Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A spooky season is upon us


Summer may be a spooky season, but Halloween is THE spooky season. 

The Zone Base Halloween Season has begun.

Beware, you're in for a scare.

STOMP STOMP STOMP

I've said before a few million times that I really like big chunky robot toys. That was part of the reason I loved Armada so much. The was one guy from Armada really took the cake in that department that was ever so fun to play with. Scavenger may look like a Constructicon, he's got the colors, the name, and the look. So much that his Japanese name was Devastor, because freaking look at him. Armada was like that, full of homages while still doing something different. Scavenger in this case is an Autobot, which follows in the Build Team's lead of Autobot Constrution equipment guys.

Scavenger's Mini-Con is named Rollbar, who's a likeable enough Mini-Con that can turn into a dune buggy type vehicle. In robot mode Scavenger has a few 'dead' Mini-Con ports, but most notably is his hip mounted missile launcher that can be fired when attaching a Mini-Con. Yes it's weird. His Mini-Con interaction is more notable in vehicle mode, I'll get to that in a minute. As you can tell by the picture above, Scavenger is a big old boy with some big old arms. Though you've probably noticed his legs, they have no articulation whatsoever. Instead they feature the robot modes biggest and most fun play feature. As you push Scavenger across the floor, he stomps his feet making zany robot noises. He just stomps around in a lovable manner that won my heart over the first time I tried it for myself. It's a silly toy and I love it. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Doozy Bots


I've always been pretty casual about Gundam. Think they look really awesome, watch an episode here and there, that's about it. That being said, I would have really liked Doozy Bots. It's a shame the show was never made, it's obvious Megaman inspiration and use of SD Gundam designs (I did like that show a lot) strikes a cord with me. It looks like it would have been perfect at the time when there was a lack of robot cartoons on the air combined with my video game addiction firmly attaching itself to 8-bit style games in those formative years influencing a lot of my tastes. I could see myself arguing about how awesome Doozy Bots were on late 90's online bulletin boards (I vastly preferred them to Usenet) compared to Gundam. Hell, there would probably be a big Doozy Bots presence on this weird site about robots and monsters. But alas the show was never made and all we have is this little pilot which just makes me wonder what could have been.


Friday, July 26, 2019

Cyberverse Tiny Turbo Changers series 2


WOO!

Cyberfire and Brimstone

I've been talking about Cybertron toys lately, and for good reason, they were great! One toy from the line was Brimstone, a Decepticon from the Jungle Planet whom turned into a pterodactyl. Brimstone was a fairly good sized toy in the deluxe class with a great neon yellow and gray color set with some purple for good measure. Looking like some cool knight from a mid-evil fantasy adventure or even some evil warrior to be found in a dungeon, Brimstone was just a sharp looking figure. Speaking of sharp, his Cyber Planet Key gimmick was flip out knife blades that came from his wings in either robot or beast mode.


Transformation was pretty simple, but still pretty unique. A simple rearranging of parts and his legs formed the pterodactyl's head while his arms formed it's feet. In beast mode Brimstone was pretty solid thanks to his simple transformation. Simple doesn't mean bad though as the toy looked great in both modes and didn't sacrifice anything in the process.


Oddly enough Brimstone's mold was a 'one and done' that rarely happens in Transformers. I blame timing as the toy didn't really fit in with following lines while other Cybertron toy molds got folded into various reuses. Aside from his Japanese counterpart and random value pack style releases there just wasn't any other use of the toy mold. Which is a shame as I can easily see him as a Windstorm homage. Fortunately he did get some love later as the character returned as a BotCon exclusive.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Moons- Gamera


La Llarona on tape


Summer is a spooky season.

Downshifting on Cybertron


Sometimes weird things happen. In Downshift from Cybertron's case, he was very obviously somebody else. Though depending on what story whatever Hasbro rep gave you, he was Downshift. Despite his naming causing a few headaches, the character got a great toy in Energon which was followed by an even better toy in Cybertron. That's what I'm focusing on here, a really great second toy of a character who isn't who all appearances would lead you to believe, but somebody else.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Japanese Ghosts


