Hasbro Hangout – A Preview of Titans Return and Robots in Disguise, and Titan Fans’ Choice!

On Tuesday evening, the fine folks at Hasbro and Hunter PR were kind enough to set up Google Hangouts between the Transformers team and members of the fan sites. I will be updating ASM with info, but here are the highlights:

Powermaster Prime returns and he is GLORIOUS. He is 1988 in 2015 aesthetics and engineering. A nearly fully retooled Ultra Magnus, Op has his trailer with signature blue stripe, a base mode, Autobot Apex as a head, and a wonderfully articulated combined robot. I want him. Now.

A G2 Bruticus box set is coming. While he sports G1 Decepticon symbols, everything else screams G2. The colors are great – bright and vibrant. And he comes with Legends class Shockwave in an Action Master inspired deco.

Fortress Maximus was officially announced! We didn’t see his toy, but we did see colored artwork. The design team used an original G1 Fort Max to match colors. The toy itself will be revealed in February at Toy Fair!

New Robots in Disguise toys are coming! The new Cyclone Deployer type complements the others with new characters, and we have the return of Minicon Armor that snaps on figures and also becomes a weapon. New multiple figure sets are coming too.

Generations Alt-Modes: Okay, I admit, I’m not the intended audience for these. But maybe you are! Small vehicles with big robot heads auto transform with a pull of a tab. The TF team was inspired to make these blind packed toys after walking around the streets of Tokyo.

And finally — the Fan’s Choice Poll returns where YOU will vote on the next Titan Class! Yes, a Facebook poll opening November 24 will allow you to choose either Scorpinok, Trypticon, or Omega Supreme as the 2017 Titan Class figure.

No joke. We get to pick the big robot of 2017. Here’s the info straight from the folks in charge:

Starting November 24th on the official Transformers Facebook Page (Facebook.com/Transformers), fans will be able to cast a vote for which of the following fan-favorite characters should be added to the line:

Omega Supreme

Starting on 11/20, fans will be treated to campaign-style posts featuring each of the three characters, leading up to the official voting post, which will go up on 11/24 at 1 pm EST. The vote will be active from 1:00 PM EST to 3:00 AM EST. Fans will be able to vote in the comments section of the post.

Additionally, this will be the first Transformers Fan Vote that will include fans from China. Chinese fans will be voting on WeChat, and their vote totals will be joined with the Facebook vote totals to determine the winner, whose identity will be shared with fans in the near future.

I’ll be back with more news, but for now, look at ALL THE PICS.








SDCC 2015: A Quick Quick Look at Devaststor

In case you missed it, yesterday I tweeted my review of Hasbro’s SDCC Devastator:

There you go.

In all seriousness, Devvy is a big toy in more ways than one, a toy that deserves a lot of attention. But I know that tonight is Preview Night and there may be someone still on the fence on whether or not to buy him.

This post did nothing to help with that. But maybe it made you laugh.

SDCC 2015: A Look at the Kreon Class of 1985

If you’re looking for good photos of this toy,um, sorry. I don’t have a good photo setup at the moment, but I hope to change that in the future. Enjoy these official press photos, won’t you? Review sample provided by Hasbro and Hunter PR.

When Hasbro announced that there would be a follow-up to last year’s Comic Con Kreon exclusive set, I got giddy. While I’m not a huge collector of Kreons, I understand their appeal. I also can get behind themed sets that are just fun, if not completely goofy. The Yearbook Kreon sets are just that – whimsical presentations of the characters kids of the 1980’s grew up with.

Last year’s inaugural set was the class of 1984, celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the Transformers. Naturally, this year would have to be the Class of 1985, presenting characters that (mostly) had toys released in 1985.

The cool thing about this set is you can enjoy it both in and out of the box, it can be enjoyed. The packaging is a big part of the fun, as it’s designed to look like a yearbook.  The front cover features Grimlock, the back features Devastator,and “Cybertron Class of 1985″ adorns both.  The top and bottom are printed to look like book pages with the ttext “Property of Cybertron High” stamped as if owned by a school library.  Open it up, and there you see all the Kreons smiling back at you, all lined up and ready to be displayed in their protective case.  It does remind me of the senior pictures that we had in our yearbooks,complete with name and Senior Award.

