Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Sellers Stealing Images

I've noticed a lot of eBay sellers no longer bother to take photographs of the actual items they are selling nowadays, which surprises me considering how easy apps like eBay Mobile make the process of adding images to auctions. It could also be because there are so many good TF photographers around now, it's easier to pilfer images.

The thing is, I don't always mind helping people out with images for their blogs or sales, but I care when folks don't ask permission. Even moreso when they then try to claim some kind of entitlement based on "It's the Internet" or the age of the photograph. The owner of the image retains the copyright indefinitely, it does not expire.

Don't be someone who will then get called out for bad and thieving practices online, because this is a small community with a long memory. Also, don't drag someone else's name, brand and integrity into your transaction because you were too lazy to take a picture. And most of all, don't be the prick who cuts off the watermark because you KNOW that you are stealing the picture and wish to eliminate credit or backlash.

All the best

Thursday 23 November 2017

Ocular Max Remix RMX-03/04 Volture and Buzzard

It's been a long time since the last Ocular Max Remix figure was released - the RMX-01 Jaguar (Ravage) - but the promise of more excellent figures to come has always kept expectations high for RMX-03 Volture (Laserbeak) and RMX-04 Buzzard (Buzzsaw). The Perfection Series has rumbled on, with hits and misses, but with a 1 out of 1 strike rate for the Remix sub-line, a lot is riding on these birds to keep up the good name of the initiative. Based on full size cassettes instead of the original microcassettes, these figures were never going to be compatible with MP or G1 Soundwave in cassette mode, but the idea was always that they'd make excellent Masterpiece companions in beast/robot mode.

Saturday 18 November 2017

Open And Play Big Cannon

The second figure release from Open And Play came pretty much out of nowhere. Big Cannon - a Masterpiece-scaled Galvatron - is a very different proposition to Big Spring. For a start, it is clearly a larger and re-tooled version of Transformers Titans Return voyager class Galvatron. This beefs the figure up to Leader class (and a little bit more), removes the Headmaster and mask gimmicks as well as the third spaceship mode and adds a few refinements to make the overall design a bit more appealing to collectors, or at least that is the thinking behind it.

Tuesday 7 November 2017

MMC Reformatted R-26 Malum Malitia

This is a weird set. The Reformatted R-26 Malum Malitia (G1 Insecticons) by 3rd party company Mastermind Creations does not fit into their Reformatted line at all. That's because they were originally intended to be part of the Masterpiece-aping Ocular Max Perfection Series line, but for whatever reason, they were shoehorned into Reformatted. They were supposed to be PS-02, very early on in the line and right after the debut, Sphinx! The designer is different to the usual suspects of Reformatted, which explains much of why these figures feel different to what's gone before in this line. The idea was to make these more slender than what you normally see in Reformatted or maybe even the Perfection Series.

Tuesday 31 October 2017

MMC Reformatted R-28 Tyrantron / Tyrantronus

2017 has been the year of Megatron. We've had the glorious Masterpiece MP-36, we've had Spark Toys version of the War Within Megatron and now MMC give us the long-awaited IDW Megatron as seen in the pages of More Than Meets The Eye/Lost Light, Chaos Theory and Megatron origin...R-28 Tyrantron/Tyrantronus. MMC have been going at the Lost Light cast and crew something fierce, with the DJD, Turben (Whirl), Calidus (Rodimus) and more to come. Tyrantron is a major draw for lovers of the title, especially as James Roberts writes Megatron in an absolutely compelling, complex and multi-faceted way that has brought him to life for me and others in a way little other TF fiction ever did before. Tyrantron is a big deal.

Tuesday 24 October 2017

MakeToys MTRM-11 Meteor

When MakeToys revealed their intentions to do a Masterpiece-style Starscream, it was seen as a very bold statement of intent. One that indicated the Boys at M'Toys not only felt they could improve upon the official MP-3 and MP-11 iterations of Masterpiece Starscream - in itself something most believed wholly possible - but also convince enough collectors to buy it and replace the expensive incumbent to make the project worthwhile. Well, Meteor - formerly Howling Meteor - was released in short supply at TFCon just recently and is due for full release later next month. I've got the figure in question right now, so it a success or a howler? 

