Thursday, December 31st 2009 10:15pm CST
Categories: Movie Related News
, Toy News
, Site Articles
Posted by: Blurrz
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We are about to embark into an incredible year of Transformers in 2010
. From our knowledge we know that Transformers Animated will finish in the first half of the year, with figures such as Arcee and Rodimus Minor. Revenge of the Fallen's
N.E.S.T. Global Alliance will consume some time, notable with releases of Human Alliance Barricade, Mudflap, and Leader Starscream. Newcomers such as the rebirth of Transformers Universe and Power Core Combiners are also in our horizons.
While we are absolutely excited about the upcoming year, the staff of Seibertron.com also wants to reflect on the great 2009
that we've experienced. Both the cartoon and toy line for Transformers Animated kept us busy until the eventual release of Revenge of the Fallen. The beginning of 2009 also experienced the final push from the Universe 2.0 toy line. ROTF finished off the last 7 months of the year. The movie also brought a boom in Transformers popularity much like it's predecessor.
The staff of Seibertron.com have been given a handful of categories related to 2009 to weigh in on. Mkall, Nekoman, tigertracks 24, Delicon, First Gen, Burn, Dead Metal, Cyber Bishop and myself have all participated. While the nine of us are all dedicated Transformers fans and hard workers on this website, our opinions on Transformers tend to differ. While we can agree on some aspects, you'll see below that our opinions are on each side of the spectrum! Our ages range from mid teens to early parenthood, so we've all been brought into the Transformers from different eras.
Take a look at the year through our eyes, and feel free to share your opinion in the forums by clicking the 'Discuss This Topic'
FAVOURITE NEW MOLD OF 2009
Transformers would be nothing without new creations. With 3 major toy lines in 2009, we recieved several new figures from Hasbro and Takara. Here are the ones that we thought were the most impressive.
He's simple, and very close to his G1 persona, and in a rare divergence Hasbro and Takara both made completely different decos of the figure, allowing for the differing tastes of the collectors.
Among the numerous choices of figures this year, I believe that Cyclonus stands out. I'm an avid Armada collector and a Targetmaster fan, so this release fits my tastes. Hasbro and Takara's versions of Cyclonus basically give you two different figures. The reuse of the figure as Henkei Strafe was simply dynamic.
Universe Cyclonus was a toy that was very deserving of the high anticipation that surrounded it. Both Hasbro's and Takara's version of the toy were very accute to two different portrayals of the character. He was highly articulated, but maintained a simple yet satisfying conversion.
Cyclonus wins this for me, although I like the Henkei version colors better than the US release. Still one of the best new molds in any line in a very long time.
Universe Cyclonus and ROTF Prime are a dead tie for me.
I think this choice means that the line has a viable future. Not many repaint options that will sell like hot cakes, and a fan-favorite character, he is pretty durable for such a highly detailed, and massive figure. I like him a lot.
Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon
Universe Cyclonus is great but this guy just takes the biscuit for me.
Device Label Ravage
I absoloutely love this little guy, as does everyone at work who I showed him too. Sure his alt mold may be ... well a stick, but his robot mode is everything G1 Ravage was and then some. And I needed a new memory stick too, may have cost a bit but he's got the coolness factor!
FAVOURITE REPAINT OF 2009
Repainted Transformers have been a mainstay ever since the existence of Generation One. While some dislike repainted Transformers, some are great homages and can bring out the figures aesthetics if the original issue did not. Take a look at the ones that have caught our attention this year.
To me, a repaint that works the best is a repaint that in some form improves the original toy. The way I see it, Universe Hardhead does just that. He bares a striking resemblance to his original Generation 1 toy, but at the same time does not sacrifice a gimmick as great as what made Generation 1 Onslaught a fun figure. The toy is creative, best exemplified by the anti-Decepticon emblem on his shield.
I know Hard Head will probably win, but I'm going to throw my hat in with Darkwind. This was a repaint which no one had even thought of before it was announced, unlike the Onslaught --> Hardhead demands which popped up every other week for a while. In the galleries, this figure matches his G1 counterpart shade for shade, making him a brilliant homage.
