On July 4, 2007, the Transformers return to the big screen. This page will
hold reviews for the movie-line transforming toys (see the Artifacts page for
other merchandise, and if there's any movie-line Titaniums, they'll go under
Side Lines). June 2 is the official street date for the first wave, with a
couple of preview Protoforms out in April.
On June 2, the street date hit for movie toys, and I dropped $375 in one day,
plus had some online-ordered Deluxes on their way. So I have set up the
skeletons for everything I bought, and will flesh them out as I go along.
Expect reviews to be weirdly incomplete for a while, as I will link them in
before they're done, in opposition to my usual practice.
- Wave 1: AKA Series 7 of Legends. Supposedly a $4
price point, good luck finding 'em that cheap. Bumblebee, Barricade, Autobot
Jazz, Autobot Ratchet. Barricade's the only one worth bothering with.
- Wave 2: AKA Series 8. Right now, I only know about
Megatron and Prime, the wave may be fleshed out with repeats of Wave 1, or
there might be two more I have yet to hear of. As of 6/24/07, only Megatron
has been found and reviewed. 9/7: Got Prime as part of the Target Prime/Megs
multipack, added to review.
- Wave 3: Series 9, includes Prime and Megatron
reships, plus Starscream and Blackout.
- Versus Wave 1: Under AllSpark Battles trade dress,
they've switched to packing them in Autobot vs. Decepticon packs, reminiscent
of the Mini-Con recolors in Cybertron. This wave includes Cliffjumper
(Bumblebee recolor) vs. Recon Barricade (Barricade recolor), Autobot Jazz
(minor recoloring) vs. Bonecrusher (new mold), and Rescue Ratchet (Autobot
Ratchet recolor) vs. Decepticon Brawl (new mold).
- Versus Wave 2: Nightwatch Optimus Prime vs. Stealth
Starscream (both recolors), Ironhide (new mold) vs. Desert Blackout (Blackout
recolor). Megatron's the only non-versus release to not get a recolor so
far. And only one new character in this wave, all the recolors are "same
guy, different paint job". At least Wave 1 gave us Cliffjumper. I expect a
lot of people will just call Nightwatch Prime "Ultra Magnus" because of the
blue and white scheme, and Stealth Starscream will be Skywarp because he's
black. Updated 1/11/08 with Prime and Starscream.
- Versus Wave 3: Bumblebee (battle damage recolor)
vs. Scorponok (new mold), Battle Jazz (battle damage recolor) vs. Ice
Megatron (replace black with metallic blue, mainly). Only got the BB/Scorpy
set. I've got enough Jazz and Megatron Legends toys already, and neither is
really different enough to entice me. Scorponok is really good, though, if a
touch floppy in beast mode.
- Real Gear Robots Wave 1: Speed Dial 800 (cell phone),
Power Up VT6 (portable game player), Longview (binoculars), Spy Shot 6
(camera), Booster x10 (MP3 player/dictation recorder), Zoom 25x
(videocamera). Review up, and I modded Speed Dial
800 a little.
- Real Gear Robots Wave 2: Meantime (watch) and High Score
100 (game controller), shipping with more of Boost x10 and Zoom 25x.
- Real Gear Robots Wave 3: Wire Tap V20 (recolor of Speed
Dial 800), Night Beat 7 (recolor of Booster X10). Shipping with more of
Meantime and High Score 100.
- Real Gear Robots Wave 4: Highline 1070 (Speed Dial
recolor), Hacker X3 (Power Up recolor) and Photon T-34 (Spy Shot recolor).
Hacker has a cool bio note, Photon a great mold and nifty recolor, and
Highline...is pretty much just for completists.
- Cyber Slammers Wave 1: Bumblebee, Barricade, Optimus
Prime. For now, expect only Barricade, but I may get the others on clearance
later. Review up.
- Cyber Slammers Wave 2: Decepticon Brawl, Autobot
Ratchet. Updated 10/4/07 with Ratchet.
