Transformers Report: Power Core Combiners Searchlight & Backwind

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I’ve noted in the past that I like Combiners. I blame that on growing up with Voltron and Mighty Orbots (anyone remember that show?) as well as seeing the Combiners in the original Transformers cartoon. So you’d think a line of Combiners would get me excited. It really depends on how good the Combiners are. The most recent line, Combiner Wars, was hit or miss with me depending on the figure. Some “cores” ended up with odd proportions in torso mode and the combination is usually clean but not always. There are still some groups I really want though.

But this is not the first time there has been a combination gimmick line. Energon had a two-robot combination feature among the Autobots, but I’m referring to Power Core Combiners, a line in which the “core” led not a group of other Transformers to combine with but non-robot mode drones that would “automorph” into the arms or legs (depending on the drone) to form a larger version of the core. That’s not really what I’m looking for in a Combiner team. I like having five or more robots that combine into one and have their own alternate modes. If you want to know more about them, this episode of Plastic Addict explains the many flaws this line had.

One of the gimmicks was having a core released not with the drones but a Mini-Con partner. And we all know my love of Mini-Cons by now. The team I picked up was the Autobot Searchlight and Mini-Con Backwind. While the duo have been released as part of store promotional sets these toys come from their stand-alone two-pack since I never owned any of the drones or other “Commanders” from the series. This is my lone appearance from Power Core Combiners. So how does this team-up work out?

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Transformer Report: Robots In Disguise (2001) Optimus Fire Prime Convoy

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You could say he’s forward-compatible with Mini-Cons.

As part of last week’s Mini-Con article I broke out Fire Prime, the Optimus Prime version of Car Robot’s Fire Convoy. While “Robots In Disguise” probably fits the new toyline better, it’s confusing to have two toylines and a comic called Robots In Disguise that are so disconnected to each other. To avoid confusion, I’ll refer to the original RID line as RID1, and this take on Optimus Prime as Fire Prime, since this is the US toy and thus not Fire Convoy. It’s why I call this guy Fire Prime in my collection to begin with.

Car Robots was not intended to be a toyline and cartoon outside of Japan. It was a filler line as they waited for Beast Machines to gain enough episodes to properly promote the line. For a time you could only get Fire Convoy at Japanese import stores, and I really wanted to get him, at the height of my Transformer collecting, but the price was way too high, and I had bought Japanese Transformers in the past. I think he went for $80, but you have to factor in not only import prices from Japan but bringing them across the country to Connecticut and that the store needed to make a profit.

And it’s a good think I passed. The next intended Transformers toyline from Hasbro was dropped for whatever reason and Car Robot, redubbed Robots In Disguise, was given a US release to take its place before the next intended US line, which turned out to be Transformers Armada, where the Mini-Cons came from. So let’s take a look at Fire Prime to see if he is worth to be a Prime. Click on the images for a larger view of each mode, because he has quite a few.

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Mini-Comic Report: Transformers Armada Vol. 2

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My Crohn’s (I’m willing to give it up if anyone wants it) was playing with me this week, not a full flare-up but a lot of gas and not as much sleep. Saturday was spent mostly in bed trying to get my strength back, so I still didn’t get any work done. So to keep things active (hopefully everything is fine by next week…I have a big corner mess to clean up and some more new reviews) I’m going back to my other site to mine a mini-comic review. I just finished reviewing a Transformers Armada comic series when I realized I never went back to the mini-comics that came with the toys and there were still three more AND the Energon comics left to go. So I made a dent. Enjoy.


 

With the Transformers Armada comic coming to an end I thought it was well past time to return to the mini-comics Dreamwave produced for the toys. In our last installment we found a very lackluster story. Whether it was the space needed to include the catalog or the insistence to have all three package languages (English, French, and Spanish as I recall) in the comic taking up much needed dialog space I can’t say. I can say it was lame. Although the same restrictions exist here, maybe this one will be better?

Not really, no.

Transformers Armada V2

“Oh, let the kids play.”

Transformers Armada Vol. 2

Dreamwave/Hasbro (2002)

WRITER: Chris Sarracini
ARTIST: Guido Guidi
COLORISTS: Chris Walker & Matt Kuphaldt
LETTERING: Dreamer Design

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Comic Report: Transformers – Matrix Quest

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Transformers Matrix Quest

The second collection in UK company Titan’s reprints of Simon Furman’s US run, Matrix Quest is the completion of the same named story arc began in the first collection I reviewed. There was a time when I thought this was an okay collection of comics from Furman’s run, a run that I am not a fan of. Having re-read it however, my opinion changed. I still like the concept, but something was lost in the execution.

