Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Before I say goodbye to 2013, it is time to count up the Transformers for December.
- Generations Thrilling 30 Doubledealer, hasbrotoyshop.com, $15.99
- Generations Thrilling 30 Rhinox, hasbrotoyshop.com, $15.99
- Mech Ideas Apex and Geminus, tfsource.com, $69.95
- Crazy Devy CDMW-34, tfsource.com, $28.00
- Mech Ideas W-01 Longblast Upgrade Kit, tfsource.com, $15.95
- ToyWorld Trace, tfsource.com, $64.95
- Generations Thrilling 30 Ratbat, gift from Gemini
- TF Prime RID Vehicon with custom head, gift from Gemini
2013 ended on a good note with all these TFs! This might be the only month where I had more 3rd party items than offical Hasbro or Takara items. Altogether, there were 8 purchases for 7 figures (Apex and Geminus was one purchase, and add-ons I don’t count as figures). 9 items total, 4 official products and 5 3rd party products.
Doubledealer, Rhinox, and Ratbat I have not opened yet, but will soon. It’s kind of a drag that Doubledealer still has the same mechanical problems as Blitzwing. I was hoping Hasbro would get around to fixing it for Doubledealer, but no such luck. As for Rhinox, I am hearing good things about the figure, so I’m optimistic. Ratbat is a repaint of Generations Scourge. That is a fantastic mold, so I expect this to be good as well.
I haven’t opened the two upgrade kits either, but I plan to do that soon. I need to dig out Hercules, then add this Crazy Devy head to it to check out the LED visor. The Longblast Upgrade Kit is designed to work with RTS Special Ops Jazz. I think I will use this kit on my G2 Jazz of the same mold. But I mostly got this kit for the little Shockwave and Megatron guns. I can’t wait to try those guns with other CHUG figures.
I opened Trace as soon as I got him. I really liked Aurora, so I had to get Trace. ToyWorld did not let me down with this Chase homage. I’m very happy with how Trace turned out. He’s bigger than Aurora. In fact, he’s about the size of standard deluxes that Hasbro used to make in years past, while Aurora is that of the deluxes now in store (which are smaller). Check out pics in my last post for some size comparisons. I like how ToyWorld decided to base Trace on the Lamborghini Urus Concept. He looks pretty accurate to the real thing in alt mode. In robot mode, Trace is nicely proportioned, very poseable, and free of mechanical issues. I highly recommend this figure.
I heard good things about Apex and Geminus from Mech Ideas so I had to get them. At only about 70 bucks for 2 third party figures, they were a really good deal. Anyway, I also give these figures the highest possible recommendation. They are easy to transform and extremely fun to play with. They are obivous homages to G1 Jumpstarters Topspin and Twin Twist. If you need some figures to complete your Wreckers, then look no further. Apex and Geminus are durable and nicely detailed. Obviously they don’t have the original G1 auto transformation gimmick, but as adult TransFans we probably don’t much care for that anyway.
The Vehicon with the custom head is a gift from Gemini. This particular head works great with the Vehicon mold. Since this guy now looks different from the others, I think I’ll make him the Vehicon leader. I now have 6 Vehicons total. Getting a Vehicon as a gift for Christmas appears to be a trend lately. Probably won’t continue for 2014 haha.
OK, now let’s look at some statistics for 2013. Here is the break down:
- 26 figures from Transformers Prime
- 20 figures from Generations Fall of Cybertron (FOC)
- 23 figures from Generations Thrilling 30
- 10 Masterpieces
- 10 3rd Party figures
- 1 Power Core Combiner (PCC)
That’s a grand total of 90 figures for the year. It comes to 7.5 figures a month. This is less than 2012. For me that’s probably a good thing, since I have way too many TFs. I think I have been more selective in what I buy.
Also, I see most of my figs come from Generations. That’s great news, since I love CHUG. Also, Masterpieces and 3rd party figs I choose to buy are all G1 inspired. That means most of my figures are G1 derivatives. What else did you expect from a G1 guy?
And as far as the stats from month to month, I don’t really see a trend of when I buy the most TFs in 2013. Next year this might change, since it will be a movie year.
On a more personal note, I’m a little sad to be saying goodbye to 2013. This year has been good to me, both personally and professionally. I hope this good fortune will continue into 2014. And as for TFs, we know Hasbro will release a whole mess of figures since TF4 will be due out in the summer. Long time readers of this blog knows that I’m not the biggest fan of Michael Bay TFs (notice that for 2013 I did not buy a single movie TF haha). So I’m somewhat skeptical of the kinds of toys that will be put on the shelves. I just hope they don’t disturb the release of Generations.
