As the new year has already started in some parts of the world - Oz-based site admin Burn was the first to notice 2017 arriving in our community - we have news of another new arrival in robotic form: actual robots (well, robotic suits) from a South Korean robotics group, designed for emergency response. As CNN reports, designers used cues from Transformers and Terminator live action movie franchises, though there are some glimpses of Aliens, Avatar and more mech-suits out there.
Check out the embedded clip below, and prepare to welcome our new robot overlords in 2017!
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.
NEW SOURCE INTERVIEW! Ben Parfitt shares his insights & fantastic collection in one of our favourite features! [url=https://tfsource.com/bl…/collector-interview-54-ben-parfitt/]Collector Interview 54 – Ben Parfitt[/url]
Have you signed up for Source Points yet? Earn points with every purchase towards Freebies! Accumulated points and want to redeem them? Click the following link to enroll or redeem your points today! Source Points - TF Source
Via another surprising choice for a reveal, we have the IDW Publishing Transformers Optimus Prime #2 full issue preview. The images come courtesy of comics website Comic Crusaders, and can be seen below - head back to Seibertron.com for our review once the book is out next week!
NEW CYBERTRON! A massive corkscrew-shaped space ship has drilled into Earth, bringing with it a surprising disruption to OPTIMUS PRIME’s plans. Meanwhile—ARCEE fields a dangerous offer that may be too good to resist!
Optimus Prime #2
John Barber (w) • Kei Zama (a & c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
After the first couple of reveals of upcoming Transformers Titans Return Kup with Titan Master Flintlock a little while ago, we know have a full pictorial review via fellow fansite BWTF. Check out a selection of them below, as we get to see the gun accessories, vehicle mode, robot mode, and some comparisons with previous figures of the character!
Via fellow fansite Allspark.com's user NightViper, we have a list of upcoming Transformers: Robots in Disguise toys for the new year at Walmart. While some of the items included are re-packs of previous figures, such as Night Ops Bumblebee and Gold Armor/regular green Grimlock, we do have the new Blurr, Bludgeon and Twinferno figures - and an entirely new Thermidor one (though probably a redeco of Bisk)! Check it out below.
Thanks to fellow Seibertronian Nik Hero, probably this figure's biggest awaiter, we have the first English language review (by Primal Sabbath) of the e-Hobby exclusive set of LG-EX Convobat, with Megalligator's head/Titan Master and Ape-X drone - all using Titans Return base molds and figures! Check out the embedded video below, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub!
3. Free TF Movie 3 Trading Cards for every orders and unsent Preorders!
For every USD50 ordered, 4 pack of TF Movie 3 Trading card will be included.
For over USD300 Order, A Card Album will also be included!
If Any customers do not want the Free Gift Cards, please mention in the remarks section during check out.
Planet X PX-11A Apocalypse Set A.
Comparison Picture with PX-01 Updated!
Pre-order Available end of January/end of Feburary 2017.
Which set release first are not confirmed yet.
Planet X PX-11B Apocalypse Set B.
Comparison Picture with PX-01 Updated!
Pre-order Available end of January/end of Feburary 2017.
Which set release first are not confirmed yet.
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