Dark of the Moon
It's Frighteningly 3-D Last Updated: 4/12/15
Human Alliance Leadfoot added.

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    This time the movie is in three dimensions, but will any of the acting rise above a single dimension? And will it synch up with the soundtrack to the Wizard of Oz? You may also find some DotM stuff over in Artifacts and Kiddie Lines. Here's a rundown of the three major themes of the toy lines, Robo Power, Cyberverse and MechTech.

   Initially, at least, I don't plan to rebuy old characters in anything other than Cyberverse form. So, for instance, while Sideswipe gets an entirely new mold as a Deluxe, I'm not getting him right away. If at all. Trying to save money and space, since I expect to be moving in the late summer of 2011.

    Bolded names got Strongly Recommended, while italic indicates a rating of neutral or worse.


SPEED STARS
   A largely dead line, despite some promise of revival.


CYBERVERSE LEGIONS
   Small is beautiful! The Legends scale is being expanded upon with the addition of C-clip compatibility and transforming playsets. What had been Legends before are now Cyberverse Legions (as in, army-building), at the same $5 price point as before.
  • First Burst: Due to the street date compression, two waves came out all at once, a mix of retools and new molds. Barricade, Skids and Bumblebee (who is longpacked in both official waves) are minimally retooled to give them the ability to hold 3mm pegs. New molds (some of which don't look new at first glance are: Mudflap (Chevy Spark), Sideswipe (convertible now), Ratchet (much more detailed, better robot mode), Crankcase (Chevy Suburban), Crowbar (unlicensed police car), Autobot Topspin (Lowes #48 NASCAR), Leadfoot (weapon-covered #42 NASCAR). Later Update: There's a new-mold Bumblebee in this batch as well, part of the official first wave. So, yeah, two different Bumblebees hit the pegs at the same time.
  • Wave 2: Stealth Bumblebee (redeco, not reviewed), Starscream (redeco, not reviewed), Flak (APC), Roadbuster (Track Mode).
  • Soundwave: Pretty much the only new figure in his shipping assortment. Turns into a Mercedes-Benz SLS.

CYBERVERSE COMMANDERS
   Replacing the Scouts at the $8 price point are the Commanders. They're essentially Legends scale, but bigger vehicle modes (so that, for instance, Optimus Prime isn't shorter than Bumblebee anymore), taller robot modes and with a few accessories. This may be a somewhat hard sell, because while larger than Legends, they're still smaller and generally simpler than Scouts.
  • Preview Pack Optimus Prime - Packaged with 3-D glasses to let you watch red-green 3-D content online. While not quite the same scale as the Legends cars, it's definitely closer to being in-scale than previous Legends Primes, and comes with a jetpack and rifles that can fold up and attach to the rear of the vehicle mode.
  • First Burst - Again, multiple waves compressed by street date. Optimus Prime (identical to preview pack, but without the glasses), Megatron (Mack Truck), Ironhide (new mold GMC Topkick), Blackout (new mold helicopter, with Scorponok), Sentinel Prime (firetruck), Powerglide (A-10).
  • Target Exclusive Two-Packs - A Commander and a Legion, in new colors, plus a recycled Machine Wars gun for the Legion figure to use. I reviewed the Bumblebee vs. Megatron set (and promptly kitbashed both figures), passed on the Leadfoot (with Target logo) and Ironhide set.
  • Wave 2: At least, by my arbitrary reckoning. Battle Steel Optimus Prime (redeco, new weapons) and Hatchet (jet to mechabeast). No plans to buy yet another Optimus Prime, so the review is just of Hatchet.
  • Wave 3: Dark Sentinel Prime (lighter colored redeco, not reviewed), Autobot Guzzle (Abrams tank).
  • Ultimate Gift Set: Redecos of Optimus Prime (preview version), Powerglide, Bumblebee (new mold), Sideswipe (convertible) and Crankcase. Walmart holiday exclusive.

ROBO POWER
   Activators: About the same cost as Cyberverse Commanders, these are "one click" transformation toys for little kids, under the Robo Power trade dress. Don't expect a lot of these to be reviewed. :) $8 price point.

  • Wave 1: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Starscream. Won't be reviewing these.
  • Wave 2: Autobot Topspin and Megatron. Only got Topspin, I don't recommend you get this line at all.

