The Spark in Review: May 4, 2018

The Spark in Review is the week’s news at Allspark, all in one package. This week, TakaraTomy issued a refund to Encore God Fire Convoy buyers, Hasbro purchased Power Rangers outright from Saban, and John Barber has been named Editor in Chief at IDW, while we’ve dug out a 2005 interview with G1 voice actor Michael McConnohie!

Maybe the least important Optimus Prime in this news section but still very pretty.
Toy News and Reveals:
The big news in toys this week came from TakaraTomy, and it’s dispiriting: After numerous issues appeared in the Encore reissue of God Fire Convoy from the mold to the electronics to the packaging, they’ve chosen to recall and refund the entire release, with no signs of a fixed replacement.
Stateside, the upcoming Power of the Primes Nemesis Prime was listed first on Amazon UK and then Amazon US, revealing the price and that the figure will be exclusive to Amazon. Also in Power of the Primes news, Hasbro have released another “Leaked from Cybertron” slideshow, this time for Sludge. And meanwhile, in Studio Series, Optimus Prime has appeared with a running change to his blade color.
Outside the main lines, Flame Toys has released official photos of their upcoming Studio-Trigger-style Optimus Prime model kit, with Starscream, Bumblebee, and Hound still on the way.
In one last item of Transformers note, Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us has also dropped a trailer for Season 2, including the upcoming Transformers episode.
Outside the Transformers sphere, TakaraTomy has released a video featuring a new Diaclone Waruder Suit in prototype form, a massive upgrade to the Flinger and Stang suits that retains their ability to further combine and reconfigure into bigger and badder bots. In a similarly army-shaping move, Boss Fight Studios have set themselves to expand their Vitruvian HACKS lineup into mounts, with a now successful Mighty Steeds Kickstarter.
Meanwhile, not content with the US license, Hasbro has opted to Buy Power Rangers from Saban outright, which hints at even bigger plans for the adaptation of Toei’s Super Sentai series Go-Busters into Power Rangers: Beast Morphers next year, with Hasbro driving not only the toyline as previously indicated but also the series adaptation.

Beyond good. Beyond evil. Beyond dull surprise.
Comics, Cartoons, and Media:
John Barber has been made Editor-In-Chief of IDW’s comics, which is a good sign for upcoming Transformers content; Barber not only wrote much of the Transformers content over the past several years, but also spearheaded the Hasbro Universe efforts and managed all of the continuity tangles that presented themselves, so fans worried about James Roberts’ departure and a new continuity under new writers can rest assured that it’s in good hands.
As that same ongoing continuity drives on toward its conclusion with Unicron, previews have been revealed for Rom & The Micronauts #5 and Transformers Vs. Visionaries #5.
In other IDW news, Sonic the Hedgehog #4 has completed the set: it’s been the latest issue of the new series to sell out, meaning that all four parts in this special one-month, four-issue launch event outstripped sales expectations. (Issue #1 sold out twice.)
Outside the IDWsphere, Boom!’s Power Rangers: Shattered Grid similarly sold out a fourth consecutive issue.
In movie news, Collider briefly Interviewed both Travis Knight and John Cena about the upcoming Bumblebee. They continue to emphasize the film’s smaller robot cast, character focus, and continuity ties to the Bay films that nonetheless won’t get in the way of the film’s narrative and connection to the original Transformers experience. We’re really hoping to see this film deliver on all of that!
In less … news, Machinima’s Power of the Primes has launched its first episode, along with a poster and a Victor-Caroli-narrated recap of the previous two chapters and a behind the scenes video with the cast. The episode itself begins to reveal the motivations of Megatronus (based somewhat on the Aligned continuity history between Megatronus and Solus Prime) while hinting at Unicron as an upcoming additional antagonist for the team.
One last item for anyone enjoying Space Ape Games’ Transformers: Earth Wars: This weekend’s event includes a shot at extra Prime Core shards to create the new Vector Prime core, plus triple experience points!

All the way back.
News and Events in 1:1 Scale:
Pete’s Robot Convention has announced three unexpected guests: Glenn Hallit and Jon and Karl Hartman, creators of the original, definitive Transformers convention BotCon. They’ll be speaking at the convention and meeting with fans along with the previously announced Dan Khanna
Meanwhile, the Dungeons and Dragons team have announced the upcoming Stream of Many Eyes, a three-day event that promises something of a convention atmosphere right in your browser as well as new information about an upcoming adventure package.
Finally, from the Allspark’s archive room comes a 2005 interview with Michael McConnohie, the voice of Generation 1 Tracks and Cosmos, with extensive in-character shenanigans by both our interviewer and especially McConnohie himself, as well as some insights into the difference between acting for a domestic series and recording for a dub. It’s not just an interview, it’s a unique performance.

Regular Items:
Check out last week’s Allspark Art Showcase for a lovely set of Rescue-Bots-inspired customs and stick around tomorrow for another excellent piece. If you’re feeling nostalgic for last week’s news, you can also see last Friday’s Spark in Review.