It's been so long since my last post (end of holiday in Iceland, crisis of collecting faith, Auto Assembly) that I'm no longer sure what toys arrived when, but I've got some pictures so it's easy enough to cobble together an update! I've got a post coming where I will show what was available in Iceland in terms of Transformers at retail, then something on Auto Assembly 2014, so between these posts hopefully nothing will fall through the cracks, neither on the blog nor in my actual collection.
|Legion Class Beast Hunters Prowl/Smokescreen|
First off are the Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters Legion Class Smokescreen toys. These gorgeous little things have a terrific sports car mode and a pretty simple transformation, even for this class of figure. The robot modes are ok, but I definitely bought them for the vehicle mode, and also because of RobotoChan's photography! On the left is Prowl, bought at the Icelandic hobby store "Nexus" in Reykjavik, then we have the G1 colours version I bought from the UK TFW forums (normally comes packaged with Cindersaur), then we have the blue and yellow version that comes packaged with the huge Sky Claw vehicle. I bought one sealed for £8 at AA 2014, ripped the thing open and took the Smokescreen, then gave the rest away to a little girl at the show who looked bored. She was thrilled! FInally a gift from a kind TFW member from Ireland, the grey version of Smokescreen. I had previously seen one in the Icelandic supermarket chain Hagkaup, I saw it every day for the whole 2 week holiday until the day I decided to actually pick it up, then it had sold. £9 equivalent, too.
|BotCon Autotrooper, BotCon Fisitron, Cybertonian mode Ratchet|
I've gone from having no versions of this mould to three in the space of a week. Transformers Animated Cybertronian mode Ratchet was found on the cheap at Auto Assembly for me by The Spacebridge, Fisitron and Ironfist came from Sweden along with all the Impossible Toys and Unicron.com Animated add-on stuff. An excellent haul by any stretch and quite a lovely mould too. They fit in very well with the Cybertronian mode Optimus Prime and the Mech iDeas Bluster and Trench. I have Ironhide, Arcee and Activators Megatron to get and I believe that is every Animated mould sorted in my collection, with only variants left to complete.
|ROTF Axor with Lockdown head|
Ever since I realised that ROTF Lockdown was one of the best deluxe toys in history, I wanted to get the Axor repaint from HFTD and slap some Lockdown parts on it, making a variant/upgrade - just like in Animated where we had Blazing and Stealth deluxe Lockdown together with Bandit deluxe Lockdown. Axor has such a hideous head that I had no problem doing this, and for £4 from The Spacebridge, it was a no brainer. Unfortunately apart from the head virtually everything else was connected by pins, so some serious work is required to add a hook and different innards...but as it stands I think all this needs to be a good repaint/custom is a touch of blue on the forehead instead of green.
I never liked Springer, and the few times I have seen this toy in the flesh - while respecting the magic of the mould - I p[referred Sandstorm. I still do, but for £10 sealed at the end of Sunday at Auto Assembly, I had to have this. Unfortunately it was missing a missile straight out the box and nothing stayed tabbed in. Also the rotors simply would not go into the hole they were meant to, so ridiculous force and stress was necessary. All in all I was quite let down. One week later, and I think the robot mode is one of the best I have ever seen Hasbro come up with outside of G1, everything has bedded in and worn a bit and he holds his modes and tabbing much better, making him just a hair short of beating Sandstorm. I just like Sandstorm's massive fans and overall colour that little bit more. I do still need a missile for Springer, seriously., it's keeping me awake at night. But wow, what a marvel of a mould that two of the best Hasbro Transformers in living memory have come from it and are so different.
|Bot Shots Lockdown|
Bot Shots Lockdown. I have three now, all free, all from Auto Assembly from friends. Simply put, nothing with the word "Transformers" on the packaging has ever been this good in the history of mankind. I challenge anyone not to fall in love with this little guy on first impact. Just look at the angry little cutie.
|Elite Guard Optimus Prime|
A mailaway promotion from Million Publishing in japan through 2011, the Elite Guard colours on Animated Voyager Optimus Prime instantly put this at #1 on my Animated wants list as soon as I knew it existed. It's been hard to find one for a good price but this was a steal at $100 shipped from the US from a really great guy. This was a really great score for me and a properly big deal. He is breathtaking, the ultimate Animated voyager Optimus Prime repaint, and looks to have been quite the inspiration for the Year Of The Horse Masterpiece MP-10 Optimus Prime repaint. This toy is truly regal in its appearance and is essential for any self-respecting Elite Guard Autobot line up, especially the show inaccurate one I was going for. Just add Roadbuster Magnus, Elite Guard Prowl and Bumblebee, Freeway Jazz, and you're all set. Mudbuster Bulkhead and Vortex Blurr unreleased samples might spice it up nicely too, the stuff of dreams only I fear.
Finally for this post, the Mastermind Creations 3rd Party Divebomb from the only 3rd Party Predaking that matters, Feral Rex. Reformatted R-02 Mercenary Aerial Assaulter Talon is the embodiment of perfection. It takes everything that made G1 Divebomb unique and special, and adds a stack of posability, those UNBELIEVABLE wings, a sniper rifle and buckets of character, charm and class. He also made it possible to give Feral Rex an arm and his proper silhouette with the attached wing backpack. I love how details that were formerly only moulded into G1 Divebomb's forearms and calves (Eagle feet and double barrelled guns) are now actual movable features. These Feralcons are rewriting the book on what one can expect from 3rd Party products. I was massively fortunate to get this item in the fashion that I have, and knowing it was coming this way meant I could bring myself to splash out full price on Leo Dux before it. My full article on Talon can be found HERE.
All the best