Summer is a Spooky Season

Jurassic Park- The Ride


I'm your Tubro Beetle


It's been so long since I've talked about robot bugs that I feel like I owe it too myself as much as I owe it to you all to talk about robot bugs. Not to mention it's been awhile since I've pointed out the whole 'today's more simple toys are throwbacks to older toys' thing I never seem to shut up about. Up above this paragraph is a picture of Beetras, I've made a few posts before about Beetras (follow the tags below to see) and man don't they look great? Just great old school robots from a time that seems forgotten despite it being homaged so much with various high end and regular retail releases. As the Deluxe Insecticons, Convertors, odd bootleg toys, or even in their original release, Beetras are just awesome robot toys. I really wish there was a new Beetras style figure so I wasn't continually living in the past and had something new... wait..
Look at that glorious robotic sci fi beetle. LOOK AT IT. One again the 'simple' sub lines aimed more at younger children comes through with an extremely old school super robot toy. This is the new Cyberverse Shockwave Turbo Changer/ One Step Changer toy. Inexpensive and quick to transform, Shockwave's weird insect alt mode when reduced to a mode simple form looks like a Takatoku toy lost in time. It's not just limited to alt mode either.
Look at that angry cyloptic menace to the galaxy! Sure it's not exactly a reproduction of the old Beetras, but it's pretty darn close. I wish he came in multiple colors. I can see it in red or green or grey. I want to put a chrome weapon in his hand. Seeings has one hand is already a blaster, maybe a sword. Part of me wants to chrome some of those parts up, but seeing the nature of a Turbo Changers transformation involves lots of folding up... it could scratch off. The similarities are probably coincidental, but I'll take it!


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Shadow People


Summer is a Spooky Season.

Dollar Rangers

I love running errands. Not all the time kind you, but every so often I'll find myself needing to run a few on a Monday morning and I really make the most of it. With my work schedule I really don't stop by any store aside from a gas station until the the weekend. So those occasional Monday morning runs really can feel like an adventure. A pair of basketball shorts and a t-shirt. Maybe a hoodie (weather depending) and my drawstring backpack and I'm off. Maybe I have to go to the post office and drop off a load at the Goodwill. Perhaps grab a few things we forgot to over the weekend or do a few things there wasn't any other time to do. Life is random.

While out I usually make a point to drop by local Family Dollar/Dollar General stores. Monday mornings are probably the best time to peruse their various discount wares. I've never made my love of discount store toys a secret here and usually those errand runs are the best time to partake in checking those out. The stores are usually not very packed and aside from the occasional weird look from the random disgruntled senior citizen (one flipped me off in the parking lot when I was looking for Transformers Authentics... I have no clue why), I can usually enjoy my visit in a pretty low key manner. Earlier today I was alerted to images of the new value channel Power Rangers figures from Hasbro.

I've been eyeing the similar Marvel, Star Wars, and DC figures at these stores with a lot of temptation. I did buy some of the RID 2015 from a few years back and they're very pleasant basic figures. The initial batch seems to be Beast Morphers flavored and I wonder if other Ranger teams will follow. Or wondering as the initial batch is the original three Rangers from the show if the others as well as the villains will make an appearance. I'd sure like a Blaze in this form factor (love that design).

They're super cool looking and probably the dipping point to get me buying more of these type figures. They're generally pretty low priced, so I can see myself buying one or two on a random trip out. Then one day realizing I've gotten them all somehow.


Monday, July 22, 2019

Gunhed 30th Anniversary



Now that SDCC is over, back to Zone Base. I don't pretend to know a whole lot about Gunhed. A few games here, a movie that started out as part of the Godzilla series there. General cool stuff all around. It's hard not to appreciate it. Today is the 30th anniversary of the movies release and that's worth noting.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Halloween Kills and Ends


This is really exciting. I was expecting a sequel of sorts to last years excellent Halloween reboot, but a trilogy is most welcomed. It's hard not to love the names either. I wish the first installment was Halloween Lives. Picture it: Halloween (1978), Halloween Lives, Halloween Kills, Halloween Ends. Just wonderful. So glad they returned Michael to his former glory with last years movie.

Shake your Botbot at SDCC


I love, love, love the orange bubbles of Botbots season 3 packaging. Really excited for the new batch, but almost pooping my pants over the Seasons Greeters figs!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Abandoned by Disney

Summer is a Spooky Season.

Cyberverse Spark Armor


Footage of the Spark Armor on the cartoon is making me look forward to the new episodes even more. Cyberverse is such a great little show it's hard not to want more of it. Seeing that the episodes are usually put on YouTube by Hasbro, they should tampograph a QR Code on the toys somewhere that links to episodes.

Transformers SDCC 2019 reveals


Even more new Transformers products were shown off earlier today (yesterday depending on your schedule) and MAN! Adding to my Great Value BotCon of G1 reissues exclusive to Walmart stores is now the 35th anniversary toys will also be exclusive to Walmart! This is something I'm loving as like many of you I'm in Walmart every weekend as is, and well they've generally got the best prices. I was pretty worried I'd have to order from some odd web store, which means it would pretty much get poached the second the toys go up. Which not only would crash the site, but also sell out in a second. So unlike SDCC exclusives that are pretty hard to get when you have a busy schedule (no, I'm not taking time off to sit in front of a web page, I've said before I will not be punished for being a responsible adult), they'll be at my local Walmart! And honestly, I live in the south so I have plenty to choose from in a stones throw.

