by: Austin Welch source: Seibertron
Lots of cool stuff coming down the pike.
So I’m gone with my special lady for a romantic Valentine’s weekend getaway, and they decide to hold Toy Fair 2011 and release a metric ton of images and information on upcoming Transformers products. What’s a fanboy to do? Visit his favorite Transformers fansite and get caught up, that’s what. Seibertron always keeps a Transfan informed, and they certainly don’t disappoint this time. I’ve taken the liberty of linking to their various stories of more individual topics below, but you can also see many of Hasbro’s official images here.
The big push for Transformers toys in 2011 is of course the various product tying in to the big summer film, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. Movie tie-in series include Mech-Tech, Mech-Tech Human Alliance, Cyberverse playsets and Commander/Legion class figures, and Playskool Heroes Rescue Bots for the kiddies. What’s particularly interesting about the Human Alliance figures this time, is that they are of a classic, 3&¾-inch/G.I.Joe size and styling, which should make them of added interest to Joe fans, collectors, and especially customizers.
The apparent success of the new animated series Transformers: Prime of course means a toy line. They look pretty decent, but the downside is that the line is set to debut a little later in the year, likely in the fall.
The good folks at Seibertron also gave us a roundup of some other Transformers related toys such as Speed Stars, Go-Bots, Star Wars Crossovers, Robot Fighters, and role play-oriented products.
Of more of a specialty interest is the launch of a new construction system, Kre-o. Essentially a building block system compatible with Lego, Kre-o is Hasbro’s second foray into this corner of toy manufacturing, after the well-intentioned but wholly disappointing Built To Rule line a half a decade ago. I have to say, as both a huge Transformers fan and a lifelong Lego enthusiast (or AFOL, as we’re known these days), this Kre-o line looks pretty damn good. It appears that Hasbro has done a better job of ‘pinching’ existing pieces from Lego’s incomparable system, and the robot and vehicle modes look a lot better than the BTR days. They’ve even gone so far as to include Lego-style mini-figures of classic characters! What we don’t know yet are whether the models transform in the traditional sense, or must be taken apart and restructured as the BTR sets were. Either way, I’ll be picking up some of these sets to add to my healthy Lego collection, but at the same time, I can understand if most Transformers collectors shy away from this line. From the way things were worded, it appears that Hasbro wants to do more with Kre-o, as they did with BTR – which included G.I. Joe and Tonka sets in addition to Transformers.
Last – but certainly not least – we have a sweeter-than-honey Comic-Con 2011 exclusive. Crossing over the brother properties Transformers and G.I. Joe for the zillionth time, Hasbro has repainted the classic Joe vehicle Sky Striker as our favorite Air Commander, Starscream. As if that’s not enough, they’re including an exclusive Cobra Commander in pilot’s gear figure, complete with a scale Megatron in gun mode for the Commander to wield. You better believe this fanboys is grabbing one of these babies in San Diego this summer.
In other Transformers toy news, Hasbro has no current plans to bring the Masterpiece Rodimus Prime/Hot Rod produced by Takara, to the US. Apparently, they’ve looked into it, but until a retailer requests a high-end exclusive, it’s not looking good. This would be unfortunate, as it would be the first Masterpiece to not make it to the States, and in this 25th anniversary year for the original animated movie, the MP Rodimus would be a perfect way to celebrate it. On the plus side, Takara is planning Movieverse Masterpiece figures for Sentinel Prime and Ironhide.
Start saving your Energon chips this winter, ’cause Hasbro wants your money!