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Old 2015-02-23, 07:22 PM   #41
Knightdramon
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At this point I think tfw2005 is just tfw2005...

Even when MP V2 Megatron is announced, I'm certain people will moan about it even before any pictures or price is shown.

With Tracks I think the S2 car bots are reaching an end
--Sadly I do not think we'll be seeing Skids, although I hope I'm dead wrong, Hoist pretty much depends on a Trailbreaker coming out, and I don't think Inferno and Hoist are ever coming. Am I forgetting anybody?

Wishful thinking, but if Ironhide and Ratchet are indeed 100% coming, that leaves us with...

Tier 1 [my opinion, obviously]
Jazz
Sunstreaker
Mirage
Hound

Tier 2
Cliffjumper
Trailbreaker
Skids
and any retools that might come from them

And...is that it for the MP cars? That's like a year of releases at maximum...
 
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Old 2015-02-23, 07:32 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Clay View Post
Keep in mind also that they didn't have any problems licensing the Corvette for Binaltech Tracks, ROTF Sideswipe, or AOE Crosshairs. Given that, Tracks was probably the most likely of the cars to have official blessing.
Yeah, eventually I realized that and then it made sense. The existing working relationship probably pushed him up to the front of the list.

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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Megatron frankly doesn't, or we'd have seen miscellaneous variants or at least a reissue of the first one at some point between its' first release and the line being revamped. Reckon he'll come out around the time of figures that have "retail" repaint potential (Ratchet/Ironhide, Inferno/Grapple, Trailbreaker/Hoist) so the budget's nice and in the black.
The demand for MP Megatron definitely isn't up at the same level as Prime, but I think a good part of that is because, frankly, it's just not very good. The desire for a new-mold Megatron isn't just because of scale issues, but also due to the fact that almost nobody is actually satisfied with the original's look or engineering. It's hard to judge the demand for a new, actually good Megatron toy based on that.

But I think the same problem will hold them back from making a new Megatron, because how do you get a good facsimile of Megatron's character model out of a gun without seriously compromising one or the other?

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Can't really fathom it. I mean, the 1985 characters can't be that unpopular, plus I'd imagine Jazz is still at least partially sitting in licensing hell. Who else does that leave us with, Sunstreaker? Hoist? Ratchet? Ironhide? Come to think of it, I take that back. But still, he's a pre-movie character, surely that has to count for something, right?

...right?
The people who are mad probably think the only characters who are "real G1" are the ones who showed up in the first episode of the cartoon. Or the entire first season if they're feeling generous.
 
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Old 2015-02-23, 07:42 PM   #43
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Well, I'm excited about MP Tracks - he was a favourite of mine as a kid, and I love Corvettes!

I like the design, although the shoulder missile launchers look a bit poor - I do prefer the nice big poseable ones on the Binaltech version. But it's early days anyway!

As to first series G1 characters, there are still quite a few lacking the MP treatment, such as Skyfire.

However, I'm happy to see whatever comes in whatever order. I do prefer characters that turn into real world vehicles (Ultra Magnus was a stretch), but there are exceptions (e.g. Hot Rod or Galvatron). I would have thought the fanbase would include folk who swing both ways though.
 
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Old 2015-02-23, 07:50 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
how do you get a good facsimile of Megatron's character model out of a gun without seriously compromising one or the other?
Seems decent enough to me, although I skew heavily toward robot modes and it remains to be seen what QC is like --

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transf...-megatron.html
 
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Old 2015-02-23, 10:03 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
Even when MP V2 Megatron is announced, I'm certain people will moan about it even before any pictures or price is shown.
You know it!

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Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
With Tracks I think the S2 car bots are reaching an end
--Sadly I do not think we'll be seeing Skids, although I hope I'm dead wrong, Hoist pretty much depends on a Trailbreaker coming out, and I don't think Inferno and Hoist are ever coming. Am I forgetting anybody?
I don't know why you would necessarily count out Grapple, Hoist, Inferno or Skids. I mean, Takara isn't about to stop making the line while it's still profitable, and even the forgotten Autobot Cars are going to be bigger sellers than pretty much anyone else they could put out in the MP cars' size bracket.

I do think Kup, Blurr, a standalone Hot Rod and maybe Wreck-Gar would be considerations, but after that?

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Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
And...is that it for the MP cars? That's like a year of releases at maximum...
Longer than that, surely? To date they've never released more than two new MP car molds in the same year. If Takara really do intend to shut down the line after the most profitable characters are done, they'll milk it for all it's worth and stretch it out for as long as they can.

