Friday, October 15, 2010

Power Core Combiners Bombshock with Combaticons Review

DocWho Reviews: Power Core Combiners Bombshock with Combaticons

Well, by now, you have all probably seen this toy or some other Power Core Combiner in stores and formed some kind of opinion on it. Lord knows I have. What I think about the concept is irrelevant to the quality of the toy. But that's the question, isn't it? How good is this toy?

Well, thanks to the generosity of Hasbro PR, we have the means to find out.

First, let's look at the individual drones in their vehicle mode.

The jeep and the halftrack are by far my favorites. The jeep even has
a point of articulation, in that the missiles on top can turn 360 degrees. Both of these toys are very solid, and look nice standing (parked?) next to Bombshock.

However, the tank and missile carrier are another matter. The hand so obviously hanging off the tank is incredibly floppy, and the whole of the missile c

arrier is like a Slinky. However, that weakness can be used to turn the missile carrier into a turret for Bombshock to use. Simply take the blue peg on Bombshock's arm, rotate it out so it's pointing the same direction as the fist. Plug in the missile carrier, set the hand part on the ground, and you're done. Not bad as fanmodes go.

So, the drones themselves are actually pretty neat on their own. I could see myself shelling out money to get a 4-pack of drones by themselves to go with the 2-pack PCC figures.

Bombshock Vehicle Mode

Based on this vehicle mode alone, I'm going to call Bombshock Not-Onslaught from now on. This is so obviously an Onslaught homage that I can't believe Bombshock wasn't just called Onslaught. His alt mode is basically a mini version of Onslaught's. And it's not very good.

It seems more like an afterthought. The gist of his transformation is basically lay him down, and fold his arms back.

It's not a bad alt mode though. It just seems like it would've fit in better with the alt-modes of Armada or Energon. A few years too late, Not-Onslaught.

Not-Onslaught Robot Mode

Now, my feelings on the overall execution of Power Core Combiners aside, I really do love the individual scout molds, and Not-Onslaught here is no exception. They've all got nicely proportioned robot modes and nice articulation, which is why I'd actually recommend him for purchase when he's repainted.

Continuing the trend of homaging G1 Onslaught in every mode, he also sports two cannons on his back that can be positioned over his shoulder due to the fact that he doesn't have conventional weapons.

The only problem that I can find with this mode is that due to his nap-like transformation, he has weak feet. His heels are practically non-existent. Therefore, he tends to be a little top-heavy. This is still a minor quibble, and it's still a nice robot mode overall.

And now, on to the entire point of Power Core Combiners.


Getting Not-Onslaught into his torso mode isn't that hard, really. Just rotate the backpack 180 degrees, pull it up over his shoulders, and that's pretty much the gist of it. Then just plug in the appropriate drones, and you're done.

Let me get the good part out of the way. Not-Bruticus looks really nice as a display piece. The cannons also function in this mode.

From his waist down, Not-Bruticus also has very nice articulation. It's about on the level of the Energon combiners, except less hampered by kibble.

Now, on to the less than pleasing upper half.

The arms have exactly one point of articulation: a shoulder swivel. Both of Not-Bruticus' arms can move up and down. That's it. If you want to get creative with the transformation, that adds a little bit more articulation, but it's pretty poor for the most part. Not to mention the fact that the hands are extremely floppy. (Although I hear this has been fixed with the Protectobots and the Destrons)

Even though Not-Bruticus looks nice, in the end, he can't do much, which is disappointing.

Final thoughts

I think Power Core Combiners are a pretty cool idea in concept. So far, it's worked 50% of the time, with the Aerialbots being a pretty soild set. The individual 2-packs are actually really neat, and I'm recommending that's where you spend your money if you're looking for some neat scout and Targetmaster figures. But this review is about Bombshock.

And unfortunately, I can't give Bombshock a hearty recommendation, not at $20. If he was at $10~15, then I could recommend it to someone who enjoys gestalts and thinks the concept is pretty cool. If you must have a PCC drone/commander set, I recommend going after the repaints, either the Protectobots or the Destrons.

Bombshock's final score can't be any more than a 6 at his current price. It was a good first attempt, and apparently Hasbro's learned from their mistake, which is excellent.

6s are slightly above average. If you're really into what you've seen of these pictures, you'll like the figure. If you haven't been sold yet, you probably won't be.

My next review, will be Searchlight with Backwind. Will that be enough to prove my theory that the 2-packs are vastly superior? Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Botcon LIVE photo update!

