Yay, Windblade is here! I've been needing her toy in my life for some time -- though admittedly, it's not because of her toy specifically, but who her character is and what she represents. Many of her attributes were chosen through fandom voting, such as her red and black color scheme, her altmode, her weapon, and, of course, her gender. It's the winning gender option that set a lot of weirdos off, which, as my comic strip had noted previously, it's not like anyone was mad that "male" was an option. But "female" won, and so here we are. Viva democracy!
Her character is also important to me. So often Transformers characters are defined by how badass or snarky they are, but Windblade's strength is in her empathy. Optimus Prime may often make speeches about how peace and harmony are important while simultaneously beating someone's face in, but Windblade's compassion is presented as an actual important skillset. Sure, she's good enough with a sword (and getting better with training), but the care in which she interacts with other people wins her more battles. She easily could have been another aloof loner rebel warrior whatzit, but no.
And so Windblade's toy, the result of a Thirtieth Anniversary Hasbro website poll, has had some equal care taken with it. In a world of increasingly budget-strained decisions in the action figure industry, Windblade is obviously a case of some extra mile being taken. In addition to the base figure, which transforms from a robot to a VTOL jet, she also comes with her sword, the blade of which fades from translucent purple into translucent clear. The sword stows in a scabbard which can be held or pegged in numerous ways -- there's a 5mm port on one end, a grip for her hand on the other, and a notch that can lock into a slot on either of her hips. The fan can be removed from behind her head and be held in her hand as a weapon. Her VTOL jets can be rotated forward, plus they spin. As with recent Transformers toys, there's a plughole under her nosecone (which relocates to her robot mode back) that is compatible with some action figure stands.
There are a few negatives -- for example, she's not easy to stand. Due to her wings, she's a little backheavy, and so her tiny footprint is sometimes not sufficient, and the way her heels like to easily fold back up into her legs doesn't help either. She can be stood if you're patient, but you can't just plop her down on a desk when you're done swooshing her around.
Her jet mode also has a few holes in it. The top of the jet is obviously a pair of shins, and there's an open gap between these two parts that looks kinda bad. And because the toy had so much work put into it, she's a little fiddly. She's got a lot of joints and hinges packed into her. Things plug in fairly well in both modes, but there may be some times that stuff moves when you're trying to move other stuff.
Windblade hasn't really hit North American retail yet (I got mine from Big Bad Toy Store), but when she does, I think she's worth taking a look at. She's important for many reasons and her toy does some neat stuff.
Ways T30 Jetfire is worse than Classics Jetfire:
- Retail price is twice as much
- Booster rocket backpack doesn't fold out into over-shoulder guns
- Jet cockpit doesn't become robot chest mode cockpit
- Only one missile launcher (versus two)
- Lots of empty gaps in limbs as a result of saving on number of parts
- Red chrome dye is already flaking off
Ways T30 Jetfire is better than Classics Jetfire
- Toy size is twice as large
- Booster rocket backpack can rotate 360 degrees
- Booster rocket backpack's jets are articulated
- More armor pieces
- Armor pieces can combine to form super weapon with rifle
- Mask looks better than Classics helmet
- Mask can stow on rifle when not being worn (albeit goofily)
- Better robot mode proportions and articulation
- Jet mode is massively better
- Not old enough yet to be yellowed hunk of shit
I think the only other one is Tigatron. And he was married to an actual lady tiger. A lady tiger he scanned for his own altmode. What I'm saying is, his crudely-sentient tiger wife was into banging herself, apparently. Look, I know wildlife can get kinda inbred, but wow.
By comparison, Chromedome is your normal type of widower, the kind that isn't a clone of his other-species husband. You see, there's some actual lawful consent going on in this situation.
Anyway, ignoring all that, Chromedome is the guy I've been looking forward to the most out of this year's Subscription Service toys. Other than a Transformers Jr which is... somewhere...? ... I don't own any Chromedome toys, and so ol' Domey fills a very important vacancy in my Lost Light crew. What made me especially excited for him was that his head was designed by Nick Roche to reflect the look he has in the ongoing IDW series. And with Rewind being the final guy in this year's subscription service (due next month) that means I can finally own a pair of gay-married Transformers. (Okay, I own a few Rewinds, but not THIS Rewind.)
The toy itself is a good enough match for IDW Chromedome. He's got wide shoulders, though if you want to keep them from being gorilla-like, I'd leave them half-transformed so the elbows aren't down by his hips. The new head sculpt is fantastic -- one of the best Fun Publications has ever done -- and it didn't come out all duckfaced or anything like this year's Devcon's did.
