G.I. Joe Collectors Club reveals FSS IV Tiger Force Outback

The Figure Subscription Service reveals are officially in full swing, and the Collectors Club has now revealed Tiger Force Outback!

A great looking new head, and the tiger deco on the shirt came out great, though I would have enjoyed a slightly updated build. The 25th Anniversary one isn’t terrible, but those arms… just feels like better stuff was available recently.

That being said, it’s a good deco, and they nailed the most important part, which was the tiger pattern on the shirt.

Keep checking GIJoeClub.com for the latest info, and sign up for FSS IV right here!

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ToysRUs.com has pre-orders for 2015 G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Assortments

We must be getting closer to release! Toys “R” Us’ website has posted pre-orders for all of the upcoming G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary product for 2015. As an extra bonus, they’ve also posted great images of the filecards as well as the press images for the product itself.

Check out ToysRUs.com for the latest pre-order information!

Personally, I may just try my luck at brick & mortar, now that I have a Toys “R” Us local to my workplace. We’ll see…

Boss Fight Studio Virtuvian HACKS Update – Possible Delivery Dates!

Kickstarter supporters for Vitruvian HACKS have received an e-mail update today with some great news!

Now that the Marauder Task Force figures have been produced and distributed, the factory has been freed up to focus resources on Vitruvian HACKS, which has pushed along their production schedule nicely.

Boss Fight expects the first test shots to be in hand mid August for Quality review, with a potential initial delivery within the fourth quarter of this year. GREAT news for folks (like me) who are feeding for some Vitruvian HACKS greatness.

Check out the full text of the e-mail below and let’s go HACKS!

Manufacturing under-way!
Hi Boss-Fighters!
This is the big one.  We have the process rolling to our satisfaction and we can finally announce dates.  But first, a little background:

When we started Boss Fight Studio almost two and a half years ago, we knew we wanted to do more than freelance development for other companies – our main goal was to develop our own product.  Something without compromise, that we could stand behind,  that would be among the best collectible toys out there.  Thanks to all of you, the Kickstarter campaign was successful beyond all expectations.  Since this was our first crowd funding campaign, the flip side of this success was that we ended up adding far more items than we had initially planned on, and development on those additional items took time.

As many of you already know, we’ve also been dealing with some manufacturing hiccups on the product for our friends at Marauder “Gun-Runners”.  We’ve been intimately involved with the entire process, and Marauder is using the same factory that we’d already sourced for HACKS.  We wanted to make sure that the Marauder Task Force figures were dead-on, primarily to follow through with our friend Marauder John, but also because, if the factory that we’re partnered with couldn’t get these right, it wasn’t going to be the right place for Vitruvian HACKS.

Well, we’re happy to report that the factory went above and beyond to meet the high quality expectations of MGR and BFS. Including completely re-running the entire production run of MTF figures, and hiring new employees to do exacting quality-control checks. On our recent trip to China, we were able to witness these changes first hand and reaffirm that we are partnered with the right people, who care about delivering top-notch products. Partners who are 100% committed to forging long lasting relationships, with both BFS and MGR, for years to come. The delay to our original manufacturing window was significant, but in the end, it will be worth it.

With production and shipment of the Marauder Task Force figures, wrapped up in June, Our factory partners were freed up to continue tooling preparations for Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. and have been working fast and furiously. Up until this point, we did not have a solid delivery window, and for that, we apologize.  We know you guys have been waiting a long time.

We have been told to expect our first test-shots for review in the middle of August. This represents a significant milestone in the process and we cant wait to share photos with you all! We have also been informed that, due to the large number of items, production of our order will be split into two groups shipping approximately one month apart. If all goes relatively smoothly, we are looking at a 4th quarter delivery window.  We wish it was sooner, but the complexity of the figures and sheer number of items will take time to manufacture.  We can’t thank you guys enough for your support and patience.  When we have more info, pics, whatever, they’ll be passed on to you without delay.

Best wishes,
Andrew, Fred, Dave, Erik and Catrina.

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Combiner Wars Hot Spot and Defensor Reviewed!

Two more Protectobots reviews come your way this morning, courtesy of Entertainment Earth!  Today we look at the leader of the team, Hot Spot, as well as the combined gestalt, Defensor.

Hot Spot transforms from fire truck to robot, and Defensor stands tall with the combined might of all five Protectobots behind him.  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 Defensor

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

Entertainment Earth

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The combined form of the Protectobots team stands against the Decepticons!  To date, I’ve had some mixed feelings about the actual combiners within the context of the Combiner Wars, in some cases the result feeling like less than the sum of its parts.  While I love Superion, Menasor left me a bit high and dry to the point where I wasn’t sure I was even going to get the Protectobots.

As a kid, I enjoyed the combiner teams, and was a massive fan of the Aerialbots and Stunticons, so I felt a certain nostalgic attachment to getting those updates in the Combiner Wars.  The Protectobots, not so much.

