Backpack: Halftrack missile truck Cybertron, assigned to
Kabaya Galaxy Micron set 1: Hop, Bumper, Bullet and
Roots. The first four new Mini-Cons from the set (called Jolt, Reverb,
Sixspeed and Safeguard in the US), released individually with mystery gum by
"Ramble": Three color versions of a little quad mech
named, sorta, after Rumble. I've named the three variants Frenzy, Rumble and
Kabaya Block Armor set 1: Capsule-toy-style
peg-together versions of Galaxy Convoy, Ligerjack, Nitro Convoy, Flame Convoy
and Live Convoy. With gum.
RobotMasters and Revoltech
This is what Japan is getting instead of Universe, essentially. A mix of
recolored older toys (mostly Basics, but also the G2 Dreadwing mold) and
shrunk down versions of bigger toys. Revoltech toys are highly poseable but
non-transforming figures, using joints that later showed up in the
U.S. "Robot Replicas" line.
RM-13 Smokesniper: Picked this up in the same order I got Dino Force and
Inch Up from, not really feeling like doing a full review. Good mold, nice
recolor, I liked being able to buy it separately since I don't like the
Dreadwing mold as much.
RM-17 Victory Sabre Set: A box set of the shrunken Star
Sabre and the shrunken Victory Leo. Star Sabre is good, Victory Leo is not.
RM-21 Burning Beast Convoy and Revoltech Convoy:
The latter isn't a RobotMasters figure, but I decided to review 'em both at
once, since I got them in the same trade. BBC is a clear red shrunken down
Optimus Primal (original Ultra gorilla), while Revoltech Convoy is a highly
poseable but non-transforming "non scale action figure".
RM-24 Reverse Convoy/Rebirth Megatron: Really nice
remold of Hero Megatron without the looseness problems of RiD Bludgeon. Has
two heads, a Convoy head and a Megatron head, with a clever swapping
A series of detailed small statues manufactured by Kaiyodo for Takara.
Series 1: Convoy bust, Rumble and Frenzy, Devastator
diorama, AI (from Car Robots) diorama.
Superlink is the Japanese name for Transformers: Energon (just as they called
Transformers: Armada "Micron Legend"). They've got a few toys here and there
that we either won't get, or might not get for a while after Japanese
Kicker - The squishy sidekick of the series, he gets
his own armor and gets to boss Mini-Cons around.
Microman 2004 - Okay, not Transformers. Although
the good guys are Masterforce. :) Same basic mold as Kicker, different
heads and accessories, and lots of extra hands. Updated 5/14 after I got the
rest of the set.
Nightscream Reverse - Part of a review of
Energon SWAT Team, this is a G1-ish recolor of Energon Starscream.
Blind purchase figures, little superdeformed Transformers based on the
Kubrick style of figure, but not as well held-together.
A bunch I got - Arcee, Grimlock, Jazz, Soundwave,
Starscream, Trypticon, Ultra Magnus and Wreck-Gar.
World's Smallest TFs
More "blind purchase" toys, these are tiny (2 inch or so) versions of classic
Set 1: Sideswipe, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee,
Starscream and Soundwave. Set also includes "chase" figures of Prime's
trailer, red Bumblebee and Skywarp. I didn't get any chase figures in my
Set 2: I've gotten a few from this set (Bluestreak, Thrust, Megatron) but
never bothered to review 'em, sorry. Bluestreak's nice.
Atari x Autorooper: This is actually part of the Kiss
Players line, but as Autorooper is WST-size and I have no plans to get any
other Kiss Players stuff, I'm putting the review here. ;)
Takara started getting back into the "grocery counter toys" thing for
Transformers with the PVC sets, but in 2002 expanded by putting out the
SixTeam combiner Micromasters in collectible form. SixLiner was first, but I
didn't get it because I already own the slight remold SixTrain (I never fully
reviewed it, but click here for translated
techspecs and some comments).
Liner Team: Not purchased, came out in the Star Convoy line and inspired
the four SixTeams that came out in the next year.
Turbo Team: Six Micromasters that combine into the
Super Warrior SixTurbo. Originally sold as a box set, reissued individually
in small boxes like the PVCs.
Train Team: Remold of Liner Team, form SixTrain. Didn't get it.
Wing Team: Six aircraft that combine to form SixWing. Reissued, haven't
Builder Team: Six construction vehicles that merge into SixBuilder. I've
bought it, but don't feel like reviewing it. It looks nice, but is rather
floppy, especially the crane and track hoe bits on the shoulders.
