Thursday, May 31, 2018

Redman intro


I won't lie, I've been feeling a bit beat down lately. I just want to curl up in front my TV, eat some pizza (nice big glass of Pepsi to wash it down with), and watch some of my silly shows. I've been on a bit of a Redman kick lately, and ain't nothing wrong with that. Low rent, no plot, and high on crazy. Redman is a great tokusatsu series by the folks behind Ultraman and Godzilla. What makes it great? Well, like some other older toku series, episodes are just a few minutes long. The short time frame doesn't allow for anymore plot other than 'there's a monster, Redman's here to fight it'.

Fight it he does as an entire short is exactly what you watch these silly things for, the rubber monster carnage. What makes these a little more special is that... Redman kinda just randomly attacks and kills monsters the majority of the time. Like, more often than not, a monster is just existing and there he is. On a show like Power Rangers/Super Sentai, when the monster is destroyed, you get a flashy move and the monster explodes. In Redman... well... he'll stab them to death, break their necks, throw them off a cliff, sometimes just bash their heads in. Then for good measure he might just throw the corpse off a cliff. Honestly it's a little jarring to see a monster just get beheaded like a victim of Jason Vorhees. Also, part of the charm.

Just talking here about this silly show has cheered me up a little bit, so I think a marathon of episodes with a big old pizza this weekend is just what I need.

Pretender Megatron

I'll make no bones about it. I want a Pretender Megatron (and the Optimus and Oilmaster as well, but I'm talking about Megatron here). Full stop, he could have been anyone else. Just as long as it had that sweet reuse of the Grand Maximus shell. That was a great use of the mold and in the dark colors just looks great. When the TFCC's final year of existing brought this out to play, I was amazed. I really wanted to subscribe to the subscription service to get it, but alas, it was not to be. Sometimes money doesn't always fold the way you'd like it, and it didn't fold in the favor of getting this guy. Really, it could have been anybody in that shell and I'd been sold (though Spacewarp is a really great idea). Anybody who reads Zone Base knows I'm a Pretender fan and at the time those new Pretenders from the TFCC was a siren song. Fortunately Primemasters came along and gave me Pretenders in a new flavor. Unfortunately, there's not enough of them. I want like, billions of them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Landmine (Pretender)

The greatest treasures are found in the darkest places!
A hard-working hothead. Always concerned with getting the job done right. Outer shell constructed of high density Cybertronic alloy, impervious to most armaments. Outside his shell, transforms into all-terrain, exploration vehicle. Mining activities facilitated by electromagnetic, sonic, thermal, chemical and radiation scanners. Armed with laser saber and astro blaster that shoots concentrated bursts of incendiary explosives.

Autobot cars 1986 UK commercial

Man, there's just something about that announcer that makes me love this commercial. His voice, accent, and just general 'alright fellows, let's go!' vibe to his delivery that makes this commercial more fun than it already is. As is, it's a basic selling of the 1986 movie Autobot car guys (that look to be in darker colors, but that could just be the video quality). The most noteworthy thing outside of the awesome announcer is the framing, that mirrors G1 packaging. Which is rad.

Pointing is rude

 

I just wanted to take the time to share the box art from Universe Ramjet.

The hell you pointing at dude?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Save the date!


Blockman rocks, man


Blockman was one of those lines that passed me right on by until I was in college. One of Takara's cool robot lines of the 80's, Blockman did see life in the US as part of the Robotech toy line and even bootlegs of the figures did appear in gumball machines. While I vaguely recall seeing the Robotech versions at Kaybee, I did have some of the gumball machine bootlegs. I don't know the specifics of distribution (the machine owner probably just ordered machine robot toys from a catalog), but I very strongly remember the Kroger we'd get groceries at had an awesome selection of gumball machine toys for awhile. Including one with a generic space robots art taped to the front and random robot toys inside.

Mostly I'd get various Mospeada (which I knew as the third season of Robotech) figure kits (probably were bootlegs of some candy kit) in a variety of colors from it. Occasionally I'd get some of these neat square robot dudes in that machine without any clue to who they were other than a neat robot. That machine rocked, though eventually it gave way to little rubber figures of various bootlegged characters, which too was awesome, just for different reasons.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story


Well, that sure was a blast. A real fun, just thrill ride of a Star Wars movie. I've been hearing the usual amount of naysaying doing the usual naysaying, but I thought Solo was perfectly fine. Honestly, I was very surprised as going in as I was expecting a mess. What I got was a fun adventure with a young Han Solo and a bit of set up to how he became who we knew him to be later on.