Oh, and one more thing, I got some big changes planned for this blog in early 2014, so stay tuned. Happy New Year and long live Transformers! Transform and Roll Out!
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone was able to spend it with family and friends, have lots of turkey, get to some serious Black Friday shopping, or however else you choose to best enjoy the 4 day holiday. I usually go back home to Southern California for Thanksgiving, but the past 3 times I just decided to stay here in the Bay Area. This year I spent it with the GF. Both of us are too lazy to cook so we ate at a nice Chinese Restaurant. I know, hardly your usual Thanksgiving feast. But it works for us. And it prepared us that night to rough the stores for some Black Friday deals. More on that later. For now, here are my TF acquisitions for November.
- Transformers Prime Skyquake, Toys R Us, $29.99
- Masterpiece Prowl (MP-17), hlj.com, about $47.60
- Masterpiece Streak (MP-18), hlj.com, $47.58
Finding Skyquake was completely unexpected. All TransFans are aware of it’s rarity, and how Hasbro really botched the distribution on this figure. I found this at a small Toys R Us in a mall, which is a far cry from your usual Toys R Us. The associates that work there call it Toys R Us Express, I think. Inventory here is hit and miss. I guess that’s understandable for a small store. But because of it’s weird inventory, I come here occasionally just to see if I can find something rare. And lo and behold, that day I find Skyquake. I wasn’t looking for the figure at all, but it was a pleasant surprise. Dreadwing is awesome. I expect Skyquake to be the same.
MP Prowl and Streak (Bluestreak or Silverstreak in the US) was ordered from HLJ.com. Both were shipped together for about $16. These two figures are pure TF awesomeness. In alt mode, the Nissan Fairlady 280-Z looks dead on accurate. In robot mode, both figures look exactly like their G1 counterparts, and I would expect no less from a Masterpiece figure. Engineering on these is superb. Transformation is just the right difficulty. I need to review them for sure. Overall I think I still like the MP Sideswipe mold better, but this is damn good too.
So that’s only 3 figures for the month. There appears to be a TF drought in the stores, or at least nothing I want.
As for the Black Friday shopping, here’s what I have got so far.
I won’t list prices, but these are all really good deals. I did some online shopping too, those items have yet to arrive. We’re not done either. More shopping tomorrow at the local premium outlet. Too much for one weekend lol.
Happy Cybertronian Thanksgiving! Transform and roll out.
Once again it is the end of the month, where I count up the Transformers that have come into my possession for the duration. In contrast to September, I received all these TFs in the first half of the month. And in direct contrast to October of last year, where I set a record number of TF figures purchased in a single month, this October is quite modest in terms of figures bought.
- Masterpiece Acid Storm, Toys R Us, $74.99
- Generations Thrilling 30 Optimus Prime and Roller, amazon.com, $10.94
- Generations Thrilling 30 Bumblebee and Blazemaster, amazon.com, $10.94
- ToyWorld Aurora, bbts.com, $49.99
- Mastermind Creations Bovis, bbts.com, $89.99
This comes to a total of 7 figs for October. 4 figs from Generations Thrilling 30, 1 Masterpiece fig, and 2 third party products.
MP Acid Storm was a pleasant find (though that same day, he was also available online). I have been hunting at TRU for about a month on a regular basis before I found him early in October. I really like the new Seeker MP molds. Acid Storm is an exact repaint of MP Thundercracker, and I have already mentioned what a awesome figure that is. Acid Storm certainly does not disappoint. I really wish Hasbro would also re-release Starscream and Skywarp in the US in the new MP molds.
The little Generations Thrilling 30 figures were ordered from Amazon. I have never seen these in store. So when I saw them on Amazon for only $1 more than MSRP, I wasted no time buying them. Technically they were not from Amazon, they were from TFSource selling through Amazon. That particular arrangement worked out quite well for me. I don’t live in the same state as TFSource so I don’t have to pay tax, and this is sold through Amazon so it qualifies for free ship with Amazon Prime (which I have). Anyway, the OP fig is just ok. The Bumblebee fig is not half bad. They are fun distractions, and they pose well with Metroplex.
The two third party figs are nothing short of incredible! Aurora by ToyWorld is an homage to Searchlight, a G1 Throttlebot. This figure transforms quite well. He looks nice in both modes, and the construction is solid. ToyWorld does intend to make all 6 Throttlebot homages, and supposedly they will combine! I know G1 Throttlebots never did this, but it’s nice to see ToyWorld go out of their way to make this happen. Now that I’ve seen how cool Aurora is, I plan on getting the rest of them. I got Trace (Chase homage) on pre. Now I need to get Grind Rod (Rollbar).