If you wanted to stop there, nobody would fault you for keeping the Kreons in the book packaging.  But if you take the Kreons out, then you can have more fun with the included accessories.  Each Kreon has a weapon, but there is also a handful of extra bits, called Artifacts, all tied to some of the best movies of 1985.  We have Unicron Cereal, jackets, a map, and gold coins, but my favorites are the Back to the Future homages — a newspaper, a sports almanac, and the wild, white hair of a certain time travelling scientist.  These little touches of whimsy add to the notion that Kreons are all about fun, with nary a thought of doom or gloom.

You don’t need the previous year set to enjoy this one, but I’ll admit, it will look nice having both sets together. Now I just have to prepare my display setup for eventual classes of 1986 and beyond.

If you are heading to the show, I recommend you take the time to go to Hasbro’s booth and pick a set up. If you aren’t going to Comic Con, either have a friend grab one or pray the Internet gods are on your side when Hasbro Toy Shop gets their limited supply in stock. I love fun exclusives, and this set fits the bill. Well done, Hasbro.


Late to the Party: Review of Gunslinger and Brake-Neck

I realize I’m extremely late to the party here.  Combiner Wars gestalt limbs and torsos have been on shelves for months, and Gunnslinger and Brake-Neck were released online about a month ago.  A lot has been said about these toys, about how wonderful they are, how awesome it is to be building a combiner, and more of the like.  Sure, CW has its flaws, and it isn’t everyonen’s cup of tea, but for the most part, everyone likes the toys.

So what can I say about Gunslinger and Brake-Neck that hasn’t been said already?

How about — I finally understand what everyone has been talking about.  These toys are the most fun Transformers I’ve played with in a long time. To be able to intuitively deducce transformations without resorting to the instructions, to marvel at the nifty bits of engineering, to just all around wish for more of these things — this is great.  I never had a full combiner as a kid, and I definitely never had the original versions of these toys.  But I suspect this is a bit like what it was like to get a full combiner toy as a kid.

Right now, I’m going to concentrate on the two online only limbs – Gunslinger and Brake Neck.  You’ve read everyone else about them, so I wont bore you to death with details.

Gunslinger the Aerialbot has a great looking robot mode. He has a nice head sculpt, a very faithful deco, great poseability.  His jet mode is pertty good, although mine has a tendancy to lean to the left a bit.  Still, it’s a pretty good design. Like most Transformer airplanes, you have to ignore the robot pieces underneath, but it’s still decent.  His gun felt a little loose in his hand, but that could just be my particular figure.

The transformation has some nifty bits — while not integral to the robot to jet change, I do love how his head and middle pivot around for use as a limb.  Pieces fold in and out nicely, and the only thing I had to check was the position of the arms to snap into the jet.

Brake-Neck is also a marvel of toy engineering.  Things just WORK.  I intuitively got him into car mode on the first try, and I love how his legs come apart and rotate to become the rear of the car.  The panel that flips up from his chest to cover the head doesn’t lie as flat as I like, but it’s not too bad.  The car mode has seams from panels coming together, but I hardly notice them. As for the robot mode, again he as great poseability, his weapon fits in his hand nicely, and he has a nice grey and purply-maroon color.

If you can still find these guys online, get them. You can never have too many Combiner Wars deluxe figures, what with Optimus and Cyclonus needing team members.  I will hopefully get to review Superion and Menasor in the near future.  If they are like these two toys, I will be ecstatic.





The Case for a The Black Series 6″ Mara Jade

Look, I know I don’t usually cover Star Wars figures, I know I have BotCon info to put up, and I know I am not even part of the polling process, but I need to get this out there.

The only character you should vote for in the Star Wars 2015 Fans’ Choice Poll is Mara Jade.

I admit that I’m biased. My wife is a huge Mara fan. But honestly, there is no better choice for the winner, simply because this is the best opportunity.

I know the 6″ The Black Series line is missing a lot of iconic characters.  We don’t have Classic Leia, ANH Luke, any Lando, C-3P0, old Ben Kenobi, and many others.  But here’s what I think – those are all on the short list. We need to not vote for those.

The old Expanded Universe is now Legends status. Over time, as Disney expands the new canon, the Legends characters will become less and less important. Newer fans will not know Mara, Thrawn, Quinlan, Jaina, Jacen, and so many others. Therefore, we need to, as a fan base, vote now for Expanded Universe characters, primarily Mara.

