Get behind the scenes details of your favorite brands with Hasbro Pulse!

I saw mention of this a few days ago, but am just getting around to talking about it…and it deserves to be talked about!

Hasbro products have a pretty significant collector draw, there’s no question about that, but Hasbro’s connection with those collectors has been a bit hit or miss throughout the years. At Conventions each year Hasbro reps do a fantastic job talking to fans and sharing news with their most devoted followers, but beyond those select segments of face-to-face interactions, it’s mostly on the fringes.

That may be changing.

Hasbro has revealed “Hasbro Pulse” what appears to be a very collector focused portal looking at our favorite brands with some early looks and behind the scenes peeks at what makes these toys so important to us.

Already there have been articles posted looking at packaged samples of the next run of G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary figures as well as some intel behind Transformers from John Warden. It’s a great start to something that might hopefully become a much larger part of how Hasbro talks to the fandom.

Check out Hasbro Pulse and stay tuned, I suspect we’ll be talking much more about it in the future.

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Marauder Task Force figures in stock and ready to ship!

With nearly all the Kickstarter backers receiving their figures over the past two weeks, Marauder Gun Runners has officially launched their Marauder Task Force section on MarauderInc.com!

Buy figures (without heads) for only $11.99 and tons of gear is available at great prices.  Hit up MarauderInc.com right now and for all you folks who didn’t get a chance to support the Kickstarter, stock up on some great new figures and gear!

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Combiner Wars Streetwise and Rook reviewed!

Two more Protectobots reviews come your way this morning, courtesy of Entertainment Earth!

Streetwise and Rook make up the law enforcement group of the Protectobots, and they are two really fun Transformers to boot.  Check out my Transformers Review section, or click the links below to see what I think.

Entertainment Earth

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Transformers: Combiner Wars Rook

This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!

Entertainment Earth

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Rook is a nice change of pace in the Combiner Wars line for a couple of different reasons. First and foremost, he’s an entirely new figure, rather than a modification or reshelling of an existing figure, and secondly he’s a totally new character, so I don’t have to try and relate any past nostalgic attachment to his Generation 1 iteration. Many fans lament the fact that Rook apparently has replaced Groove (at least at the deluxe scale, considering a Legends Groove does exist, and works with Defensor in his own way) but my lack of attachment to past versions of these characters has allowed me to not care a whole lot about that.

With that in mind, though, the fact that Takara is producing a Deluxe scale Groove to work with Defensor makes me whimsical that we might see him stateside at some point, which I love just for the sake of getting a new toy, and not necessarily as a replacement for Rook.  Honestly, Rook is cool enough that I don’t feel like he really needs replacing.

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Where most of the Protectobots vehicles are very clearly rescue based, Rook is completely about defense and offense.  As an armored SWAT vehicle, this new Protectobot certainly seems like the brick house of the bunch, a strong and powerful warrior as opposed to someone focused on rescue.  His alt mode is pretty fantastic, with six wheels, a tough looking armored hide, and excellent transformation.  There is no real visible kibble, and panels all fit together extremely well, leaving a solid tank-looking armored vehicle ready to stand strong against a Decepticon onslaught.

His transformation works well and contains a lot of similar mechanisms to other Combiner Wars figures, from the extending, flip down legs, to the pull apart arms.  Everything flows nicely, and even though he is essentially a completely different toy than any others before him, I found the process as straight forward as others, which is appreciated to a Transformers fan with limited capacity for mechanical engineering.

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In robot mode, Rook still exudes a sense of strength and stability, with exceptionally broad chest and shoulders.  I love the fact that his tires are embedded in his chest, and the armored hide of the SWAT vehicle makes for some really huge looking shoulder pads.  His arms are really short and stubby, with nice elbow movement.  I do have some issues with the arms, though.  The flaps hanging off his forearms that make up side panels on the vehicle look somewhat out of place in robot mode, though they could make for some great protective shields.  Also, while part of me absolutely loves the built-in cannons in his fists, another part of me wishes he had some normal hand holes for weapons.  His legs are surprisingly sleek and very well articulated, with great ball joint hips and very bendable knees,  He stands well and looks very imposing, even at a somewhat squat Deluxe scale.  Rook looks really great in either mode.

From a color perspective, Rook takes some nice blue elements from Hot Spot and Streetwise, with a healthy dose of black in his  torso and white trim throughout.  His complete lack of red does separate him somewhat from the other Protectobots, but even with that, I find him to be a great part of the team look and feel.

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If I have any complaints, I’m not especially sure what to do with this weapon.  He’s got some sort of forked prong that doesn’t seem to support his position as a thick and strong bad ass.  I would have loved for him to come with some nasty looking chain gun or other weapon that might better support his place among the team.

Really, that’s a minor complaint, and along with Streetwise, Rook is my favorite Deluxe team member, and perhaps my favorite Protectobot overall.

Entertainment Earth

Transformers: Combiner Wars Streetwise

This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!

Entertainment Earth

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It’s times like this that I wished I was a more hardcore Transformers collector over the past several years.  One thing I’ve always loved doing with my G.I. Joe reviews is doing team shots or comparison shots, and when it comes to Streetwise, there’s nothing I’d love more than to do a shot with him and Transformers: Generations Prowl standing side by side or back to back.  I think this character and Prowl would work really well together (if you can ignore the fact that Prowl is kind of a dirtbag in the current IDW continuity).

Streetwise has a lot of fun elements that tie to his fellow police officer, from the red trim on his great new head sculpt to the black and white echos of color in his sleek sports car alternate mode.  Granted, in car mode, he has much more blue trim than black, but in robot mode, the black and white offsets definitely lead me to think back to Prowl.  We’ll see Prowl in Combiner Wars form soon enough, but honestly, I have more nostalgia for the classic look.  Maybe I’ll get him some day.

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Putting the focus back on Streetwise, he’s another great addition to the Combiner Wars brand featuring a really fun looking sports car police car mode, again leveraging the tooling from a Stunticon – this time Dead End/Brake Neck.  There’s enough new tooling on the outside that the police car itself looks nicely different from the other two vehicles, and I am in love with the white and powder blue paint scheme.  The transformation works really well, and leaves no robot pieces visible, looking like an excellent speedster police car, capable of chasing down any rogue Decepticon.

Like Dead End and Brake Neck, the transformation is relatively simple and quick, which is a piece of these Combiner Wars figures that I love.  While some folks might complain that too few core figures are being used with a lot of re-shelling, I love the fact that so many figures share the same essential transformation mechanism.  It makes it really easy for n00b’s like me to change modes.

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In robot mode, Streetwise has the great black and white color scheme, with a nice helping of red mixed in, which helps tie him to some of the other Protectobots well.  The team based color scheme has always left me scratching my head a bit as we see reds, whites, blues, and blacks, with no real unifying color pallet tying them all together.  Streetwise probably comes the closest to using the majority of these colors together, and the result is a very appealing looking robot.  His articulation is fantastic, too, with a ball-jointed neck, shoulders, and hips, along with very nicely poseable elbows and knees.  In fact, the elbows are double jointed, which enables him to reach some very cool poses in robot mode.

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In spite of really knowing nothing about Streetwise as a character, this figure is a ton of fun, and one of my favorites of the Protectobots team.  The vehicle is sleek, the robot is fun, and the transformation from one to the other is quick and seamless.  I also really love this silver shotgun, it suits the character quite nicely.

Entertainment Earth