I'm trying my best to not spoil anything, so the best I can tell you is that Solo, like Rogue One, isn't your standard Star Wars movie. That's probably got alot to do with why I enjoy these Star Wars Stories films so much. By exploring the expanded universe (sans novels) they can afford to be different than the saga movies that dwell more on Jedi, the force, and the overall major points. Here we get to see things that were mentioned in the Saga fleshed out in grandiose ways.

Solo is a great heist film set in a space opera setting that takes place in one of the most famous film series in the world. I'm very happy with what I just watched and look forward to getting that Blue Ray.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The TFU that made Us

I really appreciate the use of the Unicron prototype
Unless you've been living under a Rocklord or something, you're probably well aware of the new season of 'THE TOYS that made us' on Netflix if you're reading Zone Base. The much anticipated Transformers episode I hear (I haven't had a chance to watch it yet) is actually of particular quality. So good that despite having to cliff-notes some of the lines to fit the episode time, that a TF fan wouldn't have to 'well actually' at any point and amazingly gives the factual history of the Transformers lines (man, it gets told so wrong a lot of the times). Well, that's partially due to my good friend Ant who runs TFU, was actually served as a consulting producer on the episode. Congratulations Ant! I've always been proud to call you my friend, and I'm really happy and proud for you in this achievement! Now, everyone go watch the show!

Heck Yeah Memorial Day Weekend!

Sadly I cannot get these anymore
Memorial Day Weekend is finally here and boy are my arms tired. Because I work a hella lot and haven't really had much of a break this year. So, of course I'm heavily looking forward to Memorial Day, but really I do every year. Even though as an adult, summer doesn't quite mean as much to me as it did when I was a kid, I still look forward to all the fun it has to offer. Memorial Day pretty much was the kick off to summer break, which is the reason why stores around here sell fireworks for Memorial Day. Because it's time to have a ton of fun ya'll.

I know it's technically still spring, but I live in Georgia and it's already 90 degrees outside. The heat sucks, but is part of the overall fun. This weekend first thing I have planned is... well I got to buy some tires. So... you know... that's not really fun... but after that, heck yeah. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon releases this weekend and I've already got my joy cons charging in anticipation of some monster fighting fun. See, I've always joked that I start mentally doing Halloween in spring and a big part of that is summer has always been my prelude into Halloween. Christmas in July, Halloween in May.

When I was a kid, I usually spent my summer breaks watching tons of horror either on VHS from the local video store or on TV as most channels seemed to play the crap out of 80's slashers during summer break. I just automatically associate the season with horror and it leads directly into the horror holiday. Worked into that is 80's metal. I genuinely love 80's metal as is, but it's also something I closely associate with horror and Halloween. Not only is the genre used a lot in soundtracks, but the imagery is pretty much Halloween decorations. It just goes together. Needless to say my horror movie viewing and 80's metal listening goes up during summer. I've literally been listening to Slippery When Wet non stop while at work.

I also spent most summer nights playing games all night long, and even though as an adult the only thing keeping me from doing that is adult responsibilities, mentally, summertime is gaming nirvana. So, I don't have to explain anymore why a spiritual Castlevania sequel is 100% what I want to play all weekend. Know what else? I love popsicles. Summer is obvious high time for the treat and I'm probably going to eat more than I really should this weekend. I'm just having a hard time picking out what kind to add to my grocery order.

I'll be seeing Solo: A Star Wars Story Sunday. I've already got my tickets and am really looking forward to it. A new Star Wars each year is still amazing to me and even though I have to adjust to summer releases as opposed to the Christmas time releases of the past few years, it's still a high point for me. The wife is planning on cooking some BBQ to have ready for when I get home, so man, talk about the perfect day!

Speaking of the wife, we plan to do some shopping over the weekend and I'm really hopping to find a TF5 Hot Rod at Ross. He never showed at any of my Walmarts, and even though I managed to get both legions of him (thanks Shawn!) I also really wanted his deluxe toy. According to folks, he's been showing up at Ross lately, and even though I was just there last weekend, I'm sure I'll have no problem talking the wife into stopping by in hopes of scoring him. Sure, he's far from traditional Hot Rod, but I'm a big Hot Rod/Rodimus fan and like snatching his toys up when possible. Not to mention, I like the design. I like Transformer movie toys. I like Transformers. All of them.

