Wednesday, 19 October 2016
As a child the one figure I could never convince any unwitting family member to buy me was Scattershot. I had all of the limb bots as they are easier purchases to keep a 6 year old quiet, but Scattershot, nope - that one eluded me. The only time I ever managed to build Computron was because a friend at school (who I also appeared with in a 1980's Boots catalogue) had one and I coveted that toy almost as much as Hardhead.
It's always the toys you don't own.
Combiner Wars may have died but Hasbro and Takara both managed to get two drastically different takes on the Technobots out - both with their own strengths and weaknesses. Takara drew my attention because of the extra lengths they went to with the remoulding and also the paint job that was so delicious it made me buy bags of Skittles to chomp whilst I waited. But is it worth the wait? Or the extra outlay over the much cheaper Hasbro alternative?
Continue after the jump to see a lot of pictures and the full review
Thursday, 13 October 2016
When Don Figueroa decided he wanted to redesign all of the Transformers for IDW's ongoing Transformers series it didn't go well. Marrying the G1 characters with live action movie style hyper detailed designs produced characters that lacked charm or personality and instead look like Rodimus Prime and Springer probably fought them off in one of Daniel's nightmares.
But one design that emerged that fans seemed to take to was Optimus Prime's new form. Mixing G1 with a modern aesthetic but skipping the Bay influence that smotherd the others, it had a certain Gundam quality that made it slightly more palatable.
When Hasbro started knocking out new figures for Combiner Wars, that design felt like it would be the natural choice as Hasbro had been leaning heavily on IDW for inspiration (including a legends sized Optimus that was based on the comics) but they went for something far stranger.
One great guy decided to change that and set about creating a series of epic shapeways upgrade kits to modify Combiner Wars Voyager Optimus Prime and greatly improve him and eventually a third party joined him to produce the subject of today's article - the Primo Vitalis upgrade kit.
Continue after the jump to see the review
Tuesday, 4 October 2016
Ah 1987. Walk Like an Egyptian, Dirty Dancing, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (UK!), Beverly Hills Cop 2, visible Nike Air bubbles, Predator, Rick Astley and Michael Fish getting the weather forecast very wrong, Oh to have a time machine.
Fast forward 29 years and Hasbro have decided to take us on a trip in the metaphorical way back machine with redo's of that years Transformers gimmick - the Headmasters.
Titan's Return is really in it's pomp with the second wave of deluxe class figures. Chromedome, Highbrow, Mindwipe, two of which at least were in that theoretical list of characters no one ever expected to see get a modern update at retail. Yet here they are, and completing the wave is Wolfwire....wait - who?! Wolfwire is actually G1 Weirdwolf rocking a brand new bod. Hasbro must have lost the trademark and I would love to know who pinched it and what for. My fingers are crossed it's a prog rock band.
Wolfwire is the subject of today's article and if you would like to read more then Head On past the jump.
Friday, 16 September 2016
If you ask most people to name 5 Transformers "the white Porsche one" will usually follow Optimus Prime, Megatron and Starscream. Yet here we are an there is still no sign and of an official Masterpiece Jazz from Takara, and even third parties had shown an unusual reluctance to touch him.
Now that reluctance has worn off and Generation Toy have stepped up and taken the first shot at Jazz with the brazenly named "J4ZZ". A Masterpiece style Jazz in design, but with a modern aesthetic that is sure to divide people.
Generation Toy is not a company I am familiar with, having skipped their Constructicons and Stunticons as I'm not a fan of their particular aesthetic, but thanks to TFS Express, I got the chance to put a review sample of J4ZZ through it's paces.
The main question I find myself asking is: do I refer to him as J4zz or J4ZZ....continue after the jump to find out the answer to this burning question. And see the review of course
Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Titans Return is off and running, focusing on a very specific era of the Transfomers - the 1987 Headmasters. Takara's Transformers Legends line takes the same Titans Return figures and puts them through the Headmasters cartoon blender to bestow them with more accurate colours, better paint and a teensy bit more polish - but the main lure is the completely different faces Takara have sculpted.
Drink it in man, we are getting updates of all the original Headmasters. Buckle up, I've got a feeling that this is the start of a wonderful nostalgic odyssey.
The full article follows after the jump
Thursday, 11 August 2016
Ever since I was a kid, there was something more alluring about a Decepticon commando group, that was effectively an evil A-Team.
Brawl is Mr T
Vortex is HM Murdoch
Onslaught is obviously Hannibal
Swindle is Face
Blast Off is....errr...Frankie Santana - the forgotten member of the A-Team from the final season.