That's right it's time for another other LIVE photo update! Our extended report will be coming out in the days following Botcon, but if you want the most up-to-date coverage, make sure to keep a watchful eye right here on our Botcon 2010 breaking news special report LIVE photo update, uploaded for your eyes as it happens!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Video Game Review: Transformers: War for Cybertron PS3/360

REVIEW: Transformers: War for Cybertron PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
by: TriPredRavage
So here we are nearly a year after that which was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Transformers has once again stepped up to the plate in an attempt to deliver a new video game experience that doesn’t leave us feeling half full. Beware, SPOILERS ahead.

War for Cybertron takes an interesting approach to the TF video game industry. Look back to the other games and their release dates, and they all appear rather logical, being games released alongside or just post the conclusion of a specific series. WfC, on the other hand, sets out to tell the untold tale of the beginning of the Transformers War. (Ignoring the number of comics that have told varying versions of the origin of the war, that is.)

The campaign mode of the game is ten chapters long, starting with chapters I and VI unlocked (I being the first of the Decepticon story, VI being the first of the Autobot story). As you play through them, the chapters unlock in order until finally all ten are completed.

I began the game with chapter I, which seemed like a logical place to begin, and it proved to be so.

Megatron and his team begin their quest to acquire a rare breed of Energon known as “Dark Energon” from a facility under the protection of Starscream and Jetfire. At the end of this level, Megatron proves himself to be strong, causing Starscream to swear his allegiance to the Decepticon cause, and it all goes downhill from there for the team. Along the way, Megatron overwhelms and captures the current Prime, Zeta Prime, throwing the Autobot forces into disarray. The Decepticon story ends in Chapter V with the Decepticons infecting Cybertron’s core with the Dark Energon, corrupting it to their will.

The Autobot story begins with Bumblebee in search of Optimus in order to inform him of Zeta Prime’s defeat, and Optimus takes temporary lead of the Autobots until the council can appoint the new Prime. Stuff happens, Optimus is named the new Prime and given the instruction to evacuate Cybertron as he goes to free the core from the influence of the Dark Energon.

Each chapter averages out to be about an hour to an hour-and-a-half long with a dozen checkpoints for each level. Each level also allows you to select one of three characters before hand to play as, while the other two act as backup throughout the level. The only problem with this is that you have no idea what character is best suited for the level and events to follow, so you sort of pick blindly by choosing whomever you like best.

Characters are iconic and true to themselves as we would expect them to be, even in jeopardy of making the story a little nonsensical. For example, Starscream begins the game opposing Megatron, but swears loyalty when he sees Megatron’s awesome might. Then from Chapter II on, Starscream spends the entirety of the game trying to take over the Decepticons. Yeah, we know that Starscream is a backstabber, but in this case, it was out of nowhere that he just decides he wants to lead the Decepticons.

As I said, though, everybody is very true to what we would expect from them. Bumblebee is energetic and eager, Optimus is a strong leader, Megatron is merciless, etc… My personal favorite was Warpath who couldn’t help himself but yell “KABLAM!!” every chance he had. Laughs all around.

Playstyle-wise, I didn’t feel that there was all that much different from character to character, with the exception of flyers, whose vehicle modes feature a much broader range of motion. Some seemed better at melee attacks than others, but it all seemed rather inconsequential as to who I picked until I started relying on their special abilities which proved to make the difference between the characters. I recommend paying attention to those skills when selecting your character, as it will make all the difference in later levels.

The controls were for the most part reminiscent of past games, but an obvious improvement from RotF’s game was isolating the Transform control to pressing in an analog stick. Otherwise, it was all very straight forward.

The game’s difficulty curve, I felt was pretty steep. I’m an experienced gamer, but by no means consider myself hardcore. That said, I started on Medium difficulty, and by the end of the first level I set the game down to easy. So, there does seem to be a learning curve, and you can increase the difficulty as you become more accustomed to the game.

However, there seems to be a trend as of late in games that they don’t make moments necessarily challenging as much as they just make them incredibly hard. War for Cybertron falls victim to this a bit as well. There were a few instances where I found myself dying repeatedly simply because the game spawned a hoard of enemies and it was too difficult to figure out the best way to run away. These moments were few and far between, but are still worth noting.

War for Cybertron definitely prides itself on being unique and original, but it seems to go to a point that was rather surprising. For example, the choice to use Zeta Prime (who, for as far as I can tell is an original character to the game) rather than Sentinel Prime (a character established as Optimus’ predecessor) seemed a bit odd and unnecessary. As a result, there are NO iconic Autobot characters within the Decepticon story until chapter IV where Omega Supreme appears.

However, from that point on, the Autobot story is littered with iconic Decepticons and is very fulfilling in that manner. The strange point of the Autobot campaign comes in its beginning. The Autobot story is actually very dependent upon that which happens in the Decepticon story, literally being the middle of the game’s overall plot. Thus, if you start as the Autobots, you may find yourself scratching your head in the beginning wondering how and why some things are happening.

