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February 20, 2009

Smokescreen (02-20-09)

Filed under: 01 generation one, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:20 am

Transformer of the Day for February 20, 2009

SMOKESCREEN

-Faction: Autobot
-Era: Generation One (1984-1992)
-Function: Diversionary Tactician
-Motto: “A Look Can Be Deceiving; A Touch Can Be Lethal’”

-Notable Toy: Fast Action Battler (Hasbro, 2008)

Notes: While Smokescreen’s name has ended up on unrelated characters from Armada to Generation 2 Decepticons, his original likeness has certainly received a good toy treatment - the toyrocket statue, the Cybertron homage and certainly the original. That said, I don’t expect many opportunities to use the Fast Action Battlers line, and this redeco is a great way to spotlight the best part of the movie line of toys.

(For more information on Smokescreen, check out the Generation One Transformer Bible.)

(Apologies and thanks to botchthecrab.com for the character image.)

February 19, 2009

Bombshell (02-19-09)

Filed under: 01 generation one, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:19 am

Transformer of the Day for February 19, 2009

BOMBSHELL

-Faction: Decepticon (Insecticon)
-Era: Generation One (1984-1992)
-Function: Psychological Warfare
-Motto:
The Mind is My Playpen”
-Notable Toy: Action Master (Hasbro, 1991)

Notes: I always thought the Insecticons functioned as an efficient collective, with none of the egotism that followed the main Decepticon group. So it is hard to determine exactly which one, when jettisoned from Astrotrain in the Movie, exactly became Cyclonus and which became his Armada. In any event, the European Action Master is a great rendering of the character.

(For more information on Bombshell, check out the Generation One Transformer Bible.)

(Apologies and thanks to toyarchives.com for the toy images.)

February 18, 2009

Sometimes I’m a champ, sometimes I’m a chump

Filed under: Transformers, custom — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 5:53 pm

While I like to think I’m a decent customizer, I have to admit that life is made easier with soft vinyl munnies. Painting hard plastic, particularly plastic that moves (as in the case of Kid Terrific, which I hope to unveil in the coming days) is really an art. Which makes me respect these artists over at Transformers Freestyle that much more:

Minerva - someone thought to put together a Minerva, with transforming head!, out of a TransScanning Bumblebee? Holy crap!

Primus - here is another great example of imagination. To combat the threat of the deluxe Unicron, someone opted to take Energon Hot Rodimus and turn him into Primus. Wow!

Decepticon Triple Changers - as soon as I saw the TF Clubs rework of Armada Jetstorm into Astrotrain, the idea of putting together a group of three Decepticon triple changes based around the various Unicron-saga Jetfires came into my head too, with Energon Jetfire as Blitzwing and Cybertron Jetfire as Octane. These guys actually did more than think it, they did it, even taking the concept back to Armada Jetstorm to remake him into a new Astrotrain too.  What I learn is that if I can think it, others can do it.

Autobot Triple Changers - and here is a case of symmetry of which I couldn’t conceive. Convert Tital Wave to Broadside; Energon Cliffjumper to Sandstorm? Nope, that didn’t cross my mind. And while Hasbro eventually made a run at Springer using Cybertron Evac, I think these guys may have come out on top with their version.

Pyro and Clench - these guys may have only seen action in Europe, but clearly they too can be part of the mythos again.

And the list keeps going. Star Sabre. B’Boom. Greatshot. Powered Convoy.

Hasbro! Hire these guys! now!

Convention woes

Filed under: Transformers — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 11:24 am

You know, I am having serious misgivings about the transformersclub, particularly after their recent adventure at Toyfair 2009, specifically in relation to efforts to organize this year’s Botcon event.

I may be wrong here but it seems to me the reason for the club is to benefit and enhance the fan experience, notably those fans who have paid membership dues. To date, to the best of my knowledge, the club does this through three main avenues - preparation for the annual Botcon convention, preparation of club exclusives, and ongoing communications (club magazine and website). And to be completely fair, I’ve been reasonably satisfied with the results to date.

However, it seems that the club is becoming simply another communications and marketing tool for the toy line. On some level, I am fine with some measure of overlap - fans are just as interested in looking forward as much as looking back. But I wonder who pays the bills when the club attends events like Toyfare? Is it Hasbro or it is the club through whatever revenue streams (club dues, toy store profits and Botcon proceeds) are available to it? And if it is the latter, does it move the club forward for the benefit of members to appear at these events? Are we better served by a one-on-one interview with Michael Bay that could have easily been conducted by internal Hasbro communications and disseminated to the community?

Most importantly, how does the club’s participation in the communications roll out for the movie take away resources to planning for Botcon 2009? There is barely less than three months left before the big event and there is no indication when convention forms will be made available. According to the site, “Now is the time to make your hotel reservations,” which is putting the cart before the horse. Why make hotel accommodations bookings, to say nothing of transportation and vacation plans, without even a modicum of details?