A vote for Leia could be a wasted vote. A farm boy Luke is going to happen.  So make your vote count. Vote for Mara.

Here is a list of participating sites. This list will be updates as time goes by.

Free Comic Book Day 2015 Is Tomorrow!


This is a repost from last year, with a few minor changes, but the thoughts are still relevant. Support your local comic store!

Yes, it’s time once again for the annual Free Comic Book Day event happening at a Local Comic Book Store near you! If you don’t know where one is, here’s a handy Comic Book Store Locator.  They may have special events going on – check out How to Love Comics’ Directory of FCBD Events and see if your local store is doing something cool.

Is it difficult to participate? Heck, no!  You go to your comic store. You get at least one free comic from a special selection of free comics. You leave happy.  See, there’s even a video explaining how easy it is:

But, like last year, I have a request for you: if you can, please support the comic book store while you’re there.

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Transformers Fans, Get Ready to Celebrate MAY MAYHEM

Tomorrow is the first of May, and do you know what that means?  (Besides everyone online saying “May the Fourth Be With You” in a few days.)

It means we are ready to kick of MAY MAYHEM for Transformers fans!  This month, you and I will be able to celebrate the ongoing Combiner Wars toyline with comics, online participation, new toys, and other fun ways.  The highlight of May Mayhem is the release of two new CW toys – Quickslinger (a/k/a Slingshot) and Brake-Neck (a/k/a Wild Rider), the two toys you need to recreate your Generation 1 experience with Superion and Motormaster.

Two new toys is just the beginning.  Here’s a rundown of what we can expect in May Mayhem:

Mid-May – The celebration kicks off with the latest round of fans’ choice voting for the TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame. Who will be a part of the Class of 2015 and join the ranks of Optimus Prime, Megatron, and other legendary TRANSFORMERS? You decide!

May 13 – IDW Publishing releases TRANSFORMERS #41, the latest chapter of their epic COMBINER WARS storyline.

May 22 – AERIALBOT QUICKSLINGER and STUNTICON BRAKE-NECK will be available exclusively through participating online retailers, such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, ToysRUs.com, Entertainment Earth, BigBadToyStore, Diamond Comics and Hasbro Toy Shop. With these two new figures, fans are finally able to complete their G1-accurate SUPERION and MENASOR figures! In addition to these all-new toys, several vendors will be running special promotions on TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS: COMBINER WARS figures, providing fans with an ideal way to complete their collections.

Late May – TRANSFORMERS fans will come together on the official TRANSFORMERS Facebook page (Facebook.com/Transformers) for an exciting new product reveal.

May 27 – The COMBINER WARS battle comes to a head in IDW Publishing’s TRANSFORMERS WINDBLADE – COMBINER WARS #3.

That’s good stuff, isn’t it?  I just hope come mid-May I can completely go nuts in a campaign to get Vince DiCola in the TF Hall of Fame.

May is going to be big, Transformers fans.

A Quick Look at Quickslinger and Brake-Neck…. Sort Of

Thanks to the fine people at Hasbro and Hunter PR, I was given Quickslinger and Brake-Neck early so that I could get time with them to give you, valued ASM reader, my thoughts.

However, life as a parent means things don’t go to plan.  I will sadly have to postpone my reviews of these toys until later (I hope to do a full breakdown over the next few weeks), but that being said, I do want to share some quick thoughts:

  • You know you’re going to want to buy these.  For the G1 “purist”, you need these toys to make Superior and Menasor the way you remembered them as a kid…. or adult, I won’t judge.
  • Even if you like the new characters (and believe me, I’m all for introducing new characters), you’ll want these toys.  Extra limbs can be used with Optimus, and I’m sure Cyclonus wouldn’t mind having them either.
  • While it would be interesting to see what Hasbro could have done with all new molds for these toys, what they did do with minor remolds is great.  The headsculpts are quite nice, the decos chosen hearken back to the original toys.

Look for more in the coming weeks!

Dark Horse Celebrates Four-Year Digital Anniversary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Dark Horse Digital reaches a new landmark when the digital store celebrates its fourth anniversary starting this Thursday. As a thank-you to fans, Dark Horse announces four special promotions!

Have a free comic on Dark Horse! Beginning Thursday, April 23, Dark Horse will issue a two-dollar credit to all confirmed Dark Horse Digital newsletter subscribers with a registered Dark Horse Digital account! This credit can be used toward downloading a free digital comic or toward the purchase of any bundle or graphic novel.

