Blog #64: Toy Reviews: Transformers Prime & Some More Thoughts on Hasbro

I have a full set of Transformers Prime First Edition and Transformers 2012 Deluxe, Voyager, and Cyberverse Legion wave one (accept for Legion Ratchet.  Also, I have a Stealth Force Mini Changers Sideswipe and Sentinel Prime and Transformers United Rodimus Prime to review.

Before that though, if you’ve read my blog about Hasbro’s bonehead moves of late, I’ve got a few more comments on new developments.  They released a statement saying that they have heard the fans, and are planning to release the First Edition toys at some point, but are not sure what form that will take (packaging, exclusivity, etc).  Now, I may complain about Hasbro, but I will also give them credit when they do something smart, and this is it.  People want these toys, and they will apparently make that possible.  It would be nice if they made some small alteration on them (a paint app color change or logo difference, or something) for everyone who, like me, went out and spent a pile of money on the Canadian ones.  That way we can at least feel like we’re getting a different toy.  That’s probably too much to hope for, but I’ll cross my fingers.

However, as seems typical with Hasbro, two dumb moves must follow each good one.  Hasbro claims that only the first wave of Transformers Prime First Edition Deluxe toys was ever intended for sale in the United States.  Interestingly, today at a Toys R Us, I found a First Edition Bumblebee’s Ion Blaster.

I had nearly forgot this was supposed to be coming out.  This is the same toy released for the 2007 movie now in TF:Prime FE packaging.  Role play toys aren’t hugely popular among collectors, so those being left out of Hasbro’s press releases is not that surprising.  It would be easy enough to forget it as an oversight and not think that it’s important.  Unfortunately, the cross sells cannot be ignored.

The box pictures all three deluxe toys as well as the Entertainment Pack.  It seems kind of silly that they would put a cross sell on a USA packaged toy for the Entertainment Pack if it was never meant to be released in the USA.  Hasbro can do whatever they want, but as a fan and collector of their products, I would just like them to be honest with us.  It seems pretty clear the Entertainment Pack was to be released in the USA (if not all of the First Edition toys).  They canceled it.  Fine.  It sucks, but telling us it was all a big mistake doesn’t make any sense.  Of course, this is not conclusive, but something about their explanation doesn’t add up, and this only makes that seem more likely.

Hasbro, if you’re listening (I’m sure you aren’t) just be honest with us.  Tell what what’s going on, and I don’t just mean with these, but with everything.  I’ve been searching for months for Stealth Force toys that have never materialized in the USA, so I have to “guess” they aren’t being released here and buy them online from Canada and the UK.  I just wish you’d tell us this.  I recall seeing official pictures of upcoming TF:Animated Thundercracker and a Bulkhead repaint a year or so ago, and then they just never came out.  As a collector, I just want information.  It doesn’t seem to be a lot to ask for them to just tell us when a planned item has been canceled.  A simple page on your site that lists upcoming and canceled items is all it would take.  Doesn’t seem to be a lot to ask.

Now for their other dumb move (because they have to make two to offset the good one).  During Dark of the Moon, Cyberverse toys were numbered series one with individual numbers given to each toy.  I like this, but couldn’t understand why they would only do that for Cyberverse and not Deluxe and Voyager toys.  For the new Transformers 2012 line all price points are numbered (that I’ve seen so far, Bot Shots, Deluxe, Legion, and Voygaer).  One problem.  2012 Cyberverse Legion is series two (presumably Commanders as well) while Deluxe and Voyager are series one.  If they are going to number all toys, then start at the same time.  If they wanted Dark of the Moon to be series one and then 2012 series two, that’s fine, but splitting them this way is just silly.

On to the reviews…

I have a couple of general comments about the 2012 and FE Prime toys.  They all have very detailed transformations.  They are very well engineered, and all stay together nicely in vehicle mode (a number of RotF and 2010 toys didn’t stay together very well in vehicle mode with panels not wanting to close completely).  Both 2012 and FE robot and vehicle modes are extremely show accurate.  All vehicle and robot modes are of the same basic design for both 2012 and FE, but are of completely different transformations.  FE toys are also larger than their 2012 counterparts.