- Sector 7 Wave 2: Recolors of older Scout class toys
as Target exclusives. Strongarm, Skyblast and Clocker. Also has some notes
about Wave 1, which I didn't buy (Arcee, Hardtop and Signal Flare).
- Sector 7 Wave 3: More recolors. Air Raid (Skyblast
mold), Elita-One (Arcee mold), Armorhide (now in black).
- Sector 7 Wave 4: Another brace of recolors, now
with AllSpark Power motifs. Warpath (Cyb. Overhaul), Storm Surge
(Shortround) and Crosshairs (Energon Strongarm, not fully reviewed).
- Protoforms: In movie parlance, the "protoform" is a
non-disguise mode that they assume for space travel, and which looks vaguely
like an asteroid or comet. Optimus Prime and Starscream are the only
protoforms expected for pre-movie release.
- Regular Wave 1: Autobot Jazz, Bumblebee, Barricade,
Swindle, Bonecrusher, Brawl, Wreckage, Scorponok. Normal Deluxe-type toys.
As of June 8, review completed. Updated July 11.
- Regular Wave 2: Arcee, 2009 Concept Bumblebee,
Dreadwing. 8/24/07: Completed.
- Regular Wave 3: Recon Barricade (not reviewed), Final
Battle Jazz, Payload, Dropkick, Longarm. Updated 8/30/07 with guest comments
on Recon Barricade.
- Regular Wave 4: AKA AllSpark Power Wave 1.
Cliffjumper (Concept Camaro recolor), Autobot Camshaft (Swindle recolor) and
Landmine (Desert Patrol Vehicle). Cliffjumper not reviewed. Updated 2/12/08
with Stockade, a "wave 4.5" running change.
- Target Exclusive G1-Deco Jazz: Slight remold, color
scheme homaging G1 Jazz.
- Wal-Mart Exlusive Cybertron Redecos: Divebomb
(Thundercracker), Grindcore (Landmine), Jolt (Crosswise) and Big Daddy
(Downshift). Updated 3/7/08 with Divebomb and Grindcore.
- Fast Action Battlers Wave 1: These have simplified
transformations and seem aimed at younger kids. Ironhide, Autobot Jazz,
Autobot Ratchet, Optimus Prime, Brawl, Starscream. I only reviewed Ratchet,
Brawl and Starcream. Updated 8/27/07 with guest review of Ironhide (Japanese
- Fast Action Battlers Wave 2: Megatron, Frenzy, Blackout
and Bumblebee reviewed. Wave also contains Barricade. Updated 9/27/07 with
Barricade guest review.
- Fast Action Battlers Wave 3: All recolors. Smokescreen
(Jazz), Ramjet (Starscream), a Rodimus-style recolor of Optimus Prime, and a
G2 Gobot/Spychanger Ironhide recolor of Ironhide. Updated 1/22/08 with
Pulse Cannon Ironhide.
- Fast Action Battlers Wave 4: Another all recolor wave.
Review of Desert Blast Brawl. Also in the wave are Rescue Torch Ratchet,
Rally Rocket Bumblebee and Night Attack Megatron.
- Robot Replicas Wave 1: Non-transforming action
figures with Revoltech-style joints. $11 price point, although most stores
dropped it to $10 later. Bumblebee, Megatron and Barricade.
- Robot Replicas Wave 2: Optimus Prime, Frenzy (no
revoltech-style joints), Jazz.
Not an official size class, but anything sold for $15 or
closer to that than to $10 or $20 will go here.
- IR R/C Transformers: Radio Shack exclusives, little
"forward or reverse-and-turn" Spychangers, basically. Covers Barricade and
Bumblebee, avoid Prime.
- T.E.C.H. Wave 1: Transformers Electronic Combat
Hardware, a roleplay weapon thing that turns into something innocuous (if
sometimes way too bulky to be what it's supposed to be. Wave 1 is Digital
Dagger (cellphone/energy dagger) and Quick Bow (PDA/crossbow). Review covers
just Digital Dagger.
