TINY TURBO CHANGERS
These are blind-bagged Tiny Titans-sized figures that transform. Simplistic
and underpainted, and not worth the $3.99 TRU wants, but more or less worth
the $3 Walmart and Target ask. Most of the figures can hold 3mm pegs, but
they didn't put much effort into consistency, and some hands are too big.
WAVE 1: Two versions of Bumblebee (regular and "Knight Strike"
black), two Grimlocks (gold and black), plus Crosshairs, Sideswipe, Optimus
Prime, Hound, Starscream (RotF tattos), Blackout, Soundwave (DotM sports
car), Lockdown. 4/14/17: TRU in various places, including Amarillo TX,
El Paso TX, Torrance CA. However, street date is 4/28, so whether you can
buy it depends on how nice the manager is. 4/25: Buyable for $3 at Walmart
in Amarillo TX. 4/27: $2.49 at Target in Amarillo TX. (Correction, that was
the price for the remaining Tiny Titans on the same pegs, Target is charging
$2.99 as well.) Lots of Walmarts have them for $1.94 now, though.
THREE-PACK: Non-blind three-pack of Optimus, Bumblebee, and Steelbane
(the only new mold). $9.99 at Target. 8/31/17: Target in Torrance
CA. 12/19: Amarillo TX, it's a Target exclusive. (August sighting of it
at $4.99 seems to have been a pricing error, sadly.)
At least to start with, this appears to just be old molds redecoed to vaguely
resemble the movie characters. Or, in the case of inevitable Optimus Primes
and Bumblebees, just randomly recolored.
WAVE 1: All redecos. Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are deco tweaks to
previous movie molds, Barricade is Prime Prowl redecoed, and Grimlock is yet
another Prime Rippersnapper redeco. 4/14/17: TRU in Amarillo TX, El Paso
TX, Torrance CA. Probably covered by the 4/28 street date, I just didn't
try buying any. $6.99. 4/26: A lot of TRUs have decided today is the street
date for these, including Amarillo TX, Torrance CA, Hawthorne CA. 5/2:
Target in Amarillo TX. 5/10: Walmart in Quincy MA, Amarillo TX. 5/22:
Walmart and Target in Green Bay WI area. (Well, DePere for the Walmart.)
WAVE 2: Megatron, Drift, Crossfire, and reship of the Optimus Prime.
6/15/17: TRU in Torrance CA. 7/4: Walmart in Amarillo TX.
WALMART EXCLUSIVE HOT ROD: Unknown if it'll be joined by any other
exclusives (like how the flip-and-change Hot Rod was joined by Bumblebee).
9/21/17: Hot Rod up at Walmart.com. 9/27: Got mine, still not seeing
it on the pegs, but wanted to update this entry to clarify the exclusive
WALMART TWO-PACKS: Never actually appearing at any Walmart, these went
straight to Ross as far as anyone can tell. Bumblebee and Hot Rod (new
decos, including yellow spoilers on Hot Rod), Megatron and Berserker
(Breakdown from Prime with a new color scheme), Optimus Prime and Ravenspar
(looks to be a stealth drone Soundwave from Prime). The first figure listed
in each pack is either identical to the single-pack versions or only very
slightly tweaked. 11/11/17: Ross in Tacoma WA. 11/26: Ross in
Amarillo TX (couldn't find the OP/Ravenspar set, but it was after a Kidstorm
so it might have been buried in a random location in the store).
TRU TWO-PACKS: TRU exclusive packs of Megatron and Bumblebee, or
Optimus Prime with Grimlock, with new decos, $15. 8/1/17: Available on
ToysRUs.com. 8/3: Amarillo TX.
WALMART TWO-PACKS: More Autobots Unite stuff. No solid sightings yet,
but rumored to be showing up at Ross, having never actually hit shelves at
Rebranding the One-Step Changer for the movie line.