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As to first series G1 characters, there are still quite a few lacking the MP treatment, such as Skyfire.
That's true, but I think size is an issue for some of them. None of the remaining season one characters would fit into the relatively affordable price bracket that the cars occupy. The Dinobots would all be the size of Grimlock and MP-10, as would Shockwave and Skyfire. The Minibots, Insecticons and Reflector would all be smaller, and so far Takara's been pretty leery of small MPs (Bumblebee being the sole exception, since the cassettes are basically accessories). And the Constructicons would be a fairly monumental undertaking, since whether they were sold individually or not you'd have to design all six at once.

Which isn't to say that they won't make at least some of those characters, but they've wisely spread out the big, expensive figures and limited them to one or two per year. Shockwave, Skyfire, Slag, Sludge, Snarl, Swoop and the Constructicons would be three or four years' worth of "big MP" product all by themselves if Takara actually decided to do them all. And all the while they'd need something to fill out the rest of the line, which I think is where people start to get a bit antsy.

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Originally Posted by Denyer View Post
Seems decent enough to me, although I skew heavily toward robot modes and it remains to be seen what QC is like --

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transf...-megatron.html
That's a good Megatron, don't get me wrong. And it's a big improvement on the looks of Takara's attempt. But it's still a long ways off from the "cartoon robot turns into the real-world alt-mode" feel that the MPs go for. The robot mode is pretty close, but the lower legs are messy and the upper arms are different from the boxy character design. And the gun mode has terrible proportions and doesn't look a thing like a Walther P-38. If this was an attempt at a Generations-style Megatron I'd call it a rousing success, but it misses the mark on the 80s accuracy that Masterpiece designs strive for.

The thing is, I don't actually see Takara even getting something this good. The only reason Apollyon's robot mode looks so good is because they didn't worry about making the gun look right. Judging by both the original and the MP, a P-38 just doesn't have enough mass in it to make a blocky robot like Megatron.
 
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Old 2015-02-23, 10:19 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post

I don't know why you would necessarily count out Grapple, Hoist, Inferno or Skids. I mean, Takara isn't about to stop making the line while it's still profitable, and even the forgotten Autobot Cars are going to be bigger sellers than pretty much anyone else they could put out in the MP cars' size bracket.

I do think Kup, Blurr, a standalone Hot Rod and maybe Wreck-Gar would be considerations, but after that?
My reasoning [which has been backed up by a number of designer interviews] is that with the exception of Bumblebee, all the cars so far are riding on their brand awareness and popularity in regards to their car maker more than their actual strength as characters.

Hasui [the lead designer, MP10 to MP21] had said that Sideswipe, Prowl and Wheeljack were given the greenlight because their cars are [and I quote] "supercars", and that he was kind of worried about Wheeljack because he was neither an A-lister nor exactly your flavour of heroic autobot. Tracks certainly follows that notion, with his 80ies muscle car form.

Sadly, neither Inferno nor Grapple fit in that category, plus, to keep in scale with the rest, they'd have to be in a bigger pricepoint category than Sideswipe. Which sadly, are points against them as even between them they'd have to be remoulded and retooled enough.

Skids is not a supercar either, but he can fit in the smaller pricepoint of the other cars and has one repaint ready and out of the gate with the only real difference being the headsculpt.

Trailbreaker is going to be the real dealbreaker though. I figure that the rumoured Ironhide is going to be a testbed for this, not so much for engineering, but for testing the waters for a totally not sexy and sleek car that will have to go for a higher pricepoint than the cars. If Ironhide [and by extension, Ratchet] sell well enough then I believe we might see Trailbreaker, and then, as a chain, we *might* see Inferno.

Pure speculation on my part based on interviews and general release attitude so far. TT seems to be pushing the obligatory repaint with every new car mould hard enough [Exhaust, G2 Bumble, the rumoured Road Rage Tracks repaint], so in that sense, I see the line going a bit more Binaltech on us than expected.
 
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Old 2015-02-23, 11:24 PM   #47
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Is there much evidence these are selling to car fans substantially rather than primarily TF fans?

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a P-38 just doesn't have enough mass in it to make a blocky robot like Megatron.
Nah, it doesn't. But they're already fudging real-world modes with Magnus, so at some point I assume the money on the table will call loudly enough.
 
