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Seibertron.com Member Interview / Spotlight - alldarker

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Member Interview / Spotlight - alldarker
Date: Wednesday, May 8th 2013 6:29pm CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Interviews
Posted by: Blurrz

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Views: 85,043

The Seibertron.com member spotlights continue as my latest interview subject is a veteran site member from the Netherlands. Check out my interview with member alldarker, as we discuss everything from his devoted Generation One toy collection, to the new Generations Blitzwing and Springer, transitioning to IDW's Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye and even ending up at Seibertron.com's browser game, Heavy Metal War!

[START TRANSMISSION]

Q - Hi alldarker, good to have you here! For those who don't know you all too well, mind giving us some of your history with a little Transformers Spotlight: alldarker?

Hey Blurrz, thanks for having me! Back in 1984, my family moved to England for a couple of years, so I went to school in England, right when Transformers hit. I was only 9, but I remember my first experience with Transformers well: a friend brought Grimlock to school and showed him off. I wanted to hold him myself, of course, so I bragged that I could transform him without instructions. It went pretty well, until I got to his chest. My friend eventually had to show me how his chest moved upwards. Man, Grimlock just looked so cool. Of course, for my next birthday I also asked my parents for a Transformer. I was actually allowed to pick one out myself, and I chose Thundercracker (although even my parents liked the look of Dinobots more). I still sort of regret that choice: I should have gone for Grimlock or Sludge... Although I did get Slag for Christmas a little later.

I have to admit, in those years I ended up being into M.A.S.K. more than into Transformers, so I never had many TF's back then, and the ones I did get were pretty lackluster (Groove, Skydive, Flywheels), so I sort of lost touch. I also did not follow any of the fiction back then, so the concept of 'Cybertronian modes' really put me off when Hasbro moved to original designs instead of the Diaclone-based real world vehicle alt modes. When I went to university, I only kept my M.A.S.K. collection, and my few Transformers all went to charity.

It was Beast Wars that got me back. Optimus Primal just looked so cool and poseable, and his gimmicks were incredible! I bought him and Polar Claw as my first two BW Transformers, and soon wanted more. This was of course way before the Internet was a thing, so with my free student travel-card I traveled all over the Netherlands (we had moved back in 1988) to find Beast Wars TFs. The Transmetals were even nicer than the first year toys, so I often went toy-hunting instead of studying...

This was actually around the time that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find consecutive lines of Transformers in Dutch shops: computer games and consoles were definitely starting to take over and Transformers were shelf-warming: you could often find first season Beast Wars figures on the pegs years after they'd been introduced, while new series were being ordered less and less. As a student I needed to graduate and it was becoming expensive to find new Transformers, so I once again stopped collecting.

The RiD Car Brothers amazed me when I first saw them: not only were they vehicles again, but they were highly poseable! I had to get them, at inflated prices, from an import store. They were however probably the only TF's I bought in the period between 20000 and 2007: it was a period in which I focused mostly on getting my degree and on finishing up my M.A.S.K. collection (both of which feats of which I am still proud).

Once again though, my interest was rekindled in 2007 by the TF movie. This time I had a job, so it was a lot easier to buy them, and toy stores were once again stocking up on Transformers for the first time in years. Although I did enjoy some of the movie molds, I realized that they weren't the Transformers of my youth (why wasn't Ironhide red!!!), and I started to browse the internet for the G1 Transformers that I'd always wanted but never had. One thing led to another and soon I'd started a pretty nice G1 collection, all the while finding new Transformers to want, including the Japanese-only G1 TF's which I had never realized were also seriously nice (and buying them whenever I had the chance and available resources). Since 2007, I've also finally gotten around to the fiction (cartoons and comics), which has really enriched my understanding of both characters and toys, and made me appreciate the whole Cybertronian aspect of TF's.

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker
Alldarker's Star Saber

Q - You've amassed quite the large Transformers collection. Out of all the figures you own, which one is your favorite, and why?

A large collection... Well, when I look at other people's collections, some of which run into thousands, the size of my collection seems pretty average. I use Shmax.com to catalogue my collection, and it says I have about 350 figures: 300 of which are G1.

My favorite figure is one of the first ones I ever bought online: G1 Scorponok. He's got everything that makes any toy look good: he's big, he's got the Headmaster gimmick, he's got a 'secret' compartment, he's a base, he's a triplechanger. I'm sure I would have loved having this toy when I was a kid, but even as an adult I can marvel at his qualities. Funnily enough, it was only after I had received Scorponok that I even found out about the moving scorpion legs feature it has. And due to getting into the fiction at a relatively late stage, I only really found out about his important role in the G1 comics after I had gotten him. That knowledge added to his coolness: Scorponok is not only a great figure, but he's also a very interesting character, a Decepticon leader who redeems himself and is not just purely evil.

