Tuesday, 18 February 2020

REVIEW: FansHobby MB-16 Lightning Eagle (part one)



It was only recently that I was sat here typing up a review for Fans Hobby’s God Armour add-on for their Power Baser mould that now we’re back again, this time with a redesign of that original toy in spectacular ’90s colours! Yep, it’s time to look at Lightning Eagle, the first take on what could be considered a Masterpiece-styled Thunderclash.
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Monday, 10 February 2020

REVIEW: TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-19+ Smokescreen



The TakaraTomy Masterpiece line have been pumping out so called “Plus” repaints for a while now, with the first one being MP-14+ Red Alert all the way back in 2016. For most of the releases the ethos has been the same – re-release older moulds with a new coat of paint and a few other tweaks to bring them further in line with the more recent MP toys and, in particular, the ulltra-toony aesthetic that’s been adopted. Smokescreen is arguably the last on the roster to receive such a treatment, so let’s take a look at how he shapes up.
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Thursday, 6 February 2020

YEAR IN REVIEW: 2019 (VINTAGE EDITION)



I’ve been compiling “best of” lists of my favourite new toys from each year for a good while now, but it was only last year that I decided to do a similar thing by rounding up my top vintage purchases over the previous twelve months. It provided a welcome opportunity to re-examine some of the best stuff I’d picked up and was without doubt one of the most fun exercises of the year for me as a collector, so I’m thrilled to repeat the process this year!
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Tuesday, 4 February 2020

REVIEW: TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-47 Hound



It might sound incredible but we’re now in the 17th year of the Transformers Masterpiece line, making it far and away the longest continuously-running part of the franchise. Yet the design philosophy has evolved so much in that time that the move in recent years to a more slavishly cartoon-accurate aesthetic has been divisive among fans to say the least. Well today we’re looking at the latest entry in the ranks with MP-47 Hound to see if he’s a good boy or something that should be sniffed at. Let’s find out!
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Monday, 27 January 2020

REVIEW: Fans Hobby MB-11 God Armor



It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was publishing my review of the first version of this toy out of the gate – Fans Hobby’s MB-11A God Armor – but now we’re back looking at the mould in its more traditional red and blue colour scheme. Some might say that it’s a slightly strange move from Fans Hobby to drop one so soon after the other, but I’m still marvelling at how much fun the original version is so I’m more than happy to give this new one a spin too! Let’s dive right in.
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Friday, 17 January 2020

YEAR IN REVIEW: 2019



It’s that time of year again. You know, the bit when we all sit back and reflect on the last 12 months of collecting and try to pick out our favourite toys of the year. If you’re at all present in the Transformers online fandom then you’ll be immediately familiar with such lists, although the frequency doesn’t make me enjoy them any less. You see, I love looking back, evaluating and assessing what I picked up, and attempting to put it into some kind of meaningful order. In many ways it’s one of the bits of collecting I enjoy the most! The chance to reflect on another year gone by, not to mention re-evaluate the wonderful stuff that was amassed during that time, eh?
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Thursday, 9 January 2020

REVIEW: Fans Hobby MB-11A God Armor



Fans Hobby have quickly established themselves in the world of third party Transformers, and have already proven that they can pump out solid yet fun & enjoyable designs. Better yet, their choice of characters is often not just the “same old, same old”, as evidenced by the new MB-11 God Armor, which could be considered the first attempt at a Masterpiece-styled Godbomber. But wait, who exactly is that anyway? Well, we’ll get to that and more as we take a look at this exciting new release!
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Friday, 13 December 2019

REVIEW: TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-46 Blackarachnia



New Masterpiece releases are always kind of a big deal. Love or hate the current direction of the line it never fails to get people talking! However for Beast Wars fans things are generally pretty rosy, as the line continues to pump out one excellent mould every year or so since we first saw MP-32 Optimus Primal back in 2016. Well now here we are with the latest contribution in Blackarachnia, but does she continue the positive trend? Let’s find out!
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Wednesday, 27 November 2019

REVIEW: Ocular Max PS-01R Sphinx Regenesis



Love them or hate them, Generation 2 Transformers are a thing. And love them or think they're insanely garish repaints that you wouldn't waste your time with, but Masterpiece versions of them are now also a thing! Whilst it all kinda started with MP-12G Lambor back in 2014 (where have those five years gone?), it's only been more recently that the unofficial scene has cottoned onto the idea that they can rerelease their designs in a ludicrous second colour scheme and some people (like me) will eat it up. You see, be it ever so loud and gaudy, there's nothing quite like G2. So here's Ocular Max with what I fairly confidently believe might be the ninth(!) version of their Sphinx mould, and boy have they gone for it, huh?