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Old 2015-02-23, 11:52 PM   #48
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Not sure why scale would hinder Inferno/Grapple... Takara seem to be aiming for robot mode scale more than alt mode scale, I'm not sure any of the MP cars so far have been quite to scale - like the G1 originals they're just close enough to not look really weird on a shelf. Heck, Soundwave wasn't to scale. Inferno & Grapple would only need to be a head - if that - taller than the rest. Their big trouble will be whether to go for realistic alt modes or just have a big pair of robot arms on the back a la the originals.

Alt mode desirability might see the likes of Tracks shoved up the order to get some money in but I seriously doubt a character like Ironhide is going to be skipped over just because he turns into an eggbox on wheels. It actually wouldn't surprise me if Tracks has been bumped up to take advantage of the presumably still extant deal with GM, which would obviously save money over working out a fresh deal with - say - Toyota for Trailbreaker so soon after they've sprung to pay Fiat/Lancia for Wheeljack.
 
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Old 2015-02-24, 09:29 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
I don't know why you would necessarily count out Grapple, Hoist, Inferno or Skids. I mean, Takara isn't about to stop making the line while it's still profitable, and even the forgotten Autobot Cars are going to be bigger sellers than pretty much anyone else they could put out in the MP cars' size bracket.

I do think Kup, Blurr, a standalone Hot Rod and maybe Wreck-Gar would be considerations, but after that?
I'd love to see all of the above, and Trailbreaker, but suspect that the larger chaps may be unlikely as they'd be either out of scale in vehicle mode or out of scale in robot mode, while also probably being a new size inbetween the MP cars and MP-10. There may not be the market for them, as they're minor characters, plus their vehicle modes don't have the selling point that cool branded cars do (additional market - model car collectors or fans of particular vehicles may pick up a version that turns into a robot as a novelty at the least?). But who knows?

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That's true, but I think size is an issue for some of them. None of the remaining season one characters would fit into the relatively affordable price bracket that the cars occupy. The Dinobots would all be the size of Grimlock and MP-10, as would Shockwave and Skyfire. The Minibots, Insecticons and Reflector would all be smaller, and so far Takara's been pretty leery of small MPs (Bumblebee being the sole exception, since the cassettes are basically accessories). And the Constructicons would be a fairly monumental undertaking, since whether they were sold individually or not you'd have to design all six at once.
Yup, you're probably right - but what about Sunstreaker? I'd really love a Masterpiece Sunstreaker. And they've already put out a Lamborghini Countach...

And I do really want an MP Megatron in the same scale as MP-10... I don't care if he turns into a gun or a tank.
 
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Old 2015-02-24, 04:20 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
My reasoning [which has been backed up by a number of designer interviews] is that with the exception of Bumblebee, all the cars so far are riding on their brand awareness and popularity in regards to their car maker more than their actual strength as characters.
That definitely is the approach with the first few molds (I would even include Bumblebee in that -- the Beetle isn't a "supercar" by any means but it's highly recognizable all the same), and it makes sense to do that. When you're launching a new line and you're not sure if it will work out or not, you give yourself every advantage that you can. Picking and choosing the Autobot cars with the coolest alt-modes you can get licences for is the smart thing to do.

But now the line is a roaring success, and they're not far away from running out of well-known alt-modes to make. Jazz, Sunstreaker and Windcharger are probably the top three left after Tracks, with Mirage and Hound being more recognizable by vehicle type than make and model and absolutely nobody caring about model Oneboxes, Hiluxes, whatever Skids is, etc. Once those sure things are used up, they'll have to choose between calling it quits on new molds or moving on to riskier items. And as long as the line remains profitable, I can't see them ending it without at least giving the weaker alt-modes a solid try.

Now, it's entirely possible that the model car enthusiast is a bigger part of the Japanese customer base than most of us think. If that's the case, then when they make Ironhide or Trailbreaker they'll be flops and that will be the end of that. But if they're a success, they'll absolutely keep going, eventually getting to guys like Brawn and Inferno and Gears with their fudged (or entirely made-up) vehicle modes until it's not worth their while to do so. Whether it actually gets that far or not, who knows? But it's a solid possibility.

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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Inferno & Grapple would only need to be a head - if that - taller than the rest. Their big trouble will be whether to go for realistic alt modes or just have a big pair of robot arms on the back a la the originals.
I'd imagine they'd go for something like the cartoon, where the arms were clearly still there but they made a perfunctory attempt to make them look like a part of the vehicle.

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Yup, you're probably right - but what about Sunstreaker? I'd really love a Masterpiece Sunstreaker. And they've already put out a Lamborghini Countach...
I was going on the assumption that all the '84 cars are going to see a release no matter what, so I wasn't counting them.

