Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review: Titans Return Misfire

Titans Return Misfire Review


Misfire hails from the late 80's era of Transformers when the franchise took a sharp turn into super futuristic sci-fi. Not that Aliens style military sci-fi that touched all our hearts with it's Pulse Rifles, quotable lines and sweet ass Reebok's, but way more imaginative stuff that could have been mistaken for a video game shoot-em-up.

Originally designated a Targetmaster, Misfire has dropped the transforming robot gun and earned a transforming robot head for his new, heavily G1 influenced toy as part of the Titans Return line.

But is it as awesome as it looks? Has Titans Return hit a new peak?

Continue after the jump to find out

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Micro Review: Shadow Fisher SF-M03 & SF-M04 upgrade kits for Masterpiece Ironhide and Ratchet

Shadow Fisher SF-M03 & SF-M04 upgrade kits for Masterpiece Ironhide and Ratchet package

We can't say as Transformers fans that we don't have companies catering to our many whims. If third parties aren't adjusting colour schemes or details on their own figures to suit feedback, they have their ears to the ground ready to fix whatever we don't like about official figures. Shadow Fisher are a company that appear to specialise in just such upgradery, following their impressive Combiner Wars Devastator upgrade kit with a new set designed to ease the gripe many folks seemed to have with the hip panels Masterpiece Ironhide and Ratchet dared to wear like a Rob Liefeld pouch fest.

Read on to find out whether or not they truly add the finishing touch to an already cracking pair of figures.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Review: Toyworld TW-M08 Wavebreak

Toyworld wavebreak review

If Optimus Prime is a blockbuster movie, Seaspray is the obscure Argentinian shoe lace making documentary that Mark Kermode tries to convince you is more worthy of your time.

Weird, non militarised, carrying a weight problem and fond of romancing the occasional "Tlalakan" he's something of an oddity amongst a line of robots focused on war. Seaspray occupies a different space in Transformers for me, he's just wonderfully at odds with so much of the Transformers mythos. So I was easily swayed into buying my first ever Toyworld figure when they released Wavebreak, their take on the first Masterpiece style version of the character.

Exciting eh? Maybe not, but continue after the jump to see the full article.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

MechFansToys 07 Galvontron review

galvatron vs unicron


"Behold - Galvontron". Wait, that's not how it goes. 

Third parties are leaning ever closer to Hasbro's trademarked names without ever jabbing their flag right in the face, and Galvontron is comically close to the character it's intended to be - Galvatron. Mechfanstoys like to prove they don't discriminate when it comes to knocking off toys, this time pinching a fellow third parties figure in the form of DX9's Tyrant. But making it better.

Does better mean different enough to not feel shady? Read on to find out.

Perfect Effect PC-15 Legends Super Ginrai upgrade kit review

perfect effect pc-15 jinrai upgrade kit review


Perfect Effect carved out a pretty decent niche as the go to guys for upgrade kits during Combiner Wars and now they've set their sights on Titans Returns which will please many people who hate keeping hold of money. like myself. Their latest attempt to aggrandise a figure falls on Takara's Marmite flavoured bot - Legends Super Ginrai. Or Hasbro's Powermaster Optimus Prime. It works on both so go with whatever you fancy. 

Continue after the jump to see the full review

Monday, 27 February 2017

Titans Return Broadside Review

titans return broadside review

Generation One Broadside is a toy I vividly remember getting and not for a good reason. A rare example of a Transformer purchase where I felt I'd made the wrong call and instantly regretted, but was seduced by being able to get something new and the gamble didn't pay off.

30 odd years later would those feelings remain with an updated toy in the Titans Return toyline?

Continue on after the jump to see the full review and find out

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Titans Return Perceptor Review

titans return perceptor review
Titans Return Perceptor review...sighted

In the early 80's Takara released a line of toys called "Micro Change" which was centered around 1:1 scale objects. Hasbro would later fold many of the toys from it into its Transformers line with many several of the franchises most iconic characters being drawn from it. A micro cassette recorder would later go on to be Soundwave, Megatron was pulled from one of the gun toys, a camera would split into three bots to become Reflector and so on and so on.

Hasbro continued to rummage around in Takara's toolbox and found the Microscope robot from Micro Change who would then be reborn as Perceptor - the Autobots science guy.

