Whilst FFBB is primarily a TCG website, some weeks I just don’t have time to work on decks or have any events to cover, and I kind of expect a lot of readers to also be interested in the Transformers Generations toys anyway (especially since I feature a lot of toy photography in my articles). So this week I’m starting a casual series just talking about the latest toys in my collection, for the weeks where I’m otherwise too engaged with other things to focus on the TCG.
This has been a pretty stressful week – after seeing the tournament at Gaming vs Cancer sell out, about two or three days later it was suddenly looking like it’d get postponed and low and behold, that’s what happened on Friday. This is obviously the least of worries right now too; I’m sure many of you are undergoing all kinds of stress or anxiety. So right now is a good time to just chill and enjoy toys.
Plus, I’m still getting used to my new house, and the new lighting I have to shoot under; seems like a good opportunity to get used to the environment (what I’m saying is, mind the varying lighting in these photos!).
First up the first Earthrise figures in my collection – the new micromasters, and the legendary Soundbarrier. Once you get past Soundbarrier‘s neat concept (it’s a transformer… that becomes a ramp?), he’s a pretty bland transformer. He doesn’t so much turn into a ramp as he just has a ramp on his back. I guess we love him anyhow? A novel concept but now I’ve had him for a month I’m pretty weary of him.
The micromasters though are excellent and are a significant upgrade from the mostly loose jointed guys in Siege (although this twitter post freaked me out). The hot rod patrol are much more firm and just look more involved than the likes of Blackjack and Stakeout. That certainly doesn’t show in bot mode or in these pictures, but in their alt modes they look a lot more dynamic. Meanwhile the Decepticon military patrol might be some of my favourite micromasters yet; Bombshock (the green one) in particular just has everything going for him – great design, nice small paint details, stands well, doesn’t fall apart, actual decent toy.
I also picked up the last of the mainline micromasters from Siege; these guys are pretty good quality too. I need to clean the darker cloths I use for photography, my cat’s hair is all over this one.
The first decent sized Earthrise figure in my collection is Grapple; I’ve no interest in buying another Optimus Prime or Starscream, especially since I bought both last year in Siege. Grapple is… fine. I really enjoy his transformation, but the hysteria over his pegging is absolutely real and unpegging him was a stressful experience. I do recommend looking into filing those pegs, even though I haven’t bothered.
Seacons also started showing up; first up was Snaptrap and Skalor (I forget their new names, I know Skalor is Gulf but Snaptrap would require a tfwiki look up, and that’s just way too much effort for a toy roundup).
Snaptrap has a really bland looking alt mode but boy does he look absolutely fearsome in robot mode. He’s technically voyager-class but his pricing is leader-class and he does feel more in line with the Siege leader-class toys in that he is voyager plus stuff (lots of combiner kibble and weapons). Definitely happy with him despite the cost; though his feet struggle to bear the weight of all this.
Skalor has a fairly boring looking bot mode so he has been spending time in alt mode mostly; but it’s a great looking alt mode. The face in particular has just so much character to it.
But wait…. there’s more! Here’s guys 3 + 4 from the Seacons. Seawing (or Kraken as he is now called) is a toy I started off quite cold on but I’m warming up to him a fair bit, think I like him a lot more than his mould brothers Swoop and Cutthroat. The colour scheme just works a lot better and he feels sturdier than both.
Nautilator (now Lobclaw) might be my pick from the Seacons so far though, having nailed both the monster mode and the robot mode. He’s arguably less exciting than Skalor and Snaptrap in their best modes, but he is the best toy as a whole.
I’ve yet to combine these guys up with someone like Dreadwind or Blackwing; I think I’ll wait for Overbite and Tentakil to show up before concluding ‘the Seacon experience’.
These guys were an impuse buy from Kapow following the reveal of Brawn for Titan Masters Attack in the TCG; I figured I’d probably have call to use Brawn at some point so having his figure available seemed like a good idea. It’s also a toy I’ve wanted for a while. This one is the Takara release, so he came with a new head for Repugnus. He’s pretty much everything I’ve wanted from a Brawn.