WAVE 1: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Hound, Barricade. I think Barricade
is a new mold, pretty sure Hound is a redeco, but I never got the AoE OP and
BB so I'm only fairly confident those are redecos. 4/14/17: Gamestop and
TRU in Amarillo TX; TRU in El Paso TX, Torrance CA. Gamestop wants $11.99
and is not feeling bound by street dates, TRU wants $9.99 and in theory
should wait until 4/28. Didn't buy any at either place. 4/26: Some TRUs
have decided today's the street date for these, including Amarillo TX,
Torrance CA, Hawthorne CA. 5/2: Target in Amarillo TX. 5/10: Walmart in
Quincy MA, Amarillo TX. 5/22: Walmart in DePere WI.
WAVE 2: Megatron (space jet), Berserker (pickup truck, oddly),
Grimlock (redeco of AoE version). 5/16/17: Target in Amarillo TX.
TARGET EXCLUSIVE REVEAL THE SHIELD 6-PACK: As usual, Target is doing a
big expensive pack of a bunch of simple toys that aren't selling singly (plus
one not yet out), in hopes of harried parents/grandparents just grabbing them
off the endcaps for Christmas. This one has Megatron, Optimus Prime, Hound,
Bumblebee, Grimlock, and Barricade. No new molds this time, but all new
decos, including speckled color patterns that reveal stuff when you hold one
of the included red clear plastic weapons over them. 8/3/17: Torrance
CA. $50. 8/4: Amarillo TX. 8/7: Pace FL.
WALMART EXCLUSIVE TWO-PACK: Bumblebee and Hot Rod, as per the other
Walmart exclusives under the Autobots Unite logo. 11/10/17: Ross in
Amarillo TX. Never actually saw these at any Walmart.
WAVE 3: Cyberfire, the gimmick is details in the paint that glow under UV
(the giant Dragonstorm TurboChanger has a purple/UV diode in its mouth).
Bumblebee, Drift, Cogman, Scorn. 11/26/17: TRU in Amarillo TX.
The "standard" price point, running in the vicinity of $15 these days, or $20
PREMIER WAVE 1: The Premier sets are boxed rather than carded, and
feature more paint apps than Hasbro usually uses, but at a boost in price
($20 rather than $15). Bumblebee (AoE redeco), Barricade (new tooling,
reportedly), Slash (AoE redeco), Decepticon Berserker (Chevy Suburban, new
mold). 4/18/17: Spotted at a K-Mart (no location given), but unbuyable
due to K-Mart's checkout computers honoring street date even if the stockers
don't. (Seriously, this goes all the way back to the first movie, where I
saw a bunch of stuff at K-Mart but they couldn't sell it to me.) 4/23:
Available on HTS, although stocks tend to drop quickly. (I ordered
Berserker, didn't see Barricade, left Bumblebee and Slash.) 4/24: Walmart in
Amarillo TX (I only saw Berserker, a friend saw him and Barricade elsewhere,
today wasn't a day I could go shopping much); TRU in El Paso TX. 4/26: Some
TRUs have decided today is street date for these, including Amarillo TX,
Torrance CA, Hawthorne CA. 4/28: Probably safe to assume all TRUs have these
out now, but I got a specific sighting from Pensacola FL. 5/2: Target in
Amarillo TX. 5/22: Walmart and Target in Green Bay WI. 6/9: Walmart is
lowering the price to $15.86 or even $14.97, at least locally.
TRU EXCLUSIVE PREMIER DELUXE: Skullitron (a slight retool of the
upcoming Steelbane figure), Stealth Bomber Megatron (headswap of the T30 mold,
reportedly with highly variable patina paint). 6/23/17: Torrance CA,
Hawthorne CA. 7/14: Amarillo TX. 8/1: Available on ToysRUs.com.
WAVE 2: Autobot Drift (new mold), Dinobot Slug (redeco), and Steelbane
(head-swap of Skullitron). Might also include Sqweeks, but if it does
someone got 'em all from the store I spotted this wave at first. 8/27/17:
Walmart in Amarillo TX. I passed on Steelbane because the mold is so
bad, and on Slug because the mold isn't good enough for me to want a second
one. 11/12: The entire wave (which does include Sqweeks) is now part of a
holiday aisle bunker display at Walmart.