Scorponok was also the figure which made me appreciate the blockier 1987 Transformers a lot more: in fact the Headmasters (both big and small) have become my favorite subgroup. Ironic perhaps, considering it was those blocky, unrealistic, primary colored Transformers which turned me off Transformers back in 1987!

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker

Q - I guess it is safe to ask, have you ordered Encore 23 Fortress Maximus? How much does it mean to you, for you to finally own this plastic beast? And despite how big Fort Max is, is there a holy grail of Transformers figures out there for you?

When word got out that an actual reissue of Fortress Maximus would be happening, like many others I was ecstatic. I'd never expected to ever own him; I'd never even tried to find one because the vintage ones available were always either too expensive, incomplete, broken or yellowed (and often all four of those at the same time). I'll be honest, I do actually already own the Maximus mold in the form of Brave Maximus, which made an aching desire for Fortress Maximus a bit less painful. Although Fortress Maximus has the extra accessories, Brave Max definitely wins out on the color scheme. However, I'm also slightly ashamed to say that my Brave Max is still tied up on the cardboard and factory fresh in my storage unit. That fate would definitely not happen to Encore Fortress Max, though...

So yeah, once pre-orders for Encore Fortress Maximus went up, I ordered him on day one of availability, back in October of last year. After those 5 months of waiting, I finally received him two weeks ago, and I'll tell you, I was looking forward to Fortress Maximus's arrival day like I used to look forward to my birthday when I was a kid!!! Finally being able to take him out of the box, seeing that beast up close, holding him and almost literally wrestling with him to transform him was just such a pleasure. I even enjoyed stickering him up: I find it makes you really get to know a Transformer and its details. And there's quite a lot to admire on a Transformer as big as he is! So Fortress Maximus is the first real hands on experience for me with his form. And he is just glorious.

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker
Alldarker's Fortress Maximus!

Fortress Maximus was never really a 'holy grail of Transformers' though. I never expected to own him, but like I said, I also never really had the ambition to own him either, until he became readily available as a reissue. However, there are still a couple of Transformers which I'd really, REALLY love to own one day. They are actually all Japanese Transformers, which makes just finding them available in a good condition difficult, let alone for a price I'd be willing to pay. First of these is Dinoking. While I realize that even the sum of his parts still makes a puny combined Transformer, considering the money he goes for, I just love the dino-shells and the color schemes. Luckily, I do have Monstructor which is all sorts of fun in his own way (except that darn GPS), but having Dinoking alongside him... Oh yes, one day, I hope. And secondly, I'd love to acquire his boss, Deszaras (Deathsaurus). All that chrome, the Breastmasters... When I was young I would have found him completely ridiculous, but nowadays he's definitely a Transformer I'd be willing to lay down some cold hard cash for. Of course, if Takara would also consider reissuing those two... They'd certainly get my fond blessing and my money!

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker
Deszaras Unleashed!

Q- You have quite the passion for Generation One toys, a passion that many fans here on this site can relate to. Most fans of the G1 series have translated their passion by making their collections more focused on the Classics figures. What made you stick with the G1 toyline? What role does the Classics/Universe/Generations and Masterpiece toylines play in your collection?

Yeah, Generation One has become my main collecting focus, but I do still very much appreciate the Classics/Universe/Generations/Henkei/United (and I hope I can be forgiven for using CHUG from here on!) toys that have been heavily inspired by G1, and also the Masterpieces.

When the CHUG toys first came out they just looked amazing. Finally Hasbro and Takara were giving a real tribute to the Generation One toys, and acknowledging both children AND the generations that had grown up in the '80's and '90's as customers.

I personally was especially interested in the Classic Seekers, which in my eyes were just a huge improvement on the Generation One jets (molds which to this day I just do not really enjoy). I managed to get Starscream, Ramjet and the Skywarp/Ultra Magnus set, before the whole Botcon Games of Deception fiasco disillusioned me into ever getting a complete set of Classics Seekers. So I sold them all off (including the Skywarp / UM set!) and invested in the six Henkei Seekers. Even so, I never really became a completionist with the Classics line, so I only ever picked out the molds that really caught my eye or looked like strong improvements on their vintage counterparts, like Tracks, Jazz, Blurr and Kup. But, to be honest there were many 'CHUG's I never bothered to find, often because I was happy enough with the G1 version. Actually, this is where I have to again complain about Hasbro's total and utter lack of decent distribution in the Netherlands and Europe. I know in the US Hasbro distribution is also pretty poor, but here in the Netherlands, we only ever saw some distribution of the first Classics and Universe waves. It meant that I needed to import stuff at double the cost one would pay in the US, and that sort of forces you to be pretty picky in the molds you want. On the other hand, importing the Takara versions from Japan usually wasn't that much more expensive than importing from the US, while (especially in the first years) the Takara versions often looked better (even with the chrome overdoses!).