- T.E.C.H. Wave 2: Flash Bang (reviewed), a
spotlight/chibi Sten gun and Tight Shot (not reviewed), a
videocamera/blaster. I like Flash Bang.
- Voyager Wave 1: Might be two waves compressed by
street date effects. Starscream, Autobot Ratchet, Blackout, Ironhide.
7/4/07: Review now written.
- Voyager Wave 2: Just Megatron-in-ice and a re-ship
of Autobot Ratchet.
- Voyager Wave 3: Megatron-in-ice and the regular Voyager Optimus Prime,
which is RoboVision Prime with non-shiny gray plastics and a slightly
different paint job.
- Voyager Wave 4: Thundercracker (Starscream remold
with new head) and Rescue Ratchet (G1-style repaint). I finally got Rescue
Ratchet when it was on sale, and there's a guest review of Thundercracker.
- Voyager Wave 5: Or AllSpark Power Voyager Wave 1.
Evac (Blackout recolor and remold), First Strike Optimus Prime (G1 themed
recolor), Offroad Ironhide (blue recolor with mud marks). Incinerator added
as a running change. Updated 2/10/08 with Incinerator.
- RoboVision Optimus Prime: An exclusive color scheme
and packaging, plus available a wave ahead of the regular version. Review
also includes codes for Target's RoboVision online content.
- G1 Redeco Starscream: Another Target exclusive, but
not RoboVision. This is actually the Thundercracker mold given a G1
Starscream color job.
- Cyber Stompin' Wave 1: Bumblebee, Optimus Prime.
Non-transforming gimmick-platforms aimed at younger kids and rougher play.
Update 2/8/08: Prime added to review.
- Screen Battles Wave 1: Screen Battles takes Deluxe
toys, tweaks them, and adds extra figures (usually humans) so scenes from the
movie can be re-enacted. Wave 1 is Final Stand (Longarm with damaged
Bumblebee) and First Encounter (Barricade with Sam, Mikaela and Frenzy).
- Screen Battles Wave 2: Desert Attack (Scorponok and three U.S. soldiers)
and Capture of Bumblebee (Concept Camaro Bumblebee with three Sector 7
guys). Won't be buying either of these.
- Converting Arm Blasters: Vehicles that turn into Nerf-firing gauntlets.
- Optimus Prime Voice-Changer Helmet: $30, fits adults.
Even (more or less) over glasses.
- AllSpark Blasters: Mode-shifting sound-and light weapons that include a
faux fist as part of the grip. They don't transform into vehicles, but into
other tools. No missiles, Nerf or otherwise, just light and sound. $20
- Rescue Ratchet AllSpark Blaster: Turns from a searchlight into a
blaster. Out in stores, but I'm not getting it unless I find it on deep
clearance. The faux fist makes for a tight fit on the grip for adult-sized
hands. See Bumblebee review for some comments.
- Bumblebee AllSpark Blaster: Changes from Laser Blaster
to Plasma Blaster. Yeah, kinda stretching the "transforming" concept here.
Much better fit for adult hands, and some nice gimmicks.
- Wave 1: Optimus Prime and Megatron. Megatron may be
shortpacked, or part of a Wave 1.5, since there were more Primes out at the
store I first saw them. As of July 12, 2007, both have been reviewed.
- Wave 2: Brawl. Not a leader in the character sense,
but a big guy with Advanced Automorph.
- Wave 3: Nightwatch Optimus Prime (blue and white recolor) and Desert Camo
Brawl. Not getting either recolor, although I know some people are passing
on regular Leader Brawl and waiting for this one.
- Ultimate Bumblebee: Loaded with gimmicks and electronics, this is the
high end of the line, with a shelf price of around $90. The transformation
isn't as complex as the previous toy at this size, in part due to the
extensive gimmicks. Passed on this.