Posts tagged with "botcon" - 1
Posted January 14, 2022 at 10:53 am

Lift-Ticket here is my first toy from this year's new Transformers: Legacy toyline!  Sure, he's a Generations Selects online exclusive dealio, is a redeco of an Earthrise toy, and isn't retail or anything, but he came in a cardboard Legacy box, so whatcha gonna do?

He was one of those toys where Hasbro gave him a mid-2022 release estimate, because of Covid, with a "uh sure then" shrug, but then he popped up into our mailboxes several months early.  Dang!

There were like sixteen different colors of Hoist/Trailbreaker in the pre-Transformers Japanese toyline Diaclone, and this red iteration of Hoist is one of them!  Borrowing from those unTransformered decoes to make new Transformers characters is a long tradition of the franchise, and Lift-Ticket is... sort of an example?  One of the last things Greg Sepelak and Trent Troop did for BotCon, Lift-Ticket (and Burn Out) were actually piloted Diaclone mechs from a Diaclone universe masquerading as Real Transformers in a Transformers universe.  You know how the Transformers Multiverse is.  Everybody visits and tries to fit in.  GoBots, everybody.  Anyway, Lift-Ticket isn't even alive.  Some little dude pilots him.  

I'm glad Greg and Trent gave him a real Transformers name (which is a G.I.Joe name), because I'm pretty sure the current Transformers team would've released this guy as just "Red Hoist" or whatever.  

"WRECKER" is written on the side of the truck mode.  But Lift-Ticket isn't a member of the Wreckers!  That's just what was written on the side of the original Diaclone toy.  Because it's a tow truck.  He's a wrecker that isn't a Wrecker.  You know how it is.

Lift-Ticket has a very vibrant ketchup-and-mustard color scheme, and he arrived in my house the same day I found Kingdom Blaster at a store, so it was a very red/yellow/gray robot day that day.  Those two dudes punched my rods and cones in the exact same way.  Hello, we get it, you're both a McDonald's.  

Posted April 27, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Back in 2004, the official Transformers convention was run by different people.  One of their last gasps was releasing mockups of toys that would-have-been if they'd kept the license and Fun Publications hadn't taken over.  One of these toy concepts was RID Megatron/Car Robots Gigatron in red and gold with a new Beast Wars Megatron head.  Dubbed "Transmetal 3 Megatron," he would have come with a rubber ducky accessory with a 5mm peg and starred in the then-current Transformers: Universe comic books as the reincarnation of a post-Beast Machines Megatron.  

It was an okay idea.  At the time, I was lukewarm on it.  I have never liked RID Megatron's toy very much, and I liked Beast Wars Megatron as a dragon (instead of a T. rex) even less.  And so I was pretty okay with the toy not happening because of the change of licenses.  Back then Beast Wars Megatron was not a distant memory of a beloved favorite character, forgotten and buried under decades of subsequent franchises.  I didn't need another right then.

But I'm much more than okay with one now.  I miss Megs, and I'm super happy to get a new toy of him.  I've suffered a Beast Megatron drought, and this toy is a fresh glass of cool water.  

In the meantime, other people kept up demand.  They kept asking Fun Pub when they were gonna make this guy.  And their answer was always "eehhh we dunno" because, well, frankly, it wasn't their idea, and it makes sense to me that they'd rather do their own ideas.  You don't take over a license from somebody else and crib their notebooks, you make your own notebooks.  And so it kind of makes sense, in Fun Pub's final BotCon, to finally put this guy out there, as a bookend.  So as the previous licensee ended, so too will these guys.

If only they had made more than, like, five of him!  Jeez!

Anyway, yeah, this toy is pretty nice-looking.  He's still a toy that has ... nine?  ten? modes, and all but one or two of them are garbage.  But the robot mode is pretty fucking great, and the dragon mode is pretty okay.  The jet mode and the gargoyle-mode-you-can't-do-anymore-because-the-snout-was-removed-to-fit-megatron's-head and especially the car mode... they are not very good.  And you can make him into sort-of-a-hand, which is neat, but, like, there's still giant wings on it and that kind of ruins the illusion.  But, again, robot mode is beautiful.  