I only got into the Masterpieces pretty late in the game. For a long time, the only Masterpiece I owned was the original Takara MP-07 Thundercracker, an incredible grown-up version of my own very first G1 Transformer. However, I never really fell for the first MP Optimus Prime or for Megatron, and in hindsight, I guess I made a wise choice in not getting them. I also never got any version of Grimlock; in fact the first time I was tempted by another Masterpiece was when the pre-orders for Rodimus Prime went up. I had a pre-order in, but cancelled it even before the first reports came out of its poor quality and fragile nature. Once again I felt I made the right choice in not investing in the MP line. Then, when first MP-10 was shown, and relatively soon afterwards MP-11 to MP-16, I was just amazed. They all looked like they'd just stepped out of their G1 box-art. And I just knew I needed them!

To be fair, I can actually totally understand the people who feel that CHUG and even more so Masterpieces have over-classed their vintage ancestors. Many G1 toys were bricks... But I guess they look better to me through the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia. Without it, I'm sure I too would not find G1 Transformers very interesting any more. I guess I could compare it to the way I feel about Masters of the Universe. Some people grew up with them and still love Masters of the Universe toys. However, I never had any MotU toys as a kid, I never really enjoyed the cartoons and so personally, I just do not see the attraction.

But even though I had only a few Transformers when I was a kid, I do remember peering at the booklets showing all the toys, imagining how they'd al transform, how they'd look together, how they'd feel... And that still makes me love the original vintage Generation One toys to this day, as flawed as some most certainly are! I guess that's also the real attraction of the Masterpieces for me: they are like 3D images of the original box-art. They are the way the G1 'bricks' could only ever look in your wildest imagination. I guess Masterpieces are just a tribute to the man-child in each of us: with technology compensating the loss of our childish imagination that used to be able to make those G1 'bricks' come alive. The same goes for the Classics/Universe/Generations/Henkei/United/etc. toys: I like them because they are such creative re-imaginations of their G1 counterparts.

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker
Henkei! Henkei!

Q - Great insight! Lets say there is a fan in the Netherlands, who got into Transformers in the 80's and 90's, but never really had interest in collecting toys until now. As a savvy collecting veteran, what would you suggest to them to help start them off?

Generally speaking, collecting Transformers in the Netherlands is always going to be a pricy hobby, due to having to import a lot of stuff, especially newer Transformers. Although we used to have brick and mortar Toys 'R' Us stores here, they have all gone, so there's not even access to the TRU exclusives, including the Masterpieces, which do incidentally shown up in the UK. In other toy stores, you'd be lucky to find one or two TFPrime Transformers, some Activators and Bot Shots... It's pathetic.

However, although Hasbro has very little presence in the shops here, there are still good opportunities for new Dutch collectors. On our Dutch version of Craigslists (Marktplaats.nl) people do often offer interesting stuff from all era's of Transformers, sometimes for exorbitant prices, but sometime for very reasonable prices as well. Furthermore, twice yearly there are huge collectors fairs in Utrecht, which always include a whole hall dedicated to professional sellers of all sorts of good quality toys from past and present. Furthermore, the Dutch collectors community isn't huge and there are frequent get-togethers (like the B.O.T.S. Convention on June 9th in Aalsmeer), which also offer excellent opportunities for getting to know other fans and buying stuff. And of course there's eBay, which offers everything, although at a price. In the past, Dutch people have always been hesitant to get credit cards: even many shops and supermarkets do not accept credit cards here, but as far as I'm concerned, having a CC makes it a lot easier to acquire Transformers by way of the internet. And one more tip: despite some wonderful US-based internet retailers with access to almost every new Transformer that gets released from both the US and Japan, for us Europeans it's always going to be cheaper to import Japanese Transformers directly from Japan and Hong Kong, and US Transformers from the US!

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker

Q- There are two figures that are showing up worldwide this month, and they are representations of characters that many fans have clamored for ever since the beginning of Classics in 2006. They are Blitzwing and Springer; what do you think of the two? Will you end up obtaining them?

That's an interesting question, to which I haven't got a definite answer. A couple of years ago would definitely have said yes. But nowadays, I am not so sure.

Firstly, G1 Blitzwing has always been a favorite toy of mine: he's probably the best G1 Triplechanger from that era, with both alt modes being recognizable real-life vehicles. However, I'm just not too keen on how the new version of Blitzwing looks. With what the Masterpieces have already shown us, I would have been hoping for some better defined alt modes, each one hiding away more of the other modes than what we have now. I've also read his reviews quite keenly, and it seems that Generations Blitzwing's quality control is a bit off. I guess that I might get him if he made to a brick & mortar store, but I'd don't think I'd take the trouble to import him through the internet.

