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Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's
Date: Saturday, April 7th 2018 11:11pm CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 24,444

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.


Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was better than Hasbro's

Last time, we checked the times when the Hasbro was better than the Takara version. Now, we will do the flip side, where we check the times Takara outdid Hasbro. Many fans often expect that to be the case, but with us now being in a new age of brand unification where the same toy gets released in both markets, it is a good time to look back at the times when it was really worth getting the Takara version over Hasbro's. I am well aware there are a lot of examples that can apply out there so I welcome people to let me know which toys they feel the Takara version is really worth seeking out. Also, they had to all be good toys rather than simply mediocre toys with a good paint job.


5. Transformers Legends Gelshark (Sky-Byte) vs Generations Sky-Byte

This is an extremely underrated toy which came and went with few caring. And that is a shame. Not only was this the representative of the Robots in Disguise 2001 / Car Robots line in the thrilling 30, he was also one hell of an update. He was still a shell former like his previous Beast Wars mold roots but unlike his original toy, the shell was very compact and made for elegant wings in robot mode which did not take any attention away from the robot mode. Also, and I can never stress this enough, Takara outdid themselves on the engineering of the chest. The original toy was a shark who transformed into a robot who had a shark-like face on his chest that was a different colour on each side (giving a hint to his states of mind). Of course, the real shark head was still somewhere on the toy (part of his massive shell) so the chest was more of a reference that he was a shark and not supposed to be the shark head. This update however had the shark head actually be the chest as well. No fake parts this time, reducing the shell considerably and making the robot far more sleek. There was even a nice panel flip on the shark's nose to give the chest new robot mode detail and to further look like the original cartoon model. As you recall, the whole theme of that chest is that it had a different colour on each side, showing how he was this unstable killer. So now that Hasbro has this opportunity of having the actual shark head be the chest how do they colour it? Just all light blue. Not even one of the shades that should be there. You might think that it is for it to work better as a shark head in shark mode, but no, that shade of blue isn't found anywhere else. Takara however jumped on the opportunity of this update to give him the split colour deco on his shark head so that when it transforms into robot mode, it gets the signature look. These same colours are also made to match the shark's body which make for a better looking shark mode. Takara has often outdone Hasbro in the deco area, just look at the entire Beast Wars Returns (Beast Machines in Japan) line. However, with Gelshark the improved deco goes a long way, longer than any other improved deco, turning a toy many dismissed into, what I consider, a must have. I am a huge fan of when the deco honours the wit of the engineering and this guy does that in spades.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's


4. Transformers Binaltech Override vs Alternators Windcharger

Right off the bat, I think the name is better in the Takara release. Windcharger was a minibot while Override was a sleek sports car. If the Binaltech line was about giving new classic version of G1 characters, Overdrive would suit it much better since they are all the same size and any hope of semblance of scale with Windcharger would be lost (if that even matters). More than that, just look at the head. The toy issued by both companies has a visor and that is totally Overdrive's deal more so than Windcharger (and you DO NOT want to see what a Windcharger head on this guy would look like).

I mean between this

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

and this

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Which one would this guy be representing?

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

The name isn't even the biggest deal with the release, far from it. Hasbro's was made of molded plastic while Takara had a nice die cast body which was painted red. This was the case for all Binaltech (Takara) versions of the of Alternators line. You really felt you had your money's worth with these guys (when you forgot how you disliked transforming them). But that is not all, oh no, that is not all. What makes this release far ore noteworthy than the rest of the line though is the weapon. You see, licensing agreements are handled by each company separately in their home country. Honda Japan was totally cool with Overdrive having a nice long barreled gun but Honda America didnt like their brand associated to violent toys and Hasbro had to literally circumcise neuter the gun and turn it into a non violent scanner. Yay.


3. Transformers Henkei Megatron vs Classics Megatron

Another big difference between Takara/Japan and Hasbro/USA are the laws they have to deal with. Japan is not as severe when it comes to toy guns (G1 Megatron came from them afterall) but the states is a different matter. For Megatron to be a gun again, they had to give him a Super Soaker deco. Takara, on the other hand, gave him an appropriate deco for a character who finally had a semblance of his original alt mode back. He had two appropriate decos actually, one being silver (United) and the other having more orange highlights (Henkei) which I think works even better.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's


2. Transformers Unite Warriors Devastator vs Generations Combiner Wars Devastator


In most cases, the reason to get the Takara version over the Hasbro one (or vice versa) is if you prefer the differences in deco. With Devastator's case, the deco was a side note. Sure, there were a few differences here and there (with the Unite Warriors version being a bit more accurate to the cartoon) but the real deal here is that your Constructicons had improved articulation in their individual robot modes. They all had functional elbows for one and some had better knees, and they all had individual weapons. There are pegs and specific sculpting details found on the alt modes which are for the sole purpose of holding/storing the robot's weapon in that mode and what is saddening about the Hasbro version is that those details and holes are still there but you don't get the weapons. Along with the extra joints, this just adds to what Takara has confirmed that Hasbro's Devastator is a result of taking a Takara design and build and removing parts from it. There isn't just that, the combined robot has a new head which had an optional visor and ratchets on his shoulders. It's not so much that the Takara version is better than Hasbro but instead that it is THE toy Hasbro had signed on for initially. This is the Devastator we should all have had, while the deco would have been the main difference. Instead you get the actual Titan Devastator toy from Takara and a shadow of it from Hasbro.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's