The game supports a strong roster of characters and a very talented voice cast. A personal favorite of mine was how annoying some of the dialogue the supporting Decepticons had throughout the game, as Megatron becomes increasingly irritated by their babble as levels play out, so I really felt like I was Megatron in that manner. Strangely enough, Steve Blum (who voiced characters Dark Scream and W.A.R.S. in Robots in Disguise) plays the voice of Barricade, but is also the narrator of the game, which can leave you asking “Why is Barricade the narrator?” as both voices are the same. The answer: I have no idea. It’s not a bad thing, but it did make me chuckle.

Lastly, let’s talk graphics. War for Cybertron’s graphics are very crisp. Parts of characters’ bodies are always in motion, giving that real life-like feel to them and makes the experience very enriching. The only real problem is that most everything is the same few colors, so it can be hard to distinguish objects from one another amidst a firefight. Despite that, however, there are several moments where you just look at the game and go “wow, that’s cool!”

All in all, War for Cybertron is easily the best Transformers game we’ve had since the Armada themed game, and I’m very pleased to say that. It took some risks, for better or for worse, and came out a very solid product. An important item to note is that the game features a variety of multiplayer modes, including online play, and co-operative campaign modes, but I didn’t get to try these out for this review. You can breeze through the story mode of this game if you have the time and the drive, and that can make it feel a little light for price tag, but considering all of the Trophies/Achievements to be had, as well as the variety of multiplayer modes, War for Cybertron is absolutely worth it.

Review in Summary: Good looking game; vast improvements over the last title; original ideas; strong character roster; plenty to do. Buy this game, and you won’t be disappointed.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Transformers: War for Cybertron - San Francisco hands-on Preview Event!

Wednesday night, Activation, High Moon Studios, and Hasbro put together an awesome hands-on Transformers: War for Cybertron game event in downtown San Francisco!

At this Transformers War for Cybertron hands on event, we all got a lot of hands on time with this extremely cool new game! If you haven’t already seen the 3 part coverage from our previous hands on experience of Transformers: War for Cybertron at High Moon Studios and our 19 minute long multimedia photo/video interview with the game designers make sure to check it out. We have already reported on general game play mechanics and single player campaign mode, so for this write up, we will focus on the two new game modes we got to try out! The two new game modes we got hands-on time with on Wednesday were the Co-Op Campaign Mode and the new multiplayer Escalation Mode.

Transformers: War for Cybertron - Hasbro Display
Co-Op Campaign Mode was a whole lot of fun especially with the use of the headsets to talk to our fellow players in-game. Assuming at first that one character could be killed off, we left one of our comrades behind while the other two pressed on. This did not bode well for any of us as we then found out that if even one of your fiends dies, you all have to start over. Anyone on your team can revive you back to one brick of life, while Ratchet or someone with the heal ray can heal you up to full life. Thankfully, there are check-points, so when you do die (or a team mate dies), you all get to restart from a relatively near by spot, particularly helpful when nearing the end of a level. Tigatron/Wolfang step aside because there will be no lone hunters in this mode. Looking out for only your self in Co-Op Campaign mode can be down right dangerous; it is important to save the ammo and health scattered throughout the worlds for you teammates who really need it, rather than simply whoever gets there first. We got to play a whole lot more of the story/campaign mode this event, and I was thoroughly impressed! The game play and mechanics, are absolutely fantastic, and the graphics/design work of not just the characters, but the worlds is stellar. Wow, was it a lot of fun. We were able to play an entire level, culminating in a three way team up to defeat non-other than Starscream. This game blows the servos off of the previously released Transformers Movie games and bests it by leaps and bounds. I can tell this game will retain a lot of replay value! It is such a giant heap of fun to play that the only problem is, you just won’t want to set it down.

Transformers: War for Cybertron - Console Screen Shots

Even if you’ve beaten the Autobot and Decepticon campaign modes, this game has a whole lot to offer! Its non-campaign multiplayer options include team play death match, protect/capture bases, and a new escalation mode. In Escalation mode you don’t get to ‘design your own Transformers’ because this mode allows you to play as all of the iconic characters in their intended color schemes. You and your team mates (more than just 3 of you, but we weren’t told exactly how many more), fight off wave after wave of (non-iconic) enemies, drones, techno bugs, holographic warriors, and even the big thugs. I’m impressed with the level of variation in the “drones” of this game, that is, non-iconic characters. It really doesn’t feel like you keep killing the same guys over and over again, except for the holographic warriors, but you’d expect that (they’re holograms) and they’re a lot of fun to kill anyway. The basic idea of this mode is to see how long you can live, or particularly, how many waves of ever smarter/stronger/faster/more destructive enemies you can ward off before dying. When you kill enemies you pick up chips of energon, which can be used to purchase, health, ammo, new weapons, or new areas of the level in which to fight. This mode was introduced to us as “teamwork or die,” however, in Escalation, only one of your team members needs to be alive to beat a wave of enemies, when a full wave has been beaten, everyone who has previously died comes back to life. One fun touch to this mode (as well as the campaign modes) is that when you ‘die’ you can actually turn and somewhat sloppily shoot surrounding enemies while laying on the ground ‘dead.’ Your team mates have a decent amount of time to come and revive you, but it gets shorter every time you use it. Based on how this mode is designed, it will likely be the most fun cooperative mode to play with a group of mixed skill level players because unlike co-op campaign mode, your team mates can’t hold you back, they can only help you get farther, assuming they’re still alive.