Cindersaur and Outback were on sale so I picked them up too; I’ve been meaning to buy Cindersaur for a while as he (she?) feels very in-tune with the POTP ‘cons I already have; it’s an okay figure. Outback is a character I have no attachment too but looks pretty cool; and conveniently he is also coming to Titan Masters Attack.
Now I guess to pick up Windcharger finally and maybe go look for Gears…
Oh, and here’s Repugnus with the head from Brawn. All Takara here. I love that they gave him a nice role in the last season of Cyberverse; the focus episode felt like a classic but modernised Transformers G1 story. Well worth watching.
One of my collecting goals this year is to finish off the Takara Legends / Titans Return titan master deluxe series. There’s a few characters I suspect I might not find (Arcee and Magna Convoy being top of that list), but I managed to snag one of the big ones (see below), as well as checking off Blurr and Kup from that list. I also picked up Takara Legends Hot Rodimus, to replace my existing Titans Return Hot Rod.
Blurr looks excellent, I’m already a big fan of the mould thanks to both Nautica and the Brainstorms that I have, and this version of Blurr looks really nice and smooth. I like Blurr a whole lot as a character and he was a favourite as a child, and I think I like this version as much as the Platinum Generations edition one I already had. I also mostly like Kup; generally speaking I don’t like Kup‘s blocky aesthetic, and I think this version’s face looks a bit too chirpy for my taste, but as a figure I think he is really nice. This guy showed up on the day of the Mission Briefing reveal, which was going to use the Generations figure, but this guy seemed more appropriate so I remade the shot. It was nice timing.
Here’s the Hot Rod comparison, with this Hot Rod using the Rodimus head from Chaos on Velocitron. It’s crazy how a few different colour choices and a touch here and there really brings out the look of the character; Takara Legends Hot Rodimus is significantly better to my eyes than the US version. It feels nicer in hand too. Sorry US Hot Rod, you have been replaced.
Hot Rodimus, Kup and Blurr were definitely wins, and they all looking great on the shelf right now.
This is a figure I never expected to see let alone own. Of the Titan’s Return exclusive boxset figures, Nautica is certainly the most desired, but I have to say I’ve always wanted Metalhawk from Siege of Cybertron too. However that boxset is even harder to find in the UK than Chaos on Velocitron (which at least had a period where it was flooding Home Bargains for £30). I managed to snap up a copy along with the Legends figures above for a reasonable amount, so here he is.
This guy was extremely stiff, presumably he had just been sitting quietly in someone’s collection untransformed for years. I did think I was going to break his limbs off trying to get him into space plane mode (and his hands kept falling out when trying to take his guns out of his hands).
Otherwise he’s just like Triggerhappy, really fun transformation, probably just a bit too much like Triggerhappy lookswise. It is nice to finally have him in the collection though. Let’s just keep him away from Starscream though.
Betatron here were actually bought from ebay as Sky Reign, but I had very little interest in assembling with Skylynx so I used Scattershot as the body instead. The Skylynx is fine, I know a lot of Skylynx fans hate this version and are geared up for the Earthrise edition coming later this year, but I just don’t have enough attachment to Skylynx as a character to warrant a huge purchase like that.
Betatron‘s limbs are… limbs. Honestly this is the most I’ll be seeing them, I have Siege versions of Smokescreen and Hound and Earthrise Wheeljack is on the way, and I’ll be picking up Earthrise Trailbreaker later this year (although I always liked the look of the Generations Trailbreaker that the MTMTE character is based on). However I quite like the look of Betatron here, and he’s doing well as the centre piece of an ‘odds and sods’ shelf in my cabinet along with Wreck-Gar, Generations Brainstorm, Titan Force Windblade and Earthrise Grapple.
Might as well try out the limbs with other combiner pieces. Here’s Cyclonus as the centre to form a Galvatronus, and…
… here’s … Elita Infinite I think it is? She really is not a great combiner body at all. Very much a miss.
… and here’s Sky Reign himself, and why not. I think Scattershot wins out of the four, which is good because he is a very bland character on his own, so overall a good purchase.
That’s pretty much it for this month’s purchases. Some of these you’ll no doubt see back on the site should I cover their corresponding cards in the TCG. In the meantime, stay safe out there!
Until next time.