The new Generations Springer definitely looks excellent from what I've seen, with both alt modes and the robot mode all very convincing. He really IS Springer, and I guess more so than FP Defender, which I did buy, and who looks good enough, but which does have some weird design issues. Again, the choice is influenced by how easy it will be to find him: I'd rather not pay over double US retail to get him to the Netherlands! But he's definitely tempting me the most out of these two.

I guess this question ties in with myself becoming less influenced by hypes that will take over in Transformers fandom. I've fallen victim to Transformers-hypes in the past, including buying early samples of the TFTM toys and several third party Transformers, just to be able to see what people were raving about. And as always, some hypes are justified, while some really just aren't.

I've found I've become a happier collector in relying more on my personal preferences and choices of molds to get, instead of depending on the hype of the month: I check out more reviews and judge new Transformers based on personal preferences, and based on that I decide which Transformers really appeal to me. I'm especially glad that I'm no longer a completionist when it comes to lines or series: not for G1, not for Masterpieces and not for Classics. It definitely makes collecting less stressful!

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker

Q- That's certainly a hardy collecting mentality! One last set of toy related questions before we move on to other aspects of the fandom. There has been a craze going on recently, and I suppose it all started with the BotCon '11 set - that being G2 inspired repaints. Do you enjoy the effort put in from Hasbro and Takara, or are these just 'easy' repaints? Does G2 deserve the spotlight or is it better left in the dark?

Although I really couldn't appreciate the colorschemes back when it 'happened', G2 did have quite a strong presence in Europe. Even now, original G2 toys are easy to and cheap to find. As time went by, I've learned to like the gaudy colors: and despite the colors, some very fun toys were introduced back in those days.
So I have to admit I do actually really enjoy the new G2 repaints. And although I've never been to Botcon (but would certainly like to someday), I did get that 2011 Botcon set through eBay, and I feel it is actually a pretty good set (although many of the repaints aren't technically G2). I even picked up the Botcon Rapido/Cindersaur set due to liking both the original Rapido toy and the way they repainted the Universe Bluestreak mold into Timelines Rapido.

So yeah, in an age where repaints are pretty essential for making Takara and Hasbro's new molds economically viable, I certainly do approve of G2.

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker
Alldarker's G2 Clench

Q - Do you have a favorite Transformers cartoon series? Specifically a favorite episode?

I'm ashamed to admit I've yet to watch either Animated or TFPrime, let alone the Armada, Energon and Cybertron cartoons (although I've understood they're best left unseen), so there's still some catching up to do. I've actually only ever watched the G1 cartoons and the Beast Wars cartoons in full, and I'm still working through Headmasters, so my answer to this question is based on a relatively limited back catalog.

The G1 cartoon holds a special place even despite all its flaws. Contrary to some, I always enjoyed the 'toy of the week' episodes, especially in season 2, which feature some of my favorite toys and characters. However, I recently started re-watching The Transformers, and I have to admit they are pretty exhausting to watch.

I guess the choice for favorite cartoon is still pretty easy though: Beast Wars is my absolute favorite Transformers series, and is still very easy to watch as an adult, with an excellent start in the first season, building up to a couple of very intense story arcs and featuring humor, excitement, tragedy, redemption and even romance. I guess my favorite episode is, perhaps slightly cliche'd: 'Code of Hero'. A painful but touching episode, especially for what is originally a children's cartoon.

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker

Q - IDW has unleashed two highly acclaimed ongoing Transformers series, The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye and The Transformers: Robots In Disguise. Which series do you prefer, and do you have a favorite issue so far?

I've been reading practically all the IDW releases since they started with 'Infiltration', and I'm keeping up by faithfully buying up the TPS as they are released. Last week I received volume three for both MTMTE and RID, so while I'm not exactly up to date, I'm never that far behind on what's happening (and I have to admit I do read spoilers on the various sites that review the comics month by month). However, reading the TPS makes it hard for me to point out a favorite issue: sometimes I'm just so engrossed in the story that I don't notice the issue change!

Now, I think most people will agree that not all of the IDW titles have been of the same constant quality. Quite a few titles have starting out strong, only to fizzle out in relatively lacklustre conclusions. However, as far as I'm concerned both MTMTE and RID have been on surprisingly long good streaks. When they first came forth from 'Ongoing' I was especially pleased with MTMTE. Right from the start this looked like a series that was really going somewhere, with a format that lends itself well to telling both short one-off stories and longer arcs, which to me seems beneficial to it longevity. Furthermore, it is using several characters that traditionally never got much attention before. I actually feel quite strongly about the relationship between toys and characters: strangely enough it can help me appreciate a toy even better if I get a feeling for the character it is portraying. I've also always found it interesting to see the way toys were formed into characters, and characters into toys, each influencing the other. So seeing quite a few underused Transformers get some 'prime' time (pun intended) is one of the things that keeps me very much invested in MTMTE. Apart from that, the way it is written is extremely entertaining: it is exciting, funny, cruel, gut-wrenching and at times it provides some good back story.