1. Transformers Galaxy Force Cybertron Starscream vs Cybertron Starscream(s)

Yup, while a Starscream toy was the best time Hasbro had the upper hand over Takara, this character pops up again when we flip the conversation around. This case is practically a travesty all around and while at its core it's about the deco there is more to it. Looking at the mold alone, which is an excellent toy, Takara had him in perfect show accurate deco while the release of this Voyager Starscream toy by Hasbro was in a near random red colour. It was to the point where a fellow board member was talking about him to me and referring to him as Thrust since he truly believed that it was a redeco of Starscream into Thrust. Sadly, no it's not, that red thing is Starscream. Also, if you wanted him in the states, you could only get him in a two pack with Vector Prime who you probably already had, goody! So we established why the Takara release is the better one, but the reason behind the "failed attempt" for Hasbro to give fans this toy was because Hasbro was pushing another Starscream toy: Supreme Starscream, a toy which is all kinds of suck. It's just a giant Starscream which isn't even its own mold (even the craptacular Supreme Cheetor has that over him). It's just an upscaled version of the voyager, slightly retooled for the gimmicks. So all the fine details you would see on the voyager end up looking like broad strokes on the supreme class version. And while Starscream did become that big in the series, it wasn't for very long and much after this toy was released. There is a great air of disgust over this toy and a big part of it is the sacrifice of Hasbro never releasing a cartoon accurate version of the best Starscream figure of the Unicron Triogy, Cybertron Voyager Starscream, which is exactly what Takara provided.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's


Honourable mentions: There is a bunch of G1 stuff that was far superior when released in Japan by Takara than by Hasbro. However, I did not find it as fair since they were technically rereleases of the earlier toys from the Microchange and Diaclone lines and not specifically reworkings of a Hasbro version. Soundwave is a great example of a toy who's Japan release is awesome since it had firing missiles (something that was taken away from may Hasbro releases) as well as Headphones and a mic. However, this was all holdovers from the original release of the toy in the Microchange line which Hasbro changed for the Transformers. So it's more of a case of the Original pre Transformers version being better and not necessarily the Takara version of the Transformers toy. A very fine line, I admit, but I felt it would work better as an other list than to muddy this one.

Speaking of G1, Powermaster Prime was far superior in Japan, but since he wasn't the same character and release, I didn't really find it fair. The recent Legends line output from Takara has several deluxes coming with an extra Target Master while the Hasbro versions don't so they do offer you more, but at the same time you are paying an extra 10$ for that Target Master even before you add the import fees (plus you don't get the Hasbro weapons). So I don't know if paying more to get more counts as a fair comparison, they aren't even the same price points. However, this all deserves mentioning, and that's why you find them here.

Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #4

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #4
Date: Saturday, March 31st 2018 4:16am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Burn | Credit(s): IDW, Burn

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Views: 15,249

I love pork sausages, I have them for breakfast once or twice a week, it's kinda like a treat for me.

So this morning I sat down to have some pork sausages for breakfast, and to read Transformers vs Visionaries issue #4. I knew what I was getting into, I even told myself "don't do this, you won't enjoy your breakfast". But I didn't listen and continued forward on my path of self-torture.

Which hey, turns out, Witterquick and Mortdred are getting tortured too! So at least I'm not alone in my suffering.

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #4


Anyhoo ... really, just another bland issue, which I thought was actually the last issue in this series, imagine my disappointment when I discovered there's actually another issue. HUZZAH! Another chance for self-torture!

The plot, as we all know, magical talisman thingy heading to core of Cybertron to trigger magic stuff to turn Cybertron into new human for squishy magical beings. And then there's the magic countering thingy. That's where we left off last issue?

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #4


Yeah ... not much happens there. It's mostly about the Visionaries standing around being evil or emo.

What I don't get though is why they need to secure the anti-magic bomb to the outside of Quickswitch when Wheeljack and Ironhide ride inside him. Why not just carry it? That's just ... ugh. It makes no sense!

But hey, at least we get to see Quickswitch! You know, that OTHER six-changer? Yeah, he's dead.

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #4


This issue didn't send me into fanboy rage like the first issue did. Maybe I'm over it? Maybe the writers are over it and are just going through the motions? Maybe the thought of the whole universe ending makes me think they can do whatever they want, it's all going away soon?



Overall, meh. It's an issue that moves the story line along at a snails pace.

Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout
Date: Friday, March 30th 2018 8:52pm CDT
Categories: Movie Related News, Toy News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88 | Credit(s): Ironhidensh

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Views: 18,314

Fellow Seibertronian Ironhidensh has recently bought Studio Series leader Blackout and has written a review for us accompanied by images. Hopefully this helps those unsure to spend $49.99 on this toy. Enjoy the review:

So Blackout is an amazing display figure, but not much playability, which is fine with me, but may bother some.

Lets take a look:

Here he is in robot mode glory.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

This is by far where he shines brightest. The molding detail on this figure is simply gorgeous. While there is some kibble, mainly in the arms, its kept to a minimum. Hands aren't that great, but easy to look past. The legs really shine as well. He really looks like he just stepped off the screen. I do think he could use a few more paint apps.

Here is robot mode:

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

This mode does have a glaring issue: the bottom.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

As you can see, there are some big, glaring empty places. Granted, the one in the tail will be filled by the little Sccrponok figure (who I left fastened in the packaging) but it is quite hollow. Thankfully, it is on the bottom, and not easy to see.

Now, some have questioned his size so lets take a look at some compassion pics with common figures. (editor's note, we thank Ironhidensh for all the comparisons we can get)

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

I feel the Helicopter mode is large enough, and the the bot mode works for me as well. I think maybe some have an issue because his head sits so low compared to the top of his rotor assembly.


So lets look at the line up. Of figures released so far, I'm only missing Grimlock, and I'm still on the fence on buying him.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

By the way, have I mentioned how much I love the packaging on this line?

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Transformers Studio Series Leader Blackout

So, in the end, a little honesty. I wonder if part of the reason I love this figure so much is because we have never actually gotten that large or great of a Blackout figure. This guy has his flaws, but the positives greatly out weight them, in my humble opinion. SS Blackout is INCREDIBLY different from the 2007 figure. Some engineering is shared, but that's it. It's a vast improvement.

Top 5 Transformers Toys where Hasbro version better than Takara's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys where Hasbro version better than Takara's
Date: Friday, March 23rd 2018 10:55pm CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 23,788

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.


Top 5 Transformers Toys where Hasbro version better than Takara's

With the new trend for Takara and Hasbro to release the very same toys, I am looking back on the times in the past when the toys were quite different from one another. The reason the unified designs have alarmed several fans is because Takara has been known to have better paint applications and offer a better looking toy. Well, to show that it is not always the case and that Hasbro can definitely deliver on some good looking toys, I have written this list showing five instances where the Hasbro version was the one to get. Come back in two weeks for a list looking at the flip side!

