Posts Tagged Cyberverse
Hunter. Hunted. I’m the guy with the guns and sword. Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Optimus Prime!
SPOILER ALERT for the very last moment of the last episode of Season 2 of Transformers Prime.
At the end of the final episode of Season 2 — appropriately named “Darkest Hour” — we are left with a stark image.
The damaged, lifeless hand of Optimus Prime jutting from the ruins of the Autobot base would have much more impact if it weren’t for the fact that:
- Optimus Prime “deaths” are somewhat commonplace in Transformers series. At this point, I’m starting to believe that when Hasbro hires a studio to produce a new series, the contract ends with “Oh, yes, one more thing: make sure to kill Optimus Prime at least once.”
- We’ve seen toys of Season 3 Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Optimus Prime. Not only does he survive his impromptu burying, but it actually seems to have done him some good.
Beast Hunters Optimus Prime is the bulked up, menacing looking version of Optimus that presumably somehow claws his way out of the literal mountain of rubble dropped on his head by the Decepticons. I was initially concerned that the armored versions of the Autobots might not make it into the cartoon itself, but going by the promotional material, it looks like at least Optimus will get his upgrade in cartoon form.
Speaking of Season 2, many fans have eagerly awaited the Star Saber in toy form ever since it made an appearance in Transformers Prime.
“Eagerly awaited” became “OMGGimmeThatSwordNow” when Optimus did this,
Some of us even got weak in the knees when he followed that up with,
This lead to many fans simply taking it on themselves to equip their Optimus with his blade including the talented 3rd party accessory maker, Dr. Wu.
Some fans were… less interested in the subtle details.
We did get a smaller, less impressive version of the Star Saber with the Robots in Disguise Optimus release.
However, the smaller size puts it more on par with the Star Saber that comes with the Cyberverse release of Beast Hunters Optimus Prime.
It didn’t quite meet expectations for the mighty Star Saber, and happily Hasbro didn’t leave us hanging for long, though they have traded the blue glow of the cartoon version for translucent green.
The green tint is reflected in the promotional material, but we will see if that detail makes it into the cartoon.
Despite the upcoming Ultimate class “Dragon Disc” Optimus Prime, you know some will buy the Voyager release as well just to get the sword. For me, the sword was appealing, but the bigger draw was the built-in “Jet Wing” mode.
His backpack has places to put his weapons, both of his guns — which form jet engines for his flight mode — as well as the Star Saber.
Optimus’ “Eaglefire Missile Launchers” are detailed in his instructions as:
- Compact size masks devastating power.
- Missile impact powerful enough to cause earthquakes.
- Double as rocket engines for limited flight.
Augmenting this powerful new Optimus is a powerful looking new alt mode.
This is your Robot in Disguise.
This is your Robot in no mood to deal with anyone’s crap any more, disguise be damned, thank you very much.
Disguise is officially gone from Optimus’ alt mode. Apparently now it’s all about brute force.
Though not from a completely official source, news has appeared that Season 3 or Beast Hunters will be the end of Transformers Prime with a new series coming (along with the fourth entry in the live action movie franchise) in 2014. If the toys and promos we’ve seen so far are any indication, it looks like Prime is looking to go out with a growling, angry bang, not a whimper.
Not expecting to find anything at my closest retail, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a single Dreadwing hidden amongst the plethora of Optimus, Megatron, and Bulkhead. The recently released, sword-swinging brother of the erstwhile Decepticon and currently dimensionally displaced zombie, Skyquake, Dreadwing has shown to be quite competent and enjoyable on the show. Hopefully he’ll get a little more character development as Season 2 proceeds.
His toy is very show-accurate in robot mode, if a little less bulky. The gold adds a nice contrast to the otherwise very Prime Decepticon colours of silver, grey, and dark blue.
There’s something oddly noble looking about Dreadwing in the cartoon the toy seems to capture perfectly, right down to the headsculpt.
Though he does come with a weapon that is meant to look like his cannon from the show, it has been given the “Powerizer” treatment. This essentially means it’s default state is a folded up mess which is far taller than it is long and looks positively daft.