Sunday 22 October 2017

Open And Play Big Spring

In August 2016, another Masterpiece style 3rd party Springer was teased by scene newcomers Open And Play. The toy that would eventually come to be known as Big Spring looked promising, the modes seemingly based directly off the Transformers: The Movie representations of the Autobot Triplechanger. The figure was released approximately a year later in what can only be described as shoe box-style packaging, with zero paperwork. Talk about minimalist, there were not even instructions! I guess the idea was that owners would bust out the toy, play around with it and figure it out, hence the name of the company. I am certainly on board with that kind of design concept and philosophy for modern transforming toys!

Sunday 15 October 2017

MMC Reformatted R-25 Oberon

Alongside MMC's Reformatted R-24 Turben came R-25 Oberon, their version of Beast Machines Obsidian. I think it does represent a slight risk for them to release two figures simultaneously that share so many common features as a mould, but the influences for each toy are far apart, so I can see how it might capture the interest of collectors who would need both, or split the audience in a way. Anyway, Turben (Whirl) was the one I went for first thanks to my love of IDW's More Than Meets The Eye comic, and I enjoyed the figure a great deal. Oberon had to wait for his moment in the spotlight, but here it is.

Saturday 14 October 2017

MakeToys MTCD-03SP Thunder Erebus

MakeToys, the highly popular 3rd party Transformers toy manufacturer, continue to put out figures for their Cross Dimension line. This Classics/Generations-scaled sub-line is being given a fair amount of support alongside their highly rated Re:Master offerings. Of the five figures officially released or unveiled for Cross Dimension. four of them have been some variant of Optimus Prime, so the line really needs to diversify. However, Striker Manus, Striker Noir, Rioter Despotron and now Thunder Erebus are all really good figures. I'd go so far as to say Thunder Erebus - in many ways - represents the best of what MakeToys have ever offered. That's going to take some explaining, I know...

Tuesday 26 September 2017

MMC Reformatted R-24 Turben

Haven't you ever heard of knocking?

Mastermind Creations' Reformatted series currently stands as the best source of IDW-themed Transformers-based 3rd party figures, in my opinion. They're not beating around the bush with character choices either, instead going straight for the More Than Meets The Eye/Lost Light jugulars. We've had Calidus (Rodimus), Kultur (Tarn), Boreas (Cyclonus) and Tyrantron (Megatron), with their Drift analogue not too far away. That brings us nicely to R-24 Turben - their shot at an IDW-style Whirl.

Friday 8 September 2017

MAAS Toys CT001 Skiff

MAAS Toys are a new 3rd party company, and as mad as you may consider any group of people to be for setting up a brand new 3P company in the current climate, those behind the endeavour have a lot of experience in the scene with companies like MakeToys, Mastermind Creations, X-Transbots and the like. Their first figure is Cybertech Series CT001 Skiff, a War Within Don Figueroa-inspired Cybertronian-style Bumblebee. MAAS are doing a number of interesting things with this release which will be discussed in this review, as well as adopting a very open policy generally with their communication and engagement with the community. 

Monday 28 August 2017

MakeToys MTRM-10 Galaxy Meteor

Welcome to my review of the 3rd party Transformers manufacturer MakeToys' latest "release" - MTRM-10 Galaxy Meteor, an unofficial Masterpiece-style version of Galaxy Force Starscream. I say "release" because of a whole mass of drama that now surrounds the figure. There were about 24 packaged versions of Galaxy Meteor for sale at TFNation 2017 for £100 and a further bunch sent out to reviewers, myself included. Last week, MakeToys announced that they were cancelling the figure due to low pre-orders. You can imagine the uproar, especially as final production versions had been produced and sold mere days earlier, leading people to believe that something underhand was taking place. MakeToys have now said they are overwhelmed by the desire and love shown for the figure by the online community - helped in part by the #GetMakeToysMade hashtag campaign started by Sixo and I (which was meant to be a bit of a laugh and then gained some proper traction) - and are looking into actually getting it released.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Opening a MISB vintage G1 Transformer

Once upon a time I was a complete, uncompromising stickler for maintaining and preserving every single vintage Transformers and Diaclone specimen, making sure condition never deteriorated and status never changed. My MISB would never become MIB, my MIB unapplied would never become MIB applied and my boxed would never become loose. I enjoyed collecting that way and being a part of that culture of toy buying and maintenance, but things have changed for me a little. 