So, needing a much needed break this weekend loaded with fun and quality time at home, I'm most ready to do this. It's a holiday weekend to kick off a summer full of robots, monsters, and misadventure. Which, is what the site is all about y'all.

You blockhead

So, I was just sitting here at my desk working and it occurred to me. The Leader-1 Mini-Con mold looks a lot like a Blockman. Considering the combining nature of classic Mini-Cons, I wonder if this was an intentional homage that just went by unnoticed. Because a happy accident like this with Takara engineering would have been crazy coincidental.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Robots in Disguise Twinferno (warrior class)


Despite having the legion version of Twinferno for some time now, I've been chomping at the bit to get the larger warrior class toy. RID has featured some really great figures and Twinferno is one of the more imaginative Transformers to come along in some time. Twinferno is the newer trademarked name for the G1 character Doublecross, and while his Titans Return figure was a direct homage to the G1 toy, this is a new twist on the bot.


Instead of a double headed dragon, Twinferno changes into a spaceship with dragon headed pontoons. The ship is very similar to Samus Aran's ship from the Metroid game series, which lends to it's cool factor. Though with the two dragon heads, it's almost like some neat cyborg kaiju. Seeing as he's not used in any fiction, and his bio alludes to the two heads have two different minds, it's not much of a stretch to imagine him as some sort of cyborg space dragon. Is it realistic? Well, no, but considering it's 100% an imaginary creation, realism is out the window already.


Twinferno comes with two fire ... thingies that can be held in the robots dragon heads to simulate them breathing fire as a projectile or maybe even some sort of flaming sword. Which is neat. In vehicle/beast mode, the flame things can either be used as flames coming from the engine or in the dragon mouths as fire breath. This goes along with the cyborg kaiju idea a little more and come to think of it, he's kinda like a cross between the ship from Metroid, Ghidorah, and Gamera in his flying form. I don't know what the hell is going on here, but I like it. It's that crazy that just works hard for the money.

So you better treat it right.


Twinferno is a great toy whom has a name that causes more red underlines when I type it than I think is allowed (I rebel in the face of proper grammar). But, just as there's a ton of red underlines as I write this, his palette is so freaking red. Just as the toy in a whole manages to homage the original Doublecross and reinvent at the same time, the colors do as well. It draws from the originals colors and mixes them around making Twinferno look like a Technobot. Which really works for the design as a whole. He could have another name and just be somebody else, while still being that guy. It's a super cool toy that both makes me sad for the end of the awesome Robots In Disguise (2015) line and look forward to Cyberverse as I can see some of the bleed over from the idea pool going in there.



Godzilla forever mofo


 Last week the news that Toho plans to start a new Godzilla series after 2020 hit and the kaiju fans went nuts. I've been waiting to talk about it here as I wanted to see if anymore news would come before I started talking about it. Some were upset that it was outright said there wasn't going to be a Shin Godzilla sequel. Personally, I liked Shin Godzilla, but don't want a sequel. I'd much rather have a return to traditional Toho Godzilla movies. As Monsterverse rages on, the 2020 time frame is the same as when talks of Shin Godzilla 2 were going around. I believe it's part of Toho's deal with Legendary as so the movies don't compete with one another (which would really be self defeating, all it takes is a look at the time frame between current Toho Godzilla movies and Legendary's time frame to get the idea). With Legendary's Godzilla 2 and King Kong vs Godzilla coming in 2019 and 2020 respectively, it's clear as to why the 2 year wait. Allegedly there will be a span of 1-2 years in between Toho releases, which is standard Godzilla series timing. Realistically, they're probably going to be filming the first movie during this time.

I'm very, very, very excited. It's no secret how much I love Legendary Pictures offerings in the genre, but Toho is king of the giant monster movies and a new series from them is super exciting for a life long fan. Fortunately this new era is during the modern age where watching a foreign movie isn't that much of a challenge anymore. Gone are the days of finding bootleg dub jobs on VHS while waiting for an American release that's often limited in release. As the US releases of Shin and the animated movies show, the turn around for a US release is pretty quick.

The prospect of these being on Netflix in the US like the animated movies just made me scream in excitement out loud.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Morphenominal lunch break!


As news from the Las Vegas Licensing Expo seeps out, news of a great Burger King promotion for the Power Rangers 25th anniversary are fresh off the grill. Looks like there will be some pretty niffty MMPR figures with the kids meals or available for individual purchase. From all appearances, they look like mini bobble heads. To me this is great news as I can't remember a bad experience at Burger King (unlike McDonald's, which is impossible to enjoy any kind of promotion with anymore). So whenever this happens, I'll be sure to try and grab a few. I love a good fast food kids meal toy.

