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  #1  
Old 7th January 2018, 06:33 PM
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Ode to a Grasshopper Ode to a Grasshopper is offline
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Default Your Best TFs of 2017

Alright, let's do this...the year is (finally) over now, what were your best TFs of 2017? I'm vaguely thinking 'TFs that were released in/from 2017', but I'm not some sort of Time-and-Date-Nazi so by all means feel free to post your favourite Acquisitions of 2017 as well if you like.
"How many?" I hear you ask? 3? 5? 10? How many is too many? I dunno, just pick a number that seems right to you. I'm going with 3.

For my part, I...actually didn't get many TFs this year, and most of them were pre-2017 releases anyway. Of the ones I did get, I haven't actually opened most of them yet...I'm sort of spacing them out what with 1) having no income stream atm and 2) being a bit caught up in study - having a new TF to look forward to at the end of the semester gives me something to look forward to.

That said, special mention really has to go to...


1: FansToys Sludge Stomp. This toy is beautiful. Plus I want my Dinobots to have some kind of rough alt-mode scale - slightly unusual I know but I was a dinosaur nut as a kid - and Stomp fits the bill nicely.

2: MP-11 Starscream. Is he the best MP ever? No. Not even close. But I passed over him when he first came out, and he's a damn good representation of the original G1 Starscream that we all know and love. Transformation is fun, not too complex and not too easy, he looks good in both modes, and - importantly - messing around with him was the first time in ages that I can remember getting a genuine sense of pleasure (as opposed to appreciating a solid design, or 'yeah, that's pretty cool') from a TF. Plus I got him through the efforts of a very kind overseas-based friend, who managed to find an original-run MP-11 - it's a bit isolating sometimes here in NW Tassie so it was nice to have a reminder of some of the good friendships I'm lucky enough to have all over the world.

3: Takara Legends Blurr. I didn't expect to like this as much as I did, but it's a really nice mold with a great design in both modes. The Hasbro paint-job really doesn't do it justice.

-Honorable Mentions-
Takara Legends Armada/Micron Legend-homage Starscream. Really fun (if a tad short/small) toy. Blurr narrowly edges it out of my top 3 -if he had wrist swivels (and maybe if Blurr wasn't a Headmaster, though it doesn't really detract from the toy all that much) it'd be a pretty close match-up IMO. Blurr is pretty sweet though.
Takara Strongarm with Sawtooth - This little Strongarm is a pretty solid little toy.
Titans Return Shuffler. He's a pretty nifty little guy, and I still love that Hasbro did such an obscure homage. It's a shame we couldn't get the remaining four Master Warriors in Titans Return IMO - I would have bought them all.

Last edited by Ode to a Grasshopper; 7th January 2018 at 09:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 7th January 2018, 11:23 PM
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Firstly I'd like to say we've had so many good toys come out in 2017 that it was really, really hard for me to narrow it down to just 3. These are just my personal stand-outs, but honestly most of the toys that came out this year were just fantastic. The fact that this was a tough choice is indicative of just how good the Transformers line has been in the past year. In years where the line has struggled it's pretty easy to pick a top toy (e.g. 1995's Laser Optimus Prime hasn't got much competition ). Anyway, on with my TOP 3 OF 2017!

Bronze = TITANS RETURN TOPSPIN

I'm generally not a fan of making Headmasters of G1 characters who weren't originally Headmasters (or even ever binary bonded), but Topspin still manages to thoroughly impress me despite my misgivings about the gimmick. And this in itself demonstrates one of the strengths of the Titan Master gimmick... it's relatively non-intrusive. I don't care about Freeze-Out. To me he's basically a detachable and transformable accessory. But the core figure doesn't suffer as a result. Like so many TR figures, Topspin manages to cater for the Titan Master gimmick - which not only means having a detachable/transformable head, but also a cockpit to house it in vehicle mode. And on top of that, the cockpit section collapses in robot mode rather than becoming a central hollow "block" that we had in G1 (including the old Diaclone figures) and some TR toys too. The transformation is quite original and unique as well as being intuitive and just fun. The sculpting and decos on this toy are just gorgeous, and the vehicle is finally a defined jet (whereas G1 Topspin was kinda weird... is it a jet or a rocket sled or what?) The G1 Jumpstarters were major shelfwarmers in the 1980s and even now are still pretty cheap on the aftermarket. Titans Return has made the Jumpstarters cool! Now I know that Topspin isn't everyone's Cube of Energon, and I suppose part of that is down to his weird looking alt mode. This is one of the risks that happens when you use scifi/fantasy alt modes instead of realistic ones. But it is based on a really weird 80s toy and if anything the alt mode has been modified to look relatively more realistic. But I understand that it's still very much a fantasy vehicle. Overall I think that this was one of the stand out figures in 2017.

Silver = THE LAST KNIGHT DELUXE BARRICADE

There is just so much to love about this toy! It is a significant improvement over the 2007 Deluxe Class figure. Gone are the weird gorilla proportions and the limbs don't easily pop off. TLK Barricade has a really cool police officer motif in its design in both the colours and the sculpting. I love how it comes with a pistol and a nightstick, as well as missile launchers. And of course, the fists are sculpted with two knuckle dusters with "Punish" and "Enslave" embossed on them. Barricade's design basically represents the corrupt police officer, and this was a deliberate theme with the Decepticons' choice of alt modes in the 2007 movie. They transformed into vehicles that represented authority, either the police or the military. In this way, the Decepticons wanted to visually gain people's trust in order to get close to them, but in the end they are actually deceiving them. It puts the "deception" in 'Decepticon.' There is just so much character in this toy! The transformation is surprisingly complex for a toy of this size and price, yet intuitive enough and it's just a fun toy to play with. Barricade feels like there was a Masterpiece level of love and dedication poured into his design, only with a Deluxe budget to work with. You can tell that a lot of pride and passion went into designing this toy. And with news of an actual Masterpiece Barricade coming out, I do wonder if this toy was a sort of testing ground.

