Archive for February, 2009
I’m starting with a controversial title, and I’ll continue it here. Armada has been one of the most unfairly maligned Transformer lines in recent years. It came after the Robots In Disguise line, that was low on gimmicks but big on realism and posability. Armada meanwhile was the opposite and was low on realism and posability but high on the fun factor. And fans hated it.
Yet kids loved it. Huh, toys being made for kids, go figure.
Of course, I’m an adult (or I like to think so) and yet these guys line my shelves. I personally think Armada was one of the most solid Transformer lines to date, really exciting, vibrant and fun. And so I’m going to pick out some of my favourites and hopefully pressure you into thinking the same!
I’ll admit it. Hot Shot is probably the worst of the Armada line easily. He is very flat, his arms are truly atrocious and can only flap up and down weakly, and he is forever staring upwards with a pained, agonizing look on his face › Continue reading
Now I shall gear up into exploring another of the Titan Transformer trades, in this case The Legacy Of Unicron which collects two storylines set in the future, and two smaller stories set in the present that continue the tale of Galvatron
The Legacy Of Unicron
We kick off with Headhunt, a very cool two-parter set in the future and featuring everyone’s favourite homicidal killing machine, Death’s Head! Last we saw him, Rodimus Prime forcibly transported him back to the future to prevent him killing Galvatron, but more importantly in Death’s Head’s eyes, cheating him out of his bounty. Death’s Head is a robot, so I’m not really sure what he spends all this money on, but I would like to think that it is on cheap whores. Or hoovers, whatever the robot equivilant is. › Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I was intrigued to find pages on the internet that chronicled the chief ways in which individual scribes found themselves titillated. I was quite shocked at the brazen way in which many of these depraved writers talked so openly about their naughty-bumpy habits.
Thankfully a wandering guardian of public morals was good enough to spend a weekend moaning about all this shocking filth which he’d spent several hours seeking out and reading, and so the powers that be on this blessed epistlular forum removed all the smut so they could take it home and bash out a quick one over them in private.
But the mind of the mysterious Mr Turtlewind often moves like glacial flow – imperceptibly slowly yet with unstoppable momentum. And just a few short hours ago I woke up with wobbly knees:
‘I have to write about what turns me on!’ I squealed › Continue reading
So that I could concentrate on important matters such as completing Lego Batman, I asked a good friend Andrew Osmond, who plays my fake internet robot brother to help me out. “Okay Matt!” he said. “When my wife is out the house, I will whip out my camera and take photos of jelly sweets.” Luckily he was not caught taking photographs of inanimate objects as feared, and his relationship remains intact!
So behold reader, as Andrew shows you all about Transformer sweets! Now I’m going back to chasing Two-Face in the lego Batmobile!
Ever wanted to eat your Transformer toy, but always choked on the delicious but unchewable plastic? Now, your dreams have come true with ‘limited edition’ Transformers Animated Fruit Snacks by Betty Crocker!
Today you’re in for a real treat! Oh you lucky people, I’ve stuffed Matt in a box and have taken over his site to bring you news of delicious likenesses of your favourite Transformers Animated characters. Don’t worry, I put an air hole in the box, he’ll probably chew his way out by the time you’re done reading this article.
So, here we have the insidiously brightly-coloured box you may have seen in your local supermarket next to the boring, non-transformers themed fruit snacks. See how it taunts us with it’s amazing picture of Optimus Prime reaching out, as is to grab your mother and strangle her until she buys you a cart FULL of these amazing fruit snacks? › Continue reading
So we continue this whistlestop tour of some of the best Transformers collections with one of my favourites – Fallen Angel, which collects the return of Galvatron and the Fire On High storyline. And of course, the introduction of Death’s Head!
On a similar note, I absolutely love the cover art for this trade paperback. Remember, these things are larger than usual graphic novels because in the UK comics were A4 sized, so it looks really really nice.
Galvatron, at the end of Transformers the Movie, is hurled into space by Rodimus Prime. And thats where the comic and the cartoon diverge (the UK never really got the third season, you see). In the comic, he has kept his time travel device from Target: 2006 and uses it to travel back in time to present day Earth (and crash landing at high speed). › Continue reading
Who is Tom Jane Punisher? Don’t you know? Are you stupid?
