The “active” TFs on my shelf have changed somewhat from the last time I did a post like this. So here they are. Most of the figs on the shelf are new for this post. Some are the same as last time, with some of them in a different mode.
Same pic, different angle.
From left to right
Top shelf, back row: FOC Blaster (with Steeljaw inside), FOC Omega Supreme, FOC Air Raid (on Omega’s shoulder), FOC Grimlock, TFP Beast Hunters Optimus Prime
Top shelf, front row: Generations Springer, FOC Starscream, FansProject Car Crash, FansProject T-Bone, TFP Rumble, TFP Beast Hunters Smokescreen
Middle shelf: TFP Breakdown, TFP Dreadwing, TFP Shockwave, TFP Beast Hunters Starscream, TFP Jet Vehicon General
Bottom shelf: TFP Beast Hunters Soundwave, MP Soundwave (with Laserbeak insde), FOC Soundblaster (with Buzzsaw inside)
All these TFs are excellent. There’s not a single one on here that I would not recommend.
I believe all the figures on here are 2013 purchases, with the exception of Breakdown and Dreadwing (which were late 2012). The middle shelf appears to be a TF Prime Decepticon shelf, and the bottom shelf is a turning into a Soundwave exclusive shelf. Maybe I should add a few more Soundwave figs here.
The most recent acquisition displayed here is Springer. I have only transformed him from robot to car, but I can already say that he’s AWESOME! I can’t wait to do the heli mode next. He must be reviewed and I intend to do one.
Transform and Roll Out.
I don’t know why, but May 2013 seemed like a long month. Yes there are 31 days in the month, but it’s hard to imagine one extra day making a big difference (unless of course you talk to those in retail). More often than not, a month seems to fly by these days. Yet something about this past May feels different… can’t quite put my finger on it though.
And now I’m wondering if there are months on Cybertron. That’s an idea worth exploring. But on to more pressing business. These are my TF acquisitions for this May.
- Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Shockwave, Kmart, $21.99
- Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Optimus Prime, Walmart, $18.97
- Masterpiece Rumble and Jaguar (MP-15), hlj.com, about $35
- Masterpiece Frenzy and Buzzsaw (MP-16), hlj.com, about $35
- Generations Springer, Walmart, $22.99
- Transformers Prime Arms Micron Silas Breakdown (AM-24), amiami.com, about $50
- Transformers Prime Arms Micron Unicron (AM-19), amiami.com, about $65
- Transformers Prime Arms Micron Smokescreen (AM-26), amiami.com, about $13
All the above adds up to 10 figures for the month. 5 from TF Prime, 4 Masterpieces, and 1 Generations fig. Not a bad haul for May. Though only 2 of the figures were found in store by me (Shockwave and OP). The 4 MPs were online purchases. Springer, Silas Breakdown, Unicron, and Smokescreen were successfully located by my friend Gemini.
It should be noted I did not make a single TF purchase in the first half of May. So I was really beginning to think that this month would be like last month where I only got 1 TF. Then on May 17th I find Shockwave. On May 19th I decided to get BH Optimus. I’ve seen this figure plenty of times before, but was hoping to find him cheaper. I got sick of waiting so on this day I bought it. Then the MP figs show up later that week from hlj. And on Memorial Day weekend, Gemini hands me all the TFs he found for me. All these figures bunched up toward the end to make May a good month for TFs.
As of this writing, I have only opened the three US figures. Shockwave is pretty cool, though some aspects of his construction could have been better. On my figure, the right arm keeps falling off at the shoulder. A little nail polish seems to fix the issue, but this shouldn’t have been a problem to begin with. I also don’t like the position of the ratchet increments on the hip joints. The beast armor is worthless. But other than these issues, he’s an excellent fig. Both modes look great, transformation is fun and easy, he’s plenty articulated, and the design and colors are pure Shockwave.
I highly recommend Beast Hunters Optimus, like all the other reviews I have seen. Both modes are awesome and I detect no construction issues. Articulation is superb, and the alt mode comes together well. The major complaint among the TF fandom about this figure (which I agree with) is the ugly head mold, but some 3rd party is coming out with a custom head which should address this. Some fans also gripe about the green windows and sword, but that doesn’t bug me too much.
Springer is pure awesomeness! All TransFans have nothing but praises for him. For this reason, I opened him with such a quickness that I forgot to take pics of him when he was still unopened in the box. I haven’t transformed him yet, but I’m totally digging the robot mode. For those that don’t know, this Springer is modeled after Nick Roche’s version from Last Stand of the Wreckers (a brilliant TF graphic novel BTW). Many fans already project this fig to be TF of the year. I’ll transform him soon and see how much I agree with that assessment, but that many fans can’t be wrong so I know I’ll be pleased to say the least.
