The Spark in Review: Dec. 15, 2017
There’s a lot of a little to cover this week, so we’re breaking the Toy News into two: the Generationsphere, and the rest. Meanwhile, IDW has dropped an upcoming plot point for their Free Comic Book Day offerings that, in case you haven’t encountered it yet, we will definitely spoil in the course of this article.
Toy News and Reveals: Prime Wars:
There have been continued rumblings in the rollout of Power of the Primes as we wait for the Wave 1 Voyager and Leader class figures to finally land on US retail shelves.
A video review appeared for Power of the Primes Rodimus Prime, who we still expect to see available very soon in the US, and we’ve released our own photo gallery of that delightful robin of spring, Power of the Primes Dinobot Slash. Stock images were also released for later-wave Prime Masters Alpha Trion and Alchemist Prime, based on Landmine and Submarauder.
Some box back images also materialized of upcoming Power of the Primes Voyagers Inferno, Elita-1, and Hun-Gurrr, as well as a messily obscured image of the wholly unexpected Blast Off with Megatronus, apparently from the TakaraTomy Unite Warriors mold.
Outside Power of the Primes news, the variously online- and convention-exclusive Titans Return Arcee materialized on a real shelf at a brick-and-mortar Toys R Us in her hilariously unmarked and not-for-regular-retail black boxes, and TakaraTomy’s rereleased Legends Wheelie, Scourge, and Blurr have begun materializing in mailboxes, bringing some fans closer to completing their Headmaster lineups.
Toy News and Reveals: Not Prime Wars:
Outside the usual Generations-Legends-Masterpiece action figure space entirely, Images from the Toy Soul 2017 toy show in Hong Kong gave us a first look at four upcoming model kits from Flame Toys based on Optimus Prime, Starscream, Bumblebee, and Hound, styled somewhere in the space between Studio Ox and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, as well as their high-end nontransforming action figure Star Saber.
The same leak that offered the Power of the Primes box backs also included some images from the Studio Series lineup, an effort marking the movie franchise’s tenth anniversary with new, very film-accurate figures, unconnected to the Movie Masterpiece line and (by all signs) at regular retail. This packaging art of Megatron, Starscream, Optimus Prime, and Brawl, with the figures themselves obscured, confirms at least that they do indeed come in boxes with pictures on them.
Closing out a good run, stock images also appeared for the very last Crash Combiners items from Transformers: Robots in Disguise as the line packs up for its successor Cyberverse. Meanwhile, the upcoming Transformers: Authentics assortment, successor to Cyber Battalion and other value-retailer offerings but now under Hasbro’s new unified “evergreen” Transformers styling, has shown up in a video review.
Pete’s Robot Convention 2018 announced a Custom Class event to follow up the BotCon tradition, customizing a retail Power of the Primes Swoop into a Shattered Glass variant, with another reveal promised on the way.
One last curiosity: Stock of the gold MP-05G deco of the original Masterpiece Megatron mold has reappeared at BigBadToyStore.
Comics, Cartoons, and Media:
Transformers media news this week has been a bit light on the ground, but a short interview with IGN offered some perspectives on the Bumblebee Movie project from stars Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena.
A trailer was released Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron’s Alita: Battle Angel set to launch next summer, which promises to be an eye-opening spectacle.
IDW Publishing’s big news this week is their upcoming Free Comic Book Day event, promising that the IDW universe’s darkest hour is approaching. (That’s intended as a coy phrasing to avoid spoiling Unicron, you see.)
They’ve also released their shipping list for December 20 including Rom x Micronauts and Donald x Mickey. Previews have launched for Till All Are One Annual 2017, Scarlett’s Strike Force #1, and Lost Light #12, and pre-order listings and a preview appeared for The The Transformers vs. The Visionaries first issue. (Due to some contradictory signs about the number of “the”s in the title, I’m wary of missing one out.)
Eric Kowalick dropped by our weekly Art Showcase again with a creative take on Transformers: Prime Soundwave, and Allspark’s own Action and Adventure Podcast launched Ep. 15, “Everything Ends”. If you’re feeling nostalgic for a time when the internet was free, you can see last week’s news.
My pick for forum quote of the week has to go to this exchange between members Spark and Xaaron in discussion of the “universal stream” designations that signify the various Transformers universes to such characters as, in-universe, know that they live in a franchise populated with a variety of contradictory continuities.
Spark: I went to the final Botcon, and only the final Botcon. On that day I realized that, yes, there are some people that do only see the sun once a year, to come to Botcon, and yes, they do say those stupid designations out loud. I discovered terrible realities that weekend.
Xaaron: What were the full stream designations of those realities?
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