5. Transformers Generations Wheeljack vs United Wheeljack

This is everyone's go to whipping boy and he certainly deserves to be here. For some reason, Takara decided from the mid 2000s to 2010 that their decos would be shinier than Hasbro's. While that worked wonders on some (I LOVE the use of chrome on the seekers for instance), it kind of played against them when fans wanted show accurate colours (like the Animated line). Their version of Generations Wheeljack is that backfire. Sure, more paint apps and a nice shine is great but it should compliment the mold and not take anything away. By going all sparkly the show accurate green became a more of the shiny pine green you would expect to see on toothpaste or breath mint packages. The toy is still fine but it just doesn't look like the Wheeljack we know anymore. You would expect Takara to be the more screen accurate deco and for such a beloved original character, it just doesn't resemble him as we'd expect, definitely not compared to Hasbro's version.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's


4. Transformers Generations Skrapnel
and Bombshell vs Transformers Adventures Shrapnel and Bombshell


This one is easy to explain. Yes, from a glance Takara might seem better due to more paint apps, especially on Shrapnel's antennas and Bombshell's legs. But then you look at the torso and notice a giant white sticker on there. It's for a mobile app in Japan. Hasbro did this as well on some toys, but only the ones related to the Robots in Disguise show/app, not toys that are supposed to be updates of toys of old like the insecticons. Sure, you could take that sticker off, but then you see the horror: to have the sticker applied, Takara had to remold the chest to give a circular indentation to hold the sticker. So yes, either you keep that sticker there or you are reminded that it is supposed to be there, every time you look at them.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's


3. Transformers Prime: Robots In Disguise Wheeljack vs Arms Micron Wheeljack

You know, if Takara had not given us the beauty that is Masterpiece Wheeljack, I would have thought they had it in for this guy. How else would you explain how they keep messing up this character's releases. First it was a sparkly minty fresh deco that didn't reference anything and strayed from show accuracy, and now its no paint at all. That's right, the company who we pair with the hope of better paint apps had a whole line where their toys had way less paint apps than Hasbro. Waaaaay less. It's not to say there was no colour. Instead of paint, the toys came with stickers, like old times (yay?). That means that the toys looked as good as your dexterity permitted. The stickers themselves didn't work as well as the paint apps anyway because it was very obvious what was paint and what was a sticker and the stickers had a metallic finish that clashed with the remaining paint apps and the coloured plastic. They looked far more like little kid toys that way. But that was the whole line, so why does Wheeljack get the blunt of it again? Well, the Takara's counterpart came with a little model kit that you would detach from sprues and connect to make a little transformer targetmaster companion. That too needed stickers (and they were very very small). And for vehicle mode interaction, they remolded Wheeljack's vehicle mode to have a bunch of protruding 5 mm holes across what would have been sexy smoother areas. So it looked like your wheeljack had been shot up a bunch.

Who are you and what did you do to Takara?

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

And let's say you don't want to put the stickers, well...

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

Here is the Hasbro version with no stickers needed

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's


2. Transformers Voyager Animated Bulkhead vs Takara Animated Ironhide (Bulkhead)

While more paint apps are usually appreciated, it has to make some sense. Takara's voyager Bulkhead (who they call Ironhide) is covered in paint but looks NOTHING like he does in the show. Takara's fuller and shiny paint jobs were hit and miss on this line (Armorhide looks great, for instance) but none had it as bad as Bulkhead/Ironhide. He looks like an egyptian scarab.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's


1. Hasbro Transformers Masterpiece Starscream Gallery vs Takara Transformers Masterpiece MP-03 Starscream

This is such an easy number 1 pick and I doubt anyone would argue. Let me paint a picture of the situation all those years ago. Fans had finally gotten a Masterpiece Optimus Prime, who was incredible for the time. He was the most show accurate transformable Optimus back then and really looked like he just jumped off the screen. Then you had Ultra Magnus who was just a white prime repaint. He didn't hurt anybody since it was just a redeco of an incredible mold and it did reference a big part of the toy lore, where the Ultra Magnus toy is at the core a white Prime inside an armoured body. And then you had the second original Masterpiece mold and it was to be used for Starscream, one of the most iconic characters of the brand ever. And it looked like this:

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

Really, that is what Starscream looks like? What show did you watch?! I can give merit to wanting to make the most accurate jet made mode ever, where at least you could call the alt mode a masterpeice, but the colour scheme references nothing. It sure doesn't even resemble the actual colour of the jet it's based on (which ironically, is more in line with the grey traditionally seen on Starscream). So what is this?! Anyways, I will make it short. The mold was released by Hasbro, who gave it deco far closer to his look in the cartoon and the figure sold like hotcakes at Walmart (who had him exclusively). He sold so well that Walmart stocked up big time on the following seeker redeco (only to eventually sell it at a deep discount since they didn't realize that Starscream is a far more popular character).

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys who's Hasbro version was better than Takara's


Honourable mentons: MP Soundwave and MP 10 Optimus Prime

These are very subjective and not as obvious as the other above, and would never make this list, but still important to mention for you to see that Hasbro does have some solid offerings sometimes, even for the Masterpiece line. For Soundwave, what was really great about the Hasbro version wasn't the deco (he didn't have the show accurate eyes) but instead the fact that he came with all his cassettes (issued at the time) and they weren't sold separately, which was the case with Takara. It was a phenomenal deal when it came out. As for Optimus, while I prefer how Takara paints the inside of the trailer, I much prefer his sky blue eyes and the red on the chest of the Hasbro version. It was Hasbro who was more cartoon accurate, but then again, the Hasbro Roller was blue and not grey so it's a mishmash really and a toss up as to which version is preferred by people.

When We Had to Grow Up: Remembering Toys R Us

Transformers News: When We Had to Grow Up: Remembering Toys R Us
Date: Sunday, March 18th 2018 5:20pm CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Seibertron staff

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Views: 11,044

With the news that has been circulating the past weeks, if not months, about the future of the toy store chain Toys R Us, the North American (Canada and USA) staff of Seibertron.com have pooled together some thoughts on what the stores meant to them growing up, what they do now, and what it might mean going forward now.

