Sunday, May 31, 2009

Revenge of the Fallen Sideswipe figure interview

Many thanks to my friend Naaly, who recently purchased Sideswipe, whom I've been wanting to get and, so far, have been unable to. I pulled her aside for a short interview about him.

Miraging: Okay so, how tall is he compared to, say, Voyager Prime?
Naaly: Um... about his waist.
Naaly: He's not very tall
Naaly: Sorry, just transformed him and posed him upright.
Miraging: Awesome.
Miraging: So, how tall is he?
Naaly: 6-7 inches by very rough guesstimate. (Later measured, he's about 6.)
Miraging: Short, huh.
Miraging: Wow.
Miraging: Okay.
Miraging: Alt-mode fit together nicely?
Naaly: Yup, some parts are finicky and may not snap together well if you have no idea what you're doing, but when everything's in place he looks pretty damn smooth.
Miraging: Rolls well?
Naaly: Yup.
Miraging: Awesome. Okay, for the mech mode, is there anything you really like about it?
Naaly: Overall sexiness and he is pretty sturdy on his feet. Anyway you pose him he looks damn cool.
Miraging: So he's pretty poseable?
Naaly: Yup, you can bend both of his knees to an extent, his head turns almost 360 degrees -- I didn't want to reaaally twist his head around in case I break him, and his arms can bend at the elbow and shoulder for a wide range of poses.
Miraging: Right. So there're ball joints at the knees and elbows and shoulders? What about his hips and/or waist?
Naaly: His legs are attached pretty niftily to his torso by this weird little ball joint, but they can only move so far to the side and to the front.
Miraging: Okay.
Miraging: Any complaints in general?
Naaly: I have this feeling his joints might become a little rickety if transformed too often, but right now he's a pretty sturdy bugger. (Oh, and his damn hood is a biznatch to fold back properly ffffff).
Miraging: All right-- would the hood be easy to snap off, or is it just difficult?

(While Naaly was working with Sideswipe's chest piece, I went searching for a solution to her problem, and found this: "And here's one to keep Sideswipe's chest from unlatching constantly. You just need to create some pressure by sticking something about the thickness of a playing card or two in the gap where the windshield folds down against his back, thus jutting the chest forward a bit and the latch works.")

Naaly: If you're reaaaaaaaaaaally frustrated.
Miraging: Okay. XD
Miraging: Okay, does he have any weapons? And do mine eyes deceive me or are those doorwings on his back?
Naaly: They look like it, but it's the front parts of the hoods that don't really go anywhere on the figure.
Miraging: Ohh, I see.
Miraging: They look all right, though? Not like the Animated twins and Safeguard. >.<
Naaly: they look pretty cool, almost like they're supposed to be there all along.
Miraging: Good.
Miraging: So, weapons?
Naaly: Armblades of awesome <3
Miraging: Wrist blades are awesome.
Miraging: Oh-- and on a side note, did Voyager Prime come with his two blades?
Naaly: No, only his two smokestacks that can be converted into cannons.
Miraging: Damn.
Naaly: Leader Prime has the blades.
Miraging: Ahh, I see.
Miraging: I want Leader Prime, then.
Naaly: He's pretty big.
Miraging: Price on Sideswipe was $12.99?
Naaly: Yes.
Naaly: No, $11.99.
Miraging: Ah--
Miraging: Where-- WalMart?
Naaly: Yup.
Miraging: Mmhmm. And he has a battlemask?
Miraging: Faceplate.
Naaly: Yes.
And that pretty much wrapped it up <3

MTV exclusive clip, The Veiled Threat, Knockout, Slipstream, Botcon 2009 poster, EDIT: Matrix confirmed

Oh lawd. I must admit, that was more of a tease than an actual clip, but we got a damn good look at the Decepticons--most of the Constructicons were there, and we got especially good glimpses of Ravage and Starscream. The effects look good, as they did in the first movie, and overall, the 'clip' just makes me want to see the movie more.

Also-- I wanted to share a couple tidbits I found in Transformers: The Veiled Threat, the official prequel to ROTF. 'Bonding' or 'sparkbonding' is mostly a fanon term that revolves around sex and a form of 'marriage', and Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, along with various other twins, are assumed to share a bond between their sparks as well. While there have been mentions of this in canon comics and episodes, the majority of the knowledge about sparks comes from fan ideas. Well, the two short bits in The Veiled Threat lended a little more proof to fans' assumptions.