As for the 7 Takara TFs, I plan to open them all.
In unrelated news, this past Sunday I attended Fanime 2013. In a earlier post I said I will cover the event, but I really didn’t take any pics this time, so I guess I won’t. This was the first anime con for me in several years. The big draw these days appear to be all the cos-players. I estimate between 30 to 40% of all attendees are in costume. Shopping doesn’t seem like it’s as big as before. Sales of anime DVDs and Blurays have really dwindled. I guess it’s a sign of the times.
BotCon 2013 is next month. I probably will not go, but you never know. Til next time, Transform and Roll Out.
Behold my fellow TransFans! Feast your optics on my complete collection of G1 Throttlebots!
Back row (left to right): Chase, Wideload, Searchlight
Front row (left to right): Goldbug, Rollbar, Freeway
Haha ok I know these are not the most impressive bunch. But I guess my interest in this often forgettable sextet got rebooted after ToyWorld started making homages to them.
The gimmick of the Throttlebots is that they have the pullback motors that were very popular of toys back in the 80s. In G1, Jump Starters and Battle Chargers had this same gimmick as well. But those sub-groups also transform automatically as part of the release sequence (from alt mode to robot). Throttlebots differ in that they must be transformed manually, but the pullback mechanism can be initiated in either car or robot mode. As Transformers, they pretty much sucked. Though technically not repaints, all six figures in the group transform exactly the same. Like Bumblebee and Cliffjumper from Season 1. Transformation is super simple, even for G1 standards. All you do is raise the figure, flip out the arms, flip back the rear to reveal the head, and push in the motor. They have absolutely no articulation at all, a total fail even for G1.
The first of these that I got was Goldbug, at a Thrifty. I got him because he reminded me of Bumblebee (before I found out he is in fact Bumblebee). Not sure why I decided to get Rollbar and Freeway later. Guess I was bored and had some extra spending money. But yeah, these 3 I had since G1, and I know for a fact they’re the real deal.
Now that ToyWorld is making their homages, I decided to get the rest now in 2013. One seller had Chase and Searchlight, which I bought for $8 shipped on eBay (he took my best offer). Then I won another auction for Wideload at $5 shipped. These 3 are all used, but all in pretty good shape. As far as I can tell, these are all authentic genuine Hasbro products. Being able to complete the set at these prices was well worth it for a G1er such as myself.
I am looking forward to ToyWorld’s homages to this group. I thought it was kind of funny and weird for ToyWorld to update this particular team. But after I saw reviews of Grind Rod (Rollbar) and Aurora (Searchlight), I am quite impressed. They will supposedly combine into a Gestalt as well. Like I mentioned in my last post, I pre-ordered Trace (Chase), who is the 3rd fig in the group. I may need to order the first 2 figs before they’re gone.
Throttlebots… Transform and Roll Out!
I got a whole bunch of crap on pre-order. So much that it makes sense to make a post dedicated on just this topic. So here they are.
That’s a lot of stuff! With the exception of the 2 MPs, they are all 3rd party products. It seems like everyone wants a piece of custom TF action. Perhaps this is a more lucrative business than I thought. Only Primus knows when all this stuff will get released though. I hope it’s soon.
On unrelated news, I will be attending Fanime 2013 this Sunday. Look for a coverage soon… Transform and Roll Out.
Back in 1984 when Transformers first came on the scene, there were only 3 categories of Autobots that you could buy. There was Optimus Prime, who was in a category all by himself (and rightfully so). There were the Minicars, such as Bumblebee. And then there were the Autobot Cars, a US localization of Japanese Diaclone figures. A scan of the Season 1 catalog below illustrates the 3 categories.
Of all the 1st Season Autobot Cars, Trailbreaker is the only one that has yet to have a proper update in the CHUG-verse. Sure they made a Legend class figure a while back, but that’s not a real update considering all the other characters had a deluxe class or larger CHUG figure made.
Earlier this year, Hasbro finally announced that they will be releasing a deluxe size Trailcutter. I’m guessing for trademark reasons, they could not get the name Trailbreaker. But whatever. I am totally stoked that Trailbreaker is finally getting the recognition he deserves! This means the Season 1 Cars will be complete in CHUG. Pics of this Trailcutter have been floating around for a while now, but I need to do my part and post them here.
