Monday, July 20, 2015

TFCon - 3rd Party Recap

Unless you've been off line all weekend then you may have heard that a little Transformers convention was held north of the US boarder, TFCon. The largest fan organized convention, TFCon operates outside of Hasbro's direction (unlike Botcon) and has become a huge home to 3rd Party news announcements. This year's news that came out of the show didn't disappoint either. I've been a little quiet on the 3rd Party scene myself, mainly because outside of a few select releases I just haven't had the interest (or the cash). After MMC's Feral Rex, I needed a break from the combiners. I did decide to jump in on Unique Toys' take on the G1 Terrorcon's Abominus, Ordin, but outside of those purchases not much has been added to the collection.

After the news of this year's TFCon however I have several items on my want list. Whether or not any of those turn into actual purchases is still up in the air, but man oh man was some great stuff revealed. Makes me wonder what will be unveiled at TFCon USA to be held in my hometown of Charlotte, NC this coming October?

In no particular order, let's take a look at some of the items that were announced in Canada this past weekend.

FANSPROJECT



With this one image, FansProject is back! If you don't recognize this figure, this is Dinoking, Dinoforce combiner from the Japanese series Victory. Stateside these figures were released with a different color scheme as the Monster Pretender combiner, Monstructor. If you would rather add Monstructor to your collection, don't worry, he's coming too.


The Dinoforce were a group of Pretenders. Their Pretender shells consisted of rubber dinosaur shells. Now whether or not these dino shells are produced remains to be seen. I read somewhere that the decision was still up in the air, but if they are produced they'll likely be expensive and sold separately. 



The expense angle makes since the shells could essentially only be used once where as the figures can be used as Monstructor. For me they have to shells. Period. I owned a boxed complete vintage set of the Dinoforce up until late 2014 so there is a part of me that needs this set, complete w/ dinosaur Pretender shells.




I can't tell you how excited I am over the announcement. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next bit of information released.


It's been awhile since we've seen anything from the Function-X series, outside the recent redeco of Smart Robin as a Sonic Bomber homage. Finally however the next two have officially been announced, "Highbrow" and "Skullcruncher". Both of these were always some of my favorite Headmaster characters and toys, so I really look forward to these. I don't really have much these days left in the collection that the Function-X toys scale with, but I love these toys so much I could care less. Code and Quadruple U need some company and the reinforcements are finally coming.



"Snapdragon" looks equally awesome. I love how Fans Project has found a way to make both the robot and the crocodile a little slimmer. The original G1 toy was pretty hefty. The one thing that I noticed, any many others from the social media comments I read, is what appears to be a windshield like chest in robot mode. Do you remember that G1 cartoon episode, "City of Steel"? 

pic courtesy of tfwiki.net

In that episode Optimus Prime is captured by Megatron and ordered the Constructicons to disassemble his body. He later shows up in the sewers as "Alligatorcon". Many believe that we may see an eventual repaint of this mold as Optimus' "Alligatorcon". What do you think? Would you be in favor for another obscure television reference in toy form?

MAKETOYS

I don't have much personal experience with MakeToys myself, outside of the two pack they did a few years back, Hover and Bomber (aka Seaspray and Powerglide). I've got Cupola on the way, their version of a Masterpiece Headmaster Chromedome, but I've been impressed by many of the more recent offerings. One that really has me intrigued is their take on the Protectobot combiner, Defensor. Guardia will be about the same size as their version of Devastator and Computron, however I read somewhere that the limb bots were supposed to be slight larger. We'll see how that works out I guess.


Images of "Streetwise" have been shown before, but I'm not sure if they were colored test shots as this. He looks fantastic in my opinion and matches up scale wise well w/ "Hot Spot". I also like the $60 price point of these limb bots. Even though once combined he'll be smaller that my Feral Rex and eventual Ordin combiners, I really would like to find a way to add these guys to my collection.


Speaking of "Hot Spot" we got a much better look at him this past weekend. He's got some kibble that I wasn't expecting in robot mode, but overall I like the look. It's a little more of a complex look when compared to Hasbro's latest Combiner Wars offering, but in reality I like both. 



Guardia is shaping up to look simply fantastic. I can't wait for colored test shot images of "First Aid" and "Blades" to round out the group. I know a lot of people may be getting tired of combiners, I mean it seems like every other 3rd Party company is working on a combiner plus you have Hasbro's Combiner Wars line...but this is one set that I eagerly wait in line for.


