Well we didn’t see quite as much as we’d hoped, but on the other hand, there were a couple real surprises.
For one, Hasbro is finally officially recognizing it’s adult fanbase! In the investor panel, they specifically called out their marketing strategy as Rescue Bots for the very young, the mainline figures for up through age 12, and then Generations for the “18+ Boys.” Yes, that was their exact wording on the latter.
What this means is that while the mainline toys are going to be very simplified, the former mainline figures that we’ve traditionally had with the complicated transformations will all be sticking around in Generations. Essentially, besides the legacy(currently IDW) characters there’ll be a line of the new movie figures under the generations Label with all the usual bells and whistles we older folk have come to expect, but because of the labeling the younger tykes won’t be getting frustrated by them. From personal experience, even though I’ve dealt with both their transformations twice, the difference between Scoop and Skids is like Night and Day. I wouldn’t want to see a kid having to try to deal with Skid’s transformation when they’re trying to do a quick transform “mid-battle.”
Setting that aside, it looks like my wallet is still fairly safe from the movie year. Most of the designs I still don’t care for, as I’ve been kinda burned out on the movie aesthetic. Mostly I was just interested in Strafe who went from a techno-jet with two huge cannons to a dinosaur thing with two heads; Slash who is a tealish raptor that I’m kinda iffy on, Scorn who is a red spinosaurus who’s started to grow on me a little, and Crosshairs because of the twin gun mojo and trenchcoat, though that one depends on how he comes out in the movie.
As for the rest:
- Legends are not canceled, despite rumors to the contrary! So, still waiting on Swerve and Tailgate. Probably giving Gears a pass, and undecided on Shrapnel.
- On the deluxe side, I’m sold on Nightbeat now that he’s on the Bumblebee mold. I don’t have that mold and it’s fairly fitting. Jhiaxus I don’t care for the color scheme on, so I may wait until I see what he looks like Cheets-ed up into his G2 color scheme, and if it looks good I may send it off to get repainted. Rattrap is as bought as he ever was, and Windblade is leaning towards no. I’m waiting on better pictures for a permanent decision on that, but I don’t like how the robot legs are glaringly robot legs on the back of her vehicle mode, even though they could feasibly be boosters. Oh and G1 car Arcee that we haven’t seen yet!
- On the Ultra side, Roadbuster is bought. Whirl needs his Wrecker partner-in-crime after all! Skybyte is sort-of bought, but I want to see better pictures, or see it in person first. It looks very dynamic, but the way the head jumps out in a different color is kind of off-putting. No sign of Brainstorm.
- As far as Leaders, I’m still passing on Jetfire because I already have the older Classics version, and I don’t care for the toy-based vehicle mode for a Skyfire design. No sign of Megatron yet.
- And under the category of surprise returning guests, the Masterpiece Grimlock is coming out again stateside! Hopefully this time I’ll actually catch it in stores.
That’s pretty much it until SDCC or Botcon. The Generations line is supposed to have 73 figures this year, as opposed to 53 last year, but now it’s got to include the “real” movie figures so we’ll see what’s in store for us in the latter part of the year.