Under the break is links to galleries and such.

Beast Morphers new episodes and more new toy looks!


The second half of Beast Morphers looks great! Not to mention even more looks at new toys after the break!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

There's a witch in the house

Summer is a spooky season.

Cyberverse SDCC

LAWDY

MOTU MEGA CONSTRUX SDCC

DUDE

Beast Morphin SDCC


DANG

More Micro Morphers!


Woo! Hopefully they'll be easier to get than the current batch, but DUDE!

I'll Siege all the Micromasters!

 
So, per my previous post wondering about what will be shown at the SDCC TF panel, some early looks at the display confirm that Siege isn't a 1 year line like POTP was, but most importantly shown off a plethora of new Micromasters for me to scream like a banshee over. I'm absolutely ecstatic over more Micromasters. I don't think you understand. Not just that, more cassettes (technically Micromasters) and Battlemasters. Sure there's some other regular guys displayed (that I will get), but what's important here is more Micromasters. Holy crap more Micromasters. This is wonderful. The panel is tomorrow (or sometime today depending on when you read this) and I'll be updating more on my further thoughts then. If they show any more Micromasters I'll probably explode.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Rake sighting


Summer is a spooky season.

Cyberverse Japanese Intro and SDCC week on Planet Zone


I've been patiently waiting to see what Takara does with Cyberverse. If it's anything like what they did with RID (2015) then there's a lot of fun stuff coming! Personally, I'm really looking forward to season two.

Seeing as this is SDCC week and I'm likely to get a few more press releases as well as the glut of news coming from the show will probably result in a different kind of week here on Zone Base. Probably a few reaction posts (I don't plan on talking about everything) mixed with press releases and the Spooky Summer stuff (I'm guessing you all are liking those, it's a fun way to slide into the Halloween season). So hold on loosely (but don't let go) and everything will resume whatever constitutes as normal here soon enough.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Godzilla Joins Instagram and Twitter!


Godzilla has officially joined social media for the first time ever!

You can now follow the King of the Monsters on Instagram and Twitter.


and don't forget...

Godzilla Stomps into San Diego Comic-Con for the First Time

The Famous Kaiju Is Celebrating the 65th Anniversary
of the First Film This Year

Who: Godzilla, King of the Monsters

What:Parent company TOHO will have the first dedicated Godzilla booth at SDCC with many exciting activities including:

·  A fun green screen photo booth for unique social posts (#Godzilla65)
·  A live mural painting by famed Godzilla artist Shinji Nishikawa on Thursday starting at 1pm
·  The actual suit used in “Godzilla 2000”
·  Props from films throughout the franchise’s history
·  SDCC Exclusive -  65th Anniversary 1954 Godzilla Deluxe Vinyl Figure
·  Giveaways, photo opportunities and much more gargantuan fun!

When: July 17 – 21

Where: San Diego Comic Con, Booth #3535     

Thanks to Rogers & Cowan for providing Zone Base with this news

Haunted House in Saudi Arabia


Summer is a spooky season.

Siege... then what?


I've been loving Transformers Siege toys. I've got literally no real complaints about the line and wish it'd go on forever. It won't though, and with SDCC this weekend, like you I'll find out what's following it. Transformers lines used to get 18 months of a life span, or at least until the line got a refresh. Starting with Power of the Primes though, Generations seemingly has shifted to a year long life cycle. It is what it is and frankly a nice way to keep the selection fresh. Though like I said, Siege will by the end of this year and it's follow up will most likely be shown in some form by SDCC.

Usually by now something has leaked. Hasbro has been pretty good about containing leaks these days, but by now there would be something. Closest we have is stuff for Siege that hasn't came out yet. It's at this point I wonder, will it be that different? Hear me out. Combiner Wars was pretty different from Titans Return, which was similar to Power of the Primes, but still had it's differences. All three were part of a trilogy full of toys pretty dang distinct from each other aide from the beginning and end.

Monday, July 15, 2019

TRANSFORMERS: WAR FOR CYBERTRON UNICRON


Ahead of San Diego Comic-Con, Hasbro revealed their largest TRANSFORMERS figure ever - The Lord of Chaos. The Planet Eater. The Chaos Bringer – UNICRON! After last year's crowdfunding success, HASLAB is back with this exciting new creation – the first ever project – .

