Transformers: The Cybertronian Enquirer 8/31/07

Opening Salvo

Another week is here and boy howdy am I glad. I got some news, some views, and a special review. Saddle up your robot ponies and ride out; it’s time to Transform!

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

First off, before we go any further, Alessandro is back from vacation with a new review that can be found here. Check it out when you get a chance.

I didn’t buy a blessed thing this week. Wow, how is it I’m avoiding the movie toys like the plague but still have stuff to pay for at BBTS? Ah yes, the 25th anniversary of GI Joe. Never mind.

Well the big news this week has been the rumors and speculation flying around about the eventual DVD release of “Transformers” on DVD. The rumored release date is October 16th and the formats will be HD-DVD and regular DVD only. Paramount has recently announced that they have dropped the Blue-Ray format for HD-DVD to the tune of $150 million in incentives. Now this is where things get interesting. Apparently Michael Bay was out to dinner with friends who are devout Blue-Ray owners looking forward to the TF movie on the home market. Bay came home to read Paramount’s decision online and immediately posted in his blog that he would not do “Transformers 2.” The next day after some sleep he quickly rescinded the previous days statement stating now he would like to do “Transformers 2.” It gets even better; apparently the next Hasbro franchise slated to get the movie treatment is obviously GI JOE. Well that movie is set for summer 2009 the same period as “Transformers 2” is expected to hit. Obviously Hasbro does not want its two moneymakers going head to head so the next Transformers might be delayed. Got all that? Well, there’s more; there is a writers strike looming in Hollywood, which may delay ALL projects Transformers and Joe alike. These are going to be an interesting next couple of years for TF fans. By the by, my money is on the GI Joe movie making more money than “Transformers” due to the fact that it is an older and more established franchise with an older fan base with a lot more $$$; if ya know what I mean.

The funky stuff going down at Wal-Mart has gotten a whole lot funkier. Besides re-issue Magnus they apparently had the first Wave of Encore Transformers in stock. By the time I got there they were already sold out but just to see a Walther PPK sitting there without a stupid orange cap made my heart tingle a little. For your 411 their prices are astronomical even compared to secondary market retailers like BBTS.

Don Figueroa posted some pictures over at Siebertron.com of Titanium War Within Grimlock. That’s not really the story; what is, is that Don is under the impression that this figure will never see the light of day. I have yet to see an official statement from Hasbro so I’m still going with the old news that WW Grimlock and WW Prowl were going to be the final two 6” TiT’s.

Hasbro is trying to unload the shelf warming SW/TF’s any way they can. Tie fighter Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi are being repainted and released as a two pack. Not sure yet if it is going to be a store exclusive or not but I’d put money on seeing these exclusively at TRU.

Remember the images of movie Megatron and Ratchet redone in metallic colors? Well shock of all shocks it appears that those two are going to be exclusives to Best Buy stores. I’ve also heard that a lot of Fanboys work at the chain so if this rumor turns out to be true make sure you get there early; things have a habit of disappearing.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Transformer Fan: The One That Got Away

Haven’t done this in awhile sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a boy and a toy.

Picture it. Whitestone NY. Somewhere between 2003 and 2004. I was in my local Target searching for whatever new Energon or Universe figures I could scrounge up. My sister was over in the Barbie isle looking for clothing sets she could buy then sell parts of online; ever the entrepreneur she is.

“Lets see” I said to myself. “I have all the Deluxes for this wave, ditto Voyager and Ultra’s; nothing here I really need.”

Then I saw it as I was looking up to the top of the shelves. A brand new Omega Supreme. I had to squelch a cheer of joy being surrounded by a gaggle of children and their parents. I couldn’t hold the second yelp when I looked next to Omega to discover a second Omega Supreme box; this time holding an Armada Unicron. A production error; could this be? I handled the box checking to make sure the seams were still intact; they were and the toy was still secured by twist ties. Anyway, I quickly found my sister and showed her the two boxes. By this point we were joined by many more children of various ages, and their parents who were giving me various degrees of dirty looks. A problem then presented itself; I didn’t have enough cash on me to cover the $50 expense. My sister lovingly agreed to front me the money understanding my concern that Omega may be here today, but gone tomorrow. I had a new dilemma; do I go for the new Omega Supreme or the collectable miss-packaged Unicron.