Now, 30 something years later Hasbro have returned to the character in the Titans Return line with a brand new figure that feels for all the world that it wants to take on a journey back into the past.

Continue on after the jump to see the full review

Monday, 6 February 2017

Maketoys MTRM-09 Downbeat review

Maketoys Downbeat review
Maketoys MTRM-09 Downbeat

The Masterpiece Jazz wars were always an inevitability and the only question was - when?

Unquestionably one of the most iconic and popular Transformers it's amazing it's taken this long. Good news is, it seems in 2017 we are about be inundated with claims to the throne from a variety of companies. Toyworld have got one imminently due for reason, Maketoys have just released one Fanstoys have teased one, Hova is allegedly still happening and Generation Toys  released a modern IDW themed take at the tail end of last year....so there's a lot of choice competing for that coveted dusty spot on your shelves.

Downbeat is the first Jazz of 2017 and Maketoys next entry in their excellent RE:Master line that sees them put their signature anime robot style on to Masterpiece style figures. It's also a figure I largely ignored until about a week before it was released, at which point it became something I needed more than food and water.

So does it live up to the hype?

Continue on after the jump to see the full review

Monday, 23 January 2017

Titans Return Legends Sharkticon Gnaw review

Transformers Titans Return legends Sharkticon Gnaw review

I am starting to think we've moved into some bizarre alternate timeline. Away from all the political strife and weirdness like Wayne Rooney breaking Manchester United's all time scoring record, Hasbro have continued to sprinkle Titans Return with obscure characters we never thought we'd see get updated figures or at least not so close to their vintage counterparts.

Triggerhappy is the toy equivalent of Carlos Alberto's glorious goal against Italy in the World Cup Final, Hardhead, shades of Maradonna's non punchy goal against England, Twinferno is Michael Owen racing through the entire Argentinian side in France, Wolfwire the majestic controlled finish of  Bergkamp vs Argentina, Skullmasher the time bending Poborski lob over a hapless Portuguese keeper in Euro 96. Only Getaway has been a bit of a Baggio-esque USA 94 penalty miss.

Now, we have a brand new Sharkticon toy. Leaked as a potential release a few years back in the Generations line, Gnaw has finally rocked up in the midst of one of the most fun periods for collectors in many years.

But is it worth the wait?

Continue on after the jump to see the full review

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Beelzeboss Spiritual Leadership Combiner Wars Optimus Prime upgrade kit review

Beelzeboss Spiritual Leadership review

Am I seeing things? Is this real? Beelzeboss Spiritual Leadership kit has actually been released...as is sat on my desk?

Announced mid way through 2015, if memory serves, this upgrade kit for Combiner Wars Optimus Prime caught my attention with how it dealt with that toys myriad problems. New clothes, better proportions and a simple installation process all offered something that seemed enticing even at a price that was almost twice the cost of the actual figure. It even has a funny, cult like name to boot.

So now it's here does it live up to that promise?

To see the full article click the button below and continue past the jump


Monday, 9 January 2017

Transformers Legends LG-35 Super Ginrai review


Transformers Legends LG-35 Super Ginrai review

As a self confessed Powermaster Optimus Prime fanboy as soon as Takara announced Legends LG-35 Super Ginrai was coming, it instantly became my most wanted toy ever in history this month.

I've obsessed over every picture, every snippet of information and every bit of speculation and rumour no matter how bonkers. I needed it. And now, away from the death dealing, society crushing year that was 2016 - I actually have the toy in my hands. I feel drunk without having drunk the faintest tipple.

So now I have it in my sweaty palms, is it everything I hoped it would be? At import prices does it live it to all of the hopes and dreams I placed on it? Are the feet really that weird?

Find out the answers to all those questions and more in the review!

Continue after the jump to see the review

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Nonnef Trivia review, plus a look at Ironhide and Ratchet hip kibble upgrades

nonnef Ironhide & Ratchet Hip Kibble Fix

Nonnef productions has cornered the market in piece meal  add on's and upgrades over the last year or so. From combiner feet to hip ratchets they've had you covered. Now we are back to Masterpiece with something that should satisfy a small section of Transformers fans - hip panel removal parts for Masterpiece Ironhide and Ratchet

But that's not all!

One of the early things Nonnef showed off was actually their own figure - Trivia. Now, you and me, we would know him as MTMTE Rewind and Nonnef has finally shipped the little guy out which means he gets to feature in today's double review.