I'm a sucker for black repaints, and ones that represent obscure G2 characters you never saw coming are awesome in my opinion. A nice way to get a third paint job out of the Universe Silverbolt mold.
Animated Purple Shockwave
I think all of us Animated fans were asking for this when Shockwave was released. After Cartoon Network made Shockwave's true colors Purple, it was simply a figure that everyone needed to have. The colours aren't stunning per se, but homages are homages - and this is one of the best.
Starscream (Universe version) is my favorite here. When Classics Starscream came out a few years back, I was one of the fanboys who salivated when I saw him on the shelf. However, as the rest of the seekers were eventually released and I saw how G1 accurate they were, I started hating some of Screamer's funky colors, especially on the wings. The Universe version takes care of those flaws nicely, so much that I might end up getting rid of my Classics version.
FAVOURITE REMOLD OF 2009
What is old can easily be new again. Remolding can make or break a figure. Whether it's a slight retake on the cast of the head or an entirely new look on the figure, here's a few that stood out for us.
Animated Samurai Prowl
For me, the original Animated Deluxe Prowl was really flimsy and just not my cup of tea. Add some 'upgrades' and you have one of the most brilliant remolds of the year. Samurai Prowl was pretty beastly in the cartoon, and it's reincarnation into plastic was played well.
Botcon Scourge and Sweeps Two, Six and Seven
The best remolds for me are usually the ones that have new heads which better fit their characters so my choice is Scourge and the Sweeps.
Animated Activators Cliffjumper
Look at that head!
FAVOURITE EXCLUSIVE OF 2009
Exclusives are a bit of a challenge for us Transformers fans. If we don't like it, we can easily avoid it. If we like it and don't live close to where the exclusive is, then we're in a lot of trouble. Here are a select few that were worth the challenge.
Gentei Ghost Starscream
I'm going to make the case for Gentei Ghost Starscream, even though I don't have it yet. Transparent figs aren't released en-masse so every one is special to the collectors. Not many actually represent a character that appeared in G1, but Ghost Starscream was, and did rather well. This figure matches that awesomeness in an updated Classics/Universe feel for those of us that enjoy that.
Amazon Black ROTF Optimus Prime
All the sweetness from the original, but with a sweet black, blue, grey, paint scheme with orange, yellow, gold, flame highlights! Black variant collectors rejoice!
Target Titanium Hotzone
Target Titanium Hotzone is the clear winner for me. He's the perfect update to G1 Hot Spot.
Target/Zellers Purple Shockwave with Activators Bumblebee
I don't want to sound like a broken record but Purple Shockwave.... Purple Shockwave.... Purple...
FAVOURITE BOTCON EXCLUSIVE OF 2009
Botcon 2009 was in Pasedena, California this year, and it was a dashingly impressive event. The box set went back in time as it focused on the Elite Guard of the past. Attendee figures were also integrated to fit with the set, some were funky repaints, others payed homages to Generation One characters. Below are our favourites.
While they didn't have the resale value of some past sets, I liked most of the BotCon exclusives this year. I would say Scourge is my favorite as the head on that figure is awesome and his color scheme fits pretty well, also. He's not perfect in vehicle mold but when you have such an odd alt mode you are trying to emulate, your options are going to be limited in what you can work with. I like Scourge slightly better than his Sweeps because I thought the Sweeps would have been better as a slightly different shade of blue than Scourge, instead of the teal that they ended up with.
As a starving University student I can't exactly afford anything from Conventions like my fellow staff members, but I'll go out on a limb and say that Botcon Scourge was the best Botcon Exclusive this year. It completes the trifecta of Post Movie G1 Baddies with Universe Galvatron and Universe Cyclonus being released within the past and current year.
Scourge, the tracker was phenomenal, along with his henchmen, the Sweeps.
They took an awesome mold to the next level with this figure. They even went so far as to transcribe his motto into Cybertronian and place it on his hull. The colours and the mold pay an awesome tribute to the original figure. No new head was even required.