UNICRON stands alone as the most menacing figure in TRANSFORMERS lore, capable of devouring entire worlds and civilizations. He debuted in the 1986 film Transformers: The Movie and his insatiable appetite nearly brought the entire universe to its knees. But his legacy transcends both space and time.

Thailand Ghost Plane



Summer is a spooky season.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Since everybodies talking about Jetfire


There's a lot of talk about Jetfire these days, which is easy to understand. He has a new and exciting Siege toy that just about everyone wants (including me). With a legacy character like Jetfire, you can't help but to think back to older Jetfire toys when a new one comes out. I was very fond of his toys during the Unicron Trilogy. The Armada Jetfire toy was a great figure intended to homage Galaxy Shuttle. Energon, the follow up to Armada, followed this Jetfire with a new one that always reminded me of Dai Atlas (it's the shoulders).


Energon was a line of many gimmicks. Most remembered was the Powerlinx feature found on most Autobots. Autobots that could Powerlinx with one another could either form the top half or bottom half of a more powerful form. At OTFCC 2003 after the line was shown at the Hasbro panel, many fans were comparing it to Landcross, as that team shared the same gimmick. I can still remember staring at those display cases, excited for these new figures. They just looked so good then ... and honestly still do now 16 years later.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Witch spotted in Mexico


Summer is a spooky season.

Armada of cheeseburgers


Sometimes you can't place exactly why you like something, you just do and that's that. I know why I like Transformers Armada. It was a really fun Transformers toy line with big chunky robots that were full of character and fun gimmicks that introduced Mini-Cons. Mini-Cons are tiny Transformers that at the time seemed like a return to Micromasters with a plethora of creative alt modes. The Mini-Cons usually triggered the larger robots gimmicks, but also would interact with the toys in other ways as well. Add to the fact that they'd occasionally homage past gimmicks like Targetmasters. With the variety of ways to buy and collect them, and Mini-Cons were a hit on their own outside of the hit line they were birthed from.

Critics of the line often complain that Armada was Hasbro copying Pokemon, and that's a fair comparison. In the cartoon, the Transformers were hunting Mini-Cons and an overall 'catch them all' vibe was all over. Hasbro has followed trends with their products multiple times before (I mean Micromasters... ) and that's pretty much how the business of selling things to children goes.

I love a good tie in promotion, this is well known to readers of this site. I don't make it a secret and wallow in it's excesses. So when a Transformers Happy Meal tied into Armada came around, you know I was had before hello. Before I go any further, let me talk about the above commercial for said Happy Meal. I'm so freaking happy over the original animation that's amazingly toy accurate. Yes, the toys were not the best looking things ever, but McDonald's was not one bit ashamed of that and took time to animate them in action.

This is the best picture I could find, thank you dml44833, whomever you are

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A ghost in India


Summer is a spooky season.

You can't roll through a Roadblock


Through all these years, some of my favorite Transformers toys are the Auto Rollers from Generation 2. Big chunky robots who's transformation was based on flipping and on/off switch in the back. You'd roll the vehicle and it would auto transform from one mode to another. There was/is a certain level of joy in rolling a truck backwards and watching it change into a robot or roll the robot forward and watching it convert into a truck. When they first debuted it was mind blowing and exciting, which is a sharp contrast to today's fandom with a contingent that gets outright offended by Turbo Changers. Like I said though, I've always loved them and thought to focus on one of them today. Because fuck yeah Zone Base.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Switch Online games July 2019


I was literally just saying I wished Donkey Kong 3 was on the service. I mean, you get to shoot him in the nards. That's actually how you play the game, shoot Donkey Kong in the nards.

Sleepaway Camp


Summer is a spooky season.

Wreckloose is a weird name

Off screen characters are usually pretty great toys despite not getting any screen time. Wreckloose from Cybertron is one of those really great toys that somehow didn't make it to the show. Realistically because of random marketing and business reasons, but I'll call it because of bad decisions. Wreckloose is a Decepticon from the Jungle Planet who turns into a komodo dragon (autocorrect suggested I misspelled Commodore Dragon there and frankly that's an awesome idea). I was a big fan of the Jungle Planet as it was something of a return to Beast Wars and Wreckloose really felt like a lost beast era mold.
As part of the Cybertron line, Wreckloose had a Cyber Planet Key gimmick in his weapon. His weapon, which was a helmet piece in lizard mode would unfold into a crossbow type weapon. This could be activated in beast mode or when held in his hand. Also felt like a late addition to the design, making me wonder if he was sitting in some designers binder somewhere for a few years. Probably not, but with his overall design and look, I'm convinced he could have been a Transmetal 2 basic... and man should he have been.
Just as the injustice of such an excellent toy not being featured on the show was committed, so was the misfortune of no repaint into a new character happened. Wreckloose was the rare one and done mold in Transformers that happens less often than you can imagine. I could assume it was due in part to the movie line originally being planned to follow Cybertron immediately (but didn't), but will just chalk it up to another bad decision based on no factual evidence and not ever working in the toy industry. Though later the mold did resurface in discount store releases.