The Transformers: Robots In Disguise started off a bit more messy, I thought. It used characters that have always been more prominent in Transformers fiction, but especially in the first few issues it seemed that characters were behaving out of character. All in all, it took a bit more getting used to the story that was being told. However, Robots In Disguise definitely revealed a bigger, more intricate and exciting story as it went onward, and I'm actually pretty interested in how things will move on. Perhaps it's not the fastest moving story, but compared to how quickly and unconvincingly some earlier IDW titles wrapped up, this title is able to hold my attention.

Of the two, I guess MTMTE does have my preference, although I'm hoping both keep going strong and both are already riding high in my personal list of top IDW titles!

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker

Q - Heavy Metal War. It is Seibertron.com's browser game and you are one of the top players. Tell us how awesome it is to have the top character, and how fulfilling it is to among many other things, to be able to kick Burn's butt

Ah yes, I'd definitely hoped this question was coming! HMW: my greatest glory! February 11th 2006 was the fateful day I actually signed up with Seibertron.com... And it was primarily to give Heavy Metal Wars a shot!

I've played ever since that day, even after the giant server crash which deleted all progress, which reset everyone's scores and which ended the HMW careers of many old timers with maxed out scores. It was the reset that gave one of the biggest boost to my current position in the game. It reset the tables, allowing a fresh start for everyone. Then, in about 2010, I got an iPhone, which made regular deployments a whole lot easier. And in the last two years, even more regular players than myself have unfortunately dropped out of the game, real life catching up on them, but effectively removing a lot of top competition from the game. Becoming the numrber one player was for a very long time a seemingly unreachable goal, so it was incredibly fulfilling to finally make it after 7 years.

I'll be honest, HMW is not the most exciting game around, but at least it's cheaper than Farmville, and unfortunately at least as addictive. There was a time when you could say: well, the game itself pretty much sucks, but the fun half of the game is in slagging off other competitors on the HMW forum. Nowadays, again unfortunately, the HMW forums have become a lot less active, which really is a shame, because topics could get pretty heated. Due to its rather addictive nature, HMW players are still relatively active, but I think many would LOVE an upgrade of the game. There have of course been several ill-fated attempts at creating the legendary, multi-feature 'HMW version 2.0', but the instigators have usually ended up like Spinal Tap drummers: MIA. A real upgrade would however have benefits all around: the game would become more exciting, hopefully also for less OCD players than I've always been, it would be a unique selling point for Seibertron.com and the HMW forums would liven up again. Right now, coming into the game is hardly worth it for competitive newcomers: catching up to the highest levels is practically impossible.

For me, the greatest joy in the game is currently most absolutely kicking Burn's ass around the room. It's not often you can have such fulfilling virtual interaction with a mod. In all honesty, Burn is enormously active in the HMW, both as a player and as a mod, and he is currently my biggest competitor, so it's no surprise he and I keep running into each others bots. I haven't kept score, but I'm guessing that we're probably each getting 50% of the wins in our matches... I'm also very glad he's doing a great (and probably thankless) job in doing what he can to keep the HMW alive, both the game and the HMW forum. But yeah... HMW 2.0 would be real nice!

Seibertron.com Member Interview/Spotlight - alldarker
Alldarker's Brave Maximus!

Q - Sadly our time has come to an end. I would like to say that this was certainly a very enjoyable interview! Any parting shots?

Thanks for having me! Nah, no parting shots, I think my answers are already tl;dr!!!

[END TRANSMISSION]

Previous Interviews - Counterpunch / El Duque / Razorclaw0000 / Va'al

Check out alldarker's flickr!

The Hub Rebranding to Hub Network

Transformers News: The Hub Rebranding to Hub Network
Date: Tuesday, May 7th 2013 10:04pm CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Company News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Nick and More!

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Views: 23,353

Not the biggest news, but it appears The Hub is in the process of rebranding itself to Hub Network. This news reaches us from Nick and More!, who after doing a little internet sleuthing have found that HubNetwork.com is now registered to The Hub’s SVP Business and Legal Affairs Joshua Meyer. Nick and More! speculate the move may be to improve search engine optimization. No word on when the change will become official, they also revealed Hub Network's new logo.

The Hub Rebranding to Hub Network

Death's Head is Back, Full-Size, in Marvel Comics IRON MAN #9

Transformers News: Death's Head is Back, Full-Size, in Marvel Comics IRON MAN #9
Date: Thursday, May 2nd 2013 10:35am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Toy News, Rumors
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Va'al, Burn, Marvel NOW!

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Views: 75,045

Do you remember Death's Head? The 30-foot tall robotic bounty hunter was created by Transformers godfather Simon Furman during his run in the Marvel UK series, and Geoff Senior's artistic touch. He was soon promoted to more than a one-off character and even got his own series in the late 80s, though reduced to a human-sized robot.

