Transformers Report: Collector’s Club Skyfall

1 Comment

When Hasbro launched the Official Transformers Collectors Club with Fun Publications I decided to join. At the time I had decent income and thought it would be worth the money. It kind of wasn’t. For your fee (I forget what it was at the time) you got a newsletter that featured information you already heard elsewhere online and only have a few pages of a long comic, a free toy that was a remold of another toy, a card with a bio of the character, access to the forum, and not much else. In the future discounts on club items and more free stories would come around but I don’t think it was worth the money.

Since I joined that first year I picked up the first year figure, Skyfall…who came with instructions for Terradive, one of the Energon Combiner figures his mold was made from. I’ll get more into all that when I finally go through the Energon toys, but for Skyfall, he’s part of a Combiner called Nexus Prime, formerly Nexus Maximus until someone found out he shared the name with an…adult toy that didn’t have a robot mode and probably had more female users. That’s all I’m saying about that. The other figures seen above were released in the following years and all were remolds of various Combiner figures from Energon. The two links in this paragraph will give you the important backstory if you so care, as it’s time to look at the toy itself. While not a Universe figure it’s where I put the other multiversal redecos so why not him? I don’t have any other Collector’s Club figures after all so where else would i put him?

More

Transformers Report: Universe King Atlas

Leave a comment

This is the last and biggest of my Transformers Universe figures but not the last one in the box. I’ll explain when I get to the last two of this review set. King Atlas has some interesting history attached, but I’ll summarize for those of you not really into Transformer history. The links in the next paragraph go to the Transformers wiki if you want to know more.

King Atlas is the second recolor of G1 UK exclusive Decepticon Skyquake, later redone for the US KB Toy Works exclusive Machine Wars line as a new body for Starscream, which means this is the only Autobot version of the mold. I never had the figures from either of these groupings. The name comes from the Japanese exclusive character Dai Atlas from Transformers Zone but while intended to be the US version of that character the Universe line came out with no bios (tech specs were pretty much gone by this point due to international packaging holding English, Spanish, and French text) and the convention comics made him a new character for the Transformers Universe comics. As for the toy itself, there’s a lot to go over but it’s all in vehicle mode.

More

Transformers Report: Universe Skywarp

Leave a comment

This year I had the Transformers Universe figures I’m keeping around the tree, but there are a few left I haven’t reviewed. We’ll be returning to the project/review formula next week but this toy’s been sitting here a few weeks waiting to be reviewed, and it’s time to do that. As a reminder, Transformers Universe was originally a series of recolored molds of the past, some being the same character and some being a new character. The plot was that a version of Unicron dragged Transformers from across the multiverse to fight each other because he fed off of the fighting…somehow. I don’t get it either, but it did allow some of us to get molds we didn’t have before since they were exclusive to other countries.

This isn’t the case for Skywarp, however. This Skywarp uses the mold of Jetstorm from the Beast Machines line, another reminder I should have gone through that box first. The mold would be used for other figures as well but these two are the only versions I picked up. This one is a Decepticon, the only other one I have in the Universe line besides the Micromaster Construction Combiners. I’ll review Jetstorm in the future, so let’s look at Skywarp.

More

Transformers Report: Universe (1.0) Inferno

Leave a comment

I think I’m done with team reviews for this line. Inferno came alone. He was intended to be a Universe incarnation of the G1 character Red Alert but someone screwed up the name with his old pal Inferno, who was a fire truck while Red Alert was a fire chief’s car. (I thought the chief went with the other firefighters but I only know firefighters, I wasn’t one myself.) The good was caught too late and so the Red Alert homage got Inferno’s name. The Universe 2.0 line would bring about a proper update for Inferno.

However, the 1.0 line was all reissues and recolors and redecos, and this Inferno is no different. The original mold was the Prowl of Robots In Disguise (the one based on Mach Alert from the Car Robots toyline and TV show). Prowl’s brother, X-Brawn, received a Ratchet recolor and both figures were give a subline name, Machine Robot Rescue, which was a jerk move on Hasbro’s part. For the initiated Tonka, the company that produced the 80s rival transforming robot line GoBots, got most of their figures from a line in Japan called Machine Robo. Hasbro later bought Tonka but by then the company that created Machine Robo, BanDai, had started releasing toys in the US, and had brought some of their Machine Robo characters into a new line called Machine Robo Rescue, so we’re all pretty sure this was just another attempt by Hasbro to keep their old rivals from ever returning to the US toy shelves, although there was no evidence BanDai planned to anyway. DinoZaurs didn’t do very well for them after all. But enough history, let’s get into Inferno.