The often overlooked Energon Starscream mold gets a fun repaint as this Japanese G1 Breastforce team member. While the character himself may not be the most popular member of this group, the idea and execution were well intentioned, and well completed.
Skyquake closely followed by Elita one, a quirky Euro exclusive guy gets a new toy and is a double homage to Machine Wars Starscream and the colours are awesome!
FAVOURITE REVENGE OF THE FALLEN FIGURE OF 2009
Without a doubt, Revenge of the Fallen brought in many new fans and many new figures. While the popularity of Revenge of the Fallen is not so high with all the old farts on the staff *wink*, a few of us weigh on which figure impressed us the most.
Leader Class Optimus Prime
I don't have one so I'm going by what others have said, and this guy wins in terms of poseability and features.
Plenty of poseability, plenty of gimmicks, plenty of weapons, and plenty of kick ass. I am not a fan of movie toys, but this was a very nice addition to my Optimus Prime collection.
In the initial release of Revenge of the Fallen back in June, Sideswipe was one of the forerunners for being best of the line. Six months later I still feel strongly that Sideswipe is the best. The figure isn't trying too hard to pull off the character's aesthetics, which was exactly what the Human Alliance class figure did and failed badly. Be it the twin swords, interesting wheel feet, or sleek paint job, Sideswipe's a figure every ROTF fan needs in their collection.
FAVOURITE ANIMATED FIGURE OF 2009
The cutting edge of Animated was established back in 2008 and excelled in 2009. While the toy line was short-lived, it brought a variety of new figures, repaints and remolds. The majority of the figures were all for cartoon characters. While 2010 looks to be a better year for Animated, here's what 2009 Animated did for us.
A rather interesting figure that came out of Transformers Animated was Shockwave. Unlike most other figures, Shockwave was slightly unorthodox, with two alternate modes, as well as two robot modes, accurate to his portrayal as the spy, Longarm in the series. The Target exclusive version was colored purple like his Generation 1 toy, and his later appearances in the TV series. These colors were more vibrant and attractive on the mold as opposed to the the stark gray the regular release came with.
He rocks hard
Animated Samurai Prowl
Interesting new take on a the stale old G1 bot, this version includes a lot of added weaponry and armor that is added in alt mode as a sidecar to his motorcycle. Cool.
While I didn't like Animated all too much, I did like Samurai Prowl. Prowl on his own wasn't a great figure. But then they introduced a side car that acted as add-on armour. This is a concept sorely missing from TF's and it worked well. Taking a pretty bland figure and giving it a fun gimmick that made him look better and gave him a unique look.
No, Purple Shockwave does not get the Hat-Trick, and it's not going to be Blurr either. I believe Jetstorm and Jetfire are the best Animated Figures released this year. Yes, they are flying bricks, and yes they combine into a bigger flying brick, but they're just fun toys. They aren't trying hard, they fit the line's aesthetics and Safeguard is a pretty impressive combiner.
I don't collect TFA figs, but I'm going to say, based only on what I've heard that this would go to Blurr. Very poseable and a very nice homage to his G1 self.
FAVOURITE TOY LINE OF 2009
For all the marbles, we get to choose our favourite line of 2009. North America had Revenge of the Fallen, Universe 2.0, and Animated. Takara had some interesting lines with Alternity, Encore and the dead to a halt Device Label. Check out which line impressed us the most.
Revenge of the Fallen
Its literally thrusted TF's into the stratosphere and the kids love them.
Have to say this since it was the dominant line this year.
I like the idea of BT style Transformers toys coming back into the territory, and I think that TT are taking a chance to try to reach back out to the BT/Alternator collectors of a few years past with this line.
For the simple fact the RotF and Animated toy lines had not impressed one bit, to the point i've nearly given up collecting. Alternity however takes me back to what I like about TF's. Robots with non-insect heads and decent proportions.