Be they Toys R Us kids or not, fond memories or barely present, there is something that struck a chord with a lot of children who grew into toy collectors, from Transformers and beyond. This is an homage to that, and an invite to anyone else to share their story. Let's reflect on the great memories of the past now, and let us know some more memories to the ones described below, and what you will miss the most.


william-james88:

Toys R Us is, with no exaggeration, my favourite store in the world. Some of my fondest memories, as a child, is going to Toys R Us with my mom and the money my grandfather had given her to find the perfect toy for me on my birthday. Every one of these trips is a memory I hold dear, even the time I picked up some Space Jam toys (say what you want, but a two pack of Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan was a dream come TRU).

Transformers News: When We Had to Grow Up: Remembering Toys R Us


Of course, Toys R Us is where I got my first Beast Wars toy, Terrorsaur, when I was eight. At the time, I did not know toys existed for the show I liked so much - though it was called Beasties in Canada - to the point that I remember telling my mom that when I grow up I will design toys that actually transform. I seriously did not know toys were advanced enough to have this happen.

I remember walking into the store and seeing all those gorgeous Transformers in there, toys I did not think could be possible. I remember a wall full from top to bottom of carded bubbles with so many different characters, shapes and sizes. It was breathtaking, especially as a kid. And I remember, later that year, seeing a column of Beast Wars Megatron toys, the purple on that T-Rex really popping against the neon yellow background, and telling my mom that this is what I wanted for Christmas. I remember seeing Street Sharks on the shelves, picking up a Mickey Mouse Viewmaster projector, and a Pride Rock Polly Pocket type set in a row filled with Lion King products.

Transformers News: When We Had to Grow Up: Remembering Toys R Us


I understand that this fairytale land I am describing might have changed in the US in the past years, with prices not being as competitive, and the selection not always being phenomenal. But our memories never fade, they are still with us and they will still be with us once all Toys R Us stores close in the US, if this is indeed what will happen. I am lucky to live in a country, Canada, where the stores are likely to stay open and where even my kids can be Toys R Us, as I was. So while this is the end of an era for many, the store we all loved will still, hopefully, be out there for others.


Bounti76:

I didn't live near a Toys R Us growing up. The closest one was 15 miles away, and by the time I could drive myself, I'd lost interest in Transformers, and toys in general. When I got back into collecting, around the the time Revenge of the Fallen came out, I would occasionally check a Toys R Us if I was near one.



I remember seeing MP Grimlock and thinking that he was a cool, modern version of the Grimlock toy I'd loved to pieces (literally) as a kid. Picked him up, and have kept him in package since. I found a couple of exclusives there, and it's the only place I ever saw Generations Metroplex and Titans Return Fortress Maximus on shelves. But by and large, the stores seemed dated even a decade ago, and I never really grew up with a love for the stores and catalog that most did. Still, it will be sad to see an outlet for toys that most non-specialty retailers will never stock, close. RIP, Toys R Us.


WreckerJack:

My fondest memory of going to Toys R Us was when I was 9 years old. I really liked Pokémon but I didn't have a Gameboy to play it on. I saved up all year and worked hard to get good grades. By the end of the school year I had saved up about a hundred bucks (which is one million dollars in kid money!) to go and buy a Gameboy, Pokémon Blue version and a strategy guide. I had chosen the electric green Toys R Us exclusive Gameboy Pocket. Still have it in my desk drawer to this day in fact. I remember trying to read the guide on the way home by the street lights while my dad lectured me about not letting my mom catch me playing video games too much.

As I got a little older, in my junior high school years Yu-Gi-Oh was the 'in' thing. Sometimes on Saturday mornings I would convince one of my parents to drive me out to the store to go and play in Toys R Us Yu-Gi-Oh league. It was a lot of fun to just show up and play cards with the other kids. It was more friendly than the tournaments and competitive play at card shops. I can still remember getting up early, driving over there when it was a sunny yet chilly morning to go and play. I'd often have time to get a donut or something to eat before and talk about my favorite cards and strategies with friends. I miss those times.

Transformers News: When We Had to Grow Up: Remembering Toys R Us


The one thing I most get nostalgic about is Bionicle. I was aware that Toys R Us charged a couple bucks more for them but they usually had what I wanted. It beat driving around from store to store and winding up not finding anything. Bionicle fans of the 2000s will remember that the red and green characters usually sold first leaving a sea of brown Bionicles to warm the shelf. Toys R Us always seemed to have a good selection of them so I could get the characters I liked best. It was always so nice to see the rows of canisters lined up because I knew how much fun it was going to be to buy one, take it home, and build it.

I'd spend hours in my room making up stories and battles with my Bionicles. Back in those days I didn't have internet during the week, cable, or any games besides my Gameboy so I entertained myself with figures. I had superheroes, Pokémon toys, and some DBZ guys. I'd spend many an afternoon as a kid spilling them out on the floor in my room coming up with whatever plot lines I could dream up. Anything was possible. The creative play and storytelling I experience with toys is definitely something to get nostalgic about.


Tyrannacon:

Toys R Us has been a staple of my childhood since the 80s and well into my adult years. It was the place to go while growing up to get myself everything from dinosaurs, to Jurassic Park/Jurassic World things, Star Wars stuff, and of course Transformers. The only other store I used to visit to get myself new toys was KB Toys. Toy stores like KB and TRU brought many a smile to my face and I would always spend a lot of time in there just looking at things and amusing myself. Sometimes I didn’t really buy anything as it was just about being in the environment itself.

Transformers News: When We Had to Grow Up: Remembering Toys R Us


Unfortunately, KB Toys eventually went under here in the US and now with TRU having the same fate I feel worried about the possibility of ever encountering a toy store and feeling that twinge of happiness I almost always felt when I went into one to get lost for a bit. TRU really helped though for me when I was feeling down or just anti-social to feel better and made it so my mental health was easier to shoulder. I am saddened, but I also understand that nothing lasts forever either.


Cobotron:

I have actually been frustrated with Toys R Us over the course of the last 5 years. Some of their practices made it easier just to shop elsewhere. I was feeling kind of jaded by it, but now that they're leaving the landscape, I am remembering better times when they were a staple of my hunting grounds, and nostalgia is taking over.

