst the Titans Return line - excellent deluxes, two titans, leader phase sixers - it can be hard to see achievement in the vanilla, pretool heavy series of TR voyagers. But Octane stands out. Of the triple changers, he has the distinction of streamlining all 3 modes: total bruiser of a robot mode, convincing tanker, and a wacky jet (the weakest of the 3 options, but more than adequate). The robot mode has the additional bonus of being surprisingly coherent, with less greebling and more striking highlights than his compatriots. Add a set of robot wings and a blaster or two, and I can't put him down.
Qwan - Titans Return, as a whole, has really knocked the ball out of the park. Picking just one figure to be "the best" is nigh-impossible, with multiple exemplary figures in every size-class all vying for attention. In the end though, my vote has to go to Voyager Blitzwing, for being a shining example of everything the line had to offer. A great Headmaster, with somewhere new and sensible for the Titan Master to go in every mode; a great triple-changer, with three distinct and appealing modes and fun conversions between them; even a great (p)retool base, also yielding my favorite Classics-style Megatron toy in recent years from the same mold. Everything that Titans Return was, Blitzwing is, and to me that makes him the cream of the crop this year.
D-Maximus_Prime - Also a very hard category. The deluxes in this line were fantastic, and I loved the leaders. But if one had to stand above the rest, I would need to say God Ginrai.
This was one that had a very peculiar set of circumstances behind me getting him. When the Siege on Cybertron set was revealed, I loved the looks of the set and the figures in it, and if I was going to have a Ginrai, I wanted Godbomber. So I picked up one of the last ones from BBTS and shipped him with the boxset. And I have loved it. They are both pretty good separate, and the combined vehicle mode is lots of fun too. But the combined robot mode is so awesome. He stands tall, and he has been fun to play with. He was one of my go to bots to mess with for a solid 2 months, and he still stands proud on my shelf, waiting for me to get an apartment/house where he can have more space to stretch out.
This guy is loads of fun, a great pickup. I would never have gotten him had the Siege set not happened, and I am glad it did.
Favorite 2017 Transformers: Robots in Disguise/Adventure/Rescue Bots
Qwan - I'd hesitate to call myself an RiD "collector", but though I only picked up a few releases here and there, one particular catch from the tail-end of the year really stood out to me: Warrior Class Thermidor just oozes quality in every way but the literal. His vehicle mode, clearly resembling the most stylish of stylish cars - or, if you'd rather, very Batmobile-esque. His robot mode, wonderfully creative, characterful and inspired (with a side note that his head looks suitably lobstery without resorting to the weird googly-eyes-on-stalks thing that Bisk had going). His transformation, economical and highly effective, with a touch of the sublime in his genius claw conversion. All tied together with luscious blue plastic and (of all things) matte black paint that happens to feel wonderful, and you have a toy that screams pure quality in a way that you mightn't expect a mass-retail toy to deliver, let alone one from the "children's line".
Counterpunch - Robots in Disguise Thermidor - In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king. RiD has been treated shamefully. The 2017 releases have been scattered, inaccessible, and largely made little to no sense. Thermidor, while merely a redeco of Bisk, is at least a show accurate character. He's blue. He's a lobster-man. You probably couldn't find him in stores. He's pretty good and Hasbro should have treated him and the line with more respect.
ScottyP - There is really not much to pick from here. Most of the tail end of Robots in Disguise had its potential squandered by the painfully not good Crash Combiner gimmick, leaving maybe a handful of Warrior Class releases out there to pick up the slack for collectors. With Adventure dead, and Rescue Bots floundering with the Flip Racers imprint, it falls to this small assortment when picking the best of this area of the brand.
This limited selection is my way of defending the choice of a repaint of a 2016 figure as my choice for favorite in this lineup: Thermidor. Featuring a new head sculpt, the Warrior Class Bisk base mold is given a brilliant blue makeover that looks really great in-hand. Additionally, this helps expand the very lacking ranks of Decepticons in the line. One more Scavenger is always a good thing, so please, please, pleeeeease bring on Clampdown and Clawtrap before RiD is sent out to pasture entirely.
That's not happening, is it?
Seibertron - There have been some fantastic figures that have come out of this Transformers product line, that sadly seems to get overlooked by a lot of fans. It was fun to see some new introductions like Twinferno, but I think I've got to go with Bludgeon, just because he's been one of my favorite characters for almost 30 years (thanks to Simon Furman making a not that great Pretender into an extremely memorable character). Yes, Bludgeon is technically a "repaint" from Blastwave and a "retool" from Megatronus, but I'm really happy with him as Bludgeon. Here's hoping we get a Generations Bludgeon at some point. Honorable mention: Thermidor needs some love since he was originally shown without a retooled head. It was nice to see him get his own noggin' separate from Bisk. Both are characters that I never thought we'd see in toy form. But Bludgeon would put both of their heads on spikes, so he wins.
william-james88 - Windchill the Yeti Bot. I cannot believe it, there is now an actual Transforming Yeti. I am a big fan of Cryptozoology and this was just awesome to now have as part of the iconic franchise/brand. Its also fun that his alt mode is a snowmobile, works well with the arctic theme. This was part of the Arctic Rescue sets and I must admit of all the Rescue Bots stuff I have seen so far, these sets are some of the best due to the level of interaction you could get. It reminded me (especially the Bumblebee one) of the Microman revival of the new millennia where you could remove parts of one animal and fuse them with another.
Seibertron - I've collected Rescue Bots since the beginning. While I have an immense amount of respect for the TV show, it's not for me, but many of the kids in mine and my wife's families have grown up with them before graduating onto something else. The Rescue Bots toyline has intrigued me since Hasbro demonstrated the concept to my wife and I at BotCon 2010. Many of you might not know this, but each of the original Rescue Bots transformation of the Rescue Bots main figures encourage different motor skills from kids, whether it's a push-and-pull, a lever, spinning, or other simple transformation schemes that utilize basic motor skills for children. The lighthearted, basic style of the Rescue Bots that are also "cutesy" and simple is just fun to have as part of my massive collection.
So that's a lot of me writing to basically say that I really don't have a favorite Rescue Bots figure this year. I feel like the uniquely American toyline from Hasbro's Playskool division might have finally jumped the shark this year, with dragons and other unnecessary versions of these characters while not having many updates to the main cast that you must have. With that said, if I had to choose, I'd say Brushfire. He's a new character, has an interesting half-track ATV alt-mode that we don't see too often, and even has a Mini-Con partner bear named Sequoia. Runner-up would be the very interesting looking Optimus Prime that has a very stylized helmet, unique alt-mode, and more-or-less a Diaclone color scheme.
william-james88 - 2016 was just such a better year for Robots in Disguise when it came to the warrior class. In comparison 2017 didn't have as much ingenuity and freshness in designs. But I did like that Soundwave. Of course the arms in alt mode are hard to ignore but he is still very gun to mess around with (fun transformation) and I always love seeing the evolution of character designs. This was a new take on Soundwave, one of my favourite characters, and the design borrowed from previous elements while also making him new and distinctive from any previous version.
Sigma Magnus - Warrior Soundwave wins by default, as he's the only RiD toy I have at the moment. He's not the best, but I still think he's pretty fun and has a good deal of personality.
WreckerJack - Warrior class Soundwave and Blurr for sure. I really like the clear plastic that was used in each of these figures. For Soundwave there is even a variant where he is either wearing a mask or has a fully clear faceplate. Blurr looks very cute and friendly so he's got kid appeal, but older fans can appreciate the smoothness of his race car design as well as the awesome clear gun.
Bounti76 - While not a huge fan of the show, I did pick up a figure or three now and then. The first one I was really intrigued by, and bought on sight, was Blurr. While not looking anything like previous Blurrs, he still had callbacks to them with the blue and white color scheme. He was something of a shellformer, but had enough unique bits in his transformation to make him fun to switch back and forth. And while I'm not a huge fan of translucent plastic being used for anything but light piping, I really enjoyed his weapon and headsculpt, which both use it, but with completely non-gimmicky (to me) results.
D-Maximus_Prime - So Robots in Disguise did not have a great year. The warriors were sort of lackluster and there was a larger focus on the Crash Combiners and Teams Combiners. I will say I did enjoy both combiner classes a lot, despite the criticism they got. They are fun things, especially the team combiners. which leads me to my pick.
Team Combiner Ultra Bee. The team combiners did something fairly unique: they were full 4/5 bot combiners that had robot modes, alt modes, and combiner modes, and were still fairly cheap to get. They were no combiner wars figures, but they were still quite good. They are a sort of new brand of G1 combiner, which is not a terrible thing. And Ultra Bee was so cool just because of how unique he is. He's a 4 bot combiner, 5 if they had counted Drift as the sword for the toy. His CG model was really cool and became my profile pic. He had a Dinobot, a Bumblebee, a pun for an arm, and a targetmaster of sorts. He had both male and female bots as components. And the toy was really cool, and is still fun to fiddle with. Grimlock's transformation into bottom half mode is quite cool and simple, and it is fun to transform Bee into torso mode too. The set had a lot going for it, and I greatly appreciate the love and effort they put into him.
Favorite 2017 Transformers: None of the Above Figure
ScottyP - 2017 was the year that "Classics" styled Transformers lines fully pivoted from re-imagining characters in creative, fun, new ways to recreating G1 toys while adding articulation. I am not a fan of this direction.
Out of protest, I'm choosing LG-EX Magna Convoy. A redeco that was in-demand for 11 years finally arrived, complete with an awesome sword, beautiful box art, appropriately placed chrome, and Convobat's butt. This felt like a treat and was a winner from start to finish. Even the full-sized pack-in comic has fun from the first page to the last. If this is a send-off for this mold, then it's the most appropriate one I can imagine. Thanks for 11 years of fun Transformers adventures, Classics Optimus Prime mold!
But I'll also mention MB-EX Laserbeak. Despite Dark of the Moon coming out at a time when Bumblebee repaints were so numerous they became a fandom joke, this on-screen representation of how the murderous Laserbeak enjoys spending his afternoon tea time was never released as a figure - until this year.
william-james88 - I LOVE the Movie the Best line from Takara. It gave me all those movie toys I wanted by either finally existing or being affordable. We finally got a voyager ROTF Megatron in colours that werent turguoise (gorgeous silver paint instead) and I finally got my hands on an authentic human alliance Soundwave which came in a fully painted alt mode. But best of all, and this is my pick for this category, MB 11 Leader Optimus Prime finally gave me the very best version of the ROTF mold. All I had before this was the original with the annoying flip out swords and lackluster deco. But at a very affordable cost, MB 11 gave me a gorgeously painted leader Prime, with separate accessories (rather than flip our swords, making the transformation much more enjoyable) with articulated hands and the retooled abdominal along with the brass knuckle accessory Prime uses to crush Soundwave, an accessory that previous to this was only available in a $270 release from Hasbro Asia. I was so worried I had waste money buying this toy when a new MPM Optimus prime was coming out but this turned out to be the better purchase, by a long shot.
D-Maximus_Prime - I'm going to pull a 2016 Counterpunch here with my pick: Chaos on Velocitron Laser Prime. I am considering this an "other" since it was a specialty boxset, and I really want this figure to be in here somewhere. I did not get the original figure, but when I got the boxset, I fell in love with it. A black and red Prime is so cool, the tanker sticker was awesome, and the figure overall screams how awesome a choice it was. It is a fun mold, the best besides Alpha Trion from Titans Return, and I love everything about it. It is a go to figure for me to play with.
Grotusque is a close 2nd place. I loved the Monsterbots we got. It was a hard choice between him and Laser Prime.
william-james88 - I also particularly liked the Chaos on Velocitron set. Especially the Laser Prime which went all out, even including a giant sticker of Optimus burning down a forest. Its just fun seeing an homage done so right and while the airplane mode isn't great, it can easily be ignored and wont interfere with the other two striking modes. He is one of the few toys I just couldn't put down. And I love that it was part of this very affordable set which could easily have been double the price or more if it were a Botcon exclusive. I really like what Hasbro did with these sets and I hope to see more in the future. Also, for some odd reason, I was able to enjoy that Sixshot mold far more as Quickswitch, which had a more premium feel to me.
Bronzewolf - I think my top POTP figure would honestly be Legend Beachcomber! It's nice to have a complete set of updated '85 Mini-bots, and he's just really fun to just drift around. A ton of the other fiugres in this first wave are really enjoyable, (See: Slash, the Prime masters, Dinobots) but Beachcomber's the best.
Bounti76 - I have to go with POTP Slash for this one. Even while being a big-time collector of fembot figures, and a lover of the Dinobots since childhood, I was intrigued by this figure for a number of reasons. She's tiny, but this works in multiple ways: her altmode is a tiny dinosaur, and as a tracker, she needs to be small and lithe to do her job effectively. She's quite poseable in robot mode, but a bit front heavy in raptor mode (her only drawback, in my opinion). But the clincher for me is the fact that her deco and figure homage the G1 Dinobots so well with the clear plastic and gold underneath, and even her transformation is G1-esque to the point that she fits right in with the other Dinobots and looks like she's always belonged there.
Counterpunch - POTP Leader Optimus - Who'd have thought an Optimus Prime toy would make my list? No one because I haven't been active enough this year for anyone to pay attention to any commentary I have. Regardless, this toy is outstanding. Now, I couldn't give a crap about Orion Pax as he is presented in the Sunbow style here. I'd honestly prefer and IDW-ish Orion or simply a nicer cab-to-Optimus figure. Still, the evolution gimmick here runs its course well and the toy itself is pretty good (alt mode gaps aside). Where we shine and I mean...really truly shine, is in the full Optimus Prime combined form.
This figure has personality to spare and I don't even understand how. It has shelf presence and heroic proportions...and a head tilt that is so full of charm you'll mistake it for me with three sheets to the wind.
megatronus - I'm a sucker for a black Prime, and the Leader Prime retooled from Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus is sexy as all heck in black. His packaging is original and slick, and that rail gun accessory - it's to die for. And that name! Primitive Prime all the way.
