Blog #55: Toy Reviews: TF United Stepper, KO Bumblebee Combiner, Botcon 2012 Toys

I have a few Transformers reviews today (as listed in the title) as well as another installment of the Transformers Artifact of the Week.

They did a really nice job repainting Jazz as Transformers United Stepper.  It’s a pretty simple thing, just paint him black and add flames, but it looks great.  I like the metallic (non chrome) gold paint and plastic.

They added the Targetmaster weapon of course, and it’s in relation to that, where I have a complaint.  They didn’t alter the vehicle mode so you could attach the gun.

This type of thing really pisses me off.  If they (Takara Tomy or Hasbro for that matter) are going to do an homage to a previous toy, then do it.  Don’t do a piss poor job and half ass it.  Targetmaster weapons attach to the vehicle modes.  They always have, if they don’t, then they aren’t really Tagetmasters.  The partner must be of use in BOTH modes.

We aren’t talking about completely remolding the toy.  I’m simply talking about a whole in the roof.  If you go to the trouble of making a toy, at least do it right.

After fiddling with him for about twenty minutes, I did find a way to attach the gun, which doesn’t look horrible.

It’s pretty simple.  Just push the spoiler forwards, tilt the barrel, and use his feet and hands like a claw around the spoiler.  He can’t slip die to slide, and unless your Nebulon gets loose joints, it should stay right in place.

What really annoys me is if I knew they weren’t going to do this right, I wouldn’t have bought it.

Onward.

Okay, yeah, I don’t know what the heck it’s supposed to be either.  You may recall in Blog #42 I talked about Knockoffs.  This is one of my favorite segments of Knockoffs, when they take real Transformers designs and alter them to bizarre affect.  In this case, we have oversized combiner accessories from the Japanese G1 Micromaster Combiners with a head similar to Classics Bumblebee.  If that weren’t weird enough, the five toys that comprise him are based on The Playskool Gobots and Rescue Heroes designs.  Yes, that’s what I said.  I didn’t believe it either.  Lastly, if it’s not bizarre enough, he comes with a little dragon friend.  No idea where that came from.

First off, the plastic is super cheap, as it is with a lot of these bizarre Knockoffs.  Each time I touch it, I’m sure it will fall apart in my hands.  It hasn’t yet.  I’m sure it will if I’m not careful with it.

From left to right we have Speed Neon, Sparkling Blaze, Super-Sonic, Herculoid, and Tornado.  Speed Neon and Sparkling Blaze are clearly based on one of the car designs from the Playskool Gobots line, while Super-Sonic came from the plane design.  Herculoid was the front-end loader.  Tornado seems to have come from the design from the Rescue Heroes Charlie Chopper.  Bizarre.

Lastly we have the dragon partner, Tyrano-God.  He doesn’t seem to have any function (like to become the gun) and I don’t see how he can connect to the robot.  I guess he’s a bonus.  The name made me think of Dinozaurs, but I couldn’t find a similar toy.

Anyway, if you can snag one of these really cheap for the Bumblebee’s head on a combiner novelty, grab it, but I’d leave it in the package.  Good for a laugh, but that’s about it.

For the last several weeks the Botcon 2012 toys have been being revealed (accept Metalhawk).  Although I don’t have these toys, I thought I’d give you my thoughts and speculate on what else might be coming out of Botcon.

As you may recall from Blog #24, I wasn’t terribly happy with the concept for last year’s set.  This year looks much better.  My problem with Shattered Glass has always been that if you want to do a mirror universe you need to cross them into the regular universe.  They are finally doing that.  Too little too late, but also better late than never.  I’m going to start with what we know about and then speculate on the toys we don’t know about yet.

They refer to Gigatron as “The Overlord”.  Clearly they couldn’t use that name.  They should have called him Decepticon Overlord.  Problem solved.  As far as the toy goes, I love that mold, but there was a much better choice for that toy, the Japanese version of Energon Megatron (also available as a TRU exclusive).  That has the jet and the tank, it would be the perfect mold.  It’s certainly possible that one wasn’t available, but I don’t really think Overlord is the right character for this mold.  Not a bad toy though, and I do I love the colors.  It just would have been so awesome to have an Energon Megatron repaint for it.  Grade B for this one.

The red Tracks is, at least so far, the crown jewel of this years convention toys.  It looks just awesome, and has everything good exclusives needs.  It uses a great mold, a wonderful classic character, and uses a color scheme that makes sense (he was red in both Diaclone and as a European Transformers release).  Grade A+ for this one.

Soundwave is mixed bag.  I like the Ratchet/Ironhide mold, and the head sculpt looks fantastic.  I realize he is supposed to be Shattered Glass Soundwave, but I would have much preferred he be black than white.  Nice looking toy, but using Soundblaster colors for his heroic self would have been better.  They essentially made him the GI Joe Dreadnoks Cold Slither tour van.  I hate it when that company mixes GI Joe and TF for no real reason.  The Cobra Commander/Starscream from SDCC this year was different, it made sense.  This is just silly.

Also Soundwave’s super silly bandanna from the comic will be made into an accessory sold at the show.  Let’s put it this way.  Putting a bandana on a Transformer in the comic, dumb.  Actually manufacturing said bandana for the toy, really dumb.  Making an accessory for a toy you’re selling, and then selling the accessory separately, pricelessly dumb.  For everything else dumb, there’s Fun Publications.  Grade C-.