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And I do really want an MP Megatron in the same scale as MP-10... I don't care if he turns into a gun or a tank.
I would love an MP G2 Megatron personally, but since Japan only got the tiny purple one I don't think the odds of it are very good.
 
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Old 2015-02-24, 04:58 PM   #51
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But if they're a success, they'll absolutely keep going, eventually getting to guys like Brawn and Inferno and Gears with their fudged (or entirely made-up) vehicle modes until it's not worth their while to do so.
G1 Brawn:





Pretty sure G1 Brawn was meant to be a Land Rover Defender. They're not made up (they cause too much heartache for that...). Sadly the new models (which will also be the last, as production stops this year) are terrible - my 2013 Defender is on its third engine (the second engine only did 1,650 miles!). For a vehicle you take to really remote locations, reliability is quite important and risk of unexpected and total engine failure is an issue... That's why I am, with a heavy heart, moving away from Defenders (and any Land Rover) for my professional off-roading needs. (The old ones are great though - I've taken Defenders older than Jurassic Park up to the tops of mountains for work (on their original engines).)

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I would love an MP G2 Megatron personally, but since Japan only got the tiny purple one I don't think the odds of it are very good.
I had him as Archforce - he was a neat figure for his time.
 
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Old 2015-02-24, 05:49 PM   #52
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Pretty sure the Wakinerds did decree that while Brawn uses elements of the Defender he actually draws bits from several models (cf. Huffer and Gears). So don't say otherwise or either we'll have one of the bastards in here boldfacing and italicing all over the place or you'll get added to the stack of twattery that is their page on common misconceptions people who don't spend all day reading and editing the Transformers Wiki have about Transformers. That said, the Miserable Three all had original alt modes which weren't really superdeformed; I don't think them not being real vehicles will put Takara or buyers off if the MP Minibot concept has legs.

Regarding the alt modes I'm skeptical it's going to be sportscars only. It makes sense to launch the line with the sexiest cars because that shows off what MP does that, say, Classics or BT didn't - nice licensed vintage alt modes. But BT started out with a modern sports saloon ethos and ended up slinging out the Scion once they got going. I don't think Lambo fans are a big part of the audience. Genuine question - was MP-10 licenced?

The licensing is there because Takara want to do G1-accurate alt modes. They can't do what they did in 1982 and just sling out a model Countach now because they'd get sued to ****ery (as Marlboro have already shown. I doubt the licence cost is particularly crippling because you can get licenced diecast toy cars for two, three quid still.

Have I missed something about an announcement about the alt modes being in scale? Because I'm pretty sure they're already not quite there in the same way the G1 cars weren't in scale. Genuinely think they're going for robot mode scale based on the G1 cartoon (so Hound will probably be about the same height as everyone else rather than much shorter).
 
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Old 2015-02-24, 06:05 PM   #53
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Pretty sure the Wakinerds did decree that while Brawn uses elements of the Defender he actually draws bits from several models (cf. Huffer and Gears). So don't say otherwise or either we'll have one of the bastards in here boldfacing and italicing all over the place or you'll get added to the stack of twattery that is their page on common misconceptions people who don't spend all day reading and editing the Transformers Wiki have about Transformers.
Well, Jeep and Mercedes totally ripped off the Land Rover design back when that was totally legal, so I could see Brawn being considered to be based on any one or a mixture of them all I guess. (The great irony is that both Jeep and Land Rover have progressed 'their' design over the years, while Land Rover are stuck in the past with the exception of cutting corners now to save on costs...)

I don't spend enough time looking at Transformers websites to be aware of any official decision or 'twattery'.

This is the only site I tend to visit, because I like you guys.

So happy to be corrected.

I don't think the vehicle modes are meant to be in exact scale, as they don't seem to be. But I think that Takara are trying for them to look ok together, while having the robot modes look right too. I can see that being a problem for some of the Minibots and characters like Inferno.
 
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Old 2015-02-24, 07:30 PM   #54
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Pretty sure G1 Brawn was meant to be a Land Rover Defender.
He's got elements of one, but he's not a full-on reproduction of one the way the bigger cars were. He's closer to what we get in the Generations line nowadays, a vehicle that looks a lot like a real-world car but isn't an exact copy.

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I had him as Archforce - he was a neat figure for his time.
It was a very good mold for its day, for sure, but it had no significant media appearances. And the bigger green-and-purple one is associated with a random Beast Wars guy in Japan, so I don't know that there'd be any interest in one of those from Takara.