Seibertron - Some of you who really know me might think my pick for this category is really odd, but it seems to continue my trend of picking things that conflict with other opinions I have on this list. As some of you might know from listening to me on the Seibertron.com Twincast / Podcast, I dropped off the Transformers comic bandwagon for the first time ever after collecting them ever since 1984 ... and it was all because of what happened with the Hasbro Universe, as I strongly disliked how it was handled. However, this year's San Diego Comic-Con Revolution set that finally presented the IDW Hasbro Universe in toy form from the IDW comics, was a nice nod to fans. I still think the Hasbro Universe would have been much better off with a slow build to introduce this idea to all of us, and a toyline to go along with the comics. I've always wanted to see 3.75" human action figures alongside the mainline Transformers, and this finally accomplishes it. No Human Alliance silly scaled humans. I like my toys to be scaled, but not religiously scaled. Sometimes, just "hey this toy is bigger than another toy" is all you need. Smaller humans standing alongside larger robots is cool. It was a nice set and I give Hasbro kudos for bringing it to market. Here's hoping that the concept gets expanded further... and the Hasbro Universe stories improved.
Favorite 2017 Transformers Masterpiece Figure
D-Maximus_Prime - MP-37 Artfire. I have heard great things about this mold from the get go with Inferno, but my thing with MPs: I only want 1 per mold, and they have to mean something to me, really stick out to me. And Artfire has done all of that.
The paintwork is fantastic with this guy, he is flawless! The truck mode is a thing of beauty, and the ladder magic is all I hoped it would be. He is a fun Masterpiece to mess with, helped of course by Nightstick, who is a great little targetmaster in his own right, and a great partner to Artfire. And the paint work on Artfire makes him look far more detailed than he is, he doesn't look flat like Inferno and Grapple did. He is the best version of this mold.
Out of 3 new MPs and an old one I got this year, bringing my MP total to 5, He is the best.
Bounti76 - This one was tough. While Megatron is a strong contender, I also don't own him and haven't seen or handled him in person. He looks amazing in both modes, while having an insanely complex transformation, so while I may or may not get him in the future, that might throw me off a bit.
So while I'm waiting for Sunstreaker to show up (which might have been my favorite), I'm going to go with Artfire as my pick. He's got a great deco, probably the best of the Inferno/Grapple/Artfire/(Hauler??) mold, with multiple beautiful tampographs, and a color scheme that really makes the figure and the details of the mold pop. He looks great in either mode, and the inclusion of the best MP Targetmaster mold (to date) is icing on the cake.
ScottyP - Artfire because it's a cop-out answer so I can use something else in the next one. It's a fun mold, this redeco is very very good looking, and the new Targetmaster included is one of the best small figures that's ever been executed.
Seibertron - MP-38 Beast Wars Convoy Legendary Leader Version was a really nice redo of MP-32 Beast Convoy. I loved the classic Beast Wars Ultra Class Optimus Primal toy elements that were given to this toy to make it stand on its own merits from MP-32. The original toy version of this character in 1996 was a really great toy, and it is still one of my all-time favorite Transformers toys, despite it's simplicity. It represented many things to me and to see it in an updated toy form brings back many nostalgic feelings and memories to me.
MP-36 was a partial mess in robot mode to me. I just couldn't get over the problems with the upper shoulders and his backside, though I would have been much more forgiving of his backside. There needed to be some panels or something to cover up that mess. It's a "Masterpiece" figure. I can't forgive issues like that on a toy we've for which been waiting so long.
MP-35 Grapple and MP-37 Artfire also deserve nods because they have beautiful and well thought out transformations that I didn't find frustrating. I love the ladder magic of the Inferno mold.
However, MP-38 Beast Wars Convoy Legendary Leader Version just tugged at the right cords with me, so he wins this nomination from yours truly.
megatronus - Continuing the MP Beast Wars line with Cheetor was delightful, as is the new, smaller size movie Bumblebee. But really, they are a distant seconds to the biggest big bad of them all: Megatron. As someone who started collecting again with the goal of collecting ONLY Megatrons (boy, has time changed my tune), this is a figure I've wanted for years --- and he delivers. His articulation, accessories, and general expressiveness are an engineering achievement of the highest order, and it's clear these were intended to aid in reenactments of Transformers: The Movie scenes. The only drawback is that I will never, ever transform him - but I can cope.
william-james88 - This sucks. You see I am getting the Masterpiece Megatron rerelease at the very begginig of 2018. I had first passed on it since it was simply out of my price range and I had been burnt on previous attempts to a masterpiece (styled) Megatron. I didn't want to jump the gun (ha!) again. But what I have been hearing made me regret not getting him sooner. In any case compared to my other options (like Cheetor) I would rather go down in history as saying that Megatron is the best MP toy of 2017.
Bronzewolf - For the first time in years, I actually have two MPs to choose from! The brand new Hasbro MP-10 TRU release, and Mp-12+, and I have to go with Optimus just because of how significant he is to me. This is my first MP Optimus and first experience with the MP-10 mold after years of pining for him. I can finally fill that very large hole in my collection. (It helps that he's an incredible figure.)
Counterpunch - Frankly, I don't think it's fair to put any other figure in this place. Trypticon is the figure of the year because not only does he do everything right, but the size and scope of the project he represents has to be rewarded for what it is.
Trypticon is the G1 figure, minus the walking feature, but plus 30 years of design, development, and engineering. He's detailed, retains much of the play pattern, and somehow incorporates useful articulation into the sizable frame. He comes with stickers, that while not perfect, are a great margin better than Metroplex or Fort Max. He has a delightful integration of the Titan Master gimmick and three perfectly functional modes. Not only is this figure a treat for collectors, but I can attest to it enduring play with a 3 year old and being absolutely engaging for him.
I'd be remiss not to mention the design flaw that plagued the initial discussions of this toy, but to be honest, I had forgotten about it until now. It's a bummer that a number of people in the first days of this toy had issues. It's even worse that so many wen through with "fixes" that amounted to bad surgery on a problem that had far simpler fixes. Still, the vast majority of us had good figures or ones that could be corrected with small effort.
Trypticon continues in the pattern of outstanding city-bot figures from Hasbro and Takara. I hope this pattern is encouraged and continued with an Omega Supreme in the near future.
Qwan - Like some others, my choice for Figure of the Year doesn't align with any of my previous top picks. While Blitzwing was, for me, the height of what Titans Return achieved, Titan-Class Trypticon was a monumental toy in every regard - for what he was and what he represented. Not only the best Titan-class cityformer we've had so far in the Generations superline, he also assuaged any fears after Fort Max that we wouldn't get entirely new molds for our cityformer updates even when they were sorely needed, paving the way for new-mold Titans at least occasionally and restoring fans' dwindling confidence in the size class. He also has a bit of personal meaning for me - being an early-bird in getting him upon release more or less gave me my "in" to the Seibertron community, both with my reviews of the toy's good aspects, and my admittedly slash-and-burn approach to fixing early runs' major QC issues - so with that Tryp tips the scales to become my favourite Transformers toy of 2017.
Seibertron - Trypticon is truly an amazing figure that we probably shouldn't even have in our collections. I never thought we'd get an update of Trypticon as anything other than a Leader Class toy, and wasn't expecting a massive Titan Class version of him, even though I've wanted one since Generations Titan Class Metroplex. Sorry Perceptor, I think Trypticon has to take the top spot. While I picked Perceptor as my favorite main line Titans Return figure, I picked Trypticon overall because we'll get more Perceptors. However, at the rate we're going with Trypticon toys, this could be the only properly done Trypticon we get until 2048.
william-james88 - There were remarkable toys this year but none really stood out in the retail toys. RID didnt have much to offer this year and while Titans Return Kup and Topspin were fun, they do have some issues. Even Trypticon who doesnt do anything wrong still didn't wow me due to him being exactly what I thought he would be (and also due to having a shorter digestive track than I imagined). But there is one toy that came out early enough and that just still looks as awesome and imposing: Titans Return Sky Shadow. He just oozes cool. Even for those who don't know the character, the design and colour scheme are undeniably stylish. He just looks intense and a Decepticon truly worthy of being in the highest ranks. The transformation was simple but clever and all modes look great. The chunkiness also reminds me of the Cybertron era, but with today's articulation, it's awesome! I like him even better than Overlord, a toy we have been waiting age for, since this seems like an evolution in design (which I always like) rather than simply just doing G1 with articulation (which often ends up rather dull). And its really awesome that this Sky Shadow is a Hasbro exclusive this time around (at the time of writing this). My runner up was TLK Voyager Megatron, what an excellent Transformers toy.
megatronus - I was not expecting pre-tooled Overlord to beat Overlord, but Sky Shadow is that good. Like Octane amongst the triple changers, Sky Shadow is the most streamlined of the phase sixers. This, combined with Sky Shadow's ease of transformation and the most outstanding play pattern in the entire Titans Return line, clinches it for this dark horse. MP36 Megatron comes close, but while I value his superior ability to pose and admire, I prioritize play in this category. Further, Octane is right there with Sky Shadow, but the Leader compares more favorably when considering competing figure lines. Plus, did I mention the Club intended to redeco him as Energon Megatron? Sky Shadow for the win.
ScottyP - MP-36 Megatron because duh. I know, you're too proud to use instructions, and you're getting old like me and remembering a bajillion steps gets harder all the time, but let's ignore that - the objectively right answer for this category is MP Megatron "2.0". This toy is in-scale with other Masterpiece figures in robot mode, amazingly engineered, packed with accessories, infinitely expressive, and just plain cool. Among those accessories are weathered, damaged chest and face pieces that, along with the included handgun and some smart shoulder articulation, let you put Megatron in the exact pose he waited an eternity to be in. It's over, Prime :Hot Rod jumps in to cut off the Furmanism:
Bronzewolf - Same as above, MP-10. He's just perfect, and is the penultimate Optimus Prime figure. Everything that could be said about him has been said, and I'm just glad to finally own him.
D-Maximus_Prime - TLK Nitro Zeus. It was always going to be him for me. For one thing, he is a fully original toy and character, and he got a very solid jet toy. His undercarriage blends into his overall jet mode, so you would really need to look to pick out the robot parts if you didn't know what the robot mode looked like. And the transformation is insane! The fact that his arms are the nosecone and thrusters yet the rest of the bot is symmetrical is insane. He is fun to swoosh around, and he has a cool looking robot mode.
But what really puts him over the top for me is his customability. His head is on a titan master port, so you can take his head off and swap in Titan Masters. His cockpit was designed for that purpose! The titan master can even ride inside the cockpit in robot mode too, so you can have a full time partner, like the Siege on Cybertron Thunderwing. Apeface is also a great looking head on him. He has so much potential for so many fun things regarding movie figures, transformation, and Titans Return and even Power of the Primes compatibility. He does everything for me, and he is the best of the year.
Bounti76 - Scorn. By a mile. Possibly the best Bayverse figure there is.
WreckerJack - I would probably have to say the leader class Megatron from TLK. It defines 2017 not only because of the movie but as one of the best looking Megatron figures of all time. I like how the design makes him look like an absolute monster, especially his mask.
Burn - Triggerhappy. Just deal with it!
For those of you still with us, here's a brief break, before delving into our Transformers media compilation!
And now, on with the show!
Favorite 2017 Transformers Comics-moment
Bounti76 - The entirety of Till All Are One. From the first page of the first issue, until the last page of the annual ( ), Maighread Scott, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Joana Lafuente and Tom Long created a masterpiece of a series that I couldn't wait to read every month. From shining a light on more obscure characters (Greenlight, Lancer, Lightbright) and bringing Prime characters (Knock Out and his husband-in-universe Breakdown, Airachnid) in so organically, I just devoured the series. And the unexpected moments that just knocked the breath out of you: Starscream's true self being revealed, his confession in the annual and seeing his face literally and figuratively light up with Windblade's gift to him in the final panels of the series (Mairghread Scott GETS Starscream when she writes him, and makes him such a compelling figure); Sara Pitre-Durocher's depiction of the merging of the Combaticons' minds into Bruticus'... that is an AMAZING piece of art that not only tells a story, but gives the best depiction of a combiner's mind we've gotten in Transformers fiction, ever; Liege Maximo's return and Elita One and Strika's unsuccesful attempts to stop him and Vigilem......I really cannot say enough about how well and seamlessly this team worked together to tell the stories that they did. I just wish IDW could have left well enough alone and let Scott, Pitre-Durocher and team keep going. Instead, we have the travesty that Lost Light is turning into, but that's another thread for another day.
Counterpunch - Till All Are One Annual: Starscream's Redemption - This is one of those, "I hope someone doesn't come around and screw this up later" moments. Starscream as "The Chosen One" has been a bit of a confusing topic that while significant in the story, has never really played out well in reader's minds. The Windblade books and subsequently Till All Are One have done more to add to the Transformers mythos and backstory than anyone has admitted except in retrospect. Oft times overlooked in favor of the more popular and poppy MtMtE and Lost Light, these books have given heart and soul to the world outside of one singular ship and its crew and done so with pointed stories and even more pointed character moments (Brawl, I'm looking at you).
In a way, what's happened to Starscream over the past year takes hold of and answers the question that's always been just beyond the issue of blind ambition and tackles it; the question of 'why is Starscream the guy he is'.
Va'al - I finally get to contribute something of my own, too! And I definitely have to jump back onto the wagon, and proclaim my undying love for Till All Are One, and its creative team - Mairghread Scott, Sara Pitre Durocher, Joana Lafuente, with Tom Long and the rotating editors at IDW - who were able to deliver the best story I could not have imagined about one of my very favourite characters (Windblade), and deal with issues that I'd easily read about in other books I follow, from politics to personal, religion to identity, and the over-arcing manipulation and mental spaces they all inhabited. All while tying extremely comfortably with the Primes plot steaming ahead in the background for the Transformers universe at large, eventually leading to Unicron.
william-james88 - I will be honest, I wasn't too fond of Lost Light for most of this year. BUT, and that's the beauty of how awesome this brand is right now in the comics, that still meant I had tons of other great comics to read to get my Transformers fix. I had been reading More than Meets the Eye exclusively before the relaunch and reading Till All Are One gave me a nice change of (s)pace, with a focus on what is going on in Cybertron (which I totally stopped caring about after Dark Cybertron). It was fun to see the day to day of this Transformers Home world and also seeing Tigertron and Airrazor together (alive and well and not fused). I would say my favourite comic moment is definitely discovering this new comic. It's also really fun that it made me glad I got the Hasbro Combiner Wars Blastoff.