I grew up at Children's Palace, so TRU wasn't a real force in my childhood. I got back into collecting in college, in the late 90s, and Beast Wars was certainly a catalyst. I remember convincing my roomates' with cars to drive me to the local TRU and wrangling the likes of Dinobot and Primal. They were fun trips and always some good brotime with the friends who humored my "silly habit".

Transformers News: When We Had to Grow Up: Remembering Toys R Us


Later at the turn of the century I would finish college in Chicago and there was the marvelous downtown State St. Toys R Us. It sat directly in the path of my school and my CTA train stop. Many toys were purchased there. Not just Transformers. And there were always sales. Sales GALORE! Even when it was just a stop to see what was new, they offered a warm respite from the harsh Chicago winter winds on my commute to and from school.

Things had been rocky between us lately, but you will be missed you goofy old giraffe. Thanks for the good times!


xRotorstormx:

Oh Toys R Us, never did I think I would see the day that you would no longer be with us. Growing up, my parents would always take me to the store to pick out a toy if I did well on my report card or to commemorate a special occasion. KB Toys and Caldor were great but Toys R Us always seemed to be the go to place for the "good stuff". My childhood store was in Milford, Connecticut on Old Gate Lane. I can still remember walking in and the "window" where you would bring up paper receipts for everything from bikes to video games was on the right just past the maze of aisles when you first walked in.

I remember getting G2 Optimus Prime and getting it home but the electronics didn't work, so we ended up having to go back and return it. It was also the spot where just about every other toy line I became obsessed with like Mighty Ducks, Extreme Dinosaurs, and Jurassic Park was purchased. Every time I go back to visit family, my dad and I would always make a trip to the store to stir up old memories and see what we could buy without my mom finding out (yup even at 32!).

Transformers News: When We Had to Grow Up: Remembering Toys R Us


One of the first things that my now husband and I did when we first met was go to Toys R Us because he wanted to show that he supported my hobby of collecting. When I started my job upon moving to Michigan, there was a Toys R Us just down the road so it became a part of my daily routine whether it was a lunchtime hunt if the weather was bad or a quick stop on the way home. Over the last few years, when the shelved stopped restocking and the crowds had dissipated, it was becoming evident that something was wrong but walking in and finding something I had been looking for always put a smile on my face.

I stopped by Toys R Us this past Thursday and was trying hard to fight back the tears until I found a little stuffed Geoffrey. It's hard to believe that something that has been a part of my entire life is no more. Toys R Us, you will be forever missed and forever a part of our lives. Thanks for all the memories that I will cherish fondly for the rest of my life.




---

And how about you, Seibertronians and other readers? How does this news affect you? Do you have good, fond memories of the store? Does it hold a special place in the past? Are you not that invested in it at all? Join us, the Twincast Podcast crew (with their similarly themed episode here) in remembering what has been a staple of the Transformers collecting base for a long time, whatever your memories might be, and share some stories.

Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018
Date: Sunday, March 18th 2018 12:23pm CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Transtopia
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Transtopia

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Views: 12,176

Top of the weekend to you all, and welcome to another monthly instalment of the creative round-up, a collection of all that happened since the last edition over in the Transtopia section of the Energon Pub boards.

Take a look below at the works of creative side of the Seibertron.com community, including Transformers paint jobs, customs, touch ups, fan fiction, artwork, builds, mods, comics, photos, and more. Make sure to comment if you like what you see, and support the creators in their threads, too!

THE HELP DESK

Fellow Seibertronian ZeldaTheSwordsman is looking for some tips to help dismantle a Titans Return Blurr figure - can you help them out by leaving a comment here?


CUSTOMIZATIONS

Maoripheonix - 9ft9 Soundwave Cosplay




Rogue-primal - 2006 Deluxe Optimus Prime

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


Yankee0 - TR Galvatron | TR Fort Max

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


ZeldaTheSwordsman - Diaclone Powered Convoy

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


Broadside27 - CW Ratchet

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


Caelus - TR Thunderhawk

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


Hotconvoy - CW Thundercracker

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


BUILDING BOTS

Mythic_Gears - Lego Transformers

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


to_ti - Leader Blackout Scratch Build WIP

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


FAN ART

Demonology7789 - Wr3ckers colours

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


Wingz - G1 Aviation style tattoo

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


Broadside27 - Dinobot Shatter

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


Red Alert 92 - G1 recolors

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


BeastProwl - Art

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


FAN FICTION

AllNewSuperRobot - The Rough Draft


Rodimus Prime - Stories from a Wild and Crazy Con


1984forever - Transformers: Resolute


Mixsound - The New War of 2030


PHOTO BLITZ

leokearon - POTP Override Prime

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


keelo1027 - Pics

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018


Madeus Prime - Farewell to the Light

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Creative Round-Up - March 2018

Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #16 #NCBD

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #16 #NCBD
Date: Wednesday, March 14th 2018 6:29am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: ScottyP

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Views: 14,519

Everlasting Mystery
A Review of Transformers: Lost Light #16

Free of any explicit spoilers, but some may be unintentionally implied.
Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #16
Rolling out and into your Wednesday

Lost Light 16 rejoins the goings on with Team Rodimus, last seen in issue #13 in some form of perilous peril. Mystery, danger, and lines that will be quoted for years await as the latest effort from writer James Roberts, artist Jack Lawrence, colorist Joana Lafuente, and letterer Tom B. Long arrives just in time to keep up a satisfyingly aggressive release schedule. Read on to find out whether or not Lost Light puts those pieces together into something you should pick up.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #16
Cyclonus, aka The Dude

This has never been a book to shy away from difficult topics, and the main question posed by this issue for me is, "if you suddenly find yourself in purgatory what will you do?" This is handled with the characteristic wit and charm that only this crew of Transformers could get away with - no pun intended, seriously! Surreal moments are balanced by grounded ones while emotional moments are bound on each side by humorous dialogue, though sometimes it comes through more as a relief valve for nervous tension especially in the case of Brainstorm. While the thought of funny, quippy dialogue will make some readers roll their eyes, it's nothing new for or unique to this issue and unless this winds up being your first ever reading within the series you already know whether or not that's a positive development.