With Furman's blessing, writer Kieron Gillen brought the multi-dimensional mercenary back to Marvel comics, although always as a secondary character. Well, after showing up in the background of Marvel comics for the past year, Death's Head makes his full-on return in Gillen and Dale Eaglesham's latest Iron Man comic, issue 9, and he's in his full size!

Back in 2012, Seibertron.com reported from the Toy Fair that a new Marvel Universe figure of Death's Head had been announced by Hasbro - is this a good sign for its release?

Death's Head is Back, Full-Size!


Leave your opinion and discuss this below!

Transformers: The Ride 3D Universal Orlando - Megatron Takes Orlando

Transformers News: Transformers: The Ride 3D Universal Orlando - Megatron Takes Orlando
Date: Wednesday, May 1st 2013 1:56pm CDT
Categories: Live Action Movie News, Event News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): inside the MAGIC, Universal Orlando

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Views: 36,333

Our friend and theme park enthusiast Rick Brigante with Inside the Magic dropped by to let us know about the latest promotional campaign going on in Orlando for Universal's upcoming Transformers: The Ride 3D attraction. Similar to the campaign leading up to the ride's release at Universal Studios Hollywood, the Fairwinds Credit Union building in downtown Orlando has been outfitted with an 80 foot sign made to look as though Megatron took a stroll right through the building. Universal Orlando has also uploaded a YouTube video to go along with the campaign. We've embedded images from Inside the Magic and the Universal Orlando video below.

Brigante feels a grand opening announcement is just around the corner.



Re: Transformers: The Ride 3D Universal Orlando - Megatron Video and Images

Re: Transformers: The Ride 3D Universal Orlando - Megatron Video and Images

Re: Transformers: The Ride 3D Universal Orlando - Megatron Video and Images

Re: Transformers: The Ride 3D Universal Orlando - Megatron Video and Images

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers: Regeneration One #87

Transformers News: Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Date: Sunday, April 28th 2013 4:26am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 28,184

A Key Issue
(Spoiler free-ish)


With volume two of ReGeneration One coming out this Wednesday, we decided to go back and make sure all the issues contained in the trade have been reviewed! Read all the already written ones: ReGeneration One #86, ReGeneration One #88, ReGeneration One #89 and ReGeneration One #90. And now, for the missing one: ReGeneration One #87.

Synopsis
WAR CRY! The conquest of IACON begins in earnest, as SCORPONOK’s game-changing strategy threatens the very nature of what it means to be AUTOBOT... Or DECEPTICON! And HOT ROD begins his own personal odyssey to the very heart of CYBERTRON—where ancient forces are stirring!

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
So. That's the plot



Story

So Grimlock has accepted Scorponok's offer, and is on his way to Cybertron. After a demonstration of what the Gene Key can do, at least. He's back in his old body, happy as larry, bashing and gnashing, and he has a plan to carry out.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Grimlock, you scoundrel


Meanwhile, Optimus decides that he'd rather stay on Earth and think things through, thank you very much. I suppose this could have been a worse decision, but it does seem to slow down things a lot. Every other character on the planet(s) keeps asking 'what would Optimus do?' - apparently, nothing. Just go for a stroll. Good to know.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
But you can abandon everyone on Cybertron. Cool, cool.


And of course, Hot Rod tried keeping everything under control back at home. Even though Grimlock is a bit of a trouble-maker, Scorponok's vanguard has arrived, and there's definitely something going on in the basement.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
O hai Primus


The idea of Scorponok changing the moral compass of all Cybertronians is intriguing, but the execution is a bit puzzling. What exactly does the Gene Key do, and why does it even work? If morality is not a black-and-white thing, as they explicitly said in these issues, surely the result would not be this one? Or would it?


Art

Again, it's Wildman and Baskerville on pencils and inks, respectively, and there's quite a wide cast this time round. Some have complained about the three headmasters not looking like their usual selves, or at least previous incarnations, but they do resemble their toys in this form. The usual concerns about expressions do arise, but there's something particularly off with Perceptor.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Percy..?


Bove really shines in this issue though, especially when the skies are concerned. Something I didn't notice on the first read: the Cybertronian sky progresses through this story arc, from a very very dark night to something else for its conclusion, following the pacing of the events. A nice touch, JP.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Pretty lights


The artwork seems to work a lot better in this issue! Yes it's Andrew 'Screaming Robots' Wildman, but the human facial expressions have more of a variety this time, and really help convey what is going on in the story. And I like screaming robots, anyway.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The issue is enjoyable actually, and it does a lot more than the previous one. There are some concerns both in terms of plot devices and artwork, such as the exact functioning of the Gene Key and Perceptor. Poor poor Perceptor. But overall, the story works.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Contemporary cultural reference!