Ultimately I feel that Animated gets the job done. Even though it was the later half of the toy line, I still feel it bests the other lines. And it's not really what Animated did, but it was what the other lines lacked. Universe 2.0 was short lived in 2009 and distribution was sketchy. Revenge of the Fallen was teeming with repaints since Wave 1 - Store Exclusives were dry and repaints uninspirational. On the other hand, Animated never tried too hard. It kept us busy until the release of Revenge of the Fallen.
Universe 2. Some of the best repaints of the line came out in 2009, and the best figures such as Inferno and Cyclonus
I'm gonna go with Encore, it is nice to see these G1 molds still being produced, even if it is not stateside.
FAVOURITE TRANSFORMERS MOMENT OF 2009
We had a lot of transformers news in the past year. Several members of the staff were more excited about announcements for events in 2010, then what actually happened in 2009. But no one could really blame them, as most of the news has been down right awesome. 2009 is also highlighted by the release of Revenge of the Fallen, and Transformers conventions - noticeably Botcon, SDCC and TFCon have grown in popularity. Take a look at what's been our favourite moment of 2009.
Revenge of the Fallen
Whether you loved the movie or hated it, the box office performance of Revenge of the Fallen, especially over the first couple of days was pretty incredible.
Not much can top what Revenge of the Fallen has done.
Without a doubt, it has made a lot of money!
War For Cybertron
The announcement of the upcoming War for Cybertron game is my favourite. While I enjoyed Revenge of the Fallen and was one of it's few supporters, I did have my dislikes, mostly the designs of the TF's themselves. WFC, like Alternity, is giving me the look I like in Transformers
San Diego Comic Con 2009
I never attended, but wow, maybe it was all the hot chicks cosplaying or the fact that we got the low-down on Human Alliance, N.E.S.T. Global Alliance and so many Transformers releases for 2009 and 2010. It was definitely a great event to watch - not only for Transformers, but for every genre of geekdom. SDCC almost rivaled Botcon this year, and we Transformers fans were well aware of that in July!
I'm going to say that it is the announcement of Universe 3 starting up again in the back half of 2010. There are a few like me who only collect "traditional" style figures, which means no Animated and very few ROTF figs decorate my shelves. Universe 3 give me hope that there will be figures that satisfy me in 2010, and I won't have to pay 80+ dollars for them like the Japanese henkei exclusive repaints.
The announcement that the Transformers Collectors club will indeed create a figure that collectors will want in the upcoming Punch/Counterpunch exclusive from one of my favorite 2008 molds, the Sideswipe/Sunstreaker mold.
So there you have it, a look at 2009 from the eyes of the staff! Think we missed out on something special? Sound off your opinion in the Energon Pub
I think 2009 showed us that no matter where are opinions lie, there was always something Transformers related the brought us all together as one. On behalf of the staff of Seibertron.com, I wish everyone the best of holidays, and a prosperous year in 2010.
Friday, December 18th 2009 12:10pm CST
Categories: Site Articles
, Game News
, People News
, Digital Media News
Posted by: Counterpunch
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Greetings Seibertron. Counterpunch here bringing word down from the mountain.
The Staff here at Seibertron.com was privileged to participate in a conference call with Aaron Archer of Hasbro and Activision regarding the upcoming War for Cybertron game that you may have seen in our recent news cycles.
We were given free reign to ask questions and pry for information on your behalf and over the course of the interview found out some interesting and intriguing information. The conversation was free-flow and just presenting the questions as they were flatly asked would not really give you the same information that this article presentation will. A lot of what was said, wasn't said and knowing what was repeated or had emphasis placed upon it is just as important as the straight answer to the question. I will do my best to provide summary of the important topics and then I will simply bullet-point any other information that did not fit easily elsewhere.
