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

Combiner Wars Protectobots Reviews – Brought to you by Entertainment Earth

Things have been a bit quiet around here from a review front, but thanks to site sponsor Entertainment Earth, things are going to get lively again this week!

Throughout the week I’ll be reviewing the latest Combiner Wars releases – Deluxe Protectobots Blades, First Aid, Streetwise, and Rook as well as their Voyager commander Hot Spot!  I’ll also review Defensor as a whole.

Check out the first two reviews below, and keep watching my Transformers Review section for more.

Entertainment Earth

 

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Transformers: Combiner Wars First Aid

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

Entertainment Earth

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I’m one of those “in and out” Transformers fans who only ever knew about Ratchet as the Autobot ambulance, though as I’ve read recent issues of the IDW comics, I’ve started to learn more about and appreciate First Aid as a character. Even with my fascination with combiners as a kid, I only had Superion and Menasor, and didn’t follow the toyline enough to get invested in the Protectobots (though the childhood G.I. Joe fan in me loved the Combaticons). Back in those days, if you did’t buy all the toys and didn’t follow the media religiously, characters just didn’t exist.

One of the things I love about the Combiner Wars is that they’ve made me appreciate certain characters that I never even knew about previously, and in seeking out some backstory, I’ve learned to love some of the more obscure members of Transformers history.

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Purely from a toy perspective, First Aid is pretty great.  He’s a reshelling of the Stunticon Off Road, which is a great thing, because I’m a big fan of that figure, even if he’s become somewhat of an outcast due to the recent release of Brake Neck.  In fact, I’m happy that a main release Combiner uses his parts, because I can enjoy the basics of the figure without having a “sixth wheel” so to speak.

In vehicle model, First Aid is a great looking ambulance which manages to look realistic as well as  have the appropriate Autobot “edge” to him.  It’s amazing how Transformers have evolved over the years, and while they still use alt modes to maintain a sense of disguise, they have begun looking less and less like real vehicles you might see driving around.  At least I’ve never seen an ambulance that looks like this, but I don’t really care, the vehicle is a lot of fun.  It manages to take the best elements of Off Road, yet add so many new pieces that the end result is still fresh and fun.

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The transformation works really nicely, with the different panels snapping together to form the outer shell of the vehicle, leaving pretty much no robot parts visible.  I had some issues snapping the roof together, but finally managed to get the tabs to line up properly.  Like the other vehicles, there are holes for weapons to attach, and I must admit I find it a bit funny that an Autobot medic comes with a pretty brutal looking battle axe.  It’s the same weapon that came with Off Road, so the carry forward makes sense, but I always have some challenges rationalizing “rescue” vehicles that are equipped with massive weapons of destruction.

In robot mode, First Aid is great, with a fantastic new head that has some great semi-metallic blue paint and a ton of character.  His articulation is spectacular, as most of the Combiner Wars figures are, with great elbow joints, really poseable knee joints and ball joints in the hips, shoulders, and neck.  He has a nice swivel waist, too, which enables him to match pretty much any pose you can think of.  Like Off Road, he does have a pretty sizable chunk of kibble that hangs off his back, but it’s far from a deal breaker.

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First Aid is a lot of fun.  Just getting this figure has made me appreciate him much more than just a Ratchet follow up, and again, this has been what I’ve loved most about Combiner Wars.  Characters who were just robots to me previously have started to become actual characters, and it almost feels like I’m getting introduced to large chunks of the Transformers universe for the first time.

Entertainment Earth

Transformers: Combiner Wars Blades

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

Entertainment Earth

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One nice thing about the fact that I have yet to review the Aerialbots is that this particular review doesn’t feel as repetitive as it might otherwise.  After all, Blades is essentially the same exact figure as Alpha Bravo, but with a new head.  Being a fan of G.I. Joe like I am, I’ve grown accustomed to this formula for bringing new characters to the table, and it works well here.  I think it also helps that I’m not so attached to the vintage Transformers world that seeing several characters with the same Alt mode bugs me at all.

Like Alpha Bravo, Blades is a great looking helicopter in his alternate vehicle mode, an aircraft that in reality is a lot larger than his vehicular brothers, but considering the scale challenges that have existed in Transformers since the beginning, I suspect most of us are over issues like this by now.

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The color scheme is great, a very nice red and white combination that is striking and makes great sense for a rescue craft.  The blades spin freely on top of the helicopter, and the sleek design manages to conceal the majority of robot parts nicely.

Most, but not all.  The missile pods on the side are essentially Blades’ arms tacked into each side, and it looks like it.  For that matter, one must wonder why a rescue helicopter might have racks of missiles anyway, but again, these are Transformers, and are meant to represent Earth vehicles in their most basic elements.  They still need to be armed to fight the Decepticons in both modes, I suppose.  Speaking of which, the accessories Blades comes with can plug into various places in vehicle mode and robot mode both, adding some nice armament to the character.