There are some extra bits I haven't mentioned in the review, about some other characters still on Earth, of whom Starscream is one and the others are ..well, I'll leave it to you to find out. Overall, not a bad issue, a good read, still fairly slow but appropriately so this time. Let's see what Scorponok has in mind for next month, shall we?

. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: - out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

Transformers Generations Titan Class Metroplex SDCC Exclusive?

Transformers News: Transformers Generations Titan Class Metroplex SDCC Exclusive?
Date: Saturday, April 27th 2013 9:52am CDT
Category: Toy News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Robotkingdom

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Views: 36,120

Transformers Generations Titan Class Metroplex SDCC exclusive? Site sponsor Robotkingdom has updated their pre-order page for the ACG-CON HK Exclusive version with a description that states it's expected to have the SDCC color scheme. This actually coincides with insider info that we were given prior to Metroplex's big reveal at Toy Fair 2013. As we know from past SDCC's Hasbro isn't afraid to bring out the big guns for their exclusives. Last year Transformers fans got the Fall of Cybertron Bruticus box set and they released the massive Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. Super Helicarrier. No hints as to what the new the deco will be, but the G1 mold did have one repaint as Metrotitan.

Robotkingdom wrote:Description :
Preorder.
Available in September 2013.

This item is expected to have SDCC Style colour.

More Information will be updated on our website and facebook.


Please note these are merely stock images of the retail release from the Robotkingdom pre-order page and not indicative of the potential exclusive.

Transformers Generations Titan Class Metroplex SDCC?

Transformers Generations Titan Class Metroplex SDCC?

Transformers Generations Titan Class Metroplex SDCC?

IDW Star Saber Designs

Transformers News: IDW Star Saber Designs
Date: Sunday, April 21st 2013 5:43pm CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Alex Milne

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Views: 31,618

Transformers artist Alex Milne has posted on FullMetalHerohis designs for the upcoming Star Saber character from the More Than Meets The Eye comics series! The images are fairly small, but are mirrored below.


IDW Star Saber Designs

IDW Star Saber Designs

e-Hobby Magnificus New In-Hand Images, Color Version of Comic Cover, and Bio

Transformers News: e-Hobby Magnificus New In-Hand Images, Color Version of Comic Cover, and Bio
Date: Wednesday, April 17th 2013 8:30am CDT
Category: Toy News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): e-Hobby

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Views: 20,654

e-Hobby has tweeted a couple of new in-hand images of their upcoming exclusive Magnificus. They've also updated his profile on their website with a color version of the previously revealed comic cover and his bio.

Once Military Affairs Advisor for Mebion, Magnificus was betrayed by an unknown comrade and banished to frontier space. Forced to serve as a gun-for-hire, he has spent long years on the run from bounty hunters with his comrade-in-arms, Gamede. But the pair has finally found a means to achieve their revenge: body data stolen from Perceptor using Gamede's ability to shrink to atomic size! Redesigning his body using this data, Magnificus has successfully mastered the art of "Psychometry", which is the ability to see residual images by scanning objects and other lifeforms. Can Magnificus master this ability and use it to determine the identity of his betrayer?

Physical fitness: 10
Intellect: 10
Speed: 6
Durability: 10
Teamwork: 8
Courage: 10
Firepower: 8
Skills: 10


Re: e-Hobby Teases Their Next Exclusive: Magnificus?

Re: e-Hobby Teases Their Next Exclusive: Magnificus?

Re: e-Hobby Teases Their Next Exclusive: Magnificus?

Hoist, Magnificus, updated Machine Wars deco and more revealed in TCC #50 (now arriving)

Transformers News: Hoist, Magnificus, updated Machine Wars deco and more revealed in TCC #50 (now arriving)
Date: Monday, April 8th 2013 11:32am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Toy News, Event News, Collector's Club News
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 63,633

Earlier this morning I received my copy of the 50th issue of the Transformers Collectors' Club The Official Magazine. The cover homages Marvel's Transformers #22 which featured Menasor with various Marvel characters outlining the sides of the cover. This cover features Depth Charge's mug shot front-and-center with all of the Collectors' Club characters outlining the cover.

Inside the magazine itself, the following pages and information are revealed ...