Thursday 3 August 2017

Fans Hobby MasterBuilder MB-05 Flypro

Third Party Transformers manufacturer Fans Hobby are not wasting any time. A mere six months after the release of their first MasterBuilder figure, they are now onto their fifth release. MB-05 Flypro rounds out their team of Masterpiece-style Monsterbots, so all can now display this not-Grotusque alongside Megatooth (Repugnus) and Feilong (Doublecross). They have not exactly compromised on quality, either. Flypro is a terrific product, much as their previous four releases have been. Similar to FansToys and their Iron Dibots, Fans Hobby have refined the product to the point where Flypro outshines Feilong, despite being a retool of him. Now, thanks to Icelandic customs, I have received Flypro after most reviewers and photographers, so the usual routine of review photography was just not going to garner any interest for this review as most poses and group shots have already done the rounds. As a result, the photos for this review are, with Fans Hobby's blessing, a bit more creative. I hope you enjoy viewing and reading it as much as I did producing it!

Sunday 23 July 2017

MMC Reformatted R-27 Calidus

Congratulations to Mastermind Creations (MMC) for being the first to market with a genuine IDW More Than Meets The Eye Rodimus-a-like, one that has been promised for some time. SXS may also have theirs on the way, but this toy has been teased for almost 3 years. Arise, Reformatted R-27 Calidus! Can you fill that spot on the Lost Light display shelf!

Monday 19 June 2017

MMC Reformatted R-22 Boreas

Do you remember when people used to joke that Mastermind Creations would take years to get things to production? They had some justification with the likes of Talon, Seraphicus Prominon and Carnifex, but I feel as though they've been pumping out the releases relentlessly in the last 12 months. Jaegertron, Anubis, Carnifex, Continuum Set for Carnifex, Titanika, Kultur, Dicamus and now Boreas - their version of Cyclonus. We haven't even mentioned their Ocular Max line, and let's not forget that Calidus is shipping now. R-22 Boreas is loosely based on the IDW Cyclonus seen in More Than Meets The Eye/Lost Light, but he's obviously from the same mould as Jaegertron and Anubis.

Saturday 17 June 2017

Ocular Max PS-07 Artifex

Ocular Max are the Masterpiece-style arm of 3rd party Transformers manufacturers Mastermind Creations. Their Perfection Series was aimed at filling gaps in MP collections everywhere by tackling characters not yet released officially and with the use of die cast metal, rubber tyres and paint where possible to increase the premium look and feel of the product. Ocular Max started out strongly with the glorious Sphinx (Mirage) and Jaguar (Ravage), but my feeling was that subsequent releases were not up to the same standard. I started 2017 by reviewing their Terraegis (Trailbreaker) and was not impressed. Something about the remould, Artifex (Hoist), appealed to me. 

Monday 29 May 2017

Masterpiece MP-36 Megatron - Full Gallery

Welcome to my complete TakaraTomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-36 Megatron gallery, in celebration of reaching 7000 likes on the Transformers Square One Facebook page. I actually had not planned to purchase this figure, such was the expense in getting it to me in Iceland (no pre-order, international shipping, customs etc). I was also concerned about inevitable damage from handling and the fact that some had paint wear straight out of the box. My recent experiences with other paint-flaking MPs did not help. I wrote a whole article about the feelings I was having regarding this purchase. 

Thursday 25 May 2017

X-Transbots Swarm (MP Scourge) Quickie

It's been a while since I posted a quickie on this blog, but sometimes a figure just moves you to the point where you have to say something about it. Normally I'd love to do comprehensive write-ups and galleries for any 3rd party Masterpiece-scale figure I get, but in the case of X-Transbots Swarm Wrath/Bane/Curse (that's right, I have no idea which one this is), I have too much to say to wait.