ScottyP - Hats off to the creative minds at IDW Publishing for making this a very, very hard category to pick one choice from. One comics category in a great comics year and a bajillion toy ones in one of the weaker toy years, cool. (Sorry Va'al.)
After a great bit of deliberation, I'm going with Optimus Prime #9: "The Life of Sideswipe". An old soldier realizes his time has passed, and then he dies. It's powerful stuff and I recommend it to anyone reading this article.
D-Maximus_Prime - Optimus Prime #9 and the story of Sideswipe in that issue. This to me is one of the best Transformers moments and comics written. The story is touching, and it puts to rest one of my favorite Transformers of all time in the respect he deserves. It was brilliant.
Bronzewolf - 2017 was the year I got back into Transformers comics, thanks to ScottyP and my required reading for the Twincast (more on that below...). I LOVED Lost Light 10, and it immediately got me hooked. Can't wait to keep following along.
megatronus - That moment in Lost Light 10 when you first suspect the Protectobots & Mirage are in a memory loop... and then they end up in a memory loop. It was one of those rare moments of 12 Monkeys or Sixth Sense-esque surprise (I <3 Bruce WIllis) that encapsulates what I like about well-executed twists: the clues are all there, and when you look back, it seems so obvious. But they got you. They got you good.
Wreckerjack - Lost Light number 12. It really felt like things are getting into high gear. Yeah some upsetting things happened (which I don't want to spoil for those who take a week or two to get to the comic store.) I think that it matched the intensity we got with MTMTE, plenty of action and events that make me want to read the next issue to find out what happens already! Seems to me Lost Light has dragged on with filler for a long time and this issue has blown my mind more than any other in a long time.
Sigma Magnus - I haven't been keeping up with the comics as well I should, unfortunately. But one of the moments that I have read that stood out was the Wraith-infected Ultra Magnus from Shining Armor. The design of it was horrifying and grotesque, but I couldn't stop looking at it.
Seibertron - I just bought the past 18 months of Transformers comics for about $70 courtesy of Midtown Comics out of New York City, thanks to their 75% off sale. I'll get back to you guys on this one after I catch up on the Lost Light and other Transformers comics thanks to ScottyP's guidance, who I also owe a huge thanks to for more than one reason.
Favorite 2017 Transformers Show-moment
Qwan - I only have The Last Knight to pick from, having not seen any other Transformers media from 2017, so my range isn't too good here. And so, though my favourite entirely through irony, my top moment of this year was a single line from TLK and the subsequent reaction of every character present. To paraphrase a presumably world-leading scientist: "If these two planets collide, there will be millions of casualties." Oh no, approximately half the population of New York, truly an unimaginably huge casualty toll (not even a death toll) from an interplanetary collision. And nobody questions it, everyone reacts like this event would be the end of the world - which according to common sense it should be, and yet based on the information presented in the film somehow isn't - just, just. Keep doing you, Transformers: The Last Knight. Keep doing you.
Sigma Magnus - Cogman in TLK. While others thought he was annoying, I liked his comedic moments. Can't wait to get my hands on his toy, too!
megatronus - Hm. I wish I was up to date with RID, because I understand the conclusion was a bit better than satisfactory. However, for argument's sake, I'll say my favorite screen moment was in TLK when Megatron is negotiating to free his Decepticon compatriots. I appreciated the Suicide Squad reference, because it was entertaining call back to a crappy movie that helped distract me from the crappier movie I was watching.
Bounti76 - Sqweeks and Hot Rod being introduced into the movieverse was enough to make me pause. Would they (especially Sqweeks) take over screen time from more established characters? Would they take over the movie and make it annoying, rather than a fun summer popcorn movie? Thankfully, they did none of that. Sqweeks' scenes were funny without being obnoxious, and his big moment in blowing up the gun was hilarious (getting knocked back by the kickback of his gun arm) and hell-yeah inducing. And Hot Rod? He was a welcome addition. His gun served a purpose without feeling like it came out of nowhere, thanks to being introduced early on. His altmode and general character model were slick, and thanks to being voiced by an actual French speaking actor, his accent never sounded annoying.
Seibertron - My favorite scene from Transformers The Last Knight also continues my conflicting opinions about all-things Transformers from 2017. I really liked the scene where Optimus Prime and Bumblebee duked it out and Bumblebee got his voice back. But I also really disliked that scene because it wrapped up too quickly and ... Bumblebee got his voice back, which is something that should have been resolved back at the end of the first movie or Revenge of the Fallen. It's silly that continued for as long as it did. However, in the end, it was an emotional scene and even brought a tear to my eye. The scene represented everything that was right and wrong all at the same time with the Bayverse.
ScottyP - Optimus Prime, in truck mode, drives out of a cloud of smoke at the end of The Last Knight while Steve Jablonsky's "Arrival to Earth" is arranged in a full cheese rendition that blares in the background. Why is he a truck just now? Was this a lazy way to show how he survived the battle? What was this movie even about, and why did I buy it on Blu-ray? Who cares. Despite this movie's many, many mistakes and shortcomings, this 5 seconds of overdone brilliance will live forever as one of those "Optimus Prime really is great" moments.
WreckerJack - Seeing Bulkhead on RID. I missed his humor so much since TFP.
D-Maximus_Prime - Moon Breaker and the fight between Ultra Bee and Menasor. For one thing, it is fun to watch Ultra Bee form, and then it is fun to watch him move around and fight. And this was about as close as we got to a great combiner fight between any recent shows. It was fun to watch, and it is still fun to watch, just like the Bee and Bisk rock concert fight from last year.
Favorite 2017 Transformers Game-moment
D-Maximus_Prime - The addition of more combiners in Earth Wars. The combining aspect was something that seemed like so much fun, once you got the combiner. It took me until June, but I finally got my first: Bruticus, one of the combiners added this year. And finally experiencing the rush of combiner combat in the game was great, something I still really enjoy. I did finally get Devastator too, and I am only 1 bot away from Predaking, so thank you Earth Wars for combiners.
Burn - Any time I cracked a 4* crystal in Earth Wars and it wasn't a duplicate. OTHERS WILL UNDERSTAND MY JOB!
megatronus - The introduction of Astrotrain and the triple-changer concept in Earth Wars was pretty great to experience - and having a 4* is even better! The game has far exceeded the shelf life I expected it to have, and coming up on 2 years playing, I can only wonder what is wrong with my life.
Seibertron - I'm still tinkering around with Earth Wars and am still the commander of Seibertron.com's Autobot Alliance. I'm finally losing steam with the game. My least favorite update to the game is the new one where we attach "Matrix" like things to the chests of the characters and add power-ups to the defensive weapons. It's a bad take on the Matrix or the Power of the Primes power-up scheme and everything looks ridiculous now in the game. However, I like that they keep plugging forward with Combiners, Triplechangers, Beast Wars, and introducing other fan-favorite characters. It's still a fun game with a lot of potential tie-ins with the toyline, that I still don't think has been fully utilized but it was nice seeing a the game reveal Volcanicus alongside Hasbro's reveal at Hascon 2017. While I'm not a fan of Volcanicus or Dinobots combining, I loved seeing Hasbro and Space Ape do this reveal in conjunction with each other.
Favourite 2017 Fan Creation
Sigma Magnus - Thew's Awesome Transformers Reviews. He's a joy as he always is, and I'm always looking forward to his next video. Hopefully his channel continues to grow like it has this year!
Qwan - I know everyone gave Thew a bunch of attention last year, but I wasn't on staff back then, and his content certainly hasn't declined since last time so I feel it's only fair to give him a bit more spotlight for his stylish, often informative and always hilarious videos.
ScottyP - Customizer Chrome Tyranno had these custom Getaways available at TFcon and I'm so glad for it.
Bounti76 - As ScottyP has posted, turning the entirely lackluster Titans Return Getaway into his IDW coloring really makes that mold work for him. And it was so simple to have done it in those colors in the first place, it makes me wonder why Hasbro never did.
william-james88 - I really loved this stop motion ad for Titans Return.
Pretty smart that Hasbro is inviting the community to contribute in this way. I was also happy to see one of our own, xrotorstormx, featured in a Hasbro ad for the Toys'R'Us release of Masterpiece Optimus Prime.
Va'al - I have a number of them, but above all, I'd have to go with Lindsay Ellis' The Whole Plate, her video essay series on film studies through the lens of Michael Bay's approach to Transformers. It's a really well thought, written, edited and produced critical look at how to reconcile film with film, and what might come out of the meeting between criticism and movie-maker with singular vision.
Honourable shout-outs go to Chris McFeely, who single-handedly curates an introductory series to the Transformers franchise and its characters, on YouTube under Transformers: The Basics; another goes to the official Transformers social media team, and their game-upping on meme spreading and shitposting (Starscream is a cat person for sure); and finally, Bronzewolf's Transformersmas, which is getting better every year, and that is thanks to all of you.
D-Maximus_Prime - Fires_of_Inferno did a masterful job with his skit for the Transformersmas holiday special. Seeing Prime Starscream as a Scrooge for a week of comics was brilliant, and I am eternally grateful for all the funny stuff he gave us during the challenge.
Bronzewolf - Becka Allen's Transformers Photo Comics on Twitter. They've given me so much consistent joy over the past several months every time she releases a new one. They're hilarious and adorable, and really one of my favorite parts of the entire Transformers Twitter Sphere.
WreckerJack - There are so many I just can't decide. All of the fanwork I see makes me really glad to be in the community so I feel weird about liking one over all of the others. I honestly just like to see people's contributions to our fan community as a whole and just appreciate just how much the Transformers series means to all of us. People put a lot of heart into their work and it really shows.
...and now: Moment of the Year 2017 This is always the weird and wonderful one.
D-Maximus_Prime - I really don't wanna inflate their egos anymore than they already are ( ) but I have to say the moment(s) of the year for me came from my fellow Seibertronians and the Transformers they passed on to me to experience. Willy-J helped me obtain the final RiD guys I wanted and some TLK deluxes I never saw, and he got me my Sixshot. I am eternally grateful to Va'al for passing on a Prime Breakdown to me, and now I have 2 versions of that mold thanks to the Club Megatron from their sale. Cobotron helped me wrap up my Titans Return hunt, and many others such as Autobot N, Shajaki, Carytheone, o. surpreme, Rodimusconvoy, and Itscramtastic have contributed to my plastic crack.
But the true moment from all those: my buddy Burn. His love for pretenders finally caught my attention, as did an old Thew Review, and I have obtained 5 Pretenders this year. I found and put together G1 Roadgrabber and Gunrunner, and then Burn helped me complete Gunrunner while also giving me a complete Skullgrin and a nearly complete Waverider. I didn't have a particular "older line" that I really had love for other than Animated (not THAT old), but he hooked me on Pretenders. They have become a concept I incredibly enjoy, and they have some really awesome stuff I have started to hunt down (such as finally getting that Botcon Oilmaster) and they have me all excited for the Prime Masters of 2018.
So thank you all, and thank you most of all Burn
Burn - All those people I got to ban! HA! I kid. I actually don't like doing that.
I think the one thing that stood out for me this year, was helping guys like D-Max discover older G1 figures and finding others like bodrock who share my weird fascination with Pretenders.
Bounti76 - The reveal of POTP Terrorcons and fembots (Elita One, Moonracer and Firestar). More fembots? Yes please! Original G1 fembots? YES, please. And the Terrorcons were some of my favorite toys in the 80s.
Seibertron - Hascon 2017. Again, I continue with my favorites having opposing views. The event had a lot of love behind it, is full of untapped potential, and was an awesome family event. However, it was missing a lot of love, was full of untapped potential, and was a very absurdly expensive family event. Like I said, I'm torn. But at the end of the toy, it was a really unique brand experience, the Hasbro family of employees were there with smiles and showing fans of their brands much love, just as fans were showing their love and appreciation of the brands that made us. I look forward to seeing what Hasbro does with this at Hascon 2019 as well as any other possible incarnations that might come out of it.
megatronus - HASCON! That's right, Hasbro's very first fan convention was a smashing success and an all-around great time. As a Marvel Legends & Star Wars Black Series collector, it was awesome to have an opportunity to interact with all my favorite toy brands at one show. I had equal opportunities to meet the legendary Mark Boudreaux, an old guard Kenner designer who has been with the Star Wars brand for 40 years, as well as Ben Montano and John Warden, keepers of the Transformers brand. At the end of the day, it's great to have a toy-oriented convention geared towards experiences, as well as a convention that skews equal parts fans and families. Hascon was unique in its own way, and though I'm sad it is not yet an annual affair, I very much look forward to what 2019 brings for the convention.
william-james88 - This is easy, probably the easiest of all of these. Earlier this year, Seibertron himself asked if I would be interested in covering a story in Vancouver for the Forged to Fight game. I accepted right away and for this brief moment I became a full on jet-setting reporter. I absolutely loved the experience and the people I met, which included the artist for Transformers packaging from Armada to now). It was thanks to Seibertron and I wish to thank him again for it.
WreckerJack - Going to Cybfest 2017 and meeting a lot of really awesome people. It was great to connect with other fans and an old friend of mine. (And we scored some awesome loose figures from years past, along with some art!) It was a journey to get there but it was really worth it to be a part of the fan community in person rather than online. I loved every minute of it.
Bronzewolf - 1. I gave my first Transformers/Toy industry Convention Panel at this year's Fort Collins Comic Con in Colorado. It was SO MUCH fun, and the audience was great. I really hope to come back next year, and I've already applied to present at Denver Comic Con in 2018, which is one of the biggest conventions in the country. So stay tuned!
2. Being on the Seibertron Twincast Podcast! I've always wanted to be a part of the Twincast, and I finally got the opportunity to this year! ScottyP and megatronus were great, extremely nice, and whatever nerves I had instantly went away. It was one of my favorite times of 2017, and I really hope to do it again sometime soon!