Transformers: War for Cybertron - Nintendo DS Screen shots

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Transformers: War for Cybertron - Exclusive Interview with High Moon Studios Design Team (Part 2) High Moon Studios Visit
Interview with High Moon Studios’

Shawn Miller – Animation Director
Ivan Power – Lead Artist
Jim Daily – Lead Concept Artist

Transformers: War for Cybertron - Hands on Story Mode impressions (part 1)

At High Moon Studios, we had the opportunity to play two levels of story mode; from what I saw of those two levels, I was very impressed! Here are a handful of highlights…

· Story mode play consists of your central chosen playable character with 2 (computer controlled or online multiplayer) characters who fight along side you. The computer controlled characters seemed surprisingly helpful; the AI was very well done. In a presentation we had heard prior to playing the game, we were told that a central theme/philosophy about designing the game was that “Transformers were really always about the team, and that a central theme in the show/TF lore was that when they work solo, things don’t end well, so it was important to High Moon from the get-go to incorporate team play into the entire game. This game design philosophy came across quite nicely in all modes of play.

· Each vehicle has a typical drive/flight mode (front wheeled steering – for cars, meaning that forward motion must happen in order to turn), which is engaged by holding down a button. When the button is not depressed, your character defaults to a hover mode. I was not sure how I felt about this when I first saw the videos, but in game play, I found this hover mode extremely helpful and quite enjoyable to use. If you’re used to platform games, think of it as strafe weapon/camera control for vehicle mode. You can move sideways around a target while shooting without driving towards it. This feature/play mode is brilliant, and a LOT of fun and takes very little getting used to.

· Each character has a special ability: Optimus has the “battle cry” which momentarily boosts his (and every near by Autobots’) protection and damage. Ratchet has a healing ray to ‘fix’ his team mates while in battle. Bumblebee has an energy blast that damages all near by enemies. Air Raid has cloaking abilities rendering the character invisible to enemies (as seen in the new multiplayer trailer).

· Characters have room to hold two primary weapons. Only a few weapons (Prime gun for instance) are character exclusive. Most characters can put down their standard equipped weapons, in order to have room to carry an extra weapon. When a character picks up a new weapon, that weapon not only integrates into the characters arm, but takes on that characters primary color as well (i.e. the assault riffle takes yellow accents for Bumblebee, red for Optimus). There is only one melee swipe move, no combos, uncertain weather characters can upgrade their melee weapons. Characters can not walk around holding their melee weapons; they only pull them out to use them. When walking, characters are always at the ready with one of two equipped arm guns.

· As characters lose power the sound gets muffled, and vision blurs/crackles. Really cool effect: feels like power is being diverted to core systems leaving sensory inputs drained.

· Trypticon talks (didn’t get to play, but this level was demoed for us). Kind of reminded me of a Giant robotic Bowser.

· Transformation is a toggle button as opposed to holding down a button to stay in the alt mode. The standard controls are set up such that transformation is achieved by pressing in on the left analogue control stick.

· Fantastic game play and controllability of the characters, really feels like you’re there. My only critique of the game play is that you can only invert the vertical axis for the camera. I usually set up my controls to invert both the horizontal and vertical axes, thinking of my right hand thumb control as which way I want the camera man to move, not the character. I mentioned this to a number of the developers including Matt Tieger, and am still holding out hope that this added control set-up feature might end up in the final release of the game. I’ve got my fingers crossed. While I found myself running into walls out of force of reflex, I did begin to get used to this after a while.

· All in all, you can really tell how much the developers care about this game. It is meticulously designed, and beautifully executed. With the innovative drop-in/drop-out cooperative online multiplayer story mode, I think this game has the potential of giving the highly acclaimed “Batman: Arkham Asylum” a run for it’s money, as far as striking gold on developing/re-imagining a licensed fan-favorite property/brand for the video game market. Way to go High Moon, I’m thoroughly impressed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Transformers Collector's Club Magazine - April Comic Preview

Shortly after releasing the entire issue of last month's Collector's Club Magazine for public viewing, Pete Sinclair from Transformers Collectors' Club Magazine has sent us two preview pages of this year's comic story from next month's Magazine. Check out the pages below!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Toyfair 2010 Report: War For Cybertron

At Toyfair 2010 we got all kinds of new info and sneak peaks at the new game Transformers: War for Cybertron, due for release this summer. Here is a summery of what we learned.