I just referenced MakeToys new Masterpiece scaled version of "Chromedome", Cupola. Well it looks like we already know who is coming next in the series. None other than "Hardhead". If these figures are as good as they look on my computer display, I can't wait.



It appears that Make Toys isn't just making new Headmaster figures either. From these silhouettes you can see that Targetmasters and Powermasters are on the horizon too! "Pointblank", "Crosshairs", "Darkwing" and "Dreadwind". Maybe more info on these will be revealed by the time TFCon rolls into Charlotte, NC this fall?



A lot of fans want someone to complete the cast of the first few years of both the Autobots and Decepticons in the Masterpiece aesthetic/scale. Well thankfully we're getting Vulcan (Inferno) and Wrestle (Grapple). While I'm not against Inferno, I'm beside myself over the announcement of Wrestle. Once those pre-orders go up I plan to be first in line!

Make Toys announced a lot of great looking stuff and they appear to be quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the 3rd Party scene.

TRANSFORM & ROLLOUT


A newcomber to the scene, Transform & Rollout is working on a MP scaled Jazz. A few pictures surfaced on the web a few weeks back, but this may be the first physical example shown. So far I like what I've seen and will be waiting for more info to be released.

BAD CUBE


These guys started out as a company called Cubex. I picked up their MP scaled release of the minbot, Huffer. He wasn't without flaw, but I love the figure personally. I've heard great things about their recent releases, but I've yet to pull the trigger on any of them. However they threw their name in the hat as the second company to announce they are working on a MP scaled Sunstreaker, Sunsurge. Omnigonix was the first to announce they were working on the character, but not much has been seen of them since. Sunstreaker has always been once of my favorite characters so I can't wait to see what Bad Cube does. Heck, if it's nice enough I may end up with both!

UNIQUE TOYS

When Unique Toys first came on the scene with their take on the Predacon combiner, Predaking, well let's just say their quality left a lot to be desired. I took a chance when they announced Ordin, their version of the Terrorcon combiner, Abominus, but wow have they learned a lot in a short amount of time. 



They are taking on the lesser used of the Decepticon Triple Changers, Octane...or Provider as he is called. I'm not sure why I always liked Octane, but I've been looking forward to this release since it was announced. It's good to see some pictures of the figure, even if they are in test shot form. I believe the robot picture has been digibashed, but man does it make me want to speed up the release date. Provider will be Masterpiece scaled.

 MASTERMIND CREATIONS


Not to be out shined, Mastermind Creations finally unveiled their version of Mirage, Sphinx. I thought I had a picture of the robot mode too, but I can't find it and I'm sure most of you reading this have already seen it. I love the car mode, but the robot mode appears to be more cartoon accurate. Not saying that is a bad thing, but I think I like DX9's previous release of this character (Invisible) a little better.

PERFECT EFFECT


Perfect Effect has been releasing some really nice add-on kits for Hasbro's Combiner Wars voyager figures, and they announced yet another set at TFCon. I'm still waiting on their Menasor sets to be released and shipped to me, but I love how these sets seem to fill out the combiners that much more.

GENERATION TOY


Generation Toy is yet the latest new company and their first release is none other than Devastator. I believe they will be the third 3rd Party company tackling the Constructicon combiner. What can they bring to the table that TFC and Make Toys haven't already done, I don't know. The toys do look impressive though.




CLOUD 9

Cloud 9 is also a newcomer to the scene and they are putting their own spin on the popular one eyed purple Decepticon, Shockwave. Not much is known at this point, but I know a lot of people are waiting for more info.



TFC Toys

It seems as if fans either love TFC or hate TFC. I blame TFC for starting this whole 3rd Party combiner trend as they were the ones that started this with Hercules, their take on Devastator. Well I have to say their latest announcement caught me off guard, Liokaiser.




Liokaiser, the mega popular combiner from the Japanese series, Victory. Above you can see images of Thanatos, aka Killbison. 





Hades, aka Hellbat. I haven't had much luck myself with TFC Toys, but these figures look fantastic. Even the Breastmaster companions look great. 

This is just a sampling of some of the items announced and show and TFCon last weekend. There is a lot to be excited about if you are a fan of 3rd Party Transformers. My money only stretches so far these days, as does my time to actually enjoy toys, but I had a great time over the weekend combing through the various social media sites following the news. If nothing else this past weekend has me even more excited about the US version of TFCon coming to Charlotte in a few short months. I wonder which companies are up next to reveal their next projects? Only time will tell I suppose.

1 comment:

  1. I have yet tonown a third party figure,but truly these productions do spark my interest

    ReplyDelete