That leaves Bovis. Fans have been gushing left and right on TF sites and forums about how well Mastermind Creations products are. They are right. Words alone cannot do justice to the quality that MMC have put into this figure. Bovis is a homage to Tantrum, a G1 Predacon. MMC is making the whole team. If the rest of the figs turn out as well as Bovis, then we are really in for a treat. Anyway, I transformed Bovis from robot to bull. He is a really solid piece that any G1 fan needs to own. Bovis is certainly large for a figure that can combine. Predaking will be massive! I love it.
Happy Halloween! Transform and Roll Out!
September was off to a slow start as far as TF purchases go. But then a whole bunch of figures started to make their appearance past the midpoint of the month. Anyway, here they are.
- Quakewave by Fans Toys, edbomber.com, $150
- Generations Thrilling 30 Thundercracker, Toys R Us, $12.99
- Generations Thrilling 30 Hoist, Toys R Us, $12.99
- Generations Thrilling 30 Starscream and Waspinator, Target, $9.99
- Generations Thrilling 30 Metroplex and Scamper, amazon.com, $106.03
- Generations Thrilling 30 Megatron and Chop Shop, Target, $9.49
That’s a total of 6 purchases for 9 TFs. All are from the Generations Thrilling 30 line, except for Quakewave which is a third party product. There are 6 Decepticons and only 3 Autobots this month, but I think the balance of power is clearly on the side of the good guys with Metroplex alone.
For the first time in a long time, I actually opened all the figures I bought in the month! I guess when it comes to CHUG stuff, I just can’t wait. When it comes down to it, I still like G1 derivatives the best!
I went into Quakewave a little bit in my previous post, so I won’t repeat it here. In short, he’s amazing. Get him now while supplies last. Oh yeah, I also want to give a shout out here to edbomber.com. It’s a great store. Quakewave was my first purchase from them and I was very pleased. I like the usual places where I get my 3rd party Transformers, but having one more option is always a good thing. More competition is always a win for the fans.
This Thundercracker is the Fall of Cybertron version, though he’s not packaged as such. He’s a exact repaint of FOC Starscream. I love that mold, but I think in Thundercracker’s colors, this figure looks even better. Hoist is a repaint of Trailcutter, with a new head mold and a new weapon that becomes his crane. I think I actually like this figure better as Hoist.
The little Megatron and Starscream figs are pretty cool. They are easy and fun to transform, while paying good homage to their G1 selves. I kinda like Chop Shop, even though he’s super simple (think G1 Throttlebot simple). Waspinator is a total fail. All his modes suck.
And that brings us to Metroplex. This is to my knowledge the biggest Transformer ever produced! He’s pure awesomeness. You will need a lot of room to keep this guy around, but believe me he’s worth it. The $106 price tag from Amazon is nice too. Oh yeah, he also comes with Scamper. I must review him in the future. This is something I must do as a TransFan.
That covers my purchases for September. This month was kind of a pleasant surprise. I didn’t think there would be this many TFs hitting the stores. The final TF count is good, not too many that I feel overwhelmed, and not too few that I feel like there are no new figs. Plus these are all good figures that fit well into the CHUG or MP verse. Hopefully October will be just as good… Transform and Roll Out.
Not a whole lot of TF action this month. All purchases in August are for 3rd party products.
- FansProject Down Force, tfsource.com, $59.95
- FansProject Last Chance, tfsource.com, $59.95
- Beelzeboss Heroic Duo Custom Kit Version 2.0, tfsource.com, $33.95
I opened both Down Force and Last Chance, respectively Drag Strip and Dead End. I like these two way better than the first two that they released (Car Crash and T-Bone). The design of Down Force and Last Chance are much better. They don’t feel like repaints of each other, unlike Car Crash and T-Bone. Also, some joints on Car Crash and T-Bone are way too tight. On this new pair, some joints can still be kinda tight, but much improved. Down Force and Last Chance also feel a tad bigger than the first figures, but they are still smaller than your standard Hasbro deluxe. I would recommend buying only for those fans that really like the Stunticons. Now I’m looking forward to FP’s Motormaster homage to complete the set.
The only other purchase this month is the Heroic Duo Custom Kit Version 2 by Beelzeboss. I saw a review of this some time ago, and felt I had to get it. I opened the set, but haven’t tried it yet. The kit is a bunch of accessories designed to be used with CHUG Sideswipe and Red Alert. Included are 2 rifles, 2 missile launchers, 4 shoulder pads for the missile launchers, 1 new head mold for Red Alert, and 2 pile drivers for Sideswipe. This is Version 2 of this set, which improves upon Version 1 with some minor mold modifications, and molding with plastic color instead of painting. The kit looks cool, but the price seems a tad high for a bunch of add-ons.