I am currently suffering through a very bad case of Bronchitis so am dosed up on various medications and generally feeling awful. But it's Christmas so I am also drinking Rum and a crafty Snowball to get through this. But don't tell Santa Clause - I wouldn't want to make his naughty list.

To see the full article click the button below and continue past the jump

Monday, 21 November 2016

Transformers Masterpiece MP-11NT Thrust Review

Transfomers masterpiece Thrust MP-11NT  review
Masterpiece Thrust is the boogeyman and he's in your nightmares, Spike

A Takara Tomy Mall exclusive, which basically means "bloody expensive", Masterpiece Thrust is the second of the original cone heads to get a Masterpiece figure following the much troubled Ramjet. Beset by quality control problems, Ramjet put me off pre-ordering Thrust right until the final week when I buckled and consoled myself with "well, at least there's only one more to go", which is a crazy thought process when you consider just how much money these Masterpiece cone heads will set you back.

Takara's Masterpiece seeker mould is old hat at this point and the thought of going over it again has prompted me to have a rummage through the kitchen drawers for as much paracetamol as I could find, buried beneath expired light bulbs, batteries, novelty pens, World Cup 2010 football stickers and instruction books for a bread maker that I don't think has been in our house since somewhere circa 2013. I did find the adapter for my football pump though - so that's a win.

So did Thrust surprise and finally make good on all the promise of that Masterpiece seeker mould we are all getting quite sick of, or did he validate our worst fears and turn out a horrible mess?

Continue after the jump to see the full review of Transformers MP-11NT Masterpiece Thrust



Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Wei Jiang Reaver - Oversized KO Toyworld Shinebug

wei jiang reaver review
Wei Jiang Reaver

As a crumpet eating Brit, China can sometimes look like a crazy lawless place. From the outside looking in it appears that everything there is a fake version of something that costs us an arm and a leg over here. Even the cars.

Third party manufactures, long a moral battle ground amongst much of the fandom, are no longer immune to this and face the same problems as Hasbro and Takara do from companies knocking off their toys. Case in point is today's article on Wei Jiang's Reaver. Beginning life as Shinebug, Toyworld produced him as an homage to G1 Goldbug who himself was the resurrected form of Bumblebee. I'm going cross eyed.

As someone who usually doesn't buy KO's this is an interesting one for me so I figured it was worth doing a mini review. Literally (ha, I keep making that joke).

To see the full article click the button below and continue past the jump

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Transformers UW-08 Unite Warriors Computron review

unite warriors computron review
Unite Warriors Computron review
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. Now we have Unite Warriors Computron. 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 of Unite Warriors Computron

Thursday, 13 October 2016

S.N.D Primo Vitalis Combiner Wars Optimus Prime upgrade kit review

SND Primo Vitalis review

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 - SND's Primo Vitalis upgrade kit.

Continue after the jump to see the review

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Titans Return Wolfwire & Monxo Review

Titans Return wolfwire review

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.

Titans Return 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

Generation Toy GT-04 J4ZZ Review

generation toy j4zz review

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 Generation Toy's J4ZZ through it's paces.

The main question I find myself asking is: do I refer to him as J4zz, J4ZZ or even Jazz....continue after the jump to find out the answer to this burning question. And see the review of course

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Takara Legends LG-21 Hardhead Review

takara legends lg 21 hardhead review

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

Unite Warriors - UW-07 - Bruticus Review

Unite Warriors Bruticus review
Unite Warriors Bruticus Review

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 in 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 the full Unite Warriors Bruticus review

Monday, 18 July 2016

X-Transbots Ollie V2 early prototype


x-transbots ollie review


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

Maketoys City Bot Series MCB03 Pandinus review

Maketoys pandinus review

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 of Maketoys mighty Pandinus!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Unique Toys Y03 Sworder Review


unique toys y03 sworder

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 Unique Toys Sworder stand up to those? Continue after the jump to read the review


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

KFC E.A.V.I. Metal Phase Five Opticlones review

keiths fantasy club opticlones review

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 full Keiths Fantasy Club KFC Opticlones review!


Sunday, 15 May 2016

Fanstoys FT15 Willis Review

fanstoys ft15 willis masterpiece hound review

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 full review of Fanstoys Willis, and please keep in mind that this is a test shot.