Kinda hoping the cardboard crowns are Megazord themed.

You know that would be awesome.

It's Beast Morphin Time!


The Las Vegas Licensing Expo is currently going on and this is something that always catches my eye. I'm a sucker for licensed good and tie in products. Being the amount of action figures I go over here, that should come as no surprise. This expo is where a lot of the magic that goes into the stuff we buy and watch happens. It's super neat. While lots and lots of brands are out on display, of particular note so far to me has been the Power Rangers Beast Morphers display featuring a trailer of the show. The trailer is a cobbled together bunch of action scenes from Go-Busters! (the source material for Beast Morphers) set to music (which the video has no audio as it's probably just some current popular songs and being hosted on YouTube the poster obviously doesn't want to get flagged) to sell the idea next to some displays featuring the Rangers and logo with some descriptions of the series.

What I find morphenominal is how the overall vibe of the series is presented here. It's not too far removed from Go-Busters!, so here's hoping the PR version will stay pretty close. It's just plain slick and I think in today's world of everything having a forced gritty vibe (as edgy as a 14 year old in an ICP t-shirt), slick sci fi with bright colors is a most welcome change of pace.


Monday, May 21, 2018

I'm more excited for this than I really should be

 
Walmart has put up a listing for the Hot Rod reissue I previously talked about. It looks like there is some minor color differences in his stickers, which I think is a neat way to differentiate this release from the prior releases and honestly, can I be real here for a second? I'm super excited to buy this guy. Sure, I already have a Hot Rod... but... look man, there's just something awesome about buying G1 Transformers at Walmart again. I'm going to walk in (or Walton in), grab a Hot Rod and maybe a pair of cargo shorts. Because it's summer. I also like to put my phone in the cargo pocket. It's convenient. Then I'm going to post all sorts of pictures of him, but not my cargo shorts. I don't think Instagram cares about those as much as I do.

Monster Royalty


One game series I wish would get a modern update is King of the Monsters. A great kaiju wrestling game that is just a freaking blast to play. The sequel was more of a scrolling beat 'em up (except for the Genesis version, which was a fighter) but was still fun. It was just a great early 90'sera  arcade game that took the basic tropes of giant monsters and made for pure euphoria. The Neo-Geo version of the first game is available on Switch (and I'm sure other places as well), but I hardly see part 2 anywhere. It's a shame, because with all the recent interest from the public towards kaiju (mainstream attention, not just us weirdos), I'd think it would be a great time for a new game. Or at least getting part 2 out more.

The Walgreens Wreck-Gar saga keeps on saga'ing

There's been a slow trickle here, a little drip there regarding the Walgreen's exclusive Wreck Gar I've talked about here before with nothing more than some pictures popping up a little while ago of a Combiner Wars Groove repainted and given a new head as Wreck Gar to go by. While everyone assumed it was more evidence of this cryptid of a toy seeping out, still no one really knows anything. Well, some official pics of the toy have found there way all over the internet (you can see them at any TF news site or group) and boy is this toy a weird one. You got CW Groove with a new head and deco to be Wreck Gar. Then you have the Generations/Reveal The Shield Wreck Gar's weapon (from around 2010/20111). Then instead of CW hand/foot pieces, you've got the POTP hand/foot/Prime armor thing. The former makes sense as it's released in POTP, so might as well tie in the gimmick. The mold makes sense as it's a completely compatible combiner limb deluxe that turns into a motorcycle. Not to mention, the CW molds are recent enough to not be lost in a warehouse somewhere. But man, that axe thing is out of the blue. Realistically, they could have used the hatchet from other CW deluxes to give Wreck Gar his trademark axe, so it's a little weird to pull a weapon tooling from so long ago out of the storage abyss.

I'm sure the toy will be available in the fall as the past two Walgreen's exclusive Transformers have been. I'm looking forward to it too. I quite likes Combiner Wars deluxes and Power of the Primes as an evolution of the idea. Not to mention, I just plain like Wreck Gar. So as usual, I look forward to that evening this fall when I take a break from work to visit my nearby Walgreen's and grab this guy and a pack of gummy worms.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Imaginext Power Rangers Pink Ranger and Pterodactyl Zord


I've made no secret that I love the Imaginext MMPR line. It's a 100% fun way to collect toy versions of the classic characters that honestly works really well. While Imaginext is aimed towards smaller children, it does have it's share of adult collectors and Fisher Price acknowledges that often. Imaginext is essentially the modern day equivalent of Adventure People and just like Adventure People, Imaginext makes just plain wonderful toys. Their Power Rangers line doesn't give the characters much of a cutesy make over. These are essentially smaller sized figures with really neat vehicles and play sets. There's often some neat play feature integrated into the vehicles and play sets that is utilized by way of turning the figure on a base.