Some problems I should mention: He's started to immediately shed his chrome for some people.  Me, I put some clear nailpolish on him before I even transformed him, to stave this off.  So think about that.  Maybe in a few months when everybody's TM3 Megatrons are completely chrome-shedded, he'll come down from the like $800 he's going for on eBay.   Also, the forward-movement ratchets on hips can be... frightening.  Like, squeaky-this-is-gonna-break frightening.  So I had to open him up and sand off some nubs.  He also was erroneously given a Dinobot spark crystal instead of a Predacon one, probably because the Dinobot spark crystal tooling is the only spark crystal tooling that still exists.  There's a Predacon logo sticker that's sold separately that can cover this up.  So, like, keep that all in mind before plunking down major cash for him.  

He doesn't come with the originally-planned rubber ducky 5mm accessory.  There was a normal-sized rubber ducky sold at the convention, but, like, it's just a normal rubber ducky with the BotCon logo stamped on it.  

Okay, since this toy has like six (five?) modes, and I need a wall of text to fit all the pictures in, let's *sigh* talk about the convention comic these guys featured in.

Ever since "The Agenda" aired, the legacy of G1 has been used as a cudgel to beat any possible new life out of the Beast Wars cartoon.  For a good two seasons, Beast Wars gave us new characters in a new setting that divorced us so far from what we knew about Transformers we had really no choice but to submerse ourselves in these new possibilities.  And it was pretty glorious!  But then we got "The Agenda" and a hook back into G1, and it's like a switch flipped.  Beast Wars-the-cartoon was now chainganged to this fucking monster and was going to be devoured.  Everyone had their "this is how the old war ended, this is how the era of the Maximals began" story, and you want to know the secret?

They are all bullshit.  

Knowing that stuff is antithetical to what makes Beast Wars great.  To the Beast Warriors, G1 was the stuff of legend, a distant terrifying-yet-glorious past that is best left to the imagination.  ...sort of.  Some people's imaginations leave much to be desired, and those're the kind of imaginations that keep getting fucking put in charge of writing Beast Wars stories.  They decide, one by one, that each character/toy in the Beast Wars needs to be some guy from G1.  Sure, Beast Wars Grimlock was explicitly the G1 guy on his packaging bio.  We'll let that slide.  (but does he have to be on the Axalon????) Okay, there's a Soundwave, so maybe that Soundwave is the other Soundwave, even though that Soundwave is a goddamned bat/gator Animorph toy!  Hey, did you know that Magnaboss shared its components names with some G1 guys?  Well, you're in luck, because now Prowl, Silverbolt, and Ironhide from G1 are in Beast Wars.  Oh, there's ANOTHER Beast Wars Prowl?  Hey, guess what, now they're BOTH G1 Prowl, simultaneously, with one being a clone of the other!  

Was that already kind of annoying?  Well, this comic and the accompanying profile cards gives you more.  Two of the members of the Tripredacus council are probably old Decepticons you know!  Under-3 might be a famous Autobot!  Autobot Inferno might be Beast Wars Inferno!  There is so very little Beast Wars left when you get done with all this shit.  It's not even clever.  No one's going to be handed an award for noticing two completely different guys have the same name.

Did you like the enigma surrounding the Great War and the reverence the Beast Warriors had for the Autobots and Decepticons of the past?  Well, too bad, because everyone in Beast Wars was around for those years and were important and sharing the same space.  Remember when Beast Megatron was entering the Ark and everyone comatose onboard was large and special and magical, and the whole event felt like an intrusion upon sacred ground?  Well, fuck that, now Megatron knew those guys and was once as large as them and they hung out all the time and he bossed them around because he was in charge.  Beast Wars Megatron himself was a Decepticon.  Everyone in the Beast Wars was either an Autobot or a Decepticon.  All the show's talk of "our Decepticon/Autobot ancestors" is taken out behind the shed and shot.  

It just makes the universe so... amazingly, pathetically SMALL.  This comic book's universe is so small, you guys.  Did you like the mystery of the 300-year-span of time between G1 and BW?  Well, good news, turns out there wasn't anything new to know.  You already know the cast.  They were the guys you already knew, and some of those guys are also the same guys as the other guys, secretly!   You weren't missing anything.