There are plans to release more figures in conjunction with the game under the generations (new “Universe” catchall series), but the only three they were willing to discuss were Optimus, Bumblebee, and Megatron.

Story was introduced to be set far into the past of the civil war. As described, by WFC producer Jason _ ? _, we enter into the story in a place where relationships/trust/allegiances are not already formed. We get to see these relational dynamics forged between characters like Starscream and Megatron, Optimus and Bumblebee… The Autobot campaign includes the story of how Optimus came to be a Prime.

We were given the very first sneak peak ever at in-game live play of three levels (2 Autobot Campaign, 1 Decepticon). I will discribe these levels and what we learned from them below:
For each level you can pick which character you are controlling, but you will be playing that level with other characters who run/drive/fly/battle along side you (in all of the levels we saw, it seemed like there were two other characters involved in each level).

1st) Main Character: Optimus – Side Characters: Ratchet & Bumblebee. Feels more like a playable scene in a story rather than game level (pretty sweet), presumably early on in the Autobot campaign, where Optimus explains the recent death of Zeta Prime to Jetfire (who is very distraught at the news) on holo vid and assumes temporary command, in this time of need. Ratchet seemed surprised and concerned at Optimus’ bold move, but does not argue. Jetfire explains that he needs cover fire via the ground based anti-aircraft cannons. Optimus, Ratchet, and Bumblebee leave Autobot HQ to get the guns online meanwhile fighting off incoming flanks of Decepticons. Ratchet sounds a lot like movie Ironhide (with a touch of movie Ratchet’s accent). Bumblebee sounds a lot more like a Hotshot type character.

A note on in-game esthetics:
In the first level, Autobot HQ at Iacon, we got to see the best view of general esthetics of the game because it started out with dialouge and less distracting (yet totally awesome action). We could see that this game would be generally quite dark which is where the glowing energon strips/cracks in the characters helps to visually keep track of them on the screen. In an elevator with Optimus, Ratchet, and Bumblebee, we were able to see that High Moon has taken a queue from the movie-verse where these robotic characters' armor is somehow in constant motion. Much like the twisting/shifting gears inside Primes head in the first movie (at Sam's window), Optimus in the game had back armor/wheels that were constantly shifting/adjusting while interacting with Ratchet and Bumblebee. This was a pretty cool effect over all, but at times of low action/conversation, I found it slightly distracting. I found myself watching the shifting armor and thinking "cool" while being less engaged in the dialogue. However, this reaction on my behalf may well have warn off in another 30 seconds of viewing. The presenters were sure to note that this was all a very unfinished preview, so it makes me wonder if they will tone this armor movement down at times with low action.

2nd) Main Character: Jetfire - Side Characters: Airealboots Silverbolt & Air Raid! This was an Autobot level taking place far above the surface of the planet Cybertron. Arial shooter - exploding satellite type structures. More maneuvering than aerial combat scene; think Empire Strikes Back meets exploding Cybretronian astroid/satellite fields. Even this level allowed for transformation to destroy, dodge, and run across obstacles.
3rd) Main character: Megatron vs Omega Supreme Boss fight - Side Characters: Soundwave and Stunticon Breakdown!
All I can say about this level is WOW!!! This makes Omega Supreme (very classic voice) seem unbelievably ominous! Way cooler, and somehow, far more G1 in my opinion than he is depicted in the trailer. Omega was standing in a glowing crater of destruction with an ominous/erie yellow light from below illuminating him. He looked WAY bigger than he did in the preview.

A note on voicing:
Soundwave’s voice was dead-on G1. Sounded exactly like Frank Welker to me... I’m starting to think that Megatron might be Frank Welker as well, only voicing him very differently than G1. I pressed the Activision/High Moon/Hasbro crew about this, but they neither denied or confirmed any voicing theories. When I asked the producer about this, his response was "We haven't announced any voiced actors other than Peter Cullen, of course there is no embargo on you all reporting on what you saw and heard today..." That being said, I can confirm for you all with about 98.9% accuracy (the accuracy of a well tuned G1 enthusiast's ear) that Soundwave at least will be voiced by Frank Welker. Megatron did a fair amount of talking in our brief look at this level and there were times that he sounded quite a bit more like G1 Megatron than he did in the preview. As for Megatron, I can't really say for sure... time will tell.