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Transformation from vehicle to robot is relatively straight forward, with the front fuselage breaking apart into legs, the arms separating and the helicopter tail coming up and back against the figure’s spine.  Blades, like his Aerialbot brother, manages both modes very nicely, and has a considerable amount of great articulation in figure mode.  Ball joint hips, shoulders and neck add some great range of motion, and he has very flexible knee and elbow joints to boot.  A swivel waist is nicely concealed and very functional as well.

Blades’ new head sculpt is a terrific representation of the character, and the color breaks look really nice in both modes.

Yes, Blades is just a repaint of Alpha Bravo with a new head, but as I said, this doesn’t bother me.  Heck, the upcoming Vortex from the Combaticons doesn’t even get a new head (though Alpha Bravo’s head is obviously a Vortex inspired one anyway).  I think it’s kind of cool to actually have these Combiner characters who bare resemblance to each other, and when the toy itself is fun, that certainly helps.

Entertainment Earth

Transformers: Combiner Wars Devastator Pre-Order on Amazon.com

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The first retail listing for the upcoming Transformers: Combiner Wars Devastator comes our way from Amazon.com which has listed the item for pre-order!  The pre-order listing comes in at $149.99 with a listed release date of August 1st, 2015.

For Prime members free two-day shipping is a very nice incentive for going with Amazon, and who knows when these might be found in brick and mortar stores.

Check out the banner below to pre-order!

Transformers Collectors Club announces other G.I. Joe/Transformers shared exclusives

If you’re a toy fan, you know that Botcon is today, and along with some spectacular Hasbro reveals (SKY LYNX OMG!1!111) the Transformers  Collectors Club is also holding a panel where they’re announcing their latest Figure Subscription Service as well as other items.

Some of those other items are a couple more G.I. Joe/Transformers pseudo shared exclusives, a human Springer Rodimus and Arcee from the Transformers episode “Only Human”.  We all know about Old Snake and Marissa Fairborne from that same episode, but that particular era of Transformers history also involved several Autobots being transferred into human synthoid bodies.  Springer Rodimus and Arcee (along with Springer and Ultra Magnus) were two of those.

You can check out more about this episode at Teletran-1, and a couple of images from the episode are below.

They also announced that the previous exclusives, Old Snake w/ the Stealth B.A.T.s and Marissa Fairborne with Afterbreaker will be carded and offered to both clubs.

EDIT – Early reports from Botcon had identified the male figure as Springer.  It has since been clarified to be Rodimus.  Apologies for the misinformation.

Marauder Task Force figures and accessories are in transit!

I know once I posted my review of the upcoming Marauder Task Force figures, the overwhelming question I received was “so when are they shipping?!”

The answer to that question is… NOW.

Marauder “Gun Runners” sent out an exciting Kickstarter update thanking everyone for their patience and reporting that shipments are being packed and shipped as I type, and the first shipments may even arrive next Monday!

Also included in the update is a word of thanks to the folks from Boss Fight Studio, who have apparently been instrumental in helping with production problems. I would guess that their vast amounts of industry experience in action figure design AND production was immeasurably helpful to the Marauder Task Force, and I’m thrilled to see the end results!

Check out the full text of the Kickstarter update below.

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Marauder Task Force Figures & Accessories have started to ship!
Hey Marauder Task Force Team Members!

We have begun shipping the Marauder Task Force Kickstarter reward packages! THANK YOU for your patience through this entire process and really appreciate those that stuck it out with us!  It will take some time to pack & ship all the orders, but our goal is to have EVERYTHING shipped by the end of next week.  Several of you will start receiving packages on Monday 6/22, with receipts continuing to arrive there after. International orders ship first, but will still take longer than domestic orders to arrive.

ALL our resources are directed towards packing & shipping, so please be so kind as to hold off asking for tracking info or checking if your package has shipped.   We will be DELIGHTED to  deal with specific package shipping details on a case by case basis after shipping is complete.
Also, a BIG thank you to Boss Fight Studio.  We all know about their design work on the MTF project, but the delay with our MTF project resulted in a “ripple” effect delay with the release of their Vitruvian HACKS project.   BFS went above & beyond helping to correct the production issues.  Everything from working solutions with the engineers, reviewing materials, tooling adjustments…they even took time to check out the production during their recent Hong Kong trip. Thanks to the combined efforts of BFS & MGR, and our factory vendors, we have refined our production process, hopefully ensuring smoother rollout for all upcoming BFS & MGR projects.

Again, THANK YOU for your support and we really hope you like YOUR Marauder Task Force action figures & accessories!
MJ & the entire Marauder Team