ScottyP - At TFcon USA 2017, I hatched a diabolical plan along with fellow Twincasters Counterpunch and Razorclaw0000. You didn't find Cyberutopia, did you? No. No, you did not. I don't want to hear it.
Counterpunch - That girl at TFCON who yelled, "What the F is wrong with you?!?" upon seeing our "GETAWAY WAS RIGHT" shirts. It was the principle of the thing, lady.
Va'al - For me, it's a toss up between two things: a comics theme (and surprising no one), Mairghread Scott using my portmanteau for Dead Bumblebee in Till All Are One - aka Bumbleghost - as 'canon'. She said so. I don't make the rules, this is now the truth.
Or, the various moments we've had of complete and utter wholesome idiocy in the Energon Pub. Like the pun-a-thon that led to the creation of Va'alcanicus, for which I blame Qwan. Or the one Bronzewolf and I had during Transformersmas. You get the gist.
Whew.. we're almost at the end of this looong trip through memories of a year just passed. If you're still with us, take a look at some Bad Comedy (geddit).
What are you looking forward to in 2018 for Transformers?
william-james88 - Leader Class Optimus Primal, Leader Class Blackout and Masterpiece Dinobot.
D-Maximus_Prime - I would have to say some of the Masterpieces and tail end legends guys. MP-40 grabbed my attention and has started my desire to collect Targetmaster MPs, and MPM-5 Barricade and MP-41 Dinobot are on the horizon too. Legends G2 Megatron also looks like a killer, and that "Megatron Rules!" sticker has me hooked. But the Prime Masters and beast combiners also have my interest for the coming year as well. It looks like it will be another good one!
Sigma Magnus - Masterpiece Dinobot, the Bumblebee movie, IDW Unicron, and the reveal of what comes after Power of the Primes.
Bounti76 - If the rest of POTP is as good as the already revealed figures, I am IN for the entire line, with only minor exceptions.
Burn - Power of the Primes stuff locally would be nice.
Hopefully finally taking possession of MP-36 Megatron as well.
I don't expect much for 2018, but I do foresee a lot of sneak peaks and reveals for 2019.
Qwan - As an Australian, I'm mostly just looking forward to being able to buy Power of the Primes toys in a reasonable manner . That aside however, I also like the look of the Studio Series toyline, and the Cyberverse cartoon has me cautiously optimistic too! Of course, anything Transformers is a good thing for me, so all I can say is: bring on 2018! I may not be ready, but you can be sure I'm excited for it.
megatronus - Honestly? Evolution Decepticons. We've got 3 Autobot/Maximal Evolutions announced, and I'm highly anticipating a Beast Wars Megatron that evolves into Transmetals 2 Megatron, or a 'Breastforce'-type character that evolves into Deathsaurus. If they can execute those concepts properly, I will forgive the poor execution of the Dinobots, and the poorly rates Combiner Wars-style figures we've received in the Power of the Primes line up to this point.
Counterpunch - I'm looking forward to a return to focus. What I mean by that is with RiD done and TLK in hindsight, all this unloved product on shelves can hit the old dusty trail and get out of my life.
There are some really good things coming around both in the Generations line and movie world. I'm looking forward to seeing these featured and not lost among the flotsam and jetsam of our beloved franchise.
Also, Grand Max.
Bronzewolf - MOAR DINOBOTS. Seriously, I think Hasbro pretty much knocked it out of the park with Swoop, Slash and Slag, and I can't wait to complete the set. I'm also looking forward to the Femmbots, as it's been an extremely long time coming for them. POTP seems to be the line of figures that are finally getting a true update, and I'm totally on board.
WreckerJack - I am very interested for Power of the Primes. Combiner Wars and Titans Return have had consistently good. They are almost always well engineered which gives me positive expectations. I already like the looks of the ones I have seen so far.
I also want to see the characters from Power of the Primes get more time in the comics so we get to know them more. I always tend to gravitate towards figures of characters I know and appreciate. When a figure is of good quality and is well detailed, being fond of the character it represents really seals the deal for me.
ScottyP - IDW's Unicron story. Maybe it's the end, maybe it's not. Maybe 2019 brings a reboot of the Tranformers comics for the first time since 2005. While I hope that isn't the case, if it is, then this is the story to go out on. Five and a half years, give or take a few months, led to his reveal and if you think the signs weren't there I will fight you. This is great timing to move the story along to another chapter, and with so many new characters introduced lately and the body count of 1984 cast growing, I'm ready for our Beast Wars/Armada/G2 dreams to become reality.
Plus, this story proves I was wrong about Rung all along, and I probably deserve that for coming up with a crappy fan theory in the first place.
Seibertron - The Bumblebee movie. It will either be a turning point or an ending point. If it does well, new life could be breathed into a Michael Bay-less Bayverse, but if it does poorly, I suspect that it will mark the end of the Bayverse. Time will tell. Hopefully with a smaller cast of actors and robots, a real story about the Transformers will surface that is full of emotion, characterization, and a sensical story that everyone can follow this time around. I really enjoyed Hailee Steinfeld in the Edge of Seventeen movie, a flick I highly recommend others watch, which I saw not long before it was announced she was going to star alongside Bumblebee. I look forward to seeing what she can bring to the film, and if it has some edginees like Edge of Seventeen, I'll be sold on the movie. Time will tell. It'll be interesting to see what we all think of the movie around this time next year. Almost forgot this point: Bumblebee will be a Beetle! Can't wait to see the toys that come out of this. I'm still hoping for a more G1 look in robot mode than a Bumblebee Camaro look.
...as for me, Va'al? I'm not sure, to be honest with you all. This is a strange moment in my investment in Transformers, and though I am content with where I am, something is niggling at the back of my head. Maybe 2018 - and Battletrap / Roadslash, along with the Transformers episode of The Toys That Made Us - will ease it. Oh! Though I am planning to attend SDCC in person with Seibertron, rather than through his phone on videocalls. We'll see where that leads when the time comes.
And of course, the new Seibertron.com redesign awaits us all.
For those of you who reached the end of this very long piece, I hope you enjoyed the writings and musings of the staff of Seibertron.com, and the editorial interventions that totally did not occur anywhere at all. How was your 2017 in Transformers? Any categories jump to your eye, and want to share your thoughts? Any wish or prediction for the year just started?
Share your thoughts in the Energon Pub discussion, and be excellent to each other.
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. 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.
Right off the bat we start with probably the most stylysed toy of the entire line. It is nuts how they replicated the ultra slim cartoony proportions. What I love is how there is still some G1 in there, even in the transformation, where the front part is removed to form a shield. And it is simply awesome how the legs resurect the Transtech cheetor design.
This guy is just solid and absolutely perfect. The transformation is a perfect homage to the g1 transformation revamped to fit the new style. I also love how the axe and gun fit perfectly in the back and fill out the cab.
It's great to see that while the entire line is ultra stylized, the designs, and thus toys, kept very traditional themes like having the front of the car be the chest, just like Jazz' g1 faux datsun self. He becomes this world's version of the prototypical autobot body and it's a great take on the classic transformation. Oh and before I forget, nunchuck exhaust pipes anyone?
Not since Beast wars did we get a Optimus character who wasn't leader of his faction. And now with Animated, it was the classic Optimus Prime character not being the leader of the Autobots (and voiced by Beast Wars Megatron ). The leader was Ultra magnus and it gave us a look at what Magnus as the main prime in G1 would have looked like (if the freaken Matrix was nice enough to activate for him) and it doesn't dissapoint. Firepower coming out of all sides, the beefiest posture possible and a hammer as his main signature weapon, which would become a staple to the character going forward. I really love all the hidden cannons and how the hammer's automorph gimmick. Plus, lest we forget, this was during the golden age of quality and value in Transformers toys and he came with electronics and just feels so hefty. The only problem I have with him and the other Animated Leader toy is how the limited ratchets on his hips don't give him the best standard standing pose.
Same nitpick as above with the legs but aside from that BLOODY AWESOME! I will always be impressed with how effective that simple transformation is. The helicopter looks like the animation model and he looks well disguised. But just do a few simple steps, and BAM! You get the master of Destruction in his glorious robot mode. With great homages to both G1 AND Super Megatron. For some reason, toy designers always have a problem with the cannon's proportions either being too big or too small, but they knock it out of the park here, he looks perfect. And the helicopter rotor becoming twin swords is genius too. I don't know if I will ever make a list of the best Leader Class toys, but he would surely be on it.
This awesome and distinctive design was loved so much, hasbro just had to give the fans what they wanted and include him on the show for a bit. And you can see why, you can't just create a design like this and not use it. It is eerie how humanoid this one looks, especially the head, but it works well with the evil scientist vibe. And that alt mode is something else. It is a combination of the Dodge Tomahawk concept motorcyle and a Big Dog motorcycle, so it's really the designers pulling all the stops to give us the most innovative and distinctivie design possible. And the best part is that it's a good toy too. The transformation is fun and he looks amazing and distinctive in both modes. I couldn't want more.
I just love how neat a package this toy is. It does something I just adore where the pieces found in robot mode are right there in plain sight and yet the vehicle mode looks like it cannot transform. I once made a list of Robot modes which look like they can't transform and this is the opposite. Its just a cute army vehicle that any kid would love to just roll around. And yet it also turns into a robot. The transformation is really fun with springs and mechanisms for head revealing action, making it a distinctive robot that now utilizes those same vehicle mode parts for his hands and chest which look like that is what they were always meant to be.
Now we are getting into the cream of the crop. If you want the best transforming toys the Transformers brand has to offer, you can't go wrong with collecting the Animated line (if you can handle the aesthetic) and now that we get into the top 3, we are getting into some of the best Transformers toys ever released. These are all better quality toys and more ingenious engineering designs than most of what has been available on the market since. We start with Lockdown, a true legend among Transformers toys. Excellent mean looking alt mode which turns into a monstrous voyager sized asymmetric beast. The transformation isn't the most elegant though, with bits that are easily detached, but it's still an incredible feat what this toy can pull off with such varied designs and mass shifting made reality.
He's the best motorcycle Transformer ever, and I doubt anyone would say otherwise. Almost no kibble in either mode, yet two distinctive modes, excellent articulation, full alt mode integration and yet the sleekest designs you could find. Oh and you can unhook transforming ninja stars from his wheels.
This toy should be really examined whenever Hasbro or Takara think of making a new Hot Rod because it still reigns supreme as the best toy out there to give the theme justice with the right proportions and all. The bot mode and alt mod are just as sleek with minimal kibble, even though a lot of the vehicle mode is not seen in robot mode. That always results in crazy huge backpacks but not with this guy. Everything is smooth. Plus, I love how he hides the front wheels, which effectively hides more alt mode kibble and gives a sleeker robot mode. I also love how they design the separate exhaust port pieces to align in vehicle mode, giving the illusion that they are a continuous design. And he is the only sleek Hot Rod toy to not have the silhouette with the spoiler obstructed by anything. The pics below will show what I mean. In the end, Hot Rod will always be a hard design to pull off simply because the robot and vehicle share so little parts. But this guy pulls it off better than any toy before or since and is a true joy to play with and transform. it,s the best Hot Rod figure, the best figure of cybertronian vehicle and the best figure from the Animated line, making the year he came out, 2010, my favourite year for toys.
The whole line is really good. When it comes to the quality and inventiveness of the toys, I would even say this is the very best line to complete and fully explore. There are certainly more amazing toys than there are duds and I can't really think of one terrible toy, at least in the more collector oriented classes. All that to say that I like most toys in the line and the ones I didn't mention could still be very much enjoyed. The one toy I would like to bring to your attention most is Shockwave. I do stand by the notion that every toy in this list is better than him, but that's only because none of them (or no other toy ever) was as ambitious as Animated Shockwave. Animated Shockwave has 2 distinct robot modes which each have their own alt mode. For a toy to accomplish so much, something had to give, and in this case it's the two alt modes which are not much to write home about. It's basically the robot lying down on his belly and face with a tank cannon that automorphs into a crane. But the transformation of one robot into the other, especially the face changing, is something to behold and I do still recommend anyone to experience this toy.
One more day is left, and this year will be over. If you look at 2016, there have been too high a number of dark moments outside of the life on the boards. But when you look at what our hobby, our fandom, our world of robots have produced, we actually struck some very good chords this year, wouldn't you agree? It has been a year of anniversaries, a year of milestones, a year of beasts and movies and comics, a year of toys, a year of endings and beginnings -- I suppose it's only right that we take some time now to make it...
A Year in Review - Transformers 2016
Art: Kei Zama
That's right: we're back! We'll be taking a look at what happened since the end of 2015, a few categories at a time, as usual. Also, this dish is best served accompanied by a nice 2016 podcast episode. Trés joli.
Let's meet our hosts for the ride, then, shall we..? Introducing:
Our Gracious Over Boards
We've rejigged the categories a little, to include more topics to cover outside of just the toys:
Cobotron - At first I thought Grand Galvatron. That whole set did a real number for my imagination, and the decos come close to the very best of the line. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there was one other toy from the line that I spent more time playing with and building my own stories around. I spent hours "scrambling" to find the perfect team to accompany him, and in doing so discovered that there isn't really a single limb that doesn't look good on him. I think he is the very best torso bot of the line, and he goes by Voyager Sky Lynx. The proportions in torso mode are near perfect, and although some seemed to have issues with loose joints, mine does not. His dino-bird mode is equally as fun, especially serving as a mount for another warrior. And while he looks smashing combined with the G2 Aerial Bots, his best looking feature is still that amazing high collared lynx head sculpt. MEOW!
Bronzewolf - While most would regard the CW era as wave after wave of retools and repaints, it did give us, most importantly, a combiner system that not only worked but worked well, and looked good at the same time. The likes of this we had never seen before, whether in G1 or those awful Movie "Combiners". It also gave us some updated versions of our favorite G1 characters, my favorite of which is Sky Lynx. While it, like almost all other figures from CW, has its faults (namely the inability to separate into lion/bird modes individually). It's a gorgeous looking representation of a character that has gone under-appreciated since the G1 days.
megatronus - Coming at the tail end of Combiner Wars, Sky Lynx is, in this staff member's opinion, the most superbly engineered voyager of the line. He encapsulates all of his G1 wackiness while making for a no-hassle combiner torso - what's not to like? What put him over the top - and this is a perversely personal point - was the devilish difficulty finding him at retail. That made finally finding him that much more delightful.
