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.
LEGION WAVE THE LAST: Dragonstorm and Hound. Seems to be a direct to
closeout store wave. 7/23/18: Ross in Amarillo TX. (Someone else in
town got 'em.)
Rebranding the One-Step Changer for the movie line.
Nothing new in 2018, a lot of them still clog pegs at Walmart as of 4/4/18
The "standard" price point, running in the vicinity of $15 these days, or $20
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.) 7/20/18:
Cogman found at TJMaxx in LaGrange GA.
WAL-MART EXCLUSIVE HOT ROD: I never did see this on the shelf at Walmart,
I got mine on their website (a rare store exclusive that actually sold
online). 5/14/18: Ross in Amarillo TX. (The smaller exclusive Hot
Rods also showed up at Ross a few months prior.)
STUDIO SERIES WAVE 1: Crowbar (aka Berserker), Ratchet, Bumblebee, and
Stinger. The Studio Series are supposedly "we learned how to do these
characters better" versions. Despite appearances, they are either entirely
new molds (Stinger, Ratchet) or extensive retools. 4/4/18: Available on
HTS. 4/7: Walmart in Amarillo TX. 4/10: Walmart in Torrance CA (two
branches). 4/13: Target in Amarillo TX. 4/15: Target in Culver City CA.
4/16: Target in Pensacola FL. 4/17: Walmart in Mt. Zion IL. 4/18: Target in
Manhattan Beach CA. Some indication that 4/19 may actually be a street date
for these. 4/20: Target in Reseda CA.
STUDIO SERIES WAVE 2: Jazz (Mission City Battle) and Lockdown (Enemy
Ship Infiltration), plus reships. 8/7/18: Walmart in Amarillo TX.
8/14: Target in West Los Angeles CA. 8/23: Target in Pace FL. 9/8: Target
in Amarillo TX.
STUDIO SERIES WAVE 3: Ratchet (redeco in Dark of the Moon colors),
Shadow Raider (the nameless mercs working with Lockdown in Age of
Extinction), and beetle-mode Bumblebee (yes, nostalgia line entry for a movie
that hasn't come out yet). 9/16/18: Meijer in Noblesville IN.
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.
Nothing new in 2018, a few linger on shelves as of 4/4/18.
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.
Pretty much off shelves as of 4/4/18.
The standard more or less gimmickless Voyager size, $30 to start but later
dropping to around $25-28.
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.
STUDIO SERIES WAVE 1: Starscream, Thundercracker (a head swap of
Nitro, apparently TRU exclusive), Optimus Prime. As with the Deluxe version,
the claim is that these are also in some way "premium" and better than
previous versions. Starscream seems to be the RotF mold with a swappable
weapon hand. 4/4/18: Starscream and Optimus Prime available on HTS.
Thundercracker has been spotted at a handful of TRUs that were lucky enough
to get shipments before the closing was announced. 4/7: Starscream and
Optimus at Walmart in Amarillo TX. 4/13: Target in Amarillo TX. 4/15:
Target in Culver City CA. 4/16: Target in Pensacola FL. 4/19:
Thundercracker at TRU in Amarillo TX. Currently 15% off. 4/20: OP and SS at
Target in Reseda CA. 4/27: Thundercracker in Pensacola FL, 20% off.
STUDIO SERIES WAVE 2: Brawl (tank), Megatron (greebletank).
6/6/18: Walmart in Amarillo TX. 7/16: Target in Torrance CA. 7/31:
Target in Pensacola FL. 8/14: Target in West Los Angeles CA.
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.
STUDIO SERIES LEADER WAVE 1: Blackout with tiny Scorponok. Appears to
be a bit more detailed than previous versions. Also Grimlock, which is
apparently a new mold with a LOT of rubbery plastic for the spiny bits.
4/4/18: Blackout available at HTS. 4/13: Grimlock at Target in
Amarillo TX. 4/15: Both at Target in Culver City CA. 4/16: Grimlock at
Target in Pensacola FL. 4/20: Target in Reseda CA. 5/7: Target in Torrance
CA. 5/10: Both at Target in Amarillo TX.
MEGA TURBO CHANGER DRAGONSTORM: 7/20/18: Showing up for $20 at Ross,
found one 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
WALL WALKERS: Blind-bagged assortment, all the same shape but with
different faces and torsos printed on them. Assortment includes Bumblebee,
Crosshairs, and two versions (one normal and one energy ghost outline) each
of Optimus and Megatron. 5/19/18: At Dollar Tree.
Nothing new lately.
Nothing new lately.
$30 and up
Nothing new lately.