Takara took a brief break from the Transformers brand again around 2000,
coming out with the video game based Webdiver series. This was followed by
another game-related line that did pretty poorly, so they went back to
Transforemrs. At this point, it can be kinda hard to find any of these for
sale, and every so often someone emails me asking if I'm selling mine. The
short answer is, no, I'm not selling or trading mine, sorry.
Jagua-on, Shark-on, Griffi-on and Garyuun: The
first four weapon-addon guys. Jagua-on is a car/tigerman, Shark-on is a
hovercraft/sharkman, Griffi-on is a jet/griffin, and Garyuun (Galleon plus
Ryu = dragon) is a pirate galleon/dragonman. The names in the body of the
review are wrong, the ones here have been corrected with the help of Doug
Phoenic-on: Another weapon warrior, a
phoenix/train. Commonly called Feniquon or variants thereon.
Orthrion, Cerberion and Golem-on: Two monstrous
hounds out of Greek Legend (Orthrus and Cerberus) who can do a symmetric
docking merge to form the hulking humanoid Golem-on.
Gradion: The big train-bot himself. Review covers
the toy as well as the videogame built into it.
Dragon and Wyvernion: The huge dragon truck and the
medium dragon seaplane. (Note: Dragon is more properly spelled Drag-on or
Dragion or Doragon, but I'm not keen on any of those spellings.)
Pegasion, Ligaon and Daedalion: Also known as
Daitalion, Daedalion is a sort of Headmaster/Targetmaster that can use
Pegasion and Ligaon as spare heads or forearms. These seem to be the last of
the transforming toys for the line. I got some of the non-transforming ones
on eBay for cheap, though, and may review them as well.
Cute Little Robots: Various WebDiver sets (Heroes,
Flash-Docking Gradion, little PVC sets), GaoGaiGar and GaoFighGar Kubricks
and Choro-Q Optimus Prime are covered here. A big pile of little robots.
Transformers: Car Robots
To follow Metals will be another line like BWII, with some new molds and some
recolors. For various reasons, the Beast Wars name is being dropped in
Japan, although the line will continue to use recolored Beast Wars toys. The
Cybertrons will have the most new molds, with Fire Convoy, three Deluxe cars
and an upcoming three-train combiner. The Destrongers will be led by
Gigatron and contain mostly TMII recolors. Click HERE
for Doug Dlin's translation of info put up on a site in Japan shortly after
the unveiling of the line at the big Toy Fair.
Battle Convoy: The recolor of Laser Optimus Prime Octane,
minus the LED gimmick. Yes, the official name is Black Convoy, but I prefer
either Battle Convoy or Black Battle Convoy. Special Bonus Review: My
original 1995 review of Laser Optimus Prime!
Devil Gigatron and Generation One PVCs: The recolor and
slight remold of Gigatron, plus some of the three inch tall PVC statues of
Generation One characters. Unfortunately, I can't find my Gigatron, so the
DG review doesn't go into too much detail on the differences. Later Note: I
found Gigatron, and my comparisons in the review are correct. Two little
slots were cut in the wing unit so that the elephant trunk could lock in.
Brave Maximus: Review of a borrowed Brave Maximus,
the accessory-less Fortress Maximus recolor. URLs for pictures included in
God Fire Convoy: Reviews of Super Fire Convoy, God
Magnus, and their combined form, God Fire Convoy! Big and expensive, with
lots of noisemakers.
Build King: Perhaps the most ambitious combiner
team ever, combining the swapping flexibility of the old G1-style combiners
with the poseability and complexity of BW era combiners. The execution needs
work, but it's worth a look just for the concepts. Blacklight
Build King picture. Build King has a lot of colors that glow under UV,
and this picture is my attempt at capturing that look. Had to manually cover
the flash, though.
JRX: Three trains combining into a big robot. My brother
got this for me while he was on tour with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in Japan
in May, but it took him a while to get around to mailing it to me.
SpyChangers: GoBot recolors that I managed to get
on the cheap. Missing X-car, as he sold out before I got to the bargain
Wildride review - Because of shortage of space and a
general desire not to spend money like a drunken sailor as I gear up to move
out to some other city (graduation looms), I'm not getting many of this
line. But I wanted to get one of the Deluxe-size cars, and I picked the SUV,
as it seemed the least "kibble-master-ish" of the lot. According to Spencer
Orbell, it's a Mercedes Benz ML 320. The other two cars are easier to ID, a
Laborghini Diablo (also used for Gobot Firecracker) and a Dodge Viper.
Gigatron - The first poseable sixchanger, woo.