Another thing I’ve been hearing is that from now on Deluxe toys would be called Revealers and Voyager toys would be called Powerizers.  2012 toy boxes still say Deluxe and Voyager, so I don’t know where this came from.  Interestingly, my register receipt from TRU today did say Revealers and Powerizers.  Not sure what this means, but until they put those designations on the boxes, they’re still Deluxes and Voyagers as far as I’m concerned.

Bumblebee (Deluxe both First Edition and 2012) – Over all these are both very nice toys, but the First Edition is superior to the 2012 in paintjob.  Both have the same black striping, but the FE has the taillights, front directionals, hubcaps, and an Autobot logo painted.  None of these are painted on the 2012.  The painted yellow (over clear plastic) car parts on the 2012 do not match the yellow plastic at all.  The FE yellow paint is much closer to the plastic color, not perfect, but there is so much less of it that it doesn’t look so bad.  While the FE only has only one gun, the 2012 has two and they can be mounted on the hood in vehicle mode.  The gun for the FE doesn’t stay on the bottom of the vehicle very well.  Both are well done, but the FE is definitely worth it if you can find one, if only for the painted details.

Optimus Prime (Voyager both First Edition and 2012) – The First Edition version has a flimsy plastic sword and smokestacks, while the 2012 version has a hard plastic sword and smokestacks.  2012 also has a MecTech style weapon with lights instead of the regular gun of the FE.  It’s nice, but I kind of like the more traditional black gun on the FE.  The FE has a few more paint apps, but not so glaringly as the Bumblebee.  Both look nice, I could go either way on these.

Cliffjumper (Deluxe both First Edition and 2012) – I wonder…is this the first red car Cliffjumper that was not a repaint of Bumblebee?  Anyway…  Nice pain apps on both.  The 2012 has more detailed legs in robot mode and a single piece chest, which looks better.  The gun is also very cool, while the FE has no gun.  On the other side though, I like the blue windows of the FE version, you can’t see all the inner workings.  Also, the FE headlights are clear blue plastic instead of painted, and the FE has flip out cannons to replace his hands.  I think this is one case where over all I prefer the 2012 to the FE, but only by a small margin.

Bulkhead (Voyager First Edition) – This is the best toy in the First Edition line that I’ve seen yet.  It’s just awesome and looks 1,000,000% better than the 2012 one shown at Toyfair.  The only negative is that his weapon, which looks like a mace without the shaft/chain, sits on the back of the vehicle.  If you only buy one FE toy, get this one.  The 2012 will be a huge disappointment when it comes out if you’ve seen the FE.  Once the 2012 version comes out I will do a comparison.

Vehicon (Deluxe First Edition Japanese) – As of now, we don’t really know if the wave two (Vehicon and Terrorcon Cliffjumper) First Edition toys will come out or not.  Vehicon is out in Japan, so I picked that up.  This toy looks awesome.  I love the light purple paint on the dark purple plastic, and the robot mode looks very cool, though I don’t like that he can’t actually hold his gun in his hand.  I am curious to see how the non-Japanese version of this will differ if it is released.  When the 2012 comes out I will do a comparison.

Arcee (Deluxe First Edition) – This is a great toy, and I much prefer it in blue to the NYCC pink version.  Paint apps are nice.  The 2012 Arcee is not out yet, so I can’t compare, but this one is really well done, I doubt it will be a huge improvement.

Starscream (Deluxe First Edition) – There is no Deluxe Starscream planned for the 2012 line.  The jet mode is amazing looking, and both modes seem very show accurate.  My only complaint is the soft plastic missiles, which don’t stay on very well.

