New items in stock at the Marauder “Gun Runners” store

Talk about a pleasant Monday surprise! Marauder “Gun Runners” revealed last night that they have stocked some brand new, unexpected items in their online store from Marauder Task Force!

First, they revealed a new unmasked head template, with white hair. There is a clean shaven version, a version with a goatee, and a version with a full beard. Check out some images below, and pick it up at MarauderInc.com!

But even better, they also revealed several new color combinations for Task Force figures! Several new black figures were revealed with different color highlights, as well as blue with black and white with black. The added colors for the gauntlets makes a HUGE difference and really breaks up the colors of the figures nicely. Great looking stuff. Check out the images below, and stock up that shopping cart at MarauderInc.com!

GeneralsJoes Reviews Transformers: Combiner Wars Blast Off and Vortex

While I anxiously await the arrival of my first shipment of FSS 4.0, I figured I’d wander back over to Transformers world to post a few reviews of the recently released Combiner Wars Combaticons. After all, they’re military vehicles, right? That kind of counts.

Check out all of my Transformers: Combiner Wars reviews here, or click the links below to hit them directly.

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Transformers: Combiner Wars Blast Off

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

Entertainment Earth

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Sometimes, when you’re an avid, nostalgia-fueled fan, certain decisions by modern toymakers can drive you up the wall. Even if you know the reasons (more often than not financial) these choices can be infuriating.

At times like this, sometimes I’m glad I was mostly a fringe Transformers fan in the 80s, so when Blast Off is represented as a fighter jet instead of a space shuttle in the Combiner Wars line, I can kinda shrug it off and say “makes sense to me”. I mean, after all, what kind of “combat” vehicle is a friggen space shuttle?!

Granted, the Takara version of Blast Off does look pretty friggen sweet.

As mentioned, this rendition of the Combaticon air support member is a jet instead of a shuttle, a repaint of several previous releases within the Combiner Wars line, including Quickslinger. In fact, this figure is a direct repaint of Quickslinger, included the head sculpt, which has caused some understandable consternation among Transformers fans. Even if you’re not going to give folks the full blown space shuttle experience, it feels like a new head would have at least been a good bone to throw to the fans out there.

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Because Blast Off is such a straight repaint, it’s tough to find a whole lot more to talk about with the figure itself. I still really love the base figure here, and it was one of these fighter jets that got me interested in Combiner Wars in the first place, way back when. The transformation is really straight forward, easy to pull off in both directions, and the figure is very nicely articulated, something that’s especially important to a long time G.I. Joe fan like myself.

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Blast Off is colored in much the same way as the vintage version, with a metallic gray and purple mixture, both complimenting each other remarkably well. The small hints of yellow add some nice color, without being too intrusive.

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No, Blast Off is not a space shuttle, but in my opinion, he fits much better with his peers in this form. I can certainly understand the complaints of the long time fans who want a G1 update to go along with these others, but from a practical standpoint, I’m cool with the version we got.

Transformers: Combiner Wars Vortex

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

Entertainment Earth

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In a way, when Hasbro first released Alpha Bravo back with their first wave of Combiner Wars figures, fans everywhere immediately knew that Vortex was just a matter of time. Not only was Vortex the same distinct kind of helicopter that Alpha Bravo was, but even the head sculpt was pretty unique to that Combaticon. With Quickslinger’s release, Alpha Bravo became the odd man out of the Aerialbots, so at this point, even though Vortex is a straight repaint of that figure, it doesn’t feel like a big deal, because the original version of the helicopter combiner has been rendered more or less extraneous.

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I’ll admit Alpha Bravo was never my favorite of the first run of Combiner Wars, and that opinion is maintained with Vortex. The transformation feels a little clunkier and the robot isn’t quite so fluidly articulated as some of the others. That being said, looking at the Vortex source material, Hasbro did a pretty spectacular job of updating that character to a modern version, while maintaining much of the spirit and uniqueness of the original.

Most of Vortex is gray, like the original, with just the right hints of that nice shade of green. Even the yellow painted missiles are a nice mimic of the yellow stickers adhered to the side of the original G1 Vortex.

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Even with the transformation being not as intuitive as other releases, it is still relatively easy and accomplished quickly, allowing for much more enjoyable “play time” for those of us who are Transformers novices.

I love the colors, really like the character now that I know him better, and consider this a pretty great update to the G1 original.