Sweetening the deal was the appeal of a combiner with the most unique team members. Every single vehicle was completely in contrast to the others which made for a brilliant dynamic in my mind. It was everything you wanted as a kid when you were limited to what other people would buy you and whilst you wanted a complete team - you also wanted to experience different toys.
Now they have shown up Unite Warriors with a colours based off a 30 something year old animation, and brand new Blast Off figure that is not just Slingshot dipped into a can of brown Dulux. Of all the sets released in Combiner Wars, this is the one that has turned out the most different when making it's way over to Unite Warriors. Controversially in some cases.
Hit the button below to read on
Monday, 18 July 2016
It's almost two years since I reviewed Ollie. X-Transbots take on a Masterpiece styled Wheelie, came and went in a hail of criticism, flimsy plastic and broken dreams and whilst it was a decent figure, it felt like an almost criminal waste of some fantastic ideas.
Fast forward (classic 80's VHS tape static lines and all) to 2016 and X-Transbots have taken Ollie back to the drawing board in an effort to do the wee rhyming fella justice.
TFS Express kindly sent over a very early prototype to demonstrate some of the improvements, which we are going to be taking a look at today.
Roll tape! (or continue after the jump to see the full article)
Tuesday, 5 July 2016
When I first clapped eyes on Maketoys Pandinus, I was thrilled to see a figure not trying to force itself to look a certain way to fit a space on your shelf. I saw a toy brimming with possibilities and imagination. The eye watering price tag instantly took it back out of my mind as quickly as it had popped in there.
Fast forward a few months and the kind folks over at Kapow Toys asked if I fancied borrowing a Pandinus to take a look at. A few weeks later and the largest box I have ever received was walking up my driveway.
Continue after the jump to see the full review.
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Me and Sandstorm go way back. In the mid 80's I became obsessed with owning his Generation 1 figure, actually obsessed. When my Gran finally relented and offered to buy me the toy (she was always the easiest relation to convince that a new toy would change my life), it felt like the end of the end of Return of the Jedi. So of course when I finally got to the shop I promptly changed my mind and got something else instead. Something so memorable I have no recollection of what it was. Hmph.
All these years later and I still haven't scratched that near 30 year old Sandstorm itch, so when the kind folks at TFS Express offered to send me Unique Toys take on the character, Sworder, I jumped at the chance to possibly finally lay that old ghost to rest.
Unique Toys have produced some solid work of late, aiming to grab space on your shelf with the recent Buzzing (Blurr) and Provider (Octane) all being well received.
So how will Sworder stand up to those? Continue after the jump to read the review
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Haven't we been here before? I feel like we have.
For years Reflector has been a criminally under utilised character within Transformers, but here we have the third attempt from a third party manufacturer in under a year, Having reviewed the previous two, today I complete the Tri-Force and bring you an article taking a look at a test shot of The Opticlones from Keith's Fantasy Club.
Usual caveat of "this is a test shot so may not fully reflect the final product" applies and thanks to TFS Express for loaning me this test shot.
Read on after the jump to see the review
Sunday, 15 May 2016
Truck, F1 car, Police car, Porsche, Jeep.
Ask any 80's kid to reel off Transformers vehicle modes they remember and each of those will be right at the top of the list. Originally planned to fulfil the role Bumblebee ultimately did, Hound's alt mode is iconic where his character is not. In fiction he's never really done a great deal or been deeply fleshed out, despite being one of the most popular characters. Sad really.
Despite being in the full sway of the Masterpiece carnival, Takara have yet to give us an official Hound. Of course it was only a matter of time before a third party would step in with the tonic for our impatience, and here we have Willis, Fanstoys first step into the Masterpiece style carbot arena that everyone seems to want to be in.
He comes loaded with stuff, so much stuff, and as a Hound fan I have high hopes. Very high hopes. Unreasonably high hopes.
Continue after the jump to see the review, and please keep in mind that this is a test shot.
Tuesday, 3 May 2016
At every opportunity since, Hasbro has been asked if we were ever going to see this toy and after originally feigning ignorance, and talking about Rook - they've cracked and given us what we want as part of this years May Mayhem promotion that last year gave us Quickslinger (Slingshot) and Brake-Neck (Wildrider).
People - we won *cue We are the Champions*
Last week the brilliant people at Kapow Toys sent me the Hasbro Asia's release of the mold,which should be the same as Hasbro US's, to check out.