ScottyP - Grand Galvatron came in late and saved Unite Warriors, as well as all of G1. Let me tell you why...
Editor's Note - Redacted Content: ScottyP wrote about 12,000 words of fan fiction about Grand Galvatron here. It was, well, not very good. In fact, were we to publish it, the whole of civilization may be set back about 12,000 years. That's right - one year for every word. There was this mess about how to properly extinguish a campfire, a romance plot involving time travel and Jennifer Love-Hewitt, a continuation of Budiansky's Skullgrin story arc for some reason, and all the while it just never got anywhere in terms of plot or character development. I think Thundercracker's Josh Boyfriend screenplays are likely infinitely better than every last sentence of this junk that was written by a usually upstanding Site Admin. For the potential entertainment of readers, the last dreadfully melodramatic line is left intact below.
And so it was that Curse Armada Thrust looked wistfully into the deep vacuum of time and thought the only thought that mattered any more: "It was all just a matter of... time."
william-james88 - Part of me wishes this year’s combiners came out last year. I say this because there is no doubt in my mind that this year’s combiner wars toys were better than last year’s by a fair margin. The teams were more diverse in terms of molds and transformations and several had that extra premium feel in terms of paint apps. Yet, there was that mold fatigue that was hard to go against. I remember looking at my G2 Menasor and while I was marveling at the paint apps and tampographs (especially on G2 Wildrider), I didn’t really have this urge to transform the components or put them together simply because any mystery was already uncovered when I transformed the original. While maybe beautiful, redecos rarely have that same special feeling of discovering a new puzzle and with a combiner you get that for several toys all at once. But Grand Galvatron found a way to go against all that. The decos, and especially the two new heads, really went a long way into making this the stand out set of the entire line. To the point where I still felt I was experiencing something new even though they were all redecos (especially the jets). So, while I really like Unite Warriors Computron, I think the best combiner of the year would go to Grand Galvatron.
Burn - Geez where does one start with this? Such a big line to choose from.
But for me, if there was one that really stood out it would be Computron. Not Hasbro or Takara though, a combination of them. (Something I did). While Takara went the extra mile with Nosecone, both did a fantastic job with Strafe (though Takara won there too).
Of course Hasbro gave us the plucky little wheel that could (melt) ... Scrounge!
Counterpunch - I could have turned my attention to the larger teams, particularly UW Computron, but Nosecone was such a delightful tooling that I felt he should get a nod all his own. It’s as if this base body was designed for our scientific drilling expert from the outset. The color choices, the blocky nature of the limbs, and the Japanese exclusive drill all pull together to make what is in my opinion, the nicest limb of the year in the CW/UW line.
D-Maximus_Prime - Hmm, kind of a difficult one for me really. I'm gonna have to say... Strafe. I love the Air Raid mold a lot and it really works for Strafe. Plus, he is the one Combiner Wars Technobot that got a good makeover and he can combine with Scrounge! Both Unite Warriors and Combiner Wars delivered good looking Strafe's, and I love this one. He is awesome. And considering the fact that I consider Computron to be the best Combiner we got from Combiner wars, Strafe is just so sweet.
Kurona - It's a really difficult choice for me, but I've really gotta go with Victorion. When I got her I couldn't stop being amazed with her; the remolding on each figure to make them more feminine was fantastic, it had my favourite CW Voyager, my favourite CW limb twice, Dustup really stood out from the rest of the Dead End mold uses as her own unique thing, the colours are great in person, the sword is absolutely phenomenal, the new feet and hands work so well... I can't stop going on about her. She's absolutely perfect, I'd say the only real disappointment is Jumpstream - I just don't like that Breakdown mold. But hey, car and leg mode are great so can't complain too much.
Va'al - Much like previous years, my toy habits are limited to very select figures at specific times. But I had been eyeing Victorion since her announcement, and the entire Hasbro team knew of my definitely-not-an-obsession with the set at BotCon, Earth Wars meetings, online... It uses one of the best torso molds in the line, it has the adorable motorbike that could, the sword is magnificent, and the Helitwins arrived to kick some sense into Alpha Bravo! Gotta love siblings...
Burn - While the end of Combiner Wars saw more and more repaints that I just wasn't interested in, it was off-set by the introduction of Titans Return. My initial stance was to ignore the likes of Blurr and Scourge who were already represented in my "Neo-G1" collection. But I grabbed them anyway. While not blow my mind impressive, they were okay.
But then there were the others. Hardhead was a fun figure. As was Chromedome. But the two stand out figures for me, and these only recently joined the collection, were Brainstorm and Triggerhappy. These guys look fantastic in both modes. Not to mention how great they are at different poses. If you have the chance, grab these guys. Totally worth it!
megatronus - Deluxe Brainstorm. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. While TR voyagers thus far have been fairly clunky with the occasional inspired touch, the deluxe figures have stolen the show. Of these, Walgreens-exclusive Brainstorm is best in show. Between the original mold, color scheme, streamlined transformation/alt mode, and remarkable poseability, Brainstorm checks off all my boxes. I remain amazed that I could be so sullen over mold-mate Blurr, but so ecstatic over Brainstorm... do you believe in magic?
Bronzewolf - So many excellent figures to choose from. Mindwipe is pretty good, with an engaging transformation with a great looking robot and bat mode. Takara PowerMaster Convoy looks stunning in robot mode and in truck mode, with a cab that looks just spectacular.
But my favorite had to be the Blurr/Brainstorm mold. Walgreens Brainstorm has amazing tampos and color scheme. They look slightly faded and yellowed, making it look like a vintage toy, which, for me, is awesome. The proportions of the mold are really good, and it just looks incredible on a shelf. Really a highlight so far of the TR line.
Kurona - The Titans finally returned! ... with bad UK distribution. And a ridiculous price hike in the UK. And while my own personal funds are declining. I'm poor, guys.
Anyway, this meant I was only able to get Chromedome, Weirdwolf Wolfwire and Buzzsaw (totally counts). I love them all, the Titan Master integration works really well, and I'm glad I finally have a Chromedome for my Lost Lighter shelf. Buuuut, much as I like Domey and much as I'm surprised at how much I've been liking Buzzsaw, it has to go to Wolfwire. Absolutely incredible figure, especially in wolf mode - that's what really sells him. They really went to town on that because there's no molding or paint app choices (Titan Master notwithstanding) I'd change, and standing on his own or among a bunch of other random 'cons he just looks really cool and unique. Oh, uh, the robot mode is cool too. But the wolf is amazing!
Cobotron - My absolute favorite gets a spot further down the line here, so I'll put my #2 in this one. The honor goes to Wolfwire Weirdwolf. I love it when a toy can achieve a nice deco simply by using it's plastic colors to do the work. Wolfy here does that. He also hits a few of my other Transformers sweet spots like, beast mode, and a sword. He is a well made figure with an awesome robot mode, an even better alt mode, and a pretty fun and interesting route to get from one to the other. The Headmaster gimmick goes a long way for me on all the figures from this line, but the idea of a little bot driving a giant robotic dire wolf just really turns a key for me.
D-Maximus_Prime - Cerebros. No, really. That dude has so much character in him despite the fact that he turns into a head. He really does look awesome, poses really good, and he is the middle guy in the double Titanmaster gimmick. Plus, his head mode and his individual head sculpt are both amazing.
Shout out to Blurr. He will the favorite of many, but Cerebros wins for me.
ScottyP - This pick was almost Cerebros because that toy/Reflector Pre-tool is great, but I'm giving the nod to Highbrow. I'll go with the Takara Legends version for the superior paint/color scheme and bonus Titan Master car. Plus, that version includes a comic where Highbrow saves Papika from Weirdwolf, who is slowly cutting off all of her clothes but ultimately does not succeed thanks to Highbrow's actions. Anime may not be real, but the fun you can have with Highbrow definitely is.
william-james88 - While all Titans Return toys were fun, I found them rather simple. Legends Blurr was different though. He was quite complex for a deluxe and extremely satisfying. There was a great attention to detail, like how one leg stores the tail fin and how the tiny well rolling wheels are hidden flush in robot mode thanks to perfectly shaped holes. Plus the Takara paint job just makes him such a standout. To me, the only need for an MP Blurr is for the scale, but I am really curious as to how it could have a better look or transformation.
Counterpunch - In a world where so many great figures are coming on line week after week, I have to acknowledge the one that I expected to be my biggest disappointment when he turned out to be one of my simplest joys: Hot Rod is excellent. Transformation, detailing, cherry red candy color, weaponry… he’s the total package for $15.99 or whatever. I love getting surprises like this and lately, they’ve felt few and far between with the predictability of the Combiner Wars line. Hot Rod may not have been a classic Headmaster, but this toy leaves me thinking… maybe he should have been.
Favorite 2016 Transformers: Robots in Disguise/Adventure
Cobotron - Ahhhhh RID. The little line that could. Battle Packs were a hoot. Love that size class. It seems to be unanimous though, that the Warrior Class Decepticons were where it was at in 2016. I'm in. Heck, even Ratchet was better than I had expected, but the clear winner for me is Warrior Thunderhoof. In my book, he could have scrapped by on character design alone, but with everything else this figure has to offer added, he is the clear favorite.
D-Maximus_Prime - Warrior Thunderhoof. That guy is so awesome. He perfectly reflects his show model, which I love, and how many farm-formers have there ever been? Plus, he has antlers and hooves. His Transformation is fun and intuitive, and his robot mode is perfect looks-wise. Yes, he lacks some beef on his back, but he is literally awesome, so it matters not.
Va'al - I'll let this image speak for itself. And never talk to him or his son ever again.
ScottyP - You're making me choose? From all this awesome stuff? Hrm. Warrior Thunderhoof by a nose. In fact, probably by a very small nose, like a reindeer nose. Now I'm disappointed that there was no special Holiday Edition Thunderhoof again, but I digress. Thunderhoof is all the best parts of the stellar design and engineering work that accompanied most of this year's Warrior Class Decepticon releases from Robots in Disguise. Distilled within this blue and black antlered mobster is wonderful articulation and even the occasionally hard to find alt-mode weapon storage. Of course, then there's the transformation itself, which has multiple wild steps that truly involve him folding up and over himself in a way that must be experienced to be understood. The Adventure deco is a thing of beauty, so if you can track that down for a reasonable amount it's the recommended version here.
william-james88 - This line kicked so much ass this year. It was easily the most fun I had in terms of looking at each figure individually. Hasbro told us we wold get Decepticons in 2016 and they delivered. Probably more than either of us would have expected with Megatronus, Quillfire, Thunderhoof, Fracture, Bisk, Scorponok and Starscream. All of them were winners, truly. All are very good toys, with fun designs and new tansformations. Picking my favourite is insanely hard so it will be a tie between Hasbro’s Warrior Fracture and Takara’s Warrior Thunderhoof. Both are ingenious designs and very satisfying. They also look amazing in both modes.
Bronzewolf - The minicons. I know, I know, but hear me out. These collectible little guys are super cool, and one of the closest things the US has to Arms Micron. There's a great array of different characters that take different forms, from beasts to bots and everything in between.
Kurona - Uhhhh, Dragonus. He's kinda cute but I don't like him that much BUT he's the only RiD figure I have. congrats u win
Counterpunch - I mention TAV Windblade here because of the stark contrast in detail and care that Takara is taking with their version of Robots in Disguise. The mold itself is adequate and is in many ways just not as interesting as some of the Decepticon troops who have been 2016's star performers for RiD. What is special though is how Windblade looks like she stepped of the screen. Takara remains the go-to source for those of us who like our figures to actually look like their fictional depictions.
Favorite 2016 Transformers: None of the Above Figure
megatronus - Botcon Predacus. I love this set, and not just because of the cartoon homaging headsculpts/deco or the expertly executed paint job. Nor just because that combined mode is a beast to behold. And certainly, it's not because of the shortcomings of basically all of the individual members. Rather, Tripredacus was my first Beast Wars toy (or set) I ever got (from my parents; Happy Hanukkah!). It's amazing to have a vicious-looking modern rendition on my shelf that can hark back to watching episodes of Beast Wars while holding my Tripredacus. Nearly everything about him harks back to either the original toy or Beast Wars cartoon while adding that modern, Generations-style twist with a combiner face that is spot on 90s ridiculousness. Love at first reveal.
D-Maximus_Prime - Botcon Magnaboss. Yes, he may be mostly stickers with 3 figures that already came out, but I managed to snag the stickers and he is awesome. Yeah, I customized him the other 2 limbs instead of finding Unit-3 and Tigatron, but those 2 figures use the same molds, so it is a good representation. He looks so awesome, and the stickers do some wonderful work. Really awesome addition to my collection!
Bronzewolf - Club exclusive Bluestreak! It might be another CW redeco, but I really appreciate the paint and Tampos, plus it's one of my favorite characters of all time. (Going for the Blue bluestreak deco gets bonus points, too.)
ScottyP - Takara Legends Skids. The extra paint detail makes this figure look like it just escaped an exploding shuttle, magnetized a car, then blew it up after throwing it at a Legislator. Sleep tight, soldier.
william-james88 - Kabaya Fortress Maximus. This was my first time with Kabaya and it was quite enjoyable. This is a great set which actually has paint. And there is no parts forming during transformation from city to bot. Plus it comes with the most adorable little Powerglide ever.
Cobotron - A pop fly to left field! Takara's Diaclone Reboot Dia-Battles V2. I know, I know, it's not a Transformer, but here me out. He is Transformer's Grandpa, and you wouldn't not invite Grandpa to the family New Year's Eve party, would you?
This figure is amazing. If you are a fan of Transformers, a fan of the art of Japanese robot toys, and more specifically a fan of the art of Takara, I can't recommend this toy enough. Over the years Takara has done some really wonderful work rebooting some of their older lines and Dia-Battles follows suit. This toy is impeccably engineered with off the charts articulation and functionality, has beautiful detailing and paint,and is just an absolute joy to behold.