But there is another reason why I’m so thrilled at Trailbreaker’s inclusion in CHUG. Back in G1, he was the very first Autobot Car that I owned. I still remember that trip to TRU. It was 1985. I was standing in the TF aisle and my parents were gonna buy me a TF car of my choosing. The Season 2 cars were already out by then (I remember distinctly seeing Red Alert), but Season 1 cars were still on the shelves. I looked at the section for a long time. In the end I decided on Trailbreaker.
I can’t explain why I picked Trailbreaker. If you were going by characters, it’s hard to pick Trailbreaker over one of the cooler characters, like Jazz or Sideswipe. Admittedly, I didn’t know the TF characters too well, since I barely knew any English. So my choice was not based on TF persona. Likewise, if you were going by alt mode (all TFs back then were packed in alt mode), it’s hard to imagine picking a SUV over a sports car. So it’s a mystery why I went with Trailbreaker. Maybe the toy just looked too cool in the box. I’m partial to TFs that I own. So for the next few years, I cheered every time Trailbreaker did something cool in the cartoons. Like using his Force Field so save the day when another Autobot has gotten them into some sorry Decepticon mess.
Since Trailbreaker and I have this special history, I’m kind of irked by the fact that Hasbro CHUG-updated all the other Season 1 cars except for him. It’s like I picked the character that got left out. But better late than never I always say. Trailbreaker has finally arrived at the party. And besides, the pics above look awesome! Maybe in this case, they were saving the best for last. Yes that must be it. I feel better that my character of choice received this proud distinction.
I still have my G1 Trailbreaker figure, from 1985. In this modern era of new Transformers, I only have 2 Trailcutters. And to give Trailbreaker the recognition he deserves, I’m taking group pics of all of them.
The largest figure in the pics is obviously G1. The middle size figure is a Cyberverse Commander class figure from TF Prime, the new Beast Hunters subline. And the smallest figure there is a Legends figure from Reveal the Shield. I will give some quick thoughts on each of these figures.
This figure needs no introduction. They sure don’t make TFs like this anymore. G1 figures, especially the first 2 seasons, were generally alt mode first and Trailbreaker is no exception. His alt mode still holds up well today. Trailbreaker is a fourth generatino Toyota HiLux and the toy resembles the real thing very closely. The diecast construction and real rubber tires were iconic of figures at the time. I had this figure since 1985 and even today he’s in pretty good shape. In alt mode he feels like one cohesive whole. He rolls extremely well on a flat surface, even when compared to other G1, because he’s got such high clearance like a real pick-up truck. In robot mode Trailbreaker looks somewhat different from his cartoon counterpart. Like many other Season 1 characters, the show made him look better than he really is. But the toy’s robot mode is still not too bad for it’s time. Much better than the robot mode of some other G1 cars, like Ironhide or Sunstreaker. Like all G1 the poseability is super limited. You can move the arms, but that’s it.
Reveal the Shield Legend
I bought this figure back in 2011. For a legends figure he’s not bad. The overall transformation schema of this piece is almost exactly like G1. The arms and back are formed differently, but those are the only obvious transformation differences. The amazing thing about this figure is that, though small, it doesn’t feel that much dumbed down from G1 when compared side by side. The transformation complexity is almost equal. I guess toy technology have made some significant progress in the last 25+ years. The alt mode is sufficient, and the robot mode is an obvious homage to G1. The look of the legs and the force field module on the head are both very G1 inspired.
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander
This figure was bought in March of this year, only two months from this writing. Normally I don’t buy Cyververse figs, but when I saw Trailcutter I had to get him, since I’m partial to the character. This figure is a slight remold of Cyberverse Ironhide. Hasbro made enough differences here to properly distinguish the two. Trailcutter gets a new head mold, shoulder cannons, spikes on the shoulders and arms, and a weapon. I applaud Hasbro for not simply giving us a unmodified repaint. This figure has the most articulation of the 3 TFs here. You can do some nice poses with this fig. There’s even articulation in the head, though there’s probably too much around the neck to really put that to use. He’s also the most difficult out of these 3 to transform, though that’s not really saying much. The colors are pure Trailcutter, and the shoulder cannons and head Force Field module are nice G1 homages.
I cannot wait to get this new CHUG Trailcutter. He’s finally getting some love! Transform and Roll Out!
I knew a month like this was coming. In complete contrast to March, I bought only 1 Transformer in the entire month of April. And it’s not from lack of hunting. There simply wasn’t anything to buy in the stores. Check out this solo purchase below.
- Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Hardshell, Walmart, $10.96
I bought Hardshell for three reasons: 1) Hardshell used to be called Bombshell, and I’m partial to this character, 2) Seibertron highly recommends the figure, and 3) I needed to buy a TF just for the sake of having bought something for the month. I normally don’t buy Cyberverse figs. So if I didn’t buy Hardshell, I would have no new TFs for April. Scary!