War for Cybertron gameplay will be Very story driven - Very scripted (as described by the producer). From the preview we got to see, I consider this a real positive. In the ROTF game the story elements seemed to be primarily in the cut scenes, with a bunch of missions to accomplish in-between; this game seems to weave story elements deeply into the fabric of the in game play.

We now know the that character pictured seen below (who we've seen before in much poorer quality) is actually the Combaticon Brawl! With confirmation of at least two Arealbots in the game, and at least one Stunticon (Breakdown), perhaps we might also see some more of our favorite Combaticons and other combiner team members... Will they combine? Only time will tell.
This sneak peak gave us a huge leap forward in understanding game mechanics; I was able to clarify/gain further detail on some key/innovative gameplay elements after the presentation in conversation on the showroom with a number of members of the War for Cybertron team.

*** There will be a seamless online, cooperative gameplay aspect, where your friends can simply join in and take control over the other two characters in that scene/level. The new game play feature was described as follows: “Your friends can simply jump in and out at any time, even in the middle of a level, and take control of characters. So if they’re playing along with you, and the pizza arrives, they can simply jump out, finished dinner and jump back in without interrupting the game.” However, no local multiplayer (only online). It seems that this multiplayer aspect may not have to be defined when starting a game, they were intentionally vague about how exactly this would work in the presentation, but in conversation later, they suggested that one could be playing the standard campaign mode and have a friend jump in at any time. I can just hear the phone calls & text messages already...
You: "Hey [insert you own bro/friend], I'm going to play some War for Cybertron. You want to join me?"
Friend: "Ah, you know, I'd love to, but I've got [insert sport] practice for the next 20 clicks..."
You: "That's cool, I'll be kicking some skid-plate with Optimus, join in when you're out of practice."
Friend: "Sounds good! See you on-line to take care of those slaggin' Decepticons."

From Events & Interviews
I was told later that one could select any of the characters that your friends could jump in and control, so this pretty much confirms that not only Jetfire, but Air Raid, and Silverbolt will be playable as well.

List of currently known playable characters:
Optimus, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Jetfire, Silverbolt, Air Raid, Megatron, Soundwave, Breakdown, and Starscream.
Other characters that we know will be making an appearance, but we are unsure of their playablility are: Ironhide (in all likely hood, playable), Warpath, Brawl, Trypticon, and Omega Supreme.

All in all, this game looks absolutely stunning! With such extreme attention to detail, a clear love for the characters/mythos of Transformers, very innovative gameplay (multiplayer) options while utilizing a well tuned character control engines for at sit down and play familiarity, this game is sure to hit it big with Transformers fans, seasoned gamers, and new to videogame players alike. I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on this game for a testdrive...

What do you think of this new style and expression for Transformers? Let your voice be heard in the forum!

Toy Fair 2010 - Full Report

We have uploaded Hasbro's Toyfair promo pics in a gallery (embedded at the bottom of this post), but there were some pictures that were shown during this presentation that were not provided. As I understood, we were not to take pictures (tons of people did though), so you can find pictures that are not available as part of Hasbro's Toyfair promotional release or displayed in the showroom here from our friends at Below you will find a description of what we learned through pannel, along with various galleries of pictures taken at Toyfair 2010. Enjoy!

Generations line (all deluxe, catch-all series, ala post Moive Universe line)

- Darkmount (aka Straxus)
- Drift
- Thrust (significant retool of Classics seeker jet)
- War for Cybertron figures (Op Meg, and BB are still the only ones that Hasbro is talking about, but they strongly hinted that there will be more on the way)

Power[ ]core Combiners

5 Pack Combiner teams
- Silvebolt (?) and the Aerialbots (wave 1)
- Bombshock and the Combaticons (wave 1)
- Double Clutch and the Rallybots (wave 2)
- Mudslinger and the Destructicons (wave 2)
2 Packs (1 slightgly larger than Scout figure, 1 Minicon)
- Huffer with Caliburst (wave 1)
- Smolder with Chopster (wave 1)
- Leadfoot with Pinpoint (wave ?)
- Searchlight with Backwind (wave ?)
- Icepick with Chainclaw (wave ?)
- Sledge with Throttler (wave ?)

Movie Line: However all movie language will be removed from the packaging...
(aka "Transformers" w/ "Hunt for the Decepticons" product/online game promo)


- New Optimus Prime mold (very movie accurate/detailed)
- Seaspray
- Payload


- Elita-1 (redeco Chromia with what looked to be a new molded head)
- Hailstorm (new mold)
- Jetblade (redeco)
- Sea Attack Ravage (redeco)


- Breacher (new mold)
- Insecticon (New mold insect bot from ROTF)

Human Alliance:

- Jazz with Lennox (has retractable visor, and motorcycle that transforms into his movie style shielded gun!)

