3.01.2011

Nerds, Roll Out!


When I was 8 years old, my cousin sat me down on a Saturday morning and said "You have to see this new show!" Being 8 years old, it didn't take much to get me to watch cartoons on Saturday morning and so down I sat. The show was, of course, Transformers, and I have pretty much been in love with the Robots in Disguise from thatday forward. I got a G1 Megatron for my birthday that same year and spent the better part of the day mastering the Rubik's cube that was that toy. When I found ebay, the first thing I bought was an opened G1 Grimlok with all his accessories for a beastly (to me, at least) 50 bones. I went on a bender for a bit and bought a few lots of the mini bots and even got a replica Devastator set, because I was never lucky enough to have all the Constructicons as a youngen. While I've never been a hardcore collector, I have always monitored my beloved Cybertronians from the sidelines, wishing I could afford to buy all the toys I had no place to store. I've picked up comics, here and there and was always down to give the various games they've put out a go, even though the majority of them were quite terrible. Last year, though, all that changed. Something happened to drag me off the fences and get me excited enough about this universe to plunk down my dough.

June 22, 2010 saw the release of High Moon Studio's War for Cybertron. I watched this game's development with bated breathe. The trailers showed a ton of promise and High Moon's Darkwatch had proven to be a fun, if not slightly generic, first person shooter with some really solid game mechanics behind it. I liked the fact that their main focus was in making a quality game set in the Transformers universe as opposed to just shoveling out some crap to get back to making some game they were actually excited about. This sounded, on paper, like it had a shot at being a truly great Transformers game, which had me absolutely giddy with anticipation. When it released to almost universally glowing reviews, I almost shit myself. I played the multiplayer demo and I couldn't believe how smoothly they integrated the Transformers world into an action game. Running around as a robot was fun. Racing around in vehicle form was fun. Racing around in vehicle form, jumping through the air and transforming into a robot so you smash someone in the face with an axe was a god damned blast. The best for me, though, was the robot designs. My biggest gripe about the various incarnations of the Transformers since G1 disappeared is that the robot designs have been horrible. When Micheal Bay's abortion came out, I thought for sure that Radio Shack vomit was forever going to be the look of Transformers toys to come. War for Cybertron changed that, too.


In the months leading up to WFC's release, Hasbro revealed that they would be doing toys based on the robot designs from the game, the first of which being
Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Much like the game, I waited for these to hit the streets and scoured the interwebs to see what folks had to say about them when they did. Also like the game, I was ecstatic to see almost universal praise for the design, build and overall quality these figures possessed. Sadly, every time I saw them in stores, I was broke as a joke, so these two have still yet eluded me. However, about a month ago, I was in the Wal-marts and there sat Cybertronian Megatron, looking almost exactly like his in-game counterpart. I had the money and the desire, so by god, he went in my cart. With that, my thirst for bots has been reborn. I picked up a Cybertronian Cliffjumper which is, of course, a red Bumblebee, this past weekend. I think I'll do a quick write-up for both those later, but for now, I'll just say both toys are fantastic. Very well built and fun to "arrange" on my desk.

I won't lie, I feel the bug, again. I have decided to limit myself to the Generations figures based on the game, for now, but I don't know if that's going to hold. They just released a Red Alert figure that is absolutely bitchin, not to mention the Dirge and Thrust figures I've seen around. Truth be told, all of the Generations line that I've seen, thus far, has been stellar. Most are recreations of the toys I knew as a kid and all of them would look awesome on my desk. Not helping matters, at all, is the new Transformers cartoon, Transformers Prime, which seems to be really solid and fun to watch. I've been telling my wife for years that I wished I had a hobby that gave me something to collect and drool over. Careful what you wish for, I suppose.

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