Continue after the jump to see the review and just how much enthusiasm I can exude for this toy.
Thursday, 28 April 2016
Regular readers will have noticed I love the heck out of upgrading my Combiner Wars figures. Hasbro get so close but sometimes they could do with a little extra nudge to get them over the line.
Perfect Effect have ruled the Combiner Wars upgrade kit landscape with several kits for each combiner released thus far, and even a kit for one that hasn't. This set is one of two they've released for Devastator and features a few bits and bobs and the fabled cab cover that should cure Mixmaster of his "I make a tiny foot" affliction.
Keep reading after the jump to see the review
Friday, 22 April 2016
As a kid I had a special love for the G1 Insecticons and they are the one group where my fondness leans far more to their original toys rather than the cartoon. Whenever new toys of the G1 Insecticons show up in any form - Liam's eyes go large. Kickback more than any of the others has always been in my top 10 Transformers list for oh....*checks watch*...about 30 years.
So what do we have here, in this box kindly sent along by TFS Express (via Maz)? Well, that would be a test shot of Forager - Fanstoys take on a Masterpiece Kickback. The first two member of the group were big hits and Grenadier almost single handedly turned me around on Fanstoys with his big lump of angry faceplated evil.
I have high hopes, I hope you can tell. If not, I am telling that I have high hopes.
Continue after the jump to see the review
*Please remember that this is a test shot so may feature issues that are not found on the final figure
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
It was the 90's. Hyper colour t shirts and Spandau Ballet were out, Bermuda Shorts and Right Said Fred were in. Hasbro took this time to launch a reboot of it's flagging Transformers brand with Generation 2 which subsequently became notorious for flipping the colour schemes of existing characters into crazy, bright, Skittle like affairs.
With repaint options for 2016's Combiner Wars line slowly being exhausted, it was inevitable that Hasbro would cast flirtatious glances towards G2 in an effort to squeeze as many extra pennies from our pockets as possible. G2 Aerialbot and Stunticon sets were announced much to the surprise of no-one - but delight of everyone.
After debating buying it for several weeks, Morgan from Masterforce kindly borrowed me the Generation 2 repaint of the Combiner Wars Stunticons to review, which is an homage to the planned Stunticon set which never made it to market.
So put the sunglasses on, sit back and check out the review after the jump
Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Owned and operated by just a single bloke, Nonnef Productions is the one man band of third party Transformer groups. Combiner Wars has already generated a ton of upgrade kits from a multitude of companies and now Nonnef has joined the fray, offering a piecemeal approach that might just take some pressure off your bank account and not leave you paying for excess parts you don't want.
Today we will be looking at foot upgrades, waist fixers and even pointier antenna that aim to make your toys better.
Keep reading after the jump to see the article.
Sunday, 6 March 2016
Many months ago Morg from Masterforce kindly sent me a box of goodies to inspect which included both a test shot of DX9's Rodimus Prime-a-like, Carry, along with the finished product to compare it to. However a bit of real life stuff got in the way causing this article to get shoved so far back that I had to whistle to entice it out of hiding.
So I present to you a semi review of DX9's Studio Ox inspired Rodimus Prime - Carry, which is mostly a comparison article that may wander off into talk of sorcery and possibly Wizards. Let's go find some differences.
Continue after the jump to see the rest of this long delayed article.
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
As Combiner Wars enters its death throes, it manages to throw out that most completely left field of character updates- Sky Lynx!
As a toy which was never released over here in the UK, I have always had a fascination with Sky Lynx. When Hasbro announced a Combiner Wars Sky Lynx it seemed like a great chance to tick that one off the bucket list. When they subsequently revealed there was no separate Lynx mode, I could finally empathise with how that poor bloke in Temple of Doom felt when Mola Ram reached into his chest and ripped his heart out.
But how did it actually turn out? Hit the button below to read the review.
Thursday, 11 February 2016
Across the oceans, in far away lands there are people able to walk into shops and are able buy cool little curio toys for little more than the cost of a Greggs pasty, a packet of Monster Munch and bottle of Cherry Coke.
Imagine that right?
Q Transformers is a line that embodies this and appeared in late 2014 having since spanned both the live action movies and Generation One eras of Transformers with toys you can buy for less than a fiver in Japan. Inspired by the original Choro-Q line (Penny Racers to those of us in the West), they are small, super deformed transforming figures designed purely for extreme awesomeness. At least that's how I imagine the pitch went at Takara towers.