The Pink Ranger makes the Pterodactyls mouth open. Also, if you have the wings folded up, they snap back into place. Just a silly little play feature that's hard to hate.


The Zord makes me think of Windstorm from Starriors a bit. Owing more to it's similar nature as a robot pterodactyl than anything, I'm curious if a blue version might find it's way out at some point just as a robot figure turns up in the blind bags. Imaginext is crafty like that sometimes. As you can see, the Pink Ranger stands on her base to pilot the Zord in a satisfying manner and even has some firing rockets. I've already got the Pink Ranger from the figure two pack, and just like the other Rangers that come with standard versions of the Zords, they are the same figures without the variations that run throughout the line. So really, if you missed the two pack, here's another with the bow for the combining Power Cannon.


Imaginext toys are really hefty and satisfying. I had been passing on this Zord set as I already have the regular figure from the two pack. Though when I saw it in my local Walmart's spring clearance section for $4, there was no way I was passing on that deal. Which I'm really happy about as my track record with these larger Zords has been all positive. These are just wonderful old school Adventure People style sets themed to a series I really love and it works amazingly well. I'd argue better than normal Power Rangers toys. This set is normally around $14 on average, so $4 was such a steal I expect the police to knock down my door any minute.


I think the best example of just how neat these toys are can be summed up in the Zord's hidden form. Despite the sets not being able to combine to form the Megazord, you can still convert the Pterodactyl into it's chest formation. It's not a happy accident either, they took time to paint and deco up the Zord's underside just for this detail and really could have skipped it. See what I mean when I say these are arguably better toys than the normal toys? I do worry that when Hasbro's toy control kicks in that the Imaginext line will eventually go away and Playschool will take over. Which, could be awesome. Playschool makes great similar figures and I'd wager they'd possibly explore other series than MMPR. Just, man, Imaginext is really nailing it. It's going to be a tough act to follow.




Lizzinator's pretty awesome


Let's talk a minute about the Lizzinator. Like a lot of things following Terminator 2 in the 90's, Lizzinator's name follows the 'nator' naming structure, but also gets a generic Arnold Schwarzenegger personality. I totally dig it, the overall goofiness of the dialog in Power Rangers is part of the fun and who doesn't like a lot of cheese? As a monster, he has a great design, almost like a Dragonball Z villain combined with a Battle Beast. I just love when he picks up that car, not only does his mask smush up against the car visibly (haha), but it's a classic monster power move. Then just the overall selling of his brute strength as he pretty much has his way with the Rangers in the fight while laughing like an idiot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Authentics Grimlock (large version)


As far as the larger Authentics figures go, Grimlock is king. So far there isn't a smaller version, which I don't rule the possibility of out, so this was a completely fresh experience going in. Though like Optimus there is some slight assembly required and due to his transformation, his legs are quite hollow. Fortunately that's where the lower budget stops affecting the figure and what's left is a completely satisfying toy.

He turns into a dinosaur, we all know this.
I won't lie, I was completely shocked by just how pleasant a toy Grimlock is. While individual experiences may vary, my Grimlock had pretty tight joints and really was exactly what I expected going in. Which was a generally traditional Grimlock. I do draw a few comparisons to his dinosaur mode to Goldran, but that can only be helped so much with similar alt modes and the general throwback nature these simpler toys have to older designs. Though it would make for a fun custom.


As I noted before that Grimlock's legs are hollow, they form his tail in robot mode. It actually makes for a pretty thick tail. Overall his dinosaur body is much more chunky than one would expect. Nothing wrong with that, it's just a fact. He's a sturdy big and chunky toy for a kid to stomp all over the carpet and 'RAWR' just often enough to border on cute and annoying. Like the other Authentics, Grimlock is all toy, so those going in for display pieces will probably balk at the idea of allowing such a simple to thing grace their shelves. Though if you like toys or outright have an affinity for the more random items (like I do), you'll probably be happy with this big silly thing (I am).



