Have you missed the Transformers Animated posts recently? I hope so, because here's one collecting some of my favourite photographs from recent shoots involving TF Animated figures that are slight variations on the cartoon cast, or just brand new characters released as exclusives. There are some group shots, comparison shots and just plain old images that I thought came out very well. I love this toyline so very very much, few things are bringing me as much enjoyment right now, and while a lot of these pieces (if not all) have appeared already in my New Arrivals posts, it's nice (for me) to see them again and post more interesting images.
|TA-01 Takara Tomy Animated Optimus Prime|
I've been lucky enough to purchase a large number of Japanese Animated figures to fill the main gaps in my collection. Just the other day I realised my Lockdowns were both Takara versions, as are my Dinobots, Wreck-Gar, Lugnut, grey Shockwave, Oil Slick, Ultra Magnus, voyager Bulkhead, voyager Megatron and now voyager Optimus Prime. This is not counting exclusives. The Takara versions tend to have metallic paint application which is often not as show accurate as the Hasbro, but makes for a prettier toy. With the Prime voyager mould, the one Hasbro version I have fits together better than all the Takara versions, which is a first for me!
|TA-01 Animated Prime (TakTom) and Wingblade clear Prime (TakTom)|
|Wingblade Takara Tomy Animated Clear Optimus Prime|
The main reason I bought the Takara Prime was that I knew Wingblade Prime was on the way, and even though the main truck was clear coloured plastic, the Wingblade armour was metallic. So, it was one step to create as show-accurate as possible a fully solid coloured - albeit metallic - Wingblade Prime. The translucent plastic on Wingblade is a wonderful touch and he looks lovely next to TA-01. Another reason why I have gone for the slightly different and less accurate Japanese metallic Primes is that this isn't my first time around with Animated, so I wanted things a little different to when I had a full Hasbro main cast.
|TakTomy Black voyager Animated Optimus Prime|
I've never been one for black repaints of Prime, but the Animated black voyager Optimus from Takara Tomy is something to behold. One of a very rare breed of toys that you look at and are left speechless by their amazing appearance and finish, and where something tells you the mould was always supposed to be painted in these colours. No Optimus Prime, Nemesis Prime or Animated collection should be without this figure. Breathtaking. It has the same issues as the regular and Wingblade TA-01 though regarding fit, especially the bumper halves when they are supposed to clip in behind the robot calves. They don't quite sit in perfectly.
|TA-01, Wingblade, Black Primes and Toxitron|
I know I've used these images already but I was so pleased with this line-up and how well the pictures came out. For this mould I just need The Motormaster from the BotCon 2011 Stunticon-Job set, Million Publishing exclusive Elite Guard Prime and the Hasbro Optimus Prime with the matte colours. I'll be trying extra hard not to destroy the spinning leg mechanism on these toys as I did with my original voyager Prime. Also, what is with that ridiculous axe...
|Sons of Cybertron TakTomy clear Earth mode deluxe Prime|
|G1 and Animated Clear Rods|
|Sons of Cybertron TakTomy clear Rodimus|
More Takara Tomy Animated goodness here, the translucent Sons of Cybertron set featuring Earth mode deluxe Prime and clear deluxe Rodimus. The Earth mode Prime is heavily based on the Cybertron mode deluxe Prime but now has a swinging waist mechanism that is far more enjoyable than it should be. I found the whole figure really floppy during transformation but in bot mode the shoulders, legs and arms were tight so I guess it holds where it needs to and poses well. I prefer the Cybertronian mode version. The clear Rodimus is glorious beyond words as this mould continues to grow on me. I still find some of the tabbing/un-tabbing awkward and need to fiddle to get it right. All versions of this toy I have so far have at least one shoulder that pops off its ball joint with little provocation. I am beginning to despise ball joints.
|BotCon 2011 exclusive Sideswipe and Hyper Hobby exclusive black Rodimus|
Just a picture of the two black versions of Rodimus together, and it took an embarrassingly long time to realise that the BotCon G2 Sideswipe repaint actually has a unique head sculpt. I guess I was tricked by the fact that neither Rodimus nor Sideswipe have noses as Animated toys! The black Rodimus is utterly beautiful and thus far my favourite version of the mould. These two are mercifully different enough to warrant having both in my collection. I'm really massively taken by the Hyper Hobby black Rodimus and his purple highlights. Both have terribly ill-fitting weapons when it comes to attaching them in car mode. Seems like an afterthought. Just try attaching it without pinging the missiles all over the place...if you weren't smart enough to remove them first.
|TakTomy voyager Blackout and Animated Swindle|
|Jetpack Bumblebee, Roadbuster Magnus, Elite Guard Prowl and...|
|...G2 Sideswipe, Freeway Jazz and Rescue Ratchet.|
One of the greatest assets of Transformers Animated is that the cast is very varied, and can often include cross-generational characters, concepts and schemes. When most of the toy line is in a uniform scale - with a few exceptions - it makes group shots and team-building a really fun exercise. For example, I am trying to assemble as show-inaccurate a main cast as possible, using repaint schemes where I can. With Blackout and Swindle I can pretend they are the start of the Animated Combaticons and the above shots make a decent repaint show/Elite Guard crew as well, mixing Hasbro-only repaints with Takara Tomy exclusives.
|Animated Activators Cliffjumper|
|Was never made in any other scale|
These two pictures are here purely because Animated Activators Cliffjumper uses the best mould of the entire Activators range, and it's a gorgeous red, has a mega chin on a brilliant head sculpt and is beyond fun for a toy this size. Absolute MUST have. I love it.
|Animated Takara Tomy Wreck Gar|
Wreck Gar is an example of how some subtle Takara Tomy paint application can hugely improve a figure. Japanese Wreck Gar is not ruined by over-use of metallic paint in such a way that renders him completely show inaccurate, but he also doesn't have pointless shiny in places that clash with matte plastic elsewhere, it's just perfect throughout. His grey grille/chest is now no longer grey plastic with annoying swirls, but a lush and subtle metallic silver, and the same is true of his trailer. The pyramidal lifting sections are now painted red as are his shoulders instead of maroon. All of this serves to make the contrasts across the toy pop and really elevate the figure to quite the beauty. I really really love this toy and this paint scheme made it simple for me to sell off the Hasbro version.
|Wingblade Prime using TA-01 and Leader Magnus hammer|
I saved the best for last, because Wingblade Prime is a wonder. Adding the wings, launchers, gauntlets and mini-Magnus hammer bring the voyager Prime mould to life in a way that no paint application or bizarre ancient/obscure Transformers homage could. He is the Animated God Ginrai and the armour elevates his slight natural awkwardness into something divinely heroic and beautiful. I've used the TA-01 solid metallic voyager Prime in keeping with the colour of the armour, meaning the actual Wingblade clear voyager Prime is sitting elsewhere in my display. He can hold leader Magnus's hammer as it was designed that way with the larger tab having a recess in the add-on gauntlet's fist, but it can cause the shoulders to droop. I'll end the post with what I believe to be the best Transformers image I have taken in a very very long time, enjoy!
All the bestMaz