My solution — as I did with Voyager class Prime Optimus’ — was to remove the battery (none of the light-up gimmicks on these “Powerizers” work at all anyway), detach the spring that keeps it folded up, and wedge a piece of plastic cut from the display window of his box to keep it locked in the proper folded-out form.
Taking another cue from Optimus, Dreadwing comes with a sword like he uses in the show.
The disappointment in this toy is his alt mode, or half of his alt mode, or to be even more precise, the bottom half of his alt mode. He transforms into a… let’s call it a heavily modified F-35 fighter.
Whereas Transformer jets quite often suffer from disproportionate undersides, with Dreadwing, it’s as is if the designer just stopped trying. First, there’s the ridiculously obtrusive robot mode hips that jut in an ungainly manner from the front edges, but even that isn’t as bad as the robot hands sticking straight out of the rear end of the aircraft.
The hands would have been excusable on a toy of much smaller scale, but on a Voyager, that’s just sloppy design. In fact, Dreadwing’s Cyberverse toy does a better job, at least tucking the hands under the back wings.
Dreadwing’s Cyberverse release, unlike Breakdown’s, is a very good small scale representation of the character. Done in the larger Commander scale, he comes with an accurate cannon and his sword.
Luckily his Voyager class toy’s robot mode is more than enough to ignore any issues with alt mode. In fact, I like the robot mode so much, that I sincerely hope that the planned release of Skyquake actually happens. I definitely want a chance to place the two of them side-by-side on my Prime Decepticons display.
Beyond stocking my work desk by continuing the Legends class toys, the Cyberverse line also introduced the new playsets that I am definitely a big fan of. With the Dark of the Moon line came first Bumblebee and the Mobile Battle Bunker and Starscream with his Orbital Assault Carrier. They were cool, high on play value, but nothing too mind-blowing for display.
Then the next wave consisted of Megatron and Optimus Prime, both of which actually integrated with their action sets as trailers in alt mode and armor/flight suits in robot mode. Upping the ante for display, especially in alt mode.
In the following wave, Ratchet and Shockwave continued the integration with alt mode, but lose any real integration with robot mode.
Then came the brilliant Dark of the Moon release of The Ark. Rather than a made up (other than Optimus’ trailer, I guess) accessory, here we had an attempt to deliver a show-accurate representation of a piece of Transformers fiction that wasn’t actually a Transformer. My thoughts on the subject were pretty straightforward:
And Hasbro obliged. Not just once, but twice within the Prime Cybververse line we get Wheeljack’s spaceship, the Star Hammer (or Jackhammer if you prefer the show’s name) and a Decepticon Energon Driller.
However, they also decided to go in a completely different, larger-scale direction.
Optimus Maximus is intended to be a battle platform with two modes; the mech-like robot mode and a seated robot mode rolling battle station mode.
The intention, of course is to populate the battle platform with Cyberverse Legion and Commander Class ‘bots.
With missles and sounds and lights (even though, like most Cyberverse, the light-piping gimmick doesn’t work at all), Optimus Maximus provides plenty in the way of play value for the kids. With no fictional appearance, or for that matter basis for existing outside of his box text, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with him.
Then I saw him in person and… don’t laugh… was drawn to how much he resembled a piece of “exploded view” art.
Especially when set against a single-coloured background, Optimus Maximus looks a lot like a deconstructive study of an Optimus.
And that’s not including the fact that at his scale, I can populate him solely by incarnations of Optimus just for the heck of it.
Even with how much I like the look of Optimus Maximus and despite having see the Bumblebee Battle Suit in person as Botcon, I am still on the fence as to whether or not I am going to get that one when it comes out.
Unfortunately, he looks a little less Deconstructive art and a little more Dadaism…
Steve, Winged Steve, Mini Steve, and Other Steve. Transformers Prime, Arms Micron, and Kre-O Vehicon and Igu!
I take the most delight in things that send a small portion of the fandom into an irrational frenzy. These topics include:
Animated‘s design aesthetic
Now, if you don’t know who Steve is, well, he’s one or more of these dudes,
Possibly also one or more of these dudes,
But he’s definitely this dude,
Though, I am firmly convinced the truth is a little more insidious.