In the novel, there are a pair of twins, Tread and Trample, and the passages center around them.

"He would not be able to sustain this kind of mauling for much longer, he knew. Intimately linked to Trample, he could tell that his other half was also in desperate difficulty."

"A sudden surge of pain shot through him. He staggered. It was the mutual awareness of another Decepticon's Spark going out: one that was more intimately linked to his own than any other. Trample was--dead."

I found those two passages to be very interesting, and very noteworthy when it comes to determining whether sparkbonding or bondmates is close to canon.

In general, I found The Veiled Threat to be better than the two previous novels for the franchise that Alan Dean Foster has written. There were more mech-only scenes, which lends a bit more credibility to Michael Bay's statement about ROTF including less human-only scenes and more Transformer-centered ones. There was also more emotion from the mechs, as well as more references to them as 'he' and 'she' rather than 'it'. All in all, it wasn't fantastic--I sincerely think there are fanfiction writers that could do better--but it wasn't horrible. Pick it up if you have a few spare dollars (it's $7.99 US) but don't save up for it. I have yet to read the actual movie novelization, but I do hear that in the last few pages (SPOILER), there are mentions of just what the Fallen came to Earth for-- and it's the Matrix.

When I was reading The Veiled Threat, however, I became quite attached to one of the characters, which is normal, and I was delighted to find that he has a figure out-- I must buy it! The character's name is Knockout. He is an Autobot scout, young, cocky, and a little too self-assured, but in the end he proves himself and I found him to be quite endearing. I hope he makes an appearance in ROTF, preferably a speaking role, but if not, I'll have to settle for this fabulous figure:
On a slight side note, the female Starscream clone from TF:A has been officially named. While I previously thought her name was Lazer--.... something, it has been released as Slipstream.

And, for my last bit of news, I bring you the poster from Botcon 2009, drawn by Alex Milne. It was sold at the convention, but my guess is for those of us who were not lucky enough to be able to go, there will be some sold on eBay or other sites.
Here's the link:
Also: I changed the layout a bit, colored some things. Everyone liking it?

Edit: At the official Botcon showing of a clip of ROTF, Sam was shown protecting his father and holding something, when he shouts, "Wait! It's not you he wants! It's this-- the Matrix!"

Rodimus Prime figure

And, on the wake of my last post, here is the Rodimus Prime figure due to be released, set up right next to the Jet Twins in their Safeguard mode.
This is the Hasbro Q&A from Botcon. (Also, speaking of Botcon, I just received an email that said one of my friends bought me a present! Unexpected and lovely. If it's a figure, I'll have a review up soon.)

Optimus Prime
Hot Zone


Commemorative Insecticons
Commemorative Perceptor

Blue G1 deco Soundwave with Movie 1 Voyager Megatron

Masterpiece Skywarp, more faithful paint scheme to G1 toy

Hasbro stated these products WILL find a way to retail!
Electrostatic Soundwave w/ Ratbat
Rodimus Minor
Cybertronian Ratchet
Cybertronian mode Ironhide (different mold)
Fugitive Waspinator (Bumblebee in Wasp's colors not a remold)
Goldfire Grimlock
Hydrodive Bumblebee - (Bumblebee will be more in scale with other Autobots without Scuba gear)
Voyager Blackout (has Earth helicopter mode)
Wingblade Optimus Prime (Deluxe scale Optimus with trailer that becomes wings and such from last episode of TFA)
Thundercracker (Starscream repaint but no one will complain about that)


Brakedown (homage to G1 Brakedown)
Skystalker (new futuristic drone jet mold)
Scattorshot (military truck w/ plow - offscreen character with pistols)

Lockdown (TFA character as a ROTF styled figure - looks awesome)
Ratchet (comes w/ MP Blaster)D
irge (complete with conehead, actually looks really cool, huge missiles under wings)

Jungle Attack Ironhide (redeco w/ new bumper that transforms into crossbow and huge guns, gattling gun, knives, sniper rifle)
Bludgeon (G1 style - holy shit is this awesome, tank, complete w/ samarai swords which come out of gun turrett, skull face, has samarai garb)

Barricade w/ Frenzy (stores in front of vehicle or chest has some guns as well - very cool!)