This is a project that has been in development since 2007. Hasbro indicated to us, that the idea is to create a more linear story and that the game as a story-telling device is a "jumping off point". Specifically, they stated that the events of the game will live longer/carry-on past the life of the game itself. The basis of the story is the Cybertron Civil War. From our conversation and our inference at what was said, it appears that they are finally telling that part (the pre-Earth, Civil War) of the Transformers mythos the way they want it to be told. The word "canon" was used several times as we discussed this and when asked if this game/story was creating a canonical back-story for G1 ... we were not told "no". Of course, over the years, it has seemed that Hasbro has been careful to never truly define certain things, the origin of Prime, origin of the Constructicons, etc. The feeling that I and others had was that the plan was to tell a Cybertronian Civil War back story ... and if it so happens to make perfect sense as the canon G1 Civil War story ... well, that's how it is. Repeatedly, we were told that the effort is to tell great stories. Specifically, we were told that "Canon is a good word ... " I'm not sure there's a G1 fan out there who wouldn't consider the Transformer's Civil War Story to be the kind of great story they've been waiting on for years.
So, what else? What other specifics can we give? The story will be set on Cybertron. The Civil War will be hot and volatile. This will be the story of the Autobots and Decepticons before they left for Earth, before they really even know of other races. The setting and visualizations of Cybertron will be new and different. The one resounding piece of information seemed to be that this game will have a significant impact on the life and direction of the franchise over the next few years.
I know you all want to know about this, but there's not much to discuss. They weren't allowed to talk about the product yet. However, things that they aren't allowed to talk about are still things that exist. So, we know that there will be corresponding toys to the story and game.
(Click on the above image to view a 3000 pixel version)
The game itself is scheduled for a 2010 release date. Judging from the time it takes other games to hit the market, my personal opinion is that we'll see it sometime in late Fall or Winter of 2010. It seems to me that a summer release would be ambitious. We were told that the game platform provides for a very sizable audience for this story. The use of games as story platforms has taken off in recent years and seems to be in line with Hasbro's expansion of the brand ideal. The focus on gameplay discussion centered around the intensity of the combat and situation on Cybertron. This was described to us as a "Gamer's Game". The presentation of the in-game story is set to have dark overtones with large scale impact. Specific information on the game such as the number of playable characters or names of individual characters was not available for release yet. Along side this information becoming public, Activision plans on releasing a significant amount of assets (rendered pictures) and press info on Wednesday. At this point, we were told that on-line multi-player aspects of the game are key and are recognized as important play elements.
Other Information of Interest
* When asked if this game/story was meant to be the filler between now and Transformers 3, the answer was a fairly strong, "no". The movie universe was described as its own separate entity, which of course we all realize. The point seemed to be, that this storytelling event via the game and the things that are to come after it are not just distractions to hold us over until the next film, but are instead the firm foundations of the next few years of the franchise.
* Hasbro is co-developing the story alongside Activision. Creative control seems to be something that they are paying close attention to. Statements such as "We're really looking to leverage what's happened before" and "This era in Transformers is full of opportunity" show that the development teams on both sides are really looking into the things that long time fans have been after in regards to the story elements. We were told that "Anything that's taken place on Cybertron has been mostly in comics" and that they were eager to explore this new venue.
* The story and the game are not movie based.
* Character identity appears to be a recognized issue. If you've seen the pictures for Optimus Prime in the game, you will automatically recognize him. For core characters, the design teams are taking visual cues from those characters across the continuum of Transformers History. After all, most of the G1 gang did not have the most flattering Cybertronian modes when you think back on it.
* When asked if any of the design work borrowed from Transtech (because elements of the new Prime model do reference it ...) we were flatly told that Transtech hasn't been discussed in the office in 10 years (we know that's an exaggeration, but the point remains the same). I could hear the dreams of some of you shattering right there and then.
* Hasbro paid some genuine complements to High Moon in regards to the character designs.
* An emphasis on bringing some very obscure characters into focus for this story was highlighted to us. While no one was specifically named, we were told that they were referring to characters that hardcore, long-time fans would be interested in seeing.
Thanks for reading. I will be around to take questions on any of this, to clear it up, or to speculate along side you. I'm sure Seibertron, First Gen, and Mkall will also be happy to add their input into the discussion.
Thanks go out to Hasbro as well as Activision for making this possible and for reaching out to the community. It is greatly appreciated.