Short of being an entirely new toy designed to be IDW Chromedome, this is the best IDW Chromedome you could hope for. He's a very pretty color scheme, put on a pretty good toy, with an awesome head sculpt, as a very engaging character. Just ignore the swords. And Stylor.
This next wave of Transformers Generations is some crazy shit. Nightbeat and Jhiaxus, who are really awesome guys who rarely get toys? Windblade, the bestest new character? And the guy in the wave I'm least interested in is somehow Crosscut, who's a new toy of a previously e-Hobby exclusive guy? It's like Hasbro was throwing darts at a dartboard composed entirely of stuff I really dig.
Let's talk about Nightbeat. He's a retool of Generations Bumblebee and his retool Goldfire Bumblebee, so this means he's the third use of the mold and the third head for it. (There'll be a fourth head on a fifth use of the mold next year.) He almost was made from Reveal the Shield Jazz, which so almost happened that art of that version is on the cover of the comic book Nightbeat comes with. RTS Jazz is a much better toy (one of the best), but this version made from Bumblebee looks more like Nightbeat in robot mode. The original Nightbeat was a Porsche, just like Jazz, so RTS Jazz woulda been perfect in vehicle mode. A muscle car feels a little off.
Nightbeat's in the colors you'd expect him to be -- he's a bright cyan and yellow, grounded by black. All of his yellow is painted, and the toy valiantly tries to cover up blue plastic with yellow paint. It mostly succeeds, surprisingly, but there are a few thinly covered parts that look a little greenish. Nightbeat's new head has lightpiping, but it's painted over in red on both sides. This time Nightbeat's shins are glued into place so that you can no longer slide them out laterally for robot mode. Perhaps there were stability or looseness issues?
There's a way to transform Nightbeat so his shoulder kibble hangs in a way that suggests Nightbeat more -- a transformation alteration that Japan is using for their upcoming Goshooter exclusive. Just, uh, keep his shoulders untransformed, basically, losing the door wings and keeping them hanging off his biceps.
His weapon is still ridiculous. It's Bumblebee/Goldbug's, but every time this toy comes out again with that same weapon, I feel like its ridiculousness increases.
I kinda wish Nightbeat had gotten a newly sculpted chest in addition to his head. I also wish he'd gotten to have an orange face. Yellow is way better than silver like everyone else, but it's not strictly accurate. However, Nightbeat's face is yellow in the ongoing IDW comics, so maybe that's where that comes from.
Speaking of which, I strongly need a Nautica for him to solve mysteries with.
Awww, it's new toys of my favorite early Aughts BotCon characters! Well, okay, Primal Prime was a retail exclusive, but BotCon used the damn toy so much in their stories he's kind of considered an honorary BotCon guy, I guess. But Apelinq was definitely a BotCon 2000 dude, same year as Shokaract! And this is his... third toy! (He was also the head-and-chest of Sentinel Maximus.) Whoof!
Primal Prime was this year's Customization Class toy, which means I assembled and painted him myself from off the plastic sprues. That was my early Thursday of the show, removing parts from the sprue, shaving off the excess plastic, screwing and pinning things together, and eventually painting the dude. I did mine according to the directions (because TFwiki needs pictures and I'm also a super nerd that way anyway) but he was free to paint however you wanted.
Oh, right, he's a redeco of the Beast Wars 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal toy, which they decided to give a Cyber Key gimmick to in case the BWX line didn't work out and they had to shove him into the then-current Cybertron toy line. They ended up doing both, releasing him as Optimus Primal AND as a "Jungle Planet" version of Optimus Prime. I've always had trouble transforming this guy, because you have to transform his robot mode chest in a certain order or it won't move between robot and beast mode positions. But now that I've assembled the damn thing myself and transformed both Primal Prime and Apeline like a billion times (plus I brought my BWX Primal with me as an assembly reference), I think I've finally got the hang of it. Phew!
Primal Prime is probably one of the prettiest customization class guys we've gotten. I'm not usually super-up for translucent plastic, but it really works for him. The whole thing is very striking once all completed, so I mind not so much that this is kind of a super body downgrade from his original form. Whatevs! It's pretty, I like it.
Apelinq was one of the at-show souvenir exclusives, and so he could only be purchased in a bagged set along with Alpha Trizer and Flareup. I have some pretty strong nostalgia for the guy, so I'm happy to see him again. Plus I strongly associate the character with Glen Hallit, so he helps make the year's set feel like a more inclusive celebration of BotCon history, despite the retrospective panel totally skipping the OTFCC years.
Both come with that obnoxiously large surfboard accessory which "transforms" into a giant missile launcher. Oof.
I like them both a lot.