The thing about this figure is the modularity. Out of the box it can be configured into 12 different modes, but with the connection system they've employed Takara has also left it open to improvisation for hours of endless play. It's this modular play pattern that makes this toy so much fun. A great call back to old play patterns of the Diaclone and Microman toy lines. Maybe you need a breather from Transformers but still in the form of a robot toy. Please, give this guy a try. Besides, like I said, he's family. And BTW, he and his Dia-nauts roll tight right along side the Titan Masters.
Counterpunch - Victorion. Here's the thing, Victorion was kind of a flat release. What I mean by that is, for something that should have been more hyped and celebrated, her set kind of came and went without much notice. Victorion is really the first Combiner Wars gift set to offer something truly new and unique. She helps plan the seeds of new thought and characters in the franchise. In a way I wish it had been a more general release and that the whole Torchbearer set was priced cheaper to get more people into the idea. I really look forward to the day when we're adding more characters and ideas to the mythos in a more routine way.
Favorite 2016 Transformers Masterpiece Figure (Hasbro or Takara)
ScottyP - I'm saving MP-32 for a later topic, so I'm going to write about my second favorite Masterpiece figure for 2016 and beg to the good Dr. Va'al that this doesn't get cut. If it does, at least leave this sentence and let me feel the sting of having words murdered by a technicality.
This is an unbelievably tough choice to make, and might even vary depending on mood, but I'm going to stick with MP-29 Shockwave here just in case the MP-33 Inferno feelings I'm having are because of his novelty. In other words, logic dictates this choice. Shockwave is an expressive and gorgeous piece in both form and function. The robot and gun modes are slick and clean. The total package of the figure, accessories (including a clever double-use for the gun stand where it helps hide the gun's back kibble in robot mode), and even some alternate stickers made the long wait for an updated version of G1 Shockwave worth it.
Also, as someone nearly thirty years behind the curve on one corner of Transformers fiction, this Decepticon's heroics/antics in Time Wars were "new to me" this year and made me love this cold purple evildoer even more.
megatronus - MP29 Shockwave. Besides for marking the shift to slavish cartoon accuracy - a key inflection point in the history of this line - Shockwave is simply an amazing specimen. Have you see that light piping? That hose? The parts integration? The smaller gun of himself - that he can hold! More than his features, which more or less speaks for themselves, the release of Shockwave marks the completion of Megatron's lieutenants in MP form - leading up to the big bad himself in 2017.
Burn - This one surprised me. While I was looking forward to him, I was looking forward to Inferno more. But as great as Inferno is, he just doesn't quite reach the level of awesomeness that is Ironhide.
I had my reservations about him from the pictures. But once I had him in hand, I was quickly won over. A boxy little van twists, turns, and folds into a stocky damn good looking robot. While Inferno gave us "ladder magic", I feel it was Ironhide that helped lead the engineering that gave us "ladder magic". Unfortunately his mold brother Ratchet just didn't match up due to his primarily white look.
william-james88 - Masterpiece Ironhide. I am so impressed with how they were able to incorporate the cartoon vibe in robot mode while also delivering a very realistic alt-mode. Ironhide is one of those character that never had a good figure (even the movie versions had trouble getting it right and giving us good toys). And for such an iconic character, that is just so odd but it makes this release that much sweeter. Takara went all out. Gorgeous alt-mode (well, for what it is), great robot mode which has the alt-mode disappear away aside from the perfect alt-mode integration (from the front). this is probably the purchase I was most hesitant of this year that surprised me most.
Counterpunch - Optimus Primal: 1. He's not made of boxes. 2. He's not strictly G1, though that's kind of the same thing as #1. 3. MP Optimus Primal is one of the best designed, best decoed toys in recent history. We should all be excited for what may come to pass with engineering like this for Beast Wars characters. I am eagerly anticipating a BW Megatron just on my experience with this. It shows that the MP line is more than a one trick monkey.
D-Maximus_Prime - Masterpiece Shattered Glass Optimus Prime. He is my first masterpiece, and as a result wins by default, though I'm not sure anyone could top him. He is a joy to behold, with marvelous paint work, a great evil feel to him, and a black badass trailer! The green Energon axe does it for me too, and the amount of detail put into him shows the love that he got. For even more articulated thoughts, you can see my review with plenty of pictures and all the love I can give this guy there.
Cobotron - The Masterpiece toy I had the most fun with this year was Loudpedal. YA! I know! He's a stinkin' repaint, AND of a figure that's maybe not the best in the line. I'm a huge sucker to call backs to ye olden days of pre-TF history. The deco is phenomenal, and I've always loved that almost knight's helmet head sculpt. He re-energized my MP Decepticon ranks in a way I didn't see coming. He and Exhaust are a terrible twosome of trouble making turds who's misadventures have been a treat to watch unfold on my Masterpiece shelves.
...and now: Figure of the Year
Burn - You know what? I'm not falling into this trap Va'al. This has been a fantastic year for figures. I'm not picking one that stands above all for the year. Far too many to choose from!
Va'al - Everyone else fell for it...
Counterpunch - Fort Max was a really significant part of my childhood and one of my best Christmas memories. I remember seeing him on the shelf as a child and being shocked by the size of such a toy. Well, I had intended to wait for the Takara version on Max, but seeing one for myself in Toys R Us changed my mind. Some may gripe (at great length, while no one cares to listen) about how this is a Metroplex re-tool, but to me, this is the figure of the year because it is a really high quality piece and it did a great job of reminding me of the simple joy of spending $115 after coupons and discounts.
megatronus - Titan Fortress Maximus. He's a headmaster with a headmaster - inception in a nutshell. Fort Max borrows just enough tooling from Metroplex to be familiar, but shakes it up enough to effectively differentiate itself from the first 2 foot Titan and, more importantly, to be exciting. Now that he's gone on sale practically everywhere, you owe it to yourself to own a Transformer that could convincingly stand in for your toddler.
Bronzewolf - Since I didn't buy any MP's this year, I'll have to stick with mainline figures, and, with that in mind, Walgreen's Brainstorm would be my pick. I can write a book about how perfect he is in my opinion, and I'm sure others that were lucky enough to find him can, too. His stance and proportions are just amazing, he reminds me of a simpler Generations Springer in a way, where he feels and looks like a premium figure, but for a regular retail price. Just great.
Oh, and also Fort Max. He's cool too.
D-Maximus_Prime - Eesh, toughy right there. We had several really good ones this year. But, I'm gonna have to go out on a limb here and probably differentiate from all the others here: Titans Return Alpha Trion.
Despite its shortcomings, this toy finally gave us all a retail release of the wise old sage from Transformers lore, and to me, there was a lot of love put into him. The 2 alt modes, despite not being completely perfect, homaged so much of this guys past it's crazy. I love the lion mode. It is to die for, the spaceship isn't that bad either guys, come on!
But what wins this one for me is the robot mode. It is beautifully detailed and painted, possibly with more paint then I have ever seen on a Hasbro figure. He has a majestic sword and literally no kibble. Plus, his warrior styled armor is so awesome and it makes him stand out. He is a figure that cannot disappear from your vision no matter how far back on the shelf he is. He is my favorite figure of 2016.
Cobotron - Transformers for me has never been about adhering to any one story line or fiction, but more about cherry picking bits and pieces to build my own imaginary world of robots at war. And the figures that really do it for me are the ones that most inspire me to play out my own stories. This past year the one figure that did that, and did it hard, was Titans Return Alpha Trion. The character design that went into his robot mode is absolutely fantastic! He pushed so many of my fantasy buttons, Transformers or other. The moment I laid eyes and mitts on this ancient, time tested, magic sword wielding, lion adorned, mustachioed robotic mystical knight, triangulated with his mythical beast and mighty battle cruiser alt modes, my head was reeling with ideas of magnificent adventure. And if that wasn't enough, he has the Headmasters gimmick thrown in the mix.
For me Alpha Trion was pure rocket fuel for my imaginary play time. He and Vector Prime have been drumming up some heavy adventures across my shelves for some time now, and those old goats show no signs of stopping until every last Con is made to pay!
william-james88 - While I am not a hardcore G1 fan (I was born in 88 and only learnt in 2014 that the G1 Ironhide toy had no head), I have become something of a purist in my adult life. As a kid, I actually did have a few Transformers toys (G2 Dreadwing) and I had Beast Wars toys and not only did I see them as different lines, but different things entirely. So while I generally do not care if a toy is its own thing and not show accurate, holding that Masterpiece Optimus Primal in my hand in beast mode brought a very new feeling in me as a collector. And the conversion is phenomenal. He truly morphs, the entire shape of the figure is redefined. It's genius, especially how it does it in so little space. Instead of having a vehicle turn into a mechanical robot, you have what is essentially an action figure morphing entirely from one form to the next. To finally have a toy that looks like the Optimus on the show (especially in beast mode) and to have him on the 20th anniversary of said show is truly magical and I cannot think of any other toy that should warrant the title of Figure of the Year.
ScottyP - MP-32 Optimus Primal transforms from gorilla to Maximal Commander, evolving the Masterpiece line in a way where both truck and monkey feel like they belong. This toy is as close as it gets to perfection for a beloved and iconic Transformers character. It was easy to imagine a Masterpiece Beast Wars figure falling flat in form and execution. Toys based on mid-90s CG models that would be impossible to scale to Generation One based MP figures in any practical sense, that also must have beast modes that show as little robot kibble as possible? The recipe for disaster was there, and yet factored in so minutely that it makes me wonder why I was ever worried in the first place. A slick transformation, shockingly clean design, clever accessories, superbly expressive pose-ability, and a genuinely cool light up gimmick make this the clear cut Transformers toy of the year. While picking a runner-up or two would be extraordinarily difficult, the top of the mountain is ruled by a gorilla. Send all complaints to the banana box for disposal.
Made it so far? Here's a break for you all, featuring a relatively recent discovery round these parts!
And now, back to the list, as we move away from toy talk; starting with...
Favorite 2016 Transformers Comics-moment
ScottyP - In a total cop-out to prevent me from making a choice (again) between Sins of the Wreckers and Dying of the Light, which I waffle between on the hour every seven to eight hours, here's a short personal anecdote instead.
I flew to New Orleans last month and took my recently acquired trade paperback of Dying of the Light along with me. As readers of the book will know (hopefully, that's all of you), as the issues progress time edges ever closer to sunset on Necroworld. For anyone not following, that refers to a literal sunset used as a narrative device and not a purely figurative one. Anyhow, as the second leg of my flight took off, sunset was a bit more than 30 minutes away so the skies were still mostly blue in Charlotte and I settled in to take the chance to relax and read. Geography will tell you that when flying west at sunset, you are chasing said sunset.
Despite having a window seat with a perfect view of the extra long and slow sunset, I didn't really grasp this until looking at this panel:
At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me and/or there had been some unknown drop in cabin pressure and a lack of oxygen was driving my brain to view the page as much larger than it should be, but this was thankfully incorrect. What was really going on was that the color of the sky on the page more or less matched the exact color of the sky out the window. I had to keep reading, and did so at a slow, thoughtful pace (it was a re-read, after all) to find that the look of the world outside kept closely matching the world depicted on the page, getting gradually darker as the journey and the story progressed. The flight landed around twilight, with the book only marginally outpacing reality by the end. The last page I got to during that step of the journey? 'Thanks for traveling with me.'
Kurona - Dying of the Light. ALL of it. This probably shouldn't be surprising; if you know my Transformers opinions at all you'd know I adore MTMTE and consider it leagues above every other Transformers fiction (though a lot of the stuff filed under 'everything else' is still great, gimme Beast Wars and Animated any day)... and for that reason I don't actually want to say anything specific about it. I don't want to spoil what I consider to be top-notch fiction. I'll just say that Dying of the Light was an absolute thrillride from start to finish with everything I could want out of a series. except Nightbeat. Needed more Nightbeat
william-james88 - Definitely the end of More Than Meets the Eye. I liked seeing Megatron take down the DJD and how a lot of threads were wrapped up. I also really enjoyed Overlord’s reaction to the idea of finally taking down Megatron which shows how much the character has matured (I also finally read Last Stand of the Wreckers this year for the first time so the contrast was interesting). I am very curious of what is happening next. I love Blaster and can’t believe he would be such a $%!* to cooperate with Getaway. Something’s up.
Va'al has serious thoughts he has already expressed regarding that last point. More for the discussion, perhaps?
D-Maximus_Prime - More Than Meets The Eye #54, when Megatron walks onto the field of battle and silently blasts his enemies away, saving his comrades and sending them to safety. That page gives me goosebumps it's so beautiful. Alex Milne has never given us bad art, but that page alone is a masterpiece in its own right.
Counterpunch - All Hail Optimus and the reaction panels: The reactions of the major story players in the face of Optimus' annexation of Earth was my favorite moment. I loved having a progressively heroic Megatron in one book with a progressively authoritarian Prime in another. The script was flipped, so to speak, for a time. I hope that these two characters slide further into a morally questionable gray zone.
Cobotron - With what little time adulthood/parenthood allows for the hobby these days I don't get around to reading many comics. Most my time is spent with the toys. But, for my birthday this year my brother gave me the full run in trades of Transformers VS G.I. Joe, and I have to say it was one of the most strange and wonderful comic book experiences I've ever had. The art is so out there and, the story telling is tongue-in-cheek. It blew my mind. I told my bro I loved that the art looks like a Funkadelic album cover, and he replied with a laugh, "Yeah! Prison art!".
At first glance the art looks so amateur, but the more I pored over every detail, I came to understand the genius of Tom Scioli. I felt like present day me was standing in eleven-year-old me's childhood bedroom doorway watching myself play one of my many TF/Joe mash ups. Or was I standing in the doorway of Scioli's childhood? Either way it was a great ride, and reminded me of the innocence and intricacies of a child's imagination. This series is not for for everyone, and I understand why. If you get it, GREAT! If you don't, you probably won't. And, that's OK. I would recommend these books to anyone, as long as they come at them with an open mind.