Saturday 6 May 2017

Masterpiece FrostRod - From MP-9B Black Rodimus Convoy

Who's that bot? I've been teasing this for the last week on social media, and cheekily dropping him into articles and collection display photos without any explanation for months longer. This is the mystery TakaraTomy Transformers MP-9 Rodimus Convoy in funky colours, based on a G1 Transformers Hot Rod in similarly funky colours. I still get asked about that silver G1 Hot Rod, and have started answering questions in a cryptic manner about this MP-9 as well. Time to come clean, right?

Sunday 30 April 2017

MakeToys MTRM-06 Contactshot

Get comfortable in your chair, grab a beverage of your choosing, slap on some synthwave (I'd recommend Droid Bishop, Carpenter Brut, Perturbator or Kalax) and prepare to spend some time with the Transformers-based toy of 2017 thus far. I am of course referring to 3rd Party company MakeToys' Re:Master series MTRM-06 Contactshot, their stab at a Masterpiece-level Autobot Targetmaster Pointblank. Without a shadow of a doubt, this was my most anticipated 3rd party product of 2016, and although it came out in early 2017, he has not disappointed at all.

Fans Hobby MasterBuilder MB-03 Feilong

Fans Hobby are a new company releasing 3rd Party versions of recognisable Transformers characters at Masterpiece scale. While the people behind the company are rumoured to be people who worked at other well know 3P companies, their MasterBuilder brand may as well - for all intents and purposes - be considered new. Here we have MB-03 "Feilong", their version of the G1 Autobot Monsterbot "Doublecross".

Wednesday 26 April 2017

MMC Reformatted R-17 Continuum Set - For Carnifex

Overlord means different things to different sets of Transformers fans and collectors. For some, he conjures up the malevolent, charismatic and insane monster from IDW's Transformers comics, specifically Last Stand Of The Wreckers and More Than Meets The Eye. Nick Roche's design and character for Overlord is widely known and well loved. For another set of fans Overlord has significance as the G1 double Powermaster from the 90s or the Japanese exclusive Masterforce version from 1988, a highly sought after and often very expensive toy. Not rare, though, let's not make that mistake.

Sunday 12 March 2017

FansToys FT-06 Sever's New Head

Thanks to the release of FansToys FT-08 Grinder (MP-style Grimlock) and FansToys' newly discovered talent for creating fantastic Transformers head sculpts, collectors now have access to brand new face sculpts for FT Sever (Snarl), Soar (Swoop) and Scoria (Slag). The original head for Sever was so widely panned that once they'd found their feet with the sculpts (Stomp was marvellous), FT went back and re-did them. Great if you've bought Grinder, frustrating if you haven't.

Friday 13 January 2017

Transformers Legends (Headmasters)

To complement the full Hasbro Transformers Titans Return gallery posted recently, I have done the same for the TakaraTomy Transformers Legends series, or at least the toys that best correspond to the Headmasters-themed Titans Return toys. The only released figure missing from the set is the E-Hobby exclusive Convobat, but it will arrive in due course and it stands apart from these in some respects. This gallery will be updated with alt modes and any new releases as and when I get them, so enjoy!

Sunday 8 January 2017

Transformers Titans Return - Wave 1 to 5

In this post you'll find my gallery of every Hasbro Transformers Titans Return retail release from waves 1 through 4, including SDCC exclusives.  I will add TakaraTomy Transformers Legends figures soon, but it's mainly a place for me to keep my full gallery of pictures taken and edited using the vignette effect for an experiment. It ended up being a long experiment! So here they are, starting at wave 1 and with the biggest size class in descending order:

Monday 2 January 2017

MMC Reformatted R-18 Anubis

Mastermind Creations regularly pay homage to prominent comic book characters from the Transformers universe with the continuing excellence of their Reformatted sub-line. With Reformatted R-18 Anubis, they bring Death's Head to the 3rd party scene, and as a transforming figure no less. Anubis uses the same mould as Jaegertron (Lockdown) as well as the upcoming Cyclonus, so there are inevitable compromises. This Marvel-born "Freelance Peacekeeping Agent" seems to be something of an expensive exclusive, but there's no shortage of interest in him, yes?