New York Toy Fair 2018: Thoughts and Impressions

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So this past weekend was the New York Toy Fair 2018, where the biggest toy companies around come to show off their upcoming product releases.  For any toy collector this is a big weekend, it gives us a preview of where our money will be going for the next year or so.  As an avid Transformers collector, this annual show usually gets me very pumped up and excited. This year was no different!

Hasbro showed off several lines this year: A new younger-aged focused line called “Transformers Cyberverse”, the new movie based “Movie Studio” line, and of course, the next waves of Power of the Primes.

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The Cyberverse line looks to continue on in the tradition of the RID line from the last few years, but with more traditional character designs for the most part.  Each class looks to feature a gimmick or play-function and there will be various sizes and classes, including the return of the Warrior class (that Shockwave looks really nice!).

The Movie Studio line is rather intriguing.  It seems to be in the vein of Takara’s “Movie the Best” Line, which I’ve covered several figures of, but this time we’re getting what appear to be brand new molds, all redesigned from the ground up.  Most notable here would be Grimlock, who up until now, we’ve only had some very mediocre molds of.

Grimlock looks to be properly bulky, large and incredibly screen accurate.  Blackout will be the other of the two leader classes initially released, who looks equally impressive and even comes with his partner Scorponok!  HasbroToyShop.com had initial orders of the deluxes up over the weekend, and I happily was able to grab them, so I’ll have more news regarding this line coming up soon.

Also in Movie-Verse news, the next Movie Master Piece toy was shown off during the weekend show as well – IRONHIDE!

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One of the less covered new products that I’m very excited about are the 1/144th scale model kits.  I really enjoy building Gunpla kits so this will be an interesting combination of two of my favorite hobbies.  It doesn’t appear that they Transform however, so I’m sure this won’t be for everyone.

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Finally, and frankly the most important part of the Transformers display, was the Power of the Primes toys shown off, including the next Titan Class figure, the long time fan-favorite PREDAKING!

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I’ll cover him last – first and foremost, we get to see the first fully combined look at Abominus, and I have to say, he looks absolutely perfect.  From his pink face with yellow eyes, to the bright, popping 80’s colors of the team, he looks to be possibly the best looking combiner to-date.

We also got to see the next set of Prime Masters coming out, and I’m happy to say, Hasbro is continuing to use the Pretender toys as the basis for them, this time we get Bludgeon, Octopunch and Bomb-burst!

On the deluxe class front, Firestar joins the upcoming ranks of Elita-1’s resistance fighters.  She looks to be a repaint/slight retool of Moonracer, which makes sense.

Given the major leak that occurred a several months back, it would appear, unless Habro is playing their cards super close to the chest, that Power of the Primes will be considerably shorter in terms of waves than Combiner Wars or Titans Return.  We’ll see what happens, but luckily Hasbro also gave a brief hint about the next toy line, post Prime Wars Trilogy, and happily, it’s another trilogy!  This time it will be dubbed War For Cybertron.  It’s important to note this has NO correlation with the video game.  It’s going to be a whole new take on the idea of The Great War, so I am definitely excited to see what happens!

Now onto Predaking:

img_1192Objectively speaking, Predaking will be comprised of 5 voyager class figures, Razorclaw, Headstrong (who’s name will be changed for copy right reasons), Tantrum, Divebomb and Rampage.  He will also include the Onyx Matrix accessory which contains the Prime Master figure, Onyx Prime.  He’ll stand roughly the same height as Devastator and will come in a box set to be sold at major retailers both physical and online.

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My thoughts –
First and foremost, I think the combined form of Predaking looks incredibly good. Unlike Devastator, who had a slightly different look due to Mixmaster’s new design, Predaking looks essentially as he would from the G1 days, other than being more proportionately designed.


I’m very impressed by the individual members looks. While they retain the sort of “Chibi”-charm of the G1 toys, for the most part, they look very good.
Razorclaw looks great in robot mode, but his Lion mode is very G1 and very brick-ish.  I’m mostly ok with this though, and I’ll be interested to see what he’s able to do once I get him in hand.

Divebomb Tantrum and Rampage all look great and again these guys retain a lot of their G1 ascetics, which for me, at least is a positive.

Naturally, there are some complaints out there.  This fanbase is consistent in only one thing: no one item ever pleases everyone.   I find it so odd that a fan base for a toy based on changing forms refuses to be consistent on whether new forms should be used or not.  The only real issue I’ve seen brought up, and it’s not noticeable in these pictures, is that Tantrum and Headstrong both basically carry Predaking’s tigh on their backs.  It looks odd and is, as far as I can tell, an unfortunate compromise to ensure Predaking stands stable and secure.  I’m sure I’ll be able to add more once I have these guys in hand, but in the end, like Devastator, the focus on this toy was the combiner, so sacrifices and compromises need to be made to ensure  he’s stable and secure (and let’s face it, Devastator stands stable as a rock when combined).  The fact that you can’t notice the thigh-backpacks in these pictures mean that Mr. Cow and Mr. Rhino will display very well all the same, so that’s a positive.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Over all, I’m very excited.  Power of the Primes tried out some very interesting ideas and while not all of them were successful (*cough Dinobot combiner cough*), we’re getting a lot of very cool toys that we really needed updates to.   We were also shown the initial looks at Optimus Primal at the show.

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While he looks great, I’m still somewhat frustrated by this as I think Star Saber would have been a far better choice and would have fit the Power of the Primes play feature exceedingly well (its almost as if it was designed around him).  Either way, I’m sure he’ll be a fun toy and Beast Wars fans are sure to rejoice by him joining the line.

Finally, special thanks to Ben Yee over at Ben’s World of Transformers – most of these pictures are from his Facebook page and he’s always happy to share  his great work.  TFDB, Unicron.com and Seibertron.com are also credited for some of the pictures.  Make sure you visit them all!

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