Ever since I started tracking how many TFs I buy every month, this is no doubt the least productive month. In this case it was probably good, since last month I bought a lot of figures. I made a good dent into my backlog of TFs during April. I opened all figures from March, except BH Starscream and RID Rumble. I have yet to open Hardshell. I hope he turns out as good as recommended. I think the price is a ripoff though. It wasn’t that long ago when you could get a deluxe fig for less.
On a completely unrelated topic, I won the office March Madness bracket this year. My pick was Louisville and they went all the way. Not a surprising pick since they were the overall #1 seed, but nothing is guaranteed in this sport. It’s been a while since I won any March Madness pools, so this is a big deal for me.
Hopefully May will be more productive for TF hunting. Transform and Roll Out!
Title says it all. These pics are nothing new by now, but I’m so looking forward so these upcoming MP figs that I have to make a post. I first reported news of these figures back in this post. Looks like MP-17 will be Prowl, and MP-18 will be Bluestreak and not Smokescreen like I reported. It makes sense to do these 2 first, since Smokescreen didn’t come around til season 2 in G1.
I’m wondering if they will call MP-18 as Bluestreak or Silverstreak. Though I don’t really care as long as he gets released. Transform and Roll Out.
Quick post today. I got this little shelf in my bedroom where I like to display my “active” TFs. Usually this refers to the figures that I recently bought and are still playing with, before they get boxed and stored somewhere. Occasionally this could be a TF that I dug out from said storage, for one reason or another. It’s impossible for me to display every single TF that I have, and quite frankly I don’t like having a lot of clutter. So I display my TFs with this more limited approach.
But the TFs are adding up on this shelf, and it does look quite awesome to see them all together.
Same pic, different angle.
From left to right
Top shelf, back row: MP Optimus Prime (US TRU exclusive), FOC Air Raid, FOC Omega Supreme
Top shelf, front row: Reveal the Shield Battle in Space Rodimus, MP Soundwave with Laserbeak, TFP Beast Hunters Trailcutter, Reveal the Shield Windcharger, FansProject Car Crash, FansProject T-Bone, TFP Wildrider, TFP Rumble
Middle shelf: GDO Megatron, TFP Breakdown, TFP Dreadwing, GDO Powerdive, MP Thundercracker
Bottom shelf: GDO Cliffjumper (with G1 head), FOC Kickback, TFP Beast Hunters Wheeljack, TFP Beast Hunters Bulkhead, TFP Beast Hunters Smokescreen
To the side: Spike, Roller, and Trailer for MP Optimus Prime (US TRU exclusive)
Most of these are recent purchases. Reveal the Shield Rodimus and Windcharger are the only two older figures that I dug out from boxes, and even they aren’t that old (2011 I think). MP Optimus, Cliffjumper, and all the figures on the middle shelf were all purchases late in 2012. The rest were acquired in 2013.
FOC Omega Supreme is such an awesome figure! He’s robust, well built, and very playable. Not to mention easy to transform. The details on this figure is also superb. This Omega functions well as both a toy and a collector’s piece. I need to do a full review on this figure soon.
Notice that Spike is sitting inside Roller. And Roller is hauling the Trailer. Optimus can be such a slacker sometimes.
Transform and Roll Out.
When people say March, I think March Madness. It is my favorite time of year as far as sports go. The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship has my full attention once it gets going. Especially when UCLA does well. But even when my alma mater makes a surprisingly early exit (like this year) or fail to make the tournament altogether (like last year), I still follow it closely to see how well my bracket does in the office pool, or whatever other pools I happen to participate.
As for Transformers, there was a madness this March as well. I didn’t think I was going to get this many TFs this month. In fact, I was kind of counting on a TF drought. So it was a total shock when I added up all the March figures when the end of the month was coming. Ever since I started tracking my purchases every month, this was the 3rd most action packed month, behind only February 2012 and October 2012. I was fairly busy this month too, which makes me wonder when I even had the time to hunt for these TFs. But whatever. Feast your optic sensors on the Transformers below.