I think how little regard the comic has for its alleged source material is made clear in the following: 300 years ago, Optimus Primal was already on board the Axalon (which is G1-robot-scaled), serving as its captain, and already going on exploration missions.  With Rattrap.  WITH RATTRAP.  After the comic was released and objections about Rattrap knowing Primal for that long were raised, the response was, "Well, they never say EXPLICITLY how long they knew each other!"  The fuck they didn't.  It was abundantly clear in their every interaction in the cartoon.  Rattrap's entire first season arc is buried in the idea that he starts out with zero regard for Optimus Primal and then over the course of the Beast Wars slowly warms up to him and respects him.  At no point does Rattrap literally say "I've only known you for like two days," sure, but he is constantly degrading and belittling Optimus Primal.  He places no value on his commander's life or on the lives of his fellow crewmembers.  He only cares for saving his own skin.  This is a guy who has served with Optimus Primal on this same ship for THREE HUNDRED YEARS?  How the hell was he not fired 299 years, 11 months, and 29 days ago?  "This your first day on the job or somethin'?" he asks.  "You sure you're cut out for this commander gig?" he asks.  The apologists say he's being sarcastic.  Is the entire first goddamn season's character arc also sarcastic?  

This informs my final point: This comic book feels like it was written from the Wikipedia article about Beast Wars.  It's like somebody's bad book report.  There's some attention to surface detail ("Rattrap doesn't outright say how long he's known Primal!") but there's no proven familiarity with the actual material as it is viewed in-the-moment.  But that's okay, because all what made Beast Wars great is obviously secondary to making it connect to G1.

That is sarcasm, by the way.

Posted April 26, 2016 at 12:01 am

Recently, a few of BotCon/Fun Publications' toy offerings have reportedly been suggestions by Hasbro.  Like, "hey, this alternate head exists, and we have no plans, so we'd really like you to do this at your con."  Like customization class Ratchet, allegedly.  BotCon Reflector is one of those guys!

So apparently Combiner Wars Shockwave -- the tiny Shockwave toy that was designed so Combiner Wars Bruticus could hold him as a gun -- had an alternate Reflector head.  Hasbro puts these alternate heads in most of their toy's engineering for a rainy day.  Some we'll probably never know about because why would we?  If it's not eventually used or doesn't accidentally show up on an instruction sheet, there'd be no discovery.  It seems like the alternate Reflector head would have been one of those things, were it not for BotCon.

Besides, Shockwave's already purple and gray.  Would Hasbro put that toy out in purple and gray again?  Probably not.  It was a weird idea to start with.  But it's a perfect idea for a convention exclusive, because nerds like me will totally pay money to buy another purple and gray version (three times) of a toy we already have in purple and gray.  

Honestly, this is the toy I was least excited about this year.  It fills an otherwise vacant spot in my collection.  I don't really have a set of three Reflector guys, and otherwise they're absent from my 1984/85 Decepticon shelf.  And so they're NECESSARY to me, but only for checking off names on a list that's essentially completed already except for them.  This is not to say these aren't swell guys, it's just that my interest in them pales in comparison to the bounty of combining Beast Wars dudes presented me.  

There are many unofficial modes that attempt to combine the three into a camera, like the original Reflector.  They can be pretty or they can stay together well, and no one's found a way to accomplish both yet.  I've included a photo of my buddy Robowang's attempt.  (Robowang is the guy I sent to BotCon in my place to pick up stuff for me.)  His falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, and "falling in the middle" is a pretty apt way to describe most attempts to make a camera.  Generally holding this guy in an unofficial camera mode is like trying to pick up and eat a slab of lasanga.  It's gonna buckle and fall apart in layers in your hand.  

Next and finally: TM3 Megatron!


Posted April 25, 2016 at 2:01 am

BotCon really likes Tigatron, I guess.  The first year the convention was allowed to do pre-existing characters, back in 2001, they chose him and Arcee.  They did another Tigatron in 2006, in which they decided Tigatron wasn't actually a newborn protoform like all the others, but was actually a police officer who pratfalled himself into one of Axalon's stasis pods and some amnesia.  And here he is again in 2016, where we learn he's actually a really important Autobot from the end of the Great War, known and revered by both sides!  Weird nobody remembered this integral historical icon when he woke up later on prehistoric Earth, still being named Tigatron and wearing his old face on his chest.