Masterpiece Grimlock
to be released in the US with crown...

G1 Blaster with Steeljaw, Ramhorn and Eject Reissue exclusive for SDCC 2010

There was so much news about the upcoming Transformers: War For Cybertron videogame that have written special posted devoted to the topic.

Let your voice be heard in the forum!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Toyfair 2010: Live photo feed!

We have the technology, so why not use it...

This year, keep your eyes pealed as I am bringing along my iPhone 3GS to take some quick first glimpse shots of those new toys you're dying to see! I've taken a few pics to get ready for the trip, and embedded a live feed gallery below. Our tour starts at 12:30, and I will upload as I go, so you can expect pictures of the entry and setup to start rolling in around noon Eastern Time. I will also be taking pictures with a much better camera to upload after the event, so keep your eyes pealed here for ongoing/rolling updates on TOYFAIR 2010!!!

Note: to see newly uploaded pictures requires reloading this page. If you prefer larger pictures simply click on the slideshow which will take you to the Live Photo feed in Picasa Web Albums.

Pre-Toyfair Hasbro Press Release


Lead New Introductions For The Innovative And Popular Toy Line

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (February 12, 2010) — On the heels of launching 2009’s largest grossing movie and in anticipation of the next installment in 2011, the TRANSFORMERS brand from Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) ramps up the play in 2010 with new offerings that build on the energy and excitement from the brand’s history and blockbuster film franchise. Featuring over-the-top action figures, unique role-play items and innovative twists on the TRANSFORMERS brand signature play pattern, the 2010 lineup offers dozens of toys, two exciting promotions and an expansive worldwide licensing program across all major categories to satisfy and excite the brand’s ever-expanding fan base.

This spring the AUTOBOTS, the heroic protectors of Earth, need help from their human allies in the N.E.S.T. GLOBAL ALLIANCE as the planet continues to face threats from the evil DECEPTICONS. Hasbro is inviting kids and fans to join the alliance through a special promotion that is currently underway. By collecting three stickers included in specially marked TRANSFORMERS products, kids and fans can join the N.E.S.T. GLOBAL ALLIANCE and mail away for a special edition RAVAGE figure not available anywhere else. The promotion requires a payment of $4.95 for shipping and handling charges to receive the special edition figure and the offer is good while supplies last. Requests must be postmarked by April 30 and received by May 14. Then, in the fall, kids can ‘live’ the TRANSFORMERS adventure as the “Hunt for the DECEPTICONS” promotion begins. Look for exciting details about this interactive promotion later in the year.

If fans can’t wait until 2011 for the next TRANSFORMERS movie they can watch online webisodes of “Cyber Missions,” featuring new TRANSFORMERS adventures. “Cyber Missions” finds the AUTOBOTS working with humans in the N.E.S.T. global alliance to defend Earth against the revenge-seeking DECEPTICONS. There will be 12 webisodes total which began airing online at in early January and new webisodes will continue to air throughout the year.
BUMBLEBEE continues to be one of the most popular TRANSFORMERS heroes as he acts as both a defender and a warrior for good. The new BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE action figure continues to push the boundaries of TRANSFORMERS toy innovation and showcases two sides of BUMBLEBEE with features unique to each of these roles. For example, when serving as a guardian, BUMBLEBEE features more playful phrases along with authentic engine sounds and lights. Then, when converted into battle mode, BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE has missile launchers that pop out, a converting plasma cannon that lights up, and phrases that change to reflect his battle personality.

Expanding upon the essence of DEVASTATOR — a robot built by combining multiple construction vehicles — the TRANSFORMERS brand unveils the new POWER CORE COMBINERS expression that redefines the magic of combination play. The toys deliver an interchangeable system of robots, vehicles and weapons that escalates the level of fun and increases the number of robots within a child’s TRANSFORMERS toy universe.

For those wanting to engage in heroic AUTOBOT role play, the TRANSFORMERS line offers new items including the OPTIMUS PRIME CYBER SWORD toy which features lights, battle and conversion sounds, as well as key phrases from OPTIMUS PRIME.
And for the youngest AUTOBOT-in-training, the TRANSFORMERS brand unveils the new ACTIVATORS expression of action figures. Designed with the youngest TRANSFORMERS fans in mind, ACTIVATORS toys feature easier conversion from vehicle to robot modes than traditional TRANSFORMERS figures and are available in popular characters such as OPTIMUS PRIME, BUMBLEBEE and MEGATRON.
For more information about TRANSFORMERS promotions and products, consumers can

Highlights of new TRANSFORMERS products available in 2010 include:
(Approximate retail price: DELUXE Scale $12.99; VOYAGER Scale $19.99; Leader Scale $44.99; Ages 5 & up; Available: Spring 2010)
For more than 25 years, TRANSFORMERS action figures have been known as “ROBOTS IN DISGUISE,” providing fans with the enjoyment of converting incredibly detailed, realistically styled vehicles into awesome battling alien robots. In 2010, Hasbro is offering a wide variety of all-new versions of fan-favorite characters, including OPTIMUS PRIME, BUMBLEBEE, MEGATRON and STARSCREAM in an array of scales: DELUXE, VOYAGER (larger scale), and LEADER (largest scale and includes lights and sounds).