That’s it for August. Two 3rd party figs and one 3rd party add-on kit. There was nothing to buy in the stores. I did find some Target exclusive Beast Hunter figures. I even bought the Target exclusive BH Abominus set. But I’m kinda sick of BH toys. Knowing me, I’ll probably play with the Abominus set a little when I first open it, then it would just sit somewhere and collect dust. So I returned it to Target.
Hopefully I’ll have more TFs next month. I still got a bunch of figs on pre-order. I hope some of them will come in next month, but you never know. I only find BH crap these days in the stores, so I’m not counting on finding anything good in mass retail. Historically, in a non-Movie year, August is always bad for TFs. I guess this year is no exception.
Transform and Roll Out.
I usually try to make at least 4 blog posts a month. Look to the lower right in Archives and you will see I’ve been doing that all year. But that trend stopped in July. I certainly did not intend to ignore Transformers Roll Out for so long. I’m still very much into Transformers, and I hunt for figures whenever and wherever I can. But life has a habit of getting in the way. I’ve been busy, mostly the good kind of busy. For the first time in a long time, I feel like my life is moving forward. Still, all this translates to me not having enough time for this blog.
At the very minimum, I need to report my purchases for July. Much like May of this year, I didn’t find any TFs til late in the month. I really was beginning to think July would be a Transformer-less month, then in the final week the figures took me by storm. Here they are.
- Generations Thrilling 30 Sandstorm, amazon.com, $22.99
- Generations Thrilling 30 Trailcutter x 2, Target, $12.99 each
- Generations Thrilling 30 Megatron, Target, $12.99
- Generations Thrilling 30 Orion Pax, Target, $12.99
- Generations Thrilling 30 Bumblebee, Target, $12.99
- Generations Fall of Cybertron Roadbuster, Walmart, $12.97
- Generations Fall of Cybertron Twintwist, Walmart, $12.97
- Generations Fall of Cybertron Topspin, Walmart, $12.97
- Generations Fall of Cybertron Impactor, Walmart, $12.97
- Generations Fall of Cybertron Whirl, Walmart, $12.97
That’s a total of 11 figures for July, all from Generations. So far I only opened Orion Pax and one of the Trailcutters.
I first spotted Sandstorm late in the month on Amazon. I wasted no time getting him. I heard nothing but rave reviews for him, and the recent Hasbro Triple Changers have been awesome. I assumed Sandstorm is a brand new mold. It wasn’t until after I bought him I learned that he’s a rework of Trilling 30 Springer. I say rework because saying repaint feels like such a injustice. The two figures are off the same general mold, but Hasbro made so many differences off the Springer mold that Sandstorm feels like a completely different figure. I haven’t opened Sandstorm yet. But if he’s anything like Springer, I will like him.
On July 25th, I went to a Oakland A’s game with the GF. On the way back from the game, I stopped by Walmart for some snacks since I was seriously hungry. Lo and behold, I find the Generations Wreckers in the toy aisle! They had exactly one set. I must have got there right after they stocked it. Anyway, I grabbed them all with a quickness. The figures are repaints of the FOC Combaticons. These Wreckers will combine into Ruination, though I don’t ever recall Wreckers combining in any continuity. Getting more repaints of this set kind of feels like a waste of money, but the purchase is justified by the fact that these figs all have new head molds that very closely resembles their G1 counterparts. The GF really likes the colors of Roadbuster.
The very next morning, I had a work conference to attend in a nearby city. After the conference was over, I stopped by the Target right next to it. I’m glad I did, because I found all the Thrilling 30 deluxe wave 1 figures. I knew these were coming, but I wasn’t expecting to find them so soon. They had exactly 2 sets. Again, I must have got there right after someone stocked the TF aisle. I grabbed one whole set, plus one extra Trailcutter. I’m partial to Trailbreaker, so can you blame me for getting two Trailcutters? If you live near me, I guess you can. I really like how these Thrilling 30 deluxe figures all come with a comic. The way these deluxe figs are packed looks awesome too! Poor Megatron, he’s the lone Decepticon of the set. In fact, he’s the lone Decepticon for the month!
I should also mention that I passed up several TF Prime Beast Hunter figures this month. I found Skystalker, Target exclusive Darksteel (Grimwing repaint), and Target exclusive Sky Lynx (Skystalker repaint). I almost bought all these guys just for the sake of buying some TFs, but ultimately left them on store shelves. I’m glad I did, because the Generations figs showed up immediately after.
There you have it… my TFs for July 2013. I should have more TFs next month too, since I just had some 3rd party stuff shipped from tfsource. A number of pre-orders are slated to come in next month. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It will be a good August. Until then, 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.