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Pirantishead has fishy breath


Honestly, I'm sitting at my desk taking a second to enjoy the mayhem to get away from the mayhem.

Authentics Optimus Prime (large version)


Optimus Prime in his larger Authentics toy, despite initial appearances in package, actually differs from his smaller counterpart (much more so than Bumblebee). One thing I'll point out in the picture, you'll notice part of his body isn't attached on card. Obviously owing to the budget needs of the card, there is some slight assembly needed. Nothing major, just snap that part on and you'll never have to remove it again. That part forms a back pack in robot mode and the front of Optimus's cab mode (his chest is a fake out). It actually snaps in nice and firmly on the robots back, though mileage may vary (individual cases may be different and that just happens sometimes).


Optimus is a much more solid and satisfying figure. He has a decent amount of articulation and has some pleasant heft with just enough paint to make him look nice. Now like his smaller counterpart, his legs are hollow due to his transformation, but unlike his smaller version, the rest of him is solid. I was actually really happy with this guy as I was initially concerned that I basically just bought a scaled up version of the smaller toy. Though, I do admit, these larger toys do feel overpriced at $10 each. I'd say 7-8 would be a more fair price and probably what they toy would cost at a Walmart or Target versus a discount channel (where some things are just more expensive for some universe imploding reason).


Of course Optimus turns into his normal semi truck vehicle mode, and like Bumblebee is very large and chunky making for a pleasant hand feel. The colors present in his robot mode aren't as dominate here. These are lower budget toys meant for children and it can really show at times. Much like an episode of Saved by the Bell. Just check out that episode where Mr. Belding's wife goes into labor in the school elevator. The elevator is very clearly a open door with somebody sliding as piece of cardboard. That's the level of compromise here. It's 100% adequate for it's intended purposes, though the lower budget is more clear at times.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Universal Studios Japan Nightime Parade featuring the Transformers

Some time back I posted about the then upcoming Nighttime Parade at Universal Studios Japan that would feature Transformers, Jurassic Park, and other park characters. Welp, it's finally became a thing and video from the parade is starting to make the rounds. Check out just how awesome the Transformers look in those parade floats. That certainly would be a spectacle to see right in front of you.





Authentics Bumblebee (large version)


Unlike the smaller assortment of Authentics Transformers budget figures, I outright walked onto the larger assortment the other day. So I thought I'd take a individual look at each one of the figures. Unfortunately, I'm starting with the weakest of the batch. Bumblebee isn't much of a step up from the smaller figure, which itself wasn't the highlight of the assortment.


Bumblebee has a much more solid body, but retains the hollow arms. If I was to look right at him in package, I wouldn't be able to notice any real difference. That's a shame because they added elbow articulation and the added weight does give the figure some plesant heft. In fact, it's really nice in hand, even if it doesn't look like much more than a sized up version of the smaller 5$ figure.


I wish I could do something more than constantly compare this figure to the smaller version, but it's really hard not to. The car is exactly the same, just bigger with some additional heft. Though the wheels didn't pop off so easily. It's a big chunky toy that's really pleasant to hold. There's no mistaking it for anything other than what it is. Which is a discount chain toy intended for children at a budget price. As neat as these guy's are, the display shelf types would probably pass out in shock if these ever came to their attention.

It was probably unfair to lead the way with the weakest of the batch (the others are super neat), I did so intentionally since the next post coming later tonight is much more flashy and neat. I try to make constantly interesting updates and leading off a series of posts with 'this one's not as great' isn't what I'm all about.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Bloodstained 8 bit


I've been looking forward to the upcoming game Bloodstained (a spiritual successor to Castlevania) for quite some time, and while the game isn't due for a little bit longer, it's companion piece is getting a release towards the end of the month and looks like what I'll be doing most of my Memorial Day weekend. Curse of the Moon is a more retro 8 bit style game that looks to be heavily inspired by Castlevania 3. I may just be looking forward more to it than the actual Bloodstained.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The most incredible micros of all!


Considering this site is named after a Micromaster base, it's not a stretch to understand my fondness for smaller Transformers. Upon hearing/reading the rumors this morning of the Micromasters in the upcoming War For Cybertron line (it's a post down from this one, that's kinda silly to link to) I was ecstatic. All day I've been bopping along humming happily, it's been a great day for fan excitement. I stopped by the local Family Dollar on the way home for some snacks for work tonight and boom, there was the new larger Authentics (I'll be posting about them in the coming days) figures, which just added to my overall excitement and happiness. A couple of back and fourths with Shawn over the possibilities of blind bag Micromasters at the local Walmart just added to it. I look forward to next Toylanta and talking about them with him. I'm really curious about the Battlemasters. I'm assuming they'll be similar in how Legends worked with Titanmasters/Primemasters , but seeing how they have a new name, I'm curious. I guess when/if the rumors get verified (the source is pretty credible) in the coming months I'll find out for sure. Just man, to quote WCW, I'm Buff and I'm the stuff... wait... wrong quote...