Treadshot is a perfect example of trying to do an homage toy and blowing it.  I’m not sure who it is supposed to be an homage of.  The gray stripes certainly suggest Universe Battle in a Box Deluxe Treadshot.  Problem is, he’s the wrong color.  His color is somewhere between Universe Oil Slick and Armada Sideswipe, both of which use the same mold.  So, if you’re going to do an homage, at least get the colors right.  Other than that, I have no complaints.  It looks great, and the Jazz mold is cool.  Grade B.

I love the Diaclone colors on Ultra Magnus.  No real negatives here.  I like the new head (though if you showed me the head without the body, I’d think it was a prototype head for a Lord of the Rings Witch-King of Angmar).  Grade B+.

Metalhwak has not yet been revealed.  I’ll give you my thoughts when it is.  If I were a betting person, I’d bet he would be the Generations Deluxe Thunderwing mold.  Since Metalhwak was originally a jet, it’s the only one that makes sense, though arguments could be made for Revenge of the Fallen Deluxe Dirge or Transformers 2010 Deluxe Terradive.

Other than the box set the only toy we no of for certain is the Transformers 2010 Voyager Seaspray repainted into Octopunch.  I really love this one.  The colors are perfect, and the painted tentacles on his chest really make him Octopunch.  Grade A.

Here’s some speculation on the other souvenir toys.  Given Fun Publications habit of using the same mold multiple times, I’ve heard a number of theories on what the remaining toys could be.

The Tracks mold could be done in either yellow or black, as he has appeared in both colors, yellow in Binal-Tech and black in Diaclone.  It was stated that each head would only be used once, but it was unclear if that was in the box set, or throughout all the exclusives.  If it’s all toys, then this one seems unlikely.  As my friend Dominic suggested, they could go with yellow and a different head and call him Backstreet (as in the Triggercon).

They could do a Soundblaster, which would make me feel a little better about the coloring on Soundwave.  Again, this is unlikely if they aren’t reusing heads.  Another possibility, since last year they did the Animated Ironhide mold as Autotrooper, they could do that again.  I hope they don’t.  This mold isn’t lousy like the Animated one, but they’ve already done it once, let it go.

Another idea I have heard is the Treadshot (Jazz mold) repainted as Shockwave.  I can see that.  There aren’t any other deluxe molds I can think of to be Shockwave.  A better choice for Shockwave would be Transformers 2010 Lugnut.  He wouldn’t even need a new head.  He’s already got one eye.  Other options for the Jazz mold would be G2 Jazz or Gold Jazz (which would continue the Diaclone theme) but would use the same head.  Could be used for a troop builder Autotrooper (or Autorooper) since the Kiss Play toys used the Jazz mold with a different head.  It’s the only obvious troop builder, but we might not have seen the mold they’ll use yet.  Not sure they want to do anything Kiss Play related.

An only slightly related aside.  The main argument for Jazz being repainted into Shockwave is that there is “precedent” for this because Alternators Meister (AKA Jazz) was repainted as Shockwave.  Here’s my problem with this argument.  Where was the precedent to do it the first time?  It seems like the argument is that it makes sense now because they did something that didn’t make sense before.  I don’t get that.  I hear this from people all the time, and while I don’t doubt they may do exactly that, it doesn’t make sense to me.  Not that it matters.  I just thought I’d mention it since it came to mind.

The Ultra Magnus (G2 Optimus Prime) mold has lots of possibilities.  They could do Scourge or a new version of Shattered Glass Optimus Prime.  There are other truck options, Pipes, Huffer, etc.

These ideas only use the known molds, there are many other options.  If I had my pick of toys, I want a black G2 Sideswipe (which would explain why they didn’t call Treadshot Sideswipe) and the Classics Starscream mold as a “Warrior” troop builder in light purple. Not expecting either, but I can hope.  Of course there is also the possibility we get a few more Animated toys.  Oh joy.

Lastly, we have another Transformers Artifact of the Week.

Here we have an original G1 Beta Cassette Volume 10, Heavy Metal War.  This one doesn’t have the original box.  It was cut up and put in a rental sleeve.  I’m still looking for a few with original boxes, but I have the first ten volumes on Beta.  Not sure how many volumes were made.  I have VHS up through Volume 11, but nothing beyond that.  You can find these and 7000+ other Transformers non-toy items at TFMuseum.com.

Thanks for reading!

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About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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10 Responses to Blog #55: Toy Reviews: TF United Stepper, KO Bumblebee Combiner, Botcon 2012 Toys

  1. I think the bonus is a modified downscale of the reptron/dino-bot go-bot from Transformers Go-bot

  2. Pingback: Blog #311: Toy Review: Transformers United Million Year Publishing Exclusive Voyager Artfire with Nightstick and Sparks | lmb3.net

  3. Pingback: Blog #139: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Gigatron | lmb3.net

  4. Pingback: Blog #138: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Treadshot | lmb3.net

  5. Pingback: Blog #137: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Tracks | lmb3.net

  6. Pingback: Blog #136: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Ultra Magnus | lmb3.net

  7. Pingback: Blog #135: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Soundwave | lmb3.net

  8. Pingback: Blog #56: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Metalhawk | lmb3.net

  9. CookSux says:

    Fascinating review of Stepper. I did one as well on my toy review blog (The Rabbit Haul: http://www.cooksux.com) and share some similar points. I’m looking forward to seeing what else you have on this site. Cheers

  10. Pingback: Blog #56: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Metalhawk | lmb3.net

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