But, again, let's not get me started.

2016 Tigatron takes a lot from 2001 Tigatron, in that the former is directly based on the latter.  This makes sense, as 2001 Tigatron was a Beast Wars Ravage redeco, so this one is a redeco of this year's Ravage, who himself is a remake of that old Beast Wars Ravage.  This time around, Tigatron's secondary color is teal instead of the icy blue he had before.  It's a slight color shift, similar to how this year's Ravage has that pretty steel blue instead of the original beige.  Otherwise, this is a color-for-color recreation of that original BotCon toy design, down to the primary blue tummy deco.  He really feels like he belongs later in the timeframe, after that original toy, since this is such a direct upgrade of it.  There's even a bonus Wreckers symbol sticker you can put on his right arm, included in the convention's Magnaboss sticker set.  

Of course, this time he transforms into a car.  And a leg.  And an arm.  

Same as with Ravage, since they're just redecoes of each other, Tigatron has the whole "missing back half of the skull" deal.  Just... try to keep forgetting to look at him from the sides.

Try to forget a lot of things.

Posted April 23, 2016 at 3:00 am

Newsflash:  I am, like, super into Combiner Wars.  I want every Transformer already in my collection to be redone as a Combiner Wars limb or torso or accessory, I don't care if it means I would then own six hundred Dead End retools, I am up for it.  

So imagine my interest in Combiner Wars combined (get it?) with my love for Beast Wars, and you've got this Predacus guy.  And then imagine my interest in Ravage combined with both of those two things already, and, yeah, this BotCon 2016 set is in my wheelhouse.  Because Ravage is in it.  Hell, the first thing we saw was Ravage, and I was sold.  Everything else could have been soggy dead puppies and it still would have been a great set, because at least one part of it was a Ravage who could become an arm or a leg.

Ravage himself is a Combiner Wars-style recreation of his appearance in the Beast Wars cartoon, crossed with his Alternators toy where he was a robot with a jaguar head who transformed into a black sports car.  You have no idea how much my jam that is.  All of my jam.  Ravage is Breakdown with a new kitty head.  A very flat, as seen from the side, kitty head.  What I'm saying is he has no back of his skull.  It's like the Invisible Man is wearing a Halloween mask of Ravage's face.  

But it's okay.  I don't care.  It's Ravage as a Combiner Wars limb.

I may be somewhat biased.

Ravage's partner leg is Tarantulas, who's Combiner Wars Rook with a new head.  We just got a vehicle-mode-style Tarantulas last year who's essentially perfect, which would in most cases make this new vehicle-mode-style Tarantulas surplus to requirements, but you forget that I want all characters ever to be able to be a limb or a torso, so he's still desired.  He's a Tarantulas who can become an arm or a leg.  He's a want.

The other three, now, these guys are interesting!  They're the Tripredacus Council from "The Agenda (Part 1)," also known as "that time that it was really cool that Beast Wars started connecting itself to G1 a little but then fandom started thinking that connecting BW to G1 was what BW was all about and then we never got anything else out of new Beast Wars fiction ever."  Ahem.  But I digress.  The Tripredacus Council!  We've never got toys of them as they've appeared on the cartoon, as they were essentially three random robot dudes who got randomly assigned names from the components of Tripredacus, the Predacon Beast Wars combiner.  But here they are, and they turn into vehicles, because they aren't beasts right now/yet.  

Ram Horn is the guy on the show who had little wings on his head and whose face was made mostly of Rattrap's, but with a nose.  He's got a new head and that head sits atop Brawl/Nosecone.  Combiner Wars Brawl/Nosecone is not that great of a toy, but I guess it's an appropriate use, nonetheless.  Ram Horn was a rhinoceros beetle, and so using a tank with a drill is kind of evocative of that kinda beasty shape.  

Cicadacon is the guy on the show who had Megatron's face incased inside a DEVO hat with little horns.  Sadly, his Combiner Wars toy does not have his own new head, and he's the only toy in the combiner that doesn't have a new head!  It makes me a little sad.  He's just Skydive with no sculpting alterations, and while he has the same general shape for his helmet, he lacks the little horns and most importantly he lacks the Megatron face.  I need that triangle nose, man!  