Va'al - Issue #5 of the slow-burning gem that is Till All Are One. This book has gone through so many repolishes, renamings, rebrandings, and even though Windblade is still mostly the titular character, the latest iteration is the best fitting to the ensemble, in terms of cast, story, scope and repercussions. May follow Transformers/ex RID/Optimus Prime for the core mythos and politics, several follow More Than Meets the Eye/Lost Light for the sad gay robots (get over it, it's a compliment) and the inevitable feelings and convoluted plots. I stick with TAAO, like the two Windblades before it, as it brings cosmic action, cosmic mythos, post-colonial themes, religious vs secular debates, still one of the best Starscreams around - visually and in writing. And the best collection of biting one-liners not reliant on continuity nerdery.
Va'al splurted out tea while reading this line, and had to take a break from editing.
Favorite 2016 Transformers Show-moment
Kurona - A few things to get out of the way first. I don't watch Rescue Bots but from what I've seen, it's a pretty neat show. And while I've been enjoying RiD, I haven't found anything about it that I really like and really thrills me. So I can't point to any one thing about it and say "that's amazing" or "this is easily my favourite part". It's just kinda decent and meh.
And while it is arguably the worst Transformers show since Energon - I actually liked it less than Energon - yes, my favourite Show thing this year is from Machinima's Combiner Wars. Though if you've taken part in that board discussion, I think you all know what it is - it's Megs. It's friggin' Megs. It feels like every single amount of effort, originality and unique ideas went into this single solitary character because he is great. Maybe it's because CW was such a bad show that the one good thing seemed so much better, maybe it's because I haven't enjoyed a lot of cartoon Megatrons (aside from BW who is arguably a different archetype), but this guy freaking rocks. He's always enjoyable to watch, he's always got a quick quip, he has some character resolution... oh, yeah, and he turns into a super space gun in addition to having an actual vehicle mode. If you have to watch CW, just wait until you get to Megatron. He's the one good part, I swear.
william-james88 - This was a weak spot for Transformers this year. I really liked the interpretation of Megatron in Machinima’s Combiner Wars. He was so jovial, daring, untouchable and yet relentless all at once it was a joy to watch. It also showed me that the fandom was not bitter about change in the least. We will always be up for something new if it is done well.
D-Maximus_Prime - Bumblebee v. Bisk from "Bumblebee's Night Off" in Robots in Disguise. That is now ranked up there as my favorite fight scene from RiD, and second in the aligned continuity behind only the Predaking/Magnus/Wheeljack fight from Prime. The music, the lights, the whole thing was a great fight scene. I loved every second of it and I constantly rewatch that scene.
Shout out to the return of Starscream though. When he walks through that Space Bridge... Ooooooooooh maaaaaaaaaaan
Bronzewolf - Ratchet returning to the Aligned continuity. It's been a long time coming for the doc, and I'm glad to see him back on the screen. One piece of what made Prime such a great show has made a comeback to maybe make RID a bit better.
ScottyP - Steeljaw's first stroll through Glowstrike and Saberhorn's ship full of Decepticons in Robots in Disguise Season 2 Episode 3. Crazy colored Vehicons, Chompazoids, and even Crystal Widow!? It was a short but really fun scene that began to inform the ultimate direction Steeljaw took during the season. Honorable mention here to Grimlock making pretzels.
Counterpunch - My 2 year old decided that watching RiD with me was the way to spend good quality time. I particularly enjoyed when he told me definitively that Optimus was "red and black." I almost corrected him when I looked up at the screen to realize that he was right.
megatronus - Anytime Grimlock gets screen-time on RID. Grimlock has gone from one of the most annoying/perplexing characters on the show to one of the most entertaining. Pretzel, anyone?
Favorite Transformers Game-moment
Va'al - Cheating a little again here, but... Being part of the actual Earth Wars consultant/contributor/influencer group, my thoughts and face and voice and all! (My body will only and forever belong to Burn - though he never takes me up on the offer. ScottyP might...) I got to chat to the developers, finally meet Seibertron himself, and bring Alpha Bravo along for the ride to Space Ape Games.
megatronus - As a lifelong Transformers fan and long-term collector, I've struggled to share my hobby with those I love, particularly my wife. Well - love finds a way. Ever since I started playing Earth Wars beta back in February, I've been hooked. Once the game hit wide release in June, my wife decided to see what all the fuss is about - and now she's hooked. Say what you will about Earth Wars and mobile gaming, but I'm grateful to have found a channel through which to share this hobby.
D-Maximus_Prime - I only got the Earth Wars game recently, but I love using Vortex. His attack is fun and can be used so many times in one battle. Plus, he looks really cool in the game. He may be on my C-team, but he does not lose fights.
Kurona - Hm. Earth Wars can be very frustrating, and really stretches the limits of the free-to-play genre... but the one upside this brings is that it makes it VERY nice when you get a particular unit you want. I just got a 3-star Soundwave over a weekend, that was wicked.
But the real good thing is how good it feels to co-operate. Oh, sure, it's just contributing points towards an event or a war, but it feels good to have all that build up and feel like you're really helping out everyone else in addition to just yourself. That's what I love about this game. Co-operation.
Bronzewolf - That RID Augmented Reality game that I reviewed! I know it's random and not really a "game" perse, but man, it's a fun little thing to mess with for a bit. Check it out, it went underrated. (The game, not my review. Well, you can check that out too if you want. )
Favourite 2016 fan creation: art, custom, video, comic, fiction
Kurona - Thew. Just... just Thew. His reviews are just the most fun out there. I love him.
D-Maximus_Prime - Thew's Knockoff Beatdown: Ruination. I always enjoy his reviews, but I love a good beatdown of knockoffs. The fact that this one focused almost solely on Bruticus/Ruination KO's made it lots of fun, as well as the fact you can see how poorly made some of those guys are. Plus, I love a good pun or 50.
Bronzewolf - Cobotron's Bluestreak. Man, I'm a sucker for Streak, and when getting a combiner wars version was a pipe dream (which it still kind of is, if you don't count the club version), one herobro rose from the ashes: Cobotron. His Bluestreak is just great, very clean, and well-executed.
Cobotron - There is so much good fun stuff out there. Even in our own Transtopia. So I'm going to keep this one here in the Seibertron family. The wonderful photos of our friend and forum mate, Cyberpath. If you haven't seen his pics, you haven't been to the 'Awesome Pictures And Poses Thread'. His pictures are amazing, and I always look forward to seeing what eye candy he will post next.
I've poked and prodded him to start his own thread to showcase his work, but I've now become accustomed to seeing his pics scattered across the many threads that weave the tapestry of our Seibertron.com forums. Thanks for sprucing up the joint CP!
ScottyP - With apologies to the amazing effort and creativity shown during October's #LostLightFest on the same platform - My pick goes to something from the amazing Twitter account of Inkybauds, longtime Transformers fan known for his involvement in the (now becoming legendary if I daresay) Transmasters fan club in the UK. Earlier this year, he created this series of three tweets (one, two, three) containing a list of fake, but hilarious and timely "Modern Transformers Names". Go laugh, then come back. This Kroktease article will be here when you get back.
Va'al - Not because I was behind the initial input of a couple of them - Burn was there with me at least all the times, just quiet about it - but I really enjoy the terrible threads that we create on Seibertron, from Civil War to Braingate, to the acronyms one, even my one-person campaign for Alpha Bravo to become the New Prime of Cybertron. Alpha Prime - It Just Sounds Right.
...and now: Moment of the Year
D-Maximus_Prime - Hard one to pin down... but I gotta say pre-ordering my first Masterpiece. I have yet to attend a Transformers convention but nothing felt quite like when TFSource opened their MP SG Prime pre-order. As soon as he was even teased, I wanted him, and as he is my first Masterpiece, he is incredibly special. First Masterpiece, and it is one of my favorite comics characters. Shattered Glass was an amazing comic, and I want more Shattered Glass stuff. I like it when the good guy is suddenly the bad and viceversa. Probably why I love Autobot Megatron in IDW so much...
ScottyP - Keeping it short: Masterpiece Ironhide was the first toy I got after having to cut Transformers purchasing off completely for six weeks towards the start of this year for reasons dictated by life. For some of you, this immediately has no impact, but please bear with me. For a serial buyer such as myself, who's bought literally hundreds of Transformers each year for the past 12 years, six weeks is an eternity. Getting Ironhide in and getting to experience a really great toy of a character I've always loved in a truly meaningful, focused way was one of several events in that stretch that helped me reflect on the reasons I collect these toys and follow these unconventional characters. Steady, brave, and shining in that beautiful red, Ironhide showed up in the mail one afternoon in late February and had to be savored. Would the impact have been the same if it had been, say, Black Tracks? Why did the character of Ironhide mean so much in that moment? Finding the answers to those questions led to a few new and exciting paths down untread trails of the hobby. Life can beat you up or threaten to destroy Autobot City in your own shuttle by slipping by the early warning system, sure. But when you feel like giving up, think about what Ironhide would do. Maybe second guess it a little because of the potential consequences. Ultimately, the answer remains the same - when life asks you to give up, look down that fusion cannon pointed at you and say 'No'.
Cobotron - Oh! You mean like the time I was 100% ready to just slagging hate Masterpiece Hot Rod for his cursed cartoon accuracy, then I got him, transformed him, and he held me in is arms sweetly, and showed me the error of my ways? 'Cause that was an awesome moment! (cont'd)
william-james88 - It was that week of those slow reveals from Takara of all the components for Computron. This was the Combiner with the biggest question mark throughout the first year of the line and it is so crazy how much of an adventure it turned out with Hasbro and Takara going in completely different paths. Takara knew theirs was a big deal and they let us savour it. First by slowly showing each figure in grey scale and then showing them to us in colour. I remember marveling at each one, especially when there was a time I thought I either would not get Computron or have him be made the cheapest way possible. I was so damn happy when I saw that giant drill in the silhouette. It turned out to be one of the best toys of the year and what I like was the fanfare that came with his reveal. It was a fun adventure from the Takara announcement to getting him in my hands.
megatronus - Back to Earth Wars - one of the things my wife loved about the game was the inclusion of the Torch Bearers on the Autobot side. That's right, the component members of Victorion, Pyra Magna and the rest, have representation in the game. Well, when Amazon had the Victorion box set on sale for $40 a few weeks back, I pounced. Now my wife has her very first Transformers - a lady combiner, no less!
Cobotron - (cont'd) Or the time the Wife not only agreed that I should go to BotCon, but said "you need to go to BotCon". It was my very first, and very sadly the last. I've never seen a dealer room dedicated to just Transformers, and I took full advantage of Candyland. Knocking out a few grails along the way. The whole thing was really great though. Just the vibe and camaraderie of the whole community. It was a real treat getting to meet folks, make friends, and talk the talk during a whole weekend dedicated to the thing we like. And, Va'al even swam all the way from France! That was AMAZING!
Counterpunch - A few people will acknowledge Botcon's closing hours as their moment of the year, but I think for me, it was arriving at Botcon 2016 and watching everything fall into place one last time. We were so chill and well behaved. There were only three of us in a room, instead of twelve. No one puked. No one got stuck in a tire swing at the hotel's fake beach. No one passed out in a hallway. We've come a long way baby.
Va'al - You kidding? I loved arriving at the second day of BotCon, with only a couple of people I'd actually already met, and finally get to see everyone in the flesh! From carytheone to Cobotron, to Sabrblade to the entire Twincast crew, the Audio Knights crew, some of the COMPETITION, the artists, the Hasbro team again... and just roll the entire weekend trolling the event with custom Alpha Bravo fanboi tshirts.
Bronzewolf - Joining Seibertron.com. Seriously, I've been reading this site religiously for at least 5 years now (it became part of my daily routine) and I wouldn't trade the opportunity to write for it for anything. Love it, love the people, love the subject matter. Can't get better. Va'al: Awww.
Kurona - Dying of the Light for all reasons mentioned above. Again, don't want to spoil anything; but it's got everything I could want and just keeps going without ever hitting the brakes. An absolute Masterpiece.
Here comes the finale!
What are you looking forward to in 2017 for Transformers? With no real order...
-Titan Trypticon: more kaiju, please!
-More Titans Returns: my quantity of fun is directly correlated to my quantity of headmasters.
-Next Gimmick: Powermasters? Pretenders? Beast Wars? I'm excited to see what's in store for Transformers.
-HasCon: As a Marvel Legends and Star Wars collector, I hope HasCon is a success.
-MP36 Megatron: No words. Just silent tears of joy.
The continuation of Titans Return figures, Trypticon is coming. Will be interesting to see how he turns out. Oh and then there's the movie. I won't be getting my hopes up for it, so here's hoping it surprises me, and here's hoping some of our readers surprise me and tone down the anti-Bay rhetoric that generates so many reported posts!
The reveal of the next Beast Wars Masterpiece toy. I am hoping it is Megatron. Well, I wish it to be Dinobot but I really cannot imagine how that toy would ever work. How can he be such a slim dinosaur and turn into such a tall dark and handsome bot. The full reveal of Titan Class Trypticon is also something I look forward to but the fact that we can all picture how it will look like roughly and knowing that available space for more toys in my home is quickly diminishing kind of dampens my anticipation for the reveal, in comparison to my hopes for the next Masterpiece Beast Wars announcement.
The possibility that the next line of Transformers may give us toys of the original 13 Primes.
Classics UK Volume 6, and dare I dream Classics UK Volume 7 might also come out? I'm also looking forward to basically everyone being wrong about Power of the Primes, including me.
Oh, and finally finding out if that note Mr. Roberts left me at the end of MTMTE #38's script was a joke or a scolding (and no, I won't tell you what it said ) Va'al knows. Va'al was there. Va'al was kinda responsible for it.
Titans Return and Lost Light. Quite possibly the most generic response I could have given... but can't really think of much else. MTMTE is my favourite Transformers fiction (and overall fiction at the moment), while Titans Return has really hit the ground running. The rest of IDW too, actually - TAAO is REALLY getting good, and Optimus Prime... looks decent.
I gotta say hopefully going to my first convention. Botcon may be no more, but I will still get out there go someplace. I gotta get to one of these and live it out. There is so much potential there that I need to experience.
Figure wise, I'm really looking forward to the Titans Return Leader Decepticons. The 2 we have revealed so far look amazing, and I really look forward to some lesser known guys getting some great attention from this line. (Please Nautica!!!)