But a constant flood of peer pressure from my so called “friends” (you know who you are) convinced me to put the Protectobots on my Father’s Day “wish list” and my lovely wife grabbed me a few of them.  I filled in the gaps pretty quickly, and I’ll be honest, I’m very glad I did.  Defensor is straight up awesome.

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He’s easily a match for Superion in my Combiner Wars love fest, and a good deal above Menasor.  The combined form stays together nicely, is aesthetically pleasing, and moves well without completely falling to pieces with every slight motion.

Hot Spot as the torso is a fantastic first step.  The way the ladder swings up underneath and plugs Defensor’s head into his shoulders is inspired and works amazingly well.  I also love how the framework of the ladder separates into a great looking elaborate chest plate, leaving Defensor looking pretty great even without Groove (who I will get eventually, but don’t own yet).

I chose to go with the Hasbro recommendation for the limb arrangement, which is Blades and Rook as the arms with First Aid and Streetwise as the legs.  If you go by the G1 iteration, Blades and First Aid would be arms with Rook (replacing Groove) and Streetwise as the legs.  Either way, the “Scramble City” format allows for a bunch of customization.  Personally, I like the Hasbro suggested design.  Both Blades and Rook function very well as arms with good range of motion and some nice bulk, especially with Rook on the left side.

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First Aid and Streetwise are both great looking legs, too, transforming in much the same way as their Stunticon predecessors.  The beauty, of course, remains in the torso, since it provides great hip joints to allow for stable poses, unlike Menasor, whose clugey hip joints almost single handedly bring that figure from great to “meh” in my mind.

Defensor’s head sculpt is fantastic, and the combination of color schemes blends really well, looking very “combiner-esque” but also creating a pretty nice flow of colors from one part to the other.  Hot Spot’s two laser weapons plug together to form a somewhat rudimentary larger weapon, and the end result is one heck of a great looking Combiner that happens to be made up of some equally great individual figures.

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I find it hard to believe that I was going to pass up the Protectobots only a month or two ago, but I’m really glad I let myself get pushed around by friends, as this team is fantastic and was a joy to put together.

Entertainment Earth

Transformers: Combiner Wars Hot Spot

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

Entertainment Earth

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As leader of the Protectobots, Hot Spot holds a key place within the Transformers mythology, though like some other characters, he’s one I haven’t had much attachment to, even back in the 80s.

It’s a familiar theme.  The original fire truck, Inferno, was a pretty key character to me back in my childhood, and as such, I never paid a whole lot of attention to Hot Spot.  He was a part of a combiner team that I didn’t have any other figures to attach to, so unlike the appealing Stunticons and Aerialbots, the Protectobots all got left on a store shelf and I never really formed that attachment.  Unlike First Aid, though, Hot Spot hasn’t played any especially key roles in recent comics, so I still don’t have a firm allegiance to him as a character.  That doesn’t do a whole lot to diminish how I feel about him as a toy, though, and as a toy, Hot Spot is pretty good.

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The Combiner Wars voyagers to this point have been somewhat hit or miss, though mostly hits.  I love Silverbolt, and I like Motormaster okay, though his failure as a central piece to Menasor left me feeling a bit cold after using him for a little while.  Hot Spot doesn’t have any of these drawbacks.

In vehicle mode, he’s a powder blue fire and rescue truck, a color that isn’t seen very often, but it seen from time to time.  The long form of the vehicle looks nice, and the sloped front and back make him look sleek and quick, even as a potentially lumbering fire truck.  He has six wheels, and a lot of play value, with a working ladder.  The Defensor head even flips back to reveal a bucket for a tiny figure to stand in.  I like the colors (even though the blue doesn’t match a whole lot of other Protectobot vehicles closely) and the design is pretty good.  The mid-section of his vehicle mode is a bit thin, looking a lot like robot legs barely covered by a closed shell.  It kind of resembles an elongated ladder truck, but not really, and that does take away, just a bit, from the vehicle mode.

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His transformation works nicely and even as a newly tooled Voyager, I found it pretty straight forward and quick to get him from fire truck to robot.  Separating the rear to create armored arms, and the front to create his large feet works nicely and the end result is a fairly sleek looking robot.

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At least until you look at his back.  Hot Spot is a great looking robot, especially head on, but before long you do notice quite a bit of ladder-based kibble strapped to his back, just kind of hanging off.  I understand why, I mean it’s difficult to do a ladder truck without having this obvious slab of ladder hanging from the figure, and full credit to the design team for making it less visible from the front.  I really like the large, wide shoulders, and the small spring-details in the forearms.  In robot mode, there’s a lot more red to tie him into the rest of the team than he has in vehicle mode, with a nice allotment of blue and black, too.  His head is somewhat reminiscent of Optimus Prime, I thought, but still looks individual enough to work.  He stands tall among his teammates and looks really nice leading the team, with his dual laser weapons and impressive stature.

Entertainment Earth