Sea Clamp is the guy on the show who had a head that looked like somebody had five minutes to extrude a CGI block into something resembling a face and then somebody else's mouth was pasted onto the chin.  Sea Clamp's original toy was a lobster, hence the name, but Combiner Wars doesn't have much in the way of sea vehicles.  Or any sea vehicles.  But he's Scattershot, who's a spaceship thing, and maybe you can pretend spaceship things are sea vehicles, right?  He has a new head.

He also has another new head in his tummy for the combined mode, Predacus.  Ravage and Tarantulas become the legs and the Tripredacus Council becomes everything above the knees.  You'd think, seeing three red guys and one black guy and one dark blue guy, that he'd look a little mismatched, but honestly he looks pretty great.  There's Tarantulas and Ravage's colors duplicated on the combiner chest, and they want you to swap the red and black fist/foot/weapons with each other so that there's a better scattering of colors, and it basically works.  He's a very attractive combiner.  His new head is based on Tripredacus's, of course.  

My complaints:  Some plastic tolerance issues!  Sometimes their fist/foot/guns don't fit securely into the wrist or ankle pegholes.  You can have hands drop off the arms and it's annoying.  Also, man, Brawl/Nosecone is not a great toy.  He's the weak link in this chain of robots.  And, yeah, Ravage is missing his brain.  Whatevs, I don't look at him from the side anyway, and really the limp wrists and Brawl are more of an annoyance than that.  There's also unfortunately the comic book he comes with but let's keep this a happy place in the wake of a very important day.

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the first airing of the Beast Wars cartoon pilot on syndication!  I watched it on television that day, like after school or something.  Because of course I did.

Posted April 19, 2016 at 5:30 am

The only thing better than giving us pre-beast toys of the rest of the original Beast Wars Predacon crew is giving us those pre-beast toys in Combiner Wars form.  Terrorsaur mostly delivers on this!  For some reason he doesn't come with his hand/foot/gun, so you have to borrow somebody else's.  Or you can end up with a combiner with a limp, I dunno.

But, yeah, Terrorsaur satisfies me.  We got pre-beast Megatron, Waspinator, and Dinobot way back in 2006, and then pre-beast Tarantulas nine years later in 2015.   With Terrorsaur here, we're just one original Predacon down, and Scorponok is promised from the Figure Subscription Service before the end of the year!   Huzzah.

Combiner Wars Terrorsaur is in his cartoon deco, rather than the original toy deco which replaced the silver and other silver with black and purple.  As such, Terry's a little less vibrant than some may remember him, but the silver and charcoal, with the edges here and there of orange, do manage to keep him visually interesting.   

He's got a new headsculpt which is... well, it's goofy-looking, but in a way that Terrorsaur kind of looked all the time.  Those first few Beast Wars CGI models were kind of rudimentary.  This toy gives him a kind of awkward toothy grin, like he's stifling a chuckle after a fart, but honestly that's not too far off-character.  

Combiner Wars Terrorsaur is also essentially perfectly scaled to his fellow pre-beast Predacon pals, as best as he can be, anyway.  Tarantulas is an abberation, being so tall, but otherwise CW Terrorsaur clocks in at just shorter than Dinobot and quite a bit taller than Waspinator and waaaaaaay shorter than Megatron.  These are all correct Nerd Measurements.  If pre-beast Tarantulas weren't done so perfectly I'd be more resentful of his size screwing up the otherwise perfect scale.

Posted April 17, 2016 at 3:01 am

When I was a little boy of about ten years old, there came into existence the crazy idea that maybe Hasbro should make new versions of old popular Transformers characters, because maybe kids had grown attached to Transformers as people and not entirely just as a gimmick.  And so we got Optimus Prime as a Powermaster and Jazz and Bumblebee and Starscream and Grimlock as Pretenders.  And I realized... wait, we can get OLD guys as NEW guys???  I can have chances to buy all the guys I didn't manage to get in 1984?  