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Comic Report: Transformers: Primal Scream

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Transformers Primal Scream

Primal Scream is the first collection by Titan of Simon Furman’s run on the US The Transformers comic. It contains issues #56-62 of the Marvel Comics run, the first batch of stories Furman produced for the US version, having been a writer of the UK back-up stories. At the end of the article I will post links to my other site with reviews of these issues. Here we will discuss the trade itself as presented. I have the original four issues and Bob Budiansky’s run in the regular comic book form but the trade paperbacks were easier to find than the individual issues.

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Comic Report: Transformers & The Man Of Iron

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First I should apologize for no posting last week. I was sick, and when I recovered my efforts went to trying to get caught up on videos. The sell page will hopefully be done by the next report, but in the meantime, here are some Transformers comics that was a bit different from Marvel’s other issues.

At the time of the issues being reviewed today, Budiansky was writing the US comic, the Headmasters miniseries, and whatever else he might have been doing at the time. I don’t rightly know. So to ease his workload a bit, the first UK-exclusive storyline, “Man Of Iron”, was reprinted in the US. Since the UK creators didn’t have enough US stories to get a sense of the characters’ personalities (only the first four were produced, and the Transformers didn’t have a lot of personality in those stories) or Cybertronian history they made a few differences from what we’ve come to know. I usually put these two aside as a separate universe altogether from Marvel’s Transformers Universe. So how good is the story?

Transformers #33 & 34

The covers almost make it look like a time travel story. It isn’t.

The Transformers #s 33 & 34

Marvel Comics (October & November, 1987)

originally published in The Transformers (UK) #s 9-12

“Man Of Iron” parts 1-4
WRITER: Steve Parkhouse
ARTISTS: John Ridgeway (1&2) and Mike Collins (3&4)
COLORIST: Nel Yomtov (recolored from Josie Firmin (1&2) and Gina Hart (3&4), I can only judge Yomtov’s work)
LETTERER: Richard Starkings
EDITOR: Sheila Cranna

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Transformers Christmas Tree Display 2013

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tree 2013a
I didn’t get to finish the computer supply drawer this week because I had Christmas decorating to do. As last year, the Autobots are celebrating Christmas around the tree because I needed somewhere to put them. So let’s see what the heroes of Cybertron are up to this year.

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Longbox Report: The Transformers #16

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I have a convention to prepare for, so let’s make this quick. You’ve seen my Bumblebee shelf and I’ve reviewed some of my newest acquisitions. If you’re at all curious as to why I like the little guy so much, here’s a review of the comic that got me into him, straight from my other site.

I’d make a joke about this pose, but I’m too biased towards this comic.

The Transformers #16

Marvel Comics (May, 1986)

also republished by IDW in Transformers: Generations #4 (June, 2006)

“Plight of the Bumblebee”
WRITER: Len Kaminski
PENCILER: Graham Nolan
INKER: Tom Morgan
LETTERER: Bill Oakley
COLORIST: Nelson Yomtov
EDITOR: Mike Carlin
COVER ART: Herbe Timpe (credited in the IDW version which doesn’t use that cover)
SELECTED IDW COVER (see end of article): Nick Roche
SPLASH PAGE: Eliot Brown

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Book Report: Transformers: Exodus

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Over on my other site I’ve been doing an article series called “Chapter By Chapter”, where I review a book one chapter at a time. My inaugural book was a Transformers novel, based off of a recent (and very good) Transformers video game, War For Cybertron. When I’m done reading the book there I will come here and give an overview with the thought of whether or not I’d like to read it again. (Reading a book again years later? Whaaaaaaaat?) So let’s take a look at this book and see if it is worth a re-read, or if it was ever worth reading in the first place.

By the way, if you want to see my chapter by chapter review, click here.

click for full-size image

Transformers: Exodus – The Official History of the War For Cybertron

WRITER: Alex Irvine

PUBLISHER: Del Ray (an imprint of Random Publishing House)

BOOK DESIGN: Elizabeth A. D. Eno

PUBLISHING DATE: 2010

FORMAT: hardcover novel

ISBN: 978-0-345-51985-6

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