It may seem like a little thing but I’m not prepared to make arrangements costings hundreds of dollars on spec. I’ll buy a convention pack without seeing the toys, because I’m taking part in an event, but I won’t book a hotel until I’ve submitted a convention form. The sooner I have a convention form, the more likely I can get vacation leave and discounts to afford the accommodations and transportation costs, and be able to attend.

In what has been described in the United States as a depression, I am serious reservations of falling any tried-and-trued model. I have reservations about an event that presumes attendance rather than provides amble opportunity to obtain vacation time and make affordable travel arrangements by making convention details available in advance. Worldcon has had delegate forms ready since the fall for an event scheduled for August. Providing a bigger time frame seems to me to be more advantageous than narrowing it.

No one is certainly implying that everything needs to be cast in stone three years in advance. Events, by definition, need some fluidity in terms of events and presentations. But why admission forms can’t be put up on line as soon as a location is known is beyond me.

Inferno (02-18-09)

Filed under: 01 generation one, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:18 am

Transformer of the Day for February 18, 2009

INFERNO

-Faction: Autobot
-Era: Generation One (1984-1992)
-Function: Search and Rescue
-Motto: “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Me”

-Notable Toy: Universe (Hasbro, 2009)

Notes: I like Inferno well enough but I never understood how he got called up to join Jazz and Sideswipe as part of the G2 assortment of Autobots. Maybe it had something to do with his Japanese recolour, Artfire, or maybe Hasbro was planning ahead to the 25th Anniversary release. Speaking of Artfire, I wonder if we’ll see a redeco?

(For more information on Inferno, check out the Generation One Transformer Bible.)

February 17, 2009

Astrotrain (02-17-09)

Filed under: TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:17 am

Transformer of the Day for February 17, 2009

ASTROTRAIN

-Faction: Decepticon (triple changer)
-Era: Generation One (1984-1992)
-Function: Military Transport
-Motto:
In Confusion, There is Opportunity”
-Notable Toy: e-Hobby Exclusive (Takara, 2005)

Notes: The only Decepticon triple changer who doesn’t go over to the Autobots, Astrotrain’s toy never quite synched up with his animated self. It would take almost twenty years for everything to line up. Now if we could just find it… and the secret to mass conversion that allows an average size robot to transform into a shuttle capable of holding Devastator

(For more information on Astrotrain, check out the Generation One Transformer Bible.)

February 16, 2009

Toyfair 2009

Filed under: Toys, Transformers — fairplaythings @ 2:21 pm

I really didn’t know I had this much to say until I began to say it.

Anyway, just some of the highlights (and lowlights) from what I’ve seen out of Toyfair 2009. One of these days, maybe I’ll get to live the fanboy dream and be able to attend in person. Until that day, this is as good as it gets for me.

Transformers

Being in love with Diamond Direct’s statue line, I am psyched about the upcoming Galvatron, Ultra Magnus and Jetfire. Although I would prefer a more matted finish on Ultra Magnus. (And I am still insanely curious as to whether the exclusive Galvatron, Ultra Magnus, Jetfire and Ricochet will appear at www.xl-shop.com (located in Malaysia of all places), particularly given that they were expected back in July 2008 and no longer show up on their website.)

I am so sad to hear the ongoing rumours that Season Three will be the last season of Transformers: Animated. I cannot believe how hard I’ve fallen for this line. Here’s hoping that Arcee (and here), Soundblaster and Ratbat don’t end up left on the drawing board like their predecessors in the line Titanium. It’s not as if there isn’t a precedence for showing off a particular toy that you end up cancelling.

Like others though, I welcome the new Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as a chance to take a reprieve from Transformer-madness. I suspect I’ll buy a few of the interesting figures, but overall I have no interest in retreads of key characters like Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. The first movie was enough for that. I do wonder though if Hasbro was close enough to the filming process this time to get toys that will be movie-accurate the first time around, or will they be encouraged to again reproduce a second version for the Christmas rush.

And this is probably not the ringing endorsement that parties involved want to hear but Devastator, oh, he could have been so much worse. I dislike the absence of a unifying colour for sure, but he much better than how I feared he would come out. Like on wheels or something…

That said, there are a few figures that look interesting. Like Volt. Hey look ma! Hooks for hands! (It helps that he’s a Fast Action Battler, the singularly best part of the first movie line in my opinion.) And sucker I am, I am totally going for the Bumblebee helmet and hand cannon accessories.

DC-Land

I should have known that … wouldn’t end with Batman and Superman. But I’m really surprised how quickly they moved onto Green Lantern. And strangely pleased. To feed my love of super-deformed heroes (and the Green Lantern shrine), these are pick-ups. That said, is it just me or does Hal look like he has a Guy Gardner collar going on?