REVIEW: X-Transbots MX-XIIIT Crackup (Youth version)



Third party combiners have been dominating the market for some time now, but of late we've definitely seen a rush by various companies to deliver the definitive take on these characters in so-called Masterpiece-style. Bigger, bulkier, more complex than ever and, crucially to some, intensely cartoon accurate. X-Transbots have thrown their hat in the ring with Monolith, their attempt at a 3PMP Menasor, but unlike some of the competition they've also carved a separate niche by releasing first Generation 2 redecos of their designs, and now Generation 1 toy-inspired versions as well. First out of the gate is Crackup, their attempt at a toy version of Breakdown, and given how much I continue to enjoy the original release I've been pretty excited to see how he fares!

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

REVIEW: X-Transbots MM-IXZ Barada



Time goes by extraordinarily quickly in the world of Transformers collecting. I was just sitting down to put together a few words on X-Transbots Barada when I decided to look up the review I did of the previous version of this mould, Klaatu, and was stunned to find it was from well over two years ago. How did that happen? In any case, we're back at it again with a fresh repaint for this design, and a slight feeling of reassurance that enough time has passed to fully indulge in another version of the same toy! Fortunately, it's a pretty good one too.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

REVIEW: FansToys FT-29T Quietus



As I was preparing for this review I looked up the last write-up I did on this blog about a third party Masterpiece-style Cyclonus and was surprised to see it was published almost three years ago to the day! I don't know why but I'm sure that says something about the whole notion of assembling a Masterpiece collection and the fact that we're never really "done" as there'll always be tweaks and upgrades to make along the way. In any case it also made me feel that three years wasn't such a bad length of time to have passed before looking at a new version of the character, so with that said let's dive into it!

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

REVIEW: FansToys TF-31C Spoiler



For whatever reason, third party attempts at Transformers characters generally come in threes. Someone, somewhere decreed it. It's rarely less than three and it's even rarer to be more than three, as three seems to be the absolute sweet spot. Reflectors, Insecticons, Seasprays, Springers, you name it. Oh, and now the rule of three has spread to the Combiner wars (see what I did there?) as everyone and their mum is having a go at giving us Masterpiece-styled big lads. Well, now FansToys are throwing their hat into the Stunticon ring with - Spoiler alert! - Spoiler!

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

REVIEW: Aoyi Mech / Black Mamba LS-11 Ancient Leader Scorn



Boy, Michael Bay's Transformers movies are a bit of a divisive topic, eh? And knock off toys too, huh? Well fortunately giant robot dinosaurs are definitely awesome and everyone agrees, so it's all good! Yes, for today's review we're taking a look at Aoyi Mech Ancient Leader, which is an oversized knock off (or OSKO) of an official representation of Scorn from the fourth TF film, Age of Extinction. I guess depending on how you feel about the first two topics then perhaps you've already made up your mind on this one, but I'll attempt to walk you through it all the same. So let's go!

Monday, 28 October 2019

REVIEW: FansToys FT-39 Jabber



It's been a good while since I've flexed my review muscles properly outside of doing monthly rundowns, but here we are back at it again with a new FansToys release. Yep, I've been inspired to get typing by heft and sparkly finish. After all, many of us have been waiting patiently for another stab at a Masterpiece-styled Blurr for a little while now, so let's take a look at Jabber and see if he absolutely, positively, definitely hits the spot.

Friday, 23 August 2019

TFNATION 2019



For many Transformers fans based in the UK (and beyond!), TFNation is a landmark of the social calendar. The 3-day convention in August is *the* event to go to if you're at all interested in transforming robots, and is packed with panels, activities, events and all kinds. Of course there're also plenty of toys to be found!

Monday, 12 August 2019

MONTH IN REVIEW: June 2019



We're really cracking through 2019 now, aren't we? It's always around this time of year that I can't believe how fast the months are rolling by. I guess it's one of the many reasons that I enjoy putting together this regular update so much, as it allows chance for a bit of reflection. Needless to say it's been another busy time with plenty going on, so let's get right to it!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

MONTH IN REVIEW: May 2019



How is it June already? I swear as I get older the months are speeding up. Or maybe it's just that keeping a monthly blog is one way to make you acutely aware of the ever-constant passing of time. Still, it's been an awesome month, so who can complain? I mean, just have a look at some of the wonderful new toys that have made it my way in the last thirty days or so. This one's particularly photo-heavy, so strap in and let's crack on, shall we?