WAVE 3: Strafe (redeco of AoE), Crosshairs (appears to also be a
re-release with maybe minor tweaks), new Bumblebee mold, and reputedly
Cogman. The new molds appear to be shortpacked, and may never actually make
it out of the stockroom in some cases. 12/4/17: Strafe and Crosshairs at
Walmart in Amarillo TX. Suspect that if the new molds actually made it
to the pegs, they barely had time to stop swinging before they got bought.
1/10/18: Strafe, Crosshairs, and new Bumblebee at TRU in Amarillo TX.
(Cogman is not on the cosells for any of these three.)
That might not be the official name of the assortment now, but these are
basically the same level of crappy-transformation Titan Hero sort of figure
with negligible articulation and cheap plastic meant more as a back seat
brawling weapon than anything else. $15 price point.
WAVE 1: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, of course. 5/11/17: Walmart
in Amarillo TX. 5/22: Walmart in DePere WI.
WAVE 2: Adds in Megatron. I picked one up on a whim, it's about as
bad as the rest of its ilk. 6/17/17: Walmart in Amarillo TX.
SUPER TURBO CHANGERS
The successors to the Smash-And-Change toys, these are bigger Turbo Changers,
slightly smaller than Voyager size and sold for $20. They have "Knight
Armor" gimmicks that are basically mutant heads/battle masks.
WAVE 1: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Grimlock. While they may share some
engineering with the Smash&Change AoE toys, the new Knight Armor masks mean
that they're at least significant retools, if not entirely new molds.
4/19/17: TRU in Torrance CA. (Covered by street date, so if you see
them you probably can't buy them yet.) 4/24: TRU in El Paso TX. 4/25:
Walmart in Amarillo TX. 4/27: TRU in Amarillo TX. 5/2: Target in Amarillo
TX. 5/22: Walmart in DePere WI.
WAVE 1.5?: The only new one I saw was Megatron (space jet), so not
sure if this is a running change or if someone beat me to any other new
ones. 5/16/17: TRU in Amarillo TX.
WAVE WHATEVER: Seems to remove Megatron and add in Hound, while
continuing to clog the shelves with Optimus, Bumblebee, and Grimlock.
9/11/17: Walmart in Amarillo TX. $15.83. Looks pretty bad.
FLIP AND CHANGE: Same size and price point as Super Turbo Changers,
but with the return of the "grab the arms and flail it around" sort of
gimmick. Bumblebee is definitely a Walmart exclusive, Hot Rod might be as
well. Bumblebee is in "Autobots Unite" trade dress. 7/30/17: Bumblebee
only at Walmart in Amarillo TX. 8/16: Hot Rod (also Walmart Exclusive)
in Amarillo TX.
The standard more or less gimmickless Voyager size, $30 to start but later
dropping to around $25-28.
WAVE 1: Marked as Premier Edition, these are a redeco of the AoE
Voyager Grimlock and a new mold longnose Optimus Prime, each with better
than usual paint apps and a $30 price tag. 4/14/17: TRU in Amarillo TX,
El Paso TX, Torrance CA. Probably bound by 4/28 street date, I didn't try
buying either. 4/23: Available on HTS. 4/24: TRU in El Paso TX. 4/26: Some
TRUs have decided today is the street date for these, including Amarillo TX,
Torrance CA, Hawthorne CA. 4/28: Street date! Specific sighting from TRU in
Pensacola FL. 5/2: Target in Amarillo TX. 6/9: The local Walmarts have
lowered the price to $26.87.
WAVE 2: Looks like we're in for "Premier" for the long haul, so it
means absolutely nothing. Megatron (space jet) and Hound (armored hauler,
new mold). 7/7/17: Walmart in Amarillo TX; TRU in Torrance CA. 7/13:
Target in Manhattan Beach CA, Redondo Beach CA.
WAVE 3: Scorn (Spinosaur, new mold) and Nitro (aka Nitro Zeus, jet
with a Headmaster). 8/3/17: Walmart in Torrance CA. 8/16: Walmart in
Amarillo TX. 8/19: Walmart in Decatur IL. 10/13: TRU in Amarillo TX.