More

Transformers Report: Universe Stockade & Magna Stampede (with Mini-Cons)

Leave a comment

Sorry for the washed out images. Sadly I goofed in editing.

Our next set of Transformers Universe figures were sold together so that’s how I’ll be reviewing them, if only to move things along. They share an instruction sheet, which is how I know they came together. And yes, it’s another set including Mini-Cons with figures who can’t use Mini-Cons. As you’ll see it’s worse this time though.

I’m not sure why these four were sold together. There’s no connecting theme. At least Whirl’s Mini-Con pals were some kind of aircraft. Magna Stampede and Stockade are original characters based on molds from the Beast Machines line while Terradive and Prowl weren’t even on the same Mini-Con team, yet share a feature their friends are unable to use. I get the feeling the Mini-Cons of this group are pretending to be Micromasters to not be used as power boosters in the Universe arena, like it’s their chance to just be seen as any other Transformer. At least that’s the canon in my head since Universe is about dragging Transformers from across the multiverse. I’m going to limit photos to robot and alt mode and will give my thoughts individually. Of course we know the Mini-Cons are safe but what about the other two?

More

Transformers Report: Universe Micromaster Constructicons

1 Comment

There were only four teams in the Universe Micromaster Combiners, but I would have loved to have gotten other Japan-exclusive molds in a US line. The “Multiforce” (which actually had been released with Japan’s counterparts to the Universe Micromasters around this time and could themselves combine into a larger robot of all six members) had two robots that combined into one, similar to the Autobot gimmick of the Energon line. They could have also released the G1 US Micromasters where the vehicles could combine to form more vehicles. By the time Micromasters came out in the original like I was too old for my parents to buy me Transformer toys and I didn’t have a job because…let’s just say I had bullies and leave it at that for this site. These four teams are as of this writing the only Micromasters I own. I still think Mini-Cons are cooler but my love of Mini-Cons does at least allow me to enjoy these predecessors even if they can’t combine with the larger robots.

Although the ones who form arms and legs can fake it thanks to the connectors being the same size as the Powerlink ports on the “Unicron Trilogy” figures and the rifles of these last three teams can be used by the Mini-Cons by connecting them to the plugs on the Mini-Cons. (The Railbots have other ways of interacting with Mini-Cons since they’re a different design, but the Aerialbot and Protectobot Micromasters share this and they all can swap an arm of their combined forms out with a Mini-Con who would be rather unuseful). Today we’re looking at the last of the Combiner team in the Universe line, the Constructicons. Named after and inspired by the G1 characters they’re the only Decepticons of the Micromasters in this line. Their parent characters, Sixbuilder and the Build Team, were actually Autobots who had a Decepticon clone. Don’t ask me how. I don’t think their story made a lot of sense. Luckily we’re here to talk about the toys, and I can see why they went with the G1 homage, although they didn’t keep all the names. Considering how many I change anyway I can live with that.

More

Transformers Report: Universe Micromaster Protectobots

1 Comment

Since I’m going back and forth between further going through the Transformers Universe (1.0) figures and other clutter organizing project I’m going to zip through the Micromaster Combiners. This is the last of our Autobots, originally seeing life in Japan as Sixturbo before ending up at KB in America as the Protectobots, an homage to my favorite G1 Combiner team. However, this version really only has three rescue vehicles, the other three being a race car, a sports car, and a cruising motorcycle. It makes for an odd choice for an homage but since the others were homages or namesakes I guess it fits. It’s really just a reason to use names for copyright purposes when you get down to it.