Put another way, I find the dialogue well balanced and incredibly charming, but recent reminders from some others on site staff lead me to believe that some readers will, for whatever reason, find something not to like in it.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #16
Would you like to buy some encyclopedias?

The surrealism is a significant part of this first chapter of a three part story. As demonstrated in part by the image above, the world that the team has found itself on is part Cybertron, part dreamscape, and all mystery. The creation myth teased in earlier stories is expanded and even debated upon by some characters in what could be pre-emptive meta-humor. Is what occurs really happening, or is it some thoroughly crafted illusion? Does the answer to that matter when you're having fun just following the story wherever it may lead? Your own answers will frame how you feel about this installment. It works for me, but fellow staffer Counterpunch found a lack of feeling delivered by the uncertainty, stating "I don't think anything was bad, but there's nothing to do with the information. Every bit of it is as likely to be false as it is true."

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #16
Another mystery, or just coincidence?

The pacing is brisk but always feels natural, with even a two-page break for an exposition dump framed in a way that both pokes fun at itself for being an exposition dump and for still leaving related questions unanswered. While that could have been an unnecessary chunk of story best left to the imagination or a couple referential lines of dialogue, it's helpful here given the abrupt nature of the opening pages. Additionally, it serves as a reminder of a conspicuously absent character, though that absence will only remain conspicuous if it continues for the remaining two chapters of this story arc.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #16
Thok-ing the grumpy away

After three issues away, Jack Lawrence returns to line art duties for "The Everlasting Voices" and provides excellent, consistent mechanical designs for each Transformer while also making sure to playfully use alternate modes where possible and appropriate. Joana Lafuente's colors give superb visual continuity making the changes to and fro in lineart from issue to issue as seamless as possible. Overall it's a great effort and execution, with even the silent (and close to silent) pages managing to ooze story.

Tom B. Long does a couple things with "letters" that are so clever they need their own call-out in this section. Large, outlined reds stand out at one point to convey the tone of the words in a way that makes them distinctly Rodimus' words, and another moment with Whirl is wacky fun that only Whirl could get away with. A less skilled letterer could have tried the same thing and failed miserably, but these examples added to the experience in an unexpected, visually advantageous way.

Lawrence and Lafuente team up for the "A" cover, while Alex Milne provides the "B" cover featuring colors by Josh Perez as seen in this review's news post thumbnail. A colorless version of the same cover is also available as the 10-copy retailer incentive for this issue. As always, you can find images of all of those covers and full credits for the issue in our Vector Sigma Database page for Transformers: Lost Light #16, but please note it contains a character appearance list and in this case that will mean huge spoilers!

Verdict
Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #16
Whirl, talking about "Lost Light Detractors"

Lost Light #16 feels like the start of a part of this story that will put all the pieces in place for a confluence of huge events as both the plot and geographic scope of the series begins to narrow in on a tipping point. The last page contains what is a very big, long awaited development and should allay concerns some readers have had about the pace of the series. While some of the character moments needed a bit more space to breathe, that doesn't take away from what they were and I think the experience of reading a physical, printed copy of the book will address some of that. For an opening act, this is about as good as it gets for me but some of the other staff feedback makes me wary enough to not bump this a notch higher on the numerical score front. Very good and potentially the start of a truly great arc.

. :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstarhalf: out of :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar: :rodimusstar:


Bonus! James Roberts' soundtrack suggestions for this issue:
  • Queen - "Let Me Live"
  • Air - "Kelly Watch The Stars" (ed. - I second this, fantastic song from a fantastic band off a fantastic album!)
  • Lou Reed - "Perfect Day"
  • Wilco - "Jesus, Etc."

Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #3

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #3
Date: Wednesday, March 14th 2018 6:21am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 12,929

Hazzbro Hate Wazzzpinator Too
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
The clock is ticking! Leoric finds himself exiled from New Prysmos by Virulina, who Merklynn has named the new leader of all the Visionaries. Can Leoric and his loyalists save Cybertron from being totally changed into a new homeworld for his people? Should they?

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #3
For broad definitions of 'saving'



I'm going to do something different with this issue's review, as we're behind schedule, the series has a very thin connection to Transformers, but I still believe it warrants coverage (the database entry is here, in case) and review was due a couple of weeks ago as it stands, anyway! Namely, I'll let some of the commenting readers speak their thoughts on what is and isn't working, and coming in to cover aspects that haven't been addressed.

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #3
Like the blue tusked tigerlion in the room


And we start with the major points:

Daniel Adkins wrote:Honestly, this series biggest problem is that the Transformers are in it. All the book's biggest problems (the discontinuity with First Strike, Kup’s death, etc.) wouldn’t be here if the series was just a straight up Visionaries book.


Burn wrote:Another way to look at it, it's Transformers vs Visionaries.

Unfortunately it's more Visionaries vs Visionaries with Transformers taking a back seat even though it's THEIR planet.


This is a comment that has often circulated in our previous reviews, and one that still applies, constantly, and viciously, to this third issue. The only saving moment, in this regard, is the appearance of a Transformers specific character which cannot exactly be called mainstream (to non TF fans, anyway) and some development of plot from the side of the Cybertronians.

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #3
cc


But we also have a good point about Virulina and Visaggio's writing in general, that echoes some wider sentiments about the miniseries:

Sunstar wrote:Ultimately I am not entirely sure if the root of my anger is because it's ultimately good writing that makes me feel something (like how TAAO annual made me cry) or because I feel they are not doing any justice to the story, or anything that will further the story of the Transformers on Cybertron. I get the feeling I won't get my answer until after the last book.



---


Art wise, something that users haven't really touched other than once more to talk about Virulina, we still have Fico Ossio and David Garcia Cruz do some really, and I mean, really good work on pretty much the entire organic cast, including the more spectral or hologrammic (not a word) of it.

The issue, once more - though less so I thought compared to previous issues too - is with Cybertronians, and specifically with their faces. Ossio is working hard, and he's working into a style that makes the angular robotic physiognomy fit to his own.. but we're not quite there just yet, and it mostly shows in background shots, rather than close-ups.