   Go-Bots: Reviving the trademark again. These are like simpler versions of the Cyber Slammers, pull-back motors that work in both modes and a very simple "set it on its end" transformation. $10 price point.

  • Wave 1: Bumblebee and Sideswipe. Optimus Prime was later added as a running change.

   Robo Fighters: Non-transforming chunky action figures with deployable weapon gimmicks. Probably not getting any of these either. $10 price point.

  • Wave 1: Bumblebee, Starscream, Optimus Prime and Ironhide. Passing on these.


DELUXE
   MechTech: The "normal" Deluxes, each comes with a blocky weapon that can be opened up into a different form.
  • First Burst: All of these come with a MechTech weapon, all are new molds although a lot of them are old characters. I only got the new characters. Bumblebee (new NASCAR mold), Crankcase (Chevy Suburban), Roadbuster (Amp #88 NASCAR), Skids, Starscream (passed on this, but got the Thundercracker redeco below), Ratchet, Barricade, Jolt (has solar panels), Sideswipe (new mold, top down), Autobot Topspin (weapons-deployed NASCAR). Update: Barricade and Jolt reviews added.
  • Second Burst: Nitro Bumblebee (new mold, "track mode" NASCAR), Thundercracker (Starscream redeco), Mudflap (truly horrible new mold), Laserbeak (robot bird). Update: Mudflap added.
  • Third Burst: Specialist Ratchet (red and white redeco), Cyberfire Bumblebee (black with yellow lightning redeco), Darksteel (Sideswipe retool), Armor Topspin (redeco, not reviewed), Air Raid (AWACS jet). This looks to be the last wave, with all the later toys cancelled or put off to be repackaged as Movie Trilogy line toys (think "Generations" for movieverse).
  • Walmart Exclusive Racing Series: Optimus Prime (new mold, although I expect a non-Walmart version to show up eventually, and with a redeco of Mudflap's MechTech weapon), Bumblebee (the very first New Camaro mold with "84" on the sides and sponsor stickers), Sideswipe (blue and yellow redeco of the Sidearm Sideswipe mold). I don't expect to get either of the old molds.
  • More Walmart Exclusives: There's a gold-tinged Lunarfire Optimus Prime (same mold as the racing series one, uses Voyager Optimus Prime's rifle) and an orange-and-white Amp-sponsored Track Battle Roadbuster. I picked up Lunarfire Optimus Prime, review is appended to the Racing Series version above.
  • Target Exclusive Comic Packs: Translucent-plastic-heavy redecos with one retool, each packed with one part of a comic story (two parts are in Target exclusive decos of Voyager Starscream (RotF) and Ratchet). Space Case (Terradive with a new head) is the one retool, then there's a clear pink Arcee, clear yellow Cannon Bumblebee and smoky clear original Jazz (not the superior cannon variant). I don't plan to get any of the purely recolored ones.
  • Toys R Us Scan Series: Won't be getting any of these, just mentioning it so people don't feel the need to tell me about them. :) Redecos with partially clear plastic meant to resemble the vehicle-scanning process. They look pretty nice, but I've bought enough of those molds.
   Human Alliance Basics: Also at the $10-12 price point, these are figures slightly smaller than most Deluxes, with a Human Alliance partner. Each is a triple changer, with the third mode being a weapon that other MechTech figures can use. In theory, anyway.
  • Wave 1: Sandstorm (desert patrol vehicle) with Private Dedcliff, Backfire (three-wheeled road cruiser) with Spike Witwicky, Thunderhead (tracked vehicle) with Major Tungsten, Icepick (snowmobile) with Sergeant Chaos. Icepick is the only Decepticon.
  • Autobot Daredevil Squad Adventure Set: K-Mart exclusive redeco of Backfire, with Sam Witwicky and a silver redeco of Cannon Bumblebee, plus an Autobot Alliance patch.
  • Wave 2: Whirl (helicopter) with Major Sparkplug, Tailpipe (motorcycle) with Pinpoint (Targetmaster) and Sergeant Noble.
  • Wave 3: Crosshairs with Sgt. Cahnay (Thunderhead redeco in green, not reviewed), Halftrack with Major Altitude (redeco of Sandstorm), Decepticon Drag Strip with Master Disaster (yellow race car), Reverb with Sgt. Recon (oddly asymmetric hoverbike).