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Have I missed something about an announcement about the alt modes being in scale?
Probably all you'd need to do is look at Bumblebee alongside the others to kill any idea of the vehicle modes being in scale. In real life a Beetle is over 90% as long as a Datsun, while the MP is quite a bit smaller than that I think.
 
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Old 2015-02-24, 07:33 PM   #55
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Is there much evidence these are selling to car fans substantially rather than primarily TF fans?
Not really, I think it's more a case of "let's make this attractive to as wide a circle of customers as possible". I don't think transformers as a franchise/toyline is as hot in Japan as it is in the US, especially when compared to Gundam which pretty much dominates the market.

That was very apparent on takara's epic fail of Prime AM figures, unpainted, crappy stickers, not assembled minicons for "mix n match" fun.

As far as I know, MP10 was not licensed [and by extension, neither is Magnus]. The only licensed bots are the cars, which are unofficially part of takara's "real car MP series"--quoted like that on various interviews.

I don't think that the BT series was as successful [in hindsight] as takara backed themselves up in a corner and put the stick up their own a$$es. The strict 1:24 scale meant they could never do anything larger than a car [besides the GT10 RAM mould], and the costs were supposedly so prohibitive they had to pretty much repaint everything at least once.

The repaint thing is becoming more and more apparent with the MP cars, but at least the scale issue is taken care of now. For now.
 
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Old 2015-02-24, 08:18 PM   #56
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My reading of the Japanese market is they're interested in the first two seasons of G1 and maaaybe the Movie, the live action films and basically nothing else... things like Arms Micron, Kiss Players etc. are just desperate attempts to try and expand the brand to more than Optimus and 'bee.

MP seems like a hands-up "okay, okay, fine" gesture with maybe an eye on claiming a stake of the high-quality robot market; how many SoCs do people buy when not really giving a toss about the associated media? I watched about three episodes each of Voltes V and Daimos, did my head in. Cool robots, though.

But then Takara just do seem to do mad things; things like putting out a whole bunch of Asian-exclusive DOTM figures was something we all thought was impossible until it actually happened.

With regards to MP, I don't think the licensing is prohibitive for most of the cars. We're not even talking much in the way of genuine prestige brands, they don't need licenses from Ferrari or Bentley. Sheikhs don't drive Porsches, guys who've had a good couple of hours on the stocks drive Porsches. Lamborghini's been sold more times than the BT Subaru mould. Ligier's a two-bit concept operation. The rest are common-or-garden Japanese roadcar manufacturers. If it cost too much I doubt they would have started and we certainly wouldn't have had some of the weird shit that came out towards the end of BT.
 
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Old 2015-02-25, 02:38 AM   #57
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Yeah, it never struck me that the licensing fee was the difficult part but rather the licensing permission.

As far as painting themselves into a corner with Binaltech's large scale, I don't think that was in-and-of itself the problem. The figures worked and the details were distinguishable, and the line seemed to hum right along so much as they had 'bots with car modes to work with. The occasional esoteric choice like Grimlock and Shockwave seemed pretty welcome at the time too. I think it was the reluctance to do other characters that are cars anyway (like the Stunticons, nevermind the combining) that led them to the oddball repaint stuff (Swerve!) to fill the gap.

I will say the 1:24 scale precluded a lot of other vehicles (planes, tanks, etc.), but they didn't necessarily have to stick with that scale for other things. They could have just started Binaltech: Air Division and made 1:60 aircraft and Binaltech: Military for larger trucks and tanks at 1:48.

Of course they did try to start over with a smaller scale for the Alternity figures, but those petered out much more quickly (the erratic release schedule probably didn't help).
 
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Old 2015-03-03, 06:21 PM   #58
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Tracks in [mostly] full colour.

The rumours about Raoul and Blaster were true, and there's also a flightstand.

VERY neat, guys.
 
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Old 2015-03-03, 07:05 PM   #59
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Like it! Bit of stylising but still unmistakably a Transformer. Feet are a bit weird but that might just be the angle/pose. Upper torso and general posture ARE Tracks.
 
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Old 2015-03-03, 08:26 PM   #60
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Looks pretty neat, I'm not a huge Tracks fan so I think this will be one I can pass, but it's still very well done.

I am currently torn between getting MP Ultra Magnus or the Generations IDW version. Honestly, you wait ages for a good Magnus toy and then two come along at once.
 
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