Speaking of Hal, he is quickly becoming a mainstay of all things DC Direct. It’s like once they do a Superman and a Batman, they move to Hal… sometimes even before Wonder Woman… So where is the movie, guys? Not that you can keep track of lanterns these days since they keep showing up in different hues

So happy that Mr. T is getting the Mattel DC Universe treatment. I can only hope that sometime soon the same will occur for Mr. Sloan and we can get our very first full-articulate Golden Age Mr. Terrific action figure. On that day, I pledge to buy TWO - one for home and one for office. There. That should be incentive enough.

And I fear that Jay will have to come home to join Hal (although not likely this Hal because of the price point and the fact I already have the very nice DC Direct figure). Could this mean an Alan Scott could be coming soon? Dare to dream!

Having declared the unlikelihood of acquiring the Tonner Hal Jordan, I should say that they really did wet my lips with Hawkgirl.

I was tempted already on the Giffen-era JLA. But I gotta say this little addition to wave two might just convince me.

G.I.Joe-ville

That’s a pretty neat transforming base, even if it looks like a weird SUV-aircraft carrier hybrid. And while the Motor Viper figure is kind of neat, I gotta say the SUV doesn’t compare to an old fashion H.I.S.S. tank. Really, is there anything as iconic in G.I.Joe-ville as the H.I.S.S.? So clearly it can’t be in the film…

Curiously how much RoC Scarlett (can we really begin to use acronyms to distinguish the movie from the RAH line?) bears more than a passing resemblance to Sigma Six Scarlett. (Editor’s note: now that’s a figure a certain club should be pushing to have remade for its members.)

Speaking of Sigma Six, this line of movie figures seemingly takes the worst of that line (the non-recognizable figures) and adds the worst elements of the bulky, non-articulate Extreme line (really, were there redeemable elements of that line 1)

While on the subject on non-articulation, I am generally a fan of the Robot Heroes and Combat Heroes lines. However, while I’ve caught all the Transformer Movie Heroes, in addition to their animated selves, I can safely take a pass on the RoC Combat Heroes. I hate to be a buzz kill, but there is no buzz there at all. Maybe it is the absence of recognizable attire. However, I am all about this H.I.S.S. tank - I can totally see a black version with a repainted driver to match his classic look.

All that aside, the 25th Anniversary line still rocks my socks! ZAP and LAMPREY! So cool!! Even RoC thinks so, what with their stealing Scrap-Iron and everything.

Others

A life-size Smile Time Angel? Who would have thunk it?

While I might not need a Master Chief, but, wow, I might just need a Sgt. Johnson.

That’s a pretty cool looking Deadpool figure. And who thought that after Iron Man recently got the Captain America treatment, he would then get the Punisher treatment. Does this mean Frank is armouring up for Dark Reign? Or that Marvel is becoming increasingly toy focussed now that the license for their toy properties is with Marvel? Hey, I just call it like I see it.

And Arno Stark? Total cuteness!

1. I shouldn’t be so hard on every element G.I. Joe Extreme. There was room to work with a character like Iron Klaw and I’m surprised he hasn’t been introduced into the 25th Anniversary line like Matt Tracker. But honestly, those figures represent the worst of the “lose-the-articulation-and-play-value-and-make-it-like-a-statue” look made famous by McFarlane Toys. The only interesting part of the line was Mayday, who irony of ironies, was the only figure not released.

Blaster (02-16-09)

Filed under: TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:16 am

Transformer of the Day for February 16, 2009

BLASTER

-Faction: Autobot
-Era: Generation One (1984-1992)
-Function: Communications
-Motto: “When the Music is Rockin’, I’m Rollin’”

-Notable Toy: Hasbro Deluxe (Hasbro, 1985)

Notes: Blaster is the quintessential example of how the same character can get very different characterizations. On film, Blaster is a simple communications officer with a penchance for rhymes. In the Marvel Universe, however, he is a hardened soldier who is seen as a capable leader by his colleagues. Even if the eject button did not always function, there’s no better toy than the original.

(For more information on Blaster, check out the Generation One Transformer Bible.)

February 15, 2009

Soundwave (02-15-09)

Filed under: TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:15 am

Transformer of the Day for February 15, 2009

SOUNDWAVE

-Faction: Decepticon
-Era: Generation One (1984-1992)
-Function: Communications
-Motto:
Cries and Screams are Music to My Ears”
-Notable Toy: Deluxe (Hasbro, 1984)

Notes: Soundwave was the very first Transformer I ever received. That he could carry around a virtual army of soldiers behind his cassette door just added to the allure, particularly when the tapes kept coming long after he left store shelves. Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage, Frenzy, Rumble, Ratbat, Overkill, Slugfest, Squalktawk, Beastbox, you’ll always have a place to call home. Naturally, we’re going with the original toy here. Bring on Masterpiece Soundwave!

(For more information on Soundwave, check out the Generation One Transformer Bible.)

(Apologies and thanks to whoever put together this amazing CGI-like graphic image.)

February 14, 2009

Web Finds

Filed under: Uncategorized — fairplaythings @ 8:21 pm

It is amazing what you can find on the web when you least expect it.

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