2004 saw The Punisher Movie, starring Tom Jane. Tom Jane Punisher was awesome, as he attacked villains with ice lollys, and spent lots of time building cars only to have them smashed to bits a moment later.
I got very excited when I heard there would be another film starring Tom Jane Punisher. Apparently he would be fighting a living jigsaw or something. But then my mind began to wander, and I found out the truth – that it would be a film entirely about Tom Jane Punisher’s attempts to steal ice cream from a polar bear armed only with a gigantic spoon. › Continue reading
Romance has been sadly lacking in my life, despite my strict adherence to the guidelines I have detailed elsewhere on this fairly esteemed site. And yet, there was someone once…
As I drifted through the A level system, I spent many long hours thinking about how great it would be to have female companionship. I’d briefly been inspired by Mr Kenneth Branagh’s noble cinematic adaptation of Frankenstein, where the unnatural creation yearned for a similarly deformed spouse that would be unafraid of him. The whole world conspired to mock my celibate status. The Lion King showed that cartoon lions were managing to get it on and rubbing the fact in on the big screen, and then I received the news that even my esteemed colleague, the mysterious Mr Doctor Who, a most notorious celibate, was preparing to get a girlfriend on television. This was very nearly the last straw, and I wept bitter tears every evening throughout the early months of 1996. › Continue reading
Quite a few people have asked me to write about Actionmasters and make fun of them. They’re an easy target – Transformer who don’t transform! What hilarity could come from this?
Of course, there is only one problem there – I think they’re fantastic.
Okay, so they don’t transform. But they’re not supposed to. You don’t criticise GI Joe toys for not having holograms in their chests, do you? In 1990 Hasbro rolled out a new line of figures to try to reinvigorate the ailing Transformers line. They were the Actionmasters.. The idea was to make cartoon / comic accurate toys (because seriously the original Transformers were brick statues that sometimes looked a bit like they did in the cartoons) who were cheap and easy to collect.
For the price of a really expensive original, you could get a pile of characters like Grimlock, Blaster, Shockwave, and even some new ones too. They even came with transforming weapons / backpacks that were all interchangeable, and there were transforming vehicles. They weren’t supposed to be transforming, they were supposed to be fun, collectable and playable, and they did all that and more!
Sadly the line died in America. But in the UK Transformers never went away and so we got a lot more releases including more waves of Actionmasters, some strange Japanese repaints and other unique molds. Today though I’m going to talk about one of the most awesome Actionmasters – Actionmaster Thundercracker.
Actionmaster Thundercracker is so bizarre it isn’t true. Most of the Actionmasters were attempts to replicate the original cartoon models, but instead of just slapping some blue paint on the Starscream mold, Hasbro seemed to sit down and take some incredible drugs. › Continue reading
It seems I got a decently positive reaction from my last piece, so I’ll continue by looking at Prey. Now in an attempt to encourage people to buy the trades, I’ll look at the other story in the Prey TPB as well, Grudge Match.
Both of these were favourites when I was little. And one of the best things was that coming back to them as an adult (and a postgraduate student in English literature) was how fantastically well they were written, how well Furman can write both touching characterisation and epic plots interwoven in the same story, with just a tiny page count to do it in.
Aren’t I nice to you all!
So, without further ado…
We open with Optimus Prime reviewing the events of Target:2006, and worrying quite profusely. Namely that the first thing the Autobots did without him to let Megatron lead them, which given that he is commander of the Decepticons probably wasn’t the sanest thing do to. And now there is the added crisis of the Decepticon’s fully-operational spacebridge sending constant reenforcements. And shoud he die, what will the Autobots do then?
So he sets upon a… rather macabre plan – he will get Wheeljack to create a duplicate of himself so he can pretend to be dead and see how the Autobots will react, and at the same time as everyone believes he is dead, destroy the Decepticon’s spacebridge. Prime, you scally, its almost like reality TV! › Continue reading