10/18: TRU and Target in Torrance CA.
TRU EXCLUSIVE OPTIMUS PRIME: AKA "Poptart Prime" for the color scheme
and the frosting-like decoder panels. Like the Target Turbochanger pack,
this has symbols that are decoded by holding the clear red weapons (a sword
and a shield) over the code frosting. This appears to be a redeco of the
Dark of the Moon MechTech Voyager Optimus Prime, with the MechTech weapon
replaced by the decoder weapons. Very garish, has clear red wheels. I
already have at least one copy of this mold, maybe two, so I'll be passing.
8/13/17: Amarillo TX, $30.
I'll report sightings on Leader and up, but I'm unlikely to actually buy
any. I've been leery of the bigger toys for some time now, and when you add
in the "Bayformer" aesthetic's challenges to engineering, I almost always
feel totally ripped off by anything above the $30 class.
MASTERPIECE MOVIE BUMBLEBEE: Packed in a smallish non-window box for
$80. 11/17/17: TRU in Amarillo TX.
TRU EXCLUSIVE INFERNOCUS: A retool of the Legion Abominus set in
gunmetal and flame colors, with the torso figure retooled to give the
combiner a new Berserker-style head, plus a non-transforming Quintessa
minifigure. Listed on ToysRUs.com but not yet in stock. 8/13/17: Found
in Amarillo TX. $35. 8/31: Torrance CA. 9/15: Pensacola FL.
SUPER DUPER TURBOCHANGER WAVE 1: Very large Dragonstorm
(dragon/knight). 7/21/17: TRU in Torrance CA. $80 price point, and
no that's not the official size class. 8/4: Target in Amarillo TX.
LEADER WAVE 1: Optimus Prime and Megatron. 7/21/17: TRU in
Torrance CA, $50 each. One of each per case. 7/27: Megatron alone
spotted at TRU in Amarillo TX. (But not by me, hopefully it'll still be
there tomorrow when I can go shopping.) 7/28: Both at Target in Amarillo
TX. Decided to pass on both. Optimus doesn't look as good as Voyager, and
while the Megatron looks like it may be as good as the Voyager, it's also
almost twice the cost and more of a partformer. So don't expect reviews of
either from me unless I spot them on fairly deep clearance. (I was later
informed that Optimus is a redeco of the First Edition Leader Optimus Prime
from 2014, the one I never actually saw in stores.) 8/3: Target in Torrance
CA. 8/7: Target in Pace FL. 8/10: Target in Decatur IL; Walmart in Mt. Zion
LEADER WAVE 2: Dragonstorm (robots Stormreign and Dragonicus combine
into a three-headed dragon) plus reships. 10/15/17: TRU in Amarillo
TX. 10/18: TRU in Torrance CA (dedicated case this time). 10/21: TRU in
Peoria IL. 10/25: Walmart in Amarillo TX. 12/19: TRU in Pensacola FL.
CYBERTRON (PRIMUS): A redeco of Cybertron
Primus in brighter colors and covered in
Cybertronian glyphs, a TRU exclusive with a reported price of $150 (3 times
what the mold sold for in 2006). Another one I'll be skipping. (announced
on 6/1/17, no sightings yet) 6/28/17: TRU in Torrance CA. Looks to be
one case of two per store. 8/1: Available on ToysRUs.com. 8/10: TRU in
Dedham MA. 8/11: TRU in Amarillo TX.
Membership in this category can seem kinda arbitrary, and sometimes it will
be. Basically, if it's a robot or vehicle toy, or a weapon, but it doesn't
"really" transform (whatever that ends up meaning to me), it goes here.