Okay, so the Gigabat mode blows energon chunks, there's still two okay modes
(Gigadragon and Gigajet) and three good ones (Gigatron, Gigaformula and
Gigahand). NOTE: For the upcoming Devil Gigatron, they figured out four more
modes without, apparently, changing the molds. Gigaelephant is particularly
clever, using the wings as ears and the tail as a trunk.
Beast Wars Metals
Metals is almost entirely recolors or straight reissues with only the names
changed (the names printed on the TM toys were changed to just Cybertron or
Destron). However, Takara did take the TM Cheetor mold and change it to make
a Jaguar (Ravage) toy from the Agenda three-parter. Click HERE for a review. Pics can be found in the TV Magazine and
Comics Bon-Bon sections.
No, this isn't a new Beast Wars variant you haven't heard about. GaoGaiGar
was the last show/toy line Takara put out in Japan before bringing in Beast
Wars, back in 1997-8. But I recently got some nifty toys from his line (I've
also had a cruddy knockoff I didn't bother reviewing) from actionace.com, so
I figured I'd put them up here.
Review of the two side-by-sides. UPDATE 1/1/00:
Someone who watched the show sent me a bit of info I added at the end of this
review. Also, it looks like ActionAce.com has already sold out of these two
toys. Good thing I pounced when I did. UPDATE 1/21: Michael Robinson tells
me that the green/red combo is named Goryujin (Strong Dragon God) and the
blue/yellow combo is named Genryujin (Phantom Dragon God). UPDATE 5/14/01:
Fire Dragon is Enryu, Ice Dragon is Horyu, Wind Dragon is Furyu and Storm
Dragon is Rairyu. I've got the series on DVD and may be reviewing it soon.
Also got more of the toys over the past few months (Big Volfogg, King J-Der)
but haven't felt like reviewing 'em.
Beast Wars Neo
Thanks to some large trades with Makiya Torigoe, I have a lot of BW Neo
Longrack: The deputy leader of the Cybertrons,
Longrack is a giraffe that turns into a robot or into a pile of body parts.
Well, it's supposed to be a tank or something.
Heinrad: The time-controlling and time-controlled
tanuki (a raccoon-like dog) of the Cybertrons. This review also includes
comments on packaging for the line. Note: Contrary to statements in the
review, the alarm clock function can only be used in robot mode.
Sabreback and Guiledart: The Stegosaur and
Triceratops of the Destrons. NOTE: Re-released with new colors in the
U.S. as Striker and Triceradon.
Big Convoy and Magmatron: If you can only get one,
I'd recommend Magmatron over Big Convoy. But both are really good toys.
Killerpunch and Corahda: No real link between
these, I just happened to get them in the same order. Killerpunch is a
remold of Guiledart, while Corahda is a "Deluxe" Cybertron counterpart to
Sabreback. Purchased from astrotoys.com.
Archadis VS Mach Kick: The winners of the fan design
contest given form. Archadis the archeopteryx and Mach Kick the horse.
NOTE: Archadis re-released with new colors in the U.S. as Airraptor.
Bazooka: Basic-sized Ankylosaurus magniventris.
Ordered in the same batch as Killerpunch, Corahda, Archadis and Mach Kick,
but delivered over six months later. Whee.
Beast Wars, Beast Wars II
Reviews of the Japanese toys I got prior to Beast Wars Neo.
Thanks to Raksha, I have some of the smaller BWII toys: Scuba, Thrust and
Dirge. Click here for a review.
Eggbeasts: Cheap little keychain toys, spheres that
turn into robots and animals. Check the TV Magazine section for pictures
(way down at the end of February).
Clear Convoy and Lioconvoy: A clear plastic variant
of Optimus Primal and the leader of the BWII Cybertrons. I got them in a
trade with Kazunori Asada in Japan.
Galvatron: The triple-changing leader of the
Destrons! Acquired in a trade with Makiya Torigoe.
Hector Zapata pointed out to me that Galvatron's drill unit is removable,
and can be held like a gun in the robot mode's hand. Pull out lightly on the
sides where the puny claws are attached and you can pop the drill out of its
God Neptune: Recolors of the G1 Seacons, minus
Nautilator and all the individual weapons. I got God Neptune in a trade with
Cyborg Beasts: Remolds of some older BW toys,
these are the altered states of the Destron Jets. Now they are Hellscream
(Cybershark), Max B (K-9), Thrustol (Dinobot) and DirgeGun (Waspinator).
Acquired in a trade with Makiya Torigoe.
Autorollers: The unreleased G2 Autorollers,
released in Japan as Autostinger and Autolauncher. Got them from VicegripX's
"Looking For Work" sale.
"Decoys": A set of ten unpainted, clear blue
plastic figures of BWII characters that I got from gamecave.com.