Gold = MASTERPIECE GRAPPLE

Even though this toy is "just a retool" of MP Inferno (2016), I would still rate it as the best toy of 2017 when factoring in value for money, design, engineering, intuitiveness and just general fun. Just like Inferno, Grapple wins in so many ways with the way that it feels like the G1 cartoon character just jumped out of your TV screen and became real. But there are additional parts and changes made for Grapple -- after all, he is a crane, not a fire engine. It was a tough call comparing him with MP36 Megatron, also a really great toy. But MP36 is *really* expensive so I think that Grapple would have to win in terms of offering superior value for money, and also not having paint that easily chips off. The colours on Grapple are just fantastic with the licensed Mitsubishi Fuso crane truck mode really coming to the forefront of being a robot in disguise.



HONOURABLE MENTIONS

BLASTWAVE (Robots In Disguise, Warrior)
Best character concept of 2017. The toy itself is mediocre (as I find RiD in general). It's a significant retool of Megatronus and the mould was later reused as Bludgeon (although Blastwave came first). But what I love about Blastwave is that although he looks like a scary Decepticon, he's actually a Heroic Autobot(TM). The entire concept of Blastwave's character is that people should not be judged by their looks. His brief appearance in the cartoon also conveyed this important lesson for kids. Like Bumblebee was, Blastwave is also a mute (vocal circuit damaged in battle). When Blastwave first appeared on Earth, the other Autobots all assumed that he was a Decepticon and started fighting him and protecting the Cybertronian that he was hunting. It was later that they learnt that the person he was hunting was the real villain, and that Blastwave was a good guy who was tasked with arresting her. The Autobots realised that they had jumped to conclusions and prematurely judged Blastwave on his looks. What a great moral for children and a good example of how a toy can exercise a form of social responsibility via its hidden curriculum.

SHUFFLER (Titans Return)
Shuffler and Sawback (2016) are toys that I would like to recognise just in terms of Hasbro now making products of such incredibly obscure G1 characters! How many of you have ever heard of Shuffler before Titans Return (or even reading this very post)? For those who may not know, Shuffler and Léoné (Sawback) were part of a group of Transformers known as マスター戦士 (Master Warriors). They were *only* released in Japan in 1987, and even then it fairly limited numbers. Even in Japan these toys are pretty damn obscure! The Master Warriors were just Headmaster components - they only transformed from robot to head mode but didn't come with a larger Transformer (トランスステクター) to binary bond with. They were basically additional heads that you could buy for your existing Headmasters, and this is exactly what the individually packaged Titan Masters are! I didn't buy too many of these because most of them don't make sense to my G1 bias. Why is Fangry now a Headmaster component only? Should't that be Brisko? But with Shuffler, it makes perfect sense. In G1 Shuffler was just only the Headmaster. He (or she) never had a "Transtector" to bond with. But more importantly, toys like Sawback and Shuffler (as well as others like Overlord etc.) shows us that there are apparently no limits in terms of which characters Hasbro may deem fit to make product of! Go back just a few years and you could never imagine Hasbro ever making a toy of a character as obscure and weird as Shuffler! But damn it, if Shuffler can become a CHUG toy then anyone can! I'd like to see Loafer get made as a Titan Master next (that toy was the inspiration for the Headmaster's armour in Transformers Animated). Shuffler makes me feel that nothing is beyond the reach of what Hasbro can do now. So while Shuffler on his own is a pretty ordinary and quite frankly forgettable toy, it's really what s/he represents that has me excited.

P.S.: Although by strict definition, Lione/Sawback was never "Obscure" since he did briefly appear in the Headmasters anime series. Not sure if Shuffler now having two toys still makes him Obscure or not.
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Old 8th January 2018, 12:50 PM
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DELTAprime DELTAprime is online now
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MP Sunstreaker, MP Grappel/Inferno and LG Hot Rod in no particular order.
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Old 9th January 2018, 08:11 PM
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I've got a lot of unopened stuff and there was a bunch of stuff I did open but was unimpressed by. I did spend 2017 auditing my entire collection for the first time which is a good reminder I just need to keep the good stuff.

In no particular order my top five would be:

TF Legends Super Ginrai - weird feet aside, he's the Powermaster Optimus Prime and Super Ginrai I wanted. Was disappointed by God Ginrai though.

Titans Return Gnaw - A ridiculously flat back, but the robot mode is good and the beast mode is the most excellent representation.

RID Scorponok and Thermidor - such great toys that make me wish all of RID's warrior class was at the same level. The beast-ish robot modes are great and the transformations are fun, and Thermidor has a great vehicle mode too

TLK Voyager Megatron - I wanted to really like the leader Megatron (and it's an impressive jet) but the voyager class is just a bit better in both modes and more interesting to transform.


(and an honorary non-TF mention to the Legendary Defender Voltron - five great lions that make one impressive looking and big robot).
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Old 28th January 2018, 12:20 PM
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I didn't buy a lot last year, but of the ones I did get, and in no particular order

TLK Voyager Megatron
TR Megatron
MMC Aero
TLK Voyager Scorn
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