My desire to own a character I hadn’t seen in over ten years won out, compounded by my own concerns of this “mistake” being a scam. Later I would post about my finding at the board on TFU.info only to be told that it was probably a scam perpetrated by someone looking to make a quick buck. We made our way to the check out line; making sure of course that there was at least another Omega on the shelves for some bright young lad to claim, or in actuality for some collector to lay claim to. Omega was everything and more I thought he would be but I still couldn’t stop thinking about that Unicron. I found myself in that Target a week later and the shelves were bare of both Omega Supremes’ and the Unicron. To this day I still sometimes wonder, What if? Had I gone for the Unicron then would I be sitting on a gold mine or a dud now? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately due to the release of 10th anniversary Pimp Daddy Destro; a figure commemorating a production variant that was in stores long enough to have a cup of coffee. Was the miss-packaged Unicron my PDD? Sadly I’ll probably never know.

Deep huh? Everyone I’ve ever spoken to about the figure says it was a scam, I’ll just never be 100% sure ya know?

Surfing The Space Bridges

What was the one figure you saw either in a store or online and regret never getting? Did you try and find it later?

The World Around Transformers

Well it’s that time again; time for another Macross anniversary. The anime that started it all is turning 25 and to celebrate Yamato is releasing a special 1/48 scale VF-1S and an YF-19 done in black with 25th anniversary written in gold. The YF is included because the Macross Plus series brought Macross back into popularity. Ya know I just realized; the 10th, 15th, 20th, and now 25th anniversaries of Macross were acknowledged but people only cared about Transformers 20th? Anyway some fans are complaining that these designs are not anime accurate and such, well get them fast because only a limited number are going to be made and they’re going to go FAST.

Speaking of the YF-19 that’s what we’re going to look at today.

The basic plot of Macross Plus was a duel between two weapons firms trying to get the UN SPACY contract to produce new Veritech fighters. The YF-19 was flown by Isamu Dyson or however the heck he spelt his name. A little inside info; the YF-19 was the first Macross toy made by Yamato, they screwed up the first run and had to do a second edition to fix a tab issue. Both times they spelt Dysons’ name wrong on the sticker sheet.

The YF-19 has a really futuristic look completely removed from the old VF-1 line. The Valk may look a bit different since in these photos I have the optional Foldboster and armor on even though for the life of me I can’t remember seeing it used during the series.

This is a big jet; it is longer the VF-1 and 0 series of Valks, even though the VF-0’s come close to matching its size. The Foldboster set includes an additional figure and seat so you can turn the cockpit into a two-seater. The second pilot is supposed to be one of the members of the YF-19 design team.

I’ll get more into the armor when I go over the Valk in Gerwalk mode. Yeah, I get wayyyy more into the damn armor.

Sixty-Second Review

Transformers: Encore
Soundwave
MSRP:$49.99-$89.99 (Gotta love Wal-Mart)
OUT NOW

A few columns ago I brought you the joys of Commemorative series Soundwave, a blue repaint of Takara Collection Soundblaster who was a repaint/remold of G1 Soundwave. Well Takara has decided to restart their reissue line dubbing it Encore. Sure enough one of the first four figures to be released was none other than Soundwave.
Soundwave comes packaged in his classic G1 box with Laserbeak and all of his original accoutrements, sort of; ya see G1 Soundwave was first released in Japan with Rumble and a set of non-working headphones, then he was re-released with Buzzsaw in the packaging described above. Wait folks it gets even more confusing. See this is a re-release of Takara Collection Soundwave who was a retro-mold of Soundblaster. What does that mean? Well the original Soundwave/Cassetteman (his Diaclone name) mold was lost sometime between the late 80’s and early 90’s. This wasn’t realized until Takara began plans for the 20th anniversary of the Transformers. What they had to do was take the Soundblaster mold and retro fit a single cassette door on the double doorframe. Anyone with a legit G1 Soundwave would be able to tell the difference. Basically this is as close to a G1 Soundwave as we’re going to get for now on.
Transformation is as easy and fun as it ever was. If anything having a working missile launching gun makes things more interesting. The only complaint I have about this release doesn’t have to do with Soundwave at all; it has to do with his partner Laserbeak. The mold for Laserbeak has been used so many times that parts don’t fit together as snuggly as they should thus making it difficult for him to fit in Soundwave’s chest; which is the same problem that Commemorative Soundwave had. This is SMS taken to the nth degree. If you already own TFC Soundwave there really isn’t any reason to get the Encore version, in fact I feel the TFC is a better value for the money. On Elohim’s Energon ranking scale I give Encore Soundwave seven and a half cubes nothing new here.

Parting Shots

Well that’s it, tune in next time where I will share the secrets of love and meeting women; maybe.

The King of the Fanboys,

Charles



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