Strange new possibilities awoke in me, and I designed a combiner (because old guys come back as special features like Powermasters or Pretenders) that was made up of a bunch of 1984 guys I wanted to have toys of.  Ratchet, Ironhide, Wheeljack, and Prowl combined with Optimus Prime (because of course the torso would be Optimus Prime, duh doy) to form a bigger robot.  Ratchet and Ironhide would finally have toys that had heads like they did in the comics, and Wheeljack and Prowl were just other guys I wanted because they were important in the early Marvel stuff I had.  (Essentially, I was recreating the Autobot cast of "DIS-Integrated Circuits!" minus the Jazz I already had a Pretender of, plus Ironhide who I thought needed a toy with a head.)  

WELL HEY GREAT NEWS!  Combiner Wars gave us all those guys, true to my ten-year-old self's designs.  Well, minus Ratchet.  We knew there was a possible Ratchet head for the Combiner Wars First Aid toy hidden somewhere in the tooling, but would Hasbro put out a SECOND nigh-identical white-with-red ambulance guy?  Sometimes Hasbro just puts alternate heads into tooling for a rainy day and then never actually uses them.  Would my childhood fanfic combiner never fully come to be?

Screw y'all, 'cuz it has! the skin of its teeth!  Hasbro told BotCon, HEY, you guys use our Ratchet tooling for your customization class toy, all right?  And BotCon was all, yes daddy.  And, lo, the childhood was saved.  

But, jeez, is my Ratchet cup runneth over.  Shawn Tessmann, who runs the customization class, came up with FIVE seperate ways to paint up your Ratchet, and four of them are awesome.  There's the red-headed Marvel Ratchet that I was always going to make no matter what, there was the cartoon-style version (no thank you!), there was an amazing-looking neonish G2 Ratchet, there was a Shattered Glass Ratchet, and there was a fifth option where you use the First Aid head that remained on the sprue to make Medix, the Rescue Bots-inspired additional member of the Protectobots.  

I had preordered two Ratchets, one to paint and one to keep around just in case because RATCHET, but now I kind of have a deficit of Ratchets to make into the other possibilities.  In time, I tell myself, in time.  For now, I have this lone Marvel-style Ratchet.  He makes me supremely happy!  Frankly, red-headed Ratchet makes me happy in general, as if it's a load-bearing Jenga piece of my soul.  And thanks to some very good friends and also eBay, I have everything needed to complete him -- stickers, Enigma of Combination, and all.

(is there anything more really required in life than good friends and eBay?)

(okay, there's also

Like last year's Covenant of Primus, the Enigma of Combination is a sort-of-not-really-Hasbro-blessed fan-made accessory to go with the customization class toy.  Ratchet can hold it and also it can plug into Optimus Prime's combiner mode chest.  ...way better than Blackjack or Rodimus, I can tell you.  

So, at long last, my childhood combiner is complete.  I will likely keep Ratchet as an arm, because he's special to me and I can see him better that way on a shelf, rather than hiding as a leg behind something else on display.  His translucent combiner fist is supposed to be all Healy Powers anyway, and I imagine it's probably rough to try to kick someone into health.    

Posted April 15, 2016 at 12:30 am

I keep wanting to say, "one of the best BotCon toys this year," but honestly, they're all pretty damn great, so unless they all get to tie for second and first place, I dunno.  But this Airazor?  It's a pretty good toy of Airazor!  If you don't mind that she's not a bird!

Combiner Wars Airazor (she doesn't combine) is a redeco of Slipstream who herself was a heavy retool of Windblade.  There's no changes to Slipstream's sculpt, just a different deco, and yet it works pretty damn well as Airazor.  The head is painted up to kind of resemble Airazor's beaky bird hat, the fake sculpted cockpit on her chest is a reasonable vehicleish facsimile of a falcon's head, and the whole brownish-black/tan/yellow/extrayellow thing going on with her, with the dash of translucent green, is pretty fancy.  It's not a group of colors you see together a lot in Transformers, if ever, especially since the retail line has been kinda overwhelmingly White And Red for the past year as Combiner Wars has retreaded 1986.  Whoever designed the deco on this toy, good job.  

I don't reeeeally want to get into the convention comic in which Airazor featured right here, right now, because, again, as I said, there would be swearing.  

So let's instead say this is superfab Airazor bein' all jetty in the years following her enigmatic disappearance following the events of Primeval Dawn!  Let's unfridge her.  Yup, she's returned from the distant past to the less-distant future, maybe to participate in some Universe wars or something.  It could be fun!  Think of all the adventures she could have, y'know not being a super important Autobot from the end of the Great War or anything like that.