- Generations Fall of Cybertron Blaster and Steeljaw, Walmart, $22.96
- Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Smokescreen, Walmart, $15.47
- Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Bulkhead, Walmart, $15.47
- Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Starscream, Target, $15.99
- Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Ripclaw, Walmart, $12.97
- Generations Fall of Cybertron Eject and Ramhorn, Target, $9.99
- Generations Fall of Cybertron Rewind and Sunder, Target, $9.99
- Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Trailcutter, Target, $8.99
- Transformers Prime RID Rumble, Ross, $5.99
- Transformers Prime Arms Micron Jet Vehicon General, amiami.com, about $23 shipped
- FansProject Car Crash, bbts.com, $59.99
- FansProject T-Bone, bbts.com, $59.99
- Year of the Snake Fall of Cybertron Omega Supreme, bbts.com, $99.99
As you can see, that’s a lot of TFs! Especially since I wasn’t expecting all that much. 7 figures came out of Fall of Cybertron, 7 figures from TF Prime, and 2 independents from FansProject. That makes a total of 16. Certainly a busy month to say the least.
Problem with buying so many TFs in one month is that you just don’t have time to process all of them. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but recently I have become backlogged in opening my Transformers. I’m almost wishing for a TF drought, so I would have the time to properly give each figure the time that it deserves.
As of this writing, I have only opened 4 figures of the 16: Smokescreen, Bulkhead, Car Crash, and T-Bone. I’ll open the rest sooner or later, preferably sooner.
I highly recommend Smokescreen. Bulkhead is ok. Buy him if you got the money to spare, but if you’re on a tight budget then you may want to reconsider.
Car Crash and T-Bone are both smaller than I expected. Early reports of these latest FansProject offerings is that they’re somewhere between scout and deluxe size. They were right. In robot mode they are exactly between these 2 sizes, and in car mode they’re barely bigger than scout. So at $59.99 each, I don’t think they are good value. Also, transformation from robot to car is kind of a pain in the boron compressor. They’re not complex figures, but getting all the tabs to line up to connect takes some effort. They are not figures that I can transform fast for that reason. Still, the figures do look good. They are well articulated and well built. I’ll reserve final thoughts about them after I see the combined Menasor mode.
The only repeat purchase here is RID Rumble. I know I said no more doubles, but I got him purely for the extra pile drivers that I will put on AM Rumble. Besides, he’s so cheap at $5.99. Yes I broke the rule. Sue me.
Year of the Snake FOC Omega Supreme is huge! This is Omega done right! I look forward to some quality time with this piece.
So that’s it for March. There’s a lot more that I wanna talk about, but I think I need to go open these TFs first. Til then, let the March Madness continue. Transform and Roll Out!
This week I will be receiving 2 figures from FansProject, T-Bone and Car Crash. These are obvious homages to G1 Stunticons. Growing up, this was the favorite combiner team for most of my friends. And for good reasons. They are all high-end sports cars (with the exception of Motormaster). They are all kick-ass rebels, even choosing to ignore Megatron’s orders from time to time. And Menasor could possibly be the most powerful combiner in G1. In the cartoons, I don’t remember him losing any fights to any of the other combined gestalts.
Since Hasbro will not give us proper CHUG remakes to this fan-favorite combiner team, it is once again up to FansProject to step up to the plate. I will be receiving T-Bone (Wildrider) and Car Crash (Breakdown) very soon, and I look forward to checking them out for myself. I’ll make another post when I get them, but for now, check out these pics below.
On completely unrelated news, March Madness 2013 is currently going on. I watched as many games as I could have starting this past Thursday. First 2 rounds are now over (I know, they renamed it Round 2 and 3, but these new names just don’t work for me) and we’re down to the Sweet 16 as I write this. The obvious Cinderella that is getting everyone’s attention is FGCU, or Florida Gulf Coast Univerisy, a 15 seed! Has a 15 seed ever made it to the Sweet 16? I honestly don’t know. They took down goliath Georgetown and up and coming San Diego St to get here. Safe to say that no one’s heard of FGCU til this weekend, not counting the locals. Congrats to the Eagles!
But on a more personal note, my bracket is still in good shape! For my Final Four, I picked Louisville, Ohio St, Florida, and Indiana. All 4 schools are still alive in the tournament. I can’t even remember the last time I did this well. Last year, I picked Missouri to win it all and they were bounced in the 1st Round! The year before that, I can’t remember who I picked, but I remember not doing too well. The thing that sticks out from that year is UCLA winning in Round 1 against Michigan St, but then losing to Florida in Round 2. I remember following the scores on my phone for that Florida game. The Ex wanted to go to Whole Foods so we did. I let her do her thing while I just followed the game on my phone. UCLA did even worse this year by making a Round 1 Exit. That hurts my Bruin pride, but I didn’t project them to go far anyway, since Florida was waiting for them in Round 2. And besides, I got a real shot at winning the office pool. Currently I’m in 2nd place, but I have the most potential points left. I won’t say what is my pick to win it all in fear of jinxing it, but right now they sure look like the team to beat.
Long live March Madness! Transform and Roll Out!