Transformers: The Cybertronian Enquirer 07/31/07

Opening Salvo

Another week another CE; we have your first look at the new animated toys as well as the fall assortment of movie figures. Get ready because it’s time to Transform!

Toys: What I got, what they got, and some news too

I just know that when I post this my MP3 player Soundwave will be delivered. Well expect a review of him next week. Other than that things have been pretty lean on the TF front for me. Although I do have a public service announcement for all GI Joe collectors out there; apparently the new 25th anniversary figures feature a new leg design that makes it impossible for them to sit properly. I’ve heard a Dremel to the crotch works wonders but that’s up to you.

Well the big news coming out of SDCC besides the surprisingly fast time that Titanium Menasor sold out was the first look at the new wave of Transformer Classics and the final waves of the Movie toys. A full gallery of the new figures can be found here.

Along with the Aqua Convoy the next Nike Shoeformer will be none other than Starscream. It is unclear at this time if he will have a remolded head since all photos thus far have been of a test mold with a scarred face.

There is a rumor going around that the 6” Titanium line will become a Target exclusive. It’s not clear at this time if that means the new figures will be sold exclusively at Target or that previous waves will be re-released.

Since the release of the movie line Hasbro has sold over Transformers. Now the article I read doesn’t break it down by line but either way you look at it that’s a lot of toys. I wonder if that includes figures that had to be returned due to defective molds and re-bought.

Remember those protoform toys of Optimus Prime and Starscream? Well they are being remolded in clear plastic for the C3 Hobby convention in Japan. Hopefully they will also take the time to fix the small bugs that the molds had.

Finally the Universe Seacons will see the light of day thanks to the Transformers Collectors club. I sure hope this set includes all the members of the Seacons and all the parts since I know the last time a set of these guys were released in Japan one of the figures was removed, (the original Seacon team consisted of six figures; five of whom could switch being different limbs or hand-held weapons for Piranhacon), and it only came with the parts to form the larger robot; no weapons and none of the stands the smaller robots used to come with.

Apparently there is a small outcry in the UK over Burger King packaging toys for the Transformers movie in its’ kids meals. The problem stems from the fact that the movie is rated for people 13 years or older while kids meals are marketed for a much younger audience. This has happened for years and I don’t see why people are getting in an uproar over it now.

Those of you who have a Wii will be happy to know that now you can buy a case for your Wii remote adorned by various Transformer movie characters. I don’t have a Wii yet; I’m still waiting to get a new TV.

A few weeks back I reported on an Asian release of Real Gear two packs. Well the two sets will see a North American release and it appears that they might be a Wal-Mart exclusive.

Last week ended with an announcement from Sony that they had no plans at this time to release the score of Transformers the movie. Well I’m happy to report that by the time you read this the score might be available at your local retailer. Chandra Cogburn one of the co-composers who in an email to a video game site called Knight Source said that the score would be out soon just not sure when. This was followed up by listings for a soundtrack CD appearing on some comic distribution listings.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Transformer Fan: The New look to an old line

Well I’m sure you’ve all seen the new toys for the animated series, combine those with the movie line and you have a whole new look to classic characters, a change like this was last seen 10 years ago with Beast Wars.

But is this the right way to go?

I recently read an article online about the future of robotics in the US; the article mentioned that the boxy designs of 20 years ago are being replaced by more human and organic looking designs, like those seen in the movie I ROBOT. Thus it only makes sense that robotic toys would reflect that change, or does it? When I think of Transformers I think of larger than life robot warriors, not something that would resemble Hulk Hogan or Bruno Sammartino on stilts. While I think on a practical sense humanoid looking robots are better but on a Sci-Fi fantasy front we should stick with the boxy, or as I like to look at them, muscular designs of classic transforming toys like Optimus Prime, the VF-1S and Voltron.

But shouldn’t Mecha evolve with the times?

That same sentiment was expressed roughly 15 years ago when Grunge began to hit the airwaves. At the time many established artists were falling over themselves to update their sounds with disastrous results. This led to many bands taking a break for 10 years or so while ridding the wave out. Today the back catalogues of what are considered “Classic” bands sell the most out of anything put out by the major labels. Should this be a sign to Hasbro to not fully turn the corner? Remember that report I mentioned a few weeks back that said that Hasbro was going to refocus on its collectors market and re-launch the commemorative line? Perhaps the fall won’t be so bleak for old fogies like me. Sales will be the ultimate deciding factor in the direction that transforming Mecha goes so only time will tell.

Surfing The Space Bridges

What do you guys think of Hasbro releasing two concurrent lines of Transformers that are more linear looking? Is this the start of an entirely new direction in Transforming Mecha or a passing fad like the animal based robots of the Beast era?

The World Around Transformers

Well besides the fact that I’m pissed about having to go onto E-bay to get the SDCC Destros the big news of the week comes from the world of Macross. Yamato will be releasing a 1/60 scale YF-21 to compliment their previously released YF-19 some time in early 2008. The first two Macross molds created by Yamato were the YF-19 and 21 and while great at the time, fell far short of what they could be. The VF-0S will be re-released in September with a Ghost Booster. The first VF-0S was bogged down with several design flaws highlighted by extremely loose arms. This mold will correct all of these problems.

The VF-1J will be joining the Revolvotech line. The non-transformable action figure will come with Fast-Pack armor and interchangeable hands. BBTS has them scheduled for a September release.

Reprolabels have started to expand their line by doing stickers for the Gakken ride armors from the mid 80’s.

The Transformer Site(s) Of The Week

TFU.info is Back! After a year and a half the site has been updated with many more updates promised to follow. I’m really happy to see this site back since it is an invaluable tool to newbie TF collectors.

Parting Shots

Well that’s it for this week. Tune in next time when I reveal the cure for the common cold, maybe not.

The King of the Fanboys,

Charles

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