  • Brian's Bytes and Bolts reveals that the Subscription figures have been delayed from China. They are estimating that the figures will ship right after BotCon. I'm assuming this means that the figures are being shipped over with all of the BotCon exclusives to save on transport costs. Because of this delay, they are unsure when the 2nd installment payment will be due for those of you who went with the payment option.
  • First look at Transformers Generations Deluxe Hoist (available 4th quarter). Hoist is a remold of Trailcutter. He features a new head and trades Trailcutters trailer topper/shield for a tow hook that appears to transform into Hoist's gun. No wings but I think we'll all be happy to have Hoist join our "Classics" ranks. I'm assuming this figure will be packaged with his Spotlight book in the upcoming deluxe/comic packaged series revealed at Toy Fair back in February.
  • The next two page spread features updated decos for the BotCon 2013 Machine Wars set. As far as I can tell, the only difference is Obsidian has undergone a major color change. Whereas he was a bright green with orange (transparent?) rotors, he now sports a color scheme that seems much closer to his Beast Machines cartoon counterpart along with (transparent?) red rotors. This should make many fans happy that Strika and Obsidian will be utilizing colors from the cartoon instead of one being from the cartoon and the other being from the toy.
  • Transformers Generations Magnificus from eHobby is revealed as a club exclusive! Pre-orders will be available at http://www.TransformersClub.com/shop from April 15th to May 8th. Price is currently listed at $90.
  • The comic continues the Beast Wars Shattered Glass theme. It introduces G2 Hero Megatron alongside some of Takara's Beast Wars II characters like the Seacons, Dirge, Thrust, and the Autorollers. Scylla is still female. :D
  • After the comic, we get a one page "The Transformers Menagerie - Part 2: The Dinobots"
  • Profile pages for Beast Wars Grimlock (Maximal) and Beast Wars II Dirge (Predacon)
  • The back cover features another installment of David Willis' Recordicons as well as two installments of Transformers I.Q.

Hoist, Magnificus, updated Machine Wars deco and more revealed in TCC #50 (now arriving)

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review

Transformers News: Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Date: Tuesday, April 2nd 2013 12:09pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Va'al

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Views: 29,201

Trail-whatever
(Spoiler free-ish)


Synopsis
STEALTH ATTACK! Trailcutter has a problem: the Lost Light has been taken over by the Decepticons—and no one else seems to have noticed! Can the Autobots’ defense strategist singlehandedly see off an army of infiltrators? And even if he does, will it convince his crew mates that he's got more to offer than kind words and forcefields?


Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Boooored



Story

Spotlight: Trailcutter takes place between the events of More Than Meets the Eye 5 and 6 (the Delphi happenings and Fort Max's breakdown-Rung's beheading, respectively). So why haven't we seen any of the events from this issue before?

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Sticking out like a sore thumb


Ok, so everything else was happening at the time, but surely a massive hull breach and a Decepticon invasion wouldn't go that unnoticed, surely. That is the only negative point though. This Spotlight is a lot more successful than its predecessors in weaving in the Metrotitans plot, whilst still having its own private story.

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Don't mind us, we're just titanically hanging here, glowing


Plus, it's Roberts. It's funny, there's good dialogue, Whirl's excellent, there's good humour, Whirl is brilliant. There's an in-story explanation for the change of name for the protagonist, the Insecticons (the coloured ones, not the purple ninjas) show up again, there's a lot of references, plus the return of one of my favourite, spikier kind of Decepticons – you'll be hooked, alright. Did I say Whirl is also pretty good? I think I did.

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
NO KNOWN WEAKNESSES


In addition, it's a nice refresher after the last MTMTE issue, where tragedy struck. It's good to see Rewind and Chromedome both happy and Ultra Magnus kind of around, and the general atmosphere a lot lighter, even during the Decepticon incursion.


Art

The artist is Matt Frank, another new entry to the Transformers series and a welcome one at that. The style is fairly “cartoonish”, so if you're not a fan of Roche or Griffith, this one is probably not for you. There is a lot of lip biting, face pulling, jaw clenching and Whirl doing impressions. And a lot of cameos!

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Again, just hanging in the background


Lee's on lettering, and I don't really have much to say about it. That's not to say it's not good, it's just not as popping as the newcomers on the other titles – although some of the sound-words are excellent. Thomas Deer on colour duty. Now this, this one's good. There is some Burcham reminiscence in here, with the lighter, “grainier” colours. And they really shine (though not literally, except for the shiny shiny medals) during Trailcutter's solo adventure.

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Why so blue, guys?


There is something about the comic that can be compared to Nick Roche's work, but as Roche is a one-man-band (including the audience part, at times) I think Frank's artwork really suits Roberts' writing style. So yes, good combination for this Spotlight!


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The story does not take itself too seriously, and it's a nice break from the emotional suckerpunch that was issue 15 (especially now that we've been told that 16 is even worse). Focusing on a somewhat minor character worked out well, and I hope this will work well for the next one, too!

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
And team awesome is awesome


Overall a good, entertaining issue. Easily up with Nick Roche's Spotlight: Megatron, and maybe even better. It's nice to see a relatively new artist and colourist working on a title, and successful ones at that. The story works well, except for its time placement (but that may be just me), and it hints nicely at what's to come – Hoist and ...purple reign? A good read, not perfect, but perfectly enjoyable!

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: and 1/2 out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #165 - Recall Bias
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