Toys, toys, toys, and more toys. Titans, Powery Primes, Liony Convoys, MP Artfire, RID's Combiner Pants Force. I'm sure 2017 will be a breakneck switchback mountain road of reveals, that will make for a great ride. I also always look forward to the hunt, and swapping campfire stories with all here in Seibertown. To a better year than the last!
Perceptor. Bring it on, man. I've been kicking around grabbing a fanstoys Tesla, but waited because of the rumors of a mainline release. I'm so glad I did. I could not be happier with how he looks, and can't wait to pick him up.
I'm also looking forward to Trypticon's reveal and potential release, and The Last Knight. I'm being cautiously optimistic (perhaps more optimistic than I should be) about it. I'm very optimistic about the toys, though. Some of my favorite real-life cars finally embodied as transformers. I'm stoked, and I'm waiting with baited breath until they get revealed.
I'm also looking forward to continuing involvement with this great community and writing for Seibertron. I know it's sappy but talking transformers with you all is the highlight of my day, and always enjoyable. To 2017 and beyond!
On those words, we come to a close on a retrospective glimpse at a busy year in Transformers, Seibertronians, toys, comics, community and more... Now it's up to you! What made your 2016 special in Transformers? What do you hope our Gracious Robots Overlords [there's more than one?!] will bring in 2017, the next Movie Year? The Energon Pub is open at all hours - just grab a seat, and let it out.
May we all surrender our Intellectual Property, and achieve Total Brand Awareness.
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. 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.
Due to some technical difficulties, the list could not be published last Saturday, but instead here we have it to start the week off, enjoy!
Top 10 Best Head Sculpts
This is Seibertron’s 50th list and for this milestone, I wanted to have some fun on a topic that can be quite subjective since it is 100% about your sense of aesthetic. Here are the 10 head sculpts I like most amongst all Transformers toys. Criteria is mixed and subjective but I went for what I found either well done, detailed, interesting or definitive with a hint of the brand’s legacy factoring in here and there.
It is a very humanoid head compared to most robotic heads sported by Transformers and it works well with his more slender physique. I like how it is within a dome, giving off that crazy scientist vibe (ala Mr Freeze and Herman von Klempt) which also works with the motif that his main weapons are liquid concotions he comes up with.
This was such a brilliant release by Hasbro. They honoured both the G1 toy and the cartoon in one fell swoop. That Macross themed mask is gorgeous and just exudes cool with a great respect to the best sci fi mecha design while the cartoon inspired face underneath is on point.
I love how his head looks like a stylized decepticon symbol made more devilish. Him not having distinctive eyes works to great effect to capture a design of someone wanting the world to burn and have the flames reflect in his visor. Light piping was a great addition to the brand and it works wonders here.
I love how part of this design is very traditional looking for an interpretation on the Optimus Prime Head sculpt. However, they add this extra beast era detail of having horns which adds a noble savagery to him. To me, this really becomes the ideal merging of a classic Optimus design for a Beast era, merging the two most important eras of Transformers, the one that started it and the one that brought it back. I also adore the metallic reflective eyes. While light piping may be awesome, I do like this alternative, it proves that there is more than one way to make a robot’s eyes feel alive.
This shows how the brand kept being fresh throughout the years. This was a fully original design for a character that is now as classic as any other. I love the black marks on his face, which remind me of a Dathomirian.
As we get into the top 5, nostalgia is bound to weigh a bit more, and while this is such an iconic face, the reason why it has been such a mainstay is because it was awesome from day one. The faceplate and visor has this no nonsense vibe and harkens back to mecha designs older than Transformers. The rendition of that design here is magnificent.
Speaking of magnificence, the designers really outdid themselves with this head sculpt. While this may not be the ultimate rendition of G1 Megatron, it is the ultimate rendition of his face. I just love the extra dents and texture added to it, giving it a modern and more 3 dimensional spin on a classic catoon design.
Speaking of classic designs harkening back to G1, we have Vector Prime, who’s face is literally the G1 autobot symbol. You can see it, from the crest to the mouth and chin piece. The Cybertron/Galaxy Force line had the very best head sculpts, to me, because they took familiar Transformers aesthetics and added to them, giving us something new and timeless. This design is a perfect example.
A sense of tradition goes a long way in a head design but rather than this head be an homage to a character, it instead harkens back to the history of where these toys originally come from. I am referring to the oni design that adorns his feline like helmet. Also, the eyes have that metallic sheen I loved so much from Big Convoy, but in a nice red tint to bring out the evil. The amount of detail here puts almost every other head sculpt to shame. But that’s ok, because if every oher head looked like this, then it wouldn’t be unique.
It is hard to describe why I love this head sculpt so much but here I go. As I said with vector Prime, the Cybertron line excels at bringing out the best classical Transformers designs and making them new. This head is the epitome of that with references to classical autobot designs including prime like antennas, a helmet which reminds me a lot of Springer, especially at its base and a perfectly happy autobot face which looks similar to a Datsun brother. Yet the combination of all these elements gives it a brand new design that is all it own, especially with the inclusion of a clear yellow plastic visor that is reminiscent of the previous form of Hotshot (who was originally supposed to be Bumblebee) and the retractable visor. I love having all the differently coloured/painted plastic come together to form this head sculpt. Here, we see how the Brand can reinvent itself design wise and be new, while also preserving the legacy which has contributed to its longevity. It stays relevant but honors the past and that is what I hope in general from this Brand at every moment.
Honourable Mentions: I am sure the comments section will be full of them, so please be sure to click the "join discussion" button to see them. As for me, the three I had a hard time removing off this list were the heads of Alternity Banzaitron, Beast Wars Neo Guiledart and 2001's RID Megatron.
Reflections of a GI Joe comic by a mostly Transformers comics reader - GI JOE Revolution Issue #1 - by **************
G.I. Book Blurb:
Presently: It’s a clandestine mission to our favorite Transformers playwright’s old hideout… BIKINI ATOLL for an extraction that maybe you wouldn’t predict…
Besides BIKINI ATOLL, and the mention of what has been going on with Optimus Prime, Autobots, and Decepticons, there isn’t much here for Transformers fans except a little gem at the end that I want to hint at with a very vague image below. Next issue of REV should be of much more interest to Transformers readers.
It’s pretty obvious, it’s a REVOLUTION title so it’s going to be about all the main players and continuing that over-arching story-line. It’s the GI JOE ONESHOT though, so mostly, we get Joes. A handful of them to be precise. And a whole island full of zombie-like Dire Wraiths.
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!! Big Hat, Parrot Guy, Nose Man, Darryl, and The Rock
Joe Colton’s death was not a shock to most people keeping up with the series. The fact that he was a Dire Wraith, also not a shock at all. And indeed like the body snatchers of old, and any number of newer horror, sci-fi related movies and materials; this revelation involving several shape changers has sown the seeds of distrust, nervousness, anxiety, and even panic amongst the humans who have been infiltrated: mainly the government and GI JOE.
Who do you trust? How far? With what? The handful of Joes chosen for the mission by Scarlett meant that she could, hopefully, trust her crew and they could trust each other. Whoops…
The only Joes to go on the mission with Scarlett are Rock ’N’ Roll (machine gunner/infantry), Quick Kick (silent weapons), Road Block (Heavy weapons support), Shipwreck and Polly (naval command infiltration/extraction), and Wild Bill (air combat commander/pilot). Seems like a pretty solid group- but to me it does feel lacking-. Seems we have no Mainframe, who featured previously in REVOLUTION and who had ties to ACTION MAN, and the EDC. I think I might need to do a re-read to see if he got lost somewhere and I missed it, but I think, Myles ‘Mayhem’ Manheim may be the culprit, if my memory is doing its thing correctly.
It's really no surprise, when we find out one of this inadequate group is a traitor, a Dire Wraith in disguise, and this traitor looks to take out the group and end the mission tout suite (Who do you take out of that group as traitor? There’s no ‘C” level member, no red shirt, or green shirt...). The result is a nice little bit of horrorfest, which would have been perfect, if distributed about two weeks ago around Halloween. But now is good too.
Friend, Foe, or alien?
It was a somewhat morbid, despairing story that I thought really read well as a tale of deception by the alien Dire Wraith element and the mind-twisting, gut wrenching consequences, with another decent enough twist at the end that won’t pay off until later. Lots of gun play and action, albeit featuring about 6 Joes that have never been listed amongst my personal favorites, but certainly are popular among lots of the Joe fandom. The story becomes most relevant at the end for TF fans, but may not be worth a purchase for those not into GI JOE, or who aren’t collecting all the individual issues of REVOLUTION. Ask your Joe collecting buddy, or REVOLUTION collecting roommate to see the final page, and then wonder about what happens next…
The art was enjoyable, and while a scratchier, lots-of-line-work, somewhat detail-heavy style, it was still pretty slick and appealing. While Scarlett stuck out as seeming a bit to manga/anime-ish at times, and faces lacked eyes or even entire faces in some panels, I did not find it to be off putting or even bad -somewhat adding to the horror and unsettling storyline-. Action scenes were well-executed and very upbeat, if not unrealistic at times (it's a comic, so...). The lettering and colors played well to create the creepy, overall dark feeling that the story pervaded. The dialogue was pretty clear military jargon when it needed to be, but also was able to help you to understand more about their personalities and relationships. Like Rock 'N' Roll is a bit of a jerk.
The comedian or just a jerk?
What does this face mean?
YOUR TAKE (Recommendations, or not)
Skip and borrow for TF fans.
Joe fans**- worth it- certainly if any of those characters are amongst your favorites.
REVOLUTION readers, of course, BUY IT!
No crossbow for this zombie killer!
**GI JOE toy fans might find new reason to buy those new two-packs of Zombie Troopers at TRU, if you can find them. They could make great stand-ins for the Dire Wraith zombie people that are found on BIKINI ATOLL, standing in the way of our heroes and their goal.**
Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. This week, we have a nice collaboration by other staff members which were quite passionate about several of these toys. 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 Motorcycle (Motorbike) Transformers Toys
This is a very simple list. I looked at all Transformers who turned into motorcycles from Armada Nightbeat to G1 Override (who both didn't make the list). There are a ton of motorcycles out there, especially in the movie lines so while the standouts were easy to find (number 1 will surprise no one), it got very tough to distinguish the best amongst many decent toys. So I sought advice from colleagues and fans who seemed to have passion for these very specific toys and rounded them up.
This little dude is one of the examples of the truly excellent Scout class back in the peaks of the movieverse lines and sub-lines - Hunt for the Decepticons, in Brimstone's case. An attempt to capture the spiky nature of the aesthetics of Bay's production, the general added evil looks to otherwise adorable little figures, some good complex transformations for toys this size - and you get a great blend of colours, stable feet, a precursor to TF Prime's Soundwave's sinister silhouette, plus the potential for Spinning Triblades of Death and Doom, if it takes you a couple of weeks to figure out that, yes, there are indeed hands in there too. One of my first paint touch-ups, too, so clearly it struck a chord!
The PRiD Arcee mold is a top-tier contender for this list. Tight construction, a believable alt mode, a bot mode that doesn't suffer for the small vehicle, and generally good detailing; not only is this a nice toy, but it's generally accurate to the challenging designs of the TF Prime show.
The engineering of this figure takes its marks from the best motorcycle designs and puts them together in a convincing package, while implementing an auto-morph gimmick that is unobtrusive. It does all of these things while keeping numerous and more importantly, meaningful points of articulation. If there are any failings to speak of, it should be noted that the weapons are not really show accurate, which was more of a problem with the PRiD line than with the figure.
There are a variety of delightful, high quality redecos like Chromia and the Queen of the Racing World, Flareup to choose from. So find a biker lady to ride with before someone ships them out from under you.
This guy. Shows up for the entirety of not-that-much in the fiction (from Animated cartoon to its corollary stories), causes enough damage - WITH SCIENCE - then disappears into the folds of officially sanctioned fan-fiction. The tracks, however, run deep. The most menacingly metal mucus motorbike out there, with an actual ram skull visible in both modes, full asymmetry, cactus limbs, chains, and cheating wheel transformation, this is the Ghost Rider figure that (almost, shhhh) never was - if Ghost Rider had the powers of snot. Brütal Snøt.
Anyone who thinks Hasbro did not take the Robots in Disguise (2015) line seriously will change their mind if they give Fracture a chance. While the material and the way he is built up doesn't scream solid quality à la Galaxy Force, he shows how Takara is at the height of their engineering prowess. His transformation is perfect and more unique and elegant than any generations toy he shared shelf space with. Everything is just so thought out and meticulous. Every piece clips in perfectly and both modes are dynamite with minimal extraneous kibble. There is no way to tell this turns into a robot in vehicle mode and at the same time, the robot mode is so damn sleek with nothing getting in the way of the articulation! This is by far the best toy to come out of the Robots in Disguise line (at the moment of writing) and any fan of Transformers toys would be doing themselves a disservice by not experiencing this toy.
The motorcycle mode is almost completely free of kibble from every angle, only the fingertips are visible from the rear, that's it. Robot mode is also extremely free of kibble, where the usual motorcycle bots have nose blocks that become hunchback growths or wheels that become extra appendages, all of those elements have been integrated cleanly and beautifully into robot mode. The only thing that can even be construed as kibble are the back fins, and even those flow nicely.
This flows right into the posability, this being one of the most posable bots ever made. Not only is he all ball joints, but the side effect of the wheel integration is that his knees are double-jointed, making him one of the few transformers that can crouch.
With perks like show accuracy and little extras like his ninja star hubcaps, I would qualify Animated Prowl as not just the best motorcycle Transformer ever designed, but one of the best transformer designs ever.
-- Trigaba (This wonderful review of the toy was found on our forums)
Honourable mentions: First Edition Prime Arcee is a good toy, but I preferred including other toys on the list rather than two similar Arcees and the Robots in Disguise is usually preferred simply due to the fact that it is more accurate. The First Edition is still a worthwhile toy and I recommend anyone to check this great pictorial review from fellow Seibertronian Carytheone. RTS Wreckgar should also get a mention because he is an amazing effort with a kickass robot mode. However, the breakage issue cannot be forgiven enough to be considered one of the best.
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