By Jonathan Alexandratos
I thought I could do it all in one post. I really could. But when I entered the Hasbro showroom, I knew I’d need five. Five posts to cover all of the amazing product I saw there. This post will be devoted to Transformers. You can look ahead to Star Wars, Marvel Legends, Power Rangers, and a final catch-all of cool miscellany depending on your fandom. Or, better yet, read it all!
I’m about as big a BotBots fan as they come. See, to me, they’re the true robots in disguise. How many times do you pass a sports car and think, “Oh, that’s totally a robot!” (The answer: all the time.) How many times do you pick up a roll of toilet paper and think it’s a Cybertronian killing machine? Probably never. But, in BotBots land, it’s the toilet paper, grilled cheeses, and oranges you have to look out for. This year will see more BotBots releases, including more plastic egg packs that ask buyers to “dig through a treasure chest” or (my personal favorite) “unclog a toilet” to get to your BotBots. I am. So down.
But, fine, okay, maybe you want Earthrise. I don’t know that there were too many Earthrise figures we haven’t seen yet, but they were all there in cool dioramas. I, for one, never appreciated how similar the Earthrise Optimus Prime is to its G1 counterpart in alt mode until I saw it in the showroom (above).
While a lot of collectors are psyched for Scorponok (and, yes, I’m one of those, too), I’m MOST eager for Sky Lynx. Finally. The Sky Lynx they should have made years ago. It has five (!) modes, separates from its base (unlike the previous Combiner Wars release), and is just an all-around cool space bird.
Scorponok is headless, here, because his head is off transformed into a robot fighting other robots. The head on the head (in robot mode) is also a robot that can detach to fight still more, smaller robots. (What is this? An Abbott and Costello routine? But, think Titans Return Fortress Maximus for transformation reference.)
Back to Sky Lynx, who is ready to blast off in a G1 Countdown sort of way. Also, check it out! It’s Arcee in alt mode!
You can really get a full sense of scale, here. Sky Lynx is mid-size, Smokescreen is what you’d typically find on the pegs, and Scorponok towers over all at 28 inches.
I wish I could build dioramas like this. But! According to Hasbro rep Jenn Cruz, Earthrise will feature parts that transform into roadways that can be used to connect construction sites and refueling stations (who are, themselves, Transformers), so diorama-building is somewhat baked into the Earthrise series.
Online, you can pick up more cassette tapes that connect to the War for Cybertron series. The inside of the box contains some nice cassette tape retro art, making these fun to display in or out of the box.
Beyond Earthrise, we’ve got the remaining Bumblebee: Cyberverse Adventures coming out later this year. In that wave, we’ll get an Arcee who preserves a wonderful character likeness while offering kids a bit of an easier transformation process compared to Earthrise or Studio Series products.
Speaking of Studio Series, this will be the next wave of figures in that line. I’m incredibly stoked for the fighter jet Shatter from Bumblebee!
There’s lots to get us rolling out the cash for Transformers in the coming months! I should know; I nearly used all of my time in the showroom ogling them.