Archive for Toys

Battle Tribes Launching Today from Spy Monkey Creations!

Dropping tonight from Spy Monkey Creations is Battle Tribes, a new 2.5 inch compatible line of toys.  These are perfect for you Glyos fans. This first wave consists of four figures, each oh which has five heads, three weapons, a shield, and removeable armor. This allows a lot of customization for the buyer, mixing and matching as she or he wants.

They look really neat! See the gallery below and the press release after the jump. You can buy these at 6:00 pm Pacific Time tonight in the Spy Monkey Creations Webstore


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Transformers 2016 Hall of Fame Nomination Period is Open!

It’s time once again to nominate winners for the 2016 Transformers Hall of Fame! We once again have three categories that need your nominees, but the second one is new.

• FAVORITE TRANSFORMERS CHARACTER (Fictional Robot Character)

• FAVORITE UNDERRATED TRANSFORMERS CHARACTER (Fictional Robot Character)

• BEST TRANSFORMERS-RELATED MUSICAL ACT (Real Life Humans)

For the first two categories, you can not vote for the following characters:

Arcee, Bumblebee, Dinobot, Grimlock, Ironhide, Jazz, Megatron, Megatron – Beast Wars, Optimus Prime, Predaking, Prowl, Ratchet, Rodimus, Shockwave, Soundwave, Starscream, Ultra Magnus, Waspinator, Wheeljack

For the last category, you can not vote for Stan Bush or Vince DiCola.

All polling result lists from each fan outlet will be combined together (each outlet getting an equal voice). The resultant point values will be used to generate the final ballot, with details to follow on voting.

Winners of the final polling will be announced at BotCon, the official Transformers Convention, in Louisville, KY, April 7-10.

Here at ASM, we believe in the sanctity of the ballot.  Okay, not really, we’ll let you vote up to four times:

1) Email your top three nominees for each category to tfhof@asmzine.com . Multiple emails will result in only the most recent email being counted. One email address per person only.

2) Tweet your nominees to @ASMzine with the hashtag #ASMTFHOF. You may use one tweet per category, but duplicate tweets for a category will result in the most recent tweet being counted.  Use C1, C2 and C3 to designate the category.

3) Post a comment to our FB wall (http://asmzine.com/FB) with your nominees and the #ASMTFHOF hashtag. One post with all categories; multiple posts will result in only the most recent post being counted.

4) Leave a comment on this blog post.  One post with all categories; multiple posts will result in only the most recent post being counted.

No matter which method, all nominees must be in to ASM by 5:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, March 8, so we can deliver the results on March 9.

Happy nominating!

Toy Fair 2016 – What I Want To See

Toy Fair is upon us once again, and it seems more than ever, there are fewer surprises, what with official reveals promised to various media outlets and leaked images popping up everywhere.  So, this post is not truly 100% prediction or speculation — this is what I hope to see this weekend.

HASBRO

TRANSFORMERS – We know we’re going to see Titans Return all over the place. So, I want to see Powermaster Prime and Fortress Maximus on display, as well as Victorion. And then give me Headmasters galore – I want to see the new Hardhead and Brainstorm. I hope there’s a Nightbeat shown in some form.  (EDIT: And Hasbro Pulse has just showed us artwork for some Headmasters. Toys will be seen tomorrow.)

And let’s get some Beast Wars love, okay? I’d love it if Masterpiece Optimus Primal was announced. I’d be okay with some more BW Generations figures, too.

STAR WARS – Well, no Rogue One, we know that. So give me more TBS TFA characters. Give me a Rey with Speeder.  Give me a 6″ Maz to complement the 3.75″ character.  Give me Luke and Leia.  Give me Kanji Klub. Give me a Rey/Finn pack with Roamer-6 breath masks and Falcon parts.

MARVEL – We’re getting 6″ 90’s Rogue in Marvel Legends, as well as Spider-Gwen.  That’s my wish list right there.

But let’s throw in Silk, some Dr. Strange stuff, and some Netflix people like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Kilgrave.

And now that 12″ Marvel Legends have been announced, let’s hope for more than just Captain America and Iron Man.

PLAYSKOOL – For Transformers, I’d like to see some non-Rescue Bots designs. Let’s throw in RiD and G1 (and BW if we’re pipe-dreaming).  For Star Wars, I’d love Kylo Ren and Shuttle, Rey and Speeder, and a troop builder pack of First Order Storm-, Flame-, Snowtroopers and TIE Pilots.

MATTEL

DC – How about some 3.75″ figures from the DC TV Universe, like all of ARROW and FLASH? I’d love toys of Oliver, Black Canary, Merlyn, and Nyssa with some Flash, Reverse Flash, Firestorm, Captain Cold and Heatwave.

FUNKO

My God, what don’t I want to see? I love everything they do. For Pop figures, I want to see more Arrow and Flash. I want to see more Star Wars (if they could tap into the Legends Expanded Universe, say, Mara Jade and Thrawn). More Transformers.

I’d love to see a Knight Rider Pop! Ride. Think about it — Michael Knight with KITT and… okay, it’s not canon, but Garth Knight with KARR.  (Hey, it would be an easy mold reuse; keep those costs down!). Note: These will not happen.

Rumor is we’ll see new 3.75″ figures. Bring them on.

KOTOBUKIYA

I always love looking at their Star Wars and Marvel figures. Let’s see some Force Awakens items.

MISCELLANEOUS

If anyone — anyone — makes “Quantum Leap” toys? I will buy every damn QL toy they make.  Note: These also will not happen. Damn it.

The show starts tomorrow! Be sure

Hasbro Announces New TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS Mobile Game; Features Cullen, Weller, Furman

I love Transformers. I love mobile games, as they’re the only gaming I do these days. I love Peter Cullen and Frank Weller voicing their G1 characters. And Simon Furman’s G1 story will always hold a special place in my heart.

Did Hasbro make this game just for me?

Below is a press release about a new TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS mobile game coming this spring, featuring Cullen as Optimus Prime and Welker as Megatron, with a story written by Furman.

Just add Vince DiCola music and I’d buy stake in the company.  And now that I have an iPad, I can try both iOS and Android versions. Can’t wait to try it out!  

Hasbro, Backflip Studios and Space Ape Games Bring The Fight Home with TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS; Game Coming To iOS And Android in Select Markets Spring 2016

Battle as AUTOBOTS or DECEPTICONS and Fight Against Live Opponents Around the World In First TRANSFORMERS Real-Time Combat Strategy Game

Boulder, CO (Feb. 10, 2016) – This spring, fans of the beloved TRANSFORMERS brand from Hasbro, Inc. will have the opportunity to harness legendary characters, including  OPTIMUS PRIME, MEGATRON, BUMBLEBEE and STARSCREAM, in the palm of their hands with TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS – the latest real-time combat strategy mobile app. Published by Backflip Studios (DragonVale, Ninjump, Paper Toss) and developed by Space Ape Games (Rival Kingdoms, Samurai Siege), TRANSFORMERS: EARTH WARS brings the excitement of the battle between AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS to supported mobile devices with fast-paced gameplay and beautiful 3D animation, allowing the characters to attack, battle, and change form right before a player’s eyes.
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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:

Scorponok
Trypticon
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.

 

POWERMASTER OPTIMUS PRIME WITH AUTOBOT APEX

FORTRESS MAXIMUS ART

 

GENERATION 2 BRUTICUS

NEW ROBOTS IN DISGUISE MINI-CONS

GENERATIONS ALT-MODES

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.

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.