New version of series will continue in fall 2010

Will Universe 2.0 continue?
Through spring 2010 we’re focusing on ROTF figures which you’ll see are universe inspired and in the fall you will see what you know as Classics Universe begin again.

Will we be getting the IDW Publishing character Drift? Drift? You may want to come back to tomorrows panel for that answer.

What is your stance on the decision to end Transformers Animated?
As many of you know, Hasbro signed into a joint venture with Discovery Communications and give that its so new we really can’t get into the details, but with the new network we will be bringing some new things which will feature G1 references and content.

In the first break between the Transformers movie and TF Animated we saw a bunch of repaints that fell into the movie line, will we see that again where its just pure repaints?
We try to go back and look at figures that fans liked and we don’t do repaints just for the sake of doing repaints, you may see some figures released like that again but not just pure repaints.

Going back to the Transformers Animated panel, are there any other characters from the series that may see a release like Omega Supreme?
There were a lot of characters we wanted to see released like Omega Supreme and the Constructicons. We thought they were great characters we would have loved to have released but the timing just wasn’t right to release them.

For the ROTF Combiner Devastator Supreme Class, why weren’t they given individual robot modes?
We put them in individual Deluxe class vehicles and to get the best Devastator robot, and to avoid redundancy of repeating the Deluxe figures, we left them with no robot modes.

Is there any reason we have not seen a Deluxe class Cliffjumper in the TF Animated line?
We thought that he was such a minor character in the overall story that the Activators line fit best for him.

Are you guys looking into moving away from using so many twist ties?
We are looking to move away from them and moving towards smaller packaging which is more biodegradable. In the future you’ll see smaller packages with Tam, which is easier to cut and biodegradable.

Will we ever see the Japan Legends Devastator set in the US?
There are plans for it to get a US release as an exclusive, probably in the spring of 2010.

Will we ever see a Leader Class Blackout?
We have plans for a new leader figure for the fall of 2010 that we think you’ll be excited about, but we can’t tell you what.

Is there any chance we’ll see Alternity in the US?
That’s an exclusive that we don’t think will see a release here in the US.

How much influence has Hasbro had on the retail store chains with the way the economy is?
Unfortunately we were hit with cost increases with the jump in prices for oil and production and we try to keep the figures at a low price but when it comes to a price increase or reduction in quality of the product, we have to go with the price increase as not to put out a bad product.

With the Takara legends class Devastator there are 7 figures but the Supreme Class Devastator has only 6 constructions. Why?
Without giving away too much, there can be a lot of constructicons that form Devastator, lets just say 15 start out to create him but only 7 make it to the end of the film. It’s a different concept than what you’re used to for the gestalt team.

Is there any chance of seeing a Transformers Animated Cyclonus?
We really wanted to but since we released him in the Universe line, it didn’t make sense to release him since they would be so similar in design.

This was asked at the Collectors Club panel but they passed the buck to you, did you guys choose the name Nexus Maximus?
Uh, yes.

Find out about Drift tomorrow as well as the Wingblade Optimus Prime
New TF series on new Hasbro/Discovery channel
TFA has set the new standard for new projects
No Paradron Medic planned
No plans for TFA Omega Supreme or Constructicons at this time
ROTF Constructicons - made decision not to combine deluxes/voyagers so that it would look the best and same with Ultimate Devastator)
Future TFA characters might show up in future version of Classics/Universe line
Expect smaller and more environmentally friendly packaging next year
Hasbro plans to release Legends Devastator set (possibly as an exclusive)
Plans for ROTF Leader Starscream

Sounds like a hell of a lot going on! I would really love to see a Drift figure go out-- there is a kit for him, but I don't have the time or the money to buy and build. I'll keep you updated on the progress of the figure, if there is to be one. Also, Wingblade Optimus looks like quite a good figure. I really liked that design of him for the last episode of Animated.

Also: New Transformers series?? With more G1?! Win!

Welcome to Miraging's blog

Hey all-- Just wanted to say welcome to my new blog! I'm usually over on LiveJournal, which I'm sure most of you know, but I decided to finally stop eating friend pages and move all of my Transformers news posts over to here. In The Towers, you will find news posts, figure reviews, upcoming comic releases, comic reviews, noteworthy fanfiction links, fanart links, interviews with live-action actors, voice actors, artists and more! Feel free to subscribe--this blog will be updated at least once a day.