(Approximate retail price: $59.99; Ages 5 & up; Available: Fall 2010)
The all-new BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE action figure is ready for battle! This large-scale figure truly shows fans the AUTOBOT hero’s personality, both as a protector of Earth and a warrior against the evil DECEPTICONS. With two distinct modes – Battle and Guardian – BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE features a variety of electronic sounds and lights, accompanied by a converting plasma cannon.

The TRANSFORMERS POWER CORE COMBINERS introduce fans to an all-new assortment of figures that expand on the classic play pattern of the popular “ROBOTS IN DISGUISE.” This new expression of figures combine with one another, in dozens of variations, to create a wide variety of larger COMBINER robots, with each figure serving as various body parts and weapons. Available in 2-packs and 5-packs.

(Approximate retail price: $9.99; Ages 5 & up; Available: Fall 2010)
The TRANSFORMERS POWER CORE COMBINERS 2-Pack includes one SCOUT scale TRANSFORMERS figure and one MINI-CON scale figure. The SCOUT scale figure features a ‘robot’ mode and a ‘vehicle’ mode. The MINI-CON scale figure has four modes: ‘robot’ mode, robot weapon, vehicle weapon and Power-up Armor for combining with the central SCOUT scale figure in both robot and vehicle mode. 2-Pack figures are interchangeable with 5-Pack figures.

(Approximate retail price: $19.99; Ages 5 & up; Available: Fall 2010)
The TRANSFORMERS POWER CORE COMBINERS 5-Pack features teams of TRANSFORMERS characters that can combine together to form one large TRANSFORMERS figure. Each team consists of one SCOUT scale figure and four LEGENDS scale vehicles. The SCOUT scale figure features one ‘vehicle’ mode and two ‘robot’ modes and each of the LEGENDS scale vehicles can plug into the specially marked ports on the central SCOUT scale figure to instantaneously convert into an arm or leg using auto-conversion technology. All figures can be swapped out with one another to form multiple different combinations and new figures. 5-Pack figures are interchangeable with 2-Pack figures.

(Approximate retail price: $7.99; Ages 4 & up; Available: Spring 2010)
TRANSFORMERS ACTIVATORS toys, a new expression within the TRANSFOMERS toy line, feature conversion from vehicle to robot modes that’s easier than traditional TRANSFORMERS figures. Designed with the younger child in mind, conversion is triggered by pressing the AUTOBOT or DECEPTICON shield located on the figure and require only a few steps to fully change modes. TRANSFORMERS ACTIVATORS figures feature popular characters including BUMBLEBEE, OPTIMUS PRIME and MEGATRON.

(Approximate retail price: $19.99; Ages 4 & up; Available: Fall 2010)
The TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME CYBER SWORD allows kids to role play just like the fearless leader of the AUTOBOTS and reenact their favorite battle scenes. Kids will enjoy its electronic lights, battle and conversion sounds, as well as key movie phrases.

(Ages 4 & Up; Approximate Retail Price: $19.99; Available: Fall 2010)
Created specifically for the ACTION FLEET TRANSFORMERS line of mini-vehicles, kids can join the adventure and help BUMBLEBEE and OPTIMUS PRIME defeat the evil MEGATRON by racing to victory with the new ACTION FLEET TRANSFORMERS BATTLE TRACK set. The glory of winning depends on your skill; launch the BUMBLEBEE mini-vehicle, exclusive to this track set, at the correct time and send it crashing into MEGATRON who will crumble in defeat. Introduced in 2009, TRANSFORMERS mini-vehicles feature the robot version of characters unique to the TRANSFORMERS universe on the underside of each non-converting vehicle for easy identification.

(Ages 4 & Up; Approximate Retail Price: $24.99; Available: Fall 2010)
Featuring electronic lights and sounds, motorized conversions and firing projectiles, kids can “bring to life” the epic TRANSFORMERS battle with this new vehicle from the ACTION FLEET TRANSFORMERS line. For covert combat, watch as select parts of this OPTIMUS PRIME semi-truck vehicle convert with the touch of a button to reveal stealth mode weaponry hidden inside to battle the evil DECEPTICONS like no other vehicle available.

Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at . © 2010 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.