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #3
On the other hand, Sassy Ironhide


And that last point circles back to the main ones made about the series above: arriving to the Transformers is always on the background, or backburner, be it with the fittingness of the artist's style to the characters or the writing that is still relying on not-exactly IDW characterisation of the cast (see previous reviews for more on this point).

Transformers News: Mini-Review of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #3
see review title


Overall, the issue is an improvement on the previous two, though for the Transformers side of things that doesn't really amount to much, but it does build to more of the characters having more or less of an agency than initially seen - up to the final act of the book, at least. It's still unfortunate, but there may be a lot in this particular book that Visionaries fans will appreciate I feel, even more than previously in the series; it just comes at the (literal) expense of Transformers.

Thumbnail: Variant cover by Jeffrey Veregge


:HASBRO: :HASBRO: ½ out of :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO:

Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys
Date: Saturday, March 10th 2018 8:49am CST
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 25,389

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.


Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Remember that scene in the Transformers movie where Unicron transformed? The whole time you just saw a big planet that destroyed other planets ala Death star. But then it Transformed and our notions of the limit to Transformers flew out the window. This was the instance where we all gazed at the wonder of this brand and saw that it was boundless. Since then, there have been many giant Transformers in the fiction and better yet, we eventually got their toys. :michaelbay:

And this is what this list is all about. This is about those awe inspiring towering Transformers from the fiction and their wonderful toys. A quick note, this post was started January 2015. But with Hasbro announcing a yearly Titan class toy, I figured I should wait. Turns out nothing really changed from my initial thoughts of over 3 years ago.

5. Transformers G1 1987 Scorponok (Megazarak)

One of the largest G1 Decepticon toy ever, he pulls off his three modes pretty well despite how simple he is and has loads of fun play features. His robot mode is huge and menacing, his scorpion mode looks very much like a giant mechanical scorpion, with moving legs and ratcheted pincers, and his base mode looks as good as any other base mode of the era with fun ramps for your cars to climb and exit from.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys


4. Transformers Armada Unicron

It is still crazy to think that we actually got a Unicron toy in the end. Not getting G1 Arcee was nonsensical since it was all about business and not getting any female transformer toys. But we all knew that a Unicron toy was unfeasible on a whole other level. And yet we got one, a HUGE one, and he was quite accurate (though not perfect) with a bunch of action features, a nice beard, and an actual planet mode that had pincers and a mouth. My personal favourite aspect is how they were able to give the planet rings and have them transform into his wings. He is also the most complex toy of his (supreme) size class.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys
Transformers Generations Unicron (25th Anniversary) (Universal Dominator Unicron) Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys
Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus Gallery


3. Transformers Energon Omega Supreme

I just love everything about this toy. It is an excellent homage to Omega Supreme while also being a totally new take. The transformation is simple, as is the case for many of these bigger bots, and yet feel dynamic. It brings back the element of parts-forming the original had but tones it down. The alt modes which serve double duty as weapon platforms can also fuse together to get you a really long armoured train which looks kinda crazy but in a fun way. Plus you have a headmaster unit which can interact with the two combining alt modes and its modeled after the Omega Supreme G1 Action Master. So this is homaging all interpretations of the past (at the time). While headmasters have come back in a big way since, it was a real treat to see a bot like this back in the day. This mold has also been very successful in different decos with Omega Sentinel and War for Cybertron Omega Supreme (which is still the de facto G1 Omega Supreme for CHUG enthusiasts).

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys
Transformers Energon Omega Supreme Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys
Transformers Energon Omega Sentinel Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys
Transformers Platinum Edition Year of the Snake Omega Supreme Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys


2. Transformers Cybertron Primus

Can you believe it, there is actually a Primus toy out there for any Transformers fan to own! And he doesnt disappoint. He is the best planet former out there with really cool details in that mode (including the city of Iacon and Kaon) and it is pretty incredible to get such a traditional looking robot mode from a spherical alt mode, with much less kibble than Unicron. The transformation is neat and uses the key gimmick well, you really feel you are unlocking the secrets to Cybertron with the Omega Lock. And as a true defender of the Cybertronian race, he is loaded with cannons and missile launchers (definitely puts Titans Return Fortress Maximus to shame in that department). And I cannot get over just how cool the robot detail is with the designers going out of their way to show you that he is made of Cybertron's inner workings. On the shoulders, for instance you can see beams, tubes and vents along with Cybertronian writing. The headsculpt is one of the best conveying hints to both Optimus Prime (with the antenna) and Rodimus (with the V shape crest), which ties into the very first appearance of Primus having callbacks to Rodimus. This toy is one for the ages.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys


1. Transformers G1 1987 Fortress Maximus

I didn't think a G1 toys would be number one on this list. You would think that after all these years, Hasbro and Takara could outdo themselves with a nice new city transformer but Fort Max is still the undisputed champion of that category. Unlike the other G1 city formers, he is truly massive and also looks like an actual city, or at least the small downtown section of one (he actually reminds me of a level from Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner). Just put him next to Metroplex or Trypticon and they just pale in comparison. Plus, this city transformers into a battle station, filled with an insane amount of weaponry and hidden guns, making him really a fortress. He also comes with smaller bots and fiddly bits which make him as much a playset as a figure. And not just any figure, but a headmaster. And not just any headmaster but a double headmaster. Which means the head of the big city robot transforms into a robot who's head also transforms into a smaller figure. And since an Encore version exists, a complete FortMax is now more a possibility to have than ever before. Also, to those who like to go one step beyond, feel free to substitute this number 1 pick with Grand Maximus.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys


Honourable mentions: Quite a few actually. Even though there are fewer giant Transformers than any other size class, the few that get approved are usually very good. As you can see, none of the Metroplexes are there and that is simply because I do not find that any of them have had a decent alt mode thus far that doesn't just look like them in some odd pose. Tidal Wave is pretty awesome but rather small compared to other bots that are supposed to be giant and while I like Trypticon fine, there was nothing truly mind blowing about him. His base mode has always been, at best, as good as Scorponok's to me. Yet that is his main alt mode, while Scorponok has a whole robot mode and beast mode as well.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys
Transformers Titans Return Trypticon Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Giant Transformers Toys

The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story

Transformers News: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story
Date: Sunday, March 4th 2018 4:57pm CST
Categories: Site Articles, Editorials
Posted by: Va'al

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Views: 13,246

Welcome back to the tentatively monthly series of exploration of the Transformers fandom, from a variety of perspectives and a number of voices, now with its own punny title: The Fandom Menace!