Megatron (Deluxe First Edition) – Robot and vehicle modes look awesome.  Many Megatrons in the last several years have had lousy vehicle modes (Movie, Revenge of the Fallen, Animated, etc) but this one is great.  All the jet parts click into place nicely.

Optimus Prime (Deluxe First Edition & SDCC) – This is a really cool toy, very show accurate.  However, the FE version is not identical to the SDCC version, even though I thought Hasbro said that it would be.  Here are the differences.  The First Edition is on the left and the SDCC is on the right.  (Sorry the numbering is out of order.)

1. Forehead vertical strip painted silver on FE version, unpainted on SDCC version.
2. Circles are painted yellow on FE version, unpainted on SDCC version.
3. Paint on abdomen is darker on SDCC version than FE version.  SDCC windows seem to match paint on abdomen.
4. Lights over cab are painted on FE version, unpainted on SDCC version.
5. Headlights are painted on the FE version, unpainted on the SDCC version.
6. Silver lines on roof of FE version, missing on SDCC version.
7. Chest windows are blue on FE version, metallic black-gray on SDCC version.

The FE version certainly looks better to me, but as they are the same mold, the differences are really not hugely significant.

Wheeljack (Deluxe 2012) – Such a great looking toy.  All the paint apps they went cheap on with Bumblebee must have made their way to Wheeljack, and they look amazing.  His head sculpt is wonderful.  Best of the 2012’s I have so far.

Soundwave (Deluxe 2012) – This is one of the first that doesn’t look that show accurate to me.  Aside from that, I love the jet mode.  The robot mode isn’t bad, but his arms are kind of long.  Nice toy, but clearly the weakest of the 2012 line so far.

Megatron (Voyager 2012) – I don’t like this one as much as the Deluxe First Edition.  That one had a nice vehicle mode where everything clicked in place.  This one seems to be designed very much like the deluxe, but not quite.  His robot shoulders don’t really fit perfectly anywhere.  Robot mode looks great, though.  He has a MecTech-like weapon with lights.  Nice toy over all.

Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Arcee, and Vehicon (Cyberverse Legion 2012) – It’s amazing to me how much more detailed Legends/Legion toys have become, and these are no exceptions.  All toys will now come with weapons.  They started this with some Dark of the Moon toys that came in multipacks.  Instead of the hard plastic from the DotM weapons they are done in a softer plastic.  They do attach to the vehicles, so that’s nice.  Unfortunately, it seems Hasbro is using the weapons to make multiple toys.  Toys will come out in different assortments with different weapons.  Kind of cheap to just swap around weapons and make a new toy, but that seems to be what they are planning.

Okay, so that’s it for TF:Prime.

I also picked up a Transformers Dark of the Moon Stealth Force Sideswipe and Sentinel Prime set.  I got this from the UK.  I have confirmed four of the nine planned sets of two were released.  Three others I am getting from Canada, but I have not received them yet.  I’m not sure if all four sets were released in the UK and Canada or not.  I’m on the lookout for more of these sets, but I doubt there will be any others.  At this point, a USA release of these seems unlikely.  Nothing really special, a non articulated black repaint of robot mode Sentinel Prime and a vehicle mode Sideswipe with doors that open to reveal weapons in this set.

Lastly, I picked up the remolded and repainted TF:United UN-23 Rodimus Prime.  The remold is on the engine, where there is now a peg to mount a Targetmaster weapon.  The paint job looks great, very different from the USA Classics or Henkei release.  I really picked this up just because it was a remold, but the paint job makes it more than worth it.

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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3 Responses to Blog #64: Toy Reviews: Transformers Prime & Some More Thoughts on Hasbro

  1. Pingback: Blog #736: Toy Reviews: Transformers: Cloud Voyager Brawn | lmb3.net

  2. Pingback: Blog #260: Toy Review: Japanese Transformers Prime Orion Pax with Arms Micron Gold Metal R.A. | lmb3.net

  3. Pingback: Blog #132: Toy Review: Transformers Prime Voyager Bulkhead | lmb3.net

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