That'd be ridiculous.

Anyway, she technically replaces the other Airazor-as-a-jet-instead-of-a-bird exclusive toy we got a decade ago, which is a replacement that is FINE BY ME.  Timelines Airazor is, like, one of the worst things ever, and I own her because I am dumb.  First of all, she's the Energon Slugslinger toy, and Energon Slugslinger is terrible.  Like, it's one of those infamous Toys That Hate You.  There is no love for humanity in its engineering.  It was designed to snuff out your life force.  Now, imagine that toy with an Airazor head and at exclusive limited-run prices and representing a fundamental misunderstanding of the character herself.

But there's a better one now.  You can bury the other in the back yard or maybe set it on fire.

Posted April 13, 2016 at 1:40 am

Every year at BotCon, invariably there's an exclusive toy that really feels like somebody was saying, "hey, what's some cracked-out shit that Walky kid would like?" Well, this is this year's.  This is Under-3.

Under-3 was a McDonald's Happy Meal toy way back in the early Beast Wars days.  He wasn't part of the regular assortment, but a very simplified toy with minimal moving parts that was intended for children under the age of three.  Hence the name.  "Under-3" was printed on his baggy in the same space that the names for the other guys went.  He was a lion head that flipped open like a clam to reveal a robot sculpted inside that looked kinda like Optimus Prime/Primal.  That's it.

Bogglingly, a toy based on him is part of this year's BotCon offerings.  He's a strait redeco of Combiner Wars Streetwise, meaning instead of transforming into just a head, now he can transform into just an arm or just a leg.  And a yellow police car, but whatever.  His name is "Unit-3" on his profile card because I don't know.  The point is, that's just a callsign he uses, so his real name could easily be "Under-3."  That's what really matters.  Renaming Under-3 something else puts you on my shit list.  

He's a very striking-looking toy, making him easily one of the best exclusive toys available this year -- and that's in the company of TM3 Megatron.  He loses a little of the charm of the original toy (well, a lot of the original charm) by not transforming into a disembodied lion head, but I think being a new toy of that crazy-ass Happy Meal dude is its own separate charm.  He's Under-3.  For adults.

don't talk to me about the comic he appeared in just yet, there would only be swears

Posted June 28, 2015 at 9:30 pm

BotCon's been over for a week, but I've been pretty lax in getting some talk up on my site about the stuff I picked up.  But hey, here's Galva Convoy!  He built him myself, separating all his plastic parts from the sprues, pushing in pins and screwing in screws, and painting/stickering him.  I really enjoy the process of putting the BotCon Customization Class toy together, which is why I keep going back every year.  It's just calming to sit there and assemble a guy.  

Galva Convoy is a redeco of Nova Prime (the super racist) and Lio Convoy (the ... lion.... guy...) who were both offered from the Transformers Collectors' Club this year.  He's in homage to the original Galva Lio Convoy, who was an extremely limited (like, 50 of him) version of Beast Wars II Lio Convoy in Beast Wars II Galvatron's colors.  

He comes with a fan-made Covenant of Primus book, designed after its appearance in Beast Wars.  They were given to you in the class upon completed assembly of your Galva Convoy, as part of an incentive to actually put it together, since a handful of folks take the class just to take their Galva Convoys home unassembled still on the sprues.  And, y'know, probably sell it.  That's not in the spirit of the class!  And also Hasbro's like "dude, we only safety-tested these things assembled, so that kinda leaves us wide open legally" so, yeah, the class gave us this small gift for assembly.  It was "handcrafted by Japanese fan Myu" according to the written materals.  It opens up to a 90 degree angle and has a 5mm peg at the bottom.  The written materials also say the accessory is "neither manufactured by nor endorsed by Hasbro."  Does that last bit mean this little thing can even go on TFWiki?  I dunno.

Since the toy was mostly black plastic, there was more steps to painting areas of the toy than usual, since some of the colors required a base coat.  This is true of the stuff painted lavendar, red, and gold.  The black and blue violet got away without needing a base coat.  The end result is very pretty, though.  Not enough pink guys in Transformers.

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