The very same day, Dark Horse Digital will also be offering 50 percent off all purchases made in the app or through the web store, including thousands of comics, graphic novels, manga, and more! And it doesn’t stop there! Confirmed Dark Horse Digital newsletter subscribers will receive an exclusive coupon for an additional 10 percent off purchases. The newsletter coupon stacks with the web store discount, offering an even greater savings on your entire transaction.

And if that’s not all, Dark Horse will be giving four lucky winners an iPad mini loaded with Dark Horse digital comics! Dark Horse will randomly pick one winner per day over the course of the weekend. The winners will be given the digital collection of their choosing the following week.

To enter to win, all you need to do is download a comic to your collection! And with over fifty free comics to choose from, there is no purchase necessary to be entered to win!

The fourth-anniversary sale starts Thursday, April 23, and ends Sunday, April 26, at midnight PST—so head over to Digital.DarkHorse.com today and sign up for a Dark Horse Digital account and for the Digital Newsletter to maximize your savings!

Dark Horse Comics launched its standalone comic-reader app and digital store on April 27, 2011, and has received incredible accolades from the continuously growing worldwide digital-comics fan base. Since then, Dark Horse Digital has grown significantly in numbers and readership while featuring its most popular and best-selling titles, including Plants vs. Zombies, Halo, Tomb Raider, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Conan, and Mass Effect. Dark Horse Digital regularly hosts weekly sales, discounts, and other special promotions for its reader base. It currently offers thousands of comics and continues to increase the digital availability of the Dark Horse back catalog.

Dark Horse Digital is available through all modern web browsers, features in-app purchasing and cloud storage through both the Google Play and  iOS apps, and provides a first-class digital-comics-reading experience. Download the free app today!

iPad Sweepstakes Fine Print
No purchase necessary. One entry per person per Dark Horse Digital account per day. Any digital comic entitlement added to a Dark Horse Digital account during April 23, 2015, to April 26, 2015, will constitute an entry to win. Must be eighteen (18) years of age or older as of entry date. Entries only accepted if submitted by 11:59 p.m. (PST), April 26, 2015. Four winners will be selected randomly (as determined at Dark Horse’s sole discretion) from all applicable entries and will be notified by April 30, 2015. Entry constitutes agreement by winners to be publicized and permission to use each winner’s name for the purposes of promotion of the Sweepstakes without further compensation. Sweepstakes void where prohibited. Odds of winning dependent on number of entrants.

About Dark Horse Digital
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has grown to become the third-largest comics publisher in the United States and is acclaimed internationally for the quality and diversity of its line. In 2011, the company that revolutionized the comic industry proudly presented its groundbreaking digital-publishing program, Dark Horse Digital.

Dark Horse Digital offers its most popular titles at an unprecedented value, while providing the highest-quality reading experience possible. Single-issue comics are priced as low as just $0.99, and there is also an extensive list of free introductory #1 issues. Additionally, DH Digital’s “bundles” group together story arcs spanning multiple issues into affordable packages, allowing readers to get all the issues that comprise a complete narrative, starting at just $3.99 and up. And through cloud-based technology, Digital Store purchases can be read and enjoyed online on your computer or, mobile browser, and through the Dark Horse Bookshelf apps, available on iTunes App Store and Google Play.

To get started, simply log on to Digital.DarkHorse.com or download the app to create an account, and begin building your collection today.

Mezco Presents Mortal Kombat X Series 2


I know I haven’t talked much about Mortal Kombat on ASM. Truth is, I loved the original few games. Kitana and Sub-Zero? Those were my jam in the MK2 middle of a sandwich with MK1 and Ultimate MK3 as the… horrible analogy gone even more wrong. Anyway, suffice it to say, I plunked many a quarter into those games back in the day, but I didn’t keep up after I left college and didn’t have easy access to arcade games, nor a home console powerful enough to play the later versions.

But when I saw these pics from Mezco, I instantly thought two things: 1) Holy cow, things sure look different in Mortal Kombat X than I remember and 2) I wonder if I could still kick butt with Kitana. (Answer: No.)

Still, I may have to start looking at these MK figures that Mezco is putting out. They look rather nice, and the scale is great. Read more about it in the press release after the jump.

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