Construct-Bots and Kre-O sets fall in this category. I've largely given up
on the "artifacts" stuff like clothing and party favors, since it's no longer
noteworthy, but if something impresses me in some way, I'll also list it in
HOLLYWOOD RIDES: Found in with the other "fancy Hot Wheels scale cars"
as a Walmart exclusive, these are non-transforming die-cast cars slightly
bigger than the 1:72 scale favored by Hot Wheels. The undersides have the
face of the robot mode in relief, in a vague callback to Speed Stars. Made
by Jada Toys under license. I only found Barricade (unlicensed car), Hot Rod
(Lamborghini Centenario), and Crosshairs (Chevy Corvette Stingray) the first
time I saw them. Bumblebee (Camaro) and Optimus Prime (Western Star 5700 XE
Phantom) are also in the assortment, but Prime might be in a larger package
for a higher price. $4 for the cars. 7/1/17: Amarillo TX. 7/7:
There's also a line of 1:24 cars for $20, with collector coin. These have
the full figure relief sculpt of the character, with paint, on the undersides
(like giant Speed Stars). Spotted a bunch of Hot Rod at Walmart in Amarillo
TX, but the cosells show all five characters listed under the 1:60 scale
cars. 8/20: 1:32 scale (well, for the cars) series is out there. I found
Optimus and Barricade for $5.88 each, although I don't know if that's the
regular price or instant clearance, since there were no shelf tags.
Barricade is pretty much the size of the vehicle mode of his Deluxe toy.
These did not have Walmart Exclusive stickers, but I did find them at Walmart
in Amarillo TX.
BUMBLEBEE SUNGLASSES: Basically the front of BB's helmet attached to
some sunglasses. $9.99 at TRU. 5/16/17: TRU in Amarillo TX.
PILLOWS: Basically rectangular pillows with little floppy arms and
legs, rather than full character pillows. Set includes Optimus Prime and
Sqweeks. 6/18/17: $13 at Walmart in Amarillo TX.
AUTOBOT SYMBOL BACKPACK: Black symbol on gray backpack, a "mini
backpack" that might hold a few books or a tablet with keyboard. $14.99 at
TRU. 5/16/17: TRU in Amarillo TX.
WALKIE TALKIES: Vaguely shaped like Optimus's head, I think these may
be older designs with new TLK packaging. $15 price point. 5/23/17: TRU
in Amarillo TX.
DANCING SQWEEKS: A non-transforming Sqweeks toy that dances to music
or when you press a button. $19.88 at Walmart. 8/7/17: Walmart in
MOVIES 1-4 GIFT SET WITH TOY: A BluRay set of the first four movies,
packaged with a random Beast Hunters Legion class toy (Prowl, Bumblebee,
Soundwave spotted in a cursory check of the rack). 6/18/17: Part of the
Walmart TF5 aisle display, Amarillo TX.
ROLEPLAY SWORD AND SHIELD: A short semi-nerfy sword and a buckler for
$20. Two varieties, one for Optimus and one for BB. The swords are the same
mold, but BB's shield is based on his star weapons. 5/2/17: TRU in
ROLEPLAY COSTUMES: Child-sized bodysuit-and-mask costumes for Optimus
Prime and Bumblebee, $20. 5/2/17: TRU in Amarillo TX.
BATTLE BLASTER SWORD: Changes from Optimus Prime's sword into a
Nerf-ish blaster. $25 price point. 5/5/17: TRU in Amarillo TX.
$30 and up
VOICE CHANGER HELMET: Looks to be the same Optimus Prime helmet from
previous movies, slightly tweaked deco. Didn't have a shelf tag, so I'm
guessing the price is about $30. 4/14/17: TRU in Amarillo TX, El Paso TX,
Torrance CA. 4/26: Today seems to be when at least some TRUs think these
have their street date, including Amarillo TX, Torrance CA, Hawthorne CA.
VOICE CHANGER MASKS: Not full helmets, just face masks, but with voice
changer gimmicks. First wave includes Megatron and Bumblebee. 8/3/17:
Megatron helmet spotted at Target in Torrance CA. Both masks up on
RADIO-CONTROLLED SQWEEKS: Big RC toy, but not 1:1 scale. Maybe 1:4 of
1:6. $80 price point. 7/21/17: TRU in Torrance CA. 7/23: TRU in
Amarillo TX. 7/28: Target in Amarillo TX. 8/3: Target in Torrance CA. 8/7:
Target in Pace FL. 8/13: Walmart in Amarillo TX.