In actuality Steve is a name applied by fans to one or all (depending on who you ask) of the Vehicons in Transformers Prime. As the fandom is made mostly of children (I’m not being judgmental here, this is statistically true) there are some that react rather violently in opposition of naming Vehicons. This is especially true when you name them all the same name.
I, however, find the joke to be funny and the violent opposition from a small, but vocal minority to be absolutely hilarious.
So Steve they are.
Despite what could be called janky arms (with elbow joints much like Airachnid’s) these guys are still some of the best toys to come out of the entire Transformers Prime line.
When it was discovered that the Winged Steve (in my house that’s pronounced rather dramatically as “wing-ed”, ’cause it’s funnier that way) would be a Takara-only release, I grabbed a pre-order. Much like Breakdown, he and his Mini-con are very, very much worth the import cost. As the flying Vehicons in Prime actually have cars with wings for alt modes, rather than jets, it was initially thought that Arms Micron‘s somewhat ironically named Jet Vehicon would be nothing more than the Robots in Disguise mold minus wheels and plus wings. However, this was not the case.
Takara completely reshelled the alt mode while keeping essentially the same robot mode underneath. This also gives him the advantage of not having to have the large 5mm posts added, instead just having holes and pegs pre-built into his wings.
It would have been nice if they would have given Winged Steve a 5mm post or hole somewhere along the center of his alt mode, so his Mini-con Igu could be attached without looking so unbalanced. Speaking of whom, Igu is a large recreation of the Vehicon weapon from the cartoon who transforms into an Iguana.
Proving Steve comes not only in many shapes, but also in many sizes, there is Mini Steve, the Cyberverse-scale Vehicon.
Though only with a car alt mode, so no Mini Winged Steve (but one can hope).
At Boton we were introduced to a trio of Kreon Steve, including Steve with wheels, Winged Steve, and Steve with no apparent alt mode but with a gun arm, or Other Steve as I have oh so imaginatively decided to call him.
I’m not one for army building (the term for buying multiples of the exact same toy because they are a generic character in the fiction) but as long as they keep putting out all these different molds, I can build an army of Steve without ever duplicating. That’s pretty much the only reason I will buy the First Edition Steve when he is re-released as a Toys R Us exclusive later this year.
After all, the more Steve, the merrier.
Sorry about the later-than-usual post, I spent about three hours this morning attempting to purchase San Diego Comic Con exclusives from HasbroToyShop.com. It was painful. Remarkably painful. Hasbro are not my favourite people right now. However, persistence paid off and I was able to snag the only exclusive I wanted: the Matrix packaged Transformers: Prime Optimus Prime. Well, that and a massive headache.
But you aren’t reading this to listen to me whine.
With Dark of the Moon has come the Cyberverse line. The line consists of Legends class toys, now called Legion class, and slightly-smaller-than-Scout class toys, called Commander class. Along with this, we have the return of playsets and largest among these is the Ark. Named after the Autobot’s original ship in G1, it’s not just an homage in name but, in the movie, also an homage of situation. Just like the original, the first time we see this spaceship it ultimately gets blown up and crashes.
The Ark (or rather, “Autobot Ark” for trademark purposes) is a pretty darned faithful reproduction of the ship from Dark of the Moon, though greatly scaled down.
One of my favourite things actually comes from the boxart. Everywhere on the box that a drawing of the space cruiser mode appears there is a disclaimer, “Product shown in fantasy situation”. You know, just in case you got confused and thought that the toy actually flew in space and spat laser blasts.
I have to say bravo. The transformation happens swiftly but doesn’t amount to simply unfolding it down the middle. The space station has a completely different footprint as the cruiser mode. Also, the design is very, very intricate, detailed, and clever. Included is a tiny set of teleportation pillars from the movie!
It’s a great display piece, but more than that, it actually has tremendous play value. It could easily be set up against any of the Micromaster bases of G1 for the fun factor. As a collector, I don’t normally write about play value, but this is definitely something I would have been clamoring for as a kid.