This second editorial piece springs, after some deliberation, from a point raised by Twincast Podcaster ScottyP - also one of my fellow administrators on Seibertron.com - about the nature of the fandom more in general. Where last month I looked at how people participate as people in various aspects of Transformers, this month we'll be looking at which part of the franchise is The Hook.

And it really just comes down to two major areas: toys and fiction.

Hypothesis: There is a substantial and distinct divide between those invested in Transformers as toy collectors and those invested in Transformers as a fictional property, and the Venn diagram has an uneven overlap with blurred edges.

This was ScottyP's point, and something that was raised by another point of his on Twitter a while back:

Transformers News: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story


We've seen through the years differing approaches between how the fiction and related toys cross over, merge, find themselves completely out of sync and back again, either with toys supporting the release of a movie or a cartoon series, or the two never really working together at all for a number of logistical reasons (distribution, lack of sales, series cancellation, etc).

it really just comes down to two major areas: toys and fiction.


Most recently, however, Hasbro themselves have been laying down heavily their new Story First approach to the various brands they have control over, Transformers included. Whether this is actually true in practice is not my aim for the piece, but rather the shift from 'stories written to sell toys' to 'toys that fit a story being told'. And there is that potential divide again.

We've seen in the Transformers fandom a lot of focus on toy collecting, since pretty much the start. Anecdotes tend to talk about seeing a cartoon episode or a movie or a comic, and then 'wanting to go buy a toy of the character(s)'. Given my own approach to this 'collecting' business, the whole conversation piqued my interest even more, and I decided for a totally scientifically accurate exploration of it: ask Transformers Twitter about where they stand. Four options to choose from, and the results are below.


Hey #Transformers Twitter! A question for an upcoming piece: are you in the fandom for mostly...

35% ..toys first, then story.
46% ..story first, then toys.
08% ..just the toys.
11% ..just the stories.

369 votes


Ignoring how the grammar doesn't actually work in the poll, and that only asking this on social media will not give a full picture of the fandom, it's interesting to note that in this part of the conversation, story still comes first - and only very very few people are in it for the toys or the stories alone.

Of course, by story and fiction here I mean a variety of media: comics, old and new; live action movies; animated series, old and new; personal fiction that has been 'officialised' somewhat (accepted or widely known fanon, for example).

in this part of the conversation, story still comes first


The option I did not include, which is perhaps where I place myself even more in line with - along with some impressively dedicated readers of comics (within and outside of the Transformers community) - is artwork. You can see this in the collection of Dutch fan Sprite Anansi, artists such as Andrew Turnbull, TFNation's boss Tori O'Regan, and their different facets of art collecting, from commissions to doujinshi, to original art used in official media and fan commissions.

Transformers News: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story


Moving back to the fiction first faction, though, Marian Hilditch touches on this in her TFSource collector interview, too. New media, especially IDW comics and the live-action movies, have seemingly brought back this new approach of only wanting a limited selection of characters to be immortalised in their plastic forms, be it the Wreckers or the Lost Light crew or Team Bee.

This does speak back to points raised multiple times throughout podcasts, discussion on boards and elsewhere, and something at the foundation of toy collecting in general. As we saw on the Netflix documentary The Toys that Made Us, in the words of sociologist John Tenuto, many of us feel the need to need to touch or hold something physical that represents something intangible. Becka also mentions this point in her blog post at Refined Robo Co, discussing similar topics to this series of articles - though we might engage with fiction, we need that physical presence as a supplement (something not necessary, but that adds value if present) to the experience.

repeated incarnations meant to evoke more-or-less the same source material can and does lead to fatigue


To bring it back to a toy-first approach, from a company perspective, might even result counterproductive, as well as counterintuitive - on this,
ScottyP raises a good point.

ScottyP wrote:I think the "Classics" re-tread toy releases drove me more towards the fiction but not because of anything Hasbro did on purpose - or was it possibly on purpose? G1 provided beloved characters limited in toy form by their era and genesis. Many "needed" new toys, and that they have received them has been great for the hobby. But then you get to the 6th-ish "new" Optimus Prime, 3rd Bumblebee, 2nd Jetfire, 2nd Grimlock, 2nd Mirage, 2nd Megatron, 3rd Starscream, 2nd Skywarp, 2nd Ultra Magnus, and... oh dammit Ramjet I can't finish this joke but regardless, when the re-treads have almost all been re-tread it has led me to want something more out of these things than just the play experience. While that can lead to a feeling of fresh new adventure, repeated incarnations meant to evoke more-or-less the same source material can and does lead to fatigue.

When I think back on the history of Transformers, the most successful times for the franchise outside of G1's early years have been when the cycle of reinvention yields fun toys of new characters supported by good fiction. Beast Wars, Armada, and the 2007 Movie were as successful as they were for a reason, and that was the well timed (or at least sensibly timed, mostly. Usually.) release of new or new-ish characters while a compelling tale about them was still fresh.


We've seen droves of established toy collectors who had taken a break return to the Transformers precisely because of the new fiction rekindling that spark of the hobby - but also, where the lack of adequate fiction was felt, creative fandom rose to its own challenge. And not too long after, those same milestones in the stories told about giant transforming robots (not quite), along with the later addition of IDW's presence too, has brought a whole new story-first set of fans to the experience, and Hasbro seems to have noticed.

---

So what about your story? Was it the fiction that first shaped your interest in Transformers? Are the toys your primary way of engaging with Cybertronians? Is it an equal split, or do neither attract you as much as other parts, and you don't see yourself as a collector at all?

This is our space to share these tales, I hope you'll join me.

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #201 - Sweet Boy
Twincast / Podcast #201:
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Posted: Sunday, June 10th, 2018
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