Anyway now Q-Transformers QTF05 Ultra Magnus is in my hand how do I feel about it?
Click below to read on
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Twas two nights before Christmas, that the lovely people at TFS Express dropped a test shot of FansToys FT-11 Spotter onto my door step.
Spotter is FansToys latest release and is an homage to Generation One Decepticon voyeur Reflector, a character who Takara and Hasbro have little love for.
Instead of just doing a stand alone review, as I had originally intended, this article will compare and contrast it with the Maketoys Visualizers who not long ago I was casting loving glances at, besotted with an integrated transformation of the camera lens that seemed like witchcraft.
Three weeks later there have been opinion changes with wallet shattering consequences.
Remember this is a test shot and may feature issues not found on the final figure. Please keep that in mind and hit the button below to see the review.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
One of my favourite toys of 2015 was Fanstoys Grenadier so it's quite fitting that the toy we are looking at today is a test shot of the next release in Fans Toys unofficial Masterpiece Insecticons - FT-13 Mercenary. This didn't come from Santa Claus, but rather the equally generous, festive folks over at tfs express.
Which is handy because Santa would have been disappointed that I'd already eaten all of the cookies....
Disclaimer: This is a test shot so may have issues or quirks that are not representative of the final product. But if you don't care about that - read on.
Saturday, 19 December 2015
If you collect Transformer then chances are you have crossed paths with at least one of the hundreds of uses of the Masterpiece seeker mold at one point or another in your life. Whether it be the original MP-03 version or the updated, more cartoon accurate MP-11 remold this mold has been around the block several times, popped into the newsagents, grabbed a Racing Post and done another lap for good luck.
Never does it become boring though as each of the original three Seekers was so distinct in personality that you don't feel like you are just buying a cheap repaint - even though that is exactly what you are doing.
MP-11T completes the group finally, and gives us Thundercracker, who has recently evolved from just being one of Megatrons go to henchmen into a character who isn't really a villain and loves Earth soap operas....awesome.
Hit the button below to see the review
Friday, 13 November 2015
X-Transbots have been facing a rising tide of criticism as each release as drawn more and more criticism over poor quality control. I reviewed Ollie yonks, and quite liked him but there were so many problems with that poorfeall that it me off buying more X-Transbots figures. I handled Apolloyon, but when I'm are too scared to transform a toy because a hinge looks like it is dying to snap - I know it's not for me.
The latest figure in their line of Masterpiece styled transforming robots is Andras, a name which calls to mind the final boss from Starwing rather than a Blue Space boat called Scourge. Andras is intended to be a fresh start from X-Transbots,a signal that they have gotten all of their production problems in hand and they are a thing of a past.
But does it live up to that promise? Can it win people over?
The kind folks over at TFs Express have kindly sent along a production sample of X-Transbots Andras for usto take a look at, and see if we can answer the many questions hanging over it. So click below to see the full review.
Sunday, 8 November 2015
FansToys have become the go to company for third party versions of Masterpiece styled Transformers of late, with slavish recreations of G1 characters that we have not seen official releases for, with a level of accuracy that almost no other third party has been able to achieve. Yet somehow, this is only the first figure of theirs that I have owned?
Fans Toys FT-12T Grenadier (to give him his full name) dropped through the post the other week and finally gave me the Insecticon presence on my Masterpiece shelf that I have craved for so long. The Insecticons were a special group of toys to me as a child, with their own distinctive style and the fact they looked quite like their television counterparts.
So does Grenadier live up to the job of Insecticons mad scientist?
Continue after the jump to see the review
Sunday, 18 October 2015
|Perfect Effect PC04 Combiner Wars Menasor upgrade kit|
Wahey, I'm back, dusting off the blog and resurrecting it from the dead (it wasn't dead). It has been a quiet month or two of toy buying- much to the delight of my bank account. Now things seem to be rolling again in the "Liam likes this enough to buy it" stakes, so there is probably going to be quite a slew of new articles on here as we hit November.
As Depeche Mode said - "I just can't get enough"
So what do we have here? An upgrade kit for Combiner Wars Menasor? Yikes.
Perfect Effect are the self appointed saviours of Combiner Wars. Busying themselves knocking out upgrade kits for each of Hasbro's combiners released thus far.
I reviewed the hands and feet sets here, and was not completely impressed by them. Then Perfect Effect moved away from the extremities and into the torsos of the first two Combiners with kits that didn't grab me for the longest time.
Clearly I have been swayed.
Hit the button below to see the full review