"MEGA"
   Not an official size class, but anything sold for $15 or closer to that than to $10 or $20 will go here.

   Cyberverse Action Sets: A single Legion or Commander figure with a transforming playset. The sets have a weapons platform mode, and then two other modes, either independent vehicles or accessories for the Cyberverse figure. When the figure is a Commander, it doesn't come with the weapon accessories that the Commander version ships with (i.e. Megatron has no small tanker attachment).

  • Wave 1: Bumblebee with Mobile Battle Bunker (yet another stripe scheme), Starscream with Orbital Assault Carrier (standard tattoo deco). Sadly, both feel flimsy and need adjustment to their joints.
  • Wave 2: Megatron with Blastwave Weapons Base, Optimus Prime with Armored Weapons Platform (both figures have subtle plastic swaps and new paint apps).
  • Wave 3: Shockwave with Fusion Tank, Ratchet with Lunar Crawler. Both suffer from designs that assumed higher quality materials than what they got.

VOYAGER
   MechTech: Slightly larger and more involved MechTech weapon blocks. I've decided that I will review Voyager and larger toys separately this time around, rather than in clumps.
  • First Burst: Optimus Prime (new mold, with solar panels), Megatron (Mack Truck tanker), Ironhide (new mold, but looks very similar), Skyhammer (helicopter), Shockwave (Cybertronian halftrack).
  • Walmart Exclusive Optimus Prime: A slightly retooled RotF Voyager Optimus Prime with a starry paint add-on that earns this the nickname Sparkle Prime. Comes with a white and gray Landmine redeco called Comettor. Status: I don't expect to buy this.
  • Target Exclusive Comic Packs: RotF Starscream and original movie Ratchet in slightly different decos with pack-in comics. Not gonna get 'em even on clearance, have multiples of both molds already.
  • Wave 2: Fireburst Optimus Prime (redeco with different weapons), Sentinel Prime (firetruck).
    • Fireburst Optimus Prime: Eventually found it for $15. Not that great.
    • Sentinel Prime: A larger Rosenbauer fire truck, this is actually to scale with Cyberverse Legion vehicles (more or less).

PLAY SET
   The biggest of the Cyberverse sets, with a $30 price point and unfolding into a more "traditional" play environment than the limited battle bases of the Action Sets. Given the size, I expect Cyberverse will have to sell pretty well before they'll commit to more than one mold.
  • Ark with Autobot Roller: Unlike the Action Sets, the Ark only has two modes: ship and play set. Roller is a lunar rover vehicle, and appears to be the size of a Commander figure, or at the big end of the Legion range.

COMBINER/HUMAN ALLIANCE
   Regular Human Alliance: These have been rebranded as MechTech as well, and while they don't necessarily come with MechTech weapons, they have at least been given the ability to hold 'em.
  • Wave 1: Skids (black with green) with Elita-1 (purple) and Sgt. Epps, Bumblebee (black with yellow) with Sam Witwicky. Status: Passing on these.
  • Wave 2: Roadbuster with Sergeant Recon. This is the "Stealth Force" version with weapons and armor out. This is not the same Sergeant Recon as packed with Reverb.
  • Target Exclusive Leadfoot with Sergeant Detour and Steeljaw. This has the Target logo on the hood and more accurate sponsor decals than I expected from the regular release, not that there ever was a regular release. Steeljaw is a cute robot pit pull that turns into a weapon.

LEADER
   I have largely gone off the larger sizes, any reviews here are likely to be guest reviews.
  • Wave 1: Bumblebee (new mold), Sentinel Prime (firetruck). Status: Seen, but not bought. Oddly, both are listed as Intermediate transformation difficulty (2 on a 3 point scale).
  • Wave 2: Ironhide, shipping with more Bumblebees. Status: Seen, not bought.

ULTIMATE
  • Ultimate Optimus Prime: The first full-sized Optimus Prime in a while to come with a trailer, which turns into a wings-and-weapons pack that has gotten this toy the nickname "Iron Butterfly Prime". At $80, I don't intend to get this. Even after most stores dropped it to $65, too much and too big.