Several Cybertron and Energon figures found their way back onto shelves with minor differences via discount store releases. Initially this was under the Universe banner, but shorty after the live action movies it was just 'Transformers'. For a brief moment in time Transformers were just called Transformers and it was glorious. Wreckloose was re-released around 2010 with minor paint differences in these discount store packages. He could be found on a standard card normally, though a boxed gift set with him included did pop up. The toy is largely the same as his Cybertron release with a few minor paint detail differences.

While the original toy's fiction was limited to his bio (he sets traps) setting him in the Cyberverse story, the re-release didn't really put him anywhere other than your local Family Dollar. Though years later, he was a bit character in Fun Publications fan club fiction in the Beast Wars: Uprising story line. Eventually, the obviously a freaking Beast Wars found his way into some sort of freaking Beast Wars setting. Because holy crap it was a freaking Beast Wars toy that somehow didn't come out until Cybertron and don't you tell me otherwise because dammit it's a fucking Beast Wars toy with a shoehorned gimmick.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Transformers manga volume 1!


One of the more exciting news to hit during my (much needed) holiday break was official translations of classic Transformers manga! I've read several scans of fan translated strips over the years and finally owning it myself is really exciting! According to various news outlets it's due out in winter and one source even claiming February 2020. I'm sure there will be tons of gross affiliate links to preorders in due time, but if you're like me, you'll be able to find a copy to order without any trouble.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Snowcats chase Snowmen's scarfs

With July the 4th just around the corner (actually tomorrow, but I couldn't figure out a clever way to start this post), I can't help but to think about GI JOE. It just goes with the holiday, ya know? There's been a number of Transformers and GI JOE crossovers over the years and with just due. The two series are forever linked, not just fictionally, but Transformers essentially came from GI JOE. One of my favorite crossover figures (more of a homage I guess) was from Energon. Snow Cat was a Decepticon that turned into the Snow Cat.

The Snow Cat was and is by far my favorite GI JOE vehicle. Just a cool all terrain truck thing decked out in missiles for those missions where the JOE's needed to go somewhere deep in the snow and kill the hell outta it. When I first saw Energon Snow Cat, I was absolutely ecstatic. At the time such a thing was unheard of, dreamed of maybe, but not heard of. If you dared spoke of it, you'd be told how ridiculous and stupid of an idea it was by somebody allergic to air conditioning. That same person later said it was the exact thing they've always wanted and Hasbro should have already made before having some sort of problem when ordering from Subway. I hate that guy.

On the cartoon, Snow Cat was a reformatted Cyclonus for some reason. In robot mode Snow Cat has fold down ski's and can hold his missiles as ski poles... he can ski and he did so in space and it was just majestic. Outside of the silliness of the ski gimmick, he was a pleasantly chunky robot with solid proportions and articulation. The back mounted missile rack could fold over his shoulders for an attack mode. In white with grey and burgundy highlights, Snow Cat was a good looking toy. One of my favorite touches was his windshield wipers could move and even had molded in frost that was cleared away by the wipers, like in the original GI JOE toy.
A little later in Universe, Snow Cat got a repaint in a really nice black and orange deco that looked great! Though personally I has hoped for Tiger Force version (and considering Fun Publications involvement in things, it's weird that it never happened), but I suppose one could argue that this is the Night Force version... though that one never happened... aside from this I suppose. Regardless of versions and which ones, the deco looks really good on the toy. I almost wish it was a different character as in these colors, Snow Cat looks less like a polar expedition vehicle and more like a cool sci fi military thing. I could see Monarch or the Science Team rolling around in this.

Snow Cat was an imaginative toy in a time when Transformers brought more original ideas to the table in each line. While I don't have any complaints about modern Transformers, things like Snow Cat are the kind of thing I'd love to see more of. Just something that was neat, fun, and homaged Transformers older brother in a unique way.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Transform Squadron 11: Destroy


Rob talk's Stranger Things 3, Halloween decorations at At Home, SEGA Mini Goodness, New Godbeast and Battle Tribes waves, and Walgreen's Siege and Power Rangers exclusives!