Wait...what





Whoa

According to this post on TFW2005, rumor has it that the upcoming War for Cybertron line in Generations will feature Micromasters, something called Battlemasters (assuming taking the Legend price point and interactive with Micromasters) and some sort of blind box items (please be Micromasters).

If this turns out to be true, oh man.

I may shit my pants.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Omega Pointing


Sometimes, as a Transformers fan (or I guess a fan of anything) you get asked what your favorite era of fiction is. I always say beast era and when I specify more, my favorite parts is the Beast Wars cartoon and the 3H comics (even after BM ended their setting was post BM Cybertron). Not that I don't love G1 and other eras (that's probably apparent in these posts here), just that's the pinnacle for me. My absolute. I love the story telling and can go back to it time and time again. I'm taking time to talk about the 3H era stuff as the Omega Point story line is just *kisses fingers* magnifique.

I'll just go ahead and recommend you check out 3H and everything on the wiki. Just so I don't spend too much time going all over that for those of you who don't know and considering the growth of the TF fandom over the last decade, it's easy to understand that some of you missed that and may not know.

One thing that made the 3H comics so fun is they not only featured the BotCon exclusives, but also non show characters. While Beast Wars may look dated now, that mid 90's cgi was pretty big for a syndicated cartoon show budget, and owing to the fact that each character transformed created double the CGI models for each character, made for unfortunately a smaller cast. This during a time when toy lines had more than multiple versions of the main characters. So that really cool toy you bought who wasn't on the show, got a life in these comics.

Adding to the fun, the Omega Point story line was a Unicron story in the beast timeline (this was before he was used to death during the mid 2000's) and in a way similar to his use in the Marvel UK comics. Essentially, Shokaract is empowered by Unicron's dark essence. Not to mention, there's no handy dandy matrix of leadership laying around to run him off. So Unicron is wrecking havoc and the time tested way to deal with him isn't there. So these expanded universe characters go on a most excellent adventure over the course of a few years of fiction.

It's a pretty awesome story arc, and I think a good deal of it can be found online if you ever get curious enough to read. IDW did a slight retelling of the events in their Beast Wars comic series, which hits the main beats, but tells the story differently. I remember reading it being very impressed they bothered to retread it, even as differently as they did.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Gobots

If we don't finish the job and flatter them - we might as well not be in the fight at all.

He's a vital cog in the vast Autobots battle machine and can endure the most extreme conditions while fighting without fear. Behind the lines, he ties up all the loose ends by mopping up enemies. With his devastating water power, he's a tough vehicle and ready for any endurance challenge. And as a robot, he is equally as deadly.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Henshin Cyborg Jaguar


Now this is neat. Seeing the direct lineage of Henshin Cybord to Diaclone and Microman, I have to wonder exactly how much of a ancestor to Ravage this toy is. It's really cool looking regardless and I appreciate the interaction between it and the other toys in the commercial. I think my favorite part though, is the kids at the end.

Steel Divine aka Brave Advenger bootleg


I've never pretended to be the biggest scholar when it comes to Brave. I like it, but I'm not a walking encyclopedia or anything. One thing that has always been part of it's charm is it's odd relation to Transformers. It's Takara's post G1 series that started it's life intended to be a Transformers series and even uses some Transformers molds in it's toy line. The cartoon is very similar to the Takara Transformers cartoons and the toys are from the designers. So basically, it's a continuation of G1 in a  semi sorta way. I have a good number of the toys, but aside from a Death Garry Gun (yes, that's his name, he's also recolor of Sky Garry... yes that's also his name) they're all bootlegs. Bootlegs of Brave toys are pretty rampant in the robot world and can usually be purchased at discount stores.

well...crap
Unfortunately when it comes to bootleg toys the plastic can vary from pretty ok to a pile of garbage. My Advenger (yes, that's his name) from Tuesday Morning here has kinda oki-ish plastic with a pretty low quality build. So he fell apart instantly as I was removing him from his j-card prison. Fortunately, he went right back together. I'm sure I could fix him easily, but for a 5$ bootleg, I don't know if I'll take the effort. Attempts to transform him became basically putting him back together after twisting a few parts resulted in him falling apart, and I had to put him together with ample cussing.