I’m going to be a bit off with the usual renames in the captions. This was the first released set in the Universe line and I only wrote the names on the card back I kept rather than the instructions. Over time the ink has faded a bit. However, some of the names were such odd choices for an homage that they may be the most justified name changes I did for these little guys. Apparently Sears was also carrying them for their Christmas only toy shelves (remember when they did that for Christmas and had barely anything the rest of the year?) while being available in Europe under the Energon banner. So how does this set fare?

More

Transformers Report: Universe Night Slash Cheetor

1 Comment

Cheetor didn’t fare too well in the Beast Machines series. His original toy has standing issues but many fans complained that he didn’t quite look like he did on the show. Of course the toys are usually designed first (except for maybe the Michael Bay movies and Transformers Animated) so that didn’t bother me and I could work around a lot of the legs issues so I actually like him. Still Hasbro decided to try again in the Battle For The Spark subline, where pressing the spark crystal activated certain gimmicks with each figure. For this subline Cheetor got his “Night Slash” version, a ground-up redesign in a smaller size class. (The original was a “Mega”, with a terrible “Supreme” size made that I never got and I hear I’m better off for it. The thing was as big as a house cat. Now that would take up a lot of space.)

For the Universe line Night Slash Cheetor was brought back and given a less nighttime color scheme, something closer to the colors of an actual cheetah. This is the version I own since I already had a Beast Machines Cheetor and even then I was starting to scale back slightly in my collecting. So how does this version fare?

More

Transformers Report: Universe Micromaster Aerialbots

1 Comment

Returning to the Micromaster Combiners from the Transformers Universe line we have the Aerialbots. Personally I go with “Skybots” since these aren’t the classic Aerialbots (mine are actually a knockoff so I still in a way have them) and since one of them is actually a space shuttle I’m surprisingly limited in team renames. Plus those characters will show up again and I still wanted to flex my Transformer name-making skills. I have a bunch left but the next choice was given to me right quickly when I saw that these guys were on the list of the Gold Plastic Syndrome I mentioned last week in the Snarl review. Specifically the gun, lower body, and for some reason the hands were made of the same plastic with areas painted white. Why the arms weren’t molded with the feet I really don’t know. I wasn’t there. So I wanted to make sure I reviewed this in case it was a GPS sufferer. Instead we have a tight joint issue on some of these and since I don’t know if Beast Machine Snarl’s damage came from tightness, GPS, or a bit of both I wanted to go over this one while I still had it in one piece. The TF Wiki claims it was the last figure thus far to have this kind of plastic and I hope that remains the case if these are turning to powder.

So…toy history. From the “Operation Combination” line of (formerly) Japanese-exclusive Transformers, this mold began life as Sixwing, a six-team Combiner that has been both Decepticon and Autobot. Given that there is only one Decepticon among the Micromaster Combiners in Universe I wonder if they should have gone with the former. Sure they end up still shorter than the Deluxe class of the time but more enemies to fight is good for bedroom battles. In Europe these weren’t released under the Universe title but Cybertron despite lacking cyber-keys, so for any international readers (I’m sure clutter organizing is universal) there’s your confusion. Here in the US these were KB Toys exclusives but soon ended up in CVS and Big Lots and I think that’s how I got mine.

Oh look, a shorter backstory than the Universe reviews have had thus far. Let’s get to the review!

More

Transformers Report: Snarl–Beast Machines Versus Universe

1 Comment

Art of Universe Snarl by Dan Khanna, published in an issue of Universe.

I’m not going to go into the full backstory of the Beast Machines line. I’ll save that for when I get to those actual toys. The short version is the Maximals of the Beast Wars line are now technorganic and fighting Megatron’s drone-like Vehicons on a conquered Cybertron. The technorganic designs were intended to be a mix of organic and technological designs and thanks to the cartoon I see their transformations a bit differently that I do the usual Transformer transformation, but how much of that is due to the design I can’t say.

Snarl was never featured in the cartoon and his part in comics is a bit sparse. However, when I first saw the original Beast Machines version I picked him up and very much enjoyed him. Back when I had more money and room than sense I picked up recolor from the Universe line, also called Snarl, because I liked the mold that much. Since then my collection has gotten huge to the point of not being fun which is why I do these sets of Transformers Reports. The question is whether or not I’ll have two Snarls, just one, or none at all.

More

Older Entries