Advenger is still a nice looking robot, even with the cludginess (that's my word for it) that comes with a discount store bootleg robot toy. He has most of his accessories, though his firing rockets are molded in. His shield is a leftover from from an additional train car that the real toy came with that pretty much has nowhere to go when he's transformed into train mode now. Though the hitch to attach the car is there, and his storage for car bots in train mode still works.


I was actually impressed with some of the bits that actually functioned correctly, his flip out panels for launching gimmicks fold out, though the launching gimmicks are molded in. For a discount store bootleg of a 20 year old toy I'd expect those to be molded over, so it's nice that the small amount of original toy remains even though it's in a neutered state.


His train mode suffers a bit as it doesn't properly go together. It might, but I'd never know as I had to snap him back together several times to force him into what gets close as possible to a train engine. Though his thighs still flip over to the coal bin in train mode. Which, like the flip out panels in robot mode, I'd figured would have been left out. Advenger can store his accessories in this mode, but Steel Divine just kinda has to leave them behind. I have no clue if the storage works as I could hardly get him to hold together in this mode.


Over all it's still a nice looking robot, and if you can pick up one that holds together correctly (or you take the time to fix it) you'd have a nice enough version of a old toy. Visually they got most of it right, and it has that great late G1 looks. It does make me want a real version of the toy as man it's sharp. So I guess it wasn't a total bummer that it falls apart and I suppose I could spend a little time to fix it up. Maybe.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Cyber Battilion Sideswipe


Stopping by a Walgreen's Saturday morning, I was happy to find the new Cyber Battalion Sideswipe toy. I've been really looking forward to getting this guy as he's just plain good looking. I mean look at those colors! I've always been a Sideswipe fan, so a solid new toy of him wasn't a hard sell. One thing I like about Cyber Battalion figures is the box they come in. Many Korean releases come in similar boxes and I've always liked it.


Sideswipe uses the same base skeleton as the Prowl toy, but with new car parts and head. This car mold is one of the better Cyber Battalion toys, so it's a good base for a car bot. Many have noted he looks more like Windcharger, and he sure does look like the Reveal the Shield version of the character. It doesn't really bother me as one of the things I like about Sideswipe is how his basic form is so universal (like Prowl). It just lends itself to being reused as other characters. I coudln't help to notice how close his head is to the MP Sideswipe toy. While there's no mistaking a more simple children's toy for a Masterpiece, that head really looks like the MP head. I wonder if they reused the mold or made a mold from from it (it's happened before). Either way it's a good looking toy.


Some folks have a hard time getting around an obvious G1 looking Sideswipe turning into a car that resembles his Robots in Disguise incarnation. To me it looks like a choice made for kids who may recognize the RID version while leaning towards the more traditional (that Evergreen buzzword we've been seeing so much) looking Transformers. Regardless, it looks good. The shape of the cars hood invokes a Lamborghini to me and I wonder if that's intentional. If Cyber Battalion continues, I could easily see this toy (or the Prowl version) being made into other characters as it's such a versatile looking mold.

I like these big chunky figures, there's something really pleasing about them for me and hey... why wouldn't I want that?

Voltron could use some defending


Like some of you, I have noticed Voltron toys disappearing from shelves of my local stores. I wasn't sure why as the line seemed to have been selling well and the new product on display at Toyfair was full of promise. So last week, the upcoming Hyper Phase Voltron was shown as an upcoming San Diego Comic Con exclusive in a box set. I didn't think twice as the MEtal Defender set last year was sold at SDCC before retail. Then as more folks started wondering about the upcoming Paladin figures, one reached out and got the following email.



Well, that was a disappointment for the people who were looking forward to building the cast of characters. Many started speculating that the line was outright cancelled, while many said the clearance was just to clear out room for the summer movie toys. Not to mention, the email doesn't say the line is cancelled, just that plans have changed. So a little heartbroken that I may not be able to get any more Voltron toys, I sent Playmates an email myself, asking for some clear information.


So basically, if that SDCC set sells well, they'll look into getting the individual lions out. It really looks like they are trying to get products in stores, and I really hope they do. Like I said, Voltron toys seemed to be selling pretty well around here, and I live in the rural outskirts of a major American city, so it's not the worst gauge to go by.